things to see and do

Fun Festivals – Ant Nest Sitting

Finland hosts Ant Nest Sitting Competitions. Athletes–whom am I kidding?–sit on an ant hill for as long as they can stand the ant bites. This competition is held all over the country during the summer months. It truly helps to have a high threshold for pain or an ass harder than bronze. Okay, I find this competition to be weird, but there are those who love it.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Accordion Extravaganza!

 

Next year, sir, next year

Clear your musical palate by attending the Accordion Extravaganza! in Edmonton, Alberta. Pop in on all sorts of concerts, workshops, dances, and competitions, all featuring the accordion. Accordion lovers will melt in ecstasy here.

Oh no, the extravaganza has been put on indefinite hold because of Covid-19 restrictions. While I applaud the organizers’ concern for our safety, I think our world has just gotten a little grayer. I know of least one other accordion festival being canceled. I’m aware, though, of an online accordion celebration. I’m happy for that, but really there’s nothing really like enjoying an according in person.

Here’s to the Accordion Extravaganza! being held next year!

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

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Fun Festivals – Saidaiji Eyo Naked Man Festival

If you happen to be in Japan on the third Saturday of February, you might wish to see the Naked Man Festival. The best one is reportedly held in Okayama, although how they decided this is difficult to measure. The men, clad only in loincloths race toward Saldaiji Temple to collect lucky sticks. I can just see a naked man saying, “Honestly officer, I’m not fleeing an enraged husband. I’m participating in the Naked Man Festival.” The officer will roll his eyes. “Like I haven’t heard that one before.”

Participants need to register in advance with Saldaiji temple and buy a loincloth. It’s February. You will be cold. Then you run around the temple for two hours and through a fountain of frigid water. This purifies your body and soul. Fully purified, the race becomes competitive. Indeed, the event has become quite a team sport with many teams sponsored by local businesses. The goal is to catch one of two wooden sticks, shingi, thrown into the racers midst by a temple priest. Catching a shingi confers good fortune for a entire year.

Spectators vie for 100 lucky items thrown in the crowd. These items aren’t as lucky as the shingi, but you don’t have to strip nearly naked and run through a fountain of icy water either.

Amazingly enough, there’s a more subdued version of this for the local children. This strengthens the bonds between residents.

Tourists can shop at the excitingly named street of Go Fuku Dori.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Nanaimo Marine Festival and Bathtub Races

 

Future contestant in training

The Nanaimo Marine Festive is held every year in Nanaimo, Canada near the end of July. So we missed it again. Bummer. But boy, we will sure be ready for next year. As always, there will be amazing firework displays, decorations, and food everywhere. Arts and crafts stalls will dot the landscape, as well an entertainment stage, and a children’s tent. Visit the farmers’ markets, and do other stuff.

Let’s face it the highlight of this festival is, and will always, be the stupendous bathtub race. It’s known appropriately enough as the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race. The race crosses the 36-mile Strait of Georgia. Take that, marathoners. Bathtubs for the event run about $3,000. Each bathtub gets an 8-horsepower motor. This race has been held now for about fifty years and is overseen by the Royal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, as well an exciting event like this should be.

Just remember:

1) Bathtub race
2) 36 miles
3) Outboard motor
4) July

See you then.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel advisor

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Fun Festivals – Elvis Impersonator Festival in Collingwood, Ontario

Perhaps the best Elvis impersonator festival in the world occurs in the summer at the Collingwood Elvis festival which thank goodness, is held in Collingwood, Ontario. It’s usually held the last weekend in July. Dang! That’s only two days from now. I don’t now if there will Covid restrictions. Sorry, there’s only so much the King can do.

This festival draws a variety of people . . . Oh heck, no it doesn’t. Only lovers of Elvis’ music will go. Oh, and Elvis impersonators. Expect to see lots and lots of Elvis impersonators. This is a good thing, however, if you love Elvis’s music and if you don’t love his songs, then why are you attending an Elvis festival?

And eat the food the King ate. See how many fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches you can devour during the festivities. Take a break and go to the nearby beach. With your Elvis batteries recharged, come back and see how many Elvises you can spot. Will he be wearing a leather jacket or a white jumpsuit? Will you see him by a goat? Will you see him on a boat? Will you see him in the park? Will you see him in the dark? Will you see him, oh so fair? Will you see him everywhere? Yes.

Elvis impersonators should note that applications are taken on a first come, first served basis. Also, don’t wear sequins. The judges know the King never wore sequins. So you will be marked down. Your so scored will be lowered enough that you’ll have no chance of winning the impersonation contest. You will return home, a broken man. Come to think of it, I don’t if a woman has ever competed. I imagine there’s been female Elvises, but I don’t know if they’ve competed here. If you do go to Collingwood to see the Kings, please let me know. At any rate there are four competitions: Canadian professional, Canadian nonprofessional, international nonprofessional and international professional.

The rest of us should put on our blue suede shoes and rock on at the Awesome Street Dance. Conclude your dancing with the midnight vigil for Elvis. Then get up in time for the Hunka Hunka Pancake Breakfast by the town hall. Bring your King size appetite. And Hell or high water won’t keep the true Elvis devotee from attending the Classic Automobile , Viper and Corvette Elvis Parade. Scads of impersonators will swarm in the cars and around them, swiveling their hips and singing away.

Get tickets well in advance for An Evening of Elvis Champions Past entertainers. You’ve spent a lot of money getting here, spending money on food, and souvenir. You deserve the best impersonators.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Icelandic Festival in Manitoba

Embrace your inner Northern European spirit by raiding your way to the Icelandic Festival in Gimli, Manitoba. You’ll find tasty Icelandic food to eat. You can ever preorder a box of yummy Icelandic desserts, bread, and a bit of Icelandic cured lamb to take home. See the Icelandic fashion show. Visit musicians and artists who offer up Icelandic music and Icelandic crafts. People who like to run will want to participate in all sorts of races.

But really the most exciting part of the festival is the Viking Village. Walk around. See people dressed up a Viking warriors. Talk to them. Ask questions. Look at the weapons. Then go to every single Viking Combat Demonstration. These occur six times. If you don’t go to them all, I’ll be disappointed.

And oh my gosh, oh my gosh, don’t, just don’t, let your children miss the half-hour long Kiddie Shield Wall event. Children under thirteen learn how to form and work together in a shield wall. They’ll march, shout, and terrify the onlookers. How cool is that? Way, way, way, way, way cool. This is the best festival event ever.

Don’t forget the crowning of the Fjalkona, the Maid of the Mountain. The Fjalkona is held to be the female incarnation of Iceland. Heavy responsibility, you bet! This is festival is so cool. The festival runs, this year, from July 30 to August 2. That’s right around the corner. Book your travel and hotel reservations right now. I mean right now. This festival is your destiny.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Swamp Soccer World Cup

Love soccer? Lover a shorter game? Love mud?  Head on over to Finland and Scotland.* The last Swamp Soccer World Championship (SCWC)  I could find took place in Finland. It might have even been held in Hyrynsalmi, Finland  At any rate, the SCWC is usually held in Finland in the middle of June (Sorry, you missed it this year.) 200-to-300 teams from all over the world compete. The SCWC which has been organized by the so-called Swamp Barno Jyrki Väänänen** since 1998. There are five different ways to compete: men’s, women’s, mixed, men’s hobby, and Masters of Swamp.

The Soccer World Cup is usually held in Scotland on the last weekend of June, just after the World Championship in Finland.. There are rumors of it being held in China, India. and Turkey.

Six players are on each side. Each half lasts for 12 minutes. There are no offside penalties. This is fantastic for all those who never understood the rule in the first place. Other little rules abound. As of about 2018, no Polish team had ever competed.

For my Italian readers, these four sentences translate as Ami il calcio? Ami un gioco più breve? Ami il fango? Dirigiti verso Finlandia e Scozia.

For my English speaking readers, this translates as Swamp Baron Jyrki Väänänen who got the whole thing started. Yay Jyrki!

Swamp soccer arose from the practice of Finnish cross-country skiers to train in swamps.

Mud soccer is lots of fun. Be sure to register for the next Swamp Soccer madness, whether in Finland, Scotland, or whenever. Let me know how it turns out.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Fun Festivals – Cell Phone Tossing

Anja Heino practices tossing cell phones

Be sure to make your way to Savonlinna, Finland during mid August* for its prestigious Cell Phone Throwing Championship. The traditional part has participants throwing the cell phones over their shoulders. The longest toss wins. Cranky folks, such as myself, who have never quite adjusted to the new technology and hurl one phone after another, are usually the tournament favorites.  However, in 2012. it was a well-adjusted man named Eric Karjalainon won. He said he prepared for this event mostly by drinking.

Artistic types will be drawn to the freestyle cell-phone tossing part of the championship. Participants are judged by their creativity. Contestants have been known to do acrobatics or juggling while throwing their cell phones.

Cell-phone-throwing mania is going global, having caught in the rest of Europe and in the United States. This would be one Olympic event I’d watch. Contact the proper agency for rules of competition. As of press time, Nokia is still not an official sponsor.

* = August is almost upon us. Make you travel arrangements right away!

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel guru

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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I Simplify Tic Tac Toe

Tic tac toe takes too long. And that’s when the players use a time clock. Moreover if both players, play correctly, the game will always end in a tie. Where’s the fun in that?

I have a brilliant idea.

Make the tic-tac-toe game consist of one box and one box only.

This breakthrough will make the game faster. The first player has only box to put his x.

This first player will always win, no more dreary ties.

I show to the right a simulated game of New Tic Tac Toe. It has an elegant simplicity to it, don’t you think?

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

Categories: humor, observations, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Today’s To-Do List.

1) Buy a new printer, because the old rat bastard stopped working after I got ink for it.

2) Nudge the Earth back into its proper orbit. It’s starting to spiral into the Sun.

As you can see, I’ll be rather busy, so this post needs to be short.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

Categories: things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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