Sunday, April 29, 2007

Season Cycle 07

Fifteen or so snow-ski days last winter and now the season cycle turns to spring. Day one on the water with Brian and Nader. Just some free-skiing, but good and sore.

No drysuit needed

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Yum, Snack Food

Running a conference can be a costly affair. The half-sandwich and pretzels I had for lunch cost our group $40. Good thing the papers are compelling.

Not enough Carbs

FCCM07 Starts

FCCM07 got underway today in Napa.

Technical Illustration

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Arrival in Napa

I "helped" United reposition a real three-class 767 for BOS/SFO. I haven't flown a two-isle plane domestically in a very long time. Anyhow, had some breakfast with Phil and drove up over the Golden Gate to Napa.

Drive by Napa

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Shakedown Street

Walking through the old Nice markets near Palais De Justice is in many ways similar to navigating "shakedown street" at a jamband festival: You're inundated with all these strange stimuli: strange people, strange scents, strange behavior. You get the idea. And the sketch-dar is all confused as they are speaking French. There is no correlation peak to find because there isn't a reference. Damn!

"Who's got my ... ?!"

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Promenade des Anglais

The sun came out this morning and so I walked along the Promenade des Anglais from Beau Rivage to the west end of Nice and back. Just a few km, but in the stiff onshore breeze it felt like more. Slowed my mind down for lunch on the beach at my hotel’s namesake restaurant. Annete, who served my Salad Nicoise (you think?), wished to take my picture and I agreed; but she protested that she never looks good in photos and so I could not take hers. I think that is what she said. I don’t speak French. This has to be some kind of record for me not carrying out a fluent, face-to-face conversation.

On la Plage

Friday, April 13, 2007

Arrival in Nice

Took a car to the bus to a plane to Frankfurt. Waited around. One more plane to Nice. Here we are. There is a new (1972) Zappa release out called "Imaginary Diseases". Listened to it twice on the plane. My fave is "D.C. Boogie"!

Somewhere in France

Monday, April 09, 2007

To Hell You Ride Home

A posting about my travels home from Telluride, get it? ... Last night we had a fabulous dinner up at Allreds. It was Steve, Cyndi, Mark and me. I knew it was off to a good start when Mark started in with the blue cheese stuffed olives wrapped in white anchovies. It was part of a martini, of course; and only one of a plurality of superlatives for that dinner. Another was the “Palmira” wine. Yum. And then there was the Walu. You would think that Telluride was some kind of destination for fancy places to eat. You would be right. Mark and Steve had some kind of Grappa-like beverage that served as a catalyst for our subsequent adventure. … The ride down the gondola in Telluride at night is a blast. I want to just set up shop and ride round and round. “Wiiii, I’m peppy!” … We sampled two of the many possible last-Saturday-night-of-the-ski-season digs: First, the NoirBar under BluePoint, where DJ Harry was spinning. Then some blues band and the silver dollar saloon. The later seemed really lame to Steve and me, so we (unsuccessfully) engaged the “sketch-dar” and headed back to NoirBar. Steve made a great comment relating dance music to wine. Something about repetitive refinement, I forget. … Great Lakes got me to DEN. Untied got me DEN/ORD. Hopefully I’ll make it the rest of the way without drama. … All in all a terrific week in studying telemark technique in Colorado spring conditions.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Telluride Wind Down

Ipod skiing (I-skiing ?) today was cool. Patti Rothberg and McCartney were great for the spiritual thundersnow that fell intermittently. Later on in the sunshine, you can't go wrong with Scritti Politti. Dinner at Allreds tonight, then back home on Sunday.

"I could be jealous of someone like me"

Telluride 2007 Day 11

Morning brought clouds and some precip. Light drizzle in town, it looks like snow up on the mountain. The real issue today will be if there is enough energy to soften-up what surely set-up last night. Yesterday afternoon Blue and Clara snagged this waterski video; while Steve and I were fascinated with this PS3/Wii comparison.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Telluride 2007 Day 10

Four days of tape-tape spring conditions in a row (and counting). Today there were are few high clouds. Enough so that it took an extra hour or so for the soft serve to get going. I'm just at or past 100K vertical feet for this trip. With some help from Naproxen Sodium, I've been able to work through my pain. Dinner last night at La Marmotte; tonight at Hongas.

Clara's Weapon Stash

Telluride 2007 Day 9

The past three days have been as good as any three I can remember. Slammed nine, joined by Steve and Blue. Toured over to Gold Hill and poked my way down Little Rose. Little Rose was complicated by my reluctance to do jump turns (see previous hobbling posts). I have a new ski metric: It is the fun*ease metric (or fun/effort metric). It was high most all of the day in large part due to the "soft serve" conditions, as Blue called them, all around .

A grin from nine

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Telluride 2007 Day 8

The second day of this five day tranche again had excellent conditions. Blue and Clara joined in the fun. Steve lost track, so I only know we logged more than 20K, but not yesterday's 26K feet of vertical. In terms of fun, I'd say it was another Ace! Dinner last night was at Bluepoint and tonight it is at 221.

Bushwhacker - "Curiously Steep"

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Telluride 2007 Day 7

A big high pressure system, or just dumb luck, brought blue skies and mild temperatures today. I started out alone, but Steve hooked up around 11. I'm told 26,000 vertical feet is nothing to scoff at; even if I was feeling a general lamaise.

Steve and Shep, almost done for the day
The spring conditions and steep terrain reminded me of the backcountry trips I would go on with Chris. I have few photos, just lots of memories.

In the Gulf of Slides, Mt. Washington, NH (ca 1994)

Return to `Ride

Hobbled my way back to Telluride. No incidents other than the hobbling part. Starting to figure out the the "safe operating area" of my lower back. The real test will be on the hill. Dinner last night at Cosmo with Cyndi and Steve.

Cyndi Blushing

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Travel Jitters

Psychologists have a good hand on the vacillation effects of time, distance and desire. For example, something that seems like a great idea when it is far away seems less favorable up close. I seem to make many irreversible, or at least difficult to reverse, decisions. I'm Mr. Entropy, or something. Without falling into a rant on reversibility, or quoting Feynman's 37 sugar cubes, I'm simply filled with nervous anticipation and excitement about all the travel ahead. We shall see how it goes.