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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!
(to anyone out there that celebrates this particular annual event)

My heart almost stopped beating for a few minutes this morning. I thought I had picked up a virus when I checked my e-mails first thing this morning. Still not entirely sure that all is well, but how freaky is that for Halloween morning??

Trick or treat my ample caboose!!

The irony is, we’re so close to switching over to a worry-free Mac, it would have been a classic That Dan Guy moment to have disaster strike just as we’re approaching the finish line.

Aye Caramba!!

Well, soon enough this will all hopefully be behind me, and I can start up a computer (just once, even) in the morning that isn’t out to drive me into a complete nervous breakdown.

I will survive…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Potpourri:

I recently began subscribing to Apple Computers’ e-newsletter. As my switch-over date draws ever closer, I’m starting to think that this here Vista computer is beginning to suspect something. The other day, when I went to open my e-mails, a new post had been whisked off to the Junk Mail folder.

The new mail? My Apple e-newsletter. Clearly, Windows is getting nervous, and intends on doing whatever it can to prevent being banished to a cold corner of our basement, where I will likely only ever fire it up to play Solitaire, or light up the furnace room.

You’re goin’ down Windows Vista!!


*****************************************************

Congratulations, Philadelphia Phillies, Word Series Champs (the photo above is a shot of me standing on the ball field, at Citizen’s Bank Park…)


*****************************************************

In all the excitement of posting a link to my Country 105 Radio Star Yout-Ube video yesterday, I neglected to post the usual link to my weekly column, which was online again yesterday:

http://www.eventpub.com/stories.php?id=143835

Tis the season to celebrate our furry friends!

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I’m On The Yout-Ube!!

Sorry, folks, just a short one today as we are rushing out the door extra early this morning.

And, I swear, this is absolutely the last time I will gush about the Country 105 Radio Star gig that I won last week. If you want to see just a snippet of the fun we all had in the studio, hit this link:

http://www.country105.com/TheRhodesShow/View.aspx?PostID=12767

But remember, the camera adds a hundred pounds!! Except on the scalp…

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

As usual, I find myself struggling (as I do every year) with what costume I will wear for Halloween. The most important component of ANY costume I ultimately choose will be an ability to conceal that I’m nearing a time when a lot of other people my age would be considering retirement. I can deal with “my, aren’t you husky for your age”, but I get a little uncomfortable when people ask “Grandpa”????

I know, I know – Halloween is for kids. But all that candy!! And all you have to do is walk around your own block to fill up a pillow case full! (Optional component – drive around MULTIPLE areas, especially neighbourhoods with dense housing, so as to avoid all that cumbersome walking…) My sweet tooth just can’t resist!!

I’ve dressed up as Santa in the past, and been told that my mask is “spookily realistic”. Bingo!! Being a ghost has been pretty good too, but I have been questioned when I wear my bifocals on the outside of that costume…

My least successful year – skipped the costume, and went as “middle-aged man”. Considerable resistance to that particular gimmick. Maybe I should have worn an eye patch to try and work an emergency pirate angle into the costume, or elicit a bit of sympathy.

Well, whatever I decide to go with, I had better try to make it relevant. A coat of tinfoil probably won’t qualify as an Iron Man getup.

Sigh…

Chow for now!!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Mac is close…

Mac is so close, I can actually smell the glorious Mac-iness of it – unbridled efficiency, dazzling bells and whistles that actually work – redemption and relief from the land of Microsoft…

As a matter of fact, we are mere dollars away from our goal (switching from PC to Mac) and forever leaving my computer woes behind. Like I told the sales guy this weekend at the Apple Store – Vista is the best thing to happen EVER, if you were even slightly considering moving to a Mac.

Of course, I’ve been bleating about this for over a year now, since we bought our latest PC. Foolishly, with Vista pre-installed. Ever since, my brain has been taxed by programs that don’t work, hardware that no longer cooperates, and a relentless thirst for human blood.

Sorry, that last one may not actually have anything to do with Vista… Damn full moons…

This weekend, we went into the new Apple store in our local mall. We waded through the sea of people inside, standing shoulder to shoulder, but still smiling. Smiling? Hell, they were all humming “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing, In Perfect Harmony”. It truly must be what heaven is like.

Over to one side, there was a completely unexpected light glowing softly – a light so warm and welcoming, I felt like I was in the presence of my beloved, departed grandmother.

As we drew closer, I could see that it was a notebook computer, one of the models we’ve been considering. Remarkably, no one else was looking at that computer. It was like it had appeared as a vision to just myself, and Mrs. That Dan Guy. A vision of hope, and pure, unadulterated happiness. Doves flew gently overhead, as I moved my unworthy fingers towards the keyboard.

Now, I’ve known for a while that the Mac computers are amazing, and have some rather skookum features. But a salesperson arrived, and started to do a demo that still has my hair standing straight on end, like a newborn orang-utan. Even David Copperfield didn’t impress me as much as that demonstration. I was left aghast, agape, awed.

Now, more than ever, my life depends, nay – clings, on getting my Mac…

Chow for now!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Chicken Scratch

Howdy-Doody, upright mammals!!

Fuzzball and I are just taking an easy mornin’ here today, watchin’ Saturday mornin’ cartoons – why, what were YOU thinkin’????

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

What’s that? It’s uh…Sunday mornin’?? Are ya sure??

Crap…

Well, we’re uh…we’re watchin’ “Bite ME”, on The Animal Planet!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Look, I don’t care WHAT yer perverted human minds are processin’ right now, lemme tell ya – Fuzzball and me is just watchin’ some TV, and hidn’ out from that frozen old garage the humans here wanna toss us inta. It ain’t right, I tells ya. I mean, throw me a feather or sumthin’ – my cluckin’ knuckles get frostbitten on that concrete out there!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

What’s that?? Why is Fuzzball turnin’ red and whistlin’?? Why the pluck would I know?? Between you and me, he has the IQ uva piece of popcorn. Maybe he’s just camera-shy…

Hey, Password’s comin’ up, on GSN – why don’ you make like a tumbleweed, and blow away??

But bring us coffee refills, before ya dew…

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Cluck for now!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Radio Star For An Hour!!!
(Chicken Scratch is pre-empted for today. Charlie returns tomorrow morning..)
WOW!

What a great time yesterday, live on the air at one of Calgary’s top radio stations – Country 105 FM! I was part of the afternoon drive broadcast – “The Rhodes Show”.

I won the privilege to do that when my entry for their Radio Star contest was chosen as the winning submission – clearly I oversold myself! I may have fibbed a bit, when I suggested that I’ve been a mentor and advisor to Ryan Seacrest…

No matter how I ended up getting my foot in the door, I was determined to make the most of this incredible opportunity, while doing everything I could to ensure that I wouldn’t completely screw up even the simplest little things.

That didn’t go so well. One of my first chances to banter a bit went south when I referred to the delightful co-host “Hot Rod” Harriet as “Hot Dog”. I knew I should have written those names down…

I had a ball, and I have to say, hosts Roger Rhodes, and “Hot Rod” made me feel like a part of the family, if the family were royalty. When I admitted I was nervous, they offered support and assurance I’d be fine. When I was sweating like a yak as soon as the mic went live, they offered paper towel from a safe distance. When I needed my latte stirred to keep the syrup evenly distributed, they laughed like I was kidding. They were an absolute pleasure to work with, if by “work” I’m referring to struggling to remember my own name during station identifications…

I’ve posted a few photos of the hour, from the studio:

http://photoshare.shaw.ca/view/12794618837-1224946211-44123/0

Just can’t say enough about how much fun this gig was. Announcing Bingo numbers at the Legion tonight just ain’t gonna feel the same, since I’ve had a taste of “the big time”…

Chow for now!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Country 105 Radio Star – The Countdown….

Well, by this time tonight I will either be a puddle of blenderized Jell-O, or I’ll be walking on clouds. My guest stint on Country 105 FM tonight here in Calgary http://www.country105.com/ runs from 6-7 PM Mountain Time, and if you live outside the city, you can click on that link I just posted above, and then click just one more time, on the “Listen Live” link.

Will I fall on my face? Will I start to blubber whenever we play a sad song?

Will I be escorted from the studio after failing to recall the proper sequence of the station ID numbers, one too many times? Hey, anything can happen – it is LIVE radio after all…

I was in the studio yesterday afternoon, visiting the Rhodes Show live - to get a feel for how high my anxiety level could probably rise, and I shared a confession with effervescent co-host Hot Rod Harriet. She asked if I was nervous as all, and I joked that I would be wearing a pair of Depends just to be on the safe side.

Somehow, that made it onto the air yesterday afternoon. So at least now I won’t have to worry about maintaining my dignity…

I think this is going to be a great hour of fun – both Roger and Harriet were a delight to meet, as genuine and hilarious in person as they are on the air. Of course, I was in an isolation booth, so neither of them had any reason to feel like they were in any real danger…

So, I had better go and try to memorize those call letters now – radio stations are pretty insistent that the letters of the alphabet you use on the air match the ones that identify the station.

Although - just once - I may try to slip in “WKRP”…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

There has been a unanimous decision, here in the Such Is Life household, to not bother with starting to follow any of the brand-new fall TV shows launched this season. We will stick with the old ones which we currently do watch, thank you very much, but whatever new offerings are being presented by the networks this fall, are effectively “dead to us”…

This decision was affirmed last night when we decided to watch part of “Gary Unmarried”, a new sitcom with Jay Mohr as a man who is essentially a male version of the character that Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays, in “The New Adventures Of Old Christine”. Which is another show that we don’t typically follow (even though it is awfully funny).

The reason we have adopted this stance is that we tend to get attached to programs, and then they will suddenly get cancelled, only to be replaced by something odd, like juggling cats, or ballroom dancing. Personally, given the choice, we’d pick the juggling cats. Neither one of us cares to watch an hour of Crusty The Clown doing the Cha-Cha with Ashlee Simpson.

I know, I know – we’re just miserable old bats that wish M.A.S.H. were still broadcasting new episodes (we do). Frankly, the only reason we watched “Gary Unmarried” was that ole lady MTDG kept nodding off during a movie we had been watching, so I had to resort to network television. The choices were frightening, and I’m not talking about Halloween programming!

Of course, we are probably in the minority – we’re people that are light years away from the demographic that network suits are desperately trying to appeal to, people that actually appreciate plot lines, and compelling acting in their TV shows.

Although, we do admittedly enjoy the odd guilty pleasure. We do LOOOVE that Gene Simmons’ “Family Jewels”!!

Chow for now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So, about a week ago, I entered a contest sponsored by the local radio station Mrs. That Dan Guy and I listen to every day. If you read this blog with any regularity (God bless fibre!!), you should know that we enjoy a pretty wide-ranging taste in music. But we listen to Country 105, Calgary’s home of today’s country music.

And, Country 105 had this contest on their website, to be a Radio Star for an hour. If you click on this link http://www.country105.com/ you can read all about it (scroll down about three-quarters of the page, under Contests – it’s bright red, you really can’t miss it.).

Basically (well, exactly) the gist was this:

This is your chance to be the next Radio Star!On October 24 you could have your chance to host your own show on Country 105. Send a simple, short demo of what you would do on the air if you had your own show on Country 105. Our panel of professional broadcasters will narrow the entries down to 5 contestants, and then Country 105 listeners will pick the winner by listening to their demos posted on the Country 105 website.The winner will host their own one hour show between 6pm and 7pm, October 24, here at Country 105!"

Well, as you may have already guessed – I WON!!!!!

That’s right boys and girls, this Friday, from 6-7 PM Mountain Time, I will be babbling away on one of the most popular radio stations here in Calgary. You can listen live by clicking on that link I posted earlier, and then click on “Listen Live” (top of the page, in blue text with stars on either side).

Pretty exciting – glad I didn’t submit my alternate pitch – The Mime Cowboy Hour

Chow for now!!

Hey, wait a minute! I almost forgot- this week’s column, the conclusion to my ladder saga, is online today. Check it out at:

http://www.eventpub.com/stories.php?id=142226

Now, chow for now!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Computer Diary Entry, October 21, 2008

Dear Diary,

Well, just when I thought I had seen it all with Windows Vista, today became a landmark moment in this program’s inefficiency.

First, while I was starting my computer up this morning (takes generally about as long as the gestational period for a baby ostrich), it began to load Windows Calendar, on start-up. First time ever, right out of the blue. Ha-ha – that little monkey, Windows Vista...

Windows Calendar is part of a suite of programs that replaced the much simpler and reliable Microsoft Outlook, and Outlook Express – part of a sweeping replacement of any Microsoft products that worked properly. Well, Microsoft – you’ve succeeded! Microsoft Calendar is indeed a useless piece of junk, that fails to work in conjunction with ANYTHING. For me at least...

I first noticed this when I learned that Vista did not support the software for my Blackberry handheld wireless device. I mean, why support something that is pretty much vital when it comes to regular synchronization, when you can simply not bother? So, currently I can back up my Blackberry, but can’t use any of the functions that I was able to on my old, beloved computer that actually used to work. Thanks, Microsoft!!

Then, as if that latest little new quirk wasn’t enough, I was working on an earlier attempt at writing up this diary entry, when Windows decided that instead of typing “Dear Diary”, I actually intended to “Restart Computer”, which it did, while losing my document at the same time. THAT’S efficiency!

Diary, I would truly rather inject shingling nails into my cranium, rather than ever buy another computer with Windows Vista on it.

I hear that Mac computers can run this program with ease, and that there are only a few hiccups when running in that software environment. That must be what it feels like to live in a land of sunshine and rainbows, where vegetables taste like chocolate, and unicorns lie sleeping under oak trees in your backyard.

Diary, if this is all a bad dream, when I wake up, will this bad computer be gone???

Chow for now!

Monday, October 20, 2008

video

The Monday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review – Neil Young.

(or, Why I Will Never Be A Professional Concert Reviewer…)

Sweet Patootie, bless my soul – I really love that rock and roll!

To paraphrase Mr. Meatloaf, there ain’t nothin’ like great rock ‘n roll – and who better to crank out an evening of that genre than legendary rocker folkie Neil Young??

I’m not exactly sure why I’ve never seen Neil Young in concert before. I’ve been a fan since the 70’s, when I was a long-haired teenager struggling to learn to play the guitar. Now, I’m a balding old fart who never really learned to play the guitar, but still remembers some of the chords to Cinnamon Girl, which Neil included in his set last night. Whoo-hoo!!

Plus, the man was part of legendary acts, including (but not limited to) Crosby Stills Nash & Young (we saw CSN live a few years ago, and they were pretty darn enjoyable themselves). On top of that, he’s from my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He’s a freakin’ Canadian!

Sometime soon, I suppose I have to talk about the concert – I mean, isn’t that the whole point of a review? Well, let me tell you, who cares? The man was absolutely insane, attacking the stage with a frenzy we haven’t seen before from a performer. By the second song, he was wailing away on his guitar like he was trying to strangle it – what a virtuoso!! Hard to believe this guy came back from a brain aneurism not so long ago…

But then, maybe that’s why he put so much passion into his show – he’s aware of just how fragile life is, so why take your foot off the gas?? He gave everything and more – and if you were looking for hits from his songbook – they were there – in abundance.

He did seem a bit like the Phantom Of The Opera at times, with his rangy appearance – and he didn’t do much to dispel that image when he put down his guitar to play…A PIPE ORGAN!!! But that song (I should know the title, but is escapes me in the midst of my gushing) was just one highlight in over two hours of highlights. Two hours without sticking around for the encore, as today is a work day. I can always crawl back into bed after I drop Mrs. That Dan Guy off at work, but SHE has to try and stay awake most of today…

In conclusion – Neil Young live in concert – AWESOME!!!

Chow for now!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What a pickle!

A pickle dusted in snow…

Our plan for this weekend was simple – after a beautiful, sunny day on Friday (somewhere around 19ºC), we planned on:

1) taking down and storing our gazebo,
2) putting away our lawn furniture,
3) having one last barbecue, before placing the BBQ into storage for the winter,
4) and, taking the metal detector over the lawn, to search for dropped coin in our yard.

Sadly, snow was falling when we awoke Saturday morning. Stepping over a herd of assorted chickens to look out my balcony window, I was dumbfounded to see the white stuff covering everything that had been dry and ready for storage, just the day before. So much for the forecasts, which clearly must have involved throwing a dart while wearing a blindfold, and invoking the advice of an arthritic mule…

So, now I have to either store all this stuff wet and depressed (me, not the furniture), or wait until another few sunny days occur, with warm temperatures. Maybe a gentle trade wind.

The worst part was looking out at the cloth roof of our gazebo. Later in the day, I tried to shoot it with a portable blow-dryer, but our extension cord was about 18 inches short. Looking around at the expressions on our neighbours’ faces, maybe I should have waited until I had the cover of darkness to attempt that exercise…

So, now I must wait, and observe. I must stand ready to act as soon as the opportunity for a successful mission presents itself.

O Gazebo, I stand on guard for thee…

Chow for now!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

video

Chicken Scratch

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Snowfall! Snowfall alert!

If ya click on that video up there, you’ll get to see the first snowfall of the year, in Calgary. Cluck me!! So much for havin’ a siesta in my hammock today!

Oh well, at least I ain’t Mr. & Mrs. Banjo Boy – they were supposed ta take down their gazebo today, but that clearly ain’t gonna happen!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

It’s fallin’ like an explosion atta cotton batten factory. It’s fallin’ like solid rain!

It’s fallin’ like Rice-A-Roni, an’ it ain’t no San Francisco treat…

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Well, I suppose now this will hide soma them “deposits” that we made out in the yard, the last few days. Hey, the toilets are so blasted high in this house – who did they design them for, NBA players with overact pituitary glands??

I wonder if all that lawn furniture and stuff can weather a Canadian winter? Probably not, they buy a lotta cheep crap in this house!! I ain’t ever gonna pawn anything valuable from this joint! Can you say “Dollar Store Galore”????


BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Well, better go dig out our mukluks and toques. Summer is definitely done like dinner here….

Cluck for now!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Whoo-hoo!!

Today is supposed to hit a high of 19ºC, which is about, oh, I don’t know…140ºF! Totally balmy!! I have to make hay while the sun is shining, to use an old Western catch phrase.

I’m not sure what we’ll do with the hay once I’ve made it, but I’m pretty sure there are a few ranchers around these parts that might be looking for horse feed. Or, I suppose I could make a house out of it, and sell it to one of those three little pigs that are renting a condo, a few houses down from us…

So, with this last gasp of balmy, what will I do to maximize my warmth today???

1) I will brush my lawn, as it has been growing a little rangy as of late…
2) I will try and tan the parts of my feet that were tanned unevenly, thanks to wearing sandals all summer…
3) How long do tomatoes take to grow and ripen???
4) While Mrs. That Dan Guy is at work, I will use our rickety old ladder to inspect our eaves troughs. So what if the ratio of concrete to lawn here is 2 to 1??
5) I will set up a lemonade stand, to bolster my Mac fund (so close…so close…)
6) I will stop and smell the roses. Or whatever those flowers are that we have growing in clusters in shady areas of the back yard. Mushrooms??
7) I will smoke a pipe, and ponder a spell on just how funny Garfield still is, even after all these years…
8) Seven words: last chance to tan in my Speedo…
9) Poke wasp nest, to see if they’ve gone into hibernation yet…

It’s gonna be a beautiful day!!

Chow for now!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We are racing against time, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I…

Well, not so much racing as we are waiting. With bated breath.

We plan to take our gazebo down this weekend, because the weather forecasts are suggesting higher temperatures. Even though every morning here lately feels like we’re living in a refrigerator in Tuktyuktuk, the prognosticators feel that we will see temperatures above frostbite levels on Saturday. Easy for them to say, from their climate-controlled studios!

If it snows before that, our gazebo is doomed. It has a cloth (some sort of tenty-type material) roof, which probably was never intended to survive a Canadian snowfall. Heck, it barely survives a Canadian drizzle. But we love it, at least until we can replace it with a four season version we’ve seen at the local Home Depot. Then, it will be retired, to languish along with other treasures of the past – like our (vinyl) picnic tablecloth, or our deep sea fishing poles. Not much deep sea fishing to be had in the middle of the Canadian prairies…

We also hope to put up our Christmas tree lights this weekend, before our driveway has 10 feet of snow on it. I’d wait until December, but the elk graze in our driveway when it gets that cold outside. I’m just plain tired of whipping surly elk with strings of Xmas tree lights…

Hey, I’ll be using a very special ladder to hang those lights. Yesterday’s column was online, and it is Part One of my ladder purchase saga. Check it out:

http://www.eventpub.com/stories.php?id=141023

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I suppose I should talk about our new Canadian government this morning. Although it is a bit anti-climactic, considering the dysfunctional old jokers all ended up back in office. Aside from a few seats changing hands, we have essentially the same amount (and group) of people in office that we had BEFORE last night’s federal election. We’re not big on change, here in Canada. If Status Quo were a political party, they’d win in a landslide…

Does that last paragraph constitute talking about the election? Good enough for me…

Hey, I wonder what I did with all my old Status Quo records….

We had our first nominal snowfall overnight the other evening, evident in cars we passed while driving into work yesterday. Kind-of a funny thing, as our own area didn’t really get hit, but others clearly took on a hefty dump, with cars covered in snow as they passed us by on the road. Calgary is famous for having extreme weather patterns, but how ribbons of the city got snow, and others didn’t just seems a bit extreme to me. Clearly, Mother Nature is not unionized.

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The last official day with our company (family) from out of town was a whirlwind. We attended the show Sunday night that I wrote about (late) yesterday, but we also drove out to beautiful Banff – a ruggedly beautiful ski village. I have to say, the city is pretty much just breathtakingly beautiful. Banff, you are so beautiful, to me...

Ahem...sorry...
Banff is probably the best-known ski destination in Canada, although when Gene Simmons decided to film a segment of his Family Jewels show here in Canada, he opted for Whistler instead. Banff was inconsolable. Last I heard, Banff STILL wasn’t talking to that floozy Whistler…

Even though Mrs. That Dan Guy and I have driven THROUGH Banff many, many times before, this was also OUR first chance to stop in and soak up the majesty of a city nestled amongst the Rocky Mountains. We drove for about an hour, over hill, and over dale. Following a dusty trail.

Although, not having a whole lot of time before we had to return, we weren’t able to actually SEE the mountains, aside from taking photos like the one I posted today, from the main street of the city. We never made it to the ski areas, or any of the “view” sites, but still – with mountains everywhere you looked, it was hard not to at least feel that you were somewhat elevated. I guess you could say we were on a Rocky Mountain High.

We spent a few extended moments wandering in search of Squirrel Road, for a photo opportunity, but got bum directions from a local. Much colder than Calgary at that elevation, we decided it would be better to keep the feeling in our extremities, as opposed to making headlines for perishing from frostbite in a heavily populated area, just for a photo op. We can always go back, and try planting our explorer’s flag at another time.

We enjoyed lunch at an English pub while we were there, probably a throwback to our English heritage. Not OUR English heritage, but Canada’s. Actually, where we ate probably has no bearing whatsoever on the price of cupcakes in Denmark, but I just thought you might like to know about every minute little detail of our excursion.

However, just like our road trip, all good things must come to an end, and so, mercifully, must this post conclude. I think I can safely say that we all really enjoyed our run out to Banff, and hope to return again in the future. Banff, frankly, couldn’t have cared less…

Chow for now!!

Monday, October 13, 2008


The Canadian Holiday Monday (Thanksgiving) “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Go-Anyway” Event Review: Viagara Falls, starring Bernie Kopell, Lou Cutell, and Teresa Ganzel.

(or, Why I Will NEVER Be A Professional Event Reviewer…)

You know, dinner theatre is an oft-maligned form of live theatre, and I’ve never really understood why. We’ve seen live, professional theatre all across North America, and many of the dinner theatre productions we’ve taken in have been as good as anything else out there. Sure, there’s no helicopter landing on a dinner theatre stage, or an entire savannah of Africa springing to life, but the intimate setting offered (along with a hearty buffet) can make for a memorable night out. Plus, I’ve never really trusted some of those African savannah animals – how safe is a theatre filled with lions??

Consider last night. Mrs. That Dan Guy and I, along with visiting family members, took in the Stage West production of Viagara Falls, and apparently a near sell-out audience decided to attend as well. This turnout, on a holiday Sunday that probably should have seen them all back at home with their families (we couldn’t shake ours – every time we climbed in the car, they hopped right in themselves), cooking turkeys.

At any rate, the reward for sacrificing turkey overdose dinner with loved ones was a wonderful, funny play, with a veteran cast that appeared to have a lot of fun onstage. Not only did we get to see Bernie Kopell, the former star of TV’s Love Boat, but the other male lead was a substitute, played by the play’s actual co-author, Lou Cutell. He was a hoot and a holler as Kopell’s pal, trying to coax his long-time buddy into going a little wild, partaking along with him in a little blue pencil-leadening pill, and calling over a call girl. OK, so it wasn’t The Helen Keller Story, but we were there after laughs, for Pete’s sake…

The last three stars of the production last night were Teresa Ganzel, and her mighty obvious girls. Collectively, the call girl. The final half of the play centred around the interaction between the five of them, and lead to the “twist” - the surprise ending. A sort of tragi-comic ending, but I’ve probably already said too much, even with just that. Forget I said anything. Just know that after about 90 minutes, the show ends, and your check will arrive. Tip your waitress and go back home.

We laughed, some of us cried, and I think I piled just about enough fresh strawberries into my jacket pocket to make a shortcake tomorrow morning. Man, I love my buffets…

I’d recommend this Viagara Falls show to anyone – even more so if the three of them are attached to the project. Kopell may have been the drawing card, but co-stars Cutell and Ganzel are no slouches themselves. Cutell has a long list of TV and movie credits, including Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Young Frankenstein, and much more. Ganzel has been on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Love Boat, plus a raft of movies.

At press time, there were no credits available for “the girls”.

Eight big thumbs up!!

Chow for now!!


Coming, later today: The Nobody Asked Me To, But Here I Go Anyway Review of "Viagara Falls". Starring Mr. Bernie Kopell.
But first, we have to drive some houseguests to the airport...
Chow for now!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Well, who knew??

For a couple of years now, I’ve been trying to scare up some interest for a National Squirrel Month, every October from my soapbox here (reaching tens of readers worldwide).

Then, out of the blue, an amigo and fellow humour columnist (in California) posts a column to his own blog, indicating that THERE REALLY IS A SQUIRREL AWARENESS MONTH!!

It’s like the Twilight Zone, but without Rod Serling – just the irony of celebrating squirrels. Check out George Waters’ post today:

http://www.thewablog.com/2008/10/happy-squirrel-awareness-month.html

Bookmark that site!!

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Our visit from out-of-town family members is heading into the final lap. For a group of people that (each in our own normal course of everyday life) collapse into bed (old goats that we are) well before the bell tolls at 11-ish PM, we aren’t even getting home until 2 in the freakin’ AM!!

We ended up being in Ground Zero for the end of a Flames/Canucks game last night, and were swarmed by hordes of frustrated fans (The hometown team lost in heartbreaking overtime), while we were just getting to a critical part of our choir practice.

However, we persevered, and somehow, even with all our carousing these past few nights, managed to boost our Mac fund. We’re so close now, I can almost taste the succulent sweetness of an Apple. As opposed to the bitter, hemlock aftertaste of Vista.

Not that I’m actually chewing on my current computer, but you know, it probably wouldn’t hurt it if I did…

Chow for now!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Chicken Scratch

Today’s column is guest-posted by Cornelius.

Top of the morning to you, friendly mammals. At least, I HOPE you’re all friendly…

Heh Heh Heh…

And my, aren’t there a lot of you around this morning! Us chickens have all been dodging you nice folks, as it seems every room of this here house is currently occupied. Charlie has apparently lit out for some solitude, and possibly a dram or two of Peach Schnapps. I thought I’d stick around, and keep an eye on everyone.

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Sorry, something in my throat…

This morning, I’m observing all from my secret hiding place in the kitchen. Considering it’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, a bird in the oven shouldn’t have anything to worry about, eh??

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!!

Pardon me. A bit of beak phlegm, I believe…

I noticed a ham in the refrigerator. Do you suppose that the humans are just keeping it cool over the weekend heat spell? The poor little guy looks awfully quiet, just lying there, but he does have “Smoked” on his packaging, so maybe he’s just incapacitated by his bad habit.

Like Charlie.

At any rate, it sure has been noisy here the past few days. I think the cast of Stomp is rehearsing out in the garage, or something. That seems to be the nerve centre of all the ruckus and ruckusing. I poked my beak out there yesterday afternoon, and almost passed out – there’s more smog out there than downtown L.A. when the winds are weak. I thought that they opened a smelter. My little chicken lungs are not cut out for that sort of onslaught…

Well, better peek and see what else is going on. Last night, these Vikings and beekeepers were up until after 2 AM!! How's a chicken supposed to get his beauty sleep around here??

Cluck for now!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yikes!! LATE START ALERT!!!

Egads, man…

Well, our normal routine is off a bit today, and will likely be off for the next few days. We have some company staying with us, family from Mrs. That Dan Guy’s side…

Normally, we get home after our workday, and settle into a meal made completely from scratch. We hearth fresh bread in the oven, while cleaning vegetables we’ve grown in our garden. Our bodies are purified by well water we’ve extracted from our own back yard.

Then we settle in to watch half an hour of TV, a show with our favourite hosts: Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker. They are a hoot, those two.

Before we turn in for the night, about 9:30 PM, we’ll either do some needlepoint together, or compare photos of native bird species that we’ve snapped while out nature walking.

Well, upon our company’s arrival last night, everyday routine went out the window. Before the wings on their plane had even cooled off, they wanted to go hit the town, and get into “some trouble”. I explained that Mrs. That Dan Guy and I had just taken our black leather jackets in for dry cleaning, but we knew of a place where we could all go enjoy some delightful choir practice!!

Instead, we left the airport, and drove here to our home, where we proceeded to ignore our nourishing well water, and pound back a few alcoholic beverages. I have to admit, it was sort-of pleasing to taste that stuff. In moderation, of course…

So, we stayed in, but now I’ll have to think of other ways to keep us out of “trouble”. I hope I still have that Parcheesi board game somewhere down in the basement…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I hit the little “hotlink” feature up there in the preamble to this blog yesterday, and discovered that the NHL Bloggers group I joined some time back has gone the way of the dodo.

Way back, I wrote something about NHL hockey, and shortly thereafter I was approached to join that group. Confessing that I might only ever occasionally mention NHL hockey in this space, they remained keen to include me. After I did join, I tried to toss in the odd mention, but ultimately veered off into the sort of jibbetty-jabber that I am clearly most comfortable with.

And yet, they kept me on, linking this site to theirs, and growing by what seemed to be leaps and hops.

Then, the logo sort-of disappeared, and I simply dismissed it as a failing of either the host site, or the modern Armageddon that we call Windows Vista. Curiosity eventually got the best of me, and I hit the link just to see what was going on.

The link now sends you to some virtual parking space, flogging sports tickets. Gone are the hundreds of bloggers that were once assembled, paying homage to the great sport of NHL hockey.

Which now leaves me free of any obligation, other than to corrupt classic old fairy tales, assemble and distribute whining weather reports, alternate varied rubber chickens, and remain atop my soapbox, flaying Windows, while lusting after an Apple.

So really, pretty much nothing will change around here…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I made the mistake of picking up what seemed to be a rather benign magazine, during my recent trek to Kelowna. It was called Mac Life, and honest to God, I thought it was all about apples. The kind on trees, or the ones that bob in tubs of water every October 31st.

Turned out to be about Apple computers, and now I regret ever having bought the darn magazine. It’s filled with highlights and features, tips and tricks, gidgets and gadgets…it’s like setting dynamite off in my head! If I wanted a Mac before, well…now I may not be able to live without one!!

Which brings me to today, and trying to boot up my new (older and more endangered by the day) computer. For anyone on a Mac, you may not know that PC computers take some time to load on startup. Well, my high-falutin’ Vista computer, with all sorts of bells and whistles (that neither ring nor ding-a-ling) takes that loading to the Nth degree. A leisurely crate of wiring, it requires almost 10 MINUTES to load and become ready for usage. And even after that, the first few programs you open are like pouring molasses fresh from the freezer.

After a suitable length of time coaxing and restraining yourself from shaking it above your head like a used Etch-A-Sketch, it finally exhibits signs of the processing power I bought into.

Today’s column is online again, with my thoughts on this very subject:

http://eventpub.com/stories.php?id=139340

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sort of a sad day, here around the Such Is Life household. The end of an era, actually.

No, we haven’t purchased our Mac computer yet, even though Windows Vista managed to pull off its neatest trick ever this morning (I launched Internet Explorer, and started to receive e-mails instead. Pretty extreme incompetence, even for THIS computer).

No, the reflective moment is over having to decide to cancel my daily newspaper subscription. As a newspaper columnist, I hate to do anything that further jeopardizes the dicey future we already seem to be facing.

However, after returning from our trip to Kelowna, and finding all the newspapers I had temporarily suspended from delivery in our absence resting comfortably on our doorstep (not the first time this has happened – we may as well have posted notice of our home’s vulnerability for local burglars), I regretfully have come to the conclusion that I will at least have to switch my subscription to a digital version only.

No more will I be able to caress the ink-stained pages. No more will I be able to stockpile weeks of flyers, then sneak them into Mrs. That Dan Guy’s flyer bin, to watch her eyes pop at the sheer volume. No longer will I have to play Hide ‘N Seek on the front lawn and driveway, to see where that rascally delivery person has decided to plunk the issue THAT particular morning…

I’ve read through the newspaper to some minor degree online before. I’m not a fan, but if that’s the only way to get my news without the frustrations, I’ll have to give it a try.

Chow for now!

Monday, October 06, 2008

It’s always nice to get back home, after even a short little trip like the one we just returned from.

Chow for now!!








Crud…



That probably wasn’t enough of a posting. Even though I’m suffering from jet lag, and a possible reaction to having accidentally consumed fresh fruit for breakfast yesterday, I suppose I really do need to post more than one quick sentence…

SO, what else……

Um, well – we did go out yesterday, to get into a bit of “trouble”. “Trouble” is our code word for visiting the local casinos, which even though it must sound like we practically LIVE at them, in reality, we do miss getting out to visit them at least two or three days a year.

At any rate, the casino gods were smiling on us last night, as my Mac fund received a nice little boost afterwards. I am creeping ever closer…

Hey, on that Mac fund – we stopped in yesterday afternoon to scope out that new Apple store in our mall. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost fainted.

But better yet than my almost collapsing in a salesperson’s arms was Mrs. That Dan Guy trying out a new iMac, and getting BLOWN AWAY by the bells, whistles, and ease of use. My heart was warmed to hear her utter out loud: “OMIGOD – we MUST buy you one of these incredible computing machines, beloved and patient husband. This is indeed what Shakespeare would have used!!”

Sniff… Sniff… Brought a tear to my eye – she’s one in a million, MTDG…

Now, more than ever, I must hasten my acquisition - so that she may finally know the warmth and glory of Apple.

Chow for now (really, this time)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Well, it’ll be a quick one today, as we slept in a bit this morning. We have to get to the airport to catch our flight back to Calgary.

What a great trip! We stuffed in a bunch of family visits between Mrs. That Dan Guy’s business commitments. I discovered that I am a Wii natural, retiring Friday night undefeated in Wii Sports baseball. We ran out of opponents before my skills waned. I may have to surf the Googler, and see if there’s any sort of Senior’s Tour I could qualify for.

Better run.

Chow for now!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

video

Chicken Scratch

Today, a videotaped response to last week’s post.

Click on the arrow to view…

(Cluck for now)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Greetings, from sunny Kelowna, BC. Well, USUALLY sunny BC. Because WE are here, the rain clouds have followed us over from Alberta, and it has been raining since our arrival.

I kid you not…

However, it is nice to be back “home”. Not our birthplace per se, but the city we spent considerable time living in, before the current Alberta leg of our travels through Canada. Flying in over the long, beautiful lake, you were instantly reminded that there are probably fish living in there. And they were just as wet as we were.

We had a long day yesterday, getting up around 3 AM to prepare to catch our flight. Mrs. That Dan Guy was very sluggish, needing to be nudged gently into a fully awake state. I, on the other hand, was tremendously alert and vibrant. Almost giddy.

I can’t say the same thing after watching highlights of the two big debates on TV last night. The U.S. vice-presidential debate, and our own leadership debate here in Canada. Unlike the 2-person American version, we had FIVE contenders to lead this country vying for anything that might be of interest to say. For the love of me, why nobody even mentioned hockey once is beyond my reckoning. THAT would have generated some interest.

I won’t pretend to know enough about the U.S. debate, except to say that Palin’s assertion that we need a “Joe-Six Pack”, “hockey mom” running the country did make me wonder if anyone had ever heard of the guy that HAS been ruing the country for the last two terms. OK, he’s not a hockey mom (technically), but Joe Six Pack? He’s a bigger Bubba than Bubba!

Just sayin’…

Chow for now!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Whoa! Up before the birds today.

We’re catching an early flight shortly, off to Kelowna. Mrs. That Dan Guy has to visit a system there, so I typically tag along, and well, you never know who else climbs into suitcases when we’re not looking!

Ironically, we are enjoying a heat-wave here right now, set to last the whole weekend. The entire time we will be away…

Even more ironically, Kelowna has been enjoying a heat-wave of their own, which is – you’ve guessed it – forecast to disappear by our arrival.

Why do the weather gods hate us so???

Forgot to mention that my latest newspaper column was online again yesterday. If you’re over a certain age, perhaps you’ll enjoy this trip down Memory Lane…

http://www.eventpub.com/stories.php?id=137350

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It’s National Squirrel Month again!!

Happy October, squirrel lovers everywhere – wherever you may live, whatever you may be doing this month.

While this national celebration of “all things squirrel” really seems to be stalled (an underwhelming acceptance even regionally), I steadfastly maintain that one day, this monthly tribute to tree-living rodents will be as popular as…the Dog Days of summer. That’s right, you heard it here first. Viva les squirrels!!

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Well, Mrs. That Dan Guy did NOT enjoy what one would call a pleasurable drive into work yesterday morning.

It all started out non-ominously. We left on time, and were making good time, when suddenly we pulled up to a bit of a traffic bunching. Which happened to be right in the lane we were in.

As we drew closer, we could see police cars blockading a section of the shoulder of the road, which was causing the traffic to snarl, as motorists tried to move around this blockade. We of course wondered which nefarious gang member had been cornered, and joked about how there might even be a shootout.

With those words no sooner off my lips, an officer pulled a shotgun out from the trunk of his vehicle, walked back to the shoulder, and in moments, there was the unmistakeable sound of firearm discharges. Pop! Pop!

No longer amused by this unfolding drama, we edged our car hastily over to a free space beside us to the left, so as to pass safely by this standoff.

Unable to avoid rubbernecking as we passed though, MTDG was horrified to see the bullet-ridden carcass – a wayward deer that had been hit by a car, but which needed to be euthanized to end its suffering. She was, dismayed greatly…

SO, for any of you wild deer reading this column today, for the love of God – PLEASE avoid the roads during rush hour!!

Let’s all be safe out there…

Chow for now!!