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?"


"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.
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?"
"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.



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.
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.

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-

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.

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.
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.
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.
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.

Come to think of it, maybe it was the macaroni and cheese.
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.
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...

Thursday, June 4, 2020

ROBBLOG #842- Swisssh Radio

Note: One of my other endeavours is my online radio station- Swisssh Radio. I thought I would post what you are about to read below because you can also see and read all about Swisssh Radio and Sister Station Starlite...Soft & Brite just to the right on this page. "Sister station" is radio "speak". Now the words below will not "seem" like mine, since I write "professionally" in these words like a station owner/manager should.
Strange, I know and there's no cussing. So enjoy. Learn something and for feck sakes listen to my darn radio stations. Whaddahyagot to lose?

Hello Swisssh Listeners,

We hope everything is good in your "covid" world. Physical distancing  and constant hand-washing is the way in this  "new world" of ours it would seem- at least for the immediate future.

Here at Swisssh, this covid mess has given us time to reflect.
We have been on the air for 13 years and we are thinking of the future and have made some changes.
We know in time- we don't now when, the plug will be pulled- literally- and Swisssh- and our sister station Starlite...Soft & Brite will broadcast no more.
Sad to think about that- isn't it?
This station has given listeners a great product over the years and it's been a part of our life for more than a decade- even surviving a move from Orillia, Ontario to Vancouver Island.

An early LOGO
That move west lost us many listeners but we carried on as best we could.
You see, we have no revenue, so fees for music rights, servers and website costs comes from our own pocket. We do play PSA's and commercials from time to time but we do that as a public service.

In recent weeks we have been referring to Swisssh Radio as "The Island's Golden Classics". That's because we are moving to what we call in the radio biz- a format change.
Nothing drastic.

We got to thinking that the audience we are playing to around the globe is in the neighbourhood of 55+. Now, don't feel alienated if you are not in that demographic yet. Your time will come
Insert smiley face here!😄

A station manager back in the 80's in Ontario once said that in radio we have to be mindful not to alienate an audience. Words to remember, especially in these days of around the world broadcasting on the Internet.

In the past couple of years, we have found it increasingly difficult to programme newer music with so much rap and what we refer to as "valley girl" voices in today's hits.
Do you know what we mean?

Now, we are not giving up on artists like Jann Arden, Sam Smith, Michael Buble, Serena Ryder, Shawn Mendes, Adele, Tyler Shaw, Ed Sheeran or Barbra Streisand. You'll hear them as well but in carefully chosen songs.

In the next while, we have some produced promos- from our "voice"- Jeffery, that will begin to air. The familiar Swisssh jingles will still be heard and our local Island voice- Marnie Martin, will remain with us. We'll also continue to welcome listeners from around the world-
just like you!

Musically, we have been busy adding and subtracting songs.
Just yesterday we added one hundred classics from Canadian artists from the 50's to late 60's. Some of these groups and artists had regional hits across the country and we believe there's some wonderful pop hits that parts of Canada missed- depending upon where you lived. We are surprised with the recordings and the history behind them. Growing up, our 60's focus was mainly Toronto stations like CHUM, CKFH and CFTR. If they didn't play it, we knew nothing about the song- even though it might have been a "hit" in Western Canada.

So faithful listeners, we hope you like our change to the "classics" while we move "forward". Back in the 60's and 70's there were radio stations that played "The Music of Your Life". It was 40's, 50's and early 60's music. Now, decades later, we have stepped up and sincerely hope the music we are playing at "The Island's Golden Classics" is indeed "The Music of YOUR Life".

Thanks for your support and please spread the word about Swisssh and our new format- "The Island's Golden Classics" It's easy to listen.

1. At our website www.swisssh.ca

2. Through www.tunein.com (search Swisssh)

3. At Simple Radio www.simpleradio.com (Search Swisssh)
In both cases you can download an app to your mobile or tablet. So easy and free.

4. Voice-activated devices. You might have to refine this and try the words a couple of times but 
usually you just say to your device:
"ask tunein to play s w i s s s h"
Remember to use the letters. Don't say "swisssh".

5. Lastly, we are on many radio sites around the world like Streema.
Do a search for Swisssh Radio and you'll see.

e-mail: swisssh@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

ROBBLOG #841- Get Out Covid

There's a song that goes like this...

We gotta get outta this place,
If it's the last thing we ever do.
We gotta get outta this place-
Boy, there's a better life,
For me and you.

(You could insert "Girl" as well. If you like.)

I'll bet a lot of people are thinking along the lines of those lyrics these days...
Folks stuck in retirement homes because of covid for months with no family or friends allowed to visit.
Canadians still trapped somewhere in the world who would like to be home in Canada.
All those living in that Fucked up country a stone's throw away.

Hey, did you hear that "psychic" Sylvia Browne predicted this 2020 Covid disease years ago?
She passed back in 2013- before she said she would pass at 88 years of age.
That's a bitch, eh?
Must have been a shock when she walked up to St. Peter at the gates and said-
"Look, Pete. I'm not supposed to be here yet!"
"Peter would smile and say- "Lady, like I've never heard that before!"

So she left before all this came to pass.
Oh, she did add- before she passed of course, that Covid will leave us as mysteriously as it arrived and then come back 10 years from now- only to disappear forever.
I love psychics.

Covid, things are easing here in Beautiful British Columbia.
Restaurants are opening with less seating and masked servers.
Stores that had closed- like Winners, are opening up.
We've had both a haircut and a chiropractor appointment.
My, that's progress it's just that summer will never be the same.

There's no PNE this year. That's CNE for you Easterners.
No "39 Days of Summer" here in the Cowichan. It's a free music festival that- as the name says, runs 39 days.
No parades.
No theatre- indoors or out.

No family or friends coming to the Island to say hello or stay for a day or two.
We hope that this changes in the next month.

BC- unlike PEI and Newfoundland who are not allowing tourists, is allowing visitors but would prefer if you have a damn good reason- like family. You can only camp or RV in a BC Provincial Park if you are a resident of this province. However, I don't believe you'll be turned back by provincial border guards like in the quarantined Maritimes.
If you do drive out here a head's up to put the "pedal to the medal" going through Manitoba. They don't want you either but at least they'll let you stop for fuel, food and a pee break!

Some happy Americans pictured.
The Dad may have originally been from Alberta...
Next- and this is a biggie- there are no Americans?

Some are a little busy anyway killing black Americans, torching police cars, stores and anything else that will burn as well as carrying anti-racist signs whose words will slowly dissolve- once the marching and burning and brick-throwing is all done.
I don't know why our Prime Minister and folks on Twitter are "horrified".
We've all seen this stuff before. In fact you could insert old news footage and no one would be the wiser. Here in Canada we only throw bricks at stores and lite police cars aflame when our sports teams lose- or win.

Now listen, I know right here in this very country of Canada, we have race problems as well.
This is where Stockwell Day says- in a high-pitched voice, "whaaat?" and Doug Ford talks like his true self after resembling something closer to a human being during his covid updates.

We are not clean kitties.
Our litter is soiled.
We have our prejudices.
We all do.
Even me.
I try not to but sometimes it stains you like beet juice on a white linen tablecloth.
You have to really try and rub it out with a permanent "stain remover".

I see the photos- I don't watch newscasts, realizing it's Lightfoot's "Black Day in July"all over again.
It's Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction- both here at home and internationally.
I love that song- even though the context is not a happy one.

Speaking of songs, Les Crane's "Desiderata" is probably one of the finest pieces of spiritual verse
set to music that has been recorded. I believe an entire religion could be formed around the words in Desiderata- even with the God reference included- "whatever you perceive him (her) to be"

I digress...
Anyone flying in from Europe will have to isolate.
No Canada Day celebrations either.
Cruise ships can't dock at Victoria's port off Dallas Road until at least November. You should see Downtown Victoria when thousands of cruisers walk off the ships and into the downtown.
Like ants to molasses.
...gotta get out of this place where we are at.

Anyhoo, kids, that's my update on life and Covid for this the 841st edition.

Oh, I just remembered. Tom Jones is 80 on June 7th.
Like I needed to read that!
Good Lawrd!

Not a recent photo of Tom
I wonder if I'll be writing and typing at 80?

I honestly don't know and I can't ask Sylvia- for obvious reasons...