Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ski trip photos

I know . . . They're over a month old.

So sue me. I just haven't had the time inclination to post them 'til now.

This first one (below) is the view facing north from near the top of the mountain.

Then I just zoomed in a little on the "dome" in the foreground. That was one of our favorite areas to ski.

The next shot is taken from the very top looking back the other way, toward the southwest. The rope in the foreground with the orange tie on it marks the boundary of the ski area.

Again at the very top of the mountain, I had to stop Carol and take a picture of her. That's my wonderful wife in the white jacket!

Then the obligatory "family" picture of my three favorite women in the whole world! (Amy just wouldn't take off her goggles! And Joy -- Christina to many of you -- seemed to have a signpost growing our of her head. That's one of my professional photography traits.)

And here (again below) is a slightly distant shot of Joy, now standing again, just after she had collided hard with one of the padded posts holding up the signboard beside her.

That's what I was referring to in the last post's comments about the necessity of wearing a helmet!

And lastly, here's a shot of the WHOLE CREW in our matching ski sweaters, each one lovingly handmade by Carol.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Any idea who this is?

Well it's my grandson Trevor, of course!

Back in February we took our annual family ski trip. This year Trevor was just two months shy of being 4, and old enough for first-ever ski lessons.

In the picture above, he didn't know I was off to one side with a telephoto lens snapping pictures, so he's NOT smiling for the camera. That cute little grin is his pure joy at skiing down the small, gentle learning slope. (If you look close you'll see the snow flying up from the back of his skis -- he was moving right along.)

What you CAN'T see in this shot in his female instructor, jogging down the slope beside him telling him to turn or stop. She finally caught him just before he skied into a nylon mesh "fence" at the edge of the area.

What, doesn't he know how to turn or stop?

He sure does! He just doesn't WANT to. What he WANTS to do, in his own words told to us a number of times, is "Ski FAST!"

Trouble is, until he responds to the instructor's command to stop, they won't take him up on the big mountain so he can REALLY ski fast. If they did, and he refused to stop, they'd have to chase him a LONG way.

** sigh **

Well, likely next year he'll be old enough to understand all that and will stop when he's told. Or at least he'll stop enough times to get them to take him up on the real mountain where he can ski F-A-S-T!!

Then those instructors had better be quick!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What’s a Trikke?

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video must be worth millions, right? So to spare me from typing out a million words you wouldn’t read anyway—

(I KNOW I’m a very entertaining writer, but I still doubt you’d read a million words. Heck, the novel I wrote is only about 85,000 words long.)

(And only a VERY few people have read that!)

(No, it was never published and is not available for purchase, but thanks for asking.)

—click THIS SITE and watch the advertising video that plays immediately. The site is for the Houston, Texas, dealer that sells Trikkes. The manufacturer’s site is (go figure).

Carol happened to see an infomercial for these things a couple of months ago while setting our DVD machine to record a televised pro golf event. She was intrigued, checked them out thoroughly on the web, and talked me into getting us one. We ordered online an adult sized “starter model” (the T-78cs) for $220 (on special), assembled it when UPS dropped it off, and began figuring out how to make the thing go.

For us beginners (and grandparents at that) it wasn’t too hard to make it go slowly, but going up a very slight incline or into a headwind was impossible. But we kept at it, because written reviews from other seniors indicated that it just takes time. After about three weeks we were pretty good on the flat, and could climb a VERY gentle slope. And you know, darned if it wasn’t fun!

The thing gives you a good whole body workout (including aerobics; I’m puffing pretty hard by the time I’ve gone a couple of miles on it), but it’s so much fun you just want to keep going.

To be honest I guess part of the fun is the looks everyone gives you. Most people have never seen them and are intrigued. Passing cars will slow to the same speed we’re going (about 10 mph) and the occupants will just stare. Occasionally they’ll roll down a window and ask us what “it” is and where we got it.

After 5 weeks we had both gotten good enough that we wanted to ride together. Hmm, I think that’ll require a second Trikke.

So Carol did more research and we ended up buying (from the Houston dealer whose web site led off this post) TWO of the T-8 Sport models. We were now the proud owners of THREE of these Trikke things. We folded up the starter model, stashed it, and began riding the others around the neighborhood. We’re now able to go for several miles and even up some gentle slopes without passing out.

So, we wondered, what are we going to do with that like-new starter model we have as a spare? Can we sell it on eBay or Craigslist? I kept the original box and packing materials, but then I’d have to disassemble it and ship it, and that’d be a pain. Maybe we can sell it locally, you think?

Well, guess what? We sold it today!

We’d been riding our Trikkes around the block when a car pulled up beside Carol and the lady driving asked her about the machine. We told our story and mentioned that we had a like-new extra. She lit up, obviously enthused. We got it out and showed it to her. She came back later with her husband and two kids to look at it and they bought it on the spot.

Their kids, a 12 year old boy and a slightly older sister, each got on the thing and were riding it in 5 minutes better than we had done after two weeks!

Darned kids, always showing off.

So, I’d tell you more but it’s early evening, the wind is down, and it’s warm outside. We’re going Trikking!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Memory lane

On a whim (it was a slow day at work, okay?) I went back and read some of my earliest blog posts and the comments that ensued.

Have you ever done that? It's fun!

Plus, if your memory is as bad as mine, you've forgotten what you wrote 4 years ago and are amused by it.

Right. Well, some of the posts were amusing.

This begs for an example, so here you go. I remember (sort of) thinking the post below was clever when I wrote it. As I re-discovered it yesterday it made me laugh again -- especially the part about linguini . . .

Oh, here. Read it yourself and see what you think:

HERE's the link.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Even Further Affirmation!

Below is this morning's offering of the same strip as yesterday.

All I can add to this is; maybe the Mom in this strip doesn't know, but all of my readers certainly do!

STILL any doubters out there????

Remember; you read about it HERE first!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PROOF Positive!

Some of you have been known to pooh-pooh my theory contention SURE KNOWLEDGE that the ycaripsnoc is as pervasive as I claim.

SOME have even gone so far as to deny its very existence! Don't you know they are playing RIGHT INTO ITS HANDS!?

WELL, you *snort* naysayers, check out these comic strips! They were published on three successive days this week (Monday, yesterday and today). Obviously the artists who draw this strip know the truth. They're showing it through parody, no doubt in an attempt to continue to lull it into somnolence. (Yes that's a real word; in fact, it's a good word—look it up!)

But enough words and discussion.

See for yourselves! (Or, as the poker players say, "Read 'em and weep!")

(And yes, if you click the picture a large readable version will open.)

I can only imagine where Mssrs. Kirkman and Scott are going with this, but the message seems pretty clear to me.

And I'd say, WATCH OUT! With these many references to the ycaripsnoc coming is such close proximity, I think we're in for a doozy of an attack.

Might even throw the country into a recession . . .

Or even the whole WORLD!

Say, wait a minute . . .

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Goddess! How COULD you??!!?

All of my regular readers will be HORRIFIED!

Well, of the two I have left maybe ONE of them will be slightly disturbed.

I just had a message from my best friend in all of South Africa.

Well, okay, she's the ONLY person I know in South Africa.

Anyway, that friend (known as "The Goddess," a.k.a. Michelle, who blogs under the title of "Because I Can -- My sessions from the couch") commented on my last post the following:

"BTW - any mechanical, technical goings on on your end? My brakes failed, my fridge packed up and the winder on my car window broke - all within days of each other."

Can you BELIEVE she did that!!??!

And that's not all! Oh, no! She also put the same information in her blog post!

Now all of you regular readers know that it is extremely dangerous to simply MENTION activities like that in conversation. But when you type them out on a keyboard and send them out over the Internet, it is only asking for trouble for all of us. And when you then POST comments like that for ALL TO SEE, and LEAVE them there for weeks and weeks . . . Well, in all likelihood she has just unleashed a full-blown attack on all of mankind of the dreaded ycaripsnoc!

As all (or both) of you know, I have tried to inform my readers of the fact that so-called inanimate objects will lie in wait for unsuspecting humans to become complacent, and will then ATTACK in a concerted manner across a broad spectrum of areas including plumbing, appliances, anything mechanical, electronics, and even the very houses and structures we live in! These objects will fail either all at once or in a rapid series, causing us humans untold misery and sometimes financial ruin!

The ONLY way to keep this ycaripsnoc at bay is to ignore it; don't mention it, don't acknowledge it in any way, and most of all DON'T POST INFORMATION ABOUT ITS ATTACKS ON THE INTERNET!

So thanks a LOT, Michelle! Now you've gone and unleashed this disaster on all of us!

No, I HADN'T been having any failures of problems on my end, but I'm sure THAT respite has now come to an end! I can almost feel the thing building up, gaining strength, preparing to POUNCE if it once senses that my guard is down.

I'm sure I won't sleep at all tonight, but will just lie there, listening, waiting for something to break!

Oh dear, oh dear.

WHERE are my meds?