Friday, September 25, 2020

ROBBLOG #856

 

I know many of you have not been sleeping well.

You are all worried sick about my packing plans. 
I can feel it- in my tape dispenser hand.
Well, Dears, I am here to tell you to relax.
I have started the packing following the plan I talked about in the last blog.

Yesterday I packed 23 boxes.
23 boxes!
As I picked up my trusty tape dispenser I deftly stuck the tape to the side of the first packed box-
Rrrrrrrrrrrrrip.
Ah that lovely sound.
Rrrrrrrrrrrrrip!
I ran the dispenser along the top of the box and down the side.
I hadn't lost my knack!
I was excited!
I quickly folded and taped box 2 then, stuffed it full of bric-a-brac.
Rrrrrrrrrrrrrip! Rrrrrrrrrrip!
I was a master at the craft of packing boxes and thank goodness, I had not lost my
way. I believe I was a perfect 10 in my performance.

The Universe in all it's craziness was smiling down upon me- watching me.
Listening.
Look at me rrrrrrrrrrrip!

Then, this morning after a couple of cups of coffee, I made my way downstairs.
I picked up Mr. Tape Dispenser and began folding boxes.
Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrip and Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrip again.
I was masterful.
I stuffed boxes with DVD's, photos, Christmas ornaments and  VCR tapes.
Yes! I still own a few VCR tapes and a turntable and a receiver too.
I don't give up on the past that easily Girlfriends.
I respect the past and think of what could have been if DVD's- not to mention colour televisions
had not been invented.
What would we do with our free time?

I guess a conservative estimate would be 54.
Fifty-four boxes in total.
I would hope Mr. O'Toole would agree with my numbers even though he- as most Conservatives, find it hard to agree with anybody or get along with anybody.
Enough now.
Back to the task at hand.

54.
The number of boxes I now have packed.
I hear your gasps...
I amaze myself at times too.
Right now I am ahead of schedule and ready to relax for the weekend. I do keep a couple of boxes at the ready, in case the mood to pack just one more strikes me.
As an experienced packer, I know- like a smoker and a young man who craves relief, that the need to pack could strike at any time of the day. It's the reason I stand ready with my tape dispenser full and my felt marker handy to record package contents.

I am sure, in time, someone else will benefit from all my "box-making" and packing experience.
Nevertheless and furthermore, The Mister and I  have found our reason to hitch up the oxen and strike out for a new land full of hope, glory and promise. 

Que the heart-wrenching musical finale....

FOOTNOTE: I hope all you ladies have put away your white purses this being three weeks post Labour Day.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

ROBBLOG #855- Elephant Toes and Cardboard Boxes

 

Damn. Elephant Toes!

I'm sitting in the sunshine in my white flip flops and I look down and see Elephant Toes.
You know...that's when you see those little wrinkle lines that elephants have on their legs only now they're on my toes.
Well, that's just wonderful.
Now, I need Botox on my toes.

Could be worse I suppose.

Anyway, other things to worry about. To think about.
Number one on my mind is packing an entire house.

I'm thinking it seems like I just did this a short while ago and then I slap myself and realize that I have packed recently- a short three years ago.
The difference this time is the packing and shifting will be much easier.
This time the Mister and I are not moving half way across the country- three time zones.
This time it's about 15 minutes from the west side to the east side.
The upper east side.
To the mountain and almost the top of the mountain.

We've "borrowed boxes" from an Ontario friend from Owen Sound who just moved here in July. Another friend- from Mississauga Ontario who moved west in June is also supplying us with boxes. We, in turn, will pass the boxes on to a neighbour who is also on the move in our valley.
It's a cardboard chain.


I have the packing process all figured out- in my head.
I am leaving our main level untouched- for now.
I will begin by packing lower level items. Three cabinets in particular which hold family photographs in frames, a Santa Claus collection and more. Last time all these items had to be packed and wrapped in paper and bubble wrap and carefully place in heavy-duty cardboard boxes or plastic tubs.
This time a bit of paper and careful placement in a box.
It's a short trip remember.

This time too I'll not have to wrap painting after picture after print because of the short trip. I'll take these off the wall at the last minute and load them into the van. They'll travel with a towel or two tucked between and will be fine.

Once the pictures are removed, I am going to cover the nail holes. I bought this stuff that fills the holes. It goes on pink and dries white. Then a quick run over with some sandpaper.
A dab of paint and voila a perfect, untouched wall.
Some friends say- why are you going to all that trouble?
It's because I want to leave the house in pristine condition.

At least all the packing and the lifting of these boxes will be light.
We are leaving the heavy stuff for the movers because at my age,
I don't want to drop a dresser on my "Elephant Toes"!

Monday, September 14, 2020

ROBBLOG #854- Shopping for Dollars and Things

 


It's has begun.

The Holiday Season- or should I say "the Season of Holidays".
We just put Labour Day to bed and here comes Thanksgiving, Harvest, Halloween and Christmas.
I should include "Remembrance Day" as well but every year somebody, somewhere gets their tits in a wringer over this special day so, I don't believe I should refer to it as a "holiday"- even though Federal Employees garner extra pay and a day off to boot.

Anyhoo, I was looking at Home Depot online when what to my wondering eyes should appear-
but a scary, life-size clown bopping out of a huge jack-in-the-box! 
For only $288.
I'll take a couple at that price!!
You too can have a disturbed-looking clown for your front yard this Hallowe'en.
Actually, no thanks. 
We have one living and breathing in our very neighbourhood. Much scarier than the Home Depot version by the way. Remember my last Blog when I said the Mister and I were moving again? That means the life-like, disturbed clown will not be in our new neighbourhood. Gee, I might have to fork our $288 after all...

Also at Home Depot Online, there was a cute old witch in a rocking chair for under two hundred dollars. I remember seeing her in the store.She rocked and cackled with a cat skeleton on her lap.
No thanks.
The cackling is what we are moving away from!

Just below the photo of the clown and the old witch in her rocking chair, there was a bevy of Christmas Trees.
Branches outswept.
Downswept.
Upswept.
Straight out.
Trees were Flocked.
Not Flocked.
Green.
White.
Pink and
Black (?)
How Jolly.
Scrooge would be proud.

It doesn't take long for all these items to appear once mid-September has bit the dust.
There's a time for shopping.
There's a time not to shop.
There's a time to shop again...
There's a time to window shop and a time to online shop
or a time to not bother shopping at all.
I think it's all in the bible under Ecclesiastes or The Book of Testicles...something like that. 


I'm doing a lot of online shopping these days for the new house up on a hill I told you about. It's quite convenient for days I want to shop or I can just leave it alone for days I don't care to shop.
It's that easy.
I have been shopping for many items because time is of the essence- like flooring underlay and curved, chrome shower rods that the Mister and I shopped for today.
We actually originally had shower doors in 3 out of the four bathrooms.
I know.
4 bathrooms!
It's not right is it when so many people in Alberta are having to live without semi-automatic rifles.
Sometimes, life just isn't fair- is it?

We kept the shower doors for the Master Ensuite but opted for an easier method of cleaning now that we are in our golden years. A new shower liner from the dollar store is much easier than climbing into a tub and trying to spotlessly dry a pair of glass shower doors.
A lesson we have learned from past homes.
Older but smarter...

Enjoy this "Season of Holidays" whether you choose to shop or not.
Of course with covid, I understand that holidays like Hallowe'en might just be cancelled saving you all kinds of candy money. Your jack-in-the-box clown may have no one to scare.

I hear that Santa and his Elves are practicing physical distancing at the North Pole as they work away on this year's gifts. However, his yearly appearances in parades and shopping centres may be on hold for 2020.

We can only hope for the best this "Season of Holidays".
I know that the Toronto Santa Claus Parade is hoping to continue the yearly event by marching on November 15th. 

Time will tell...
and what the Hell is Santa doing marching through Toronto streets on November 15th? 
Good Grief.

Monday, September 7, 2020

ROBBLOG # 853- A House Isn't Always a Home

 


Well My Dears, it's been a few weeks- hasn't it, since a new ROBBLOG appeared.

I have an excuse.
We all have excuses but mine is a fairly good one.

The Mister and I are on the move...again.
Our wonderful home on this wonderful Island called Vancouver Island has been sold.
~take a moment to let it settle in~

Most of our friends are aware of our decision.
It is the new, new adventures of The Island Boyz. The last adventure of moving to this Island- three years ago this past August 23rd, is still fresh in our minds but we are moving on.
Moving forward.
Movin' on up to the "east side"...

We are putting down new roots again and NO we are not going back to Ontario although we have been telling the busy-bodies in our neighbourhood that that is exactly what we are doing. We don't talk to the busy-bodies really, they just overhear what we are saying to other neighbours and sometimes the neighbours and I play a game and we talk a wee bit louder so they can hear the facts.
The wrong facts.
Usually they are hiding behind a bush or in the semi-darkness of an open garage door to hear our little impromptu scene.
I kid you not!
This is what they do- especially the doorknob that lives opposite us.

A few days ago another neighbour gleefully told yet another neighbour that we had sold and even knew where we were moving and that it was a done deal.
It was not.
I was sitting right in the van in our drive and heard all this speculation.
It pisses me off.
Why didn't they walk across the street and ask us.
In this neighbourhood it's easier to "suppose".

It is one of the reasons we are leaving. 
Too much gossip.
Too much complaining.
Too much of the witch queen opposite with her gaping garage door open from morning to night.
Too much partying from a couple of houses of 30 somethings who lack respect for us more mature folks.

So I guess you get the reason why we are packing up and moving on.
Oh, I forgot to say I was also told to "Fuck Off" while standing in my own yard listening to the "high school" talk and fuck this, fuck that language coming from an outside party across the way from our back yard.

That party and the ensuing "personal direction" I was told to take was the straw that bent the poor camel's back.

We texted our real estate agent that night and when he called the following morning I said-
"Get us out of here!"
Those were my exact words.

A simulation of the Mister and I
An artistic simulation of The Mister and I

The surprise in all this?
It took only two weeks from that call to be where we are now.
Our house is sold- in two days.
We have bought new again after looking at 10 "pre-used" homes over the past months.
It's been a whirlwind!

When I said a few lines above- "we are movin' on up to the east side"- we are.
The east side is the home of the "elites" or so we've been told.
Funny how that word has crept into our federal politics recently. Now we are moving up to an east side, mountainous neighbourhood where we apparently are "elite" as well.
I can agree with that only because we have moved on up the real estate scale too.
~puff, puff~

Our agent told us from the start that "this is where we needed to be" on the Island and soon there we will be.
I am happy.
The Mister is happy.
We hope we will love this house.

The house we will leave in a few weeks has been nice.
I like it.
I like it a lot.
We put our heart and soul and design into this house but I never, ever fell in love with it- not like our Pine Tree House back in Old Home in Orillia, Ontario.

I already have "pangs in my heart" when I walk into this nearly completed new house.
I believe I love it already and our view!!
OMG!
Holy shit, I mean!
A lake.
Several mountains.
The Ocean.
A gulf island- Saltspring, plus a view back to the mainland around Grouse Mountain.

It's a dream come true.

It's been a whirlwind these past 14 days.
It's been stressful too.
My shorts are fitting much looser these days.
My sleep has been interrupted as has the husbands.
It's been hard to turn the brain off.

So Kids, that's my excuse.
A change once again and perhaps this time the last until I stand in front of the Pearly Gates and tell old St. Peter-

"Pete, it's been a Hell of a ride!!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

ROBBLOG #852- Honk

 


It was just past eight-fifteen.

The brilliant golden sunlight of a late summer morning danced on the small pond across the yard from my kitchen window.

I grabbed my old blue windbreaker from behind the kitchen door and slipped it on over my head and shoulders as I hurried outside. The zipper had broken months ago and "over my head" was the only way I could get it on. It was like an early morning wrestling match. I just didn't have the heart to pitch it in the bin. Of course, I could have grabbed a hoodie from the hall closet but I was in a hurry. Harriet, Lulu and Mr. George- my Toulouse Geese, would be waiting by the rickety picket fence for our morning walk.

We walked every morning at the same time.
A walk first and then all three would patiently wait for me to pour their morning feed into the three empty bowls that sat next to the old barn door.

A minute later I rounded the corner of the barn opposite the old cherry tree and there they stood. Mr. George was tapping one webbed foot looking indignant and wondering why he should have to delay his summer hike because of a human who obviously didn't value the purpose of a time clock.

"Hey Kids"- I called.
Harriet and Lulu honked a good morning in unison but I could see that Mr. George would take a little longer to warm up this morning due to my tardiness.
I understood how he felt.
Yesterday morning I was barely awake when I had to pull on my wellies at seven thirty to herd the sheep back up the path and into their pen. Someone hadn't closed the gate after letting them into the yard after a cozy night in the barn. That someone wasn't bright-eyed and bushy-tailed yet.
Hmmm...

Now, one might think it was me who left the gate wide open- I suppose, however, it was more likely Karl. Karl was the hired hand.
He was probably a little tipsy after spending a few hours in the local pub as he was want to do. He'd perhaps forgotten his late night checks around the yard as he stumbled into the cottage at the edge of the apple orchard.

Sometimes I wondered if Karl understood any of my broken German at all. The past three months, I had insisted he speak to me in his native tongue- mostly. I was preparing for a tour of Germany ending with a wonderful cruise of the Rhine.
I think maybe a tour of England's Cotswolds might have been easier to prepare for!
Maybe next year.

The girls- and Mr. George and I, headed off through the south gate and along the leafy lane.
They honked happily to each other looking up at me now and again expecting me to join in the morning conversation.
I was interested in all the usual barnyard gossip.
I really was  you know.
It was an entirely different world.

The ducks- according to Harriet were being their normal "quacky" selves and interrupted the Toulouse's quiet morning.

Mr. George insisted on quiet in the morning too. According to him, Bobbi the grey mare consistently whinnied at the morning sun and insisted on all that "horsey" singing to welcome the summer morning- much to the chagrin of Mr. George.


Peter the Pig and his girlfriend Brenda kept their pen in a horrendous state and something must be done to rectify the situation. At least according to Lulu.
"It was most distressing" she honked, especially when folks came over for a visit and had a chance to look over the driftwood fence into the pig's pen.
"A regular sty to be sure!" she added as she waddles along.

We had reached a turn in the lane where we headed left into the apple orchard. Harriet and Lulu chomped on a couple of fallen apples while Mr. George strolled over to the stream that cut across the orchard, eventually emptying into Lake Bee just on the other side of the road. He had a quick flap in the warm water and re-joined us as we head back through the orchard, past Karl's Cottage- where it was still very quiet- and into the barn yard.

I grabbed the bag of feed and filled all three Goose Bowls to the brim. All of the Toulouse Geese honked their appreciation- even Mr. George. I headed back to the house for coffee taking one last look over my right shoulder never expecting to see Karl standing at the door to his cottage slurping from a large mug.
I smiled and walked on to my kitchen door.
Soon, the enduring ritual of a country day would control all of the hours ahead.

The country life.
It's the quiet.
The animals.
The clear blue sky and the sparkling waters of Lake Bee and Karl too.

It was the very definition of a bucolic lifestyle and I loved it.
All of it.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

ROBBLOG #851- Sizzle

 

Hi Kids. Today a short story about Roger and Stan. I dunno why. Just because.

A week ago last Thursday Roger and Stan headed to the local lighting store- Light and Bright,
to buy a new pair of ceiling fixtures. Stan- the half of this pairing with a taste for indoor decor, had wanted new ceiling fixtures for the den for more than a year. Roger on the other hand couldn't care less one way or the other.
This pissed Stan off just a smidge but he dealt with it just as he had always dealt with it- with a modicum of taste and a heavy use of his inside voice.

After seeing an ad in one of the local papers, Stan managed to convince Roger to come along to Light and Brite with him to add his opinion regarding the two fixtures Stan was prepared to purchase.
They jumped into their little maroon-coloured Fiat 500 and tore down the street- as best a Fiat 500 can tear, with Roger behind the wheel.

Arriving at Light and Bright's parking lot, Roger wheeled into a convenient space marked "for small cars ONLY" and shut off the engine.

The boys climbed out of the Fiat 500, strapped masks over their ears, mouths and noses and headed for the entrance. Light and Bright was a huge store. Who knew there were so many lights, bulbs and fixtures in the entire world?

Stan loved this store.
Roger not so much.
Stan also loved "Winners".
Roger not so much.
Stan loved spinach.
Roger not so much- especially boiled and slopped on a plate next to mashed potatoes- bleeck.

Once inside Stan dragged Roger down aisle 23 and stopped at shelf number 22A.
On the shelf were the fixtures in dainty little boxes.

"Not much of a fixture..."- Roger commented.

"Like you should know!"- Stan countered. "Look up there Rodge. That's what they look like."
Roger looked to the wall above where the boxes sat on the shelf and saw the shiny fixtures Stan was obsessed about. Make no mistake, Stan was kind of obsessed- like his obsession with  photographs of Hugh Jackman- shirtless.
A story for another time I'm afraid.

"Well, if that's what you came here to buy, get it." Roger's tone was less than supportive.
Stan didn't care.
It usually was.

Stan grabbed two boxes of the fixtures shown above and spun on his heels and headed for the cash.
"Anything else you wanna look at Rodge?"

"Huh?"- Roger says. "I can't hear you through that damn mask plus you're turned away from me. I can't hear you. Just a mumble."

"Look."- Stan turned to face Roger. He was becoming miffed. "We are a country of mumblers now so get used to it Roger. Covid is the way of the world and wearing masks is part of this world."

Roger grimaced and slid past Stan heading for the check outs. Over his right shoulder he yelled-
"All I said was I can't hear you through that mask. I'm not asking for a lecture!"

"Good Grief. 'The Jesus'- give me strength." He followed Roger to the checkouts like a dutiful hubbie.

In a few minutes they were back in the Fiat 500 and on the road to home with a short stop at Tim's for a large triple milk and an iced tea. 
Roger loved iced tea.

Once inside the house Stan set the boxes holding the fixtures on the kitchen counter and sat on a stool to sip his coffee.

Suddenly, Roger- who had plopped himself on the living room couch to nurse his iced tea, came into the kitchen. He took a deep breath-
"Let's get these lights up so I don't have to listen to you whine all day and all night!"

"I wasn't whining Roger, I was sipping my damned Tim Horton's Coffee. That's all!!"

"Whatever. Let's get at it. Grab the step ladder and I'll get the screwdrivers." 

Roger disappeared into the depths of the basement. A few minutes later he returned with the tools. Stan was already in the den with the step stool in position. "Stan, do and turn off the breaker switch will ya? It should say den or small bedroom or office something like that. You should be able to figure it out. Pick one."

"One what?" Stan almost wished he had called an electrician. Roger always got so short with him when they worked on a project together.

Roger grunted. "Funny Stan. Real funny."

Now Stan was becoming irritated but he held his tongue and slipped into the pantry just off the kitchen.
Once inside he opened the cover plate on the breaker panel.
Speaking loudly he called out to Roger-
"Geeze Rodge, this panel should have been marked better when we had that wiring done last spring.
I can barely read the handwriting. I'm not sure what some of it says!"

"Will you just pick one and forget about last spring!" 
Roger was not happy and Stan could hear it in his voice. He was about to reply but decided to hold his reprisal and just make a choice as Roger had directed.
Flick. The breaker clicked off.

"Have you done it?" yelled Roger from the Den.

"Yes, I think so." Stan closed the pantry door and walked back to the den to find Roger on top of the step stool. He had removed the old fixture from the ceiling and was about to take apart the wires.

Roger look down at Stan- "You have it turned off Stan. The breaker that says Den? Did you do what I asked?"

"For fuck sake Roger. Yes. Yes. Yes!!" Stan was raising his voice at this point. "I turned off the goddamned breaker switch. Just once can't you fucking well trust what I am doing? The switch is not on. It's off. Happy? Check it yourself if you don't trust me!"

Roger shrugged his shoulders, ignoring Stan as usual and reached up to untwist the wires that gave juice to the old fixture."

Sizzle.
Zzzzzzit. 
Crunch.
Pop.

Roger screamed and fell from the step ladder to the floor below, landing at Stan's feet.

Roger's memorial service is the first Tuesday of next month.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

ROBBLOG #850- In the Limelight



In this apocalyptic world of covid and face masks, I want you to know I have made it safely to my 70th year.

Now as I trudge the days through my 70th year, I have started to think about how short this lifetime of ours can be- after you put decades of living behind you.
I mean, it can make a girl think.

I have added a new photo up above.
The "Official" Birthday Portrait.
I mean if Liz can issue an "official" portrait, why can't I?
It's recent.
By recent I mean 2017.
It was one of the last professional shots I had taken as I continued to perform in theatre. That has hit a brick wall these days. 
First, I should say here that my friend Seanna took that shot and a few others that I had stored away for a rainy day. Seanna is an Ottawa gal these days living in our National Capital with her family.
We talk and text from time to time.
We are both Orillia born and raised until we got out.
Her east.
Me west.

There are lots of theatre companies here on Vancouver Island but I haven't reached out and resumed a time I loved.
Being on stage.
I get a little verklempt when I think about it.
There were some great friendships there and when I think of certain shows they still me me smile and laugh.

Yesterday I was going through files of documents online and I came upon a script I had written a few years ago called "That's My Son".
I had written it for Janet-Lynne and myself.
I loved working with Janet-Lynne. We played husband and wife once in Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Now- there's another stretch, as well as Nuns in All For Nun- The 2nd Coming.
Sister Mary Margaret is one of my all-time favourite characters.
I wrote that show too and it's predecessor All for Nun.

Janet Lynn on the left as "Kate" and me next to her.
Brighton Beach Memoirs. Janet Lynn as "Kate" on the left,
then me and Patti Scott playing Kate's sister.

Anyhoo, Janet-Lynne and I are no way even close to being Mother and Son in real life- me being older. 
Much older.
I thought the script would work a few years ago.
Theatre is make believe after all.
Makeup, lights and distance can work wonders!
These days I am not sure there is enough makeup to make me look like I could be JL's son!

I remember we even read the script aloud one summer afternoon on our veranda back in Orillia, Ontario. I think we laughed out loud.
Anyhoo, I have the script here in front of me and I intend to read it through.
I will either laugh again or cringe at the thought that I had some sort of nerve thinking of performing the piece on stage.
It takes a lot of nerve being in theatre and I have that.

Part of that love I have to blame squarely on being a Leo.
We like the limelight.
We are always picked out in a crowd.
We love to lead.

Maybe once covid is history, I'll think about theatre again.
Maybe I'll have a lead part on stage once again.

As I always say- I'll lead anything. Got a band?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

ROBBLOG #849-Aging Gracefully?


See that "professional" theatre shot of me above?

That was taken about- give or take, eight years ago.
Time flies.
Now, I guess I still look "something" like that.
More chins maybe.
More "chins" than a Chinese phone book!
A Joan Rivers line. Not mine.

Let me be clear about the topic of this current Blog, Dear Reader.
I am about to enter my 70th year.
I wanted to write this Blog this week because next week- where my birthday actually falls, I may be blubbering or I may have locked myself away.
Let me be clear again.
I will be turning 69.
I hear you- "You said 70- liar, liar, pants on fire."
Again, to be clear, I said 70th year.
If I should go to be with "The Jesus" and the Baptists and Catholics the days after turning 69, my announcement in the paper would say:
The death occurred in his 70th year.
Right?

One has to actually live that 70th year before receiving well-meaning birthday cards from "friends"  that gaily point out the fact one is 70!
Anyhoo, I have 12 months to prepare myself for that event.

It seems like only a blink of an eye has passed since I had my 50th Birthday Party. It was a Hawaiian Party and thanks to my friend "Vodka" at one point I sat high atop a bar stool with legs crossed belting out a ballad. I have no recollection what the ballad was but from photographs it was a doozie!

These past 19- almost 20, years have gone by in a snap.
Highlights?
Seeing Paris multiple times and London.
Having some terrific parts in theatrical shows.
Doing a one-man show all about me- of course.
There are many more highlight but perhaps the biggest and most written about was our move- The Mister and I, to Vancouver Island almost three years ago.
That move is still in flux.

Me and The Mister these days on the Island
It's not easy getting used to being three time zones away from the province where one spent one's entire life but I'm working on it.
In case you're wondering, I do not miss the snow and -30c temperatures.
I do not miss Mr. Ford or that political family in Simcoe North that is a good example of nepotism
at its very bests.
Buh-Bye.
I miss the people.

What do I miss about the years before coming up to 69 years of age?
I miss not having to touch up the hair and moustache on a regular basis.
Honey, grey has never been my colour and white is definitely a Xmiss colour along with red and green. Pink too, in places where they have Fags!

I miss looking younger and not having back pain.
I miss being able to suntan with my top off. Well I do still- it's just behind a bush.
I miss not falling asleep in front of the television.

I hate losing friends and family in these past 19 years.
It's sad to remember and add up how many have gone before.
Oh Fuck! ~sniff~
Well, at least I'm crying about memories and not my wrinkles or liver spots!

So, Dear Readers and Friends who are about to post Birthday Cards to arrive in time for the "big day" next week, I will try to be strong and look ahead to what the future will bring.

I consider 69 as a training ground for the big seven oh next year.
Fuck...

Sunday, July 12, 2020

ROBBLOG #848-Miss Titsie LaRue


Today Mesdames et Messieurs, a Tale of Miss Titsie LaRue.

Have I spoken of Miss LaRue before?
Peut-etre.
Miss Titsie LaRue was known for frequenting such famous places as the  Moulin Rouge, Theatre Bleue de Paris and the Wild Horse.
It was at these places where she performed her "act".

You see Miss Titsie LaRue was a Star of the stage in Paris- mostly in run down strip clubs in her later years, where she was a "professional" pole dancer.
A "professional" pole dancer you say?
Yes.
Oui. Un danse avec un baton. Un grande baton.

Did you know there are even professional teachers of pole dancing?
There are.
One being Esther Jane Tiddlescum- a Brit, who lived in Paris for several decades. After suitable instruction, Miss Tiddlescum would present the "dancer" with a very legitimate looking certificate stating that one had passed a rigorous pole dancing exam. This is why Titsie liked to think of herself as a "professional" and said so at every opportunity.

There were rumours that Miss LaRue also ran a popular "house of ill repute"- une maison de mauvaise reputation. This fact was common knowledge among the locals in the neighbourhood of St. Michel where she lived most of her professional life.

St. Michel is in Paris- if you didn't know.
Of course if you've never been there- why would you know?
St. Michel is not on the wrong side of the tracks especially but how would one know, for in Paris most of the tracks lay underneath the Parisienne soil.
I digress...
Je fais une petite digression.



This house of "mauvaise reputation" as I said, was common knowledge to locals and very much a destination for local Catholic Priests. At least those that slanted towards ladies. A priest preferring lady's bosoms (les tits) being few and far between in Paris. At least that's what the locals said.
"Few and far between."
Only they said it in French, sort of-
 "sont extremement rares"

It was also said that Miss LaRue herself was a favourite of many men within the French Government- although this could be the stuff from which rumours are born. Apparently, Titsie mesmerized the government officials with her prowess on the pole. Both on stage and dare I say "in bed".
Same dance. Different pole.

Miss La Rue did not only rely on her athletic abilities on poles and her satisfaction guaranteed under a duvet, she was also a highly sought after interior designer who's work ethic was built around this mantra-
"If I can't embellish it and it has two legs and is breathing without the aid of a machine of any kind- fuck it!"

It was said that it was a good thing Miss LaRue had her pole- un baton, to fall back on since her taste and talents in the world of decor leaved much to be desired. Many people- both manly and female, used her services. She was loved and adored by one and all who met her- "apparemment", whether they be watching her dance or decorate- usually not at the same time.

She always said- "Life should be lived and those who don't live life are fucking, lifeless (les) cretins!"
Titsie was not one to mince words. She spoke it like it was and the people of Paris expected and believed what she believed.

Although Titsie led an exciting life, not quite everyone was playing in her band for Titsie had an older sister- Miss Edith Jean. Miss Edith was a sad, less-than-colourful kind of girl with an impish smile- un sourire malicieu, who although carried the same genes, was far less popular and sought after than her famous soeur. She would find fault with her younger sister's activities and speak harshly to her whenever she felt that Titsie had crossed a line- which was often. Even so Titsie loved her sister (je t'aime) and they had a standing appointment for tea every Thursday afternoon at three- right after Titsie's afternoon pole dance at the popular Paris theatre known as "Theatre Bleue".

Miss Edith Jean would always make sure Titsie washed her hands well- for twenty seconds, before she picked up even one cucumber sandwich. Miss Edith may have been "less-than-colourful" but she was clean.

Some in Paris say a plaque should be erected- on a pole of course, in Miss LaRue's honour near the Fountaine St. Michel where Miss LaRue could been found feeding pigeons, displaying the latest Parisienne curtain fabric or just working the crowd- a travailler avec le meme group! (loosely translated)

Saturday, July 4, 2020

ROBBLOG #847- From a Distance Someone is Watching


Honestly, how can anyone even look at news, watch news or listen to news these days.

Especially when it's news about an orangutan who one day will pay for being a disgusting human being. Say no more!

That gal "running" Hong Kong- the puppet that she is, is not far being in the "World of Wonders" herself. Look at her dressed in her little 1970's two-piece knitted suits, with a brooch on the left, pretending she has Hong Kong's interests at heart.
So, that's why people from Hong Kong are feeling to Canada and England is it?
This one needs to be in a carnival tent along the midway with her puppeteers Even so, the Chinese people wouldn't get it. She's a menace and she's really just "China" in the flesh throwing those who oppose "the rules" in jail.
I believe things have just begun to get worse for Hong Kong or those in Mainland China who believe better days are ahead.
They aren't...

Then, lucky ole Russia. They could have Putin in power for a couple of decades.
That is, if he wants to run.
It would kind of be like having Scheer, Harper and MacKay all in power at once- only marginally better.
Putin has choices.
His choices.
Must be nice to run a government that way. He could say-
"Look can I let you know in a Russian Morning if I want to run again Comrades? ~he laughs~ Of course it will be all right. I am bigger and better than a Czar. I am practically an Emperor and I sit upon the right hand of the Orthodox God and his Orthodox son- The Jesuz. I only ask to make it seem like I care about the little Russian folk- except for those Gays and Lesbians who can never be Mums and Dads.
Of course I don't care."
If he does run in the decade after this, I sure hope he keeps his shirt on.

A week or two ago I knew it was going to be a problem when I started reading headlines about Justin- our PM, having a charitable organization his family supports dole out 900 million dollars to students. I didn't even know the entire story but the headlines looked bad.
Turns out they were bad and just as The Prime Minister was riding high in the polls with his "covid caring", he had to step back. Why did he think letting that organization handle all that cash would be just jolly okay in the opposition ranks or even in the minds of the most "Liberal" of Canadians.
Did anyone say- "Hey, that's a great idea Justin!"
I don't think so.

Gawd is watching from a distance (If there was a Gawd)
The news is bad these days.
I browse headlines every morning on CTV and CBC.
Most of the stuff I can't read.
I have no interest or no room in my brain to take it all in.

Even CTV a national "Canadian" Network let me down when the top "banner" story on their website was about the biggest, self-sucking, self-indulging holiday of the year in the States.
We all know that it's their "special" day.

It's their special day every day of the Gawd-Damned year and ya wanna know what pisses me off the most?
No, not Texans who slip over the border possibly carrying Covis 19 claiming to be driving to Alaska and ending up in Port Renfrew on the south western tip of Vancouver Island.
No, it's bigger than that.

What pisses me off is the American movies that come here to Canada and turn our small towns- like Ladysmith, into a Fucking Yankee Doodle Playland by placing a flag on every corner, streetlamp, store window and old lady's ass they can find just so we will understand while watching that movie that although it looks like Canada- it is really America.
Good Grief.
You know, that's the first sign of an American movie being filmed here. The profusion of American flags followed closely behind American bullshit which the actors step in throughout the 120 minutes of the film.

That being said I am glad our technicians and movie folk are getting work and our actors after decades and decades still win the "bit" background roles.
Thanks for that at least.

Finally and this is not news, I apologize for using so many " " marks in today's blog.
I dunno why I did...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ROBBLOG #846- A Tale of Canada


A Parable for CANADA DAY. Sort of...

Inagaddadaviaprezday (Translation In The Garden Of Eden)

Adam tossed off the banana leaf quilt covering his muscular torso and jumping off the Queen size bamboo bed, he stood before the open window, a fist placed in a masculine-type-of-way on each hip.
The morning sun glistened off his tanned chest.

"You know, I think I feel like doing something special this day."

"Like what"- grumbled Steve wiping the sleep from the corner of his eyes, "Make a new country?"

"Hmmm..."- Adam thought. "I just don't know my Darling. It's got to be a big, original idea. I know that!"

"Oh no Adam. Not another one of your hair-brained, creationist schemes. Isn't living the hell of this Garden-like Eden enough for you. I mean there's not a decent coffee shop for miles to say nothing of a shop where a guy can buy a well made, stylish loin cloth!"

"Oh Stevie, you are such a Debbie Downer. Look around for what the Father has provided for us!!"

"You mean traffic jams, hot weather that makes me sweat- and tourists? Well, He can take his providing and shove it where the sun don't shine?"

"Russia?"

"No Adam, not Russia but a good guess, it's somewhere just as dark and void of human dignity."

"Oh you mean he should shove it in that little indent here just between my bum cheeks!" Adam guffawed as he tried to peek behind himself.

"You're an idiot Adam. You should have been a blonde and I mean no dis-respect to blondes but really? " Steve shook his head as he swung his big, athletic legs off the bed. His bare feet hit the floor with a thud! Now, sitting on the edge of the mattress he held his head in both hands as he mumbled-
"Coffee, I need coffee..." He stood up from the side of the bed as Adam cried out loudly-
"Me too! Coffee please Sweet Cheeks!"
Adam turned and flicked on the radio and began to dance to the morning tunes on EDEN 104.5.
He shouted as he danced-"Look Steve, you had the beginnings of a good idea Hunnie, I 'll grant you that- but why don't I make a country! You know make one up from scratch like."

"Oh Good Grief Adam. An entire country? I didn't mean to..."
Steve was interrupted by Adam's enthusiasm
"Yes!" Adam jumped up and down on his size eleven's until the earth shook beneath him, "And I think I'll call it CABANA!"

"Cabana? Really? Cabana." The look on Steve's face was incredulous. "Next you'll be wanting the Father to pair boys with girls. What are you talking about Adam?"

"No, No Steve this'll work."

"If you're continuing with this hair-brained idea at least pick a better country name."

"Like what Stevie?"

"Well...like, say- like 'Canada'. That's it Canada! Now I'm making coffee. You fill in the rest."

Steve grabbed a pair of fraying shorts from a bedside chair and slowly pulled them up over his lovely legs, threading the button at the top of the shorts through the slit in the waistband. "Not sure this 'button' idea will ever catch on down here" he said to himself out loud,"but if the Father says it's a good idea- who am I to suggest something different- like maybe - a dome fastener?"

Once in the kitchen, Steve made cupboard noises...

Standing once again at the window Adam folded his manly biceps across his hirsute chest and thought for a moment while EDEN 104.5 rocked on in the background.
"Hmmm..."
Then, in a short minute, he called in the direction of their recently-renovated kitchen-
"Steve, I've thought about it and that is a great name! Wow and to think I thought about almost, ninety-percent of it all by myself!"

"I know Hunnie! You keep thinking!"- Steve called out as he measured a few cups of coffee into the filter. Steve also knew that behind every great man there was an even greater one- with kick-ass abs and a butt that wouldn't quit.".
...but enough about me he chuckled."

A few minutes later Steve placed bran-banana muffins, a pot of hot coffee and two empty mugs on a tray and carried the tray out to the terrace. Oh, a pitcher of milk for Adam too. He just had to have milk in his morning coffee.
He set the tray on the terrace table and called-
"It's ready Handsome!"- ever mindful he had to support, push and stand back just a little bit to let his man grow and take the credit- usually all of the credit, even for Adam's most silliest ideas.

Shortly after, Adam waltzed onto the terrace in a red mini robe that barely covered his manbits. He had a pen in one hand. A pencil in the other.

"Steve, how about I place all across this country called Canada-a bunch of Palm Trees?"

"Pookey, just where will this country be located?"- questioning Adam as any mortal would.

"Well, I was looking on the map and figured somewhere north of the 49th parallel- for the most part."

Steve poured the coffee and wondered how he could make a suggestion and still have Adam think it was his idea.  Adam picked up a bran-banana muffin and started to chomp away.

Steve sipped his coffee and looked across the table at Adam not really knowing what to say next.
He soon thought of something.
"Look Sweetie, it might be a little too cool to have Palm Trees all across this CANADA of yours, so why not- and this is just a suggestion, why not put Pine Trees in most of the country and save your Palms for say a smaller, more Mediterraneanized part of your CANADA say... on the west side and maybe along a coastal area or islands. They'd look pretty there.
Pride of place so to speak."

Steve waited for Adam's light to go on.
Sooner or later- it always did.
"Hmmm...cooler you say?"
~blink~
"Hey! What about I use Spruce and Pine Trees and..."
He looked at his banana muffin, paused and then said-
"and throw in some Banana Plants and Yuccas for that strip on the left coast!"

Steve started to applaud.
"absolutely stunningly brilliant Darling. Brill to a tee!"

"I thought you'd think so." Adam's chest heaved with Pride.

"Okay next- the people.
Hmmmm, what colour. Oh! What if I make them all dark yellow to offset the green of the trees and plants and I'll have them speak Canadianese and walk about on two legs..."
Adam scribbled even more notes with his lead pencil on his paper pad.

After a brief quiet Steve spoke again.
"Adam." He paused hoping Adam would understand his 'cause for a pause' first,
but he didn't.
"Adam, we walk on two legs. Remember?"
Adam stopped making notes.
"Oh- right. Well another problem solved."

Steve continued to sip his coffee.
He rolled his eyes and looked skyward.
"This is going to be a long day. A very long day indeed- isn't it Father?

And that's how CANADA was born.

Sorta.....

HAPPY CANADA DAY EVERYONE!!


Sunday, June 28, 2020

ROBBLOG #845- An Island Day


It's amazing the things one can accomplish in a single day on this Island in the Pacific.

I walked along our south garden- coffee cup in hand, pausing in the brilliant morning sun to gaze upon the lime-green throat of a burgundy Daylily.
Gorgeous and as the name says just a day- hence a Daylily.

Further along, I had planted a Julia Child Rose the other day with just a couple of full blooms intact. Now a few days later I see it has eight booms- all a golden butter yellow and all scented like spices.
Beautiful.
Next to it the Oregon Grape- tall and prickly, another delicious, all yellow Daylily.
Amazing. Look at the ruffles!
A showstopper!

A few minutes later in the lower garden, I plopped myself down in a brilliant yellow Muskoka Chair- not unlike the yellow of the Julia Child Rose, just to ponder life at that moment.
The sky was Island Blue. Not a cloud to be seen.
Hot sunshine filtered through my banana yellow garden umbrella. Straight ahead of me, a Momma bird was feeding her young in front of the white, outward swinging garden gate. The bird-child was impatient and the Mother fed the youngster as fast as she could. A few minutes later she flew to the rocks in the garden over to my left and fed yet another small bird-baby. The chirping set the tone of the Garden Oasis where I sat.
Nature. Sound. Colour. Warmth.

As I daydreamed, the frog fountain behind me bubbled with cool, flowing wate as two artificial water lilies floated round and round upon its surface. In the distance at a far corner of the terrace at the edge of the gazebo, I could hear the lion fountain's three streams flow noisily into the bottom basin where the water was sucked up by the pump returning it to the top tier.
The baby birds still chirped as several swallows dipped close by overhead.
"Not my Mama" the birds seem to say.

There was the enticing scent of the honeysuckle crowding its way to the top of the white, oval trellis with the deep garden red of a climbing rose intertwining freely. The Hummingbirds were at work drawing nectar from every last scented flower as yellow finches crowded at the feeder hanging from the trellis' top. An explosion of garden colour!

A neighbour soon walked by on the gravel path outside the gate, their feet crunching with every step. They didn't know I was sitting there comfortably in my Muskoka Chair hidden unobtrusively behind the Portuguese Laurels along the garden fence.
So much happening on my side of the fence.
Peace. Privacy. Shade. Greenery. Life.


Taking a rest from our garden, after brunch we took a short jaunt to the Ocean at Maple Bay- about fifteen minutes from our front door.
People were scattered here and there, physically distancing along the stony beach. Gulls cawed overhead. Kids splashed in the water. Sailboats slipped past the end of Saltspring Island. A pair of water boarders sprinted across the bay and back again. Beachgoers laughed in the near distance.
A young girl- 20 something, had managed to squeeze into a small, pink bikini that was hardly there at all. A young man jogged by where we sat in our lightweight, aluminum framed chairs, his calf muscles glistening in the June sunshine as his sneaker-clad toes dug into the sand. About this time a young Dad reminded his kiddie threesome that they had been at the beach for nearly three hours and they had to go....soon.

Pinch me.

I am on Vancouver Island. Our garden is one thing but this ocean and the vista in front of us quite another. I look down and there's the ocean right at my feet and as I gaze out over a calm Maple Bay I see in the distance the mountain-topped mainland accessible by air or BC Ferry. The smell of salt water is in the air and still, the clear blue of an island sky hangs overhead.
Soon for us too, it's time to go, so we pack up our chairs and Koko- our mini-schnauzer to head back to our van. Off we drive home to meet friends in the garden for an adult beverage and a chat.

The birds chirped.
A welcome island breeze.
Still a hot sun.
The sky? Still Island Blue reflected from the Pacific, I would presume.

Soon our guests arrive with wine in hand.
We offer a plate of cheeses, pickled asparagus, mini sweet tomatoes and crackers.
We munched and chatted and toasted our good fortunes until evening fell.
A final quick tour of the all the gardens- north, south and west before the evening darkness made it impossible to do so.
My, how the yellow Daylillies glowed in the late day light...

Even'tide. Goodbyes. Thanks. Best wishes.
Dishwasher loaded.
Inside Palm Villa, a final treat of strawberry shortcake leftover from the evening before.
Summer and berries.
Heaven...

The garden had been tidied. Chairs dispersed back to their proper places, pillows straightened and now the evening's question being- is what we have enough already?

The answer comes like the chirping of the baby bird had come beforehand-
perhaps....

Friday, June 19, 2020

ROBBLOG #844- The Side Effects of Macaroni and Cheese


Holy Hannah, I've had some interesting dreams of late and not one of them has included Hugh Jackman.

I've read about people having dreams because of this pandemic but I don't think that's the cause of my nightime stories. These are something that are purely "dreamed" up by little old me
Maybe it's the extra fibre I'm consuming in a glass of cranberry juice every afternoon round about four. A senior scenario. Like eating salad isn't enough these days
It could be the ocean air.
It affects the weather and the systems we get from the South Pacific here on our Island.
Maybe, it's just an island thing.
My days are quiet for the most part and my dreamworld state makes up for the laid back island life at night by "raising a little H E double hockey sticks".

Not all my dreams are intense.
In one dream I was able to spend some time with our Yellow Lab- Kiki.
The Mister and I loved that dog and she spent 17 wonderful years with us. I miss her every day.
It made me feel close to her.
I even looked back at some old photos and used a favourite pose of her for my desktop.
Our Kiki is laying asleep on a wicker love seat we had on a side veranda back in old home. What a sweetie.
~sigh~


Another recent dream had my cousin Judy popping by. Her voice was so clear.
"Oh yah..."
We were laughing about something.
Food or drink related.
I'm not sure now.
I must start placing a pad and pencil on my nightstand to make notes of my dreams. I used to do that a few years ago but I've gotten out of the habit. Sometimes a dream can be so vivid when you first wake in the morning but then it can be gone in a flash.

Recently, I had a nightmare of sorts.
Every once in a while, I have this kind of dream.
It can be violent or sometimes it's just as simple as the Devil chasing me.
Really? Yes. Don't ask.
"Get behind me Devil. You ain't takin' me tonight!"- I'd say in a Flip Wilson kind of voice.
Flip?
Google him if you don't know.


During this type of dream, I've been known to scream out loud.
I wake The Mister.
The cat jumps off the bed.
Koko lifts her head up and just looks at me- like what the hey Dad?

In this most recent nightmare I was sitting at the very desk I am at now, typing away. I see out the window to my right two figures.
Maybe my parents.
I get up and go to the office door and try to open it.
A strange presence is holding the door closed from the other side.
Eventually, I manage to pull the door towards me enough to squeeze out.
There's really nothing in the hall that I can see but I feel something strange.
White and all-encompassing.
Cold. Strong. Unusual.
I turn to the left to see if this presence is standing there.
Nothing.
Then, I remember the two figures outside the window.
"I'll be safe if I get outside the front door"- I tell myself.
I run for it flinging it open and yelling at the top of my lungs-
"Help me Mum and Dad!! Help Me!!"

This is where I woke up screaming waking everyone else in the bedroom.
The Mister's hand is on my shoulder trying to quiet my person.
Yikes!
I have no idea what it was but it was a "thing" that only my Mum and Dad could help me conquer and help me they did.
They forced me to scream waking me up from my nightmare.
Yikes!

Come to think of it, maybe it was the macaroni and cheese.
Huh...
I just don't know...

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

ROBBLOG #843-Sharing my Knowledge




If you've read my previous ROBBLOG, you'll remember it was all about a new direction that Swisssh Radio is taking.

Then today, as I was doing a Google search for radio stations that were popular in central Ontario back in the 60's and 70's, a blog of mine showed up in the search. The blog posted in September 2012 was all about "mechanical" changes at radio stations. So to balance the programming aspects of today in the last blog here's a refresher course on how radio stations ran back in the day.

It seems that in the fall of 2012, I had been reading various online sites of interest to “old” radio people about today's radio stations and how they compared to radio stations in the past. Now, some of this stuff will be foreign to those of you who were never broadcasters but back in the day I was familiar with these terms and associated equipment. None of these items exist in today’s high tech radio world. Computers rule!

Back when I began my radio career around 1972, we didn’t have computer programming or digital recorders.
We use tape machines and cassettes. All have disappeared from the face of radio broadcasting today, although you might find one stuffed in a closet at a station. 

I remember using Ampex and Otari reel-to-reel tape machines that housed 8 inch reels of tape. Sometimes we used 10 inch reels to record and broadcast a programme that say had to run in the overnight period. The
reels were massive and were held on the Ampex machines with big grey-coloured "things" we called “hubs.”

The tape was made- for the most part, by Ampex or Scotch.
I remember how brittle the tape became after being used time and time again and the background hiss they developed- like scratches on a 45 rpm record.

This caused many problems especially when I worked at a station in Midland that ran two hours of religion every weeknight. I “prayed” that the tapes would not break while playing.
Occasionally, they did. 
I would quickly try to re-thread the tape back onto the machine. By the way, the tape split- usually, when I took a washroom break.
Anyway, I would get the programme back on air as soon as I could. In the meantime, station phones were ringing off the hook. The calls were usually from religious cronies telling me I was going to Hell and that Satan was forcing me to break the tapes.
Indeed! Satan had time to look in on me and force tapes to break...

Cart Machines with that Cart 403 being a commercial
The eight inch tapes were used for production of commercials and each announcer had one. 
We also had grease pencils, splicing tape and razor blades to splice commercials together- especially if sound effects were used in the commercial production. There was no quick or easy way to edit tape. Editing commercials on today's production computers is a breeze.
Cripes, we never even had cell phones in the 70’s or the 80’s.
Imagine, most phones had holes on them to dial a number- not buttons.

In the "on air" studio, music was played on records which were placed on turntables. Vinyl records- the same records making a comeback today! When a 45 rpm disc was placed on the turntable- also being revived these days, a 45 adapter had to be placed on the turntable to fill in the big hole in the 45 rpm record. Long playing albums didn’t require the adapter of course.

We played our commercials on machines called “cart machines”. They sort of looked like 8 track tapes but had only small bits of recording tape on them- 20 seconds, 40 seconds. At the most a few minutes.
Some stations recorded top charted songs onto these carts and played them on the cart machines to save wear and tear on the 45 vinyl discs. Discs- like recording tape, could sound scratchy after a few hundred plays. This ensured a better on-air sound since some 45’s were made of better quality vinyl than others.

This is not me but I sat in front of a board like
 that at CKMP Midland- my first on-air job.
We had “pots” on our boards in the studio.
Not of the kitchen cooking variety. These were knobs announcers used to turn levels up or down for mics, turntables or cart machines. When I first began in radio I operated an old RCA board with big black knobs and tubes inside. The tunes frequently burned out and you would lose sound to a turntable or cart machine. While you struggled being “live” on air with only one turntable, the station engineer would crawl over top of you, open the back of the board and replace the tube.
Fun times!

Hey, do you remember typewriters?
They kind of looked like computers- only without the screen or tower under the desk or the internet.
We used to type words on typewriters.
Imagine.
These typewriters didn’t “save” the information we wrote however. Not like today's computers and devices.
We typed news stories, show prep, death notices the weather and more.

Of course, typewriters also had something like a tape inside, only it was called a ribbon. The ribbon had ink on it and when a typewriter key hit the ribbon, the letter of the alphabet you hit on the typewriter keys displayed on the piece of paper you had placed on the typewriter’s roller.
Sounds confusing- doesn’t it?
The keys looked just like today’s computer keyboards and are in the same place- except for digits such as the dash or the dollar sign- which one always had to search for along the keyboard.

Out in the newsroom at a radio station, we had a huge "Teletype machine" that brought us up to the minute news and weather from Broadcast News. It was like a computer only it was large- like a fridge. It was heavy and gray in colour. It clacked away all day and all night in the news room. 
It hardly ever stopped.
Now and then one had to re-fill the teletype machine using huge rolls of flimsy, yellow paper.
I remember the paper would frequently get stuck as it was printing the 1030 News Summary which you needed in order to read the 11 o’clock news!

We had phones as I mentioned previously but there was one phone dial that was used only twice a day at radio stations. It was on the transmitter board- usually out in the hallway at the radio station. One had to “dial” up the power of the transmitter in the morning and “dial” it down at night. You see, in Canada AM stations had to cut power at night so as not to interfere with other AM signals. AM signals travel quite far at night. That’s why in the Central Ontario area we were inundated with signals from big radio stations from the U.S.
That’s when our music industry was lost.
Everyone listened to the big American stations because local stations played religion or some crap music at night- like Peggy Lee or Percy Faith.
Local programmers never got it.
Funny, today I like that “crap” music.

This bouncing of signals at night gave our music in Canada an American twist. 
Sadly, we gave up on many of our own artists for the Brits and Americans.
At least things have changed in the last few decade. We have artists in this country who sell their music around the world.  Even so, many stations still rely on American Stars and content. Just look at various station websites. Pictures of Artists featured on station home pages are mostly American. I blame it on Music Departments, Programme Directors and music surveys.
Enough about that.

Here's something else we used frequently in the "olden days".
Patch cords.
Patch cords were used to bring in programmes from national networks or to take one studio off the air and put another studio “live” to air.
These boards looked like a Bell Canada Operator board.
“Number, please…”
That is- if you know what an old Bell Canada board looked like.

There have been many changes technically over the years.
It’s a whole new ballgame with computers and computer programmes.
That’s why I can run two radio stations from one studio using 3 computers. My stations can be heard all around the world whereas a station like CFOR in Orillia- where I worked on-air back in the 70’s, barely got as far south as Barrie, Ontario.

Finally, to end the broadcast day we usually played O Canada when the station left the air at midnight. Many stations were not on air 24 hours a day- except for large, big city stations. The anthem was usually pre-recorded on a cart (see above) and played on a cart machine. (also see above).
The National Anthem was preceded by an announcement saying something like:

“CFOR 1570 in Orillia has now completed its broadcast day. We will return to the air at 6 a.m. Have a good evening.”
Cue music: O Canada.

Those were the Days, my friend...