Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant in Toronto

I’ll preface what I’m about to say by saying that The Great One is my idol and has been since I was five. And Wayne Gretzky’s is probably my favorite restaurant in downtown Toronto and this experience won’t change that.

I went there Sunday with the family before going to see the Blue Jays. We were in a bit of a rush but not so much so that we didn’t have time for a meal there. We got there and there didn’t seem to be any air conditioning. It was as though the restaurant wanted to re-create the environment in Brazil…hot and humid…since the World Cup was on! The table was sticky, the food didn’t come after 40 minutes (so we had to go) and they didn’t include drinks with the kids meal. So here are some comments.

1. Sticky table – that happens. No biggee. You wiped it, my wife still wasn’t happy, but still – no biggee.
2. Late meal – that happens too. You were short-staffed and your manager was great in explaining and apologizing. He covered the drinks and did right by us. As far as I’m concerned, you’re still the place I want to go to before a game.
3. No air conditioning? Come one! What, was the person in charge of pressing the A/C “on” button at home sick? Patrons don’t want to sweat while they eat. If the A/C was broken and you were getting fixed, then great. But if it was for some financial reason, I’m extremely disappointed. It just made me want to get out of there.
4. Kids meals don’t include a drink? Really? You can’t fill a mini-glass with half ice and half fountain pop at a cost of three cents to you and include that in your kids meal? It comes off as cheap and petty.

Anyway, fix the latter two, I forgive you for the former two. And I hope we can still be friends.

Dear Sony/Tri-Star – Fire Your Pompeii Marketing Crew

I just watched Pompeii. Lucky I did, I thought it was great. Granted, I had to turn my brain off and just enjoy the fighting and the fast pace, but this was a “guy’s” movie if there ever was one. So why on earth was the cover of this movie showing a man and a woman kissing in front of an erupting volcano?

I mean…when I was scrolling through rotten tomatoes for the latest movies to watch, I skipped this one. Several times. The title didn’t draw me in, since I knew nothing of the legend of Pompeii. The picture had my scared it was a romance. And the the catchphrase “no warning, no escape” didn’t intrigue. I had zero desire to watch this movie. I was getting movies that were far more boring (I watch a lot of movies, so the bar is low) and Pompeii was nowhere near consideration.

But then I read in Chill magazine that Pompeii was a good guy’s movie. That’s all I needed to see. I watched it with a buddy over a couple of beers, shut off the ol’ brain, and just enjoyed the hell out of it. It was similar to the TV show Spartacus, minus the comic-booky blood. It even had some of the same characters. Keifer Sutherland (i.e. Jack Bauer from 24) was in it. Kit Harrington (i.e. Jon Snow from GoT) was in it. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbeje (i.e. Eko from Lost) was in it.

Here is what you marketing geniuses did wrong:

1. No kiss on the cover. This was not a romance. There was one kiss in the entire movie. You have one target audience, go after them properly.
2. The trailer didn’t get enough play. I don’t even remember seeing it, but then the only TV I watch live is sports. Oh wait, isn’t that the target audience?
3. The trailer showed about 15% of the clips with the leading man and the leading lady. Why? They had one kiss and they were hardly together throughout!
4. Consider a different title. Yes, I’m aware of the history (now). But a more catching title would mean millions more at the box office.

Shady Marketing: Elephas Group (Final Needs Planning)


Why is this allowed to continue? Why doesn’t the government step in? These clowns send unsolicited mail in an envelope that really does look like it’s from the government of Ontario – to anyone living in Ontario not actually working for the government, that is.

(UPDATE: Elephas Responded to this post. Or rather…their lawyer sent me an email. More below)

Continue reading “Shady Marketing: Elephas Group (Final Needs Planning)”

Seriously OLGC…wake up

I haven’t bought a lottery ticket in about two years, but when I do I buy about 20 at once. Statistically, that gives you better odds. Still shitty, but better. It makes more sense to do that than to play once a week for 20 weeks.

Recently, a Brampton couple won $50 million, which is disgusting. I mean, sure – good for them. But they couldn’t spend, donate and give away all that money if they tried.

I’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. For the OLGC to wake up and offer a real lottery. None of this $10 million bullshit. $20 million bullshit. $50 million? That’s just laughable.

No, I’m talking about a multiple draw for one ticket. If you have a $50 million pot, why not have 10 draws of $5 million each. So each ticket holder gets 10 cracks at become rich enough to retire and live well forever. I’ll be first in line for that ticket. But giant winnings will never lure me to the lottery counter. And I struggle to understand why the sheep line up and get excited about giant jackpots. I mean – is your life any different for winning $50 million as opposed to winning $5 million? Truly?

Let’s create more millionaires, rather than just a handful of extreme extreme millionaires.

Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher – Ridiculous

I’ll say this before the movie comes out. I don’t want his performance influencing my thoughts on the matter. But Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher is beyond stupid. The books stress Reacher’s size and strength. I mean, really stresses. As in – by page 30 of most books, the books get into Reacher being 6-5 and anywhere from 220 to 250 (depending on the book). Tom Cruise is generously listed as 5-7. They can pull him off looking 6-0, with camera angles, the right co-actors, etc. But he’s supposed to tower over everyone. Reacher slams his fist into a bad guy’s head and occasionally it breaks their neck. Can’t buy that with Cruise.

I like Cruise as an actor. Enjoy his work more often than not. But terrible pick for this role. We shall see.

Who would I have play the role? First thought was Dwayne Johnson. But no, too big. Too big, and probably too black. Unless they want to re-write the character as black, which is fine by me (they did well enough with Nick Fury changing from white to black in the comics). I would have Ryan Reynolds. He’s 36 and 6-2. Granted, he’s a little too cutesy, but he can rough up his look pretty easily.

The Reacher books start with Reacher as a 35-year-old. Reynolds works. And they can make Reynolds look 6-5 as well as they can make Cruise look 6-0.

In the book One Shot, Reacher is about 42. That’s the book the movie is based on. Cruise is 50. Cruise can do three or four Reacher movies at his age. Reynolds could probably do every book ever written, if need be. I just don’t get this call. Cruise brings in millions no matter what movie he does, they don’t need him for this one. The character alone would make money, they don’t need Cruise.

Fallen acorns a threat to kids with allergies, Vaughan mother claims

Read this.

Speaking of nuts…

My daughter is allergic to nuts. I have zero fears about acorns around her school. She says in the article “I’m not a crazy mom”. But that’s exactly what you are.

Let’s not be chopping down trees because of your senseless fear. If your fear really is over the top, then move the children to another school. If other parents in your situation see no threat, then there isn’t one. There is always somebody who ruins things for everybody, it seems.

I have a friend who is a teacher. He has certain rules regarding computer use during recess. One of those rules is ‘no games with guns’. A kid plays a game with guns so he gets computer use during recess revoked. The mother comes in and whines about it. Teacher says “I’m not changing my decision. If you want, I’ll just take away computer use at recess for everyone, if that will make you feel better.” The idiot mother said “Yes.” Now no students get use of the computer during recess. It all boils down to one clown.

If this acorn mom has her way, then other idiot moms and dads will speak up in all schools around the province. What is initially four or five oak trees will quickly expand to hundreds. All for an imaginary fear.

Air Miles emails too often

I’m a pretty avid Air Miles collector. Both credit cards add Air Miles, one for every $20. I like the program and I think it works brilliantly as long as you focus on just the one. Get into other programs and you’ll find success in the form of rewards a lot harder to come by.

Part of this enjoyment is subscribing to their service and looking at my account update, or any deals that come. Good deals, I mean. Not stupid ones such as “open an account at Run-of-the-Mill Bank, and get 500 Air Miles!”

The problem with their email subscription service is that it is shameless. And it has become more so with each passing month. Companies give them money, or perhaps they threaten to take their business away (who knows), in exchange for use of their email database. A database which, I’m sure you can imagine, is vast. Addresses numbering in the millions.

So the weekly emails became twice weekly, which in turn became daily. Today, at three o’clock in the afternoon, I received my third email of the day from Air Miles. Yes, it’s come down to that. Multiple emails each day. And they don’t see a problem with that? They think it’s an acceptable business practice to do that?

If faced with a question “Which method will improve business in the long run?”
A) Send 15 emails per week to our subscribers
B) Send one email per week to our subscribers

Does Air Miles really believe that option A) is the correct response?

Alright idiots at Air Miles HQ. Here’s a quick lesson for you. Free of charge. Excessive emails turn from informative to spam in an awful hurry. And once the emails become classified as “spam” in the mind of the reader, you’re banished to junk mail. For good. They’re not going to waste time clicking the “unsubscribe” button. Not when they can send it to junk. And once sent to junk, the email program will start automatically sending it to junk.

So you clowns will look at your reports and still say “Hmmm, our subscribed list increased from 5.61 million to 5.62 million in the last week”. And you’ll nod and smile at a job well done. But the bottom line is, and you’re too stupid to give this any further thought so I’ll do the thinking for you, the number of your subscribers who see your emails just slipped from 1.8 million to 1.6 million. And it’s dropping in a hurry.

This is common sense. Stats tell you one thing, logic another. Your marketing department needs a shake-up if they look at one and not the other (and clearly they do).

Anyway, welcome to my junkmail. I’m still subscribed, I just won’t see your emails anymore.

The Entertainment Industry – Greed

Check this out:
Pirate Bay’s Web Host PRQ Raided By Swedish Police

All I see here are tons of resources being poured into getting these “bad” guys. How many police forces worldwide could use a budget boost? And yet the greedy entertainment industry can get the feds and police to do their work for them? Here’s a thought – put your product online and sell it yourselves for a fair price. I know it might mean some bigwigs will have to give up their third or fourth mansion…but they can’t keep wasting the people’s resources on this crap. And that’s what it is – the people’s resources. The police work for us, not an industry.

These words won’t do a thing. Not to these clowns. Zero impact. After all – it’s working. They pull out a wad of cash and the feds (of whichever country – in this case Sweden) start doing cartwheels. The only way this will stop is if the feds stop it. Just put the brakes on. I know it means turning your back on a briefcase full of money (or a bag with a dollar sign on it)…

Listen, I have my work pirated all the time. Do I whine to the authorities? No. (probably because I don’t have many sacks with dollar signs on it, but I digress) What I do is revamp my product and the way I sell it. Frozen Pool, a tool that is on DobberHockey, was copied and given away for free. Did I call my local politician and cry? No. I got rid of memberships. I gave away everything on Frozen Pool that was pirated – for free. And then I broke up other areas of Frozen Pool and charged a smaller price. Adapt and adjust.

Quick suggestions

TV – put the shows online, open with an ad, close with an ad, stick an ad in every 10 minutes. It’s not enough to cause us to fast forward through it, since it’s only one ad. Quit pretending that people watch the ads – most don’t. Not with PVR. Or even channel-flipping during the break. These ads will be watched, since it’s only 15 seconds. You charge more for them. Granted, the dinosaur thinkers that make up the ad-buyers won’t pay more for them, but you start them low and jack up the price over time. Then there will be no point in pirating TV shows.

Music – quit letting Apple set the price. Charge 10 cents a song and you’ll be surprised how many stop pirating songs. I know it’s not as simple as that, of course. But the details are your problem to work out. The answer is there. Find it. Instead of spending money on paying off various police agencies, use it to solve this issue.

Movies – again, just make them available online and sell at a fair price. A fair price. Twenty bucks is not fair. Ten bucks is not fair. But five bucks is. That’s the old Blockbuster movie rental price. Charge that, and you’ll be surprised.

Again, I understand that it’s not that simple. But I’m not solving world hunger here, I’m just making suggestions that will get your mind on the right path. Solve it yourself. Shutting down a bittorrent website isn’t going to do Jack, nor Squat. People will just move onto the next one. Meanwhile, someone in Sweden was getting assaulted, but didn’t get any help in time because the police were too busy running errands for the entertainment industry.

Disgusting, biased reporting on thestar.com

If you hate Rob Ford, then thestar.com is the place to go for the most biased coverage I have ever seen of anybody.

I don’t count myself a fan of Rob Ford, but the immaturity of the Star, their obvious vendetta and horrible coverage of him in general made me go to Canada.com for my news months ago. Again, I don’t really care either way about Ford – he has good and bad ideas and good and bad ways of carrying them out…but I want my opinion of him to be my decision not some paper’s.

Hilarious really, blowing up non-stories of being ‘spotted’ on his cell phone while driving, calling police when there’s an intruder, having “the nerve” to brush off some idiot comic from some weak Canadian comedy show who arrived in his driveway at seven in the morning…whatever he does, The Star blasts him for it. Not to mention picking the fattest, red-faced pictures they can find for a given piece. Oh man, it was relentless. I had to go. I would link to some examples of this, but you can pretty much just go over there and click on the Rob Ford story of the day and see it for yourself.

I love thestar.com otherwise. I think their ease of browsing and depth of news coverage is perfect. So to get chased away from the site for a small issue like this should speak volumes. It’s okay to provide neutral coverage and allow intelligent readers to draw their own opinion of him.


Dear Toronto: Raise Taxes

The city of Toronto is trying to find ways to get extra cash and they are doing it via cuts. By ‘cuts’, of course, I mean cutting services and/or cutting staff. They are looking at stopping the daycare subsidies, and buying out 50,000 city workers.


Toronto property taxes are too cheap. Pickering property taxes are too expensive. Other cities around the GTA are somewhere in between. Increase property taxes. A lot. I’m serious, hit residents with it and keep all the services. In fact, up the services. The average Toronto home could take another $1900 in annual taxes before it gets in the neighborhood of a similar Oshawa home.

If the whiners in Toronto don’t like it, they can move. But it’s all about supply and demand and right now the demand to live in Toronto is high. The housing market sees it. The oil companies see it. Every industry sees it and as such the prices in Toronto are the highest in Canada. The taxes should be, too.

Raise the taxes and those who can’t afford to stay there will move away. This will then settle the housing market down. In the meantime, the extra $1900 per property would solve all of city council’s problems. All they need, as a collective, is a set of balls.

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