If you grew up in Toronto in the ’80s and you preferred alternative music, chances are that you listened to CFNY, the radio station located at 102.1 on the FM dial on an old technology called “terrestrial radio” presently. CFNY are still the call letters for the station, although it goes by the name “The Edge” these days, despite being far less edgy than it used to be.
CFNY’s weekday morning drive show was hosted by “Pete and Geets“, who peppered the usual early- to mid-80s alt-rock playlist of Depeche Mode, U2, New Order and The Smiths with some oddball tracks including Toast, a charming jazzy ditty recorded in 1978 by a short-lived UK group called Streetband. Many a Friday morning during my high school years started with this:
If you came of age in the 1980s and think that you’ve seen or heard the lead vocalist before, it’s probably because you have. He’s Paul Young, as in the guy who had a solo career that included so-eighties-it-hurts hits like Every Time You Go Away and Come Back and Stay.
Photo from the Toronto Star taken by Bernard Weil.
Click the photo to see the source.
If you follow the antics of Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford, you’re probably aware that he’s spent the past few weeks in rehab and is back at the job with a sobriety coach in tow. The photo above recently appeared in the Toronto Star, and it has a certain “buddy film” quality to it. It cried out for a parody movie poster, and I’m not one to refuse such cries:
This needs to be turned into a movie or Netflix series. I’m picturing Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr. in these roles.
The Toronto Star article asks an important question about Bob Marier, the sobriety coach: how is this guy supposed to be helping Rob Ford? Coaches of all sorts are supposed to set examples, and in a earlier incident this week, Marier allegedly set a poor one by kicking someone protesting at a Ford publicity appearance.
Here’s a video showing a police officer taking Marier to task for doing so, and Marier doing the very thing he’s supposed to stop his clients from doing: excusing himself through denial.
The Star quotes Peter Downing, who manages sobriety coaches at Cerberus Life Management and was himself a sobriety coach for many years. He states the painfully obvious: ““That’s not how you do it.”
When I first heard the Ford had hired a sobriety coach, I imagined that it would work out as well as the situation with Britney Spears’ diet coach, as portrayed on Family Guy (because all Rob Ford life moments have a corresponding Family Guy scene):
If it doesn’t get them to take it easy with the selfies, it might make them consider that there’s a certain age when you should stop taking the “sexy” ones:
Found at Poorly Drawn Lines. Click the comic to see it on its original page.
The folks at Rogers — namely the team behind the @RogersHelps account on Twitter — saw my trouble trying to cancel my mobile account. They contacted me and resolved the entire thing via a Twitter direct-message conversation and a single web form, completely free of IVR (integrated voice response, as in “Press 1 for this service, press 2 for that service…”) and sitting in hold music hell. Dealing with it via Twitter chat was pleasant and let me get my work done. Nice!
I’d like to thank Rogers for their years of service — I’ve been a customer ever since the iPhone came out — and treating me much better than those rat-bastards at Bell.
Update: The chat log
Here’s our entire chat via Twitter, which is all it took to get the job done. Naturally, I’ve redacted personal phone numbers, links, and financial stuff:
This is how I imagine the customer service computers at Canadian telecom companies.
(It’s also a simulator to train doctors to perform prostate exams.)
I’m closing out my mobile phone account with the Canadian telco Rogers since I’ve moved to Tampa, which is well outside their service area. Yesterday’s attempt to cancel service was called on account of their Cancellation Department’s computers being down for the entire day (although you can be almost certain that any computers that deal with the intake of money are lovingly maintained and quickly repaired).
Today marks Day 2 — wish me luck!
It’s the pop-sci-fi version of “unstoppable force meets immovable object”.