Friday, June 01, 2007

Pomona Highland Games

It's probably not wise to post on a publicly accessibly blog when one is a tad feverish and still a little groggy from an afternoon nap. But I really enjoyed our annual highland games last weekend and I haven't even mentioned it yet. I'd like to do that before my newly acquired virus/bacteria takes all the joy out of it and all I care about is another nap.

First off the bat, the Grade I pipe band contest was an outstanding opportunity to hear some world class piping. I mentioned that Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and Alberta Caledonian Pipe Band were going to be here, and contrary to what their on-line schedule said, the L.A. Scots Pipe Band were there and made it a three-way contest. Someone caught a bit of SFU's MSR and posted it on YouTube. For some reason it cuts off part way through the strathspey. But there's some good piping here:



There's a citation on YouTube to L.A. Scots' set but that one cuts off during the march-on tune and you never hear any of their competition piece.

As usual, the games are a great opportunity to catch up with old friends who come from all sorts of airts and pairts throughout the southwestern U.S. And I discovered a couple of people outside the the fire-breathing traditionalist milieu who take a look at this effort every now and again. I suppose that means I really ought to mind my pc p's and q's. Probably a forelorn hope.

One also needs to visit the vendors and stock up on "supplies". Alas, no-one seemed to have those new wooden reed cases. But there was opportunity to stock up on mint sauce. For some reason, there isn't a market in this area that carries mint sauce. I mean the real stuff: Burgess's or Colman's not the Cross and Blackwell dilution that you can hardly taste. How is one supposed to enjoy grilled lamb chops for dinner without mint sauce? I got four jars of Colman's; that should last me for a few months anyway.

If you're familiar with southern California, you are probably assuming that it was hotter than the hinges of hell. I mean, Pomona. Really. But, no. May and springtime in general is actually quite nice. It was a beautiful weekend in the high 70's -- you couldn't ask for better. When I remind you next year, be sure and come if you are anywhere near.

(And the band picture and at the beginning of this post? That's the Mesa Caledonia Pipe Band from Arizona. You can click on the picture to reveal their very distinctive Bruce of Kinnaird tartan.)