Monday, July 9, 2012

It’s Here…

Thursday, July 5th was the first “unofficial” night of the Calgary Stampede. On the Thursday evening before the stampede begins they have a “Sneak a Peak” night that lets you get into the grounds to check out all the new and different ways you can spend your money and churn your stomach on the Midway before the official opening on Friday.
I may have mentioned before that I live very close to the grounds. According to Google, I only live (as the crow flies) 777m from the Grandstand (where they hold the Rodeo, the grandstand show, shoot off fire works etc). This is just over ¾’s of a km (just shy of half a mile). If the wind is blowing right I could spit that far. This short distance, and the fact that this is the 100th anniversary of the first Stampede, made for an especially loud evening. I think they also turned all the deep fryers on at the same time. I could smell deep fryer fat on my patio (must have been the mini donuts). The Coca Cola stage was in full swing, the rides were flinging screaming people around and the fireworks were, as promised, very, very loud. Even though I live close, I don’t get to see them. I face the wrong way. So all I get is the noise and perhaps some reflected light off of one of the taller buildings in my area. Not that exciting.

It’s not all bad. I do get to see some funny things while the stampede is in full swing. I was sitting on my patio on Saturday night, just reading a book and listening to the sounds of the inner city when I watched a “cowboy” walk by. Of course he was not a real cowboy. This was one of those urban cowboys that only dress the part for 10 days of the year. Anyway, the path he was describing was not the straight line of the sidewalk, it was more of a meandering swerving back and forth, and he was walking really oddly, more of a jerky shuffle as if his feet didn’t know when his body had stopped and vice versa.

On the clay front, I was in the studio all weekend, but it was just too hot to do much of anything. I decided to pack it in yesterday when the sweat began to drip down my face while throwing. I did manage to get the 2 extra mugs for the special order glazed and fired. They went into the test kiln, but they came out all gross. The ^5 BMix decided to bloat, and now they have little bumps all over them. I think the test kiln just gets too hot. If I had been able to fire them in a regular kiln load of pots I don’t believe this would have happened. These are the things that happen when you rush clay faster than it wants to go.

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