Jennings & Son memoir a wild ride – Review for Free Press

Jennings & Son memoir a wild ride – Review for Free Press
Thanks to my kind editor at the Free Press Books section, I got to review Terry Jennings’ memoir of his time on the road with his dad, Ol’ Waylon.  The two shared the highs and lows of a big-time, hard-working and harder-partying touring outfit for more than a decade, and Terry somehow lived to tell about it. Read the review here.
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New George Jones bio – Review for Free Press

New George Jones bio – Review for Free Press
A couple months back, I got my mitts on a new biography of George Jones by Rich Kienzle.  As pretty much every fan of country music knows, George Jones was just about the best male country vocalist there ever was. And he lived a life that is pretty well bat-shit bananas. Kienzle’s bio is a great introduction if you’ve never read much about The Possum, and a good, temperate appraisal of his life and work if you’re only familiar with the wilder stories, or just the songs. Read my review in the Winnipeg Free Press here, if you’re so...
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Momentum rolling for small scale agriculture

Momentum rolling for small scale agriculture
Sector given space to grow in Manitoba by Sheldon Birnie With demand for local, direct marketed products growing, over the past few years small scale agriculture producers in Manitoba have been involved in a two-steps-forward, one-step-back dance with officials in the department of agriculture. Recognizing the call from producers that clarity was needed for the sector to move forward, Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba’s minister of agriculture, called together a round table. Made up of small-scale farmers, chefs, and members of farmers’ market associations alongside industry and government reps, the round...
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Hell’s Bells – via Mandalit

Hell’s Bells – via Mandalit
Last summer, I submitted a little snippet of a novel I’ve been working on to an online project called Mandalit. The idea was to feature flash fiction online for a 24 hour period, then have it vanish into the ether. This here’s an early scene in the novel, which I’ve taken to calling Can’t Win Em All, where our protagonist, Chappy, and his running buddy Ray get into some hot water. What they have to do to get out the jam forms the basis for a story about life choices, small towns, and the best game you can name. If any other sections find their way into print in the form...
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Parental leave

Parental leave
On November 15, 2015, my wife & I welcomed young Jack Emery Birnie into the world. From the get-go, we knew we had a character on our hands.  After a week off to get settled, I was back at the Canstar office Monday to Friday. My wife stayed home with the boy, off work but without maternity pay, as she’s been working contracts for the past few years and not paying into EI. However, considering Registered Dietitians make a good chunk of change more than community journalists, she needed to get back on the job for us to stay a float for longer than a few months. Luckily, Canada’s a...
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Going Scott Young for the Herald

Going Scott Young for the Herald
One thing I’ve really enjoyed during my time at The Herald has been the opportunity to cover high school hockey. Sure, it’s not the NHL, but it is a vital part of writing about the communities in The Herald’s catchment area. And, it gives me the opportunity to make like Red, the budding sports reporter in Scott Young’s classic Scrubs on Skates. It’s also given me a chance to cover the women’s side of the game, which is growing by leaps and bounds, and, in many ways, is more interesting. Here’s the links to my reporting on the WHSHL & WWHSHL 2015-2016...
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