What the @#!% is “synth-pop?” or “It’s a league game, Donny”

As noted yesterday, we were docked right next to Island Princess III, which ferries tourists up and down the Peterborough lift lock.  And by “right next to” we really mean right next to.  Maybe twenty feet away at the most.  By the end of the weekend’s 200 boatloads of entertained tourists, we knew by rote the first ten-minute script of the jokes used by Jody—who assured each group that “Jody is a boy’s name”—to entertain the passengers.  The passengers dutifully laughed.  We dutifully cringed.

But nothing can be more cringe-worthy than “new wave” synth-pop.  Like the patrons at Bob’s Country Bunker, we enjoy both kinds of music: country AND western.  And ABBA.  So obviously we’re pretty open-minded.   Yet we’d never heard of synth-pop.   Good thing, because synth-pop doesn’t count as music.  In fact, we figure that the sounds emanating from the Howard Jones concert at the marina Saturday night are to blame for global warming, political unrest, and the fly plague we encountered in the middle of Lake Ontario.  Despite thunderstorms during the day, however, several thousand people sat in the wet field to see this dude.

These are the real Canadian looneys, although we allow for the possibility that they were there as part of some kind of diversion program to avoid hard jail time.  We’d have done the time.  At least the prisoners at Folsom and San Quentin got Johnny Cash.


Looping mostly is a quiet sport, best done alone or in small groups.  The places we stop generally have been on the smallish side, with few people to molest us.  Not so in Peterborough.  In addition to the mess that is Howard Jones, RibFest drew folks from all over the region.  Just on our dock alone, eleven boats full of merry-makers from Stoney Lake pulled in and partied until literally 3:30 am.  This is a photo of the calm before the pot-smoking crowd-storm that hit as sundown arrived.

Everyone surprisingly survived the night, however, and they all took off en masse Sunday morning for their trip home.

About a kilometer—since we’re in a metric country after all—from the dock was a Zagster Bike Share rack.  For the quite-reasonable price of $2—Canadian—per hour, the Misty Pearl and Second Wave crews rode over to check out the lift lock.  It’s just as cool as we imagined.

Note the same tour boat in the descending pan.  The lock attendants know Jody’s 15-minute script for the lift ride so between us we pieced the whole thing together without needing to pay.  Whoopeee!

Turns out, this is the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world, people!

In fact, that’s exactly what the lock attendant suggested should be used as the argument to be an “up-downer”—a boat that loops the lock rather than just passing one way—if one spouse is reluctant.  The one of us who wants to go through it three times instead of just once has been using that line with some regularity in preparation for tomorrow.  The other one of us has used her perfected eye roll just as many times.  If all works out, however, we’ll have some video along with some other interesting tidbits.

After the lock visit, we took off on the bikes with far too little thought about the heat and humidity.  Things started wonderfully on a reasonably cool tree-lined path.  

By the time we reached Trent University, however, old age had set in.  We made it back to the boats but just barely.

The plan had been to go bowling at the joint across the street.  Brent took a bowling class in college so had an obvious advantage, but we were confident that we could win the more important Big Lebowski-quote competition even without any contribution by Dana.  Alas, the lanes were closed despite the sign clearly stating that we could roll “year round.”  It looked a bit sketchy when we got over there anyway so maybe it’s for the best.

Dinner with Second Wave on the boat, with a solid plan for tomorrow.  We’ll drone over to check out the blue line at lock 20.  If it’s clear, we’ll head out.  If it’s jammed up, maybe we can go back to bed.  Either way, we’re up-downers all the way.

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