The PNE, and Rainy Days were Made for Gamelan Rehearsals

Here’s some­thing you prob­a­bly won’t see much in the blog: It’s been a while since we had any rain. So, it was kind of inter­est­ing to have a day of more or less on and off show­ers. I left at about noon for anoth­er Game­lan rehearsal at Simon Fras­er Uni­ver­si­ty. Today I think I did a lit­tle bet­ter, but I have a long way to go. I do have con­fi­dence that I’ll be bet­ter by the time they play their next con­cert (prob­a­bly in November).

With the immi­nent deliv­ery of our belong­ings this com­ing week, we’ve been clean­ing out, straight­en­ing up, and prepar­ing in gen­er­al. How­ev­er, we did take a brief break yes­ter­day, and spent the day at the PNE, which stands for the Pacif­ic North­west Exhi­bi­tion, which is just a fan­cy word for a big coun­ty fair. We’d been to a much small­er ver­sion of this in Rut­land, Ver­mont years ago, so we knew some­what what to expect. There was a lot of food —although I’d nev­er seen a coun­ty fair in the US with a busy Viet­namese food booth and crépes — peo­ple doing prod­uct demon­stra­tions (mops, sham­mies, clean­ers, pots and oth­er house­hold items), a set of dog races spon­sored by Eukanu­ba (called the Super­dogs) with a very smarmy Bob Bark­er-type emcee called Herb Williams (thank good­ness, this was his last year doing it, although his good-byes sound­ed so maudlin that they were near­ly nau­se­at­ing). We toured this year’s PNE mod­el house, spon­sored by Home Depot and a bunch of oth­er com­pa­nies. It was a Colo­nial mon­stros­i­ty that would def­i­nite­ly be termed a ‘McMan­sion’. I have to admit that I did like the media room and the kitchen, but the fur­ni­ture, archi­tec­ture and decor were not at all what I would ever want to live in and it’s a shame that so much mon­ey and labor were poured into so much gaudy and fake look­ing decor.

I’d have to say that my favorite thing to see was the very authen­tic (at least as far as I could tell) cat­tle herd­ing com­pe­ti­tion, where teams on horse­back had 90 sec­onds to get 3 cows from a large herd (dif­fer­ent num­bers were called out for every round) into a pen at the far end of an are­na. I only wish I could have got­ten video of it, but the video cam­era is on the van, and besides, it was prob­a­bly too dim to catch it. We did­n’t go any of the rides at Play­land, the amuse­ment park on the fair grounds. Some­thing to do at next year’s, per­haps, with my niece.