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Category Archives: BobSongs…

Bob Gray, BobSongs, BobSongs Creative Media

Garden Fairy Doors

TreeMax Fairy Door Realty - Helping find homes for Magical Creatures since 2015 - BobBlahBlah.comRecently, Lorie and I started crafting and selling small doors for magical creatures… and so, whether you need a home for your Gnomes, Hobbits, Pixies, Elves or Fairies… we have a door that is just right for your needs!

Some are fanciful… others quite rustic… some are colorful… and others understated.  Something for every taste.  Each is one-of-a-kind, and hand-crafted.  (Honestly, I would post pictures, but they change ALL. THE. TIME.)

Lorie has also made some fun and funky whimsical accessories… banners, flags, wind chimes and more…

You can find the full assortment of what is currently available, in our Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/GardenFairyDoors/

For fun, we also created TreeMax – a “Fairy Tale Realty Company”: http://treemax.ca/

And, if you want the full story on how we got started making Fairy Doors, you can find the details here: http://gardenfairies.ca/

 

 

Haute Note – Personalized Note Cards And Stationery

As some of you may know… on October 1st, Lorie and I bought an online card business… Haute Note!

A company that produces custom cards, personalized notes and stationery.

We have a variety of note styles, as well as designs for every reason and every season.

We feel that in this day and age, when pretty much everyone on the planet has embraced the technology for sending emails, texts, PINS and communicating through any number of Social Networks — there are still occasions when it is “special” to get a card.  A keepsake, or reminder of a moment in time.

Whether a photo Holiday card, personalized Christmas cards, birthday invitations, wedding or baby announcements, save-the-date cards, or something else completely… we can customize and personalize any of the hundreds of designs of cards.

A set of 8 Signature cards makes a lovely hostess gift, a thank you gift, something nice for Aunt Sadie or the perfect something for the hard-to-buy-for person who has everything!

Below are a few examples, chosen at random from hundreds of styles and themes.

You can find more examples at HauteNote.com

(Click on any image below to open the images up in a Gallery Viewer)

phot_hpch_crem phot_cndy_gren_1 drea_popy_redd phot_scpt_taup_script_taupethanks_t2_1
flat_gree_hell_greetings_scripthello_3 phot_scpt_save_script_savethedate_t2 phot_hchr_strp_holidaycheer_stripes_t5b phot_bbra_blos_2
holi_holi_tree phot_anim_gren_animalcrackers_green_t1b drea_bran_cher holi_fest_juni
flat_crow_prin_crowns_princess_2 flat_crow_pair_crowns_royalpair_3 flat_addn_pinb_addition_pinblue_5 clas_nost_sugr_1
clas_tree_weve_1 clas_long_kngt_1 clas_holi_gift_1 clas_cbrn_plum
clas_nost_midn_1 cele_wedd_cake cele_gath_cups hn-crown-avi-reverse-w-border-500

(Click on any image above to see the cards in a Gallery Viewer)

Should you need a personal or corporate Christmas card… a card to announce a birth, or a birthday party… a wedding announcement or a BBQ invite… we have all these, and many more! Check us out at HauteNote.com

You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

 

Removing The Stigma From Mental Health Issues

I have suffered from depression.

I was one of the lucky ones… I was able to get help, and with support… came out the other side.

Some are not so lucky.

May 27th, 1993 was the first time I lost someone I knew to suicide.

Her name was Cheryl, and she worked with me.

This week, a friend lost his son to those same demons.

A lot of us have fought the battle.

The internal voices are very loud, and the concern of “anyone finding out” is always there.

The stigma.

The thought that “I’m MORE flawed, than everyone else.”

We’re ALL flawed.

By our very nature… we are HUMAN.

But each of us carries the burden that OUR journey is unique, that we are the only ones who have ever trodden the path we are on, that we are having a singularly unique experience, where no one has previously trodden.

Nonsense !!!

Everyone is just afraid to talk about it.

Screw the stigma…

I’ve had depression, and it sucked… and I hope it doesn’t come back… but if it does, I have the support of my family and friends… and together we will get through it.

You are NOT alone…

Here is a song I wrote about eating disorders, which can also be applied to the stigma of Mental Health Issues.

Campaigning: A Ton Of Fun

In the past week, since the end of the campaign and the election, I have been busy with closing up our campaign office, and running around with personal stuff.  Here, belatedly, are my reflections on working and helping to run a political campaign.

Whenever and where ever I work, I have always tried to focus on managing the team to minimize the downtime. This means I am always trying to focus on “what next”, and so I spent much of the campaign trying to think ahead, and that made it harder to live in the moment, and be “present”… But there were exceptions.

One day, early in the campaign, a lady came into the Office, and spoke to Mandeep, Brian and I.  She seemed very distracted, and her questions were largely unfocused and she wasn’t really listening to the answers she was getting.  A week later, she came back when I was in the office by myself, and she told me that her mother was suffering from a degenerative disease, and she was having to take care of her, while working. And then the previous week, she had taken her husband to a new doctor, and her husband had been diagnosed with having prostate cancer.  Because their original doctor had not done a simple test, his treatment had been delayed by over a year.  She was looking for an answer that no one could give her… That her husband would be okay, and that she would be able to cope with looking after her Mom.

I met Cindy on that second visit, and I don’t think anyone could not be affected by the fear in her eyes that two of the most important people in her world were being threatened, and there was nothing she could do.

We sat and talked, and I talked about the advances they had made in Prostate Cancer treatments, and how many more options and treatments there were than ten or fifteen years ago, and how research was being done, here in BC, that was saving lives every day.  She just needed someone to talk to, and because my Dad had died from cancer, and I have paid attention since his passing, I was able to help give her some answers, and, I like to think, a little bit of hope.

Doorknocking, that most mundane of election tasks, was another area where you had no choice but to be alert and focused, and a sense of humour didn’t hurt, either.

In an election where (in the end) it turned out that five years of Conservative attack ads worked, a massive number of people, on their doorsteps, expressed disdain for Michael Ignatieff.  One man came to the door, and as I started my “Hello, I’m Bob from the Liberal Party, and we’re here today campaigning for Mandeep Bhuller….” He interrupted me to say, “All the other parties have sent assholes to my door, and now here you are.”  To which I replied “I’m very sorry that the other parties bothered you, and now that they are gone, can I give you some information on Mandeep Bhuller ?

He laughed, started asking questions about our platform, and became engaged in discussion.  When we left, he was thinking about our policies.

A few others were not as gracious.

One gent who came to the door, and upon me completing my spiel, said simply “I have a gun.”  He didn’t smile when I suggested that he would then like that the Liberal Party supported the Long Gun Registry.  He simply closed the door in my face.

Another gent said nothing, but stood there tapping a floor plank with nails in it, as if weighing it, to calculate swing strength.  I completed my speech, and offered him a card, and at the end, said to him “…if you are going to hit me with the board when I turn to leave, please use the side without nails as I have been polite during our ‘talk’.”

At another house, I had a creepy feeling as I walked up, and this was due in part to the debris in front of the door, and in part to something I couldn’t put my finger on… so, despite my hesitation, and standing there debating, I shrugged it off, and pushed the doorbell.  I could hear a noise inside the house, so I waited, and after a bit, pushed the button again.  Suddenly a scraping noise over my head made me look up… and in the window over the door, peering down at me was a one eye and a mop of matted hair.  I did not make that pitch.

But 99% of the other folk were, if not open to our message, at least polite and accepting in their attitude.

Federal Liberal Party of Canada - Pitt Meadows Maple Ridge Riding - BobBlahBlah.comThe same cannot be said for SOME of the overzealous volunteers of other political parties.

Our riding has a large area to it… almost as long as its unwieldy name: ‘Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission’

We were fortunate that we had volunteers spanning the entire riding.

I live in Pitt Meadows, in an area between Hammond Road and the Golden Ears Bridge.  So that is where I put signs out.

The lawn signs are each worth about $4.00, including the metal wire, and the plastic bag sign.

For the 10 days before the election, I would go out in the evening, and put out signs, and in the morning, they were gone.

Yes, in some cases a passerby would pull up a sign, and fling it in the bushes.

But I am talking about a concerted effort to pull up, collect the signs and cart them away… by (probably) two people in a pickup truck.

In those ten days, we probably lost close to 200 signs.  That would be a few hundred pounds of signs.

After the third loss, I stopped reporting it to the police, because that was a waste of my time, and they have more important things to do.

But it was frustrating.

One time, as I was putting up signs, a neighbour, who lives less than a stone’s throw from me, told me “I wouldn’t bother if I was you… we don’t want those &%@#%ing signs around here.”  He obviously didn’t recognize me, as I was wearing a hat, and had my coat collar up, due to the rain… but I thought it was sadly indicative of the descent into an “us vs them” mentality.

I can remember my Dad, who worked for CBC Radio, having blazingly heated discussions with MLA’s, over policy and issues… and then they would go out to dinner together… but that was 30 years ago.

Today, there seems to be a diminishing respect for anyone wearing a different colour shirt, campaign button or having different ideals.

There are 36 days worth of stories, and I may tell more, as I unwind from this very intense and focused experience, but I came away from this chapter of my life, 25 lbs lighter, with some very good friends,  and having a lot of fun experiences that I will remember my whole life.

I was lucky enough to be at a point in my life that I could, with my wife’s help and blessing, put aside my clients and other obligations, and dive into this experience headlong.

It was awesome, and if you get the chance, get involved in a campaign.

It is a TON of fun !!!

 

 

 

Halloween in Pitt Meadows…

Hallowe’en is the “event” Holiday, that we look forward to all year.

Lorie and I don’t have kids, but we start to get excited in the weeks leading up to October 31st.

Our neighbourhood is (IMHO) pretty cool, with more houses participating than not.

Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.comFor years, it has never worked out that we could take pictures and “talk” about what we do… but with the date falling on a Sunday, we and many of our neighbours took the opportunity to set up on Saturday… rather than the traditional try to get it all done before the first Trick or Treater arrives !!!

The basis of the decor starts with a machine which we got a few years ago… which makes a light flicker, based on the amount of noise.  So we have this machine, along with a CD Player, blasting spooky Hallowe’en sounds out an upper window, and lights strung all through our house, and into the garden, so the whole House flickers.Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.com

The porch is draped in tattered curtains, which Lorie made out of cheese cloth which she tea stained, spray painted and lovingly slashed into spooky tattered shreds.

Next we hang pumpkin lights,blinking peeper eyeballs, bats and assorted other Hallowe’en lights.

Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.comGravestones, screaming heads, skulls and ghosts hang in the garden adjacent to the stairs, behind a mist of fog from the fog machines.  Caution tape keeps the faint of heart at bay.Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.com

In the bushes, an old geezer (mannequin) with ax in hand, lurks to startle the child absorbed in counting their candy…

All around the neighbourhood, folks put similar effort into their Hallowe’en decor… some going the Scary Clown/Ghoul route… and others going the way of kid friendly inflatable Pumpkins and Ghosts.

Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.com Hope everyone has a great night !!!

Eat… drink… and be scary !!!

Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.com Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.com
Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.com Halloween in Pitt Meadows - Our Neighbourhood - BobBlahBlah.com

 

 
 

 

Under Blogstruction…

Hello, and welcome to the Headway version of the BobSongs Blog.

You will notice that things are moved, colours are changed… Everything is just a little different !!!

In order to better integrate my BobSongs website… http://www.BobSongs.com with this Blog, I felt it was time for a spring clean/make-over.

I have heard excellent things about the Headway Theme for WordPress, and I have to say, just an hour in, I’m loving it !

Foolishly, I’ve started doing this during a busy time… but I was eager to jump in !

So I hope you will bear with me, it will probably be a few days before I write any new Posts, and I’ll be trying to get the Blog “up to snuff” as soon as I can.

In the meantime, please do take a look through the archives, and check out the Post below, for some great Tweeps to follow on Twitter !

Happy Easter !!!

Befuddled…

I am sitting at my desk, about six different windows open, on my two computer screens… and I am befuddled.

I have been blogging for a few months now, on and off… but only in the past few days have I had an opportunity to actually get into the nuts and bolts of WordPress, and have the combination of time and courage necessary, to start messing with my Blog.

Dusty Keyboard
Dusty Keyboard

I don’t know if it was my connection timing out, or what happened… but previously, I had made an attempt to change a Theme… and although I spent a few hours on it… nothing was different.  There was some sort of error messgae that kept coming up, and so I put it away, and didn’t try it again, until this weekend.

NOW I’m hooked !!!

Must have more widgets… Oh… adjustable width !!!  More pages… How do I use the calendar ?!? 

I LIKE it !!!

I am trying to poke, and experiment… prod, and try stuff, in hopes that when I encounter someone who really KNOWS what they are doing, that I can use the correct “lingo” to describe what my issues are !!!

That is, in my estimation, the biggest problem with technology…

The Folks who design a System, don’t take into account that someone like me, doesn’t know what they call stuff.  Thus, the manual that comes with MOST software, is useless, because unless you know (for example) that a point in a line where it changes velocity is called a NODE… you can’t look it up in the index !!!

Thus, I am sitting at my computer, early on a Monday morning… befuddled and bemused.

I’m not really sure what I’m doing… but I believe my blog is better looking today than it was yesterday… so my baby steps are moving me forward !!!

Now, I wonder what a category is…

Hmmmm….