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Saskatoon Ex

Last week on The Daily

Last week on The Daily.

 

What to do in Saskatoon during the summer of 2010

With Wendy working at Safeway and her shifts being all over the map, we need to plan ahead as a family if we are going to enjoy all of what Saskatoon has to offer this summer.  While we won’t get to all of these events this summer, here is my list of why I think Saskatoon is a great place to spend the summer.

  • June 24 and 25th :: Broadway Art Encounter :: This is done in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival so there will an interesting selection of art and some great jazz to see.
  • July 10th :: Regina Red Sox vs. Saskatoon Yellow Jackets ::  Wendy and I have been meaning to go to a minor league baseball game since the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets came to Saskatoon.  They are a Western Major Baseball League team and I am told it’s not bad baseball to watch.  $8 per ticket.
  • July 18th to July 25th :: Arlington Beach Family Camp and 50th Reunion :: I am taking the entire week off work and spending most of it at the cabin with the boys.  Wendy will be out for part of the week while she works a couple of shifts at work.
  • July 23rd and 24th :: Rotary Club Dragon Boat Festival :: Not sure if we will be back from the lake but if we are, we will take this in along with the Taste of Saskatchewan.
  • Taste of Saskatchewan July 20th to July 25th :: Taste of Saskatchewan :: I really like the idea of Taste of Saskatchewan but in reality, I don’t really enjoy going.  The food can either be good or mediocre, it’s a really crowded event, the music is too loud to have a conversation, and parking can be brutal.  My honest feeling is that it would be a better event with fewer (but better restaurants), a larger venue, and a sound stage that doesn’t feel the need to blow out your ear drums.
  • July 29th to August 7th :: Saskatoon Fringe Festival :: Good food, lots of stuff made of hemp, hundreds of people smoking pot while the police look the other way.  I don’t generally take in the plays but instead just enjoy myself on Broadway Avenue with the boys.
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders July 31st :: Hamilton Tiger Cats vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders :: It’s the Riders Centennial which means like all Saskatchewan Roughriders fans, we must make the mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca and take in a game.  We are choosing to see the Riders lay down a smackdown on the Hamilton Tiger Cats.  There is a reason why we have a cabin that is only an hour away from Mosaic Stadium.
  • NASCAR Canadian Tire Series August 4th :: NASCAR Canadian Tire Series :: 250 laps of NASCAR goodness at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway.  Oddly enough, Pierre Bourque of Bourque Newswatch is also in the series.  Sadly, the Conservative Party is no longer sponsoring his ride, maybe because NASCAR drivers only turn left.
  • August 8th :: Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan :: I know it goes all summer but what could be a better way to spend a Sunday night than taking in some Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice) and then head to a place with a patio for coffee and dessert.
  • August 10 - 15 :: Saskatoon Exhibition :: This is the highlight of Mark’s summer and is fun to go with Wendy and Oliver as well.
  • September 3-4 :: Saskatoon Fireworks Festival :: After years of taking in really lame fireworks shows in Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Fireworks Festival changed everything.  It is a world class, must see event that is perfect for River Landing.  Let’s just hope the Traffic Bridge doesn’t collapse before that weekend is over.
  • Calgary Flames logo September 29 :: Calgary Flames vs. New York Islanders :: I know I broke up with hockey a couple of years (I said some things, hockey said some things… you know how it is) but we have been checking out each other on Facebook and I may grab a thing of nachos and see how hockey is doing.

As you can probably tell by the links, I am a big fan and user of Yahoo!’s Upcoming service.  I’ll keep adding events to my profile as I see them coming up.

The 2009 Saskatoon Ex

I posted some photos and videos over at Flickr from the 2009 Saskatoon Exhibition.  You can find my photos from 2008 and 2005 there as well.

This was the first year we bought Mark a Superpass.  For $32 he could ride all of the rides he wanted to on the midway.  I figure he rode about $75 worth of rides and the number would have been higher but the lines got longer as the night went on.  He road Zero Gravity (check out the video here) and the Gravitron (more video here) the most which boggles my mind.  The Gravitron had to be stopped a couple of times when he was on it to let sick kids off the ride but outside of having to walk off a corn dog, Mark was fine.

Here are some of the photos.

 Wendy Cooper modelling some fine looking eye wear Mark chilling out An albino Tigger The Drop of Doom Mark Cooper hunting his next victim Ollie checking out the scenery Kung Fu Panda The Ferris Wheel  Incoming! Wok & Roll Deep Fried snacks and desserts Mark on 1001 Nachts Whopper Water Pizza Corn Dog stand The Starship 2000  Ferris Wheel The Spyder The Sweet Spot

The Summer of 09

I was trying to plan out our summer the other day and started to enter some of it into Dopplr and Upcoming.  It isn’t that busy of a summer for us but according to Upcoming, here are the events that we are taking in.

  • June 26+ :: Saskatchewan Jazz Festival :: None of the headline acts really get me that excited but Wendy and I will take in some of the free stages (PDF)
  • June 27 :: 5th Annual Feast By The Beach Fundraiser :: A lobster fundraiser at Arlington Beach.  While we are there, we plan to spend the weekend at the cabin.
  • July 30 – August 8 :: Saskatoon Fringe Festival :: Wendy and I generally take Mark down to the Fringe for a couple of evenings of taking in street performers and good food.  You can also get all of the hemp bracelets that you will never wear again.  One year Wendy wanted me to by a CD of pan flute music.  Let’s just say that I carry the wallets.
  • July 1 – August 16th :: Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan :: We plan to take in A Midsummer Night’s Dream this summer.  This is my favorite event all summer and is a great way to spend an evening.  If you have never gone, you owe yourself to take in at least one show this summer.
  • July 14 :: Taste of Saskatchewan :: I am cursed to always get the worst food in the festival while Wendy gets the best.  I am just getting what she gets this year.  The festival gets a lot of hype but Saskatoon isn’t exactly known as a culinary centre (how many identical Greek, Italian, and franchise restaurants does a city need?).  How do I say this… if we had better restaurants, we would have a better festival.
  • July 25 :: Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Edmonton Eskimos :: We are making a pilgrimage to Mosaic Stadium to watch the Saskatchewan Roughriders play the hated Edmonton Eskimos.
  • August 4-9 :: Saskatoon EX :: I have a nine year old son and Mark is about one thing at the EX; Bumper Cars.  Wendy is all about the elephant ears while I am like to wander around the trade show and taking some photographs.
  • August 8 :: Mac’s Froster 50 :: I am a big fan of Legend’s racing on a short track like the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway.  It’s not NASCAR or anything but it’s a nice way to spend the evening.
  • August 13-14 :: Folkfest :: Despite the name, it’s not a folk music festival.  It’s a celebration of multiculturalism which in Saskatchewan we take as eating perogies and drinking too much beer.  Since I don’t drink beer, it means that Mark, Wendy and I are eating a lot of perogies.
  • Aug 15-16 :: Canada Remembers International Airshow :: It’s the last air show that Saskatoon will ever have.  We have enjoyed it a lot in the past so we will go and say goodbye.
  • Aug 22 :: Ukraine Day in the Park :: Wendy isn’t sure she wants to go but it’s a big deal in the Riversdale and Pleasant Hill neighborhoods so I think we will go.
  • September 4 :: Saskatchewan Huskies vs Calgary Dinos :: The start of the CIS football season.
  • September 11 :: Saskatchewan Huskies vs Regina Rams :: Considering that I taught Mark when he was small that when he flushed the toilet to salute and say, “See you in Regina”, this is similar to Texas – Oklahoma or Notre Dame – Michigan for University of Saskatchewan football fans.

We don’t have that much travel planned for the summer as we plan to enjoy Saskatoon quite a bit.  We are heading up to the cabin and then in October plan to take Mark for his first trip to the ocean and heading to Victoria for a couple of days.  You can see some of my trips on Dopplr (more if you join it).

If you are in Saskatoon, make sure you sign up for Upcoming and add any events that you want the world (and people like me) to see.  Upcoming allows you to let people know if you are going as well.  Wendy and I have had quite a few events we thought only we were taking in end up as a lot of fun as we found out more people were coming as well.

If you have any suggestions on things I should be taking in, let me know in the comments.

The Long Weekend

After working this last long weekend and then seeing too many doctors, we got away to the cabin for a couple of days of nothingness on Monday afternoon.  Wendy packed the car while I got a couple of hours of sleep.  We got away a little later than normal and I had thought that we were coming back Thursday (more about that later). 

Our gazebo at the lake We arrived at the lake and unpacked some stuff.  While Wendy was arranging things and taking care of Oliver, Mark and I went outside and put up our new gazebo.  I hadn’t thought we needed a gazebo but we got one at the Centre to provide some shelter out back.  The one we got was a heavy duty one and quite nice.  By the time I realized we could set one up at the lake, Superstore was out of them.  We later saw some temporary ones at Jysk but decided that $119 was too much to pay for something that was wobbly even in the store.  After talking about it, we just decided to wait until next spring and get one as it wasn’t that high of a priority.  While getting something from Wal-Mart the other day, they were blowing out the same kind of gazebo for $40.  After thinking about it, we decided to try it out and if it only last the summer, we would only be out $40.  After seeing it had some guy wires, we also decided to pick up some heavy duty plastic tent pegs so the total cost was about $45.  It does give  Wendy and I some shade to have a coffee in the morning and relax a bit at night.  It also gives us about 90 more square feet to live in.

Mark and I had it up in about 10 minutes.  Wendy joined us for some of it but I think one person could get it together pretty easily.  It said in large letters that it needed to be taken down in extreme weather conditions but what is extreme weather?  A good gust of wind or a typhoon?  I am still not sure what the answer is but the next day when a blustery thunderstorm blew and rained quite a bit on it, it held fine although I think part of it was because those tent pegs were not going anywhere.

That night I finished James Howard Kunstler’s novel, World Made By Hand.  I don’t know if I would recommend it or not.  It was supposed to incorporate the ideas from The Long Emergency and depict a life after the oil had run out.  It kind of does that but it also shows life after nuclear bombs have been detonated in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. (after a war in Israel) and a couple of coup’s have happened in the U.S.  In the end it is a kind of post apocalyptic novel that describes small town life after a nuclear war, after a series of epidemics, and the oil having run out.  While the book was interesting, it reminded me a lot of Pierre Burton’s book, The Great Depression which may be a more accurate look at what life would look like in a devastated economy.  While I agree with Kunstler that our belief in technology may be naive, I think he underestimates regional ingenuity to deal with some of the problems that we are facing.   You can find more about the book on it’s website or check out the trailer for the book here.

The next morning the Pederson’s all came out for a day of exploring, eating, swimming, and chilling out at the lake. 

Wendy, Oliver and Krista

The boys at the water slide

The boys at the water slide

Of course Mark also showed of his incredible fashion sense while at the beach.

Mark Cooper looking like he is ready for the GQ

Of course even after I showed him this photo, he still thought he looked pretty cool.

That night we managed to use our washer drum barrel fire pit.  After burning some holes in our lawn, I realized that if I put it on a cinder block, the grass does better and Smokey the Bear can calm down and get off his stress medication.

The back of the cabin

While we were up there, we installed a replacement to the antique cabinet that was hanging on the wall in the kitchen. 

Our kitchen shelving

Our kitchen shelving

The shelves weren’t that hard to install but I did have to do a bit of painting to replace the brown void where the cabinet used to be.  With the shelves and the storage containers under the table, Wendy feels as if she has enough space now to work and maneuver.  I needed to pick up some more screws but the next time we go up I plan to add a couple of book shelves but the interior is coming along.  The big thing now is to keep painting an interior wall or two every time we go up.

Mark cooking dinnerBefore we left, I made Mark help me barbecue some hamburgers.  This was kind of life changing for him as last week he wanted to be some sort of eXtreme sports star, now he wants to be a chef.  Tonight he offered up all sorts of commentary on Wendy’s cooking while trying to figure out how to make salad like his mom.

We got back in the city on Wednesday night.  I had thought we were staying until Thursday but Wendy only packed enough stuff for two nights.  The end result was we came home and got up this morning ready to go to the Saskatoon Exhibition.  I generally end up enjoying the Ex when we go but in July when I think of the carney’s, the crowds, pickpockets, and the heat, I think that there is a better way to spend a day.  It is a big deal to Mark so I promise Mark that we can go every year and we have a good time.  This year was no exception.

This was the first year Mark was tall enough to ride on the adult rides.  He was DEVASTATED last year when he wasn’t tall enough to go on the bumper cars and had to suffer the indignity of riding with his mom.  Him and I scouted out the rides and all he wanted to go on was the bumper cars.  After I assured him that no matter what happened, I would get him more tickets to go on the bumper cars, he went on the Tilt-a-Whirl with Wendy. 

Mark and Wendy on the Tilt-a-Whirl

Mark and Wendy

Then it was off to the bumper cars because the rides either scared him a bit or he heard stories of kids tossing their cookies on them and he didn’t want to risk not going on the bumper cars.

Mark driving a bumper car 

After a couple of times of him trying out the bumper cars, I realized that he will never ever drive a vehicle I own.  He gets too much joy out of hitting other drivers.  We then made our way to the food area where all sorts of really unhealthy and tasty things were being offered up.

The Ex was a lot of fun but the acclaimed Canadian Pavilion was a little odd.  RCMP and military recruiting plus a big display on how the borders are being patrolled.  I couldn’t figure out if this was Canada or a police state.  What happened to celebrating multiculturalism, diversity, and making fun of ourselves?   We did get a big map of Canada and a 1-800-O-Canada ruler out of it though.

Holidays

For one of the first times we have been married, Wendy and I have the time and the money to get away for more than a couple of days at a time this year.  Of course this all comes together during record high gas prices but the time part is the nice part of the equation.  We are off to the cabin after working the long weekend for almost the entire week.  I was going to stay a day longer but I promised Mark that we would take in the Saskatoon Ex together.  Every eight year old needs to eat a corn dog, Elephant Ears and then ride some rides.

I am going to take another full week of in September and then some in December.  This year I went from October to now without taking off more than two consecutive days which was a little too long.