#yqr #saskatchewan #yxe #moosejaw #princealbert

[Edit: Yikes! When I posted this, didn’t realize there was a mini-controversy about a local radio station stealing the name and data from the original Sparkletour web site. Bah-humbug!]

It’s now less than a month to Christmas. helps you get into the spirit of the season with an ever-growing list of houses worth checking out in Regina and other cities around Saskatchewan.

The Useless Web

Who knew something so useless could be so entertaining? 

Music Monday – “I’m grateful for what you did for me/I can see things now I never would have seen”

Having a real Spirit of the West run of posts lately.  Here’s another one – the first video they ever shot from their official YouTube channel

Political” – Spirit of the West

100 Years of Style

Here’s another of those popular “Take yourself through time” videos – this one focused on fashion as much as music or dance or whatever

Saturday Snap – Decorating the Christmas Tree

I think Pace forgot where the star goes…

Friday Fun Link – Spirit of the West’s John Mann Dancing

I recently wrote about the sad news that Spirit of the West lead singer, John Mann, has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Without being too hyperbolic, I have to say there aren’t many bands that have played as big of a role in my life as Spirit of the West – everything from the many fond (and forgotten!) memories at bars, parties and pubs in University to recording the song I used to soundtrack my first ever promo video for Ryan Meili’s 2009 campaign for the Sask NDP Leadership to the ring tone that plays every time I get a call from my wife – Spirit of the West has provided a soundtrack to many of the best moments of my life.

As soon as I heard the news, I booked tickets to the upcoming show in Regina and last night, Shea and I went to Casino Regina to see them, not sure what to expect.  (And if you want a good indicator that you’re not a 20-something college student anymore, seeing SotW at a Casino instead of in some grungy, dim-lit bar is a good clue!  As is the fact that when they called “Sociable!”, you had a sip of Diet Pepsi instead of beer!)

The first song of the concert (“Canadian Skye”) had a vocal that was a bit rocky and I couldn’t help think “Oh my god.  What if the whole show is like this?” but by the second song, John’s voice was crystal clear, sounding just as it has in concerts and on CD for the over 20 years I’ve been a fan.  Honestly, except for the semi-conspicuous iPad attached to his mic stand and lack of guitar-playing/storytelling, you would not know anything about his medical condition from the performance last night.

I’m not sure what song it was but at one point, early in the show, my eyes welled up with tears – simply from watching him dance, as he always does, with gleeful abandon, and so many thoughts hit me – how we’re all getting older, we’re all dealing with different serious issues – our own health, the health of our loved ones and everything else that life throws at us – and yet, here was a man who’s just past 50, facing a serious medical diagnosis that will make his brain and memories wilt away and yet, he’s still dancing as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

I searched YouTube long and hard for a video that captures the joy of John Mann’s dancing – there’s nothing up from the Regina show yet but I found this one which is a great illustration of what I’m talking about.  (You may have to forward to the 4:04 minute mark if my embed doesn’t work properly)

But then, in researching this post, I also came across this video for a song John recently wrote about his diagnosis.  Although labeled as “Untitled”, I think “The Power to Forget” is a fitting title.

And my eyes welled up with tears again…

Throwback Thursday – #tbt – Ever Wanna Live in a Castle?

Shea and I kinda did when you look at the design of the Valhalla View condos we bought a unit in while we lived in Calgary in the early 2000’s.

It was a pretty cool, executive-style condo in an awesome location close to “The Red Mile“.

Ours was a unit on the left side of the picture below.  Being on the third floor, we had a balcony with a great view of the city skyline (we could even lay in our bedroom and look out at the downtown skyline as well!)

Winter Sucks.

Pace’s Joke

Pace shared this with us at supper tonight:

“What did the number 2 say to the number 7 when he did something weird?”

“I think you’re odd.”

Love to hear him playing with language and also seeing his sense of humour develop!

Music Monday – “Now when she’s talking to you/Make sure you listen close/Cause she’s gonna teach everything you’ll ever need to know Like how to mind your manners to love and laugh and dream/And she’ll put you on the path/That’ll bring you back to me”

Shea’s lifelong friend, maid of honour, and guardian to Pace and Sasha, had her third baby last night.

After having two boys, we were happy to hear that a baby girl, Abby, had joined their family – not least because we can pass along a bunch of clothes and other Sasha goodies to them!  ;-)

Garth Brooks is making a big comeback (biggest tour ever?  iTunes killing web site?) and here’s a song that, even with all the over-the-top religious stuff, still pulls on the heartstrings and is quite fitting with today’s happy (hAbby?) news…