Former newspaper columnist and editor Ric Dolphin has started a weblog about his current "sabbatical" as a carpenter's helper on a building site in the suburbs of Edmonton. Although his first foray as an adult into the world of semi-skilled labour comes at the end of a string of professional misadventures, it's hard for me to know how sorry to feel for Ric—I have a sneaking suspicion he'll earn about 75% more than I will this year.
His experience, which he is recounting with all the colour, vigour, and (above all) observational ability he used to bring to the editorial page, provides a window into the economics of Alberta's energy boom: if you know which end of a hammer to hit with, or you can learn in under an hour, there's a job for you here. He has decided to live inside this news story for a while instead of just telling it. Don't let them tell you the New Journalism is dead!