Reading the text of Bush's speech, I just realized that it's easier for me to believe that conservatives are just fucking with liberals, than it is for me to believe that conservatives actually believe what they're saying. That's how much I can't relate to them.
My favorite proposal is this: The first amendment forbids congress to make laws based on religion, but marriage is an institution based in religion in the first place. Therefore, the government should have nothing to do with marriage, and instead only deal in civil unions. Go get married at your church, if that's what you want.
With the news that Kirkwood has received 44 to 58 inches of new snow in the last couple of days, the details of last weekend's day trip really aren't very exciting anymore... but there were a couple of items worth mentioning.
- Date(s): Sunday, February 22nd.
- Who: Trisha, me.
- The day was pretty nice: It was lightly snowing all day, but it wasn't too cold: most of the snow that landed on my melted. The snow at the beginning of the day was soft pack, and by the end of the day there were 4-6 inches of fresh powder on top of that.
- Our day was pretty simple. We spent most of our time on the reut or at the mini terrain park, with a couple of trips down Zach's, and a trip down Sentinel for lunch.
- Off the reut, we took a lot of runs to the right and into one of the gullys, which made for a sequence of 3-4 fun jumps (though one of them in the gully had exposed rocks near the landing, so I didn't do that one after the first time).
- I also took a few runs in the trees next to the reut, once they wrapped up the race course for the day.
- In the mini-park everything was rollers except for one useful jump off the edge of a banked turn. But that one jump was pretty nice, and I was getting so much air off of it that the impact of landing almost flattened me a few times. I had to absorb the landings with my entire body. I more or less managed to land most of those jumps, though I was landing so hard that I ended up putting my hands on the ground for balance.
- As long as I was getting that much air, I figured I'd try something fancy, so I made two grab attempts. The first time I just missed the edge of the board when I grabbed, and the second time my hand hit the edge of my board but I didn't grab on. I landed both attempts.
- Of course, it figures that after all those big jumps I'd go and hurt myself on a stupid roller: I had a lot of speed after the big jump and ollied off one of the rollers, but I ended up doing something stupid, and somehow tripped on my heel edge and fell onto my back, hitting my head really hard. Thank god I wear a helmet, but I still saw some serious stars. After that, I was done for the day.
In other news, I apparently think New Zealand accents are really hot. Who knew?
Rick was in town in, and it snowed some more. What better reason than that did we need to go up to the mountain?
- Date(s): Saturday February 7th and Sunday February 8th.
- Who: Tyler, Rick, and me.
- The snow was bad in places, but surprisingly soft overall. We had some fun under Sentinel, went up The Wall, went over to Eagle Bowl, etc.
- The most notable thing we did Saturday was to spend probably 5 or 6 runs jumping over the cornice to the skiers right of Cornice. I actually landed and rode out at most one jump, but in most of the other cases I at least recovered fairly well. I took no serious tumbles -- which is significant, considering the drop was at least 10 feet, and in places was probably significantly more. It was definitely scary, but it was a lot of fun, too.
- After the cornice jumps, we were traversing skiers right to some other jumps we found that we liked -- unfortunately, they were near some rocks, and on one jump I didn't get much air and landed on said rocks and ended up cutting my new board. It's not that big of a cut, but it's still depressing.
- I spent the afternoon taking easy runs, playing in the mini-terrain park, jumping over and over.
- We got the exciting stuff out of the way first thing in the morning (which was more like 10 am, since we got kind of a late start). In particular, we went up Cornice to Chamoix (which we like calling "cha-mon-ix" -- don't ask), then over Cornice's cornice.
- The notably exciting items here were:
- Under Chamoix, we found ourselves in some trees overlooking a gully. Unexpectedly, Tyler dropped into the gully, passing between a couple of trees and then jumping into the gully. Not one to be outdone, Rick did the same. Not one to be left behind, I went ahead and did it, too. But my arm brushed the branches, and I ended up falling on the landing and kind of hurt my shoulder (yet again). To be clear here, we were still on snow when we passed the trees -- they were just relatively close together.
- After that, we found ourselves at the gully under Cornice. Tyler and Rick both bailed out on hitting the stump, so I went over the stump (my first time) and was quite surprised by the size of that drop. I totally bailed on the landing, mainly because I got scared by the drop and twisted. Oh well. I'm not really sure how keen I am to try that stump again, but maybe on a powder day....
- Then we just went over the same cornice we spent awhile jumping off of on Saturday, only none of us landed particularly well. Tyler, in particular, ate a lot of shit, double ejected from his skis, and ended up quite far from his skis. Luckily Rick hadn't jumped at that point, so he was able to recover the skis and carry them down.
- After that, nothing else we did Sunday was that interesting. There were probably runs up The Wall and to Sentinel Bowl, but same-old, same-old.
Sadly, the weekend left me sore again, but really, considering all the kind of crazy jumping we did, that's not out of the question. I had a lot of fun, especially with the cornice jumping -- I want to go spend awhile doing that on a powder day, I think. But thanks to not going this weekend, I'll probably be sore again after next weekend, too.
This was a small secret show, announced only a couple of days in advance, and
there were no advance tickets available. So come Thursday, Alex, Jim and I
ended up standing in a long line to get into the tiny venue. There was some uncertainty
as to whether or not we'd actually get in, but once we were admitted, there was
plenty of room to go around.
The opening band was Garth Steel Klippert, a local Oakland band, and they were already playing
by the time we got in the door. We liked them pretty well, but the trombone
player stuck out a bit. But for only $5, I decided to buy their CD, and while
the production could be better (the vocals are generally muddy), it was totally
Finally Cake came along, and we got a strangely Comfort Eagle free set that
was still highly enjoyable:
- Sheep Go To Heaven
- Ruby Sees All
- Frank Sinatra
- Take It All Away - this was a new song that I liked pretty well. It
was about the end of a relationship, and it employed a great big "end of
relationship is a car crash" metaphor that featured the line "rubber-necker's
- "We're trying to figure out what we want to play to best serve
you... $bandmember says he wants to switch to a major key, because
all of these songs in a minor key have been too depressing."
- Jesus Wrote A Blank Check
- Wheels - another new song, though I thought it was called "Spinning
'Round" at first. It was pretty good.
- No Phone - another new song. Honestly, I wasn't very happy with
this song, and yet, this was the damn song I had stuck in my head for
days after the concert. I suspect this was mainly because John wasn't satisfied
with the audience's participation, and had us sing "No phone, no phone... No
phone, no phone, I just want to be alone today" over and over and over.
- Then they covered a Louvin Brothers song with the help of the lead
singer from the opening band.
- And then, after telling a story about performing at the
Crystal Palace with Buck Owens, they covered Excuse Me (I Think I
have a Heartache)
- Never There
- Another new song about waiting at a bus stop and breathing in too
much carbon monoxide. This song was alright -- it had a few choice lines, but
overall it wasn't that memorable.
- I Will Survive
- Stickshifts and Safetybelts
- The Distance
Overall, it was a good show, but it was a lot like the other Cake shows I've
been to. Also, I was a little disappointed with the new songs overall, because
they were really still more of the same style that Cake has always done -- there
was disappointingly little new to be had in the new songs. Even despite being
disappointed by the new songs objectively, hearing unreleased songs in concert
is still one of my favorite concert experiences, so it greatly enhanced the
overall show for me.
John said they might be playing more secret shows in the area as they
continue to work through the recording process, so keep an eye on Cake's news page, or just sign up for
their email newsletter.
Lesbian couple wedded at SF City Hall.
This is just awesome. Now let's just hope there's minimal negative fallout from this.
Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974
Oh man, this is one of the funniest things I've seen in quite awhile. I laughed so hard I had to leave my desk and take a trip to the hall for a few minutes. This is seriously the sort of thing that needs a "you better be prepared to explain to your co-workers what's so damn funny" work warning.
Hippo Star Wars?
Make sure to peruse the links at the bottom of the page, too. Oh, and the babelfish translation of the page contains the choice phrase "He is not a straight nice contemporary," which I'm afraid I'm going to have to work into a conversation now.
Are hippos the most dangerous animal?
Someone sent this to me when I didn't believe that Hippos were dangerous. Well, I guess I stand corrected. And be sure to read the link about spraying cats near the end of the article -- it has a fantastic little picture of a Hippo lecturing to a cat, complete with an embedded diagram.
Last month I received a letter from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters letting me know that the Democratic Party would allow me to vote in their primary election despite the fact that I had registered to vote as undeclared. This was happy news, so I sent in the form saying "yes, I'd like to vote in the Democrat's primary election."
I got my absentee ballot for the primary today.
I also got a Jury Summons for March 2nd -- the same day as the Primary.
Why am I left wondering if I didn't read the fine print on that letter?
After two weekends off, I finally got back to the mountain, thanks mainly to Kevin and Trisha already being there for the google ski trip. I drove up on Friday night with Kevin's friends Crystal and Rachel, where we rendezvoused with Kevin, Trisha, and Karen. We stayed at Kevin's uncle's awesome condo with a fantastic view of the lake on Friday and Saturday night. And since we were already in North Lake, I was able to convince Trisha to go to Alpine, so I was able to get a bit of a break from the 'wood.
- Date(s): Saturday, January 31st and Sunday, February 1st, 2004.
- Who: Trisha, me. Kevin, Rachel, Karen, and Crystal were also at the cabin.
- Saturday at Alpine:
- I hadn't been to Alpine before, and going to a new resort is often a lot of fun, so I enjoyed the day despite the bright sun and the packed groomed snow.
- We managed to explore most of the resort, taking a few trips up to the summit, exploring the backside, and so on. For the most part, though, we stayed between Summit Six Chair and Hot Wheels Chair.
- The snow on the backside was almost too icy to be worth it, especially since we took a stupid route to get there: Instead of traversing over the ridge from the top of Alpine Bowl Chair, we traversed through the trees at the top of Sherwood. And worse, we initially got to the backside by taking "Ray's Rut" -- a well named run if I ever saw one.
- It was a fantastically clear day, which made for an awesome view of the lake (and the Tahoe area in general) from the top of Lakeview chair. Now I really want to go back to Alpine once I get a new digital camera.
- On the backside of the mountain there were several people parasailing. They were taking off from the side of the mountain -- they must have skied there -- and after that I never saw any of them land. I'm not really sure where they went, actually. I almost got run over by one of them taking off when he couldn't get off the ground and just got pulled down the mountain by his sail.
- One thing that took me awhile to get used to about Alpine is that even though they have less vertical than Kirkwood, a lot of their runs felt longer because I believe that the mountain is less steep. While it was nice to have longer runs, the flip side of that was that there were more flats.
- Trisha pointed out that "advertising works." We knew that Alpine had $39 lift tickets, and that's why we went there instead of some of the other north lake options: we weren't even sure how much most of them were, beyond knowing that Squaw was $59.
- Admittedly Alpine was a little busy, but it wasn't unbearably bad if you took the effort to avoid the main runs.
- All in all, I enjoyed Alpine, and had a good experience, and I wouldn't mind going back. However, if it was much busier than it was that day, it might be too unpleasant to deal with.
- Sunday at Kirkwood:
- Kirkwood is Kirkwood is Kirkwood. We followed a relatively standard flight path, from 7 to 5 to 11 to 6 to 6 to Sentinel and so on.
- The snow at Kirkwood was a little softer than Alpine's, and better, it was snowing lightly all day. Unfortunately, around the end of the day, it got foggy and started snowing more and the viz got unpleasantly bad, making the contours of the snow very difficult to deal with.
- I was feeling very jumpy thanks to being on my home turf, and it being day 2 on my new board (more on that later), so I did a lot of jumps, and overall I think I did a pretty good job of landing them.
- I did the jump at the top of Zach's above the trees several times (landed the first time, fell while slowing down after landing the second time). I also found a pretty good stump jump directly under the Cornice lift that I hit big and landed and got a few cheers from the lift. All of the jumps off the catwalks to the left of Sentinel were really big, and I landed all of them, though I stopped quickly after each one. And jumping into the gully under Sentinel and the hoppy bits in there were a lot of fun. I really really want to get some videos of me now, because I feel like I'm a lot better than I was in the videos from a year ago.
- I was also practicing standing 180s while moving very slowly on flats. At one point I managed three 180s in a row (all regular to goofy -- I still fall if I try goofy to regular) with some a tiny bit of forward momentum on the flat above 7. And uh... They were probably technically more like 150s, and possibly 120s or maybe just 90s in some cases, but hey, it's a start. =)
- Everything was going great until I traversed from Cornice to The Drain, and feeling over-confident, I jumped off of a rock -- that turned out to be at least a 10 foot drop by the time my forward momentum came into play. I didn't totally wipe out or anything, but I was surprised by the height of the drop and fell over when I landed and unfortunately twisted my shoulder again. Yes, the same shoulder I hurt at Bachelor. Yes, it still hurts. I'm going to have to be more careful about this, because the sore shoulder ruined the rest of my afternoon, because I couldn't move my arm to keep my balance like I'm used to.
- Sadly, taking two weekends off left me sore in places all week. Clearly I shouldn't take a break from snowboarding... it's just not worth it. ;-)
- I so totally need new shoes. My Doc's probably wouldn't be the best shoes for snow in the first place, but they're 5+ years old and have 0 tread left, which means I'm going to wind up dead on my butt if I'm not careful. (This is not a request for you to get me shoes for my birthday or something, so please don't even think about it.)
- The drive home on Sunday night was tiring and stressful, because the roads were icy, and it was foggy, and it was rain/sleet/snowing depending on the temperature of any given spot, but we mode it home in one piece.
Anyway, I mentioned that I got an Arbor Element 154 a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't get a chance to ride it until this weekend. I felt comfortable on the board, and never felt like it didn't have the control I needed. It was definitely a lot easier to turn than my Custom 156, and it was also a lot lighter, which meant that jumping -- while not as easy as on Trisha's board -- was much easier than on my old board. The only real problem I had with it was some stability issues at high speeds, but I think that may have been because the edges could have been sharper.
I'm really kind of torn about whether or not to keep the board, so for now I think I'm going to need to ride it one more weekend before I can really make a decision. Notably, I need to decide if it's stable enough at speed, and if it keeps an edge when carving fast.
It sure is pretty, though.
Why your Moveable Type blog must die.
This is funny, but it also made me feel a little guilty. It almost makes me want to impose an even stricter QA process on my writing.
I've spent a lot of time driving in the last few days, during which I spent more than a little time thinking about driving, etc. Here are some of those thoughts, admittedly without much embellishment. It just doesn't seem necessary.
- Headlight Pet Peeves:
- The "feature" of some cars where they fall-back to using the bright bulb when the regular headlight burns out. This is especially bad because it doesn't clue the idiot driver in to the fact that his headlight is burnt out. Hopefully the car shines a MicroLight into his eyes until he gets his headlights fixed.
- Idiots who drive with their fog lights on all the time are really starting to piss me off. Especially when said idiot is a great big truck behind me, because then I don't stand a chance of ever seeing again.
- And to the bastard who somehow had six headlights who was behind me on 80 to Tahoe last weekend: die.
In other news: While my car has dual sliding moonroofs, I don't really like having the slider open, much less have I ever even actually opened them -- they just happened to be a feature that was on the car that I bought. That said, the one time I do really like to have windows in my roof is when it's raining. (Though clearly I don't open them in that case). Also, it's nice for the paranoid so they can check to make sure their snowboards are still on the roof from time to time.
Finally: I really wish my car had some rear view mirror wipers. That'd be useful. Maybe as a stopgap I just need to find a rear view mirror sized squeegee.