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Todd Won't Be My Friend

May 19, 2010 @ 22:58

I was clicking around facebook last night and I went into that area where you accept friends.

Since the playoffs started I've received a lot of "friend" requests. It seems I'm not the only Hab hater in the world. But that's not what this is about.

This is about Todd Shapiro, the Todd part of the Dean Blundell Show.

Todd's a good fella, I've known him for more than ten years now. He came to the Edge as a Humble and Fred intern a couple of years before we made the brilliant decision to try talk radio on the AM band.

Anyway, while I was in the facebook area where you accept friends, I got the notification that I might want to be the friends of several other people, and on the list was Todd.

I was surprised because I thought Todd was already my friend. I just assumed that since I joined facebook two years ago that somewhere along the line Todd and I would have become friends. I was wrong, so naturally I clicked on the tab that said "send request."

Well slap my ass and call me Henry, guess what happened? A message came bouncing back immediately that said "Sorry, this user already has too many friends."

What the fuck does that mean? How can you have too many friends on facebook? I mean really, what does it matter whether your have 49 friends, or 49 hundred like Todd does? It's not like you have to invite everybody over to your goddman house for dinner.

It goes without saying you can have too many real friends. Friends that actually have your phone number and are bugging you to do stuff all the time. And there are those people who you meet casually face to face and they show way more interest in being your friend than you do in being theres.

But facebook friends? Give me a goddamn break. I have about 750 friends and I haven't made a commitment to any one of them. Sure there are family and friends who are my facebook friends, but I'd have to deal with them whether they were facebook friends or not.

Todd's a good guy and everything, but does he really think that by allowing me to be his facebook friend he's going to have to service me in some way?

Maybe I'm not aware of all the facebook rules. Maybe your not allowed to have more than 4975 friends, that's what Todd has. Maybe that's the limit. Maybe he'd like to be my friend but facebook won't allow it.

Then again, maybe there is some kind of a limiter or monitor that Todd controls. For all I know maybe he's complied a list of people that he doesn't want to be his friends and for some reason I'm on the list. Maybe he's a Hab fan. I don't know.

What I do know is that its pretty weird when you click on the "send request" button and it tells me that Todd Shapiro has too many friends.

Todd, the nice young fella who wandered into the Humble and Fred studios so many years ago wanting to be a radio star. At the time we thought, fat fuckin' chance. But look at him now. One of the most popular guys in the city.

And he doesn't have room to be Freddie P's friend.

What gives ya pecker!

Category: Friends | Radio

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A Confession

May 11, 2010 @ 12:10

My good friend Darren Wasylyk sent this to Canadian Thinker today, and I find it very disturbing. Another example of how the Montreal Canadiens work in evil ways.

This is a guy I've travelled to Montreal with on many occasions to cheer on our beloved Maple Leafs. We wore Leaf jerseys and walked boldly into the Forum and Bell Centre prepared to spit in the eye of any Hab fan who got in our way.

It looks like we've lost him. I think he needs an intervention. I read and weep!


A Confession

I will never be obnoxious or an asshole.
I will never chant "1967" or sing " Ole Ole Ole".
I will always stand for the national anthem and will refuse to smoke cigarettes or drink Brador.
Although my intense hatred for the Habs was tempered the day The Ottawa Senators were born, I could never wish them anything but misfortune.
Until now.
I must confess that last night, I cheered for them.
Against the powers of law, order and all things right, I think I may have crossed to the other side.
I believe I am becoming a Habs fan.
Go Habs Go.

Category: Friends | Sports

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I Can See I Can See

March 11, 2010 @ 19:48

I attended a full day at Canadian Music Week today and I was inspired. Not so much by the panels I attended. I was more inspired by a meeting that took place in the Business Centre of the Royal York Hotel.

I was there to drop something off for a friend when I ran into Liz Janik. Liz and I go way back to the formative days of CFNY. The late 70's and early 80's when a special group of people made a meager living while having a whole lot of fun at a great little radio station.

Liz left the station in the late 80's and went on to become a programmer, consultant and researcher which led to the formation of Janik Media.

But that's not what this story is about. It's about Liz and her eyes.

About seven years ago Liz developed a disease that slowly took her sight away to the point where two years ago she was declared legally blind. It was horrible. Still very young with a lot of life to live and a lot of knowledge to share she was literally grounded by the disease.

I saw Liz a couple of times over the past few years and it was sad to see what had happened to her and whenever I'd hear her name mentioned or see her picture in trade magazines I'd get a lump in my throat and a twist in my stomach.

But today that all changed. I walked up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder expecting I'd have to identify myself, but when she turned around she burst out with a greeting I didn't expect.

"Freddie, it's great to see you."

She was wearing glasses and she knew exactly who I was because she could see who it was and as she gave me a hug she told me the wonderful story.

She had undergone several diagnosis' and tests and eventually doctors attempted a surgery that could have gone either way.

Lucky for Liz it went the right way.

She woke up after the operation and the first thing she saw was something she hadn't seen in a couple of years.

"I saw the back of my hand and saw how old I had gotten" she said "And now I can see how old you've gotten Freddie, but you're not bad for an old guy."

It really was a great moment. As I've said many times on this blog I will always have a special place in my heart for the old crew from CFNY. We were family.

I've kept in touch with some, lost touch with too many and a couple of others have passed away.

Liz Janik is doing just fine.

Category: Friends | Radio

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Mad American

February 22, 2010 @ 12:18

I received the following e-mail from my good friend John Ellefson who grew up in Buffalo but now resides in Washington D.C.

Hi Freddie:

Hope all is well with you and the family. Gotta say, a little bothered at the new dose of America bashing on the blog. Seems like every time an American, even an ignorant one, disses Canada, our entire population become the "ugly Americans."

I had hoped you knew better than this.

I have known you for many years. I have lots of friends in Canada; matter of fact I consider some of them my closest friends. For many years, we have bantered about the differences in countries, both good and bad. At the end of the day, we do not make sweeping generalizations such as those on your blog.

Should I tell you about the time I walked into a pub in the Big Smoke, and greeted by the bartender with "How can you stand to be American?" I was also given a bunch of sheit at a Blue Jays game once, just because I had New York tags on my car. Oh, and I had a Jays hat on. Didn't seem to matter, though. So it goes both ways my friend. Are there ignorant Americans - you bet. Does the ignorance exist north of the border as well? Don't kid yourself if you think not.

I could easily offer a rebuttal to your comments about Canada being better from economic, health, and standard of living perspectives. I could even throw in something about Quebec. But this American will take the higher road, thanks.

For all the public America bashing that comes out of Canada, I am sorry to say that I don't see the same down here. I can honestly say that I have never met an American that has spoken of Canada in a negative light. Frankly, I can't see why we are so very different, when 90% of Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the US. Guess I am just ignorant too.

You are still invited to visit anytime you would like.

John

Category: Friends | Stuff

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Ted Bird

February 20, 2010 @ 10:46

Ted Bird is a Montreal broadcaster who recently left CHOM-FM on his own accord. After 32 years in the business, including 25 years of getting up in the middle of the night to co-host a morning show, Ted decided to pack it in.

Apparently Ted ran into a few creative-freedom issues at the radio station, so rather that suck it, he spat it out and walked away.

He has mighty big nuts.

But all that aside, Ted has done the right thing. During his sabbatical Ted has decided to do what I did after I was tossed out of 2 St. Clair back in '05. He's decided to blog.

It's good therapy.

Ted and I go way back to the early 80's when I was doing the sports beat for CFNY and he was doing the same thing for CFTR

Bookmark this. You'll enjoy it.

"Bird Droppings"

Category: Friends | Radio

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Humble Birthday

January 24, 2010 @ 08:32

Wow. Where does the time go?

Today my friend and former radio partner Humble Howard turns 50 and it is milestones like this that make your head spin. How could Howie be 50 already?

I first met Humble Howard in July of 1989, he was 29 and I had just turned 33.

Danny Kingsbury was Program Director of CFNY at the time and it was he who thought we'd work well together. So one day Danny and I flew to Montreal and I met Howard and it marked the beginning of a 16 year association that ended professionally in 2005.

Thanks Gary??

But this post isn't so much about Humble and Fred as it is about time.

When you're 29 and 33, turning 50 seems like an eternity away, but its amazing how quickly it catches up to you. The years clip by and then one day you wake up and you're 50. And the scary thing is, 40 to 50 goes a lot faster than 30 to 40, so I imagine it will be far too soon before I'm writing about turning 60.

I think of all the things that Howard and I went through in radio and it leaves my head spinning, him getting married, both of us buying new homes, watching our kids grow up and amazing highs and lows that very few will ever experience.

If I'm left with anything, it's that we all tend to take so much for granted and its not until it's gone that you realize how much you had. It always makes me think one of the many profound lines that John Lennon wrote.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"

But there's an encouraging aspect to this. The older you get, the more you tend to focus on what really matters and that's good. The older you get the more you realize you're not invincible and your stay on this planet isn't indefinite.

It's great for perspective and it's a point that Humble makes in a little piece he wrote about turning 50.

Let's be doing it.

"I have been thinking a lot about age lately, mainly because it's not everyday you turn half a century old and it seems like a big deal, at least to other people. For me it's just a number. When I hit 30 or 40 those numbers didn't vex me and I'm not too freaked out by this milestone... it beats the alternative of "not turning 50!"
I will say that 50 seems a lot younger than it used to. My Dad's 50 was way older than mine. I was 12 when he was this age and I thought he was super old. I don't think it's the same for my kids, I'm far too active and immature and I'm guessing they think of my 50 as younger than my father's.
We all think that as we age the age we used to think was ancient gets older and older. 60 year olds are old but I guarantee you that when I'm 59 I'll think 60 is the new 45.
Getting older is just a way of marking time and time marching on is what is scary to all of us. I'm not going to lie. I've been keeping track of celebrity deaths that are close to my age and going, "He was only 59? That's only 9 years older than me!" That's' the really scary part of getting older-getting older is when people die. Yes they do. And that's the real reason we all want to stall the number of candles on the cake. Fun huh?
So I'm viewing this as an opportunity for adventure and to find new forms of life on the other side of my half-century. And I'll look at it this way- tomorrow I won't be a year older, I'll just be one day older than 49."

Humble.

Happy Birthday Howard. See you in a couple of weeks for Humble and Fred's Olympic Podcast of Bronze.

Category: Friends | Radio

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Beautiful Girl

January 10, 2010 @ 10:18

If you frequent this blog often, you know that a large part of my life deals with a trailer that sits on a beautiful lake in the Kawarthas.

This coming year will mark our 19th summer in this little piece of paradise, and like most of the others in the park, once the New Year hits, we start counting down the days until the second Saturday in May when we "open up" for another season.

Unfortunately, this summer will be a bit different. It will require a transition for quite a few of us because we lost a good friend over the holidays.

I don't mean to be overly dramatic because I'm sure a few will find it odd that I'm talking about a dog, but this was a special dog. This was a dog that was part of the trailer fabric, a dog that had been around for 17 beautiful years, a dog that everyone loved.

Her name was Jo and belonged to my next door neighbors, Tracy and Dan.

Actually she belonged to Tracy well before she belonged to Dan, because Tracy and Dan didn't become an item until a few years after Tracy had bought Jo to be a companion in the new house she had bought.

From what I understand, Jo was a handful at the beginning. She liked to chew things and she liked to run away. In fact Tracy once told us that way back when, when Jo would run away, she actually hoped she wouldn't come back.

She was kidding of course because Jo turned into a quite the mutt, obedient, loving and extremely loyal. You've heard of invisible fences, well Jo had an invisible leash that was tied to Tracy's ankle. They were inseparable. Tracy was always in Jo's line of site and followed her everywhere.

Even when Tracy would go out on the water her Sea-Doo, Jo would run up and down the shoreline waiting for her to come back.

Needless to say, a lot of us fell in love with Jo, me in particular. Somehow along the way I bonded with this dog and she'd show her affection for me by literally putting her paws around my neck while I was sitting and then she'd put her head on my shoulder.

Sure, it might have had something to do with the bag of jerky-treats I kept in the trailer, but this dog had more depth than that. She was genuine.

She was also a great friend to my dog Billie. Billie was born after Jo, and died before Jo, but in between there was a special connection between these dogs that I've never witnessed before.

When we'd arrive on a Friday night I'd let Bill out of the truck and she'd immediately look for Jo, and they'd go through a bizarre ritual. Jo would growl, Billy would become submissive and roll on the ground, growling Jo would put her jaws around Billy's neck, softly of course, and then they'd jump up and take off never to be apart for the rest of the weekend.

It was a wonderful relationship. Most mornings when I'd get up, Jo would lying outside our trailer door waiting for Bill to come out.

When Billy died back in 2007, one of the hardest parts for me was going back up north and having Jo look for Billy.

Good dogs don't happen by mistake. They're an extension of the people who raise them so that tells you something about Tracy Calderone.

I haven't talked to Dan or Tracy yet and to tell you the truth, I don't think I'm ready for that yet. Seventeen years is a long time to have someone in your life so I imagine they're busted up right now. Hell, I'm busted up. I don't think I could get through the conversation.

I can only offer this. It's what I told myself after Billie died.

Dogs have short lives and the day you get them, is the first day of setting yourself up for guaranteed heartbreak. When they go you just have to keep thinking of the good things, the good times and the special moments.

And thanks to "our" wonderful Jo Jo, Tracy and Dan have a ton of those.

Category: Friends | The Trailer

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The Brother Barfs Big

November 6, 2009 @ 08:29

Neil Morrison aka Brother Bill from his CFNY / Edge days sent me this e-mail yesterday. Neil does afternoon drive at CFOX in Vancouver and H1N1 has kicked him in the nuts.

Look what it's done to his hair!

Freddie - I have been away all week after contracting the H1N1 virus.
Buddy, it's NOT FUN!
NM
p.s this is the note on my webpage at cfox.com

Update: Thursday November 5, 2009
Greetings.
As you may know, I have been away for the past week. Last Friday night I arrived home and started feeling, 'pressure' on my chest. I thought I was perhaps coming down with a cold. I couldn't be any further from the truth. By Halloween night I was SICK. Very Sick. For the next three days, it was impossible to get out of bed. Hell, it was impossible to do anything! For two days I lay in bed and struggled to breathe. Very close to going to hospital but thanks to a fantastic new wife...(...in sickness and in health!) managed to keep breathing despite a fever of over 102f. Nurse practitioner Sue diagnosed me with H1N1 on Monday. ( She will be on the show Friday if I'm in ) After another couple days, I managed to walk up and down my stairs more than once without almost passing out. As of today - Thursday November 5 - I can breathe and am 99% better. I hope to be back at work tomorrow but that decision is not up to me.

Let me just say this.
If you are thinking that H1N1 cannot get you... and/or you believe the H1N1 Shot, 'Ain't for you'...you are insane.
Get your shot.

Shame on the people responsible for its production and distribution and shame on those who believe professional sport means more than pregnancy and people who work in the medical fields.

Talk soon,

Category: Friends | Radio | Stuff

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Number One With A Bullet

October 13, 2009 @ 18:20

I've been pounding the same message on this website for years and I'm sure some of you have grown tired of it. But I don't really give a shit.

When you know something, feel something and downright want something you tend to not let it go. That's the way I've been with Mike Stafford who's been delivering the goods in this city since he was an 18 year old kid reading the news on CFNY way back in the late 70's.

Mike Stafford is the most talented talk show host in the city of Toronto, but it's taken way too long for recognition to play out. Finally it has.

I won't get into all the tedious details because to most people it really doesn't matter, but recently the major radio markets in Canada adopted a new ratings system called PPM.

PPM stands for "portable people meters" and they record the actual minute to minute radio listening habits of people in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Excuse me if I've left anyone out, but it doesn't matter towards my point.

My point is, PPM although open from criticism is a far better methodology the old diary system (BBM - Bureau of broadcast measurement) where listeners filled out ballots by memory, and more often than not, mom would end up filling them out for the whole family.

Over the years, the old method was extremely frustrating for a lot of people in the business because we knew if was inaccurate and it was disheartening to see decisions made and people lose jobs over a system that basically sucked.

Now to a large degree that has been corrected and it's great to see justice served in a couple of areas in particular.

CFNY / The Edge has always had way more listeners than it was ever given credit for because its target demographic was young males. Young males don't / didn't fill out ballots.

It was tough to take in the 90's when the Humble and Fred Show performed well in every goddamned survey under the sun, except the one that mattered, BBM.

Well now, through PPM, the Edge has lurched forward and the boys in the morning are kicking some major league ass. Way to go fellas, justice prevails.

Same with am 640. When Humble and I were part of the MOJO launch we knew there were a lot more people listening than we were given credit for. It was crazy, we were getting weak shares in males 25-54, but everywhere we went people claimed they were listening and it remained that way til last week. Although 640 was delivering a much better product than heritage stations CFRB and The Fan, when it came to results on the AM band, 640 lagged.

That is until last Thursday when the first PPM results were announced and more justice prevailed. In the prime 25-54 demographic 640 is now ranking right up there with the other AM players in the market. In fact in some cases, it's trouncing them, especially that station that your grandparents listen / listened to.

And this brings me all the way back to Mike Stafford. When Mike is on the air there is no equal on the AM band. He has the clear cut number one show, and why wouldn't he?

Stafford is by far the best in the city. His balance of humour, intelligence and irreverence has been enjoyed, but obviously not fully recognized in Toronto for years, but now that has changed because there is justice in the numbers.

Problem is, it took way too long and that's a bloody shame.

Category: Friends | Radio

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Freeway Frank Exposes Himself

October 2, 2009 @ 10:25

Peterborough, Ontario - Former Toronto/Calgary broadcaster Freeway exposed himself in the city of Peterborough last night when he sent fellow former broadcaster Fred Patterson and e-mail that said the following.

LEAFS SUCK -You outshoot us but we still beat you. LOL. Your team is bad. Watch out for Gionta, Gomez and Cammy and Price looked amazing."

This from a man who grew up in Montreal and because of that automatically thinks he knows everything about the game. Obviously, he does not. He exposed himself as a hockey fraud.

Yes, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in over-time last night, but they were widely outshot, outplayed and outhustled. Goaltending was the difference.

How this turns into "your team is bad" is something only a delusional Hab Fan could explain. It's obviously the ramblings of a Hab fan who is scared for his team which obviously is too small and timid to compete in the NHL over an 82 game schedule.

The ramblings of a Hab fan that's got to enjoy the few special moments this season will offer a team that barely made the playoffs last year, a team that is actually weaker this year than it was last.

The ramblings of a man watched his team litterly ground into the ice last night by a team that he refers to as "bad."

The ramblings of a man who chooses to ignore the Leafs were missing three regulars last night, while the Habs had their full complement of small frys who will slowly disappear as the season wears on.

The ramblings of a man who knows Carey Price, the only reason the Habs won last night, will get worn out by Christmas and have trouble stopping a beach ball again.

The ramblings of a man who will probably respond to this posting by accusing me of rambling myself.

And he'd be right.

NO PLAYOFFS FOR THE HABS THIS SEASON

Category: Friends | Radio | Stuff

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