Saturday, April 8, 2017

Irony

Now that ski season is over I am motivated to spend some time with my blog.  I guess it was such a sketchy season I was at a loss for worthy comments.   Here is the irony of this season.  
   As I write this morning I can look out the window and see a couple of inches of snow on the ground and a snow shower in progress.   Ridiculous!   The ski areas are closed, my skis are on the way to storage,  ski clothing has been washed and cleaned and the inside of my helmet sprayed with Febreeze.    (How else does one maintain a good smelling helmet?)   Here is my attitude about this new snowfall.
"If I can't ski on it, I don't want it".   Also an irony that I had my snow tires replace with all weather tires yesterday.  
   So where do we find pleasure in the off season?   Many geezers are golfers or fishermen or both.   My pleasure is the outdoor tennis season with my wife.   We enjoy daily tennis time whenever the weather permits.   A special bonding time after she has been a ski widow from December through March.   
    Post season is also a time to be attentive to delayed chores,  landscaping, mowing and household fix ups.   Visits to the Cornell campus and with the students I advise on their curriculum and  independent study  also takes up some days as well.  
    Finally, for some geezers it is time to search for new equipment for the next season.   Feeling good about helping a friend with skis and bindings selection.   Geezer skiers are probably the best experts to help fellow geezer skiers!


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Another Sketchy Season

    Although we had a relatively encouraging start of the 2016-2017 ski season in our area,  unfortunately we have been in an up and down cycle in December and January.   Almost every week one day a week there has been no skiing.  Periods of rain have been ruinous.  The only good news  is that it hasn't been a total disaster.   Two seasons in a row with sketchy conditions are discouraging for both the skiers and ski business.   I suspect the casual skier is likely to give up or perhaps spend their money at ski areas farther North.
    This Saturday I completed five days in a row skiing.   Monday was a rain out, but starting Tuesday things started improving.  By today the conditions had significantly improved.   Even possible to find a few inches of first tracks snow.   The inveterate geezer crowd has been somewhat scarce at Greek Peak.   However for those of us that are there we manage to enjoy what we have.   And coffee breaks are always interesting.  Jokes, stories and friendly arguments stimulate our ancient souls.   Lets hope February brings a big dump of snow.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Sounds of Skiing

  Preface:  For Christmas my daughter Victoria gave me the book with the title The Sound Book by Trevor Cox an acoustic engineer.   Just the prologue has inspired me to carefully listen to all sounds.   The activity of skiing produces a plethora of sounds.  The  blank verse poem below is the result.  Readers, add to the list in your comments.

The ski locker goes bang.
Booting up produces the buckles snap and a boot bangs to set the heel.
(Geezers bending over let out grunts).
( And maybe other more gross sounds).

Boots squeak on the subzero snow.
A whop, whop as the skis are dropped onto the snow.
A click, click as the boots enter the bindings.

Background conversation and greetings in the lift line.
Hum from the lift.
Bang, bang on the seats to remove the snow.

The chair slaps at the back of your legs.
Down comes the safety bar with a thud.
Wind whistles a greeting too.

Snow makers roar.
Or the new falling snow or sleet whispers a greeting on your coat.
Lift cables and pulleys purr their symphony.

The unloading ramp chirps as you slide off.
Poles give a unique tap, tap.

Carving skis create a swish, swish sound of contentment.
Sliding skis are more raucous with a scraping sound.

Slalom racers punch the course poles -  whack, whack, whack.
Race fans whoop for their favorite contestant.

And ending the day more locker room sounds.
And best of all the tired and contented sounds of a day well spent.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Here We Go Again

     The long awaited new ski season in upstate New York is sputtering along.   A day here and a day there with the hopes of a continuous season starting on Saturday for Greek Peak.   With colder and snowier weather anticipated in the coming weeks we should be blessed with relatively decent ski conditions.
     Since I retired in 1996 I have spent an average of over 75 days a year on the slopes.   I am hoping that this year I will at least be able to continue with a respectable number of days.   I read somewhere that the average number of ski days per skier is of the order of a seven to ten.   The geezers that I have skied with over the years have far exceeded that number.   I guess we know that our remaining lifetime is finite so and unpredictable so  "eat desert first" and "ski as long as you can" becomes our mantra.
      So here is hoping this will be another good season on the slopes.

Monday, October 17, 2016

An Alternative Leaf Peeping Trip

     As the seasons change and we now move toward winter a geezer skier might take a leaf peeping trip.   Many of my associates have done that and posted some wonderful scenery.   I recently drove to Long Island at the start of the peeping season and enjoyed the multitude of scenes down Route 17 New York.
     Today I decided that I didn't have to go beyond my local area to appreciate the colors.    Although this was a cloudy, overcast day the colors had a subtle brilliance to them.  My approximate 20 mile over some local roads was an eye opener to the beauty of upstate New York.   When I came home I took a moment to look around my neighborhood from the vantage point of my house.  Literally from my yard I had a leaf peeping time.   Isn't it amazing how familiarity can dull your senses.   It is good to be observant in your routine environment.
     Here a couple of photos from my yard.



Saturday, October 15, 2016

What If All Politticians Were Skiers?

     For a month or so I have been in a blogging drought.   Inspirational thoughts have been in abeyance.   Fortunately a prod from on of my followers was the spark I needed to get going again.
    The question I pose in the title comes from my disgust with the senseless mean-spirited political discourse the floods the news.    I recognize that we all have some tightly held political beliefs and prejudices.  However, unless we open ourselves to respectful discussions of the issues, we will fail to understand the opposing view.  
     Skiing is a venue for exposure to a variety of people and views.  I am always amazed how the ten minute ride next to a stranger can result in meaningful conversations.   On occasion. opinions of the state of world are revealed by my companions that are far different than my own views.  And as a result I have a new perspective, regardless of whether I embrace it or reject it.
     Wouldn't it be interesting to require all politicians in a race to ride the lift together for a day.   Perhaps that would expose each of them to a perspective on the others experience and views.   Wouldn't it be useful for them to have discourse out of the limelight and the public where they would not have to play to an audience.
     I understand at one time in our elected members of our two parties often socialized with respectful conversations and mutual objective to do what was good for the country and their constituency.  I pray for a focus on what is good for the people rather than some rigid ideological position.    I recommend that the entire congress have a retreat at a ski resort.   Roommates cannot be of the same party.   The fresh air should clear their heads.
     Thank God that November 8th is only a few weeks away.   And hopefully the Northeast ski season will begin in early December.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Changing Seasons

  Just noticing the change of colors of some of the maple trees.   And the nights are becoming a bit cooler.   This morning we had a dense fog - another reminder of autumn.  
   Most skiers are probably thinking more frequently of the start of ski season.   Typically it will likely be mid December before we have any sort of decent conditions.   This geezer skier is hoping to be able to ski another season.   Back muscle spasms sidelined me last February.  Medical treatment and physical therapy have rid me of the spasms.  However,  I have residual effects that may preempt my navigation of the slopes.   I will attempt to continue when the season comes, even if it means only brief sojourns on the beginners slope.  Meanwhile I will be pursuing all venues to get into the proper shape.
    Good news of this day is that this old geezer was still able to play about 35 minutes of singles tennis and still function well.  As there are seasons of the year, there are also seasons of life.   I always scoffed at the golfers, saying when I couldn't do anything else I would take up golf.  Who knows that may be the time for me.  If not that, maybe I should move to another location with year round fishing.
    Best  wishes to all the geezer skiers out there in the world.  May your ski days be forever and  a day.