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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Snow?? Again??? For Real?????

Oh Canada - you quirky little scamp, you.

Here we are, almost May, and still the snow falls, and temperatures dive into the negative (-6).

Other parts of the country have cherry blossoms in full bloom, and across the border, a little further south, poodles are dropping hair clippers at their masters' feet to get a break from the sweltering heat.

Yet here, Oh Canada, the penguins are clapping, and once again I dig my parka out of the mothballs.

Canada, I am about to hit you over the head with a lead pipe. Nothing personal. Just, come on already....

Bah humbug!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Sacre Bleu!

I will confess - I have no idea what that proclamation translates into English per se, but I do know what we use it as a code for here in the Such Is Life household. It usually accompanies a common sound effect.

I really need to get this digestion issue sorted out.....


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogg.....wait a minute.....what????)

Kin annyone point ta that Marred E Grah????


Cluck fer now...

Gotta get me sum beeds....

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stage West Calgary: "Chicago"

Stage West Calgary

"Reviews Before Noon": 

Stage West Calgary

with Marisa McIntyre and Andrea Wingelaar

The Broadway revival is alive and well at Stage West Calgary, after confirmation with the latest effort, "Chicago".

Having seen popular prior hits like "The Producers" and "Dream Girls", I don't imagine "Chicago" will be any less appealing to audiences for this run. A visual collage of eye-candy and featuring ultimately familiar songs, this show is set in the 1920's, but surprisingly shows how far we have NOT come as a society, as it has so much relevance to how we see stars in the making today, and how they tend to own the daily headlines.

If you're unfamiliar with the storyline, the summary-in-a-nutshell is a couple of attractive murderers (Velma & Roxie) jockey for the newspaper attention their notoriety has afforded them, while also hoping to avoid the gallows. Imagine a Kardashian or a Hilton, but substitute a sex tape for the smoking guns...

As their story moves forward, a soundtrack that has been graced over the years by the likes of real stars such as Chita Rivera, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Bebe Neuwirth delivers knock-out performances of hits you will most likely find very familiar. "All That Jazz", "When You're Good To Mama", and "Razzle Dazzle" were just a few highlights that shimmered on the musical side, and exploded in dance with the tight choreography of Phil Nero.
One of the early Broadway shows that broke from traditional conservative fare, "Chicago" is filled with sexy costumes, risque language and behaviour, plus enough comedy to make the entire enterprise a load of fun.

Highlights? Well, leads Marisa McIntyre and Andrea Wingelaar own the stage. For myself, a high note for each would be Andrea as Velma nailing the blockbuster "All That Jazz". McIntyre's Roxie is beyond convincing in a puppet scene that is almost spooky. 

Beyond that, the star of Stage West Calgary's production (a few years ago) of "Glorious", Elizabeth Stepkowski Tarhan is another standout as Mama, bringing her character to life with gusto and one heck of a powerful voice.

"Chicago" is a morality tale, and a cautionary tale. In this production, Stage West offers amazing costumes and staging, tight dance sequences, and there is not one song that doesn't measure up - no surprise when you glance through the bios in the playbill. 

Now, before I run out of superlatives, I need to start working on my review for The Calgary Herald. I'll post a link once that's viewable online, and also plan my cast interview for my podcast series to link to that (and here) as well.

Check out "Chicago" while you can!!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Wish Us Luck!

Getting ready to go see a new doctor. Hoping it goes well. As a Person With Diabetes, you really need to have reliable medical professionals on your healthcare team.

I'm  due to have my A1C blood test, and need prescriptions renewed. I'll get that done regardless, but we are both hoping that we might finally have a great family doctor, to replace the one we lost at least a year ago.

Other than that - Stage West Calgary tonight - "Chicago"!

Review in AM!!!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Burger King Canada

I see a scroll on the news this morning that Burger King has made a whopper of a move, selling off the Canadian division of their assets.

I can only imagine that action might just lead to a more diversified menu??

I wonder if we'll see:

* Mosquito Fries, seasoned with poutine and maple syrup?

* The Canadian Whopper - featuring Canadian Bacon, fresh garnishes (imported from countries that enjoy summer growing seasons), and a maple leaf toothpick?

* Beaver Nuggets - probably best not to get an image of THAT in your head...

* Poutine Shakes - the ultimate in combined food groups!!

Makes the head swim...and now I feel like a Whopper...excellent....


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

No Time To Blog Today :-(


Damn technology out to kill me again today. Sadly, no time to blog.

Well, maybe a bonus blog later if I get a moment from work...


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

(Other) Insect Bands That Never Became Popular

Sure, you've heard of The Beetles..sorry, The Beatles - and probably even The Crickets, that backed up Buddy Holly.

However, in the wave of success following those insect-named bands, many others followed, without the success of the originals.

Perhaps you heard of:

Dancefly - a 70's disco group that dressed as a variety of dancing flies. They were no match for the VIllage People, who nailed the costume theme, and actually fatally maimed the Dancefly bassist when the construction worker from the rival band swatted the bassist at a picnic...

Long-Nosed Weevil -  a late 60's band that only ever had one hit - "Wait Just A Cotton-Pickin' Minute".  The lead singer died in a botched rhinoplasty procedure in the Honduras...

Mole Cricket - deemed a rip-off of Buddy Holly's group, this band could only ever play underground - terrified after attending a county fair and viewing a barbaric game called "Whack-A-Mole"...

German Wasp - Part of a failed (and frankly ill-themed) "German Invasion", the Wasps got stung by a lack of fans in North America, and returned to their homeland where they still play the occasional wedding...

Emperor Gum Moth -  A perfect example of a band's name that was just too hip for the room, Emperor Gum Moth was a short-lived A Capella group in the late 1990's. The 2nd falsetto accidentally swallowed his gum onstage during a show in Albuquerque, in the middle of a "weembo-way" in "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and attempts to perform the Heimlich maneuver only resulted in him blowing bubbles with the gum during the life-saving compressions. That proved to be a hard act to follow, or recreate...

Those are just a handful of the insect bugs that came and went over the years. I'm sure there will be more,  Raid-ing the music biz to try to make it big!!


Monday, April 22, 2013


I see my reflection every morning when I get up.

Thanks, mirror!!

Carry on - you are doing your job proud.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chicken Scratch

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




Ah foun tha loss treyzures a Pop Recyclin'!

Ah'm swimmim' in money, juss like Scrooge McDuck!!


How will ah spend this welth??


Poultry bump cream??

Mah head is swimmim'!!


Now...uhh...kin ah get a hand draggin' this out tha door??



Cluck fer now......

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Calgary Folk Club April 19, 2013

Calgary Folk Club
04 19 13
with Joe Nolan

"Reviews Before Noon": Calgary Folk Club
April 19, 2013 (Season Finale)

Pear, with Joe Nolan

What a way to wrap the Calgary Folk Club's 41st season - which for me featured two highly acclaimed  artists I had yet to see perform live. For fans of the club, it was a chance to revisit members of their former house band that now make up the compact nucleus of Pear. 

To say Lynae and Denis Dufresne are popular with fans is such an understatement. Since receiving the good fortune to attend and review these shows, I've never had such responses to my live tweets. I picked up several new followers, and many of my comments were re-tweeted hastily as the show sadly drew towards a conclusion. The fans of Pear are numerous, and dedicated!

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Opener Joe Nolan was another fast favourite, with his intense but gentle stage presence and songs...

It's funny, during his first few songs, I was trying to pin down his influences. He does look a little bit like a young Tom Waits, and his vocal stylings are a little similar (if Tom ever had that gruff, raspy throat problem of his looked at). 

Then, lo and behold, Mr. Nolan covered Waits' "Cold Water". Just one of several "could-have-heard-a-pin-drop" moments in his set.

To be fair, Joe has more in common in his songwriting with classic passionate Bruce Cockburn efforts - insightful and effective in conveying what he wants to say. His opening number (a new song - have to wait for the upcoming new album...) "Bleeding" was a perfect example, as was "Shambles". He knows his way up and down the fretboard of his guitar, has a great voice, and I think will quickly become a songwriter to be reckoned with, like fellow Canuck Ron Sexsmith. 

I see in his cd's liner notes that he worked on his first release with veteran Canadian roots artist and producer Colin Linden, and his upcoming album features Marco Giovanni, the drummer for Robert Plant's band House of Joy and also with Robert's project with bluegrass star Alison Krauss. That collaboration worked pretty well for Plant and Krauss, here's hoping Joe gleans some magic as well...

Click here for a link to Joe Nolan's website.

Headliners Pear were warmly welcomed, especially once they kicked into unofficial club anthem "Wild Rover"

"Never Looking Back" had a Rankin Family feel, but the rich harmonies between Lynae and Denis are all their own - shimmering, synchronized and soaring. The success they are enjoying is clearly well-deserved...

During a killer cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene", I tweeted out a comment about how "finger-pickin' good" it was. The two are award-winning instrumentalists as well as being talented singers. Backed up last night by another award-winner (drummer Craig Bignell on guitar, banjo and a bongo on steroids), this evening was just a showcase of original music in the first set, and some nifty covers in the second.

The covers were something else - among them a mash-up of The Beatles "Ob La Di Ob La Da" with Psy's "Gangnam Style". With fiddles. 

Segments of others, like Simon & Garfunkle's "Sounds Of Silence", and a rendition of the late Patti Page's iconic "Tennessee Waltz" that would have been right at home on an Alison Krauss album. 

Above all that as a highlight for me was a dual fiddle mash-up of "Eleanor Rigby" and "Smooth Criminal". Commit that performance to disc, people!!!!

How much do fans love Pear? There is a legend among the organizers of The Calgary Folk Club of a 10:30 PM Exodus, no slight to the artists, but a habit of patrons sneaking out after the first headlining set. 

Close to midnight last night when this show finally wrapped up, it was still a full house, with a couple of standing ovations indicating nobody wanted to go home anytime soon. I suspect Pear will be returning in the not-so-distant future, when plans are in the works for upcoming seasons...

Find out more if you're one of the few that hasn't heard of Pear by clicking here

 You can find out more about the similarly talented Craig Bignell by clicking on his highlighted name.

Season 42 is pretty much firmed up for the Calgary Folk Club. Visit their website, and pick up your season tickets - it is an experience every time the doors are opened.

A special thanks to the board, including Suze Casey and General Manager Donna McTaggart for allowing me to review the shows. It has been eye-opening for this long-time music fan...


Friday, April 19, 2013

Life Before The Remote

I remember the early audio visual remote controls, which were wired. Can you imagine a long wire attached to your TV or VCR?

I did manage to leave snacks along the pathway of that wire, so as to lasso treats and draw them closer when I desired a wee taste of candy or pretzels. However, the wire was limited in range, and risky - especially during commercial break stampedes to the washroom.

Now, technology has freed us from our wires. Unless a battery dies, then one is forced to get up and do adjustments manually, like cavemen did. With all our advances, we are still so vulnerable as humans...

I guess you are discovering along with me right now that I never really did have a point in this reminiscence.

However, I now have a blog post. Such as it is....


Thursday, April 18, 2013


...feel like mine are twisted. If I'm right about my diverticulitis returning, I am going to have to change my diet in a heck of a hurry.

Had a pretty rough night last night, getting up for around an hour sometime about 2:22 AM. Major indigestion. Felt like there was a tennis ball blocking my sewer, if you know what I mean...

After a variety of over-the-counter chew pills, I finally got back to sleep, but that alarm was a real sonofabitch when it started going off.

Moving a little slowly, but moving nonetheless.

Hey, Mrs. That Dan Guy gets back from Kananaskis today! Guess I'll have to shave, or maybe pick up a few things that have been lying around the house the last few days....


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 17, 2007 (16th, Actually)

So, what was I doing back on this very day back in 2007?

Well, thanks to daily blogs going back to 2006, I am able to tell you exactly what  I WAS doing!

However, that April 17 blog post refers to the one the day before, where history is currently (and sadly) repeating itself:

April 16, 2007

The reference is to our struggling NHL Calgary Flames, who got into the playoffs that year. Not so sure that will happen this year. Regardless, the song remains the same all these years later. Hence the rebuild underway.

Hopefully I won't be singing the same song in another 6 years!!!!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


With Lorne Greene and Ed McMahon both gone from this mortal coil, do dogs and their owners still find a way to discover Alpo?

Was this the stroke of fortune in timing for Kibbles & Bits to dominate the market, and fill the gaps that advertising commercials with well-known celebrities once afforded to Alpo?

Without having owned a dog since I was in my 20's - why do I even care???

THAT would be the bigger question......


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Future Is Unfolding

Changed the sheets on the bed. Now, my immediate future plans are being taken over by unfolding clean sheets, and putting them on the bed.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Springtime In Alberta

Ahh, Springtime In Alberta...

The birds are singing - in a coal mine somewhere in North Carolina - here they're frozen solid like Christmas turkeys in the supermarket...

I'll have a BBQ for dinner - in that one week during August that the snow briefly melts...

The grass is green and lush - on my indoor mini-putting green. Outside, it's currently buried under
 7-11 cms of fresh snow - not a single Slurpee in sight... 

I may go suntan this afternoon - in front of my open microwave...

The kids will be playing outdoors all day! Hey, where else do baby goats play??

Gonna play some softball tonight...Lobbing snowballs at that miserable Canadian prairie clown Ole Man Winter...

Springtime In Alberta - winter anywhere else...


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chicken Scratch

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


Lookit me!

Ah'm a chicken - get it??

I gotsa comb, so's ah'm a chicken!!


Wut's that??


Well, carry on.....

Cluck fer now!

Friday, April 12, 2013

On The Next Episode Of...

"Survivor: The Bachelor (Season XXVIII )Versus Hell's Kitchen's Lead Dishwasher"

Sequestered in a NYC loft's kitchen, Sebastien attempts to embarrass famed winner of HK's Lead Dishwasher, Grotto Kanary.

In this episode the Immunity Challenge includes crafting a comprehensive grocery list, clapping whilst chewing gum, and Best Profile In Hallway Mirror.

The NY Times gushes "TV that simply compels viewers". USA Today headline screams "JUST TRY NOT WATCHING THIS, SUCKAS!!!!". Cosmo proclaims "TV has reached a pinnacle with this series".

Don't miss out.

And later this week, Storage Wars Oxnard joins forces with a special cast of Dancing With The Stars: Animated Character Edition to make TV history with the first ever Salsa competition in a 10 x 10 locker just off the sprawling Oxnard airport tarmac. Jay Leno hosts a car rally before the episode - catch him before he returns to host the Tonight Show in 2015!!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ducks In A Row...

It is kind of exciting to be seeing a few pieces of my life puzzle fall into place. Well, possibly...

I hope I like this new doctor that I will be seeing soon. I will be pitching hard to get referred to an endocrinologist, so as to best manage my diabetes. I'm curious to see what my A1C will look like, as it has been high for a few consecutive periods of testing.

I have a few outstanding interviews to schedule, so once this week is behind me, I will work in earnest to get those done and posted.

And, I hope to take pictures of my potato chip shaped like a duck, and get that posted on eBay. People have made a small fortune with ridiculous items like that available online, so I'm hoping my piece of the American dream might just be in the shape of a duck. For people that have known me a long time, that would be appropriate.

Off and running!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Holy Dilated Pupils, Batman!

Yesterday I had my annual eye exam, for which I will confess there was some degree of dread going in. My diabetes control is not great right now.

Happily, there is no damage to  my retinas, and the bonus from yesterday was that my eye doctor recommended a doctor in the area that might be taking new patients. Which he was, so I will be able to get my prescriptions renewed and hopefully even get a referral to an endocrinologist. Gotta stay on top of that dang diabetes....

Also, I got to spend the bulk of the day in sunglasses, as my pupils were as wide as if I had been on Willie Nelson's tour bus for a week. It just so happened to be the sunniest day of the year so far yesterday, so I had to do my best mole impression in the car, until we got back home and I could relax in a darkened room.

Holey moley.....


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Dan St.Yves Meets Richard Karn (REM)

Found this article online while home sick yesterday - seems like an interesting read :-)

REM column

Home sick yesterday, going for my annual eye exam today. Back at the grind tomorrow!


Monday, April 08, 2013

Home Sick

No, not missing home. Actually, sick. At home...



Sunday, April 07, 2013

Chicken Scratch

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


Less put things in pursepective here....


Yes, ah did help mahself ta a chocolate rabbit - guilty....

In ma defense, it WUZ hidden in tha laundry room, unner a stack a ole newspapers. Ah thought mebbe ah had ta PROTECKT tha hoomans here, ba consoomin' that kinda rotten ole food product...


It wuz kinda fresh when I ated it, I will admit...

But, if Banjo Boy is tuckin' treets aroun tha house, does that make ME tha crimmimal????


I suggest - NO!

We will agree to dissagree.....


Say, can a bird get a bagel up in here??




Cluck fer now.....

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Calgary Folk Club: Chic Gamine with Lucas Chaisson

Calgary Folk Club 04 05 13
Chic Gamine
Lucas Chaisson

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

Calgary Folk Club

April 5, 2013

Chic Gamine
Lucas Chaisson

It's not going to be terribly hard to try finding praise for an evening of wonderful artistry from two talented acts I had not seen nor heard before. Both Chic Gamine (from my hometown of Winnipeg), and Albertan Lucas Chaisson (pictured below) impressed the Calgary Folk Club audience with amazing singing, songwriting and musicianship skills.  

Chaisson opened the evening with retro, tremelo-filled sounds on his electric acoustic guitar. "My Lover, My Ghost", showcased his guitar skills (that only got better as the night went on) , reminding me a bit of local musician Steve Pineo, with just a shade of John Hiatt's vocal sounds. Actually, he could sound quite a bit like the lead vocalist for The Zac Brown Band at times - I really should find out that gentleman's name, I'm quite a fan...

 Over the course of his allotted time, Mr. Chaisson showcased some bluesy folk from two of his albums, including his most recent release "Growing Pains".  Along the way, he demonstrated a quick sense of humour, and particularly wowed on his cover of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready". That song is on the latest CD.

Check out Lucas on his site

Main act Chic Gamine wasted no time letting us know what to expect. From second song "Closer" through two pleasingly diverse sets, I discovered a sound that I am going to call "Retro Modern". If that's already a thing, I apologize...

A blend of styles in that particular song of The Chordettes meet Duffy, these four ladies (along with their rhythmist and official jar opener Sacha Daoud) did something last night I don't think I've ever seen before - harmonize with vocals so distinct you could identify each singer during the harmonies. Outstanding...

From the bio in the club newsletter, they are indeed four lead vocalists, and in some respects, like during the stunningly lush "Paper Moon", a bit of an A capella Andrews Sisters, bringing sounds of the Forties into today. Hey, that's Spell-Check's version, I still prefer acapella..

However, as they pointed out, that isn't exactly accurate as they incorporate drums, hand instruments, keyboards and guitar, along with one official spotlight for The Winnipeg Triangle Orchestra. 

Juno Winners for Best Roots Album of 2009, Chic Gamine includes Ariane Jean, Andrina Turenne, Annick Bremault, Alexa Dirks, and lone testosterone carrier Sacha Daoud. 

Together, they have forged a sound that combines sounds from the last 60 years, and sounds like Amy Winehouse could have had a hand in the proceedings.  

There was also a healthy offering of French selections, and I have to wonder how this group might be able to update the ground-breaking Lucille Starr's  "The French Song", that was a break-out pop hit with both French and English lyrics. Just sayin'... 

I had to pick up both their albums afterwards last night. I hope I didn't make the wrong decision by not also snagging "Closer", which I was told was a remastered version of City City

Visit their website to pick up your own copies, or see them live if they are in your area!

And there is only one show left in this season at The Calgary Folk Club, which I expect will be a fitting end to what has been eye-opening for me this year. Don't miss your chance to discover amazing artists, in a truly unique setting.


Friday, April 05, 2013

SOS Doctors....

Well, yesterday was a washout, trying to get my prescriptions renewed.

I went to a new clinic that we registered for months ago, and have not yet heard back from. No luck, apparently after having to prompt from the medical office assistant what time they were open until, and clearly probing to find out IF THEY COULD SEE ME WHICH IS WHY I WAS STANDING THERE, I was informed they were not taking any more appointments. Funny, we're told to keep our visits short, yet an empty waiting room is an apparent challenge to their ability to help facilitate patients.

That's Strike Two for these turkeys, so I am done hoping they will grace me with the wonder of their awesomeness.

From there, I went to my old walk-in clinic, and was informed that even though they were open for several more hours, they in fact had NO DOCTORS in that day. Excellent. A good opportunity for the staff to catch up on their saved Solitaire games.

Also why I am looking for a new doctor...

I had already asked a diabetes nurse I'd seen in the past for some help, but no response, after a week of waiting. So, I am going to have to find a new clinic, and a new doctor again.  And as a person affected by diabetes, I will request a professional that actually runs a practice, for the purpose of having patients.

I also need to find someone pronto, as I am running out of my medications.....

Calgary Folk Club tonight, review tomorrow morning!


Thursday, April 04, 2013

Chic Gamine?

Hello Winnipeg family and peeps!

Any buzz on a local band - Chic Gamine? We'll be seeing them tomorrow night, with my review to follow Saturday morning. From their website, it looks like they will bring a terrific show to Calgary - not like we've been disappointed yet with our evenings at the enduring Calgary Folk Club!

Other than that, just for the record, I am searching Kijiji for a voodoo doll that could be used as a stand-in for Old Man Winter. With more snow yesterday, and more possibly on the way, I am hoping to harpoon this doll into submission, or at least direct him to say...Regina.

If you have a line on something that will work, please let me know asap...



Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Atmospheric Headaches

Man, we have been living in Calgary for several years now, but only recently have I fallen victim to what is a common occurrence for many residents - headaches when Chinooks or pressure systems roll into town.

Yesterday, we curved from warm weather into below zero, and snow overnight. During that conversion, I wrestled with a brutal headache. Not quite a migraine like other sufferers, but still - I could barely count to twelve without having to stop and rest between the numbers!

Well, now I get to look forward to a commute in fresh snow, so maybe that will give the Tylenol time to kick in?



Tuesday, April 02, 2013

For The Birds

You know, it's bad enough we have a blogging rubber chicken around the house, now the annual stove vent bird nesting has returned!

Mrs. That Dan Guy heard bird chirping sounds in our range vent the other day, indicating that after our post-chick-birth eviction last year, the tweeting freeloaders had returned. We thought that was the humane route to take, until I was making breakfast one morning, and turned on the vent fan.

That's when the feathers flew. All over our cooking...

I posted back then shot of the next inside the vent. Not fun to clear out.

So, this year I opted to take a preemptive move. I taped a paper plate over the vent, whatever you call the thing that is on our outside wall, and clearly no challenge for creative birds looking for free lodging.

Four days later, no chirps. I think I managed to discourage their sublet.

Back to just plastic poultry, bad enough as that is!


Monday, April 01, 2013

Getting Sorted....

I'm off work today, as part of the deal-io with my full-time employer's holiday schedule.

So, I'm trying to get on top of several projects that have been slipping through the cracks...chasms...gulleys....

OK, Grand Canyon...

However, I made good headway on some deadline items yesterday, and I've got tasks sorted in priorities to make my way through today. Should be another great day of getting stuff done.

Just have to set the PVR for today's recordings...


"The Price Is Right"??

"Let's Make A Deal"????

Oh boy............