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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Invitations To Avoid...

Here's an old newspaper column, recycled here for the sake of I'M ON FREAKIN' HOLIDAYS!!!



New Year’s Eve Invitations To Avoid…

New Year’s Eve, possibly the grandest party night of the year. A New Year’s Eve function can range from something intimate (just you and your partner), to a full-blown black-tie evening in the most formal ballroom in town, filled with hundreds of other couples.
A bad night will ultimately mean you, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, the sofa, and whatever brand of inexpensive vodka that is traditionally served with Cheezies… 
The best New Year’s Eve parties typically sell out fast, so you should determine to make a quick decision when invited, so as not to be left back at home on that sofa. 
That said though, there are certain invitations you may want to delay agreeing to, in the hope that a better one comes along before January 2:

-You might choose to pass on an invitation to attend the Dec. 31 soiree of the local chapter of Drying Paint Observers. Those coverall tuxedos are expensive to rent…

-You could attend the 3rd Annual New Year’s Eve Banjo Polka-palooza. Hearing Auld Lang Syne by a trio of banjos is honestly like nothing else you have ever heard…  

-Dr. Shaky Tweezer’s Evening Of Complimentary Root Canals may be advertised as a big gala event, but I think you could probably find a better way to spend New Year’s Eve.

-It’s ultimately your decision, but I’d be inclined to pass on an invite to the New Year’s Eve Annual Awards Monologue Banquet Of Sedated Octogenarian Accountants… 

-It wouldn’t be a hard decision to avoid an invitation to The Flatulence Anonymous New Year’s Eve Baked-Bean Dinner & Dance. Unless they invite you back again as Keynote Speaker…man, those beans are good with a little cheddar cheese on top…
-It would be entirely proper to decline an invitation to Hugh Hefner’s Scandinavian Playmate Pajama Party & Strip Poker New Year’s Eve.
                                        Hey, wait a minute….     

-As curious as you may be, I think you’d have a better New Year’s Eve if you passed on the “When Is Grandpa’s Boil Gonna Burst? Sport & Betting Event”.

-I think your boss is maybe overstepping his boundaries when he invited you to his New Year’s Eve Magical Dusk-To-Dawn Evening Of Inventory Control

-It just might be me, but anyone overly squeamish should plan to avoid the Left-Over Meals From “Fear Factor” & “Survivor” New Year’s Eve Buffet. Especially the “Items They Couldn’t Keep Down” Sampler Platter… 




Monday, December 30, 2013

Avoid The Crowds!

Celebrate New Year's Eve TONIGHT, in Times Square, and avoid the millions of rabble-rousers that will limit your ability to move around tomorrow night.

Drink champagne, toot your horn, and wear a funny hat and glasses - there's every chance you won't be along doing that...


Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Brief Commercial...


Thanks for visiting, I appreciate you taking the time to check out what I do here.

I also apologize for taking you down rabbit holes during that time...

As long as you are here, why don't you check out some of my other digital offerings?

If you scroll back up, and click on the photo montage above, you will be directed to my podcast site. Click through what shows there for interviews with actors, authors and more. 

You'll hear from Canadian Idol finalists, syndicated columnists, humorists, TV actors like Richard Karn from "Home Improvement", a Hay House motivational/inspirational life coach - and Canadian actors that have trod a Broadway stage!

If you click through the archives over to the right on that page, you'll find older interviews (audio, but some video as well) with Joyce DeWitt from "Three's Company", Jamie Farr from "M*A*S*H" and many others - all for free, right to your iPod, or quaint Windows device.

You can also choose to subscribe in iTunes (thatdanguy's Podcast).

If that doesn't float your boat, you can scroll down over to the right, and simply view my YouTube channel, which hosts some of those features as well.

That's all - my year-end commercial for now!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chicken Scratch

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

Almost New Year's Eve!!


Can't wait!!

Mebbe I'll get another chance ta meet a celebirdy again, like back when I met Guy Lumbar Dough!!


If I kin only get past Lesson Four in mah accordion class, mebbe AH could be onstage, entrancin' crowds with tha sounds uv merriment!

An if only mah wings wuz longer...


Who doesn't luv New Year's Eve??

Balloons, confetti, sham pain - this is tha time a tha year I gets bubbles in mah beak!!


An wake up in sum place I don remember goin' to....

Often nekked....

Okashunally in a dark corner uv a Denny's...

Oh well!

Bring it on, Father Time, Charlie's got his tooter, an it's gettin' ta be Party Time!


Happy Pluckin' New Year!!

Cluck fer now!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Raw Meat On My Eye...

Well well well...

It would appear that Fenwick, my boxing Kangaroo, has honed his boxing skills since last Boxing Day.

The little beggar gave me a right good cod-walloping yesterday - and a throbbing shiner that I am nursing this morning. We will see soon if the old cliche of raw meat on an eye brings down swelling, or is just delaying me from having the slab of beef with some eggs and hash browns...

On a separate note, Mrs. That Dan Guy and I went shopping last night - was anyone else aware that the malls are absolutely insane the day after Christmas?

Holey Cow - and yes, I'm talking to you, raw steak!!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day Tradition

Well, after my next cup of coffee, it will be time to change into my shorts and go a few rounds with Fenwick, my pet kangaroo. I've had him since I was old enough to box, and we've grown up together, sparring every Boxing Day even after all these years.

Sure, he may be a little slower now than when he was younger - but who doesn't have that problem?

Advantage - the toned, agile jungle cat that is ME!

I'll post the results later - after I knock the Xmas gravy right out of him!!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas To All, And To All, A Gouda Night

I don't want to get cheesy here, but as (most) everyone prepares to hunker down and settle in for Christmas Eve, I'd like to say thanks to everyone that takes the time to snoop through what I have tapped out here over the past year.

May you be spending your holiday season with loved ones, and be doing so safe and sound.

The groaners will begin again soon enough here.....

Happy Holidays All!!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Reflections Of A Mall Santa

Here's another old column from my former newspaper run. Seemed timely :-)

Musings Of A (Bruised) Mall Santa

BLECH!! This blasted fake beard is about the itchiest thing ever invented!! I’ve just started my shift, and it’s already making my cheeks puff up like a blowfish with seaweed allergies. No matter where I brush this stupid synthetic “hair” off to, it still crawls into my ears, my eyes, my nose…and let me tell you – trying to chew gum with stray nylon strands getting caught in between my teeth has been a royal pain in the patootie!! Egads, man!

Oh well, just seven more hours to go, and this plasticized facial ferret is coming off – until then, I’ll just have to muster up my mental “happy place”, and ignore the infernal itching. 

You know, it wouldn’t hurt to try tuning out all these toddlers suffering from “Holler-Mania” either – but I suppose I should have expected this cavalcade of kiddies when I signed up for the gig. Although, to be fair, they’re not all big fans of mine either. Who knew so many kids were scared to death of a big bearded man in outlandish clothing? I swear, some of them must think I look like a starving red velvet shark, the way they scream when their parents hand them over to me. To be fair, I guess I should stick to the script, and just give a jolly “Ho Ho Ho”, instead of roaring like a lion…Hee Hee!

Yes, those unpleasant moments seem like the darkest hour of your day as a mall Santa - until the miniature Geraldo Rivera, fakir exposers show up, telling you point-blank that they know you’re not the real deal. To prove the point, they tug at your fake beard, or pull off the fur-trimmed hat and wig. Once they do settle in for their reluctant visit, they flail around and suddenly a wayward kick gives ole Santa a surprise you always find so funny on “America’s Funniest Videos”, which frankly isn’t so funny when it happens to you. In fact, at that instant even the saintliest Santa will be inclined to heartily invoke several of George Carlin’s “seven words you can’t say on TV”… 

Ah, but then there are the kids that have totally bought in to the illusion. To see the look of wonder and awe in their eyes, well, it almost makes the shooting pains up my derriere and back worth all the suffering. Those are the magic moments. 

Funny thing is, when you’re walking through the mall after changing into Saint Nick, everyone is smiling as you pass them by. Seeing Santa is like having someone flick on a smile switch, bringing an irresistible moment of joy to an otherwise harried day of shopping or work. Now, you try getting that reaction by sitting on a bench in the mall wearing your street clothes, while waving and hollering “Ho Ho Ho”! Go ahead, I dare you. Remember, you’re allowed one phone call, and make sure the person on the other end of the line has bail money!

Well, this is one of those lulls in the action. No kids in line. Maybe ole Santa can …oh-oh! This isn’t good. Feeling like I needed a little sugar fix to get me through to lunch time, I decided to try snacking on a candy cane. But I think my whiskers are sticking to the candy!! Good grief – those nylon strands are flippin’ stretchy! Maybe if I tug really fast and hard…oh-oh…Y-OUCH!! That’s my real moustache!!

Eddie Elf, put up the sign – Santa has to go feed his reindeer… 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Last-Minute (Male) Shopping Tips

As the days left before Christmas Day grow ever less, here's an old column that I can't remember where it did run - could have been the newspaper, could have been a newsletter. I sure hope a better version ran in the newspaper...

Regardless, dated as it may be, there are still a few relevant thoughts within the paragraphs:

Last-Minute Male Christmas Shopping Suggestions

If you, much like myself, find yourself looking at the calendar today still needing to begin your Christmas shopping, I offer not only my sympathies, but also a few handy last-minute suggestions:

  1. Your sister still remains on the shopping list today. You just can’t figure out what she might like this year. She certainly didn’t appreciate the Girls Gone Wild – Moose Jaw DVD you got her last year. What might possibly redeem you this time out?
    1. Books are always a good choice. She likes reading (just don’t try being funny again. Raising Earthworms For Fun & Profit was not a terribly good choice no matter how much her husband laughed…). 
    2. Say, why not a day spa gift certificate? Just remember, the massage parlor YOU enjoy may not be suitable for her…
    3. How about a pony? So many girls want a pony.  But check out her condominium strata rules first, just to be on the safe side...

  1. Your mother’s name hasn’t yet been stroked off of your shopping list. What has she hinted at for this year’s gift?
    1. Well, she has been quite taken by all those George Foreman commercials, (although she doesn’t seem to have any real interest in his actual grilling products…).
    2. I think she was just kidding about that Extreme Makeover for your Dad.
    3. I also seem to think your Dad was just kidding about sending her name in for Wife Swap (he doesn’t realize it’s just another reality TV show…)

  1. Your boss is still on your gift list. What on Earth would she appreciate as a Christmas gift?
    1. If you recall from last year, she didn’t share in your appreciation of the Victoria’s Secret pin-up calendar collection…THAT was awkward…
    2. Also awkward, the boudoir photo you gave her of yourself the year before…you could have at least shaved your back before they took the picture…
    3. Hey, she’s just your boss, for Pete’s sake Put a bow on a can of macaroons, and get home to your family… 

  1. Your best buddy is still on your list, despite all the clever hints & sticky notes he has left discreetly on your desk, in your car, plus the billboard located on your drive in to work in the morning. What would make him a happy guy?
    1. You know, the poor guy probably doesn’t even realize he could use a good nose hair trimmer…
    2. This magical season might be the best time to try confessing (in a funny snowman holiday card) that you were the one that had accidentally bent his 3-iron shaft last summer, when he went to the snack shack to buy a round of beers…
    3. You could back up his dumb-ass story the next time he calls in sick, suggesting to the boss that you guys had ended up in 47 frames of sudden-death overtime in your bowling league playoffs the night before…

  1. Your wife is still on your list, as of today. Get a grip man, THINK!!!! What would she like most of all this year?
    1. Diamonds are a great idea! You probably couldn’t do too badly with a nice bracelet, or some earrings. Maybe a rhinestone navel chain?
    2. Hey, didn’t she say something about going on a nice vacation? Stop by the travel agency; see how far $75.00 in Air Miles gets you…
    3. You know, she just might believe that new 3-iron really IS for her, this year…tell her it’s a sports-themed hiking stick!!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Chicken Scratch

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


I don't think we's in Kansas anymore, Toto...



Cluck fer now...

Friday, December 20, 2013

An Old Newspaper Column, On Curling...

Despite the title, this old selection from my former weekly newspaper column run is NOT about housecleaning. It may be more relative to my Canadian readers, as it is about curling.

Not curling your hair, curling the page of a book - curling, the sport.

Yes, curling is a sport, it's even in the Olympics!!

OK, it's very similar to bowling, in some aspects....

Look, why don't you just read the damn thing, and see if it makes sense afterwards????


Man With Broom

One fine wintry day not so very long ago, I found myself standing on a shiny sheet of manufactured ice. I was about to curl.

The last time I had touched a curling broom, Pierre Elliot Trudeau was probably in his first term in the Prime Minister’s office, and the only mad cows you were likely to find were the shocked and surprised herd that had erroneously found themselves standing in the luggage department of our local Eaton’s store. Needless to say, standing on that shiny sheet of freshly-pebbled ice, I couldn’t help but wonder if I still had my old junior-high school curling chops. 

It only took my first attempt at launching one of the stones to jog my memory - I never, ever had curling chops…I did manage to break the ice though. Not with my teammates and opponents; I literally broke the ice-which apparently is nowhere near as resilient as a bowling lane when a heavy object is thrust upon it with substantial force... 

Thankfully the damage was well behind the “house” (a spartan bungalow, with neither walls nor roof), so it would not affect the play. Truth be told, nothing would have affected my play. By the third game, I found myself giving the rocks little pep talks, in the benign hope they may start to perform like the talented and wondrous curling stones employed by all the other teams. No dice… 

Curiously, this curling sport has all kinds of unique vocabulary. There are hash marks, buttons, hog lines, and that oddly-named “house” just to name a few. I did manage to embrace most of the lingo after a couple of ends, but I was just a little embarrassed to discover that what everyone else had been shouting was “HARD!!” when they wanted their teammates to sweep aggressively. I misunderstood, assuming everyone was imitating pirates, and hollering “RRRRRR!!!”.  This was, of course, entirely foolish, and once I was enlightened, made it infinitely easier to watch the curling stones, without having to squint one eye and holler like Long John Silver at a buccaneer spelling bee... 

Hey, pirates could have invented the game, what did I know?? 

One thing I did observe was that curlers have to be the most polite competitors ever to play an organized game. Unlike hockey or football players, curlers commence all their matches with handshakes and best wishes, and constantly comment on how well you’re doing. 

“Nice Shot”   

“Good Line”

“Hey, that one stayed on the right sheet of ice this time!”  

I had started the tournament hoping to intimidate, or psych out the other teams. When I saw everybody else leaning on their brooms between shots, I hoisted mine up over my shoulder, like a jumpy lumberjack on his last nerve. Didn’t matter, all the other curlers remained relentless in their ongoing well-wishes:

“Nice stance!”

“Great concentration!”

“Your skip just tried to trade you to my team for a bag of flour and some nachos…”

By the end of the event, our team even failed to make last place. Astoundingly, someone was worse than us. What the heck, it was all good fun, and I’m sure I’ll be invited back next year. “We’ll call you” is probably more of that unique curling lingo…



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Snowman Weight Loss Program

1) Leave out in hot sun

2) Groom with blowdryer

3) Hot shower

4) As a pedestal, consider buffet warming plate

5) Bear hugs, from an actual bear

6) Interrogate under hot light

7) Jenny Craig

8) Store indoors

9) Flamethrower, where readily available

10) Leave out in the incandescent glow of any Kardashian

11) Lingering Twerk from a Sumo wrestler


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Column From Last Year - The Elves Revolt!

One of my REM columns last year took off quite by surprise - for some reason or another, a whole bunch of readers really related to the concept. Even though it's written for the real estate industry, non-Realtors should find some funny there as well...

I'm sharing it here, in case you need a laugh or two during the hectic days leading up to Christmas...

North Pole Feature Sheet

Hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Back To The Groove...

Well, after a brief getaway, a short holiday, a wee break - we are both back to the grind today. Mother Nature has determined that we should have another snowfall to drive through into work this morning.

Pinch me....


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stampede City Chorus: "I'll Be Home For Christmas"

Stampede City Chorus
"I'll Be Home For Christmas"

A Holiday Concert review

Great fun last night attending a Christmas-themed musical presentation by the long-running Stampede City Chorus - 50 years and still going strong!

Combining a larger chorus with break-out quartets, the A Capella barbershop group blended ample vocal talents with a great sense of family-friendly humour - groaners mainly, but well in keeping with the spirit of the festivities. 

Spanning decades of popular Christmas and holiday selections the chorus hit high marks for every age group - there's something about this style of music that invokes the best of the season - carolling and warm wishes for listeners. 

There was even a bit of New Orleans with Captain Banjo (Johnny Thorson & friends), with slide trombone, tuba and of course a banjo. A great sound to complement the vocalists at the end...

It so happens that if you live in the Calgary area, they are looking for a few good men. Find out more my clicking on the Stampede City Chorus website link.

Fun for the members clearly, and just as much for the audience!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger...Charlie?? CHARLIE!!)



Muss still be nite-time, iss so dark still...


Why duz mah ears feel like they'z pressed tagether??


Wunder when tha hoomans get back home? Ah may hasta hire a maid ta cleen this place up...

Seriously, how come ah can't read that clock???


Stuffy in this here bedroom, ah kin barely breathe...

Yet mah toes feel chilly - wut tha cluck is that all about??


Ya know, a bird could get useta living by hisself - who needs hoomans ta toss around sunflower seeds a coupla times a day??

A chicken needs his indapendense!!

Now, if ah could only find tha alarm clock...

Cluck fer now!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Merle Haggard @ The Golden Nugget: A Review

Merle Haggard
Golden Nugget, Las Vegas
12 12 13

The "Before Noon Entertainment Review": 
Merle Haggard, Golden Nugget Las Vegas

Cliche or not, it has to be said - the man is a living legend. 

Merle Haggard is an American treasure, and we were fortunate to be a couple of flies on the roadhouse wall as he walked through the years with an epic collection of enduring songs, that the audience often burst along into song with as soon as they recognized each one. 

Looking fit and trim, as well as in mighty fine voice, Haggard easily confirmed the validity of all the accolades and awards he has gathered over the years. With a big ole rodeo crowd still in vast numbers in Vegas (and in the audience), he was preachin' to the choir, and we were all converts last night.  

Kind-of a smoother Willie Nelson, his voice is a direct line to folks like Alan Jackson - he often sounded like a more weathered version. I can see now why Jackson recorded his "If We Make It Through December", a sort of outlaw country Christmas song...performed last night, as tis the season, after all :-)

Oh, he played a wide array of hits, and songs I hadn't heard before as well. "Mama Tried", "Fighting Side Of Me", and of course "Okie From Muskogee". But in between the classics, some gentle ballads, wry humour, and stories chock full of insightful lyrics - as good as any literary writer has ever scribbled. That's why they stick, and that's why he has inspired a legion of fellow artists over the years.

Last night illustrated why you don't need special effects and gimmicks to win over an audience- just a tight band, sincerity, and talent. Haggard, like Willie Nelson, knows his way around the fretboard of his instrument, alternating rhythm guitar, lead runs, and other riffing. At one point he even played a couple of songs on his fiddle - mighty impressive...

We attended the 1st of 2 sold-out shows, nice to see he can still easily pack them in. 

We actually had tickets to see him years ago in B.C. - at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival. I think that was the year Mrs. That Dan Guy developed pneumonia, and we cut the festival short. That's behind us now, as well as checking "See Merle Haggard Live" off our bucket list...


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Shania Twain @Caesar's: Review

Shania Twain
Caesar's Palace, Colliseum Las Vegas 
December 11, 2013

The "Noon-ish Entertainment Review" - 
Shania Twain: Still The One
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas 

I'm not going to spoil any of the surprises in this show - and there are loads - but suffice it to say that if you want to hear the biggest hits Shania Twain has recorded in her career, this is the show for you.

Utilizing incredible multimedia effects before and during the show, Still The One is a bombastic aural and visual experience entirely fitting for the Vegas Colosseum setting. She rocks with the intensity of the percussive Blue Man Group, and dazzles with all the flair of a master magician. Featuring a set with as many shifting components as a Cirque show, Twain takes her live act to the highest advantage of the venue for the audience. 

After just a few songs in, it's entirely apparent that Shania opened the door for acts like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift - driving, cross-over sounds that have a country foundation, but have won fans over in other genres as well. The hits sounds as good now as they did when they were selling millions of copies back in the day. 

Her wardrobe choices help recreate some of her famous videos, and it is no exaggeration to suggest she is as elegant and gorgeous as she was twenty years ago. What is it with famous people doing that? I can't even find half my hair from a couple of weeks ago!!!

There were some spots where vocally she hit the outer edges of the bullseye, but more often than not, especially in the showcase ballads and her very cool campfire singalong she struck dead-centre of the target. Appearing confident and in control, she seems to be well on her way to getting past the condition that prevented her from singing for the past several years. 

The interactive bits with the audience went over well also - if you do decide to attend, spring the extra dollars for floor seats on an aisle - just sayin'...

Given the time of year, we had an unexpected bonus, diverting from the setlist - always fun when you see artists during the holidays. A fine rendition of Little Drummer Boy...

For Canadians in the seats (and there were many, even a few from Calgary that got to go onstage with her), you may recognize twin brothers RyanDan, amazing artists in their own right. While they provided rich backing vocals for this show, you may want to check out their last two CDs. Proud to be Canadian with these two acts sharing a stage filled with fans from around the world...

As a mobile DJ, I used to play the crap out of Shania Twain's ample library of monster hits. Most especially, the gold standard wedding song From This Moment. Watching her get into her groove with this show, I expect newer DJs will be doing the same soon...


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

American Country Awards Recap

American Country Awards
December 11, 2013
Mandalay Bay Events Center

Quite a memorable evening last night, attending our first-ever live national TV awards show. The ACAs were a top-notch affair, featuring a wide array of best-selling artists in two hours of amazing performances. In no particular order, Brad paisley blew the roof off the joint, LeAnn Rimes performed a heartfelt tribute to the late Patsy Cline, and Sheryl Crow joined Darius Rucker for a medley that included his hit "Wagon Wheel". In short, holy #*@#....

Danica Patrick & Trace Adkins 

In a bit of a twist, and I'm not sure this even made it to air, the warm-up hosts were HGTV's Property Guys (not pictured above, nor below), a taste of Canada in the heart of the American award show. I do believe they were having a lot of fun getting the audience prepped for the festivities. 

Represent, Canada!

Luke Bryan

If you're a fan of country music, you'll recognize all the folks in these pictures. If not, that's why I've added in captions. I have another 100 or more that I'll try posting and linking back to here in the near future. I wish I would have had my better quality camera with me, but even with a point & click, some of these worked out pretty darned good, I must say.

Jake Owen & Billy Gibbons

From where we were seated, many of the performers and hosts came out to walk through the audience. Lady Antebellum, Sara Evans and a few more - but those pictures were too dark to use. It is uncanny how thin all these artists are - TV does not do any of them justice! 

Florida Georgia Line

What else? Florida Georgia Line were among the evening's big winners, and mercifully did not perform "Cruise" - but they did rock the stage when their time came though. 

Jake Owen and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top had to be another highlight - did I mention Lady A opened?? Perhaps that should have run a little closer to the top of this recap.... 

Kellie Pickler

OK, I'm admittedly all over the place here. Typically I take notes to do my reviews, but that was kind of difficult, what with alternating between shooting pictures as best as I could, then trying to live tweet in between, all while being blown away by the depth of talent onstage. 

Sheryl Crow

One thing I have to say, it is waaaay better live. Watching this on TV (PVR) when we get home will be a great way to relive the experience, but being smack-dab in the middle of the action as everyone was scrambling to keep things on time and script was simply amazing. 

Darius Rucker & Sheryl Crow

Never mind feeling the thunder of live music shaking you right out of your seats :-)

Dwight Yoakum

Hey, Dwight Yoakum! He presented a video award to Brad Paisley, who rocked out "Mona Lisa" in typical fine fashion...

Brad Paisley

I'm running out of things to say, and there's still so many pictures...

Did I mention Randy Houser blew the barn doors out with "How Country Feels"??

Lady Antebellum

Say, that Danica Patrick is sure easy on the eyes (not pictured below, nor above)....


We would do this again in a heartbeat - what an incredible event - well done ACAs!!! 

Trace Adkins


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Happens In Vegas, Gets Told Right Here...

Our jaunt to Vegas is off to a jolly good start. On our first free day, we hopped from the warmth of casino to casino until we eventually made it to the Bellagio, and their amazing Christmas display in the conservatory.

Reindeer, a giant tree, oversized bells (the ringing kind, NOT what you get from sitting in a sleigh too long), a gingerbread house - the place looked fantastic!

Yesterday was our only free day - we literally walked for over 12 hours, poking our head in and out of a number of different "landmarks" we have come to love. We also went all the way off of The Strip to Rio, where we gambled we might try to see Penn & Teller. Crapped out on that bet, as they are on holidays until Dec 23...

Along the way, we discovered massive changes underway everywhere. Many of the resort casinos are battling this bitter cold snap during extensive renovations - clearly the hard times are over for resort operators.

What the heck, how many pictures did I take in that conservatory??

The biggest thing (literally) that we saw was the new giant ferris wheel behind Harrah's, a new attraction expected to open in 2014. Pretty funky looking. Why not, there's lots of circus going on in this city with Cirque!

Tonight, if you are a fan of country music, and happen to be watching the American Country Awards live on FOX, see if you can spot us in the audience. We are attending, and this is a first for us to be in a live national broadcast.

Happily, it was not "The Sound Of Music"...


Monday, December 09, 2013

Our View, Next Few Days

You will probably notice a slight disruption over the next few days, with respect to the regularity of my usual posting times.

This cannot be avoided - but I will eventually get to this task sometime during the day, or at 3:00 AM, given circumstances entirely in my control....herding Mrs. That Dan Guy away from one-armed bandits!

We are here for an anniversary getaway - and as it happens, we have somehow managed to make this a country music trip - more on that as the next few days go by. You will see what I mean.

That said, Vegas is filthy with cowboys and cowgirls right now - there's a big rodeo in town, and several shows I'll be commenting on in the next few days. I'm pretty sure we saw Cowboy Troy from Big & Rich hop onstage last night in Cowboyville for a few songs, and the crowd went nuts.

Incidentally, the killer band was also playing Canadian hits, including "Taking Care Of Business", by BTO - from my hometown of Winnipeg! Thanks for making us feel welcome pardners!!!

On a side note, it is unusually cold here - we're used to milder weather, but I see from all my friends' Facebook posts - it is going to be an ugly winter if what we are seeing now is any indication.

Well, as The Duke used to say: "We're burnin' daylight, Pilgrim"

More later!!! 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

If This Is Fall, I Don't Want To See Winter...

Holy Frostbitten Polar Bears, Batman!

This is still only fall, yet Calgary managed to be included on a list of the coldest places on Earth this past week. We've had two days of blizzards, and we awoke this morning to more snow and cold.

In short, if this is fall, I don't want to see what winter is going to look like!!

Until this settles back down, I'd rather be:

1) Enjoying a nice relaxing three-hour root canal,
2) Offering some literal finger food to my pet shark,
3) Accompanying Mayor Rob Ford on a clandestine midnight run for "Eggos"...
4) Teaching a tuna to tap dance,
5) Taking a sunrise, sprinkling it with dew. Covering it with choc'late and a miracle or two.
6) Charlie Sheen's abstinence coach,
7) Solving a problem like Maria,


Saturday, December 07, 2013

Friday, December 06, 2013

:-( I've Had A Column Censored...

cen·sor  (snsr)
1. A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.

This is a first for me.

As a former weekly newspaper humour columnist, it wasn't unusual to have readers grumbling about the subjectivity of humour. As Dave Barry has reminded us over the years, there are people that are just humour-impaired.

However, I received an email from my current editor, regarding a letter and some calls he was getting regarding my recent entertainment review. It was with respect to a tongue-in-cheek reference to choosing the best song in the show, and in that I compared that process to Sophie's Choice - which was the ignition point for some readers.

The Urban Dictionary currently describes the definition of Sophie's choice as: 

"From the novel and film of the same name, an impossibly difficult choice, especially when forced onto someone. The choice is between two unbearable options, and it's essentially a no-win situation.""

That is the point I approached my comments from - however I did acknowledge to my editor that there is a delicate balance, and agreed that I could have made a better choice.

However, the online version of the column has now been pulled, which is unfortunate for the venue that relies on those reviews, so I regret that unfortunate collateral damage.

The ironic part is that as I was talking with my wife about it last night, the TV was on in the background, and as it happened, we were both jolted from our conversation by the latest episode of CBS's The Millers, using Sophie's Choice in the same general vein of comedy, for laughs. Have to admit, I'm not a fan, we don't watch the show, but it was a funny scene.

I track my online rankings religiously, and the column had the highest number of "Likes" I have ever had for a review (they now shift feedback to a Facebook page), and was continuing to grow almost a week after appearing in the paper.

As a Google Search result, it was also ranked highly, alternating with competing reviews for first place.

Not much I can do except try to learn from the experience.

The real world being what it is, if I had made a comment about Garfield struggling to decide between two lasagnas, the paper could have received comments from upset cat lovers. That is the fine line that separates humour writers from other opinion columnists.


Thursday, December 05, 2013

-26 Degrees Celsius

Google that, to see what it may be in Fahrenheit.

If you can type, and your computer doesn't require cutting a hole as if you were about to ice fish, you are in better shape than we are today.

I'll give you a clue - it's so cold...


It's so cold, our neighbour Sarah Palin can't see through her frosted, ice-caked kitchen window. For all she knows, Russia has paddled down to the Gulf Of Mexico...


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Stage West Calgary Interviews (finally)

Well, despite the best efforts of technology to thwart me and asphalt my soul, both versions of my cast interview with members of Stage West Calgary's "Love Train The Soul Of Motown" are now live!

For the podcast version either download it for free from iTunes (thatdanguy's podcast), or scroll back up to to the photo montage above and click on it - that will take you directly to the broadcast.

It is also live now on my YouTube Channel.

For the record, links to that are live over to the right of this text...



Tuesday, December 03, 2013



I spent hours last night editing an interview and loading it, only to find out it is not available.

Now, I'm trying to make it available on YouTube, but that is seeming to be over an hour away, but we will be leaving before then. That's if it loads there....

I love technology.



Monday, December 02, 2013



We are getting hammered here - Day One of a predicted 48-hour blizzard. We can see all the way across to the Crowchild Highway from our home, and it is a gong show.

Of course, it would be the day that my review is in the physical newspaper.

Oh well, I'll get my butt out into it a little later - try avoiding the worst part of rush hour.

Winter in Canada - oy....


Sunday, December 01, 2013

Review: Stage West on track with Love Train

Review: Stage West on track with Love Train

Stage West Calgary - My Official Calgary Herald Review: "Love Train, The Soul Of Motown"

Stage West Calgary
Love Train The Soul Of Motown
Calgary Herald Review

My official Calgary Herald Review has landed!

It's live online right now, and in print tomorrow.

Check it out by clicking here.

Later today, I am interviewing three cast members. Hopefully that link will be live pronto as well!