Tuesday, December 28, 2010

After the Snow

The first real snowstorm of the season was more plain "cold and windy" than snow. Less than a foot here, except where it drifted. Still, it's a reminder of wintertime.

Just Outside

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Small Engine Repair

Some guest commentary by a good friend as I lament the inability to start our 6KW Onan generator in advance of a likely blizzard. Disclaimer: This is technical satire, not technical advice.

      Today, the day of the storm of the century, is the day to open it up again and fix it. I mean, you’ve been nursing and coddling the thing for 15 years, it’s times like this when it ought to give you some payback on that already spent money, time and effort.
      Don’t even hesitate about warming it up with your space heater. Yes, it’s a good idea to do everything possible to discourage the use of the word stupid in your obituary. But don’t let that stop you from taking small chances occasionally.
      Before you have another (more liberal) go at it with the ether, it’s time to investigate whether the mice did more than just build a cozy nest. You’ve got your 2ga jumpers hooked securely to the truck battery, for nice healthy cranking, right? Pop the plug, hold it against some bare metal on the block, and turn her over. If no spark, time to wander down the mice-chewed-the-wires road. If spark, then spray a healthy dose of gumout in the carb, let evap, follow with liberal ether, and give her another good solid try.
      If the beast started for you as recently as Thanksgiving, it should definitely give at least a good solid cough from the ether. If you can only get it to run for a few seconds on the ether, pop the carb (probably only two bolts) and hose it out in upstream direction. Take off the bowl (usually just one bolt) and carefully slide off. Spread something clean below so when the float, hinge pin, and tiny needle valve fall out, you’re not digging in the dirt.
      Give the hole leading to the needle valve seat a good spray too, and eliminate a fuel delivery problem by pulling the fuel line for the carb and making sure you get good healthy flow all over your lap before scrambling to plug it back together. Or plan ahead by using the shutoff valve if you’re in a tidy and hygienic mood. As you probably know, that tiny rubber seal on the end of the needle valve (aka float valve, the alum body is often rectangular or triangular in cross section) is a common victim of ethanol in gas, but since you’ve already checked for fuel, it’s not likely to have failed and bled out all your fuel over the past month.
      Luckily, engines are pretty simple devices. You know you have compression, so when you confirm spark and fuel, and give her a good healthy crank, you’ll be warm and cozy on the hill.

Lobster Thermidor

Susan made Lobster Thermidor and we all enjoyed!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


"What is the idea behind it? Suppose you were a composer and you had the idea that you wanted to have a drum set playing expressively and intuitively, eleven-four, at a certain tempo while an electric bass player is doing exactly the same thing in another tempo in another time signature, and you want them to do this live on stage and get a good performance. You won't get it. You can't. You can ask for it, but it won't happen. There's only one way to hear that, and that's to do what I did. I put two pieces of tape together." -FZ

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Dusting

First dusting of snow this season. It's nice to wake up to.

Tuesday Morning 2010-12-14

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bushkill Sleigh Trip

There must have been subliminal catalysts for my churning this out last night. An inner-yelp wanting to touch the facts of the past? A mass-mailed holiday card to my childhood friends? Regardless, I hope all enjoy. West Shokan in the 1970s was indeed magic; and it was great. Forward to the truth. Holiday wishes and best to all. -S

At first I considered Zappa's Montana as the soundtrack; but decided instead on "La La La" by The Bird and the Bee, who I'm grateful to for this wholly-unauthorized use of their sonic gem.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bearsville Ice Incident of December 1978

My "Clint Eastwood" moment, December 1978: PSG was block-booked in 'B' tracking "Wave". It was just after Christmas and I had to get to the studio. It was snowy and rainy; I had snow tires on my 1968 Ford Fairlane - and paid the weather little regard. George wanted a ride in; so I picked him up in Mt. Tremper as evening became night. Many times, I had driven along Wittenberg Road at the limits of adhesion and well beyond any limit of good sense. Nothing seemed unusual. (Historical note: This was about two years before I discovered studded Hakkapeliitta tires.) I recall purposely teasing a little fishtail as we made the left turn at the Wittenberg store. As Geo and I chatted away, we were oblivious about our transition into a textbook icing situation. I recall only glancing to my left as we rounded the corner by Maria's house, touching the brakes lightly, and realizing something was terribly wrong. I drove on snow a lot, constantly touching the brakes to test the limit of adhesion. We were going maybe 25 MPH, but I knew in an instant things were out of control: We were at the top of a 300 foot grade as Wittenberg descends to the East. I touched the brakes. No traction! None! I look at Geo and we both scream. There were cars stuck in the ditches on either side of the road; failed hopes of their doomed ascent attempts. At first I was worried of our seemingly-imminent crash; but I quickly feared more the killing of an innocent; a ditch-bound pedestrian or emergency responder. The screams aside, I stayed cool - playing an energy-management game of potential vs kinetic energy. Getting some traction by finding lumps on the margins; and at more than one point, almost broadside. I was determined to stay in control; focus and fate. By the time we got down to the hard left at the bottom, seconds that seemed like an eternity, we felt as if catastrophe had been averted. As high as I've ever been on adrenaline, and probably why I remember it so vividly, we cautiously made it to the Cafe and had a Remy. ... And much later got stuck in the Cafe's parking lot.

1968 Ford Fairlane at Manitou House (1977)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Manchgiving Breakfast

Turkey and Ice - Instant to Infinity

It's cliché to ponder the acceleration of everything; yet another Thanksgiving comes and goes in a millimoment. I try so very hard to expand each, sublimely beautiful, instant to infinity. And I'm thankful that works for me more than it doesn't; I hope it does for everyone. Moments are magic!

First Ice on the Pond (2010)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Eileen's 60th at Dali in Somerville.


Friday, October 22, 2010


I had not been to Ireland for 15 years. Just back, great time!

Howth, Ireland

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pond Chill 2010

Chilly day on the pond. Came home, warmed up, and gathered up these 20 minutes of video from the summer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Skiing in the Rain

Jim, Dave and I each skied a set today in the rain. It has been a long time since my corneas have been pelted with rain drops as I endeavor to stay centered and lean away from the boat. I thought it would suck; but it was kind of cool. The slight disorientation made me care less about things I usually fret over. More fodder for my "full-seeming" life. Sorry fact: 600 mg of Ibuprofen is both the minimum dose required to mediate the pain from my fractured patella; and also, it seems, more than enough to cause an ulcer.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Low Water - Props Beware

The long, dry summer has become fall. The water on the pond is as low as I've ever seen it. Extra care is needed to stay off of the rocks.

Malibu Prop Repair

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hint of Fall (2010 Edition)

Every year it seams there is "The Tease", where it's all chilly and stuff for a week or so, and most everyone packs it in; then we have an "Indian Summer" in October. The `97 Nautique has had a great run this season, and with 539 cumulative hours, its off to its winter nap. Just a little early.

Brian into a headwind

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brooke cleaning up her 32

I like to say when it comes to the slalom course, "the difference between 32MPH and 34MPH can seem like a million". I've been there. My ski pal Brooke placed 32MPH solidly in her repertoire this summer. This video sequence is unfair, in that it's not what I saw in the mirror most of the time.

Brooke on Dubes (2010)

Brooke and Maggie (2004)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kasim's "The Project"

This is a cool idea to support a friend and terrific talent: The Project
Here's what I submitted:

Kasim in the Bearsville Shop (1978)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cece might be right

Cece, my dear friend and erstwhile Bushkill neighbor recently declared "Summer is Over". I begged to differ, but with the morning air at 55 degrees, and the pond water for the first time below 70, I think she might indeed be right. Certainly some more great days ahead; but the summer of 2010 is just about out of steam.

Davis Park, West Shokan, NY (1975)

Monday, September 06, 2010

September Watersking 2010

Day 65 and all is good: sore after two sets with Jim today.

Jim on deck

Shep on course

Monday, August 30, 2010

Camp Meadowlark 2010

We spent a glorious, chill weekend on Maidstone Lake in Vermont as guests at our friend's camp. Splendid!

Steve Relaxes

Friday, August 27, 2010

Beach Day 2010

Sitting on Old Orchard Beach. Nice.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Evening on the Pond

For an hour a day, more days each week than not, no-drama, and blissfully-sore.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Summer for Sure

Every year has its moment when summer is not only here for sure; but you question how much longer it can possibly last? 52 days on the water so far: A measure that we're healthy, not injured, and the weather, maybe a little too warm and dry, has cooperated.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Sultry Summer Evening

"Work has a habit of getting in the way of life", or so the saying goes. It has been hot and humid, almost oppressively so at the RF bench in our lab; with no time to break away for an evening set. That's OK; it's the exception, not the rule. And the pond almost looks like it is enjoying it!

August Evening, No Skiers Around

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kids Ride for Free

Over the years the pond has become more of an adult scene; although you couldn't tell that from our behavior. So it is fun to see some kids and their folks working their way towards the boat.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Evening on the Pond

Life is good when you can just show up, ski, and chill with like-minded souls that pretty much just want to do the same.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Camp Bisco Nine

"It's Fire!", a phrase that neatly sums up my appreciation of Camp Bisco Nine this past weekend. The music, the kids, and the vibe were all way-cool. Girl Talk was the most breakout-crazy tent scene. Our camp buddies, Mario and Sam, Lewis, Devon, Darryl, Jen, ..., all awesome-kind! ... The past: Camp Bisco Seven.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Diet of Summer

Summer came rolling in this July fourth weekend with good friends and food. It hasn't hurt that I've been out on the pond a lot too.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bushkill-OCS Reunion 2010

Lynn, Tom, Charlene, Judi and Mary Lou did all the heavy-lifting; so I was glad to show up, talk in my hyper-stentorian tone, and try to explain (discover?) my behavior back in the day. We had an evening at the BI, a cookout at Davis Park, and a great time.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Infinite Nowness

I think I prefer the notion of an "infinite nowness" to an "eternal nowness". The former feels more like a mathematical construct I might try to wrap my arms around; the latter too imbued with the spiritual construct of an "eternity". Either way, I dig the concept. It's a point projected to cover an n-dimensional space - which feels good!

Whammy's Hill, Rangeley ME (2000)

Monday, April 26, 2010

First Passes of 2010

Just a month after the "earliest-ever" ice-out, we are making our first turns and feeling good and sore. It's always good to be back. These first days are special. But I'm still sore.

Too soon for coaching?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Again

A month now past the earliest ice-out I can remember. The buds are on the trees. The course is in the clear. And the promise of summer's slow-motion is just ahead.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Course in the Clear

Five days after Massabesic iced out (on March 15th); Dubes iced out this morning. Skier on deck!

The Course in the Clear

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Early Ice Out?

An uncommonly-warm early March has us thinking "ice out" before April.

The Thaw

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January Morning

We've had over a foot of snow these past few days; a little less down by the pond, where the sun is shining this morning.

Sun on the Pond