Inspiration

There have been a few different topics floating around in my head about what to write about this week—life, social media, books, etc.

That is, if I even wrote about any of those and actually pushed “publish.”

Then I ran across this video and that sent me off on this tangent.

If you’ve been following this blog this winter, you know that Goddess and I have been doing a fair bit of snowboarding.

One common theme that we’ve run across, regardless of the mountain, the state, or the country in which we’ve ridden this winter is that the mountains are full of young retired folk. The gentleman in the video is a spry 62 year old. This winter I’ve been schooled in the deeps, down the steeps, and through the trees by an even more spry gentleman in his 70’s; he said that he’d get in over 100 days of skiing this season, which means he’s on a mountain almost every day.

And, as Goddess exclaimed on a recent glorious powder day as a group was chasing each other through the trees and down the steeps—”Listen to them! They all sound like a bunch of teenagers!”

That’s the goal.

We’ve got a few weeks left yet to enjoy the slopes and try to keep up with them.

After the lifts close next month, we’ll head into the backcountry and chase the dwindling runs. But that means more effort and knowledge than is required at a resort. Here’s Goddess checking the snowpack stability last week:

That was her first time in a pit, putting finger and thoughts to what we’ve been discussing this winter. It’s amazing how fast a season’s worth of talk and reading can be solidified in just an hour or two.

She found that with the spring conditions that we’ve had over the past 10 days or so, the snow pack had stabilized quite nicely. It took a lot of effort to finally get an isolated column of snow to break loose and slide into the pit.

But that was last Wednesday.

With 20″+ of new snow over the weekend, that stable base is now covered with fresh, loose snow, perhaps unstable. So that means we’ll stick to the inbound runs this week.

Hopefully you can find the time to put a smile on your face this week, too.

Perhaps even act like a teenager (if you aren’t one).

 

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Same Tradition as Every Year

We picked up this lovely tradition whilst living in Germany—the watching of “Dinner for One,” an English-language skit that really took off there, becoming an annual New Year’s Eve tradition.

I wasn’t going to post it here again, but we were going to watch it. Then, during a phone call, a friend asked where it was.

So here it is. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, especially as we think back over the different New Year’s Eve viewings since we were introduced to this by our neighbors in Germany.

For the background on the video: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinner_for_One

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tradition

Well, it’s already 2015 in some parts of the world, but it’s still New Year’s Eve here and in Europe.

Our German neighbors introduced us to their NYE traditions and this is one of our favorites, watching Dinner for One.  It has now become a tradition on this blog.  Sit back, have a good laugh, then be safe out there this evening.

Goddess and I hope you have a great year!


Here’s a fun little read on the history of Dinner for One (click here), along with the longer cut, complete with German introduction.

Tradition

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve.  By the time this is posted, it’s already 2014 in some parts of the world, evening in Europe.

Our German neighbors introduced us to their NYE traditions, and this is one of our favorites, watching Dinner for One.

Goddess and I hope you have a great year!

Moonset over Crater Lake

We are quite smoked in right now, as there are large forest fires to our northwest and the daily afternoon wind brings the smoke directly to us.

So no clear skies.  We may have to make a trip to find some fresh air.

Here’s a movie from last week’s overnight session at Crater Lake.  This was the scene that drove the trip, the moon setting over Wizard Island.

This time laps covers the eight minutes leading up to the moon setting.  I wanted to let it go until sunrise so you could see the sun start to touch the crater walls on the far side, but that just wasn’t going to happen.

As you’ll see, there are many black moving objects in the frame.  Those were mosquitoes that discovered us about 30 minutes before moonset.  By the time this movie was filming, I was working the cameras by a simple mosquito-avoidance technique – press the shutter, run up the road about 50 feet, run across the road to the opposite shoulder, run back to across from the cameras, then run up to press the shutter button.  Repeat.

So I got a bit of a workout.

Goddess and Skinny hung out in the car, but the pests managed to work their way inside too.  So what was meant to be a serene, zen-like experience was not quite what we hoped for.

But it was still amazing to watch.

No post-processing, since I’m really not a video guy.  But now I know to turn off the neutral density filter, which was causing the stepping down throughout the video.

It did an OK job of capturing the colors.  In real life, the pinks and blues were so much more vibrant.  I’ll get a shot up here soon.

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And just as a reminder, voting is still going on until Friday for the people’s choice award.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, please read here.  And thank you for your support!

Out with the old…

…definitely in with the new this coming year.

It will be interesting.

Unlike tonight for Goddess and I, which will be a quiet New Year’s Eve here in Germany.

Yeah right.

This place will look like a war zone for a good hour or so after midnight.  And it’s great fun to get out there and watch the kids literally burn through hundreds of euro worth of fireworks (each!).

But between now and then, great company, great food and great beverage with dear friends.

And if I introduced you to this scotch this year, you’re welcome!

Three Wood

And if I haven’t, consider yourself introduced and go out and try some, if you like.

And if you make it up to Glasgow, Scotland, hop on the westbound train, hop off at Dalmuir and enjoy the short walk to the distillery.  It’s a great show (with tastings).

We’ll sip on a bit of this and enjoy Dinner for One before the fireworks (search for the video.  It’s a classic.  I can’t link it here, since they’ve blocked it for copyright reasons here in Germany).

Goddess and I wish you a merry New Year!

Smaug

Goddess and I just got back from the movie theater, where we saw a 3D showing of “The Hobbit“.

It’s the first movie that we’ve watched in a theater in a couple of years.  And our first 3D movie ever.

Well, not counting the TV replay of that horrific (not horrifying) “Jaws 3D” that came out in 1983.

And the 45 minutes of commercials, with just a small number of movie previews, reminded us why we don’t go often.  Nothing like turning an almost 3-hour movie into a 4-hour slog.

But the movie was good.  As were the 3D effects.

We were thankful for the intermission, plus the opportunity to buy beer at the concession stand.

Smaug

Glass in Glasgow

Goddess and I just got back from a wonderful eight days in the United Kingdom.

A lot to catch up on here in the house, so I don’t have much time to update.  But I wanted to share the impetus for the trip.

A few months ago, Goddess was doing her internet perusing (dreaming), looking at travel destinations and/or concerts.  As you probably know, we’re big fans of traveling to new places.  And if we can sync up a concert with those travels, all the better.

So Goddess scored.

By finding a concert in a place we haven’t been.

Two nights in Glasgow, Scotland to see Philip Glass perform live.

The rest of the trip (to be covered later) was to be built around that.

Friday night was a double treat – Philip Glass performing with Kronos Quartet, another favorite of mine.  They performed Philip’s soundtrack to the Bela Lugosi‘s performance as Count Dracula.

Here’s a quick of Philip talking about the evolution of the project (along with a view of the performers and stage setup):

And it was Goddess’ first time ever seeing the movie, so that made it fun.

And just in case you haven’t seen it:

The second night was originally billed to be just Philip solo on piano, which is always incredible.  But just a couple of weeks ago, we found that the evening had been modified to include Tim Fain, an accomplished American violinist.

As it turned out, it was this exact same show, which was fine, because it’s so much better in person, especially with seats just 30 feet away.

http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video/concerts/glass-chamber-works-with-philip-glass-and-tim-fain

That now makes three times that we’ve seen Philip Glass perform live.  I hope for many more, since I’ve been a huge fan of his for thirty years now.  The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall was quite nice, but I don’t think it was a match, both visually and acoustically, for the Schermerhorn in Nashville.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Image ©Thomas Clay

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a better resolution image of the inside of the Glasgow hall.  It certainly wasn’t lacking for quality.  I just preferred the Schermerhorn.

And if you look on the left side of Glasgow hall, you can see the forward corner of the loge level, just next to the front row.  That’s the corner that Goddess and I sat in for the showing of Dracula.  So we had front row seats.  For the second night, we picked the opposite corner, but just a few seats to the left, so we were even with the second/third row.

And those tickets were an unbelievable £25 (about $38 US) each!  And neither performance was sold out, which was a shame.

All in all, the music and the experiences were amazing.