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Because Missing Out Is Never Fun!

Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show - 01/25/14 - 01/26/14

Such discipline!  The dog, too!
Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show
Daly City, CA

Well-behaved dogs are fascinating to me, considering mine craps whenever (and wherever) he wants, and will hump any same-sex pooch small enough for him to dominate.

Dog shows like these are proof that a kinship between man and bitch can truly exist.  With more breeds you can count from A (Affenpinschers) to Y (Yorkshire Terriers), you’ll soon be able to distinguish between potential BFFs for your toddlers (Smooth Fox Terrier, perhaps?) and those breeds you may want to reconsider (sorry, English Mastiff).

Highlights of the Show include flyball demonstrations, Best Puppy in Show awards, and the All-Breed Fashion Show, where you’re virtually guaranteed to find at least one dachshund in that dreaded hot dog costume.  Hmmph.

National Yo-Yo Contest - 10/05/13

Good luck with this one.

National Yo-Yo Contest
Chico, CA

If you want to see a Thumb Grind, attend this event.  If you want to see an Iron Whip, attend this event.  If you want to see a Boingy Boing, attend this event.

They’re all legal, entertaining, and typically performed by children and young adults.  They’re YO-YO TRICKS.

If you wind up (ha!) in Chico for this annual championship, expect to be amazed.  Competition is split into several divisions; tricks are performed using both single and double yo-yos, and “offstring” competitors wow crowds with yo-yos not even attached to their strings!  Now, that’s impressive.

Awards are also presented annually to individuals who best represent and promote the sport as well as those who innovate new tricks.  I’m going for Most Embarrassing Yo-Yo Attempt at a National Contest.

Calaveras Grape Stomp - 10/06/12

These will get your juices flowing!

Calaveras Grape Stomp
Murphys, CA

If you've never considered whether this event might be heaven for podophiliacs, maybe now you have.

Perhaps second only to that other big Calaveras contest involving frogs, the Grape Stomp is a popular annual tradition that draws teams from all over, some costumed, to see who can most effectively pulverize delicious, slippery juicy grapes...with their bare feet.  Stompers crush the grapes underneath their weight while their partners, the swabbers, stand outside of the barrel to catch the resulting juice.

Initial heats lead to the semi-finals, and the best of the best advance to the Championship Stomp.  After all that foot juicing, you've got to wonder if that's what leads to toe jam.  Come on, people...grapes...jam...toes...I made that work.

The Grilled Cheese Invitational - 04/28/12

Tillamook, today you are my best friend.

The Grilled Cheese Invitational
Pasadena, CA

Ah, Grilled Cheese...the quintessential comfort food.  Some pair it tomato soup, others pair it with a nice, crisp salad.

I prefer pairing it with two more Grilled Cheese!

This event is the motherlode of all that is bread, butter and queso.  Kraft Singles?  No, thanks.  Think provolone.  Emmental.  Aged Swiss and cheddar.  And if you're feeling gutsy, herbed goat cheese.

I tried that last cheese on pita bread with yet another unidentifiable herbed cheese. Shortly thereafter, I threw in the towel.

You can attend the GCI as a mere spectator, watching multiple heats of grilling competitions, while munching on offerings from numerous specialty vendors and food trucks.  Only a few bucks more will allow you to participate as a judge, sampling and rating entries from any number of amateur chefs in categories ranging from classic to dessert-style sandwiches.  The day becomes even more festive with the addition of the Poetry Contest and Cheese-Calling Competitions.

Check out this event.  It's GRATE!  Get it?  Cheese...grater...oh, nevermind.

California State Yo-Yo Championship - 03/03/12

Sacramento, CA

When I was 9 years old I had a purple Duncan Butterfly yo-yo.  I was obsessed with the thing; and by "obsessed" I mean I would spend upwards of 12 to 13 good minutes a day trying to "walk the dog" or figure out something else that would impress my parents.  At that age, concentrating on anything for more than 10 minutes was a feat.

That being said, I never imagined there would be entire days devoted to yo-offs, or whatever the official term may be.  Yet, aficionados of the hobby are scheduled to congregate for over 8 hours of Gyroscopic Flops, Hidemasa Hooks and Throwhand Grinds.  Yes, I had to Google those.

Stop by, if only to hear each competitor's chosen background music, and place your bets on the first to be disqualified for their song's vulgar or sexual language.  Rules are rules!

The 31st Annual Clam Chowder Cook Off & Festival - 02/25/12

Soup's on!

The 31st Annual Clam Chowder Cook Off & Festival
Santa Cruz, CA

A bit of genius was used when creating the Schedule of Events for this annual fundraiser benefiting the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department.  Public tastings don't begin until 1:00pm, which gives chowder heads plenty of time to enjoy the Giant Dipper and Double Shot boardwalk rides prior to having lunch.  Enjoy those activities in reverse and...well, I think you have an idea of what might happen.

A mere $9 gets you a Tasting Kit which includes a bowl and spoon (naturally) as well as five tasting tickets and two People's Choice ballots. Vote for your favorite Boston and Manhattan chowders as contestants are eligible for round-trip airline tickets as well as cash prizes.

Join in the fun by bringing your camera and taking pictures with costumed participants.  Track down the "Clam Fairy" and your weekend will be complete!  Let's hope that one's a female.

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