Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Friday Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Went to my daughters' school concert yesterday and as predicted, terrible etiquette was in full effect. Yes, I'm talking about that raging epidemic that must be stopped: the kindergarten parents who rush to the front of the room and stand in front of everybody else when their child is singing. Then they proceed to hold up their ipads to video-tape their precious child, while the rest of us (and many students) can barely see what's happening. When a 40 year old parent is blocking a Grade 3 student's view of her kindergarten sister's performance, you know that an etiquette lesson is needed.

It is times like this that I wish I had Ryan's trombone.

June 20, 2014 @ 9:27 AM


Well, apparently the hockey schedule will be out on Sunday. That's good. I'll be able to find out when my Habs and Coyotes play. Anyway, hopefully my trainer's wife wins this weekend again. I hope they win it all. That's the only sport that's good right now. Too bad I can't follow it on the net, but I can't. Yes, the Cardinals will win the Superbowl. It's their year to do it. Superbowl party here we come.

June 20, 2014 @ 10:48 AM

this guest

Want to see the barricades stormed and the pitchforks come out?
BAN ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES from school concerts.

Or wrap all the chairs in tin foil.
Wait. That might not work as a jamming device.

June 20, 2014 @ 10:52 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I was lucky enough to attend not one but two dance recitals for my daughter last weekend. They ban pictures and video so they can hock their $35 DVD of the event.

June 20, 2014 @ 10:58 AM


I also went to 2 ballet recitals this week and I love that they ban photos & video in the theatre. I got lots of photos of my daughters before and after....and I was able to enjoy their performances in real-time through my own eyeballs rather than through a tiny screen. They also got the joy of seeing the smile on my face instead of wondering why daddy was hiding behind a camera.

June 20, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

this guest

might be a place for a police sketch artist
or sidewalk portrait painter
to make some extra cash.

'Sketch artists are asked to stay
behind the velvet rope to the right
of the stage.'

"Sir we clearly said no oil paint.'

June 20, 2014 @ 11:24 AM


I also went to my first daughters dance recital on Father's day. No cameras or video allowed.
25 bucks for admission and 60 bucks for the DVD.
Totally taking advantange of sucker parents like me.

June 20, 2014 @ 11:32 AM


Well, it has started. The Ottawa Hospital has let go 290 staff, including 90 nurses and 100 bureaucrats (per the CBC), because they are way over budget and there is no new money for them. The nurses part bothers me. The bureaucrats, no.

Here in Durham, Regional staff are on strike. I've never really had to pay too much attention to the local politics here. Ajax, Whitby and Durham Region seem to be reasonably well-run. We'll see what happens with this strike, as workers have been given a contract to vote on over the weekend.

Meanwhile, over at Queen's Park, Premier Kathleen Wynne has already gone on record as saying that public sector unions hoping for a pay hike from the Lieberal government should already know that there is no money in the budget to boost salaries. Ontario's public sector unions, especially those representing teachers, firefighters and Ontario Provincial Police officers, launched a massive ad campaign attacking Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak during the election. Granted, that union advertising generally did not tell Ontarians which political party they should vote for. The Lieberals also received significant financial and volunteer support.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for anyone involved with those public sector unions. They were so in love with and supportive of their favoured party. If you're going to be so enthralled that you jump into bed with someone, is it not reasonable to expect that you might get screwed?

June 20, 2014 @ 11:50 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


$25 a ticket for me, too.

And two shows... and bought for my son, mom and wife. I needed a new line of credit at the end of it all.

June 20, 2014 @ 11:53 AM



The nurses being let go bothers me a lot. I have noting but respect for the work they do. You're right too about the bureaucrats. No tears will be shed for them even though anyone losing a job is not good news. Correction - if the Liberals had all lost their jobs that would have been wonderful news. Corrupt fuckers, many of whom should be in prison.

@mike and @Boon

Wow, this dance stuff is pricey. I have a few nieces in dance and I was shocked to hear the cost of it all -thousands for just one of them which is crazy. Our son played rep hockey for over a decade and I can't even make my brain bend around the dollars spent. He did have an incredible time and met a lot of great people. It's just what we do for our kids.

June 20, 2014 @ 12:55 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


My son plays house league hockey all winter and house league baseball all summer. His combined expenses, including hockey gear, is less than what I spend on my daughter's competitive dance stuff.

June 20, 2014 @ 1:18 PM


You're lucky your child is only in house league. My nephew played tier 1 at 6 years old and it was over $10,000 per player not including equipment.

June 20, 2014 @ 1:21 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


You're right, I'm lucky he takes after his old man!

June 20, 2014 @ 1:23 PM


@Liz @ Boon

This was my first year putting my daughter in dance classes.

And while she enjoyed it, I never imagined this would cost me nearly 3000 dollars, after I added up everything.

June 20, 2014 @ 1:44 PM


@mike @Boon

My brother-in-law has two girls in dance - he and his wife spent $10,000 last year. After tax dollars! UGH. I was shocked to hear that. I was invited to a recital - and the admission was $50.00 per person. FIFTY dollars. I think a portion of that was for fundraising of some sort. Either that or contributions to a 6-star luxury vacation for one of the friggin' dance teachers. I didn't end up attending that recital - can't remember why. I hasten to add that it wasn't because I was too cheap to pony up the 50 bones! ha ha.

I find myself thinking about all the little girls who would love to do the dance thing but aren't able to because of finances.

June 20, 2014 @ 2:30 PM


I suggest anyone in the neighbourhood go take a shit in a washing machine or dryer in the laundromat at one of the following addresses:

*Yorkgate Mall
(North West Corner of Jane and Finch)

*802-804 Wilson Ave.
(Between Dufferin St. and Keele St)

*1533 JANE ST

(For spamming on Mike's thoughtful D-Day post)

June 20, 2014 @ 2:42 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I try and snip the spammy comments asap. That one is now history.

June 20, 2014 @ 2:48 PM


Get over it Liz. They won the election.

I'm so tired of the complaints they should be in prison.

June 20, 2014 @ 3:47 PM

Mike from Lowville

@Douglas, Hudac was going to do a hell of a lot more than freezing wages! Get your head out of your ass buddy!

June 20, 2014 @ 3:54 PM

Lyle Lanley

I love this time of year. The sun is shining, people are smiling, there are lots of activities and life is good.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend everyone!

June 20, 2014 @ 3:55 PM


@ Liz:
I find myself thinking about all the little girls who would love to do the dance thing but aren't able to because of finances.

Thank god for organizations/arts councils who bring art into the schools through a combination of government funding and corporate support benefitting children who cannot afford private lessons.

June 20, 2014 @ 4:02 PM



I'm over it. Thanks. Didn't mean to aggravate you.

Just heard a number of teachers at our local Catholic high school have been laid off - student numbers for September are at an all-time low.

June 20, 2014 @ 4:03 PM

this guest

Doug Ford accuses Karen Stintz of stealing a lizst from the Mayor's office.

I figured Rob for more of a Wagner kind of guy.

June 20, 2014 @ 4:25 PM


My beloved Italy loses to that powerhouse Costa Rica? Mike from Loweville, no these are the guys that should get their heads out of their asses.

June 20, 2014 @ 4:30 PM


All music fans have to check this out :

It's a clip of Future Islands on Letterman back in March. I saw a couple references to it on Pitchfork so I finally watched it. In the 1st few seconds you think it's a joke (a la Jack Black) but then it gets worse. Much worse. Incredibly worse. Then you can't believe it, so you watch it again. And again. And by the 10th time, you're hooked and totally believe in him. Testify! You can't turn away! I've been watching it everyday for 2 weeks.

is he possessed?

Ironically they were on CBC Q with Jian this morning (I think they are here for NXNE) and they said that this was the 2nd most watched Letterman clip in history, so others must find it amazing too.

And check this link out. It is a hilarious play-by-play analysis of the clip.

Did he grind the note?

June 20, 2014 @ 5:33 PM


I noticed that one of the services that will be affected by the Region of Durham worker strike were water treatment tests.

More than likely this union probably campaigned against Tim Hudak during the last provincial election accusing him of endangering public safety with his proposed cuts.


June 20, 2014 @ 6:10 PM


Future Islands should be hit by a tsunami. Please wash away.
The singer should be an actor not a singer & the bass player looked like he was falling asleep at times. No lead guitarist?

Not my cup of tea - brutal

June 20, 2014 @ 6:28 PM


Kathleen Wynne in prison........hmm.

Have a good weekend everyone!

June 20, 2014 @ 6:59 PM


With every mention of (kids) dance, I hear "Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion".

June 20, 2014 @ 7:47 PM


Hmmmm? Kathy Wynne in prison, I'm liking that one .

June 20, 2014 @ 9:40 PM

Rick C in Oakville

My daughter spent about 6-7 years in various dance types, taking 4 in one season (Ouch$$$). The costs I was told were for some of the copyrights of the material they use, and they use to rent the Theatre from the Mississauga school board (on Cawthra) for a full weekend recital. Was costly, but very confidence building. My uncle use to claim that all the money he spent on his kids activities was a small price to keep them from possibly going down the wrong path.

The Bare Naked Ladies performance and interview on Humble and Fred this week was stellar. Haven't really listened to much of their music in the last 7+ years but it was a great reminder to the talent they still have and when things were simpler for a bunch of Scarborough lads.

June 20, 2014 @ 9:57 PM

Blind Dave

The only good things about the Ontario election being over is that the rest of the country can watch "national" news again.

We've had so much rain on the Prairies this past spring that my walking trail has flooded in the lower areas. My dad-in-law is trying to paint the exterior of his house and I got quite the rant today. And the last two Fridays I haven't even been able to take my granddaughter to the park in the evening. There's more rain to come too. We need summer dry and HEAT!

I saw a good World Cup joke and decided to spin it as a Maple Leaf joke instead. Credit to whomever came up with it first:

A few Maple Leaf players were visiting an orphanage and then came this very touching and telling quote. "It was really sad to see their poor faces, like they had completely given up all hope for the future. I hope we were able to brighten their day", said Tommy, aged 6.

June 20, 2014 @ 10:06 PM

this guest

@ Bare Naked Ladies

The harmony and phrasing and tune on that line
'...and I'd buy your love'
from their song 'If I Had a Million Dollars'
has knocked me out since forever.
Silly song with a moment of pure emotion.
Love the line also 'but not a real green dress that's cruel' (height of
absurdity but not too jokey)

June 20, 2014 @ 10:56 PM


Well, nice to have some warm weather, but there is no sport around besides boring baseball and boring world cup. I only like soccer when my trainer's wife wins it. Well, I sure had a full mailbox of junk mail today. I knew it was junk so I chucked it out. There was probably stuff from Rogers in there. Anyway, Primus won another customer service award again. They keep winning. That's because Primus is the best. There's word out that Bob Seger will have a new album out. That's great. I can't wait. I don't know what you guys don't like about Bob Seger. He is a beautiful singer.

June 21, 2014 @ 8:08 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I haven't conducted an official poll, but I'd bet most readers of this blog like Bob Seger.

I'd also bet most readers hate Rogers, even though many are Rogers customers regardless.

p.s. I enjoyed the World Cup yesterday as well as the Jays comeback from an 8-0 deficit.

June 21, 2014 @ 8:26 AM


I love you Cheryl never change. I hope your trainers wife wins at boring soccer as well!!!!!!!

June 21, 2014 @ 8:40 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Funny last line Blind Dave, love it!

June 21, 2014 @ 8:45 AM

4x4 Time

@Blind Dave - I was in Alberta this week and it rained everyday. On the drive down to Calgary from Edmonton on Thursday it was 8 degrees and raining so hard we had to pull over twice.Calgary of course is swollen with water again and hopefully they will avoid any major flooding.

Just curious what are gas prices in Sask?. Edmonton was $1.18 Calgary $1.23

June 21, 2014 @ 9:52 AM

this guest

Bob Seger is great and in the tradition of storyteller singer songwriters.

Having said that Cheryl
you might consider opening yourself up to other singer songwriters
travel in a similar territory.

Yes I am saying.............Bob Dylan. Perhaps the finest artist of them all.
Going on about his 'voice' is like complaining about how
Picasso used 'yellow.'

Bob Seger can fill stadiums night after night with fans who love him.
He's doing something right especially considering he hasn't had a new album
in a long, long time.

June 21, 2014 @ 11:20 AM

Blind Dave

@Rick C

Thanks. I love a good Leaf joke as much as I do a blind joke.

@4X4 Time

Gas was 1.29 on Tuesday which is better than most these days. If it hasn't changed when we go out this aft, my wife wants to fill up. We don't do much driving as obviously I can't and she is a white-knuckler (she's a damn good driver, she just hates it). But it's still a money hit regardless.

We got 30.4mm the other day officially. My Dad-in-law has one of those old measuring cups. He said 3 inches (76mm) for the past week.


I'm wondering about something. I have just enough vision to see my mail, though I often use a magnifying glass. Do you have someone read it to you or do you manage another way? If you have someone help you and the junk mail annoys you so much, maybe they could just throw it out without telling you.

@this guest

My favourite storyteller singer-songwriters are Al Stewart and Gordon Lightfoot. None finer as far as I'm concerned, but as a young man I also had 1,200 vinyl albums at one point, and today I have thousands upon thousands of MP3s in pretty much every genre except rap and hip-hop. I do have rock, hard rock, metal, grunge, folk, jazz, blues, indie, and on and on...

June 21, 2014 @ 12:42 PM

this guest

@ Blind Dave

Sounds like a fantastic record collection.

We have an all jazz station in Toronto that used to be a mixture of styles with folk on Saturday afternoons. I remember hearing an Al Stewart song about a regular German soldier at the end of the war on a train thinking he's going home. But the train goes further and further away. He's on his way to Siberia. One of the most haunting songs I've ever heard.

June 21, 2014 @ 1:28 PM

Blind Dave

@this guest

"Roads To Moscow"

It's about a Russian soldier who made the mistake of mentioning he can been captured but escaped after one day (the last verse). Stalin considered being captured to being a traitor, so the soldier is sent to a transit camp. It's a long song, about the German push into Russian territory, the Russians destroying their own land to push back, and eventually the road to Berlin.

"The old men and children they send out to face us, they can't slow us down."

Here is a link to the lyrics

Here is the song link:

The song is loosely based on what happened before the story of "One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Brilliant song and brilliant book.

June 21, 2014 @ 2:26 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Thanks Blind Dave and this guest on the background to this song. Funny you only know an artist for usually one song, in this case Year of the Cat. We never really hear the depth of their music if it isn't top 40.

Paid a painful 1.43 for fuel today for my Prius, but will be taking my gas guzzling 83 Mustang convertible for a run today, needs Ultra 94, around 1.59 ltr.

June 21, 2014 @ 2:47 PM

this guest

@ Blind Dave

Ah! Ok. 'Roads to Moscow.' Thanks for filling that song info out with the 'actual' content. Fantastic. I'll listen to it later
and read the lyrics also.

@ Rick C

An 83 Mustang convertible. Wow. Zowie at any price of gas!

June 21, 2014 @ 3:18 PM

4x4 Time

Very cool to hear the Al Stewart talk. He still tours and plays Hugh's Room when he comes to Toronto.
@Blind Dave - I have never given up vinyl upgraded my system numerous times and currently have about 1,400 albums.

June 21, 2014 @ 5:05 PM


I have a scanner to read my mail. It's just annoying finding out it's junk mail. That's the thing. Anyway, I do talk to the postman from time to time and I said I don't want the junk mail, could you just throw it out, but they said that it's the law, they have to put it in my mailbox no matter what. Anyway, it sucks. If people hate Rogers, they should get rid of them, get Primus. Well, hockey starts October 8. Habs at Leafs. Why does the season always start out with Habs at Leafs or Leafs at Habs. Oh well, never mind. My Habs will win. It will be 10 to 0. Danny Briere and PK Subban will get hattricks.

June 22, 2014 @ 7:57 AM

Drunk Johnny Fever

@ Cheryl...Ok i will give you 5000 to 1 odds for $5.00 on the following:

Habs will NOT win 10-0
Briere & Subban will NOT both score hat-tricks.
If you win I owe you a bundle of money.
When you loose you give the $5.00 to The Big Brothers of Toronto.
So is it a bet?

June 22, 2014 @ 1:36 PM


@ Cheryl

The Phoenix Coyotes are no more.

Name change to Arizona Coyotes starting this year. Did you realize the name change announced last year & it's your 1 of your favorite teams?

@ Mike

Happy 40th - I WISH.

June 22, 2014 @ 4:09 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Thanks, but the big day is actually Friday.

June 22, 2014 @ 4:20 PM


I do not want to do that crazy bet. I don't have $5000.00 to pay you. I just know my Habs will win. Yes, PK and Briere will score. Yes, I know they are the Arizona Coyotes, but same team. It's hard to get used to a name change though. Anyway, my cardinals will win the Superbowl as well. I just know.

June 23, 2014 @ 8:08 AM

519 Rob

@Gump (re Future Islands)
I'm in the exact same boat as you. I was sort of embarrassed for the lead singer at first, thinking, what the hell is this guy doing.
But by the end, I was mesmerised. It was strange, and beautiful.

I'm a little 'over' the song (heard it a lot the last 2 weeks), but I still watch that performance.


June 23, 2014 @ 10:09 AM


Hey Mike I know it is off topic but do you know what Derek Welsman is doing? I really liked his work and had a few internet conversations with him. I hope he landed on his feet

June 23, 2014 @ 2:03 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I don't know Derek, but i heard him on Humble and Fred's show recently. He just started a new gig on June 1, but I don't know where he's at or what he's doing.

He is tweeting, however, here:

June 23, 2014 @ 2:07 PM

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