Downtown Kitchener!

While reading the Record this past weekend it occurred to me that we might have an issue with something in Downtown Kitchener. You don’t notice it right away, but it slowly creeps into your mind the more that you think about things. You really notice it at the corner of King and Queen. Kitchener has an abundance of second hand stores, pawn shops, and pay-day loan stores within minutes of each other. These stores have little or no value to anyone. Their main purpose is to prey on the poor. Buying items for much lower then should be received, or giving you money for more money in the future.

This usually wouldn’t warrant any further discussion, but we just had a great restaurant have to close its doors because of rent increase; and we have a brewery desperately looking for somewhere to set up shop in the downtown. If Kitchener would like to shape up their central area and maintain the momentum that they have going from the tech district, they need to start removing the dragging-down- society retail shops. There is a need for these places, but these should be destination stores. Not in the central part of the city. The reason we have pawn shops and pay day cash loans is mainly because of alcohol and drug habits. By allowing businesses to thrive on the masses, Kitchener will always be doomed to live the cycle of a failing downtown district.

By watching first-hand how much trouble TWB Coop Brewery has had trying to find a way into the downtown, it’s been disheartening. Most businesses would have given up by now. Or would have gone to another city to begin their pursuit. They have been looking for more than a year for a place to call home; to begin to make some profit and build their brand. Zoning by-laws and high rent have come into play as well. TWB’s start up campaign was a huge success. Residents of Kitchener have shown time and time again that if you have a great product, you will succeed. Still nothing, it’s not for a lack of effort on their front. They have looked at multiple places to make this happen. Nothing has panned out as of yet.

Meanwhile, Imbibe was the absolute best place to go for a beer after work. Having multiple craft beer options daily. Laid back staff, and a very chill vibe. They were just starting to get into a groove of having regular customers. I thought they were going to have something special for years to come. The lease for their spot in the Museum was up, and the rent was hiked based on what the going rate was in the area. Another one bites the dust. It’s discouraging to see people with great ideas on how to enhance the downtown have such a difficult time making the dream become a reality. And if they have a sliver of success the rent then gets increased.

I want to support local businesses. But it has to be a business that has a value. Something that gives back as much as it takes from the community. Donates their venues to local events. Stays on top of all things Kitchener. We need the city to take a stand, and look at all angles when it comes to making this city a better place to live. I am personally in a competition with Waterloo. I believe that the city of Kitchener has more character, and can be a great landing spot for people that want to set up shop here. Let’s have a look at these zoning by-laws that are in place. Are they outdated? Maybe if you own a building take a look at the type of place that is going to be moving in to the spot. Will Imbibe increase the value of your property or bring in business for you? Yes, I think it will. Make it work with them so that everybody can be successful. We are almost there. This is already a city that I am proud to live in, but I want it to be a city where I can bring anybody to the downtown area and wow them with a unique experience. Which does not include a pay day loan. It has been a great run over the past five years or so seeing the central area of the city transform into an entertainment district. Let’s keep the ball rolling, and make this a city worth talking about.

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Live Music in Kitchener

People seem to be in shock that Rod Stewart and Blondie didn’t have better overall ticket sales at Big Music Fest this year (I am not one of them.) They had to cancel the Sunday night of the festival. The organizer said that he had never seen anything like it before. That it just didn’t take. They advertised the performers at an insane level. If you listened to Dave FM or 570 news there were advertisements for the event every couple of commercial breaks. I am kind of dumbfounded why people thought those two in particular would work.
What do you think of when you think of a festival? You think of an intense crowd that is extremely into the music. They have passion for the music, and the band that is performing. What do you think of when you hear the name Rod Stewart? I think of the 70’s playboy that broke the hearts of multiple middle aged women. Or the crooner that softened up in his older age. I think of a casino crowd. As soon as I heard that Rod Stewart and Blondie were the headliners of Sunday night, I knew it would bomb.

I know the pulse of KW. What we are into, and what is going to sell out 10,000 people. Soundgarden and Jane’s Addiction have this ability. Rod Stewart does not. People that go to festivals have a certain vibe about them. And that vibe in Kitchener in particular, is rock music. The thing that is the most frustrating is that with the money that they spent on Stewart and Blondie; that they could have had a fantastic performance by a band that might not be back on tour when the time is right. Rush, Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, and AC/DC all would have been perfect headliners that would have been right near the same dollar mark of Blondie and Rod Stewart put together. Rush might be dreaming a bit, but it couldn’t have been that far off.

This reminds me of the people that used to run Centre in the Square. Bringing in acts that only made a small percentage of people happy. I have to admit that they have been much better over the past couple of years, but they were awful for the decade before that. As a rock fan in this city, you really have nothing to look forward to. You have to drive to Toronto or London to see a band that could have easily been supported in KW. The city just doesn’t have the right people pushing the buttons. Bringing in the type of acts that will have a chance to succeed. Kitchener is desperately trying to get the downtown back up and running. There are not enough places that have bands that aren’t just local acts. Starlight lounge does its best in Waterloo. They have indie rock. But with the small venue, they can only support certain bands. Maxwell’s have brought in a couple of decent bands recently in the Tea Party and the Headstones, but we are still missing that in between place. A place where you can draw in a couple of thousand people every so often. This is why Big Music Fest is so important. We need to show that we can support live music in this area.

The mistake of booking those acts is such a black eye on the city. It’s not our fault that you brought in the wrong artists. We are already paying huge dollars for a festival that in other cities would be half of the price. But we are willing to pay it, if it means that you can bring particular artists to the city, and we don’t have to drive into the parking lot called Toronto. After hearing the runner of Big Music Fest speak, it sounds like he has gotten it through his head that this city is a rock and roll city. We will not support acts just because they are big names. Kitchener really needs to rattle the windows for Soundgarden and Jane’s Addiction to show our appreciation for great music. And to also show the people that are bringing in the talent that this is the type of music that we want. At the end of the day I just want to enjoy the sunshine, and watch a performance from a band that I thought I would never get to see in my own backyard.

An Oath to better prepare math teachers at the buffet line

The multicultural festival was this past weekend in Kitchener. This is an event where you can go and enjoy food from nearly every type of ethnic origin in the area. The only thing we missed out on was the giant turkey leg. You really don’t want the meat sweats in 30 degree weather though.

Jurassic World – 8.2/10

Terrific movie. Really like that they just pretended that the last two Jurassic Park’s didn’t take place whatsoever. Chris Pratt again is solid. It’s a perfect movie for theatre going. Fun for the whole family. Dinosaurs eating humans is always entertaining.

When are the PC ads going to target the NDP? This has to be coming soon. They might have a hard time with the same ads. Tom Mulcair too handsome for politics?

Went to the horse races for the first time in about ten years on Friday. What a grand old time. Even by just having two dollars on a horse makes you yell like a lunatic at a window without the ability for anybody of importance to hear you. Except that seriously angry old-man that is here to win money. He gave me the newbie look at least three times.

As a young lad I thought I would always eat at buffets when growing up. I thought, well you have everything here. Why wouldn’t I always just get this?

Somebody needs to give Brett Cecil a hug.

Sara and I just started to get back into Helix. The show and the band. What a fantastic show this is. It has the creepy vibe turned to 10. Disease outbreak that starts on an island. Two stories run side by side thirty years apart about how the disease started, and how they are trying to stop the outbreak 30 years in the future. 8.9/10

How do psychics stay in business? I guess they don’t have any overhead costs. They don’t really need to sharpen their skills. Just a deck of cards and some candles. Can you be spiritual without table and the dark room? Or is this to show the spirits that you are serious, and you need answers?

Math teachers were extremely wrong about not always having a calculator with you at all times.

If you constantly have problems with underarm stains on your shirts there is an easy solution. You wear an undershirt. The last thing that you want is to give jerk-ass 13 year old kids firepower when you can prevent it by just wearing a t-shirt.

Throwing on Sportsnet 360 a few days ago I heard a WWE superstar Seth Rollins grab the mic in Cleveland. He is currently the champion. He had one of the best speeches that I have heard. “Johnny-idiot face over there isn’t going to bring you a championship. Neither is Lebron. This is the closest that you will be to a championship. You better enjoy it.” Johnny Manziel was in the crowd.

We are on a kick of trying to take advantage of everything for free. This caused me to go down to a known elderly person hangout to receive a hotdog and enter a ballot for a bike. One of the things that I had to do was guess what colour the quilt was that had the smallest pattern. I guessed it right off of the bat. It’s the one with the smallest shapes was my thought. They were shocked that I got it with my first guess. I was then forced to ask questions about what they were making so I didn’t look rude. At the end of this experience, I am not sure if I am any better or worse. But I did know that I wasn’t going to get those 28 minutes back.

I think I would still go to Jurassic World if they re-opened it back up in a week. I would just think to myself. They are for-sure ready for dinosaurs in cages now.

It seems to be tougher to be spiritual when you are sitting cross-legged in the snow instead of in the sun. Spirituality works a lot better when it’s a beautiful day.

People in the future are going to think that we were idiots for putting up with commercials for as long as we did. “You spent how long watching a guy from Toronto talk about jewelry while waving fistfuls of cash in your face?” Yeah, and that was one of the better ones.

When I see a grown man spinning around in circles on a lawn with his arms spread out wide, I cross the street to the other sidewalk. This is an oath that I have decided to take unknowingly.

The Bullpen Organism

After watching the highly entertaining Jays/Orioles series we witnessed a battle of strengths.  We watched the Jays offense strike at a Orioles pitching staff.  We observed the Orioles relievers shutting down Toronto’s big bats.  What was the end result?  It doesn’t matter how many runs you score, when the pen can’t hold the lead.   Their bullpen is leaky.  Not one pitcher on the back end can get consistent outs.  Many of the best teams now want to be able to shorten the game.  One of the biggest reasons that the Royals made it as far as they did last year is because they were able to play a 6 inning game.  As soon as you hit the 7th teams know that they’re going to have to face Herrera, Davis, and Holland.   Game over!

What this causes is batters to really put pressure on themselves to put up some runs to prevent the bullpen from coming into the game.  Your mentality completely shifts.  You don’t have the first time through the order against the starter to feel him out.  You need to jump on him early and often.  What does this cause?  Lack of patience and overly-aggressive swings.  Why do you think Jeremy Guthrie, Joe Blanton ,and Chris Young can start for this team?  Starting pitchers for playoff teams are asked to do less and less.  Just give them a solid 5 or 6 innings, and they can turn it over to the bullpen.  Even the way that the relievers are constructed is important.  If you look at the Orioles they have a bunch of parts thrown together to make their bullpen.  Smart managing and scouting have been their key.  Tommy Hunter, Darren O’Day, and Zach Britton are not household names.  But they have their purpose.  O’Day’s unorthodox delivery can lead directly into Britton’s sinker.  Changing eye levels and leaving the hitter adjusting constantly at the plate.  Even Chaz Roe has been a pleasant surprise.  His slider gives the players something else to think about.  The pen is nearly as important as the starters in today’s MLB.

The mentality of the bullpen is almost as important as the talent.  It is an organism.  You will see all pitchers do well or all pitchers struggle.  Pitchers feel comfortable in certain roles, but completely uncomfortable in others.  The most talented guy doesn’t necessarily need to be the closer.  It’s the player that has that closer mentality that is key.  Confidence and an intimidating presence are nearly as important as stuff.  Trevor Hoffman threw change-up after change-up, and he was the best in the business for a decade.  You do need an out-pitch as a closer though.  Something that the player can’t foul off constantly until he gets something to hit.   An arsenal that includes a weapon that has a 95 mark in a video game rating.

There are multiple closers on the market this year in baseball.  Chapman, Rodriguez, Papelbon, and Clippard are all available for the right price.  You now see many teams load up on closers for the post season.  Throwing them in the 7th and 8th innings.  Trying to emulate what the Royals did last year.  Sometimes they will be planted into the organism and be rejected.  You need the perfect fit for the rare species.  These are players that spend the majority of the game sitting together, doing very little for nearly the entire game.  They might only be called upon for one batter. You might need a side-armer that throws 86mph, with a devastating slider.  Or you might need a herky-jerky left handed specialist with a loopy curve-ball.  It’s not an exact science.  Not every team can afford 3 would-be closers like the Royals have.  Sometimes you just have to plug pitchers in to see what works.  The one thing that I can guarantee is that the two teams that will be in the World Series will not have question marks in their bullpen.

Top 3 Albums of 2015, so far…

In light of the mediocre popularity of my top 5 albums of the year. I have decided to make my top 3 albums for the first half of the year. There has been an awful lot of great music that has been put in front of me over the past six months. It’s been difficult for me to narrow it down to just three, but my job is a tough one as an underpaid writer that feels the need to contribute to society in his own useless way.

3 – Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear
There is something about this album that is difficult to put your finger on. This isn’t your usual singer with an acoustic guitar. His lyrics are not vague. He is able to make light of situations that drive people crazy. All of this with an all so soothing voice. The album is dynamite from the first beat. Father John has an intoxicating way to get inside of the deep layer of your emotional being. This is not an easy listening record even though it should be. It forces you to pay attention to each song from start to finish. Some records are great background music, this is not one of them. You will lose the crowd with his constant melody, and distinct lyrics. Misty is able to hit certain notes that you do not expect him to hit. There are also a couple of heavier areas of the record. Two of the songs have a bit of an unexpected guitar solo. I am very excited to see what he is going to do next. Singles to download: Strange Encounter, The Ideal Husband, and True Affection

 

2 – Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
I am not afraid to say this. I didn’t like Age of Adz. It was well reviewed, I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it’s my high expectations of Sufjan. Knowing how good Illinoise was. Just wanting him to go back to the well for more pure gold. Well, here it is. An absolute masterpiece. From top to bottom this record shines. The mood is set right from the first track on. Every single sound that is on this record has been thought out. It flows beautifully in and out of a dream land that only Sufjan can navigate. You can envision Sufjan making this album. Marking down points of each song when a certain types of sound are required. Carrie and Lowell might be his best work yet. Illinoise had a few songs that were sent in as filler. This album has nothing of the sort from top to bottom it is perfect. It seems like one of those albums that I will continually come back to. One thing that Sufjan has gone away from is circus noises in this album. Sticking to simplicity. Quiet sounds and the ability to adjust his own voice to the tone of the song. Beautiful album that may actually make it to the top of my list by the end of the year. Singles to download: Death With Dignity, Should Have Known Better, and All of me Wants All of You.  Sorry no live performance that is good quality.

 

1 – Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges and Claws
Envision sitting by a camp fire. Sipping on a beverage. Watching and listening to what you believe might be the most comforting, and angelic music that you have ever heard. Being lifted off by a giant Jose Gonzalez cloud to a glorious place that must have been created by Neil Young or Cat Stevens or maybe a combination of both. There are points of Vestiges and Claws that I think to myself “How did this man think of these graceful noises.” It is pure genius. To think of notes that had never been created before. But make them sound like you could never live without them again. Gonzalez has a way to distribute his voice. It’s a very soothing and unassuming voice, but creates a sense of urgency. His effortless guitar work and his delicate voice work in unison impeccably. This album is perfect. It takes absolutely no work to get into. You can put this on in front of any crowd, and you will have zero complaints. It’s the album of the year as of today, and I would be shocked if any single human being would be able to take Jose Gonzalez off of the mantle for album of the year of 2015. Singles to download: With the Ink of the Ghost, Leaf Off – The Cave, What Will, Every Age

Charleston shootings and burying our heads in the sand

After seeing what happened in Charleston I can completely understand why people tune out the news.  Seeing such hate happen in a place where people are supposed to feel safe.  When I ask people why they don’t watch the news or keep up on world events; what they tell me is that all the negativity in the world makes them feel bad.  They would rather hear about the kid that got saved from the well.  Or the dog that rescued a kitten trying to cross the street.  You need to know what’s going on in the world so you can make an informed decision about certain topics.  Supporting the right candidate or taking a stand against certain injustices.  You don’t even need to leave your home to make a difference.  You can protest on multiple social media fronts.  This has a bigger impact than actually protesting if you get enough people on board.

You need to know where people stand on particular stories.  If we just bury our head in the sand, we will continue to make the same mistakes as a human race.  If our children are frightened of every single person of certain ethnic origins how are we going to evolve as a species.  After hearing about the Charleston shootings, I felt anger.  It feels like every time we take a step forward that we take three steps back.  Whether it comes to sexual orientation, sexism, or racial discrimination we need to be better than we are.  You can’t judge anybody for how they are born.  Whether it’s skin colour, gay, lesbian, man, or woman.  None of these things are decided by the individual.  It’s who the person is that is important.  The decisions that they make.  That’s what you can judge them on.

The way that I retrieve my news is extremely important.  Nearly everybody gets their knowledge online.  If you woke up this morning and went to Yahoo or MSN the story was about Tyra Banks and the way that she looks first thing in the morning.  That’s the news story.  How a person looks without makeup on.  Do you know the reason that’s the top story?  People click on it.  People don’t want to hear about somebody’s opinion about the hate crime that happened in Charleston.  It will be swept under the rug in about a week.  Could you imagine if this was a terrorist attack by a group from another country? The US would want blood-shed.  They might even prefer that, they could at least make sense of what happened.  But when it’s a plain old racist hate crime by one of their own.  Well, he’s just crazy then.  This is a one-off.  The US will take no responsibility for this.  Put their head back in the sand, and continue concentrating their hatred back on who they believe is the real enemy.

What do you think is going to happen when the younger generation grows up?  We haven’t faced any of the issues that directly impact our society.  We should have zero tolerance for any type of narrow-mindedness.  We can only move as quickly as our slowest person.  And in this case our slowest person has just shot up a church, and killed 9 African American’s in the process.  It does seem like we are climbing Mt. Everest with running shoes on.  Just sliding back down to the bottom of the mountain every second step.  What I try to tell myself after watching CBC news is to think about all angles before making a judgement call.  I am by no means perfect.  I have made a lot of mistakes in my years of living.  My attempts to better myself are sometimes difficult.  You grow up constantly hearing things that you are told to believe, and then have to decide for yourselves what is correct.  Listening to open-minded people is one of the things that I try to do on a consistent basis. Really hearing what they are saying rather than just waiting for your time to pipe in your own opinions.  I really dislike writing about these things, but in light of what happened in Charleston I think some of these things need to be stated.  And if you really want to hear it summed up perfectly watch Jon Stewart.

Enlightened by Twitter about Downtown Kitchener

I have been enlightened by Twitter. It’s not the way that you would think that it would happen though. I have added everything in the area of KW. Anything from restaurants, social groups, board game cafes, and theaters. Each and every day I can scroll through the Twitter feed and find out what’s happening right around the corner. The internet is a scorched earth sometimes to find correct information. Companies don’t have time to put everything that is going on up on their website constantly. Twitter is a needed tool for local businesses to access as many people as possible in a short time frame.
The other day I found out that there was a produce market that was opening up in Belmont Village for one day. I had no idea that this was even happening until it popped up in my Twitter feed. This seems to be a market that hasn’t quite been discovered by every business. The amount of times that Sara and I have gone to a restaurant because we noticed a $5.00 pint deal at a particular place is astonishing. Downtown Kitchener now advertises $5.00 hump day specials at select businesses downtown. We don’t even look at the websites any longer. There are places that we have never eaten at or didn’t even know existed until we were notified by the hashtag #KWawesome.

I wouldn’t quite say that this is an untapped market, but it’s the only way that advertising works on us. We are the new generation. If you are looking for ways to advertise as a business, and spoiling somebody’s YouTube video is not the answer. You might want to look at Twitter to drum up business. The Boathouse and Imbibe are the best examples in the area for things that seem to work. Word of mouth and social media is practically the only way that these two places have brought in customers. Imbibe unfortunately was forced to close because of rising rental costs at the Museum, but the Boathouse seems to be thriving. If you haven’t been there, check it out. It’s the only outdoor patio that has a view. There is something soothing about sitting by the water and enjoying a pint of beer.

In a city that has historically owned by the Charcoal group we need to help these smaller places. There are more and more places popping up each day in the downtown Kitchener area. Have you heard of La Guanaquita? It’s a brilliant El Salvadorian restaurant above Frankies. It has the best papusas in the city, and offer salsa lessons on certain nights. Want to try something different? Gilt is a sharing restaurant that pushes the boundaries of creative food. They have specials nearly every weekday night. Just want a burger? McCabe’s has one of the best. On Tuesday night they have a half price special for burgers. All of these places are within a 5 minute walk of each other.

When was the last time you went out to Boston Pizza and after the meal was over you said to yourself “That was delicious. That pasta dish was worth every single penny of the $18.95?”

Twitter is the catalyst to everything for me. If there is an advertisement for half price appetizers and $5.00 pints you will have my sights set on you. If you live in this area, add everything KW related to your Twitter feed. You can find things to do, places to go, and stuff to eat within minutes every single day of the week. This city is a difficult city to be bored in while living downtown. Most people think you have to live in Toronto for constant entertainment. I disagree, if we can start to get bigger live music here; which may happen in the near future with the tech district and craft beer boom. This city can thrive. It’s a very exciting time to be in this area. Hope to see everybody out and about. You can catch me enjoying the view from the patio at the Boathouse sometime between the hours of 3-6 on most weekdays.

Will Ferrell and his attempt at a fatality in Mortal Kombat

The Blue Jays have had quite the run recently. Does it remind anybody of a couple of years ago? This is the same pitching staff that they had at the start of the season when we were calling for heads to roll. Minus Aaron Sanchez. The team will come back down to earth. They can still compete, but don’t expect them to run away with the division. We will see what type of team that they have when they hit a rough patch.

A man with colitis wins $25.00 worth of toilet paper. This isn’t a joke, this happened to me.

The look of a teenager having to cut the grass of a huge yard in the afternoon of a beautiful spring day is the same look after Liam Neeson found out his daughter was Taken.

There are many local legends in downtown Kitchener. You already know about the guy with the shopping cart. Another fellow that is usually in the same area has a bucket and a drum stick. He usually has one pant leg pulled up. He plays this bucket with the same intensity of Neil Peart. He doesn’t even have anything to throw change in. Playing the bucket is his part-time job. He usually plays for a couple of hours at a time. This has been another segment of local legends.

Honeymoon – 8.1/10
Coherence – 8.7/10

Couple of beauties here. Both have the same intense build up without the gore or boogeyman tactic. If you can understand Coherence without having to look up some of the details online; you will receive a round of applause from me.

The PC ads that are currently out are even more dumbed down than usual. Ripping on Justin Trudeau about his hair and wanting to send jackets to Syria. Pretty soon it’s going to be that he orders daiquiris and dislikes Rush.

There is something out called the Sustainable Market. It allows you to order fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, flowers, herbs, and all things garden related online. You can then pick up your order from a place in Waterloo or Guelph. With people not really having time to shop properly, this is a great way to get your core ingredients. Wonderful idea.

http://sustainablemarket.ca/

Game of Thrones is done for another season. And with that, you can start to enjoy your summer. Something about that show makes me want to drink a giant stout, grow a beard, and learn how to sword fight.

At least 3 other people could have fit on that dragon.

Chicago Blackhawks won another cup. It’s really hard to dislike this team. They have the best leader in hockey, and are an extremely humble team. If I hear that Chelseadagger song one more time though…

In all my years of existence I have never thrown a dish with food on it before. It seems like this is a regular occurrence on TV. It seems fairly stupid to me. If you throw it at another person, it seems unlikely that they will clean up the mess. If you are just angry about something else, then you will have to clean up the mess. It seems as though any way that you slice it that you are have work to do.

I really enjoy driving slowly. Not to the point that you are angering the person that is behind you, but just a good pace where I am not stressing anybody out. I always envision people that weave in and out of lanes as people that sit in cubicles and throw footballs to each other in the office while taking other people’s money.

Sufjan Stevens new album is terrific. It might be his best. Illinoise is tough to beat, but have a listen to Carrie and Lowell, it might be Neo from the Matrix. 9.3/10

Mortal Kombat taught us that fatal ways to die are better than just dying regularly.

Everybody always had that cousin that loved to climb everything. They would go to the top of a tree and everybody would be cheering them on. “Yes, that small branch there. The one that looks like a twig. That should be able to support 94 pounds. Give it a shot.” Then you would hear the crunch of the branch, while they attempted to plant the first foot. “Oh maybe not, maybe you should come down.” They would try it again with a more tender foot, and hear a softer crunch. “Maybe go for it now. It seems to be stabilizing?”

Here’s hoping that Will Ferrell doesn’t become the new Adam Sandler. Sweat pants, fart noises, and Rob Schneider playing every ethnic origin. His last few movies have been awfully suspect. Is he getting into that dangerous old man comedian area where you have lost the crowd? You just keep going back to the dried up well. The next project due out is about a washed up ball player that becomes a mascot to try to get back in the good graces of the ball team that cut him.

Intentionally injuring yourself so you don’t have to go to a hockey game; to continue drinking at a buddy’s place seemed to be a logical choice made by an acquaintance at the time.

The trade that could help the Jays make the playoffs.

The Jays are on a roll. This might an understatement. They are on absolute fire. Everything on this team is clicking right now. When you have Ryan Goins belting three-run homeruns in key times you know things are going just a little too smoothly. Up and down this lineup everything is firing on all cylinders. You know at some point that this has to slow down. They have holes on this team that will hopefully be filled before the gravy train of runs out of steam.

What do the Jays require to make a real run at a division title? They need a top level starter, a closer, and a utility player. Reyes is injury prone. Bautista still doesn’t look right throwing. Colabello is a sore spot in the field. There is a team in the American League that have all of these things, and could be selling at the deadline. The Oakland A’s.

Scott Kazmir, Tyler Clippard, and Ben Zobrist all in the final year of their contracts. The A’s are a miserable 13 games under .500 and could be looking to deal. Kazmir would instantly become the Jays ace. He has been extremely reliable over his time in Oakland, and can match-up with any pitcher in the AL East currently. Clippard is a solid closer. He throws strikes, and has had a history of closing over the past two years in Oakland and Washington. Zobrist is an ultimate utility player. He can play nearly every position on the field. Having a high on-base percentage and can hit in every part of the lineup. Best part about it. You don’t have to take on that much salary. Reasonable contracts without any term.

What do the Jays have to give up? Well, these are three valuable pieces. This would be a costly trade. It wouldn’t cost them Stroman or Sanchez. But it might cost them Norris, Pompey, and Hoffman. I know that’s a huge return. But look at last year’s deadline and what yielded Lester, Price, and Samardzija? Addison Russell was one of the top prospects in baseball. Drew Smyly is going to be a top of the rotation pitcher, and Yoenis Cespedes was a proven all-star. This is an awful lot to give up though. Especially if they end up not making the playoffs. What’s the alternative though? Aaron Harang from Philadelphia? Kyle Lohse from Milwaukee? How much better are these guys then what you already have? Then there are Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto. They would cost the Jays two to three top prospects on their own.

Say this trade does go down and they end up losing all three players to free agency. What do they receive? The Jays would receive compensatory picks. It could be 3 first round picks. Or 2 first round picks, and a second. Regardless, it’s not all for nothing if you don’t make the playoffs. Is this worth the investment? Hoffman could be a potential ace. Pompey a starting outfielder, and Norris a middle of the rotation guy. I am not sure if I would make this deal. But it’s what it would take to get those 3 players out of Oakland. With so many teams having a shot at post season play it becomes more and more difficult to find rental players. Which is why they have become so expensive. The one thing that I do know is that Scott Kazmir versus David Price sounds a lot more appetizing than Drew Hutchison versus David Price as a Jays fan.

Limp Bizkit spotted at Wildcraft eating balls of all-dressed Chip seasoning

The Indians bullpen crew decided to hold Brandon Moss’ 100th career homerun ball ransom. They decided that they all wanted Apple products. They made a list, and the CEO of Apple came through and provided them with their demands. I am not sure if it was supposed to be a joke, but if not, it’s a pretty dickish thing to do.

Degrassi has been saved by Netflix. Once again the streaming service sees talent, and is going to reap the rewards from it. See Trailer Park Boys and Arrested Development for details.

Practically every single network TV show has limitations. It almost seems like they are writing like they don’t want to offend anyone. Only going so far. Every piece of dialogue that I hear on most shows has never been an actual conversation that two people have had. But just add a comic book character or two and you are good to go.

Preggoland – 5.6/10
Slow West – 7.1/10

Slow West stars Michael Fassbender as a jaded man from the old west that takes on a friendship to this kid trying to find the love of his life. She is being hunted by multiple people for a ransom.

When the Bruce Trail was just starting out they didn’t have a way to cross a major highway in the Hamilton area. So, to complete the section they would have to run across a 6 lane highway to get to the other side of the trail. Just envisioning a group of people in ‘70s tall socks and short shorts running across the 427 is amusing to me.

No-hitter thrown on the night that I put a picture of my no-hitter ball on Instagram a coincidence? I think not. The spirit of Legionnaires baseball, and the power of the mullet found its way to Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants. You are welcome my friend.

In my hometown we had a gentleman that would heckle players from all age groups from the beer gardens that were down the first base line. He would shout things about their lack of skill and their mothers constantly. Didn’t matter the age, 13 and up were fair game. Players from the other team would launch throws into the beer gardens during warm ups. The heckler would get on their nerves. This was the legendary Legionnaires 10th man.

Did you know that there is a group of men within the gaming industry that hate women gamers, and women that create video games? They actually go as far to threaten their lives. It is coined with the hashtag “Gamergate.” Who are these men? Where do we find them? Is this a secret society? And you think sports has a problem with sexism?

There is a new reality show that is in the works that will have the likes of William Shatner, George Foreman, and other veteran celebrities going to Asia to travel around to find the meaning of life. As long as there is $5.00 in it; William Shatner is on board.

Innocente is a brewery that has opened up in Waterloo. They have multiple beers on tap, and allow you to try every single one of them if you like. Very good guys, and very good beer. Go check them out. They will also fill up any growler. Regardless of the brewery. Just not 2L pop bottles. Yes, we did ask.

There are points in my life that I have missed Alpha-getti. I actually go down that aisle just to see what shapes that they come in. Oh, those spooky Halloween shapes always were the best. Also, my alphabet soup never spelled anything like they do in the cartoons. There are some adults that have eaten this at my work. I instantly think that they really need their pay-cheque to come in.

Top 3 spots where you can say “oh man, couldn’t you hold it in jokingly?”

3 – Going on 85 North practically anytime during the spring
2 – Traveling through the city, and getting that faint whiff of the skunk
1 – When somebody shits their pants regardless of the place

There are some bands that I listen to now that I used to really be into, and think “what was I thinking?” Limp Bizkit is one of them. Have you listened to the lyrics of Nookie? I like to pretend that I did it all for the Nookie, but really I was just a sensitive boy that always craved long-term relationships. I was a fraud.

Did Rocky not have time to cook the eggs? Eating raw eggs at 6am is a terrible idea.

I enjoy Dad’s root-beer. It is not available all that often. When it is, and actual beer is available; I will need a few more minutes to decide what I want.

My Mother took me to Wildcraft yesterday. It was a very pleasant lunch. We are both currently retired. Our server was extremely nice. She did dump all of the silverware onto my crouch while trying to clear away all of the plates. The awkwardness of the waitress, the greeter, and my hands picking up silverware from my crouch didn’t go unnoticed.

Sara and I really want one of those bikes that have the basket on the front. The extremely comfortable one. The one where you are sitting completely upright, and looking like you are going to the market to get French baguettes.

I have eaten a ball of all-dressed seasoning before out of a bag of chips on a dare. I don’t regret it.