Sunday, June 15, 2014

Rubber Duck Derby!

So today for Carson Valley Days it was the Rubber Duck Derby, held on this creek that runs all the way through the park.  The judges were ready and waiting beneath the bridge, keeping an eye on things to make sure everyone played fair.  To their credit they could not be bribed with stale bread.

We signed up and bought three duckies.  The rubber ducks are loaded while the judges wisely split for distant lands that are not inhabited by giant yellow ducks.


The ducks were off to a kinda slow start, but the organizers had thought ahead and built in a little waterfall, plus they had people wading along as rubber duck herders.
Uh oh, the rubber ducks have caught up with the judges.  Actual ducks, surprisingly enough, don't really care for rubber duckies.

This time they split for good, getting out and waddling off with outraged quacks.

The rubber ducks meanwhile have reached the waterfall.
This was pretty much as exciting as it got.

The ducks wound and wound...

...assisted by the duck herders.  They had to keep taking rubber ducks away from the black Lab and tossing them back in, he kept jumping in and trying to retrieve them.

Nah, we didn't win.  But the kid did get to take three rubber ducks home with her.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's Carson Valley Days! Biff! Socko!

Well, we went out and rubbernecked at the Carson Valley Days Parade again, this year it had a theme (Did it last year...?  Who knows.), which was 'Superheroes'.

So OK, the run before the parade was filled with fun folks in various superhero outfits.
And tutus.  Because running in a tutu is always a fun thing, dammit.  I liked these girls, they were fearlessly silly.

After the run, things kinda...well...stalled out for about 45 minutes.  This led to people wandering out onto Highway 395, which was closed anyway for the run & parade.  Hell, some of them grabbed a seat and made themselves right at home.

Things devolved further, pretty soon there were large groups wandering across the road to talk with their friends, people playing frisbee or catch across the highway, dogs running around...I think if it went much longer people were going to bust out their barbeques and have a whole-town block party right there in downtown Gardnerville.

But finally they got the parade going.  Requisite visit-your-buddy-who-is-driving was in full swing.

The sheriff's mounted posse was there.

The firemen were having their 'Fill The Boot' campaign, the kid got some experience waving folding money at good-looking guys until they came over and got it.

During Carson Valley Days, if the posse catches you NOT wearing one of the buttons they sell they toss you in the mobile jail for a bit.  The kid yelled, 'That's one of my teachers!' and catcalled him.

One of the local church groups had an anti-smoking thing, complete with some kid in a cigarette butt costume.  He had to hold the top part in place so he could see.

He was pretty awesome, but sorry kid, no match for Cactus Guy last year.

We were again right across from the judges' stand, so all of the parade units did their best stuff right in front of us. Including the gymnastics folks.

The GE float was...confusing.
While it stayed on message with the 'Superheroes' theme, their float had 'Genius Man' battling 'Status Quo'.  Genius Man flew around in a circle and booted Status Quo in the butt with every revolution.  The unfortunate upshot of which was the parade viewers being mooned by Status Quo.  Also, Status Quo seemed to have his head in a brown paper bag.
I...I dunno.  I don't think I'll figure it out in my lifetime, either.

One of the local hair salons got it right with a cute and funny float featuring heroines getting pampered with hair styling and manicures.

Old West style superheroes.  More horses!

The real hero of the day, the guy wielding the pooper scooper after the equestrian unit.  He even did it with flair.

The Shriners, of course.  I think it's written into the Constitution of the United States that every parade have the Shriners in it.  Besides, Shriner Batmobile!

The corgi in the cape and snappy booties got lots of cheers.

Tractors!  This one looked very Disney-Pixaresque in a 'Cars' way.

The historical society had a cute take on the theme.

Just for a switch, the horses rode this float.  Biggest damned dogs ever.

The Bentley coolmobile was having a running good-natured water fight with a local church youth group.

The church halftrack-thing was awesome.

Although Bentley had them on height & reach.

Miss Lake Tahoe and her minion.

The town of Minden had a fun float depicting the town park area being attacked by an Omnidroid.

We dutifully booed Syndrome.

Gotta give 'em credit, someone put in an impressive amount of time and detail work into this, reproducing the buildings surrounding the park perfectly.

Gotta decorate the truck for the parade.  Quick, MORE FOIL!

I own a vintage car, so the tow truck got a big cheer from me.

If the idea behind this float was to UTTERLY TERRIFY, they nailed it.  Here, have some centaurteletubby nightmare fodder.

What in screaming Hell this had to do with the theme, I'll never know.  Maybe everyone's future psychotherapist is the superhero in this scenario and it's like a long con.  Crosseyed panda and purple pigcowbear have me leaning that way.

Luckily we were all saved from thinking about it further by the offroad group's antics as they climbed each other.

These guys were pros and made this look easy.

Thankfully no one drove up on the neato old Willy's


Miss Nevada got fully into the spirit of the day and had FUN, good for her.

Most political folks looked bored and rode in their cars, Jim Wheeler got out and walked the parade route.

Hah, the true license plate of every classic car.

Although I bet he didn't spend as much as this guy did on his plane.

After the parade we managed to convince the kid to go to the carnival and ride some rides.  And I found some happy little chicken whistles!
They are ceramic and sound great.

Lastly, we got to get up close to the Bentley Nautilus.  The detail on this thing is amazing, we talked with the builder and he said it was basically two solid years of work to build it.

The doors iris open and closed.

Yep, that's an octopus tentacle as a door handle.

The outside of the door.

The door hinge.

The entry plate next to the door.  Light-up squid!

Details on the outside.

Sadly we only had a few minutes with the Nautilus as the crew had to leave.  Then we were off to the carnival.

Where we got a vivid example of why the rest of the world is terrified of Americans.

Yeeeaahhhhhh....red, white & blue inflatable guns.  One can practically hear our Founding Fathers screaming, 'That's not what we meant!'

But anyway, a good time was had by all.  More tomorrow!