Dinner Tonight #29

August 31, 2017

One of our long time favourites — Goan fish curry.

Select image for a closer look.

Image: Red Tulips #1

August 31, 2017

The Thingery in Mosaic Park

August 31, 2017

The GWAC meeting last July was all about local services, including a tool library. It is perhaps no surprise therefore to find that our own Mosaic Park has been chosen as one of three sites in Vancouver to have a Thingery container.

A Thingery is a lending library for — things, including tools, golf clubs, tents, tarps, and a whole bunch of other stuff that people need from time to time.  It will operate rather like a car-share system, with members gaining access to the otherwise locked container. As Metro reports:

“Dalhousie University architecture student and former Vancouver resident Kara Burman designed the refurbished crates to allow dues-paying members to use electronic fobs to open the swinging door, and to help coordinate “grassroots programming” on a notice board. Last week, Diplock held a series of community meetings in each Thingery neighbourhood; each will operate as its own nonprofit cooperative with a local leadership board. We wanted to get each community involved in planning their local site,” he explained, “and to help steer the direction of The Thingery.” He’s now recruiting neighbourhood volunteers to help “steward” each container, “to have a say about the focus of each.” Local residents can apply to join their Thingery’s board by Sept. 15.”

The last few times I have visited Mosaic Park it seemed to be suffering from lack of care and clean up by Parks Board. I hope this new venture encourages them to do a better job of servicing this community resource.


Night Music: El Ultimo Verano

August 30, 2017

Updating the Grandview Database

August 30, 2017

For those of you interested in my “day job,” the latest updated edition of the Grandview Database is now available at the Grandview Heritage Group website.

The idea of the database is to capture in one place all the information known about each of the 6,500+ properties that exist, or have existed, in Grandview. This includes building permits, water permits, census data, City Directory information, newspaper reports, real estate listings, auction postings, property tax sheets, and numerous other sources.

There is an extraordinary amount of data available for collection, and the collation of it into property-sized chunks is a labour-intensive process. The database is, at this time, heavily weighted to the earliest years but there is also a significant amount of material already entered from all time periods up to and including the 2000s.

An updated database is released at the beginning of each month and, since its first edition, we have added more than 12,000 data points.  Each release is a pdf file that is fully searchable by full text — so search on an address or a name or anything else you may be interested in.

GHG and I welcome comments, suggestions, additions, and corrections.

Snacks Tonight #5

August 29, 2017

Home-made sausage rolls!  I seasoned the pork with onions, garlic, thyme, black pepper, fennel and red pepper flakes. They were very successful and simple to make. Next time, I will split the batch and make different combinations.


Select image for a closer look.

Image: Building Blocks

August 29, 2017

Blowing the Trumpet #4

August 28, 2017

Night Music: Bess, You Is My Woman Now

August 28, 2017

“I Have A Dream”

August 28, 2017

Today is the 54th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

While some progress has been made — notably a black President who survived his term — much of this dream has turned into a nightmare, with racist cops killing black men in ever greater numbers and getting away it, with a famously racist cop receiving a Presidential pardon from an openly racist President, with armed Nazis openly parading with swastikas and uniforms.

We have certainly not reached King’s dreamland of equality, but rather we are sliding toward a race war pursued by an all-white far-right mob encouraged by Administration elites. These are sad days.

Poem: Mayfly

August 28, 2017


the autobiography of a mayfly

would be as short as a page

and as dense as perfect memory


the madness of dashing hither and yon

across the summer’s blue distance

to seek the one mate of perfect desire


the need to avoid the bloodletting wars

of birds and trout at cool water’s edge

to arrive in one piece at the perfect location


the keenness of invention, of new hieroglyphics,

to tempt her away from the maddening crowds

to sing her, to win her with this perfect dance


the sense of fulfillment, slowly drifting to earth

with all power spent, all duty completed

to remember, to listen to the end of this perfect life


Brief Review: Dixie’s BBQ

August 27, 2017

I don’t do reviews for restaurants outside the Drive, but this one was worth the exception.

For some while now, the ever-loving has been complaining about the fact that she cannot get genuine southern hot links in Vancouver, and she misses them. I hate seeing her go without and so my fingers did the Google walk and I found out that Dixie’s BBQ serves the beasts. We went there today for brunch.

It is definitely odd to find a Texas bar on East Hastings slap in the middle of DTES. But there it is, all decked out like a Pecos diner-ranchhouse. Barbecue is in their name and Texas barbecue is what they serve, along with their own mighty fine BBQ sauce and, of course, as much hot sauce as you can manage. Water is served in mason jars and paper towels are mandatory.

My gal had a hot link with potato salad and corn bread, along with generous portions off my plate of Texas Breakfast — spicy sausage, eggs, brisket baked beans, tater tots, toast and peach marmalade — served up in tin plates. It was all remarkably fine and we waddled home as full as ticks. Service was great and the price was about normal for brunch.

They have been open about a year and a half and I hope they last a lot longer because I will surely be returning for more.


Image: Wall With Window

August 27, 2017

Night Music: Pacabell’s Canon

August 26, 2017

A little more allegro than most versions. I like the fullness of it’s sound.

Pop-Up Disco and Plaza on the Drive This Weekend

August 25, 2017

There are interesting events this weekend at Commercial and McSpadden.

  • On Saturday from 1:00pm to 7:00pm there is a Pop-Up Disco at the intersection with four bands. Sponsored by Groundwerk the idea is to “reimagine auto-oriented spaces as people places with music and dancing. Enjoy local artists spinning feel good house and disco. Wear your brightest apparel, this is a safe space to express yourself and set your body free!”
  • On Sunday from 11:00am to 7:00pm, McSpadden Avenue will be turned into “an outdoor living room for the day! There will be picnic tables, ping pong, Jenga, music, and more. Come play games, hang out with friends, have a picnic, or just watch the world go by!”

Both events are free and kid friendly. Sounds like fun!

Image: I Left You A Message

August 25, 2017

Dinner Tonight #28

August 24, 2017

Unfortunately the pictures I took of dinner tonight didn’t come out well enough to publish (I didn’t find that out until everything was eaten!).  However, I really liked the meal and so wanted to share it.

We had spice rubbed pork chops with brandied cherries with a (new for us) side of Mark Bittman’s cacio e pepe (both from the NY Times). They worked really well together I thought, especially as both parts take about the same length of cooking time.

Night Music: Led Zeppelin “Kashmir”

August 24, 2017

Fun With “Windows Security”

August 24, 2017

I don’t know how many times someone claiming to be from “Windows Security Department” has called me but it has to be scores of times. I guess they keep selling my telephone number to the next bunch of scam artists. I used to get annoyed, but these days I treat it as cabaret, a break from the day.

The scam is to get you to log on to a url which, I assume, downloads malware onto your system that will steal your identity or do something equally dastardly.  I have great fun wasting as much of their time as I can.

I usually start by asking them for their phone number; I tell them I will have Microsoft security give them a call to sort out their problem. That used to be enough to make them run away but they are better organized now: they will usually be able to give you a number, often local.  However, today’s chap didn’t know how to parse the number properly. He told me it was “604 – 26 – 30 – 651.”

I then follow up by asking where it is they are calling from.  Today, that was enough for the guy to cancel the call. But often they will be ready with “Vancouver” or “Portland” or whatever.  That leads me to ask whether the hurricane caused as much damage as I’d heard. They know by then that they have been caught and they usually give up.

On a few occasions, I have allowed them to supposedly talk me through what they expect me to do — log on and sign on to the url (which I would never do, of course). At some point I get bored and tell them I am not going through with it, and they usually then threaten to terminate my internet service. I tell them to go ahead, and then say nothing more as I supposedly wait for them to destroy my system.  Usually there is pleading from the other end, begging me to log on, but this nearly always collapses quickly into a torrent of unimaginative abuse before they slam the phone down.

I sip my tea and get on with the day, waiting for the next time.


Image: Treeline

August 23, 2017