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Monday, 16 March 2020

A Mad Man In Mad Times

Within a short period of time all of our lives have changed and at this point we don’t know how long it will be before things get back to normal, whatever normal is these days. In the US on Friday Trump finally declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a national emergency. Right away 50 billion dollars will be allotted to fight the epidemic. A number of corporate executives appeared on stage with Trump and promised to be actively involved in combating the disease. Other than providing parking lots for testing it was unclear what many of the retail corporations could do. It was enough to see a huge swing in the stock market, if only temporary. One thing that seems very evident is that every corporation that was represented on stage stands to profit from the epidemic. Trump insisted on shaking hands with every executive even though every doctor in the US pretty well says that shaking hands is one of the easiest ways to transmit the disease. Trump said that 1700 Google engineers are working on a website that would make it easy for people to detect whether they had the virus. A lady doctor, Debbie Birx, even showed a poster indicating how easy the steps are. The reality is Google is not doing any such thing. A subsidiary of theirs is planning on creating a test site in the San Francisco area. No Google executives were in attendance at Friday’s press conference.

It is interesting who Trump often has on stage with him when he is talking about coronavirus. The dark haired guy with the beard and glasses is Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Mr. Azar is a lawyer and not a doctor. In his past he was a corporate lobbyist and CEO for the drug manufacturer Eli Lilly. Under Azar, Eli Lilly tripled the price of insulin. Mr. Azar is second only to Mike Pence to kissing Trump’s ass in public. VP Mike Pence is anti-science in a number of ways including being a global warming denier. To his credit he seems to have coordinated communications between the federal and state and city governments. A few days ago a Democratic congresswomen from California,  Katie Porter, grilled Dr. Robert Redfield, the current director of the CDC (The Department of Disease Control and Prevention). Redfield is often seen on stage with Trump. He is the white haired guy with a beard and glasses. Katie Porter stated that a full battery of testing for the coronavirus could cost $1300.00 or more. She pointed out that over 50% of Americans have less than $500.00 in the bank. She pointed out to Dr. Redfield that he had the authority to make testing free to every American. Dr. Redfield hummed and hawed and tried to avoid the question. Porter was having none of it. Dr. Redfield finally capitulated and agreed to cover the costs of all coronavirus testing.

One doctor who really stands out is Dr. Anthony Fauci. He is trusted by both Republicans and Democrats. Over a period of time he has contradicted Trump’s statements a number of times. Sometimes you can see Dr. Fauci wincing while Trump is bullshitting.

Two Fridays ago Trump stopped off in Atlanta and told a bunch of lies before continuing on to Mara Lago for the weekend where he played golf twice (something he promised not to do as president because he wouldn’t have the time) and held a fundraiser. So far 3 Mara Lago guests have been found to have coronavirus. On average Trump has played golf on 25% of the days he has been in office.

Things move fast in American politics, particularly with Trump as president. Lies are often forgotten or overlooked because there is a new batch of them coming out of Trump’s mouth every day. Let’s look back on Trump’s involvement in the coronavirus epidemic so far.

In 2018 under the instructions of Trump national security advisor John Bolton shut down the office overseeing responses to pandemics. A lot of people with expertise in the field were out of a job.

The current version of the coronavirus disease was discovered in China in December of 2019. It was soon pretty obvious that it would spread to other parts of the world. The first case in the US was discovered in Washington State on January 20th of this year. As more cases were discovered FOX News and a number of Republican politicians scoffed at the deadliness of the disease. Some of these nuts suggested that the whole thing was a plot by the mainstream media and the Democrats to undermine President Trump. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican politician and close friend of Trump went so far as to wear a gas mask to mock those that were in fear of the virus. Matt Gaetz is currently under self imposed quarantine.  Gaetz was recently on Air Force 1 with Trump

As the disease started to spread across the US Trump became more and more obsessed about how the stock market was doing. He seemed to care far more about losing his leverage about a soaring stock market in the upcoming elections this fall than the plight of American citizens. In the past he has always tried to lie his way out of difficulties. It wasn’t going to be as easy this time around.

Here’s list of just some of the lies Trump or his advisors have told the American public in the last several weeks…..

-February 10th. Trump claims that there is strong possibility that the coronavirus will go away once the weather warms up. There are no facts to indicate that.

-February 24th. Trump claims the coronavirus is “very much under control”.

-February 25th. Senior White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said “We have contained this. I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight.”

-February 26th. Trump claimed that coronavirus cases were going down not up. A total lie.

-March 2nd. Trump claimed that a vaccine would be available in a fairly short time. The reality is that at best a vaccine might be available in a year or a year and a half. Dr. Fauci had already told him this but Trump insisted on lying anyway.

-March 4th. Trump blamed Obama for impeding testing while Obama was in office. A totally false claim.

-March 4th. Trump claims that over 100,000 Americans died of the “regular” flu in 1990. The number was closer to 26,000 deaths.

-March 6th. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Azar, claims there is no shortage of test kits nor has there ever been, Trump repeats the lie.

-March 6th. Trump claims the numbers the numbers of deaths and people with coronavirus in Italy were getting much better. This was totally untrue and since then Italy has shut off parts of the country.

-March 6th. Trump claims that the US numbers for those that have contacted coronavirus are lower than most countries. The US is about 7th in coronavirus cases.

-March 9th. VP Pence says that Trump’s priority was to get people off a cruise ship floating near San Francisco. 3 days earlier Trump had said he wanted the passengers to stay on the ship so the coronavirus numbers wouldn’t rise.

It does appear that Trump is more worried about the stock market than anything else. The Fed is talking about injecting 1 trillion dollars into the market. Trump has talked about buying low cost oil from fracking companies and storing it. It has become quite evident that fracking companies are not profitable and even before the coronavirus scare they were severely undercapitalized. More and more it looks like the federal government will be bailing out various sectors of corporate America including the oil companies, the cruise ship industry, and the airlines. The American farmer is already being subsidized by the American taxpayer. Just what about all of this doesn’t make the US a socialist nanny state?

Something else that has become quite evident of late is how badly the American version of health care works. Something like 1/3 of Americans put off medical care due to the costs. Almost 90 million Americans are underinsured and over 30 million have no insurance whatsoever. Viruses don’t choose who is wealthy and who is not. Testing for coronavirus is just part of the potential costs should one be infected. There is no assurance that the health care insurers or the government will pay for hospital stays and continued care. With that type of recipe it is certain  a number of Americans will do all they can to avoid expensive care and debts which will no doubt increase the spread of the virus.

Neither US VP Pence nor Secretary Azar can say how many Americans so far have been tested for the virus. A few days ago it was estimated by sources outside of the government to be around 10,000 tests. South Korea alone has been testing 10, 000 of its citizens daily for some time. Somehow with the shortage of testing kits in the US, 38 rich NBA professional basketball players managed to get tested. Money still talks, even in a crisis.

At the end of last week a bipartisan bill was agreed to between the White House and the Democrats that would expand funds for free testing. The bill would also give some Americans a limited time of paid sick leave. The Republicans insisted on one exception and that was that guaranteed sick pay didn’t apply to US companies with over 500 employees. Something like 49% of Americans work for corporations with over 500 employees. Even in a time of crisis the Republicans chose to favour Corporate America over working people.

Saw Trump briefly on TV today. He was wearing a ball cap that said USA instead of his regular MAGA cap. Someone on his staff must have gotten to him finally. Not enough to clear up the fiasco he has been involved in for the last several weeks.

It is anyone’s guess what the world is going to look like in several months. In the past Americans could go about their daily activities oblivious to their county being involved in foreign wars. Not this time.

The coronavirus outbreak has been a horrible thing. Instead of being a compassionate leader Trump made the whole situation worse by telling lie after lie. Hopefully Trump and the coronavirus will be a thing of the past in 8 months.





Friday, 16 August 2019

Pop Culture, TV, Sports, Politics, Movies, Music, History, and Other Stuff

(Don’t read this if you are a cat lover.)


Saw an old guy the other day without a goatee….very strange….The most fake person on a TV ad?..... it has to be the bearded guy in the TD Ameritrade TV ads…..just how did he manage to entice his clients into his basement and is it his basement?.....why are the walls and furniture green? all of his clients get to play pool or throw darts in said basement when they buy RRSPs?.....what a suck up!.....Why do some juice companies show a picture of some particular type of fruit on the front of the juice container but when you read the small print you find out other fruits are part of the juice…...they used to call this lying….or bait and switch….. most juices are pasteurized to kill germs so the juice that has been misrepresented might be part apples off the ground that have been rotting……Why does Trump’s wife always look like she is trying to hold a poop in?

In 1965 Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson of the girl singing group The Supremes discovered a mixed race soul group called Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers when they were playing a gig in Vancouver…..they told Berry Gordy about the band and Gordy brought them to Detroit and signed them up….. Tommy Chong, later of Cheech and Chong, was one of the band members…..Bobby Taylor was friends with Jimi Hendrix who was from Seattle but spent his summers in Vancouver, BC when he was a kid.....while playing in Chicago in 1968 the band’s opening act was The Jackson Five…..Taylor personally brought The Jackson Five to Detroit and introduced them to Berry….. Taylor produced their first album and then Berry took over……Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers’s only had 1 hit, Does Your Mother Know About Me?, which Tommy Chong co-wrote…..Cheech Marin once worked at the Banff Springs Hotel… did singer Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo… did I…..twice…..There are programs on TV that tell us about the best places to retire……lakefront houses seem nice but they never show the noise from the many motorboats and seadoos breaking up the tranquility…..houses are built on stilts in US eastern coastal areas for a reason….hurricanes often cause flooding…..white sandy beaches are nice but not so much when there are apartment buildings (condos) in the background…..I tuned in the Toronto Blue Jays on TV and the other team was winning 6-0 in the 4th inning…..I tuned out the Blue Jays…..maybe another time?..... In the movie “Diner” Kevin Bacon plays a young guy who sits by himself watching Jeopardy on TV and answers the questions out loud…..I’ve done that……”We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.”……Treasure of the Sierra Madre…..I wonder how many guys my age saw their first naked breasts in National Geographic Magazine?……A golf announcer on TV today was talking about a pro golfer who had bought the house his family had rented when he was a kid. The announcer went on to say that back then they also had to pay for electricity……my question is…..when did electricity become free?….did I miss something along the way?
In 1970 an American movie came out called Zabriskie Point….. the plotline entailed a college activist who gets involved in a college riot and eventually flees to the Arizona desert in a stolen small airplane….. he meets a hippie chick out in the middle of nowhere who is driving an old car…. they roll around naked together in the sand and are later shot dead by the cops….thousands of young men auditioned for the lead male role in the movie and a guy named Mark Frechette was chosen… one point his face was on the cover of the Rolling Stone…..Frechette decided to join a commune instead of continuing his acting career… 1973 he and 2 others from his commune decided to rob a bank….one of them was shot dead by the cops…..Frechette was sentenced to a term of 6-15 years in prison….one day while in prison he was doing some weightlifting and a 150 weight fell on his neck and suffocated him…..he was dead at 27…..What’s the deal with all the cat photos on Facebook? seems to me there are 2 kinds of cats….#1 the ones that are locked inside their whole lives….”What should I do today? Maybe walk over to the bookcase? Maybe I’ll lie on the top of the couch for 6 hours? Maybe I can mark up the leather furniture some more? At some point I’ll have to defecate in that box by the kitchen which I like to think of as my own desert island…… maybe I’ll walk over to the bookcase again after that?”……#2 the ones that are let out of the home for a period of time so they can dig up the neighbours’ gardens and leave a crap or kill a few small birds and watch them slowly die for sport or scream to high heavens in the middle of the night when they are in heat…..”I would never join a club that would have me as a member.”…..Groucho Marx…..How someone uses a fork and knife tells you a lot about how they were brought up….sorry but it is true…..I believe that almost everyone has some dishonesty in them…’s an example… are selling a house that you have lived in for 20 years… this point you have a good idea what is wrong with the house…..maybe the furnace or the water heater needs to be replaced, maybe there has been a few leaks and some water damage or a new roof is needed, perhaps you have discovered termites or mold, maybe your neighbours are unbearable…..of course you are going to tell the prospective buyers all of this so they know that once they buy the house it is going to cost them a small fortune to fix  it…..right?
John Turner and Princess Margaret

John Turner was the prime minister of Canada for 2-1/2 months in 1984….. he was a good looking guy but a dud as a politician… the late 1940s he was the fastest runner in Canada…..he once had an affair with Princess Margaret…..he also saved former Canadian prime minister John Deifenbaker from drowning in Barbados in 1965….Turner is in his nineties now and still alive and kicking….I’m not sure of this but I think there might be a race between pharmaceutical pill makers and sci-fi writers and comic book writers for new names for new drugs and  strange characters and the places that they live…….Zoloft is the ruler of a distant undiscovered  planet called Prozac in the galaxy called Lipitor. Zoloft’s nemesis is a nasty guy named Motrin whose meanness stems from a lifetime of drug side effects…..Why do people on TV describe men’s balls as cajones?..... The word “ball” is kind of a happy, playful word isn’t it?..... it shouldn’t offend anyone?…..”Gentlemen you can’t fight in here, this is the war room!”……Dr. Strangelove.

Jerry Seinfeld with the late Jerry Lewis
What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld?......lose the suit jacket and mom jeans look, and the white runners while you are at it… looks so 80s like when you had big hair……I loved your old show but now you act like you were a 1 man genius who made it a huge success… had some pretty decent other writers on the show including Larry David, an excellent ensemble cast, and the best supporting actors ever on TV…..your current show, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, has proven that a lot of comedians aren’t very funny without a script, that you are very condescending to people who aren’t famous including waitresses, and that you can be very petty at times…..BTW Jerry…..Sarah Jessica Parker, Mathew Broderick, and Christopher Walz are not comedians in cars getting coffee.

The View is probably the most watched daytime TV program in America today….. it is hosted by some women who aren’t very bright…..Whoopi Goldberg claims  that her taxes are too high and that she can hardly afford to go to the movies anymore…..Whoopi Goldberg is worth 50 million dollars!…..Joy Behar believes that the population of the US is about 200 million…..she’s only out by about 125 million people……2 of the other panel members, Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman, are daughters of famous Republican politicians…..that’s their claim to fame…..Meghan McCain can’t last 1 episode without mentioning her dad, the late John McCain who was a piece of shit. She needs 3 x 5 cards to remember what she wants to say….. The Bachelorette?…..1st of all, does anyone actually use this word “bacherlorette”? “Let go see if we can pick up some batcherlorettes at the bar?”……I don’t think so…..I have to confess that I didn’t watch this whole series including the final 2 days……this year’s Bachelorette was a gal named Hannah Brown who was a beauty contest winner from Alabama… there anything shallower for women than a beauty contest?......she got to meet 30 eligible bachelors and at least 5 of these guys were black…..did anyone ever think she was going to take a black guy home to meet her white family in Alabama?..... the tricky part for her, was not getting rid of the black guys all at one time….. skip ahead to the crazy guy who wouldn’t quit who stood next to the final 3 guys…..the 3 guys all kind of feigned toughness but never got in the interloper’s face or threatened him physically…..why I oughta…..then sweet Hannah told the viewers that she had sex 4 times one night with one of the final three guys….. and then she rejected him…..instead she accepted an engagement ring from a Nashville folksinger but gave it back to him when she found out that he already had a girlfriend back home and got on the program to further his career……she didn’t like his dishonesty…..kind of like her dishonesty in not mentioning to him that she had had sex 4 times with one of his competitors……I think they should change the name of The Real Housewives shows on TV to Catfighting, Over The Hill Bitches, Who Go After Each Other Over Really Petty Shit……just a suggestion…..”You’re breaking my heart, you’re tearing it apart, so fuck you!”......Harry Nillson……Driving across Canada in the early 70s in the middle of winter at night and seeing the flickering lights of Medicine Hat off in the distance from the highway…..Kevin Hart isn’t funny…..I remember those wooden toll bridges in the Eastern Townships of Quebec long ago and the fishing lures wrapped around the power lines….Did you ever drive through a small town and for future reference think to yourself that this would be the ideal place to be on a witness protection program?......This just in…..the quota for aspiring singers in the world has totally been used up…..turns out that 1 in 5 people can carry a tune….. “Learn to work the saxophone, play just what I feel, drink Scotch whiskey all night long, and die behind the wheel…..Steely Dan…..cheery outlook?.....Years ago I knew a guy who flipped houses…..actually I’ve known a few who did some flipping…… guy bought a house on a hill in North Vancouver but didn’t realize that there was a bus stop out front……every 20 minutes or so he could hear the loud sound of the bus’s air brakes…..must have been a Sunday when he bought the place…..another guy who was my next door neighbor on Bowen Island got into flipping houses with a guy from Hong Kong who was his financier…..the Hong Kong guy believed in paying cash for everything… neighbor once showed me 50 grand in cash that he had hidden in his basement…..a drug pusher in a Vancouver hippie club called Rohan’s Rockpile once showed me 10 grand in cash…..So you are out hiking deep in the woods and come across a small wrecked plane… open the plane door and discover the skeleton of the pilot….a newspaper is lying on the floor and it is dated 1978….. in the back of the plane you find two large canvas bags……one of the bags holds tightly wrapped packages of marijuana…..the other bag contains about 100 grand in cash…..what would you do?......I would keep the cash and send a letter to the  cops anonymously and let them know where the plane and pilot could be located…..”All the world’s a stage and the men and women merely players.”…..William Shakespeare…..the first time I ever ate sushi was after a Vancouver Canucks hockey game that I went to around 1982 with my family doctor at the time…..we had great seats about 2 rows up from the ice and we were both stoned on pot…..the Canucks beat Minnesota that night 10-9…..there were so many goals it was like watching a tennis match…..the first time I ever ate raw oysters was around the same time when I was shucking them in a basement of a guy who was about to get married at an Orthodox Ukrainian church later in the day…..The word “loose” isn’t the same as the word “lose” for those that don’t know…..The cost of a campsite less than 100 yards from the edge of the Grand Canyon is only 12 bucks a night…..firewood is extra…..there’s always a catch eh?.....just kidding….“You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend”……Bob Dylan…..Positively 4th Street. 
Lindsey Graham and Trump
Is there a certain age when a politician should be held responsible for what they say? seems to be fair to give them a pass for what they did and said as kids or even as college students… long as criminality or violence didn’t occur……I don’t consider smoking pot as criminality……here is what Tennessee senator Lindsey Graham said about Donald Trump 3 years ago…..”He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the values of the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for…..he’s the ISOL man of the year.”…..3 years later and Lindsey thinks Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread…..who do you believe?.....the 64 year old Lindsey or the 61 year old Lindsey?.....“Pennies in a stream, falling leaves, a sycamore, moonlight in Vermont…..Willie Nelson…..If faith healing really worked don’t you think the healer would be spending every waking hour fixing people instead of once a week in front of a TV camera? should be called “fake healing”……W.C. Fields hated Philadelphia…..his gravestone says “All in all, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”.
Mad Magazine is going out of business….that’s funny…..I thought it went out of business around 1960…..No matter where you go, there you are…..If someone has sex with Nicki Minaj and one of her friends… that a Minaj a trois?.....Don’t ask me about video games…..I’m still freaked out about those cyber things in Astro Smash from 35 years ago…..We have been buying loaves of bread our whole lives…..have any of us ever been curious enough to count the slices in the loaf? we just have a rough idea as to how many sandwiches we can get out of loaf?.....Why do men buy pickup trucks?…..they cost about 60 grand or more and are gas guzzlers…..what’s the point of only having seating for 2 or 3 just to make yourself look cool and rugged?......almost all of the time the truck bed is empty…..friends are always hitting on you to help them move something as a favour… a piano…..FYI….. Home Depot will deliver lumber to your door for a few extra bucks…..just because you drive one of these behemoths doesn’t give you the right to follow the car in front of you 2” from their bumper because you are pissed off at the world about something…..BTW…..when you are doing that 2” from the car in front of you thing I’m sometimes the guy in that car…..the guy with a smirk on his face pretending I haven’t noticed you in the rear window.

”I thought that you’d want what I want, sorry my dear.”….. Send In The Clowns…..Stephen Sondheim…..Subway…..Eat Fresh? The only thing remotely fresh in the store are the bread and cookies…..the veggies all come from California or Mexico by truck, none of the veggies are local……precooked chicken, beef strips, meatballs, and bacon are obviously not fresh…..It must have been a good day for a haberdasher (men’s clothing merchant) 50 years ago when a rock band walked into his store and said “We’ll take 6 of those and 6 of those and 6 of those.”…..Is it square dancing or squares dancing?.....The first thing I ever tried to grow were radishes when I was about 10 years old…..I kept pulling them out and replanting them every few days because I wanted to see if something was going on underground…..It looks like Dave Clark, the drummer for The Dave Clark Five, was a real prick back in the day…..the rest of the group were basically hired help with Clark getting most of the money…..he didn’t take part in any of the song writing but took credit and the profits as a co-writer…..without the lead singer, Mike Smith, nobody would have ever heard of the band…..Regina, Saskatchewan was once called Pile of Bones…..”Hello darkness, my old friend”…..The Sound of Silence…..Paul Simon…..Never ever, under any circumstances, mention Ed Sullivan, Leave It To Beaver, Lassie, Abbott & Costello, to anyone under the age of 50…..they just aren’t interested and have no idea what you are talking about….”Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film.”…..Steven Wright.
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
One of the first conspiracy theories I ever heard came from an older Jewish guy who grew up in the same neigbourhood as me in Montreal…..I ran into him around 68’……his theory was that CBS (the Columbia Broadcasting System) was an arm of the Catholic Church……he connected “Columbia” to the The Knights of Columbus, a large Catholic based fraternal organization……he went on to list a number of Catholics who had program on CBS TV like Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason…..back then I wasn’t sure if he was right or wrong on his premise…..several years ago I did some research on the matter…..William S. Paley, the founder of CBS was Jewish, newsman Walter Cronkite told people that his religious faith was none of their business, and noted CBS war correspondent Edward R. Murrow was a Quaker…..the most recognizable Catholic on TV in the 1950s was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen…..he had 30 million weekly viewers but he was on NBC… much for that crackpot theory.

I was sitting in a bar in Plattsburgh, NY  on a cloudy afternoon in the summer of 65’ or 66’…..I got into a conversation with a guy sitting next to me…..he said he was a salesman for a local car dealership called Santa Claus Chevrolet…..only in America… the afternoon wore on and few beers were consumed he began to tell me a little story……according to him he was one of the American soldiers that wheeled out the atomic bomb, nick named “Little Boy” that was loaded onto a B-29 bomber named Enola Gay and  dropped on Hiroshima in Japan in 1945…..his wife turned up and dragged him out of the bar…..Remember when almost every doctor’s office had a copy of The Reader’s Digest in the waiting area? would get part way into a story you were interested in……and suddenly you would be summoned into the doctor’s office…..never to know how the story ended…..Who doesn’t like bicycles?......I used to love riding them and the freedom that went along with it…..these days some bike riders remind me of Mr.Toad in the children’s story The Wind In The Willows and the glazed over look in his  eyes after he had stolen a motorcar…..a lot of the bike riders I see these days are on the same paved trail where I take my dog for a walk and they seem oblivious to their surroundings…..every few days I have the crap scared out of me when they come up from behind me and don’t bother to ring a bell or tell me that they are on the left or right side of me…..I’m tempted to bring a hockey stick with me on the daily hike one of these days….Never play cards with guys who have nick names like “Hollywood” or “Doc”…..About 15 years ago I was parked on a ferry headed to Vancouver from Vancouver Island…..I got into a conversation with a guy in a pickup truck parked next to me…..I asked him what he did for a living and he told me that he was a storm chaser…..never met anyone else who did that…..we told each other every joke we could remember for close to 2 solid hours and laughed our asses off….. an elephant, a monkey, and a giraffe walk into a bar……they get pretty drunk and when it came to pay the bill the elephant and the monkey both said they didn’t have any money…..the giraffe  said “well I guess the highballs are on me.”…..rim shot…..the ferry pulled into the terminal and the storm chaser went his way and I went mine… was a hoot!. 

Sheer and Trudeau
 Tonto’s horse was called Scout….Most people (I think) love going to the beach…..they find a nice spot,  slather suntan lotion all over their bodies, stretch out on their large beach blanket…..then they start reading a book about being somewhere else other than the beach…..America, the land of the free?.....the US has more people per capita in prison than any other nation on the planet…..”It winds from Chicago to L.A., over 2000 miles all the way.”…...Route 66…..Asleep At The Wheel…..Somebody you don’t really know and have never met in the flesh asks to be a Facebook friend… think to yourself “what the heck”……the next thing you know you are receiving a dozen or so notifications a day from the guy…..every trite inspirational thought that is out there… start thinking…..this isn’t what I signed up for….. I did a lot of hitchhiking in my early twenties… guy picked me up in a station wagon in Northern BC in the early 1970s…..every time I got a lift I would always start a conversation with the driver so I could figure out whether or not I was travelling with a psychopath…..I asked this guy several times what he did for a living but he was evasive…..eventually he told me…..he worked for a coroner’s office and had just fished a dead guy out of a river…..the body was resting behind a curtain behind the front seats…..kind of freaked me out!.....Most Canadians will work 40-45 years in their lives…..this fall there will be a national election in Canada…..we will choose to keep our present Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who is a Liberal, or elect Andrew Sheer, a Conservative, to take Trudeau’s job…..these 2 guys, between them, have a combined working experience in the private sector of less than 5 years…..come on Canada!!! this the best we can do?.....Years ago I was sitting in my living room alone in the dark stoned on pot…...across the room I could see the green and red lights  on my stereo…..the lights looked to me like I was coming into port in a boat…..maybe you had to be there?.....Marlon Brando was 5’9” tall and Humphrey Bogart was 5’8” tall…..Prince was only 5’2”……I finally tore that ugly shag carpet out…..and replaced it with parkay flooring… eh?.....3 people who make a lot more sense to me than most others are…..Joe Rogan, Cenk Uygur, and Snoop Dog…..Darts, bowling, and pool are not sports…..And I am out of here!

Google has dismantled the comments area on Blogger for some reason….if you would like to make a comment on this story or other stories…..send me an e-mail…

This story has been fun to do…..would like to use the same format again. Thanks for reading!

Friday, 5 April 2019

Single At 48

(Please note: The comments section on this blog doesn't work. If you want to send me a message about a story e-mail me at        Thanks)

At the beginning of this story I would like to make a few points. I am sure there will be some readers who have had long marriages or relationships that may find some of my experiences with women I’ve known to be jaded or possibly even abhorrent. I make no apologies to them nor am I interested in what their “moral standards” are. We all have choices in life and I made mine. I’m totally content with my “values”.
I’ve never really been the “manipulator” type but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t aware of what my own best interests were when it came to “relationships”. Of course there are a variety of differences between men and women but then again there are a lot of differences between men and other men. I certainly never wanted to dominate any woman. In fact I’ve never wanted to dominate anyone. It’s not my style.
The chances of some gal I met along the way reading this story is fairly slim. One would have to be a detective to figure out their identities.
So why did I decide to write this story? Mostly because I thought a lot of people would find it interesting. I’ve read lots of stories over the years about peoples’ experiences in the dating world. Most of them have been from a woman’s point of view.
Basically it’s all old news now. I haven’t dated in over a dozen years.
The Breaking Up Of A Marriage
A few things on my marriage, how we broke up, and how I found myself single again at the age of 48. We got married in the summer of 1981, the same weekend that Chuck and Di wed. We met at a Vancouver company where we were both in sales. I was 34 and my wife was 29 when we walked down the aisle at a Catholic church in the small town of Gull Lake, Saskatchewan where she was from. That was a pretty big deal for me considering that I am an atheist. My mother, who was at the wedding, sat right next to the priest. She too was a life-long atheist. There were well over 150 people at the wedding.

Gull lake, Saskatchewan
At the beginning of the marriage we lived in a waterfront house on Bowen Island, not far from the ferry terminal in West Vancouver. After that we lived in 3 different apartments over several years in Vancouver proper. In 1986 I started my own business. My wife settled in working as a sales rep for a tile company. She became pregnant in 1988 and we soon found out that we were going to have twins. We bought a townhouse in Richmond, BC in preparation of our starting a family.
My wife took 6 months off work and the babies were born in March of 1989. The dynamics of our relationship started to change. I’m not sure if she had postpartum depression. Understandably, she was quite overwhelmed at having 2 babies at one time. Almost instantly there was an expressed strong resentment on her part that I was not helping out enough. I would confess that I wasn’t great about getting up in the middle of the night if one or both of the babies were unsettled. I was a pretty heavy sleeper and I did have a business to run during the day. I also wasn’t capable of breast feeding. I found my wife’s resentment of me to be quite unfair. I did a lot of the cooking and household chores. On several occasions I packed the twins in the back seat of my car and drove them around until they fell asleep. I was home every night and not out socializing.
We went to “counseling” but it had little effect. I agreed to have a vasectomy. We went on a couple of getaways including a week at a Club Med in Mexico but whatever sparks there once were could not be rekindled. Married life became kind of like fulfilling a contract, at least to me. I became numb.
Being a parent was very important to me. I was very cognizant of not repeating my own father’s ineptitude in that role. My wife was very good at organizing things for the kids like finding a pre-school and getting them into activities. Before going back to work she found a nanny who would be a part of the kids’ lives for about the next 12 years.
We were living in the “burbs”. I kind of adapted to it but was a bit uncomfortable at times. From time to time we would go to house parties. A lot of that stuff I found completely boring but there were a few occasions that I shared a joint out on the back porch with a few likeminded souls.
I was rarely consulted about decisions made about our kids. Usually I would find out about those decisions after the fact. I wasn’t involved in the hiring of a nanny. My wife also made some financial decisions independently like buying RRSPs through an investment guy she met through a friend. It wasn’t as if I was against the idea, it was more that I was left out of any meetings.
Our marriage had evolved into a kind of staleness. I was living in routines. These weren’t happy times by and large. In June of 1995 I spent about a week hiking with 7 others along the West Coast Trail on the western side of Vancouver Island. Not something my wife was interested in doing. It was an exhilarating experience. I loved being out of my element. My wife had planned on going home to Saskatchewan for 2 weeks with the kids in July. I enjoyed spending time with her family but by this point I had been to Saskatchewan several times. She was going to fly there with the kids. I decided to spend 3-4 days golfing and fishing on Vancouver Island with one of the guys I had hiked with (he died several years ago) before driving to Saskatchewan.
After arriving in Saskatchewan I felt a kind of iciness from my wife’s family. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Not long after my wife and the kids arrived back in Vancouver she asked the kids to go upstairs because she wanted to discuss something with me privately. She told me she wanted a divorce. I was stunned. I hadn’t expected that at all. I asked her if she was sure that this was what she wanted to do and she said yes. I remember getting on my mountain bike and riding down to the dike area in Richmond. It was like my world was passing by me on both sides as I pedaled at a rapid pace.
I learned that there was a reason for her family’s iciness towards me back in Saskatchewan. They all knew that she was going to ask for a divorce.
My biggest concern was what was going to happen to our children. I loved them dearly and didn’t want to be out of their lives. I also didn’t want to see them leveraged between my wife and me.
My first step was to find somewhere else to live. It was going to be a bit complicated. The cost of paying child support, renting a house, and renting office space was fairly expensive. I slept on the couch for a few months before I moved out. I bought out my office lease for several thousand dollars and my secretary found me a house that had room for an office.
I signed a separation agreement. I would pay a healthy amount in child support, my wife would keep all the investments, we would split the house, and I would keep my business. I would be active in the kids’ lives and they would stay at my house once a week for 2 days. I agreed with everything she asked for but that isn’t to say that I thought it all was fair. I had no problem with the child support amount stuff. It didn’t seem balanced that she would keep all of our investments. I had contributed to them and both our names were on the documents. Keeping my business wasn’t exactly a break for me as it was how I made my living. Splitting the house was something that could only happen much later when she could afford to buy me out and I wasn’t about to force her to find a new home. The 50/50 split of the house wasn’t equal because I paid for the down payment on the house with money I had inherited.
She finally bought me out 12 years into the 20 year house mortgage. I never received anything close to my 50%. The main reason I agreed to everything she asked for was because I didn’t want to rock the boat. She was the mother of our children and her being upset wasn’t going to make the transition run any smoother.
There was a lingering bitterness on my wife’s part for several months. As the primary care giver to our children she kind of had the hammer. When our first Christmas apart was coming up she informed me that she was taking the kids to Saskatchewan for the entire Christmas holidays meaning that I wouldn’t see the kids at all during that time. For some reason she changed her mind on those plans and taking the kids out of town for the holidays never came up again.
The relationship between my ex improved after about 6 months and we became cordial. Somebody published an article in a magazine about how well we had coped with co-parenting. We attended all of the kids’ events at school and other activities like dance classes and sports together. When the nanny’s car died I paid for the repairs. For a number of years I hung up the outdoor Christmas lights at my ex’s house and brought the Christmas tree back to her place in my vehicle.
I did the major part of driving the kids to their activities. I got involved in my son’s sports and coached him in soccer and baseball for a few years.  My ex and I would sometimes go for lunch together and sometimes I would have dinner at her place.
I never had second thoughts about our splitting up. Never once did I think about reconciliation. It was over for very good reasons. We weren’t at all alike.  One day when her mom was visiting, her mom suggested that we might get back together again. I told her that that was never going to happen.
For the record, I never cheated during my marriage. In the 15 years we were together, including living together for close to a year, I may have gotten drunk 2-3 times in total.
The above, of course, is my version of events. As they say, it takes 2 to tango, so it would be a safe say that my ex would not be in total agreement with me in my conclusions.
Single At 48
I had to figure a lot of things out about being single. Considering that I didn’t get married until I was 34 I had had a lot of experience with the single life in my younger years. This was going to be very different. I was now a middle aged man. I made a few rules for myself, the first being that I wasn’t going to let my social life interfere with my responsibilities to my children. They would always come first. I also knew that I wasn’t going to be messing around with any married women and to the best of my knowledge I never did. I’m not trying to sound noble here but I’ve never had any admiration for people who cheat. They are basically all liars. How a person can climb into bed with their spouse after getting some on the side is beyond me.
So where was a 48 year old man going to find single women at this stage in life? Meeting them in bars seemed like the simplest option. I never wanted to be the creepy old guy at the end of the bar in a joint that was mostly full of younger people in their twenties and thirties. Jazz and blues clubs seemed to be my best bet. My initial “targets” were women in their late thirties to mid forties.

I went out on some weekend nights while still sleeping on the couch at my ex’s. One night I was standing at a bar and got into a conversation with a divorced couple. They both made it very clear to me that they were no longer romantically involved. Eventually, I asked the gal in the couple if she would like to dance. This was a big mistake. Shortly after we came off of the dance floor the guy in the couple punched me in the stomach leaving me winded. Welcome to middle aged single life!
Not long after the above I met an Italian gal in a Vancouver blues bar called The Yale. I would spend many nights over the years in this nightclub. The Italian gal wasn’t hard to notice. The top she was wearing revealed some pretty large breasts. I confess that I’ve always been a breast man. Not long after our first meeting I invited her over to my new house. It was bit strange at first to have relations with someone completely new, but I got over that fairly quickly. We hung out together for a few weeks and then I cut things off. It was far too soon for me to jump into another long term relationship. This was kind of my pattern over the next 10 years. Oddly enough, I went out on a date with a friend of the Italian gal’s several months later not knowing initially that they knew one another and worked at the same place. The friend turned out to be a complete pain in the ass.
One day I was reading a free left wing Vancouver newspaper called The Georgia Straight and noticed on the back page a dating service that was being offered. It was a phone kind of deal where men pay a per minute phone charge when they contact a woman using the service. Both men and women created a voice message describing who they thought they were. It was, and is, a really stupid way of trying meet someone, particularly because there was no way of knowing what the person on the other end of the phone looked like.
I only remember meeting one gal through this service. It was at a Starbucks in Maple Ridge, BC, a fairly long drive from where I lived. I had a back-up plan. If the date didn’t work out I would visit a good friend who lived in the area whose house I had never been to. I knew from the first moment I saw the gal that she wasn’t somebody I was attracted to. She also had a lumpy bandage around one of her lower legs that looked gross. I sat with her for about an hour listening to her blabber away non-stop.
We parted company and I had a beer at my friend’s place before heading home. When I got back to my house there was a phone message from the gal with the bandage. Her message was quite analytical and she said she felt that I didn’t ask her any questions about herself. I messaged her back that the reason I didn’t ask more questions was because I had absolutely no interest in her. We just had fucking coffee together! No big deal.
My next venture into middle aged single life was joining a club called TGIF. I can’t recall how I discovered the club. It cost something like $150.00 to join and they had some kind of event most nights of the week including dining at restaurants, dances, excursions and some sporting things like bowling. I went up to Whistler one weekend with a group of them. The guy who owned the club was making a bit of a killing. He wasn’t only pocketing the initiation fees he was getting a kick back from the restaurants and other venues that were visited.
Some of the women in the club were the kind that looked like a deer in the headlights, totally out of their element in mid life and back on the market, a place they never expected to be. One night as I was leaving a dance 3 women from the group stopped me and one of them told me that this club wasn’t for me and that I could do a lot better on my own than stooping to this situation. I took it as a compliment. I did go out with a couple of women from the club. I went for a bike ride with one and rollerblading with another. I couldn’t see any chemistry with either of them.
The final straw for me with TGIF was one night when the club went to a restaurant above The Shark Club in Vancouver. Freshly sliced roast beef cut by a chef was the specialty that night. I was thrown off a bit when an older woman at the table I was sitting at introduced herself. I had known her slightly about a dozen years earlier. I had worked in sales with her husband at one time. I also went to his funeral.
Somehow a piece of roast beef became lodged in my throat and I couldn’t breathe. Someone at the table did the Heimlich maneuver on me. It was like a neon light flashing at me. TGIF obviously wasn’t for me. It was time to move on.
I decided that my best bet was to mix things up a bit as far as my social life went. I hung out at jazz and blues clubs that tended to draw older singles like me, Rossini’s and The Fairview Pub for jazz and The Yale for blues music. I also went to a number of singles dances that catered to folks over the age of 40.
I met a really nice gal at a big dance at the Bayshore Hotel (where Howard Hughes once lived); got her phone number and a week later we went out on a date. She chose the venue which was at a big Baptist church in Burnaby and the entertainment was a gospel group called The Blind Boys Of Alabama. I was totally blown away. It was one of the best dates I’ve ever been on.

Gospel music can be very overwhelming. To me it is almost a physical thing like being lifted up. Kind of strange in a way too considering that I am an atheist. That night kind of reminded me of the Blues Brothers movie where someone is doing somersaults in the air.

I enjoyed our date. Before going out with her we had discussed on the phone that I have never been big on hand holding and prefer a woman I’m with tucking her arm around mine. Sure enough that’s how we walked to and from the church that night.
We later went and grabbed a bite to eat somewhere. As I looked across the table at her I realized that she had wrinkle marks at the top of her cheeks. I wasn’t sure how old she was but my guess was that she was a few years older than me. I liked her a lot but felt that we had no future together. Some might think that that was pretty shallow on my part. I guess we could have just been friends but I’ve never really known how that works. I was looking for something a bit more than “company”.
I went to a few singles dances at a place called Fantasy Gardens. It was on a property in Richmond, BC that was developed by BC’s former premier Bill Vander Zalm. It was kind of a tourist trap with a big windmill and fake facades of stores that were made to look over 100 years old. It also had a mini train that was quite popular at Christmas time.
In the middle of all this was a fair sized ballroom with a large balcony from which the North Shore Mountains could be seen in the distance. One night I was out on the balcony having a smoke and got into a conversation with some guy. After telling him that I had climbed the distant Grouse Mountain that day I asked him if we had talked before. He looked familiar. It turned out that we had. He said “You’re the guy that thinks drunk driving is OK.” I think what I might have said was that I got away with drinking and driving when I was younger.

Fantasy Gardens, Richmond, BC
In fact I was very careful about drinking and driving. The most I would ever drink when I was out and about was 3 beers. This would be followed with a few cups of coffee over the next hour. Sometimes I would have a nap in the back of my van before driving home. Back then I was pulled over several times and had to do the breathalyzer thing. I passed each time.
I had a month long fling with a gal who was a first responder and ambulance driver that I met at Fantasy Gardens. She had Fibromyalgia that she seemed to manage quite well. She lived with her teen aged daughter and had a pet monkey. Monkeys gross me out. I never met the daughter or the monkey.
Something else that I remember from those singles dances were the men who had clearly taken ballroom dancing lessons. Most of them looked kind of creepy. A number of them were bald and not in a good way. Others were very short like 5’4”. No matter how good a guy that size can dance, they still look very peculiar dancing with a woman several inches taller.
The Dawn Of Internet Dating
Looking back, internet dating didn’t become a big thing until the early 2000s. Older people like me can remember dial-up in the 90s. Facebook didn’t come into being until 2004. The movie You’ve Got Mail came out in 1998 and kind of opened up the possibilities of meeting someone on the net. If it worked for Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s characters why not give it a shot?

The first dating site I joined was one called Lavalife in the late 1990s. Back then you could buy a deal where for a fixed fee you could contact something like 6 different women from the site. It was kind of like buying booze beads at a Club Med. Once you ran though those 6 contacts you had to pay again or you couldn’t participate. I believe they later changed their format to a monthly flat fee.

You could post a photo of yourself (a few didn’t) and write and post a brief description of what your likes and dislikes were. There was also a section that stated what your religious beliefs were, if you smoked or not, and some other things like occupation. I was kind of surprised at how many women wrote “spiritual” when it came to religion.

I was a smoker and an atheist so I probably was eliminated by 60% of the age appropriate woman on the site. I countered those limitations by being creative in my profile. A little bit of funny, a pinch of off the wall, a short list of some of things I liked to do. One of my opening lines was “What’s in your yurt?” Nothing I ever wrote was a lie.
There were definitely a number of turn-offs for me in reading women’s profiles. At the top of the list were demanding women, women who appeared to be high maintenance, women without any apparent sense of humour, and woman who had inflated opinions about themselves. On dating sites it is quite common for men and women to misrepresent who they really are. Sometimes these things might not be discovered until going out on a date.
I remember sitting out on patio deck at a place called Bridges on Granville Island with a date. She had used her college graduation photo on her Lavalife profile and didn’t look anything at all like her photo. She was German, kind of stocky, and had a kind of gruff demeanor. Images of a WW2 German prison guard flashed in my mind. I couldn’t get away quick enough but stuck it out for an hour.

Bridges Restaurant, Vancouver
There should be no shame in being “average” looking. Most of us are and more so the older we get. Most people have something going for them in their physical appearance. Hair, eyes, smile, skin, body shape, how one carries themselves. A great laugh doesn’t hurt nor does a pleasant voice. Being confident and comfortable with who they are also goes a long way.

I never had unreasonable expectations about dating on the net. It truly is a numbers game. I never had long range plans, I was simply looking for someone who I was mostly simpatico with and then we could go from there. This was easier said than done.
Over a period of about 8 years I went out with hundreds of women I met on the net. There were times when I went out on more than 1 date during a week. Usually I met them at a coffee shop like Starbucks or at a pub. These days sometimes when I’m waiting for my coffee at Starbucks I can spot a couple out on a first date. For some reason they are almost always seated outside. Maybe it’s the lighting or the ability of making a quick escape? Realistically being in public is a safe place for women to meet a complete stranger.
In all the years I dated on the net I never had a “no show” nor did I ever have a gal walk out on me. I never walked out on anyone either.

So here’s the basic routine when it comes to internet dating. You send someone a “smile” or a short note whose profile has got your attention. If they respond affirmatively you start a conversation. If this goes well you ask for her phone number. If that goes well you both agree to meet one another.

One of the first things both men and women think about when first meeting a stranger on a date is whether or not they could possibly sleep with that person. From what I understand there are a lot of men who cut right to the chase. I imagine that that works sometimes but it turns a lot of women off. Using double entendres are also a creepy way of communicating.
Pretty well almost everyone over the age of 40 has been in a long term relationship. Most have been married and most also have children. A gal with 2 teenagers at home isn’t as flexible with her time as gal living alone.
Everyone has war stories about their previous relationship(s). Some of those stories can be very uncomfortable to listen to. Quite frequently the women telling their stories revealed things about their own character that weren’t flattering. Alcohol abuse and cheating were the most common reasons for their marriage breakdowns. I never offered up much about my own previous marriage unless I was asked and when I did I basically said that we were 2 people who didn’t have a lot in common who had drifted apart. I never said anything bad about my ex.
 What Did I have To Sell?
Just what did I have going for me? I was reasonably good looking but not a stud. For the most part I was also pragmatic. Possibly because of my background in sales, I was comfortable talking to almost anyone even if I didn’t always agree with them. As an aside, I can’t recall ever sucking up to anyone in my life. I was pretty confident and didn’t have doubts about who I was. My bullshit detector was pretty accurate so it was unlikely that some gal would be able to snow me. I didn’t have a messy background from previous relationships. I was also a relaxed kind of person who liked to laugh and was open to new experiences. I had a decent income. Rejection wasn’t something I feared. If whatever I was looking for wasn’t going to happen, I would just move on just like I would in my sales career. Also I never ever lied to anyone.
Just what was I looking for? Love at first site was not something I expected. Physical attraction was at the top of my list but that didn’t matter without some kind of chemistry. I liked women who approached life positively, had some sense of adventure, and enjoyed a good laugh.
Let’s stop here for a bit. The reality is that internet dating sites aren’t crawling with grade “A” material, whatever that is. Very attractive mature women weren’t that common on the net and the ones that were very attractive often had personality flaws. I’ve never been a big fan of lining up for anything so I generally avoided these women unless they contacted me.
Trying To Remember All Those Internet Dates

The Time Machine movie.
I can hardly recall any of their names, even the ones I spent extended time with. My best reference point is where I was living at the time. I rented 2 houses in Richmond, BC fairly close to my ex and kids, I lived in a home I owned in Fanny Bay, BC for 2 years, and Victoria, BC for a short while. The gals I met were from all over the BC lower mainland and Vancouver Island.
First House
My first date on Lavalife didn’t work out very well. She lived fairly close to me and we went for a walk along the beach at night. I invited her back to my place for a drink but it soon became obvious that there was no chemistry. She insisted that she bring her dog along to my place. After she left I found dog poop in 3 different rooms. Not exactly a great start.
While living at this house I went out on what turned out to be one of the weirdest dates in my life. It was with a blonde gal in her mid forties. We decided to drive down to Washington State for the day and stopped for lunch at a place called The Oyster Creek Inn on Chuckanut Drive not far from the city of Bellingham. I am pretty sure that it was during lunch that the gal told me that she was a part time pastor. The thought of any action with her happening later was quickly dulled. What are the chances of a pastor and an atheist hooking up?
We decided to head on to the riverside town of La Conner after lunch and found ourselves on a 4 lane highway. We were a hundred yards or so behind a big black SUV. All of a sudden a car came onto the highway from a side road and clipped the SUV in front of us. The SUV rolled over on its roof with the tires still spinning. I stopped our car and pulled 6 people out of the vehicle, two small kids, their parents, and two grandparents. Nobody was seriously hurt but they certainly were stunned. The grandfather had a bit of a cut on his forehead. I turned the ignition off and gave them a hand getting their luggage out of the truck. I learned that the grandfather was driving the parents and their kids to the airport and that they were going to be flying to Europe where they planned to live for several years.
While waiting for the cops to turn up the grandfather took me aside and gave me his phone number. He said to give him a call the next time we were coming down that way and he would take us out on a big boat that he owned. I stuck the piece of paper in my pocket. We just did what anyone should do when people are in difficulty.

La Conner, Washington
We drove on to La Conner and both of us agreed that a good stiff drink was in order. We found a bar where the locals hung out and ordered drinks. The pastor gal started to make plans about us coming back to La Conner and going out on the old guy’s boat. This could be awkward I thought because I didn’t plan on seeing her a second time and I also didn’t want a reward for being a Good Samaritan. I can still remember the shock on her face when I took the phone number note out of my pocket and ripped it up.
I was kind of thinking that we should probably head back to Canada but then we got into drinking shooters. After 3 or 4 of those we were pretty drunk. I got it into my head that I wanted to go the fishing port of Anacortes that wasn’t too far away. Out in the parking lot I bought a joint from a stranger who was toking up. In no time the pastor gal and I were totally wasted. Somehow I managed to drive us to Anacortes and we found a small nightclub with a live band. The place was rocking. The clientele seemed to be a mix of young adults who had escaped from their parents’ summer cottages and street people. It turned out that the pastor gal was a lot more liberal than I would have imagined. At one point she moved her hand up the shorts I was wearing.
It was going to be a long drive back to Canada and it was now about 2:00 a.m. I think it was about 3:00 a.m. when we rolled into the border town of Blaine. We were starving and went to an all-night Denny’s. As luck would have it the cook hadn’t turned up and the hostess was trying her best to do his job in the kitchen. By the time we finished eating it was about 5:00 a.m.
We still had to get across the border and my head was spinning. As I drove up to the crossing the place looked abandoned. In the distance I could see one border guy sitting on a chair outside. (Times have changed since 9/11.)  He asked the usual questions and gave us the green light to go. Whew!! A few minutes later I noticed that there was a roach in my coffee holder by the dash. Man, were we lucky!
I only saw the pastor gal once more after that. She phoned me and said she was in the neighbourhood and asked if it was OK to drop by. The last image that stands out about her was her sitting on a lawn chair at a small kitchen table and after her standing up me seeing lawn chair dents in her bare bum.
I went out with a special needs school teacher for 2 or 3 weeks. Our first date was spending a Friday afternoon visiting antique stores in Fort Langley and taking her big black dog for a walk. At the time she had been off work for several days with the flu. She didn’t look sick to me. I learned that she had been married 3 times which meant to me that this deal had no long term potential. I also found out that she was religious, which was also a no go for me.

Fort Langley, BC
The following Monday she went out of town to a teachers’ conference. When she got back she told me that a number of the other teachers were pissed off at her for spending so much time away from her special needs kids. “Fuck them” she said.
She kind of hummed a hawed about my lack of religious beliefs. She was really stacked and I was determined to see what was in her shirt. One night we were making out in my car and she told me how she could see us both reading the newspaper in bed on Sunday mornings. The next time I talked to her she told me the religious thing was still an issue. Maybe I should have told her I had seen the light just to get some but I didn’t. What a waste of time! Never saw her again.
I went out on dates with a few school teachers. I found them all to be pretty anal. It was as if they didn’t seem to know the difference between talking to children and adults. I remembered from years before working as a waiter and serving teachers. 20 of them would come into the restaurant and all of them wanted separate bills. Most didn’t tip at all. Mostly I found them to be bland with pretty dull lives. I decided not to go out with any teacher at all.
I went out with a nurse who worked in palliative care at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. St. Paul’s was where a lot of AIDS patients were looked after. It didn’t take me long to figure out that this nurse had alcohol problems and consumed a lot of wine. She was nice enough but I would never get involved with an alcoholic. She did offer up some really interesting info that I’ve never forgotten. She told me that most people’s severe health problems have a lot to do with heredity, particularly when they get older. I believe that. Lucky genes are nothing to sneeze at. I’ve known other nurses in the past and the most screwed up ones seem to be those who work in Emergency where deaths, wounds, and lots of blood are somewhat common. It takes a lot of character to not take the work home with them.
Not all contacts or phone calls ended up in dates. I wasn’t interested in dating Asian ladies or Latinos. I’ve known some men who have done that who have found themselves wrapped up the gal’s family and their kids. I’m not the Red Cross! Women with husky voices or bad grammar always turned me off, scary stories from their pasts too.
I remember going over to a gal’s house one night knowing that getting laid was a sure thing. For some reason we used her roommate’s, who was out at the time, brass bed. I didn’t stay the night and the next day I was back on Lavalife. She noticed I was back on the site and was more than a bit ticked off. I pointed out to her that pretty well everything she wrote on her profile was a lie. I didn’t feel sorry for her at all.
A typical coffee date lasted for an hour or two. I never had a prepared plan. I just winged it. A number of times there was no physical attraction but I stuck it out. Depending on the situation, sometimes I would say that we weren’t a match and other times I would end the conversation by saying “It was nice meeting you” even when it wasn’t. I guess you could call that a small lie. There were other times where we mutually agreed that we weren’t a match with no hard feelings.
I went out with an attractive blonde and we had a nice time. We both smoked which made things more comfortable. I think she worked in retail. She also did a lot of drawing in her spare time. For some reason I never asked her out on a second date. About a month later I got an e-mail from her along with images of some of her paintings. She told me that she had picked up a permanent socially transmitted decease from a guy she had met before me. My first thought was that I had dodged a bullet. I thanked her for her honesty and wished her the best.
2nd House
I rented the 2nd house for about 5 years. It was a big place, about 3,000 square feet, and had a swimming pool. It was also minutes away from the high school my kids went to. About 2 years into the rental I bought a vacation/retirement house at a place called Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island.
Mostly I went out on dates in Vancouver but I also started going out on dates with gals who lived on Vancouver Island too once in a while.
Over the years I met several women who were in deep financial trouble. Of course they never mentioned that on their profiles or in phone conversations. One gal I met was 49 years old and had just joined the navy. It didn’t make any sense to me. The Canadian government was investing in someone who might give the government 5-10 years of service? She was so broke I could see the desperation on her face. I bought her a bag of groceries.
I made arrangements to meet up with a gal in Victoria on a Super Bowl weekend. She told me in advance that if things worked out well I could stay at her house that weekend. We went for dinner at a pub in Oak Bay. The dinner worked out well enough that we made out a bit in the restaurant. She didn’t eat much and asked the waitress for a doggy bag.
We then drove over to her rented house in Oak Bay. It turned out that she had a couple of teenaged kids living with her. There was no way I was going to have sex with her with kids in the house. I simply couldn’t do that. She gave the doggy bag to the kids like she had lucked out and the food was devoured in moments. I noticed that there was hardly any furniture in the house and wondered if she had sold some of it off to buy groceries. She didn’t have a job.
Her son had a job working at one of the bigger Victoria hotels and I drove him to work for his late shift. She had a car but no money for gas. When we got back to her house I told her that I would find somewhere else to sleep and see her the following day. She agreed. I wanted to see the Super Bowl and possibly get laid. She put me off when I called the next morning and I realized that I had been totally wasting my time. I ended up watching the Super Bowl in a pub in Sidney, BC. The story doesn’t end here.
The crazy broad looked up my phone number in Vancouver. I think she suspected that I was actually married. When my ex and I split up years earlier my ex never bothered taking my name off the phone billing. I wasn’t aware that this was the case because I had a business number and a cell phone number.
Long story short, the crazy broad phoned my ex and asked if I was still married. My ex told her to screw off and to not call again.
I went out with at least 3 other women who were broke. None of them actually asked me for financial assistance probably because they knew that I wasn’t capable of being that big of a sucker. There’s a distinct sense of desperation when a woman doesn’t have a job and they don’t know where they will be living at the end of the month.
As I said before, every contact on a dating site didn’t end up in a date. There were a number of times that it was agreed that we didn’t have much in common or I alone was of that opinion. Sometimes things just drifted into oblivion.
I had a fairly long correspondence with a gal who at one time had a column in one of the Vancouver newspapers. Her husband, who had died, was also once a Vancouver columnist. We wrote some pretty long letters. I was intrigued because she was a writer and I wanted to be one. She once told me that I reminded her of her dead husband, in a good way. We never talked on the phone. She complimented me a number of times on my writing style.
It was interesting for a while but I was starting to find her to be pompous. She sounded like an elitist to me. I remember her talking about seeing Arabian horse races as a child somewhere in the Middle East and she came across as someone who thought of herself as a hob nobber with aristocrats. It was far too classist for me and I told her so. This really pissed her off and her last comment to me was “Piss off you sot!”. Priceless!
I spent a weekend with a gal who came up to Vancouver for the weekend from the Interior. She wore far too much make-up and didn’t tell me that she walked with a limp. We went up to Whistler and stayed overnight. She insisted on driving her sports car with a cracked windshield. She had a pretty high opinion of herself and at one point told me that I was lucky that she was spending time with me. I almost threw up in my mouth. Dumpy, badly dyed blonde hair, awful complexion, lousy personality, and a distinct limp when she walked, lucky me? I thought to myself that there must be a real shortage of women in the Interior. What a mess!
Another lady came over from Victoria for the weekend. She brought along a huge bag of pot for some reason. A few joints would have sufficed. She told me that she worked in drug rehab. I lost interest in her after the first night and couldn’t wait for her to go home. Shallow perhaps on my part but I’m just being honest.
I remember spending a night with another gal from Victoria. It turned out that she was in Vancouver because of a cancer scare and found out that she was cancer free. I got pretty drunk (she wanted to celebrate) with her but never saw her again.
And then there was the gal that threw me out of her apartment. She was quite attractive and we met for drinks at a pub in Port Moody where she was living. We got along well and at the end of the night we made out for a while. The next day she invited me for dinner at her apartment. She worked out of town during the warmer weather at a fishing lodge in northern BC where she made some pretty decent money. She lived on that money in the Vancouver area when the weather turned cold.
My mistake was that I wasn’t just interested in getting laid. I thought there might be a possibility of some kind of relationship happening. I guess I got mixed signals. She wasn’t into anything serious other than getting laid. I could have played that part but I made the wrong assumption that most women like to be romanced a bit. She literally shoved me out of the door. As they say, live and learn.
Another gal I met and I spent a few hours taking my dog for a walk out near the Vancouver airport. As the evening approached she told me she wanted to go dancing somewhere. We went to a local disco in Richmond called Matches. About 80% of the people in the place were of Asian backgrounds. I couldn’t see any chemistry happening and was writing the date off in my mind as just another meeting that was going nowhere.
We drove back to my place. I thought the date was over and it was just a matter of her picking up her car and our saying our goodbyes. I was kind of shocked when she said that she would like to spend the night. She also said something about sex not going to be happening. She asked me if she could borrow a shirt to sleep in. The sex not happening wasn’t true.
I saw this gal for about a month. She had a nice townhouse in Surrey. I think the term for this relationship is called a “booty call”. She’d phone me up and ask me over about twice a week. I was OK with it all. We weren’t in love or anything like that.
One night she showed me some photos of one of her two daughters. The daughter had a baseball scholarship at a US college and the gal told me that her daughter could throw a base runner out at second base from her knees. Her daughter was kind of stocky and had spiked blonde hair. As politely as I could I asked if her daughter was a lesbian. She told me no.
About a week later I was over at this gal’s place and she told me that she had a story to tell me. Apparently a few days before the 2 daughters were visiting and the 3 of them were having a chat on the gal’s bed. During their chat the baseball player daughter “came out” as a lesbian. It may sound a bit strange to some reading this but for some reason I’ve always been pretty good with “gaydar”.
I don’t think this gal had much interest in me other than the sex. One night after doing the deed I decided to get out of bed and end this deal. It was fun while it lasted. I grabbed the car keys but when I got to my car I realized I had her keys, not mine. I had to go back and ring the doorbell. We exchanged keys and I never saw her again.
One thing I always stayed away from was any gal who said that their best friend was a gay guy. First of all, I had no interest in spending any extended time with any gay people. I’ve always been for their rights and had no problem having conversations with them but I have nothing in common with their lifestyles. On top of that I had no wish to be scrutinized by a gay best friend and I was damned sure that would happen if I went down that path.
I got involved with a British gal for few months. She lived in Ladysmith just south of Nanaimo. I had just bought a vacation place at Fanny Bay, about an hour’s drive north of Nanaimo. She worked in purchasing at a pulp mill south of Ladysmith. She had a really nice house that was kind of 1940s Art Deco.
We kind of had a routine. I would go over to my place in Fanny Bay every second weekend. She would meet me up there. On Sunday afternoons she would drive home so she had a bit of time and space to herself. I would stay at her place on Sunday nights and get up in time to catch the 5:15 a.m. ferry back to Vancouver. She even had the coffee maker timed for 4 a.m.
She was a bit on the skinny side which wasn’t my normal choice in women’s shapes. On the other hand she was very liberal sexually. What really wore me out was her British accent. “And that would be you.” and other phrases. Eventually I just put an end to the deal even though she owned a classic red Jaguar convertible. We were from different worlds.
Something that I found amusing from time to time was the opinion some women had of who they thought I was. Several seemed to think that I was fairly well off because I owned a business. I was comfortable but I certainly wasn’t rich. Some others told me that they thought I had been brought up in a wealthy environment and life had been pretty easy for me. The reality was that life had not always been easy for me.
Falling In Love?
It would be safe to say that when it came to internet dating that I was a cynic. Almost every gal I met seemed to be damaged goods in one way or another. I never expected to fall in love on the internet.
I went out on a date with gorgeous blonde gal a few years younger than me. We met at a pub in Richmond, BC and hit it off right away. She had been married to an older guy and had two adult sons who didn’t live with her. She was the receptionist at one of Vancouver’s biggest advertising agencies. Her ex had retired to the Sunshine Coast in BC and I think they split up partly because she didn’t want to live in an area that remote and have to quit her job. According to her she got nothing in the divorce settlement and her ex kept the house.
She had a great personality, a great smile, and was well put together. She kind of reminded me of Dinah Shore. Our kiss goodnight on the first date was pretty passionate. We made arrangements to get together on the weekend. I took her up to Lynn Canyon on the North Shore to do some hiking. (Wish I could still bounce down hills like I could back then.) As we were bouncing down the mountain for some reason the conversation turned to should women shave their private parts or not. It wasn’t me that brought it up.
After the hike she suggested that we pick up a bottle of wine and go back to her place. We stopped at a wine store and I parked in the loading zone. She was worried that I was going to get a ticket. If parking in a loading zone made me the bad boy type I was OK with that.
She had a 1 bedroom apartment on Vancouver’s west side. Our clothes were off within 5 minutes. She had a sort of shrine thing going on in a small area of the living room. I wasn’t sure what that was all about. We talked on the phone every day and she blew me away. I remember her phoning me during work hours while I was at one of my suppliers. My knees were a little weak and I was feeling euphoric as I stood out in the parking lot. I told her I was falling in love with her. I hadn’t had that feeling in years and didn’t know before this time if I was still capable of having those feelings.
She had just bought a new Volkswagen convertible and was over the moon about her acquisition. She seemed to be trying to work out things in her life that would put her in a more contented position. She did volunteer work for the Vancouver Aquarium but quit because she couldn’t cope with the idea that whales were living in captivity in pools at the aquarium. She also joined a choir.
Apparently she didn’t have a lot of luck on dating sites. She had a group of gal pals who liked sipping wine on some of the best restaurant patios in Vancouver. She told me that her friends and she had discussed going out with shorter men because the pickings were getting rather lean other than the guys that disappeared after a few sexual romps.
I remember us smoking a joint and “getting busy” and later walking over to a nearby deli and loading up on take-out. Things were going well it seemed.
I had a plan to go over to Vancouver Island to my place at Fanny Bay on an upcoming weekend and invited her. She wasn’t interested and later I think I figured out why. Her ex lived in an out of the way place and she had escaped that environment. She much preferred the busy life of the big city.
I checked my e-mails when I got back from Fanny Bay and there was one from her. It was a “Dear John” letter. I can’t recall what it said exactly. I felt a bit blindsided. The whole deal had gone up in smoke. I had kind of put my feelings out there. Fortunately for me I wasn’t emotionally destroyed. Life sometimes works in mysterious ways and I have been shocked a number of times over the years about a number of things apart from falling in love. I’m good at rolling with the punches.
About 2 weeks later I got a call from her asking me if I would like to go for a drink with her. We went to a hotel bar in Richmond, BC (near where I lived). We basically talked about life and she got me up on the dance floor. She had an interesting story to tell me. It seems that after she dumped me she went out with a younger guy who was an executive. He humped and dumped her and then he wouldn’t take her calls at work. It was pretty obvious that he didn’t want to see her again. She got into a bit of twisted logic. She had been dumped. I had been dumped. The difference was I wasn’t chasing after her as she was him.
I saw her several times after that. I’d bump into her on the loading dock in the building she worked in. I had a few customers in the building and several times during the day she would go down to the loading dock for a smoke. I had purchased a golden retriever puppy and sometimes he came in the car with me. I brought the dog out of the car on a leash to show him to her one day when she was having a smoke. The dog frightened her. Who doesn’t like golden retrievers?
A few years ago I sent her an e-mail. I was curious as to how her life had worked out. My guess is she is close to 70 years of age now. It turned out that she had never found the ideal relationship she had been looking for and basically had given up.
The last gal I spent some extended time with in Vancouver was quite tall (taller than me) and was a court reporter. She lived in a co-op on the west side of Vancouver. She didn’t own a car and was quite frugal. She told me that her job wasn’t something she could always count on and for that reason she had a freezer in her kitchen stocked with food. I think she also made some of her own clothes and there were stacks of patterns in her apartment. Her politics were certainly to the left and to me she came across as a seasoned hippy without the weed.
I stayed at her place overnight several times including after I moved over to Vancouver Island. The co-op didn’t allow smoking or dogs in the building. I would leave my dog in my van when I stayed at her place. One morning I got up in the dark and drove over to Kits Beach to let the dog go for a run. He jumped some guy in a suit and the guy spilled coffee on his shirt. He wanted to punch the crap out of me but someone else stepped in and prevented that from happening. It wasn’t the first or last time that dog got me into trouble.
We really didn’t have a lot in common but she seemed to want a serious relationship. We went for brunch one Sunday morning at a place called O’Doul’s. I thought I should be honest with her and told her that I couldn’t see myself falling in love with her. We could go on with the status quo but love wasn’t going to be happening, at least on my part. She pretty well blew a gasket and tried to convince me that I wasn’t right about the way I felt.
The last time I talked to her was when she called me at my place at Fanny Bay. I told her I was somewhat unsettled about suddenly moving away from Vancouver. She suggested that I see a psychiatrist. I think this was her pay-back time and she did some needling. I hung up on her and she phoned back again. I also hung up on that call. I was glad to see the last of her.
Fanny Bay
I spent two years living on my own in Fanny Bay with my golden retriever Cooper. I would go back to Vancouver once a month and stayed at my ex’s house for 3 or 4 days and helped out with the driving of my son and daughter to activities they were involved in. My kids, twins, were in their last years of high school. They were at the age where they much preferred spending time with their friends than with their parents.

My place at Fanny Bay, BC
I changed my dating habits to exclusively seeing women who lived on Vancouver Island. One gal invited me to a big party that included a giant bonfire. Her on-line photo showed her as being in some tropical paradise. It turned out that the photo was taken at a Vancouver Island attraction called Butterfly Gardens. I really found her unattractive and she didn’t have much of a personality. All evening long she intimated that we were going to be having sex later on. The thought made me feel ill. I think I said something like “I gotta go” when I dropped her off.
I did the “booty call” thing for a couple of weeks with a gal who lived in Parksville, BC. She gave me cat salt and pepper shakers which I threw out. I’m not a cat person.
I spent a weekend at a gal’s house in Victoria. She was a big heavy metal fan. Why I hung around for 2 days is beyond me. There was no chemistry at all. On top of that it rained the entire 2 days I was there. I must have brought take-out back to her place about 6 times that weekend. She never chipped in a dime. She wouldn’t let me channel surf on her TV either.
She had an older Doberman pincher who was on his last legs. My dog tore into the other dog’s toys and they were spread all over the place. I found it amusing. I remember standing outside having a smoke and looking at the living room window. My dog was up on the couch, where he wasn’t supposed to be, staring out the window and wondering where I had gone. I found this too to be amusing. This was indeed a “lost weekend”.
I went out on another date with a gal who lived in Victoria. She worked at a golf course. We hung out for a few hours at a pub but nothing much was happening. A few days later she phoned me and told me she would like to drive up to Fanny Bay to see me. Pretty well anytime a gal invites herself to a guy’s place a fair distance away that will involve sleeping over some “action” is going to happen.
It was pretty cold out but she was determined to play some golf. We went to an executive course about an hour away from where I lived. We had layers of clothes on. It was by far the coldest temperature I have ever played golf. She was fairly decent at golf but I outdrove her a lot. Our situation was a “one and done”.
I vaguely remember 2 other “one and dones” at my place at Fanny Bay.
A gal sent me a message from Alberta and told me that she was moving to Courtenay, BC about a ½ hour drive away. It turned out that she had a really nasty personality. She also drove a car that somebody had thrown a can of paint on. Apparently I wasn’t the only person she pissed off.
I really wasn’t having a lot of luck with internet dating on Vancouver Island. I wasn’t meeting anyone I was interested in.
I started talking to a gal in Victoria who had a Danish background. She lived in Sidney, BC, not far from Victoria, along with her two teen aged daughters who were rowers. We made plans for me to come down to Victoria. We were going to take my dog for a walk around Elk Lake. 
Elk Lake, Victoria, BC
We met up in the parking lot at the lake. She was very attractive. She asked me if I had got her phone message and I told her no. Apparently she had had second thoughts about our date and had phoned to cancel. At that point it was kind of like “Well you’re here so let’s go on the walk anyway”. The walk lasted about 3 hours and she started to warm up. I asked her if she would like to go for dinner and she was into it. She chose an Italian restaurant that she been to before. We sat at an outdoor table.

Our conversation over dinner got a bit deeper and at one point she asked me to hold her hand. In the back of my mind I thought that this date had progressed from possibly being cancelled to her getting intimate.
I drove her back to the lake where her car was parked. I also had my dog in the car. She asked me if I had a blanket, which I did, and we made out on the blanket next to the lake. I probably should have rented a motel room. I knew that there was no way we were going back to her place because her children lived with her.
One thing led to another of course. We put my dog in her car and we both climbed into the back of my van. (It wasn’t a panel van or anything like that. It was a windowed GMC Safari.) Our clothes came off and we were just about to do the deed. All of a sudden there was a knocking sound on one of the van windows. It turned out to be a security guard who told us the parking lot was being closed for the night. Ours were the only 2 vehicles in the lot. There was a bit of a panic as we scrambled to get our clothes back on. I remember her jeans were inside out.
She was quite embarrassed about the whole deal and probably pissed off that I hadn’t just taken her to a motel. She was also restricted by time and although she never mentioned it there was no way she could stay out all night which would have been a bad example to her teenaged kids.
I later discovered that she had left her jacket in the van. I didn’t know where she lived so I couldn’t drop it off to her. We e-mailed back and forth a few times when I got back to Fanny Bay and I mailed her jacket to her. I think she was a bit confused about letting her inner passion get the best of her. She had gone from being disinterested to becoming horny. More than anything I think she was in desperate need of male companionship and some intimacy. We never saw one another again.
Victoria, BC
I think it was around 2006 that I sold my house in Fanny Bay. The main reason was I was too far away from everything and most of my neighbours seemed to be paranoid retirees. I wasn’t ready to pack it all in and live out my final years there.
I made some good bucks on the sale of my Fanny Bay place. Sold it for close to 2-1/2 times what I paid for it. I do have good memories of living there.
I ended up moving to Victoria and renting a house in an area called Gordon Head where the University of Victoria is located. I decided to join another dating website called Plenty of Fish. Change things up a bit. Over the years I sometimes was a member of more than 1 dating site. Woman quite commonly joined several dating sites to increase their odds. The nice thing about Plenty of Fish was, at the time, it was free.

It was now the autumn and it was starting to get cold outside. I only dated a few times in Victoria. One of those dates was with another unemployed gal with an uncertain future. We had drinks in the Bengal Room at the Empress Hotel and then went looking for a sushi place for dinner. I wasn’t fussy about her personality, she was a bit sarcastic. She also had a pretty wide ass that I didn’t find appealing. It was one of those one and done dates.

A few weeks later I got a message from her saying that she would like to go out on another date. I have to confess that I took a little delight in telling her that I had found someone that I was interested in having a relationship with.
I spotted a photo of Linda on Plenty of Fish. She was standing on a beach with rugged rocks in the background. Her arms were up in the air expressing what looked like exuberance. I later found out that the photo was taken in Ireland. She looked pretty cute and had a nice smile.
She lived in Nanaimo and worked at a group home for adults with mental illness. We e-mailed back and forth and did the twenty questions stuff and then talked on the phone. No warning signs blinked for me. One night we had a long conversation while a snow storm raged outside. Nanaimo and Victoria often have similar weather.
We decided to meet on a Saturday afternoon in Nanaimo at a local Starbucks. Oddly enough I had met several women over the years at the same Starbucks. I was impressed immediately on meeting Linda. She was in good shape and she was pretty. Not a bad start, for me at least. We got along right away and no red flags went up for either of us.

The Starbucks in Nanaimo where we met.
I didn’t have any definite plans as to what we were going to do with the rest of the day. It was Linda’s home turf. She suggested that we go to a place called the Dingy Dock Pub. Apparently it is Canada’s only floating pub. To get there we had to take a small ferry to Newcastle Island not far from downtown Nanaimo.

The Dingy Dock Pub
We were about the only people in the pub when we arrived but the place started to fill up fairly quickly. I’m not sure if it was a duo or a trio who were the entertainment. They had a guitar or two. Within an hour the joint was packed. It took us a while to figure something out that we weren’t aware of at first. Everyone else, other than us, was at the pub for an office Christmas party. That was kind of weird.
By this time it was quite evident that we liked each other. We kissed a few times. It was a 2 hour drive back to Victoria and somehow I convinced Linda to let me sleep on her couch for the night. There was no way sex was going to happen on the first date. I can’t remember what we did the next day. Linda also made it very clear to me that if we were going to have sex at some point that I would have to see a doctor to get checked out as to whether I had contacted any social deceases over the years. I did that and passed with flying colours.
For the best part of the following year we took turns with me driving up to Nanaimo for the weekend or Linda driving down to Victoria for the weekend. She adopted my golden retriever Cooper right away and they became good pals. I thought it was quite ironic that I had moved down to Victoria at the southern point of Vancouver Island only to find someone in the direction I had moved away from.
I went to Linda’s Christmas office party that year. A few months later we took our first trip to Mexico together. I had been there several times before. I introduced Linda to my ex and they got along really well. We sometimes stayed at my ex’s place when we were over in Vancouver. Linda hosted a surprise 60th birthday party for me in May of 2007. We did a lot of hiking and exploring around Vancouver Island that first year. I showed Linda around Seattle. We played a bit of golf.

Linda and I at Long Beach 2008.
I moved in with Linda in 2008. We’ve been together now for close to 12 years. We had to do a bit of adapting to each other but nothing earth shattering. Life has been good....for both of us.
Was All Of That Internet Dating Worth It? 
On one hand there was a futility at times. I wondered several times over the years why it was so hard to find someone I considered “normal”. I thought about just packing it in several times and just hanging out with my dog.
On the other hand, there was a sense of adventure in the chase. I’m not anti-social but any stretch of the imagination but throughout my life I’ve liked being a stranger and not part of a group. There’s a kind of mysteriousness about it all.
There are some other analogies I could use like gold panning for years and being patient enough to wait for the big payoff. I’m pretty good at waiting things out. I can fish for hours and not catch anything and still hold out hope. Maybe no fish today.....but there is always tomorrow.
There are other dating stories I could have written about here but I tried to write about the more interesting ones. Here’s a short version of one more story.
A year or two before I met Linda, I met a gal in the same Starbucks in Nanaimo. About 15 minutes into the conversation she told me that her boyfriend had died on top of her from a stroke while they were having sex. This event supposedly happened a month or 2 earlier. I wasn’t sure if she was just a total moron to tell that story or if she was just trying to scare me away. She didn’t seem to have mourned much.

As they say, it takes all kinds.