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2020/02/23 Jennifer in the SJ Popup Choir's Hamiltunes Performance at the Art Boutik
π 2020-02-23 01:01 in Public
After weeks of training and practise, Jennifer was able to perform for the first time in Hamiltunes (unfortunately all previous times had date conflicts). She did well :)
Jennifer is however quite sad to already know that the next performance date will conflict with the 3 days she not available to attend in May :(

The other people in the cast also did really well. Some of them had performed Hamiltunes several times by now and some gave pro/semi-pro performances.
While a small portion of the cast has had some performance/singing training, others did not and learned on the job. All the performers are doing this for fun, some even got their own costumes.









2020/02/20 Montreal's Ecomuseum Zoo
π 2020-02-20 01:01 in Museums, Public
Not too sure why a wildlife preserve is called an 'ecomuseum', but putting that aside, this small but interesting preserve for animals that were usually wounded and cannot go back to the wild.
Mormally when you go in the dead of winter, and it's -15C outside, you shouldn't expect to see much, but of course Canadian animals are used to the cold, so outside of a couple that were hibernating, the rest were out and about :)

It was a fun 2.5H, outside of how damn cold it was and my not having enough layers to stay outside in such cold that long :)




you don't look like a red fox to me :)
you don't look like a red fox to me :)

The lynx were a highlight for me, they totally looked and behaved like house cats that happen to be bigger and walk in the snow :)


hard to know if they would have bitten your hand off had you tried to pet them :)
hard to know if they would have bitten your hand off had you tried to pet them :)

liking their paws and soft pads, just like cats
liking their paws and soft pads, just like cats

out, looking for trouble :)
out, looking for trouble :)

There were other animals of course:




even the ducks were fine with the cold
even the ducks were fine with the cold






They had a few indoor exhibits, which were great to warm me up





Despite the cold, it was definitely fun, it's a bit out of the way if you are in Montreal, but on your way to the airport, it's a perfect stop

See more images for Montreal's Ecomuseum Zoo
2020/02/15 Ice Force+ with Porsche Ice Experience at Circuit Mecaglisse
π 2020-02-15 01:01 in Cars
After last year's Porsche Ice Experience Driving Course at Circuit Mecaglisse, I had to go back for level 3, Ice Force+ (+ gives an extra 4th day to practise more track lapping, and was well worth it).


Here's a marketing video:


Just like last year, we stayed at Esterel Resort

when not going racing on ice, there isn't much else to do but ice skating and snowmobiling
when not going racing on ice, there isn't much else to do but ice skating and snowmobiling

We met most of our time there having dinners after a long day of driving
We met most of our time there having dinners after a long day of driving


The first morning, we had a short class on car dynamics:



how controlled sliding through an icy turn is the quickest way compared to the sticky track line which doesn't work
how controlled sliding through an icy turn is the quickest way compared to the sticky track line which doesn't work

the most fun you can have, driving 90 degrees or more from the direction of travel
the most fun you can have, driving 90 degrees or more from the direction of travel

Every day, we then took a 40mn bus from Esterel to Circuit Mecaglisse, which is in the middle of nowhere:



we then got to meet our cars
we then got to meet our cars





we drove 992s and 991 Turbos
we drove 992s and 991 Turbos

someone, drove our car at 262kph, I don't think it was us :)
someone, drove our car at 262kph, I don't think it was us :)

we had 3mm studs for god like traction on ice
we had 3mm studs for god like traction on ice

Kees, our instructor, introducing the cars to us, with our assistant, Emilie
Kees, our instructor, introducing the cars to us, with our assistant, Emilie

The big whiteboard on the ground made it easy to write instructions
The big whiteboard on the ground made it easy to write instructions

By luck, I got paired with the best student in the group, Mathieu, so he doubled as my instructor :)



Kees, showing us how to do a scandinavian flick around a corner with a set of cars showing a snapshot of the line
Kees, showing us how to do a scandinavian flick around a corner with a set of cars showing a snapshot of the line


Our assistants worked hard for us :)



but more seriously, they kept us on track, and cleaned our cars of all the snow we shoved into them. Poor Emily got her wooden spoon broken by all our snow
but more seriously, they kept us on track, and cleaned our cars of all the snow we shoved into them. Poor Emily got her wooden spoon broken by all our snow

Here are a few nice pictures from our professional photographer:

driving sideways with the wheels straight
driving sideways with the wheels straight




this is why the cars had snow stuck everywhere :)
this is why the cars had snow stuck everywhere :)

we often helpded make the track a bit wider :)
we often helpded make the track a bit wider :)


yes, this is fun :)
yes, this is fun :)

I did my part helping clean the loose snow at the edge of the track :)
I did my part helping clean the loose snow at the edge of the track :)

I might have done this too :)
I might have done this too :)

Here are a few videos, 3 way snow drifting:

And videos of my crashing in snow banks in different ways :)

Thanks to all the instructors, also to Porsche for letting us drive their cars and make mistakes, and the great codrivers in our group (blue group was still #1 !) :)

After the program was over, we had a celebration dinner and prices for the best drivers:


Mathieu, my co-driver, won the price for best driver in our group
Mathieu, my co-driver, won the price for best driver in our group

This was so much fun, there are no higher levels, but I'm quite tempted to go back :)

2020/02/14 A Little Time in Montreal
π 2020-02-14 01:01 in Trips
I went back to Montreal for the Porsche Ice Force+ Program at Circuit Mecaglisse. It was a lot of fun, and this gave me a bit of extra time in Montreal, so I made the best of it.





Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal has a great light show, called Aura, which was well worth it (pictures not allowed during the show though):









The next morning, I went around town for a few pictures in the many churches and couple of museums:







I went to check out the museum of modern art, and it was disappointing:


The observatory allowed or nice pictures:










Next was the much better Museum of Fine Arts, which was worth a good 3H, although I only had 2H-ish:






















They had a special exhibition on Egypt and mummies, that was pretty good:











Last, I went to meet my friend Nicholas Zin and we went up to Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal:












Then came the fantastic Porsche Ice Force+ Program at Circuit Mecaglisse North of Montreal


And on the way back to the airport, I stopped at Montreal's Ecomuseum Zoo. It was quite cold, but cool to see animals happily frolicking in the snow:



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2020/02/08 Armin Van Buuren's Balance Tour at Bill Graham, and Armin After Party at Midway SF
π 2020-02-08 01:01 in Clubbing
Armin's Balance tour finished in San Francisco, sold out in Bill Graham. He brought a lot of singing talent with him, it was a nice surprise.



In addition to terrible communication on the show's hours that changed multiple times after tickets where sold and were not even really confirmed until the day of, the openers were not officially announced either. To be honest, they were disappointing:

Elevven opened up, they went out of their way not to upstage Armin
Elevven opened up, they went out of their way not to upstage Armin

Rodg was next, same thing, not an unforgettable set...
Rodg was next, same thing, not an unforgettable set...



Then, Armin came after 2h30 and a quick setup to install a very cool addressable LED decor:







first time I've seen a trance duet, very cool
first time I've seen a trance duet, very cool

























Video summary of Bill Graham (please forgive the bits with oversaturated sound, it's not all bad):

After a very nice 2h30 set, we ran out and went to Midway SF where Armin also arrived around the same time than we did, and he palyed for another while before Elevven finished the night and played better than at Bill Graham:





Midway Video Summary:

Definitely a good night, first time we see a double Armin set on a single day :)

2020/02/08 Baylands to 92 Bridge
π 2020-02-08 01:01 in Exercising
We've had a bad winter for snow, but it was nice and warm when it shouldn't have been.

We went rollerblading on a nice sunny warm day:


mini blimp that was flying around
mini blimp that was flying around

new Moffett Google campus
new Moffett Google campus


The next weekend, we went biking around baylands, it was also very nice, even if all the migratory birds, hadn't arrived yet:





chevrons pointing towards PAO runway 31
chevrons pointing towards PAO runway 31










See more images for Baylands to 92 Bridge

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