Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Literary Skiers 8

Literary Skiers 8: Hans Castorp found that one quickly gets readiness in an art where strong desire comes in play. He was not ambitious for expert skill, and all he needed he acquired in a few days, without undue strain on wind or muscles. He learned to keep his feet tidily together and make parallel tracks; to avail himself of his stick in getting off; he learned how to take obstacles, such as small elevations of the ground, with a slight soaring motion, arms outspread, rising and falling like a ship on billowy sea; learned, after the twentieth trial, not to trip and roll over when he braked at full speed, with the right Telemark turn, one leg forward, the other bent at the knee.
I read the Magic Mountain way before I learned to ski, and I had forgotten about this passage. It needs re-reading. Read Hemon's poignant memoir too.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fine Line……….

Fine Line……….: I was in Reno for dinner last night and it was a white out blizzard with several inches on the ground. The heavy snow band set up on the North side of Truckee into Reno and stalled there all night. Places around Reno received a foot of snow overnight. The band was forecasted to shift slightly South and bring us at least 6 inches overnight on the North end of the lake, but it has barely made it South if I-80. [...] torm still on track Wednesday to bring moderate amounts of snow in the 6-12 inch range. Stronger storm for Saturday approaches the coast.

Tahoe skiers are all anxiously wondering, is this season going to fade like the last one, or is it going to bounce back with another two months of freshies? Gnawing doubt...

Reading list

Books I'm currently reading:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Newspapers are boring

I stopped subscribing to the NYT when I moved to CA over two years ago. Today, flying SFO->PHL, I bought a copy at the airport newsstand, just to recall the experience. I spent some 90 minutes on it during the flight, but I didn't enjoy it. The experience was the same that made me give up the NYT in print: slow, too much nondescript conventional wisdom, a structure that lacks vitality and the ability to make important information stick. In contrast, the book I am reading, From Eternity to Here, is full of interesting stuff, both main points and asides. The problems with newspapers are attributed to technology changes, but the real cause seems to me that they no longer meet the needs of the day, the form is stale for a culture where so much is happening so fast with all sorts of overt and implied connections.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Too much backcountry fun

From Backcountry Tahoe with Johannes
Over the last three weeks I went on Tahoe backcountry tours with three different sets of Google colleagues. I forgot my camera last week, but I had it the week before and this long weekend. The snowpack has been stable and the weather friendly. Today (Monday) was especially beautiful, a calm warm winter day with powder still lingering in the shade. The run down from Jake's Peak was excellent for most of the top half, a bit of corn followed by smooth settled powder; the bottom half was softening in the sun and could turn into glop in the next few days, but it was still good except for the beginning instability (rollers) on a sun-exposed face.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Linked to Buzz

Buzz is out, and I linked this blog to my Buzz profile so that anything I post here generates a buzz from me. I better get posting again ...