Sunday, February 15, 2015

Herzog and Foncie - Documenting Vancouver in Photos

Every city needs someone to tell its story. . .
In Vancouver, we have been privileged to have two such photographers who told the story of our city as it appeared in earlier decades.  This is a city that seemed more like a town, with an interesting mix of cultures. From Little Italy, The Drive, Chinatown and more, our city is populated with immigrants and locals who blend together in the downtown byways.

Following is the front cover of a book of 'city' photographs by Fred Herzog. It's in our library and is rich with scenes which are now gone forever. The streets have changed, and so have the people.
Fred Herzog

Fred Herzog's book of Vancouver Photographs

Herzog wanted to show the real city life, not the shiny and the glittery, but instead, the greasy spoon cafes, the once popular areas starting to decline, but most of all the people on the streets living in that moment of neon signs and bright lights. He showed the wet streets in the rain, the shadowed storefronts and the sunny days when women took the little ones for a stroll. . .


Foncie Pulice
Another man of the streets, Foncie concentrated his talents photographing the people of the city, capturing moments in their lives as they strolled by in front of his camera. If you wanted the photograph, you could drop by his shop and purchase it for a minimal amount. He chose the subjects. He enjoyed the act of taking the photos and accumulated an impressive amount of them.  From sailors on leave, to mothers and their children, to pals going to lunch after shopping, he caught them all if they happened to walk past his camera lens.

In Foncie's Photos we see Fifties fashion and a time captured when 'going downtown' meant hats and suits for men, and hats, heels and gloves for the women. In the early and mid-sixties he captured the casual trends of youth and the British influences in hairstyles.
Following are a couple of shots taken in the 1950s to illustrate, and many more were featured in a retrospective at the Vancouver Museum in 2013. Here was a man who liked people and who had an affinity for composition and the skill of capturing the essence of the moment.  Foncie's Photos was known to almost everyone who lived in Vancouver, and most families have a few of his images in their possession.

A mother and her sons. . .

Image 1 of DG Hudson's collection of Foncie's Photos
A ladies' outing. . .

Image 2 of DG Hudson's collection of Foncie's Photos



Is there someone who's known for documenting your city or a photographer associated with capturing the history of your favorite place? OR Do you photograph elements of your city for posterity?  Do you know of a repository of city photographs in your area (an archives)?

Please let me know you were here by leaving a comment.  I'll try to get back to you when I can. I'm very limited at present as to visiting, but I do lurk about. I'm considering the April A to Z Challenge, but would need to prep in advance. I'm currently only able to maintain a minimal blogging presence.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Bridges of Vancouver, BC - A Sampling

Four favorites:

The Burrard Bridge, the Granville Street Bridge, Lions Gate Bridge and the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. There are several more in the city and in outlying municipalities crossing rivers.

Burrard Bridge

Built in the years 1930-1932, and also called the Burrard Street Bridge, this Art Deco style steel construction in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is distinctive and reminds me of castles. It's a great place to watch fireworks and is one of the best viewpoints in the city. It crosses False Creek, connecting the downtown core with Kitsilano.

Burrard Bridge Vancouver BC Canada - WC

Busts of Captain George Vancouver and Sir Harry Burrard-Neale in stylized prows of ships form part of the design on the bridge's structure. Both men played a part in Vancouver's exploration and history.


Granville Street Bridge

Another bridge spanning False Creek is the Granville Street Bridge, a modern styled bridge which also rises above Granville Island, a crafters market and unique location in Vancouver, very near the downtown area. The first bridge, a timber trestle, was completed in 1889, and included a swing span. It was designed mostly by the CPR, and later included streetcar tracks. The bridge went through three transitions, as updates were made to facilitate traffic flow into the city.

Granville Street Bridge, Vancouver, BC Canada - WC


Lions Gate Bridge

The Lions Gate Bridge, officially called the First Narrows Bridge, is one of the most picturesque bridges in Vancouver, especially when lights illuminate the suspension cables at night. Opening in 1938, the bridge crosses Burrard Inlet and connects Vancouver to the North Shore, the City of North Vancouver and West Vancouver. The name 'Lions Gate' references The Lions, a pair of mountain peaks north of Vancouver which can be seen from the city.

Lions Gate Bridge - WC* (taken from a floatplane) Vancouver, BC Canada

In 2005, the Lions Gate Bridge was named a National Historic Site of Canada. A pair of cast concrete lions are placed on either side of the approach to the bridge and also on the road in Stanley Park which passes over the causeway of the Lions Gate Bridge.


IronWorkers Memorial Bridge (Second Narrows)

The Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing, alternately called the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, or the Second Narrows (original name) is the second bridge that crosses the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, BC. This bridge connects Vancouver to the north shore of Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver, and West Vancouver, just as the Lions Gate Bridge does.

Ironworkers Memorial/Second Narrows, Vancouver, BC, Canada - WC

On June 17, 1958, several spans collapsed as a crane attempted to join the two chords of the arch. Seventy-nine workers fell 100 feet (30 meters) into the water.  Eighteen workers were killed instantly or died soon after. In a Royal Commission inquiry, the collapse was attributed to an engineering miscalculation.

In total, nineteen died in the collapse, along with four other workers during construction. Stomping Tom Connors paid a tribute to the fallen ironworkers with the song, The Bridge Came Tumbling Down on his 1972 album.  In addition, Jimmy Dean in 1962, a country singer, sang Steel Men, a ballad about the Second Narrows bridge disaster.


Are you a person who loves bridges? Do you have any favorites where you live? or in other cities? Do you know of any other bridges associated with songs?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by and I apologize for my absence but I am hovering and checking out other blogs when I can!



Image of Burrard Street Bridge
GFDL, Free Art License

Burrard Bridge

Image of the Granville Street Bridge
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;...A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License

Lions Gate Bridge Image

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; ...A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

Image of Ironworkers Memorial Bridge
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license


Bridges of Vancouver, BC, Canada


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon - A Review

Time travel may not occur the way you imagine. . .

Beware of stone circles and places where witches like to dance. . .

Catapulted two hundred years into the past with no warning and no idea of where you are when you get there. . .here is a story of adventure, history, love and danger.


When Claire and Frank Randall visit the Highlands in Scotland, she doesn't imagine she'll end up time-tripping to the 1700s without so much as a fare thee well. In the postwar forties of the 20th Century, a nurse who has seen the injured from the fields of a world war battle suddenly finds herself in the midst of an 18th century skirmish, meeting an rogue ancestor of her husband.

Not far into this new era, Claire discovers a man who will form part of her destiny. This man, known as Jamie Fraser to his familiars, follows a path of his own in a Scotland known for its harsh times and it's even more harsh forms of government. His interaction and crossing of fates with the ancestor of Claire's 'future' husband form a thread that weaves its way through this story. Along the way are excessive punishment, greed, familial killing, witchery, and a wonderful overlapping of history, tied and secured with a love story that will warm your heart. Claire becomes a home and field surgeon and herbalist to cope and to secure her place in the times in which she finds herself. Even that can be dangerous, keeping in mind the simplistic notions about medicine that many a common man held in the 1700s.

At first I found Claire a bit annoying in her refusal to accept where she was but came to appreciate her stamina after a few more chapters. Gabaldon tells the story in her usual deft manner, retaining the attractive aura that surrounds Claire's companion, Jamie, chosen by Fate, the proper laird of his own property but exiled for political reasons.I like the character of Jamie better than Claire, as she seems to do many ill-advised things in the beginning, but due to her herbal lore, I do come to admire her. She gets her come-uppance in several ways, and she does eventually realize what a gift she has been given.  I recommend this book if you like your stories to be the kind that crosses many genres, are full of historical research and hard to put down.

Future Review to Come:

I am not reading the books in chronological order, and have begun The Fiery Cross, as I was lucky enough to get a couple of her books at a library sale.  I'm also finishing Roland Yeomans' novel, The Stars Bleed at Midnight. It's another novel meant to be savored.


Are you a fan of Gabaldon's writing? Have you read Outlander?

Please leave a comment to let me know you've been here, and I'll respond. I've been tending to family issues and have been a bit scarce.  I am posting when I can. I also wish all of you a Happy Holiday! Enjoy the family time!


Outlander, a New York Times Bestselling novel, published by Doubleday in Canada, Seal Books, 2001.


Friday, November 7, 2014

YAKUZA TERRITORY - New from Milo James Fowler

Danger lives in this part of town. . .

New Release from Milo James Fowler

Take a moment to discover what happens when a hardboiled detective story is set in a science fiction world:

A detective with no way out.
A telepath with something to prove...

World-weary detective Charlie Madison has seen more than his share of war. When he stops by the 37th precinct late one night to check on his old friend Sergeant Douglass, the place is as quiet as a morgue. The last thing he expects to find: half a dozen Russian gunmen with a score to settle.

What starts out as a vicious Alamo-style battle soon evolves into something more sinister as Madison's past comes into play. Will his ties to a branch of the Japanese mafia be a help or a hindrance? And who is the strange man in holding? Why are the Russians determined to break him out?

Struggling to survive the night, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a mystery where he's outnumbered, outgunned, and trapped inside a police station with a soulless killing machine.


Maybe checking in on Sergeant Douglass late that night hadn’t been the best idea. I should have paid more attention to the warning signs right off; things weren’t exactly business as usual at the precinct. The pencil-necked clerk wasn’t at his post, and an eerie quiet held the foyer as still as a morgue. No cops, uniformed or otherwise, to be seen. In a city that never slept, one expected its law enforcement personnel to share the same god-awful insomnia—graveyard shift or no.

The vacant front desk didn’t sway me from my course, though. Little glitches out of the ordinary seldom did. I’d trained myself over the years to file them away, but not focus on them too much. As a detective, it was easy to get distracted by particulars while going after the big picture. Besides, I was suspicious by nature. I questioned everything as a matter of course. But as far as I knew, everybody on duty was partying in back, throwing Douglass a well-deserved soirée after his recent ordeal and return to the land of the visible.

I paused at the unlocked door leading into the bullpen—an open-concept area with clusters of desks for everybody ranked lower than lieutenant. Access into the station’s inner workings wasn’t usually so free and easy. As I quietly stepped inside, I knew without a doubt something was amiss.

The whole room lay empty except for five guys standing in the middle with assault weapons slung over their shoulders—AK-12s and SIG MPXs by the looks of them. Not what your average citizens usually carried around concealed on their person.

“Hey.” I saluted the first one to notice me. “Am I late to the party?”

He glared my way, and I couldn’t help feeling like I was back in high school; once again, I’d forgotten the beer. They weren’t in uniform—unless black nubuck jackets and jeans counted, not to mention the scruffy stubble, slick hair, and stocky frames. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much the look of your standard-issue thug for hire these days.

“Charlie—get down!”

I would have recognized that Scottish brogue anywhere. I’d already assembled a good enough picture of the situation to know it was in my best interest to hit the floor a split second before the deafening staccato of weapons fire and a hail of bullets headed my way. The rounds blasted straight through computer monitors and potted plants on desks; sparks flew upward along with shards of clay and clouds of potting soil. Chairs disintegrated as I cringed behind a solid steel desk and drew the snubnosed Smith & Wesson from my shoulder holster.

“Sarge, you all right?” I barely heard myself over the stampede of slugs plowing into the steel that sheltered me. The rounds were making some serious dents, but none had punctured through—yet. It was only a matter of time.

I wouldn’t be able to stay put for long.


Available from
Musa Publishing. Musa Publishing is proud to announce the release of Milo James Fowler's most recent science fiction novella Yakuza Territory.

Add Yakuza Territory to your Goodreads bookshelf


 About the Author

1. When did you start seriously pursuing writing as a career?

I've been writing since I was a kid, but I started submitting my work for publication in the summer of 2009. I'd always thought I would pursue publication at some point—probably after I retired from teaching or turned 40. My first story was published in January 2010, and I've had another 96 accepted for publication since then. I won't turn 40 for a couple more years, and I'm still teaching full-time. Doesn't look like I'll be retiring anytime soon!

2. How did you create the character Charlie Madison?

When I was a kid, I learned to type on an old-school manual typewriter. That's where I learned to write, too. My first novels were messy, full of typos and plot holes. But they were fun. And at age 15, that's what it was all about for me. Private eye Charlie Madison was one of the first characters I created, based on Box 13 and Dixon Hill, and The Double Murder was his big debut. By the end of it, I had over a hundred pages of snappy banter, mob hits, double-crossing dames, car chases, and even some alligators on leashes. It was a horrible parody, and I knew it.

Halfway through
Write1Sub1 2011, I came up with the first Charlie Madison story I'd written in decades: Girl of Great Price. It wasn't anything like his original case, but he was the same quick-witted, intrepid detective I'd known before. I transplanted him into a more serious and gritty "future noir" sci-fi setting, and once I'd envisioned that world, I knew I'd be back. Immaterial Evidence soon followed, and Yakuza Territory will be available from Musa Publishing on November 7th.

3. Are you working on more Charlie Madison stories?

I'm outlining the follow-up to Yakuza Territory, and it's going to be full of assassinations, kidnappings, killer robots, and maybe even a mad scientist. The working title is The Gifted Ones, and it follows the origins of the mysterious suprahumans who have appeared in all three Charlie Madison detective stories so far.

Author Bio

Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he's not grading papers, he's imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. He is an active SFWA member, and his work has appeared in more than 90 publications, including AE SciFi, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, Shimmer, and the Wastelands 2 anthology. 
Visit and join The Crew for updates about new releases as well as exclusive promotions.

Are you familiar with Milo's noir tales? Read any of his other works? Do you like noir with a science fiction twist? Ever heard of Charlie Madison?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by! Check at Milo's blog for ordering and for the advantages of being a member of The Crew.


Friday, October 24, 2014

WEP - Haunted Memories, A Ghost Story

I didn't hear that noise. It's my imagination. . .

Hosted by Denise Covey

A moonless night with a storm approaching, and I'm all alone in this house.  I checked all the doors and windows on the lower level when I arrived, except one, but that one is hardly ever opened and always locked. I don't have the TV on since the radio weather advisory warned of nearby tornadoes. The howling winds of the storms are something I'll never get used to. It always sounds like the roof will blow away. Maybe I've watched the Wizard of Oz too many times.

The house was as silent as death before the sounds started. Great. First, I heard what sounded like a footstep. Then another. Quiet footsteps. A door creaked, but old doors do that when they settle. A house like this, which has seen many people come and go, must sigh every now and then. Can a house sigh? It seems like it. 

So much misery has been bottled up here. Why did I say I would watch the place while my family went for a short visit? I remember the stories about this house. We kids used to relate them to each other when we had sleepovers. There it is again, almost like a door closing gently.

Perhaps the ghosts in this house aren't angry ghosts, just sad ones. I'll get the flashlight in case the storm blows the fuses and the lights go out. I can hear the rain starting to fall harder now. If any of the large windows are open on the second level, I have to shut them.

As I ascend the stairs, I try not to look at the landing after the 13th stair where the staircase turns right to go to the second level.  My bedroom was on that level when I was younger. That landing features in a family story about a man who hung himself. Bereft and depressed after the death of his brother by a lightning strike, he committed suicide.

I arrive at the top step and the same window is open at the end of the hall. The window where the first brother was killed, burned by the ferocity of the lightning as he left the bathroom beside the window. The wind is blowing through the hallway, bringing in the rain. I shut the window quickly, careful not to look at any relfection that may be there, and listen for thunder announcing a coming strike. As kids, we learned to count the seconds between the thunder and the strike to gauge how close the lightning was. 

I need a cup of tea or something stronger. My nerves are on high alert. As I turn, I notice the suite across from the one we used to occupy. It's used for storage now. The house was built raised above the ground in 1875. It's easy for rats to get in the storage areas, even though the fireplaces in each room were sealed long ago. 

Not the same house but similar vintage - WC-PD*

As I descend the stairs, the house sinks back into silence and I think of grandmother and the man who gave her this house for a pittance. He was in love with her, but married her sister as she was already married to Grandfather, a man twenty years her senior, when she met the younger man.  He was a doctor and lived in another town. His daughter was our erstwhile aunt. Only one photo we have shows them talking in front of the house. How sad that they never got together. Both Grandmother and Grandfather died in this house, as did others before them. That used to be the way of families, the elderly died at home. I make my tea and reminisce. The spirits settle now, my fear is gone, but I still feel uneasy. I don't know if I can sleep here tonight.

Maybe I'll just sleep on the couch over there in this one room next to the lower kitchen where it seems peaceful.  Then again, maybe not. I wonder if I can stay awake all night?

I might need a lot of tea.


(For more details on this same house see DG's 21st Century Journal Blog), A Gothic South Tale

For a peek at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris: 2013's post at Halloween 

Have you ever felt the chill of 'otherness' in a house, room or even in an area outside? Are you fond of ghost stories, and the unknown? OR are you a fan of Halloween?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by and hope you can check the other WEP stories sometime before Halloween!

*WC-PD NOTE: Photo credit, free use image, used to set the mood. Not the actual house, as the real place on which this story is based has been renovated extensively and has a new owner.



Would you like to challenge yourself? Try Write...Edit...Publish! aka WEP

Join us for a monthly signup and some very interesting reading. It's flexible. I joined the once-a-month bloghop to write a few short stories or write in installments like the old-time serials. I've also met fellow writer-bloggers with the same penchant for responding to Denise's challenges. WEP can help you practice short writing and the prompts will invigorate your creative thinking.

Write…Edit…Publish! welcomes you to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words – artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your work/s.

Next Challenge: November - Affluenza

Denise Covey - WEP in detail, the list of participants and prompts


Monday, October 20, 2014

SURVIVE and Thrive Blogfest - It's Your HEART!

Once again, Michael di Gesu, together with Stephen Tremp, our own Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the lovely L. Diane Wolfe join together for another very important blogfest  about HEALTH!

The Survive and Thrive Bloghop is meant to bring awareness of disease prevention and early detection regarding medical conditions that may be averted or treated if caught in the early stages. If you're just entering your forties, or even fifties in particular, you can make a difference in your own chances of beating illnesses by being aware and taking steps to prevent bad habits which will pay you back later in life.

Take a walk through a senior's care home or through the recovery-rehab unit in a hospital to see the effects of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other degenerative diseases. It's an eye-opener and one we don't like to think about. It's up to us to stay out of those situations.



Eat heart healthy - lean meats, less fat and more olive oil, complex carbs, fruits and veggies

Walk, run or exercise in some manner. Get off your tush! BIC is good for writing, but not for health.

Get a checkup if Heart conditions or Heart attacks run in your family (tests specifically for the heart as well as associated tests)

If High cholesterol runs in your family, discuss the dangers and testing with your doctor, even if you're slim and appear healthy.
Tiredness can imply a warning: clogged arteries, anemic conditions, and others, so have a checkup with your doctor. A barrage of tests may be needed, but it's your life or that of a loved one at risk.

TIME Factors:

Time is essential if a heart attack occurs; you must have some idea of what to do. They can happen anytime, after a stressful situation or during peaceful sleep. Strokes, and heart attacks don't always give warning signs. Have you had any first aid training?

Will you know what to do and how fast you have to do it? My desire to know First Aid came from seeing hubs in a car accident when we were in our early thirties (I was 7 months pregnant at the time). A woman driver ran through a yellow light as it was turning red. I saw it happen as hubs was picking me up from work. The co-workers in the company I worked for were taking care of his bleeding from his head immediately after the accident occurred because they knew First Aid. I thanked each one of them individually after the accident.

After that, I wanted to be able to be competent if I ever was in a similar situation.  In addition, when I became a mother, I wanted to be know what to do if my kids were choking, or having other distress in the early years. I took several courses - basic first aid, lifesaving techniques, and baby CPR, and that knowledge helped when hubs had his heart attack this past summer. I knew what the term 'clear the airway' meant and how to do basic CPR when the 911 operator told me to do that. It is critical.

Ambulance Prioritization
I recently read a news article about the triage of ambulance prioritization of emergency calls in our local paper, The Vancouver Sun. The article says the ambulance response teams prioritize in order to help those first where time makes a large difference, such as cardiac arrests, respiratory collapse, etc. Time without oxygen will impact recovery and chances of survival. In these cases, speed is the essence that helps.
It's your choice. Wouldn't you prefer to be prepared?
To read the other blogposts, click on the title: SURVIVE AND THRIVE

Thanks again to our hosts for organizing and promoting Good Health and Prevention!


Have you had testing for various diseases: Diabetes, heart trouble, cancer, etc? Do you know first aid?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.


Monday, October 6, 2014

WHITE LADY by Jessica Bell - And a Quiz

Do you like to read psychological thrillers? Then you might want to read this. . .


​Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and mathematics teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne’s leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she’s determined to make it work.

It does work. Until Mia, her lover’s daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia’s back. It isn’t long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

But is protecting the kids really Sonia’s motive?

*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.


The Quiz Question:


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell’s latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

Jessica Bell’s favourite Classic is ...

a. Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

b. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

c. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only. If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.

Click HERE to view the book trailer.

Click HERE for purchase links.

Questions for the Author:

Where is the setting for this story?
It's set in Melbourne, Australia. Lots of places I mention really exist, but many are fictional too, such as a café called Roxy's. It's location, The Docklands, is real, but the café is not. But that's the beauty of fiction, isn't it? We can do what we like with it.

Did a particular event inspire the novel to be written, such as a news article or?
No, I actually started off with one character (Nash) in a situation that didn't end up being the focus of the book. All of my novels grow quite organically. I'm never really sure where they are headed in the beginning.


Are you familiar with Jessica's work? Are you intrigued by that cover image? Are you trying the quiz questions?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by to learn more about Jessica's new book!

Who owns the mind behind this story?

Author Jessica Bell


Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online:
Website | Retreat & workshop | Blog | Vine Leaves Literary Journal | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour Schedule

*** Good Luck!