Sunday, August 12, 2018

Lost, lost, lost, lost... somewhere on Highway 533.

Lost, lost, lost, lost... somewhere on Highway 533. 

On the way to the Brooks Medieval Faire I missed my "short cut" turn onto Highway 22x in Calgary that would take me through Gleichen to Brooks. I keep forgetting the 22x sign was replaced by Stoney Trail. No problem. I'll just go down Highway 2 instead. There's got to be a parallel road that links to Brooks, right? Not so much. Realized by Nanton that I was not getting to Brooks by 9:00.

My wayward travels were even more interesting by the forest fire smoke settling in from BC, Washington, California, and Ontario. Could barely see a kilometre ahead. Feeling safe inside my air-conditioned rent-a-car, kind of like a space-traveller who doesn't leave their ship until they're sure of the air quality, I took a few photos of some of the landscape. There are also quite a few old and abandoned buildings in the area. And wildflowers. And a hawk or two. It might be worth getting lost there again.

After going through Vulcan and Lomond (who for a small town know how to do road signs properly!) and coming into Brooks from the south end... I got lost again. [sigh]

Eventually, I hooked up with my brother and his friends at the Faire grounds.

As usual, there were lots of vendors, medieval costumes, sword-play, and Knights of Valour. I even managed to almost not notice the heat wave (+34) while shooting the knights jousting. When I got home, the cool, breezy thundershower was wonderful!

I discovered it's difficult to edit the pinkish/green smoke hue so that it looks nice. So I decided to go b&w for most of my photos.

Click on the little photos to get a bigger one.

A piper wandered and played throughout the grounds. Made the place seem more authentic.

A maiden and little owl from the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre.

Medieval village resident.

More medieval village residents.

A couple more medieval village residents.

My brother and his friend trying to score bullseyes at the axe throwing display. It wasn't as easy as they thought.

Sword play.

A squire tends a jousting lance.

Even the kids had fun in battle. Yes, the little girl hit her opponent.

Lost knight searches for his peasants. "Bring out your dead."

Sir Knight.

Squires holding rings that knights have to capture with their lances.

Got one, three to go.

Just one more.

A gallant knight shares his gold covered chocolate winnings with the common folk.

Squire braking system.

A barn owl from the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre was one of six live raptors on display at the Brooks Medieval Faire this year. [Kind of reminds me of a high school portrait.]

Knight entertaining the crowd.

Suiting up for the jousts.


Monday, August 6, 2018

A four day Blues marathon with the little brother... done!

Popa Chubby

A four day Blues marathon with the little brother... done! Might sleep for a week. 

As usual, the festival acts I was most excited to see were not my favorite performers by the end of the Festival. I wanted to see Jim Byrnes and Sue Foley, my brother the headlining BB King's Blues Band with Russell Jackson. While they were good my brother wound up buying two Popa Chubby CDs and I fell in love with Duffy Bishop.

Best act = Duffy Bishop. In the pouring rain Duffy was entertaining, verging on quirky (with the voices) and her voice amazing. Duffy's rendition of "Insane Asylum" was comparable to Kathi MacDonald's, but also loved "Change Your Address" and  "Boom, Boom." Tried to find a CD of her doing "Boom, Boom" but it appears it was an improvised add-on to the show, it's not on any of her CDs which sold out pretty quickly.

Most intriguing = Popa Chubby. Self-described as "the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motorhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson" he was a force to be reckoned with. Loud, powerful, and popular.

I asked the volunteer at the Information tent if the photographers were also volunteers and was told that they were all professionally paid. So, I have only one nit-pick about one of the "professional" photographers. Ages ago I was told by a long-time wedding photographer and SAIT photography instructor, who also did events, that a photographer should be practically invisible and not intrude on the concert goers good time. For the most part, all the photographers at the festival were, except for one. There were times when you couldn't see the musicians in the BB King Blues Band, even if you were standing in front of the stage like I was, because this photographer was so eager to get her shot. Guess which one...

The next day the white fluffy sweater was replaced with something more low-key.

Otherwise, everyone was great! Thanks, Calgary International Blues Festival for a good time. 

I left the big camera at home so I shot half of these with my cell phone and half with my point & shoot.

Click on Popa Chubby, or any, to see larger sizes.