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April 27, 2008

Brian Head Still Has Plenty of Snow

I was at Brian Head this last week and it is amazing that on the 24th of April, the resort could easily remain open.

I spent two nights in Brian Head on my trip to Wyoming, one up and one back. I took my grandfather's body to Lovell for his burial service and spoke at another funeral. We did two funerals since we have so many family and friends that could not make the Wickenburg services. It was a little odd to haul him 1500 miles in the back of my truck, but if you knew him, you would understand how much he would enjoy the mere thought of me and my two uncles hauling him back home.

I spent the last three years hoping to take him to my place in Brian Head. The back of the truck in the parking garage was as close to my condo as he got, but I got his old ass up there.

I am slowly settling in to the groove of things again. Sorry for the slow blogging, but it takes a while to recover.

Posted by Justin at 05:38 PM

April 13, 2008

Donald Asay Blackburn

I haven't written here much recently. I was asked to speak at the services and write his obituary:

Donald Asay Blackburn left this earthly life April 12th at his family home in Wickenburg with his wife Victoria by his side. He was born December 1, 1932, in Lovell, Wyoming to Hyrum and Gladys Blackburn. June 11, 1985, he married his wife Victoria Watson of Chinook, Montana. On February 4, 2003, he was sealed for time and eternity in the Mesa Temple in Arizona. Throughout his life, he showed a deep love for his family.

Don was preceded on his journey by his three sons Steve, Danny, and Lynn Blackburn. He awaits the reunion with his loving wife Victoria; Marilyn Witt and husband Kelly; Jeffrey Blackburn and wife Linda; David Blackburn and wife Velma; Teri Lee Benoit and husband Kenny; Troy Hunter; Harley Blackburn and wife Jodi; Brenda Lorash and husband Eddie; Derk Hunter and wife Katrina; Brent Bowen and wife Alison; grandchildren Natalie Rallo and Justin Blackburn of Wickenburg; and over 60 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Don grew up in Lovell where he was an outstanding athlete in football and basketball before leaving for Korea as an Army soldier in 1951. Upon his return from Korea, he worked the jobs no one else would. He worked setting concrete forms for the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona. He owned and ran a large Uranium mine in his mid-20’s. He worked as a salesman for FMC selling agricultural products to some of the largest farms in the US near Stockton, California.

His business ventures included owning and managing various gold mines in Montana, Wyoming, and Arizona; consulting work for the governments of China and Vietnam; Uranium ventures in Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming; Blackburn Drilling that operated across the United States and in Australia; Bear Creek Coal Partners of Montana; Titanium Resources Corporation; Vanadium Partners, Inc.; and other projects too numerous to recount.

His character, humor and personality will be celebrated at the Wickenburg LDS Church at 6:00 PM, Thursday, April 17th, and at the LDS Stake Center in Lovell, Wyoming, at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, April 23rd. All are welcome to attend.

I spent Friday with my grandfather at Chemo in Phoenix and was with him just hours before he passed. I already miss him as do many others.

Posted by Justin at 10:16 PM | Comments (5)

April 03, 2008

E-mail Exchange on Global Warming

I sent a couple e-mails back and forth with a long time reader and friend Jon Wade at Steamboat Springs Blog about Climate Change. Just wanted to post the text of one of my e-mails to him for public view:

We can keep the world from heating by forcing gas prices to $10 a gallon with Carbon taxes, increasing the cost of every single thing that we consume, and putting the entire world into a recession. If the earth cools, that is great, but even if it doesn't, it is still good for the ski industry and for John Kerry, Algore, and the Kennedy families because the massive recession will not affect their billions and will simply provide less crowded slopes by getting rid of the riff raff like us from their billion dollar playgrounds.

Every time that some ski resort talks about how global warming will impact the sport by shutting down ski resorts that don't get enough snow, they are speculating on Climatologists not having their heads up their ass. But when they talk about the solutions they propose to global warming that are little more than rebranded collectivist ideas under the guise of "saving the environment", we need not speculate on how that will affect the sport. It will increase costs and decrease the number of people that can ski with absolute certainty. We are right at the price point that my wife and I can barely afford to ski with our kids and all the resorts are running round bragging about being "wind powered". How about bragging about being affordable for families?

Ted Turner had this to say about global warming:

Failure to address global warming will have us all dead or eating each other by mid-century.

So says Ted Turner, the restaurateur, environmentalist and former media mogul whose controversial comments have earned him the nickname "Mouth of the South."

If steps aren't taken to stem global warming, "We'll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow," Turner said during a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with PBS's Charlie Rose that aired Tuesday.

"Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals," said Turner, 69. "Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable."

One way to combat global warming, Turner said, is to stabilize the population.

"We're too many people; that's why we have global warming," he said. "Too many people are using too much stuff."

Turner suggested that "on a voluntary basis, everybody in the world's got to pledge to themselves that one or two children is it."

8 DEGREES! In light of this, I better stop skiing, driving, breathing CO2,... Or else get ready to start eating people. EATING PEOPLE! This Global Warming crap is just going beyond what can even be considered reasonable. Having to eat people sounds like a pretty inconvenient truth to me.

Posted by Justin at 11:52 AM | Comments (2)

April 01, 2008

Opening Day, NBA Playoffs, and the End of the 2007-08 Ski Season

A little time to reflect on the last ski season. This year, I skied Beaver Creek for the first time, skied Wolf Creek for the first time in three years, and got my usual days in at Brian Head. I got in about half as many days this season as last--12 versus 25--but enjoyed it far more.

Couple great memories for me. First was
Jarrett skiing his first black diamond
. He isn't even in the same ballpark as Jake, but that is a function of being 7 versus 11. But he discovered a love for skiing this season and now looks forward to it. I am excited about this year and looking forward to going from having two skiing boys to having three kids that rip it up when Lindsey gets a couple years older.

Second was Jake and me going to Wolf Creek with Tim, Erich, and JP. It has been far too long since I took at trip to Wolf Creek and this trip magnified how Jake has improved from our last trip three years ago when he was a Wolf Pup. When we hiked Alberta Peak and he left me behind, I had a new sense of humility and some pride that all the time and money that I have spent on gear and passes and gas and hotels and condos has paid off. We have something that both boys enjoy and that helps us bond.

Finally, there was my trip to Beaver Creek. I have rarely enjoyed a ski day that much.

I am going to try to get one more weekend in before the season is over.

Posted by Justin at 02:46 PM