Thursday, August 31, 2006

ALL IN A DAY'S WORK - Part 1 of 3

I haven't really blogged about what I do for a living a whole lot - at least the mechanics of it. Today was the annual Tim Hortons Charity Golf Tournament in support of the Children's Camps that the Tim Horton Foundation runs. This one specifically is the Kananaskis camp 45 minutes west of Calgary and south on Highway 40.

I truly look forward to this contract every year. This is the example of why I love going to work - why I love waking up to my job. Firstly I love sound. Sound systemes, video systems - anything I can plug in and turn on, really. This contract differs from the bread and butter contracts in that it's not a "DJ" contract. It's a sound and video contract.

The day went something like this:

6:00 AM - The alarm goes off far too early for me since I had been up loading the van the night before until 11:00ish (an aspect of the job I'm not too thrilled about, but it comes with the territory)

6:30 AM - Showered, ready to go, grab the necessary last minute bits and pieces for the road.

7:00 AM - On the road to Kananaskis. Out Highway 1 (the Trans Canada) westbound. Traffic is light being a Thursday morning.

8:15 AM - Arrive at the Tim Hortons Ranch.

8:30 AM - The work begins... a picture's worth a thousand words, so here goes...
Van doors open, equipment ready to unload

The Mashall Hall - rather empty.

...Part 2 tomorrow because apparently Blogger won't let me post any more photos. Grrr... Do you know of a Blogger Law that states you can post only so many photos per day or per post?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

En Guarde!

Well, OK... it's fencing, but with boards, not swords!

I'll tell you the long story later, busy, busy, busy!!

Oh, and pottery class is going swimmingly! This is the first pot I ever made, and hopefully this week it'll have been fired so I can learn glazing!

More later on this same station.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Good news from the U.!

After considerable runnings around to get me "registered" in a course that required an overload, my dear prof. had this to say this morning by email:

----- Original Message -----
From: "English Advising Office"
To: me, obviously!
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:24 AM
Subject: You ARE registered in 240!

>I guess the subjet heading says it all,
> cheers,
> M.


You bet!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A University student at last!

Yesterday I got a University of Calgary email address. To some this may not mean a whole lot, but to me it's all about the feeling! It’s one of the signs that… I'm a University Student now! Woo hoo!!

I had registered with the U. back in June but was told I could not apply for my course until August 15. So... I waited. August 16th I went in. The course section I wanted was full. I had spoken with the prof. back in June and she indicated she would overload the class for me. The girl at the Registrar's office handed me a form to have her sign off and wouldn't you know it, my prof. was away for the day. The girl at the desk in the English department suggested I make an appointment - soonest available, Friday morning, 10:15.

The beauty of where I live is that I can walk or bike to the University in minutes. So, off on my bike I went - stopping by the food court at the Student Union building for two much-needed cups of tea. I figured it couldn't hurt to sport a beverage for the lady who so generously offered to overload her class for me!

She showed up with a cup of... tea!

I exclaimed, "Oh, you have a tea..."
She said, "Oh yes, but it's stone cold!"
I said, "Would you like this one? It's luke-warm!"
She graciously accepted and we sat in for our consultation.

I explained why I was there and pulled out the form.
She said "We won't use that - waste of time - I can't believe they have students running all over campus with forms and such... we'll just do it on the computer!"


She proceeded to tap into the computer several keystrokes.

"What the..." - these words made me curious.

"It says 'course not offered'"

"Strange.", I said.

"It's MY course and I'M offering it!"

As she continued to type away we chatted. We chatted mostly about the texts we'd be using, the location of the classroom, the overload conditions and various bits and pieces about student life.

"One thing I ought to warn you about is that this year it seems we have an abundence of students fresh out of high school."

I nodded.

"So you'll have to bear with me because I tend to spend a great deal of time reprogramming their minds to think logically rather than, as most young people do, emotionally."

I'm thinking to myself, 'But... I think emotionally all the time! Doesn't some of the best writing come from emotion?" Earlier in the discussion I had raised the fact that I was making my way through a book on logic and constructing fallacy-free arguments. She seemed keenly interested, to the point she asked me the name of the text. Perhaps she'd deduced that I was, simply by my age, a "logical" thinker.

After making a phone call to sort out the computer glitches, she dialled again.

"I'm just going to make a call on your behalf - you see, if you were to make this call you're a student - you'd be placed on hold. I'm staff, so I tend to get placed at the front of the line."

She was calling to inquire how I would go about getting a U. of C. email address!

"Really, it's in your best interest to have one. Have you been to my portal? With an online ID you can access my blackboard where I post to students in my class."

She told me where to go to sign up for an email address and to get an online ID. Now, before you get the idea that I’m excited about my prof. Simply because she made a phone call for me, that’s not it. Back in June she went to considerable effort to (a) make me comfortable in a world I’m VERY new in and (b) did a lot of information gathering that, to my way of thinking was MY responsibility. And she thought nothing of it. In fact, she had thanked me back in June for being her “test subject”.

I was curious.

She said “We don’t get many of you here.”

“Many of me?”

“Yes, males in their mid 30s don’t often apply to the English department!”

A few other phone calls were made on my behalf as well, and I must say – I’m impressed!

This is great! Back in high school I never thought a prof. would go to this much trouble for a student! I had this image of the prof. being much like those really old school teachers you see in the movies. One-room schoolhouse, big fat ruler in one hand and a whip in the other. Well, not really, but you know what I mean.

I came away, once again placing my prof. on a pedestal in my mind. What a wonderfully delightful lady. Kind, considerate, intelligent and genuine.

My only real pondering of nervousness is that I'm going to be sharing a classroom with many who are still in academic mode from June. Here I am, essentially almost 20 years out from a formal classroom setting, having never attended University.

The Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" comes to mind.


I've been reflecting on Jeremiah's
Poetry Word of the Week

The word is "Broken".

Now, although I fancy myself a bit of a writer, I certainly don't consider myself a poet. Heck, I'm not even a "potter"... yet!

The chosen word of the week tied in with a number of things in and around my life.

The following is more of a "list" than a poem, but I suppose "art" can take many, many forms - good and bad - so here it is, if only in point form:

It's 12:15 AM as I write this.

Broken is my sleep. It seems all too common these days and I'm sure it's affecting my performance, attitude and achievements... not to mention my personal life.

Recently I've taken on some new endeavours. Pottery is one in which the word "broken" is a tried and true experience! Many, many pots have been thrown - only to be thrown out.

On reflection, I've treated some people harshly and without thought for their feelings and position.

Killing time just doesn't happen - instead it seems to slip away.

Enough. I'm tired, it's time for bed.

Not a single project was "finished" this week.

As I bring this to a close I'm thinking of a better way to write it. Maybe I'll just finish it so it's done.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Baby steps

It was one month ago today that I asked for your opinions on
upgrades to my web site at Monarch Music.
It's no mystery... I didn't exactly leap to action on this one. Partly because I've been waiting for the "right time" - when I'd have "enough time" to do something worthwhile, or simply when the "mood" would hit. Also though, my sense of creativity has been dulled somewhat.

I was reflecting on the time when DJing was a hobby for me. It was a time when I would freely give all kinds of effort to the project. Had the internet been present when I was 16, I'd have likely done up a whiz-bang site.

Not only did I NOT switch programmes, employing yet again stupidly-clunky "Front Page", I also didn't do anything overly eye-catching.


It's simple.
It's understandable.
It's navigatable.

It's a start.

Over the next few days I'll be adding "content", so... stay tuned! And thanks for all your input! I'll be sure to cover all those bases as I go.

Oh... yah... just about forgot! THREE HOURS after posting the new site I received a call and booked a party.

The lady said, "You're the only one who says what it is you do!"

I was surprised, because isn't that what a web site DOES? None the less, I was happy to take her booking!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Renaissance man

My sister was teasing me the other day. The conversation went something like...

L. "How's it going?"

D. "Not bad... I'm extremely tired, work is busy. Oh, did I tell you I started a pottery class on Thursday?"

L. "Really? Wow!"

D. "Yah - it's really neat."

L. "Well, aren't you turning into quite the Renaissance Man!"

D. "Huh?"

L. "First an English course, now Pottery!"

Renaissance Man. That's funny!

I found her observation rather telling. She NOTICED a change in my behaviour. Was it really all that drastic? Have I been noticeably sitting around like a lump "DOING NOTHING", hence taking a couple courses makes it APPEAR I'm all of a sudden DOING - or DOING differently?

Lately I've felt this need to DO more and THINK less. As I write this I'm thinking... (yah, go figure!) maybe here is where I can do my "thinking" and in my "real-world" time I can be "doing".

All this said, I had a chat with R. the other day. She said "But THINKING is DOING! When you're THINKING, you're pondering the possibilities of action."

Maybe my next course will be Philosophy.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


So I have a new Thursday thing.

I started a pottery class.


A pottery class.

Now before you go off and get all weird on me, let me explain.

My grade 6 French teacher used to keep a potter's wheel in his classroom. He would invite anyone who wished to learn to his after-school sessions. I regret not having gone, but the opportunity presented itself and I thought... what the hell!

The deal is great. You buy blocks of four instructional sessions for $85.00CND. This includes supplies, four 3-hour instructionals, and as much studio time as we want up to 50 hours per week.

At first glance, working with clay appears easy. Those who do it well make it look simple. I expect it's more challenging for me because it's all about coordination and being... well... gentle and not wrecking what you've spent so long to create.

Some of it is a wonderful opportunity to work out one's frustration.

Whacking and smashing balls of wet clay is therapeutic.

Anyway, I came away from my first class having actually made a bowl! Next week we trim and fire this week's efforts.

Know what else? My instructor's name is Dave. Fine name. Great guy. What frustrates me though is that he has short stubby fingers where mine are long and thin - an asset in pottery I'm told - however he's MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better than I!

The neat thing about the environment is that everyone's at a different stage. You can join any time and work at your own pace.

I never really did that well at Art in school but maybe it's like many other things I've discovered... then was just not the time.

I'm thrilled.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I've always considered myself a communicator... a rather good one.

I recently hurt someone by NOT communicating clearly. As I have this window open, I can see in the right hand column of this very blog the words I cherish and aspire to live by:

"Don't worry 'bout the future - forget about the past gonna have a ball - ya we're gonna have a blast - gonna make it last!"

Maybe it would do me some good to reflect on these words and practice what I preach.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Reflecting on wise words

The journey of humanity
is the journey from
ignorance to enlightenment.

A rather simple, but very profound experience made me think of this statement from a couple posts back. It also caused me to realize in a very immediate way just how much time we - or more appropriately I - spend in "ignorance".

Two things struck me like lightning.

ONE - There's an aweful lot of "thinking" going on around here and not a whole hell of a lot of "doing".

TWO - Ignorance can strike as a result of want without thought.

So... thought is necessary, but stalling one's self in "thinking" mode is detrimental to forward motion.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

An "almost" visit from a blogger!

Expat was talking a couple posts back about a visit with fellow blogger, Christina. (a nice photo posted there of the two lovely ladies) I was just about to experience the same - a visit from a fellow, far away, blogger - only I received an email as follows:

Hi Dave,

Unfortunately our plans for staying in Calgary are not going as we first had planned. Apparently those who have white carpets, white walls, white nurotic dog and two income no kids does not mesh well with a four kid family. So we are leaving Calgary one day early. I'll tell you more about it when I get home. Sorry we'll have to miss getting together.



Chrystal, whom I introduced to you in February, was going to drop in for a visit with Chris. This would have been my first visit with Chris, and the first since their wedding in March.

Sad as the situation was, I did get a chuckle out of a comment in an email to follow...


I'm so very sorry we didn't get to visit, however as I have said to Expat, perhaps I'm due for a west-coast tour. Benefits to having me over? I'm kid-friendly, I don't bark, I'm not neurotic that I know of, I can cook and I come with my own house!

(reminds me of something I read the other day... "If a turtle loses his shell is he then homeless, or just naked?")

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.