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No Hell Below Us, Above Us Only Sky

January 20, 2011 @ 07:43

If the worlds cavalcade of religions has anything in common, it's this.

Muslim charity squandered money for the poor.

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The Times They Are A Changin'

January 19, 2011 @ 07:46

It's interesting that on the day Jose Bautista demands 10.5 million dollars from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Canadian dollar is worth 1.01 American.

What's an athlete to do now?

For most of the past twenty years it's been a given in professional sports. Other than the CFL players athletes are automatically paid in American dollars. Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays and every other athlete who plays in Canada has always been paid with the American green back, it was a given.

But will that change?

For years pro sports teams in Canada have suffered under the weight of the American dollar, to the point where ten years ago they took at 50 percent hit on every dollar they spent. But now, thanks to many factors Canadian teams are actually getting a break with their pay-roll.

So what happens now? Will agents start asking for their clients to be paid in Canadian dollars?

Probably not, but don't be surprised if they come up with something like this. Given that the dollar has recent history of fluctuating, look for agents to ask for it both ways. Write it into contracts that the athlete will be paid in whatever dollars is highest.

Look at it this way, if the Canadian dollar settles five points higher than the American dollar, that's half a million dollars on a ten million dollar contract. That ain't chicken feed and given the short careers of most athletes it will become an issue.

How far will it go? Who knows? But wouldn't it be funny if things totally reversed themselves.

What if the Canadian dollar explodes to a buck-ten or twenty, which some experts have forecasted.

Will athletes that play for American teams start asking for loonies? Will Lebron James and Tom Brady eventually be paid with the good stuff?

And to think just a few short years ago the Canadian dollar was such comedic fodder for so many in the United States.

My how times change.

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Enjoy Your Trip

January 19, 2011 @ 07:09

Canadian woman raped by Mexican Police.

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Good Cat Call In Oakville

January 18, 2011 @ 08:11

The city has Oakville has done something that I've thought about for a long time. They've prohibited house cats from running free.

It's only fair. If dog owners have to keep their sweet and wonderful devoted companions on a leash, why shouldn't cat owners have to do the same thing with their arrogant, indifferent, creepy bird killers?

Why should a dog have to be confined to a rope or chain with a stake stuck in the ground, while a cat gets to slither his way through the neighbourhood with complete freedom?

It's about time this happened, and I hope more jurisdictions adopt this policy.

I look at it this way. I'd much rather watch a bird flitter and fly and perch in the backyard, than watch a cat slink across the top of my fence looking to attack the next Blue Jay or Cardinal that is minding its own business.

If you make the decision to own a cat then you should take on the same responsibility as other pet owners, most notably dog owners. Don't make your decision to own a cat my problem.

Cat's shit in flower beds and sand boxes. They piss on things like clothing and towels, they peer into windows and they're just as bad at getting into garbage as a dog.

Over the holidays I had a big fat son of a bitch that would attack the garbage in my garage the minute I opened the door from inside of the house. He'd run inside the garage, hide when I came out, eat while I was gone and then dart out of the garage when I returned. But the garbage was pulled apart and the mess was a pain in the ass.

But I got the bastard. The same way I got that goddamn mink who was shittin' in my boat.
When I put a load of garbage out I sprinkled it with a good dose of cayenne pepper. Problem solved. I haven't seen the prick since. He's probably still shakin' his head.

Sorry PETA people, but I had to do something, I'm sure he's not dead.

Some might argue that cats are good for catching mice. Cool. But mice aren't really a problem until they're in your house, so keep your cat in the house and go crazy. When they're outside, they should be under the same rules as a dog.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate cats. I've actually owned one a couple of decades ago, but we had to get rid of it when my daughter was born because it wouldn't stay out of her crib. And it liked to walk on the counters after layin' a loaf in its litter.

I realize a cat on a leash looks fuckin' ridiculous, but so what, just another reason to keep them inside.

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IKEA Re-call

January 18, 2011 @ 08:10

Hey Freddie!
I see in the Star today that IKEA has had to recall some RUND glasses because they break easy.
It reminded me of something you wrote a while back about going to IKEA with your wife.
Can you re-post it? It was funny!

Here you go Phil, but remember you can use the search option in the top right hand corner.....

..... It happened on Friday afternoon. My wife talked me into going to IKEA with her to look for a dresser. It was the usual shit.

I like to go to those places and get in and out as fast as I can, but my professional shopper wife likes to stroll and browse and think and compare and analyze and inquire.

Anyway, after about two hours of walking through the IKEA maze we exited to the restaurant area.

I've got to be honest, I've never paid much attention to the restaurant area because usually I'm in such a goddamn hurry to get out there not even food can slow me down.

But this time was different. As we emerged I saw a big poster promoting ten Swedish Meatballs with your choice of soup or salad and a drink. All for $5.49.

The temptation was too much. I was hungry and I love meatballs and they looked good on the poster and I had never eaten at freakin' IKEA before so I asked my darlin' if she wanted something to eat….. half kidding.

How surprised was I when she said yes. It was quite the dining experience.

We entered the restaurant by walking across an Arden Ruda Rug and grabbed an Arda serving tray before placing our order.

The woman behind the counter scooped our meatballs out of a Skanka Pot with a Delikat ladle and placed them on our Dinera Series plates. She then handed us our Parad cutlery and told us to go sit down on an Alfon chair, which was pushed under a Bjorna table which was under a Cesium ceiling spotlight. When I sat down, I almost banged my head on a Bjarnum shelf.

Silly me, no sooner had I sat down I had to get up again. I forget to fill my Rund glass with some diet Coke
After we ate we scraped our garbage into a Flarke waste bin and headed for the exit.

It was at that point that an otherwise bearable afternoon became stressful. As we were leaving the store that dog with the big pecker from the Ikea Catelogue came out of nowhere and humped my leg - and he left a mess.

Lucky for me, we had purchased some Nackten towels so clean-up was quick and efficient. But not before I chopped the fuckers balls off with a Exklusivt meat cleaver

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Animal Crackers

December 24, 2010 @ 19:52

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Sad Times At City-tv

December 11, 2010 @ 10:02

I'm not going to the memorial service for Mark Dailey at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church today because I don't think it would be appropriate.

I really didn't know Mark. I knew "of him", and the fact that he knew "of me" is the one story I can tell about this wonderful gentleman.

It was back in the early 90's and Jim McKenny invited me and a few other sportscasters and sportswriters to come down to City-tv for some kind of a baseball panel. I can't even remember exactly what the subject was, but I jumped at the chance because I love McKenny and I enjoy doing TV and I always admired the City-tv environment.

When I walked into 299 Queen that night I remember being directed to the newsroom where in the distance I saw Mark Dailey. I had never met him before and the way the situation was unfolding it didn't look like I'd be able to break from my immediate commitment to go over and introduce myself.

Then I heard the voice. "Freddie P!" Mark had noticed me and gave me an immediate shout-out while coming over to shake my hand.

Needless to say, it was a thrill. Talk about making a fella feel welcome and at ease.

Mark explained that he had been listening to CFNY for years and admired my work and he was glad to finally meet me. And I actually believed him. I didn't get the impression he was blowing smoke up my ass.

He mentioned "Sportszone" the TV show I had done on the CBC in the late 80's and said something to the affect that City should do something similar.

I remember floating a few feet off the floor for the rest of the night. The TV environment can be intimidating but on that particular night I felt comfortable and welcome and it was all because of Mark Dailey.

I wouldn't mind going to the Mark Dailey memorial today, but I wouldn't want to take the place of one other person who was touched even more by this man... and I know there are thousands.

Meanwhile, it certainly has been a tough time at City-tv. The death of Mark Dailey comes on the heels of the horrible accident that has changed the life of cameraman Bill Atanasoff.

Atanasoff remains in grave condition at Sunnybrook Hospital. Bill is someone I know quite well. We lived in adjoining Scarborough neighbourhoods, went to the same high school and Bill is best friends with the brother of my best friend.

I'm in no position to give details of Bill's condition at this point, that's up to his immediate family, but I can tell you this much, it isn't good.

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The Night

December 8, 2010 @ 08:34

This one got me more than any other. I was only seven when JFK was assassinated and only 11 when RFK and Martin Luther King took lead.

But I was an adult when John Lennon was gunned down by Mark David Chapman on the night of December 8, 1980, an unbelievable 30 years ago tonight.

Like a lot of guys I got the news from Howard Cosell. I was watching Monday Night Football and for some reason I was still awake when Cosell made the announcment some time after eleven o'clock. I was new to the radio business and had to get up at 4:30 in the morning so it was weird that I was still up.

I remember not really believing what I was hearing and then going into the bedroom to tell my wife Delyse.

Of course these were the days before CNN so it was hard to get details right away, but I remember the first thing I thought of was the often rumoured Beatles reunion.

Obviously it wasn't going to happen.

I remember finally getting into bed and listening to CFNY for a while. Big Nick Charles was on the air and then David Marsden came in to join him.

Listening to Marsden I knew the next day was going to be significant for the radio station

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December 8, 2010 @ 08:31

When my kids were small I brainwashed them. As soon as they could talk I drilled into their heads. Imagine is this greatest song ever written.

From time to time I'd pop the question just for the hell of it. "Hey Mel, hey Dan, what's the greatest song ever written." They'd answer with resignation. "Imagine."

It was just a "dad" thing back then, but it's amazing how both of my kids have grown up loving the Beatles and adoring John Lennon, although both of them were born after the break-up and the assassination. And I don't think either would argue with daddy today, Imagine is the greatest song ever written.

I understand it's a subjective thing and a matter of taste, attitude and beliefs, but just listen to this song, so simple yet so profound.

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Bed In For Peace

December 8, 2010 @ 08:30

If there's a moment in the life of John Lennon that always comes back to me it was 1969 in Montreal. He and Yoko were holding their "Bed In for Peace" at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

I can't really comment on the protest because I was only 12 years old, however whenever I see clips from that time there are a few moments that make my blood boil.

Al Capp is the cartoonist who created the comic strip Lil' Abner. He was considered a right wing mouthpiece at the time and enjoyed a lucrative side career on the speaking tour.

He showed up in Montreal one afternoon and took a camera crew into Lennon's hotel room where he and Yoko were conducting their "bed in."

Capp barged in as the decent and respectful know-it-all who let it be known he felt the "bed in" was stupid and Lennon was a trouble maker. He also insulted Yoko.

Capp assumed he was speaking for middle-aged America and after knocking heads with Lennon left the room quite proud of himself.

All these years later he looks like such an asshole. Bad enough he was accused of "attempted adultery" by several women and his career crashed after that, but I think the biggest blemish on his legacy were those few embarrassing moments in the Montreal hotel room.

I often wonder if he had kids - how embarrassed they must be.

Here's a link to the incident. It's lengthy, but worth a view if you've got time.

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