Saturday, January 29, 2011
The first good news is that there weren't that many of them. The best news is that 200 students from Park City High School came out to do their own protest. They shouted cheers and sang songs, all in the name of love and tolerance. That became the story for the press instead of the attention-craving fanatics.
To those that say our current youth aren't active enough in shaping the world around them, I have to disagree.
Having just had surgery and not actually knowing how to race, I have no immediate plans to partake, but who knows.
Of course, in a town like Park City, the competition can be a bit above average. At the first race, the women's division was won by three-time Olympian Heidi Voelker. Sometimes living in a town full of Olympic skiers can be intimidating.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Los Angeles (CNN) -- Actor Charlie Sheen was in "stable" condition after being taken by ambulance from his home to a Los Angeles hospital for severe pain, related to a hernia Thursday morning, his representative said.
"Charlie has had a hernia condition for some time," representative Stan Rosenfield said. "I was told by the person who made the 911 call that it was hernia-related."
Reporters and paparazzi converged on Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after reports hit the internet that Sheen was at the emergency room there Thursday morning. The hospital refused to give any information about the actor, giving rising to rampant media speculation about Sheen's condition.
Tensions eased later in the day when Rosenfield announced that his client was in stable condition and was being treated for the hernia.
If your hernia becomes incarcerated, the lack of blood supply can kill parts of your intestines. Then you have a surgical emergency instead of a comfortable planned day.
Skied a little faster today, but still no black runs, trees, bumps or speed. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Gorgeous weather. Thank goodness we were skiing above the socked in clouds.
Oh well, it's a step in the right direction. Now I need to stick with the slow recovery program and not push things too quickly.
Monday, January 24, 2011
From left to right, Patti and John Steigerwald, Julie, and of course, Jasper.
Between snowshoeing and the football play-offs, we managed to get up to Stein Eriksen's for their incredible Sunday Brunch. I am fairly certain I consumed 30,000 calories. Yummmm!
This morning we got up and went to see Cedar Rapids. It was a wonderful comedy that also highlighted how you can make friends in the oddest of ways. It is already being distributed through Fox SearchLight, so you will get a chance to catch it in theaters. Another 4 of 4 stars movie.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
It was painfully slow and boring. Julie kept leaning over to me and saying "make this end". When the movie finally ended, it was abrupt and left most everything unresolved. I'm not sure anyone cared. In a movie, leaving out the wrapped up ending can be an interesting style, unless the movie also lacked a beginning and a middle.
One hour and 45 minutes of my life wasted. At least we got to see Win-Win in the morning.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Our plan was to enjoy visits from John and Patti Steigerwald (from Raleigh) and Bill and Kathleen Donnelly (from Michigan). These two couples were out here together for Sundance three years ago. Unfortunately, Bill and Kathleen's daughter Meghan had gone from having something flu-like to pneumonia. As much as I support giving children a lot of responsibility to make them stronger, leaving her alone seemed unreasonable. At the last second, they had to cancel. We all miss having them here.
So far we are having excellent luck with movies, and terrible luck with stalking stars. Our only star sighting has been Ryan Seacrest, of American Idol fame. He is also doing the American Top 40 Countdown on the radio. They were shooting something with him in it. He's the one on the right.
Instead, we have been eating, drinking and seeing movies. The Highwest Distillery had a really cool ice sculpture bar outside. It was cold though, so we grabbed a photo and went in for a drink.
Our movies so far:
The Last Mountain: this was a documentary about the coal mining in West Virginia where they rip the tops off of mountains and dump all the non-coal earth down into the valleys. It is a terribly destructive process and the land never recovers. It was well done and very eye opening. I gave it 3 out of 4 stars. Most documentaries never make it to the big screen, but this was a good one.
Win-Win: this movie is about a lawyer who volunteers as the local high school wrestling coach. He, his family, and his friends all get tangled up with another family. It is wonderful and clearly gets 4 out of 4 stars. It will be in theaters and you should definitely see it. Funny. Great acting. Great character development.
We have another movie after dinner this evening. So far, no losers!!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
It an interesting read and guarantees that I will be thinking twice about any trips to South America, and Chile in particular. His story.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
In six years in Park City, I have seen hundreds or even thousands of deer and many dozens of moose. Elk? Not a one. I heard over and over again that there is a herd that winters in town. I was losing faith in the stories. Back in September, I went on a surefire trip to find some elk. Six moose, but no elk.
Out of frustration, when Julie and I opened an account at a new bank, I chose a picture of an elk to go on my Visa card. I figured that was as close as I would come.
Chad, the guy who took me on the last elk hunt, called and said the herd was visible from the highway. I went to see them even though the weather was terrible for photography. Sure enough, there were at least 15 up on the hill. I can now officially stop complaining about the invisible elk. I hope to catch a nice sunny afternoon to snowshoe up to get some better shots, but they are apparently very shy when it comes to humans.
Monday, January 17, 2011
A cold front is coming in and it is creating interesting lighting up on the mountains. If you look along the ridge line, you can see how much snow is getting blown around. 65 mph gusts do not a ski day make. Half of the lifts are PCMR are currently on wind hold.
Jupiter Peak is always pretty.
In November they opened a new hotel at Empire Pass in Deer Valley. The Montage is part of a three hotel chain (also Laguna Beach and Beverly Hills). It was built to be a 5-star hotel and everything there is just over the top. I thought the St Regis that opened last year was nice. The Montage is a huge building, but it is so far up a canyon that you really can't see it from anywhere. Unless of course, you live at our house. I think we have the clearest view in all of Park City.
This is a picture I took the other day when we were skiing at Deer Valley. With a top-down view you can see how big the complex really is.
Julie's DV job normally has her working at Snow Park, the main facility at the base of the mountain. For the next few days, she is working at the Montage, filling in for someone. Perhaps she will get to see some early stars visiting for Sundance. A room with a pair of queen beds starts at $700 and goes on up, depending on dates, so you probably need to be somebody to stay there.
By big project for the day is getting groceries. Did I mention that healing sucks?
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I am trying to let myself heal without going stir crazy. I finally went for a drive today to pick up some Local's tickets for the Sundance Film Festival. I was nice to get out of the house. I have been very good about not lifting anything heavy (or actually much of anything at all). The odd little pain is that it takes too much core strength to bend over and touch my toes. To pick something up off the ground, I have to kneel. I guess this is what life is like if you wear a short skirt.
The big pain is when you cough or sneeze. Ever notice how a good sneeze can project a spray of yuck for yards? Now I know the physics behind that. Apparently every single muscle in your abdomen suddenly contracts in the blink of an eye. Not terrible for a sneeze, but when someone has been surgically wandering through your abdominal wall, it really stings. No more coughing!!
My doctor's appointment on Tuesday should give me a better feel for important things like rehab exercises, hot tubbing, green slope (beginner) skiing, ....
Thursday, January 13, 2011
My surgery was laproscopic, so I have several little holes that have to heal. In general, everything seems to be going well. No nausea from the anesthesia. No known uh-oh's from the surgery. Now I just have to cope with the recovery, which I am sure will take longer than I want it to. Right now I feel like I did a few hundred sit-ups and then someone gave me a swift kick in the stomach. Muscular soreness, but limited to the abdomen and pelvic areas. I'm wandering around the house, eating and sleeping without any problems.
I guess this will give me a chance (force me) to stay home and catch up on some house things I normally put off. At least I can't push the monster snow blower for a few weeks.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I pondered where I might find interesting things to shoot. I'm either good, lucky, or both. I headed down towards Heber City and the Jordanelle dam, hoping to snag some shots of fly fishermen in a winter scene. What a gorgeous discovery! The Weber River was running a bit warm, at least compared to the -10 degrees in Heber. That made for a lot of fog along the water, and frozen fog in all the trees.
Of course I can't shoot pictures without my talented assistant Jasper. He was in charge of scaring off all the ducks before I could get a picture.
Almost all of these pictures are some combination of river, ice, fog, and frosty trees, yet the variation from view to view was a treat.
There were interesting ice formations in the river, but the fog kept getting in the way.
Tried getting artsy with this one, but the long exposures simply gave the fog more time to wander around in the picture.
I guess at this point you may have noticed the lack of photos of fishermen. Well, -10 is a bit cold to fish, but I actually saw two of them. However, if you can imagine how tough and angry you must be with life to go fish in this weather, that was these two guys. They looked like they might eat my camera if I took a shot. I waved and trudged off.
From the dam I went for a drive along the reservoir, slamming on the brakes when I saw a bald eagle sitting in a tree. I admired him through binoculars before changing to a very long lens. They say "bird brain" as an insult meaning "stupid", but I know that damn eagle was watching me in the car. The moment I slowly, quietly opened the door, he flew off. I was a good 100-150 yards away.
On my way through Francis, Kamas, and Oakley, I saw little of photographic interest. In my last little town, Peoa, I saw this fenced in group of horses with a pretty red barn.
Horses? That's no horse. How did he get in there? At least they seem to get along.
Hey, those aren't horses either. Three bison, seven horses, and two llama/alpaca/sheep things. Quite the group.
A cold day to be handling a camera, but the serious cold makes for some nice scenery.
On to surgery tomorrow.
Saturday, January 08, 2011
- Liftopia - you can get good deals on both the Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort. For PCMR, it seems to change by day of the week, but you can get a 3-day pass as cheap as $147. Compare that to the $90 per day you pay at the mountain.
- Costco - they sell 5-packs of lift tickets for PCMR for about $53 per ticket. These are bad because they only come in 5's. They are good because you can use them any way you want: five people one day, one person five days, without any concerns about some number of days in a row.
By the way, as you drive to Park City from the airport, you go right past a Costco.
Deciding how much to haul off is an interesting financial decision. Haul more than you needed to and you are wasting money. Haul off too little or start too late and you can create havoc in the streets, slowing down business at a peak time of the year.
Friday, January 07, 2011
Today's topic is the ceremonial passing of fruitcake from family member to family member on Julie's side. We don't give each other fruitcakes for Christmas. We give each other THIS fruitcake for Christmas. I'm not sure I can remember how long ago this started, but this fruitcake has gotten passed around over and over again. It's a good thing fruitcakes last forever. It has no expiration date, or even a creation date for that matter.
The handoff is important and can't be done as a gift in the mail. This year, our house guest Kelly brought it and quietly left it in a drawer in her bedroom for us to discover later. Nicely done Smale family! The fruitcake is now in our court.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
It led me to wonder why people think of hunting deer as sport. I stopped the car, rolled down one window for me and another for the dog. I got out the little camera and took a few shots. Jasper stared at the deer who simply stared back at Jasper. I'm pretty sure I could have taken a deer down with a shotgun full of bird shot. Is that sporting?
Maybe it is like how I golf. You can call it a sport, but it needs to be done on a sunny day and with beer?
Kelly is on her winter break from Gonzaga and came to see us for a few days. Most people who visit Park City in the winter either ski or board and Kelly was no exception. Her first day was skiing, which she hadn't done since her entire family visited us a few years ago. Like most boarders, she decided ski boots were uncomfortable and unreasonable. She did well skiing, and notice how easily she posed with Julie.
The next day she chose to go with her experience: boarding. She got down harder slopes, more easily, but notice how hard it is for boarders to simply stand still on a slope.
Kelly, showing her form as we head down to the King Con lift.
On Wednesday, I had to head to "work", my hosting job at PCMR. Kelly, Julie and Jasper did some snowshoeing up the mountain behind our house.
We had a great time and wish she could have stayed longer, but it is almost time for Kelly to head back to college.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
The Utah Food Bank is very impressive. They move 31 million pounds of food a year.