Tag Archives: Mountain bike

20140713 – Cultural overdose; 1812 Overture; Mountain Bike clinics; Mirror Lake in the Unita’s

Sunday – very hot and sunny.

 

Park City from Lost Prospector trail on Masonic Hill. Found the trail at last.

Park City from Lost Prospector trail on Masonic Hill. Found the trail at last.

Up early to get up to Deer valley for the free guided tour. Sadly our free bus service expert, she shall remain nameless, screwed up on the timetable and didn’t notice the Deer valley service didn’t start until 10:00.

Never mind in typical experienced mother fashion she managed to misdirect and pacify a disappointed child by offer me an alternative. I just love the way Mothers do that with kids, divert them with a slight of hand. Always seems a little deceitful to me, but hey ho it works. Rather than my approach of dealing directly with confrontation and the resulting tantrums.

Anyway we finally get to find the Lost Prospector trail on Masonic hill. We’ve tried snowshoeing it in winter but could never find it. Probably because it’s covered in snow. A very pleasant walk with stunning view over Park City.

Visited Deer valley to book concerts, MTB course and have lunch and coffee. Place is more deserted than a Christian revivalist meeting in the

Deer Valley ponds and mountains from the cafe deck.

Deer Valley ponds and mountains from the cafe deck.

middle of Tehran. But in true American / Ford principle there’s a cast of 8 people sat around doing nothing and to add insult to customer service concert tickets have to be purchased upstairs.

Booked for the 1812 and the Disney concert.

Sat in sumptuous settees, sorry sofas, having coffee with great mountain views and watch the Stand up paddle boarders. Seems very popular, but I fail to comprehend why. Looks more boring than cricket or even watching footballers bite chunks out of one another in the World Cup. Need to try it I suppose.

Don’t you just love scroty behaviour, if it’s not yobo’s with feet on bus seats, it’s Dads with there feet on cafe tables – probably a footballer setting a great example to his kids. Better not say anything, he may bite or shoot me.

 

All the fun of the fair and FREE.

All the fun of the fair and FREE.

I see our local rag has picked up on yet more nonsense from the religion of peace, harmony, understanding and common sense. TV programme Dispatches reports on Muslims trying to take over our schools with teaching assistants talking in the staff room at the Olive School, Blackburn. Saying clapping and whistling are un-Islamic and ‘Satanic’; music in school should be banned as non-Muslim; the wearing of ties is forbidden in Islam as they could turn into serpents on the ‘Day of Judgement’; Gay people should be ‘stoned to death’. I can certainly relate to the “music and even dancing” issue as a chair of governor we had several attempts to ban these activities. What planet do these people live on. What amazes me is the brass balls to expect us to change to suit their barbaric ways. Simple. If you don’t like it go somewhere where these things are banned, there are plenty of barbaric places in the world that will accommodate your 7th century views.

Am I surprised? No. What really beggars belief is that we tolerate this 7th century barbaric nonsense in our schools and society.

Since the programme OFSTED did an unannounced inspection. Surprise, surprise they saw clapping and singing. Am I surprised? If the head of the school didn’t realise, after that programme, that there would be a snap inspection, then he should have been shipped out on the first plane to Taliban land. No doubt the kids were all lined up singing a song of welcome to the OFSTED inspectors, clapping them in and of course all wearing ties. Are OFSTED really taken in that easily.

It’s simple let’s get religion out of schools. They should all be secular. While we’re at it let’s get government meddling out of schools.

Angela squeals down the Alpine slide.

Angela squeals down the Alpine slide.

They’re not a political points scoring football or a test bed for the latest fad. Let’s have an independent organisation with clearly defined objectives, like the Bank of England, to stop this constant change in schools.

Lazy afternoon.

Monday – very hot and sunny again.

 

After all that exertion I have a lazy afternoon to recover. Meanwhile Wendy’s had a day in doing houseworky type things. It’s too hot in the afternoon to even sit out on the deck. We were going to go to the free chamber music concert in the park but back out. Wendy’s not too keen and it’s so hot. Perhaps next Monday evening.

Wow it’s that hot in the evening that we watch TV out on the deck.

Why do we need blasphemy laws? Surely a supreme being / god is capable of defending his or her own honour.

 

Tuesday – very hot and sunny again.

 

Angela shows me up with climbing skills and lack of fear.

Angela shows me up with climbing skills and lack of fear.

You’d think that yesterday being a 2,200 foot ride downhill it would be easy. Wrong! Exhausting and 85F didn’t help. Feeling the pain / gain this morning with muscles that haven’t seen action since the day I was born.

For the first time in ages we get the chance to have a lie in. Off up the to the mountain with Carol and Angela with some free ride tickets. Manage the Alpine slide; Alpine coaster; crazy golf can be a tad tortuous with a 5 year old; Angela loves the big slide and climbing wall, especially coming down. Then Wendy and I do the zip rider for good measure. A great day out and all free. By 16:00 we get home and its 90F out there.

Still living the dream. Every day is just epic. Great weather and so many things to do. Just no time to even sit around and read.

Watched Captain Philips DVD – just £0.72 a night from Red box, isn’t that just awesome.

Now I’m assuming for one moment that this film is reasonably accurate and has some degree of authenticity. I therefore find it incredulous

The latest is airline seat proposals from Airbus. Even cattle and sheep get more space in transit by law!

The latest is airline seat proposals from Airbus. Even cattle and sheep get more space in transit by law!

that here in the land of the sacred 2nd amendment; the NRA and all it’s propaganda; kids being slaughtered; proposals for armed teachers; little old ladies wandering around with with an AR15’s in their handbags, their right to protect themselves. Yet a massive American container ship on the high seas, in known piracy waters, and the only protection they have is water pistols (hoses). Not a gun, rocket launcher, missile or any sensible form of protection to be seen. A situation where even a half brained spaniel would see the merit in “bearing arms”. Goldfish for jam jars.

So a bunch of 3rd world rag heads, in a ram shackled boat that is on it’s last legs, take over a giant American container ship.

Putting that lunacy aside it’s a great film.

Wednesday – very hot and sunny again.

 

A typical living the dream sort of day. Up and out for a walk first thing. Back home for coffee. A bike ride into town. After lunch it’s a 5 minute stroll round to the PC MARC gym for a 1 hour yoga session. Then of course it’s time for afternoon tea. In the evening we catch the bus to the FREE – love that word – concert at Deer Valley. Perfect end to a perfect day.

Thursday – very hot and sunny again.

 

Wendy on picnic at Deer Valley concert, complete with coke bottle and a potent slug of Bacardi already in it.

Wendy on picnic at Deer Valley concert, complete with coke bottle and a potent slug of Bacardi already in it.

Wendy’s doing her Florence Nightingale stint.

I’m off on a mountain bike ride around Round Valley. Then it’s a coffee and breather stop in the hospital restaurant, followed by another ride. On tarmac this time. Finally down to the NAC for my archery volunteers duty. It’s all a bit shambolic. Most of the kids are not physically disabled but just have mental health issues (is that a PC correct term – who knows these days). Tuition seems to be minimal, just let them shoot arrows and enjoy.

Yoga class at local gym with  soothing mountain views.

Yoga class at local gym with soothing mountain views.

I spot one youngster who’s not even loading his arrows correctly. Most are flying off in all directions. Help put him right. Their targets are pretty shot up and yet the backside of their targets are still ok. Suggest they get some paint to paint and use the back of the targets.

Next week I’m promoted to instructor.

Now I know it’s a thing in the American psyche that they all seem to think the current president is a total numbskull, no matter what their political allegiance and even if they voted for him. Usually you’re made aware of this within the average ski lift ride of meeting them for the first time – 10 minutes. Today however sets an all time record.

I'm That hungry I'll eat anything, even these crisps.

I’m That hungry I’ll eat anything, even these crisps.

Stranger lady “Where about’s are you from?”.

Me “England”.

Strange lady “Oh the problem with you English is you all think Obamas marvellous, YET HE’S RUINING THIS COUNTRY”.

An all time record just 10 seconds. Just the second sentence. She’s never met me before and a rip roaring tourette tirade about that nasty Mr Obama proceeds. I decide not to stoke the raging torrent by mentioning how pleased I am to see Obama care, how good I thought his State of the Union address was (if he only delivers 25% it’ll be marvellous) and how good our National Health service is.

Now at risk of loosing any chance of a green card; of the NSA passing my details onto the NRA; deportation; the NRA getting a petition up for my deportation I have included some Piers Morgan Youtubes.

The first is Piers Morgan Debate with Alex Jones on Gun Laws, 2nd Amendment and his petition for the deportation of Piers Morgan.

If ever there was an argument for a total gun ban, it’s allowing people like this fruitcake to have a water pistol never mind a gun – he has 55. Utter claptrap. Non stop tangential random drivel. Oh and just for good measure he also believes the Bush administration was in a conspiracy behind 9/11.

Alex Jones then goes on his radio programme – yes he has a popular radio chat show (really worrying) – to claim he was to be KILLED after the interview.

Piers Morgan’s goodbye video. Yes the NRA finally get shut of him.

As the 2nd’s so sacrosanct to the “American Psyche” I’ve come up with some possible solutions:

1st – scratch / rub out the letter “e” in the original document and change “bear arms” to “bare arms”.

God bless the 2nd. I keep tooled up with this little gem in my purse to protect me from rapists and muggers

God bless the 2nd. I keep tooled up with this little gem in my purse to protect me from rapists and muggers

2nd – a 28th Amendment prohibition of sale of ammunition to the public. Simples. Gun owners could have strict access to ammunition at a regulated firing range and could continue to oil and polish their guns each week. They could continue with their concealed weapons permits and in the event of an attack throw their gun at the attacker.

Mirror Lake in the Unitas.

Mirror Lake in the Unitas.

3rd – just add 5 words to the 2nd amendment as suggested by John Paul Stevens – served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

My question to supporters of the 2nd is this “Is the freedom under the 2nd amendment worth the death of you or one of your children?”.

Friday – very hot and sunny again.

 

Yet another cracking day living the dream. Up early and out at 10 with Carol, Hal, Marie (Carols sister) and Eric, and of course Angela. I’m DSC04766driving Hals off the road Toyota beast, may come in hand for the Unita’s. Carol, Marie and Eric are in the car with little miss chatter box.

Drive to Mirror Lake for a picnic and leisurely stroll around the lake.

Great day out. Good food and company. Awesome scenery.

Then we’re back in and have a 20 minute quick change act as we get ready to go to the Deer Valley open air concert. Never a dull moment.

Ever wonder whats in store for us from the bearded ones and the so called religion of peace? Well wake up and smell the coffee, this is where we’re headed if we don’t start to get a grip of the multicultural PC lunacy that pervades our country. People need to stand up and speak out.

A woman accused of adultery was stoned to death in first the “execution” of its kind by the Islamic State, human rights campaigners said
Cannons ready for 1812.

Cannons ready for 1812.

yesterday.

The Islamic State running Mosul had already demanded that those Christians still in the city convert, pay a special tax or leave but messages blaring on mosques’ loudspeakers appeared to spark an exodus. An earlier statement by Mosul’s new rulers had said there would be “nothing for them but the sword” if Christians did not abide by those conditions before noon today.

Mirror Lake in the Unitas.

Mirror Lake in the Unitas.

Thankfully we’re not in Blackburn, as I imagine the cacophony from the minarets as the so called “peaceful / moderate” muslims are shouting out in disgust and anger at this will be ear shattering.

The independent inquiry into the Trojan Horse take over of Birmingham schools came up with 21 recommendations for the council, it added: “It has been exacerbated by a culture of not wanting to address difficult issues and problems with school governance where there is a risk that BCC [Birmingham council] may be accused of being racist or Islamophobic.”

 

These are not difficult issues. It is simple. This is England. We are a tolerant society and respect different religions. But if you live here you do things our way, according to laws and norms of our country. Bugger so called islamaphobia and accusations of racism from the religion of permanent offence. Multiculturalism has failed. Stop bending over backwards to become such dhimmis. Give an inch to this so called religion of peace and they’ll have sharia law before you can say “peace be upon you”.

Saturday – very hot and sunny again.

 

I'm hungry. Gimee.

I’m hungry. Gimee.

Another Saturday rolls around. Another day smiling and being helpful on the mountain. I’m truly worried that all this being nice to people may seriously affect my long term psyche and ruin any chance I have of the Victor Meldrew award. Certainly won’t enhance my image or my rants and raves. Although I have to be honest there are the times when you really feel like letting rip, as some of these people seem to have fallen out of the Stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. You seriously worry about pollution of the gene pool. It’s just an exercise in being professional. Think of the ski pass. Today was a good day no real howlers.

One thing I did notice yesterday, much to my surprise. Here we are in the land of guns and bubble gum. Yet, there’s hardly any gum on the plaza floor. Unlike Blackburn where you need crampons and climbing gear to surmount the mountains of chewing gum. Well done America.

Another lake in the Unitas.

Another lake in the Unitas.

Now here’s another surprise. After many years as a chair of governor in a CofE school, with predominantly muslim children, I can relate to this as our dhimmi PC multicultural CofE fell over themselves to give the religion of peace, harmony, understanding and tolerance an inch – “If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.” – and before you could say “praise be to allah” they’ll have stonings in the school playground.

A report into the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot by radical Muslims to infiltrate schools in Birmingham has found hardline governors bullied head teachers out of schools and imposed their own agenda.

The report commissioned by Birmingham City Council was highly critical of the council, which it said not only ignored the problem but made it worse by helping to remove besieged heads rather than support them.

Here we go again more lunacy from Europe, sadly they don’t have the brains of a biology specimen. Keep piling it on, it will just help make the results of the in / out vote so much more certain.

Excessively fat staff may have to be provided with larger office seats, lifts and priority parking by their employer after a European ruling yesterday that they have a disability that must be accommodated in the workplace. No doubt this will weigh heavily on the minds of employers as the morbidly obese employees (AKA Blobbies) will now be classified as disabled and have protection under the Equality Act 2010, so that their bosses cannot treat them less favourably because of their weight. Reasonable adjustments would have to be made to the workplace to accommodate such employees.

Hey what a great idea, encourage obesity. Give them all a disabled sticker and free sticky buns on the NHS. Stop them having to walk too far and stand any chance of exercise. I can’t wait to see a 25 stone air stewardess flub-erring down the isles, with her excess adipose tissue oozing from row to row and knocking your drinks over. Does this also mean that airlines will have to allocate them 2, 3 or even 4 seats at no extra cost?

Just love this:

20140603 – Living The Dream – Part 2

Tuesday – grey weather.

IMG 3878

Up at the crack of sparrows to go to the airport. Stuart, our Home Exchange guest has kindly volunteered to take us. He only arrived at our place yesterday and we had a lovely evening meal with him, Lee and Jill. Always great to meet our guests. Got on really well, as usual it’s surprising how much us Home Exchangers have in common.

Flight was pretty good. Airports were they usual tedious, inconvenience and still never miss an opportunity to inflict as much misery as possible, I’d rather jump barefoot off a 6-foot step ladder into a 5 gallon bucket full of hedgehogs than go through an airport. Must say in mitigation Atlanta immigration was quickest we’ve ever been, despite two wide body flights having landed within 20 minutes of each other. Trust the French to get their first.

They now have a new system of self help screens that scan passport, take your photo and take finger prints. To supposedly speed things up. But you still have the ridiculous situation where you take your slip of paper to a customs officer who proceeds to stamp, stamp, stamp like a 2 year oldIMG 0807 with his first hammer. In Wendy’s case she had to do her finger prints again. But it was quicker.

Lounge at Atlanta International terminal was much better than the usual one. So there I am sat in me hiking boots relaxing, when I suddenly notice the sole of my boots hanging off like some tramp who’s just found them in a dustbin.

Real song and dance getting an isle seat for Wendy. Too long and tedious to relate here. Suffice it to say that Delta now have the “Golden Triangle Award for Sloppy Shoulders 2014”. More jobs worths than TSA employees at their daily lets screw with the passengers. Finally get it sorted at the gate. Done in 20 seconds. No problem.

Hertz screw up. Go to my designated slot, which is much too far for a Presidents Circle Member to walk. Giant SUV in there and not a small economy. Car stink like they’ve just finished milking a cow and the milks gone off. Too weary to change it, will swop it tomorrow in PC. Stopped at the exit. IMG 3885“You’ve got the wrong car”. “No I haven’t it was in my slot with my name lit up alongside it”.

Have to swap cars. By now the boiling blood is spluttering over the pavement. As compensation, to stem the rant, they offer me a car of my choice. End up with a nice new Kia Sorrento SUV.

Sad to say just lately Hertz seem to provide screw ups as a standard enhanced service level.

Arrive “home” about 22:30, nearly 24 hours door to door.

No more airports, TSA or terrahertz scanners for 3 months. Good to be back.

Wednesday – blue skies, sun and warm.

Wake up to blue skies and green mountains. No snow, apart from some very small pocket of champagne powder that has now aged with the sun to a crinkly, murky slush puppy. It’s sad to se a grown man cry!

House is all neat and tidy and welcoming. Just like arriving home. 

Just look at those awesome mountains and views. Meanwhile I can get really excited about the simplicity of this fence. No nails needed.

Lazy morning sorting things out, unpacking etc.

IMG 3880

Have a leisurely lunch round at Carols, on the patio of course. Need to get used to this out door living. Great to see her and Angela again.

After lunch Wendy gets her fix as she does her weekly shop, while I check out Starbucks to make sure they’re still functioning properly. They’re still as dodgy and two faced as Janus, with the brass nerve to expect me to pay taxes though. Never mind the EU’s got them in their bureaucratic sights.

Outside the local supermarket is this piano. It works. It’s in tune. It’s not chained down. People just sit down and bash out the odd tune. 

I pondered how long this would last in Blackburn? How long before the scrots bashed it? Graffitti? Steal it? Trash it? Use it for firewood? Take your pick.

Thursday – blue skies, sun and warm.

DSC03962

Leisurely morning, again. Go and buy some hiking boots to replace my tramps specials.

Then it’s down to Salt Lake city for  Costco and an all American Mall to get some sunglasses.

Early evening I go up to the National Ability Centre for an orientation session and tour of the facilities. I sign up as a volunteer for archery. Would like to do the water skiing one if training and transport can be arranged.

This Aspen tree is on the side of our deck. It’s awesome to just watch the leaves shimmer in the sunlight on a windy day. Sadly the camera doesn’t capture it’s true glory.

Friday – blue skies, sun and warm.

Up to the Mountain Plaza for our uniforms and Mountain Host training. Todd get’s us kitted out and gives us some basic training ready for our debut as rookie mountain hosts. Takes most of the day. 

We both have to do one day a week as volunteers. Working together on Saturday, “thats nice”! WeIMG 3890 get a free season pass which cover summer and winter – hooray. Also get to go on all the rides for free and discounts in all the PCMR shops and restaurants.

Saturday – blue skies, sun and hot.

Day 1 as a  Mountain Host. Up early, don our new uniforms. Not forgetting our all important name badges and a great forage cap. Then the two rookies are let loose on an unsuspecting public.  No one warned me that I had to smile and be nice to people. Wendy’s quite comfortable with all this meeting and greeting, smiling and being nice to people. I’m sure that readers that know me, will be amazed to learn, that this is bit of a culture shock for Victor. Will I survive? Will I enjoy it? Will the customers cope? 7 hours of it.

A culture shock for me, I feel as if my lips have been stapled back to expose a permanent smile, like a braying donkey – painful, terrifying prospect. 

I survived. Even the poor unsuspecting public survived and so far not a single complaint.

But it does have it’s compensations for just 1 day a week. Annual ski pass. Summer pass for mountain biking, hiking and zip lines etc. Plenty of sunshine. Live Bob Dylan music from a guy who was more personable that the real thing. And of course a free uniform.

Have a nice day!

Start on the plaza at 10:00 after morning briefing and work through to 16:30 with an hour for lunch. It’s quite busy all day. I actually enjoy it. None of it’s rocket science and we’re both soon into the swing of it. By 16:30 my smile been riveted in place and my jaw aches.

Overall a good day and nice to chat to so many friendly Americans. Yes, I think I can cope with this.

Sunday – blue skies, sun and hot.

IMG 3897

After 5 hectic days; travelling; lunch and dinner with friends; shopping; training; mountain host volunteering; we’re finally car less.

Finally get out early to try some mountain biking. Park City was the first area to win an International Mountain Biking Association Gold Level award. Stick to the green / easy trails. Hard work. Think a better idea is up on lift, ride down. Skiing is so much easier and you don’t have greasy chains to contend with.

Blue skies; awesome mountain scenery; topped off with 8 different species of birds, including the magnificent, ginormous, vociferous Sandhill Crane; squirrels; chipmunks; but alas no sign of the coyotes. What a great start to the day.

Sunday afternoon at the Silly Market in Park City. Got off lightly just a coffe and drink. The credit card lives to hide in the dark, cobwebbed, depths of my wallet yet another day. We bump into Sylvia and Tomoku, Wendy’s fellow volunteers at the hospital.

Original image

Well it looks like we’re almost certain to qualify for American citizenship as we’ve just barbecued burgers on our all American gas barbecue on the deck and dined out in the sun.

What can be more American than that. Not forgetting that we had Apple pie last Monday and enough calories in the form of cheesecake and death by chocolate to ensure we waddled home from Hal and Carols.

No doubt the Green Cards will be winging their way through our letter box as we speak.

Monday – blue skies, sun and hot..

IMG 3920

Decide to spend a day on the mountain trying out all the rides so that we’re better informed when talking to guests.

Catch the lift up for the Zip line. Wendy’s very nervous, but goes through with it. The longest in Utah. All over with after a 50MPH, 1 minute ride over the tree tops. Great. Then we try the Mountain coaster. A thrilling roller coaster toboggan ride down the mountain. Really enjoyable. Try the Flying Eagle where we sit side by side and do a short zip line ride up and then down. OK but wouldn’t want to pay for it. Finally Catch the lift up and try the mountain slide down. Enjoyable, I think Wendy must have worn her brakes out as she finally arrives minutes later, nearly had a whip lash case with the traffic jam she created.

An epic day, just being kids. All free to volunteer mountain hosts, including pictures. 

Sorry no time for rants. Victors just too busy. Perhaps normal service and comments on the religion of peace and all the craziness in the World will be resumed next time.

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