Aug 7, 2008

Au Revoir Montreal

The day started well with a last-minute two-hour mini-presentation to a group of 20 key folks over breakfast. I love breakfast meetings, especially when bacon is involved. I have absolutely zero taboos when it comes to eating animals and pigs happen to be high on the list of tastiness. If it moves, eat it. After all, meat is just Nature's way of making sure carnivores get their intake of plants. "What," you say, "are you talking about?" Ask yourself; what does a cow eat? Answer; grass! Therefore when I eat a steak, I'm eating recycled grass. In fact, I am contributing to the whole eco-cycle.

Anyhow, back to the last day in Montreal. Close to the place I was staying, Le Dauphin, is a fountain called "La Joute," an installation designed by the artist, Jean-Paul Riopelle. Here's what the Wikipedia has to say about it:

The fountain operates on a kinetic sequence that takes about 32 minutes to complete. It begins a few minutes before the half hour, every hour from 7 to 11 p.m. during the summer. The sequence starts when the fountain jet expands to form a dome over the sculptures. Then at the back end of the park the grates on the ground start to mist. The 12 grates each mist, one after the other in sequence, taking about 90 seconds to sequence from one to another until they reach the fountain.

After about 18 minutes, machines inside the fountain start to produce a particularly dense cloud. The fountain jet then turns into a dribble. On the hour, nozzles in a ring surrounding the central sculpture within the basin shoot up jets of natural gas through the water; these are lit by flame sources installed in the daises of some of the sculptures, producing a dramatic ring of flame. The flame lasts for about seven minutes. The fountain itself stops. The misting stops, and then the fire is "doused" by the fountain which has restarted. The mist sequence, without the fire in the fountain, occurs every hour throughout the day.

Pretty cool, huh? I managed to take a picture of it but sadly not in flame, so I borrowed one from the internet. Bad Siggy.

Eastbound flights from Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal were delayed due to storms. Lucky I was heading south ;) However, just as we were taxiing to the gate, a hail storm rolled in and all ground crew were rushed inside because of the heavy lightning. That meant sitting on the tarmac for 20 minutes watching pea-sized hail hammer the floor and rattle the aircraft. On the up-side, I had 20 minutes of iPod music, which included Steve Vai, Steely Dan, and yes, SpaceJunky.

Welcome home, Siggy.

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