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Using The "F" Word

September 7, 2011 @ 18:23

I had an interesting conversation with my mother yesterday. While telling her about the project I'm working on with Humble, she asked me if I was going to forget about using the "f word."

This took me off guard because my mother is no prude and definitely not against the use of the word in question. As a matter of fact, she's quite comfortable with it and I heard her say it long before I ever heard my dad say it.

I asked her to explain what she was getting at, and from what I can gather she's not against the use of the word in every day conversation, but I think Junie, who's a big fan of this blog, doesn't like it when I write the word and I don't think she liked the sound of it when she listened to some of the earlier podcasts Humble and I did.

It's quite the dilemma. What's a guy to do?

I explained to her that my blog and our podcasts aren't like the radio shows we used to do. I pointed out that there's a whole other side of entertainment that allows for naughty words.

I told her about the shows on HBO, shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage that feature language that you'd hear on the street or in a bar or amongst friends. There's a whole area outside of what she thinks is the standard and that's what this blog and our podcasts will fall under.

I'm not sure it made her feel any better.

I think my sweet mom is concerned about my reputation. I know she can handle the "f" word, but I think she's worried about other people she knows seeing me write it or hearing me say it on a broadcast or podcast. I think she's worried about what they will think of her little baby boo boo.

I'm convinced that she thinks it takes away from the product.

It's interesting because earlier this week Humble and I had a conversation about show content and the key to being successful on-line is to offer a product that isn't available on regular radio and sometimes that might involve graphic subject matter and language.

I told her this and then recommended that the best option might be for her not to listen.

Her reply - "fat fuckin' chance of that happening."

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What's Wrong With A Ferris Wheel

August 31, 2011 @ 16:27

I've got to weigh in on the Doug Ford proposal for Toronto's eastern waterfront.

Believe me I'm not a big proponent of it, but I have to laugh at how its been so readily attacked by the usual suspects - starting with my good friend Toronto Mike.

Let me repeat, I'm not advocating we rush out an do this because I really haven't looked into it enough, but I do know it doesn't deserve to be sloughed off like it has been on the pages of the Toronto Star and the much more interesting Toronto Mike.

And I say this based on my recent visit to Chicago and my complete sense of amazement with their waterfront.

You see, it wasn't long ago that Toronto and Chicago were compared to each other, and for the longest time Toronto held the upper hand. That is no more.

Chicago has surpassed Toronto in the great city category and a lot of it has to do with a strong Mayor, little influence by the bleeding heart left and the desire to bloody well get things done.

I don't have to tell you that besides a myriad of condominiums that have totally cut the city off from the water, not much has happened on Toronto's waterfront, especially the eastern part that still looks like a shit hole.

Now tell me, what is wrong with Doug Ford proposing what he has? What's wrong with proposing an area with a megamall, a ferris wheel and a mono rail?

Toronto Mike, through his hatred of anything Ford (as in the Mayor and his brother) says it sounds disastrous.

disastrous? Really Mike, sounds disastrous?

When I was in Chicago last week two of the biggest attractions were a ferris wheel and a megamall. The ferris wheel is at the Navy Pier, right on the water front, and the megamall, although not on the water is called Water Tower Place, and to tell you the truth it would be pretty cool situated on Toronto's eastern waterfront.

It amazes how a simple proposal can be so readily rejected until I realize where the criticism is coming from - those who still haven't forgiven the Mayor for going to the cottage on Canada Day.

Of course this situation begs the question, what's your alternative? Toronto's waterfront development has been stuck in neutral for decades, so I would ask the critics of this proposal, and that's all it is, what their solution or idea is.

If it's proposed parkland, great, Millenium and Grant Parks on Chicago's waterfront are fabulous. But they need to be kept up and groomed and that will come out of taxpayers pockets.

Have you seen some of the other parks in Toronto lately?

Again I can point to what has become one of the greatest cities in the world, Chicago, and show you a ferris wheel, a megamall and an elevated transit system that have helped put it there.

I realize a mono rail isn't an elevated transit system, but Chicago spins their EL as a tourist attraction. Maybe the same thing could happen here. Maybe not.

Maybe it isn't a mono-rail, but it becomes something else. But that's the key, "something."

I get the impression that Chicagoans don't have time for the foot dragging bleeding heart bullshit that Toronto has to put up with. Several years ago they determined their city needed some work and they got going on it.

Meanwhile, Toronto was saddled with the likes of David Miller and a city council that couldn't get anything done because they were too busy grabbing free muffins, drinking free coffee and eating free restaurant meals at taxpayer's expense.

And don't forget the free taxis'

Doug Ford comes up with a proposal, and that's all it is, and the next thing you know there's a mad rush to compare what he said to an episode of the Simpson's. Shallow sniping that is so characteristic of everything that's wrong with Toronto.

Let me get back to the ferris wheel for a second. I didn't ride the one in Chicago last week, but I've got to tell you, when you approached the Navy Pier and saw it standing there, unobstructed from a million condominiums, it looked pretty cool and gave a sense of fun and attraction.

What's the harm?

But apparently that's disastrous for Toronto. I guess we should use the waterfront to build lots more public housing and maybe a tent city or two.

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Goin' To Chicago

August 22, 2011 @ 20:37

I won't be writing for the next few days because me and my darlin' are heading to Chicago for a three nighter.

And I want to keep this trip strictly carry-on so I don't want to take a computer and I don't have an I-phone right now. It stayed in Peterborough.

I've always wanted to explore Chicago and that's what I'm going to do between now and Friday. I was there once before, for a CFNY Jays / White Sox baseball trip in 1991, but we got there Friday night, it rained all day Saturday and we left early Sunday morning.

This trip will only involve one baseball game. I got tickets to see the Cubs and Braves Tuesday night at Wrigley. I've never been to Wrigley and it's definitely on my bucket list.

Wednesday night we're going on a Skyline Cruise which is sponsored by Landshark Beer, which just happens to be partly owned by Jimmy Buffett.

A pretty good deal. A 90 minute cruise and each person gets two Landsharks while on the boat. Then it's back to Margaritaville for finger foods, two more Landsharks and entertainment.

Not bad. A cruise, four beers, some food and entertainment for 20 bucks a head. I like to see ya get that deal in Toronto.

Other than that we've got nothing else planned. Just a lot of walking, looking, eatin' and drinkin'.

Of course we'll have lunch a couple of times at the Cheesecake factory. They have fabulous appetizers that make for great meals. Like the fresh Thai lettuce wraps, the avocado eggs rolls and the spicy Ahi tempura rolls. That's some pretty good shit.

Funny, every time we go to the States we always seek out a Cheesecake Factory, but we've never had their cheesecake.

We'll have a deep dish pizza somewhere and maybe on Thursday night we'll seek out a famous Chicago Chop House and get ripped off paying eight bucks for a baked potato.

I might go to the top of the Sears Tower which now called the Willis Tower, and I'm gonna check out the Navy Pier and I'll definitely take a stroll through Millennium Park.

Hey, have I ever told you, my dad was born in Chicago?

That's right. Dickie was born in Chicago in 1925. Just think, if he had stayed there I might be a Hawks and Bears and Cubs fan.

Talk to you on Friday ya buggers. When I get back I'll tell you about my first ever pedicure.

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One Man's Opinion - Pat Condell

August 22, 2011 @ 14:57

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Racial Profiling?

August 20, 2011 @ 11:37

No doubt about it, the relatively newly minted PC term "racial profiling" has become quite the beast.

Read the story and then answer these questions. But first, let me do the usual ass covering before the Libby brigade goes nuts on these very pages.

If this story is accurate, then the actions of the police officer in questions were out of line.

If the cop was as cold hearted and unresponsive to this mans condition, then something should be done about it.

Now that that's out of the way here's my first question - what the hell does it have to do with race? The suspect was black for cryin' out loud.

Second question - if a white man had gone through the same experience, would it be racial profiling?

More questions - If the roles were reversed and a black officer had done the same thing to a white man under the very same circumstances, would it be racial profiling? Hell, even it was white on white or black on black would it still be racial profiling?

There was a description of a suspect and the cop followed it up. Is that racial profiling or just doing your job?

Crazy me, I thought racial profiling meant stopping someone based on race for no reason, or questioning someone in the anticipation of a crime. ( ie airports.)

Again, if this story is completely accurate there is no doubt the police officer could have handled it differently. A guy in his 60's with a huge scar down his chest doesn't pose much of a treat. Then again, being sixty and having a huge scare on your chest doesn't mean you're incapable of B and E either.

But looking at this straight up the middle and considering that the cop may have been too tough on the guy what the hell does it have to do with racial profiling?

Like the word racism, the term racial profiling is being battered to hell.

And once again, hats off to the Toronto Star for making something out of nothing.

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Nottawasaga Inn

August 19, 2011 @ 16:06

I just recieved word from the Nottawasaga Inn. All those charged the "noise fee" on July 9th will be reimbursed.
Thanks Liz!

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Be Free Or Die

August 19, 2011 @ 07:15

The Canadian National Exhibition opened this morning and as anyone who lives in the GTA knows, it's the first indication the summer is drawing to a close.

They call the Ex the grand old lady, but I'm not sure that moniker applies any more.

I haven't been to the Ex in years, and neither have my kids. Somewhere along the line the Ex lost her magic and lost a great deal of her cliental to Wonderland.

I really think Wonderland exposed the Ex for what it is, and second rate carnival providing a home for every two bit snake oil salesman in North America.

When I was a kid, the Exhibition was magical and something you looked forward to and when the day arrived to go you were bursting with anticipation.

For my kids, it means nothing. The Ex comes and goes each year without them even mentioning it.

It's sad, but it's like so many other things in Toronto. What was once cutting edge and impressive, has been allowed to fall behind and deteriorate, and attendance has plummeted.

Big changes have to be made and I think a good start would be to offer free admission.

Why you should have to pay to simply step onto the grounds is beyond me. Offering a one price midway pass is good, and charging admission for quality shows and exhibits is another thing.

But why should anyone have to pay just to walk around a once grand old lady that has fallen and can't get up.

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Nottawasaga Scam

August 18, 2011 @ 20:20

So get a load of this.

Back on July 9th, my wonderful family and I attended the wedding of Ryan Kimber, the wonderful son of our wonderful friends Mike and Pam Kimber.

It took place at the supposedly wonderful Nottawasaga Inn in the charming wonderland of Alliston, Ontario.

Everything is fine and dandy through the late afternoon when arrived and right through the evening until after the wedding.

The ceremony was nice, the reception was a blast and we were all pretty tired, if not well oiled by the time it was over.

A group of us left the reception which was on the ground floor and we made our way up to the fifth floor where at least thirty invited guests had rented rooms for the night.

You can't be drinkin' and drivin' ya buggers.

Anyway, we get off the painfully slow elevator to be greeted by a couple of wannabee cop security guards who are in full Barney Fife mode. (for those of you too young, Barney Fife was a 1960's TV character on the Andy Griffith Show. He played a deputy sheriff who took himself way too seriously.)

Immediately, Barney and his buddy Barney Jr. are all over us. Accusing of making too much noise, which was crazy because we had just come up from the reception.

Needless to say, I had a little fun with these fuckers asking them a bunch of questions they couldn't answer and then finally they went away with stunned looks on their faces and their water guns in their holsters.

The night proceeded with some quiet conversation in a couple of rooms and after we ordered a couple of large pizzas (I ate six pieces) we all hit the hay.

The next morning upon check-out there was no mention of noise, no mention of any complaints and no indication that some of us were eventually going to have the book thrown at us.

Here's the deal.

A couple of weeks ago Pam gave us the heads up. Some of the guests had checked their Visa statements and the Nottawasaga had arbitrarily tagged a "noise fee" onto their bills.

A noise fee. A fuckin' noise fee. What the hell is a noise fee?

Well it turns out, in the fine print of something you sign when you check in there's something about a charge if you're responsible for disrupting the stay of another guest.

When Pam told me I laughed and thought she was kidding, but she wasn't. Needless to say, as host of the wedding and having chosen The Nottawasaga Inn as the location, she was embarrassed for the guests that had been charged a stupid goddamn "noise fee."

Again, not one guest was told or warned about being charged while they were checking out. The "noise fee" it turns out was added to their bill two weeks later.

Two weeks later! Are you kidding me?

No they weren't kidding and yesterday I got the Visa statement to prove it. There's a 36 dollar and 16 cent feel on my statement.

Well let me tell ya, Freddie P. blew his stack when he opened his Visa statement at approximately nine o'clock last night. I didn't waste any time calling The Nottawasaga Inn to notify them of my immense displeasure.

As you might expect I got the run around and was told someone would contact me today.

By 11 o'clock this morning when I hadn't heard from anyone I called back and got more of a run around. The accounting department told me the fee is spelled out in the fine print and as far they're concerned they have no obligation to tell the customer about it upon check-out.

I disagreed. Quite vehemently. With volume.

But again, I got the run-around. I was told only the manager could reverse the charge and he would call me back as soon as possible. Well that call still hasn't come.

But think about it people. You go to a hotel for a wedding, they put all the people from the same wedding on the same floor, but right in the middle they plop a couple who have no ties to the festivities. Brilliant.

Then, you're accused of making too much noise when you're not even there and then you're charged for it.... Two weeks after the freakin' wedding.

The wedding was July 9th and my "noise fee" went through on the 27th. So between the 9th and 27th I can only assume that the Nottawasaga Inn determined who the accused were, had some kind of a trial, arrived at a guilty verdict and then levied a fine which they arbitrarily put on unsuspecting patrons Visa's.

How's that for good business practice. Makes me really want to go back there. Makes me really want to recommend The Nottawasaga Inn to someone getting married. Really makes me think nice thoughts about the joint.

Holy shit, me and my wife still have some life in us but believe me we aren't really capable of committing such a crime. The biggest noise coming out of me that night was the squeekin' in my knees after rippin' up the dance floor in slow motion.

Thirty six bucks is no big deal, it's the principle. How is this any way to do business?

It's amazing, they got their 36 bucks from half a dozen people, but they've given no forethought to how this can play out in today's world.

Blogs like this and things like Tripadvisor where I'm going to post something really juicy.

What a joint. What a scam. And nice try tacking it on two weeks later, I'm sure hoping that I wouldn't notice. Well I did.


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The Witch Retracts

August 16, 2011 @ 07:45

Mallick's bad journalism catches up.

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E-mail - Il Duce

August 11, 2011 @ 16:46

Once again Fred you hit it dead on but people want to turn this into a political situation. This has nothing to do with political affiliation as the knob from Lowville indicates. Young people took advantage of a tragic incident to turn it into payback. There are a lot of jobs out there but it seems everyone is above them.

I read some of these posts from the regulars and it's the same old bs. Always blame someone or something else for your own socio economic problems. Blame your parents for not raising you properly. Blame the government for not helping you enough. Blame your teachers for not believing in you or trying harder with you. Blame the crossing guard because she made you wait your turn to cross the street.


My parents came to Canada as immigrants in search of a better life, as did many others did and still do today. They didn't whine and complain about how bad they had it, instead they held numerous jobs at different times, all the while raising a family. They sacrificed along the way and some times we didn't have all the luxuries that families believe they are owed today.

Just shut up, get a job and go to work. I read a stat that said there are hundreds of thousands of British citizens under the age of 25 who have never been employed. Have never worked one hour!! Gee, normal rational thought would make one believe that if I can't find a job here maybe I'll move to an area of the country where there are jobs. Or maybe, let me move to another country for a better life! Sound familiar? But then I guess that would take away form there partying time. Hell better yet use a terrible incident to cause a riot and go looting for that 46" Sony LCD HD TV you've always wanted but your parents refused to buy.

Il Duce

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