Saturday, December 20, 2008

weather and astronomy

I spent 2.5 hours today moving snow by hand. The wind chill was -42C or something like that. The snow was still coming down, but not very heavily. I have been having regular reports from the the west coast of BC that they are experiencing an unusually close contact with winter.

I've read two reports recently about astronomical goofy bits and can't help wondering if I'll be able to connect any of the dots to link their influence with something I might observe in the environment.

NASA: Ionosphere not where it should be
Here is the one I read today. It sure got me thinking.

Biggest Breach Of Earth's Solar Storm Shield Discovered
Here's the other one I was curious about.

tracking the sun

Analemma Over the Porch of Maidens. My executive functions aren't exactly up to par so this kind of thing entertains me endlessly.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

-22C and balmy

It was a beautiful fall here and we love to talk and think about weather so here I am doing so with others that might not be as enthused.

In the winter of 1994/95 the ground was frozen solid on the October 15. I think this was the year we saw -50C which was new to me. Cars don't work so well then and make noises I can't even describe.

This year we were still in the arms of fall at the end of November and then, like a steel door slamming shut, the cold slid down from the north and reminded us all how it should on the prairie in winter.

For the better part of two weeks we've had night time lows dipping down into the low -30C range and if we were lucky the day time highs would climb to -27C and the wind chill factor often took those temperatures down to -45C.

Yesterday the wind was down to almost nothing and the temperature was up to -21C.

One of the greatest pleasures in life, for me at least, is when I've adapted to the cold and a -21C day can feel balmy and mild. By three o'clock yesterday afternoon I couldn't stay working for the call of the sunshine outside and took an hour to go for a run.

Now I'm thinking we should have a winter camp. It would be nice to have somewhere out of the wind to light a fire and maybe even sleep over in the dead of winter. A friend has a camp in the Canadian shield three hours east of Winnipeg back off the beaten track overlooking a remote lake. It takes him forty five minutes to walk in after a long drive. He's got a canvas tent with an asbestos ring for a chimney from a tin stove to exhaust with three logs stacked cabin style to secure a good seal on the tent.

It's all brilliant, but I'd prefer to ski or snowshoe in and avoid the driving all together. There is a perfect place over looking the river here, but how to find the time when one is already so ineffective with those management skills!

One step at a time... dreaming on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

hollaback clip on current tv I'm still thrilled by this. I think PU is going to take this into school. I married so well!

Monday, December 15, 2008 Holla Back

I hope this hits the mainstream where women can begin the uphill battle to take back some of what's been lost to leering men.

I caught a short documentary piece on tonight on the current tv channel.

I think it's a brilliant idea, but what do I know. I'm a guy.

I see Toronto has it's own affiliate site and there is also a Canadian site for the rest of us, but I didn't see a single image posted to the Canadian site. What a shame!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Medea - heart on sleeve

Letter to a friend about the current MTC main stage production of Medea.

Brilliant seats P. Thanks for offering up the invitation. When Pierrette and I were first together we had a few seasons of PTE before it's move to it's current locale.

I was weaned on small theatre in Vancouver and maybe that's why I never followed PTE to the new and improved venue. In younger years I felt no hesitation in writing directly to the staff of productions to engage directly. Such an ego! I find myself a bit shy speaking openly here. Please understand I know nothing and will stand for correction, modification and a willingness to roll over, put my tail between my legs, avert my vision and learn humility at the hand of the wise at any point.

In smaller and less wealthy companies the willingness to risk, brings with it seemingly more variation in the successes and failures from a given troupe. If the artistic director is on her game one can enjoy a lot of high points that may not be available where risk management may be more conservative. Reading over the short biographical notes on the key players in this production, I was struck by the vast experience, education and obvious commitment to their craft. I'm a generalist and thus an expert at precious little. I was though, a bit thrilled to think that I was about to witness such a rich field of players in Medea. I must still be growing up.

Since moving to the hinterland and embracing what mother nature brings to the stage in her taste of beauty and tragedy, I've not hungered for live theatre like I did before we moved out of the city. Over the last few years, I've begun to want more contact with live music, independent film and the company of others that have a passion for things other than drinking, all terrain vehicles, fornication and snow machines.

I was surprised when the lights came up for the break. I had been lost in the performance and I sat through intermission thinking and trying to absorb what I'd seen.

I have a natural and undeniable bias toward women in many things, but I loved Nigel Bennett as Creon. He fills a room that boy. There was a heightened sharpness to his portrayal of Creon that I felt lacking in some of the others. He was never so comfortable as to seem relaxed in his characters duties. Nigel struck me as the consummate professional.

Lindsay Buchanan-Clarke lived in my mind as an old crone. I was taken aback to see her youthful image in the "artists" list. I bit into her acting, hook, line and sinker.

I liked Kyra Harper's voice. The timbre and pitch were such that it was effortless to catch some of the more subtle nuance in her presentation. This idea lead me to wonder about the hall itself, or my aging ears, in how sound plays with the set and whether or not the voices of the players are assisted electronically. Whatever the case, I don't think I care for that particular room. The voices seemed clipped in their range and oddly, but closely echoed. By the end of the evening the sound was an irritation.

Claire Jullien was a distraction and I don't even like blondes. Enough said.

Although the tickets landed us in good seats, I could not have been too close to Seana's efforts. Like Bennett, she was so obviously above and beyond the audience in her commitment to this play. I would pay to see her again from the middle of the lower, centre of the theatre. She's a very big presence in a small package.

Not being a theatre person, I have little appreciation of Miles influence over this work. The task must be a bit daunting given that the work has been around for big chunk of 2500 years. I'd like to read Jeffers script now while this play is fresh in my head and heart. I wish I knew more about the captain's duties.

It seems a rare treat that such a woeful tale be spun for us on the main stage. I can see why, when the audience appreciation was revealed in light applause and an immediate departure as if we all collectively had to support a nicotine habit directly after the final bows. I couldn't help but think the actors and staff would feel that mass distaste for things unpleasant through the lack of crowd enthusiasm. For me it contains the risk factor I so love in the best of fine arts.

Thanks again sharing the wealth.

Sometime I'd love to hear your input on the acoustics of that theatre in as much detail as you care to go into. Over a beer and some tasty bits would be best for me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quote of the day and unremarkable news

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Dr. Seuss

I've been filling myself full of tattoo ideas. I can't grow up so quit asking.

Finally got my guitar tuned in after ten years of use. Daryl and I shared Dim Sum and some catch up style conversation. Hopefully we'll get together soon and do some winter camping in the northern shield east northeast of home about three hours. Daryl hasn't had a camp set up for ten years or so, but he's turning over a new leaf I guess.

He sure made a difference with my guitar. He called the problem "the ten year creep". The neck and bridge pull toward each other and move from the stress of being strung tightly together. I knew that it changed things like scale length and the height of the strings over the fret board, but I didn't appreciate how much those changes affected my experience. Intonation is not just a theory anymore.

He lowered the saddle, crowned the frets, checked the G string through the nut, adjusted the neck and made my day.

Tuning was a dream when I sat down to play last night. It played like an electric with the action now lowered by about a third. He crowned the frets too so no more troughs of wear to contend with.

Boo is working full time at Roseau Valley as an EA and being recruited for a full time teaching position there once she graduates. The principal there used to work as the division's behavioral specialist and was a key component in moving the mountain that is the administration at our girls school to better accommodate Snoot's predictable ADHD ways.

No time to write, but I miss it. I miss running too. I can't seem to settle back into a routine and on days like today the weather isn't helping ease me back toward that routine. I'm glad I'm not driving today. I hope Boo and PU get home without incident. Blowing snow is never fun.

Feed those dogs and chickens!