Rick's World

Where's Rick now? Check in to find out. Stories from the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and beyond...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Microsoft Software to Monitor Your Work Performance

This is scary, MS has filed a patent for software that monitors a workers performance by monitoring things like vital signs...


Monday, January 14, 2008

Just how bad is bottled water?

Being anti-bottled water is all the rage these days. I read long ago about how tap water is actually required to meet more stringent health standards then bottled water. Plus, all that plastic, transportation, etc. I really like this guy Pablo's column, it just moved to Salon. By his analysis:


an EMPTY 1 Liter bottle requires 7 liters of water, 162 grams of oil, and creates 100 grams of green house gas emissions. And that's BEFORE the bottled is shipped to your local store.

I question his analysis that we could provide clean water to everyone for 1/5 of what we spend on bottled water. I'm not sure simply digging wells is the answer (don't many people not have clean water because digging wells in their area isn't possible?). But, it's very clear that if we re-allocated the resources we spend on bottled water, we could do a lot of good!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

8 Days of Freshies

Well, finally after 8 days of skiing freshies I need a break! Catch up on some sleep and watch a little football. Headed up to the Mt Rose Wilderness area from the summit on Friday. 1/2" crust in the north facing trees just above 9000 feet, not the greatest skiing. Did find a little soft snow in some trees with a NW aspect. Skiing back down to the car on the east aspect was actually pretty nice, warm enough that the crust had broken down in the open spaces.

Rick D and I headed up from the end of my road yesterday. It was snowing heavily, ended up getting a surprise 4 inches or so. I was AMAZED how good the snow was in the gully. Sierra Cement for sure, but very skiable, plenty worthy of taking a second lap!

Rick hugging my tracks on lap 1

Heading back up for another!

Snow looks pretty good to me!

Rick having fun!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Backyard Skiing

Another AM run up from the end of the road. Still great snow!! David's first BC ski experience, I think he's hooked.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Chutes at Last!!!

Bombs were going off all morning, around 11:00 the board said gates would start opening one at a time between 12:15 and 1:00, at 11:50 the Zephyr lift broke down, 45 minutes later it was running again, at 1:15 they dropped the chains. We're back in business!! Snow wasn't super deep, a lot of wind effect, but found some great lines. I actually found over the knee snow at the end of the day in Lowball (I never ski that gate, but it only had two tracks in it when I headed over there).

Sure felt good to be back up here!

Still rocky up top, El Cap and Yellow Jacket aren't open

I think this is called Miller Time, that's the gate at least. How about a ski that starts in a rock garden and ends in avy debris :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dawn Patrol

Been a long while since I've done a headlamp start :-) Myself, Seb, and Dave headed out for an early AM run from the end of my road before the next storm hits. My crappy pics don't do justice to how good the skiing was!

Heading up in the dark

Check out that smile!

Monday, January 7, 2008

It's way past time...

Stopping Junk Mail

It always amazes me when I come home from travelling how much mail I have waiting for me. What's even more amazing is how little of it is important. Go away for 6 weeks like I did last summer and you can really see it, bags of recycling and a small pile of important things (I pay all my bills online now and receive very few in the mail).

I decided to do something about this 2008, here's what I've learned so far:

Over 100 million trees are cut down each year to make the paper for junk mail. The average American receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year, spends 70 hours dealing with it, and 44% of it is never opened.

Took me less then 30 minutes to follow the recommendations here, now I just need to drop the letters in the mail: http://www.stopjunkmail.org/

And, here's an easy way to opt out of unwanted catalogs:


Each year 19 billion catalogs are sent to American consumers!!
  • Number of trees used – 53 million trees
  • Pounds of paper used – 3.6 million tons of paper
  • Energy used to produce this volume of paper – 38 trillion BTUs, enough to power 1.2 million homes per year
  • Contribution to global warming – 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equal to the annual emissions of two million cars
  • Waste water discharges from this volume of paper – 53 billion gallons of water, enough to fill 81,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Great Skiing Returns to Tahoe

Been a long time since I've posted, I guess that's because it's been a long time since I've done any really great skiing :-) Well, the last couple days at Mt Rose have really delivered. Huge snow storm, knee to waist deep turns! Main side only at Rose yesterday, East Bowl opened today, and they're saying there's a good chance the Chutes will open tomorrow. Once I'm finished tracking that all up it'll be time for a couple weeks of great backcountry skiing!

Afraid no pics, too busy skiing to stop!