Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Beautiful Music Is Where You Find It.


While the worst of Hell Fall by Hellfall ended with classes a couple of weeks ago, our last final exam of the season was first thing yesterday morning in a windowless, bunker-type room on the other side of the hospital-industrial complex.

Once we had the exams all out and the kids all in I headed over to the cafeteria to get the TA's morning coffee.

It's a cafeteria I used to spend a lot of time in. In fact, once-upon-a-long-long-time-ago we even held lab meetings there.

But then, in the darkest days of GordCo, Inc. the sub-contracting began in earnest and I avoided the place like the plague.

However, thanks in large part to the persistence of the workers, a lot of what went wrong appears to be fixed now* so I have started to stop by occasionally once again.


Yesterday morning the place was pretty much deserted given that most of the students have already headed home for the holidays.

Which meant that it was just me, the lady at the till, and canned carols on the sound system as I added all the creams and sugars and honeys that gradual students everywhere demand in their coffee.

The whole scene was making me feel a little melancholy until I heard this beautiful sound.

It was coming from the lady at the till who was simultaneously counting her change, and she was amazing.

On my way out I told her that she was in the wrong business.

She just laughed and said she loves to sing.

The music was still in my head three hours later when we released the kids from exile and they headed out into their holiday hooting and hollering completely melancholy-free.

Kids today!

*Labour-expertish folks, please correct me if I'm wrong about this.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Keef Report....You Haven't Heard This One Before.

As much as it pains me to say it...

On this one I completely agree* with the good Mr. Baldrey.

All of which kinda/sort (but not really) has me wondering what Sporty Short's fellow Sportspageian alum David 'Spittin' Diction' Randorf has on the ghost of Ted Rogers' Christmas past.

Or some such thing.

You can find previous, and far less agreement-laden, Keef Reports...Here.
*Just to be clear, we're talking about John Shorthouse here...As for Cheech?...Meh.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Bright Side Of Life Is Not Just For The Young.


The holiday party season (family stuff excepted) is now officially over for me.

Five events over the last two weeks, only one of which featured the Doctors of Distortion backing Bigger E (that was last Friday night and my ears are still ringing a little).


I had convinced myself that last night's event was going to be the boring one. After all, a hundred or so academics stuffed into a room for five hours is not ordinarily anybody's idea of a raucous good time.

Except this year the olds showed some good sense when they stepped aside and let the gradual students run the show - and that included the food, the drink, the games, the photo booth that included a truly white-haired Santa with an acoustic guitar, the door prizes, and, especially, the music.

Once the phones and the polaroid camera (they're all the rage with the younger set these days, apparently) had been put away and I had shed red and white pile of cheap felt, I was chatting with one of the new students when the genius DJ kid slapped the Killers' 'Mr. Brightside' on the sound system and the place went berserk.

The student I was talking to, who happens to be from England, apologized as he sprinted for the dance floor, shouting back over his shoulder that when you grew up there in the 'aughts this was 'the song' in high school.

Fair enough, I thought as I joined in with everyone around me and started shouting the chorus at the top of my lungs.

Because, as everybody knows, all great anthems are for the young at heart, chronological age be damned.


I'm pretty sure the only reader 'round here who will get the sub-header on this one is the good Mr. Willcocks from across the water...Then again, maybe someone from Denton Texas will stumble on by...


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Haven't Done Your Duty On PropRep For British Columbia?

My excuse for being tardy has been this 'Hell Fall' by Hellfall thing that I've been pummelled by the last few months.

But now, with an assist from the friends, readers and relatives of Merv Adey, Andrew Seal, and the fine folks at The Tyee, I've made my final choices and filled in my ballot.

First thing tomorrow morning I will take it to the Elections BC office on Cambie right across from Oakridge just below 41st in central Lotusland*.

If you've been dithering you can do it too!

There's still time - you've got until Friday at 4:30 pm but you've got to take it directly to the good folks at E-BC.

You can find their nearest office, no matter where you live in our fair province....Here.

*Right before I head down to Long and McQuade to rent a PA...Doctors of Distortion have a really big show Friday night...Slowly but surely we are morphing into Bigger E's back-up band...Weirdly, fro a paternal point of view at least, I seem to be doing a lot of backing vocals on A Winehouse tunes...Need to work on my dance moves for that type of stuff though.


Monday, December 03, 2018

The Decline Of The US Republicans Did Not Begin In 2016.


On the occasion of passing of the patriarch of the Prescott wing of the Bush family dynasty, two most excellent American bloggers remind us that, despite what you have been hearing, seeing and reading in all the usually suspect proMedia organs, what has come to be called Trumpism did not begin with Trump.

First, 'Driftglass' on the reign of Bush I:

...George Herbert Walker Bush's dreamed of a GOP run as a gentleman's farm: orderly and well-tended by old-money, patrician internationalists. Maintained by loyalty and noblesse oblige. But Bush 41 was also perfectly willing to countenance putting every monstrous trait that has come to define the modern Republican party in-harness to pull the plow and bust the sod of his gentleman's farm...


...Any man who served Nixon and Reagan knew perfectly well what sort of volatile, radioactive ingredients that had gone into building the modern Republican party. And while Bush 41, gentleman political farmer, had no stomach for dirtying his hands by personally attending to the important business of rilin' up the grass roots bigots and the imbeciles, he was quote happy to job out that filthy work to the help. To ace Republican ratfucker, Lee Atwater. The same Lee Atwater who mentored Karl Rove and George W. Bush in the dark arts of bringing bigots to a fine boil and then getting them to the polls...

Second, 'Mike The Mad Biologist' on the reign of Bush II:

...(S)ome perspective is in order here: it was bad during the reign of Little Lord Pontchartrain, and many of the exact same things, such as bigotry and corruption were there, but many people didn’t see them. Hell, the plight of black New Orleans residents as they walked through white neighborhoods alone was every bit as racist and vile, never mind the cops who went ‘hunting’. It all didn’t suddenly go to shit in 2016, it was bad long before then.

Why does stomping out all the forgettery that is going down matter?

Because fine folks like, say, our own Mr. Frum are already quite far along on building the lifeboats to save all those fine and upstanding 'reasonable' Republicans for (yet another) day:

If you get my drift and/or madness in my own private biology*.


*Which, just in case you've ever wondered, is actually a really real thing, the biology I mean.


Sunday, December 02, 2018

The Greedheads Win! The Greedheads Win!


Yes, indeed.

It would appear that the greedheads have succeeded in gouging even more money out of our collective Lotuslandian back in return for yet another half measure.

Joanne Lee-Young and Lori Culbert have the story in the VSun.

Here is their lede:

Two business tycoons waged a little-known and vicious battle in and out of B.C. court over six empty Yaletown lots, assessed at a pittance because for three decades they have been designated for affordable housing.
The high-stakes feud quietly escalated in B.C. courtrooms over several years, pulling in heirs, related companies and executives from the two sides. It dragged some reputations through the mud and, at times, left Vancouver city officials hanging in the middle.
For 30 years, the lots on the north shore of False Creek have lain dormant. But last month, the city announced a deal with Concord Pacific to build 650 affordable units on three of the properties while allowing the developer to build market housing on the other three. The city will not say how much money it will receive in the deal or why it will not proceed with the original vision — promised in 1988 when Concord bought the Expo 86 grounds — to create a mixed-income community with low-rent homes on all six lots...

It's a solid piece that I hope leads to even more solid editorializing to fill in the backstories that matter.


There was one passage where I would have liked a little more detail, which was the following:

...Some observers, such as former city planner Larry Beasley, argue the plan is a good one for the city. “Now, there will be prime sites in the very core of the city for low-income and middle-income residents,” said Beasley.

Today, he said, there is more acceptance of affordable housing projects with greater density, making it possible to build the same number of promised units on just three lots rather than six.

Beasley was involved in assessing the six sites to see which ones would be better suited to take on more density for affordable housing and which ones might be, for example, too close to other buildings...

What else did I want to know?


Given that he was involved in the 'assessing', I, for one, would sure like to know if the good Mr. Beasley was speaking purely for himself here or if he was speaking in some capacity for one of the players.

I don't ask this in an effort to cast aspersions - it's just that knowing would help me, a lowly reader, decide what I think of the deal.



Hey!....'Hell Fall' by Hell Fall is now officially over for me...So, expect, maybe, some more regular pixel punching 'round here in the coming weeks...I'll explain later.
Update: Sam Cooper has more, on a potential 'agenda' re: those linked to CoV who like the deal,  on his twittmachine feed.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Lyrical Lines That Won't Let Go - Guy Clark's 'Stuff That Works'


Back in the old days I would play our kids, and sometimes even myself, to sleep using C's old plywood topped El Degas guitar to plunk out lullabies and super slowed down versions of tunes from Nebraska and such.


Our kids are both pretty much grown and gone a good chunk of the time now.

Which means that I play my guitar to an empty room most bedtimes these days.

Which is why the following lines, from Guy Clark's 'Stuff That Works' slays me:

"I got an old guitar won't ever stay in tune
I like the way it sounds
In a dark and empty room"

And, in case you haven't guessed it, once something like that gets its hooks in me I pretty have to play it over and over and over again.

So, here's my El Degas-assisted version of Mr. Clark's tune, which, bombasted up a little, probably could have been a Chevy truck commercial if Bob Seger hadn't already cashed in...

The El Degas is the guitar on the left in the image at the top of the post...It still goes to the beach with the Whackadoodle most every Saturday morning.
And, ya, that was the Whackadoodle herself in the background of the cover tune...Raccoons I guess, or maybe just leaves falling outside the window a little too incessantly for her liking.
For those interested...Hitting this link will take you to a video of a young Mr. Clark and the usual suspects of the time (look for an even younger Steve Earle) playing around the kitchen table a long, long time ago...Pretty inspiring actually.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Why I'm Voting For Sarah Blyth (And Giving Her Money)


There's this guy, Sam Quinones, who used to write for the LA Times awhile back.

Since then he's done good in the way I always wished Oscar Zeta Acosta had kept on doing after I first read not Fear and Loathing but, instead, ....This.

Anyway, one of the good things Mr. Quinones has done is write a book called 'Dreamland' wherein he describes his travels through Midwestern American states of both mind and reality to give witness (and insight) to the greed-driven opioid crisis that is wiping out entire towns there.

Which, tangentially at least, brings me to Sarah Blyth, who is someone I liked as a Parks Commissioner awhile back and who is now running as an independent for Vancouver Council.

What has she been doing in the interim?

Well, all kinds of stuff helping our fellow citizens who need our help most.

Stuff like this, according to Travis Lupick in the GStraight:

Last September (2016), a trio of women pitched a tent facing into a back alley near the intersection of Columbia Street and East Hastings. They set up a couple of tables there with a basket of clean needles and a supply of naloxone, a drug that’s used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Sarah Blyth, Ann Livingston, and Chris Ewart called it the Overdose Prevention Society. Since the arrival of fentanyl, there had been a lot of overdoses in that alley. And so in potential violation of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, they created a relatively safe space where people could inject drugs and where, in the event of an overdose, there would be someone there to revive them.

Three months later, B.C. health minister Terry Lake issued a ministerial order that instructed health authorities across the province to establish sites for drug users just like the tent that the Overdose Prevention Society pitched in that Downtown Eastside alley.

“I woke up yesterday at 4 o’clock in the morning and was thinking about the pop-up tent,” Lake told the Straight in an interview that month. “So we pulled the team together quickly, Vancouver Coastal had some plans in place. And so we just expedited everything.”

Within a week, there were more than 15 overdose-prevention sites operating in cities throughout B.C. Since then, staff at those locations have reversed hundreds of overdoses. No one has died at any of the sites...

A progressive trouble maker that can get things done and turn around someone like Terry Lake for the good of all?


That sure is someone I want in my city's council chambers.




Getting back to that very troubled state of mind that Mr. Quinones, who's more bloggorific stuff shows up occasionally on the left sidebar by the way....

Here's a wee bit of a 'book-on-tape' on that subject written by the always steady Craig Finn:

Mr. Finn comes to town next Friday night, Oct 19th...Turns out that's election eve 'round here...
You can hear Ms. Blyth, in her own words, in long form, on Mo Amir's podcast...Here.


Monday, October 08, 2018

The Keef Report....The Paltry.

A hate-on for a suggestion to discuss things that likely matter to a whole lot of supporters of a particular political party?

Willful ignorance of massive shifts in popular support in recent provincial elections across Canuckistan?

Or, perhaps...

Just a late night weekend time stampish thing?

Previous Keef Reports can be found....Here.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Keef Report...Not Standing With Her (Anymore).



Look what the Keef dragged in...

And good on the Keef for pushing back on yet another inanity from our former (once not) premier.


How different might things be 'round here right now if the good Mr. Baldrey had been willing to make a call like this in, say, 2011?

Need background?....It's here.