Driven 2016

So, what you have here Is an event where those who didn't make it on to the Fast and furious set, made their own up and decided to spend oodles of cash souping up generic brands from the sublime to the ridiculous.  OK! So your 19 and you want to a "ludicrous speed button" on your dash board.  If you’re lucky enough to have the kind of pesos to buy one already made especially for you, i.e.; Lamborghini or Ferrari then you are set.  If you are not amoungst the coveted 1%'rs, you do the next best thing.  Go on Kijiji, buy an old Honda Civic and beg, borrow or steel the $100,000 you need to make it look somewhat decent.  Most of the guys there were doing their best to have their "look at me moment", but the reality is.  It’s all a bit faff.  Maybe I'm too old, but I can remember the time I souped up my 1972 Ford Cortina GT, only to have it blow up in my face one to many times.  After replacing three transmissions and one too many clutches and starter motors, The game for me was over.  You try telling these kids that though, this is their passion.  So it's a bit pointless telling them that what they are doing is a bit silly.  I don't have too.  The parent in them in ohhh 20 years will be doing all the talking.  Dad's just don't get it.  Yes well do actually! we all did it, when we were your age in fact.  Thing is, we just grew up.  Just because Paul Walker (Rest in Peace) did it, that doesn't mean that was the beginning.  This started many many years before that.  So I may put the boy racers down a bit, but I am allowed.  I was one.

So, changing to 2nd gear.  Speaking to the owner of a Lamborghini, which incidentally he looked like he was about 25.  So either he has rich parents or sold a .COM business when he was 12.  It doesn't matter, jealously is not in my character.  I was curious as to why he told me he always drives the speed limit.  I'm not sure if he was being honest or careful.  Thing is, if you are buying a Lamborghini and only want to drive the speed limit! What’s the point, you may as well just get a "Car to Go" membership.

Personally I think a little bullshit fell out of his mouth.  But that's OK.  It doesn't matter.  The only thing that matters here were the kids, their toys and what they achieved.  It’s really something to be proud of.  So, after raking you all over the coals, just know that I was there once and I know the feeling. Just remember to take it easy and drive the speed Limit, just Like Mr Lambo............

Heath Cox Editor Intouch.NEWS

Calgary Comic Expo 2016

Sitting in front of the TV waiting for the latest gossip on wives and Kardashians, you’re wondering what to eat.  The salad you had was a good effort, as you are trying to maintain that figure you had back in high school. However, soon the hunger pains are too much to bear and the Oreo’s come calling.  Every one you have you’re telling yourself, I will walk it off tomorrow.  Unfortunately you forget about last night’s binge and the office Gossip continues like bad episodes of Simon and Simon.  The one thing that never stray’s from your mind are your kids and what they are up too.  If you can’t hear them they are probably up to no good.  After all, when your 17 the last place you want to be is anywhere but home.  Sometimes the PlayStation is not enough to keep you from straying.  Getting out of the house is nothing new, we all did it.  “Be home by 9”.

How many times did you hear “can I stay till 10”. And so the retorts bounce off walls like no one is listening.  He is not going to be home by 9, he is going to spend as much time as possible balancing between right and wrong.  Knowing full well the hammer will fall once he crosses the portico.  Fear not however, for one weekend at least, everyone knows where your kids are.  It’s the “Calgary Comic and Expo”. 

They are down at the stampede grounds in full Halo gear.  Looking like one of his Ice-station characters, he has become drenched in blood soaked t-shirts, autographs and comic books.  Things are good in the world.  I was surprised to see how many people were at this event.  For a moment I thought the stampede had begun early.  Actually, it was just your kids playing the part of Han Solo, parents were getting in on the action too.  Some costumes look like they were made on the drive to the grounds.  Others appeared to have taken months to prepare.  Every conceivable soldier and action hero was on show this weekend.  Some of the more engaged decided on a more deep thought approach.  Such as the zombie murdering sesame street gang, or a Samurai storm trooper.  This imagination is the reason why we are here.  There is no limit to what you can become.  Someone even dressed up as a tree.  As I have a faint recollection of a walking tree in some fantasy show some 10 years ago, I can only assume this one was one of the same.  I spent many hours wondering the stands, keeping an eye out for the next Darth Vader.  Not for a minute was I getting to the point of boredom.  Everyone should take the time to come down and see what people can do.  

Even Marilyn Monroe made a guest appearance. As for you parents.  Dressing up as “Jason” is no excuse, your son is home waiting for supper.

Ford World Women's Curling Championship 2016

2016 Calgary International Auto & Truck Show

How do you sum up the numbers and come up with the the correct answer, when it comes to mans favorite pastime. Well, for some of us it does include ball bearings.  Not the kind you press into a shotgun casing, but ones used in a wheel hub assembly or a universal joint.  Our love of cars continues, with an all out ensemble of fenders from Ford's to Ferrari's.

OK! so the vast majority now all seem to look the same, from plastic dashboards to headlights, car companies now seem to swap parts with each other and make it seem new and improved. Gone are the days, when you had to push a button to make it work.  It's all storks and sticks. Men love to push and turn buttons. Have you ever seen anything more sexier than a dashboard on a series one E type. Exactly! ...  So we have a few differences from last year, but on the whole nothing has changed.  We see the same cute girls splashing out quip's about perfect weight distribution and turbo lag reduction.  The reality is, they couldn't explain what torque is anymore than I could, or you could for that matter. Maybe It just sounds better coming from a size two "super" model.  I was somewhat impressed with the Ford driving simulator. It was a bit over the top and unnecessary, but the kids enjoyed being Tom Petty for 5 minutes.

Everything here seems to trundle along like we're all stuck in a playground zone.  Every Acura looks the same as every other Acura. Except maybe some have a fatter ass than others.  Things were becoming as interesting as a rented apartment, that was until we got to the Aston Martin - Bentley arena.  There is something about sitting in one of these that makes you feel uberly important.  Yes I have leather seats in my car, but the seats in a Bentley!!! You have just entered a world where few will have the pleasure of the real ultimate driving machine.

It's like sitting in a channel handbag!  The interior is a place that transforms you and instantly turns you into a one percenter.  It's like putting on a Tom Ford.  You feel smarter, you look smarter, suddenly everyone is looking at you.  It's the same with the Aston.  Once inside, clutching that thick carbon laced steering wheel, your whispered off to a place of grandeur.  After many thank you's and hand shaking, we took ourselves to, well. What else, of course.  The house of Mr Balboni's home turf.  Lamborghini.  Yes they were big and brash, but I have to be honest, the Lamborghini's that I grew up with had no windows, just cat flaps with a stick shift.  These were my pin up's.  I somehow can't see myself putting up an Aventador on my wall.  Maybe I'm well past the sell by date on wall posters, but the lambo's of today seem to have lost that bedroom image.  I know they cost more than most second homes and yes they still have those silly doors, but I look back at the Aston and I'm sold every time.  When the brand manager of Rolls Royce invited us in.  We clocked eyes on the Phantom and thought, no;  there is no way we will ever get this close.  Well, as it happens, we did.  Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, as they say, this 20 foot monster steps in. 

Lord in heaven, as a motor car this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  Mercedes and Audi.  You may as well pack up your suitcase right now and head back to fatherland.  OK, so BMW took hold of Britain's most prized possession and welded together the strongest aluminum body in the automotive world, thanks for that at the very least.  After that the Brits took over and did what they do best.  Apart from drinking lots of tea and having to find new Careers since Maggy closed down all the pits.  The Brits still have the talent to put together, what is simply the finest car money can buy.  Options are endless.  So, If you have deep pockets,  this is where you stop looking and place your order.  So to are the Ferrari's. I have to be honest here too,  the Ferrari's of today do look amazing, but they seem to have lost that 60's sex appeal.  Think about it.  There is nothing sexier than a testarossa or a P4/5. I'm not talking about the square place mat you find in Miami vice, I'm dating back to the world when designers used Marilyn Monroe as inspiration, not a Mach 2 jet fighter.   The worlds designers now have moved on to aerospace technology and materials from Mars.  It's seems that that molds used to make the DB5 are now extinct. While I am happy to see companies like Eagle have a bash.  It saddens me that the rest of the world doesn't share the same opinion.  The mood now is cup holders and hockey bags. You just know when your best friend gets married and his wife punches out a couple of kids, the minivan is where your heading.  What a shame that is!  We still have lots of somewhat attractive looking cars out there, but Dodge thought, I know, let's take away his manhood and offer up something so sad, it makes you feel you had a level 10 lobotomy.  Let me put it this way, when I was 9. We had 6 in our family, we got by with a rover P5. "And we had a dog".  We went all over Europe.  Yes we also had cup holders.  

I guess we have one saving grace. I once saw a 12 year old putting her soccer shoes into the back of a drop dead sexy black continental GT.  I agree not everyone can afford one which is a shame but we should have more options available to us.

So, moving on.  There we were, looking at what I call Gods creation.  The absolute best in engineering to date. If allowed we should have been on hands and knees, as we are certainly not worthy of the P1. Some of the worlds best brains got together and produced the finest wine and carbon fiber soufflé man has ever made.  So why did this 12 year old beside me waffle on about the prancing horse and how much better they are.  Why, well cause he is 12 and knows only two things, how to play call of duty at home and how to tell people at school how good he is at call of duty. Oh the joys of having teenagers! They know everything.  So. People of Fiat, Acura and Honda.  When you next decide to design a car, think of Dita Von Tess, not a dinner plate.  I know which one can go through the air faster, but I know what I would rather look at.

Heath Cox.  Editor  intouch.NEWS


Pastry Chef Showcase 2016

Sunday evening,

The time, where you cozy up upon your lazy boy, grab the switchy box and settle into a night loitering between and Netflix, Crackle and You-tube.  As you ditched your cable, the up and down buttons on your remote have become pretty much obsolete.  Now you’re fondling genre’s like it’s 1979. 

 As of this moment, people across this province are calculating their losses and uploading Skidoos on Kijiji.

So were on a downturn, as you still have enough for Spotify and a parking spot.  You are one of the lucky ones so far.  Not to worry, we have all seen this before, so when the Economy tanks, which it has, there is only one way for it to go now.  So be patient.  Once all the big guns have let everyone go, they will be bringing them back and we all will bask in wakesetters again. 

So Google just sent you a little note telling you to put your slippers away, grab your trilby and head on over to Heritage park for the Pastry Chef Showcase 2016.  Time to put your culinary gear into 1st and prep your palette with the finest breads and pastries’ on offer. 

Some of Canada’s best will be on the culinary dance floor, doing the tango with butter knives and cookie slicers to create art in real life.  This is what dreams are made of.  The wine and cheese displays were plentiful, so tuck in, but leave room for the creations coming to life before you. 

To Start with we have the Ranchman’s club served up a delicate Apple caramel tower, a sautéed apple with an orange mascarpone filling, garnished with an apple mousse and a toffee Gelee spoon.

The second dish on the list was an upside down pineapple cake drizzled in olive oil, coupled with a honey yogurt mousse and served with Rosemary guava gelato.  It was delicious. 

Of course there had to be a winner.  This was created by Melissa Burt, Rebbekka Lenz, Elynne Poisson and Peter Nowicki.  Together they enveloped the Mayor Lemon vanilla bean mousse, a basil sponge on top of Streusel cookie.

Hotel arts offered up a milk chocolate mousse, which was to die for.  As for the number of plates 300 was not enough for the 45 minute event.

The winners enjoyed a $1500 win to share amongst themselves. 

All this for the benefit for our friends with developmental disabilities.  Thank you L’Arche Calgary, for putting together this wonderful event.  I thought I was quite happy with my slippers and 46 flat screen.  Next time, I will bring friends.  Thank you to Heritage Park for the venue and a big thank you to all the sponsors.  In the middle of this downturn, it’s nice to see sponsorships still willing to lend an offer of support. 


Heath Cox Editor InTouch.NEWS

TEDx Canmore 2016 – Evolve

An Hour; what’s in an hour.  Well that’s about the time it takes to fly from Calgary to Vancouver.  Or driving to work in rush hour, or waiting in line at the post office.  All these things are the norm these days.  From the time the lunch bell rings to when you’re called back to the pig pen you added one hour to your life.  Sometimes you wish for your day to end, but doing so empties your life bank account just that little bit more.  I was at a hospice once, only to see a sad old man hanging onto the side of his bed knowing that he was probably wishing he had just a few more hours.  Sadly he never made it through the night.  This little thought is quite upsetting really.  We all rush about getting things for our little wooden boxes, not knowing that these hours we use up are actually going against us.  Hours are bit like wheels, every time you drive your car, each turn of the tire takes a bit of its life away.  You wouldn’t notice one or a hundred, but put them all together and before you know it, you’re off to the store to buy more.  So where am I going with this.  Well on Friday I took an hour out of my life and spent it at the TEDx Talks in Canmore.  The staff were polite and welcoming, all working like honey bees.  They all knew what to do and where everything went, yet they quietly went about doing it without fuss or noise.  

There, I was introduced to what Canadians do best.  With a pleasant smile and welcoming nod, they propped me into the arena and allowed me to get on with my work.  Sitting near the back I witnessed the musical talents of Amelie Patterson and Kyle Pullan.  There are times when you can listen to people sing and your mind can wonder off with itself.  Amelie was one of these musicians that were able to do that to you.  Her voice took my mind and allowed it to run off and forget about life’s problems.  

Jessica Puurunen and Dr. Hugh Notman were the only two speakers I had the pleasure of listening too.  Smart, funny, entertaining and confident.  Jessica a High School Biology teacher lost me at the petri dish.  Maybe I should have spent more time paying attention in high school.  How this lady manages to keep her students in check and enthusiastic is beyond me.  That’s the amazing part of being a teacher.  They’re in my mind, the hardest working people, apart from a barista at a Starbucks.  Off course I’m kidding.  

As a teacher, your job is to turn kids into smart kids.  That is harder than it sounds.  No one can make you want to learn, but Jessica does it with passion and compassion.
Dr. Hugh Notman had fifteen minutes to talk to the select few about his knowledge in biological anthropology.  I often wonder what goes through people’s minds in kindergarten.  I grew up wanting to be Millionaire.  But at 6 I thought a millionaire was a pilot.  I’m sure when he was 6, he probably wanted to be a fireman or a biological anthropologist.  Who knows?  All I know is that he is way smarter than I, but he wasn’t there to boast, he is just a man who has knowledge for all things evolutionary and he wanted to share.  

Well that was my hour, After Dr Hugh left the stage it was time for a break and the bathroom line had begun.  For me it was time to leave.  So I turned over my Jeep and headed home.  Thus slowly reducing the time left on my tyres.  Drive to Calgary from Canmore you say.  Sure, only takes an hour.

Thank you to all At Tedx Talks for allowing me into your world.

Heath Cox - Editor InTouch.NEWS