Thursday, 21 May 2015

L. Ron Hubbard Blues: Thursday, May 21st!

The charm, one might say the genius of memory, is that it is choosy, chancy and temperamental; it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust. -Elizabeth Bowen, novelist (1899-1973) 

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief: Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney blows the lid off this secretive and sinister organization, a "religion" that incorporates the financial structure of pyramid scheme and bears all the hallmarks of a cult. Gibney talks to 8 former Scientologists, including Crash writer-director Paul Haggis and several senior officials now alienated from the organization. The film gives us the history of its bizarre founder L. Ron Hubbard, and examines Scientology's dubious dealings with the IRS and its disturbing exploitation of celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Misread my calendar so after taking down the bulletin board in the front entrance-way and then vacuuming the runner there and rolling it up, in preparation to packing it, I lubed and suited up to ride to VanCity Theatre. Was certainly looking forward to seeing this documentary as I heard a very strong feature interview on CBC's Q, helmed by guest host Piya Chattopadhyay, with former Scientology spokesperson Mike Rinder, who alleges physical abuse against Church officials and is featured in the book and film versions of Going Clear, a few weeks ago. Much to my annoyance, at myself, I discovered I was a day late! Not sure if I'll be able to see it since rest of show times fall on days when we are otherwise engaged. However, I assume film will be around so hope I can take it in in the not too, too distant future, although I see that HBO Canada announced that HBO US confirmed that the film wasn't made available in territories where Lawrence Wright's book has not been published or distributed. 

Upon further investigation, Wright's book was published in 2013, it debuted at number three on the New York Times harcover non-fiction bestseller list. Its publisher hasn't sold a single copy in Canada. That's because Random House chose not to distribute the book here. It was generally assumed that this was out of fear of a libel lawsuit from the notoriously litigious Church of Scientology. Canada and the United Kingdom, where the book was also withheld from stores, share rules that make it easier for plaintiffs to win libel suits. Fear to speak up as a result of potential lawsuits is often called "libel chill." For now will just have to wait and see!

Nevertheless, managed a short ride out of mistake. Another wonderful day so the outing though, too, too brief, was most enjoyable. A week or so ago, I found another attachment for my Garmin so, having affixed it to my Brodie,  I can now track my "errando" rides! Stats for ride:

Back home, after a short dipsy-doodle around Olympic Village to give me at least 11 km for the ride! Now I will "attack" my malt cabinet. Hope to pack all the bottles I will take to Penticton, leaving the rest to be consumed at the Farewell Bash! Sláinte!

Hi Pat kind of short notice, but I have a booth at the Art Vancouver show downtown at the old (East) convention centre under the sails, by the Pan Pacific hotel. Opening party is tonight at 6, until 10, I have free comp tickets, if you phone me from the front door I can come out and give them to you. Ron tix here they are! Ron

Hello Mr Grizzle! Thanks so much for inviting us to Art Vancouver and for making it such a fun-filled evening! We really had a wonderful time and the number of glasses of Wirra Wirra's Scrubby Rise red certainly didn't hurt either.  Hope you can pop by on Saturday. Cheers, Patrizzio! Pics: Cora Lee with our friend Tony, grimacing after being bitten by your pink dog! Your stork and dog; phenomenal Wishing Well!

Received the round-letter from G, he sounds upbeat, hope he stays on that trajectory - hard to keep a good man down. Best wishes for the party Saturday, wish I was there. Love to C and you. S. 

Hello Kathleen and Stefano! Wonderful to hear from you! However, terribly sorry to learn that Kathleen has been so afflicted with arthritis to have been hospitalized. Cannot imagine the distress and pain you must have had to endure, Kathleen. Do hope that things are better now. Cora Lee has seen Zoe a number of times, of late, at Friends of VPL meeetings and so we received a bit of news from her. I do apologize for not being in touch sooner but, as I'm sure you can well imagine, it has been pretty busy, if not hectic, over last little while.

Not sure if Kathleen's condition has changed or might change your travel plans. Hope not but in any event, just wondering if you have given more thought to the dates you might entertain for seeing us in Penticton. For our part, we are now leaning towards leaving for Winnipeg on Sunday, June 14th, although we could delay our departure until Tuesday, June 16th, as we need to be in Winnipeg by Thursday, June 18th, at the latest. As I mentioned, in an earlier message, our departure date, from Manitoba, is more-or-less open-ended but we obviously need to know what Stefano has in mind if planning to hitch a ride back to BC, so as best to coordinate return route, dates, etc. Anyway, let us know what you think as soon as you know, yourselves.
Fondestos from Cruella, Cruel Packing Task Mistress, to you both. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Hi Patrick, thanks for update on your travel plans, I take them into account under "probables" below. K in rehab, out Monday for a total of 3 weeks in hospital. Has a program of 2/week physio until mid July. Not coming to Vancouver.

Knowns My known travel plans are: 15 June Arrive YVR Stay at Gramma's 17 June meet older bro coming from Qld 17-27 June around Vancouver staying with Dan and Leslie (if Gregg visitable, I'll shoot over and see him) 28 June bro and me cruising to Alaska July 5 back in Van Probables I come see you guys on the way to wedding in Wetaskiwin, probably 8-9 July OR I visit on return from wedding probably 12-13 July. Hope this clarifies a little. Love. S. 

Hi again, Stefano! Thanks for most recent itinerary. Very disappointed that Kathleen won't be coming to Vancouver. I suspected as much when we heard she had to be hospitalized. Too bad but I trust she will recover more fully not having to travel.

On a positive note, both Lynne and Peter will be at home in July, for both sets of dates you provided. I mentioned I'd let you know this so that you can choose which ones suit you best. We'll be in Penticton then as well. Peter is keen looking forward to your mandolin mariachi concert! Cheers, Patrizzio!

Dear Corinne and Patrick, I am now back in Chabeuil and Andre tells me he spoke to you recently. I will be thinking of you over the next week as you go through the trauma of moving from Vancouver to Penticton. Let us know your new address and home telephone number details once you are settled so we can keep in touch. Look forward to seeing you both again when we are back in October/November, if you are not away on your travels - seem to remember India was planned. Take care and my very best wishes, Rosemary XXX 

Hello Rosemary and Andre The Giant!!  Wonderful to hear from you! Sorry I've not been in touch sooner but, as I'm sure you can well imagine, it has been pretty busy, if not hectic, over last little while. Enjoyed talking to Andre. He sounds busy with the garden. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Hi Favourite Naramatians! Thanks again for the storage. I trust the long weekend garage sale went well, given all the new merchandise you had to offer for sale, at bargain basement prices, I presume!

Below is the latest from Stefano. You will now see the more or less "firm" dates for Steve's visit. Unfortunately, due to her back problems, Kathleen will not be coming. I suspected as much when we heard she had to be hospitalized. Too bad but I trust she will recover more fully not having to travel.

Given Stefano's itinerary we will only connect in July. Cannot remember what your exact travel plans happen to be but I seem to recall that you might not be around mid-July. Anyway, thought I 'd let you know what I now know.

Must away as we are off to the Art Vancouver show downtown at the old convention centre under the sails, by the Pan Pacific Hotel. Opening party is tonight from 6, until 10, and our friend, Mr Grizzle, (Ron Simmer from UBC's former Patscan), has offered us free comp tickets.

Hola Patricio--Just a very quick reply from moi to let you know that, as far as my calendar goes, July 8-9 or July 12-13 would work for a visit with Stefano. (So sorry to hear that Kathleen is not able to come.) I'll let Dom Pedro reply as well just in case he has something on that is not on the calendar!
Cheers for now. Keep on packing'! Lynnie

Hi Patrick, Peon Pedro will be slaving in the vineyard in July and not making any donkey excursions to far lands. Will be pleased to take off a few hours from my labours when Steve shows up. Looking forward to his mandolin mariachi concert. Hope the packing goes well. The real trick is to not start too soon, as the job will expand to fill the available hours. Better to goof off until the bitter end then just get it done.

What's your plan for moving day? I have a trip to a mine site in Greenwood in the morning of the 29th, but our plan is get away very early, departing site at 10:30 so can be back in Penticton by mid-day. I'm hoping Lynne will come with me so when people ask if she ever goes on my trips she will be able to say, "Oh, yes, Petey takes me all over the place". What time are you planning to arrive and need porterage? Looking forward to your permanent arrival in the Valley.
Cheers, Pedro.

Hi Lurkin' and Peon Pedro! Thanks for the packing encouragement, (Lynne), and advice, (Peon Pedrito), as both are much appreciated! Had a wonderful time at Art Vancouver. Mr Grizzle plied us with a number of glasses of Wirra Wirra's Scrubby Rise red. One of our favourite wineries in McLaren Vale so this just added to our delight as we wandered the booths. The artists we were most impressed with happened to be photographers, one in particular, Fiona Howarth, from Abbotsford, (She nurses as an RN for her day-time job.), had done an incredible series of used neon casino signs from Vegas, as well as some stunning landscapes from Iceland. She is off to latter in a week or so. Cora Lee would like to buy one of her sign prints for the Burns Street Social House so who knows! 

Another artist, Charles Gitnick is but twelve years old, from LA, and does some startling collages with weapons. To our minds, Mr Grizzle's sculptures, from recycled materials, in the main, were certainly some of the best work exhibited. Cora Lee really wants one of his red balloon dogs for our minimalist, zero-maintenance yard! I'm quite taken with his "stork" and am fascinated by the garden rake tail, (not all the well captured by my snap, unfortunately), and the rebar legs and feet. Such a whimsical integration of parts that I chortle every time I think of it or see the picture again.

Thanking our gracious host, (He provided tickets as well!), we made our way home to have a late dinner while we watched a recorded episode of Outlander, sitting on the edge of our seats as Claire and Jamie, the latter imprisoned in Wentworth Prison and sentenced to hang, have to deal with dastardly Black Jack Randall!

Glad that you both will be around when Stefano visits. I'll let him know so that he can decide which dates best suit his travel schedule. With respect to moving day, we have booked unloading help for 3:00 pm on May 29th so I hope to follow Big Al out of Vancouver by 8:00 am to give us plenty of time to be in Penticton by then. Having dinner with neighbours, Patrizzia and Greg Bush, Friday evening. They have also invited Flamin' and Sarge, as well as Prince Valiant and Megan, in town for the weekend. Will say hello to everyone for you. Then it's the Farewell Bash on Saturday so plenty to keep us busy. Fondestos from Mme Coriandre. Cheers, Patrizzio!

Pics: Ready to imbibe culture! Mr Grizzle's work and the man himself! Charles Gitnick's 3-D gun art; Fiona's photographs; Ron's stork and dog; stunning view from Canada Place when we stepped outside, after leaving exhibition. 

Hi Patrick The open house for Les was very well attended and it was good to be able to remember Les with his friends. We thought that you had already sold and moved for some reason. Really appreciate the invitation for Saturday but unfortunately I will be on the Island this weekend. Looks as though we will have to visit you in Penticton for those few drams!! Pity - will miss seeing a lot of your old friends. Best wishes to Corinne and yourself, Julie and Rich

Hi Ricardo! Am very pleased to hear that the Open House for Les went very well. This past Tuesday we were at the Carters for dinner and bridge and Mick and I reminisced about playing against Les, both singles and doubles. Sorry you and Julie won't be able to attend our Farewell Bash but hope you will visit us in Penticton when occasion arises. You are always welcome. Will see Polly and Mick there in mid-June so looking forward to showing off our new place even if the unpacking will probably still be underway! Thanks for the best wishes. Fondestos to you and Julie and see you in the not too, too distant future, I trust. Cheers, Il Conduttore! Pic: On the patio!

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