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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 472: John Pollock and Wai Ting

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 472In this 472nd episode, Mike is joined by Milon Talsania as they converse with John Pollock and Wai Ting from POST Wrestling. This episode is exactly 2:12:10.

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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.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 471: Marc Weisblott from 12:36

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 471In this 471st episode, Mike chats with Marc Weisblott from 12:36 about the current state of media in Canada and what you oughta know, but first, a tribute to Dave "Bookie" Bookman. This episode is exactly 2:37:31.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 470: Geets Romo

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 470In this 470th episode, Mike chats with David Haydu, better known as Geets Romo, about his career in radio, especially his years with Pete Griffin co-hosting the Pete N' Geets show on CHUM-FM and CFNY. This episode is exactly 1:36:15.

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Toronto Raptors Trade Rumors and Possibilities

The Toronto Raptors are tied for the second-best odds on winning the another NBA Title in 2020.

Top online betting outlets like Bovada Sportbook have the Raps at +700 to win it all. This is tied with the Milwaukee Bucks and behind the Los Angeles Lakers who are at +350. 

But what will the odds be after the free agency feeding frenzy starts on January 30th? 

Let’s look at possible trades around Toronto and a few big rumors outside of THE 6. 

Kah Wine and Dine?

There isn’t much more the city of Toronto can do to retain Kahwi Leonard. And when I say the city, I mean the town of Toronto, not just the Raptors franchise. After a wholehearted effort to court the star player to hang around Toronto’s hardwood, Leonard declined his $21,300,000.00 and it’s still very much up in the air as to whether he’ll stay or head off to the Land of Sunshine and Superficiality.

That said, he is allowing the Raptors to put on the final presentation out of all of the teams meeting with him in L.A. roughly a week from now. This is a pretty good sign; we just have to hope that the lure of his home town isn’t too much to overcome. He’s scheduled to meet with both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers. From our perspective, if he doesn’t land in Toronto, it doesn’t really matter if he becomes a Laker or a Clipper. That said, after all the Lakers have dropped on moving Anthony Davis over, I’m not sure if they can offer Leonard the long term deal that he’s after.

The New York Knicks will have more cap space in the history of cap space for offseason moves. They are another team that is reportedly setting up meetings with Kawhi. That said, the Knicks seem to think that they’ll be able to flash enough cash to grab not only Kawhi, but Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving. If that happens, we would see the Knickerbockers shoot towards the top as a championship favorite.

Still, he seems set to go West. If he doesn’t stick with the Raps, given the Lakers cap space, the Clips seem the most likely scenario at the moment, which would put them into instant contention if they could snag Jimmy Butler as well.

Marc Gasol accepted his $25.6 million player option to remain another year in Toronto. So this really only leaves Danny Green in question … who may also be courted by the Lakers. But they also seem to be gunning after Seth Curry, and Terrence Ross. So, it’s hard to say if they will take one or the other or go for a combination of smooth-shooting guards. After all, they seem to think that De’ Angelo Russell would be a good replacement for Lonzo Ball. So, you have to wonder about how badly the Raptors want to retain Green or will a squad like the Lakers outdo them in their recruiting efforts. It seems that unlike Leonard, Green actually shows some genuine interest in staying in Toronto.

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Bill Buckner, Dead at 69

Bill BucknerBill Buckner was 69. He was the first baseman who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, California Angels, and Kansas City Royals during a 22 season major league career. And yes, he let a Mookie Wilson slow roller go between his legs in the tenth inning of Game 6 during the 1986 World Series.

bill-buckner-curb

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 469: Bill Brioux Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 469In this 469th episode, Mike chats with Bill Brioux about TV before he kicks out the TV themes. This episode is exactly 1:39:24.

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Bart Starr, Dead at 85

Bart StarrBart Starr was 85. He was the Green Bay Packers quarterback most famous for the sneak that won the famed "Ice Bowl" in 1967. He led the Packers to the first two Super Bowl titles.

202818

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Les Nessman Delivers

I used to watch WKRP in Cincinnati daily when it ran in syndication in the mid-80s. I loved that show. It just made radio look like blast. Dr. Johnny Fever, Venus Flytrap, Les Nessman, Herb Tarlek…. they weren’t just colleagues, they weren’t just friends with a  refer-a-friend code, but they were family.

Several episodes bounce around my cranium on the reg, but there’s one episode that has always stuck with me. Les Nessman is playing for WKRP in a softball game. The scraping sounds of violin lessons and the bullying voice of his mother gives us a glimpse into Les's life. It’s pretty intense as the fly ball lands in Les’s glove, despite the fact he refuses to look.

As a kid, I loved baseball, and I totally felt for Les when we flashed back to his upbringing. He didn’t get to play because he was forced to focus on the violin. But then, in that one moment, redemption! He caught the ball!

That moment really affected me and influenced the way I parent. When I became a father almost 18 years ago, I pledged to respect my child’s wants and desired, so long as it was within reason. When my oldest daughter said she wanted to dance, I wasn’t a big fan of it, but I was a big fan of hers, and I remembered that episode of WKRP. I put my daughter in dance and she remains a competitive dance to this very day.

Conversely, I was heartbroken when my oldest son told me he was done with baseball. I had him playing baseball at High Park and he had a great arm. But he wasn’t having fun, and that’s key. I let him quit and he played hockey and basketball instead. He was happy.

My daughter recently delivered similar news when she told me she was done with soccer. I loved watching her play soccer each week, it was a true highlight, but she’s going to spend her precious summer doing other activities. I chose not to impose my will on her but to let me make that reasonable decision. Thanks, Les!

With my younger two kids, I’ll continue to give them input into their lives. Within reason, of course, and that’s key. At five you have less say in what extracurricular activities you participate in than you do at 13. Swimming lessons are mandatory!

This episode, titled “Baseball”, has some fun facts associated with it. Because the station only had eight regulars and a ninth was needed to field a baseball team, they added station engineer Bucky Dornster to the roster. It was his second appearance.

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Essential Kitchen Pieces to Brace a Canadian Winter

Canadian winters are some of the harshest in North America: temperatures average -4.6 degrees Celsius during the winter months, and can dip as far as -20 degrees in cities such as Toronto. And that’s without even considering the northern parts of the country, which back up against the north pole and serve as national parks and playgrounds for arctic animals such as polar bears. Adding the fact that the sun stays out as little as 8 hours a day, and most Canadians choose to spend as much time as possible staying indoors. Playing games, reading, and watching TV are common indoor activities, but of course indoor entertaining is one of the most popular activities during the holiday season. In order to keep up with the parties and warm cooking of the summer, we’ve compiled a list of the kitchen tools needed to brace the intense, chilled Canadian winters. 

Homemade Soup Maker

Nothing beats coming home to hot soup after a long day in the frosty outdoors. Many resort to a quick, pre-made version of the meal by simply heating up the soup from a can or box. However, having a soup maker in the kitchen will not only impress guests as a stellar first course, but will also create delicious daily meals and snacks for the whole family. A soup maker falls somewhere between a blender and a hot water kettle, and is extremely easy to use; place vegetables, meats and broth inside the machine, turn it on, and come back in twenty minutes to hot, fresh soup. Most soup makers come with options for chunky soup (such as chicken noodle) and a creamier soup (such as tomato bisque or cream of peas). While technically these can be done with other instruments, such as a crock pot and a blender, having a soup maker will provide the ease and speed to make fresh, cheap soups which both taste delicious and are healthier than store-bought brands.

A Good Pot

Almost everyone has at least one pot in their kitchen, and yet many let them go unused, dirty, and even rusted. However, having a good pot is actually key to bearing hash weather and long winters. Depending on the kind of stove being used and the kind of food being prepared, a high-quality pot can make the difference between a delicious meal and a mediocre one. Pots are also extremely versatile, allowing for a plethora of winter dishes which are both easy to make and flavorful. Hearty international dishes such as chicken provençal, chili con carne, jambalaya, and penang prawn and pineapple curry are great for dinner parties. Alternatively, a sturdy, deep pot serves as great frying device for a serving of classic Canadian poutine. Pots are useful all year round, but are indispensable for winter cooking.

Indoor BBQ

Barbecuing is a favorite North American pastime, and both Americans and Canadians alike love spending time out by the grill. Having ice and snow blanketing the patio, however, can understandably dampen one’s desire to want to stand outside to cook. Thankfully, keeping smoked cuisine in the house all year long is possible with an indoor barbecue kit. Indoor Barbecues come in a variety of prices and sizes, ranging from small countertop appliances to large devices which resemble the real thing, but which rely solely on electricity. The best part about these gadgets is that many of them produce little to absolutely no smoke; technology has come a long way towards providing authentic smoked flavor without the charcoal or wood. While using it comes without the rewarding feeling of cooking over the flames, the resulting BBQ fare will taste remarkably delicious.

Having these appliances in the kitchen will revive and, quite literally, heat up the kitchen for the winter season.

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Our Toronto Raptors are Headed to the NBA Finals

Our Toronto Raptors claimed their first ever Eastern Conference championship with a 100-94 Game 6 win over the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the NBA Final.

Four wins to go.

Ibaka

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From Team Play in Toronto to Online Worlds in Ontario: Canada’s Gaming Industry is Booming

Canada has emerged above behemoths such as China, Korea and the United Kingdom to become one of the top three countries for the gaming industry in the world. The country falls just behind Japan and the USA for its gaming prowess, with 470 studios generating over 20,400 jobs and $3 billion for Canada’s annual GDP.  At the yearly Electronics Entertainment Expo, over ten of the major titles on display were either solely or co-produced by Canadian gaming companies. Major league hitters such as Borderlands 3, Marvel’s Avengers, and Gears of War 5 all had Canadian developers behind them. So how has a country with a population smaller than that of California managed to pull ahead as one of the industry’s leading influencers?

In reality, Canada has led the pack for quite some time within the gaming sphere. In 2013 Canadian territories were already seeing tremendous growth in the sector, with over 19 million Cantucks (that’s 54 percent of the population) declaring themselves gamers. Within this demographic, the age is varied, with 90 percent of kids and teens claiming to be gamers and yet, despite common beliefs, the average age of gamers resting around 31. 

That number has now grown to over 23 million who play some sort of video game regularly. Both genders are actively involved in game play, with women choosing to play more education and puzzle games than their male counterparts. Men, on the other hand, seem to prefer role-playing games, devoting more time to console devices and being heavier users of gaming accessories such as advanced gaming headphones, high design controllers and virtual Reality headsets.

The high demand for games in Canada is complemented by support the gaming industry received from the government. Quebec, one of the gaming capitals of the country, is often deemed the “Hollywood” of Canada due to the provinces’ backing of the industry on multiple ends. Quebec is home to some of the country’s most talented and capable designers and software engineers. The government also provides serious tax credits, with between 26 to 37% of salaries paid to technical staff working on video games and other interactive multimedia projects. 

This generous credit allows gaming giants (such as Ubisoft, who’s North American Headquarters lies in Quebec) and local gaming companies alike to garner higher level staff members who can design better products. The country itself also offers the Canadian Media Fund, a not-for-profit corporation orchestrated by the federal government that delivers $353 million in funding annually to support the Canadian television and digital media industries. The Trade Commissioner Service put together a meticulous 117-page book for the Canadian game Developers Conference to give international businesses an overview of the industry, and a database of the dozens of local Canadian developers. Information included company objectives, size, types of services offered and genres. In fact, many of the top independent gaming industry have a personal connection with the head of the TCS, who invests time and energy into one of Canada’s largest sectors. 

As technologies increase and more and more people both in Canada and worldwide continue to play video games, the demand will continue to thrive. Between generous tax ad credit programs, supportive government staff, and a wide pool of design and development talent, Canada’s impact on the gaming industry is here to stay.

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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.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 468: Jess Salgueiro

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 468In this 468th episode, Mike chats with actress Jess Salgueiro about her roles on Orphan Black, Workin' Moms, Letterkenny, The Strain, Saving Hope, Mary Kills People, and her new web series, The Ninth. This episode is exactly 1:21:41.

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Essential tools every man should own

We talked to our friend Roger Ashby from 104.5 FM and he told us what his male listeners usually complain they don’t have the tools they need when doing handywork. There are a number of tools every man should own, especially if they feel that natural instinct to fix things. With these 8  tools, it is guaranteed that they will be able to fix from leaking faucets to assembling even the most complicated piece of furniture.

1- Adjustable wrench. It is a completely essential tool. As it adjusts to different bolts, you won’t have to buy a lot of different sizes, therefore wasting space and money. When choosing the perfect one for you, take into account its maximum jaw capacity and the materials with which it was built for extended durability.  

2- Chalk line. It may seem to be a bit boring when compared to the manly ax, for example, but chalk lines are very useful. It’s almost impossible to draw a completely straight line on one’s own, and that’s how this device comes in handy. It’s particularly practical for carpenters.

3- An ax. Admit it, every man out there has thought about owning and using an ax as one of the manliest activities using a tool. Of course, it is not as versatile as other types of devices, as its main aim is to chop wood, but if you have a fireplace at home, you’ll realize that you are going to need it very often. Just dedicate a little portion of your backyard to this activity, and you won’t have to spend that much in heating. Before doing this, make sure you know how to use this tool properly or you may end up hurting yourself!

4- Hacksaw. This will depend on your needs and requirements, but if you are working with metal, then a hacksaw is essential. Also, you can work with plastic using this tool, so if you are into plumbing, consider acquiring one for your toolbox. They are not cheap, but they are worth the investment.

5- Hammer. No toolbox is complete without a hammer, one of the most traditional and functional tools of the list. Did you know it is one of the oldest ones in the world? Luckily, hammers have evolved from simple pieces of rock to very sophisticated ones, made up of top-notch materials. A simple claw device is the one that any man requires, but there are many other models that vary in size, materials and shape. One of them is the soft-faced hammer, useful to strike things that would otherwise be destroyed by a steel hammer.

6- Jigsaw. Another classic, if you are thinking about cutting shapes into wood, plastic, and even stone, then a jigsaw is a must-have. The only thing you have to make sure is that you have the correct blade for each material. If not, you run the risk of ruining both the machine and the materials you are trying to work with.

7- Electric drill. This drill is an essential tool for any handy work that has evolved and now offers more functions, like screwing and engraving.

8- Screwdriver. It’s impossible to have a complete kit without a multi-bit screwdriver. It’s very expensive to buy every type of screwdriver out there, so this multi-bit device is your best option if you want to save some money. You’ll be able to work even with the most difficult screws with this tool.

Now that you know the tools that you need, start looking out there for options. There are hundreds of manufacturers, shapes, sizes, materials, and pricing. Choose wisely and you’ll end up with a very complete toolkit to fix almost anything!

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First-Time Buyers Find Resourceful Ways to Purchase Toronto Properties

Though real estate prices are soaring in Toronto, property sales have risen by 19% from the same time last year, reaching nearly 10,000 transactions. The standard price for a home in Toronto means that only those in the top 10% income bracket should be able to afford their own home. Despite this, new and young buyers are holding onto the dream of buying a property. Whether it’s through paying the interest only on a home equity loan or relying on assistance from partnerships with family and friends, first-time buyers are demonstrating a resourceful attitude toward making property ownership in Toronto a reality.

Improving Credit Scores

A year and a half ago, the introduction of a new stress test by Canada’s bank regulator made it harder for less affluent home buyers to qualify for a mortgage. This means it’s even more important for potential purchasers to economise, cut credit card usage and reduce debt. These actions could then lead to an improved credit rating. In any case, by checking their rating, buyers can learn how their credit score is determined, and look for any errors that may be causing it to be lower than necessary. Even with a poor credit rating, it is still possible to secure a home loan, although interest rates may be higher.

Splitting the Costs

Buyers with a realistic view of how much they have to spend are looking at creative ways to fund their first home. In Toronto, nearly half of 20 to 34 year olds live with a parent after finishing their education which helps many of them save money for a downpayment. Faced with increasing property prices, co-purchasing with friends or relatives is another alternative route to securing home ownership. By splitting buying costs and the monthly mortgage repayments, young professionals are able to get a foot on the property ladder.

Finding Affordable Housing

The City of Toronto could potentially confront the problem of housing affordability with a powerful planning tool, known as Inclusionary Zoning. In the future, new developments could be required to allocate a certain number of their units to affordable housing. For now, the City of Toronto works with several housing organisations who can provide help for buyers wanting to purchase a more affordable home through minimising sales costs, deposits and maintenance fees.

Despite rising real estate prices in Toronto, property sales remain buoyant as new and young buyers find inventive ways to purchase a home.

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Dave "Bookie" Bookman, Dead at 58

Dave “Bookie” BookmanDave “Bookie” Bookman was 58. Bookie was as fine a radio personality as a city like Toronto could hope for. He loved the music, and it showed. After 21 years on 102.1 the Edge, he was let go in 2012, but quickly resurfaced on Indie 88 where he hosted a show until suffering a brain aneurysm in April.

I've made no secret of the fact Bookie was a highly sought guest on Toronto Mike'd, but he politely declined both invitations, citing a desire for privacy. I even asked him to appear on a Martin Streek tribute episode I put together for the fifth year anniversary of his untimely passing.

This isn't just a huge loss for Toronto radio, this is a big loss for the music scene as a whole in this city. Bookie hosted Nu Music Night at The Horseshoe Tavern forever. Bookie will be missed.

Next Thursday, Marc Weisblott from 12:36 will join me and we'll pay tribute to his friend Dave "Bookie" Bookman.

Bookie

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 467: Leo Rautins

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 467In this 467th episode, Mike chats with the "kid from Keele Street", Raptors TV analyst and former NBA player Leo Rautins about growing up in Toronto, being an NCAA star, being the first Canadian drafted in the first round of the NBA draft and covering the Toronto Raptors since day one. This episode is exactly 1:58:07.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 466: Farley Flex

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 466In this 466th episode, Mike chats with Farley Flex about managing Maestro Fresh-Wes, getting Flow 93.5 on the air in Toronto, becoming a judge on Canadian Idol and giving back to his community. This episode is exactly 1:39:05.

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Promote Your Toronto Business with Custom Logo Apparel

One of the best ways to promote your business is to invest in different types of apparel that’s customized with the company logo. While you may purchase them for a trade show, a community event, or something to give away when you visit a client, things like custom tank tops make it possible for others to see the logo whenever the recipients wear them. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you choose the right custom logo apparel for general use or an upcoming event.

Custom Tank Top Options

Custom tank tops sporting the company logo and colours are great ways to publicize your company’s participation in some outdoor event. Think of how many people will be willing to wear them at some sort of lakeside community event or fund-raising activity. They’re also great if you’re sponsoring a team at an outdoor sporting event. Best of all, they can be worn for most kinds of warm-weather activities long after the event is over.

Ideas for Promotional T-Shirts

T-shirts are also worth considering. A custom t-shirt with your log and the right colour scheme is also great for warm weather, but can be worn in settings where tank tops may not be considered appropriate. Along with the logo and colour selection, consider adding the company slogan to the back of the shirt. When you’re ordering them for a specific purpose, like sponsoring a bowling team, make sure the lettering across the back draws attention to the event as well as your company name.

How About Personalized Polo Shirts?

The nice thing about polo shirts is that employees can wear them while exhibiting at trade shows, or attending events when the weather is beginning to cool a little. Think custom tank top or T-short for summer, then for polo shirts during the early spring and autumn. They’re also a good choice if you need to see a client who insists that you dress casually. Pair the shirt with a pair of khaki slacks and you can still project a professional image while honouring your client’s wishes.

Sweatshirts and Hoodies with Your Logo Are a Good Idea

Now that you have custom printed tank tops and T-shirts for summer and polo shirts for spring and autumn, what will you do about winter? When it’s time to put away the personalized tank top for a time, turn your attention to ordering custom sweatshirts and hoodies. They’re popular for wear in the winter or even on a cool night. The right design can be worn while out walking, attending open air events in cooler weather, or for pairing with jeans for a casual evening out. The right colour combination and weight makes them a comfortable option while also getting the company name in front of more people.

Custom Hats Go Nicely with Tank Tops and T-Shirts

Have you thought about hats to go with your personalized tank tops or different shirts? They’re a practical way to keep the sun out of your eyes while also getting your company logo at eye level in a crowed. Consider classic baseball caps as well as other types of heat gear. The investment will be worth it.

Remember to always use higher-quality material for those tank tops, T-shirts, and other types of custom printed apparel.

The goal is to make sure that tank top holds up well over time and the owner likes wearing it. That boost the number of opportunities for someone to see those customizable tank tops and decide they want to know more about your business.

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Top Corporate Catering Companies in Toronto

There are all sorts of reasons to hire a caterer for a corporate event. From visiting clients to workshops to retirement parties, there are times when the best way to ensure everyone is comfortable and fed is to find an expert in corporate catering and tell them what you need. If your company is based in the GTA and has an event coming up in the next few months, now is the time to find the right catering service. Here are five recommendations for you to consider.

10tation Event Catering

Versatility is important when you're looking for the right service to handle corporate catering in Toronto. A caterer who can manage everything from setting up a breakfast buffet to taking care of a formal evening dinner means you never have to look for someone else to take care of any event involving food. That’s what you get with 10tation.

Known as one of the best options for corporate and office catering, 10tation knows how to plan, set up, and even serve any type of food you like. Perhaps you’re having employees from branch locations around the country come to corporate for a week-long training session. 10tation has what it takes to make sure there’s all sorts of great options set up for breakfast. While you hold the first set of classes that morning, they’ll set up beverages and finger foods for the mid-morning break. Lunch will appear as if by magic by the time the noon hour arrives.

It’s not just their ability to handle all sorts of business catering needs. They can help plan the menu based on the number of attendees, whether you prefer casual or formal, and even any known food preferences or allergies that some of the attendees may need to observe. It’s hard to think of any company that can offer this level of flexibility.

Give them a call and talk with them about your next event. Making a call to anyone else may be unnecessary.

Corporate Crazy Catering

Along with having a fun name, Corporate Crazy Catering prides itself on offering selections that are healthy as well as tasty. They have an option called the tailored menu program. Some aspects of the program focus on where you’ll hold the event and how many people will be present. Other aspects have to do with preparing entrees, side dishes, desserts, and beverages that provide a rich array of flavors while still being healthy choices. The genius of the tailored menu is that while it’s healthy, many of the selections will look almost decadent.

Here you have it all: flexibility with the menu planning, the option to take into consideration specific dietary needs and preferences, and a presentation that’s sure to impress. Whether the plan is to cater an event at a convention center or the office conference room, Corporate Crazy Catering has you covered.

The Food Dudes

The Food Dudes offer drop-off catering as well as services for high-end dinners and similar events. You decide how much or how little help you need with the setup and delivery. These corporate caterers in Toronto can easily prepare individual lunches for small groups that are already individually arranged in lunch sacks, or they can take on the execution of a formal sit-down dinner for groups over a hundred.

From hamburgers and fries to Lobster Newburg and grilled asparagus, they do it all. Arrange for simple office lunch catering for several days in a row to a one-time formal event. Whatever you have in mind, they can take care of things.

Select Sandwich Corporate Catering

Sandwiches and simple sides are great for casual office catering. Select Sandwich can create platters that are mouth-watering and easy to set up in a break room or the conference room. Beverages and desserts are included, along with plenty of side dishes for the sandwiches. They’re happy to drop off, or they can serve the food if you like. They definitely know how to make catering fun and easy.

Saucy Affairs Inc.

While Saucy Affairs can handle just about any type of catering, they excel when it comes to larger events. That includes catering lunches and dinners for workshops and training conferences. You supply the venue and they’ll take care of the rest. They can do fun menus that include wonderful Mexican food or build the menu around excellent barbeque. They can also prepare beautifully presented formal meals with all the trimmings. Its no wonder that they rank among the top in the Toronto corporate catering game.

There is no lack of quality when it comes to Toronto's corporate caterers. The trick is to find the one that’s best for your upcoming event. Call around and supply a few details. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the suggestions that the top corporate catering services provide.

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Securing Your Family Against An Unpredictable World

Every parent puts in measures to ensure that their family is healthy and safe, but sometimes things fall outside of their control. Toronto remains one of the safest cities in Canada, if not the world, but crime rates do continue to rise, according to the Globe and Mail. In the face of increasing threats posed by the likes of climate change, crime and evolving industry, there are steps that families can take to ensure their children have a secure future.

Solid foundations

Crime and extreme weather events are on the up, but Toronto remains a safe place to stay and raise a family in. Despite this, the safety that the city provides is often taken for granted. Life insurance is a great indicator of this; in June 2019, national authorities signaled their intent to provide $11.5bn universal drug coverage, largely in response to low levels of life insurance uptake across the country. As experts NGLIC.com note, having insurance to cover injury, criminal damage and other unforeseen acts is absolutely essential to provide a basic foundation for your family.

Future education

Between political uncertainty, climate change, and changing professions and industries, there is a lot of uncertainty about the world today. It’s absolutely imperative that children are taught about this today in order to safeguard against it. Toronto has had a keen involvement in this and families can take advantage through, for example, EarlyOn Centres, which provide education at younger ages about ‘real world’ issues. It can become easy to get lost in academia and the rigors of school education; providing an alternative to learn practical skills will be important to creating a future for your kids.

Securing your legacy

For right or wrong, Torontonians and those in wider Canada rely on inheritance money to help their own retirement. According to CBC figures, 77% of Canadians will rely on parents for retirement funds. Alongside good lessons for your children on how to secure a life for themselves in the future, consider your own role. Ensure that your assets are well managed, and consider moving into safe investments to make a nest egg for your descendants – and so you can enjoy your own retirement.

More than ever, it’s important to plan ahead. Making a secure future for yourself is best done through planting the seed today. This way, you can benefit your children, too.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 465: Mark Howard

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 465In this 465th episode, Mike chats with producer Mark Howard about his battle with stage four cancer, his new book "Listen Up! Recording Music with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, U2, REM, The Tragically Hip, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Waits...", working with Daniel Lanois and more. This episode is exactly 1:48:06.

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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.

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Why You Should Support Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repair

I think it was August 2018 when I first received an email from Milon at Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repair. He was an avid listener of Toronto Mike'd (well, the sports media episodes, at least) and wanted to jump on a call. Our first call was during my daughter's soccer match and the hour flew by. I watched the match while chatting with Milon on my Bluetooth headset. I had two thoughts:

  1. Milon has great pipes... dude should be podcasting.
  2. We could literally talk for hours about Toronto sports memories and sports media personalities.

I first met Milon at a Kelsey's in Markham. Another two hours disappeared in what felt like 10 minutes. I was sold on Milon as a person, but that doesn't mean Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repair is any good. So I did my research...

Firstly, Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repair is a proudly Canadian company, completely independent and gloriously picking themselves off the mat after Sears left them high and dry. I share that tremendous story here.

Secondly, they've truly been doing quality watch and jewellery repairs on all brands for almost 40 years. In fact, I'm told this is their 40th year. They have a new location in Richmond Hill where they have watch technicians and jewellers on the premises.

Thirdly, they'll give you a watch battery replacement with a one year warranty at the absolute best value. They'll match any advertised Toronto area watch battery installation price plus Toronto Mike'd listeners receive 15% off any Watch Battery Installation. Just mention you heard about them on Toronto Mike'd. It's that simple.

My mom has an issue with her watch band and I've sent her to Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repair because they have a large selection of leather, metal, rubber and silicone watch bands. And, you get free installation with your purchase. They also have a great selection of watches.

And last, but certainly not least, this is a family-run Canadian company that has stepped up to partner with your favourite independent podcaster. They've been helping to fuel the #realtalk since November 2018, and anyone who has listened to one of the sports media roundtables knows that Milon is a charming guy. Say hi to him at the Richmond Hill location and chat him up about the Jays, Raps, Leafs and Toronto sports media.

If you enjoy Toronto Mike'd, the best thing you can do to support the show is to support the sponsors. If you have any watch or jewellery repair needs, go here to see Fast Time locations and let me know how it goes. So far every listener who has reported back on their experience has raved about the service and price.

Sports media roundtable

Thank you, Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repair!

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 464: Maureen Holloway Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 464In this 464th episode, Mike catches up with CHFI's Maureen Holloway before she kicks out the jams. This episode is exactly 1:26:35.

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Tim Conway, Dead at 85

Tim ConwayTim Conway was 85. He was the comedic actor best known for being a core member of the “The Carol Burnett Show” troupe. He also starred in several Disney movies as well as the Dorf series of comic how-to videos.

Tim Conway

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My Favourite Toronto Sports Moments

I've been following Toronto sports closely for almost 40 years. Ok, 37 years to be specific, but I prefer round numbers.

Now that I've had a couple of sleeps since witnessing The Shot, I find myself literally stuck in that moment. That shot was a true moment. It was a high arching buzzer-beater with some lengthy rim bounces that made it feel like time stood still for a few seconds. Kawhi took the shot and we all watched and waited to see if it would fall. It did, and the Raps advanced to the conference finals.

True, we're only halfway there, but that was the first buzzer-beater to end a game seven in NBA history. That's literally never happened before, and I can't personally remember a buzzer-beater in any game with that much bounce and suspense. I still can't believe it fell, but it did. Right?

I just checked the replay for the 529th time to confirm it did indeed fall. I haven't felt this jazzed about a moment in Toronto sports since Joey Bats flipped his bat in that crazy seventh inning. That wasn't that long ago, so now I'm thinking of where Kawhi's shot ranks in terms of Toronto sports moments.

Here's my top ten. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments, just know this is a personal list of moments that have happened since I started following Toronto sports. I watched every one of these moments live and remember the feeling. Every time I question why I give a shit about sports, I remember these feelings...

  1. Joe touchin' them all
  2. Kawhi's shot
  3. Timlin to Carter
  4. Joey Bats' bat flip
  5. Borschevsky
  6. Edwin's wildcard walkoff
  7. Gilmour's wraparound
  8. Alomar's HR off Eckersley
  9. Ed Spague's World Series HR
  10. George Bell catching '85 AL East clincher

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 463: Terry Koshan

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 463In this 463rd episode, Mike chats with the Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan about his years covering sports for the Sun, Kawhi's shot, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. This episode is exactly 1:43:12.

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Doris Day, Dead at 97

Doris DayDoris Day was 97. She was the singer turned actress enjoyed success in such films as Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk and had a hit in 1956 with Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).

Huty1811218

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4 Crucial Tips for Canadian Bloggers

Did you know that there an estimated 500 million blogs on the web? Of those, roughly 3.9% of them are Canadian. Which means there are about 19,500,000 Canadian blogs out there.

Think about that. That’s one blog for every single person in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan combined! So, how do you make your blog stand above all of that noise?

The good news is that most people are blogging the wrong way. They’re treating it like a hobby, with nearly half of spending 5 hours or less working on their blog. This is why almost 70% of bloggers make zero money.

But, you're better than that. Today we’re going to show you how to take blogging seriously, while avoiding many of the mistakes that separate the successful bloggers from all the rest.

1. Invest in Quality Hosting

Just because there are dozens of free or cheap hosting options out there doesn't mean they're a good idea. Bad hosting is one of the top blog-killers out there today.

You get what you pay for. Choosing cheap hosting usually means you will struggle with downtime and slow page load speeds. The latter is a huge deal, as most people will give up on your blog if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

There are fantastic Canadian Wordpress hosting solutions out there for very reasonable pricing. Don't cut corners or it will cut your traffic.

2. Be Mobile

Did you build your blog with desktop users in mind? Most bloggers do, even though mobile web traffic started to exceed desktop traffic some time ago, and Google has officially announced they are indexing mobile sites first.

This means both Google bots and human beings are more interested in your mobile site than your desktop.

Make sure your blog is optimized for mobile users.

3. Answer the Important Questions

Macintosh HD:Users:ryanleclaire:Downloads:blog canada.jpg

One of the biggest mistakes that most bloggers make is assuming they know what their audience wants to read, instead of doing the research to back these assumptions up.

Find the most frequently asked questions and longtail keywords by using a tool like SEMrush or ahrefs.

Let's say you're a divorce lawyer and you think your audience wants to know a lot about spousal support. Either of those tools may show you that your readers are actually more interested in child custody rights.

4. Pay Extra Attention to Your Pictures

You probably don’t have the budget for an Adobe Stock or Shutterstock account. But that's ok, you can still get strikingly high-quality images from free sites.

It also costs you nothing to simply make more thoughtful image choices. People are more likely to read a blog with an emotional picture, so give this a good amount of thought. This may be your last step when writing a blog, but don’t treat this as an afterthought.

There you have it. Those are 4 affordable (or free) ways to elevate your content above most of the blogs out there. By going with a quality host, staying mobile-friendly, locking into your readers’ real interest, and adding quality images, you're setting yourself up to succeed.

Your readers have to love your blog before Google does. But these 4 steps will impress both of them.

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Raptors Renaissance

pic

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How Virtual Assistants Can Benefit from Advances in A.I.

One of the biggest advancements in how we use smartphone technology is through virtual assistant apps. Whether it’s Siri, Alexis, or Cortana, you have likely engaged with a personal assistant at some point in recent memory — if not today.

Big Business

The smart virtual assistant market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 26.29% to reach $12.383 billion U.S. by 2024, and they help customers do anything from plan a road trip to follow a fitness routine.

Virtual Assistants use deep knowledge — algorithms inspired by the human brain that learn from large amounts of data — to help understand speech and language patterns as they interact with humans, providing a service to users that matches no other.

One of the fastest growing examples of IoT at work is Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. Released in 2014, Alexa has become a household name thanks to her ability to connect to Amazon products and third-party devices like Sonos One speakers. Users can connect the device to their smart homes and control anything from light switches to the thermostat. Much like Siri, Alexa has become a staple for smart device users.

New Alexa routines are also constantly being added. Alexa’s Routines were first introduced to back in the fall of 2017, so they’re nothing new, but her new tricks this spring are turning heads. For example, Routines can now be connected directly to Gmail or Outlook and even trigger notifications for important messages.

Timing is a big update as well, as users can now schedule an Amazon Echo speaker to play the news or get a read on the weather first thing in the morning, then list any events you might have on your Outlook or Google calendar.

However, despite the incredible technological advancements in the field, mobile app retention is still a metric mobile marketing teams struggle with, and the majority of users still abandon apps within the first month of download.

In order to pique user interest and keep it, you need to be solving a big enough problem or offering enough value to warrant your customer’s continued use.

With limits on data storage space, dwindling attention spans, and bad previous experiences with mobile apps, sometimes even apps from the top providers can fail to grab users’ attention.

In fact, 69 percent of the thousands of Alexa “Skills” — voice apps, if you will — have zero or one customer review, signaling low usage.

This proves the importance of a mobile engagement and retention strategy that goes beyond mere acquisition.

The Limits of App Retention

Nurturing app retention requires establishing a genuine connection with users from the very first impression, and a continuation of that connection over time. For users looking for unique experiences, this can mean investing in something truly new.

One way to connect and retain more users is to push the limits of what an assistant can accomplish through more robust use of A.I. The uses for virtual assistants have essentially no upper limit, and many savvy startups are looking at how to push the tech further.

Above and Beyond

Consider the Toronto-based ROSS Intelligence — one of many FinTech startups based in Toronto — a company that has set out to create the world's smartest lawyer through the application of artificial intelligence.

Essentially a virtual assistant in the form of an attorney, it can recognize patterns of syntax, meaning and context within legal documents, uncovering precise answers to complex legal questions.

The future of A.I. and what it offers to the world of virtual assistants is exciting.

Whether you’re looking to tailor a virtual assistant app to users looking to curate their music collection or looking for sound legal advice, the right mobile app development company can help you to integrate the right A.I. into your virtual assistant app to maximize the overall user experience.

This can be accomplished through creating advanced A.I. responses to consumer queries, tailoring product recommendations, or mobilizing user data to personalize their time on the app.

Speak to a tech-savvy mobile app developer that can help you explore what A.I. can do for you in the virtual assistant space — you may find yourself surprised at just how relevant it can be to your goals.

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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.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 462: Master T

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 462In this 462nd episode, Mike chats with Master T about his years at MuchMusic as a VJ and hosting Xtendamix and Rap City, his post-Much life and work at RX Music. This episode is exactly 1:49:00.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 461: Jamar McNeil Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 461In this 461st episode, Mike catches up with Jamar McNeil from CHUM before he kicks out the jams. This episode is exactly 1:35:44.

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Biggs and Barr Leave GTA for Ottawa Radio

I've always liked the Biggs and Barr story. Jason Barr was a key member of the Dean Blundell Show before Edge 102 let him go. Meanwhile, Chris Biggs was on the air at Mix 99.9, until he was let go. The two hooked up, discovered they had chemistry, and started podcasting as Biggs and Barr.

Next thing you know, Biggs and Barr are the new morning show on 97.7 HTZ-FM where they've had great success these past eight years. I personally had them pegged as John Derringer's successors on Q107, and that may still happen, but for now Biggs and Barr will be calling Ottawa home.

htz

Biggs and Barr have given 97.7 HTZ-FM notice that they're leaving the Bell-owned station for a Rogers-owned station in Ottawa called 106.1 CHEZ. I won't pretend to know anything about 106.1 CHEZ, but I do know Biggs and Barr are replacing Doc and Woody, and if the schedule holds, will be followed by former 97.7 HTZ-FM afternoon drive host TJ Connors (son of Scruff!) who voice tracks that show from Winnipeg. TJ once guested on my podcast and I highly recommend you listen to our conversation.

1061chez

It's nice to share a radio story where the subjects control their own destiny. Good on Biggs and Barr for creating something of value and moving on to another market. And who knows, maybe they'll be back in the big smoke some day.

Jason Barr was a guest on my podcast in the early days and you can hear his episode 114 of Toronto Mike'd here.


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Bingo: Interesting Reasons Why People Love the Game

If you are in a cafe and someone shouts ''bingo,'' you should know that they have won. The game of bingo has become popular today for people of all ages. In fact, it is an addictive game that is worth playing due to the many benefits that it provides. If you are eager to ask people why they play the game, you will be surprised to know that they have many different reasons. For those who want to join the game, this list of interesting reasons why people play bingo will be of assistance.

Fun

Of course, no one would be playing this game if it were not fun. The main reason why it is addictive is because of the fun. Today, we have the online option that allows you to play from your laptop, tablet or phone. It will definitely keep you glued to the game from the beginning to the end. This is why fans are asked to play responsibly to avoid neglecting other things in life.

Challenging

Any person who loves a challenge will be a fan of bingo. Whether you choose the 90-ball game or the 75-ball option, you will enjoy the challenge. It is a game of numbers that should be matched in a certain pattern. But what makes it even more challenging is that the numbers are called at random. No one is ever sure that their next number in the sequence will be called.

Can Be Played Online

We are in the era of technology. Did you know that you can play bingo from the comfort of your home, hotel room or office? Better still, you will have access to the game while traveling. Reputable websites like Cheers Bingo have totally changed the experience of this game. All you need to do is create an account with an online platform of your choice and start playing according to the guidelines they will give you. The good thing is that you can still play with other fans in any bingo room that you choose.

Prizes and Jackpots

Playing for fun is not enough. People also want some motivation. Many bingo websites have cash prizes and even jackpots awaiting the winners. Unlike other gambling games, this one is a straightforward game that many prefer. You work towards a certain prize, and you will indeed get it after winning. It is also a game of luck, which means that even beginners can play and win just like the experts.

Variety of Games

After choosing to play bingo, you will have a variety of games from which to select. Although the common traditional games are the 75-ball and 90-ball versions of the game, others have recently come up. There is also an 80-ball game, which is becoming even more popular by the day. Check what else the website or casino of your choice is offering to find out more. These are the main reasons why people play bingo, and they are likely to be the reasons why you will love it. Enjoy!

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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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Peter Mayhew, Dead at 74

Peter MayhewPeter Mayhew was 74. He was the actor who played Wookiee warrior Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy beginning in 1977 as well as later films..

chewie

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Red Kelly, Dead at 91

Red KellyRed Kelly was 91. He won eight Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs in a Hall of Fame career.

Red Kelly

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 460: Mike Richards Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 460In this 460th episode, Mike catches up with Mike Richards who has plenty to say and announcements to make. This episode is exactly 2:19:19.

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