November 22, 2016

Drawing with an Apple Pencil on ipadpro -
at Go Figure in Collingwood ....

November 20, 2016

Finally able to post in here [don't know what was wrong and didn't have time [or take time] to find out].  Awfully busy watching the nightmare my neighbours have brought on themselves [2/3 of them don't vote? we do get the government we deserve don't we?] mourning Leonard Cohen and Gwen Ifil as well as listening to Apple Music which is super because they publish the words behind the songs. It is nobodies business if I can't carry a tune! Last but not least I put a bit of paint on this painting. Click to enlarge it - its worth a click!

November 04, 2016

WHY TRUMP IS DIFFERENT—AND MUST BE REPELLED By Adam Gopnik , NOVEMBER 3, 2016 Donald Trump behaves exactly how you would expect an American fascist to act. PHOTOGRAPH BY MANDEL NGAN / AFP / GETTY Barrier Status: 'none' For the past months, and into this final week, as for much of the past year, many New Yorkers have been in a position that recalls parents with a colicky baby: you put the baby down at last, it seems safely asleep, grateful and unbelievably exhausted you return to bed—only to hear the small tell-tale cough or sob that guarantees another crying jag is on the way. The parents in this case, to fill in the metaphorical blanks, are liberal-minded folk; the baby’s cries are any indicators that Donald Trump may not be out of the race for President—as he seemed to be even as recently as last week—and may actually have a real chance at being elected. Disbelief crowds exhaustion: this can’t be happening. If the colicky baby is a metaphor too sweet for so infantile a figure as the orange menace, then let us think instead, perhaps, of the killer in a teen horror movie of the vintage kind: every time Freddy seemed dispatched and buried, there he was leaping up again, as the teens caught their breath and returned, too soon, to their teendom. We joke because we seek sanity in an insane moment. For the idea that Trump might be elected is as crazy as the man is. Trump remains, as he has been all along, an open and committed enemy of liberal democracy and constitutional republicanism, and yet he is at most a few polling points from power. Indeed, we can be confident that, whatever the play of the polls this week, we will certainly arrive at next Tuesday with Trump retaining at least the chance that any candidate of one of our two major parties always has—a real one, with much depending on things that happen outside anyone’s control, often at the last minute, and in ways that cannot now easily be envisioned. Those are the stakes, and our emergency, our sleepless baby, our back-from-the-dead killer. Come, the skeptic alongside or within us protests, surely this account is at least a little hysterical, or exaggerated. Can Trump really be that bad? And would he truly be unguarded by constitutional constraints? For haven’t we heard all this, or something too much like it, before? It has been a convention of our quadrennial liberal pieties, after all, to insist that this election is the one that uniquely matters, with repeated spectres of looming apocalyptic authoritarianism often (and perhaps too carelessly) invoked. People said the same things about Goldwater in 1964, and about Richard Nixon in that grim year of 1968. Even Ronald Reagan, now as comforting an American icon as Ozzie Nelson, was greeted in the summer of 1980 with fearful warnings about the dangers of putting the nuclear button in the hands of a shallow and untested actor. The country survived. Hell, the country thrived. Can the oafish and absurd Donald Trump really be worse? Well, if one lesson liberals learn from 2016 is to be more discerning about the difference between bad policies and constitutional crises, between falling rain and onrushing meteors, it will surely be salubrious for them, and for us all. But, in truth, this time is different. Barry Goldwater worked within, and respected all the norms of, democracy—during his time as a senator, he and J.F.K. were not only friends across the aisle but talked of barnstorming together in 1964. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” may not be a slogan all can embrace, but (to sound like Walter Sobchak, in “The Big Lebowski”) at least it’s an ethos—something to respect and debate, to argue over. The condition of the country in 1968 was surely worse than it is now, and Nixon had an inner life more paranoid than even now is quite believable—but he was also a normal politician who had followed a normal path, and when, in fact, his anti-democratic tendencies were revealed, he was expelled by the same constitutional order that he had betrayed. One never thought to have to say this in his praise, but Richard Nixon accepted the system that distinguished itself by ejecting him. And Ronald Reagan, whatever anxieties he awoke in the year of his election, could point credibly to his time as a successful two-term governor of our largest state. Meanwhile, the true previous American demagogues—Joe McCarthy and Huey Long and George Wallace—never captured the Presidential nomination of a major political party. Donald Trump is not normal in any of these ways, and yet we continue to treat him as though he were. Those of us who warned last spring that he was being underestimated and “normalized” by a sinister process of gradual acceptance of the unacceptable turned out, tragically, to be right. Trump is not normal. Nothing about him is. One need only look at his rallies, track the rhetoric they offer and the vengeful orgy of hatred and misogyny and racism they induce, to see just how different he is. His followers are not, shall we say, there to root on their favored libertarian in his pursuit of free-market solutions to vexing social problems; they are there to scream insults and cry havoc on their (mostly imaginary) enemies, to revel in the riot of misogyny and racism that Trump has finally given them license to retrieve from the darkest chapters of our past. (“Not politically correct” means openly brutal to minorities and women.) A ten-year-old screams, “Take that bitch down!” to laughter. One need only track the past month’s series of outrages, each quickly receding into the distance, to recall that he has done not one but almost innumerable things that in any previous election would have been, quaint word, “disqualifying.” His Twitter assault on the former Miss Universe was followed by his confession and boasts of being a sexual predator, which were followed by the confirmation of numerable women that, yes, indeed, he is a sexual predator—met only by his snarling denials, none of them the least bit convincing, and the familiar big-lie technique of insisting that their stories have been “debunked” when they have not even been effectively denied. The truth is that Trump’s “positions” on specific issues are more or less a matter of chance and whim and impulse (Of course women should be punished for having abortions! Ten minutes later: no, they shouldn’t) while his actual ideology, the song he sings every day, the one those listeners and followers gleefully vibrate to, is one anthem, and it is the sound of the authoritarian and anti-democratic impulses Americans have rejected since the founding of this country. Call them what you will—populist authoritarianism or extreme-right-wing ethno-nationalism—the active agents within a Trump speech and energizing a Trump rally are always the same: the worship of power in its most brutal and authoritarian forms (thus his admiration for Vladimir Putin and for the Chinese Communists who assaulted the protesters at Tiananmen Square); the reduction of all relations to dominance contests; the contempt for rational argument; the perpetual unashamed storm of lies; the appeal to hysterically exaggerated fears of outsiders; and, above all, the relentless sense of ethnic grievance that can be remedied only by acts of annihilating revenge. His is the ideology not of democratic patriotism but of a narrow nationalism alone—the glorification of the nation, and the exaggeration of its humiliations, with violence promised to its enemies, at home and abroad; and a promise of vengeance for those who feel themselves disempowered by history. He will “level the playing field” with the terrorist spectre of isis by forcing soldiers to commit war crimes; he will not merely kill our enemies but annihilate their families. His platform is resentment and his program is revenge, and that is an ideology with many faces and one name. This is fascism with an American face. Because it is fascism with an American face, it can look, as things American so often do, in its own strange way not merely repellent but grotesquely entertaining—so much so that on some of these mornings of this final week it’s hard to recall the magnitude of the stakes. (The Trump stakes, of course, are not to be confused with Trump Steaks, one more failed brand.) Trump’s aggression slips so seamlessly inside the practices of professional wrestling and reality-television shows that one has to stop laughing long enough to remember, as our parents used to say, that there isn’t anything funny about it. Trump does what he does, as all good demagogues do, by instinct more than instruction: he senses that the “character” part in a professional-wrestling match must be always and entirely unrepentant and must never apologize—and, important detail, that the bad-guy persona can in fact become a good guy to the crowd if he is only given a chance to drop-kick the Muslim Sheik or the Mexican Intruder. And the strange rhythm of repeated insult is exactly the rhythm of “The Apprentice”—each week demands another outrage. But take no comfort from the squalid comedy: this is exactly what you would expect an American fascist to be, and to be like. The priority, putting all others aside, is to stop him. And yet voting, the essential act, has to be supported by speaking, and by telling the truth about how we got here. One reading of Trump should be avoided—indeed, repelled—for the sake of intellectual integrity. It has become almost an essential piety even among his opponents that a special pathos clings to his supporters, who know not what they do, but are themselves victims of forces larger than they. The misérables of the postmodern period, the dispossessed of the globalized planetary era, his supporters are not really the “racists” they are thought to be—and if they indulge in the blind hatred of his message it is only because their alienation from mainstream America, and their increasing hopelessness in the face of job losses and meaningful occupation, makes them vulnerable to a demagogic ideology. They embrace from ignorance and misplaced hope rather than from shared hatreds. The trouble with this view is that, while Trump has his share of disaffected white working-class voters, the correlation between Trumpism and economic discontent is a false one, as has been demonstrated many times. One particularly detailed and persuasive example appeared on Vox: “Trump support was correlated with higher, not lower, income, both among the population as a whole and among white people. Trump supporters were less likely to be unemployed or to have dropped out of the labor force. Areas with more manufacturing, or higher exposure to imports from China, were less likely to think favorably of Trump.” Even if the correlation were minimally robust, the notion that belonging to the largely fluid category “the white working class” puts one in special possession of virtue—a notion that still makes Chris Matthews’s eyes moist every night—is, in a polyglot, cosmopolitan country, absurd. The white working class built unions and raised children and fought wars—and lynched black people and supported Joe McCarthy. Sometimes those attitudes could be held together in a single personality. No group is invulnerable to bad causes. We should have no hesitation in calling deplorable attitudes deplorable—without imagining that those who hold them are deplorable people. They can be wrong without being bad. And, in any case, it would be good to balance the endless hand-wringing about the pathos of the Trump voter with some countervailing sense of the pathos, still larger, of the Clinton voter: the Latina motel cleaner in Nevada or the single mother in Brooklyn. No category of voters in a democracy is especially virtuous, none immune from evil. The biggest single error, and the most tragic, that “progressive” or liberal thinkers made in the twentieth century was to imagine that ethnic grievances could be reduced to economic grievances, and that if the aggrieved could be made to see their “true” class position the grievance would go away, the nationalism, or racism, would vanish. It never has. Trump’s supporters demand our attention and deserve our empathy—but that doesn’t make the ideology they so feverishly share any less toxic or dangerous. And the notion that they have no agency or choice is the truly condescending one. (The reality, more hopeful, is that the views behind such grievances do not get out-argued; they just evolve out of us. The most encouraging of the poll-borne truths may be that Trump’s support drops among those younger than thirty, of whatever racial or ethnic or educational background.) The mistake in the analysis lies deeper, perhaps—in the assumption that only a strange and traumatic sequence can have made this happen. What can be causing Trumpism? We ask, and seek for an earthquake, or at least a historical oddity or a series of highly specific causal events. The more tragic truth is that the Trumpian view of the world is the default view of mankind. Bigotry, fanaticism, xenophobia are the norms of human life—the question is not what causes them but what uncauses them, what happens in the rare extended moments that allow them to be put aside, when secular values of toleration and pluralism replace them. It is a touching thing that Oscar Hammerstein had his people sing, apropos racial prejudice, that “You’ve got to be carefully taught.” Alas, as poor Oscar would have realized if he had stopped to think about the events that had led all those American soldiers and sailors to the South Pacific in the first place, you don’t have to be carefully taught to hate. The Hitlerians and the Japanese militarists hadn’t been carefully taught; they rushed to their lesson in the face of all evidence. Human groups, particularly those fuelled by religious fanaticism or the twentieth-century equivalent, blind nationalism, always tend toward exclusion. To eliminate the tribal instinct may be impossible, but to raise the accidental practice of pluralism to a principle is what enlightened societies struggle to accomplish. And they have. It just turns out to be a horribly hard triumph to sustain. Along comes 1914, or 1933—or, God forbid, 2016—and the work comes crashing down. What really needs explaining is not why the Trumps of the world come forward and win. It is why they sometimes lose. Not long ago, I had occasion to write of the divide in virtue that separates us from Shakespeare, making the point that Shakespeare believed in fate, order, and forgiveness, whereas we believe in history, justice, and compassion, and that, superior though our moral progress may seem, there are bitter truths in the old trinity. For, as Shakespeare would have grasped at once, there is no explaining Trump. He is one of those phenomena that rise regularly in history to confound us with the possibility—and black comedy—of potent evil: conscienceless, cruel and pathologically dishonest. That evil magnetizes followers of all kinds is another permanent truth. Overexplaining its rise is as foolish as pretending that it can be easily defeated. The threat it makes to an order that, however imperfect, is worth sustaining and defending reminds us of that order’s fragility. As to forgiveness, much will be demanded, even if the best happens—or the worst, at least, is avoided. #content  Adam Gopnik, a staff writer, has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1986.

October 14, 2016

I have been home from West Park for a month and most of a day. Unfortunately I came home with pneumonia although I didn’t know that until my family doctor received a report from West Park. After the pneumonia I got a wicked thrush infection from the antibiotics and I am still babying a boil that came from I don’t know where. Aside from getting infected while at West Park it was an excellent experience and I learned a great deal from dedicated staff, other patients as well as seeing myself in a different light. I urge anyone with COPD to go to the nearest live in rehab facility. If you can’t do that at least follow and practice the exercises on the internet. I like this 27 minute long demo from the Burke Institute - youtube.com/COPDexercise - and do it every day. I also wear a fitbit and count my steps. Anyone out there with COPD? I would love to hear from you and any advice you may have.

August 14, 2016

It was kind of a crazy week at West Park. On Monday morning I woke up with a runny nose and a bit of a cough so I was semi isolated behind the curtain in the room which I share with 3 other women. For 3 days! Boring but I did manage to get my laptop connected to WP's wifi which I hadn't been able to do previously. Due to being in isolation I was unable to start the daily routine until Thursday [Behind the curtain I danced with myself to try and keep in shape!] so I have only did it for 2 days before coming home for the weekend. Boy, the routine is tough but I feel better for it already! Breakfast is served at our bedside. The food is surprisingly good for a hospital. I receive 1400 calories a day and have lost 5 lbs - very nice. By 8.45 we are all in the workout room to practice breathing methods, 9.45 we start various physical exercises from 1. take your heart rate and enter it on your chart 2. walk for 20 minutes 3.take your heart rate and then we graduate from walking to the bikes and or treadmills and more difficult exercises. These exercises are repeated for an hour each afternoon. Dinner is around 5 or 5.30 and then we are free to go for a walk in the 27 acre part which is beautiful even if it was hot as hell last week. One evening we played bingo and patients who have been there off and on for many years told me their stories. I may ask them if I can tell you some of them .... If you smoke I hope you smoked less this week?

August 07, 2016

I only put this old painting in because I am not sure how to  write in here without putting  in  an image and don't want to take the time to find out. In any case it is somewhat appropriate..
I am currently living at West Park Rehab centre in Toronto and will be for the next 6 weeks so I won't be posting often although I come home on the weekends. I have COPD [don't smoke folks or if you do try to smoke as little as possible although I have already met 2 patients there who never smoked - they got COPD from second hand smoke!] I smoked for 40 or so years and I must say I enjoyed it very much. I stopped smoking when I was 60. I am now 82 - had pneumonia 1 1/2 years ago and 4 months later was diagnosed with COPD which has become progressively worse. Makes it difficult to breath which makes it difficult to walk very far etc etc etc. 
Luckily for me I was accepted for the 6 weeks live in rehab program at West Park. Rather than talk to people about this very confusing illness I will write about the experience in this blog. I also hope other patients will share their stories with me and allow me to blog their stories. Maybe we can help a couple of people stop smoking and therefore live longer. I live near the lakeshore in Barrie and I see people smoking near their little children - please don't - you are blackening their little lungs!!

July 17, 2016

My geraniums over Barrie - the smart people shop for their plants around the second week in July when they were less than 1/3 of what I paid for them 10 days ago! 


July 11, 2016

I am practicing the best way to put these web pages into my blog. Please excuse the mess. I took a picture of this page with Preview and than trimmed it [not enough!]. It might get better tomorrow but then again it might not. Click to make it bigger and I hope you can read the headings?! 

More Family Paintings - My father's parents [she painted] - a 1 room schoolhouse with me, my brother and my sister. Thats my Mac desktop in the background. To see all my work go to bettybishop.ca - or wait in anticipation for me to post again! LOL 

July 07, 2016

SCREENSHOT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE OF FAMILY PAINTINGS go to bettybishop.ca

July 06, 2016

I finally got around to updating my website for the first time since 2014 -  bettybishop.ca - this is part of the first of 6 pages.  


July 02, 2016

                               HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Happy Canada Day - Wow! this year we can be especially thankful to be Canadian! 

June 22, 2016

Josie with her poodle ears and being such a good, such a hungry little girl dog!

June 20, 2016

Hey! I'm wearing a FirBit! it expects me to walk 10,000 steps a day. I walked 5,000 the first day and less than 3,000 the second day - I was exhausted - watched netflix for most of the afternoon! Yes, that is my hand - hard to believe its come to that isn't it?

June 18, 2016

An old Painting but one I like. Oil on Canvas 28 x 22. My kids getting drunk on Freshie many years ago. 

June 15, 2016


June 13, 2016



I just came across this picture of Josie waiting for me to put something in her bowl! What a character she was! I miss the laugh a day she guaranteed.

June 08, 2016

Of all those arts in which the wise excel Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well. (Andre Breton)

I could spend my whole life prying loose the secrets of the insane. These people are honest to a fault, and their naivety has no peer but my own. (Andre Breton)
Do not fear the aging of the body for it is the body's way of seeking the root. (Lao Tzu)

June 06, 2016

               Back at ya! - I hope to get some paint on this huge canvas today or tomorrow.

June 04, 2016

June 04, 2016

LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—The theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking angered supporters of Donald J. Trump on Monday by responding to a question about the billionaire with a baffling array of long words.
Speaking to a television interviewer in London, Hawking called Trump “a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” a statement that many Trump supporters believed was intentionally designed to confuse them.
Moments after Hawking made the remark, Google reported a sharp increase in searches for the terms “demagogue,” “denominator,” and “Stephen Hawking.”
“For a so-called genius, this was an epic fail,” Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said. “If Professor Hawking wants to do some damage, maybe he should try talking in English next time.”
Later in the day, Hawking attempted to clarify his remark about the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, telling a reporter, “Trump bad man. Real bad man.”

From the New Yorker - hahaha!

May 14, 2016

My friend and I went to Chapters Book Store in Barrie yesterday -  For $19.95 I bought this little dog who looks just like my Josie. Isn't she a cutie - good as gold too, just like Josie!


May 10, 2016

Quick Sketches on my iPadPro [I call it my iPadBig] using Procreate which is a 7.99 App!


April 25, 2016



I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Thelonius Monk around 1974 or thereabouts [he was playing at the Colonial Tavern on Yonge Street in Toronto]. We were in his room at the Royal York Hotel and his wife shuffled in and out of the room in her blue slippers as we talked. I wrote our conversation down and just came across it during my Spring Cleaning. Enjoy! If necessary click on it to enlarge. 

March 19, 2016

Near the end ...
Most of my life has been lived alone except for a couple of great dogs. Dogs are wonderful friends, companions and housemates. Josie was my last dog. She died 4 months ago I miss her every day. In fact I think I write these words to fill the big space she left in my life. She was an approximately 20 pound Cocapoo with a lot more Poodle than Cocker Spaniel. Three months over 14 years old when the vet's assistant gave her a needle and she lay her achingly beautiful little head on his table and we said goodbye to each other. Josie told me she was tired of living as plainly as one person can tell another person. She started to tell me around six months before the end. It was a gradual falling apart both mentally and physically until one day, as she lay in her little bed in front of the sliding doors, with the sun on her back, she told me she wanted to go. She had a diaper on one end and an Elizabethan collar on the other end.
If you ever have to put a dog down I have a piece of advice for you. After it is done get in your car and go for a long drive. Standing by the side of a lake or in the middle of a forest might be better butwasn't available to me. The car worked well. My vet was a half hour highway drive away. The windows were closed and there was little traffic. I cried and cursed the gods who "would take a sweet innocent dog like Josie who never, in her whole life hurt a soul, who gave nothing but pleasure and at least a laugh a day" away from me and away from the world. You are one mean son of a bitch God!

March 08, 2016

How do you like my 9 year old great grandson's Giraffe? The photo doesn't do justice to his colours which are much brighter. I love it!

February 29, 2016

I am once again working on my 4 x 6' canvas. Sketching the Barrie Polar Bear Swimmers 2014 and that is a little drawing of Josie and I sitting in the park. I may have to remove us but the nice thing about charcoal is that it is easy to erase.
Hey folks - I month until April - what a great winter it has been in Barrie.