What Did I Miss Open Mike

Open MikeI'm back from camping and slowly catching up on what I missed.

I see Todd Shapiro is gone from the Dean Blundell Show, I see Dennis Farina passed away and I see the Jays have really shit the bed.

We had an amazing time but all good things come to an end. I'll post pics later. Use this space to do whatever the heck you want.


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So I'm first. I hate rogers. boy do I hate Rogers about as much as I hate Bell. Anyway, our condo manager sent us this memo with two attachments about something about a cable box. We have cable if we want it. It comes out of our condo fees and a friend of mine encouraged me to get a box because they have music channels and stuff. Well, I hardly use it, but it was free. Are you kidding. I wouldn't get that box if it was free. Now they are bugging us saying we have to exchange this box. Well, they said you have to go to Dundas and Dufferin or some stupid place. I called them. I talked to the guy. He had to keep looking through stuff and he said he doesn't know anything about it. Well, I don't know if I actually got a letter from them about replacing this box or anything. Anyway, I've been throwing stuff out that comes from Rogers and Bell. The guy told me not to throw anything out. Anyway, I hate Rogers. I hate Bell. Primus is the way to go. Primus has much better customer service than rogers and Bell. Everyone get Primus so rogers and Bell can go out of business and then we won't have Rogers and Bell anymore. Okay, enough rant.

July 26, 2013 @ 10:57 AM


Okay. I meant to say I wouldn't get a box if it wasn't free. I will never give any money to Rogers or Bell ever.

July 26, 2013 @ 11:00 AM


Welcome back Toronto Mike. You missed a lot!

Not really...


Rogers and Bell going out of business? Not anytime soon, unfortunately.

July 26, 2013 @ 11:03 AM

Not Todd

Blundell's on the clock... soon it will be time for a change for change's sake.

July 26, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Al Reda

Morbid thought of the day...

If a bear had eaten you while you were camping, for how long would that Open Mike be live?

Could we be chatting here for months?




July 26, 2013 @ 11:40 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Al Reda

That's a good question.

My good friend hosts this site, so he could keep it hosted as long as he's alive.

The domain name is locked up in 5-year intervals... I think I'll share that detail with a select few so if I kick the bucket this site can live on.

The only problem with an Open Mike going on forever and ever is the fact it's currently coded to stay as one page.... eventually that page would get awfully long. I'd have to add pagination like I have with the monthly archives and category pages.

July 26, 2013 @ 11:45 AM


Mike, you missed the unveiling of the Ted Rogers statue outside Skydome! How come no one else is a perturbed/embarrassed as I am about this? I can't imagine a worse display at a sports stadium. Imagine being a visiting fan from a storied franchise like the Yankees or Red Sox and seeing that lame-ass statue - the only monument that exists outside of the Jays stadium. Ugh. Toronto the bland.

July 26, 2013 @ 11:53 AM


The world is my country, all mankind my brethren, to do good is my religion
-Thomas Paine; "Common Sense"

July 26, 2013 @ 11:56 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That sucks. If Rogers wants to honour their fearless leader, surely they can find a more appropriate venue.

Where exactly is the statue? Shouldn't there be a statue of George Bell?

July 26, 2013 @ 11:57 AM

Another Lurker

Re-Todd did quite well for himself after Humble and Fred left for 640. Steady employment for over a decade? Pretty damn good for radio!

Toddy Tickles stretched minimal talent into quite the name for himself.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's a note I received from a Corus insider:

Hey Mike,

Wanted to clarify something with the Todd Shapiro departure from the Dean Blundell Show. I work at Corus, and know people attached to the show.

Todd's being axed was not related to the latest CBSC complaint and punishment. Those happen all the time, part of running a radio business, and people rarely get fired simply because of a complaint like the ones levelled at The Edge.

Apparently Todd & Dean have had many arguments off-air in the past. A few weeks ago, before Todd took a "vacation", he and Dean apparently had quite an explosive argument... no word of what the discussion was about.

Creative differences, I'm guessing.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:03 PM


@Mike - it's prominanly displayed near Gate 6, facing Bremner. Truth be told, I'm not necessarily against the notion of a statue. As long as its in the lobby of Rogers corporate HQ.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:19 PM


"creative differences" is the catchall phrase for why anyone was fired.

It's corporate speak saying everything and nothing all at once.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:19 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'll be at the Sept 28 game... I'll check this statue out for myself and see if we can somehow change it into a Marge Simpson statue.

Marge Forever.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:20 PM


@ Corey @ Toronto Mike

Re: Statue

I'm not a big fan of self monuments or whatever, but without Ted Rogers the Jays would not be playing in Toronto anymore. He rescued the team - yes, he got the skydome for a bird and song, yes he bought the team to sell cellphones and cable deals, yes he needed content for Rogers SportsNet - but he bought the team and no one else was going to.

The birds have a nice place to poop and rest and if they family wants to put something up there so be it. You don't have to go and bow and the shrine, but it doesn't bother me one bit.


July 26, 2013 @ 12:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm still going to stick a Marge Simpson wig on that thing!

July 26, 2013 @ 12:26 PM


@Andrew -

You might be able to prove me wrong, and I'll happily eat crow if you do, but I can not find a single source, besides interviews with Ted Rogers himself, that support the notion that the Jays were in imminent danger of relocation. The first time InterBrew put them up for sale in 97, there was a Toronto based consortium who were essentially waiting for the ink to dry on the sale before InterBrew pulled the plug and decided to keep the team. Other than that, I can't find a single article supporting Rogers claim. I personally don't remember it being an issue then either.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:35 PM


Hopefully one day we can throw out Rogers like communism, and the statue like Lenin's.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:35 PM


@ Corey

The statue is ridiculous. It's an embarassment and just more proof that money rules.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:45 PM



You won't find any articles because MLB didn't want it know public lest it piss off an entire country. It was well known behind the scenes and a lot of the guys I work with in Toronto at the time were worried they were going to lose the summer livelihood.

I could be completely wrong, but I do know what was going on with the sports scene at the time because I was personally involved with it - hell, I was wondering what I was going to do and at that time I wasn't working full time on Jays baseball in the summer.

Even if the team wasn't in danger of moving, he needed content for his tv station and he needed a platform to sell cell phones and cable. Like I said, I personally think the statue is a little overkill. They should have put it up near the RajMahal on Bloor, but I guess the family wanted a more public space.

My wife worked for the man at CHFI / 680 News and he loved radio...he was always there. I can't fault the family for wanting to do something to honour him, however, statues just creep me out.

@ torontomike - I'm sure someone will try and put something on that head - it's 12ft tall so it'll be pretty cool if they can do it.


July 26, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

4x4 Time

Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed said this week Rogers "welcomes competition”, as long as it is on a “level playing field".

Anyone else see the irony in this statement from a Corporation who just reported a second quarter profit of $532 Million and has a history of gouging Canadians for telephone and cable service?

Bring on Verizon and let the competition begin.

July 26, 2013 @ 12:57 PM


When I hear the word "camping" I remember the line from the Simpsons about the "...cheap showiness of nature"

If I do camp it's at the holiday inn or best western...they have plumbing and electricity

Not a camping fan

July 26, 2013 @ 1:25 PM


"Creative differences, I'm guessing."

As long as they're using the term "creative" ironically.

July 26, 2013 @ 1:50 PM

Not not

According to SOWNY H&F have been dropped by a few stations.

July 26, 2013 @ 2:49 PM


Just the St. Catherines one as far as I know.

July 26, 2013 @ 3:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Humble and Fred are still on 1010, and that's the one that matters.

And of course, they're on SiriusXM live and repeated daily.

Personally, I still dig them as a podcast.

July 26, 2013 @ 4:31 PM


I listen to H & F almost every day M-F. This week I found myself fast forwarding through a lot more than usual. I've always liked the listener emails (if they're funny) but I'm not interested in hearing actual conversations with listeners about why they like the show, how they found out about the show, yadda yadda. Hope this doesn't become a regular thing.

July 26, 2013 @ 5:23 PM


I thought the talking to listeners thing was interesting just because they were Americans ... like ... why??

But yeah those conversations went on a bit long.

July 26, 2013 @ 5:35 PM


Torstar Digital is hiring three bean counter stooges; a clerk, a gussied up clerk, and a real-clerk aka finance manager. Layoff Recycles or Office pool Lottery replacements? (I wouldn't turn away any of these availabilites, lol. And they wouldn't take me, anyway)

July 26, 2013 @ 5:36 PM


Happy 70th Birthday Mick. Surprised you're still Rockin'

July 26, 2013 @ 6:04 PM


Rob Salem got busted down to corporal. On the city desk now. "TV critic" job description has been disco'd at the Star.

July 27, 2013 @ 1:40 AM


Well, who cares if there is a statue there or not. Anyway, too bad rogers and Bell won't go out of business. I hate them. Primus is the way to go, so let's get everyone using Primus and then Rogers and Bell have nobody. As for the Jays moving, who cares if they do or not. Diamondbacks won last night. Only problem is the dodgers keep winning as well. If only the Dodgers would cool down, but who knows.

July 27, 2013 @ 8:22 AM


@ Cheryl,

I care if they leave. Half of my yearly salary is based on 81 days of Blue Jays baseball - a lot of people depend on the Blue Jays for work. Talk to some of the guys I work with in Montreal who lost out on 81 days of work and see how they were doing after they left.

And just as FYI - Bell and Rogers will not be going out of business and if Bell went out of business, guess what?? Primus goes out of business! Why? They use Bell's network as a 3rd party... so.

It's early, I'm tired from a long week of shitty baseball, but c'mon Cheryl THINK BEFORE YOU FRIGGIN TYPE!!!!


July 27, 2013 @ 9:27 AM


To make it clear, paying for Primus still puts money in Bell's pocket.

July 27, 2013 @ 9:48 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Yep, just like how my ISP Teksavvy is just reselling Rogers cable....

July 27, 2013 @ 10:51 AM

Artist formerly known as Irvine

@markosaar @andrew

Yes all of these wired independent internet providers etc do piggy back off Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Cogeco & Telus. The infrastructure is such that the "last mile" is owned by these companies and that's unlikely to change.

But that shouldn't stop people from using independent providers. While it might seem like it doesn't make a difference, it does. Who was it that fought for the consumer during the bandwidth cap war last year? It was Tek-Saavy & other independent providers. They were the ones who challenged what Rogers & Bell wanted. And it was those same firms that are now challenging a major movie studio (working with a Quebec company Canprie) who are hunting down file sharers. They've quietly been scanning bit-torrent channels & keeping records. It's not the major players that say "get a warrant" when the Feds come calling, it's Tek-Saavy.

Cheryl is right in one very important sense. Go out and support the independent providers (even if it costs 2 bucks a month more). You'll build up firms that have a strong voice who can fight the major players & just as importantly, lobby the government. The catalyst for change in a free market economy is how you spend your money. If you send it to Rogers why would they change? If you pay Bell for Internet you're signalling "I accept the conditions of the service". They have no motivation to improve just like the Leafs have no motivation to win a Stanley Cup when people fill up the arena for a half baked team.

And on a more sinister level (and I may be speaking from a professional standpoint) it's VERY important to have a robust, free market ISP business model. If not, you build a system where the senior management & government are just a bit too cozy. I follow internet security news extensively. Look at the USA where the NSA (National Security Agency) has been monitoring the internet spying on people. I've spoken to others who have told me that the NSA has literally showed up at ISP's, installed "black boxes" and started snooping on people without warrant or reason. AND be assured surveillance is happening in Canada. I KNOW it is.

July 27, 2013 @ 10:59 AM


@Andrew (Jul 26th, 12:23)
Re: the 'office man' statue
Rogers also bought its headquarters building at a bargain price. It was built for Confederation Life just before that century old Cdn. company went bankrupt in the early 1990s (sour U.S. real estate investments).

July 27, 2013 @ 11:46 AM


@ The artist formerly known as Irvine,

Sorry, I was being a bit of a jerk. But yes, I've been a loyal TekSavvy customer for a very long time. And had my family switch to them as well. (Bell pulled a fast one on my dad, having him switch to a "better service" and not telling him his unlimited bandwidth was irreversibly switched for something ridiculous like a 60 GB cap. My younger brother was living at home at the time, so the first new bill was a bit of a shock.)

Unfortunately TekSavvy's service isn't nearly as amazing these days. They seem quite overwhelmed by their popularity.

July 27, 2013 @ 11:52 AM


@ Artist...

Yup... totally agree. Find the provider that works for you and support them. Since my move to the Falls, I have started shopping at more locally owned, smaller stores. I was happy to see Tek and Primus fight the throttling issue and I hope Verizon gets to come to Canada and knock the three biggies off their perch.

@ CQ - Yup... they also did it wit the Nortel building in brampton for their cable division. You can agree not agree, but from a business standpoint it made smart economical sense. Buy things that are in distress at low values, rebuild and hopefully sell later down the road at a substantial profit.

OK... let's hope for another good ball game, preferably in 2 1/2 hours, shorter would be better!!


July 27, 2013 @ 12:01 PM

Jason from Sudbury

I've been with Rogers since 2004. I've had a few different contracts with them over the years, the most recent being a 3 year contract that ended about a year and a half ago. They've been on my ass about going into another contract but I won't do it. Don't wanna be tied down to those guys for another 3 years. Keeping my options open. Debating on switching over to Koodo or I might just wait and see what happens with Verizon.

Does anyone here have Magic Jack or has anyone tried it? I was contemplating getting it just for making long distance calls. I can call anywhere in Canada with my cell but I ocasionally need to call the states not very often but I figured Magic Jack would still be cheaper for calling the states with my cell.

July 27, 2013 @ 12:21 PM



I had a co-worker (tech guy) that used Magic Jack. He loved it. He would bring the device to work & then plug in a old fashioned phone so he could call his kids (they lived in the East Coast, he was in Alberta in the oil fields). He had no complaints and it was dirt cheap.

July 27, 2013 @ 12:34 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Dale, I'm surprised that Keith Richards is still able to Rock LOL.
Ford is going to have to offer you a sweet deal on the Edge Mike, you are not going to want to return it. Imagine what your shitty Protege is going to feel like to drive now!(to quote your podcast). Wait until your kids say what a crap box they have to drive around in. and start to duck when they see their friends!

Pretty Phallic on Rogers part to put up a statue of Ted at SkyDome (can't bring myself to call it Rog### Centre) Given all he has done for baseball. If he hadn't purchased the Jays, someone else would have for sure, so I would call BS on the saviour/saint rumours of Rogers rescuing the Jays.

Some may not like his contributions, but glad Irvine is back to add some different perspective to Mikes blog.

July 27, 2013 @ 5:16 PM


When I read the Rogers statute thing I actually chuckled out loud on the Skytrain.

I mean, holy fuck. It reminds me of something that a tin pot dictator might do (or maybe Donald Trump). Thank you Sir Rogers for allowing us food to eat & air to breathe. I humbly bow before you SIR !

But on a deeper level, actions like this show you that no level of complaining about Rogers is going to change anything. They simply lack the capacity to even UNDERSTAND the "average guy". In Western Canada the Shaw family isn't much different. When the cable TV market starts it's coming decline nothing will change either. The Rogers reaction will be a la Galen Weston: create a cutesy commercial trying to show you "he's down with you dude, yo".

Tell ya, it's gonna be delicious when technology kicks Rogers ass & pushes it down the stairs. Then we'll have the "this is unfair" stuff (a la Telus recently). But this is Generation Cynical. They won't be buying it.

July 27, 2013 @ 6:58 PM


It's actually quite amusing, if you think about it. The CRTC is pretty well solely responsible for the crap shoot we're stuck with now. And it's that self-same CRTC who's rules are, unless they duck and cover at the last minute, going to help undo this crap shoot. How's that Canadian content junk workin' out for ya?

I don't know how it is in other cities, but in Ottawa, Primus actually uses more of their own infrastructure than they do of Bell's. Even their voicemail system's entirely different--and by different, I mean modern. Sure, ISP's like TekSavvy are still relying on Bell almost entirely--but y'know what? I pay about $30 less to TekSavvy for unlimited than I would to Bell for a 125 GB cap (*). And they just recently knocked a little more spare change off my bill. I'm not about to complain.

(*): That was at last check. I don't even know if they offer 125 GB caps now.

July 27, 2013 @ 8:29 PM


"TekSavvy are still relying on Bell almost entirely" is a fallacy, at least with respect to claiming they have less infrastructure than Primus. TekSavvy has everything but "the last mile" -- the lines that actually go to your house. I doubt Primus has somehow convinced municipal governments to string up more lines.

July 27, 2013 @ 9:28 PM


The "relying on Bell/Rogers" really references something called the "last mile". In laymen terms it's the cable lines & phone lines in your neighbourhood. The last mile terminates at what is called the demarcation point (when it enters your house or your business).

Could a company completely bypass Rogers or Bell infrastructure? Sure. But imagine Tek-Saavy coming to install cable internet in your house. Not only do they hook up the "modem" they also dig up your yard, lay cables & dig up the street to lay cable to the box on the corner. The costs are prohibitive

There are methods of sending packets through electrical wires but that idea seemed to stall a few years ago. Even then it's someone else's infrastructure.

July 27, 2013 @ 9:56 PM


Jason I use Magic Jack quite a bit, it works very well. It does drop out once in awhile so I wouldn't recommend it if you have a long-distance relationship and need to talk on the phone for hours, but for a few calls a week it is great.

July 27, 2013 @ 10:08 PM


At a party last night & lots of talkin' about our dream "date" just for once.

Maria Sharapova
Belinda Carlisle
Heather Locklear (met her in 1990 at my work for anniversary for TV Guide mag)
Dottie Pepper& Paula Creamer (tied)
Sally Field (in her hey day)
Best of the rest my wife

July 27, 2013 @ 10:13 PM


Hey...Rob Ford. #TTC

July 28, 2013 @ 1:32 AM



July 28, 2013 @ 1:43 AM


Well, Primus is a lot better than Bell. The only thing is I should have gone with them a lot sooner. Bell always goes down. Sympatico was down many times. I had to call their tech support. They would bug me about lights on my modem. I would keep saying I'm blind, I don't know. They would want to check some settings or something and try to mess things up. Maybe Primus does use bell, but you wouldn't know it. Primus gives me all kinds of free stuff Bell would charge for like voice mail as well as call waiting and conference calling. There is even do not disturb so I can have all my calls just forwarded to voice mail if I didn't want people calling me or I can treat diferent numbers differently. I'm sticking with Primus forever.

My Diamondbacks lost last night pretty big I think. Oh well, I don't care about them so much. They probably won't make the playoffs. Two months and a bit and we get hockey. PK Subban, Daniel Briere and my Habs.

July 28, 2013 @ 8:28 AM



The technicians at Bell who do that are simply asking those questions because they are required to ask them. It's not a choice, it's an expectation. You must understand a great deal of people are very computer illiterate & don't realize their modem is offline.

The reason Primus can offer those features is because they have a VoIP based system (internet phone). Bell uses POTS (Plain old telephone system). The main weakness of internet based phone systems is they rely on having a live internet account. Internet service is "as is" for all residential providers. It's not a big deal until there is a crisis or natural disaster & your internet is offline. A old fashion landline might not be.

July 28, 2013 @ 12:17 PM


Well, I don't have problems with my VOIP. I'm sure that Primus would do something quick if there was a crisis. There is no way I am switching back to Bell or getting Rogers. During the couple times I ever had to call Primus, they were much nicer than Bell.

July 28, 2013 @ 8:44 PM



I'm not advocating you return to Bell or Rogers. What I am doing is pointing out certain weaknesses with VoIP based phone service. Not everyone is aware of the weaknesses of internet based phone service.

July 28, 2013 @ 9:03 PM

Jason Patterson

Yeah, no one cares or knows who Todd Shapiro is outside of your little sewing circle, Mike. You know, the 12 people still listening to the edge because they need to hold on...

July 29, 2013 @ 7:06 AM


Well, who cares about Dean Blundell and the Edge. I don't listen to him and I never will. Most morning announcers are silly. Pete Griffin was one exception though, but we lost him.

July 29, 2013 @ 7:41 AM


Have Humble and Fred discussed the Todd departure? I'd like to hear their take on it..

July 29, 2013 @ 10:38 AM


The Old Reader just bit the dust for most of us. Too bad, I think it had the most potential. Stuck with Feedly.

July 29, 2013 @ 3:58 PM


Oh gawd, more conspiracy talk on H+F today. At least they're not the ones perpetrating it.

July 29, 2013 @ 4:20 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I heard that... skipped it. I have little tolerance for the conspiracy chatter. They're better than that.

July 29, 2013 @ 4:22 PM


Follow-up to CQ - Jul 26th, 17:36
Torstar profit is down either 48% or 44% for the second quarter. A reporting mistake between headline and lead paragraph at G&M's Jul 31 online article:
Torstar - it both benefits from 50 Shades of Grey reading wave influence and yet loses with its Harlequin division?
Torstar - more offers of internal job buyouts and outsourcing. Meanwhile, "digital revenue in the division dropped by almost 5 per cent, mostly because of weakness at its job listing site Workopolis".
Torstar - "The Star promised a paywall almost a year ago." Talking and still not walking...

July 31, 2013 @ 1:14 PM

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