Friday, 19 July 2019

Reading all day is good for you

You probably think I'm making that up, but according to research, reading is a more effective stress reliever than listening to music or going for a walk—even more effective than doing yoga (even though my mom doesn't believe me.)

It's not that I'm stressed—but I admit, all of this rain is kind of bumming me out. It's stressful for my grandparents, too, who could use a little, okay a lot of sunshine. Flooding could be an issue this year...many of the streets where I live already are.

Sometimes I love running in the rain, but not with these downpours lately. And since we're looking at another rainy weekend, I plan on getting a good jump on my Summer Reading Challenge. What better way to spend a rainy day than immersed in a good book?

And you know what? After reading, I might take a nap, or watch something on Netflix. Because next week when the sun (supposedly) makes an appearance, I'll be busy with chores, training, and if I'm lucky, an afternoon at Klondike Days.

How are you spending your rainy weekend?

Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 5 July 2019

Giddy-up! It's Stampede time!

Today is the first day of the CALGARY STAMPEDE!

I love the Stampede. It’s not just the rides or the food though once I ate a slice of pizza with bigs on it which was pretty amazing.) For me, the Stampede is a ten-day celebration of agriculture—and since my grandparents are crop producers (mainly canola), I have a special connection to “the land.”

Every year, my entire family heads to the Stampede grounds to check out the rodeo, bite into some delicious (or strange) food, take a spin on the Zipper, and of course, tour the pavilions.

Every year I look forward to seeing what's in the Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission booth. Not only can you learn a lot about canola from the producers who take time away from the fields to talk to consumers about their crops (and answer any questions), sometimes they have life-sized statutes of "cartoon me" and many other characters from the Superman Duffy series of graphic novels. If you see "me" there, take a pic!

Put your picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tag @SupermanDuffy for a chance to win a signed set of the comics. That’s16 books!

Gotta Jet! Hope to see you at the Stampede. Wahoo!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 28 June 2019

Happy (early) Birthday, Canada!

Happy (early) Birthday, Canada!

And happy start to summer holidays! School is officially out today, and as usual, my family will celebrate this weekend, and especially on Monday, Canada's official birthday.

I love Canada Day, because every year Grandpa and Grandma come into the city to watch the fireworks with us, and Mom invites all of the neighbours over for a barbecue—even when it's gloomy outside. Dad and I have a hot dog decorating contest—that’s when you put as many different foods and as much as you want to on your hot dog. I always win because he says chocolate doesn’t go with mustard and ketchup.

It’s tradition!

I’ve been thinking a lot about traditions this week.

Traditionally, I head to Grandpa’s farm after the Canada Day fireworks and spend the first few days of the holidays helping Grandma in the garden and Grandpa in the field. It's been a rainy few weeks so I can't get out running yet, but there’s always work to be done—like scouting.  No, that doesn’t mean pitching a tent and being a Boy Scout; that’s when Grandpa and I walk through the fields with a net and swish it through the crop and see how many bugs get caught up in the net. Grandpa says that’s a good way to know how many bugs are feasting on his canola. I have a feeling I'll need to wear my rain gear this time, though.

And I think this year, I’m going to start a new tradition, like being thankful for all of the reasons it’s great to be a Canadian, starting with all of the great inventions Canadians have been a part of—like basketball, insulin, the IMAX theatre, and so much more. You can read all about them in the Superman Duffy graphic novel, "O." Don't have a copy? Download or order it from the Alberta Canola Producers Commission website.

Gotta jet! Hope you get to celebrate Canada’s birthday this weekend with your family—and find some new ways to top your hot dogs.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 21 June 2019

Planning My Summer

It's almost here—the end of the school year!

Don't get me wrong, I love school. But I'm looking forward to sleeping in and staying up late, not spending every night doing homework, or every day after school training from track and field. Of course I’ll still run around Grandpa’s canola field for extra practice, but Mom limits my sister and I to about an hour a day of screen time—including YouTube videos!

So, I need to find some other ways to fill the summer days. There's my Reading Challenge—12 books this year!—and my usual helping out at the farm. But what else will I be doing? Good question. I decided to make a list:

  1. Biking. I spend a lot of time running throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall. But this year, I want to spend a bit more time on my bike. Yes, I'll wear a helmet, of course. 
  2. Photography. Dad and I started taking pics a few years ago, and we lost some momentum. I think I'll pull out my camera and spend some more time practicing my skills. 
  3. Writing. Yup, time to dust off my notebook and work on this year's short story—I'm thinking of a fairy tale re-telling. 
  4. Volunteering. I'm not sure where yet, but Mom says she'll help me find somewhere to help out. Maybe the library again, or at an event, or...? If you have any ideas, please send them my way. 
  5. Napping. I know, I know. That's kind of silly, but sometimes it's totally fine to have a nap. I heard that the most effective naps are only 20 minutes long. Seems short, but I'm willing to give it a try. 
What's on your summer list? 

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend. I plan to get started on some of these things tomorrow—likely #5. <heh> 

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 14 June 2019

Basketball Came Full Circle Last Night

The Toronto Raptors are the NBA Champions!

I don't know if you watched the game last night, but my entire family was glued to the TV—even Grandpa, who didn't even bother to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs because the Edmonton Oilers weren't in.

What a fast-paced, intense game! And what a win for Canada—the Raptors are our nation's only NBA basketball team, and they've never won the title. Which is kind of funny because did you know that a Canadian invented basketball? Yep. Dr. James Naismith in December 1891.

And not only that, but the first NBA game was played in Toronto on November 1, 1946.

So, it's about time basketball came full circle last night—with the Raptors bringing home the title. Whoot! And watching the playoffs with my family made me realize that I actually like basketball. The skills involved are amazing, and I love the pace. Maybe I'll give it a try next year at school.

If you didn't know that basketball was invented by a Canadian, you're not alone. In fact, there are many inventions that are Canadian that might surprise you—like insulin, the IMAX theatre, and canola. You can read about a bunch of them in the Superman Duffy graphic novel, "O"—which you can order free from the Alberta Canola Producers' Commission.

Gotta jet! I'm counting down the last days until school ends—and today, I'm wearing my Raptors T-shirt. Have a great weekend!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 7 June 2019

Roses It's (sometimes) true!

My grandma has a garden full of roses (and I mean, full)—red, yellow, pink, even orange (actually, I think the technical term is apricot). Except, none of them are her favourite colour.

Grandma loves ROYAL BLUE ROSES. They're really pretty. But…you won’t see many of those growing in a typical garden.

That’s because blue roses are grown using biotechnology—which is a scientific process that’s pretty hard to explain but essentially means the plant’s DNA is naturally altered to create a specific trait—in this case, its royal blue colour. Sound complicated?

It is!

Which is why even though scientists have been growing royal blue roses for the last six years or so, my grandpa has to order them in for special occasions—like Grandma’s birthday, Mother’s Day, and June 12—which is ironically, Red Rose Day. (Who makes these days up?!)

Biotechnology is pretty fascinating science, and of course, it’s evolving all of the time. Biotechnology is explored in 5-7-5 Errand Boy, one of the Superman Duffy graphic novels. If you've read it, you'll see that biotechnology affects our daily lives more than we think. If you don't have a copy, you can order it from the Alberta Canola Producers' Commission.

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 31 May 2019

Gearing Up For my Annual READING Challenge ~ Will YOU Join Me?

As much as I love school, I’m starting to get excited for summer break. Not only do I get to sleep in, spend more time writing, and practicing for track and field by running laps around my grandparents’ canola farm—when the smoke clears, obviously—but I also have more time to READ, READ, READ!

I haven’t been as good at this as I should be. (Which is horrible since I want to be a writer!) This is my wake-up call. <cough cough>

Last summer, I pledged to read 10 books—down two books from previous years, but a more realistic goal. Five books a month is hard when you factor in all of the great things to do over the summer—like ride my bike, or go swimming, or even do crafts with my sister. And since Edmonton is the city of festivals, there's that too.

Still, I've decided to up my goal again and go for:

12 Books

And yes, comics count. Seriously, they do.

But that's still a lot of words, so I'm going to let you in on a little secret.... <whispers> I'm going to start THIS weekend. I know, it's not quite summer, but if this smoke doesn't go away, I won't be able to spend much time outdoors anyway.

12 books. I can do it.

Can YOU? I hereby challenge you to a summer of reading! What 12 books are on your list? Maybe we could swap lists? And if you're stuck, you can start with the Superman Duffy series of graphic novels. Order them free from the Alberta Canola Producers Commission website.

Gotta jet!
Have a great weekend… reading, right?
~ Chase Superman Duffy