I spent about 1½ hours yesterday meeting with David Skelton, Artistic Director at Nakai Theatre, for some dramaturgy work on the draft of my new play. This is a free service provided by the company, which is largely concerned with local theatre development and one which I heartily endorse… and exploit.
The whole idea behind the 24 hour challenge, although actually called the playwriting challenge, is really to come up with a draft. Mine was started earlier, but still is really in its very early stages (despite the fact that I’m on the fourth title for it). I was a little stuck on a few parts. There were things that really needed strengthening and clarifying.
That being said, I came away with more questions than I had earlier. That, however, is a good thing, since these are ones that, when answered, will help bring this beast to its knees.
All in all, I don’t often walk away thinking, “That was a great meeting…”
I entered the Nakai 24 Hour Playwriting Challenge (it used to be Festival but that seems to have changed) again this year. I wanted to work on a play I had started in January, planning to enter the category for play already in development.
That part is called the Nakai Next 24 Hour Challenge. I thought, with a prize for best new play, shouldn’t there be one called Best Used Play? This suggestion has been frowned upon by the hosting organization, by the way.
After the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, I wanted to look at the question of school shootings and why someone would actually do it? What would make a person take one or more firearms to school and use them?
After a little preliminary research, I found that this a far more frequent occurrence than most of us believe, and in most cases, does not reflect the ones we see displayed on the national news organizations as a whole. In fact, my underlying question has changed now to, “Why doesn’t this happen more often.”
The short version is I won (second time in three years, he gloated). Now, it’s time to shift gears and look at putting the play in the upcoming Homegrown Theatre Festival in May. Right now, I looking at doing a reading of the full play. This, however, means I will be looking for 10 readers (it has a rather large cast). A call for readers will go out later…
As we stand for two minutes of silence, we remember those who are not able to communicate with us directly because they did not return from their term of service.
But, even though we are no longer able to hear their voices, the dead do speak. They speak when you cast a ballot in an election. Their words resound when you wear a crucifix, or a yarmulke, or a kirpan, or a hijab. They are heard in every letter to the editor, or when 3,000 march to protest the hypocritical closing of the Veteran’s Affairs office in Sydney. They echo when you join a union, a political party, a club or group of any type.
Do the dead speak? They speak every day. Our job is to listen.
I do have two pet peeves with camping in Yukon campgrounds: firewood and quiet hours.
In Yukon government campgrounds, firewood is provided. This is a huge bone of contention with the territorial government environment department. Providing firewood is expensive, and usage has increased dramatically over the last few years. There is a departmental budget for firewood, and when this is used up, that’s all there is. For example, for Fox Lake, Twin Lakes and Labarge, the total quota is 90 cords of wood.
We were camping in Fox Lake two weeks ago, and apparently, the week before, there was no wood. The weekend we were there, they restocked the firewood. However, when I went to the box, I got quite a surprise. There were bits of cut up plywood, sawmill ends, some chopped up 2x6s, and even the seat of a hardwood chair that had been chopped up. My guess is that the quota has been used up and, if you’re headed there, you may want to bring your own.
What causes this, since that’s a lot of wood. When we used to heat the trailer with wood, I’d go through about 2½ cords a year. In short, there’s enough to heat almost 40 poorly insulated houses for a year.
I don’t use much firewood, since it normally only takes about 3 or 4 pieces to have a fire through the evening. However, I’ve seen people with fires with flames 4 feet high, and I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish beyond wasting wood. Whenever I see one of these huge conflagrations, I want to walk over and pee in their campfire (you’d have to drink a lot to have any effect other than a symbolic one but I think people might take a hint).
The other issue is quiet hours. Yukon government campgrounds have quiet hours between 11 PM and 7 AM. During this time, you’re not supposed to make excessive noise, run generators, play loud music, etc. It doesn’t happen often, but enough times to be annoying. There are campground officers, who enforce these rules among other things, but they can’t be in all campgrounds at all times.
My problem is that there shouldn’t be a need to have an officer in every campground at every time for the sake of keeping quiet hours. Surely, people should have enough sense to not run their generator after 11 PM (why would you be running it at that hour, anyway?) or to be blaring music late at night in a campground. If you want all the comforts of home, why are you out in the woods?
Well, there’s my rant du jour. I suppose it’s my two cents worth, although with the demise of the penny, I guess it’s rounded down…
Last night, we had quite the storm come up. It was promised in the forecast, although after little threats all day with nothing to show for it, it was a bit of a surprise.
For about an hour, there was thunder, lots of lightning, high winds and heavy rain. In fact, 1.8 mm fell during the storm. Considering it lasted less than an hour, that was a pretty huge amount of rain. Neither Clara nor I can remember it raining that heavily here.
We did figure out something was coming shortly before it started. I was working in the yard and saw how quickly the sky had changed.
I must admit, this was probably all my fault. When it started, I had the sprinkler going, since I had held off all day due to the forecasted rain that had never arrived. And, of course, I finished staining the deck about 30 minutes before…
I have very few issues with the new motorhome, although there were a couple. My biggest one involves storage space as it relates to toast.
I know you are wondering how these link. However, the smoke detector in the new motorhome is a wee bit sensitive. The camping toaster you throw on one of the burners of the stove generates enough smoke to set it off. There’s nothing quite like trying to make breakfast to the tune of beep-beep-beep.
This would be easily remedied if I simply used a standard electric toaster. This being said, a small generator is only really good for 1000 watts, and a toaster tends to eat more than that when you fire it up and about 1000 watts after it starts to heat. I’ll throw into the mix the fact that I bought a 1250 watt peak Hyundai generator several years ago. However, the second time we used it, it starting throwing enough blue smoke to keep away every mosquito in two square miles and, of course, the warranty had expired by that point.
Last year, towards the end of the season, I went shopping for another one. Here’s where the fun kicks in. I could have bought a 1000 watt with 1300 watt peak generator at Canadian Tire for $300, and another $50 for wheels and a handle to make it easy to move around. It’s not a big issue since it’s only 60 pounds. However, on sale, I could buy a 3000 watt sustained load/4000 watt peak generator, with wheels and a handle for $300. This puppy will run a microwave oven, and other things like my sliding compound mitre saw or my table saw and my compressor. I bought it, of course.
It weighs a little over 110 pounds and is considerably larger than the smaller one. Here’s the problem. There’s no storage area in the motorhome that is big enough to take it with us. I thought of a storage rack that goes into the carrier on the trailer hitch. This is a problem if you want to bring the boat camping.
In a fit of brilliance, the following question came to mind last week. Who says the trailer hitch has to be on the back of the truck? I bought a storage rack with a 500 pound capacity and a front trailer hitch for the camper. I installed these yesterday, and now have a way to bring the generator with us.
The trailer hitch was easy enough to install. There would have to have been a few hole modifications more than necessary if you follow the instructions. The holes aren’t big enough to work the bolts and plates into the frame to get to the inside. I did, as it was, have to expand the two front mounting holes, as the ones there already were ⅜” but the bolts are Class 10 ½”. The easy way is to remember that four bolts hold the front bumper on the truck, and taking it off took almost 5 minutes and allow you access to the inside of the frame. Easy-peazy!
Now, I just need to get another toaster…
I went to Fox Lake yesterday in hopes to get a bit of fishing in on the weekend. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there was some function going on at the picnic shelter at the campground.
There were more than 40 cars parked in the shelter area and around the boat launch. More than a dozen were actually parked in the approach to the launch itself.
Launching the boat would be difficult, although not impossible. However, there would have been no place to park the truck and trailer after getting the boat into the water.
I haven’t got the faintest idea what was going on. However, I must admit it’s a bit selfish to block off something supposed to be for a specific purpose for some other reason.
Oh, well. I suppose it was also a nice day for a drive…