Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Washington (and) DC comes calling

The Washington Capitals came into Buffalo last night and won 4-2. On Boxing Day, the Caps edged us as well, 3-2, thanks to another highlight reel goal from Ovechkin. I guess that was to be expected since we referred to the "amazing Alex" in the opener on MSG-TV. That script and an article on yours truly was featured on THE Washington Capitals blog known as "On Frozen Blog." Thanks to my voiceover colleague and friend, Gary Kriebel (aka Gustafsson at OFB), for the plug! I have thrown the spotlight on Gary here a couple of times before.

I mentioned in my last post about Trevor Linden's number 16 being raised to the rafters at Vancouver's GM Place. Well, Washington retired number 11 recently and Gary was there to provide some awesome visual evidence. Mike Gartner is the player in question and he is actually my best player on my current WhatIfSports.com fantasy hockey team.

DC (David Ciccarelli) came calling yesterday in the form of an email letting me know about "The Report on the Voice Over Industry 2009." DC is the CEO and President at Voices.com. I know it will be very informative and educational to read...I'll get to it in 2009 David:)
Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A little TLC


TLC is an abbreviation for many things. The most popular would be Tender Loving Care and The Learning Channel. How about That Lazy Cat?
This is ours, Bunzo, looking out the front window yesterday at the basketball hoop surrounded by snow. Yes, it is certainly hockey weather! Last night at GM Place in Vancouver they retired the number 16 jersey of Trevor Linden.
TLC
  • Trevor Linden, Canuck
  • Tremendous Leader, Captain
  • Totally Loves Children
You will see what I mean for the last one 82 seconds into the Trevor Linden tribute video that played on the GM Place scoreclock prior to the jersey ceremony yesterday. Thanks a LOT for Caring Trevor!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Voiceover artist on strike..I mean, strikes a pose


This weekend, "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is the big movie release in theatres. Last weekend it was "Three Days That Ralph Stood Still" at Willow Park Church's annual "Living Nativity."
I was the milkman mannequin.
No voiceovers allowed!



Today I came across this crime north of us: Thieves break in, drink milk.

To the east of us one province over is Alberta. Further east is Saskatchewan. Medicine Hat is on the Alberta side of the border.
To the south is Montana. Little Plume Church in Medicine Hat is running this ad featuring yours truly promoting a Christmas event tomorrow.

The Medicine Hat Tigers junior hockey team is here in Kelowna on January 30 next month. I am hoping to attend that game. The Tigers
are a plus 10 in the win column right now and the Kelowna Rockets are an impressive plus 7. Tyler Myers of Kelowna was the Sabres' first pick in the NHL draft this year - 12th overall. Tyler Ennis of Medicine Hat was the Sabres' second first round pick at #26.

One of Medicine Hat's hometown heroes is Trevor Linden. He played his junior hockey there and had a great NHL career! In four short days the Vancouver Canucks will be retiring Linden's #16. Thanks for the memories Trevor - and being a great role model for the kids!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Burke-y IS a Turkey!

Hass, Bass and Sapp (not a law firm) did NOT win on "Dancing with the Stars" this week. I have an alibi: I did not get to audition:)

Congratulations to Brooke Burke, who won it all! She is not the turkey but Brian Burke, the former Duck, is. He abandoned the Anaheim NHL ship earlier this month and waddles into Toronto today as the new general manager. Burke has a six-year deal to turn things around in Toronto.

Damien Cox is a columnist for The Toronto Star and his ESPN column last week made light of the best NHL quotes through the first part of the season.

The media will love Brian Burke in TO. He always has something to say!
Here is a quote from Brian Burke at the Top 77 ice hockey quotes at Hockey Tribute.com:
”Hockey is a man's game. The team with the most real men wins.”
That made #46 on the list.

Former goalie Sean Burke placed at #20 with: ”It's too easy when you're not winning to look for excuses and point at others for reasons. ”You can say "Oh well, it's this guy's fault or they don't do this well" or you can say "I've got to play better and contribute more". You've got to find another gear and come up with big games.”

Right behind at #21 is Buffalo Sabres color commentator Harry Neale:
”Last season we couldn't win at home and we were losing on the road. My failure was that I couldn't think of any place else to play.” This went back to when Harry was coaching the Canucks during the 1981–82 season.

Harry also made the list at #24: ”Our system of forechecking is to shoot the puck and leave it there.” And he cracked the top 10 hitting #10 with: ”I know my players don't like my practises, but that's OK because I don't like their games.”

Two big wins in a row for the Sabres! 4-3 over Pittsburgh last night and 3-2 against Boston on Wednesday. Tonight we hit the road against Montreal with my "turkey opening" on MSG-TV...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chicken ACTION on the reality shows

Here is the overview of tonight's "The Amazing Race." Believe it or not, one team member had to enter a marked chicken shack in Kazakhstan (try saying that ten times quickly voiceover colleagues!)
and search among 30, 000 chickens for one of only seven golden eggs. Meanwhile, last Tuesday on "Dancing With the Stars", Olympian Maurice Greene was eliminated. He ended nearly every dance with his catch phrase “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.” Does anyone know what that means? Other questions I am wondering about:

  • Why did the chicken cross the road?
  • Why did the chicken cross the dance floor?
  • Did the Sabres "hit the dance floor?"

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Chickening out...

The Bills are in New England tomorrow to take on Bill BeliCHICKen and the Patriots in a battle for first place. The Bills haven't won against the Patriots in Foxborough since 2000. On December 7, the Bills are playing a home game in Toronto against the Miami Dolphins. Here are the details on a chicken promotion around the game.

This is a pretty funny chicken flavored commercial from Rice Honeywell and the crew at Spinnaker Sound. He didn't intentionally send me something that included mafia and electricity elements after I had mentioned that on my Halloween post about recent Buffalo Bills scripts.

Congratulations to Kelowna's Acro Media on their tenth anniversary!
To mark the occasion they did something special involving chickens.

Finally, the most famous chicken in the sports world is here.
And, he even has a blog...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

America has a new VOICE!

Two nights ago Barack Obama was elected as the next President of the United States. He is certainly a gifted speaker! Last night my Buffalo Bills' Game Recap for the "Thurman Thomas Show" had a political theme and I got to say the President-elect's name to start off this weekend's show. Sportscaster Mike Toth (a great hybrid mix of humor, hockey and hair!) had an excellent column today about Obama's big win. Click on that link and find out which retired football star has already been dubbed "Canada's Obama"
by one Toronto newspaper.

Meanwhile, you can listen to the Obama song here in this link for Obama City, Japan. Maybe one day Obama will come to Oyama?
It is a small community just north of where I live. I believe that WON'T happen - but I believe I will meet Mike Toth one day...probably not in Oyama though...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat?? I'm a LAWYER!

Yesterday, Sabres Executive Producer Matt Gould had me update one of our sponsor reads. Have a listen and see if you can tell which one is the "real deal" and which is Halloween hijinks. Matt writes my openers on MSG-TV for the Buffalo Sabres. My partner in crime for the Buffalo Bills is Senior Producer Kevin McCabe. The scripts for my Game Recaps for the "Thurman Thomas Show" have had some cool themes the last two weeks. This weekend it's a "Sopranos"/mafia theme while last weekend it was an electricity theme. We will get some footage up in the near future...stay tuned!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big and Orange?

That might describe a Halloween pumpkin at your place...we don't have ours out yet. Or the Syracuse Orange - just like the movie photo in my last post. Our local junior football team (the Okanagan Sun) is big and orange - just like our provincial pro team: the BC Lions. The NFL team that resembles Syracuse are the Cleveland Browns. They will be in the national spotlight on Monday Night Football on November 17 when they will lose in Buffalo! The Bills are currently 5-1 while the hockey Sabres are just as good with six wins and one shootout loss to start the season. Last night, the Sabres beat the previously unbeaten Minnesota Wild 4-3 in a shootout. My prediction was 4-2 and was included with my opening voice file on MSG-TV to the guys behind the scenes:

THE PIGEON HAS FOUND A NEW COOP (click here for the story)...
BUT IT'S OWNER IS STILL A GUY BETWEEN THE PIPES!
RYAN MILLER KEPT THE BOYS IN BLUE IN THE GAME...
AS BUFFALO PULLED OUT ANOTHER DRAMATIC WIN AT HOME.
TONIGHT...THE FIRST OF TWO IN THE WILD, WILD WEST...
WHERE MINNESOTA IS A PERFECT 4-AND-O.
A BATTLE OF TWO OF THE LEAGUE'S BEST...NEXT ON MSG!

I have also predicted the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The series is currently tied at one. The hockey teams from those cities are off to very slow starts. The Philly Flyers are not big and orange right now. They are ranked 15th out of 15 Eastern Conference teams with only three points after six games. And Sabres fans will be happy to know that Danny Briere has an injury that could keep him out of the lineup for at least three weeks.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is ranked 13th with five points.

Big and orange at football stadiums? Gatorade!

My wife, Darlene, and I were part of a great team of volunteers - NOT at a Buffalo Bills tailgate party - but at the Okanagan International Marathon on October 12th. We handed out water and Gatorade. The guy with the Canucks hat (some nerve!) is Al Gillespie. He ran the half marathon.
Good job Al! Hope to see more of your blog too...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hockey Hibernation is over!

H2O for short:) Yes, water has turned to ICE as the Buffalo Sabres got the second short-handed goal of the season from Thomas Vanek tonight as they beat the previously unbeaten New York Rangers 3-1. Buffalo now has a perfect 3-0 record while the Rangers fall to 5 wins and 1 loss. Congratulations to coach Lindy Ruff who became the 23rd bench
boss to reach 400 career victories!

Next up for the Sabres in two days is my second favorite team - the Vancouver Canucks. My second-ever blog post mentioned how both these teams entered the NHL at the same time in 1970. I also talked
about a client in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in that post - and I just noticed Thomas Vanek played some of his early hockey for the Sioux Falls Stampede in the United States Hockey League.

I am disappointed the Sabres are NOT in Vancouver to play on Friday.
That would have been a real possibility to attend. Instead, the game is
in Buffalo, where the Sabres won early last year (January 19/07) in a shootout, 4-3. Here is my opener from that game on MSG-TV. Bit of a blooper if you ask me...watch to the end to see what I mean. The Hockey News Yearbook predicted both Buffalo and Vancouver to finish 11th out of 15 teams in the Eastern and Western conferences respectively. Based on what I have seen so far this season (and an undefeated pre-season for the Canucks), I am betting both these teams will finish top 8. That means playoff spots - just like the Buffalo Bills are aspiring to. They are currently
4-1. A great football movie has hit theatres now. Go see this:



Saturday, September 13, 2008

Going head to head with Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps has been everywhere it seems after starring at the Olympics. Tonight, he will be on the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live." That means "The Thurman Thomas Show" (with voiceover work by yours truly) will have some competition on 3 of our 6 affiliate stations. Check out the TV listings here. The Buffalo Bills had an amazing first week game against the Seattle Seahawks winning 34-10. Here is some of my game recap.

Maybe this TV gig for Mikey will lead to a movie career? If I were his agent, I would try and get him opposite Ashton Kutcher in a sequel to "The Guardian." And, since it is my friend Tom Dheere's birthday today, I would cast him to replace Kevin Costner. That guy is 53 now...Tom is probably only half that:)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Voiceover legend Don LaFontaine touched many lives

I consider myself very lucky to be part of the voiceover community. My voiceover colleagues are caring, encouraging and talented.

It was about this time yesterday that I learned of the unfortunate passing at the age of 68 of THE voiceover king, Don LaFontaine, through Stephanie's heartfelt post at the Voices.com blog. Many people like myself left a comment because Don LaFontaine made an impact in our lives and careers. He also made time for folks again and again.

Bob Souer has linked to many voiceover blogs that paid tribute to Don today. Take time to have a look - and even a listen - to THE voice of the late great Don LaFontaine.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

RED - but not quite READY

I notice the last four images that I have posted on my blog all have the color red in them...
I just picked my son up after his first long shift at Wendy's. That company is known for it's popular red logo. You can see it (along with many other restaurants that use red to their advantage) by clicking here. It's the client list of Trimen Food Service, for whom I narrated a corporate video today. Trimen is a leading food service equipment manufacturer located in North York, Ontario.

My friend, Guy Kawasaki, has a birthday today and he blogged three days ago about The Power of Red. You will also want to check out Guy's list of the five most important lessons he has learned as an entrepreneur. Happy Birthday Guy!

Same wish to you Liz de Nesnera!
I am sorry I didn't get you tickets to the US Open...
Liz was in a giving mood on her birthday with her first blog post
in almost two months:
Question of the Week: How Do You Define Yourself?
Liz's last post tied in tennis with voiceover. Good stuff Liz!
I love TV (short for tennis & voiceover)...I am actually in a fall tennis league here in Kelowna but after meeting with my doctor today to go over my back x-rays, he feels a minimum of five more visits to the chiropractor are needed before I can start playing again...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Buffalo Sabres 24, Buffalo Bills 20

No, that is not a football score. It is the length of two audio clips I am linking to in this post. The first was recorded for the NHL Sabres last week as we get ready to put out a "Winter Classic DVD." You'll notice it references the famous football stadium in Buffalo. When the finished product comes out, you will hear my parts total 2:24 seconds.
Here is my post shortly after the "Winter Classic."

Are you ready for some football? Ralph (Hass - and Wilson) is ready for some football! I heard last night from the NFL's Buffalo Bills that I was chosen to provide energetic game recaps during "The Thurman Thomas Show" on US affiliates for ABC-TV and CBS-TV along with Citytv in Toronto. Here is a sample from my audition. My favorite NFL team was the Seattle Seahawks. But I will be cheering harder for the Bills as they open their season September 7 at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Hawks...I predict a 24-20 win for the Bills...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Quenching your thirst for COMEDY and GRETZKY



The ¡Three Amigos! was a pretty funny movie that came out in late 1986. Enjoy the clip above featuring one of our family favorites, Steve Martin, cast as the character Lucky Day. In my last blog post I shared a recent radio aircheck. I remember on my very first radio shift in 1981 that I played Steve Martin's "King Tut."

Twenty years ago today, the historic trade of Wayne Gretzky from the champion Edmonton Oilers to the LA Kings took place. The NHL’s Communications Department has put together an excellent overview here examining this amazing event. Gretzky's famous number 99

was retired league-wide at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game.

Now an LA Dodger, Manny Ramirez finally settled on number 99 after numbers 24 (Walter Alston) and 34 (Fernando Valenzuela) were denied

by Dodgers' brass. As the new Sports Illustrated says:
What makes Manny unique is that he does not seem to know

the meaning of the word failure - or, most likely, Gretzky.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Quenching your thirst?

I have NOT had one slush or slushie or slurpee this summer. Pretty hard to avoid though with all the great flavors available - like "live bait." Salmon slush anyone?

I took the picture above at a nearby gas station on Friday. The attendant said it was okay if I did - even though I got just $20 dollars worth of gas and turned down her request to buy a lottery ticket:) Nobody matched all 6 numbers on Saturday for $36 million dollars so the Lotto 6/49 jackpot will be an estimated $43 million dollars this Wednesday. Yes, that would be a wonderful anniversary present for my wife next Wednesday as we celebrate anniversary #20 on the 13th! I worked on my summer "pro tan" two weeks ago at the family cabin. I came away with a red lobster chest...ouch!..for you fans of the Boston Red Sox, let's just say I was "Coco Crisp"....

Many more Canadians are now on the Red Sox bandwagon after the $20 million dollar man, Manny Ramirez, was traded to the LA Dodgers while Trail, BC's Jason Bay came over from Pittsburgh.

Congratulations to the voice of the Seattle Mariners, Dave Niehaus. It was"Dave Niehaus Day" yesterday at Safeco Field. He has been with the Mariners since their inception in 1977. Just eight days ago he entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. as the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence. Here are many more links to explore for this legendary storyteller.

Finally, here I am "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" Well, actually it was "Live from Kelowna Saturday Afternoon!" on July 5, 2008. Click here for my radio aircheck. It starts off with the crazy details of that famous hot dog eating contest in New York, bad local drivers and the US state which is the fattest.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Baseball Canadian style!


Justin Morneau of New Westminster, BC won the Home Run Derby two nights ago at Yankee Stadium! Here is an interview after Justin's big win. But you'll notice they spelled my last name wrong on the billboard sign behind him:)
Morneau played hockey growing up, and attended a training camp with the Portland Winter Hawks as a goaltender on the team's 50-man Protected Player List. Morneau chose his jersey number (33) for legendary NHL goalie Patrick Roy. He has been swinging a hot bat lately! Last Thursday, Justin Morneau tied a career high with 5 hits in a game as his visiting Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 7-6 in 11-innings. He hit what went on to be the game winning home run to finish the day 5 for 5 with a walk. Justin scored the winning run for the American League last night in the MLB All Star Game at Yankee Stadium. It went 15 innings, the longest All-Star Game in history.

Just in...Just out...of the park! 15-year-old Justin Hass (above) of Kelowna, BC had the best game of his baseball career last Sunday!
He smashed two home runs over the center field fence 260 feet away and
the Kelowna Cubs beat Ladner to finish third in the Valley of Champions bantam tournament.

Toronto, Ontario saw home run history made last Saturday as Alex Rodriguez hit home run number 537 as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays,
9-4. A-Rod moved past another Yankee legend, Mickey Mantle, for sole possession of 13th place on the all-time list. 13 is also a good number for Justin. He was born on June 13 and it was July 13 he had the game of his life!

By the way, after Justin's birthday last month, our three kids now have a cumulative age greater than mine...so you can consider me a younger man now...and shorter...you see, Justin recently passed me (5 ft 10 1/2 in) in height.

Friday, July 04, 2008

$$wedish Meatball?

Yesterday I did some on-hold messaging for a company in Sweden. Some might say Mats Sundin is a Swedish "meatball" for not accepting the Vancouver Canucks' $20-million, two-year deal this week. If he does return to the NHL, I think he would opt for a team that has a real chance at the Stanley Cup - like the Detroit Red Wings, who got the "steal of a deal" by signing Marian Hossa to a one-year deal worth $7.4 million dollars. Sundin's countryman, Markus Naslund, has left the Canucks for the New York Rangers so I don't think that move will sway Sundin to the west coast - even though super Swedes like Daniel and Henrik Sedin (click here for their hilarious commercial), Mattias Ohlund and former Kelowna Rocket Alexander Edler are still in the fold.

The Canucks traded for Buffalo winger, Steve Bernier, today while Buffalo got a solid defenseman from San Jose, Craig Rivet.
Buffalo has some solid Swedes in their future plans:
defenseman Dennis Persson and goalie Jhonas Enroth.
As far back as 1984 and 1985, Buffalo picked Swedish-born players in the first round of the draft. You can see all the draft results here.

Young hockey players (17 and under) will be taking to the streets of Buffalo next month. Click here for details on HockeyFest.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Canada Day $$elebration!

The big winner on the opening day of the NHL Free Agent season was former Buffalo Sabre Brian Campbell. The Strathroy, Ontario native has joined the up and coming Chicago Blackhawks, where he signed an eight-year deal worth $56.8 million dollars!

Buffalo native and the NHL Rookie of the Year, Patrick Kane, is one of the young guns Campbell will be passing to a lot. Here are my voiceovers for the before and after MSG-TV footage of Patrick Kane leaving a memorable mark in Buffalo last season. Former Kelowna Rocket, Duncan Keith, had a great season on defense for Chicago and even made the All-Star game roster in January - just like Brian Campbell. After the season (which he finished with San Jose), Campbell made the NHL's 2007-08 Second All-Star Team. There is another Kelowna connection to Chicago: Kyle Beach. He was picked in the first round, 11th overall, in last month's NHL Entry Draft. His Uncle Gregg is helping coach my son Justin's summer baseball all-star team. We are known as the Kelowna Cubs. This year the Chicago Cubs are playing very well and might win their first World Series in 100 years!

Selected right behind Kyle Beach at #12 in the draft by the Buffalo Sabres was Kelowna Rockets' defenseman Tyler Myers. His teammate on the Rockets, Luke Schenn, was picked at #5 by Toronto. Here is a local write-up on the "three musketeers." Best of luck at the next level boys...men...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CELticsEBRATION! Red Wins!

NBA MVP Kobe Bryant had 22 points for the LA Lakers last night but even if he doubled that, they wouldn't have won. The Lakers were trounced by the Boston Celtics 131-92 as Boston won their 17th NBA Title on June 17. Finals MVP, Paul Pierce, had 17 points in the decisive game 6.

It took six games to determine the NHL Stanley Cup champion and my prediction in my last blog post was correct! Detroit beat Pittsburgh 4 games to 2. Tiger Woods ticked off a lot of hockey players I'm sure when he didn't really care who would win the series. To get even, I would encourage all hockey players to not play golf this summer:) Coming up soon here in Kelowna is the Sandman Harvest Celebrity Golf Classic. It's a great fundraiser for charity and Chuck Kobasew of the Boston Bruins is lending his name to the event for a third straight year.

So, the Red Wings were winners and Tiger and his family were decked out in red as he won the US Open this past Monday! Tiger Woods played through the pain but announced today he will miss the rest of the 2008 golf season to undergo more knee surgery. Here's to a speedy recovery Tiger!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's the 24th!

May 24...
NBA MVP Kobe Bryant (#24 on your scorecard) had 22 points for the
LA Lakers last night (and was a plus 24) as the Lakers walloped San Antonio 101-71. Kobe's crew is up 2-0 in the Western Final. Only 14 of the 222 teams to fall behind 2-0 in best-of-seven NBA playoff series have come back to win, including the Spurs in their second-round matchup with the New Orleans Hornets. So, don't count out the defending champs!

Kobe turns 30 in three months on August 23. The next day, August 24, my wife has a birthday! We also celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary on August 13! In two months, July 24 - 27, the BC Summer Games come to Kelowna with more than 2, 700 young athletes participating in our province’s largest multisport competition for developing athletes.

Tonight, game one of the Stanley Cup Final takes place between Detroit and Pittsburgh. I am picking Detroit to win it all 4 games to 2. Both teams have a #24 in the lineup. The Red Wings' Chris Chelios has played more NHL playoff games in history than anyone with 260 while Pittsburgh's Kris Beech only played 25 games in the regular season divided among three teams. He has yet to skate in the postseason.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock lost in the Finals five years ago with Anaheim to New Jersey. Way back when he played for the Kelowna Wings in the Western Hockey League in 1982–83. That team from our city eventually moved to Spokane, Washington where Mike coached them for six seasons between 1994 - 2000. Tomorrow, the Spokane Chiefs are in the final of the Memorial Cup. It is in Kitchener, Ontario as they take on the hometown Rangers. Below is a WHL playoff promo I voiced for
Shaw-TV and here is a link to how the WHL playoffs went. By the way, the Kelowna Rockets started here in 1995 after moving from Tacoma, Washington. We were the 2004 Memorial Cup champions!
videoTo my friends and colleagues in the US, I would like to wish you a nice and meaningful Memorial Day on Monday, May 26.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Do NOT believe everything you read!

Seeing is believing - and so is hearing in many cases. I was reading my Buffalo buddy Peter O'Connell's blog today and the article “if only i could take back what i said.” I clicked on the link, Sue Simmons’
f-bomb on a live newscast promo
, and was glad there was no audio link - just a visual link from the New York Times. While reading the latter, I noticed the New York Times' link to their Fashion and Style section and the article Where Ralph Buys Blouses.

Please rest assured that article has nothing to do with yours truly...I have never even worn a kilt:) But I bet Peter O'Connell has. He has Irish blood...and a real f sense...that stands for fashion...and friend...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Skater figures out dancing!

Last night, Kristi Yamaguchi, 1992 Olympic figure skating champion, won the crown on "Dancing With The Stars." I predicted on March 18 she would win. I shared this news on Vox Daily today while following in the footsteps of Stephanie's tough tongue twister:)

Last month, Karen Commins' blog, A Voice Above The Crowd, tied in "Dancing With the Stars" with 12 valuable lessons that can be applied to a voiceover career. Read the post here and be inspired to new heights in your voiceover career!

Today at Vox Daily, Stephanie reviewed "Word of Mouth: A Guide to Commercial Voice-over Excellence, 3rd Edition." First published in 1987, it was the first-ever book written that focused on voiceovers. The edition printed in 2006 (the edition Stephanie reviewed) addresses technological changes that have developed since the initial printing. It was authored by Susan Blu in collaboration with colleagues Molly Ann Mullin and Cynthia Songé. This excerpt from Stephanie's review hit close to home (and my heart):
Want to Be a Working Voice-Over Actor?
You'll need:
1. Talent and passion

2. Perseverance
3. A belief in oneself that can't be shaken, rocked or questioned
There is always room for excellent new performers who will risk and take the chances to allow their creativity to come through.


By the way, I predict "Dancing With The Stars" runner-up, Jason Taylor, will have a great voiceover career as a football analyst once his playing days are done.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stepping (skating?) up to Mike's mic

Pittsburgh can wrap up a sweep against Philadelphia in a couple hours. Then they will be in their first Final since 1992. The game will be on CBC TV here in Canada. Last night, TSN ran a great Top 10 list: Top 10 Mike Lange Calls. Since 1975, Mike has been a vital part of the Pittsburgh hockey scene and the voice of the Penguins, having never missed a broadcast. If you don't have time to click on the link above, I've transcribed them here:
10. Scratch my back with a hacksaw
9. Smoke ‘em like a bad cigar
8. Get that dog off my lawnmower
7. Michael, Michael Motorcycle
6. Cry or wind his watch
5. Get in the fast lane Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll
4. Buy Sam a drink and get his dog one too
3. Ladies and Gentleman, Elvis has just left the building
2. Beat him (goalie) like a rented mule
1. Lord Stanley, get me the brandy

No doubt, there were plenty more in the running. In fact, the Mike Lange Tournament of Quotes recently took place. Mike also grabbed the top spot on a recent list of the 5 Best Announcers In Sports.

For us Buffalo Sabre fans, enjoy these Top 10 Rick Jeanneret Calls.

Monday, May 12, 2008

PPPreDDDicting the Cup Final

D and P WILL meet in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Western Conference Finals have Detroit and Dallas battling it out. Game 3 goes shortly with Detroit up 2 games to nothing. Dallas has won four of their last five home games and hopefully for them that streak continues. The Eastern Conference Finals have the battle of Pennsylvania with Pittsburgh up 2-0 in games against Philadelphia. Philly has problems on "D" right now: missing 2 key defensemen, Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn.

Last week at the Dallas Zoo, an animal considered to be the world's oldest living gorilla in captivity celebrated her 55th birthday. Jenny the gorilla enjoyed a frozen fruit cake and banana leaf-wrapped treats at her wooded home in the complex. Her caretakers say that Jenny, about 210 pounds, has a few joint issues and her eyesight isn't what it used to be, but she still looks good for an old ape. In the wild, gorillas normally would live to about 35.

4 different Moms had a chance to enjoy this lovely chocolate cake at our home yesterday on Mother's Day. My Mom was here a couple of days earlier on Friday, when our youngest son, Jordan Michael, returned from his school trip to Vancouver. He was born on March 29, 1995. That night the legendary Michael Jordan scored 55 points against the New York Knicks in his second comeback. It was just days earlier (March 18) that Jordan announced his return to the NBA through a two-word press release:
"I'm back."

In today's new Sports Illustrated it says: Michael Jordan has a nickname for Larry Brown, his new Bobcats coach: Seabiscuit. Brown and Jordan were playing golf with Roy Williams and Jerry West, and Jordan saw brown's peculiar gait as he walked down the fairway - Brown, 67, has had multiple hip surgeries - and rechristened him after the famed horse.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Saluting BEER and The BEE!

videoI voiced this TV commercial today for the first Kelowna Beer Festival at the end of the month. It isn't the best quality video but it will be bigger and better on the big screen beginning Monday...

I had a couple of great new clients come aboard in April:


B-103 - Kelowna's Best Country. They were my #1 client last month in terms of revenue! My next "sessions" there will be tomorrow (and every Saturday from 1 - 5 on the air) and Sunday (9 am to 1 pm).


Independent Comedy Network imaging. This is the series I have done five intros for. One of my contacts there sent through this testimonial today: "Ralph was the first voiceover artist our company worked with, and he made the first-time experience seamless and smooth. His speediness and attention to detail was top notch! His vocal range was impressive, and most importantly he was a true professional, a genuinely nice person, and took our project seriously. We’ll definitely be using his services again soon. There’s no denying that Ralph HAS The Voice!"

- Jamie Flam, Independent Comedy Network, VP Content Development

Westside Eclectic, Creative Director

Thanks Jamie!

I really have some amazing clients. One, Greg Krantz, of Pro Voice Greetings, headed out on vacation today to France and Ireland. But he still had time to email me:
Hi Ralph,
Just a note to let you know I am heading out on vacation and will be out next week. If Kari needs that order while I am gone I am pretty sure I can work something out. I put your check in the mail this afternoon so you should have it next week. Have a great week!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

33 + 66 = 99

99 - Wayne Gretzky's old number. On April 18, 1999 it was retired league wide in the NHL. There is a new book out called "The 33-Year-Old Rookie." Chris Coste is a baseball catcher with the Philadelphia Phillies. His road to the big leagues was not as easy as Gretzky's. I love stories like this about perseverance and pursuing a dream! I am hoping Philadelphia's hockey team loses tonight in the opening round of the playoffs. Game 7 against the Washington Capitals. I have 2 Caps in the radio station playoff pool! The other game 7 tonight sees Calgary against San Jose. I'm hoping for the Sharks over the Canadian team as I have 3 "Sharks in the pool" - including their best player, Joe Thornton.

The last time I was in radio (until this month at B-103) I was 33 - 11 years ago. Earlier this month my friend, Stu Gray, turned 33 and he made a list of the first 33 things that came to his mind dealing with things that he has been learning, some quotes that he likes, and just random thoughts. One for every year of Stu's life so far. The list starts off with legendary basketball coach, John Wooden. Last month I referenced Coach Wooden's inspiring website too. I learned a lot by reading Stu's list. Check it out:)

According to government estimates, the world's population will hit 6, 666, 666, 666 on May 10. For what it's worth, that's also the day President Bush's daughter, Jenna, is scheduled to be married in Crawford, Texas. Husband Appreciation Day was yesterday (April 21) so Jenna is off the hook this year...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

CNN: Caveman Neanderthal Network?

Here's the story I saw this morning on CNN. A link to the earliest voiceover artist? Here is his demo. More creativity from "Cavemen" by clicking here.

In other news, CBS has put an end to rumors that Katie Couric might be exiting from her CBS Evening News post before her $15-million-a-year contract expires in 2011. A week ago, CBS said in a statement, "We are very proud of the CBS Evening News, particularly our political coverage, and we have no plans for any changes regarding Katie or the broadcast."

I continue my news career by introducing the crazy antics on W4 News. Episode 2 was released ten days ago and currently has almost 9, 500 views on YouTube. Episode 3 was released this week. Stay tuned for Episode 4...maybe Elvis will do the weather?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Elvis' team lost - and I have entered the building AGAIN!

Kansas beat Memphis Monday night, 75-68 in OT, to win the NCAA basketball title. I predicted that! You can ask my teenage son, Jordan.
He picked Memphis. I also exchanged emails with Joe Pinter, one of the producers for the MSG-TV Buffalo Sabre broadcasts. My Kansas prediction was in my email while Joe wrote earlier: Your voiceovers have really added a nice element to our broadcasts, and I'm very happy that you have been in "our mix" the last 2 seasons.

Unfortunately, it is Sayonara to the Sabres for this season as we just missed making the playoffs. But I am doing playoff reads for Shaw TV as we are now into round two for the Western Hockey League. I also just finished my third e-learning project in the last ten days for NogginLabs. Later today I will start on a banking tutorial for the Edcomm Group that should involve an estimated 11-hours of recording time. I have over a week to do that one - but the last weekend of March saw me put in long hours on one that had 221 pages to record.

This past weekend saw me bring on a fantastic new client,
B-103 - Kelowna's Best Country. They want me to be me Saturdays from
1 - 5 pm and Sunday mornings from 9 am to 1 pm. The last time I worked in the radio building was in 1997 with a rock format. I went through training last Thursday and Friday with Dave Pears on the midday show and it brought back memories of 1981, when Dave did the same thing when I was a young and impressionable grade 12 student.
...oh, how things change...and stay the same:)
I had fun aligning country music and timing things out for the news at the top of the hour. Did three breaks an hour and didn't do anything shocking - unless you count the movie passes I gave away to "The Ruins."

I didn't strut either. I also didn't sit. I stood the whole time...hopefully offering a better vocal performance...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Elvis – and the Sabres - have left the building!

How was your April Fools' Day?
My son, Jordan, and I went to a concert in Buffalo...
My opener on MSG-TV tonight said: THE SABRES SURVIVED OVERTIME ON SUNDAY TO LIVE ANOTHER DAY. THREE GAMES LEFT...ALL “MUST WINS”...ALL ON THE ROAD. FIRST STOP...THE A-C-C. THE LEAFS ARE OUT...AND WILL TRY TO DISMISS THE SABRES FROM THE RACE FOR THE PLAYOFFS.

Buffalo scored with just over five minutes left (#33 for Thomas Vanek!) to tie it up (3-3) and then in the sixth round of the shootout, Maxim Afinogenov, faked right and shot left against Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft to give us the victory! A-R is a former Bruin and we beat Boston in overtime on Sunday, 2-1. Needed those two points as well! The Sabres' slim playoff hopes remain "on their last breath" (that was in my script Sunday) with two games left: Montreal on Thursday and Boston this Saturday.
Last Saturday, my son Jordan became a teenager! On March 19, Billy Pinter did too. His dad, Joe Pinter, is one of the producers for the MSG-TV Sabre broadcasts. Unfortunately, Joe has had to work on his son's birthday for six straight years!
Last week, another Voices.com lead came through for me. It was imaging for the Independent Comedy Network for a faux internet newscast. This afternoon the first episode of W4 News was released and that's me "getting the ball rolling" with my voice. Look and listen at that link and you will laugh! Four more episodes to come...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Standing Tall?

I haven't shared any Sabres' scores with you since March 12, when Pittsburgh overpowered us. Buffalo followed that up with three key wins in convincing fashion: 7-1 over Carolina, 6-2 against Toronto and an incredible comeback versus Tampa Bay with 6 goals in the third period resulting in a 7-4 win. Unfortunately, the tables were reversed tonight when Ottawa paid a visit to Buffalo. They scored five straight in the third to pretty well eliminate us from the playoff picture.
Final score: Senators 6, Sabres 3. We have stalled in the standings and sit five points behind Boston in the eighth and final playoff spot with six games left. The Bruins beat Toronto tonight 6-2. Buffalo does meet Boston twice more before the season wraps up but it is not looking good for us.

Montreal is the number one seed in the Eastern Conference right now and we also play them twice more before this season is done - including this Friday, March 28. If you can't beat 'em , join 'em.
Here is the link to my YouTube site and 4 openings on MSG-TV featuring the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

Here is a local newspaper article from two days ago promoting a Kelowna kid who is contributing to Montreal's success.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

St. Patrick's Day f/up & amazing Minnesota!

Just two games in the NHL on St. Paddy's Day. Minnesota, with quite a bit o' green on their uniforms, beat Colorado
3-1. Joe Sakic scored the Avalanche's only goal - number 621 in his illustrious career and his 8th on St. Patrick's Day. His next assist will give him an even 1, 000 as he's stuck on 999 right now....Number 99, "The Great One," and his Phoenix Coyotes lost 3-1 yesterday to the Vancouver Canucks, who are 12-5-1 all-time on St. Paddy's Day. Famous hockey nicknames was an article on NHL.com yesterday so besides Gretzky, you can read about who is known as Grease, Grumpy (he's on Minnesota), Gronk and Gator.

Who is the NHL's best skater? Marian Gaborik of Minnesota finished first at 32%. Scott Niedermayer in Anaheim was second at 21% while Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh Penguins checked in at 11%. It was a recent Sports Illustrated NHL players poll. Bret Hedican of the Carolina Hurricanes was 6th on the list. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I will root for Bret's wife, Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic champion figure skater, on the new season of "Dancing With The Stars." The ladies get their first turn tonight! Hopefully this prediction of mine works out as well as the one I did for "The Amazing Race."

Which team has the best fans in the NHL? This player's poll was in last week's Sports Illustrated. Montreal was on top at 35% and Minnesota came in second at 13%. A bunch more Canadian teams followed.

Over the weekend my blog was included on this extensive list from the crew at Voices.com. They have a LOT of fans (like myself!) in the voiceover world and those numbers will
increase based on excellent resources like this one.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

California or bust?

My kids' school ended up on top at the Provincial basketball tournament recently! Way to go guys! The senior girls also had a strong showing. My daughter, Ashley, is the sign changer at school. At our house today we got our new basketball hoop up and running! But Ashley was not around to enjoy it. She is part of the team of 70+ youth who headed off to Los Angeles on Friday for 10 days at spring break. The ministry Willow Park Church youth are partnering with is called "The Dreamcenter." Details here: http://www.dreamcenter.org/
It will be a life changing experience for her!

Going to California and the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline on February 26 has worked out well for former Sabre, Brian Campbell. He had an assist in his first game against Columbus, which San Jose won 4-2. The Sharks won their next 8 before finally losing tonight in a shootout to Edmonton, 2-1. Campbell had a chance to win it late in overtime but the goalie gloved it and Campbell flipped his stick away in disgust.

Couple of California basketball coaching legends shared page 20 in the March 10 Sports Illustrated. The news was positive for UCLA's John Wooden after breaking his left wrist and collarbone in a fall at home. He is 97. Amazing guy! He also received two blood transfusions at the hospital because doctors discovered that he was anemic. John Wooden's website is filled with many inspiring quotes. Check 'em out! Pat Riley guided the LA Lakers to NBA championships in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Two years ago he led the Miami Heat to the title but this year they are a miserable 11-54 - prompting this quote: "I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. I know what to do; I just don't know where to start."

Happy 63rd birthday coming up on March 20 Pat!
Yesterday, "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe had a big 80th birthday bash thrown in Vancouver. His actual birthday is March 31.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nearly St. Patrick's Day

Tonight's Sabres opener went like this on MSG-TV:
IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR...
ONE EYE ON YOUR OPPONENT...AND THE OTHER EYE ON THE OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD. JUST AN EVEN DOZEN GAMES LEFT FOR THE SABRES TO MAKE THEIR MOVE. AND TONIGHT THE ROAD DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER.

A DEPLETED DEFENSE FACES ONE OF THE MOST POTENT OFFENSES IN THE LEAGUE.
CAN BUFFALO DIG DEEP TO STAY IN THE RACE?
(RYAN MILLER interview clip: "Stage is set...I guess we'll find out")
PENGUINS...SABRES...NEXT ON MSG!

I'm sorry to report Pittsburgh prevailed 7-3. Not much has changed in the playoff hunt since I last blogged ten days ago: The Sabres are in ninth place right now, 3 points back of Philadelphia, who hold down the eighth and final playoff spot. As of right now, Buffalo is 4 points behind Philly and the final playoff spot. Sabres fans can give a BIG thank you to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who beat Philadelphia tonight, 3-2. Even bigger was yesterday's comeback for the Leafs against the Flyers, winning 4-3 in overtime. Toronto was down 3-0 before their "miracle on ice."

As St. Patrick's Day approaches in five days, here are some more Pats that have left a mark in the NHL:
Pat Hughes (50 games with the Sabres in '85/'86 among his 573 career games)
Pat Falloon (575 NHL games)
Pat Verbeek (1, 424 NHL games)
Pat Boutette (a former Maple Leaf and Penguin)
Pat Hickey (another former Maple Leaf and New York Ranger)
Pat Conacher
Pat Flatley

The following 3 all played for the Washington Capitals at some point.
Pat Peake
Pat Elynuik
Pat Riggin
My voiceover friend, Gary Kriebel, is known as Gustafsson at the On Frozen Blog site. It is focused on the Washington Capitals, who are just one point behind the Sabres and also shooting for the playoffs. Any other Pats you can think of Gary? Or YOU reading this blog? The Sabres will try to help both our playoff dreams by beating Carolina Friday night - and I'm confident the Caps can beat Atlanta too:)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Early St. Patrick's Day?

Today's Sabres opener went like this on MSG-TV:
The red-hot Canadiens poured on the power Friday night sending a chill through HSBC Arena. Cold is the only way to describe Detroit in February...And we're not talking weather. The Red Wings enter March in a slump as the rest of the West closes the gap. Will the Sabres keep 'em cool...and keep pace in the race for a playoff spot?
Find out...next on MSG!
Unfortunately, Detroit beat us 4-2. They remain the top team overall in the NHL with 92 points. The top gun in the East now is Montreal, who also beat us on home ice on Friday, 6-2. The Canadiens have 81 points after 66 games. Pittsburgh has 81 points after 67 games while New Jersey and Ottawa have 80 points after 66 games apiece.

The Sabres are in ninth place right now, 3 points back of Philadelphia, who hold down the eighth and final playoff spot. In two days we tangle with them again...deja vu? Just a week ago I blogged: The Sabres hold down the eighth and final playoff spot with 68 points. Tomorrow we tango with the ninth place team, Philadelphia, who are only one point behind us. Buffalo lost that one in a shootout, 4-3. We NEED both points in Philly Tuesday so, YES, it is the biggest game of the year!

Buffalo-born Patrick Kaleta got his second goal of the season today and was the third star of the game for the Sabres. Another Buffalo-born Patrick who had an even better day was Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. He scored two against Vancouver giving him 16 for the season and assisted on his 39th. It was Chicago 4, Vancouver 1. Other Patricks powering up for the Hawks were Patrick Sharp with his 32nd goal of the season and Patrick Lalime in net. Besides Patrick Kane, there is one other Chicago player who should be in Buffalo. Not so much because of his skill like Kane, but his name is a perfect fit: Dustin Byfuglien (pronounced "Bufflin"). Check out this article on NHL.com called: A buffer Byfuglien is a better Byfuglien.

Other Patricks that have left a mark in the NHL include these former Sabres:
Pat LaFontaine (Hall of Famer)
James Patrick (currently an Assistant Coach for Buffalo)
Plus:
Patrick Roy (another Hall of Famer)
Pat Quinn
Pat Price (Big Bry, that one is for you in Saskatoon!)
Lester Patrick
Patrik Elias
Patrick Marleau (born in Aneroid, Saskatchewan.
Bryan, Is that near Steroid, Saskatchewan?)
Patrick Rissmiller (a San Jose Shark - just like Marleau)
Patrick Eaves
Patrick O'Sullivan
Patrik Stefan
Patrick Thoresen
Glenn Patrick
Craig Patrick
Patrick Poulin
Patrick Leahy

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Shaq and Kobe together again?

Those two have quite a history! They patched up their differences in January, 2006. Shaq's first game with Phoenix was four days ago against Kobe and the Lakers, who won 130-124. My kids' school's Senior Boys basketball team features a "Schack and Colby" tandem. Lenny Schack is a grade 12 leader and power forward on the team while Colby Maier is a young grade 10 who can "do it all." Last night, our Knights beat the rival Mustangs 69-64 in a barnburner for the Valley Championship! Both teams advance to the Provincial Tournament.

The 80th Annual Academy Awards went tonight and here is the Oscar website. "No Country For Old Men" won a couple of the big awards: Best Picture and Best Director.

My last post mentioned how the Buffalo Sabres are going green.
Well, the Academy Awards did that too!

Yesterday's Sabres opener on MSG-TV had an Oscar feel to it:
We’re a day away from Oscar Sunday...
But the Sabres enter Saturday with enough drama to fill any Hollywood feature.
Injuries...A playmaker returns while the captain is shelved.
Intrigue...A former captain returns for his first visit in Broadway Blue.
Suspense...The clock ticks as trade deadline day approaches.
But the biggest part of this plot is the payoff at the end of the night.
Watch the story reveal itself live....NEXT on MSG!
Unfortunately, the New York Rangers beat the Sabres yesterday, 4-3.

The Rangers rolled past Florida today, 5-0. They are 4 points up on us but have played two more games. The Sabres hold down the eighth and final playoff spot with 68 points. Tomorrow we tango with the ninth place team, Philadelphia, who are only one point behind us.

The 2nd Annual Voicey Awards took place last Thursday.
Congrats to all the winners!

Finally, here is the article from last Wednesday's paper plugging yours truly. Thought I would share the layout below. The PDF opens at the above link.