Sunday, March 29, 2009

The family

I've added a new blog to my side bar family. La familia. Joining my side bar is like joining the mafia Jules. You don't have much of a choice when you join and there aren't very many ways out. I still miss Monica...

A little bit of Jules makes everyone's day brighter. Vivid Intellect.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vacation day

I've been watching the weather for a clear day to go skiing and finally the sun came out and it got cold after several days of snowing in the mountains. So I took the day off and went skiing. It was the best day of skiing I've had all year. I ran into a guy I know on the mountain and took some runs with him. The sun was so bright on the snow that the sky above looked almost black. It's as if you are riding the chair out of the atmosphere and into space. It's really a cool effect and I've seen it a few times, but today was the most intense I've seen it like that.

So I stayed until they closed the lifts and I had a whole run to myself as I made my way back to my car in the parking lot. Actually there were very few people on the hill all day and I often had the whole run to myself. Anyway I got back to my car and made my way down the mountain. I was driving along and heard a bang. I though I hit a pothole. So at a switchback I got out and looked under my car to see if I was loosing any fluid. Nothing. So on home I went. I got about half way home, about 35 miles, and the car started to slip out of gear like you were putting in the clutch but this is an automatic. The transmission had failed. It became clear I wasn't going much farther. So I pulled out into sort of a turnout and collected my camera bag and a few other things including a bottle of pop. I lifted the hood on the car and stuck out my thumb.

In about 5 minutes a guy in a pickup turned around and came back and gave me a lift. A really cool guy named Joe. That's one thing about living here, people are willing to help you out if you get in a bind. The same is true in Montana. I knew it would only take me a few minutes to get a lift. You do have to stay by your car though. We got to talking and I told him where I lived and found out he didn't live too far from me and offered to drop me off, but he said he had to stop and drop something off first at work in a different town. I found out he worked at a rental center. So I asked him if they had tow dollys and if he'd rent me one. They were closed, but he agreed to get one hook it to his truck and drop it and me off at my place. What a guy! I couldn't have possibly have been picked up buy a better guy. Then I got my van and a friend and went back to get my car.

Here's a picture of my car when I got it home. So it's all good... Well except the transmission in my car is out. All in all it was a good day. There are some really cool people out there.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Christian American

Another bumper sticker from North Idaho.

The best one I've seen recently but couldn't get a snap of read: "Lord, help me to be half the person my dog thinks I am."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Contrail picture

I usually try to avoid having contrails in pictures as they can really ruin a good shot. It's something I'm always aware of, but this time I just went with it. This is what it looked like while I was on my way to work a few weeks ago.

I don't think I posted this before. If I have I'm really loosing it. I was on my way to re-hab one morning...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bodie Miller in Olympics

Bodie Miller is certianly outside of the bubble. I can respect that. I got to see him ski once and he really is amazing. He left the US Ski team and is doing his own thing. I thought the criticizm of him at the Olympics in Torino was totally unfair.

Miller was on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel this week and talked about leaving the US Ski Team. It sounded to me like they didn't give too many options, but I've only heard his side of the story. As far as the Olympics go, the media put all of these expectations on him to win every event in Torino. That just doesn't always happen in ski racing. We wouldn't know because until recently our ski racing coverage has been so limited. So of course the public was disappointed.

I had to edit this because the google seach made it look like I was criticizing Bodie Miller which I am not. It made it sound like my criticism of past Olympic TV coverage was criticism of Miller. My complaint is with the media not Miller. Sometimes google searches can be very misleading.

Anyway I hope Miller does go to the Olympics but I can understand why he wouldn't.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wind storm picture

Right now there's a wind storm outside. That's not too unusual around here when the weather changes. Here's what it looked like tonight. Dust was getting kicked up from the plains to the west. It was hard to hold the camera still.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Daylight savings time

There are two kinds of people. People who think daylight savings time is a good idea and people who don't. I haven't met too many people who think it's a good idea. So If I were president, I'd introduce legislation that would split the difference by a half hour and leave the time alone after that.

Nikon warranty update

My Coolpix L16 was covered under warranty, so it's all cool with my Coolpix. Good for Nikon. Be sure you keep your receipt and warranty card. They sent me a new one as I thought they might as this was the cheapest camera they make. It must have been more expensive for them to take the old one apart and repair it. Either way I don't care I just want a working camera and it does again. I did have to pay for shipping the old camera to them. That's the only thing, but I'm happy with how they took care of the problem.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Running in the snow

Nothing stops some people from running. I really don't get it... I sort of get it, but I don't get it. This couple lives at the foot of a great ski resort and they aren't skiing, they are running on an epic pow day. "Let's go for a run with the dog honey."


Well I don't have a wife or a dog, and perhaps if I did I'd be willing to run with them in a snow storm. I seriously doubt it though. The last time I ran in the snow I think it was at a track meet in Butte Montana. I froze my hind end off. They had to force us out of the school bus. Track took all of the fun out of running for me. I was a sprinter when I was in school and was the anchor man on a relay team. It's not that I need to have fun while I'm working out either, and I often don't have fun when I cycle, but the bike can be fun at times. Skiing is always fun for me, but after track I never wanted to run again.

You couldn't even pay me to run now,.. but this couple seems to enjoy it. I don't think the dog knows any better.

Bike to work

A better man than me. What's my excuse? It didn't stop snowing,.. and I don't want to get my bike dirty.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Laundry boy

This is how the drive down the mountain looked Saturday. It was a real snow storm. I know you shouldn't talk on a cell phone when you drive... Photography is different...

I was talking to Diane about some of the conversations I have had with strangers on the chairlift. Some of the people you kind of temporarliy bond with. She said there was this "single serving friend" concept in the movie Fight Club. I thought that was a good way to look at it. It sounded to me like something Andy Warhol might have come up with.

I rode up the chairlift with a young woman this weekend and struck up a conversation. I asked her what she did, and she said she worked in the laundry at the hospital. Well when I was in school I had a job in a motel laundry. My title was Laundry Boy. Yes they had a position called laundry boy... Of course only boys were hired to be laundry boys.

I worked in the laundry room, of all places, with all of the maids. (housekeepers) All of the maids were girls. My duties were different than the maids. I mostly did laundry, although I did wash glasses and put them in paper wrappers. I took the job as a stepping stone to become a desk clerk. (I was a climber in the hospitality industry.) So after a summer of being laundry boy, I had learned all of the rooms in the motel and knew what beds were in each one. So then I became a desk clerk. Night clerk actually and it was a good job to have while going to school, and a big step up from the laundry boy position.
I observed that women never promoted out of the maid position into the desk clerk position. There were several female desk clerks however, but no female night clerks after one of them got tied up and robbed. I always thought I'd be robbed, and I think I came close one night but it never actually happened.

Anyway I had a lot to talk about with this girl who worked in the hospital laundry. Of course hospital laundry is slightly different than motel laundry. We talked about washers and dryers and folding laundry. This sort of thing. I really enjoyed the conversation.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


I've had a lot of conversations with people on the chairlift. I guess it's like on Forest Gump. You never know what you're going to get, and you get just a few minutes to talk to someone. The ride up the hill.

Sometimes there is no conversation, and no desire talk, and people just want to be left alone. I don't always feel like talking myself. Sometimes you meet someone who you find out you want nothing to do with and you can't wait to get off of the lift to get away from them. But other times you meet someone who you can tell is a very special person, and the time you get to spend with them is something of great value.

You get to the top of the hill and the ride is over. Probably never see them again. I guess I'll leave it at that.