April 2013 Archives

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10 Highest Grossing Films: I've Seen 50%

moneyI just learned that I have never seen half of the ten highest-grossing films of all-time.

Here are the top ten and whether I've seen it or not.

  1. Avatar - seen it
  2. Titanic - seen it
  3. The Avengers - seen it
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 - have not seen it
  5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - have not seen it
  6. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - have not seen it
  7. Skyfall - have not seen it
  8. The Dark Knight Rises - seen it
  9. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - have not seen it
  10. Toy Story 3 - seen it

I suspect most people will have seen more than 50%, but I have no idea. How many of these top ten have you seen?

Discuss "10 Highest Grossing Films: I've Seen 50%" (26 comments so far)

Daily Photo: Humber River Fort

picturesI spotted this cool fort during a walk along the Humber River in Ettienne Brule Park.

Cool fort by the Humber river

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2001 Oakland Athletics: Our Heroes

2001 Oakland Athletics: Our HeroesI was going to write about the Leafs vs. Bruins, but I've decided to just enjoy this for what it is. The Leafs are playing in May and that hasn't happened since 2004. Sure, I'd have loved a series with the Habs, but I'll play any team at this point. Bring on the Bruins and let's see what happens.

So instead of writing about the Leafs (I plan to rotate between my #5 Bill Barilko and #93 Doug Gilmour jersey) I'm going to write about the 2001 Oakland Athletics. I've been thinking a lot about the 2001 Oakland Athletics this week. They're our glimmer of hope.


You see, the 2001 Oakland Athletics are the only team that's started as poorly as our 2013 Blue Jays and still made the playoffs since the wildcard berths showed up in '95. That's it. If the Jays right this ship and play lights out ball the rest of the way to make the post-season, they'll be only the 2nd team to do it.

The 2001 Oakland Athletics had to win 45 of its final 56 games to win the wildcard. I'll let you digest that run for a moment. 45 of 56...

Will the Jays go on a similar run? sportsclubstats.com puts the odds at 0.6%. That sounds about right...

Tell me it's early all you want... remind me it's April and we've only played 26 of 162 games. Those numbers are correct, but history suggest this isn't happening in 2013. My eyeballs tell me this team isn't capable of a 2001 Oakland Athletics-esque run to finish this season. My heart and my mind know it's over.

Hopefully, we finish strong and compete for a playoff spot in 2014. That expectation is far more realistic.

Discuss "2001 Oakland Athletics: Our Heroes" (20 comments so far)

Who Will Win the Stanley Cup?

Who Will Win the Stanley Cup?Guys and gals, I need your help. I'm drafting my playoff pool in 5 hours and I still don't know who will win the Stanley Cup.

Please tell me, who will win the Stanley Cup?

Discuss "Who Will Win the Stanley Cup?" (35 comments so far)

Daily Photo: Dining Hall

picturesA younger, more ambitious Mike wanted to take a photo every day and share it here. That lasted about two weeks.

A more mature, realistic Mike will now find beauty in the ordinary once in a while. I found it yesterday while walking in Lowville Park in Burlington on a brilliant day.


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Brian Burke's Defamation Lawsuit: My Unique Perspective

Brian Burke's Defamation Lawsuit Has Me Shaking My HeadBack in January, I got a cease and desist letter from Brian Burke's lawyer on his behalf. You can read that letter in its entirety here.

I was sent that letter because this blog was hosting an anonymous comment alleging Brian Burke had an affair with Hazel Mae. The letter wanted me to do two things: remove the offending comment and reveal the IP address of the anonymous commenter. I removed the comment right away and decided not to reveal the IP address.

Yesterday, Brian Burke filed a lawsuit with B.C. Supreme Court against 18 people who left similar comments on forums and blogs. Burke doesn't know who these 18 people are, just their handles Poonerman, Sir Psycho Sexy, Slobberface, Loob, Steve, etc. Here's a statement from Burke's lawyer Peter Gall:

Brian has decided that it is time to stop people who post comments on the Internet from thinking they can fabricate wild stories with impunity. Brian is determined to find the authors of the lie about him and those who have circulated the lie.

Back in January, when this rumour was being shared via chain emails and on forums and blogs, I dismissed it as "scandalous speculation". Such rumours about people in the public eye are nothing new, and the complete lack of mainstream media coverage spoke volumes. By February, the rumour had all but disappeared.

Suddenly, thanks to Burke's defamation lawsuit, the story is being widely reported by the CBC, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, CTV, Toronto Sun, Canadian Press and numerous other MSM news sources. Burke has the masses Googling for details about the rumour this morning. In essence, Burke is now experiencing the Streisand Effect:

The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

As I write this, I am not being sued by Brian Burke. I suspect that's because I didn't personally write about the rumour and willfully complied with the request to remove the comment. If I hadn't removed the comment from Anonymous, would Anonymous have been a 19th person included in this lawsuit? I have no idea.

I also have no idea how Burke will get damages from anonymous posters in online forums and blogs. Will a judge force the website owner to cough up the IP address? Were the IP addresses already voluntarily shared with Brian Burke's lawyer in response to a cease and desist letter like the one I got? And we all know an IP address won't reveal the commenter, only detail about the network they used to access the web when they wrote the comment. For example, the IP address might reveal the place where the commenter works or the commenter's ISP, but it would require a court order for the ISP to name the customer. And what about commenters who used public wifi networks? Or if the commenter simply jumped on a network belonging to a friend or neighbour? I have no idea how Burke can be successful here.

But one thing is certain... he's successful at making this a far bigger story than it would have been. It had fizzled out, as such rumours always do, and the CBC, Globe and Mail and other news sources had rightfully ignored it. But not anymore. Now Burke's made this a very interesting story and has Canadians from coast to coast searching for more scandalous details.

I'll be watching this story closely from a rather unique perspective. If I receive a summons, you'll read it here first.

Discuss "Brian Burke's Defamation Lawsuit: My Unique Perspective" (29 comments so far)

George Jones, Dead at 81

In MemoriumGeorge Jones was 81. He was a country music singer known for his long list of hit records, his distinctive voice and phrasing, and his marriage to Tammy Wynette.

Discuss "George Jones, Dead at 81" (8 comments so far)

Playoff Bound Open Mike

Open MikeWhat a glorious time to be alive!

Now let's have some civil discourse in an effort to make our world an even better place to live. Or maybe you have a funny story to share, or a slice of knowledge that will enrich us all?


Discuss "Playoff Bound Open Mike" (95 comments so far)

The Leafs Should Charge What the Market Will Bear

The Leafs Should Charge What the Market Will BearIt seems some are outraged that Maple Leaf home playoff tickets are 75% more expensive than regular season Leafs tickets. It doesn't bother me a bit.

They can charge a million dollars a ticket if they like, it just means I won't be buying any. That's my right. I don't have to buy Leafs tickets.

Then again, I find regular season Leafs tickets to be too expensive. I'll happily accept a free ticket to enjoy the game at the ACC, but it's been about a decade since I paid for a Leafs ticket. During that time I've paid to see the Argos, Raptors, Blue Jays and TFC, but not my Leafs.

But I can't wait to watch Maple Leaf playoff hockey from the comfort of my living room on CBC in HD. This is going to be fun.

Discuss "The Leafs Should Charge What the Market Will Bear" (28 comments so far)

Does Anyone Actually Like Relish?

Does Anyone Actually Like Relish?The big three condiments here in Canada seem to be ketchup, mustard and relish. I like both ketchup and mustard on my hotdogs and hamburgers, but I've never liked relish.


Does anyone actually like relish?

Discuss "Does Anyone Actually Like Relish?" (49 comments so far)

Last Call at the Gladstone Hotel

Last Call at the Gladstone HotelRight after Mad Men on Sunday night, I clicked over to TVO to watch Last Call at the Gladstone Hotel.

I had seen the documentary about the dramatic transformation of Toronto's oldest working hotel from post-war flophouse to its current incarnation as a hip, artist-driven boutique hotel before, but wanted to give it a second viewing.

It's as awesome as I remembered it. If you have an hour and are curious about this intimate portrait of the effects of urban renewal on the poor, click here and watch it now in its entirety.

Here's the trailer:

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 35: Pot Pourri

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 35In this 35th episode, Rosie and I chat about so many things, including Freddie P's appearance, Mike's hair, Craigslist, Portage La Prairie, Rita MacNeil, the Computer Man, the Jays, the Leafs, my hockey pool, Sevenly, our blue jeans and shrinking chocolate bars. This episode is exactly 39:30.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Allan Arbus, Dead at 95

In MemoriumAllan Arbus was 95. He was the actor most known for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Freedman on the television series MASH.

Discuss "Allan Arbus, Dead at 95" (3 comments so far)

A Positive Customer Service Experience With Dell

A Positive Customer Service Experience With DellI'm rarely impressed with customer service these days, but I just had an experience so fine I had to write about it.

My son cracked the screen of our Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook so I called Dell up and dealt with a lovely woman named Linda. Linda owned this case and called me directly to update me every step of the way. Her resolution was so fast and so ideal I still can't believe it.

This was the polar opposite of my experience with Prima. Great job, Dell!

Have you had a positive customer service experience lately you'd like to share?

Discuss "A Positive Customer Service Experience With Dell" (12 comments so far)

k.d. lang's Hair vs. My Hair

k.d. lang's Hair vs. My HairWaiting for Mad Men to start last night, we checked out a little of the Juno Awards. They were honouring k.d. lang, who made a great speech about letting your freak flag fly. That's when my girlfriend Monica told me k.d. lang and I share the same hair.

Ever since I started swimming each day, my hair has been a little crazy. It's naturally thick, and I've been wearing it a little long over the winter, and the chlorine makes it stick up. This pic gives you an idea.

2013-03-16 16.37.05

Here's k.d. lang last night. My hair is a little whiter, but it's essentially the same style.


By the way, my plan is to grow my hair until the wedding. Watch out Dr. Emmett Brown!


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Richie Havens, Dead at 72

In MemoriumRichie Havens was 72. He was a veteran folk singer and a star of the Woodstock festival and film.

Discuss "Richie Havens, Dead at 72" (1 comment so far)

Chrissy Amphlett, Dead at 53

In MemoriumChrissy Amphlett was 53. She was the lead singer of the rock band Divinyls whose hit "I Touch Myself" brought her international fame in the early 1990s.

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I Am The Computer Man

I Am The Computer ManVid Kids was a show that aired on CBC in the mid 80s for a couple of seasons. I stumbled upon it in 1985 and was completely mesmerized by this performance by Bob Schneider of a song I called "I Am The Computer Man".

That was almost 30 years ago, so it blew my mind Saturday night when I caught myself singing the tune out loud as I was falling asleep. Out of nowhere, I started singing "I am the computer man, I can do anything you can."

A little Googling proved I hadn't lost my mind but this song did indeed exist. Here it is.

Does anyone else remember Vid Kids or this Computer Man tune?

Discuss "I Am The Computer Man" (14 comments so far)

Fools' Gold: Early Thoughts on the 2013 Blue Jays #DisappointedInThisTeam

Fool's Gold: Early Thoughts on the 2013 Blue Jays"We've got a good team. I like this team."
- John Gibbons, Blue Jays Manager, April 20, 2013.

John Gibbons and I disagree about at least one thing. I don't like this team. At least not yet. 18 games into the season I've caught good parts of at least 15 of them, and I don't like what I see.

There's nothing to capture your fancy.. nothing to get excited about... nothing to like. Something's missing, and I'm not sure what that is. This team seems to have no personality and no cohesion. I was flabbergasted when we managed to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the 8th yesterday, but not the least bit surprised when the Yankees beat us in 10. It's at a point when watching my Jays, a team I've loved since 1983, isn't fun. It's becoming painful.

The marketing machine behind Rogers' Blue Jays have tried their very best to force the Twitter hashtag #LoveThisTeam down our collective throats, and I still see the occasional die-hard optimist using it, but you won't see it from me. After 18 games, there's nothing to love. The starting pitching is more miss than hit, the defense has been spotty and the hitting has been very disappointing. A 7-11 start isn't the end of the world, but it's a difficult pill to swallow following unprecedented pre-season hype.

And really, that hype is a huge part of the problem here. This team has accomplished absolutely nothing and we bought in on blind faith alone. I'm as guilty as anyone, gleefully predicting a World Series championship in March. Now after 18 games I'm certain it will take a major change to put this team in the playoffs.

All that glitters is not gold, and our 2013 Blue Jays are not the world beaters the hype machine sold us.

Before you comment that it's still early, I have one question for you. When is it not too early to dislike the performance of your favourite team?

Discuss "Fools' Gold: Early Thoughts on the 2013 Blue Jays #DisappointedInThisTeam" (28 comments so far)

Leafs Playoff Drought Ends: Here's What's Changed

Leafs Playoff Drought Ends: Here's What's ChangedWhen my Leafs defeated the Sens last night, we secured a playoff spot for the first time since 2004. That was nine long years ago.

So what's new? My favourite barometer for measuring our playoff drought is my daughter Michelle. She's turning nine this summer. The Leafs haven't played a playoff game since she was born.

Xmas 2012

The last time the Leafs played a playoff game, I was in my 20s. Really. I WAS IN MY 20s.

Sure, this blog was active, here's an entry about our last playoff game in which Karel Pilar scored a big goal before Mats Sundin scored late to force overtime. (That's right, I wrote Karel Pilar.) But there was no Twitter. There wasn't even YouTube. Facebook was just for Harvard students. And we all watched the Leafs in standard definition. And if you had a cell phone, it was likely not a smartphone. Compare the television and phone you owned in 2004 to the ones you use today.

I big tradition in my family has always been my brothers (and sometimes mom) coming over to watch Leafs playoff games. We'd all wear our jerseys and go crazy for the blue and white. Neither of my brothers had kids last time we did this. Now they both do, and just like my daughter, one of my nephews is almost nine.

I could go on.... nine years is a long time. What matters now is that the drought is officially over. The Leafs are in the playoffs and playing a fun brand of hockey I've enjoyed all season. But make no mistake... if we're going to advance a round or two, it will be because of this remarkable young man.


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My Son the Champion

My Son the ChampionMy son plays for the Hawks in the Atom division of the George Bell Hockey Association. Today, they took on the Jets in the finals.

It was a great game that we won in a shootout. A big congrats to my son James who played with hustle and heart, especially coming up big with two stellar defensive plays in OT.


On to Pee Wee!

Fun Fact: The last time I watched James win a hockey championship was the same day Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal.

Discuss "My Son the Champion" (6 comments so far)

Just Clinch Already Open Mike

Open MikeThe Leafs' first playoff appearance in nine years is all but certain, but it would be nice if we could go ahead and clinch already. This English and History major is tired of doing all that math.

What's on your mind?


Discuss "Just Clinch Already Open Mike" (109 comments so far)

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 34: Freddie P.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 34In this 34th episode, I'm joined by Fred Patterson from the Humble and Fred show for a great chat about his radio career, the state of terrestrial radio today, the future of Humble and Fred, the Leafs and Rob Ford. This episode is exactly 1:08:26.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 34: Freddie P." (15 comments so far)

Questions for Freddie P?

Questions for Freddie P?My pal Freddie P from the Humble and Fred Podcast is dropping by my studio this afternoon to record an episode of my podcast Toronto Mike'd.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

I've got some questions for him, but I'd love to add some of yours. What would you like me to ask Fred Patterson?

Discuss "Questions for Freddie P?" (22 comments so far)

First RSVP and the Penis on the Back

First RSVP and the Penis on the BackThe first wave of invitations have gone out for my little wedding and the very first RSVP response had a surprise waiting for us on the back.


This was courtesy of good friend and frequent Toronto Mike commenter and Toronto Mike'd guest elvis. Thanks, elvis!

Discuss "First RSVP and the Penis on the Back" (16 comments so far)

Rita MacNeil, Dead at 68

In MemoriumRita MacNeil was 68. She was the popular singer known as Cape Breton’s first lady of song.

Discuss "Rita MacNeil, Dead at 68" (10 comments so far)

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 33: Sex and the City

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 33In this 33rd episode, I'm joined by Rosie as we chat about Boston, Rehteah, a perceived Italian bias, my brother's intensity, the casino vote and Rosie's top ten TV shows of all-time. She even snaps at me for suggesting Sex and the City was aimed at a particular gender. This episode is exactly 47:31.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 33: Sex and the City" (30 comments so far)

Pat Summerall, Dead at 82

In MemoriumPat Summerall was 82. He was the deep-voiced NFL player-turned-broadcaster who spent four decades calling sports, most notably the NFL with John Madden.

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Ranking My Sports Injuries

medicalI wake up every morning with pain in my left shoulder. I've accepted the fact I'll have this pain for the rest of my life, the result of a separated shoulder from a hockey game in 2009.

Listening to the Humble and Fred podcast today, they were talking about their worst injuries. I thought I'd rank mine.

1. The broken leg and torn ACL from playing ball in 2003 that kept me sports-less for six months
2. The mysterious running injury in 2007 I've never recovered from
3. The broken leg in grade two that had me on crutches for six weeks
4. The separated shoulder from a hockey game in 2009 that I still feel today
5. The infected gaping wound from sliding into third base in 2010 that had me in the Emergency Room every night for a week
6. The ankle sprain in grade nine that had me on crutches for two weeks

What's your worst sports injury?

Discuss "Ranking My Sports Injuries" (17 comments so far)

What Was the First Rock Song?

Hey Mike;

I'm teaching a music course in the TDSB; as a career musician, enjoying it immensely (no sound checks).

The other day, a bright kid comes with this question: "Mr. Corby, what was the first rock song?"

He was , of course not referring to rock...AND ROLL!!!! but to the rushing blast of real rock. I answered Hush (Deep Purple) or Born To Be Wild.

Personally, I am now thinking more My Generation or You Really Got Me. Only people of a certain age even understand this question.

Why don't you see what your crew can come up with?


Discuss "What Was the First Rock Song?" (27 comments so far)

The Booth - Lincoln Coincidence

The Booth - Lincoln CoincidenceWe all know John Wilkes Booth assisinated President Lincoln. But did you know that John Wilkes Booth's brother, Edwin Booth, once saved Abraham Lincoln's son's life?

Edwin Booth saved Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert, from serious injury or even death. The incident occurred on a train platform in Jersey City, New Jersey. The exact date of the incident is uncertain, but it is believed to have taken place in late 1864 or early 1865, shortly before Edwin's brother, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Lincoln.

Robert Lincoln recalled the incident in a 1909 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, editor of The Century Magazine.

The incident occurred while a group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor, and there was of course a narrow space between the platform and the car body. There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name.

Booth did not know the identity of the man whose life he had saved until some months later, when he received a letter from a friend, Colonel Adam Badeau, who was an officer on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant. Badeau had heard the story from Robert Lincoln, who had since joined the Union Army and was also serving on Grant's staff. In the letter, Badeau gave his compliments to Booth for the heroic deed. The fact that he had saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son was said to have been of some comfort to Edwin Booth following his brother's assassination of the president.

That's one heck of a coincidence.

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Bieber's Trip To the Anne Frank House

Bieber's Trip the Anne Frank HouseWhile touring in Amsterdam, Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House. He left a note in the guestbook as he departed.

Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.

The entire episode is reminiscent of this clip from the hilarious and under appreciated Mr. Show.

Discuss "Bieber's Trip To the Anne Frank House" (15 comments so far)

That One Batman I Never Saw and What Went Wrong

That One Batman I Never SawI recently revisited the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were all great. It might be my favourite trilogy not starring Mark Hamill.

I remember the Batman buzz during the summer of '89. Tim Burton's Batman didn't disappoint this 15-year old, and the sequel Batman Returns was also pretty good. Burton's Batmans weren't as good as Nolan's Batmans, but it was still quality cinema.

I didn't care for Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever. I think I just missed the darkness of Burton's movies. When Batman & Robin came out in '97, I had no interest. I never did see that movie.

Apparently, I didn't miss anything. It sounds like it was awful. Here's a great glimpse into what went wrong...

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Frank Bank, Dead at 71

In MemoriumFrank Bank was 71. He was the actor best known for his role as Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford on Leave it to Beaver.

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Jonathan Winters, Dead at 87

In MemoriumJonathan Winters was 87. He was the comedian who appeared in nearly 50 films and TV shows including Mork and Mindy where he played Mearth, Mork and Mindy's son.

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Grilled Cheese Open Mike

Open MikeNorth Korea is still making threats, the Jays are 3-6, the Leafs are playoff-bound, the Toronto casino is dead and it's National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day.

Mmmmm... grilled cheese.


Discuss "Grilled Cheese Open Mike" (68 comments so far)

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 32: Top 10 TV Shows

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 32In this 32nd episode, my brother Ryan surprises me with a list of his 10 favourite television shows of all-time. An intense discussion ensues, but not before an intense discussion about the 2013 Blue Jays. This episode is exactly 38:22.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Tiger or I Don't Give a Shit

Tiger or I Don't Give a ShitThe 2013 Masters Golf Tournament is underway in Augusta, Georgia, and I'll pay attention so long as Tiger Woods is in contention.

I simply don't care about the PGA unless Tiger's competing. If Tiger fails to make the cut, I won't watch a minute this weekend. But if he's in the running Sunday, I'll be tuned in and focused that afternoon.

How about you? Do you care about the Masters? Would you watch is Tiger was out of contention on Sunday?

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How I Remember it Sometimes Snows in April

How I Remember it Sometimes Snows in AprilIt's snowing in Toronto right now. It sometimes snows in April. This image reminds me of that cold harsh reality.


That picture was taken April 7, 1977, before the first regular season game in Blue Jays history at old Exhibition Stadium.

Speaking of April 7, 1977, this is the late great Tom Cheek calling the first home run in Blue Jays history. It was hit by Doug Ault who would add another before the day was through.

A tremendous shot!

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 31: Casino Royale

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 31In this 31st episode, I'm joined by Rosie and Mike Muzzin as we chat about Rosie's Florida escape, Muzzin's hero Rob Ford, a proposed Kadri trade that didn't happen, Justin Trudeau's speaking style and Roger Ebert. This episode is exactly 48:08.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Vinyl 95.3 Now 953 Fresh FM

Vinyl 95.3 Now 953 Fresh FMHamilton's Vinyl 95.3, which played Greatest Hits from the 70s and 80s, is now 953 Fresh FM playing top 40 hits from today.

Of interest to fans of the Humble and Fred Podcast is that Kelly Cutrara has a gig at 953 Fresh FM from 3pm to 7pm weekdays. She starts Monday making this her last week on the podcast. Congrats, Kelly.

I didn't listen to Vinyl and I'm sure I'll never hear Fresh FM from Hamilton, but if you're in the Hamilton area and enjoy top 40 hits, you have a new destination to sample.

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Issues faced by Boys and Men

The Phenomenon of Sneaker CultureMy buddy Tim Legere has written this guest blog entry he calls "Issues faced by Boys and Men". The following words belong to him.

On Thursday April 4th, I attended a seminar at the University of Toronto titled "From Misogyny & Misandry to Intersexual Dialogue".

It was described as:

A conversation exploring the effects on both men and women of our current approach to gender and how we might foster a genuinely intersexual – and intersectional – dialogue that is both broad and deep, while incorporating all aspects of personal and social identity

The main presenters were:

Dr. Katherine Young and Dr. Paul Nathanson, authors of the books “Spreading Misandry” and “Legalizing Misandry”.

Organizers of the event were:

Who am I? Why did I go?

I’m a 50 year old separated Dad of two kids. During the last eight years I have become aware of serious issues that face Boys and Men and require society’s understanding and action. I went to this seminar to understand how these challenges might be solved and perhaps help to make the world a better place for my children.

What are some of the problems of Boys and Men?

  • Fathers receive shared custody of their children less than 10% of the time
  • 71% of all High School Dropouts are from Fatherless Homes
  • Only 42% of Bachelor Degrees are earned by Men
  • 85% of all Children that exhibit Behavioral Disorders come from Fatherless Homes
  • 30% of those named as Fathers who test for Paternity find they are not the Biological Father
  • 40% of Domestic Violence Victims are Men
  • Government funding for Prostate Cancer is 60% less than the amount for Breast Cancer despite Diagnosis Rates being Identical
  • 80% of all Suicides are Men
  • 94% of Industrial Deaths and Accidents happen to Men
  • 97% of Combat Deaths since the 1st Gulf War have been Men

The links to the source of the above statistics can be found on the following website: http://www.avoiceformen.com/activism/about/

Aren’t Men Privileged and the Beneficiaries of the Patriarchy?

MHRA’s contend that much of Feminist Theory is incorrect. Simply holding an opposing viewpoint to Feminism does NOT make MHRA’s anti-women or misogynists. MHRA’s outline some of their beliefs here (as composed by Dean Esmay).

It should be quickly apparent that this topic is NOT something that can be compressed into a sound bite or a 1-2 minute video. It requires significant reflection to understand ALL sides of the arguments before forming a thoughtful opinion.

What happened at this Seminar?

Doctor Young and Nathanson were prepared to discuss both Misogyny and Misandry and propose how different groups (e.g. Feminists and Men’s Human Rights Advocates or MHRA’s) might come together and discuss how they could “tackle” problems.

Unfortunately, staunchly Feminist groups disrupted the seminar by protesting loudly outside the auditorium, presumably setting off a fire alarm (which caused a delay, required a costly response from the fire department and potentially endangered others with a real emergency) and taunting MHRA’s with various shaming and derogatory chants and posters.

Personally, I was very disappointed that the protestors did not attend the seminar, pose questions and generally engage MHRA’s in a more reasonable manner. During the break I watched as several MHRA’s attempted to discuss issues with the protestors. It is my opinion that the MHRA’s were respectful, posed thoughtful questions to protestors and then backed up their positions with studies and statistics. When a Protestor could not answer a MHRA’s question they tended to respond emotionally, attack the MHRA (instead of debating the issue) and then change to another topic.

It seems that any attempt to meet and discuss perceived issues facing Boys and Men are viewed by Feminist Groups as being Misogynistic and therefore these events must be protested. My question to them is what happened to the rights of “Freedom of Speech” and “Opposing Viewpoints”?

The following are a few videos taken during this Seminar.

Feminism versus Freedom of Speech (NSFW)

What Needs to Happen Next?

Professor Young and Nathanson discussed a number of things to assist with an “Intersexual Dialogue”. The following are four items that I recorded and I hope match their suggestions.

  1. People expect to be listened to. Listen carefully
  2. Employ a Non-Hostile Etiquette
  3. Discuss the Future (not the past or who is more of a victim, etc,)
  4. Be Empathetic

I thought this was pretty good advice.

Have there been other Seminars and Lectures with similar Results?

Yes. The following were both delivered on the University of Toronto campus.

Want to learn more?

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My 10 Favourite Movies of All-Time

MoviesBecause Argie asked for it, here's an update to an entry I wrote over seven years ago.

Here are my 10 favourite movies of all-time:

  1. Pulp Fiction
  2. Goodfellas
  3. The Godfather: Part 2
  4. Django Unchained
  5. The Shawshank Redemption
  6. The Godfather: Part 1
  7. Reservoir Dogs
  8. Kill Bill - Volumes 1&2
  9. Fight Club
  10. Big Fish

What does your top ten look like?

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Your 2013 Blue Jays: Hope is a Double-Edged Sword

I Blame Stadium Love (and Hope)I was lucky. I was 19 years old when Joe Carter touched 'em all. That means I grew up with a solid decade of competitive Blue Jays teams, always a threat to win the division.

Almost 20 years have gone by since that glorious '93 season. At some point in the late 90s, I got used to us fielding mediocre teams. When last season ended, it was yet another disappointing Jays season in a long line of disappointing seasons. There was no expectations, so the disappointment was minimal.

It's different this season. A big trade with the Marlins, a trade for the NL Cy Young winner and an intriguing free agent signing gave us hope. Unprecedented media hype, spear-headed by Rogers Communications Inc. and their need to fill seats and bolster television and radio ratings, have us all expecting a World Series. Hope will do that to you.


Hope? Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

~ Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding, The Shawshank Redemption

So now we have hope, and with hope comes disappointment. I've got one eye on the game right now and we're trailing Detroit 5-2. If we lose, we'll be off to a dismal 2-5 start. That sure doesn't feel like '92 and '93. '89, maybe...

The realist in me says we've played 7 of 162 games. That's 4.32% of the season. Of course it's too early to give up on our 2013 playoff dreams.

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

~ Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

There's lots of time to turn this around. Here's hoping.

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It's Really Love and Toot Sweet became Johnny's Theme

It's Really Love and Toot Sweet are Johnny's ThemeAnnette Funicello passed away yesterday. Disney had the young actress signed to a record contract when she recorded "It's Really Love".

"It's Really Love" was simply a reworking of a Paul Anka song called "Toot Sweet".

Paul Anka reworked the song a third time and came up with "Johnny's Theme", a song you've likely heard hundreds of times.

Paul Anka and Annette Funicello actually dated for a while in the late 50s. Now you know... the rest of the story.

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Annette Funicello, Dead at 70

In MemoriumAnnette Funicello was 70. She was a Mouseketeer at 12, a successful singer and actor as a teen and super popular as Frankie Avalon's co-star in a series of "Beach Party" movies in the mid-1960s.

Everything I know about Annette Funicello I learned from "Back to the Beach", an under-rated flick I thoroughly enjoyed during the summer of '87.

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A Word About Comments on This Blog

A Word About Comments on This BlogOver seven years ago, when I moved this blog into Movable Type, I decided to open up comments to everybody. That means absolutely anyone with an Internet connection can leave a comment, using their real name, a catchy handle or leaving the name field blank so it shows up as from "Anonymous". I made that decision back then and I'm glad I did. It's how I want to operate this blog.

When someone writes a comment about how our Premier is "manly", I don't delete it. When someone writes a hateful comment about how marriage equality is wrong, I don't delete it. When someone writes a completely unrelated and redundant comment about his/her favourite sports team, I don't delete it. I've decided to delete as few comments as possible.

Having said that, I will delete personal and malicious threats or attacks, particularly when they're directed at someone who doesn't work and live in the public eye. I'll also protect those I love and care about. A comment saying my nephew is ugly, for example, would get clipped pretty fast. Telling me why Rob Ford's the best (or worst) mayor in the history of the world is fine, telling me my son is a shitty baseball player is not. I hope everyone understands and appreciates the difference.

Sometimes comments will automatically be held for moderation. This is an anti-spam algorithm at work, and it usually happens when you include multiple links. If your comment is ever held for moderation, please let me know right away and I'll go in and publish it. I'll even publish pro-Habs propaganda.

I love reading your comments, all 50261 of them, when you agree with me and when you don't. I'd love to see more readers become commenters and I encourage creative and lively debates with an open mind.

Comment away!

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Margaret Thatcher, Dead at 87

In MemoriumMargaret Thatcher was 87. She was the first woman to become U.K. prime minister and Britain's only prime minister of the 20th century to win three consecutive terms.

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Johnny Esaw, Dead at 87

In MemoriumJohnny Esaw was 87. He was a pioneer of sports broadcasting in Canada, best known for his involvement with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, CFL games, figure skating, golf, tennis, auto racing and international hockey.

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Pyongyang Open Mike

Open MikeLet's see... North Korea is threatening to attack, a bird flu is gaining steam in China and Doug Ford is threatening to run for MPP.

Never a dull moment!


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Roger Ebert, Dead at 70

In MemoriumRoger Ebert was 70. He was the Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than 45 years and for more than three decades the co-host of one of the most powerful programs in television history.

I was always a very big fan. Here's something I wrote about the man when he recorded his final episode of "Ebert and Roeper".

Locals will remember when he was attacked at Slumdog Millionaire during the TIFF in 2008. It didn't stop him from finishing the movie, however, and he'd accurately predict it would win the Oscar on his way out.

I tweeted this, just yesterday:

I didn't always agree with Roger Ebert, but I loved hearing and reading his honest and insightful reviews for as long as I can remember. I'm going to miss him.

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Director of Operations, Logistics and Gravy?

Director of Operations, Logistics and Gravy?You've likely heard the news that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has hired his old football coach as Director of Operations and Logistics.

Dave Price was Ford’s high school football coach back when he was a student at Scarlett Heights. Now, Dave Price is Director of Operations and Logistics, and Toronto taxpayers are paying his 6-figure salary. Trust me, titles like that don't come without a 6-figure cost.

You're likely wondering what the Director of Operations and Logistics is responsible for at City Hall.... Ford won't say. His staffers won't say, either.

Sounds like respect for the taxpayer to me!

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In Praise of David Costabile

David CostabileI first saw David Costabile as Mel's submissive husband on the hilarious Flight of the Conchords. It was a small role, but merely a sign of things to come.

I then saw him in Season Five of The Wire as Managing Editor Thomas Klebanow. The Wire, as you may know, is my favourite television series of all-time. Again, it was a pretty small role, but it was pretty cool seeing someone from FotC on The Wire.

Then, while watching one of my favourite shows since The Wire, I saw him on Breaking Bad in a pretty juicy role. He was Gale Boetticher, and I won't spoil anything by telling you about Gale Boetticher.


For playing a recurring character in Flight of the Conchords, The Wire and Breaking Bad, I thought David Costabile deserved a little praise.

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The First 30 Podcast Episodes

Toronto Mike'd Podcast EpisodesI just realized the most recent episode of Toronto Mike'd, the podcast I host, is #30. 30 is a nice round number, so here's the complete list of 30 episodes to help you catch up.

Quite frankly, I'm proud of the progression I hear over the first 30, and I'm looking forward to another 30 with my co-host Rosie. I hope you give it a shot and like what you hear.

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This Blue Jays Entry Is Brought To You By...

This Blue Jays Entry Is Brought To You By...It's early in the Blue Jays game, we're trailing 4-1, but this entry isn't about Arencibia's passed balls or Dickey's hittable knuckleball. This entry is about the Sportsnet telecast.

Rogers owns Sportsnet and the Jays and the dome, for that matter. It seems to have created this over-commercialized collection of corporate branding, in-game advertising and sponsorships galore. When Buck's not talking about the TD Comfort Zone, the new "destination" in centre field for ticket holders where they can enjoy their Budweiser or talking up the Honda guy, he's throwing to the Blackberry studio for the Home Hardware something or other. Heck, he just promoted some shitty television show before an ad for Selsun Blue took over the lower 15% of the screen.

It's too much. Even the over-the-top propaganda videos about the Blue Jays giving back to the community seems to be designed to sell tickets for the mothership. In 2013 we're used to sponsor mentions and in-game ads but it seems Rogers has crossed a line here.

I miss the good old days when the majority of ads aired between half-innings and not during the game.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 30: Elvis Was a Hero to Most

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 30In this 30th episode, I'm joined by Elvis and we chat about the Jays, the Leafs, The Wire, Four Christmases and when he realized there was no God. This episode is exactly 46:47.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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My Favourite Opening Day

bluejaysThe last Blue Jays home opener I attended was their final home opener at Exhibition Stadium in 1989. Jimmy Key pitched a shut out and it was well worth skipping school.

It was a lot of fun being there, but that wasn't my best Blue Jays opening day memory. My favourite opening day was 1988 when George Bell went deep three times off of Royals ace Bret Saberhagen.

I wrote a fun, fact-filled entry about that game here if you'd like to click through and read more. I hope you do.

Tonight, I'll be watching on television. Before we anoint this team our best since '93, I'd like to see us win a few games. Here's hoping that starts with R.A. Dickey on the mound tonight.

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Chalk Circle

April FoolToday is the perfect day to share my favourite song from the first band I saw live in concert, Chalk Circle.

April Fool

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5 Things I Don't Fully Appreciate

5 of My Favourite ThingsFor no particular reason, and in no particular order, here are five things I don't appreciate. I understand why people dig this stuff, I've just never been able to get into it.

The Wu-Tang Clan

I've always enjoyed rap, with my favourite group being Public Enemy. My brother Ryan, a fellow hip-hop fan, loved the Wu-Tang Clan. I always felt there was something wrong with me that I never took to RZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God and Cappadonna.

I loved seeing Method Man on The Wire, however.

South Park

Like-minded friends, and that very same brother, have been raving about the brilliance of South Park for 15 years. Despite trying the series countless times, I've never been able to make it through an episode.

I did love the movie South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, however.


I do enjoy a cold Heineken, but that's it when it comes to booze. I'm not a fan of wine, nor cool Don Draper drinks with whiskey, rum or brandy, and never really have been.

I've been unable to acquire the taste.

Lord of the Rings

I've confessed this one before. Only that was ten years ago, and now my son is a big fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I've sat through the extended cuts with him but still don't fully appreciate these films.

But I am glad they have my son reading.

Fantasy Sports

That same brother I alluded to earlier absolutely loves fantasy sports. In fact, he hosts a fantasy sports podcast. I think I dislike fantasy sports as much as he loves it, despite the fact I'm crazy about sports.

I just hate the idea that you'll root for a player simply because you drafted him. I prefer to root for players for far more holistic and organic reasons. I also prefer to cheer for laundry.

What do you not fully appreciate?

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