Tag Archives: Sunshine Coast

Two Months Now In Montreal

It’s been two months exactly since arriving in Montreal, and you bet it’s been a big change. Coming from a city of 20,000, up the coast from Vancouver, where I could bomb around town, stop at the grocery store, get some gas, go to the dump, stop at the license bureau, make my dentist appointment, and buy socks at Walmart, all in an hour or two.

That’s not the case in Montreal. We’re talking a couple of days for this kind of thing. It took me most of one day just to get my driver’s license and new plates here.

In Powell River, traffic jams mean five cars at a traffic light. Montreal isn’t quite like that. Not by a friggin country mile.

You hardly ever see a detour sign in Powell River. In Montreal however……….

I used to get upset with slow drivers on the Sunshine Coast. In Montreal, I want to slam my brakes on the next person who tailgates me when I’m already 20 kms. over the speed limit, get out and pound his or her windshield with a crowbar.

Montreal has sports talk radio, which is the first such thing I’ve heard since I moved to Powell River from Calgary 18 years ago. I listened to CBC in Powell River.

It was 99% English there. I’m living in St. Hubert now, which is 99% French.

Most Powell Riverites cheer for the Vancouver Canucks. In Montreal, it’s another team. ūüôā

The view’s better in Powell River, with the ocean and Vancouver Island just across the way, with fishing boats and tugs going by. However, if you’ve ever seen some of the Montreal women walking around, you might ask yourself what’s better.

From my deck in Powell River I could hear sea lions barking. I’ve yet to hear one sea lion in Montreal. Although I saw a deer on Cousineau Boulevard recently.

More often than not, strangers walking past each other in Powell River smile and say hello. Not so much in Montreal.

I’ve noticed that some shopkeepers in Montreal aren’t overly friendly. Then I remembered that some in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and yes, even Powell River, aren’t either.

I’ve yet to see any loggers or fishermen in Montreal.

It would be ridiculous to compare smoked meat between the two places. But the prawns in Powell River are sensational.

Beer’s slightly cheaper in Montreal, but taxes are higher.

Montreal’s downtown is fabulous and I’d love to live in the heart of it. Powell River doesn’t have a downtown. Just some shops here and there. And of course the Walmart in the mall, which isn’t really the downtown but probably is.

Luci and I grew palm trees in our yard in Powell River. Ain’t gonna happen in Montreal.

Everyone in Powell River talks about not being able to live away from the ocean. I can, and the St. Laurence suits me just fine.

Montreal gets some serious winter. Powell River dips a few degrees below zero, but it rains non-stop for four or five months. I’m not afraid of Montreal’s cold and snow. I grew up with it in Ontario. And I drove semis in it for 20 years.

The bottom line is, both places are great. I have an excellent hockey-related job. And I’m living in the home of the Montreal Canadiens, the team I’ve loved for about 57 years now.

Maybe Luci and I will end up back on the West Coast, in beautiful Powell River. But right now I’m focused on my job at Classic Auctions, which is a big learning curve to be sure, and also on living in Montreal, which I’ve wanted to do for much of my life. And Luci is embracing the whole idea.

You might ask yourself, why would he do this at his age, leaving a tranquil place with everything pretty well under control, and just take it easy instead? It’s because I’m restless, always have been, and if I turned down a chance to work at the best hockey auction house on the planet, I’d regret it for the rest of my life.

Two months now in Montreal. I can’t believe it.

 

 

 

 

Habs Woodstock

The video below shows¬†where I’ve hung my hat for the last 16 years. It’s a terrific place. Way too many Canucks fans but great anyway.

Powell River sits at the top of the Sunshine Coast, 120 kilometres north of Vancouver, with the Strait of Georgia, also known as the Salish Sea, also known as part of the Pacific Ocean, in our backyard, so to speak.

There are also¬†some Habs fans here, and I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention what my wife Luci came up with.¬†We’d like to have local Habs fans join¬†us some night at TC’s Pub for beer and talk. We can¬†trash Gomez, for example. We can slander the Canucks. We can toss the around the idea of whether or not Brad Marchand’s brain should be donated to science. While he’s still alive.

I think it could be the most fun any of us could ever have with our clothes on.

I’m going to start putting the word out. Like now. Heck, maybe it’ll get so big that those of you from other parts will make the trek out here.¬†Sort of like a Habs Woodstock, with you arriving in your Volkswagon vans, whooping and hollering, blasting Annakin Slayd¬†and wearing Habs sweaters.

Powell River might never be the same again.

 

Slow And Easy. Is That Good?

Below¬†is a sign on the road just south of here, on the Sunshine Coast, where every day I get behind drivers going 20 or 30 km¬†under the speed limit. It’s the perfect sign for this area. They’re not in a hurry here. It’s an area full of fishermen, old American Vietnam draft dodgers, hippies who escaped the rat race, and tug boat operators who are used to going four miles an hour.¬†None of them apparently don’t¬†see any benefit in rushing. These people can leave for the corner store when they’re 60 years years old and arrive when they’re 62.

They just don’t realize that I’m in a hurry. I’m not sure why I’m in a hurry, but I am.¬†Maybe I have to get home and relax.¬†Maybe I have cold beer in the fridge. C’mon, drivers. Speed up. Try going the speed limit. You might like it.

It’s also a slow wait for P.K. to sign, for Gomez to go,¬†for owners and players to come to an agreement, for hockey to start, and for my holidays to begin in September. All this slowness in our world. Is¬†that good?

P.K. has almost two months to sign a new contract, so I suppose all’s well there.¬†At least it better be.¬†My holidays will come slowly (but¬†go quickly).¬†But as for Gomez, the owners and players agreeing, and hockey starting, it could be like waiting for turtles to cross the road.

Habs Bike: Trying To Be Nine Again (I Want A Time Machine)

I found this old 1959 Orilla bicycle licence on eBay recently and I knew I needed it. I needed it because I would’ve had one of these for my bike way back then, and who knows, maybe it’s mine! In 1959, there were about 15,000 people in Orillia. Maybe 5000 of these were kids, and maybe 1000 of them had bikes. Not everybody went by the rules and bought¬†a licence plate, which cost a dollar at the police station. But I did, and my bike was important because I had this massive paper route.

So I figure my odds of this being my old plate are about 1 in 500.

I also didn’t buy this plate just because it brings back memories. I bought it for my bike, a bike I bought as¬†a twisted piece of yellow¬†junk and spent over a year restoring and painting.¬†I’ve posted pictures of this before, but it wasn’t quite finished then.¬†It especially didn’t have my new licence plate on it.

And yes, this is Canada and that’s my palm tree. I have a bunch of them in my yard. They can grow here on the Sunshine Coast, north of Vancouver, and I think all of you should move here so you can have Canadian palm trees too and we can all watch the Habs together.

 

Did Red Fisher Ever Have Days Like This?

Today’s a day when time has run out.

 

I work for BC Ferries, and the weather’s been blistering hot. So therefore, it’s been busy. Really busy. And the days at work are long. Did I mention the days at work are long? And busy?

 

And my wife wants me to look at some paintings on the beach put up by local artists, before I go back to work, which is soon.

 

And then I go back to work and do it all again. It seems that every human being on the face of the earth¬†is travelling this weekend on the Sunshine Coast by way of BC Ferries. Except you, of course. You’re stuck in a room reading this right now.

 

NHL training camps are still a month away. A lovely woman named Carol Huynh from Hazelton, BC, which is way up in the northwest¬†of the province, won gold in wrestling. The Habs signed third round draft pick Yannick Weber.¬†I saw a bear a couple of weeks ago. Last year my wife saw a bear on our street, two doors down.¬†Schools sit quiet. There’s lots of plus-sixty year olds who drive Harleys. And my cat loves me.

 

So I have to go and look at paintings on the beach now, and then I have to go to work and help travellers travel.

 

It’s really hot.

 

Sorry about this.

 

 

The Tour Sailed Along Nicely Until Gaston Got Kicked Off The Ferry

The ferries are the only way to leave Powell River (except for small and expensive planes), and so I thought that for this part of the tour, I’d have Gaston take a ride to show you the ins and outs of ferry culture here on the west coast.

¬†I wasn’t able to go along, so I left strict instructions to Gaston to¬†(a) get some good pictures of ferry life, and (b) don’t embarrass me in any way, shape or form. Gaston told me to stop fretting and not be so silly, so I sent him on his way. It’s time I began to trust him, I told myself.

 The pictures were quite good, I thought.

¬† Here’s Gaston up top as traffic gets loaded on.

I thought that was good, and I was proud of the little bugger.

 

Gaston snuck¬†into the galley¬†for this photo of the ladies working hard. It’s been a long time since I felt this good about Gaston.

 And then it happened. Gaston started complaining that his meal should have been free seeing that he was an official photographer. He threw his lemon meringue pie around the cafeteria, noisily slurped his clam chowder without using a spoon, tried to pinch women as they walked by, and loudly, so all could hear, blamed me for the grizzly decapitation of LaBois.

 The ferry finally docked, and Gaston, with orders from the bridge, was unceremoniously given the boot.

¬†When I drove out and picked him up, all he said to me in the car was that he couldn’t help it, the girls gave him a woody.

I knew I shouldn’t have left it up to him. Never again.

Tour Gets Cut Short As Gaston Loses His Mind

So it’s come to this, and frankly, I’m not surprised. Gaston has always said there’d be a day of reckoning. He’s so full of it.

¬†Gaston is blaming me for the untimely and grizzly decapitation of LaBois. He says it was me, and only me, who cut off his uncle’s head with a chainsaw.

 Hey Gaston! Ever think about stand-up comedy?

¬†I was nowhere near LaBois at the unfortunate time. I was, uh, at the mall, yeah the mall, that’s it.

¬†If you go back a few pages to where there’s a photo of Gaston making a spectacle of himself by flinging himself upon his dead uncle, who, by the way, used to talk behind Gaston’s back, you will see that the deed was committed by someone with a chainsaw, and I don’t even own a chainsaw. My neighbour does, but I don’t.

 Hah!

¬†Anyway, Gaston says I should be put in prison and the key should be thrown away, but I pay no attention to him, or his picture, because I was at the mall. And I don’t own a chainsaw. And there’s no fingerprints on LeBois.

¬†So the tour is cut short today because of Gaston’s accusation.

And it’s too bad. There’s lots of Powell River to be seen.

Please disregard Gaston’s photo as he thinks he’s funny and my being accused of chainsaw decapitation is no laughing matter. Disregard the photo.

You can find the full tour simply by clicking “Tour of Powell River’ over in ‘categories’. Trust me, Gaston’s sort of normal in most of them.

The Tour Carries On. And Then Disaster Struck

¬†The continuing saga of Gaston and his magnificent tour of Powell River was going swimmingly. Here he is at the beach with his pal “Starfish”, which is the name he chose for a starfish he became buddies with. “It’s not rocket science”¬† Gaston explained to me. ¬†“Starfish is¬†a lot more lively and interesting than you.”

And you wonder why I get upset with this guy with little man syndrome.

¬†We then drove into the oldest part of Powell River, near the old paper mill, where millworkers 80 years ago mostly lived, and it’s here Gaston suggested a picture of the Patricia Theatre, which is the oldest running theatre in British Columbia. I thought, finally Gaston is being a normal tour guide.

¬†But then disaster struck and I don’t really know exactly how to put this in words. When we got back to the house, Gaston made a grizzly discovery. There was Wilfred LaBois, Gaston’s favourite uncle, decapitated in a terrible chainsaw accident.

Gaston took it well for awhile, then broke down and flung himself on his uncle, which the photo clearly shows. “He was a great uncle,” said Gaston quietly. “He was an important part of our family tree, and more than once, he went out on a limb for me.”

 Please note:

If you’re interested in all the journeys of Gaston in the beautiful town/city of Powell River, just click on ‘Tour of Powell River’ over in the categories section on the right side. If you’re going to move here, you might as well have a look at it before you do. And please disregard Gaston’s boorishness. He means well.

Goldie And Kurt Were Almost In Hell. But They Got Out

It’s¬†a shame¬†what happened to Goldie Studlendgehawn. She caught up on her reading, she said, because there was just nothing to do while she was in Vancouver. Except maybe listen to the pitter-patter of raindrops on her roof.¬† It must have been horrible.

 

Goldie Studlendgehawn, who shortened her name to Hawn and became what she became, told Jay Leno on the Tonight Show a few years back that her and love-of-her-life Kurt Russell lived off and on in Vancouver because their son Wyatt Russell was honing his craft as a goaltender in the Junior ranks there.

 

But they were bored. They had to whittle their days away in their rented three million dollar, 7000 square foot, five bedroom, eleven fireplace igloo in some backwater part of “The City That Fun Forgot.”

 

Nothing to do in Vancouver? There’s more than 2000 restaurants and almost as many bars. And what about the traffic jams? Surely, Vancouver’s traffic jams are almost as good as Los Angeles’.

 

There must be lots to do in Los Angeles.¬†Marvel at¬†gangs as they fight over drug territory.¬†Spend hours looking for the sun through the smog.¬†Enjoy¬†lovely beaches provided you don’t get shot at on the freeway on the way there.

 

And it’s fun to think if young Wyatt would have gotten traded to the the Powell River Kings. After all, the young fellow was stopping pucks for the Coquitlam Express, a junior stepping stone, just like, gulp, the Kings.

 

It’s something Kurt and Goldie probably didn’t want to think about. Although if it had happened, they may have thought about disowning their young Jacques Plante.

 

But the glamorous couple might have liked Powell River. They could’ve joined the Moose or Legion, made new friends, played darts, and quickly forgot about the nightmare they went through in Vancouver. They could’ve dined on those wicked fish and chips at the bowling alley, eaten prawns, lawn bowled, and danced the night away at the raunchy Westview Hotel.

 

It would’ve been great if Wyatt had been traded to the Powell River Kings. It would’ve been so much fun to hear a couple of Hollywood stars screaming at the top of their lungs all up and down the Sunshine Coast.

 

And Goldie Studlendgehawn could’ve sat in Powell River and watched reruns of herself on the Tonight Show, as rain pitter-pattered on her new Powell River roof.

Get Off The Beach And Get Back To Hockey – Where You Belong

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Mats Sundin remains quiet? Is he ready to join the Habs, or is he taking his time waiting to get a better offer from the Rangers or Wings or such? How much money does a person need, I ask?

 

Foxsports’ Spector says Montreal is also interested in Brian Campbell, the fine defenceman who played for the Sharks last year, and also Marian Hossa, if the Sundin thing falls through.

The Montreal Gazette says that free agent forward Brian Rolston would be the best fit of all for the Habs.

 

My take on all of this waiting,¬†all these rumours, all the guessing, is that I feel Montreal is just one player away, whether it’s a quality defenceman¬† or a quality forward, to be a¬†huge contender for all the marbles next year.

But none of this is nothing new to you.¬†Everything’s in the news daily, and you’re as smart as me, probably smarter.¬†I’m just mentioning it because it’s a holiday weekend, (in Canada), it’s sweltering hot here on the west coast, and most of you are holed up in tents and campers and peeing in lakes, and not reading this anyway.

 

But to those of you who are reading this blog¬†quite regularly,¬†(and surprisingly, there’s a healthy bunch who seem to be sticking with me through thick and thin), I say to you – you’re excellent and your mother did a fine job in raising you.

 

I would also like to put this out to you. If you know of any retired Montreal Canadien living somewhere and maybe know a little about what he’s doing nowadays, please tell me. I’d like to start listing a “Where are they now” section. You can email me at dlkane@shaw.ca or just add a comment about it to any posting.

I’m off the beaten track on this northern part of the Sunshine Coast,¬†and so I know very little about the going-ons of ex-players. Charlie Hodge lives near Vancouver, Gilles Lupien is a successful players agent, Guy Lafleur spends a lot time in court, etc. etc.

So if you can help, I feel your mother did an even better job of raising you than most.