Tuesday, July 31, 2007

La La La Ronde...

No rest for the wicked...

Today was La Ronde... Again with friends Joel and Philippe...

It was their first time on a Roller Coaster... They seemed keen at the beginning so we chose 'Le Monstre'
A) because it's a Wooden classic.
B) because it's a rough and tumble one. (If that manage that, then the rest should have been golden...

So after a 25 min wait... not bad for The end of July on a sunny day.... we were on our way up!

Well no sooner were we on our way up then it started to spit rain! We got through the ride, and the Toulousians seemed no worse for the ware.

We got a bite to eat and then headed over to the Goliath. after the rumble of Le Monstre the Goliath would be like a dream... It's soooooo smooth. We made it through that line in about 15 mins... it always goes fast there. But it seems it was a bit too much for Philippe who kept his eyes closed throughout and Joel only barely had his eyes open.

After that we toned it down and watched the Diving show.

And then the Tour de Ville. Not even a roller coaster just a bunch of chairs suspended on changes that go round in a circle... Well. Philippe was out before he was even in! We then hit the Ferris Wheel and enjoyed that for all of the three rotations they give you! But while it's a short ride you do get some incredible views of La Ronde and Montreal...

After that we did a lot of walking... and I mean a LOT. We went over to the Manitou but hey both waited off to the side. It was only Didier and myself... I hate long waits and this was going to be a long one... but we did it and 50 min later we were spinning in the air! LOVE THAT MANITOU!

More walking and then we looked at the Vampire... and Cobra and and and. The Toulousians took the 'value added' 6 minute Helicopter ride and enjoyed it, but I thought the $55 per person ticket price was just a bit much.

We ended the day on the Pitoune... your basic log / flume ride, an original from the 1967 World Expo ...

and then decided to call it a day.

Tomorrow... Ottawa...

Oh Yea! We party-hardy!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Front row bad, back row good

There are times when being in the front row, or front of the line is a plus...

-At your favourite Comedy Show.
-At your favourite Singers concert.
-When buying tickets.
-At a Boxing Day Sale.
-In a school Cafeteria.
On a roller coaster.
...and so on...

But there are indeed times when it's not such a great thing...

-At an Insult Comic's show.
-At Church (no chance of grabbing a few zzzzzzz)
-At the Movies on a 'first date' (Back Row manditory!)
-on the Saut Moutons. (Rapids Jet Boat)
...that is unless you're REALLY thirsty and want to see what is was like to be one of the not so lucky ones on the Titanic! :-)

As today's Quote of the day might have already lead you to believe... we went on the Saut Moutons today...

I'm glad to say I did it, along with Didier, and our friends Joel and Philippe from Toulouse. We took the tour from the Old Port of Montreal... And went upstream along the St Lawrence til we arrived at the Lachine Rapids. We were 'lucky' to get the front row of the boat.

...I say 'Lucky' because I would only consider it lucky if you had just come out of the Sahara Desert and REALLY needed a 30 minute long drink of questionably clean St-Lawrence Sea-way water.

This was BEFORE the rapids... notice the NATURAL smiles...

This was AFTER the rapids... notice the smiles now...

Ok, SURE, the ride was exciting, exhilarating even, and from the few minutes we could actually see anything out there... (Trust me you spend a lot of your time with eyes closed, nose pinched shot and holding your breath, as wave after forceful wave of water pummels you in your seat.

There might be some of you out there that say "Well what did you expect?" ... Well I didn't expect to be that dowsed. I DID expect to get to see more of what we were doing... It's like someone that keeps their eyes closed on a roller coaster... what's the point? I think they should really consider 2 things Seat Belts and Scuba Masks. The former because when the thrust the boat into a level 3 rapid on a side angle you get forcefully thrust off to the side, pushing the person next to you, pushing the person next to them and so on, and the person at the end is crammed against the side. The later because as I said you spend all the time you're actually 'shooting' the rapids with your eyes closed.

And then again I'm not sure that I'd still have enjoyed myself all that much because if there's something I hate more, it's having my head underwater... and even though you're on a boat, your head is often 'under water'

On the massive PLUS side of the ride, you get some absolutely SPECTACULAR views of the City!

Will I do it again? Hell no!
Am I glad I did it? Hell yes!

My one suggestion..... if you go, take a seat in the back 1/2 of the boat...

This really deserved an ice cream... don't you agree?

Quote of the Week (16)

"Bonjour... et bienvenue à bord !

Consignes de sécurité : bien se tenir à la barre et ne pas pousser son voisin sur le côté !!!

Le bateau va se remplir d'eau.... ne vous inquiétez pas !

Si vous avez de l'eau ... jusqu'au genou, c'est normal !!
...jusqu'à la hanche..... ça ne devrait pas durer.... trop longtemps !!
..jusqu'aux épaules..... commencez à nager !!!

Bon saute moutons !!"

-Fredereic (Guide de la Saute Moutons)

- - - - -
Hello, and welcome aboard.

For your security. Firmly hold the bar in front of you, so that you do not push your neighbour.

The boat will fill with water, do not panic.

If the water comes up to your knees, do not worry, this is normal.
....up to your hips, it should not last too long.
...up to your shoulders, you should start to swim.

Bon saute Mouton!
(More to come on this...)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I gotsa new Blog...

Take a lookie look if ya wanna...

It Takes a [Gay] Village.

IdFLQ - And the winners are...

Normally the closing ceremonies are spectacular for the Fireworks competition.. this year... enh!

The Music was AWESOME all music from 1967...or there 'bouts...

But a lot of fun! The fireworks were ok, but nothing "WOW!"

None the less, even Ok fireworks are good Fireworks... so here are a few...

As for the winners... for the first year ever, I got all three... sorta right. I chose all three of the winners. The only difference is the order...

My selections as you will recall were:

GOLD: Germany
BRONZE: England

In the end the winners were:

GOLD: England
SILVER: Germany

La Journee de la famille

Today was family day with Didier's Sister (Sylvie), Brother-in-law (Olivier) and Nephew (Raphael)

It all started with a Metro ride out to the Olympic Park.

First Stop was the BioDome. It's always a great time there and even though I've been there, about 8 times since it opened There's always something to see.

And you can just watch the penguins for hours. I took some video, I just have to figure out how to post it here.

After the tour and a quick bite to eat we walked up to the Insectarium... Thank god Raphael was not too impressed. I hate bugs and I hate that place! YUCK!

We then took a nice leisurely promenade through the Botanical gardens...
The Japanese Gardens..

Zen, Bonsai etc.

I saw some sort Hawk?... Took about 10 pics here's one...

Then to the Indigenous (Indian) Gardens. And then the Alpine Gardens...

...and then just as the heavens broke...

The Chinese Gardens...

We took a little rest in the Grand Pavilion...

Family group shot at the Main Gate...

... and then continued on to the Greenhouses.

And after 4 hours of walking we needed an ICE CREAM!

Back home we had a barbeque on the Roof top deck and then finished the evening off with The closing of the Fireworks competition.

A great day was had by all and soon we'll do it again... in 2 weeks? :-)

Friday, July 27, 2007


Effective immediatly, Misster Kitty is ...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Excuse me teacher, what's the date?

By my calendar we're only in late July, but as far as TV is concerned, Summer is over...

On 3 separate occasions in the past two days I have seen 'BACK TO SCHOOL" ads on TV. Granted all 3 were on American TV feeds and all were for K-Mart, but c'mon now.... It's only July 26th here!

I'm sorry but this is just NOT acceptable.

While I am a fan of the Staples back-to-School ads, it's JUST NOT TIME YET! Can we just make it to the 2nd week or so of August before we're blasted with these ads?

I don't know who's more upset by these early ads?:

-Teachers? ("Yea, that's right etches, start doubling your anti-depressant meds, the brats are coming back soon...")

-The Parents? ("Yea, that's right etches, come give us all your money for over-priced SpongeBob Squarpants and Dora the Explorer and Harry Potter and Bratz labelled pencil cases and duotangs and binders and knapsacks and and and...")

- The Kids? ("Yea, that's right etches, kiss your summer good bye and get ready for 10 more months of readin', ritin' n 'rithmatic")

-Misster-Kitty (Yea that's right betch, get used to seeing these commercials 10 times an hour til the middle of September")

My guess is it's a lose-lose-lose-lose situation here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Well tonight was the last competitor for this year's fireworks competition (International des Feux Loto-Quebec) And it was really incredible! There was a consistent display of fireworks both low and high with a couple of lower moments, but overall you could see this display from a fair distance and it never lost my attention.

Their music was mostly classic in nature, although they did not stick to only German composers. The opening piece was an excerpt of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in d minor - one of my all time favourite classical pieces, and certainly one of the most recognized pipe organ peices by him or any other composer. It's a heavy piece, very much at ease next to the bombastic accompaniment of Fireworks. And what was even more interesting to me was an excerpt from Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev (The Duke's Command) that I felt was missing from France's display, this past Saturday; although it was not my preferred OSM rendition, it was played nonetheless. The music continues along it's classical bent, and included Offenbach's 'Galop' from Orpheus in the Underworld (you know... the music you always hear when French 'Ladies' are dancing the Can-Can) which was a hit with Didier and two other French guests. And then th music changed into more contemporary instrumental peices, must enjoyable for me was some of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. It's got a slightly eerie feeling (he also well know as the composer for the music to the movie The Exorcist) and that too lent itself well to the pyrotechnics.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say these were my favourites. Not because they were the biggest, or the loudest, or the most original (see Hon Kong's '2 0 0 8' fireworks) but because for me they had the full package: Great music that stood out for me as not being the 'Pop' and current, rather simply selecting music that would go well with the fireworks and be able to hold it's own. They were consistent in their display fully using the sky for their canvas. Great colours and interesting individual sizes and shapes. Well choreographed and synchronized to the music. And finally their Finale was easy to spot (You know some times you're like.. 'Is this it? is this the Finale? no wait, This is it. Is it?) ... and the real test for me... I actually clapped at the end. :-)

Ok enough yammering... here's some pics...

And now... my final tally on this year's competition...

GOLD: Germany
BRONZE: England


And then you have...
Hong Kong

Come back on Saturday night to see if I was even at all remotely close.