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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dear Collusive Gas Station Companies

Oh sure - there's absolutely no collusion between gas stations - it is simply a miraculous coincidence whenever every station raises prices regardless of crude oil values. It has absolutely no relationship whatsoever to the arrival of a long weekend, and drivers trying to get some relief for weeks of work with a little getaway in their cars.

I've heard that there's a two month rule, where adjustments are made after analyzing trends and data, before prices can finally start to come down. However, if someone flushes a toilet at a refinery in Bora Bora, that delay is enough to see prices rise by a dime at the pump overnight.

So, let's stop kidding ourselves, shall we? Let's just own up to the fact that as collective gas station owners, you are simply operating on market demand greed, and might be the only industry that can actually raise prices with no regard for their customers, just to capitalize on a temporary opportunity.

Here's my thoughts, and wishes for your collective collusive asses:

1) I hope that rabid squirrels find your colon opening, crawl in, and chew away at your intestines.

2) I hope that your suppliers of everything you have to purchase get wise, and raise their own prices to offset the profits you plan on pocketing during the self-inflated gas price period.

3) I hope that when we finally convert to alternate fuel sources, your real estate holdings will be flagged as environmental hazards, with millions of dollars in penalties and fees to remedy.

4) I hope that the rabid squirrels that have entered your colon opening develop obesity, and grow barbed wire fur as they make their way through your intestines.

Sorry, I have to cut this short - running late getting ready for work.

Chow for now!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

I Like Cookies

While I don't much care for internet cookies, I surely do enjoy the edible kind. And no, I wasn't at a complete loss for blog topics today, why  do you ask??

There aren't many of the edible sort that I have a problem with - unless someone idiot has come up with a vegetarian cookie.

Wait. That sounds silly - I don't eat meat cookies, so why would I have a problem with vegetarian cookies? They just sound like something I wouldn't enjoy, and yet I don't think I'd be friends with a beef cookie either...

I clearly need more thought on this.

And better topics to blog about in the morning...

Chow for now!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's Been A Wild Ride...

Two consecutive weeks of relentless commitments wrap up today, as we are about to depart to help out with a workplace social committee event. It has literally been one thing after another, either work-related or pre-arranged events we've been involved in. Long days and nights, weekends given up, but the end is in sight - some normalcy will finally return.

Man, we are gonna be sooooooo bored...........

Chow for now!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charles D. Chicken III, Esquire...)

What ho, gents and miladies!!

Hip Hip Ho, Jolly Hut!!


Just 'avin' a wee spotta tea, whilst I preepare ta tune inta thee Oh-lympics. I am a-tingle with excrement over this event!


I missed tha openin' sara-moanies, but I unnerstand The Beatles performed, as did sum other groops. Mebbe sum British peepels??

I have cleerly no idea, but I'm more innerested in tha events. Beach Volleyball, Wimmen's Jumpin' jacks, Wimmen's Mud Wrestlin'... basically challenges uv skill an ladiness...


I'm also innerested in tha bets I made - Ole Chuckie has his chicken fingers crossed fer sum spacific outcomes, yessir...


Better finnish ma tea - keep ma crumpets toasty, and settle in fer sum TV - c'mon Men's Hunnerd Meeter Splints!!

Cluck fer now!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

End Of An Era...

Sorry, that was supposed to read "End Of An Ear".

I found a lost or misplaced chocolate Easter bunny yesterday, and as is tradition, I ate the ears first.

Hence my proclamation.

Was that even worth posting???

Chow for now!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chirpy Little Buggers...

I had to evict our chattery tenants yesterday. Well, I only technically evicted their nest. The birds and their new offspring had already pulled a midnight move, despite our allowing them to live in our kitchen exhaust pipe until they had successfully raised their hatchlings. We had hoped to see the baby birds make their inaugural flight, but the ungrateful buggers just vacated...

Of course, there was a bit of trauma prior to their departure. The roofers must have scared the bird poop right out of them all with their racket replacing the shingles. And of course MTDG's cooking certainly didn't create an ideal, smoke-free environment to raise their young. The poor little guys must have thought they were at a Pink Floyd concert...

They have moved on - and a sign is up for next season. We're getting some higher rents next time around!

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Think Blogger Pulled A Fast One...

I was trying to send a link out for a brochure bio yesterday, and noticed that my blog address is now ".ca", instead of ".com".

That was a quiet little change, and it must have been recent. Even if I tried to correct it, it automatically defaulted to ".ca".

Whatever. Who knows how this stuff happens - so much of this online/social media/website crapola is out of your hands anyway. Facebook wants to timeline my site, this blog space recently overhauled the dashboard (and I still can't find the speedometer), and I'm sure more changes are on the way.

Roll with the punches, and suck it up buttercup - marketing slogans for the digital world.

Please make it stop...

Chow for now!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

True Story...

True Story:

- Once a rhinoceros impales you, his horn drops off, he develops a limp, and drops dead soon afterward.

Well, I guess that's not so much a true story, as it is a brief bit of true trivia.

Nonetheless - you're welcome!

Chow for now!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Farewell, Old Friend...

Mrs. That Dan Guy recently decided that she didn't like our long-time coffee maker anymore. At least, that's how it appears in evidence presented, after she tried bouncing the carafe off of the floor, shattering the thermos component into a bazillion pieces. If you know anything at all about MTDG, you will not be surprised to hear that I promptly left the house, trying to find a new coffee brewer as soon as possible - surely before the next morning.

What an array of offerings now, for the once-humble, inexpensive coffee maker. Walking into one store, I was shocked into mild secretions to discover a rather basic version offered - for $170.00!! Moving further into the store, I was no less comforted by other, space-age models that not only brewed coffee, but also offered cappuccino add-ons, and tire pressure hoses. Some now grind coffee beans right into the filter basket, but I just that as a door to science experiments. Who really wants ground macaroni coffee??

As I was turning up the dial on my pacemaker (be stiller, my gentle heart...), I recalled a product we had seen in Winnipeg, while visiting family - a coffee maker offered directly from our most popular coffee provider. A coffee maker where rays of light ignite the sky as you pour in the water before brewing. A coffee maker that we couldn't fit into our luggage, especially what with our pesky niece keeping an eye on us whenever we were around it...

I drove over to the closest Tim Horton's, and took my place in a line snaking out into moving traffic (I'm not kidding). After a pleasant 45 minutes of moving like I was 1000 years old, I made my way to the till, ordered one, and ran out, skipping happily at my SCORE!!!!!


Makes damn good coffee...

Chow for now!! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Steve Martin, Banjo Plucker...

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

Steve Martin, with The Steep Canyon Rangers
Calgary, Jubilee Auditorium

I have now come full circle with Mr. Steve Martin, after seeing him perform live last night. I wasn't able to see him perform his 1970's hit "King Tut" back in his initial heyday, and now I can also add that I haven't seen him perform it decades later - not even his recent terrific bluegrass update. 

Minor complaint. After shamelessly invoking Mr. Martin several years ago on this blog during my whiny (desperate) "Banjo Quest", it was a thrill nonetheless to finally see live perhaps one of the biggest stars that Mrs. That Dan Guy and I have ever had the chance to enjoy. I say that based on his aforementioned decades of success in virtually every medium imaginable - so stick that in your hat if you don't agree...

On to the show! What a performance!! Seamless professionalism, stellar musicianship, and more than enough comedy interspersed to satisfy older stand-up fans - this show lived up to every expectation I brought to the building.

Well, there was the odd disappointment. You'd think that with a pedigree like Mr. Martin's, maybe Sir Paul McCartney could have shown up to perform his contribution to the latest album "Rare Bird Alert".  We had to settle for the Ranger's fiddle player, Nicky Sanders - who did a fine cover, but was no Sir Paul. Incidentally, we walked out of the auditorium with Mr. Sanders, and passed on our compliments to the entire band on a spectacular show. Kept my McCartney comments prudently to myself...    

I will say that those Steep Canyon Rangers won me over (not a hard-fought battle, we've seen plenty of TV appearances) - crack professionals those gentleman - and fine, good-natured foils for Steve's relentless wit.

Too many highlights in this performance to list, I'm afraid - just take my word for it, if you have a chance to catch this show live, do NOT hesitate. If you're not already a fan of bluegrass, you most assuredly will be. 

And if you love Steve Martin's comic sensibilities, they are on full display from start to finish, a 2-hour process including encores. 

Just not "King Tut"...

On a side note, this is now the single most expensive concert we have ever seen. Not because of the tickets, or the CD we bought before we went, or even the parking and couple of drinks we had. 

No, it was my attempt to make a quick getaway afterwards, where I managed to crumple my two passenger-side doors. Most excellent...

Such is life...

Chow for now!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chicken Scratch

(posted by....oh-oh.....)

Uhh, is there a doctor in the house??

Seriously, anyone with first aid training reading this??


Where do you find the pulse on a chicken??

Who left those out overnight, by the computer???

Mrs. That Dan Guy??

Visiting Sister??

We need a paramedic, forthwith!!

Good grief....

Cluck, uhh, I mean chow for now...

Friday, July 20, 2012

What If "Survivor" Stranded Realtors??

This link might actually be funnier for actual realtors, but I'm hoping it is still funny enough for readers not actually in the business:

My REM column


Chow for now

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Do You All have Against Roofers??


Looking at's new quick-view stats, my site views have flat-lined since I started posting about roofers. Is this some sort of general prejudice against blue-collar working people, a blase attitude towards shingles, or are the posts just that bad?

Frankly, I forgot to blog this morning, so here I am blogging about the damn roofers again now! Can stats go into the negative??

All in all, and I realize that even those of you that have surfed here in error are now heading for the hills, this re-roofing has been a brisk project. I expect they'll be done by the weekend.

Which means I'll be at a loss for topics once again...

Well, there's always that chicken...


Chow for now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shyness Cured

I was ahead of myself. The roofers were not shy at all, just sensitive to people leaving for work in the morning.

After that, all hell broke loose. Shingles were flying, hammers were pounding, and auditions for Lord Of The Dance - Calgary were held on our roof.

All in all, not that bad - but I was already gone and safely away from the ruckus at my workplace. My visiting sister though, ironically still wrapped in the afterglow of a pampering package earlier was jostled out of her bed by the air assault.

One little discovery once I got home - those wacky roofers had plugged their generator into MY outlet outside (all day long) - so the Such Is Life Benevolent Fund will be seeing a brief spike in electricity charges on next month's bill.

Chow for now!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shy Roofers

Not sure why, but after dreading the commencement of the re-roofing of our townhouse complex for a few days now - nothing has happened yet!

Sure, the shingles are up there on the roof, perched precariously - perhaps to flatten something passing by during a gust of wind. There's materials on the lawn, crushing the life out of it as I type this.

There's a giant garbage bin where my car should be parked, sitting empty. Except for bags of garbage from idiots too lazy to walk over to the garbage shed.

And yesterday morning, as we were leaving for work, the roofers themselves were milling about, in the shadow of the precarious perch of piled pingles...sorry, shingles.

Yet still no roofing to be be seen.

Well, soon enough. We shall enjoy the peace and quiet while it no time at all, the hammers will be flying.

I hope not literally...

Chow for now!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth...

That's how the Calgary Stampede bills itself, and despite proclaiming earlier that we had made our one and only visit for this year earlier this week - we found ourselves there once again yesterday. Well, it is the 100th anniversary, after all...

This time we took my visiting sister, who had never been before. And, we took all our bad habits with us - try and try as I might, do you think we might be able to find a celery and carrot booth at this grand exhibition? Sadly, no. We were forced to eat food offerings like deep-fried Oreos, and deep-fried Kool-Aid. It was a real challenge, let me tell you - I have very strict dietary standards.

There were rumours of deep-fried Wagon Wheels, but we were entirely unsuccessful in finding any of those...

Overall, the weather cooperated for us, but we did get caught in a serious pour-down during a lavish pow-wow ceremony in the Indian Village. That was during the downpour of rain that soaked us to the bones, but from where we were standing close to the stage, it was pouring down the roof, over our cowboy hats, and down our backs...

At one point of exploring the extensive midway attractions, we came across Recycled Percussion, an act that failed to win America's Got Talent, yet has toured the world, has a current running show in Las Vegas, and rocks the bejeesus out of an outdoor amphitheatre.  They were astounding! Loud, polished and entertaining as all get-up-and-go.

Which we did, after their short set ended - off to find food, and the next stage show - which happened to be canceled. Or not scheduled, whichever is more appropriate considering the last show had already run a few hours before we got there. That was a drag.

Which we did instead, dragging around the exhibits in the massive BMO Building. A collection of authentic Western offerings such as indoor surfing and space-age mops, this was like an explosion in an As-Seen-On-TV recording studio, with hawkers pitching everything from parachute wallets to...well, I think every conceivable trinket known to mankind (and a few more) was available from the vendors. All with those funny microphones attached to their noggins.


I'm going to be late for work - that was long-winded! Off and running (that could be the deep-fried Kool-Aid working...).

Chow for now!  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"By The Powers Invested In Me..."

Wouldn't that be a more compelling, believable statement from a magician? I mean, what the heck is up with "Abra Cadabra"?? Or "Shazaam!!"??

I also have issues with "Taa-Daa!", and "Hey, Look Over There!!"...

The magician could then also double as a marriage commissioner, perform powers of attorney, and open supermarkets, among other various duties that require proclamations.

Win Win!!

Chow for now...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chicken Scratch

(posted by avant-garde weekend guest blogger, Charlie Chicken...)


Ole Charlie's gettin' tha bum's rush - I gotta vacate ma roost fer a few days - Humphhh!!!


Had ta clean up ma "personal" items frum ma room, an I even hadta make tha bed! They got company arrivin' - and ma rental agreedment has clawses allowin' fer temporary evickshun...


Good thing I know a few chicks that cud host me fer a few days - I's juss too delikat fer street life!!


Well, I left a surpriz fer whoever's taken over ma digs - tha's all I'll say...

Cluck - fer now!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Timing Is Everything...

Ah, the Such Is Life household - where wonders never cease...

After having roof replacement cancelled a few weeks ago, I arrived home yesterday to see stacks of shingles atop our rental home, and other roofing paraphernalia on the lawn. I forget how much notice the roofers are obliged to provide, but it should have been 24-48 hours.

The instructions we received earlier indicated that we won't be able to leave our vehicle parked in our drive, we will have limited access in and out of the home while they are working on it, and we now have to rush around the house taking down pictures or securing any items that may be at risk, what with a team of gorillas trashing around on our roof.

All this in the midst of a heat wave, which means we may not be able to leave our windows open (no air conditioning - you could incubate chickens in our living room right now...).

It's gonna be a loooooong week-and-a-half....


Chow for now!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stampede100 Now With Sheepdogs!

Stampede 100

This is typically where I have run a morning-after, "nobody-asked-me-to" concert review. However, as we were bopping around the Stampede grounds trying to take in what we could on this, our only visit this year - well, screw that!

First up - The Sheepdogs - WOW! If you like the album (and who wouldn't - these guys are amazing!), the band performing live is something else. Rockin', melodic riffs - the boys from Saskatoon represent! Proving without a doubt that they were worthy of the Rolling Stone cover hype, I coulda sat there all night groovin' to their vibes.

However, we wandered over to the other picture..I mean Nashville North, to sneak a peek at Canadian country star Jason Blaine - who was similarly blowing the roof off of that facility. Of course, we didn't actually get inside, we snook (snak? sneeked??) our peek from the sidelines, but the sound was worth the effort at least.

The big "100 Years" photo is for the zipline that ran over the fairgrounds - you actually had to climb up stairs inside that contraption, before risking life and limp to careen over Stampeders. There was of course a lengthy lineup, and that was just at the insurance sales table...

Other than that - pretty routine evening. We took our first-ever C-Train ride from Mrs. That Dan Guy's workplace, and that was somewhat sardine-like, but not too bad. Airports could stand to learn something from packed commuter trains when it comes to discreet searches of potentially hidden threats. Or my ass...

Mini-donuts, ice cold root beer, a warm pretzel dripping in fresh butter - all in all a diabetes nightmare!

And, loving it!

Good time had by all! Sheepdogs Rock!!

Chow for now...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finally - We WILL Stampede...

Our life is nothing if not filled with irony. I've been involved (in my day job) in at least 5 Stampede events so far this year, all of them well off of, away from the fair grounds. Mrs. That Dan Guy has had some work-related events, to a lesser degree. Tonight, we will dip our toes onto Stampede soil.

Such drama! All I mean to say is that we plan to finally attend the goddam thing, now that it's half-over...

Could be a good night. The free show on The Coca-Cola Stage is The Sheepdogs, which should be terrific. I also totally see mini-donuts in my immediate future. I will buy them and they will go DOWN!!!

As authentic cowpokes (we poke our hamburgers to see if they are cooked thoroughly), we will go in full western regalia - bib overalls and high rubber boots. No, wait - that doesn't sound right. I had better consult with her before I step outside like this...

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stuffed Mountie

Check out THIS stiff! Just goes to show how low the standards were back in the day for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police...

Actually, I had a chance to try on the familiar Canadian police uniform at Fort Calgary last night, while attending a diabetes-related Stampede dinner. They didn't have one in Size Husky, so I had to suck in my gut and stretch the jacket as far as it could (allowing certain laws of physics) before the shot was taken. I'm afraid I don't quite cut the image of a studly Dudley Do-Right. I look more like an obese Caucasian Michael Jackson wannabe, wearing the wrong style of hat.

I'd have maybe tried a signature MJ crotch pull, but my blazer buttons might have propelled off like a bazooka blast, and wounded the photographer...

Funny, I did have an overwhelming urge to rescue a damsel in distress tied up on a railroad track somewhere, but Fort Calgary has air conditioning, and I didn't want to leave the comfort of the building. Hope the damsel managed to work her own way out of the...distress...

Chow for now!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Heat Wave!

We are currently working our sweat glands overtime with the heat wave that's been making its broiling way across Canada - and down across the border as well... We don't do so good with heat.

Sure, there's always air conditioning - if we had that here in our rental home. We are lacking in that feature - however it is built to encourage convection - so the heat happens in spades. Drop some chives on us - as couch potatoes, we are literally baked...

We can always enjoy a cold shower - but when we get out, the heat levels are like one of those hand dryers in public washrooms. We are dry, hot, and feeling like we've been mugged by the sun.

This too shall pass - we just have to sweat it out.

Chow for now!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Wild West Pancakes

Still Stampede Week here in Calgary - although we have yet to officially partake. I have ironically been involved personally in my day-job role with service club pancake breakfasts, well outside of the actual fair grounds. This morning, at an ungodly early hour, I am off to yet another one.

If you peek over to the right of this post you can peruse some of my Tweets from yesterday's breakfast, in what seemed to be the backstage area for taping of the Mad Men TV series. Or the Camel manufacturing plant staff break room. Considering how much effort has gone into "stop smoking" efforts around North America, this part of the city clearly missed the memo. Adults smoked. Younger adults smoked. Even dogs with tattoos and eye patches sneered at me through a filter-tipped haze of smoke rings and baked bean farts.

That may have actually been Crude Pirate, who turned up to help celebrate our Western heritage - or should I say "Rrrr Western He-rrrr-itage"??

Always entertaining - who knows what adventure awaits today amid the pancakes, syrup, and sun-baked wicker cowboy hats??

Rest assured, you'll likely get to read about it here tomorrow morning :-)

Chow for now!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Chicken Scratch

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

Very funny...

Ha Ha cluckin' Ha...


Now open tha #@*# door!!

If I had a fist....




Aww, cluck...

Ma cigarette needs a light....

I think ma ears is frostin 'over!


Cluck fer now...

Friday, July 06, 2012

Yee-Haw! It's Stampede Time!!

Don't let that phony enthusiasm fool you - we're not THAT excited...

It is the start of the annual Calgary Stampede today, for this the 100th year of the world-famous event.

Today is parade day, which means that I must drive Mrs. That Dan Guy into work about an hour early, before they close the roads downtown along the parade route. Excellent...

Even though predictions all week have been for weather in the sunny, 30+ Celsius mark, we got caught in a ferocious hailstorm on the way home from work last night. And rain is again forecast for today. Such is life, Calgary Stampede...

On the plus side we will probably check it out at least once, and get to wear cowboy clothes. Not authentic cowboy clothes, mind you - retail-imagined cowboy clothes.


Chow for now! Giddy-up!!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Open Forum

Funny. I awoke today to a crude comment left on a really old post. Usually, the boneheaded items I have to delete are fake "comments" that are actually spammers, trying to sell fake name-brand crap from some remote corner of the world. Or infect anyone's computer that clicks on their link...

I know that I can monitor and approve posts before they go live, but what a pain in the ass! Even the major media outlets allow the great unwashed to post what they believe passes for artistic roses, until those halfwits cross a line that sees the commentary outright removed. I just enjoy clicking "spam", and watching the lunacy vanish. Very satisfying...

The nature of the beast, I suppose. It is rare these days, so I will continue to keep things the way they are as long as I can.

It encourages people, after all. Like Mrs. That Dan Guy :-)

Chow for now!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Fourth Of July!

Well, to all my American colleagues, a sincere wish for a happy Fourth Of July, however you choose to celebrate it.

Be that while dressed as one of The Muppets...

Be that while trying out a new male perm that you treated yourself to...

Be that while crawling under your house to try removing a raccoon...

Be that while lying on a sunny beach, quietly plotting to head into the water to have a pee..

Be that while trying to remember who was the 27th President - pretty sure it wasn't Washington...

Be that while trying to find your flag, and then remembering you used it to cover your lettuce when there was a frost warning...

Be that while you're a total geek, you can't really pledge allegiance to defrag...

Chow for now!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Stage West Calgary Review!

Stage West Calgary
"The Marvelous Wonderettes"

My review for this show is now live in today's Calgary Herald. It doesn't appear possible to share it with Blogger anymore (just WordPress_ - so here's a hyper-link:

Calgary Herald "Marvelous Wonderettes" review

And don't forget to check out the cast interview, either on my podcast site (scroll back up and click on the photo montage above), or from YouTube:

Marvelous Wonderettes - Calgary Cast Interview


Chow for now...

Monday, July 02, 2012

Hail To The Chef...

Right around the time we had planned to have a low-key hot dog BBQ yesterday, the sky started to look a little fuggly. Sure enough, within minutes it was raining, thundering - and hailing!

Check out our little video from our spare bedroom...

Chow for now!!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy Canada Day!

Hey, - good on ya! Nice logo for Canada today!!

My daytimer today:

07:00 AM - Poutine and maple syrup for breakfast.

07:25 AM - Farewell ceremony to poutine and maple syrup breakfast, after trot to washroom...

07:45 AM - Get ready to sacrifice my Canada Day holiday by working. Attending a flippin' pancake breakfast. Read that sentence however you want..

08:15 AM - Pick up van for Canada Day breakfast. Hope we remembered to gas it up after off-roading in forested terrain Saturday afternoon.

08:30 AM - Arrive at pancake breakfast, only to discover others as unmotivated as I am. Serving Eggos instead...

12:00 PM - Free at last, free at last. However, need to race home to pick up gear for my Stage West Theatre cast interview.

01:00 PM - Home! Taking off my flannel lumberjack apparel while I prepare to eat lunch. Salute maple  leaf I see on trees outside...

At least, that's my loosely-based schedule, subject to change....

Happy Canada Day, fellow Peeps!

Chow for now...