Tuesday, May 26, 2020

ROBBLOG #840- Let it Go. Literally.

Today it's all about bodily functions.

One in particular.
If you need to pee frequently because you are a child, pregnant or old like me, don't venture far from your ceramic bowl during this Toyota Corolla Virus.

Here on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, things are opening up- slowly.
Restaurants, Chiropractors, Hair Salons even Winners are dusting off the cash registers and windexing the plexiglas so we all an shop or look beautiful once again.
That is a good thing. Just don't expect to pee on a whim.

We've been dining out already. It's been a while.
Again, that is a good thing. It's a gift for being good and socially conscious.
Both establishments have had washrooms open.

Digressing for just a moment.
Islanders being one thing, there's you easterners, in particular Torontonians who gathered in mass numbers recently- 10,000 or more, at Trinity-Bellwoods park to bare firm pectoral titties and hardened biceps to the sun. The ladies bared something or other too. Like pink-painted toenails.

Many Toronto types just needed a warm, sunny day to socialize besides tan.
Either way-
Naughty. Naughty. Naughty you haughty Torontonians.
We Islanders know better and practice physical distancing. It became second nature to us very easly on. Well, except for a neighbour who has no clue.
I figure cancer or COPD will get said neighbour first anyhow.

Things opening up again is quite nice and it's a return to something we assume will be part of the new normal. However, along with the "new normal" comes new problems such as I hinted at so far in this blog-
Finding a place to pee.

The restaurants where we have dined have facilities open as I said but if you are not dining, where does one go- literally?
The Mister says- "Just stop and go in a bush!"
With my luck a lovely police officer will happen by and I will get charged with all manner of indecent behaviour reminiscent of  the mid-1980's when many "things" were done in bushes. I believe things still are done in some bushes in some parks like Allen Gardens or maybe Stanley Park or Stoney Hill not far from our home in the Cowichan.
Still, it's a chance to hang one's dongle outside one's pants near a west coast cedar and let the pressure flow.

I have thought about Depends but I know depending on Depends will come soon enough.
I still prefer to flop is out myself for as long as I can before I sit safely on a bench in my Depends and let loose with a sly smile pasted across my lips.

I can't imaging how it will feel to have all that wet bulk hanging down there in my BVD's.
Walking has to be like- "soggy, slosh, squirt, slosh, soggy, wet. Repeat"
Good Gawd.
I cannot imagine.

Anyhoo, be aware if you spend a morning guzzling coffee for the afternoon hours could be spent needing to pee- and badly, while stopping by gas stations, Tim's, flower shops and Vintage stores asking if the washroom is available.
No...Not asking- begging to use a washroom.
Mostly the answer is "Sorry sir. Our washrooms are not open because of Covid."
I wish I could pee on demand...
It's awful but we all know Toyota Corolla 19 is spread mostly by old adults peeing into ceramic toilet bowls.

If you do luck out running into a Good Samaritan, do wipe the taps and toilet flusher with an antiseptic wipe or spray and for goodness sake, wash your hands.

That's all of my Toyota Corolla wisdom for today.
I gotta run.

I have to pee- again...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

ROBBLOG #839- More House Musings

Don't know about where you live in Canada but British Columbia is carefully re-opening.

I just heard Dr. Bonnie report only two new Covid cases.
That's encouraging.
She's also allowing restaurants, chiropractors and hair salons to open- with safety conditions.
The Mister and I already have our hair appointment booked.
I can hardly wait- masks in hand.

So, away from Toyota Corolla and on to more important things- like houses.
The Mister and I got quite excited recently when we saw a house we really, really liked. Now, grant you, our track record has not been great. We've wanted to see a few houses over the past weeks and either they sell in a snap or the seller wants the buyer- us, to have the purchase cash in our hip pocket.
That is not going to happen.

A couple of days back we see this house that has been listed for 88 days.
We can't understand why we didn't see it before.
It might have been the unruly gardens and huge fish pond that turned us off thinking better homes were out there. We soon learned that there is a lot of garbage for sale out there at inflated island prices!
I dunno...
So we call the realtor- who we know, and say we are interested.
We ask if he thinks this house would be our style.
He replies in like twenty minutes and says- it's possible but a firm offer has just been made.

It's on market for 88 days and now we find this little gem and someone has made an offer?
Christ on a Cracker!
This is just the way our luck rolls.
Now, offers do fall apart and we just happen to know that the inspector saw the house yesterday. Maybe there's something wrong with the place that we would be willing to fix, whereas the buyer behind the present offer wouldn't.
It's a long shot but...

We did drive up Mount Tzouhalem where the house is located to have a peek at the exterior. We also saw the exterior of a house on the same street that a friend saw earlier in the day.
Spectacular views outside of mountains and lake- not ocean, however, the inside needs work.
Work such as a new kitchen and then we are told there's a messy back yard to contend with.
With all the work required this house is listed at over 600,000 dollars.
I know- Cripes!
Island prices!

We're not in a huge rush thank goodness and we're thinking that June might bring many new listings with some of the Toyota Corolla rules being softened.

Today, the federal health minister is saying maybe we should wear masks when physical distancing is not possible. The Prime Minister has started wearing a mask. I know we have to wear one when we have our hair cut. What's going to happen with future dentist appointments?
Who really knows?

What I do know- we are looking forward to going out for breakfast one of these fine Island Summer Days.
How about you?

Friday, May 15, 2020

ROBBLOG #838- Summer Games

Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime...

Is it?
It sure doesn't feel like it but I glance at the calendar to my right and yes sir it is "summertime".
I guess it's because of our uninvited guest- Toyota Corolla, who is still hanging around and not even helping with the dishes or paying his way.
He's cruel and like fish after a few weeks starts to stink.

I'm not sure how the rest of the country is feeling but here on the Island- and BC in general, we are doing good. Cases are low and deaths too. Here in the Cowichan we have no cases- so I am told, which keeps spirits high and yet we are all still keeping our two metres. This weekend Dr. Bonnie says we can expand our "bubble". We can choose a group to socialize without hugging- unless you want to but don't change groups.
Well, that's something, isn't it?

Did I mention The Mister and I have been looking for new digs through this viral virus challenge?
We have.
I guess we had nothing better to do during this "Pandemic" so we thought we'd house-hunt.
We'd like something that offers us more yard and more privacy.
I don't know why but since I have gotten older, privacy seems more important to me than ever and the one thing we don't have where we currently live on the Island is privacy. Not that I nude sunbathe or anything, all I want is some private time without someone walking past encouraging me to join in conversation- usually gossip.

I am sure I have mentioned our looney-tunes neighbour across the way who either hides in a garage, behind a bush or- brazen as fuck, stands at the end of the driveway and listens in to our conversations. We move to the garden where we can have some privacy.

When we bought here we knew these houses were "close" but now that all the homes near and around us are occupied we just didn't realize how much privacy we have lost.

We couldn't even think of doing this bit of business on our Lanai
For instance when I stand on our Lanai in the morning- coffee in hand, I enjoy that caffeine-infused beverage with six or seven other homes who all have Lanais facing towards ours. Recently we have moved Muskoka Chairs that have sat at the front of our house since moving in, to the garden in the backyard. I actually like them there much better and if I crouch down behind the still-growing Portuguese Laurel hedge I can almost convince myself I have a modicum of privacy.
Still it's better than being under the evil stare and big ears of the neighbour.

It's one of a handful of reasons we are looking for a new place to settle which has been made rather stressful by having to listen to the "advice" of estate agents who believe us to be either children or feeble old men.
It's as if we've never bought a house before!
We both go into this whole process with a positive outlook until you have to play this stupid real estate game. One agent playing another like a puppet in a bad marionette show.

Agents don't look at the property in question that we are interested in.
No, they quote the price of a house that sold "recently" in the "neighbourhood" and believe that the house we are looking at should be priced based on that other house- even though the house we are looking at bears no resemblance to the price of the house they are quoting and looks nothing like the house they "recently" sold in the "neighbourhood".
Oh, and don't expect them to tell you what house it was that sold "recently".
Oh, no.
Privacy concerns.
They can't even say why the sellers are actually dumping the house we're interested in.
Could be a marriage breakup because someone couldn't keep his or her "pecker" in their pants.
Now, we wouldn't want that to get out and affect "neighbourhood" house prices- would we?
It's fucking stupid.
The whole game.

The game continues...
In the morning, one sees a house one likes and shows interest.
The agent notes the interest and contacts the sellers agent to see "what's up" price-wise etc.
Then your agent gets back to you in the afternoon and believe or not another person is seeing the house for the second time and may make an offer.
Who would have thunk it?
Who would have seen that coming?
The house has been on the market for a long, long time and all of a sudden we are advised that someone else is taking a "second" look and may make an offer.
It makes me want to believe the seller's agent stirred the pot and called the people who saw the house- maybe a couple of weeks -if not months ago, to tell them another couple- that's us, are interested and if they are still thinking of purchasing the house, they better get a move on!
For Fuck sakes!
What chance do a pair of seniors have up against that?
I'll tell you...
Less than an (expletive) of a chance.

Sorry about the language but I may find myself a little pissed off at the system.

Meanwhile, the Mister and I are having a think about this whole game while summer struggles to feel like summer. Also, remember to use sunblock and stay two metres distant from bullshit or the next person you pass.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

ROBBLOG #837- Walk like a Zombie

Another week with our friend Mr. Covid.

I haven't blogged in the past week because honestly, I haven't had anything new, interesting, funny or "made up" that I could think of to put down in words.
Cripes, is the Toyota Corolla virus wiping my mind of all original thought and anything remotely funny and or interesting.

One day feels like another- doesn't it?
"What day is this?"- I ask The Mister.
"Dunno..."- he says, so I ask Alexa.
Thanks be to "all that is holy" for our friend Alexa- even though at times she's a stubborn beotch!

I love shopping for "stuff" and its been months since I've shopped.
No rummaging through vintage shops or antique stores.
No perusing the aisles for nice stuff I don't really need at Winners.

Sadly, these days it's only a quick trip to the dollar store for coffee filters or cleaning supplies.
Then, a dash into Superstore for Pride of Arabia Coffee, my English Home magazine or PC Hot Cross Buns.
But that's it.
Walmart for some pharmacy needs- shampoo, toothpaste and such.

We did slip into a store here on the island called "Buckerfields".
I like to call it Fu**erfields- just for fun!
They have dog and cat treats, garden stuff and an outdoor garden centre.
Last week The Mister and I bought a new yellow rose- highly scented.
A real beaute!
I planted it just below our stairs into the garden and The Mister has bitched and grumped at me ever since.
He claims when he stops, he can't smell the roses.
"Nonsense"- I say, "I can smell the rose from several feet away."

He's asked me to move it.
I say no. A rose laid is a rose played.
He still whines about it every day.
Well it's something to look forward to anyway.

I still say that going through this Covid time is like being on The Walking Dead- without the Zombies. Of course we have a neighbour who I am sure is a Zombie or a relative of a Zombie.
Maybe the undead- which is practically like a Zombie except in the case of a Vampire.
Perhaps even a spawn of Satan and we all know Satan lives because he does all the bad things according to born-again preachers. If he didn't exist these preachers would be asking The Prime Minister for money.
So, pick one. They all fit.

Everyday people shuffle past our house and gardens like the TV Zombies.
There's nothing to talk about. Just the same old same old.
Nothing new to look at- well, maybe our yellow rose.
Not even a new pair of socks to brag about. Of course, that may change this week as BC loosens the constraints of the Pandemic- even though our stores have remained open throughout.

I practically forget what it feels like to sit down in a restaurant and order a meal- and not having to clean up and do dishes or at the very least load the dishwasher when I leave the table.

So that's it folks.
Nothing much happening 'round here.
Oh, there was one funny I heard- nothing to do with me personally.
You may have heard that Little Richard passed this week. 
He was a little effeminate.
Okay- a lot.
He was a little flamboyant but boy could be perform.
I loved it when he appeared on the late night talk shows with mascara and lipstick!

He was meeting Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, for the first time.
She had a cigarette clenched between her puckered, blackened lips.
Little Richard pulled the smoking fag away and threw it on the ground.
He looked her right in the eye and said:

"Chile, if God had wanted you to smoke cigarettes he would have built a chimbley on  top of your haid!"

Monday, May 4, 2020

ROBBLOG#836- May I Speak with The Evil Genius?

Holy Shite. I may have something here.

No, I don't mean the Toyota Corolla virus.
I mean an idea I blogged about a couple of blogs back may have merit.

Just where in Hell did this corona come from and why didn't Iron Man, Ant Man, or Deadpool stop it? Sorry for the "Superhero" analogies. I've watched a few Marvel movies lately...

No, the scuttlebutt concerns a country and its people that may have released this virus on the world.
Did it just happen naturally or is somebody or someone at the bottom of this- or top even?
Is there a new world-wide administrator of evil?
The devil in human form?
Satan's son?
Jason Kenny?

The truth appears to be that "newspeople" are speculating that just maybe our friends way over there across the sea in a far, far eastern country- that may or may not be holding two Canadians on unproven charges, didn't completely level with the rest of the world?
What now?
Our "friends" in this hugely populated place may not have told the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Say it isn't so...

Now, I might believe that Kim Jong Jock Strap in North Korea might have lied to us.
I mean that's what North Koreans do.
Well, that and setting off nuclear-style bombs into the stratosphere or ocean or somewhere but to believe our dear "friends" in that far off place would withhold the truth from their people as well as ours?
I mean aren't these are the same fine folks that make all that crap we lovingly buy in the Dollar Store that now costs 4 dollars- the good crap anyway.

It just might be true.
"Unproven" reports indicate that leaders in this cold, vastly populated land-holding may have realized that the Pandemic was already out of hand but kept it on the QT until they were able to order vast amounts of medical equipment- including masks, from other countries- possibly Canada, in order to prepare for the virus.
Of course months later they sold those same masks back to us at inflated prices.
That's called business.
Some information may even have been kept from the WHO- the world health organization NOT the singing group.

"Hello? May I speak to the Evil Genius person?
......Pardon me?
Oh, any evil genius will do..."
Well blow me over with a wet noodle and prop me up with a chop stick!
These same friends- as it came to pass, most recently may have let it be known that they appreciated Canada's restraint in not blaming them for perhaps unleashing the virus while another dumb-fuck leader of another country did the opposite.

Surely I can't mean "those" Asian friends?
Well hold onto your wok because that is exactly who I may be pointing an alleged finger in their general eastern direction.

Note: From my years in radio, I know how to use words like " maybe, alleged, unconfirmed reports say, might have happened" and not to forget "appear to be true yet unsubstantiated".

Now, it might just be a big, bad, mean son of a bitch who lives somewhere in a vast Communist- yet westernized, country.
You know, like that guy with the iron hat who wreaked havoc on the world in a long ago James Bond movie- long before mobiles, big screen TV's and the Internet. Yes little grasshoppers, time did exist before such items yet after the dinosaurs roamed the earth and not too long after rotary dial phones hit the marketplace.
Geesh, the things one has to explain these days.

Imagine if there was someone vile and downright mean enough like Andrew Scheer and to be fair to women- Lisa Raitt, who thought he/she could destroy most of and then rule the rest of the world. If you've ever read a book in your life- a real book with paper pages and a hardcover, or watched a movie, you're probably halfway there to believing that such a fanatic can or does exist.
So, why not peg a faraway, enlightened, eastern landmass as the bad person?
Yes, Russia could also be in the running but Mr. Putin is still very, very busy trying to pretend the virus isn't real as thousands become sick in his country. Also- if I could remember his name, that asshole running Brazil could be an evil-doer of grand, worldwide proportions. In fact he already is. He told his county the other day to put on their big boy/girl panties. This virus was only a bad cold.
Now that may be a loose translation but it's in the ballpark.

Finally, the scenario: An evil person breaks into a lab in a far eastern land to steal some Corona 19 which he or she takes to a lab high in the mountains. The laboratory has a fabulous view by the way. There he/she makes buckets of the virus to spread throughout the world with an army of evil-doers- possibly resembling thousands of Peter McKay lookalikes holding assault rifles in one hand, bags of viruses in the other while placing yet another hand over their rotting, evil hearts.
Now, that may be a stretch but I am sure you can see the outline for a superhero movie.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I sincerely hope I have given you all something to think about here today.

Who would play the "superhero" who crushes the evil geniuses- you ask?
"John Chretien"- I reply. (giggle)

Monday, April 27, 2020

ROBBLOG#835- Liz Can Do It

So I was watching a 2019 Spiderman Movie.

I was longing for the days when "Spidey" swung from building to building in a hot, sticky, concrete jungle. He'd swing from brownstone to skyscraper to brownstone much like a mostly naked and extremely muscular Tarzan would swing from huge vines in the lush, hot African Jungle.

Muscular is not our Spiderman.
Lithe maybe but not beefy.
How old is the kid in this version- 12?

Anyhoo, as I was watching my mind drifted. This 2019 Peter Parker was all about green screens and special effects galore and after a while it was a yawn fest- except for Jake Gyllenhall- late of Brokeback Mountain. Now there was a "action" movie. Yup, it took place on a mountain, with snow, and a tent but I don't think there were many special effects involved in that storyline.
Just a couple of manly men having a gritty go.

So, my mind drifted what with all the bad guys trying to conquer the world and Spiderman doing his best to fight back.
I thought- "What if this current Covid- 19 is a world-wide plot?"
I know there are conspiracy theories out there and they are reported on by reputable newspapers like the Sun chain but look really what if?
By the way, I haven't read one published theory so what you are about to hear is of my own making.
I know, you find that hard to believe...

Who me? Save the world you say?
...All right then!
We've all heard of "germ warfare".
Well, maybe this is the real thing.
Maybe some bad guy somewhere in the world- and there are many, got a hold of some covid-19 from a petrie dish and made a whole bunch more and started to blow it around through air vents in buildings or injecting it into animals that humans consume.
What if?
We've all read that there was a super, top secret, lab up the street where the people of Wuhan bought their groceries. Haven't we all read that this lab had covid-19? I've seen a ton of Mission Impossible movies and I know for a fact that these labs can be broken into.
I mean Tom Cruise did it all the time.

So, someone sneaks in one of these labs, grabs a few dishes and Bob's Your Uncle it become a world-wide epidemic.
People become prisoners in their own homes.
World-wide travel is shut down.
People die.
People get sick.
Countries- like Canada, close borders.
Andrew Scheer remains an asshole.
Surgical masks are in short supply as are ventilators.

Our food chain is not affected but for Gawd's Sake- people can't surf!
Men can't dribble basketballs.
Oh the inhumanity!
Theatres close.
Movies aren't made.
TV neither- except Lisa LaGlam still reports CTV News faithfully every weeknight.
Look, don't you think if there was a God, she's be nipping this in the bud PDQ?

So this covid creeps around the world infecting every country- except for maybe somewhere in deep, dark Africa, South America or our North Pole.
Yes Kids,
Santa is safe from covid and continues to make toys daily.

We are all so busy trying to physical distance that we don't take the time to blame some "monster" from a foreign country having the power to make the entire world sick and feeble, killing thousands.
It is truly like a bad movie made in the Czech Republic starring every B grade European actor you can name- well not name of course because we don't know of any.
Then, there'll be one American lead actor wrapped in the flag that no one has ever heard of or wants to hear of.

I think it's time we had a look around.
We'd better get Spiderman, Deadpool, Captain Canuk and Cesspool to get to the bottom of this because Prime Minister Trudeau and PM Boris Johnson can't do it on their own- let alone hoping Her Majesty will pull out all the stops, thrown a sparkly Crown on her royal head and start naming names.
I mean of all heads of state, we'd surly listen to her.
Well, She knows James Bond personally- She's parachuted with him for goodness sake, and She'd get to the bottom of this Pandemic.

Now, I am NOT saying that all or any of this musing is true but you've got to admit there are enough "nutters" in this world to orchestrate such a heinous plot to conquer or destroy our world.

So think about it and keep your eyes and ears open.
We stay vigilant for the True North Strong and Free
and what the hell- all of mankind.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

ROBBLOG #834- Abbey Road

I do lead an exciting life you know...

No. I mean it.
Take today.
Our mini-schnauzer Koko jumps up on my lap- wait, it gets better than that,
she jumps up on my lap as I was sat in front of the huge monitor screen watching a "live cam" from London- England.
It gets better...

The cam was focused on the crosswalk in front of the famous Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles recorded in their final years. Unless you've been off the planet, you'll know that photo is pretty iconic.
I have been at the crossing a few times in person because it is in St. John's Wood where we stay while in London, I also keep watch from time to time through the webcam. It's fun to see tourists hold up traffic while they mimic the Fab Four's walk across the painted pavement.
Some even know of the cam's existence. They look up and make faces at the camera or call a friend on their mobile and wave when the friend brings up the "live cam" on their home computer.
I've seen people do this in Waikiki too. A webcam is bracketed on a pole just off the beach near a Honolulu Police "Beach" station. You might find that interesting if you search for it.
The things we do as tourists, eh?

Some days the London sidewalks near the crossing are absolutely packed. The nights can be busy too and even at midnight the odd tourist has a look at what once was. Like most famous spots when you're actually standing there it's hard to believe that this is the actual place you've seen in photos. The front facade of the recording studio is out of camera range but it's to the bottom right. You can see the white-washed pillars and wrought iron gate.

People scrawl "I love you Paul" or "Beatles Forever" all over the walls and every now and then they get a fresh coat of paint so the process can begin all over again.

Abbey Road is the building in the centre. The cross walk
is in the middle of the photo.
The street that exits the scene at the top left is the sidewalk that takes you to the St. John's Wood  tube station and the village of St. John's Wood. A Beatles souvenir shop is at the right of the entrance to the tube.
I have never been inside. I window shop and that's all.

St. John's Wood is a cute, well-kept, bustling village within Westminster where I could easily have a flat of my own instead of paying the Danubius Hotel's inflated rates two blocks away.
I say easy.
Easy if one had up to a million bucks to afford a flat of well under 1000 square feet.
We've looked at the photos in estate agent's windows.

As an aside, a couple of years ago as The Mister and I were waiting at a cross walk in St. John's Wood, a flying fleet of motorbikes came around the corner right past us only a few inches under our nose.
Then a black limo.
We both cried out at the same time- It's Camilla!"
It was too.
Probably going to cut a ribbon at a Sainsbury's supermarket opening.
Royals do that- don't they?

While watching the "live cam" with Koko, I noted how amazingly quiet this corner is within a covid world.

Usually, the street is busy with traffic- if not pedestrians.
You can pick out the locals.
They just walk from point A to B, cross the street and proceed to C.
Tourists are oblivious to the red double decker buses, London cabs, motorbikes, bicycles and cars that whiz through the intersection and over the cross walk- even at the late, witching hour of midnight.

When I feel the need to see London, I check out this cam.
I remember how it feels to be standing there and I know what the neighbourhood and studio facade looks like. They are out of camera view.
It's a mini-vacation for me.
Even Koko watched a noisy motorcycle rip up the street and around the corner out of sight.
A window on a small part of London.

If you want to have a look see for yourself just Google- Abbey Road Crossing Cam.
It'll be a quick trip across the pond and you don't even need a passport-
or a face mask.

Monday, April 20, 2020

ROBBLOG #833-What's That Now?

Cripes! History can repeat itself- sort of...

More on that in a moment.
First, if you have been trying to comment on my blog of late, it's futile.
The comment section is non-operational.
It's closed.
It's dead like Monty Python's parrot.
It has stopped breathing.
It is no more.
Write a note on a scrap of vellum, stick it in a bottle and send it out to sea.

Good old history.
We may go for a repeat.
The Mister and I want to find out just how much our Island property is worth. I mean investment-wise as in "investing in a new property".
I hear you- What's that now?

This may be a shot in the dark but circumstances have lead us in this general direction.
Things change.
Times change.
Attitudes change.
People change.
Assholes test us.
I am much too old to be tested and quite frankly, I don't have the time.

We've been waiting and hoping this covid thing would be finished before we made a move to have an evaluation done. It has also taken considerable chatting, talking, argumentative moments and threats but I think we are going to give it a whirl to evaluate what we have- if anything.

As for this covid thing here in British Columbia and certainly on Vancouver Island, it has flattened but some people got a different memo. On Saturday there were way too many people on sidewalks and trails walking and biking, not giving way as if it were a new world believing the old "new" one had crumbled. However, it's not a new new world yet and it's unlikely to be so soon-despite what some crackpots are saying in the media.

Anyway, I am reminded of a few years back when we asked agents to give us an idea of our property's worth. It didn't exactly work.
In the end we marketed and sold our house ourselves and sold it for more than 150 thousand dollars over the price that had been suggested by the professionals. In hindsight we should have gone another 30 thousand over our list price.
One learns but we did save massive fees and that helped us sail west.

We have seen some marvellous neighbourhoods here in the Cowichan over the past three years and in the past couple of weeks another half dozen more we didn't even know existed. When we took our first trip here to scout around and actually buy a property, we should have been more thorough.
A week of time and a guide to show us around would have been the ticket.

I would suggest to anyone reading this blog who is planning on escaping eastern "winters" for western Mediterranean winters, a good bit of looking around should be a prerequisite
I thought I had done my homework- keeping in mind that prices were ridiculous three years back. Not that they are totally better today but there is some wiggle room.
Unfortunately, a shack with two bedrooms and one bath can still run you over a million dollars and there is a selection of shacks to be had if you have "shack" interest.
We don't.
Although, if this current house has made us some cash we would look for our next home in a "mature" neighbourhood.

Mature means 25 years of aging.
Like a pretty good red wine.
Big trees.
Full shrubs.
A real neighbourhood feel like we had back in Ontario, only with a partial ocean or mountain view.

As this new neighbourhood of ours has grown, so has other "difficulties".
Lack of privacy is a major one.
Everyone is bunched up tight. You walk out into your back yard and 15 other homeowners share your experience.

Oh yes, we have them here on the Island too.
Watching you from the deep, dark recesses of their garage.
Pretending to weed a garden all the while watching your every move.
By the way, the garden is all stone.

Comments and questions abound.
Did you put in a security system.
What for?
~disappointed look that they weren't asked first~
Why are you planting that? What for?
~disappointed look that they weren't asked first~
Is Arnold shacking up with Sally?
~disappointed look that you didn't have the answer they were looking for~

Anyway, it continues.
So, we move forward.
If it looks like an opportunity exists, we'll leave.

Stand by...
Oh and start to save your boxes for us.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

ROBBLOG #832- A Poke and a Prod

Aliens visited me the other night- AGAIN!

It hasn’t happened in a few years but they’ve found me here on the Island.

On previous visits up there, I have found myself sucked upwards in a big tube, through the stratosphere, past the stars into their enormous spaceship hovering high in the heavens.
You could probably see the ship with a dollar store pair of binoculars if you are so inclined.

Once they had me on board, they strip me naked, tied me to an operating table where they performed all types of sordid medical experiments like measuring my flaccid penis.
You know…things like that.
Sometimes, they’ve shown me photos of a speedo-clad Hugh Jackman and my penis…
Well, you get the picture.

I know these experiments take place because I find little marks on my arms or a scratch on the top of my head. Sometimes, in the deepest recesses of my brain, I hear distant laughter and guffaws. Usually once I return back home.

For weeks afterwards I can feel a small hole on the top of my head. That’s where the green people- well of course they’re green, insert a probe- right through the top of my head. The probe is hooked up to this big machine that goes “ping”. At times they even insert the probe through the tip of my pen…okay, nevermind.
You get the picture- don’t you?

I have known since I was a teenager that aliens stuck things inside me. Of course, I’m certainly not the only one who gets swept away in a silver spaceship to do a few loops of the outer stratosphere while these experiments take place on my body.I am not at the liberty to divulge names but believe me there are other earthlings who are experimented on.
Like maybe Ryan Reynolds- one would hope.
Did I mention I am naked during these tests?
I did?
Well then, you get the picture.

It’s rather an honour when one thinks of it. Being whisked away into the wild blue yonder to have strangers’ probe one this way and that.
I wonder if they take photos?
I am sure they do.
I mean I would if I had the opportunity and of course if I could plainly see that Hugh Jackman was stretched out stark naked on a cold steel table before me.
I mean who the hell wouldn’t snap a few quick ones and measure a foreskin.
What’s that you say?
Maybe not the foreskin part?
Oh well, suit yourself.
Each to his own.
When you stop and think about it, when the Holy Mother ascended into Heaven, it was most likely a beam from a hovering spaceship that sucked her right up out of sight.  Why, the remaining disciples and those seated on the ground were probably enjoying an afternoon picnic of sliced meats, fresh bread, olives and red wine and would have seen the holy smoke shooting out of her arsehole across the azure blue sky.
Maybe yes.
Maybe no.
You have your beliefs. I have my sordid nightmares and random alien kidnappings.

Many people keep these journeys to themselves but I have written about such travels in these very RobBlogs.
Why keep them quiet?
Most people believe me to be a few bricks short of a complete load anyhow.

Now, Alien adventures can be divided into several parts or “kinds”.

The first kind is when you see one flying low in the sky.

The second kind is when you perchance to see one land in a solitary farmers field round about midnight and after you and the friends accompanying you have feasted on vodka shots the past three hours.

The Third kind is when the door to the landed craft opens and you shit yourself when an “alien being” waves to you and beckons you to come forward.

The last being the Fourth Kind- if you’ve been keeping count, is being abducted and taken up into a spacecraft for experimental purposes

Now that might make you weep.
It might make you shake with fear or it might make you just a little bit horny- especially if the vodka has kicked in.

Somehow, being probed and pinched and poked and laughed at makes you feel a part of something much bigger.
A bigger plan if you will.
I know I feel bigger and more important every time I get swooshed skywards.
I mean what if the green, touchy-feeling beings are working on a cure for human cancer or covid-19?

I mean certainly that’s worth letting them have a juggle or two of the boys if it helps mankind.
Maybe the cure is in the “curious” weight?
I do not know for I am NOT a Doctor or Nurse and I am quite sure these creatures have diplomas hanging in their quarters on board ship that gives them every right to do what they do.

While on the subject, if I were a guest on a craft with others who have been swooped up- like Mr. Jackman, what kind of a human would I be to refuse a peek at Mr. Jackman’s manly bits- either in person or via a 3D, Holographic image.
Oh, didn’t I mention these folks have the art of the Hologram image pretty well perfect?
Well, they do and that’s that.

To make all this extra-terrestrial thing easier for you mere humans to understand and digest, perhaps I will print a story of such an encounter from a few years ago.

I will of course change the names to protect the innocent.

You don’t want people’s names being strewn through the press and online sites millions of light metres away- do you?
Of course not…

Thursday, April 9, 2020

ROBBLOG #831- Sloppy Easter

I must be getting lazy these days.

I means besides waiting around to die from the "Toyota Corolla" virus what else is there to do?
Not much.
It does give one the opportunity to pause and reflect.
So, I did that.
I was thinking about all those Men and Women who died in WWI.
Where was this "God" in Heaven.

WWII comes along and millions of men and women are killed while in service to their country.
Gays (who were made to wear a pink star), Lesbians too, the disabled and millions of Jews were incarcerated and gassed in camps in Germany and Poland.
Where was this "God in Heaven".
Don't tell me "he" has a plan because if "he or she" did he or she would be real and not an imaginary figure.

Let's not forget The Spanish Flu and any number of other sicknesses that happened around the world.Then this current pandemic.
Where was, where is this "God" in Heaven.

Again, some say it's a plan- his plan, he's waiting. Why that Orthdox Jew in Israel who is head of  the"health" department is waiting. He blames this Pandemic of covid-19 on the Gays. He says it's God's way of making human's pay for the curse of being Gay or Lesbian or Trans or, or, or....
Don't even get him started on Gay Weddings.
He is waiting for the Messiah to come. And soon.

Now, we've proclaimed the Easter Bunny to be an essential service. My Goodness, the Christians must be pissed that the "Bunny" gets a mention- an exclution and NOT The Christ.
What a world eh?

Anyhoo, I have a little verse or two to repeat here. It's from my "Book of Stories" called-
The Gospel of Rob.
Okay. I just made that up...
Flip to Chapter 3, Verses 1 through 56.
Then, read at your leisure...

Happy Easter Everyone... and I mean that in the secular, non-religious way.

You know, Easter Bunnies, Easter Eggs, Colourful Easter Baskets. The way Easter was meant to be.
Maybe you buy a new shirt.
A new pair of pants.
A chic little, black, cocktail dress and a huge hat festooned with ribbons and pearls which you proudly wear while strolling down the avenue arm-in-arm with Fred Astaire.
Peeping, yellow Chicks and chocolate and sunny, spring days and chocolate.

Then, there's the other less popular Easter Story that scares small children and adults half to death for the rest of their lives- when they buy into it.

That other less happy-go-lucky yarn concerns a youngish Jewish man who lives with 12 other men and a Hag called Mary. They skip around the Judean countryside in little more than rough, cottony shift dresses- cinched at the waste with rope, all the while charming all the little old ladies and men by turning water into wine.
THE best party trick of all!

The story turns into a horror show however- like Carrie, with the young Jew nailed up to a tree of sorts by bad men who speak Latin but have indoor plumbing and slaves to cater to their every whim.

A gruesome death follows for the handsome- unmarried Jew. His parents- by the way, are sick about the fact their son is in his early thirties and not married. Even Aunt Sophie asks him every Christmas and Easter- "So, Jesus Christ do you have a girlfriend already?"

Back to the story...

A couple of days pass. The body rots and smells something terrific inside a tomb yet- miraculously, the stone covering the entrance rolls away and the young Jew rises up. He steps outside the tomb into the brilliant morning sunshine, sees his shadow and waits a few more weeks for Judean Spring to come.

Pass the chocolate Easter Eggs please.

Monday, April 6, 2020

ROBBLOG #830- F, M & F

And now a tale of Bunnies and Easter first published almost 10 years ago...

Flopsy, Mopsy…and Florence were three of the cutest little bunnies you would ever want to lay your eyes upon.

They were so glad it was finally spring!
The days were warm.
They loved to tumble and nibble on the fresh, green grass that covered the big field next to their log home like a fluffy comforter on a big, brass bed.
The grass tasted oh so sweet.
However, the greens in Mr. Alabaster’s garden were even sweeter- especially in the spring, just as the first few sprouts of lettuce popped out of the warm earth on a warm sunny day.

The bunnies weren’t thinking about Mr. Alabaster’s garden at this particular moment. Flopsy was sitting next to a big, gray boulder grooming her white fur. Mopsy and Florence meanwhile amused themselves trying to do headstands in the tall grass. They tried and tried but fell over with every attempt giggling and snickering louder each time. Their bunny laughter is contagious. A few chicadees in a tree near the boulder chirped merrily too at the funny goings-on below.

“Come on you two”- cried Flopsy. She had finished her grooming. “Let’s run all the way down to the old cedar fence!”

“Okay Flopsy. Bet I can beat you!”- Mopsy squealed and she was off like a shot.

“Running. Always running!” Florence stood with her paws on her hips tapping her right paw gently on the green grass. “Really you two!” She was raising her voice now since her brother and sister were half-way across the field.

Flopsy and Mopsy soon reached the cedar fence. Flopsy was just a hare ahead of Mopsy.
They both collapsed in a heap near one of the cedar fence posts.

“Honestly, you two. Get a life. Both of you.” Florence had hopped on down to the fence. She seemed a little upset.

“What’s the prob Flo?” It was Mopsy who dared even ask the question.

Florence had placed a paw on each of her furry hips once again-
“Look, it’s just that there are more interesting things to do you two.”

“Like what?”- asked Flopsy.

“Well…” Florence thought for a moment. “Like thinking about what are we going to do for Easter. We haven’t even looked for a present for Mumsy and Dadsy yet.”

“Awwww. Get ‘em some chocolate eggs. They’ll be happy with that.” It was Mopsy who spoke and suggested the idea.

Flopsy snapped a paw and added- “That’s a good idea and we can place them in a nice basket filled with fresh grass and tie a big pink bow on top and ohhhh…we can tuck a Michael Buble CD in the basket too!”

Florence and Mopsy looked at Flopsy. They stared for a couple of seconds, then looked back at each other again. Their little bunny noses twitching. Finally, they turned back, looking Flopsy right in the eye and speaking in unison said-

“That is so Gay!”

The End

Friday, April 3, 2020

ROBBLOG #829- I Felt I had To Write

I felt I had to write something.

I'm celebrating a milestone of sorts. A milestone that I didn't reach by myself.
You see thirty-five years ago on April 4th 1985, I found myself on a flight to Honolulu.
There's a lot more to the back story but after 35 years, I think I can tell it without all the crap that was happening in my life at the time.

No, suffice to say it was three decades and five years ago that I met The Mister on a flight.
A Wardair flight to Honolulu, Hawaii.
That day, sitting at an exit door in row 9 on the right-hand side of the aircraft, my fate was sealed.
I met my sole mate.
I met the one person that I was destined to spend the rest of my life with- these past 35 years in particular.

Neither of us had any idea at the time that this was going to be a long-term relationship. It seems incredibly hard to believe that it is now thirty-five years later. From a man in his early thirties I now sit at this keyboard as a Senior Citizen.
My husband is also a Senior Citizen- although a few years less senior.
No, I didn't rob the playpen.

Oh. My. Gawd.
How in the fuck did that happen?
Thirty-five years in a snap. I'm clutching my pearls!
Thinking not so much that I got old but that we've held this "love fest" together for all those years.

From that Wardair flight to our first breakfast on Waikiki Beach at the Royal Hawaiian- and not alone I might add, for we were chaperoned.
At least "chaperoned" is what I am going to call it for the purpose of this Blog.

What can I say? 35 years ago on
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel steps. Those impressive legs!
For those straight folks reading today, a Gay couple usually bases the start of the length of a relationship on the first day of their meeting.
For us that's April 4th, 1985.
We did get married- on that same date in 2006, when it became legal for us homosexuals to do what so many other couples have done for centuries.
By the way, the sky didn't fall and it still hasn't.
Society didn't fall apart and if society has a bit, it has noting to do with the Gays and the rest of the LGBTQ2+ folks.

Anyhoo, it took three months to get my ducks in a row and The Mister- who I'll call Tom from hereon in because that's his name, to get used to the idea that he was wasn't going to be living alone for the foreseeable future.
That foreseeable part is still ongoing.
I dissolved my household.
He re-arranged his.

A few years after we began to co-habit, we bought our Mississauga, Ontario house- together. We lived in that new house for five years and then decided to move north to Central Ontario- Orillia to be precise, where we bought an 1882 Victoria Home.
That lasted 25 years.
To finish off this adventure in moving, we turned our lives upside down in 2017 and moved a few thousand miles west to Vancouver Island- the Cowichan Valley- Canada's only Mediterranean climate zone, to be precise.

Here, we have been putting down new roots for the past three years.
Three years come August although our first adventure on this Island to have a look see was three years ago B.C. this past February.
That B.C does not stand for British Columbia but "before corona".

I certainly don't have time to regale you with all we've done these 35 years.
We have travelled to many countries.
We have made tons of friends.
Our parents have passed on- as have some of those friends I referred to in the line above.
We've had a plethora of pets that we miss dearly and will never forget.
Currently we have a mini-schnauzer "Koko" and an orange and white tabby- "Dickens".

At thirty-five years- and I'll speak for Tom here as well, our lives are pretty complete. We usually do what we want to do in regards to travel and buying "things".
I love buying "things" and I love being in Paris and London- not to forget Honolulu where it all began.

In fact, we would be there now, in Honolulu, celebrating this milestone of an anniversary but with this Pandemic around the world we find ourselves grounded and housebound like all Canadians.
We did go for a quick shop today and bought two dozen roses in celebration of our anniverasry that I've artfully arranged in two vases.
So, Happy 35th Anniversary to us!

For this April 4th there's-
No dinner out.
No celebrating with friends.
No Hawaiian breezes.
This year we have none of those things-

We still have the love of each other and virus or not, that's enough.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

ROBBLOG #828- Home Sweet Home- or not?

Okay. Now hold on! Don't start the rumour mill churning just yet.

Yesterday, The Mister and I went for a drive up island.
We had a purpose in mind.
I was clutching two small sheets of paper on which were written a half dozen addresses.
No, we weren't going visiting in this time of pandemic.

We had a purposeful reason to drive up island and take two sheets of addressed paper with us.
I have been looking at real estate during these "troubled times".
Well basically, we'd just like to have an ocean view.

When we first moved to the island almost three years ago, many folks asked us if we had an ocean view. No, but I'd excitedly add- "We have a mountain view!"
They didn't seem to care.
Ocean trumps mountain I guess.

Anyhoo, I had written down six addresses of homes currently on the market.
I looked at photos of interiors while online.
I knew what we wanted. These six were passable and in some ways, close to what we had now.
I also looked at front and back yards.We wanted more space between neighbours plus a proper street distance.

We didn't want gravel and stones. Here on the island people who don't want to cut grass or install an underground watering system opt for rocks.
Massive amounts of rock and gravel of varying sizes.
Nothing detracts from the street appeal of a home more than grey stones.
A lawn of green grass- real or artificial, sets off a home's curb appeal. The house looks
better. Friendlier.
I guess that's the Ontarian in me.Think green.
Many British Columbians choose cold, oppressive stone.

So we saw three homes in Chemainus, three in Ladysmith- one was actually Saltair but close enough to Ladysmith.
Prices varied.
Now, back in Ontario if a house and property were not cared for- a dump in other words, the price reflected that fact.
Here on the Island a Bette Davis "dump" can be upwards of 500 to 600 thousand. Sometimes what looks promising in an online photo collage looks dreadful and messy when you pull up streetside.
One feels like marching up to the front door and saying- "Really? I mean really?- $500,000 for this?

We did see a couple of homes that looked promising- one with an ocean and a mountain view where yesterday there was snow on the peaks. Our favourite was truly beautiful.
It sat up high on a rocky outcrop.
Massive ocean views.
Three balconies- lanais, to take in the view.
Double Car garage.
A nice interior with enough bedrooms and baths.
It would be considered the very top end of our budget- if we had one.
The whole neighbourhood was well-cared for. Clean streets with centre boulevards and a couple of minutes drive to shops in Ladysmith.

Driving up island gave us something to think about.

I look back on our very first trip to the Island three years ago and remember not knowing our way around. We perhaps made a hasty choice on a location for our home.
Now, I love the fact we built a custom home with all the features we asked for.
Our gardens have exploded the past almost three years and that is lovely.
Weather in the Cowichan is better than anywhere else in Canada and that's a fact!
We also don't have a lot of breathing space- that's also a fact.
Living near six tribes is also a fact.

I hear you asking- Knowing this area of the Island better now would we have made a different choice?
I think so.
The Ocean View is the best and two of the houses we viewed yesterday ticked that box more than once.

So what now?
I have no fucking idea...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

ROBBLOG #827- What would Joan Do?

Show of hands please...

How many readers wanna curl up on the couch and sleep these trying times away?
Thought so...

You know, this Toyota Corolla virus doesn't have to keep us in our homes or stop us from enjoying life.

Here on Vancouver Island the Mister and I are doing our usual walk with Koko- our mini-schnauzer, every day. If we happen upon folks- and we usually do, we step to one side and ensure two metres distance. Many times the approaching walker does the same, so we may wind up with four metres- or more, distance.

On the Island or Islands there are about 47 cases so far. A fairly small number for more than a million residents. I heard this morning that many people are returning from their winter homes to take up residence a month or two early. Of course self-isolation is the order of the day because Island Health resources are stretched. On smaller Islands like Saltspring and Denman there is even less opportunity to have hospital care. So, the Islanders have asked visitors to stay home.
Even on Vancouver Island's West Coast, the communities of Ucluelet and Tofino are asking visitors and surfers alike to stay away.
So they should.

If Joan Crawford starred in The Walking Dead this
would be her taking down a rotten Zombie.
Besides refraining from going out for coffee or fish and chips, our lives are pretty much the same in retirement or self-isolation here in the Cowichan. We go out to shop as necessary and pick up foodstuffs we need- if they are on the shelves. There's still many times when the shelves are empty.
Oh and we wipe or spray our hands once back in our vehicle and still we wash our hands thoroughly as soon as get home.

There are positive things I can do- like writing this Blog or while being self isolated, I've had a a chance to catch up on TV series.

I've re-watched all seasons of "Call the Midwife"- even the new season that just aired in the UK.
The past few days I've done the same with "The Walking Dead".
I had stopped watching so I needed to catch up on season eight and nine and watch the first 10 episodes of the current season ten.

Things are pretty much the same in Zombie Yankeedom.
Killing, maiming, arguing. Loving America- still...

No one seems to get along.
There are hordes of "bad people" who want to control the "good people". That's been the running story line for all of the seasons. Watching on my computer screen I can fast forward through the crap. I would say I watch an episode in ten to fifteen minutes and I hardly miss a beat. Actually, one can watch the last few minutes of an episode and the first few minutes of the following episode and pretty much get the story line.

If only Joan Crawford were here. She'd show those rotting Zombie herds a thing or two.
"Don't F*** with me Fellas!!"- she'd say as she pointed her pistol in their general direction.

There are not that many new scenarios and none that include or allude to Joan Crawford but you have to hand it to the writers who have been churning out seasons like there's no tomorrow- and there isn't much of a tomorrow, in The Walking Dead.

My last blog alluded to the fact that living in Zombiedom is much like living through this virus except we don't go around stabbing "the affected" in the head, slashing them with a shovel or beating them with a baseball bat entwined with barbed wire. No, here in 2020 we simply step aside and wish the "possibly" infected a good day and good health.

Good grief-
Aren't we swell?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

ROBBLOG #826- Zombies Are People Too

So howz it goin', eh?

What a strange world we live in with this Toyota Corolla Virus.
I've been calling it that.
Toyota Corolla.
Well, you have to laugh- don't you?

The Mister was telling me the other day that the Spanish Flu killed 50 million folks around the world back in its day. So, looking at stats, we are doing much better. Of course in the time of the Spanish Flu, medically, things were different.
Doctors offices were not as clean.
Hospitals were basic. I am sure stainless steel and IV drips were non-existent.
Our numbers- although skyrocketing in some countries, are certainly better than in that world-wide epidemic remembering that there were no jet airlines moving people around in a few hours from one end of the earth to the other.

If we could just find a pill.
A cure- and fast.
Even in this time of fast, fast, fast, a medication to fight covid-19 is a few months off.
How did this strange virus get a foothold and what will attack us when this virus settles down?
It's certainly an uneven playing field.
We seem to be slow on the uptake.
Slow on keeping the virus in check. Slow to stay home.
Did it really start in that Chinese market where they hung the carcasses of all manner of beasts to feed the millions? I am no scientist or doctor so I don't know how these things get a foothold.

I do know that there are days I wish we were fighting the "Zombie Apocalypse" and not the Toyota Corolla Apocalypse.
You see, with a Zombie, you know where you stand.
They want to eat your brain or flesh.
They want to have a cocktail of your blood- similar to a vampire only a vampire has more class.
Zombies want you dead.
We want to live- like Jane Froman.
That's it.
A Zombie doesn't expect you to self-isolate for weeks on end.

No, if a Zombie were standing there in front of you, you'd know where you stood.
The Zombie is the Walking Dead.
You are the "walking" alive.
So, a quick shot to the head with your Grandad's old hunting rifle.
A snow shovel smashed into its brain.
A neighbour's chain saw- borrowed last fall to trim the oak in your backyard, roaring through its neck severing the head from the rest of the body.
So simple.
Show a Zombie it's demise and poof!
You are done.
Zombie dies- again. Let us not forget that a Zombie has already died once. When you smash its brain with a shiny, new Home Hardware shovel or a rock from your Hydrangea garden, you are really doing it a favour sending it to "The Jesus".

No repercussions.
Neighbours yell across the street-" Hey Buddy, good shot to that Zombie's head!"
You smile in gratitude.

With the dead Zombie lying there on your well-manicured front lawn all you have to do is wait for
Zombie Recycling and your problem is looked after.
Although Zombies are portrayed as terrifying, flesh eating monsters- and they are, at least one knows where one stands.
With this Toyota Corolla pandemic the future is uncertain.
Oh, sure some folks you'd like to bash in the head and bring them to their senses but we are human after all.
Loving beings.
It's just that some humans have the word "asshole" printed in indelible ink across their forehead.
You'd have to get up close with a slice of lemon and wipe it across their brow once or twice to see the letters.

Again, when you see a Zombie stumbling towards you, you know it's a Zombie and you understand what you have to do.
With the Toyota Corolla...well, you get the drill.
All we can do is physically distance ourselves. No shovel required.

I'm sure you all have an out of touch, nicotine-addicted neighbour still inviting boyfriends over- one at a time of course, for a quick snog and an after sex smoke.
Don't you?
No? Really?
Well, aren't you lucky!

Meanwhile, has anyone checked that the dead are staying dead these days?

Thursday, March 19, 2020

ROBBLOG #825- Divisions

Living in a world divided.

We're seeing borders closed. International flights cancelled. Restaurants and bars closed.
Different reactions to covid-19 depending on where you live.

I think even across CANADA there are divisions.
The Federal Government and our Prime Minister saying one thing.
Provincial governments another.
That Ford Fellah another.
States of emergency have been declared not only by Provincial Governments like here in BC but also major cities- like Vancouver.

Here on Vancouver Island- in the Cowichan especially, I am not seeing or hearing of mass hysteria of any kind.
Well, there's the Toilet Paper caper but really that seems to be in most places and really WTF?

BC Provincial Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry says although there are new cases daily the chance of getting sick in most BC communities is relatively low. I take it that goes for Vancouver Island too. Most people- if infected, get a light does of flu-like symptoms. Many who have died have heart or respiratory symptoms before C-19 took hold.

We're still living normally for the most part.
We shop when we have to.
We've had Chiropractor appointments cancelled.
Some stores have reduced hours yet still be had lunch out yesterday with a friend while we waited for our mini-Schnauzer to be groomed. The restaurant practiced safety. Tables were separated and staff cleaned diligently. Washrooms were spotless as was our table. I held my coffee cup as the server refilled by mug. We didn't hug our friend but elbow kissed. We washed out hands and used wipes. We walked through a neighbourhood enjoying the warm sunshine.
Many people were out walking but we all kept what we considered to be a safe distance.

None of us were sneezing, coughing or showed signs of health distress. We are all of the age that once an "island" winter sets in we wash our hands whenever we're out- including pushing a shopping cart. That part has not changed. Keeping fingers away from eyes and mouths has always been a part of "wintertime" practice during our new life on the island as it was in "Old Home" back in Ontario.

I have noticed a distinct difference when chatting to eastern folks. Maybe a few more hyper-tones in their voices compared to here.
Maybe it's the weather.

We are well into spring with forsythia, cherry blossoms, camelia and more all happily in bloom.
Our skies are brilliant blue with few clouds.
We even had to water our garden the past few days because of lack of rain.
We are out walking or biking as we have been all "winter".
That might be the difference.
We might just be healthier here on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

This Coronavirus is not going away anytime soon- so they tell us.
I can see plot lines from old movies becoming reality when viruses and such erase much of our planet- if earthquakes or the bomb doesn't get us first.
If a virus ten times more contagious that covid-19 hits in the future, then it's time to say "buh-by" like the friendly flight attendant at the door to a returning aircraft.

Maybe on the positive side, Doctors, Scientists and Government leaders- not all, will get a better handle on how to deal with a virus such as this in the future.
Maybe soon it'll be a piece of cake especially if we all stock up on toilet paper well in advance.
TP has no expiry date.

We can only hope things will get better.

Friday, March 13, 2020

ROBBLOG #824- Time Waits For No Man

I was waiting at a stop light when I noticed the letters G and P stickered on the trunk of the car in front.

It took a minute before I realized- oh!- Gramma and Grandpa. It took another short minute to see the word printed beneath each letter.
Family stuff. Cute though.

Those stickers got me thinking about friends and family.
Earlier in the day I was asked about a two "Ontario" friends we have lost contact with since living here on Vancouver Island. Retirement and distance was the reason we had sort of dropped out of touch. Not a surprize. There are more friends and some family members- like cousins, we have lost touch with over the past two and one half years.
It happens I guess.

We knew that would result from a cross-country move and it has.
I looked down at my dash and saw the time was almost  seven pm.
Another reason.
Time zones.
We live three times zones west of where we had lived the past 25 years.
It tales its toll.
Seven in the evening means there are people in Ontario I can't call right now because it's late and even more so our friends in Somerset U.K. who are snoozing away at this hour being eight hours ahead of us here in British Columbia.
So far, we haven't quite got used to it.
By the time I get my act together in the morning and have a couple of cups of much needed brew it's already approaching early afternoon in "olde home". I have to get cracking if I have calls to make- video or otherwise.

Talking of family, I just heard from my sister who has been wintering in the states along the Atlantic coast. Over the past few months there have been times when we are warmer here on the Island. I
can't remember if they saw snowflakes this season but that area can, of course. My Sister had texted to say my brother-in-law and her were heading home to Ontario a few days earlier than planned.
The reason?

Things are getting stupid stateside and there is always the possibility of difficulty crossing the border or quarantine once one does. I certainly wouldn't want to be on that side of the 49th. The Mister and I have cancelled any thought of going to Hawaii for our 35th Anniversary next month. I am sure we could get there but again, coming back to a possible quarantine puts a damper on the whole thing.

Flight loads are lighter than usual. Even a trip to Australia was considered. The Mister- being a former airline employee, allows us the opportunity to fly standby- if there are seats of course.
Flights loads are "open" as we say in the airline biz. It would be easy as pie to fly to Frankfurt, Paris, London- even Sydney but because of the fear of catching this corona virus and some consideration, we are playing it safe and we have decided to stay in place.

As of this writing there are no covid-19 cases on the island. There are many on the BC Mainland but not here. I had suggested in a previous Blog to close Island airports and stop the Ferries. That won't happen unless things get totally gloomy but it would protect those of us living here.
Even the stodgy, old, right-wing Conservatives in Ontario are closing public schools for an additional two weeks after March Break. I am surprised that guy in charge of kid's education in that province- I forget his name, even thought that would be a good idea. He seems quite removed- like his boss Mr. Ford, to having student's best interests at heart.

So something else to think about  if you are an Easterner pondering hitching up the ox cart and plodding west- time difference. Of course there are high real estate prices and relatively low availability of homes to rent or buy but that depressing news should be saved for another day...

Monday, March 9, 2020

ROBBLOG #823- What next?

What Next?

Zombies roaming our streets?
Is there the chance that this corona virus will morph into our worst fears?
A true-to-life version of "The Walking Dead".
Okay, maybe that's not our worst fear.
Maybe our worst fear is Peter McKay becoming Prime Minister but it's up there in the top ten.

We've all seen the movies or TV shows- haven't we?
People have to hide in a high rise with a bobby-trapped front lobby.
Others build a metal fence around a suburban subdivision and live fairly normally slipping out to grocery shop in an abandoned No Frills.
Where the hell does their hydro come from and where do they get water and sewage treatment.
TV shows never elaborate.
I worry about these things.
There are even those who choose to cruise the landscape in an old Buick travelling the countryside in a warped version of a summer vacation. At least entry to Canada's Wonderland would be free.

I think if there were to be a Zombie infestation, I'f like to live through it on a tropical, South Pacific Island- like Oahu.
How bad can living with Zombies be there?
Surf. Sunbath. Shoot a Zombie in the head. Wack a Zombie with a baseball bat keeping in mind that these Zombies were once real people.
There would have to be some remorse.
Anyway, all in a day's fun and survival on Waikiki.
Don't forget your sunblock and flip flops.

Actually, I feel I am becoming quite complacent with this virus.
I am tired of seeing it in headlines every day.
Cripes, Italy is corralling millions of people and offering jail terms and heavy fines if Italians try to leave the containment zone.
Now, that's a horror movie right there.
Citizens crawling across fields and under barbed-wire fences to reach their loved ones in another part of the country. Maybe they'e out of pizza dough and it's a flight of mercy.
Meatballs may be sparse or pantries may be holding the final couple of bags of Catelli spiral macaroni.
All the while those in command- hairy, old Italian men, are holding all the cards and possibly all the meatballs.

So far I have yet to hear of one case of Number 19 here on Vancouver Island. If Italy is shuttering citizens from freedom of travel maybe it's time we close the island off from the rest of the country and the world.
Just stop the ferries and close the airports.
Oh, there are a couple of people I'd like to ship off our paradise on the last boat.
(Please refer to the previous RobBlog for further information)
Other than that, I think we'd be okay.
We'd wait out the virus.
Wait for the all-clear, when life would return to normal and one again politicians in this country can waste their time calling one another names and natives can return to their normal state of shutting a country down with blockades while at the same time seeking sympathy and retribution.

You know, maybe we're Fucked already...