Thursday, December 23, 2010

Random Halifax Picture #13

When I first saw these stocks set up between the buildings of the Privateers Wharf Historic Properties, I just thought it made for a funny picture. For the last few months though, I had worked at a Subway restaurant, and it just dawned on me that a Subway restaurant would be the perfect place for one of these.

I can see it now: Anyone who asks for "extra extra onions" or "loads of pickles," or lets his/her son squish his nose and mouth up against the sneeze guard I had just cleaned, gets locked up in the stocks. Anyone who was made late by the person who ordered five subs during the supper rush gets two free throws of a rotting tomato or onion from the compost bin. The over all customer satisfaction rate from all those non-offenders who now get to have some pickles on their subs too would soar through the roof! Think about it Subway, and give me a call.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nova Scotia National Historic Site #13: Duc D'Anville Encampment

On September 18, 1710, 42 British vessels carrying 2000 troops set sail from Boston in an attempt to capture Port Royal - the French stronghold in what was then known as Acadia. Though the Acadians fought valiantly, they were eventually forced to surrender to the overwhelming British attack (the British honoured the formidable French defenders by allowing them to march out with colours flying, drums beating, and with all their bags and arms in hand).

The capture of Port Royal signalled the beginning of the end of French rule in Acadia - which was officially ceded to the British at the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. However, the French would not stop fighting to regain control of their former capital for the next 50 years, and that leads us to Duc D'Anville's Expedition.

After losing another battle in what would later come to be known as Cape Breton Island, Louis XV ordered Jean-Baptiste Louis Frederic de La Rochefoucauld de Roye, Duc D'Anville, to lead a massive fleet of 64 ships and 11 000 troops to Port Royal (by this time renamed Annapolis Royal by the British in honour of Queen Anne) in one great effort to regain control of New France.

Long story short, the Expedition was a complete disaster, with numerous ships being battered by severe storms - one ship was even struck by lightning - and large numbers of troops succumbing to typhus and scurvy. After nearly 3 months at sea, the shattered Expedition (now only two-thirds its original size - limped into what is now known as Halifax Harbour in 1746, where it encamped at Chebucto, just north of what would later become Halifax. It was here, six days later, that Duc D'Anville and a great number of his men would die from disease.

Now though, Chebucto is just a small plot of grass and trees (see picture at top of article) next to a restaurant on the Bedford Highway, with only this cairn and plaque to indicate that anything significant happened here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

HRM Monument #30: North Is Freedom

This 20-foot structure located in front of the Halifax North Memorial Library is one of the newest Public Art pieces to have been unveiled in Halifax, having been publicly dedicated in 2007.

The sculpture's artist, Doug Bamford says that the idea for the piece is that "we can achieve on the strength of our shared experience, and that 'knowledge is power.'" Engraved into the side of the monolith, along with images illustrating North End Halifax' history, using a method called surface water jet cutting, is the poem "North Is Freedom" by the award winning poet, playwright and essayist, not to mention native of North End Halifax, George E. Clarke.

(The figures climbing the structure were actually modelled after students from a local school using plaster casting.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

HRM Point of Interest #19: Freak Lunchbox

Freak Lunchbox, in downtown Halifax on Barrington Street, has won The Coast's Best Of Halifax Best Retail Sign award for the least two years, and one look at even this low quality photo of the store front (above) will tell you why. However, Freak Lunchbox is so much more than just a great exterior.

It is also covered on the inside with great original artwork by the owner, which makes the roof and walls of the store look like a Ripley's Believe It Or Not Cover. I wasn't allowed to take a picture of them though, so I thought this shelf full of candy and bobble head dolls would be a good substitute. Moreover, Freak Lunchbox makes its money by selling candy, toys, etc., which is the reason I went there in the first place.

I first discovered Freak Lunchbox while exploring the streets of downtown Halifax during my original cross-country voyage back in May. At that time (my inner Korean is coming out now), I was overjoyed to discover that my favourite candy, Lotsa Fizz, while absent from many convenience store racks across the country, was still on sale at FL. When I came back again during the Christmas Tree Lighting just last week I discovered a reinvention of a Canadian classic - The Pop Shoppe bottled beverages.

And that's the best part about Freak Lunchbox. There are just so many items to peruse that it's almost impossible to see everything the first time. Long story short, you'll have to go back again and again and again to find out what you missed the last time. Freak Lunchbox: great business model, or greatest business model ever?

(Who's that handsome guy?)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Halifax Christmas Tree Lighting: November 27, 2010

It was November 27th this last Saturday, and in Halifax, that meant lighting the official city Christmas tree. I didn't even know this event was happening, but my fortunate EP ways came to my rescue again, as EP Dan and I stumbled across it whilst partaking in some Christmas shopping downtown.

Many hundreds, if not thousands of people crammed into the Grand Parade to watch the spectacle. The Halifax honour boys choir started off the evening by singing some Christmas carols, and the Backyardigans - some apparently popular children's television characters I had no idea even existed - entertained the younger set in the crowd for nearly a half-hour after that.

(Tyrone, Pablo, and Uniqua, take three minutes to tell you that they are The Backyardigans via song and interpretive dance. Aren't you sad you missed it?)

After The Backyardigans' performance, Santa Clause came out on stage, along with some of the teenagers who helped design and paint over 50 of the giant tree ornaments.

Exactly one hour after it started (the most punctual event in history - it started at 6:00 PM as advertised), the festivities came to a close with the lighting of the HRM Christmas Tree - no War on Christmas here - and a small fireworks display. Fittingly, Nova Scotia Power, was one of the main sponsors of the Christmas Tree.

Friday, November 26, 2010

HRM Point of Interest #18: G7 Summit Photo

On this spot, near Sackville Landing on the Waterfront, the delegates of the 1995 G7 Summit in Halifax met to take a picture. The delegates gathered around, with their respective security forces standing guard on roof tops, and under the water, and hiding in clouds (or at least I imagine they were hiding in the clouds). The 12:00 noon scheduled photograph time drew near, and as the delegates prepared their awkward smiles a huge cannon blast startled everyone and sent the delegates running.

Security forces had their guns drawn, and everyone searched high and low, but alas no threat could be found as the cannon blast was merely the noon gun fired daily from the nearby Citadel fortress. Then Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, and the mayor of Halifax both knew about the gun, but had apparently forgotten to inform the other delegates. Oopsy-doopsy....

Note: to my left (right in the picture) you can see the memorial to John Cabot shining (?) in the summer sun (when this photo was taken).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Special Announcement: 2000th View

Big news everyone! EPTN hit another milestone, with its 2000th view today. I'd like to thank all my loyal readers for continuing to support my adventures in Nova Scotia.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Parade of Lights: November 20, 2010

The 15th Annual Holiday Parade of Lights took place today, and fittingly, the skies also opened up with the first snowfall of the season. Later in the day though, in typical Nova Scotia fashion, the snow turned into rain. Fortunately, we were still mercifully left with a great full moon.

By now a seasoned parade watcher, I headed down to my usual parade viewing location on Spring Garden Road. I had to brave a group of screaming, obnoxious kids, their "liberal" parents, and bitter old hags who criticized all the floats, including the lack of reindeer antlers on some of the dogs, at this particular spot though, because I just had to get shots of the floats in front of this beautiful backdrop (note my favourite tea store - David's Tea - on the right, with the neon blue sign). Don't ever say I'm not dedicated to my giving my dedicated readers the best posts possible.

This is the fourth parade in Halifax I've seen this year, and I'm starting to realize that most of the floats come from the same groups, every time. For example, there's this entry from the Halifax Harbour Bridges group (usually one of my favourite floats, because it always has live music and a dancing Mr. MACPASS).

Or these vintage fire engines, which I've seen at various events around Halifax at least five times now:

This time though, there were quite a few new, Christmas themed floats, and even all of the old floats had a new and exciting glow about them. All the shining Christmas lights probably helped.

(This two part, death-by-lobster/lighthouse float was easily my favourite. It apparently came all the way from Peggy's Cove too. That gives it bonus points.)

(Don't forget to thank your friendly neighbourhood postal workers at this time of year; without them you'd have no way of Priority Shipping all of those last minute gifts you forgot to buy/send ahead of time.)

(It was all about the big man on the sled though. Ho, ho, ho, Merry November 20th!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Life Of An Ea-Pea, Episode 6: Apartment Gardening

Some time ago I wrote a Life of an Ea-Pea post on attempting to eat locally. I'm pleased to announce that I still attempt to buy only "locally" produced foods whenever possible, even if I haven't yet started on my Farmers' Market diet plan yet. Knowing though, when I wrote the post, that it would take me a while before I could graduate to that point I decided to do the next best thing: grow my own tomatoes... inside my basement apartment.

Meet EP Tom (short for Tomat - it's a European name), my first ever tomato plant. In this picture, he's a little green, but that's because this picture was taken back in the beginning of summer, shortly after I bought him.

(This was a momentous occasion, as it was EP Tom's first ever ripened tomato. And yes, it was the most delicious tomato I've ever tasted. You can also see my EP research books I borrowed from the public library in the background.)

Since the above picture was taken, EP Tom has produced a remarkable 15 tomatoes, without ever setting leaf outside of my apartment. I keep him growing with plenty of water, crushed up egg shells, and some tomato food pellets (and love). At the time of writing this, he still has some green tomatoes on the vine, which I hope will ripen up before he withers up/hibernates/dies, or whatever it is that tomato plants do in the winter. Next summer I will look to double my operation.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Special Announcement: EP B-Day

It's my birthday today.

HRM Monument #29: Swami Vivekanada

I'm not sure if it counts as an official HRM Monument, but in the interest of multiculturalism I thought I should include this statue of Swami Vivekananda outside a Hindu Temple near my home.

Swami Vivekananda was a 19th century monk and philosopher who preached in North America from 1893 to 1900, and is widely regarded as the father of the Hindu revival in modern India, as well as being the driving force behind Vedanta and Yoga's spread to Europe and North America.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life Of An Ea-Pea, Episode 5: Found Art

When most people think of "found art" they don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Other people, in the know, might think about a university undergraduate, majoring in art, taking some scrap pieces of metal and welding them together, or glueing pine-cones on some old, painted, paper-mached particle board. However, here in my bedroom, I view "found art" as posters I find on the ground outside, or somewhere else, which I take home and place on my wall with sticky tack.

The practice started as a way to liven up my apartment when I was living by myself and had no money, but has since continued on as a way to further my radical EP-3Rs agenda. I don't just find posters though, I have also furnished my entire living room, and bedroom... and dining room, with items I have either been given by friends/strangers, or which I have found outside on the curbside.

(In the above dimly lit picture you can see a rug, futon/sofa, two captains chairs, and a coffee table I received from friends I met through another acquaintance. You'll also find a TV dinner table, bookshelf and mirror I found outside behind my apartment. And that's just one of my rooms...)

Friday, November 5, 2010

HRM Point of Interest #16: Titanic Graves

On April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank, about 640 km south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. A number of the bodies were too badly damaged or deteriorated and were burned at sea, but 328 corpses were returned to land, with 209 being brought back to Halifax.

(Protestant victims' graves in Fairview Cemetery.)

(Some of the Catholic victims' graves, next to the tree/shrub, in Mount Olivet Cemetery.)

All of those victims thought to be Protestant (121) were buried in the Fairview Cemetery near my home. The Jewish victims (10) were buried in Baron de Hirsch Cemetery - literally right beside Fairview Cemetery, if not actually a part of it - and the 19 Catholic victims were laid to rest in Mount Olivet Cemetery.

(The final resting place of Titanic victim Joseph Ackerman, whose two grandsons from Southampton, England, travelled all the way to Halifax on October 2nd, 2009, to place this card on their grandfather's tombstone. The touching note reads:

"With fond thoughts of our grandfather Joseph Francis Ackerman.

Two of your grandsons from Southampton England... (names removed for privacy's sake) along with their wives were humbled and glad to have at long last been able to visit your resting place.

October 2nd and 3rd 2009")

Monday, November 1, 2010

Helltown Helloween Alleycat Race: October 31, 2010

Recently my EP Cruiser was stolen, so I was "forced" to buy two new second hand bicycles. One was a cheaper version of my EP Cruiser that works almost as well but cost less than $100. The other bicycle is a used semi-competition road racer (now known as the EP Racer) that reminded me of a better, faster version of my original blue bicycle that so faithfully carried me around town my first two months (when it wasn't getting a flat tire or breaking down every two days).

Fast forward to some time last week when I noticed an advertisement for an Alleycat race in the window of one of my favourite bicycle shops - Nauss Bicycle Shop - in the North End (regular readers all know how I feel about North End Halifax). Not knowing what an Alleycat race was, I did some research and it appeared to be an informal type of open-road race started by Toronto cycle couriers in the late '80s, which has now spread around the world.

Apparently there are many different kinds of Alleycat races, and this particular race in which I was taking part had a courier theme. All the contestants would be given a list of "pick-up" and "drop-off" locations around HRM. We were free to choose our own path around the city, and could do the pick-ups or drops in any order we wanted. The winner would be the first person to complete all of the drops and then arrive at the finish location - The Old Mill bar in Dartmouth - a roughly 20-25 kilometre journey depending on which order you decided to hit the requisite checkpoints.

The race started in front of the Alexander Keith's Brewery near the Waterfront, Le Mans style, with every racer having to run across a busy street to his/her locked bicycle, unlock said bicycle, and then head off to his/her first destination. The boards in the picture above were quite slippery in the rain though, and more than one racer slipped on his backside.

If you're trying to follow along on Google Maps I suggest not bothering, though the checkpoints were mainly located in North End Halifax, but went as far south-west as Chocolate Lake (near the Northwest Arm), and as far east as Sullivan's Pond, in Dartmouth. Furthermore, if you're trying to imagine what an Alleycat race might look like, check out this video or this one (disclaimer: these videos are from a third-party and the views/riding techniques represented in them are not necessarily the same as those held/practised by EP Dave).

(Sweaty, exhausted, but none-the-less happy racers resting their aching legs at the "finish line.")

I may have finished DFL ("Dead Friggin' Last"), but that's okay because a) I had a blast, b) Alleycats are really all about participation and getting to the final destination to enjoy some food and drinks with your fellow competitors, who are by this point your good friends - you've all battled the four-wheeled murder/heart-disease machines together - and c) there's actually an award for DFL (I won a cow mug).

I can't wait for the next race, and the next chance to get back out on a bicycle and ride fast.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

HRM Point of Interest #15: Dingle Tower/Sir Sandford Fleming Park

Sir Sandford Fleming immigrated to Canada as a young boy from Scotland in 1845 . While here he worked as a lithographer and carried out many large scale surveys, perhaps most notably those of the Toronto Harbour and the eventual route for the coast to coast railway that would unite the country. He also designed Canada's first ever postage stamp, was a founding member of the Royal Society of Canada and invented Universal Standard Time - the 24 time zones used around the world to this day.

To commemorate the 1758 founding/150th anniversary of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly - the first ever representative government in the British Empire outside of the United Kingdom - Fleming proposed the construction of a large, imposing tower and donated the land in what was his summer retreat on the western side of the Northwest Arm. The tower was completed in 1912 and was formally dedicated by Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught.

(View of the Northwest Arm, looking north, from the top of Dingle Tower. A suitable reward for climbing all of the stairs necessary to reach the top.)

Sir Sandford Fleming named his 95 acre back yard The Dingle, which means "wooded valley". Today it is called Sir Sandford Fleming Park, in his honour, but the tower retains the name Dingle Tower.

The park has been a favourite place of recreation for Haligonians for generations, even when it could only be reached by a small ferry. Today it continues to be popular, with hiking trails and numerous historic points of interest, and is certainly one of my favourite places in the HRM.

(One of two large bronze lions which guard the entrance to Dingle Tower. The lions were donated by the Royal Colonial Institute of London in 1913, and were designed to be similar to those which can be found at the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nova Scotia National Historic Site #12: Old Burying Ground

I've mentioned the Old Burying Ground in a couple of blog posts already, so I figured it was about time I made an actual post on it.

Located right on the corner of Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street, in Old Town Halifax, the Old Burying Ground was the original cemetery built in 1749 at the founding of Halifax. While there are only 1200 headstones in the cemetery today, over the years some 12 000 people have been interned here. Of course, the Old Burying Ground is also the home of the impressive Welsford-Parker Monument.

An interesting fact is that all of the headstones were carved by hand using chisels and wooden mallets. Many of the original slate stones were quarried and carved around Massachusetts Bay and shipped over to Halifax before the American Revolution. The newer headstones are carved from local ironstone though, and are apparently of much lower quality because of it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

HRM Monument #28: Welsford-Parker Monument

This rare pre-Confederation war memorial was erected in 1860 to honour the memories of Major A.F. Welsford and Captain W.B.C.A. Parker from Halifax. Both Parker and Welsford perished in 1855 in an assault on the Great Redan - part of the Eastern Defenses of Sebstopol - during the Crimean War. This memorial, in the Old Burying Ground, was constructed by George Laing through public subscription and a grant from the Nova Scotia Government.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Elmiet: October 16, 2010

The woman standing on the steps is Ursula Johnson. During Nocturne: Art At Night, she performed a ritualistic scalping in protest of a law that says the scalp of a Mi'kmaq man, woman, or child can be turned in for a bounty of 25 pounds sterling (probably about $40 now).

The bounties were placed by former Governors Lawrence and Cornwallis (regular readers already know my feelings on General Cornwallis), and while the government of Nova Scotia officially apologized for the bounties back in 2000, the law is still on the books, and Johnson and many others have been trying for quite some time to have it removed.

In preparation for her protest piece, Johnson had been growing out her hair - in Mi'kmaq culture the longer a person's hair is, the stronger his/her spiritual connection to the world around him/her is considered to be - and also weaving a long headpiece that would cover her head/eyes, and double as her hair/scalp during the performance.

During the presentation, Ursula Johnson asked a brave member of the roughly 100-strong audience to step forward and volunteer to scalp her on stage. Believe it or not, no one jumped forward to take the place of the bounty collectors.

I suspected something like this might happen, and since the performer had voluntarily blinded herself for the past three to four hours, I really didn't want her to half to ask twice for a volunteer. I stepped forward and took my place beside her.

When I had first stepped forward I thought perhaps a short speech would be given by Ursula, and then I would simply pull the headpiece off. However, a top Native singer, Nathan Sack, came forward and started singing a traditional song while Ursula told me to place my hands on the side of her head. She told me that at the end of the song I was to rip her headpiece off violently, and that I should act very proud since I had done a noble act in killing a Mi'kmaq savage.

The video clip below shows the culmination of the scalping ("the last scalping ever.") Note: the first two or three minutes is cut out, because it's mostly the singer singing, and Ursula struggling to break free, while I struggle to comprehend what's going on but then catch on and try to act like I'm struggling to keep her from breaking free.

I accidentally deleted the video file, but after I tore Ursula's scalp off, I stepped up to the microphone and gave a short speech about how I may have look proud to have taken the scalp in the performance, but how I was not proud that the law/bounty still existed. Then I asked the audience to help lend their support to the performer's cause.

After the show, a number of Ursula's friends came up and shook my hand or hugged me. One woman actually said she started crying, because she pictured me as the embodiment of those rulers who tried to take away her people's way of life (is that a compliment?) Even non-Mi'kmaq members of the audience thought I was fairly convincing, and I had a tough time trying to convince everyone that I was not in fact "planted" in the audience, but was actually a real volunteer who didn't know what was going to happen before hand.

When asked by my brother why I wanted to go to the performance, I told him that since attending the Membertou 400 Festival I have developed a tremendous amount of respect for those Mi'kmaq people who are trying to regain a sense of pride in their history, and/or who are trying to regain a sense of identity for themselves and their people. I will continue to support the Mi'kmaq people, and indeed all First Nations people of Canada, whenever and however I can as I continue to migrate around the country.

Note: I apologize if I've used Mi'kmaq incorrectly at all in this blog. One day I will figure out when to use Mi'kmaq/Mi'kmaw correctly.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nocturne: Art At Night: October 16, 2010

Nocturne: Art at Night, is a one day, completely free festival that takes place once a year in various public and private locations around Halifax. Somewhat similar to Toronto's Luminato Festival, Halifax's Nocturne aims to promote the arts community and make it more accessible to the public, by facilitating collaborations and exhibition opportunities in the form of a free, night time contemporary arts event.

This year marks the third instalment of this annual event, which runs from 6:00 PM until Midnight, and features over 100 art exhibits. Did I mention that it's all completely free?

You'd think that six hours is a long time to look at art, but since many of the exhibits were spread out around peninsular Halifax, the time simply flew by and I was not able to visit even half of the galleries/shows that I had wanted to see. However, that's also the genius of the Nocturne festival, since everyone has to come back the next year, and the next, just to see everything they want to see.

(My brother, EP Dan, contemplates his inability to understand the tangible form given to the contrasts and surplus of information the artist sees as the root cause of chaos, and subsequently decided to represent in this picture with a multiplicity of systems that coexist and confront one another in the same piece.)

(As I mentioned above, not all of the exhibits were indoors. Some, like this one entitled Paths No. 2: Reticulating a Warren, in Victoria Park, were outside. No, I don't know what it's supposed to represent either.)

(This is famous Atlantic Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis' actual house. She painted/decorated it herself, and it is so tiny - 10 feet x 12 feet - it actually fits into one floor of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia where it stands today. She lived in this miniature house with her husband for many decades before succumbing to rheumatoid arthritis in 1970.)

(At the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia I also participated in a "hands on" art exhibit, that called for participants to decorate a piece of cork board and then place it on a large tracing of the human brain. In my contribution, which I entitled "Some String, and a Sea Shell, and Some Other Stuff", I attempted to expertly recreate what someone who would have had no idea what they were doing, would have created had they been asked to decorate a piece of cork board and stick it on a giant tracing of the human brain.)

(This is your brain on art. Don't do art, kids. Of course I was joking there. Additionally, in case you were interested my piece eventually gets glued somewhere along the upper cerebellum.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Random Halifax Picture #12

Is that an Iguana on his shoulder? I expect it when I see something like this in Toronto, but I must admit that it was a slight surprise when I passed by this reptile enthusiast near the Waterfront in Halifax.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Maritime Fall Fair: October 7-11, 2010

With everything from livestock competitions to pear canning seminars, the Maritime Fall Fair literally has something for everyone. I have to say that this is one of the best indoor events I've been to since moving to Halifax, and definitely the best indoor festival to date.

One of the main reasons I went to the Fair, was to visit the Canada Pavillion and reaffirm my Canadian citizenship. Since the entire Ea-pea series, plus Once, Twice, Three Times A Canadian, is all about discovering what it means to be a Canadian I thought it only fitting that I should start off by reaffirming my pledge to my country. For better or for worse, I'm a Canadian, and I'll do the best I can because of it or in spite of it..

The other main reason I went, was to see the Little Moe's Paws For Fun dog show.

Little Moe's is a kennel in Truro, Nova Scotia. In 1998 the kennel formed the group Paws For Fun, which tried to give both humans and dogs something athletic to do for fun, in a non-competitive environment.

I don't know much more of the history other than that, but I can say that the group is fantastically inclusive, with everyone from 50 year old women down to 15 year old girls, and everyone else in between, and every shape and size included.

Furthermore, just about every kind of dog was included in the show too. Whether they were speedy collies, or tiny short haired purse dogs, or even great big hairy lumbering something-or-others, there seemed to be a place for every dog. There was even a rescued, blind, German Shepherd that performed on the agility course with her trainer.

Check out the video below, of Ace the border collie, to get just a hint of the fun you missed.

Bonus photos/videos:

(What the Brady Bunch opening would have looked like, if the Brady family were horses... and there were only four of them.)

(No, it's not a rag doll with elephantiasis... it's a 1109 lb. pumpkin that was grown in Nova Scotia.)

(Sheep getting a hair cut before its big competition.)

(Chef Hans makes a scrumptious pork tenderloin with raspberry couscous, of which I gladly accepted a second sampling. Between the free samples at the cooking seminars and the two giant apples I won for answering skill testing apple questions, I barely had to spend anything on food at this event - which is a good thing because one slice of pizza cost $5.25.)

(Amazing frisbee catch. My dog won't even bring her ball back to me, let alone catch it...)

(When I first saw "pole bending" advertised in the schedule of events, I thought horses were going to try to bend metal poles. The actual pole bending competition is far more interesting than that though, as you can see from the video above.)

(And that leaves barrel racing, which must be about 500 times more difficult than it looks, and that's not to say it looks easy either. It's wonderfully exciting too.)