thatdanguy's podcast

thatdanguy's podcast
CLICK ON THE PHOTO MONTAGE! Or, Free Downloads on i-Tunes!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Farewell Hartford, and friends old & new #nsnc13

What in God's name were we thinking?

As I type this post out at 4:00 AM, I am reminded that only fools or flight risks book flights out at such unseemly hours of the day...

However, my wife and I are indeed leaving, so that is all besides the point. Or beside - at this time of the morning, grammar can go screw itself...

#nsnc13 was amazing - wonderful seeing old friends, and a delight to make some new ones. I may have learnt something, but with only one eye open at the moment, it is hard to remember anything more than how to breathe, and not to bite down on my tongue as it is lolling out of my mouth right now.

Until next year, friends and colleagues - safe travels to you all - and hopefully at a far more reasonable hour than I....

I will try and share some photos later from last night's talent contest...


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday Sessions, #nsnc13 "Columnists In The Wild..."

The first full day of NSNC's 37th Annual Conference in Hartford was jam-packed with amazing sessions from a variety of presenters, and side trips off to see local sights.

Not the least of those by any stretch was Mark Twain House - after the tour, almost everyone was muttering about standing in the billiard room where Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn sprang to life - an amazing piece of American history...

Beyond that, the prestigious Will Rogers Humanitarian award was presented to worthy recipient Mike Morin, and the legendary Heloise presented 50 years of memories to her audience.

THAT was all just on the first day of our gathering.....


Friday, June 28, 2013

Seeing Old Friends, and Making New Ones (hopefully...) #nsnc13

Well, one thing is obvious so far at the #NSNC13 conference - no matter how hard I try, I may not even come close to seeing everyone here in attendance...

After starting off by running into a bunch of familiar faces, meeting a few new ones, and breaking bread last night, I have my work cut out for me if I hope to even just say "hello" to all of my fellow attendees. A good turnout for our annual event, I am pleased to report.

Yesterday was primarily registration and an optional dinner at City Steam Brewery Cafe, but I think based on the few moments I spent visiting with folks, this is going to be a GREAT few days....

The festivities kick off officially in just over an hour - let the games begin!!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

#nsnc13 - Officially Day One!

Well, after almost a week of teasers posted in and around Hartford, the conference we have come here for officially begins today. Though we ran out of gas and turned in early last night, tweets and Facebook posts filtering through indicated colleagues from the National Society Of Newspaper Columnists had begun to arrive.

This is the soft start day, with registration in the afternoon, and an optional dinner at a local restaurant tonight. We'll definitely partake of that, and start to catch up with some friends I haven't seen in 3 years. Plus meet new ones I've connected with online.

As great a time as we've had to far, it's only going to get better!! And that is typically once it is announced that "the hospitality suite is now open" :-)



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My latest humour column, live online!

In all the hubbub around being in hartford, I missed my REM column going live!

Here's a link:

House Guest Deterrent Program


"Becoming Dr. Ruth" - A Canadian's Review (Hartford TheatreWorks)

"A lesson learned with humor is a lesson remembered".

That is just one line from Mark St.Germain's powerful and revealing play about the engaging, legendary American sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer. There is certainly humour aplenty in this production, but also aching tragedy, and innumerable life lessons shared over the course of 90 dialogue-packed minutes.

Presented somewhat like the popular TV mockumentary style in use now, Dr. Ruth is quite aware of her audience, referring to them as "company". She invited them in, and spoke openly and candidly to the entire theatre as she packed in preparation to move from her home.

From a simple set that speaks to her personality with each set piece, the play also incorporates multimedia wonderfully. Which is where I will now quit giving away what you can expect - when the play turns to heartache and seriousness, it is with substantial impact provided by that multimedia feature. 

Funny, you can't imagine Dr. Ruth without her trademark giggle and uninhibited sense of humour. Humorist Garrison Keillor has said that humour comes from having an unhappy childhood. Dr. Ruth endured so much of that, yet what joy she retained from her childhood guides everything in her future. It was a story I didn't prepare myself for in advance of attending this play.

Behind the persona there are those formative events, often tied back onstage to small, seemingly insignificant set pieces. Each holds a story and a life lesson for Dr. Ruth, and the audience: doll houses, turtles, and a poignant wash cloth.

The play was written by St. Germain specifically for Debra Jo Rupp, a former starring cast member of "That 70's Show". Rupp does not relent for even a moment onstage, inviting us in as Dr. Ruth, but carrying a life on her shoulders for 90 solid minutes. The most effective moments of her acting weren't necessarily how convincingly she becomes her character, but just within her eyes - laughter, pride, joy. Anguish.   

Photographs and memories abound and illustrate the importance of family, the pride of accomplishment - and like a home damaged after a flood, how a person assesses what a treasure really is. 

"Music is the thread that holds my memories together", Dr. Ruth tells the audience during one scene. Theatre as compelling as this is what will linger in your memory, long after...

As it happened, we were fortunate to have a brief audience Q & A with Rupp and a manager from the theatre afterward, but I was too busy making frantic notes on my iPhone to ask any questions- probably not a great attribute for a theatre reviewer to have short memory issues :-)

What I do recall hearing was the strong degree of collaboration they enjoyed with Dr Ruth and her family in this entire enterprise. They also hope to bring it to New York. Like the one-woman enduring hit "Shirley Valentine", "Becoming Dr. Ruth" could enjoy a life long after the success it is already enjoying.

I have seen live theatre all across North America - Canada, New York, LA, San Francisco, Philly and more - this may well be the production I remember the most - a lesson learned with humour...

Hartford '13 - Day Five #nsnc13

Well, the #nsnc13 conference is getting closer. Today, we will check out of the hotel we've stayed in to this point, and move over to the actual conference hotel. By today, tomorrow at the latest a LOT of familiar faces will be starting to appear here in Hartford...

Did a bit more sightseeing yesterday, and photos are loaded above - Bushnell Park, the historic carousel in the park that just happened to open YESTERDAY, for Pete's sake!

We also caught the astounding "Becoming Dr. Ruth" at TheaterWorks - friends and colleagues, if you have a free night while you're here, and you can get a ticket to this frequently sold out show, take it in. My review will be posted as soon as I can get it scribbled...


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hartford '13 Day Four - The City, The Sights #nsnc13

For all my #nsnc13 friends and colleagues that will begin to arrive over the next few days, the slide show above shows some of the amenities and sites near our conference hotel. 

Hartford is something this time of year - they are having a sweltering heatwave at the moment, with temperatures in the 90's.

Which caused a bit of concern yesterday, when Mrs. That Dan Guy and I went out to see some of those sites. At one point, I looked over, and her ears looked like someone had set them ablaze. I've seen ketchup that was more flesh-coloured than her ears were at that moment...

Trying to steer us to air conditioning and a hospital cot, I delayed pocket-dialing paramedics. We settled into a food court not far from The Hilton, and she slowly regained her natural composition. 

Today, we'll explore some more, but while it is still rather moderate during the morning...

Sadly, there are rain and thunderstorms forecast from Wednesday on, so check your flights, and drive carefully if you are taking the interstate to get here!

Above you'll see pics from Bushnell Park, the riverwalk, Old State House, our hotel and bistro (who am I kidding - check out how SMALL the bar is - do they know this is a newspaper columnist conference??), and more.

Hartford awaits, friends!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Infinity Hall Live Review

Infinity Hall
Norfolk Connecticut
Rising Star Series, with 
Glenn Roth, Kerri Powers and Jeff LeBlanc

The Monday Morning "Before-Noon" Music Review: Infinity Hall, Rising Star Series


Glenn Roth
Kerri Powers
Jeff LeBlanc

We had two chances to see live shows at Infinity Hall while my wife and I were here in Connecticut. Having already seen the legendary Robert Cray, we opted for the Rising Stars series, which felt an awful lot like the shows I review back home for the Calgary Folk Club. 

Turned out to be a wise choice...

Over the course of a few hours, we were introduced to three diverse and talented artists, in the stunning hall that is almost as prominent on Public Television's Infinity Hall Live series as the artists are. Being instant fans from the first broadcast we caught, we couldn't believe we were going to be just an hour's drive away in Hartford.

Opener Glenn Roth showcased his instrumental finger style acoustic guitar from his first song and onward. Offering up originals like "Busker", "Into The Unknown", and "Reincarnation", Mr. Roth proved a craftsman on his instrument - those fingers of his were flying...

For covers, Roth featured instrumental versions from his heavy-metal heroes, with a rich and hearty take on Ozzy's "Mama I'm Coming Home" - followed by some Iron Maiden. There's a whole new perspective on the genre!! And those are apparently big hits on his YouTube channel.

He also confessed to what we've all done when we were younger - or at least us males. Beginning as an air guitarist, he has clearly graduated with honours into being the real deal...

Check out Glenn Roth for links to his site and music!

Following Glenn was bluesy American roots and soul singer songwriter Kerri Powers. Soft blues, but only in the sense of the tenderness. She reminded me vocally of the wonderful Gretchen Peters, who I saw earlier this year, but she has definitely established her own musical identity. She's clearly comfortable enough to poke fun of herself, with a hilarious impression of Katherine Hepburn doing The Beatles "Let It Be". One of last night's highlights...

If I had to pick a few personal favourites they'd certainly include "Dancin'"and "Old Shirt".

During every evening of collected songwriters performing live acoustic sets, there is always one moment where you can hear a fly on the wall breathing. Last night, it was Powers' performance of "I've Got Your Back". That song had better end up on a CD soon...

I would strongly suggest you visit Kerri Powers online, and snap up some of her music... 

Closer/headliner Jeff LeBlanc damn neared freaked me out towards the close of his set. During his first song, I scribbled this note:

Well, thanks iPhoto for not saving the photo rotation....

At any rate, during his first song, which I thought was a rootsy, Americana cover of a OneRepublic song, I took note that he sounded a bit like the singer from Crowded House. Later, he covered "Don't Dream It's Over"!!

Well, it was not OneRepublic after all, it was just one of many originals that showcased an ear for what I think will be some very familiar songs to listeners in the not too distant future.

With a new album due for release July 30, LeBlanc debuted a number of those new tracks, and I'd bet the farm he'll have some fair degree of success with this album. Keeping true to his indie roots, LeBlanc also manages to craft songs that have the potential to cross over, in the way that traditional roots artists can find a toehold in the mainstream music world. 

That is already proven, with songs picked up by TV shows as diverse as "Teen Mom" and "Jersey Shore". I think indie will only be his style, once his audience discovers his music in larger numbers...

Jeff LeBlanc has some music already available, but keep your eyes peeled for his new album..

All in all, Infinity Hall was everything we expected. Hopefully this won't be the last time we get to enjoy what this amazing facility has to offer....     

Hartford '13 - Day Three (Norwich) #nsnc13

Hartford '13 - Day Three

Folks, if you get here to Hartford early and want to see some of the countryside, rent a car and get yourself over to Norfolk. About an hour away, the highway runs almost entirely through photo-op quaint towns, and stunning, dense forests.

Also, there seems to be less deer sleeping on the side of the road, which was NOT the case when we went east to Norwich & Foxwoods a couple of days ago...

A definite plus in Norfolk is the famed Infinity Hall, which features world-class entertainment. We caught the up-and-comers night yesterday (review to follow in separate post). If you're not familiar, look through your local public TV listings, the shows are typically exceptional, and you'll see many familiar faces from the music world.

We always get amazed at how well Americans preserve their history. Building from the 1880's?? In Canada, we bulldoze buildings from the 1980's - you can never get enough of gas stations, Subway and convenience stores!!

At any rate, we are getting close to switching hotels to be at the conference hotel. Where we are located now was perfect for the the events we had planned before things kick into gear with #nsnc13.

Well, I've got a review to write - more tomorrow!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

SNL's Seth Meyers - Live!

Seth Meyers Live
Foxwoods Resort Casino MGM Grand Theater

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

If you are planning on pursuing a career as a stand-up, do yourself one favour: go see Seth Meyers perform live. His performance last night was a master class in how to riff on touch-points for every single member of an audience, and sustain laughs for a solid 90 minutes. That is not even close to easy, but I swear he got even funnier the FURTHER his act proceeded. 

Unencumbered by the constraints of conventional TV broadcast restrictions and censor handcuffs, Meyers utilized every conceivable golden rule of comedy - surprise, circle-back punchlines, punchlines AFTER punchlines that were even funnier than the first punchline. And all the while he had cohesive stories and anecdotes that a visibly diverse audience could unite in hilarity with. 

Sure, he goes a bit blue, but in an everyman, I'm-one-of-your-buddies, buy-me-a-beer sort of way. He certainly didn't need to cuss to get his laughs, but I'll admit to maybe laughing a little harder when his points were punctuated with common wide-eyed expressions of disbelief and frustration I would use myself, given similar situations.

Topics? Universal - politics, European travel, getting into his first (and only) fist-fight, but also some behind the scenes stuff from SNL that was priceless. He virtually closed his show with Weekend Update bits that didn't get past the censors - even the stick-in-the-mud beside us finally unfolded her arms and hooted with delight! 

There were too many highlights to try finding just a few, as I say this was solid - the most solid set I have ever seen, and we have seen some of the biggest names in the comedy biz. But his riffs on Donald Trump, Kanye West, and an assortment of presidents clearly resonated with our fellow audience members. 

On a side note, I was a little less than discreet with polishing my lens in my seat (NOT a euphemism), and suddenly found myself having a conversation with the theatre manager regarding photos. She informed me that I could NOT take pictures with such a long lens (now I am bragging just a little..), but "if towards the end you tried to capture a shot or two, we would be too busy to take notice, or evict you by force with our security staff".

That explains the ghostly image of Mr. Meyers exiting the stage I have posted above, without the benefit of focus...


Hartford '13 - Day Two #nsnc13

For my fellow #nsnc13 attendees, here are a few more pictures from our advance arrival expeditions.

Yesterday, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I headed off to Foxwoods, a giant casino and hotel complex located about an hour away from Hartford - where our conference will take place next week.

Along the way, our drive cut through the stunning greenery of Connecticut in the spring. Maybe summer, I hear that is a thing in warmer climates. We're from Canada, so "summer" is often like other whispered legends you hear of, such as Sasquatch and harmonious bi-partisanship...

To get to Foxwoods, you pass through the waterfront town of Norwich, a picturesque little city that is seemingly still struggling to return from the ravages of the recession. Lots of vacant businesses, and homes - but it is worth stopping to have a walk around. Have lunch on the wharf, only about 40 minutes away from Hartford. 

Further down the highway (interstate?), our ultimate destination was Foxwoods, and a date later that evening with SNL's head writer Seth Meyers (review to come shortly in a separate post) to see his standup act.

But until then, we had time to kill! Exploring the sprawling, horseshoe-shaped complex and the multitude of casinos it hosts, lunch at another Hard Rock Cafe, so that we could check one more off of our to-see list, and did we mention casinos??

After a beating to start our day with the slots, our luck turned just before the show. Had to extract Mrs. That Dan Guy from a hot slot as the curtain was rising for Mr. Meyers. My review is the next thing I will be posting, after this one is up and shared on my social media sites.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hartford '13 Day One - Photos

Around our temporary hotel

And now, breakfast done - we are off!

Foxwoods here we come........


Touchdown - Hartford!

The eagles have landed - or to use a less American analogy, the beavers are now gnawing on U.S. bark!

We are here in Hartford in advance of a conference I'll be attending for the National Society Of Newspaper Columnists - can't wait to catch up with LOADS of old friends, and make some new ones!

Until that happens a few days from now, we are going to be like Vikings, but more warm and fuzzy, exploratory sorts. After we take advantage of our complimentary breakfast, we are off to see the largest casino complex in North America, about an hour away.

Send lucky thoughts people - oh, and we have tix to see SNL's Seth Meyers there!!

Woot Woot!

For Weekend Update - really???


Friday, June 21, 2013

Calgary Flooding

Our fair burgh is all over the news, thanks to cresting rivers throughout the city, outskirts, and other parts of the province. What a mess! I picked up Mrs. That Dan Guy before they started to close access into where she works downtown. Even at that time, the river we cross to get out of that area was spilling onto bike and pedestrian paths.

Updates here, and of course all over the internets....

Happily we are safe - wise move living on higher ground...


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Remembering Actor James Gandolfini

It was a thrill back in 2009 when we attended "Gods Of Carnage" on Broadway, with an all star cast including Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, and James Gandolfini. Gandolfini was without a doubt the draw to that show for us (that's Mrs That Dan Guy less than a couple of feet away from him in the lower photo...)

I'm not sure why I didn't review THAT show, I did all the others we attended during that trip, but I did scribble a few words about it and the actor in my blog sometime afterward:

He owned the stage, as you may well imagine. A departure from his Sopranos character, it was an amazing experience. Cherished now more than ever.

Gone far too soon...


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Can You Feel The Love Tonight??

I wonder if The Love gets felt every time someone hears that song? Especially at night...


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Doctor Redo, Part Three...

Today is the official conclusion of my segue into better diabetes care. I have an appointment first thing today with (I may be wrong about the title...) the in-house diabetes nurse at my new clinic, after which I have a follow-up visit with my new doctor. He'll catch me up on my test results from last week.

I suspect my A1C levels will be the highest they ever have been. Which is not a good thing. But this guy is no-nonsense. I will either have to make wiser life style choices and changes, go on insulin, or find a new doctor if I can't be bothered to follow his guidance.

It's not doing me any good to NOT make changes, so let's give that route a try before I experience the serious complications side of diabetes....


Monday, June 17, 2013

Feather's Day

I know that we tend to celebrate SOOOO many diverse events every year, but to we really need to dedicate an entire day to feather's?

On Sunday, I personally chose to ignore what has obviously developed into yet another made-up day of recognition that the greeting card industry nurtures in the name of profit. Feather's Day?? Why would I buy a greeting card for a goose??

Sure, I have a feather mattress. I am grateful for my down jacket when the Canadian temperatures plunge during the winter. But again - a national day in celebration?

How about I just celebrate quietly with a plate of duck a l'orange, or a bucket of KFC??

I will NEVER understand how these things pick up so much buy-in. Feather's Day??

What the pluck.....


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Insomnia - I'll sleep on it....


Another sleepless night last night, which also transposes to a less than fully restful sleep for Mrs. That Dan Guy.

I was flopping around like a mackerel after we went to bed, so I got up to read. Tried getting a little further into the new David Sedaris book, "Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls". So far, I have no earthly idea how he is so popular as a humorist. I have a broad taste in humour, and for the life  of me, reading a humour book should not feel like getting a root canal done by a twitchy, cross-eyed dentist using a melon-baller. This will be the second of his books that I have started, and will likely abandon.

What am I missing???

Well, after a bit of that, I went back to bed. Still, Flip & Flop. Got up again, although I could feel that the Hall Monitor was aware of my movement...

Played a bit of my computer game, and watched the news on CBC's national station. If that doesn't put you to sleep, you've obviously just been injected with adrenaline, and finished your twelfth Red Bull...

Went back to bed. Again, I could actually see the dust on the stipple of our bedroom ceiling. Toss, turn, get back up again.

Long story shorter, it was 3:00 AM before I finally settled in long enough to sleep.

I need to get a handle on this insomnia thing....


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Chicken Scratch

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

Happy Satter-day, mah hooman pals!!

Well, with summer right aroun tha corner, ole Chuck here thinks it may be time to try sum tannin'.

I found a box a suntan lotion in tha pantry! Odd, usually it comes in tubes...


Seems safe enuff - promises ta make me "crispy outside, juicy inside". Ah see mahself as a bit of a 

juicy dahlite!!


Wut I can't figger out is why there's a calorie message - I ain't plannin' on lickin' tha lotion!!

Well, maybe chicks dig that...

Ah guess ah also gotta thank mah hooman landlords here - they musta bought this tannin' stuff fer me - it clearly notes it's fer "original chickens".

Thas me!


Hey! There's directions on tha box!!

* Put mix in plastic bag - thas odd - but OK...

* Insert chicken into bag with mix - well...duh!!

* Place coated chicken on non-stick foil lined pan...why not a lawn chair??

* Set oven at 400...oven??






Bird on tha run!!


Cluck fer now!!!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

1) Older, but in that distinguished Paul Newman sort of way...

2) Wiser, but still able to fall for clever telemarketer scams...

3) Less Freckled - I mean come on, how many freckles does a person really need?

4) A candidate for plastic surgery - I have already submitted an application to the Kenny Rogers Ear Relocation Clinic - fingers crossed!!!

5) A dog owner - I love driving by pedestrians and seeing all their dogs pulling them along sidewalks to fitness and well-being...

6) A fireman. Or a cowboy. Maybe an astronaut.

7) Not encumbered by oily discharges. I hate oily discharges....

8) Surrounded by friends and family. But not in another one of their goddam "interventions"...

9) A collector of fine china. Or, a collector of fines in China...

10) Actually grown up - but I do enjoy me my juvenile moments still!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Part Two, Health Care Redo....

So, Part One of our personal health care uptake was to finally get accepted by a new doctor. For me, it was fortunate to find one that has in-house diabetes resources, rather than having to get that vital component elsewhere.

For Mrs. That Dan Guy, who despises going to the doctor, it is a series of test and pokes and prods, as they assess us both from a baseline starting point. Unlike walk-in clinics, where the doctor typically comes in with a prescription pad, and a countdown timer to move you along as fast as possible, this doctor really wants to know what shape we are currently in. One clue: Awful!

We are BOTH off this morning for fasting blood tests, which means we could not have anything to eat after 9 PM last night. We also could not have coffee, which means I am actually going to be trying to herd a bear into the car in about 25 minutes. Which is tricky, because I am so dopey myself from caffeine deficiencies...I may get mauled in the process...

After this testing session, I get to see a diabetes comprehensive care nurse next week, and from there, hope to get my diabetes maintenance under FULL control.

Of course, that will likely come with some unpleasant side-effects. Farewell potato chips! Sayonara Mickey D!! So long, anything with taste!

If I don't make it, give my toothbrush museum collection to my dentist....


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An Ode To Meat


Tender, tasty - specifically when it has been cooked.

Starts red, but better brown. Medium well, done for me!


On a plate.


On a stick.


Fun to eat!

I love meat.....


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Random Real Estate Thoughts

A collage of scattered thoughts, intended to make you go "hmmm"...

My latest humor column for:

REM (Real Estate Magazine)



Monday, June 10, 2013

Gonna Be A Sunny Day!

Looks like our holidaying rain clouds have finally moved on - hopefully they stick around somewhere else for a while. I hear Saskatchewan or Manitoba needs a month of solid rain...

Although welcome, the sun is still no substitute for a lack of heat. We have our goddam furnace on right now!! It's June, for crying out loud!!!

So, Mr. Sun - heat things up a bit. Get your sorry ass percolating some rays of warmth, and send down some heat so I can start saving my money for winter, when it comes back late is August.

That is all. Carry on...


Sunday, June 09, 2013

Road Trip!

Walked to the corner, turned and walked out of our townhouse complex - and there it was!

The road.

It appeared to go on for quite a bit, in each direction.

THAT was my road trip...


Saturday, June 08, 2013

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger...and...uhh..general contractor?? Charlie....)

Howdy hoomans!!

Ole Charlie is here now, an I'm gonna "make it right"!!


Yessir, I juss took mahself a course online, an I am now a General Contracter - having zipped right passed Sergeant and Loot-Enant!!


So, I'm gunna buy mahself a hammer, some bib overalls, and shave most uv mah head - move over Mike Holmes - Charlie's tha new fixit guru aroun here!!


Got a leaky roof?

Tough cluckin' luck! I ain't a roofer. Although ah did have shingles once!!


Here all week folks - try tha veal!!


Got moisture coming in through yer basement walls??

Let me get mah duct tape an a coupla plastic shopping bags - I'll have ya fixed up in NO time!!

Wut ah really wanna do is spray fome insalayshun - gimme one a them guns, an LET ME LOOSE!!




Hey, is that a whoopin' crane??

See ya!!!!!

Cluck fer now....... 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Penguins vs Bruins: An Extra Puck Will Turn The Tide!

So here's my plan, and I offer it up freely to the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins. I have a vested interest in their making it through to the next round, as our former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla is with the Pens now, and it would surely be a great thing to see him win a cup ring with them this year....

First off, both Pittsburgh and Boston are fairly close to New Jersey. You can read between the lines to see where this is going, and after a few weeks of recovery, whichever Bruin "takes one for the team" can be well past recovery and out golfing in no time. New Jersey, let me make this perfectly clear - nobody needs to "swim with the fishes", just a little encouragement to let up a bit so that the Pens can score a few goals...

In lieu of drastic measures, I am recommending my primary concept of how the Pens can turn things around, borrowing a few tricks from magicians.

First off, one Penguin (maybe five or six, we need to ensure victory after all) must agree to slip an extra NHL-approved hockey puck into their pocket. That Penguin will then linger around the side or back of the Bruins' net.

When the play is in the Bruins' end, another Penguin must fall onto the puck. Here's where the magic act is going to need absolute precision: With one Pen fallen on the puck, he will need to discreetly slip that into HIS pocket, while a team mate pretends to take a slapshot at the net. At that time, and in an appropriate moment that is neither too soon nor too late, the lingering Penguin by the net must toss the SECOND puck in behind the Bruins goalie, so that it looks like a legitimate score.

Hey, you don't have to worry about the officials. They've been as vigilant as a squinty Cyclops with a 10-Gallon hat pulled down to his nose. It will be the goal judge and whichever fans in sight lines that are sober enough to catch on.

This can work Pittsburgh - at least consider it before YOU are all golfing this weekend....


Thursday, June 06, 2013

Climb Every Mountain...

* But only if they are REALLY close by - one should never have to TRAVEL to mountain climb...

* Only if they aren't all that tall. Who's got time to be climbing tall, tall mountains??

* EVERY mountain?? I don't think so. That's just crazy talk. Who could get around to climbing EVERY dog-gone mountain?? Not me....

* If mountains had elevators, that would make climbing a whole heck of a lot easier....

* What's with the silent "b" on "climb"? No wonder kids fail at spelling bees....

* Wait - were we just supposed to climb Every Mountain??


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Heading Home...

Well, my lightning-fast visit to Vancouver is ending today. Had a great meeting with the national leader that will be shaping the volunteer program for my day job. We also attended a public policy summit here yesterday that acknowledges the challenges (changing landscape) of the modern volunteer force. I picked up a few nuggets from that event.

Today I have to walk over to our Vancouver office, and will sit in on a couple of conference calls that were scheduled - just happen to be here and I can attend in person!

Then the sun sets on this adventure as I fly back to Calgary, before the sun literally sets. It will be nice to use a washroom again where the door to the bathroom doesn't rest against the toilet bowl. That has been some fun. I will also look forward to seeing my bathroom sink at home, which does not send spritzes of water along the basin and the bottom of the mirror.

I did happen to catch a bald eagle soaring above while on a little walkabout last night. At first, I thought it was a huge crow carrying part of a small albino pillow, but I realized where I was and deduced that it was indeed an eagle.


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Vancouver Day One

It's always eye-opening walking around in a city that's not your own.

The sights, the sounds, the people - quite an experience.

I walked around the area my hotel is in last night, and as I took in the wide variety of local amenities, I also couldn't help but notice a substantial line-up of people on the sidewalk, waiting to get into a small sit-down restaurant. I'm betting the food must be awfully good in THAT little business...

I came across an slightly different view of homeless people here in Vancouver, compared to what I've come to see back in Calgary.

Less Dollar stores, more optical businesses. Maybe all the eagles close by focus more attention on eyes here??

I'll check out more tonight, but for now, I have to get ready to go to Richmond, for the summit I'm attending.


Monday, June 03, 2013

Jumping Right In

I start my new role here today (in my day job) as Manager Of Volunteer Engagement for Alberta with the Canadian Diabetes Association. A large and daunting task, but I get to start by taking a short trip to meet the lady who is shaping this role across Canada. In a few hours, I'm off to Vancouver.

The timing is amazing, as Volunteer Canada is hosting a public policy summit there on volunteering and citizen engagement. I am expecting to take a LOT back from this little jaunt.

Sadly, Mrs. That Dan Guy must stay and hold down the fort, wrangle Charlie, and ensure that my cigars remain at optimum humidity levels in our cabinet. Taking one for the team...

After I return, I will have to hope that a couple of interview subjects are still interested in participating, as we have been busy beavers the last while. Sure want to keep those features going, even though I foresee a lot of juggling in my future.

Yeah, and some jiggling...dang thighs....


Sunday, June 02, 2013

New Reading Material (2nd Chance For Popular Joker)

I spotted the upcoming release of David Sedaris' newest book about a month ago, and now it is finally out! Snagged it during my first-ever visit to a Canadian Target store yesterday. Plus got a great saving on corn removers, so boo-yah!!

Sedaris is widely regarded as the pre-eminent humorist of his generation, but you wouldn't know it by the first book of his I bought on sale - "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk". Never did get too far into that one, and I should eventually try giving it another go. 

The first piece in "Owls" was pretty amusing, but nothing earth-shaking. He's got a great style, so I expect I'll be won over by the end. I have a business trip this week, so I should really get to bite into it. I did buy a hardcover, so if push comes to shove, there are many possible uses...

In fairness, his earlier releases are considered classics now, so I should maybe have started with some of his initial best-sellers. And, I did download a piece he did for NPR, which was hilarious. 

It is a surreal moment of synchronicity though, where my day job somewhat intersects with my humour career - or at least so it would seem based on the title.

I'll keep you posted!


Saturday, June 01, 2013

Chicken Scratch

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

Well, well, well........

Ole Charlie thought he had found SOME kinda good fortune lass week...

I red me a ad inna newspaper or somewhere, an thought, YESSIR!

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner??


So I toodles down ta tha restorante, an lo an behold - IT'S CHICKEN THEY'S SERVIN'!!!!!





Chicken bits everywhere - battered, baked, flame-boiled an grilled!!!

Like a layer uv gravy an a bed a mashed pohtaitoes MAKES IT ALRIGHT!!



Yew hoomans is gonna git it one day, lemme tell ya!!

I juss gotta fine me a Colonel that knows a few OTHER recipes!!


Lemme tell ya - I skittered mah pinfeathers outta that joint faster than a cannonball - an I ain't NEVER goin' back.

"Winner Winner" mah poultry-bumped bee-hind!!

Cluck fer now...