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Monday, December 31, 2012

Out With The Old, In With The New

As 2012 times out inevitably over the rest of today, what will 2013 bring?

Here's what I hope:

1) A thirteenth month. Why  do we only get twelve months to get things done in every year? Wouldn't another month come in handy? We shall call it Extrauary...

2) Mayans will feel free to come out of hiding, now that their doomsday calendar has proven as reliable as a noodle bungee cord. They will start a new fashion trend, with exotic headdresses...

3) The latest social media trend will roll out in early 2013 - Clapper. We will all communicate from our smartphones by clapping every time a Kardashian stays out of the news for a day.

4) I will invent a method of recycling used facial tissues for good, rather than as an obstacle course for Mrs. That Dan Guy to wander around constantly trying to avoid... Perhaps as attic insulation.

5) I will start these lists earlier, so that I don't have to pull the plug midway th............

Sunday, December 30, 2012


I am sending an appeal to my writing pals - basically an apology and a request for illumination.


Sorry, I apparently keep getting requests, but whenever I view Goodreads on the mobile version, I cannot find said requests. I can't even find the original quests...

Honestly, I'm not ignoring you, I just can't seem to do anything, at least with the mobile app.

I also worry about giving out too much information, as that is never a prudent thing online, but I have just now allowed Facebook to link with the Goodreads program. Will this solve my problem? Will I finally see the requests I'm getting?

If I learn how to use Goodreads properly, will I be able to play the violin again? Was never able to in the first place, so just wondering....

Any help that anyone can offer would be much appreciated - I don't like wandering around in the darkness online - I have been known to stub my toe, or bang into things with my head - and I have to protect what's left of THAT asset...

Thanks in advance, and hey - belated Happy Holidays!!

Chow for now...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken..)

Wut does chickens dream about??

Well, I foun a pitcher on tha innernet that juss happens ta bee sumthin' ah DID dream about once - although wut wuz chasin' me looked more like a blond dog with hip dis-plashia, an a insayshuble appetite fer chicken...


Ah also dreams uv gettin' fed chicken feed by hens in togas, an on one o-kayshun, ah dreamt of a white Christmas - but that one stopped recently...


Oh, ah kin dreem ov all sortsa things. Racin' cars, boxin' with ellyfants, makin' the Top Five on Amerikin EyeDoll - all stuff that could happen in real life, ah suppose.

Ah also dreems uv havin' this shack ta mahself one day - instead uv havin' ta tiptoe aroun hoomans.

Sometimes one hostile hooman...


Don't think ah had a dreem lass night, although sumtimes ah don't always remember them. 

One time ah did dreem ah was flyin' in an errorplane - turns out ah wuz bein' hucked outta tha bathroom - again, them hostile hoomans...

Cluck fer now....

Friday, December 28, 2012

National Breast Month?

I'm pretty sure I saw a reference this morning to National Breast Month?

Well, okey-dokey!

As a fan of white meat, I always tend to prefer the breast, be it turkey, chicken or duck. In a pinch, I can go with dark meat, but only from a leg or drumstick. Otherwise, that stuff just doesn't do it for me.

Who knew it was something to celebrate though?? For the month?

Looks like KFC tonight!!!!

Chow for now....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

No More Spiderman??

I just saw a scroll on the news that the last issue of Spiderman is being released today.

Say WHAT??

How is that even possible - did the last movie kill the entire franchise? Are comics falling outof favour with the kids?

Have artists and writers run out of ways to get him out of his own web in the morning?

I need to find out more about this - this really rocks my world.

Well, wobbles my web a little anyway.

Off to surf The Google!!

Chow for now....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fan In An Hour

I've written before that Mrs. That Dan Guy and I watch a lot of reality television - if by reality television you mean broadcasts of real performers - such as the terrific concerts series such like  Live From The Artist's Den, and Infinity Hall Live.

We used to love Elvis Costello's interview and performance show, as well as a few others that have shuttered over the last year or so - but those two seem to be the current ast shows standing.

On Christmas Day, we watched a band on IHL that we had never heard of before  - Dawes. Amazing - we'll be searching out some of their music after the holidays. That particular series was also where we caught The Wailin' Jennys - and I've got another couple of episodes I'm hoarding on the PVR, so I imagine if I wait, there might be a few more CDs to pick up.

Sure, I'm missing who whatshername chose to date of all the competing whatssisnames, on the popular show for dingbat dating - but I suppose once I'm drooling in a nursing home somewhere, unable to change channels myself, I'll be able to catch up on shows like that. With the benefit of having my senses already dulled...

Till then - Viva REAL Reality TV!!!

Chow for now...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hope Santa Stopped By!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope that Santa stuffed your stocking, if you know what I mean!

I hope that your Christmas was white, unless of course you don't suffer from light infraction issues, and can see the entire spectrum of colours.

I hope that your halls were decked, and that your boughs were jolly. Wait...??? What??

May you spend today with those you love.

Ho Ho Ho!!

Chow for now...

Monday, December 24, 2012

North Pole Property For Sale!

OK, yes - you have caught me...

I am indeed recycling a post from earlier this month - a link to my national humour column:

North Pole Feature Sheet (Things Have Gone To Elf)

But only because it had a lot of interest, and I thought it was worth pitching it past one more time.

As atonement, I will also submit (OK, re-submit) ANOTHER holiday column:

Santa's Blog

Now, what the heck will I do TOMORROW morning?

Oh well, at least I've dodged it for today :-)

Chow for now!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

NYC, Philly & New Jersey Friends!

Hey, Philly/NYC/Jersey friends! If you can help out a great storefront and performance space for artists in Philadelphia with a mention on your FB page, Twitter or any new social media I haven't heard of yet - that would be awesome!

HODGEPODGE is mostly a DIY, eco conscious space at 1212 South Street, with 2/3rds of the space less visible from the front half. They are at a quiet stretch of South Street, and their space for small band/comedy/play rehearsals offers great opportunities for indie artists and up-and-comers!

In the performing/practice area, if folks keep rehearsals open for example, friends/family/retail patrons can contribute towards minimal costs. Hourly rates are $15/hour and drop to $10/hr with bulk hours and past first month. Easy monthly rate as well that also drops into second and third months. Some get credit towards free rehearsals, and can volunteer if up for it.

Singer/songwriters, perhaps improv comedy, mostly beginners workshops coming up real soon too. HODGEPODGE also want instructors, any with good knowledge that enjoy teaching!! They are more than open to suggestions for ANY workshops - heck, maybe even a business meeting? Be creative - they are :-)

Visit their Facebook Page for more info...

Thanks much!!

Video Interviews - Stage West Calgary's "Two Hit Wonders"

Here's Part Two of my cast interview with the second group of five Stage West actors appearing in the latest musical revue currently filling the house:

Scroll down to find Part One!

They will both be available on my podcast site soon as well, with links back to the Calgary Herald review, and links to their social media/websites.

Ho Ho Ho!!

Chow for now.........

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chicken Scratch - Holiday Edition

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

Howdy, hoomans!

Does it look like I'm wearing tha Santa hat??

If this wuz, KFC, Ah'd be Crispy Kringle!!


My dreams wuz dashed this year - ah had hoped ta be one a them mall Santas - but the managers thought ma chicken legs would either collapse under tha weight a modern-day kids - or ah might be a risk what with them being drumsticks an all - not even sure what THAT means...


So, I wuz hoping ta at least spread tha holiday cheers by dressin' up as Sandy Claws, and maybe hang around a few roosts with sum missle toe. Tha chicks LUUUV Santa!!


I juss need ta bust inta sum unopened Tylenol, fer tha cottin batten - I kin make mahself a beard, an with a few modifikayshuns, a dog coat could turn inta Santa's red velevet festive wear. 

One way or anuther, I WILL be spreadin' sum cheer this year - but shy lil ole me might need sum help - anyone know any elves that work fer free??

Oh yeah - also need ta loosen up - how'sa bout a lil Rum, Pa BumBum??


Mary Crispness, everyone!

And t'all, a Goodyear!!

Cluck fer now, Suckas......

Friday, December 21, 2012

Two Hit Wonders Cast Interview (Part 1)

Hot off the upload process!

Part One of my interviews with the cast of Stage West Calgary's "Two Hit Wonders" - enjoy!

Two Hit Wonders Cast Interview (Part One)

Part Two later this weekend!

Chow for now~

Huron Carole Calgary 2012

Huron Carole 
Calgary 2012

The Friday Morning "Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway" Concert Review:

The Huron Carole
Jack Singer Concert Hall
Dec 20, 2012

After years of enjoying the televised broadcasts of this seasonal concert event (and even more years of inexplicably missing it whenever it was in my area), last night we finally got to experience the live version of this worthy undertaking that host Tom Jackson has brought back to Canadian stages.

To quote the souvenir program, "The Huron Carole is a project of the Christmas & Winter Relief Association whose mandate is to support organizations doing hands-on work with the homeless and hungry in Canada". 

That Mr. Jackson has decided to re-stage this series again indicates that we may not be as far out of the recession as we continue to hear. The program opens with the statement that food bank use is on the rise in Canada. So a sold-out concert hall helped just a little bit in the mission of this benefit, and for their recipients.

The audience gathered was certainly the recipient of some of Canada's finest talent. I have been a fan of each of these artists on the stage last night, and was looking forward to seeing many of them live for the very first time.

With his genial manner and great sense of humour, Mr. Jackson set the stage to quietly open the show, and introduce Susan Aglukark. If there is a more perfect voice, please provide me with evidence. In her far-too-short performance, Ms. Aglukark sounded and appeared like she walked right out of a frame of her breakthrough "O Siem" video - released back in 1995!! A song she performed last night, by the way...

Following next was retro crooner Matt Dusk. We've had his Christmas album for years, and right out of the gate he brought "Cool Yule" out to set the tone for his holiday renditions. A little trouble with the microphone cutting in and out, but the Jack Singer is a hall that affords forgiveness - evidenced by his sing-a-long holiday classics without the faltering mic. One cool cat, Mr. Dusk...

Having heard some Sarah Slean beforehand, it was no surprise to hear her lush vocals bring Christmas standards to life. A new original selection from her latest album "Land & Sea" promptly sent me over to the merchandise table during the break. I'll be slipping those discs into the player later today...

To close the show, Tom Jackson took over for the second half, with an actor's command of the stage, and what could be some of the corniest gags you may ever hear (and laugh at anyway). Of course, if  you read my daily Tweets, then who the heck am I to be casting aspersions here?

His version of The Huron Carole remains for me the second most profound song of the season I have heard (the first most profound I wrote about here back on Dec. 16th). As he invited the rest of the performers back to close the show with a graceful A cappella version of Silent Night, it's not hard to appreciate why this event sells out.

Not so long ago, by a twist of fate we almost needed the service this concert series supports. Thrilled to say that now not only were we able to support the effort by buying tickets to the show, the two bags of groceries we brought along are recognition that hunger and homelessness doesn't take the holidays off. And that anyone can be affected.

Hey, find out more about each of these artists (and the Huron Carole event) at:

(and in order of appearance)

Incidentally, when I had the chance to visit the artists after the show, I mentioned to Tom Jackson that the last time I had seen him live, it was in Winnipeg, and I bought a cassette tape album of his. A CASSETTE TAPE!! 

I still have it, by the way.

Review & Interview


Running late, so my review of last night's amazing Huron Carole will be appearing here later than I had hoped. Later this morning!

On the plus side, I should also have Part One of my cast interview for Two Hit Wonders ready to load as well - so it's going to be a 2-for-1 post when all that gets online this morning!

Check back later!!

Chow - for now!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joy To The World

Hey, what does Christmas have against MALE names??

Joy, Holly, Merry....

I call SEXISM!!!

Also, I call B 12 - do we have a Bingo??

Chow for now...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Always Drilling In Alberta

Sure, there's lots of oil activity going on around here at any given time - but this afternoon's drilling is going to affect a couple of cavities in my own teeth!

If they strike oil, I will be golden this particular holiday season.

On the other hand, if I ask to hold off on paying for the service, and the Mayan apocalypse arrives on schedule Friday, I will also be ahead of the game!

Uhh...sort of......

Be careful out there people!

Chow for now...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

North Pole Property For Sale!!

Here's your chance to own a part of the holiday season, year round, in my latest national column in REMONLINE.COM:

North Pole Feature Sheet


Chow for now....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hone For The Holidays

What do I need to hone this holiday season?

My Spidey senses?

My juggling skills?

My Latin translation of Jersey Shore??

I'm sure there must be something I do that needs honing - I'll have to put some thought to it...

Chow for now!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Thoughts Relevant Right Now

I'm attaching a revised piece that I wrote for my weekly newspaper humour column space back in 2009. There is less humour in this piece than I normally included in my columns. With the events of the last few days, I'm thinking it has some direct relation to what has been going on in America.

Take from it what you will...

I Know It’s Christmas When…

I’ve always equated the arrival of Christmas with hearing seasonal songs, either on the radio or while walking around in department stores in September. When I was younger, there was a popular ditty about a hula hoop, courtesy of Alvin & The Chipmunks. As I got a bit older, Elvis made me look forward to a “Blue Christmas” every year. And who out there hasn’t dreamed of a “White Christmas”, with the possible exception of Canadian tourists attending December luaus in Hawaii?

Over all the years and all the Christmases, there was one song I absolutely had to hear before I conceded that the jolly old fat man really was loading up his sleigh - “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band. For decades, it has been my all-time favourite song of the holiday season, even when other artists have earnestly mangled it beyond recognition.

That would change...

I remember vividly one winter night playing games with family and friends - December 8, 1980. Whatever song had been playing on the radio that evening was suddenly interrupted – a report came in that Lennon had just been murdered outside his New York City apartment, while returning from a recording session. My favourite Christmas song would forever be far more poignant than even the original lyrics had intended. 

In the summer of 2009, I made my first-ever visit to New York. Among the many sights of that city that I stuffed into a trip far too short was an excursion I made to Central Park, to see and to walk in Strawberry Fields. At the time, it had been 29 years after Lennon’s passing, and flowers were still being placed around the mosaic stonework of “Imagine”. I thought that experience might be my singular moment to experience the impact the former Beatle had on that city. But I was surprised to find something even more compelling and unforgettable. 

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Annex NYC in Soho featured a new exhibit that had just opened earlier that year. Created by Yoko Ono, “John Lennon: The New York City Years” was an expansive compendium of their life in the city - featuring photographs, clothing, hand-written song lyrics, pianos Lennon composed the final recordings of his life on, the unmistakable eye- glasses he made famous, and even the Grammy that he had won.  

Seeing so many of these iconic items was a bit overwhelming. At the end of the exhibit, leading guests back out to the Hall Of Fame, was the most emotional part of the entire experience. A bloody paper bag containing the clothes Lennon was wearing when he was murdered outside his apartment sat behind a pane of glass. Yoko Ono has made this a graphic plea for changes to gun laws, indicating in a plague that John was “the King Of The World – he had everything any person could want, but at the end of his life, he came back to me in a paper bag”. 

Christmas time is many things, to many people. Most often, we associate it with gifts, and personal wants. John Lennon only wrote one Christmas song that I’m aware of, but so many of his other song lyrics speak to the true meaning of the season:

Imagine there’s no hunger.
Give peace a chance.”
  Happy Xmas, War Is Over

Song lyrics from assorted times of the year - pretty powerful thoughts for this season. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chicken Scratch

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

Yup - I kin reel-eight Buddy - wee're all sex objects!!


Lord knows I've had ta live with being such a chick magnet ma hole life - and that cartoon up there I found on tha inner-nets just sums up how we kin be looked at, when we got what we got.

Like Brad's Pitts, I typikally hafta wear disguises in publik, what with how tha chicks swoon over me. I'm a cluckin' homewrecker on claws!!!


So wut's tha solooshun? How does a bird settle down his god-given animul magnetsisms?? It's tha bain a ma existince!! I didn't ask ta be tha George Clooney a poultry!!


Ah, there's juss nothin' ah kin really imagine that might change how I is such a catch fer tha birds a tha barnyard. It is ma cross ta bear, an I'm juss big enough ta rekignize I hafta be prepared fer how chicks is gonna fall fer me.


To bear....



Cluck fer now...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Candy Cane Safety Tips

Although candy canes are quite delicious, they are really quite useless as actual canes. Especially if you are a normal-sized human being.

So, here are just a few tips to help you avoid embarrassment if you are planning on using one in public:

1) Tie a couple of popsicle sticks around your candy cane, to firm it up and provide more support. Leaving the plastic wrap on will ensure that you may still be able to eat it after use as a cane...

2) Try to find a really large candy cane, like the size of the ones that people place in their front lawns. Walk on your knees if you are able, to make the cane a more practical size.

3) Do NOT bite the ears off of your candy cane before...wait, no...I may be confusing candy canes with Easter bunnies there...never mind...

4 Consider purchasing candy cane extensions - while expensive they will really trick out your cane and bring it to a more acceptable length for proper usage.

Well, I'm not sure if any of that advice will work for you this holiday season, but there it is anyway.

Ho Ho Ho???

Chow for now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Foggy Mountain

Hmm....that old iPhone 3GS is getting a bit dicey with the built-in camera...

Although, to be fair, it is pretty foggy, and barely morning - but that is my view out the back door today.

I really should know more about my Canadian geography. That's the Canadian Rockies, but each of those peaks probably has a name. Pine Mound? Rocks Pokin'?? Bosom of The Range??

I promise to look them up on The Googler later....

Off to breakfast - probably featuring some resident forest dweller?? Do they have pigs in the mountains?? Guess I'll soon find out....


Chow for now...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's That Time Of The Year Again!

Hello Folks!

Yes, it's me again - the Christmas Feather Wreath!

Feels like it's been forever since I've had a chance to hang around the Such Is Life household, but I'm finally back up, dusted off, and glowing like a feathery ring of seasonal goodness!!

I know there's been controversy in the past, as I am both an acquired taste, and an expensive one. And I also shed like a summer dandelion when I'm moulting...

That said I do bring such a smile to the face of Mrs. That Dan Guy - she sure does love me!!


As for Mr. That Dan Guy - I could stand to do without:

* His extended blasts from the blow dryer when no one is around,

* The slide show of plucked birds he leaves on replay,

* His ad on Kijiji for feather replacement therapy for balding birds...

My job is simply to stay on this door and look majestic. That's what I'm going to do until the time comes to pack me away for another year!

Despite an occasional hostile attempt on my life.....

Ho Ho Feathery Ho!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree...

Centuries ago, the first artificial Christmas tree was erected, and now all these years later we still celebrate this holiday season by putting up an artificial Christmas tree.

Our last artificial Christmas trees have had built-in lights! I forget what you call those coloured filaments that change colours as they softly alternate on and off, on and off - but they look just like what the wise men must have seen back in the day! 

In a fit of ironic rebellion, we have put real pine cones on our artificial tree, just to shake things up. It doesn't take away much from the authenticity, what with the artificial tinsel, artificial decorations, and artificial star on top.

Well, not so much a star as a plastic figurine of Justin Bieber WEARING a star - pretty appropriate all things considered...

Deck the halls!!

Chow for now... 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Mouth Guard

After a week of attempting to numb a howling tooth, I got in to see a new dentist yesterday. Turns out after a battery of X-rays and observations, the thought is I have another sinus flare-up. Second one in about as many months.

So, another round of antibiotics, and another round of visits with my Neti-Pot, an invention for which I would kiss on the lips whoever devised such a godsend device. I never thought I would look forward to filling in for my bathroom faucet, but it truly feels marvelous!!

However, I did not get off altogether scot-free. I have some cracked fillings, a cavity under a crown, and gums that "resemble reef coral"...

Another day - what they did also discover was that I have been grinding my teeth down in my sleep, probably with worry over America's looming Fiscal Cliff.

The solution was being fitted for a night guard, which isn't as much about my personal security as it is about keeping my top teeth separated from my bottom teeth. Unlike the over-the-counter mouth guards you can buy in any pharmacy, dentists don't see any lucrative insurance money there, so they had to fit me for a personalized appliance. I have to admit, once the the resin fumes receded, it felt pretty comforting. It only covers my two buck teeth, so the next time time I sleep through an alarm and rush out the door, I'll look like a beaver in that morning's office meeting.

However, if I can continue to keep these yellowed chompers a little longer, it should all be worth it.

Chow for now!!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Chicken Scratch

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


A hammock - cool!!


Not very comfortable - mebbe I needs ta put sumthin' soft down first?

(Like, FEATHERS???)


Who said that??

Wut tha cluck - who's tha wise guy??


(I know where you can find a top-of-the-line feather wreath...)

Why am ah hearin' voices??

Did I bang my head against concrete agin??

Show yerself, varmint!!


Ah needs anuther coffee...

Cluck fer now!!

Friday, December 07, 2012

NHL Hockey - Time To Move On?

Call me crazy - you'll be inclined to after I run this consideration past you!

With the NHL discussions looking more and more like an armed holdup where no one is willing to acknowledge the situation, maybe it's time the players wash their hands of the NHL altogether, and join together to start a new, Bettman-free league. A league that plays games in admittedly smaller arenas, but provides infinitely more value for fans in those smaller venues.

You could have more Canadian teams, or at least more games in Canadian communities, versus franchises in hockey towns like Salt Lake City, or Deadwood. Where even the sounds of skates and pucks are drowned out by the scraping of walkers along pavement...

Sure, there would be a lot of empty arenas that billionaire owners would have to re-purpose for things like weekly Monster Truck rallies, chamber orchestra concerts, and flu shot clinics - but after a while of carrying the costs without NHL hockey money, the owners might be persuaded to rent the facilities back to the new league, on the player-owned group's terms.

The winners here I think would be the fans, especially in cities with good arenas, but off the radar of the empire building NHL. How fun would it be to see a Leafs/Canadiens game in Brandon Manitoba?? Win Win!

Sure, even the players would have to sacrifice some inflated salaries, but they're playing for the love of the game, right? And, they would never be held hostage again, as the players themselves would own the league, AND determine where the market actually is. Instead of carrying money-losing franchises in exotic locations like Biloxi, or Costa Rica.

So, give that a thought NHL hockey players - disband the league, leave the owners hanging out to dry, and start up a new league - maybe the New Hockey League, which could maybe get away with using the old logo, and save some start-up money by not having to create new logos.

Give it a thought. At least we'd all get hockey again....

Chow for now...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Where Does The Time G0??

Anyone seen my watch??

Goldarn it - where did the stupid thing get off to....

Clearly, I need to keep a better track of my time.


Chow for now!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Running Behind

Running behind pretty much anyone with sneakers on - I was NOT built for speed...

And running behind as I need to get into work early today - so fare thee well, Readers!

Chow for now...

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Nag Nag Nag...

You know, even if you are an old horse, that seems like SUCH a nasty term to describe you.

Old Horse. Spent Horse. Future Glue - all of those would seem to be far more appealing than "nag".

Unless, of course, you are a nagging nag. Then maybe that's where the term is deemed appropriate.

Chow for now...

- Posted using BlogPress - too lazy to start my laptop...

Monday, December 03, 2012

I'm Dreaming Of A Wide Crispness

I'm not even sure what that means. Is it a really big, well-done turkey? Is it some sort of granola bar??

I really don't know. Could be I'm thinking of doing some tanning - that would be really wide.

Clearly, I need to start putting more thought to these morning writing exercises.

Maybe a wide, crisp thought??

Chow for now....

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Turtles Turtles Rah Rah Rah

Tis the season for sugar-free Turtles - a tasty candy delight oddly unavailable throughout the rest of the year. I look forward to stocking my shelves and/or decking my halls with these chocolatey clusters of goodness.

It would be cool if they could have little spectacles and a top hat like the cartoon mascot. You could chew those off first, like the ears off of an Easter bunny!

Rah Rah Rah!!

Chow for now.... 

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Chicken Scratch

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


Hey man.....

Ah think ah may have mzzzd up ma medycashuns....


How many fingers is I supposed ta have anyway??




Mebbe tha mushrooms on ma peeza were wonky??

Ma snout is stickin' waaaaay out - git back here, you!!!!

oh ma gawd - who blew up a rainbow in here???


Izz that a chair, or a rhinoceros? Either way, the cluckin' thing needs ta juss stop WOBBLING!!!!


No yellin', OK?? 

Nice n easy everyone...nice n easy....


Wuuut?? I got wings?? Coooool...................

Prepare fer take-off!! FLAP!!! FLAP MAN!!!!

Cluck me..........

I need ta lies down.


Already am??

Oh boy....

If ya knead me, I'll juss be lying here then - lookin' at tha pretty butterflies....

Cluck. Fer now.....


Friday, November 30, 2012

Candle In The Wind

A candle in the wind will get blown out - Confused

I do love me a practical quote.....

Chow for now!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oh Oh Oh It's Magic?

I put plain, ordinary, everyday slices of bread into my toaster, and it becomes toast.


What sort of sorcery is this??

What magic transpires within this device??

Are the breads transported to another dimension, and replaced with these toasts??

What's that?

Heating coils?? Cooks the bread?

No magic then??

Well, there you have it - yet another piece of wizardry exposed. Kids, stay in school.....

Chow for now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Booing Bieber

I'm behind the curve on this, but it was interesting to hear that the Grey Cup crowds booed both Justin Bieber AND Carly Rae Jettison...sorry....Jepson(??) during their halftime show performances .

Even worse/more disturbing was a trending topic asking "Who the F is Gordon Lightfoot"??!!

As a younger listener at one time myself, I may not have gotten into everything that my parents listened to (right away), but at least I respected what came before.

I think you know where I'm going with this - we need to euthanize everyone under 25...

KIDDING!!  Just under 20 maybe...

The funny thing is, these meatheads will be listening to music one day they will think is so friggin' amazing, and it will likely be the very artists they boo-birded back when they knew it all. Ahh, to be fully formed and cool again...


The Coot

Chow for now...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

There's An Elephant In The Room!

Sorry, false alarm.

Turned on the light, it was our armoire - honest mistake!!

Chow for now.....

Monday, November 26, 2012

It Ain't The Heat, It's The Humidity...

I just wanted to type that phrase out in a Canadian winter, for shiggles. There is no heat whatsoever here right now, and the only humidity is snow on the ground.

Winter has set in for the long run, although a Chinook or two might bring some relief over the next few months. Otherwise, she be cold. And it will get colder. With more snow.

Why haven't we moved to Hawaii yet????

Oh yeah - broke-ass........

Well, throw another log in the fire Martha - there's a few months to go before we see grass again!!


Chow for now!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chicken Scratch

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

Ah give up.....

My radio station is playing "all Christmas moozic, all tha time". Every store has more Christmas sales
than anythin' else, and even ma bagel store has a Santa. IT'S ALL WRONG!!!


So, ah'm throwin' in tha cluckin' towel - ah put ma dekkorayshuns up, and a've got ms Christmas nuts in view. Ho Ho Ho....

Soon enuff, we'll be doin' this in August....


Hey, anybody know where ya kin sell a couple a used reindeer? I...I...uhh, I'm askin' fer a friend...

Cluck fer now....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Calgary Folk Club Review: BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet

Calgary Folk Club
11 23 12
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
with Rob Heath

The Saturday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review:

Calgary Folk Club
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
Rob Heath

Of all the shows to have to leave early.......


I was tweeting before the show at the Calgary Folk Club last night that when my wife and I had gone to New Orleans, the one thing we regretted was not getting to see any authentic Louisiana zydeco music. Sure, we saw lots of Bourbon Street Journey cover bands - more than I think there are per capita anywhere else in North America. But for that tasty, zesty fiddle-driven sound made famous in and around New Orleans, we did not get to satisfy that craving.

Last night, with Grammy award winners and legendary Cajun/Creole traditionalists BeauSoleil - we got that and much more, in spades.

First off, Edmontonian Rob Heath (a new act to me) warmed up the larger than normal crowd with an intimate set of songs that led to a lineup at the CD sales table afterward he got off the stage. With a voice and original songs that sounded at times like a blend between easy-going Texan Lyle Lovett and a Canadian East Coast storyteller, his half hour was over all too soon. A song  in tribute to the late Christopher Reeve from his upcoming new album had to be the standout, similar in sentiment to Hal Ketchum's "Hang In There Superman", but in a more tender, gentle vein.

"What Jenny Draws" and "When Big Boys Cry" were prime examples of what is exactly right in any style of music, let alone folk. 

Find out more about Rob on his website

Right. BeauSoleil then...

From opener "Bon Temps Roule" straight up until we had to leave during their second set, it was apparent right from the start why these folks have enjoyed such a lengthy career, as well as gathered awards as plentiful as apples in an Okanagan orchard. Just look at Michael Doucet's face in some of those pictures above, and tell me that he could be doing anything other than sharing his gift with audiences around the world. 

While I tended to consider the style zydeco, it is much more. Navigating around Cajun, Creole and just plain straight-up folk this tight band of professionals captivated the crowd, and got even a few stodgy Canadians out of their seats. Took a while, and some verbal cajoling, but the sidelines filled towards the end of the night with two-steppers. Like a Cajun Cowboys...
There are often surprising similarities in their sounds to East Coast fiddle music, and even what might have been considered Old Time music - traditional country music. But the spice of those unmistakeable Louisiana sounds takes over, and you are right outside the swamps and bayous, keeping an eye out for alligators.

BeauSoleil took us right back to Louisiana - and checked off the live zydeco experience from our bucket list. You'll have to forgive us if you see us standing in line again, with those buckets.

Every second of every day, there is music everywhere. You just have to listen for it. In the case of BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, it's just so much more exquisite...

Visit their website, and get your Cajun on!

Check out upcoming shows at Calgary Folk Club

Chow for now!   

Friday, November 23, 2012

Onion For Sale - Cheap!

One Unused Onion For Sale, Cheap.

* Intended for visiting family, but was forgotten.

* A little harder than when it was new, and perhaps smellier than even before. Would like to save on cost of free e-Bay ad, or the Kijijiggler. No need for "to a good home", just any home other than ours.

* Best offer, must be willing to pick it up off curb outside condo complex. Coyotes known to be in area, so hurry.

* Makes a great Xmas gift???

* Contact for info, and offers.

Chow for now!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Two Hit Wonders Review - Calgary Herald

My "official" review is now live online:

Check it out!

If you're in the Calgary area, make sure to pick up a physical copy of the newspaper - a little ink on your fingers isn't such a bad thing!

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Calgary Folk Club This Weekend!

Getting prepared for a taste of Louisiana at this weekend's Calgary Folk Club presentation.

Mrs. That Dan Guy and I were in the audience several years ago when Mary Chapin Carpenter either was nominated for, or won a Grammy for her hit "Down At The Twist & Shout" - which featured the act we will be seeing at the Club.

Also remembering fond memories of NOLA re-reading some blog posts from our visit:

New Orleans

I've got a diabetes event early Saturday morning, but I still intend on getting my review of the show up before that.

Love It Live!!

Chow for now....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If There Are Flying Fish...

...are there Swimming Birds?

Never mind - I think ducks kinda fit THAT bill.

And they have bills!

(This was a stretch today...)

Chow for now!

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Reviews Are Spiking - Without A Volleyball!

Opening up Blogger this morning I noticed that my stats had spiked over the last few days.

Clicking on Analytics, I discovered that my latest blog review (Stage West Calgary's "Two Hit Wonders") had a boatload of views.

Earlier, my review of The Calgary Folk Club had the same effect. So clearly, I need to do more reviews :-)

And in the midst of all these entertainment writings stands a chicken. A rubber chicken. Charlie with his weekend posts continues to be one of my most popular views here. Fetish??

No accounting for taste! Maybe I need to try coaxing him to do a "Real Housewives Of The Barnyard"??

Gotta run. Tinkering continues back over at my original online presence, now being restored. Visit

my website to see what I have going on over there!

Chow for now!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Two Hit Wonders" Review

"Two Hit Wonders"
Stage West Calgary

The Saturday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review:

"Two Hit Wonders"

Stage West Calgary

(apologies to Michelle Bouey for my photography fail above...she is in there!)


If you are a fan of music, be it from the 1950's, through to rather current hits, this show features the absolute tightest, strongest cast I've ever seen in a Stage West Calgary musical.

In earlier reviews, I've singled out Aaron Walpole for almost stealing the show during "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story". Since then, he's gone on to the Toronto in "Rock Of Ages", and is fresh from Broadway's revival of "Jesus Christ Superstar".

I remember commenting in my "All Shook Up" review that Daniel Greenburg was a standout, and he was terrific again in last night's performance.

Finally, I was Tweeting up Lee Siegel a week before opening night for "Two Hit Wonders" based on his past performances here, and if you were in the theatre last night, you would have seen why. Another alumnus of the recent "Jesus Christ Superstar" along with powerhouse belter Katrina Reynolds - just there alone this cast of ten is in enviable company.

That said, this show was like some kind of competition to see who could outdo the other. Every single performance was as good or better than the one before it, and turning my wee booklight on and off to scribble down notes, I was doing it so often it was like a strobe. I'll reserve some of those thoughts for my "official" review coming soon for The Calgary Herald.

For those that hit this review first after Googling for feedback - here's mine: 

Set: Subdued, but perfect for the use. Looked great even before the show started.

Music: Crackerjack. With the band onstage for added impact, these are some of the finest musicians, and even on opening night they never overpowered the singers. Not hard to envision when musical director Konrad Pluta has a hand in the goings-on... 

Costumes: Well done. Added very much to the experience.

Hey, back to the cast of ten - each and every one had ample opportunity to showcase their talents, and there was no opportunity squandered. I truly cannot downplay here that every single one of these performers rose to the challenges of each song they had a solo for. New-to-me actors Elena Juatco and Chris Sams may have just stood out a little more, but I would have to name every member of the cast if I were being interrogated by husky wiseguys trying to pry from me who the star of the show was.

Wrapping up, co-creators Howard Pechet and (also director/choreographer) Timothy French nailed this one. I know that I keep saying that "this is the best musical you will ever see at Stage West Calgary".

For my money, this one really, really is...

I'll post a link when my "official" Calgary Herald review is online, and keep your eyes open as well for my upcoming interview with this "cast to keep your eyes on"!

Chow for now!   

Friday, November 16, 2012

I.P. Knightly

Igor Periscope Knightly had no idea growing up in the early 1800's that one day his name would be misappropriated for a schoolyard gag. I.P. Nightly was a joke I heard as a kid, and recently heard again.

I wonder if Ingrid Wetta Dahbed ever had anything similar happen???

Chow for now!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And How Do You Prefer Your Squirrel, Sir?

You know you're in a really nice restaurant when the waiter asks your preferences!

For the record, I'm a fan of BBQ, but I also go for stew on occasion.

Chow for now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good Night John-Boy...

Back when I still had my weekly humour column in the newspaper, one of the notes I never got to flesh out was a bit about the creators of The Waltons trying to pitch that heart-warming show in modern times.

I kind-of imagined it going a little bit like this:

Creative: It's a tale of struggle and family, set in times when ethics and decency were everything.

16-Year Old Network Executive: So, this family, they all live in the same house, and try to get along? Like "Big Brother", but they're related??

Creative: Uhh, no - it's more like generations of a family going through hard times, and finding strength in admirable qualities, as well as each other's support.

16-Year Old Network Executive: So, there are challenges? Immunity challenges?? Can we vote some of them out of the house??

Creative: Why would you want to do that?? It will inspire everyone that watches to be better people, and know that the best decision is based on strong moral principles.

16-Year Old Network Executive: Tell me about the female stars. They're all hot, right? Tell me they're hot!

Creative: Well, I suppose they could be attractive, but that would really have no bearing on our storylines...

16-Year Old Network Executive: Like, "give her the rose" attractive, or "cougar" attractive? Oh - and do any of these people sing? Can viewers vote for them??

Creative: Maybe they sing around the fireplace at night after supper, I don't know - and why would viewers vote for them??

16-Year Old Network Executive: Details, not to worry, we can hammer all this out, like, after. How do you feel about Donald Trump playing Grandpa Walton? Did you mention someone called John-Boy - he's a Bachelor, right? A millionaire bachelor??

Creative: Can I speak to your parents..............

Call me crazy, but that's how I imagine it might go.....

Chow for now!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'd Love Some Feedback - or...It's Ba-ack!

Well after a prolonged absence, my original main online presence is back up and running.

With at least two web-hosts going broke on me, and two or more transfers to competing providers, I have held onto my domain name long enough to relaunch it.

Thus, with tremendous fanfare (a hyperlink, really...), I am pleased to re-introduce you to:

I'd appreciate it if you shared some thoughts on the revamped site. I still have to add more content and links, but there is at least a direction I appear to be pursuing that you can choose to comment on. Plus you'll have fun playing Hide N Seek trying to find my Contact Me link...

There you have it folks!

It's not a new Justin Bieber download, but it is free!

Chow for now!

Monday, November 12, 2012

One Onion

We have bought an onion. Perhaps the first-ever onion to penetrate the shields installed in the Such Is Life household. It is a monumental thing, to say the least...

We have bought this single, solitary onion in anticipation of a family member arriving later this week, who might care for an onion - perhaps after dinner, or while relaxing in our guest bedroom late at night.

Frankly, we have no idea what to do with an onion. Niether of us care for them, so we have no idea - do you bake them? Do you fry them??

Does one bob for onions???

It is sitting outside in the garage for now. We didn't want to contaminate our own food supply - I mean come on, what did apples ever do to deserve rooming with an onion??

Even out there, the pungent aroma is seeping into my motor oil and windshield washer fluid. Better to replace those items than have to buy a new refrigerator, I reckon...

Well, I had better peel away from this post, and go Googler "Onions" to see what we might be expected to do with this thing. I've heard they make people cry when they are being cut. It's certainly made us a little unhappy just knowing it's out there in the cold garage, but we are trying to be the bigger people here.

We want to be know as gracious hosts, after all :-)

Chow for now!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bonus Post - My Remembrance Day Column...

My apologies if you've already come across this in my two Twitter feeds - but this is my latest REM column:

Carry on....

Chow for now!

Chicken Scratch

(posted by a horrified weekend guest blogger, Charlie Chicken...)




As ya kin cleerly see, a fellow chicken has bin shredded ta bits by a VISHISS predator!!

That poor feller's lil chicken feathers has been chewed inta feather pillow parts, an his leg looks like it tried as hard az it kood ta defend hisself - WHAT A FATE TA SUFFER!!!


Wut is that ammimal in tha top picktur - a rabid bear??

A starvin' dingo????

A CLUCKIN' M-U-R-D-E-R-E-R!!!!!!!!!


I hasta compose ma self. 

Charlie out.

Cluck fer now....

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Calgary Folk Club 11 09 12

The Saturday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review:

The Calgary Folk Club


Allen & Alexander
The Heebee-Jeebees

And once again, another terrific night of entertainment at Calgary's enduring suburban folk club. I was introduced to a couple of acts I hadn't seen before, and had a chance to revisit the Heebee-jeebees, a perennial crowd favourite wherever they play.

First up, new-to-me singer songwriter Jordan Ostrom, or her stage name Sykamore. By about the third song into her set (original "Lilacs") and the wrenching  "I Can Make You Happy", it became abundantly clear that the music biz is gonna be just fine with talent like that starting to make their way onto the landscape. Sounding like a softer-voiced Adele at times, her ability to alternate breathy notes along with strong warbles (I know - I was at a loss for descriptions - but it is a compliment...) was a pleasure to listen to.

Plus with her wry, sly sense of humour best demonstrated by a love song to a pirate ex-boyfriend, she could seque into a stand-up or creative writing career if this music thing doesn't work out. 

Find out more about Sykamore on her website.

Following Jordan was the pairing of Thelma &, sorry - Allen & Alexander - a pair of firebrands that bring a blend of solo careers into an onstage partnership that follows a country-tinged route diverting into some authentic Americana sounds.

Maybe that should be Albertana??

Acoustic guitars, a washboard, harmonica - pretty traditional stuff with rootsy (occasionally bluesy) end results. Kind of like the Dirt Band when they were still Nitty Gritty. 

This duo is made up of Jenny Allen & Leslie Alexander, a pair whose musical collaboration makes for great banter on stage, and lush harmonies on songs that they have definitely connected with, and in turn sell confidently to the audience.   

Please visit their website and give a listen to discover for yourself what they are up to...

Wrapping things up last night, the ever-popular Alberta A Capella Rat Pack - The Heebee-jeebees. Mashing up originals with a wide variety of songs from an even wider variety of eras, then basting each selection liberally with relentless comedy gets the crowd right in the palm of this group's hand every time. 

Fun is certainly the name of the game with these four gentleman, but without a doubt the skills are there in every song they have in their repertoire. Their originals often outshine the songs they cover - or apprehend to their endgame. Like a new Star Wars Theme, with a timely addition of Disney's "When You Wish Upon A Star" mashed into the intro...

They surprised me with the hilarious "I Lobster But Never Flounder", which was amazingly close to an exchange between myself and a couple of pals on Facebook - now I have to get copies of THAT song...

A person could do that right here...

Well-suited voices to blend, an informed eye for songs to shift over to the Lampoon column - and a bass singer that could make a bullfrog sound like a castrata - what's not to love?? 

At every Calgary Folk Club show I've ever attended, there has always been at least one "magic moment" in the evening. Last night's was without a doubt The Heebee-jeebees rendition of "Stand By Me". 

That right there folks, is why  this club is worth finding...

Chow for now!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Calgary Folk Club!

Neither rain nor sleet nor ridiculous prairie winter snowstorm will keep us away!

Alberta night - we get to see the HeeBee JeeBees again, plus get introduced to a couple of new acts.

Review here tomorrow!

Chow for now...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Road Trip Of Snow

Well, my hastily planned trip to Edmonton for my day job has turned out to be a reminder of why road trips are never a good idea in Canadian winters...

While we initially left Calgary to enjoy clear roads all the way to the outskirts of Edmonton, we ran into Old Man Winter having a snow hemorrhage all upside the entire city. It took my colleague and I almost as long to get to our destination IN Edmonton, as it did to drive there.

Today, we have sessions planned, but after talking to Mrs. That Dan Guy back home, she mentioned that there is a similar winter storm expected to hit Calgary today.

For someone hemorrhaging what would seem to be honkin' amounts of snow, Ole Man Winter sure does seem to get around...

So, crossing my fingers that we pull the pin on this adventure early, and head back to civilization...uhh..I mean home - as soon as possible.

Good grief.

Chow for now!

- Posted using BlogPress - too lazy to start my laptop...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Busy For Diabetes Awareness Month...

I am hopping like a frog on steroids these days, as we are in the midst of Diabetes Awareness Month.

I've attended events this past weekend, sat with a new volunteer yesterday at a display, and there are a number of annual events still ahead.

As far as my official role, I'm about to attend two days of planning.

In between all of this, I hear the U.S. is about to hold an election, and I still have to discard what looks like a mummified pumpkin from our porch.

Next thing you know, winter will be here.

Run Forest, run!!

Chow for now...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Running Behind...

Even though I had just planned on commenting about how far behind I am running this morning, I have to admit - it is a very appropriate statement, my chosen title.

My behind IS running - like a crazy person...

Chow for now!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Run On Almond Milk??

Hey Canada - what's up with the stockpiling of almond milk?

Since we've switched away from traditional diary milk after getting introduced to the almond version, we are noticing that while the shelves are often full full full of dairy milk, the almond variety has been sold out in every store we visit.

Are people getting nervous (especially here in Canada) after so many problems with cows and tainted products? I have to say, the almond milk is really great, and much better for me as a "person with diabetes".

It's an interesting trend. We had to go to FOUR different grocers before we finally found some last week. We are now hopped up on almond milk, and curious to know why it is selling out everywhere???



Chow for now!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Sunday Morning Coming Down...

Man, an extra hour of sleep sure improves a person's disposition! I feel like a new man! I feel like I could leap over tall buildings with a single bound!!

I think I should just have my second cup of coffee, and see how things go...

I am off again today for the wrap-up of the two-day 50+ Living Show here in Calgary. My day job (Canadian Diabetes Association) has a display there, and it's been great talking to people about their connection to the disease, and the organization. Yesterday I met people affected by diabetes personally, or in their circle of family and friends. I met an active volunteer who will be helping out at our own upcoming Fall Forum. And, I met a canvasser, who is out in the community this weekend himself, helping raise funds and awareness.

It is Diabetes Awareness Month, after all. With an extra hour's sleep to put a little extra pep in my step...

Chow for now!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Chicken Scratch

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

"Hello, Ammimal Services?? Ah'd like ta report some ammimal croolty! There's a chicken out there about to be fed - to a dog!!"


Lookit tha feer in his eyes!!

Wut sort uv twisted sole could even CONSIDER feeding a live berd ta a wild ammimal??


Hey, Ammimal Services put me on hold, but ah think after checkin' that pikture I sent them, they disconnected me!



Ah hope tha dog gits his tongue poked by a beak...

Wut's tha number ta PEETA???


Cluck fer now...

Friday, November 02, 2012

Celebrating Canada - The National Music Centre

Wow. Just wow. As a matter of fact, that's all I could think of to write in the guest register on our way out the door last night...

I took advantage of First Thursday to partake in a free public tour of the National Music Centre, offering an opportunity to view the instruments that the Centre currently has on display in this temporary, transitional space in downtown Calgary. The group of us that had gathered inside before the guided tour were told that the crowd was one of the largest to date, and I can only imagine them growing in the future. This is one amazing facility if you are a fan of the music industry, Canada or otherwise...

I didn't think to bring along a good camera, so my rickety old iPhone 3GS left much to be desired in that aspect - however in the few pics above we've got a shot of our genial and knowledgable host Nathan demonstrating a Hurdy-Gurdy, as well as a less-than-stellar picture of a white piano that once belonged to Elton John. Along with an arm... I may be missing my calling as a high-end magazine photographer.

Moving down my lineup of shots, there's a microphone from one of the first public radio stations in Canada (still on the air here in Calgary), a Garnet amp from hometown hero Randy Bachman, and one snippet of a display piece from the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame from Mr. Hank Snow - a Canuck superstar who ended up based out of Nashville, and who once persuaded the Grand Ole Opry to let an unknown youngster open up for his own shows there.

An unknown youngster by the name of Elvis Presley!!  

This facility is worth a visit by itself, but it is part of a grander plan, the eventual relocation to what will house (among many other features) The Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the aforementioned Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame, and (I believe) five stories of Canadian music history. That's the tip of the iceberg though. Performing space, mobile recording studio - and so much more.

Check out the plans here, and for Pete's sake, follow them on Twitter, or subscribe to their blog. Donate! Be a part of this amazing endeavour:

Canada's National Music Centre 

On the way out the door, we also had chance to peek at the performing space currently being utilized, which also houses what I suspect are conceptual displays for the new building.

To quote some classic Guess Who lyrics - "quivers down my backbone".


Chow for now!