Friday, December 31, 2010

If you're havin' trouble ski the west instead
But Nat's is what I choose
And all this mud and stuff gets me filled with dread
All this mud looks like pooh
I start to groan
I hit a stone
All this mud is a crime
I see lots of mud and some sticks, hey
My skis are full of crime

Dirty snow, it's not deep

Dirty snow, it's not deep
Dirty snow, it's not deep
Dirty snow and well, it's not cheap
Dirty snow and well, it's not cheap

Well, skied today in Rumford.  There was almost no snow.  There was lots of mud though.  Instead of being a lot of snow with a little mud, there was a little snow with a lot of mud.

Klister skiing through the mud.  Reminds me of college.  I don't actually believe that we're going to be on a 7.5km.  Probably not even a 5km, since it's supposed to rain tomorrow or Sunday.  Hopefully we get 2km or so.

I took a picture for the blog, but I'm having a little difficulty getting pictures on my blog.  Maybe I need to upgrade my browser.  I've decided to start taking pictures of the least scenic things I find when I'm traveling.

Yesterday's (this morning's, I guess) title was based on Shipping Up to Boston, by Dropkick Murphy.
I'm a skier, stag
And I've got my bags
Hoping when I'm on trails
I'll have good legs
I'm shipping up through Boston
I'm shipping up through Boston
I'm shipping up through Boston
And travel is a drag

Okay, so I guess I'm getting this in a few hours late.  I meant to get it in last night, but the internet here keeps dropping me.  If I sit on the couch it seems pretty good, though.

Woke up at 4am yesterday morning, and managed to make it into Boston without any real trouble.  Good weather, no real delays, and friendly people next to me on the planes.  Akeo, Ryan Scott of MSU and I got into Boston on the same flight and we milled around, waiting to be picked up.  It sounds like the coaches' flight was delayed though, because they didn't show up.  Finally, just as we were preparing to ride the airport shuttle to another terminal to try to meet up with other people, I glanced into a rental car bus and saw somebody wearing a red parka dancing excitedly.  It was Bjorn.

We threw our things into the bus and rode to the rental car place.  Turns out, our rental vans were not designed with skiers in mind, and bags did not fit well under the seats.  We thought the one van was bad.  The other is far worse.

We finally got moving, but there were a lot of stragglers, so we ended up driving around Boston and especially around the Logan Airport for quite some time.  Finally, we got everybody and started north.  Well, not everybody, but everybody who didn't have to deal with cancelled flights and actually made it in.  Somehow, those of us who did make it all got our bags though.

On our way up we stopped at a Mexican restaurant in northern Mass.  I'd had tight layovers, so I made up for not eating any hot food all day by eating a day's worth of hot food there.  The waiter couldn't believe how much I ate.

We finally made it into Wilton, where we're staying.  A bit later than I'd hoped, but for some reason I'd been thinking that we could get out of Boston by 3 or 4 and eating included make it in by 7 or 8.  That didn't happen.  But I'm here, which is what matters.

Yesterday's title is based on Bad Moon Risin' by Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Hopefully I'll get another post in later to day, because I really consider this to be yesterday's post.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I see the snow level risin'
I see good day for a sleigh
I see no compromisin'
I see (gulp) flight delays

The cold has a bite
And the wind cuts like a knife
Snow is fallin' from the skies

And is it ever.  There's a reason this post is so late tonight, but we'll get to that later.

This morning I woke up and it was snowing.  Nothing bad.  After breakfast I went up for a classic ski.  Pulled into the parking lot, and there was a foot of fresh snow.  No grooming.  Nobody else had gone skiing.  A few thoughts crossed my mind as a cold wind blew up on my nether regions in the glorified porta-potty at the ski trails:  I leave for Nationals tomorrow, I won't be able to ski with good technique through this much fresh snow, my technique seems to just be coming around, sometimes they close the road up to the ski trails when it snows a lot.  So I just drove back down the mountain.  No use risking it for a trudge through that much fresh snow.  Not at this point in the season, anyways.

I packed my bags to leave for Rumford in the morning and drove down into the valley for a run.  My dad had a school board meeting tonight, so it all worked out quite well.  When we left for the run/meeting, it was snowing down to about 7000ft elevation.  My dad elected to drive the hybrid down, confident that we could make it back.  After all, snow tires work wonders.  After a great run, we left to come back.  It was snowing at 6000ft, in the bottom of the valley.  Even the snowplow seemed to be having a difficult time staying on the highway on the way home.

Let me tell you about the road to my parents' house.  The end of winter maintenance is 2 miles from the house, where the road turns off from the highway.  2 miles of dirt road that I have on occasion used for hill repeats during the summer.  Sometimes, if the road gets snowpacked, I've even done hill repeats on skis up the road.  All of the plowing is done by the people who live on the road.  My parents are in the 2nd to last house before the national forest.  Nobody was out plowing tonight.

When we started up the road, it wasn't bad.  Problem is, about half way up is when things get really stormy.  You can just count on one certain driveway being at or near the storm line.  With snow tires, hybrids can make it through a lot of roads.  But they can't make it up a hill with more snow than they have clearance.  In those conditions, they just push too much snow.  We had to back down to a neighbor's driveway and walk up most of the way.

No headlights.  Luckily, I was wearing muck boots.  Imagine insulated rain boots that go up to about your knee.  I was happy that I had them with me and perfectly fine carrying my running shoes.  But it's a blizzard out there.  "I hear hurricanes ablowing."  If you could get over the cold wind blowing small icicles into your face, it was a peaceful walk through the pitch dark.

So my dad is plowing the road as we speak.  When he thinks it's ready, we're going down to see if we can get the hybrid to the house.  The headwall right before the driveway might prove to be an issue.  I've checked on some internet mapping sights, and it's generally put at well over a 10% grade, so tonight will probably be one of the three or four times this year that the hybrid doesn't make it all the way to the house.

Leaving for Rumford long before the sun wakes from it's slumber tomorrow morning.  Hopefully I make it to the airport.  Hopefully there are no horrible flight delays.  Hopefully the fact that around 60,000 flights were delayed or canceled in the east a few days ago doesn't mess up my flight plans.

Yesterday's title is based on Mellow Yellow, by Donovan.

EDIT:  We got the hybrid to the headwall.  It took about an hour.  And it may only be 6,000 flights.  I forget where I saw the figure.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm just mad what they peed on
Cause pee's not good for my skis
I'm mad about what they peed on
Pee's not good for my skis
Why is the groomed track yellow?
Why is the groomed track yellow?
Why is the groomed track yellow?

"Long" ski today.  Had a great time out there.  Except there was a huge yellow hole in the middle of the skating lane where I was skiing.  Not cool.  A bit later, I saw some yellow in the classic track.  Also not cool.

I'm pretty sure I didn't get any urea on my skis, and my ski bases are thanking me for that.  The snow was pretty slow, but it was slow the whole time out there, so I'm guessing I didn't get anything on them to make it slow.  Looking at the weather, it looks like it's just going to get slower.  It's supposed to snow and be really, really cold.  But I'll be in Rumford, where the high on Friday is supposed to be 41.  Hopefully there's snow for the races.

Speaking of Rumford, I'm probably going to start packing today.  Gotta make sure I can get the Madshus skis, Madshus boots, Swix poles, and PowerBar drinks and bars along with all of my ski clothes and hopefully something to wear when I'm not skiing.  I guess skiers don't really pack light.

Yesterday's title was based on Ridin' Dirty, by Chamillionaire.  Yeah, I decided to throw a curve ball at you and switch up the genre.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The pain is dolin'
I'm skatin'
And holin', two inches of new snow's not sturdy
All of that new snow's not sturdy
All of that new snow's not sturdy
All of that new snow's not sturdy
All of that new snow's not sturdy
We will be a crowd
Cold's stingin'
Hills slopin', in Rumford the snow will be dirty
In Rumford the snow'll be dirty

In Rumford the snow'll be dirty
In Rumford the snow'll be dirty
In Rumford the snow'll be dirty

Well, supposedly they got hit by a blizzard in Rumford, but in the east, the snow always finds a way to be dirty.  Besides, knowing the east, it could rain before we actually get to racing.

Intervals today.  There were about two inches of new snow, but it was kind of fast, and it wasn't that bad.  Apparently the snow cat broke, so they were grooming with snowmobiles, and the place I chose to do intervals was the last place to get groomed, so during my first interval I had to dodge grooming equipment.

But it was a good interval session.  I skied well, which is the important part.  Ran in the afternoon, which went well, then did strength.  Almost poked my eye out throwing a medicine ball, but other than that it was a good strength session.

Something is strange with the power.  Lights and outlets in half the house go out unexpectedly.  Yes, I checked the breaker box.  It claims everything's fine.  Well, if the breaker box knew that as soon as I got shampoo in my hair the shower turned off, it wouldn't think everything's fine.  I managed to get the shampoo out, but I think tomorrow is a good day to call an electrician, because the electrical gremlins seem to have moved in.  The whole lights working, then not working, then working again is just strange.  It's like somebody is playing an elaborate prank on us.  If that's the case, my first suspect is the person who put a boiled egg in my ski boot in Finland.

Yesterday's title was based on Surfin' Bird, by the Trashmen.  For those of you who don't know what this means, listen to the song while reading the title.  Believe it or not, I'm not just writing poetry.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A-well-a everybody's heard about Rumford
Stirred, stirred, stirred, inferred I'm stirred
Well I'm a nerd, nerd, nerd, a nerd it's absurd
A-well it's blurred, blurred, blurred, undeterred when it's blurred
A-well the third, third, third, the third's misheard
We'll be a herd, herd, herd, be a herd in Rumford
A-well they purred, purred, I heard cat's purred
A-well-a word, word, word, a word is heard
A-well I'm spurred, spurred, spurred, well, I'm spurred to Rumford
No snow is cured, cured, it's cured I've heard
A-well-a, don't you know about Rumford
Well everybody knows that Rumford is absurd
A-well I heard, heard, Rumford's absurd

Getting stoked for Rumford.  Remembering all the crazy weather I've seen there, all the crazy races I've had there.  If nothing else, it's going to be interesting out there.  I'm excited.

Today was an easy day.  Nice classic skiing.  Seems like I'm skiing pretty well.

For those of you worried about the dog, he's looking a lot better.

Kind of lacking a good train of thought, because I'm watching the Broncos and the dog keeps putting his head on the computer.  He's kind of a 60 lb lap dog.

Leaving for Rumford in 4 days.  Hopefully it's good travel weather.

Yesterday's post was based on Another One Bites the Dust, by Queen.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Let's go
Get our battery's fill replete
So the power has to go
Ain't no power but we still got good heat
It's not a good status quo
Sound is steady, hey
Outlets are quite remiss
Yes the breaker box is turned off no tweets
The generator won't let me kip
That last line was deceit, yeah
Our power just bit the dust
Our power just bit the dust
Parents don't live in town
Parents don't live in town
Our power just bit the dust
Hey, it's my dad's honey-do
Our power just bit the dust

My parents' house isn't connected to the electrical grid.  They live on solar and wind power, with a backup generator.  Heat comes from passive solar, wood, or propane.  Every few months, my parents have to equalize the batteries.  My dad prefers to do this when I'm home.  We also do it on a very sunny day to help get the charge up.

One of the things that happens when you equalize batteries is the voltage goes way up.  In order to not overload any circuits, we flip all the breakers for the house.  Equalizing takes six hours.  So today from roughly 8am to 2pm, there was no power.  Merry Christmas, eh?

It wasn't that bad though.  I went for a run.  I took a nap as the droning of the generator lulled me to sleep.  And after it was all over, I did intervals.  Merry Christmas, eh?

Oh, and one of the dogs, Bozeman, got a gash by his ear.  He'll probably need to go to the vet when they reopen.  I'm guessing the cut is infected, because he sure smells funny.  And not in a regular smelly dog way.  Merry Christmas, eh?

Good news was the intervals were good, the running was good, and we ate leftover Christmas Eve dinner.  And the batteries probably won't need equalizing until I visit my parents again, whenever that happens.

Leaving for Rumford in 5 days.  Yesterday's post was based on We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I go to Rumford with swiftness
I go there to test my fitness
Those there will see my race grimace when the pain is severe
Humidity's sting, I'll feel on my skin
We could see a nimbus 'cause it rains a lot there

Actually, I guess I don't go to Rumford for almost a week.

It's been an interesting day.  Last night we had a few neighbors over for desserts.  This morning, I did a long skate ski.  As I was starting out, I heard my dad calling me back.  Feeling slightly perturbed by the fact that I had to turn around, I skied back.  "Glenn, I may have to go to the clinic.  I hit my head.  How does it look?"

Turns out, my dad had headed for the bathroom upon our arrival, and while climbing over a snowbank to get to the toilet, hit his head on the corner of the metal ceiling.  He was applying pressure on the wound to keep it from bleeding too much.  I took my skis off as he walked to the car.  Our neighbor just happened to be up skiing, and said hi.  I mentioned that my dad had hit his head, then remembered that she is a doctor.  I guess sometimes good relations with the neighbors pays off.

Her diagnosis was that he would be fine as long as the bleeding didn't start again.  It didn't, so I got in my long ski.  She said stitches would be good for cosmetics, but since my dad wasn't too worried (and since the cut was up in his hair), he didn't even need stitches.

Beyond that, Christmas Dinner.  My mother is Norwegian, so Christmas Dinner is on Christmas Eve.  I would tell you all about it, but the description does it no justice.  Sufficed to say, it's delicious.

Also, to the subject of my conjecturing during yesterday's blog post as to whether there would be snow in Rumford for Nationals, the organizers in Rumford posted a snow report.  Apparently they're busy making snow and have a lot of trail already covered in manmade snow.  I'm taking full credit for that report, since they obviously knew that people were worried from my blog, and no other sources, so you're welcome.  Luckily, we aren't about to run out of wheat.

Yesterday's title was based on Dazed and Confused, by Led Zeppelin

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Been crazed and abstruse
Yes, I tell you, it's true
This winter storm caused one big hullabaloo
Snowin' up at Skyway
Rain down below
Skied lots in New England, so I'm okay, though

Colorado has over 300 days of sun every year.  Since I came back for the holidays, I haven't seen one of them.  Skied through the fog and snow today as every snowplow in the state of Colorado plowed the parking lot.  Well, not every single one.  I guess there were three plowing other parking lots I drove by on the way back.

This morning I also got in a nice run in.  Saw lots of brown grass a bit lower down.  The snow hasn't all melted at the folks' house.  It rains for a few hours, then starts snowing.  If I felt like grabbing a pair of rock skis and messing with klister, I could probably have a pretty sketchy time on the snow that's left here.  But I'll ski on enough klister in Rumford, assuming I'm actually skiing in Rumford.  Checked earlier today, and there was no snow in Rumford.  Or maybe N/A means they just didn't feel like measuring the hundreds of inches of base they have at Black Mountain, but knowing the northeast...  It's supposed to snow over the next week, but I've been to New England enough to know that could pretty easily turn into rain.  So I'll drive up a little and ski on hardwax and 5 feet of snow for another week, and cross my fingers that there's enough snow to actually ski in Rumford when I show up, because I have no intention of bringing my rollerskis to Maine.

Yesterday's post was based on Street Fighting Man, by The Rolling Stones.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Every night I sleep, thin air, it's at 8000ft, boy
And this morning I skied at Skyway, it's at 10,000ft, boy
And wind today, yes it blew
After, we drove to my parents house and
Well the rain just came right down
It's hot at 8000ft.  What's the plan?

Yeah, I'm sleeping at 8000ft above sea level.  And yeah, I'm skiing on windblown, cold snow at 10000ft.  Gotta love a little altitude camp before Nationals.

So I skied around up at Skyway today.  A few feet of snow fell in the past few days, and this was the first day the road was opened after some heavy avalanche blasting.  There's a reason there isn't a guardrail on the steep portion of the road up to Skyway.  After some good skiing, we came back to my folks' house, where it was raining.  Gotta love rain during ski season.

Beyond that, not much happening.  Registered for nationals in Rumford, and discovered that they buttons to share my registration on Twitter and Facebook.  Because after all, it's not like all of the people I know are expecting me to ski at US Nationals or anything.  But yeah, Rumford.  I'm excited.  Hopefully mother nature decides to cooperate a little more than she did in Alaska, when we dealt with volcanos and temperatures so cold that it was unsafe to ski race.  I feel fairly confident that we shouldn't have to deal with either of those.  Rain, though...

Yesterday's post was based on Ghost Riders in the Sky, by Johnny Cash.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Sunday I went skiing out, that dark and snowy day
Up on that ridge I skied up as I went along my way
When on that last lap, my technique, it had a mighty flaw
So knees and elbows, bad technique was all the coaches saw

The vans a-left the parking lot a-with a mighty squeal
We came back to the USA in our automobile
In Montana, a blizzard, it was falling from the sky
That ghost truck, it a passed us hard, visibility awry

We just saw snoooooow
To our dismaaaaaay
Ghost truckers are in drive

Sunday's race was a pursuit start, based on our combined time from the sprint and 10km freestyle the two days before.  I was skiing really well, and gaining a lot of spots.  It was one of those days when you kind of had to choose between good glide and good kick.  I went with kick.  So some people were gaining on me on downhills, but on the uphills I made up for it.  I skied better and better, having an excellent second lap.  I got a split that I was leading on the day.  Then my technique fell apart.  I ended up with the 7th fastest time of the day, but the first 10km gives me a lot of confidence.

The race officials didn't post results, so we all had to stay for the awards to see who had skied fast.  As soon as the awards were over, vans were scrambling out of the parking lot to get home.  After a brief stop at the border so the border guard could search my bag to see that we were indeed not smuggling anything in other than cereal and cookies (which I declared), we were on our way.  The border guard seemed somewhat shocked that three people could use that many skis and that much wax.  Oh well.

We stopped for a fast food snack at Deer Lodge.  I was just starting to get hungry, so I ordered two whole chickens, but replaced the Coke with a milkshake.  Leif forewent the dry white toast and settled for water.  As we pulled back out onto the interstate, we heard a whoosh as we were passed by the ghost truck.

For those of you who don't know about the ghost truck of Homestake Pass, legend has it that a ghost truck passes ill-fated travelers going over the pass during snow storms and travels just ahead of them, at the same speed, so as to completely white out the luckless driver's vision, with the hope of gaining new companions on it's never-ending trip over the pass during snow storms.  We had been chosen, and struggled to find a distance behind the truck that allowed us any visibility.  We couldn't see the truck on account of it being a ghost truck.  Nay-sayers would say that the truck just needed all the tail lights replaced, but we're not on a horse farm.

We finally made it into Bozeman, but the storm and the ghost truck delayed us significantly.  By the time we made it in, it was too late for a new blog post.  And besides, I had to pack for a flight the next morning.  I woke up the next morning and Peter gave me a ride to the airport.  All my layovers were just short enough that I couldn't write a blog post en route, and I eventually made it to my parents' place for the holidays.  But it was too late and I was too tired to blog.

Anyways, this morning I did some light running.  The road to the ski trails is closed on account of a pretty severe winter storm.  I've heard rumors that there are over 2 feet of new snow at the ski trails, but since the roads are closed up there, I'm not sure where those figures are coming from.

My last blog title was based on You're Gonna Go Far Kid, by the Offspring.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Show me how to fly
I'm getting better all the time
Then 'round that bend well it was done
I came stopping with a screech
I got up undeterred
And to go harder I was spurred
But all my speed from that incline...
In the end I was beat

Advance, schmuck, advance!
Man, I never had a chance
And no one really knew
It was so close to a coup

So this race got away
But I heard them say
"Nice work you did.
You're gonna go far, kid."

With a thousand tries
I think none deny
I could ski up to the skies
I could ski up to the skies
But after today
Nothing more to say
See the lightning in my eyes
Tomorrow no compromise

Sometimes the most disappointing races are the ones that are pretty good, but were almost really good.  Today was one of those days.  My skis were rockets.  Everybody I skied around, including Drew Goldsack, who was third today, had slower skis that me.  I started out skiing so fast and feeling so good.  It was going to be one of those amazing days that don't come around very often.

Then I fell at the bottom of the course.  I got up and did my best, and still skied pretty well, but it wasn't the race that was at my fingertips.  It's not often you're feeling angry and disappointed about a pretty decent race.  It's not that I skied poorly after that.  I actually skied really well.  But when you come that close...

Oh well.  I've got tomorrow.  And the knowledge that I'm currently capable of the kind of race I felt at my fingertips is only a good thing.  Hopefully I can channel that tomorrow.  Hopefully I can channel that in Rumford.  Because I felt what today could have been in my soul, and I haven't been so happy during a race in a long, long time.

Oh, and yesterday was based on 867-5309/Jenny's Song, by Tommy Tutone.  But I'm guessing you all knew that.  Listening to today's while feeling like I do is pretty awesome, so hopefully you all figure this one out.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Sprinting, sprinting, who can I pursue
There's lots of people I can catch up to
I'm just happy I'm not behind by more
Hopefully fast is what is held in store

Ten k I've got your number
I need to make you mine
So for them to encumber
8-6 seconds back, time to shine
8-6 seconds back, time to shine
8-6 seconds back, time to shine
8-6 seconds back, time to shine

10k, 10k is the race for me.  And if you know me, yes, it makes me feel happy.  I guess that's enough of that.  1:26 back in the overall tour.  26 of that is my time out in the sprint (yeah, ouch) and a minute was bonus time for the winner (yeah, ouch).  As I said, time to shine.

The course stayed in really good shape today.  I started out really hard and hurt a lot as the race went on.  Luckily, it was only 1.6km of hurt, so I didn't suffer long.  Luckily, tomorrow is 10km of hurt so I can suffer long.

The course was dominated by an early hill, and then was pretty much rolly down from there.  I thought I skied a little faster than I did, but I really put it out there and I felt like my technique was good.  That said, sometimes how good I think my technique is isn't all that indicative of how good my technique actually is.  Skis should be good for tomorrow, and hopefully I can get a good race in.  10km freestyle tomorrow, 15km classic on Sunday, so I've got 25km, 8-6 seconds back, time to shine.

Oh, and the last post was based on I Believe in a Thing Called Love, by The Darkness.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Can't explain all the things you have to do to with such skill
Body's in overdrive and soul is feeling full of zeal

Mind on mute, waxed up skis
Not acute, all these things to ski

I believe all of the above
That get you to the finish from the start
How to get through the race, ask how
You ask me as you call me a clown
I believe all of the above

Okay, that is officially overthinking tomorrow's race.  It's okay, though.  As I said, my mind's on mute.  Which I guess is not okay for this blog post.

Conditions here are getting better and better.  The tracks are better, the snow is better, my skis are better.  I would say the food is better, but I didn't do the greatest job at making stuffed peppers tonight.  It could be a rough lunch tomorrow after the race.

Tomorrow starts the first race of a mini-tour.  My understanding is that they add up times from tomorrow's sprint and Saturday's 10km, then factor in time-bonuses for winners and such, and send us out in the 15km on Sunday in that order, that far back, and say the first person to the line is the winner.  Hopefully it's more fun that my last mini-tour, which was right after a 50km and during a period of me skiing and racing really poorly.  I guess we'll see over the next several days.

As for yesterday, I guess I should have posted to tell you all how excited I was to ski on klister covered again.  I love skiing on good klister.  Cleaning it isn't as much fun, but we got a heat gun in today, so that makes things a lot better.

And since you're all wondering...what was my last blog post again now that I think about it?  Oh, yeah, it was based on She's Got the Jack, by AC/DC.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The snow wasn't clean
The wind had a sting
Intervals I was skiing
Just doing my thing
I was huffing in air
I thought I would die
The track was wild
And the temp was high
It was so hard to go
Those intervals were hardcore
The groomers had stayed in their house
We had to atone
For breakfast I had hard boiled eggs
So my suit was feeling tight
I thought that snow would bring me down
But I skied it right

We're at Blackjack
We're at Blackjack

Intervals in Blackjack today.  But first we drove into Rossland for breakfast and groceries.  We had a delicious breakfast at The Sunshine Cafe or something, and I stocked up on everything they don't sell in the US.  So now I have lots of maple cookies and Vector.  After skiing, we received coupons for groceries in our race bags, so we probably did things in the wrong order, but oh well.

Anyways, conditions seemed like they were going to be slush, but as we got out there things were starting to cool down.  APU told us that they had arrived to ungroomed tracks.  They assured us they had skied everything in.  Thanks guys.  The snow wanted to be icy, but wasn't quite there.  All the people skiing on it had hardened it, but also made it pretty choppy, so every once in a while skis would just go wherever they felt like.  Tough for balance.

I made it around the distance and sprint courses, then started intervals.  All things considered, the intervals went well.  It's tough in those conditions, but I feel like I made it through just fine.  And someday I'll probably race in something like that.  Maybe even within the next month...

So things are starting to firm up now.  Should be fast and possibly icy for the races.  Abrasive, fast snow...I haven't skied on that since college!

For dinner I had a huge plate of pasta.  Actually, it was a huge serving dish.  Very filling.  Since dinner, my dream home has included serving dishes instead of plates.

Just gonna put this out there, I really like this place.  If I wasn't trying to rest up between sessions so I hopefully have a good race, I'd wander around town and see what there is to do, because I feel like this could be a pretty awesome place.  Perhaps some other time.

As promised, I'm going to give you the list of songs I've based my previous titles on.  Hopefully I don't get sued, but I think parodies are protected under law, so if any lawyers come a-knocking, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Date         Title                                                  Artist
11/24/10  Folsom Prison Blues                          Johnny Cash
11/25/10  School's Out                                     Alice Cooper
11/26/10  Don't Come Around Here No More  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
11/27/10  Barracuda                                         Heart
11/28/10  What a Wonderful World                  Louise Armstrong
11/29/10  Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)            Billy Joel
12/1/10    It's Too Late                                     Carole King
12/2/10    The Lumberjack Song                       Monty Python
12/3/10    Smells Like Teen Spirit                      Nirvana
12/4/10    Paint It Black                                    The Rolling Stones
12/5/10    Hair of the Dog                                 Nazareth
12/6/10    Back in Black                                   AC/DC
12/7/10    Escape                                             Enrique Iglesias
12/9/10    Fire Burning                                     Sean Kingston
12/10/10  Drive                                               Incubus
12/11/10  Lie, Lie, Lie                                     Serj Tankian
12/12/10  Another Brick in the Wall                 Pink Floyd
12/13/10  Paradise City                                   Guns N' Roses

I'll tell you what today's title is based on in my next update.  I guess the next logical step now is to make a mix of these songs...  If you do, I'd like a copy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Take me down to Canadian counties
Where the snow is slushy
And the girls are mounties

Okay, I have seen a few women here who are not mounties.  The lady at the reception for instance.  But receptionists doesn't rhyme with much.

We finally made it into Canada.  It was a rainy, foggy drive to get to rainy, foggy Rossland.  Should be interesting racing here.  When we arrived, we started moving in and realized we didn't have anywhere great to wax.  Before I let the nesting instinct kick in too much, I dropped by the reception to see if we could get something worked out.  We did.  We got a free upgrade.  So we had to pack up all of our stuff and move to another place, this one with a garage, an extra bedroom, and just about everything else you could dream of.  Except showers that look halfway normal.  Basically there is a shower head over the jacuzzis (yes, one in each of the 4 bathrooms, and yes, there are currently only 3 of us in here.  Do the math).  No curtain or anything, just a shower head.  But anyways, this place is bigger than a lot of houses.  Apparently we're supposed to be getting a few more people later in the week, but until then there's lots of room.

On a few more technical notes, terrible internet.  The internet is bad enough that I'm not sure this blog post will go through, so if I stop posting for a while, I'm probably fine, just without internet.  Also, by popular demand, I was going to start posting what the songs I'm basing my titles off of (no, it isn't just poetry.  I'm not quite that cultured).  But the internet is bad enough that I'm going to wait until we get to somewhere with hopefully better internet before I start any such project.  If the internet was better, I'd search for internet cafes in Rossland...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I don't have no motivation
Write a title, rock and roll
No dark sarcasm in my blogging
My blog leaves you all to moan

I just don't have the inspiration today, at least on the blogging front.  Oh well, maybe tomorrow.  Maybe in Canada.

Long ski today at Bozeman Creek.  It was a lot warmer than I expected, which made for a good time with kick wax.  The rest of the day is for what packing I need to do for leaving tomorrow for Rossland.  Except I purposely didn't unpack much, so there isn't too much of that to do.  So I guess most of the day consists of rest and recovery, and preparing for a trip to Canada in the morning.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lalalalalalalala glide glide glide
Lalalalalalalala glide glide glide
Lalalalalalalala glide glide glide
Lalalalalalalala glide glide glide

My technique, my technique
Room to grow
But then my racing, my racing
Is aglow
And then my effort, I skied hard
Almost died
And my finish, I'm full
Full of pride

Time trial today.  10km classic mass start on the SuperTour course at Bohart.  Leif, Bernard, me, and the juniors.  I took it out fairly hard to test Leif and Bernard and encourage the pace to be hard.  It worked.  We dropped Bernard and just when I was about to let Leif do some leading, he took off.  He pulled as far as about 5 seconds ahead of me before I pulled him back on the switchbacks and the downhill afterward.  I was on some skis that kick really easily, so I was on slightly colder kick than everybody else.  Fast in a tuck.

Anyways, it turns out Bernard took a wrong turn, and he joined back up with us at about 5km.  Then, going up the side slope at the start of the course, Leif pulled up.  I'm not sure exactly what happened.  Leif said he was stiff.  Hopefully he's okay.  He's had a rough couple days, and he may not be completely recovered from our little auto incident on Wednesday.  I kept charging, trying to drop Bernard.  It wasn't happening.  We came into the stadium together, which is usually not a good thing for me.  I took the track that would be on the inside of the corner before the finish as Bernard moved ahead of me.  He tried to take my track but I defended my position, took the extreme inside of the corner, then boxed him out and finished in the outside track.  Part of that finishing strategy was that one track was for finishing and the other for lapping.  Didn't quite realize that this was for the first lap, when J2's were finishing.  But I managed to out-kick Bernard, which is good.  And I had a really good race effort.

And I thought my technique was good.  Apparently it's not where it needs to be though.  I need to glide more and stop hinging at the waist.  So I guess the bad news is I don't quite have my classical technique dialed in yet. The good news is I'm starting to race classic pretty well in spite of this, and technique should only make me race faster.  And that I have the same things to work on in classic and skating.

I really put it out there during the race, so I wasn't sure I was going to have energy for strength.  I did.  And it was good.  And stretching was good.  Didn't really feel like anything was too stiff, which is always a good thing.

And for those of you who are confused, on yesterday's post, by leaving for Canada on Wednesday I meant leaving Monday.  As a wise man once said, "Hear what I mean, not what I say."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sometimes, I am a mere small player in life, I am here
And I can't help but want to be just so cavalier
Put the car in gear
I have felt this before
And I seem to have a vague memory: not ideal
And last time I tried to do every race
I had a very sick ordeal

So whatever Rossland brings, I'll be there
But I won't race in Silver Star, yeah

But whatever Rossland brings, I'll be there
I'll be there

Shakespeare once said, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."  That's kind of how I feel right now.  I feel ready to race, but alas, I'm here in Bozeman.  Leif told all of us that everything happens for a reason, and I'm sure hoping that's the case.  I'm sure hoping that this ends up making me race better later in the season.  Because I was really looking forward to that 15km freestyle.

But alas, we were called back to Bozeman after the accident.  Not what I was hoping for, but things have a way of turning out.  And given Leif's concussion and the fact that Dragan may have a broken rib or two, maybe that was a good thing in the end.  Maybe my experience racing with concussions is the exception, not the rule.

Long drive back, got in late.  Short run today.  Time trial tomorrow morning.  Leaving for Rossland on Wednesday (EDIT:  by Wednesday I mean Monday).  Hopefully we don't have another extended stop in St. Regis.  Everybody there was so nice, but I would really like to make it to Canada next time.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Somebody call 911!
Digestive cookies laying on the van floor, woah!
Cookies laying, cookies laying
Van crash, lets go, hey
Airbags, hey, hey

Well we hit that icy thing
And then we veered into the passing lane
No control of the van anymore

We hit the rail and kept slipping
And I did not feel any pain
And we slid to a stop with a great roar

Yesterday was a crazy day.  6x5 minute classic intervals in the morning.  Race pace.  I've had better interval workouts, but oh well.  Then I finished packing, did some waxing and vacuuming, and we left for Silver Star.  The plan was to stop in Spokane for the night, then continue through to Canada in the morning.

That was the plan at least.  The roads were a little treacherous, but didn't seem that bad.  Then, we stopped at a rest stop because I had to go to the bathroom.  I managed to pee three times at the rest stop.  I'm proud of that fact.  But I also almost fell down when I got out of the van.  It had rained a little, and everything was covered in a thin film of ice.  Everybody made extra sure to wear seatbelts when we started rolling again.

A few miles down the road, we started across a bridge.  Suddenly, we started veering into the other lane.  I was about to ask Dragan what he was doing when we went into a spin.  As I saw the cement barrier closing on us, my first instinct was to grab the door.  Then I remembered that most people who get hurt in car wrecks do so because they tense up before the impact, so I used all of my willpower to completely relax my body.  As the front bumper hit the barrier, I closed my eyes.  I felt the seatbelt on my shoulder.  When I opened my eyes again, we were stopped, the car was full of smelly, fire-retardant smoke, and a half-deflated airbag was in my lap.  I jumped out of the van, grabbed my water bottle, and looked for the other van.  Luckily, the only people who rode with Dragan were Leif and I.  Apparently the other van was nicer or something, so all of the juniors were in it.  I saw it stopped up the road a ways, and saw Leif come out of the van, coughing up fire-retardant smoke.  That stuff is terrible.

One of the juniors had called 911, and we started trying to figure out to get the van working again.  I noticed that the rocket boxes had slid forward, with the front rocket boxes coming completely off.  We wandered down to find them, hoping they hadn't gone into the river.  They hadn't.  They had flown a short way before landing on a hill and sliding about a hundred feet down the hill.  We dragged the rocket boxes up and pulled out what appeared to be perfectly intact ski bags as Dragan and Chad tried to straiten the bumper.

About two hours later, a few sheriff deputies showed up.  By this time, we had almost gotten everything worked out.  Apparently the sheriff's department was having a busy night.  We got everything worked out, the sheriff was pretty sweet about the whole thing, so now we're staying in St. Regis waiting for Dragan to figure out what we're doing with the van.  Leif probably got a minor concussion and he got a few minor lacerations, but beyond that we appear to be barely worse for the wear.  I don't even feel like I was involved in a car accident.  And like I told Leif, last year a few of my best ski races were coming off a minor concussion.

Hopefully I'll have another post tonight from Silver Star.  Hopefully it will be about how sweet it is to have all of our stuff up in Canada, eh.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You can ski
You can glide
But you should wear warmer gloves
You can ski
You can glide
But you should wear warmer gloves

Here's how it goes
How I skied
Up and down the trails at Lindley
Not forthright
It was night
'Round that corner winding like a snake
No mistakes
And that fox had been dieing

If you feel like skiing
I'm not gonna send you away
But soon, trails are winding
You can ski
You can glide
But you should wear warmer gloves
You can ski
You can glide
But you should wear warmer gloves

So when I go
I should know
At borders you cannot get past
Well, not fast
But we could
With a tad
Of a small deal
And that's all you have
In the end good luck matters

If you feel like skiing
I'm not gonna send you away
But soon, trails are winding
You can ski
You can glide
But you should wear warmer gloves
You can ski
You can glide
But you should wear warmer gloves

Today was some strength and some skiing.  Classical at Lindley.  I found a dead fox, which appeared to be frozen solid, and I promised I'd give it a shout out in my blog.  RIP fox.

Anyways, it was colder than it looked, felt, or was supposed to be out there.  Just ask a couple of the juniors who for whatever reason didn't dress appropriately.  But I'm getting more and more used to skiing without lights in the dark, which is harder than it sounds.

As a final thought, this is a great example of a blog post that took way too long to write.  I thought I had a good beginning, but some singers just cram words they like into a melody they like without really making any effort to make them fit.  And even if I'm basing this on one of those songs, I don't want to do that.  Because believe it or not, I do have standards.

Leaving for Canada tomorrow.  I keep telling myself things are more exciting when I'm traveling.  And possibly in a different country.  Where they don't speak English.  Oh, wait, that's Maine.  We've got a few weeks yet before that happens.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Got it back
Passport is back
Intervals now and I have got the knack
Yes I let loose
Like a sluice
On those intervals today
I was skiing really spry
And you cannot deny
Intervals hurt but you will not die
Don't you decry
Yes, intervals will help you when you're gonna vie

Ski hard back
Run it back
Passport's back
Yes it's back
Well it's back, back
Got my passport back
Yes, my passport's back

Exciting day today.  Got my new passport in, and just in time.  Did some sweet intervals at Lindley.  Yeah, they weren't perfect, but they never are.  And it was my first interval workout in a while, so it really had been to long and I was glad to be back.  The intervals were on the new trails at Lindley, which are pretty technical, but I held it together through all the twists and turns and feel like I really got a good session in, especially given the last couple days.

Well, it's late enough that I'm going to leave you with that.  Sorry.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Moser Creek, reached the peak
I've skied up there it is true
Tree branches, took my chances
Dodged 'em as I was skiin' through

Scenic viewpoint
Below dewpoint
This will be misconstrued

Now I'm skiin' and I
Skied into a hitch
Now I've skied myself right into a hitch

Now I'm skiin' and I
Skied into a hitch
Now I've skied myself right into a hitch

Yes, that's right, I almost ran over several dogs on my long ski up Moser Creek today.  At one point, a little puppy was running between my skis as I tried to maneuver my way through a crowd of people while going down a hill.  Good practice for mass starts, I guess.  And by long I don't mean too long.  Just sorta long.  But about the right length for today.  Long enough to take up a goodly amount of my day.

I also wandered around the Christmas Stroll for a while last night.  Or perhaps it is more correct to say I strolled.  For those of you who aren't from Bozeman, the Christmas Stroll is one of the events that Bozeman periodically hosts in which people wander main street buying novelty food items from street vendors.  I tried to find something that didn't involve paying $2 for lefse when a bag of lefse costs...about $2, but I failed.  Perhaps people were just downtrodden about the MSU football team's loss yesterday.  So I helped out with the BSF booth, where they were just selling the last of their glogg.  Luckily, I wasn't cold, yet, so I didn't really feel bad about missing the glogg.

In other news, I leave for Canada on Wednesday and I still don't have my passport.  And believe it or not, this fact doesn't worry me in the least.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I see my race suit and I want it painted black
My hat and racing gloves I want them to turn black
I see the teams ski by dressed in their colored suits
I simply shake my head and lace up my ski boots

This morning, while I finished packing my racing gear and getting ready to go to the Christmas Pole, I watched "Cold as Ice," starring none other than Vanilla Ice.  Before I start my critique of this film, allow me to state that I have never seen a Bruce Campbell movie I didn't like and I loved Spring Break Shark Attack.  For those of you who aren't Bruce Campbell fans and don't watch made for TV movies, sufficed to say I like movies that are so bad they are actually good.  As such, I loved this movie.  Vanilla Ice plays a rapping motorcyclist who, based on the attire of everybody else in the film, has somehow been transported back to the 1950s.  The thing that really got me about this film was that even though most of the actors seemed resigned to the fact that this was the low point of their acting careers, Vanilla Ice seemed to take this movie as seriously as anybody wearing parachute pants and a backwards policeman's cap can.  Spoiler alert:  In the end, since this is his fantasy, Vanilla Ice gets the girl.  My big question was, is she stupid.  Spoiler alert:  Yes.  Nothing she does seems to make any sense in the real world, and I honestly wonder if she was somehow transported into the movie from a fairy tale by Baba Yaga, since the characters in those don't follow common logic either.

Now that none of you will ever take my movie advice again, the Christmas Pole.  The snow was soft, and as you may have guessed from my title, I wore enough black to attend a wake.  The only things I wore that weren't black were my Madshus skis and boots, and my Swix poles.  But they all had quite a bit of black on them.  It was a really fun race.  I love courses with long, grinding hills, which this had.  I also love races in really chewed up snow that throws everybody off their rhythm, which was the conditions today.  I got out decently in the start, steadily moved up, and broke away with 5km to go.  Hopefully today's win is not the high point of my season.  But based on the fact that I drank a liter of PowerBar Recovery and ate a PowerBar Recover Bar on the way down, had a big lunch, and am not sure whether I can make it to dinner without a snack, I'm going to say I'm hungry for more.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wax up your skis, bring your friends
It's fun to ski 'round Bohart's bends
They're over there and self assured
They say that I am a huge nerd

Hello, hello, hello, it's snow
Hello, hello, hello, it's snow
Hello, hello, hello, it's snow
Hello, hello, hello

When you're leading it is dangerous
And the pace yes, it will drain us
The exhaustion is contagious
And the pace yes, it will drain us

That's right.  Racing at Bohart tomorrow.  Christmas Pole action.

As for today, I went skiing, I waxed some skis, and I don't really know where the rest of the day went.  A fair bit of it went to helping the UPS guy get his truck unstuck.  I guess I'll have more to write about tomorrow, good, bad or ugly.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I ski for BSF and I'm okay
It snows all night and I train all day

He skis for BSF and he's okay
It snows all night and he trains all day

I go for skis, I does some strength
I go to the lavatory
On weekends I go racing
It just makes me giddy

He goes for skis, he does some strength
He goes to the lavatory
On weekends he goes racing
It just makes him giddy

He skis for BSF and he's okayIt snows all night and he trains all day

I go for skis, work on technique
I ski on well groomed tracks
Sent in my passport info
So now I can relax

He goes for skis, works on technique
He skis on well groomed tracks
Sent in his passport info
So now he can relax
He skis for BSF and he's okay
It snows all night and he trains all day

I go for skis at Lindley Park
I fall on easy turns
Sometimes when I'm in saunas
I might get some steam burns

He goes for skis at Lindley Park
He falls on easy turns?
Sometimes when he's in saunas
He might get some steam burns?

Get excited.  If I have my facts strait, the RCMP will be backing me up as I sing this song in Silver Star.  Although I'm not singing it without their accompaniment.

In other news, after what can only be described as a long, stupid day, I got my passport stuff sent in, so now it's in the hands of a higher power.  The Department of State to be exact.  So there's no use worrying about it now, because I can't really do anything about it.

I also learned that late night blogging, even if I post by 10:30, can lead to me oversleeping.  Apparently I'm an old man.  I had a good joke to include here, but I don't remember much nowadays.  You kids get off my lawn!

What was I doing?  Sorry, I dozed off.  Oh, yes, blogging.  Worked on technique today, fell down on an easy corner because I was feeling too lazy to actually pick my skis up, and did a little speed.  I felt better than I thought I would.  Granted, expectations were pretty low on that front.

And to allay all of your fears, the steam burn line is a reference to Finland, where I did actually burn my hand in a sauna.  It really wasn't a big deal.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's too late baby
Now it's too late
To write a title with song lyrics
Had a tough day and I can say no way
So what rhymes?  Drumsticks

I should really bookmark that rhyming dictionary.

Anyways, as promised, I'll try to explain why I've been on sabbatical from the blagosphere for the past 30 hours or so.  Yesterday, I woke up to find that I had destroyed a contact lens for my left eye.  You can do that when you can't see well enough to make sure the lens made it into the contact case.  Apparently I have an incredible number of lenses for my right eye, which is unharmed, but none for my left eye.  So I've had to wear glasses, which I hate.

Later, I pulled my laundry out of the dryer.  I noticed something in my pocket, and crossing my fingers, reached in to see what it was.  I was hoping that it was something silly like a travel brochure or a forgotten blog post.  No such luck.  It was my passport.  I leave for Canada next Wednesday, and you'd be amazed what a washing machine does to a passport.  So I've been busy trying to make sure I get a new passport before that.  In the process, I locked myself out, and had to run to stay warm for almost two hours (I was hoping for a shorter run to the post office and back to try to recover from my cold).  So yeah, yesterday was a bad day.

As far as today went, things are looking up.  I should be able to get my new passport in time after jumping through a sufficient number of hoops.  And I had a pretty sweet ski today.  Started out with no kick, but then magically I received the gift of perfect kick while somehow having skis that outclassed many skate skis.  Too bad it was an easy day.  Until I felt how my body felt.  Anyways, life should be returning to as normal as things get when you're me, so unless those actually turn out to be famous last words...