Excerpt from When Trains Ruled the Kootenays

I recently reviewed the excellent book When Trains Ruled the Kootenays (RMB, 2022) by Terry Gainer. You can read my review here. Please enjoy this 10 page excerpt, provided by the publisher. THE BATTLE BEGINS: RAILS TO THE WEST KOOTENAYS Daniel Chase Corbin built the first American railway into the Kootenays. Fully cognizant of the … Read more

Seasons of Interest

Frozen Clear Lake, Manitoba

I haven’t really been interested in railfanning for the past year or so. I’m not feeling it. For someone who has been actively railfanning for over 20 years (yikes), it’s been more than a little unsettling to feel this way. As I mentioned in my Let’s Talk post, I think I’m depressed. I am taking … Read more



I’m not good at celebrating successes.
As a Canadian I am turned off by self-aggrandizement. We aren’t the boasting types, in general. Quiet and self-confident, that’s us.

A Glimpse of the SEMTA

A SEMTA train in Birmingham, Michigan

I occasionally buy slides off a popular online auction site. OK, it’s eBay. I have a few favourite sellers that I follow, and one in particular sells a lot of Canadian slides at reasonable prices. I bid on whatever interests me – Manitoba and Maritime content in particular – and occasionally something odd catches my … Read more

Creative Writing

Sundogs across a frozen prairie

I mentioned a while ago that I was doing some creative writing exercises. I was following the exercises in The Creative Writing Workbook (by Matthew Branton) to explore some writing ideas. I’m dumping a subset of the my writing here for my own reference and perhaps for your enjoyment. Warning – there are a few … Read more


Collection of digital cameras

My first camera was a really inexpensive 110 film camera. I have no idea what brand it was, or what happened to it. It was basically junk. My second was a decent camera, a Minolta Maxxum 5000i. It eventually broke, and I replaced it with my very first digital camera, in 2002.

The Porter – First Impressions

Ad for The Porter

The CBC TV series “The Porter” is out – at least, the first episode is – and it’s a visual delight. From the opening scene, set in Club Stardust and filled to bursting with Black life and music, through its numerous train-based scenes, “The Porter” is a meticulously detailed view of Black life from the … Read more

My Experience With Redbubble

Wheat field with grain elevator

As a photographer, I’m always looking for ways to feature my photos and make some income from them. I dabble in stock photography, I sell photos directly to people, I sell calendars and books, and I sell my photos on print-to-order sites like Redbubble. I am being compensated with a gift certificate for writing this … Read more

Let’s Talk

Picture of Steve Boyko

Every year, Bell hosts their “Let’s Talk” day where they contribute 5 cents toward mental health initiatives in Canada for every tweet, text, call, and now TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk. This year, I’m talking about my own mental health.

1992 Operation Lifesaver Train

Train by large CN building in London Ontario

I saw this interesting negative on eBay and had to have it. It’s pretty rare to see such an odd combination of locomotives and cars on a train, so after a few days and a few dollars, it was mine. I knew that the train was in London, Ontario (the CN building behind it is … Read more