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February 27, 2008

Sad Day for Wickenburg

I remember wrestling trips all across the state, travelling with Rome, Roxie, Joe and Kristina Glover. I played football with Joe for four years and we both were four year lettermen in wrestling. Christina was always there as a cheerleader or just to support her big brother. The Glovers are a wonderful family. All of them have (had) a sense of humor and personalities that just drew to them. The were magnetic on the both the football field, cheer team, and in the community. We had our 10 year reunion two years ago. I remember walking into the bar with my classmates and she was the first one over to see us. Talked about her nieces and Joe and how well things were going.

It is with great sadness that we remember her passing at age 30.

Kristina Lorene Glover, age 30, passed away Feb. 24 at Wickenburg Community Hospital, surrounded by her family and loving fiance Nate Cooper. She was born May 29, 1977 in Sturgis, S.D., to Rome C. Glover and Roxie D. (Wilsey) Glover.

Kristina moved to Wickenburg in 1983, and this was the town that she justly called home, graduating Class of 1995. She received her bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Montana. Kristina was in her final year of law school at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash.

She is survived by her parents, Rome and Roxie Glover; her beloved brother Joe; sister-in-law Nora; nieces Elena, Ava, and Abbey; her fiance Nate; her grandparents Robert and Lillian (Wilsey) Pegra; 10 aunts; 11 uncles; several great-aunts and uncles; numerous cousins; and countless extended family and friends who will miss her dearly.

Kristina had a spirit and zest for life that touched many hearts. She loved spending time in the wilderness, embracing the closeness of nature. Her life was bountiful in experiences that reaffirmed this love: horseback riding, camping, hiking, and even becoming an experienced fisherwoman in Alaska.

The passion Kristina had for life was always apparent in the high goals she set for herself. Law school found Kristina chairing clubs, participating in competitions on a national level, raising money for non-profits, and achieving honors in her academics. She not only excelled at law school, but also made the time to acknowledge the more intimate side of life.

Foremost in Kristina’s heart was her family and the love of her life Nate. Her love of children was evident in the devotion she had to her three nieces. Kristina had a genuine care for others and was always willing to share her rich life experiences in hopes of enlightening another’s life path.

Just a sad day. Kristina was a year older than Tera and graduated two years after me.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Rome, Roxie, Joe, Nate, and the rest of the family. We lost another member of the Wickenburg family in Stephanie Babcock that passed away less than a year ago at 29. The entire town knew and loved both of these young women. It is just a sad day.

Posted by Justin at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)

February 25, 2008

Best Response EVER to the Arrested Development Movie

The best response to the AD Movie:

I would cry, but I don't think I can spare the moisture.

Second place:

It's happening, isn't it.

Third place:

Hey, what a great idea for a Hugh Grant/ Julia Roberts-type movie.

I seriously cannot get over the idea that AD might be coming back. I posted about it yesterday, but am still out trolling for tidbits of news to verify that this is a reality. Spread the buzz and plan to see it right away in theatres. Several times. And buy the DVD. Put it in your sock drawer next to Les Cousins Dangereux. I like the way they think.

Posted by Justin at 11:55 PM

Powder Skiing Advice from Craig McNeil at Rocky Mountain News

Good beginner advice on skiing pow:

I call "bottomless snow" - conditions where so much snow accumulates that there's no "bottom" or "base" layer. In other words, if you push your ski pole down through the surface layers, it just keeps going. Lose a ski or fall in such conditions, and you'll find yourself wallowing for what might seem like an eternity as you try to get back on your feet.

Where most green and blue runs are groomed, you'll find bottomless conditions on ungroomed black and double- black runs. And that's fitting because, in snow so deep, it's almost impossible to move on less-steep runs; ski a run that's somewhat steep and has a continuous pitch or you'll come to a grinding halt.

And herein lies the challenge for the common skier. It takes confidence, know-how, technique and strength to successfully handle such snow depth...

Tips for success

* Keep your feet together. When your feet are together, they cut the snow as one. When they come apart, either at the beginning of a turn or at any time throughout the arc of the turn, you're headed for trouble because it's easier to lose your balance and fall...

* In deep snow, you must ski off the fall line (down the slope, making continuous turns) in the same manner as a snowboarder. Traversing across the slope only shows a lack of confidence in your technique or timidity in your ability...

* Use a powder ski, which can range from 75 millimeters to more than 100 millimeters underfoot. All-mountain powder skis are wider underfoot and provide greater flotation on the snow. These skis provide more "float" and can make turn initiation and completion much easier in the deep stuff. If you don't have a pair in your quiver, rent them from a ski shop...

* The principles of tipping to the little-toe edge remain the same and are actually more effective in deep snow. Tip the foot in the direction you want to turn and extend your legs through the arc of the turn...

* Using your ski pole is one more way to help maintain balance. Your pole plant, which should be made down the fall line, is your cue to release the skis from the previous turn.

I am so spoiled. Unless there is powder to be had, it is barely worth putting the gear on. I don't like going fast, I like going fast enough through 2' of pow. It is even better on steeps in pow. But it is an aquired taste. I was talking to Jake about our first powder day. There was a two day storm that dropped 4'. We went out and the groomers were great because they were soft and you carved so well. Then we got off the beaten path and got buried. I postholed down and carried his skis while he did the same.

The art of parallel turns and carving as well as rhythm is what is important. It is like dancing. Turn, 2, 3, Turn, 2, 3. Like a Waltz. You pick your rhythm and speed and the motion with your arms and skis becomes second nature. Keep the feet together. Keep them parallel. And stay balanced front to back. Sometimes, that even means adjusting your bindings (if they are adjustable).

Posted by Justin at 11:18 PM

February 24, 2008

Michael, I've Made a Huge Mistake

Few things have made me happier than this little tidbit from IMDB about the best show ever on television. Keith Oberman offers some commentary on the show:

I took a roadie to Denver in December with my friend Clay and popped in some AD about the time we hit Flagstaff. It took the entire drive up and back to watch the first two seasons, and at the end of the trip he took my Season 3 DVD's. He was hooked. So was every single person that I showed them too. Too bad more people didn't see it the first time around, but the success of Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno), Jason Bateman (The Kingdom, Juno), Will Arnett and Amy Proeler (Blades of Glory), and Tony Hale (though less so, but in hysterical Stranger than Fiction and Andy Barker, PI that was cancelled) have gotten the actors some buzz. AD revived or made all of them. So if you are even remotely a fan of the series, check this tribute video that is so well done, I laughed the entire 3:54.

First, Family Guy. Then new episodes and four movies from Futurama. Now this. Please let AD come back. I will order HBO or Showtime, buy it on DVD. On iTunes. Send money. Please Mitch... Please...

Posted by Justin at 02:28 PM | Comments (1)

February 23, 2008

Parenting Do's and Don'ts for First Time Parents (h/t Rob at Say Anything)

I almost pissed myself when I saw this site about parenting:

Introducing a baby to pets

Containing your baby

There are about 20 of them. I literally almost fell out of my chair.

Enjoy.

Posted by Justin at 01:10 AM

February 21, 2008

The La Nina that Wasn't

On November 4th, I posted about this season's La Nina and the predicted effects on the Southwest:

"La Niña has been closer to above-normal North and below-normal South trends," Pringle said with regard to snow conditions.

Snowfall in the San Juans could be average or a bit below normal. The National Weather Service predicts La Niña's effect on New Mexico and Arizona to be much more apparent, with less precipitation and higher than average temperatures.

In a word--NO. Not so much. Turns out that Wolf Creek in the San Juans is already sitting at very close to 500" and there are still almost two months left in the season. Sunrise and Snowbowl both opened before Christmas and Snowbowl has already received 200"+ for the season.

I am left to ponder the fact that despite almost 100 years of studying El Nino, the folks that make climate predictions have still been unable to predict weather paterns with any accuracy. Last year was an El Nino year, but despite predictions for record snowfall in the Southwest, we got far below average snowfall, so much so that Arizona Snowbowl barely opened for two weeks. This year is a La Nina year and snowfall is above average at three of the four southwest resorts that I ski (Wolf Creek, Brian Head, Sunrise and Snowbowl).

But we do have a looming climate crisis. It is not rising ocean levels, but rather food shortages and starvation:

The United Nations is stepping in to try to rescue Tajikistan from a social catastrophe brought on by severe winter weather. But even if an emergency UN appeal for assistance generates a robust international response, it is questionable whether Tajikistan will be able to avoid entering a downward spiral, featuring pestilence and widespread hunger...

China’s inflation accelerated in January to 7.1 percent - its rate highest in more than a decade - amid snowstorms that fueled a spike in food costs, according to data reported Tuesday...

But economists have raised their inflation forecasts for the first half of 2008 after freak snowstorms battered China’s south, killing millions of farm animals and wrecking crops.

Chinese leaders are especially worried about the political impact of rapidly rising food costs, which hit the country’s poor majority hard.

The winter even included snow in Baghdad for the first time in a century:

Snow fell on Baghdad on Friday for the first time in memory, and delighted residents declared it an omen of peace.

“It is the first time we’ve seen snow in Baghdad,” said 60-year-old Hassan Zahar. “We’ve seen sleet before, but never snow. I looked at the faces of all the people, they were astonished,” he said.

It has been an odd year. One that has been wetter than expected in the southwest, which we badly need. Somehow, I don't think that the Chinese, when confronted with calls for them to cut greenhouse gasses to combat global warming and when faced with a massive famine crisis because of an abnormally cold winter, will be inclined to take steps to be more environmentally friendly. And I don't think that the myriad of articles promising the demise of skiing are particullarly grounded in fact. Scares like this in particullar:

PARK CITY, UTAH (AP) — Another winter storm headed to Utah could bring two feet of snow and frigid temperatures to the Wasatch mountains. But don't let that fool you.

Utah's trademark Greatest Snow on Earth could be a memory by 2075, say a pair of Colorado climatologists, who warn that global warming could shrink the ski season to a mere two months a year.

Some interesting reading on the subject can be found at Warren Miller's New West Blog. He is skeptical of the global warming hysteria so prevalent in the ski industry too. What if we are wrong about the long term predictions for global warming? 2008's snowfall in Asia provides a disturbing prediction of what global cooling or a new mini-iceage will look like.


Posted by Justin at 02:06 PM | Comments (1)

February 19, 2008

Jarrett's First Black Diamond

I took Jake and Jarrett out on Saturday at Brian Head. Jarrett is skiing Jake's old K2's which are probably about 10 cm too big at 125. We are working on parallel turns, but he is still in the wedge / snowplow / pizza stage.

It was really incredible for me to take him out this last time. I have had six years of Jake skiing with me almost every trip. To the point where I don't even enjoy going out unless he is with me. We talk trash to each other and make fun of ourselves and other skiers. We both really learned together because when I got started again in 2002, I hadn't skied in 9 years and wasn't that good even then. It brought back a bunch of memories of Jake and I going up to Sunrise so many times. There was probably a foot or so of powder that we took Jarret down and it reminded me of Jake and me skiing Phoenician at Sunrise on our first real powder day together. Both of us postholing down after about the fourth wreck in the first 50 yards.

Jarrett's experience wasn't a lot different than Jake's. I remember Jake crying and saying "I can't. I can't. I want to go home. I just want to go home. I hate skiing." Jarrett had perhaps the hardest wreck I have seen in a while, right onto his shoulder. After he got over the initial shock and back to the chair, I told him that we have to take the chair back up because The Plunge is on Dunes and it requires a lift ride to the top to ski back to the base. By the time we got to the top, I had convinced him to take another run, this time on a blue. And we finished the day skiing groomers with a little bit of packed pow for another half a dozen runs. He got back up and kept going. And went home and told mom how much fun he had.

After we took Jarrett back to the condo at about 2:00, Jake and I skied the rest of the day. We were laughing about Jake and all the stuff we had done when we sucked. =) I spent most of the trip back to Phoenix daydreaming and thinking back about Jake learning and where he is now. And I kept thinking about what it is going to be like when Jake is 15 and Jarrett is 11. When we are hiking and skiing Wolf Creek and Alberta Peak or the Knife Ridge. And thinking about how exciting it will be when Jarrett is able to keep up on a powder day. Then when he really starts getting it. Making parallel turns and using his poles.

And then I got thinking about all my complaints about Brian Head and how Jake and I have graduated beyond what it offers. But how it is perfect for Jarrett. And why I ski. Is it just about a rush and me and pow and steeps? Or is it about having Jake there by my side, riding the lifts, talking, connecting, and bonding? We learned together and we keep learning together. And for the first time, Tera and Lindsey stayed for 3 days and it was enjoyable. Lindsey stayed out of stuff, hung out, slept in a bed instead of the playpen, and didn't want to come home. And it won't be too long before she is skiing groomers at Brian Head for the first time.

Posted by Justin at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)

February 16, 2008

Still Sick with Sinus Infection

I have been slow blogging the last week as the sinus infection has had me feeling like crap. Dizzy. Headaches. Tired. It just sucks.

I am at the condo this weekend and going to put on the skis for a couple hours. Jake said the conditions were great yesterday as the most recent storm dropped a foot on Thursday and today is bluebird and 40.

I got the edges on both my skis and Jake's skis done as well as a good waxing. They were both due. Hoping good conditions hold and that the resort isn't overrun with weekenders here for President's Day. Busiest weekend of the year.

Posted by Justin at 10:47 AM

February 10, 2008

Jackson Trip Cancelled

The Idaho Dept. of Transportation closed Highway 26 into Jackson from Idaho Falls on Friday night, ending our plans to ski there on Saturday. Sucks because we had to cancel our hotel reservations and all. Drifting and blowing snow. Since I was travelling with the whole family, we didn't have the time to drive up on Saturday.

And my annual sinus infection returns. I am on antibiotics, pain killers, and steroids. Not even full blown bad yet, but I am already hurting.

Gonna try to get in a day at Big Sky and Alta on the way back.

Posted by Justin at 02:52 PM

February 06, 2008

Gym Teacher at Jake and Jarrett's School Arrested for Molestation

Creepy Stuff but fortunately, I don't think we have a lot to worry about with the boys:

A Desert Edge High School girls' coach has been arrested on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with one of her students over the past year, Goodyear police said Tuesday.

Basketball and volleyball coach Susan Jayne Anderson, 28, was arrested Monday night at her home in Goodyear's Estrella community, police said. She is accused of carrying on an ongoing sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl she coached, police said.

"We believe that this started when the student was 15," said John Rowan, a police spokesman.

A probable cause statement filed Monday with the Estrella Mountain Justice Court shows Anderson told police she "chose and targeted" the victim because of the girl's low self-esteem.

According to the document:

• Police found phone records that showed the suspect and the victim were having daily, hourlong talks and had exchanged "thousands" of text messages since December. They were also communicating via the social networking Web site myspace.com

• The victim reported the suspect had taken her home after sporting events and practices, and that they had kissed up to four times on those occasions.

• The victim told police she had sexual contact with the suspect on Jan..20 at the coach's home.

Anderson had coached for Goodyear's Desert Edge since 2004 and passed a background check when she was hired, according to Eleanor Andersen, an Agua Fria Union High School spokeswoman.

Anderson also is a first-year fitness teacher at Centerra Mirage Elementary School in Goodyear, said Cathy Stafford, superintendent for the Avondale Elementary School district.

Damn dude. So uncool. We got a letter home today about a gym teacher being arrested for sexual abuse or molestation or whatever they are going to call it in this case. Freakin' pervs seek out kids with low self esteem. Long chats on the phone in the middle of the night. Text messages. Myspace... I feel bad for the girl involved. I hope she gets some counselling and this piece of trash spends some time getting a little love from the ladies at a local penal institution. Maybe she can coach the prison volleyball team.

Posted by Justin at 12:33 AM | Comments (1)

February 05, 2008

The Single Worst Trail Map in History

Have a look at the Sunrise Park Resort's Trail Map. No downloadable pdf. Just this wonderful page. Check the background and all. Circa 1993. I connected to it using AOL on my Windows 95 Pentium 200mhz computer and my 14" monitor.

5th grader with some html skill doing it as a project for his computer class. I swear, my kid could do a better job. Hell, one step further... my kid if my wife had smoked crack while she was pregnant and I had dropped him on his head could put together a better website than this piece of crap.

If you want a well designed, professional ski website, even some fictional sites have better design than the White Mountain Apache tribe can put together. I guess the WMA tribe has better things to spend their money on--lawsuits against Snowbowl and casino upgrades come to mind.

Brokeback Mountain Ski Area Trail Map

Call up Beth Clark and see if their web designer can help you out.

Posted by Justin at 11:26 PM

Huge Snowstorm at Sunrise Shuts Down Highway

Skiers driving to Sunrise are gonna be pissed:

Winter snow cut off access to the Sunrise Park Resort ski area Tuesday morning.

Arizona 260 between McNary and Greer was closed, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The road was expected to reopen by 4 p.m. Tuesday. The ski resort will be closed for the day, according to its Web site.

Information about highway conditions is available on ADOT's Travel Information site at www.az511.com or by calling 511.

I am hearing 3'+ yesterday. Snowbowl got almost 2' and has excellent conditions too. Snowbowl has some great pics on their homepage.

I am heading to Jackson Hole this weekend and where they have nothing but snow in the forecast. I am debating taking a trip to Brokeback Mountain Ski Area where their ski report says:

It's another bluebird day at Brokeback Mountain Ski Area. The storm has deposited three feet of fresh snow. It's a perfect time to come out.

Our brand new backside terrain is a real hit with skiers. But Jack's Bowls are not for everyone. These steep aspen glades are only suitable for a hardened outdorsman who knows how to cruise the woods safely...

Whether you're just making your first steps on skis or you're an expert skier our mountain has lots to offer. From steep runs off Jack's Notch to the gentle slopes of Little Queen we are first and foremost a family resort.

Poor Heath Ledger.

Posted by Justin at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)