Posted in news, Sports, urbandaddyblog

Former WWE Star Chyna’s Death Being Investigated As Possible Overdose —

Source: TMZ TMZ reports that police are investigating Chyna’s death as a possible overdose, mainly because of her history with drugs. Prescription bottles were found in her home but there were no illegal drugs and no signs of foul play. Chyna was found in her Redondo Beach, California home on Wednesday at the age of […]

Just heard…

via Chyna’s Death Being Investigated As Possible Overdose —

Posted in Community, government, news, politics, urbandaddyblog

Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Passes Away After Lengthy Battle With Cancer.

News has just broken that current Toronto City Councillor, and former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has passed away at the age of 46, after an 18-month battle with cancer.

He leaves behind his wife, Renata, and two young children.Rob Ford

The Ward 2 City Councillor’s Chief of Staff had released a statement late Thursday night last week saying Ford’s family was by his side and that he would be in palative care while waiting for his body to strengthen enough before another round of chemotherapy.

Ford was diagnosed with cancer in September 2014. He then pulled out of the mayoral election campaign, opting to run for City Councillor instead which he easily won.

During Ford’s tenure as Mayor of North America’s 5th largest city, he gained worldwide noteriaty for his appearance, his strong fiscal conservative stance and his enjoyment of alcohol and drugs which were exposed by The Toronto Star.

Once under the microscope, Ford was regularly recorded when in public, and in his private life, reporters were stalking him at his home, peeking over his fence and taking pictures of him and his family inside.

He continued to make headline-grabbing comments about his sex life, and he admitted to crack cocaine and alcohol abuse which resulted in him being admitted to a rehab facility.

The Ford family has released the following statement:

With heavy hearts and profound sadness, the Ford family announces the passing of their beloved son, brother, husband, and father, Councillor Rob Ford earlier today at the age of 46.

A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto.

The family asks that you respect their privacy and join them in their grieving and their prayers.

The family will not be making any statements to the media or taking any questions.

Information will follow at a later time regarding memorial services.


Current Mayor John Tory released the following statement:

I am saddened to learn of the passing of Rob Ford: husband, father, city councillor, and former mayor of Toronto.

The City is reeling with this news, and my thoughts are with his wife Renata and their two children, as well as Rob’s brothers Doug and Randy, his sister Kathy, his mother, Diane, and the rest of their tight-knit family, including TDSB Trustee Michael Ford.

I have known Rob Ford for many years. He was a man who spoke his mind and who ran for office because of the deeply felt convictions that he had. As a councillor, mayor and private citizen, Rob Ford reached out directly to people across the city with a phone call, an offer of advice or support, and I know there are many who were affected by his gregarious nature and approach to public service.

I had a chance to visit him not long ago and while he was clearly not well, he was happy to hear me say I looked forward to his return to City Hall. Sadly, that won’t now happen but whatever differences we had, he knew I meant it.

His time in City Hall included moments of kindness, of generosity to his council colleagues and real efforts to do what he thought was best for Toronto. He was, above all else, a profoundly human guy whose presence in our city will be missed.

On behalf of the people of The City of Toronto, I offer my sincere condolences to his loved ones at this time.”


Posted in music, news

You Gotta Fight… Beastie Boys Adam Yauch Passes Away at Age 47.

It’s always surprising when someone so young dies, especially when famous, but the death of Beastie Boys Adam Yauch today, May 4th after a 3 year-long battle with a rare form of cancer, salivary gland cancer, caught me by surprise.

Yauch, 47, also known by his rap moniker “MCA” co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz in 1979 in Brooklyn, N.Y.  The Beastie’s smashed onto the music scene in 1986 with the album “Licensed to Ill” and from that the anthem “Fight for your right to Party” which was a massive hit for the band putting them on the charts and bringing hip hop into the mainstream.

After transforming the hip hop industry – white guys don’t rap, let alone Jewish ones (Yauch was born to a Jewish mother and Catholic father but was a practising Buddhist) – Yauch turned his attention to Buddhism and Tibetan independence in which he helped set up the Tibetan Freedom Concerts, which helped raise money for Tibetan independence.  He felt that he needed to give a voice to the Tibetan cause and help them get free from Chinese rule.

Yauch also helped form the successful production company Oscilloscope Pictures, which many did not know about him, which released acclaimed films such as “Wendy and Lisa,” “Burma VJ” and “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

Under the pseudonym “Nathanial Hörnblowér” (his middle name was Nathanial), Yauch directed many of the Beastie Boys’ music videos, making his televised debut as Hörnblowér at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards as he stormed the stage in costume to protest after R.E.M. won the award for Best Direction over the Spike Jonze-directed Beastie Boys video “Sabotage”, which was a great video and a really good song.

I suspected he was starting to lose his battle with this disease when the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, and Yauch was not there – the award was accepted by Diamond and Horowitz although they read a letter written by Yauch and them, nad the other bands dedicated their performances to Yauch.

Yauch leaves behind his wife and daughter who would be around 14-years-old.

Did you know this fact about the Beastie Boys; According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term mullet – the hairstyle which is short on the top and long on the back – was “apparently coined, and certainly popularized, by the Beastie Boys who used “mullet” and “mullet head” as epithets in their 1994 song “Mullet Head”.  The Beastie Boys’ fanzine Grand Royal Magazine was the first to use the term in print

Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch dies at age 47
Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch dies at age 47 (Photo credit: rusty-boxcars)

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Posted in family, Life

A post about my father on his birthday…

Today, December 11th would have been my father’s 72nd birthday.  He passed away 8 years ago.

I often think about him while interacting with my kids – wondering how much he would have loved spending time with them, and recently my boys have been asking me if I will take them to the cemetery to visit his headstone…  Not sure how this all came up, but I do not think they are ready yet.  Today my middle child asked me if my father was still alive.  I asked him if he had met him.  A couple seconds later upon realizing that he had not, he concluded that my Dad must have died before he was born.  “Oh” was his reply.

The other day I was reminded of him while in the car when I heard one of his favourite songs, and that brought it all back for me in a good, nostalgic way.

That song was Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen, recorded in 1966.

You see my Dad loved Snoopy from Peanuts fame (look it up kids).

This particular song is a novelty song about the imaginary World War I antics of Charlie Brown’s pet beagle Snoopy, in the comic strip Peanuts.

“Snoopy Vs The Red Baron” was inspired by the comic strip Peanuts by Charles Schulz, which featured a recurring storyline of Snoopy imagining himself in the role of a World War I airman fighting the Red Baron.

“Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” was released only four weeks after the first Sunday Peanuts comic strip featuring Snoopy fighting the Red Baron appeared. Schulz and United Features Syndicate sued the Royal Guardsmen for using the name Snoopy without permission or an advertising license. UFS won the suit; the penalty was that all of the publishing revenues from the song would go to them. Schulz did allow the group to write more Snoopy songs.

The song features the sounds of German gibberish, heard at the beginning of the song, stating that the song will sing of the “pig headed dog and the beloved Red Baron,” as well as the German and American sounds of the Sergeant counting off in 4s.

The song features the sound effects of a fighter airplane, as well as the sounds of shooting and a tailspin sound of a plane at the end of the last verse.

This song also quotes the instrumental chords from The McCoys’ version of “Hang On Sloopy.” In the original recording, the lyrics “Hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on” were sung at this point. This led to some initial speculation that the Guardsmen were the McCoys under a different name. Prior to release, these lyrics were changed from Snoopy to Sloopy to prevent copyright issues.

You can hear it here;

Then just a couple of days ago I heard another one of his favourite songs, this one called; In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly.  It was from 1968 and the darn song is over 17 minutes long.  I found the full song on YouTube but it was so big that it had to be broken in 2.  Both parts are below.

 Have a listen and let me know what you think of 2 unique songs from the 60’s.

Posted in news

Mr. Cunningham, Tom Bosley, has died!

Actor Tom Bosley best known for his role as the father of a “typical American family” on TV show “Happy Days,” has died at 83 years old today.

Bosley began his TV career on a number of popular 1960s TV shows such as “Route 66,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.” and “Bonanza.” But it was his role at the father, on the long-running “Happy Days” where he had the most success as a hardware store owner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Happy Days” – a great show! – ran from 1974 to 1984 and was a hit series that made Henry Winkler (The Fonz) a major Hollywood star and sparked the adult success of Director Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham. The show also launced the career of Scott Baio. I personally liked the fact that “Potsie” Webber’s real name was Warren. I liked Arnold’s and wished we had one in my area growing up. And seriously, how many of us tried turning on a juke box by hitting it the way Fonzie did. Ayyyyyyyy.

When the show ended, Bosley returned to character work on TV with roles in numerous popular series such as “The Love Boat” and to even more prominence on “Murder, She Wrote.”

He continued working well into the 2000s with parts in series such as “That ’70s Show.” which I do not remember because I hated that show!

The Leopard Lodge is going to miss their Grand Poobah. RIP Tom.