Cypress Hills Provincial Park – review

Calgarians may look east to vent their political frustrations and mainstream media angst, but when it comes to recreation they inevitably gaze westward.  Be it Alberta’s own Kananaskis Country and Rocky Mountain parks or further afield in the summer playgrounds of British Columbia like the Okanagan, Shuswap, and Invermere, it’s hard to blame them for doing so.  Having done likewise so many times ourselves, this past summer, in a fit of contrarianism, we turned right where we usually turn left and headed east for a summer camping adventure on the flatlands of the Canadian Prairies.  Continue reading “Cypress Hills Provincial Park – review”

My Life Is A Song #75

Prelude Countdown #75I’ve harped more than a few times in these pages that my access to rock and pop music was delayed a few years.  When it finally did come, I obviously had some catching up to do.  Furthermore, it likely meant I became aware of historically monumental music differently than many of you.  That all being said, I’m confident that anyone of my vintage, too young to have heard classic rock songs upon initial release, first learned of Led Zeppelin thanks to “Stairway to Heaven” at school dances. Continue reading “My Life Is A Song #75”

Crude Awakening

“It builds character.”

These words of encouragement, long-favoured by well-intentioned relatives and friends, cycled endlessly in my mind as I sat behind my faux-wood desk in my soon-to-be-former cubicle on the west side of the fourteenth floor of Gulf Canada Square in suddenly not-so-opportunity-filled Calgary.  I was numb. Continue reading “Crude Awakening”

My Life Is A Song #74

Prelude Countdown #74I don’t think I have a story to share with this song.  Not all songs need a story, I suppose.  It’s a great song.  Perhaps that is enough.  If I were to write anything here to make this post longer than a Tweet, I guess I would question why any woman would willingly go by the nickname “Juice”.  There’s no end to the eyebrow-raising such a decision inspires. Continue reading “My Life Is A Song #74”

Carsons Camp – review

The majority of my camping experiences since I moved West have revolved around Provincial or National Parks with only a smattering of private campgrounds tossed in for flavour.  In many ways, this is reflective of Western Canada, with far more open space and far fewer people than my native Ontario.  By no means have I become a hardcore, rustic camper enjoying the back country adventures provided by the mountains and lauded by locals but such opportunities are limited in Continue reading “Carsons Camp – review”

My Life Is A Song #73

Prelude Countdown #73For a few years bookending the turn of the millennium, another wonderful tradition played out at my aunt and uncle’s small farm in central Alberta.  I speak, of course, of the legendary New Year’s Eve bonfires.  During the preceding year a healthy stockpile of wood based refuse, be it windfall from around the farm or renovation junk from the city, was collected in the pasture and promptly set ablaze on December Continue reading “My Life Is A Song #73”

An Open Letter to The Tragically Hip

First of all, let me just say, “Wow!”  And, “Thank you.”  But mostly, “Wow!”  That was one hell of a show you guys put on just over two weeks ago.  Even now it feels like the entire country continues to bask in a post-coital glow from that final concert, and those are just the folks that watched it on CBC.  I can only imagine the thigh quivers and orgasm-induced delirium those who saw it live have been enjoying.  Outside of international hockey golds, our nation far too rarely experiences such momentous, unifying events and yours certainly put a unique twist on our ice-laden norm.  So again, “Wow! And thank you!” Continue reading “An Open Letter to The Tragically Hip”

My Life Is A Song #72

Shirthead Countdown #72Here’s an embarrassing guilty pleasure of mine.  I like audience participation rock songs, particularly those with clapping.  Don’t judge, I know many of you like them too.  “Take The Money And Run” wouldn’t be half as popular as it is were it not for the hand clapping.  Then there is this song which goes so far as to include clapping in the title.  It’s the more cowbell of hand clapping songs. Continue reading “My Life Is A Song #72”

The Best Breakfast Cereals of All Time

A grotesque injustice has befallen the breakfast cereal industry and it’s been perpetrated by the very makers of this beloved morning staple all in a wholly ill-advised and utterly stupid attempt to cater to the nouveau health-conscious. Continue reading “The Best Breakfast Cereals of All Time”

My Life Is A Song #71

Shirthead Countdown #71Plug your nose and take a stroll past the change rooms in any arena during hockey season and you’ll hear the strains of hard rock blasting from behind the doors as minor hockey teams prepare for their games.  It’s as true now as it was thirty years ago when I played.  AC/DC is a given, of course, but pretty much any up-tempo, electric guitar driven classic can be heard.  If it gets the heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing, hockey players will embrace it. Continue reading “My Life Is A Song #71”