Monday, March 25, 2013

The 13th Spring Warm-up!

Okay, before the old people such as Ron Gehl and Helen Malmerg get on my case for claiming this year's Spring Warm-up is the 13th, I'm just making it up as I go along!  Of course, now Helen will drive up to Creetown, trunk full of Uzi's, to settle the score regarding my unfortunate choice of words (old).  I must confess, Helen and I are practically of an age, and I don't consider myself old.  My remark won't save my life, I'm just trying to express that Helen and Ron have been running the OUS races for a quarter century.  Now I'm really toast!

And before you think "Wow, this guy is some freak!  Making a 13 out of pottery, firing it, glazing it, firing it again, all to take a picture?  Get a life!", I did not make the 13.  Kinga and Stephan happen to live at 13 in Toronto.  I'm fairly certain there aren't that many houses at 13 in Toronto, so you should be able to drive by their house soon and check it out near the front door.  I think they live in western Toronto, to narrow it down even further.  Stephan's painstaking attention to detail is evident in the piece.  I had fun Saturday evening, drinking wine and urging Stephan to hurry his artwork, so that I could load the kiln.  The concept was that the pottery would be ready before they left on Sunday morning.  As the kiln was still 9,000,000 degrees when they left, not even close!  I think Stephan is used to working under pressure, as his unflappable composure never faltered during the full-court press.

Which brings me to a problem I faced Saturday morning.  Kinga, Stephan and Sharon drove up to Creemore to get in some "winter trail runs".  I think they were a little surprised that the trails still had up to 2 feet of snow in places.  I am certainly not trained to the Miklos level, but I wanted to provide them with a challenging run.  As I remarked as we headed out the door, none of those little hills you find on the Creemore Vertical Challenge.  And 2 of the hills were impressive, with long, steep sections, in a foot of snow.  I almost died...

Lee Anne and Sharon opted for roads, as Sharon wanted to get in a long run.  Long did they run!  47K, including some serious vertical.  After 22K, I dropped, but Stephan and Kinga continued for another chunk of K's.

Spring Warm-up!  April 13, 2013, on a 13K course.  I wonder if April Boultbee will run it.  Might be too confusing (who's on first).  I'm looking forward to the SW for an entirely different reason now.  I make maple syrup, which is very difficult to do if there is no sap.  I made 10 litres, 15 days ago (March 10).  I have not collected ANY sap since.  It is supposed to run this week (I will believe it when I see it), but the long range forecast is not pretty,  Highs of +5, which is perfect, but lows of +2, which is very very bad.  I need a hard frost at night (-5) for the sap to descend to the roots.  If the sap stays in the trunk and branches, there is no "sap run" the next day.  If it stays relatively warm for 4 - 5 days, the season will be over.  I'm staring down the barrel of another dismal syrup season...

Anyone want to buy an evaporator?

All right, enough pessimism.  After all, the Spring Warm-up is almost here!

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