Friday, February 23, 2018

ROBBLOG #702- Dubious Content and Other Things

Today, another ROBBLOG with um...dubious content. No one ever comments on these kinds of blogs I write. Not to worry. I know you are with me in spirit...

Things that I think just appear to be wrong...

Back in "Old Home" Ontario and specifically Simcoe North, Patrick Brown is running for PC leader after it was suggested he sexually harassed two young ladies several years ago and after he had to step down as opposition leader only few weeks ago. Let's not even mention how he manages to own an almost 3 million dollar home on the shores of Lake Simcoe.

Still...over 1/2 of Ontarians in a recent poll would vote PC.

America's NRA are kinda saying that journalists love mass shooting for TV ratings. I said that 2 blogs back! America will never change its love affair with killing- not just by guns. It's a part of many of the people of that country for whatever reason. It just is and Hollywood perpetuates that ideal with films that highlight killing and death. How many of these kind of deaths has Canada had in this country in the past 10 years?
About 30 according to the Internet.
That is 30 too many.

The roll call continues...
Now, we hear that Brendan Fraser was "accosted" 15 years ago by someone that brings the Golden Globe Awards to the small screen. I like Brenden Fraser but I have to admit here and now one of the reasons I like to watch him is his body- especially his loin-cloth wearing body in George of the Jungle.
I am shallow.
Is that shallow?
I mean, I think he's a very decent actor.
Case in point The Mummy Movies as well as his part of the straight guy being taken advantage of by the old, Gay white guy in "Gods and Monsters".
Brendan is just another victim in a long list of victims.
He is pretty or was pretty. He's 49 today and well...none of us are as pretty at 49 as we were at 30 something. It doesn't mean, however, that someone can touch him- hands on his ass, without consent. I read his story in GQ- March 2018 issue. You can find it online.
Sordid stuff and apparently one of the reasons Brendan had disappeared from screens big and small up until recently. He was that upset with the groping.

Brendan in Gods and Monsters
A similar story concerns Terry Crews. A large, musclebound actor from the TV Show Brooklyn 99 who could have very easily punched his harasser's lights out but didn't for fear of being charged with assault. Maybe a gentle- "Keep your fucking hands of my boys!" would have sufficed.
It worked for me years ago.
These days not many men want to place their hands on any of my manly bits so I don't have to say that as much as I once did. Actually, I'm not sure if I ever took offence or even had to say it in the first place.
Huh...The 80's. Go figure.
Colour me Blonde...and forgetful. (no offence to blondes of the world)

More things that appear wrong...

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and family in Indian casual wear during their official visit and Mrs. T with a red dot on her forehead.
I think not.
Ask any Gay guy Justin and they would have told you and saved you from embarrassment. It's not like you haven't met a bunch in country-wide Pride Parades.


Television series that display female breasts within the first few minutes of a show. Those poor, poor actresses that have to go onscreen topless just to pay the bills.

Television shows that hardly ever display "man pecs".

"He's right you know Lucy"
"Ya..I know Ethel!"

The Dog Meat Festival in South Korea where our Canadian athletes are winning medals at the Olympics. The world is full of badness and sadness but shame on South Korea. Did you know that some dogs are dipped "live" into boiling oil to remove their fur before they are butchered?

Dogs caged to be sold and eaten in South Korea
Billy Graham's death. I can't believe that God didn't make him wait a few years more. WTF is God
going to do with Mr. Graham in Heaven for eternity besides continuously telling him to shut the feck up!


Catholics and born-againers standing on a busy street corner- like I saw in Victoria today, brandishing placards with photos of dead fetuses on them. People, people, people...I am sure there are organisations that could use your volunteer help in a myriad of ways besides standing on a corner with disturbing photos. Hey! Maybe each of them could take some of those babies into their respective homes and raise them.
They seem to have the time.

Last one...I promise:

Me standing on a corner holding a placard in one hand- with a huge, full colour photo of a penis on it- and a placard in my other hand saying- "I HAVE a Penis"!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

ROBBLOG #701 Community-Minded

Look at me!

Trying to get involved in the community and be a "True Islander". I have finally figured out- I think, why I still feel a little funny living here in the Cowichan.
I mean funny in a sense of trying to feel settled in my new city.
People have told me it will take a year or more to feel truly "at home".
I believe it.

There has been a lot up upheaval in the past year for the Husband and I. Just go back to blogs in mid-August and read about how we felt leaving "old home". I am not regretting this major move or looking backwards but still, the words to describe how I feel some days would include these:
unsettled, confused, disconnected, lost, floating.
Remember too, as of February 23rd, the Mister and I will be Islanders for 6 months!

I have described this process of cutting the "Ontario Apron Strings" similar to the way the lift locks work in Peterborough, Ontario. If you are not familiar with the Lift Locks- Google them.

The Lift Locks in Peterborough, Ontario
Picture us- The Mister and I, as the right pontoon in the upper position. As we left Orillia behind the pontoon starts to go down. We travel across Canada and get to the Island.
Pontoon goes down more. The Island pontoon- the left one, starts to raise.
We get on the Island and eventually move into Palm Villa.
The right pontoon- that's Orillia, goes down a little more.
By Christmas the right pontoon is almost level with the left pontoon that is slowly creeping up. The left pontoon- the Island pontoon, is Duncan and the Cowichan as we start a new life.
We figure out streets.
Meet people.
Get a new Dentist.
A Vet.
A Chiropractor.
The Duncan pontoon moves up a little more.

Now the new year is almost two months old and the left pontoon- Duncan, is above the right pontoon- Orillia.

Are you following this?

As time moves on we are leaving Orillia behind. The right pontoon edges down.
We are not hearing from as many former friends and family members as we first did.
I am trying not to go on about the temperate Island weather in phone calls, texts or e-mails. It is probably pissing people off.
I know it is...especially with the photo a week ago of Tom cutting grass in shorts. In February!
I don't mean to piss people off. I just want folks back east to know there is another option besides bone-chilling temperatures and mountains of snow. I have made an "End-of-February" resolution to lay off about the weather and how wonderful things are here in the "Canadian Tropics".

In place of former friends and family back in Ontario, we are making new friends and bonding with a "new" kind of family here in BC.
The left pontoon moves up...

As I said back at the top of this ROBBLOG, I am trying to get involved with this community. I have volunteered to be the secretary/assistant for two adjudicators during the Cowichan Music Festival. A festival like the Kiwanis Festival back in "old home". It's been fun and I have met some new people.
Tom's been coming along as well to shake hands and meet "new" folk.
Look at us!

I must admit, I am starting to chip away at those words like "disconnected" and "floating".
I am even having thoughts of resurrecting Double R Productions Theatre! I still have a lot to learn about the theatre community on Vancouver Island but it seems to be a diverse and active one.
I need more contacts before I can proceed.
I wonder-
Can Sister Mary Margaret entertain an Island audience?
Gawd help us and these Islanders- maybe even Hank??
Would Ernest and Sadie Flynn be made welcome?
What about Lady Wyndemere and her Fan?

I don't really know how it will all turn out but I am starting to gather information and think about the whole process once again.

I think the left pontoon just moved up...a little more.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

ROBBLOG #700 Am I Mad?

Am I Mad?

I must be mad!
700 blogs and I am still writing?
This could be a book. In fact a couple of years ago I had planned to put a selection of blogs into a book called "Banana Oil" and self-publish. You may remember the term "Banana Oil" comes from my Dad. He used to say it when there was something he thought to be ridiculous or crazy, so rather than say that's stupid or crazy or that does not compute, he'd simply say- "Banana Oil!"

I miss him.

Another typical day in America last week, I see.
More innocents slaughtered.
Americans- sane or insane, loving their right to bear arms- or so they believe.
More blinders on.
Little outcry.
More sweeping wrongs under the "red" carpet. They wouldn't have to look far to see a country that sets a good example or at least a better one. Of course, most Americans don't even know we exist. They probably think it's the "norm" to have tragedies like this so they can unfurl their Stars and Stripes and build another memorial to the dead.
It's good business too.
For America.

Kids that survived this latest masacre are speaking out. Television networks are placing them front and centre- for ratings no doubt, with their vocal vows to change "'America".
Ain't gonna happen kids.
If there was change afoot, it would have started with school massacres years ago. The "right" in America is always "right" and now they are in control of their Senate and the NRA and gun manufacturers are loving it. Can Mr. Cheeseface even say the word gun?
I don't believe he can.

The "right" in the US never considers guns being a bad thing.
"I have a gun to protect my family"- they cry. "It is my"'American" right and priviledge.
Unfurl the flag.
Hand on heart.
Sing the anthem.
American IS beautiful- or so they proclaim.

Amercians always hope it's someone else's child, or brother or sister.
Killings like this are a blip on the radarscope of American life and these latest murders will be old news next week. Don't kid yourself fellow Canadians, a watered down version of right-wing, American values could happen here in our wonderful Canada.
Case in point Andrew Scheer in Alberta or Doug Ford in Ontario.
I don't believe we'll ever take guns to the streets or local schools or concerts like down south but still some asshole, somewhere in Canada is thinking "good job" but it ends there.
With a thought.

Yes, Americans are wired differently but the saddest difference of all is when an expat Canadian speaks out as an American.
On Twitter I follow Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) and kd Lang. I imagine Mr. McCormack holds an American passport. Ms Lang maybe just lives the good life in LAH. It's interesting to see their tweets and re-tweets.
They have changed.
In America they are "American". Oh they act all Canadian when they are on this side of the border but when they are feeding an "American" audience, you'd hardly recognize them.
Even they have fallen into that American "bombastic" style of citizenship or landed immigrant status.
What do the Yankees call it- " A Green Card".

A week ago when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in California, there was a meet and greet of sorts after his talk in San Francisco I believe. I saw photos of former Canadians- like Seth Rogen.
He was all smiles, wearing his Canada name tag badge proudly on his left chest. Smiling for the cameras next to someone of little importance.
Ahhh. Being Canadian in America.
Does it get any better?

All this stuff that goes on there just south of us or in our case to the east and south of us. It was one of the main reasons The Mister and I in our retirement opted for Vancouver Island British Columbia and not a winter home in Florida.
It's just too crazy down there at times- and we wouldn't have felt safe.
I mean one day you could drive to the local market to pick up some oranges and some A-hole hiding in the cereal section with an AK whatever starts to kill innocent shoppers.
It could happen.

Here in BC we are surrounded by temperate beauty and still fly our Canadian Red Maple Leaf flag on the front of our house.
We know the politics.
The people.
Our neighbours.
Our politicians are fluffy entertainment.
Here we have the feeling of being Canadian.
We don't have to pretend we're someone else living in an insane land for the almighty American buck or gun.

O Canada.
Our Home and Native Land.
Yah. I'll just stay here....thanks very much.

Note: The direction this Blog took today was not the direction I had planned on taking or the topic that I had planned to write about. I don't particularly like sharing these thoughts but I have. So there.
Writing eh...I must be mad!

Friday, February 16, 2018

ROBBLOG #699 Bare Arms- Gag!

WTF is going on in this world?

Former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown gets vocal about CTV news and not in a good way.
CTV say's Browns accusations concerning the reporting of his sexual escapades are "groundless".

The group "Hedley" is being accused of improper behaviour with younger fans a few years back and radio stations have pulled their music and the Juno's have pulled them from the TV Awards show.
Please note: Swisssh Radio has not pulled Hedley from the playlist.

Sexual accusations aside, for something completely different, let's zero in on bare flesh.

Former PM Kim Campbell has gone apeshift over female newscasters baring arms!
NO! I don't mean guns.
I mean their own, womanly arms. Their bare, freeking arms!
I think I am with you on this one Kimster.

Who really wants to see a lady read the news with bare arms anyway? Now, I am not saying I completely understand what Former PM Kim Campbell said about bare arms and female news hosts. You see, I don't know what the word she used to describe her disgust actually means. I do have to say I am not sure why lady newsreaders would want to flaunt bare arms- unless they were told to do so in this "manly" world of ours to keep their jobs. I think that's how it worked in Don Draper's world in that TV show about straight men in the 1950's.
Some things never change.

Let's be fair, if attention is drawn to lady newscasters going bare-skinned how long will it be before men want to try it?
Large, flabby biceps featuring tuffs of old man hair on the triceps.
A farmer's tan under studio lights!
I honestly cannot think of one male newsperson in this country I would appreciate seeing bare-armed- can you? Maybe George Mark Paul Stroumboulopoulos but then he is not a newscaster. Not really.
Stop flapping...
Present Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynn goes bare-armed in interviews. Although, she should stop.
Now, Kate, this comes from a Gay Man- a former Ontarian, who only has your best interests at heart.
Cover up.
I mean it. Draw the shades.
Does Andrea go about showing off her ample, fleshy arms?
No. Indeed she does not.
I checked her Facebook page and nothing there but scarves and sensible blazers.
Now Katy, I am not saying you have full, fleshy arms- you do not. They are just scrawny little sticks that hang limply by your sides at times.
Athletic and healthy as they may be Dear, it's still a no.

Look, I have to be honest I, mention Ontario Politicians here because I really don't know about
BC Politicians- not yet. Former BC Premier Christy Clark seems to wear blazers and a sari or two for the most part. I did find a few photos of her bare arms in the middle of a blazing British Columbia summer but that gal has an excuse-
She rocks a pair of heels!
Now, there is Green Leader Andrew Weaver. He's half of a collation government with the NDP here in BC. Politicians in this province do make strange bedfellows.
I hope they use protection so there are no future little "coalitions" running around the Island.
I haven't seen a photo of Andrew in heels.
Just as well.

Back in Ontario, I have heard that Patrick Brown fills out a Speedo  swimsuit nicely but that comes from a friend who works in a national television newsroom and you can't take that for gospel.
It's is just TV news after all.

When I watch the ladies on CTV's The Social, they are sometimes bare-limbed. Now, I don't see talk show host Harry Connick Jr make the same fashion statement. I have never seen former
PM Brian Mulroney's son Ben in a tank top.
If it happened more of the former and not the latter thank you.

Now, I have left the best for last but there is an unfair advantage.
We've seen him in shorts, a tank top and trunks. Running shirtless, sitting shirtless. Speaking shirtless and just generally being bare chested.
Of course, I am talking about our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Again...unfair advantage but if the shoes or tank top- or Speedo bathing costume for that matter, fits-
wear it dammit!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

ROBBLOG #698 I See Jesus

Back in the 80's, I once had a conversation of sorts with a Catholic Priest- who wasn't wearing his collar at the time. Well, I mean a guy wearing a collar in a Gay Bar? Such a turn off. Shaving your head and painting it blue would have the same effect.

No. He wasn't converting me.
Baptising Me.
Teaching me the Rosary.
Lecturing me on Catholic Dogma or anything else like that.
~wink, wink~ ~nudge, nudge~
He did light my candle though as I remember and I believe I almost screamed- "JESUS!!!"

Why do I bring this up after so many decades of "silence"?
The Mister and I watched a movie last evening called "The Good Catholic".
A handsome, ruby-lipped Priest inadvertently falls for a member of the opposite sex who came to him in a Friday Night confessional. She toys with the Father and tells him she is dying. She also performs at a local coffee shop in a show she calls "Watch Jane Die".
They have an instant rapport this Priestly fellow and Jane- the one who is dying.

We never find out what she's dying of or how long she has to live.
She seems in pretty good spirits and Jane is the kind of girl you could have a fun time with after a few Vodka martinis- and I don't mean sexual fun, just a fun time.
It's interesting how the part of the Father is played by a cute young guy with terrific hair and nice lips- although the makeup department does apply a little too much Max Factor Ruby Red #32 at times.

As she talks about coffins and burial versus cremation, she begins to fall for this man in the collar and the holy man begins to fall for her. A stodgy older Priest back at the church is dismayed at the prospect of the young, handsome Priest being "involved" with someone- let alone a woman.
A Franciscan Father- also working at the church, has a lighter tone and I wondered why he was a religious man in the first place. He seemed to be having too much fun living within Church rules.
Maybe he was afraid to live in the real world.

The Handsome Priest fights with his conscience- not unlike a handsome Prince fighting with a Dragon, trying to do the right thing. He does eventually. I think.
I know I could have cuddled him to my breast running my fingers through his thick, brown hair. Just to help him and soothe him of course. Heh. Heh. Heh.

The realization of the chance at a new life finally comes after the older Priest delivers a homily about God and Love being the same or something like that. It must have stirred something within the younger Priests heart and loins, for he trots off in search of a future.

The movie has one of those endings where the individual audience member decides for him or herself what happens next.
Cripes I hate that.
I am the audience.
I am watching your story.
I am not here to write your ending just because you can't decide how to tie the story up in a neat little package.
So, you leave the ending dangling there as the credits roll.
It's a sin I am sure.

How awful it must be to live a life serving someone you aren't even sure is really there at all. A mystical deity from a book that flew up to Heaven one day to be with his Dad, after a horrific death and resurrection. A death that millions of people celebrate as redemption and forgiveness of sins.
Pardon me, but isn't this year of our Lord 2018?
Oh well, whatever turns your crank and apparently this young Priest's crank was turned by the dying Jane.

Do I hear someone screaming "JESUS!!"- maybe so.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

ROBBLOG #697 Helmut Law- He Sucks and Other Stories

I have finally found something I don't particularly like or agree with on this Island of mine.
In order to ride one's bicycle, one must wear a helmet.
Yup, it's Provincial Law here from the late 90's. You are required to plop a "dorky plastic hat" on your head if you want to ride a trail or street. Back in Ontario of course, we had the choice to fall from our bike and have a resultant head injury and brain damage.
In Ontario we had the right to lay in a hospital bed drooling while wearing an adult diaper because we are incontinent.
It was and is the "Ontario Way".
The Universe blesses Kathleen and those Liberals before her. I expect it was the Liberals who proposed and made this "do as you please" statute a part of Ontario law.
Back in old home we had the right to choose to have one's hair blow in the wind or to have it scrunched up under a stupid, made-in-china, hat that while it may protect the head, it doesn't do a damn thing when it comes to the protection of arms, legs, spinal column, nose, cheeks, fingers, hands, the "manly bits" or feet.
So, I am to feel uncomfortable to appease some British Columbian MPP who believes he/she did their best to keep me from getting a brain injury while taxpayers pay exorbitant amounts to keep me in diapers?
Poppycock and crappy doodle.
Anyhoo, I have ordered a helmet for myself and The Mister which will arrive in a few weeks from The helmets look like a cross between a cap and a riding hat one might wear while on horseback. In the meantime, no bike riding.
Brain-protecting Helmet
HELMET LAW SUCKS! (apologies to anyone named "Helmut Law")
It's a $100 fine to go bare-headed and if you get caught and ticketed and don't pay up- as apparently many people in BC do not do because they also don't agree with the law, you'll have difficulty renewing your licence because ICBC takes over and says No!
ICBC by the way, is the ridiculous, provincially run, insurance company that is 1.3 billion dollars in debt this year which the NDP/Green Party coalition government intends to prop up to the tune of 1 billion dollars leaving a .3 billion dollar shortfall.
I don't even know how much point three billion is but I am sure I don't have that much in my bank account.
A final helmet point. If it's against the law to go without a helmet on a bike ride, is it against the law to go commando whilst riding the pathways and streets? I mean a tumble and the "boys" can cause a boy to scream like a two year old.
The weather has taken a turn towards spring here in the Cowichan. A few 14c and 12c days with lovely sunshine. Trees along the trails are budding and there's a distinct green wash as you look into the woods. Of course there are already green plants and bushes that are here year round. The grass is getting longer and in a week or so the lawn mower will be out.
The Mister tells me he has the battery pack plugged in already!
I have my artificial spring bouquet in the red cast-iron planter out front at Palm Villa. It's the same arrangement I used on the verandah back at Pine Tree House only unlike back in "old home", I have the spring bouquet out now. In February no less! Back east it was always out in April and certainly around Easter if Easter fell in April and not March or wherever in hell Easter falls!
It looks quite nice and the yellow of the lillies and the purple of the delphiniums match the colours in the real pot of primulas sitting on a table between the Muskoka Chairs. 
How nice.
Pine Tree House Brugmansia
Yesterday, I ordered a Brugmansia (Angel's Trumpet) from a nursery in Crofton. It will be yellow like the plant we left behind in Orillia. That will be ready for pick up in May. From the same nursery "Island Passions", I also ordered a 3 foot palm. This nursery has crossed two varieties of palms and come up with one very hardy specimen. Only a dozen or so are available every year. We pick ours up in mid-March.
I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

ROBBLOG #696 Just When You Thought...

Just when I thought I had already seen the most beautiful part of the Cowichan Valley- The Pacific Ocean, I gazed upon something new here on this wondrous Island.

First of all, the Mister and I took a tour along the Pacific ocean from Maple Bay to Genoa Bay. We wanted to see where the float plane terminal was located.
Salt Spring Island too our left was so close you could see the hydro wires and antenna on the hillsides. We haven't been to Salt Spring yet but we will take our bikes on the short ferry ride from Crofton to Ganges this summer.

As we drove along the sea shore, we looked for signage for an airport.
We soon found it.
Gate H- standing for "Harbour Air", was at the end of a series of docks that any harbour or port might have for docking boats but because of the float plane's wingspan, the dock or gate H was at the far end of the series of docks.

There was a small white building standing there. A sliding glass door locked down with a huge bolt lock- almost larger than the building itself!! The little building had a blue letter "H" on a post in front of it.
Inside the small white, clapboard building was the check-in counter for Harbour Air as well as Salt Spring Air. Nearby and behind where we stood looking into the "terminal building" was the waiting room- a wooden Bench, outdoors under a wooden gazebo roof.
Quaint and cute all at the same time. Float Planes rides are priced anywhere from $89 to $129 or more depending on the time of day you wish to fly to Canada Place on Vancouver's Ocean front. The trip takes 20 minutes. A bit longer if your flight makes one one stop on Salt Spring Island on the way to the mainland.

We continued along the road to Genoa Bay. Countless Island folk have told us we must go to Genoa Bay to eat at the sea shanty called- Genoa Bay Café.
We pulled into the lot.
If  Joan Crawford and Rock Hudson had of been standing on the patio, I would have swore it was 1951 and we were in the middle of an old black and white movie.
We didn't stop to eat.
Another time for that. This was a fact-finding mission. Just a pleasant afternoon drive in 15 degree Celsius sunshine. Once there at the Café, we had to return along the same road because it ended at Genoa Bay- just a cliff and ocean beyond.

We drove back towards Maple Bay. On the way in we saw an entrance to properties that said "Kingsview" and wanted to drive up that particular road that appeared to stretch from Maple Bay Road to the top of Mount Tzouhalem.
It did.

Here is where we were gobsmacked.
The houses were beautiful.
Some huge. Some not so huge.
All were taken care off and the landscaping...
Palms and leafy Arbutus Trees.
Yuccas, Rhody's, Laurel, Sequoias and more.

Mount Prevost and Mount Sicker- with snow
We soon came to an area where some new homes were being constructed. Stopping the van alongside the road we climbed over a small, grass-covered knoll.
The view ahead of us was simply amazing.
Blue, blue sky. A few fluffy clouds with mountains in the distance- including Mount Sicker and Mount Prevost. We could see snow on the upper reaches of the mountains.

Down below us Lake Quamichan sparkled in the February sunshine.
Evergreen Trees and rows of Arbutus added to the green landscape.
Holy Cow this is February in Canada?
I've said it before and I'll say it again- "Who knew??"

Arbutus Trees to the right of middle and Sequoias
We continued along a roadway that swept upwards past more gorgeous homes and signs that said "Mount Tzhouhalem Parking Ahead". It reminded us of being in LA and driving up into the Hollywood Hills or on Oahu in Hawaii driving along the south and west coast on the way to the North Shore.
It was absolutely stunning. Spectacular homes and mountain views.
We could imagine having morning breakfast and coffee on a glass-enclosed lanai that offered a splendid view of everything below and all this when I thought I had seen every "beautiful" view there was to see here in the Cowichan Valley.
Wow! Simply Wow!

I said to The Mister- "Would you give up our new house in Stonewood Village for a house here on Mount Tzhouhalem?"

He said "Yes"- but Husband- let's win the lottery first!