Image: Inside The Tower

July 31, 2019


Dinner Tonight #57

July 30, 2019

Tonight’s dinner was plump chicken breasts, marinated for a couple of hours with 2 crushed garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, pepper, Herbes de Provence, a few chili flakes and then well sauteed in olive oil over med-high heat.  Served with crispy roasted potatoes and green beans steamed with baby tomatoes.

It was so good I didn’t have time to take a picture.


Night Music: Moon Dreams

July 30, 2019


Image: Standing Stones

July 29, 2019


Poem: Dead Heroes

July 29, 2019

 


Frank Zappa, Jerry Garcia, Brian Jones
And all those Grateful Rolling Mothers
Taught me that play is serious business

That play lives in the moment
That play is life

That an extended bluesy riff
Is infinitely more important than a timeclock

That a jiving rolling rock tune
Weighs so much more than a brand new car each year
So much more than a mortgage
And a closet of three-piece suits

That Janis Joplin was more beautiful than Ally MacBeal

That Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix
died for our sins
that their deaths preceeded ours by just a blink
in geological time

that if music be the food of love
I am obese with passion

That a great rythym guitar is better
Than bad sex
And that great sex is even better with rock and roll pounding in your head.

Play on, dead heroes
Play on and on and on ….

 


Night Music: Down To Zero

July 28, 2019


Image: Greenspace #3

July 27, 2019


Night Music: Tu Vuo’ Fa’ L’Americano

July 26, 2019


Yet More Work

July 26, 2019

The third of my visualisations of 1911 and 1921 Census data for Grandview has now been published at the GHG website.

This one looks at the rental market in our neighbourhood in 1921.

If you are interested in the history of Grandview, please take a look,  Comments and suggestions are always welcomed.

 

[update:  bad link fixed]


Image: Arrow Lake

July 25, 2019


Night Music: Nowhere Man

July 24, 2019


Image: Knot

July 23, 2019


Vancouver City Staff Propose Anti-Democratic Rules

July 23, 2019

There were many many things wrong with Vancouver City Council when it operated under the arrogantly domineering Vision Vancouver majority and its neoliberal pro-development financiers and backroom boys. Perhaps worst of all was their condescendingly dismissive treatment of local residents whose neighbourhoods were being bulldozed solely to satisfy developers’ profits and foreign buyers’ desires.

Vision Vancouver and their mostly American-trained staff created a culture of build for greed rather than build for need that turned Vancouver into one of the least affordable cities on the planet.  Their backers laughed all the way to the bank.

In the last election, Vision Vancouver was essentially wiped out and for one sweet moment we were able to dream of a better tomorrow; a tomorrow in which Vancouver residents would actually be listened to and in which policies would be enacted to enrich our lives and make housing affordable and available to all.

But that dream has become a nightmare. Mayor Stewart (as some of us suspected from the start) is just a less photogenic version  of Gregor Robertson, still under the sway of Visionista advisers and the still-intact cadre of Visionista staff at City Hall. Most of the One City and NPA Councillors have fallen into line, becoming Vision 2.0, pursuing unaffordable property developments, and the Greens have sorely disappointed.  Only Jean Swanson and Colleen Hardwick have had the courage to stand up and be counted for the people.

But things might well get worse.

City staff are proposing to reduce community input even further and to strengthen the hand of City staff and those who influence them.  CityHallWatch have reported on this “ominous” development, coming as it does just before “consultation” is due to begin on the new City Plan process.

“In 2012 CityHallWatch reported extensively on changes to this Bylaw brought in under the then Vision Vancouver regime at City Hall. Another attempt on the Procedures Bylaw was about to be made but abandoned just prior to the October 2018 civic election. It appears this new attempt to curtail the public voice and empower staff is a revival of the wheels set in motion then. The end of July is a strategic time for getting changes through Council with minimal public attention. We have seen this pattern before – for example with Vancouver’s Regional Context Statement under the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy.”

This disturbing proposal is due to be discussed at Council tomorrow.  Here is how you can let Council know that these are anti-democratic policies that need to be rejected.


Night Music: Don’t Talk

July 22, 2019


More about Work

July 22, 2019

I have today published a geographic analysis of the 1911 Census for Grandview, along with a map showing the distribution of population change in the district between 1911 and 1921.

For those interested in our local history, please visit the Grandview Heritage website.


Poem: Alphabetizing Two Worlds

July 22, 2019

 

 

It was easy to place History before Politics,

Medicine before Physicians; and

“Snow Fell on Cedars”

had to come after

“Escape From Alcatraz”.

But how was he to choose

Literature over Culture

or Astronomy over Alchemy?

And Asimov could go anywhere,

With his reflections about water

On the half-moons of Venus.

With bookcases brushing the ceilings,

And more volumes stacked halfway up walls,

melding the books, shuffling the pages,

was turning out to be the hardest part

of moving in together.

 

Amid the piles of unsorted memoirs he halted,

His unpacking abandoned.

He remembered the dancing, the dinners,

The walking.

It was easy to place Love before Duty.

 

 


Image: Treeline #1

July 21, 2019


Night Music: All Of Me

July 20, 2019


Shooting The Moon, 50 Years On

July 20, 2019

On this day in 1969 I was in Yugoslavia working as a Third Assistant Director on a movie called “Kelly’s Heroes“. I was nineteen years old and having a wonderful time working with the likes of Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Telly Salvalas, and a whole wild bunch of American actors. like Harry Dean Stanton and Dick Davalos.

We were living at the Petrovaradin Hotel in Novi Sad and most nights I joined the Americans in games of high stakes poker. We took over one of the small banquet rooms and several of the hotel staff were deputed to look after us with drinks and food. These games were a useful but expensive education for me; over a few weeks, I managed to lose several months’ worth of per diem expenses.

Apollo_11_bootprintOur game on the 20th July 1969 coincided with the first manned landing on the moon and we arranged to have a black and white TV set up in the room  so we could follow the action.  I remember that, just as Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Eagle and on to the moon, we were in the middle of a game with a good-sized pot of American dollars piled in middle of the the table. We agreed to pause the game to watch the historic moment.

Several of us took the opportunity to stand and stretch for a moment. As I did so, I noticed that the American actors were glued to the TV screen intent on cheering their countrymen while the hotel staff ignored the TV and were all staring at the big pile of money, mouths agape.

It was an unforgettable night.


Image: Street Art #19

July 19, 2019