Free Speech Is Not For Wimps Or Cowards

February 10, 2018

I believe in totally free speech. Everyone has, or should have, the right to say anything they want on any topic without sanction. That includes comments on this site, no matter how bizarre or off-base they may be.

However, I also believe that right comes with an equal dose of responsibility — that one own one’s own words.

It is not OK to hide your statements behind fake names. It is not OK to pretend to be someone else when making statements. It is not OK to give phony email addresses. Only cowards and deliberate provocateurs do that.

Too often lately, commenters here have hidden their identities, clearly unwilling to be responsible for their own actions. That stops today.  I have been persuaded that some people really need or prefer to use a pseudonym for their own safety (or whatever) and while I disagree with that, I will allow it.  But there is no reason whatsoever to give a false email address, and I will check every new address that tries to leave a comment. Those that fail that simple test will not be posted.

If you don’t like the new rules, don’t leave a comment. Your right to do or not do is completely unharmed.



Another Medical Hiatus

October 20, 2017

Well, my hope that I would get back to posting in real time foundered on some major infections and a week in Mount St Joseph’s Hospital who discharged me today. At least I can now add their wonderful staff to my praise of the BC Medical profession.

And thank goodness for the images, music, poems, and certain celebrations that I tend to pre-schedule sometimes weeks in advance for keeping the blog ticking over.

Finally back at home, I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Happy Anniversary To Me!

September 23, 2016

On 23rd September 2001, I started my first blog. It was on Blogspot. In 2004, I switched to Typepad, and in 2008 came to rest at WordPress (thus, the v.3 in the title of the blog).

Before that, from the late 1980s through the 1990s, I had operated a number of Bulletin Board Services (BBS) both for myself and for others, and had then been active with some of the early online communities (UTNE Cafe, Brainstorms, etc).

So, today is the 15th anniversary of me on blogs. I’ve had a lot of fun and hopefully, if only for a moment or two, I have managed to reach out and touch someone.

Into Research Mode

March 11, 2015

Well, I’m back at my back at one of my favourite perches — looking at the minutiae of East Vancouver history (1888-1915) through the lens of the contemporary daily newspapers. That’s a good thing, especially for the new book I am planning. Trouble is, it takes up most of my time and most of my intellectual energy, so posts on other topics here may well be few and far between.  We’ll see how I do with that.

There will still be the music and image posts on alternate days; poetry on Mondays; environmental stuff on Fridays; Changes on the Drive on the first of each month, and posts on celebratory and other memorable days.  To my coterie of regular readers, I hope that is enough for the time being.

Thanks for viewing!

This Is Not A Newspaper

March 26, 2014

This is not a newspaper nor is it the CBC or the BBC.  It is a place for me to express my own views (thus the name of this blog) and to pass on observances that I think are of interest.  I do exactly as much research as I choose when writing these pieces. Nothing more should be expected of me.

When I write history pieces, the research will be as exact and accurate as I can possibly make it.  But when I write political pieces or articles on art, music, food or when I write general observations, what you see is what you get — my view with absolutely no guarantee that anyone else will agree.  Everyone is welcome to do their own research, their own reading, and make up their own minds.

I would have thought this was obvious.

But clearly some with a different point of view expect something else.  The comments that my post on the anal bleaching sign attracted are a fine example.  Obviously the commenter disagreed with my position and claimed I got my facts wrong.  No, I did not: I reported accurately on what I saw (the sign), I reported accurately on what I heard on the street (“I am told that” the PAC had objected), and I gave my own opinion on the issue.   No facts were harmed in the production of that post.

As I wrote to the commenter, the comments and my email are open for anyone to state their differences of opinion, but I expect something other than just “you are wrong.”



Happy 6th WordPress Anniversary!

February 3, 2014

Today is the 6th anniversary of the start of this particular blog.

It is the third version of my blog:  the second was on Typepad and lasted from 24th April 2004 until 3rd February 2008. Most of that seems to survive and there are some interesting essays on that site if I do say so myself,

My first blog was on Blogspot and has deteriorated over time.  I started it on 23rd September 2001 in response to 9/11, and transferred to Typepad in April 2004.

We’ve had over half a million views on version 3 of the blog which, I know, is puny compared to a lot of sites, but which seems like an awful lot of visitors to me.  I am truly grateful to each and every one of you who takes a moment or more to read these scratchings.

Onward for the next six years!

Missing In Action

December 20, 2012

It has been an age since I wrote.  I’ve been pretty good for the last few months at keeping this blog regular but I’ve been preoccupied for the last week or so.

Wooden_file_cabinetDuring the last twelve months I have undertaken a vast amount of research, collected a ton of images, and I’ve written scores of pieces in various formats; and it occured to me — when I couldn’t find something I knew I had — that I had allowed these hundreds of files and notes and emails to be scattered across the breadth and depth of my laptop and the external hard drives.  Stuff was everywhere and not at all handy.

So I spent the last week or more getting it all back in order.  And I can’t count the number of times I was just scanning a document to find its relevance when something attracted my interest and I took the time to re-read the whole thing — the long essays and the short texts.  The images and PPTs and other media needed to be catalogued, everything had to be read.  Each day was as filled up as the one before it with interesting facts, intriguing analysis, and colourful background.  And now its done and I have a long “to do” list based on what I found.

Which brings me to the point, I guess; my realisation that I will never again force myself into deadlines, even those of my own making.  This realisation happened immediately after I had made the decision to publish “The Birth of A Community: Grandview 1890-1915” in time for Christmas 2013, a decision I instantly revoked under the new understanding.  I will take my time, reflect, get it right.

While I take my own sweet time with the new book, hopefully some of that time will be used to keep up the posts here!