29.10.14

Marathon III: Victoria, BC



Following my second marathon on June 1, I barely ran at all. I wasn't trying to avoid running, it's just that there was no time or urgency. I had moved; I was wrapping up a very difficult year of teaching; I was enjoying my summer holidays. I was content not running. However by mid-August, I was ready to jump back into the habit of running. I signed up for the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon and bought my plane ticket. I had 8 weeks to train, but was already mostly conditioned, so I dove into the last 8 weeks of a 14 week regime.



My friend Marc is poised to run the marathon too. It is his first, so he is nervous. I am stoked. My running pace has improved so much in the last 8 weeks over my spring running that it is a real possibility that I will achieve my sub-4 hour goal.

Waking up early Marc and I force feed ourselves energy bars, bananas, water, and a bagel. Nipple band-aids are applied. We walk down to the legislature building from our hostel with another runner who is running her third marathon too. We drop our bag with sweater/extra gear at the bag check and get into our pace groups. I'm with the 4-hr gang, but bow to retie my shoes at the last minute and fall behind a little as the start gun sounds.



The mass start isn't nearly as bad as in Calgary and I catch my group and then the 3:45 pace sign and I pass him and maintain a lead on the this group until km 25. Our first 10 kms take us through the upper city on Johnson St and then downhill through loops in Beacon Hill Park. As I leave the park, I hear a man cheer from his balcony, "Go Hulk Hogan!" I chuckle. Then realize he is talking about me because of my yellow bandana. Then I laugh.

I run past the first gel table and exclaim when I realize I've missed it. A fellow runner gives me one of his. He had grabbed 2.

Victoria is a small city, so the groups cheering are small and spread out through the course. It is still encouraging to see the familiar signs of encouragement. The route takes us along the coast and back again with little intervals into residential streets and the beautiful Oak Bay. I spot the marathon winner who finishes 90 minutes before I do as he runs by going in the opposite direction. He's flying. The turn around point is at 23 km and I keep my eyes peeled for Marc who is a couple kms behind me. We high five.



I am carrying my phone with Runkeeper on. While training, the app makes announcements every 5 minutes like:
"Time: 55 minutes. Distance: 10.34 km. Average Pace: 5 minutes 19 seconds per km."
This is really handy during training to help with keeping pace, but I do not want to annoy my fellow runners and I am interested in running on instinct, so I have the sound turned off. I can enjoy the resulting data after the race though. My pace ends up looking like this:
0-10 km: 5:15 min/km
10-21.1 km: 5:23 min/km
21.1-30 km: 3:31 min/km
30-42.2 km: 3:51 min/km


The last 17 km take us runners back along the shore road intermittently. The cheering throngs are thinner now and running is more laboured. Cheering at this stage of the game is far less gratifying as the runners are not very responsive. I am surprised at a number of conversations that are happening in the 30s. I run alone ping ponging between about 40 runners. At one point I have 3 women running directly behind me. I quip "this reminds me a lot of high school." "Because the girls were chasing you?" "Yes."



I take my fourth energy gel at km 37. I pick up water and gatorade at each table and dump out half on the ground so I don't dump it all over myself. I gulp it all down - unlike the sipping I do in training. I note at km 39 that I never have to do this again. I have a feeling that I will get my sub-4 hour time, but I can't be too sure. I feel like I'm slowing down. I'm not completely discouraged, but I can't really feel the joy. I run past a walking firefighter in full gear who is doing the marathon in the name of someone.



By km 40, I am a different person. I feel the joy now. In fact, I'm sort of emotional the last 2.2 kms I strip my head of the bandana, headband and sunglasses. There are a couple little climbs and descents, but they are irrelevant. I'm floating. The crowds are starting to fill up now. There is energy everywhere, like static between the runners. We've made it. I can hear the announcer ahead. There are placards on the ground stating 800m left, 600 m left. They seem to accelerate.





Then the final corner and I can see the finish line and the timer ahead. I'm floored that the clock is reading 3:53. I'm way faster than my expected time. I sprint the final 300 m and I discover that I have so much strength. I let my head fall backwards and allow my legs to do everything.



The line is behind me. I respond that I'm fine after a medic asks when I stumble a bit when I slow to a walk. I bow and accept the medallion. A light fabric jacket is given to the runners so they don't freeze once our bodies cool. I enjoy orange slices and juice. I lay on the legislature lawn near the finish line. I check my chip time on my phone: 1:52:22. I cheer in runners until Marc crosses the line and we limp back to our hostel for showers and then food.

1.10.14

BC/Alberta Circuit - Summer 2014



Day 1

  • Claresholm, AB: Visitors Centre and Museum
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site
  • Frank, AB: Frank Slide Interpretive Centre
  • Fernie, BC: Thrift Store
  • Cranbrook, BC: Frank's Steak and Schnitzel Haus
  • Moyie Lake Provincial Park
Day 2
  • Creston, BC: Black Bear Books Cafe & Kingfisher Used Book Store
  • Nelson, BC: Hume Hotel Restaurant, downtown shopping, market festival
  • Kokanee Creek Provincial Park


Day 3
  • Nelson, BC: Oso Negro Cafe
  • Osoyoos, BC: Tamri Campground, the beach, and fruit stands
Day 4
  • Highway 3: driving through E C Manning Provincial Park
  • Hope, BC: lunch at info centre
  • Dewdney, BC: Monastery of All Saints and visit with Lazar Puhalo
  • Abbotsford, BC: Supper & evening with 2 of Amber's aunts
Day 5
  • North Vancouver, BC: Lions Gate Hospital to visit 2 day old nephew twins
  • Horseshoe Bay, BC: Ferry to Nanaimo
  • Nanaimo, BC: Longwood Brew Pub
  • Honeymoon Bay: Stay with friends on Lake Cowichan
Day 6/7
  • Honeymoon Bay: hike Mesachie Lookout, relax and swim in Lake Cowichan
  • Duncan, BC: Just Jakes with Craig St. brews
Day 8
  • Victoria, BC: visit with friends, walk around harbour
  • Schwartz Bay, BC: Ferry to Tsawwassen
  • North Vancouver: supper and evening with Amber's aunt, uncle, and sister
Day 9
  • Vancouver, BC: St. Augustine's Pub
  • Langley, BC: supper & evening with 3 of Amber's aunts, her mom, sister and cousin
Day 10

  • Langley, BC: badminton with Scott
  • Hope, BC: lunch with college friends
  • Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park: swim in the Coquihalla River
Day 11
  • Dewdney, BC: Orthodox Liturgical Service at All Saints Monastery
  • Langley, BC: Mark and Sarah's wedding
Day 12
  • Chilliwack, BC: visit and play at river with Grammy and another aunt and uncle
  • Squamish, BC: settle into our rented house, Howe Sound Brew Pub


Day 13-17
  • Squamish, BC: 10 cousins/3 siblings together, mini-golf, wedding anniversary dinner, Porteau Cove, Murrin Lake, Alice Lake, Howe Sound Brew Pub
  • Squamish Valley Music Festival: Strumbellas, The MatinĂ©e, A Tribe Called Red, Bruno Mars, Foster the People, Lykke Lik, Serena Ryder, The Head and the Heart, Mayer Hawthorne, The Zolas, Sam Roberts Band, Tokyo Police Club, Black Joe Louis, Broken Bells, Arcade Fire
Day 18
  • Langley, BC: Allison and Paul's wedding celebration
Day 19
  • Kamloops, BC: Noble Pig brew pub
  • Revelstoke, BC: Williamson Lake, spend evening with cousin


Day 20
  • Calgary, BC: Watch the odometer turn to 3,748 km, see Arcade Fire


29.9.14

Monastery of All Saints



During our travels through southern BC, I was able to drop in to the Monastery of All Saints in Dewdney. The monastery has three residents and is presided over by Most Reverend Lazar Puhalo (Vladika), a retired archbishop (his biography is quite fascinating). I have been watching his YouTube videos for 3 or 4 years now, off and on. He is a polarizing figure in the Orthodox community, but I find the depth and breadth of his knowledge to be a great source of wisdom.

We stopped in one Sunday afternoon just as people were clearing out after a potluck. Since we were driving through the area, I thought I would pop in and shake his hand, thank him for his ministry and leave. I ended up having an almost 2 hour visit with Vladika over coffee and cakes. My wife and kids were welcomed graciously and they visited with Bishop Varlaam, a very kind and attentive man. My family also strolled the gardens and watched ducks on the pond.

My conversation with Bishop Puhalo wound through many topics. I explained where I was in my journey and how I am fascinated with the Orthodox Church and its theology and practice and that I am deeply connected to my protestant church and protestant church school. My greatest regret is that I didn't anticipate having his ear and therefore I did not have any really good questions to ask of him. If I did have the time and forethought, this is what I would have brought to the conversation:
Why is there not a more formal pronouncement from the Eastern Orthodox Church acknowledging the validity of the Protestant concerns regarding things like decentralized power among the clergy, separation of church and state, and church abuses of power?
Notwithstanding the offences in western countries despite western church presence there, why have we seen such devastation in traditionally Eastern Orthodox countries - Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Romania, etc.? In other words, has the church not had the influence in its population that it ought to as far as transforming hearts and culture? Why has the church lost its influence/relevance?
How does a protestant (like me) incorporate orthodox practices into his life without become an orthodox christian? Everything is so foreign (sometimes literally in foreign languages) and inaccessible.



The following week, I was back in the area and I attended a Sunday morning service. I was one of 4 attendees of matins (or "the hours"), the preliminary 1 hour service. Everyone except for the elderly or young mothers stands for the whole service (which, including matins, lasted nearly 3 hours). Bishop Varlaam welcomed me and got me situated with a copy of the liturgy. A married couple sang back and forth through the liturgy which consisted of many Psalms which are organized to retell the whole story of redemption from Creation to Fall to Resurrection to Glory.

The main service continued the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and includes many rites and congregational responses that I mostly did not understand. Archbishop Puhalo spoke for about 15 minutes for the homily. I didn't partake in the eucharist as I am neither a member nor did I fast ahead of time.

What was of incredible impact to me was that the whole liturgy is sung - this is a visceral experience where your entire body begins to resonate with the truths you sing and intone. Not only is the music of salvation ringing throughout the room, but your sight is stimulated by the dozens of ikons on the walls, your nose is filled with incense, your mouth takes in salvation if you are partaking in the eucharist and wine, and your flesh contacts holy objects as you enter the room and kiss ikons and crosses and the Holy Bible. It is a time that affirms the importance of the physical realm while infusing it with spiritual truth. This sensory worship is in stark contrast to the strictly intellectual and emotional services in the protestant world.



Upon my first visit at the monastery, Archbishop Lazar blessed me with several books from the monastery's printing press, Synaxis. The books are very scholarly and grounded in quotes from early church fathers. I am excited to read through these as I have read a few of Lazar's books in the past and they have been very helpful.

28.9.14

Book Review: The Naked Anabaptist by Stuart Murray



Ever since I was able to distinguish what anabaptists were from baptists, I have been intrigued by their story and their theology. My interactions and knowledge of anabaptists and their later affiliates have been:

  • seeing Hutterites at the farmer's market and out and about
  • the movie Witness set in an Amish settlement
  • many friends who grew up as Mennonites, or at least have Mennonite parentage
  • Paraguayan/German Mennonites to whom my wife taught English
  • the incredible, forgiving response of the Amish community after 5 of their daughters were killed
  • Daily Digs, emails which I still receive from the Bruderhof network which are some of the most thoughtful quotes out there
So, with this opportunity to learn more of these easily identifiable Christians, I picked up The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith. In the past half decade, I have been drawn more to traditional or more orthodox theological or historical texts, so this is perhaps a little out of character for me. 

The book begins with a tour of anabaptist influence in Britain and Ireland which is odd because there has never been a visible concentration of anabaptists in the British Isles, but that is where the author lives and where his Anabaptist Network operates from. For me, this was the least interesting part of the book. I wanted to know what anabaptism was all about and where it came from and where it is today. Fortunately, Murray takes us there.

To explain the essence of who these fringe Christians are and what they believe, you can simply look to the words of Jesus. They embrace communal living, non-violence, justice, Jesus as the central voice in theology, personal devotion to Christ, decentralized power in the church structure, and the separation of church and state. 

The movement was born mainly out of Switzerland in the time of Calvin, early 16th century. They were persecuted for most of their existence. The primary cause of opposition was their insistence that Christians make decisions for baptism as adults. This flew in the face of centuries old theology and the authority of the church, be it Catholic or Reformed. Some of the earliest anabaptists (rebaptized) were martyred by drowning in mock baptisms by other Christians. They eventually spread out through central and northern Europe where strongholds were found in Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Territory (Moravia). They were then scattered during the following centuries and ended up in Russia where they again were persecuted and fled to the Americas mainly.

As I read about their unique attributes, I realized that much of what they brought to the table as they spoke out in opposition to the established church were doctrines and practices that I grew up with in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church:
  • Adult baptism
  • Foot washing ceremony (as a part of communion)
  • Strong bent towards separation of church and state
  • Emphasis on service and justice
  • Distrust of other Christians, especially Catholics
  • Independent (either personal or congregational) interpretation of the Bible
As such, in my journey, I have had to re-evaluate these beliefs, embracing some and not others. One of the greatest things that I have come to embrace is the ancient interpretations of scripture above my own. This is one of the areas where Anabaptists and I part ways. While I am drawn to their humble communal way of life, their hearty rejection of anything traditional prior to their movement makes it difficult to accept their paradigm. This is essentially the evaluation Lazar Puhalo and Ron Dart gave the book.

That said, I think their passion, as muted it is, is commendable and inspirational. I think many aspects of it should spread. And that is the estimation of Stuart Murray too.

17.9.14

Book Review: Turning Points by Mark Noll



The other book I've read by Mark Noll profoundly changed the way I perceive Christianity, and for that I am grateful. That book was called The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. It chronicled the history of evangelicalism in the United States and Canada from its roots of Methodism, Presbyterianism, big tent revivals, denominational splits and ultimately new doctrines and current fervour. I highly recommend it.

Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity is probably a university textbook read by ministry students at most seminaries at the introductory level. It conducts a survey of 14 key moments in Christianity that helped define what it is today. In order, these are the events he concludes to be key and my very brief synopsis on why they are key.

  1. The Destruction of Jerusalem, 70 CE: Christianity burst out of an essentially Jewish culture and became very decentralized. It became more hellenistic as a result and shed much of the Jewish customs which defined it in early years.
  2. Council of Nicea, 325: The church leaders met to affirm the divinity of Christ and his place within the Trinity in order to thwart heresies. It also was a massive turning point for Christians as their emperor, Constantine, became a Christian and persecution of Christians basically stopped over night and the empire began to be transformed into what we could call Christendom. New political realities.
  3. Council of Chalcedon, 451: Another important council affirming the nature of Christ (both man and God at the same time). This is where the first major split within the church happens and the Coptic Church affirms a different nature of Christ (as a unique substance) and they no longer share communion with the Orthodox Church. Their roots can be found in the Middle East and North Africa today.
  4. The Rule of Benedict, 530: As some church leadership slipped into depravity, or at least they focussed more on their temporal power and wealth, a new group of Christian leaders emerges in monasteries. Their devout witness and discipline offer an essential example of humility, service and devotion to lay people and church leaders alike.
  5. The Coronation of Charlemagne, 800: The church asserts its authority over the political world by becoming the body who crowns the emperor. Christendom reaches fruition as church and state become deeply intertwined.
  6. The Great Schism, 1054: The Eastern Church refuses to accept the primacy of the Roman Bishop (Pope). The Roman Church strikes out on its own and the Eastern Church becomes isolated from the rest of Christendom. 
  7. The Diet of Worms, 1521: One of many sparks which started the fire which caused another huge split in the church. The response of Roman Catholic abuses of power and wealth cause some Christians and princes to reject Roman rule and the Reformation begins with Protestant Churches sprouting up all over northern Europe.
  8. The English Act of Supremacy, 1534: Another rejection of Roman rule comes when Henry VIII of England is not granted a divorce from the Pope. Fortunately, there are some clergymen and brilliant theologians who are more than happy to establish a revised Church of England, even if the head of the church must be the British monarch.
  9. The Founding of the Jesuits, 1540: The 16th Century was a big one in Christianity. This was one of the beginnings of the Counter-Reformation that occurred within the Roman Church. Ignatius of Loyola's new society gets papal approval and coinciding with the new era of imperialism abroad, missionaries are sent and Christianity leaves Europe/Middle East and North Africa for the first time in history.
  10. The Conversion of the Wesleys, 1738: Along with some continental movements, the Wesleyan movement towards personal piety in Britain cause revival not only in personal spirituality, but also social movements that ultimately take down the institutions of child labour, slavery, the disenfranchisement of women, and other social ills.
  11. The French Revolution, 1789: While the Christian church in all European countries enjoyed a high level of influence over (or at least to the same degree as) the kings and queens for a thousand years, the French Revolution was the beginning of the end. The church sees its authority slip away country after country beginning with the first priests marched up to the guillotine.
  12. The Edinburgh Missionary Conference, 1910: The protestant churches recognize its responsibility to bring the Gospel to the far reaches of the world. Bible translations become a priority and women become prominent in their roles as missionaries.
  13. The Second Vatican Council, 1962-65: The Roman Catholic church addresses issues of doctrine and practice after realizing they must change to remain relevant. Interestingly enough, they seriously consider many of the issues brought up 450 years earlier by the reformers.
  14. Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, 1974: Protestant churches recognize the impact and role of Christian leaders around the world. Africa, Asia and South America take prominent positions in speaking on doctrine and practice.
Noll writes from a markedly evangelical position and is consistent in acknowledging his bias. That said, he writes of Roman Catholicism respectfully and magnifies pre-reformation turning points more than the typical protestant might.

I feel far better suited to focusing on any one of these or other minor turning points as I can contextualize the events and even carry their importance to their current expressions. My favourite part of reading this book was sharing with my son Blaise the various events and hearing his response.

15.9.14

Brew Four: HefeCentury Kleffeweizen



This is my first 100% grain brew. I borrowed Alex's brewing gear (a hacked cooler and a turkey fryer) and headed over to Anne's to make magic. She asked me to help her make some beer for her upcoming 50th birthday party and I gladly agreed. She wanted a hefeweizen and named it Hef-Century Kleffeweizen (a little play on words and her last name).



I borrowed the recipe from Alex:

  • 7 lbs wheat malt
  • 5 lbs pilsen malt
  • 2 cups rice hulls
  • 1 oz Hallertau Hops (I used Tettnang Hops instead)
  • Wyeast 3068



Jae and Anne and I completed the mash stage, which is where all the magic happens in extracting all the malt. We had to maintain the temperature at 110F for 20 minutes, then raise the temp to 133F for 25 min, then raise again to 145F for 30 min then finally to 154F for 30 min. Then the sparge. Then the boil - which managed to boil over even with 3 pairs of eyes watching it.





We clearly allowed too much grain into the fermenter - it was like bread dough on the top of it.

In all we got 17.67 L at 5.15% ABV.



So, my fear is that the brew got infected somewhere between the boil and cooling to the point when you pitch the yeast. There is a distinct sour flavour in the one beer I've sampled from the batch. Otherwise, the banana notes in the aroma are killer. I look forward to sipping one this weekend.



Happy Birthday Anne!

14.9.14

Goat Lake, Waterton Lakes National Park



Heading northwest from the Red Rocks in Waterton Lakes National Park is one of my friend's favourite hikes. Chris has done this hike six times and will likely do it several more times.  Our family sets out late morning on July 7 with Chris and Christie for a 7 km hike (with an elevation gain of 500 m).



The first 4.5 km follow a very well maintained path (an old fire road) along a creek between Anderson Peak and Mount Glendowan. We cross a part of that creek at one point by stepping on rocks.







For the last 2.5 km to the lake are a series of switchbacks on Mount Glendowan with stunning views of the valley. Wildflowers dot the steep edges and there is occasional shade from the spruce trees.









The final kilometre is mostly scree and I hold Acadia's hand to ensure she doesn't slip down the mountainside. The kids are enamoured with Chris's walking sticks and he is kind enough to stop, readjust, lend them and then repeat several times as they return and borrow them again and again.





The lake refreshes mightily. I am the only one to jump in and everyone on the mountain hears me exhale girlish screeches. Chris had packed up his dingy and we take turns paddling the kids around Goat Lake. Chris fails to catch a single trout after having talked up the feast of fresh fish we would be having. It turns out they are spawning and therefore not interested at all in his lures.



I have to say that the children impressed me greatly! They managed a 14 km hike with a 530 m elevation gain!! It took us all day, but they were in a good mood at the end and we all devoured our gourmet hot dogs in downtown Waterton.

Book Review: Heresy by Michael Coren



I was interested to see what rebuttals to such accusatory statements about Christianity like

  • Christianity is against science
  • Christianity supports slavery
  • Hitler was a Christian
  • Christianity is anti-intellectual
  • Christianity resists progress
  • Jesus never existed
  • Christians are overly concerned about abortions
There are ten chapters each addressing one of these lies. I personally did not take any issue with any of his arguments to the contrary of these lies. Nearly everyone of his arguments were made in the affirmative. For example:
Lie: Christianity supports slavery
Rebuttal: Christians led the fight for abolition, therefore Christianity does not support slavery.
or
Lie: Christians are anti-science
Rebuttal: Here are a dozen examples where Christians were the leading scientists in their fields. 
While I appreciate the rebuttals, many of which are nice 2 page bios on important Christian activists or intellectuals, Mr. Coren rarely lends any credence to the origins of the lies and therefore never really counters what would be the honest statements by Christianity's detractors. For instance, I would have appreciated an acknowledgement that there were Christians at one point who profited greatly from slavery, but why those Christians were not living out a historical Christian faith. Or acknowledging that there continues to exist an anti-intellectual segment within the Christian population and simply explaining why that is and why it should not colour the entire faith as anti-intellectual.

It was an easy read, but not entirely helpful as an apologetic text or even as a contemporary analysis of how Christians ought to be viewed.

Marathon Training for Marathon III



2.5 months after running the Calgary Marathon, I decide to run the Victoria Marathon over Thanksgiving weekend in October. This gives me a mere 8 weeks to train, but since I was already somewhat conditioned from the spring I figure this won't be an issue. I had 17 weeks to train for my first marathon and 16 weeks for my second one.



I am half way to the marathon now and I have run 174 kms staying on target with my training regime with the exception of 2 runs when I was sick for a weekend. I experienced some rather severe shin pain in the first couple weeks, but the pain hasn't carried further than that and only resurfaces when I play tennis (mysterious). I have supplemented with a bit of ultimate frisbee and cycling to work.

The RunKeeper app has been fantastic in tracking distances and paces and even providing my training program. The connection to friends who are also running has been encouraging and even delivers a level of accountability. Yesterday I discovered the RunKeeper site which allows for far more analysis. I even downloaded all of my runs and imported them into Google Earth to show all the trails I have pounded in Calgary, Radium and Red Deer in the last 4 weeks.



My longest pre-marathon run is coming this weekend (and the heaviest running week too at 79 kms). I still have 167 kms total to run. The best part is that I really enjoy the runs when I have the time. The cool weather is definitely a bonus too!

14.7.14

Spruce Meadows



Spruce Meadows is the premiere equestrian sport venue in Canada and it is just 30 minutes from where I live. If you saw Ian Miller compete on Big Ben in the 80s and 90s on TV, it was probably at Spruce Meadows. When Amber told me I had the morning to myself during my first week off these summer holidays because she was taking the kids to Spruce Meadows, I offered to take the kids because I've wanted to visit there for a long time. She gladly took the time to herself.





I don't know who we are watching or what competitions are on, it is just really neat. The riders look super spiffy. From the vantage point of being just on the other side of the fence from the horse jumping, I can tell there is a great deal of athleticism involved in taking the horse around the course and jumping with them over the barriers. Of course the horse does most of the work...





The grounds at Spruce Meadows are beautiful. I do not feel like I belong since it looks like most of the people there probably own jumping horses (there are not a lot of people there, in fact the place is rather desolate) and likely have cars and vacation homes to reflect this kind of wealth. It is not my culture, but I like the well kept gardens and the elaborate jumping courses.

We visit three venues. My kids lose interest in the horse jumping pretty quickly as it doesn't really change from competitor to competitor except for the odd bar being knocked down. All of the announcers have British accents (like in soccer) and one of them butchers nearly every rider and horse name - so that is pretty fun. All the riders are from Canada, USA, and Mexico.





We grab an ice cream and walk around a little. My kids play on the playground while I snap pictures. Oh, and except for the ice cream, the whole thing is free of charge. I even ask where I am supposed to pay the advertised $5 and no one can tell me.

A lovely way to spend a quiet day.