31 January 2007

Mama, I want to do do bumps too!

Mama told Julia to ski to the side of the moguls while we skied (or attempted to ski, in my case) some small bumps. Julia ignored that and followed us. She did great. I cratered pretty bad.

As I adjusted my ski brace (strapped to my prosthetic), Julia yelled up - C'mon Papa, show us how to do it - and I did!

30 January 2007

reduced snow forecast for rest of season because ...

We finally did it - bought a snow thrower. This pretty much dictates a lower than normal snowfall for the rest of the season!

Although shoveling a 325 ft. long drive is great excercise, it's tough when I have to balance problems at work with shoveling. When Mia can't get out of the drive, shoveling takes precedence. Also, it's not great on a marital relationship if the spouse's shoveling strategies DO NOT MATCH. With all the snow this season, this was a problem .. and the real reason we broke down and bought one. ;-) No more problems now. When it dumps, it's MY job. Probably better that way, anyway. I like the outside chores.

Oh yeah, the specs - 9-1/4 HP, double stage, 26" width, 6 forward gears, 2 reverse. It even has a "locking" differential. Wish my truck had it so good! Should be fine for most storms. If it's not, I'll let my displeasure AND the brand be known!

24 January 2007

A bumper crop of Abert's squirrels

Lot's of Abert's squirrels (wikipedia) this year. Sometimes I see 4-6 outside my office window ... when it's not too cold.

18 January 2007

Something new - meditation for beginners ...

Yesterday evening, Mia & I did something different. We tried a beginner's meditation class at the Shambhala Meditation Center. Yeah, it's Buddhist but meditation isn't necessarily based on religion, I thought.

Just to be safe, I wore my most obnoxious "Unorthodox Pagan" T-shirt under a light jacket. I figured if someone tried to convert me, I'd rip off my jacket and not have to say a word. No one tried to convert us though. Actually, Helen the instructor, said that
meditation isn't based on religion.

We were instructed to become comfortable on the pillows. Helen saw my leg sticking out - looking uncomfortable. She asked if I had a problem bending it. I said yes. She said that I might be able to prop it up with a pillow. As I laughed, I said that I can do better than that. I can take it off. Mia later said because I laughed, other's laughed but their faces were shocked & astonished at the circus trick I pulled. When I didn't put my leg back on, they decided the trick wasn't a trick.

The fun being done, Helen moved us along. It was a good intro to meditation. Though our backs ached afterwards, we'll do more of it - certainly!

15 January 2007

snow, cold & blue

Lot's of sun but not much is melting. Yesterday was a heatwave at 10 deg F. Nice to look at though.

Here's another nice one of the sun rising under the Ponderosas.
Both of the above were taken from close by the house.

08 January 2007

The wind, the snow

Wind was forecast all weekend. Bad in some areas, very bad in others. We decided against skiing at Winter Park (official ski area site) on Saturday. This turned out to be a >very good move< since a large avalanche hit Rt. 40 near Berthoud Falls (Yahoo Map) about 10:30am Saturday. No one was killed but a few cars were tumbled down the slide path and their occupants sent to the hospital. If we had skied, we would have to drive all the way around through Kremmling to get home - and there were whiteouts that direction. Yep, we were lucky.

So far Boulder wasn't windy - even by Sunday. Sunday night was forecasted for 105 mph winds. But it was still nice so we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park. A little sledding, a nice hike around Bear Lake etc. Well ... it was very windy up there. Our hike was 3 minutes long and ended as Julia started blowing away like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. Mia caught her and we carried her back to the car. We found a scenic pullout for our bag lunch and enjoyed the view of Longs Peak and Mt. Lady Washington. (Click on image for full effect.)

It was also a good day to visit the new Fall River Visitor entrance. Normally we never do this stuff but when the wind blows ... Julia had fun trying on the pioneer dresses. We headed home and the drive had already started to drift. I was proud to get the Focus up after the 3rd attempt. It turns out I should have left it at the bottom of the drive.

The freight trains visited Sunday night. I knew we were hosed. That little 10" of snow we received on Thursday .. and we had neatly shoveled aside .. well it was DRIFTING bigtime.

By this morning, the drifted snow had setup as concrete in our drive. It was between 10" and 35" thick. About 20lbs per grain scoop full. (That's what I use for a shovel.) Normally we'd say screw it and pick away at it for a few days until we could get the Focus down. Today, though, was Julia's first swim lesson at the Rec center. We couldn't miss that.

Mia and I shoveled the 50 foot section that had drifted 35" deep. Then I chained up the truck and let 'er rip downhill. Pretty amazing what kind of torque a 1000lb diesel engine can provide when it's sitting on chains. Not much problem going down. Coming back up was like riding a bronc. The truck was jumping all over. Mia took a picture before action was even good. Still shows some flying snow though and the driver loving it. (Maybe the Dodge boys will sponsor me after seeing this - Hah!) Note that the air dam is no longer under the front bumper. I removed it before the snow could rip it off. Only a flatlander would design something like that.

02 January 2007

Amazing picture .. Peak District, Great Britain

In many ways, I'm an early adopter of technology. Although we don't own a cell phone or microwave, I can be one efficient SOB with a computer. After all, I'm up to my ears in it all-day-long!

A great picture came thru my Netvibes climbing Flickr RSS feed this evening. I have to share. First, to pique your interest, here's a screenshot of my Netvibes Flickr RSS feed and how I came across the picture.

The uppermost, left image is the one that caught my eye. Here it is, compliments of herb10660. Taken in the Peak District. Click on image for more info. I hope you enjoy it as much as I.

01 January 2007

Skiing Butler Gulch - last day of 2006

Our sitter gave us 6 hours and Mia & I took all of it!

Butler Gulch was great. Lot's of powder, no wind and not very cold. Even the trailhead access road was in good shape.

I'm finally getting used to my new ski gear - the plastic boots and fatter boards. The snow was over my prosthetic, knee high. (Yah, that's me to the right.) I'm starting to like skiing again. My eyes are wandering higher .. to the ridges .. like what we used to ski. I can feel the pull ..