Sunday, February 20, 2011


My younger brother Norbert was the only true brother I've ever known. Here's a photo of the two of us, Norbert on the left and me on the right, on the balcony of our apartment in Knittlingen, Germany where we lived at the time before coming to Canada. I was three at the time and Norbert was two. That was 1957 before emigrating! Norbert passed on in 1974 and is missed! - V

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Everyone loves a party, especially children! This was a birthday party on board the Arosa Star in June 1957. That's my brother Norbert seated on the left foreground. I'm the third back, the one next the the guy with the balloon. These ships brought emigrants over the North America and students on exchanges to Europe. This was the mode of travel at the time until planes became more common. - V

Arosa Star - crossing the Atlantic from Germany to Canada

We came over to Canada from Germany on the ship, the Arosa Star, in June 1957. It was part of the Arosa Line fleet of cruise ships (1952 to 1958). The ship was built as the Borinquen at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation of Quincy, Mass in 1930. She had several names as the ship changed hands and came to a rather ignoble end sinking on the rocks off Port Hueneme, California on April 13, 1970. As I understand it, the new owners of the ship wanted to turn it into a floating hotel but couldn't afford the mooring fees and so anchored it off shore. Unfortunately, the storm brought all those plans to an end. Our crossing unlike the ship's end was flawless! Well, we made it to Canada, didn't we?
Above, my younger brother (left) and I had been at a children's birthday party on the ship, hence the party hats! Norbert and I shared the same room well into our teens. He passed on rather suddenly in 1974 and is still missed very much. Its amazing how strong the emotions are even after all these passing years!
That's our mother left, my brother Norbert and myself on the right. Norbert passed on suddenly in 1974 and we were all affected in one way or another, not at all the same afterward. Mother passed on in 1999. There's a long story about that but I won't get into that here.
I remember that our mother always loved the fresh air and sunshine. Sunning on a bright day in the summer was one of her past times. I love the fresh air and sunshine too but prefer working in it or going on a long hike! - V

Monday, February 14, 2011

me and my motorbike

This is a photo of me taken in the mid-1980s when I was in my early 30s age-wise. By the time I sold the house in 2005 the Hoopsi Blue Spruce in the background was considerably taller and wider but at the time this was taken the home belonged to my parents. The bike shown is a Yamaha XT500 single cylinder, dual purpose bike with a compression release. I went on bike rides of a hundred or more miles on about 5 dollars of gas at the time. You couldn't get very far with a car on that then and still can't now. Then there is the freedom but that's another story. I especially posted this for Brad to see. Enjoy the photo, guys! - V

Happy Valentine's Day!

Have a great day with the one that means the most to you or at least keep that person in your thoughts. And while you're at that, remember those that mean the most to you, not just your significant other. I know I will! Have a great day, guys!!! - V

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I've been following Sci-Fi movies and shows on television for years. Some have involved various forms of suspended animation for very long flights, others have other new ideas and others yet have been more like space western, such as Battlestar Galactica (the older tv version with Lorn Greene, not the recent movie). If you wanted to see hot guys starring in a new Sci-Fi movie, which guys would you want to see in them? And what sort of plot line would interest you? What would you want to see them wearing. Remember, outer space can be very hazardous to all life forms, so it would have to be something suitable for the elements in question. I'd love to hear your answers. Who knows, someone might get a few ideas of prospects they'd not thought of. That'll give you something to think about as we head into another week. Reflect on that overnight and then some! - V

Alex and spy dramas!

I was in Vancouver late Saturday afternoon and stopped by HMV to look for the dvd, Stormbreaker (2006). As luck would have it, I managed to find one copy of the widescreen edition they had with the US title, ALEX RIDER, Operation Stormbreaker! The title is below the "widescreen edition" at the top but otherwise its the same.

When I got home, I had a light supper and then sat down to watch the movie. This was the first time I had watched it in English, since the last time was in French on Radio Canada, the French service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [CBC], on cable 7. Since its an action, spy-thriller, it was easy to pick up what was happening the first time and I certainly got a lot more out of it the second time when I could understand every word that was said. I do have an understanding of French, just its not as good as my English.

I learned that Alex Pettyfer, the actor that plays Alex Rider was one of many that tried out for the role and its a good thing the director chose him. Also, they did a lot of their own stunts in the movie. The extras on the dvd will show you the details of that. Alex looks good on camera and that's another reason why they chose him. and I certainly won't argue with that one!

It was said that the film was a flop in the cinemas but perhaps that's debatable and a matter of interpretation as whether the movie is good or not. Its not quite James Bond stuff, there's more action and less subtlety but I think its a film in its own genre.

I'm looking forward to seeing Alex Pettyfer in his latest role in I Am Number Four (2011), a Sci-Fi movie. Anything that involves Steven Spielberg (through Dreamworks) has my undivided attention. Alex was 14-15 years old in Stormbreaker and he's now 20 in this latest role. This latest film is in the cinemas here on February 18. Look for it where you are! - V

Friday, February 11, 2011

latest Sci-Fi movie

The film, I Am Number Four, comes out in the theatres next week, February 18 to be exact, and stars Alex Pettyfer, a young English actor born on April 10, 1990.

The movie is a production of Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg through Dreamworks. The project is reported to have cost between $50 and $60 million. The plot is about an alien, human-like species that comes to Earth followed by another race, whose planet has been destroyed, who follows them to this planet. The first three have been killed and the character that Alex plays is number four. I've seen a past film that Alex Pettyfer starred in, Stormbreaker (2006) about spys and MI6 (UK), and found it interesting enough after seeing it in French to get a copy of my own even though its said to have been a flop.

I've long had a great interest in space, space exploration and sci-fi movies since the 1960s and plan to see this one. What about you? - V

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


This photo was scanned earlier today. It was taken in the late 1970s when I was in my mid-20s. That's me on the left and a friend of a friend beside me. I had invited a co-worker and her boyfriend to a gathering. She brought along a friend to enjoy the festivities with us. The scene is my parent's kitchen. My how the years have flown! - V

Sunday, February 6, 2011

being serious and less so...

Above is a photo of some of my classmates from grade 12 class in 1973. The venue is the school cafeteria and Harold is centre with my friend John to his right (our left). And below is Harold in a less serious mood! The photographer is myself trying to work with a camera (a Voigtlaender single lens reflex) that has no flash. Now I'm off to bed. Have an awesome week, guys! - V

more on Xavier and "Heartbeats"

I was in Vancouver late Saturday afternoon to take care of some errands. My supply of underwear is showing its age and need replacing, so my first stop was The Bay to get a start at replacing some of the older, worn out pieces. Then it was on to visit other venues.

While going about, I stopped in HMV to check out some dvds. I did notice that Xavier Dolan's "Heartbeats" had been resupplied. There were now three disks available for those interested. I hadn't seen any for a while but I'll check in occasionally to see how things are as far as sales.

Speaking of Xavier, I logged in at to check how the funds situation is with his latest film project. Its up a bit but he does have another four months to accumulate the money required to start the project. A lot can happen in a very short time. We'll just see where this goes but Xavier's first two ventures went well, so we'll see where this takes us. - V

P.S. - The photo above is from a postcard sent to my mother back in the early 1960s. It shows the Basilica in Quebec City. The basilica dates from 1647 and is one of North America's oldest buildings. As far as dating the photo, you can tell from the vehicles shown that its from the early 1960s period. I've been to that city before, the Quebec Winter Carnival in 1973. I'll share some photos as time becomes available to scan the slides I took during that trip, a school trip! I just thought I'd share! Now I'm off to get the laundry done once again. - V

love and what it all means

With Valentine's Day coming up on Friday its a good time to discuss the subject of love. When I was young I wasn't one to follow convention and give cards to the opposite sex only, in fact in the 4th grade I gave cards to guys that made an impression on me. Looking back at all that, I guess that's not at all "straight" is it? Why should we exclude potentially half the population in letting others know that we care about them. Why wait until they pass on to express how we feel about someone.

Love takes many forms, from romantic love to sexual and a myriad of other forms. There is the love shown between parent and child, between grandparent and grandchild, between friends (same or opposite sex) and so on. So if I love a someone of my own sex, a guy, why shouldn't I tell him and show him my appreciation?

I love my good friends and I still love Brad very much and demonstrate this as often as I am able. Currently, its as one friend to another, one human being to another, but it can take any form he likes. Simple, deep friendship is a great start, don't you think? Some of us just need time to flower and show how we feel. I'll have more on this as we progress into the week. Just some thoughts for you guys! - V


I've been scanning letter I received from an uncle by marriage to my mother's sister. These span a time from the mid-1960s to 1970s. He passed on in 1977 but I asked one of his granddaughters if she was interested in having copies (they're in English while my aunt's letters are in German) since she is a high school teacher. She said yes and so now I'm scanning about ten years or so of letters. They included this card from Berlin of the "Berliner Muschel" but I'm not finding any references to this building. Last I heard was that the roof fell in after the accumulation of heavy snow but I don't know if this is true, and if so, what and precisely what the circumstances were. If anyone knows, comment in either English or German! Anyways, I just thought I would share. - V


Remember last May when we read about 13 year old Jordan from California who climbed to the summit of Mount Everest? Mind you he didn't do this alone nor would it be safe to do so but he gives others the courage and inspiration to fulfill their dreams in life. The article above give you more information, and you can google the subject to find out more. You can also start by checking out more at the website indicated in the attached article and go from there.

When I was entering my teenage years (actually even before), this was when I was taking up photography, stamp collecting, map drawing, developing interests in art (drawing and painting in particular) and by my mid to late teens I had taken up gardening while others my age were into sports, perhaps developing an interest in cars and other stuff. The interests we develop and hone then stay with us for life in one form or another.

I don't collect stamps any longer but I still keep things organized and in their place so things can be easily found. The interests in gardening, and in nature in particular, lend themselves to photography and the direction that goes. My early maps are gone but the interest is still there. I've got plenty of maps to prove that!

So, what ever your dreams and desires, live them, not someone else's life. Parents have dreams of what they'd like their children to do in life and how they'd like them to live it but each of us have our own desires and dreams of what we would like to accomplish in life. Live it! The saying goes: don't wait until tomorrow what you can do today! Tomorrow may be too late, and besides, we may only be along this route once never to retrace it again.

Good luck with your endeavours, what ever they are! What else can I say? - V


Its late and the need for sleep is here. Have a good night guys and awake fully rested. More later! - V

hot dude - hot muscles

So, do you need more inspiration? Here it is, so get to it and work on that physique of yours! You'll be rewarded and you'll love the results!!! What else can I say? - V

red undies

Looking good whether in undies or naked is what its all about. We can do the things we want to when we're in shape, and looking good while doing it is an added benefit. Feed your body healthy diet, get plenty of exercise doing what you love to do and keep your mind active and sharp. Remember to get plenty of sleep too! Your body requires that too. Mind, body and spirit are all linked. Take care of what you have and you'll be rewarded beyond your dreams. - V

Friday, February 4, 2011

hot dude - hot muscles

Remember years ago when we were young we had to ask our parents permission to have a friend stay over? I'd love to ask Spencer over so that we could play "show and tell!" What are your thoughts? Would you ask him to take off his clothes and tell us how he got those muscles? What sort of story would you tell from what you see in this image? Enjoy your weekend! - V

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I recently made a commitment to send the daughter of one of my cousins (mother's side of the family) scanned images of letters her grandfather (my uncle by marriage to my mother's sister) sent me starting in the mid-1960s. The letter above is six hand-written pages in total. The letter was written in March 1965 when I was 11 going on 12 years old. There are about ten years of letters, perhaps a few more. This page shows the colour of the paper and its texture. My uncle passed on in 1977 but since Carleen is a school teacher, I thought she would benefit from learning more about her grandfather.

I'm including the first page of the letter so that you've got an idea what my photo scanner, the Epson Perfection V500 Colour Photo scanner can do, well, in case you're looking for one yourself. Anyway, the project is for the weekend when more time is available.

I'll post some more scanned photos and images as I continue to explore what the scanner can do. For now its bedtime. Have a good night! - V