March 2019 Archives

« February 2019

Of Tatti and Hebsy

Hamilton's TSN Radio 1150 has cancelled their afternoon drive show, which means Jim Tatti has been relieved of his duties there. Jim is still contributing to Leafs games on Toronto's TSN Radio 1050, however.

I used to love watching Jim Tatti and Mark Hebscher on Global's Sportsline. That was appointment viewing for me, and now I get to co-host Hebsy's excellent Hebsy on Sports podcast. Hebsy put yesterday's episode on YouTube, so sample this ep and if you like what you hear you should subscribe to the podcast at HebsyOnSports.com.

And yes, I've reached out to Jim and invited him to come on Toronto Mike'd. Last time he said no, but this time he said he may come on later this year. That's progress!

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 443: Stephen Fearing

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 443In this 443rd episode, Mike chats with Stephen Fearing about his solo career, years with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and Fearing and White before he kicks out the jams. This episode is exactly 2:37:50.

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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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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 442: Michael Grange

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 442In this 442nd episode, Mike chats with Sportsnet's Michael Grange about his years writing for the Globe and Mail, his work at Sportsnet covering basketball, RJ Barrett, the Toronto Raptors and more. This episode is exactly 2:05:31.

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Today

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Rodecaster Pro Added to TMDS Studio

Last week, I made the most significant upgrade to the TMDS studio since I first set everything up over six years ago. I purchased the new Rodecaster Pro.

20190314_101051_HDR-1

This really is the latest and greatest soundboard on the market. It's got channels for my four Rode Procaster mics, one for USB I use to record on my laptop, one for connecting a cable to a smartphone, one for Bluetooth and one for eight colourful buttons that will play pre-loaded audio.

It's pricey, but it features multistage dynamics, such as compression, limiting, de-essing and noise-gating. Robbie J can finally stop telling me I need to buy a compressor. Truth be told, I'm still getting used to this change. After seven years of getting on that mic, I'm now hearing Stoakley's voice in my head telling me to back off the mic. That's going to take a little time.

20190310_174914

Tonight, I gave the Bluetooth channel a thorough test. We called Bogota and recorded a phone conversation. It worked like a charm.

2019-03-18_08-38-43

I now play the Toronto Mike'd theme and Rosy & Grey from the board itself, and other audio (like Ralph Benmergui's jams) from my laptop. Recording calls is now super easy and if I don't have a laptop with me, recording to a microSD card is simple. And most importantly as far as TMDS is concerned, this new setup is much easier to take on the road for remote recordings.

Podcasting

In podcasting, the only constant is change. The evolution will not be televised... it will be podcast!

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 441: Ralph Benmergui Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 441In this 441st episode, Mike catches up with television and radio personality Ralph Benmergui before he kicks out the jams. This episode is exactly 1:57:48.

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Dick Dale, Dead at 81

Dick DaleDick Dale was 81. He was the guitarist nicknamed "King of the Surf Guitar" whose signature single Misirlou was prominently featured over the opening titles of Pulp Fiction.

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Howard Stern and Brian Linehan

I can now honestly say I've interviewed hundreds of people. I have no formal training or education under my belt, just a natural curiosity and interest in extracting compelling stories.

Throughout my life, two interviewers in particular have helped shape my style. In my younger years, I was always impressed by Brian Linehan's research. City Lights would air on Citytv and you could tell Brian had done his homework. I find nothing more frustrating than a longform interview by someone who clearly wasn't prepared for their subject. I decided if I was going to conduct longform interviews, I'd always be prepared.

In 1997, I watched Private Parts, and discovered Howard Stern. I was taken by how Howard was able to withdraw real talk by making guests comfortable. I've been modelling my personal interview style on a blend of Linehan, Stern and instinct.

Toronto Mike'd listener Steve M. discovered this footage of Brian Linehan interviewing Howard Stern and correctly suspected I'd dig it.

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Happy 3rd Birthday

morgan

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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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The Furniture Bank

This afternoon, I was given a tour of the Furniture Bank at 25 Connell Court near Kipling and Evans. It's quite remarkable what's happening there. Here's what they do in their own words, and then I'll follow that up with my own words and photos.

Furniture Bank is committed to offering a hand to the formerly homeless, women and children escaping abusive situations, and newcomer families and refugees. In fact anyone in need of a fresh start.

We work in partnership with over 90 community agencies and shelters to assist individuals who require furniture and household goods for their homes. All items selected by our clients are provided to them free of charge.

Our partner agencies play a critical role by helping to screen potential furniture recipients. This helps us focus on our commitment to ensuring those who transition out of displacement are given the best possible chance to succeed in life.

It all starts with you. Let's say you have a dining room table and chairs you no longer need, or a couch you're replacing, or a television you're upgrading, or dinnerware, or any furniture or household items you're willing to part with, you donate that to the Furniture Bank. You can drop it off, or pay a nominal fee to have it picked up. And before you squawk at having to pay a fee to get your donations picked up, just know that the bulk of their financing comes from those fees.

The Furniture Bank

Your donations arrive at the Furniture Bank and are inspected. Some may be ready for the showroom floor immediately, other items may need cleaning or some additional tlc. I saw chairs getting fresh paint, new upholstery, and other such repairs. Electrical items are tested by an electrician. Once the furniture or household items are deemed ready for primetime, they're put on display in the showroom.

The Furniture Bank

The Furniture Bank

The Furniture Bank

Here's a few pictures of the showroom. Shoutout to Endy Mattresses for donating every mattress that's returned within their 100 day window.

The Furniture Bank

The Furniture Bank

The Furniture Bank

Families in need book appointments through a partner agency and spend time in the showroom deciding what they want for their home. The chosen items are then delivered to the recipient.

The Furniture Bank

It's remarkable what's been happening a short 15 minute bike ride from my home without me realizing. If I was clueless, you may be as well. The Furniture Bank needs your furniture and housewares, but they could also use your money. To donate money, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/create-a-home/. All donations come with a tax receipt.

The Furniture Bank

If you're in the GTA and would like your donation picked up, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/furniture-pickup-request-2/. If you'd prefer to drop it off yourself, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/furniture-dropoff/.

The Furniture Bank furnished the homes of more than 10,000 marginalized neighbours in 2018 and provided meaningful work for over 20 individuals facing barriers to employment. I tip my hat to them!

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Ping Me When the Seasons Start

Last year, it felt like the Leafs season was 82 exhibition games until the real season began against Boston. It was a (mostly) entertaining 82 games, but it just didn't feel like it mattered. When the real season started, we bowed out in the first round to Boston.

This season feels awfully similar. Last night, I was picking up my kids at YYZ and by the time we got home the Leafs were down 5-0. That's no fun, but I sure didn't panic. We clicked over to the OKC / Brooklyn game and came back when it was 5-3. The finish was great fun, even though we lost, but again, it really didn't matter. The real season for this team starts in April.

I feel the exact same way about the Raptors. The Raps are essentially playing an 82 game exhibition season before the real season begins in a month. Nick Nurse is mixing the new in with the old and trying various combinations and strategies before things matter. More often than not, it's thoroughly entertaining, but when we lay an egg as we did against the Cavs, it doesn't faze me. This regular season simply doesn't matter. Like the Leafs, the Raptors will be wholly judged by what happens in the playoffs.

For what it's worth, I could see the Raps winning the Eastern Conference, but I'd be shocked if the Leafs escaped the second round. Still, I'd like to see what happens when the seasons start.

We're almost there...

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 440: Laura Armstrong

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 440In this 440th episode, Mike chats with The Toronto Star's Blue Jays beat reporter Laura Armstrong about her career, Vladdy, and more. This episode is exactly 1:51:50.

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Much Music Down to One Hour of Videos

Much Music is down to one single hour of videos during weekdays. Previously, they were still playing seven hours of videos weekdays from 6am to 1pm. This new schedule as the videos being played for an hour at noon.

I'll be the first to admit this change won't affect me in the least. An avid watcher of Much Music in the 80s and 90s, I haven't tuned in for more than a Simpsons episode or two in many years. In fact, I was surprised to learn they were still airing seven hours of videos. Bell Media, owners of Much, say their block of videos attracted less than 4000 viewers a day. That's a paltry figure.

Without a doubt, the Internet killed the Much Music video star. But Much isn't its first victim! Here's a quick list of stuff I used to consume regularly but have abandoned because the Internet made it obsolete.

Encyclopedias
I wrote many essays in high school and university, and at some point in the process, I'd reach for an encyclopedia. Often this involved a trip to the library and a photocopy machine. It was quite the endeavour, and it's been completely replaced by the Internet.

Map Books
I owned a GTA map book for driving (that I paid real money for!), and free foldable TTC and Toronto cycling maps. Although I still have that old GTA map book in the trunk of my '99 Mazda (where it's been for twenty years), I haven't had to look at a paper map in this country in many, many years. Blame the Internet!

Video Stores
I loved my local video store. The owner, who shortly thereafter was arrested for selling drugs, tipped me off that I might like this movie Reservoir Dogs by this new director I'd never heard of. So many of the movies I watched were recommended to me by the video store guy, and I watched a lot of movies in the 80s and 90s. Although there are still a few video stores around, I haven't set foot in one since... I can't remember when!

Personal Snail Mail
Do you remember writing (or typing) a letter, folding it up, putting it in an envelope, affixing a stamp and dropping it in a mailbox? This was a regular event. I'm not referring to business correspondence or any sort of administrative duties, I'm talking about a letter to a friend or family member. The Internet has killed this practice.

35mm Film Development
I used to own a single-purpose film camera. Listen up kids, because every word I type here is fact. I'd buy film, either 24 or 35 exposures, I'd carefully put it in the camera, and then I'd selectively take pictures until the film was used up. Did someone blink? Was it blurry? It all remained a mystery until I took the film into the drug store or grocery store and waited for it to be developed. Then, I'd come back days later, pay some more money, and get my photos. It's not so much the Internet that killed this ritual, but digital cameras. The Internet just killed the physical photo album.

Record Stores
On a Saturday morning, I loved heading downtown on the subway to check out the records stores near Yonge and Dundas. Sam the Record Man, A&A Records, HMV... you'd walk in and get lost (with apologies to Honest Ed) and it was the best. At different points in my life I bought cassette tapes, 45 vinyl singles, and then CDs. Some of my fondest memories are getting an anticipated release on day one. In Utero, Vs., and the Use Your Illusions to name a few. When I went to U of T and lived downtown, I'd do this daily. Those days, sadly, are long gone.

Lining Up for Concert Tickets
We used to collect at a TicketMaster location to buy concert tickets. You were sure to get their really early to ensure you got your tickets. At some point, they had a wristband policy and you would go there days earlier to get your wristband and then collect at the TicketMaster location at 10am on a Saturday (or whenever) for the lottery. At some point, the Internet killed this, for better or worse.

I could go on... mobile phones themselves eliminated the need for payphones, having to call a landline shared by an entire family, leaving your house and being unreachable for several hours... but that's an entry of its own.

I'd close by lamenting the loss of videos on Much, but truth be known it was lost long ago. To Youtube I go for an eternal playlist of every video I ever loved. Catch you later.

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12:36 Podcast Episodes Get Their Own Home

If you've been paying attention, you've probably noticed that Marc Weisblott from 12:36 is now appearing on Toronto Mike'd monthly instead of quarterly. There was a December episode, a January episode, a February episode and we just scheduled our March episode.

I'll say this about the 12:36 episodes of my podcast, and I state this with great confidence. Those who like them, like them a lot. If you get what Marc's all about, the thought of a 2.5 hour monthly recap should make you giddy. I know it's what I crave.

In fact, I'd use a line I also use when talking about Mark Hebscher's podcast, Hebsy on Sports. I wish I wasn't in the room during the recording because it's precisely the type of local content I'd love to listen to during my daily bike ride. For my taste and sensibilities, the content is that strong.

So if you dig the 12:36 eps, I've created a special category for them. This should make it easier for you to find them and delve into the archives. You'll find every Marc Weisblott appearance on Toronto Mike'd here.

By the way, I'm trying to organize a Toronto pop culture panel featuring Tyler Stewart from Barenaked Ladies, Ed Conroy from Retrontario and Weisblott from 12:36, but getting our schedules to jive is giving me high school calculus flashbacks. It's that difficult. Thank you again to Blue Sky Agency for the fourth RØDE Procaster mic!

Oh... and this entire site is now secure. https ftw!

Marc Weisblott and me

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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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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 439: Tom Stephen from The Jeff Healey Band

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 439In this 439th episode, Mike chats with The Jeff Healey Band's drummer Tom Stephen about the band, Jeff Healey and his new book, Best Seat in the House. This episode is exactly 1:39:35.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 438: Jake Gold

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 438In this 438th episode, Mike chats with Jake Gold about his 18 years managing The Tragically Hip, his six seasons as a judge on Canadian Idol, other musical acts he's managed and so much more. This episode is exactly 2:05:57.

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King Kong Bundy, Dead at 61

King Kong BundyKing Kong Bundy was 61. He was the WWE wrestler who gained fame in the 1980s for defeating opponents with "the avalanche". I remember a three-count wasn't sufficient for Bundy, so he'd always ask the ref for a five-count.

king-kong-bundy

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 437: Steve Buffery

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 437In this 437th episode, Mike chats with the Toronto Sun's Steve Buffery about his decades covering sports for the paper, his love for Etobicoke, and the interesting characters he's met along the way. This episode is exactly 1:59:05.

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Luke Perry, Dead at 52

Luke PerryLuke Perry was 52. He's the actor best known for playing Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210”. To me, he'll always be Sideshow Luke Perry.

Luke_Perry

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Ted Lindsay, Dead at 93

Ted LindsayTed Lindsay was 93. He was part of “The Production Line” for the Detroit Red Wings, playing with Gordie Howe and Sid Abel, winning four Stanley Cups over 17 NHL seasons. He was pivotal in organizing the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) in the late 1950s, an action which led to his trade to Chicago.

tedlindsay

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Keith Flint, Dead at 49

Keith FlintKeith Flint was 49. He was best known as a vocalist and dancer for The Prodigy singing lead on their two biggest hits, "Firestarter" and "Breathe".

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Flying Drones in Canada Legally and Safely

There are new rules for flying drones in Canada. These come into effect on June 1, 2019. Before we look into these new rules, let's understand that "drone" is a term used to refer to any type of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

You're not going to be able to legally fly your drone without a drone pilot certificate. it's just a question of whether you need advanced training or basic training. You need advanced drone training if:

  • You are 16 years old or older;
  • Your drone weighs between 0.25 – 25 kg;
  • You want to fly in controlled airspace;
  • You always stay under 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level;
  • You want to fly within 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders or fly over them; and
  • You will always keep your drone in sight.

Find a dependable drone training expert and learn to fly your done safely and legally.

Drone pilots must follow the rules in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Part IX – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems contains most of the rules that apply to drones. You should read these regulations in full before you fly your drone for the first time.

Drone pilots must carry a valid drone pilot certificate and only fly drones that are marked and registered.

home-training

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Katherine Helmond, Dead at 89

Katherine HelmondKatherine Helmond was 89. She was the actress best known for her roles as Jessica Tate in Soap and Mona Robinson on Who's the Boss?.

Katherine Helmond

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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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« February 2019

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