Archive for July, 2013


This weekend we had a delightful trip on the Uchuck III, a small freighter that sails from Gold River down an estuary to provide supplies to small villages out to the west coast of Vancouver Island.  While primarily a freight supply vessel it has deck benches and a small cabin area to take up to 80 passengers (on a day trip)

It travels down an estuary through mountains and past islands that no one would see if you did not travel by boat.  This particular trip was a single day trip from Gold River down to Yuquot an old Native village on the cove that opens onto the Pacific.  This is a historical spot since this is where James Cook on his third and last voyage found refuge for 6 weeks while he repaired his ships. He named it friendly cove because of the reception he and his crew received.

Beautiful weather so no wave action to disturb sensitive tummys with spectacular scenery all along the route.

We travelled with Blaine and Lisa along with Evan and his girlfriend Nicole.  Many of Nicole’s relatives were also on the trip (it was originally based on a family thing that got stretched to include us)

In YuquDSC_0003ot we carried our cooler ashore for a picnic and then had 3 hours to explore the stony beach, an old church and the lighthouse while the Uchuck unloaded supplies. Many of the people on the freighter were natives heading back to their historical village for a extended period of camping and enjoying BBQ salmon.  This had at one time been a huge village but now is only used in August for this traditional gathering.  The only year round residents are the people that maintain the Lighthouse on the point.

We eventually returned aboard and motored back to Gold River  This is a lovely Island on which we live


Lamb Kofta Kebabs

We have made this grilling entre many times.  Basically ground lamb mixed with Moroccan spices, rolled into a sausage shape on skewers and grilled on the BBQ.  A great dish for Ramadan (except we did not wait until the sun went down as that is too late for us)

Pat came up with the idea last night and we thawed some ground lamb so we could do this traditional Islamic dish.  Turned out that what we thawed was ground pork.  Oops… Made it anyway and it was wonderful, not authentic to the Moroccan recipe but delicious.  Good thing we live on the island or we might have zealots coming after us.

Peel Me A Grape

I try to be a considerate, loving and romantic husband.  I put the toilet seat down and make a point to pour wine in Pat’s glass when she needs it.

We were dining outside last night and listening to soft jazz music. Diana Krall came on with her song Peel Me A Grape.  Nice song (my engineering classmates would disown me for saying that)
Basically the song is her saying if you really love me you will peel me a grape,  cut me a rose, cashmere me….. basically be my slave.

So we are sitting watching TV before going to bed and snacking on some white grapes.  I took a small paring knife and peeled a grape for my wife and presented it to her.

She said, that is gross and where did you put the peelings? They had better not be on your shirt (they were).  Apparently not a winner in the pleasing a wife category.

Which leads to the eternal question of men, what do women really want?  Who knows???

We have a new Prince

We have an new heir to the throne.  Kate did the right thing and produced a male heir thus ducking the potential issue of Quebec refusing to agree to the constitutional amendment that would allow a female to be the primary heir.  We have 30 years before we have to face that issue again and by then who knows.

8 lb 6 oz baby first born.  Ouch.  Makes me glad I was born a male

I can go out in Public

Well my condition is improving.  No longer Jabba the Hutt I have gone down to Orson Wells. 

Always appreciate medical advice from Min but Lois gave me some practical advice.  I can now go to the store with the solution suggested by Lois.


Jabba the Hutt

Well I am into my second day of the massive swollen lymph glands under my chin.

I started my treatment with penicillin yesterday and when I woke this morning I hoped that I would appear normal but when I Looked in the mirror, I was wrong.  Instead of looking like Orson Welles I now look like Jabba the Hutt.

I want to hide in the house waiting for my disfigurement to go away, but NO.  Pat says lets go shopping at the new Target store.

So there I am skulking around our big new Target store trying to hide my jowls from everyone we walk past.  I had a great fear that we would meet someone we knew and they would say ” Hey Bruce big into the BBQ this summer I see”

I have been assured that this should go away in the next couple of days but I am already looking up plastic surgeons in the US

Pat, of course, is amused by my situation, but as this is a bacterial infection, she may have it herself in a couple of weeks.

I will, of course, be sympathetic.



Swollen Glands

Last night when I went to bed I had a bit of a sore throat and did not sleep well.

When I woke this morning (Friday) anticipating that I would go to the club for my workout, I did not feel well. Initial thought was that I spent too much time in the sun yesterday.

Then I looked at myself in the mirror.

My first reaction was, when did I get this fat?  I had swollen jowls that spread from ear to ear.  Forget the concept of double chins, I had one chin and a huge round jowl.

When you have first woken up you are not firing on all 8 cylinders so I was thinking, how did I get this way, and how come I did not notice it before?

Pat then came in and was just as stunned.  Apparently I was not this way the night before.

I did have a sore throat and when I tried to talk I sounded like Donald Duck.

As this was not a natural look.  I thought I had an allergic reaction to something.  We had a great seafood meal on Wednesday, but that was 36 hours earlier.  Last night we had a Cobb salad for dinner, so nothing obvious.

I booked an appointment to see our doctor and with one look I was told it was not an allergic reaction.  I had a throat infection that had swollen my glands big time.  Actually good news.

So tonight I still have a face that looks like Eddy Murphy in the Klumps, but my voice has deepened where I think I sound like James Earl Jones.

We were sitting outside for dinner tonight (smoked salmon pasta) and I was trying out my new voice on Patty.  Some of the great lines like  “hey little girl, you want some candy?” and “I am sorry, I am lost, can you give me directions to your heart” and the famous “can I drive you home tonight, I hope you do not mind but the top is down on my sports car”   Would be much more effective if I did not look like Orson Wells

I really hope to lose the big fat jowl but it would be nice to keep the voice.

A Boring Blog

Lately I have been getting comments that my blogs are starting to tend to the risqué.   While I believe an informed readership is a good thing I do listen to my fans, so here is a boring blog.

We had a beautiful day today.  I drove down to Nanaimo in Litl Red to join Blaine in a golf game at Cottonwoods.

My typical game, a birdie, two pars and several snow men.  I can hit one drive long and straight and at the next hole using exactly the same stance, hook it deep into the woods.

I do not forsee a pro career any time in the future.  Still a great day.  Playing with my brother is always a treat.  We compliment each other’s great shots and ignore the bad ones.

I love the game it is just too bad that after 50 years of playing I do not seem to be getting much better.  Won’t stop me from trying

The hardest part was the 1 hour drive back up home in the sunshine with the top down.  Lots of sunshine today.  Needed a nap and achieved same when I arrived.

Bringing up Children

I was going to title this blog Training your children on Sex” but by sad experience, I have learned that my blogs are public.  Not just that the American NSA is reading (Was anyone surprised by those revelations???) it is the sickos that search on Google for any mention of the s#x word.

Recently there are many articles in the papers and in Maclean’s Magazine about how educators are to blame for the mixed up sexual information given children.  I really enjoyed a letter to the Maclean’s editor where a mother said that morality and sexual training were not the responsibility of teachers, they should be the responsibility of parents.  I absolutely agree with this.

The letter writer went on to say how she and her husband have dinner conversations with their kids about pubic hair, herpes, anal sex and pornography in a son’s bedroom.  I shudder of thinking of this conversation with my Mom and Dad.

I have to admit that Pat and I were not, in fact, enlightened parents, and none of these subjects ever came up in dinner conversations.  Our generation believed that you learned about sex from your friends with street rumours.  (to this day I remember some great details I was told in the playground which never proved to be true. Anyone remember Spanish Fly???)

I assume Pat took the girls aside and said “do not trust boys”     I know I told my son “go fetch”

I hereby apologize to my children that we did not properly inform them of the many aspects of the sexual experience.  We definitely did not have dinner conversations about anal sex.

While I loved having children, I am glad that I do not have to raise them in the modern experience of 7 year olds watching porn on internet and family discussions about Aids.

There are many opinions that maintain that those of us of the Baby Boom generation are the luckiest in the history of mankind.  In this narrow definition of raising kids, I have to agree.  We apparently achieved four semi-normal kids without these embarrassing conversations.  Who knows, maybe their teachers handled it for us.


Oregon Drive 2013

For the last few years Pat and I have joined in many Miata club drives.  This last week we drove down to Oregon to join the Explore Oregon 2013 drive.

It is difficult to describe the reason why we love these events.  The basic description is that we check into a motel along with 70 other Miata owners (virtually all the same age as us).  We go on organized drives where 20 cars drive in tandem through wiggly country roads,  stop at a road house for lunch and then make our way back to the hotel.  On the Saturday night you have a roast beef dinner in a hall with 150 seniors excited by a couple of beers or glasses of wine, and bid on Mazda MX5 tee shirts and paraphernalia.  I know it sounds lame but what a wonderful week.  We met or shared meals with couples from California, Wisconsin, and Washington as well as the groups from BC.

We were staying at The Dalles in Oregon which is about 2 hours east of Portland up the Columbia River.  The Columbia river has cut a deep channel from the high plains to the coast.  As you drive east you follow the river from lush rain forest on the west coast to a point just beyond The Dalles where it looks like Drumheller Alberta.    Along the length if you leave the interstate you can drive on winding highways beside 300 foot waterfalls through heavy forest and within 45 minutes  you could be on prairie roads with cattle walking across the road in front of you.

As Miata drivers we love the steep wiggly roads where you can blitz along taking corners as if you were in a Grand Prix course.  Once you leave the heavily travelled Columbia river with its thousands of tourists the roads through the ranch lands are fabulous.

Unfortunately I only took the cheap old 5 megapix camera along, so I cannot begin to show the sights as we drove around Mount Hood and Mount Adams with canyons dropping off 500 feet to one side and cliffs rising on the other.

The first picture is early in one of the drives when about 25 cars in our initial group set off (there were 3 groups setting out that day in different directions).

Pat and I are in the car about 10 from the front.  30 minutes later the leading group of 8 (including us) had lost the cars that did not want to drive aggressively.  There are those who want to experience the glory of the views and those that want the thrill of near death on narrow winding roads with great views.   I am very fortunate that my wife does not share the driving illness issue of her sisters because we drove like fools on paved wiggly mountain roads with virtually no one coming the other way.  Waving back and forth on roads designed for our cars.

This was a wonderful weekend in beautiful weather and fabulous scenery.  I am sorry for the pictures as I have scanned them from photos given us.

082520 (2)The Dalles area