Monthly Archives: February 2014

20140212 – Ski, Ski, Ski and Snow, Snow, Snow. The Olympics.

Wednesday – snow and getting warmer. Too warm. Damages the snow.

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Great snow but flat light. Teeth bite your knees, then you know you’ve hit a bump. Too late is the cry. Snow is forecast in the next hour, hopefully won’t bump into one of these. A well deserved coffee by my favourite fireplace in the snow hut.

For a bit of extra exercise Wendy and I go round to the gym for a “Gentle Yoga” session. Not quite as hard or sweaty as Friday. But we had to pay $9 each, well my geriatric wife got in for $8. One of the few plus points of being a pensioner.

Carol and Angela call round to pick some things up and have afternoon tea – so very British. Angela is in the chariot we’re going to borrow when Jasper comes. It’s an awesome piece of machinery, he’ll be able to live in it and Wendy will be able to go jogging with it. Giant wheels. Hal pops in for tea.

Can you believe the barbarism of the fanatics of this insidious religion:

The ISIL militants took the Syrian girl, Fatoum Al-Jassem, to Al-Reqqa religious court and the judge ruled that membership in Facebook is tantamount to adultery and sentenced her to death by stoning, the Arabic-language Al-Rai Al-Youm reported.

Thursday – sleet, wet and too warm. Tears as we experience rain and it ruins the snow.

5″ of fresh snow overnight but I’m on volunteer duty so it’s a wet, sleety start at the bottom of IMG 2331 he mountain. Top of mountain is awesome with fresh powder and sun. Sadly my 8 year old Gortex seems to have turned to blotting paper. End up very cold, very wet and worst of all even have snow in my gloves from all the pinning and un-pinning of the bi-ski.

NAC ski race. Our student came 4th. Good job (Learnt that phrase from my teach yourself American book). Improved my skiing having to block for the student and keep up with no poles. 

The joys of skiing. Wouldn’t swap it for the world. Living the dream.

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Why do our loony politicians continue wasting money we don’t even have on Foreign Aid to these countries:

Most Western countries have laws and regulations prohibiting support for terrorists or former terrorists. The US, the UK, Holland, Norway, Sweden and others have debated, proposed and/or passed laws or motions in parliament against giving the Palestinian Authority money that ends up in the hands of terrorists. In spite of their laws and their opposition, these countries continue to fund the PA’s general budget, thereby paying tens of millions of dollars to terrorists as salaries and other payments. 

Last week, the PA announced that it will be giving an additional $46 million a year to released prisoners, a category which includes hundreds of murderers of civilians. Since the PA cannot cover its monthly budget payments without Western aid, these additional payments to terrorists will also be facilitated both directly and indirectly by Western donor money to the PA.

Makes me madder than a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. All done so that our IMG 0855 iberal do gooder, progressive, politicians can assuage their World class social conscience.

Friday – warmish and cloudy with some snow / sleet / rain depending upon your altitude. Doesn’t do much for my attitude either.

Pop up for 10:00 and a couple of hours skiing. It’s like skiing on steel cut porridge oats or cement just setting. Bumpy and cruddy. As you look down the runs from the top it’s like a war zone, there’s bodies all over the place as the snow takes it’s toll. To add to the effect you have the occasional mortar going off, makes you jump out your skis, as the avalanche patrol clear any avalanche danger.  Some of the runs look like a war zone. 

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Tonight, the Environmental Agency and the Met Office together have currently a record 502 severe weather and flood warnings in place, with the South West, South East of England, London and Wales being particularly affected. Many families across the UK are facing evacuation.

Valentines day madness from the despots in the religion of peace, love and understanding:

The Saudis consistently punish the slightest hint of celebrating Valentine’s Day. The Kingdom and its religious “morality” police always officially issue a stern warning that anyone caught even thinking about Valentine’s Day will suffer some of the most painful penalties of Sharia Law. This is typical of the Saudis of course. As Daniel Pipes has reported, the Saudi regime takes a firm stand against Valentine’s every year, and the Saudi religious police monitor stores selling roses and other gifts. They arrest women for wearing red on that day. Every year the Saudis announce that, starting the week of Valentine’s and until a certain day in the future, it is illegal for a merchant to sell any item that is red, or that in any way hints of being connected IMG 0895 o Valentine’s Day. As Claude Cartaginese has reported, any merchant in Saudi Arabia found selling such items as red roses, red clothing of any kind (especially dresses), toys, heart-shaped products, candy, greeting cards or any items wrapped in red, has to destroy them or face the wrath of Saudi justice.

Christian overseas workers living in Saudi Arabia from the Philippines and other countries always take extra precautions, heeding the Saudis’ warning to them specifically to avoid greeting anyone with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” or exchanging any gift that reeks of romance.

The sooner we are no longer dependent on Saudi Oil the better. Then we can let these sand gobbling rag heads go back to their 7th century barbarism. As Lawrence of Arabia once said “as long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are”.

Saturday cold and cloudy.

Day off. No skiing. Should earn some browny points.

Drive down to Salt Lake airport to pick Anna and Leon up.

Charlie hebdo frontpage

As part of my continuing French studies I have translated the attached for you. “The Koran is shit. It can’t stop bullets”. Seems like the religion of permanent offence has been offended by this French cartoon and are taking satirical paper Charlie Hebdo to court for blasphemy over it. In an attempt to improve my French and to help desensitise those sicko fundamentalists who are so easily offended I’ve included it here.

Sunday – cold and snowy.

One of the worst ski days this trip. Snow was like porridge and being Presidents weekend it was very busy.

But at least we got 5” of fresh snow. Much needed.

Denmark’s Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jorgensen has signed into law a regulation that bans religious slaughter of animals.European Union regulations require stunning before slaughter, but permit member states to allow exemptions for religious slaughter. Under the new law, Danish slaughterhouses will no longer be able to apply for an exemption to pre-stunning.

Monday – cloudy and cold.

Not quite as busy as Sunday and snow was a bit better. Although Payday and Town runs 
IMG 0729had some sheet ice under them. Now that’s a first.

Back home for a well deserved jacuzzi. They are rather good after a hard days skiing. Somehow they’re also so much better when it’s cold, or better still snowing outside. And no jacuzzi would be complete without a quality German beer. Struggling with getting the PH levels right – perhaps that’s why Anna’s silver rings gone grey. Well at least we still had some skin left on when we came out even if I was like a do dishes prune. Never mind at least the Bromine levels seem to be ok, keeps the jacuzzi libido down.

As the fundamentalists from the well known religion of peace seem to be jealous of the Olympics, so much so that they’re threatening to mount a terrorist attack I thought it was about time, in my new found spirit of inclusion and multiculturalism, we offered them an outlet for their anger. How about a new Olympic sport. The Jihadalon. Who can go off with the biggest bang. Teams from any terrorist organisation, the more the merrier, can send martyrs to stand in the centre of concentric circles of crash test dummies. Scoring is based on the size of the explosion measured by how many crash test dummies are anhilated; how many are knocked over; loudness of the explosion. Each team competes in 10 rounds of singles or better still 10 rounds of doubles. Due to the nature of this sport drug testing will of course need to be carried out before the event. 

Now that would really help with the war on terror.

Tuesday – bluebird morning but grey and over cast afternoon.

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Awesome skiing and snow was great. A lot quieter than Presidents weekend.

I’d volunteered for NAC in the afternoon. NAC lesson delayed so having a pint of Amber ale in the Pig Pen. Forgive me for I have sinned and broke the 2nd commandment of retirement – “thou shall not drink before 17:00”. Hang on, that’s a UK commandment so I’m absolved, as it’s 20:00. Perhaps I should have a few. Then to add insult to injury the whole lesson cancelled as the student is knackered. Never mind I suppose I’ll have to ski some more.

Another event for the religion of peace Olympics could the the Stonathelon. Teams of 10 terrorists or just fundamentalists could compete to see who can lob the most 10lb granite stones into the centre of a 100 Yard concentric circle, with a crash test dummy covered in a bright blue burka, buried breast deep of course, at the centre – simulating the stoning to death of an apostate or adulterer. The team with the most stones nearest to the centre wins. Extra points are awarded for any stones actually hitting the burka clad dummy.

Wednesday – cold and 7” snow during the day.

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Awesome skiing. Anna and Leons skiing are coming together. Anna has that distinctive flow down the mountain style, legs and skis parallel with no daylight between them, as a result of her trainer’s teaching methods. Fresh powder coming down on top of corduroy. Makes for great but tiring and difficult skiing, but well worth the effort.

Quit at lunch time to meet Wendy back at the house.

Then have a walk to the liquor store and supermarket and lug back some booze etc. 

The final event for the Religion of peace Olympics could be the Crucifaxelon. Open to teams of 2 terrorists or 2 fundamentalists who compete to see how quickly and stylishly they can erect a cross, amputate the left hand and right foot from a crash test dummy, complete with artificial blood for realistic effect, and then nail it to the cross – simulating the treatment of any one who opposes or fights the religion of peace.

Thursday – very cold, sun, cloud and sprinkles of snow.

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Powder alert this morning as there was 10” of snow yesterday. Sadly some of the runs (Temptation, Silver King) were very icy. Don’t know what happened to the powder but it’s as if they been sprayed with water. With wind chill the temperature felt like -3F. Certainly best not to have any skin exposed.

Great mornings skiing. Running commentary from Anna on how cold she is, but Leon’s just a skiing machine – it’s one of those Mars and Venus things. 12 awesome runs in and warmed up both air and snow towards lunchtime with blue skies.

In the evening we all go round to Hal and Carols for a lovely dinner. Angela loves meeting IMG 0906new people, so Leon and Anna get the works from Angela’s imagination and animated chattering. She has so much energy.

It seems like the religion of peace is not the only ones to be barbaric.

In a remote Indian province a young 20 year old girl who was going to have the audacity to marry a muslim, was sentenced by the village elders, to be gang raped by 12 men from the village and then tied outdoors all night.

Friday – blue bird day.

IMG 0990Meet Wendy and Angela for lunch. Wendy’s looking after her, so she bought her up on the bus, where she proceeds to entertain us with her delightful character. Never known a 4 year old, going on 26, with such imagination.Ski Deer valley for a change. Leon’s never been before. Both have an awesome morning burning up the runs.

After lunch we ski the rest of Deer valley although parts of it are so very icy and busy. But Anna and Leon get their last days moneys worth as we manage to ski until 16:30. Thanks to Anna and Leon for the Deer valley ticket.

Last jacuzzi of the week for Anna and Leon.

Now we’ve been watching the Olympics with the 1 hour BBC2 summary.

Now I know that BBC iPlayer have truly lost the plot with their crappy website – it makes me madder than an Amish electrician every time I use it. A complete insult to the IT industry. But their daily 1 hour coverage makes me think they’ve finally lost it all together. In a 1 hour summary you’d expect to get mainly sports coverage. IMG 0994An ideal summary of the highlights. Instead you get that silly bitch, who looks like she’s sucking on a giant lollipop, twittering on about twitter, texting and whats happening on social media – who gives an animated emoticon. Then they waste more time by interviewing family members and any other retarded hangers on. And even more tme by an animated round of FAQ from social media nerds who have asked the most inane questions you can imagine, in the hope of convincing everyone listening in that their brains have dropped out. Finally rather than showing the events, they show morons back home, with an IQ lower than their collar size, demonstrating the luge on a shopping trolley, trays or any other household item that has a coefficient of fiction less than 1.

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Seems like they can’t afford a studio, so they broadcast from the middle of a crowd; or some restaurant which seems to have parties going on in the back ground and rain pouring in on the coffee tables and chairs the BBC are using. Cheap and pathetic. It seems like the ineptitude of their nerdy software department is insidiously creeping in, like a one eyed bed python in a brothel, to the sports coverage. 

Saturday – blue ski day.

Pick a car up from Mr Hertz.

Wendy does a supermarket shop for the next 2 weeks while we have the car.

Drop Anna and Leon off at Salt Lake airport.

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Then we go to Costco. Finally manage to join in store, after many aborted attempts online. It was so simple. Do a big shop, especially for meat. Hopefully this will last us until we come out in June.

Sunday – a warm blue bird day.

Win some browny points by taking a day off skiing. 

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Drop car off and then have a walk up to the Silver Star cafe for coffee and lunch. Manage to resist a Stiegl. Then have a pleasant stroll back.

Only in America could you have a speed sign like this!

20140206 – Snow, snow, snow 29″; National Ability Centre Volunteer; Standard letter of complaint to lazy Companies

Thursday – cold with some snow. 

Lazy start to the day as I accompany Florence Nightingale to the bus. She’s off to the hospital. Hit the slopes for 11:00. Get a really lazy 5 runs in, boy it’s colder than a well diggers arse in January.

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Invention of the Week is a “smart bra” that only unhooks when its inbuilt sensors, which monitor a woman’s heart rate, reach a level that indicates she’s . . . “excited”. Only the Japanese could dream up such a perversion of technology for technologies sake. Perhaps next they’l invent a chocolate oven complete with matching app, or a thong that starts singing when you’re nervous. Mind you it could be interesting as it pings open, and they flop out, every time the women sees something in the sales, or something that excites or frightens her.

Thought for the day:

If muslims got rid of the death penalty as punishment for apostasy I wonder how many muslims there would be left?  

Friday – snow and clouds.

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Dumped 5” overnight and best news is it was after grooming so an awesome, hard work powder day.

Of course if Ross was here I’d be able to hear some exotic superlatives as I ride the bumps. Awesome, but me legs are burning. Sadly no powder alert so I missed the best of it with a lazy 10:00 start. Need to rely on the snow plow as my powder alert. If there’s been a dump overnight then they’re out at about 04:30, more reliable than the Park City email.

Just to get a bit more exercise I stroll around to the gym in the evening for a “Free”, how I love that word, Yoga session. It was pretty brutal but i survived. Never seen so many bends and twists, felt like a cross between a wet rag and a pretzel. Unlike a British yoga session it was surprising to see men out numbering women.

Invest in some scales. Amazing how well the TE Ski Diet works. 6 lbs lost in 6 weeks, without having to cut back on alcohol. I’m at my lowest weight for what must be at least 10 years.

 

Coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has so far been over-shadowed by the threat of terror from Islamic jihadists. Cursing videos posted on the Internet by jihadists promise that the “demon Olympics” will have an “atmosphere of fear and terror” and tell the athletes that “Satan is with you.” Even Egyptian-born al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri gave his blessings by calling for a “global jihad” against the Sochi games.

Muslim jihadists watch the games with bitterness, envy and criticism. Competitive sports are not an important Islamic value, especially if compared to the mental and physical training of Islamic youth for jihad. It is important to note that Islamic culture often discourages competitive sports, singing, dancing and self-expression, and this is the fundamental reason why there are few prominent Muslim athletes. Soccer seems to be the main event for them. Of course female contenders have to cover themselves in case any perverts should become tumescent with anticipation at the site of their hair, face or ankles.

Perhaps a new sport of “explosive jihad” should be added to the Olympics. Could be judged on who goes off withe the biggest bang. I’m sure only fundamentalist from the religion of peace would be sick enough to participate, thereby eliminating more scrots.

Saturday – snow all day and not so cold, relatively.

14” of fresh powder overnight. I didn’t hear the snow plow this morning though, and the volume IMG 0717was turned down on the iPad so I didn’t hear the phone call to tell me there was a powder alert. Fortunately, well not actually,  I’m doing my National Ability Centre (NAC) training today. So the best powder day since we’ve been here and I miss it. Life can be so cruel. But then when you see the disabled skiers the NAC takes out on the mountain you appreciate how lucky you are. What really blows my mind is watching these blind skiers. Can you imagine what that must be like, it really freaks me out.

Learnt how to lift the various skiing aids, complete with disabled student, on and off the chairlift; correct PC terminology, I’ll no doubt excel in this area; how to act as a blocker to stop loony boarders, and the occasional skier, crashing into disabled skiers; how to pick them up if they fall. But no one mentioned that because you’re interacting with the equipment you have to ski without poles. Years since I did this and amazing how difficult it can be.

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Looks like I’ve found out what my facial recognition problem is. I think I’m suffering from prosopagnosia, facial agnosia or better known as face blindness. Face blindness is thought to be the result of abnormalities, damage, or impairment in the right fusiform gyrus, a fold in the brain that appears to coordinate the neural systems that control facial perception and memory. It’s no joke when I watch a film I have real difficulty distinguishing characters unless there are 1 male; 1 female; 1 blond or each sex; 1 dark haired of each sex; beards are good, but preferably not on women; black of each sex works; baldies help. It can be quite disturbing at times, like when I went to pick our grand daughter up and wasn’t entirely sure which one she was. Fortunately I’m ok recognising Wendy as she’s the only female in the house.

Only in the UK:

David Cameron was forced to accept the resignation of his Immigration Minister today after he employed an illegal migrant as his cleaner.

Mark Harper said that he had been shown documents by his employee showing that she had indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom but he discovered this week that they were forged.

Sunday – too warm, cloudy with snow.

12″ more fresh powder so drag me sen out of bed and catch Eagle for that unadulterated virgin IMG 2286powder. Not champagne powder though, more like skiing through 6″ of salt. Still awesome and worth the supreme effort. A tad busy up there, but not as bad as a Saturday. Get spoilt by the quiet of the weekdays. For the first time my powder skiing seems to be coming together. Lean back more, lean into curves and keep low. Leaning into the heels seems to be the answer.

Guy on Eagle lift told me the UK won a skiing medal. Nearly fell off the lift in amazement.

By 11:30 it’s a whiteout. Time to make tracks for home. My bodies gyroscope gets very confused when it doesn’t know up from down, especially at 20 mph and above.

I think I’m having a time white out. Totally confused on what day of the week it is.

Wendy gets to talk to the kids, FaceTime is great. Have a chat with Kevin and Rosemary, really is just like being there, but without the wine.

Finally start to catch up on the winter olympics. Given that we’re skiing we should make the effort.

Well we’ve got HBO, fortunately on free trial for 3 months, but so far we’ve not bothered with it. BBC, UK channels and Netflix have more than enough to offer. HBO’s only strong point seems to be no adverts.

Well swat my hind with a melon rind, do my eyes deceive me? Has the EU finally grown some gonads:

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The European Union has called for Saudi Arabia to respect the public worship of all faiths.

The European Parliament said that while Saudi Arabia was an important strategic partner, Saudi authorities should accept that it is a human right for individuals to worship any religion in public.
Issues like terrorism, Israeli-Palestinian peace, the Syrian conflict, post-Arab-Spring transition, and better relations with Iran, were all key areas in which the EU said Saudi co-operation was needed. However, it made clear that if this partnership is to be effective, [Saudi Arabia] must respect basic human rights and civil liberties .

MEPs demanded that the Saudi state show respect the public worship of any faith and to foster moderation and tolerance of religious diversity. Saudi Arabia has an abysmal record on religious freedom.

In February 2013, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah Al al-Sheikh said it is necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.

Apostasy – conversion from Islam to another religion – is a crime punishable by death and Saudi Arabia is one of the last countries in the world where public executions still take place.

Monday – I think.
 
29” new snow over the past 3 days. Today’s a bit of a white out but  with 2 – 6″ fresh powder on topIMG 2273 of corduroy it’s bodacious skiing. Worth the early start. Had a good mornings skiing -10 runs before lunch. Wendy had a walk to Einstein Bagels for a breakfast selection and then walked up to Payday to meet for lunch. Well tea and coffee.
 
Then later in the afternoon I need a bit more exercise so we have a walk into town to the bank and supermarket for some beers.
 
Catching up on the Winter Olympics and yes we did win a medal in snowboarding.
 
Here we go again with more censorship and attacks on freedom of speech:
 
Atheist students at a London South Bank University have had a poster featuring a flying spaghetti monster banned by union officials, out of fear that religious students would be easily offended by it.

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The South Bank Atheist Society (SBAS) poster featured the monster in place of God in a mock-up of Michelangelo’s famous Creation of Adam fresco from the Sistine Chapel, but it was removed from the freshers’ fair last week.

South Bank Atheist Society president Choe Ansari said:
This incident is just one of a catalogue of attempts to censor our society. I never expected to face such blatant censorship and fragile sensibilities at university. I thought this would be an institution where I could challenge beliefs and in turn be challenged.

All I have seen is religious sensibilities trumping all other rights with no space for argument, challenge or reasoned debate. It is not what I expected when I came to university.

Union censors at the London South Bank University removed the posters from the society’s stall overnight and then barred representatives from printing off more, ludicrosuly citing the visibility of Adam’s genitals as offensive. But when society members offered to blur out the genitals, they were told the problem with the poster concerned religious offence.
 
I hope these poor over sensitive religious fanatics realise they’ll never get to FSM Heaven – miss out on the Beer Volcanoes and Stripper Factories.
 
Tuesday – sun, cloud, a little snow and very cold.
 
Up on the slopes for 08:30 ready for my first NAC volunteer session – is this really an holiday.

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Great morning as a volunteer helping an instructor with a youngster, who’s disabled, ski on one of these mono skis. These kids are awesome. The instructor was in one of these mono skis too.  
 
Youngster and instructor survived my first day. Only ended up in the ski lift pit once due to problems pulling the student onto the lift. It’s all more difficult than it looks, bearing in mind that you have to ski with no ski poles, and with your skis on, you have to pull the student up if they fall over. 
 
Puts my skiing to shame. Notice the title National ABILITY Centre. The real emphasis being on ability. 
 
Then, after 3 hours helping, I just catch a much needed coffee followed by some serious skiing, with poles thankfully.
 
Now I know the Americans have managed to screw with the language they were given, but hey, on the crowded bus today no one apart from the driver and Wendy spoke English or anything vaguely resembling it. Looks like they have the same problems we have.
 

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Now this is what I’d often like to do as a result of all those crap websites and software out there.Needs to be 2nd floor or above. The higher the better.
 
Don’t you just love those lazy, good for nothing companies that send you emails telling you how much you owe, your car hire details etc., yet expect you to log into their bloody awful site to find out the full picture, like BT, Hertz, Halifax, Santander and the list goes on. Well here’s my boiler plate (cross out those, if any, that don’t apply) complaints letter I’m sending to them.
 
Dear Sir / Madame

Yet again you’ve sent me an email telling me:

I owe you money / my car hire is due / my flight is due / renewal is due / asking for a meter reading / …………………………………………. but forcing me to log into your site to find out the relevant details. Makes me madder and hotter than a program trying to divide by zero.

Has it never occurred to you that, I’m the customer who pays your wages, and rather than allowing the greedy little nerds in marketing department try to engage with me by getting me to log into your:
awful / useless / badly designed / confusing / common senseless web site.
 
In the hope that you can sell me something else, you could treat me with the courtesy and respect I as a customer deserve by:

Having a URL in the email (ask your IT department what it is if you haven’t a clue) that takes me direct to your web site with just one click. It’s not not rocket science, trust me, and most email apps even have a simple insert facility.

Have a URL (by now you’ll know what one is) that not only takes me to your web site but also fills in my name. Wow wouldn’t that be better. If your IT department don’t know how then sack them and get someone who does.

Have a URL that takes me to you web site and even logs me in. Again not rocket science very doable.

Have a URL that takes me to you web site, logs me in and present me with the appropriate page of the details I need. Again very doable.

Better still tell me if:

there is nothing to pay / it’s just the regular monthly payment with no extras / it’s below £x.

Therefore saves me the trouble of going into you web site.

Better, better still, tell me in the email, the summary details and provide me with a URL link direct to your web site for a complete transaction list.

Better, better, better still tell me in the email the relevant details, amounts and dates to save me going anywhere near your accursed web site. Wouldn’t that be heaven.

Now I know if you can even be bothered to answer this complaint you spring to the notorious, totally misunderstood and abused “Data Protection” defence. Because of course Joe public doesn’t have the wit to understand that. You think you can blind us with legalese and make us think you’re doing us a great service by “protecting us”. But I suggest before you do so, you take the trouble to read the Data Protection Act 1998 and consider which of the 8 principles would be contravened by such a common sense, customer focused, ease of use approach.

If your IT department tell you that any of the above is impossible then I suggest you:

sack the lot of them and replace them with some competent programmers / pay me a reasonable fee to organise it / sack you marketing department replacing them with customer focused, common sense individuals / better still sack the marketing department anyway, they’re usually the source of all evil, don’t give a post it note about the customer. Once you start to focus on the needs of the customer rather than trying to manipulate him you’ll find that success follows.

Now in all my years I’ve never dealt with a more hopeless company than Comcast, they’re a nightmare to deal with, you could do a comedy series on their antics, but just to rub it in they seem to have got the hang of it when it comes to emails for payment:

Dear Comcast Customer,

Your monthly bill is now available. Please sign in to My Account to view your bill and other important messages or notices regarding your Comcast services. 

Bill Overview

Amount Due: $36.59
Payment Due Date: 02/27/2014


Account Information

Account Number: ****1234
Service Address: 1234 ANY STREET
  PARK CITY, UT 123456

Note: If you are enrolled in automatic monthly payments, your payment will automatically be deducted from your bank account or charged to your credit card on the payment due date.

If you have any questions regarding your bill, please visit our Help and Support Site for more information. 

Thank you for being a valued Comcast customer.

Sincerely,

Comcast



Simples. The bills within tolerance so I don’t have to waste any more time on it. Not only do they send you the above but they also send you a brief video that explains “your” bill using actual values. All without needing any log in or other crap. How neat is that?

If they can do it why can’t you? 

You’ll have to forgive me for this boiler plate letter but there are so many other companies out there who don’t give a dam for their customers that I’ve had to resort to this approach and please make allowances for the syndrome I suffer from. It doesn’t have a medical name, yet, but basically I go through life thinking: I’m a customer; I pay your wages; I’m important to you; I expect some common sense; I expect you to test out your web sites; I expect you to test your letters; and you should be making my life as easy as possible. You’ll be glad to hear that I’m not a danger to myself or the public, although your antics do make my blood boil and induce in me a strong desire to come around to bang heads together and hand out brown envelopes with a P45 in them.

Yours With Boiling Blood

Tony 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

20140131 – Superbowl party; Very Cold; Domestic Servitude; Daily Routine

Friday – cold with some snow, sun and clouds.

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Have a pleasant mornings skiing. A lot of runs are still fairly churned up so skiing is a tad harder than usual, but compared to yesterdays powder it’s a breeze.

Wendy’s doing her Florence Nightingale thing, meeting greeting and chatting. It’s a hard life.

Just sat having a well deserved coffee in the Snow Hut and thinking about how I could still be a nerd behind a desk with 11 months to go before retirement, instead I’m just a nerd with 7 Sundays a week to enjoy. On that thought Its time to man up and get another 5 runs in. 

For a bit more exercise we have a walk around to Carols to pay the rent and then on to the liquor store. Ran out of Merlot and need a 6 pack for Sundays Superbowl game. I don’t know who designed this haversack of mine but they certainly never considered two boxes of wine and a 6 pack of lager as an essential.

Just cleared the patio of our latest snow offering. Not even a single bead of sweat. Now I’m either getting fitter or it’s too dam cold to even sweat. I’m going with the fitness theory.

Watched a very interesting Youtube on Americas immigration policy. They kindly let 1 million of the Worlds poor in every year. However, there are over 3 billion who meet the poor criteria, so this represents 0.03 of a percent and doesn’t even keep up with birth rate. Even if they increased this 10 fold it still would make no impact or keep up with the birth rate. However, what was even more significant is that the 1 million who do make it to the USA were almost certainly the best educated and able. Therefore a brain drain and depleting the 3rd World countries of a key resource that could do more good if they stayed in their own country. 

Good intentions and unintended consequences!

Off – energy-efficient

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Old – chronologically gifted, Gerontologically Advanced, Senior Citizens

Panhandler – Unaffiliated applicant for private-sector funding.

Paper Bag – processed tree carcass

Perverted – Sexually dysfunctional.

Plagiarism – Previously Owned Prose

Al-Qaeda groups operating in Syria have set up three bases in southern Turkey to train foreign fighters for terrorist attacks on the US and Europe, according to intelligence sources.

Hang on is this the same Turkey that wants to join the EU?

Saturday – very cold, sun, cloud and we get a tad more snow.

No skiing today.

Winning some browny points with Wendy. Browse round Main Street. Wendy buys a vivid green Patagonia fleece. If it’s half as durable as my 20 year old one she’ll certainly get her moneys worth. Then it’s domestic servitude as we head to the supermarket for fortnightly shop.

For some mysterious reason we get separated. Devastated. Wander around disorientated until I see a familiar site, Starbucks. Pop in for a rest and escape the cold and snow. It would be a tad rude not to have a coffee when I’m using their free wifi. Perhaps my maps app may help me eventually find the supermarket. 

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Taxi home – feel like the taxi brigade you see outside Asda, but it’s cheaper than hiring a car and the bus service is awesome. We seem to be managing very well without a car and the walking / bus is quite enjoyable, especially as we’re in no rush. To go skiing is just a 4 minutes walk to the bus stop, then a 20 minute bus ride. Mind you walking in 10lbs of ski boots carrying skies, heavier than two Malibu surf boards, is some good exercise in it’s own right. But, when I consider that renting lockers etc for overnight storage would cost about $800 over the season – I wouldn’t mind a whole seasons ski pass, including summer cost only $650 –  makes all that weight just float away. Wendy, now being a fully qualified, over 65 pensioner, can even get a season pass for $530 – less than the full cost of 5 day tickets.

They say you never stop learning. Well today I learnt to make sure to layer up even when not skiing. Never been as cold on this trip. In addition Long Johns would have at least helped, it was colder than a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg.

Welsh rarebit and baked beans for tea – me favourite. Slight variation as the bacon over here is tissue paper thin and shatters when you stick a fork in it, so instead it’s spicy Italian sausage – awesome.

Just 24 hours before Hals Superbowl party tomorrow. Need to get me head around American Football by then. May seem trivial to some but bear in mind I don’t even understnad English Football and am clueless, thankfully, on the offside rule. Looking forward to such an American experience. 

All this exercise seems to be paying off walking, even up hills or the stairs, is no longer the effort it was.

Policeman, Policewoman – law enforcement officer 

Poor – economically marginalised, Economically Unprepared, monetarily challenged

Postman – letter carrier

Pregnant – parasitically oppressed.

Prisoner – client of the correctional system

Sunday – blue sky and colder than a witch’s nipple in a brass bra doin’ push-ups in the snow.

Up and at em for 09:00. Get me 10 runs a day in, beats the gym anytime. Snow’s in fine fettle with that lovely creaking sound as you glide over. It’s that cold that the trees are still covered in snow, IMG 2250everywhere you look is like Christmas post code panorama. Just being up here on the mountains is awesome. If you don’t ski then you obviously don’t know what you’re missing, if you do then you’ll appreciate what I’m raving on about.

Back home for late lunch time with just enough time to chat to everyone back home and get ready for our great American experience. No it’s not another trip to Comcast, it’s Hal’s Superbowl Party.

How to back the wrong team – Sea Hawks 43 / Broncos 8. A YouTube video with lemons and oranges explained the game. Sad to see the only lemons on the pitch were Denver. The Sea Hawks just wiped the floor with the Broncos. It seemed to me that speed and agility, rather than brute force, body mass and big guts, won the day.

Wow they can sure stretch a 60 minute game out, 4 hours with adverts. More adverts than during an American movie. Alas no Janet Jackson to spice things up. Great afternoon. Some quality beers, great food and great company. An all American experience. I think by now, with help from Hal and friends, I at least understand the basics of the game. What amazes me is the unsung hero who invisibly manages to nip out and paint a new Yellow 10 yard line after each Down.

Prostitute – sex care provider

Psychobabble – constructivist feminist psychotherapy

Psychopath – socially misaligned 

Racist – genetically discriminating

Really Big Nosed – nasally disadvantaged

Monday – blue sky and very cold again.

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Lazy start to the day. Hit the slopes for 10:00. Wendy stays home knitting. Sadly only 1 black diamond groomed, Belmont. Very steep and short. Have two goes on it in order to get me moneys worth.

Very lazy day just get 5 runs in and then home for lunch – grapes and giant strawberries, oh so sweet though.

Finally get to listen to the Obama’s State of The Union Address. As I said last year, if he can achieve 25% of what he rattles on about he’d get my vote, but alas he failed to get any of his top 2013 State of the Union priorities through Congress. Congress ignored his calls for a new jobs program, for new gun controls and for sweeping immigration reform.

This year he spends a lot of time ticking off congress for inaction and failure; threatens a lot of independent action, executive orders I suppose if he doesn’t get his way; allegedly he’s going to get it done with or without congress. Certainly a good orator, can talk the talk. Mind you some of it came over like a pregnant pole vaulter, especially judging by the grimaces and face of the guy behind him on his left. I quite enjoy American politics, the good thing is it doesn’t affect me. Whereas watching question time or the incessant programmes on scroungers and scrots get me madder than a pack of wild dogs on a three legged cat.

We were stupid enough to watch “The Big Benefits Show”, a real blood boiler. Very biased in favour of scroungers and scrots. Must have selected both audience and panel especially.  How can you class pensioners as being on benefits, we’ve paid in for a pension all our working lives and I don’t believe for one moment the figures they quoted on percentage of scroungers / fraud. Simple solution to it all. Workfare. Then you put something back in for the benefit you receive. And for those that object to it then, tough, I for one don’t care about anyone who objects to such a fair solution. It would be interesting to see how many of the scrounging scrots then got a proper job.

Redneck – person of region, rustically inclined

Refugees – asylum seekers 

Road Kill – Vehicularly Compressed Maladapted Life Form 

Rudeness – Tact Avoidance 

Runny Nose – nasally gifted

Now I know the liberals brains have finally dropped out:

Nick Clegg has admonished one of his party’s parliamentary candidates, Maajid Nawaz, for tweeting a cartoon of Jesus and Muhammad .

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So what choices do we have in 2015. Labour who’ll fritter all the hard work and financial progress away in the shake of a scorpions tail on benefits and populist policies with no common sense. Liberals who just pander to Islam and immigration. UKIP who have some great policies on immigration and a strong emphasis on UK, but seem to be a complete vacuum on anything other and have some of the looniest candidates. Or stick with the conservatives, they’ve turned the economy around and are realistic about further debt reduction and strong fiscal policies.

Sadly they’re all about as useful as buttons on a dish cloth

Personally I’d vote for any party that has a skerrick of common sense; puts the UK first; kicks multiculturalism into the failed loony bin it belongs in; bans the burkha and stops pandering to Islam, if they want to be here then you’re welcome, but don’t expect the UK to bend over backwards and be shafted; get us out of Europe; abandons all foreign aid and looks after UK first; introduces Workfare for anyone on benefits for more than 2 weeks, no exceptions. 

Tuesday – blue sky, very cold then snow storm in the afternoon.

Up at the crack of sparrows as we had 2” fresh snow yesterday. Get me 10 a day runs in and home for lunch. Lost Prospectors the Black Diamond that’s been groomed today. It’s a bit like Jones’s in reverse, gentle meadows to start with then a steep finish – good run,  especially with the new snow on top of all that corduroy.

I’ve had the best part of the day skiing as after lunch a snow storm sets in. We decide to go for a walk / ride down to the Outlet Stores and Walmart. Believe it or not it’s actually quit enjoyable in the snow, but somehow can’t see us doing the same thing back in Belthorn in the rain. Have a good afternoon. Finish up at the bakery for coffee and the usual giant “free” samples.

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Call in at Chase Bank to get a credit card. Don’t really want one but so many of the US sights can’t cope with UK post codes so you can’t order things on your UK credit card. Guy at Chase has a great solution, he assigns our US address to our Chase Debit card and leaves the address for snail mail in the UK. A result. So simple. Really impressed with Chase they’re as good as NatWest – so far.

Are posties in the US specially recruited from a new genetic mutation that produces orangatang long right arms so that they can reach into post boxes without leaving their jeep? Entertaining to watch how they do it.

An interesting approach:

Treat the muslim ideology with caution and candidness.  Treat the Muslim as an individual.  Don’t judge Islam by the Muslims that you know, and don’t judge the Muslims that you know by Islam.

Wednesday – very cold, 10F, blue sky and sunny.

My day seems to be settling into a regular pattern. 04:30 if it’s snowed then snow plough turns up, Armageddon, it sounds as if the Worlds coming to a noisy end. 07:00 alarm may go off, turn over in our super soft bed, under a warm 1 foot thick quilt, courtesy of the supreme sacrifice of their Down from a flock of geese. Question springs to mind “why am I getting up”? Turn over again 10 minutes later and drag myself out, after asking the same question. 07:20 shower, breakfast and a lazy coffee. 08:20 get armoured up with more layers than pigeon shit under a church eaves. 08:25 walk to bus stop. 08:34 on the bus finish gearing up ready for combat and select my music for the day. 09:00 Eagle lift up to top. 09:00 let skiing commence and now I understand why I got up at 07:00. Awesome morning skiing, usually with a good mid-morning coffee and Internet break in front of the fire in the snow hut. At least 10 runs a day and calories burnt, probably about 1,500. Totally bodacious way to spend a day. Better than any Gym and all for $8 a day. After lunch it’s a walk with Wendy just to get some exercise in. 

Now, I don’t want anyone to think I’m obsessive, but the nerd in me has figured out how to write an application that will take any “Powder Alert” email and turn it into a phone call to ensure I’m up in IMG 2280time. Just in case snow plow man or alarm doesn’t work.

Seems like we got 3” of fresh powder yesterday so up on the slopes for 09:00 to make the most of it. Mind you no powder alert as it all arrived before overnight grooming.

Have a great mornings skiing. Get 12 runs in and reach a new land speed record – see tracker. Thankfully there’s no speedo on my skis so you can’t see the speed you’re doing, otherwise I think there’d either be a brown stain or I’d fall over out of sheer fright. With it being so cold the snows lingering on the trees and looks mighty pretty. Sadly it seems that America has it’s fill of scrots who seem to want to shed their bras or knickers whilst on the ski lift – the mind boggles – and throw them on the trees alongside the lift. Ski graffiti in my opinion, spoils the beauty. Let the punishment fit the crime I say and ban them from wearing the offending articles for at least a year.

In the afternoon we take a stroll around the Racquet Club Estate, where we’re living. It overlooks a golf course. I think. All covered in snow. It’s gorgeous, blue skies and fresh snow everywhere. Call in at the Gym, it’s only 5 minutes walk away from home. Every facility you can imagine and just what you need in case you don’t get enough exercise on the mountain. Looks like I can go to free – my sort of word – Yoga classes every Friday in February. And tomorrow afternoon I can go to a free fencing – of the foil, epee and sabre variety – class. How neat is that? 

 

20140127 – Powder at last; 9″ is more than enough; Book review “The Quran”; Start on the Black Diamonds

Monday – almost a Bluebird day but we have a few clouds and its frost bite cold, enough to freeze the balls off a pool table. Fortunately have my new ski jacket and pants which keep me warmer than two hampsters farting in a wool sock.

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Slopes are empty today. 

Leisurely start to the day. Cram in a great moorings skiing. Moving up a notch this week. Start on the Black Diamonds. Some serious underwear stains possible. Sadly only one groomed overnight, Combustion, short and steep. Come on PCMR you need to do better than this.

It so cold that my nose thinks it’s a tap, it’s running faster than I can eat it! Yuk.

Isn’t nature weird. There’s a Husky tied up that has a choice of sleeping on concrete huddled up against a brick wall against the wind or sleep on the open ice on the skating ring. So where does it sleep? On the ice of all places, so it’s either an innate trait or he’s more retarded than two Spaniels trying to retrieve one stick. 

Reasons not to ride the lift with scum boarders: they speak a language no one outside their close knit fraternity can comprehend; every sentence ends in dude, at least you know where the full stops are; they gob all over the slope; if they’re wearing Skull Candy then they wave their arms around like an Orangatang with saint vitus dance; spend too much time adjusting their underwear so that it’s on display to all; the way they walk and dress, with waist bands around their knees you seriously fear they’ve shit themselves and it’s going to be one stinking ride. 

More PC terminology for the liberals and progressives (liberal gone bad)”

Man-hole – maintenance hole

Mankind – humankind, HuMAN, PerSON, Earth Children

Mercy Killing – Euthanasia, Putting Down, To Sleep, Out of Misery

Messy – differently organized

More lunacy from the religion of peace:

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Three polio workers have been killed in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, a day after authorities began a new vaccination drive, officials say. Reports say gunmen opened fire killing one man and two women administering polio drops. The attack is the latest in a series targeting polio teams in the country.

No group has claimed responsibility, but the muslim extremists of the Taliban oppose the polio schemes, which they claim to be a cover for international espionage.

Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio remains endemic and is indeed on the rise, due in part to this militant resistance to polio mass vaccination campaigns.

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New rule: No foreign aid to Pakistan, or any other country for that matter.

New rule: No immigrants from Pakistan allowed into the UK, even if they do have a child bride or family in the UK. We don’t want polio or TB kicking off again.

Tuesday – yet another bluebird day, that’s 14 in a row, and not as cold as yesterday.

Slopes are empty.

Black Diamond start to the day. Combustion again short, steep and a tad icy. Survive yet again without chewing on ice.

Snow promised for tomorrow. This mountain needs feeding. Can’t wait. Please, please, pretty please let it snow big style.

Wendy’s off to the outlet stores. Hope she remembers the want / need credo. 

Nearly had squirrel for tea. Just missed him with my skis by 6”, perhaps next time.

Get back home just after lunch and sit in front of our patio doors with the sun streaming through, coffee, Internet of course, Kindle. Lovely and warm with mountain views.

Meter Maid – Parking enforcer

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Midget / Dwarf – Little People, Vertically Challenged

Mute/Dumb – verbally challenged

Normal – non-disabled

Not with somebody at the moment – romantically challenged

Book review – the Quran. Now with all my rants and raves about the religion of peace I thought it was about time to read Quran, to try and see what it’s all about. Well, I’ve finished it and here’s my book review. No I’m not converting, I’m speechless:

There’s no way this will win a Nobel prize, a Booker prize or even an Orange award for an under 10’s fairy tale. It’s the incoherent rants and ravings of someone who, if tried to publish it in this day and age would be condemned to a psychiatric ward. I wouldn’t even give it one star and certainly would’t recommend it to anyone. I’d rather be condemned to repeatedly reading “Last of the Mohicans” and “Moby Dick” for all eternity. If you don’t like my free speech opinion and book review then tough, don’t read any more, remove me from Facebook, purge my blogs URL and rat me out to the Muslim Council of GB or CAIR, but certainly don’t try and read this raving fairy tale.

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Contradictions; incoherent ravings; almost incomprehensible; piecemeal; repetition, repetition, repetition;  confusion; damnation; woe betide you on judgement / resurrection day if you’re not a muslim; hellfire for non-muslims, aethists and pastafarians.

This is the word of a god! How come a supreme being is not capable of expressing himself clearly for all time? Requiring no interpretation, nor more scholars than Muslim fundamentalist at a stoning, to corrupt the message. Look at the clarity, simplicity and elegance of the ten commandments or the simple philosophy of “do unto others as you would have done unto you”. This fairy tale has none of that. Yes there are passages of mercy, love and kindness, but there’s more obsession with hatred for non-believers.

Judging by the amount of repetition I can only assume that mohammed got paid by the word count. 

Believers and goodie two shoes go up to paradise full of fruit and virgins etc., etc., and the rest suffer a painful punishment in this life and go down to hell fire.

Directives, topics, diatribes, incomplete accounts of Old Testament stories appear randomly with very little stream-of-thought consistency.  Themes are disjointed and shifting, something that would not be expected of a perfect book of instruction.

Far from teaching universal love, the Quran incessantly preaches moral superiority of IMG 2249muslims and the inferiority of non-Muslims (who are but fuel for the fires of hell), even comparing them to vile animals and gloating over Allah’s hatred of them and his dark plans for their eternal torture. Naturally, the harsh treatment of non-believers by Muslims is encouraged as well. The Quran with boring repetition distinguishes between believers and unbelievers (61% of the book is about non-Muslims), drawing a sharp distinction in the value of each group and laying the foundation for discrimination and dehumanisation of non-believers. 

Allah condemns non-Muslims to Hell based merely on their unbelief, while believers are rewarded with the finest earthly comforts in the hereafter, including never-ending food, wine and sex. Sounds good to me, but what if he welshes on the deal, can you really trust a deity who can’t write a simple instruction manual for life.

Not content with merely preventing unbelievers from knowing the truth (which is enough to condemn them to Hell) the Quran says that Allah also causes unbelievers to commit the very sin that he will later punish them for. How neat and spiteful is that.

I think it’s fair to say that the Quran meets every criterion by which we define hate speech.  Not only does the message inspire loathing and disregard for others, but the text mandates the superiority of Islam, even if the means of establishment is by violent force. 

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So far I think I’ll stick with the gospel of the flying spaghetti monster (FSM). Much more readable, structured, logical, no hatred and makes much more sense. Although I do think perfect powder skiing should be added to the beer volcanoes and stripper factories of FSM heaven. Next up, time to finally read the bible and a biography of the Life of Mohamed. 

Wednesday – snow and must be Belthorn, rain.

Wot no overnight snow. You promised snow. I’m up at 07:00 to check snow report and get geared up for some fresh powder. Look out the window and what do I see? Nothing, nada, not even a skerrick of snow, not one single snowflake. Snow reports the same. All that bloody technology, all them petra bytes, all them petra flops, all the best brains and you can’t even keep your promise. In future I’ll stick with haruspicy and read some liver entrails from the local supermarket.

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Have a few hours but flee the mountain in tears when the snow, yes it finally manages a smidgen, turns to rain.

Afternoon in sulking and reading.

Wendy’s doing the Florence Nightingale thing and volunteering in the hospital today. She’s happier than a zombie in a nursing home.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” George Washington.

Freedom of speech under attack again, buy guess who? So what’s to dislike about a few cartoons?

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Some Lib Dem geezer has managed to stir up a shit load of rhetoric, blasphemy claims, attempts to limit free speech, hatred, toys out of prams, threats and violence because of some cartoons depicting mohammed. Yet, now I’m such an authority on the Quran I can say that nowhere in there does it ban images of Mo. In fact in Shia wing of the religion muslim images are quite common. So why all the man made fuss about it.? But thankfully they’ve shot themselves in the tea towel yet again, as this has promoted a great cartoon site I certainly wasn’t aware of called Jesus and Mo. The idea of the site is a simple one: the two religious figureheads J Christ and Mohammed share a house and discuss matters of religious philosophy, often in arguments with a wise atheist barmaid at their local. It’s well worth a look.

So yet again freedom of speech and expression is under threat from a small minority of religious fruit cakes from the religion of peace. Why do we need blasphemy laws? Surely a supreme being / god / flying spaghetti monster is capable of defending his or her own honour.

Anyway to defend free speech, before it’s too late, and to help these fundamentalist News maajid tweetfruitcakes with their severe mental health problems here’s my desensitising therapy. A copy of the cartoon and a link to a really funny website Jesus and Mo – enjoy. I certainly will.

Thursday – snow.

Powder alert received early morning. I’m happier than a nerd with a Raspberry Pi. Up on the slopes for 09:00. 9” of beautiful virgin white powder and most of it’s not been tamped down. It looks like a white out though, so take the cautious route and go for the easier runs. Jonesys awesome. 9” of virgin powder is more than enough. Sadly right ski seems to suddenly go slower than left ski, next effect is gravity takes over and I’m left chomping on fresh powder.

90 minutes of this powder and I’m cream crackered. Assessment is an easy Blue, usually takes about a minute to ski down. Not today, it’s a good 5 minutes worth. For the first time I even get a sweat on. Certainly changes the dynamics of skiing and makes you work IMG 2106 arder, mind you 6” of powder on top of your skis as well as trying to turn through 9” of powder, stretches them thighs. Awesome, this is what it’s all about. Praying for more snow. Have a well deserved coffee and then a few more runs.

Met Wendy for lunch at Payday Lodge, made an exception and had their Bison Chilli. Awesome.

Leisurely afternoon reading and watching the snow come down.

Then for tea we do the French thing and have bread and cheese. With a little wine. Sadly American cheeses all seem to be made of lightweight plastic, a mix between brightly coloured plasticine,  and putty, even their so called “Foreign Cheeses”

This is the life. Living The Dream.