Saturday, December 29, 2018

ROBBLOG #762- Time's a Bitch

In an unpretentious Manor House on the better side of town, Bitchwych- the Butler/Manservant, is about to be in conversation with his Master- James. James- Your Grace, is Lord of the Manor and is quite comfortable in life and monetary matters. Bitchwych has been his faithful servant and confident for decades. Our story takes place in the space and time between Christmas and New Years. In the Library the fourteen foot tall spruce still stands, lit by more than 1000 white lights. It is quite Gay. James is seated comfortably at his walnut desk enjoying a hot cocoa when Bitchwych enters the room...

Bitchwych: Sir, is there anything else you require as I must leave only to endure the long lineups at the market before it closes.

James: Oh. No. I don't believe so Bitchwych. Such an awful ordeal you having to stand in line at the grocers with all those common folks about. I really do feel quite sorry for you. Is there not another way Bitchwych?

Bitchwych: Not if you care to eat Your Grace, over the remainder of the Holiday Season.

James: Oh right! Of Course. One must eat. Carry on Bitchwych.

Bitchwych: Very good Sir. He is about to leave the Library when...

James: I say Bitchwych, what day is this? Saturday?

Bitchwych: No, Your Grace. It is Friday. Saturday is on the morrow.

James: Not Thursday?

Bitchwych: Um. No Sir, Your Grace, Thursday was yesterday, so I presume today would be Friday?

James: Oh. Not Saturday?

Bitchwych: I don't believe so Sir. For Saturday is yet to come- a day away.

James: Oh Gosh. I must be a might twisted. Darn Holidays, they do it to me every year. Let me see if I am understanding this boondoggle. Today is not Saturday?

Bitchwych: Correct Your Grace.

James: And yesterday was Thursday?

Bitchwych: Being as today, this very day is Friday, I would have to agree with that statement Sir.

James: Then being Saturday tomorrow, it leaves me to conclude- with your remarkable assistance, that today is indeed- Friday!

Bitchwych: Alas, I tell you without reservation that this is so. We live and breathe on this very day- a Friday!

James: Well, then. ~he pauses looking into the mug holding the hot cocoa~ It is what it is.

Bitchwych: I am afraid that it appears so Your Grace. Would there be anything else before I depart for my marketing chores?

James: No, I do not believe so Bitchwych. You- as usual, have answered my query.

Bitchwych: Happy to do so Your Grace. I leave you to enjoy your afternoon and of course your hot cocoa.

James: Yes. Thank you Bitchwych. You are most accommodating as is your usual way. I appreciate your time and thoughts on the matter. I do so hope I have not wasted your time.

Bitchwych: Well Sir, if I cannot waste my time with Your Grace what indeed is the reason for continuing on or the entire Holiday Season for that matter?

James: Indeed and well said Bitchwych. Enjoy your afternoon.

Bitchwych: And you, yours- Your Grace.

With that Bitchwych left the Library and His Grace knowing fully that His Grace had not only wasted his time but now yours- Dear Reader, as well. Note to one's self. Stop watching shows produced by the BBC.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

ROBBLOG #761- Another year. Another Christmas Season.

Who woulda thunk it?

18 years past the worry of Y2K and we’re still here, relatively in one piece.
Wars, strife, political nonsense and global warming are still with us. What will the future bring?
In “westernized” countries things are changing. Many have lost common sense it would seem.
Then, throw in the fact we’re all getting older day by day...

I know what you’re thinking- “What kind of a bloody Christmas Greeting is this?”
It’s just that these days it’s hard not to think about the next 30 years- or less, not to mention the present.
Like the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be- it’s a pain in the buttocks when you think about it-
Life’s a bitch and then you expire.
We all have an expiry date.
Some sooner than others.

The thing is, we all have to make the most of the time we have left on this earthly plane and Christmas and the Holiday Season
is one of the best ways to make the most of life and living. It offers the opportunity to re-charge our batteries to prepare for
the year ahead.
Who the Hell knows what that will bring?
I don’t and I am pretty sure you don’t- although we can all surmise...

Here on Vancouver Island life continues. Tom and I have met oodles and oodles of new people.
In the past week we have entertained more than 60 of them in our new home- Palm Villa.
These are people who have made room for us in their lives since we arrived on this Island one year
and four months ago.
We are grateful to one and all.

Jude trying on a new pair of readers
Along with new friends and neighbours in our life, we have also been left to deal with the passing of old friends and family members. I still find myself wanting to pick up the phone a couple of times a week to hear my Cousin Judy’s voice and infectious laugh.

Tante Kristel left us a few months ago. She lived a “life” in Berlin, Germany. Her jokes and laughter will always echo in our heads. I will never forget her stories of Berlin during in WW II and how they had to live under Nazi rule.

I miss Sue e-mailing now and then to ask me- “Is Swisssh off the air?”
“No”- I usually replied. “Just refresh your page or maybe re-boot your computer.”

At our house, we still enjoy the love from Koko- Our Mini Schnauzer and Dickens our orange and white tabby. We are still expecting to hear that our Orange Cat Doyle- Dicken’s Brother, has been found in Winnipeg. Possibly he’s been living with a nice family who had taken him in after he jumped from our RV- Priscilla, a year ago August. Some days, we give up all hope, then, other days the glimmer grows to a bright light when we see an orange cat on the Winnipeg Lost and Found Cats Facebook Page.
As with every Christmas, we remember all our four-legged family members: Samantha, Max, Lucky, Luma, Samantha II and Kiki- our special Yellow Lab who passed at 17 years of age, five years ago now.

Our biggest heartbreak this year was saying goodbye to our precious little Schnauzer- Missy.
Whiskers Miss Samantha Rose.
Her full name.

Missy left us on the Sunday following Labour Day. We reluctantly sent her on her journey over the Rainbow Bridge. She passed in our arms. Free from pain and discomfort now.
There were many tears and huge sobs. She was such a sweetheart and she tried so hard to stay with her Dad’s in her new house on Vancouver Island.
I have to stop now...

Our Home in Duncan in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is roomy and very comfortable. We have more than 1200 square feet of extra room in this new home than Pine Tree House afforded us back in Ontario. Last Christmas we had just settled in and were still unpacking boxes and getting to know the community or at least finding our way to the 49th Parallel- an Island Grocery Store.

Our yard is now landscaped and gardens planted.
We have two Palm Trees, two Magnolias, various grasses, three or four banana plants, a yucca cane and other evergreen plants indigenous to the Cowichan meaning- “Warm Land”.

In the past two days there is snow on top of Mount Prevost which we see from our Lanai. It’s very pretty and about as close to snow as we get here in this Mediterranean Climate. Temperatures are mild and moderate. It’s not tropical but only two days ago it was 14c. Our overnights are about 4 or 5 degrees Celsius Occasionally, we get a brisk evening and we see a light frost on rooftops but that’s about it.

At this special Holiday Time of the year, Tom and I want to wish you all the best.
Warm Christmas wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season with your family and friends.

Those of you who were friends and neighbours over the past 25 years in Orillia, Ontario and before that in Mississauga, Ontario are missed, as are colleagues in both the Broadcasting and the Airline Industries.
We may be three time zones and thousands of miles away but we will never forget you. Some have already made the trip out west to our Island Paradise. We had over a half dozen visits from Easterners this past year alone.
Others are thinking about coming. Some even considering a move- like ours.
Our advice?
Tom and I would say to you to “make the change”.
The Island’s fine. Weather is too!
It’s a nice life here on our Island and a change like this feels remarkably right and comfortable- even more so if you are retired or about to retire.

I’d like to say thanks for reading my RobBlog.
I appreciate it. I really do.

Have a very Merry, Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

ROBBLOG #760- Dear Virginia

We all remember that delightful little letter that Virginia wrote to Santa many years ago. Well, what if Virginia and Santa kept up the correspondence over the years...

Dear Virginia Adams,

It’s just me again. Santa Claus.
I wrote to you last only a week ago and I really appreciate the time you took to answer me.

I looked up your last name in my big book of names. Virginia Adams- what a perfectly lovely name!
Ho! Ho! Ho!

Goodness me, Christmas is almost here...again!
Did you know that writing to you gives me a clean, fresh perspective on many events in our world today? It is calming somehow to read your replies.

I wonder a lot these days about this country CANADA and this big old world of ours.
I wonder and worry about those right-wingers like Mr. Scheer and that terrible Mr. Ford in Ontario. Oh Virginia, they believe they are doing the right thing for people but in reality they are beginning to tear the very fabric of this wonderful country apart.
I worry about that.
It bothers me.
I really does. Like the price of Miss Coco Peru's Panettone.

Well, Ho Ho Ho, any smart person in the world knows that old Santa is a Canadian through and through.

Yes, those Americans always like to think I am one of them and really if it hadn’t been for their
Coca-Cola commercials and Clement Moore’s poem, I still might be back there in the “Dark Ages”- the 1900 hundreds! However, my heart is firmly planted in the True North Strong and Free! Oh Dear, with that Mr. Trump all set to "eat a peach" and be jailed, I mean we can only feel sorry for their current state of affairs. Between you and me Virginia that Sarah Sanders will get nothing but coal in her size double large stockings this year.
I know I shouldn't speak of size Dear Virginia and I shan't but really pearls with every dreadful little dress she wears?
Dreadful taste.
Oh and while we are there our own Chrystia Freeland needs to take a moment for a re-do. Some of her outfits makes Mr. Clause cringe and Dear Virginia some of the things Mrs. Claus says are downright funny if not the complete and utter truth!

Virginia, I was reading the newspaper over the weekend and I see even more young people are being shot- many on the streets of  cities right her in Canada.
Why is this?
This never used to be a consideration. What has happened to my children?
I believe seeing all those murders on the big screen and on the television in their own homes gives a twisted view of our world. Killing is made to look easy and no one pays the price in make-believe land.
Oh my stars, the unsuitable language too.
It goes on and on.

Now Virginia, how can the Chinese hold those two Canadian Gentlemen hostage? It's a game that kids play. You have one of ours so I'll take two of yours.
What has happened to love Virginia. Simple love. Where has it gone?
That is beyond me Virginia.

Why in this day of medical miracles are so many people unwell? There are cancers, new diseases, world-wide flu outbreaks and more. Maybe we just hear about these terrible things since our media is world-wide in this new age.
Where did the 1950's go?
Wasn't life simpler then? I can tell you it was indeed.
Oh Goodness. Look at me asking you. A child, although I believe you are very smart Virginia Adams. Very smart!

I was just saying to Mrs. Clause the other night you'd think in this day we live in, we'd have the answers to everything.
Living together.
Loving each other.
Healthy living.
How Cadbury's get's the Caramilk into those chocolate squares...
Oh My!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Time flies just like my reindeer. New cellular phones come out every month or two and television screens gets bigger- and thinner. Mr. Branson is testing planes to take folks to the outer edge of outer space.
Goodness Me!

Well Virginia, I best run. Time to feed the reindeer and my “Olive”- the other Reindeer, has a bit of a cold, so I am personally attending to her recovery.
Write when you can.

Your friend,

Dear Santa,

Nice to hear from you and I am absolutely thrilled every time I receive a note from you.
I can't imagine how busy you are at this special Holiday time of the year!

I think the politicians today are full of baloney for the most part. At least I hear my Dad say that from time to time and golly, I have to agree. I don't understand everything that goes on these days with governments around the world but then who does?

Santa, why does everyone have to hurt everyone else? We should be living in Peace and Harmony.
It's a simple thing to do- isn't it?
Somebody’s always got to be bullying someone.
This is wrong.

As far as the shootings and illnesses, I sure wish I had an answer to that one.
It's a conundrum. 
My Grandma says that word a lot when she doesn't get something.

If I had one answer for you, it would be a simple one.
Just simplify our lives in everything we do. Like the 1050's you mention in your letter.

Yes, I believe that bad things happen to many good people. It’s just a case of being in the wrong place. If someone gets very ill, I guess they have just pulled that particular card from the deck of life but if we all took some time to just be kind and nice to one another, what a wonderful world we would live in.

I hope this helps.
I know I'm not as smart as you but I still have some opinions and things to say.
I hope Olive gets better real quick too.

Write again when you get a chance.

Your friend,
Virginia Adams

Saturday, December 15, 2018

ROBBLOG #759- An Angel Earns His Wings

Holiday Note: I woke up early a few mornings ago and this story started to play out in my mind. I was even able to remember most of he dialogue when I got up a few hours later.
Huh...Not bad for an "older person".
Anyhoo, it may be the start of a new movement or religion even...or not. Enjoy this fable from my very own brain...or wherever such things come from.

3:16 a.m.

Roger watched the clock next to his bedside tick ever so slowly forward. Why was he feeling so restless? Why would his much-needed sleep not come?

Roger's Hubby- Timothy, had opted for the couch this night. He had a bit of cold starting and he didn't want to pass it on to Roger.
Roger was such a cow when he had a cold. The separation was worth it. Timothy knew it. Roger knew it.

Roger fidgeted in the bed rolling this was and that way. He counted from one hundred backwards.
He sang softly to himself and wrote the word sleep with his index finger in the darkness above his head.
His stomach was anxious. He didn't know why because everything was good. The Holidays were here. The tree was decorated and most- not all, most of the gifts were bought. So, what's the big deal?

He rolled over for the one thousandth time. Holding his eyes tightly shut.
That's when he saw it behind his eyelids.
Bright, white light.
He peeked between his long eyelashes. Yes it was light and it was coming from a central source.
Roger opened his tired eyes fully and there standing at the end of the brass bed was a figure. A golden light source. Dare he say it- an Angel?
He saw wings.
This is possibly a real, honest to goodness Angel right here in my bedroom, hovering at the foot of my bed.

Suddenly, the golden apparition spoke to him:
"I am an angel of the heavenly host and I come to tell you something this December night."

Roger sat up and batted his eyes.
"Tell me something?" Roger started to get huffy.
"I mean who are you to come into my bedroom in all this white light- while I am trying to sleep I might add, wanting to have a chat or something?"

The angel looked away from the pad where he was scribbling away with a golden pencil in smooth, white fingers- "Right. Like you were sleeping..."

"I was at least trying."- Roger growled, "Anyway, who are you and what are you doing floating above the end of my bed like that and by the way are you a man or a woman? You've got some pretty dainty hands there for a man. Dainty hands but very bare, muscular legs and- dare I say, thighs under that pair of shorty jammies you're wearing"
The Angel rolled his eyes and slid the pad and pencil in a pocket in the glimmering shift he was adorned in.

"Yes, I'm a man and yes I have smallish hands. These are not jammies- it's a shorty-gown. And not that you're asking but I happen to have very large, athletic feet for an Angel of my stature."

"Girlishly short hands and big feet! Is that a winning combo in Heaven or wherever you just flew in from?"

"Look, Roger..."

"Oh she knows my name! I'm impressed!"

He sighs..."Look Roger. My Mother had smallish hands and my Uncle Flavius too, so just....Hmmmm. Gosh, I never, ever thought of that connection before..."

"Look do I have to stay awake while you go over your  family tree and who your Mother schtuped?"

The Angel scowled. "Never mind. To the business at hand. I am a member of the Heavenly Host and I come to bring you some great news?"

"Like the price of gas is going down?"

"No!" The Angel was beginning to become flustered.

"So what's your name anyhow?"

"Oh! Yes. Sorry. Gabriel."

"Gabriel. Not too much of a stretch for your Mother. Been an angel long Gabe?"

"It's Gabriel. Gabriel Stanley Augustus. I've had wings entire life. One gets born into this Angelic Lineage and you?"

"Well, as you can see I am NOT an Angel and I live here in this comfy three bedroom home with a double car garage and huge backyard with my husband Timothy. Say Gabey.."


"Gay...ummm- are big wings a big thing up there or over there in Heaven like a pee-pee is here on earth?"

"Oh, now that's mature from someone on my list I've been directed to visit with some good news.."

"You said 'great news' I believe."

"Real Mature Roger." The Angel takes a deep breath. "So, you're asking if the size of one's wings relates to the size of one's penis here on earth. Is that right?"

"Well. Yes. If you were headed in that direction." Roger brought his knees into his chest and hugged them with both arms and listened intently.

"I wasn't!" spat the Angel named Gabriel, "However since you are asking, there is a correlation there to be sure."

"Ah-Hah!" Roger was getting blustery. "So Big Wings. Big Penis. Wow!"

The Angels flapped his wings gently.
"Are you through?" He looked at Roger with pursed lips.

"Yes...Look Gage, do you want to know how big my ~ahem~ wings are?"
The Angel hovered and shook his pretty head. Roger once again noticed the musculature of its legs.

Pausing referring to his notes, the Angel tried to look dis-interested....
After a few moments he speaks:
"Oh sorry, I tend to lose focus when a human goes on and on about themselves. It's a naughty habit but it is a useful one."

"I'll say. So what do you want? Are you bringing me The First Nowell- second in this case possibly- and where's the rest of your haughty-taughty hosts?"

"The Heavenly Hosts? Oh well...they're there." He motions. "Here. I mean I could call them at any moment but they're doing a Christmas Concert on Cloud Twenty-Two tonight and they'd be pissed if I brought them down here from that..."

"Language Gabe. Language. Well, I wouldn't want to be the reason for something like that. Now, um, could we get on with what you want to say in a Nowell or otherwise? I might try for sleep again."

"Yes, well good luck after this message from above but here it is in a nutshell. I have flown down to earth to meet you and to see you to tell you that you are about to be with child."

"What? Are you nuts? I'm a man. I can't have kids!"

The Angel is clearly flustered. His wings tapping lightly together in a one, two cha cha cha kind of beat. He gathers his thoughts quickly, looks at Roger, now leaning back against a trio of pillows and explains in a forthright manner-
"I've heard that before! Oh boo-hoo I'm a Virgin, I can't have a child or I'm too old to have a kid or I don't have an extra room for a nursery. It goes on and on. Look. Roger. Sweetheart. I am here. I have a pill and that's all there is to it. Well, a magic pill really..."

"A fucking magic pill? To do what with and to whom?"

"The angel smiled a wide, angelic smile. To take this tiny pill I have in my "girlish" fingers and shove it- this tiny pill, up your pipe so you become pregnant and become "with child" before the morning light."

"Are you sure you're not looking for Nancy Goldstein? She lives next door with her parents."

"Nancy Goldstein is only 12 years old. Don't be ridiculous Roger!."

"Who are you- Santa Claus, anyway, it worked the first time Gawd Damn time didn't it?!"

"Potty mouth! Anyway, it was a different time!"

"You mean there were no laws. Oh and by the way, you're Angel hovering at the end of my bed and you call me the ridiculous one! That's rich!"

"Look. Just shut up and roll over. Don't make me use Angel Force!"
The Angel's light was shining brighter somehow and his wings flapped faster. Roger could clearly see the muscles undulating beneath the shortie PJ's.

"So what do I get out of all this? eh?"
Roger had a point.

Gabriel hovered and had a think. The tiny white pill held tightly in the palm of his hand-
"Well how about a man having a baby?"

"Men have had babies before Gabe!"

"Ahhh. But not inside their body! It'll be a miracle!"

Roger's mouth fell open. Timothy and he wanted kids but both thought they were past the post.

"You're not past the post...yet!"- Gabriel offered.

"Of course I'm not. I keep telling Tim... WAIT! Did you just read my mind?"
The Angel nodded and smiled another wide, angelic, all-knowing smile.
"Holy Fucking mind-fuck!"

"Yes, it might be considered that without all the groaning and sweating you people get involved with."

"Will I remember this? Will there be a stable and shepherds? Will I travel on an ass..."

"Look. Roger. You are an ass already! Now take the pill. I got to fly. Hah! Hah! Cracks me up when I get to say that..."

"You're a real stand-up Gay!" The Angel still tittered and tee hee'd while Roger had a think. Good Gawd, he'd be famous. He's have money. Timothy would be proud. They'd have a kid.

"OKAY! YES! Stick your pill where the sun don't shine Gabey!"

"Oye! Humans. Entertaining, queer bunch of beings." He just realized what he said- "No offence Roger!"

"Non taken"- says Roger. Now just do it..."

"Done." says Gabriel.

"Done? I didn't feel a thing!"

"Didn't have to. I am an Angel you know."

"Yes Gabe, but was it good for you?.. and if you light a cigarette. I'll scream!"

Gaberiel motioned with both hands- come see, some saw..

"Bitch!" thought Roger.

"I know"- answered Gabriel. "Well Toots, I must run."

"Toots?" Roger scratched the boys in an efficient scratch.

" Listen Roger, it's been a Holiday Hoot. Have a good life and I might "swing" on by to check on you from time to time- if that's okay?"

"Sure." Roger was beginning to take it all in. "You'll want to meet Timothy I presume."

"Of course." The Angel flapped his golden wings in preparation to depart. "This isn't going to be easy for you two you know. You have to get Timothy on board and then dealing with all those sheep at the stable. Boy! I'm glad it's you and not me..."

"Howz that?" Roger was alert now. "How is this all going to come to pass anyway?"

Gabriel looked down at Roger for a final time.
"I dunno but check under a cabbage leaf or look for a huge stork circling your house. Oh and Roger..."


"It'll all work out. I have it on highest authority and I am an authority when it comes to a child being born. Later Dude."
And he was up and away and the light returned to darkness.

Roger flicked on the bedside lamp. He swung his legs over the edge of the bed. Slipped his feet into his fuzzy slippers and ran to the living room to tell Timothy. It was going to be a Merrier Christmas than either had imagined.

Now he knew he could sleep in heavenly peace- or at least try taking a sleeping pill.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

ROBBLOG #758- It's the Holiday Season

It's the Holiday Season!

Bells, Christmas Trees, Scrooges, Virginia asking the perennial question- (Is there a Santa?)
coffee on the Muskoka Chairs in December Island Sunshine.
You know. The normal things we all do at Christmas.
What's that you say?
You can't enjoy a coffee outside without freezing off your "bits".
You must live in Ontario or some other "wintry" province.
Okay, enough of that now.
Sorry but there are times I just can't help myself. Heh. Heh.

I saw a tweet on twitter yesterday from Arlene Dickenson. She used to be on that show that gave money to inventors. They were millionaires. The hosts not the investors.  Anyhoo, she posted this picture of an ice rink and made some comment that this is what Canadians are doing these days.
Ah...Not all Canadians I said to her in a re-tweet.
Palms and green grass on Vancouver Island.
She hasn't answered me back yet.
Probably thinks I'm an idiot. or she's never been to Vancouver Island and the Cowichan Valley.
Like I said, at times I can't help myself.


An old friend got in touch the other day.
Sister Mary Margaret by name.
Remember her? All for Nun. The Church of Little Hope. All for Nun- The 2nd Coming.

Some would say Sister Mary Margaret is a loud-mouthed Nun born in Ireland and raised in Newfoundland. What a combination!
She wanted to tell me that she's back- not on the stage yet, however, somehow she's figured out cameras lighting and sound and has posted a video- the first of many or so she claims.
You can check it out on the Double R Productions Facebook Page.
Google it.
She also says she has a twitter account at: @SisterMMargaret
It's Christmas and I did a good think telling you about this video.

Speaking of Nuns, two Nuns "borrowed" $500,000 from their Diocese recently and flew to Las Vegas to play a few slot machines. They were found out.
It will be interesting to see what happens.
How refreshing.
Two Nuns getting away for a fun weekend as opposed to the normal news about Priests diddling kiddies.
They should be lauded and applauded.
Good one ladies. I'm sure Sister MM will make a comment in a follow-up video.

Holiday plans are shaping up.
We are having a few folks dropping by to say "Happy Holidays" in the days leading up to Christmas. So far, we have no Christmas Eve or Christmas Day guests.
Not for lack of trying.
We had hoped that a person or two from back in old home would be able to come west for a Yuletide visit but that's not happening it seems.

Oh the Mister and I are not lonely by any means. In fact we know quite a lot of folks here on the Island. We even get honked at as we walk along the streets.
We always wave- even if we don't recognize the vehicle. Sometimes we only see a hand waving through lightly-tinted windshield glass.
Then, a few days later someone will say- hey that was me driving past you!
Who knew?

Well, better get onto to other things- like baking.
The Mister and I are doing a bit of Holiday Baking for our Holiday Soiree. Nothing too fancy. Just regular stuff, although he's doing his famous "Pine Tree House" Squares.

Now that says Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2018

ROBBLOG #757 A Little Charity My Dears

Ah...the Holidays.

Palm Trees covered in a light frost. Green Grass. Cordyline plants glistening in the sunshine.
Wreaths on doors and fireworks in the air.
At least, that's a west coast, island Christmas.

I wonder if Old Ebeneezer would have like it?

Nasty as he is and was, old Scrooge- along with the Ghosts who visited his humble domicile, have certainly played a prominent part in our Holiday Celebrations. Once he re-invented himself he was referred to as being “a better man than any old man in any old town or city anywhere!”
I would expect that goes for the Ladies in town too.

I've watched many versions of A Christmas Carol over the years and no matter which one I view, it gets me to thinking about people that continue to stir the pot of gruel when there should be joy and peace. 

Cripes, I even stir the pot myself now and then.
You? I hear you say.
I know- right?
That's hard to believe but there are times that I am nothing more than a grouchy old senior citizen.

Sometimes, it is unavoidable. As Bob Cratchit once remarked to Mrs. Cratchit over a flaming Christmas pudding -“My Dear, have some Charity!”
Only this time it's the Mister playing Mrs. Cratchit without the turned ribbons.
He may not say "have some charity". These days it's "watch your blood pressure Dear."

It may be directed at someone in line behind you at Canadian Tire. Someone who steals your parking spot Downtown or those among us who need to spread benevolence instead of ill-will. It's not easy getting through the Christmas Season without a few blips on the Holiday Grid. There can be friction in relationships- conjured up years ago, that still rots away at our hearts a bit more every Christmas.

There are friends who continue to think the worst of you and seem to forget the best of you.
I- of all people, understand that it's not easy to forgive- even at this most forgiving time of year. I read a quote years ago. It said:
“People come into your life randomly and they leave randomly.”

I thought it was simple- but well said. It can be difficult to lose those who pass on to the next level of enlightenment and leave us behind. Life sucks but it keeps moving forward. Death happens to us all sooner or later. Saying goodbye to friends- human, canine or feline, who have been spirited away to another dimension is just a part of life. It’s something we can't control.

Disagreements and misunderstandings happen to everyone. However if there is one time in the year where Goodwill prevails, it is the Christmas Season- upon the cusp of where we now stand. If Ebenezer Scrooge can see the light, then there's hope for us all. Love breeds hope but putting things right is a difficult “Holiday Path” to tread.

If you do decide to mend a fence or two, what's the very least than could happen? A brick or two might crumble in the wall that lies between you and someone else. “Passing on” is the final brick in the wall. There's no making amends when that final brick is mortared into place. So be aware.
You do have to be prepared to let things go however.
That is hard for me at time, I will admit.
I always joke- I don't get mad, I get even.
Ooops, my litty claws are showing.

Letting thinhs go.  There’s nothing wrong with moving on. If you do attempt to make things right, sometimes, no matter how sincere an orchestrated, heartfelt apology is offered, some situations cannot be reversed and shouldn’t be. At this point refer back to “people leaving randomly”. You still have memories of the good times and like the song says- “they can't take that away from me.”

As for Scrooge, at least he eventually saw the light and from that we all can take heart and let Christmas Joy prevail.

Bless us, Every One- in a non-religious, Humanist loving way of course.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

ROBBLOG #756-Twelve Wishes...Again

I was looking back over some Holiday Blogs from years ago. The Twelve Wishes of Christmas
is from 2009. 

Interesting what I wished for.  Money was important then and is today- especially living on a fixed income as the Mister and I are- to be sure.

Speaking of a fixed income, the Federal Liberal Party called me the other day. 
No, it wasn't Justin in person on the line.
Why is it folks on the phone who work for call centres and are calling other folks for money and stuff always have a very hard accent to understand? This lady was Jamaican and read to me very carefully from a prepared script.

She tried exceedingly hard to get me to donate 30 bucks a month.
I said- "I donate when I can."
Then she added- "Well, there is also twenty, fifteen or ten dollar monthly donations."
I replied- "As I said, I donate when I can and besides- I'm a Senior and living on a fixed income!"
Never thought I'd use that excuse- and so often too, in many situations. Again, there's billions of dollars for this and that in this country but what about a few more bucks for the Baby Boomer Seniors who don't want to eat Cat Food seven days a week!

So, my 12 Wishes of Christmas are here below. I think they still stand as written.

The Twelve Wishes of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my one true wish would be:
a lotto win for little old me

On the second day of Christmas another wish would be 2 million dollars-
from the lotto win for little old me.

On the third day of Christmas another wish would be:
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the fourth day of Christmas another wish would be:
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the fifth day of Christmas another wish would be:
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the sixth day of Christmas another wish would be:
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the seventh say of Christmas another wish would be:
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the eighth day of Christmas another wish would be:
A homestead in the country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the ninth day of Christmas another wish would be:
Peace for every country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the tenth day of Christmas another wish would be:
For no bigots in the world,
Peace for every country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the Eleventh day of Christmas another wish would be:
Feeding all the hungry,
For no bigots in the world,
Peace for every country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.

On the Twelfth day of Christmas my final wish would be:
For all my wishes to come true,
Feeding all the hungry,
For no bigots in the world,
Peace for every country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

ROBBLOG #755- I'm Ready For My Lights Mr. DeMille

Beware pre-lit Holiday Trees.

The warning is not unlike that placed before Caesar centuries ago.
Beware the Ides of March.

Don't speed up the Island Highway either but mostly beware the Ides.
Here in the Holiday Season in the year of the Big Guy 2018- who may or may not be real based on whether you do or do not believe in fairy tales, I now say to you "Beware of items of Christmas that are decorated with strings of pre-lit lights."

It all started a few years back when I bought an outdoor artificial tree in a pot and in a box from Costco. Pre-lit with 200 lights and stuck in a decorative pot. Computer says "What's not to like?
It looked quite pretty and just a simple plug-in installation for instant gratification.
It was reasonably priced. 
It would save time so-
I took it home.
I removed the tree from the box. Plugged it in and voila- instant light.

That lasted for a few weeks until one evening 100 lights went dark. I tried everything.
I replaced a bulb or two. I jiggled strings- and I swore.
Nothing worked.
I swore again- Cheese and Crackers!!

Finally, in desperation, I removed all the lights. A mighty big job. The strings must have been wound round the branches by a machine somewhere in mainland China where the tree was made.
They were tightly wrapped and it took longer to unwind and remove the blinking lights than the entire process of buying the tree, removing it from its cardboard container and plugging it in- combined!

A few years later, I was cursed with the same problem.
Geeze and Ice!
I had plugged in a wire reindeer lit with clear LED lights and half of the bulbs didn't work. I jiggled a cord and replaced a bulb and the string finally sparked to life.
Holiday luck!

Then, another dark, unlit cloud appeared.
The following year, I bought two Canada Geese from Wal*Mart. They were constructed of white wire and each was wrapped in a hundred LED mini-lights. I just had to take them from the box and plug them in.
How delightful!
One goose was fine but the gander- designed with wings spread wide as if it's about to take flight, not so much. The body was well-lit but the wings were dark. 
*;*^%$ !!!
Before we moved to the Island in 2017 I gave the geese to a happy neighbour.
I can hear them cursing all the way out here on the Island.

Move forward a year or two...
I decided to set up one of a half dozen artificial spruce trees I had in storage. This particular tree was bought well after Boxing Day a few years ago. I bought it for 10 bucks. It was pre-lit with 400 lights and I had only used it twice if memory serves.
I dragged it into the house from the garage, took the bottom portion from the storage box and carefully folded the branches down.
I plugged it in.
It worked.

Next, I took the middle section out of the big, brown tree box.
Repeated the process and there was light!
Finally the top of the tree.
I folded down the branches and "fluffed" them. By the way, that's the term one uses when setting up a fake tree and pulling down the branches.
One "fluffs" the branches so the tree looks alive and life-like. 
The same technique is used in the porn industry when the young men can't ~ahem~ rise to the occasion. Do NOT ask me how I know that is called fluffing but I do know a large peacock feather is used. You know, the kind once stuck into those Robin Hood type hats they sold at the Exhibition back in the early 1960's.

OK. It's not a peacock feather but you get the idea!
Fluffing completed, I plugged it in.
I jiggled some lights.
Dark on top, yet the bottom two thirds of the tree sparkled away.
I was ready to spit! No amount of fluffing would have made this stiff little problem go away.

With a minimum of swearing and a maximum of deep breaths, I took the tree apart.
Placed it in it's box.
Taped it closed and put it in the "Take to Goodwill pile".

Now, one would think all my bad light-luck was behind me.
Well, one would be wrong.
I brought in a slender slim-line tree next. 
200 lights. 
I plugged it in.
Mother Fudrucker's Farm!!
One set is dark.
I can't %;%$$%# believe it!

Calmly, I walked to the kitchen.
I opened the junk drawer and took out a pair of needle-nosed pliers.
I returned to the tree and cut the string of offending lights in 3 or 4 places.
I RIPPED them from the branches and threw the pile of wire and mis-firing lights into the garbage.
Now that felt good!
I smiled a sneer-like Grinchy smile.
Jim Carry would be proud.

Off I went upstairs and dug deep in my special Christmas cupboard.
I took out a new box of 100 mini lights and returned to wrap the tree. 
Easy as mincemeat pie!
I plugged them in and there was light!
Miracle of Miracles!
Santa- I believe!

Dear Readers, there is indeed a morale to this story.
Oh, nothing poetic just a caution when one purchases a pre-lit anything:

"Darkness lurks amid the presence of light."

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

ROBBLOG #754- Radio Daze

I do feel sorry for all those Oshawa, Ontario Autoworkers who may be out of a job when the General Motors plant closes next year.

How many thousands of people will be unemployed? A major downturn for the City of Oshawa and area and I know because I lived next door in Pickering once upon a time and worked in Radio in Oshawa- two stations, as well as Durham at CHOO Country Radio.
It was a lifetime ago but GM was an integral part of the community.

GM was everything and Gawd help you if you drove a Ford or a non-Canadian made car. You'd get the middle finger salute when stopped at a light while driving down Taunton Road. My friend Lynda who also worked at these statiuons had a non GM car and she always spoke of rude encounters of the GM kind.

Now, I read that the PM and even Ontario Premier Doug Ford- who only got 40% of the vote and won a majority, are getting all talky-talky trying to save jobs.

I know that's big and I am little but no one from any government tried to save my radio job the day I walked into a Manager's Office at a radio station and asked-
"How come I'm not on the schedule for next week?"
The Manager looked up from his desk for a minute and said-
"Because I don't have anything for you."
He looked back down at his desk and continued to do what he was doing.
I walked out.
That was almost my radio goodbye

No one cared that I was without a job.
Apparently there was no money and no room at the inn.
A government department didn't infuse money into that station so I could keep my job or new jobs could be made.
Not at all.
I was on a contract and because I was over the magic age of 50, nobody in radio wanted me.
Sad, eh?

These are my very own Online Stations broadcasting today.
Check out or look to the right of this Blog
Just a couple of weeks ago a Toronto station's entire morning and afternoon show was canned. An Edmonton morning show in the same chain also let go. That's the way in Radio. Over the years I made it through two such cuts.
It's not easy to find a new job in radio but no government department stepped in with an infusion of cash or help either.

I did work at one other station afterwards but that only lasted another year or so because youngsters would work for less than an "older" man- namely me and I got pushed around. Actually pushed closer to the door.
I didn't make a great wage to begin with and there was no pension. That's something that I tell young folks who ask about going into broadcasting today.
There's no security and plan for your future retirement.

I did work at another station that was the reason Orillia, Ontario got a second FM station a few years back. It was because of a guy named Nick who started a station without going through all the "proper" channels. He was legal- sort of, until area stations complained. The big boys knew the little station was getting listeners. Nick wanted a community station so very badly. Finally, the CRTC said he had to shut down and apply through proper channels. He did and several more did. I was at the CRTC hearings and Nick lost. A company that already had several stations won.
Fuck the little guy.

So, that was really my last terrestrial station.
It was in the next year that I started Swisssh- almost 12 years ago now, from a home studio and eventually Starlite.
How long will these stations last?
I don't honestly know but they both survived the moved to the Island and right now they are both in the Holiday Mood.

Am I getting rich?
I don't get a dime.
I pay my own way with servers and my yearly SOCAN fees for music.

If I had a few hundred thousand, I'd even consider hiring a voice or two. Going "live" on air more and maybe even making a difference with my style of radio.
I am proud of both of my stations and you know what?
I did it all by myself with a little technical help from Charles and help from other radio friends- like Heather and Don who were also displaced long the way.

If Justin is reading this or any other Government-type person and you've got a few thousand dollars laying stuffed in a drawer, you can cut me a cheque today or drop off the drawer's contents.

I'd be ever so glad and thankful.

Monday, November 26, 2018

ROBBLOG #753- Medical Mayhem..sort of

Holy Shit!
I need a new headshot!

I'll work on that. This one above is not exactly recent but it'll do.
I don't have a photographer here on the island. Maybe I'll try for a selfie one day- when I feel I look younger.

Anyhoo, I am not here to write about headshots.
First off, I do apologize if I don't get a lot of new stuff on here at times. I know it's been a week now but last week I had two blogs posted within days so, give me some credit.
I am happy that folks read these blogs and insinuate I don't write enough.
Cripes it's better than telling me to shut my pie hole!

So, today my Dears, a tale of hospitals.
First off- I hate hospitals.
I do.
They have sick people inside.
Hospitals smell like insoles that have been in forgotten in a pair of black rubber boots sitting down under the cellar steps for years.

I have been at our local Cowichan General once before- in emergency no less. Not to worry.
I did survive that experience. Hated it but survived.
Ever noticed just how many sick people hospitals have all over the place and why do guerneys filled with soiled linen always get wheeled by me?
I guess it's all part of the daily routine of having people in rooms and wheeled about in beds who are not so much on the well side.

Anyway, today I had to go to get hooked up to this machine for 24 hrs.
Oh, I am home now away from the smells and airless corridors and the soled linen being wheeled past. This gadget that will be a part of me for 24 hours. It works while I go about my normal day measuring how pissed off I get at hospitals- among other things!
Now, I don't expect to die right away. I am really hoping for another three decades- if I can still walk, talk, pee and dress myself.

The problem at present is my freeking blood pressure. It's not enough that I take drugs for high cholesterol- something I never dreamed I would have.
High cholesterol is like getting an early Christmas Gift- like a fucking tie.

Now, when Doctor Kate took my pressure in her office a couple of weeks ago. I could see in my peripheral vision that she wasn't pleased.
It was a look of "Cripes! That's high" or "Are you kidding me Rob?"
Now listen, I have white coat syndrome even though Dr. Kate was not wearing a white lab coat at the time. I knew I'd be up there like a rocket on the First of July!!

So, I had choices and I took door number three.
A trip to the hospital.
Now look. I know these folks work hard and are tired and possibly overworked but I didn't force them to work in the medical field.
Cripes on a Cracker, I mean, I am not familiar with this end of hospital, the staff, or this fucking machine I am hooked up to.

I took the stairs to the third floor from the lobby and trying to hold my breath, I wandered a couple of hallways until I saw little black and white signs that said ECG.
Maybe they said EGG.
I dunno. I didn't have my glasses. Eventually, I found the room number.
The door was cracked open so, I stepped inside.
Nobody at the desk.
I stood and waited. There was no chair. I stood.

Soon, a gal came along. No name, no good afternoon. No small talk just- What are you here for?
I wanted to say a large coffee with milk but I didn't.
I told her what she needed to know and she sat me at the end of the hall next to two women who's perfume was Eau de Curry.
Real nice.
I held my breath ~gasp~.

Soon, a voice shouted out from down the hall from whence I came- Rob!
I went round the corner and back to 336.

Like trying on shoes in a shoe shop, I was fitted for a cuff and a black box that had a strap going around my waist like the smoke that resembled the wreath that encircled Santa's head. I was told when to expect this thing to inflate and what to do.
She asked when I retired.
I said a few years ago.
She said- "No, when do you go to bed- and get up!"
Yes...I knew that...
After midnight- and late in the morning.
She stopped fidgeting with the device and looked at me.
I smiled, realizing she thought I was a lazy cow.
"I'm retired"- I said and smiled broadly.
She was not amused. At least it was the correct answer this time.

That was it.
Do I come back at the same time tomorrow? Do I remove this appendage and drop it off? What?
"Yes" she said, "same time tomorrow" and walked out the door.
Earlier, she had also asked me if it was still raining.
Hmmm, my umbrella was dripping wet onto the floor as I hooked it onto the back of a chair

I had other questions like- I guess I take it off when I shower in the morning.
Am I supposed to shower?
I did mention walking and she said- "You don't want to raise your blood pressure and that's what your walk would do."
Sound advice.
I wanted to ask if I could run up our stairs like I usually do- but I didn't.

If I rated my experience out of 5 stars?
Maybe 2. I might go to 2 1/2- if I included the couple of staff members who said hello and smiled at me while I walked up and down the 6 flights of stairs to the third floor both going and coming.
However, the smells also prevented me from rating my visit higher.

I think people in these type of buildings are comfortable working in that environment and therefore know the place like the veins on the back of their Grandmother's legs.
I don't.
I find it confusing. Signs everywhere but not the one you're looking for.
Did I mention the smells?

Oh and Ontario listen up.
I had to pay $40 for this opportunity to be checked for 24 hours. I never remember paying for anything medical-related back in Ontaryoh- well, ambulance- but here in British Columbia the game is different. We even get billed a set amount every few months for the opportunity to see one's Doctor or seek medical help on those things that are covered. On the other hand one can sell one's piece of shit car to an unsuspecting buyer without a government sanctioned safety check. Probably why you
see cars on lawns everywhere with For Sale etched into old pieces of cardboard with a black magic marker and then taped to windshields.

So, a few hours to go and then- according to a sign I did see, my Doctor should get the results in a week.

Christ on a Cracker, I could be plucking harp strings by then!

UPDATE: I returned to have my BPM removed today and the gal from yesterday says again when she sees me:
"What are you here for?" 
Now this shows me she really has no connection to the public she cares for since in 24 hrs she has forgotten my face. On the other hand maybe this is the same greeting everyone receives. She's busy. She has things on her mind and gets to the point. Another attendant comes in and is all smiles. She's pleasant. Asks how I am and how can she help? We go into an adjoining room. She helps me remove the monitor. We joke a bit and laugh and I leave happy remembering her face and her happy manner. I thank both of them as I trot off down the hall to the stairs. 
Thank you Cowichan Hospital.