Archive for August, 2014

Setting off on an Adventure

Tomorrow morning we set off for our trip to Europe and the Mediterranean cruise.

Pat has spent the day in the expected flurry of activity that precedes all these adventures.

She has her lists and calls on me for minor details… what underwear do you want, what shirts do I want, what shorts do I want (wait a minute, those are not right, change my selections, thats better)  it goes on.

Then I get out of her way and she folds and packs and organizes according to the plan she has prepared.  Not just clothing but all the documents, sunspray, pills and research papers we will need.  I am sent off to the basement.

I admit that in the past when I traveled on business and prepared my own suitcase, things were occasionally missed.  Try to buy a tie in Tokyo at 11 pm.

So I acknowledge her skill and try not to get in her way.  My job is to make supper tonight, weigh the bags to see if they meet code, and thank her for her effort.   I think I can manage that.

I love this girl…..

A Pepper Sauce Challenge

It is a rainy day in Paradise.  Light drizzle all day.  Much needed by the lawns and forests and landscaping in the valley after the usual drought of the last 2 months.  Still a mild and comfortable day, with no wind.  A forecast of the coming fall.

Being Friday we prepared a Fish dinner.  I took out some Red Snapper from the inventory and prepared it with a light flour seasoning and a quick fry in the cast iron pan on the BBQ.   Wonderful

Pat prepared a Red Beans and Rice dish in the steamer.  Not her normal Cajun recipe but the bare bones with rice, red beans, grilled red peppers, green onions.

For some reason my wife is becoming less tolerant of spicy so we have had to adjust.  No problem just finish at the serving with sauces.

Tonight I tested McIlhenny Tabasco versus Franks Red Hot.  A true taste challenge.

We have been buying Tabasco for decades but I tell you Franks Red Hot was infinitely better.  How could I have been mislead for years.  I could put that s#*t on everything.  I cannot wait until tomorrow morning with my Raisin Bran.

Now that is a consumer test.

Vacation Time

It is an exciting time in our household.  We are about to head off on a vacation in Europe with lots of new cities and cruise ports.  Exciting but scary.. will we have all the documents… will we have the right clothes… will we be attacked by terrorists in some small Eastern Mediterranean town.  All so amazing given our vacation history .

Way back when, we just tried to plan for the campground we could book and worry if the old Dodge Van would make the trip without breaking down.

Now we look ahead beyond this vacation and are already booked for Hawaii in January and are working on a canal adventure in Europe next spring.

I can only wonder what my Mom and Dad would think of this lifestyle.  I know Mother would have loved it but I suspect Dad would frown at the cost.

Still we are only semi-young once.

an addition… Pat previewed this blog and reminded me that I made a joke a couple of years ago about taking a cruise with Andra and Sean and sailing into a Hurricane..  which turned out to happen, so she wonders why I would tempt fate with the terrorist comment above.  Well if it happens, my bad.





Amazing Race

I hate the TV program Amazing Race with a passion, but Pat loves it.  As I am a caring and benevolent husband, I choose some evenings to watch some episodes with her.

Tonight however, I could only make it through half an episode before I had to leave the room.  Challenges that are so obviously faked for the excitement, even with editing you can see where the producers were shaping the results.

It is no wonder that the producers were successfully sued for $1 million by a couple a few years ago after they were eliminated only to realize that the game was fixed for ratings.  The couple were clearly winning but were sidetracked so an Interesting couple could win.  (That was the series that turned me against the program)

Then you have the contestants.  Those that you love and those that you hate, and the producers make sure that the average ones lose and the weird ones continue on.

It reminds me of when I was a kid and went to watch Wrestling.  Evil guys jumping off the ropes with the entire crowd booing.  All the fights looked so violent but I realized later they were all staged for the crowd.  And somehow the evil guys always made more money than the good guys.

So it is with Amazing Race.  This time the evil person is Rachel Reilly who has a crying fit every time something does not go her way, but her partner always seems to get past the challenge.   This has gone on for years.

With a little research I find that Rachel has a career on supposed “reality TV programs”  She has made millions with her crying jags and pathetic scenes that makes her hated but is always invited onto another program.

So Pat is watching Amazing Race in the other room and I am refusing to even sit there.  Better to write a blog than bring my semblance of acceptance to The Amazing Race.


We do Live in Paradise

I know I have gone on many times about this wonderful place on the Island where we live.  The great weather, the millions of flowers, the mountain views.  But it is also the people.

If you go for a walk or ride a bike people make the point to wave or offer a Good Morning to you.  If they are walking a dog you have to stop and be introduced.

I stopped by Home Depot this evening to pick up some paint.  As I was walking out I noticed a young couple wheeling out a large box with a cabinet that they were planning to load into their SUV.  I walked over to offer my assistance but was too late.  Two separate guys had already beat me to them to help.  This is absolutely typical of  what you see all the time here.  Strangers talk to strangers.

I love it.



Yesterday was Monday August 4 the last day of the civic celebrations in town.  We were invited to an appie party at friends of ours who live near the Comox Harbor to enjoy food and watch the fireworks in the bay.

Pat and I made a new appetizer that we have been meaning to try out.  Little Penguins which were a hit at the party.  The Fireworks were wonderful.


OK New story

Pat tells me that my first novel initial installment was not as wonderful as I thought.

In her words, “it sounds like one of your ” I had the most marvelous dream last night do you want to hear it???  “”

I have never understood why normal people are not fascinated by my dreams. My dreams are great adventures (well except for the ones that involve not finding my car in a huge parking lot)

I really thought the detail of the Dave Stieb jersey took the book into the realm of fine literature.

So now I am back to writing blogs about my life.

I just finished a Martin Cruz Smith book, which believe me, was much less exciting than the book I was laying out, but he used big words that challenged the readers to stop and either look it up or consider that they were reading an intellectual novel.  I think that was my mistake, not enough big words.

Anyway back to my life.  For some reason I have not been riding my bicycle in the last couple of years.  This used to be a big part of my routine, particularly in Oakville where I would go off on 3 hour rides.

The big problem here is that we live at the top of a hill.  No matter where I ride the first half hour is free cycling down hill (when I am full of energy) and the last hour is up-hill with my heart pounding and  wondering if I should have brought my cell phone so I could call the wife as I died from a heart attack.  It would be a shame to die without being able to express my deep felt love for her, or gasping for help.

So the last couple of days I have gone through this aerobic experience and, while I lived through the heart attack period, the biggest problem is that my bum is not used to long bike rides.

I rode off to the clubhouse this morning to pick up the paper, a short ride, and could barely sit on the saddle.  Who knew that you could have calluses on your bum cheeks?

Now is this more interesting than my novel?  Apparently I was going to discover that the woman that took my Jersey was a foreign spy….

My Great Novel

Apparently my blog audience has voted on the start of my first novel.   Well here it goes

“The first time that I realized that our marriage was not perfect came when she stormed out of the apartment with a duffel bag and wearing my favorite Blue Jay Jersey.

I loved that jersey.  It was an original signed Dave Stieb number 37.  She knew I loved it and possibly realized I loved it more than I loved her.

I could not rise and pursue her because I was trying to recover from the party the night before with my compatriots with the Airborne Regiment veterans.”

…..  I am not sure if that last sentence works.

If you recall the Canadian Airborne Regiment (the Canadian equivalent to Delta force) was disbanded after treating a Somali kid, well lets just say, poorly.  A lot of bitter ex soldiers which could lead to an adventure novel.

But at best, I was an Air Cadet in my youth, and while I did learn to fire a rifle in a range, not the same as tracking terrorists over a desert.

Maybe I should go with the loneliness of a worker in an office carrel.

Granted I actually liked the time when I moved from an office that had 100 desks in a big room to individual spaces framed by fabric wall modules.  Personal space, Yahoo.  Not sure I could create the angst of the TV program “The Office” .

I could write about my horrible childhood, but actually it was  pretty good (despite my stories of poverty that I tell my children).

So how do I write a novel?