Talking to Myself


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This year has blown by like an unforgiving force of mythological proportions.  In many ways the perfect storm.

I look in the mirror and indeed the reflection that stares back at me shows the appearance of someone having weathered some rather extreme cold fronts.

But look a little closer.  The eyes are still on fire, the head has a million ideas running through it and this heart still wants to love, needs to love…


I was at my last session with the kinesiolgist earlier this evening.  Jae pushed me hard.

And yet, in my head, I still can’t accept that this is all I can do.

I’m remembering such a short time ago when the exercises I did this evening wouldn’t have even broken a sweat.  I’ve got some work to do.

And I told Jae that I may never get back to the level I was at before…but at least I’m alive and I can move.  Sure, it still hurts but hell, I’ve got to keep trying.

And on the same note I can’t accept what’s happening to me.

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I will be competing in a speaking contest of all things.  Telling a Tall Tale.  Never saw myself doing this.  And yet, I’ve challenged myself to speak as well as I write.  To become a storyteller in every sense of the word.  To have fun, to share some expressions, to leave people I’ve shared my ideas with reason to pause and reflect.

My home is still under construction as am I.  Works in progress both of us.  Life being coy and whimsical.  At times I feel so inadequate and foolish.

I’ve worked so hard to move from such notions.  Perhaps its best to just embrace those moments when I don’t feel I fit into my life very well at all.  Reality can at times be a bitch when the dream seems so close to fruition.

Pulled back, teasingly.  ‘Work harder.’

Decisions are made.  Desperate, wanting…

Decisions are reached.  Calmly, with forethought…

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And I slip into bed with a sore arm, a back tied in knots and legs cramping.  Stories are rushing through me and chase me into slumber.

And I’m working, working, working…

Trying to organize my time, trying to organize my life, trying to just live, just be.

At the gym Jae instructed me to do crunches but to have ‘fun’ with them.

“Make a gun with your hands.” he instructed showing me and placing his hands over his head.

“Now come up, pause and shoot between your legs.”

This is weird I decided.

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“Think of someone you’d like to shoot, that you don’t like.” he encouraged. ” like…your husband?”

“No…”I didn’t mention I wasn’t married.  Mute point.

“I don’t like guns, Jae. And there really is no one I want to shoot…hypothetically.”

I spoiled the fun, I guess.

Still I’m in this odd space these days and like everything…I’ll learn and grow.




Election Campaign 2015 – Part One: Political Apathy

The Big Three 

We have an election coming up very soon here in Canada.

The one to the south of us seems to be garnering more attention simply because of the ‘colourful’ characters that are involved.

I have been reviewing the platforms for all of those concerned up here in Canuck land.

I am really pissed off with the attack ads the Conservatives have launched since God knows when.

I don’t want to listen to why another candidate is deemed ‘unworthy’ by another political party.

Tell what you can do for this country, for her citizens. That is my interest. I don’t care if one of the candidates has nice hair.

The Debate!

What a politician looks like is irrelevant.

Under the Harper administration we are in fact paying more tax than we were when he first took power.

What you need to understand is the tax structure. It is a maze really.

Now, what I’ve decided to do is attached the last six years Income Tax Rate for Federal Tax only. I’m also attaching a spreadsheet I created to show the this side by side.

I used five salary bases to show how much tax you are paying.

Now at first glance you might think, wow the tax rates came down!

It’s really very deceiving. Those making more money are slipping into a lower tax bracket.

The salaries I listed $42,000, $55,000 and $78,000 all fall within the same tax bracket.

In fact $42,000 slips into the lowest tax bracket eventually.

Those who are earning the least have found no tax relief.

This is a very basic model that I’ve created. My purpose for this is to show those earning the most are indeed paying the least amount of tax.

Take into account the cost of living these days and the multitude of other taxes we are encumbered with and you will begin to understand why many feel a great deal of political apathy.

But we should care.

It is critical that we take the time to understand, even a little, how taxation works in Canada because it’s killing us.

When families have to make the choice whether to heat their homes or buy food then you know there is a major problem.

The following excerpt is from the Globe & Mail online edition.

‘It’s making an already unaffordable market even more unaffordable, but buyers seem unfazed at paying record prices for houses that have gone up 35 per cent since 2009. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver data shows an average sales price of a detached house for March, 2014, of $1.213-million. That number dropped from February, when the average was at $1.367-million. Back in January, 2009, the average price was $783,721.

Wow! Housing up approximately 35% in just six years!

Did your salary keep pace? No and in fact, salaries really have not changed all that much.

And yet Stephen Harper will tell you he’s done an awesome job managing this country.

At the end of last year, as of December 2014, the average wage for Canadian employees was $943 a week – or just over $49,000 a year. This marks a 2% increase over the same period a year earlier.

Average Canadian salary by province

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador – $52,572
  2. New Brunswick – $44,044
  3. Nova Scotia – $42,992
  4. Prince Edward Island – $41,184
  5. Quebec – $44,621
  6. Ontario – $49,088
  7. Manitoba – $45,760
  8. Saskatchewan -$51,792
  9. Alberta – $60,476
  10. British Columbia – $46,900


Vancouver, BC $922,000 + 16 %
Toronto, Ont $639,000 + 12 %
Calgary, Alb $466,000 – 0.2 %
Ottawa, Ont $383,000 + 5.0 %
Montreal, Que $341,000 + 2.6 %
Regina, Sask $316,000 + 2.6 %
Halifax, NS $291,000 + 4.8 %
Fredericton, NB $179,000 – 6.8 %


British Columbia $632,000 + 14 %
Ontario $477,000 + 9.3 %
Alberta $403,000 – 1.0 %
Quebec $278,000 + 1.7 %
Saskatchewan $303,000 + 0.3 %
Newfoundland / Labrador $280,000 – 4.6 %
Manitoba $273,000 – 0.3 %
Nova Scotia $236,000 + 7.1 %
Prince Edward Island $167,000 + 0.3 %
New Brunswick $164,000 – 1.3 %
Canadian Average $453,000 + 9.6 %

Take a good look at this. Then look where we in BC stand regarding the average wage and ask yourself who is buying all of these houses?

In any case I have assembled this information hoping to inspire you to get out and vote and become involved.

Ask those who are running in your area to answer a few questions about the economy, education, jobs and all the rest of it.

Under Harper’s regime we have definitely seen tax hikes. What his cabinet has managed to do is take away tax incentives such as the child tax credit and strip it down, shake it up and present it as something that’s even better than before.

And sadly, they are not.

I will be forwarding this document to those running in my area and I will be asking them how they plan to provide tax relief to their communities, and to their countries.

I want to know how they’ll correct astronomical cost of living and how they’ll assist those who are most vulnerable.

I went through cancer treatment without the benefit of extended health benefits offered at work. Consequently, I took very little time off. I took just two weeks off after surgery and took the day’s off that I was being fed chemo.

I’m fortunate that I looked at other means by which to deal with the side effects. Still there are some that have had a taxing effect on me.

Hell, I’m pissed off that they don’t offer free parking to cancer patients. They should. I’ve got parking tickets galore that I refuse to pay because I couldn’t just jump out of the doctor’s office or wherever I was at in the Cancer Agency to feed the meter.

I believe there are solutions to these issues and will be presenting them soon.

In the meantime, please start looking closely at those wanting to run Canada for the next 5 years and those who’ve been running the show.

Exercise your right to vote and encourage everyone that you know to do the same.

We can have a better, more efficient governing body. And more importantly they need to be accountable.

I really believe that together we can make a difference and welcome any and all comments regarding the up coming election.

Below are the tax brackets taken from Canada Revenue website.

Federal Income Tax Rates for 2009:

  • 15% on the first $38,832 of taxable income, +
  • 22% on the next $38,832 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $38,832 and $77,664), +
  • 26% on the next $48,600 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $77,664 and $126,264), +
  • 29% of taxable income over $120,887.

Federal Income Tax Rates for the Year 2010:

  • 15% on the first $40,970 of taxable income, +
  • 22% on the next $40,971 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $40,970 and $81,941), +
  • 26% on the next $45,080 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $81,941 and $127,021), +
  • 29% of taxable income over $127,021

Income Tax Rates for the Year 2011:

  • 15% on the first $41,544 of taxable income
  • 22% on the next $41,545 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $41,545 and $83,088)
  • 26%on the next  $83,089 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $83,089 and $128,880)
  • 29% of taxable income over  $128,800

Income Tax Rates for the Year 2012:

  • 15% on the first $42,707 of taxable income
  • 22% on the next $42,707 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $42,707 and $85,414)
  • 26%on the next  $85,414 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $85,414 and $132,406)
  • 29% of taxable income over  $132,406

Income Tax Rates for the Year 2013:

-Federal personal income tax rates below (provincial income tax rates are not included)

  • 15% on the first $43,561 of taxable income
  • 22% on the next $43,562 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $43,562 and $87,123)
  • 26%on the next $87,124 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $87,124 and $135,054)
  • 29% of taxable income over $135,054
  • Income Tax Rates for the Year 2013:

Income Tax Rates for Year 2014

  • 15% on the first $43,953 of taxable income
  • 22% on the next $43,954 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $43,954 and $87,907)
  • 26%on the next $48,363 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $87,908 and $136,270)
  • 29% of taxable income over $136,270

**Click on the link below to pull up a PDF of the spreadsheet I created based upon the above. 

Wage Schedule 2


Sex Sells

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Do you want a better, longer lasting, more fulfilling orgasm?

Do you feel you current ‘explosions’ of passion are not really lifting off and are well…somehow lacking?

Do you sometimes wonder if you’ve ever reached the pinnacle of sexual arousal and release?

If you have said “yes” to any of the above then its very likely you’ve never reached the height of sexual pleasure that you deserve!

Well, have I got news for you!

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That’s how most ads begin. The promise of skyrockets in flight and many more untold pleasures, at least the more provocative commercials anyway.

The idea with any marketing campaign is to make the consumer feel as if we are missing out. With the product and or ‘secret knowledge’ or both your life will be transformed.

And that is the key to any successful marketing campaign is selling the experience or guaranteed results of whatever it is you’ve been convinced will transform you and/or your life.

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With regard to sex, all you have to do is watch the CIALIS or VIAGRA commercials as couples gleefully begin to have sex in the morning and afternoon once again and the men dance gaily down the street now that they can produce a hard-on once more!

A little suspect, don’t you think? And for the record there are many reasons why men may experience erectile dysfunction, diet, stress, drug and alcohol abuse, just to name a few.

Still it’s not unusual for couples to fall into a repetitive routine when it comes to sex. Find what works and run with it. Only problem with taking this approach is that it can lead to a rather boring, mundane and lack luster sexual experience.

Its finding those moments when you both move outside your comfort zone and experiment that you may well find the desired spice you’re seeking.

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For many people, rather than work on this aspect of the relationship, they begin to look elsewhere.

If you’ve been in a relationship where the sex was fabulous and frequent and now find it sadly lacking there are any number of issues that could have contributed to this. Stress is likely at the top of the list.

Having a career, a mortgage, children, daycare, and kazillion other activities demanding attention…the luxury of sex can be reduced to a half hour in bed before you go to sleep at night.

Many have stated that those who signed up with ‘ASHLEY MADISON’ have gotten their justice deserved.

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The latest report is that the site was hacked by someone who worked on the inside or at one time did and knew how to expose 37 milliion customers.

In truth I consider the site itself to be quite pathetic; however, I am very dismayed and shocked at the breach that occurred. That someone took it upon themselves to exploit this website for whatever condescending reasons, certainly didn’t take into consideration the residue effect this would have on the family members of Ashely Madison’s clients’.

Most notably the children.

Now cheating of any kind may be considered reprehensible in a purist society.  We are anything but. Look around you’ll see that it is happening everyday and occurs frequently on a large scale in all forms. In schools, at the workplace just to mention two problem areas.

sex 2It the sell job we entice society with.

Buy into the marriage machine and have the 2.5 children, the job, the house and fully is finding this isn’t quite what they had in mind.

Then you find that it’s not quite what you had anticipated.

You want the thrill, the instant gratification…you want something better

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But sex sells. It always has and likely always will. The illusion of a coupling so completely wild and uninhibited; free of guilt…free of fear…free of thought.

There is something very simple and primitive in the sexual act that is deeply beautiful in my mind.

The way by which we are attracted to one another is so random at times.

Through tens of thousands of years of evolution though we’ve managed to clutter and confuse the very idea of sex.

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 22:  Furry enthusiasts attend the Eurofurence 2014 conference on August 22, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Furry fandom, a term used in zines as early as 1983 and also known as furrydom, furridom, fur fandom or furdom, refers to a subculture whose followers express an interest in anthropomorphic, or half-human, half-animal, creatures in literature, cartoons, pop culture, or other artistic contexts. Many but not all of the followers of the movement wear furry animal costumes. The earliest citation of anthropomorphic literature regularly cited by furry fans is Aesop's Fables, dating to around 500 BC.  (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

BERLIN, GERMANY – AUGUST 22: Furry enthusiasts attend the Eurofurence 2014 conference on August 22, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Furry fandom, a term used in zines as early as 1983 and also known as furrydom, furridom, fur fandom or furdom, refers to a subculture whose followers express an interest in anthropomorphic, or half-human, half-animal, creatures in literature, cartoons, pop culture, or other artistic contexts. Many but not all of the followers of the movement wear furry animal costumes. The earliest citation of anthropomorphic literature regularly cited by furry fans is Aesop’s Fables, dating to around 500 BC. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

It certainly is the way by which we procreate. No argument there, however, we are the only know species that actually mates because we fucking well love it!

Yet we’ve taken that knowledge and twisted it into all kinds of misinformation.

Why, for example, do we still find it so difficult to talk to our children about the sexual act and all the emotions and feelings that go with it?

A few years back a friend of mine had tickets to the ‘Taboo: Naughty but Nice’ exhibition here in Vancouver. We toddled off and entered 20,000 sq. ft. of all things sexual.

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Spanking 101, Bondage 101, Extreme Bondage, 202, How to Talk Dirty…effectively. Playmates with boob jobs that were huge and of disproportionate excess strolled the aisles encouraging the masses of nervous and wide-eyed people to relax and enjoy.

Now I’m naturally well-endowed and have found the girls get in the way at times…particularly when I’m trying on clothing. I can’t imagine having or wanting the basketballs these gals had implanted.

And as I pondered how uncomfortable melons of that size would be, a young woman smiled at me and ventured into my path. I smiled back.

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She stepped forward now and with conspiratorial tone she asked, “Have you ever been at work and suddenly felt extremely horny and wondered what to do?” Pausing impishly she asked if I’d like to know how to remedy such a situation.

I smiled “Do tell.” I encouraged.

My friend and I followed her over to her booth where she slipped a tiny vibrator onto her finger.

“Just excuse yourself to the restroom facilities, drop your drawers and have at her…” she cooed as the mini-vibrator was applied over her clothing in the vaginal area rather suggestively.

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It operated on a tiny battery found in some camera’s and calculators.

The cost of $75 was a little steep in my mind. I’m an accountant and in all honesty I can’t recall a time when I’ve ever gotten horny looking at a number.

Even why a young man stood unabashedly naked in the building across from us, I found it more amusing rather than a turn on.

I thought of other times when I was out and about and the need for quick fix for a turn on had arisen. In the end we thanked her and carried on.

There were multi-coloured penis made out everything imaginable. We came to a table with several hundred rings of various shapes and sizes. The sales man launched in to the hard sell. And yes, I did just go there!

I must admit, by the time he stopped to inhale and take another breath, I’d learned more than I’ve ever wanted about penis rings. Sadly I confessed to him that I had no penis in my life to place ring on.


By the end of our sojourn into the world of sexual accessories I was anything but stimulated.

At the end of the day, remember that sex is beautiful energy to be shared.  And you make it what it should be.

Nothing more…nothing less.  Enjoy.


It Was a Dark and Stormy….Day?

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There was a huge Canadian flag attached to this pole prior to the storm

On Saturday I decided to be a rebel and sleep in until 6:30 AM rather than arise at the customary time of 6:00 AM.  I could always shower up later in the day.  Still I found myself pondering when I could actually sleep in to my typical 7:00 – 7:30 AM on Saturday mornings.

I’ve had my physio sessions booked early forever it seems at 7:15 AM on Saturdays.  My back is improving.  I still have pain when I walk…just not as much.  I’ve adopted a new way to walk as well,  so prescribed by Physio John.

For 1 1/2 hours he worked on me.  First he does acupressure, then has me do exercises that are isolated to a certain areas then comes the acupuncture.

I’m now on a first name basis with a few other patients who come at the same time every week as well and we stood chatting for a bit while setting up our next appointment.

My daughter lives close by and she had invited me for breakfast after my session so I headed down the hill to her home.

The rain had let up and the clouds were roiling through the sky at a rapid pace.  I found it beautiful and very powerful.

LOnsdale & Esplande.

My daughter and I had walked past this very intersection just a few hours before this carnage occurred!

I had woken to the sound of heavy rainfall and for a few minutes I had just laid there listening to it delighting in the breeze coming through my bedroom window and the scent of wet earth!

We’ve had a brutally hot and dry summer.  The rain falling outside was a blessing and then some.  I could just imagine all the trees and brush outside hungering for that rain that now cascaded upon them in abundance.

After breakfast I suggest we go for a walk.  She lives in North Vancouver very close to the Quay so we headed over there with the  both of us delighting in the breeze coming off the ocean.

Upon arriving back her place I took my leave.  I had much I wanted to get done in my corner of the world.

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Repairs are still ongoing in my building.  My unit still has not been done, but that’s okay.  It will.  I have to pick out the paint I want and I’ve requested that the entire place get painted.  Still waiting to hear back from Sean on the additional cost for this.  I’ve decided to do a huge purge of things though.  So this weekend would mark the beginning of the process.  Get the place cleaned up and then tackle the closets that are still in use.  My utility closet is still not usable as the walls are still exposed.

On the drive home I began to wax poetic about the weather and decided to post a blog about it.  Then I began to notice how much the wind was picking up.  Some empty boxes flew off a truck onto the highway and leaves and branches were beginning to litter the highway.

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New West over by the Justice Institute

Leaves were swirling about like mini tornados.  Trees were taking on the familiar sway that occurs when a storm is brewing.  It’s been a very long time since increment weather of this nature has hit the coast.

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On Austin at Gatenbury in Coquitlam

I turned off the highway and as I entered the final stretch to home I reduced my speed to about 20 km.  Leaves and branches were flying off the trees and the roadway was littered with them.

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More highway debris

Arriving home I called my daughter and she expressed how the wind had really picked up out her way as well.

I began scheduling what I would be doing this day around my home.

Deciding to check my email first, I would then tackle my bedroom closet,

I didn’t make it through checking my email before the power kicked out.

My power was out for seven hours yesterday.  Approximately 400,000 households were affected.   There are still about 130,000 households still without power.

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One of the trains was hit by branches snapping off.  This created quite the delay for comuters.

We’ve had no decent rainfall for months.  Even though it has rained heavily for the last couple of days, it was not enough for many of the trees that were bone dry and just snapped like twigs in this onslaught.

I found myself reflecting on the fact of just how dependent we’ve become on technology in this electronic age.  I could not even leave my car park as the gate is remote operated and very much electrically dependent.  I do know there is a manual way by which to open these gates so this is a bit of knowledge I will pursue.  We do have a generator that kicked in for emergency lighting and I found myself wondering why the parkade gate was not included with the emergency power source.

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Bangs and crashes could be heard followed by sirens in the distance.

I did a few things by candlelight but truth be told the silence was rather daunting.  Outside the winds howled for hours and the rain came and went in torrents.  The sun made a brief appearance and I discovered the Safeway some four blocks from my home was open so I ventured over there and picked up some batteries and grabbed a bite to eat.

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Downtown Vancouver at Hornby & Nelson Street

Even having a charged up laptop was rather useless as there were no networks available to go online and try to get information.  BC Hydro’s website was down and trying to get through by phone?  Good luck.

I at least had the radio on and felt connected.  And that’s what it came down to.  For a very brief moment I felt removed and cutoff from the world around me.  Furthermore I could not find out what was going on.   My cell phone provided a bit of info, however, the battery on that was running low as well.

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Four hours into this event I curled up on my sofa and watched the remainder of the storm unfold.  Candles were lit, the radio was on and I was safe.

There are still many without power.  My friend will likely have to toss all the food in her fridge but at least she is safe with her family and that’s what matters.



Just One Question…

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A couple of colourful Queens from last week’s Pride Celebration in Vancouver!

After toddling through my domestic duties I got out and about for a walk.

It is Gay Pride Week here in New Westminster.  Local business’ are having a competition for the best window display.

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This is where I was training prior to the car accident.  Tamer has done a fabulous job!  Love it!

I grabbed my camera and photographed the many displays on hand.

At times the pain in my back kicked in so I would just rest up for a bit before carrying on.  I’m committed now. I must keep moving, working through this if I ever want to get the life I had back or parts of it.

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It would be fabulous to be able to just go for a walk and not end up in pain by the time I get back home.

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The book store that is selling copies of my book!

I’ve been working on a series of blogs posts that I will present shortly based on the up coming elections.  We have a federal election coming up on October 19, 2015 here in Canada and south of the border they are ramping up for their election next year as well.

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I stopped a Greek restaurant for dinner then made my way home.

And I wonder why it is that some people find it unacceptable and intolerable that two people of the same sex love each other.

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Moxies on Davie St.  The party was on!

Love is and always will be the best thing anyone can experience.

I’ve lived my life very much alone.  Yes, I’ve raised a daughter, a beautiful and wonderful woman.  Yes, I have friends that I love beyond all else.

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But I never got the man and woman relationship down.  I let the scars from my youth unfortunately get in the way.

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And in my mind, if you find the love of your life then you are blessed.  Cherish it and hold it close.  Never, ever take it for granted.

Peace out!




Fire in the Sky!

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The Blue Moon on July 31, 2015 taken from New Westminster, BC

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I was off to take photographs with my group of the Celebration of Light on its 25th Anniversary!

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A lovely sunset preceded the event.

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The point of view is from the Burrard Street Bridge which overlooks the West End of Vancouver. The boats are gathering for the festivities!

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Fireworks Aug 1, 2015 069Above is Vancouver’s Westend.  The masses are forming.  Tonight will attract close to 500,000 people.


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Let the show begin!  This production was put on by Canada.  A team from Winnipeg put this baby together. and they would have the honours of being the best in show!

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An explosive delight!

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Magnificent colours!  It doesn’t happen often, however, no breeze was on hand and a cloud of smoke soon formed over the barge.  Our vision was at times obscured.

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Despite this, the show was fabulous!  I am learning more and more regarding these type of photo sessions.  I had a blast!

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Dynamic and dramatic!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this photographic journey.  It was a pleasure to behold!