My early impressions of Vancouver Island...sigh.

The landscape is, of course, absolutely beautiful. Old growth forests, mountains, ocean, all that cool stuff that draws people to the island.

The day I arrived, a cougar was shot two blocks from my place after ingesting a couple of housecats. Apparently, this critter had no fear of humans, so wasn't a candidate for relocation.

I came across a cockroach in my garage. As I've never seen a cockroach in real life before, I'm not sure which of us was more startled. I think it'll be a few days before I'll make it back out into the garage.

I'm renting a house in a suburban neighbourhood. It was the only place I could find which would allow dogs, so I took it without any knowledge of the neighbourhood (although the hefty rent I'm paying should have given me some indication). Turns out, it's a very exclusive area. A number of the residents tried to stop the home owner from renting the house out, as they don't want their little piece of heaven being sullied by tenants. So they were biased against me before I stepped foot on the property. Now, I was raised with money in an area similar to this one, but the folks back home seemed far less eager to flaunt their wealth. The women around here don their D&G shades, LuLu Lemon yoga capris, and Mac lipstick to take their pedigreed pooches out for a stroll while their maid service is busy in the house. Ok, I wear a Hurley hoodie, but I found it in the boys' section of the store, so it doesn't count.

Speaking of dogs, one of my two dogs was hit by a car and killed the day before I moved out here. I found the poor thing right in front of my driveway around lunch time that day. The miserable bitch who hit her didn't bother telling me that my dog was laying on the side of the road dying (I'll always wonder if she could have been saved), yet she did drop by later to collect money for the damage that had been done to her car. For a few moments, I realized that I do have it in myself to kill another human being. Luckily for the killer and me, a friend who was helping me pack the truck kept me at a safe distance from her.

I was told over and over again that people out here are very relaxed and easy-going. No so on the roads. They drive like fucking maniacs. Most of them drive 20 - 30 kms over the speed limit and are quite impatient with those few of us who are trying our best to avoid speeding tickets. They don't seem to have any idea what signal lights are for, and during rush hour(s), the roads take on the feel of a go kart track.

I know things will get better, but right now I just want to go home.

 

08/09/08 - Now for some cool island stuff

 

  • I just discovered a pet-grooming shop down the road from my place called "Doggie Style".  There's hope for this place yet.
  • The local paper lists high tides for the month.  Ok, that may not be cool, but I've never lived near an ocean, so I think it is.
  • The Welcome Wagon is coming for a visit.  I know this isn't the least bit cool, and there's a chance the guy may be bringing chloroform and cable ties along with whatever crap he digs out of his desk drawers, but it's something I've never experienced before.

08/09/09 - Damn.  The Welcome Wagon guy was not packing chloroform.

Two minutes into his visit, I was desperately hoping he'd pull the chloroform out of his pocket and get down to the real business.  Sadly, he was legit.  He spent an hour in my house, expecting me to ooh and aah over every one of his many coupons/free gift offers, which he meticulously laid out for me, one every couple of minutes, in order of proximity to my home.  I had no idea there were that many business on the whole fucking island!  See, this is what I get for trying to be receptive to people.  On the plus side, he did tell me about an ice cream place on the beach called The Udder Guys.  He says it's great, but what would he know about good food?  He's British.

08/09/10 - I think my neighbours are pod people.

I definitely don't fit in.  Not that I care overly much, just sayin'. 

On the plus side, a large animal is trumpeting (?) in the forest behind my place.  I think it's a caribou, but I'm sorely lacking in knowledge of the local fauna, so that's just my best guess.  Or, maybe it's a pod person with one of those long plastic horns that people take to football games.   God, I feel so ignorant.  I really need to buy a couple of books.

 08/09/15 - Yet another example of my seemingly boundless ignorance...sigh.

I checked out one of the island's tourist hot-spots on the weekend.  It's situated on the west coast of the island, nestled in a lovely bay.  The coastal road is lined with artsy shops and restaurants, and the bay is crammed with yachts. 

Now, I've spent most of my life in a boom and bust province.  When oil prices rise, building commences.  When developers run out of land, they begin tearing down older buildings to make way for the new.  (That's likely why driving out to the country to photograph broken-down farm structures - in black and white, of course - is so popular back home.)  You'd be hard pressed to find a "rustic" building anywhere near where I lived. 

So anyway, I begin meandering down this street, and rather than being impresed by the rustic charm of this place, I was somewhat revolted by the dilapitation of the buildings, wharf, and street.  I couldn't imagine eating food produced in any of those ramshackle restaurants.  I couldn't dredge up any interest in checking out any of the many art shops. I did force myself to into "The Udder Guy's" ice cream and candy shop.  The ice cream was mediocre - I ordered chocolate fudge crunch, and the fudge was so nasty (it tasted of molasses), I ended up chucking all of the fudge bits out.  The store sells bags of black-only jelly beans, but only because a employee puts a jelly bean into each cone before adding the ice cream, and so many people hate the black ones, they are picked out and put aside to ensure that none end up in a cone.  I'll head back to Ben & Jerrys next time I want ice cream. 

Now I am trying to distinguish between "rustic" and "decrepit", and so far, I've had no luck.

08/10/09 (I think) - If this is God's Island, as the locals claim, then God has a strange fondness for slugs.

(Not sure if anyone's still reading this...) The slugs out here are 3 inches of disgusting.  I accidentally stepped on one the night I arrived, and I still feel queasy every time I pass its slowly shrivelling corpse on the ground.  Naturally, I'm too squeamish to dispose of it.  I'm hoping it'll eventually disappear.  Hmm...maybe the cockroaches will eat it.

The squirrels are hunchbacked, and somewhat deranged looking.  Ugly as shit, and mean enough to fight off even the most aggressive housecat.  Otherwise, they seem to be slow and stupid.  I've had to brake a number of times to avoid running them over (not that don't want them all dead - I just don't want to be the one to kill them).  Anyway, I've been trying to sic my cats on them since we arrived, but so far they've only managed to bag a couple of rats, which is a real novelty for them as they'd never seen rats before.  I still haven't seen a live one.

I've learned to take the Malahat at 20 kilometers over the speed limit - quite an accomplishment, considering it's as twisty as anything I've driven in the Rockies, and I'm a prairie girl.  I haven't gotten a speeding ticket yet, but I have managed to rid myself of the majority of the ass-biters on the road. 

I discovered an excellent pizza place, and a very cool chocolaterie(?) in the neighbourhood.  Sadly, it seems that my stomach will be the cause of my eventual assimilation.  Speaking of which, the pod people are, for the most part, maintaining a healthy distance.  Maybe that means I can stop donning my tin foil hat every time I leave the house...

08/11/16  - Well, I'm starting a new job tomorrow.

I should be excited.  Instead, I'm dreading it.  I had decided early on that I wasn't interested in participating in the cluster fuck that is rush-hour in Victoria.  Unfortunately, that meant I wasn't able to apply for any jobs with standard hours of work.  Of the one job that I found with flexible hours, I chose it.  So, after quitting accounting years ago because it's so mind-numbingly boring, I'm back to it.  

The Malahat has to be one of the most beautiful highways in the world.  Old-growth forest on one side (with occasional glimpses of the strait), towering rock face on the other.  One twist in the road might bring you into the center of a cloud, the next twist will bring you out.  If I travel this road every day for a decade, I think it will still take my breath away.

It's spawning season, and people are flocking to watch the salmon bash themselves against the rocks and current until they die.  When I was a kid, a friend and I were rafting out here during the salmon run, and I saw a bit of it.  It depressed me back then, and the thought of it still does.  I have no idea why this is a tourist attraction, but it definitely is.

Life here in LuLu Lemon Land is still annoying.  This neighbourhood brings out my claustrophobia.  On the plus side, the neighbours have, for the most part, accepted that I'm not going to bring down the value of their properties.  Well, not yet, anyway.

Before work tomorrow, I need to read over the code of conduct in preparation for my swearing-in, so I'll end here.

 

 09/04/10, or thereabouts  - Vertigo, my mother, and cohabitational bliss :-(

Before I talk about the vertigo, I'll just mention that I was given the option of affirming or swearing, so I affirmed.  Yay.

I love hiking.  I love hiking in the little mountains here on the island.  Today, I was attempting to hike to the summit of Mt. Finlayson, which, I think, is around 450' and fairly steep.  No big deal at all.  Around a third of the way up, I happened to glance back to see how far I'd gone, and suddenly I was frozen in place.  I felt like I was about to plummet back down the mountain.  This shocked me, as I'm generally sure-footed.  Now, I remember feeling the same way about 10 years ago in Chichen Itza, as I was climbing the temple steps.  It hit me so hard that time, I had to go back down on my butt.  Too embarrassing!  Anyway, I didn't want to look like a complete ass in front of my fellow hikers, so I asked them to go ahead, and I sat down for a bit.  I managed to get down without a problem, but I felt like I was about to take a dive every second of it.  Anyone else have this problem?  Dumb question.  I highly doubt anyone will read this.

My mother is coming for a visit.  I should say, my mother, who hates me and is dying of cancer, is coming for a visit.  For many years we avoided each other like the plague, but in light of the fact that she's about to keel over, we've decided to bury the hatchet.  We had a bit of a talk lately, during which she admitted that I'm the second worst relationship of her life - the first being my father.  Hmm...d'ya think maybe I'm too much like my dad?  Actually, I was never the daughter that she felt I should have been, and we've done nothing but disappoint each other for a lifetime.

Anyway, she's coming here.  We've already agreed that there's absolutely no need to rummage through our nasty past, or pretend that we really give a damn about each other.  I guess for her this is easy, as I'm just one of a handful of children.  She, on the other hand, is my only mother, and even though I'm feeling ambivalent about her death, I will always grieve the fact that we will never experience the sort of relationship that mothers and daughters should have.  Kinda makes me want to snag myself an older dyke. 

Ah, I'm too stressed to bother with the cohabitational crap.  Some other time, I guess.

 

 09/07/21  - I miss thunderstorms, and Kiai!

I miss thunderstorms.  I miss those wild storms that make the windows rattle.  I miss angry black storm clouds.  Here on the island, it's either sunny or rainy.  Period. I guess if you live on the west side of the island, there's some chance that you may encounter a tsunami, but where I live, the only thing I have to worry about is whether or not to take an umbrella to work.  I guess it's no wonder that these people seem so bland.  They take after their environment. 

I've taken up karate, and I love it!  I get to the dojo three nights a week, and try to practice at least three more.  Anyone else into martial arts?

 

 

 

 

 

 


65 Comments

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3

Roaches aren't indigenous to the Pacific NW

Xur's picture

In my 25 years of living there, in at least 10 different houses/apartments, I only had roaches once. They had clearly been imported from somewhere and I don't think they even extended beyond the building. A good exterminator should be able to take care of your roach problem!

Head up to Grouse Mountain for a killer view. It's very close to the city. Get out to Victoria. Go shopping at the Mountain Equipment Co-Op (it's like REI was about 20 years ago). You should also head down to Seattle once in a while, just for a change of pace. And once the summer is over don't get too depressed, the sun will come back next July!

Oh, great.

Mal_Content's picture

It's not bad enough that I have roaches - I'm not supposed to have them. Creepy little fuckers, aren't they?

My dad lives in Bellingham, so I plan to spend a fair bit of time in Washington. Maybe I will head down to Seattle, and catch a Mariners game.

What the heck is REI, btw? Did you mean PEI?

You can't go home again.

RidingFool's picture

You are home.

PEI?? No.

Xur's picture

WTF is a PEI? I'm talking about REI, the B&H of outdoor gear. Duh!

FYI, Bellingham isn't very close to Seattle. It's across the border, true, but you'll still have several hours to drive to get down to Seattle. I'm never sure if the speed limit is faster or slower due to the whole MPH/KPH conversion thing, but beware the WA state patrol. They love to write tickets...

I hate roaches. The first time I saw one, I didn't know what it was. My roommate thought it was cute. A couple of weeks and approximately 18,432,668 roaches later, they weren't so cute. We eventually devolved into seeing how many ways we could kill the little bastards, and whenever we caught a pregnant one we'd release it under the door of the apartment manager in a futile attempt to get an exterminator involved.

Fortunately I haven't had roaches since. My NYC apartments were actually pretty proactive about pest control. You can probably get rid of them completely if your house & garage are detached from anybody else's. Roaches aren't supposed to be there. The PNW doesn't have a lot in the way of obnoxious or dangerous animals & insects. Just mosquitoes, some bears and coyotes, and the occasional Black Widow spider...

How do you know if a cockroach is pregnant?

Mal_Content's picture

Does she get really moody? Cry a lot? Demand pizza and pickles?

Seriously, though, I had my dog's dry food in a bin in the garage for the first few days (too chicken to retrieve it after my discovery), and I'm wondering if roaches lay eggs in food the way that houseflies do. Do you know?

OK, just remember you asked for it!

Xur's picture

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_a_pregnant_cockroach_look_like

Also, according to the internets, female roaches mate once and are pregnant for life. As if those freaky little bastards weren't disturbing enough!

Also...

Xur's picture

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_do_cockroaches_lay_eggs

The food likely won't have eggs in it, but the roaches might have helped themselves to a few free meals...

So, I told the owner of the house...

Mal_Content's picture

he had a roach problem in the garage. He told me (in a rather patronizing manner) that I was mistaking crickets for cockroaches. I assured him that since there were both crickets and cockroaches in the garage, it was quite easy to tell the difference. He'd better have an exterminator here before the next rent cheque is due.

So far, I hate renting.

Don't panic. I'm certain that when next the landlord

RidingFool's picture

comes around, he'll tell you that you're the one who brought the cockroaches with you, since there were never any on his property prior to your arrival.

That's what I'm afraid of, actually.

Mal_Content's picture

Not sure what do if that happens. Just because I've never seen a cockroach in Alberta doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any.

He's probably never spent any time in Alberta. Remind him

RidingFool's picture

that there are no rats in Alberta, since they are mercilessly hunted and destroyed at the Saskasippi border by the Rat Patrol. The same goes for cockroaches. I can't find a web site, but I'm sure they're out there in the great internets ether. If not, there should be - but don't quote me on the cockroach thing. I just made that up.

tinyurl.com/fajpt

Well, the owner (claims to have) called an exterminator.

Mal_Content's picture

According to the expert, there are no cockroaches on the island, and I must have seen a cricket. I'm getting pissed off, not only because I know a cricket when I see one, but now the onus is on me to capture one of these creepy critters so that I can prove it's a cockroach. Trouble is, I'm squeamish.

Why not just take a picture

TMundo's picture

Close up, so it's not debatable as to what it is. Catching one sounds like a rather disgusting pain, and if you stomp one it'll be too debatable as to what it is once it's been flattened.

I did try,

Mal_Content's picture

but the little bastards are fast. I guess the fact that they really creep me out isn't helping.

Well, a video camera would help...

TMundo's picture

YOu could zoom in from far away, that would prove that the roaches are actually where you say they are.

good point, TMundo.

Mal_Content's picture

Now, I just have to decide whether it's worth it to go out and buy a video camera.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Mal_Content's picture

There's a Ben & Jerry's in Victoria! I tried their ice cream for the first time yesterday. I guess, after hearing about Ben & Jerry's for all these years, my expectations were quite high. I sampled a few flavours, and have to say that while the sorbet was wonderful, the ice cream isn't anything special. I need to find a mix-in place somewhere on the island. Either that, or I'll have to buy myself a marble slab and make my own, because there's nothing on the planet that tastes better than double dark chocolate ice cream with Skor and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups mixed in.

On the plus side, wild blackberries grow everywhere! I can pull a few off the bushes as I walk my dog (I've been warned to eat only the berries that grow at least a couple of feet off the ground - apparently dogs urinate on the lower ones), or pull over on pretty much any road for a handful. Back home, they were hard to find, very expensive, and never fully ripe. I think I'll spend the rest of the season walking around with purple lips.

Ben & Jerry's makes good ice cream, but

Xur's picture

the reason people love them so much is all their wacky flavor combinations. You just can't get them from another brand! Plus, as corporations go, they are pretty decent with the whole charity, organic, hippie love thing.

You should look for salmonberries, blueberries, and huckleberries too. They are all over the place, and they are all delicious! Just avoid the ones from the side of busy roads, they will be covered in vehicle exhaust particulates. Also, go hiking in the mountains and pick the teeny, tiny blueberries that grow in the alpine meadows just above the treeline.

One of my favorite summer pastimes as a child was going out and collecting a bucket full of huckleberries and bringing them home for me mater to bake into a delicious huckleberry pie. All these berries taste so much better than anything you will ever find at the store!

I tried a flavour called "Phish Food", or something like that.

Mal_Content's picture

It sounded better than it tasted, but it wasn't bad.

I need to buy a book on island flora. I've never tried huckleberries or salmonberries before, but I'm game to try them.

I know Seattle's a ways from Bellingham. I've made the drive a couple of times.

Ben & Jerry's was like hippies making ice cream...

TMundo's picture

...well that's probably how they started out. Phish food is a bit of a mess to try as your first Ben & Jerry's, I'd start with something simpler. I think they sold the company anyway, Ben & Jerry don't actually own it anymore.

Berries

Xur's picture

Huckleberries look much like blueberries, except that they are red:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_parvifolium

Salmonberries look like blackberries or rasberries, except that they are pink (well, they range from yellow to orange-ish when ripe):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmonberry

It's perfect berry picking season right now, so get some hiking books and go hit the trails! I'd recommend some hikes but I don't know any that far north. If the Mountaineers make hiking books for the Vancouver region, I highly recommend them.

Berries (take 872)

Xur's picture

OK, this was the post that apparently got me banned, but I'm going to try it again anyway!

--

Huckleberries look much like blueberries, except that they are red:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_parvifolium

Salmonberries look like blackberries or rasberries, except that they are pink (well, they range from yellow to orange-ish when ripe):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmonberry

It's perfect berry picking season right now, so get some hiking books and go hit the trails! I'd recommend some hikes but I don't know any that far north. If the Mountaineers makes hiking books for the Vancouver region, I highly recommend them.

OK, we'll do it the hard way...

Xur's picture

Somehow, when I try to post this all in one go, my IP gets banned by some new crankyfilter software somewhere. So Mal, sorry this is going to be in so many pieces. I'm not going to change my IP address every time I post here...

Berries - Part I

Xur's picture

Huckleberries

Huckleberries look much like blueberries, except that they are red:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_parvifolium

Berries - Part II

Xur's picture

Salmonberries

Salmonberries look like blackberries or rasberries, except that they are pink (well, they range from yellow to orange-ish when ripe):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmonberry

Berries - Part III

Xur's picture

Epilogue

It's perfect berry picking season right now, so get some hiking books and go hit the trails! I'd recommend some hikes but I don't know any that far north. If the Mountaineers makes hiking books for the Vancouver region, I highly recommend them.

Sorry Xur! More than one

Mr.Cranky's picture

Sorry Xur! More than one link flags the comment for moderation.

I'm changing the filter a bit.

Beware of Welcome Wagon Doggie Style.

RidingFool's picture

They post the tide tables so that everyone can keep an eye on the water levels for the much-anticipated tsunami, post-earthquake, that will engulf the islands.

Now that you're an island girl, watch out for men wearing Hawaiian shirts.

Also watch out for feet.

Xur's picture

No seriously, watch out for random human feet washing ashore. It's an epidemic up there.

http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2008/06/vancouver-foot-mystery-sixth-foo...

I've kept my eyes open for feet.

Mal_Content's picture

So far, all I've found are dead jellyfish washed up on the shore. Big, big translucent red jellyfish. They have a very interesting texture, btw.  I couldn't resist touching one.

 

Hee, hee. Wrong island, RF.

Mal_Content's picture

You know, I can think of worse ways to go than being swept away in a tsunami. Well, a couple, at least.

Ah, I see

Xur's picture

I've no problem with following that rule, now that I know about it! I just figured my IP was getting flagged as a spambot or something.

Thanks, Xur!

Mal_Content's picture

Thanks, Xur! Thanks, Xur! Thanks, Xur! Thanks, Xur! Thanks, Xur!

Seriously, I really appreciate the information. I'm glad you're an expert on the west coast.

Well, it's kind of

jazzdrive3's picture

Well, it's kind of redundant, with the bury capability and captcha's for registering, so I turned it off for now.  We'll leave it off unless it becomes a major problem.

Cooler than you might think. . .

Wally_Pipp's picture

Mal_Content said: "The local paper lists high tides for the month. Ok, that may not be cool, but I've never lived near an ocean, so I think it is."

Once upon a time, when newspapers first started, listing high tides, phases of the moon, and weather conditions were their primary reasons for existence. Harbormasters, ship owners, freight forwarders, and warehouse owners needed constant updates on weather conditions, tides, what ships were expected and with what freight, what ships had docked and the condition of their cargoes, what ships were leaving and when, etc., in order to carry on commerce.

Since ship captains also carried mail for a fee and brought "news," i.e., information from the North, East, West, and South, it occurred to some enterprising ship owners that educated people would pay a price to receive this information in a timely manner.

The traditional newspaper industry is filled with nautical terms. Headlines are described as "banners." The name of the newspaper prominently displayed on the cover is the newspaper's "flag." Some people will tell you that the "flag" is actually the "masthead." They are wrong. The "masthead," i.e., that part of the newspaper named for the top of a ship's masts where bored lookouts would carve their names or their marks, is located usually on the editorial page and lists the publisher, editor-in-chief, senior editors, and other assorted ne'er-do-wells, so that we all know who to blame after reading the newspaper.

My apologies for waxing pedantic, but I may be suffering the beginnings of "empty-nest" syndrome. Silly bunt.

Best regards, Wally

That actually is pretty cool

Xur's picture

I didn't know that! Although the wiki and a quick google search are remarkably silent on the issue, so I'd appreciate a link or two for more information.

Growing up on a coastline, tides and moon phases were a fact of life. It just made sense that they would be printed with things like the weather forecast in the newspaper...

Mal, if you're not used to tides, take note of the high/low tides when you go to the beach. You don't want to wander down the coastline and then get cut off by a rising tide, or take a nap only to wake up underwater! It's pretty easy to tell how high the high tides come up, just look at the seaweed and wood distribution on the beach (although they can occasionally rise higher than normal). Tidal pools are fun to explore too - you should check out the Vancouver aquarium to learn about coastal marine life!

Coaster's new hobby

Coaster's picture

Getting to the beach before the crowd and moving the line of tidal markers (driftwood, seaweed, and the occasional dead bloated hobo) a couple of hundred feet back towards the ocean.

Then filming the results for Youtube.

==Coaster (Whooooeeee!) 

 

I really dig the Pacific NW.

HS's picture

I've only been to Victoria and Vancouver once - and I have nothing but good things to say about both places - but I simply *love* Seattle. In fact, I see myself relocating there next summer-ish. Not permanently, but to give it a try for a couple of years. The only thing I will miss (coming from SoCal) is the frequent sunshine. I know it doesn't rain as often in the PNW as outsiders think it does - but it *is* often gloomy.

Mal, when you have a couple of days to spare, head south and check out Mt. Rainier National Park. Friggin' gorgeous.

HS

Most impressive about B.C.

Coaster's picture

What my family found most impressive wasn't just the beautiful scenery, but how polite the people were. No one was yelling down the street. Cars were stopping for pedestrians. Helpful strangers abounded. One man even stopped my family on the way to a Chinese restaurant, telling us we "really didn't want to eat there." He recommended a better one two blocks away. Quite a different culture. It's like you guys are a whole 'nother country.

==Coaster (Whooooeeee!) 

 

I think he was actually in Alaska,

RidingFool's picture

but I could be wrong.

Good manners and helpfulness aren't exclusive to B.C., asshole!

Mal_Content's picture

Just kidding, Coaster. That was kind of fun, though.

It's a freakin' trap, eh!

michael3b's picture

They're like the children of the corn, only with ettiquette training! They'll just make you one of them! You'll end up with looneys in yer pockets and cheering for the Canucks and moose or some crazy shit like that!

RUUUUUUN!

Just kidding. No, seriously- run. I don't trust the polite.

Really interesting blog..

Trufflesnuff's picture

I am batshit scared of the Atlantic Ocean. Nothing, but nothing would ever make me swim in it. My gramps was a fisherman, and he never even learned to swim!

I spent my summers right beside it, like, maybe half a mile away. The thunderstorms were crazy - howling, hurricane winds, driving rain and sometimes the waves were so high, they'd shoot over the cliffs. I've escaped being hit by lightning at least seven times. More than once the generator (no grid) would snuff, and we'd have to use candles and kerosene.

On calm days you could see basking sharks, dolphins and sometimes, if you were really lucky, a whale coming to surface.I still have a tooth from a dead baby whale that got stranded on the beach.

Always reminds me of home....

 

 

I have lots of dead baby teeth,

a_dingo_ate_my_baby's picture

ripped from the gums of the tiny tots I have devoured in the outback.

Liar

Coaster's picture

I've spent a lot of time in the Outback and there are no dead babies there.  None at all.  Just steaks and ribs and bloomin' Onions and stuff. 

My outback is bigger

a_dingo_ate_my_baby's picture

that your Outback.

Yeah, but we have more of them.

Coaster's picture

(I mock you)

Pizza, Chocolate, AND Slugs?

Coaster's picture

Now I'm really regretting not touring the Island with my annoying as hell family earlier this year.  Perhaps that wouldn't have been a good idea. As it was, we received a bill from the people from which we rented the house in Vancouver for an extra cleaning charge. It seems they needed to cleanse all the bad karma my family left behind before anyone else would rent it again. And karma cleaning don't come cheap.

 If you sprinkle salt on the walkways, it will keep the slugs down, 'cause if salt gets on a slug, it will foam up faster than John McCain's mouth when it's suggested to him that he could have made a better choice in a running mate.

You really have made the Island sound like a lovely place to visit, and just think: You get to be there all the time. I would, however, find out which god the Island belongs to. Bacchus sounds cool, and Atiria would probably be very nice, but that old school dude from the Bible sounds like a jealous petty hate-filled little asshole.

I'm pretty sure it was a Hut god.

Mal_Content's picture

These things bear a remarkable resemblance to Jabba.

 

Just like most places, we Island folks are.......

tommorows_today's picture

a variety of characters. Us laid back easy going ones tend to skip out on the "city" vibe and instead stick to country settings. This usually is for two reasons:

1. In an attempt to avoid dealing with the harshness city living can  bring.

2. You can grow better herbs in the country. 

If you're driving the Malahat, go slower than faster. To hell with the folks around you. Keep in mind, if they don't like the way your driving they can go around you.

I know some truly beautiful places on the island. Let me know if you'd like a list.

B.T.W. The Joint is THE BEST place to get pizza in Vic. Don't let anyone tell you different. Me and the family make it our must go to place every time we drive down island.

Are you stalking her?

TMundo's picture

She goes to that pizza place and it turns out to be an abandoned hang out for you and the crew.

Watch it Mal.

And Coaster, it sounds like you and your family could use some group electro shock therapy.  Like in that episode of the Simpsons.

Well I was.

tommorows_today's picture

But your amazing abilities of deduction have pretty much put the kibosh on that whole plan. Kill joy!

 

No worries, tomorrow.

Mal_Content's picture

Stalk away!  Hey, I hope I didn't cause any offense to a real Islander.  I wasn't aware there were any on the board.  Are you a native to the Island, or a transplant like everyone else?  I assume you live "up-island" as people around here tend to say.

I don't actually live in Victoria.  I'm a bit further north on the Malahat (which, I might add, is very difficult to drive slow on because of the chain of pissed off tail-gaters I cause).  I'm looking for an acreage up here, away from the infuriating traffic of Victoria.  I have heard that you can grow awesome...um...herbs out here.

Any information you can give me about this place would be appreciated.  Aside from Romeo's and the Old Spaghetti Factory, and a couple of places further north, I haven't done much dining out.  I've been craving Chinese food, but haven't heard of a good place yet.  Tell me about some cool day-trips, if you can.  I've seen the Underwater Gardens and the Miniatures Museum, but that's it so far.  What about whale-watching tours?  It seems like there are a ton of companies offering them.  Do you know which are the best?

Thanks for any information you can pass along. 

No offence at all, sorry to hear you're reception here hasn't...

tommorows_today's picture

been exactly friendly.

So looking for an acreage, nice. If your looking to rent always have your eyes open. The housing availability here on the Island is pitiful at best. If you're looking to buy, hang on till mid winter, prices tend to drop that time of year. North Island is cheaper than south.

What we enjoy most about Island living is the fact that most of the greatest sights are basically free. You pass Goldstream Provincial Park everyday as you head down the Malahat towards Victoria. Plenty of beautiful trails and some of natures greatest art work are found here. If you like waterfalls....this is a great place to go.

Whale watching, save your money. You're an Islander now, which means you'll be seeing plenty of whales over time. Let the tourist with time limits pay for what you'll get for free.

The Museum is an amazing place. It has gotten a little pricey over the years, but well worth every penny you pay. An annual pass is the best bang for the buck, guaranteed you'll want to go alot once you've been there.

Island hopping is a great way to spend a day. Each island has it's own uniqueness, and qualities worth checking out. If you dig architecture Craigdrake Castle is worth the viewing.

When eating out, believe it our not the small local restaurants are offering some of the most amazing, palate pleasing cuisine you can imagine. But if it's Chinese you're craving than China Town in Vic is the place to go. We have yet to find better anywhere on the island.

Hope you find this help full,any other questions feel free to ask.

Welcome to the Island!

 

 

No offense??!!! Good God Man! Offend somebody already!!!

Coaster's picture

Canadians are soooooo polite, and this place is beginning to bore me.  Can't we have a flame war now and then? Like for instance Tulsa Atheist Meetup had a dustup with 110 posts with people as far away as New York saying nasty crap about people they've never met and never will meet. That group of spirited individuals now seems to be in full meltdown. That's the spirit!

Damn. I'm gonna miss that group.

Well okay then. I'll toss out the first nugget: Hey, you Islanders! I hear your island smells of fish and waterlogged human feet! Thppppppppppt!

Fuckin' Mini-whales..

michael3b's picture

...always making me multi-post. god, I could just jam one of those littl bastards right in my....

 

Have you considered...

michael3b's picture

...watching miniature Chinese whales? Sadly, they have been hunted to near-extinction for scrimshaw toothpicks and penile implants (who knew!), but if you get to the tidepools just before the equinox sunup, their tiny breath expulsions create the most beautiful miniature fog... it's like Tokyo in March...just before the guy in the rubber suit steps on it and the cardboard breaks unlike anything made by builders of this earth, and then you KNOW you're f'd... jesus christ! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!! 

Uh, never mind about the whales. They're dicks.

 

 

By nature we are polite, this is true. Hell, we even greeted....

tommorows_today's picture

your wonderful President by giving him the sign "you're #1".

OK, that flame was more like shooting fish in a barrel. But your flame was hardly any better.

Seriously man, you call that a nugget. I've felt fluff balls that hit harder than that. Now maybe if you had said our women smelt like fish and tasted like waterlogged human feet, then we might have had to dance.

 

Coaster is too kind.

RidingFool's picture

There's nothing like the smell of human feet washing ashore in the morning - especially when those feet were formerly attached to Vancouver prostitutes from East Hastings.

Vancouver has hookers??!!!

Coaster's picture

I vacationed there in September, and now you tell me?  Geez, some friend...

Well...

RidingFool's picture

I didn't want to detract from the fun we had with Dippin' Dots and lemonade at Tulsa Mayfest.

Code of Conduct? Swearing in? What kind of accountant are you?

Coaster's picture

When I was working at McDonnell Douglas, we had "Work Rules" posted every few hundred feet in our mile-long building.  You had your basic stupid shit like "Do not steal from your fellow employees" (Duh) and "Do not engage in harassment of your fellow employees" (Double Duh).  But my favorite rule and the one rule I would have been damned proud to have gotten fired for violating was Rule Number 15:  Do not stand on, sit in, or FLY PLANES without permission.

Occasionally, we'd have a Harrier Jump Jet parked outside our building and left unattended.  Oh, the temptation was so there.  If only I'd have had but the most basic of clues on how to fly the damned thing.  But what the hell, I should have gone for it.  I mean flying a jump jet is mostly intuitive, isn't it? 

I hope all went rosy and things looked promising at your first day at work. 

They must have seen THE PHANTOM MENACE

FearlessFreep's picture

Remember how the kid ended up wrecking the whole robot system so it didn't matter that JarJar's people had lost their battle?

Signed, 

The artist formerly known as Zorro.

I am a student of Makita

Coaster's picture

Makita is the ancient Japanese art of fighting with power tools. 

I took Judo in Jr. High for a while and loved it.  I dropped out because it was too much of a hassle to get to the teen center and because I didn't like to listen to our sensei preaching to us.  The sensei was Jack Seki: I was a freakin' idiot.  Yeah, I know.  Not much has changed.

I took Tae Kwan Do for six months in Korea from a 5th degree black belt.  He sill competed in Korean men's senior tournaments and brought home trophies. I was impressed how fit our instructor was for an old guy.  He was 35.  Boy, was I an idiot.  I did rise to the rank of green belt.  That was at the height of my physical prowess.  I could do a flying scissor kick and break a board held over a persons head.  I dropped out because I was reassigned.  Stupid Army.  

A few years later I took Shotokan karate for a year during my junior year of college.  It seemed like decent training.  The men were not allowed to wear cups or other protective gear such as foot protectors and gloves.  We were also not allowed contact each other during sparing.  We trained for seven months and then went to a meet.  The meet was full contact with protective gear of whch we'd brought none.  We got our asses handed to us.  I quit because I started spending time with this wacky chick I met at a holloween party my senior year.  33 years later, I'm still spending time with her.  I should have stuck with the Karate.  ::Looks aroung to make sure wife isn't in room::

Fifteen years ago, I took Tae Kwon Do at a park in Sand Springs.  It was taught by a young 35-year-old 5th degree black belt.  I got my whole family involved.  My son advanced to green belt and I to yellow belt.  I dropped out because I broke a toe and my family lost interest. According to my then six year old daughter, Tae Kwon Do was stupid because they had you keep doing the same thing over and over and over again.  She dropped our of ballet a few months later for the same reason.  The sensei's name was Larry Wells.  He wife was a school teacher and she had a 2nd degree black belt.  She was one of the few women I'd ever spared against who could knock a man down without too much of an effort.  She had a height-weight proportional build and was in her early 20's.  I'm really not that sure how old she was and I was afraid to offend her by asking.  I used to attend these classes with two coworkers.  I weighed the most I'd ever weighed when I stated the class: 304 pounds.  One of the people where I worked asked a coworker how I was doing in that class and my coworker answered, "Pretty good:  He can get his kicks up to knee high now." 

I'd like to get back into it. It's been 15 years and I can still KEIIIIIII!!! with the best of them, but can do little else.  I may give up and settle for a black belt in Glock. 

I envy you.  Keep after it and don't stop until you get a black belt.  A 5th degree one. 

.

I hope this post make you nod off.  I may have not gone far in the martial arts, but both of my children would assure you that I've more than accumulated enough cred for a black belt in boring. 

Well, that explains it, Coaster.

Mal_Content's picture

Even in photos, you have this "Crouching Tiger" aura about you.  No, really, I'm serious. Very scary.  Menacing, even.

I plan on becoming a black belt, but at the very least a purple so that I can train with weapons.  That looks like fun.  I had a bit of a setback yesterday, though, when the black belt I was training with implied that I throw my right punch like a girl.  I swear,  I haven't suffered that sort of humiliation, in...well...ever, I think.  I did show him my left, which landed about a millimetre from his nose.  Luckily, I think he likes me, so I'm pretty sure he won't hold the girl punch against me.

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