Jan 30, 2015

VIDEO | Puppy

PETS | Undercover

Graham and Erin Hart's dog Sonny reminds us of Linus from the Peanuts comic strip as he peeks from under his blankie.

Graham is the oldest son of my life long friends Heather and Doug MacNeil.  Doug and I were both neighbours and high school pals. We have been BFF's ever since.

Jan 29, 2015

YOU | More Birthday Boys & Girls

We've got plenty of birthdays going on this month, including another Big 6-0, this time to our buddy Christopher Haynes. Chris' partner Kyle arranged a surprise party a week prior to the actual day of his birthday, meaning it truly was an unexpected surprise.

Our Brantford friend David Bailey looks great at 58.  We particularly like the comparison photos Dave posted on his facebook page. The first shows him with a doggie when he was a kid and the second pix is more recent.

Ken Garrett is looking fashionably wonderful as ever on his birthday and what can we say about our friend Kerri Thomson-Fortier. She just keeps getting better looking each day.

And it's hard to believe that our buddy Dale Eckert turns 14 on January 29th.

Happy Birthday to all of you and to those we missed in our post.

Ok so here's the connection between our birthday people and Ken.

I met Kerri Thomson-Fortier when we both worked at Troll Book Clubs, in the same department even (I was her supervisor) Kerri lives in Niagara Falls with her cat, Maggie, who looks very much like my cat JJ.

Roxanne Rinaldi (seen in our masthead) is another former Troll Book Club employee. We partied outside of work with pals Becky Lee & Terry Garner, I was "Charlie" and they were my "Angels"

David Bailey I met through his husband Jim [Triemstra] and I had met Jim when he lived in Niagara and hung out with some of the same friends and "animals" as I did.

Ken Garrett hung out at the local LGBT clubs in Niagara, like Gustos and Club Rendevouz, so we met through these places.  Our big joke was that we have the same first name but that's where the similarity ends, as I'm very short while he's quite tall.

Chris Haynes worked at a graphic design studio above William J's Dining Lounge, where I was a waiter and bartender. Chris and his colleagues would come down for lunch and libations, and some weeks, come payday, many were forking over much of their hard-earned money paying off their bar tabs, extended to them by William J's manager Fred.

Dale Eckert is Ginny Eckert's son and Ginny and I worked together at William J's (and then Gustos) and were also roommates for a while, sharing our home with many cats and a crazy canine named Poppy.

Jan 28, 2015

PETS | Like "Father", Like "Son"

My little pal Timmi had to go to the vet's almost 2 weeks ago. He had impacted, infected anal glands. The dirty deed was taken care of by the vet and techs and I took him home with a 10 day supply of an anti-biotic and an appointment to check his progress a week later.

The follow-up visit was last Friday. His left gland had to be expressed again, but otherwise he looked good.  A few days later, Timmi started "scooching" on the mat and floor, Other times he wouldn't walk. He'd start, but then stop and sit down again. 

To make the behaviour even more perplexing, Timmi was fine each morning when we did our walks.... walking normally, doing his "poopies", all was right with the world.

Then we'd get back inside and Timmi is once again scooching and sitting and licking. WTF!?  I booked another appointment with the vet.  After I explained to Dr. Hobbs what was going on, she took Timmi to the back to check things out.  There was some good news.  His glands were fine and there was no sign of infection.

During Timmi's first visit, they had to shave his hind end, so Dr. Hobbs thinks it could be itchy because the fur is growing back in.  She scissor trimmed a few pieces of fur and applied some cortisone cream.  I was told I too can use cortisone cream on his butt and apply cool compresses.

When Dr. Hobbs was giving her diagnosis to me, she joked that Timmi is a bit "delicate". I said he's neurotic. She said there was no charge for that.

Even the receptionist knows Timmi. When the patient and I returned to the waiting area and I told her what we discovered, she referred to him as a "drama queen".

I guess it is actually true. Pets really do take after their owners.


YOU | Master of the Shop


Deryk Nault is becoming a Photoshop pro as we see in these pix he created and posted on his facebook page.

Deryk loves Godzilla and we love his salute to the big guy with his Godzilla's throughout the years.

Visit Deryk's new facebook page:  DERYK'S PHOTOSHOP PICTURES CLICK HERE

I met Deryk when I was with Rob. Deryk is Rob's nephew. 



KIDS | Great at 8

First time parents Jenn and Sean Young are documenting many of their son Sam's growing moments via photos.

We particularly like the photos Jenn posts that include adorable Sam beside a picture frame the indicates how many months old he is and a little toe-tasting is always a hit with Scribbles friends!

I worked with Jenn's mom Connie at Talk Wireless. Jenn would sometimes drop by and got her Blackberry's through us. We hit it off right away. With Jenn's bubbly personality, who wouldn't?  


Jan 25, 2015

PICTURE PERFECT | Photos by Sarah Toner

With things like having to shovel, scrape off your car and extreme cold alerts, it can often be pretty difficult to show much lovin' for winter.

Then you get moments like these photos by Sarah Toner of Renfrew. A moment when you stop and see the beauty in nature, no matter what the season. 

Great photos Sarah, makes me want to put on my winter gear and go for a walk in the country.

Sarah and her husband Dan live in Renfrew and are good friends of my cousin Jeanne. I met Sarah and Dan through Jeanne and whoa, the parties we had."Go Rooster, Go Rooster!"


Jan 24, 2015

IN MEMORIAM | Remembering Raina

Our sincerest sympathy goes to our friend Becky Lee whose beloved French bulldog, Raina passed away on Jan. 22nd.

When Raina's sibling Poupay went to doggie heaven several years ago, Becky adopted a little brother for her named Preston.

Although the new little guy was full of energy, Raina kept him in line, letting him know that no matter how amusing his young pup antics were, she was still the "leader of the pack".

Even in her senior years, Raina loved spending time at the cottage Becky's family have, located on Pappineau Lake in Eastern Ontario.

And why not?  The cottage "Maggie's Cove" (named in  honour of Becky and her siblings mother Margaret) was everything a canine could ask for. A crystal clear lake, a sandy beach, boating, swimming, walks in the woods and chipmunks too!

Even my now aging dog Timmi was once a Maggie's Cove fan, actually tolerating all the other dogs that were usually on hand for "Girl's Weekend's" at the cottage. Fun-filled weekends that Raina (affectionately known as "Rainee") always enjoyed and was such a major part of.

Becky, I understand why you referred to this as one of the hardest days of your life.

Each pet is unique and each bond between pet and human parents have their own memorable stories.

It's that unconditional, special bond that all pet fans can relate to, even those who didn't get the pleasure of meeting Raina in person ....and at times like this, it's that profound lost felt, when suddenly that relationship comes to an end, that we can sadly also relate too.

Raina was an amazing dog with a loving, caring mom and lots of admirers. What amazing tales she must be sharing with Poupay and her new friends in pet heaven now.

Rest in peace Ms. Raina.  My condolences "Grace", "Mary", Tys, Michael,  Preston & Ram.



Going To The Dogs

This classic Scribbles Video was recorded in November 2005. It features Timmi enjoying a play day with other dogs which includes Raina and Poupay.

I met Becky Lee when we both worked at Troll Book Clubs. We became best friends right away and have remained that way ever since.

Jan 23, 2015

IN MEMORIAM | John Larocque - Radio Announcer

photo courtesy THE STANDARD
by Don Fraser -The Standard

John Larocque, known as local radio's "Mayor of the Morning" has died.

Larocque, who had Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, passed away on January 17th at age 79 at Linhaven Home in St. Catharines.

His wife Eleanor describes Larocque as a "great ambassador for the city".

"I am still getting over the years, from people that I know — or didn't know — they'd come up with these little comments: 'I remember when John did this for me, or I wanted special music played or tickets for something."

"And he always managed to come through and help them. It's been so wonderful to hear those things," she said.

Larocque was born in Williamstown, Ont., married Eleanor in 1957, then moved to Hamilton as CKOC radio morning man.

In 1965, he accepted the same position at CKTB-AM in St. Catharines and six years later moved to nearby CHSC-AM as a morning talk host.

In 1971, Larocque became the AM morning man, where he remained until semi-retirement in 1996.

He was a tireless supporter of St. Catharines and known for attending every local event of note, said his former colleague Ted Yates.

"Everyone knew who John Larocque was," said Yates, who himself started at CHSC in 1977 and later became its program and music director. "He was a radio legend in this area."

"I remember going once into a grocery store for a promotion and everyone from the cashier to the customers all said 'hi John', and they all knew who he was.'"

Larocque was awarded the Rotary Club's Paul Harris Fellow honour, St. Catharines Canada 125 Medal in 1993, St. Catharines Citizen of the Year in 1997 and in 2003, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

He had volunteered at countless events, including the Folk Arts Festival, Grape and Wine Festival and United Way.

"He would emcee anything that anybody wanted him to emcee," said Yates. "He was just so plugged into the community."

St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley was an longtime friend of Larocque.

Larocque also ran unsuccessfully against the Liberal incumbent Bradley for the Progressive Conservatives in 1981.

"John was real class act, the campaign was totally clean," said Bradley. "We started out as friends, we finished as friends and had a lot of fun in the campaign.

"It was back in the day when campaigns were clean and there weren't personal shots."

"Really a great guy," said Bradley, who has known Larocque's family for years. "All the information you wanted to know about what was going in St. Catharines was available through John Larocque.

"He had such a strong personal following and listenership and was involved in many charitable and volunteer organizations."

He will be missed very much."

CKTB's morning host Tim Denis, who also knew Larocque, recounts his well-known radio gregariousness. "He knew everyone's name and made sure he covered every local event," said Denis. "He was class through and through, always had time to talk and was the voice that thousands associate with real local radio."

Larocque is also survived by children Carrie, Dave, Chris and many extended family members.

Eleanor recalls a comment from son Dave, after Larocque's death.

"He said 'when going to school, the kids would say 'what's it like having your dad somebody who's famous and well known?

"David would say 'he's just my dad," Eleanor recalled.

That's when David realized, his dad was also more than that.

"When (David) wanted a special piece of music played or be wished happy birthday, John would have the inside source to get those things," she said with a laugh.



LAROCQUE, John Edgar - February 2, 1935- January 17, 2015 Passed away at Linhaven Home after a lengthy illness. Beloved husband of Eleanor for 57 years. He will be greatly missed by his children Carrie (Rob) Di Risio, Dave (Bob Franks), Chris (Julie) and grandchildren Elena, Michael, Nicholas and Marisa Di Risio and Patrick and Charlie Larocque.

He was an enthusiastic supporter of St. Catharines, volunteering at hundreds of events: Folk Arts Festival, Grape and Wine Festival, United Way and the Childrens Centre being just a few. He was awarded the Rotary Club's Paul Harris Fellow honour, St. Catharines Canada 125 Medal in 1993, St. Catharines Citizen of the Year in 1997, Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003.

He was fondly referred to as the "Mayor of the Morning" during his years as announcer with CKTB and CHSC radio. He loved spending summers at his cottage with family and friends; sadly those years were few. We are extremely grateful to the caring staff on the Dalhousie unit at Linhaven.

In lieu of flowers
, memorial donations to Church of St. Columba, the Alzheimer Society of Niagara or the Steve Ludzik Centre for Parkinson's Rehab would be appreciated by the family. On-Line Guest Book- www.georgedartefuneralhome.com

The Day I Met John Larocque

When I worked at Troll Book Clubs I entered our office in a contest at radio station CHSC. Each week John Larocque selected the business of the week and that company would receive a visit from Larocque, along with pizza, pop and the notoriety that you were the business of the week.

I was thrilled when John picked our workplace as that week's winner and wanted to do something quirky when he would come to the office. I put on a rubber Troll head and when John Larocque got out of the CHSC van, I greeted him at the entrance, waving my arms, while calling out to him "Welcome, Welcome".  

As you can see by this classic photo, Larocque had fun pretending to strangle Troll man and I'm betting he would have a tale to tell when he returned to the station later on that day.

The building that once housed CHSC was torn down earlier this month and a few days later John Larocque passed away.  


Jan 20, 2015

SCRIBBLES ENCORE VIDEO | Ken's Simpsons Collection

In case you missed it when we debuted the video 'Ken's Simpsons Collection' in May of last year, here's an encore presentation.

We get a good look at 25 years of Simpsons stuff, from the very first plush Bart that someone gave Ken, to the last characters he added to the collection a few years ago.

I wonder how much my collection would be worth? I know if they were all in their original packages they'd be worth a lot, but even without their boxes, I think they might still be worth a few bucks. Anyone interested?


Hazel and her late husband Maynard were friends with my mom and dad. Hazel has three sons and I remember when I was a kid, our families would get together at their place for the best BBQ's around. Today Hazel lives with her kitty Mr Boots, not far from where I now live. When Hazel has a computer problem, I'm her teckie.

Jan 19, 2015

VIDEO | 'Wichita Lineman' by Glen Campbell

A treasured moment featuring Glen Campbell at the height of his career.  Although it was  'Rhinestone Cowboy' that made Campbell a household name, it will always be this song that Scribbles enjoys the most.

This one makes me smile, yet makes me a bit sad at the same time.

Jan 15, 2015

Jan 14, 2015

PETS | Two Pets, Two Illnesses, One Month & a Crazed Daddy

OY VAY!  First we had JJ with his urinary tract issues and now things got evener shittier as Timmi had blocked anal glands.  I've spent more time (and money) at Hartzel Animal Hospital this month, than I have in the past year. 

I want to thank my facebook friends who offered ideas, links and info. 

I did take Timmi to PetSmart before the vet's, but one look and they said, no way to doing an external expressing of the glands.  And it was nice of PetSmart to not charge a service fee for looking at my dog's swollen ass and not making a sale from it. 

Thank you also goes to Hartzel Animal Hospital for always treating me and my "babies" with kindness and respect.

Timmi will be taking a medication twice daily for a week and will be seeing the vet for complimentary follow-up visit next Friday.


YOU | 26th Anniversary for Kelly & Brian


The Best Parents Ever


I have been privileged to witness all 26 years of my parents marriage (I'll be 27 in April wink wink), and every year they continue to inspire, and awe me.

I have witnessed my parents strength as husband and wife through love, happiness, sadness, heart break and disaster.

It's been such a privilege to be your daughter and have such strong role models in my life, because of you I am the stubborn, loving (most of the time), caring, compassionate, loyal person you have taught me to be.

It's been an honor to share your guidance and strength with Zack for 21 years, and my honorary brother Nathan for 8 years.

You are the parents that all kids hope to have, you are the couple that all lovers hope to be and you both are the pillars of support that every family wishes it had.

Happy 26th anniversary to the best parents ever. ♡ 01.12.89 - 01.12.15

When I Met Kelly and Brian
by Ken Leavoy

I met Kelly & Brian Duguay when we all worked at HoJo's.  Actually Scribbles has many loyal friends who we first met there and I'm sure they'd agree with me, it was a pretty wild and crazy place at times.

One of my most memorable HoJo moments was when I was the assistant manager on the midnight shift. Right after the bar's in the area would close, people would flock to HoJo's to eat, try to sober up and (for some) be absolute idiots.

I must admit, me standing at the entrance of the restaurant, in my Sears boys dept. suit wearing my HoJo name tag.....well, not exactly too threatening. So on weekend "bar rushes" people would often move tables and put chairs or tables up to the booths (a big no-no, as it is a fire hazard.), cut into line, throw stuff to other tables. It was like a scene from National Lampoon's Animal House and I had little control over it.

That is until Brian Duguay stepped in. Brian was a bouncer at Faces, the bar next door to HoJo's. It was arranged that when he finished up at Faces, he would come next door to the restaurant.

I remember vividly, Brian asking me what it was I needed him to do. My reply? "Just sit right there", pointing to the seat at the entrance to the restaurant.

And that's all it took. By Brian being there keeping an eye on the place, everyone behaved themselves. I gave him all the food and beverages he could desire.....it was a total win/win situation.

One of the many MANY crazy things that happened at HoJo's, a place right out of the Twilight Zone but one I'm so glad I got to experience. 

Jan 12, 2015

SCRIBBLES mini VIDEO | From the Cat's "Purr-spective"

A big thank you to my pals Mikol, Dave and Lorenzo, for an enjoyable dinner/movie night.

Here's a Scribbles mini video, taken from Mikol & Dave's cats point of view.

I met Mikol when we both worked and partied at The New Vouz. I met Dave through Mikol. Lorenzo is also friends of Mikol and Dave's and was once their next door neighbour and now I'm happy to say he's a Scribbles friend too.

Jan 9, 2015

YOU | Creating That "One-on-One" Atmosphere

Dale Betts can't use traffic jams or bad weather as reasons not to be able to go to work, now that he has opened a hair salon in his home. This change comes after Dale spent almost 3 decades working at a local salon, which makes it even more exciting to see our pal finally branch out on his own.

Scribbles had a chance to catch up with Dale [between setting up shop and booking appointments]  for an exclusive online interview.

SCRIBBLES: "How long have you been a stylist?"

DALE:  "I started cutting hair in my late teens, my mother used to cut our hair at home as kids, then my sister went to hairdressing school and would practice on me, so I think I picked up a lot interest back then, then I started working in a salon about 29 years ago!"

SCRIBBLES: "What inspired you to start your own home business?"

DALE: "Cutting hair for almost 30years brought me to a point where I wanted to take my vision of hair design in my own direction. I want to create a "on on one" atmosphere with my clients, where we can actually have a visit as well as a service."

SCRIBBLES: "What do you think will make your home salon different than others?"

DALE: "I don't aspire to be different than any other salon, I just want to create a comfortable pleasant experience when my client gets a nessessary service like hair cutting, and hair coloring."

SCRIBBLES: "Will you be working alone or will you also have other stylists or shampoo-ers etc.?"

DALE: "I will be working alone to create that "one on one" atmosphere."

Thanks for taking the time for this interview Dale. Scribbles is thrilled that you have a new home salon and we just know you're going to do great.

My friendship with Dale has a rather unique beginning to it, but for the sake of privacy, we'll just say... Dale was friends with Ginny Eckert, who I met when I worked at William J's. Ginny worked in the kitchen and Dale would come to pick her up after her shift.  Dale and I were roommates for a while and then so were Ginny and I. Some of our Scribbles Connections are very different, this one probably tops the list.

HUMOUR | The Amazing Kendini's Predictions for 2015

Bravely standing in the face of a frigid winter cold front, Scribbles Psychic The Amazing Kendini blows excessive hot air, as he reveals his predictions for 2015.

The Amazing Kendini, a parody psychic, first appeared in Scribbles in the mid 80’s. At that time, tabloid The National ENQUIRER featured bizarre predictions from world renown psychics, at the beginning of each new year. If it was good enough for the ENQUIRER, it was worth Scribbles Magazine spoofing. 

The Kendini moniker was inspired by a nickname a co-worker at the Old Bank Restaurant had dubbed me....”The Amazing Kendini”. Although our pal Darcy Baker was referring to my waiter and bartending skills, we decided it would also make a good name for our psychic.

When interviewed in 1986 and asked how he came up with his predictions, Kendini told Scribbles, “First I consult the stars. Then I check weather conditions. Research helps too, but mostly I just make things up.”

With that in mind, The Amazing Kendini will now dust off his crystal ball (which looks suspiciously like an old door knob) and tell us what he sees for the months ahead...

She might have a “Blank Space” right now, but pop megastar Taylor Swift will turn heads when she is frequently seen with teen Canadian heartthrob Shawn Mendes.  Swift will co-write a new album for Mendes, call it 1998 –the year Shawn was born, and market it with her #1 album 1989.
A bizarre underwater storm will cause entire continents to shift and relocate. Remarkably, no one will be injured or die, as the storm’s epicenter will be beneath the oceans grounds, causing places like Hawaii and Australia to swift locations. In Canada, Newfoundland will also be effected by the storm, floating toward the U.K. but it will be weeks before the island’s residents realize it.
Apple will reinvent itself again, with the launch of its new iHand product. Similar to an iPhone, users will have a chip implanted in the palm of their hand, turning it into a smartphone.  The iHand will be waterproof, feature a 20 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, wifi and all the apps and functions associated with an iPhone. Accessories will include iHear headphones, where users stick their fingers in their ears to listen to music and videos. Unfortunately, as it is an Apple device, the iHand will not have expandable memory nor will it have a USB port.  

Holographic technology will soar to new heights, bringing an all-star group of deceased singers together in concert. The show will become a huge new attraction in Vegas and will include the combined talents of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin, Freddie Mercury, John Lennon and just added to the tour, Joe Cocker.

Gas will continue to plunge in price, causing concerned oil producers to team up with car companies to create larger, gas-guzzling vehicles. TV character Homer Simpson will be asked to create the prototype for the extra large automobiles, which will be sold for less than $5000. Fully loaded with lots of leg space, the Homer car comes complete with a piece of duct tape to cover the flashing "check engine" light. Millions of the large cars will be sold within days of going on sale. 

A major shake-up will occur with the U.S. TV networks, after FOX and NBC merge into one company. The new network will crossover characters and stars from existing shows which will attract millions of new viewers. The move will infuriate the other two major networks who will join forces and call themselves ABCBS.

Life will imitate art, after a group of angry birds in Renfrew, Ontario will join forces and go into battle against rude pigs. Soon birds around the world will follow suit and pigs will go into hiding, causing an international shortage of pork products, especially bacon. (Stock up now my friend “Queen Bee!”)

A space satellite will travel off course and land on a small planet, never before seen in our solar system. Images from the planet will reveal signs of life, including a town called Whosville and a large elephant named Horton, whom the who’s idolize.

And finally... The crystal ball is shining particularly bright at the moment, must be a big prediction coming.... OK, I see it now.... I see our Scribbles pals and they are all going to have an amazing year. Yes, there will be days when things will be difficult, but the crystal is wise and it sees you being strong at those times. I see many days of happiness and love coming this year for everyone reading this.

 The Amazing Kendini’s crystal ball is starting to fade and has now gone dark. Will Kendini’s predictions become reality, let’s meet back here in 12 months and review :)