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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our Plans For New Year's Eve

1) TV.

Happy New Year all!

Here's to a wild and crazy 2015!!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

OK, now what???

We got a hippopotamus for Christmas - goddam song!!

Now what?

First off, even our king-sized bed is too small - we should have maybe started off with a BABY hippopotamus!!

And his appetite! OMG!! Thank God he's a vegetarian at least - it's like a great white shark with a tapeworm!!! Hey, why don't you try chewing and savouring a bit, you vacuum-snarfing food disposal unit!

Hey little girl singing that song - have you ever SMELLED a hippopotamus?? EGADS!! GROSS!!

It's worse than staying in a tent with three slobs that had baked beans before bed! I think our walls are changing colours!

Which does bring up the awkward item - this thing passes more gas than an Alberta pipeline! Holy Emissions, Batman! With no warning, aside from the sound of a mighty tree limb breaking under the weight of...well, a hippopotamus sitting on it, we cannot light a match or otherwise strike any sort of sparks, or we'll be blown to kingdom come!!!

Of course, all that aside, Mrs. That Dan Guy STILL thinks he's cute - bah hippin' HUMBUG!!

Hippo New Year indeed....


Monday, December 29, 2014

As The Christmas Tree Crumbles...

It's all over but the cryin'!!

Christmas is officially in the rear view mirror, where it has apparently had to swerve to avoid hitting a reindeer. Boxing Day has come and gone, and the gloves are back up on the bedroom closet shelf.

The wait now is for New Year's Eve, where more festivities and food and beverages await, as do my stretchy jeans. How will I approach this new year, and the resolutions we historically make to break?

I'll lower my standards, that's what I'll do!

Why set unrealistic goals that are just going to cause me grief as soon as it becomes apparent I can't fulfill them? Why anguish over days flying by, as my goals remain unmet?? Well into the middle of January???

Here are my new, improved lower standard resolutions:

1) I will lose weight. A haircut will suffice - that removes at least a few ounces of unsightly poundage.

2) I will quit procrastinating. But I won't start that one until September...

3) I will listen to more music. That includes humming to myself as I absent-mindedly look for my glasses...

4) I will make more money. Many have to upgrade my colour printer for that one...

5) I will be a better person. No, that's wrong, typo... I will be a butter person - margarine is SOOO unhealthy...

6) I will only bet on horses with decent odds, not the long shots I have gambled on in the past.

7) I will eat more fruit and vegetable crackers..

That's enough for now. Even with lower standards, I don't want to set myself up to fail....


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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

You, welcome tah Calgary, cousin Slacker...


This is it - snow an barrin waistland - unfit fer poultry habitayshun!


Yew'll never git tah skateboard heer, an tha wether its so cold yer paltry poultry tattoos will freeze and drop right off yer skin!

If tha coyotes and woolfs don git yah first!!!


Yessir, Marco Polo hisself gave up explorin' here, an went back tah Arizona, where he grew up. It is truly inhospitable-able in this here wildirniss!!

Now, let's git back inside, so ah kin watch Wheel Of Fortune, an warm mah pinfeathers up!

When dew yah expect tah pack yer bags??


Are yew NUTS!!

Aww, cluck fer now - I need a hot toddy fer mah beak!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

My interview and feature with Dr. Sterling Haynes

I held this back, despite having done the interview before Christmas, so that it didn't get lost in the holiday shuffle.

If you need inspiration, or to know that you're NEVER too old to start a writing career, listen to the full interview in the (free download) companion podcast, towards the end of the feature.

You'l find it all here.



Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day?

Who needs Boxing Day? At my age, I don't even shadow box anymore without wheezing like a hyena with a hernia!

I need Tupperware Day, to store away all the leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cream corn, toast, gravy, butter tarts, spaghetti, cornbread, apples, candy, candy canes, tortiere, ham, bacon, cinnamon toothpicks, turducken, meatballsquirrelbacon, and whatever else we cooked up yesterday.

Sheesh - get your holidays in order, North America!!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, and A Happy New Year!

Our family has grown - and we all wish you the best of the season.

Now, go log off and enjoy time with the real people in your life!!



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas, and My Latest (Not-So-Seasonal) Column

Well, here's my compromise. 

I'm about to post a link to my latest REM column, which is not at all seasonal. I screwed up the timing there this year.

So, I give you instead my favourite Santa pic, where if you look closely, you will see the moustache resting on my chin, which I failed to realize existed in this costume. 

Hence the spray paint on my own cookie duster...

Enjoy my "luck" with automobile purchasing here.

If you've done your shopping already, enjoy a relaxing Christmas Eve. 

If you haven't, bless you, I may run into you in the mall myself!!


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Ho Ho Ho!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Upcoming Interview, the witty charm of Dr. Sterling Haynes

I spent about 40 minutes on the phone last night with an old friend, as he has just released a new book of memoirs and stories of the people that have been a part of his amazing life. I've had the pleasure of watching his career grow over the years, and when I lived in Kelowna BC, heard him read many times as we were part of the same writers' community.

The best part? He really got started after his medical career ended - in his seventies! At 86 now, this third book may be his best, as he expands on prior publications that have recounted his career as a frontier doctor, with many of those years serving in marginalized minority communities. His stories are told with flourish and a spellbinding manner that is only enhanced more if you're lucky enough to see him read them live. But the books are certainly not going to let you down on their own.

I hope to have this edited and ready for publication quick, but I may hold it back until after Christmas so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle. I want everyone that hasn't already heard of him to really, really get to know Dr. Sterling Haynes. I'm not going to give away any tidbits, but he has some stories to tell....

The companion podcast will give you some idea of his style - I can't see keeping it under half an hour!

His book Where Does It Hurt Now is available from Amazon, and is in bookstores as well...


Sunday, December 21, 2014

As the year draws to a close...

As 2014 draws to a close, I only wish I would have had a better cartoonist to draw it for me...


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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

Wut tha cluck..........


Well, Merry Christmass y'all - and have a Habby New Yeer...

Season's Greetin's from Chicken Scratch...

Wow, this red velvet unnerwear is REALLY warm on tha chicken balls....


I'm sweatin' like a yak over heer!!

Where's mah eggnog??


Ho Ho Ho mah cluckin' backside!!!

Who broke mah candy cane?????

Ah need ah drink......

Cluck fer now....

Friday, December 19, 2014

Santa's Blog

I've decided to step aside today, and re-post this transcription from 2009, where Santa reflects on the last few working days coming up to The Big Day.

I get the feeling he had a little eggnog and rum in his system, as he was posting this one...

Check it out here.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Unseasonably Warm - The Calm Before The Storm?

I don't want to jinx things, but it is eerily warm and snowless for this time of year. We've only had a light dusting over the past few days of that cursed white winter stuff, and we are barely getting into the minus of the degrees available on the thermometer this past week.

What's up, Ole Man Winter? Saving your best for one wicked dropping? Holding back those arctic temperatures until we are off trying to enjoy the holidays?

Are you saving up for one epic polar vortex for the history books???

I'd better not look a gift horse in the mouth, but I do worry - if I start to thinking I can light up the barbecue, this is folly that will surely have consequences if I awaken the winter gods from their slumbers.

Until then, I will quietly enjoy the break though - I may be crazy, but I ain't THAT crazy!!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Maybe I'm A-Maized?

I know it sounds corny, but I had a kernel of an idea, which seemed at the time like the cream of the crop.

Sadly, it went no-ear, as I clearly hadn't thought it through enough. It was pretty thin, where it should have been husk-y.

Well, row upon row of bright ideas occasionally lands in rootless soil, so I will just go back to the drawing board, and try again another time.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winnipeg Losing Some Lights Lately

I've been informed that my high school English teacher passed away a few days ago. I know that everybody and their dog has a "she's the teacher that" story, but Mrs. Axworthy really did. I had planned on being an electronic technician in my first year of high school, and planned courses around that. But I ended up finding myself really getting engaged by her teaching style, and she took personal interest when she noted I had some buried, encased in amber, locked away in a rusty bank vault, latent creative writing abilities.

Well, fast forward and one day in school, I blew up a transistor radio in electronics class that just about took my left ear off in the explosion. I wasn't doing that much better in math or physics, but I was really enjoying those English classes with Mrs. Axworthy. While I did enjoy all the classic rock of the day like the rest of my chums, I also had picked up a keen interest in other music, and found myself handing in bios and reviews of acts like our hometown The Guess Who, and Roy Orbison for class assignments.

One day, she encouraged me to consider rethinking my plans for the future, and told me about a course at Red River Community College that only allowed for a few new student every year. Out of over 300 annual applicants to this Creative Communications course in journalism, broadcasting and creative writing, only a student or two over about 25 were ultimately chosen to take the course.

Well, I did submit an application, along with the required homework of writing samples and scenarios played out from recommended starting points,  and went promptly back to dissecting televisions and essentially ruining a wide variety of other electronic gizmos.

Then the envelope came.

I had been accepted.

Once that sunk in, I went about making plans - I dropped Electronics, Math and physics, and took up MORE English, as well as typing. By the time I got to my final year of high school there was another teacher being groomed, and he was an utter moron, even going so far as accusing me of plagiarizing my homework. My marks in his class were horrific, but still enough to pass. My final exam, which I couldn't possibly fake, ended up surprising him so much he called me in to apologize. Too little, too late, you bearded asshat - there will be no dedication in my book for YOU!!

There will now however be one for Mrs. Axworthy, who saw through the lack of confidence in my writing ability, fanned the flames, and gave me so far an adult lifetime of writing credits with her encouragement and direction.

Rest in Peace Mrs. Axworthy. Say hello to Lindor, I'm sure you two must have known each other...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hazzle-Free Shopping!

If you want to avoid hazzles this holiday season (and who doesn't really?), just stay indoors.

Hazzles are everywhere during this harried season, so if one desires to stay hazzle-free, one should just learn to stay inside, and not even go online, as hazzles await even in cyber-space.

Who needs the hazzles of THAT??

Stay in your room, stay in your bed, stay under the covers, and you just might avoid all the hazzles that harry hurried holidayers have endured.

Hakuna Matata!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Free Willy!

From 12-1 today, we are giving away sushi, FREE!

Details are still being sorted out, please stand by...


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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

Alright - we're gonna need little more red on the nose over here...



No, I ain't gots no carrots, an I ain't gonna keep tellin' ya that! Now git yer act tagether, an at least preetend ya might be able ta guide a sleigh tanite!!






Lissen here, ya mangy oversized white-tail - I ain't gonna go over thiss again! Ya hold yer big red nose up fer tha camera, an we photoshop Santa an a sleigh in behind ya - thass all ya gotta do!!

It ain't rocket science....


Wut did yew have fer brekkfest - TOO MUCH FIBER IS WUT YEW HAD FER BREKKFAST!!!!  



An mebbe sum Febreeze if there's a spray bottle handy...


Let's take five people!!

Cluck fer now....

Friday, December 12, 2014

Latest Post For Calgary Herald Blog

This went live online late yesterday when I was away from my home office, but if I didn't already spread the word enough on Twitter and Facebook, here's the link to my latest Calgary Herald blog, a profile on Calgary's enduring writers' resource, The Alexandra Writers' Centre Society.

Click here to read it.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

And Now, The End Is Near...

I see that Pirate Bay (an illegal download site) has been raided, and is currently offline. Here in Canada, Saskatchewan internet providers are now forwarding info on users that visit those sites to the copyright holders for warnings of legal action as well.

As a creator of materials in print and online, and a supporter of live musicians, this is GREAT news - and long overdue. The internet has caused so much uncertainty for creative artists, and even long-established performers are having to do kick-starters to make money or be able to even record a new album.

This is a good trend, which I hope continues to swell - it is the law after all.

Support artists. Buy, don't steal.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Like A Rolling Stone...

What is like a rolling stone?

A tumbling ball?

A loose, runaway wheel?

A kicked marble headed towards a corner of the room?

A Tootsie Roll, although while that name indicates motion, I believe it is most often stationary. At least until it's heading down your digestive tract...

So, at first glance, there are not many things really all that much like a rolling stone...


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Counting Sheep

Fell asleep counting sheep last night, which is really strange, as I am a cattle baron....


Monday, December 08, 2014

Dancing In The Dark


Maybe I do finally need to change that light bulb down here in the basement...


Sunday, December 07, 2014

About this time a few years ago....

Right about now a few years ago, I got wind of this very interesting new listing for sale.

Sure, it looked a little dubious, but the value appeared to be there, even though it was for a home in a very remote part of the world.

You can check it out here.



Saturday, December 06, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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


Wut's tha big deal about this Chrissmess tree? Don look all that fancy ta me!!


Mah nephew Peckie does as good a job dekor-atin' his tree, an he's only seven!!



Hey, these skates is entirely unstable, a bird cood break hiss neck out here!!


Yeah, an that lousy tin star up top - why not a magniffisent rooster head, or a big egg??

I flew all that way heer ta see THIS hunka wood an glitter?? 

I want mah money back!!


OK, technickally it ain't mah money - just a envelope I found laying' aroun that house, hidden in a safe an under some boxes, an barricaded in a locked room, but still...

It ain't worth that trip!!



Hey, ya little rat bast...

Oh, pardon me Ma'am - ya just looked like a little boy at first glance...

Mebbe yew should be more careful how ya skate around peeple!



I'm fragile, be careful!!


Somebody call a elf!!!


Cluck fer now - this is ridickilous!!!!

Friday, December 05, 2014

StoryBook Theatre's Peter Pan, the Musical

We didn't get to catch the big NBC presentation of Peter Pan Live, but we did get to see the stunning production here in Calgary.

Check out my review here.

That will also get you to a link for an interview with the young star, who is off to Carnegie Hall in the new year!


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Delay in Posting...

Sorry, I had hoped to link to my Calgary Herald review this morning, but it still hasn't gone live as yet - as soon as it does, I will return and post that...


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Complain To Google??

I've never noticed that before - at the very bottom right hand corner of Blogger, there's a hot button that says "Complain To Google".

So I did.

I told them about how this time of year when it gets cold and dry, my skin is soooo itchy it drives me crazy. No moisturizer seems to be able to make it stop.

I also sent them a long note about how crazy drivers are here, even in poor weather conditions. Somebody needs to pull them over and explain how ice affects stopping distances.

I felt that as long as I was already on a roll, I mentioned how unhappy I am that prices are rising on so many basic food staples, which affects low income families - a loaf of moldy old bread shouldn't be $5.00, am I right???

Then I remembered that you need to balance things out, so I shared how our Calgary Flames are almost in first place in their NHL division, and that our Calgary Stampeders just won the Grey Cup this weekend, which is kind of a Super Bowl for the 99%. I have also been very regular as of late, so our change in diet clearly has paid dividends.

Really, you should check that "Complain To Google" button out - feels great really to know people care!


Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Tis The Season

Yes, even the most resistant retailers and radio stations have now thrown down their velvety red gloves, and brought out Santa and his gang of holiday pals in full force, as we have passed the 30-day mark to Christmas.

Radio stations are now playing more holiday music than what their carefully mapped out format typically demands, and the gift shop at the local hospital has kicked shut-in reading materials and get-well flower bouquets out in favour of elves on shelves. Sure, they might be wearing stethoscopes in a bid to fit in little better, but they are still oddly out of place if a loved one has been hit by a falling Acme safe.

What can you do? The season is a juggernaut after all, and I understand there may even be religious roots involved to the annual spectacle of toy-buying and gift-giving, which might explain why it has endured as long as it has.

Well, Ho-Ho-Ho y'all! Just 23 days left!!


Monday, December 01, 2014

I've Got The Music In Me!


I've swallowed my headphone earbuds!!!!


Oh, just press "Stop" on the MP3 player?


That worked.

Now, about getting those earbuds out??



Well, in a few days then!!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Barney Bentall's Grand Cariboo Opry - A (Redirection To My) Review

What a night! Despite a drive on icy roads, the music was hot and plentiful inside Bragg Creek's Community Centre with The Grand Cariboo Opry.

Read my Calgary Herald review, and check out my other webpage for a bunch of pics!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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

Joined tha Shriners. Thair monkey died....

Also got a nice squeezebox anna green vest with tha hat...


Cluck fer now...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Last One For Today, I Swear!

Finally, my second piece live now on The Calgary Herald site, an interview with the young actor playing Peter Pan in StoryBook Theatre's latest production.

Check it out here.

There you have it - have a great weekend!!


Live in The Calgary Herald - Barney Bentall's Grand Cariboo Opry Coming!

Had to over-crop the above picture for the new Herald blog space, but my interview with legendary Barney Bengal is now live.

Click here to view! 



Pleased To Report - I'm Baa-aack!!

Well, after sorting out some issues that temporarily removed my Calgary Herald blog space, I will officially return to the newly reformatted site later today. I've got two time-sensitive posts for this weekend, so I'll post bonus links here later for those pieces once they are live.

This whole experience has forced me to look at my hodgepodge online presence. This space is a perfect example of lack of focus. It started out as a true web log - a diary of my day-to-day activities which eventually swelled into a potpourri of entertainment, humour, utter nonsense, and...the chicken.

Hard to maintain followers with that sort of vegetable stew. So, I am now going to start using my for exclusively entertainment features, this space more for the day-to-day and humour, and I'll try to unite all these micro-sites under my main website, That way people can pick and choose what they want to read.

I may even spin that chicken off on his own - of all the things I do, it is bizarre that he continues to be one of the highest viewed features - no accounting for taste I suppose.

At any rate - two more posts today linking to new Calgary Herald features, then back to business as usual. Best as I do that, I suppose.

Hey, you get what you pay for!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy (American) Thanksgiving

We've already celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada by listing all the musical artists that are now happy to see living in America - primarily Justin Bieber and Celine Dion - thanks neighbours!!

That was so long ago, we've even already finished all of our Canadian turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey fruit rollups, turkey sandwich spread, turkey tire repair compound, and turkey underarm roll-on deodorant.

So enjoy your fattened gooses, America - let the creative left-overs-fest begin for you and yours!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Matthew Good, And Humour Column...

Well, until I get this Calgary Herald business sorted out, my review for Matthew Good is on my other webpage - see that here!

Plus I found that my latest REM column is up online, so you can also take a read of that here...

More, but I'm way behind, gotta get out to my day job....


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stay Tuned?

Well, I just posted a new interview and feature post to my Calgary Herald blog, but it appears that may not be a thing anymore.

I had been warned that this might happen, but I also seemed to receive an indication that I may be keeping my blog in this makeover of the online and physical paper.

May not be the case after all :-(

Stay tuned, if I know more, I'll update - otherwise may have to use a Plan B...

Anyone know any good Plan B's????


Monday, November 24, 2014

Chicken Scratch (Classic Edition)

Poor Charlie got yanked once again, due to three entertainment reviews.

If my column in today's Calgary Herald was available online, he'd have been shuffled yet again.

There is sort of a historical precedent for the poor bird. Let's look back at a classic Chicken Scratch, from November of 2010:

Charlie Gets The Hook

See what I mean?

Sorry Charlie, there's always next weekend...


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Workshop Theatre's production of Another Evening At Fawlty Towers

My Calgary Herald blog review is now live, after attending the show last night.

Check it out here!

Happy Sunday - go easy on the turkey folks!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Calgary Folk Club: Daniel Champagne, and Dry Bones

Calgary Folk Club

Dry Bones, 
with Daniel Champagne

Check out the pictures from last night's Folk Club, as visit the Calgary Herald Blogs section to read my review!!

What a night!

Friday, November 21, 2014

80's Solid Gold @ Stage West Calgary

Stage West Calgary
"'80's Solid Gold"

Featuring Andrew Ball, Amber Bissonnette, Katie Beetham, A.J. Bridel, Jay Davis, Joel Gomez, Jennifer Kee, Jeremy LaPalme, Andrew McGillivray, Nikki Ponte, Brent Thiessen

Directed and choreographed by Timothy French

Courtesy Stage West Calgary

The Friday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Theatre Review"

Stage West Calgary's 

"'80's Solid Gold"

What a decade the '80's were for music! While Country Crossover, AM radio pop hits, Disco and Classic Rock dominated the '70's, the decade that followed introduced us to brand-new styles that expanded those catalogues, and introduced us to New Wave, Punk, Funk, Heavy Metal and more in the process. 

Sure, some of those started to emerge a bit towards the end of the '70's, but as a mobile DJ in my second decade back then, it was amazing to see not only how much these new styles made dancing more fun to watch from behind the MC table (remember The Worm, or Rock Lobster?), but how long these artists would go on to remain popular for their fans. 

Stage West has taken on the unenviable task of trying to contain the multitude of hit makers of the day, and after the conclusion of '80's Solid Gold, I think if you're still a fan of that decade, you'll be pretty impressed with what they have included.

From icons like Billy Joel and Elton John, to Madonna and George Michael, most notables are in the program, and to hit high points they may have missed, there's a terrific "Crazy '80's Mash Up In 80 Seconds", that tries to fill in the blanks. The cast also lets the cat out of the bag regarding a sequel, as there really are that many pop artists and bands that deserve a revisit.

Courtesy Stage West Calgary

Great care has been taken to instill the styles and feel of this very visual era (it was the birth of the music video age, after all), and yet not go over the top with the costumes. There's also a prevailing sense of fun as the cast gets to relay that they are poking fun as much as they are paying tribute. On that, it is important to note that these revues aren't ever really tribute acts. Many of the hits get made over, while some are startlingly close to the original. 

You have to attend just to see when the cast will lose it over John Oates moustache, not the least likely perhaps Joel Gomez who portrays him. 

There's plenty of standouts, especially in the second half which really strengthens on the power so many of these cast members bring to the party.  However, I believe I will hold back just a bit for my official Calgary Herald review, which I will post a link to here when that has run and is also live online.

In the meantime, don't hesitate to check this revue out - there are some misses among the hits, but by the end there's plenty of highlights, an abundance of great fun and memories - plus you'll get some related history lessons between the songs.

4 out of 5 stars.

Also, check out my pre-show interview with co-creator, director and choreographer Timothy French to see him discuss how he chooses his casts - he's made great choices with this one.

Click here to watch that!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ask & Ye Shall Receive

If you happen to be wearing a ski mask when you ask, you're likely to receive much quicker...


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Staring At A Blank Page

Oh, pardon me!

I did say I was staring at a blank page, didn't I?

Move along, nothing to see here today....


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Interview and Feature Posted, Fawlty Towers!

In the spirit of overachieving - three days, three columns for my Calgary Herald blog space.

Check out my pre-show interview with Steve Hansen Smythe, who reprises his role as harried hotelier Basil Fawlty here

That's it for a while folks - for my Herald blog posts anyway.

Until the weekend, then all bets are off.



Monday, November 17, 2014

Folk Club Update, and a New Personal Record!

Daniel Champagne
This weekend, I hit a new personal best - three podcasts edited and loaded, three newspaper blog pieces written, and a magazine feature I need to edit down tonight.

I still have another interview to transcribe, but I can say with certainty I've never hit that sort of production, but when it's all on deadline, you can get awfully motivated to produce!

Two pieces have already appeared, the third Herald blog will be live tomorrow morning.

This is #2, appearing today:

Daniel Champagne, Dry Bones for my Calgary Herald blog.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Director, Choreographer, Co-Creator - "80's Solid Gold"

Sat down recently with the creative force behind the latest Stage West Calgary show - which will revive the biggest hits of the 80's of the next few months.

Here's a link to our chat, and my Calgary Herald blog



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger and hair restoration expert Charles D. Chicken...)

Yes sir, as yer fizzishion, ah kin cleerly see that mah treetment is gittin' tree-mendous results - yah gotsa wild mane comin' out on top heer! Flowin' like a avalanche!! 


Ah can't explane why yew can't see it in yer mirror - mebbe yer lightin' is bad??

Have yew seen yer eye doctor lately??


It is very thin, which would explane why yew can't feel it neither. Or seem ta feel it when yer brushin'.... 

Yes, ah'm a professional medical doctor, so ah just suppose ah know more than yew do - yew'll just have to trust me!


Honestly, yew look just like Fabio with them long, flowin' locks - Delilah will try tah steel yer powers, yew Samsony devil!!

Yessir, mah work here is done.

Make yer cheque out to Charles D. Chicken, MHD.


Oh, Medical Hair Docter...


Cluck fer now - I gotta head tah tha bank straights away!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Frank E. Valley & The Four Seasons







(Wonder why he stopped at only four, and none all that exotic, when you think about it...well, who am I to judge? Pass the salt shaker, please.)


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hairy Podder & The Blood-Red Cherry

Do you think it would be obvious to JK Rowling if "someone" started a series about a young British wizard and his friends, working their way through magic school despite challenges from various dark forces?

Asking for a friend...


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Snowflakes Of November.

Well, we are usually up to our ears in snow by October here in Canada, but we got a bit of a break this year. However, the snow and cold temperatures have now arrived. If you believe the media, it is another "polar vortex". In reality, it's a "Holy #@*!, Close The Freezer Door" spell.

It's gonna be a looooong winter if it stays like this.

Maybe those exploding Mars rockets ain't such a bad option after all.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Annual Day Of Reflection

We call it different things here in Canada and down in the States, but this is becoming a bit of a tradition every year here in this space.

It ran earlier in my weekly newspaper column (on Remembrance Day of that year), and in my national column back in November 2012.

Here's my own reflection on Remembrance Day.

Take time out today to respect those that gave all for their country.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Like Grain Through The Hourglass Of Time

My hourglass is seriously plugged up, ever since I switched from sand to grain. I should have at least shucked the wheat first, as those long stems seem to be the culprit...


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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

Good mornin', Laydees an Gennel Men!!

Today, tha great Cluckini will attempt ta break outta a chained box, while handcuffed inside, an wearin' a strafe jacket!!


Ah will need COMPLETE silince, laydees an gennel men - complete silince! This ill ooshun demands iron-willed focus, and will completely blow yer mind, as ah removes tha constrainers that hold me prizoner. 

An I wud like ta take this opportoonity ta thank Mrs. That Dan Guy, fer suggestin' mah magic debut with this trick!!


An now, drum roll pleez, ladees an gennel men - Tha Great Cluckini asks his lovely assistant ta start that clock, as he attempts ta blow yer mind!!!

Uhh....Lovely Assistant?

Laydees an gennelmen??


Aww, cluck.........




Should there be air holes in this crate????



Hey, who forgot ta pack mah paper clip and picklock?????





Cluck fer now, I gotta chew mah way out!!!!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Calgary Folk Club Showcases Canadians

Indian City

No big surprise, it was another great night for live music, with acts from my hometown of Winnipeg, and a singer/songwriter out of rural Alberta. 

Great new discoveries, and if you click on the link to my Calgary Herald blog this morning, you'll get to see the review of the show, and have access to their own sites, as well as the interview and podcasts I held with Vince Fontaine & Matt Patershuk before the show.

Click here to view that!

Here's a few more pics from the night:


Friday, November 07, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup

I have recently looked very hard at the anatomy of a chicken, and I have had no luck with discovering what a chicken's "noodle" might be.

Why do we eat something that is clearly a fabrication of marketers?

Have a good Friday, y'all...


Thursday, November 06, 2014

Hi Ho, Silver Dollar!

The Canadian dollar (loonies, appropriately named most times) is currently plummeting, right in time for winter and the recurring Canadian desire to GET THE HELL OUT OF CANADA!!!

Ahem, my apologies - I'm not sure what came over me there...

What I hoped to relay was that right about the time that we might like to take a vacation to a warmer climate, before our 4.5 foot tall cars are covered in 14.5 feet of snow, our currency is about as valuable as a metal washer with a hole punched in the middle. Even if we held up a 7-11, we couldn't procure enough cash from the till to make the gas purchase to get there worth the while.

It is a scenario that seems to unfold every few years. Once, ever so briefly, our dollar was worth more than our well-off neighbours to the south of us. It still pretty much traded at par for some reason, but technically, it was worth more.

Now, a dollar here will buy you a Kraft noodle or two, certainly not the entire lavish dinner promised on grocery store shelves.

All we can do is wait it out, it will climb once again.

I just have to hope my igloo has enough seal meat to get me through the hard, unforgiving Canadian winter...


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

This Weekend, Live Canadian Folk Music!

Indian City

Visit the Calgary Herald blogs today to read my preview and interviews with Vince Fontaine (Indian City) and Matt Patershuk. Based on our chats, it's going to be another amazing evening of music at the Calgary Folk Club!

Visit this link to read the piece!

Matt Patershuk



Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Start Spreading The News

Before you begin to polish your shoes or boots, spread a newspaper along the floor, so as not to stain your carpet or linoleum.

You may also substitute a large strip of wax paper, an unrolled length of wrapping paper, your husband's bowling shirt, a map of the city of Toronto, a large flattened cardboard box, a small non-religious shroud, several metres of tattered fabric, an old raincoat, a dishtowel you would otherwise use while camping, a length of unattached wooden board, or a decommissioned ironing board.

If you use your imagination, there may be even more options.

Happy polishing!


Monday, November 03, 2014

A Tale As Old As Time...

Courtesy Liffey Players Drama Society

Persecution. Stigma. Different rules for men and for women - Liffey Players Drama Society offers a gut-punch in their latest production, and you cannot leave without feeling the effect of the slug.

My review is here. If you're in the Calgary area, it's a must-see...


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Moving Into Recovery Mode...

Well, the tooth extraction saga is steering towards the conclusion - pretty good by all respects. Considering the extensiveness of the surgery, I am finally starting to feel like all the parts are where they need to be to head towards long-term recovery.

The first while, I was bleeding like a soda fountain. It took 4 tea bags to help clot the wound, they recommend two before you are suggested to call the on-call surgeon. Which we did - twice!

Then we had the dangling participle - a clump of raw meat that I really felt should have been stitched to something above it. The first night, it did shrink, and yesterday it just came off - so all I can feel right now in the abyss is stitches and a blechy taste. Which is what I believe is normal at this stage.

It will be FOUR weeks before I can start to have solid food again! FOUR weeks!!!
I'll be gumming more pasta this month than an octogenarian Italian in a long-term care home....

Today, I'm going to quit icing the cheek, and try to wean myself off the pain killers. I'll miss those furry little Wiffles that hung around chatting with me during the last couple of days, but if I do feel like I need one or two, you can be damned sure I will help myself.

For now, I think the worst is over....


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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


Hello Mr Fox??

My, what lovely eyes ya got...

Kin ya tell me who ya see fer an optomotrist??


Ah wuz juss about ta head back ta mah coop, so...see yah!!

This right - stay right there and growl...thass a good boy...


Hey - look over there!!

It's a rabbit!!!


Adios, fur-face, ah'm outta hear!!!

Cluck fer now!

Make way!!! Chicken on that run!!!! 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Bonus Post! My Latest REM Column...

Just noticed that my latest REM column is now live here.



The Tooth, The Hole Tooth, And Whatever Else Is Connected To The Tooth...

I'm goin' down today. Under sedation, for my emergency oral surgery.

I'm hoping this resolves a recurring infection that keep coming back year after year, and this last time, nastier than ever.

Of course, I could have had extensive restoration work, and spent between $5-8,000.00 to have a 50/50 chance of success, only to have it yanked in the end anyway. Not being able to use that as collateral with my bank, or rent out the restored tooth to miniature tenants, I opted to bring in the pliers and whiskey instead.

I'll let you know how that worked out for me....


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Irish Play Set For The Weekend

The fine folks at Liffey Players Drama Society are set to open their production of Eclipsed, by Irish playwright Patricia Burke Brogan Saturday night. On the surface, it looks like pretty heavy material, but I understand there are some light moments as well.

Here's my conversation with the director - click here!


Almost the weekend!!