Monthly Archive for December, 2003

The best thing so far about my new bindings:

Ohhh. The best thing so far about my new bindings is that my board actually fits in my snowboard bag without having to take the bindings off. That might not sound like much, but removing the bindings is a lot more trouble than you might think — especially when you’re trying to pack up in a hurry to catch a train after spending the last morning of your trip snowboarding…

Of course, I haven’t actually used them yet, so the size is only the best thing so far — especially since they have the potential to have a lot of other “best things” when compared to my old bindings… Really, they just have to not suck and they’ll be better than my old bindings. I’ll let you know how it goes after Oregon.

With a whisper, not a bang: Bush signs parts of Patriot Act II into law — stealthily

With a whisper, not a bang: Bush signs parts of Patriot Act II into law — stealthily

Honestly, my quick news.google attempt to to verify this didn’t turn up anything about this except for this article, but if this is true, then this is no good at all. If I had more time, I’d actually try to verify this, but I need to pack, etc… Worth a read, if just so you’re aware of what might be going on with your privacy.

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My first attempt at snowboard tuning.

I just tuned my snowboard for the first time in preparation for my trip to Mt. Bachelor tomorrow. Actually, it was only the first time I’ve tuned my snowboard by myself. I’ve done my edges and waxed my board with Mike’s help before, but never by myself.

All told, cleaning the base, filling in several cuts with p-tex, waxing the board, and sharpening the edges took about 4 hours total, or maybe about 2-3 hours after subtracting out the other things I did between tasks.

It was the p-texing that was the real bitch, because I’ve never done it before, and because I had a hard time getting the p-tex to light, and once it did light it burned more than I expected and dripped faster than I expected. The p-texing job could have been better, but I’m happy with it for now, and the biggest cuts are filled in. I’ll go back over the smaller scrapes the next time I tune my board.

I can also feel a few places where I didn’t scrape enough wax off, and I still need to do a little more work on the edges, but I’m pretty happy with it for a first attempt.

Getting this same job done at Any Mountain probably would have cost $45. The tool kit, base cleaner, and waxing iron cost about $100 total. As I get better at tuning my board, I can only assume that I’ll get faster at it, too. Hopefully I’ll be able to do the whole process in about an hour with a little practice.

So after a couple more tunes, the kit will have paid for itself, and not long after that hopefully I’ll be good enough at tuning that it won’t take me much more time to tune my board than it would have taken me to take the board to the shop — especially if I do the tuning at the hotel when I’m not doing anything else anyway.

Now I just need to put my new bindings on the board and pack and I’ll be ready to get up at like 4 am to get to SFO for my 6:50 am flight.

Feel Free to Jack Into My iPod

Feel Free to Jack Into My iPod

This article discusses an intriguing iPod social phenomenon. It’s so intriguing, in fact, that I wrote part of an article about this more than a year ago — I’ll have to polish it off and post it sooner or later.

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iPod: Battery And Assault

iPod: Battery And Assault

On the one hand, I can totally sympathize with this because my original iPod’s battery was dying when I got my new 30 gig iPod in May. On the other hand, I already have a new 30 gig iPod.

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If He’s So Smart…Steve Jobs, Apple, and the Limits of Innovation

If He’s So Smart…Steve Jobs, Apple, and the Limits of Innovation

This article was quite good, and now I can cross the article discussing Microsoft “innovation” vs. Apple innovation off my list. Definitely worth a read.

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Apple’s CEO Soap Opera

Apple’s CEO Soap Opera

Admittedly fairly thin on details, but amusing at the same time.

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Bakersfield: We’ll Kick Your Ass!

Bakersfield: We’ll Kick Your Ass!

Ah, home sweet home. And that’s really all I’ve got to say about that, because it pretty much speaks for itself.

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Even Sans Ghost, This Hamlet Has Plenty of Spirit

Even Sans Ghost, This Hamlet Has Plenty of Spirit

Damnit, I saw the sign for the “No Ghost Hamlet” on that theater when I drove by it every day for a month, but I only remembered to look it up once the sign disappeared, only to find out that A. I want to see it, and B. I missed my chance.

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Biculturalism (UNIX culture vs Windows culture)

Biculturalism (UNIX culture vs Windows culture)

Add ESR’s “The Art of Unix Programming” to my list of books I need to read. It sounds highly intriguing.

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Snowboarding 2004, day 4 and 5: Kirkwood.

As previously reported, the snow this weekend was pretty much fantastic. Unfortunately, Saturday I was a little hurt, but I recovered enough to have a great time on Sunday.

  • Date(s): Saturday, December 13th and Sunday, December 14th.
  • Who: Tyler, me.
  • It snowed on Thursday or Friday, but they stupidly groomed everything for Saturday morning. Luckily, there was still relatively fresh powder to be had anywhere off the beaten track. The powder had a slight crust over it (it looked like it had rained and slightly frozen in places), but my board easily cut through it and everything was mostly pretty nice.
  • We spent the morning taking runs on The Reut, and Cornice, and The Wall. I generally avoided jumping, both because being on the ground was so nice, and because I was pretty sore. The one notable exception to this was when I traversed right above the top of The Reut from The Wall, and ended up accidentally jumping off about a 15 foot drop and landing in a pile of powder. I didn’t stand a chance of landing it, and if I’d realized how big it was I never would have just blindly jumped off of it — but as it was, it turned out to be pretty fun.
  • I was back on my newly repaired board, but I didn’t find my bindings to be that much more comfortable than the demo bindings I had last weekend. In fact, by mid-day my feet hurt so much that I was taking my board off after every run.
  • On top of the foot pain, I forgot to stretch in the morning, and my back thigh (which had been extra sore all week) got really upset with me around mid-day, which made trying to absorb any bump was excruciatingly painful.
  • So, Saturday became a bit of a painful bust. After lunch, I was going to just take it easy and run on Hole N’ Wall, which worked great until I decided to take one last run through the beautiful powder. Unfortunately, I slipped down into a gully and found myself chest deep in snow at the bottom of the gully… and let me tell you, that’s probably one of the scariest situations I’ve ever been in while snowboarding. It took me almost half an hour to climb all the way out of that gully and back onto the trail, and by the time I did that I was pretty much completely exhausted, and that was the end of my day.
  • Sunday, we woke up to snow in Minden, which normally has all of its precipitation sucked up by the Sierra’s, and is only at 4,700 feet. The drive to Kirkwood proved to be difficult, with near 0 visibility at times. We only came across one car going towards Kirkwood the whole way there, but we passed three plows going the other direction, each of which had a line of cars behind it. None of this boded very well for very good day at the ‘wood, but a couple of miles from Kirkwood, the storm suddenly disappeared, and a patch of blue peeked through the clouds. By the time we got to Kirkwood, the skies were clear. It turned out to be a cold crisp clear day with about 6 to 8 inches of fantastic powder everywhere — perhaps one of the most beautiful days of snowboarding I’ve ever had.
  • Initially, only The Reut was open, but they were blasting for avalanche control throughout the morning, and as the day progressed, they opened Solitude, and then Cornice, and ultimately The Wall. It turned into quite a day of “chase the lifts,” because not too long after a lift opened the powder on the main runs got tracked out, but if you were willing to go explore, there was powder everywhere.
  • I ran The Reut until Solitude opened, at which point I went and ran in the terrain park for awhile. They had a pretty big jump built, so I did several repetitions of little jump big jump box medium jump. I also got freshies off the stump to the lower left of Solitude’s park — I covered a lot of distance off that jump, but unfortunately I landed on a groomed flat spot, which really hurt to absorb — but I pulled it out and didn’t fall.
  • I stuck with Solitude for awhile, because it had no line and Cornice had a big line. But by the time I got around to going to Cornice, it was pretty much tracked out, and I noticed that they had already opened the wall, putting me an entire lift behind the powder. So I only took one run on Cornice all day, which I used to traverse over to The Drain, which was also pretty tracked out.
  • Then I took laps on The Wall:
    • It turned out Eagle Bowl was open, so I took a few runs over there. But, since I didn’t want to get stuck at the base of the bowl, I stayed fairly high and to the left, which is when I rode my board over a lot of nasty rocks, resulting in a lot of scratches on my board, and one nasty cut all the way to the core, and the edges got scratched up, too.
    • I also took various other runs under The Wall, but for the most part I went right of The Reut.
    • I also took a pretty hilarious fall: I was riding in the trees, and was going to ride over what like a little bump and jump. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a snow-covered root that made a little loop, and when I approached it, my board sank into the powder in front of it and the nose of my board caught in the loop, and I pivoted around the nose of my board and landed upside down in the powder. Luckily, the looped root wasn’t so big that my board went all the way under it — it was just big enough to catch the tip of my board. I sat and laughed about that one for a minute for good measure.
  • The snow was so great and I was having such a good day that I ate lunch on the lifts.
  • Unfortunately, as soon as the sun dropped behind the mountain, it got very cold, and the tracked mounds of powder suddenly got very hard, making it a lot more work to ride, and I called it quits around 3 or so.
  • All in all, it was probably one of my best days of riding, ever.

Snowboarding 2004: Written Fuck Yous.

The snow was fantastic this weekend (more on that later), but it wasn’t without its perils. In particular, my board felt it necessary to send me several written fuck yous. Here, check this one out:

Dear Benjy,

Regarding the rocks you rode me over:

Fuck you.

Love,

Your Snowboard