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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Portrait Of A Bus Boob...
Further confirmation of my theory here in Calgary that when car doors close, so do drivers' brains...
Yesterday we were driving into town during a particularly long rush hour. The weekend snowfall likely added 45 minutes to our trip.
As we approached the bridge that gets you into downtown, some bozo was on my tail, chomping at the bit to get past, despite poor driving conditions. I chose the right hand lane, and sure enough he hit the gas, and came roaring up beside me.
However, he either failed to notice, or chose to ignore that the light had changed, and traffic coming from his left was now proceeding. I'm assuming that somewhere in that neck pod with hair he thought he could proceed anyway.
Until he saw the city bus careening towards him, and the poor bus driver having to stand on the brakes to avoid turning him into Cream Of Idiot soup...
We had front row seats as this guy almost became a Flyer Industries hood ornament. However, the joke would have lost a little of the giggle for us, once the impact of the bus pushed him sideways into our vehicle. Thankfully, the bus driver was able to avoid all of that.
Like the light in a closed refrigerator, all is dim when some people get behind the wheel out here...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hey, do kids still play xylophones these days??

Man, I remember we all used to get xylophones, back when I was a still a youngster. You could whack away at those melodic strips all day long, and not once have two notes fall into a sequence resembling a song.

Did they fade away because of that perceived violent feature - thumping away at the instrument with two long sticks that featured solid ping-pong balls at the end of them??

If so, how cruel a world it has become...

Chow for now!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

This time it looks like it's gonna stay....

We awoke this morning to a healthy blanket of fresh snow outside. I can't verify the actual health of the snow, but for all intents and purposes, let's just assume all is well for the collective flakes...

Inside the house, the flakes aren't doing so bad either.

We had plans to run out and do some shopping, but I think we'll observe this phenomenom from inside today. When it snowed here earlier this month, there was an 80-car pileup on one of the major thoroughfares. It may be prudent to let a few other cars mingle before we try driving.

So, we'll just continue to stand in front of our front window, Hot Rum Toddies in hand.

Hey, getting off topic, I think my newspaper delivery person has a pretty good union. Whoever it is doing the dropoffs, the individual seems to be able to choose their own hours. Some days I get a morning paper, others are more afternoonish. Some days the little scamp even has me calling the newspaper office directly, trying to determine if I even still have a subscription.

With today's snowfall, I think I'll be whistling for awhile for today's...

Finally, something was nagging away at me, after yesterday's posting. I told my wife that the keyboard player looked familiar, playing along with blues guitarist Amos Garrett the other night. After doing some Googling (I was going to say Doodling, but I don't think that's right), I discovered that he is the former lead singer for pioneer Canadian rock band Crowbar.

Hmmm. Maybe "pioneer" and "rock band" are two exclusive terms... Anyhow, it was to my mind a cool bit of trivia for anybody out there that remembers the '70's.

Chow for now!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I have been guilty of a touch of artistic licence occasionally here, where I stretch the truth a bit.

Ok, that's another good example. Quite often, I incorporate complete bald-faced lies if I think it might make a piece funny.

Today, I am going to swear on a stack of Archie comics that what I am about to tell you is completely true. Well, parts anyway...

So, dropping my wife off at work yesterday morning, we happened to notice a rather large, and very cavalier coyote toodling down the alley, around her office building. Remember, she works in DOWNTOWN Calgary! Which didn't seem to bother Wile E. at all.

We watched him walk by another commuter before he disappeared around the other side of the building.

Mrs. That Dan Guy caught up to her other colleague to ask if he had seen the coyote as well, and it turns out this critter is often downtown, in that very same area she used to take to walk to work every day when we were living downtown!!! Yikes!!

Anyway, so apparently we have a regular commuting coyote here in town, and to be honest, I was feeling a little sorry for him, as he appeared to just be walking on three of his legs.

Then I found out that he used the other one to hold his Starbucks, which just makes perfect sense...


So, this is also how wacky our life can be. We decided to go out after a long week of work last night, and hit a local casino for kicks.

After making a quick and permanent deposit to the Alberta Gaming Commission's coffers, we decided to hit the lounge for a moment.

And who should be playing there but Canadian blues legend Amos Garrett , which is unique in that he has recorded with some of the biggest names in the music business, but also Bonnie Raitt, who we literally just saw live in concert the other night.

He was excellent, by the way.

Chow for now!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why do some authors feel a need to use "pen names"?

Since hearing about this practice, I've had to go around my own office, and come up with some monikers for any and all of MY various pens.

I've now got a Bic ballpoint named Arthur. I've also got a Sanford Sharpie that's not all that sharp, so I'm going to call him Bob. No reason really...

I've got a really nice engraved Cross pen and pencil set I got as a going-away gift from my former colleagues in real estate. I'm calling the pen Itchy, and the pencil Scratchy. Again, no particular reason...

I have a blue Paper-Mate pen that makes me think of Ed, so that there's his name. I even have a Staples brand writing instrument, which I'm calling Hoo-Hah, just for fun.

Man, a lot of people make pens. I've got a Parker that I'm naming Peter, as a tribute to Spiderman. I've got a stack of personalized pens from hotels and resorts (affordable souvenirs), which I'm just going to call Whistler, Rhombus, Gaylord, and Super Eight.

I'm pretty sure we've got more pens in the kitchen drawer downstairs. I'll go find them, and continue this process throughout the day...

Chow for now!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Thursday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To-But-Here-I Go-Anyway” Concert Review – Bonnie Raitt
(or Why I Will Never Be A Professional Reviewer)

Last night my wife and I enjoyed yet another excellent live event here in town - the legendary Bonnie Raitt. She appeared as a fundraiser for The Pembina Institute (, an organization dedicated to alternative energy solutions.

In the heart of oil country, that might be a little bit like inviting PETA to a pig roast, but the audience didn’t seem to mind, they even applauded a brief presentation just before Bonnie’s set.

And what a set!! Over the course of more than 90 minutes we heard hits, new material, and songs going back as far as the 70’s. Absolutely flawless, Raitt and her band were able to generate enthusiasm for the new songs, typically a rough go for most other artists.

This was our first concert inside the Jubilee Auditorium, and even though we were so far back we were sharing popcorn with a family of bats, the sound and sightlines were terrific. We had brought along a little pair of binoculars, and even from that distance, Ms. Raitt looked sensational. Hey, for 57-odd years old, Ashlee Simpson should hope she looks half as good by the time she turns thirty…

But I digress. In a nutshell, we loved the blend of blues, funk, New Orleans and roots she served up. Four encores (including a fabulous Thunderbirds cover, along with a John Prine song) didn’t hurt either.

Opening act Maia Sharp started with acoustic guitar, before switching to funky piano, and sax. She did a fine job as well, and joined Bonnie for several songs later on.

Two big thumbs up!! Go Bonnie go!!

Chow for now!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You might think that having three toilets in a home would be a virtual smorgasbord of choices for places to do your business. That is, as long as they all work…

We have one that re-flushes itself repeatedly once you’ve pulled the handle. We have one that requires you to hold down the handle and guess how long it will take to engage. And, we have another that works most of the time, but has been known to run continuously as soon as you get downstairs.

As toilets are probably one of the simplest household appliances (and in our joint – one of the most important aside from the refrigerator), my inability to resolve any of these ongoing malfunctions will likely hold me back from ever hosting a home improvement show. Unless I get to achieve the “before” scenarios for Holmes On Homes

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I think my left thumb is too light...

Whenever I have to type capital letters, I do what I'm supposed to do - I press down on the "shift" key with my left thumb. But there are rarely capital letters upon conclusion of that effort when I look up at the screen. So, my assessment is that my left thumb is either hollow, or is in need of some focused exercising.

I should get an x-ray to see if the bones in the thumb are all there, or determine if there just might simply be a jelly-like substance that at least keeps it from hanging limp.

If the bones are all there, then I need to make it sweat with some oldies, or perhaps do either "Tae" or "Bo". I don't particularly care to have to register the thumb with law enforcement agencies, I just need it to press more consistently...

Now, I'm just assuming here that I'm left-thumbed, much like I'm left-handed. Perhaps I could learn to use both thumbs, become amphibious as they say. There does appear to be a "shift" key on the right-hand side of the keyboard.

This is my dilemma of the day....

Chow for now!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Week Four of National Squirrel Month!!

(Nothing official, just something I'm trying to get off the ground - tell your friends...)

Well, today marks my last posting on this exciting new proposed national has been, in a word - overwhelming.

Ah, who am I kidding... National Squirrel Month is turning out to be as popular as National Bubonic Plague Day. I'd have an easier time selling pogo sticks to legless caterpillars...

It's probably my fault. I feel I really may have peaked back in Week Two with my tribute to celebrity squirrels. People love celebrities, and I should have held that blockbuster week back, in retrospect. Well, it's all a learning curve here at the National Squirrel Month Foundation. We'll test the waters again next year...

For anyone out there looking to close off the month in support of our cause, why not gather up a few acorns, and leave them at the bottom of a tree in your local park? Maybe drop off a couple of videos of Disney's beloved Chip 'N Dale, who although technically might be chipmunks, as far as stars go, they are the Vince Vaughn and Steve Carell of the squirrel world.

Chow for now!!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

So, we've been in our new home for almost two months now. You'd think we might be pretty much set up by now.


There has yet to be a single room in this joint where we can hang a shingle that says "done". Some are close, but most are no cigar. Not even a cheap Cuban cigarette...

After our initial haste to unpack enough boxes to find my remote controls and a tube of toothpaste (hey, we needed to be presentable to the public and each other...and remotes are what separate us from apes) things have slowed down substantially. We still have no idea where half of our dishes are. There are literally dozens of stacks of unopened moving boxes in the basement, or as I like to refer to them: "surprise!!"

One problem is that most of the trinkets and furniture we owned for our past homes don't work in this one. This has activated a dormant shopping gene in my wife, and brought some of the brightest smiles I've ever seen to commissioned salespersons at the local malls. Until we return everything we bought the night before, because we have all the decorating skills of a color-blind crow...

At some point this place will feel like home. For now, it does a great job of keeping the winter outside, and at least I can change my channels from the comfort of my sectional recliner...

Chow for now!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Well, my wife and I have officially lost what was left of our limited (and shared) marble supply...

Driving down the road yesterday to go do some shopping, we were blasting the brand-new Sarah McLachlan CD in the vehicle. The problem is...the disc is a new Christmas collection!! Not even Halloween, and we're spinning O Little Town Of Bethlehem!! Thankfully for us, the men with the white suits and butterfly nets must have been home watching a hockey game on TV.

It's all Jay Leno's fault, though. He had Sarah as a guest on his Tonight Show the other night, and I knew I needed to have this album as soon as she started to perform Joni Mitchell's River. I'm weak that way...

The disc is exceptional, if not a little too early in the season. It made us desperately want to go back home and start decorating, but we settled for grabbing a big bowl of popcorn, and watching Deal Or No Deal instead. We can be really flexible on these pressing urges...

So, there's my complimentary Saturday morning tip - buy the new Xmas cd from Sarah McLachlan. It's a keeper!!

Chow for now!

Friday, October 20, 2006


I’ve got little bumps behind my ears!! Is this normal?? Does anybody else out there have a ridge of minute bumps towards the bottom of their ears?? Behind the things, I mean - not underneath them…

Now, as usual, I begin to panic. Have these bumps always been there, and I’ve just never noticed them?? Did they recently appear as a warning that I have inadvertently contracted malaria from touching a grape in the supermarket? Or am I growing scales after foolishly stopping to touch that iguana in Petland the other day?? Why me??????????

Of course, I am getting older. It could be that the flesh behind my ears needs more sun, and it is dappling due to a lack of exposure. Or maybe I’m developing that Elephant Man condition!! I can’t go out in public with a trunk!!!

Calm down, man… There has to be a logical reason for these bumps. If I’m lucky, I’ve just gotten an allergic reaction to vegetables, and I’ll have to forgo those deadly buggers at mealtime…

I’d better run, see if I can get a better look at these things with some mirrors.

Hopefully, back tomorrow…

Chow for now!!

Sidebar: Much as I’d love to post these blitherings first thing in the morning, the site itself often handcuffs me. Today it has been particularly useless trying to get on and post.

My humble apologies. Wattaya gonna do…

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My reintroduction to winter continued yesterday, when I spotted a block heater extension cord in Canadian Tire. And why I'm having to get reintroduced to winter in the middle of freakin' October is just plain cruel...

Anyhow, for those of you fortunate enough to not know what the heck a block heater is, it is an internal device in your automobile's motor that when plugged in, allows the car to start easier in cold temperatures. I'm looking into a portable garage with a small furnace, to avoid any possible problems when the temperatures here plunge...

Thank God the mercury is rising. Yesterday and today are around +9, which is a far friendlier space on the Celsuis scale. Not as friendly as +20, but I'll settle for anything with a plus...

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Monday and yesterday it was snowing here as if Mother Nature was getting paid by the snowflake. Not quite a blizzard, but for someone that for over a dozen years was used to one week of winter in January, it was more than just a little bit disconcerting.

And in celebration of said snowfall, motorists celebrated the early arrival of winter here with a 50-car pileup. Yessir, a 50-car pileup. If you're gonna do something, do it big...

The funny thing is, most of the white stuff was gone by late afternoon yesterday, which is fine by me. The only shovel I still own comes with a little plastic flourescent green pail, that I usually take to the beach every summer.

I'm told that this is a frequent occurence here, even later into winter. Chinooks will drift in, and warm up cold fronts. I'm not sure I like the idea of schools of salmon in charge of temperatures, and I am more than a little concerned about which end of their bodies do the huffing and puffing to affect the weather. Fish all by themselves don't exactly smell like Oscar de La Renta - how bad do they smell passing gas??

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A few years back I wrote a column on the difficulty of opening a new DVD. They seal those things like they contain the guarded codes to a treasure trove of wealth beyond imagining. When you finally get them open and watch the stupid things, you wonder why you bought a movie version of The Dukes Of Hazzard in the first place...

Well, now the powers that be have started to utilize these packaging techniques for new compact discs. I bought one the other day, and trying to open it just about sent me over the edge, although in my case, that edge is never too far away.

What made it so bad was that is was a discount cd. A cd that no longer enjoys time at the prime locations by the cash register, but kind of vies for your attention as you walk by some dusty bins way in the back of the store.

After I bought it and headed back to my vehicle, I hoped to play it in the car. I used a key to assist with removing the shrink wrap.

But after the shrink wrap was gone, there was a seal of white tape along the top, with little lettering saying "PULL" along one side.

When you pull something marked "PULL", you expect that maybe, just maybe, it pulls. That is never the case. These cd/dvd protective tapes are designed to just have the word "PULL" come off by itself, leaving an adhesive that would be hard-pressed to release even underground in North Korea. And as a lifelong nail chewer, I am usually left to try prying off that blasted tape with a key that looks relatively thin, but is in fact quite chubby placed alongside a sealed cd.


Gotta run. More later...

Chow for now!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Week Three of my unrelenting attempt to establish National Squirrel Month!! Tell your friends!

(I fear though that I may have peaked in Week Two, with the celebrity squirrel feature....wattaya gonna do??? We must continue to move forward...)

After doing a Google search for squirrels today, I stumbled upon a cool squirrel wildlife rehab site. I felt a bond instantly, as I am undergoing rehab for this persistent blasted impinged nerve in my neck (literally, a pain in the neck...). Although I suspect these folks don't have little cots set up in triages for squirrels with similar complaints, I do imagine that they perform some sort of rehabilitative work, so as to allow the little critters to get back out there and forage freely for nuts. And maybe berries. I honestly don't know what squirrels really eat out there...

You have to check out the site just for the graphic logo, a squirrel dressed up as a nurse:

Seeing is believing...

Seeing as how that logo is probably copyright protected, I didn't feel comfortable with cutting and pasting it in to today's blog. You'll just have to hit the link...

So, my questions today (with this bizarre squirrel topic) would be:

1) Do squirrels have the same injury rate as humans do - such as the high percentage of accidents that happen in the home?? How dangerous can a hole in a tree really be??
2) Does this rehab center simply address orphaned squirrels, or do they occasionally deal with things like arthritis and diabetes? What is the sugar content of an acorn??
3) Are there little ambulances that the center dispatches for the squirrels, or do they just use a broom and a dustpan??
4) Are my friends at PETA going to go through the roof with that last query??
5) Does squirrel taste like chicken?
6) If PETA wasn't ticked off before, might they be now?
7) Do they allow squirrels to intern at the center?

There's probably more things I'd like to know, but for now, there's your third week of National Squirrel Month. Still nothing official, just something I'm trying to get off the ground.

Chow for now!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I must have a deathwish...

Or at the very least, my spidey senses must be dulled by time and too much junk food.

I came home the other day to a message on our telephone's answering machine, which turned out to be from my wife. I continued on with a few things while the message was running in the background - putting away groceries, hanging up my coat, getting a drink of water...

...reading the paper, making lunch, painting a few chips on the hallway wall, mowing the lawn, building a scale model of the Paris Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas) with ucooked pastas that we had in the cupboard...

...hanging a picture, doing the weekly bookkeeping for a local home-based accountant business, having a mid-afternoon snack, painting my scale model of the Paris Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas) with various bits of makeup my wife keeps in the master ensuite...

I hit "stop" after all that, with the message still going on. And at that point, I pretty much forgot about the whole thing until later that night, while my wife and I were having dinner.

"Did you get my message?" she asked.

"Umm...yes" I replied. But my awkward and guilty look gave me away...

"I, uh, stopped it midway..."

".............." (there may be youngsters reading this)

In my defense, I must assume that I am simply a victim of Adult Male ADD.

And I also have absolutely NO poker face...

Chow for now!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

“The-Saturday-Morning-Nobody-Asked-Me-To-But-Here-It-Is-Anyway-Concert-Review – Hal Ketchum”
(or, "Why I Will Never Be A Professional Reviewer…")

Many, many years ago my wife and I were surfing the late-nite TV channels, and happened upon Austin City Limits, a terrific live music showcase program. There was a guy playing some songs there that caused us to pause and continue watching. By the time he performed “I Miss My Mary”, we were fans. The next day I went out and bought a copy of Hal Ketchum’s Past The Point Of Rescue, and got better acquainted with this country singer/songwriter/storyteller.

Last night we had the pleasure of taking in a live performance by Mr. Ketchum, and I’m realizing that already owning 3 of his albums just isn’t enough – I’m going to have to go shopping again...

Over the course of a mighty long set, and even longer encore, he displayed the charm and talent that has helped him sell loads of albums, and left you wanting even more. Mixing his big hits with what sounded like sure-fire future hits in his new material, the man and his band gave the crowd some value-added renditions of country, blues, and faith-based songs.

He brought the house down though with what he described as “the sickest song I’ve ever written”, about the abrupt termination of a one-night stand. You had to be there… This guy is the Harry Chapin of country music.

And by the way, the venue (Frank Sisson’s Silver Dollar) is a great place to see an artist up close and personal. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house. It reminds me of one of the places my wife and I used to go see live music, back when we were still courtin’.

(Courtin’?? Dear Lord, have I just let it slip out how old I really am???)

Anyway…fantastic show, catch him if he’s ever in your area!!
Chow for now!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

I don't know what it's like where you live, but around my town, I am beginning to discover an interesting similarity between big trucks (half-ton and higher) and dinosaurs. In recent years, light passenger trucks have bloated up to almost the same size as semi-trailer tractors, and that's not even touching on the biggest of them all - the Hummers. Let me explain how I came to my conclusion of that claim:

Dinosaurs were big and intimidating behemoths, once upon a time. Big trucks these days are bigger than your average soup can factory, and if approaching you from behind, can be very intimidating...

Dinosaurs came in many different colours, and so do big trucks.

Nobody ever told dinosaurs what they could or couldn't do while in motion, and apparently owners of big trucks feel the same way...

Despite their large size, dinosaurs had very small (often peanut-sized) brains in charge of their operation. Ditto, big trucks.

Dinosaurs (at least in film and TV portrayals) had bad temperaments. Big truck operators seem to become a blend of Yosemite Sam and Thelma & Louise after starting their vehicles...

But maybe that's just my perception...

Chow for now!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another afternoon start...ugh!!

Well, the site appeared to be down this morning when I tried to log on, so it's not entirely my fault this time...

Anyhow, we're up and running now, so on with the show:

Rod Stewart - "Still The Same" (Great Rock Classics Of Our Time)

I picked up this new cd a day or two ago, and I'm wondering if I need to file a complaint on the grounds of false advertising...

Oh. there's the odd "rock classic" or two on here, but there's also cover versions of pop hits by Bonnie Tyler (?) John Waite (??) and OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN (?????). In what alternate universe do these guys fit in as classic rockers?? What, he couldn't get the rights to cover any Donnie & Marie classics??

Granted, the Newton-John tune was written by Bob Dylan, but his is not the voice you hear whenever "If Not For You" is playing in your head. Not that it often plays in my head, mind you...

Overall, most of these songs are note-for-note reproductions of the originals, with Rod's vocals dropped in. Man, his back catalogue on its own has most of the "great rock classics of our time". Why not leave "Love Hurts" for the next American Idol soundtrack, and remix "Maggie May"?

Or at least bring something different to the table when you're covering "great rock classics of our time"...

Still, this is unlikely to offend the droves of fans that bought more of his American Songbook releases than Bayer pushes Aspirins in a year, so he should do OK. Maybe on the "Still The Same II" we'll get his classic rock versions of "Feelings" and "Mmm-Bop"...

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

As an adult male for some time now, I can only assume that I must have been distracted by something bright and shiny, the day that they handed out male attributes...

Take sports for example. Other guys will pencil their lives around sporting events, but unless playoffs are on, I could care less. Oh, I enjoy attending live events occasionally, like football and hockey, but unlike the rest of the male world, spending an entire weekend watching big-screen TV "matches" puts me to sleep faster than a Clay Aiken cd.

Now it turns out that I'm not even loyal to my "home team".

Born and raised in Winnipeg, I have always been a fan of the CFL's Blue Bombers, and the NHL's Winnipeg Jets. Once the Jets were sold off to Phoenix, I tried rooting for the Coyotes, but I suppose the wounds were just too fresh. Plus, they stunk.

After moving to British Columbia, I tried (really, I tried) rooting for the BC Lions, but I always stayed true deep in my heart to Winnipeg's Bombers. One of the hardest days of my life was attending a Bomber game in Winnipeg, where BC was mopping up the field with the home team.

Also while in BC I tried to embrace the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, but I was distracted briefly by a fling with The Anaheim Mighty Ducks, due to a lifelong infatuation with ducks. Don't ask...

However, they stunk. And, I still missed Winnipeg.

As a youngster, I was a huge fan of The Montreal Canadiens, but oh boy, have they been bad in recent years. No self-respecting hockey fan would be...wait a minute...I'm not a self-respecting hockey fan!!

Now, we live in Calgary. I'm liking those Stampeders on the football field, but I think I'll also keep an eye on those Blue Bombers. The Calgary Flames have a great track record, despite being a little sluggish out of the gate this season. That said, compared to Vancouver - they have a Stanley Cup.

And compared to Winnipeg, they have a team...

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Afternoon blog....

Well, spit happens, I suppose.

I had a full morning today, not the least of which was my physio. Happy to report that my arm is starting to act less and less like a drawbridge these days. I only have to raise it one or two times a day now, to relieve the pain. I'm a human toll booth!!

Also had to find some other places in downtown Calgary this morning, to take care of a few outstanding chores. I needed to find the main office of the parking authority, to pick up what they call a "Smart card" here, for the parking meters. At $3.00 per hour to park downtown, I don't think it's just the cards that are pretty smart...

And, I also had to find a place where I could view my traffic infranction photo. Yes, I regret to say that we somehow managed to get a traffic ticket - failing to stop at a red light. We won't do that again, even accidentally as we did this time. We could park downtown for a loooong time with the fine that comes along with that bad boy...

Finally, we are officially Albertans, as of this weekend. My wife and I finally managed to fulfill all the requirements for switching over our vehicle insurance (which includes being able to name fruits by their Latin origins, and also requires just a pinch of the eye of a newt. I think I can also transport three head of cattle at any given time), so we now have Alberta plates on both vehicles. Pretty overwhelming.

We'll pick up our cowboy hats this weekend...

Chow for now!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Vindication at last, for my diet!!

If you happened to catch the news or read a newspaper these last few days, you'll no doubt be aware that vegetables have become the latest arsenic of the food chain. Tainted spinach, carrot juice, and now lettuce are all freshly-discovered health hazards, which gives me no cause for concern at all.

Oh, I've tried to add these sorts of things into my diet over the years, but they all take soooo long to eat. A Twinkie is gone in two bites, and a bag of potato chips melts in my mouth, not in my hands. Lettuce?? I don't even leave that in my Big Macs.....

So now I feel entirely justified, as I may be saving my own life by avoiding these previously allegedly healthy foods. I've yet to see a chocolate bar hit the news as a carrier of E. Coli, so tonight I will reach for an M & M, NOT a leaf. I'll leave the lettuce for the rabbits, while I get my calcium via a Milky Way bar...

Carrot juice?? Even if Pepsi made a version with caffeine-free cherry flavoring, I'd pass.

All along, health experts, doctors, and my mother have been trying to convince me of the benefits of vegetables, and now we find out that they're LETHAL!!! Pass me another pretzel, pal. Keep that celery stalk away from this guy!

Now if I could just figure out how to make a salad with peanuts, popcorn, and toffee...

Chow for now!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Week Two of Squirrel Month!!

(Nothing official yet, just something I'm trying to get off the ground...tell your friends...)

This week I'll touch on some celebrity squirrels, mostly from the past. There doesn't seem to be too much demand for celebrity squirrels these days...go figure.

Over to the right hand side, I've lifted and pasted a picture of Rocky, famous pal of Bullwinkle The Moose. As far as squirrels go, Rocky has done pretty well for himself.

Growing up, I lived on a steady diet of these two cartoon characters. While Bullwinkle had star billing, and probably the most imitated voice ever by stand-up comics, Rocky was the brains of the operation. And, as a forerunner of political correctness, his headgear always reminded kids that when they flew, they shouldn't be shy about using safety gear. He was also a role model for buck teeth.

I'm not sure what Rocky is up to these days, but I'm sure the ongoing royalties from the show have kept him in a pretty good lifestyle. I'd guess he spends a lot of time golfing, which would keep him in wooded areas, and allow him to pick up the odd acorn or two along the way.

Another celebrity squirrel that comes to mind became famous on jars of peanut butter.

I would have bet money that a squirrel appeared on Jif Peanut Butter, but apparently it was Skippy. I have eaten virtually every conceivable brand of peanut butter over the years, so who made what never really mattered. But for Squirrel Month, let's credit Skippy with being our celebrity squirrel from the land of peanut butter...

Skippy still appears to this day on millions of jars of peanut butter, so he certainly didn't have as good an agent as Rocky. However, he looks pretty young, so maybe he can move up to other products when his current contract expires.

There you have it folks, two of the most famous squirrels you will likely run across. Next week, I'll hope to find something just as exciting for Week Three of Squirrel Month!!

Chow for now!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Well, no matter how long I look at the blank screen, I can't seem to fill it up without doing at least a little bit of typing.

I tried pasting a newspaper article onto my monitor, but it didn't transfer onto my blog. The only thing that is making today's blog appear is the pecking of my two fingers on the keyboard.

It also doesn't help that my brain is a little barren this morning. A man can only go on so much about his new ladder, or what was on TV last night. If he expects people to read this stuff, he has to offer up new and exciting offerings, each and every day. He's gotta sell the sizzle!

Or something like that...

If this was Sunday, I'd be just fine. Tomorrow will be the start of Week Two, in National Squirrel Month, or whatever it was I called this new celebration of all things squirrelly. So, if this column today is so bad you are about to give up all hope, please wait until tomorrow.

By the way...that ladder?? Still packed.

Chow for now!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Top up your coffee folks, this one is pretty long-winded today…

First off, my humble apologies for the late posting, but I had to go pick up my vehicle first thing this morning, after bringing it in THREE DAYS AGO, for an out-of-province safety inspection. Suffice it to say that the beast is now virtually rebuilt from stem to stern, and my dreams of eating anything other than hot dogs and beans for the next 8 months are slim…

I also had a timely bit of physio yesterday, necessary to get me through my first big concert event in Calgary’s Saddledome. My wife and I went to see The Who last night, which leads me up to:

“The-Friday-Morning-Nobody-Asked-Me-To-But-Here-It-Is-Anyway-Concert-Review – The Who”
(or, "Why I Will Never Be A Professional Reviewer…")

For somebody that has seen most big-name artists long before they became “classic” or “nostalgia”, last night was my first ever live Who concert. As a long-time fan, it makes me wonder why I had so eagerly picked up Air Supply tickets a few months ago, but had not yet seen The Who. Call me quirky…

At any rate, the joint was buzzing, erupting into cheers even during the big-screen commercials for The Who station on Sirius satellite radio. This was likely going to be an easy gig for the boys…

Not so easy a task, warming up a crowd before living legends take the stage, but opening act Inward Eye did a terrific job, nonetheless. This power-rock group of young brothers from my hometown of Winnipeg sold me by song one. I had been tipped off by my buddy Argy to make it in time to see them, and I can see why. Their own website ( suggests they are reminiscent of The Jam and The Kinks, but I heard Green Day and early U2 influences as well. They rocked. Highly recommended from my experience!!

That said, The Who was who we came to see, and The Who we saw.
Starting off with some early career hits, the crowd went nuts. Standing ovations right off the bat, and the folks down on the floor seats had to stand for the entire show. The only sluggish part was when the band played songs from their upcoming new album, but even those sounded pretty darn good.

All it took to bring the crowd back to life though were the opening strains of monster hits, like Baba O’Reilly, or Who Are You (with that strange lyric – “who the huck are you”). If I closed my eyes I could see David Caruso standing over a crime scene…

One thing that was not much fun was having Jim Carrey Jr. sitting directly in front of us. This gangly teen made Napoleon Dynamite look like Brad Pitt. Whenever he recognized a song (which was often), his stick-man, over-long arms would start swaying in the air. Kind of looked like a pair of anorexic bamboo shoots obscuring our view of the stage, but hey, when the spirit moves you…

Anyway, two thumbs up for the show, even if this isn’t a movie review. My pinched neck nerve came in handy for flicking my Bic during the slow songs, as holding my arm up relieves the pinching pain. And I will confess, nobody would ever mistake my husky arm for an anorexic bamboo shoot…

(For related blatherings, check out my archives: Sunday August 13th for The Sunday Morning “Nobody Asked Me To, But I’m Going To Give It Anyway” Concert Review.)


Alright, if you’ve lasted this long, you are to be commended. Or committed, only time will tell.

For those of you following the ongoing drama of my new ladder, it remains untouched. Maybe this weekend I’ll unwrap it, just to make sure it is in fact a ladder…
There's some kind of holiday this weekend, in Canada anyway. Thanksgiving?? Easter? I must do some investigating. Have a happy one anyway...

Chow for now!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sadly, this will be another short installment. Although some might view that comment as good news....

After waiting a week and a half for a ladder, it sits in our basement, untouched by human hands. Still having loads of trouble with this pinched nerve in my neck, so even if I did get to climb up on it, I couldn't lift my arm to do anything productive on it. Although, I could certainly spot dust bunnies from that height...

For everyone that is kind enough to post comments, PLEASE check back in the comments section, as I reply to each and every one. Whenever I have tried to respond by e-mail, it just gets kicked back, undeliverable. I'm pretty sure I've made all my monthly payments for this service, so why I am being denied mailing by the virtual post office is beyond me...

Finally, we are off tonight to see The Who, famous for writing all those theme songs for the various CSI programs. Can't wait!!

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Well, my sentence has been commuted. The ladder arrived yesterday, so to speak.

After waiting a week and a half, I called anybody and everybody related to the purchase, and obtained a tracking number for Purolator.

A quick phone call revealed that the ladder had been delivered, earlier that day. Imagine my surprise, not being the one it was delivered to!!

Anyhow, after a discussion with the courier, I was able to determine they had missed me, thanks to an error in the address. They were only off by 500 house numbers..

So, I went to pick it up, and now we are together - the ladder and I.

More to come!!

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Despite my house arrest, I will have to leave today. I have physio this morning, plus we are bringing our vehicles in for out-of-province inspections. This is necessary to obtain insurance for them here in Alberta, and it's also a handy way to say goodbye to a couple of hundred dollars...

Still no ladder. Looking out my front window yesterday, I even SAW a Purolator truck, but it didn't even slow down!! How cruel life can be...

The "free delivery" won't mean much if I miss the truck, and have to go pick it up somewhere. Assuming, of course that a truck is ever going to come... I'm starting to think I bought a brochure with 55 different positions.

Better run. Short and sweet today. Next Monday, Part Two of Squirrel Month!! Tell your friends!

Chow for now!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Two things today:

First off, I still keep Kelowna's website up as my homepage (, just to keep a finger on things back there. Funny how it is that no matter what else is on the string of headlines, I jump right on the pop culture reference of George Michael getting arrested. Again.

Seems the former Wham singer has a rather bad habit of passing out in his vehicles, and not hiding his stash before he does that. Is this guy trying to make Keith Richards look like a choir boy?? Not only does this guy have a careless whisper, he needs to sharpen his nap time skills...

Second, I am a total fruit nitwit. My wife packed herself a lunch today, and mentioned that she took a nectarine. I commented that I wasn't even aware we had any. Then she informed me that I had packed one for her, last week!!

Standing in front of an open refrigerator, she pointed out what appeared to be a plum on steroids. This, I am told, is a nectarine. Who knew??

There better not be a quiz...

Chow for now!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October is "Squirrel Month".

Nothing official mind you, just something I'm trying to get off the ground... Tell your friends.

Once a week throughout October, I will try to educate you about this bushy-tailed rodent. In the process, I will learn myself if this critter is indeed a rodent, or maybe rather related to squids, looking at the first few letters of its name...

Squirrels (without Googling the word - how impressive is that??) live in trees, but also have been seen on the ground. They climb and run, but some have been known to fly. Those breeds generally make excellent companions for talking moose.

In addition to taking up residence in park or forest trees, some squirrels may decide that a well-insulated attic can also be a great place to park their cabooses. These expansive spaces allow them to train for things like Cirque de Soleil, or WWE, and this rowdy behaviour may put them in some conflict with the human owners of said attic space.

Not to worry. Squirrels are gentle creatures, and will willingly depart an attic, once asked. Squirrels are much like Tibetan monks in their temperament, and seeing as how they collect their own nuts, are far less expensive to maintain than gerbils.

That last sentence didn't come out right. They collect nuts, but not their own...

More to come!!

Chow for now!!