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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fare thee well, June – don’t let the door hit you in the caboose on your way out…

So, after due consideration regarding our recent excursion, I am coming to the conclusion that my odd (and frequent) encounters with repetitive and/or consecutive numbers must be related to my writing. Or, I’m really just making a mountain out of a coincidental molehill, but for the purpose of having something to write about this morning – let’s go with the former.

Here are just a few examples of these dang numbers apearing, throughout our trip:

1) Arriving from LAX to Oxnard, we touched down on Runway E11.

2) Taxiing in to the terminal, we arrived at EXACTLY (and I’m not making this up) 1:11 PM.

3) Having left our luggage back in L.A., we filled out a claim ticket. Number 333.

4) The hospitality suite for our weekend retreat was Room Number 1112. The first room you walked into getting off the elevator each evening was #1111.

5) Returning to Canada, we filled out a Customs Declaration Form, and the customs officer marked it “A-11”.

6) We entered Canada through Lane #11.

OK, there were more, but those were just a few that I took time to record. I swear, I don’t believe that a white light is glowing in the recesses of my closet, but I am continually confounded by the appearance of so many coincidental numbers in my everyday life.

Now, if I could only win an $1111 million dollar lottery…

Chow for now!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Home Sweet Home…

We returned late last night from my recent conference, and this is the first chance I’ve had to fire up the Turdmaster 2000. Sadly, I may owe it an apology…

On our trip, the Vista operating system on the Turdmaster seemed to work much more efficiently. For some reason, outside the home it actually remembers what it is supposed to dowhen you try and perform simple little operations - such as turning it on, or opening a file.

However, back here at home, it reverts back to the frustrating, Forest Gump-like (but without Forest’s charm) operation, forgetting what to do at every step of the way. Turn on? Duh…okey-dokey…but this is gonna take awhile! Save settings? O-boy…how does that work again?

It is really a matter of something interfering, or giving off interference in our home, I suspect. Not that it works all THAT much better when we’re away, but at least the dang thing seems to start in under half an hour, and doesn’t open media files when you try and start a Word document. I still have to check that the spelling software catches stuff like “kat”, or “bagle”. I’ll leave you to try and decide what I was trying to spell with that last one, but it sure as shooting wasn’t “bagle”…

Hey, while I was away, I discovered completely by accident that cute little colloquialisms we use here in Canada aren’t universal. Like when you’ve done something for the very first time, and you say, “well it was my first kick at the cat”… Isn’t that a universal phrase? Apparently not, judging by the horrified looks I got from fellow attendees.

Sheesh…

Chow for now!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Ventura California, Day Four

Well, another year, another conference wrapping up. We have a business meeting this morning, then about an hour left open to try and catch a snack at Top Hat, something of an iconic hot dog stand here in historic downtown Ventura. Yesterday, a small group of us snuck off mid-afternoon to In ‘N’ Out, a California burger joint I would describe as similar to McDonald’s, but with some flair. If that doesn’t sell you on it, don’t miss it if you’re in this state – the food is terrific!

I had hoped to take some streaming video of Ventura Highway, made famous decades ago in the song of the same name by America. Despite the easy-listening sounds of that song, Ventura Highway is literally a steady stream of cars blazing by – one of those oxymoron-type things, or at the very least just not consistent with what you may have pictured over the years. I really expected to see a horse with no name sauntering down cobblestone – but it's more like a succession of space rockets hurtling towards Mars.

We’ve had a blast. Great to see old friends, and meet new ones. Oh yeah, and for the purposes of writing this shindig off, I learned a lot about my craft. Not just surfing...

True dat!

Chow for now!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Ventura California, Day Three

For the love of Pete.

Yesterday, the first full day of the conference I’m out here attending, we had a stellar line-up of high-wattage speakers. And I chose to post a picture of a surfing dog. Well, no one’s ever accused me of having the most acute decision-making skills when it comes to this sort of thing. But gosh-darn it, he was just so darn cute…

What a day of speakers and panellists yesterday! We had industry leaders talk about the changes in the newspaper industry, we got tips and tricks to stay relevant in the ever-changing newspaper landscape, and we heard from three completely different superstars – and if all that weren’t enough to knock your socks off, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I shared our dinner table with Heloise, the impossibly charming and popular writer of the syndicated “Hints From Heloise” columns. If I could have had a peanut butter sandwich along with all that, I would have had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming!

The first keynote speaker of the day was Steve Lopez, whose name may be familiar if you’ve already seen the movie based on his bestselling book (inspired by columns he wrote) “The Soloist”. We’ve seen the movie, just starting the book now. All the extra background details were simply amazing – what an experience that random act of creative investigative journalism has been for him.

Later, humorist W. Bruce Cameron of the two “8 Simple Rules” books, and “How To Remodel A Man’ talked about adapting work (and the inherent risks involved) for TV & film. He was gracious enough to spend some time with me after his presentation for an interview, which will be an upcoming column, and (once I edit my stammering out) an audio feature. One funny dude…which seems like appropriate lingo here by the ocean, man…

Finally, Jeffrey Zaslow, closed the day out with the details of how he came to co-author “The Last Lecture” with Professor Randy Pausch, which along with his original column and the broadcast of said lecture have become a world-wide success. Pretty inspiring stuff for a guy who still cheers whenever he doesn’t burn his toast in the morning.

And, there’s more all day today.

Chow. For now…

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ventura California, Day Two

One of the cool things we discovered before arriving here was that Ventura is the place where author Erle Stanley Gardner began writing his famous Perry Mason series. Not that anyone seems to remember that, but there are a few sites that document his days here – such as the Erle Stanley Gardner Building, where we took this photo. The actual offices are now occupied by other companies, so we couldn’t go in. However, I can say that I took the very same elevator that Mr. Gardner used to take every day, as he launched one of the most successful writing careers ever.

The elevator would seem to be the only thing we have in common…


Technically, we “did” Ventura yesterday, before the registration for my conference in the afternoon. We hoofed it through historic Downtown Ventura, and had lunch in a fun little diner called Busy Bee CafĂ©. I ordered a foot-long hot dog that not only lived up to its name, it had five toes to seemingly impress that point upon me. There was something quite intimidating about the beast.

Later in the afternoon, we started to run into fellow attendees, and I had to attend a pre-conference board meeting before grabbing a quick snack, and meeting the gang in the lobby of our hotel, to grab a shuttle over to a historic mission for our first reception. All of this while struggling to come to terms with losing not only Farrah, but Michael Jackson as well. What kind of day goes like that??

We wrapped up the night at a local waterfront restaurant, with a couple of friends, and varied seafood selections. Most batter-free – sorry Captain Highliner

Chow for now!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


video

Ventura California, Day One

California dreamin’, on a sunny summer day…”

Alright, so I don’t exactly have “lyric recall” as an arrow in my writing arsenal – so sue me! My point is, walking along our promenade that runs along the ocean here in Ventura, you just automatically think of all those song lyrics that encapsulate the sun, the sand, and the surf. Not to mention the turf, which has always been a delightful combination with said surf for dinner, at “market prices”. Pass me the butter…

The video clip above just shows the rolling surf outside our hotel room. Later in the day, as the surf was cresting much higher, the water was filled with surfers. Even a one-legged surfer, which we immediately wondered if the fella had been the unfortunate recipient of a shark visit. Do they have sharks here? So much for my skinny-dipping plans!

We’re here for the next few days for a writer’s conference, my annual NSNC gathering ( www.columnists.com ), and although much of the time here will be spent in sessions, I hope to share a few sites along the way as well. It’s a lovely little place.

Today, we explore…

Chow for now!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fleetwood Mac Concert Calgary

The Wednesday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review: (of the postponed earlier appearance of) Fleetwood Mac.

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

After postponing their last concert here in Calgary due to an illness in the band, Fleetwood Mac finally rolled through town last night, just before our previously scheduled trip to California this morning. Which is why I’m typing this post out at just around 4 AM, and an even blearier-eyed Mrs. That Dan Guy is trying to wash a few hours sleep off with a cold face cloth.

But hey, there was a concert for me to sort-of review here, so on with the show!

Well, I will confess to this show last night being something that we were both looking forward to. This was the first chance we’ve ever had to see Fleetwood Mac live in concert, let alone with MUCH of the line-up or band-mates that has cranked out hits since the early 1970’s. Which, happily, was pretty much the point of this whole tour. Hits, hits, and more hits.

And yet, for some odd reason, I have to say we were both underwhelmed initially. Even some pretty big hits just didn’t seem to generate much of anything – I don’t know why. Maybe it was the sound quality where we were seated, just under the echo chamber. Maybe it was a bit of vocal…uh…imperfection? It wasn’t until late into the first half of the show that the gang seemed to catch fire for us, with some smokin’ acoustic versions of their catalogue, notably an INSANE solo version of “Big Love” – Egads man, that Lindsey Buckingham is one under-rated guitar slinger – he absolutely kicks ass on the thing.

And of course, finally seeing the delightful Stevie Nicks prowl a stage was some fun. As I say, once they caught fire, the show rolled right along. Their catalogue is beyond comprehension, and they trotted out a few tunes that were a nice surprise, along with every major hit they’ve enjoyed. We snuck out during the second encore, mega-hit “Don’t Stop” – almost an accusation of our early departure. But hey, we’ve got a plane to catch, and only a few hours sleep – so we had to beg out early.

Great show in the end, oddly lacking spark early on.

Chow for now!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

J-J-J-J-Jive talkin’ , tellin’ me lies…

J-J-J-J-Jive talkin’, catchin’ house flies…

J-J-J-J-Jive talkin’, cats are so wise,

J-J-J-J-Jive talkin’, I’ll have some fries…

Man, they just don’t write songs like that anymore. Although, I will admit that my recollection of the lyrics may be a bit fuzzy. I’m pretty sure they sing something about “deez guys” in there, along with the other lines. Really, you need to be one masterful songwriter to make all those elements work together.

I could have been a songwriter, you know. As a born wordsmith, I naturally leaned towards composing as a teenager - although many of my songs rhymed with acne, which failed to impress publishing houses. Nothing too romantic there, apparently.

Nor much that rhymes with acne, for that matter…

Chow for now!

Monday, June 22, 2009

* Mow Lawn – check.

* Take Out Garbage – check!

* Rake Leaves – check.

* Grease Squeaky Wheel On Little Red Wagon – check!

* Fertilize Petunias – check.

* Check Inflation Levels Of Car Tires – check-eroo!

* Pick Up New i-Phone, and GIFT Blackberry to Mrs. That Dan Guy – to do, pending….

Chow for now!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

If I had been a cowboy, I expect I would have been a swaggering cowpoke, just like John Wayne. I already squint when it’s sunny outside, and I do tend to carry myself with authority. Mrs. That Dan Guy can vouch for THAT, let me tell you.

I don’t think I would have been a rhinestone cowboy. I tend to lean towards earth tones in my wardrobe, and the thought of all those rhinestones clacking around would have driven me crazy, out on the open range.

I know for sure that I wouldn’t have been a Coca-Cola cowboy, because I prefer Pepsi.

There are days when I get a gander at my own man-boobs in the mirror and I worry about how close I come to being a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader…

I suppose I could also have been a Singing Cowboy, considering how well I can carry a tune in the shower. Maybe this morning I’ll practice some yodelling, out in the backyard.

Of course, being such a techno-wizard, maybe I’d be a Space Cowboy. I’m already a bit of a joker, and a smoker – is there such a thing as a Midnight Cowboy? I think there was…

Yee-Haw! We're burnin' daylight, pilgrims...

Chow for now, pardners.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Chicken Scratch

Bud-Da-Da-Da-Da-Dum –Dah

CRASH!!!

Holy Marchin’ Band, Batman!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Happy Saterday mornin’, ya featherless yahoos! Ole Charlie is practicin’ up, for upcomin’ parades…like, say – The Calgary Stampede parade!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Me and Hermoine here are gonna tag-team on cymbals, because cymbal players usually get pretty good placement in the parade process. Unlike all them other insturments, which get lumped inta one big clumpa hat-wearing sweat jockeys. I wanna be seen, in all my poultry glory!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

And why not? Wut’s a chicken gotta do to get a littlel lovin’ aroun’ here? If ya ain’t heard, they already made TV handyman Mike Holmes the pluckin’ parade marshall, so why not tap the chicken world’s answer to Brad Pitt for a little bitta cymbal bashin’? I could bring some class to that stodgy ole event!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Bud-Da-Da-Da-Da-Dum –Dah

CRASH!!!

Whoa! Easy there, Hermoine – it is still pretty early after all. I don’t think the hoomans here is even up yet – rollin’ in as they did at the crack o dawn lass night…

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Aw, wut the cluck…HIT IT!!

Bud-Da-Da-Da-Da-Dum –Dah

CRASH!!!

Bud-Da-Da-Da-Da-Dum –Dah

CRASH!!!

Bud-Da-Da-Da-Da-Dum –Dah

CRASH!!!

Ah, muzik ta these ole ears!!

Cluck for now!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just when I thought I’d be getting an updated version of my aging Blackberry wireless handheld device, I see a segment on the new i-Phone on our local Breakfast News broadcast this morning. While I may be delaying a full-blown Mac attack here in the Such Is Life household, I could now potentially be introducing the wonder of Apple to our environment, via something like THAT spiffy little gadget!

Not that I don’t love my Blackberry. When we saw Jerry Seinfeld in concert the other day, he unleashed a blistering, hilarious routine against Blackberry users that hit awfully close to home. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m “addicted”, but I have risked my life on several occasions, stopping to “glance” at a new message, midway through one of Mrs. That Dan Guy’s soliloquies on something I will admit I can’t even recall at this particular moment. Rules To Live By: Never encourage a rhinoceros to charge, or glance even briefly at anything electronic when your partner is talking.

At any rate, this new i-Phone looks pretty slick, and it would be a justified purchase, perhaps leading to moving my old Blackberry over to MTDG, who no longer has one, and in her own way, loved the one she owned. If you’re as confused as I am by that last exchange, don’t be alarmed – I think I meant to say that I would gift her my old Blackberry, If I got a new i-Phone. I am generous that way...

Ah well, it's all speculation at this point anyway. The new phone has just come available here, so it will be awhile before I can make a decision. But the door to Apple-Land may slowly be creaking open, here in the Such Is Life household…

Chow for now!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I swear, the version of Windows Vista OS that I have on this computer is like a balloon that just doesn’t have enough helium to float. It’s like a 2-legged centipede. It operates about as well as a refrigerator without a door. I’d say that it’s like a fan with half a blade, but that wouldn’t do justice to just how much it blows.

Funny, I had gotten used to the little quirks and disappointments of Vista over time, but lately more are either returning, or new ones are plaguing me. Never mind that the damn thing takes 10 minutes to boot up, and even after that finally occurs, I need to walk through a series of prods that allow for the processor to remember to put down the cheese sandwich and begin processing. The irony is, when we bought this Brainiac Lite system, we decided to splurge – to get something that would be lightning fast, and capable of limitless performance.

Ha!

About as fast as the decomposition of Kraft Dinner still in the box, and about as limitless in performance as being barely able to keep track of time on the dashboard widget shaped like a clock (sometimes it scrolls baseball scores).

The other day, we were trying to make a simple DVD for a gift. First off, the blasted computer programs (three in total) wouldn’t recognize the camera, despite my having repeatedly loaded the software, and even the necessary upgrades to work with Vista. Hee Hee…”work with Vista” – the penultimate oxymoron…

Then, the software program to edit the short video clip appeared to work, but failed twice during the burning part of the effort. When I finally spent the required twenty minutes of boot/reboot/boot it in the ass one more time/reboot, the final product was filled with unedited footage, despite my having saved an edited version ONLY. I deleted the other footage, so the Vista brain had to really improvise to return THAT for the DVD.

I need to find a support group for addle-minded computer operating systems.

Or the owners that keep them…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jerry Seinfeld Calgary Fundraiser Owen Hart Foundation

The Wednesday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review: Jerry Seinfeld.

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

Well, last night Mrs. That Dan Guy and I damn-near died from the bends. We were nowhere near water nor scuba diving gear, but our risk was just as real. When you’re in the audience of a Jerry Seinfeld stand-up gig, you could quite possibly expire bent-over laughing.

We have seen some of the biggest names in the business, but seeing Mr. Seinfeld was up at the top of our to-do list. He was here in Calgary last night as part of an annual fundraiser for the Owen Hart Foundation (http://cobloh.com/ohf/index.html ), formed 10 years ago after the tragic accidental death of the wrestling star prior to the start of a match in Kansas City. Seinfeld had TWO sold-out shows to perform back-to-back, but if his energy level and duration of our early show were an indication, the next group into the auditorium wasn’t getting out any time soon either.

So, Jerry Seinfeld, the stand-up. Holy Toledo – this man brings the genre to a level beyond any expectation you could imagine. Most stand-ups start slowly and build their gags – Seinfeld was zinging his bits out like a Dutch windmill, and even though each routine was top drawer, the following bit would beat the last gag. Easily lampooning the quirky every-day behaviour of us as humans, world events, and even his own foibles and irritations, his humour seemed like a scattergun attack to hit as many members of the audience as possible, yet with laser precision.

There were times you just couldn’t quit shaking, yet another bit was building, and you were convulsing again. Seemingly innocent items, such as a package of cookies, the nefarious Blackberry handheld device, and a disdain for Twittering (or Tweeting – for the birds no matter how you call it) were just killer material.

Particularly fun was a commentary on the differences between men, women, and married couples – Seinfeld turned that observation into a daily game show, whereby he leaps every morning from bed, stands in front of the game show podium, and prepares to answer the “Were You Really Listening” speed round.

For an encore, Seinfeld came back onstage, and answered questions – many about his hit self-named TV show. If you aren’t aware, the entire cast has a mini-reunion coming up on the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” series – make sure you don’t miss that if you’re a fan.

I’d love to just share all his lines, but really – you need to find out where this guy is going to be next, and pick up tickets. But make sure you’ve got medical assistance nearby – Jerry Seinfeld just might kill you with comedy…

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I think I might have the sort of personality type that would lend itself to my becoming a prospector. If I only knew where the gold was in them thar hills, I’d be getting’ myself a floppy hat, growin’ a beard, buying a burro, and settin’ out with just a pick and a shovel for buried fortune.

Although, Mrs. That Dan Guy isn’t tremendously liberal when it comes to beard growing. She pretty much prohibits it. I don’t think you can become a successful prospector with a shaven mug. You sure wouldn't look too authentic while you were in the saloon sipping on a sarsaparilla.

And now that I think of it, I’m not much of a hat person myself – never mind a floppy prospector’s chapeau. Knowing how clumsy I am, it would just be a matter of time before someone had to cut the drawstring away from my ears, as the circulation there was getting stifled.

When you stop and think about it, would I even get along with a burro? We don’t even have a dog, for Pete’s sake – and there’s another thing. Pete is a great name for a prospector. Dan – not so much.

Guess I better put this new pick on eBay…yet another get-rick-quick scheme shot down in flames…

Sigh…

Chow for now!

Monday, June 15, 2009

HOLD ON!!!

I’m not ready for Monday yet – please let it still be Sunday!!!

Oy…

I was really enjoying the weekend. Sitting out in the gazebo…having a cold one…communing with nature…listening to the birds sing…I ran out of time before I could stop and smell The Roses (our neighbours, which just seems like an awkward thing to do, if you ask me – how do these popular sayings outlive putting them into practical application??).

But Sunday just seemed to fly right by. Maybe we shouldn’t have had “fast food” for dinner – that may have moved things along too quickly.

Maybe I shouldn’t have rented “The Hustler” – again, too fast a movie to slow down what remained of our weekend.

I guess napping through most of the afternoon might have also accounted for it passing by so quickly…

Ugh…

Oh well, there’s always another weekend right around the corner.

Chow for now!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We’re in the process of re-doing my home office, which has essentially been a rat’s nest of mismatched, under- and over-sized furniture since we moved in here a few years ago. In short – a complete ground-zero atomic bomb explosion site – just the sort of environment I feel most comfortable in.

Oh well, there’s something to be said about organization, and workplace efficiency – perhaps I can thrive in that sort of environment as well. Lord knows if I can even just find my keyboard during this effort we’ll have scored a surprise victory.

We participated in a neighbourhood-wide yard sale yesterday. It was something I was less than thrilled about doing (“no flippin’ way am I going to sit outside in pouring rain to get bartered down to 25 cents for a Van Gogh original!!”), but after the first hour I had to admit to Mrs. That Dan Guy that she may have been on to something. My old office furniture went quickly, plus several other household items that had been taking up space where we were still using them. I believe I even went so far as to call her “pretty smart” for getting us involved in that effort.

Anyhow, for today I am typing this blog up on a couple of stacked milk cartons, and sitting on piled phone books that I have been a bit slow to bring to the recycling depot ((who's “pretty smart” now, eh?). Luckily we still had an old candle with part of a wick that I was able to successfully ignite for some small bit of light in here.

Soon, this room will be a model of modern efficiency. And it’s all thanks to MTDG – or at least I’ll let her think it was her idea…

Chow for now!!  

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Chicken Scratch

Mmmm.

Summer eez in zee air, mon amis. (Mes Amis? Mon petit knuckleheads…)

Yezz, summer eez now hare, and with it, thoughts of loooove  - or at least a variety of fresh new faces. Charlie (or Charles, for zee purpose of the suave lover that I am) looks forward to stepping out wiz many new lady friends this year.

"Sacre Bleu…"

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Ah, mes petit dum-dums…my head she is swilling with zee possibilities of unfamiliar feathers, moist new beaks, and very low IQs. Charles prefers his lady friends corn-fed, and slightly...how you say…airhead??

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Oui Oui, Cheri. Every little breeze seems to wheespair Louise.

COUGH! COUGH! COUGH!

Pardon moi – these cigarettes sometimes make me wheeze..hey, that eez somewhat poetic, yes non?

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Perhaps I should beg your pardon, as I depart for my annual grooming. Zees pinfeathers don’t just place themselves, don’t you know? My stylist works wonders, bringing a certain lift to my signature plumage.

Even though some plumage appears to be less prolific theez days.

Arriverderci, mon amis. Mes Amis? Aw cluck – amis…

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Cluck. For now…

Friday, June 12, 2009

Whoa!

This is my 1206th post, on 12/06 - how is that even possible??? Freaky Number Coincidences - BACK OFF!!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Have to phone CAA this morning, to have a non-responsive vehicle towed to the garage. I had boosted the beast and briefly saw it running for the better part a day, but now it simply lies on the driveway – temporarily deceased, primarily pulse-less.

I’ve had a long history of those sorts of vehicles, starting with each and every major American automaker’s product. GM products, Ford products, and an extended waltz with Chrysler products (at least five in a row). All I can say now about Chrysler products is that they make my Windows Vista operating system look like the most efficient invention since chocolate chip cookies.

Mmmm – chocolate chip cookies – now I know what I’M having for breakfast…

At any rate, my point is, since moving over to an Acura not too long ago, I can only wish the reconfigured American automakers the best of luck in their futures – a future that will absolutely NOT include my investment of time (walking to a pay phone from where it has died on the road), or money (to keep the breakdowns below six a month). I’ll keep my foreign vehicle, dummy errant grotto, Mr. Roboto!

Chow for now!  


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hello – June ELEVENTH…

So, over the past couple of days, I took a stab at my first-ever auction purchase on e-Bay.

I know, I know – “Hey Dan, there’s this really cool new invention – it’s called the wheel. We were able to start cranking them out once Harry invented fire.”

So I’m a little slow to get to the party. Better late than never, although my inexperience may have cost me what I had hoped to walk away with. I think I I discovered (to my ultimate dismay) something called an “automatic bid”, whereby every time I raised my own bid towards the end of the auction, my nemesis automatically outbid me instantaneously ( I don’t know you, “e…..b”, but may camels spit on your oatmeal…).

Oh well, along with many other learning curves in life, I am now older and wiser, thanks to my initial fling with e-Bay. Maybe next time I’ll even walk away with my prize, however cheap (or progressively over-priced) it might eventually close at.

One thing at least – I’ve got a topic for my next newspaper column…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hmmm. E-mail issues this morning. This could be a fun way to start my day…

Can’t even access it via webmail. It would have to be my business account, that I rely on for virtually everything…

What is it with me and flippin’ computer issues???

AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!

Chow for now…

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


A blank page before me – and not a single thought between my ears begging to be submitted to help fill it. These are the mornings that I really wonder why I ever decided to do this blasted blog EVERY day!!

 We were out most of the day yesterday, so I’ve got nothing to consider from the boob tube. We did watch “Michael Clayton”, the drama flick with George Clooney and a cast of solid character actors. It was OK, but done a hundred (thousand) times before. It could have benefitted by a flying dog or something, but that could just be my own viewpoint, clearly not shared by Academy Award voters that bestowed an Oscar on Clooney for the film. I think. He has won one (Ha Ha Ha – won (1) one (1) – now those numbers are haunting me in my own sentences!!).

 Aside from the Air Bud movies, and the recent big-screen remake of TV’s cartoon hero “Underdog” (“Here I Come To Save The Day”, if by that you mean going straight to DVD), you just don’t see many flying dogs in the movie theatres.

Or talking dogs for that matter. I do miss talking dogs in dramatic roles. I often wonder if “ER” would still be on the air, if they had added a hip, street-wise urban talking dog to the regular cast of emergency room doctors. But they went with John Stamos instead, and the show went off the air.

Never underestimate the power of animals to propel the success of your broadcast. Or provide enough silliness to fill one of these here blog posts…

Chow for now!!   

Monday, June 08, 2009


Whoa! Late start alert!!

We caught “The Soloist” over the weekend, a movie starring Robert Downey Jr., and Jamie Foxx. You’ve probably heard about the film, based on the best-selling book by Steve Lopez, of the L.A. Times. The book was the end result of columns he wrote, about the character played in the movie version by Foxx.

Well, this flick is one powerful night out. Both stars do exceptional work onscreen, and the end result is pretty heavy by the time you leave the theatre.

Downey Jr. plays reporter Steve Lopez in the flick, whom Mrs. That Dan Guy and I will be sitting in front of, in just a few weeks. He’s a keynote speaker at my annual writing conference this year. Well, one of the keynote speakers. This year’s event may well be one of the best I’ve ever attended, but I guess you’ll have to wait until it’s happening to read all about it here.

Of course, with all this normalcy comes my usual numerical intrusions. From all the movie theatre choices in Calgary, we chose the one where it was playing in Theatre #11. See ticket stub as “Exhibit A”, submitted into evidence.

On the way home, we ordered a pizza for a late-nite snack, and discovered the morning afterward when we were recycling the box, that we were coded as #11.

On Sunday, we watched a movie from Movie Central that we had recorded. “Righteous Kill”, with Robert De Niro, and Al Pacino. Pretty good film, aside from the scene where De Niro is playing on the NYPD rec ball team, and his player number is…what are the odds…ELEVEN!!

I’ve gotta buy a book on Numerology…

Chow for now!!  



Sunday, June 07, 2009

                                              video

Video clip, yesterday morning. Click on the arrow.

I was just going to pick up my morning paper from the front stoop.

Who knew I should have been looking for Saint Nick???

Summer in The City”? NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chow for now!!

(PS - Is there any LOGICAL reason that uploading a 6-second video snippet takes 45 minutes??????)

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Chicken Scratch

Ya know, there are millions a chickens all over the world.

There’s chickens in Hawaii, Acapulco, Jamaica, and Bora Bora. Me, I’m a chicken in CLUCKIN’ CANADA – where it pluckin’ snows IN JUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!!

Mother of Goose, is this Siberia? Did I attempt to whack a high-rankin’ Russian politician?? Why has the Great Chicken forsaken me so????

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Fresh snow fallin’ an I can barely see my feed on the patio outside. Prisoners had it easier in Alcatraz, than I got it here in the Such Is Cluckin’ Life household.

Such is life indeed, by the tips of my frozen pinfeathers!!!!!!!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

“Hello, Governor? I’m looking into my pardon status? Is there a reprieve on the horizon?”

I need a stiff one – something whiskey based, to start a fire in my belly – cause we ain’t got any hope outside here today…

Pluckin’ heck…..

Cluck for now…

Friday, June 05, 2009

The rain in de plain falls mainly down the drain…

It’s raining, it’s pouring – the old man is now up and awake thanks to early morning thunderstorm, and may as well do this here blog.

Typical of Canadian weather patterns, it is gearing up to be a lousy weekend, after a beautiful sunny week. This is what we live for here - soggy weekends of rain slicker-wearing and rubber boot employment, after going to work every day in sweltering heat and sunny sunshine. Or in my case, viewing the sweltering heat and sunny sunshine from my office window.

I know I’m exaggerating a bit here, but ask any Canadian that doesn’t live in Vancouver. The weather forecast here in Canada during the summer is primarily:

Monday: Hot & Sunny. Birds will be mopping their brows.

Tuesday: Sunny & Hot. Dogs will shave off their fur to get a good base on their tan.

Wednesday: Clear skies, hot with a mild breeze. Sailboat owners require tows from speedboats to maintain forward movement.

Thursday: Highest temperatures of week, and angels toss chocolate kisses from passing clouds.

Friday: Sunny and warm in morning, by noon a brisk arctic wind is bending over full-grown trees. Dark clouds mimic solar eclipse. Aunt Edna’s knee seizes up – surest sign of pending precipitation.

Saturday: Awake to downpour, and record low temperatures. If you’ve been silly enough to go tenting, a fresh stream has begun to flow under your sleeping bag. Even ducks are inside a cabin, watching cartoons on TV.

Sunday: Severe thunderstorm with hail and ice rain. Thermometer readings about the same as your average meat locker. Just as you’re packing up camp to head back home, the sun peeks out, and the rain stops. Temperatures lukewarm for dinner barbecue back at home.

Monday: Hot & Sunny. Corn and wheat spring up everywhere. Lasts until Friday afternoon.

But that could just be my own personal observation….

Chow for now!!  

Thursday, June 04, 2009

You know who’s still the funniest guy on late-nite talk? Craig Ferguson – that’s right…a crazy Scot only recently turned American - NOT the long-time local yokels….

Last night, we caught the start of Craig’s show, and he opened with a hilarious sketch to the tune of “Istanbul, Not Constantinople”, with choreography that was clearly very well rehearsed, even including a belly dancer and puppets. We couldn’t stop laughing, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I.

Never mind that he OWNS monologues – not even Letterman can touch him on that effort. And Conan…well, after viewing his first two episodes of his rendition of the Tonight Show, he sure does like his staged video clips. Some of which are funny…

We were in the habit of watching Mr. Ferguson on a regular basis, but got away from the show for no apparent reason other than forgetfulness. It’s about time we got back into the habit…

Chow for now!!   

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Just for fun, I intend on skipping whenever possible today.

No, not skipping rope – that would be way too normal. I mean skipping along -as in a walk with an exaggerated gait.

I’m never really sure what prompts these urges, but I thought it might be fun to have people steer clear of me in the local shopping mall, or as I walk down the sidewalk. Hey, who says we need to be normal all the time?

I may even sing something as I skip along. Maybe that peppy sing-a-long classic, “The Happy Wanderer” (Val-De-Reeeee, Val-De-RAAAAAA!!!!). Who knows? 

If I could find a hat with a feather, and some lederhosen, that ditty would be downright appropriate.

Just in case I need bail money, or men in white jackets with butterfly nets get too close, stay tuned – and check your e-mail often.

Yours truly,

The Skipper

Chow, for now!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

We really ought to have TV cameras filming the day-to-day activities here in the Such Is Life household. We’re as entertaining as anything you’ll ever see on “reality” TV shows - at least based on any given episode I’ve ever seen. You could catch us watching TV shows, lounging in our yard on lawn chairs – we could even have a segment where we play with bugs, like they did last night on one of the actual “reality” shows.

Good Golly Miss Molly – we suffered through the last three minutes of “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here” last night, while waiting to catch the debut of Conan O’Brien’s first “Tonight Show”. People actually watch this stuff? 

First off, shouldn’t a celebrity be someone you might actually RECOGNIZE? Second, and based on the three minutes of the program we endured – I think we’d both rather have red-hot fireplace pokers driven through our knees, than have to actually lose an hour of our lives watching that stupidity every week.

But who are we to judge, I suppose? If viewers are tuning in, why WOULDN’T the networks offer up costless crapola like that? I imagine it’s a damn sight cheaper than actually paying for scripts and real actors – some of the “celebrities” might even pay to be on TV for all I know.

I guess we just beat to a different drum. Who knows, maybe 50 years from now this stuff will all be considered classic television.

Or a bad dream….

Chow for now!! 

Monday, June 01, 2009

Well well well….

Lookee here – it’s the first of June, a month which is named ( I believe) after junipers – some sort of common tree or shrubbery. Not sure why Conan O’Brien would choose to launch his version of the Tonight Show in a month named after greenery – maybe it’s the Irish in him?You know, that could just about make sense, with my questionable system of logic…

Speaking of that very system of logic – this week is clearly my “Week Of Major Volunteering”. It all started with Mrs. That Dan Guy and I helping out yesterday at the HSBC Marathon, at one of the water stations for runners. Man, I will confess - even just watching all the runners I was fatigued to the point of needing to come straight home afterwards, and recuperate in a lawn chair with a cold beer for the entire afternoon – that exercise stuff is STRENUOUS!!

We did that to help out the Canadian Diabetes Association, for which I am a volunteer. I have three more commitments this week for them – doing a couple of presentations, and a display at a local library. Unlike some of those other glamorous diseases, the CDA doesn’t have like a giant plastic lung that I can stand beside – just traditional posters and display material. I could have a lot of fun chatting people up beside a giant plastic lung…

Now, why was that an example of my wacky logic? Well, let’s get back to that in a minute. We’ll take a side road to arrive at that destination.

1)      At the marathon yesterday, MTDG had to move a box of supplies. A box that was marked in felt pen with a big #11.

2)      Also at the marathon, MTDG just happened to hand out a wet sponge (you do that at marathons – I’d be tossing that aside in favour of a cold beer) to runner #1111!!

3)      GM stocks are currently valued at around $1.11 (I didn’t make that up).

4)      The street address number of the library I’m presenting at this morning is 11131 – essentially 1111 with a 3 that wandered in accidentally.

WHAT IS IT WITH 1111??????????????????????????????????

And there we have my questionable system of logic, tied in to how numbers continue to haunt me…

Chow for now!!