As a group, Calgarians are as diverse as they come. But at this moment in time, we are of one mind. Continue reading
I’ve been glued to the television and Twitter for the last 18 hours because my beloved city (and a large portion of Alberta) is in the middle of a major natural disaster. The flooding we’re experiencing is unprecedented, and close to 75,000 people have been displaced in Calgary alone.
You know the situation is dire when the fire department is using motorboats on city streets to rescue evacuees:
With just 20 days left to wait, I have to admit that I’m starting to get really excited for the Calgary Stampede! Those 10 glorious days in July are when Calgary is at its best, and I am definitely one of those Calgarians who eagerly anticipates the Stampede from pretty much the moment it ends.
Anyone who has been within 10 blocks of the Stampede when it’s in full swing knows that the event has a smell all its own. You’ll catch a whiff of manure from the livestock and a hint of diesel from the rides, but the top note is always the unmistakable scent of midway food. Continue reading
Everyone has some crazy weather story to pull out at less-than-exciting dinner parties. Since we’re all subjected to Mother Nature’s effects on a daily basis, it’s easy to strike up a conversation about a blizzard we just barely survived, or a lightning strike that came this close to taking us out. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, we have to admit that most of the stories we tell are just a little bit exaggerated. I mean, do you really believe that hail storm could have given you a concussion? No, no you don’t.
But sometimes a storm really does almost kill you. And when that happens, wouldn’t you give just about anything to have a video to show your friends that proves you’re not full of it? If your answer is yes, I bet you wish the footage looked something like this: Continue reading
If you are anywhere near Calgary, Alberta right now you can’t help but be keenly aware that the Stampede is officially underway. Bales of hay dot nearly every doorway, red and white flags hang from most lampposts, fireworks dance in the sky each night, and C-Trains are being sullied by overindulgent partiers who can’t hold their booze.
If all those signs weren’t enough, the endless sea of cowboy-hatted heads should have given it away.
As someone who grew up in rural Alberta and has only missed attending the Stampede once (I was living in Australia! Get over it!), I can spot a wannabe cowboy from a country mile away. But advances in cowboy hat technology and denim fading techniques have made this much more difficult to do in recent years. Sigh.
Rather than forcing a potential cowboy to display their calf roping skills as evidence, here’s a short checklist that will help you spot those wannabes who are all hat and no cowboy: Continue reading
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Since I’m not one to argue with people I don’t know (road rage doesn’t count in this instance), I’ll let them have that one. You can, however, get any number of free breakfasts if you follow a few simple rules. Here’s how it’s done: Continue reading
When you live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, it’s impossible to know what to wear on a given day. In Calgary you can wake up to 10 cm of fresh snow, eat lunch amid a hail storm, and drive home with your windows open wishing you’d worn flip flops to work. There’s a saying that if you don’t like the weather in Calgary, just wait five minutes. And on most days that’s fairly accurate. I can’t image being a weather forecaster here because the odds of you being correct for an entire day are about as good as you winning a Lotto 649 jackpot.
So as you can imagine, Calgarians are used to dressing in layers and preparing for all four seasons to bombard us within a 24 hour time period. Our closets and cars are filled with mittens, scarves, earmuffs, snow boots, blankets, jackets, sweaters, and a number of other items used to save us from the elements.
The image below gives you an idea of what the weather was like in Calgary today. For context, please note that this morning the streets were completely clean, and the grass was just starting to turn green… Continue reading
Generally speaking, Calgary is regarded as being a conservative city -both politically and socially. But all of that changes come July when we roll out the hay bales, dust off our cowboy hats, and get down to the serious business of partying Stampede-style.
The Calgary Stampede, also known as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, is a 10 day annual event that celebrates Alberta’s western heritage and pioneer spirit. In the past 99 years, millions of people from around the globe have converged on the Stampede Grounds to take part in this world-class festival. From mini donuts and calf roping, to fireworks and line dancing, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste at the Stampede.
The 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede will be taking place less than 100 days from now, and this year’s celebration promises to be the best one yet. As a Calgarian who looks forward to the event all year long, I thought I’d help get you into the Stampede spirit by posting 100 things you might not know about Calgary’s most beloved cultural institution. By the end of the list you should be craving mini donuts (see #86) and planning where your new five foot tall pink teddy bear will live (see #66). Yahoo!
In this post and this post I briefly mentioned the Caesar without fully explaining either its origin or its virtues. I also posted a video about the Caesar here, but it only gives you a hint of the cocktail’s history. Considering the Caesar and I were both born in the same city, I’m feeling a little guilty for not giving Canada’s most beloved cocktail its due. So, without further adieu, the following post will be dedicated to the best use for clam juice ever invented.
People are loyal to brands for numerous reasons, one of which is the sense of continuity they offer. For instance, if you have a bottle of Corona in Mexico, it’s pretty much guaranteed to taste the same as the one you consumed in Montreal or Dublin. Draft beer should follow the same rule: regardless of where you consume it, the beer on tap here will taste like the beer on tap there.*
One would assume the same goes for how intoxicated you’ll become from drinking draft: a pint is a pint, and the effect is the same regardless of where it is consumed. Right?