Bus Driver by occupation,pro photographer, businessman in the making, wannabe musician, amateur designer/artist/writer/poet, a native of Detroit now living in Suburbia. Here is where I pretty much unwind whatever's on the brain.

Articulated Bus AKA “The Artic”.

This is what now do.  I drive buses for the City of Detroit.  My current company is Detroit Department of Transportation  (D-DOT), and this company has had its ups and downs over the decades, but it’s stock is gradually rising.  But of all the coaches that I’ve been driving this past year, the articulated bus AKA “the Artic” remains my top favourite vehicle to drive yet.  For those who do not yet know, it’s called that because the “accordion” in the middle serves as a pivot on the inside as the coach makes turns as well as sharp hairpins.  My guess is that the accordion protects the gears and functions that make the aticulation possible.  

Sixty feet long, ten-foot-six inches tall, eight plus feet wide track width.  A New Flyer Excelsior XD60/XDE40  (I forget which one), with a Cummins ISL 8.9 inline six-cylinder diesel engine (they REALLY ought have a V8, in my opinion), and even with a gradual easing on the gas pedal, this thing flies like the wind, literally!

Some of the most things that I love about driving these vehicles are the smooth ride, the luxury of driving these, the A.D.A (Americans W/ Disabilities Act) section is much easier to function in contrast to the older coaches that I mostly operate, it’s well-illuminated from top to bottom, windows tinted, ten wheels move the coach, the quietness of the diesel engine (some of these artics are hybrid), and depending on the operator’s skills, both halves of the artic can be handled very steadily-esp. on the highway.

Word on the street is that we’ll be receiving more of these artics soon, 30 to be exact.  Seeing the resurgence that Detroit has been going through in recent years, I’m looking forward seeing them.  I must confess that I was terrified of them things when I was first introduced to them, but I was both encouraged and persuaded to get behind the wheel, and take the reigns, as it were.  And also, my first impression was that you needed a Class A CDL to operate one of these, come to find out a Class B CDL w/ a Passenger (P) Endorsement which I currently have, I plan to obtain my Class A one of these days, God willing.  I drive these at least one day out of the week. And let me tell ya, between the last period of school and rush hour, these babies are very appropriate for that occasion.  Seating well over 100 passengers, between 150 and 160, both seating and standing room simultaneously, these artics can take a major pounding.  If there are any artics in your city, I suggest you take a ride in one.  It’s been over twenty years since Detroit last had these vehicles, and I am glad that we have them again, and this time, they’re here to stay (hopefully).

More to come on Detroit’s past history with the artics.


R.I.P., Pops.

In case anyone was wondering where I’ve been since January, I’ve been in somewhat of a dark place.  My father, Mr. Bobby Julius, “Sr.”, passed away on January 28 of this year just weeks after turning 66 on New Year’s Day.  Dad was the ninth of ten children, and only one child remains with us.  But my pops was quite the character.  While time will not allow me at present to embellish on his legacy, I will say these few things:  My pops was a native Alabamian from Pike Road (suburban/rural Montgomery), and had a full-blooded Indian grandmother from the Blackfoot Tribe.  He migrated to Detroit in 1970 and began working at what was known at the time the Chrysler Corporation. A very hard working, joke-telling person who was also no-nonsense as well.  He courted my mother, married her, and two boys were born simultaneously from that union, but sadly only one of us made it home alive.  Hard times had befallen a lot of plant workers at the time, and dad was one of them, so he ended up doing some janitorial work.  Sadly, my parents marriage went south, and pops had hit rock bottom after years of alcoholism.  In time he was clean and sober (he remained sober until his death), got back in the good graces with Chrysler, and went from “the plant drunk” to being one of Chrysler’s first Employee Assistant Program (E.A.P.) Representatives.  A career he cherished and held dear until an early retirement due to health issues came about.  But he remained active in other activities such as managing a UAW Local, which he did post retirement, but his health issues has escalated, but that still didn’t stop him.  He was still active-although limited-in his volunteer work as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which he fell away from in his younger years, but bounced back in his mid-40s, and carried out his assignment as a preacher until his passing.  Sadly, time will not allow me to go further on the matter, but at the Kingdom Hall where his memorial was held, there was not a dry eye in the congregation.  Even folks who knew my dad since the late 60s were crying their eyes out.  But now as his only (surviving) child, I try to take care of legacy.  I look forward to see my father again in the resurrection that was promised in the scriptures.

Till we meet again, friend.


Food for thought:

“If a man dies, can he live again?  I will wait all the days of my compulsory service until my relief comes.” -Job 14:14

John 5:28, 29

Revelation 21:3, 4

New Year, New Chapter!


No, one of that “New Year, New Me” nonsense, but more of a new beginning.  Seeing that I’m beginning to approach the autumn phase of my life, and I’ve seized many opportunities in life, but I have many more to accomplish.  Jobs, relationships, business ventures, and many other things.  At 40, soon to be 41, I’m at the halfway point in my life (Biblically speaking).  I’ve noticed that the longer I live, the past has very little, if any relevance at all.

What can I expect other than the unexpected?

A question that I ask myself often.

Everything that I’ve gone through these past four decades of life, just like the picture you see above (yes, it’s mine), to quote Humphrey Bogart “…lots of water under the bridge”.

Now in more recent times, I’ve made a career change working in the transportation business, and I have a few DOT cards, as well as a Class B CDL (commercial driver license) that’s also enhanced-meaning that I can travel to Canada as well as Mexico without the hassle of a passport.  I’ve started my third consecutive 365 photo journal (I’ve done five altogether so far), and with the convenience of a smartphone, I can simultaneously post them on various social media with just a touch/click of a button.

I’ve gotten bitten by the photography bug, and I’ve come across some areas that I’d like to expand in.  Seeing that I’ve gotten back on my feet these past five months, I still have a lot of catching up to do.

With this new year in tow, and being (nearly) in my 40’s, I’m doing my utmost to make every second that I have count!  If I have a few seconds to spare, I’ll do something constructive/creative to pass up the limited time that I have.  At my age, I just want to add value not just to myself, but those around me, if circumstances permit.

Just ramblin’ about, hopefully I’ll be applying this by the time (somebody) reads this…


Day 365 of 365!

Ribbet collage New Year's Eve 2015-watermarked.

I could get used to these daily photo journals seeing that I take pictures everyday as it is-most of the time, anyway.  In case anyone’s curious as to what these pics are/were and where they’re located here goes!

From the L-R:

January-Spirit of Detroit Statue w/ Lions jersey.

February-Snow sculpture of a bonfire.  Warren, MI.

March-Frozen raindrops.

April-HDR clouds over Lake St Clair.

May-Lakeshore Drive.  Chicago, IL.

June-Phoenix Theater.  Pontiac, MI

July-Fishbone’s Rhythm Cafe.  Greektown, Detroit, MI.

August-Historic home for sale.  West Village, Detroit, MI.

Sepetmeber-Detroit vs. Everbody Shop.  Eastern Market, Detroit, MI.

October-Extension of the Dequindre Cut.  Detroit, MI.

November-Detroit at dusk.

December-Sinnlig Candle courtesy of IKEA.

This is now the fourth 365 that I’ve done, and the second consecutive one I’ve done, and will do a third consecutive 365 photo journal totaling five altogether.  So if anyone wishes to see the previous ones I’ve done including the current one(s), here are the website(s):  (Search of album Project 365 2015) (search for album Project 365 2014)

www. (search for albums Project 365 2008, and 2010).  I will be taking this website down this year.

And of course, check me out on Twitter.  Of course, my tweet name is JVLIVS.

This new project, more than likely will be my last one.  And like last year’s 365, this one will be used on my smartphone (hopefully I’ll have another iPhone this year as well) and posted simultaneously of social media.

And hopefully you have enjoyed this as much as I have.


Lighting up the candles…


I didn’t think I was gonna like this, but I’m not a big coconut person, but I will make an exception of this candle.  Heck, I’ve even had coconut rum (Malibu) in recent years.  But thanks to my faithful DSLR, ribbet, and some killer fonts (I heard that IKEA had changed theirs recently-to the one you see in the pic), and natural darkness that really made this image pop.

And the bouquet (as in smell, that is) was stupendous!

Try it out one day…


One of The World’s DEADLIEST Poisons…!

gossip hurts

One of the most silent killers in the world, nearly 100% of us have at one point in time have been guilty of it from time to time, this silent killer is more deadly than a stroke, heart attack, and aneurysm combined, that six-letter word is GOSSIP!

Some folks-even senior citizens-thrive on it.  I won’t even lie about it, I’m just as guilty as the next person.  It’s all around us.  Gossip is as poisonous as venomous snakes.  Here’s why I’m writing this:  As you well know, I drive a school bus, and you are also well-aware that it has its good points and bad points.  One day, one of my students was telling me about a former student and some issues that his family is going through. Disturbed though I was by a nine year-old being exposed to exposing the dirty laundry of other people, I asked her what was the purpose of her revealing that information, and her answer shocked me even more!

“Because it’s juicy!”

I immediately told her that she should not gossip about other people-let alone their personal problems.  Bad enough my former student is going through some things right now, last thing he needs is his blabbermouth neighbour telling everything.  I took to heart right after that-especially being a God-fearing individual-I should never talk about other people, even if I have a valid reason.

Again, I told the little girl that “gossip hurts!”  It’s damaging to one’s reputation, character, and well-being.  Not to speak ill of the dead, let alone a family member (and no, I’m not spreading gossip), but my grandmother thrived on that kind of negative energy, and I’ll leave it right there.

More to come!  For now, some scriptural counsel for those who are having this issue and wish to stop!  Hope it helps.

“…make it your aim to live quietly and mind your own business…”             -1 Thessalonians 4:11

“Like someone grabbing hold of a dog’s ears, Is the one passing by who becomes furious about a quarrel that is not his.” -Proverbs 26:17

“…they (old women-as well as men) learn to be unoccupied, going around from one house to another… also gossipers and meddlers in other people’s affairs, talking about things they ought not.”  -1 Timothy 5:13

“…let none of you suffer… as a busybody in other people’s matters.”  -1 Peter 4:15




Practicing my long exposures-sans tripod-in the brisk cold after work, but as always.  One of my favourite shots to take downtown is that of the People Mover.  I forgot the exact settings that I had on my camera, but the outcome of this nice image was the reward for it.  The warp speed effect is always the fun part of long exposure photography.

Ask any photographer-any photographer, and they’ll tell ya no different.

Then I added the captions courtesy of Ribbet (for those who can’t afford Photoshop for the time being).

Only thing that put a damper on this evening was the weather, but it’s the end of the year, so complaining is useless at this point.


How I Spent my Thanksgiving…

First of all, I do not celebrate Thanksgiving, or any other holiday (as I’ve made clear many time in the past), but normally this time of year, I’d cook a turkey for family.  Sadly, over the years, some family members have passed away in recent years, so with that in mind, I’ve fed my parents and some of the elderly friends in the congregation.  Sufficient to say, everybody was satisfied with the food.


First picture of this set.  I don’t drink pop like I used to. I quit for a hot minute, and I plan to eventually quit for good (lots of sugar).  But this mix of Amarito liquer and Dr.Pepper had made the effort worthwhile.  1-2 shots of the liquer and the rest with Dr.P and some ice, and you’re on your way!

DSC_9899-watermarkedNow the bird.  Long story short, I rinsed the bird (BTW, it was given to me from my job), and put it in a turkey bag, added my spices and poured God knows how many teaspoons of Olive Oil, smothered it, put the bird in it, tied the bag up, and shook it.  Then I opened the bag, and poured a tall boy of Steel Reserve along to about 3/4 of a fifth of Amarito.  Tied up the bag, shook it, and well, you see the final outcome of it.  Apparently the bird went much faster than anything else!


Now, the coup de gras.  Everything you see here I made, except the cranberry sauce.  And get this;  I could not get greens to save my life!  Almost bought some kale, but I settled for some mixed veggies instead. The dressing I made, the mac-n-cheese, on the other hand, due to a lack of time (in truth, a lack of patience), instead of doing the old-fashioned way (which is the custom for most families), I bought the kits instead and added some shredded cheese.  And the turkey?  Let’s just say that the beer and the liquer together did an excellent job.  I was happy, and everybody else was happy as well.


Now, the good stuff!  Courtesy of Trader Joe’s.  If I’m not mistaken, this is sold exclusively during the holiday season-I hope that it sells year-round one day.  If anyone remembers how Vernors tasted some thirty plus years ago, that’s what this is!  Goes well with bourbon whiskey, along with cranberry juice.

All these come from my 365 photo journal.  So this was how I spent my holiday off, even though I don’t celebrate them.  Hopefully this moved you as much as it has for me.


4-Cheese Pizza w/ Apple Chicken Sausage


Every you see here is courtesy of Aldi’s!

Good, delicious, tasty.

Bon appetit`!


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