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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pope Pooped, Packs It In...

Wouldn't that have made for a better headline?

I also thought about trying to fit in Bennie & The Jets, but I don't think he has a personal fleet of aircraft.

Anyhow, Happy Retirement. What do retired popes do? Golf? Fish? Christian Mingle??

In unrelated news - I am currently on track to retire when I am 85 as well.

Boo-Yah!!

Chow for now....

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Almost Done

Finally making our way through the Oscar's broadcast we PVR'd the other day. PLEASE - no spoilers on who wins! So far, we've managed to learn virtually every winner, just before we've watched the show. Ugh - damn you, inner nets!!

Observations so far - despite hearing that viewership was up 11% this year (eleven), if this was the first Academy Awards broadcast a person has ever seen, I'm not so sure it would convince you to come back next year. I think viewership was more closely related to the inexplicable appeal of young Jennifer Lawrence than any other compelling effort made to draw in couch potatoes.

We wrapped it up with the In Memoriam segment last night.

We'll finish it tomorrow night, as we are off to see an Olympian speak tonight. I'd tell you more about that, but the paperwork is upstairs, and I don't expend THAT energy until I head up to get ready...

Ma Nya Na!

(Testing new closes...)


Monday, February 25, 2013

Please, no spoilers!

We PVR'd the Academy Awards last night, so please - no spoiler........

Crap....

Thanks, Morning News.....

Chow for now.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lost My Post...

Well, I had a whole other post ready to click "Publish" on, but the cheater version of Blogger lost the whole damn thing when I tried to italicize something.

So, this is what you're getting today - and this is ALL you're getting today. Friggin' stuff that can't work properly MAKES ME CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!

Chow for now...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Celebrity sTalker - Suzy Soro

Hey!

I figured out how to add a link to Suzy Soro's book in my Amazon Associate's link over to the right there (My Favourites). It was not easy, and I was really just taking a stab in the dark since Blogger totally redesigned things here.

Check out my Amazon.ca review (also on Amazon.com), and order this great collection of stories that includes encounters with entertainment legends like Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, and Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David.

Funny, poignant, and you truly won't want it to come to an end...

Chow for now!

Hey!

Where are you going??

Did you at least CLICK on the link??????

I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Damn You, New Blogger!!

Why do sites have to "new and improve" themselves beyond the point of being useable?

I want to add a link to "My Favourites" for a book review I finally completed, but I can't for the life of me figure out how. It used to be a really simple process.

Well, I'll keep looking. Maybe it will be time to consider Wordpress....

Aaargh!!

Chow for now...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Have A Seam...

My pants, my shirts...

My towels and pillowcases.

I have a seam, many seams truth be told.

They are what hold my fabrics together.

Go, seams!!!

(Yes, I had nothing - what's it to you???)

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On The Mend...

Well, I am pleased to report that I have pretty much held my cold at bay - good thing, as it was a hectic holiday weekend.

On that, I see that my top two posts (by a large margin) according to this morning's Analytic's are my review of Friday's Calgary Folk Club, and the review of Saturday night's media screening at Stage West Calgary.

While I didn't quite get my book review done, that will be wrapped up and be awaiting Amazon's approval later today. I got a good start yesterday, and just want it to be as good as I can get it.

More to do coming up this week, and I'm not quite out of the woods with my cold yet (why do so many people head into the woods with illnesses??), but I did better than most people I know that have been stricken, or even went on to full-blown flu.

Now, if I could just get my head to return to a more acceptable/typical size, I'd be a real happy camper.

In the woods, or not...

Chow for now!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicken Scratch (On A Monday? WTC??)


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

WTC!! 

WUT THA CLUCK!!!!

A CLUCKIN' MONDAY??????

Wut, wuz tha Beetles back together?? Did Justin Beebers cut his hair again??

A CLUCKIN' MONDAY????

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Man, I get punted aroun more than a footsball here - fer a bird that gets tha moss traffic fer this lame site, ya'd think I might get a lil more respeck!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Well, ah fixed banjo boy - those ain't chocolate covered raisins in his sock drawer.....

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Seein' as how ma week an weekend wuz kinda lite, I guess it was a good week ta bansih me ta tha ugliest day a tha week. An it is a hollyday here in Canada, so there may even be sumbody readin' this taday....

Tha best part a this lass week? I didn't catch tha cold an flue bug that has been reekin' havoc in this here househole. Both tha hoomans here wuz hit, altho I hafta admit tha delicak one seemed ta be taken down like a wounded gazelle - she wuz a wreck...

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Well, seein' as how I missed Tha Prize Is Ripe, I may juss sneak back inta bed for a lil nap. It is a hollyday, like I said.

Then I'll surf Hot Chicks.com, and russle me up a date fer tonite....

Cluck fer now!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Game Show", Stage West Calgary (review)

"Game Show"
Stage West Calgary
Featuring Richard Karn

(photo courtesy Stage West Calgary)

The Sunday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" entertainment review:

"Game Show", at Stage West Calgary...

Finally!

A production at Stage West Calgary where I cannot proclaim "best musical EVER!".

This non-musical comedy however certainly hit several high notes during the course of just over 90 brisk, funny minutes. 

Billed as "The Comedy YOU Play", several fortunate audience members had the chance to step onstage and become part of the proceedings. While the play itself had some great laughs already written in, the wild cards from the audience added another dimension altogether. It's pretty safe to say that many of them had no hope of winning the trivia contest with the answers they were providing host Troy Richards (played by actor and former host of "Family Feud" Richard Karn).

Mr. Karn eased into his role as host of this fictional TV game show easily. Smooth, confident and capable, he bantered with the audience contestants, and managed to parry back with terrific jokes as he went along contestant row. No question, he earns his keep as the star of this show. 

However, the balance of the cast helps handily in making the rest of the show run smoothly. In addition to the TV show taping, there is skullduggery afoot as conniving colleagues coordinate a casting coup.

 Chantal Perron plays show producer Ellen Ryan, in need of restorative lip balm as much as a moral compass while she schemes to replace Troy, and ignite her own ascent up the network ladder. She's...

She's....

You know, I can only spoil the fun if I give too much away here. The element of surprise isn't listed in the credits, but it is a crucial part of the proceedings.

I'll post a link here once my official Calgary Herald review link is live, but in the meantime, check out the feature interview that already appeared there:




and check out the video link in the feature, or click here

For my money, Game Show (running currently at Stage West Calgary) is a hearty 4 out of 5 stars...






Saturday, February 16, 2013

Calgary Folk Club, 02 15 13

Calgary Folk Club
02 15 13
Lennie Gallant,
The Bombadils






The Saturday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review: Calgary Folk Club, Feb 15, 2013

Lennie Gallant,
The Bombadils


You just cannot go wrong with spending an evening at The Calgary Folk Club.  Even with a bad cold - just try to stay away from your fellow music fans...

Last night was a perfect example of that theory. Opening act The Bombadils showcased diverse but nicely cohesive musical styles, all the while allowing for opportunities for each individual to shine within the unit.  

Offering what to me felt like traditionally classic folkie selections covering a number of genres (and often feeling Celtic with flute and piccolo throughout), this young group based in Montreal quickly won over the audience. "Blue Lullaby" began gently, with showcases for each member (as pictured, Anh Phung, Sarah Frank, Evan Stewart, Luke Fraser) before kicking into a more rollicking finale.

Sadly, I can't read my own writing from my notes this morning, but if I recall, "Peter's Lament For The Death Of The Duck" was another great showcase for the group, and even though vocalist Frank was struggling with a cold of her own, she still managed to remind me a bit of Kimberly Perry, of The Band Perry

What sold me was the stunning original "Hint", launching with haunting bow work on the upright bass. I'm guessing that song may have propelled the large crowd gathered over at the CD sales table after their set. I'll be listening to my copy later today...

Headliner (and apparently the artist-most-often-invited-back) Lennie Gallant engaged the group immediately. Currently on a tour of Alberta, fresh from shows with Symphony Novia Scotia, the stripped down performance (just his nephew Jeremy Gallant on keyboard) didn't lose a beat. Playing loads of selections from his new CD "If We Had A Fire", you could pick out the future classics, like ""Emily's Letters", and "Extraordinary Ordinary Life" - trivia note: we were seated at the same table as the Alberta couple that inspired that latter song...

The man is a storyteller, both with his music, and in between his songs. Having recently seen Tom Jackson's "Huron Carole", the two Canadian music legends share a fondness for similar jokes - but the audience LOVED it all! A true raconteur.

Gorgeous ballads like "Pieces Of You" and "God's Reply" likely led to Gallant's proclamation that of all the requests he was getting, he could only do so many - and he was only going to play a limited number of ballads. No matter, he could do no wrong onstage. Wait, that's not entirely correct. He made an error starting one song, but started over,  not a single complaint...

Incidentally, from his back catalogue, Gallant's classic "Peter's Dream" is nominated right now for CBC's Top 10 East Coast Songs. Hover your mouse over the song title back there, visit the link, and VOTE!! I did...

Chow for now!




Friday, February 15, 2013

Richard Karn Interview (Home Improvement, Family Feud)

My interview is now officially live in The Calgary Herald, so I can finally post live links to that AND the companion video interview I soft-launched a couple of days ago:

Richard Karn feature

What a treat to sit down with someone you've watched for years - and he is truly a genial gentleman!

Enjoy!

Chow for now...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Closer To The Finish Line...

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

After a relentless week of personal and "day job" commitments, I have just a breakfast event today, Calgary Folk Club tomorrow, and Stage West Saturday. Oh, and a book review somewhere along the way, plus trying to schedule a phone interview. This is a long weekend here in Alberta after all, so I hope to spend at least one of those days relaxing and catching my breath.

Clearly, I am getting older, and all this hectic pace stuff is not in alignment with my general goal - stretched out on a sofa, beer in hand, potato chips at the ready.

My diabetes thanks this hectic pace stuff....

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Getting Through...

Well, my "Week Of Juggling Cucumbers" is well underway, and we seem to be getting through the worst of it - even if we are starting to feel the weight of minimal sleep.

After getting through two days of volunteer casino management (and shifts), I had to attend a health fair yesterday. Once we got home, we both took a quick nap until my parents called, and we got up to catch up with family matters from them.

Afterwards, I worked on my interview feature for the Calgary Herald, and managed to get that sent off. I understand that it will appear this weekend, and I will post a digital link here once that goes live. If you're following me on Twitter and Facebook, you may have been able to preview the video version that will link to the newspaper piece...

Today, I'm in a course all day at Volunteer Calgary, after which we will probably come home and collapse under the coffe table until morning. I've got a breakfast event then, and with any luck I'll be able to get the book review done so that I can schedule my next interview - a phone chat with the funny, funny Suzy Soro.

And then, we've got Folk Club friday night (review Saturday morning), and Stage West Saturday night (review Sunday morning).

If it weren't for coffee I'm not sure my eyes would even be open right now....

Chow for now!!  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day

A little early (and you've probably already seen this if you follow me on Twitter & Facebook), but here's my latest national column - a little reminiscing on:

Valentine's Day

Hope you enjoy it!

On another note, if you look up Irony in the dictionary, you would probably find reference to Mrs. That Dan Guy and I spending EIGHT hours in a casino, and NOT playing a single slot machine. That was our cross to bear last night, as we were out until the wee hours of the morning helping out with my employer's non-profit volunteer fundraising casino.

I'll have to thank everyone later that pitched in to make it a success, but this was the first one I was completely in charge of in my role. Nerve-wracking...

Chow for now

Monday, February 11, 2013

Non Profit Fun!

Well, Day One of my commitment to our Canadian Diabetes Association casino fundraiser is behind me. So, so sad to spend a dozen hours among slot machines, without actually being able to feel the gentle caress as I grasp the handle of a one-armed bandit...

Sigh...

Oh well, them's the rules, and I must abide if I hope to ensure my employer sees the benefits of this two-day event. Such is life in the not-for-profit world...

And, with my schedule as of late, I juggled in between checking in on volunteer arrivals my interview with actor Richard Karn - which will be a full-blown feature in the Calgary Herald, tied to the video footage - which will be a first for me. I've done an audio-linked feature years ago for syndicated Canadian cartoonists Chuckle Bros, but this is a brave new world I now enter.

I'll link that feature later once my review of the show appears in print and online, next week.

We also had to find time to meet up with our landlord, to renew our lease in between all the frantic traveling between commitments. Fun! But, we did it.

Today, I hope to edit the video, and put together the piece to submit to the newspaper. Then I'm back to the casino, until about 2:30 AM Tuesday morning.

Call me crazy....

Chow for now!  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Go!

OK, the starter's pistol has fired - my hectic schedule now officially becomes INSANE!!

Starting today, I'm in charge of our two-day fundraising casino for my day job. In an epic feat of irony, I will be spending the next TWO days in a casino from about 10:00 AM, until at least 10 PM tonight, 2:30 AM tomorrow night. AND I CAN'T GAMBLE!!!!

That should be fun...

In between that endeavour, I will be interviewing actor and game show host Richard Karn, hopefully Calgary actress Chantal Perron, and finishing reading a book for my upcoming review/interview with California stand-up Suzy Soro. I would also like to get my interview with Baltimore writer and humorist pal Wojo (last name like a newspaper Jumble puzzle) in there somewhere.

Hey, I got a direct Twitter response yesterday from legendary stand-up David Steinberg!! Not only is he currently hosting a terrific series on stand-up comics (which was what he responded to on Twitter), he is from my hometown!!

Winnipeg, Baby!

Better run - prep time is vanishing as I do this process...

Later - chow for now!!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Chicken Scratch


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

Howdy, lay-zee hoomans!

While youse were all still sleepin' in, ole Chuck wuz hittin' tha bricks!

After I quit bangin' my head against tha wall ta wake up, I stepped outside fer a run...

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Yessir, ole Charlie is gunna run in marythons!!

I watched Chariots a Fire on sattylite TV, an now I wanna be a Olimpick runner - call me Tha Flash!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Wut with ma streemlined fisique, I figger I gotsa major advantig over hooman runners, what with their natural flab an lacka skitterin'. Wings don't hurt none either.

I may not be tha Road-Runner, but I've managed to outrun the coyotes in OUR nayborehood!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

I juss gotta stalk up on Gatorade, spandex shorts, an dee-odor-ant. Chicks may not eggsactly dig a smelly stud...

Juss to be clear - beer is NOT a performance enhasin drug, is it??

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Hey, dew marythons typically last longer than a city block?

I need ta start small, until ah develop ma gams!!

Ready...

Set....

Andelay, Andelay!!!

Who was that blurry burst a speed an awesomesness???

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Cluck fer now...


Friday, February 08, 2013

Artsy Fartsy

Is that like when you are touring an art gallery, and you get struck by "the vapours"??

Is artsy fartsy linked specifically to gas occurring during arts-related events?Because let me tell you, I have had occurrences...

Chow for now..


- Posted using BlogPress - too lazy to start my laptop...

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Spin off Chicken?

Well, once again Charlie is topping my downloads here - by a substantial margin!

A close second is my recent review for The Calgary Folk Club, but that cursed foul fowl is continuing his domination of this blog space.

I suppose that this is probably an opportunity for learning, as they say in the corporate world. If I put more effort into these daily posts.....

Well, upstaged by a chicken - it has come to this...

Oy!

Chow for now...

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Bygone Days

You don't really see a whole lot of candelabras anywhere these days.

Liberace used to give candelabras a pretty good showcase back in the day. Phantom Of The Opera brought them back for awhile. But other than that, I don't think you see many of the multi-pronged candle stands anywhere else outside museums.

Not like I want to lead a charge back to the dang things, I'm just sayin'...

Wait - just a second...

I have forgotten the Jewish community - I think that they use candelabras for their holiday celebrations? I can't confirm that, which is a little embarrassing as I used to play music (recorded) for many Jewish events back when I still lived in Winnipeg. If they do use them, I don't know that they are called candelabras.

Maybe I need to start fact checking on Google before I go off on these half-cocked rants??

Chow for now...  

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Not Enough Time In The Day...

Man, back when all I did was freelance writing, it was a HELL of a lot easier making deadlines...

Well, can't complain - my calendar is filling up like a senior with a weak bladder on a long bus trip these days, and I just have to try and manage best as I can.

I've got two interviews this coming weekend for the upcoming Stage West show, a museum review I haven't even started, and much more in the pipeline. I've also got a handful of articles I'm pitching around, plus book proposals going out, book reviews and author interviews. Maybe I need to learn how to focus, instead of utilizing the dog-looking-out-the-window-at-squirrels technique??

My day job is also getting hectic, so that is chewing up a lot of time I could have been checking some of those projects off my list.

Wattaya gonna do? A good problem to have I imagine, and all you can do is try to keep juggling without letting one of the bowling balls fall and konk you on the head - although that might be a good way for one of those projects to get my IMMEDIATE attention...

Chow for now!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Dental Work

Had the second part of my cleaning and fillings done this weekend. As a nighttime grinder, I had shaved a good portion of my teeth down over the years, so there was some restoration work done on that. Like the Sistine Chapel I imagine, but with less ladders...

The thing I always think about as my head is tilted back to allow the work to be done isn't that I hadn't flossed since 2009. My moment of panic at the dentist's office is always whether or not I had remembered to trim my  nose hairs, which are pretty much displayed for the entirety of all the procedures.

Are there booger particles lurking? Do the hairs look like they are trying to make a run from my nostrils, or have they just exploded with misplaced Rogaine treatments?

Those are the sorts of things that go through my mind....

Chow for now!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Chicken Scratch


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


Ugh.

Howdy hoomans.

Weigh-in today. Not dewin' sew grate with ma New Year's razzlooshuns...

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Ackshually, ah'm feelin' downrite bloated lately - don't look at me, ah'm BEASTLY!!!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Ah kin feel ma wings wigglin' whenever ah walk down tha hallway - a bird could pretty much fly with a pair-ashoots like these!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Don't even git me started on ma thighs - ah feel like a corder-roy test factery, or like ah could spontaneously combust if ah started to jog a coupla blocks!

This bird has GOTTA lose sum weight, if he wantsta fit inta his Speedo cum summertyme!!

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Now, all I needta do is find a reely small treadmill...

BUK-AAAAWK!!!!

Cluck fer now...



Saturday, February 02, 2013

Calgary Folk Club 02 01 13

Calgary Folk Club
Feb 1, 2013
Gretchen Peters
Sam Baker
Barry Walsh

The Saturday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" entertainment review:

The Calgary Folk Club

Gretchen Peters
Sam Baker

I couldn't put my finger on it for the longest time last night. During singer songwriter Sam Baker's opening set, he reminded me of a number of artists, but I couldn't pin it down. A bit of actor Woody Harrelson, a touch of Kris Kristofferson. Leo Kottke, without the slide guitar...

 I wound up concluding his voice reminded me the most of actor Matthew McConaughey. A great fit for his easy-going storytelling style, and his soft, tender lyrics had the hall quiet as a library from opener Soldiers Of The Cross, until his sense of humour between songs cracked the crowd up repeatedly.

It is a philosophical experience Mr. Baker presents, as he talks about his own "there-but-for-the-grace" moment that changed his own life, and seeps into so many of his songs. Surviving a random act of violence and relearning his craft in the aftermath, when he posts a quote in his CD jacket like "How Beautiful Are These Days", he believes it whole-heartedly, and lives that onstage, extending that out for his audience.

Even seeing the humour of life on the road, and Sleep Number beds. 

There were too many highlights to list, including a few collaborations at the end of his set with keyboard and accordion from Barry Walsh - without any rehearsal beforehand. No impediment whatsoever for these pros.

In introducing Odessa, Baker shared a story about how Texas had squandered much of the state's oil wealth. Timing really is everything - welcome to Alberta, 2013....

You need to discover this gentleman's music - visit Sam Baker's website to catch up, and follow his journey.
****************************************
Gretchen Peters... 

Well, let me shamelessly lift a section of her own website to give you some idea of her accomplishments, if you aren't familiar with her work:

"Nonetheless, Martina McBride’s 1995 recording of Peters’ “Independence Day,” the gritty story of an abused woman’s revenge, made her a songwriting sensation. The performance received a “Best Country Song” Grammy nomination and won the Country Music Association’s “Song of the Year” title. After that a string of great vocalists – Pam Tillis, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Neil Diamond, George Strait, Etta James – began to record Peters’ songs. Peters also signed her own record deal, yielding her 1996 debut album The Secret of Life. The title track was cut by Faith Hill in 1999 and hit number five on the country charts." 

Last night, Peters performed more recent material, from her latest album "Hello Cruel World". With standout tracks like Saint Francis, Dark Angel, and the lovely Five Minutes in her first set, Peters and her husband (the aforementioned Barry Walsh) spent a load of time signing copies of THAT album during the intermission.

With her success at penning songs for other artists (and herself), she is a bit reminiscent of Steve Seskin, who was at this very same venue just a few months ago. If you're also a fan of artists like Emmylou Harris, or Mary Chapin Carpenter, you will undoubtedly be a fan of Ms. Peters. 

Visit Gretchen Peters, and find out for yourself.

The evening ended with a "Nashville guitar pull" set, each alternating on originals and covers,  with artists like John Prine and Townes Van Zandt included in their selections. There was a TV show not too long ago where Rosanne Cash shared a story about a similar guitar pull evening at her father's home - that was the first time "Me & Bobby McGee" was played before an intimate appreciative audience.

It may not have been all that intimate last night with a full house at The Calgary Folk Club, but it was an appreciative group for these talented, compelling artists....

Friday, February 01, 2013

Vote For "Balloon Dan"...

Just for fun, check out the Calgary Herald's Photo Vote:

Balloon Dan

My colleague at work submitted his balloon rendition of my head, and it is actually running on their website!

His own photo, Weird Beird is also up there, so if you like that one more, he still wins as the photos are both his. That whimsical self-portrait dominated the site most of yesterday.

All in good fun, and I have to say, he really captured me with his artwork.

Chow for now!