2018 was a year of personal growth, and as it comes to a close, I'm awfully proud of where I'm at heading into 2019. I have four healthy, smart and sweet kids, a strong and healthy marriage, a personal best for KMs biked and I'm feeling great physically and psychologically.
It wasn't all wine and roses, however... here's the good, the bad, and the ugly, but to end on a positive note, it's the ugly, the bad, and the good.
The last thing I expected heading into 2018 is that I'd be unfairly shit on by Dean Blundell. That was ugly. I plan to leave that garbage in 2018.
With that Blundell crap came trolling, but not from Blundell supporters. It's coming from Doug Thompson and his "yellow board" friends and I'm not quite sure why. Luckily, I have industrial strength scrub brushes and am determined to persevere.
The Molly Johnson episode was bad. Her attitude threw me off my game and I wasn't able to do my thing. At least I learned a great deal from it and am a better host today because of what happened in episode 368.
The Mike Stafford incident was unfortunate, because I thoroughly enjoyed both his visits and have always been a fan. The question I asked Lou Schizas that set Stafford off is a question I'd ask him again, so I'm not sure I could have avoided this conflict. It was pretty innocuous, and not worthy of my new "turd in a basement" moniker.
I was restructured out of a full time gig I'd had for seven years. I received a stellar review just a week before hearing the news and was literally told my job was moving to Atlanta. That made it easy to not take it personally, but it still sucked.
There was plenty of good in 2018. As mentioned, my family is healthy and well-adjusted, I'm feeling good and the aforementioned restructuring led me to begin the next chapter in my life.
I launched my own digital services company. TMDS has been my sole source of income for four months now and it's been a wonderfully rewarding experience. I'm learning so much as I build this business from scratch, and I'm incredibly optimistic about what's in store for 2019. I'm striving to continuously improve Toronto Mike'd, passionate about helping others podcast, and continuing to provide digital marketing services and content to a variety of different businesses. And most importantly, I'm responsible for my own calendar and betting on myself.
That's a quick summary of the good, bad and ugly I experienced in 2018, but I'm jazzed about what's around the corner in 2019. Happy new year to each and every one of you, and thanks for your continued support!
The first comment left on this blog by Cheryl was "I want to say I am happy. I live in Toronto, but am a Habs fan. That's just the way it is. I love my Habs and I also like the Phoenix Coyotes. I hate the Leafs." That was November 1, 2009, and little has changed.
Cheryl still lives in Toronto, is still a Habs fan, still hates the Leafs, and I hope she's having a happy birthday today.
For the visually impaired, the image above is a birthday message for Cheryl from her teams:
- Phoenix Coyotes
- Baltimore Ravens
- Brooklyn Nets
- Cleveland Browns
- Baltimore Orioles
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Arizona Cardinals
- Montreal Canadiens
- Phoenix Suns
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Cleveland's baseball team
I'm a big fan of tee shirts. I wear a tee shirt or two just about every day of the year. Even in the dead of winter I'll wear a tee shirt under my jacket.
I'm guessing I have about twenty tees in my current rotation. The oldest one I still wear regularly is now twenty years old. It's a Pearl Jam shirt I bought when I saw them at Molson Park in Barrie back in '98.
Not surprisingly, I love getting free tee shirts. Send me a tee (medium, please!) and I'll probably wear it. Is there anything better than a free tee?
Today, I paid my first visit to the newly opened Palma's Kitchen at 3485 Semenyk Court in Mississauga. I biked there, so I arrived nice and hungry.
This brand new eatery is right next door to the old Palma Pasta hot table. It looks amazing, sells hot and fresh food, as well as fresh grocery items. Heck, you can even get a nice cup of coffee.
I lunched with Anthony Petrucci, whose family owns the business. This was a serious investment but built on a solid foundation of excellent Italian food. And I'm a sucker for these fiercely independent operations. This is my kind of restaurant.
So if you're in Mississauga, or close enough, check out Palma's Kitchen. And if you come at lunch, you might even see me plowing into a steaming hot slice of lasagna.
Ever since I moved into my current home almost five years ago, I've mowed my lawns with a manual push mower. The trick, I've learned, is to do it frequently, because it can be difficult if the grass gets too high.
My neighbour is going through a rough patch and hadn't mowed his lawn yet this year, so when he knocked on my door this morning asking for a little help, I was more than happy to rise to the occasion, but my push mower wasn't. Here's the challenge I faced an hour ago.
I was wondering who I could borrow a power mower from when I remembered Big Mo. Many years ago, when my mom got rid of her grass lawn, she gave me Big Mo, an old electrical mower that had seen better days. I don't use electrical mowers, but instead of throwing Big Mo in the trash or giving him away, I let him collect rust in the back of my shed. He's been there, undisturbed, for almost five years.
I don't know why I kept Big Mo, but today, I was glad I did. Although it took a while, because the grass was so long I had to take it down in small slivers, Big Mo saved the day.
And now that the lawn is nice and short, I promised my neighbour I'd maintain it with my push mower.
Tis the season for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the 1964 stop-motion animated Christmas special from Rankin/Bass Productions when it was known as Videocraft International.
When Elliot Cowan visited me last April, he gave me an old Rankin/Bass brochure from his father, Bernard Cowan. You may recall all characters were portrayed by Canadian actors recorded at RCA studios in Toronto under the supervision of Bernard Cowan.
Here are pics I've taken of this old Videocraft International brochure.
On Saturday morning I was bundling up the little one for a walk to a local brunch establishment when I couldn't stop myself from taking a picture. She'll be one on Wednesday and I know all too well how quickly they grow. So I snapped a picture with my LG G3, uploaded it to my Flickr account and put the phone back in my pocket.
That was the last photo I took with that phone. During brunch, I whipped it out to check email and it was powered off. And it wouldn't power on. Even after ensuring it was fully charged and removing the battery and all that there was no life in that phone.
After brunch I bought groceries before calling Rogers. It's remarkable how it feels to be without a smartphone for even a few hours. Ten years ago, I didn't even own a cell phone, and now I consider it an essential service.
As usual, Rogers was willing to upgrade my phone, but it would cost me. They wanted to switch me to one of their new, more expensive plans, and I wanted to speak to their retention department. They were actually pretty decent, allowing me to keep my current plan and giving me an LG G4. I hopped on my bike and headed for Royal York and Bloor to pick it up.
No phone meant no use of my MapMyRide app to record the ride. It was my first unrecorded ride in five years. That also felt strange, as if I wasn't biking at all. I have completely gamified my daily exercise. If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?
It was cold and windy and as I pedaled my way north on Royal York, in the bike lane, a man in a black pickup truck took the time to yell "get off the road!" at me. In all my years of cycling Toronto's streets I don't think I ever heard that sentiment in that tone. Heck, I was in a bike lane!
I also realized that my wireless Bluetooth headphones did a pretty great job of keeping my ears from getting cold. I normally wear them under a balaclava but without a phone didn't have them on. The cold air was flowing into my ear canal and I realized they're for more than just podcasts and tunes.
By 1pm on Saturday I had a working phone again. It was only four hours of inaccessibility and I didn't like it one bit. I kept thinking, if my 12-year old daughter needed me right now, I wouldn't be able to help her. I hated that feeling.
Carpet is one of the most vital things in the home. A good carpet can make your home elegant and beautiful. However, a good carpet does not really mean a costly designer carpet from a big brand. It is often indicated as a neat and tidy carpet. Carpet has the power to beautify your home but it attracts dirt and needs to be cleaned. However, it is not very easy to clean a carpet.
Carpet is nothing new and has been in fashion for many decades. Even before the technology came in, carpet used to be cleaned with a soft brush and baking soda. These are still considered as vital ingredients for carpet cleaning. However, you cannot make your carpet clean with only these. We know that these are very important but what we know is that these are not sufficient enough.
The first thing that comes into the mind for carpet cleaning is possibly the vacuum cleaner. It is indeed one of the greatest inventions and is frequently used for the cleaning purpose. We all know that. However, extensive use of the vacuum cleaner can actually damage the glow of the carpet. Also, it is very likely that the age and longevity of the carpet will be significantly reduced. Then what is the best way to remove the dirt and clean the carpet?
Today, many professional services have mushroomed for the carpet cleaning. However, the best one follows a balanced and optimal approach to clean carpet. The first thing that we often miss is the pre-treatment of the carpet. Many can find this as an unnecessary step. However, frankly speaking, this is the most important thing of carpet cleaning. This basically prepares the carpet for the cleaning process. Also, this protects the carpet from the harm of over cleaning. The glow of the carpet remains intact and the longevity also gets increased. So, you get your same carpet after cleaning but with the new carpet like shine and contrast. We got this tip from Carpet Cleaning Oakville.
Cleaning the carpet is not only about making it suitable for the room again. However, the carpet cleaning basically removes all the particles so that nothing can affect your health as well. The professional services ensure that the carpet is ready for cleaning and it becomes easy for the cleaner to take out the particles.
In the modern world, carpet cleaning is one of the most underestimated household works. Many people remain under impression that home cleaning is sufficient for the carpet. However, they are actually ruining the carpet and also inviting health complications with it. It is therefore very important that carpet is properly cleaned. If you are not really sure that you can clean the carpet well, then contact professional services to do it for you. In longer time, this is budget friendly and also good for your carpet.
Remember, we know few things about cleaning carpet but what we don’t know can actually enhance the quality of cleaning.
The marketing folks at Budweiser Canada have red goal lights and glasses in homes across this country. With the World Cup of Hockey beginning for Canada last night, there was a mighty push to get people talking about these red lights. I was even sent a glass.
Setting up the glass was easy enough. I installed an app on my Android phone and connected to the glass via Bluetooth. I tested the connection and all was well. Then, instead of drinking from the glass, it was put in on display in the living room so the kids could enjoy the show when Canada scored.
With the youngest two asleep for the night, the rest of us tuned in Canada vs. Czech Republic and waited. It didn't take long for Sidney Crosby to score, and we all looked to the glass. Nothing happened.
I tested the connection again, and it worked fine. We ended up scoring six times and the red light went off precisely zero times. It became quite the humourous joke in our home.
I tweeted about it, and quickly learned I was not alone. Nobody's Budweiser red light glasses worked last night. I actually felt bad for the marketing team that worked so hard for this Saturday night only to have technology fail them.
Budweiser did tweet at me that the problem has been fixed and it should work next game, but that first impression is shot. There's a marketing lesson to be learnt here. Take notes, kids.
@torontomike we're working on a fix asap Mike (Red Light app technical issue). We tweeted out an update. More goals to come!— Budweiser Canada (@budcanada) September 18, 2016
Along Lake Shore, in the west end of the city, there's a series of apartment complexes just east of RoyalYork that continue to sport their original signage. This retro signage dons names like "The Deauville", "The Eldorado" and "Cornell Manor".
Yesterday, I decided to snap a few pictures before these apartments are razed for pricey waterfront condos. (Don't panic, tenants... this hasn't been announced, I'm just looking into my crystal ball.)
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