Night Music: Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

August 24, 2020

For all his faults, he was such a gloriously theatrical torch singer!


Handydart : Ripping Off Poor Seniors

August 24, 2020

HandyDart is a very useful system that helps those with mobility issues to travel about the City of Vancouver. I use it regularly for my scheduled hospital visits, and I have found the employees of the system — most especially the drivers — to be generally courteous, helpful and above all caring to the folks who use the system.  However, for poor seniors it can be an expensive option.

Each one-way trip is $3:00, and so a return trip to the hospital costs $6.00. That may not sound like much but if you have two hospital trips a week, for dialysis say, and use the service to go shopping or to a seniors’ activity centre on another day, that comes to more than $70 a month — a fortune for many of us on low fixed-income pensions.

This problem could be solved if we could use our BC Provincial Bus Pass, but that is not allowed on HandyDart — and that needs to change.

In order to qualify for a BC Provincial Bus Pass, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • 60 years or older and the spouse of a person with the Person with Disabilities designation and are receiving disability assistance from the Province of British Columbia
  • 60 years or older and receiving income assistance from the Province of British Columbia
  • 60 years or older, living on a First Nations reserve and getting assistance from the band office
  • 65 years or older and would qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) but does not meet the Canadian 10-year residency rule
  • Receiving Old Age Security (OAS) and the GIS

In other words, to get a Pass you need to be a senior in poverty.  To qualify to use HandyDart you must “have a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability and are unable to use conventional public transit without assistance” and get an accepted medical referral stating that disability.

Therefore, disallowing the use of the Bus Pass on HandyDart deliberately penalises disabled seniors in poverty.

I don’t know how many Vancouver residents qualify for both the Bus Pass and HandyDart, but it will not be a huge number; and the cost to the BC Treasury of changing the rules would be less than a drop in the bucket of the BC budget while significantly improving the lives of our most needy.

 


Grandview 24th August 1920

August 24, 2020

Province, 19200824. p.2

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings


Poem: Dead Heroes

August 24, 2020

 


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 ….

 


Image: Slab #1

August 23, 2020


Grandview 23rd August 1920

August 23, 2020

Province, 19200823, p.15

I am not sure if there was something wrong with this house, but in a generally fast-paced markert, I have found ads for it from at least February to November 1920.  No price is ever mentioned, so perhaps that was the issue.

 

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings


Night Music: Pacabell’s Canon

August 22, 2020

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


We Are To Blame For The Billionaires

August 22, 2020

Today, Bernie Sanders posted the following on Twitter:

 

It’s a true enough statement, and I entirely agree with Sanders that we need to tax billionaires out of existence. There are numerous progressives who post similar statements day after day.  And none of them — none of them — ever refer to the fact that most billionaires are billionaires because we make them so.

It is a fact that some of their billions come from their ability to manipulate the tax system and workers’ rights to their advantage. But the vast majority of their wealth comes from us buying stuff we don’t really need from Amazon, giving eyeballs to advertizers on Facebook, and selling our privacy to cell phone makers and data cloud managers in return for so-called convenience.

If we stopped doing those things, billionaires would disappear like fog in the sunshine.  But we are too damned lazy. We somehow expect the billionaire-sponsored politicians to create a tax system that will mildly ameliorate — not even solve — the problem for us. Are we really that stupid?

I’m no saint when it come to this stuff: I do occasionally buy from Amazon because I am too lazy to do otherwise.  But I live a fairly productive and I hope useful life without a cell phone, without a Facebook account, without a Tesla (or, indeed, any car), and roughly 95% of all my monthly purchases are made on Commercial Drive where I live. I rarely even shop in Cedar Cottage or Hastings Sunrise because I believe so strongly in buying local and supporting local businesses.

We can blame the billionaires for being billionaires, we can blame politicians for the failures of capitalist inequality, but we damned well better blame ourselves most of all.

 


Grandview 22nd August 1920

August 22, 2020

Vancouver Sun, 19200822, p.10

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings


Image: Blintzes

August 21, 2020


Grandview 21st August 1920

August 21, 2020

Vancouver World, 19200821, p.2

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings


Night Music: Ne Me Quitte Pas

August 20, 2020


Grandview 20th August 1920

August 20, 2020

Vancouver Sun, 19200820, p.11

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings


Image: Still Life #2

August 19, 2020


Grandview 19th August 1920

August 19, 2020

Province, 19200819, p.2

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings


Night Music: Done In The Dark

August 18, 2020


Grandview 18th August 1920

August 18, 2020

Province 19200818, p.22

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings


To Be A Canadian

August 18, 2020

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Thirty-four years ago today I became a Canadian citizen. perhaps the proudest and most satisfying day of my life.  In about two months from now, I will have lived in Canada, in Vancouver, for forty-one years — much more than half my life.

These lengths of time seem strangely enormous to me looking back because I had had a quite long and interesting life (with wives and children and a career) in England and Europe before I ever came here.  And that previous life — during the fascinating 1950s, 60s and 70s — now seems like a necessary and irreplaceable prologue to what my life became afterwards.

There were seriously important people and things that I left behind; but I don’t believe in regrets because they have no value. Even if I did, I cannot imagine that my life was anything but greatly enhanced by moving to Vancouver.  I am still a proud Brit, an unreconstructed Welsh Londoner, but I am prouder still of being — by choice — a Vancouverite, of being Canadian.

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Image: City Walk in Fall

August 17, 2020


Grandview 17th August 1920

August 17, 2020

Province 19200817, p.20

I have included this item as a cautionary tale for those using newspapers for historical research — they are not always accurate.  “Mrs Slavin’s nursing home” was actually at 910 Victoria Drive not 910 Commercial Drive.

 

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings