Guest Blog Entries


Love Hurts: Morgan Freeman on Hockey Heartbreak

guestblogI used to post guest blog entries all the time. This category has hundreds of them. Alex, a reader of this blog, just submitted a guest blog entry that I've posted below.

Every once in a while a video comes along and makes us reminisce about seasons past. The wins, the losses, the heartbreak, the memories shared with our fellow fans... but nothing I have seen recently illustrates the suffering and anguish of defeat better than the video below.

The solemn burial of the foam finger is comedic genius and Morgan Freeman’s narration gives an extra added layer of emotion.

Most people think Love Hurts is a Nazareth song. Sure, the Nazareth cover is the most popular version, but it was originally recorded by The Everly Brothers in July 1960. Nice ad...

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Fail

Well Toronto. The last 9 attempts at victory have been pretty much futile.

It’s been a miserable run, and I am beginning to get very very concerned.
Each time I’ve held my breath, hoping for success, only to be disappointed yet again.

How long can this go on? Perhaps a change in management is in order, because it just doesn’t seem fair.

I’m 0 for 9 in Tim Horton’s latest Roll Up The Rim campaign.

Discuss "Fail" (14 comments so far)


Sit down, Douchebag

If you ever find yourself at a Leafs game, sitting on the side of the rink where the broadcast tv cameras are, perhaps about 3 rows from the ice, deep in the zone on either side near the nets, and you see Douchebag stand up and wave to the camera as the play comes by that area, please promise me you'll stab him, and stab him good.

Douchebag will sometimes be wearing a Leafs jersey, be about 23 years of age, and often for games in December, also sporting a Santa cap and holding a beer.

Douchebag may be the same Douchebag you see sitting behind home plate at Jays games, often on his phone, texting all his other Douchebag friends to turn on the game to see Douchebag on television.

So do your part, and stop Douchebaggery in all forms.
Your country thanks you for it.

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More Observations By FRUSTRATED AT 50

guest blogLast week, a reader who calls himself herself FRUSTRATED AT 50 wrote a guest blog about his her difficulties finding a job. Last I checked there were 45 comments on that entry, which either means FRUSTRATED AT 50 struck a chord or he's she's paying his her friends to comment.

FRUSTRATED AT 50 has written a second entry, and this one is about you damn kids!!! (shakes fist). Enjoy.

Has anyone noticed how rude people in our society have become? Why are older people not treated by the younger generation with the dignity and respect they deserve? From what I can see, young people treat eveyone equally =- there is no longer any distinction between those that are older , and those their own age, parents included, They seem to really make no distinction based on age - how sad!

Growing up, we were taught to revere and respect those older than us . In our world, there does not only seem to be a lack of respect for those older, but, for authority figures in general . Is that the fault of how we are raising these kids, is it the world in which these kids are living , is it the fractured families and high divorce rates? what is it? the influence of the media ? the music ? are the old ways of treating others, no longer applicable in todays world?

How about driving on our roads these days? When was the last time you were needing to merge into another lane, only to have other cars speed up , deliberately, just not to let you in!? And how about when someone does let you in , what happened to the wave of thanks ....now , no wave , no thank you.

What ever happened to "please" and "thank you" - a thing of the past too ? And " you are welcome" has been replaced by" no problem" = what is that???

Holding doors open for the person ahead of you or behind you = is that a thing of the past ? I have had the door, slammed right in my face , by the person ahead of me, clearly oblivious to their ignorance.

And how about addressing adults or people in authority as Mr. or Mrs. Ms. - everyone is on a first name basis with everyone, regardless of age .....teachers, parents, receptionists, everyone is addressed , as if they know you personally, regardless of whether they do or do not.

What about parking in a busy parking lot? What happened to whoever got there first, deserves the spot - how many times have people aggressively grabbed the spot you were so patiently and courteously waiting for?

And how about movie theaters and people having their cell phones ringing or worse, their blackberry screens lighting up all over the theatre , like a Christmas tree? And what about the people in the theatres that are commenting on everything that appears on the screen throughout the movie?

And what about your neigbors who cannot be bothered to walk their dogs and instead put them out in their backyards, while all the neigbors need to listen to this dog bark incessantly and disturb all the neigbors around for miles? Until these dog owners decide that they now are good and ready to let the dog back in the house and restore peace to the neighbourhood .

How about the neigbors who decide to start their lawn-mowing/snowblowing at 6 am on a Sunday morning? How about consideration - does it still exist? and it is usually those same people who encourage their children to play on their driveways with basketballs at 6 am on a Sunday morning!

And let's talk about a well advertised super sale in a store where there are hundreds of shoppers vying for the same item only to get trampled .........again with no apologies ? It seems as if our society and the people in it, no longer expect decent behaviour. It seems anything goes.

How about granchildren that are so self consumed that when their grandparents call them on their cell phones, and leave messages, those calls are not even returned - do people in their 80's now need to text their grandchildren to get their attention? how sad is that! What about going out of your way to visit those same grandparents that they cannot be bothered to call back = drop by and say hello - that too, is unheard of!!

And don' t get me talking about the age of screening your callers, letting your answering machine pick up your calls and no longer needing to actually take the calls - what happened to the days of not knowing who was calling and actually picking up the phone and being surprised and delighted by the call? are those days done too???

What else ? let' s see = how about snapping your fingers at a waiter to get their attention - I am sure that has been happening forever, but truly, it is the height of rudeness.

What about this new thing of when you are wrong and have hurt another person that it seems not to phase some folks? Have we become so desensitized in our world that we no longer care about the next guy?

Should we go back to my favourite topic of job hunting in today's work world? Where you show up for the interview earlier than scheduled, hoping to make a good impression, and find yourself having to wait at least a half hour beyond your scheduled time - payback for you being early - presumably!!

How about when you leave voice messages for people and it takes them days and sometimes a week to call back, claiming they are so busy and did not have a minute - are they the only ones that are busy?? - presumably!!

I hate that term = " busy " - it is , as far as I can see, the translation for= "cannot be bothered "- translation - you don't matter to me.

I guess what I am trying to get at, is that, it would appear in my opinion, that being well mannered and polite is no longer the norm in the world we are living in. It seems that everyone acts independently, often with no regard for those around us.

When I started asking friends and family , for their thoughts on this topic, they overwhelmingly agreed that decency and care for others seems really to have gone by the wayside.

Your thoughts ? Your experiences? Your beefs? Do share !!!

Discuss "More Observations By FRUSTRATED AT 50" (49 comments so far)


FRUSTRATED AT 50 Writes a Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to mike (at) torontomike.com. I received the following entry from FRUSTRATED AT 50.

ARE YOU BETWEEN THE AGES OF 45-69 AND NOW UNEMPLOYED AND TRYING TO MAKE YOUR WAY BACK INTO THIS NEW WORK WORLD??

Have any of you been left in the position of losing your job at 50 or so and having to make your way back into a world where our experience is no longer valued, where our opinions no longer matter and where recent university graduates are seen as more desirable candidates than us?

Here we are sitting with over 30 years of valuable work experience and no one seems to want it. The job ads that are posted list qualifications and experience that we have never even heard of. Who ever heard of needing a degree to be a salesperson? How about trying to reply to a job ad where your resume seems to get lost in a black hole to never be seen or heard from again? how about making those dreaded follow-up calls after your resume has been sent, in hopes that you may distinguish yourself from the other 500 candidates that submitted their resumes as well. Not only is that frowned upon but your call is usually met with the dreaded icy tone of voice that stipulates very clearly that the expected protocol is to sit tight and wait and if they are interested they will get back to you - in other words = do not call us and rarely do you ever hear back from them.

As a result. we continue to lose sleep night after night, wondering how we are going to pay our rent/ pay our mortgage, feed our family, pay our bills and keep the bill collectors at bay and will we ever be able to retire ? well the grey hair continues to cover our already thinning, greying manes and we continue to remain in the ranks of over 1 million unemployed canadians.

The question begs - - how many of those ages 45-70 are there of us out there ? We are all making a honest effort to secure employment with the best of intentions, have very strong work ethics acquired over all those years in the workforce, yet keep running into brick walls.

Recently, I interviewed for a very low paying job with a non profit organization. After the interview and a brief conversation in the interim, I had not heard back from the organization for close to three weeks, so decided to drop them a note. During the interview they reminded me how lucky I am to be there as I was one of the three finalists and that they were looking to hire immediately. Sounded great even though it was a minimum wage job. I guess the days of making a living that would be in line with a salary that reflects all my years of experience may be gone - .....At any rate, I sent them an email , after a time , inquiring about the job status and was sent back a perfunctory note that read - you were not selected. Thank you,. Is this what the world is coming to ? no decency -no consideration- could the employer at some point during the 3 weeks not have sent me a note and let me know that it looks like they are going with someone else so that i not sit and hold out hope to get a minimum wage job that will barely realistically cover any of my expenses? I guess my 30 years in the work force was clearly not sufficient to perform the job at hand!!!

Apparently, we are living in very tough times but does that mean that common decency and courtesy get thrown out the window and we are forced to now accept the new work world reality where employers feel they have the upper hand and don't have to extend common courtesy to applicants out there?

When I started asking others about their experiences, many lamented and agreed and shared their mutual horror job hunting stories. It would appear that we could use a forum where those in this age gropu realize that there are others and perhaps may force employers to reevaluate their methods and lack of sensitivity. It could be them one day on the unemployment line - did that ever occur to them - it has happened to the best of us!!This is actually where the idea of writing a blog to reach out to those that are living this and really get it.

How about your friends and relatives that are employed and full of useless suggestions that are neither realistic, practical nor make sense. It seems they are the first to offer suggestions and judgements. More often than not , the suggestions they make are not ones they themselves would do but somehow it is is ok for you to do. How about the blame game - according to them there must be something wrong with your job hunting methods - did it ever occur to anyone that there are more capable people out there today THAN jobs and it is really that simple???? as the expression goes - walk a mile in my shoes.......

I would like to believe that there is a place for those of us 45 and older that lost our jobs during the recession and have been scrambling ever since to try and secure something of equivalent value - - does it mean now that all those years that we worked and struggled to climb the corporate ladder now mean that our skills are no longer wanted and that we need to now settle for minimum wage jobs and go full circle back to where we were at 16? how did this all happen??????????? I have been to job search workshops, redid my resume three times, joined numerous network events that I could ill afford , and have been doing all that you are supposed to do as an unemployed person.You try the soft approach - you try the more aggressive route= either way it is a no win.

And so it goes the next day you sit down in front of your computer for another 5 hour day of non stop searching the internet for the one job that one day may be yours? I dont; know about anyone else but it is getting harder and harder with each passing day to keep up with this routine that bears no fruit despite all the effort.

Where does that leave us ?? what are you people OVER 45 out there finding ? I would love to hear from you!!!

Discuss "FRUSTRATED AT 50 Writes a Guest Blog Entry" (45 comments so far)


For Jason's Mom

guestblogI received an email from Jason N. earlier today. Here it is...

Hi Mike

I hope you're doing well.

First I want to say that I really enjoy your blog, aside of Daily Dose of Imagery, it's the only Toronto blog I go to everyday. Keep up the good work.

I know that there are times when people have submitted guest entries in the past and I was wondering if I could do the same. I just wanted to get something off my chest I thought I could use your platform... If what I've written doesn't work or fit in with your blog, that's fine -  I'll understand.

10 and half weeks ago, my mom passed away. I took the time to write something short about how I feel and wondered if it would fly on Toronto Mike. If you do post it can you leave my last name off?

The entry is below:

This Monday will be 11 weeks since my mother took her last breath. Despite the fact that her battle with cancer lasted 7 years, it still feels so shocking and the sting is still strong. My mom was a great person and I will always miss her. I’ve been having a tough time the past few days and thought I would vent my feelings to the city of Toronto.

I don’t believe in heaven, and I don’t believe I will ever see my mother again. She’s dead and her existence is gone. I will continue to love her forever, but there is no evidence for me to believe pretty stories of seeing my mom again. I am lucky that I got to spend more than 31 years with one of the most special people I’ve ever known.

I will end with a Quote by the great Carl Sagan:

I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. [Carl Sagan, 1996 in his article In the Valley of the Shadow Parade Magazine Also, Billions and Billions p. 215]

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Support Spy on Section 23 Classrooms

guestblogI used to work with a guy who was Customer Support Manager by day and a Support Spy by night. He's asked me to post this guest blog entry about something he's very passionate about.

Remember, the blockquote below is from Support Spy, not Toronto Mike. The opinions expressed aren't mine blah blah blah.

Secret exposed by parents - Demand Section 23 classrooms removed from Elementary Schools

A group of very-high risk teenagers in a program called ‘Section 23’ were placed by the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board in my son’s elementary school, including 5 teenagers, one teacher and two Child and Youth Workers.

These classrooms are for very high-risk teenagers whose needs are so severe that regular classrooms are not adequate. This program is in 4 other schools in Dufferin Peel, and the parents at those schools have not been informed. We have recently discovered that this program is also in St. Pio of Pietrelcina and have confirmed the parents are not aware.

With no communication plan, safety plan, explanation of the program, and no one at the school board taking ownership, the parents have increased the pressure. It was discovered that the other school boards in the GTA do not put teenagers in elementary schools, but rather in age appropriate locations. This includes high schools and ‘offsite locations’. Everyone should have an opportunity for education.

Many parents still do not know about this program because there has not been any written notice to parents from the school or school board, explaining the program.

Our request is to move these high-risk teenagers to an age appropriate location in-line with the other school boards.

Please support our concerns by signing our online petition. You can also read more details at my blog.

Support Spy is a Customer Support Manager in the Toronto Area and has been a double-agent for about 15 years.  He is a consumer advocate who has learned the secrets of support and can lead you on an easier road to satisfaction.  You can read about customer experiences and navigating support systems at his blog.

If you have something to say, you can say it here, just like Support Spy did. Just drop me a line. Contact info is here.

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CityNews channel

It appears to be a soft launch, meaning City hasn't promoted it very much so they can work out any kinks, but today is day 1, and it's on Rogers digital channel 1.

What does everyone think? It's a curious experiment. Since people are so used to flipping to cp24 for an immediate look at time/temp,etc, will City's version be unique and/or informative enough to pull people to their channel?

Discuss "CityNews channel" (17 comments so far)


Glenn Close gets hotter with age

Recall how sexy she was in Fatal Attraction...
glennclose1.jpg

And now...

glennclose2.jpeg

Don't know about the rest of you guys, but nothing turns me on more than the Charlie Chaplin look in a gal..hot damn!

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planking & owling move over..now there's horsemaning

not sure how many of toronto mike's readers were in on the recent phenomena known as planking, owling or even canoeing.

basically planking involved taking a picture of yourself lying rigid on an unusual surface - maybe on top of house, on a supermarket floor...wherever. i believe owling was a variation, where you sat hunched like a god damn owl would sit in a tree.

first off, i don't understand these people. what's the motivation? where do you get the time? aren't there way better things to do? don't you people have to go to work?

anyway, those social movements are now so last week, because now it's all about horsemaning. yup. horsemaning. with this, you take a photo (involving two people) which creates the illusion you've been decapitated. i guess the idea is to do so in the most creative ways in order to outdo the last guy..or something.

here's a link to see some shots:
http://www.ology.com/humor/so-horsemaning-successor-planking

i'm guessing that the type of people that do this sort of thing are maybe the same people who organize and participate in flashmobs. the same lot who believe they'll come up with the Next Huge Worldwide Viral Video.

i suppose they're just a subculture of society, like people who dress up in star trek outfits and go to science fiction conventions. or people who stand in jammed crowds for nineteen hours outside roy thomson hall during tiff to beg some celebrity for an autograph.

not my cup of tea. but, i guess they're better than serial killers, london/toronto G20 rioters and adolf hitler..i guess.

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