Monday, January 29, 2018

ROBBLOG #693 Is Paris Burning?

Paris isn't burning.
Not this time, however one of my favourite cities is dealing with high water levels.
Not entirely swamping the swank shops along the Champs Elysees but the Seine is rising and to think many Canadians believe that Vancouver Island is the wettest spot on earth.
No. Wrong.
As a matter of fact this Cowichan Valley where we live is in a Mediterranean climate zone with the valley sheltered by mountains such as Mount Prevost, Genoa, Sicker and Tsouhalem. We have less rain than Miami and Toronto.
Hennaway, there's poor Paris.
Poor damp, wet Paris.
They've had quite a few showers these past weeks and the waters are up high enough to stop the riverboats from plying their tourist trade. With all the bridges throughout Paris, the boats just couldn't fit under.
The Eiffel Tower at night from the Seine
There's a statue known as The Zouave on the Pont de L'Alma. "Pont" is bridge in French in case you were stumped as to the meaning of the word "pont". It's a soldier from the Crimean War. The folks of Paris use the statue to measure rain. I am sure there's a ruler or two to be found in a French schoolboy's desk but in Paris they use a statue to measure water levels. When Seine waters rise to his boots, tour boats stop operation.
The water was almost waist high over the weekend. Back in 1910 only The Zouave's head and shoulders could be seen above the Seine's waters.
Mon dieux!
I would expect Parisiennes still go about their day as per normal.
A coffee at a favourite café. Dinner in a restaurant spectaculaire. A nice glass of vin. A stroll along the streets in Saint Germaine de Pres.
This is a city that survived the Nazis after all. What's a bit of water going to do to the spirit of Paris?Why, even Mona gave the invaders the middle finger salute. In Paris, citizens pretended that the Nasty boys from Berlin didn't exist. Eventually the Nazi tide rolled away and Paris returned to normal.
Mona posed for Me- from behind humidity-controlled, protective glass
A bit of water might cause a lower gallery or two to close at the Louvre. The McDonalds employees in the shopping centre beneath it's culture-filled rooms might be on the lookout for water seeping through the cracks of the old stone walls but it's likely to be business as usual.
Deux Big Macs s'il vous plais.
Gee, I miss Paris.
It's been a year December since my last visit. The Mister and I were in London in November/December and we took a side trip of a day and a half duration to the City of Lights. The Eurostar makes a convenient two hour train trip from St Pancreas in London to Paris Nord.
It's a real delight.
Le Depart in Saint-Michel
A few stops on the Metro to the Musee d'Orsay and our Hotel D'Orsay on a street just behind the museum. We check in, freshen up and we're ready to head straight to Le Depart St. Michel for a coffee- hot chocolate for Tom, and a decadent chocolate dessert. Over my shoulder as I sip my café, Notre Dame stands  on the Ile de la Cite in the fourth Arrondissement.
Every time I see the sites of Paris I have to pinch myself.
Is this the Paris in the picture books?
The one with La Tour de Eiffel? Victor Hugo Place, The Marais, The Louvre, L'Arc de Triomphe.
Yes, it is.
Every time we visit I am in awe.
I hope the waters recede and Paris dries out- yet again.
It wouldn't be Paris without those Riverboats sailing along, filled with tourists listening to the
same old "tour guide spiel" through the same old crackly speakers.
Ahh Paris.
Je t'aime.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

ROBBLOG #692 W E E K E N D Edition Harrasment Rumours

Wow! More witch hunts or should I say "Warlock" hunts.

With this whole harassment issue I sure hope the harasser gets his time in the court of public opinion- or otherwise, to prove his innocence- if there is innocence to prove. The time frame of these actions are astounding. It took 10 years and more for many of the accusers to step forward. Sad to say that victims feel they can't speak out sooner and should speak out sooner even with a swift slap across the face or a firm foot into the "man bits"!

In the case of Patrick Brown Leader of the opposition in Ontario, I had heard these sexual rumours several years ago. This was when Mr. Brown first attempted running in Orillia's Simcoe North.
He should have been ousted then.
Garfield Dunlop just rolled over and played dead and Brown took over the seat.
For Simcoe North Conservative voters - "any port in a storm" or as a friend said "any monkey in any circus would do" just as long as the candidate is Conservative and a few steps to the good old right.
The right that removes rights or can't be bothered to give rights in the first place.

I had heard about his bar escapades and young women. To be sure, there were even stories out there that he swung both ways on the garden gate.
Good Gawd- we "Gays" don't want him!!

I even met Mr. Brown when I worked at a Barrie, Ontario radio station. I remember standing next to a female staff member when Mr. Brown stood in the centre of the news room. She leaned into me and said- "Ewwww!"
I concurred.

My dislike was for the man who "flip-flopped". He voted against Gay Marriage when it was already law. Remember Harper- being a "good Christian Prime Minister", allowed his flock to vote on "Gay Marriage" in Parliament- again!
Brown towed the line as did still current Simcoe North Federal MP Bruce Stanton. Thank Goodness it failed. I was already married to The Mister by then!
Of course when it meant getting more votes Ontario-wide, all of a sudden Mr. Brown flipped-flopped provincially and now, today, he holds Gays and Lesbians to his breast patting our collective backs-
"there, there. Uncle Patrick loves you now. There, there..."
He flip-flopped again on Kate's Sex-Ed book.
~heavy sigh~
I feel sorry for his family and friends. They get hurt in these escapades too as well as the young women who finally and bravely came forward. The Ontario Provincial election is in June and nothing derails a politician like a good old sexual harassment charge.
On the same day this week, another Conservative Politician in the Maritimes stepped down after sexual harassment charges were levied. Even Justin- our PM had to take an Honourable Member down when this member referred to a fellow worker as "yummy". Even a feckin' Liberal doesn't understand this shite is just wrong?
Sad to say-there will be more. This is the tip of the iceberg.
Change has to happen and it will but women have been spat upon, kicked around, kept in place and lusted after for too many years- centuries even.

I could point to an organization like the Catholic Church today that still believes only men can alone minister to the minions or the movie and TV industries and their "casting couch" mentality. Cripes, when I was a terrestrial broadcaster starting out in 1972, it was a man's world. Women were in the front office at radio stations and maybe did the traffic logs (placing commercials in the run) or wrote the creative. The first "on-air gal" I worked with was Sharon Edwards. She was great on-air.
Boy, we used to laugh in production doing commercials. Tears running down our cheeks kind of laughter. I have lost track of Sharon over the years but I hope she is till out there doing her radio thing. She was a bunch of fun and was totally "safe" with me being a Gay Man but I bet she had a difficult time crawling up the "lady ladder".
I'd like to talk to her about all that stuff today while sitting next to her sipping on a latte in a darling little café.

Many years ago my Dad sat next to me- on my "darling" little single bed- and said these words of wisdom-
"keep your pecker in your pants."

Enough now.

Monday, January 22, 2018

ROBBLOG #691 The Island Difference

I was ironing a few shirts the other day.

Yes, I iron clothes.
It's a Gay Thing.
Besides, our maid is on holidays! Either that or she quit but I haven't seen her around.

I am really pretty good at ironing- I've been told. There's nothing like a freshly ironed shirt to make one feel like a million bucks or at the very least preppy. As I iron, I sometimes come up with ideas or stuff. Sometimes it's ideas for new "talk breaks" on Swisssh Radio (
At other times it's an idea for a blog.
Blog Stuff.
This time as I was ironing, it was the later. I started to think about some of the differences that a person experiences on Vancouver Island as compared to the rest of Canada.

First off, we live ON Vancouver Island, not IN Vancouver. I don't correct eastern folks any more. They just don't seem to get it. We are on "The Island". There is no bridge like the Confederation Bridge that spans New Brunswick and PEI spanning Vancouver Island to the lower Mainland of British Columbia. One takes a "ferry" to cross the water.
A ferry is a boat.
I don't remember any ferries in Orillia.
There are ferries in Orillia. I know that for a fact, although it is not polite to refer to them as that.
Snow shovels aren't really a pre-requisite here on The Island. We did bring a small plastic shovel from Ontario. However, a few weeks ago as I was removing a bit of frozen snow from the side of our drive- I broke it. We had to trot off to Homo Depot to pick up a new one. It's red in colour and is much sturdier than the see-through plastic model we lugged from Orillia. It has a wooden handle.
It's been in the garage since the day we bought it.

You don't need  a humidifier here. Back east in the winter you need one or your skin would feel so dry in January and February you'd have to bath in a tub full of hand crème just to relieve the dry skin itch.

Winters on the Island can be different. This year- our first here as you know, we had a few cms of snow the Wednesday prior to Christmas Day. We had some cold overnights, so the snow stayed here and there for about two weeks. It was enough for Islanders to say it was a "White Christmas". Not "white" by Ontario standards but the small amount of white sporadically covering bits of green lawns and plants was good enough for Islanders to call it a "White Christmas".
I let them have their dream- this year.

The Mister and I brought gloves and scarves all the way from Ontario. The difference?
I maybe wore a scarf twice over the holidays just to make it feel like Christmas. As for gloves? Before we could find all the leather and wool gloves we had packed, I nipped into Dollarama one day last fall and picked up a couple of pair of "one size fits all" for a dollar twenty-five, so our hands wouldn't get chilly when we walked the dogs.
I found all the gloves after moving in day. Although the brown and black leather gloves are neatly piled on a shelf in the bedroom closet, I have only worn the buck and a quarter Dollarama  gloves.
On the topic of leather- I may have slipped on one of my 3 or 4 leather jacks, three or four times.

The differences continue.
I have yet to wear my winter boots.
Enough said about that...

Snow tires on the Grand Caravan?
Although if the weather were to turn nasty with wet snow and slush, we would be requited to have snows on to cross the Malahat. The tires would have to have this little triangle symbol on the side with a snowflake in the centre to be legal to drive the Malahat.

One solution is NOT to cross the Malahat down Island into Victoria on a nasty day and believe me on a foggy or heavy rain day- not to mention wet snow, it is not a fun trip to travel up and over the Malahat and down the other side into Victoria or Sidney or Saanich anyway. It's best to just stay home and go out for a coffee.

Speaking of the Malahat- one of the many mountains on the Island, one's ears pop when going down the Victoria side. However, while driving down the huge "hill" out at Horseshoe Valley back in Orillia, ears do not pop. That's a difference.

On the east side of the Island Highway that separates east and west Duncan, there are dykes to hold back the water if there were a huge spring rain- or a Tsunami. Tsunami's by the way would start on the west coast of the Island coming in from the Pacific and probably wouldn't bother us here on the east coast. Back in Orillia, Ontario there are no dykes holding back water. There are dykes however, that purchase all the plaid shirts at Wal*Mart every October but other than that...none.

Here on the Island grass-cutting may be required in January and certainly February to keep lawns in check and looking their best. In Ontario and other points east- like Edmonton or Winnipeg, there are not too many lawns that require trimming during the winter months. A BIG difference.

On the Island the NDP and the Green Party share the running of the government- even though the Greens only have one seat. Anything to keep the Liberals off the throne after 11 years I guess
Different, eh?
It's like sharing a snow shovel here in the Cowichan with neighbours who don't own one or care to own one. Of course back home in Simcoe North there only ever has been the Conservative Party and they wouldn't share government with anyone- even a snow shovel.

That's all I can think of at the moment while ironing six shirts. One day when I iron six more, I'll probably think of other differences. Right now I am going outside to sit in the sun on my Muskoka Chair.
That could be another difference- in January at least!

Friday, January 19, 2018

ROBBLOG #690 W E E K E N D Edition: From Brigitte to Boxwood

Brigitte Bardot says she took it as a great compliment and found it charming when someone commented on her "nice little ass".

Well, don't we all.

A "girl" likes to hear a nice compliment from an attractive gentlemen now and then. It support's one's self-esteem, lets one know that one is not dead yet and makes one feel a little "dirty".

This harassment stuff.
I mean the Hollywood and TV stuff. Isn't it old news?
Haven't dirty old men- both straight and Gay, learned their collective lessons?

Why Brigitte even goes so far as to say these actresses are doing it to keep their names in the newspapers or to keep people talking about them. Maybe the former French "Babe" should think online- although the "rags" are still at the grocery store check outs.

Catherine Deneuve- also a French "Pussycat" said “insistent or clumsy hitting-on is not a crime.”
Re-think that Girlfriend!
The last thing I want is a clumsy hand on my ass or a clumsy pick-up line such as "Do you come here often?"
Whatever happened to- "Can I get you a Sprite?"
Best pickup line I ever heard and The Mister and I have lasted almost 33 years!

I daresay, these days I am a little hesitant about shooting anyone a compliment- man or woman. I mean, if I met Mr. Hugh Jackman- which I have,  I would want to say- Nice chest, nice ass, nice biceps, nice smile and nice man. Can I cop a feel?
Okay...maybe I wouldn't say "cop a feel" but the suggestion would be there and for Gawd's sake what would it hurt for "Huge" to allow me a little dirty pleasure- if I asked his "wife" first of course.

It's another mess that social media has gotten us into although there are a lot of creeps out there carrying the "creep banner".


Here we are getting close to the end of January.
Usually, I would say wicked, wicked, January but being on the Island this year- and for many years to come, I have to soften my comments. It's been very nice- and mild. This past week we had three days over 10C- one at 14C, with sunshine too.
Yes, I wore shorts as did many folks.

The landscapers were busily working up and down our street. This week they planted my English Laurel- a beautiful green and brilliant yellow bush. A Weeping Sequoia we bought- which hovered skyward at almost 8 feet, was dug into a side garden as well as an Oregon Grape- just starting to bloom with brilliant yellow buds. A boxwood that has been sitting in a big plastic pot for more than a month was tucked in next to the front right corner of our garage. To keep it company, a Mexican Orange Blossom was planted a few feet away. This plant has white, aromatic flowers and blooms from the spring into the summer. I am told it is intoxicating.
I can hardly wait! Folks, this is January on the Island!
At Dinter's Garden Centre this week I saw a plant that at first looked like Forsythia. I took a peek at the tag and it said "Jasmine".
It was gorgeous!
The Pacific Ocean
I must apologise to Ontario friends.
I am trying not to "brag and boast" about Vancouver Island Weather. It is not perfect but for goodness sakes, it's not -34C either with snowbanks reaching for the rooftop. I mean the grass is green here in Duncan.
That's enough of that. I don't want you Easterners to cry in your hot stew.

Monday, January 15, 2018

ROBBLG #689 Scratch it Off My Bucket List

Scratch another item off my Bucket List.

A 1974 AMI Rowe 45prm Stereo Jukebox!

Yes My Dears, it's the latest thing!. A box that plays vinyl 45 rpm (revolution per minute) records- 100 records, 200 songs (playing both sides), through four stereo speakers. Of course, not all the early 45's were stereo so monaural is the best one can expect at times. What next?
Will someone invent a transistor radio that needs no plug, just a small 9 volt battery.
My head is spinning.

Backing up a bit, I have been wanting a Jukebox since Jezus was a choirboy. I have fond memories of jukeboxes in the 50's and 60's. Back in "Old Home"- Orillia, Ontario, the Hasty Tasty-which is still up there on Laclie Street, had a jukebox shoved between a booth with red, vinyl-padded seats and the diner counter itself. It just fit neatly under a window. We'd ply it with nickels and dimes. Sooner or later the owner- a brash, thin lady in a white uniform- with the nametag displaying her name-"Madge", over her left breast and frilly diner hat sitting on top of her dark tight curls, would march over and simply pull the machine's power cord from the wall.
"Hey!"- we'd yell, "That's our nickels and dimes in there!"- or 3 plays for a quarter.
"Tough!"- she'd say as she twirled on her working gal heels and headed back to the kitchen.
"Ahhh Jeez..."- we'd all go.

Another favourite Jukebox was one out at Tudhope Park- also in Orillia, Ontario. This was back in say 1961 when Barnfield Point was a campground. There would be Saturday Night Dances in the wooden-floored, quonset hut style dance hall. The music was provided by an old Wurlitzer. The kind with the coloured lights and booming bass speakers. The building is still there but a rowing club uses it as a clubhouse these days. The snack bar was at the north end of the hall and provided pop and goodies- at a price of course. I remember coloured spotlights highlighting the dancers as they shook, shaked, twisted and did The Maddison to 45's stacked in that Old Wurlizter. Nothing like a hot summer night and the latest "sounds" that we normally heard on radio stations CKEY, 1050 CHUM or our own CFOR.

Other restaurants and diners had small juke boxes at each table where you could flip through up to a 100 titles or more. Sometimes you'd slip a quarter into the slot to hear three songs while you waited for your burger and fries- with gravy of course. Maybe you'd wash it all down with a Cherry Coke- not Pezzie as the waiter at the Golden Dragon used to tell us.

Ahhh...such memories. At certain times the owner of the restaurant would have the speakers set so low you'd have to lean over the table and press your ear against the silver speaker just to hear your favourite song and get your 8.33 cents worth!

This AMI Rowe I have is built like a tank. Heavy like a tank too. We were not without problems- the Mister and I, carrying it into Palm Villa. I had hoped it would sit along a media room wall on our lower level but alas it was just too massive. So, it's sitting in a corner in our Great Room. I am hoping the juxtaposition of antiques and chrome allow it to fit in.
You know- "Feng Shui."

It cost me just under a thousand bucks and I can only hope it lasts for a long time. Think about it. It's 44 years old now and the plays- according to the counter, are in the hundreds of thousands.
Florescent tubes light up the front, the sides and of course the all-important song titles- typed very badly, on the little paper sheets that allow you to view the song titles. A couple of smaller GE bulbs are burned out on the upper front but the "Playing Your Selection" light as well as the selection numbers you punch in on the keypad are still there. Just to the right of the "number now playing" is a panel that tells you to insert nickels, dimes and quarters in the slot- depending on how many tunes you want to hear. This feature is shut off, although I was thinking of turning it back on to allow guests to our home to insert thousands of quarters so I may recoup my costs.
Yes, I guess.

Once I order a new needle and cartridge from, I will begin to place my own 45's in the 100 slots available. I have close to a thousand all in very good condition. Many worth a buck or two from collectors but I have never been able to part with them. Records are like a diary. I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when certain songs play.

I even have a supply of those little cardboard-like pages where I'll type the titles and artists of my 45 vinyl collection dating from about 1962 through to about the 1980's.
How nice!
I sure hope I can get an ink ribbon for my old Underwood typewriter to make it look authentic. For those of you who don't know what a typewriter- or Jukebox, is, you'll have to do a Google search!

My 45's are the real reason that this AMI Rowe is sitting in the Great Room. My 45 collection has been stored in file boxes for almost 40 years and I thought it would be a neat way to play the old vinyl for at least the next forty!

Friday, January 12, 2018

ROBBLOG #688 A Bleeker Street January Day

Nick Nolte: Baby Jane and Blanche haven't been around for a bit. That situation is rectified below.

On Bleeker Street

It's a wet, dreary January afternoon on Bleeker Street. Jane is having a gander out the window. Blanche is sitting in her usual spot- in her wheelchair next to the fireplace, working on a crossword puzzle.

Jane: Holy F*&% it's a depressing day- ain't it? It's like the world has come to an end.

Blanche: Oh now Jane Dear, it's not that bad really- is it?

Jane: Well, ~puff, puff~ I don't see nothing great about it either. Lookit across the street. That Mr. Bargepole is out there playing with water in the gutter in front of his house. He's raking leaves outta the water and shovin' them into a garbage bag. Why that old rat bastard oughta just jump right in with the leaves.

Blanche: Really Jane! Have some humanity. Mr. Bargepole is a very helpful neighbour. Remember he's run to the grocery store for us several times in the last few weeks alone.

Jane: Yabutt, he won't go to no Liquor Store to pick me up a bottle of my Gin. ~puff~ I gotta drag my ass all the way down to 5th and Green Street and pick it up myself- and in all that F^#*ing rain too!

Blanche: Now Jane Dear, you know Mr. Bargepole has his religious beliefs and drinking spirits is not one of them.

Jane: Well, he feels the same way about fags too. All I asked last week is for him to pick me up a pack of Player's- unfiltered,  cigarettes and he goes all ape shit. What a huge P*!#*@!!

Blanche: Jane!! Language! I'll not have you talk about that nice man in that manner. You should be ashamed of yourself. ~pause~ What's a six letter word meaning to help? ~pause~ Oh! Assist.

Jane: Hah! Truer words Blanche. He is an ASS! ~drag, puff, puff~

Blanche: Just because he won't sacrifice his values to get you your booze and ciggies he's an ass?

Jane: Huh! You mean his Christian values don't you? His lips are glued to the butt of that preacher down there at Bleeker Pentecostal Church...And. For. What? Salvation? Poppycock! ~puff, puff~
There ain't no salvation for him or anyone else on this great green earth for that matter. Sheer, absolute nonsense that's what all that Jezus stuff is.

Blanche: Oh and just what makes you so damn smart in this regard Jane?

Jane: What makes me so damn smart Blanche? I'll tell you what makes me so damn smart...I'm smart because of what I got right up here. ~drag, puff, puff~ It's called knowin' stuff.

Blanche: Knowing stuff? That gives you the right to pontificate about a nice old man? Why Jane Dear if I wasn't in this filthy, degrading, ass-chafing, smelly, creaky wheelchair I'd stand right up, walk over to you standing there at that window and give you a swift backhander right across that smug, boozy, know-it-all piece of shite you refer to as your face!

Jane: But you are Blanche. But. You. Are in a chair- ain't ya? ~puff, puff, puff, puff~ Hah Hah Ha!
Now shut up and finish that blasted crossword of yours and I'll go and make your tea.

Blanche: Lovely. Uh...Thank you... Jane Dear?

Jane: I hears yah. Yer F*#*@ing welcome Sister.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

ROBBBLOG #687 Wonderful Winter

Normally at this time of the year I would be sitting inside looking outside at the wonderful world of winter.

This year I am not.
Good thing.
I'd be going "nutsy-loo" like in previous Ontario winters.

Extremely cold winter days back in "old home" are still fresh in my mind. Days where I just didn't bother to venture out. The Mister would go on a flight to London or Frankfurt for 3 days and I'd still be inside when he returned. I couldn't walk the dogs- it was just too bloody cold. To get the girls outside for a piddle and a poo a was monstrous task. I'd put Vaseline on their pads but usually they'd spend the first few minutes sniffing and doing circles in the yard. By the time they had to do their business, they were standing holding up their paws prancing about the yard.

The furnace and fireplaces ran continuously. I wore sweaters and heavy socks. I hated to look out the window at the blowing snow and the dead, whitened landscape of our side yard.
Bitter, bitter cold.

I don't miss it.
This was an ideal year to make the westward trek to the West Coast and Vancouver Island. We were the hot spot in Canada at 10c on Saturday!

In places here on the Island, the snowdrops are out. The grass is green of course. Folks who like to golf are doing just that. I have a variegated English Laurel, an Oregon Grape and a Mexican Orange sitting in pots just outside the front door. Cam- the landscaper in this new development where we live, told me he's planting them this week.I am still deciding on whether to have him plant another palm or a Magnolia tree. Maybe a small palm and a larger Magnolia.

How's this for January on the Island.
We drove down to Langford on Sunday to shop at Costco. Langford is the most northerly of the handful of communities that make up Greater Victoria. It's about a 40 minute drive. There were plenty of folks in shorts and one stalwart gentleman in shorts and flip-flops. Well he could couldn't he- such lovely legs I must say.

Island folks are jetting off to Hawaii. Honolulu is only about five hours flight time away from either Victoria International or Nanaimo Airport. It's also in the same Ocean as Vancouver Island- the Pacific. Still wrapping my head around that. We'd like to get there this year but we still don't have a house/pet sitter so we may have to delay that trip. The right person is out there somewhere. We just haven't connected yet.

I am sure there are those of you back east who would love to get out of the cold- permanently. Yes Florida is a quick fix but not a forever fix. Six months at best. Even here in the Cowichan cool nights are still a part of life. One can wrap a scarf around one's neck and slip on a pair of gloves but this year I haven't had to pull on a pair of winter boots. A couple of degrees below can be the norm for part of our "winter". Winter so far this year lasted from the Wednesday before Christmas to this past Wednesday and by winter I mean cool overnight temps, some frozen fog and a few centimetres of snow. I still had shorts on one day last week when it was 8C and brilliant sunshine.

I love the smell of the air here.
Coming out of Home Depot a few evenings ago when the temperature was hovering around 10c, I told Tom to stop and take a deep breath. Smell the roses so to speak.
Moist, mild air from the Pacific Ocean just a few minutes away.
It felt invigorating.

I love looking up to Mount Prevost (pronounced Pree- Voh!) or Tsouhalem (Soo-Hay-Lemm) to see the patches of snow. It's pretty as a picture postcard as long as I don't have to shovel it daily- and I don't.

Right now when the cold, bitter, unrelenting north wind blows more extreme cold down from the Arctic, it would be a good time to fly west and experience a Vancouver Island "winter" for yourself.

You might just be sold on the prospect.
The "green" will hit you in the face like a frozen snowshovel.
A kind, gentle shovel.

2018 could be a year of change for you.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

ROBBLOG #686 W E E K E N D Edition Toucha Toucha Touch Me

Toucha, toucha, touch me. I Wanna Feel Dirty
A note that this ROBBLOG might get a little "Gay Smutty". Shirley Feeny -who stamped "smut" on a wide variety of situations when co-habiting with Laverne DeFazio, would not be impressed.
You've been forewarned.
There’s been a lot of people (read: men) making the news lately for doing naughty things to other people. (read: women)
It would appear that some of these naughty things were done many years ago- 18, 20, 22 years. It just took that long for victims to have the courage to name the bad lads in question.
It’s like an updated version of the Salem Witch Trials. However, I am not here to judge ,only to write a blog.
Is this a "Naughty Thing?"
So far, there have been many straight men, one Gay man and as far as I can see no ladies named as being possibly being guilty. These shameful things that went on so long ago- and so recent ago, are now making news big time and making huge amounts of cash for lawyers who are representing those wronged.
I am not saying that all this touchy-feely stuff in the office, backstage at a theatre, at rehearsals at a party or on a movie set should be condoned.
It shouldn’t be.
It is nasty stuff and for many of these women- or men as in the case of a certain large, well-muscled black actor, they kept silent in order to stay employed or get ahead. They had to put up with ass grabs, boob brushes, dirty talk, genital grabs, innuendo and invitations to sexual encounters.
Now, this might sound really, really bad but I can’t help but thinking back to the 1980’s and a Gay Bar- any Gay Bar, in Toronto or elsewhere. It would be an event not to have your nipples tweaked, your ass pinched or your genitals grabbed.
It was the 80’s after all.
Cripes, in Gay Bars in Toronto I would never go to the bathroom alone. I always took a friend to stand guard outside the stall door- if there was even a stall door to stand guard at!
If a handsome well-built, dark-haired, well-tanned stranger approached it was consider der rigger to pat and squeeze and pinch away. Of course, being a “lady” I would expect at the very least a drink first, then a bit of interesting conversation such as- “what sign are you?”
I don’t mean to make it sound like a free for all- it wasn’t…but it did happen and I didn’t really think much of it- slut that I was…
When I think of it, today my chiropractor takes more liberties with my body than any stud inside a Gay bar ever did. Not anything that could be construed as unprofessional but sometimes on a dark and stormy night, a girl has a dream- or two. I mean at my age it’s lucky me that a younger man even puts his, strong hands and firm fingers anywhere- even if I do have to pay for it.
Pay for it. That sounds bad- doesn’t it?
Anyhoo, I am kind of going all over the place with this.
What I really want to “comment” on was the story of the sleeping airline passenger who awakened to find a fellow passenger had shoved their hands down the sleeping passenger’s pants. Imagine complaining to a flight attendant who answered the call button believing you wanted extra cream for your coffee when you wanted a hand removed from your pants.
There was a time that I would find that totally erotic, fascinating and somewhat kinky- not to leave out terribly dirty. Imagine a tall, dark, olive-skinned somebody seated next to one in a darkened cabin on a jet to a far-off destination who considered one “hot” enough to explore the dark, secret area down there without as much as a how-de-do.
Now my story.
I remember a young, study creature taking such liberties with me- just not on a plane.
No Sir. None of that stuff under the cover of darkness in a stuffy airplane cabin.
In my case it was under a hot Hawaiian sun, in the warm, salty Pacific Ocean just in front of one of the most lavish hotels in all of Waikiki Beach.
One glorious afternoon I was simply minding my own business frolicking in the surf when an athletic young man decided to take it upon himself to frolic with my ~ahem~ man-bits.
A reasonable representation of the lad in question
 I was surprized and somewhat taken aback at first.
I left the water.
Soon after, when I frolicked in the surf once again. I saw him jump up from his beach towel and run towards me on sturdy, tanned legs, pounding into the surf then diving beneath the turquoise-blue water to tickle my fancies once again.
I screamed like a girl!
Ok, not loud enough to draw attention to myself. It was more of an internal scream of happy glee.
After a few minutes, I ran back onto the sandy beach. I could see his strong, brown torso following me, white teeth gleaming against a ruddy, brown face. Moustache dripping with salt water. His hair all wet and tussled.
“This is ridiculous”- I thought. “Can’t a guy frolic in the Hawaiian Surf without being manhandled by a complete stranger?”
Apparently not, for on a third try- I thought of it as an experiment in the surf, it happened again.
Rougher this time but still a “je ne sais quoi” quality about the manner in which this talented fellow with the bulging arms and hirsute chest gleefully touched, grabbed and man-handled my manly-bits as he dove to and fro in the surf both aft and forward of me.
Me- screaming like a "Sally".
Did I stand up to this fellow in the shallow surf and say-
“Indeed, young man. What gives you the right to touch me in such a way?”
Indeed. Dear Readers, I did not stand up.
For obvious reasons I couldn’t.
At the very least, it was quite obvious to me at the time- if you get my drift.
“So, did you report him?”- I hear you ask.
No. I did not but we did go to dinner and eventually I got to see much more of the stalwart young man- if you are following my drift.
So, does this have anything to do with the harassment suffered by many in the plethora of news reports?
No. It does not but I did get to tell you a dirty little story of my youth and in that I am well-satisfied.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

ROBBLOG #685 Island Misconceptions

Very astute observations where sent to me in an e-mail recently. Most of them do not reflect
the truth about Island Life. I intend to set the record straight with the real story after four months of residency.
The "real" story?
Well, as long as you tell no one...
The ICBC Insurance sucks the big one. Involved. Costly. Stupid. Slow. Did I say stupid?
There are too many examples to give but it did cost us 100 clams (see below for clams explanation) to have an ICBC office employee take a photo with their phone of the VIN number on the dash of our Ford Dutchmen Express.
No...they wouldn't let us take the photo ourselves.
The out-of-province vehicle check is costly and forced us to buy a new vehicle. Yup. The Swissshmobile has gone to a better place- like Saskatchewan. If we had of remained in Ontario, we would have driven her until she couldn't be driven. It would have been prudent and cost-saving driving that 2003 Montana- which was in excellent shape. Even the guys at the
out-of-province vehicle check garage said so.
Yes, there was some rust on her undercarriage maybe but who looks up a lady's undercarriage anyway?
Because of this, it caused us to lose our freekin' minds and shell out many thousand clams for a top-of-the-line new Grand Dodge Caravan. Yes, we use clams on the Island and not Canadian Dollars although they are at par. The clams, I mean.
Our RV-Priscilla, cost us $600 for new registration. Since she has a Ford cab that was "Made in America", there were no daytime running lights on her. BC- which means "Bring Cash", insisted we have those lights and charged us 600 clams for a small computer plug-in that ensures the lights turn on when Priscilla's key is turned.
The wonderful and often talked about- but never praised, BC Hydro- sometimes called The Bring Cash Hydro Company billed us 400 clams just to turn on our power. We could have bypassed the cost if someone had of told us to get a letter from Orillia Power saying we were swell folks.
We didn't.
So they did- charge that is, all on our first bill which was already due on December 11th- 12 days after we took possession of our new home.
One requires snow tires or "All Weather Mud and Snow Tires" if one wishes to legally cross the Malahat in "winter" months to go to Victoria. One can take a chance when crossing with incorrect tires, however, if one causes an accident without these special tires one is thrown off the Malahat
never to be heard from again.

As may be true in other parts of the country, we had a legal counsel here who turned out to be a &^%. It's a long story but it involved an issue with the definition of terms and an additional charge because of the time it took explaining what those words meant here in BC. Again. BC Lawyer- read: "Bring Cash".
If you are a "Senior"- over 65, wanting to take a ferry from the mainland to the Island, you will not be given the "Senior Rate" if you carry an out-of-province licence. It must be BC, so, again- Bring Cash.
If one is looking for pre-seasoned "Stuffing Bread" for a Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey, do not ask here. They know not of what you speak.
They also do not respond to the words- RV, bungalow, back split or Muskoka Chair.
If one buys coffee beans in a "Great Canadian Stupid Store" (You may call it "superstore") the store does not have a Bean Grinder "in store" like in Ontario. One must spend 75 clams to buy a coffee grinder in order to enjoy one's favourite coffee.
Although we were told that Islanders see snow only very "occasionally" we saw 15 cms of the blasted white stuff last week.
Bull Crap (BC) !!
An Arctic low and El Getcha or some other crappy weather system off the Pacific caused by the Green Party or NDP, joined forces and happily "snowed on our parade" or in this case Palm Tree. I didn't want to come clean about this as in true Island Fashion one stretches the truth about snow.  However, it did stay on the ground and offered us a sort of Ontario-Looking White Christmas.
To say we are not amused is an understatement. We are told that Spring arrives the end of January and we'll be the judge of that!

A lot of Canadians from the East have a couple of misconceptions pertaining to our Island Home.
If an Islander says he lives on Vancouver Island, it does not mean he lives in "Vancouver" the City. Repeatedly correcting the Easterner only leads to further confusion.
Easterners also believe it rains all the time. It does not. In fact Toronto and even palm tree-ridden Miami Beach receive more annual rainfall.
So there.
Some Easterners believe there is a bridge- like the Confederation Bridge that links New Brunswick to PEI, linking this Island to the lower mainland.
There is no bridge to be sure.
It is true that bridges on this Island as well as buildings, roadways and other structures are built to be earthquake ready. Our new home is built to withstand the shock. Of course in the same manner that we will all "kiss" our asses goodbye when Kim Jong In A Jock Strap-The leader of North Korea, shoots a second rate nuclear warhead at us, here on the Island we will also maintain
the tuck and roll position and head to the top of Mount Prevost- when the shaking stops and the big wave comes in from the Pacific.
Finally, to talk of drugs- legal or otherwise, parks have bright yellow needle boxes which they call "sharp object boxes" nailed to trees in order for citizens to stash their used paraphernalia. Indeed the Coquihalla could be named for the huge trucks hauling Coke down the highway from Kamloops to Hope.
As for pot, it appears to be prevalent on this Island and sometimes the haze drifts across
Maple Bay or Cherry Bay from Salt Spring Island where Hippies from the 70's still live wearing Birkenstocks, tye-dye and fringe.
Peace Brother.
All the best for this New Year 2108.