What’s a typhoon doing in Victoria?


What’s a typhoon doing up here in Canada, you ask? Well, Typhoon Songda, born 5,000 miles away in the Marshall Islands, has decided to pay us a visit. A visit we could well do without.

Most typhoons either hit land and exhaust themselves or simply peter out as they track across the Pacific. But Songda, after hitching a ride on a jet stream, is revving up again and has now become what’s called a mid-latitude cyclone, which can be larger than tropical storms., have much farther-reaching effects.

At 2:30 this afternoon we went out to Clover Point to have a look. The wind whipped the car doors out of our hands and our normally calm waters were acting up.


Now, at 5 pm the Gorge waters in front of our home are “blowin’ in the wind.” Predictions are for winds up to 90k or more later tonight.

So, we batten the hatches and wait.



Enjoying Victoria, BC

Coming from the prairies, one of our most pleasurable experiences here in Victoria, is enjoying the water–from riding the water taxi to get downtown, to visiting Fisherman’s wharf where we admire the lush vegetation, the house boats, the boat boats and feed the seals.





Castles in Canada – Victoria, BC

With the visit of Prince William and Kate this week, this post seems appropriate.

Victoria’s very own – Craigdarroch Castle.




Craigdarroch Castle is a definitively Victorian experience. It is a shining example of a “bonanza castle” — massive houses built for entrepreneurs who became wealthy during the industrial age. In this case, the industrialist was Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal.

This legendary Victorian mansion, built between 1887 and 1890 on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria, announced to the world that Robert Dunsmuir was the richest and most important man in Western Canada.

He died in 1889, leaving his entire estate to his wife Joan, who lived in the Castle until her death in 1908.

The immense fortune of the Dunsmuir family is reflected in the four floors of exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and fabulous Victorian-era furnishings.

Learn more: https://thecastle.ca/about-the-castle/dunsmuir-family/

Emoji Expansion Speeds Up Demise of the English Languag



From: Brian Feinblum – http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.ca/

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

We already know, thanks to the Internet, email, and social media that our language is becoming bastardized.  Technology has not aided the preservation of the English language, even if it’s greatly increased the amount of communication that transpires over the digital transom.  We now have sunk even lower with the expansion of emojis.

There’s even an official body to oversee the modern-day hieroglyphics, The Unicode Consortium.  They will unveil the 72 new symbols in June.  Six dozen more images will come to express emotions, gestures, sports, foods, animals and other things that we used to apply the task of having real words label or describe.

Will we turn into the Chinese, using hundreds of characters to convey a thought, its meaning dependent on just slight inflections of the voice or a juxtaposition on paper?

I don’t like where this is going.  I get the happy face, sad face imagery.  It’s pretty clear cut what they mean.  The rest is all bullshit.  Why must we continue to make up words that formulate Netspeak?  Why must we remove grammar and proper spelling just because the communication is texted?  Why do we shorten words, reducing some to one letter?  R U following me?  Thnx.

The emojis, if we keep expanding the roster into the hundreds or thousands, could threaten our digital communications to the point we will defeat the purpose of correspondence, which is to actually understand each other.

Emojis make us lazy and continued mass-scale use will leave people with weakened writing skills. Our vocabularies will suffer.  As we fail to communicate in detail, tone and depth – with emojis and not words – we make our world seem smaller, if not simpler.  Emojis lack texture, context, and description. Sure a picture is worth a thousand words, but emojis can’t accurately reflect nor inspire deep thoughts, raw feelings, nor reflect well-developed ideas.

Emojis are nothing more than the graffiti of today’s tech-savvy but relationship-deficient generation.  Do I heart emojiis?  Do they make me smile or frown? They leave me feeling crappy.  Oh, wait there’s an emoji for that.  Here you go – see, I wasted words trying to tell you how I feel when I could’ve just clicked on this singular image.  Maybe I’m the deficient one.  Sorry, no emoji to represent that concept or state of being.  Not yet, anyway.

We’re in the ugly era of OMG, LMAO, and TMI.  If you don’t know what those mean, you are screwed.  But the truth is, we’re all going to pay a heavy price if we keep replacing the English language with abbreviations, images and net slang.

It was announced recently that someone had transcribed the Bible into a version that is filled only with emojis.  Yes, a whole book, one that is challenging enough to live by, let alone understand and interpret, is now in full emoji form. Will this be repeated for other classics?  Instead of “reading Shakespeare” we will piece his works together as if we’re playing Pictionary.

Maybe we’ll save money on the education system and just have all of the classes removed that teach language, vocabulary or reading. We can replace them with a robot-led tutorial on the use of emojis.


Have a chair, sir.

Stopping at the local mall is always a treat for we never know what displays we may encounter. This one, a fund raiser for Habitat for Humanity, caught our eye the other day.


Beautifully hand-painted, the chairs are for sale. We were also able to vote for our favorite after making a donation.


This chair comes with your Halloween costume built in.


Back to school




Two young mom’s:

A – The teacher wants them to read 15 min a day.
B – But they’re boys.
A – I know. Sports are more important to them.

Teacher of grade 7:

Student:  Mr. R. your hair isn’t really blond.
Mr. R.:  Nope. It’s very silver white.
Student:  But why? You’re only like 20 something, right???
Mr. R.  Oh, yeah, 20 something. 😂😂😂

Principal of junior high:

We’ve got kids who have come from refugee camps, so things like getting those kids to line up is a challenge because for them what they saw in a line up was, “I’m going to have to beat my neighbor to get to the rice.” It’s trauma inducing. So,  in this school we have to address our processes and how we do things because we can traumatize the kids just by doing stuff that we take for granted.

School secretary:

Student: Mrs. A. I can’t go home.
Mrs. A. Why not?

Student: I can’t unlock my bike.
Mrs. A. Why not?

Student: I swallowed the key.




The Good Old Days on the Prairies

snow drifts


God, my mom could tell you about prairie life—the loneliness and isolation—no neighbours for miles and miles.

And winds—always winds—blowing  the top soil away, or packing the snow into drifts sometimes as high as the house and so hard the cattle and horses could walk on them without breaking through.

And the poverty; fried potatoes and eggs three times a day all winter because that was all they had, walking nine miles to town with a dime to buy a box of corn flakes and taking the penny change home to her mother.

Wearing hand-me-downs from her aunts—flapper dresses that didn’t fit, the neckline hanging much too low on her gangly teen body. Wearing her brothers’ long johns under her dresses—long johns that bagged and sagged under those flapper dresses (imagine how lovely that looked), her legs rubbed raw from her rubber boots—the only boots she had. Using goose fat to try to cure chapped skin.

And the terrible depression that ensued from it all.

We moved to the city with its modern conveniences when I was ten. Mom was not sorry to leave those “good old days” behind.