Extended Weekend = Best Birthday Present

Howdy folks,

Happy Presidents’ Day! I love Presidents’ Day, largely because it means I don’t have to work today. A deserved break, especially after Friday’s stressful experience of working through my lunch.  How horrible is that? Not only was it the last day of the week, you know, a day when you’re supposed to ease yourself into the weekend relaxation mode, it was my birthday! Yet I had to work really hard, like it was my job or something! That’s just not right at all, is it? Pft. And, unfortunately, I think tomorrow is going to be even more hectic…

…But hey, let’s focus on the happier times; namely the events of both this weekend and last weekend. Starting with…

Ice Fishing

Good news: one of us won at the Ice Fishing Extravaganza. Bad news, it wasn’t me and it wasn’t because of our fishing skills.

As well as the fishing competition, prizes were given out for a variety of other things, like great displays found on the ice. Becky didn’t just have a prize-winning display, she also had grand prize-winning display! People came by to compliment her, take pictures of us and it, and the prize hosts interviewed her on the ice, as did the radio correspondent for the country station sponsoring the event.

Pretty cool, right? This was also the reason why this post took me a week to finish, as I wanted the official photos first and they weren’t on the internet last Sunday. Why didn’t I have my own? Well I forgot my camera and there was no way I was using my phone in those temperatures (the touch screen doesn’t recognize gloves and I wasn’t risking my fingers). Besides, the official photographer had a picture of me holding the big cheque so it was worth postponing the blog for that snap alone.

Well it would be…if I had the stupid picture. Despite my best (okay, not quite half-assed) efforts, I still can’t find the pictures online. I don’t know what is taking them so long, but I’ve looked on several of the sponsor websites and found nothing. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, or maybe they are really bad at keeping up with current events (I think 40:60 in their favour; going on the country radio website was like travelling back to the early 2000s). Whatever the reason, I have no pictures for you. Fingers crossed I can update this soon. Until then, just imagine me standing in front of a cardboard cutout (which is Tyler Lautner from Twilight dressed in army fatigues) holding one end of a big cheque. Sorry guys.

Sadly, me holding a fake cheque in a picture you can’t see is where the excitement largely ends. Here’s a breakdown of my time on the ice.

8am-12pm

Got on the ice early yet the bay already pretty populated (not sure of the turn out, but after the event was delayed a month questions were raised over the attendance; in the end, I don’t think it suffered too much). We picked our spot, got everything prepared, and waited for the gun to be fired. Nothing much to report there.

As part of the display, however, Becky had a radio playing in order to boost her chances of winning something extra. Unfortunately her radio and the massive speaker were both tuned to the country station. This would have been bad enough, but they were also out of sync, adding to my misery. Boy, it was rough. I wouldn’t care normally – country doesn’t make me angry like it does for the poor sods who’ve had to deal with it for their whole life – but the songs played that day were utter garbage, especially lyrically. I’m not expecting brilliance but…come on. The example below wasn’t the worst I heard last Saturday, but they are the lyrics from the only song I can remember as being terrible.

Saw Star Wars at least eight times
Had the Pac-Man pattern memorized
And I’ve seen the stuff they put inside
Stretch Armstrong (yeah)
I was Roger Staubach in my backyard
Had a shoebox full of baseball cards
And a couple of Evil Knievel scars
On my right arm
I was a kid when Elvis died
And my momma cried

It was nineteen seventy somethin’
And the world that I grew up in
Farrah Fawcett hairdo days
Bell bottoms and eight track tapes
Lookin’ back now I can see me
Oh man, did I look cheesy
But I wouldn’t trade those days for nothin’
Oh it was nineteen seventy-somethin’

I hated every minute of it.

12pm – 1pm

Hour one of three went pretty quickly. Within seconds I saw my first person run by with a fish, which was considerably quicker than the first guy I saw last time, who carried their fish to the weigh station after a couple hours. Rather incredible timing to be honest, given that he’d somehow dropped a line, got a bite, reeled the fish in and bagged it in the time it took me to just lower my line. Probably went in sooner than noon, but whatever.

After that, the people with fish kept running by. After 5 minutes I’d spotted a couple more: at least double that in the next five…plus all the ones I missed. By half 12 there was at least 100 people in the queue behind me. Again, I saw only one person last time I was here in the full three hours…this was definitely a promising sign. Maybe even I would catch something!

1pm-2pm

Nope. Something nipped at my bait but at the same time I was sidetracked by Becky, who was losing her fishing rod to something in the water. She shouted something to me and I thought she was telling me to stop as I’d managed to hook her line. When I realized this wasn’t the case, my bite was done. And so went my involvement in the competition.

Becky did gather a crowd ten minutes later as she tried to reel in something huge…but when it then turned out to be a fish who’d drawn her line and someone else’s together, the bystanders wandered off. So much for that.

2pm-3pm

The rest of the event went without incident. The prize people went by, and Becky had her interviews and pictures. Otherwise, not a single bite or moment of excitement. My bait was super active though. Moving around the entire time, as if it was being chased. But it wasn’t. And that was about it.

4pm-

No snow on the roads meant pulling the sled up the hill and across to the car was horribly difficult. There’s no relevance to this…I just wanted to mention it.
Conclusion

So, better than last time I went, but that’s not exactly saying much once you consider how freezing and miserable 2014’s event was. Maybe 2017 will be better?

Hmm.

The most special day in February…my birthday!

Friday was definitely the hardest day of last week, mainly because of the work issues I mentioned before. After that we went to St. Cloud for an Indian meal at an Indian restaurant called Kohinoor. Ultimately this experience was fine, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t disappointing. I don’t really want to go into it, but essentially I wanted more and expected more. I miss the Indian food I used to eat in the UK!

Despite this longing, it was still a good evening. We went to the mall afterwards, where we wandered around, tried on some clothes, bought some board games (a topic for another day) and then shared a cinnamon roll. What else can I say? Birthdays are just another day for me now, only special because I receive gifts (which are gratefullly accepted, no complaints there) and can escape chores (good old ‘birthday weekend’ excuse). And to be honest, that’s enough for me.

As for yesterday, well that was spent with family. Nothing special. Between you and I, Vanna’s birthday in March is a more important day, and I’d rather do something for that than this corporate falsity of a holiday. Hopefully everything will come together in time…but I’m saying no more about that. Who knows who is reading?

Anyway, that’s the latest from our lives. Nothing much more expected in February, just work, work, and more work.

Speak to you next time!

Alex

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