So, the year is fast coming to a close. I'm off to work shortly but it will be dead by mid-afternoon as businesses close early in preparation for new year's eve. Did you successfully complete all your resolutions for 2010 or will you have to give some of them another shot in 2011? More on all that later but for now, we'll end 2010 with Adam above! Be safe and enjoy yourselves!!! - V
After this week of festivities are past you may want to do something to get rid of those unwanted pounds. My friend, Scott Herman, has plenty of exercises that fit the bill and a meal plan as well. The link is in the right sidebar. Check him out.
I've always been on the thin side most of my life and I certainly don't plan to change at this point. I do lots of walking and hiking when weather and time permit, so its no problem discarding some extra pounds. Do what you like and enjoy the most to get yourself into shape if you're not or to refine what you've done if you are! There's no sense in doing something you don't enjoy anyways. Its better to focus on what you do love!
Not to spoil the festive season but this needs to be said: for those followers, or potential followers, of this blog, if you are into child porn or something that very closely resembles this, you may find yourself blocked and potentially reported. Some have already been blocked. If you are such a blogger in question, DO NOT even think of following this blog. The plan is to review more of my followers and root out any suspects. You have been warned!
Merry Christmas and the best of the season to all!!! Enjoy a safe festive season as we come to a close of yet another year. My how fast the year has gone!
Today, as on many of my days off, I slept in. After showering and getting cleaned up, I had a leisurely breakfast. In the afternoon I took the time to watch a dvd after getting caught up on my emails. The movie I watched was "The Bishop's Wife" (1947) starring David Niven as the bishop, Loretta Young as the bishop's wife and Cary Grant as the "angel." Its a lovely film but I don't want to give it away. I'm a big Cary Grant fan! Check it out if you have the chance!
After a short snooze this evening, I got back to checking out emails plus posting on Facebook and my blogs.
After work today I went into downtown Vancouver via SkyTrain to get the remaining grocery shopping out of the way. On the way I stopped in the Chapters store to get a few magazines, one of which was on the iPhone and its many applications (apps). That magazine alone set me back about 30 dollars. The reason why I bought that one is because I am leaning toward getting an iPhone4 in January. I love the features, so its on the top of my list. There was a bit of a line up at the cash but it seemed to move fairly well.
After that, I was off to the Marketplace IGA a couple of city blocks away. The line ups were not too bad there either. It should be a madhouse during the daytime tomorrow as people try to get the last minute shopping done. I'm working, so that's not an option for me. After work I'll be heading straight home to sort things away and rest my feet.
Have an awesome Christmas, guys! More coming soon, hopefully some scanned photos too! - V
Now with Christmas fast approaching, this is one of the first photos I saw of Ethan Reynolds as he appeared in Instinct Magazine (2006?), and what a start that was. So while on the subject of the holidays to come, I'm planning to have a cornish hen for Christmas dinner and either a duck breast or leg with red cabbage later in the holiday period. What are your plans? Feel free to comment and let us know!
Meantime, its a full moon and a clear night ahead! - V
Its less than a week till Christmas. I took it easy yesterday (Saturday) by recharging my laundry card (smartcard), having a light lunch and so on. I slept in until nearly 11 am. Supper consisted of spaghettini with tomato sauce along with some artichoke hearts added. Nothing too fancy. Otherwise, I sat down to watch some tv, in this case, Great Canadian Rivers on Knowledge channel. Check out knowledge.ca if you'd like to know more.
I also sat down to watch a French film called "Douches Froides", or Cold Showers in English. It stars Johann Libereau as Mickael, training for judo, who befriends Clement, played by Pierre Perrier. There's a lot more to this movie, so I don't want to give it away. Check out the trailer and then the movie itself if it sounds interesting to you. Its available on dvd.
After that, I watch a murder-mystery (British) before heading off to bed for the night.
Today, I slept in again ( I can only do that on my weekends or when I'm off work) with a late breakfast and then got laundry started. Now that its out of the dryer and folded, I plan to put it all away and then get off to the grocery store before dark.
The sun has even pulled a surprise by showing itself through the clouds. If there had been more sun, I'd have been out taking photos. Howe Sound has been in my mind lately. I hope you've had a great weekend, guys!!! - V
The photographer, Michael Downs, has done a superb job at showing our model Anthony at his best, a great inspiration to all of us that want to keep fit and also enjoy the beauty of the male form. Being in shape increases our vitality, reduces the stress on our back and joints but most of all allows us to get more enjoyment out of what we do in our daily lives and get the most out of the things in life that we are passionate about. There are ample resources and examples in our work to perfect our physiques. The internet is full of them. If you need more examples, keep coming back. Good luck, guys!!! I wish you well in your struggle! - V
Recently I've spent a lot of time thinking about my friend Brad, not constantly but often enough. They're all good thoughts. I haven't heard from him since early September and do miss exchanging emails with him. I even miss the chats we used to have when he did have ready access to a computer and I'm certain he misses all this too.
I'd most like to take him to Germany in the new year. I thinks what he sees in Germany and central Europe in general will open his eyes a lot plus it'll give us a chance to talk about various things that have been on his mind for a while. It'll give us both a chance to get to know each other better as friends, and more if he wants to! Being the greatest of friends will certainly do it for me know.
Having each of us wrapped in a warm embrace is but a memory if we don't see each other in person. For now its but a dream yet to be realized. All I hope for the moment is that he's happy and all is well. That is the best we can hope for all our family and friends plus people we encounter daily. To wish otherwise is a non-starter and a total waste of time!
I hauled out my Christmas CDs earlier in the week and today I found some of my Christmas themed DVDs to add to that, such as the black and white movie from 1947 called "The Bishop's Wife", starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, "Prancer" (1989) starring Sam Elliott, Cloris Leachman and Abe Vigora, and "Creature Comforts: Merry Christmas Everyone!" starring Wallace and Gromit.
Tonight, though, I'm going to watch a few movies starring Christopher Atkins, such as "The Blue Lagoon" where he appears with Brooke Shields, "A Night In Heaven" with Christopher Atkins and Lesley Ann Warren, and "The Pirate Movie" where he appears with Kristy McNichol. Well, that's what I plan to watch tonight and over the weekend. I've got lots of movies to choose from with or without cable tv.
So, how's your weekend shaping up??? Have a good one, guys!!! - V
Well, there are times when the best laid plans go wrong and yesterday was one of those days. The client where I work at my full-time job invited those of us at the front desk to a Christmas lunch. My supervisor's relief person arrived but mine didn't. In fact the latter person was late by over an hour which delayed my departure to the lunch. When I did arrive, some people were just leaving and others were having their dessert. I had ordered my lunch via cell phone and later asked that it be wrapped, so I could take it home. When I did arrive, I had an Earl Grey tea and some yam fries that included a dipping sauce with the hint of lemon.
I had the spicy Bombay Butter Chicken when I returned home. That lunch included roasted almond basmati rice, grilled naan bread and lentil papadum. I just loved it and plan to have this again sometime soon.
Meantime, I was not happy the way things turned out and neither was the client. There is a remedy planned but I don't know when. Despite the setback I did the best under the situation. I hope you can maintain some dignity and poise under such circumstances. Have a good night, guys!
Today after breakfast and reading emails and such I was doing laundry, nothing exciting but something that needs to be done regularly.
Once the laundry was done (three loads) I headed out to the mall at Metrotown to get some groceries. About 70 or so dollars later I couldn't wait to get out of that mall. The energy there is such that all I want to do is get in and get out as fast as I can. Besides, its usually crowed and noisy! I've been in other malls around the world but this one has that particular energy and my reaction to it!
I've been doing some research on smartphones and iphones lately. Certainly ones interest me but Apple"s iPhone4 has got my interest. That one would be great keeping in touch with Brad and others, including my blogger friends if they want. Then there's Facebook which I read and update daily. I'll let you know what I decide. Meantime, I'm stuck with the current cellphone that does it for now but a new one should be an improvement for texting and sending and receiving emails among other things. More later!
Meantime, have a good night, guys!!! Its time for bed and another early rise at 5 am tomorrow! - V
We had a day of bright sunshine, so I took advantage of the weather and got out for a bit. It was mid-afternoon by the time I got away but it was worth it for the fresh air and sunshine.
I went up to Burnaby Mountain in north Burnaby where I hadn't been for some time. There had been a fire at the Horizon Restaurant earlier in the year and the renovations are coming along. The restaurant looks as if its operational but the public washrooms consist of portapotties for now.
It was nice to see the sun. I did get a number of photos during my stay there but if I had been there earlier, I would have been able to get some of the fresh snow on the mountain tops against a blue sky. I'll post some photos as soon as they've been uploaded from the camera and edited.
I must have eaten something that didn't agree with me because even before I left the apartment I had to make several trips to the washroom. I had more samosas (veggie) for supper this evening and came about a discovery: I found corn in one of them and I'm sensitive to corn and its various forms, including corn syrup! Why anyone would put corn in them is beyond me. I'll stick to those that I know will agree with me, such as the ones I buy from one of the local supermarkets.
Anyways, I hope you're all having a great weekend, guys!!! More news coming up later! - V
With all these recent posts about snow, here's something to warm you up! Scott Herman wears some hot underwear. The photo is by NYC photographer, Joseph Smileuske. Check out his link in the right-hand sidebar! Meantime, have a great night, guys!!! - V
The winter of 2008-2009 offered us some snow as well, not just in November 2006 as posted previously. Here children are using a snow-covered hill in New Westminster's Queens Park to full advantage with seemingly boundless energy fully absorbed in their task. Snow in the British Columbia's lower mainland is not as rare as people might think. Fifty years ago or so this was the norm! - V
The weather reports were indicating that we don't often get severe snow storms in British Columbia's lower mainland. Well, that isn't entirely true as you can see from these photos I took when I was living in Surrey (Guildford) near 104th Avenue and 148th Street. These were taken in the latter part of November of 2006. December of that year brought a great windstorm that damaged a lot of trees on the windward side of Stanley Park. Anyways, the snow, it started on a Friday and continued through the weekend. These images show the scene after the snow had stopped but before it was trodden upon. There has been snow in the years after this one but not as much. I still remember the parking lot in the apartment complex being unploughed. It remains so and only the rain that came after washed away the snow but that took about a week. It was not so bad for us that walked and took the bus but those that had to drive, the parking lot was a nightmare! Feel free to comment and share your own stories! Have a good night, guys!!! - V
Well, arctic air has moved south. It was snowing lightly as I went to bed Thursday evening and its snowing now but a bit heavier. The temperature of +2 Celcius is to drop to -2 over night. The weather warning issued today calls for some accumulation of snow. I'll let you know Saturday just how much that has translated to. The colder weather (for here) is to continue through the weekend but things are projected to warm up a bit by next weekend.
The ski slopes at Whistler north of Vancouver have opened up for the winter season. A week ago or so there was about 40 cm of the white stuff and more to come. This should be welcomed news the the skiers and snowboarders out there.
Looking at the local mountains, they are dusted with snow and the mountains further inland have a greater amount of it. Here in Greater Vancouver we are largely free of the stuff though this morning there was a slight accumulation in south Burnaby as I observed from the passing SkyTrain.
If you are in the midst of winter-like weather, enjoy it if you can making sure to dress warmly and for the conditions. Have a great weekend! - V
We've had rain over the last couple of days, especially during the night, but there's also talk of that other four letter word, "snow", here in the valley. The mountain tops currently have a dusting of the white stuff, so it only follows that with colder temperatures here we may well get some too.
There is just another day of work before the weekend when I can devote more time to working at the computer here at home. My eyes are burning from not enough sleep, so I will soon call it a night and head off to bed. Good night all!!! - V
I haven't posted a photo of Jakub Stefano, commonly referred to as Stefano, for some time. Here's one to start off the week. Check out his blog. The link is in the right-hand sidebar. Like a number of guys I've featured photos of, he must be doing it right because its showing! Have an awesome week, guys!!! - V
Its hard to believe that we're halfway through the month of November and in little more than a month it'll be Christmas and then the end of another year. Where has all the time gone you might ask? Well, it seems to speed up as we get older and being busy in our day to day stuff helps it more along even quicker. I still remember those days in elementary school when it seemed that time dragged on and then when summer vacation came along, it was over before you knew it. I guess the perspective changes as we get older.
Now the new week starts with me looking into why I have a surplus with my cellphone provider. I checked my account at with my financial institution and also checked my credit card statements but there's nothing any where to account for it. Either someone has made an error and assigned funds to the wrong account or someone that owes me money has used funds and directed them to this cellphone account. I'll have to go back and check the statements back to when the surplus began and then call the provider to find out where the funds are coming from. Its a nuisance not knowing where its coming from and why!
In other news, I'm taking time to organize my files on my computer and then do a defragmentation of the files before I install the new software that comes with the photo scanner I purchased on my way home Friday. Its taking a bit longer than anticipated. Once that has been done and the test scans have been completed, I'll have some photos to share with you all.
I hope your week goes well. Come back soon! There'll be more!!! - V
I'm in my 50s, currently single, and friendships have come and gone in these many years. Some have lasted a very long time, some a short time, but all are important to me regardless of the length of time. Its not how long the friendship has lasted but how much each person has gained in a positive way from the experience.
There's a friendship that suddenly ended in the late 1980s. My friend at the time and his girlfriend (who I didn't know was his girlfriend) eloped and no details were left as to why it ended. I even spoke to his roommate but nothing was revealed. I had known him since my high school days or close to 20 years! Sometimes we think we know people but in the end we find out otherwise.
Regardless of the number of friends we may have, its when we get into difficulties and really need them that we find out who our real friends are. Its real friends that will help each other out without looking for compensation knowing that the other will help them out in the same circumstances and at another time.
I want nothing but the best for all my friends and wouldn't want to hurt any of them intentionally or unintentionally. It doesn't always work the same the other way. I wonder whether those that have chosen to end a friendship have thought it through about the manner they chose to end it and how it affects the other person? They probably haven't otherwise the parting would end on a more positive note!
Guys get married and often the old friendships die too. Another long-time friend married and his wife seemed rather anal and controlling. I got some help moving, it took longer than expected, and can often be the case, and his wife was angry (or should I say "mad" in this case?) that he got home later than expected. I wasn't going to buy my friendship, so that one ended. I do have my principles but he would have been reimbursed for his efforts if his wife didn't put up such a fuss.
That brings me to a current friendship that has its issues. Again a girlfriend is involved. If my friend has been given an either/or altimatum or hasn't been fully truthful, then what caused their split in the first place may happen again but with an even more negative outcome. I'm not faulting either party but what we say and do (or don't) can determine the outcome in a positive or negative way. My friend didn't even tell me he had a girlfriend nor why he was confused. Discussing these things helps to work them out, so the outcome is the best for all concerned. He'll continue to be considered a very good friend for a very long time and remains so. What I promised remains on the table as it were. After months of worry, health issues (such as gout in both feet) and the like, I didn't see the current problems coming. Its caused weeks and weeks of lack of focus, lack of appetite and a slowness in getting things done that would otherwise have been completed quickly. I prefer dialogue to resolving issues, not silence! What else can I say?
I'm forever optimistic in my outlook and hope for the best but realistic enough to realize that we each have the freedom of choice. That's what makes human interactions so difficult and complex. A sudden change can alter the outcome completely.
Regardless, a trip to Europe with that special person is still in the works. It'll benefit him much more than me but its why I accepted the request and it'll prove of benefit to every one he interacts with in the future. To throw it aside would be a great loss!
Keep your friendships healthy and strong. They are as important as those with your family, perhaps even more so. Everything worth having takes effort. Things don't happen on their own, its because we make conscious effort to make them happen, even friendships! I love and honour all my friends, as well as family members, each in a different way but love nonetheless!
So, how are your friendships and other relationships in life? Are they flourishing? Something to think about! - V
You know we're almost halfway through the month of November with December and Christmas not far behind. The time is flying by. Wouldn't it be awesome to received a gift, plain or nicely wrapped, to make it a high point during the holiday season? Its a yummy thought but we can dream. Sometimes our most cherished dreams even come true. So, what are you hoping for this season? Feel free to comment! Meantime, here are a few more pics of EthanReynolds to give us some inspiration!!! - V P.S. - I also love having the colour red in a photo. Gets your attention, doesn't it? And whether blond or his natural hair colour, Ethan always looks great!
On my way home this evening I finally got around to purchasing a photo scanner which also happened to be on sale! I bought an Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner. I plan to set it up over the weekend and then do a few test scans using some photos I have accumulated over the past 40 or so years. Remember I started taking photos at around age 10 in the early 1960s. The best results will be posted. That's the plan anyway and some from the trip to Europe in 1972 will be one of the first to be posted, especially for Brad's sake. I think he should find those images quite interesting! Look for some awesome shots! - V
On the way in to work this morning I noticed that the nearby mountains, the Coast Mountains on the north side of Burrard Inlet, have received a good dusting of fresh snow. The sun was out in all its brilliance and the sky was a clear blue. It was a beautiful setting to see the mountains in an otherwise green landscape. Surprisingly there is still plenty of autumn colour to be seen here in British Columbia's the lower mainland despite it being wellinto the second week of November.
Its Remembrance Day tomorrow, Thursday, a day to remember the armed forces Veterans on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. As honourable this is, WWI was to be the war that ended all wars and here we are still fighting each other in various parts of the world. If we removed greed for money and power plus avarice from the picture, and allowed people to live their lives in peace we'd have a much greater world but the reality is that people are no different than countries: they get in each other's business! Instead we have unrest and war over resources, water and who knows what else. I think you get the picture.
You've probably heard it before but often we have to learn the hard way as opposed to the easy way. When mankind is totally sick of it and fighting and gets back to its senses, we'll have an end to war! Meantime, it continues with the next world bully stirring the pot to foment more of the same as if we've learned nothing at all from the last two world wars! That's enough on that subject and we'll move to something more positive.
So it looks like rain on Thursday, so I'll likely get some laundry out of the way and do other work that needs doing around the apartment, like cleaning the kitchen and bath! The reason why I have a day off work is because where I work is a financial institution and all of them are closed on statutory holidays, which is what Remembrance Day is classed as. So what are you doing that day?
The Italian Stone Pine I bought the other week is doing quite well. I even can see some beads of resin oozing out on some of the branches on the crown. The plan is to re-pot it in the spring something that needs doing with a number of other plans in the apartment. The pine will spend most of its time out on the balcony and only be in the apartment for Christmastime! The poinsettia that I bought last Christmas is also doing quite well and is the longest I've had one live past the holiday season and here we are closing in on another Christmas. Hope things are well! - V
To start off the work week here's another hot photo of my friend Scott Herman by photographer, Joseph Smileuske. Get motivated and work on those muscles! I know you've got it in you. Enjoy, and have a great week!!! - V
Remember to turn your clocks back one hour before heading off to bed tonight so you aren't up an hour too early Sunday morning or at a meeting or work one hour too soon. The official time for turning the clocks back one hour is 2 am in Canada and the United States. I realize that there may be some differences locally, so check the status before doing so. My clocks are turned back, so I'm all set. Are you? Have a good night, guys!!! - V
On my way home yesterday evening (Friday) I stopped at the grocery store across the street from home to get groceries, like fruit, cheese, cookies and such, but I also purchased an Italian Stone Pine (Pinus pinea) to decorate for Christmas. We're getting well into the month of November, so that season is not all that far away. This particular pine is native to southern Europe from Spain to Greece and as far north as central and northern France. Its got another name too, the Umbrella Pine, which is a suitable name as the older, well-established trees look just like that, an umbrella. If you ever seen photos or movies set in Italy as a example, you may have seen them, or perhaps you've been to southern Europe in which case, you've probably seen them first-hand. The one I have must be at least ten years old which would account for the price of 30 dollars! Anyways, it makes an excellent Christmas tree that will live year after year and become an even better specimen as the years pass. Back in southern Ontario I bought an Italian Cypress tree one Christmas, December 1999 I believe, a tree I still had when I sold the house in the summer of 2005. The tree had blue-green foliage and spent its time outside on the front steps before being taken inside in the autumn to be set in the front bay window. In December it would be decorated for Christmas. In the spring I would put it outside once again to start the cycle once again. I also had a trailing Majorcan Rosemary plant that spent the summer outside, again to the side of the front steps, and then would be in bloom with light blue flowers by the time I took it inside in September. That one would be in flower all winter in the front bay window. Those plants remained with the new owner of the house. I hope they've been well cared for! Here in British Columbia's lower mainland, I did purchase an Italian Cypress tree for last Christmas but it only has green foliage. I find the blue-green foliage and its varying shades much more appealing. Its almost a year past and its still growing strong as is the Pointsettia that I bought last Christmas as well! So you must be wondering what's with all these hot guys and their well-developed muscles? Well, they're reminiscent of the hot, dry climate of southern Europe, so they're rather suitable, don't you think? I'll let you guess who the last guy might be. I'm sure you can come up with an answer, so let me know your thoughts! Meantime, have an awesome weekend!!! - V
I've been exchanging messages with my friend Ethan Reynolds lately. Brad is a big Ethan fan too. Ethan has started a new site so you might want to check it out here. Its called iamethanreynolds.com, so be sure to have a look and leave a comment. He has also allowed me to share some photos with you, so here they are in all their glory. Since winter is soon upon us in the northern hemisphere, I thought I'd post some that will take our minds off the cold weather and on to something much, much warmer, and the photographer has done an admirable job! Enjoy and feel free to comment! There'll be more in the near future. - V
Since we're on a theme of white undies, here is my friend Scott Herman wearing white 2(x)istunderwear. The photos are by NYC photographer, Joseph Smileuske, who graciously gave me permission to post these photos. Joseph does an admirable job at catching Scott and his awesome muscles at his best. Check the right-hand sidebar for the link to Joseph Smileuske Photography for more awesome images. And if you're wanting to build up your own physique, check out Scott Herman Fitness. That link is also in the right-hand sidebar. Enjoy your journey!!! - V
Its another weekend and I've chosen to spend it at home. I slept in until just after 10 am before getting up to shower and start my day. I started with breakfast, nothing too fancy, just toast, some fruit (a pear) and Earl Grey tea, one of my favourite teas! There are times when a slow, easy day is what's needed. How did your day start off?
After that, I decided to read emails before doing anything else on the computer became impossible that I had to shut it down. That's a problem when it over heats but its strange in that it can either run for hours without issues or just a couple and then crash.
The Christmas cactus on the dining room table is in full bloom. I do hope I still have at least a few flowers left once Christmas comes around. Otherwise, I may have to buy another one, or another Pointsettia plant.
There are a few interesting posts coming up so keep coming back for more! Good night, guys! There'll be more tomorrow (Sunday). - V
The laundry was done earlier in the afternoon and now I'm busy cooking up supper. Seeing as its after 9 pm, its a bit late but still needs doing. Today I braised a duck leg on diced onion and then added diced red cabbage to cook slowly over low heat. Added to the cabbage after its cooked will be some honey and white wine vinegar, so that its sweet and sour in taste. I'll be off to bed shortly after its done. I'll have it tomorrow evening along with boiled potatoes. The potatoes taste better fresh and the cabbage is better the day after. In the latter case, it allows the flavours to mingle. Since I'm lactose intolerant, cabbage is a good source of calcium, as is anything in the cabbage family.
I know, its not a very exciting weekend but since its been raining, especially this morning, and so much needed doing, there was no sense in heading out any where. Have a great week, guys!!! - V
For those that know me on Windows Live Messenger, I have migrated my blog from Spaces over to Wordpress.com. Its set as private, so only my messenger friends, such as B, can view the blog and posts. As a first post, I posted a photo of myself along with some background information on it. There will be other posts and photos, especially once I get my new photo scanner in November. For my messenger friends, put your settings on allowing notices of a new post from Wordpress.com. Otherwise, you may not be able to read them and my messenger friends are the ones that are supposed to be able to read my new posts on Volker's space.
Speaking of Messenger, I tried to send a few emails to one of my friends on the list but I received a message that sending them failed. I may try another option and send them from one of my other email accounts to test a theory that only my hotmail account is so affected since copies sent to my Yahoo account were received without incident. I'll have more on this later.
Once I get the new photo scanner, I plan to post some photos here too but none that are personal (i.e. of myself) for now at any rate. - V
Since we're well into the month of October, Halloween is not all that far off. Here are some photo I took in January one year during a warm spell which saw the nearby Fraser Cemetery in NewWestminster's Sapperton covered in fog. A rather eerie look, don't you think?!?! Above the fog was clear blue sky. I didn't find any ghouls or ghosts lurking about, so all was safe! It was late morning anyway. Just imagine what it would look like at night?!?! Enjoy the photos!!! - V
Volker: Various interests such as art, history, geography, music, philosophy, photography, etc. The cameras used to take photos are an HP Photosmart R717 (6.2 megapixels) and a Sony DSLR A100 (10.2 megapixels), both digital.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org