Thursday, September 30, 2010

ROBBLOG # 152 W E E K E N D Edition

What are you guys doing?”- I yelled from the dining room door.

Three young guys had been standing up on my lawn next to a garden and a pair of municipal election signs. I had heard from neighbours that signs were being pulled out of the ground and thrown onto the street. I thought this was the attraction.

“Nothing”- was the reply.

I countered- “What were you doing up on my property then?”

“We were just wiping this piece of paper on the damp grass to get it wet”- says one of the trio.

“That’s all?”

“Yes. Sorry”- replied the one.

“We just wanted it wet”- said another.

I didn’t ask why. I get a little jumpy when kids walk on my property. Over the years with two schools in the neighbourhood, we’ve had plenty of trouble. Flowers snipped, plants uprooted, eggs thrown on our house, garbage strewn on the lawn not to mention smoking pot and doing cocaine right on our driveway- in broad daylight.

As a matter of fact, one memorable sunny day a couple of years ago- just after eleven in the morning, a pair of blonde girls sat on the curb just outside my window and heated the cocaine in empty Coke cans.
Cheaper than a bong from Happy Dayz!
I asked them to move along and never come back to this street again.
They apologized and moved along.

Huh, imagine, apologizing to me as they damaged brain cells.
It was unsettling.
Someone said to me, the two of them could have pulled a knife and jabbed me in the gut or come back- under the cover of darkness, just to set my house on fire.
Boy, I hope we haven’t climbed down to that rung on the evolutionary ladder!
What these kids have to do to get them through a day at school.

Booze, drugs, whatever. It doesn’t matter. The point is, it’s terrible that kids have to do simply because of peer pressure, the movies or an inability to cope.

On another point, why do young men climb onto their skateboards at the top of the hill on Peter Street North and head down the hill through a four way stop and into the traffic at Coldwater and Peter Streets.
Are they on drugs or do they get a “jolt” careening headlong into a Smart car. These guys aren’t about to share the road and they certainly seem oblivious to oncoming traffic.

Yesterday, as I waited at a red light at Coldwater and Peter, a young “dude” was coming down the hill, through the fourway, towards the lights at the intersection in front of me. I wondered- Should I proceed through the intersection, blow my horn and call him a stupid *&^&^**&^ or should I just keep an eye on him and drive by safely?

I opted to do the latter.

Why should I get fussed about this young idiot who might one day spend the rest of his life as a vegetable in an electric wheelchair- if he were to be hit by a car- or even a bus. I suppose it’s just the blurry, wide-eyed ego of youth rearing its ugly head. When one is that young one thinks they are on this earth to live forever.
You and I know that’s not the case.

We are born yesterday.

We’re here today.

We become ill tomorrow-

And die the next day.

The Circle of Life.

If those three boys stood on my lawn to rub a piece of white paper over the dew on my lawn- goodness knows why, that’s not such a bad thing.

Worse things are out there to lure them into danger.

Have a nice one!


Poor Old Stephen Harper.

First, his suggestion to re-open the debate on Gay Marriage got dashed back a few years ago when he started his Dictatorship in Ottawa.

Then the other boys picked on him and he had to suck up to the Governor General to tell her, to tell the other boys to stop picking on him. She gave him a “Purple Robe” to make him feel better.

Then whether or not to continue the long gun registry was put to a vote. Too bad for Stephen, his followers have to continue to register their guns before “showing” them off in public.

Now it’s the prostitutes and assorted Dominatrix who get to strut their stuff in public by challenging the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They did and they won!. Even if there’s a 30 day “stay”. You now I bet staying with a prostitute for 30 days could get quite expensive!

So poor Stephen seems to be in the shitehouse even though most Canadians seem to love him and give him free rein to pull our country apart. Just imagine if Mr. Harper had of been a Big “S” Separatist in the 70’s. He would have ensured that Quebec would not only be a separate country by now but American to boot!
He would he have had his head up George Bush’s ample butt during the “Bush” years- as well as every man and woman in America.

I may just cry. Such an opportunity missed.

Good Gosh Steve- what would happen if Vampires wanted equality and were able to marry Humans- if they so choose. That would be the last stake! Mr. Harper’s fangs would show! You know in the same way they do when he talks about women or Mr. Helena Guergis.

When you think about it, Stevie is already a lot like a Vampire. Right now he’s sucking up all the good things that Canada was and is and turning a liberalized, free country- except for guns on the streets, into a far-right country. Good God- can’t someone stop him. If we get any more “far right” we’ll be sitting at the mouth of the Thames. Queen Elizabeth could walk to Canada we’d be so far right.

I say young or not- send Justin Trudeau into the fight. He can’t do any worse that those other guys. He would be something pleasant to look at in the House of Commons and instead of being stuck way in the back he could move forward and be within spitting distance- if Harper was opposition leader. Justin could reminding us daily just who his father was and tell funny stories about his Mother and how she “French kissed” Mick Jagger.


Didn’t she?

I have given you all something to think about.
(Yes I know Vampires aren’t real but it makes for a good Blog, eh?)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ROBLOG # 150

I have had one of those days.

Do you get one of those days occasionally?
The best part is- it’s over now.
The day is done.

But earlier…

First off this morning, I had a call from someone who was amazed by something I had said a day or so ago. Something I had said that came true. That wasn’t so bad but when she started to read a bible verse to me, I couldn’t be sure if she was reading it for my benefit or hers.
I told her it was of no benefit to me.
Heathen that I be.

Those kittens we adopted have turned out to be a bigger problem than we thought. They are little cuties and are only 3 months old but they are having “growing pains”. Right now I am spending a lot of time training them according to house rules-
What is acceptable and what is not.
Soiling on a bed is not acceptable.
I had just cleaned up the mess and was heading downstairs to the laundry room when the phone rang again.

This time it was livelier conversation and a tad more interesting than the first. It was from a “kindred spirit”.
No, it was not Anne of Green Gables.
We discussed something that was close to both our hearts.
Something we both love, only we were a tad upset about something that had happened the evening before.
I can say no more.
It made us feel both angry and a little bit upset.
We decided to have lunch with another friend and together we’d hash it over.
Sounded like fun.

So, around noon, after driving the van to the garage for an oil change, I walked to lunch in the rain.
It was fun- the lunch part not walking in the rain- but our conversation also brought forth a few questions that needed to be answered in regards to the events that unfolded the evening before.
I am purposely being evasive here to protect myself and others.
It sounds like a police report- doesn’t it?
We are hoping to get some answers.

Later in the day after more training and more raining, I got a chance to relax and think. Good thing too. My head was splitting in half.
Fresh air might be the answer, so I leashed the dogs and we strolled the neighbourhood.
What is it about fresh air and a leisurely stroll to put things in perspective?
Don't sweat the small's all small stuff!

By evening, after a day of turmoil, things started to calm down.
Don’t ask me about our bathroom reno that was to be started next month…

Then, to top off the day, I revceived a phone call that brought me some good news.
It was surprizing news.
No, I am not a millionaire but it’s something almost as good!
I will share it soon.

In the meantime, have a great day!

I mean it!

P.S. This is ROBBLOG Number 150. I have written on thsi Blog Site one hundred and fifty times since February. Wow!
I'd say that was an accomplishment of sorts- wouldn't you?

Monday, September 27, 2010


I was re-reading a good book lately and I have discovered some shocking truths about laws.

In today’s world one would believe that these “truths” can’t possibly be real.
But they are Blanche!
But they are!

So let’s pull up our socks and support these important laws. If you’re researching what you read here, I’ll save you some reading time. The gun registry and the Census are not among the topics listed. Mr. Harper may believe he is heading in the right direction but fair warning Mr. H- don't "pet a pig" along the way. There's a terrible truth about law here that could result in- I would rather not say...

So the truths.

For instance, did you realize that here on earth- in Canada specifically, we can keep slaves?
Yup, it’s true.
No one can stop us.
Now, don’t go looking to enslave a fellow Canuk, then force him to wear a loincloth and leg irons and have him cut the grass every second Tuesday to the delight of the neighbours. You see if you must enslave someone, it must be someone from another country. Keeping a tall, muscular Australian or a fine, fit “Greek God” of a man in a little shack down at the end of your garden is just fine and quite within the law as it is dictated.

How many of us love to shop on Sunday or go see a film? It’s a nice thing to do-especially if it’s cold and blustery outsdie. We deserve to be entertained- don’t we?
Yes we do but those helping us enjoy our afternoon really need to be dealt with.
Oh, it’s nothing personal you understand. It’s nothing to do with their level of Customer Service.
It’s not going to be easy.
You see, quite simply, you need to snuff them out for the things they do for you.
Bet you are surprised, eh?
So, go ahead. Shop till you drop or see a film starring Jennifer Aniston- although I can think of a dozen reasons why that is wrong!
Just remember, that one teensey, tiny, glitch that needs to be attended to- you are morally obligated to kill them. I know it doesn’t seem right being a pleasant Sunday afternoon and all but still, I did say it wasn’t going to be easy.

I see you are looking a little scruffy around the ears. Maybe it’s time for a trim- do you think?
Be careful what you wish for. Remove even one follicle from your gorgeous locks and like those poor ticket takers at the cinema- we have to run you through with a sharp instrument and throw your limp body over a cliff.  Yes, it seems harsh but we are only following the law.

Finally, some helpful advice the next time you head out to Red Lobster for a meal.
Think again.
You see eating shellfish is just not cricket. Eating crickets isn’t shellfish either but that’s another rule of thumb that I don’t have time to explain to you right here and now. Just be aware that your shellfish habit- lobster, is not looked upon as such a good thing to do.
There are those that claim it is an absolute abomination.
Yeech! Bleck! Ptooey! Tarnation!
There you have it.
You can’t under estimate the power of ptooey- can you?
As a sidebar here, I should also say that although eating shellfish is wanton and wrong, being Gay or a “national” of the Island of Lesbos is still a way down the chain of foodstuffs.
Now with this "Gay Stuff" I'm talking an absolute abomination!
And I should know.
Disgusting and just plain..unnatural.
No question.
No recourse.

Re-reading that book has certainly changed my comfortable Canadian way of thinking. I am literally looking at many things in a different light now.

Hey! What are you doing on Saturday morning? Join me at the Market for a stoning! You see,
Jerry- a friend of mine planted corn in one half of his field this past spring and potatoes in the other half. His wife-Sue, helped him plant that warm day in late April. I know it may have seemed- to Sue at least, that it was an honest mistake grabbing those polyester work pants and throwing a cotton shirt on up top but people have to pay the price.
I had to tell the authorities.
What else could I do?
We can’t have every Tom, Dick and Harry going around planting willy-nilly and wearing what they damn well please can we?
No of course not.

There you have it.
Please disregard the laws you have been familiar with that have been laid down by “mortal man”and in future refer to the above changes. If you need a refresher- as I did, grab your Bible, dust it off and have a peek at the following:

Slavery is covered in Lev. 25:44

Working on a Sunday is in Exodus 35:2

Getting a haircut is in Lev. 19:27

Lobster for dinner is on the menu in Lev. 11:10

For Gayness prance along to Lev. 18:22

Gardening and Gardening Fashion is planted in Lev. 19:19

Have a good day and remember someone is watching.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sometimes I can be a right little bleeder!

I had to go to a funeral home on Sunday. It was in honour of a family friend that I have known for almost 60 years.
Someone who looked after me when I was just a little guy.
Someone who in many respects was like a second Mother to me.
Someone who never talked down to me.
Someone who always had a good word and a twinkle in her eye.
Someone who- on the odd occasion, had reason to chide me by saying-
“Rob. Be good or I’ll mow you down!”.
Someone who saved me from drowning when I was just a wee tyke.

Here name is Marion Cox.
What an individual!
If anyone were to be chosen to sing in the Angelic Choir way up there- or be a “model” Angel- soon after passing St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, it would be Marion.

When you live to be 90 years of age, friends and family are at a premium. Many have passed on. Many are lost in the cracks of time.
It was a shame. Only about a dozen people paid their respects.
I chatted, laughed and told stories with people I hadn’t seen nor heard from in 40 years.
I never thought I would be old enough to say that!
I even spoke with Bill. A guy that I had once considered to be a “hunk of a man”- at least in my memory of 40 years ago!
However, just not today.
Sorry Bill.
For a guy who had “stomach abs” before “abs” were even popular and arms the size of Dwayne Johnson’s, today proved to me what 40 years of neglect can do to a guy. Oh the arms looked to be still bulging beneath his sport jacket but the jacket was also covering a large bit of a “late-in-the-mid-life-gut”.
He still looked pleasant enough- in his face.
God, I remember how he looked in a Speedo Swim Suit swinging from the rafters in a men’s change room, on the beach at a friend’s house.

W A R N I N G – Naughty Stuff Ahead!!
To be truthful, I saw him “without” the Speedo too. Very impressive as I remember- and I do! His brother was no slouch either in the handsome department- but just not as well “put together”.
But, Rick was nothing to sneeze at either.
It was all a question of size- and not what you think either!
It was Rick I had actually expected to see today but he didn’t show.
After the 2 hours of “viewing”, we were encouraged to stay for the wake.
No beer and pretzels but there was a sermon and praying and Catholic liturgy from a Catholic Deacon- who told us he was married.
I don’t know why. Something about getting home to the “little woman”.

Although I don’t believe all the mumbo-jumbo for one prayerful moment, I stayed for Marion. About a half dozen of us did. Most sat quietly. One mourner even repeated the Catholic rhetoric with the Deacon.
Most only rolled their eyes.
When the Catholic Deacon finished connecting us to Jesus- he had a direct line it seemed- or believed, he asked for us to speak individually.

I went first. I guess I kind of started the show rolling, saying to him:
“Tough House- eh? I’m in theatre and I know. It’s hard to perform when you don't get the laughs!”
Did I stop there?
No. Of course not.
I continued by saying I neither believed in God nor Jesus.
Geeze, don't I love to stir up shite!

I find that in cases like this, the "person in charge" never knows what to say.
I think they say to themselves- "Whuck? A Non- Believer in the crowd. Damn Not on my watch!”
Anyway- at one point, I thought he was going to throw a crucifix in my face and drench me in holy water.
His face "ticked". His eyes did not twinkle. His dimples were not so merry- or Joseph. I think he thought I was the devil and he was being tested.

Then he said to me- “Well we’re not talking about that, we are here to talk about Marion now!”
Well, what was I a dummy? I could see the casket. It was right beside him. So I continued-
“I know.”- I said. “I want to tell you, after an entire life on earth, Marion can finally be who she really is and could never be in this earthly life. She's peaceful now.
She has earned that right as she passes on to the next level.”

He just stared at me. The right side of his lip started to curl up- ever so slightly at the edges. It quivered.
All in a day’s work- I thought.

Have a happy Marion and may a Flight of Angels carry you to your rest!

Friday, September 24, 2010

ROBBLOG # 147 W E E K E N D Edition

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse- they do.

A Municipal Election looms next month here in Orillia as well as many other towns and cities. In the GTA for instance, there’s the phenomenon called “Rob Ford”, who is just about as far right of centre as you can get. He’s kissing babies and kissing ass but please- no pecks with the fellas!
That is both dirty and wrong!
So says- The Gospel According to Stephen Harper- although proroguing is just fine as long as it’s between a man and a woman. When the new Governor General beds down at Rideau Hall, he may have to re-think that one.

Then there’s the question of guns in the streets or at least down on the farm. Now President Harper lost on that one but by Jesus he’s going to keep pattin’ that one on the ass until Canadians get so fed up, they just let the gun registry go, just to shut him up. I mean those farmers and sportsmen have got to be able to shoot something without having to register their weapon and be found out during a shooting investigation.

Imagine the hardship a Police Officer faces when he has to determine where a bullit comes from once it’s dug out of someone’s chest.
Looking in a book to see who owns the gun is just too easy!
Let ‘em earn his keep and guess the gun's ownership!

Now this Hank guy running “four” Mayor. Can it get any worse?
Would you want it to?
Now, I mean that in a kind way, Hank.
Not much experience- except for the “school of life” but it may be better than what we are about to get.
How do you choose between two Italians and a born and bred in Orillia- Orillian. There’s not many of us like Tim Lauer these days.
Sure, people come from all over the place to live in Orillia but alas- unless they are a “Soldier’s Baby” they’re just pissing in the breeze off Lake Couchiching.
They can never consider themselves a “true” Orillian.
We won’t let them.

Hank may not have much to offer- except for his sturdy four-part platform that is winning supporters- both athletic and otherwise, at 10’s of thousands a day.
No, he doesn’t have a Facebook Page or a Twitter account. Hank is doing it the old-fashioned way with simple e-mails, a poster or two and word-of-mouth.
So this Hank guy may be a negative turning into a positive.
Positive what- I don’t know.

So if all this stuff transpires I shouldn’t worry about it. Remember, as I mentioned in a recent Blog there’s the “Rapture” coming soon when the beginning of the end of the world starts to loom on the horizon. Any of these guys and gals who find themselves successful at Municipal Politics won’t even be able to complete their terms.
Can it still get worse?
Of course it can!

For future earthlings, consider that a meteorite might nudge the earth in a few hundred years.
Game over.

Now, today we are being told that nasty solar weather could play havoc with satellite feeds, communication gadgets- like cell phones and iPads and goodness only knows what else, as early as 2010 or 2013.
Isn’t that going to be fun? Y2K all over again, only maybe on a larger scale this time disabling communications around the earth- even airline and shipping navigation systems.
Can it get worse?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


For those of you who started reading my Blog back in February you will remember our precious 10 year old orange tabby-Luma, succumbed to cancer. It was sad.

We still miss her so much but her “spirit” is alive and well. That- in part, is why it has taken Tom and I seven months to decide it was time for another feline presence here in our home- Pine Tree House.

We started looking- casually, a few weeks ago. We looked again this past Saturday at the OSPCA. We are happy to announce we are the “Dad’s” to two beautiful male kittens who just turned three months old on Sunday. The kittens are both orange but one has white paws. His name is “Dickens”. The other is Doyle.

Doyle is named after our Luma. Our Luma’s full name was Luma Doyle. The Doyle part comes from the curiously strange housekeeper on Craggy Island who took care of Father Ted and the boys! Father Ted was a hilarious BBC TV show from 10 years ago. The name Luma came from previous cats- LUcky and MAx.
We like to carry names forward in remembrance of past pets.

A Schnauzer we had several years ago was named Sam, after an Irish Setter by the name of Samantha. Then the Samantha name was “carried” forward again to our present Schnauzer whose full name is “Whiskers Miss Samantha Rose”.
We call her Missy.

It’s respectful and proper to remember past pets. We still miss every single one of them.
They were our “kids”.
We mourned for each of them.

We remember how different each was from the last with separate, distinct personalities. We love and loved them all and hope some day to meet again.
Some day, somewhere, when we too have passed on to our next phase of existence, we’ll climb a grassy rise and there on the other side- in a sunny meadow, we’ll see every one of them again. They’ll all come running towards us. Tails wagging, planting sloppy, wet kisses on our moist cheeks.
You may think it’s a pipe dream but it’s more comforting than what many believe.

So we have Doyle and Dickens. Tom says it sounds like a Law Firm. Already, their little personalities are being established.
Dickens is the talker.
“Meow, Meow, Meow”.
He likes to get at the food bowl first and stand his ground.

Doyle- who appears to be more like Luma, loves to curl up in your arms or on your lap and snooze.
He likes to play with leaves that blow onto the side verandah.
Right now, he’s sitting at my back, in the chair I am typing from.
Doyle-Left. Dickens-Right

Dickens runs from one side of the house to the other and slides under a nearby chair.
He explores- under our watchful eyes, the jungle beneath our perennials.

Last night each of them curled up beside Kiki- our yellow Lab and Missy.
It was warm, fuzzy sight to behold.

By the way at the Orillia OSPCA until the end of September, adoptions are half price.

We brought Doyle and Dickens home for 150 dollars and received 2 free bags of food, 2 bags of litter and more.

It’s a good feeling.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

ROBBLOG #145 1/2

Gee folks! I just don't have time to write something new for you, so enjoy yesterday's Blog- again.

However, I would like to pay tribute to a radio freind- Douglas Johnston, who passed away yesterday September 19th. My first radio job was at CKMP Midland back in 1972. Doug was the afternoon news guy. He was funny, great to work with and had an unmistakeable radio voice. Doug worked for The Jewel in Toronto where he was the afternoon drive announcer. He was only 60 years of age.
"May a flury of Angels guide you to your rest Doug!"

....and now, a repeat blog.

What has happened to good, old, Liberal Toronto.

Polls suggest that “right-winger” Rob Ford is way out in front of closest rival- George Smitherman.
Wake up Toronto!
You vote this guy in and you’ve got a Steven Harper right at your City Hall. He’s so “hetro” there’s a rumour he contemplating the re-design of Toronto City Hall to make its lines “straight” and not curved as the towers now stand.

He’s thinking about taking the CN Tower apart because it looks like a big **** and he would rather see a big ***** in its place.
I hear he’ll call it Flossy or Muffy and model it after a ***** he has at home.
Apparently, Ford has always been a cat-lover.

Now both these items are strictly bits of mindless gossip I’ve heard and pass them along to you for entertainment purposes only. If they sway your vote, then let the future unfold as it should.
Mr. Ford is not a “liberal” minded gent but those citzens- classify that by saying those of you who are going to vote, are in for a rude awakening.
If you are a Gay Man of Woman for instance, Ford doesn’t like “Gay Marriage and you can follow that up with a dislike of the Pride Parade and the millions of dollars it brings to the city every summer.

As a matter of fact, I would suggest- from what I have read, there will be no municipal dollars going towards the Parade or celebration next summer. I daresay Ford will not be the type of Mayor that will ride down Yonge Street straddling a fire truck while shooting his big hose at the crowd. Judging by his “stomach” he probably hasn’t seen his big hose in years anyway.

He has the look of a small town sheriff in some god-forsaken backwater in Lubella, Alberta.
No “Lubella, Alberta is not a real town.
I made that up.
At least I think I did!
Although, I hear they have great weather but are not too Gay-friendly. Gays are routinely rounded up and sent packing back to Church Street in downtown Toronto.
That’s what transpires in “Harper” Territory boys and girls.
The Family that "shoots"
 together "stays" together

By the way, here’s another rumour. Harper- right after he gets the guns back on our streets, plans to re-name Alberta- “Harper Territory”.
Well, it’s only fitting for a dictator of his magnitude.
I wonder why Castro never re-named Cuba- Castroland?

Just kiss your butt for luck, that here in Orillia sanity prevails and all three candidates for Mayor seem pretty open and Gay-friendly. Hey! Maybe the T.O. Pride Parade could move here?

Back to Ottawa on another political note, I believe that once Madam Jean “the Governess General” is kicked out of Rideau Hall, Iggy and Layton and the Bloc will try to get the new GG to kick Harper right back to the Oil Sands. It would save millions in election dollars and it would just be scooping the inevitable that will happen- eventually.

That’s right, after kids are finished shooting one other with “long guns” in the streets of our towns and cities or Jesus drops in un-expectantly from the skies, the Tories will be voted out of power anyway. I hear that Jesus could drop by as early as next May or October, during the “rapture”.

Holy Smokes. The “Rapture”!
That’s got to be another Blog for another time. Wait until you hear all that stuff.
Fires, brimstone, dead-folks getting up and walking the streets.
Christians- both born again and not-born-again, will fly through the skies right into Heaven where they’ll all live in Condos. Truthfully, the Condo’s are just for the white-folk. Everyone else will live over the hill and be neither seen nor heard. The rest of us sinners and any non-Christian folk, get to stay right here, alone, on earth for something like 7 years.
Good Lord! Seven years without the Mormons and the Jehovah’s knocking on our front doors?
The "Rapture"- Look Maw! I'm flying!
Sounds like “Heaven on Earth” to me.

Anyway, Tom Cruise will make it into a 3D Movie sooner or later!

Have a good day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ROBBLOG #144 W E E K E N D Edition

The other night I watched Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge in the classic 50’s western- “Johnny Guitar”.

It has been said that as a movie it is a pure Lesbian romp around the old west. Joan and Mercedes- after all, are the only women appearing in the film- except for a couple of the horses. It’s a Republic Release and in colour. Joan’s lips are scary. They stand out from everything else on the screen, except for a bright, red neck neckerchief she wraps around her neck from time- to-time but the lips win it!

Joan's lips are magnificent and kiss the camera with rubbery kindness.

Mercedes has her moments. Was she a Lesbian in real life? I believe she was. She has a scene where just after she buries her brother- he died of course, she’s off to track down four bank robbers who stole all the town’s money during the funeral. Mercedes gets so caught up in the chase she straps on a gunbelt right over her black dress and jumps on a waiting horse and rides away, veil flapping in the breeze.

Now, without spoiling the ending for you- like that matters, here’s a short version of “Johnny Guitar” from me!

“Hello there”- says Joan dressed in a flowing, virginal-white, chiffon gown, cinched with a tasteful black bow. “What’s your name, Blondie?” she says asking the tall, boot-clad stranger standing in front of her.

“Why it’s Johnny Ma’am.”- says the tall buckskin wearing brute.

“Johnny. Johnny what?”- Joan smiles sweetly as she applies a fresh coat of Max Factor Red number 7 to her pursed lips.

“What?”- says Johnny.

“Yes Darling. What is it?”- Joan asks eagerly as she straightens a coat hanger.

Johnny doesn’t quite follow- “What is what, Ma’am?”

“Oh, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny.”- Joan cries, “Why I mean your name, silly.”- she smiles and pours herself a 4 finger shot of whiskey from the long bar which is supported by huge wooden barrels along it’s length. As she sips the honey-coloured brew, she slaps the straightened hanger hard against her outstretched palm.

“Boy!”- Johnny cries, “That’s a big one!” He points.

“Yes, I was thinking the same thing.” Joan smiles broadly- like a Lesbian at a Victoria Secrets Show, as she glances down at Johnny’s crotch. Her face suddenly turns red as she realizes Johnny is looking down, into her heavily made up Max Factor’s face.

“Oh you mean that!” She points a glossy red nailed finger towards the bar. “That’s called a bar Johnny. It’s my bar in this saloon named after me “Velma's!”

“Wow! She’s a beaut Joannie!”

“Umm. Johnny call me Velma.”

“Johnny is a little confused. “Why?”- he wants to know.

“Because Velma is my character’s name in this movie, silly man-boy.”

“Oh sure. I get it now.”- Johnny hikes up his jeans and sits on a stool at the bar.

“So?”- says Joan…er, I mean Velma.

“So? No. I can’t even knit.” Johnny pours himself three fingers of scotch.

“Oh Johnny for Fuck sakes what’s your full name. First and last?” Velma slaps his fingers with the metal hanger.

“Oh that. Ouch! It’s Johnny. Johnny Guitar.”- He licks his fingers. The whiskey had sloshed over the edge of his glass as Velma swatted his fingers brutally with her hanger.

“Stop that this Instant!”

“Oh fine!”- says Velma, “It’s miss pure and lovely. The one and only Emma Small.”

“Why don’t you pull your big red lips over your ugly puss and swallow yourself to death!”- Emma says in her usual fine form, as she pushes through the swinging half-doors.

“Yes, well Emma, why don’t you take three of those pudgy, strong, thick fingers of yours and shove them hard, right up my...”

“Whiskey?”- says Johnny Guitar as he grasps the bottle’s long neck, making a pouring action.

“Oh. Yes. That would be lovely.”- Emma’s brow emits a single line of perspiration.

“Well, aren’t you the lucky one. Johnny pours whiskey like a pro. That’s why they called him ‘Whisky Boy’ back in Albadoo.”

“Albadoo?” Emma is puzzled.
“Ya- Albadoo. A little armpit of a town just outside Calgary.”

Johnny nodded. He seemed proud of his Albadoo.

“I got a bone to pick with you Miss Velma- you tramp. I’m a giving you 24 hours to close this hotel and vamoose to somewhere where they accept your kind.” Emma sounded mad and upset.

“How dare you. You little rapscallion!” Velma is pissed and not on the whiskey. “Just get your small Emma’s ass….”

Emma quickly corrects her- “That’s Emma Small’s ass.”

“Fine! Emma Small’s ass, back out that door and onto your horse and get out of my sight. Out of my bar and out of my life you big dyke!”
Emma smashes her glass against a nearby piano and screams as she heads for the door-

Velma stares at the closed door for a moment. Then she turns back to Johnny sitting at the bar. “Wow. I am so sorry about that Johnny.”

“About what?” Johnny is dumb and founded.

“Oh never mind. Just never, never mind you big, huge, broad-backed hulk of a man.”

She pauses for a second.

“May I call you Betty?”

“Uh-huh. Sure. You keep this glass full Miss Velma and you can strip me naked, slap my ass till it’s raw and you ride me round and round this room till my kneecaps bleed”.

Velma smiles. “Yahoo”- crosses her mind.
“Bizarre”- she thinks.

Her huge, red, Max Factor lips shimmered in the movie lights. As she shivered with……

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Did you hear that Hank is running for Mayor?

Only he says “Hank four Mayor”.
He tells me he has only “four” proposals for his campaign and hence the “four Mayor” bit.
He phoned me yesterday. I thought he wanted another script revision for “A Chatty HANKmuss” that plays the Stubley auditorium for four performances on December 11 and 12th.

“No Shur, the schript is jusht fine”- he tells me on the phone. “I jusht want to tell you shat I am running for Mayor.”

“What?” I couldn’t believe my ears.

“Shure. Itsh going to be shuch fun.” He says with excitement in his voice.

“Well good luck with that.”

“Gheesh Rob, I don’t need any more luck. I got luck coming out of my ash shum daysh.”

“I’ll say you have.”

He hangs up.

Hank sent me an e-mail as a follow up to our telephone conversation. He’s got quite a team assembled- including Lottie who is his campaign manager/press secretary. Lottie pulled me aside yesterday, upon seeing me at lunchtime over at Angelo’s “Picnic Restaurant” on Memorial Avenue-

“Oh Gosh yes, Hank’s got it all sewed up pretty well. He’s a definite possibility for a “write in mayoral candidate”. Lottie is excited. Her eyes are sparkling through lenses encased in multi-coloured frames.

“I thought the nomination process was closed a couple of days ago.”- I questioned.

“Oh Hell’s Bells. A day late- a dollar short!”

I stated that of course, knowing that one should never consider stating a fact with Lottie-
or any question wherein you’re not prepared for a surprising answer! One should always let Lottie lead the conversation. Believe me. It’s easier- and infinitely safer!

“Won’t that be difficult? Not being a “legal entity”? I mean- as far as being a candidate for mayor is concerned?”- I added quickly.

Lottie chimed right in- “Oh Land’s Sakes, no. It’s a free country last time I looked. Well ‘cept for what that Harper fella’s trying to do up there by Ottawa. No, that Hank’s got a good head on his shoulders, that’s for sure. He know’s which side the butter is on. Even my husband Lars understands where he’s coming from.”

“Well good luck to him. Seems to me like he’s cramming a lot in this fall, what with his Christmas Show in rehearsal and now his running for Mayor.”

“Now you listen here!”- She points a rigid finger in my face. “That boy Hank can run rings ‘round every last one of them at City Hall. Heck you could light the rings on fire and he would still run round ‘em!”


“Now that’s a deep subject!”

She spins on the heels of her rubber boots, her Mariposa Market bag swinging this way and that at her side. She’s gone in a flash!

“See ya later sunshine!” A backwards wave of her hand and she’s out the door to her pickup.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Remember the year 2000?

Remember 1990?
In 1990 the year 2000 seemed a long way off. Now the year 2000 is a distant memory.
Kids who are now 10 years old won’t remember the year.

Heck, the only thing I remember on the eve of 2000 is watching New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Sydney, Australia wondering if the lights would go out at midnight.
Remember Y2K?
Computers apparently were not programmed to recognize “00”.
So in the few months leading up to the year computer specialists were reprogramming the world’s big computers so the lights would stay on.
They did of course.

So why am I reminiscing about 2000?
As I was making a pot of tea- Sainsbury Gold Leaf Tea from Sainsbury’s in England, I noticed a logo on the side of the tin read “2000- A New Millenium”.
As I stood there waiting for the water in the kettle to boil, it felt a little unreal.
Where the Hell did the last decade go? Three months from now we enter 2011 and another new decade.

If I pause and try to remember that certain September- as the song says, I come up empty-minded. I know for a fact in July of that year 2000, I would have turned 49.
Now, ten years later that would make me…
Stop using your fingers and just leave it alone.
No, I mean it- please.
Thank you.

Eyes on the Blog!

I believe in the fall of that year 2000, I was enrolled in voice lessons with Eileen Death. Then in January I auditioned for a show with Mariposa Arts Theatre called “Oh, Really, Orillia”.
What a great show! A staple of the spring entertainment scene in Orillia. Sadly, “Oh, Really, Orillia is no more. Now MAT uses the spring for their major musical. “Oh Really” used to be the money-maker that allowed the huge Broadway musicals to be presented.
An expensive process.
I believe a show such as “Hello Dolly” set MAT back $6000- just for the rights to perform the show.

As for “Oh Really” I guess I tried to do my own version with the Garage Door Players and shows such as “The Gospel According to…LIFE” and “Just a Few of Us”. Even this year’s presentation of “A Chatty HANKmuss” come December is a revue in a sense. Various characters and performers who have come together under my Garage Door Players’ umbrella to perform a light-hearted comedy- in two acts.

Enough about that- for now, since I have written two Blogs about the show- and Hank, within one week.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly.

Fah-Lah-Lah-Lah.... (screetch to a sudden halt)… Whuck?
Yes, it’s Christmastime in Rob’s head and has been for a couple of weeks now.
Why for holly sakes?

I have just finished writing and casting a Christmas show.
“Oh!”- you say.
“Yes!” – I reply.

“Now I see”- you nod knowingly.

It’s Hank’s second annual- last year being the first annual, Christmas Holiday Spectacular.
A “bevy” of guests with all sorts of buffoonery and all manner of holiday fun and music!
“Buffoonery?”- you ask.

“It’s Hank!”- I say.

“That explains it!”- you titter and tee hee to yourself.

This year the big difference- from last year’s A Very Merry HANKmuss, is The Garage Door Players- including all things Hank, have joined with Couchiching Jubilee House to present this Holiday spectacular! Proceeds from ticket sales go to Couchiching Jubilee House. A worthy cause as are all causes at this festive time of the year. I believe that’s part a line from a Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.

To explain consider me the Ghost of Christmas Past.

A year ago last May Gill Tillman at CJH, asked me to direct the Dicken’s show at St. Andrews. I did. I changed things around a bit- as is my want, adding a tableaux- along with the readers- and volia! It was a beautiful Christmas Evening on December 20th.

Now, to the Ghost of Christmas Present.

This past May, Gill called me again, only this time to ask me, to ask me to ask Hank, if he would consider doing a Christmas Show instead of Charles Dickens.
I think Hank reading Dickens would be a hoot but that was not the request!
The request from Gill was for an all-new Hank Show.
What a great honour!
Subbing for Chuck.
A new show, written by me- performed by Hank and a few friends! I told Hank- and Gill, that I needed the summer to think about it. In August I wrote most of a show. I sat on it a bit and decided- I didn’t like it.
Then, one day while dusting the mantelpiece, a thought flashed across my brain like Hailey’s Comet!
Why not have Hank as the M.C. of his own talk show- on Television no less!
He could have guests. Talk to the audience and welcome in the Holiday Season- very warmly and with a few laughs.

I went over to Hank’s place in late August and passed the script by him.
He loved it!
Of course, Hank’s Mother grumbled that once again she was not “starring” in the show let alone appearing in it. Soon after, she locked herself in the upstairs’ bath and threw things at the walls.
A few minutes later she came flying down the stairs and ran out the front door, slamming it heavily as she left.
Apparently, she almost missed her Bingo.
Here, I thought she was heaving bath salts around because she had been omitted from the script but she was just in a hurry after suddenly remembering it was Thursday and “wild card” bingo night.

The Show is called “A Chatty HANKmuss” and plays the Stubley Auditorium on December 11th and 12th, Two shows each day at 2PM and 7:30PM.
Tickets go on sale soon. Group bookings are welcomed.
This “fundraiser” will sell out early so don’t miss a great evening of Yuletide Fun!

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


For one moment I thought my Eric- Alexander Skarsgard, was toast!

But he rose from the pit of mushy cement- thanks to Pam, and he lives to “bite” again. Only next season.
It was the season finale of “True Blood”. It was pretty good only not one of the “boys” had their shirts off.
A waste? Yes.

Wouldn’t Eric- who rose from a “thickening” death, at least rip his soggy shirt to shreds. He was covered in cold, wet cement that had not yet hardened.
The cement, I mean.
Don’t get ahead of me here.
The grey goo was dripping from his hair, his earlobes, his fingertips, his…
As Pam remarked “I’ll never get this cement out of my hair!”
Oh but Eric, how I would like to help you try!
And scene!
Fantasy finished.

What of Bill? He’s killing one and all who have tasted Sookie’s “Fairy” blood.
Eric- "Va-Va-Voom"
Apparently he will love her until he finds “true” death.
Just another day in Bon Temps.

I wasn’t totally in love with season three.
Too many characters.
Too much gore.
Story lines that were way, way out there.
Too many hillbillies.
Too much of Tara- crying, screaming, being tied up, screaming, having sex with Sam- and yes, screaming.

Hoyt surprised red-haired Jessica with a cute, little house and has promised to build Jessica a “hidin’ hole” and to paint the kitchen, living room and more.
Young Love?
Vampire and Human?
He even wants to marry her.
Will they have children? I’m not sure if that is even possible in this Vampire Story.

Now, sadly, all of us “True Blooders” have to wait for almost another year for Season Four.
Life “bites” at times-
But it goes on.

Now, some “numbers” courtesy of the Orillia Fall Fair. We travelled to the 160th Orillia Fall Fair Sunday.
It was about a 15 minute trip to ODAS Park in West Orillia.
We paid 14 bucks admission for the 2 of us.
There were- maybe, a few 100 people there.
200 goats. 50 rabbits. 7 or 8 Midway rides.
We saw the whole fair in 10 minutes.
A plate of french fries- home made, on the midway were $4.50. They were nicely done. Hot and tasty- not hot and healthy.
We heard the Rugby Boys about 3ish.

We took the opportunity to speak with mayoral hopeful Angelo Orsi. A sincere man. A handsome man, with a responsible mandate, a blueprint for success- his literature reads. When I asked if it was true that he was totally responsible for developing West Ride, he said he was perhaps 95 % responsible.
He was modest.
He has some great ideas for downtown, which should have been implemented 30 years ago- maybe more.

Then, we listened to a group called “Sudden Detour” at 3:30 ish. While singing the Beatles’ hit “Ticket to Ride”, the lead singer forgot the words. The music was right in front of him.
Then, we made a “sudden detour” as did the pumpkins and squash as they rolled themselves out the door to the fresh air, sunshine and quiet.

That station that plays “Jesus Music” was there, blasting out the religious-flavoured pop hits they programme. I thought it was strange- not just the music, I was thinking of how much Sundays have changed. Years ago the fair couldn’t even open legally on a Sunday, let alone see a religious-based radio station there blasting out the “Top 10 on the Jesus Chart”.

We left the fair trying to keep it all in perspective. While walking through the field to where the van was parked, we realized it was just a real, old time country fair- nothing more, that’s been around for over a century and 1/2.
We scraped the cow shit off our shoes, got into the van and drove away stopping by Wal*Mart on the way home, dropping 52 bucks!

Have a good one.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Strange and weird things in our world.

There was a story about eating human body parts. Apparently it’s legal in Germany as long as the relatives don’t mind.

“Say Gran, do you mind if my friend Billy here takes a chomp out of your right leg. He’s feeling a bit peckish?”

The story I read said that some restaurants were engaging Doctors to supply them with the main course- again if the family doesn’t mind.
I find that hard to believe.

Here’s a picture.
Take a good slice of human liver. Throw it in a pan with a mess of onions. Cook until lightly browned.
The thought of it actually makes me feel queasy. Seeing a plate of it would make me….
The word “gag” comes to mind.
Thinking about “chowing” down on horse or dog makes me feel the same way.

When I pass little bunnies stretched out on pink Styrofoam dishes wrapped in plastic in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, I tell myself that it’s just a slice of meat that just happens to look like little Peter Rabbit- even though I can plainly see its tiny legs both front and back, frozen in time as it Flopsy was about to hop a hurdle. There’s nothing on the tray above the neck but I get the picture.
How about those cute little piggies that are on display at the CNE every year. The “Farm” exhibit shows the piglets from birth to “this one’s going to market the day after the EX closes!”
Now I “likes” my bacon, sausages and ham but if I lingered too long and really thought that this particular pig would be wrapped in Maple Leaf packaging in a few weeks, I could turn “veggie” in a moment. However, like most “meat-eaters”, I simply think about how sweet those little piglets look in a little pink bunch, snorting and dashing here and there, curly piggy tails-a- wagging. I never once allow my brain to picture them hanging on cold, steel hooks in a refrigerated room.

Susan Boyle- Human?
It’s one thing to eat humans but quite another to upset one. Ms. Boyle was about to sing on some silly “reality” show when Lou Reed told the show’s producers he would not give the approval required allowing Miss Boyle to sing one of his songs.

“Ach, I be needin’ to warble a Luh Reed song ‘cause ‘am Sussie Boyle”

“Like Hell you will”- says a selfish Reed who keeps his own to his own, “what if you fuck it up like Wild 

“Do yuh mean to say I’m “Own me Own” Luh?”

“Yes and you ruined that song too!”

On the other hand, what if Miss Piggy was dying to sing one of Mr. Reed’s compositions?
Or Kermit, for that matter.
Would they be turned down too?

Now, what comes to mind first is why Susan Boyle felt compelled to sing a Lou Reed song in the first place. So the answer was no and in true Susan Boyle fashion- according to what I read, she started to cry. She couldn’t stop- Mr. Reed’s refusal had upset her so much, she drove to the airport and bought herself a ticket home to Great Britain.
Now Girlfriend, that’s a Diva in the making!
The song “Wild Horses” on her first CD release is not one of her finest moments- nor are a couple of other cuts but she’s the “star”- not me and she can sing and record whatever she wants, except, apparently, a Lou Reed song.

The heats been turned down in Florida.
Well, it’s September after all.

You see, that “faithful” man of the cloth from the “Church of the Ascending Dove”- or some name like that, has decided he won’t be toasting marshmallows over a few flaming copies of a religious book on the weekend. This Pastor- who’s belief is such that God and he are like “this”, also thinks his heart’s in the right place.

He knows his wallets in the right place or at least the collection basket, for now he has had his 15 minutes of flame.
I meant “fame”.

But has the hub-bub he created over the past few days worth it?
I mean God created an entire universe in practically the same time.
Was the discontent worth it?
Perhaps he got a call from Oshawa Bin Laden.
A threat is worth a thousand words after all.
See Pastor, being in the book- not the good book, even Oshawa knows how to use 411 on the Internet.

Even that most righteous of all right-leaning Canadians- The Prime Minister, shook a chubby digit at him-

“Stop!” says Steven waggling that index finger in the direction of Florida, “Someone is going to get all fired up over this!”

So, Pastor What’s-Your-Name, I hope you got enough fuel to “fire” a book or at least an appearance on Oprah or Larry King out of this caper.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Sometimes I get so tired of living right next door to you-know-who.

No. Not Barrie.
The other next door “neighbour”. The big one.

Oh there are tons and tons of good things about the big one such as great weather, movies, stores, famous people and music but I get so tired of them always thinking of us as being north- and cold.
Year round.
Look at a map. There are many states farther north than us. Why here in Central Ontario, we are on the same level as southern Washington State. Then travel to Windsor in Southwestern Ontario and you discover you’re “on par” with Northern California.
Get out of town!
No really!

I do delight in pointing that out to our friends “west” of us. Usually they don’t believe me like a couple from Wisconsin we met at Florida’s northernmost border a few years back. When I told them all of their state was farther north than where we lived in Ontario- they just looked at each other and said- “It can’t be!”

I get weary of watching Canadians- or ex-pat Canadians, being interviewed with never a mention of their Canadian Heritage. Such was the case when I watched "Strombo" interview Mr. Famous Person recently.
Once I almost met him at Pearson Airport.
Sort of.
I was employed by a well-known airline.
This one particular morning I was working the First Class check-in position. As I read through the computer printouts alerting me to “celebrities” and “people of importance” who I would be assisting that particular morning, I came across a "Famous" name. In the “notes” section it said I would have to fill out Mr. Famous Person's Immigration Card and make arrangements to have him escorted to the departure gate.
Can’t he write?
Can’t he walk?
I had never had to fill out an Immigration or Canada Customs form for anyone unless they needed help due to physical limitations or language difficulties. I approached the Supervisor and told him that he had better remove me from that position because I was not there to help the “likes” of Mr. Famous Person fill out a form simply because he was Mr. Famous Person.
I was removed.

I haven’t liked Mr. Famous since. Watching that interview and how un-Canadian he has become was mildly interesting. If George tried to bring the conversation back to a Canadian viewpoint or topic, Famous quickly steered it back home to the most spectacular, fun-loving and powerful nation on earth.
Oh yes, a target for international terrorism too- not to
mention that Christian Church in Florida planning to burn the religious teachings of the very people that terrorize them.
Ummm. I think I would re-think that bonfire.

Then, recently I watched Kim Cattrall being interviewed on a Brit chat show last week- Jonathan Ross, and she just breezed by being Canadian- as she was at one time, yet she gushed about living in New York City.
She was born in Liverpool and moved here when she was 3 months old. She did her schooling here. She had Canadian/British citizenship until 2008 when she became- yes, one of them.
Put Kimmy back in Canada, interview her and she can’t tell you enough about how much she loves Canada and being Canadian- past tense, and her homeland blah-blah-blah.

Now, for some examples of spelling that because of the internet and related products- as well as proximity to “that country”, are becoming the “norm” here at home.

Sidebar: I pause here to point to the built-in “.com” button on my iPad.
Dot com is International language- like English, I suppose.

Here are some words and Canuk spellings we are loosing.
Centre not center
Colour not color
Theatre not theatre
Cheque not check- although check as in a “restaurant check” is still check.
Flavour not flavour
Neighbourhood not neighbourhood
Programme not program
There are more.
Oh yes. I also don’t get “about” but let’s just keep saying it the way we do to
be “different”.
Because that is what we are as Canadians.
Different…and I like it.

Have a great day and kiss a Beaver!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ROBLOG # 137

It was about three weeks ago now.

I was reading a great book called “Swimsuit” by James Patterson. Have you read it?
One of the fastest reads ever.
Mr. Patterson really knows how to keep the chapters and events moving ahead like a speeding locomotive.
The way in which he has written this book, reminds me of sharks in a feeding frenzy.
Wish I could write like that. But I can’t.
At least I don’t think I can.

So, there I sat in my favourite chair clutching the paperback in both hands- totally immersed in the dialogue and plot, when the phone rang. It was on the side table right next to me.
I must have jumped three feet out of my skin!
It was a murder mystery after all…
Once my heart started beating normally again and I was able to pick up the phone on the last ring and mutter-

“Sho what are you up to today my schpeshial buddy?”

Oh no. It was Hank.

“Nothing much.”- I countered. “You?”
I was almost afraid to ask the question.

“Oh I wash jushht shinking?”- says Hank. He sounded so philosophical. “You know I had shuch fun lashht year doing that Chrishtmuss Scho, that I got to shinking..”

“Uh Oh Hank. You know your Mother hates it when you get to thinking. It always costs her money!”

Hank sputtered. “Oh for peetsh shake Rob. Schee’s the farshest thing from being poor that I’ve ever sheen. Cripshes. Shee winshs big at bingo all the time.”

“OK. if you say so.”- I said, “What can I do for you Hank?”

“Ash I shed, I wash shinking and I started shinking about doing a new Chrishmuss Scho and best of all Rob, I want you to write the scho for me!”

I grasped the chair-tightly, with my free right hand. I’m sure the veins in my forehead were popping out all over the place. “Hank, are you sure. It’ll cost you?”

Hank was straight-forward in his response. “Schucks Rob, you know Mother is flusch and schee’d do anything to schutt me up.”

“I can understand.”- I say.

“What was schatt, Rob”- Hank asks- although I am sure he heard me.

I grovelled- “I said…. I can stand to make some money.”

“Dats what I scought you said old Buddy. old pal. Can you have me schumthing in a few weeksh.”

“I paused for a moment so as not to sound too needy- “Three weeks? Oh, I believe so.”

“Dats great, scho, I’ll be talking to you Rob.”

He hung up.

Now three weeks later I have a script before me called “A Chatty HANKmuss” in which Hank is the host of a talk show and presents a bevy of guest stars on stage. Some of the bevy are quite “normal”. Some are quite “quirky”.
The show plays at the Stubley Auditorium on December 11 and 12.
The committee at Couchiching Jubilee House has stepped up to the mistletoe and promises to shower Hank with warm Christmassy thank you’s if he can help them raise some much-needed funds.

Tickets will go on shale….er, sale shortly.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Buh-Bye Summer.

Summer flies away fast enough. We didn’t need help from Hurricane Earl to move it along. Now a couple of new storms are on the horizon and that will play with the weather patterns. I believe I read somewhere that this season would be harsh.

Now that we’ve flipped the calendar to September, will things be quieter around the sunshine city? Probably not. I don’t think we really notice the influx of tourists, “fluxing” off back home after Labour Day. It still seems busy. Just try to get up to Wal*Mart or Home Depot in a few minutes. Now with the College and University students back in town, 4000 students seamlessly replace tourists.

It’s a real change from the Orillia I knew as a kid. In the 50’s and early 60’s, Orillia was crammed with people and traffic on Hwy 11 and 12. Both wound their way through downtown in those days. With just one or two traffic lights, intersections were hellish to drive through. Traffic would line way up Coldwater Road, Laclie Streets and Front Street-South and North, as vacationers travelled through Orillia to go north into Muskoka or south to Toronto.

Recently, a friend suggested we stand on the bridges along Hwy 11 on Labour Day Monday to wave “Buh Bye” to the tourist as they leave and we settle down and enjoy a slower pace during fall and winter. She suggested we might even say “Buh-Bye” with signage that says “See you next Summer” as well as “Buh Bye” and “So Long”. I think most drivers and passengers would simply “sign” back- See you next weekend!
It never stops these days.

On another topic, I am occasionally asked how many people read this blog. I have always answered- “How should I know?” Then last week I was reading some of the “how to” topics regarding this blogsite and I see a tab that says “stats”.
I clicked on the tab and there in front of my eyes on my computer screen is a series of tabulations.
Numbers that showed me how many people read the blog yesterday.
How many read the blog last week.
Last month.
Tabulations were there that took me back to the days when I began the blog last February.
I was “gob-smacked!”

Then, further down the page a list of countries where people live who read Rob Reid Online.
Most from Canada but others from Germany, Australia, England, France and Turkey.
Turkey? I couldn’t believe that high number. People in Turkey read my blog?
Now it might just be one or two people who return to my blog site- but still Turkey? I was surprised and if you are reading this blog right now Turkey, Australia or Germany, I say thank you and welcome mate!
Oh yes- any good recipes for leftover turkey?
Just thought I would ask.
Turkish Men

The numbers show me that a few thousand pages have been read.
I wonder if I am under surveillance?
I wonder if I am checked out regularly- along with other bloggers, in case I say things that are damaging to my country.
Does the PMO start the day with RobBlog?
Hello Steven!

As I continued to browse through “stats”, I noted that other pages such as Swisssh Radio, Dame Clare and “We get Mail” is viewed as well.
I am surprised.
Friends and people about town make comments about the blog but I never knew it was read around the world.

They like me. They really like me!

Me and Sally Field.

Buh Bye!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

ROBBLOG #135 W E E K E N D Edition

A week ago someone broke limbs, snapped off trunks and generally decimated many young trees at Veteren's Park on the Lake Couchiching waterfront.

All the snapped trees and limbs were within an area bounded by the Legion to the north and to the Lakefront Condo on the south.

Almost smack-dab in the centre you will find the cement hills and gullies of the place where kids- mostly males, gather to ride their rollerboards.

Garbage is strewn everywhere. Language is loose and "foul" and last week as I passed by, a trio of boys were removing huge concrete stones that contain the earth in the emaciated flower and shrub beds surrounding the smooth cement surface.

I have said many times before that this "place" needs to be scrapped. Take a sledgehammer and bust it out of existence. But still it lingers.

I don't know for sure if the trees were broken apart by the "little darlings" that hang there but it's a likely prospect.  If the culprits are found, maybe a back-breaking summer of weeding flower beds and scrubbing interlocking brick pathways would cure them of the need to destroy.
Like that would ever happen.

So for this weekend, in honour of those little trees that beautified our park, I offer you a fable from
The Story Lady. She regularly appears in her own column on the Swisssh website.

Once upon a time there were two boys.

They were not brothers but they called each other “bro”.
They laughed together, ate together and rode their bicycles together. Sometimes, they even showered together.Sometimes with Father Cleary from St. Angus of the Broken Vial.
However, that’s a “bromance” story for another place and time.

One late summer evening as the sun set in the western sky, the boys were riding their bikes through the park. They were looking for some “action”.
You know, something interesting to do.
Something quite scandalous.
Something that would allow them to teeter on the edge of good and bad, black and white even Heaven and Hell.

“Hey!”- said Beetle- the nickname for one of the bros, “look at those stupid trees there lining the pathways. We should do something to those trees!”

“Hey Beetle!”- says Bog- for that was the other boy’s name, “I agree. Let’s do some dirt.
Let’s smash all the branches off those trees and break their tiny little trunks in two!”

“Great. We can throw the branches all over the pathway and people on their scooters and rollerblades will get caught up and trip and fall in the branches.”- added Beetle.

"You know what would be really funny Beetle?”- laughs Bog.

“What?”- says Beetle with a smirk.

“We could urinate all over the branches and the tree stumps!”

“That’s a great idea!” Beetle had had the feeling he needed to urinate ever since he drank that root beer at the Big Burger an hour ago.

So the “bros” broke the trees, threw the branches on the pathway and urinated all over them.
The next day when people walking in the park saw the destruction, they were exceedingly sad.

Two weeks later Beetle and Bog were riding their bicycles through another section of the park. As they pedalled, heavy clouds moved over the afternoon sun and it started to pour rain. They took refuge under a huge oak. The western sky grew even darker and more threatening. Suddenly, a bolt of lightening flashed down from the sky and overturned the magnificent tree, right onto the “bros”- who were crouched there waiting out the storm's fury.

I just love happy endings- don’t you?

The End.