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February 28, 2006

Wil at 120 Days is About to Call it Quits for 2005-06

Wil at 120 Days of Powder is talking about calling it a season after hurting himself yesterday.

It was a pretty killer day, but once again it was a day that ended in me getting hurt. This time I injured my right elbow pretty severely when I landed a kicker, amid our double-black tree run, with my arm behind my back being slammed into the mountain…
...
With work, injury, and life all calling I couldn’t help but feel that yesterday could be goodbye until next winter. With 39 days left in the season I’m sure that my mind could be changed pretty quickly with a little healing, some re-stocking of my savings, and a big storm front, but for now the hat is hung up.
...
Bills, work, and responsibility call, but, strangely enough, I’m not really dreading it. Work is the price you pay for money, and being broke is the price I’ve paid for powder. In my estimation it’s been worth it. A little irresponsibility now and then goes a long way toward making life worth the price we pay for living it comfortably.

Wil's site is probably my favorite read on the net about skiing. JP over at Colorado Backcountry is a close second. Wil is from Phoenix (go Suns) and has kept me from going insane from the lack of snow down south with his daily entries about how sick Steamboat has been this year.

The sad part is that the demise of 2005-06 is setting in for all of us. Today is the last day of February and with it, the start of higher temperatures and dreaded Corn and Spring Conditions. There are another several good days of skiing and a monster storm tracking through Brian Head this week and next, but I am starting to see the finish line.

I am going to try to head to Steamboat and get at least a day in this year with Wil before he completely calls it quits and still need to head up and hit Big Sky and say hey to Dax as well as meet up with John at Sunlight Mountain. I was hoping to meet up with JP while I was in Colorado.

I am not writing my swan song just yet, but there are so many people I met this year through the blog that are winding down their seasons. It is almost depressing. I just keep thinking November is just a few months away. Good news is that the condo is done at Brian Head and I am moving there full time this summer to finish my MBA at Southern Utah University.

Posted by Justin at 10:08 AM | Comments (2)

February 27, 2006

Gambo on the Olympics

Gambo, a local radio and newspaper personality in Phoenix, offers up this assessment of the Olympics:

Unfortunately these Olympics will be remembered mostly for the follies and the failures. In fact, the Olympics got off to a rough start even before the opening ceremonies when Bryan Gumble decided to throw a racist statement to his audience of HBO's Real Sports. To quote the new Jimmy the Greek, Al Campanis and Rush Limbaugh - Gumble said, "Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don't like them and won't watch them ... Because they're so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of Blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something's not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what's called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won ... So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they're done, when we can move on to March Madness - for God's sake, let the Games begin."
...
But no athlete embarrassed us more than Bode Miller. And it's not just that Miller went 0-for-the Olympics and failed to medal. It's that his I-could-care-less attitude he so flaunted. He was more concerned with taking in the Turin nightlife and having fun thanwith representing his country. He wanted to party, wanted to socialize but didn't want to make the commitment to win. He said he did it his way. Someone should have shown him the movie Miracle and told him it's all about the USA on your outfit, not the Miller on the lineup. And reminded him that he didn't pay his own way to Italy, his country did. Miller's attitude was so bad that he comes off like the last Olympic basketball team, where much of the country was actually rooting against him. Miller certainly isn't someone worth rooting for.

Agreed on both points. The only thing I take issue with is this statement:

There was the selfish act of snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, who gave up gold in her attempt to put a little Terrell Owens in her game. The showboating caused her to fall and tosettle for silver.

Snowboarding has its own unique culture. Let's face simple facts. Jacobellis threw a little style into the mix because that is what snowboarders do. This is an event--boardercross--that belongs in the Xgames and was just recently added to the Olympics. These athletes are not your typical Olympians. They are not the rich kid ice skaters that have been in training for 15 years and are not even 18 yet. The reality of what happened to her and the magnitude of the Olympics did not set in because while in the event of snowboarding, she was doing what she does--be a snowboarder. She gets a pass.

Bode, however does not. Bode was by far the most hyped athlete of the games and completely failed to deliver. He makes gazillions in endorsements and yet acts like he hates being recognized and having to do all the media and endorsement work. He hates to coverage, yet goes and 60 Minutes and talks about skiing drunk. Then despite creating all this hype, fails to even medal. Gambo is right that Bode is like the 2004 Basketball team... guys that you almost rooted against.

Bryant Gumbel made an absolute idiot of himself by making racist comments about skiing and the Winter Olympics in general. There are clearly demographic issues here, in that not a lot of blacks ski, but also, not a lot of blacks live in geographic areas where they have easy access to skiing. It is an expensive sport that requires extensive travel unless you live in an area with a local resort. I wish winter sports were more diverse, but sadly, it is not because of discriminatory practices, but because these tend to be far northern sports and sports that people who live in places with lots of snow enjoy. Notice how Norway, Finland, Germany, Canada, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, etc. tend to perform best at the games. It is simple access to snow.

Posted by Justin at 01:47 PM | Comments (6)

More on the Awful Arizona Season

Sunrise officially closed on Sunday, marking a season in which Apache and Cyclone never even opened. Apache and Cyclone are my personal favorite places to ski on the mountain and are typically the best places to get freshies and stay away from the crowds.

Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff still has not opened, but that is kinda difficult to do when you only receive 20" of snow all year and have no snowmaking. Starting shortly, the resort should have snowmaking capability up and running now that the lawsuit is settled with the Indian tribes and Sierra Club that tried to stop it.

I am working to get some more details from Snowbowl on the improvements going on up there and Sunrise on the 2005-06 Season and hope to post additional info shortly.

Posted by Justin at 01:31 PM | Comments (5)

February 26, 2006

Freshness Expected on Tuesday at Brian Head

Snowforecast is predicting the following for Tuesday:

90% chance of moderate to heavy snowfall with a bit of a rain mix for the base early during the onslaught with snow levels hovering at and just below base level...moderate to heavy accumulations possible of 15-20".

That is the good news. The bad news is they are also predicting this:

Winds remaining SW and strong today at 25-30mph with gusts 30-35mph at the base...summit SW 30-40mph with higher gusts 40-50mph at times especially early.

On Friday we have more coming with this little tidbit:

60% chance of moderate to heavy snowfall...snow levels lower this time with fluffier snow...10-15" possible again.

This could be a five plus foot week at Brian Head. All indications are that a series of storms are on their way in. Unfortunately, I have loaned the condo to my wife's cousin for the weekend. I am still planning on heading up however and may try to sneak out on Thursday night. We shall see what the weekend holds, but the good news is it should hold a couple of sick deep powder days.

Posted by Justin at 06:11 PM

February 24, 2006

It Was the Best of Times... Worst of Times

The following article is from the Arizona Republic dated today.

Utah is poised to set its third consecutive record by exceeding last season's 3.9 million skier visits, Ski Utah spokeswoman Hilary Reiter said.

Snowfall along the Wasatch Range - home to 11 resorts including Snowbird, Park City and Alta - has been about 157 percent more than the total in an average season.

Utah is loving life. How about Colorado?

In Colorado, so much snow has fallen that many mountain towns have piled it high on street corners and in parking lots. Aspen has had more than 21 feet of snow, with many longtime residents saying it's the best they have ever seen, Aspen Skiing Co. spokeswoman Kristen Rust said.

Colorado resort managers are hopeful they will set a record for skier visits this year. The previous record of 11.98 million was set in the 1997-98 season; last year, the total was 11.81 million. From October to December, the resorts reported 3.1 million skier visits, said Rob Perlman, president of the trade group Colorado Ski Country USA.

What about Snowbowl, Arizona that has been battling to get snowmaking capability added so that they can have a consistent season?

Meanwhile, folks at the Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff - in the midst of a drought - continue to wait for enough snow to open, a year after posting a season record 460 inches. Since October, they have seen about 20 inches of snow, resort spokesman David Smith said.

The delay has cost millions of dollars in revenue, "and you can put that in capital letters if you want," he said.

"It's extremely frustrating to sit around and look at the slopes and see dry grass where typically they should be covered in white," he said. "The hope is still there that we'll still be able to have a good season, at least the latter half."

20 Bleepin' Inches? 20? Come on people. I don't know what Arizona did to deserve another Fire Season like 2003, but this is gonna be a bad one. There is no snow at all. We are going to be engulfed by flames shortly. I mean like Arizona needs massive fires to add to the already heated nature of our state.

We need rain in a bad way. The high country needs some snow. We are past due.

Posted by Justin at 01:28 PM | Comments (1)

February 23, 2006

Future Projects at Brian Head Resort

Some interesting reading about Brian Head's Master Development Plan. The MDP contains plans to build three additional lifts and increase the amount of Intermediate and Advanced area significantly.

The deficit in upper intermediate and advanced terrain at Brian Head was identified in the resort’s 1997 master development plan (MDP; Brian Head Resort 1997), which documented the fact that the resort does not have the range of terrain difficulty to meet the demands of skiers of all ability levels. This limits the recreational opportunity the resort provides.

The 1997 MDP addressed the lack of more difficult terrain through proposed development on Brian Head Peak. Subsequent experience with the peak terrain indicated several problems, particularly its unreliable snow coverage and its short, extremely steep upper slopes that shift abruptly to relatively flat terrain. In light of these shortcomings, alternatives to the Brian Head Peak terrain were investigated by the resort, resulting in the current proposal.

The new proposal creates the ski terrain in the pioneer cabin area:

The proposed MDP amendment includes the following five elements. The proposal is described in detail, and the location of these elements is shown, in Chapter 2 of this document. 1. Amending the special use permit to add 158 acres of National Forest System lands in the Pioneer Cabin area. 2. Developing new terrain and ski trails in the Pioneer Cabin expansion area instead of the Brian Head Peak area. 3. Constructing three lifts and associated support facilities to access the expansion area. 4. Amending the Forest Plan to change the Management Area designation of the expansion area. 5. Mitigating the loss of goshawk habitat due to ski area expansion by amending the Forest Plan to designate an off-site goshawk mitigation area.

The purpose is as follows:

The purpose of the proposed action is to provide high-quality recreation at Brian Head Resort, a designated Winter Sports Site, by developing an appropriate amount and mix of ski terrain for all ability levels and the infrastructure necessary to utilize this terrain. To achieve this purpose, there is a need to:
  • Develop steeper (greater than 25 percent), longer, more consistently sloped ski terrain.
  • Locate such terrain in an area with reliable snow conditions.
  • Construct the ski lifts necessary to access this terrain and the roads necessary to access the lifts for maintenance.
  • Provide necessary services for skiers using this terrain (e.g., ski patrol/first aid support, restrooms, and food service).

Interesting reading and it has the topo maps of the new area to match. If there is a downside of the Resort, it is lack of advanced skiing. As Brian Head addresses this need, the resort will only improve. As it stands now, for a mid-sized resort, Brian Head is perhaps my favorite place to ski with my family. But as discussed this weekend with Erich and Dan, the runs are often shorter than we would like and there is not enough black and maybe double black terrain.

Posted by Justin at 09:38 AM

February 22, 2006

Season Pass Sales for 2006-07

Season Pass sales are coming shortly. Tracy in the Brian Head Group Sales and Season Passes office was working at Navajo this weekend while I was in and we are starting to prepare for 2006-07.

Consistently, March-April is the best time to purchase almost anything ski related. The Season Pass sales are always cheapest this time of year. Prices only rise as the summer wears on and the season gears up.

Last year at this time I bought my Atomic twin tips that I use for powder skis. Probably got them for 35% of the regular price. $800 versus $279. Same with my boots. Regular $750 for $300. Several ski shops have insane deals going on right now, especially in Phoenix due to the awful season for the Arizona resorts.

Posted by Justin at 12:03 PM

February 20, 2006

Best Week of the Year at Brian Head

No other way to describe it. It has been snowing on and off since Friday and yesterday the snow was at least mid-calf and often knee deep. Well, it snowed another several inches overnight. BH is reporting 15" in the last day. And it was snowing again this PM.

We spent Sunday on the Dunes again for about half the day. Lap after lap of pow. Erich and Dan followed Jeremy and me as we guided them through our favorite runs:

  • Pillows Glade off of Giant Steps
  • First Tracks off Roulette
  • The Plunge off Dunes

Each is special in its own way. But all in all, the entire Dunes Area was sick deep and awesome everywhere we went. I stuck to the trees between Last Chance and The Plunge and tended to ski the glades where the pow was deepest and untracked. And today I can barely walk from the burning.

My son Jake and brother Jackson are hitting boxes, rails, and jumps like they belong in the terrain park. Tera took a couple of runs on Sunday, but Saturday and Sunday were bitter cold because of the wind. Today was perfect. No wind, blue skies in the AM, and temps that were far enough below freezing to keep the snow soft, yet not frostbite you if you didn't wear a mask.

My Dad, Jeremy, and the boys stayed behind and skied all day today and called me at 4:00 and decided Jake and Jack are skipping school tomorrow so they can ski one more day. I am starting a new job and had to get home so it appears I am missing the best day you could ask for tomorrow. Dan and Erich left last night.

All in all, a perfect President's Day spent with friends and family.

Posted by Justin at 10:11 PM

February 18, 2006

Eight in the Condo and the Lifts Are Shut Down

Good things and bad things today at Brian Head. First, it is snowing, which is always good. Second, it is so windy that the lifts are on wind hold. The entire upper mountain at Brian Head is shut down since about 11:30 AM today.

So, third, tomorrow is going to have a decent amount of fresh (if it doesn't blow away). But fourth, the place is completely packed with people because it is President's Day weekend and to compound it, there is only one lift open on the main side.

So it is with anticipation for tomorrow that things will be better that I head to sleep tonight. I spent the day riding crowded slopes on groomed runs, but we did enjoy the terrain park and I worked riding switch on my Atomics. My wife stayed in the condo, because the conditions just were too rough. No sense trying to keep warm and learn in close to zero visibility.

Erich and Dan from my old work rolled up last night and we always enjoy hanging out. We are enjoying the place with family and friends for the first real get together. More updates on conditions tomorrow AM.

Posted by Justin at 04:10 PM

February 16, 2006

Just spoke to John at Sunlight Mountain to check on the snow and make plans for my trip up this year. Sunlight has some very cool stuff going on including free Rail and Jump clinics as well as some Freestyle competition:

There are only so many spots available at the X-Games. But at Sunlight Mountain, the competition is open to all comers. Some of the local big hitters take advantage of the opportunity to have a great time and put on an awesome show at the Freestyle Festival. On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26, Sunlight Mountain Resort is proud to host the Bring The Funk Freestyle Festival. It all kicks off Saturday at 10:00am with a free hour-long rail clinic in our newly expanded Centre of the Rockies Terrain Park. Skiers and boarders of all abilities are invited to come out and learn the basics of riding rails. At 11:00am, the Slopestyle Comp starts; and the Snow Skate Jam commences at 3:00pm.

Sunday begins with a free one-hour jump clinic at 10:00am followed by a Big Air Comp on Dotsero at 1:00pm. At 3:00pm, there will be a film showing of the Joslin Freeride Invitational from the previous Thursday, Feb. 23. Local jam band, The Hideouts play live music at Sunlight Inn from 4:00 to 6:00pm.

For more information about the Bring The Funk Freestyle Festival, please call us at 1-800-445-7931

Sunlight is comparable in size to Brian Head. I love skiing at the smaller and less crowded resorts because you tend to get a better value out of the trip. Let's be honest, unless you ski an area for three or four days straight or more, the difference between 500 acres and 3,000 does not matter anyway. I find a set of runs I like and I usually stick to them until I get bored. Now it does make a difference in finding freshies, but when the snow is good (and it has been excellent in Colorado this year), I would ski a cornfield with a rope tow if it were steep enough.

I am planning an epic vacation time burning trip in two weeks and plan to hit the resorts in Summit that I have not hit yet as well as spend a good deal of time at Sunlight. At $75 a pop for a ticket at most of the Summit Resorts and more at Vail and Aspen, who wants to pay an extra $35 per day for acreage you are not going to use. The best skiing values I have found are Sunlight, A-Basin, Loveland, Alta, and Brian Head, all coming in around $40-45 per day.

Posted by Justin at 11:40 AM

8" Fresh Last Night at Brian Head

Well, the title says it all. But the storm system is not done. BH is expecting another storm to come through on Friday that will leave some snow and on Sunday snowforecast.com anticipates 8-14" of new or possibly more. And snowforecast has been underestimating snowfall totals all year.

I am heading out the door when Jeremy and Tera get off work. My dad and little brother Jackson along with son Jake are rolling up with me. And on Friday, my buddy Erich that I used to work with is gonna come up.

All around good times. Eight people in the condo, tons of fresh, a long weekend, and what should be an excellent trip. I will be posting tomorrow PM on actual conditions, but I am expecting to stay over off of the Dunes when I am not instructing Tera on the finer art of linking snowplow turns.

Posted by Justin at 08:39 AM

February 14, 2006

Valentines Day and President's Day Trip to Brian Head

Good stuff is on the horizon at Brian Head. Looks like high pressure is lifting and we may get a series of storms in to the area over the next few days and into this weekend. The folks at Weather.com can't decide whether it is going to snow or not, but the folks at snowforecast.com think it will. I am a glass is half full kind of guy so I am predicting it will snow, but the 40MPH winds will quickly relocate the snow somewhere else.

I was supposed to be in New York this week, but cancelled my plans due to the blizzard. How about the fact that I live in Phoenix and left my cold weather gear at the condo and the only winter storm that happens this year is in New York, not in Utah. I am being punished for something. I almost had to fly into a blizzard without all my warm weather gear. I think I have like one light jacket that is not at the condo. But we are using the trip cancellation as an excuse to leave for the condo Thursday and try to get a decent day in on Friday.

My loving wife is planning a second go-round of "learn to ski with Justin". I am bringing the new Burton up and gonna hope that the extra 20 lbs I am carrying will protect me from icy conditions. I am really hoping that it is not too windy this weekend.

Posted by Justin at 10:32 AM

February 11, 2006

The Bluths Didn't Disappoint

Alright, if it is done it is done. I have 40 episodes on DVD and another 13 on the Tivo. When a TV series is so well written and humorous that you can watch episodes literally dozens of times and still find something funny or quirky each time, they are doing something radically different from what the rest of TV puts on. And different is not always what people want.

In case you don't know, last night was the season (and without Showtime or ABC's help the Series) Finale of Arrested Development. In a two hour flurry, we had Lindsey throwing herself at her brother Michael, Nellie (Justine Bateman) working as a prostitute and throwing herself at real life brother and suspected TV brother Michael (Jason Bateman), GOB dating his nephew's ex-girlfriend that he seduced when she was a beauty contestant at the Church and State Fair, GOB hitting on (adopted sister) Lindsey to get back at Michael for telling George Michael that he had stolen his girlfriend, and George Michael and Maebe getting married. Throw in some crossdressing bodybuilding hookers, a puppet named Franklin, a bunch of Saddam look-alikes, the CIA, a fake WMD from homefill, Judge Reinholt, and Stan Sitwell who cannot grow his own hair, and you can understand why people just don't get the show. You can't be a casual viewer and get how funny this really is.

Perhaps the best line of the entire two hours was almost completely missed. I missed it the first time I watched the finale. Maebe is on the boat trying to get her family to sign the release forms so that the studio that she con'ed a job at can rehire her and make a made for TV movie about her conning her way into a job. She is walking around with a clipboard and asks Buster if he wants to sign a petition to make TV better. He responds, "I kind of like Skating with Celebrities." Ah, the irony. Perhaps the best show on TV was cancelled this season so that Fox can bring us "Skating with Celebrities". Replaced on Monday nights and discarded for another reality show. From the network that brought you who wants to marry a millionaire.

Sorry to blog so much about a TV show, but trust me, the first two seasons are mandatory viewing material for the uninitiated when taking long road trips. You can't help but get addicted.

Posted by Justin at 12:07 PM

February 09, 2006

Possible Snow at Brian Head Next Week

Our friends at Weather.com are reporting a pretty good chance that Brian Head will get some snow late next week. (Wed-Fri so far)

I am heading to New York for a week to speak at a conference for work. I fly home late Thursday night and am planning on heading up to Brian Head on either Thursday night or Friday--probably Friday. If the snow is soft and fluffy for my delicate backside, I may just strap on the new Burton and make an idiot out of myself on the bunny slope during night skiing. Tera is coming with and night skiing might be fun for her. (by "fun" I mean "cold")

It was literally 80 in Phoenix yesterday, which is late March weather. There is no snow anywhere in the state. And there are fires already burning near Payson in the White Mountains (as if there is anything left to burn after 2003). Lest we get some precip soon, this is gonna be a crazy bad fire season here.

Posted by Justin at 10:52 AM

February 07, 2006

Please Don't Be the End

Another shameless plug for the funniest show about to no longer be on television. Friday will have a two hour marathon of Arrested Development and may be more than just the last shows this season, but rather the last shows ever.

Showtime continues to negotiate to bring AD over to the pay network and I would be the first to line up and plink down $10 per month simply to see my Bluths.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE save our Bluths.

Posted by Justin at 11:42 AM | Comments (1)

February 06, 2006

Super Bowl Highlights from Venemous Kate

Yesterday was the big game and it is clear that if Joey Porter is going to claim the refs wanted Indy to win three weeks ago, they just as damned sure wanted Pittsburgh to win yesterday. Some of the worst officiating I have ever seen. But this blog entry by Venemous Kate makes it all worthwhile.

My husband’s always seemed to prefer my absence during football games, possibly because my presence dampens his enthusiastic displays. I’m the kind of wife who keeps a quiet but watchful eye on the number of empty beer bottles piling up on the coffee table. The kind who doesn’t care how far off a quarterback’s pass was, it’s still not an excuse to knock potato chips and dip all over the carpet. And, yes, I’m the kind who loudly shushes her spouse whenever he’s screaming at the top of his lungs over a lame-ass play: “Dear, they can’t hear you. Stop screaming!” ... And then it happened — that thing that Hubby has been secretly praying for throughout the past 9 years we’ve known each other. I became a raving, screaming football fanatic.

It started when a ref called an offensive pass interference on Darrell Jackson, overturning a touchdown, when the ref clearly had his head too far up his ass (or maybe up Chris Hope’s?) to see the game being played right in front of him. And, although Jerramy Stevens broke my heart more than once, I wasn’t so bitter as to overlook the B.S. holding call on Sean Locklear that took the thunder out of Hasselbeck’s pass to him. Having it all topped off by a gimme to Ben Roethlisberger’s diving leap to the endzone — despite the ball never actually breaking the plane — well, it was enough to send me into a screaming frenzy that made Hubby sit back in mute awe and admiration.

Luckily, the Big-Eyed Boy was in bed long before they called a “block below the waist” on a tackler, because I think I actually managed to teach Hubby a few new swear words that time.

The refs in this game were so bad, that they turned a normally mild mannered woman with only a passing interest in football, into a raving, swearing chip spilling idiot to match her husband. VK is now a football fan and if she can build on this performance, she may just get an invite to our place to join the rest of us idiots and teach my wife a thing or two about proper conduct during a ball game.

Note to Kate--loud, profanity laced tirades are less appropriate for women during the regular and pre-season, and if you use the outside, stadium voice too often, it loses its effect. But this game was clearly appropriate for almost any phrase or volume level that you could have used in describing the shafting that the Refs gave the Seahawks.

Posted by Justin at 12:25 PM

February 05, 2006

Super Sunday is Less Super This Year

Last night, I figured I would fire up the Xbox360 and play a game or two of Madden when my 9 year old said, "Let's play two player." I told him I wanted to play single player just to chill and practice. He offered up this little nugget:

"I promise I will take it easy on you."

That was code for, "Dad, now you don't have to act like an adult and my father and build my self esteem." I went Joey Porter on him with the taunting and trash talk and by the third quarter had him using the teapot tone--why can't I tackle him--and eventually throwing the controller and crying. I added more insult by running out the clock by taking three consecutive knees on his goal line instead of scoring--which happens to make it even worse.

Today officially ends the 2005 Season, but in all honesty, it ended for many of us two weeks ago. Last season for the Phoenix Suns ended the same way as the Bronco's season--on the verge of the finals, but not quite there. ASU Football had USC down big at half and LSU all but beaten on 4th and 10 from the 40, but couldn't close the deal. On the verge, but just not able to close the deals.

After today, I can look forward to two more months of skiing, the NFL draft, Baseball spring training, the NBA playoffs, and the start of training camp. Superbowl talk will be over on Monday and we can start looking forward to TO signing with Denver, Ricky Williams playing at Mile High... wait, is that at Mile High or "a mile high"? And please send snow down south. PLEASE!

Posted by Justin at 11:48 AM

February 03, 2006

Disabled Iraq Vets Take on Mountain

Heard about this story on talk radio on Thursday.

COLONIE -- Iraqi insurgents ambushed Robbie Doughty's Humvee on July 8, 2004. The retired Army staff sergeant lost his right leg above the knee and his left leg below the knee to a roadside bomb. It took him five months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to learn to walk on prostheses. The 31-year-old father of one gets around in a wheelchair at the end of the day. On Thursday, however, the Kentucky soldier had his sights set on the ski slopes. He and 29 other severely wounded U.S. service members, including many amputees, flew into the Capital Region for a complete and cost-free ski weekend at Windham Mountain.

The facility's Adaptive Sports Foundation, Disabled Sports USA and the national Wounded Warrior Project sponsored the trips. They arranged special equipment and skiing and snowboarding lessons. The troops and their families will also snow tube, and members of the New York City Fire Department will transport them, even to evening ski parties.

Regardless of your personal views on the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, these young men and women that are injured will never be the same. This is an awesome program and better yet, it is simply great to see these folks giving back to our bravest. The "ultimate price" that soldiers pay in war often is not simply defined as dying on the battlefield, but for these Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen, it often is the price they pay for the rest of their lives.

May God watch over the troops remaining and provide them a safe and speedy return home.

Posted by Justin at 07:10 PM | Comments (1)

Brokeback... to the Future

Gotta see this parody of Brokeback Mountain from the folks at Chocolate Cake City brought to use by Wizbang.

Say it ain't so Doc and Marty. Say it ain't so.

Posted by Justin at 12:03 AM

February 02, 2006

More High Pressure (Warm and No Snow) at Brian Head

The storm track is getting pushed north again and Brian Head is in for a few 40 degree days coming up this weekend and next week. I was planning on taking another load of stuff from IKEA up to the condo this weekend, but now may unload the truck and reschedule.

I am planning a "friends and family" trip for the weekend of the 17th through the 20th to break in the new condo. We are straight up going for the 70's phone booth game and seeing how many folks we can cram into the place. I am thinking around 8-10 is doable. I bought some bunk beds at IKEA to match my queen bed upstairs. I am getting my office together and preparing to start the Summer Semester of this year on my MBA.

It is already February and it seems like this season never really started. It has been a bad year down south for snow, but here is hoping that the next two months make up for it. Brian Head has had 109" so far TOTAL THIS YEAR. They had that by the middle of November last year.

Posted by Justin at 12:58 PM

From USA Today--Differences Between Skiing in the US and Europe

This article discusses some of the differences between skiing in the US and Europe:

8. Beyond burgers and fries: In Europe, lunch on the slopes is an integral part of the mountain experience. Mountain lunches in Europe have no resemblance to the hamburgers, chili and fries that are ubiquitous at American resorts. In Switzerland and Germany, expect a Jägerschnitzel, a veal schnitzel smothered with mushrooms. In Austria the gasthaus owner might sweep in with Kaisersmarrren, a sizzling skillet filed with potatoes, eggs and ham. In Italy an antipasto of bresaola, dried beef, is a true mountain experience. Follow it with a hearty pasta and local cheese. The French pride themselves on tartiflette, another skillet dish with potatoes and cured ham layered with roblochon, a local cheese. In Spain a late lunch complete with salad, lamb, dessert, coffee and a cigar, stretches from 2 p.m. until about when the slopes close.

Many restaurants only have space by reservation and all are packed. For about $20 a skier can devour a hearty meal with wine or beer and then face the final hours of the day.

I read stuff like this and it makes me hungry for an overpriced burger or some chili fries. I am going to start blogging about the crap that I eat when on the mountain so that we have a record of who to sue when I have my first heart attack at 35.

Posted by Justin at 12:54 PM