Monthly Archives: December 2010

Oops, I Did It Again: What Is The Proper Place of Public Criticism in the Arts? (via Movement)

There is a great discussion going over at Sterling Lynch’s blog about criticism in the Arts. Definitely worth a read. Check it out.

In the back of my mind, I've had the itch for a post about the role of public criticism in the performing arts for a little while now, but I haven't quite been able to find the hook with which to scratch it. [NB: I recorded a video version of this post, if you prefer to watch and listen. Check it out at the bottom of the post.] Then, I thought, "Wait a minute, you've written on this topic already. Go reread the post and maybe that will be the cat … Read More

via Movement

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Work in Progress (Wayne’s California Song)

If this were a short story it would be a first draft. I wrote it a few years ago, but when Jay asked about it during our last jam session I forgot how it went. That’s pretty typical for me. Fortunately, I now have Garage Band and Youtube to help me remember my work.

As it stands, this one is a very simple song, but I think everyone in Ottawa (or any other place where it’s cold in the winter) will be able to relate to it. That’s Jason Lutes on guitar (on the left) and me on the right. This version is still a little rough, but I thought it would be fun to post it anyway. Warning: we kind of missed the last note on this one. Feedback is always welcome. The song still needs a few tweaks and I promise to post the finished piece here when it is done. Here is your chance to chime in and influence the crafting of a new tune. Any suggestions? Comments on the creative process are also welcome. Is it wise to share unfinished work? How do you feel?

Tree Men

It’s been slow on the government contract front so when my friend Rob asked me if I would help him out with some tree work I eagerly accepted.

Most of my employment has been sitting at a desk in recent years.  I wasn’t sure how I would fare with intense manual labour. I was pleasantly surprised.

It was nice to work outside and we were fortunate that for most of the days we worked it was actually above 0 degrees celsius. This is pretty much ideal for tree work. You can gain the protection of heavy clothing but don’t have to worry about getting too hot.

The work itself is actually a lot more diverse than I realized. Rob handled everything that involved skill (climbing trees and chain sawing, directing us on the ground). My job was to use ropes to pass equipment up to him, refuel the saws as they emptied, lowering limbs and chunks of the tree safely, and removing the debris. All these diverse tasks and making sure we were being safe kept my brain actively engaged.

Local writer and blogger Sterling Lynch was also recruited to help with 2 particularly large and difficult trees (one a spruce and the other a walnut).

Tree Man Sterling Lynch clearing some heavy debris (photo by Wayne Current)

I was also surprised to discover just how entertaining tree clearing is for the residents. The home owners were eager to talk to Rob to be part of the experience. They watched with interest from their windows complimenting Rob afterwards for his nimbleness in the tree limbs. Neighbors would also stop and watch as they went about their daily business.  There is obviously something compelling, on a primal level, about men taking down a tree. One person even stopped his bike for a good 20 minutes to check out the excitement.

Tree Boss Rob in a Walnut tree (photo by Wayne Current)

 

In the photo above, you can get a sense for why people find this work fun to watch. There you can see Rob surveying the scene from his perch in the walnut. All these limbs would eventually come down via ropes followed  by parts of the trunk.

I enjoyed my time as a Tree man. It’s getting close to the end of the season but I wouldn’t hesitate to work for Rob again. He is patient, skilled, and most importantly safe.

Here’s his card. If you have any tree work you need done give him a call or check out his Web site here.

Kijiji: Wright Tree Service