Monthly Archives: January 2015

20150121 – Finally A Ski Lesson, After 47 Years


Wednesday – bitterly cold and sunny.


What a fantastic day. I now have 47 hints and tips to work on to improve my skiing. Mainly spread my legs apart (not the sort of advice you give to a daughter) and lean into my boots, weight forward and lean into the fear. And best of all it was all free.

Things Republicans Believe:

Wendy at the bus stop, all excited for her first days skiing.

Wendy at the bus stop, all excited for her first days skiing.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.

“Standing Tall for America” means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.


Thursday – cold and sunny.


IMG_2145I know I skied today, and fell asleep through most of the evenings TV, after a few glasses of wine, but thats about all I can remember.

Oh that was it a lazy start. Up on Temptation for 11:00. Practised all my 47 hints and tips to fix me bad habits. Really difficult keeping legs further apart and leaning forward and into my boots is tormenting some new muscles.

Back home for 15:00. Plumber turns up to fix the heating. As suspected it was a dirty filter stopping the warm air flow and also causing the boiler to overheat (pity it didn’t share any of those excess therms with us) and cut out. Anyway all fixed and now Wendy can fry.

More things Republicans believe:

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.

Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle ourlong-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.


Friday – cold and sunny.


Beautiful sun and snow shot.

Beautiful sun and snow shot.

It’s the start of Sundance Film Festival fortnight. Two weeks of mayhem and chaos with the pretty film people parading around, high heels, “fur coats and no knickers” as we say.

Yeah, they’re going to let me go up with the big boys as a mountain host, rather than just a plaza host, so I did a great mornings training with Todd. Most of it’s fairly straight forward, until you come to having to deal with the radio, but at least I can do a 10-4. Your day as a mountain host starts at 08:00 with briefing and assignments; then onto plaza or meeting points from 08:30 to 10:00 to meet, greet and dish out maps and information; then back to lockers to get kitted up; up onto the mountain to our assigned map, where we answer questions and direct skiers and even snowboarders around the mountain.

Nearly skiwered. Poor thing ran out in front of me, saw me coming. He panicked, didn't know which way to turn, dashed left, then dashed right, then left again. Just missed him.

Nearly skiwered. Poor thing ran out in front of me, saw me coming. He panicked, didn’t know which way to turn, dashed left, then dashed right, then left again. Just missed him.

Good news is there’s 3 of us assigned to each map, so at any one time there’s someone at the map and someone out skiing. You’re encouraged to take guests on single ski tours. Then there’s breaks for caffeine and lunch. So not all bad and we should get to meet plenty of people and get in some skiing, in between dealing with code Greens (separated children, they’re not lost merely separated) and code 10-50 (accidents, where we summon up mountain patrol, the cavalry, and try and keep the injured guest calm).

After an eventful morning with Todd, meet up with Wendy for her lunch and my dirty chai with two extra shots. Looking forward to my first full day on the mountain

Drop skis and uniform off in our locker and then off to supermarket to lug some essential supplies home.

More things Republicans believe:

HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can’t find Bin Laden” diversion.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Park City sunset.

Park City sunset.

I encounter my first Sundance bubble head at the bus stop. Conversation goes something like this:

Bubble Headed (BH) young woman – “Does this bus go to Sundance?”.
Me – “Well into goes to Fresh market, ski mountain, main street and then Deer Valley. Where do you want to get to?”
BH – “I’m not sure. I think it’s called something theatre.”
Me – “Well there’s the Egyptian Theatre, etc., etc., PC MARC>”
BH – She’s frantically searching her Android for a glimmer of hope as to where to go. “Yes, I think it may be the MARC.”
Me – “Well whatever you do then don’t catch this bus, just walk 50 yards back down this road to the PC MARC.”
BH – “Before I set off my APP said catch a bus. But I don’t know where to?” She’s still frantically scrolling down her phone hoping for inspiration. “Oh I think it must be Sundance headquarters. I’ve got to meet my publicist.”
Me – Abandon hope and let the bus driver deal with her.
BH – gets on the bus and enters a lengthy discussion with the very patient bus driver. Most of the skiers on the bus would be ready to fall about laughing, if it wasn’t for the fact that this is delaying them getting onto the mountain.

Never mind we’ve two weeks of this, but the good news is most of the Sundance Pretty People don’t ski so it should be quiet on the mountain.


Saturday – cold and sunny.


Deer Valley skiing. Perfect corduroy, luxury lodges and  well heeled skiers.

Deer Valley skiing. Perfect corduroy, luxury lodges and well heeled skiers.

On the slopes with the lazy holiday brigade at 10:00. A few runs; coffee; a few runs. Work on keeping my legs apart (not good advice to any daughters); leaning forward, into my boots; holding poles forward – this one makes me feel, and probably look, like a complete plonker.

Follow up with a Starbucks Clover moment and meet Wendy who’s been down to the outlet stores for some retail therapy. It’d be cheaper if she’d ski.

More things Republicans believe:

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary’s cattle trades, but George Bush’s driving record is none of our business.

You support states’ rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ’80s is irrelevant.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

Todays Sundance Bubblehead award goes to the young guy on the bus, who probably wet himself with excitement, as he shouted out “wow there’s that director (name I’d never heard of, but that’s no surprise), his girlfriend tried to dash to the window and wave to her.


Sunday – hot and sunny.


Deer Valley selfie (what a sad doing one of them) by the fire.

Deer Valley selfie (what a sad doing one of them) by the fire.

Up at 06:00 to catch the 07:30 workers bus; followed by 08:00 Mountain host briefing; 08:30 to 09:45 down at First Time ticket office dolling out advice and grooming reports; then get geared up; 10:30 on the map at top of Silverload until 15:30; slow ski patrol rotation until 16:15; followed by final ski down and help any stragglers.

Quite a good day. Awesome weather. You get to meet and chat to lots of different people, even snowboarders. Get plenty of ski runs in through the day. Even get to take guest on single run ski tours. Pretty good day.

On final run down thought I’d finally got the excitement of a 10-50 (accident) to be called into the ski patrol. Snowboarder was splayed out, but she wouldn’t stay down, managed to struggle to he feet, so didn’t get the excitement of a radio 10-50 call.

More things Republicans believe:

67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist.

The belief that Obama is a “domestic enemy” is widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come.

57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim.

45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”.

38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”. Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”

Sundance Bubblehead Award goes to the young woman who thrust her iPhone in front of the driver, whilst he was driving of course, and asked to be taken there. Poor guy reminded her he was driving and it was difficult to drive and read – much too polite.


Monday – hot and sunny.


Awesome bluebird day. It’s just like spring skiing. Too hot. A cruelty to snow day. Use our weekly free Deer Valley pass.

Good mornings skiing with Wendy. Did well on her first day. She got 5 runs in and as always she is so much in control, I wish I could be so controlled in my skiing. Amazing how you never forget, just like riding a bike.

Late lunch at Snowpack lodge, except that there’s nothing that Wendy fancies, so it’s just a coffee and home.

More things Republicans believe:

Finally don’t you just love the “Right to lifers”. Against abortion.


But, but they’re ok with the death penalty; nuclear weapons; war and weapons.

Of course they’re against any form of gun control.

Next week it’s the turn of the Democrats.

Mayhem and chaos reigns in town. No wonder the buses are all running late during Sundance, they add extra bus stops to save the poor wee Sundance Bubbleheads from having to walk an extra 20 yards to the normal bus stop.


Tuesday – warm and sunny.


Wendy's first day out. Note the lack of scumboarders.

Wendy’s first day out. Note the lack of scumboarders.

Have a lazy start. Another too warm day, not doing the snow any good. Get my 10 runs in, then it’s back home to help out with a trip to the supermarket and better still the liquor store.

In the evening Rick and Lynda come round for dinner, we have a pleasant evening catching up and helping the American wine industry.

Please Chione, bless us with some snow tonight. Hopefully a little more than the half inch forecast.

This town must really think that these Sundance bubble heads have an IQ lower than their shoe size. It seems it needs two lolly pop ladies to help them cross the road without getting run over – do they not realise they’re interfering with natural selection.

20150114 – Skiing at Last; Obituary For Common Sense


Wednesday – sunny at the top and cold.


At last our free season ski pass. Awesome.

At last our free season ski pass. Awesome.

At last I have my free season ski pass so can get out on the mountain for 09:00. Sadly Eagle lift is out of operation so no quick way to the top, but hey it’s just awesome to be back and they’ve 20″ fresh snow over the past few days.

By 10:30 I’ ready for my usual coffee break by the log fire in the Snow Hut. Sadly the fires not yet lit, but this mornings entertainment is watching an imbecile try to light a fire. 1st chop wood with an axe the size of a Swiss Army knife – an abject failure. Next pile wood in fireplace and the put paper on top. Light paper, scratch head, pick nose as he wonders why it goes out. Now he’s burnt himself.

Back out skiing and get my 10 runs in before lunch.

After lunch go down to the Outlets centre and manage to get a five mile walk in.

In the evening fall asleep watching Broadchurch. Nothing at all to do with the wine, it’s all down to all that fresh air and exercise.

The government is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on overseas aid, an essentially arbitrary figure that means the aid budget rises as the economy grows. In trying to meet this target, civil servants are spending vast sums of public money with no assurance of serving either the world’s poorest people or the interests of taxpayers.

They, the loony politicians, should be tarred and feathered for such lunacy. Money to countries with rampant corruption; nuclear weapons programmes; space programmes; support of terrorists; blatant attacks on our way of life. Charity begins at home. To add insult to stupidity its money we don’t even have.


Thursday – cool and sunny.


Now I'm 65 I get a free ski pass for the White Pines cross country course. How wonderful is that. One of the few benefits of retirement.

Now I’m 65 I get a free ski pass for the White Pines cross country course. How wonderful is that. One of the few benefits of retirement.

In the morning have a Classic Cross Country ski lesson booked with the Park City Mountain Sports Club up at White Pines. Get a 1 hour lesson and then do the 3Km loop. Unlike Skate this is a tad less strenuous and I survive without feeling wetter than a water hogs back side and feeling powfagged.

Meet Wendy for a Starbucks.

States we have visited so far:


Friday – cool and sunny.


Meet up with Heidi (she bought the place we stayed at last year) at 10:00 for a mornings skiing.

Then we meet up with Wendy for lunch.

You know you’re a local when the bus drivers know your name and give you a hug. For the avoidance of any doubt, and not to tarnish Victors reputation, the hugging bit is confined to Wendy.

Park City – the best bus service ever – and it’s free.


Saturday – warm and sunny.


Waiting for the bus.

Waiting for the bus.

Wendy’s doing her first full day as a Plaza Host so she’s out on the 07:30 bus for the 08:00 Host meeting and then has a full day on the Plaza and in rentals.

I’ve managed to swop my first duty so I can do the Mountain Guide Training session with the National Ability Centre (NAC). Spend most of the day in a classroom, but manage an hour on the slopes when we’re put through our paces and checked out that we can really ski. Part of it means giving up your ski poles and skiing without them. Then at the end of the day there’s a short, easy test and hey presto your qualified to take disabled skiers, who are capable of skiing independently, on a mountain tour. Should be fun. The NAC does an awesome job with disabled skiers and even snow boarders of all ability. It’s a credit to them and totally appropriate that they are called the National “Ability” Centre.

I’ll still be doing some volunteering, as I did last year, assisting an instructor.

On a good day you may see Wendy or even me on the plaza being helpful and nice to people, even snowboarders:


Sunday – cold and sunny.


Wendy’s working on the plaza again today.

Lunch with the worker (Wendy). Managed to slip another 5 runs in. Awesome day. This truly is paradise.

Then had a walk into town to Chubasco to pick up a Burrito for me tea. My favourite.


Monday – cold and sunny.


Snow outside our condo.

Snow outside our condo.

Just another ski day. Start at Eagle as usual. Thankfully it’s started running.


Tuesday – cold and sunny.


Up at Eagle lift for 09:00 for an early start. Snow is still pretty good.

Met the Park City Mountain Sports ski group at 10:45 and skied with them until margarita time in the Baja Cantina. Wendy came up and joined us. Violated my first law and had my first margarita – probably my last.

As if I would!

As if I would!

An Obituary printed in the London Times:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Hmmm... Some of the Black Diamonds remind me of this. My nemesis this season is going to be Erika's Gold and Blue Slip bowl.

Hmmm… Some of the Black Diamonds remind me of this. My nemesis this season is going to be Erika’s Gold and Blue Slip bowl.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
– I Know My Rights
– I Want It Now
– Someone Else Is To Blame
– I’m A Victim
– Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

20150701 – Escape To Our Home In Paradise


Wednesday – grey and miserable.


We're on our way. Wendy just has a we snifter to wash her tablets down.

We’re on our way. Wendy just has a we snifter to wash her tablets down.

Well we finally get to escape again. Back “home”, paradise, Park City, for 3 months skiing. My only proper holiday.

I’m not going to say much about the journey. Just fairly typical, 24 hours of misery. Complete with the usual crap from the TSA brigade. However one amazing event, we got through immigration pretty quickly, in fact so quick we then had to wait for our luggage. Wow that’s first. But then the TSA made up for it with their inordinately long queue to screen us yet again even though we’d been done in Manchester and remained airside all that time. Riddle me that!

Our home for the next 3 months - lounge.

Our home for the next 3 months – lounge.

As this is our 11th year in Park City I think this blog is going to be a tad sparse on photos. It’s mainly a reminder for us of what we did, ready for our dotage. However, rants and corny jokes will not be sacrificed. There’s still plenty of lunacy in the World. Another change is that I will only publish once a week.

Just love airline food hot chicken and cheese roll. Cheese is so hot, it’s like napalm on the tongue.


Thursday – too warm (50F) and sunny.


Lounge - and yes we do have a TV.

Lounge – and yes we do have a TV.

It’s like a glorious spring day here. Too warm for a ski resort in January. Snows a bit sparse so we can ill afford it to be melting. There’s only a 44″ base and they’ve had 73″ snow so far this year.

Up at crack of sparrows. Lavish American breakfast at Squatters. Unpack and sort out. Pick up a free Dirty Chai (scanner is kaput) at Starbucks and Earl Grey for Wendy. Then off for some excitement down at Costco followed by an adrenaline top up at Fresh Market. I manage to escape to Starbucks. Nip around to Carols for afternoon tea and pick up our ski clothes and importantly our ski boots. Our bikes and skis were waiting for us in our garage.

Dinning room and kitchen.

Dinning room and kitchen.

Sadly we don’t receive our winter hosting training until Tuesday, so will have to wait until then for our free season pass.


Friday – warm and sunny again.


I drove up to the plaza. Checked in at the National Ability Centre for volunteering and had a pleasant Dirty Chai. I blame that Eva for introducing me to them.

After lunch we finish off some minor shopping.

Main bedroom, complete with log fire and balcony.

Main bedroom, complete with log fire and balcony.

In the evening drop the Hertz mobile off. I go down to the Spur Bar to meet up with the Park City Mountain Sports club and hopefully join. First encounter really worries me. Ask two actual members, if they can point out group leader. They don’t seem to realise they are members of PCMSC, but just think it’s an old folks club. Average age does seem to be mid 50’s. Are they all senile and in their dotage like these two who look like the two old geezers from the Muppet show. Should I really be joining. I’m too young!

View from 2nd bedroom over the tennis courts, with mountains in the background.

View from 2nd bedroom over the tennis courts, with mountains in the background.

$25 to join and they have lots of ski trips, training and social evenings which sensibly seem to revolve around bars, plenty of Apres Ski and Margaritas. Give it a go.

Now this is something we do need to take seriously.

2nd bedroom with very sunny balcony.

2nd bedroom with very sunny balcony.

Professor Hawking warned in December that the development of advanced artificial intelligence “could spell the end of the human race”. 100’s of eminent scientists have signed a letter, warning governments that artificial intelligence was “potentially more dangerous than nukes”.

The singularity (when AI exceeds human intelligence) is predicted to be 2029. From then on the machines will be capable of taking over.


Saturday – cold and cloudy. Snow forecast overnight.


As I don’t have my free ski pass I go on the PCMS Club Cross Country Skate skiing course. Real good value. The savings recover the cost of my annual membership.

Wendy’s still not so good. Suffering with catarrh, so she has a restful day in.


Sunday – grey and cloudy.


Christmas lights on a house at the top of our drive. Puts the Griswolds to shame. They must have their own nuclear power station. Awesome.

Christmas lights on a house at the top of our drive. Puts the Griswolds to shame. They must have their own nuclear power station. Awesome.

A measly inch of snow overnight, but all great fully received.

Lazy day in as there’s no NAC requirements. By mid afternoon I’ve completed Einsteins Autobiography – a tad disappointing – made a start on 1776 and am ready to climb the walls. Go to a Yoga session at the gym, it’s just 5 minutes away.

At the bus stop, just 3 minutes away and free transport.

At the bus stop, just 3 minutes away and free transport.

You never see any blobbies doing Yoga, they’re always lithe young things that can bend like pretzels, balanced on one leg. It’s quite an intense session, half of the positions I’ve never done. Quite difficult as I’m skulking on the back row so can hardly hear the complex instructions and my glasses keep falling off so can hardly see. To make matters worse it’s a 90 minute session. Cream crackered by the end of it.

As the Charlie Hebdo massacre settles down in the news I see it’s time for the loony liberal do gooders to slither out of their ivory towers with their usual rhetoric and blame. Yes, it’s nothing to do with fundamentalist islamic nutters. Oh no, as the sound of gunfire fades in France, a nation that cherishes equality must ponder the gap between its ideals and reality. It’s all the French governments fault apparently


Monday – snows all day, thank Chione.


Lazy morning. Then in the afternoon we can’t resist going out in the snow to do some none essential shopping.

Waiting for the bus. 20" new snow and multiple rainbows.

Waiting for the bus. 20″ new snow and multiple rainbows.

I see that media is now blaming “US PENSIONERS” for the crisis in social care and the NHS. Of course it’s nothing what soever to do with a new NHS helpline and GP’s no longer having to provide out of hours cover. Obviously not enough of “us pensioners” are swanning around on cruises. Perhaps the government should provide long term cruises on the NHS, to relieve the pressure on the NHS and social services.


Tuesday – cold (what do you expect it’s a ski resort) and sunny.


Training day. Up to PCMR to receive our mountain host training. Most of it’s quite simple until it comes to the radio’s, complete with 10-20, 10-17 code green resolved, 10-blue, but at least I finally get to say 10-4. This is going to take some getting used to. Get our ski uniform, hats, inner jacket, outer jacket and trousers all by Helly Hensen – quality gear – mind you we’ll need it out there in a howling blizzard. Best of all we each get our free season ski pass (that’s saved us $800 each), on top of which we get a free pass each week for Deer Valley and one for Brighton; 50% off food and drinks; best of all free ski lessons; some discounted guest passes.