Thursday, 31 July 2014

August is going to be fun, fun, FUN!

Did you know that August is officially FAMILY FUN MONTH? It’s true!

Every year, my family plans a fun adventure at the beginning of the month, when my parents book time off for holidays. And sometimes, those adventures make it into the Chase “Superman” Duffy comic books — like the time we went to Saskatchewan and saw Mr. Slovonuk’s homestead. He was the first farmer to bring canola (then called rapeseed) to Canada from Poland. Cool, right? (Read more about him in Fields of Home)

And then there was the year we spent following Kevin Therres around to watch him race his Biodiesel Jet Engine Funny Car, the first of its kind to run on 100% canola biodiesel. That was the inspiration for Gotta Jet! But…I bet you guessed that already.

One year, Mom and Grandma planned a fun month family reunion and I met some of the people who have contributed recipes to the giant family cookbook at my grandparents’ house. We made Monster Cookies, which are Grandpa’s favourite — and that family recipe book sparked the mystery for Tasting my Story.

But this year, we’re going to the lake for a week. I can hardly wait! I plan to do plenty of wakeboarding, surfing (behind the boat), swimming, water skiing, hiking, running (of course!) and reading on the beach. Who knows, maybe my water adventures will make into a book someday. <wink wink>

What are you doing this Family Fun Month? Whatever it is, be safe, and have fun!

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 25 July 2014

Capturing canola blooms

Remember those photography classes I was taking with my dad? Well, we’re going to put those skills to good use this weekend!

My grandpa rotated his canola crop this year (meaning, he planted canola where he had wheat last year — crop rotation is good for the soil!), and there’s a really cool tree in the middle of the field I want to capture. It’s gnarled and grey and honestly, it almost looks dead…but amid the blooming yellow flowers, it’s striking!

Maybe we’ll even have a thunderstorm looming in the background! I’ve always wanted to take that kind of picture. I know, safety first.

I’m lucky because I can go on grandpa’s farm anytime I want, as long as I’m not going THROUGH the fields (and potentially ruining his crops), but it’s good to remember, as awesome as those canola fields LOOK, you should always ask permission before going onto a farmer’s land.

My photo instructor says the best lighting — if there’s no thunderstorms in sight — for canola field pictures is first thing in the morning, or late afternoon, early evening. I can’t wait to strap on my camera bag and hit the fields!

Have you taken a good picture of a canola field? Put it on Instagram and tag @SupermanDuffy — or email it to me at Maybe I’ll publish it on my blog!

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 18 July 2014

Hitting the festival streets this summer

I had SO MUCH fun at the Calgary Stampede this year — and truthfully, ate so much midway food I’ve devoured my mom’s “salad dinners” since I got back.

Ten days is a long time to go without eating a lot of vegetables, especially since I’m always in Track and Field training mode. (No, I didn’t try the Scorpion pizza…I’m not that brave! <grin>)

It’s not that there weren’t “healthy options” available…

But let’s face it’s summer! And while the Stampede may be over, the “festival season” is just getting started. Over the next few weeks, my friends and I will be heading to A Taste of Edmonton, Heritage Days, K-Days, Folk Fest (well sitting outside the gates to listen to some of the music) and * deep breath * The Fringe. That’s a whole lot of culture in one summer! Plus, I’m sure there are “events” I haven’t even mentioned.

One thing’s for sure though: if I’m going to survive this festival season, I’ll need to make better food choices. No matter how good those mini donuts smell (did you know they had RED VELVET mini donuts at the Stampede this year. Delicious!), they don’t offer much in the way of nutrition. Mom says I should start packing my own lunches, snacks for sure. How hard is it to throw an apple in my pack? Hmmm.

Are you hitting the festivals in your town this summer? What tricks do you have for eating healthier?

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 11 July 2014

Keeping Cool at the Stampede

If you’ve been hanging out at the Calgary Stampede grounds this past week, you know it’s HOT outside!

Well, sweat NO MORE because the Alberta Canola Producers Commission booth — where you can find all SEVEN of the Chase Superman Duffy comics — is…air conditioned. Cool, right? Literally!

The first week of Stampede has rushed by in a blur, but there’s still time to visit the booth, meet the illustrator and author of the books (and get autographs), or take your picture with some of the characters from the series.

Scroll down for some great pictures from our first few days at the Calgary Stampede!

Amelia in her element.

You can see a blooming canola plant up close!

Grandpa is ready to teach about farming.

Kevin has some great information about canola  biodiesel.

Grandma's recipes will make your stomach rumble with hunger!

Pretty cool, huh! Beat the heat at the Calgary Stampede and visit us in the (air conditioned) Agrium building. Yahoo!

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Stampeding to the CALGARY STAMPEDE

You guys! Guess what?

I’m spending TEN days at the Calgary Stampede this year. TEN. WHOLE. DAYS.

There is SO MUCH to do in Calgary during Stampede- like free pancake breakfasts every day! Then there are all of the rodeo events, visiting the exciting exhibitions, going on the rides, taking in the free concerts, and of course, EAT ALL THE FOOD! I can’t wait to put on my cowboy boots and get walking.

Hey! Will you be at Stampede this year? If you are, check out the Alberta Canola Producers Commission booth within the Ag-Tivity in the City exhibition. You can talk to a farmer, learn about canola oil nutrition, collect recipes AND—

You can buy some of the CHASE SUPERMAN DUFFY comic books your collection might be missing! (There are 7 of them now — how many do YOU have?) The booth will feature two-dimensional characters from the books AND the author, Dawn Ius, and illustrator, James Grasdal, will be on site for ALL TEN DAYS, which means you can get your books autographed. Cool, right? And if you do a selfie with ‘moi’ we’ll give you a small gift!

Gotta jet! Hope to see y’all at the Calgary Stampede — yeehaw!

— Chase Superman Duffy