Posted in uncategorized, Vancouver

Granville Island

One of my favourite hangouts in the world, due to its picturesque location in Vancouver, and its arts community vibe, Granville Island. It is actually a peninsula, and is located across False Creek from downtown Vancouver. I have worked here and taken some arts courses here, so it holds a special place in my heart.

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Looking very quiet these days, but the market is still open, but most of the galleries and maritime-related businesses are closed. Granville Island is a tourist mecca and is usually crawling with tourists and traffic. I like the peace.

 

 

Why I dig Granville Island so much, is the art-y sensibility. As you can see, there are some cartoon-y decorations on some otherwise pretty mundane objects. I approve of this. There was a Harris’s hawk at Granville Island, which I took some pictures of – he didn’t mind, but I wasn’t allowed to let him perch on my shoulder. (he doesn’t take kindly to strangers, but he is quite vain, and enjoyed my picture taking.)

 

 

Barnacles encrusted on the docks and some canine denizens of Granville Island. For some reason, this boat is on display beneath the bridge. That yellow building is the best art supply store in Canada, bar none. I am not just saying that because I used to work there. Not much, anyway. They are doing a mostly online trade right now – I’d highly recommend them, if you are of an artistic bent, their mail order service is second to none. Hope you enjoyed this pandemic post of Granville Island – don’t miss it if you ever visit our city!

 

Copyright 2020 All pictures by Wilt Sugiyama, and they look pretty decent at that, despite not having much of an eye for composition and a tendency to snap at anything that moves. Today’s technology is very forgiving. 😃

Posted in Canada, humor

Canadian money: a funny, and quick lesson!

640x640_11352239.jpgA short (boo hiss) break from my comics and such. For absolutely no reason, here is a short primer on OUR currency. Thankfully I am so rich, I never have to TOUCH the stuff. Ever notice that? The richer one is, the less contact they actually have with ACTUAL money. I always let my butler carry a satchel or whatever it is the proles carry their filthy lucre in. I buy sight unseen and it goes directly in my storage locker unseen. It’s like it never happened! (Sorry, rich joke there, how we laugh)

We know you’re interested in our quaint money, rest of the world! Don’t pretend otherwise. Canadian money. We have it. We stopped using fish hooks and pelts at least twenty years or more ago. As weak and sickly as it is compared to the mighty US dollar (and many other currencies), I have a soft spot for it. It is so cute compared to, say, heavy English money that drags your trousers down. I will expound on our currency here. Why? Because I like telling people stuff about this country I am so proud of! Who’s a good country? Why, you are, Canada!

We have recently abolished the penny because of all the train derailments, and the denominations are as follows:

nickel (5 cents)

dime (10 cents)

quarter (25 cents)

loonie (one dollar) – so named because of the depiction of the loon on the coin.

 

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toonie (2 dollars) – so named because it is TWO loonies, or a TOONIE. Get it? For awhile, people called it a ‘Doubloonie’, but it never caught on. Occasionally, I have seen the gold centre part pop out. Then you have yourself a rarest of coins, absolutely worthless but cute as all-get-out.

 

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Our bills come in fives, tens, twenties, fifties, hundreds, and even higher denominations which have seldom seen in my wallet, and are usually found in the pockets of money launderers at casinos. For shits and giggles, here is an old TWO dollar bill I have, which are no longer circulated. It still blows my mind that we actually used these bills! Dig the colour? Kind of a Pepto-Bismal pink.

20170903_115422.jpg20170903_115435.jpgIt all looks like play money, but this is all legal tender. Our latest bills are fiendishly difficult to counterfeit, but does not stop criminals from trying. Here is an example of a legit bill. Note the fine line work, watermarks, transparency. It’s like an early Rembrandt!

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That is the cheerful countenance of Sir Wilfred Laurier, a former PM. The PM is the head of our government. Our current one is Justin Trudeau, son of late PM Pierre Trudeau. Oh and by the way, this bill is equal to 40 fishhooks or 20% of a beaver pelt. One time, as a joke, I asked for change for a twenty, then handed over . . . a five! Never tried that again.

 

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This is our ten dollar bill. Note the parts of it that are see-through. This security feature is so you can count your bills at an ATM and see any thieves or robbers that may be trying to attack you. There are even Braille dots so as to thwart thieves who are always asking blind or partly sighted people to give them 5 twenties for this 100% ‘legit’ hundred dollar bill. Because there is nothing suspicious about asking for change for exorbitantly large bills.

The feel of the bill is unique, very smooth, like mylar. Not quite sexy, but getting there. A colour photocopier will no longer do the trick. The good old days, when you could go to Kinko’s and run off some hundreds. HAHA kidding, authorities who may have detected the word ‘counterfeit’ and ‘currency in some algorithm and are now sending the RCMP to my residence. I never did it, though I thought about it, I decided that working legitimately for it was actually LESS work than the tedium and gruelling nature of setting up a counterfeit ring.

All our money has a likeness of our monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

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Queen Elizabeth II, queen since 1952, oldest reigning monarch.

Why? No, she is not our ultimate boss nor can she (any longer) order beheadings. Ok, before Canada was a country, Great Britain was ruled by kings and queens, just like in fairy tales. Early settlers to this country came here in part because they didn’t LIKE their king or queen. (And a lot still don’t to this day) And they wanted fresh water that did not have human turds floating in it.

 

Still with me? British, French, Dutch, and Spanish colonies were settled, on land that had been home to First Nations (formerly referred to as Native Indians or, less derogatively, as indigenous peoples) people for thousands of years. Wars were fought, treaties signed until Britain controlled almost all the colonies. Some of the colonies turned around and fought to be free of Britain, as well. They won their freedom and joined together into a fledgling little country known as the USA. Colonies to the north of them remained British and continued to be ruled by British kings and queens.

There. That, in a nutshell, is why the queen is on all of our money. When she passes on, her son Charles

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Prince Charles, not to mistaken for the King Charles spaniel. His ears are bigger.

is the ‘heir apparent’ and will wear the king’s hat.  After him, HIS son William is the next in line for the non-porcelain throne. You know him from such sitcoms as the 6 o’clock news, and every magazine cover, except Inked, that tattoo magazine.

Well, I hope you found this edifying or, perhaps, a cause for mirth. You guys are so lame! Who has a queen? Is it true that she has her own toilet that she brings with her everywhere? We Canadians (or Canucks) are proud of our country but not to the extent of Americans, who wear their patriotism on their sleeve more than we do.

Thanks for checking this post out. The cartoons will resume shortly. I have quite a backlog of material and . . . hey why is everyone running away screaming?

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Prince William, his brother is Harry, and their mum was the late Princess Diana.
Posted in family, humor

I Saw the Royals today oh boy!

Saw the Royals

I live in Canada.  We have strong ties to the British monarchy, not to everyone’s pleasure,  who consider it, what’s that word for something that is archaic, oh yeah,  a load of shite.

I am not one of them, and in fact,  enjoy the royal family. Queen Elizabeth has been a fine queen, not many could sit on the throne over 60 years, although sometimes my kids say I do. (rimshot)

William and Kate, needless to say, were highly anticipated. He is heir to the throne, and who am I to miss a future king’s visit?

I dragged my wife with me to Canada Place, the port in Vancouver to which they were arriving from Victoria, for their week long visit in BC.

1050am was their scheduled arrival, we were there at 8am or so, with the other die hards. There was a huge media presence as well as various dignitaries.

We were right at the front, and the crowds started building up behind us. With ten minutes to go, a young man asked if he could squeeze in. I said ‘sure’, he was but a lad of eleven or so, after all. (I have a son of 11 who likes the Royals but not enough to wake up early on a weekend) He then bombarded me with questions such as,  had I been to England before (yes) and was that person I was with my daughter? (no) could his cousin squeeze in too? (no)

Then I heard a woman behind me say, ‘let’s rush to the front, it’s only women in front of us, anyway.’ Sigh. It was not untrue,  a good percentage of the contingent WERE women. I, however, was not one of them.

With little preamble and no indication by the burly and besuited security men, the Royal Couple came out. On a tight visiting schedule,  but still moving at a casual pace, with the odd word with onlookers, they glided down the makeshift carpet.

The pictures are inadequate, to be sure. One picture is of an elderly lady’s hands with the Royal Couple in the background. Hello Pulitzer.

Still, there was a frisson of unreality at their appearance and subsequent disappearance in a phalanx of black SUVS.  It was fun in spite of being mistaken for a woman and my wife being mistaken for my daughter.