Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Whole Bunch of Stuff!

People. People. People. “Fish Fraud?” The up-to-now squeaky clean Perch Festival almost stepped in a stinking pile of “fish fraud”. The culprit came clean however. He had an attack of conscience of the scales- after the fact. Book ‘em Danno? Nope. They let him off the “hook”!

Good God I dislike that Mars Bar commercial on Television. That’s the one where everyone in the street sings a Mars Bar song. From now on it’s Snickers for me. Please, NO singing in the street.

Saw a couple of unexpectedly funny, bright shows on CBC last night. First up “The B Team”. Dialogue and jokes as fast as a snap of the fingers. All about the Canadian Intelligence Agency and a “squad” of quirky characters. The second sitcom- with a laugh track no less, starred Ryan Stiles- that Canuk from the Drew Carey Show and Two and a Half Men, in a shoe called Memory Lanes. Two estranged brothers (Sean Masterson is the other brother) inherit a Bowling Alley from their late father. Surprize, surprise, Memory Lanes also stars Janet Wright- a familiar face from Corner Gas. Nice that many of those former Corner Gas stars are working again.

The Ossawippi Express Dining Cars are no more. Terry McNaughton has allowed the lakefront “shrine to gourmet food” go “chicken breast up”! Too bad- but being the owner of any establishment serving food is tough-especially during this past so-called recession. I would hazard a guess that problems at The Oss started a year or so before the economic slowdown reared it’s ugly head. Good memories though. We had many, many sold out Garage Door Players’ Shows during our four-plus years of entertaining on those train cars. Speaking on behalf of the many incarnations of the Players, we were grateful for the opportunity to entertain in the dead of winter no less and to sell out. Amazing!

There’s another memory at the Ossawippi that will never fade. Tom and I were “officially” married there four years ago. It was a wonderful evening and one many of our guests still brag about. Heck, I still brag about that auspicious day. I even carried my marriage licence to Hawaii earlier this month, tucking it neatly inside my passport wallet. I was itching to pull it out and show it to Customs and Immigration Officers and say- “see!”
I never had the opportunity.

Ten self-employed businessmen now hold a new record! Yes indeedy do! 10 men at various stages of life were arrested Sunday afternoon in the east end for a Mary-Jane Grow Op. Another Orillia home that will have to be torn down. In Orillia we don’t have that “big” of an “east end”. It’s mostly lake, so I can “hazard” a guess where the growing conditions are suitable for pot. Do these guys realize it’ll be on their police and RCMP record for a long time- maybe forever?
Say goodbye to visiting other countries boys. They don’t want ya- and quite frankly-neither do we.

Have a wonderful, drug-free day kids! Like they say-
“Why do you think they call it dope?”

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Sunday night back in 1965- just after the Ed Sullivan Show aired, I decided to wash my hair for school the next morning. I had a habit of washing my hair every other night- if not every night. This didn’t always sit well with my Dad, however.
Firstly, we were on a septic tank system and all I ever heard my entire life was-
“Go easy on that water. We have a septic you know!”
Secondly, my Dad considered hair-washing to be a once a week ordeal only. I begged to differ. I was just a teenager. I begged to differ on most things.
So, Ed Sullivan had just ended. The Supremes had been on with Eddie- twice, and through it all I had to endure my Mum and Dad talking and making comments through both songs they sang.
My Dad says: “I don’t know what you see in those darkies”.
Yes, he did say "Darkies". Can you believe it?
I asked them both to be quiet, so I could watch. Oh and I hoped they would keep their comments to themselves.
“It’s my house and I’ll talk when I want!” This outburst from my Mother’s side of the peanut gallery.
I groaned.

The theme from Bonanza started. I opened the cupboard under the kitchen sink and reached for the metal washpan. It was silver and all banged and dented. Everyone used it. Everyone also washed their hair in the kitchen sink too.
We had a tub- but no shower.
Our bathroom sink was the size of a gravy boat.
The kitchen sink was just right, even though it was in full view of everyone in the house.

I loosened the cap on the “White Rain” shampoo bottle and started to pour a bit of its silky smoothness into the palm of my hand.
“You’re washing your hair again?”- says my Dad.
‘Yes, I’m doing it for school tomorrow. There’s an assembly.
“Ahhh, banana oil! Nobody needs to wash their hair every damn night!”
“I’m not-Dad. I usually only do it every other night.”
“Banana oil!” was the retort once again.

What’s a guy to do? I don’t want to go to school with greasy hair. That was so 1950’s and only a “greaser” would want their hair to look unwashed and slick. Of course a little dab’ul do ya” helped. Brylcream. A man’s one and only grooming tool for manageable and slick hair. Brylcream was all white grease in a handy, squeezable tube. Believe me. In 1965 there were plenty of greasers in Orillia and the company must have made a mint. In fact calling out to someone – “Hey Greaser!” could be either a bit of a put-down or a term of endearment. Depended on the situation.

My Dad (that's a 1940 era picture of him to the right) used this little product called “Groom ‘n Clean” from Mennen. It too came in a tube. He always poured a hefty bit in his palm every morning and combed it through his hair. Now this wondrous hair product was supposed to clean your hair as you groomed or combed. Can you imagine? Adding a big clump of grease from a tube to your hair and combing it through to clean your hair and scalp. Dad thought it was great and fit right into his once a week schedule of washing his hair with real water and shampoo.

I say “banana oil!” It couldn’t possibly have made your hair clean. It was nothing more than an advertising gimmick from savvy advertising men who probably used cases of the stuff themselves. No sir. I stuck to warm water, shampoo and a crème rinse. I believe that’s why I still have my hair to this very day. I took care of it and I shampoo and condition every day. I hold it in place with a water-based styling liquid. No goop. Of course it could be genetics too but from my Mum’s side not the “Groom ‘n Clean” side!

I’m not sure where Dad got that term “Banana Oil” from but I intend to publish a book using that title. Now that I have gone and told you, don’t steal it from me!!

Have a nice, clean hair kind of day- won’t you?
By the way this is the 50th ROBBLOG I have written here at Rob Reid ONline. Neat, eh?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hot off the Iranian Presses or “the rack” as it’s called in some dark, distant Iranian caves.
“Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi suggested women who wear revealing clothing are to blame for earthquakes. “Women who do not dress modestly…lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases (consequently) earthquakes”.

That’s a direct quote from the Iranian media.
Women who expose their Big Boobs partially or whole-heartedly caused the recent earthquakes?
It only follows that Gay men who wear Speedos obviously caused the volcanic eruption.
I said Eruption. NOT erection. Get your mind out of the gutter, please.
Keep it there for another few lines.

Have you ever heard something so bizarre. Sounds to me like something the Baptists would make up on a slow Sunday. Scientifically, I am sure scientists would have no way of connecting big bouncing boobies to the earth shuddering and shaking at 5.6 on the richter scale. On the other hand I speak from experience that many a "manly man" has compared his erupting erection to the volcano and its subsequent ash that buried Pompeii many a metre thick back in Roman times. Of course with a “manly man” there’s a lot more screaming and shouting at the time of eruption than there was with all those men, women and children screaming and running through the streets of Pompeii. Then with the "manly man", there’s also the cries of-
“Oh, baby, baby- you’re the best I’ve ever had and that’s the truth!
Blah. Blah. Blah.
Oh Jennifer Aniston! Grab his coat and show him the door. Don't invite him for Eggs Benedict in the morning either.

All in all Iran has never been the same since the Shah of Iran. Of course now it’s the Rogers of Iran.
Times change.
Speaking of changing, if you have a Canadian Red Maple Leaf Flag flying at your business, at home in the backyard or waterfront at the cottage, please take a moment to see if it’s in near perfect condition. I have seen more than a few flags all ripped, torn and twisted around their poles. If your flag is not in near perfect condition, please replace your flag.

Now, for a piece of RobBlog wisdom- free for the reading. A tiny piece of knowledge that has been documented and researched more than a few times.

“The only thing that should be twisted around a pole is a black-haired, late twenty-something, athletically-built guy,dancing at the local Gay bar.”

The End…..or is it??
Have a flag-waving day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

It was one of the cruellest things I had ever seen.

But first some background.

A young lady of Spanish Heritage was taking television viewers on a tour of Spain. I just happened to click on the channel. She browsed flea markets, ate some disgusting food like pigs ears- with hairs intact, swimming in a sauce of what looked like sewer grunge. She even munched on suckling pig in a family restaurant. That was pretty awful. Little pigs- less than 21 days old, are gutted and roasted complete with head and legs and set on serving platters. The meat is touted as being extremely tasty, moist and well- succulent. The restaurant owner brings a trio of piggies to the table and to show just how moist and tender the meat is, he slashes into the carcasses with a plate in a style reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. Restaurant-goers applaud and he throws the plate crashing to the floor.
The young host can barely “tuck” into the chunk of juicy piggy meat that sits on her plate- tiny, cork-screw tail still attached.

The documentary moves to a Catholic Cathedral professed to be the spiritual centre of Spain housing extremely ornate statuary, flecked with gold. The documentary crew however, does not enter a nearby Synagogue and Mosque, leading me to believe that the crew is either of the Catholic persuasion or shooting video inside is not allowed.
Having these non-Christian buildings and their congregations near the supreme Catholic Cathedral is basically what started the Spanish Inquisition. In the true fashion of Christianity “if you can’t join us, we’ll beat you down one way of the other”-
The Spanish Inquisition was born.

Of course there’s a museum in this Spanish City, home to the original building where the inquisitors held court. On display were thumb screws and a noose that held non-Catholics by the ankles- sending them several metres up in the air, only to be sent plummeting to the ground breaking bones in the process. Of course the ever popular “rack” was on display as well. This was a cruel reminder of how Christians- Catholics in particular, convinced others to come to Jesus Christ. Perhaps even today these practices are in place- all in the name of another religion, in countries like Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The video tour of Roman Aqueduct, built in the year 79- just after the tumultuous events that make up several Chapters in the “believer’s Bible”, was impressive. Massive stones configured without glue and still standing today as a reminder of Roman ingenuity and oppression.

Now. The cruellest part. The young Spanish-English speaking TV host decided to attend a Bull fight in Madrid. After roasted piggies- only a few weeks old being slashed to tasty bits in front of her, she obviously thought a bull fight would easy to take. She tells the audience that she was unsure about it all but wanted to make up her own mind. About what? She couldn’t even say it. She was met by a young, enthusiastic blonde lady who lived for the Bull fights.

She was able to go “backstage” and talk and shoot video of the various handsome men, all part of the bullfighting spectacle. Most of the guys looked like they were ready to “soil their undies” as they stood there praying and crossing themselves all the while dressed in their tight little “gaunchy” costumes.
Let me explain.
I don’t believe I had ever seen Matadors filmed up close before. Most of the time I have seen them portrayed in a black velvet painting over someone’s couch. By the way, that form of décor has always been wrong and always will be.
Now, we all know that a young man, say in a tight, little Speedo swimsuit, leaves nothing to the imagination. Well, check out these guys. There’s this huge bit of extra padding right over their “knackwurst”. Depending whether they dressed to the left or right, it was there for all to see.

A few frames later comes the bull. He gets stuck with these fancy spears high up on the back. Blood flows and the bull is not happy. He’s in pain. Now, if you don’t know it, these bulls are set up to be killed. The Matadors just don’t simply play around with their stealthy opponents. Yes, they wave their red capes, causing the bulls to charge, allowing them to snap their capes with a flourish and look like total “dandies”.
Good God!
And I’ve been called “faggot” in public. These guys are “real” men to the Spanish.

So eventually after they’ve played with the bull, this other guy is supposed to shove in a sword for the kill. Well, this nineteen year old kid who was interviewed before the fight, doesn’t do such a good job. The bull is in tremendous pain with blood oozing from the holes in his back, dripping down to the sawdust at his feet.
He pulls the sword out of the bull’s back and sticks another in.
This one does the job.

I admit, I had to flip off the channel at this point. It was just too gruesome and ugly. This is sport you understand. Although, I didn’t see the bull with a sword in it’s hooves slashing back at the young man.
I flipped the channel back on to view the final indignity. The dead bull was lassoed around the neck and dragged around the arena by three or four horses with riders all decked out in flamboyant Spanish colours.
How pretty!
The crowd was cheering but not for the young man with the sword. He lost favour because of his sloppy kill. These people were cheering for the body of the dead animal being dragged around the arena floor.

How disgusting.
In the same moment we are told that the Spaniards truly “respect the bull”. It’s a tradition.

So just agitate the bull by making funny faces at him. Wave a red flag at him. Let him charge. Flip your cape and take a bow.
Why kill the bull?
It’s a sick tradition and needs to be stopped. Although she didn’t out and out say it, the young host seemed disgusted as well.

Thanks for reading and have a "succulent" day!

Friday, April 23, 2010


While standing in the parking lot at a favourite roadside burger joint in Atherley last night, a car wheeled into the lot and stopped near where I was standing. A smiling, blonde lady with a sense of immediacy about her, rolled down the window and asked-
"Is the Casino on the Rama Road?"
"Sure is"- I reply, "Go to the lights and turn right!".
She smiled. Expressed her thanks and off she drove into the night.
Actually, it wasn't night yet but it makes for a good story-telling image don't you think?

Living in Orillia has always given one the opportunity to play tour guide- mostly in the summer months.
Where's Rama Casino.
Where's the park? Uh, which one?
Which way to the lake? Uh, which one?
How do I find a liquor store?
Where's the closest beer store?
I'm looking for Bleeker Street? In Orillia?
You know. All the pertinent visitor enquiries.

It's fun to be helpful and leaves a good impression for the first-time Orillia visitor.

Reminds me of the Saturday-this past Easter Weekend, when we were in Hawaii . Tom and I decided- quite unexpectantly, to climb Diamond Head, the crater that is a huge landmark in Hawaii. It's at the east end- Mountain side, of the beach. The crater is usually in every sweeping panoramic picture you see of Waikiki. The picture that acccompanies this RobBlog was taken by Tom as we approached it that sunny, late morning.

As we did, we remembered driving into the crater's centre many trips ago. Unsure of where the entrance was, we asked a stalwart, 30-something looking guy who just happenend to be stripped to the waist- he was wearing nothing by beach shorts and flip flops, while out raking his yard.
When we asked him about the entrance- trying to concentrate on what he was saying and not his tanned abs and chest, he told us it was about a mile and a half away- in that direction.
He pointed down the street.
He was pleasant and obviously knew the way.
Being good looking was just an extra bonus that the Hawaiian Gods threw in- free of charge for this handsome "tour guide".

We started the walk. It was uphill. A slight grade. The walk took us through a regular, everyday Honolulu neighbourhood not unlike the one you or I live in- minus the palm trees and distinctive Hawaiian way of building homes. Towards the entrance of Diamond Head, we rested for a bit and used the washroom at a park opposite the entrance. It was on the edge of the grounds of a community college. This was the college we had asked several people about- including a Waikiki Street Ambassador, the day before. They had a farmer's market on Saturday mornings and we thought it might be fun to see. Since it was noon, the stalls were mostly cleared away.
A light rain began to fall, so we ducked for cover under the edge of the protruding roof that covered the washrooms. We stood there watching the last of the vendors dis-mantle their stalls. In front of us just a few metres away was an old white, wooden church. We had passed it while walking along the sidewalk. As we stood, two security guards walked to the building and pointed something- looking like a TV remote, at a black box attached to one of the rafters that supported the church.

A minute or two later the guards joined us under the protection of the roof's edge.
I asked them if the church had any historic value.
One said in a typical Hawaiian accent- "Don't know".
"Is it used for church services?"- I asked.
"Don't know. Think the college holds classes in there- or somethin'."
Not much info to be gleaned here.
"Is it open to look inside?"
The guards looked at each other and one says to me- "Not really, Bro".
So, I changed tactics and asked how long it took them to walk around the perimeter checking in with that "thing". I pointed to the remote-thingy he held in his hand.
"oh 'bout an hour or so."
I left it at that.
These two were not tour guides. As I think back, the one guy barely mumbled a word to me. It was the other guard who was the "Chatty Cathy".

So remember to at least try your best when playing "tour guide" to a visitor. They'll remember what you say
and how helpful you were during the short time you spent with them. Maybe when they get home, they'll write a story about how helpful you were.

Have a good weekend.
Ummm. which way to the Dairy Queen?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Here’s a picture of my Mum.
There she sits on a piece of concrete. It’s obviously summertime.
Slips-ons and bobby socks. Her hair in tight curls. Usually in pictures of this era she had a bandana wrapped around her hair and tied at the back. I don’t think she’s wearing one in this picture though.
I’m sure she had to wear some type of head covering while working the grill. Mum also made bombs and I have pictures of her wearing her bomb-making overalls too.

However, this Blog is about Supertest and my Mum- Marion Reid (nee Bartley) a “Supertest Girl”.
What’s a ‘Supertest Girl”?
No, it’s not a burlesque Revue. Mum worked at the Supertest Grill at Front Street South and Colborne Street. The building’s still there but it’s a Rent-to-Own furniture store.
I know.
I don’t understand the concept either.

Mum came from Peterborough. One of four daughters born to Bruce and Lottie Bartley. A sister- Wilma, still lives in that Kawartha City. I love it when the “Sisters” get together. Memories and stories of years gone by sometimes come off sounding a bit different. Two versions if you will. For instance, Aunt Wilma says she stole my Mum’s new bike. Mum says Dad stole it, only he just “borrowed” it to get to the Lacrosse Arena where he was playing for the Peterborough Team. Maybe even I don’t have the story exactly as it happened. Not that it matters. It’s funny either way.
That Supertest Gas Station and Supertest Grill was still in operation when I was a child of the 50’s. This picture of Mum was taken when my Dad was away overseas during World War II. You can’t see it but there’s some mushy writing both along the bottom edge and on the back of the little snapshot. I just didn’t feel that needed to be shared with my “global” audience. You know, “missing you” stuff.

I guess Mum liked working at the Grill but she and the other gals hated working the weekend nights- especially after midnight.
Orillia was dry you see. No booze. Liquor and beer was scarce as hen’s teeth. No Bars. No drinks in restaurants. Ahhh, but there were bootleggers. People who illegally sold booze to the infidels. It was that was when I was a kid too. Temperance Ladies and the ever-powerful churches- especially the Baptists, kept a short reign on those who liked a bit of wine with a meal.Well, we have all gone to “Hell in a Handbasket”- haven’t we? The Baptists were right!

So, Mum and the other Supertest Gals hated the weekend nights because the drunks would arrive for burgers after the hotels in Atherley- that little den of purgatory, closed. There was the Atherley Arms- the First. Today you might know it by the name – Girls! Girls! Girls! Strippers. Underage drinking and murder in the parking lot.

The other bar was the “second”. I think it was the Champlain or something like that. I never went in as a teen but I heard it was a bit of a dump and rough! I believe they only served beer, so a “cultured” drinker such as myself didn’t have the palette for brew. Both had women’s and men’s entrances or ladies with escorts. No Gal would be caught going to the bar without a man on her arm back in the day- I dare say.

However, I remember once in Peterborough in the 60’s, my Dad went into a bar for a cold beer on a hot July day as Mum and I shopped in a nearby store. This bar only allowed Men through its doors! Can you imagine? A “men only” bar. God only knows what hi-jinks happened in the dusky, dank darkness! Come to think of it, back in Toronto I was in many “men only” bars.
Only in the 80’s- like today, they were called Gay Bars. Oh, the occasional straight woman would come with a Gay friend and sometimes a Lesbian or two- but that was about it. Mostly Men!

Now, like The Second, I have never been inside the Atherley Arms to this very day.
What an Angel I am!
The second was torn down years ago but the “Arms” still proudly stands on the corner of Highway 12 and Creighton Street. A mighty Atherley landmark!

So, Mum and the Supertest Gals would brace themselves for the onslaught of men, drunks and the “loose women” who accompanied them. I believe they ran a tight ship and had some Male help that ushered the “tight and tanked up” back out the door.

Oh yes, Supertest was “All Canadian” and it’s main function was to sell gasoline to the populace- even the drunks. Supertest was the name of the oil company. The Supertest Grill was just a sideline. Gas and a burger. Or was it the burger- then gas! Depends on how many onions Mum and the Supertest gals piled on top of the cheese I suppose. If you want to see a Supertest pump today, drive out number 12 from Orillia towards Coldwater. Just past the Marchmount turn, look to the right. There’ll you’ll see a couple of old Supertest Pumps sitting in front of a garage.

Don’t look for my Mum though, she’s probably at home calling Aunt Wilma tell “her” version of the same old tale- one more time.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I was walking through Couchiching Park and Veteran’s Park the other day enjoying the exercise, looking out at the water- feeling good. The bright April sunshine was warming my face. Besides the ash falling on Great Britain and Europe, things were pretty right with the world- except for that politically controlling dictator at 24 Sussex drive. However, that another story for another day. I must respect the office after all.
Suddenly, I caught a drift of something.
Cigarette smoke. Yuck!

The man in front of me was smoking like a chimney. A few steps further along and more smoke from a passerby. Then someone zips by on a bike with smoke pouring from his lungs.
I just wanted to enjoy the fresh air. Guess, I’ll have to move to Vancouver for sure now. As of September 1st, 2010 smokers will not be able to light up on the beaches or in 200 parks.
Good for people. Good for the air.
Good for health costs.
Good all around except for the tobacco companies and the die-hard smokers.
Hmmmm. Die-hard.
Dying the hard way. A difficult way to leave this plain of existence by contracting lung cancer and all the assorted diseases that come along with it.

A report yesterday says that more people are smoking in Ontario now than in the 1960’s. Of course there are more people living in this province today. Smokers who get cancer live longer too- 5 to 8 years longer- but of course that’s with considerable more health care- expensive health care to keep these smokers alive.
Then, there’s cheap, contraband cigarettes- 200 or more for 10 bucks, that hooks the young folk. It’s a vicious cycle.

We have a neighbour who treats his cigarettes like an appendage of his body. You never see him without one either stuck between his lips, slipped between two nicotine-yellowed fingers or cupped in his hand with filthy smoke rising through the cracks between his fingers. Oh Good Lord, you dare not say anything about his smoking. He flips. As a matter of fact he hasn’t been passing the time of day with us since last summer when we asked him to extinguish his cigarette.
He’s never been able to simply stop and pass the time of day without lighting up his stinky, bought-on-the-reserve smokes. His non-smoking wife even makes the trip to the smoke trailer on the Rama Road from time to time to ensure a constant supply. Of course, she really isn’t a non-smoker, since she lives in the same house and breathes and reeks of the same smoke her hubby expels from his lungs all say long- except for his sleeping hours, I suppose.

I think Orillia should consider no smoking parks. Even Barrie’s waterfront park is no-smo. I first noticed that at Kempenfest last summer. No one was smoking. Then, I saw the signs. Heavy-duty fines posted on signs throughout the park. I only saw two men smoking and either they were just buttheads proving their manliness or they couldn’t read the signs because they left their specs at home. Of course perhaps they honestly hadn’t seen the signposts- yet. I gave both of them the benefit of the doubt.

So let’s butt out in Orillia’s green space but don’t expect this council to do anything bylaw-wise. They are in slow-motion mode since elections are in November and their terms may be at an end.
Maybe another time in the future.
Until then, we should all hold our collective breath when walking in our parks.

Have a happy one.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Ash continues to fall and there's no telling when flights to and from Europe and Great Britain will return to normal. That means I am still a "single" man until my Tom gets home.
It's frustrating. Moreso for him.
He's in a hotel with all the other crews, just outside Frankfurst in Mainz.
They are making the best of it.
Morning breakfasts in the hotel.
Excursions here and there in the day.
Evening dinners.
In between they have been washing socks, tee shirts and poo poo undies- as Elizabeth call's the Monster's undergarments in 'Young Frankenstein"  the Movie version.

It's a funny feeling this waiting. Everything is on hold. Household decisions. Planning for the immediate future and more.
Unless a ship is sent out for the Air Canada crews I can't see an early homecoming.
I have to say it-it's like Air Canada doesn't give a damn. They haven't called me to say what's up.
I suppose they figure individual crew members will do that on their own. It would be nice to know what they're thinking and what the short-term and long-term goals are for the company.
Maybe there will be more today.
Mother nature is holding the earth and it's inhabitants "captive".

Elsewhere. What is this "spitting" thing all about? Young men and women walking along the streets spitting and hocking up on sidewalks and gardens. A kid yesterday send a huge gob of mucus earth-ward (disgusting- sorry) right into my garden. I must remmeber not to step there barefoot. What a disgusting habit. Where did it start? Does some movie character or rock star spit? Has it been endorsed by video games or what?
STOP IT. Please. NOW!

Talking about young people. I walked the dogs past ODCVI- just a block away in my neighourhood, last night. Now we have always been blessed with litter from both the public school and high school for the past 16 years- living here in close proximity- but I have to say the litter in ditches and along the street near the high school is digusting. It's everywhere. Bottles, chip bags, french fry containers.
STOP IT. Please.NOW. Use the garbage bins.

Then, when you get close to the school's doors, it's a sea of cigarette buts, more litter and bare grass. When I attended that same High School in the 60's gardens were tended, lawns manicured and walkways were free of litter and butts. I am sure there were butts at Frosty's across West Street, since that's where the smokers had to congregate. I can't believe the school board doesn't care for the property. Maybe small fences could designate lawn and garden areas. To help the students decifer where they should walk and where they should not.
Maybe the offending stuents could be nailed to the trees along Borland street where they could look down upon the desicrated lawns and gardens- and ciggie buts- to have a good think about what they are doing to the environment at the school. (disgusting- I know. Sorry)
Now, I know all the students aren't "litter buggers" because if each and every one littered equally, you wouldn't see anything but garabage on every square inch of property. There has to be a solution.
Maybe a neighbourhood committee should be formed to send a letter or make a personal visit to the Principal. Perhaps speak at an assembly.
Ideas anyone?

Have a nice day. Here's hoping the ash stops. Today.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another day and my husband Tom is still stuck in Frankfurt because of volcanic ash and particles of particulate floating in the air in the flight paths over the Atlantic.

50+ crew members are stuck in Frankfurt. More in London, Tel Aviv and Zurich. All Air Canada Crews.
They are getting restless.
They want to be home to see families and get back to mundane day-to-day life schedules.

Tom says his crew is sticking together doing breakfast and dinner and touring the area- places such as Heidleberg and Weisbaden.

Back on the home front- a weekend of kitchen renovations.
The dust has settled for now. Next step is replacing or painting cupboard doors and a new counter top but I need to have Tom here for his opinion too.
Good Gosh!
The Volcanic ash is disrupting my day-to-day as well.

Junos last night and Michael Buble a big winner. I read about the awards but didn't watch. I was too tired and busy putting things back in place. Michael deserves it although I would have loved to see Jann Arden get artist of the year. Her latest album- that you hear on Swisssh Radio, is great!

Don't make me laugh. Now the Pope says the Catholic church will protect it's young. Like a mother hen protecting her chicks from the big, bad fox. Where the hell have they been the past few decades with abuse seemingly running rampant? Time to tear down the beliefs, close the church doors and sell the gold and expensive paintings. If the church and it's faith mean that much, holding a weekly meeting under a maple tree in someone's back yard would be just as good.
It's nice to be in a place that has nice decor and central heat of course but it's the beliefs and faith- not the trappings that make a church- isn't it?
I mean apparently Christ wore sandals and a cotton shift- not Prada.

On my list of things to do this week is assemble a new BBQ. I am feeling kind of "cocky" because I erected a gazebo last week all by myself, when the instructions said it would take two or three people.
One good Gay Man trumps a set of Chinese instructions any day of the week!
Of course, a BBQ is another matter. All that gas that has to run through the pipes and into the burner makes it more of a delicate matter.
I'll let you know what happens.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

W E E K E N D EDITION of RobBlog

First of all. It's snowing (Saturday a.m.). It's my fault- completely.
I erected a new Gazebo- canvas top and all, on the back deck Friday. The Swissshmobile has an appointment to have its snow tires removed.
So, just in case you were wondering- it's my fault!

Secondly, I believe this is a fortuitous time to be a Baptist or Evangelistic preacher. One can stick it to the minions who believe and follow your every word to a “T” or at least a crucifixion.

Why I can hear it all now-

A church in the wildwood. There’s background organ music and a choir humming softly. Every now and then someone shouts out the occasional “Amen”.

"Brothers and Sisters! According to the Holy book of Revelation, God is preparing the world for the end. All these earthquakes. The loss of life. The volcano erupting in that barren of all barren places-Iceland, spewing ash all over Europe. These things are events that have all come to pass through God‘s book.


People, this is just is the Lord reminding us he is still all powerful! God is showing the Devil that he still has the power!
Uh, Huh. Praise his Holy Name!

Praise God! God is casting out the sinful. Those lustful Gays and Lesbians and their same-sex marriage abomination.

Pray for the Homosexuals!

God’s about to reap havoc on the Catholics- worshipping idols and making Mary- the Mother of Jesus, the “Queen of Heaven”. Why, everyone knows that Tammy Wynette is the true Queen!

Yes suh! Praise Tammy Wynette too!

Maybe she’s not the real Queen of Heaven- but certainly Country Music is playing God’s tune. Then God is showing the Jews who’s boss for their orchestrated killing of Jesus and making it a holiday with bunnies and such plus all the other stuff they do- including telling funny jokes, making their daughters Princesses and clipping the genitalia of their young sons.

Uh. Huh. AMEN! Showing the Jews who’s boss! Pray for Israel and Palestine and the Holy Land which is rightfully “Our Lord’s” anyway.

Yes, my children the end is near. So I want each and every one of you to be elaborately generous when the offering basket comes your way today. It’ll save you a special place in Heaven. That is- IF you place a bill of a denomination of one hundred or more in the Lord’s basket.”


Music fades and the spirit of the Lord is shuttered by the sins of the world once again!

Well, I’m sure it sounds something like that and will look like the movie 2012.
Now available on Blu-Ray and DVD.
I should have been a preacher with my own TV Show and a background Chorus of 200 black background singers, gowned in sparkling gold robes.
Black you say?
Got to be black to show the white folk you have really made it!
Just like Justin Bieber on SNL last week.

Hmmm. God. All powerful.
Sorry about that Stephen Harper. You’re just not God-like material. Unless you happen to be that “Helena Woman” and then you might be God-like since I am sure she is “God-damning” you this very minute.

Have a good weekend!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

I knew this was going to be a bad day when I woke up to the sound of alarms beeping telling me power was out. That was about 8 a.m.
Power came on about 920 and then the fun started.
When power goes out some programmes on Swisssh Radio shut down completely. I have to click and fiddle and click some more to remember how to get the station back on air. It finally worked after 10 but I still had to do a bit more fiddling to get my production computer up and running.
Don't know what caused the outage. Nothing on the Packet Online and don't even ask me if I listened to a local station. What station is "local" in Orillia. Since there's no real "News Department" at Swisssh Radio I couldn't tell myself what was up either!!

Ugly Betty finished it's four year run last night. Except for annoying, repetitive tire commercials on the Vancouver station I was watching, it was a delight! I really thought another company would pick up this breezy and bright show and continue the story lines. I'll miss all the characters. I loved the end credits.
First, in bright red font the words- "UGLY BETTY" appeared.
In a few seconds the "UGLY" disappeared and the screen just simply said- "BETTY".
That said it all. How clever!
From cocoon to a beautiful butterfly. In just four years- a young girl grows into a vibrant, worldly woman.
Good job.

I finally got around to writing "thanks you's" for all those friends who sent notes of sympathy and support when Luma- our orange tabby, died on February 26th. I kept putting it off because of the emotions that would well up within me while writing the notes. Tears flowed. We really, really miss her and if I could Luma, I would love to hug you just once more. However, I know once more would never be enough.

Good Gosh, volcanic ash from Iceland's erupting volcanoes have stopped fllights into and out of Britain and several other European countries. That has seldom happened. Once in the 50's and again after the Twin Towers tragedy that grounded flights around the world. Apparently particles floating in the smoke can disrupt the engines of aircraft flying through it. Better to be safe and wait it out. Authorities say it could take days or longer.

What is up with the Packet's Swartzie? I am not reviewing another writer here on this blog. Gawd knows it's hard enough to sit down at this keyboard day after day and write something but John- C'mon, what was that Thursday column all about? I haven't read Saturday's story on the current MAT production but I have heard several complaints.

So, the Canadian Dollar- our Loonie, is above par. At least it was at Wednesday's close. I was looking at a US site for Internet Radios yesterday and it posted both American and Canadian prices. In all cases the Canuk prices were cheaper. Apparently, the buck will surge above the greenback in coming weeks and stay there for a time. If it wasn't for tax laws in Florida I would love to purchase a Florida property- even a modular home in a well-kept park.

Finally, after it was cleaned up a few weeks ago, all the garbage is back at that blasted skate park near Schacter's Junk Yard. It looks like hell!
Time to close that place down or start laying littering charges.
The kids don't repect the grounds so they should lose the turf.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First of all, this is my 40th post!
Yow. All that writing!
All your reading.
I'll have a martinti, later.

I watched a Nicolas Cage movie last night called "Knowing". A strange little piece of celluloid- especially towards the end. It just didn't cut it. Where I should have been sniffling and empathetic, I was going "whatever". For instance, there was this one part where Cage- upon meeting **SPOILER** these "beings" pulls out a gun.
Typical American.
Pull out your gun to kill- although Cage's character would see it as " Protecting Amerca!".
He doesn't wait to see if this "being" is friendly, he just gets ready to shoot first.

It reminded me of walking along Kuhio Avenue in Honolulu. The street is peppered with people trying to shove pamphlets on snorkling expeditions, Luas and evening booze cruises in your face but there was also this disturbing pack of men dressed in florescent "hunter's vests", wanting you to go to this Family Gun range and shoot things.
On the back of their vests were pictures of all manner of armoury- from pistols to repeater rifles.
I turned to Tom and said "Only in America".
Can you imagine men on a busy street filled with tourists-especially kids, passing out these same pamphlets in Downtown Orillia or Toronto? Maybe in Butt-Tug Hollow in Northern Ontario it would go unnoticed but then again in a public space- maybe not.
So, there were these Americans trying to make a few bucks on a true Yankee passtime- shooting things.
I found it disturbing but it's a right they have to possess firearms- isn't it?
Yet, every time some nutso walks into an American school and shoots all the kids, the Americans are shocked and horrified.
It's what they preach. Here these guys are selling the discharging of firearms- for fun, in Paradise in the same manner as the young blonde guy on the next corner- with the amazing pecs and biceps, wants you to take surfing lessons from him. At least his "guns" don't kill.

Another day in the sunshine cleaning up the yard. Didn't get to gazebo building or Bar B Que assembly yesterday but maybe today. The outdoor pond and fountain are in working condition though.
I love that sound of the water.

Have a great one.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another weekend. Fairly descent weather.
Oh, not what you folks saw on Easter Weekend when we were in Hawaii- but a descent couple of days.

I had wanted to put a new Bar B Q together.
It didn't get done.
I wanted to assemble a new gazebo for the deck.
It didn't happen.
What did happen was some renovation. Part of our kitchen was torn apart by our friend Cary- and there's more to come. We have both a new wall oven and a fancy-dancy refrigerator being delivered this week and we needed to make some changes so both appliances will fit snuggly into our galley kitchen.

One thing led to another.
We had a couple of new electical outlets installed and we are moving a cupboard or two.
It'll give the kitchen a bit of a "new" look. For one thing after 16 years of living in Pine Tree House, all our appliances will match! I'll be calling our friend Fran to see if she can slap a coat of paint on the old cupboards to simulate a "new" look. Hopefully she can. Fran is so good at what she does. She's a paint goddess!

If everything proceeds the way it should, appliances arrive Thursday and Cary comes back Saturday to do the install and move the cupboard. I have to do a bit of painting this week in the spot where the cupboard used to be. I think I have just enough paint left over from the initial paint job to cover the 4 by 4 bare wall. I hope the paint is still in good condition under the cap of the plastic bottle where it's been kept these past few years....

The sun's shining bright today, so maybe I can get a head start on the gazebo frame- if I can convince Tom to help. The old framework has been there for years. It has to be dis-assembled first before the new one can take it's place. I won't install the cover for another week or so but at least the framework will be in place.
There's also a bit of yardwork to be finished. I broke down some bamboo and "hid" it behind the "Shed-Mahal" a few weeks back.
That's what we call our gigantic garden shed. It's like a small cottage, really.
So, I'll stash the bamboo in a few yard bags, rake some leaves at the rear of the yard and that'll be it.

Oh yes, I also have John Bleasby from The Huronia Players dropping by the Swisssh Radio Studio today to record a new commercial for the troupe's spring stage show- "Renovations".

Monday and a list as long as your arm.
Hmmm. I think I long for the "nothing-to-do" lifestyle of vacationing in Hawaii.
To the right is a picture- taken by Tom, of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The second oldest on the Island of Oahu. A beautiful pinky-coral coloured landmark with pristine gardens and grass- right on Waikiki Beach in the heart of Waikiki.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day two of being in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone.
Yesterday was what? Thursday?
I'll call it "buzz-day". That's what happens when you leave Hawaiian Standard Time and travel across Pacific, Mountain, Central and Eastern Time Zones- all in one day.
Guess as I get older, jet lag is more difficult to deal with. I napped yesterday afternoon after I gave up trying to stay awake. That lasted about 20 minutes until the phone rang. Tom telling me he was taking his Dad home from a two day hospital stay. A relief.
I gave up snoozing after that.
Then about 1130 last night I was wide awake. I managed to get to bed at 0200 but laid awake for a long while, thinking about everything under the sun- or moon as it were.

So, here I am Friday morning. I have uploaded weekend programming to Swisssh Radio. Inserted some CBC Newscasts to cover the morning run and talked with Don Andrews- via e-mail, at Studio B/Humboldt 101. I have also heard that my Internet Radio colleague Russ Horton at D-Moos Radio in Georgetown/Halton Hills has been having trouble with the programme that runs D-Moos Radio. Todd from Radio That Doesn't Suck e-mailed this morning to tell me of Russ's woes. I e-mailed Russ- since he uses the same on-air programme as Swisssh Radio, to offer help. Haven't heard back yet. It's a real pain in the patootey when a radio programme goes wrong. Hopefully Russ will be back on air soon.

On a completely different topic, over the years I have become a fan of the series "Ugly Betty". The writing is usually sharp and brisk. The show moves along like a steaming locomotive. Unfortunately the show haas been cancelled with the last few episodes are airing now. Last night I caught up with two shows that I missed while in Hawaii- the advantage of having Rogers on Demand that allows programming to be stock-piled to be viewed at one's leisure. Now having said that the shows move at a nice click, I must say the show where Betty heads to London-sans braces, was a bit of a slow go. It just wasn't up to par for the most part. Then, the show that followed encompassing her sister's wedding was fabulous. The story-line about her brother wanting to come out- formally, when everone really know's he's Gay, was touching. I had tears drrzzling down my tanned, jet-lagged cheeks.
Nice writing. Empathetic. Bright. Touching. Funny.
Guess there's only a couple of shows to go.

I also have to catch up with Republic of Doyle. Two shows missed there too. Another bright, fast moving, funny show that is set on The Rock- Newfoundland, St. John's specifically. I think I have to watch that online since the CBC doesn't seem to allow Rogers to store that one "on demand".

Come to think of it, all the while in Hawaii Tom and I never turned on the TV once. The only at-home habit we carried to the islands was checking e-mail on the computer, reading The Star and the Packet Online and listening to Swisssh Radio. Swisssh stayed on in the condo all day, whether we were in the room or not. A bit of "home" in the warm South Pacific air.

So, the weekend is ahead. We will have a "constructive" one. A friend is coming to frame in the space and construct a new drawer to fit in a new wall oven and refrigerator that arrives next week. That will be followed by a call to our friend and painter extraordinaire- Fran, to have cupboards painted and an estimate done on a paint job for another room.
We are also are having a new floor laid in a bedroom- we've had the flooring stored inside for more than a year. Finally, some new boards will be replaced on the lower deck.
After that, the "to do" list says assemble a new Bar B Que and gazebo on the deck. Thank goodness the weather is to improve again and be warm and sunny over the next week.

Have a good one!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I am home.
Three words.
Reality that gives you a backhander, right in the face! More on that further down.
After being up for 27 hours, my husband and I have made the trek from Hawaii. The splendor of that island and just getting away recharges the batteries. It seems so long ago that we travelled first to Vancouver where we each had to meet gruffy U.S. Immigration officers who treated us like villans- even though all we wanted to do was be a guest in their country and spend our "at par" Canadian Dollars. Thank Goodness two Vancouver Airport Employees- who were re-directing passengers claiming luggage to enter the States, told us to fill in separate Immigration forms.
They said- "The Americans-specifically the custom and immigration officers, just don't get it- specifically the "Gay Marriage" aspect. They told us to save the heartache and go through separately. I had a copy of our marriage certificate with us- just in case.

I guess the question is- do you lie or tell the truth to these officers. Thankfully, it didn't come up. They just asked me a couple of brisk questions. One was- " Are you carrying any fruit?"
I just let that one pass.
It was too easy.
He peered at my passport a couple of times- like I was someone less-than-worthy to enter his country and waved me on.
I didn't tell him to have a nice day.

Coming back to Canada- even though it was a very early Vancouver morning, both the Canadian Immigration and Customs officer still smiled and made you feel like a person.
A Canadian.
We filled out one card- my husband and I, and passed it to the officers. Not even a blink of an eye.
It's at time like these you know and appreciate what being Canadan is all about. As soon as one steps onto the Air Canada aircraft, one breathes a sigh of relief- ahhhh. Canada.
It just feels and looks different. The flight and crews were all top notch. we made some new friends.

So. Home again. Safe in the house.
Five seconds through the door and we find that our Yellow Lab "Kiki" has been sick and had to go to the vet last week. She is doing better.
Then we find that Tom's Dad is in Sunnybrook.
He's on a bed in the hallway since there's no room for him. Tom whisked off to Toronto today to see what's up. The nurses he talked to on the phone last night and this morning were less than helpful.
It only takes a moment and then reality backhands you in the face.

Add this to a couple of other items on the back-to-life list and it makes me want to go far, far away- screaming as I run.

To tell you the truth. Reality sucks.
We are rested. We needed this short time away. We had to celebrate 25 years of life- together. If you want the story, look back in the blog list at the bottom right of my page. Dated April 4th. I'll tell a few more stories in the coming days.

We have some "tan" on our skin. That's the little bit of sunshine that could creep through 15 and 30 sunblock . However, after a couple of loads of laundry. Dragging garbage to the curb and re-filling the bird feeders, it's as if we never left.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I plan on this being a short RobBlog today.
It's departure time today from Honolulu International back to Toronto.
A long travel day- actually overnight- and 6 hours time change.
The flight on Air Canada leaves at 830PM here in Honolulu and we get back into Toronto at 230PM Wednesday.

Another beautiful day here in Paradise. It's morning walk time when I finish this blog.
The past couple of days have been fun. We spent Sunday afternoon at the Honolulu Zoo just a few steps from where we are staying. The Savanah exibit was interesting. Zebras, Giraffes, Rhino and an exhibit of  9 exhuberant chimps. It was an interesting few hours. It's been more than 10 yeasr since we visited the zoo.

We watched the sunset Sunday night from Waikiki Beach.  Sunsets are far from spectacular most of the time- at least on Oahu. The sunsets are much more colourful back home. However, throngs of people wait with great anticipation to catch a few blues and yellows as the sun sinks into the warm South Pacific waters.

By the way South Pacific was filmed here on a Northern Beach decades ago. You will also remember that Tom Selleck's Magnum P.I. was shot just outside Waikiki at places such as the Kahala Hilton and Makapuu. I believe they are finished filming the final season of  Lost a current TV series, also being shot on the North Shore. I hear a new version of Hawaii-Five-O is cin production on Oahua.. "Book 'em- Danno!"

Monday was a beach day in mid afternoon almost until the sun set.

There have been a few evening showers over the past few nights. Sometimes, over night. Saturday and Sunday in mid-eveing. Nothing much but people still run and duck for cover.

So my friends this is going to be Aloha from Hawaii.
It's been fun and truly restful.
Back to a normal life when I get back to Toronto and eventually Orillia on Wednesday.

Aloha and Mahalo from Honolulu and the Island of Oahu.

Have a great one!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Aloha and Happy Easter!
Here in Hawaii the Easter Bunny doesn't just "hop" around the islands- she surfs!!
If you've missed my previous few RobBlogs from Hawaii, check them out at the bottom right of this Rob Reid Online
Blog Page, it'll put things in perspective.

Now, most people just believe Tom and I are here in Honolulu on vacation. However, friends and family know that we are here for a much more important reason.
No, we are not buying property here.
Uncle Sam isn't that interested in having Canuks move here- unless they are rich.
Which we are not.

No, there is another reason.
25 years ago on April 4th 1985, I was on my way to Honolulu on vacation. I was about to abruptly end a relationship- from Hell, that I had been in for 3 and a half years. I had been preparing for the breakup.
Without going into a long story here, suffice to say, the breakup would be initited by me.
Possibly in Hawaii.
Maybe when I was back home.
As it turned out- it was in Hawaii.

You see, all I wanted to do was be on my own. Start life anew.
That wasn't in the cards however. At least the being on my own part.
On the way from Toronto to Honolulu, I met someone.
He was "working the flight".
Meaning- in airline lingo, he was a Flight Attendent- for Wardair- an airine that would eventually employ me as well.

Well, my heart skipped a beat when I first laid eyes on him and now 25 years to the day, Tom and I are celebrating our 25th Anniversary right here where it all began- in Honolulu, Hawaii.
As well, four years ago this very date in front of more than 100 guests, we officially tied the knot in a "Black and White" wedding in Orillia.

We have been to Hawaii many times since our first meeting but we have come back a quarter of a century later to  re-live a couple of things and to do some new things too- like today's walking to and from Diamond Head from our condo and navigating a path to the top of the crater that took more than an hour and a half to complete.
Me in thongs and no proper walking attire- let alone hiking shoes.

This is our Theatrical Group- The Garage Door Players. Tom's in the back row- right. Me-centre. Back row.

So, I want everyone to know- including my Tom, that I love him more than ever. Oh sure, we have disagreements like any couple who have been together for two and a half decades, but it's all in a day being in a relationship. We have a wonderful home. Beautiful pets- both past and present. A close circle of supporting, loving friends and family.
I can't complain.
I can't wish for more.
I mean for goodness sakes here we are in Hawaii- five time zones away, something that most peple don't get to do once in their lifetime, let alone as many times as we have.

We have a Sunday Dinner planned- even though being Easter Sunday, we know restaurants will be jammed.
We have to have our picture taken on the steps leading into the Royal Hawaiian Hotel off Waikiki Beach, where one of our first pictures- together, was taken 25 years ago. We plan to frame it and hang it alongside the original pose. I wonder who will take the picture for us. Someone we'll meet at the Royal Hawaiian today.

So, that is why we are here in Hawaii in April of 2010.
To remember.
To celebrate all that we have together- which is more than I could ever put into words in this Blog.

I thank my lucky stars and Tom- my husband, that I have been so fortunate these past 25 years.
Here's a toast to our future Thomas:
"May we have years of love, companionship and togetherness for all the days of our lives and beyond.  Mahalo".

Happy 25th Anniversary- to us!!!

from Hawaii.

Friday, April 2, 2010

First of all you may need to go to the bottom right of this RobBlog page to read the previous blog or two about Hawaii. This truly is Paradise!
I've been here many, many times before but it's not untill you arrive again on the shores of Paradise can you fully understand the true spirit of Aloha.
The trade winds.
The sunshine.
The tropical plants.
The blue ocean.
The marvellous "locals". I mean Hawaiians here, for many "Amercians" also populate these isles. Many are very nice too but some have that "Yankee edge" we all know and recognize. On Oahu with military and naval bases like Hickam and Pearl Harbour, many people you talk to are transplants from Chicago, Upper New York State and Pennsylvania. These are just a few of the non-locals Tom and I have spoken too.

As an American all one has to do is just get on a plane, come here and stay. For Canadians it is another country called America. We just can't live here if that's what we want to do. So moving to the temperate climate of B.C.'s west coast is the best we can do to get away from snow and cold.

There are things that let you know this may be Hawaii but it is the United States too.
Writing a cheque is still check.
Jewellery is jewelry.
A Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade is not a vodka beverage. Here it is called Mike's Hard but it is malt liquor. It's beer. I bought a 6-pack not realizing it and one sip was enought to gag me.
In the last blog I mentioned Caesars. I haven't had one yet but I know where to find one.
Sometimes their interac machines don't work for our Debit Cards. Many don't give you the choice of chequing or savings- except at a Bank of Hawaii ABM. Oh, they're ATM's here. I know some machines are home are ATM's. That never should have happened. In Canada they are Bank Machines- ABM's. We have to protect what we have and what is Canuk- no matter what it is.
The selection of chocolate bars bites the big one. That's true of most places in America.
There are probably more Hawaiian Flags about than US Flags but there are Red Maple Leaf's too. One is just to the right when we are on our Lanai (balcony).
Many Americans here guess that we are from Canada. I don't know why. This happens even when I am not wearing my cap with the Rainbow flag, Maple Leaf Flag and Airline Wing pins stuck to the front. I think it's the Yes, please.
No Thank You's and the smiles that are the big giveaways.
I was thinking yesterday with the flights arriving from Canada, every day there would be about 5000 or more Canadians arriving here from Vancouver and Calgary Airports alone.
We haven't run into one- yet.
We did see a guy last night with a "Team Canada" shirt on and at Moose McGuillicutties- where we've had breakfast for years, had a Vancouver Hockey Game on. A night before the Toronto Raptors were playing from the AC Centre on a big screen in another restaurant.

So as brilliant and tropical and beautiful as Hawaii is, it is still a group of Islands that reflect all the things about Americans that Canadians find odd . It's another example of what make us Canadian. It was back in the years before the Second World War that Americans told Hawaiians that they were taking Pearl Harbour for themselves for defense of the mainland. I think many Hawaiians never forget that fact- and why should they? I think becoming a state gave Hawaiians all the comforts they now have in this technological world we live in but I bet many would prefer to be their own government. I'll have to ask some of the older Hawaiians I meet.
Written on any of the US Military plaques and statues found in parks and other public spaces, it still remains- without question, that America won World War II all by themselves. It's as if no other country existed except for Germany and Japan. Now, there are more Japanese visitors than any other country.
Canadians used to be second coming to these islands. I don't know if that honour stands today or not. we've heard Aussie accents twice.

Until next time have a great and warm Easter weekend and-

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I just won 25 million dollars in a Hawaiian State, I have decided to move to Hawaii.
April Fools!

Pretty lame.
I know.
It's the best I can do here in Paradise.
Day two for Tom and I. We are having a wonderful time. It's been too long since we were here last. The Cabana at Waikiki is simply a home away from home. Miho the General Manager is just so nice. We got big hugs and kisses when we met her in person for the first time. Janet- the head of housekeeping, is one of the nicest, jolliest people you would ever want to meet. She was born on the Big Island. She tells me she lives near Honolulu International Airport and takes "The Bus"- that's what the transit is called here, to Waikiki. Parking and driving is a hassle and expensive.

Miho is a beautiful lady and has customer service down to a "tee". She speaks Japanese as well as English. Pretty handy second language to have in Hawaii. We sat and chatted yesterday like we had been friends for years. Turns out her daughter was born on our anniversary four years ago. It was one of those times when you feel such an attachment. Makes me believe that we have all been this way before.

We did the Beach thing and sat at out usual spot at "Queen's Surf". No Gay jokes please. I used 15 sunblock everywhere- except 30 on my face and neck and shoulders. No burn after a few hours but the Hawaiian sun is still turning me a delicious bronze. That's typical for here- if you are a Leo and tan. It's just one of the things we do-besides being a "leader".
Sure! I'll lead anything. Ya got a band?
Buh-dah-bump! Thanks folks. I'm here every Thursday and Friday in the lounge!

As a Canadian, you will be glad to know that Hawaii has progressed, Tuesday mornring I asked our server at Lu Lu's if he knew what a "Caesar" was- I mean the drink.
Little Mikey didn't. That's not his real name.
He was from upper New York State. A stone's throw from Canada.
He stumbled over  the word "Clamato" juice-like it was a foreign language- but asked the bartender anyway. The Bartender had heard of it but couldn't make it. No Clamato Juice. Then he asked what was in the beverage. I told him.

Later that day at a Safeway- my gawd you would not believe how expensive it is, I found Clamato Juice on the shelf.
Then last night at a restaurant on Lewers Street, they not only knew what a Caesar was- but could make one! Our server happily rhymed of two other etablishments where Ceasar's were made. She said she loved the drink herself and asked me what ingredients I used. I also told her it was like our "natonal drink" in Canada.
Nope. I never mentioned beer!

Then when fries arrived with my grilled chicken sandwhich, I asked for white vinegar knowing full well it would not be available. She says- "Yes, we have it!"
What?? I practically fell off my seat.
A Caesar and vinegar for my fries, all in one spot. In Honolulu?
It's the little things-isn't it?

Since we are in a condo we can cook, make our our own coffee and toast- whatever. So let me tell you about Island prices.
A loaf of bread. Over 5 dollars.
A small jar of jam- like Smuckers, almost 5 dollars.
A tiny jar of Nutella is $5.99.
One store offered 6 bagels for $6.99. At Safeway I found 6 bagels for $2.99.
A young lady checking prices in the yogurt aisle where a tub was again about 6 bucks, says to me- when I remark about the high prices-
"Ya, but our liquor is cheaper than yours in Canada!"
"So, you're going to just drink booze and not eat?"- I say.
She laughs and agrees the prices are high.
The price of living in paradise. That's what many locals tell you.
At the checkout the lady tells me she's from Pennysylvania. She had no accent so I thought she was close to the border, near Ontario- yet not New York State. She knows our prices are cheaper.
Her husband and her moved to Oahu in July. She says she found out very quickly that there are not many items under five dollars. Again  I hear the familiar phrase- the price one pays for living in Paradise.
She also says it has only rained a half dozen times since July. Yet flowers and plants and palms are all lush and beautiful.

That's it for now. Oh yes. Swisssh Radio happily palys all day long in the Condo and I even have Miho listening in the office downstairs.
I never stop promoting?

So a morning excercise walk along the Ali Wai Canal is next.
There are no plans for today. No schedule. That's what it's like "living in Paradise".

See ya. Have a good day!