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Thursday, July 31, 2008


Here it is, the second-last day of July already. Where the heck did THAT month go???

I feel like I was just starting to let June go a few short days ago, toodling off on its own – heading away down Memory Lane, never to be seen again. And now July is standing on the corner, putting on a knapsack, and starting to load tracks on his i-Pod.

Hey, when did July start to smoke????

Now August is right around the other corner. Carrying a beach ball, and a colony of wasps. Every year, you can always rely on August to bring around a bag of wasps. I know they eat other bugs, but wasps really get my goat. Seriously, they stung the hell out of her last year. I was picking stingers out of her fur for a week…

August may also bring along relaxed days on the lawn chair – out in the back yard. Maybe a few mojitos, and a big sombrero to shade my eyes from the sun. My Speedo will allow for maximum sunnage (I totally made that word up). I’m not sure I’ll do even a fleck of work during August. Hey, what Mrs. That Dan Guy doesn’t know…

Well, I had better go see July off. Man, that month flew by…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

After griping since early April about the incessant rain and overcast skies here, something like an earthquake just outside L.A. reminds me that maybe things aren’t so bad here after all.

That said, after a brief view of sunshine yesterday (and defying every forecast), the skies clouded up and it did rain briefly, right around the time we had hoped to fire up the BBQ last night. I am beginning to think that we have angered a propane god of some sort…


So, I opened my morning paper today, and discovered that the Canadian reality show we watched faithfully (“How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria”) has been tainted by a bit of a scandal.

Seems that one of the celebrity judges - conductor and musical supervisor Simon Lee (hand-picked by Lord Andrew Floyd Webber himself) was arrested prior to the broadcast of the final two episodes. In Dave Barry’s classic tradition of “I’m not making this up”, Lee was arrested and charged with assault and forcible confinement – seems the conductor was allegedly keeping company with another male, a male who had to climb out the window of Lee’s hotel room and jump down to an outdoor restaurant patio to escape. A whole new meaning to “exit, stage left”…

In all fairness, the director could have just begun pre-casting for the sequel, “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Martin”.

What an exciting world we live in…

Hey, I'm online again today! No picture mind you, but that big lozenge-shaped head of mine really eats up cyber-space I suppose. Check out an alternate Indiana Jones adventure at:

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pieces & Bits:
Jeez Louise…

What is that bright thing up in the sky? And where is the rain? Why isn’t it raining today? How is a guy supposed to lawn shower if it isn’t raining???
If only I had been an Indy racing fan, I might not have missed out on seeing “Family Jewels” star Gene Simmons live, as this year’s Grand Marshall in nearby Edmonton. However, I am not an Indy fan, in much the same way I am not a fan of nailing my feet to windmill blades.
Well, Canada chose a Maria last night. Mrs. That Dan Guy and I were glued to the TV for the announcement of which young lady had won the weekly competition, to star in Andrew Lloyd Webfoot’s Canadian revival of “The Sound Of Music”. For the first time in history, we have agreed with the judges, and the Canadian public, who picked the contestant we had both agreed upon.

Now, we turn our attention to next week’s finale of “Nashville Star”, and the still ongoing “America’s Got Talent”. Who says summer lacks excitement??
Here’s one of my favourite childhood jokes:

Q: Did you put the cat out?
A: I didn’t know it was on fire!!!!

You know, that joke now strikes me as somewhat violent and uncomfortable…
That ole man river, he just keeps rollin’ along…
I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my focus here…
Right now, Mrs. That Dan Guy is applying the top coat on her hair preparation ritual, with three more levels of hairspray yet to go. This morning routine has sent all three of our (former) parakeets into cardiac arrest. I wish we would have discovered earlier that we could have moved the cage out of the bathroom…
Flaming cats, deceased birds – what is going on here this morning???
Must have cereal…
Chow for now!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Noah’s Diary – Day 39

Man, is it wet out there. This is like the biggest Sea World ever, but without the lineups. Or the attractions…

39 days of rain so far, and the forecast is calling for a cubit or two again tomorrow. Even the pair of fish onboard are starting to tire of precipitation.

After almost 40 days on this ark, I’ve learned one thing – next time around I’ll separate the lions from the antelopes. Mrs. Noah is still trying to get the fur out of the poop deck…

You know, being crammed in here all this time with a variety of unruly animals has given me an idea – a fella could run a ship like this out of ports in Florida, and make a couple of bucks, cruising around the Bahamas. If I convert the grain silo on the aft deck into a casino…

Man, there go those blasted elephants again! If I wanted to hear bad trumpeting, I would have invited my cousin Hugo along…

It’s been so long since I’ve seen dry land, I fear I may never see another McDonald’s again. Oh, how I crave me a Big Fig, with a side order of honey and olive…

I’d better jot a reminder down – next time God floods the world, load a little more hay, and some air freshener. Oy, what a smell down below!

I wonder what’s been happening on Mesopotamia’s Got Talent? I really thought those two lyre players had a good chance of winning, this season.

Oh, brother, another scuffle between the gorillas again. I’d better try and settle things down. What I’d give for just one sunny day this summer!!!

Choweth for noweth…

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer’s Lament

A Comedy (or as close as we ever come here), In One Act.

SCENE: A neighbourhood pub, early evening. A couple has fled there, after yet another thunderstorm has dashed their dream of a weekend barbecue:

WOMAN: I can’t believe all this rain. Every day. Every single day!!

MAN: Why yes, my dear. You are quite correct. It is becoming rather distressing…

WOMAN: Every day!! Every single day!!

MAN: Tut-tut, my love. It will get better…


MAN: Anchovie?

WOMAN: This summer is the worst ever!! We’re missing our entire summer! It’s gone AOL!!

MAN: Darling, I believe you mean AWOL. AOL is an internet service provider!

The End.



Last night, we were driving home and our path approached McMahon Stadium (home of the Stampeders football team) just as Ozzy Osbourne’s “Monsters Of Rock” festival was letting out. I am not exaggerating even remotely when I say that we pulled up to, and drove through a fog-like standing cloud of smoke.

A fog-like standing cloud of smoke that left us with the oddest urge for Twinkies and pretzels, which we picked up at the nearest convenience store, man…

Ozzy Rules!!

Chow for now!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Peepin’ Tom Alert!!

Oh, it’s just the readers….

Howdy mammals! Charlie and the brood here in Australia. We’re on holidays this week, and we decided to visit Stonehenge. That’s some big snozz there!!


What’s that? England??

Um, yeah…we’re in cluckin’ England. What the pluck did ya think I said???

We’re at the base of the prehistoric Stonehenge sculpture, in downtown England. The last remainin’ sculpture, apparently…


Yessir, we hopped on a Transcontinental United American Flylines flight, and landed here in England yesterday. Saw the Eiffel Tower, then grabbed a bus out to this historic site of rocks.

Man, that guy had a big nose. What kinda weirdos lived here all those centuries ago? I think he’s part rhinoceros!! It looks like a pluckin’ divin’ bored!!


Yeah, we’re world travelers. I enjoy exposin’ the little cluckers to history and culture. Next, we’re gonna try an’ find Mr. Bean, who lives in England. Man, he is one funny Englander…

For lunch, we’re havin’ long cucumbers. That’s all they eat over here, and they wash it down with tea. I’d prefer a beer, but for the chicklets sake, I’ll sip onna cuppa tea. It’s not like it’ll kill me…


Aw crap, here comes that English rain ya always hear about. An’ us wit-out our umbrellies. How uncivilized!!

Run for the hills, my little dough-heads!!


Cluck for now!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I am a discredit to the Facebook generation…

While I did succumb to peer pressure last year and launched my own Facebook site (technically a site for Mrs. That Dan Guy and I), I have been worse than abysmal in updating it, or even visiting it myself.

When I checked the last time a couple of days ago, I had about 30 assorted “requests” of one kind or another, some dating back to the early 1970’s. That can’t be good.

I also set up a dummy Yahoo e-mail address (insert your own punch line here…), because Facebook requires information that should NEVER be given out to a third party. So, I don’t actually ever RECEIVE e-mails from Facebook. But I do appear to get them even if I ain’t aware of ‘em. I had a “friend” request from a real friend of ours, which dated back to JUNE!! JUNE, I say!!! How embarrassing!

I think I may need to get a bit more aggressive in making a daily cyber-space trek to the site, and maybe even check out ways that I can make it more useful. While I do enjoy the opportunity to receive a virtual flower or hug, maybe there’s a way I can send “requests” out for actual poker chips, or gold doubloons. Does Wal-Mart still take gold doubloons?

This whole Facebook thing is for the loons…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


It’s official – cut waxed beans (yellow) are the preferred canned vegetable in the Such Is Life household.

The competition was fierce, with over three canned vegetables sparring for supremacy. Canned sliced mushroom parts failed to make the final three, when it was determined that they were primarily used in omelettes, and generally not as a side dish.

Long-time favourite canned corn seemed a front-runner, offering the most variety – arriving on dinner plates in creamed, niblet, and peaches & cream versions – clearly showing off.

Canned peas also offered variety, but when boiled too long, seemed to taste like shredded linoleum. Or paste.

The winner, yellow cut waxed beans became apparent after several taste tests revealed a subtle dazzle in the average forkful. While perhaps a bit watery (like over-boiled peas) on occasion, the yellow cut waxed beans nevertheless continued to bubble up to the top of the pack, strong-arming the award away from corn and peas.

Cans of yellow cut waxed beans here will enjoy a lifetime supply of forking into admiring mouths here in the SIL household, following a hearty blend of mashed potato and chicken breast.

There can be no higher honour for a bean…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We are currently in the midst of the rainy season, here in Calgary. We enjoy a day of sunny weather, followed by eight or so rainy days.

I fear we may be in the elbow of summer, actually. It has only ever come close to summer temperatures once this month, and I think that was because God left a cake in the oven too long that day. Otherwise, it has been mighty fine weather, if you have webbed feet.

Not that I’m complaining or anything. It’s not like we had hoped to sit out in the yard, or barbecue, or anything like that. We’re content to just sit at our kitchen table, and await the first snowfall of the upcoming winter season. As long as I get to mow the lawn every week, we don’t necessarily need to actually USE it…

I’ve even seen squirrels wearing rain slickers, and some dogs and cats in the neighbourhood have put aside their historic differences, to stage a rally against what they feel has been (and I quote) “a ruff summer so far”…

But me, I’m as happy as Jiminy Cricket. I don’t mind that I could still give Casper The Friendly Ghost a run for his money, in the pale department.


Awkward Such Is Life Household Quote Of The Day

7:09 AM July 23/08: “Hey! There’s something in there!!”

Chow for now!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

There are grapes in our refrigerator.

And yet, I find that I have not even a single solitary one peeled and hand-fed to moi. This is disturbing…

Grapes for centuries have been carefully peeled, and fed delicately by hand to the master of the house, as far back as the Roman Empire. Maybe even the Roamin’ Empire. No matter how long I recline on our couch, a certain someone here does not clue in to my obvious desire for freshly-peeled grapes.

I must find a book on grape etiquette, and leave it where she will notice the manual. I don’t want the grapes to go bad, but I just can’t peel them myself (my nails are very well trimmed).

Maybe there’s a DVD I can rent…

Man, this toga is so bloody itchy… And drafty...

Chow for now!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Once upon a time there was a young orphan. A young orphan with dreams.

This young orphan saved every nickel he earned selling recycled shaving cream, and one day he was able to afford his dream trip – an economy flight to Hawaii, where he would get the chance to shake the flipper of a trained seal.

The young orphan donated blood, and was then able to purchase the first set of clothing he had ever owned without gaping holes. He hand-cobbled a rudimentary pair of shoes out of hardened cantaloupe shells, and fell asleep every night, imagining the joy that shaking a seal’s flipper would bring him.

On the day of his flight, the young orphan began a journey that would find him eventually connecting in eight cities, and not a single pretzel to be found. This was REALLY a discount airline.

When he finally landed in Hawaii, he realized that he hadn’t made any sort of hotel accommodations, and so he had to sleep wrapped in papaya leaves, in an underpass stretching along a pineapple factory. On the plus side, this was far better than his home back on the mainland, where he shared a bedroom with 18 other orphans, and a blind ferret.

The next morning, the young orphan (struggling ever so slightly with a recurrence of his asthma) walked 18 miles to the Sea World-like park where he had read of this seal experience in a Reader’s Digest magazine. He found a seat close to the front, and awaited his chance – he would soon shake the flipper of a real, live seal!

The trainer brought out a number of different animals, and they all performed wonderful tricks. Then, with a hearty “Hark! Hark! Hark!”, the seal arrived onstage!!

The trainer asked for a helper, and the young orphan raised his one good arm. Suddenly, an adult woman – a Canadian woman - appeared out of nowhere, running right onto the stage. She grabbed that old seal by the flipper, and crushed the young orphan’s dream forever.

The end.

Chow for now!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Super-late start today!

In no particular order, here are my excuses:

1) The dog ate our alarm clock.
2) Exhausted from a long night trying to ignore MTDG’s snoring, I didn’t wake up until just a few moments ago…
3) The fresh bread we were trying to bake for breakfast failed to rise – misread “least” for “yeast”…
4) Stayed up far too late to catch David Sedaris on Dave Letterman’s talk show.
5) Spent a couple of hours trying this morning to convince Charlie that MTDG DOESN’T push young orphans around all the time.
6) My robe, slippers and morning newspaper failed to be presented to me in a timely fashion.
7) Catching up on a few entries I’ve fallen behind on, in the Wa blog.
8) Helping a group of Boy Scouts learn to navigate by cloud formations.
9) Had to wax my Lamborghini, if ya know what I mean…
10) Wrestled a bear for porridge.
11) Ran into a slow foursome ahead of me on the miniature golf range.
12) We slept in.

Chow for now!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Hello, humans.

We’re standin’ in the corner today, with a feelin’ of deep shame. Ya can’t see shame, cause it’s invisible. But trust me, it’s here with us…


We’re ashamed today after readin’ about Mrs That Dan Guy’s terrible bee-haviour the other day. She had always seemed to be such a nice old lady, but now we know the truth!!


Pushin’ kids outta the way of baby tigers and seals – what else? Does she kick puppies when owners ain’t lookin”?? Good thing I ain’t got any pinfeathers left, or she’d be sizin’ me up for pillow stuffin’!!


Well, I guess I gotta confess, I always knew she had a mean streak in ‘er. Anyone that don’t eat breakfast in the mornin’ is fightin’ an uphill battle ta begin with. I’m pretty sure she’s been pinchin’ summa my smokes too! I better start countin’ ‘em…


Next thing ya know, we’ll be readin’ a bout ‘er in the Natural Inquirer: “Canadian Woman Ties Kitten Tails Together! Disney Considers Evil New Villain For 107 Dalmatians!!”

Brrr.. Kinda chilly in here – must be a fresh wave of nasty runnin’ thru the house…

Cluck for now!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

I may have forgotten to tell Mrs. That Dan Guy, but while wandering the mall yesterday, I noticed that the pet store there had a couple of Dachshund puppies in a petting display.

Are those what are typically called “wiener” dogs? Man, are they ever the neatest little things…

They sure had a crowd gathered, I’ll say that much. Wiener dogs have a certain appeal, I don’t know why. It’s probably just as well that I didn’t tell MTDG – she’d have pushed her way to the front of the display, and I’d be spending a small fortune on buying ice cream for small children, to try and console them. She’s done it before, you know. At a Sea World type of park in Hawaii several years ago, she overpowered a couple of young orphans to be the person that got to interact with a sea lion. I could barely take pictures of her, what with the sobbing kids wailing away beside me.

Now that I think of it, she did it again on our latest travel excursion. I decided to treat her to Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden, an overpriced mini-zoo in Vegas, at the Mirage Hotel. This “attraction” features a dolphin habitat, a couple of goats, some pigeons, and just happened to boast newborn white tiger cubs.

As has happened in the past (see Hawaii story above), MTDG spotted the crowd gathered outside the tiger display. Without an open spot for decent viewing, she suddenly hollered out: “OMIGOD!! Hanna Montana!!!”

Well, before you know it, the kids are all running over to a corner of the “attraction” she was pointing to, leaving choice viewing areas open for her selection. We managed to get some great photos, before the unruly mob of moppets returned.

That’s just the way she rolls, when animals are involved…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I’m starting to crave toast. Once again, I mean.

For years (decades), I started every morning with a couple of slices of toast, and for each and every day of those many years (many DECADES…), those slices of toast were garnished with a delicious veneer of peanut butter and honey. Sometimes raspberry jam, but most often honey.

Then, suddenly one morning, I got bored with that daily routine. I would slap my toast around, like a silverback gorilla might whack at a leaf or branch that displeased him. I would put off preparing my breakfast as long as I could, hoping instead to find something more exotic to consume in the morning. That was my brief but somewhat exciting period of raisin bread toast – like dining in a whole other culture!

Now, after turning my back on toast for a month or so, I’ve noticed how I’ve lingered, and looked at loaves of bread in the supermarket. I think it’s time. I think I may have a couple of slices of toast this morning.

Oh what a beautiful morning. Oh what a beautiful day…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There is talk in the Such Is Life household of purchasing a pony. The talk is essentially Mrs. That Dan Guy repeatedly saying “NO”, and someone else here offering the manifold benefits of such a purchase, followed by “PUH-LEEZE…”

Why is a pony so important, all of a sudden? Well, for one thing, I have a very short attention span, and a pony seems to be on my radar right now. I envision vast riches from TV appearances, if I could teach the pony even just a few simple words. Can you imagine turning on your TV, and seeing the cutest little baby horse reliving the glory days of Budweiser’s “wuzz-uuuuup” ad campaign??? Man, that’s gold!!

For another thing, a pony could save me a few minutes of lawn-mowing each week, by chewing away some of that blasted grass that grows like a weed. I mean really, I should have just laid down astro-turf…

The single biggest asset of owning a pony would be the training I could undergo on a pony, for next year’s Calgary Stampede rodeo purse. There’s big bucks up for grabs there, and I could walk away with it, if I just had a pony that would work with me. I’m thinking my stage name would be Buck Dat…

You know, for an avowed animal lover, I can’t believe the resistance I am meeting up with here. MTDG can be downright stubborn when she wants to be.

Hey, my real column is online today. Read all about talking restroom stalls here:

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Failing to come up with anything even remotely close to interesting this morning, I have decided to discuss a couple of TV shows that we watched last night. They may not have even been broadcast yesterday. They could have been from several days ago. That doesn’t diminish the power I wield, to write about them today as I choose to do. I call the shots around here, bucko…

Anyhoo, first up, the dismal current season of Nashville Star. More accurately, Nashville LED Light. A fridge bulb has more wattage than this year’s crop of contenders. We’ve enjoyed this show since it first burst onto the scene, on some obscure network, with no measurable amount of viewership.

Since hitting the big time and getting picked up by NBC, this has become a sanitized presentation of pale Taylor Swift & Carrie Underwood wannabes, with no visible superstar in the offing at the end of the day. Sure, we like a couple of the performers, but will a win on this production count for anything? Has anyone heard from the last three winners?

I didn’t think so…

The second show I intend on yapping about is Canada’s very own How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria. Down to the final four contestants, next week’s broadcast will see Andrew Lloyd Weber join the program, to help whack through the remainders, until an official Sound Of Music lead actress is found. How did multi-million dollar stage productions ever make a go of it, before reality TV existed, I often wonder? Well, maybe not all THAT often, but I do wonder…

We’ve been enjoying this program, and find that even the contenders kicked off could have given anyone on Nashville Star a run for their money this year. Harsh? Yeah, that’s just how I run…

And while I’m at it, what is the deal with Dalmatians? Why do they get to be so exotic and multi-coloured? Pick a colour, black or white, and be a dog like every other breed!!!


Chow for now!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Monday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review – James Taylor

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

Last night, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I had the rare Canadian concert experience – James Taylor live and on tour, with his “Band Of Legends”. Which is another way of saying “Old Geezers”.

Ha Ha! Kidding!! These folks were all crack musicians, and aided Mr. Taylor in presenting a delightful trip down Memory Lane (even if a few of them may have had problems in that department, if you know what I mean…).

As this was Mr. Taylor’s first-ever tour through Canada, Calgary rolled out the red carpet, providing the band and himself with the city’s trademark white Stetson cowboy hats. Seemed very appropriate, as he was the closing act for this year’s Stampede.

This was also the first night we were able to stand in line long enough to get our midway mini-donuts, but that’s a story for another day…

So, what were my first impressions, after waiting almost 40 years to see such a beloved music legend? Well, for one thing, I couldn’t help but notice how much he looks like Woody Harrelson, the actor from TV’s “Cheers”. I mean seriously, they could be brothers. If someone was filming a James Taylor biopic, I would strongly suggest they nail down Woody right now, and wait for the Academy Awards to roll on in…

On the music part – he was amazing. Performing two sets over the course of almost three full hours, a person couldn’t complain about not getting their money’s worth. Although he did play a load of stuff from his new “covers” album (which by the way sounds like something a person ought to run out and buy first thing this morning- just saying, MTDG…), there were more than enough selections from his songbook of personal American classics. Peppered throughout with his delightful sense of humour, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand all night long. Loved the stories behind the songs that he shared. Absolutely a treat…

For anyone that cares, the stage was simple – a throwback to old theatres but filled with large signage for each member of his “Band Of Legends” (probably so that some of the old farts could find their way to their station – just sayin’…).

I’d have loved to have seen this show in a proper concert hall, but there’s something about the power of a man and a guitar that can fill an entire arena that sort of sums up the whole experience…


Chow for now!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chicken Scratch


Howdy, humans!

Charlie here, from the midway of the 2008 Calgary Stampede. Getting’ my cowboy on!!


Man, each year this Stampede gets tuffer and tuffer to survive. Thanks Cornelius, for lookin’ after the mini-squawkers again. Daddy needs his rodeo!


So, last night I wandered the faigrounds, and ran into summa my usual difficulties. A group of thugs in T-shirts wouldn’t let me into see my old buddy Kid Rock, which clucked me off big-time. I woulda pecked at his feet, but those cowboy boot is hard ta penetrate!


So, I went on a few rides instead. Nuthin’ says fun like hurtlin’ thru the air on a flimsy pair of chains and an old barstool. Just like the cowboys of old musta done it! I hadda puke four times at least. My equal’s librium is still tryin’ ta recover….


Next to the rides, the food is the best! This year – pizza on a stick ( fer cluckin’ real!!), deep-fried Coke (the sody-pop, not the nose candy…), and my bee-loved mini-donuts. The lineup was cluckin’ nuts fer them donuts, but that’s where it helps to be under a foot tall. I was able to scurry through the crowd a mammals, and boogie right upta the fronta the line! Hoo-Ha!!


I even tried to win a prize, but them games is rigged. No pluckin’ way wuz I gonna spend eighty bucks to win a stuffed lion! I just stole one when another human came off a ride, leaned over a fence, and wood-chucked all over the grass! She didn’t even miss it!


Cluck for now!!!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

From the 2008 Calgary Stampede, it’s:

The Saturday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” concert review – Sugarland, with special guest Miranda Lambert.

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

Before I get crackin’ with today’s faux review, let me just take a minute or two to share with anyone out there still trying to pick bacon out of their teeth how I feel about music critics.

Personally, I think the time has come to impose a mandatory retirement age of say, 25 for concert reviewers and music critics. Considering the age that newspapers seem to be hiring now, that would still give the average critic a good 10 years or so to have imparted his or her opinion on their family members or relatives. Because truth be told, fans simply don’t give a hoot what they have to say, and after age 25 it is painfully obvious that they are so jaded, they need to enter the next phase of their career – writing personal journal entries about how no one appreciates real music anymore, whatever they deem real music to be.

I say, when you can fill an arena or stadium with 16,000 fans to hear you read your reviews, then I’ll give a crap about what you have to say.

End of sermon…

Anyhow, last night we braved the sea of Stampede partiers to attend the Sugarland concert at the Saddledome. Couldn’t help but notice how diverse the crowd was – young, old, male, female – this group has mainstream appeal. And they can certainly fill an arena with people that are there to listen to what they do.

Miranda Lambert opened the show with a spirited effort. Despite all the hype about her and her show, she pretty much lived up to our expectations. Loads of smoke, no fire. Of her half-dozen hits, we only like one or two at the most, and her performance did nothing to show us another side we may not have been aware of beforehand.

We watched Nashville Star the year she was among the hopeful contenders, and agreed when she was voted off. Much the same all these years later… However, she had a very attractive guitar for one song…

Sugarland, on the other hand, brought the house down!! These guys have more hits than you can possibly play in one evening, but they did a great job trying. Jennifer Nettles has vocal abilities that are downright spooky. Power to spare, and when they performed their monster hit “Stay”, she was able to seamlessly arc from a whisper (so as to hear the crowd singing along), to crescendo (that’s a fancy word for loud). Goose pimples, man…

Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you’re a fan. Then, you’re there to appreciate what you already know you enjoy, and get surprised, which Sugarland managed to do, especially with an encore of “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.


Chow for now!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Today is 7-11. No wonder I’ve felt like having a Slurpee since I got up…

Man, we had a bad storm here yesterday. Thunder, lighting, plenty of banging and crashing – a lot like an AC-DC concert I suspect. The worst part was the hail. When I looked out at my neighbour’s roof, it looked like there had been a hefty snowfall. In friggin’ JULY!!! I have to worry about slippery roads in the middle of the summer??? Life is cruel, man…

Oh well, it’s all a balance. Supposed to be hot and dry today, so all those hail stones should melt by lunchtime.

No coyote this morning. I had hoped he might become the “neighbourhood” coyote, but it seems like he made just the one short visit to our street.

Wow! I’m all over the place this morning. This Slurpee must be making me jittery – I should have ordered a sugar-free blend…


Chow for now!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I spy with my little eye…something brown.

I spy with my little eye…something brown and wooden.

I spy with my little eye…something brown, wooden, and large.

I spy with my little eye…something brown, wooden, large, and covered with papers, plus this computer…

What do I spy, with my little eye?

(From the "I Got Nuttin' Files", July '08)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I opened my front door yesterday to see if there may have been anything on the front stoop, and lo and behold, there was a coyote on the neighbour’s lawn. A bored, completely at ease coyote, not at all concerned about a wide-eyed man with his hair sticking straight up, and blinking like a Bedouin in a sandstorm.

We hear the coyotes howl at night, so we know they're close by, but this one could have been our paperboy, for all I know. He sure didn’t give a fig about cars going by, or that our neighbourhood has a distinct apparent shortage of roadrunners.

I quietly beckoned for Mrs. That Dan Guy to come over, and see for herself. As in “COME OVER HERE RIGHT AWAY!!! LOOK AT THIS!!!! OMIGOD!!!!!!”

She was amazed.

I think the coyote picked up on my discombobulation, because before I could run down and get our camera fished out and ready, he decided to check other homes, for say…cats sleeping and unaware, or lap dogs out for a morning piddle.

This is our life, folks. Non-stop daily drama…

Chow for now!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Windows Vista blows.

Windows Vista is as beneficial as grafting cheese onto a baseball bat.

Windows Vista just may be the most useless innovation since Karaoke.

Windows Vista needs to die...

Monday, July 07, 2008


Today is 07 07 (08). Another example of those funky number things that haunt and/or follow me everywhere.

Went to bed last night at the stroke of 11:11. I was barbecuing at 4:44 yesterday afternoon. What is it with me and these coincidental numbers??

I need to start looking around – Rod Serling may be narrating somewhere close by…

So, last night we tuned in to Canada’s reality show: “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria”. It was the performance show, which is followed tonight by the elimination round. In a bit of a curveball, TWO potential Maria’s will get eliminated on the show later today.

So, is this show about Italian women named Maria? And are the "problems" solved in Sopranos-like style? Ha! Not at all. The show is documenting the search for the next Maria Von Trapp, or Trap, my apologies for mangling the spelling of that Sound Of Music character. This is for the Canadian revival of that musical, fronted or produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber no less. Or Weber, again my apologies if I have mangled that spelling as well. I suppose I could just surf The Google and find out for sure. There has to be some sort of reliable online resource to do something like that…

Anyhow, my point if there really ever was one, is that we are watching a reality competition show. That is how low things have sunk here in the Such Is Life household. Thanks to summer break scheduling, we are now acting like every other viewer in North America, as we glue ourselves to a sofa, and root for people that will skyrocket to obscurity after weekly exposure on a talent competition TV show.

Maybe it’s time to dust off that old Parcheesi board game.

Or Parchesi, if I’ve mangled the spelling of that as well…

Chow for now!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I must apologize. My start today has been delayed greatly, mainly due to Mrs. That Dan Guy FAILING to rouse me from my slumbers (wow, one more letter in a word back there and this wouldn’t have been a very family-friendly blog…).

I awoke extremely late, well past the time I would have normally been out jogging, or mending various household items in my workshop. I’ve barely even had time to glance at the financial section of the newspapers I get every morning, to aid in advising the many people I talk to at the local “Y”, when I host my Sunday afternoon seminars. This is completely unacceptable!!

So, why did MTDG forget about me, you ask? Why would she leave me to slumber through everything I hold dear?

Well, she suggests she slept in herself (ha!), and that she was going to get me up at least for dinnertime, maybe before breakfast Monday morning.

I believe that there exists ample evidence to indicate she awoke at the crack of dawn, and has been busying herself with:

1) Off-site betting, on horse races across North America,
2) Secretly tuning into the John Stamos Network, which features non-stop episodes of Full House and ER, plus short biography snippets of Mr. Stamos…
3) Watching “Buy These Shoes”, an Italian DVD of the latest footwear offerings, hot off the press.
4) Revelling in the peace and quiet that she seems to believe only exists when I am unconscious,
5) Heartlessly and cruelly eating all the pink Fruit Loops herself, leaving NONE for her beloved husband…
6) Planning a ruse of some sort, that will take us later this afternoon to some secluded warehouse that specializes in group ballroom dance lessons. How many times do I have to tell her – during my pro football tryouts, I permanently injured my middle toes…

Well sister, I’m awake now! Good luck trying to pull your tom-foolery with my senses on heightened alert!

Chow for now!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Well, hello there, you hairy ole mammal! Charlie’s just spendin’ some time with the little cluckers, after being away for a coupla weeks. Cornelius is in recovery…

Figured I oughta help educate these feathered fumblers, as a courtesy to society. Today, we’re learnin’ about horoscopes, something’ I developed a interest in while in New Orleans.


There’s lotsa supernatural stuff in New Orleans. They got voodoo shops, an’ card readers, an’ psychics. I don’t think the psychics are all that bright, personally. I mean, wouldn’t a half-decent psychic know she weren’t gonna make any money sittin’ at a table outside a party bar?? She shoulda been sellin’ beads!!


Horoscopes is harmless, far as I’m concerned. Good clean fun, I say. It’s not like I’m tryin’ to interpret pig’s knuckles, or stick pins in a voodoo doll of Banjo Boy (it didn’t work…).

Besides, who doesn’t wanna know what the future holds, even if it is as vague as “you should avoid Tauruses at all costs”. I think that’s dang good advice, both for horoscope-signy people, and lousy American automobiles…


I think it’s about time I came up with some names for these mini-chickens. “Hey, you with the chicken legs” is getting’ a bit confusin’ for alla us…

Cluck for now!!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th Of July, for anyone out there enjoying this annual celebration!

Technically, today is the start of The Calgary Stampede here in our fair city. “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth”, so the slogan goes. If you’re into cowboy stuff, this is about as terrific as life gets in Canada. Roping cattle, chuck-wagon races, beer gardens (COWBOY beer gardens!), stampeding things (mainly animals, but also inebriated men and women), livestock displays, beer gardens, carnival rides, cowboy wear, beer gardens, and live country music, on at least two outdoor stages.

We’re coincidentally going to see two shows over the next few days, both considered “Stampede” concerts – Sugarland early next week, and James Taylor – the next week. Nothing says cowboy like James Taylor. You can almost smell the sagebrush, and hear the coyotes howl when you listen to James sing his countrified catalogue of hits…

Frankly, and just between you and me, the only time we go anywhere near “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth” is for these concerts. Otherwise, cowboys or not, a carnival is a carnival, no matter how big it is. Although they do typically open a special oversized Stampede Casino…

This morning is the big kick-off parade, meaning that when I go to drive Mrs. That Dan Guy to work, I will have to drop her off somewhere close to downtown. This is when we really wish we had one of those two-wheely Segway vehicles…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I must re-examine my life. I think my entire belief system is now being called into question. I am filled with embarrassment.

We’ve been clearing off TV programs recorded while we were away for two weeks, and last night we had an epiphany. Along with some chip dip and a nice Chardonnay…

What we discovered (surprisingly) was that after many years of disdaining (both verbally and in print) “reality” TV for many years now, those broadcasts were almost the only programming we deemed must-see TV for when we returned.

How did this happen? Where did we go wrong? Will we be glued to the set for Maury Povich and Jerry Springer in the coming weeks?? EGADS!!

Well, let’s examine this discomforting situation. Some of these programs are actually game shows, and others are mere fluff.

Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels: We admit – we love this show. Hardly reality TV though – more voyeur TV, as camera crews follow staged events intended to be perceived as real. You can hardly feel the tension as Gene is stranded in the desert, along with a camera crew and their fleet of buses. Still, the show is funny as heck.

Nashville Star: We’ve watched this show since it started, and always enjoyed it. This is truly what programmers consider reality TV, yet it has always seemed like a less offensive version of the Idol family of depressingly vacant television shows. More of a game show, in our eyes. Although this year with Billy Ray Cyrus hosting, and the lousiest crop of performers since Hee-Haw quit filming, may be our last season…

Celebrity Family Feud: Yes, we actually recorded this show, while we were away. Host Al Roker brings all the charm to this effort that he can muster, and yet he still comes across like a balloon leaking air. The thrill with this current resurrection is supposed to be “celebrity” families facing off for charities. The lights were rather dim in the episode we watched. Maybe if they could find Starsky or Hutch…

America’s Got Talent: We watched the first season, and avoided the second one like it carried contagious whooping mumps. Then we caught a commercial for Season Three, with a heart-string tugging preview, and tuned in. Now, we wished we hadn’t. If America truly does have talent, there ain’t ever very much on this broadcast…

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria: Canada’s reality show – a competition for the latest Maria, in a Canadian revival of “The Sound Of Music”. Sorry, United States, we’ve cornered the market on this one. You will miss the exciting TV experience of 10 girls competing to yodel “the hills are alive” in Toronto.

That, my friends, is what we’ve been watching since we returned from holidays…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

If you’ve read this blog space the last couple of weeks, you will know that Mrs. That Dan Guy and I were in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago.

In addition to posting general (and frothy) accounts of my daily adventures while we were there, I did actually write some real pieces, for various media.

So far, I have written four pieces (three already published, to date), one of which appears online today:

This was the hardest to write, which is funny – because this is my weekly humour column space – not a spot I expected to be able to use after seeing the New Orleans that is still staggered by the aftermath of the flooding.

I had researched and prearranged this in advance, and was thrilled that I was able to find the time to meet with this group.

Check it out!

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day, Canada!

Well, it is officially a stat holiday here in Canada, thanks to the annual return of Canada Day. Which has something to do with either Canada’s birthday (maybe??), or Canada’s landmark claim to officially owning the first of July.

As is the case most every Canada Day, aside from the last 40 or so, I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on some of the things that make Canada stand so tall as a country, without even needing Tom Cruise™ elevator shoes. Except maybe in those short little Atlantic provinces…

1) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Is there any police service in the world as instantly recognizable as the RCMP? No, really – I want to know. These guys put on a red jacket, and get on those horses, and you’d think the pope was in town. Would they stand so majestically if they had to mount Segways?

2) “Eh”. Sigh… Yes, the bane of our existence as Canadians. Like most parts of America, each different region of Canada has varied local accents and inflections, but the whole world knows us by “eh”. Eh is the period of our sentences, eh?

3) Moose. I just don’t get this one. Every time we travel, people are always so excited to say they were in Canada once, and they saw a moose. Every time, eh? Aren’t there moose in the rest of the world? By the way, I have photos available, if you’d like to retain a bit of Canadian moose…

4) Hockey. Sadly, hockey here has taken a beating lately. Our teams rarely manage to advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs these days, and we recently had a major scandal with the long-running Hockey Night In Canada theme song. Maple leaves are hanging at half-mast on some trees. Oh well, there’s always lacrosse…

5) Celine Dion. The one bright and shining star that Canadians can always rely upon, our international chest-thumping ambassador to the world. Currently on a major world concert tour, Celine’s broken English lets the rest of the world know that Canada doesn’t just lie somewhere out there between America and Greenland. Or, maybe it does…

Chow for now!!