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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Up Side Of Technology

Calgary Foundation - Community Knowledge Centre
Martha Cohen Theatre 2012

Pictured: CBC Radio "Calgary Eye Opener" host David Gray

I have no defense when it comes to Mrs. That Dan Guy rolling her eyes back in her head when it comes to technology, and my immediate desire to get my hands on the latest and greatest device. I am almost always keen to get my grubby paws on the latest and greatest gadget.

However, here's where that is now about to pay off for me. And it's also how my writing life and new day job with the Canadian Diabetes Association, a non-profit, are converging to convince me I've been on the right (or "write") track all along!

Launching an incredible new initiative based on a beta test program in Toronto, The Calgary Foundation brought in 4 remarkable speakers to talk to a new resource for non-profits, linking them creatively with philanthropists, media and their ultimate consumers. All around the power of "story" - that link between the head and the heart that engages the intended audience.

David Gray from CBC in particular was illuminating, and sparked today's blog for me, as I may not have even been aware that by staying on top of my craft, I am now prepared to reap the benefits of being ready to embrace this new reality. By his estimate, most media will be accessed by smart-phones by 2015 - three years from now! And video, which I am now converting to will be the anchor, replacing (for the most part) traditional TV and traditional newspapers.

I'm not even doing his presentation any sort of justice, but the overall impact of his topic along with the other three speakers made for a powerful reminder that the times they are a changin' - and if anyone wants to be there when the dusts settles, they had better be prepared.

Honey - I need a new gadget!!

Chow for now...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Did Somebody Step On A Duck?

There's some feathers on the road outside - I don't really want to look too close....

Chow for now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Caramba!

Eye Caramba??

I'll be honest, my Spanish is a little rusty - one of those guesses has to be right, though?

What other way could there be of spelling i-Caramba??

Heh Heh Heh...never thought about Steve Jobs' versions until just a moment ago - it's an Apple exclamation!

Chow for now...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Help! I can't find my computer!!

Oh. Wait a minute - this is like when your eyeglasses are on the top of your head, and you think they might be elsewhere.

Obviously, the typing confirms that the computer is just like those aforementioned eyeglasses - it was on the top of my head all along!

Carry on!

Chow for now....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Alive (or just live...)

My interview with humorist and playwright Chris McKerracher!


2 For 1

Check back later today - I intend (come Hades or high water) to have my latest podcast loaded and ready to be listened to.

Facebook apparently has an app that will allow listeners that have problems for the podcast site to access it as well. If only I could access it first...

Technology - if it doesn't kill you, it sure takes a substantial piece out of you...

Check back later today!

Chow (for now)...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chicken Scratch

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

Howdy hoomans!

In case ya missed tha SNL seesuned finale reesently, I'm postin' ma brief cameo above.

Me an sum clown that couldn't get his one line right - an it wuz a still photo!!


Az fer Mister Will Ferrell - watch yer yer hands!

You know wut I'm talkin' about...


Cluck fer now.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Vehicles: Repair Them, Or Shoot Them?

Bringing my car in for some rather extensive work this morning. I expected just a simple fix when I brought it in last week, but discovered that my luck with vehicles wasn't about to bring about a simple solution.

Now, I have several hours of work being done, and another repair shop owner out searching for a new boat or trailer to use while out camping this summer.

The only camping WE'LL be able to do will be waiting by the toaster in the mornings, as we await the single piece of moldy bread we'll be sharing until we recoup from a mortal blow to our bank account.

Not that I begrudge these trained experts. I just wish they could learn not to do a jig while I'm still there recovering from the bad news...

Chow for now!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Plantar Fasciitis

After trying for some time to ignore a nagging pain in my heel, I went to a podiatrist the other day. And that's where I learned that I'm suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.

Which turns out NOT to be a giant foot wart, NOR a brand of commercially sold peanuts.

It's a painful condition that affects a muscle or ligament or some other such internal organism that no longer works like it used to. I worried before learning this that my heel bone had hollowed out, or that I has somehow massively bruised my heel. Neither of those scenarios were true.

Plantar Fasciitis is actually one of the most common foot problems that doctors diagnose, which makes me wonder why they didn't all get together decades ago and come up with a more impressive name for the condition. Like, Lock-Heel. Or Achilles Underfoot. Hoof-Hurt??

At any rate, lame name or not, I am now trying some preliminary treatment which includes Mrs. That Dan Guy massaging my feet before I get out of bed in the morning. She has yet to embrace peeling my grapes, but I'll keep working on that...

Chow for now!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Tribute To Spam(mers)

Here's an older column of mine, retooled for my monthly real estate column, live online right now.

But still generic enough for any audience, if you've ever received a spam email from online half-wit criminals trying to pry money from your hands:


Chow for now!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Technology - And Why Does It Hate Me So?

Still can't get my printer reconnected to my Mac. I have no idea why this superior electronic device won't allow such a simple operation. I could understand if it was my Vista PC - but not my Mac!

I am beginning to understand why ancient civilizations were so leery of technology.

They must have known personal computers were ultimately just over the horizon of their flat, unsophisticated world.

Ah, to be part of that wonderful era!!

Chow for now.

Monday, May 21, 2012



Today is a holiday - although I still have a crapload of writing tasks to try and wrap around, including but not even remotely limited to:

* trying to get my goddam printer reconnected to my laptop without having my brain explode all over the walls in the process...

* trying to get my main website finally back up and running, without having my brain explode all over the  walls in the process...

* trying to get through my stacks of newspapers that I am so far behind on that I am now at risk of becoming a feature on "Extreme Hoarders".

* Pitching - I've got more pitching to do than a Blue Jays mound jockey trying to preserve a one run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning...

* Reading - in addition to my newspapers, of which there may be more here in the house right now than there are grains of salt in my cupboard - I have a raft of reading to get through - one of which will be necessary to get a review and interview done for.

* World Peace. Hey, you think beauty pageant contenders are the only people concerned about solutions to bring about world peace??

So there you have it - the tip of my obligations iceberg.

Perhaps a nap to mull this all over....

Chow for now!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunny Day. Sunny, Sunny Day...

That's all I've got, really.

It is sunny and lovely outside today.

And, as everyone knows, the sun is not actually a giant LED light created by GE - it is a fiery ball of skin-crispening radiation that will eventually consume the Earth and most of our galaxy in a fiery inferno of armageddon.

Before that happens though, I might take a walk...

Chow for now!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chicken Scratch

(Posted by weekend sun worshipper Charlie "Tan-O-Matic" Chicken...)

Who took this piktchur?? What sorta clown can't focus a camera nowadays? Call Trump - that jackasss needs ta be fired!!!


Yessir, ole Chuck here, tryin' ta lay down a pre-tan! Summer's comin' , an I mean ta be glisteny fer tha chicks!


Course, I can't eggsackly afford a real tannin' studio, so I came up with a comb-promize - Banjo Boy's desk lamp. Slopped on some Crisco, and I kin literally feel tha poultry bumps bakin' !!





Sum wun call a ambalance!!

Cluck fer now.......

Friday, May 18, 2012

Those Relentless Elevens...

And the photo above, snapped during the early part of a recent episode of "Touch" is why we LOOOOVE the show. It almost always speaks to the numbers we can't seem to escape.

Thankfully it has been renewed for another season. The episode this picture was grabbed from was exceptional.

Chow for now!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Blogger Has A New Look!

Well, it may have a new look behind the scenes, but thankfully the  old look remains when you get to this point.

That screaming headline could also be referring to other bloggers though. Perhaps a prominent blogger has gotten a haircut, had some new tatts laid down, or maybe even had gender reassignment surgery. I just presumed that BLOGGER HAS A NEW LOOK referred to the actual program itself, which does look new.

Behind the scenes...

Chow for now!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012



I think I meant to say "calm"...

No need to get all rowdy with "clams" at the top of my virtual lungs. Especially if I really had intended calm.

Chow for now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

And now, the end is near...

Ahhh - do you hear that??

The birds are chirping more cheerily, the sun is shining more brightly, and the wind is whispering sweet nothings in my ears. Hey - knock it off, Wind - that's downright freaky!

Yes, after threatening to do this in the past, we are now on a 30-day countdown to switch from the crap-chute internet and cable provider we've had for what feels like decades - a company that no longer gives a rat's patootie about their customers. Or at least gives that impression by how they treat the ones they have left.

So, we are clearing off our PVR, testing the email address we'll be forwarding on to friends and family, and planning the celebrations for when we call them to pull the plug, literally.

Sometimes you just have to let go...

Chow for now!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Morning Rhyme

"Morning Has Broken, All Over The Place,
Need More Coffee, To Open Them Eyes In My Face.

Sitting Here Staring At Lame TV News,
Who Am I Kidding - Shoulda Hit "Snooze"...

Monday Mornin', Wakin' Up Is A B....,
Why Oh Why Wasn't I Born Rich???"

Thang Q.....

Chow for now.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Platters/The Inkspots

The Platters
The Inkspots
Stoney Nakoda Resort

The Sunday Morning "What-The-Heck-Were-We-Doing-In-Stoney-Nakoda" Entertainment Review:

The Platters, with The Inkspots

As these things typically happen for us, our lives intersected with a delightful event last night - as we were in the audience for a performance by The Platters (pictured above) and The Inkspots (2nd pic).

Stoney Nakoda Resort is yet another of Alberta's Stage West Hospitality properties, and the house was packed for these two legendary groups - young and old alike I should mention. At one point a young couple in their twenties were grinning ear to ear after meeting members of one of the bands, and I noticed a CD in one of their hands. Both of these groups had their biggest successes back in the FORTIES(!) and 1950's - but so many of each of their catalogues continue to get airplay and are often rerecorded by contemporary artists. Enduring music acts to say the least!

Of course, if any of the original members were or are still alive, they'd be in their mid-hundreds - so both of these groups are composed of newer singers committed to keeping the sounds of these artists alive - and as I mentioned earlier - to an entirely appreciative audience. 

The Inkspots for example - lush vocals, wonderful audience interaction, and without a doubt true to the spirit of the original act. I can't say whether or not they were one of the first recording acts to have spoken portions in their songs, but it was truly cool to see that in action last night. Slick in fact. They also catered to a wider age group with some interesting covers - one with a vocalist walking through the audience without a microphone, yet still heard throughout the showroom, belting out Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock N Roll"...

Both The Inkspots and The Platters stretched their wings with songs that showed off their vocal skill sets, but the hoots and cheers logically followed with each of the monster hits the groups are best known for. For The Platters, those vocals - man, I wish I could show a little bit of the (teensy) video I shot from my phone.

Well, why not?

Oh yeah - the copyright disclaimer - well, maybe another time. Let me assure you though, the vocals were absolutely pristine. 

In a couple of poignant moments unrelated to the songs themselves, members of both bands confided recent losses of their mothers. This just before today - where we would typically say something like:

"Happy Mother's Day"

Chow for now...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chicken Scratch

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



Don know why, but lately I bin thinkin' a bout ma mortality. I mean ta say - wut is tha life span uv yer average chicken?

I see many of my friends just sorta drift off - so many uv 'em accept offers fer a free hollyday at tha Colonel Sanders Resort An Spa in Kentucky - but they never come back. Either that place is purty nice, or somethin' fishy's goin' on!! Izit a cult??


Ya don exactly see old folk's homes fer chickens neither. More often, back when I lived on that farm, there was a tree stump with an axe stuck init out in tha middle of tha farm - I think Dr. Kevorkian came up with that fer older hens n roosters...cuttin' edge teknology!!


Why so morbid Chuck? Not like I'm feelin' poorly or nuthin' - I still gots lotsa zip-a-dee in my doo-dah, if ya know wut I mean...


Aww cluck...this iz too depressin' to keep fokusin' on - time fer a cigar, a beer, and a healthy....ummm...movement...

Good Mornin' World!!

Cluck fer now...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pot-Bellied Pigs

I know that pigs eat just about anything, including scrap metal, motor oil, and Mrs. That Dan Guy's meatloaf - but pot? Why do pigs eat so much weed that they come to be known as pot-bellied?

I imagine them with little goatees and sunglasses, doing stand-up comedy. I imagine them as very, very mellow among the other members of the pig population.

Pot-bellied pigs - I would name mine Hog-Cheech, and Pork-Chong...

At least that's how I see things...

Chow for now...

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

It's Either A Miracle, Or I Sleepwalk...

I was stunned this morning to awake to a re-Tweet of one of my Twitter posts, regarding my just-released video interview of Stage West Calgary's "Summer In The City" (LOOOOOVE my MAC!!!)

The only curious thing was that I didn't post it. After working on it all night, I went to bed as soon as it loaded into my podcast site, but got up early this morning to Tweet about it. Lo and behold, there was the re-Tweet.

So I'm either a sleepwalking social media/technology wacko, or God himself took care of my home stretch.

At any rate, scroll back up and click on the photo montage above to access the interview for free, or over to the right it will be available on my YouTube channel, once that's finished loaded this morning.

Unless Cloud Man has already done that for me too...

Chow for now!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

It's A Fine Line...

Unless you draw a fatter one.

My thought of the day...

So, think about it, will ya?

Chow for now.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Braving The Elements

Ah, the Canadian prairies...

Bear in mind we are well into May. Lakes should be warming up, and temperatures should be heading towards highs that will peak over the summer months that are just around the corner.


When Mrs. That Dan Guy and I were preparing to leave for a road trip Saturday morning, it was snowing gently, growing to a fever pitch of robust flakes by the time we finally left.

Not far from our home, on what passes for a city bypass highway here in Calgary, I began to head to an exit ramp - to turn the car around and seek the safety of the nearest covered parking area.

We soldiered on, driving through white-out conditions, and passing five serious accidents between the city and Innisfail - which wasn't the only thing failing that morning.

The snowstorm did clear out, but my knuckles had to remain firmly gripped to the steering wheel, and my butt cheeks had to remain clenched in mortal fear of unintentionally going off the road as we drove into a torrential downpour, that let up only enough to make way for a hail storm.

The only thing missing as we approached Red Deer to empty our bladders was a plague of locusts, or blood falling from the sky.

As we got closer to our destination, the sky cleared, and we finally had a chance to quit looking for a goat to sacrifice to the rain gods. As you can see by scrolling back down to yesterday's review, we're happy we made the trip, even if it was hairier than a wolf spider.

It's how we roll....

Chow for now!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Calmar Prairie Players
"The 1984 Dalmar Biker War"

By Chris Mckerracher

The Sunday "Way-Later-Than I-Had-Hoped" Entertainment Review

"The 1984 Dalmar Biker War"

Never mind Cheers, a small town is really where everyone knows your name - and what local actors do during the daytime in their paid employment. Which is frankly what makes community theatre such a thrill ride - as an actor, writer or director, you have to interact back in your community after you've put your heart and soul into a production - win lose or draw. After seeing the closing night presentation of "The 1984 Dalmar Biker War", I don't think anyone associated with the show will be hanging their heads next week.

Conversing online with playwright (and fellow humorist ) Chris Mckerracher before attending, he advised me that the cast could stand up to any big city production, and he wasn't kidding. He was selling his own efforts short though, as he provided the cast with enough meat and potatoes in his script to not only keep the audience in stitches throughout, but also wrap it up with a prolonged standing ovation. 

And I agree with him - the cast was exceptional...turning great lines, sight gags and physical comedy into laugh after laugh. A blend of farce sometimes, a great dollop of traditional theatre at other times the show was an obvious hit with the local audience, but it could really play anywhere with the universal themes of office politics and...well, politics. It wasn't just peppered with inside jokes only area residents would find funny.  

I particularly enjoyed the incorporation of radio's "theatre of the mind" which filled in the gaps of events happening outside the two room municipal government office setting. Walkie-Talkies and two-way radios helped build up the individual imaginations of the audience members as various civic employees attempted to protect their territory from marauding bikers. As only a humorist would imagine they might...

Speaking of Mr. Mckerracher, I plan on chatting with him over the next few days, and adding a feature in my "Talking With" online audio interview series. Check back here later for a link to that, once we catch up.

I expect that will be as much fun as "The 1984 Dalmar Biker War"...

Chow for now!

Today's Post

Will be delayed, until we get our sorry carcasses back to Calgary.

Stop back this afternoon!

Chow for now

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Jeff Dimitriou Interview!

Stage West Calgary
Summer In The City
Jeff Dimitriou

Wow - two blogs for the price of one today!

My recent interview with Jeff Dimitriou is now live to download or listen to - and as always, it's free!

Simply scroll back up to the photo montage above this post, and click on it. You'll be redirected to the interview - click on the little Podcast icon, or towards the bottom of the page, Direct Download. Give it a second, it will begin to play.

You can always search "thatdanguy's Podcast" in iTunes, and subscribe for free there.

Jeff has an amazing professional CV - from Degrassi, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, SuckerPunch, So You Think You Can Dance Canada - and theatre across the country. Give the interview a listen!

Chow for now.

Chicken Scratch

(Today, a Classic Chicken Scratch, from May 3, 2009)

Whatever happened to Hen Rietta???

Cluck fer now!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Idyllic Chestermere Alberta

As my life tends to dictate, I often get involved in things that don't involve me.

For example, a few months ago I found an email from a friend and writing colleague in my inbox, which was the prelude to an international news story - transpiring in in my own back yard, so to speak.

The editor of a small community weekly newspaper in Chestermere, a bedroom community outside Calgary - where I live, was the subject of some scrutiny. My colleague had done a search out in his own domain, and discovered (to much dismay) that this editor had "allegedly" been copying his columns word for word - with a few minor alterations to make the features more Canadian.

The story sadly did not end there. This editor had "allegedly" been perhaps a little high on poutine and beaver dander - and had been purloining columns in their entirety from fellow newspaper columnists all across North America, and as far away as Australia/New Zealand. Just for fun, Google Steve Jeffrey Chestermere, and you can see just how far and wide this attracted attention in the industry.

Enter Dan once more yesterday - my new day job with the Canadian Diabetes Association brought me out to that lovely lakeside town to do a presentation for the city. I thought I would try and find a few copies of The Anchor, to see how this scandal may have affected the paper.

As it happens, I got my hands on a copy of the May 3, 2012 issue of the paper, and within there is a small article where the editor admits, apologizes and credits many of the writers that he had..."referenced" during the creation of the column that bore his own name.

In his defense, he explains that he had simply become busy, and exercised poor judgment.

I don't know if this is the penalty from all the attention after news broke, but even his resignation is about as authentic as his past columns. He is still listed on the website as the owner and editor - so he may have more time to work at those endeavours, now that he doesn't have to spend all that time online surfing for other's writers  to "research" for inspiration.

And we wonder why newspapers are in such trouble...

Chow for now,

Thursday, May 03, 2012

More Than I Should Chew

I have now officially bitten off the tip of my tongue twice.


Who does that?

Either my fat licker needs to lose some weight so that it fits back into my yapper, or I have to start training my jaws to clench more gently...

Dan problems...

Chow for now!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I Would Like To Buy A VWL

I wonder what contestants do on Wheel of Fortune with all those vowels they so often buy? Do they get a refund after the show has finished recording? Do the contestants get stuck with all these vowels, having to rush home to get them refrigerated before they spoil?

Is there a market for used vowels? Schools? Writers' groups? Wall lettering???

I personally would likely choose NOT to buy a vowel thank you very much...

Chow for now!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Post Barnum Depression

I recently learned that Barnum, of Barnum and Bailey Circuses, is no longer with us.

That makes me sad.

Chow for now...