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Opportunity, is that you?

5 December, 2010

Some things can’t last forever; this torporous stretch of life, thankfully, might be one of them. There’s a very good chance I’ll be away with Royal Caribbean, doing technical theatre work on their ships, in fairly short order. Viva change! It’s about time!

So now, it’s stand by to stand by, and crossing my fingers!



19 November, 2010

For the first time in years, hammered out a poem. Might toss it up here when it’s done.

Whether or not it ever gets finished, though, it was a challenge I found I’ve missed; both the creative expression of a thought, merely for the sake of that expression, and the mechanics; the very elegant mechanics; of placing that thought in some sort of structure. Been writing far too much in the way of purely functional material lately: planning and operational documents, memos, and the like: there’s something wonderfully liberating about being able to simply play with words.

I think I’ll do more of this.

Hello world!

1 September, 2010

And… moved the blog.


24 August, 2010

Been away for a while; had a great summer, doing various interesting and challenging things with variously interesting or challenging people. Twelve hour days, and those were the good ones; working in nasty and damp, or cutting and dry, heat. Collecting minor injuries as a matter of course.  Teaching people thoroughly disinterested in the subject. Doing all this out of an ancient tent. And loving every damn minute of it.

Strange how you can step outside of the world, almost, for two months, and barely notice the time pass…  when I left Comox, to come home, it felt like I’d just arrived: like I still had weeks and weeks left.

Well, back to the world: nothing’s really changed. BP finally blocked their oil well, Harper is still around, Afghanistan is still a wretched hole, and I still need to figure out this whole work thing (by the way… anyone has work for a theatre technician, handyman, or really anything legitimate that pays money, let me know!).

Got a good friend coming from coast to coast to visit; haven’t seen her for seven years.  Will be interesting!

And that’s about that. Life will go on, and I still live.


29 March, 2010


Theatre tech. Bands. Mixing monitors. Tidemark Theatre in Cambpell River. Local bands, doing a benefit thing for Haiti, in support of some warm-and-fuzzy child-sponsoring organization. 5’8″ MC wearing a Canary! Yellow! Dress!

The musician is, perhaps, the oddest of the performing arts types… Sure, you have to play all sorts of lousy gigs, spend your food money on guitar strings, and live out of The Van; on the other hand, you can get away with just about anything. Green room littered with empties? Even at intermission? Not a problem! Girlfriend(s) wandering in at will? Go for it! Drug habit? As long as the music’s good, not a worry! Smell funny; have crummy personal grooming; dress like a hobo (or clown, or out of the Salvation Army reject bin)? All about personal style and focusing mental attention on creative output.

Or something.

Musicians are (and perhaps I should clarify; when I say “musician,” I mean the sort of person for whom the collective noun is “band,” as in “the band is late for sound check,” not classical or jazz types) a flaming pain to work with; most have no real job, or a succession of part-time ones; time management isn’t something they’re good at (a whole category of tour staff exists simply to ensure that the headliners are at least present and conscious on time); they bring with them, as  a medieval peasant brings lice and body odour, groupies and significant others; they are the equal of any actor for personal delicacy and back-stage fussiness; and they smoke, snort, drink, and inject mind-alterants the way other people breath. Oh, and they have an almost cultish faith in the ability of technicians to, magically, conjure up equipment, and, during songs, exercise force-field-like control over what, exactly, they will hear in their monitor mixes.

But, get a good one up on deck, and all the drama, weird “friends,” and everything else suddenly doesn’t matter. Four acts; two bands, and two solo guitar-strummers. All of them, in their own way, very good: some still learning the whole “performing” thing; but all worth listening to. Sadly, they gave out no programs, or anything else to let the pitifully small (come on, this is Campbell River – there’ s nothing else to do!) audience know who they were. Twas a good night, regardless!

Missing the Point

8 March, 2010

Turkey and the Army
You sometimes wonder what happens to editor’s minds; are they melted from years of exposure to cheap coffee and newsprint? Here, you’ve got the editors of the NYT arguing for a decrease in the Turkish army’s role in national governance. In doing so, they hit all those concepts Westerners tend to support: democratic representation, civil rule, and so on: this new century’s answers to “motherhood and apple pie.”

The point missed is that, without the Army occasionally stepping in, Turkey would be another Iran , except on Europe’s border. The current system works for the Western world, if we were only practical enough to support it, by keeping Turkey secular.

If the only price “we” have to pay for the security of knowing that the Turks are friendly is occasionally seeing some politician turfed from office, it is far more bearable than Ankara in the hands of radical Islam.

Engaging the Other Half

7 March, 2010

Letting Women Reach Women in Afghan War

In brief: USMC is creating all-women “female engagement teams” for service in Afghanistan as a sort of interface with local women.

Sounds like a good idea: shame the Yanks, to get women into the field and talking to their local counterparts, have to create special units. Wonder if any Canadian experiences played into this “innovation?”