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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Scrambled Dregs

For several years now I’ve had regular “Random Thoughts” newspaper columns run throughout the year, where I just put together a few stray thoughts that aren’t long enough to be dedicated to a full column on their own. Yes, you’re right – it’s a dream come true for the writer that doesn’t want to expend ALL of his energy to his work, when there is so much to enjoy on daytime TV.

To utilize that terrific concept here, and recognizing that I typically do this task just before breakfast (yes, you’re right – we are TOTALLY lazy on the weekends, here in the Such Is Life household), I present to you today the first-ever instalment of “Scrambled Dregs”:

* I probably wouldn’t mind getting a lump of coal for Christmas, if it had an Apple Logo on it…

* What do you call a hairstyle where you have part Mohawk, part Mullet, but with a big bald spot in the back, between the two? Just curious, I was trying to picture that on myself last night…

* You always hear about “news anchors”, but never once when you’re watching the news do you see an actual “anchor”…

* Whenever Mrs. That Dan Guy isn’t looking, I run with scissors…

* Are crackers crackers?? (NOTE: - I never said these things were all that GOOD…)

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for this morning. I may just do a few more of these things, in upcoming days and weeks.

That is, unless someone out there is willing to pay me…oh, let’s say $25,000,000 US, to not. That’s just a figure I’ve randomly picked out of the air. It’s technically not extortion unless I’m holding something to value…

Chow for now!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chicken Scratch

(Guest-starring Cornelius The Delusional…)

Fear not, mortal humans, it is I – Super-Chicken!!


I am coming to the rescue of civilization, in the wake of reading about the death of my old buddy, Batman. From what I understand, DC Comics has recently killed off the Caped Crusader, leaving Gotham City at the mercy of the unwashed criminal elements. That, my hair-covered friends, is wrong!


So, I have prepared myself for the road ahead. I am flying down to Gotham City later this morning, after I’ve had a serving of oatmeal for breakfast. I’ll also have to ensure that Charlie and the little cluckers have enough supplies to keep them in good stead, during my absence. Hen Rietta, I don’t worry about – that’s one tough chick…


As Super-Chicken, my feats of crime fighting have been rather insignificant. I have chased my share of foxes out of henhouses, and I did manage to crack the case of the buffalo chicken wings a few years back (Not real buffalo. I’m not sure it’s even real chicken wings, but that’s just me…). So, the question now is, how will I hold my own against big-name criminals like The Joker, The Riddler, and The Penguin??


Well, let’s take the first one. How bad could a Joker be? I’ve done some stand-up comedy in my day, so we’ll just have to see how my “Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road” material stands up against this character.

As for a Riddler – I love trivia!! What kind of threat is a guy that just asks questions?? Unless, that name is something he does to a body with bullets…


Now, The Penguin – there’s a guy that I can talk to bird-o-a-bird-o. Birds of a feather, I say. We should be able to come to some sort of agreement, starting off on a mutual nesting ground. He may not be poultry, but I’ve seen some pretty small penguins in my day. I’ll bet I can take on a little waddler.

So, there you have it, folks. Citizens of Gotham City, fear not! Cornelius is coming to keep you safe. Now, I just have to make sure my GPS gets me to the right Gotham City…
Cluck for now!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

I’m typing about as fast as my husky little fingers can go, in mortal fear of this cursed computer crashing, like it did yesterday morning, mid-blog.

Prior to yesterday, and two different technical expert consultations ago, the computer would crash quite reliably – right after everything had loaded, and my wireless internet connection had indicated I could finally begin my day. Ha-Ha! Psych!! El-Crash-O would arrive at that exact moment, with his cape sweeping behind him in the wind, and my next sight would be a blue screen error message – as my day became much less certain of anything other than blood pressure numbers rocketed skyward.

Now, the insidious little booger is allowing a few things to transpire, before I am abruptly stopped in my tracks by the old blue screen, and aching emptiness afterwards.

How exactly did Windows ever become the predominant computer operating system, I ask? I mean seriously – even before Windows Vista (pa-tooey), other versions of this blight on mankind sucked the big potato as well, until a selection of the wrinkles had been ironed out (which coincidentally typically happens just before the launch of the next great version of the this OS).

Ah, but I’m just venting here – I know that sometime early in the new year, after our Christmas holiday, I will soon caress the keys of a slick and reliable Mac computer. I will wonder how I ever lived through these trying times, but discover through this ordeal that deep within myself, I had the fortitude of David facing Goliath.

In this modern remake of the story, David would be asked repeatedly to supplement the loincloth, and maybe try combing over his bald spot, and Goliath would be an over-sized Silicon Valley geek with a pencil protector in his pocket. He would bear an uncanny resemblance to Bill Gates, but with horns, hoofs, and a pitchfork. I believe the story would be as inspiring now, as it was originally.

Although, if David had bought his own new computer a bit sooner, he could have saved himself the hassle of farting around with a slingshot, out in an open field. These are the niggly little details that diminish the effect of good drama…

Chow for now!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


November 27th already – where does the time go??

Probably into one of those giant hourglasses, like on that old TV soap opera. But, where does the time go after it settles into the bottom of that thing? Does someone have to come along every few decades, and vacuum it out??

I’d like to muse about this a bit longer, but thanks to Vista crashing my computer since I started to post this, I’ll just have to give you a link to yesterday’s column:

Now, I must go stab myself in the head with a fork…

Chow for now…

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Middle of the week.

Hump day, as it is referred to on occasion.

None of the cachet of Manic Monday, or even Freaky Friday. But an important day of the week, nonetheless…

On a Wednesday morning, you are just 48 hours away from Friday, and the end of the average person’s work week. You’ve managed to put 48 hours of distance between your week and Monday morning, the much abhorred start of a work week.

More abhorred if you’ve just partied your face off all weekend because your hometown Calgary Stampeders have won the Grey Cup, and reign supreme in the sporting world, but I digress…

What does Tuesday have to offer? A filler day really – not much significance in the grand scheme of things. Oh sure, you might schedule a doctor or dentist appointment, or get your hair cut on a Tuesday, but other than that, what are Tuesday’s good for?? What is it they say about Tuesday’s child? Full of grace? Well, that and a quarter won’t even get you a phone call these days. Tuesday’s child would be better off if he or she were full of grapes – at least that might make the news.

And Thursday?? Aside from a strong prime time line-up on NBC, why do we even HAVE Thursdays? All you’re pretty much going to be doing all day is thinking about Friday, which is the gateway day to the weekend, so Thursday is like 24 hours of sheer Ice Age as far as time goes. Does Thursday even have a child, full of grapes or ANYTHING??

As you can see by this totally unbiased, scientific presentation, Wednesday is a pretty darn good day, and I for one am proud to be blogging on a Wednesday morning.

If only I would have had a topic beforehand…

Chow for now!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Tuesday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review – Kenny Rogers.

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

Man. That Kenny Rogers – the singer that just doesn’t age! Here’s a guy that has charted hit singles in each of five consecutive decades, and he still looks as young as when he started out as a young whippersnapper.

Last night at the Saddledome, Old Kenny showed early 60’s footage of his band The First Edition, and I swear – his skin is as smooth now as it was back then? What kind of sorcery is this??

Well, no matter how he does it – he looked cool as a cucumber on stage last night – relaxed, easy-going, and swaying ever so gently on his bad hip. This was the first time I’ve ever seen Kenny – don’t know why. I’ve always been a big fan. Mrs. That Dan Guy had seen him before, a couple of wives ago – I think the one that was on “Hee-Haw”.

What a show! Our first Christmas show of this early holiday season, Mr. Rogers had a two-part presentation. The first half of the show was a selection of his big hits, followed by an intermission, and then nothing but Christmas music. I have to say – I quite enjoy these holiday concerts. This was the best so far of who we’ve seen – although the Christmas pageant at the Crystal Cathedral in California rates way up there too.

You certainly couldn’t have found fault with the first half of the show either – that songbook of hits is unmistakeable – with the cross-over success he’s had on the pop and country charts – the guy is just solid gold! And what a showman! The guy bantered all night long, poking fun at himself, and many audience members. Quite the comedian, that Kenny. At one point, he even poked fun at how many Gambler movies he had released, with a video clip of a rap Gambler movie, starring he and Coolio. OK, so Coolio is kind-of old news these days – but for the crowd – the bit was a big hit.

Did I mention how young this guy looks – his skin is as smooth as a baby’s bottom! How is that even possible for a man of his advancing years??

The second half of the show featured a set decorated for Christmas, if you happen to be celebrating it in Rockefeller Center. Trees everywhere, a big illuminated snowman, snow falling on the stage. I could almost see the elves working away backstage.

I have to confess here that one of my favourite Christmas albums is a release from quite a few years back – Kenny and Dolly Parton. Well, not as big a favourite as the Elvis Christmas albums, and certainly not as much as my favourite Xmas song of all time by John Lennon, but it’s definitely up at the top of the list.

Seeing those songs come to life – priceless. Kenny even had the Calgary Youth Singers onstage as a choir for some of the classic carols. Pretty dang incredible.

And, the highlight of the night – he collected random audience members to perform “The 12 Days Of Christmas”. Funniest thing we’ve ever seen on a concert stage, I’d have to say.

Kenny Rogers. Perhaps a vampire, perhaps guzzling Oil Of Olay for breakfast. But one damn fine performer on a stage…

Chow for now!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Well, ladies and gentlemen, the Calgary Stampeders successfully held off a team from Montreal to win this year’s Grey Cup. They are the CFL champions, for 2008.

The CFL is the Canadian Football League, and of course, many people are quite surprised to discover that Canada even HAS a football league. Well, we do, and we even have a number of teams in the league.

When I lived in Winnipeg, I rooted for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. They were neither blue, nor bombed anything (aside from their seasons on occasion), much like the Green Bay Packers, who to the best of my knowledge don’t just pack green bays. It’s simply a name.

When we lived in British Columbia, I rooted for the B.C. Lions, while secretly carrying my torch for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Not that a torch (even if it had been a real one) would have ignited the Bombers, even though sometimes they may have needed that sort of motivation.

Now, living in Alberta (yes, this is a bit of a Canadian geography lesson this morning), I root for the city where we live – Calgary, and the CHAMPION Stampeders.

There are CFL teams in Saskatchewan, Ontario, umm…other provinces – but none yet in Nunavut. Which is a real place, on real maps. Just without either a CFL team, or even an NHL team.

Nunavut is so remote, only Sarah Palin could feel at home there.

Nunavut is so remote, they get their Starbuck’s coffee by dogsled, after lumberjacks clear away boreal forest tracts.

I suspect there will be a parade soon, for the Calgary Stampeders. I must bring my long underwear to the drycleaners, to prepare…

Chow for now!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Howdy Sunday, Humans!

Say, now THIS is more like it! The owners here have just installed a poultry-sized hot tub! Sweet!


They still gotta fill it up with water, but I tried it on for size just now, and it’s a perfect fit! Not much on jets or massaging heads, but pretty cozy all the same.

It looks like they even have a bit of a buffet nearby – how convenient is that? Potatoes, gravy, dressin’ and…


Hey, now just wait a cotton-pickin’ minute here!!




Is it Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S. again?? Pluck me! How did I fall for this????

I was gonna settle in to watch the Stampeders win the Grey Cup today, and now I think I had better get the pluck outta here, or my goose is gonna get cooked!



Gotta scatter….

Cluck for now!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

1000 Blog Posts!!

(Sorry Charlie, you’ve been bumped to tomorrow morning – we’re makin’ history here today…)

1000 consecutive blog posts, since the very first one when I launched way back when, on March 17, 2006. Man, does time ever fly when you’re scribbling down nonsense!! And stuff…

So, what’s been going on here, for the past 1000 posts? Well, there has been coverage (and I use that term extremely loosely) of two Erma Bombeck Humor Writing workshops. If you go back to March 24, 2006, you can see my smiling mug along with famous humor columnist Dave Barry. A hoot and a half, that post!

On April 24, 2006 – I documented how I had badly burned my nose in a tanning booth. Why there aren’t Pulitzer Prizes for blogging is beyond me.

Around June of 2006 I began to run afoul of the fine folks at PETA, with several questionable postings about animals in the Such Is Life household. To this date, I have never been formally charged with any animal cruelty charges…

Throughout this time period, several blogs were expanded, and went on to become full-length newspaper columns, in my weekly humour column. Yes, that’s right – I am totally shameless, and lazy as a gestating pupa…

Sunday, July 16th we officially arrived in Calgary, after relocating from our home in Kelowna. We were handed cowboy hats at the Alberta/B.C. border. Yee-haw, little buddies…

August 22, 2006 was the first time I ever mentioned “MAC” in a posting – without even knowing what lay ahead or me after eventually adopting Windows Vista. How spooky is that?? Man, I REALLY need to make the switch!!!!!!!

August of 2006 saw the launch of Banjo Quest 2006, a regular feature where I shamelessly pitched readers for a banjo. And who says dream don’t come true? I received a banjo for Christmas, later in the year. Way to go, GG!!!

It was in this time frame as well that I noticed some of my “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” concert reviews. OR, as describes them: “where never is heard a discouraging word”, or “the feature that good taste forgot”…

Dec. 31, 2006 – Charlie begins his first post, after arriving along with the banjo at Christmas. He has been posting on weekends since. The world here in the Such Is Life household has never been the same…

Well, that wraps up what passes as “highlights” for 2006. More over the next few days.

For everyone that has been following this blather for 1000 posts (or parts thereof), I sincerely suggest you seek professional help…

Chow for now!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Big weekend, boys and girls! Our Calgary Stampeders face off in Montreal against the host team, for the Grey Cup finale. That will be on Sunday – Canadian Football League action. What, you didn’t think we might have our own football league? Pretty enjoyable sporting events we feature up here…even if they aren't all played on a sheet of ice…

So, the technical guy is returning tonight, to take another stab at making my Vista purr like a kitten. I’m beginning to think that, all things considered, it’s purring as much as it ever will. While his efforts are the sole item left between me and my last thin slice of sanity, it still feels like we are bringing in a world-renowned brain surgeon, to make bologna sandwiches. Or, baloney if you prefer that spelling. It's still imitation meat, no matter how you cut it.

After the last session, pretty much every effort indicated that this white elephant IS operating at the best of its capacity – but after running out of time before we had to rush off for a prior commitment, this delightful sadist felt that he wanted to take one last stab at ole Biscuit Eater. I can’t say that I blame him – you start to take things personally after you’ve spent time with this machine – Windows Vista is much like a virtual Mount Everest, that you feel like you have to climb just to best it.

I say, bring out the bulldozer and dynamite, and let’s just be done with it. That dog ain’t ever gonna hunt. Bah Humbug, Windows Vista – Bah Humbug!!

Chow for now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I’ve got nothin’.

Zip. Zero. Diddly-Squat.

You know, doing this day after day after day, you’d think I might jot down a few things for mornings like this, when the electrons are shorting out between my ears…

But that’s not how I roll. My method has always been to wake up, have a cup of coffee, and then just sit here and punch out whatever happens to be top-of-consciousness for me. That could be just about anything, and most often is pretty much nothing. Which is what I’m facing here this morning. Cranial tumbleweeds. Brain-area absence.

A complete lack of topic…

So, what is a fella to do? We didn’t even get home early enough to watch any live TV last night – we watched stuff that we had recorded over the last few days. Old news. In today’s fast-paced “gimme my information NOW” world, anything I have to say would be eons old, in terms of “right-now” relevance.

So, in conclusion – Zip, Zero, Diddly-Squat. Make of that what you will. Me, I need to go find a granola bar or something. Maybe a bit of sustenance will tweak the old grey matter. If nothing else, it’ll make my tummy happy…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Much as I pride myself (sorry, yet another “mighty lion” reference…) on being rather adept at adjusting to new technology, the one thing that I seem to have missed the boat on is computer or video gaming.

While I will admit that I do have PLENTY of time to play computer games throughout my work day, I’ve never, ever owned a video gaming console. That’s probably a good thing, but that has also handicapped me when it comes to relatives and friends that DO own such wondrous devices. If we sit down to play, I am usually massacred in short order.

But not always. Turns out, I am a natural when it comes to Wii games. With practically no training at all, I was able to annihilate ALL the competition at a recent family gathering. I was a virtual Tiger Woods of Wii – The Gretzky Of The Gaming Console!!

You can read all about it in my newspaper column, online today here:

And you can say “you knew me back when…”

Chow for now!!

PS - Today's "Word Verification" code is "blatulas". Must be Dracula's spatula???

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Colleagues In The Animal Kingdom

If I were a mere animal (as opposed to a wild animal, if ya know what I mean…grrrr….), there are a few considerations for which animal I would probably be:

1) An Owl – well, this one almost goes without saying – I am wise, and often nocturnal. If nocturnal means that I watch late night TV poker when I can’t sleep.

2) A Lion – Majestic, powerful, pretty much all of my own teeth – there are many reasons I might consider myself a lion. And, like the mighty male lion, I prefer to read a newspaper, whilst my lioness fetches supper. Life is good for a lion…

3) A Kangaroo – with boundless (and literally bounding) energy, I could absolutely be a kangaroo. I am known to hop from task to task (all the while never really completing any).

4) A Panther – sleek, slow, and methodical – I could SO be a panther! I can amble with the best of them, and spring like a coiled cobra when needed. Do panthers ever get male pattern balding??

5) A Stallion – You know, if there’s one animal that perhaps summarizes That Dan Guy – it just might be a wild stallion. Regal bearing, unbridled spirit, flowing mane - hooves that are lethal weapons when necessary. Not that I’d ever use my hooves for evil, or personal gain, but good to know that they’re capable of great power…

6) Gorilla – Yes, the mighty Lord Of The Jungle – I would certainly make a Great Ape. I can almost hear my barrel-chested hollering now, reverberating throughout the jungle. Or at least the playground Jungle Gym…

7) A Toucan – Hey, why not?

Man, I haven’t even scratched the surface of the animals I might be, given half a chance. I should convene today’s posting right now, and go surf The Google – I really need to consider all this for when I’m reincarnated!!

Chow for now!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Trendy beasts that we are, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I were in attendance Saturday night, to help the new James Bond “Quantity Of Shoulder” movie release hit Number One at the box office. It raked in $70.4 million smackers, or $300 million if you add in popcorn and miniature packages of chocolate bars.


1) “Quantity Of Shoulder” seems like such a wasted effort at titling. I mean, every actor or actress has an abundant quantity of shoulder. While Bond villains have been missing various body parts over the years, none have ever been lacking adequate shoulder quantities. I for one thought this was more than just a little bit silly.

2) Is it just me, or has movie popcorn become the new oil? I’ve bought cheaper black market organs, by comparison. MTDG was getting a little ticked with me when I wouldn’t share, but come on – the stuff is more expensive than unicorn hooves. You can’t just eat it, you need to invest it.

3) Daniel Craig is actually shorter than Herve Villechaize (Tattoo, from Fantasy Island). He is normalized by creative camera angles, and other short actors.

4) If Bond aged the same as real life has progressed since his inception, his latest Bond girl should be Doris Roberts (the old lady, from Everybody Loves Raymond).

5) Seriously, when did popcorn get more expensive than launching a space shuttle?

Afterwards, we both agreed – it wasn’t as good as the last Bond outing. Still not a bad action flick, but let’s see if it hangs on for another weekend at the box office…

Chow for now!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It’ll have to be short and sweet today, boys and girls! I’ve got a technical individual coming over to the house this morning, to see if a tech on site (rather than other-worldly) can succeed in harnessing the unreliability and frustration that is Windows Vista.

After no end of patches and fixes from Microsoft, countless crossed fingers and toes, this computer of mine still acts like a randomizer where it might pertain to proper computing procedures. Congratulations, today - nothing works!!

I have no confidence that this will help me, but in desperate times, I grasp desperately at straws. Besides, the techie may be able to compose an award-winning treatise for technical journals, after seeing this beast in action.

Of course, he may also simply retreat, and offer me the name of a good exorcist…

Chow for now!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Drama Queen Alert!!


Since this Hen Rietta chick showed up here, I get a constant feelin’ that she’s tryin’ to attract my attention. I can’t even trim my whiskers inna mornin’, without her cluckin’ away in the background.

Charlie, yer comb is crooked.” “Charlie, did you clean between your claws?”

Man, a chicken could loose his mind listenin’ to a steady stream of that claptrap!!


So yesterday, I see her skitterin’ around with this here Ernesto character. Latin Lover my feathered kabuki!! More like Latin Elder!!


The guy looks like a neighbourhood butcher. If she thinks I’m gonna give a flyin’ fig about Mount Baldy, she needs ta rethinks her game plan. I’d rather polka with a potato, than pay attention ot some bikini’clad feather duster…

BUK (I say, I say boy) –AAAAWK!!!!

I plan on just ignorin’ her. Mebbe this Italian Scallion will whisk her off to Rome, or mebbe he’ll fix her up a in a gravy boat hot tub. I got me a Western Division CFL final to watch this afternoon, with our hometown Calgary Stampeders tryin’ to win and get in the Grey Cup Final.

The only thing I’m worried about is makin’ sure I got enough garlic dip for my potater chips…


Cluck for now!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not sure what happened yesterday morning, but my blue screen error message and subsequent immediate system crash hiccup seems to be keeping away today. I’ve got someone coming out to look at this thing Sunday, so I’m crossing my fingers that he can do something to at least make this alleged “top-of-the-line” computer find some small way to live in harmony with Windows Vista. Or as I like to refer to it, "Satan's Preview Of Hell". Who will die first? Me, or the computer??

Stay tuned…

You know, I used to be pretty competent when it came to adapting to new technology. When cassette tapes replaced 8-Tracks, I made the transition with no trouble at all. I still kept all my 8-Tracks though, just in case.

When VCRs first came out, I waited until the prices came down, but did buy a lumbering beast that loaded from the top, and featured a remote that you plugged directly in to the hardware. That line stretched to the sofa, from where you would surf the six or seven channels available. Hard to imagine that now, in today’s mostly wireless life.

Speaking of wireless, I did get my first cell phone when I got into real estate, but even that was only after stopping one too many times to find a pay phone while I was out with clients. There’s cheap, and then there’s just plain stupid, I suppose.

Lately, technology is uniting, revolting, and trying to send me to the Looney Bin. If it were Looney Tunes, I wouldn’t mind so much.

I do believe that if this computer problem isn’t resolved, and Mac is now looking to be a distant solution well off into the New Year, I will simply surrender. Life’s too short. It’s not like this is the only computer in the house. As a matter of fact, it would be perfect for those occasional times that Mrs. That Dan Guy needs one to work on, here at home.

Bah Humbug, Technology!!!!!!!!!!!

Chow for now!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Short one for now, more to come later - computer is crashing shortly after startup. So happy I decided to buy a new computer, to make my life "easier". Thanks, Windows Vista!

Scheduling service call, when I really should be taking this thing out behind the barn.

Ironically, Mac Quest has been suspended until the new year, as we will be away for a few weeks, and didn't think we should rush into switching over.

No word on my sanity rushing out the window...

Chow, literally, for right now...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And now, I will pull a rabbit out of my hat….

Ha! That would be pretty cool – although we have owned a rabbit in the past, and that didn’t work out so well. Man, can those animals ever “process” food!

Was there a point to this? You know, I’m not really sure. It just sounded like a great way to start a posting. Maybe I should have prepared a bit of magic to follow the statement up though…

OK, as my way of making up for, and smoothing over the probable depression you’re feeling after a big opening with no follow-through this morning, I will share a magic trick with you. I know, that’s totally against the rules, and I could get kicked out of the Magician’s Union for this, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take (a risk somewhat blunted by the fact that I am neither a professional magician, nor a union member…).

Here we go. For this trick, you will need a large towel or small blanket. Face your audience, and inform them that before their very eyes, you will make your legs disappear, one at a time.

Cover both legs with the blanket, as if you are waving the fabric at a charging bull. Slowly and discreetly, lift one leg up, then begin to pull up the towel or blanket, exposing the remaining leg. You have made a leg disappear!!

NOTE: Please practice, so as to ensure you don’t fall over while wobbling away on one leg. Kids will be heartbroken to have their young lives marred by a performance lacking in professional follow-through.

Lower the blanket, and your leg. Reveal both legs have returned. Then lower the blanket, and lift your other leg. Voila! 2-for-1 magic act!!

Well, I’ve probably said enough already. If this small professional sharing allows you to go on and headline in a Vegas casino, please consider a small donation to my favourite, non-registered charity:

TDGMACFUND. Just send me a cheque, I’ll see that it gets to the right destination…

Hey, today’s column is online. My weekly humour column, with a bit of PSA for Diabetes Awareness Month:

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Canada, today is Remembrance Day.

11 11

Can’t quite figure out what the significance of those numbers means to me, but I still see them on a regular basis.

We had a power failure here overnight, so when I started to reset clocks, VCRs and telephones, I kept seeing 11 11 over and over again. Of course, being today’s date, that wasn’t too much of a stretch.

Anyone have any theories about repetitive or sequential number sightings? I’m convinced there’s some reason I continue to spot them whenever I glance up a clock. The last concert we attended, we were directly across from Section 111. There has to be some sort of reason these numbers keep popping out at me…

I will take a minute to ponder this. Maybe at 11:11, while I ponder other, more important considerations…

Chow for now!!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Is it EVER dark outside right now…

There’s not even a sliver of sun to be seen yet. For all I know, the old fireball is off in Mexico somewhere, cavorting around with a bunch of giggling senoritas, and doesn’t give a flaming hoot about shedding some light on these shivering Canadian prairies.

What does the sun do, when it isn’t in our sky? Does it go out clubbing with other suns? Does it take a nap?

Does the sun have a night job? Maybe ole Sol “moonlights” as a greenhouse when it isn’t shining brightly throughout our day…

Of course, for decades now there has been some crazy talk, talk about how the Earth rotates and stuff. Ha-Ha!! Good one, scientists!! Next you’ll tell us you figured that out by sending men up to the moon!! Ha-Ha-Ha-Hah!!!!

My guess is, the sun slowly (over the course of the day) covers up with a giant, invisible beach blanket, or steel gate (painted blue, so as to blend in with the rest of the sky). Then, after it gets dark here, the sun shuts off and recharges, in some big electrical outlet up there. Which does open the door to the sun’s light fading slowly, like a dimmer does with our dining room lights. Which would make things a whole lot easier to explain than the sun having arms to pull down a gate.

Of course, there is that Man In The Moon, so if he can have a face, why couldn’t the sun have arms??

Wow! Science is still as hard to figure out as it was when I was still in high school. I really shouldn’t have spent so much time playing hooky to shoot pool!!

Chow for now!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Morning,

6:07 AM

Awaken as always, bolting out of bed, directly into 18 mile run. Read paper while jogging, to maximize day when I return home.

6:33 AM

A quick breakfast of raw eggs, sliced artichoke hearts, and Fibre-O’s. Dictate speech for Obama’s inauguration, just in case I’m asked to participate.

7:02 AM

Peek in on Mrs. That Dan Guy, still purring like a kitten. Boy, twelve fingers of Peppermint Schnapps sure does put out her lights!!

7:29 AM

Restore antique furniture in my woodshop, which I designed from the ground up. Turned out to be easier than designing from the top down…

8:15 AM

Mrs. That Dan Guy still out like an alley cat on Saturday night. Probably dreaming of one day finally seeing AC-DC live in concert (if ONLY they would book a Calgary date for her!!).

8:47 AM

Being a mass of pent-up energy, I head back outside, jog another 18 miles, this time with a canoe on my shoulders, to paddle a bit on the Bow River. Far as I can tell, looks more like a button than a bow…

9:28 AM

Peek in on Sleeping Beauty. The morning sun glistens off her drooly cheek. Still unconscious…

10:17 AM

I’ve prepared a game hen for tonight’s dinner, just need to pop it into the oven later. Caught the game hen while on my jog – literally a free-range hen. Although, she did seem to be in some kind of pen…

11:11 AM

MTDG has arisen, early for a change. I prepare a breakfast sampler for her, but quietly, as her hangover is very sensitive this particular Sunday…

12:12 PM

I awaken from my dreaming, and discover that none of the above ever really happened. Even though it all felt sooo real…

Chow for now!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Hello, mangy mammals!

Ole Charlie here, even tho techikally ya can’t see me.

So, what with the North American economy in such turmoil, we’re havin’ to make some hard decisions here at the chicken ranch. Not a “chicken ranch” like they gots in Nevada – we wouldn’t be in hot water if that wuz wut we had here. I mean a collection of chickens on the open prairie, if by "prairie" you mean "modern home with plumbin’ and heatin"…


Anyhows, where wuz I? Oh yeah…here at the chicken shack, we’ve been forced to look in the mirror, and do some belt-tightenin’. We hadda buy a belt to tightn it, but that’s beside the point…


We all drew straws, and sadly, poor old Cornelius is havin’ ta make a bit of a sacrifice – we’re puttin’ him on e-Bay.

Now we hope he stays somewhere in the neighbourhood, or at least the province, but we have promised him that anyone who bids on his sorry butt-awks has gotta keep him alive. For example, if someone with a collection of secret herbs and spices indicates interest, we will automatically disquantify that bid. If someone expresses an interest in how Corny fares in small-ring fightin’ – we will also fourbid that bidder.


We will hope to find Corny a nice new home, with plenty of straw on the ground, and corn to peck at. If we get a good enough buck for him, we can get that widescreen TV the little cluckers keep chirpin’ for. Hey, tis a selfless poultry that sacrifices for the greater good… Or some other sort of bushwah sayin’ – whatever gets us our HD TV!!


Gotta run – folks, if ya ever wanted a half-blind, curly-headed chicken, here’s yer chance!!

Cluck for now!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

What the hey hey??

My post today turned up under yesterday's bloggy thing-a-ma-jig location. Or on top of it, I suppose.

So as to not spoil my perfect record of daily postings (perfect in continuity, less than perfect in offerings) since inception, please accept this brief entry.

Chow (again) for now!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

November, my fine feathered friends, is Diabetes Awareness Month.

In that spirit, here's a feature that ran in yesterday's Calgary Herald. To help make you aware..

Chow for now!!

Adopting a healthy lifestyle helps fight diabetes
Calgary Herald
06 Nov 2008

Dan St. Yves is entering his 50s feeling great, living as healthy a lifestyle as possible and generally enjoying life. That’s one of the ironies of living with diabetes, he says — you can look and feel fine, yet still be fighting a disease more...
Tech Tags:

I am a meathead, a maroon, a putz…

Night before last, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I were glued to the TV, to watch history unfold. Well, we also wanted to see if Oprah would be wearing pearls or diamonds for her crowd shots, but we were indeed on our sofa, as Mr. Barack Obama became the President-Elect.

Now, did I mention this yesterday? No.

I chose to run with “snow overnight”.


That’s the kind-of “stop-the-presses” commentary that you can expect here, from the breaking-news Such Is Life pulpit. No commentary on the first African-American elected to the highest office in the land (next to President and CEO of Harpo Industries). No comment on how we actually felt shivers as he addressed the nation down there, and the entire world for that matter.

No, I had to tie in a snowfall with my column link, as opposed to acknowledging a landslide presidential election result.

Oh…by the way…it snowed again here last night…

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Life here in the Such Is Life household is often girdled by healthy doses of irony. Things never seem to go quite the way we’ve planned them to.

For example, I might buy a new computer, and discover that the Windows Vista operating system loaded onto it is going to set me back (technologically-wise) to the Stone Age.

I might prepare the backyard for a weekend barbecue, only to have the heavens unleash a relentless downpour that doesn’t abate until the following Tuesday.

Or, I might write a column (which appears online today, yet again – I’m on a real streak here…) about how much time there is left to be golfing, and then look out my window, to see that it has snowed overnight. Not just a dusting this time – we truly have snow on the grounds here, folks!

Oh well, at least I have my column to keep me warm:

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Tuesday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review – Mel Tillis, and Roy Clark…

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

Alright, go ahead…get it out of your system. Yuk it up, fuzzball!
That’s right, last night Mrs. That Dan Guy and I went to go see two living legends of country music – Roy Clark and Mel Tillis. Being fans of country music for considerably longer than the average Hot Country blip on the landscape, we just couldn’t miss catching these two old cats…And they put on a heck of a show for the old farts that shuffled in to see them.

Now, I will admit, aside from a few middle-aged children accompanying their senior parents, we were indeed the youngest members of the audience in attendance. As a matter of fact, it kind-of looked a bit like a toupee factory in the concert hall. Who cares? This was our first chance ever to see them, and that we did indeed.

First up, the legendary Roy Clark. Come on, the guy used to play with Hank Williams! That’s worth some cred right there. Plus the dude can still pick a mean guitar, which he did all night long. All with the sort-of down-home good natured humour you’d expect from the former co-host of Hee-Haw, which I used to watch regularly with my dad. The crowd ate it up, especially during hits like “Thank God & Greyhound, You’re Gone”.

You know, he looks a bit like William Shatner…

At one point, he even asked a band member to “fetch me my fiddle”, and he zipped through a lively version of “Orange Blossom Special”. Age and a recent hip replacement don’t seem to be slowing him down at all, despite his frequent self-deprecating references to age. I’m not sayin’ he’s old, but I’m pretty sure he played background music during The Last Supper. I don’t want to suggest that he’s been around a while, but the first cruise ship he played on was captained by Noah…

After Roy, Mel Tillis took the stage. 600 other artists have covered his songs (I did not know that, before I read the program), so he had a heck of a time trying to squeeze in even a fraction of his catalogue. But he did, in between the classic banter with the audience, which highlights his speech impediment – a stutter that has made him famous, and rather well off. He likes to tell jokes, and I have to say, we laughed our cabooses off in spite of the dust on the punch-lines.

One great night, two great showmen that still have it - we loved it!!

Chow for now!!
PS - and I'm not making this up - the Word Verification code today is "proonj".
Prune Juice?????? Too funny!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

You Let Me Down, Lenny!!

Dear Mr. Lenny Kravitz:

Lenny, Lenny, Lenny…

Even though you put on one of the best shows we’ve attended this year, Mr. Kravitz – I must post one somewhat minor, formal complaint.

You see, it is tradition that when Mrs. That Dan Guy and I attend shows at the Calgary Saddledome, that we will go a bit early, to have a bite to eat, and play a few coins in the Stampede Casino, directly adjacent to said Saddledome.

And, we always, win, Mr. Kravitz. Always. It is a long-standing concert night tradition.

Mr. Kravitz, this was a special evening (in addition to seeing you perform, of course). We needed our lucky streak to continue, as I was planning on picking up a Mac computer directly afterwards – being very close to consummating that relationship before we left home for your show.

We had it, as the kids say, “in the bag”. The last remaining component was just a wee win before your show. Or even after, for that matter – we aren’t particularly rigid in that respect. We were just relying on our usual concert-day mojo. Mojo that was oddly absent, for a show that was so sensational…

We had no luck beforehand, so we just accepted that we had to be patient, and return after the show, even though we were exhausted from dancing in the stands for over two hours. And let me assure you, Mr. Kravitz – the air was pretty thin way the hell up where our seats were.

But we are troopers, and so we went back to the casino AFTER the show, where much to our dismay, our rotten luck persevered. Zip. Zilch. Nada!!

How can I put this delicately? I may as well just come right out and say it. Mr. Kravitz – you owe us the balance required for the purchase of our new computer. We’ve waited, and sacrificed – diverting money from prior winnings that could have gone to supplement Mrs. That Dan Guy’s “60 Shoes In Every Room Of The House” project. It is her life’s work, and she has put it on hold, as I try desperately to escape the tyranny of Windows Vista. We had every expectation that this quest would conclude on the evening of your concert.

You can contact me via the link in the Blogger Profile, or just by posting a comment here in this blog. I promise to be discreet, although I am willing to acknowledge your kindness (should you agree to my reasonable request) to any media outlets.

Thanks in advance,
That Dan Guy
Chow for now!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Sunday Morning “Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway” Concert Review – Lenny Kravitz.

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

There just may be a brand-new “hardest working man in show business”, to fill the slot vacated by the passing of Mr. James Brown. And that man (I humbly submit) would be Lenny Kravitz…

Egads, man! What a flippin’ show! 2 hours and 10 minutes, with nary a break to catch his breath, as he alternated between guitar, keyboards, and drums to crank out an onslaught of crowd-frenzying, funk-ified rock and roll.

That might be why he appeals so much to Mrs. That Dan Guy and I. He incorporates rock, funk, soul, jazz, blues, retro, and dollops of mainstream pop to come up with a sound that inspired even us shaky-kneed old farts to get up off our seats, and dance all night long to hit after hit. That’s right – we were dancin’ our cabooses off! Hey, what they don’t find out about at the old folks home…

What can I say? A cracker-jack band, a suitcase full of hits and loads of other songs that sounded great even if they weren’t big parts of his catalogue. Plus, he lets that cracker-jack band show off – his songs morphed from the well-known radio hits everybody knows, into extended jazz/funk fusions where each individual band member got a chance to toot his own horn. Especially the sax and trumpet players… They actually HAD horns to toot…

I know, I know – I’m just gushing here – but this guy knows how to rock the house! Who else could pull off adding lyrics from “Another Brick In The Wall”, and “Billy Jean” into one of his songs, and have the whole audience singing along at the top of their lungs? The man is a funked-out ringmaster!

Jeez, I have to stop gushing here! But it’s hard, let me tell you – why, he didn’t even play his big breakout “Mr. Cab Driver” hit, and nobody could have cared less.

Well worth seeing, let me tell you. "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" Yes indeed, Mr. Kravitz, yes indeed...

Oh yeah…he had a warm-up act. Some Canadian band. It was supposed to be Sloan, who I would have loved to have seen. It wasn’t. They were OK…

Chow for now!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Chicken Scratch

Stop The Presses!!


Chickens grow on trees?? How is this even cluckin’ possible??

Well, batter my chicken fingers, and call me "Appy"!

Here I thought all along that us chickens had sumthin’ ta do with eggs. I could never quite figger it out, but I hadda hunch we just started off as hen fruit.

Now I reads the paper yesterday, and the headline indicates we flower - offa plants!!


And now they wanna move the plants, outta the city!! I better alert all the chickens I know, to band together and protest this crazy scheme! That would be a long commute, for the average early-risin’ rooster. And what a rooster has ta do to a plant ta make chickens, I can’t even begin to imagine… Did we evolve from bees? Is this all about pollen??

My head’s spinnin’!!!


Mebbe they pluck the egss offa the plants. And where do hens figure inta all this?? Mebbe I should quit avoidin’ Hen Rietta, and see if she has any idea about what’s goin’ on here…

Man, when a suave, worldy chicken like myself can get his world rocked like this, what hope is there some for some hayseed, barnyard chicken? Are they givin’ Mother’s Day cards to sunflowers? Who’s yer daddy? A CLUCKIN’ TULIP!!!


It’s Miller Time, my hairy human friends…

Cluck for now!!