Monthly Archives: March 2013

Millview -= that’s a word that gets used a lot. In, say, real estate place names. Or shopping centers : )

The usual connotation is that “from here you can see the mill” (or the place where the mill used to be. Or you can see the area from which you once could see where the mill might have been).

Here’s my idea of a MillView – the view from the treadmill here at Cascade Village:


As anyone who pays attention to me know,s those 13,000+ peaks are the West Needles range of the San Juan Mountains. The peak to the left is Potato Hill, known to the locals as “Spud”.

Today was seven slow miles. But, then, all of my miles are slow these days – slower than I’ve ever imagined that I would run. I figured I’d be faster than this in my 80s (assuming that I saw my 80s). Who knows? Maybe I will be.

There’s a bit of a discussion going on right now on DRS about running with music. Well, I like my music at the cadence at which I am running. It can be inspirational. Why, today, I was running at about 175 steps per minute listening to CNR by Wierd Al –

Charles Nelson Reilly sold his toenail clippings as a potent aphrodisiac
He ran a four-minute mile blindfolded with an engine block strap to his back
He could eat more frozen waffles than any other man I know –
Once he fell off the Chrysler Buildng and he barely even stubbed his toe.
Had a tiny little scratch on his toe –
Didn’t even hurt!  — CNR, Weird Al Yankovic

Now, that is music that can push you along, and give you something to live up to, as well – a musical role model. I’ll never be Charles Nelson Reilly, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t try.

As I type this, Ethel is over at the ski hill, knocking out day 99. This evening we’ll pack, and tomorrow we’ll ski and drive. Day 100. That gives a fellow pause.


(Disambiquation: this post refers to ’99’ as in ‘Number of days that I’ve skied so far this year’. For Barbara Feldon’s role in ‘Get Smart’, see  . For the song by Toto that I almost get out of my head until I remember that today is day 99, see )

Here’s Lower Hades from the turn at Paradise, on Purgatory’s front side:

LowerHadesFrom the lift to here, Upper Hades and Paradise are both groomers – at this point, the weenies turn left and follow the groomers. Dropping straight down, it’s bumps all the way down to the lift on Lower Hades.

The skier you see was standing looking down when I pulled up and pulled out my camera to take this picture; he looked at me and asked

Him: Do you think it’s soft enough?
Me: I just took Styx down and things were soft and edgeable.
Him: But Styx is mostly groomed, right?
Me: I didn’t ski the groomed part! Going to Styx to ski the groomed is like going to Las Vegas to be a Baptist!

As you can see, he was convinced. And, yes, the bumps were nice.

Day 99 of skiing. For a po’ boy from Flat Red Clay, Abalamba, it’s a dream come true.

That much skiing gives one a feeling of familiarity, a sense of rhythm and place. Today, I could feel my hips moving in that oh-so-natural now figure 8 beneath me; pulling back to unweight, slding across to start the next turn, pushing forward to get the tips into it, sliding back across to finish that turn….it happens without words or thought.

I’ve been studying my Rosetta Stone; today, on the chair, I heard a snowplowin’ senora say to her senor “Derecho! A Derecho!” and I understood her perfectly. (For the non-Spanish speaking non-skiers out there, she was saying ” No! Don’t turn down that sheer cliff! Keep going straight on the cat track until something forces us to turn down the hill!”).

Today was my last day of skiing at lunchtime. Tonight is my last trip down to make the 5:30 meeting at Christ the King – Ethel is driving herself, as she is meeting friends to go see Jesse Cook in concert at Fort Lewis College. So I’m driving myself down, gong to meetings by myself, going to dinner by myself. I reckon I’ll take the laptop and do some Rosetta Stone – by myself. (We bought Rosetta Stone because “we” were going to learn Spanish. Ethel has found other interests.)

I’m going through a lot of those “this is my last time…” iterations. Sure, I’ll do all of this again next year – but at  some point, the “next year”s run out, and we never know when that will be.


Day 98 is in the books.

This morning, as I went over to the Cascade exercise room for my 7 mile joggle, I looked up from the parking garage at Engineer, looking lovely as always:

engineerthismorningYes, there’s a lot of rock showing – it IS late March in the San Juan Mountains – But there’s an awful lot of just plain pretty whiteness up there.

It’s the same at the ski hill – there are some patches that need more snow, but there is plenty to ski on, and for the last two days conditions have been nice indeed.


Well, we’re going home because we have family down there, and for some reason our family units in Phoenix have no chosen to move to snow country. We don’t know why this is the case – Floyd is a natural skier, and Silas grew up napping on chairlifts.

But it is the situation, as it is today. A case could be made that, by going back to Phoenix, we are enabling Floyd and Silas to stay stuck in their non-skiing lifestyles, and thus – in a way – ruining their lives. They will no doubt curse us for this later. But Ethel is more worried about now than later – she’s funny that way.

In addition,  we have a wedding to go to this weekend – some friends are getting married. Now, I’ve told Ethel that they could get married without us. They won’t remember, a year from now, whether the Pucketts were at their wedding or not. In fact, they might not remember next week – in fact, they probably won’t even be aware on Saturday whether we are there or not.

But Ethel says that we have to go. She’s funny that way.

So today I skied my 98th day, and tomorrow will be day 99. (No doubt, all day long tomorrow, I will have Toto in my head – the band, not the yappy dog. I’ve never been able to figure out what the Toto song “99” is about, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not catchy). On Wednesday, I will NOT ski – Ethel will ski by herself that day – so that we can hit Day 100 together on Thursday, after which we will pack up and go home. (“home”, again, being Phoenix, where all of those non-skiing Pucketts live).

I’m in my last few days in Colorado, then, once again, at the end of ski season. In May of 2005, I decided that I was pretty much through skiing – that I would never get any better, and I might as well move on with my life. As a result of that decision, I left Fidelity and Park City.

My brain actually has scar tissue from that decision – a big chunk of slightly-darker gray matter, right acxross the top of my right cerebral lobe (it has to be the right lobe – there’s no way that my left brain could do anything that stupid). And, so, whenever ski season ends and I get ready to head to Arizona, that bit of scar tissue puckers up and starts sending out distress signals – “don’t do that! don’t do that! don’t leave snow country for the desert!” The scar tissue isn’t bright enough to know that we’ll be be back – or maybe, just maybe, the scar tissue remembers what the rest of my brain has forgotten; that a decision to return does not guarantee return.

The condo across the parking lot, that we bought over three years ago, was owned by some folks from Florida who probably went home after one of their vacations, and then decided while they were home that they had to sell the place. The condo that we are living in now was owned by some Louisianans for many years; they came up here every year and then they  went home every year, and then one year they just didn’t come back.

My cerebral scar tissue knows that this can happen to me. it doesn’t want to let me forget it.

But Ethel is not hooked up to my cerebrum, and she’s the one who needs reminding the most, I’ll wager.

This last weekend, Ethel and I finished the series Fringe.

fringeIt’s a Bad Robot production, which means that it’s a good story.

And I have to say that this series finished up better than any long-story-arc series that I’ve ever seen (I’m not comparing this to Buffy; Buffy did not have anything like this many unanswered questions, thus tying up loose ends was not an issue for Mutant Enemy).

Fringe took the five-year-long laying down of story elements that don’t get reconciled until the end path of Babylon 5, and made the interim fuzzier – and tied everything up beautifully.

Some time back, I mentioned that I won’t watch just any entertainment; it has to make me think. Fringe has that attribute in spades. Now, I don’t always agree with the logical connections of events that they lay out, but I have to admit that it could work that way, and it leaves me thinking about it, rather than just shrugging and saying “Whatever. It’s just a show.”

When the last episode finished, the question of “Why was Peter alive at the end?” had Ethel and I discussing that eventuality for a bit, and she did some research (read: she googled) and determined that most people had the same theory that we had. Now, this was never explicitly stated – you had to come up with it, but given the internal consistencies, the consensus view makes sense.

(If you think that asking “Why was Peter alive at the end?” might be a spoiler, then I can assure you that you don’t know Fringe : )

Next up – “Alias”, another Bad Robot production. I trust JJ Abrams. I don’t trust those Battlestar Galactica folks, but I trust JJ Abrams : )

When Ethel, Silas and I put on our migratin’ shoes in 1997 and moved from Tucson, AZ to Waterbury, VT, we were quite content to be in New England in the autumn.

However, we immediately looked around for some good Mexican food.

In just the same way, the Texans came to Purgatory last week for spring break – and what did the ski hill administrators put out in the plaza for ’em?


Yep – a mechanical bull.

When we went downtown for a meeting on Thursday Night, we went to dinner between the meetings – and we went Serious Texas Bar-B-Que at the north end of town. Big mistake – the place was full of Texans.

Of course, that’s a silly thing to say, because EVERYTHING in Durango was full of Texans last week. But, still – why in the world would a Texan go to Colorado and eat at a place that calls itself “Serious Texas Bar-B-Que”?

Because Texans have no desire to go anyplace else. They would just as soon that every place else be part of Texas. Texans will go to a ski hill in  Colorado to ride a mechanical bull, so so’s that they can feel right at home.

Otherwise, it just makes no sense. It’s like going to New England to eat Mexican food.

(sure, you say. Folks in Colorado are, like, cowboys and stuff, and they probably ride mechanical bulls, too. Well, Texas Spring Break ended this weekend. The bull is gone today. ‘Nuff said.)

Today was Day 91 on skis. That’s right – I’m a Two-Digit Midget. Only have nine more days to go. Currently, it looks like I’ll be taking a day off a week from Wednesday, to let Ethel catch up on Day 99, so that we can ski Day 100 together.

Usually, I have to wait until I reach a goal for that goal to be come meaningless and puny. However, I’m fairly, reasonably certain that I’ll hit 100 days this year, so I’m already thinking past that goal. Ther is no satisfying the human ego. No way to do that – none at all.


Before there was YouTube – before there was an internet – before people even had video cameras the Eastern Bloc – the Eastern Bloc! – had it’s own version of the Harlem Shake.

If you read these pages, then you may have seen yesterday’s post about Jozin z Brozin –  but, if you didn’t, then here again is the story in all its glory:


Now, you just ain’t gettin’ nuttin’ better than that. However, note the elements – a curious intro, some humorous components, and then you have the guy in the suit breaking in and livenin’ up the joint. Sort of Harlem Shakish, don’t’cha think?

Well, the rest of the Eastern Bloc thought so. The above was the original – but here comes the Polish version!

KabaretPodYep, they are kickin Polish Jozin patootie, and no mistake – but look! Here come the Serbs!


…and the Lithuanians!


And – lord help us – a version with a banjo:


Just perusing the sidebars, you can find punk rock Jozins, russian Jozins (showing the story rather than the performers, sung in Czech with Cyrillic subtittles) and cartoon Jozins.

If you go to bed tonight with “Jozin z Bazin” in your mental headphones, then I have done my job for the day.

…as I slept late this morning, and yet have to leave on time to get to a 5:30 meeting in town; thus, all the day I am rushed.

But I wanted to make sure that everybody out there had the oppotunity to learn about Jozin, the monster from the bog, who eats (mostly) Prague citizens.


Yes, that’s Jozin z Bazin (if the pic link won’t work for you, click here ). Say – when’s the last time you saw a young Abe Lincoln play the bass brass kazoo?

For a long time, I’ve figured that I’m lazy, because my running has been going poorly. However, upon reflection, I have decided that I am not just lazy – that I must have the  LeukeLymphoHodgkinsEbola Flu. And probably some vitamin deficiencies.

Yesterday I ran the slowest level-surface miles that I’ve ever “run” – 12:06 average pace for 3.3 miles out in front of the condo here. Not too long ago, I would have been UNABLE to run 12 minute miles – my legs simply would not move that slowly unless I were walking, and my stride would not be that short under any circumstances.

So I’m making an appointment with a doctor in Anthem for a physical – I tried to get my doc here in Durango to do one, but I can’t get in to see him until after I’m already back in Arizona, and I don’t want to drive back up here just for a doctor’s appointment.

In the meantime, I’m gonna ski with Texans, and watch out for Jozin z Bazin. And I suggest that you do the same.

(Ethel – plaid jacket and big red tie? Xmas idea!)