Archive for June, 2017

Canada 150

Am I the only one that thinks the Celebration for Canada’s 150 years is lots of foofaraw and not a lot of real memorable events?

Let’s face it, by July 4 will anyone be able to remember our July first celebration?

Now I realize that most of my blog audience have no idea how big a deal it was in 1967 for our 100th anniversary.  I am pretty sure our kids and grandchildren will not have any significant memory of 2017.

Here is what I remember about 1967 (when I was only 19, BTW).

Canada held the first national winter games in Quebec City.  This was to prepare and select athletes for the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble.  I know because I was there in Quebec City representing Saskatchewan in Volleyball.  (I did not make the Canadian volleyball team for the Olympics because, let’s face it, I was too short.)

Still it was a memorable event for me in my life and part of why I remember that year.

So, let’s go on…. there were many huge investments in the celebration for Canada that year.  The National Arts Museum was completed in Ottawa.  The UFO landing site in St Paul Alberta was typical of hundreds of local projects all over the country.  To this day if you wander around Canada you can find Centennial  buildings, monuments, libraries and  hiking trails to celebrate 1967.

Of course, the major event of that year, and the one anyone of us from our generation would remember, was Expo 67 in Montreal.

Back when Montreal was the major international city in Canada (Toronto was boring), everyone wanted to go to this Expo.  All Canadians were proud of it.

We could read in magazines from around the world, that Canada was the new Cool.

Are we going to have a memory of the 150th anniversary like this?  I doubt it.

By the way, here is a true Canadian History trivia question….

Who was the official first baby born in 1967, who therefore became the Centennial Baby………   Believe it or not, it was Pamela Anderson, the Bay Watch Babe.

Now that is why we can remember 1967.    Let’s see if our children and grandchildren remember 2017 fifty years from now.



Garbage Can Part Deux

I have finally realized that our expensive garbage can will not be returned.  Despite efforts to see which of our neighbours have stolen it or took it by mistake, it will not come back.

Today I went off to Home Depot and C Tire and Walmart to find the replacement.  Apparently no one sells the premium Rubbermaid bin that we had before.

I did not realize this.  No wonder someone drove into our neighbourhood last week to steal our premium can.  It is a collectors item. (Sucks to be him as I have the lid!)

So I had no choice but to buy a black can with wheels and a lid that locks.  I took it downstairs and cut out a stencil  and sprayed 3512 in high definition fluorescent paint all over the can and the lid and the other cans and lids that I use for garden waste.  Used up a whole can of fluorescent spray.

Someone is really going to be desperate to steal my garbage cans and lids in the future.   Maybe I should add a camera facing the street… well maybe not yet.  The new can only cost $20.





Mystery of the missing Garbage Can

Last Thursday was garbage day on our street. As it happened that morning it was pounding rain and we had planned to drive up to Telegraph Cove with Wayne and Terry so I would not be there to bring in the cans later in the day.

I had arranged for our neighbours to bring the cans in but as they work it would be later in the day.

I put out our main garbage bin(an expensive one) and two additional cans with the yard waste (cheaper cans) .

When we got home on Friday evening I noticed that we had the two yard waste cans (but missing one of the lids)  and the lid for our main garbage can but no can itself.

I talked to the neighbour and he told me that the afternoon had a huge windstorm and garbage cans were strewn up and down the street.   So I went wandering up and down to see if our can and missing lid were stranded in somebody’s yard.  Now I had our address clearly painted on the bin (high wind blowing away happens every now and then)  But no success.

So I think someone found a can and just brought it into their garage and would realize at one point when they saw our address that they have the wrong can and would just return it.   But as the week went on it did not happen.  No culprit came forward.  I began to look at my neighbours with a more, well let me just say, suspecting attitude.

Today was garbage day.  Beautiful day.  I went up and down the street several times to see if anyone was putting out garbage in my can.  Problem is that our main garbage can is one of the most popular type in the neighbourhood so I had to check many duplicates to see if there was any trace of the address I had painted on.  Very upsetting as I could not find the can and hopefully no one noticed me handling their bins.  I checked thoroughly every can up and down the street to see if there was any evidence of someone sanding off our address to use for their garbage.  Could not find it.  Granted if you used really fine grit sand paper the surface may not show, so it may have been possible.

This is a mystery.  How could a street as closed in as ours have a large garbage can just disappear.  Now I am not into UFOs and Pat tells me that it is unlikely that a crime group would focus on our street to steal a single can (particularly one without a lid)

We will have to buy a new bin and I am thinking of painting it flourescent orange so the crime group does not steal it in the future if we have another wind storm.

Still I think I am going to continue to walk up and down the street in the months ahead peering into garages of our neighbours in case I can catch them out.



A Life of Travel

I phoned Blaine tonight so we could share our wonderful experiences over the last few weeks.  For one reason or another we have been out of phone touch.

He wanted me to talk about our wonderful trip to the Okanogan and my Trent River Hike and the recent drive to Telegraph Cove and today’s trip over to Powell River to attend the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy symphony concert.  Lots of great music but my butt goes painful after a few hours.

When I commented, did you just not come back from a 3 week tour of Britain including a week in London,  do you not have anything to say about this?  Blaine said no,  I just want to hear about your wonderful life (well that is what I think he said)  I believe Blaine lives vicariously through my exciting life.

He did promise he would take all the pictures he took on his vacation and have them put into slides and arrange a carousel for our next trip to enjoy.

If you understand the technology of  last sentence, you are old.  Still I know Blaine and Lisa had a wonderful holiday and am looking forward to the slide presentation.

A Little Trip

A few weeks ago our friends Wayne and Terry (from the Sunshine Coast in BC across the straight on the mainland) told us they were coming over and wanted to spend a couple of days with us.  We decided that we would pick a destination spot for our get together.

Meagan and Jorg visited us earlier this spring and went to Telegraph Cove in the northern part of Vancouver Island and told us what a great spot it is.  As it turns out Pat and I have never travelled north of Campbell River despite the 9 years we have been living here.  So we booked a couple of rooms at the expensive dockside rooms at the resort.

As the date came closer the Thursday that we would spend there had a weather forecast of heavy rain.  I tried to cancel the reservations a few days before but they do not allow cancellations that close, so we decided to soldier on.  Wayne and Terry arrived here in the morning and we set out in pounding rain for the 3 hour drive north.

We had prepared by gathering a basket with cheeses, jellies, grapes and crackers with multiple bottles of wine that we could share in one of our rooms if the weather was miserable.  As it turned out we arrived at 1:00 pm  just after the rain stopped.  We walked the boardwalk to the pub in the building shown (the lower one) (taken from the window of our room) and had a marvelous lunch. One of the best chowders I have ever had.

Wandered back to our rooms exploring the the historical cabins.  At 4:30 gathered in our room and consumed lots of wine and cheese.  Eventually wandered back to the restaurant (also in the picture) and had another great meal and spent the the evening walking along the boardwalk.  We had incredible luck because the weather broke for us and even better luck because the night before we arrived the fleet of 36 sailboats participating in the round Vancouver Island race had 600 people partying in the marina and resort.  When we arrived there were maybe 20 people.

What a wonderful spot.

A Business Opportunity

I am not sure how this could work, but there is definitely a profitable business opportunity for someone to come up with protection for Seniors from the evils of internet upgrades.

Now I am not talking about the phone calls that we get telling us our favourite grandchild needs money to get out of jail.  Even harder to resist when it is a granddaughter (because they are the party girls), but we can easily ignore these because our kids brought up their children right.

I am talking about those seemingly legitimate notices to upgrade your microsoft office to 365 or the notice to make your IPad faster or get a newer Visa Credit card (with lots of fees).

Scary stuff for us seniors because what would happen if we fall behind in technology?  The fact is that these upgrades all cost money and they expect seniors to accept without question.

Not sure if you follow the TV series Better Call Saul, but it is about a lawyer who has taken on the issue of protecting senior’s rights.  If you have not watched it, Jimmy, while not necessarily above board, does believe that protecting seniors is a righteous thing.

Weekly we are opening emails and notices with requests for upgrades or information and wondering what to do.  Understand, my wife and I are not retired farmers…  (sorry not intending to offend farmers)  but we have university degrees and spent our lives in office environments.  But these are new times.

Fortunately we have a son whom we can phone occasionally and ask him if that fund raising site for a prince in Kenya is a good thing.

But what about those millions of seniors who are using internet daily and do not have a James with whom to check?  Whom can they depend on?

I expect this is a business opportunity for someone in Russia or China to come up with a website… Trust us… we are there for you Seniors…………

Crows Nest

As many of you know, I am finishing a kit model for my buddy Harry of the Golden Hind.  As I have expressed many times I am unhappy with many of the details that came with the kit so have had to substitute and manufacture my own components.

Tonight’s lesson is about the mast tops.  These are platforms at the top of the main masts where the upper masts connect.  In fighting ships they are larger areas because in a battle marines with muskets would be positioned to fire down into a ship alongside.  In the models I usually make (the frigates and The Victory) these platforms or tops are flat and square but in the 16th century they were round.

The kit came with three round tops that were obviously turned on a lathe from maple (see pic 1).  Horrible examples of what the tops would be and I cannot imagine how a kit builder could use them.  So I made 3 in the proper shape using Cherry.  Never made them before so had to spend hours figuring out how to make them.  I had to manufacture jigs that could be pulled out for each layer.  Pretty happy with the way they turned out.  You can realize why they were called crow’s nests in old ships…

Damn am I good…………………….

Our Favourite Tenor

Patty and I were enjoying dinner out on the patio this evening.  A dinner of Indian mango chicken with spiced French green beans and rice.   A normal meal outdoors in Paradise.

I chose to play Colm Wilkinson music for the meal on the Sonos.

Now for those that are not connected… Colm Wilkinson is the finest tenor of our time.

When we were living in Toronto area and just discovering proper theatre… they had  Phantom of the Opera at the Elgin.  It was a stunning introduction to musical theatre for us and we were so lucky that Colm Wilkinson was playing the Phantom.  Acknowledged the best in the world in the role.  We enjoyed it so much we went back again and again.

Then came the production of Les Miserables.  A role for Colm as Jean Val Jean that was actually written for his 4 octave range.  Again we attended repeat performances and introduced our daughters (the younger two) to these musicals.  When we were lucky, Colm Wilkinson was singing the lead.  He chose to live in Toronto for 20 years as these musicals were winning awards and he travelled to perform wherever.

I think back and those tickets grew from $50 to $100 and I would spend it again.  I know friends that go to Vegas and spend $300 to see Celine sing about Titanic, and I agree that would be nice… but nothing compared to Colm Wilkinson singing Bring Him Home live……..  That was an experience.

I suspect it is up there with those that could enjoyed Pavarotti in his prime.

So we sat on the patio and just enjoyed the sunlight and the music…. and the soccer kids going by.