Showing posts from March, 2019

Perry Mah, Perry Mah

Let the record show that I once shared a bed with Perry Mah.

It was April 1992. I was a young reporter with The Edmonton Sun. Perry and I were assigned to cover the flood in Peace River. The Sun was not a lavish outfit. The newspaper paid you in experience. Part of that experience was a tiny hotel room between us and nothing between us as far as sleeping infrastructure went. Good night, Kub, he said from the left side. Good night, Perry Mah, Perry Mah, I said from the right.

That trip was important to me. I learned how to talk my way into a flooded mall. I learned how to anticipate the next angle, to see where the story was going—and then how to make it go that way. The water everywhere today was so obvious, but tomorrow people will start asking if there is disease in the everywhere water. Ask that question today. I learned how photographers work themselves into position to see the world that people will see in time. I learned how to sleep still.

Perry took one picture of me. This is…

+12°C on the Oliverbahn

Pedalling the Oliverbahn* on a day the temperature reached +12°C in Edmonton (two weeks after the temperature anchored down at -25°C  in Edmonton) means you can expect to encounter some different clothing decisions.
Do you cover your ears? This guy did. Vintage ear muffs, to boot.

Jackets zipped up or down? This pair were open to the double-digit day.

Vest or sleeves down the arms? This guy didn't chew long over the question.

While this buddy bet long on sleeves.

In the skins-and-shirts partition, this person chose both. 

There were a team of Mr. Ts out there today.

*The Oliverbahn is a 13-block stretch of protected bicycle lane west of downtown Edmonton from which the pedaller can observe the human beings of Oliver.

Some notes on Sibelius last night

I woke up with sore chest muscles. I have no chest muscles, so this was a different feeling. It was the kind of discomfort that made me go back and conduct a mental inventory of anything done different the day before to have pulled things out of shape. I did go for a good bike ride in the snow yesterday. Nothing out of the ordinary there. At one point I did get off my bike and lie on the ground  to compose a low-angle pic of three miniature cycling figurines in Faraone Park. Kinda different, a bit chilly, but, really, nothing to have stretched my chest. I again didn't do any pushups on a day when I again didn't get to the gym. Nothing strange there either. So, what happened?

I remembered. Sibelius happened.

My chest this morning still registered the effect last night of my jumping out of seat C-138 in the upper level of the Winspear Centre, walking to the balcony rail and clapping, hands over head, and clapping harder, hands higher over head, while, below, Alex Prior and the …


I stop for cranes.

In my defence, so does Knausgaard:

There were few things I found more beautiful than cranes, the skeletal nature of their construction, the steel wires running along the top and bottom of the protruding arm, the enormous hook, the way heavy objects dangled when being slowly transported through the air, the sky that formed a backdrop to this mechanical provisorium.
And, with apologies, so did Sibelius in the Kuolema andante.

Cranes with cement payloads stop me on the Oliverbahn.

They stop me because skyships are worth stopping for.

On Monday, the crane atop the Stantec Tower starts to come down. Necks will crane up.

While contemplating things above, these words, to the tune of The Lord's Prayer, came to mind. Sure, it creaks. It is a tribute to those who build.

Tower farther
That art in heaven
Yellow'd be thy crane
Thou hauled up tonnes
Now will be undone
And brought to earth sometime around March 11th.
Gift us that day a view of YEG
That puts the proper emp…