Welcome to John Stall’s World On Line
Hi there, and welcome to my official personal website that is separate and distinct from other sites with which I am proudly affiliated. www.680news.com
This is the on-line home that combines John Stall Communications, my communications consulting practice with my current and past radio broadcasting/online life. John Stall Profile
This site is designed to preserve the past Jack Layton & Stall back in the day - 1998 and to share the present as we move forward online.
I've posted some archived pics, audio clips and full length radio interviews like this one with the cantankerous late former Leaf's owner Harold Ballard who would never let Russian Hockey in MLG , or field reports from some pretty unusual places. Globe Trotting
So welcome to " Stall's World On Line " and "John Stall Communications". Look around the site. I hope you find some of the audio/visual clips to be educational, Meech Lake Accord interesting, entertaining, The most moving rendition of " Danny Boy" you will ever hear or just plain fun like this question I put to Toronto Mayor Ford during the election campaign.
I also invite you to share and respond to the blog thoughts and tweets I'm posting as well @johnstall_radio & Stall680news.
As for Consulting Services, the John Stall Communications portal speaks for itself. I'm happy to help.
While many in this city cheered the sight of Captain John’s restaurant being towed away from her berth at the foot of Yonge street today, I shed a tiny tear for a couple of reason, the second of which I will reveal in a minute. I spent a lot of time on Captain John’s when it opened in the 70’s. I ate a lot of shrimp cocktail on the deck, drank a lot of beer and sipped way too many Black Russians well into a Friday night. My first job in radio ( circa 73 ) was at CKEY 590 which at the time was located on the top floor of the Toronto Star building at #1 Yonge – so the ship became our after work meeting spot and Friday night launch into the weekend. On any given afternoon to early evening there would be dozens of us from the station or the Star Newsroom holding court on the issues of the day. Along side us would be the very politicians we were slagging from city council or Queens Park – from councillors like Fred Beavis and Joe Piccinini to Metro Chairman Paul Godfrey and Premier Bill Davis. It was the place to be and to be seen. The Captain himself ( John Letnik ) would stroll tall and elegantly throughout the ship proudly schmoozing his A list while sending the odd ” on-the-house” round our way just to keep us coming back. I can only imagine how many free lunches were offered and accepted by politicians of the day. It was quite a time and what memories I can remember ( through the haze of Black Russians ) came flooding back today.
The second reason I’m a touch sorry to see the ship go is because as it came up for auction, a small part of me wanted to buy it! Seriously. Although I have enjoyed every second of my lengthy radio career in Toronto, as a #Masterchef ( in my own mind ) and as I whistle by the grave yard, my latent dream is to own and run a restaurant.. Having travelled quite extensively, I’ve seen my share of unique WATERFRONT spots – In San Francisco, Chicago, Florida Keys, Mexico, BVI, Hong Kong, Boston, Cape Cod, Naples, Sicily, Nice, along Italy’s Amalfi coast and throughout the Greek Islands. The notion of an actual ship as a waterfront restaurant destination is gold, anywhere in the world. I even ( just musing ) almost called Paul Godfrey ( fixer ) to joint venture with me – LOL
Yes, just a dream. It would take a ton of financial, administrative, physical, political and legal energy to clear up the liens, back taxes, bad will and rust that has accumulated on the hull of Captain John’s – but oh baby, what a dream! I’m glad that John Letnik realized some of his and at least he went down with his ship – unlike other Captains’ who abandon passengers and crew to save themselves.
There is an old adage characterizing consultants as those who take your watch, tell you what time it is, and then send you a bill.
Well, Apple has just upped the consulting game by giving us a watch to consult our lives before sending an on-going bill.
It’s hard not to be wowed by the functions of Apple Watch, which unveiled by CEO Tim Cook on Monday.
The watch (in the words of Steve Jobs), is a maniacally cool device, but it will clearly up the distraction game too.
At least you can keep an iPhone away in your pocket or purse until you need or want the information it gives up. But, this wearable interactive bracelet will be in your face buzzing, blinking, dinging or vibrating every waking minute of every day (as long as the battery lasts).
You’ll be alerted to every tweet, Facebook or Instagram post. You’ll Google, gasp, and get Siri to run your life. You’ll be able to monitor your heartbeat and rising blood pressure caused by constant over-stimulation, but you won’t be able to lower it unless you turn the Apple Watch off.
You’ll be talking, tapping, taking and sending pictures, moaning to friends or mending relationships.
You are in for the ride of your life, if that is your thing, and as Tim Cook revealed at the event, “this is just the beginning.”
Celebrated an early Christmas this weekend with oldest daughter who will be away with her other half for the real deal. She requested the awesomely authentic #Italian Christmas Eve dinner – so the authentically Italian Master chef ( in his own mind) enjoyed a full day preparing the traditional 7 meatless dishes ( sometimes 12 ) but not last night. Yes, It may come as a surprise to some ( if anyone cares at all ) that Stall is in any way attached to the Italian culture. The… reality is my father married into an Italian family -hence I was born and raised in the bosom of nothing but Italian. My Grandmother was a “Caruso” from the little mountain top town of Pisticci in the Basilicata region in the south east of Italy ( same home town as the late Johnny Lombardi of Toronto) Yes, I’m 3rd cousin to the late famous hair dresser Gus Caruso who revolutionized womens’ hairstyling in the 50’s and 60’s from his shop in Toronto before opening salons in NY, and Italy – here is a cool link to his legacy http://tinyurl.com/n9p8sbu
So anyway, back to the Christmas Eve feast. Pics will speak for themselves but if your interested in the menu: Everything #come-a-nize
– light battered smelt
-Baked mussels in shell
– Grilled calamari in sea salted olive oil.
– Pasta with clams,oyster and shrimp in a red sauce.
– Chestnuts ( not roasted on an open fire )
-Baked goods courtesy of Cousin Marianne
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night – for now.
Celebrated an early Christmas this weekend with oldest daughter who will be away with her other half for the real deal. She requested the awesomely authentic #Italian Christmas Eve dinner – so the authentically Italian Master chef ( in his own mind) enjoyed a full day preparing the traditional 7 meatless dishes ( sometimes 12 ) but not last night.
Byelection results always serve as fodder for future predictions but rarely resonate equally with all political pundits or parties. Incumbents, if they lose or end up with less support than in general elections are always quick to characterize the result as general voter malaise or anger that is registered as a protest vote without fear of upsetting the whole applecart. Challengers who win who realize gains are always quick to characterize the byelection result as a sign of things to come in the next general election. Both characterizations are valid and clearly one side or the other is eventually going to be right. But somethings happening here in the GTA, based on the result in Whitby-Oshawa and what it is ain’t exactly clear. The victory in the late Jim Flaherty’s riding by former Whitby Mayor Pat Perkins does not come as a surprise because the former finance minister was considered one of the best, most effective and committed Conservative MP’s in history, and Perkins is a well respected civic leader. What is surprising, is that despite the reverence for Flaherty and the Conservative values of Stephen Harper, The Liberals led by Justin Trudeau were able to triple their share of the vote from 14% in the last election to 42% in this byelection. If they were able to achieve that kind of increased support in the riding of the Country’s most revered former finance minister, it stands to reason that many GTA seats currently held by less popular or accomplished Tory candidates will be vulnerable in next years general election.
I didn’t have to plan too much of a formal introduction to Doug Ford this morning as he arrived in the 680news studio for our final on-air session because as a veteran interviewer I know that sometimes the best and most revealing content never gets on the air because it takes place off the air before and after the “real thing.” Doug walked in at 7:30 a.m. on Friday during the commercial break and while saying hello began complaining about my/our post-analysis of the City News debate. I had concluded that the debate was flat, that Doug was more subdued than normal and that John Tory had avoided any devastating moments that could have derailed what the pollsters are predicting will be a significant victory on Monday night. Ford was telling me how wrong we all are to conclude the polls are correct so when the time to begin the interview arrived, I simply turned on the mic and let the audience know that they were now welcome to “eavesdrop ” on an exchange that had already been underway between the two of us – here it is as it unfolded on 680news this morning While asking Doug to explain why he took issue with my assessment of the debate, he acknowledged that he was a little more subdued because he had hammered Tory enough times to make his points. What he then revealed is that his own internal polling puts him in a dead heat with John Tory or even slightly ahead while making the point that the winner will be the one who can get the vote out. He didn’t go as far as to suggest I had a bias, but he left no doubt that he thinks the media generally has a bias in favor of John Tory. So, folks, let me be perfectly clear as we head into the weekend before the vote. I have no bias for or against any of the candidates. I am not endorsing any of them, but when I am asked who I think is going to win. I answer John Tory. I come to this conclusion because after the longest campaign in Toronto’s history with all of its twists and turns and despite the myriad issues that have been debated ad nauseam, I really believe the core issue has been more Ford or no Ford. If not, then who ? Given that Olivia Chow has not found a groundswell of support by any measure and that Rob Ford’s cancer treatment took him out of the race, I sense Tory emerged as the default candidate for the fiscally focused outside of Ford Nation. As for Doug, he is a force of nature who never gives up and truly believes he is going to win on Monday. I just don’t think he is as endearing a character as his brother and is not attracting new support outside of the Ford Nation. He told me this morning that I will be proven wrong on Monday night and that the pollsters will once again be embarrassed We shall see.
Some days, more than others, my work day ends ( although in the news business it never really does ) with an adrenaline drain intersecting strong emotions. Today was one of those days. The strong emotion was in response to watching the departure from Cold Lake Alberta this aft of our 6 F-18’s that screamed off the runway into the massive prairie sky headed for Kuwait. The precision fly past in formation was a departing salute and pledge of allegiance to a Country divided over, but slightly in favour of joining the coalition airstrike against ISIS.
As I write this, the Jets are out over the Atlantic likely re-fuelling in the dark by deftly nosing up to the rear of a flying tanker that releases a cupped hose into the air while flying at speeds as high as 700mph. The Jets move into position one by one behind the tanker and like bees using their stinger to pollinate a flower, thread their own gas hose through the needle of the dangling mother load.
I watched the planes take off while watching the RCMP news brief that the Canadian terror index has been raised as a result of the soldier killed in Quebec by the recently radicalized Martin Rouleau who federal officials now say was known to federal authorities after a relative alerted police to his terrorist leanings. I’m not pro war but I am pro military as a result of time I spent covering Gulf War One in the Middle East back in 1991. I wish our pilots godspeed as they soar across the Atlantic tonight.
The Military news at the end of this day intersects with the adrenaline drain from quizzing John Tory this morning as he picks up another newspaper endorsement ( Torstar ) with 6 days to go in the election campaign.
Just another day in the life of …. but it was one of those days.
I’m Still reeling from the ecstasy hangover of the last weekend. It was the best of the Summer. If I could find a place on earth that featured weather like that all year long I’d move there in a heart beat. It began for me on Friday afternoon after the morning show at 680news. My ritual on Fridays is to head to head up the 400 highway to our cottage home on Georgian Bay. First stop is the farmers market in the Holland Marsh to marvel at the bounty of crop, from bright red Sheppard peppers to juicy bulbs of garlic that have a purple hue to the skins. There is nothing like veggie shopping at this time of year in the Holland Marsh. It’s and experience that stimulates all of the senses. As much a feast for the eyes as the anticipation of the meals ahead. From there it was a slow drive north on the back roads through the canopy of fall colours. No matter how many times the fall comes around here in Ontario, the sight is still mesmerizing, at least to me. I spent most of the weekend on board my beloved boat ” Tiamo” , a 20 foot long Boston Whaler that I Moor around the mouth of the Nottawasaga river – which serves as the gateway to Southern Georgian Bay. The only sight as stunning to me as the fall colours, is the Big Bay when it is as flat and shiny calm as a duck pond. It doesn’t happen all that often because the bay is so huge , but when it does, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. The blue sky is reflected by the water so precisely that the horizon is indistinguishable. Now, the only sight more breathtaking than a duck pond Georgian Bay, is a rainbow trout breaking through the glass water as the sound of fishing line whines off the reel! I got all of it on the weekend which is why I’m enjoying this severe case of October-ites.
With only 5 weeks left until election day here in Toronto, Mayoral front runner John Tory wants to protect his lead by using time wisely. That’s why he told me this morning on 680news that he has decided to avoid some of the Community debates that suck up a lot of time either in preparation or execution. He’s also decided to tack away from the debates because his main opponent Doug Ford is doing the same. The only appearance by Doug Ford so far was the one earlier this week in Etobicoke where he went after John Tory as an elite phoney who knew nothing about how City Hall works. Tory told me today he wasn’t thrown off by that path of attack and looks forward to a couple of more mano-a mano with Doug on TV. Here’s the convo in his own words
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