Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another Year Under our Belts

Everyone is reflective as a New Year's Eve approaches and I am no different. It is cultural and is drummed into us to do so. In fact, we could review the year at any time and not just as the end approaches. Having to discard the old 2014 calendar just reinforces this idea so here I go.
It was the year of retirement for me, and then just as quickly, coming out of retirement. What I learned is that I will work as long as I am able. But get back to me next year as I have been known to change my mind, about important things, on occasion.
Being one year older, I can say that I really felt it like I have in no other year to this point. The aches and pains from work, and then from not enough work, have increased. My stash of herbal remedies for various problems is growing as fast as my bank account is shrinking as a result of these purchases. We are in the process of purchasing a new bed so I may be able to trade in the herbs for a good night's sleep. I could have used the money to buy several truck loads of herbs, but the bed was not getting any more comfortable. Busylizzy and I thought we were falling in love all over again but it was only the sag in the mattress that brought us together every night and all night.
It was a year when my grandsons could look me in the eye without tilting their heads upward. Those little boys are not supposed to be doing that. When we hug, they hold back, just the way I used to do. Crushing ribs during displays of affection is not good.
It was a year when we seriously talked about a condo for the first time. It is still talk but talk always precedes action.
As in years past, it was year in which there were innumerable things and occasions for which to be very thankful. My faith, my family, my church, my friends, my physical health, and my relatively healthy mind are great treasures to me. I have an idea about what the New Year holds for me, but only in regards to those things which I can control. I am thinking that most of what will happen will be beyond my control. It is both frightening and adventuresome. The future is here before we know it and I say "bring it on".

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Here Comes The King

It was a time of heavy taxation and an oppressive regime. A downtrodden people, living on the hope of a coming Messiah, did not see it coming. Had He been born in a palace among robes of purple, and clean linens, it would have been obvious. Instead, He was born in a dirty stable amidst animals, and during the hectic confusion of a nation wide census. It was not the rich and famous who were first invited to see him, but lowly shepherds. Can this really be a King?  

Time would tell, and after scripture upon scripture was fulfilled, after his short life was lived and his mission was accomplished, He ascended into the heavenly realm where he sits at the right hand of God the Father. As he prepares a place for those who love him, and as he prepares for his return, we must be mindful that this time he will come in majesty and power. Every knee will bow, not just the shepherds. He will come when our lives are in chaos, as they usually are, he will come unexpectedly, but be assured that he is coming. Are we ready?

I leave you with a heart warming story from my friend and fellow blogger, Art Martens. "Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward all Men" is well portrayed in this story.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

An Early Celebration

Five of our family are heading for Disneyland tomorrow so our family Christmas was celebrated a bit early this year. We had a sumptuous dinner last night, Cornish Game Hens with all the trimmings, and then a gift opening and a photo session. The boys mostly received $US for spending on the trip, or things to eat or do on the long road trip. We will miss them over the Christmas Holidays.
It has become a tradition to take a silly photo as well as a serious photo and these have proved to be quite popular with those who view them. I find it somewhat disturbing that most people think the silly one is better. What are they saying? We like the fun ones too as it shows that we are a family that has fun, is comfortable with each other, and we do not mind if our friends see a side of us that is not very flattering. We do not stage these photos and it is curious that we can each be so very different and spontaneous with such short notice.
I appreciate and love my family very much and find no greater joy than spending time with them.  

Friday, December 19, 2014


Here is very real evidence that as one gets older, one's memory tends to fail.
I received a call from someone who needed some paper hung. I did not recognize her name, but recognized her location as I knew I had worked in her gated community last spring. We arrived at her address and she immediately asked if she had met me before. After looking (without staring) at her face, I concluded that I had never seen her before. She claimed I had worked for her before, hanging paper on one wall in her bathroom. I drew a blank and then asked if her husband had movie studio memorabilia in the basement family room, because that would mean that it was the same house I worked in last spring and that would mean I had met her husband and not her. We drew a blank on that and I concluded that she had me mixed up with someone else.
As we were working in her bedroom. Andrew told me to take a look in her bathroom, which I did, while he took the above photo. Apparently that was the paper I had hung, and apparently, Andrew remembered it, but for me it was a new revelation. And it could not have been more than a year or two ago as these are all new houses in this community. This disturbs me. My justification is that I do so many jobs, and so many of them are only a few hours in duration, that I quickly lose track of where I have been and what I have done. I am sticking with that theory and maintain that my memory is still good because I remembered to post this incident.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


While busy with a three week re-decorating contract, we managed to find time for two more feature wall this week. This one is on Golf Course Drive near Ledgeview.

Other than going around the 5 small windows, this was a straightforward affair and again, using one of the new non-woven fabric backed wall coverings. The rage is dark paper with reverse embossed patterns of a different sheen. They really play with reflected light.

These folks also had the latest in headboards, the hide-a-bed look. It fooled me. Perhaps the idea is that you can sit up in bed and read and would be quite comfortable.

We drove into Cloverdale for a quickie on Saturday. The photos do not show how dark this room was, deep chocolate brown. The paper was charcoal with jet black shiny embossed patterns.

I love a job with the following characteristics. Quick in and out, high quality materials to work with, and immediate payment. This little job qualified on all counts.  

Monday, December 1, 2014


This specialty product from Cole and Sons of London England was supposed to arrive in 4-5 weeks. Would you believe two days! The supplier had some in stock in Vancouver and so we re-scheduled, much to the delight of the customer.

Is it a Mural, or is it a 54" wide pattern with staggered drop on 27" wide stock. Hard to say, but the repeat on it was not immediately obvious and the illusion was a wall full of storm clouds.

Quite beautiful, really, and again, Cole and Sons puts out a great product, if not pricey.  

The electrical connection box for the wall mounted big screen TV.

The last little trim from beside the door frame where I had to 'fudge' the pattern or order another $500.00 worth of material.
From set-up to clean-up, elapsed time was 1 1/2 hours, but I would not suggest that this is a project for the uninitiated.

Friday, November 28, 2014

And More Wallpaper

Yesterday it was another trip to Walnut Ridge in Cloverdale. We heard from the supplier that these builders just ordered a few more cases of these patterns so it looks like we will be going back a few more times.

It takes about an hour to cover a feature wall like the one above. About 4 hours to do a bathroom with everything installed. (mirrors, toilets, light fixtures, base board heaters, vanity, thermostat, and electrical covers)  A bare bathroom is about an hour or more less time. They pay by the hour so I don't mind.

It is a very attractive complex, but very crowded and the units are tall and small.

No room for a ladder but with only 7' ceilings, it does not matter. I spoke with the wallpaper salesman at our supplier's today and he said that wallpaper sales are going through the roof. With the cost of the new style patterns, nobody wants to tackle their own hanging. Fine by me! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Getting Repetitious

Earlier this summer we hung wallpaper in a show suite at Walnut Ridge, a townhouse complex in Cloverdale. We did the feature wall in the master bedroom and the powder room on the main floor of the three storey townhouse. The units have been selling and some of the buyers want the same wallpaper in their own unit. We went back last week to do two more. The first three photos are taken in the powder room where there were two windows to paper around as well as a toilet with little to no clearance.

The wall coverings that they chose are nice, and very easy to work with. We also have heat and hot and cold running water, something we do not take for granted on a construction site. Tomorrow we go back to do another unit.

Today we were working locally in an office complex being renovated. Here I am working in a small washroom doing a feature wall that is 12' high! It is a high end fabric backed commercial vinyl.

I was at the top of the ladder and was thankful that the gout in my foot is about 95% gone. We found the pattern match on the edge of the vinyl that allowed us to overlap and double cut the seams, meaning that they were invisible when done.

This action shot shows me double cutting the overlapped seam. There are a number of tricks to doing this successfully but when done right, it is the best seam you could possible have.
Here is the funny part. I was hanging the last piece (below) when the foreman informed me that the designer had just informed him that she wanted the pattern hung horizontally. A few years ago I would have freaked out, but today I just chuckled and said, "Too late."

The lighting was poor and the water was ice cold and from the basement, but we managed to do a great job anyway. I was happy that it was a small job.

Monday, November 10, 2014


I am more than pleased to announce that I have completed my reading of Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House'. Having read most of his novels, I must say that this is the most difficult to read and my least favourite, although I would still characterize myself as being a Dickens fan.
The story has a litigation as its undercurrent, and a portrayal of the Chancery (legal system in Britain) as being a farce. All of the numerous characters in the novel are somehow influenced by the outcome of a dispute over a will, or wills. The final day in court for the Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce case comes right at the end of the novel and just proves the point that Dickens makes and that is that the Chancery is a farce.
There are too many characters and I eventually was able to hone in on the main ones and follow their progression through the quagmire of wordiness. Dickens takes rabbit trips and indulges in lengthy descriptions and dialogues that do not further the plot nor do they develop the characters. This novel needs some heavy editing. 
I came to realize at the half-way point that I was identifying with one of the main characters. It became intensely personal and I would say that were it not for Richard and his predicament, I would have lost all incentive to finish the book. I found that his state of mind and his reaction to his circumstances was what made him the most real character in the novel. (no spoilers here) 
Other characters in the story were either a product of their time and culture, which we in the 21st century have a difficult identifying with, or an overblown imagination by the author, who while trying to create interesting individuals for his novel, ended up creating people who do not exist anywhere in reality. 
My overall impression of the story is that it is a British soap opera. This becomes evident early on, but when reading a Dickens novel, one reads not only for the story, but to discover the beauty of the English language painted by an artist of the first order. 
In this case, however, the painting is simply too large.        

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I have not posted on this blog for a while now. There are multiple reasons.

1. Connections through Facebook are more current, in real time, and diverse.

2. I have not been out photographing for many weeks now and that fact has discouraged me.

3. I am back to work after my gout episode, but still not 100% as the limping around has caused a sore back. Constant pain, no matter the grade, is wearing and discouraging.

4. I have enjoyed posting book reviews over the years, but I am stuck on a Charles Dickens novel, "Bleak House", that is sucking the joy of reading from my bones. It is the longest, most wordy novel I have ever read, but many reviewers have said that to endure is worth it in the end. I am near the end and waiting for the reward. Why do I not just put it down and be done with it? I finish what I start.

5. I am getting the winter doldrums and feel generally unmotivated at this time of the year.

6. I have been working on my photo website .

I hope to be back on track soon.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Local Elections

The municipal election champagne is heating up. The road medians and ditches are polluted with 'Vote for ME' signs and the local paper is full of ads, opinions and reports about this candidate meeting or that one.
As in all elections, there is a lot of bafflegab happening. Take the diatribe recently on Facebook by one of the incumbent counselors. There is something new in the politics of our little city, and that is an effort to elect a team of candidates instead of a full slate of so called independents. The 'Team' has been saying some things about the debt and poor management of the incumbents, and now a couple of them are striking back and calling the 'Team' liars.
What is interesting is that they are both getting their facts and figures from the same financial statements and from the same audits. Interesting how one comes up with a huge surplus and one comes up with a huge debt, all from the same columns of figures.
I will not get into how two differing opinions come from the same information, but suffice to say that the voter can be very confused about the whole thing. In the end, it comes to "who do you trust".
I truly hope that there is a greater interest in voting this time around. There is, what I perceive to be, a distinct opportunity to do things a little differently at the municipal level in our city. If we all do our homework and our research, and get out and vote, perhaps there will be some change. If new blood and new ideas do not pan out, we can always vote the good old boys back in next time.
PS: The claim by our mayor is that our home owner taxes have not increased in the last year. Maybe one of the counselors  could tell me why I am paying $400.00 more this year than last. A real smooth talker might be able to convince me that I am actually paying $400 less.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Double Ouch!

One week ago I began to suffer a sever gout attack. I have been taking steps to relieve the pain and swelling and also making lifestyle changes in order to prevent future attacks. Prior to this incident, I had three occurrences that I thought were bad. It kept me off my feet for a few days and felt like shingles or a sever ingrown toenail.
When this recent attack hit, the pain started to build and much surpassed anything I had previously encountered. The pain and swelling in my right foot precluded any walking or going up and down stairs. When I did walk, it was very gingerly on my heel and on the right side of my foot.
Now having hobbled around for 7 days in this unbalanced and unnatural way, I have developed a really good (bad) back ache. It has made me forget about my foot, for sure. Today, when I concentrated on the state of my foot, I was pleased to note that the swelling is down, the redness is much less, and I can almost walk normally.
I was so anxious to try going back to work today. I promised myself if I could get my shoes on, which I could not yesterday, I was going to spend a few hours on the job. Now I cannot even bend over to attempt the shoe placement.
Ah, yes. The process of growing old is hitting me hard. The recovery times are longer, and getting back to where I once was is only a pipe dream.

Saturday, October 25, 2014



Have you noticed the leap of logic and the hypocrisy?

By the end of this month, the legal society of BC, also known as the 'Benchers' will have the results of an internal referendum on their website. The referendum's purpose was to give all members of the society a chance to vote on the controversial issue surrounding the Trinity Western University's own law school and their requirement of all students to sign a 'community covenant'. The covenant states that they promise not to engage in sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

If the referendum passes, there will be a legal challenge because the graduates from TWU'S school will not be allowed to practice law because they will not be able to join the law society. Some legal societies from other provinces have already declared that TWU legal graduates will not practice in their jurisdiction. The community covenant has already stood the test of the courts and has been deemed legal under freedom of religion.

Now lets jump over to the mosques in Canada which are essentially schools where Islam is preached and taught. There is nothing wrong with this. The Sikhs, Christians, and Hindu's also have such establishments. It is obvious, and has come to light many times, that some mosques and their Imams (teacher/preachers) are preaching hate. Hate, as described under the law of hate crime legislation, is directing negative attention that may result in discrimination or harm to a recognisable group. This teaching is very effective as we have seen in Canada in recent days and in the recruits that ISIS gets from western Canada. The recognisable group or groups are Jews, Christian, lapsed Muslims, and now Canadian armed forces personnel.

The lawyers find it worth their time and effort to go after celibate single young people, but why are we not hearing from our Government, judiciary, and law enforcement about the blatant breaking of our treasured hate laws when they result in death and terrorism?
Apparently a community covenant is more dangerous than a jihadist on a murderous rampage.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hate Crimes

This is a photo of Nathan Cirillo, a young man who was a victim of a hate crime today. He was gunned down as he 'guarded' the national war monument on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. There was no simmering conflict, no harsh words, no disagreement, but a gun was drawn and a life was lost, for nothing.
His crime was that he was a very small part of Canada's national defence and as such was a representation of Canada's military and by default a representation of Canada's stand against radical Islamic actions abroad.
Why was he killed? Some guy who was taught to hate was fulfilling a figment of someone's imagination. He was taught that it is an honourable thing to strike at the infidel (that would be any non-believer or any non-Muslim) and kill him. It would mean that he would get the approval of Allah and be ushered into paradise forever.
We have hate laws in this country which for the most part are expressions of political correctness gone bad. But when someone is taught hate to the point of murdering some innocent and unsuspecting citizen of this country, action must be taken. The source of this hate is almost always traced back to some mosque somewhere, and there are many of them that are of this ilk in Canada.
It is time to root this out at the source. I would even go so far as to say that banning all speeches, prayers, and teachings at any mosque, that had to do with "striking at the throat of the unbeliever" should be enforced. The immediate penalty, without appeal, would be deportation to the nearest Muslim dominated country.
Jim Keegstra was a school teacher from Alberta who claimed that the holocaust never took place and that the Jews were out to destroy Christianity.  He was found guilty of a hate crime, stripped of his teaching certificate, fined, put on probation, and had to do 200 hours of community service. He was a nut case and should have been ignored. What he was disputing (the Holocaust) was indisputable.
Now we have Imams teaching young impressionable Muslims that they should kill Christians, Jews, and lapsed Muslims, and nobody is going after them. This has got to stop.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Available for purchase at my new website.
The posts on this blog have been scarce of late. I have had a sense of urgency to finish a project I have been working on for several months now.
I have been greatly encouraged, by those who enjoy my photographs, to offer them for sale. I researched a number of host websites and finally decided to build my new business on the Smugmug platform.
There was a learning curve to be sure, but I finally designed and set up my own website on which to display and sell my photos. I am pleased with the results and the great thing is, I can re-design, change, add, delete, and tweak the site at will.
I have based my idea for a photography business on the '100 mile diet' in which a person eats only food grown or produced in a 100 mile radius of his home, thereby reducing excess transportation and encouraging local business. My research taught me that people generally appreciate local art depicting local culture, scenes, and landmarks, over art content from unfamiliar locations. It must be recognisable and of good quality.
My site offers a variety of products, from digital downloads to all sizes of prints, to canvas wrapped reproductions, to mugs and tee-shirts. When ordering on the site, all prices are in $CAN and the product is shipped right to your door, similar to any other on-line shopping.
I would be honoured and thrilled if my readers of this blog would drop by and take a look at the site and especially thrilled if some product was ordered.
Here is the web address for 'Terryography100'
Just click here and thanks for being one of the first visitors!

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Glory

Each morning as I look out our bedroom window, I see a bit more deterioration of these beautiful blooms. They do not like the cold night of Autumn and it is only the warm days that keep them hanging on. This morning they were wrinkled and had dark blue veins running through the petals. Varicose veins of old age?

These are perhaps the last Morning Glory photos of the year. These flowers have brought us great pleasure and joy as they do every year. Having them in a spot where we see them as we rise in the morning was a bonus. There is no other flower that plays with the light like these do. Their clean lines and rich blues and mauves are highlighted by the inner light in their center.

There are multiple spiral buds left on the vine, even though the vine itself is old and dry, the leaves crumbling and falling off. A picture of life? There can still be beauty in age if your light shines through.

Friday, October 10, 2014

One Liners

A few years ago, the phrase 'sound bytes' was originated. It refers to short bursts of information, a type of communication that seemed to be the only way to convey information effectively because of the shortening of attention spans.
My observation is that this problem of shortened attention span is increasing, for a variety of reasons. It started in large part, when we strayed from reading, to watching TV. The newspapers of years ago had lengthy articles and in depth research, so that the reader was well informed. The TV reduced the amount of time spent reading a book or a newspaper because it condensed all the facts into a 2 minute story.
Then the internet and easy access to information of all kinds shortened the time even further and often only headlines were or are read. The internet spawned the iPhone where information was at our fingertips any where and any time. What followed was texting and tweeting where the information bytes were reduced in size even more. The texts because people did not bother with the awkward keying in of letters on the text or were limited to a certain amount of characters on a tweet.
I have spent enough time on Facebook now to see it happening there too. It has taken the form of posters or graphic one liners. Someone shares a cute or funny or profound poster and it hits the timeline of everyone of their friends. It gets shared and re-posted and soon goes viral. It is a short-cut of communication that, on the surface, lets our 'friends' know what we like, how we feel, and what we are thinking.
Many of these posters are good, some are bad, and some just need to be challenged. When I see and read one, unless it is brainless and just funny, I think about it and if it I think it needs to be challenged, I will challenge it. This is difficult for some people to handle, but if you put something out there with your name on it, you should be willing and able to stand behind it.
I have been accused of 'phishing', I have been challenged for challenging, and I have been unfriended for challenging. It seems that very few people want meaningful dialogue on Facebook.
I am always very careful to never get personal in my challenges, but only challenge the statement made in the poster. However, if you chose to put the poster on your timeline, it becomes personal and so the challenge takes on the appearance of a challenge against your person.
What I am trying to do is to get people to think about what they let others say for them, and also to create some meaningful and helpful dialogue.
The poster above is one that I challenged recently and the person who posted it defended it by reading something into it that I had not thought of. I like that. What I challenged was the hypocrisy of Isaac Asimov by putting down those where not intellectually elite like he deemed himself to be. To me, he was implying that democracy was not safe in the hands of the ignorant masses but leadership should be left to those who were intellectual. That is dangerous ground to stand on.
The poster below, shows even better where Mr. Asimov stands. He is assuming, by his statement, that he and his ilk are the only ones who know how to properly read the Bible. Talk about intellectual superiority and arrogance! I like his ability to write science fiction and he should have stuck to that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

In My Studio

The Autumn leaves are coming late this year. The few trees that are 'turning' are dropping too many leaves before they change colour. It may not be a great year for Fall photography. Yesterday I turned to my tried and true studio, my back yard, for some photos. Our Red Delicious tree is bearing fruit this year and there are quite a few apples that are not scabby and diseased as in other years. We ate one of the above apples and it was sweet, crisp, and juicy, just like an Okanagan apple.

The conditions were ideal yesterday, for a few choice mushrooms to pop up. I am intrigued by the underside of a fresh mushroom so that is what you get in this photo.

And then there are the Morning Glory blossoms, so fresh and magnificent every morning. A fresh batch of up to 20 blooms greets us as we open the blinds on the bedroom window. I think I have more photos of Morning Glory than any other flower except Tulips. These are very photogenic flowers and I never tire of trying to get a new angle or shed some unusual light on one or two of these.

They have no battery to power the light emanating from the center of the blossom, but it certainly looks that way.

Placing a bit of unfocused autumn colour in the background gives testament to the fact that these, for us, are Autumn flowers. The texture, shape, colour, design, clean lines, and delicacy are what make them such a marvel. The fact that they renew themselves every morning gives us a life lesson.