Category Archives: keeping busy

My adventure with standup comedy.

comedy club smallMy debut as a stand up comedy was a couple of weeks ago here on Hornby Island.  I am hesitant to write about it because I may generate more notoriety for myself. The experience further supports my feelings that I have found my Happy Place on Hornby Island like so many people here.

Our teacher was Jenny Brown who is a Hornby part-timer from Portland Oregon. She broke it down into simple steps and encouraged everyone regardless of how awkward they were. Stand up comedy is a lot like drawing…. people think they can’t do it,  but once it is broken down into steps it is do able by everyone.   The class started out with about 15 people which quickly dropped to 5 courageous souls.  webteaser 6

When people learned I was doing the comedy class the standard response was ‘’oh how scary”. It did not turn out to be scary at all. Once I got up on the stage and people started laughing at my reflections on life on Hornby I felt like I was on a roll.   It was just like joking around with friends which I do all the time. So the only difference was I had to stick to my script.

The downside to doing a public show is that people recognize me around town. I am used to going about my business in total anonymity.   I am still adjusting to my new found celebrity.. small as it is on the island. I have been deeply touched by the feedback I have had from people who recognize me and are so kind to tell me how much they enjoyed my comedy set. There was an audience of about a 100 which was a sell out for the venue and it raised money for someone getting a liver transplant.

I regret waiting to do this until I retired. I should have done it sooner.   Adventures abound close to home and you don’t have to fly to Zanzibar.  My adventures on Hornby have surpassed my Mexican and European adventures with the added advantage of not having to get on a plane or pass through customs. Don’t wait until you’re retired to get outside your comfort zone. Try it out for yourself like Theatersports on Granville Island in Vancouver and elsewhere.

Comedy graphics by Bee Wolf Ray

 

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Services around Hornby Island

One of the biggest challenges to living on the island is that most things are only open a couple of days a week and/or part of the day and there is no universal closing days or times. This can result in wasted trips. What I have done to get around this is until to take a picture on my phone of the sign on the door of places I visit. There are not many websites with opening and closing times. Times can vary by season with longer opening hours in the summer. There is a map that you receive on the Ferry with a list of services with location and hours. However a universal website would be of benefit to summer visitors. That said, because the cell coverage and WIFI is variable across the island, people tend to rely on word of mouth,  Facebook, signs poster on roads, paper and land lines.  I have included links to some of the services I have accessed that might be handy for other visitors.

The master site for Hornby Island is http://hornbyisland.com/ which includes links to accommodation, arts, events and transportation.

Accommodation

The range of accommodation is wide in terms of size and modern conveniences. Some cottages are without TV, laundry etc.   Some people rent out space on their properties for RVs and tents. Some rentals are done by word of mouth.  Many accommodation are posted on the Hornby Island Site with few if any listing on Airbnb. Booking is done by contacting the individuals listed as contact for the accommodation. Starting rentals are around $ 1500 a week to sleep 4-6 people over the summer months.   An availability calendar is available on the site. Booking in May for July/Aug is wise. Trip advisor is another site for booking accommodation as is Wind and Waves. Camping sites are at a premium. There is a beautiful campsite site at Heron Rocks under management of the Heron Rocks Camping Cooperative which is open to members and then non-members if space available. Phone: (250) 335-2670 as no website was found.

Transportation

Getting to and from Hornby Island is a lengthy process. Here is a typical schedule for a trip as a foot passenger from Vancouver to Hornby Island. If you are coming as a foot passenger there is an express bus from Downtown Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay. The Ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay at Nanaimo is about 1 hr 40 min.   Then you can pick up the Island link shuttle from Departure Bay to Buckley Bay.  Advance booking for the Island Link is necessary and can be done online.  From Buckley Bay you get the ferry to Denman Island. Then you have a 20 min drive to the ferry landing on the other side of Denman Island to pick up the ferry to Hornby Island. Each crossing is about 10 min. People travelling as foot passengers often approach travellers with cars to hitch a ride across Denman Island.  Seniors with a BC ID are free on Mon-Thurs but you still have to pay for your car.  The ferry fare on Hornby/Denman includes the return fare.

One should check the BC Ferries website up to an hour before leaving as ferries have been known to break down and not be replaced due to lack of availability of replacement ferries.  The Denman and Hornby Island operate on a schedule but will increase sailings if line-ups occur.

The Island Link shuttle will also stop on the highway next to the Nanaimo Airport and then it is a 5 -10 min walk to the departure terminal. You have to book to Ladysmith.

Here is a typical schedule for a walk on passenger from Vancouver.   Times can vary so check the schedules of Translink, BC Ferries and Island Link.   Taking your car requires advance booking on BC Ferries to ensure a spot on the ferry at your desired departure time. The ferry schedule for Denman/Hornby is different on some days of the week so close scrutiny of the schedule is warranted.

From Vancouver to Hornby        
depart Depart time arrive Arrival time fares
Granville and West Georgia downtown Vancouver bus 250 9:56 Horseshoe Bay 10:30 $ 1.85 senior
Horseshoe Bay BC Ferries 11:00 Nanaimo Departure Bay *free for seniors Tues-Thurs
Departure Bay -Island Link Shuttle Bus 1:00 Buckley Bay 2:10 $28.99
ferry Buckley bay-Denman Island 3:00 Denman 3:10 *
ferry Denman-Hornby Island 3:40 Hornby 3:50 *

Total travel time 6 hours

From Hornby to Vancouver      
depart Depart time arrive Arrival time
Ferry Hornby -Denman 10:00 Denman Island 10:10
ferry Denman-Vancouver Island 10:40 Buckley Bay 10:50
Buckley Bay Island link 11:20 Departure Bay 12:30
Departure Bay BC Ferries 1:15 horseshoe bay 2:55
Granville and West Georgia downtown Vancouver bus 257 3:15 Georgia and Granville downtown Vancouver 3:45

Flying from Vancouver into Comox Airport with Harbour Air is an option. There are 2 flights a day and prices range from $ 132-$ 199 depending on the day. This would require ground transport or water taxi to Hornby.   A site called Rome2rio.com gives a number of options to get to Hornby from Comox with the shortest being a 2 hour trip using a car from Comox Airport.  A Water Taxi service is available to/from Hornby and Buckley Bay $ 150, Comox Harbour ($175) as well as other destinations. Comox Water Taxi advertises Hornby to Comox in 35 min.

Services on Hornby

The location of most of the services listed here are on the visitor maps you receive on the ferry.

Laundry & Showers. Joe King Park Laundry takes 2 or 3 loonies per load. Water is cold unless you opt for the $ 3 loonie wash.  This is apparently for members.  How to get a membership is posted in the laundry room.

Computer access center Mon-Friday 10-4 near the school offers WIFi and printing but the WIFI coverage was intermittent when I used it.

Credit union Hornby Island Branch 2115 Sollans Rd      250.335-2326 Tue, Wed, Fri 9:30 to 3:00 and there is no ATM.

Co-op Store. You can find most things you need here both groceries and hardware. The website includes hours of the COOP, the  gas bar  and  businesses in the same location as the COOP and the Gas Bar.  There is an ATM there.

The Cove Store Has some groceries, marina, camping and cottages. 7:30 am ~ 9:30 pm everyday July and August  8 am ~ 8 pm everyday September to June

Medical Care Monday to Friday     9:30 am – noon and 1:30 – 4 pm

 The Library offers free computer access and wifi

Sun/Mon Closed
Tue 10am-12pm & 1pm-5pm
Wed 4pm-8pm
Thu 10am-12pm & 1pm-5pm
Fri 1pm-5pm
Sat 10am-12pm & 1pm-5pm

There is a summer bus.

Farmers Market Wed and Sat 11am -2 pm

Recycling/Free store The recycling depot is open from 9-1 Thursday to Sun (summer)  for vehicles but you can walk up the driveway to access the services during other hours. The free store is the place to find anything you forgot to bring with you. I have accessed warm clothes, scissors, a frying pan and ice cube trays. There is a great selection of books.  A friend recently scored a couple of Persian rugs and a radio in excellent condition.

Bank Machines are available at the COOP and the Thatch during opening hours. Many merchants only accept cash.

Cell phone coverage is variable but seems to be good around the library.

Arts/Entertainment

http://hornbyisland.com lists many events including concerts and movies.

Art Gallery shows and events: https://hornbyislandartscouncil.wordpress.com/

One of the major events on Hornby is a music festival Aug 1-10. www.hornbyfestival.com

Hornby Island Community Radio 96.55. The community radio station is one of the treasures of Hornby Island. The sad part is that it does not transmit beyond Hornby Island. However you can enjoy it while you are there. Multiple DJs have wide ranging tastes in music and deep knowledge of the artists and genres. You can support the station with an online membership.

Hornby Island has a unique natural history including rocks, marine life, fossils and birds. The natural history museum is only open during July and August, Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 3pm. It is well worth a visit before you go exploring.  It is on the corner of Central and Sollens in the school.

Fitness

https://www.sundooryoga.com/

New Horizons offers yoga and other activities for seniors. Chair yoga, book readings, and  The Kitchen runs 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) at 12:30 with meals by donation.

Cycling rentals- 250-335-0448 lucielemay@yahoo.com

Mountain Biking. A map of the mountain biking and walking trails in Mt Geoffrey Park can be purchased at the bike shop beside the CO-OP.

Kayaking

Hornby Ocean Kayaks

Denman Hornby Canoe &Kayaks

Walking trails are shown on the visitor’s maps you receive on the ferry.

Diving

There are a number of Facebook groups related to Hornby interests: Hornby Helps,  Word of Mouth and Hornby Island Buy and Sell.

The corruption of evidence-based medicine – Diet Doctor

http://blog.oxfordseminars.ca/our-grad-talks-about-tattooing-and-teaching-english-in-china/
For anyone thinking about a new career teaching English as a second language with low barriers to entry and opportunities for travel, this article tells you how to do it.

 

The internet, cell phones and ipads for beginners.

Information overload

The abundance of information on the internet can feel overwhelming at times. There is a tendency to spend a lot of time surfing the net and/or downloading files, editing files etc.  once you are on-line   As a result people can shut down from going online or else feel that it is too complex to use, especially if they have not gotten used to it over the years.  This may be true for some older people but many older people are very computer savvy.  I have one friend who is 68 and is a guru with Garage Band, a program that generates music scores on a computer screen and generates print outs of scores in different keys for different instruments.

Mobile Devices/hardware

Ipads

I just love my Ipad.  I have the Ipad mini which severed me well in my trip to Mexico. There are now Ipads that are cellular enabled so you don’t need to take an Iphone with you.  However that is just wishfully thinking as the phone is easier to carry around.  The new Ipad pro comes with a stylus for drawing programs which in on my wish list.

Cell phones

I can only speak about my iphones which I have been using since the Iphone4.  I  will list the useful apps I have on my phone and I pad  and what they do.  I especially like the transit apps for Translink in Vancouver and Google Maps.

Here is the highest rated phone on Amazon.

function name of app ipad iphone purpose frequency of use
          3 = daily, 2 = weekly, 1 < weekly
entertainment scrabble x x play on line 3
entertainment CBC radio x listen on line 1
entertainment twitter x x read on line 3
entertainment Facetime x x talk on line 1
entertainment skype x x talk on line 1
entertainment Vancouver Public Library x read on line 1
entertainment overdrive x download from library, read on line 3
entertainment brainHQ x play on line 2
entertainment clarient tuner x x play on line 1
entertainment Itunes x download 1
entertainment optik TV x TV guide telus 3
entertainment Facebook x x read on line 3
finances Inverstorline BMO x x read on line 1
finances Vectorvest stock advisory (paid) x x read on line 1
health pacer x track steps 3
health my ehealth x x view lab tests on line 1
travel pay by phone x pay on line 2
travel BMO account access x x read on line 2
travel Hangtag x read on line 1
travel transit360 x way finding 2
travel findmycar x way finding 1
travel airline apps x x pay on line 1
travel google maps x x way finding 2
utilities roboform x x keeps passwords 2
utilities weathernetwork x x weather 3
utilities email x x read on line 3
utilities drop box x x save files 1
utilities daily notes x x keeps notes 1
utilities flashlight x view things in the dark 1
utilities magnifier 30x x enlarge print 1
utilities google drive x x safe files 1
utilities wordpress x x post to blog 1
seldom used
instagram
youtube
pinterest
linked in
kindle

Ipod

The chief value of the ipod that I can listen to music, the radio or pod casts and the battery doesn’t run down as fast as the battery in the iphone so you can listed for a couple of hours.

Navigating the internet

Site functions value
Facebook Set up your account. personal site created by you, open to viewing by  your friends by adding them.  You can upload pictures or links to other sites. 5/5  Good way to stay connected with friends and family or special interest groups.  Easy to use.
Twitter  Set up your account.

Brief news feeds from selected organizations or individuals.

 3/5. Kind of a time waster but fascinating none-the-less.  Nothing required of you unless  you want to retweet a feed to your followers. Easy to use.
Instagram Download to Iphone to post pictures.  Need to set up an account 1/5 It seems popular with younger people.  It could work as a photo album. You can share with selected people.
Skype Download the program to computer, tables or phone. You can talk over the internet with a webcam and it is free to chat with people everywhere for free or minimal cost. 4/5 Very useful for staying in touch with friends and family.
Facetime  Like Skype but for MACs and IPads and Ipods  5/5 Easier to use than Skype.
Pinterest  A web site with a lot of eye candy, especially food, fashion and pets.  You can post and view others posts. 1/5 Popular with a certain demographic but not very useful.  The recipe pictures are several clicks away from the recipes. Very annoying
YouTube view short videos about many things, including music, how to videos including many videos about computer instructions.  You can save videos if you set up and account. 3/5 Entertainment, some self help.  I don’t use this more than once a week.

Downloading and uploading music- Itunes

Undercover TouristIf you want to have music or the spoken word while you walk or run, you will want to download files from your computer and/or from Itunes  and upload it to your phone or ipod. You need your Apple ID and password to download.  You can also download audio books and podcasts.  The Itunes app will need to be installed on your computer and Iphone and and is free to use. However downloading music from Itunes costs about $ 1.00 per tune downloaded.  You have to set up an Itunes account if you want to buy files to download.    Itunes used to be easy to use but over the past couple of years it seems to be less user friendly.  Apple is moving to a paid music subscription service call Spotify   which is $10.00 a month so you can download as much music as you want.  Once you download files to your computer into the Itunes program, the music will synch with your iphone and ipod by plugging the iphone or ipod into the computer USB port.   You can also synch files on your computer via wifi or download files to your iphone directly from the Itunes app on your iphone.

Photos- uploading and downloading.

There are many packages for uploading photos and some are more complex than others.  The easiest way is to install Icloud on your PC and IPhone.  This takes about 5 minutes.  You need your Apple ID and password to download the software from the Apple Store.  Once it is set up on your PC you can choose what kind of files you want synched across your devices.   Having you email and bookmarks synched on all your devices is a must have.  I give Icloud a 4/5 but sometimes it stops working and you have to sign out and sign in again or restart or computer.

Password protection/software

My favourite software for saving passwords is  RoboForm.  I have used it for over 5 years and it is free. It saves all your passwords on your PC, your IPhone and Ipad and synchs them all.  It is quick and easy to install.  When you log into a site it presents you with the option to automatically save the password if it has not been previously saved.  And if the password has been saved you click on the name of the password and it will automatically fill in the password.  The whole system can be password protected.  This software gets a 5/5 from me.

Shopping.. some of my favourite things.

Securing your back pack

I have found that backpacks often slip off my shoulders and I have found a solution to this problem.   There are two parts to the solution.  One is a clip that attaches to the front strap of your backpack and the other is this handy bungee cord like device that clips on to the other strap. The bungee cord is adjustable to the width of your straps.

This is what is looks like on my backpack.    I have added a second miniclip but it is not necessary. 

Seniors Discounts

There are several sites that list seniors discounts in Vancouver.  It’s a bit cumbersome to sort through them all but here they are in the order of the number of places listed.

Vancouver BC

Frugal Vancouver

411seniors

Home To Home

Across Canada

Across Canada

CARP.   CARP offers many discounts to members, including 25% off some car rentals and numerous hotel discounts in Canada.  One year membership is $ 20.00.  They also have a list of discounts across Canada open to non-CARP members.

USA.  You can search by city and state.

Australia – State of Victoria has a searchable database of discounts in their area.

Skin Care

This is my favourite line of skin care products.  As I get older I find my skin is drying out.  CeraVe Moisturizers, Moisturizing Cream. This product contains hyaluronic acid which is used in some of injection fillers.   I would say that the research on this product is still in progress but I found one study that showed improvement in the appearance of skin over 3 months.  I just find that it makes my skin feel better.

Backpacks

This is a link to my favourite backpacks Beside-U  They come with multiple inside pockets so you can find pens, bus passes, glasses, iPhones etc. quickly. Be careful to check the size as there are some packs that are too small for groceries but are a good substitute for a purse.  The Nanette is on my wish list as it is big enough for a few groceries and has side pockets for an umbrella, gloves, sun glasses etc. Here is my comparison of some of the Beside-U backpacks that I think are big enough for a few groceries. Although they are expensive, shipping is Free.

link Side pockets Size Lx H x D Cost
Alloy 2 28 x 40 x 14 $135
Nanette 2 26 x 38 x 15 $135
Hornchurch 1 open, 1 zip 29 x 38 x 14 $125
Liza 2 29.5 x 37.5 x 14 $135
Mya 1 29 x 35 x 13 $150

 Walking Poles

Below are the Walking Poles with the best customer reviews from Amazon that ship to Canada.   These three models are collapsible and carbon fiber and range from $ 53.00-$ 60.00  US plus about $30.00 shipping and duty if shipping to Canada for about a bill of $80-90 US.

Every pole user needs shoes!  Save up to 50% on NEW Markdowns – ABEO, Dansko, Raffini, ECCO, Taos + more!

Ok you are ready to go!!
Tours4Fun

A review of books about retirement.

Ok lets start by reading about it.

Here is a list of books recommended by another blogger Pat Doyle.  You can click on the link to open the link in Amazon.com or other sites where I found the book.

Designing Your Life.by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans., 4 star.   Based on the Design Thinking approach but geared more towards finding your right career.  It can be reapplied to retirement life as it’s actually very similar to how I approached new life design in retirement, being a product designer myself!  I also liked this book as did the Retirement Wisdom reviewers.  When the book finally arrived after about a month I found I liked it the best of all the books I read.  ♥♥♥♥♥

Don’t Retire, Rewire! by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners.  ♥♥♥♥♥ A “how-to” on defining satisfaction drivers , separating skills and strengths (with examples), examples of others “accomplishments”, and a how-to guide for working through what in your work life was satisfied by your drivers and how to brainstorm possibilities.  Introduces interesting concept of 4 types of work: work for a wage, work for a fee, work for free, work for me.  I also liked this book.  I liked the categories of what you get out of work and how you can replicate the same “hierarchy of needs” outside of the work environment.  However I would add a Fun Factor to their list.  Right, many people don’t have fun at work so there are some value adds to retirement that you don’t get out of work.

The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun   This is my personal favourite although it’s not about retirement specifically.  The website has five 21 day projects that can take you over the hump while you are figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life.♥♥♥♥♥

The Joy of Retirement IMG_1487 (2015_11_20 04_23_36 UTC)by David C. Borchard.  5 star –  Lots of how-to for defining who you want to be in retirement and the lifestyle that will help you be that person.  Big sections on roles, talents, and values in defining your vision statement. Love the fact he does not assume where you will be on the continuum of working versus traditional leisure-based retirement. Combines easy to use tools as well as insightful examples of practical next steps.  Pat says she wishes she had read it sooner in her journey.  Borchard also offers his assessments on-line for $ 35 US.  I think the tests are included in the books so it would be cheaper to buy the book.  I tired the tests and found they were targeted at career planning more than retirement planning. According to the tests my Passion Distribution is Right Brain Creator and Left Brain Organizer which explains why I am doing a blog. I didn’t find the book or the tests as helpful as some of the books below.♥♥♥♥♥

I ran out of interest in reading about retirement after 3 books so the remaining books are as reviewed by Pat.

How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free.  by Ernie J Zelinski . 5 star – An easy-to-read conversational style.  Introduces the possibilities “get a life tree”; real people case studies (as opposed to all professional, CEO types),  focus on “leisure” (not work) so unique in that!♥♥♥♥♥

65 Things to Do When You Retire is in fact 65 interesting essays about retirement from all kinds of people, on all kinds of topics, many very inspiring. edited by Mark Evans Chimsky.  ♥♥♥♥

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement, Second Edition: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future Some stuff on finances, but lots on health and happiness. Great background on core values, theory and application of happiness (positive psychology), and practical how-to especially on self reflection and life portfolio.  ♥♥♥♥

Now What? Know who you are , Get what you want. By Laura Berman Fortgang.  Easy style, how-to-process!   Focus is on second career or what did you always want to do so you will be happy, but process can be reapplied to new retirement life situation (or even divorce)  Lots of exercises done as answering questions, but good, insightful questions versus generic “how do you feel about this?”♥♥♥♥

Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by Caroline Adams Miller and Dr Michael Frisch –  helpful in creating your “life list” beyond traditional bucket lists with “things to accomplish” or “ways to live” thinking.♥♥♥♥

Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement by Nancy Collamer. An in-depth look at part-time income stream possibilities with lots of resource connections (to get more information). Great for possibilities exploration.  Second half on self-reflection not as good as other books, but there.♥♥♥♥

The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together by Roberta K. Taylor and Dorian Mintzer.  3 star but is unique in that it talks about transitioning as a duo in life.  Covers all the big domains.♥♥♥

Here is another highly recommended book by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life reviewed by the website Retirement Wisdom.  Blanchard is a well known best selling author on many management topics. I have booked a download from the Vancouver Public Library e-books.  The Retirement Wisdom website also has a list of recommended retirement books.