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Friday, January 31, 2014



1) Furry

2) Fizzy

3) Fartless

4) Fricasseed

5) Funky

6) Fez-tive

7) Flambe

8) Fandango

9) Funneled

10) FRIDAY!!

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Give A Man A FIsh...

...and he will likely:

1) Question your motives.
2) Accuse you of trying to poison him with Mercury - even if that does mean the planet, not the chemical element.
3) Say he would have preferred chicken...
4) Immediately grimace, and say "What, no batter??"
5) Begin to sing "Salmon Enchanted Ev-en-ing..."
6) Look at you quizzically, before passing it on to the person closest to him, and then run off into the wilderness laughing.
7) Thank you in the voice of a grizzly bear.
8) See your fish, and raise you a pair of game hens...
9) Try to perform aquatic CPR, to no avail.
10) Act out a pantomime of the fish trying to navigate seaweed beds...


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Rising Cost Of A Snowman

Well, who knew it would ever come to this?

The timeless tradition of making a snowman is now being priced outside the affordability of the average child, let alone a young family.

Let's take coal for example. With rising heating costs, and pressure to look for more environmentally-friendly fuel sources, you can't just plunk a couple of lumps of coal into a snow head anymore for eyeballs. Try finding large bits of gravel, or a marble. Maybe a meatball, but that cold attract crows. Or cannibal snowmen!

How about smoking? 5 out of 4 doctors suggest you shouldn't smoke anymore, even if you are made of snow. So, good luck finding a corncob pipe to insert for dramatic effect! Hey, if you're in Toronto, there may be some used crackpipes in the alley behind City Hall...

Hat? Scarf? Even thrift shops have become trendy as of late, and mostly aspiring artists or uber-cool hipsters are paying big bucks, snapping up these traditional snow-person garments. You could knit something, but who has the time really?

Twigs or branches for arms? What kind of violent maniac are you, breaking off parts of a living, breathing tree? Somebody ought to report you to Greenpeace, if any of them aren't on Pipeline Protest Duty...

Snowman? How passe!!!

Too expensive for this guy!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kat's Cabaret: Lolita's Lounge, Calgary

The Tuesday Morning "Before Noon" Entertainment Review:

Kat's Cabaret
Lolita's Lounge, Calgary

With Host Katrina Reynolds - featuring
Troy Adams, Tafari Anthony, Aurianna Angelique, Andrew Broderick, Starr Domingue, Rob James, Cavelle-Nell Romeo, Jeremiah Sparks

Katrina Reynolds gets by with a little help from her friends. It doesn't hurt that those friends are some of the hottest up-and-comers you are likely to hear perform live on stage.

For her 6th installment of Kat's Cabaret, Reynolds gathered these talented vocalists from the cast of Stage West Calgary's "Love Train The Soul Of Motown", for a showcase of group and solo performances of soul, Motown, and amazing originals that sounded every bit as good as the cover songs last night. Which incidentally ranged from selections out of Porgy & Bess, straight on through to Cee-Lo Green, playing to each individual's strengths and taste. In this intimate venue, with the flawless musicians from the very same Stage West show backing them up, it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that ranks right up there with most anything I have ever seen...which is lots!

Having seen the show these folks are all starring in right now, this was an eye-opener, getting a chance to hear selections close to their own hearts, and showcasing capabilities otherwise limited by direction and protocols of fitting a show's format. In other words, the theme was sit back, relax, and we are going to wow you. 


Just a few highlights:

* John Lennon's "Jealous Guy", filtered via Donny Hathaway.
* The blend of humour and skill-inflected covering of "What A Wonderful World"
* The spontaneous applause after the opening line of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" - let alone the bring-down-the-house performance of the rest of the song...
* The gospel-inspired "I Can See Clearly Now" that closed a second half that was preceeded by almost a dare to out-do each performer that went before the next...
* The originals, all exceptional and well-recieved, a clear indication of how gifted these artists are.

I have so many other high-water marks, like the newer ballad that Andrew Broderick performed, the name of which escapes me at the moment - but every single member of this ensemble dazzled in this cabaret - evidenced by the standing ovations during virtually each song in the final set.

If you happen to see ANY of the names listed at the top of this review in a show near you, do not hesitate to pick up tickets pronto.

And if you happen to see Kat's Cabaret advertised within your city limits, don't be among the waiting list that missed out on this sold out showcase. wrote "I Want More".

Me too...


Monday, January 27, 2014

My Latest Humour Column Online Now!

In another life (and maybe a new one soon - who knows??), I was a Realtor for 11 years.

Ah, the smell of Fresh Realtor - a blend of learning and lack of knowledge - there's nothing quite like it.

Here's a recap of my early days in that role:

Rookie Realtor Learnings



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reliving My Youth!

I was sniffing around in one of our local HMV's on the weekend, and happened to come across something I had no idea even existed!

I found a box-set collection of soundtracks from TWENTY Elvis movies! Not exactly definitive, but some pretty hard to find pieces at any rate. 

So, you know what I'll be doing for the next week or so.

The funny thing is, this aligns with a project I'm working on, so I can not only enjoy the hell out of it, I can write it off. Win Win!!

Sure, there's some duplication (I think I now have three or four soundtracks for Blue Hawaii thanks to prior packages), but some of these albums I haven't heard in at least thirty years.


Thirty year??

Guess I ain't no spring chicken anymore....

Well, fire up the CD player - I got me some hips that need to swivel!!

Long Live The King!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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

Howdy hoomans!!

Ole Charlie wuz juss goin' thru tha photo albums, an ah kaim across this pikchur uv me wearing clothes.

How ridikiluss iz that??


You kin clearly see may wings iz BASIDE may body, yet tha sleeves iz flapping' in tha wind, empty as tha average economy uv moss worldly governments!!


Even tho I ain't even had breakfast yet, I sure kood go fer sum popcorn, if tha humans here still had that popcorn maker!

Ah mean, ah eats a lot a chicken feed, but poppin' sum every once inna while is a bit of a treat...


Sew, tha's all ah got fer taday - sorry ta diss a point ya, but really, ya gets what ya pays for.

Now go do sum thin' productive, ya slacker!!


Cluck fer now...


Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: Belief Re-patterning

My review of Hay House author Suze Casey's manual for "flipping the switch" to positive thoughts is now live online:

"Belief Re-patterning"

If you are in Alberta, the website can steer you to hard copies of the magazine!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

High On Sugar

As we reflect on Justin Bieber's latest arrest this morning, do you ever feel a twinge of nostalgia for a time when a 19-year old was typically just high on sugar?

Yeah, me too...


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Once upon a time, there was an itsy bitsy spider. He was so itsy bitsy, he slipped through the openings in his spider web, and died.

He was scooped up by a bird, and never seen again.

The End.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Alligator Wrestling

If modernization ever comes to the art of alligator wrestling, you'd have them interviewed by balding announcers - smoking cigars, sporting scruffy beards, with wild eyes - like the antics typically exhibited on WWE broadcasts.

They'd be talkin' smack, and boasting of smackdowns, whilst waving their short little arms around to underscore their commentary. I see most of them wearing porkpie hats, maybe sunglasses...

I'm not sure you could convince them to wear tights, but maybe - we are talking sheer speculative fiction here. 

Or, we were...


Monday, January 20, 2014

Hardy Har Har

I've always thought that "hardy har har" was another reference to something funny. Turns out that if you Google that phrase, it is actually quite condescending apparently. It is a sarcastic retort to something funny.

So, if you were to say something like..."I love paying taxes - hardy har har!", that should be taken as a sarcastic response to the statement that preceded it.

Wait - that DOES deserve a sarcastic response!!

Let's try again...

Kim Kardashian is the greatest talent of our generation - hardy har har!!

Nope. Still accurate, still appropriate...

Well, clearly this train of thought requires more processing.

Let me spend the rest of the day trying to get this into a cohesive thought that will provide deep insight and a general consensus of my ability to provoke consensus.

Hardy Har Har!!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Challenges Of Maintaining A Soul Patch

I'll be honest. A much as my beloved wife swoons in uncontrollable lust for me over this sexy soul patch I've had the past few years, it is truly a pain in the ass to try and keep in line.

Some days, it's so far off centre it looks like one of my sideburns is trying to make a run for the Mexican border.

Other days, it has grown into some sort of elliptical pattern, like I was shaving with garden shears on a cart being pulled over gravel by burros.

Today, a handful of hairs are pointed as if trying to give directions horizontally and vertically at the same time. That, or a cat tried to pull part off and got bored.

How is that when you see other people with soul patches, they are always pristine, and Billy Bob Thorntony?? Mine looks like Mr. Bean's hair after pulling a turkey off his head.


I'll just have to live with my imperfections. As long as it inspires her wanton desires, I can live with a soul patch that has no fixed address...


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chicken Scratch

(posted by one sick and twisted bird, our weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)

Way-Back Machine, 2010:


Cluck fer now...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dance Like Nobody's Watching...

...and sing like no one is listening.

Then you'll know how all those trees feel that keep falling in the forest, with no one there to hear them.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

No Post Today, Sorry...

Hello everyone!

Thanks so much for stopping by again!

Unfortunately, I don't have time to make a post today - and even if I did, my mind is completely blank. I couldn't even come up with something short to put down to virtual paper here. Nothing! My mental well is apparently dry. And kind-of cobwebby...

But that doesn't mean that there won't be something brilliant, witty or thought-provoking here tomorrow. Yessir, I can feel it in my bones - tomorrow there will be a post here that you will still be laughing about on the weekend, and eventually share with your grandchildren. Can't wait to have that come to me completely out of the blue...

But today - oy! I am entirely without inspiration - lacking in new creation. Disarmed by my muse. Abandoned by my spark.

So, I apologize that I was not able to post anything at all here today. I appreciate the time you may have taken to click on my link and wait with bated breasts for what is typically well worth the effort. We will resume that sort of revelry again tomorrow, as Gord is my witness.

Thank you, and be careful out there.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hiding Your Light Under A Bushel

There are some old sayings that probably have lost their meaning over the years. I mean, how many bushels do you come across in your average day?

That said, I will offer what may or may not be correct with regards to hiding your light under a bushel.

(NOTE: For the purposes of this advice, consider "bushel" to be a shade or bucket.)

1) Take small light, or light that will obviously fit within the bushel  you have selected.
2) Place light on level surface, unplug for safety reasons.
3) Place bushel over light, not in plain view.

Sure sounds simple enough.

And I have no earthly idea how that was even a saying in the first place...


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Art of Opinion Writing

I see the social media posts are abuzz this morning with the release of my friend and colleague Suzette Martinez Standring's newest book:

The Art of Opinion Writing

Standring has collected insider secrets from some of the biggest names in the business, much like she did in her runaway bestseller The Art of Column Writing. Pulitzer Prize winners and more share how they have engaged readers for years, in an abundance of various subjects and interests. I expect that if you're an aspiring writer, this is going to be another invaluable resource to fast-track your writing, and even if you're long established, you'll be able to take away something of tremendous value.

I'll need to get my hands on a copy pronto, and I suggest you do the same...


Monday, January 13, 2014

Don't Miss: Kat's Cabaret, Monday January 27th

Last week I posted a brief note here about an upcoming event that promises to showcase some extremely talented Canadian performers.

Since then, I’ve had a chance to hear a bit more about the one-night-only showcase of soul from organizer Katrina Reynolds:

Tell me about Kat's Cabaret - this isn't your first rodeo, to use a Calgary reference??

“Kat's Cabaret is a live experience that is all about the music! Kat's Cabaret always features a new helping of singers and musical stylings. The showcase at Lolita's on January 27th will mark it's 6th installment, this time based around soul and Motown music showcasing ten extremely skilled vocalists.”   

What inspired you to come up with this concept? Where have you had something similar run before?

I started Kat's Cabaret in 2011 in Stratford Ontario while I was performing in Jesus Christ Superstar at The Stratford Festival. I wanted to showcase the ensemble members as well as myself in a fun night of music. The evening was such a hit that people kept on asking when there would be another one. 

After Jesus Christ Superstar went to Broadway I found myself back in Stratford performing in the revival of The Who's Rock Opera Tommy! While working on that show, I wound up producing 4 evenings of Kat's Cabaret. Each Cabaret featured different members of the Stratford company, singing rock and pop songs, showcasing different sides of themselves.    

You've managed to put together the entire cast from the current Stage West Calgary production of “Love Train The Soul Of Motown” - what can the audience expect, if they have or haven't seen this show?

The audience can expect an amazing variety of vocal talent. We will be singing covers of some of the best soul and Motown hits not already featured in Love Train, as well as some original songs.

For anyone not familiar with the level of talent in this group, what can you tell us about the accomplishments of some of these artists, including yourself?

The lineup for Kat's Cabaret is packed with POWER HOUSE voices!!!! We've got singers who have been to Broadway, on American national tours and even nominated for Grammys and Junos! 

If anyone has already seen the Stage West show, will this be similar or different?

This will be a more relaxed and intimate experience. Each singer chose which songs they wanted to sing and which style they'd like to sing it in. This will be a great opportunity to get to know more about these amazing talents; and if you haven't seen Love Train, it’s a chance to find out what all excitement is about!

How can people get tickets?

People can get tickets online at:

Don’t miss out - the Stage West Calgary show has had rave reviews, and audiences that weren’t already familiar with the depth of talent performing onstage quickly came to discover  how each and every one of these performers can hit a soul song out of the ballpark. 

Act fast, tickets are limited, the venue is intimate - be a part of this sure-to-be-memorable evening yourself!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Remember "JohnnyCash" Machines?

I imagine this question might only tweak the memories of my Canadian compadres. Back in the 80's and 90's, we had an institution here called Canada Trust, part of a banking conglomerate now absorbed into TD Bank.

They had early ATM's back then that they referred to as Johnnycash machines, although I seem to recall they may have dropped the "h" in Johnny at some point. Probably for legal reasons.

Typically, the ATM's were all dressed in black, and you had a hell of a time trying to insert your banking card under the cowboy hats.

One time, I had a heck of a scare after I inserted my card, and the dang thing loudly proclaimed "How do you do? My name is Sue. Now you gonna die!!"

That sort of customer service may be why they aren't around anymore....


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger and adventurer Charles D. Chicken...)

Howdy hoomans!

Just out doin' sum scuba-divin' , with mah modified sigerette tank attachment, an - HEY!

How come it got so dark all uv a sudden??


Friday, January 10, 2014

Two Fantastic Reasons That It's Friday

1) It is not Monday.
2) Well, maybe there was just ONE fantastic reason that it's Friday.....



Thursday, January 09, 2014

Check Out "Kat's Cabaret", Hits From Motown!

If you're in the Calgary area, here's a rare chance to get to see a group of the most talented artists out there on stages across North America right now, performing great songs from Soul and Motown!

The entire cast from the production of Stage West Calgary's "Love Train The Soul Of Motown" will be in the intimate venue Lolita's Lounge - only 80 tickets are going to be available:

I gave this show a rave review, and if you scroll back up and click on the photo montage at the top of this page, you can watch an interview I posted with three of those cast members (including host/organizer Katrina Reynolds).

This promises to be an exceptional evening of great music performed by Broadway-level performers, up close and personal. 

Be part of the fun!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Les Miserables, 2014

Eponine: Merde! My wifi is so very slow!

Jean Valjean: Oui - I am a successful businessman, and make more in an hour than most people make the whole year - what of it? Eat cake!

Fantine: Cosette, pack your bags - Canada has just struck down prostitution laws!! Mama gotta move!

Javert: I had Valjean in my sights, then realized we were in Florida, and the charges would not stick. Sacre Bleu, my life is a mockery!!!

Cosette: Merde! My wifi is so very slow, and I need to post this new selfie!!

Marius: Cosette, I do love you, but I am booked on the new season of The Bachelor - perhaps if you audition.......

(Oh, the difference a century makes in storylines.....)


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Cold Cold Heart

As well as cold cold fingers, cold cold toes, and a cold cold nose.

Damned winter!


Monday, January 06, 2014

Ant Farms

I've never understood the concept of ant farms. I suppose if they grow crops that are of benefit to other insects, who am I to question their motives?


Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Perhaps I should do even a nominal amount of research before I make this claim, but I'll bet the new big-screen version of "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" is the underdog movie of the holiday season.

Between the interactive promotional juggernaut that is Anchorman 2, a new Hobbit movie, the Mandela and Mary Poppins biopic - not to mention two new Jennifer Lawrence movies, a Leo Dicaprio flicker, and more - I wasn't expecting to see a full theatre when we went yesterday.

Turns out, there are lots of daydreamers in Calgary - we got two of the last few seats. This classic James Thurber tale gets a great treatment from the modern cast and crew - I would say you would be pretty darn satisfied by the end if you decided to pick up tickets yourself.

What? You were thinking maybe I'd say something more?? It's a great movie - go see for yourself!!


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Chicken Scratch

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

Cluckin' winter!!


Between tha snow an tha cold, a bird could freeze his pinfethers off in this pluckin' weather!! Wut did Canada ever do ta Muther Naytcher???


Snow storm lass nite, a dump uv tha white stuff at least as tall as me! I even saw a polar bear at a travel agent's office on mah way home...


Who ordered thiss stuff? An tha cold - don't even get me started!! It's warmer in Donald Trump's heart than it is right now in sum parts a this country.

Ah guess if there is a bright side ta all this, it's that I ain't in Winnipeg - hoo-ee-boy, they's tha epic centre uv a bad winter unfit  fer habitabition. Let alone co-habitation...



Ah think mah cigarettes pack is empty!!

Ah wunder if tha Pills Berry Doughboy kin be fooled inta goin' ta tha store fer me??

Otherwise, I gotta zip up these boots, and thumb a ride tah tha corner store.

When's summer??

Not cluckin' soon enuff...


Cluck fer now!!  

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The New Year (Of Work) Officially Begins

Well, it is officially Back-To-Work Day for my day job. And I've got to try making it all the way to the weekend before I get another break!

Back into the groove, even if that sounds like a Madonna song...

Wish me luck folks!


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Resolutions: Status Update

Oh Boy...

This can't be a good sign:

1) Reduce chocolate intake - Fail, January 1 (had chocolate orange leftovers for breakfast)

2) Reduce grains in diet - Fail, January 1 (chased down chocolate orange with white bread toast and freshly shucked wheat)

3) Quit booze and cigarettes cold turkey - Fail, January 1 (Irish Cream in morning pots of coffee, and well into "holiday sampler" of exotic tobacco)

4) Exercise Every Day - Fail, January 1 (new treadmill delivery delayed until Feb 30)

5) Be A Better Person - Fail, January 1 (what kind of asshat makes THAT sort of resolution???)

6) Reduce chocolate intake - Fail, January 1 (had Mrs. That Dan Guy's chocolate orange leftovers, a bag of Oreos, and four Easter Bunnies pre-bought for Easter 2014)

7) Become wiser with my money - Fail, January 1 (that flippin' horse Grease Lighting needs to be taken out behind the barn - last place???)

Well, let's see how the other resolutions fare over the next few days....