Sunday, May 31, 2009

Toronto Roller Derby

Guess what I did yesterday? That's right, the wife and I caught the first Toronto Roller Derby match of the season of between the Chicks Ahoy and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. And I got to tell you, we had a blast.I found out about this from one of the many blogs I frequent daily, The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century; a blog by Joey deVilla. Accordion Guy by the way played the national anthem on his accordion last night. I only wish I had had the opportunity to say hello, but he disappeared before I could.Here are some pictures from last nights match. The view of the rink from our seats.A close-up look at the action from the suicide seats. I highly recommend it the next time you are looking for something to do on a Saturday night. It was a lot of fun.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Enough Already!

Welcome to the new socialist state of Toronto ...
where the City of Toronto Pet Police can knock on your door and if your dog or cat doesn't have the required $50-$60 licences, you could face a $240 fine and the city says that if "you are taken to court under the current law, the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine."
And if you go through a red light in a car and you're caught on camera, you'll get a $500 fine in the mail to go with the invented-out-of-thin-air $60 car registration fee that you had to pay to be out there in the first place.
If you buy a property, you'll pay two land transfer taxes, face a fine if you're driving in an High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane with less than two people, if you have the wrong garbage bag, light bulb, recycling box, if you idle while waiting for someone for more than three minutes, if you don't have a permit for that addition to your backyard deck.

And if you're thirsty for a bottle of water and you're at City Hall, you'll be out of luck because they've put duct tape over the water button -- effectively banning bottled water.

And don't even get me started on the garbage issue...
But do whatever the hell you want on your bicycle. You are anonymous, untouchable and you're king, as evidenced by this insane proposal to replace the traffic lane on Jarvis St. with a bike lane. Don't worry that this is Canada and summer like weather only last for six months. How many people on bikes do you actually see out there in the winter, enough to warrant all these bike lanes?!? I think not!

courtesy of the Toronto Sun

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Racing Notes: The Indy 5oo and Paul Tracy

So I managed to catch the Indy 500 the other day live, (one of the perks at working for a sports network). Twinkle toes not only beat the tax man, but he managed to beat everyone else and win his 3rd Indy 500 title. Congrats to Helio and the unstoppable Juggernaut that is Penske Racing. Surprises of the race were Danica Patrick who finished third and Townsend Bell (PT's Team mate) who finished fourth.

My man Paul, who hadn't been in a car since last July, finished the race in 9th, proving to the Indy Car Nation that he can still run with the big dogs and that the series desperately needs someone like him.

To see what Tracy thought of the race, check out his blog, here.

It was announced late last week that Tracy had secured sponsorship to race in Toronto and Edmonton this year, but now it appears he will also be driving the #14 car this weekend for AJ Foyt Enterprises at The Milwaukee Mile in place of the injured Vitor Meira.Meira who crashed hard into the wall in last weeks Indy 500 may be out for the rest of the season.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

F1: Grand Prix Of Monaco

Race Notes:

  • Race conditions are perfect
  • I love this track. I am a big fan of street courses, too bad there isn't alot of room for passing.
  • Kimi P2?! Massa P5. Is Ferrari finally getting its shit together?
  • Lap 1 ... Clean start, Button keeps P1, Barichello to P2 Kimi down to P3.
  • Brawns already putting distance between them and the Ferrari and lap one isn't even done.
  • Lap 8 ... Massa all over Vettel. Vettel seems to be holding up everyone behind him. Massa too hot into the corner and has to blow through the chicane passing Vettel. Massa has to give back the position to Vettel and Rosberg squeezes past as well.
  • Vettels tires are toast. Rosberg now all over his rear with Massa close behind.
  • Lap 9 ... Rosberg gets by Vettel and Massa as well. Vettels dives to the pits.
  • Buemi takes out Piquet into corner 1, both are done for the day. Local yellow comes out.
  • Suddenly Kimi is on the charge, all over the back of Barichello in P2.
  • Kimi in the pits, back out in P7
  • Lap 15 ... Vettel slides into the barriers after taking the corner too wide, rear end is destroyed.
  • Barichello in the pits, back out in 6.
  • Lap 16 ... Button in the pits, back out in P2. Rosberg leads.
  • Lap 17 ... Rosberg into the pits, lead back to Button. Nice job by Brawn.
  • Lap 28 ... Button, Barichello, Raikkonen, Alonso, Massa.
  • Race has become follow the leader as all passing being done in the pits.
  • Lap 29 ... Alonso in the pits, out in P9, Massa up to P4 Another fine pit pass -- NOT.
  • Announcers trying to explain how the drivers have to deal with this boredom in the middle of the race, tell me about it!
  • Lap 36 ... For the second time this year, Button laps the reigning world champ, Hamilton who is running 16th.
  • Lap 40 ... Massa cutting the chicanes. Gets a warning from the stewards, does it again, gets another warning. How many warnings does Ferrari get?!? McLaren would of been black flagged for sure, or any other team for that matter.
  • Lap 56 Button pits, giving Kimi the lead.
  • Kovalainen hits the wall, done for the day. Kimi pits, Button back to P1, Barichello P2, Massa P3 and Kimi P4.
  • Hamilton into the pits for a new nose cone. Suddenly lap times start improving. Question; why didn't Lewis come in sooner if he knew he had a problem? Why wait to replace the nose at the end of the race when it was damaged sometime at the beginning?
  • Talk of Alonso to Ferrari next year. Only question is who is he going to replace?
  • Bourdais P8 and holding onto the last world cup point, but it will be a battle to the end. Must be tough to go from 4 time Champ Car hero to F1 zero.
  • Final lap ... One, two for brawn and three, four for Ferrari; Button wins, Barichello second, Kimi third and Massa fourth.
Another typical F1 race, no real surprises from start to finish ... Ferrari is starting to come on strong, (the results of a 300 million plus budget) and McLaren keeps going backwards.
Full race results, here.
picture courtesy of

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Do Not Disturb

Paul Tracy and his sponsor, the Geico Caveman

Tomorrow is the biggest day of the year for auto racing and of course I happen to be working days. So that means no live F1 at 8am or the Indy 500 which starts at noon. Both races will be taped delayed (thanks to my PVR) and I will try to watch them when I get home from work. (The wife is going to love that!) All this may be tough to do considering I work at a TV sports station. Not sure if I'm going to feel up to *live blogging* during the race with my race notes, but who knows, I may feel ambitious.
Until then here are the qualifying results for F1 and Indy.
Also ... just so you know, if you try to call me tomorrow night, don't be offended if I don't answer the phone...

picture courtesy of my name is IRL

The Month Of May

Apparently its been a busy month. Ok, not THAT busy, throw in a little laziness, and you can understand the distinct lack of posts. So to remedy that I just finished down loading the latest pictures from my camera, and for your enjoyment, here is a look at the month that was.
Self portraitThe wife liked this one I took of her.Is there any better way to celebrate the first of May, then with some drinks at your neighborhood bar? Relaxing with my boys.
The weather turned nice and our pool was officially opened for the season. And guess who wasted no time at all going for a swim?
Look who just turned 18 ... when the hell did that happen?!
We also took my other nephew out for drinks before he headed up north to plant trees again for his summer job. Headed to the next bar on the streetcar enjoying snacks.
My wife joined a softball league and I went to check it out with her parents. For someone who hasn't played since high school, she wasn't too shabby.
I was in a pet store and had to take a shot of this crazy cat hammock filled with crazy kittens.
Working on our golf game by hitting a bucket of balls at the Docks.
Some grass even grew in my backyard!And I even managed to get in some biking to boot!And that's the kind of month its been so far....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saturday Nights Will Not Be The Same: Martin Streek Gone From EDGE 102.1

I grew up in Toronto and a big part of my life in the late 80's and for most of the 90's was CFNY 102.1, the Spirit of radio (or as its now known, Edge 102).
Toronto at that time was a unique place for radio and CFNY was one of only a few radio stations in all of North America that would play alternative music. Needless to say this station was permanently tuned to all my FM receivers in the house and in the car.
These days, its not so prominent in my life anymore, the format has changed and frankly so have my tastes, but I still remember fondly those days when music played a big roll in my life and I have CFNY to thank for a lot of that.
So it was with great shock when I learnt today that Martin Streek has been fired. One of the only 2 remaining DJ's from that era that remain on the Edge (the other being Dave Bookie Bookman) has mysteriously disappeared from from the air and has had all bio info erased from their web site. Martin Streek was there when I started listening 20 years ago, hosting the Thursday 30 and live-to-air broadcasts from the Phoenix concert club.
I could not find any official word from the Edge, but that's not really surprising. In radio you're there one day and gone the next, replaced by a new format and new personalities.
You never really get to say good-bye in radio.
CFNY was the sound track to my life growing up, and Martin Streek was one of my tour guides.
Now all we have left is Bookie and his musical knowledge.
But from one long time listener, Saturday nights will no longer be the same. You will be missed.
Side Note: Barry Taylor another Edge personality is also missing from the website. Another casualty of the radio wars?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grand Prix of Spain

Button on pole, followed by Seb Vettel, in P2 ahead of Rubens Barrichello in 3rd, while Felipe Massa put his Ferrari F60 up into fourth place.

Weather conditions in Toronto, cold and windy Sunday morning, with storm clouds brewing. Which makes it perfect conditions for a motor car race ... on the couch.

Racing Notes:

  • Unbelievable start ... Barrichello takes Button for first ... Massa takes Vettle for third ... HUGE crash in turn three. Trulli goes wide into the gravel trap, comes back on track sideways and takes out Bourdais, and Suttle. Full course yellow, pace car comes out.
  • Bad start for Hamilton as well, pushed onto the grass putting him second last ... manages to squeeze through the crash aftermath.
  • Kimi up 6 spots to 10th.
  • Lap 3 race order Barrichello, Button, Massa.
  • Commercial break in the middle of a sentence and then misses the green flag coming back?!
  • Lap 5 restart. Webber puts the move on Alonso 5th - nice move.
  • 48 to go ... Button in to the pits
  • Trouble for Kimi as the Ferrari dies on the track. Instead of pulling it off the track, Kimi tries to drive it back to the pits and it dies on track bring out a local yellow. Good job Kimi -- NOT!
  • 47 to go ... Barrichello into the pits from 1st out in 3rd.
  • Boring race today, most of the passing seems to be going on in the pits.
  • 32 to go Button, Massa, Vettle, Barrichello
  • 27 to go ... Ferrari's hub cap blows off in replay, announcers are somewhere else in lala land talking about Barricello in fourth and his chances of winning ... WTF? ... what feed are you watching?
  • Radio communication with Hamilton "my rear tires are gone".
  • 23 to go ... Massa in 2nd and Vettel in 3rd into the pits. Back out 5th and 6th.
  • Another commercial break mid-sentence.
  • Alonso pits, comes out just in front of Hamilton and manages to keep the position, shot of the crowd going wild. Hamilton is no doubt blaming his rear tires.
  • 13 to go ... suddenly it seems like Massa is being too hard on the Ferrari and is using too much fuel. Engineers are telling him to conserve as he tries to hold of Vettle for fourth. You want me to what?!
  • 9 to go ... more words to Massa to slow down. His replay, "what do you want me to do?". Classic.
  • 4 to go ... Vettle gets passed Massa for 4th.
  • Another Ferrari blunder. They did no-refuel Massa's car properly and now they are telling him he is a lap short unless he conserves fuel.
  • 1 lap to go ... Alonso all over the back of Massa, and takes him for 5th.
  • Final lap ... Button wins, Barrichello 2nd and Webber 3rd.

This one was a snoozer. Even though F1 is still in bizzarro world where up is down and down is up and everything is mixed up; super powers Ferrari and McLaren still not much of a factor, and the mid pack teams of Brawn and Red Bull still the teams to beat. Aanyway you look at it, this race was classic F1, follow the leader with all the passing being done in the pits. zzzzzzzzz.

Star Trek

I saw the new Star Trek movie last night. LOVED IT. And surprisingly, so did the wife. I have never been a fan of the movies or the series and its many spin offs, but if you're like me and grew up in the 80's and 90's, its hard not to have an intimate knowledge of this pop culture Juggernaut.
I loved how they managed to breath new life into this aging pop culture dynasty. And I loved how they kept the new characters true to the originals. The story was fresh and modern, yet remains true to its roots. I can't see any die hard fans being disappointed with this. And I can certainly see a whole new fan base with this fresh take as well.
I won't say much more except this; go see the movie, you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Round Two

Today's Saturday morning ride was in the Don Valley. Way to early in the morning, but with the rain that came shortly after we were done, makes me think that early really wasn't so bad after all.
And once again the Valley kicked my ass.

Freaky Weather

No more than hour after I got back from my ride the weather changed. Hail the size of peanut M&M's. and torrential rain.
And 20 minutes later this is what it looked like outside. My house had it's own moat.