Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 4: On the Greens with DrWho

Lets start with some general observations:

1) Vail is huge. Have I said that already? Over 5000 skiable acres on 2 mountains. The longest run... Riva.. is a black that is over 9 miles long.

2) Yankees. Pure Bred True Blue Yankees. Everywhere. Everyone is from New York City... or they're from Jersey and they "work in the city".

3) Rich yankees are dicks. I have seen at least 3 huge blowups over entirely trivial matters. This morning I was getting the boys ski boots from the storage girls... now there are two chicks at the window... you bring them your shoes and your id card... they go get your ski boots and store your shoes for the day. Simple right? So it just so happened that two guys walk up to the window at the same time... both with multiple pairs of shoes to swap for boots. So both girls were occupied.. they were doing their job.

This fat yankee with a revolting new york accent walked up to the window and immediately starts bitch, "Where ah the fucking girls? There's supposed to be two girls here. HELLO?? HELLO?? "

I'm watching this... and couldn't help myself...

"Dude. are you on vacation?"

The yankee looks at me... and says, "Who are you? I'm here to ski."

"Yeah so its a ski vacation then? So you're here to have a good time. So maybe you settle down."

The idiot yankee wasn't impressed, "I'll settle down when I get some service in here. These lazy fucks never do their jobs."

"Dude. There are kids all around you. Settle down. There are two chicks back there working their butts off. they'll be up here as soon as they get the 8 pair of boots these two guys over here sent them to get."

about that time a chick lugged four pair of ski boots up to the window and asked if she could help the idiot yankee.. who could only say, "its about time. get me my boots."

Now let me just point out... in a civilized society it would be perfectly legal and appropriate to beat the hell out of that fat bastard. Sadly... we don't live in a civilized society. and again... this is one example. I've seen it over and over again. The staff here has the costumer service edition of battered wife syndrome.

4)My wife is a badass. She had a tweeked knee from a fall yesterday... so she was hurtin' pretty bad when she put a lot of weight on it... you know... like you do when you turn? Well today she found herself at the top of a long... long... slope. Its vail green... but east coast blue... and you don't over shoot it.. because over that ledge at the bottom is a double black. or as I prefer to call it... certain death. Anyway... her leg really took her confidence and she kept looking down that looong run... a run more difficult than anything she'd done yesterday. I was watching from the bottom... but sure enough she came right on down. Smooth and in control... but slightly pissed off. From there it was catwalks trying to make our way to lions head until we hit the last section down... which is blue. Julie took it like a champ this time... great control... great technique... poll turns and everything. When I saw her at the bottom I thought she was gonna explode. She was so fired up that she'd been able to do it... worth the trip. Many adults never get that feeling... some of us need it so badly we dream up crazy schemes to experience it... regardless... when you get it... cherish it.

5) Jeb is better than he's getting credit for at ski school... because he refuses to play their reindeer games. He stops and turns very well... but they expect him to spend the day poking along... and he wants to go. I mean.... GO. so the instructor today told me as long as he was right with Jeb... he did the little slalom thing perfect... but if he wasnt... Jeb would take off flying down the mountain. He doesn't want to promote Jeb to the next level... even though he admits all the skills are there. This is mildly frustrating to me. The showing off indicates to me that he's bored and needs moved up. On the other hand... these are probably some of the best instructors in the world.

6) Eli is dealing with altitude sickness. But he's a trooper. He's having a blast at Ski School and doing very very well. He's stopping and turning.. and would be up on the mountain every day if he weren't sick. He was so tired he literally slept the whole afternoon session away... taking the world's most expensive nap. still I cannot fault the school. They handled it exactly the way I would have wanted them to.

7) I have a ton of pictures... but again... this stupid wireless network's upload speeds are so lame it times out before even one picture makes it to the blog. This is infuriating.

8) On the family friendliness scale... this place is a solid 10. The only complaint is the yankees... and you can take steps to insulate your exposure to them. You'd be amazed how fast they stop their idiotic nattering when you start talking about guns.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 3: Blue on Black

I am at this point moved to wonder if our dear Spacebunny has actually skiied Vail. As she protests that "its not even the best skiing in North America". The dear girl is, in this one rare case, flatly wrong.

It is the best skiing in North America.

Today was insane... fresh powder... feet of fresh powder... and more coming. Glorious.

The first timers were moved to compare different ski areas... Breckenridge is to small... and black at "Breck" is a blue at Vail. A-basin and Copper Mountain don't even compare. I mean if you want to ski the same 4 runs all day.. fine... If you want to spend days on the mountain and never see the same trails... then you have to come to Vail. Greens? All day. Blues? All day. Blacks? All day. Double blacks and backcountry? Forever.

So it was blues today.. and my first blacks... Not east-coast blacks either. Blacks. I was feelin' pretty impressed with myself too... bouncing down.. pole turns... completely smooth and controlled....

Then this line of 5 year olds blew by me.


The snow was up to their necks! God that was depressing.

Anyway... Boys made mad progress today and they'll both be on greens on the mountain tomarrow. Big stuff. Julie progressed from level 1 to level 4 in one day. That's pretty hard core in my opinion. We're skipping the lessons tomarrow as we both know the mountain well enough now for some exectutive skiing together tomarow... which should hopefully mean...


And... if all of this hasn't been glorious enough... I met one of the 10th mountain soldiers that helped open this place up.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vail Day 2: The first day on the slopes

Holy crap dude.

So the boys spend the day in ski school. They are both standing up and stopping consistantly... and Jeb is able to turn pretty well. Another day of ski school and they'll be monsters. We had the geared up big time. We spent a ton of cash on the gear... but it was worth it. It was -8 with a windchill of -26... and they were both fine. In fact... both said they got a little hot.

yeah baby. yeah.

As you can imagine when we got back to the hotel I got all manner of demonstrations of various stopping and turning manuevers. Jeb also protested bitterly that he was not allowed to go down the black diamonds.

DrWho and I also spent the afternoon in ski school... her as a beginner... and me as advanced. She was very pleased with her progress and had a great deal of fun. And of course... in the advanced course I was in... we did what one calls "executive skiing."

If you're unfamiliar... "Executive Skiing" describes a certain style... where one gets to the slopes about... 9:45.... hits some lazy blues and greens... then has a nice leisurely lunch by the fire for an hour or two.. then its back to the greens and lazy blues till about 3... then its time to retire for cocktails by the fire. Relaxed as it was... I was very disappointed to find myself sweating.

Still I am very much impressed by the Executive Skiing.... as it allows for signifant time for reading by the fire.... and Pride and Prejudice, and Zombies is fairly difficult to put down.

As for Vail itself... its staggering. First of all there are well over 200 named runs. 200. The layout is simply stupendous. Its such that even a hardcore seasoned skier could spend a day piddling around greens and blues and be perfectly satisfied... simply because of the way the terrain varies. You can ski for 7 hours straight... never hit the same slope twice... and never be even remotely close to lost. Considering the size of the places.. that's pretty amazing.

Needless to say... we're miserable.... we hate it... you should never come here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


In a few hours we're boarding a plane for Denver. From there its a bus to Vail... where we'll spend the next week at the Cascade Resort. This is a little stunning to me... as I can honestly say I never thought I'd get to ski the Rockies.

I'd done a lot of skiing... but east of the Mississippi its a very different thing. Its far more like sliding down a sheet of ice than actually slashing through powder. I've always wondered what it would be like to actually be able to stop.

The laptop is going with me... so you should look forward to being tormented with pictures and tales over the next week.

Come along for the ride boys.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some Things You Never Expect To See

So my brother... who I was certain was straight... was confessing his desires to me tonight... rationalizing his sickening and perverse desires for various electronic readers... when he said this:

I think I'll wait for the ipad.
Thought For The Day

If the government can force me to wear a motorcycle helmet to keep insurance rates down, then it can force your fat ass onto a tread mill for 3 hours a day for the eact same reason.

Let's see what the Fat Pride folks think of that slippery slope.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

Dude... I hate rap... hate it. But this is one of the 10 most awesomest things on the nets.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Heap Bad Ju Ju Mon

So I'm browsing around the internets minding my own business when I find this. Apparently they're looking for 60 remington 870s... parkerized... 14-inch barrels... wilson combat ghost ring sights.


Might better make sure that 1040EZ is in the mail in time.

Sleep well tonight.