Sunday, July 31, 2011

pride 2011

I managed to get into Vancouver to see this year's pride parade. Last year I didn't go as I've seen a number of them but it looks like this year's parade was less impressive. Perhaps the available money has a bearing on the outcome. Meantime, enjoy these photos! There'll be more to come as I edit what I have. - V
"Are you being served?" That's what he appears to being saying to us!
Somehow this gnome got into the parade as well. Any thoughts why? Meantime, more to come! - V

Saturday, July 30, 2011

coins II - Jersey

These were found in amongst the coins you saw in the previous post. They are from the Balliwick of Jersey, the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, one of the United Kingdom's possessions, many of which have their own currency which is of equal value to that of the currency of United Kingdom itself, the pound sterling! The three coins are what was left after my visit to Jersey in the spring of 1987, a total of 24 pence. I also have a one pound note from the same island. The Jersey cow is illustrated on the obverse side of the darker coloured coin. Jersey is where this dairy breed comes from.

The main reason for going to the island was to see Gerald Durrell's animal farms outside St. Helier, the capital. I saw numerous shows on TV Ontario back in the 1970s and 80s on his animal farm. Have you ever seen to movie based upon his childhood? Its well worth seeing if animals are of interest! I got to the island using a steamer from Portsmouth, England. Then I left via hydrofoil to St. Malo, France passing a ferry half way that had left before us. - V


I scanned a small selections of European coins this afternoon. These are from my three past trips back to Europe from 1972 to 1987. Can you identify how many countries and which ones are represented? Some countries no longer have their own currency as theirs has been replaced by the Euro. I also have coins and bills from Belgium but these are from the time before the Euro and are not much good other than in a collection. I just though I'd share! - V

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

68 Barracuda

Back in 1967 my mother bought a new 2 door 68 Barracuda and later sold the 4 door 57 Chevrolet she had bought in the early 1960s. I am standing next to the new car and my mother is taking the photo. I was slim then and still am. The image above is a crop from the one below. My father didn't have a car and never drove. - V

Monday, July 25, 2011


This is my friend Ricky on a skateboard. The photo was taken about 1964 in southern California where his family moved after living in London, Ontario. We were classmates until he moved! This is just to show you that the skateboard isn't at all new..its been around for a while. Just something to think about! - V

West Berlin - my second visit - July 1972 - Rudow

My aunt and uncle had a property in Rudow (West Berlin) where they had fruit trees and spent some time on weekend during the warm summer days. This was in addition to their townhouse in Britz near the Hufeisensiedlung. That's me on the left, my uncle in the middle and my aunt on the right. I believe my cousin Gela took the photo. Its a great way and place to relax! - V

Sunday, July 24, 2011

West Berlin - my second visit - July 1972

July 1972 was my first time back to Germany after we left in June 1957 and it was my second time back to West Berlin, a divided city. Its worth noting that when we were there in 1957, we were freely able to visit both sides of the city. The wall wasn't built until after 1961 (or 62). That's me in the photo above near the entrance to the U-bahn (subway) at Britz in West Berlin.
This is another part of West Berlin but I only vaguely remember where it might be, though not exactly. Certain details are lost over time!
Here I am on a roof top in the same area as the previous photo. It was July 1972 and I was 18 going on 19 in August. This was the first big trip on my own!
Here we were going to take a boat trip on the Havel. This included my aunt Liesel, uncle Rudy and cousin Gela plus myself.
My cousin Gela and I on the boat during part of the journey. It was a beautiful, sunny day as I remember.
We went to a number of places during my week's stay in the city. This included a visit to the Berlin Zoo. If you look carefully, you can see a polar bear on a rock in the upper right-hand corner of the photo above.
My aunt (my mother's sister) and myself are at the zoo in the photo above. My aunt passed on in the mid-1990s.
What a photo to end this post on. Here I am with bison in the background. During my stay, I also took in a concert, did a bus tour that took in both sides of the wall, passing through Checkpoint Charlie both ways, and a visit to Charlottenburg Palace, also in West Berlin. I borrow my cousin Jack's camera for the trip to Germany, a Voigtlaender reflex camera. Once the 200 odd slides have been scanned, I'll post those photos which include some of the palace I mentioned, the checkpoint and other places of note. I enjoyed the trip immensely but there were times when it would have been nice to have my brother Norbert along. Between what I had in the way of funds and what my parents could afford, we couldn't both go. I hope you've enjoyed these! Have a great week!!! - V

Norbert and company

This is a photo taken at our first house in east London (Ontario) about June 1964. My brother Norbert is in the centre plus two kids, one that lived next door and the other on a corner on the next street. Norbert was nine going on ten at the time. This was before our house got new siding to cover up the old stuff. The addition on the front of the house was done or nearly so. - V

a summer in Ipperwash, Ontario

While we're still in summer, I scanned some album photos today and this is just one of the few that I scanned. The scene is Ipperwash, Ontario about 1968 or 69 during the summer. In this photo are my mother's sister Liesel, my cousin's wife Angela and my half-sister Barbara. My aunt has long since passed on in the mid-1990s but the others are still living. I love the colours in this image. The scene is on a sand dune with Lake Huron behind us which you can barely see in the photo. My aunt helped me set up this photo before I took it. The cottage where everyone was staying was behind me. I hope you have some pleasant memories from summer present or past! - V

Saturday, July 23, 2011

only a little cloud, no rain, and a lot more sunshine!

Today was one of those days where we didn't have to concern ourselves with taking along an umbrella. The sun was out and shining brightly plus it was warmer. Tomorrow may even be better. Too bad the work week follows right behind that!

I spent my time indoors doing things there that needed doing, mostly at he computer. I had breakfast after my shower this morning and ate some sandwiches periodically through the day as I became hungry and then washed it all down with tea (Earl Grey but also some chai).

For supper I had some salad, a mix of romaine lettuce and pieces of tomato along with a simple wine vinegar and oil dressing. Later I was still hungry and cooked up some perogies (potato and cheese, though my favourite is potato and onion). Now its almost bedtime!

Tomorrow morning it time for getting the laundry out of the way once again. I'll do that after my shower and breakfast. Then I may be off to the grocery store before returning home and checking things out online.

Have a good night, guys! - V

P.S. - The image is from the film, "Heartbeats" (les amours imaginaires). If you haven't seen it, check it out! That's Xavier Dolan on the left and Monia Chokri on the right. - V

meadows, etc

Back in the 1960s we lived in the east end of town (London, Ontario). The house used to be a farmhouse and recently before we moved in there used to be a restaurant in front of the house which had caught fire and burnt down. My father build a new addition to the front of the house. I saved an old text book on bacteriology that I had found in the basement and which I still have to this day. We lived in the house from 1961 until the summer of 1968.

For years there had been an empty field next door between us and the Kingsway Transport building down the road. During the summer, I would go off into that field to pick wild strawberries. They were small but very flavourful and well worth the effort. We'd clean them and have them with whipped cream or just some sugar sprinkled on top to add to the flavour.

Since we didn't have a garden as such (but we did grow some petunias around the patio outside the kitchen), I also collected wild flowers and grasses from the field for a vase. There would be various grasses like timothy or oat and rye grass plus various kinds of clover like red or white clover or perhaps some vetch and we can't forget the daisies! We learned to make due with what we had and could afford. That is just something that we did during the summer as kids! How's yours going? - V


Here's some more inspiration, guys! I hope you're having an awesome weekend! - V


Here Sadik wearing a towel after a shower poses for us. The image is by photographer Luis Rafael. I guess most of you across the United States and southern Canada could use a shower with all the extreme heat you've been having. It feels like a wall of super heat and humidity! I know, I lived in southwestern Ontario most of my life and dealt with it every summer. Do what ever you can to cool off and stay comfortable! - V


Nick looks so cute standing up against the wall. Does he remind you of someone, perhaps someone special? He does me! The photo is by photographer Scott Hoover whose link is in the right-hand sidebar. Just click on the photo of one of his models and check him out! - V


Back in the 1980s I used to have a motorbike, a Yamaha XT500, a single cylinder engine with a compression release. I was in my 30s by that point and even remember in the beginning getting so frustrated with the thing in trying to get it started that one day in the north end of town I gunned it and did a wheelie down the road for a stretch. A guy walking toward me on the sidewalk thought it was hilarious! I haven't done one before or since, but then, I no longer have a bike!

By the way, the blue spruce in the background was planted by my younger brother (Norbert) and myself in 1969. Its a Hoopsi Blue Spruce and we hammered in the handle from an old broom to keep it growing straight but it did. By the time I sold the house in September 2005 the tree was a lot taller than you see it there. Tree sparrows nested in the top of the tree later when it was taller and a pair of cardinals even built a nest on one of the lower branches about waist high from the ground hidden by a branch above it. If the trees could talk!

Its another of those pleasant memories you tend not to forget!! What memories have you got to share? - V


Well, since its summer now (or supposed to be!), here is a photo taken in the late 1950s in a park in London, Ontario. My mother made the outfits but things have changed a lot since those days! My father was taking the photo. Can you remember those days as a child when you had no worries and were carefree, just living from day to day? - V

brothers II

Our first year in Canada was nothing to what came later when it was time to attend school. These photos were taken during our first Christmas in London, Ontario after spending the summer on a farm outside Hensall, north west of the city. My mother didn't much care for the mice that frequented the house and a bull chasing my mother and older half-brother through a farmer's field did it for her. That was the final straw! She was a city girl born and raised in Berlin, not a country person at all. My father, on the other hand, was born in a village and was used to the country life and all it offered.
During the Christmas Eve dinner, I had the bright idea of taking an empty wine bottle to my lips and Norbert thought this was hilarious. Amazing what you'll do as kids to amuse yourselves!
As with other European families, we had our own "children's table" where we sat down to eat away from the adults. You can see the stuffed monkey and other toys on the floor behind us, all brought over with us from Germany. Just a little something else to share with you! - V


For those of you who have never had siblings I pity you because you don't know what you're missing out on. Norbert was my younger brother who was born in December 1954 just after Christmas. I was born the previous year in August. We share the same room for years. It wasn't until 1972 or 1973 that we each had our own room but in light of his sudden and unexpected death in March 1974 I often wonder whether having our own rooms was a mistake! In the photo above, I am on the left, Norbert is on the right. We had just come from a children's birthday party on the ship. That's the only image I have of us in party hats!
Norbert had taken a bath after we had spent some time chatting about travel in the dining room. It was at the table I last saw him alive. In what had unfolded in the bathroom ended in his taking his life. There was no warning. It just happened and we were all affected afterwards in different ways. The emotions are as fresh today as they were then.
If you have brothers or sisters, cherish the moments together. You just never know when they end and you're left with the memories! Make those memories good ones!!! And we don't really know how much we miss them until afterwards!
The photos above were taken by my father on our crossing of the Atlantic on the ship, the Arosa Star, in June 1957. We had left from Bremerhaven, Germany and landed in Montreal, Canada. They bring back pleasant memories more than worth remembering! - V

Sunday, July 17, 2011

les amours imaginaires - Heartbeats

This evening I heard one of the theme songs from the movie, "les amours imaginaires", on the radio (Radio Canada - Vancouver). The song is deeper and richer in the film. The version I heard on the radio wasn't anywhere near as good. I took the time to watch Xavier Dolan's film again this evening. In English its called "Heartbeats." Consider seeing it if you haven't as yet. Xavier is a young Canadian film maker from Montreal and certainly worth seeing where his career goes!
That's Xavier Dolan, Niels Schneider and Monia Chokri in the photo above. Xavier and Monia appear in some of the other images. Love the sweater and the hat! What about you? - V


In keeping with the last post and its maritime theme, here's a hot dude wearing an aussibum swimsuit. Well, for those of you with a decent summer that's good but we're still looking for our's. Summer here on the west coast seems to be lost! Enjoy yours if you've got it!!! Now I'm off to get some laundry out of the way before heading out for some groceries. - V

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by the sudden touch of someone close to you, I mean someone that you cared about but had never shown any interest in you in the touchy-feely kind of way? A thought and an image to keep in mind as you head off to bed, get up for the day or whatever! - V

I Am Number Four - note

Its been a while since I watched the movie, "I am number four", which stars Alex Pettyfer as Number Four. I've noticed that a number of you have viewed my previous posts on the film, so to make a long story short an alien race (9 of them) escape a planet and come to Earth. They are pursued by another race that has to kill them in sequential order. Numbers 1 to 3 have been killed and Number Four is next. You can view the trailer and learn more about the film here.

I'll have more to say on a possible parallel we have, as it relates to humankind, soon. Meantime, check out the movie! - V

Sunday, July 10, 2011

supper, and then???

I am just finishing up supper. It was rather simple: sole fillet with a light, seasoned tempura along with boiled potatoes and green beans, nothing particularly fancy! And to wash it all down, Jasmine tea. And dessert? I guess some eye candy will do! What do you think? Have a good week, guys! - V

P.S. - That's Trevor Adams taken by photographer Ray John Pila.

Ethan and friends

My friend Ethan Reynolds looks awesome in blond wearing his Xwear. Ethan always looks great! What do you think? - V
Note: Remember to enter the Dare to Bare Challenge! Check out Xwear's blog:


I was hungry yesterday afternoon (Saturday) and decided to have some granola bars. Bad choice, especially three bars! I woke up this morning to a bad case of diarrhea most likely a reaction to the corn syrup and lactose in the bars. I had wanted to give them away since I'm somewhat allergic to corn (corn product of any kind) and I'm also lactose intolerant. Its amazing how little it takes to create a problem. Hence, this is one reason why I carefully read the label for the ingredients if I do purchase some prepared food items.

All this is why I prefer to prepare my own food. Then I know what's in it! If you've never had yourself tested for allergies or sensitivities, consider having it done. Ask your doctor to send you to an allergist. I did that in 2006 and knowing is forearmed! It saves us from a lot of issues later, well, most of the time! Enjoy your Sunday! - V

P.S. - Of course, I may have overdone the chai thing somewhat. I did some research this evening and found that some of the ingredients have anti-parasitic properties, such as gloves (I knew that), cinnamon (I knew that too), garlic and others. I'll ease up on drinking chai (I drank Bombay Chai this past week) and see what happens. Well, all that chai probably got rid of some of the beasties. Eating something I shouldn't have probably didn't help! Live and learn!!! - V

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Hot stuff! What do you think? - V


Renato looks hot wearing this shirt, probably hotter than if he was shirtless! What do you think? - V

Ethan and friends

Interested in something new to show off your physique? How about some Xwear? Ethan and a couple of his friends are showing it off. Don't they look awesome in their suits? - V