A bit of sunshine breaking through the rainy day weekend.

When this glass, pot metal and plastic Gum Ball machine first came into the store I put it aside, wracking my brain about how much I wanted to photograph it, but there were no contents. Low and behold, the coin dropped by late afternoon sunshine in the form of a small candy box full of old marbles. I must have a thing for marbles because as soon as \I saw them, the idea peculated toward clear glass jars and the gum ball machine. The Gum Ball machine is made in China.

GumBallMachine-Marbles-November22_2014_01D GumBallMachine-Marbles-November22_2014_02D GumBallMachine-Marbles-November22_2014_03D

North America’s Largest Cuckoo Clock

Happening today at 401 Georgia Street in front of the BMO (Georgia at Homer)

Portlan-SantaSasquatch-401GeorgiaSt-November17_2014_01D Portlan-SantaSasquatch-401GeorgiaSt-November17_2014_03D The largest Cuckoo Clock in front of the Bank of Montreal in downtown Vancouver. The clock has mostly wooden gears and time movement within a metal frame. Created by the Nicholas Gros (La Fabrique Studio – Portland Oregon, USA)  Portlan-SantaSasquatch-401GeorgiaSt-November17_2014_04D Portlan-SantaSasquatch-401GeorgiaSt-November17_2014_05D Portlan-SantaSasquatch-401GeorgiaSt-November17_2014_06D Portlan-SantaSasquatch-401GeorgiaSt-November17_2014_07D

For almost 18 years, Nicolas Gros has worked for the entertainment industry in his native homeland of France and, for the past two years, in the United States. Gros started La Fabrique to offer a wide range of set and prop design/fabrication to the entertainment, advertising, and apparel industries.
Portlan-SantaSasquatch-401GeorgiaSt-November17_2014_08D Portlan-SantaSasquatch-401GeorgiaSt-November17_2014_08DD One of our local Letter Carriers from the downtown Post Office gets talked into sitting for a photo on Santa-Sasquatch’s knee.  Scary!

La Fabrique LLC
Office: 5500 SE Belmont st 97215 Portland, OR

Studio: 2546C NW Wilson St 97210 Portland, OR

November 11th – Least We Forget!

Remembrance day started early for me, as I cycled along 10th avenue at Arbutus Street, Motorcycle Police were blocking traffic to let three C3-105mm Field Howitzer Canons pulled by M1vw trucks pass, along their way from Bessborough Armory (2035 West 11th) to the Vancouver Harbor Waterfront for the sound effects part of the Remembrance Day ceremonies.

C3-105mmFieldHowitzer-10thArbutus-November11_2014_02D C3-105mmFieldHowitzer-10thArbutus-November11_2014_04D

C3-105mmFieldHowitzer-10thArbutus-November11_2014_03D C3-105mmFieldHowitzer-10thArbutus-November11_2014_01D

Later on, I was able to grab my camera gear and head down to the Cenotaph at Victory Square, Cambie and Hastings Street to partake of the Remembrance.

Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_01D Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_02D Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_03D Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_04D Most years, I get to the Cenotaph early. This time, I arrived at about  10:30, as the Recessional poured into the street in front of the memorial at Victory Square. I don’t think I’ve seen this many people at a Remembrance Day!

I tried to get closer, at least within 400mm camera lens distance, but it was a lot of work threading through  bodies unwilling to let me pass. I would up under the columns of the Dominion Building to snap a few shots from this vantage point. I am able to see a little bit of the podium between heads in the way.

Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_08D Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_10D Soon, I realized that it wouldn’t get any better. I headed back to the west along Hastings street until I was out of the wave of poppy bearing people. I decided to stick around here at this point, before the Fly By, just to see what I could see…

Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_05D Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_06D Sharing a moment of joy during the ceremony.

Cenotaph-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_07D  A youngster bearing  poppy and Official Remembrance Day Service Program. The future will also remember!

HarpersFlag-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_01D And this I noticed towering over Hastings street. A beat up, torn flag fluttering in the cold wind. Several others noticed what I was doing, and nick-named it, “Harper’s Flag” while other’s called it an embarrassment to Vancouver. What a nerve, a beat up flag residing over our veteran’s day,  The 90th Service since the first which honored our First World War Glorious Dead.

By this time, it is past a moment of silence and the roar of vintage aircraft roared overhead.
CP140Aurora-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_01D Near as I can tell, this is a CP-140 Aurora from the 407th Squadron. This huge, four-engine prop plane has been seen on other fly overs.

BeechExpeditor-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_01D Flypast-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_02D BeechExpeditor-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_03D Other planes, such as this Beech Expeditor have also been seen overhead during November 11th Remembrance.

Flypast-Hastings-Cambie-November11_2014_01D Plus some training aircraft, wrapping up this year’s Remembrance.



Sunshine – Things to do in Vancouver on a sunny day

What a glorious day it has been today. I started off along Granville Street photographing street people and colorful this-and-that’s, then walked west along Robson, To Denman, then down to Coal Harbor and along the waterfront to Canada Place.

OverWerk-GranvilleStreet-November10_2014_01D Overwerk? Skateboarder on Granville Street.

Tourists-CanadaPlace-November10_2014_01D People Watching at Canada Place.

JesusBike-SeabusTerm-November10_2014_01D A Jesus Bike in front of the Seabus Terminal.

Drummer-RobsonStreet-November10_2014_02D Drummer-RobsonStreet-November10_2014_01D A Drummer on Robson Street in front of the Art Gallery Steps where artists sell their work.

PasserDomesticus-CanadaPlace-November10_2014_01D Passer Domesticus (House Sparrow) looking for crumbs on the tables outside of Starbucks at Canada Place. This variety of sparrow has been introduced from Eurasia and has now naturalized through most of North America. The House Sparrow is sooty looking, probably the most familiar and common sparrow in the Pacific Northwest. The Male has rusty wings, a black throat, white cheeks, and a chestnut nape. The females have no black throat, have dingy gray-brown breast, brown cap and rusty wings – look for a thin brown eyestripe without the grayish eye ring to distinguish this sparrow from a field sparrow.

LarusGlaucescens-November10_2014_01D A Young Laurus Glaucecsens  about two years old – The Glaucous-winged gull is recognized by it’s pink feet, pale gray mantle, and gray pattern on the primary feathers.

MapleLeaves-StanleyPk-Denman-November10_2014_02D Acer Macrophyllum (Big leaf Maple) at the entrance to Stanley Park, off Denman Street, downtown Vancouver, West End.  Large Leaf Maple trees like dry to moist sites, often growing soon after forest fire sweeps area – low to middle elevations. In areas where these trees haven’t been disturbed for many years, they are often decorated with Cat-tail Moss or lichens (carries mush larger amounts of mosses than any other plant in our region). Several tribes of the Pacific Northwest peoples used leaves and sap for internal and external medicines (sap can be used to make maple syrup). Many tribes used the wood to make paddles, spindles or other implements for cooking or farming. The sprouted seeds were also eaten as a vegetable.

MapleLeaves-StanleyPk-Denman-November10_2014_01D Beautiful red leaves of Acer Platanoides (Norway Maple) is a species of maple native to eastern and central Europe and southwest Asia, from France east to Russia, north to southern Scandinavia and southeast to northern Iran. GranvilleSquare-Pay-November10_2014_01D Another Acer Macrophyllum (Big leaf Maple) at the Seabus Terminal Entrance, foot of Granville Street… We have to pay for sunny weather…

MV-Beldis-WestinDock-November10_2014_09D MV-Beldis-WestinDock-November10_2014_07DMV-Beldis-WestinDock-November10_2014_06D MV-Beldis-WestinDock-November10_2014_05D MV-Beldis-WestinDock-November10_2014_04D MV-Beldis-WestinDock-November10_2014_02D MV-Beldis-WestinDock-November10_2014_01B

MV-Beldis-WestinDock-November10_2014_08D Views and details of the MV Beldis, moored at The Westin Bayshore docks – The Beldis was built at the Denman Shipyard in Vancouver in 1923.

Qadesh… A Siberian Tiger

As I flipped through the new posts on Facebook this morning, I ran into a post by Les Wiseman. 

The post reminded me of an incident I encountered back in 1989 while working for the Vancouver Courier News Paper.

QadeshTiger01D QadeshTiger02D
‘Qadesh’ Felis Tigris Longipilis (Siberian Tiger) with owner Bill Frazer – Behind the Cobalt Hotel, 917 Main street – March 25, 1989.

At one point, as I was busily photographing the tiger, she worked her way around me and pounced upon my shoulders, sending me face down into the dirt, sending my equipment crunching into the turf as well. As Qadesh stood partially on my back (with her front paws on back, hind paws on the turf) she started licking the back of my neck with her coarse, hot tongue. I didn’t think about it until later, when I contemplated the thoughts and actions of the day over a warmed batch of D-76 and fixer, Cats do that very thing to mice just before then bite through the neck to sever the spine. I still consider myself fortunate for the encounter though.

Qadesh is a large femael Siberian Tiger that works in a stripper act. At the time of this photo she was 9 months old and already weighing about 220 pounds. (adults can weigh up to 650 pounds and measure 9 feet long with a 3 and a half foot long tail). Qadesh was aquired while she was a kitten and has been de-clawed and lovingly trained to work in bars and hotels with her human companion. This is the only time I have ever played with a cat this large – the handler and I went between the Georgia Street viaduct to give Qadesh a chance to play and run around away from other people.

Watch out for slimy wet leaves!

Early this morning, while I waited for the  light (delayed crossing) at Nelson and Hornby bike lane to turn green I watched as a motorcycle and rider slowed for the light to change in the northwest lane, as he drew closer to the intersection he failed to notice a large pile of wet leaves, probably accidently dumped by a recycling unit. The pile of leaves was greater than two bushels and stood in a pile about 10 inches off the road.

Fortunately for the motorcycle rider,  he wasn’t going past a snail’s crawl for the light, so that when he dumped the bike on it’s side, it didn’t travel far, and he didn’t get any road rash. However, he did hit his right shoulder hard in the fall. A motorist and myself picked the fellow’s motorcycle up, moved it to a safe spot on Hornby at Nelson, I took the key out and poked it into the motorcycle rider’s back pocket.

There were at least four other people, standing with cellular telephones, calling 911 and making sure the rider didn’t get hit by oncoming traffic.  I took my leave, the police and ambulance is on the way.

What a crappy start for that fellow… 6:30 in the morning and already in pain. But, I’m sure he will be okay.

Things To Do on a Rainy Day In Vancouver

One of my favorite Pastimes, scouting for books. Early in the day I grabbed the Seabus to go over to North Vancouver and visit “Book Lover’s” #102-175 East 3rd Street in North Vancouver.


CanadaPlace-Seabus-November03_2014_01D A view out the window of the Burrard Beaver, leaving the Vancouver Side Behind. This is Canada Place and the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center.

BookLovers102-175East3rdStreet-November03_2014_01D Book Lover’s store, #102- 175 East 3rd Street, North Vancouver.

I was fortunate to find another five books for my collection:

1-Unitt’s Canadian Price Guide – Antiques Collectibles – Book 3 – By Peter Unitt – A Clock House Publication – National School Services Ltd., Peterborough, Ontario – 1975

2-The Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights – Paul Hollister, Jr. – Clarkson N. Potter, Publisher New York – 1969

3-An American Postcard Collector’s Guide – Valerie Monahan – Blandford Press, Dorset – Printed in Great Britain by Tonbridge Printers, Tonbridge, Kent – 1981

4-The Dictionary of American Pottery Marks Whiteware and Porcelain – C. Gerald DeBolt – Charles E. Tuttle & Company – 1988

5-Christie’s Review Of The Year 1969/1970 – Edited by John Herbert – Hutchinson of London – 1970

BurrardBeaver-Seabus-November03_2014_01D Back to Vancouver on  the Burrard Beaver Seabus

PortOfVancouver-Seabus-November03_2014_01D Port of Vancouver Gantries trying to dodge rain drops, but everything gets wet.

StarLouisiana-Seabus-November03_2014_02D StarLouisiana-Seabus-November03_2014_01D We pass by Anchored Freighter “Star Louisiana” with half a dozen Yachts on deck.


A new Neon Sign photo opportunity at Rexall Drugstore, 499 Granville Street.


Another Rainy Day in Paradise!

Rain cleans the air and refreshes the vegetation. Rain for some peop0le can mean staying inside to keep from getting wet, miserable and the ruining of clothing. I’ve never thought of rain as being  a terrible thing. In fact, I look at rain, fog, snow, and other radical weather as being a challenge. (Link to the Main Database file with the Whole Ball of Wax – Start Exploring!)


DennisOppenheimSculpt25December14D Device To Root Out Evil - Harbour Green Park, Coal Harbor (October 2005)

NShoreMountainClouds01D North Shore Mountains From Burnaby Heights and Second Narrows 2005 and 2006  NorthShoreFogFromBurnabyHts01D

Besides, if I don’t feel like getting my camera equipment wet, I can always go indoors somewhere to look for pictures.

July31_2007GraffitiLeesideSkateTunnel72D Leeside, July 2007.

If it is Graffiti you like, there are several “hotspots” I like to visit frequently. It doesn’t matter if it rains, snows or threatens sunshine. Leeside under East Hastings at Cassiar is my all-time favorite.

StMarysAnglicanChurch2490West37th01D  St. Mary’s Anglican Church at 2490 West 37th avenue in Kerrisdale.      StainedGlassStMarysAnglican2490W37_01D If it is stained glass you like, St Mary’s is a great church to visit.

Built in 1913 St. Mary’s Anglican Church stands as a West Coast variation of the English Arts and Crafts style. It features shingle cladding, a timber framed steeple, gothic arched windows with beautiful stained glass and an interior with notable wooden trusses and heavy timber beams. The parish hall was constructed in 1923 to a design by the same architectural firm (Sharp and Thompson) and compliments the church building. The church was expanded in 1947 to designs by Twizell and Twizell Architects. The narthex and balcony were added in 1972, planned by Rhone and Iredale Architects. An addition to the courtyard area that serves as the main entry into the church complex together with substantial renovations and upgrading was designed by William Rhone Architects in 1993.

Looking for Books –

I’m trying to find collector’s books to improve my website content…
In Particular – Goofus Glass: An Illustrated Value Guide Paperback – January 1, 1984 – By Carolyn McKinley.

Can’t seem to find one in any of the book stores around the Vancouver Area and I don’t want go too far out of town to get one. If you have a copy you want to sell… let me know.

Not enough Bookstores…

I am one of those people that loves to read.  I do read electronic media, books on my Ipod or information on the internet, but there is something comforting about holding a book.

Perhaps it is the smell of the pages, every book smells differently, according to the age, where it has been, a whole list of criteria on the life of a book, all boiling down to how it smells.

Perhaps it is the tactile qualities – the weight of the book, how tattered and worn it is, translating on how well it has been cared for. A much enjoyed book will look worn in all of the right places – fingers discolor the pages, dog-eared corners marking particularly enjoyable passages.

With more and more people switching to information on-line, my favorite book stores are falling by the wayside, dropping like flies in the cold. These days, my favorite place has to be The Vancouver Public Library.

I think if everyone bought a book a month, there would be a whole new interest in bookstores. All of those little gems with pictures and printing would become important again. Mean time, I go to Thrift Stores to find little gems or wonder.