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.

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Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


A gentleman would have let Cheryl be first.

March 3, 2017 @ 8:25 AM


I really honestly don't care if I am first or not. Anyway, my Habs managed to win last night so that's good. My Coyotes not so good though. My Suns won for a change. In baseball, my Orioles played a split squad. One split squad tied and the other lost badly. My Indians and Diamondbacks lost as well. Anyway, I have retired. I figured out how I can do it. There really is nothing I can do, but I figured out what my plan is, went over it with a friend who agrees and with this plan, I am not going to go flat broke for years. Anyway, the job will take months or maybe years to become accessible. Also they changed the contract and so I would have to do more work in a week than I did before. This is how it is these days and I am taking early retirement.

March 3, 2017 @ 8:32 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Congratulations on the early retirement!

I'm glad you have found a workable plan.

March 3, 2017 @ 8:37 AM


any chance of getting one of the guys from overdrive on open Mike?

March 3, 2017 @ 9:02 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I invited O-Dog over, but he said he wasn't interested.

I do intend to invite Bryan Hayes over. I just hope he says yes.

March 3, 2017 @ 9:05 AM

Ryan G

Mike - have you ever considered a liquored up podcast with some of the commenters here? Could be fun. I for one would love to join. And I even know of a potential venue other than your house. Might be interesting to hear some of the frequent commenters, liquored up or not!

March 3, 2017 @ 10:21 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan G

But would my insurance cover that?

March 3, 2017 @ 10:28 AM

Ryan G

@Mike - Insurance? Me no follow. The venue I'm referring to is a multi purpose podcast studio slash dj a bar.

March 3, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan G

Haha, I kid! Maybe we can do it at Great Lakes Brewery!

March 3, 2017 @ 10:35 AM

Al The Royal Pain

Speaking of podcasts...I've decided to take a stab at one of my own. Here is the link:

They're short episodes, only around 10 minutes each. There is really no format, just me and some friends shooting the Sh*t, mostly about sports, but there are other topics as well. So far episode 6 is my favourite. Check it out if you like.

Shout-out to Mike for helping me out with my setup.

March 3, 2017 @ 10:44 AM


Haha... Definitely hold a commenter "beer-tasting" podcast please.

Currently trying to buy a house in Toronto. Not fun. Lost out on two that would have been great so far. Seen almost 40 houses.

March 3, 2017 @ 11:42 AM

James Edgar

I'd make an effort to make it to a GLB podcast.

Cheryl Congrats on retirement! That's awesome.

So for the last 13 years my work has paid for my internet connection. Yes that means that I'm EXTREMELY lucky. But it has not been a really fast connection since about 2007 to be honest but for the most part I've been OK with that . now though there's three of us all with our own computers ,phones and of course we cut the cable and only watch Netflix. it was becoming increasingly difficult to deal with the constant whinging so i have given in and agreed to pay for Internet at home.

We were on Rogers due to the billing being easier for work and after having been on Sympatico at the beginning and having a shit experience.

Rogers was not bad for most of the time I've had it. Not super fast but for what i did online and for when i did have to log into a server at work it was fine. Partly that's rogers shitty infrastructure and partly the plan we were on was shitty and the cost to upgrade was more than work was willing to pay. lately though my 7-10 Mbs speeds have dropped to 2-4mbs and we have constant outages.

So having had Fibre run to our building last year we decided to try out Bell Fibe my wife called and got a great deal and we are getting the 50Mbs we were promised. which is a bit of a surprise. Fibre is in the building but not of course in our Unit so our Connection is DSL

So so far so good although I'm not 100% happy with where the modem was located. i'd rather use my own WiFi Router than the Bell Wifi as it's towards one end of our unit and there's at least one Concrete / rebar wall to block wireless signals. still getting a faster connection in my "office" than before though so it's possibly something I'm going to let slide.

March 3, 2017 @ 11:50 AM


@Al and @TorontoMike,

Ummm, I believe I am the official Toronto Mic'd podcast technical adviser. I was not made aware of the advice and I hope my royalties from Mike's show will go to the right person.

Oh wait... I don't get royalties. Nevermind. Nothing to see here... please move along :)

I'll have a listen. Blue Jays commutes are starting again and all the listening helps with the drive!


March 3, 2017 @ 12:02 PM


@James Edgar,

You can absolutely use your regular router, and just use the Bell one as a modem. If you can log into the Bell device (it should have come with directions), you can disable its router/access-point functions.

Check with your IT-savvy kid, niece or nephew if unsure! You should be able to connect the router from a regular ethernet port on the Bell box to your router (don't use the "WAN" port(s).

I'm personally spoiled for internet. I pay $50/mth tax-in for 100/100 Mbps unlimited with Coextro, similar to Beanfield internet, at a rented condo downtown. I could upgrade to 250/250 for $5 more, but there's never been a moment where I've thought "if only this was faster".

The killer part of the deal is that my upload speed is so damn fast. Means I can backup all my photos (~12-20 MB a piece in RAW format) online without trouble, and share video with family effortlessly. I'm going to sincerely miss it when I finally move out.

March 3, 2017 @ 12:14 PM

The Voice of Reason

@Mike I have a task for you. The Balconies are an Indie band from Ottawa. They have a decent sound and have been out for a few years. Their website however has to be the worst of any band I have checked out online.

Mike, you have to get in contact with their management and provide them a solution. It is a "win/win" for both parties.

****OMG**** I just backhanded complimented Mike. McNulty I hope someone caught you while you fainted reading that.

Finally, to the board, if The Balconies is not the worst website for a musical act, which one is????

March 3, 2017 @ 12:20 PM



That website is ... fine?

Seen so much worse. Random example, like wtf is this crap:

Most smaller bands now seem to settle for Facebook or Bandcamp though for their online presence. (I do love Bandcamp as a service...)

March 3, 2017 @ 12:33 PM

The Voice of Reason


Toolband's site seems more informative than The Balconies. You may be right on the smaller bands steeling for Facebook though.

I will admit that Mike's internet skills play a major factor in Humble and Fred's online success. I am sure if the board posts its most disappointing musical acts websites, we may have just opened another door for Mike to monetize his skill set.

March 3, 2017 @ 12:39 PM

Al The Royal Pain


I'm well aware that whatever advice I got from Mike is second-hand @Andrew advice, (trust me...Mike paid you all due credit) so I'm fine with paying a commensurate fee to both of you out of my profits from this venture...I'll let you know when the profits start rolling in. It will probably be around the same time Mike's profits materialize on his 5 years. Give or take a year. ;)

March 3, 2017 @ 1:35 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

It's very easy to point at my set up and say "you should do this". :)

March 3, 2017 @ 2:22 PM


I want in on this boozed up commentary show.

Will it be a pants optional event ?

March 3, 2017 @ 2:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Someone was busting my chops on Twitter b/c I was wearing sweat pants in my podcast promo pic...

March 3, 2017 @ 2:24 PM


I seen that, and was disappointed they beat me to it :)

March 3, 2017 @ 2:53 PM


I can fully see you rocking the converse sweats, Nike air Max runners and Ocean Pacific or Vaurnet shirt in high school Mike

March 3, 2017 @ 2:54 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Anything but Champion's Choice from BiWay.

March 3, 2017 @ 2:55 PM


My personal childhood shame is orange-tag Levi's from BiWay.

March 3, 2017 @ 3:01 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I get so angry when I think of what assholes we all were to fuckin' differentiate between an orange tag and a red tag because you could buy the orange tag for cheaper at BiWay. Fuck that.

That's why I go out of my way today to dress as far down as possible. If my local rogue BiWay sold the orange tag Levis, that's all I'd wear.

March 3, 2017 @ 3:04 PM


I'd be rocking husky sized GWG's from Sears.

March 3, 2017 @ 3:07 PM


@ Al and @TorontoMike,

Perfect!!! I would say I expect the pennies to roll in anytime, however, since the penny was eliminated, I'm not holding my breath!!!


Let me know if you have any questions!!

March 3, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

Ryan G

Speaking of clothes as a kid, when I was 12 I wanted nothing more than all leather high top Nike's with the red swoosh...i repeat ...RED... not BLACK..RED.

I asked for them for Christmas but I got a pair of Sparx instead.

March 3, 2017 @ 3:56 PM


I vaguely recall getting mocked for having BiWay Brooks shoes too. Whatever!

So fucking weird to have

On one hand kids will be kids, but who the fuck was teaching them this shit???

March 3, 2017 @ 4:39 PM


What is this "rogue" BiWay that you speak of? I am intrigued...

March 3, 2017 @ 7:06 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@The Voice of Reason

Sorry for the delay.

I see The Balconies are using this free template:

It's actually pretty clean, modern code, and fully responsive. And hell, it's free. Perfect for an indie band.

They're really only using it to pitch merchandise (and tour dates - that that's commented out right now) and then it throws you at the social sites for everything else. A fully functional landing page.

I don't mind it at all. I might check out some of those HTML 5 Up templates!

March 3, 2017 @ 7:07 PM

Blind Dave

@TO Mike @markosaar

Oh dear, I think I've had both Champions Choice and the orange tag from BiWay. I was the most nerdy, uncool geek around anyway (still am) so I really didn't care.

I also run a business from my home, so on home days getting past bare feet is an accomplishment. Winter days out mean jeans and a golf shirt. Summer days out are shorts and a button down, untucked, short-sleeve shirt.

Here's an oddity for you. I can not wear a tee shirt unless it's a v-neck. Crews bother my neck and make me either itch or make me feel like I am being strangled and I begin to panic. This feeling started eleven years ago after I had brain surgery. It's never gone away. It's a pity because I see so many awesome crew tees I'd love to own.

March 3, 2017 @ 7:58 PM

Handsome Rob

I want in on the beer podcast. I've been here since I googled "where are H&F" after mix I think. When was that, like 2005ish?

March 3, 2017 @ 7:59 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

In the spring, summer and fall, I'm all about the tee shirt.

But in the winter, I love a tee shirt under a hoodie. But over a year ago my son gave me his hoodie he outgrew (it's the one I'm wearing in the pic with Bubba) and this damn hoodie fits me perfect, is so damn warm and comfy and has ruined me for all of my other hoodies.

So, in the winter, I'm always wearing this damn thing. And yes, when I'm home, I like a pair of Roots sweatpants.

And like you Blind Dave, I don't wear socks unless it's a cold winter day. My feet want to be free.

March 3, 2017 @ 8:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Handsome Rob

Just how handsome are we talking here?

March 3, 2017 @ 8:11 PM

Handsome Rob

@TM. Not at all. For a while there were a few Robs posting comments, and in a moment of cheekiness I decided to distinguish myself as the handsome one. Although my mom says I'm handsome so there must be some truth to it. ;)

March 3, 2017 @ 8:46 PM


Well, my Cavs won last night and my Suns won, but my Nets didn't win. Anyway, so thanks for all the congrats. Sure, money will be tighter, but I can deal with things. I have more freedom now. Even though I was working at home, I was pressured to do a certain number of minutes of work. Now they are going to make changes so even if I was working, I would have to do more work for contract demands. Anyway, so best to retire. I've ben a medical transcriptionist for wwell over 30 years. I started in 1982. Anyway so freedom.

March 4, 2017 @ 8:17 AM


Late to the party this week. Lots of discussion points.

The K-Way windbreaker was the bomb from BiWay - must-have apparel. I think they were $5 or so. Those Adidas gym bags, fake leather with three stripes, were the perfect accessory, but the handles always broke if you used them as book bags. Went through a dozen or more of them. That's right, kids - I am older than backpack bookbags.

Some company brought back the old North Star sneakers a few years ago, but it looks like I waited too long to grab a pair since they seem to have gone under.

The Donald has gone into full tinfoil hat mode this morning on his tweeter account. This experiment with putting a narcissistic lunatic in the Oval Office is not going to end well.

Congrats on retirement, Cheryl! Don't close the door on maybe doing some small assignments - with that much experience, there might be some chances to work on your own terms for short periods or part-time. If you are open to that, ask the CNIB or your software supplier to keep you in mind for any companies looking for help.

March 4, 2017 @ 9:04 AM

James Edgar

I think I might be too old to have experienced the Bi-way Levis.I did however get Levis seconds from a store in a mall at Dixie and Burnhamthorpe. They were no doubt the same thing. not all that cool but then i was so far from cool i was approaching it from the other side.

i dislike hoodies for the most part I have two 1 Sons of anarchy and a Jagermiester hoodie. Both acquired at birthdays from people who assumed i'd be in because i ride a motorcycle. Nope.
I like fleeces i think it's the hood part of hoodies i don't like.
i wear shorts at home 99%of the time and because i am supposed to wear a cooled shirt and casual business pants at work i wear Jeans and t-shirts everyday. As does 85% of my office.

@markosaar yes i know i can use my router the issue is the placement of the Bell router at the moment is about 40 feet from the ideal router location in cable length and with no way to run cable without it going through a doorway. or over which the head of the household is not in favour of yet. There may be a security hole in the Bell wireless that i can exploit to convince her though. I'm still pretty impressed with the speed so far.

March 4, 2017 @ 12:17 PM


@James Edgar, a quick solution might be a wireless extender. No wires, and it could provide better coverage in the weak areas. They start cheap ($30- $40) but the highest- spec ones get expensive.

March 4, 2017 @ 1:22 PM

collingwood dave

I have just discovered stretchy jeans. I was hesitant at first, but after my wife said my 57 year old saggy butt looked good in them, I am not turning back. You can squat, bend over and your gut can hang over your waste pain free. They look like real jeans, and I will happily strut my stuff around town in these babies.....

March 4, 2017 @ 6:55 PM

Rob J

Now I'm kicking myself for not using "Handsome Rob" as my own moniker...maybe I'll start using "Intelligent Rob"

March 4, 2017 @ 8:27 PM

Rob J

Dang it! Oh well, the pressure to live up to it would've been too much anyways.

March 4, 2017 @ 8:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob J

How do you think Handsome Rob feels?

March 4, 2017 @ 8:40 PM

Rob J

I formally demand to see his picture...what if it's Rob Lowe?!

March 4, 2017 @ 8:49 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob J

Or Rob Redford!

March 4, 2017 @ 8:53 PM

Rob J

I will go to bed tonight certain that it's Rob Reiner with an inflated ego.

March 4, 2017 @ 9:00 PM

Pervert Roy


March 5, 2017 @ 2:29 AM


My Habs won last night which was good. My Orioles and Indians also won, but my Diamondbacks lost. Basketball was not good. My Cavs got clobbered really bad. I'm worried about them, but they decided to let Lebron James and Kyrie Irving rest. I sold my CD collection, all of it because I don't use CDs anymore. I download my music so what I have on CD that I really want is downloadable. I have over 300 CDs and I'll get $1.00 each for them so looks like several hundred bucks. A job would have to be really good for me to take it, still work at home and not pressured or anything and those jobs would be hard to find. Rule is nobody bugs me. I do what I do. I can be stubborn, but if there is something I really want to do, nothing stops me from doing it.

March 5, 2017 @ 8:21 AM

Handsome Rob

Or Rob Schneider!
Wait, what?.......

March 5, 2017 @ 5:52 PM

Rick C in Oakville

The pre-drink podcast would be cool, we did this a few years ago for the Humble and Fred 25th anniversary at the Horseshoe a few years ago. A bunch of listeners got together at a pub close to the horseshoe and had a few pints before the broadcast.
Mike may not be able to corral the diversity of opinions after a few Great Lakes Pompous Asses.
We might just start debating about the new Hydro discount the Wynne government is going to give up to my grandchildren, or if Anne really needs another retirement party.

March 5, 2017 @ 7:03 PM


Baseball was good yesterday. My Indians, Orioles and Diamondbacks all won. Basketball was good as well. My Suns won. It was a buzzer beater, but they won it. Hockey not so good. My Coyotes lost. Anyway, so this is my life. Good thing I tried out baseball. It's a good sport. It's slow, but when one player is up and batting, focus is only on that one player, that's it. It's easy to follow.

March 6, 2017 @ 7:31 AM


I am worried about my Cavs. They lost. This is not good. It was awful. Also they got Andrew Bogut who is a bust, but he broke his leg. He hardly got to play. Why did they sign him? He's a bust. I'm really worried about them. My Nets won though for a change. My Indians lost lost yesterday, but my Orioles and Diamondbacks won.

March 7, 2017 @ 7:01 AM


Tonight, Lisa Laflamme again scorched Peter Mansbridge for top newscaster. Seeing that CTV prefers the goat on a skateboard version of the news, it really speaks to how much of a boob Mansbridge has become. Enough already, and get CBC One - a retrofitted streetcar that Bombardier has super glued wings to - to pick up Ian Hanomasing from Vancouver to wright this sinking ship.

March 8, 2017 @ 1:44 AM


Well, my Habs won. That is good. They're playing like the Stanley Cup team who will win the cup. My Suns didn't win though. That's not good. Also my baseball teams had the night off. Oh well, my Nets play tonight so hopefully they can win two in a row.

March 8, 2017 @ 7:46 AM


Well, my Nets lost. That's not good. Hopefully my Cavs can win tonight. My baseball teams did well. My Diamondbacks didn't play, but my Indians and Orioles both won so that's great.

March 9, 2017 @ 6:58 AM

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