Archives for: July 2006

07/31/06

Permalink 09:07:57 pm, by Email , 1263 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

GOING TOTALLY OFF TOPIC AGAIN... Cemetery lesson?

Okay, here I go again... this blog is SUPPOSED to be about my family's dream of rescuing a double-decker bus... but as somewhat usual, I'm going off topic... PLEASE, if you're interested in what our dream and goal is, please click here... we'd appreciate your support and help...

Now, that said...

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Addendum: August 1st, 2006 - 6:05 EDT: A few people I've told the story below to got a little fixated on the idea that the girl I speak of (my middle-stepling) is only interested in dying and leaving behind a big honkin' tombstone... That really wasn't my point... The point is, at the age of barely twelve, she decided that yes, she wants to be rich and yes, she wants to be remembered... but also learned that she can use her "chutzpah" to help those less fortunate. The story below is NOT strictly about the biggest anything... it's about being remembered... and doing good... and she's working towards both.

If you read it and still think it's strictly about having the biggest tombstone, then I failed in my conveyence... and I apologise... 'cuz that's not the point... that bit was a "means to an end", so to speak...

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I love cemeteries... and have a story about teaching one of my stepling's a lesson with my favourite...

I was listening to a radio show today where one of the hosts said that he had no ambitions to do something as a "legacy" after he's gone and it made me think of a kinda nasty way I've "spurred" my daughters to greatness...

I take them to Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto.

It's one of the largest one's in the province... and it's a very "park like" place that also houses a huge arboretum... but it's also an enormous depository of the dead of all classes... since the mid-nineteenth century.

Before anyone thinks I'm weird for trucking around ossuaries, I've visited many around the world... you'll never get a better sense of history or society than visiting burial grounds... and although places like Pere LaChaise in Paris and Highgate in London are amazing... Mount Pleasant in Toronto is truly a park more than anything...

Here is the official cemetery link...
Here's a blog link with the historical plaque...
Here's the WikiPedia link...

Massey Tomb

I purposely take them by the "rich folks" tombs... they're usually huge... massive and oppulent. The Massey tomb is a four-storey castle as an example... the Eaton tomb is a two-story Greek temple as another... the list goes on... they are amazing to behold.

Eaton Tomb

During the walks, I talk to them about The Taj Mahal and how it's really just a tomb... and go through how people can come and go in life, but it's if/how they're remembered in death that shows the mark they made on the planet.

Taj Mahal

...then I take them to the scattering grounds...

It's a small, triangular shaped plot of land... no more than a few yards in length with two square marble "boxes" strategically placed in it. Adhered to the square are small plaques with a name and dates... nothing more.

This is for the paupers... the "John Does"... this is where you go if you can't afford a real plot or stone. Even the brass plates are "temporary" and not mandatory... they cost $35.00 and are put on the monuments and left there until space runs out... then they're taken off and recycled for another use. If you look closely, there's small piles of ashes near some of the trees.

I show them this, and remind them that these are sons, daughters, husbands, and wives... and this is the best that could be done for them under the circumstances.

It's a stark difference from the castles and temples... and very moving.

My dad's buried at Mount Pleasant... in a small plot with a nice stone... but I always made time to visit the scattering grounds. I usually spend more time there than at my dad's grave. My dad is remembered and loved and left many friends and a family... what do these people have?

Once a few years back, I was standing and contemplating life near the scattering grounds when I saw an elderly man on a cane approach the place... a small bouquet of slightly wilted flowers in his hands. He went in to the monument and placed the flowers at it's base. He waited a few minutes, got up and left...

I don't know who he was there for... his wife? A friend? A relative? Really, did it matter?

It broke my heart... I didn't cry... but watching this sad, frail old man hobble away from whoever or whatever he was there to remember touched me in the hardest way.

It's a true story... not terribly amusing... that I tell my kids when we're there.

So far, everyone of them cried... and took away from it two things...

They are now very much interested in ensuring that they are remembered and therefore make sure they are better friends, better girlfriends, and better people overall.

It also gives them empathy for those less fortunate.

One of my proudest moments was the middle-daughter, after being there and seeing it said, "I want to make millions of dollars, have a tomb like the Massey's for me and my family, and then buy a permanent memorial for the scattering grounds so those people will not be forgotten."

This was said by a twelve-year old girl who, up until that point, was more interested in designer jeans and what was happening on Friends... and went from that to suddenly wanting to be succesful and being empathic to the needs of others... being able to see the opposite spectrums of society in one place on one day... and a place with the societal freedom to vocalize her thoughts...

Not long after, she became Valedictorian of her junior-high class and has won two civic awards to boot.

I've heard some people say that "death" is a great equalizer... that after we're gone, there's nothing...

I don't agree.

Death is not the great equalizer except on a biological level... and there's a heck of a lot more to this planet and it's inhabitants than that. Our real job is to leave a mark... hopefully a positive one... for people to look back on.

We don't need to be rich to do that... we don't even need the huge monument after we're gone... but we do need to try and make a difference and do the very best we can. Effectively, our job is to be remembered... with a smile and a warm thought... and no, you don't need a castle-like tomb for that...

Our other job is to try and do good things for those who may not have what we have... and do right by our fellow persons... In hind sight, I wished I'd asked that man who he was there for... and tried to do something more like leaving my own flowers... but hindsight doesn't work too well in these situations... and I've never seen the fellow since.

You could also see my post on "Fame" vs. "Success" for more pontificating! :)

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RLH 3

The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/30/06

Permalink 10:00:03 pm, by Email , 531 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kooky Schemes - What's happening/Being Suggested, Any News?, General Shtuff

An update and answering a question...

First up, to give everyone a brief update, there's no new news on our hopes to rescue RLH 3... we're still trying and hoping... and in case you missed yesterday's post, we're still asking for help!!!

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Anyway, now the question...

I'm a fan of buses too. Do you have any links or resources you can recommend?

I have a decent list of links available through the DoubleDeckerBuses site... (just click the link,) but here's some good choices as recommended by "moi"!

If you're in North America... or even if you aren't... the Yahoo! mailgroup, British Buses Abroad in North America is excellent. My only "warning" about them is that if you're a "novice", before you post a question, add in a caveat about your newbie-ness... some folks on it can be a little tense and more than a little... well... arrogant about their "knowledge" and how they feel about these buses. In short, some of them don't suffer fools gladly.

Many folks want to know more about the beloved Routemaster buses recently pulled from service in London. The best source is The Routemaster Association Homepage... owners and enthusiasts of these great buses.

Of course, many people want to know more about The Bristol Lodekka, and there's no better place in my humble opinion then The Bristol Commercial Vehicles Enthusiasts which covers all the bristol models you might wish to know about.

Of course, with our posting on "The Magic Bus", we've seen a lot of people interested in the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited and Midland Red buses... which are linked here accordingly!

London Transport

Of course, there's the London Transport Museum and if you REALLY want the "skinny" on London's buses both past and present (including our beloved RLH 3,) the absolute best site in my opinion is Ian's Bus Stop which is a phenomenal work about London's buses!

...oh, if you're looking for more "modern" info, try the Transport for London webpage...

Of course, in our extremely unbiased views, if you're looking for the best most superior of London's buses... the Regent Low Height... there's no better page to look into than The RLH Information Centre which is looked after by Ewen Pring... Like Ian's Bus Stop, Ewen's work is exhaustive and as complete as possible... and growing! I can't recommend it enough!

...oh, don't think me TOO biased... I do like Lodekkas... but they never ran with London Transport's fleet... whereas the Regent Low Height did. :)

So, there you have it! If you want information, those are the best pages (and group) I know of...

If you want pictures, however, may I recommend Bus Photo UK? It's an EXCELLENT site for images... which I know I've used many a time!

All excellent sites well worth scouting out!

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/29/06

Permalink 03:47:46 pm, by Email , 931 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kooky Schemes - What's happening/Being Suggested, General Shtuff

What does a family need to do to get noticed 'round here?

With my recent run-in with a major US news network, and realising that in order to have this project be a success, I'd need attention, I throw this out to you...

Pointing

What should we do OR how should we go about getting noticed?

Our hits here are extraordinary... well over 1,200 people per day come by... and we have tonnes of e-mail, blog-comment, and in-person support for this kooky dream of ours... but how do we hit those that might be in a position to help us out?

Astronut

Remember: We're not just asking for "handouts", (although, as stated ad nauseum, we're not above asking simply because there's a good chance if we're too slow, RLH 3 will end up scrapped just like "The Magic Bus" did...) we also have ideas and thoughts like the pixel ad sales with the "on bus" advertising promotion...

We've tried eBay with little luck... we've put the link in our e-mail signature files and on our other websites... I've posted to many of my regular newsgroups and message boards with the links... but still no luck.

Board Walker

Purchasing our own advertising has been suggested, but as most of you know, we're poor as church mice... and purchasing ad space just isn't in our budget.

Quick Overview of This: We're coming off a bad fiscal couple-of-year... and although we're out of "danger", we're only pulling in 1/3 of our old income... so although saving for the bus could be done, with our incomes, it would take too long and RLH 3 would be scrapped or something else before we had a chance... We do have storage space in Toronto for the bus once/if we get it... and we're willing to slowly fix her up while it's stored... but spending money for "conventional advertising" just isn't there right now.

So, what other doors do we have? How else can we go about possibly finding the person/people/company that might help us achieve our dream?

Einstein Supports Us!

I've asked before... but in these waning days of Summer and as time marches on, this blog stands a better and better chance of being a blog about a dream that didn't come true and a family that had to give up as their dream was crushed into a 4 x 4 cube of semi-recyclable materials.

Please, give us some thought... think of a man, a woman, and a kid... and their kooky and possibly "out-of-reach" dream... and what they could do to achieve it.

Thanks...

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P.S. - Although we honestly do appreciate all and any feedback, please note that telling us to write to someone "famous" or "wealthy" who might help is great... but do you have a contact for them that won't end up with our e-mail or whatnot being trashed as "spam"?

The Magic Bus

For example, because of the information here about "The Magic Bus" and with an upcoming The Who world tour, I've had more than a few people tell me to contact Pete Townshend or The Who's management/agent and suggest that they advertise with us... which is a natural... but my mails have either "bounced" or had no response due to what I'm certain is just a tonne of e-mail getting sent to them... plus, I'm sure they (at a glance) think of us as "begging folks" who want only money... without seeing the concept of the advertising for them, the saving a bit of history, and the dream... and since I can't fly to them in person, e-mail and phone is all I've got.

So, if you have a great idea and perhaps a good contact person, please, if you know "how to", let us know who to contact... we'll try almost anything... after all, it's our family... and our dream... and it'll save a piece of history.

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Oh yeah, before moving on... many people have also sent Sue and myself VERY nice e-mails about our work through our hobby... that being paranormal investigation.

Although Sue and I are founders/directors/chair-persons of several good organizations (Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society, ParaResearchers, and PSICAN to mention three as well as running a highly succesful Paranormal Blog,)the paranormal is a hobby... and is not our "day job". We make no profits from our hobby... which is really a study... and never really intend to. We see ourselves as students, investigators, and researchers... and we feel that the "price" for people to learn things should be zero. Our information, ideas, and reports are free... even those times we do things with a "charge", the money goes right back into everything about the study. These things are not a "business"... and we wish to keep it that way.

The long and the short of what I'm saying is that, yes, we have day jobs outside our "life online"...

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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Thanks to HeteMeel and Custom Signs Generator for most of the goofy graphics above!

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Addendum 19:18 EDT: Okay, yeah... I went overboard on the "signs"... but some of them are GREAT! The Tarot one really appealed to me... Imagine this one...

"Don't panic! Remember, the cards do not necessarily mean what the pictures depict... it could simply mean change... ah... oh, to hell with it!"

Humbled!

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07/28/06

Permalink 09:26:30 pm, by Email , 1006 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Proudly Canadian - NOT Anti-American

Canada Bus

Canadians sometimes get confused about our own identity... and I was thinking this may be "systemic" of areas of the globe.

You see, many Canadians (not all) assume to exert a sense of national pride, one must be "Anti-American"... or, at minimum, do comparisons... usually negative ones.

Canada is "cleaner". Canada has "less crime". Canada has a better "social safety net". Canada has "free health care".

Well, parts of Canada are cleaner... and parts are as bad if not worse than our neighbours. Canada has less crime, but we have tougher gun laws... and a smaller population base. Canada has a better social safety net, but our taxes are far higher to support it. Canada has free health care, but mismanagement has made it very poor quality.

I hear Canada's a peaceful nation... which I suppose is why we have troops in Afghanistan... and a reasonable (but ill equipped and poorly paid) military.

Re-visiting crime, Toronto's had over forty murders this year so far... now, forty in a population of around three-million ain't bad... but tell that to the victims and their families... tell them we have less crime. Oh, and Toronto's not the "worst" per-capita-crime city in the country.

Canada enjoys pointing out how little Americans tend to know about us... to which the answer I've heard more than a few times from American's is Who cares? which doesn't really help.

Rick Mercer

From Ann Coulter: Canada is "lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent".
From Tucker Carlson: "Without the U.S., Canada is essentially Honduras".

...if I may add again...

From Thomas Jefferson: The conquest of Canada would be "a mere matter of marching."

...a few years later, President Madison would find out this wasn't the case...

Anyway, there's no doubt that SOME Americans don't help matters (as noted above)... but then again, perhaps they don't understand the one simple truth...

We, Canadians, are bombarded with "U.S.A. #1!!!" things... about how America is the GREATEST nation on the planet... about how America's #1!

Why are we bombarded? One word... media.

Imagine, if you will, (and I've used this before...) if Mexico was the largest producer of media in the world... and all your magazines, TV programs, movies, and music was Mexican. Every day, many times a day, you heard "MEXICO IS NUMBER ONE!" and "THE WORLD WISHES THEY WERE ALL MEXICAN!" and some Mexicans said, "Who cares about America? They're small! We're a SUPER POWER! WE'RE NUMBER ONE!"

If you were (or are) an American, how would you feel?

As for personalities, think about this...

America's motto is "Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness."

Canada's motto? "Peace, Order, and Good Government."

Canada was a colony... that through diplomatic and governmental initiatives became a sovereign country with only a minute connection to the "mother country" in terms of figure heads and customs.

America was born in anger... and rebellion... and genuine "trying to make things better using all means necessary" gumption. Force severed the ties to the old country.

It's this basis that I believe set up the two nations...

Heck, look at Canada's "symbols"... one of them is a police officer! The Royal Canadian Mounted Police!

American's also have symbols like this... like the three "patriots" marching with Old Glory...

Spirit of 76

...an image of three proud rebels standing up to the might of a "seeming" oppressor... a far cry from a cop, eh?

So, different imagery and ideals... and origins... but the same roots.

Canadian's tend to be toned down about our national pride... Americans are over-enthusiastic about their's...

...but that's what I admire about our neighbours.

They don't need to say "America's the Best Because YOU SUCK!", they simply say that they are the best... period... and they'll wave their flags and sing proudly of their nation.

Canada... well... we get a wee bit excited over our patriotism... but it's never over the top... and we tend to those "negative comparisons".

Many "Proud Canadians" got much of their patriotism from a series of beer commercials... "My Name's Joe and I AM CANADIAN!"

See: Commercial One on YouTube
Or...: Commercial Two on YouTube
Or...: Commercial Three on YouTube

Do you see what I mean?

What my country needs is a sense of self... of pride within itself, NOT within a "negative" comparison.

Canada's a pretty good place... so's America... so's pretty much anywhere!

...but I am Canadian... and I love my country... and I have no issues with my friends and neighbours...

Oh sure, on the occasional political thing, I wish things were different down South... but I still recognize... most American's feel the exact same way.

So do not say America sucks... just because you don't understand any other reason to be proud of your own country... Find out WHY you should be and realise that America is great... and so are you too.

Last One from YouTube

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...if you have some time, please read my Fourth of July entry here too...

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In Addenda: If the American people knew about the exploits of James Fitzgibbon and Charles-Michel de Salaberry during the War of 1812, (to name just two... I can think of several more examples and not strictly wartime... Wop May, William Lyon Mackenzie, Frederick Banting and Charles Best... I could go on...) they'd think Canada was NUTS for not having cities, provinces, and memorials to these heroes... but surprise, surprise... most Canadian's don't know these names anyway.

What does that say about Canada? Most of us are HORRIBLY unaware of our own heritage... but thanks to TV and movies, we're very aware of American history and heritage... sad, really...

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/27/06

Permalink 08:27:21 pm, by Email , 392 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, Fixing Up The Bus

Second, happier post of the day: The Sprockets and their Bristol Double-Decker!

How cool is this?

Showtime!

Something we've sorta-mentioned is that RLH 3 (the bus we're hoping to get) has a history with a travelling circus in the USA... well, we found a Bristol that's also working with a travelling show!

Meet The Sprockets and their Bristol Lodekka!

Sprocket's Bristol Lodekka

According to their website, after touring Europe performing for five years, they literally uprooted their life and moved aboard their Bristol to travel the world doing their shows.

Bristol Lodekka

They've taken their bus through (and performed in) France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Columbia and Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica... and are still at it! (Currently, they're in Mexico!)

Toybus

That says something about Lodekkas, eh? (Remember, Grunt was a Bristol Lodekka... and I've admitted that if RLH 3 and it's "second runner up", RLH 39 were unavailable, I'd be getting a Lodekka if I had the funds!)

The Sprockets seem like a TONNE of fun jammed into a Lodekka and if you need a smile, visit their website... if you need a BIGGER smile, try to take in their show! Hey, if it was good enough for the Sultan of Brunei, it's gotta be good enough for everyone! :)

Much like Trevor, the driver of Grunt, I do hope The Sprockets write a book about their travels... double-decker and all!

...and just think... perhaps one day RLH 3 could be rolling around helping Sue and I (on occasion) do paranormal investigations... double-decker fans are an interesting lot, eh?

Thanks Sprockets! This is a MUCH better post than my last one! Your site and your adventure has brightened my day!

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Quick Addenda: Since the media may have caught wind of this blog, allow me to share an old picture of myself many years ago (much thinner) on a ghost investigation with my group, The Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society...

Don Knotts Ruled!

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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Permalink 07:51:58 pm, by Email , 791 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?, General Shtuff

How to have your good day smashed via e-mail by people who don't read...

Okay, before I start this, let me tell you a couple of things... if you're new to this blog...

The first is the purpose of all this...

This blog, although straying often, is really about me and my family trying to get ahold of a special double-decker bus. We'd simply buy it and have it shipped, but to be honest, we're poor as church mice. The bus has special relevance to us which is why we're trying to do this with help from folks online.

(Click here if you want more information about the bus...)

What we're asking for is help in raising a minimum of $20,000.00 (in U.S. Dollars) to buy the bus and then ship from it's current location in Santa Rosa, California to a new home in Toronto, Ontario (which is where we live).

We'd save it ourselves, but we're just coming off of some very bad times and I'm only pulling in 1/3 of my former salary... so although we could try, by the time we gathered the money, it's a given we'd lose the bus.

We're not strictly asking for people to throw money at this (although, because there's a good chance that the bus will be scrapped shortly, we aren't too proud to turn down this kind of help,) but also asking for ideas... Things like our pixel sale site and the "swag" at Cafe Press were all suggestions that people sent to us... and we're trying...

OKAY, that said... on to the next part...

This blog is doing very well! In fact, if I believe my "stats" program on my server, about 700 people visit daily... sometimes more... So, a lot of people visit here.

So, let me share an e-mail with you I received earlier today, if I may...

Of course, to avoid issues, I've edited out "who" sent me the mail...

From: A representative for a well known American based news network
To: Matthew James Didier
Subject: Your Bus

Dear Matthew

I'm the producer of well known American news network show/broadcast and I'm a big fan of your blog and your dream!

We're going to be doing a show on bloggers who make their dreams come true and were wondering if you and your family would like to be a part of it.

"WOO-HOO!", I initially thought, "Here's my chance to really get the word out there! This could help me get the help to make my whole family's dream come true!"

...ah, but life's never perfect, is it... I read on...

We are hoping to have you and your family interviewed on your bus...

What...? What was that? Are they planning on buying it for us...? Maybe they want us to go to California to be filmed...? I was really getting hopeful... Perhaps this was "it" and the bus was at hand!

Nope...

...to talk about how you were able to get the bus and see your dream to reality through your blog.

What? We succeeded? When?

Is it possible for you to drive it to Niagara Falls...?

Ding!

Yes, this big "fan" of the blog ASSUMED we already had the bus AND it was running!

I wrote to ensure this was the case... and added that if it wasn't, we'd still be THRILLED to do a bit for the broadcast to hopefully get some exposure for the site and the dream... and what did I get?

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly.

Unfortunately, the show is about those that have already achieved success with their websites and blogs.

When you do succeed, please write me and we might be able to do something then.

Gee... thanks.

A classic Catch 22...

In order to succeed, I need media attention.

Media attention will only come after I succeed.

Wheeee!

Did I mention that I despise 99.9% of the media?

Betcha I get loads of similar things in October due to my work with the paranormal...

Oh well, better than when The Toronto Star listed my family's efforts as a "website where you can throw away your money".

Thanks.

If these things have taught us anything, it's that apparently pursuing your dream and asking for help is no good to some media folks unless you've already succeeded.... otherwise, my family's dream is a waste of bandwidth.

Yeah, I feel great.

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/26/06

Permalink 07:24:39 pm, by Email , 560 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, Fixing Up The Bus

Betcha didn't know this was originally about two buses... let me explain...

Oh no, don't worry... our sights and dreams have always rested with Regent Low Height 3... but there was (*gasp!*) another bus...

Lemme explain...

FNW 706

Above is a picture of a Leyland TD5 (FNW 706) built in 1937... making her possibly the oldest British Bus in North America in one piece...

It's been in my home province of Ontario, Canada since 1961 and was "decapitated" in 1967 to become an "open top". It's "paint scheme" is actually from when it was owned by a group of Shriners...

A while back, it was more-or-less seemingly abandoned in the impound yard in Elliot Lake and word was, the (current) owner was willing to hand over ownership for $1.00... plus "shipping costs" to the new perspective owners.

Now, even back then, our true sights were on RLH 3... but to save this bus from the scrapyard was a definite task I was willing to undertake.

I went nuts trying to contact this fellow to no avail... I then contacted the City of Elliot Lake to ask them if they could give me any updates or information...

It took them a couple of weeks, but to their benefit, they got back to me... They said it was being released back to the owner and I would need to communicate to him through his solicitor. They were kind enough to send me the information to contact the fellow, and I tried... but no answer back to my messages and e-mails.

FNW 706's fate is uncertain... and even more mysterious than before.

Sad thing is, I have ready access and help in that area of Ontario... and have a friend who's pretty much still asking me about "getting the bus" as he has a flat-bed truck to do the job... which he'd do gratis... and I have good storage space up there too.

So, I could have saved and looked after this old bus... but now it's missing in action.

Sue kind of adopted this one too when it seemed "within our grasp" calling it the "beach bus" and suggesting it as the "daytripper" as it's already been hacked-up and not truly completely "restorable" to it's former glory...

It is a beauty... and for us, attainable... but right now, it's not to be...

Oh, again, don't forget, RLH 3 was and still is our goal and dream... but "The Beach Bus" or FNW 706 would have been a great project too...

Who knows... maybe she still will be one day. :)

If you need a clearer idea, this is the equivelant to restoring and having a real thing for Ford Mustangs... and one day, finding out an old T-Bird was available for a buck and needed work... and if it wasn't saved, it would be sent to the scrappers... That sums up FNW 706 with us.

For more information and more images of the bus, click here...

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Addendum: ...and there I was, thinking my "busly blog" was an original!

Click Here for ANOTHER bus blog...

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/25/06

Permalink 11:13:43 am, by Email , 226 words   English (CA)
Categories: From The Desk of Sue

What Is The Importance Of A Name? .....

... ask Mr Shrivels in Cold Water, Ontario, Canada ... His first name is Richard aka Dick ...

And NO I did not make that up .... poor fellow ..... BUT it could be worse ... through my parents careful consideration and ultimate wisdom my initials are S. T. D .... which was soooo much fun to be the bearer of when the less politically correct V. D went out of vogue and they began referring to those nasty viruses as Sexually Transmitted Disease!

The importance of choosing just the right name for a baby is being discussed over at our newest renter Finding Yourself Despite Yourself *Our Lady Of Perpetual Chaos* Please give Fidget a warm welcome by clicking on her link ... go on ... I know you want to .... and while reciting your Hail Mary's please do remember to let her know those bus loons sent you! ... :)

"I can't remember the last thing i did JUST for myself - other than wipe my butt." .... Oh, can I relate!

As always it is difficult to choose a renter so honourable mention must go to Scooter Mcgavin's 9th Green FOUR!!!!!!! and Useless Advice From Useless Men ... hey, sometimes they make for a good foot rest!

Please come by again next week as we really do want to feature all of you!

From the desk of Her Majesty ... Queen Sue of the Embarrassing Initials .. thanks MOM!!!!!!!

07/24/06

Permalink 08:22:01 pm, by Email , 924 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?, Fixing Up The Bus

Quick Questions Answered...

I noticed through my stats program some questions that keep being asked and asked of Google which send the folks here for answers... so, here's a list of the most popular ones and their answers... that way, if Google, MSN, or any other search engines sent you here, perhaps these answers will help you find the answers you seek!

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Why are some old London Buses green and some red?

Red vs. Green

Excellent question as RLH 3 is a "London Bus" (worked with London Transport) and she's always been green and never the "big red bus" familiar to most as a London Bus.

Before service was privatized, for the most part the buses that ran in London's "centre" (within the city proper) were red... London Country or "The Green Rovers" (a "division" of London Transport) painted their buses green to distinguish them from their city cousins. London Country buses would run from the city's centre to the suburbs and "country" areas.

That way, if you were commuting from downtown to outside London, you could recognise your bus readily by colour as well as destination blinds (those bits on the front of the bus that say where it's going.)

Of course, in the REALLY early days, black with cream was a common colour used... as were a few others... but for the most part, bus bodies in red or green was standard.

(Don't get me started on silver and gold buses painted for special anniversaries... gotta keep this post short!)

Silver and Gold!

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How tall is a double-decker bus?

Low Bridge

Buses usually come in at the 14' (about 4.3 meters), but there are exceptions to every rule... such as our own RLH (Regent Low Height) 3 which is just a touch over 13' (or 4 meters even)... but for the most part, assume 14' as a general height.

Very Low Bridge!
See what happens when you don't watch bridge heights? The Routemaster above became an instant convertable!

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How much does it cost to run a double-decker?

Money!

That depends where you are and what type it is. Gas consumption in older vehicles tends to be ten miles to the gallon of diesel fuel. Insurance depends what you're going to do with it and where... Repairs can be VERY costly as parts can be tricky to acquire.

It's a pricey thing to consider... but to answer that question, you need to consider the following...

#1: What type of bus am I going to be running?

#2: How old is this bus?

#3: How am I going to be running it? (What type of service will it perform?)

#4: How common are parts? Where can I get parts?

#5: This is an odd shaped/sized vehicle, where am I storing it?

#6: Is the vehicle going to require special permits if it's considered "oversized" where I'm going to be running it?

#7: Will I need a special license to operate the vehicle where I'm located?

Factor these in, speak to your insurance companies, contact other bus enthusiast with the same make/model... and then you should get a good idea of the costs involved.

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Why are new buses more like pure rectangles than the old buses?

Old and New

This is because of a number of reasons. First of all, in the old buses, the engine was beside the driver and passengers entered through the rear and paid a conductor. Over time, engines were moved to the rear which allowed people to pay the driver and eliminated the need for a conductor.

Also, this allowed for some measure of unifying certain things (like outside panels) making upkeep cheaper.

Basically, it's all about saving money.

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What's the oldest London double-decker?

Le Compagnie Générale des Omnibus de Londres (the company which would eventually become "London General" and then "London Transport",) ran horse and buggy "knifeboard" buses (horse-drawn, multi-passenger carriages) in 1857 which had an open top deck, but independent companies installed a board for "top deck" travel with their carriages for the 1851 Exposition in London, which is where you first hear about a "double-decker" bus...

Knifeboard

Click here for more information on these buses...

The first "motor double-decker" bus in London was a steam powered bus operated by Motor Omnibus Company in 1899. The first "petrol" bus was run by the Motor Traction Company which ran a 12 horsepower Daimler bus in 1902. London General didn't take the "petrol plunge" until 1904 when they ran an American Fischer petrol-electric chassis mounted with a double-decker body.

General X Model

Click here for more "motor bus" information...

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What's with you and the buses?

Click here to find out...

RLH 3

...okay, no one's REALLY "Googled" that question... but I still hope you'll read the link above... :)

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There you go... the most "searched for" questions answered! I hope those that looked for these and found me now have an answer! :)

Oh, you also might want to look into my post, Double Decker Myths Busted! as well... it shows why you shouldn't worry about a "low heights" height... how we would ship our bus (RLH 3) if we should be fortunate to get it... and one that everyone seemed to like, information on "tipping" double-deckers over!

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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Thanks to UK Bus Photos, Niagara Falls Review, AEC Southall Website, FreeArt, and London Transport Museum for the images I've used above...

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07/23/06

Permalink 10:11:51 am, by Email , 328 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

OFF TOPIC and simply awesome stuff...

...and now for something completely different... or at least, off topic... although maybe not (see the end)...

For those UK readers, forgive me the redundancy... but those of us not in London, we didn't hear much about it and to see it... even in video...

The Sultan's Elephant...

I'd read about this via the BBC and was kinda intrigued...

Elephant and Girl

...but then Heather in BC alerted me to the video...

Click here to see the video which I hadn't seen before...

Wow...

Elephant and Girl

I am an admitted non-fan of performance art... but this is incredible.

Girl and Admirality Arch

I would have loved to take my stepling to see this... perhaps "Royal DeLuxe" will tour Toronto... but I won't hold my breath.

Elephant

Oh, and as for this not being COMPLETELY off topic...

Open RM
Open RM
Open RM

Yup, the giant puppet went sightseeing in an open top Routemaster. :)

Yeah, I know... it's not REALLY about RLH 3, but the whole performance is a marvel...

Click Here for the official website of the event...

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Before I abandon this "artistic post" (if you will,) another person sent a video that showed what I thought would be "stupid comedy"... a chubby guy dancing... but no... while watching it all, I realised it was quite impressive and genuinely touched me... I want to share that too...

To quote the original source...

"Redscare": I started off laughing- but by about 1 minute through i realised that this is genuinely beatutiful (which, considering it's a fat man dancing, may make this video unique in the universe).

Please watch this at YouTube - Click Here

Awesome...

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/22/06

Permalink 12:36:33 pm, by Email , 482 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Toronto's Double-Deckers

Long, long ago, my hometown, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ran double-decker's with The Toronto Transit Commision from 1921 until about 1927.

The buses, one Associated Equipment Company 404 (AEC is the same company that built the bus this site and blog are really about, RLH 3,) and four Fifth Avenue Bus Company models...

Fifth Avenue Bus

What makes this interesting for your's truly is their route... which I only just learned of a couple of days back...

I have to set this up, so bear with me...

I'm firmly attached to the area I live in... the neighbourhood is a great one that I used to visit frequently and enjoyed being in and was thrilled to find an apartment that we could afford in this lovely section of town. Both my wife and myself are firmly entrenched here and hoping to buy our home here.

Now, cut forward to a few days ago...

I'm looking for "blog material" when I find a site listing the old TTC bus routes... and apparently, the old double-deckers only ran one route... guess which neighbourhood they ran through?

Fifth Avenue Bus

Yup...

They would have run practically right beside my apartment.

I'd add this to the list of synchronicities between ourselves and RLH 3... but this one is really just a generic "interesting aside"...

Right now, the serious synchronicities with us and RLH 3 are...

#1: It's former residence in Roswell, New Mexico (...and the fact that Sue's a Ufologist and we both study the paranormal.) This one's my favourite!

#2: RLH 3 began life on May 31st, 1950... and I began life on May 31st, 1967... so we share a birthday.

#3: When last in England, I use to take a long walk through London almost every night... it ends up that the route I walked was RLH 3's "centre city" route when it came in from the country... this was it's longest lasting route when in service. Needless to say, the last time I was in London was 1995 and I knew nothing of RLH 3... I just liked the walk.

...and I'll add this one, but it's not perfect...

#4: While "Googling" RLH 3, I came across this...

Table of contents for Battlegrounds of freedom : a historical guide to the battlefields of the War of American Independence / Norman Desmarais.

RLH-3: Re-enacting, family activities, children and cooking.

...which I found weird since we're (the family) War of 1812 re-enactors.

Anyway, I still think it's very cool that double-deckers once ran past my home... perhaps RLH 3 will be rolling down the same route as they did... :)

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/21/06

Permalink 05:05:37 pm, by Email , 94 words   English (CA)
Categories: From The Desk of Sue

If you can dream it you can do it!

“If you can dream it you can do it!” - Walt Disney

We're dreaming... and trying... and will do it! I hope everyone else dreams and tries to make their dreams come true too!

So have yourself a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend! Whatever that means for you! "Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay ......"

Anyone else find those lyrics a little ummm strange ... ??????

....and please don't forget to catch a Stellar Wind ....our current renter!

Can ya tell I'm feeling MUCH better? ... ;)

I hate posting the depressing stuff ... even more than you hate reading it!

Cheers!
Sue

07/20/06

Permalink 08:00:21 pm, by Email , 791 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?, General Shtuff, Pictures/Photos

What Other Buses?

RLH 3

Could another bus take RLH 3's place with my family?

Nah! No way! Not a chance!

...but since people seem to like the bus pictures, allow me to share some of my other favourite buses...

Dennis Loline

Above is a "Dennis Lowline" or "Dennis Loline" (depending on who's website you read... I haven't found - yet - the proper information about the model) which is apparently the "lowest" roof of any double-decker ever in production... but personally, I just like the style. Sure, it's no Regent Low Height 3, but you gotta admit, it's handsome in it's own way... especially for a "full cab" bus!

Addendum: It's "Loline"...

AEC Q

This is an AEC Q bus... if it looks a little like a "trolley" or electric bus, it should... the body was originally designed for it, but to accommodate necessities, a "petrol" version was made and here it is. Along with the Dennis above, this is another "full cab" bus that just has a great look. UPDATE: March 24th, 2008 I have been spanked corrected on this... these buses were not, REPEAT NOT originally designed for use as a "trolley". I apologise most sincerely for any issue this mistake may have caused anyone reading it.

AEC RT

Above (and to the left) is the famous "London Bus", the AEC RT model... or Regent III. Yes, it's kind-of the father model of RLH 3 which is probably why I find the model so attractive. These were truly a long-lived standard bus in London and many examples still exist in the UK and North America (and probably many other points...)

On the right is another Regent III, but with a specialized "low bridge" body built by Park Royal... and RT LD is the "designation"...

Perhaps I like it because...

Bristol K

...it reminds me of the Bristol K bus. Now, admit it... the above is a definitely handsome vehicle!

RLH 39

Above is two pictures of another favoured Regent Low Height... RLH 39. This is the one I've already mentioned that's in Lake Havasu City, Arizona... and (God forbid) if our "target bus", RLH 3 wasn't available or unattainable should we succeed in getting together the money, this would be the secondary "target"...

Bristol Lodekka

Lastly, above are examples of the Bristol Lodekka... which is a fine vehicle... and one of them could be "target #3" so to speak... should RLH 3 (which is really irreplaceable) and RLH 39 not be possible. Lodekkas are very common in North America because of their low height and the number that were built (many!) I've dropped this bit of trivia before, but the Lodekka was never a "London Bus"... Lodekkas never ran as part of London Transport...

So there you have it... some of my favourite buses... and some eye candy.

Of course, there's only ONE RLH 3!

RLH 3 in 1950

...and she's the reason this blog and it's sister sites exist...

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In Addendum:

Magic Bus

It seems there's a good chace that just like "The Magic Bus" of The Who fame, her sister bus, BMMO 4110's fate is again uncertain... She was going to be repatriated to England and restored... but we just learned those plans have fallen through. BMMO 4110 is one of only three buses of it's type left in one piece... The rest, 348 of them, have been scrapped... including "The Magic Bus".

4110

Hey, if I won the "big lottery", I'd save it... and probably paint it to match her sister... but we are concentrating on our dream... so perhaps someone reading this might be interested in seeing if they can give BMMO 4110 a good home so another historic vehicle doesn't end up in the scrap yard. If anyone's interested, feel free to contact me and I'll send you the information I have as to it's location and possible owners.

So, with a "big winfall" we'd end up with RLH 3, RLH 39, and BMMO 4110!

Egads! I know the wife and kidollo have embraced the one... but three more!?!

That would definitely lead to a real complaining blog entry called "Confessions of a Bus Widow"!

...either that, or knowing Sue's feelings about them, it may end up "Confessions of a Bus WidowER"!!

...well, barring the lottery win, I'll stick with our one for now. :)

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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Many thanks to UK Bus Photos, AEC Southall Website, Bob Martin, BBANA, BAMMOT, and Ewen Pring for the images I used above... If you see one "uncredited", please let me know and I'll fix that right away!

07/19/06

Permalink 10:57:26 pm, by Email , 237 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?, Day Tripping & Travel

FINALLY! Grunt's Story in PDF file... (with the new parts!)

Thanks to Trevor for the latest information on Grunt and the incredible tale of it's trip to Afghanistan (and all points in between).

Grunt

"Grunt" is a Bristol Lodekka double-decker bus that was part of the Top Deck Travel fleet... all of which have a storied past...

Thanks to Trevor for sending these to us... The reports are truly remarkable!

I've put them in PDF format because it's over ten pages in length... and well worth the read. I've also included the photos Trevor sent with the reports.

It deserves reading... and is incredibly riveting!

DON'T make a mistake... This is NOT a "technical journal" about buses... this is NOT even about "buses"... it's a story about a very interesting tour... and it's fascinating!

Download it, print it or read it... you won't be disappointed!

CLICK HERE for the PDF document!

Please note: There's some "strong language" and I've done minimal editing... you're reading it pretty much the way I received it... and it's great!

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/18/06

Permalink 06:08:17 pm, by Email , 413 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

Too Late To Catch The Magic Bus ...

Magic Bus

It is with regret that I can now positively inform you through our contacts in the UK ... that the Magic bus BMMO 4111 is in that great scrap yard in the sky and has been there for a very long time.....

My original posting Spare A Buck ... Save A Bus prompted some questions amongst bus enthusiasts and a couple of Who fans as to the fate of the Magic Bus used on the album cover.

And now you know ....

As a historian (and yes obvious fan of the Who) ... I am upset ....

The other bus 4110 was in Universal Studios LA. It is now abandoned somewhere in the Las Vegas area and is the subject of a possible repatriation effort to the UK, by a Birmingham businessman.

Out of 350 plus examples only two survive complete in the UK ..... one at BAMMOT (Birmingham & Midland Motor Omnibus Trust) the other in private hands.

Obviously this news has greatly intensified the need to rescue RLH3 and preserve her as quickly as possible! And here is why:

Of the RLH (Regent Low Height buses), according to the RLH Information Centre, Thirty-nine have been most likely scrapped or confirmed scrapped and are no longer in any recognizable form.

Thirty-seven "survive"... of which two are listed as "derelict" meaning in scrap yards awaiting final "carving" or in such poor condition they are not restorable.

RLH 76 is in a scrapyard in Uttoxeter, UK (the blue one seen above) and RLH 18 has been left in sad condition in Salt Lake City, Utah.

We hope and are working towards at least one more RLH not being added to this sad list to meet the same fate as The Magic Bus...
our own beloved RLH 3.

I hate to let things get me down ... but I'd be lying at this point if I didn't say I was worried ....The Magic Bus had somehow become symbolic (at least in my mind) to this quest .... Too Late The Magic Bus ....

Spare A Buck .... Save A Bus

From the downhearted and dusty desk of Sue .......

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/17/06

Permalink 09:27:51 pm, by Email , 173 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, From The Desk of Sue

Somewhere Under The Stars There Are Stellar Winds .......

Please help us give a warm welcome to our newest tenant Undercover Angel of Stellar Winds ....

This is a personal blog that contains the thoughts and musings of a published author and full time Mom. With a beautiful template and differing topics to read through and consider .... we are certain you will enjoy your visit as much we have!

As always it is never easy to pick just one blog out of those that apply ... so for those who were denied this time ... please do come back in seven days as we really would like to feature all of you .......

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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Permalink 12:40:37 pm, by Email , 570 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?, General Shtuff

"You need to get two buses!" - The cost of keeping a bus running... and our plans.

RLH 75 next to ONU 631

Above, (thanks to Ewen Pring,) is a picture of RLH 75 which has been cannabalized to keep the bus next to it (ONU 631 - The ONU buses are very similar to the Regent Low Heights) running.

I've had several e-mails from people telling us that we should get two RLH buses to keep RLH 3 running if/when we get ahold of her.

It's good advice... very good advice... problem is, RLHs are in short supply... We'd love to have two of them (one to strip and possibly use "gutted" for some other purpose) but for now, we're concentrating on the one... RLH 3...

Our main thrust is to acquire and ship to Toronto the one bus my whole family has adopted.

A while back, I did toy with trying to grab three RLH buses from a fellow in Murrieta, California who had a newspaper article written about him and the buses he owns... I even called him after seeing the magic word "donate" in the article (he said he'd consider donating them to a cause...)

I called him with the intent of having one for myself, one to one of my paranormal groups, and one to a War of 1812 re-enactment group I work with...

I then found out what his version of "donate" meant... $15,000 per bus without shipping (although, for me, he was willing to go to $30,000.00 for all three buses... three for the price of two, so to speak). He said it was to cover his expenses only... and I believe that... but since when did "donate" cost the receiver of a donation money? Oh well... Shame of it is, the two groups would have put the buses (which he said are in excellent condition) to very good use.

Granted, there was not doubt with my family that RLH 3 or "Chitty-Chitty-Wump-Wump" as my youngest called her was still our main goal... but the three would have been nice.

ANYWAY, back on topic... yes, there's no doubt that having a bus to "feed" RLH 3 off of would be great... but right now, that's the cart before the horse... Goal One: Rescue and ship RLH 3. Goal Two: Start working on fixing/restoring her...

Oh, by the way... I am only doing the "online fund drive" for RLH 3... beyond that will be done from our own pockets. Like I said earlier, this "blog" will then turn into the "Fixing The Bus" blog... with tales of us slugging away at the old girl trying to get her rolling.

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Interesting news on the e-mail front... A kind fellow is helping us find out more about The Magic Bus... Hopefully, I'll have some news shortly.

Also, we have a "hot tip" of a very haunted bus! (Nothing like combining two of my loves!!!) I can't give any details yet... and may not be able to (that's up to the witness/reporter/originator of the report) but I'm hoping I will! I have a feeling it's a good one. Sue's working on finding out more...

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/16/06

Permalink 05:47:28 pm, by Email , 446 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

Now THIS is a GREAT competition!

You may say that golf, horseback riding, horseshoes, or cricket is the game of gentlemen...

I now disagree...

(...and yes, what you're about to read is real!)

Found this one on the BBC News website...

The Chaps Magazine (the magazine for 'traditional gentlemen") had their olympics...

Chaps Olympics

Chaps is for those who are against "vulgarity of modern culture"... sounds like me... and they hold an annual Olympic-style competition that starts with the "Lighting of the Olympic pipe" stuffed with fine Cavendish tobacco.

According to the BBC, "Wearing any kind of sportswear at the games results in instant disqualification." This SO sounds like it's for me!

"These Olympics are for the immaculate of trouser, the frail of form and the fearful of sport." Okay, this isn't really me... I'm kind of a schlep who enjoys an occasional moment of physical activity, but you HAVE to admire a contest that includes an event where "Teams compete to mix a dry martini, with the handicap of having no butler to do it for them."! Wheeeee!

Martini

Sure, I'm an admitted teetotaler, but I'd still be up for this roaring event!

How about "the Bounders discipline chaps approach a lady, behave like cads and the one who is slapped hardest around the face wins"?

Bounder!

Oh yeah, this is my kind of Olympics! From poetry reading to a pipe (briar, of course, stuffed with fine, delicate Cavendish tobacco) relay... Ahhh, that's SPORT!

"It celebrates panache rather than athleticism" and really, shouldn't that be the way it is always?

Kudos to Chaps! Definitely a GREAT event and another reason to love the British!

...now, if they could just add something with an RLH Bus, they'd have me FOR SURE! Wheeee!

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Addendum: 6:53 EDT: I read through the Chaps Magazine site and their message board... er, The Sheridan Club Online... One word... WOW! These folks ROCK... er, I mean, "What sporting chaps! Absolutely top drawer! Fantastically ripping stuff! Kudos from a loyal former colonist! Huzzah!"

From the magazine's website... Can you smell it? It is a blend of bergamot, old leather and Cavendish tobacco, and it smells of Revolution. The Tweed Revolution. *Sigh!*

Dog Chap
According to the magazine's site... "Muffin" proves that one does not necessarily need to be human to be a Chap.

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/15/06

Permalink 11:10:38 am, by Email , 553 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Flying totally off topic... Fame vs. Success

On no less than THREE occasions of late, I've had to paraphrase the late Erma Bombeck...

Don't confuse success with fame... Helen Keller is one... Britney Spears is the other.

Success

I often point out that one, if they are trying to achieve noteriety in any way, shape of fashion, has two basic option... Your name and face on the cover of People Magazine... or your name on a college or university library.

I see the latter as true success... and the former right up there with being on par with Joey Buttafucco.

People in popular culture love fame... we buy gossip rags, we watch entertainment gossip television, we roll through the muck and mire of "celebrity"... and you have to accept that more people in the masses know the name "Jennifer Aniston" than "Nickola Tesla"... yet Tesla was far more important in the grand spectrum of life on this planet.

This is NOT a knock on Ms. Aniston... or any "celebrity"... but how many people reading this know the name of the highest paid, most popular, richest theatrical performer from London's stage in 1827?

It's a double-edged sword though... How many people out there honestly know the name Alexander Fleming? Many might... everyone should... those that do are likely never to forget about him... he's kind of important in our history.

None-the-less, Flemming contributed to the entire population of the planet... Matt Damon contributes to our movies...

One will be remembered for all time by a select few... the other will be most likely a footnote in a Hollywood trivia book in a century or two no matter his level of fame.

Again, nothing wrong with that... it's different things.

Fame

How this all came about is SEVERAL people have "complained"/"whined"/"whatever" that Kyle MacDonald had achieved his "fame"... perhaps... but he also acheived his goal.

It's true, in a few years, the "One Red Paper Clip" deal will be a footnote... but Kyle will still most likely have his house. That's success... without fame... and without that noteriety, in my eyes, that's better.

So, I put it to you... which would you prefer... Fame or Success? Do you want to be remembered like Harriett Tubman or Lindsay Lohan?

Fame AND success can go hand-in-hand... but they are mutually exclusive... and if you need to know the ethic and abilities of someone, ask yourself this... Do they want to be famous, or successful?

Us, with the bus... we just want "success"... if someone said, "I'll help you, but you MUST keep it quiet!", trust me, we'd do it in a heartbeat!

My wife and I want success... if we need to "market" ourselves to get attention to achieve this success, so be it... but fame is not really a factor... and honestly, not something we crave or want.

So we say congratulations on Kyle's success!

Remember: Fame fades... success is eternal.

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/14/06

Permalink 10:42:25 pm, by Email , 277 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Enjoy this spam...

The e-mail address has been changed to protect the innocent person that was probably being "spoofed"...

This was an actual "spam" sent to me... I thought you'd enjoy it...

Apparently, my REAL name(?) is Mr. Double Deckerbusguy... My parents lied to me 'cuz CRACK geneologists know better! This whole Matthew James Didier nonsense... all lies! After all, I descend from French royals! READ ON!

Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 16:44:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Henry ANON (henry(at)ANON.com)
To: doubledeckerbusguy(at)doubledeckerbuses.org
Subject: IMPORTANT MAIL FOR Double

For Double -

Do you want to know about your familys history? Hi! Were a crack team of geneologists who have been looking into the Deckerbusguy family. Did you know that the Deckerbusguy family can trace it's origins back to French royalty!?! Youre family is one of the great familys in all Europe!

For more information and to order not only your familys history but to get your familys coat of arms on a professionally mounted plaque simply surf to (Edited Out in case Anyone Tries...)

Uh... yeah... sure.

Well, if nothing else, it made me laugh! So much so that I shared it with that Nigerian widow who's trying to transfer her husband's millions into my bank account!

Wheeee!

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/13/06

Permalink 07:35:40 pm, by Email , 499 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?, "Living" History - Historical Re-enactment

I have a great face for radio...

You Oughta Be In Pictures!

I am no stranger to media... granted, for the most part, it's been documentaries on ghosts and hauntings, newsthingies on the paranormal, and generally things like that...

...but Sue has been on me in a way...

"Let's try to make a documentary about the bus... from it's history to us getting it!" is her suggestion.

Un-hunh...

Perhaps it's that weird and mysterious traffic we've been getting from Disney.Com... or perhaps our absolute LOVE of Zak Penn/Werner Herzog mockumentary, Incident at Loch Ness (if you haven't seen this film, do so!)... or my wife's inspriration in doing a small film since seeing Open Water... or maybe all of the above...

Open Loch Ness

There's no doubt that Regent Low Height 3 (our bus... hopefully...) has a storied past... from London's routes, to a California bank, to a man in Roswell, New Mexico, to a travelling circus... to it's eventual abandonment in Santa Rosa... to our (my family's) dreams... not to mention it's a GIVEN that RLH 3, should we manage to save her, will be involved with War of 1812 re-enactments AND paranormal investigations in some sense... thus adding to it's MANY stories... it's a special bus, no doubt...

...but a movie?

I'm iffy...

I know I can't be in it simply because I have all the natural good looks of Ernest Borgnine... like I said... great face for radio.

Ernest and Me

I guess I'd PERSONALLY like to see a movie on it's history... I know I'd watch it... but would anyone else?

The juries out... and the Palm D'or may not be coming. :)

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Of note... here's a list of the "synchronicities" between myself and RLH 3...

#1: We share birthdays... RLH 3 rolled off the assembly line on May 31st, 1950... I rolled off the assembly line on May 31st, 1967

#2: A favourite walk of mine in London (before knowing of the bus) ended up being the route RLH 3 had for the longest period when "in the city".

#3: The Roswell, New Mexico ownership thing is a hoot as my wife is (and was before we met) a Ufologist.

...and here's a NEW one...

I was "Googling" RLH 3 (just the term) and came across this...

Table of contents for Battlegrounds of freedom : a historical guide to the battlefields of the War of American Independence / Norman Desmarais.

RLH-3: Re-enacting, family activities, children and cooking.

How weird is this... considering this (click here)...

...I'd say one more like this and I'm saying that the "fates" or "Gods" are involved...

Did I mention that Sue thinks I'm a reincarnated bus driver? :)

RLH 3 with Crew

...one of these chaps perhaps? Maybe... I honestly don't know...

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/12/06

Permalink 04:27:45 pm, by Email , 335 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

Dreams (and goals) DO come true!

It can happen... all you have to do is want something, come up with a plan, have the cajones to execute that plan... and let others know about it.

Case in point, Alex Tew and his "Million Dollar Homepage"...

...but today came marvellous news...

Paper Clip

ONE RED PAPER CLIP HAS BECOME A HOUSE!

The HouseYup, he did it! Kyle MacDonald has managed to make trades from a single red paper clip up to a house... it took a year, but I'm sure he'd agree it was a fun year... and it was worth it!

Click here for details.

I was fortunate enough to have a brief correspondence with Mr. MacDonald who gave me the tips that seem to have REALLY helped our own efforts here ("Make things simple!" was his main point... and I did trim the superfluous fluff from the site... amongst other things...) and I'm glad he's achieved his dream and goal!

Congrats, Mr. MacDonald... or, for the one day in Kipling, Saskatchewan, he should be referred to as "His Worship, Mayor MacDonald"!

Well done sir! You give all us dreamers online hope!

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...in other news, in checking through our "stats", we've had quite a bit of traffic to the blog here from "DISNEY.COM"... weird, eh? The "referal" backtracks to Disney's main page!!!

Egads!

I wonder how that happened???

I hope they aren't eyeing RLH 3 as something to join The Main Street Parade!!! This would not be conducive to getting her here to Toronto!

Disney and "double-deckers" do have a history after all... perhaps someone there is reading about the dream?

Disney Bus

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/11/06

Permalink 09:35:13 pm, by Email , 582 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?, Day Tripping & Travel

Symbols and Icons...

ICONS - A Portrait of England is an interesting site...

It's basically a "ratings" site... except as opposed to rating someone's "butt" or "hotness", you're rating things seen by the world (read: Tourists or the tourism industry) as those things that best symbolize England.

Currently, at the time of writing, one of the "tops" is the venerable Routemaster Bus...

Routemaster

...which, although not one of our beloved Regent Low Heights like RLH 3 (the object of our attentions!), the Routemaster was made by the same folks at AEC... The Routemaster, as some might know or read about in the news or even on this very blog, was recently taken out of service due to it's limitations with those "specially abled" and due to their age (despite most of the fleet being re-fitted and fixed up in the late 1990's)... but that's another rant.

Still, it speaks volumes that this token of Britain (which was almost, but not quite exclusive to only London) has been selected as an icon... and one that's moving up the charts, so to speak.

With options like Big Ben (which is the bell, not the clock or tower which houses it), the Royal Family, The Tower of London (or castles in general), Henry VIII, York Minster, Oxford and/or Cambridge, The HMS Victory, The Submarine Spitfire, a nice pub, and even Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre, a double-decker is STILL the icon that most people seem to resonate as "British".

British Icons

Granted, double-deckers are running (in regular transit service) in several North American cities as well as Asia and other parts of Europe, they are still seen as a quintessentially a "British" thing.

In looking through the ICONS pages, I was wondering what I (personally) would choose as a "British Icon"... and oddly enough, it wouldn't be a "double-decker" (that's more a "London Icon"... not every city runs double-deckers...) but something that is listed on the ICONS website... that is the "Cup of Tea".

Tea-Time!

What could be more "British" than the nice cup of hot tea! The instant answer for all life's ailments!

Of course, despite having been in London (and around England) several times, I've never indulged in a true "tea"... or "high tea"... even a stay at Grosvenor House and being nearby Harrod's and with the ability to visit The Ritz, I've never had finger sandwhiches and a hot cup of dried leaves in water in a "formal" sense... I was always too busy...

...and yet, it would really be my choice. I can't think of even the word "Tea" without thinking in terms of England...

What's funnier is that my recent studies have precluded thinking "Routemaster" as a British icon, as stated... Routemaster's are really a "London" thing... and a few other centres... but not "British".

Perhaps I'm being too literal...

...besides, RLH 3 will hopefully one day be an Ontario, Canada icon... at least for our family!

ANYWAY, have a boo at the ICONS - A Portrait of England website... the site is great and the information well laid out and researched!

A must for all Anglophiles!

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/10/06

Permalink 02:01:26 pm, by Email , 175 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, Pictures/Photos, From The Desk of Sue

I hear those sleigh bells ringing .....

...and jingling, ting-ting-tingling too .....

Please surf on over to our newest renter Full-Metal Photographer and enjoy all the winter and Christmas themed images this week! It has been dreadfully hot these past few days here in Ontario and viewing these stunning images is a refreshing mental break from the oppressive heat!

Of course for us Christmas in July conjures images of Double Decker buses traversing Oxford street in London and the wish that someday this family will restore one to her former glory .....

What would Christmas in July mean to you???????

It was a VERY tough decision when choosing this week's renter, so I hope those who did check us out come by next week. I wish we could have picked all of you!!!!! There are of course plenty o' seats on the bus ... ;)

From the ever growing clutter that is Sue's mind .. er .. I mean Sue's desk... with at least one cat knocking over a book, and another about to land on my laptop! .... Shit!!!

I love our cats .... leave your paw print below ... :)

07/09/06

Permalink 08:42:10 pm, by Email , 562 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

...and now, some poetry...

Me mum used to read us kids poetry.

Sure, she almost read every Robert Service poem to us (being good Canadians and all) amongst others, but one book was her's and our favourite...

"Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls" by William Cole...

If I may induldge you with a few of my favourites...

NOTHING TO DO? by Shelley Silverstein

Nothing to do?
Nothing to do?
Put some mustard in your shoe,
Fill your pockets full of soot,
Drive a nail into your foot,
Put some sugar in your hair,
Place your toys upon the stair,
Smear some jelly on the latch,
Eat some mud and strike a match,
Draw a picture on the wall,
Roll some marble down the hall,
Pour some ink in daddy's cap--
Now go upstairs and take a nap.

...and I can never forget...

SARAH CYNTHIA SYLVIA STOUT - by Shelley Silverstein

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
would not take the garbage out!
She'd boil the water
and open the cans
and scrub the pots
and scour the pans
and grate the cheese
and mash the yams
and spice the hams,
and make the jams.
But though her daddy
would scream and shout,
she would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
moldy bread and withered greens,
olive pits and soggy beans,
cracker boxes, chicken bones,
clamshells, eggshells, stale scones,
sour milk and mushy plums,
crumbly cake and cookie crumbs.
At last the garbage piled so high
that finally it reached the sky.
And none of her friends
Would come to play.
And all the neighbors moved away.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout
said, "I'll take the garbaged out!"
But then, of course, it was too late.
The garbage reached beyond the state,
from Memphis to the Golden Gate.
And Sarah met an awful fate,
which I cannot right now relate
because the hour is much too late.
But, children, think of Sarah Stout
and always take the garbage out!

...and to sooth the soul...

SISTER NELL - by Anonymous

In the family drinking well
Willie pushed his sister Nell.
She's there yet, because it kilt her--
Now we have to buy a filter.

...and what bedtime would be complete without...

THE STERN PARENT - by Harry Graham

Father heard his Children scream,
So he threw them in the stream,
Saying, as he drowned the third,
"Children should be seen, not heard!"

Oh yes, read them well to your own children... what could be more calming then...

YOUNG SAMMY WATKINS - by Anonymous

Young Sammy Watkins jumped out of bed;
He ran to his sister and cut off her head.
This gave his dear mother a great deal of pain;
She hopes that he never will do it again.

...and my mother wondered why her kids turned out the way we did. :)

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Please read yesterday's post here... (you can click here to view it...) We'd love to know about your dreams!

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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Permalink 04:20:01 pm, by Email , 274 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

What a wonderful compliment!

Thanks to everyone who supports our "kooky dream"! Everything (including good wishes) really helps!

One REALLY nice compliment mailed to me last night was...

Your blog is fun and if I could, I definitely help with your dreams! (editor's snip!) What happens if you get the bus? Are you going to stop blogging because I really love reading your stuff!

Wow! THANK YOU!!!! (You made my day!)

RLH 3

I've said it before... no, the blog won't go... it will change, however...

It'll become "One Family's Attempt to Fix an Old Double Decker Bus!" then "One Family's Travels in their Double Decker Bus!" and lastly "Restoring an Old Double Decker Bus!"... then it'll probably stop. :)

Of course, by that time, I'm hoping to be very old and grey...

Anyway, I will STILL attempt to load the blog with interesting stuff... more than just "About RLH" stuff... which seems to be very popular.

Of course, I'm sure Sue will still boggle us with posts on occasion...

But no, sadly for those in the Blogsphere that aren't fans of this blog... it's here to stay. :)

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Please read the last post here... (you can click here to view it...) We'd love to know about your dreams!

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The usual last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/08/06

Permalink 11:02:42 am, by Email , 369 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kooky Schemes - What's happening/Being Suggested, General Shtuff

Addendum Post for Today... What is YOUR kooky dream?

Sorry about the "double-post-day"... but I remembered what I wanted to post today... that is, before getting up and remembering the folks from the post below.

A little interactivity if you will...

A while back, I asked folks what THEIR dream is?

I pointed out that there's "goals" and there's "dreams"...

My family's goal is to be #1: Debt Free, #2: Own a home (we're renting right now...), and #3: A Family Vacation to England. (These goals are obviously in the order we're hoping to work for them in.)

...but the DREAM is to get ahold of RLH 3...

The goals we're working on through "normal" means... hard work and sweat... but the dream we're hoping to achieve through online means... and with great speed due to RLH 3's shakey future. (If it wasn't for this problem, we would simply add the dream to become #4 in our "goals" list...)

ANYWAY...

The question I posed to ALL who surfed in here was...

What is your dream?

...not your goals, that's the more sensible things... but your dreams.

I've had four answers so far...

Our friend, threecollie said they would like an old military tank.

Tank

A friend from the PSICAN Message Board said a B-17 Bomber...

B-17

Tex said he had a thing for the Morgan Aero 8... and who can blame him!

Morgan Aero 8

...and, being a bit of a wag, but a good choice, Pikkel Wezel said he wanted Kylie Minogue...

Kylie

So, I ask the rest of you... and I know from my stats that about five-hundred to a thousand of you come by each day... What's your dream? Use that "Leave a Comment" link below (or click here) and let us know!

Everyone has a dream... why not share yours? We've shared ours and we are working towards it... but we want to know about you!

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The usual last note here... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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Permalink 10:12:40 am, by Email , 652 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Double Decker Living

I'd be missing out on telling folks on the best use of old buses I've personally read about if I didn't point out a British companies use for "discontinued" (not-in-regular-service) double-decker buses...

Double Decker Living is a company in London that converts old double-deckers that are no longer running routes into temporary shelters.

Complete with bathrooms and bedrooms as well as a "community space", the buses make ideal "emergency shelters" or yes, even motor homes... although, I believe, the company is more interested in making them the former... emergency shelters... than motor homes... at least to start with.

Their "motto" for the buses is "Still Working for London".

I first heard of them through an excellent article in The BBC News and thought it was a wonderful idea... and a "green" idea too.

Basically, recycle that which would become "scrap" into moveable shelters for those who are homeless... Excellent thought. Bring the shelter to those most in need.

Double Decker Living

According to the article on the BBC...

"The double decker is such an iconic London image, we wanted to see what we could do with it," said Jason Hart of Double Decker Living.

"Everyone I speak to laughs because it sounds so strange but once they see it for themselves, they become very enthusiastic about the idea."

For the first stage of the project - to be launched on 19 December - Leyland Olympian double deckers are being used, but plans are under way for a Routemaster version.

Centrepoint charity for young homeless people will use the buses as teaching venues for life skills classes, covering topics such as cooking and interview preparation.

The company makes no bones about it either... they are also "gearing up" for the motor home/caravan market...

Environmental issues have been at the forefront of our minds during the conception and conversion of these buses. They are fitted with a solar panel to help lighten the ever growing energy ‘burden’ that we face. Generators and heaters that the buses are equipped with are of the ‘run quiet’ variety to reduce noise pollution to a negligible level. The WC waste is rapidly converted to compost and collected on a regular basis, as is the water. Each bus comes with two fold away bicycles which the occupants will be encouraged to use. Dedicated refuse bins and recycling are also provided and emptied as appropriate.

Every bus has a communal ‘family’ type area where occupants interact and socialise. Audio and visual facilities are provided so that quality time together is of whatever nature the residents choose.

The provision of ‘private space’ is also crucial and to this end each bedroom is a comfortable, ventilated and heated space with its own window to provide light levels far beyond that which most of us experience within a more conventional dwelling.

Double Decker Living
...photo of the inside of the bus...

Double Decker Living
...photo of the inside of the bus...

Now, I know I've kvetched in the past on this blog about people "carving up" old buses to the point of not being able to restore them... but this is one place where I heartily support that!

Although our dream of eventually owning and modifying RLH 3 (which is a much older and rarer bus than the Atlanteans and the Routemasters the company plans to work with,) we are going to keep "mutilation" to a minimum and keep all the original parts we can for future restoration...

Anyway, I just wanted to share this bit about this company... a good use for old buses!

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The usual last note here... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/07/06

Permalink 12:39:40 pm, by Email , 299 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

7/7/05

7/7

Traffic is way up on the blog and the site... and for all the wrong reasons.

Many people are surfing/searching under "Double Decker Buses"... and finding us... but what they're looking for is information on the sad day that extremist terrorists exploded bombs in London's Subway/Metro/The Tube and one bus last year...

52 people lost their lives... over 800 were injured... and why?

Because a handful of extremists decided to use violence.

52 lives were snuffed out because of a small group of people who could have used the tiny bit of brains they had and realised there are better ways to make a point and get their cause addressed then senseless violence... but decided that they knew a better method... and killed people.

PLEASE do not comment if you're planning on making a political statement... This entry is in remembrance of 52 people who went about their day a year ago... and never came home.

Please, take whatever time you have to spend a second... to remember those who have passed due to senseless violence... and remember... to paraphrase Queen Rania of Jordan...
This is not about "Right" vs. "Left"...
This is not about "Christians" vs. "Muslims"...
This is not about "Jews" vs. "Arabs"...
This is not about "West" vs. "East"...

This is all about "Extremists" vs. "Moderates"... and the "Extremists" on both sides must not win.

Thank you for visiting... if you have time, please scroll down and read the last post... or the earlier ones... but for today, I'm just taking some time to contemplate things... I hope everyone will as well.

"I've been blown up by a better class of bastard than this!" - Attributed to a newspaper seller on Canary Warf in London during the IRA bombings (comparing them to "The Blitz" in WWII)...

London Stands...

07/06/06

Permalink 10:34:35 pm, by Email , 694 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

Funny Searches...

I love stats.

Okay, more realistically, I love looking through my own stats... especially how people "found" this site.

The "referring searches" often lets me know what people were really looking for... and found me.

Here's some of the latest... These are words typed into search engines... and this blog came up...

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lake havasu 2006 4th of july fireworks show sucked
Apparently, a critic of the fireworks displayed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona came across my little note on RLH 39 (which I admit to being one of my favourites of all the RLH's I've seen... next, of course, to our dear old RLH 3.) Sorry, no info on the fireworks though... and I feel bad that they were not to everyone's liking.

Actually, in researching about RLH 39, I read a lot about Lake Havasu City and honestly, I'd like to visit there one day! It sounds like a great place! (...and has RLH 39 which is a GREAT Regent Low Height!)

Did I mention I really like RLH 39 for some reason? (See below...)

RLH 39

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bus rutten
Well, I have to assume this is a mis-type of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) living legend, Bas Rutten... which is funny, as both buses and Bas have been mentioned here... See the post at this link (click here) for the Bas stuff... Bas is great... yeah, he is.

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ugly looking buses
I hope this one is NOT about OUR RLH 3! Thems would be fightin' words!

I have a feeling it picked up on my several rants about the "newer" double-deckers... at least it better have or, to quote Bas Rutten, BANG! BANG! DANGADA-DANGADA-BANG!

RLH 3 in 1950

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height of people in canada
Well, I'm 6' 2" tall... does that help? I can only imagine that since "Height" is mentioned so often here (as in Regent Low Height) that it picked up on it.

...and of course, I am Canadian!

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Ancestary of famous persons
Oh, I'm not famous... not at all! But I did have a post about finding out about some of my own lineage... which made me happy... I may have mentioned history once or twice in my War of 1812 Re-Enactment entry which may have triggered the find...

Butler's Rangers

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The last one I'll touch on isn't that weird...

rlh california
Now, they COULD have been looking for our beloved RLH 3... but I bet they were looking for three others... namely RLH 53, 69, and 71... currently resting in a field near Murrieta, California.

These three wonderful buses were featured in a newspaper article... which said the current owner would "donate" the buses to a good cause. I did contact the fellow, and the word "donate" meant something a little different to him... He want's $15,000.00 per bus... plus shipping... which is what he paid to have them delivered to himself... so it's not a freebie.

I tried to find out about them with the thought that I could "give" one to one of my paranormal groups, one to a War of 1812 re-enactment group, and keep one as a finder's fee (if you will). (Yeah, I know... it's NOT RLH 3... but I figgered if I nabbed one of them, I could still shoot for the TRUE dream bus! I'd have still begged, borrowed, and whatever to get the ONE bus that meant the most to all of us!)

It's kinda sad, really... both groups I was hoping to score the buses for would have made fantastic use of "the one" they would have received.

Anyway, good news if that searcher comes back... I have mirrored the article which you can see by clicking here.

RLH in Murrieta

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LAST NOTES: Once again (for a SIXTH time!!!) I'm BlogMad's Blog of the Day! Woo-Hoo! Thanks BlogMadders Again!!!

I believe that THIS TIME it had to do with my Stepling's artwork and not my wonderful writing style!

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Of course, as a last note too... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

Please don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/05/06

Permalink 10:25:58 pm, by Email , 309 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

Greatest kid in the world AND More from "Grunt"!

Let me start with the "Grunt" stuff...

Grunt

For those that took my STRONG advice to read the entry about Grunt Goes to Afghanistan, Trevor has sent in the "second part" of this story... which is just incredible!

Again, if you haven't yet read the first part, please click on the link above and print it... you won't be sorry!

Anyway, "Part Two" is just as lengthy... so I'm thinking of putting it up in serialized version... and once I have the whole thing, I'll put a link up to a downloadable version via Adobe Acrobat... it's really that good!

I'll work on this over the weekend...

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I know, I know... everybody thinks THEIR kid is the best... and I can't help but notice some "Anti-Parent Blog" entries on some folk's sites... but I have to do it...

You may remember that on my birthday, I posted an entry about the birthday card my stepling made me that featured a "double-decker"... well, today I was in a bit of a funk... and mentioned that my hopes were not "too high" on things working out with the dream before it's too late...

...and she drew me this...

The Drawing

It's supposed to be all of us, in our bus, going camping.

Okay, you hard-hearted "I Hate Blogs About Kids" people out there... you tell me how you can stay "in a funk" when presented with this from a sweet little person?

...yup, she kinda strengthens my resolve in this quest!

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On that note...

Don't forget about our pixel ad site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and our PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, the NEW Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff! (...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

...an entire family would thank you!

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07/04/06

Permalink 08:46:55 pm, by Email , 569 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

Could a benevolent TV program make a dream come true?

Hey kids... I'm putting this up in the evening on July fourth... I actually do have a "better" Fourth of July posting... just click here to read it... or stick around for the new post...

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Oprah Winfrey

Got an e-mail with a suggestion on how to make our dream come true... which I do appreciate...

To fly off the initial topic here, realistically, this dream will take $20,000.00 to come true... and we're trying different ways to make that happen. We'd simply "save" and make it happen the old fashioned way, but we're just scraping by and only recently catching up after a long period of bad economic issues... If we were to try and do it all ourselves, it would take about two-plus years or more to gather the funds... by which time RLH 3 will be either scrapped or ripped-up to accomodate restaurant equipment and therefore, beyond eventual restoration. For details, click here...

We've received many suggestions we've tried and are trying to raise the money... HelpCoverTheBus.Com which is a pixel-ad site, listings on eBay, a PayPal donations button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog), T-shirt and Whatnot Sales... and we appreciate any and all suggestions.

ANYWAY... on to today's post...

As stated, an e-mail came in and "Maria" suggested contacting Oprah Winfrey's TV show who do occasional programs on making people's dreams come true...

Maury Povich

Actually, I've seen a few "daytime" talk shows do these types of programs... of course, Maury Povich and Oprah come immediately to mind... but I believe I've even seen it done on Montel Williams... and even Jay Leno's done this sort of thing! (Mr. Leno would understand our dream! He's a huge car and motorcycle enthusiast!)

Jay Leno

Anyway, it's a fine suggestion... and there's no harm in asking, after all, why not ask? The worst they can say is "No", right?

My problem is... well... I don't want to be "overt".

I know, I know... that sounds odd for someone with their "fly open" on the dreaded Internet, but basically saying, "Hi! Would your television program make our dream come true?" seems... well... I dunno.

I've always tried to earn things... give "value for the money", so to speak. I'm not good at all with "hand outs", but do appreciate a "leg up"...

...that said...

...like the way I caved in with the PayPal donation button, I have to be realistic...

If we don't act fast, we'll be pining away (most probably) for a 4 x 4 cube of semi-recyclable material instead of our bus because it's survival is in doubt.

My question is... How does one "table" this proposal? How does one get the dream and goal and why it would be beyond fantastic to get help in front of the producers of these programs?

I throw it out to the denizens of the 'net...

Does anyone know the contact information for these folks... the one where my mail won't get trashed? Are there better ways to formulate the request/suggestion?

If anyone has any insight or ideas, PLEASE leave a comment or e-mail me at [email protected]

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Addendum - July 4th - 10:18pm EST
Just liked this photo... and after the "wet" we've had...

RLH 29 in Staines Lane

It's from the book "The London RLH" by P. Gascoine... it's entitled "RLH 29 splashes its way along Staines Lane"

RLH 29 is owned by my good friends at Timebus Travel and is on it's way to being preserved... For details, click here.

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07/03/06

Permalink 04:27:27 pm, by Email , 1447 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

For July Fourth - Neighbours no matter what...

Old Glory!

First of all, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, AMERICA! from some Canadian friends!

I hope you're enjoying your 230th Birthday!

I wanted to share a couple of stories... and explode a bit of a myth "we" have here in Canada too...

First, the "editorial" if you will...

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As regular readers of this blog may know, I'm a War of 1812 re-enactor (when possible.) For those not up on their history, this is when the post-revolutionary, burgeoning United States of America declared war on Great Britain over naval issues (impressment of American sailors by British naval vessels) and other concerns with the arming of the natives and land claims.

Well, Great Britain was a bit far away (and already fighting Napoleon in Portugal and Spain at the time) so America did invade Canada...

This was not a popular war for anyone... it was most often referred to as "Mr. Madison's War"... despite the fact that President Madison wasn't really wanting to go the "armed conflict" route either. Not helping matters were statements from Thomas Jefferson who had said that "...the conquest of Canada would be a mere matter of marching."

(Needless to say, since we're still a sovereign nation and still here, Mr. Jefferson and other's were incorrect... but that's neither here nor there...)

Anyway, to give you an idea of the hatred and seething anger that our countries had for each other...

The Atlantic states and provinces pretty much refused to war with each other.

Sure, there were the odd scrimmages and loads of piracy and whatnot, but not any outright conflict. The New England states, especially Vermont and Massachusetts, refused to send troops to "help" with the unpopular war! The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia issued a proclamation that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick would abstain from "predatory" bahaviour with their neighbours and that trade would continue "without molestation"...

In fact, this went much further...

When the town of St. Stephen found out it's American counterpart of Calais did not have fireworks to celebrate the fourth of July, they obliged with a large gift... of barrels of gunpowder.

According to historical sources, trails between America and Canada through which potash, cattle, pork, and other "smuggled" goods were so well worn, it's difficult to assume that either "military" side couldn't acknowledge that the civilian population were really not at war with each other...

So, think about this for a minute...

There "we" were... at war with each other... but giving gun powder away for the opposites celebration?

After the "sacking" of York (present day Toronto,) Gen. Winfield Scott sent over a boat under a flag of truce, after the American departure from the town, with a load of books that had been taken from a library and a note of apology!

When General Brock died at the Battle of Queenston Heights, despite being an American stronghold at that point, Fort Niagara fired a ceremonial cannon to honour the British general... not in anger, but in respect.

Some may say that there are "tensions" now with Canadian/American relations... but historically, at our "toughest hours" when we were supposed to hate and loath each other, those tensions weren't there.

We were friends... comrades on the same land... fighting the same hardships as settlers and newcomers in a strange environment...

...and that war, despite it's issues, did set up the world's largest undefended border... something I think we're both proud of, despite any recent rumblings.

And today, what really separates us? Sure, there's minor issues with trade and some differences of strategic ideals, but we're pretty much the same. In fact, I think it's great that one can literally "step" from one side of a Republic to another where we still have a Monarchy... (Okay, it's a constitutional monarchy and our Prime Minister and Ottawa makes all the decisions, but we still hold the Queen to high esteem!)

I have pointed out in the past that Canadians (certainly not all!) sometimes are down on Americans... but I explain this thusly... Imagine if (in America) Mexico had the largest and most productive media outlets. That every time you turned on your TV set, your radio, or went to see a film you heard, "MEXICO! NUMBER ONE!" and "MEXICO'S THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD!" and "EVERYONE WANTS TO BE MEXICAN!"

How would the average person in Oregon feel about Mexico?

Yeah, it's a little jealousy... in a weird sorta way... but that's about it. I think the general population on both side of the border realise it's really only a matter of how to pronounce "foyer"... which, as we all know, is "Foy-Ay". :)

...and to be honest, I've never run into any "Canadian Hatred" when visiting the States... nor have I seen any REAL animosity for an American visitor here in Canada.

Let's face it... we're friends and neighbours... and we do care about each other.

We may be a little uninformed about one another, but we're still together... and since 1815, pretty much always have been.

SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NEIGHBOUR!

...and may you have many, many, many, many, ad infinitum... more!

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Let's bust that Historical Myth!

Canada burned down the White House during the War of 1812

The "educated" version of this myth is "The Canadian Army burned down the White House in the War of 1812 in retaliation for the burning of York."

Guess what?

These are both wrong.

In August of 1814, British naval ships, cruising off the Atlantic coast under the command of Admiral Cockburn and with several companies of "Wellington's Invincibles" straight from the war in Europe (Portugal and The Peninsula Campaigns) landed in Benedict, marched to Blandesburg where they met limited (sadly, almost comical) resistance, then into Washington... where they did burn the whole town down.

This was in retaliation... as per the orders of the day... for the burning of Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) in the winter... where American soldiers and "Canadian Volunteers" (turncoats) burned the town "to deny the enemy comfortable billets"... the only people in the town at the time were the infirmed, elderly, youngsters, and other non-combatants. (Oh, just for the record, this act was universally decried... George McClure, the American commander at Newark, needed guards once he retreated to Buffalo to protect himself from his OWN populace! They wanted him strung-up for the act... newspapers on BOTH sides decried him as a villain and coward...)

...anyway...

The fact of the matter is, the fellows who burned the white house probably never set foot in Canada... before or after the battles they would be involved in.

More interestingly, this "glorious victory"(?) at Washington led to a little battle near Baltimore at Fort McHenry... which the Brits lost... and a young lawyer, named Francis Scott-Key, seeing the Congreve Rockets flying and exploding over the old flag in the fort, penned a little poem... "The Rocket's Red Glare, The Bombs Bursting In Air..." which someone set to a drinking song entitled "To Anacreon in Heaven".

So, the White House may have burned... but the next step led to a national anthem... and the British "victory" in Washington was short-lived.

I can NOT more strongly recommend (as reading for either side of the border) the late Pierre Berton's books The Invasion of Canada and Flames Across the Border. To know the whole story, it's best to plough through both... but if you're more into the "fife and drum" aspect, the latter, Flames Across the Border, is fine... and can be read without reading the first one... and is a bit more "exciting" with lots of swash for your buckle.

There! Now that'll teach you not to get your history lesson from Three Dead Trolls in a Baggy!!!

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To close out this lengthy post, I'd like to send everyone to read Gordon Sinclair's editorial on America from 1973 which sums up quite a lot...

America is great... and we here wish them all a VERY happy birthday!

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In Addendum: As I said, I'm a War of 1812 re-enactor (when possible) and reading through the Yahoo! Newsgroup for other re-enactors I came across this which made me giggle...

From (a British NCO Re-Enactor)...

To my American friends,

(with tongue planted firmly in cheek)

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday Dear rebellious-upstart-republicans....
Happy birthday to you!

Have a great forth of July!

(PS, I wish I could be in Boston tonight!)

Historians have a sense of humour too! :)

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Last thing... Have a look through my Cafe Press shop for some stuff I whipped up... and don't forget the pixel ad site and also our "PayPal Donate" button (look at the upper-right hand side of the blog) to help us save/own Regent Low Height 3 which is why this site exists...

Thanks!

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Permalink 11:55:03 am, by Email , 179 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

No one will ever accuse me of being an artist...

My Samples

Well, to help augment the cash-raising to get to the dream (Getting/Saving RLH 3), I set up a Cafe Press store...

I tried my best with the designs... I hope bus enthusiasts like them...

Give it a look... there's "special" Canada Day and Fourth of July stuff...

Let me know what you think...

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Speaking of issues in creativity, I upgraded the "blogware" I'm using... and it wiped out ALL my "personalizations" so I got to spend a fun-filled few hours fixing things! Wheee! Be warned, b2evolution users... upgrading is a pain and backups are a must!

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I'm going to do a MUCH better post for tomorrow's "Fourth of July"... I have it mapped out in my head already... just need to commit it to "pixels"!

I hope ALL our American friends are enjoying the weekend... My special thoughts are with those affected by the recent flooding... especially with our friend threecollie who's in the thick of it, but doing okay...

I hope the celebrations of our neighbour's birthday is a joyous and happy one! (More to come tomorrow...)

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07/02/06

Permalink 11:27:02 am, by Email , 481 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

E-mail - The Good and the Ugly...

Ahhh... e-mail. The double-edged sword.

I get up every day and (honestly) excitedly check my mail... hoping beyond hope that THIS will be the day that I get an e-mail saying...

"What a boffo dream you guys have! I'd love to help you!"

...or...

"Hey! This sounds like a great way for me to advertise my company and I'd love to help you obtain your dream and fix up that old double-decker bus! Sign me up!"...

...well, either somehing like those or a nice e-mail from a friend or family member.

Yup, I get excited and pop open the mail and...

"Greetings sir, I am the son of Nigirian royaltey and I want you to help me."
...and...
"Your wife has been complaining about the size of your package."
...and...
"We have the best pr3scription p1lls!"...

...oh, and as a relatively new blogger, all those "trackbacks" and "comments" about Nokia Ringtones, Boob Enhancements, Casinos, etc., etc...

Sure, I have filters... and everyday it's less and less... but the spammers find NEW ways and then it increases again.

I would rate this as somewhat as irritating as when you're surfing blogs only to find images of Christ telling us, "the dear ones", how all Democrats and Liberals will be cast into the firey depths despite hitting the "Ignore This Blog" button every time you end up at it.

None-the-less, there's always that "faint hope" that someone will respond with the news we're hoping for... so it's "Woo-Hoo!" first thing in the morning... until the ultimate let-down of finding out that I'm not as "hard" as I apparently should be.

The dream remains, however... and aside from my other hobbies for which I get e-mail... and those rare personal ones from friends and family... so far, my e-mail is mostly spam.

I remain hopeful that we WILL rescue/own Regent Low Height 3 before she's carved up or scrapped... and that help will come...

...but honestly, I don't have a girlfriend - and my wife has not complained to me about my... um... equipment... nor do I have the funds or gumption to save the son of a Nigerian oil baron... nor do I need c1all1as, v1agkra, or any other med... nor do I want to mortgage my home (actually, I'm renting!)... but the spam remains the same... and one day, mixed in with it, I'm sure I'll read an e-mail (or two) which will turn this blog and it's related sites into...
"THE STORY OF HOW WE'RE LOOKING AFTER OUR BUS! - The Trials and Tribulations of a Family Trying to Fix-Up an Old Double-Decker Bus..."

One day...

RLH 3

*sigh*

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Have a look at our current BlogEx renter...

Deals on eBay!

Also, we were BlogMad's Blog-of-the-Day for a FIFTH TIME (not in a row!) D'ya think putting a picture up of Strongbad helped? :)

Thanks to all the GREAT folks at BlogMad!

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07/01/06

Permalink 02:07:49 pm, by Email , 143 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

Two Quick Notes: England loses and Better to be talked about...

Sad Day...
ARRRGH! England is out of the World Cup losing to Portugal on penalties. I'm not a huge "football" (soccer) fan, but I was hoping... and yeah, I'm an Anglophile...

As seen on chat! While doing a "quick surf", came across a "Shout Box" where this blog was being discussed! Basically, two people were discussing the "non-bus" posts, and one was discussing the "bus" posts. Hapilly, ALL THREE were supporting the site and saying nice things (two like the writing style and "stories" and the other like the idea of chasing a dream)! Yay! A nice thing to stumble across... and they didn't even know I was there!

That, and as it says below, it's Canada's 139th birhday today (HAPPY CANADA DAY! see the last post for a better "Canada Day" post...) and overall, with the exception of England's loss, it's a good day!

Permalink 10:34:01 am, by Email , 13 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?

Happy 139th Birthday, Canada!

Happy Canada Day!

Canada turns 139 today!

Happy Canada Day!

From The Proudly Canadian Double-Decker Bus Family! :)

D O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V. M
Et In Arcadia Ego

IMPORTANT NOTICE:


October 28th, 2009

See the "latest post" on the left here... I've decided to concentrate on other work so this blog is kinda done for me... THANKS kindly to my friends and regular readers... and as you'll note, I am still loitering in the blogsphere... and I'm still online... and I honestly haven't given up hope that we will get our dream bus one day! (We've just gotten REALLY quiet about it...)

My Disclosure Policy For Sponsored Posts

Blog-Gone! Thanks for reading!

As of October 28th, 2009, this blog went inactive... basically, the blogger here has moved on to bigger and better...

Please Note: As of October 28th, 2009, I am not maintaining any of these links...

Looking for RV info? Check out phred Tinseth's Poop Sheets on Phrannie.Org

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Please Note: As of October 28th, 2009, I am not maintaining any of these links...

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Café at the End of the Universe

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The Creative Nerd

Driller's Place

Exhausticated

A Gentleman's Domain

The Gnostic World of Candy Minx

Gone With The Wenns Another double-decker bus dream coming to fruition!

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Please Note: As of October 28th, 2009, I am not maintaining any of these links...

Canada Blog Friends

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