Living in Victoria…

Any of you a Stephen King fan?  J. J. Abrams and Stephen King have collaborated to create a new television series entitled “Castle Rock” which debuted on Hulu Wednesday, 25 July, with three episodes.  Two episodes since and the sixth episode coming Wednesday, 15 August.  I have seen all five episodes so far, albeit not on Hulu, but on the Space channel on my Telus cable service.  This next paragraph I ripped from the Wikipedia article which explains what the new series is all about.

A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King’s literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller – a first-of-its-kind reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.

I highly recommend you think about catching up and streaming the first five episodes and be on hand for episode six “Filter” this week.  Nice to have a new series to watch.

Well, I have two excellent photos on my smart phone of the two new bookcases delivered last week by The Bridge furniture store which smartly sit adjacent to the refrigerator in my dining alcove.  I have tried, and tried, and tried, all without success, to upload them from that supposedly smart phone to my desktop computer in order to post them here.  Which is a mystery.  Because, somehow I successfully uploaded all the earlier photos included in earlier blog posts of my two-bedroom, one bath ground suite here in Victoria.  I shall have to revisit the folk in a Telus store with the problem in the coming days.  I figure the problem has something to do with my desktop and likely they will be of little help.  Where are either of my two sons within reasonable driving distance when you need them?  We baby boomers depend on our generation x and millennial kiddos to bail us out of digital technology problems.

At the 100th PGA Championship Tournament today Tiger Woods took second place, the runner-up, within 2 strokes of the winner.  Tiger is back!  Good to see him playing at the level he once played before his various surgeries over the last half-decade.  I only watch Dallas Cowboys football games and occasional golf tournaments when Tiger is on the field.

This part of the world, the Pacific Northwest, has been suffering a very dry summer accompanied by what the locals call a “heat wave.”  81 miles away in Seattle, Washington, they have endured a dozen or more days in the nineties.  The nineties!  Here we have been in the high seventies and pushed into the low eighties on a few occasions.  For an expatriate Texan this is NOT what I would call a heat wave.  Quite comfortable in fact for high summer.  Though, I will admit I have discovered a great escape from the “heat wave.”  Just over a mile from my ground suite in Eagle Creek Village shopping area sits a very nice supermarket, Quality Foods.  Refrigerated air-conditioning naturally to keep all the food good and cold.  Only about 30% of the private homes up here have air-conditioning systems.  My ground suite lacks one.  So, if you take the elevator near the delicatessen area to the second floor you discover a very upscale kitchen items store, comfy seats and tables, and a Starbucks shop.  On our warmer days here, I take my current novel that I am reading, purchase a Venti White Chocolate Mocha Coffee, and sit a spell sipping the coffee and reading my novel.  All in air-conditioned comfort.   I can even sit at tables outside in the heat wave if I am so inclined.  Yesterday, we experienced some “rain” that I call a light mist for a few hours.  Like I said, an unusually dry summer going on hereabouts.  That was the first precipitation since my first week here.

In my previous post some two weeks back, I mentioned signing up as a member of the Greater Victoria Region Mens and Newcomers Club.  Last night, Saturday, I went to one of their special events for the evening.  Entitled The Age of Aquarius BBQ Dinner and Dance it was held at the University Club on the campus of The University of Victoria less than ten miles from my ground suite.  Some one hundred or so people were present consisting of Mens club members and their wives.  I went solo naturally.  We were to dress for the theme, so I wore with a collar (cut out from an old dress shirt) my YES Tales from Topographic Oceans t-shirt.  The album came out in 1973, so it was close to the “Age of Aquarius” in time.  I did not win the costume contest.  A live band played The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, Jimi Hendrix, and the like, and played the old rock classics quite well.  After dinner most everyone present were up and dancing at one time or another.  Even had I partner with me, I would not have danced.  Hey, I grew up in the Bible Belt!  We Church of Christers and the Southern Baptists simply did not dance.  Never learned how.  Now, a word about the dinner.

I was skeptical that these Pacific Northwesterners had any real idea what BBQ means.  They don’t, at least based on last night’s repast.  Beef brisket sliders were served at the end of the buffet line.  The brisket clearly was simply shredded and cooked in high heat with no seasonings of any kind.  Not even salt or pepper.  Certainly not smoked.  In the buffet line there was “barbeque chicken.”  The chicken appeared to have been roasted in a hot oven also without any seasonings.  It was smothered in a sauce reminiscent of a light, brown gravy.  Certainly NOT a barbeque sauce in any of the various approaches.  There was corn-on-the-cob where it took four of them to equal one cornstalk.  Flat fried potato cakes and some five or so different salads filled out the buffet line.  To give them a half point, one of the salads was a potato salad, but I passed on sampling it.  The salad I grabbed somewhat enthusiastically consisted of roasted veggies including zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers.  It was okay.  They did have a container of barbeque sauce available.  Too sweet for my taste.  All in all, it was a fair buffet dinner but not anything near what I would call and authentic BBQ dinner.  Anyway, it was nice way to spend a Saturday evening.  Avoids cabin fever.

I did watch the Mens Club Bridge Group D play two weeks back on a Tuesday night.  Last Tuesday night they let me play AND it was my first time to play Bridge since 1974.  Neither of my two brides were Bridge players.  Over the evening we played with everyone present as a partner rotating among the tables of foursomes.  Here are the rankings based on our scores for the night.  Mine is in boldface.  5,080; 5,030; 4,530; 4,440; 3,760; 3,610; 3,260; 1,500. So, I did not embarrass myself.  I was NOT in last place. Go me.  Oh, correction.  In my last post here, I said the Mens Club Pub Luncheons were weekly.  I was wrong.  There are held the first Thursday of every month.  You really needed to know that, right?

I made church again this Sunday morning and lunch with the group of church regulars.  We’ve gone twice to the Food Court at Hillside Mall, twice to Romeo’s (Italian), and once to Tropical Island (Asian).  Come Thursday evening this week we are dining together at a ranch in Central Sannich of one of our group.  Turkey and dressing is on the bill that night, I think.

And THEN, after that dinner or the next Friday morning, I shall be making a weekend trip.  About a 90 minute drive north of here near Nanaimo in the woods is Spurgeon Road Bible Camp.  Apparently all the youth from the restoration churches on Vancouver Island go there for summer church camp.  Beginning Thursday evening, ending Monday morning, there will be the First Annual 50+ Bible Retreat.  I signed up, paid my $75 CAD for the meals, and will take my overnight bag, twin bed sheet, pillow, blanket, swim trunks, towel, Bible, and a novel.  Why not?  I loved church camp when a teen.  And have made half-a-dozen weekend retreats through the decades.   I may be driving up with one of the ladies in the regular Sunday church lunch group.  She didn’t know about the Retreat until lunch today and today is the final day to register.  I will find out Thursday evening at the dinner if she is a passenger for the trip.

And that pretty much brings you up-to-date on how things are going here in my second month living in Canada.  Still watching movies on my DVR and reading novels.  I have read all three of my Father’s Day gift novels from Alan and am on novel four of the seven in the series.  Yes, I went out to Munroe Books and purchased the other four novels.  I email and telephone the family and friends back in Texas.  And I try to find enough to do to avoid “cabin fever.”  So far, so good.  Cheerio, till next time.  Or is that “adios”?  Gary