Tuesday, November 30, 2010

snow II

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 wind storm 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

Friday, November 19, 2010

the weather

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

Thursday, November 18, 2010


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

Sunday, November 14, 2010


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

halfway through the month

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

Saturday, November 13, 2010

more pics of Ethan Reynolds

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 Ethan Reynolds 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!

Friday, November 12, 2010

photo scanner

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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the mountains and other stuff

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 well into 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

Sunday, November 7, 2010

more Scott Herman by Joseph Smileuske

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

autumn time change

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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

year end musings

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

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ethan Reynolds update

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