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Not So Stainless

June 22, 2009 @ 08:31

"At this point I'm getting so old that I've probably florched but I've
forgotten..that or my normal wiping is so haphazard that there's always
a bit of doo doo in my undies.
Nice seeing you the other day..your son's a prince."


Category: Friends | Stuff

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Good Guy

June 2, 2009 @ 15:58

It was five years ago today that we got the call. My wife came into the back yard in tears with the horrible news that our friend Jeff had died.

It didn't register for a moment. When Delyse first said Jeff Laird my mind immediately jumped to his father Doug. Doug Laird died.

That was much more conceivable, after all he was in his 70s. Healthy people often die in their 70's, I could get my mind around this.

But then she said it again. Jeff had died. Jeff Laird my good trailer buddy. He was only 41 years old.

Jeff is probably the most generous person I've ever known. This guy would do anything for you anytime anywhere.

He also had connections - and those connections worked the benefit of everyone. If you needed something, Jeff could get it and if there was any way he could swing it, you could keep your wallet in your pocket. He was that kind of person. He got great pleasure from doing for others.

I sit here this morning blown away by how quickly five years has passed - and how time can let memories slip away.

For the first few months after Jeff died, I'd think about him often and get mad at what happened. 41 year old guys shouldn't die of heart attacks - if there's a god, how could he do this to someone who was so kind and generous, someone with a wife and young son.

But as time passes you think about it less - and eventually you hardly think about it all and that's simply not fair to someone like Jeff Laird. He was much too special to be forgotten.

And that's why I write about him today. Jeff wasn't a celebrity, in fact he didn't like attention at all, but I didn't want today to pass without acknowledging this guy in some way.

It's only my goofy little website - and most of the readers of this site never got the pleasure of meeting Jeff Laird - but at least the site allows me to put Jeff's name out there.

It allows me to make sure that on this fifth anniversary of his death, he is remembered.

He will not be forgotten.

Category: Friends

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Dani Stover

May 21, 2009 @ 15:53

Dani Stover is a friend and the producer of the Dean Blundell Show on 102.1 The Edge.

Here is one of her blog entries from last week... It's fantastic!... She's a darlin'.

Hi everyone!

So I'm going to let you all in on a little secret... well, it's not a secret really, but something I want to share. It's something that I've been dealing with for quite some time - a few years, at least. It's depression! Yay ME!

The reason I feel the need to be open about this condition is because, with clinical depression comes a lot of stigma. And there's no need for it. One in five people suffer from some sort of depression. And I'm not talking about occasional sadness or periods of feeling distressed or miserable. I'm talking about feeling day-to-day sadness, anxiety, pessimism and helplessness.

Now I realize I have a lot to be thankful for, and happy about. And if it were only that easy... well, then I wouldn't be writing this blog.

But think of it this way: if you had (or have) diabetes, you would be expected to do something about it. People wouldn't typically judge you for having to take insulin everyday. Depression is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing. Good mental health is just as important as good physical health - it's essential to a balanced lifestyle.

I read a statistic that says only one in three depressed women will seek professional help and though women experience depression twice as often as men, men are three times more likely to commit suicide.

Depression is said to be genetic, and I have reason to believe that several of my family members had or do suffer from it. But I find the more you talk about it, and share your stories with other people, the more you find that you're not alone. One of the most important things is sustaining a strong support system and encouraging positive relationships.

That's where I'm pretty lucky. I love my job, and I work with really cool people. I have a great family and terrific friends. I live downtown and I am experiencing the wonderful things Toronto has to offer, but it's not always as easy as simply counting your blessings and snapping out of the funk.

There are a lot of great web sites out there with a lot of really useful information - and being informed is the first step towards feeling better, whether it's you who is suffering, or someone you care about.

So I want to reduce the stigma behind depression. It's more common than you think, and there's no shame in asking for help or sharing your stories with others!

I'm not alone here, am I? Start talking - you might be surprised how good it feels to share with people who are feeling the same way you do!

Anyways, I hope this blog entry isn't too boring. I have just been feeling a little low lately, and I thought, why not share that with you guys! You lucky bastards... :)

Be happy and be safe!

By the way Dani, it was great to see you at the Humble and Fred 20th Anniversary Podcast of Memories.

Category: Friends | Stuff

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Thanks Everybody

May 3, 2009 @ 10:25

Thanks to all of you who showed up yesterday for Humble and Fred's 20th Podcast of Memories. Pretty well everyone we wanted to be there was there, short of Jason Barr and Jeff Marek.

Both had hockey commitments. Danger Boy pretty well runs Brampton Minor Hockey, while Marek has got himself a nice little gig on Hockey Night in Canada in case you didn't notice.

Dan Duran was there, so was Chicken Shwarma, Bingo Bob, Scary Pete, Andy Wilson and even lil' Spanky showed up.

Lil' Spanky's one of the guys who pulled his pud in the studio washroom during one of our Really Tough Contests.

Thanks to Nick Kypreos for taking time out of his busy schedule to pay a visit and we received a surprise appearance from Tyler Stewart of the Barenaked Ladies.

It was great to see Edge production chief Rob Johnston as well.

Lou Schiziz from am 640 was there and so was one of Howard's current side-kicks Colleen Rusholme.

And two people from the Wolf in Peterborough came all the way down to lend their support. Production whiz Ryan Lalonde and the super sweet Catherine Hanrahan.

The incomparable Psychic Niki came by and predicted that the Humble and Fred franchise is not dead. It will be revived, although considering current commitments I guess she means through Viagra commercials when we're 60.

We had listeners show up like Buffalo Mike and faithful twins Pam and Trish. Blog regular Horonymous was there and so was blog king and master mind Toronto Mike who will make sure yesterday's production will be available to the masses over the next few days.

Humble and me both had our families there, including my mom Junie P. who wouldn't have missed it for the world. Neighbour John was there too, and he's just like family.

How did Charlie grow up so fast?

Everything I've mentioned was fabulous, but not quite as fabulous as sitting at a table with a microphone in front of me and Howard to my side. What made it so great is that it didn't feel any different.

We just picked up where we left off and started pissin' our pants.

Thanks Howie. It was fun...... and thanks Dan, we know it wasn't easy pushin, twistin' and workin' all those buttons and knobs.

Category: Friends | Radio | Stuff

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Mike Stafford

April 30, 2009 @ 21:18

Toronto's best talk show host wrote this on his am 640 blog yesterday. Thanks buddy.

"For some reason April 30th always brings a smile to my face.

It shouldn't. It's tax deadline day. Not fun. But it is payday. That's fun. Except when you see the amount of taxes you've paid for the first four months.

April 30th makes me smile because of something that happened 23 years ago. When I worked the morning news shift on CFNY. It was called the "Pete and Geets Breakfast" and it aired on Rogers Cable 10 throughout the Ontario network.

I'm sure the audience count reached triple figures. But it didn't matter because Peter Griffin and Geets Romo, along with yours truly and Toronto radio stalwart Fred Patterson brought our goofy morning show to the parking lot at Rogers Cable 10 in Mississauga, hard by your 1979 train derailment site.

Rogers in Mississauga back then worked in tandem with Maclean Hunter to bring Peel Region local news and entertainment with a spirited staff of volunteers, many of whom have moved onto professional careers, including Lance Chilton up in Barrie.

I remember it as a warm spring morning with Fred and I dressed as gay emcees from the movie "Cabaret". Pete was, God bless him, the anchor of the show while Geets would disappear at times to dress in his assortment of characters...climaxing with an appearance of "Lardette" as the show reached its conclusion.

Again, the show was loose and maybe we were the only people who thought it was funny. But 23 years ago seemed a somewhat more innocent time in radio and in local television. The Toronto Sun's Jim Slotek gave us a tepid thumbs-up review by suggesting the show worked without a net and nobody was killed or seriously injured.

I was a happy boy that morning because Claude Lemieux of the Montreal Canadiens had scored an OT winner over Hartford to move onto the second round of the playoffs which, you'll remember, Montreal won over Calgary.

That night, the Leafs lost in seven to St. Louis. But I didn't see that game because after the Pete and Geets Breakfast Show Fred and I and our producer Kevin went back to Fred's and kicked the top off a bottle of Crown Royal to celebrate our "network" premiere.

I'm a huge fan of nostalgia because, to tell the truth, there's not much these days you can look ahead 23 years and remember as "the good old days".

On that note, for my buddy Fred, he and his long time radio partner Humble Howard will get together this Saturday at the Dominion on Queen (500 Queen Street East) at 1:30 PM for a good old Humble and Fred podcast. No heavy lifting, nobody's going to get hurt. Humble and Fred worked at the former CFNY and were appointment tuning for many in the 1990s followed by our days at MOJO radio until that thing imploded.

I can't make it Saturday but I thought I'd mention that it might be a great time to hoist a pint and enjoy two pros who know how to do morning radio without the worry of process servers outside the studio door when they're finished.

April 30th, 1986.

What a great day."

Category: Friends | Radio | Stuff

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Thanks Al

December 17, 2008 @ 18:07

I'm happy to report that Vienna Meats will live on.

Vienna Meats is a delicatessen on Birchmount Road just south of Eglinton in Scarborough and it's a place I hold very near and dear to my heart even though I haven't set foot in the place in almost 30 years.

Vienna Meats was the closest store to my house while I was growing up on Chopin Avenue, which is about a five minute walk from Vienna.

When I was kid there were two variety stores within walking distance of our house. There was Scarborough Variety on Kennedy Rd. at Eglinton and there was Birch-Lawr Variety at Birchmount and Lawrence.

When I was a kid variety stores were important because they carried the widest variety of candy, so when you got your twenty-five cent a week allowance that's where you'd go.

The problem is both stores were about a half hour walk away.

Vienna filled the gap when time was a factor.

Often after having lunch at home, and having only a short window of time to get some candy before going back to school, Vienna represented a reasonable opportunity.

The selection of candy was slim, but it was still good enough when you needed a sugar fix.

Vienna didn't have jawbreakers or bubble gum or McIntosh Toffee or any of the real good stuff, but they did have Mentos , wine gums and chocolate encased in what looked like gold coins.

Nothing at Vienna was over the top and really inviting, but it was there when you needed it and I'm thrilled that it survived a five alarm fire yesterday.

Ironically I received the news from my buddy Alan Falkner who's a big shot District Chief with the Toronto Fire Department. Alan lived in my neighbourhood, he also went to Vienna on many occasions, and there he was yesterday directing his men at the fire.

Way to go Al, thanks for saving Vienna Meats.

Category: Friends | Stuff

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Toronto Mike For Hire

December 6, 2008 @ 10:06

Hey everybody, do you like this website? Have you ever thought of having your own website or blog?

If you have, then let me recommend the Booner. Toronto Mike. Mike Boon.

Even though rankles a few of you, if it wasn't for Mike Boon, this website wouldn't exist.

The guy is unbelievable. He know it all, he does it all. If I have a problem, no matter how big or small, Mike is right on it - bingo, bango, bongo it's solved!

He's a darlin'.

And don't worry about the dough, Mike is extremely reasonable and you can dictate the level to which you want to become involved.

Blogging is fun, blogging is rewarding and sometimes blogging can cause people to call you names, but I highly recommend it.

Beyond that Mike has put together some pretty neat websites for businesses. I know, I've seen them.

If you're interested, here's what Mike can do for.

-securing the domain name
-securing the appropriate web hosting
-installing Movable Type
-writing the XHTML / CSS and working to get the right site design
-mapping out navigational structure
-optimizing output for search (SEO)
-education transfer to teach how to manage own site / blog
-doing it all on budget and on time with a guy who's super easy to work with

You can contact Mike right here.

Category: Friends | Stuff

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T.R. - One Of My Ionview Friends

November 19, 2008 @ 17:23

My Ionview friends are those people I attended public school with back in the 1960's.

Ionview Public Schools is located in Scarborough at 90 Ionview Rd. Ionview Rd, runs north off Eglinton Ave. between Kennedy and Birchmount Rd, and it was the place of many fabulous childhood memories.

I graduated from grade eight in the spring of 1969, and while I sitting here in my Peterborough office writing this I'm looking at my class picture from that year.

The picture is a gift I received this very afternoon from a class mate who appears in the same picture.

Trebor Hosier and I went through our entire public school careers together and then graduated to the same high school, Winston Churchill, before I buggered off to Stephen Leacock for grade eleven.

Trebor, known as TR when we wre kids, now goes by Trevor because many years ago he got tired of the puzzled look on people's faces when he introduced himself with a "b" rather than a "v".

Anyway, Trebor/T.R./ Trebor who has a huge brain, got his masters in psychology back in the 80's and now he operates a private practice in Lindsay,

He's also a life long music fanatic and over the years has accumulated quite a bit of rock and roll paraphernalia, so much in fact, that he opened a museum in Omemee a couple of years ago.

I wrote about it last summer.

It's funny how things happen. Brian Ellis, the afternoon announcer at the Wolf, where I now work, contacted Trevor about the museum and in the course of the conversation mentioned that I was now the Program Director in Peterborough.

Trevor gave me a call, and today we hooked up for lunch at a restaurant on George St. in Peterborough.

It was fascinating couple hours as we caught up on old times and old friends and shared and reminisced about some wild things that happened at school. He was as whacked as I was.

T.R's museum is closed for the season, but it will re-open in the spring, and when it does make sure if you're in the area, you're listening to 101.5 the Wolf.

You could win free tickets to the Youngtown Rock and Roll Museum.

Category: Friends | Fun Stuff

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Oprah's Full Of It

November 7, 2008 @ 15:46

I've been meaning to tell a story about something that happened during my trip to Michigan a couple of weeks ago, but with the American election and all, I never got around to it.

It deals with sandwiches.

There's a place in Ann Arbor and its called Zingerman's and it carries the reputation of having the best beef brisket sandwiches in America. This reputation was helped along by Oprah Winfrey who actually talked about the sandwiches on her show. My buddy Darren got the word from his lovely wife Laurie, so from the moment Darren got up on Saturday morning it was the focus of his day.

Just before noon we headed over to Zingerman's only to find a long line-up out the door and around the side of the building, but being guys who like to try new things, especially big piles of meat, we decided to stand in line and order up four sandwiches. Our other buddies Doug and Bruce waited in the car.

It took about 40 minutes to get to the front of the line where we met a young woman who took our order. At this point, it all seemed worth it, we were inside and the smell was glorious.

Admittedly, we were a little taken aback with the prices. $12.50 for a basic sandwich with a pickle. But hey, what the hell, this was Zingerman's and it must be worth it because Oprah said so.

We were was also taken aback when the young woman who took our order told us it would be another 20 minutes before we got our food.

"Pardon me?" I said.

"OK, I've got to be honest with you guys, we're really busy it'll probably be more like 25 or 30 minutes." She replied.

I was stunned. Also known as "Mr. Impatient" in my house, I had trouble gathering my thoughts as took my wallet out of my pocket and paid 25 dollars.

I should explain at this point that Darren and I split the bill for four sandwiches, but for some reason, we got separate bills for two and two. Don't ask me why, but ultimately it turned out to our benefit. Let me explain.

After paying, I started to do a slow burn. It bugged the shit out of me that they had let us line up for 40 minutes and then didn't tell us it would be another 30 minute wait after we paid.

I conveyed these thoughts to Darren who just shrugged. From there I went out to the car where Doug and Bruce were waiting and when I told them it would be another thirty minutes, they too became annoyed.

Then I got it in my head to ask for my money back, and Bruce and Doug agreed.

Well that's all I need to hear so I stormed back into the store and demanded my money back because I hadn't been sufficiently notified of the ridiculous process. With no hesitation, I was given 25 dollars back.

But there was a problem with this. Darren didn't ask for his money back and he wanted his sandwich and was quite annoyed that I would bust back into the store and get my money back without consulting him first.

"What has it accomplished? He asked. "It's a Saturday, there's a huge football game in town so I can understand a wait."

Not wanting to give an inch, which is my nature, I told him it wasn't the wait, it was the principle and if he wanted to wait for his sandwiches fine, but on principle I didn't want mine.

As it turned out the wait wasn't thirty minutes. Far from it. It was only about fifteen, so it appeared that I had invested an hour in Zimmerman's only to come away hungry.

But wait. There were two more twists to this story.

First of all, when I cancelled my half of the order the message didn't get back to the kitchen so when Darren got back to the car we discovered that there were four sandwiches in it. Bonus.

We briefly considered going back and telling the people at Zingerman's that they had made a mistake but I justified not going back by claiming they owed us at least that much for the 45 minute wait. We all agreed. Not only that, but who knows, we may have had to line up to give the sandwiches back.

At this point I went from a feeling of embarrassment to a feeling of accomplishment. Mr. Impatience had managed to get the boys half price sandwiches, but that leads to the other twist in this story.

The sandwiches were average at best. No better than you'd get at Shopsy's or Switzers or any other deli in Toronto.

Half price was definitely the correct price.

Category: Friends | Short Stories

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State Championship

October 24, 2008 @ 08:01

This is the itinerary for our weekend trip to Michigan as compiled by my friend Darren.

Michigan Road Trip 2008

Michigan vs. Michigan State

Friday October 24th:
( Approximate times )

11:00 am - Depart from Mississauga/Brampton
4:00 pm - Arrive at Joe Louis Arena - Shuttle to Carl's Chophouse
7:30 pm - Detroit Red Wings vs. Atlanta Thrashers
10:30 pm - Depart for Ann Arbour
11:15 pm -Check in - Red Roof Inn

Saturday October 25th :
( Approximate times )

9:00 am -Breakfast and morning jaunt to downtown, Ann Arbor.
Noon - Lunch and pre-game tune up at hotel.
-Shuttle to stadium
3:30 pm -Kick-Off: NCAA Football-ESPN Game Day
Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans.
6:30 pm -Shuttle to hotel ( TBC )
-Dinner TBC
-Evening TBC

Sunday October 26th :
( Approximate times )

10:00 am - Depart from Ann Arbor
11:00 am - Arrive-Ford Field.
- Park - Restaurant for lunch
1:00 pm - Detroit Lions vs.Washington Redskins
4:00 pm - Depart Home
8:00 pm - Arrive Mississauga/Brampton

Category: Friends

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