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The Trailer - Week Fourteen - August 7-9
August 10, 2009 @ 13:45
Huge weekend. The weather wasn't actually too bad, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway.
Both of my kids made the trek north with their mates this weekend and we were enjoying a nice Saturday afternoon when my daughter's boyfriend Josh nestled in beside me and asked me a question.
Could he marry my daughter?
Wow. Talk about an avalanche of emotions. Josh told he loves Mel, she means everything in the world to him and he'd find it an honour to be part of our family.
It didn't take me long to respond. Delyse and I love the guy and have always felt comfortable while Melanie was with him. I told him parents always have concerns about who their kids end up with, especially fathers with daughters, and in his case, we feel like we've hit the jackpot.
After this noble jesture, Josh and Mel jumped into a paddle boat and set off for a little island on our lake which we've nicknamed Diamond Island. It's nothing more than a big rock but has a steep facing on one side that's great jumping and diving off of.
I spent a good portion of my child-hood on this rock and so did both of my kids. Josh thought it would be the best place possible to get down on one knee and ask my little girl to marry him.
And that's what he did.
Needless to say when the paddle boat touched the dock on the return journey, Melanie was a different person. She got out of the boat, came up onto our deck and called for her mother to come outside.
At that point she announced something that I already knew, her and Josh were engaged.
We had a big group hug and tears were shed as Mel showed everyone her ring and it was at that point that it really hit me. We had reached a huge milestone in our lives. One of our kids was getting married.
Where did the time go? How could this be? It seemed like she was born yesterday, it couldn't be possible that we've reached this point so fast. But we have. And we're extremely happy.
And now we get on with the process of wedding plans. Apparently its going to happen next summer at a place not very far from Diamond Island.
I'll keep you posted.
Category: Family | The Trailer
August 7, 2009 @ 20:55
It was a rough week for a couple of my buddies. They got fired.
First it was my long time pal Captain Phil Evans who was let go by the Astral cluster in Vancouver. He was promotions manager.
Then yesterday, Freeway frank was given the boot by Energy Radio in Calgary.
Both are fine radio guys but even better human beings. I love em' both.
Phil and I go back to the 1980's when he joined CFNY as assistant Promotions Director under Darren Wasylyk. When Darren left in 1991, Phil got the big job and stayed there until 2002 before moving within the company to Vancouver.
I met Freeway in 2003 when I made the brilliant move of joining that micro-managed mixed up mess known as the MIX. Frank did evenings for several years before taking the morning show job in Calgary.
Franks only flaw is that he's a Hab fan. Phil doesn't care for hockey.
I'm sure both he and Captian Phil will land on their feet.
Category: Family | Radio
Last Vegas - Days Two Three And Four
June 29, 2009 @ 11:47
We got back from Vegas at about 11:30 last night so I thought it only fitting that I deliver what I promised.
I said I would take my laptop along for the ride and post updates every day. That lasted just one day because the internet connection at New York New York cost 14.99 a day and it blows hogs.
It was slower that shit and management at the hotel must know because the minute I raised the issue they immediately took it off my bill. What they wouldn't remove was the three dollars a day for telephone service whether you use it or not.
Even if you take a cell phone, or even if you don't touch the goddamn phone for as long as you're there, they still charge your three bucks a day. It's really not a money issue, its more principle.
This is a money issue and shows how are times are changing. On Friday me and my son Danny bought half of a dozen Bud Lites in aluminum bottles only to find when we got back to the room that they don't have twist tops. You need a bottle opener.
No problem, we were in a hotel so I picked up the phone and called room service assuming that someone would have a bottle opener up to us in seconds.
No such luck. The woman on the other end told me they'd be glad to bring a bottle opener up to the room, but it would cost ten dollars and I still don't know if that meant I could keep it. I never got that far in the conversation.
First I asked her if she was serious and then I asked her if it was some kind of a joke and then I don't her that traditionally hotels usually supply things like bottle openers free of charge because it's a service to the people who are paying close to two hundred dollars a night for their hotel room.
Her response was a pregnant pause and then my response to that was to hang up.
Lucky for the hotel putting the bottle to the edge of the bathroom counter and banging down firmly did not leave a mark.
Anyway, on the good stuff, we saw The Beatles Love on Friday night at the Mirage and we all enjoyed this much more than "O". I won't go into the intricacies because it wouldn't be fair to those who haven't seen it.
What I will say is this. If you're going to Vegas and you get the chance and you have a few hundred bucks to blow, take it in. Do it. It's fabulous. The combination music, dancing and acrobatics could turn anyone into a Beatles fan.
As a matter of fact I know a few people who were indifferent to the Beatles before seeing the show and this turned them around big time.
On Saturday morning we rented a car and drove out the Hoover Dam and this was another fantastic experience. We took the power plant tour and they take you to the bottom of the dam and show you how and where the power is generated for most of Nevada and Southern California.
I won't get into the history of the Hoover Dam came about, but it's a fascinating story of taming the Colorado River which through the early part of the century was a cruel beast.
Saturday night we saw Bette Midler at Caesars and to be honest, this show rivaled the Cirque Du Soleil stuff. I don't know what to say, but in the early 70's both Delyse and I loved Midler and Delyse has always wanted to see her live.
Her show was a combination of song and old style Vegas jokes and dance that offered a bonus for our whole family.
My son Danny went to Mayfield High with a girl named Heather Graham who was a graduate of the dance program. She now dances in Midler's show and we saw her perform on Saturday night.
I should also mention that besides the "extra charges" at New York New York, it's a fabulous hotel. Situated in a good spot it has comfortable rooms and an extremely interesting casino and mall that mimics Manhatten.
We had a great time, and as good as "O" was, and as fabulous as "Love" was, and as fascinating as the Hoover Dam was and as fun as Bette Milder was, the best part of the trip was being together with my family.
It's good to get away with your kids no matter how old they are and yesterday was the supreme capper as Delyse and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary.
Category: Family | Stuff
On The Road Again - Las Vegas
June 23, 2009 @ 22:43
Like I've done many times over the past couple of years since I've started this blog, I'm going to take you on the road with me again.
This time to Las Vegas, where me, my wife Delyse and my two kids Melanie and Danny will spend three nights and four days on the strip this weekend where we'll see three shows and maybe take a side trip to the Hoover Dam.
The main reason for making this trip is to see "LOVE" by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage on Friday night, but we'll also see "O" by Cirque du Soleil on Thursday night at the Bellagio and Bette Midler at Caesars Palace on Saturday night.
Delyse and I have always loved the Beatles and the constant sound of the fab four in our house over the years turned the kids into huge fans as well.
Ask either one of my kids what the greatest song ever written is and chances are very good they'll say "Imagine", because it's been drilled into their heads since they were old enough to think.
However, if they say "In My Life" instead, then I'll cut them some slack.
Delyse and I have taken many trips "without" the kids, but going to Las Vegas to see "LOVE" was something that we always designated as a family trip..... and thanks to a fortunate series of events over the past few weeks it all came together.
And I know what some of you are thinking, Bette Midler?
Sorry, but Delyse and Melanie absolutely adore Bette, and I'm not far behind. Her 1970's album "The Devine Miss M" remains one of my favourites.
So Thursday morning we'll be hopping a US Airways flight out of Pearson to spend a very busy four days in a pretty cool place, but I don't mean cool literally because it supposed to be close to 40 degrees celcius while we're there.
I think me and Dan will have some beers while we're there.
I'll take my nifty little Nikon with me and send back a daily report.
Category: Family | Stuff
Humble And Dan
June 12, 2009 @ 08:25
This weekend in the west -end of Toronto my son Danny will be working with Humble Howard on Man-Up, a TV series that Humble helped develop and hosts.
My boy is a technical whiz, who like so many others right now, was caught in the crunch of graduating from college just when the recession and cut-backs hit.
But there's work with Redfish Entertainment right now and Howard made the connection, so it's the passing of the baton.
Humble and Fred becomes Humble and Dan.
Category: Family | Television
The Sports Zone 1988
June 8, 2009 @ 21:03
Hey Freddie, I was checkin' out your site and came across your posting about the Sports Zone. I remember that show, and I loved it.
You did some whacky shit on that show but I'll always remember the night you did a neat bit with your son Danny about playing hockey. I had met him with you at a baseball game the summer before.
Ever thought of doing another show like that?
I've thought about doing several things, the problem is getting them off the ground. But here's that bit you mentioned. It was the fall of 1988.
Category: Family | Television
Spicy Meat Balls
May 20, 2009 @ 08:19
Part of my house stinks, my car stinks a bit and my garage stinks a lot.
On Monday night as my daughter Melanie and her boyfriend Josh were leaving the house, their dog "Bones" ran into my open garage and tangled with a skunk.
It was about eleven o'clock and the skunk, who reportedly lives beneath Neighbour John's front porch, decided to visit the my garbage restaurant and was in the midst of enjoying some rotting leftovers when Bones bounded out of the house, got the scent of the skunk and did what any dog would do, he went after it.
Unfortunately the skunked was in the corner of the garage where I have some hardwood flooring stacked and although he directed most his vile spray into the face and down the throat of Bones, some of it made contact with the wood, and that's bad news.
Skunk spray isn't too bad if it's just in the air, but when it makes contact with something, it's a whole different story.
That's why Bones got an immediate scrub down and two days later still stinks in the head region and probably will for the next several days.
Although, I should tell you this, it could be worse. Immediately after the incident happened on Monday night, we scrambled for something to use on the dog but we never have tomato juice in the house, and it's supposedly the best thing for skunk spray.
But we did have some Ragu Spaghetti sauce with extra garlic.
Melanie took Bones into the backyard and dumped the jar over his back and worked its entire contents into Bone's fur. At first the dog didn't like it, but then he got the whiff of garlic and tomatoes and thought he had gone to heaven.
What dog wouldn't want to be bathed in something that smells like humans eat? Hell, there are a lot of food stuffs I'd love to be bathed in, with the caramel-chocolate mousse cake that I got my wife for her birthday at the top of the list.
Anyway, Bones laid pack and enjoyed the scrub down, but he wasn't so keen about the rinse off with the cold water from the garden hose.
But I'll tell ya, the Ragu made a big difference. Obviously the tomato base was a factor, but we really think the garlic had something to do with it as well. The skunk juice made a direct hit to the head, but having the entire dog covered in Ragu Spaghetti sauce with extra garlic balanced the odour enough for Melanie and Josh to put Bones in the car and head back to the city.
Yesterday the expected happened, Melanie went to a grooming place and they sold her a super expensive bottle of something that is probably nothing more than dish soap in a fancy bottle, but hey, that's part of owning a dog - getting ripped off by groomers and vets.
Last I heard, Bones was doing fine. The initial shock of the skunk hit freaked him out, but by yesterday afternoon he was lying comfortably in the backyard licking his balls like he's never licked his balls before.
They're super good with a hint of garlic.
Category: Family | Stuff
World Wide Radio
January 6, 2009 @ 08:49
It was the most joyous of Christmas's thanks to my kids.
Every year they become mildly annoyed when Christmas approaches and I don't give them any ideas about what I want for Christmas.
I usually come up with the usual dad thing and say "nothing, save your money for something important."
This year was a little bit different, while driving back and forth between Brampton and Peterborough I kept hearing a Bay-Bloor Radio commercial on the Edge talking about "internet radios'.
I found this intriguing and I wanted one and I let it be known.
I spend a lot of time checking our radio stations on line from all over the world. I think it's so cool to be able to call up any station anywhere, and within seconds be listening to it.
The problem is, or was, that do this you have to be by a PC or have your laptop open. Even the mobility of a laptop made listening to internet stations a bit of a chore because you have to find the station, then click on the listen live feature and then stream the player.
With an internet radio, there's none of that.
It sits on your night table and remains ready for action either manually or with a remote.
For it to work, you have to have wireless capability in your house, but that's the extent of it.
You simply configure the radio like you would your laptop. You lock onto your network, punch in your WEP and the radio is ready to go, and when I say ready to go, I mean ready to go.
You can choose a country by scrolling through literally every country on earth, and then you can choose a genre. Thousands of radio stations are at your disposal without having to use a computer.
Somehow this wonderful little box by-passes everything and takes your directly to any radio stations streaming system. It buffers like it does on a computer but in makes cases it takes mere seconds and offers eight pre-sets which allows you to move quickly and freely between your favourite stations.
I love the bloody thing.
Since Christmas I've listened to live talk radio out of Jerusalem, following the on-going conflict over there.
Saturday night I found a sports radio station out of San Diego that was celebrating the Chargers victory over Indianapolis.
I enjoy listening to talk radio out of New York on WABC, the Fox Radio Network and hundreds of other stations spread across this earth.
It's also handy for my work situation. While in Brampton I can listen to The Wolf and The Kruz, and while in Peterborough I can listen to Toronto radio stations. Every stinkin' one of them.
When I opened this wonderful package on Christmas morning I was "tickled pink" to begin with, but since then my love for this contraption has increased tenfold, and sometimes I just look at it and stroke it without even turning it on.
And sometimes I wonder where the saying "tickled pink" came from.
Anyway, if you're a radio junkie like I am, and you love to surf the radio net, this is the thing for you, and from what I understand, Bay-Bloor Radio is about the only place you can get them right now.
Mine is a Sanyo.
Thanks Mel, thanks Dan - you made Christmas the most joyous occasion.
Who uses the word "joyous" anymore?
Category: Family | Radio | Stuff
December 24, 2008 @ 17:58
Last year at this time we were putting the finishing touches on Christmas at our place in Brampton.
Delyse and I decided to invite my entire side of the family to Brampton because I had a feeling. I had a feeling it would be my dad's last Christmas.
Unfortunately, I was correct.
Dickie struggled through the fall of 2007 and even though he had good days, the bad days were bad. The frustration of being connected to an oxygen tank 24/7 took a lot out of him and despite crankin' up the air flow as the weeks went by, Dickie's condition and spirit seemed to decline.
By the time December rolled around and Christmas plans became a priority there was little question what we going to do.
Dickie and Junie were surrounded by their three kids and their spouses, seven grand kids and their mates, and six great grandchildren. I believe there were 25 of us in total.
It was a great day. The food was great, the company was fabulous and it's something we'll always be able to point to. Dickie's last Christmas was memorable.
There is a flip side of course.
Dickie's last Christmas means this Christmas will be our first without him and it will be tough on us all, but especially my mom.
Junie's been a trooper over the past few months. She has her good days and her bad days as you might expect. The good days involve memories that bring a smile to her face, and the bad days involve memories that make her heart ache with loneliness.
While the rest of us go about our busy lives preoccupied with other things, Junie spends a lot of time wondering where the hell the time went while trying to come to grips with the finality of it all.
It won't be an easy Christmas, but it will be a good one.
I'll pick my mom up today and she'll spend the night with us like she and my Dickie did many times over the years.
Tomorrow morning we'll get up and not having my dad there will be hard, but its one of those things you can't change so you fight off the tears with great memories.
And believe me, there are thousands of those.
Merry Christmas Dickie.
Time Can Be A Prick
October 22, 2008 @ 12:02
Yesterday while I was running the radio empire that is known as Corus Peterborough I came back to my office and noticed that there was a message on my phone.
I listened to it and on the other end was Humble Howard.
Howard left a message that left me heavy hearted. His sweet 14 year old daughter Charlie has one of those professional job shadowing days coming up and she has no interest in following her daddy to work to watch him do the wiener radio thing.
Instead she'd rather shadow my daughter Melanie who's a producer at MuchMoreMusic.
Howard's message was one of resignation. He knows Charlie has been around radio all her life and on many an occasion has come into work with her dad, so there's really nothing to be learned.
She knows daddy gets paid a lot of money to say stupid things on the air and make funny smells off the air. It became a big yawner about ten years ago.
But that's not the point of this posting.
What struck me about Howard's call was the passage of time. We went through a lot together, and among those things was the raising of our kids. Howard was invited to Melanie's seventh birthday, while I was at the hospital the night Charlie was born.
Where did the time go?
How can Charlie be a stunning 14 year old and how on earth can she be job shadowing my Melanie who's grown into an impressive and successful young woman?
Melanie used to baby sit Charlie for crying out loud, so it's extremely difficult to sit here and imagine that one day in the next few weeks, my daughter, who has a career, will be mentoring Charlie who ain't that bloody far away from a career.
I don't want to think about it.
Category: Family | Friends