Cold my Arsch!!!

Today and tomorrow are pretty much resulting in one of those media weather panic attacks where Minnesota, Iowa and who knows what other states are effectively shutting down due to the mercury dipping below zero combined with the wind.  It seems the windchill factor is scaring everyone.  Minnesota, land of cold, blustery winters for decades and centuries has already announced no school tomorrow due to it being forecasted for -25?  Iowa, -12 forecast with some wind for tomorrow and the cancelations and announcements for churches, schools, meetings, etc... are already in full force.  Des Moines Public Schools canceled all schools for Monday.  Much of the rest of the state seems to be following suit.

WTF America?  I guess a good HTFU is needed as we get soft with regard to extreme temperatures on the low and high end.  I have way too many memories of really cold weather in Williston, North Dakota (and in South Dakota) to raise an eyebrow.  Not to mention, all the playing I do outside on bikes and skis with proper gear don't have me concerned.  Memories of cold?  Oh yes, -20 all the way down to -50 was experienced without life or business stopping in North Dakota.  But suffice it to say - it appears to me we are getting a little soft when it comes to weather and the lemming approach to warn, panic and cancel everything.  Granted, with windchills in the -30 to -40 area, you are good for about 30 minutes outside before unprotected skin can start to get frostbite.  So the easy result is to protect your skin and don't stay out there for more than 30 minutes if you are unprotected.

My prediction for tomorrow:  it will be a record day at the Mall tomorrow as everyone flocks to do something rather than sit around and not go to school or work.  After all, it's not like Nike, North Face, Under Armour, etc... don't have racks and racks of base layer, 2nd layer, outer layer, etc.... that are well known and sold throughout the Midwest.  Nor is there a lack of Gore-Tex (we'll keep you warm on the dark side of the Moon) gear, balaclavas, face masks, hats, socks, hand and foot warmers, etc... easily available to bundle up in and survive the worst of elements.

Time for my frozen smoothie snack...and playoff football.  Notice the NFL has not canceled any games because they know how to HTFU!!!  5 degrees at Lambeau with a windchill of -10 and many players were not even wearing sleeves or gloves. 

Rant about all the softies is now over.  Dress warm and be smart - simple as that.

Vail, Colorado

We got back late last night from our skiing trip to Vail.  A huge shout out of appreciation and thanks to our gracious hosts Virginia and Nix Laurdisen!!!  We had a really fun vacation and now know what the experience at Vail is all about.  It's a huge ski area (3rd largest in North America) with a little bit of everything for every type of skier.  You want green runs?  They've got it.  You want blue runs?  They've got it.  You want black diamond runs?  They've got it.  You want double black diamond runs with moguls the size of Volkswagen Beetles?  They've got it.  You want powder?  They've got it.  You can start on one lift and after a couple of runs and lifts later, be 8 miles away from where you started - it's that big!!!

I skied with Alexa for 3 straight days and that experience made it all worth it for me.  It's nice to see both of my kids ski so well and enjoy the sport after they grew up in Austria learning how to ski.  It's a sport they can use their entire lives and I am happy to have introduced them to it.  Tara had to sit out one day of skiing as her shins were hurting too much from her old boots.  She met a pioneer in women's ski equipment at a shop in Vail that fixed her up (thanks Jeannie!!!).

So Alexa and I had a day to ourselves while Tara sat out.  Quality Dad and Daughter time for sure!!!  I wouldn't trade that day for anything.  Alexa is now able to ski the black diamond advance runs and improved a lot while we were in Vail.  We had a blast making our way around the mountain, stopping for lunch and an afternoon Jause.

Here's Alexa way up near 11,570 feet...


Here she is taking on a black diamond run over in the Blue Sky Section of Vail as proud papa snapped a couple of pictures before I had to take off and catch up with her...



The views are so spectacular at Vail, that I often found myself staring at the view instead of the snow in front of me as I skied down the mountain.


The old Head Worldcup iSL race skis from 2003 are still holding up great for me in spite of all the technological advances ski gear has made since then.


The faster and harder I go with these skis, the better they perform.  So they are not really ideal for family skiing and carving at leisurely speeds.  At some point, I may want to consider an upgrade to a more all mountain ski that is more age appropriate from my past days of super fast aggressive skiing.  After all, they are really designed for racing.  But for now, they still work great and I will keep my options open in the future.  I probably should just demo some skis to see what all the new gear is like.  That's what I did back in 2003 in Austria before I settled on the Head skis.

Our flight home from Denver was delayed about 2 1/2 hours yesterday due to snow.  We spent the better part of an hour having a combination lunch/dinner waiting for our plane...


After the delay and the de-icing of the plane, we were on our way for an uneventful flight.  We rolled into our house around 11 PM Saturday night (got to watch the football playoff games at the airport and in the plane).

After a wonderful night's sleep, we picked up the dogs this morning from the kennel and I took them for a big walk outside.  Yes, it was chilly and the wind was blowing, but with my warm gear - I didn't notice and the dogs didn't mind at all as they frolicked, jumped, and rolled in the snow.

Don't be soft...   


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