Thursday, July 21, 2011

U2 360° Tour

On July 8, we saw U2 perform for a crowd of 80,000 people in Montreal in an open-air stadium built just for them (funded in large part by U2’s own money). We arrived in Montreal a week before the concert and immediately felt how pumped the city was for their arrival.

Here is a picture of the balloon that they erected over one of the Metro stations close to the site of the show:

The public transportation was madness getting to/from the concert.

Léah was ecstatic that a last minute ticket became available for her to join us.

The centerpiece of the stadium consisted of a cylindrical video system of interlocking LED panels and a steel structure rising 150 feet from the floor over a massive stage with rotating bridges designed to give the titular 360 degree experience.

It was truly a spectacular show.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Strawberry Fields

During the summer, each month brings the availability of a different fruit or vegetable. On Vancouver Island, May/June is the time to go strawberry picking.

Strawberry Facts and Tips (source)

  • Select plump, firm, fully red berries. The small berries are often the most flavourful.
  • One cup of strawberries contains only 43 calories.
  • Unripe berries will not ripen once picked.
  • U-pick strawberries are much healthier than store-bought. Consumer reports says store bought strawberries have so many pesticide and fungicide residues on them that they don't recommend you eat them!
  • It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to pick a quart, if the berries are reasonably plentiful.
  • Strawberries were originally called “strewberries” because the fruit was “strewn” amongst the leaves of the plant. (When Léah was very little, she called them “straw babies”.)
  • Cultivation of strawberries began in Europe in the 1300’s, but the berry only became very popular in the early 1900’s in California.
  • You can easily freeze berries that you can not use right away - just wash, cut the hulls off and pop them into a Ziploc bag, removing as much air as possible. The berries will keep for many months frozen without air.