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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

staying up late on this longest night of the year ...

permalink Saturday, 21JUN2008:

geez, how the time flies when you're getting ready to make a move. in the 6 weeks since i've last posted, i've done a trip down to saskatchewan to visit my parents on the way to a conference, returned to hand in my resignation letter (just on the right side of the government employee contract ratification), strung up lights for my final part-time players production and gotten roped into overseeing the lighting for this year's alianait! music festival. it's 5 a.m. and i'm almost on the *other* side of exhaustion.

i was a bit shocked during my drive to the parental hacienda to see so many farmers' fields swapped away from birthing agricultural crops and becoming oil battery hatcheries. i understand that the black gold is a much more lucrative harvest than granary gold, but the scenery that i remember from my boyhood days has been much impaired. luckily, there are still a few picturesque farms in rural NW saskatchewan, as seen in the picture below.

farmhouse east of turtleford

i pretty much coasted thru the conference as i had already made the decision to resign, so i was more making contacts for future moves, rather than boning up on the current hubaloos. this lackadaisical attitude allowed me time to take a few guilt-free breaks away from some conference sessions to get my first optometrist checkup in years, as well as to wander down to the broadway cinema to catch the film 'up the yangtze', about the impacts of the flooding for the three gorges dam on a couple of young chinese tourist boat workers.

on the way back to downtown saskatoon, i snapped this pretty pic:

south saskatchewan river from broadway bridge in saskatoon

heading back north thru edmonton, i had my clock cleaned at the poker room of the baccarat casino. still, i managed to play with the big boys for at least a couple of hours before running down to the felt. i earned the minimum $200 buy-in to the big boy table by scarfing up a final pot at the 3/6 limit table which i bought into for $100. at one point, the shortest stack at the main game was around $750, and it wasn't me ;) sadly, the biggest stack at the table was around $7500, so it was only a matter of time until i ran into the inevitable skilled trap play. next time i'll have to avoid playing after driving 5 hours in the sun across the open prairies.

returned to iqaluit, i managed to surve the curse of the scottish play with only a minor finger cut (out out damn spot !), acquired when i got too eager with a box cutter while ripping off the duct tape overhead during strike. however, to make up for that good fortune, tonight i heralded the opening concer for this year's alianait! arts festival by blowing a parcan bulb and then stumbling over the side of the stage, only to be rewarded with shrieks of hilarity from the kids seated in front of the front row (i'll assume that they thought i was one of the circus clowns, and weren't just laughing out of spite). in any case, i survived with only a few scratches below the knee, and a stern reminder to myself to carry a torch in the dark ...

this year, the festival had the foresight to bring in a professional designer for this year's show. here's a snap of the final setup as designed by chris humphrey, featuring the alianait! gobo overhead of the magnificent eskimo goggle backdrop created by claude roussel, which he had to quickly repair the day before opening after a break-in breakage:

big top tent lighting for 2008 opening of alianait! festival

my favourite act of the evening was the opener 'namgar' from mongolia / southern siberia. remembering what happened at last year's festival with the greenland hiphop band, which only brought a dozen cd's with them, i rushed over to the merch table and snagged my copy of their cd before the rush. the fact that half of namgar's available cd's were sold before their set even finished was a testament to their ability to get the crowd excited and bode well for the rest of the evening.

near the end, the klezmer band 'kleztory' took the stage to rock the house before the circus preview. i'm including this pic of them to show off the spotlight (shining down on the clarinet player at center stage), which i had the fun of hanging along with most of the other lights on the on-stage truss:

klesmer band at alianait! 2008

alright, the fog is starting to brighten up again outside, so i better get a bit of shuteye before my 11 a.m. call time back at the festival. if you're in town, and you're interested in finding out what those long drape thingies in the photo above will be used for, come check out the fibonacci circus tomorrow in front of the nakasuk school ! to close, i'll single out a couple of items that caught my eye over the last few weeks:

1. a man who can fly !

2. karl rove should have to go to jail for this.

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