thatdanguy's podcast

thatdanguy's podcast
CLICK ON THE PHOTO MONTAGE! Or, Free Downloads on i-Tunes!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And thus ends September…

After belabouring the point for months now, I must once again point out the hilarity that seems to be our local weather patterns. This week, we are experiencing some of the hottest days of the year – temperatures exceeding our highest highs hit during this past monsoon summer. Just a few days ago, the cars parked outside overnight were encased in frost by the next morning. Now, they’re all wearing shorts and muscle shirts, and frankly – sweating just a bit too much for my liking…

So, all the preparations that we had made for (what we all thought was the inevitable and imminent arrival of) winter, are now out the window. I must store my fur-lined yakskin parka for now, and dig out my “skort”, which I’m told by Mrs. That Dan Guy is technically a garment for female tennis players, but I personally feel is a very well-ventilated article of clothing for husky men.

I must tuck my mukluks back on the shoe rack, and instead flap around in my flip-flops – or was that flab around in my flippers? So much slang, so little command of it…

My French-Canadian toque (a woollen cap similar to a balaclava) which I have owned since I was a wee garcon has been set away again, and I have instead chosen to sport one of my baseball caps, even though I have never played ball even recreationally. I do however own a baseball bat. If that matters at all…

Yes, it’s summertime all over again, here in the shadow of the mighty Rocky Mountains.

Canada – the land of confusion when it comes to our seasons…

Chow for now!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

If I were pressed, I would likely have to admit that I have no real future as a detective. The other knives in the drawers that I know are generally quicker on the draw than I am, and I could be one of the least observant individuals you will ever come across. Chalk (chock?) it up to a mind that is always on the go, I suppose…

At any rate, even with that admission, I would be hard-pressed NOT to recognize the signs that the computer gods are trying to send me.

After months of speculation, a store that was supposed to open in the largest mall in the city (almost the province, if it weren’t for that show-offey West Edmonton mall) ended up opening in the suburban mall closest to where we live. The mall I visit each and every day. What is that store you may well ask?

Something called The Apple Store!!!

That’s right, boys and girls – a store stocked from floor to ceiling with nothing but Macs and Apple products!! I am all a-tingly!! Just before the weekend opening I peered through the open windows, salivating into the drip tray installed for dreamers just like myself. I’d have been here for the grand opening Saturday, if we hadn’t been out all day on the road, trying to miss a train ride in rural Alberta.

I’m a little bit over halfway to my Mac goal, and every day draws me ever closer to the nirvana offered by Steve Jobs. I can barely tap my Microsoft keyboard, I am still so overly-tingly from the sights and sheer Mac superiority, I am humming. Mrs. That Dan Guy keeps telling me to keep it down, but this unbelievable dream is so close to coming true, I can almost pick up FM radio broadcasts in my fillings. The hills are alive, with the sound of Apple…

For now, I must coexist with the Turdmaster and its wealth of Windows craperoo. But soon…oh yes…soon my daily computing life will sing and dance like a chorus line of angels!!

Chow for now!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NOTE: Yesterday’s blog contained a video, which may have been easy to miss. Look for the little arrow on the picture, and give it a click…


So, the photo above is a glimpse into a typical moment in the Such Is Life world as we know it.

Yesterday, Mrs. That Dan Guy, one of her colleagues, and I departed Calgary for a work event of theirs that we had bought tickets for. A ride on a restored steam train, to be spiced up by a mock train robbery, and eventually topped off with a delightful roast beef dinner, before returning to the station, and then returning back to home base.
Such was not the case…

After allowing ample time to make the trek out to Stettler Alberta, we departed on what started off as a blue-skied, sunny day. And drove into an angry, pelting rainstorm. It was coming down like liquid bullets, from an unseen machine gun.

But that didn’t really affect our travel. It was just funny that we managed to hit a bad storm along the way.

(Did I mention the bold lettering emblazoned on the tickets, warning that the train would leave right on time, regardless of your own prompt arrival? That comes into play, later…)

At any rate, we continued to make what we all thought was great time, classic music from the 1970’s playing in the background. We agreed to make a brief stop in Red Deer, to have a quick meal, before we completed our drive to Stettler. We chose to stop at a combination Wendy’s/Tim Horton’s, where the Wendy’s was fairly quiet, but the Tim Horton’s was lined up out the parking lot, and well into Saskatchewan.

I was able to eat my entire meal, before the ladies had even shuffled halfway through the lineup to Timmy’s. Allowing about the time of conception-to-birth for an infant kangaroo, they eventually were able to order beverages, and we made it back towards our chariot.

As we reprogrammed the navigation system, we became somewhat aware that our nominal pee break stop may have pinched our timeline somewhat. We did a quick bit of math, and determined that we had about 15 minutes to drive a distance equal to being 30 minutes away. Somehow, this was not obvious to us BEFORE we stopped.

With MTDG reading the declaration of train departure rules off of our tickets, MTDG then did something she has never done before. She advised me to put the pedal to the metal, and “fly like a maniac”.

So, I did in fact break my long-standing respect of the laws of the land, and drove like an idiot, well above (but respectfully mindful of) the speed limit.

However, Stettler is located in rural Alberta. It also happened to be harvest time in rural Alberta, so we frequently sped up to enormous, hulking, wide loads of farm equipment being moved around the various acreages. Going about 12 miles an hour, if even that fast.

Bobbing and weaving like a cartoon character in a video game, we navigated like giddy bees at honey time past all these freakin’ roadblocks, but still found ourselves about 16 minutes away, with 1 minute left on the clock.

You can probably guess what happened. Despite racing and defying death, the picture above shows me standing beside an empty train track, at a deserted train station. We missed the boat, so to speak.

This is just the sort of thing that happens rather frequently, here at the Such Is Life household…

Chow for now!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Charlie Presents: "The True Axes Of Evil"

Col. Sanders Evil Brother!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

So, how about that Clay Aiken, eh???

Go figure?

Who knew?

Uh, who’s Clay Aiken????

Here at the Such Is Life household, we are hoping to perhaps enjoy one final barbecue, before the snow flies. The weekend’s forecast is for temperatures just above freezing, so our woolly mammoth steaks should be just delicious.

And what where we doing on this day, back in 2007?

I rewrote the classic fairy tale of Goldilocks and her handful of bears, and then just a few days later, James Blunt’s second album propelled to the top of the charts, debuting at Number One here in Canada.

How about 2006?

Spooky! I was still in physio for my pinched nerve in my neck, but I commented on Snow White!

How coincidental is that? A year apart, and two beloved junior literary classics tainted by my keyboard.

Go figure!

Chow for now!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I surrender.

I quit.

I hereby throw in the towel.

I will also admit to being able to read vague, murky clues, even if they are delivered in a most dramatic fashion…

Yesterday, I turned the furnace on. In flippin’ September!! Without even any snow on the ground!! Yet, it had to be done. After one too many mornings of Mrs. That Dan Guy waking me up while wearing:

a) a fur wrap,
b) a fur-lined parka,
c) a snowmobile (snow machine in Alaska, apparently),
d) a microwaveable bag for browning bacon,
e) a freshly-gutted deer carcass…

…well, I got the melodramatic hints. She was cold in the morning. And, truth be told, I was feeling the chilly nip of fall myself. Though we tried valiantly to stave it off by running our gas fireplace, wearing multiple sets of long-johns, and performing occasional Jumping Jacks to the recorded strains of Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical”, the furnace was rapidly becoming entirely necessary.

While we used to wait until late November in Kelowna, it would appear that we must heat our home while summer has just edged around the corner, here in Calgary.

Damn you, Rocky Mountains…damn you!!!

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday (to my column…)

Happy Birthday (to my column…)

Happy Birthday (Dear Column…)

Happy Birthday toooo youuuuu!!!!!


Time flies when you do something on a regular basis. This week marks the 5th anniversary of my weekly newspaper column. Hard to believe – that’s easily one of the longest relationships I’ve ever maintained. Well, next to a certain ham I know, that resides in the Such Is Life household with me.

It may be time to update my much-neglected website, to put a few fresh offerings online. The pieces I posted on my column link have been there at least a couple of years. I get nervous to make changes though. One time, I lost the entire site! I’m not nearly as techno-savvy as Charlie.

At any rate, today’s column is online, so check out how I marked the occasion for the newspaper:

Chow for now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


After blogging yesterday, I drove Mrs. That Dan Guy to work, and then returned home.

OK, that wasn’t the “wow” part – I’d have to have a pretty dull day for that to be the highlight…

Uh, not that I don’t have a ball driving MTDG into work – we usually stop for a latte, and then chitty-chat and laugh all the way to her workplace. Plus on the way back, I stop at the local park and feed the pigeons, help out with a barbershop quartet that visits local seniors’ homes, scan the supermarket shelves for upcoming grocery deals, stop in at the nearest animal shelter to help canvas for new homes for the animals, make weekly appearances on the board of directors of a charitable trust fund for unemployed rodeo clowns, whittle life-size replicas of native bird species, give pep talks to local school sports teams, ensure the overall quality of area drinking water, sample a piece or two of Luigi’s latest tentative menu offerings, wonder how in God’s name nobody I know (including myself) managed to make it into the Top Ten of this year’s annual Benchley Awards, serve as an auxiliary RCMP officer, assist road crews with debris removal after wind storms, eat three donuts (just because I can), pick each individual leaf off of my lawn now that fall has arrived, alert the local newspaper of every typo I spot during my read of the day’s early edition, pray for world peace along with every other former beauty pageant contestant, floss, check Sparky for fleas and ticks, monitor alien communication signals from my ham radio station, surf the Google to verify if Rice-A-Roni is indeed the San Francisco treat it claims to be, and every once in awhile – I fill up the car with gasoline and clean the windshield.

No, the “wow” part was that when I came home yesterday, I didn’t turn my computer on. Not even once.

Wow, eh???

Chow for now!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Monday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Event Review – Carol Burnett.

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

Thus ends our weekend orgy of live entertainment, begun Thursday with Neil Diamond, continued Saturday featuring Bonnie Tyler, and concluding last night with catching one of the classiest ladies of entertainment still treading the planks – Carol Burnett.

Ms. Burnett is on a bit of a mini-tour with “Laughter & Reflection”, a blend of filmed highlights from her old TV show, and (mostly) audience Q & A. Can an entertainer actually fill 90 minutes with just questions from the audience, and make it worthwhile? Oh yeah, when almost every question bears hilarious nuggets of memories from over 50 years of being a popular TV, movie and stage figure.

She had us literally crying, we were laughing so hard. And what makes it even funnier, there’s that “punchline echo effect”, where nearby audience members are laughing, but shouting back the punchline. Which just makes you laugh all over again.

Seeing someone like Carol Burnett (with such effortless comedic timing, and graceful stage presence) really cements the feeling that modern TV is going to Hell in a hand-basket, if it could even afford the hand-basket. Some of the sketches and skits she either aired onscreen, or even just talked about in one of her reflections had the crowd roaring, and they are all at least 30 years old, or more! That’s a pretty powerful testimonial to just how great she and her repertoire company were.

And, judging by the mixed audience last night, her brand of comedy also seems to be a reminder of times when whole families watched shows like hers TOGETHER. Many generations were in attendance, probably for the first time in decades. You sure won’t be saying that when one of the stars of any modern comedy or sitcom ever tries going on tour…

The show started with a remembrance of the late Harvey Korman, who we were so fortunate to see last year (along with Tim Conway). The classic dentist sketch she aired was actually performed live when we saw them – still frigging hilarious decades later.

We got a taste of everything - impressions of her famous characters, and even the old Tarzan yell.

Bottom line – an incredible evening we won’t soon forget.

Chow for now!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Note: I have been trying to load this post since 9:30 AM. I truly hate technology, but I imagine technology is not all that keen about me either...

Sunday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review – Bonnie “Holding Out For A Hero” Tyler.

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

Dear Ms. Tyler,

Please don’t sue me. I realize that the quality of some of this footage is pretty darn good, but all I snapped were a few snippets, to offer some flavour of your performance to my readers. I am but a humble scribbler, without adequate resources to fend off an onerous lawsuit.

Besides, most everyone else was shooting full versions of your performance. Damn this modern era, and the quality of portable recording devices!

Please, don’t sue me…

At any rate, Bonnie Tyler, live in concert! Come on, how cool is that?? Her raspy, Rod Stewart-like voice has always made her a favourite around the Such Is Life household, and she can certainly command a stage, for the 90 minutes she did last night.

What’s that? One hit wonder you say? Well, she’s had at least three major singles, PLUS her first number one was way back in 1976. 1976! The lady has staying power!!

Sure, you might think she did 30 minute versions of “It’s A Heartache”, “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”, and “Holding Out For A Hero” and then booked it out of there, but this little lady with the monster-big voice is versatile. Lots of blues, power rock and ballads – those pipes were blowing last night.

She is also popular with a younger demographic than we geezers. Most of the crowd you saw rushing the stage and chanting along last night were considerably around the 20-year old mark, and quite a number of virile young males (much to my surprise) were up at the front of the stage, singing their little hearts out. Go figure…

Her voice has lost nothing over the years. She even debuted 4 songs from her upcoming new album, two of which at least were strong contenders to make another hit for her.

I have a special fondness for the 80’s. Back then, I was playing recorded music in Winnipeg bars, and that was right when the video craze began. I can’t begin to imagine how many times her videos spun, but it was right up there with ZZ Top and Journey.

A fine way to spend an evening!

Chow for now!
Blog obviously running late today.

Either Blogger, or Windows - either one, I'm hooped for now...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Heh Heh Heh…

Well, hello, my puffy pink human friends!

Ole Charlie is havin’ a bit a fun today, at the expense of Captain Baldy here.


Ya see, Captain Baldspot don’t bother to read much, so when he has trouble with his new computer, he relies on his own survival skills. Which, I gotta tell ya, is painful to watch. The boy lacks common sense, ya see. I’ve watched him try to peek inta a toaster, to see when they switch the bread with the toast…


Anyhows, he’s been getting’ frustrated with his computer, because he thinks Windows Vista ain’t workin’. Well, it ain’t exactly FM radio, I will admit, but it ain’t really all that bad neither. But it is, if someone comes along every night, and tinkers with yer settins…

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Yeah, everytime Portho logs off for the day and saves his settins, I come along, and change them all. I once set the hard drive to shut off after 30 seconds, which is pretty frustratin’ for a two-finger typer that can’t remember where the “e” key is…

Boy, was he howlin’ that day! I thought his ears wuz gonna evfaporate, there wuz so much steam pourin’ out!!


So, as long as he wants ta keep blamin’ Microsoft, it ain’t no skin off my pluckin’ pinfeathers – I’ve havin’ a clickin’ ball of a time, changin’ font sizes, disconnectin’ his internet access, and dimmin’ the screen so much he thinks he’s goin’ blind! This little manual is worth it's weight in fool's gold.

What a maroon!!


Cluck for now!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Friday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review – Neil Diamond

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

Neil Diamond…

Neil freakin’ Diamond…

Last, night, we finally got to see Neil Diamond live in concert – something I had expected to be about as likely as riding a unicorn in a polo match, seeing as how he had retired from touring a few years back. Well, apparently he’s back, and we weren’t about to miss his stop here in Calgary

First, off, let me skip ahead. We sure did like not having to sit through some tepid warm-up act, while everyone around us was singing “Sweet Caroline”, long before the show even started. Neil Diamond fans sure do like their “Sweet Caroline”.

Mr. Diamond skips a warm-up act, performing almost a two-hour show with no intermission. That’s a whole lot of endurance fighting off the call of Mother Nature, for a man of Neil’s age. You just HAVE to be impressed…

If we had come to hear his monster hits (we did), we were inundated with them. Oldies, goodies, and unexpected treasure, like “Brooklyn Roads”, which he performed while sitting on a stool (like I say, the guy is in his 80’s, at least…), while photos and videos of his youth somewhere in New York City played on the big screen beside us. Touching, and warm – if those two descriptions are all that different.

Before I forget, in addition to being lifelong fans, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I have a special Neil connection. Whenever my hair gets to that stage where not even half a tube of BrylCreem can settle it down, I book a hair cut. My hair has “Neiled” out…

New songs? Three in a row from his brand-new album, which is well worth picking up, if you’re a Neil Diamond fan.

Who am I kidding?? If you’re a Neil Diamond fan, you already own it, along with the double-CD “Songs Neil Hums While Vacuuming”. The man is incapable of making bad records…

Highlights? The two-song encore, with “Cracklin’ Rosie”, and “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show”, for sure. The second-time around performance of “Sweet Caroline”, immediately after the first performance was fun too. The only other artist we’ve seen do that was Paul Simon, also old as dirt, but awesome in concert.

If Neil is coming to YOUR town, I’d strongly advise you to catch the show. The man really knows how to play to a crowd, and for our show, there was every age group out in attendance.

Good times never felt so good…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Call it coincidence. Kall it Karma. Call it that mondo old bare foot with the uncomfortably large big toe that used to stomp down out of the sky randomly in the old Monty Python show.

After posting my latest grumblings about the Turdmaster and Windows Vista (pa-tooey…), I received an e-mail – an e-mail from Apple!!

In a nutshell, it was just an ad for the brand-new, thinnest i-Pod ever. Coming when it did though, it was like a sign come down from the mountain, offering me salvation and lightning-fast internet access. Offering me reliable word-processing software, and stunning merged program suites like i-Life.

I was not worthy, but still I read the e-mail. The glow from my screen was almost unbearable, pure and good. Even my Microsoft (pa-tooey) mouse seemed more alive, more responsive.

I am close. I am almost halfway to my goal, and soon…soon…my world will be Mac.

No wonder there is a term such as “Big Mac”…

Hey, my latest newspaper column is online again today! See why I will never be mistaken for da Vinci or Edison:

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Heh Heh Heh…

Man, like the guy said, there’s one born every minute.

For a couple of days, I was snowed. I thought my Windows Vista operating system was actually starting to work properly. Or, at least a bit less like a nuked tomato that had then been run over by a steamroller.

Well, imagine my surprise when starting the TurdMaster up this morning, and it felt (probably just for snits and giggles) that it had to reinstall Microsoft Office, something I installed legally when I first bought the computer.

That’s what I love about Windows Vista – not only does it NOT work properly with anything that boasts being “Vista Certified”, it doesn’t even really work with its own family of self-produced products.

I finally had to break down and elicit technical support (3 DAYS WORTH!!) a few weeks ago, when I added a “Vista Compatible” wireless router. After having four different technicians tell me that a wireless router would not cause blue screen crashes, I uninstalled the router, and the Turdmaster has been just fine since.

As fine as one could expect a Windows Vista operating system to be…

I’d like to think that I’m alone in this sinking ship, but the ongoing TV commercials (which should win a goddam Emmy as far as I’m concerned) illustrating the two characters posing as a Mac and a PC indicate that there must be others suffering as much as I.

But one day, the suffering will end. One day, the birds will sing again. One day, I will quit wondering if I am nuckin’ futs whenever I start up my computer.

One day, I will be starting up a Mac…

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We are playing catch-up (mustard been away, I guess) on our TV viewing. Even though we have tried cutting back on the time we spend in front of the boob tube, I guess we just relish the few shows we still watch.

I’d like to work in mayonnaise and Grey Poupon here, but the first three condiments were strained at best…

Some couples are like oil and vinegar in their viewing habits- the husband enjoys sports, while the Mrs. enjoys chirpy home decorating shows. Happily, we are pretty much on the same page, here in the Such Is Life household. Of the thousands of islands that float by on a broadcast day, I’d say Mrs. That Dan Guy and I are relatively unanimous in our viewing choices. Blue Cheese!

Cheez Whiz, is there no end to the food undercurrent? Clearly, I cannot do this blog before breakfast…

At any rate, my point (such as it was) seemed to be that we are very compatible in our viewing habits.

Chow for now!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Well, well, well…

As nice as it is to travel, it’s always nice to get back home, and crash in your own familiar bed. The letdown is when you arrive back later in the day, and no one has made up the bed, or rinsed out all the drink glasses. I do miss my room service…

We have returned to an unseasonal (for Alberta) weather pattern. Last year at this time, we scrambled to take down our gazebo, before the snow fell. Which it did. We had even turned our furnace on, which is entirely wrong for the middle of freakin' September...

Today, and for the next few days, we expect temperatures in the 20’s (Celsius), which is damn-near balmy for Canada. That sort of weather, over a prolonged period, plays hell with the ice blocks in our igloos.

Mrs. That Dan Guy stole a pen from our hotel room in Regina.

Yes, nice weather – it kind of lifts you up a bit, gives the weary old spirit a much-needed boost. Considering that we go from one week of summer, straight to winter, a few days of sunshine is about the only thing preventing us from popping children’s balloons as we walk past them on the sidewalk.

Mrs. That Dan Guy stole extra candies from the restaurant dish, up at the front counter when the hostess ran away to help put out a kitchen fire.

Why, a bout of warm weather is virtually medicinal to the soul! I’m inclined to join the birds, in their carefree twirping.

Hmmm. Spell-Check didn’t like that word. Maybe it’s chirping. I like twirping, myself…

Chow for now!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We are waking up in Regina, Saskatchewan this morning. In the grand Canadian scheme of things, Saskatchewan might be considered the “meat” in a prairie sandwich, bookended as it is by neighbouring provinces Manitoba and Alberta. That’s a whole lot of wheat and prairie dogs… Consider us the Dakotas of the North.

We were here for a surprise birthday party held last night, at a very snazzy waterfront restaurant. What a hoot! The birthday boy was completely taken by surprise, the food and drink were abundant and amazing, and we had the chance to use a Regina taxi service.

OK, the taxi service wasn’t that big a deal, but I felt my sentence was starting to drift off there…

This was our first semi-long-term stay in Regina, and it has been enjoyable. We met up with some other family members, and discovered completely by accident that we had chosen to stay at a hotel that happens to be attached to…are you ready for this…A CASINO!!

Yes, even in the remote prairie towns of Canada casinos are the hub of modern civilization, drawing seniors like a beacon would out on the open sea. We’ve even heard of Paris Hilton, in remote Canadian prairie towns.

So, with much reluctance, we decided to investigate this establishment five or six times during our stay, with mixed results. We aren’t leaving our shirts in Saskatchewan, but we also failed to bolster my Mac fund.

Of course, the day (and stay) is not yet quite over – we’re going over for brunch with a few family members, before we vamoose (may see a moose) and return home. It would be a shame to not at least offer the common courtesy of plunking a few loose shekels into a slot machine or two…

Wish us luck!!

Chow for now!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chicken Scratch




I hopped inna suitcase last night, and woke this mornin’ to find misself in Saskatchewan!! Were we banished, or sumthin’? Is this community service???

Saskatchewan – Where The Deer An The Antelope Still Roam…” This is the heart of the prairies in Canada, an the only famous thing to come out of this province is the catch phrase from the old Super Dave Osborne show “genuine Saskatchewan sealskin leather”. Something you won’t hear Pamela Anderson quotin'…


There’s more wheat around here than a Russian dinner table. I’m pretty sure there’s bison grazin’ outside the hotel room.

The taxis are covered waggins!!!


No wonder I feel right at home here – it’s like a giant cluster of farms, with 7-11’s.

What in the name of Red Rooster are we doin’ in this joint? I hope Banjo Boy isn’t tryin’ to sell me out to stud service again…

Hey, if ya get a chance, ask Mrs. Banjo Boy to pronounce the name of the province – it’s cluckin’ priceless! But who can blame her? They musta been hammered when they got to pick the name o’ this stretch of prairie…


Saskatchewan….Bah Cluckbug!!!

Cluck for now!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I can’t believe just how short the transition period was, from long, lazy summer nights – to completely pitch-black outside by 8:30 PM…

I had planned on surprising Mrs. That Dan Guy last night, after her late night at work. Planning for most of the day, I had taken out some hamburger buns in the morning, and was intending on barbequing up a couple of burgers, once we returned home.

However, as we got closer and closer to the house, the sun seemed to be in just as big a race to set. It was darker than the inside of a length of plastic plumbing pipe, in a forgotten womb of a school basement during a power outage, by the time we parked the car in the garage. I was foiled…

So, rather than BBQ up some hearty burgers, we sat out in our gazebo, in the dark, illuminated by the incandescent glow of our Tiki torches. I enjoyed a cigar, while MTDG played me some of her favourite ukulele tunes. It was no meat-fest, but it was dang fine…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We are experiencing an unexpected boost in the temperatures here. For a few days, when we left the house in the morning, the car we’ve temporarily parked outside has been frosted over. Mother Nature truly adores Canada…

However, yesterday bopped back up to about 19ÂșC, with highs for the next few days expected to hover around 20 and higher. Zero chance of precipitation.

Great – now I’m the Action News morning weather personality – the only thing left to do is post a picture of me dressed up as a sunflower!!

“Your drive into work today is expected to be: Cheery!”


Anyway, the weather is so nice out, I thought I’d wash the truck yesterday. Cross your fingers, Daddy needs to get a couple of days out of this nominal investment…

Speaking of cars, here’s the latest online version of my newspaper column:

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yesterday morning, I tried to pull a fast one. I smuggled a couple of pieces of raisin bread into the toaster, and shortly thereafter turned them into raisin toast. I then hastily consumed them, and (completely out of character for me, I can assure you) rinsed the “evidence” before hiding the plate and the butter knife in the dishwasher.

What I failed to consider, fatally so, was that Mrs. That Dan Guy has the combined olfactory senses of a bat, a cheetah, an anteater, and a canine university-educated bloodhound. Coming down the stairs during a typical morning break in her marathon morning preparation routine, she commented that it smelt (smelled?? I don’t mean to refer to small pickled fish fed to captive penguins) like raisin toast.

As she got closer and closer to the kitchen, she was absolutely convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had indeed consumed raisin toast, our weekend breakfast treat together.

Like a cat with canary feathers protruding from its mouth, I tried to brush the raisin toast crumbs from my housecoat – but alas – I was too late.

Mrs. That Dan Guy is like Murder She Wrote’s Jessica Tandy - a pesky sleuth that can’t keep her hyper-accurate schnozz out of other people’s business…

Was it Jessica Tandy?? Maybe I just should have gone with Columbo…

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Well, we’re getting pretty excited, here in the Such Is Life household…

Oh my…that didn’t sound so good…

What I wanted to convey was that we are getting just a little bit giddy with anticipation, as the fall season brings some of our favourite shows back to the television screen.

Like that show where all the young guys are hanging around all the time, and getting into funny scraps of trouble. Or, that show where most of the cast works in a retail store, and they all get into wacky situations in every episode.

There’s also that show where several couples banter around about all sorts of things – quite funny!

Oh, and we enjoy action/drama as well. There’s that show with doctors, or there are a few with cops. If only someone would come up with a drama about doctor cops. THAT would be something to tune into!!

I guess fall will offer more variety/reality shows. We didn’t used to care for those, but now find we are watching a few – probably by accident, or lack of any other viable programming efforts. One reality/variety show I’d like to see: Justin Timberlake on a cardboard raft, floating through an alligator-filled bayou, while trying to transport 800 pounds of raw meat. To make it fair for the alligators, there should be teams of dart-blowers on the shore, trying to bring Timberlake down…

Finally, sports. This winter will debut the brand-new theme song for Hockey Night In Canada, after our national broadcaster sort-of bungled negotiations for the original theme. How will this new jingle fare, compared to the legendary strains of the original? And, more importantly, after the first broadcast, who will really care?

Play Ball!! I mean, Hockey!!!

Chow for now!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

10 – A number just under 11.

09 – The number that precedes 10.

08 – A number that sounds like it isn’t hungry anymore…

07 – One-half of a famous convenience store chain…

06 – A number that could be nine, if upside down. Versatility among numbers…

05 – If five is alive, it is quite refreshing.

04 – Not only a number, but a helpful warning on a golf course…

03 – 03’s Company, 03’s A Crowd, 03rd Times The Charm!!

02 – Also, a number (get it??)

01 – Once was the loneliest number.

Chow for now!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

In the absence of having put together a handy emergency blog topic list for days like today, when my muse is off in an alley somewhere having a smoke and playing dice, I thought it might be fun to take a walk down my virtual memory lane.

Here’s what I was writing about on this day in 2007:

I have seen my future, and it ain’t pretty…No, this isn’t some Photoshop trick. That is indeed my scalp you are gazing at. I’ve got less hair than Charlie!!It was an unintentional gaze into my future though. I may not have much left on top, but what was once there was infinitely better than this!! I’m smoother than my own bottom!”!

That posting was written in response to a new hair stylist, who unilaterally decided I should adopt a style not unlike the average elderly grandparent. The resulting photo is still online, if you check out the archived postings…

What was my topic, Sept 7, 2006?

We've got a weekend pass, as I don't expect Purolator to be delivering my long-lost freakin' ladder on a weekend...It'll be nice to feel the sun on my face again, and the gentle caress of a light wind. I've been terrified to leave the house since mid-week, but there has been no reward for my loyalty and patient anticipation. I remain ladderless.”

That blog entry refers to a multi-position ladder that Mrs. That Dan Guy and I picked up on a whim, at a home show. We were so impressed with the demonstration of a product we had limited use for, we bought it on the spot. The only catch was, it would take a few days for delivery.

Which dragged into weeks, and ultimately a delivery to the wrong home on our street. Thank God for an honest homeowner, or at least one that was reluctant to sign for delivery of something that could have been a heavily-jostled hive of hornets.

And that’s the way it was, in our world…

Chow for now!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Happy Morning, human friends…

Cornelius here today, as Charlie has gone low-profile this morning. Hen Rietta is still looking for him. He wouldn’t even confide, in me – his wing-man – where he has cloistered himself away. His comb was extremely frazzled-looking when he beat it out of here...


So, as you may be able to tell from my photographic image today, summer may be nearing an end. The mornings here now are a delightful blend of dismal overcast, and beak-biting cold. The perpetual stereotype of Canada as a rooster-forsaken wasteland, buried under mounds of snow must have been born on days just like today.

And it’s not even really fall yet…


So, as we all seem to have lost our feathers around this here coop, I am taking some preventive measures, so as not to freeze my gentles off. I hope that’s not an offensive word – isn’t that a common way to describe your most vulnerable poultry parts??


I almost expect to see snow any day now. Yesterday afternoon, as that big balding human that lives here was preparing to go pick up his wife, it was so overcast outside it looked like the dead of night. It looked like Charlie’s soul.

You’re probably thinking – aren’t the ear muffs a bit of overkill? Do chickens even have ears?

What?? Huh?? Sorry, I can’t hear you…

Har Har Har Har!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Oh my, I’m quite the little comedian! Last Chicken Standing!!

Cluck for now!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

There’s all sorts of “national” days celebrated across the country. Or countries, if you include North America in general.

You’ve got National Dental Assistant Day, National Eat-Your-Broccoli Day, National Automotive Technician Day. You’ve got National Disco Day, National Rational Day, and even National Limbo Day.

My personal favourite, inspired by humorist Dave Barry, is National Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day. In that vein, and adding even more fun to your workday, I propose National Black-Out-One-Tooth Day.

As you prepare to go to work in the morning, blacken out one of your more prominent teeth, and watch how much fun you’ll have as you smile “Good Morning” to all your colleagues at the office.

Sure, some may just give an uncomfortable, quizzical look, but the more compassionate among your co-workers will be dying to know what happened. Did you walk into a door? Were you in a hockey brawl? Do you have scurvy or rickets?

Now granted, you want to be careful with how you decide to blacken out your chosen tooth. Permanent felt marker will do the job, but bear in mind the key word, “permanent”.

Also, this proposed new national day may not be all that exciting (or noticeable) in southern states, or around hockey and UFC arenas…

Still, I’d get a kick out of seeing people grinning with a goofy gap. Cue the banjo…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Look at September flying by! It’s already the 4th!!

(NOTE: Default issue whenever I awake to an empty head is either how cold and rainy it is, or how time flies – today the flying time won out…)

Four days gone, and what do I have to show for September so far? Have I researched potential Viking roots in my family tree? No. Have I anguished over why we ignored the return of TV’s 90210? No. Have I taught the world to sing, in perfect harmony? Well, if nobody’s tried all that successfully since the early Seventies, why bother now???

I had better map out an action plan, if I don’t want to see September pitter-patter along, and sneak off to join July and August down at the local pool hall. I need to have some tangible accomplishment or two, which I can hoist up on a flagpole, and feel good about. I need to write at least one sentence this morning that makes even the tiniest bit of sense!!

How many days does September have? 28? 30? 33?? That still leaves me more than enough time to come up with something grand, and achievable. September’s gonna be MY month, baby! I can feel it in my bones!!!

Of course, I don’t need to get all stressed out just now. I think I can afford to wait a day or two, and then chart my course.

For now, I need more coffee…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I don’t know how it feels where you live, but fall seems to have stepped right up to the plate here, replacing what passed for a pathetic and anemic summer. The nights are already shorter, the sun stays in bed longer in the morning, and yesterday morning, I had to scrape frost off the windshield of our car, to drive Mrs. That Dan Guy to work. The only thing missing I figure is reindeer prints on the lawn…

At any rate, at least all is not lost. You can still get a round of golf in, if the rain stays away. And to tie that in with today’s online column, you should try and be healthier than I am (or recommend), if you really want to enjoy your brisk walk on the links:

On another note, I recently bought a Shania Twain CD, which isn’t something I do every day of the week. I figured that with her recent marital problems, she might be starting to feel the pinch financially, so I picked up an old CD to help her with the day-to-day cash flow.

Shania, you’re welcome!!

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

School’s back in today, boys and girls! Here are a few phrases that may come in handy, over the coming days and weeks:

-“The dog ate my homework. He also ate my will to compete on a scholastic level…”
-“But Mom, I’m allergic to peanut butter and sardines…”
-“The capital of Manitoba is Winnipeg.”
-“But Mr. Wursterburger, Oprah says young children shouldn’t HAVE to excel at team sports…”
-“My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R…”
-“Trade my baseball cards for hockey cards? What are you, Canadian??”
-“Mr. Mercutio, your toupee is migrating south for the winter…”-“How do you spell farm? Um…E-I-E-I-O??? (Acknowledgment: old joke, stolen by blogger – Hey, it’s six in the freakin’ mornin’ – for cryin’ out loud…)
-“Miss Issippi, may I go to the bathroom, please?” (No joke here – just a reminder to ask for permission first)
-“Hey, the gum I put under my desk last year is still chewy!!”

Chow for now!!

Monday, September 01, 2008


Goodbye, bookend month (08 –Blank-08)

Hello, boring ole 09 01 08…


* - Even though this is traditionally the last weekend of the summer, here it just feels like the cold claw of winter is stopping by for a visit. We’ve had to turn on our gas fireplace, lest our taps and pipes freeze. Mrs. That Dan Guy is wearing her fashionable pink long johns, with a heavy woollen throw tossed over her shoulders. Her bunny slippers have changed from summer brown, to winter white.

I think she may also be sitting on some hot toast…

* - As we have done for as long as we can remember, we are watching the Labor Day Jerry Lewis Telethon. Nothing says Labor Day like Jerry Lewis…

* - Finally, after watching a bit of the news coverage from New Orleans this morning, we can only hope that that latest blasted hurricane peters out, before all the ongoing recovery efforts are washed away.

Chow for now!!