Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pictures From SLC Trip

Originally uploaded by iammonkeyboy.
They aren't very good, but here are a few pictures from the SLC trip.

Cabbies Refusing to Carry Passengers with Alcohol?

I read this article and had to chuckle. Most of you will know that I'm not one of those people that is likely to say, "America, Love it or leave it." But this article almost makes me want to say that. In the article it explains that about 75% of the cabbies at the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport feel that they are exempt (for religious reasons) from taking passengers that are carrying alcohol. Local Islamic religious leaders issued a ruling indicating that even the transportation of alcohol is prohibited to people of Muslim faith. I'm all for religious freedom. Pray to whatever big father in the sky you like and call him whatever you want, but this is getting ridiculous. Are Mormon strippers going to claim that they are exempt from taking their clothes off so that they may retain their modesty? Will a Jewish waiter refuse to deliver a shrimp dish to his patrons because it isn't Kosher? Give me a break.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Utah Snowboarding Trip

I'm two days into a three day snowboarding trip. So far we've been to Brighton and Snowbird, just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. If not for the fact that both a baseplate and a binding broke leaving me flipping head over heals down a mountain, Brighton would have been a wholly enjoyable experience. That mishap can be laid at the feet of Burton and not the resort, so all in all I would give them an A for effort. Snowbird on the other hand turned out to be a little less enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast, but... Well, apparently, the deffinition of beginner and intermediate is different depending on where you are. Snowbird had enough runs "marked" as beginner and intermediate (green and blue) that it was a reasonable choice for us since we are all more or less beginner and intermediate level skiers and snowboarders. Well apparently, they lie. Whenever I talked to anyone there they said something like, "Snowbird greens would be blues and blues would be blacks anywhere else. If that is the case, I skied down a black today. Granted, it was fairly short and reasonably wide, but it sure was steep. Imagine a slope so steep that if you fell, you were going to slide half way down before you managed to pile up enough snow to stop your slide. Why do I know this? Because durring the lesson I took today, that is happened durring the first hour and a half. I fell. Repeatedly. I fell so many times that it felt like I'd been worked over with a lead pipe by a 300 lb mobster named Vinnie. There were several occasions where I thought, "oh my, I bet my ankle is about to snap." Fortunately for me, my family is big boned and I think all the bones in my body are more or less intact.

After the day that I'd had, I considered something I'd never considered before. A massage. I'd never considered a massage for several reasons. First, I have a large personal space. If I can't flail my arms wildly without touching you, then you are probably standing too close. The thought of someone, not known to me, touching me creeps me out. Second, happy endings. No, I didn't and wouldn't ask for one, but the thought (no matter how ulikely and absurd) of having to deal with the issue creeped me out. I'm so glad I managed to get over these hangups. After an hour's massage I no longer feel like I've been worked over by Vinnie with a lead pipe, more like my first grade teacher (Ms. Espy) with a wiffle ball bat. I still hurt everywhere, but now I can manage to turn my neck and not worry that I might pass out from the pain. The masseuse was impressive and well worth the money. (Sorry J, it was a her and her name wasn't Lars)

Back to one of the reasons I hurt so much. The baseplate and binding on my left foot both broke simultaneously while I was in the middle of a pretty sweet couple of turns on a pretty steep blue. This sent me ass over tea kettle down the hill with a giant board strapped to my right foot. I had to gather myself up, check that I'd not broken anything (nor crapped my pants) and then ride my board down the mountain like a sled. Not fun. You will notice the brand of the binding at the left. The baseplate at the right is made by the same company. I can assure you that three things are going to happen. First, I'm sending this back to get it replaced under warranty. Second, I'm going to sell the replacement on e-bay. Finally, I'm never giving any more of my money to the maker of these products.
One more day left on the trip. Let's hope I make it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Warren Miller is my pusher

Remember when you were 6 and you got your first set of cowboy boots and you wanted to wear them to bed? No? I do and right now, I'm sitting here in my helmet and goggles thinking about going to sleep. I'm three days away from leaving on the first snowboard trip of the year. I've been running around doing a few last minute things here and there. I finally got a set of mittens that I like. I think I'm ready, but I'm a little nervous. It's been almost a year since the last time I was on a board. I know that I'm going to be rusty and I just hope that I don't break something. As I sat down with the packing list I flipped on HBO and what do you know, a Warren Miller film. I love them. I will sit down and stare slack jawed as I watch one. I know that I will never be as good as any of these guys. Hell, I'm not sure I will ever even be good enough to make it down a black, but I can dream can't I?