Night Music: The Last Time I Saw Richard

September 30, 2018


Image: Rope Metal Wood Water

September 29, 2018


Night Music: The Sky Is Crying

September 28, 2018


Happy Birthday Gems!

September 28, 2018

Happy birthday to our beautiful granddaughter!


Image: Duck In Blue

September 27, 2018


Night Music: Gambia

September 26, 2018


Michael Kluckner: A Retrospective

September 26, 2018

Our friend and colleague Michael Kluckner has been a prolific author (and artist) about Vancouver and BC for thirty-five years. To celebrate that feat, he is giving the Canadian Author’s Association speech at WORD this year.

Vancouver Public Library, Peter Kaye Room,

3:25pm Sunday 30th September.

Michael describes it as ” a sort of career review (very late career!) of the huge changes I’ve witnessed since the ’80s, covering the rise of the chains, the Internet sellers and the Internet itself, the demise of the Independents, the collapse of book royalties, weird award ceremonies, my many and long-suffering publishers, and genre-switching, in my case from heritage-history books to farm books to graphic novels. It will be rueful and wry and provide some advice for writers at various stages of their careers.”

Michael is an excellent story teller in the very best Canadian fashion. This should be interesting.


The Election: One Month To Go

September 26, 2018

It has been about 10 days since I published my first list of favoured candidates running in the Vancouver municipal elections. Ten days is a lot of all-candidates’ meetings, opinion pieces, and general media coverage, so I thought I’d take another look at the choices.

Pete Fry

My key three are still Pete Fry (Green), Derrick O’Keefe (COPE) and Anne Roberts (COPE).  It is vital that we get a thorough progressive shakeup that brings the power from the corporations back to the people (which is why you will not find any Vision, NPA, Vancouver First, YES Vancouver, or Coalition Vancouver candidates on this list). Pete and Derrick are articulate modern movers and shakers, and Ann brings the wisdom of progressive experience. With these three at the core of a non-majority Council, I can see interesting floating coalitions created with an intent to actually solve an issue.

Obvious accomplices in these efforts would be Jean Swanson (COPE), Adriane Carr (Green), and Sarah Blyth.  Adriane Carr is, of course, a very well-experienced Council member, while both Jean and Sarah would allow front-line workers the opportunity for a voice at the table.

Christine Boyle

If we can get six progressives willing to work together, that’s all we need. However, to fill out the roster, I am currently leaning toward Christine Boyle (OneCity), Rob McDowell, Raza Mirza (ProVancouver) and Rohana Rezel (proVancouver).  I was impressed with Boyle from the speech she gave to a COPE meeting earlier this year. However, her messianic cheerfulness is a bit cloying.  McDowell seems to have been around a while; an NPA type, but decent for all that. Mirza is a frequent tweeter, so his views are easily known.

For mayor, I am still leaning towards David Chen (ProVancouver). However, reports from meetings sometimes make him out to be a little unclear — which really surprises me — and his poll numbers are not improving. I am clearly NOT going to be voting for the Stewart – Sylvester duo of Visionistas, nor the blandness that is Ken Sim, nor, god forbid, the snake oil salesman incarnate Hector Bremner. Of the rest, I am immediately impressed by Sean Cassidy‘s ideas but need to know a lot more about him.

One month to go; we’ll see what changes.

 


Important Dates: Local All-Candidates’ Meetings

September 25, 2018

The Grandview Woodland Area Council, along with a number of other neighbourhood groups and associations, has arranged a series of meetings at which local residents can discuss policy and values with as many Mayoral, Council, Parks Board and School Board candidates as possible.

The first of these, for mayoral and Council candidates, will take place on Monday 1st October, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm,  at Gym D, Britannia.

Different from most other meetings this election season, the format will be what is known as World Cafe style. “Using the “world café” format, the events will offer individuals and representatives from each party an opportunity to speak for three minutes and then, after these short speeches, the balance of the time will be spent at tables, with 10-15 community residents in a 15-minute dialogue with a single candidate. After 15 minutes, candidates will rotate tables. Each table will have a moderator and a note taker, and the notes will be shared with our community through various platforms.”

It is a bit like speed dating, but a lot of ground can be covered in a reasonable time.

The second Mayoral and Council candidates’ meeting will take place at Ray-Cam, 920 E. Hastings, from 5:30pm to 9:00pm Wednesday 9th October.

Meetings for Parks Board and School Board candidates will take place from 11:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday 29th September at Britannia, and at Strathcona Community, 601 Keefer, from 6:30pm to 9:30pm on Friday October 12th.


Image: Star Grazer

September 25, 2018


Story Time Back On The Drive

September 24, 2018


Night Music: Whiter Shade of Pale

September 24, 2018


Poem: Driven

September 24, 2018

He
drove

her home after dinner.
They dawdled for a moment on the porch until the wind

drove

them inside where, after drinks,
their mutual passion

drove

them to seek the comforts of the bedroom, and where
her exuberant energy

drove

him mad with desire, and where
he

drove

his knifeblade deep into
her heart

 

 

He was

driven

they said, seeking to excuse
his excess,
his access to those parts of
her body which even this exhorbitantly open society doesn’t allow.

Driven

he was
they said by television violence and devil music and commercial
radio and the

drive-throughs

he was forced to eat at as a child by
his working mother.
His vanished other parent

driven

he learned to drink by
his inabilty to access the excess promised to all by the features
he sat through at the

drive-in.

His mother and father coincidentally killed in

drive-bys

he read about two continents and two decades apart.

 

 

Driven

they said by these circumstances to commit
his act
her death
they killed
him by

driving

his last of a long line of needles deep into
his arm. And then, in an unmarked car,
they

drove

his body to
his last home, just as
he had

driven

her to the first and last home
they would ever share.


Image: Slab #1

September 23, 2018


Night Music: Sweet Little Angel

September 22, 2018


Image: Blintzes

September 21, 2018


More Appreciation of BC’s Medics

September 20, 2018

The Everloving and I spent a good portion of the day today at VGH’s Kidney Clinic where we met with a social worker, a nurse, a dietitian, and a pharmacist to discuss the current state and the future of my deteriorating kidneys.

It was a remarkable series of meetings. We learned a great deal of useful information about food, about how to read and understand blood work results, and how to manage medications within the context of the disease. Perhaps more importantly we learned that we are now part of an incredibly supportive team.  Everyone at the clinic, from the receptionist to the doctors, were kind and courteous, and they gave of their service entirely without any judgement or insistence on harsh rules.

I understand that not everyone is or will be fortunate enough to find all the help they need. But for me, there are no complaints and I am deeply grateful for all the assistance that the BC medical system provides.


Night Music: Last Tango on 16th Street

September 20, 2018


Image: Hangers On

September 19, 2018


Night Music: Different Drum

September 18, 2018