Coffee Break [7/2/22]

Your mid-morning pick me up

February is dull and dreary in Kentucky. There’s not a damn thing to do, even if the weather is decent. So I’m forced to armchair travel to far-off places with exciting and inspirational activities. Like the Tapati Festival in Chile, where the people of Easter Island honor their ancestors and cultural traditions with music, art, and sports. Such as the Haka Pei, where competitors race down a long, steep hill on a sled made of banana trunks. It looks as dangerous for the spectators as the participants.

The less thrilling but beautiful Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival of Taiwan.

And the colorful Chiang Mai Flower Festival of Thailand with its parade of elaborate floats.

I’ve gotta live vicariously through you until spring, Deadsplinters. Tell me about any fun winter events in your area.



  1. It’s not like there is a lot do here either.  The weather’s cold and miserable in Ontario.  At least there is sunlight from time to time.

    Where I went to university (Kingston, Ontario not Jamaica) it is like Moscow in the wintertime.  Grey dull and miserable.  Not a great place to find out you have SADs or a Vitamin D deficiency, but a near fitting place to read the Gulag Archipelago.

    There is a reason why Reading Week (or Spring Break) happened in Feb. The first two years of school I had to live vicariously through friends who would go to Florida as my parents refused to provide me any funds to party the week away. They felt better if I studied. I “tried” but ended up mostly reading anything but or playing video games. They relented in my 3rd year, but no one invited me so I had money to burn and nowhere to go.

    The only reading week story I’ll tell is the disastrous one my friends went on in 3rd year where they crashed the minivan they rented twice, got booted out of their hotel room, and two of the participants had to spend all the way to Florida and back in close quarters mere weeks after their relationship blew up (tension city.) As one friend told this pathetic tale, I laughed and laughed and laughed like a hyena. Partially because it was funny to me at the time and for the schadenfreude as they went on this trip without even asking me.

    • Spring Break for teens is a terrible idea. I think most trips end up like the one you describe. But it’s still nice to be invited. They probably assumed you wouldn’t be able to go. I don’t blame you for the schadenfreude though.

    • I used to like house parties and beer bashes, but I never understood the attraction of Spring Break.

      • I sort get it – no supervision, lots of drugs and alcohol. But most of my teen years were already like that. I didn’t need to go to the beach.

    • I almost went to graduate school in Kingston (I assume you went to Queen’s?) but then I met Better Half and figured it would be difficult to smuggle him across the border. I really wanted to go to McGill (for graduate school) but they gave me a big “non, merci.”

      • Yup Queen’s grad.  The pretend Home of one Elon Musk for 2 years (coincidentally my first two years.)

        McGill’s our rival in more ways than one. Very tough school to get into.  The really smart private school kids usually went to one or the other school.  McGill is the alma mater of many a Liberal party establishment types (and James T Kirk) and Queen’s was the home to of a lot of rich Tory wonks (the true blue establishment types and Lorne Green.) Didn’t care for most of either type because they were arrogant prats for the most part, but I had the displeasure of dealing with a couple of future Tory cabinet minister types and they were fucking assholes… so I wasn’t shocked they rose deep in the Tory ranks.

        I am only good friends with one on establishment Tory because he’s smarter than the rest of them.

        • I looked at grad schools up in the Great White North because at the time the tuitions & etc. was much lower than in the US and the student stipends and TA stipends were higher, so even without any financial aid it would have been a lot cheaper. Plus for McGill I had those Québécois relatives scattered around. I knew a few Americans, not of Canadian descent, who went to McGill for this very reason, and McGill aside I’ve always loved Montréal. Alas, it was not meant to be.

          • There were more than a few US types going to school here for that reason.  Why not?  The education was almost as good as US top schools but for a lot cheaper.

            Montreal would have been a better cultural choice than Kingston (which is also known for its prisons and military base and the Canadian version of West Point.)  When I was going there, not many Koreans among my parents friends knew about Queen’s.  When my parents told them I was going to Kingston, they thought I was either in the Army or Prison which to them was the same thing.

  2. Speaking of dull and dreary, Jalopnik is getting to be unreadable with all the goddamn ads.  I guess the same could be said for most of the internet these days

    • Kinja sure as hell is. I don’t even bother going there anymore.

  3. We’re getting ready for sheep-shearing in the next few weeks, so I hope the weather warms up a bit.

    • I remember you telling us about it last year. It sounds like a lot of work, but satisfying and maybe a little fun.

  4. in the villages up here in the north….we have the winterhorns…lol

    just after dark it starts…some one will blast a few notes and then go quiet till the other horny people in nearby villages reply…

    that sound carries a looooong way

    reasonably sure its something that started just to let the other villages know your still there and all good in winter

    • Ooh, I love this! And it’s origins.

      • its apparently a lot older than i gave it credit for and originally started to ward off evil spirits in the dark wintermonths…eventually became a way of sending messages

        • We got some evil shot out there this winter. I better get the horns ready.

  5. That Tapati festival looks fun.  Polynesia has lots of great festivals and celebrations.  The oldest proof of surfing comes from Peru and it is believed that Peru may be where the Polynesians originally came from.  The thing looking like a surfboard they ride in that festival looks very much like the original Peruvian ones.

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