Sunday, October 30, 2016

There's a light over at the Frankenstein place

Victoria's Craigdarroch Castle stands in for Dr. Frank-N-Furter's abode...
Craigdarroch Castle standing in for the abode of Dr. Frank-N-Furter...
The title of today's Halloween post, is a line from the musical play/movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Back in my college days, it was a cult favourite that played at a local cinema every Friday night at midnight for about a year, maybe more, if I remember correctly.

After the movie let out, on late Friday nights, the fans -- all dressed in drag -- would stroll over to the night club in the Empress Hotel across the street. The dance floor would suddenly fill up with guys in high heels, fishnet stockings and garters, and sporting mascara, lipstick and big wigs. The DJ would often indulge them by playing "Let's Do the Time Warp Again", the movie's signature song-and-dance bit.

A recent made-for-TV remake gamely tried to re-create the original, to a mostly critical reception.

A big problem was that the gender-bending of the original play/movie isn't shocking anymore in an age where an alphabet of sexual identities (LGBQT) is largely acknowledged, if not entirely accepted, by all.

That's your cultural history lesson for today... Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Day of the Living Dead

Pennywise... or Poundfoolish?
Pennywise... or Poundfoolish?
Victoria's Zombie Walk took place a couple of weeks ago. This year's event was the smallest I've seen. Victoria was getting hammered by the wind and rain on the edges of a Pacific typhoon. It proved too much for many of the zombie horde who opted to stay warm and dry instead.

The zombies below are Stephanie Rahl (left) and Leyla Molala. They are fan favourites for their elaborate makeup and commitment to their roles!

Stephanie and Leyla... best zombies ever...
Mean girls...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


The rusty truck that sits on the jetty at Telegraph Cove...
Rust-covered truck on the jetty at Telegraph Cove...
This well-photographed truck has sat at this spot on the jetty at Telegraph Cove for at least a dozen years. It looks a lot more weathered and patchy than the first time I saw it... but, then, don't we all?  ;)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Telegraph Cove

Stilts keep the waterfront homes of Telegraph Cove above the tidal zone.
Former homes have been converted to commercial accommodations...
Today Telegraph Cove is the centre of an eco-tourism industry centred around whale and bear watching tours. The former homes along the main jetty have been converted to rental units. My wife, who grew up on this part of Vancouver Island, remembers going to sleepovers with some of her high school friends who lived in these homes.

Telegraph Cove's waterfront museum...
Telegraph Cove's waterfront museum...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Broken Oar

Telegraph Cover's Broken Oar...

Beside the main jetty of Telegraph Cove, you could easily walk by this broken oar without noticing it; it sits in perpetual gloom cast by the overhead tree, leaning up against a sign beneath the tree.

Taking a closer look at it, this is what it says:

The story of Telegraph Cove's broken oar...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Shroom colony

A colony of West Coast mushrooms...
A cluster of mushrooms on the forest floor...
Thanks to our damp climate, mushrooms are prolific on Vancouver Island. We have hallucinogenic mushrooms, exotic cooking mushrooms... and poisonous mushrooms.

I've previously mentioned that our warm climate here has led to all sorts of invasive plants appearing. One of them is the death cap mushroom that established itself here after 'hitchhiking' a ride on imported trees. Recently a local toddler died when his parents inadvertently harvested and cooked up a death cap mushroom.

Not being a mushroom expert, I have no idea what sort of mushrooms appear in the above photo.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sea stack: 3

Sea stacks at San Josef beach on Vancouver Island...

San Josef beach features a collection of sea stacks at one end. though they aren't as dramatic as the ones we've seen in Oregon.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Dragon Eye

A full moon near Parksville framed by a piece of driftwood.

The title of today's post sounds like the title of a James Bond movie. It's an Oceanside full moon framed by an arch of some driftwood on the beach.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

San Josef Bay

San Josef Bay on Vancouver Island...
The cleanest beach you will ever see...

San Josef bay is adjacent to Cape Scott Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. It has the nicest beach I have ever seen on the island, possibly anywhere.

I've never seen a beach so free of the debris -- logs, stumps, rocks, shells, seaweed -- that normally populates an ocean side beach. When the tide comes in it would be a skimboarder's paradise.

The surf rolls into the beach at San Josef Bay.
A line of surf rolls into San Josef Bay.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Shoe shrine

Holberg's well known Shoe Tree...
That is a lot of shoe leather!

Cape Scott Provincial Park marks the extreme northern tip of Vancouver Island. To get there you have to get off the beaten path the paved highway and drive some pretty rough logging roads.

How rough are these roads? Real rough. So rough, in fact, that our camper refrigerator didn't survive the experience. All the bouncing around by the trailer cracked the cooling unit... a very expensive replacement bill is in our future.

One small consolation of the experience was to see the sort of famous Holberg shoe tree. Which is exactly what it sounds like.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Philosophical Friday: Vision or circumstance?

Are we born to circumstance... or vision?

If you watched America's Got Talent this past season, you would have seen magician Jon Dorenbos. He went on to the finals where he finished 3rd for the season.

In his other life he "moonlights" as an NFL football player for Philadelphia (!), something he has been doing for fourteen years.

His story is pretty unique. When he was twelve, his father murdered his mother.  After his father was imprisoned he was raised by an aunt and uncle. Despite this tragedy though he grew up to become a professional athlete, magician and motivational speaker.

You can see his final AGT performance here. It was a well done combination of magic and motivation. During his post-performance interview with host Nick Cannon, his quote above struck a chord with me. I hope it inspires you too.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


The long and winding road to Port Alice...
Some of the many sweet, sweet curves on the road to Port Alice...
Neither my wife and I had ever visited the small community of Port Alice before a few weeks ago. It's a small picturesque town that sits on the shore of a fjord-like inlet off the Pacific Ocean. It's about a forty minute drive off the island's main highway. The route features some mighty pretty scenery on both sides.

The road just begs to be raced along on a motorcycle or a fast (convertible) car. It has recent asphalt that features lots of curves, undulations and banks... Unfortunately it's also a double-yellow line for most of its length. No passing... :(

Monday, October 3, 2016

Vancouver Island exploring

Exploring sinkholes and Vancouver Island's only cenote..
Exploring the Alice Lake Loop Tour..
During our recent north Vancouver Island explorations, my wife and I discovered parts of the island that we had never seen before despite the fact that we have both lived here for most of our lives.

The Alice Lake Loop Tour sounds more grandiose than it actually is. It's little more than some poorly marked logging roads. It features the Eternal Fountain as well as a large cenote. We also had an encounter with one of the largest black bears I've seen in my life.