Open Mike

Welcome to this week's 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.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Brian Gerstein

November 20th and we have had no snow, can't recall any cold weather yet of significance, so just want to acknowledge it and say thanks, and keep it going as long as you can. It will shorten the overall winter period which can stretch for about 5 months, so if we can cut off a few weeks or month on the front end I am all for it.

November 20, 2015 @ 8:41 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Have been working out in Calgary this week, and definitely the effects of low oil can be seen. Every day there are reports of major layoffs etc. The hotels around where I am staying have very few cars, so obviously very few patrons. A Lot of young Pan handlers too, especially around the malls.
A comment on Air Canada and their shift to nickel and dimeing their way to profitability. Seems every flight I have taken over the last couple of months, they automatically assign a middle seat for me, even though in the past it would assign a Window seat, ( which is on my profile). When you review the choices it seems there are a number of gold upgrade seats (window and aisle for purchase) . I have gotten lucky a few times popping back in through the day and a window or aisle mysteriously become available. First world problem I know but with a round trip to Calgary bring around $800, you feel like they are pecking away at you one dollar at a time.

November 20, 2015 @ 8:47 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I buy like 3-5 things a year. What do people do with all the stuff they consume?

In 2015 I bought a bike, received an amazing pair of wireless headphones from my wife for my birthday and that's it for me. So I added exactly two things to my life in 2015 that cost money. I don't expect that number to rise over the next six weeks.

Oh, and those two things, I use them every single day.

November 20, 2015 @ 8:59 AM


Well, so no overtime last night. My Coyotes beat my Habs. Anyway, so my Habs play again tonight at the Islanders. The Price is right. Yes, Apparently Carey Price is back so that should help things. Not upset about the loss last night though. Coyotes needed that. If it would have gone to OT, it would have been better, but it didn't. Anyway, my trainer won on Tuesday. They only lost one game in Major League so they're doing great. I hope they do well next weekend as well. Kean isn't playing this weekend either, and I don't know when they play again. My trainer and Kean are both really good teams though. Maybe they'll both go to Provincials. As for my Ravens, I hope they win on Sunday, but they're having a bad year and the fricken NFL screwed up. There is no listen live link anymore so I really can't get it. Anyway, hopefully my Ravens and Cardinals both win anyway.

November 20, 2015 @ 9:01 AM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

Question for the hive mind.
With the downturn in the price of oil with no end in sight and no pipelines going anywhere soon, why wouldn't the feds, the Alberta government and the oil companies be investing in refineries?
It would seem to me that a venture of this nature would address some of the immediate issues around unemployment and offer up a viable alternative to piping bitumen to the US and and BC coast when the price of oil rebounds.
To me it seems like a no-brainer but I feel I must be missing a key piece of information or insight.
Can anybody help a brother out?

November 20, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

Rick C in Oakville

@Nigel. There was a group interested in doing this out here a year or 2 ago, but the environmental regs, and the billion dollar price tag scared off any investors. Seems like a no brainer for sure, it is a higher value product. I guess we are positioned to be drawers of water and hewers of wood.

November 20, 2015 @ 9:16 AM

Sam in Pickering

Is food stuff?

November 20, 2015 @ 9:24 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Sam in Pickering

No, food isn't stuff. Stuff is stuff.

In 2015, I bought plenty of food... stuff the kids needed.... a new roof for my house.... repairs for both my car and bike... that's not stuff.

I got lucky in 2015 in that nothing I really needed broke, so there was nothing to replace. Sometimes you have to replace stuff, no doubt.

I just think we all have enough stuff. Fuck Black Friday!

November 20, 2015 @ 9:27 AM


Last year everyone was talking about boycotting Black Friday.

This year, I guess all that was forgotten.

I'll bet more money changes hands on this Friday than any other Friday in the history of Earth.

November 20, 2015 @ 9:28 AM


But it isn't Black Friday today.

What about clothes, Mike? Would you consider clothes as stuff?

November 20, 2015 @ 10:08 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Clothes is stuff... you need clothes, but at some point you should really only buy to replace things. If your winter boots have a hole in them, you need new winter boots.

And yes, Black Friday is next Friday.

November 20, 2015 @ 10:11 AM


A great alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Giving Tuesday. Instead of buying more "stuff", give back by donating funds or your time to a local charity. I think of it as the "Anti-Black Friday", if you will. I volunteer with a local charity in York Region, and we are one of the participating charities. Visit the website for Giving Tuesday Canada to find out more and where and how you can donate.

While I don't have kids myself, I think this is also a great thing for them to participate in. If you have time and are trying to find some way to remind your kids that giving back of yourself to those less fortunate is a major component of the holiday season, this is a great way to do it! Find a charity that means something to you in your city or neighbourhood, and contribute!

Thanks all!

November 20, 2015 @ 10:25 AM


TOronto Mike:

You buried the lede! This was posted in last week's Open Mike, not this week's.

November 20, 2015 @ 10:31 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I didn't bury anything.

Andy's comment was on the other Open Mike and I just replied to his comment.

November 20, 2015 @ 10:33 AM


@Toronto Mike

My bad. As you were!

November 20, 2015 @ 10:59 AM

Sobering Fact

More than four million refugees of the Syrian Civil War have left the country during the course of the Syrian Civil War.

November 20, 2015 @ 11:21 AM

Lyle Lanley

Winter is coming! Although this has been an awesome November.

November 20, 2015 @ 11:34 AM

Ryan G /

It sucks when you have to spend money without getting around it. I recently had a win and a loss on that front.

1. Dishwasher wasn't draining. Googled it. The internet and my lack of handiness failed me so i called a plumber. See, I figured it was a blocked line. Plumber yanked out the panelling around the washer, had a look and saw that the unit itself wasn't properly secured in the housing and became un-level (if that's a word), preventing draining. He fixed it in about 12 seconds. Cost: $75

2. Crack in car windshield. Go to extremely disorganized windshield replacement guy. As i leave the car, he scrambles to find a piece of random paper to take down my name, insurance company info,etc. I pick up car with new windshield and he asks me for my information..again. Proceeds to scramble for another piece of random paper to take the details. I offer cr card to pay the $300 deductible on a $800 windshield - strangely, he says I owe nothing. In fact, he is mistaken. I drive away. Cost: $0

November 20, 2015 @ 11:35 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan G /

As a guy who put a new roof on his house this fall, I concur. Those expenses suck, because they're big and at the end of the day you have nothing new and exciting.

November 20, 2015 @ 11:38 AM


While we're on this topic, I have a painful laptop story to share.

Had been using a Lenovo Z570 for 3.5 years. i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, fantastic speed. Has no issues with it whatsoever for 3.5 years until this September.

1. The battery was finally giving out and only lasted 1.5 hrs at normal brightness, could squeak out just over 2 if it was turned all the way down. That wasn't going to do it. Bought a new battery, $45 plus shipping.

2. Less than a month later, the left hinge broke. This left the screen hanging onto only one side of the bottom panel. A noted design defect on that model, I was told. After taking it in for consultation (after shopping around for a place that would do it for free), I was told I'd need new hinges and a new back panel. Fine. Had to order the parts from China. $90.

3. While the parts were shipping, the screen went black. Turns out one of the exposed wires as a result of the hinge breaking off got severed. I was told I'd need a completely new screen. $150.

4. At this point, I was seriously considering it having invested so much in fixing the laptop already. Besides, it was a fantastic screen on the inside. After using my desktop computer for few days before I'd made a decision, something else happened. The charging cable broke. Not sure why, but it suddenly stopped working. The cost of a new one? $80.

5. Feeling completely frustrated, I went to Staples that day and bought a new laptop. $600 for one that is aesthetically nicer than my old one but with inferior specs on the inside.

That was a very frustrating saga that played out over the course of 6 weeks. My laptop was amazing for 3.5 years and it's as if it reached its best before date and completely fell apart. Happy with the new one, but I now have a new battery, hinges, and back panel for my old one. Hopefully I'll be able to re-sell them on ebay.

November 20, 2015 @ 11:52 AM


Sorry to see Kristy Knight let go at HTZ FM, the latest casualty of the media layoffs. She's been there for as long as I can remember.

November 20, 2015 @ 12:24 PM

James Edgar

Mike if you mean by stuff is Black Friday stuff I don't buy stuff either :)

What i mean by stuff is consumer good stuff like TV's etc. I mean i will buy that stuff if the one i have stops working but i'm not buying just to get the latest things.

I do buy tools if i need them which can turn into stuff if like my Friend at work you buy tools because they are cool but I don't.

The one thing i want to buy and actually go look at frequently is guitars and amplifiers. I don't actually buy anything because I'm both too cheap and on a budget but occasionally i think about busting out the CC if something is particularly nice.

So far i've managed to not add to that particular collection of stuff but i could see it happening if the right one happens to come along....

November 20, 2015 @ 3:12 PM


i puffy heart 'stuff'.
i buy 'stuff'. alot of 'stuff'.
however, i do not sit around and wait for a sale. if i see something i want and can fit it into my budget i buy it. i buy mostly online because i hate a crowd, and would NEVER wait in line to buy 'stuff'.

November 20, 2015 @ 4:04 PM


Undercover Duck: Ryan Kesler

November 20, 2015 @ 4:24 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@ Justin I have fallen into the same trap with a laptop I had. Hard drive, cooling fan and the power adaptor all in the span of a few weeks. Just like an old car, diminishing returns on amount invested.

November 20, 2015 @ 7:44 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Damn. KK got let go? Ouch. That sucks. Obviously you never want to see someone lose their job bug KK had been at HTZ for years.

November 20, 2015 @ 8:00 PM


How about those Habs. They won last night after losing to my Coyotes. That's great. My Suns won as well, but my Nets lost. Anyway, apparently there is another grocery place called Urbery. I checked out their web site. Apparently you have to tell them what store to shop at, but they will shop at the store you want them to. I don't know if they are any good or not. I haven't used them. Grocery Gateway has goteen better though, now that I get my stuff first thing in the morning on weekends, they don't screw up. Urbery doesn't have as good of a web site. Everything is all over the place, but now I know that there is something else to switch to if Grocery Gateway either goes out of business or starts ripping me off again. Who knows. Also I think I may be able to get the Ravens tomorrow. I found the station and I went to their web site and a rock song of some sort came on, but apparently they have football. Thing is it could be blacked out during the game. I have to see if it works tomorrow when the game is on.

November 21, 2015 @ 7:37 AM


Go Cats Go

November 21, 2015 @ 1:10 PM

twins from bolton

My twin boys (men) will be 24 years old in a couple of weeks. My wife was very involved with TPOMBA (Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Assoc.) for many years & was VP for 2-3 years in mid 1990's for Toronto West region when we lived there. Monthly meetings at our house discussing overall situations, especially with those moms who hadn't given birth yet.

The reason why I'm writing this is that my wife still has been contacted from people with questions on upbringing multiples even though not involved with TPOMBA anymore.

Having twins is a gift & also a challenge. It's not Double the Trouble, it's 10X the responsibility of rearing 1 child. In the end in our case everything was worth it as both graduated from Univ. this year & have full time jobs in their field. We both are fortunate as separation rate with couples having multiples is 2x normal.

Every time I see a parent with twins I always stop & talk to them, especially those with babies. Conversation with them is I have twins also & how is everything. Usually the response is "a nightmare & difficult - do things get BETTER as they get older". No they just get different.

For any who want to contact TPOMBA - website is

November 21, 2015 @ 2:29 PM


Well, my Coyotes lost. This sucks. Oh well, they were winning but lost the game. My Habs play tonight in Montreal. The Price is right. We'll beat the Islanders again. Hopefully my Ravens and Cardinals will win today. That will be good.

November 22, 2015 @ 9:09 AM


David or Carey Price?

November 22, 2015 @ 4:29 PM


So, Mike, what was said that caused you to suspend your daily download?

November 22, 2015 @ 5:55 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'd rather not share all the details here.

November 22, 2015 @ 5:59 PM


If I were to take a wild guess, I'd expect to have to do with this from the episode description:

Humble and Fred "pray" for those in Paris
November 23, 2015 @ 4:48 PM


Will you be discussing the event with Elvis on the next podcast?

November 23, 2015 @ 6:59 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


It's not on the agenda, but if he brings it up I'll talk about it.

I doubt I'll bring it up, though.

November 23, 2015 @ 7:04 PM


Oh, come on! Mike. Let us hear the courage of your convictions.

November 23, 2015 @ 7:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Well, it's not a bit... it's not designed for public consumption. Not everything is!

November 23, 2015 @ 7:20 PM


Sorry Mike, I shouldn't push this if it makes you uncomfortable. I'm just super intrigued by your 180 on a show you so strongly supported. Done now.

November 23, 2015 @ 7:25 PM


The other commenters certainly aren't alone in their piqued interest. Howard did publicly apologize to you, on today's show, so perhaps it's best that that should be the end. Not every personal disagreement should become public, and of course you have every right to keep whatever private you want. But it is nonetheless intriguing, so please do forgive the more prurient interest.

November 23, 2015 @ 7:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


It's not a 180. I listened for years, now I'm taking a break. I wish them well, and will still help if/when they break the xml or whatever.

I didn't unsubscribe because of what happened the Thursday I hosted. I heard HH apologized for that, but that was never the problem.

November 23, 2015 @ 7:37 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I heard the apology. I didn't ask for the apology, and the apology isn't for what actually upset me, but I did talk to HH today and told him we're fine.

November 23, 2015 @ 7:40 PM


It has to be Carey Price. That's what I mean by the Price is right. Habs are winning the cup. They got this. My Suns lost last night which sucked. Oh well. My Ravens and Cardinals both won on Sunday, but Ravens got Joe Flacco injured and Justin Forsett injured. So many injuries. It's really really awful.

November 24, 2015 @ 9:52 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I have created a new "How to Subscribe to Toronto Mike'd" page, so check it out!

November 24, 2015 @ 11:12 AM


Well, nothing much happened in sports last night for some reason, but my Habs and Coyotes will win tonight. As I said, the Price is right and I am talking about Carey Price. I don't think Carey and David are related.

November 25, 2015 @ 10:40 AM


@ Cheryl

Of course David & Carey Price are related.

They are both one of the best players in their respective sports.

November 25, 2015 @ 6:06 PM


Well, Habs won last night. Carey Price got hurt though. Anyway, great blowout game and my Coyotes won as well so it's great in the hockey world, but my Nets and Suns lost so basketball was not good at all. Anyway, my trainer curls this weekend. That's good. Hope he wins.

November 26, 2015 @ 9:55 AM

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