Happy Mom!

I managed to present a live birthday show, with proper social distancing, days before the latest lockdown began. Felt good to be in front of a live bunch of kids, challenges notwithstanding. Got this lovely email from mom shortly afterwards. A real ego boost and then, kindly, she added it to my Google reviews too. Sweet!

Thank you for being so reliable and professional, the kids had so much fun and they will have amazing memories. Also thank you for bearing the cold so bravely, I wish we did not have all the guidelines according to the indoor/outdoor gathering, it would have been less challenging. I’ll highly recommend you!

All the best,


Virtual Magic… again!

Well, just when you thought it was safe to leave the bunker…!

We’re back in a lock down for a few weeks anyways.

Thanks omicron… not!

Shows via Zoom for kids birthdays and other events. Click on the contact link and drop me a note. Or, drop a dime and call. (If you get that ‘dime’ reference you probably don’t have kids the right age for my services…!) We’ll figure something out.

Alley Ghost

Many older neighbourhoods in Hamilton have alleys. They’re great cycling shortcuts. You can stay off main roads between gaps in marked bike lanes. Recently saw another ‘ghost’ on such an alley ride.

Druggists bearing sodas came after Apothecarists bearing leeches, right…?!

Perhaps this building, at 254 Locke Street South, was Duncan Garson’s shop back when soda fountains in drug stores were common. Soda fountains were often the purview of druggists because druggists, or chemists as the Brits still call them, knew how to make carbon dioxide; no small feat ♫ waaaay ♫ back when! While commercial production of CO2 in the late 1800s ended that bit of dangerous in-house chemical wizardry the drug store soda fountain endured for many decades more.

Sadly, I could find no online reviews for a Garson root beer float…!

More fun facts about soda fountains & druggists plus actress Lana Turner not being discovered at the soda fountain in Schwab’s Drug Store.

Ghost-a Cola!

Passed this location a gazillion times without noticing this faded Coca-Cola ‘ghost sign’ before. Traffic flow is one-way west bound. It’s on west side of building at King West and Locke streets. Undoubtedly painted long before King W. became a one-way. Must be heading east to see it which today, while walking, I was. Boo!

Delicious and Refreshing. Sold Everywhere. 5¢

Ghosts of Evolution…

Over time you get to know your ‘home turf’ pretty well. You notice and enjoy the natural beauty that’s all around. You notice things that don’t quite belong too…

Pretty sure Osage Orange trees fall into the ‘don’t quite belong’ category, at least for Southern Ontario.
Osage is a deciduous tree more commonly associated with southern climes. I’ve seen two in Dundas, Ontario. They announce themselves in late fall when the fruit start dropping. Can’t help but notice those odd green balls on the ground.

Low hanging fruit?

Osage Oranges have been called Ghosts of Evolution since basically nothing eats the fruit. The seeds in these green balls are so small you’d spend more calories extracting them than they’d give you in return. Also, they ooze a very sticky white sap when opened. Ask your neighbourhood squirrel: not worth the effort.

A peek inside. Tiny seeds.

They’re not actually oranges although the fruit does have a light citrus aroma.
Part of the mulberry family. Alas, not the cool part of the mulberry family from whence the English nursery rhyme Pop Goes The Weasel originates. I guess monkeys and weasels stick to mulberry since nothing rhymes with orange…

Beautiful mature tree.

Southern Ontario is at the northern end of the Carolinian forest range. Tree cover is quite diverse here thanks in no small part to being near two great lakes, Ontario & Erie. The lakes help maintain slightly milder temperatures in winter. That difference helps these trees survive.

A Port Dover friend tells me there’s some there too. That’s 50 kilometers further south weather wise and again close to a large body of water.

I may have gone overboard collecting oddballs for this photo…!

This should be more than enough info for you to answer any pub trivia night question. Keep an eye out next time you’re hiking in late fall!