fear & loathing in Lotusland

Seen in Passing: Napier & Salisbury

by Zbigniew


How I Turned $1,000 Into a Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time:

  • In terms simple and clear enough for the novice -yet detailed enough for the professional realtor- it tells you how to take a modest nest egg and pyramid it to over $1,000,000.
  • Sound too good to be true? Think you can’t do it? Read this exciting book and have your eyes open wide.
  • You’ll find the risks to you are tiny  -and your chances for success enormous!

Gesamtarbeits Scheiße

by Zbigniew

Sleeping Rough, with Marmalade Notes

by Zbigniew

Okanagan RV

Unknown RV

Chinook RV

It’s difficult to say exactly how many people are being turned away from Vancouver shelters, as those numbers are no longer collected.

It’s difficult to say how people many are turning to vans, trailers, and RVs for affordable housing.

And its difficult to say “Langereis”: Lang-er-ays? Lang-er-ees?

Bruce Langereis is the local factotum of the Delta Group of Companies, an international property development, investment blah blah Ltd., and the co-owner (sic?) of the up-to-$6,000-a-night Rosewood Hotel Georgia.

But for four nights earlier this month -in the midst of the Welfare Food Challenge– Langereis slept in the parking lot of the BC Liquor store outlet at 39th & Cambie. His objective: the acquisition of the only 50 year-old bottle of Glenfiddich available for sale this year in Canada. Langereis’ single-minded perseverance, and $36,000, yielded him that reputable object of desire.

For expenses both physical and financial, Langereis consoled himself with a holiday in the Bahamas. And, a taste of the veritable Scotch of Christ: orange marmalade with a faint wisp of smoke, and a velvety, self-involved finish.

His other compensation will be a solid return on investment: Langereis plans to sell the rarefied ambrosia to patrons of the Rosewood’s bar at $2,000 an ounce. With a guess of two ounces consumed, 24 ounces less investment costs yields $12,000; or, $3,000 a night.

Bailout-D0150080Wally Oppal, Bruce Langereis, and Uwe Boll on the set of Boll’s Bialout: The Age of Greed (Photo: Chris Helcermanas-Benge)


Klap pee tsolo, Chinook Wawa

by Zbigniew

“Why is some of the Pacific Slope’s tenderest 19th century love poetry hidden away in Chinook songs[?]”

Charles Lillard, in Terry Glavin’s A Voice Great Within Us


Cultus kopa nika.

Cultus kopa nika. Nika switat.

Ah, nika switat, pee kahta mika klatawa kopa town.

Cultus kopa nika.


Chinook Jargon - Hibben

The Cringe: Love Birds

by Zbigniew

Nothing Unique

by Zbigniew

Directory of Member Businesses

In MacLeod’s I came across a “Visitor’s Guide to Metropolitan Vancouver, B.C.” There’s no publication date, but I figure the early 1960s, given a photo of the B.C. Hydro Building and -sandwiched between aderts for the Hawaiian lanai style accommodation of the Delport Inn and Yeoman’s, “The Oriental Store”- a business directory employing the “2L-5N” telephone exchange regime. Need a taxi? Call B.C. Radio Cabs Ltd. at MUtual3-6666.

This brought back memories of playing with my father’s telephone index, with its endlessly fascinating Star Trek-like movable tab, spring loaded cover, and curious contents: CY9-9030, TR2-9600 etc. Misdialing the code linked to my uncle, a recorded baritone highlighted my error on behalf of the “Alpine” exchange.

Each exchange took its name from the first two letters corresponding to a number on a telephone dial. Each exchange served a specific geographic area. I grew up in HEmlock, a wilderness compared to the action over in ALpine. REgent was another world altogether.


CYpress, LAkeview, and WOodland suggest something of the local ecology, but who were WEstmore, WAverly and WEbster? Local personages lost in the sands of time? CPR or BC Tel mandarins. Heroes? Villains?

Neither: in the mid-1950s AT&T produced a recommended list of exchange names for both U.S. and Canadian systems, carefully designed to avoid misunderstandings when voiced. All of Vancouver’s old exchanges, replaced by a seven digit system by the mid-1960s, adhere to the AT&T list. Nothing unique here.


by Zbigniew


The ouroboros –the image of a snake eating its own tail- spans millennia, faiths, and cultures. While it’s usually associated with cyclicality, birth and rebirth, or infinity, these impressions are not universal.

The Jungian psychologist Erich Neumann suggested the ouroboros depicts the undifferentiated infancy experience of both mankind and the individual child. In some cultures it represents self-destruction and transition –a vicious circle.

It’s a matter of interpretation.


According to the Strata Property Act, the sale of an entire condominium building, the dissolution of the corporation, requires the unanimous consent of the owners.

However, a proposed amendment to the act, currently before the provincial legislature and expected to come into effect by the end of the year, will see that threshold reduced to 80%.

For developers, it’s a toe in the door, a beachhead, just enough to sell the riches of higher density rezones: “The option will likely result in a higher price being paid because the value is in the footprint that can accommodate a 20-storey building, rather than the existing three-storey building.”[1] just enough to seize the advantage of rezoning that allows for higher density, ie. most of Burnaby:

“Most of the action [will] be focused around aging and smaller low-rise condominium projects where it would be easier to get most owners agreed to a sale.”[2] Prime targets include Skytrain corridors and pretty much all of Burnaby.

It’ll be a windfall gain for owners; or, a loss, of friends, neighbours, home.

It’s a matter of interpretation.


1. “Old condos eyed as lucrative new development option,” Frank O’Brien, Business in Vancouver

2. “B.C. offers flexibility for development,” Erin Ruddy, Canadian Apartment Magazine


Imminent Displacement

by Zbigniew


“Then as now, there was a recession, a global banking system in shambles, a housing crisis and a shadowy external threat (the Cold War then, terrorism now), all of which are formally similar even if they have very different causes and our governments propose very different solutions. One thing peculiar to the postwar period was the reorganization of urban life in virtually every city in North America. The case of Vancouver, BC, is a local example of a continental condition: the suburbanization of the middle class and the razing of ethnic inner-city slums so that the poor could be warehoused in modernist towers. The 1,200 or so homeless veterans who initially squatted the old Hotel Vancouver are emblematic of the former, and the multi-ethnic residents of Hogan’s Alley whose homes were earmarked for demolition as early as 1947 represent the latter. In the end, the hotel was torn down before the alley, but the fear of imminent displacement is a source of anxiety for all of our characters.”

From Circa 1948, Artist Statement by Stan Douglas

Full Payment for an Hour of Perfect Bliss

by Zbigniew

Kenneth Millar

“In his novels, Millar resolved his contradictions: there he hid and revealed an aching loneliness, a melancholy humor, and a lifetime of anger, fear, and regret.”

Ross Macdonald, A Biography, by Tom Nolan

Dashielle Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Kenneth Millar aka Ross Macdonald, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of hardboiled detective fiction.

Millar was born in 1913 to Canadian parents in Los Gatos, California. His father, Jack, was a Scots atheist, mother Annie a Christian Scientist. They argued violently. The family moved to Vancouver.

Tom Nolan:

“His father was a harbor-boat pilot there, and Millar recalled the ‘unforgettable’ occasion when his dad took him to sea: ‘I stood beside him in the offshore light, with his hands and my hand on the wheel.’ At the age of sixty-three, he judged this ‘the happiest day of my childhood if not my life.’”

“The boy later remembered a less happy incident: when he looked through a hotel balcony grating and saw a body spread-eagled in the alley below. The man wasn’t dead, only dead drunk; but the frightening image stayed in his mind. For the four-year-old, his parents’ separation was as sudden and awful as the sight of that body. Like a child in a fairy tale, he blamed himself. His father’s absence marked him forever. The world, it seemed, was a place that took full payment for an hour of perfect bliss.”

Green Fantasy

by Zbigniew


It’s a dark shade of green -the colour of parks and an urban forest, of mountains against the sunset of a cloudless night. It figures large in the imagination: the city on the edge of the wilderness; the city as wilderness.

It represents a tremendous stock of natural and symbolic capital, insinuating itself into everything from flags to the bureaucratese of Urban Forest Strategies and Greenest City Action Plans.

It’s potent. Proximity to green space, or just a glimpse of water or peak, goes a long, long way in justifying indentured life in a concrete sarcophagus.

But it’s fragile, too. To get at it, to package and merchandise that quotient of nature, it must be destroyed. And so, trees are falling, views are disappearing, and the wilderness is in full retreat.

The hard sell is getting harder. Irresistible forces, meet the immovable reality of finite resources. The impact is creating shock waves, distorting perceptions of local space, generating images of some other place, some other reality liberated from contradiction. The glimpses of green fantasy: generous parks and open skies; towers rising above a forested plain; thoroughfares cum orchards; and green spaces immune to influence.

False Park