Monday, December 26, 2011

Mellow Holiday 2011

The winter solstice passes and the days start getting longer. Another trip around the sun. Another year of wisdom behind. Another year of magic ahead. Cold here in New England; but no real snow on the ground, so time for a walk with the dogs.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bushkill Sleigh Trip (Redux)

This worked well last year and the past hasn't changed yet. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Every year there seems to be this exponential acceleration that begins around October, soars through the holidays, then (thankfully) returns to normal in January. I don't feel it's either good or bad; it just is. And as I get better in deceleration of mind time - the whole infinite nowness thing; I'm just fine with it!

Friends and Holidays

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Season Cycle - Fall 2011

Three weeks ago we were under a foot-deep blanket of wet snow. Now, the snow has melted and it's looking a lot more like fall. A trip South to visit family in New Jersey set the season back another few weeks; giving me a second look at fall's color. Still, I have strong feelings of a powerful, monochromatic past, etched in the 1970s above the Bushkill: Plus-X visions in panchromatic resonance whose intensity etched neural benchmarks I'll never forget.

2011 versus 1972

I found a VHS tape from 1978 with oxide falling off of it. I salvaged a clip of the Manitou House Bowling Alley Demolition; as well as the longish 16 minute biopic "Big Jim".

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Snowtober Cyclogenesis

Five days on, most of the foot of snow has melted and we've had utility power for over a day. But last weekend's October snowstorm left a low-level anxiety that will take some time to settle out. The mess to clean up. The supplies to replenish. The time lost. But it's all good; except that just a little bit of fall, my favorite season, seems to have been stolen.

Mine Hill Fall 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lone Dragonfly

A lone dragonfly lands on the picnic table on the dock. It's cool and windy, a sure prelude of frosty nights ahead. But the dragonfly seems content and true.

Fall Dragonfly

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Eigthy Days 2011

For two consecutive years I managed to find 80 days to ski on Dubes Pond. It had been a week of rain, the water temperature falling from 72 to 52, I'm sore as heck; but I'll take it.

Brooke, Wendy, Dave, (and Summer)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunny and Smiles

Smiles on the pond today with food, family and friends. There is nothing wrong with that; and I believe, a great deal of good.

Smiles times Two

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Labor Day Fugue State

It was a strange labor day, a short-lived fugue state. I did some good work. Got some chores done. Skied OK. But I couldn't stop from thinking how this day would be different had Chris not had his head-on collision with the universe. That seemed at first like an excuse to be lame. I don't want to be lame. And I don't like making excuses. For more than a few days this summer; the sweltering heat and humidity has been an issue. Not any more.

Heat Sinks

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Catskill Floods of 2011

My thoughts and hopes with are friends and family in Ulster and Delaware Counties picking up from Irene’s devastation that made the March 1980 floods feel less significant and more distant.

More up-to-date information is at the Watershed Post.

More Serene Times (a few weeks before Irene)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

of Empathy and Sentience

Stanley Bosworth, the founder of Saint Ann’s School died this week. How pivotal he was in altering the life arc of thousands of students is a given. Where we would be today without his “Question Authority” attitude, I don’t know. Nancy Rommelmann might, and “What Stanley Knew” rings beautiful, kind and true. Me? In his own words, this is what Stanley knew 40 years ago…

Sunday, August 07, 2011

A Day in Woodstock - August 2011

I suppose the range of emotions felt when separating from the home one grew up in can be large. At least on the surface, it feels like no big deal; maybe even a good thing. Too much baggage weighs you down. Catalyzed by the thought that this could be the last time I sleep at Manitou House, I plan an overnight to Woodstock. Disclosure: I really wanted to see Patti Rothberg.

Redrocks West Shokan (2011)

Surprise karma has me in town for “Traum Day” with Happy, Levon, and Sebastian making a hundred or so people on the village green feel good and smile – just as Artie would have done. Monique, her son, her nephew, and his dog and I take a stroll through town where it is a nice cloudy and breezy day ahead of the rain that would fall later. A totally organic kind vibe.

After dinner at YumYum we arrived at Colony Café. I had never heard music there before. What a nice venue. Big hugs and my usual incoherent ranting/gushing with Patti, ahead of Big Sister. These girls are the shit. I’m embarrassed that I hadn’t heard them before; but I guess they came to be after I left Bearsville. Patti, of course, was her extra-awesome acoustic self. Sorry, no set list, but she started with “Flicker” and followed with “Inside”, which spontaneously motivated the lead singer from Big Sister, sitting at the table next to us, to sing pitch-perfect backgrounds matching the album track. Sweet!

The music business is not what it was decades ago. And I was bummed at the small turnout. These artists work hard. This is an artists’ colony, not the new trendy place to live. I’m wrong of course; so I guess in that way, I do want to cling to the past. But as Juliana says “the past is gone, and wasn’t it great?”

Artie in the Bearsville Studio shop (1978)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer 1977: Sound at the Joyous Lake

I came home from my freshman year at university, not yet of legal age to drink or vote, eager to snag a job in town. My friend Igor had exposed me to “doing sound at the lake” the previous summer, and with Igor’s high-praise, Ron hired me on the spot. The job would pay $20 a night which I thought was terrific. Ron somehow felt the need to sweeten the deal, telling me that I can have food and drink gratis.

The job involved showing up for soundcheck around 5PM, before the dinner crowd would get going and doing soundcheck so everything would be good-to-go for a 10PM showtime. This took about an hour. Most evenings, Paul the chef would cook me a meal I would eat at the bar, while people-watching the mixed townie and touristo crowd.

I was infatuated with a blonde waitress named Cornelia, who drove a red Fiat 124 Spider with Colorado plates, and would park next to my 1968 Ford Fairlane in the gravel behind the lake on Deming Street. It would frustrate me that when soundcheck was over, my work was momentarily done; but her dinner duties were just starting. With four hours to showtime, I would usually drive back to West Shokan to hang with my friends.

Around 9 I would head back to the lake, sailing along Wittenberg Road with unbounded teenage optimism. Usually the spot by Cornelia’s car would be taken by my return; so I would select some choice spot on the Deanie’s side of the street instead.

The sound booth in the lake was located just above the dessert cooler to your right when you walked in. Getting up to the booth, without actually placing your feet on the cooler, involved a simple gymnastic move anyone who has ever been on the rings on a swing set would appreciate. The Lake’s sound system at the time was comprised of a dozen or so “speakers” spread around on the ceiling, each with maybe ten Bose CTS drivers. I’m not going to lecture sound reinforcement here; but this is highly unusual for live sound. It makes delivering a clear, phase-aligned image nearly impossible. It dictated that, whenever possible, we would use on-stage amplification; and house sound would fill in the gaps. Vocals and harp, for example, would live or die by the Lake’s sound. On the countless nights when Butter’ or Sebastian would step on stage, “more harp” was almost always the correct answer to an unbalanced mix.

You mixed both front-of-house and monitors from the booth. There were two Crown DC-300s for the house; and one for monitors. Ted Rothstein had modified the mixing desk, which was both quirky and functional, a year prior. The desk had both pre- and post- fader solo in the booth: very nice. I speculate that Albert must have been in some night, not liked the sound, and as a favor to Ron, sent Ted (then chief engineer at Bearsville) over to make it right.

The speakers on the ceiling vibe meant that to get the sound right, you had to leave the booth and walk around and listen. This gave you an opportunity to look busy (I’m listening real hard!) while stopping to get a drink at the bar. I took my work seriously and tried to make every night the best possible experience for the guests and the talent.

Halfway through the first set, which was about when the kitchen would be slowing down, Cornelia would climb up and sit with me. She would bring a chocolate mousse, which I think she brought to share, but mostly I ate. We would listen, voyeuristically, to microphones on stage which would be muted to the house in between songs that would reveal to us exciting talent banter, or more often, gripes about my monitor mix.

Second set at the Lake in the summer of 1977 was consistently, um, insane. Insane! The dinner crowd would be gone. The house would be packed. The band was going to put it all out there. There were all manners of pills, powders, and potions circulating. Surprisingly, there was only the occasional smell of pot. Pot smoking was outside-only. The drug thing didn’t interest me very much then; but I was keenly aware of it.

Every night seemed to pass in a millisecond. Ron booked the lake with so many hot acts that summer that each night seemed to be “once in a lifetime”. And they were.

As the room cleared, Lenny would give me my $20 and comment on the night. Once the mics were stowed and the house clear, maybe a drink with Gary and Sue or a chance meeting with an erstwhile OCS classmate. By three in the morning I’d be in my Fairlane heading back home towards West Shokan on Wittenberg Road again, alone, listening to a tape of Larry, Jaco and Joni knock it out of the park on Hejira’s “A Strange Boy”, wondering .

Sunday, June 05, 2011

An Early June Sunday on the Pond

Brian, Jack, Charlie, Shep, Ali, Wendy, John and Sue stir up the water and catch some rays.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Burning Fossil Fuels

As environmentally-conscious as I think I may be; I have absolutely no guilt from the 16 or so seconds of bliss I get from each slalom pass. Brooke and I had some of that over the holiday weekend where summer has finally staked its claim.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back to Basics - Life on the Pond

This year's spring is more like 2009 than 2010. It has been cooler and wetter than we would like. Even the best skiers among us are taking their time finding a beat; but how can you get better when there is a week between each set? Me thinks blue sky up ahead.

Dave gets back to basics (silent)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Red Butte Utah

Paul led Ron and me on a walk up the hill to the top of Red Butte behind the University of Utah. The views were terrific.

Halfway to the top

Photosynth Panorama

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day one on the water 2011

With a chilly East wind, Paul and I went out on Wheelwright Pond yesterday for my ski day one of 2011. I'm suitably sore this morning, and confused enough by the snow falling to repost my The Bird and the Bee inspired holiday video from last year.

Jamie on Paul's 1996 Nautique

Bushkill Sleigh Trip

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ice Out 2011

Pretty much right on the long-term average, Massabesic iced out this morning, with Dubes close behind. Not to rush my full-seeming life, but I can almost feel the bliss of floating in the water, my eyes just above the water's surface, like an early-season frog.

Dubes Pond (April 2011)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Supermoon Sensation

We really like Patti Rothberg's "Overnight Sensation" (iTunes). Work and life has meant quite a few evenings in on the hill, as opposed to going out and socializing. And the soundtrack lately has been Patti; with some retro funk from Dr. John added in. But last night, the video track was obvious...

Supermoon 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Ice Thins

The strong March sun makes its way through the snow that remains on the hill. The clocks are back on "Daylight" time. And I'm enjoying the now-ness of the change!.

Early March 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

KTEX2011 Coda

Waking up this morning at Steve's condo; I reflect back on the trip and look forward to getting home tonight with minimal drama. It was great to be together with friends. You can't control the weather; but you can adapt to it. There is something a lot like water-skiing in the calm solitude of riding the lift alone; and then having essentially the mountain to yourself to challenge your ability. The new G3 Mass Transits are the shit (thank you Peter and JoAnn!); but they really scream for deeper powder than we had most of the week. ... Had an indulgent dinner last night with Cyndi and Steve at Allreds, will get Steve's "limo" to KTEX/DEN/BOS/Home !

The Crowds of Telluride

Friday, February 25, 2011

KTEX2011 Part7

After eight days on the mountain, I've run out of superlatives.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

KTEX2011 Part6

Tuesday was the "day of (lift) nine", tape to tape, and not a muscle in my body not blissfully sore. Dinner at 221 with Kurt, Steve, and Cyndi. After coffee from smiling Sara at the `Bean, time to do it again. ... Wednesday evening, exhausted! Dinner at Llama-Pescado. ... Thursday morning arrives, the sun is out and Sara is still smiling.

Soft top of Nine

Sara and Shep

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

KTEX2011 Part5

We had a wonderful breakfast at the New Sheridan. After Air Blue left, things settled in and we went back to basics. I spent the day entirely on 9, doing my "physical therapy".  I skied alone, Juliana singing in my headphones, "there's no ever after, there's only in between." Somehow that made my full-seeming life seem fuller; and each turn even more wonderfully in-the-now.

Aprés Ski Health Drink at X Cafe

Sunday, February 20, 2011

KTEX2011 Part4

Today was exciting. Up early for first tracks down 9, then over to Revelation Bowl, lunch at Alpino Vino with Blue and Louise, then out in search of more powder. While skiing down a nice run called "Confidence" I managed to tweak my bipartite patella; kind of ironic, you know, the confidence bit. Skied back to the gondola almost entirely on my left ski; which was actually a fun drill, if it was not of necessity. No big drama; and it hasn't swollen much more than it often does with summertime double water-ski sets. Lesson learned: "Whining Causes Avalanches!" Dinner tonight upstairs at La Marmotte will work just fine as as a situation-appropriate analgesic.

Long Line at Lift 8

Roughing it in Telluride

Alpino Vino Hostess

KTEX2011 Part3

The snow came with the dawn on Saturday. Not a blizzard, but what would be four or five inches on the mountain before the day was through. Dinner at Excelsior, a loud group we were, then early to bed in anticipation of the Sunday morning freshies'.

Saturday Morning

Saturday Day

Saturday, February 19, 2011

KTEX2011 Beyond the Skiing

Chris would often remind me that the Aprés-skiing is just as important as the skiing. He was right.

Tamara and Cindy

Clara and Chrissie

Josh and Shep

Moon over West Columbia Ave.

Friday, February 18, 2011

KTEX2011 Part2

Day two featured Josh coming up with a great many euphemisms for the hard pack conditions. "I can see that this mountain has lots of great terrain", he said. On more than one occasion we would look over a snowpack and exclaim "I can't believe it's not powder!" Hongas tonight for dinner. Snow looking imminent.

Part of the Tribe on 5 at the top of Henry's

KTEX2011 Part1

Arrival was a bit of a drama; but it all worked out fine. BOS/DEN no problem; but Great Lakes Air made what must have been a business decision to fly us to Cortez instead. Bags lost. Happy accident of going to Cortez was the deluxe ride to Telluride from this cool kid from Alaska, while chatting up a storm with KOTO DJ Amy. Got to Chez Cyndi's, then slowly made rendezvous with Steve, Cyndi, Josh, Cindy, Tamara, and thankfully, my luggage. Dinner at Cosmo. Restless first-night at 8700 feet. Still felt crispy Thursday morning. Breakfast at the Steaming Bean helped terrifically. On the mountain Thursday, the snow was a little firm, not thin; and the wind was howling, but the smiles were ear to ear. Blue, Louise, Clara, and Chrissie arrived KTEX as we landed at Chair X. Dinner at the New Sheridan in the exclusive (and quiet) back room. Now we just need the pow'.

Shep, well bundled up, on Lookout

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Earn Your Turn

Sure could use a rope tow!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Missing Chris - Thirteen Years On

I think about how much I have lived and how much by best friend hasn't, in the thirteen years since his death.

Above The Ravine (ca. 1995)