Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2005

BBBBB: Barbeque, Beer, Blues, Balloon and Blogging.

Okay... maybe it's time to stop adding more 'B'. Barbequing and beer brewing is an art that requires lots of practice and learning. The second Annual Downtown Kitchener B.B.Q Cook Off and Craft Beer Show was a fun opportunity for the Kitchener-Waterloo residents to learn from the masters. The best professional teams across North America were competing for the best chicken, ribs and B.B.Q. sauce. As you can see the grandma potatoes oven was still working. A good barbeque deserves though a good beer. For this reason 12 craft breweries were offering their samples to the general public.

As a participant if you were not quite interested in the learning part, the only requirement of the barbeque guys from you was a good appetite. It is hard to believe though that with so many mouth watering flavors flying around somebody will have trouble with his appetite. Finding the event's location was not hard at all. I just had to follow the barbeque flavors and watch for smoke. In the background you can see the Kitchener City Hall.

I didn't have time though to taste all the offerings. An unexpected event caught the participants attention. A hot air balloon was about to be launched. Even though last year I've seen balloons taking it to the sky, I never saw how a hot air balloon is inflated. It starts from a similar position when it is packed.

Then, big fans are put to blow. They provide the initial inflation with cold air.

After that, hot air is blown in the attempt to make the balloon stand on its own "feet". At this point the balloon riders have to take their funny initial riding position. This is a critical moment in the inflating process, somewhat similar with launching a space shuttle. The weather has to cooperate. If it is windy the wind should blow steady so that the balloon's mouth stay open for hot air intake.

Even though the weather was fine on Saturday there were few random wind blows that made the half inflated balloon to swing from left to right. It was impossible to blow more hot air.

A second inflation attempt is made, but in spite of the efforts...

The balloon couldn't make it better than this...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

After such an impressing balloon show the disappointed spectators are returning to the barbeque, beer and...

...blues. I just remembered that beside barbeque and beer the organizers have taken care that the participants have lots of fun. So if a good barbeque deserves a good beer then a good beer deserves good blues performed by a good band (sorry for the another 'B' :).

After such a fun event it is time to leave the band and...

...the people that enjoy to socialize on a beautiful evening in a fun environment.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Barbeque, Beer and Balloons.

Are you wondering what all these have in common? Stay tuned to my next posts when I'll comment on a fun event that took place this weekend in the Kitchener Victoria Park. In the meantime I found something that is not common to them: if you happen to own a balloon don't drink and ride it since you'll be surprised by how many other balloons you could bump into :)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Toronto street festivals.

The last weekend festivals are followed this weekend by the largest Canadian Jazz street festival and the 3rd International Circus Festival held in The Distillery Historic District.

For more info click here.

Free hugs in Montreal.

Each Saturday morning I enjoy watching a quite instructive CTV show named Good Morning Canada. Last weekend a funny story was shown. A guy from Montreal is giving free hugs. I fired my search engines, both Google and the new Microsoft search engine ( and found the above link and this one.

If you are willing to travel to Montreal for free hugs :) don't forget to check other attractions in Quebec.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Notes on the Kiwanis Dragon Boat Festival.

The weather was not promising this morning. It looks like after a few weeks of extreme heat, the much needed rain came at a wrong time :) It stopped raining though at around 10am but the air humidity was very high. The dragon boat race was already going on when I arrived at the Laurel Creek Conservation Area.

After one team finishes...

Another team gets ready to compete.

The dragon is ready to race again.

The race equipment is waiting.

This team looks quite determined.

And a new race is about to start.

It looks like the "pirates" team is trying to intimidate the competitors.

Then suddenly it starts to rain. Most of us take cover but others are having fun in the rain.

Some are warming up after the rain.

And the race resumes... Wait a minute! We have a new spectator that from its reserved spot looks quite interested in the dragons race.

Last shot before the rain starts again. Well...I don't know what team won the dragon boat race but I think that the winners are all the participants and organizers.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Dragons invade Laurel Creek.

In preparation for the Waterloo Region Dragon Boat Festival ( Laurel Creek
was invaded by all kind of "dragons". We'll see tomorrow who is the winner.

It looks like the official dragons will compete against other kind of native non-registered "dragons".

Some of the "dragons" have a justifiable attitude that puzzles the photographer.

This attitude is quite different from last year's.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Life is beautiful in the Free World.

The Kitchener-Waterloo residents hit the participation record at this year Waterloo Jazz Festival ( Started 2 days ago the festival brought in the Up Town Waterloo much more people than last year(August 10th posts).

My Heroes.

When a friend of mine told me that he is working on a book titled My Heroes we started to talk about what a hero is. One of his understanding of a hero was the same as for most of us. A hero is someone that makes the decision to sacrifice itself for the good of others.

After the recent terrorist attacks I was thinking how can I comfort the families of the London victims. The heroes discussion popped in my mind. I realized that the London victims are the heroes of the Free World. They, as well as the 911 victims, are my heroes because they have chosen to live in a free world. Some brain washed fanatics believe that people should not have the freedom to decide about how to live their life or how to express themselves. Their motivation to kill is not Iraq or Afghanistan (see the terrorist attacks before these events). It is their devilish goal to terrorize us so that we do not enjoy our freedom. While we mourn our victims we should not forget that by embracing the beauty of life lived in a free world will prove those that made a pact with the devil that we cannot be terrorized.

If you want to send a condolence message to the London victims families click the link of Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Below picture shows the sunset in Kitchener-Waterloo on July 7th.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Birthday Canada!

Today is the 138th anniversary of Canada's birthday. In the middle of a heat wave some Canadians are heading to the cottage country or go to local attractions in Ottawa, Manitoba, Toronto, Vancouver or Waterloo, for example.

Others are fortunate enough to see a rare and free
global event, Live 8 live. The Canadian Live 8 event (that will take place in Barrie, Ontario) raises awareness on the need to eradicate the poverty in the world. Leaving apart the controversy on how the poverty can be eliminated without raising money during the event, Live 8 is great for Canada.

And of course the grand finale of Canada Day are the fireworks, in Waterloo,
Toronto, Barrie or Ottawa, for example.