Pink Moon

This song has played continuously for over an hour, don’t see myself stopping for a while. I was 13 years old when English musician Nick Drake recorded Pink Moon in 1972. Two years later, 26 year old Drake ingested a fatal overdose of anti-depressants, official cause of death – suicide.

Drake produced 3 albums, none selling over 5000 copies on initial release. In 2006 Volkswagen aired a commercial for Cabrio featuring Pink Moon – who said life made sense?

Pondering Pink Moon tells the story of depression and despair with equal measures of exquisite perfection and gratitude. Yesterday I would have said “Nick who?” “Pink what?”, tomorrow begins with a quiet place in my heart for his artistry. Few songs manifest tendrils of yearning and reflection without sinking spirits. Nick Drake’s life came to a tragic end – I can’t explain why, but listening to Pink Moon makes me happy. RIP Nick Drake.



Fixer Upper

If any doubt existed regarding Vancouver real estate – ponder this little fixer upper, listed at $2.398,000.

Vancouver home listing 1


Vancouver home listing 2

I’m not being fair, the 86 year old beauty pictured above is situated in desirable Point Grey. Close to the University of B.C., outstanding public schools and impeccably maintained parks. A 2,069 square foot home, on 4,026 square foot lot begging for demolition – $2.39 million buys a piece of land. Out of your league? Never fear, compromise a little on public school demographics, marginally elevated crime rates and consider the home below. Just listed at $1,099,000.

Enough with tear downs, you want a house to live in. How about this charmer in south Vancouver. Built in 1960 – 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms on a 7,781 square foot lot. Close to shopping and transit, it will set you back $4,500,000.

MLS® V1109828

Oh man, you don’t want to spend more than a few million? For $2,580,000 the 3 bedroom, 2 bath property below might do the trick.

Purely for shits and giggles – Mailin Chen, a businessman from mainland China purchased the 25,000 square foot property below (in Point Grey,technically the same neighborhood as the tear down pictured first) for $51 million. Story linked below image.


Nature, Beauty, Gratitude

WordPresser geneticfractals countered my “go to when grumpy” video – with one of his own. His gesture demands a ponder of nature, beauty and gratitude. I’ll spare readers a paragraph of sentimental blithering and get to the point – watch this video.

Stewing in juices of media induced hysteria, lousy work days, suffocating family pressures or contentious topical bickering – inexplicably evaporate with entrance into the realm of beauty and wonder. Which form respite takes is a personal matter, awe can’t be prescribed. Constantly percolating in each and every one of us – all we have to do is listen.

Pondering nature, beauty, gratitude or galactic proportions might not be your ticket to temporary inner peace, the vehicle delivering fleeting calm or stimulus behind taking stock of priorities. All I know is stress has to be released – nature, beauty, gratitude delivers in spades.

20 Year Funding Ban on Gun Violence Research

Every so often we stumble upon information capable of stopping us dead in our tracks. It happened this evening – walked in from work to find an emailed link from my husband. A Washington Post article appeared, the headline read –

Hours Before San Bernardino Shooting, Doctors Urged Congress to Lift Funding Ban on Gun Violence Research

WTF? Gun violence research is banned in America? How is this possible? Gun rights activists, supporters and lobbyists produce parades of statistics supporting a decline in violence. Tireless assertions of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” wait in ambush for gun reform sentiment. Mental health, not guns are to blame – reality of gun rights activism, the truth behind bat shit I scrape off my wall.

A few hours before the San Bernardino mass shooting, advocacy group Doctors for America , American College of Preventative Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics handed Congress a petition signed by 2000 doctors. The petition demanded an end to the Dickey Amendment of 1996, a federal law stating in part –

“none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

To comprehend the scope of this statement, we need to understand driving force and consequences. In 1993 CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention funded a study concluding an increased risk of homicide in homes with firearms. The NRA went ballistic, lobbying government to shut down the National Center for Injury Prevention. Enter Republican Congressman Jay Dickey from Arkansas. Dickey penned a congressional compromise, the Dickey Amendment became law in 1996. Wary of magnitude and influence of an increasingly powerful NRA lobby, gun violence researchers chose abandoning studies over risking loss of federal research funds. ( In 2013 the CDC budget was $6.3 billion, employing 14,000 at city, state and national levels – far too much to risk on pissing off the NRA )

From Huffington Post article linked below –

“Well over half a million people have died by firearms since 1996, when the ban on gun violence research was enacted, according to a HuffPost calculation of data through 2013 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to its sponsors, the Dickey Amendment was supposed to tamp down funding for what the National Rifle Association and other critics claimed was anti-gun advocacy research by the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention. In effect, it stopped federal gun violence research almost entirely.”

I urge you to read this article – hang on to your trousers when you reach the part re a 2011 New York Times article claiming –

“But there’s also also apparent reluctance on the part of the agency to re-enter the political fray. As the New York Times reported in 2011, the CDC tips off the NRA as a courtesy when any affiliated researchers publish firearm-related studies. And even after President Barack Obama (D) issued an executive order following the Sandy Hook massacre, calling for the CDC to “sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it,” the agency still hasn’t returned to studying gun violence.”



I Could Stand In The Middle of Fifth Ave. and Shoot Somebody

Disdain for Donald Trump is a given. Considerably less definable – who those responsible for his meteoric rise in popularity might be. Daily media coverage peppered with Trump’s reckless brand of flippant arrogance, persist without thought or mention of citizens urging him on. Trump announced presidential aspirations with the slogan – “make America great again”. What crossed the minds of his boisterous supporters? Who are these people and why do they embrace “great” as a nation prescribed by Donald Trump? On January 23, 2016 Trump spoke to supporters in Sioux Center Iowa –

“They say I have the most loyal people — did you ever see that? — where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” Trump said, illustrating his point by pulling his fingers into a gun shape. “Okay? It’s like incredible.”

The crowd laughed and clapped, and someone in the audience shouted out love for the candidate.

“We love you, too, man,” Trump said.

I can’t be alone in pondering who loves Donald Trump. Clearly Trump supporters care little for healing America’s domestic woes. The concept of “great” eludes rabid Trumpsters bent on exclusion, racial divide, chest pounding exhibitions of military might, simplistic fantasies of global domination, asinine delusions of closed borders snuffing terrorism and gun toting citizens preventing violence.

The audacity of Trump flippantly mocking gun violence, sentiment applauded by a throng of “great” Americans. Trump supporters wouldn’t recognize greatness if it smacked them in the face. Why hasn’t media admonished Trumpsters for complicit involvement in undermining the fabric of American ideals? Why has media ignored implication of who these people are, and what they stand for? Why do we cluck and blither over Trump, nary a thought to scores of misguided “patriots” egging him on?


Winter’s Wolf Moon

The stuff of ancient mythology, moon lore steeps in primal beginnings. On January 24, 2016 a full Wolf Moon speaks to a time when celestial observance marked the passing of days. A time when hearts leapt, minds acknowledged seasonal progressions and futures revolved around cosmic events.

First full moon each year – the Wolf Moon, resonates with awareness of ancient folklore. Ponder clusters of Algonquin or Iroquois encased in winter’s fury. Hear packs of marauding wolves punctuate eternal nights, howls sung as taunting pleas to dare cross their ravenous path.

First link below image – names and folklore of each full moon. Below that – a link to wolf moon calculator and resource to all things moon.

Woody Guthrie’s Trump

I begin with a nod to for shining light on this story.

Woody Guthrie’s music epitomized struggles of the working class. The Great Depression, Dust Bowl, farm workers rights, trade unions, civil rights, social injustice – Guthrie became the voice of disenfranchised America. John Steinbeck wrote –

“Woody is just Woody. Thousands of people do not know he has any other name. He is just a voice and a guitar. He sings the songs of a people and I suspect that he is, in a way, that people. Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who still listen. There is the will of a people to endure and fight against oppression. I think we call this the American spirit.” – John Steinbeck

Woody Guthrie’s life waits for a dedicated ponder ( for the curious, linked – a biography from below ) – this ponder focuses on Guthrie and Donald’s father Fred Trump.

I’ll begin with a quote from Donald Trump –

“My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy.”

Post war America faced a critical affordable housing shortage for scores of returning military. Enter the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) with loans and subsides to construct urban apartment blocks. Fred Trump was one of the first housing “project” developers to profit from free flowing federal financing. Fred Trump dubbed his project Beach Haven. Not only did Trump Sr. begin construction before the project was approved, he rented to veterans six months before he had to start repaying federal loans – pocketing an estimated 1.7 million dollars. He also pocketed a 5% “developers fee” and knowingly borrowed 3.7 million over and above construction costs. In 1954 Fred Trump was investigated by a Senate Committee for “profiteering off of public contracts”.

In 1950 Woody Guthrie signed a two year lease for a Beach Haven apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Within a year Guthrie agonized over residing in what he now referred to as Bitch Haven.He wrote –

    I suppose
    Old Man Trump knows
    Just how much
    Racial Hate
    he stirred up
    In the bloodpot of human hearts
    When he drawed
    That color line
    Here at his
    Eighteen hundred family project ....

FHA guidelines included avoiding “inharmonious uses of housing” – translation, keep housing projects racially segregated. In 1979 Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrettt published a two part story on the Trump real estate empire. Included were excerpts from court cases filed against Trump between 1973-1979 by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In the story Barrett summarized evidence from Trump employees –

According to court records, four superintendents or rental agents confirmed that applications sent to the central [Trump] office for acceptance or rejection were coded by race. Three doormen were told to discourage blacks who came seeking apartments when the manager was out, either by claiming no vacancies or hiking up the rents. A super said he was instructed to send black applicants to the central office but to accept white applications on site. Another rental agent said that Fred Trump had instructed him not to rent to blacks. Further, the agent said Trump wanted “to decrease the number of black tenants” already in the development “by encouraging them to locate housing elsewhere.”

This is the legacy America’s Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is proud of?

    Beach Haven ain't my home!
    I just cain't pay this rent!
    My money's down the drain!
    And my soul is badly bent!
    Beach Haven looks like heaven
    Where no black ones come to roam!
    No, no, no! Old Man Trump!
    Old Beach Haven ain't my home! - Woody Guthrie