WOW! It's been a long while!

 Indeed, almost 7 months since I last came here. The main reason was I tried to set my blog url to Robb's Place. It worked for a bit, but then Blogger (read: Google) changed their rules. I lost access to the blog and just recently was able to get it back.

Did you miss anything? No, not really. The Wuhan virus is taking its toll around the world. I've kept myself locked up in my apartment, using the excuse of isolation from the virus.

Rob & Jenny took me (us!) up to Barry's Bay to lay my dad's ashes up at Tom's Lookout back in August. That was fun!

No fishing at all. Well, no. I went out a few days after my last blog entry here to do some channel catfishing. It was (as usual) a wash out. It was my second official Fishing Ottawa w/ Greybeard trip. It was my last official FOG trip.

And that is about it. The pandemic has folks in my building getting more crazy than usual. Perhaps the colder weather will dissuade them from bringing their insanity outside and all I'll have to deal with is Johnny B Evil above me and the newest nutbars on my floor. {{sigh}} Life goes on, eh.

Keep The Faith*


The End of Writing (sorta)

No, not really. This is more about me being gob-smacked by a major movie... from long ago.
I just finished watching "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" on Netflix. I have avoided re-watching this movie because of a personal... what? grievance? about the premise of this movie. Not to say that it isn't good, or even great, but...

Way, WAY, back in 1977, when this movie came out, I was "working on a short story or novella or whatever the frell you want to call it.
At that time, in '76, I had begun writing about an idea I had. The premise was about a fellow, a Canadian, who had visions about a mountain that held some sort of amazing insights into... whatever. I found the concept to be oh-so very interesting! I even took the effort to read about written short stories and novels. I was wonderfully isolated at the start of this, back in my daze in Winnipeg.
I continued writing when, Oh My Gosh! this movie came out! I was amazed about the similarities of the story line, the mountain-top (mine was in the Canadian Rockies) and the main character's input.
All in all, I was thrown into a pit of WTF??!! Naturally, I dismissed the whole thing to... ummmm... well, I dunno, or canna remember. I *do* know I was utterly pissed off!
Thing is that today, 40+ years later (OMFG!) I can still remember the heartache I felt when I discovered that someone STOLE *my* idea!!

Yeah, yeah, gimme a break! I was young. I wanted to be a writer. But, to be shot down in such a manner... well, it kinda ruined my desire to write. Bummer, eh?

Keep The Faith*


The Covid19 Shutdown

I just read an op-ed piece in the Toronto Sun from 2 May. It was written by Anthony Furey. He talks about the mass closing of society - businesses, city parks, elective surgeries, and the like. And, he is pushing for the so called re-opening of business.

One paragraph jumped out at me as it is the one thing that I have been pushing about for weeks.
"This whole mess stopped being solely a public health issue weeks ago and is now a whole-of-society issue. The reopening is a collective decision and everybody’s voice matters. Speak up. Demand to be heard."

Government is killing our economy by the drastic measure of shuttering companies and small business. People are direct danger of losing their jobs, livelihoods, homes... their sanity! The damage has been done. Even if we could go back  --today!--  to the way things were before this lock down, it will take years to dig ourselves out from the hole we find ourselves in right now.

I am not afraid of this virus. If it gets me, it gets me. My concern is for the greater populace and its ability to rally upward. The longer our society stays shuttered, the exponentially longer time it will take to achieve stability.

Speak up! Demand to be heard!!

Keep The Faith*



I have watched a multitude of videos on The Great War, WW2, and the (so-called) Vietnam War. My interest in any of those conflicts has been thru personal, or familial, contact.

I can not say much for the first World War, other than my great grand-father - John Erskine Johnston Simpson  -, who fought in Europe in WW1 and died due to complications from inhalation of "mustard gas". I have no familial connection to WW2.

However, the so-called VietNam War is tied to me because I (as in ME!) wanted oh-so desperately to go there and fight! Mainly because I was disheartened with my life at home. But, my cousin Steve left home to avoid that stupid mandatory draft in what? '71? '72? Much as my immediate family wanted to decry his actions, I applauded them.

Then, Steve returned home, enlisted, and joined the Marines! At that time, I was confused and, yes, dismayed. Mainly, because of the vitriol media was giving at the time about this conflict. "They said" this, and others "said that". And I stood confused.

Of course, today, with all the video and TV attention now given to this "war", I realize that my desires in that time were perhaps not so, ummm... confused? I have seen vets from the VietNam  conflict who have emphatically stated that their actions were for their country. (remember Afghanistan and Iraq??)

Bleh. Ever since I heard that Steve enlisted, joined the Marines, AND did what he could do, I relented somewhat. My confusion still remained in wtf was the USofA doing in South VietNam anyway?

My conclusion was that the US was in a conflict, its armed forces did what they were told and the rest be danged.
Me, being 62 yrs of age today, have realized far before now, that maybe kinda sorta (Iraq? Afghanistan?) that the political powers that be might be........???

Blah. Bleh. Blah. Dang. The whole intent of this missive was to tell you that in the dying daze of the VietNam fuck-up was that I wanted oh-so desperately to go there and FIGHT!

 Yeah, today, I know that I had no idea of death, of what it means to face someone who wants to kill you or what the fuck it all meant. I just wanted to escape today... then.

Blip! And then, yup, I found my escape. Drugs.
(excusing the fact that I just passed my 28th year of clean time!) Even now, I sometimes feel like I missed my calling by not pursuing that irresponsible thought of "I should go to VietNam!" 

Regardless of which, I am proud of my cousin Steve for his actions (both con and pro) and who he is today. I am proud of all those folk who went to that war believing that what they did was right -- yes, and even if they didn't believe it! -- but still died for freedom.

I am now filled with a feeling of angst. Because I have met folk who avoided the draft by coming to Canada, and those who did what might have been right.

Me? I wanted to be away from every fucking thing I didn't want to be around (1971 to 1973?) I  just wanted to run away. And still, modern media wants to remind me of... every fraking mudder-frelling yadda blahblah I thought I dealt with ages ago.

Aye, Perhaps it be time for me to go to bed, Aye?

Keep The Faith*


Fishing Ottawa w/ Greybeard. Dead or Alive?

I just read a news article about the trout season opener, which I believe started today. With many USofA states restricting or even closing recreational fishing (WA state?), I can fully understand the concerns of many of the smaller burgs around Ontario about the number of folks who descend on trout waters on opening day.
MY biggest worry about the hue & cry is that the province may just end up closing down fishing altogether. Mainly because:

1) It would ruin my foray into Youtube videos about Fishing Ottawa. But, hey, if we are all still alive next year, maybe I will be able to get around town & show off Ottawa's fisheries.


2) My spring channel catfish take. I love my fishy felines! Not as a sport fish or a recreational pastime, but a very important food source for me for the year. Or a few months, at least.

Yadda. I get the feeling that my "need" to fish will be be decimated by the provincial government. Heck, the City of Ottawa has already given me warning about fishing Andy Haydon Park near Bayshore. And that is my prime spot to get my kitties! We shall see, hm?
Read the article here:


The Beginning of the End

Rather smarmy title, hm?

Well, I have discovered that the Interweb has slowed down quite considerably. First, it was my Amazon Prime feed that consistently began to buffer. Meaning it would stop playing whatever show I was watching and turn into a revolving circle. Again and again and again.

I thought that it was just Prime effing up on me. Now, my Netflix account is showing the same symptoms. Seizing up and showing that incessant rotating circle. Especially, when I am at a very interesting spot in the show I was trying to view.

Bleh. Yes, it is truly the start of end of daze. If I canna watch the mindless offerings of online claptrap, well... the end is truly near! My isolationist ways have been predicated upon my access to the Internet and its gratuitous offerings of escapism from the humdrum. I mean, heck, even my browser of choice, Chrome, is now taking like *forever* to load!
- - - Do note, "forever" is a relative term. Back in my C64 time, if a program took more that 4 minutes to load, it was SLOW! Thus, more than 30 seconds today is eternal!! - - -

As of today, 16 April 2020, my Youtube viewership has yet to lag or buffer. But. BUT!!! Since Prime began its slow down and now Netflix is lagging, well.... Wait!

Maybe those powers greater than me have decided to throttle their feed to force me to upgrade my connectivity and pay MORE $$$!!!

Dastardly buggers! Taking advantage of poor shmucks like me to line their pockets! hehe... but no, I am not saying that! Well, not exactly. I mean, if a drug store in TO can stoop to tripling the price of sanitizing wipes, hey, ISPs can do the same. Eh? (My ISP is TekSavvy and I have been very happy with the service they provide)

Oops!! Perhaps I spoke too soon! I just had a banner flash on top of my screen stating that the quick save of my blog could not be made... or something like that. So... conspiracy theorists out there, gimme your thoughts!

Keep The Faith*


Another Year

28 years ago, 14 April 1992 (and it was a Tuesday!), I realized that the lie I was living was no longer working. Being in recovery for the previous 3+ years, it was wrong for me to lie to those I knew & loved about my clean time.

I had relapsed in January '92, a couple of months after Bernie died. I kept using in the ensuing time, making sure that I did not pick anything up on Tuesdays since that was my home group night. Silly me, but I rationalized my actions by thinking that if anyone asked if I was still clean, I could *truthfully* say "Yes! Just for today!!"

Tuesday 14 April 1992 would have been Bernie's 30th birthday. Today, naturally, would have been her 58th. I decided that April 14 was as good a day as any other to truly get clean and put myself completely into a program of recovery from active addiction.

Thus, here I be. Clean. Somewhat sane. 28 years along. It's been a bumpy ride, but that is life for you, for me! I'm glad to be here, even if my body sometimes says WTF??!! I'm a wee bit sad that I can't go to a face-to-face meeting in these COVID mania daze. Still, I plan to attend an online meeting of the group I was going to go to before pandemania.

Life is good!

Keep The Faith*


Outdoor Foraging

My last post talked about the current mania over COVID19. At the end, I mentioned the possibility of my going out to hunt and harvest wild game. Squirrels, rabbits and the like.

I read an article from MeatEater about how outdoor folk are a bit better prepared to weather isolation from society. It talked about how they can, and do, stock up on wild forage. Not just meats, but plant based stuff like mushrooms, fiddle-heads, etc.

What got me thinking was fishing. Even as I plan my video excursions for my Youtube channel, "Fishing Ottawa with Greybeard", and this self-isolate brouhaha going on, I think back to times I fished Deschenes Lookout along the Western Parkway (now called the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway).

I remember seeing families fishing there. Mom, pop, 3 or 4 or more kids... all fishing and  keeping every damned fish they caught. From 4" sunfish or channel catfish to out of season musky, they kept it all. Not only that, but bugged other fisher-folk for their catches. It makes me think that local fisheries are going to very hard hit from people who may try to take advantage of a slow to renew resource.

Me, I still plan to do my spring catfish trips, as I do almost every year. For meat, not for fun. I never catch & keep more than the law allows (12 channel cats max, either on hand and/or in the freezer). It allows me enough protein to last a year. 

But, when I think back to those dimwits intentionally over-culling fish during plentiful times, well... I certainly hope that MNR officers will be out & about in the coming weeks to help protect this fishing resource from excessive human predation. I hope...

Keep The Faith*


The End of Days

No, no, not really. I'm just poking fun at the doomsdayers out in web land. Yes, I am talking about the coronavirus pandemic, COVID19.

Almost all local meetings have been put on hold for the next few weeks, mostly thru the city closing their facilities. Meetings held in churches and the like have closed, also.

I find it to be a major knee-jerk reaction by higher up powers. To shut everything down, tell people to avoid outside contact, isolate, Isolate ISOLATE! Silly people. It is like they don't realize that even tho' folks may not come into contact with each other for the next, what? -- 4 to 6 weeks, that virus is still going to be out there when quarantine ends.

Me, I'd rather contract the bug, see if I survive and then move on. This virus has been equated to a flu virus. We all know how society handles that, with (yay) vaccines each year to maybe kinda sorta help people. Meaning, from my viewpoint, COVID19 will always be with us, but in mutated forms. To steal from most computer programs and apps, we'll have a COVID19.1 and a COVID19.6, etc.

I'm in a higher bracket for complications in this thing. Complications meaning death, being 60+ years old and being a Type 1 diabetic. Thus, even if I get thru this round, I'm still kinda frelled.

I suppose I'm somewhat blessed in one aspect. I am already a superb and experienced isolationist, so being separated from humanity won't be a big thing with this ol' boy. My only concern is getting my day-to-day necessities like food, toiletries, etc. Store stocks are being decimated by panic shopping. Maybe I could use all that hunt & trap knowledge I have gleaned thru Youtube and go out to harvest my own protein stuffs. Glazed rabbit? 🐇 Cajun fried squirrel? Baked squab? Frog's legs Florentine? 🐸

Anyhoo, I have my wunnerful kitty, Ricky, to keep me company and drive me nuts, so... All Is Good!!

Keep The Faith*


An Irascible SOB

Yup, that I am, or can be most times. 

Back in November of 2019, I received a notification from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) of a mini-audit of my tax return for 2018. It appears that they didn't believe how much rent I paid for that year and demanded proof.

Since I pay my rent online and have no cancelled cheques or official receipts, I was forced to download all my bank statements showing each month's rent payment. I sent out a package of paperwork at the beginning of December.

Yesterday, I got a reply. Three months later. All is well. The CRA accepted my proof and applied it to my 2018 return. A return I filed thirteen months ago.

Yadda. I had to smile at my irascibility when I read the letter I enclosed with the paperwork - right, and they returned the whole kit & kaboodle of papers I sent, which I now have to shred. Yadda. Here's the letter (with personal details blurred out:
Keep The Faith*


Something New

New day. February 4. I just spent around 45 minutes talking with Rob a few hours. Back. It was his 36th birthday on Feb 3. I titled this “Something New” because a phone call is truly something new for me!

I haven’t spoken with Rob in, what?? A very VERY long time! Months, even! So, for me to just pick up that 1 tonne piece of technology (the phone) and simply search & push a button to call my own son is an accomplishment, to say the least.

We chatted about our lives and just wtf is going on with each other. Our cats He’s now got 2. Cash his grey tabby and a new marmalade tabby - I’ve still only got my tuxedo, Ricky. We jabbered about his & Jenny’s purchase of a condo, which finally appears to be on it’s oh-so slow way to being built! And about their plot of acreage near Roblin ON and their plans for that. Of course, we jabbered about this, that and, naturally the ubiquitous other thing. It was wonderfully enjoyable, to say the very least!!

Once more, I am stupefied at the ease and simplicity that making a simple phone call is! To talk with Rob, even tho’ he’s a good 2 hours drive from here, is just that easy push of a coupla buttons... well, I occasionally wonder why I don’t do it more often! Outside of the long distance thing & cost, well, a phone call is tres simple.

Silly me. I can spend uber amounts of time online, on my computer, etc... but a phone call??!! EEK!! Run away! Run away!! Ahhhh, but I can be such a putz sometimes!! ;-)

Keep The Faith*


Social Media

Social media, aka Facebook. I'm not on those other connection platforms like Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr. All the "go-to" sites today.

I dropped FB on December 31, 2019. I am on a newer platform called MeWe ( https://mewe.com/i/robbsimpson - you gotta sign up to see) and I like it. I advertised my presence there on Facebook for 3 or 4 months before my FB departure. Only two of my FB "Friends" signed up at MeWe. One to check it out, and she said it was real lonely there. The other because she wanted to "stay in touch".

It can be lonely. I've got but four Contacts, as MeWe calls 'em. Three are family, my brother, a niece in California and a cousin in Minnesota. The last is a family friend, Rob's girlfriend's mum, the "stay in touch" person. My brother signed up because of a promo I put on FB for my fishing group on MeWe.

I haven't made or initiated any other contacts. Even tho' the site has 6 million+ subscribers, the vast majority -easily 80%- post shyte on their respective feeds. Most, I think, are there for the Groups end of the platform, topic specific groups. I even made two Groups of my own, one for Fishing Ottawa and the other for Ottawa Vapers. Neither of them have any members other than moi, but that is probably because of the "Ottawa" focuses. 

I did a little bit of research on different social media sites and discovered more than 50 different ones out there. Many were started up after the Facebook debacle in 2018 with the data mining & selling. MeWe promoted themselves as a truly anonymous place that does not collect nor sell users info. That remains to be seen, but I like its layout AND the fact that it is ad-free!

Blah blah. I also signed up at a site called Sharfly (don't ask me what that means, I don't know - https://sharfly.com/index.php/Sharflyme - again, gotta sign up to see!) It is very new and very empty. I'll keep it to see how it pans out.

I also have two Youtube channels, one for me and a 2nd to hopefully document my fishing in Ottawa come spring. So, it ain't like I've pulled up stakes in the social media world. I'm just going in different directions.

My personal Youtube channel:
My Fishing Ottawa with Greybeard Youtube channel:

Keep The Faith*



Good golly gosh! Does it ever change??!! I’m talking about sleep. Again! I get tired, I AM tired, but my brain simply wants to review the past few years (decades??) and transpose that upon possible future events. STFU, brain!!! I mean, really!

I be thinking about past aquarium set ups I’ve had. Then I wonder about this year’s. Then I go here and there and, yes, that other place. Bouncing around so frelling much that I get dizzy! And can NOT go to sleep!!

wtf. Like WTF, eh! Heck, Ricky is stretched out beside me on my bed, purring contentedly, eyes closed, almost mocking me in his repose. It’s a cat’s life, I s’pose. He’s stopped purring, so I guess he’s conked out now. And me??

Well, I am flummoxed and flabbergasted. And still tired! Perhaps I should do that which I rail against and talk to my doctor about some sort of sleep meds. My melatonin no longer works for me (I am up to 10 to 15 mg now), so that is out. I really dinna want anti-psychotics or depression shyte. Unless depression is the cause of my insomnia. Then, I may as well shoot myself. But, that would require me to jump thru hoops to get an FAC and spend mucho $$$ on a pew-pew & ammo. Then, I’d be really freaking depressed!!

}}}sigh{{{ It’s a sad life, Charlie Brown. Oh well. I, at least, had another opportunity to use my itty-bitty Bluetooth keyboard with my iPoop. Works kinda good. But, I can’t use the ctrl-b or i or u to bold or italicize or underline my text for emphasis. Needta tap the bloody screen icons for that!!!

Keep The Faith*