26 February 2006

The die hard finally gets plastic boots and skiis

Margit had been pushing for plastic boots for years. I was old school though. I skied fine in leather boots - backcountry and ski area. Before my accident, I skied moguls in them just fine. I didn't need plastic boots. Plastic was for people that didn't know how to telemark. Plastic was for wimps. End of discussion.

A few years ago, Margit just bought plastic boots. End of discussion. I was fine though. My friends all had plastic boots. They were wimps even though a couple of them, but not many, skied better than me. I could always fall back on the "I only have one leg" card if they skied too much better. Hah!

This year I was skiing really well. Every time we were at Boulder Ski Deals, Margit would aim me toward the plastic ski boots and new skiis. (Yeah I really needed new skiis but I'd rather spend the money on my truck.) She pleaded but I'd just walk out. I didn't need plastic boots.

Well, this weekend, Boulder Ski Deals was having a blowout telemark ski & boot sale. We both needed new poles so we stopped by. Margit told the salesman I needed new boots and skiis. I was tricked !! I knew the gig was up ... so I broke down.

They set me up and mounted my skiis in an hour. Next day, we skied Winter Park. The new boots & skiis sucked. The snow was very icy though and I had to admit, the new skiis held their edges well. I couldn't help but overturn though. They sucked ... but I knew it took awhile to re-learn how to ski with modern equipment. The last run of the day, I finally skied a decent run. Almost as good as my old equipment anyway. I'll probably like the new gear after a few more days skiing. Sure is heavy though ...

Here's a pic of 3 generations of skiis and boots, oldest on left. The skiis are Chouinard Tua (1985), Kneissel Tour Star (1995) and K2 Super Stinx. The boots (close up here) are Asolo Summit double boots (1984), Asolo Extreme Pros (1995) and Scarpa T2X.

Bob & Steve go ice climbing

At 6am, Bob Wood came in the kitchen door without knocking. It's -15F he said. I said OUCH. We drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a little ice climbing. We had to stop at an elk roadblock for a minute (picture to right). Here's another picture of 23 elk.

Luckily the temps had warmed up a bit. It was now a balmy -2F. The two mile hike to Loch Vale warmed us up. We found a nice 50' section to practice on. Bob hadn't ice climbed for awhile and neither had I. In fact, I hadn't climbed ice since before my accident in 1997. Except for times when we swung our tools like our grandmothers (Bob's phrase), it went well ... except it was a wee nip cold. Thanks Bob for dragging me out!!

16 February 2006

The best Colorado webcam

Check this out in the daytime - the Ouray webcam. It's situated about 10,000 ft and views Ouray and the surrounding San Juan mountains.

Jessica's 3rd Birthday Party

Jessica's parents, Tom & Karen, set up a great party at the Frederick rec center. The kids tired themselves out at in the gymnastics room first. Then food and cake and balloons and animal noses ...

More pictures here.

15 February 2006

Ford Hydraulic Hybrid & Dodge Hornet

A couple of interesting articles hit my RSS feeds recently.

Ford has developed a hydraulic hybrid. Instead of recharging batteries, a hydraulic hybrid stores excess energy in hydraulic cylinders. Supposedly this is 3 times more efficient. Read more at NewTechSpy.

The Dodge Hornet was unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show. This is one cool looking little car. Read more, and see the pics at
allpar. With a 6 speed manual trans and 170 hp, I'd trade my Ford Focus in for it in a heartbeat ... if it ever makes it to the US.

14 February 2006

Where's winter?

New York's Central Park gets a record 2 feet of snow and we get nichts. This has been a dry, windy winter. Scary dry ... and the wind is getting on my nerves. I can count the decent snows, in the foothills, on one hand. Luckily the North and Central Colorado mountains have been getting hammered. The reservoirs should be fine come spring. Hopefully the foothills don't burn!

Here's the bad news from the last month, courtesy on NCAR Mesa Lab weather station:

08 February 2006

All dressed up and going somewhere

Too good a picture not to share!
Julia posing in front of the house.

Click on the pic for the full Julia effect :-)

05 February 2006

Bye Bye 1994 Ford Escort

Since Margit and I both work from home, we decided to dump one of the vehicles. In order of new-ness, we have a 2005 Dodge 2500 Cummins, 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 and a 1994 Ford Escort wagon. The Escort's time was done ... in our household anyway.

We used Craig's List - Denver/ Boulder to sell it. This is a free listing service that's gained a huge following. The first responder to my ad bought the car at asking price. The couple had just lost a '86 Escort in an accident. Paul was a mechanic and knew the Escort inside and out. It always good when both buyer and seller think they got a good deal.

It served us well. 145K miles is pretty good for a car used mostly for in-town driving. Here's a farewell picture.

02 February 2006

Mountain Lion bait

One of the chores, related to my fire mitigation work, is dragging the Ponderosa branches into piles so they can be chipped. This is my least favorite tree work chore. The deer really appreciate it though. For some reason, fresh cut Ponderosa needles is gourmet food .. at least this time of year when everything else is dead. Piling the branches is essentially baiting the mountain lions ...

This morning, walking down to get the paper, I took a shot of the action.

Another great meal !

Margit is such a great cook! Here's typical weekday meal. Pork, kale, mushrooms, rice with a creamy sauce and a decent bottle of table wine. I can only describe it as great! I keep telling Margit she should start a cooking blog. It'd get a lot more attention than this blog would get.