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Monthly Archives: October 2014

takenI sent this out in email to my coworkers in Salt Lake City this morning, when I arrived at the office and proceeded to make my oatmeal. I found out that my butter had disappeared.

Turns out that there were some interesting circumstances around the butter’s disappearance, and there was nothing (particularly) nefarious about the missing butter. But it gave me occasion to make a great gif.

Rule # 62 is “Don’t take yourself so seriously”. (the actual rule, in original quotation, say “..so damned seriously…” but the addition of the profanity seems to make the statement more serious, which seems to me to be self-defeating). Sometimes I do that – in fact, you can tell when I’m taking things seriously, because I am unhappy. I am busy defending some stance or opinion that I’ve adopted.

It occurred to me as I was sending this out this morning that there might be somebody out there who would take this seriously – who would think that I was actually angry and adamant. (I didn’t really care about the butter; my intention was to let folks know that, when they see a brick of butter in the fridge, it’s not been left there by somebody who quit and went home). As it happens, there were a flurry of funny email responses and everybody seemed to enjoy the whole thing. That’s kind of the point – the farcical nature of making a missing stick of butter an issue of the same magnitude as Liam Neeson’s teenage daughter being kidnapped for the sex trafficking trade really shows how silly things can get. And I don’t mind if things get silly.

I want things to be silly. I don’t like heavy. “Heavy” means that there’s a weight on my chest and that my neck is tense. “Heavy” means that there is something in the world that is wrong – that God has messed up (again) and that I need to be serious about fixing it. Last week’s issue of losing the season ski lockers felt a bit heavy; it’s a problem that we can’t solve. But that doesn’t mean that it needs to weigh on me. I’m simply going to have to adjust to carrying stuff around. Can I do that laughing and smiling? If not, then I need to remember my stick of butter.

 

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We won’t have a locker this year.

skiequipment(photo from the web – this is not me, other than in spirit)

The Canyons resort is “doing something else” with the space where we rented our season locker last year, and now we won’t have a locker.

This is a bigger hit than you might think; it means that instead of driving to our (paid-for) upper level parking and walking to the locker room and grabbing our gear, it means that we will have to schlepp stuff from our car to the chairlift. And it’s not just a matter of schlepping gear – it also means nowhere to sit comfortably and put on boots; no boot and glove dryers; no locker full of options (regular goggles or low-light? heavy fleece balaclava or light gaiter? No, I don’t want the parka liner – just give me the black vest) or place to keep energy drinks or Clif bars.

It’s a big enough deal that last year we spent more on the locker than either of our season passes cost. Prior to that, we were members of the Durango Mountain Club, which meant lockers and a ski valet.

Prior to that, we had a season locker – at the Canyons, from about 2000 to 2005, when we left. It’s been a long, long time since we haven’t had a family-sized locker at the ski hill.

I find that I’m really bummed about this. It makes it much more difficult to go skiing. I reckon I’m spoiled.

I keep trying to think of something funny to say here, but I can’t come up with anything. This knocks out the easy lunchtime ski trips; it means that a lot more effort and time is going to be involved in going skiing. And there aren’t any options – we did get another ski hill for our pass this year (the company that owns the Canyons bought Park City Mountain Resort, and we can ski both on the same pass) but PCMR doesn’t have season lockers either, as far as I can tell. (Update: PCMR does have season lockers, but there’s a waiting list, and “we don’t think it will be this year’. And that’s another 15 minutes of driving from the house).

There’s Deer Valley, and I’m sure that they would have something, but that would be yet another ten or fifteen minutes of driving, and DV is not cheap, and I’m sure that the lockers would be really expensive. I’m not even going to investigate.

Other than that, we’d have to drive down to the valley and up Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon, which is even longer and more trouble and has the additional issue of canyons being closed for heavy snow.

So, we are doomed.

Doomed.

I suppose this is what Weird All would call a “First World Problem”.

…at least, as far as snow…”

snowcastI’m ready for this. Spring is wonderful in Park City, and summer is glorious (although we spent a sizable chunk of summer in Los Cabos this year). Fall has been spectacular.

But winter is why Park City exists! 🙂

This last year has been rough. Trying to be a triathlete, and failing (albeit, during the same period, Ethel has become a triathlete successfully!) and trying to adjust to this new job; nobody there is telling me that I’m failing, but I live with the constant certainty that I’m the dumbest guy in the room. The stress of the last two years wore on me, and the overtraining for triathlon during that stress has brought me to new lows in my physical plant. I currently can’t run as fast as I used to not be able to run that slow (did that sentence make sense? Not long ago, I would not have been able to force my body to run at 12 minute pace; it would not have done that. It would have sped up way above that unless I consciously forced it to go that slow. Now I can’t maintain that pace for a full hour without a rest).

But when the snow falls, everything else falls away. The world is new and unblemished.

Yesteday morning, the Planter’s Peanut drove into Summit Park.

peanutThere’s really nothing to say here. I’d say that that speaks for itself.

…who, me? Tired, agitated – today’s noon meeting was awful. Twenty or so new-ish comers who are sure that they know what the message is and how it should be presented – and are violent about “no crosstalk” except when it comes to talking about the old-timer who actually thinks that he knows what the message is (for those of you playing along at home, that would be “me” : )

Once upon a time, Ethel and I went to this very meeting, and since we are both old-timer Big Book thumpers, we didn’t even notice how many people were agitated about that, and didn’t really notice that they had all disappeared and been replaced by folks more amenable to the whole idea that there really was a “right” or “best” way to work this program. And that noon meeting was my home group until I moved away to Arizona.

When I came back, it was the group that it is now – with one “old timer” who doesn’t see things the way that we do. (When I say “we’ in this context, I mean the ‘we’ that the book is referring to when it says “we have a way out upon which we can absolutely agree’). After trying this meeting for a while, I gave up and decided to go elsewhere, and then decided – what the heck. I’m not going to let folks who don’t know how to stay sober run me out of a meeting.

But now I think that – yes, I will 🙂 I will, indeed, let them run me out of that meeting. Because there’s nobody else there who actually believes in the program, as written. They all believe in the current version that they heard from somebody, sorta, kinda half-remembered – and, sure, it’s not keeping them sober, but at least they’re not being all rigid about it like some people (that, again, would be…me 🙂 I strongly suspect that “rigid” and “rigor” come from the same root word ).

There. I feel much better now. I won’t interfere with these folks any more. I have often wondered if I should only go to meetings where I feel comfortable – where there are other folks of like mind. I’ve often felt that that was the cowards’ way out – but now I think I know why so many old-timers stop going to meetings completely. I’m not, ever, going to do that. But I am willing enough to bend enough to go to meetings where I can hear the message as well as carry the message.

This last Saturday, Ethel completed the Powell3 Sprint Distance Triathlon.

EthelT1This is Ethel smiling in T1. She’d finished the 750 meter open-water swim, and was getting ready to climb onto her bike. Climbing on the bike is always a smiling time, since it means that the swim is over. And bikes are fun, and easier than running, especially since the run comes at the end of all of this silliness. So T1 is usually a happy time, and this is a happy Ethel.

Climbing onto the bikes, we headed out of the park, uphill, then onto US 89, uphill, and then some more uphill, until finally it was time to go downhill back to the transition area. During this time, Ethel passed quite a few cyclists, which is something that Ethel wasn’t expecting to do; once, she got frustrated with the cyclist in front of her, and Ethel crossed the vibration grooving at full speed to get around her. However, she did NOT let the bike get up to full speed on the downhill; she kept a good grip on that rear brake all the way down to the transition area.

She was not quite as happy at T2, after riding up that hill, and getting ready for the run. And while she was smiling coming in from the run, she wasn’t feeling well, but she did finish. The run was hot, and Ethel had used up her legs on the bike. But she did finish. And she was smiling as she ran in.

Then the smiling seemed to almost give way to crying (this is a female thing that we guys have trouble understanding) as she walked around the finish area. She was pretty emotional.

So we went back to the hotel, where I let ’em know that we’d be a while before checking out, because My Wife The Triathlete would need time to shower and change.

And all the way home back to Park City, she kept telling me that she was a triathlete. Every so often she would raise her arms into the air triumphantly and say “I’m a triathlete!” (full disclosure – after a while, maybe her arms weren’t going all the way up in the air – just sort of slightly above horizontal).

Now she’s home and she’s rested (almost – haven’t seen her doing any training yet, though) and she’s hired a professional triathacoach and they will be setting up her training schedule and determining her target race for next year.  (Ethel is a true Puckett – anything worth doing is worth overdoing.) Meanwhile, I’m sitting on the sidelines with a case of shingles, hoping to start back up my own training shortly; I’m definitely the sideshow now, though, and TriathaEthel is the main event.

This last Saturday, the University of Mississippi Black Bear Colonel Ackbar Rebels defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in the game of football.

And Ole Miss says that, even if they don’t win the game, they’ll win the party. They did that in spades.

olemissgoalposts

Not only did they tear down the goalposts after the game – both of them – but they actually took the goalposts on tours of Oxford, Mississippi, carrying them around town and introducing them at all the best sorority houses. (one of the goalposts will be rushed by the fraternity Omicron Sigma Poloshirt this weekend).

Losing that game was like a punch in the gut; a sudden outrush of wind, followed by a dull pain and a loss of consciousness. There was a certain kind of inevitability to the game, though – the whole time, I just knew in the back of my mind that we were going to lose, while maintaining a separate awareness in the frontal lobes that such an outcome had to be unlikely. The dichotomy between cerebral hemispheres (front and back, not right and left) showed up in my actions, as well – the defeatism of my hindbrain resulted in my leaning back the whole game, while the rebellious optimism of my forebrain had me yelling vigorously from a reclined position.

But we lost, and we lost truly. No sense in recriminations or second guessing; it’s over and it’s done.

And I have to admit that if you’re gonna lose, it’s nice to lose to somebody who really appreciates it! Ole Miss had never in their history beaten a team that had a #1 ranking; even though our #1 was in the coaches’ poll and not the AP poll, CBS showed that big “1” beside our name during the whole game, and when the game was over, as far as Ole Miss was concerned, they’d beaten the best team in the country. As far as I know, they are still partying.

And, unlike our little brother across the state, their joy comes from their winning, and not our losing. That, too, goes down pretty easily 🙂

There’s still a lot of football to be played in this season; while it’s more doubtful now than ever that we’ll be in the playoff, much, much, MUCH stranger things have happened (the 2012 BCS Championship Rematch comes to mind). Right after the game, I didn’t want to watch any more college football, but now we’re in the curious situation (as I’ve said before in similar circumstances) where we can hope to win rather than fearing to lose, and hope is always more fun than fear.

This weekend, we might have to actually listen to the start of the Arkansas game on Sirius XM, as we’re going to Page, AZ for Ethel’s first triathlon, and the game starts at 4 PM local, so I’ll have to do the whole race right behind her with a cattle prod to remind her that the faster she competes, the more of the game we’ll get to see on TV.