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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!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Only 364 Days to go!

You know, it's not like we even recognize Halloween. As a matter of fact, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I left work last night and snuck off to an el-cheapo restaurant, to hide out until it was safe to go home.

So why am I tracking how many days until it returns?

Well, frankly - I had nothing this morning. Absolutely nothing to share or expostulate on. So, a countdown to next Halloween just seemed to make sense.

Plus I couldn't work out how any days left to Christmas without growing a few more sets of hands...

Chow for now!