Sunday, March 15, 2009

Alpine Guy

I am an Alpine Skier.

Alpine Guy makes the rules around here.

Alpine Guy had a blast at El Dora today. Conditions were beautiful. Sunny day- no wind. I killed that mountain.
Alpine guy says that you should have a nip every lift ride.
Alpine guy says that you should stop and have a beer in the woods somewhere with a panoramic view.
Alpine guy says that it's OK to put your wrist straps on your poles while you're on the lift.
Alpine Guy says that if you're not scared- then you're not doing it right.
Alpine Guy says that if you don't want to go fast- then why are you on the side of a steep mountain with skis strapped on your feet?
Alpine Guy is going to hit every ski resort in the Denver Metro area. Only 3 more to go.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Beertown, USA

So I was just thinking today that Portland is Beertown, USA. I know that this title is hotly debated around the country.

I did a quick google search and came across an article written by noted and respected author Charlie Papazian. He crunched some numbers and came up with a list of the best beertowns in this country. His criteria were simple: you must have at least 3 breweries in your town and the ranking is done per capita.

No. 1 was actually Hood River, OR. Portland came in at number 8- BUT....... there was no city above Portland with a population of 100,000 or more. Portland has over 500,000 people!

Also- Oregon had Bend at number 6. Oregon killed it.

I think that Portland should still be considered Beertown, USA when you factor in the population. Portland also leads the nation when it comes to market share for microbrew. Yeah... I'm going to go ahead and say that Portland is Beertown.

If you don't like it, then why don't you go ahead and do something about it?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Best Day Ever

I live in Colorado.

Thursday Feb. 26th was Scott Perkin's birthday. He has a friend in town from Atlanta named Doug. Cool guy- I knew him back in the ATL myself. Scott's good friends have a dude in town straight from Ireland named Owen. Owen, Doug Scott and myself went skiing Friday.

We went up to Winter Park Resort in the AM. Snowing balls. 11 degrees. White out conditions and practically all expert terrain. Only 2 groomed trails on the whole mountain. The rest of it was all bumps- that we couldn't see due to the driving snow and foggy goggles. What a shitty morning. The weather finally broke around 2 PM- when we were devistatingly tired from the morning of hell. We had a quick beer at the mountain and then hit up the Tommyknocker in Idaho Springs on the way home. Shitty skiing but a good time anyhow.

Today- Jeff Winger picked me up at 7 AM. We rolled up to the Loveland Pass and headed over to A-Basin. Blue skies- not a cloud all day. Fresh snow. Great old school ski hill. Live band on "the beach". The beach is a row of cars backed right up to the base of the slopes where people have grills and beer and dogs and lots of good times. You can ski right up the car. It's pretty fantastic.

The mountains were majestic. Some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. The top of the lift is over 12,000 feet high. Freakin awesome. The terrain is wide open and mostly groomed. Steep, but groomed. We killed it. We bombed down those hills all day. I must have gotten 30 runs in before 3 PM.

If you want me to go to Keystone again- you will have to drag me kicking and screaming. The A- Basin is my new home mountain.

Today was epic. I am on such a high from today. Heather just made me go get a beer to calm me down a bit. I am so addicted to skiing it's ridiculous.

My ski gear rocked it this weekend. Whoever thinks they need to spend a lot of money on ski gear is a joker. My skis, bindings, boots, poles, pants, jacket and gloves cost me less than $200 total. And if you don't believe me then I will stab you with my old school pointy skis.

Tomorrow I have to wake up and not go skiing. That totally sucks.

My stupid phone did not come in the mail today. That means that I won't have a cell phone until Monday night. I kinda like that. It's been nice not having a phone.

I gotta go find somebody to talk about skiing with.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fuck it Dude- Let's go Bowling

You know what sucks? The term indemnified.

So I bought some old ass skis with bindings for $25. Then I found some old ski boots that had never been used for $60. The boots fit my feet and the skis were the right size, so I was feeling pretty good about my purchases. When I went to adjust my bindings to fit my boots, I discovered that the bindings would not move far enough. No big deal- I would just need to take them to a ski shop and have them move the bindings. It requires a specialty tool called a binding jig.

When I got to the ski shop today, the guy looks at my bindings and says that he needs to consult the list. "The list" is a very long list indeed that notes all the different bindings from all the manufacturers that have been "indemnified". That means that the manufacturer no longer guarantees the integrity of the binding. The ski shop tech is not allowed to work on any indemnified binding. Nor is he allowed to instruct me on how to do so myself. He is also not allowed to show me the list. I found this out because when he walked away I picked it up and started reading it.

What a racket. Without that info, the consumer shopping for used gear is taking a gamble on any used pair of bindings. The techs can't even do a safety check on a used pair of indemnified bindings.

Once the tech was convinced that I was not going to purchase his cheapest pair of bindings for $100 and that I truly was shit out of luck, he pointed me to a good ski shop that ignores the stupid rules. I walked into that shop and they didn't even bat an eyelash. My shit will be properly adjusted, inspected and tested by a professional. Thank goodness not everybody is a rule follower. They may be referred to as a less reputable shop, but they are needed. Hell, I like to think that I am "less reputable" myself sometimes.

Crisis averted. So my hard work on Craigslist paid off. I got an unused pair of boots (those things start at $200 in the stores), a proper pair of shaped skis and bindings that will be professionally adjusted, and a pair of poles for a grand total of $115. Hell yeah! At $20 a day to rent that stuff, it will be paid off in 6 trips up the hill.

We went to the mountains again last weekend. Stayed for free in the condo again. Jen and Steve stayed with us and their friends Jeff and Linda stayed in a condo right down the street. The boys got up Saturday and went to Beaver Creek. That place was awesome. Everything was really upscale. Apparently it is the 2nd wealthiest resort town behind Aspen. Then we all tried to go to Breckenridge on Sunday, but it was socked in. We drove over to Keystone and the conditions were great. Hell of a day I say, hell of a day.

Well I've managed to talk a group of people into going bowling. That is surprisingly hard to do. Off to roll!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

That's what happened right across the street today. We had just gotten home from the mountains and picked up our friends dog that we have to dog sit. I was sitting on the couch when I heard what souinded like a car wreck. Skidding car followed by impact- but then a bigger impact right after the first.

The second impact was in fact a Chevy Tahoe going upside down and backwards into a house. As you can see- it literally went through the front door. The middle pic shows the top of the front door. The rest of the door is gone. What you're seeing is the inside of the house.

I ran outside and called 911 as I headed across the street. Another guy arrived at the car right before me and I assumed that the two of us were going to be pulling people out of that truck. As the operator asked me if anyone was in the vehicle, the other dude said that nobody was in the vehicle. The driver had very quickly jumped out and ran. The one eyewitness apparently gave chase, but did not catch him. Holy shit- you don't see that everyday.

Fever the Amazing Snow Skier

That's right- I am a snow skier. The top pick is Heather, Scott and I on the lift. The bottom pic is me shredding it. C'mon- I was slowing down so that I didn't plow into Heather.

I tried to snowboard several times on Mt. Hood, but I was terrible. I mean real bad. I've been wanting to try skis for quite some time, but my knee injury really put it on the back burner. Then we moved to Colorado. 70 miles from Summit County. Several of the best ski resorts in the country. I had to do it. And do it I did. Skiing is so much easier than snowboarding. I tore that shit up. Lessons are for weenies. I just jumped on the lift and got to it. I barely even fell down until we went down a blue run. The blue run was a whole lot of me sliding on my ass. Whatever- I shredded.

Heather works with a guy who's parents have a condo in Silverthorne. Silverthorne is centrally located to several bad ass mountains. Friday night Heather and I loaded up the Jeep, threw the dog in the back and headed for the rockies. Scott, Natha and the girls were already en route. The weather outside was frightful and some people drove their cars into each other on I-70. The Interstate was shut down completely. What would normally take an hour and a half, took us 3 hours to drive. The Perkins had to come from Boulder and their ride was 4 hours. Oh well, at least we couldn't drive fast enough for the rear wheel drive Jeep to get into any trouble.

The condo was awesome. I'm talking about shag carpet 2 inches tall. They don't even make that shit anymore. Place was cozy. Perfect for the mountains. We got up Saturday and headed over to rent me some skis. It was snowing good and the roads were shit. We barely made it to the ski rental shop. While I got some skis, Scott and Heather put on the chains. We bombed out of that parking lot and cruised easily up to the slopes. I drove that shit right into a snowbank and we hoofed it over to the ticket booth. They only wanted $92 for a lift ticket. Almost free. Luckily Heather's Colorado pass has 6 buddy tickets included. That discount made it $55. That's a great deal for Keystone. It's like 3 mountains. Place is huge. I've never seen a ski resort like that at all. We had a beer at 11,500 feet. That's freaking high.
The only casualty was some stranger. I was on a really steep hill and needed to slow down before making a turn. I made a quick turn to my left to dig in and slam on the brakes. As soon as I turned I saw a mass closing in fast. Some snowboarder was just bombing down the hill. The collision was fierce. I heard the impact just prior to feeling my organs rattle around. My skis flew off as I fell into the soft powder. That dude was cruising before the impact and so he was cruising head over heels after the impact. He laid there for a while. He said he was OK, but I don't believe him at all. Whatever- it's his own fault. He's lucky that I wasn't hurt- cause know- I would like- well I would do nothing. After the wreck, I located the run that I had been looking for all day. A trail that wasn't very steep at all and just meandered through the trees. There was nobody within sight for like 7 minutes on this trail. It was freakin awesome. I am a snowskier.
After not sleeping on Friday night, Eva and Kellia went down early on Saturday night. The adults boosed it up and played card games into the night. Good times. The Sunday drive home was a breeze. I think that I can get into this Colorado ski thing. I should have gotten that damn pass.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back from Old Mexico

We are officially back from Mexico. Made it through the whole work week.

We left Mexico where it was 80 degrees and sunny every day. We arrived back in Denver on a Sunday night. We went straight to bed and woke up Monday to a snowstorm. I ended up doing a 180 on a major road during my commute. I was not a happy camper Monday morning.

I posted a few pics on Flickr from our trip. We went to Puerto Vallarta for Jen and Steve's wedding. We stayed at a small resort south of town called Playa Fiesta. They only do weddings. The place is small. It sleeps 60 people. It is all inclusive. It was the nicest hotel that I have ever stayed in. It also happened to be on the ocean. There was no development on one side of the hotel, so the pool and bar areas backed up to trees, sand and water only. Not another hotel in sight that direction. Pretty bad ass.

Jen, Steve, Heather and I arrived on Monday afternoon. There were no other guests at the resort. The place was fully staffed for the four of us. I felt like a freakin' millionaire. I actually felt guilty that all these people were there to serve the four of us. We asked the owners to let them go home, but they insisted on the full staff remaining.

The whole gang arrived on Wednesday and we did it up that night karaoke style. There were a couple of casualties who were out before dinner. The next morning we went on a zipline canopy tour in the jungle where they filmed Predator. It was pretty kick ass. The bus ride didn't help some of those hung over stomachs. Thems was some shitty third world roads.

Heather and I made time to go sailing after the wedding. It was awesome. One of the staff at the hotel hooked us up. "Pato" met us downtown and showed us to the marina where we hooked up with captain "Chewie". His boat was about the same size as our boat back home in Portland. We saw a Manta Ray right away. It was about 20 feet from tip to tip. We rolled right up on top of it before it dove down. We saw a sea turtle as well. We weren't having any luck with the whales and then I heard Heather scream. I turned around to see a humpback whale come up from under our boat. He surfaced about ten feet from us. I could have jumped off the boat and slapped it. Afterwards- cap'n chewie said he was scared that we were going to hit it. He had never had one surface so close to his boat. It was amazing. Then the wind picked up and we had a lovely sail. Hell of a day I say. Hell of a day.

Get your webcam and get on Skype.