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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stage West Calgary
“Don’t Hug Me” – A Review

The Thursday Morning “Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go” Review – Stage West Calgary’s production of “Don’t Hug Me”.

(soon to be a real and proper, even more comprehensive review in The Calgary Herald– link to follow!!)

I’ll be upfront and honest here – I had never heard of this production, prior to seeing the show last night. Imagine my surprise to discover that this charming little character comedy is part of a burgeoning franchise, with follow-ups such as “A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol”, “A Don’t Hug Me County Fair”, and (coming soon) “Don’t Hug Me, I’m Pregnant”. I’m guessing “Don’t Hug Me, I’ve Got Gas” was soundly rejected during meetings with potential financers.

For U.S. productions, this Minnesota-set romp’s tag line is “It's Fargo meets The Music Man". In Canada, they’ve opted to go with connecting to our own quirky TV hit, “Corner Gas”. Either way, you get the general idea – quirky characters trying to survive quirky rural life, to much comedic effect. Sure, there’s a lot of broad stereotype throughout, but all-in-all, the laughs far outweigh the pigeonholing of rural residents, and once again, a strong, talented cast carries the day.

Essentially, the four acts unfold in a Minnesota bar – where it is cold, coupled with briskly cold, and heaped over with mind-numbing cold. Frankly this could have been set in my home town of Winnipeg. Or Calgary in the first three weeks of June apparently…

The incessant cold eventually pits bar co-owner Gunner Johnson (Kieran Martin Murphy) against his wife Clara (Katherine Fadum) – Gunner pines for the soothing tropical breezes of Florida, Clara likes her frostbitten corner of the world just fine as it is.

Their waitress Bernice Lundstrom (Natascha Girgis), seems to be trapped in a parallel universe to Gunner’s – she wants to pursue a singing career, her
fiance Kanute Gunderson (Sheldon Bergstrom) would prefer to stay in Bunyan Bay and build on his growing empire of property holdings.

Enter Aarvid Gisselsen (David Leyshon), a travelling “Lifestyle Systems” salesman, who substitutes Karaoke for trombones to make the Music Man analogy work – and you’ve got all the elements you need for comical musical theatre.

Each and every performer is strong during their individual showcases. Rich vocals and great stage presence all around. Hard to pick a single stand-out, but after seeing him in three different musical productions now, I have to just say I surely hope Mr. Bergstrom is hunkering down in a recording studio on his days off. 

You will laugh – of that there is no doubt. “Don’t Hug Me” is great fun.

And, I am going to be sitting down with director Bob Walton, an accomplished actor and playwright as well, in mere hours. That will be available as a free download soon thereafter, and I’ll link to The Herald review when that’s online.

That's all folks!

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

“I am going to need a bigger bucket....”

This is just one example of phrases a spouse does not want to hear as her partner hustles past her in the hall.

It could be as innocent as the discovery that his strawberry patch is far more productive than he dared dream, but more likely it is a concerned acknowledgment of why only professional plumbers should try loosening pipes, to “let them breath a little...”

Chow for now...

PS - 21 posts short of 2000!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Society For The Smarter Naming Of Cartoon Dogs - Preliminary Minutes

Aside from Wonder Dog, was there a shortage of practical names back in the early days of cartoon dogs?

For example, what exactly is a “scooby doo”, aside from part of the lyrics of a Frank Sinatra song?

Or how about “Huckleberry Hound? Was this poor beast raised on so many huckleberries, he was saddled with that nickname for the rest of his life?? Surely he must have enjoyed the odd scrap of meat??

What exactly was Underdog under?? The bed? Underfoot? The weather?? Was there an Overdog???

Snoopy - wasn’t he just curious? How snoopy can a dog really be?? Unless you caught him with a camera, I wouldn’t be too worried about that sort of behaviour...

Deputy Dawg - I’m sorry - who did the Deputy report to? Sheriff Schnauzer? Lieutenant Labrador? Maybe if he would have learned how to spell “dog” he may have been promoted himself...

Santa’s Little Helper - Set aside for just a moment the annoyance of THAT lengthy moniker when calling for your pet to come for dinner, uh - no...that’s all I got...

Motion to adjourn carried...

Chow for now!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Got Nuthin’....

Well, it is inevitable that when you blog every day, and don’t always use old newspaper columns, or current entertainment reviews, or rants about why 5 toes on each foot may be a bit of overkill - one day you will find yourself sitting at the keyboard, with literally nothing to say.

This has happened here on a semi-regular basis over the years. Some might argue it’s hard to tell from most days that I do post actual content.  Considering this post will place me just 24 shy of 2000 consecutive posts, I say to th(os)e critic(s) “hey, it’s not like I get paid to do this...”

So, knowing that I am rapidly approaching a landmark...uh, landmark, I had better direct my energies to HAVING something to say here, as I approach my 2000th post. 

Until then, for today - nuthin’. 

Chow for now...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Husband’s Guide To Cleaning A Dish

Step 1:

Use dish for meal. Enjoy meal.

Step 2:

Leave dish in sink. Note: The dish may remain in sink temporarily. Do not be alarmed, this will eventually resolve itself. It is quite like magic, as it eventually disappears, then returns back in cupboard.

Step 3:

Repeat Step 1 & 2.

Coming soon: How socks and underwear rejuvenate.

Chow for now!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)



Far-out, dude! Tryin’ out idees fer ma album cover, if I ever record an album. Not sure uv wut, but it could happen...


First off, lemme reashur ya, no chickens wuz harmed in tha takin’ uv that picture. Although ma crown still feels a lil stretchy...


Fer real, wut would I record an album uv?? I can rap, or at least unrap...

I wunder if there’s a market fer cacklin’ ?? “Cacklin’ Rosie”??? Git on bored!!

Mebbe impressions? I do a mean robin!!


This clearly needs more thought. But at least I gotsa good potenshul album cover, which is really more impotent than what’s on tha stoopid thing....


Cluck fer now...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where The Deer & The Antelope Play...

You know, If I wanted someone to give me a home, it probably wouldn’t be where the buffalo roam. I mean, I’ve got nothing against buffalo in general, and I do enjoy bison as a healthy, lean meal - but those darn buffalo are not welcome to roam around my backyard. They’re hairy, smelly, and I’m not even talking about the mess they leave behind. Grass doesn’t smell that bad BEFORE they “process” it!!

I’m really not all that keen about deer and antelope playing, the more I think about it. What are they playing? Hide N Seek? Tag?? Hopscotch??? They may be nimble, but a group of antler-bearers playing in your yard is a recipe for disaster, especially if you are a hot air balloon hobbyist. Or a frequently bending gardener, for that matter...

So I am afraid that I stand as a discouraging word for roaming buffalo, and rambunctious deer and antelope. Go find a nice open prairie, and then you can do what you want without affecting me.

Just sayin'...

Chow for now...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mac Back (From The Road)

It’s A Death Sentence!!”

Well, despite being an active participant, and presenting on behalf of two group topics at the recent “Easing The Burden Of Diabetes” conference in Toronto, I will likely be remembered best as the frazzled individual that blurted out “It’s A Death Sentence!!”, in response to a persistent participant. Wattaya gonna do??

It was in reaction to continued discussions regarding elevating the status of the disease, as it is a chronic, progressive disease that shortens your life, along with potentially devastating health consequences along that path. Often linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, it is without question a serious disease.

I think the participant was disagreeing with our group from a treatment/care level. Which I can respect, even though I do tend to feel that ignoring the severity of the complications without proper treatment is building the affected person up to fail, I think the group was pretty much unanimous in agreeing that we need to elevate the status of diabetes, to a place at the table with the other serious diseases. And make no mistake, it is a disease, doctors don’t diagnose and prescribe lifelong treatment for “may be bad”...

So, clearly I overreacted. My bad. But we did succeed in fleshing out a comprehensive set of topics for The Canadian Diabetes Association to consider, moving forward.

Chow for now!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mac On The Road - Day Three (Epilogue...)

It’s over. Well, after today’s shortened session, the “Easing The Burden of Diabetes” conference I’m here in Toronto attending wraps up, and I’m back off to Calgary, to see if Mrs. That Dan Guy has spent the entire past few days in Bingo Palace dabbing her little heart out. She does love to Bingo...

Just a few thoughts - this event I believe is intended to set the scope and direction for the Canadian Diabetes Association for the next few years, and 12 separate topics have been brainstormed. Can’t wait to see which one gains the dominant theme by day’s end. I’m putting my money on “Less sugar, more carrots”!!

The morning after I arrived here, I discovered that even though I had managed to remember packing a deck of cards, sunscreen, lint brushes, shoe horns, hand cream and a collapsible umbrella in my travel bag, I had in fact failed to bring a hair brush - not something that is entirely necessary for a rampaging bladie, but it does tend to groom those wayward remaining hairs.

This set me off on a tour of hotel and airport “gift” shops, where something like a single Kleenex can run upwards of twenty dollars. After searching out what I though to be the best deal, I returned to my room, and put the new brush into use. When the scars close and heal, I should be able to brush my hair once more. It was as effective (and soothing) as a garden weed remover. I’m not sure a switchblade knife could have sliced me better.

Finally, just a note for future trips. My room was on the third floor, which sounds lofty - not penthouse lofty, but lofty enough.

As I am wont to do when I arrive at hotel rooms, I took off most of my external clothing, to allow my body to breath in the relaxing ambience of the room. I noticed that the window was open, but it was the third floor after all. So, clad only in my underwear, I ambled over to close the blinds.

Which looked down on a second-floor parkade, extremely active I thought for that time of the day. So far, no representative from the hotel has visited my room, so the I believe I may escape charges of indecent exposure. One thing for sure, I will not dance towards an open window again...

Off to my meetings!

Chow for now...  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mac On The Road - Day Two

Well, this morning I hit the ground running (and therefore jiggling) for Day Two of the “Easing The Burden Of Diabetes” conference that I am here in Toronto attending. Quite an event so far, I can hardly wait to see where the path takes us the next two days.

Did I mention that I flew in to town while watching young golfer Rory McIlroy win the....wait for it...111th U.S. Open - well of course he did!

Mrs. That Dan Guy stayed behind for this trip, even though I was going to smuggle her into my hotel room. She would be amazed to know that not only did I try some sort of exotic asagio bisk soup for lunch yesterday, but I quite enjoyed it! Bisk me up, Scotty!!

Auctioned off an organ to afford the in-room internet, so that I could post my Tweet and Blog today. Funny, we live in a world where web access is right on our smartphones, yet hotels still feel they can justify charging champagne prices for the service. If I ever lose enough weight on my husky fingers, I’ll tell them EXACTLY where they can put that in-room internet charge...

Anyway, better get down to breakfast. More fun and loads of work yet to be done!

Chow for now...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mac On The Road-Day One

Off to a swimming start. Hotel is playing usual game of "guess how we've stored your name in the database", which is restricting me from logging into free lobby wireless. In an age where most phones have Internet, they charge a hideous amount for in-room access.
Running late, sessions start soon, more later when I resolve this. For now, thank the Internet gods for I-Phone access...
Chow for now!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Road Trip!!

I’m off later today to Toronto, the large city in Canada that didn’t have a hockey riot. And coming along for the trip, “Miracle on The Ridge” - my trusty Macbook. This will be the first time I get to test many of the functions outside of the home.

You know, I used to go into a Starbucks, and look at all the scholarly folks inside working away industriously on their Apple computers. I longed to be one of them, and even grew a soul patch in anticipation of the day I might once be fortunate enough to join their ranks.

Well, now I have, and the upside (along with the wonder that is the Mac world) is that my soul patch ended up being an irresistible “amour” magnet for Mrs. That Dan Guy. Never have I see her react as she has to this slightly askew strip of chin hair of mine. What an animal!!

At any rate, I intend to test a number of mobile computing options on this short trip, while I also participate in the future direction of The Canadian Diabetes Association.

Stay tuned campers - as you know, I like to over-promise, and under-deliver!!

Or however that phrase goes...

Chow for now!!

(Oh yeah, Happy Father's Day!!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chicken Scratch

(posted by a weekend guest blogger clearly unfamiliar with that old saying about curiosity and cats, Charlie Chicken...)

Howdy hoomans!!

Anyone gots any idea wut these things is? I wuz rootin’ aroun in tha kitchen fer a toothpick, and came across these pointy beasts. Is they pig-stickers??


Mebbe they’re fer roastin’ marshmellers over a fire? Hot dogs? Little pataters?? They come inna pair, which makes 'em even more curious!


Mebbe they’re sum kinda weapon, the hoomans here hide fer quick access in case a introoders? If I live ta be six, I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand what it is that hoomans do...


Ya know, I could just pocket one uv ‘em, fer later on. THAT would sure wake up Dum-Dum inna hurry tomorrow mornin'!!

Yeah...that’s the ticket....hee hee hee....

Cluck fer now!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Haven’t seen our resident vole in quite awhile. I fear the groundskeepers here (we live in a strata complex) may have...umm..terminated his tenancy. We will choose to believe that Ari was humanely relocated, to a larger grasslands setting. Even though that grasslands realistically may be in the sky....

I’d like to say that we are gearing up for summer here, but with our furnace still blasting away thanks to high humidity levels (even Noah knew when it was time to bail on Terra Firma and board the SS Bon Voyage...), it seems like summer is one of those fabled dreams, like a Canadian hockey team winning the Stanley Cup.

On a brighter note, Mrs. That Dan Guy is finally getting to the tail end of a brutal flu bug that has knocked her out for about a week now. I don’t want to suggest that she’s spent too much time blowing her schnozz around here, but Rudolph has filed a grievance with the Red-Nosed Reindeer Union. I would advise you to do like I’ve recently done, and buy stocks in Kleenex...

Another day in our world!!

Chow for now!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vancouver Riots
Stanley Cup Final

We tag animals, to monitor and track them in the wild. We’re then able to gain insight into their habits, or take action if they seem to have lost their way.

I think this may be the direction for large public gatherings after the devastation by “fans” that rioted in Vancouver last night, after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to Boston.

Watching the scene unfold live after the game and as it escalated through until I went to bed, it’s clear that a small percentage of knuckleheads (I’m being charitable with that description) were Hell-bent on creating utter mayhem, regardless of which team won the game.

For me, the most compelling footage so far is of a more mature individual trying to stop some thugs, who then gets pulled in by the crowd, beaten, thrown to the ground and kicked into critical condition. There is no punishment severe enough for nitwits that seem to feel they are justified in these sorts of actions.

Fence off these outdoor areas. Require wristbands, and photo ID before revelers are allowed to enter, which can then be used to match the photos taken after this sort of horrific behaviour. From there, the authorities can proceed directly to the homes of these criminals, and charge them to the fullest extent of the law.

It’s not just post-game fun. It’s theft, destruction of personal and public property, and in some cases - attempted murder.

Chow for now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scroll back to the June 13th post - the song remains the same...

Hey, what’s the Italian word for “porous”?




So, my trip to Banff was a blast, aside from the shock of paying for the privilege of entering the resort city. I was a participant in a diabetes event for a big pharmaceutical company. I shared my “journey with diabetes”, which was intended to humanize the ongoing treatment of the disease. Kind of a great warm-up for another event I’m attending next week - where the Canadian Diabetes Association hopes to ramp up their efforts nationally.

“Hi, I’m Dan, and I’m a diabetic.”

Not so diabetic that I can’t be rooting whole-heartedly for my team tonight!!

Chow for now...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Some kind of hockey game last night! Well, no matter who you’re rooting for (smart money’s on Boston), whichever team wins the next dust-up takes home Lord Stanley’s cup! Hope they run it through the dishwasher before it gets handed out...

I’m off to Ban-f-f later today, to participate in a diabetes event. I’m in some demand lately - next week I’m involved in another national initiative for the Canadian Diabetes Association. Who knew all those chocolate bars would eventually pay off?

Sort of...

Sympathetic thoughts requested, folks! Mrs. That Dan Guy is currently home sick with a brutal cold. While I would offer my own sympathetic thoughts, I am doing my best to give her a wide berth, staying in my own germ-free zone. As bad as I feel that she is sick, it’s far harder on her when I’M sick - I suffer poorly...

Chow for now!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Truth be told, I don’t really have a horse in this race tonight (Game 6, Stanley Cup finals).

Sure, it would have been nice to see The Bruins hoist the cup on home ice tonight, but if it takes seven games, well then - so be it. Like I say, I don’t really have a vested interest in either team. As long as Vancouver loses, I’m happy!

But if the Canucks somehow happen to fill that Grand Canyon-sized hole between Luongo’s legs and win the game tonight, I will take in stride, and be just as happy, knowing that Boston did a fine job - although it would have been a better job if they had won, and then also took Game Seven.

It’s liberating actually, not picking sides in this. All the stress associated with rooting for one particular team is gone, and I can honestly say that if Boston wins tonight, I will be just as happy as I would if Vancouver had lost. One way or the other, no worries.

It's a whole new me!

Chow for now!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chicken Scratch

(ahh...”posted” by weekend guest blogger, Charlie Chicken...)



Cluck fer now...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Had a great time interviewing Calgary-born actor and singer Nicholas Fera yesterday, for the second time. Shot some video this time around, which I hope to have available over the next few days. One thing will be abundantly clear - I ain’t Oprah!!

However, Nicholas’ enthusiasm is infectious. He made me realize how long I’ve been standing in the same spot. You grow, or you die - and I’ve got no immediate plans to start shopping for pine boxes.

I don’t want to go getting all touchy-feely here (especially since Mrs. That Dan Guy is at work - that would just be wrong...), but you often only get one chance at what you hope to achieve in life, and I seem to keep getting more and more do-overs. I’d better start listening to karma, or whatever is trying to point me in the right direction, before they start going back to guiding Charlie Sheen.

That would just be a damn shame...

Chow for now!! (Don’t forget to check back for a link to that interview!!)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I have decided that I would like to become a martial arts expert. I would like to register my hands with the FBI, not my hams. 
I can see myself leaping from behind a bush, springing to battle readiness with my Crouching Tigger, Hidden Braggin’. 
I would dazzle my Sensei with the breathtaking speed of my sprung palms, as I snatched the pebble from his hand. I would make Miss Piggy weep with inadequacy at the heartiness of my own “Hi-Yaah!!”
I believe I could pull off a white jumpsuit. Even Vegas Elvis made that work for a few years. I’ve already got a brown belt, so one quick trip to Wal-Mart and I’ll have a black one. 
Yes, I believe I could be one frightening martial arts expert...
Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I sure hope Blogger isn’t about to die on me. Now that I’ve got everything configured, it would sure suck to have to start all over in another blogging environment, let alone lose all my history.

A colleague of mine lost her entire site earlier this year. My sister is having troubles, and now I seem to have to log-in every time I use it. You can only blame so many technology challenges on Windows Vista, after all.

Well, time will tell. Let’s just hope I don’t have to start over, and recreate 5 years of daily posts. Posts that really should find a place in Canada’s version of The Smithsonian. Canada’s version of The Pulitzer Hall Of Fame.

Canada’s version of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not....

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I’ve been polishing my apple this morning. Sorry, my Apple.

It’s white, which with me is like giving a balloon-padded room to a rhinoceros. Even wearing white cotton gloves, I’m able to smear the poor thing with paw prints, maybe even hair gel. I don’t know - I’m just gifted that way...
On the plus side, I’ll always know which one is mine when I go to pick it up at the Apple daycare...
Chow for now.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Today I offer you a new twist on an old classic. This was previously a two-part epic in my former weekly newspaper column, but now I’ve scaled it down and freshened it up:
This is why someone that is not in the least bit handy shouldn’t try being a handyman. Or at least, it’s a cautionary tale about impulse purchases. Especially mail-order ladders...
Chow for now!!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Hey, I’m starting to work on reloading my main website (finally).
I’ve been playing around with several site builders, and hosts, but I just happened to spot something while working on “Miracle On The Ridge”, as I like to refer to this wonderful, amazing, astonishing, life-altering, Mrs.-That-Dan-Guy-Hates-It Macbook.
Apple has something called iWeb (of COURSE it does!) - a built-in website builder. 
Aye Caramba!!
Just started playing around, let me know what you think of where this is going:
Is it too busy? Too distracting? Too wonderful for words??
Depending on initial reactions, I will finally get back up and running, with the shining, guiding hand of Apple. 
I am just not worthy....
Chow for now!!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Chicken Scratch
(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)
Ahoy, hoomans! It’s Movie Nite in tha coop - on tap tonight, well...I ain’t planned that far ahead yet - have ta see wut’s on basic cable, cause tha skinflint homeowners here restrict my access!!
Not even sure wut I’m in tha mood for - probably action/adventure, but I could go fer a comedy. One thing fer sure - it ain’t gonna be a chick flick - Yuk Yuk Yuk!!!!!

OMG, I’s one funny berd!!
Hey, mebbe I oughta surf tha Googler, an download a movie! Mebbe then I could watch something from this century! Can’t even browse tha PVR here - tha wierdos I share tha house with fill tha hard drive with Barney and Celebrity Rehab.
Oh, wait...tha’s their relatives!!
Hey, mebbe I can watch a cartoon marathon! I do love that wacky Foghorn Leghorn and his little pal!! I say, I say boy...
Ya juss can’t beat tha classics!!
Cluck fer now...

Friday, June 03, 2011

Barry was a whack-a-mole. Traveling from town to town in county fairs, Barry would spend his days and nights getting (or trying to avoid being) whacked on his furry little noggin by a large mallet. As dreams go, this was never high on Barry’s list.
But his father had been a whack-a-mole, and his grandfather before that. A long and proud legacy, even though they had all retired young, spending their evenings befuddled on a recliner rocker, howling spittle at contestants on Wheel Of Fortune unable to solve even the simplest puzzles...
Barry would look around every time he poked his head through the hole - and see a world of wonder. A world where LOOK OUT - HAMMER TIME a world where couples walked hand in hand, and MALLET - DUCK!! cotton candy wisped gaily along in children’s hands.
Barry began to plot. Plot anarchy. He hissed to his fellow whack-a-moles while they went below the surface of the game. “Why are we doing this to ourselves? We can be free! There’s a land right outside of this game, where pleasure awaits, and Tylenol is not necessary!”
The spring beneath Barry propelled him up at that moment, where a savvy game player lay in wait. Barry never even saw it coming. The mole was whacked...
Please supply the moral of this tale:____________________________________
Chow for now!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

When Harry met Sally, he had spent about a week sleepless in Seattle. Why, no one really knows. He had been notting off on the hill, but just couldn’t seem to drift off for any substantial length of time.
Sally was a pretty woman, but Harry had always felt more interested in Mary - there was just something about Mary. Somewhere in time, things being different, it might have been Sally, but Harry pined for Mary.
Attending my best friend’s wedding, I found a love note Sally had written Harry. I told him, you’ve got mail, but to no avail. He was like Shakespeare in love - a doomed, tragic figure. In love with a lady in red. 
Funny thing love, actually. You can go to four weddings and a funeral, and find evidence of love at all of those diverse events. You may have even dreamed of it while you were sleeping. But achieving, it..well, sometimes you are more likely to be moonstruck.
Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Man, did we ever have a great trip to Boston back in July of 2006. I had a few newspaper columns come out of that visit, and I’ve now decided to revisit my files to see if I can’t squeeze a few more out. We did so much in that beautiful, historic city on the harbour.
Here’s just one tiny sample from these blog archives:
Yeah, Boston - one great city. Hope we get back there some day...
By the way, congrats hometown Winnipeg on getting an NHL team back - sorry, I’ll still have to cheer for The Flames :-)
Chow for now!!