Monday, October 29, 2018

ROBBLOG #748- Fascinating Reading

Well someone in the vast universe is cheering me on this week. I mean really, who could ask for a better horoscope than this?

"You're creating a wonderful future filled with opportunities.
This week will prove to be the start of an auspicious chapter in the fascinating story of your life."

I mean really...
Apparently I am a fascinating person leading a fascinating life!
I am thrilled beyond words, yet I have a few questions and comments I'd like to put out there to the universe.

How will I recognize these opportunities exactly?

If there were an opportunity- say to invest in a multi-million dollar business, I'd have to pass. A Senior's monthly pay cheque here in Canada doesn't go far. I don't know what I'll do if the price of WalMart brand salmon cat food goes sky high- let alone the partially stale, past due date, wheat crackers I spread it on. Sometimes I get fancy and throw a sprig of grass on top just to fancy it up a bit.

"What's he going on about today, Lucy?"
" I have no idea Ethel!"
Maybe some radio station here on our Island is looking to make me the next big "radio star" of morning radio. Naw, that'll never work. I just don't do mornings anymore and many days I can't pull myself out of my huge, comfy king-sized bed until near 10 o'clock!
Now, before you say "lazy bum" remember I am up some nights until 2 am reading and what with laying wide awake from six until seven most mornings solving all my problems and the world's, why it takes a chunk out of  my REM sleep.

I know that I am a creative person of sorts and I know that in the past this creative side of me has given me some wonderful opportunities- in theatre for instance.
Usually these opportunities don't translate into making money.
That is really the story of my life- getting by. Oh heck, the Mister and I are comfortable but we are not what I would call "well off".
No, "well off" would be having a small walk-up apartment in Paris and an ocean-front home- something smallish and sensible, in Hawaii. From that perspective we are not really comfortable.
I hear groans...

Now about this auspicious chapter of my life that is just starting.
Auspicious as in "conducive to success" or "prosperous".
I am all for auspicious, I mean who wouldn't be.
A royal title would be nice.
A castle to accompany the title would be most welcome- just not in Scotland where my family tree roots run deep. It's just too damn cold and drafty- especially in kilt weather which is anytime in Scotland and who doesn't like to wear a kilt throughout the year no matter the weather.

I am fascinated by the fascinating story of my life but I hope this isn't a typo and it's meant to be "fascinator". I'm just not the kind of "gal" that looks good in a hat- no matter the weather. Think back to the Queen's Granddaughters in those horrendous hats at Bill's wedding. Not the kind of story you want to be stuck with the rest of your life- a bad hat story. However, what's-her-royal-name did much better in that evening gown she wore for the wine and cheese party at the palace on her own wedding night.
She is forgiven.

It's a good thing my social calendar is free this week so I'll have time to fit in the first "auspicious" chapter. Goodness knows how all this will end.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

ROBBLOG #747- What the Fah-Lah-Lah?

Thursday October 25th.

Two months till Christmas Day.
I hear collective- "Yikes!!" because we all know how fast the time goes between now and the Christmas Holidays- like a speeding freight train.
I have already heard of a couple of new stations playing Holiday Music and in fact there's one I have been listening to for a couple of years because I hear songs I might want to add to Starlite of Swisssh.

I know time is fleeting because relatives are heading south to get away from our Canadian winter.
Some leave sooner.
Some later.
We stay put here in this Mediterranean climate we have on Vancouver Island.
We are still in shorts.
There's still palm trees, green grass and roses blooming.
Japanese Arealia, rhododendrons and Laurel are all shiny and nice.

I know the holidays are coming because the bakery at Thrifty's- an island grocery store, has shortbreads on their shelves.
Plain or chocolate dipped.
I fell in love with this delectable little treat last Christmas and I was surprised to see them on display today. Of course, I could have left them on the shelf and waited until December to purchase- but I didn't.

This week the Home Hardware flyer arrived at the front door and the front cover features holiday wreaths, garland and coloured lights- all on special.
It isn't even Hallowe'en!
To steal a few words from Doctor Frank'n'furter from the Rocky Horror Show- How Nice!

By the way, the Mister and I watched a British version of Rocky Horror that you can find on You Tube. Just search Rocky Horror Show Britain 2015. It was filmed live at the Palace Theatre and beamed to cinemas across Europe.
How nice!
It is a really terrific version of the musical. You'll find it hard not to jump out of your recliner and do "The Time Warp- again"!!
If you make it safely out of your recliner, for Pete's sake don't throw your back out "warping"!

I also know the Holidays are fast approaching because I spent five hours today editing and refreshing Christmas Jingles for Swisssh and Starlite. Most of the work was on the Swisssh Radio side.
Both stations play all Christmas Music beginning Friday November 16th.
Early you say?
I've been doing this for a decade and the listenership goes up, up and up fairly quickly.

Editing and freshening the jingles was something I had wanted to do the past couple of years but never seemed to find the time. Last season Swisssh and Starlite didn't return to the internet airwaves until St. Nick's Day- December 6th. Since we had moved across Canada, that was the first opportunity I had to fire up the generator and re-boot the stations so, the first song I played from the west coast was a Christmas Tune. I can't remember what it was but I would hazard a guess that it was Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".

Then yesterday, I received my first e-mail of the year flouting a new Christmas Song from a record/movie company. It's a song from an animated movie to be released in December. I've only listened to it once so far and haven't made a decision as to whether or not I add it to the Holiday Playlist.

I still have to add the revised jingles to the computer generated playlist and then I'll be ready. Always a good idea to get a head start. I've already bought a gift or two and I have other ideas for gifting. I wonder how many of us will shop online this year? I remember doing quite a bit last season. How easy and comfortable shopping at home is. One can compare prices, easily return unsatisfactory items and the best part one doesn't have to search for a parking spot- easy in these early shopping days before Christmas.

Fah Lah Lah Lah Lah Lah Lah!
How Nice!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ROBBLOG #746- All the Luck in the World

The word luck.

I've been thinking about that word today and it's derivative lucky.
Is life just plain old luck?
We luck out.
We are lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

Lucky to be alive.
Lucky to be living in this Canada of ours even though there are some nutbars out there like people
who want to fly a "Straight Pride" flag to support "straight" people.
They just don't get it. Too much beer and walking into lamp posts I'll wager.

We are lucky that we are not in that throng of thousands who are walking from Central America, through Mexico and ultimately to the Mexican/US border where that cheezie-faced fellah will probably tell his border guards to "deal" with them. I see it in his eyes as a news story shows the great sloth trudging towards his fancy helicopter.  I don't think these folks are the enemy. Wouldn't it be prudent to send representatives out to these people who are walking through the heat, day after day, to explain that their future is doubtful in that "great land of freedom" they see on CNN.

Their safety is at risk twofold- not just the closed door at the US border but traversing Mexico- not the safest place on the planet but then neither is the country where they are escaping from hoping to find peace, freedom- and work, in another.
I have great sympathy for these folks knowing in their hearts there is something better for them and their families only to run up against extreme right America. When you are frightened and weary, the world of citizenship rules and regulations is the last thing you are concerned about.

I am not entirely sure we here in Canada should open our borders either. Guess that makes me just as bad as our neighbours. Where would we put them and what with winter on its way- yikes.
Housing is a tough nut to crack for Canadians let alone thousands who are used to warmer temperatures.

Lucky to have no worries in that regard.
I am a Canadian.
I have a warm comfortable house and that house is in a Mediterranean climate where weather extremes are non-existent.

Lucky that I don't live in a city run by Patrick Brown. Does that guy have horseshoes up his ass?
People have short memories. First Ford, now Brown.
Is it an Ontario thing?
Gee, I like to hold my grudges and dislikes and let them simmer over low heat for years and years as well as the next person but I can't forget the Fords or Brown.

I'm lucky that I have friends who enjoy my company. Lucky that I have a husband who has stayed with me for almost 34 years and no, there's no medal for that achievement.

Lucky I have food to eat and a roof over my head.
Lucky that I have traveled a bit to see how other folks live. I have not been to either Mexico or Central America and I still don't have the desire to go. Same with Cuba. Visiting a country where folks are not free and taking them a tube of toothpaste so I'll feel better staying in my three star hotel while a kilometer down the road Cubans are living in crumbling houses.
No thanks.

I am lucky to have seen both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. I've seen the Eiffel Tower, Tower Bridge in London. Our Parliament Buildings. The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. New York City. Waikiki Beach. The Rocky Mountains. Hollywood and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Finally, I am lucky to have my health and my wits.
No comments from the Peanut Gallery...
Without one's wits there's no remembering when and no going forward. It's a time warp and although I love doing the Time Warp- again and again, I want to remember it.

Lucky that I do.

Friday, October 19, 2018

ROBBLOG #745- Shortcomings

This morning The Mister called me from the Lanai.
"You gotta come and see this!"- he cried.
"See what?"- I yelled from the kitchen, "I'm making my cawfee."
"Just come!" He raised his voice a little.

I walked to the Lanai and had a look see. A black pickup truck was parked to the left along the street just past our property line.

Although, that's not what I said.
Here's a photo of the pickup's rear window- one side.

If you can't enlarge the photo, let me tell you what this jackass...
Whoops, I'm getting ahead of myself- what this gentleman has on his rear window.

The bottom right says- "18 yet?"
Upper left- "Four doors for more Whores"
As well there's-
"Don't laugh, your daughter could be in this car", 
"Louder than your Girlfriend last night", 
"Stay lit", 
"Your daughter likes this", 
"My couch pulls out but I don't!", 
"Enjoy Vagina"- which looks like a Coca- Cola logo
"Lost Unicorn, if found stop doing drugs!"
There's also a stencil of a skull in an army helmet with the letters M/M on the helmet and a yellow star with a backwards capital R" and a forwards capital "R". I have no idea what that means.
I'll bet this fellah does his share of weed referring to the "stay lit" stencil. He is living in an alternate universe to be sure.

Pretty disgusting what with #MeToo as well as Bernardo trying for parole making the news this week?
I mean really how can a straight man possibly think these stencils are funny let alone appropriate?
I could describe him to you but I'll be you can pretty well figure out what the sleazebucket...
whoops sorry again- young man, looks like.

Scruffy beard. Thin. Pale. Tattooed. A Smoker. Long greasy, stringy hair. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those items individually- except for the greasy, stringy hair- but throw them together on one fucked up human....whoops, sorry for a third time- an individual, the whole picture changes.

If I was a psychiatrist, I'd probably peg this creep for somwthing bad waiting to happen or maybe just a slimeball who needs help- and fast, or at the least his balls kicked all the way to Tuktoyaktuk!
That's harsh. I know.
I really have to feel sorry for this human being who has no concern for the rest of the human race only for his smallish dick.

Anyhoo, along with another neighbour we complained to the on-site foreman as well as the builder through his office. The two gals in the office were disgusted as well. As far as we know, there were no youngsterswho had the opportunity to read this fucked up truck even though schools had a professional development day here on the island. Of course is he's cruising around the island, I'm sure many have had the opportunity.

My question is- Why didn't his fellow workers say something?
Is it a buddy thing?
Did they think it was funny?

By the way one of the sorriest things I hear today- living on this building site, is one straight man calling another- "Buddy". 
Where did that come from?
I mean one Gay man calling another Gay man "Bitch" is a sign of love and respect but Buddy??

There is one thing I believe sounds worse- that is a grown man calling his son "Buddy".
Use his name for Gawd's Sake. These are the same men who refer to their wives as "The Wife" no doubt. What happened to calling your son or wife by their first name?
I think it's a sense of ownership.
Once again, I am not a shrink.

So complaints were fielded and the fellah- who is a drywaller, got a call from his boss who said he'd have to cover the offending words up. 

We never heard anything more about his shortcomings but here's the result.
Truck Tape.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

ROBBLOG #744- Vrooom

I first posted this story seven years ago.
I tweaked this and that and here it is again in it's entirety plus a bit more.

One summer day, a smallish, young man with a penchant for singing show tunes walked along his street to a quiet, little parkette just around the corner from his little house.The day was bright and warm with oodles of sunshine.

He carried- in a little pink case, his beloved pussy-cat. Her name was Miss Chinchilla. Miss Chinchilla loved to go to the parkette with the little man. He carried some special teats just for Miss Chinchilla in his tiny pockets along with a bottle of fresh water. Miss Chinchilla purred with delight.

Not to be left out, the smallish, young man had also packed a picnic lunch for himself. He had made cheese sandwiches and placed a bunch of olives in a sealed plastic container. The little man loved olives as much as he loved his pussy cat. He also carried a huge jug of ice-cold lemonade. All this was safely tucked into a big, yellow backpack he had flung over his shoulders. 

As he walked along the smallish, young man sang some of his favourite showtunes! He belted- “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma and “It's a Privilege to Pee” from Urinetown.
Even singing one of his favourites from Showboat- "Old Man River". He accompanied himself on the harmonica which was a feat in itself. He played and sang and sang and played. Even Miss Chinchilla purred along in perfect harmony! 

They soon arrived at the parkette. The smallish, young man walked to his favourite bench beneath his favourite Maple tree and sat down with his pussy by his side. He started to sing one of his most favourite Broadway tunes from Flower Drum Song- “I Enjoy Being a Girl”. 

As he did so a portion of a group of righteous locals- who were sitting on blankets spread on the ground under a huge oak tree, heard the song he was singing. This Gaggle of Locals- who didn't fit into any specific "group" profile that the small, lean, young man could recognize- including but not totally excluding any of the collection of such groups currently forming across the country.
At the very least, they could be sympathizers or followers of that Quebec right-wing politician who recently won a majority in the Quebec Provincial Election. You know, the Air Transat guy.
Right. Him.
Like the rest of Canada, who cares what happens in Quebec anyway.
Maybe the group supported the brother of the former Mayor of a literally huge centrally located- but a bit to the east, city.
So, back to our story...
A few of them rose to their feet from the blankets and walked to where the smallish man was seated- singing, on the bench.

They stood in front of him and told him he was going to "someplace bad"- and HOT cried a rather plain looking, 12 year old blonde girl, for singing such a song. Then, a big, black, quite muscular as well as a strikingly handsome man- moved forward from the group and began speaking by telling the smallish man his name was Henderson.

"Dear Sir, did you know it is just plain wrong for a man to sing the words you are singing? Especially a white man singing "Old Man River"!
The small, debonair man pooh-pooed this as he remembered seeing Andy Williams singing that very song many times and Andy was very, very white.
"Why, what if someone omnipresent was to come upon yawl just sitting here on this bench singing those words?" 
His pectoral muscles twitched as he spoke.

The smallish, young man looked at the muscular man along with the rest of the group standing in front of him- including the plain blonde girl. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a few pussy treats offering them to Miss Chinchilla. Then, he opened the backpack he had placed on the bench next to him. Unzipping the zipper, he reached inside.
He snapped open a plastic container and ate three olives.
Then, he took out a Havarti cheese sandwich- on whole wheat, unwrapped it, then took a big bite. 

Henderson spoke again. This time his huge, black, biceps undulated under his tight, long-sleeved white shirt:

“You are just not listening to the words we all are saying to you Brother. You will be confined to the fires of damnation for eternal life for singing those oddly sinful songs from the Broadway stage.” 

“Oh well,” said the smallish, young man, “Guess I`ll see you all there!” 
Then, he looked directly at the huge black man- square in the face, and said:
"Golly, you really do have such nice, large muscles!"

Henderson started to fume. His massive chest muscles heaved.
He actually seemed to blush but owing to the fact he was an oversized, chocolate-skinned man, one could never tell but being a good, decent man he said no more.
Making a silent wish, Henderson spun on his heels and motioned with a large, black hand for the others to follow. The entire group spun on their individual heels and returned to the remainder of the gaggle of locals who had remained seated on their blankets beneath the huge Oak Tree. 

The smallish man took a few more bites of the cheese sandwich. Then, the smallish, young man poured himself a glass of lemonade and sipped away, all the while keeping an eye on the Gaggle of Locals beneath the oak tree. 

Suddenly and without warning Miss Chinchilla- his lovely pussycat, opened the door of her little pink case, stepped out and sat on the bench next to the smallish, young man. Miss Chinchilla pondered the situation. The smallish, young man seemed sad. She looked up at the smallish, young man and winked a pussy eye.

Then, taking a huge Black and Decker chainsaw out of her pink case, she scampered over to where the locals were sitting on their blankets. She climbed a few feet up the huge Oak Tree, started the chainsaw with a horrendous vroooom and made a nice, clean cut right through it. The mighty tree fell, right on top of the Gaggle of Locals- even the huge, black, muscular, handsome man, sitting beneath. 

The smallish, young man and Miss Chinchilla thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the day eating cheese sandwiches, olives and pussy treats. They drank lemonade and fresh, bottled water. 

The Gaggle of Locals never bothered the smallish, young man and his big pussy ever again.
Oh, the smallish man- after admiring Henderson's huge biceps and chest muscles, decided to join a gym and he did so the very next day.

The End.

Friday, October 5, 2018

ROBBLOG #743- Giving Thanks

It's our First Island Thanksgiving in our own home- Palm Villa.

Last year we were on the Island and had Thanksgiving twice. We were sort of considered "nouveau" Island orphans I suppose.

One day last Thanksgiving we were at our good friend Donatella's.
We feel like family now.
It was at Donna's (I started calling her Donatella about that time) where we stayed in her lower level apartment while we waited for our new home to be finished. It was to be for two months and a couple of weeks. We will be forever grateful that we were allowed to live- almost normally, for those two months. I mean, Priscilla our RV was terrific- she really was, just not for an additional two months of "roughing it". I say this telling you Priscilla had a three piece bath, full kitchen and queen size walk around bed.

On the actual Thanksgiving Monday last year we were at another Thanksgiving celebration at our friend Leanna's Mum and Dad's. Karen and Ed made us feel ever so welcome as did Leanna and hubbie Jason just a few months before when we met them at the Duncan Market. Leanna was actually born right here on the Island. Kind of her claim to fame. Well, there's more including an infamous murder trial she can't talk about to this day- but let's leave it at that.

So, this year the Mister and I bought a big Turkey a week ago before we asked guests to join us.
We started doing that this week.
Making verbal invitations.
At one point, we thought we'd have up to nine around our table but the latest count has been rounded off at six or thereabouts. That number could change.

With the exception of one guest, everyone has come to the Island from Ontario including those three invited guests that had to take a rain check when transportation over the Malahat from Victoria didn't work out. Bus service on the Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend is just not as reliable and convenient as Monday through Friday, so we'll blame BC Transit for our lower number of guests.

Anyhoo, it'll be a nice dinner.
Lots of laughter and chatter and stories.

I'm using my Grandmother Lottie Bartley's- My Mum's Mother, Wedding China if the number stays static at six. It's a china set I have had for decades with a floral pattern and gold along the plate's edges. It's very old and has to be hand washed- but it is worth it.
It's good for a conversation starter around the table as well.

Looking down on us will be my Dad's Mother- Lillian Reid in a portrait that shows both her and her brother around the turn of the last century. It's very Victorian looking and I am so lucky to be in possession of the portrait.
It's a photo actually rendered in charcoal on top of the photographic image. It's in a gilded oval frame with roses and swirls.
It hung in my Dad's workshop for years collecting dust.
One day- maybe twenty or more years ago, I asked him for it.
He gave it to me- dust and all.
I think it hung in a spare bedroom at my Grandparent's House at 217 Front Street South in Orillia, Ontario if memory serves me correctly.

Their house nor address doesn't exist these days. It was torn down a few years ago to make room for a car dealership's new garage and parts department. When I was a kid in the 50's and early 60's Davy Park's barn sat on the spot next door and there were always huge horses grazing  along the wire fence next to my Grandparent's house.
I guess it's the reason why I love huge horses like Clydesdales and Percherons even today.

Nice memories. The past.
I hold them tight but we are making new ones in the present.

It's one of the reasons I love Thanksgiving and even though there will be special people missing from our table this year- those that have passed and those that are distanced by several provinces and time zones, I expect they'll all be there in spirit.

We'll be thinking and giving thanks for each and every one.

Happy Thanksgiving from our Island.

Monday, October 1, 2018

ROBBLOG #742- All the News that's Fit to Print

Boy, when you stop reading Ontario Newspapers online, you sure are out of the loop.

I started- or rather stopped reading news from "old home"- Orillia, Ontario, back in February. I was still reading the Toronto Star now and then to see what Ontario was up to but since then the Star has slapped a $14.99 a month digital fee to read their paper online- after 5 free articles, I stopped They tried this a few years ago and then they returned to a free Star online. Now, they've gone back to this online fee crying about a downturn in print advertising.

I am sure that's the truth because I've heard of many Ontario papers shutting down since we arrived here on Vancouver Island. Even Orillia's daily newspaper- The Packet, gave up the ghost last November. Is it greed on the part of the owners or indeed is print failing?

Doesn't seem to affect The Enquirer.
I still see their ludicrous headlines at the Walmart checkouts.
Some glossy magazines publish larger editions and feel quite confident charging the consumer an inflated price for the enlarged volume- with no advertising to be seen on its shiny pages.
I mean people buy them.
I know I have...

So, here's the Star asking for 15 bucks a month to keep up their superior brand of reporting.
They call it "ground-breaking investigative journalism and robust local reporting".
I call it 200 bucks a year for news I can read for free on other websites- like
Both are way up there on the "investigative journalism" scale.

When Newspaper Ads were the big thing!
The Star has a Vancouver edition too. Not that'd I'd shell out 15 bucks times 12 months for it either, since all the news is about Vancouver. You wouldn't even know the Island existed.
Maybe that's a good thing. Keeps Easterners east.
At least I think it does. Yesterday, I saw my first "Je Me Souviens" licence plate on a rust bucket of a General Motors van. It's not often you see vehicles- with rusted fenders held on with duck tape, here on our Island. Our vehicles don't rust away like that on the Island.

With the Toronto Edition, I don't really have an interest in Ontario politics what with Ford as Premier. I did read this week that the "temporary" figurehead of the Ontario Liberal party- I forget his name, actually said Ontarians were right when they booted Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals out of power.
Gee, I'll bet the Ontario Liberal party really thanked him for that show of support.
I imagine Kathleen sent him a smart, hand-written note that said-
"Hey thanks for your warm, supportive thoughts you Ass Hole"!
I know I would have sent something thoughtful and warm-hearted like that.
I'm sure Hallmark has a card specifically made for assholes.
If they don't, they should.

Now and then I think about looking at a "local" online paper from "old home" just to see what has been going on but I try not to do that. I do read the twice weekly Cowichan Citizen even though most of the news I've already heard through the local gossip mill before I even pick up the paper left on my doorstep every Wednesday and Friday. The online version is better and certainly more up-to-date.
I pick it up to peruse the numerous print ads in each edition before I throw it into the recycle bin.
I must say I flip through the real estate section that comes a couple of times a month. One never knows when a bargain is at hand.

A bargain??
On this Island.
Nada chance.

Anyhoo, I do just fine with the CBC and CTV and occasionally the Huff Post. I also keep my fingers on the pulse of newsworthy items by following selective folks on Twitter.
There, I get news straights from the source.
The newsmaker's themselves.
I can decide what's relevant to me or not and when I get tired of all the blarney and staying in the loop...I just click the "unfollow" button.