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Monday, 17 November 2014

S is for Happy Birthday?

This blog is managed by a team that consists of a whole bunch of SERIOUS  hardworking people, and then me (SLACKER).

While everyone else does the hard part, I get the fun part.  Every SIX months, I get invited to design a new logo or badge, to represent the next round.

And so I get to let my mind SPIN wild and free and see where it lands.

The next round will be SIXTEEN.  Can you believe it?  This blog has been going on for SEVEN and a half years and is STILL going STRONG!

In honor of the SIXTEENTH round, I wanted to SING a SONG.

I thought maybe this one:

or this one:

But nothing really say's SIXTEEN like this one: 

As a matter of fact, it's hard for me to hear the word "Sixteen" without mentally adding the word "candles" after it.

So it was only natural that this round's badge would have candles.

It was not without a few challenges that I came up with this, at one point Roger and I discussed whether it would be easier to just bake a cake.

But It would have been hard to share a cake with everyone, so I am calling on each of you to bake a cake, eat a piece and start thinking about things that start with S.

There is still time to make a some changes if I need to.

What does everyone think?


Monday, 10 November 2014

R is for Rambling

I have this blog called Ramblin' with Roger, which you may have visited. Occasionally people, usually those who don't READ it, will ask what the blog is about, and I usually say, "Whatever is on my mind."

In the dictionary, one definition of the word RAMBLING is: "(of a plant) putting out long shoots and growing over walls or other plants." That's rather what I had in mind when I picked the name, except for the plant part. REACHING out in all directions!

What's the definition in a more linguistic sense? "(Of writing or speech) lengthy and confused or inconsequential. Synonyms: long-winded, verbose, wordy, prolix. " Ouch.

Well, I hope I'm not TOO long-winded in these introductions. Heck, I'm going to quit this one RIGHT now!

Except for an appropriate musical link: LISTEN to Ramblin' Rose by Nat "King" Cole, which reached #1 for five weeks on the Billboard adult contemporary charts in the summer of 1962. It also went to #2 for two weeks on the pop charts, and #7 on the RHYTHM & blues charts.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Q for Quinquireme

Cargoes       by John Masefield.

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophire,

Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,

With a cargo of ivory,

And apes and peacocks,

Sandalwood, cedar wood and sweet white wine.


Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,

Dipping through  the Tropics by the palm-green shores,

With a cargo of diamonds

Emeralds, amethysts,

Topazes and cinnamon  and gold moidores.

Dirty British Coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,

Butting through the Channel in the mid March days,

With a cargo of Tyne coal,

Road-rails, pig-lead,

Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.


An ancient Roman or Greek galley of a kind believed to have three banks of oars.The oars in the top two banks being rowed by pairs of oarsmen and the oars in the bottom bank being rowed by single oarsmen.

My thanks to the quick witted Denise for devising ABCW and to Roger our quintessential administrator.




Monday, 27 October 2014

Foncie Pulice - Street Photographer

On September 27, 1979 street photographer Foncie Pulice took his last picture. Foncie and his Electric-Photo camera had been a familiar sight on Vancouver, BC, city streets for 45 years, having begun as a 20-year-old back in 1934 as an assistant to street photographer Joe Iaci. In his career he took millions of photographs.

When he started in 1934, Pulice recalled that “there were six companies in Vancouver, but when we really started to go was during the war. The public couldn’t get film, you see, so the street photographers were all they had. Servicemen would come home on leave, they’d have pictures taken. Families would get together, we’d take their picture. At one time, I was taking 4,000 to 5,000 pictures every day.”  My parents had their photo taken by Pulice about a month before they were married in 1943 while my Dad, in uniform, was on leave from the Royal Canadian Air Force and my Mom was wearing her fur coat.  They were both only 22 years old.
Did he save all those millions of negatives? They’d likely be worth a small fortune now. “I never did,” he said. “I didn’t really think about it at the time. I’d keep ’em for a year, then throw ’em out. I realize now I should have saved them, but it’s too late.”

People even made appointments for street pictures! “Oh, yes. They’d phone ahead and tell us what time they’d be walking down Granville. Dr. Peter Bell-Irving had members of his family photographed every year. I have shots showing one little tyke in that family growing all the way up to six-foot-five.”
Pulice says that one of the reasons he got into street photography was because he wanted to meet girls. He had a whole wall of phone numbers up on his wall and beside every number he put a little description of the girl. He used to get calls from other fellows saying, ‘Hey, Foncie, you know all the girls--can you fix us up with dates?

Well, the wall didn’t go into a museum, but his camera did, a remarkable artifact of a remarkable career.  Made of war surplus materials, Pulice’s camera is preserved at the Vancouver Museum. It’s part of their 1950s gallery and is accompanied by a slew of Foncie’s Fotos.
All across Canada and in other countries there are thousands and thousands of Foncie’s Fotos showing thousands and thousands of people striding along the street, captured in motion in unposed moments that may be closer to the spirit of the people shown than any carefully composed studio portrait.

Foncie Pulice was the last of the street photographers. He took his first street photo in 1934 and his last on September 27, 1979. He died January 20, 2003 at age 88, but his work lives on . . . everywhere.

(Information on Pulice taken from:
You can also check out some of Pulice’s photos at the following sites: