Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Utah Avalanche Danger Rating Scale

The Utah Avalanche Center has a Danger rating scale for the backcountry that tells you how stable the snow conditions are for backcountry recreating.

It goes like this:

Extreme
High
Considerable
Moderate
Low

Looking at this scale, Megan is thinking, "Moderate" sounds dangerous, "Considerable" sounds like there is a 90-95% death rate, "High" is a suicide missions where i will probably trigger a slide and bury a small villiage containing a school filled with underprivelledged children and "Extreme" is where i could trigger an avalanche in a parking garage and take out most of the wasatch front. So to help Megan out a little bit, i came up with another rating system that may make more sense and put her mind at ease a little bit so she can quit looking here whenever i want to go backcountry skiing.

Mine goes like this:

My legs are tired from my workout yesterday so i am going to take the day off. Why don't you go for a long run today and i will get the kids ready for school
I have a big project at work so if i get enough done, i might try and head out
If i can find someone to go with, i am going to head up
Do you want me to take #4 in a backpack when i go so you can get things done around the house?
I am going to go for a bike ride instead

The fact that a bunch of snowmobilers keep getting lost and buried in the backcountry doesn't help my case much.
Still, it was a beautiful morning and good to get out again after a few years off.

Looking across the canyon
The view the other direction

The view down

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Who Needs Sons When you Have Daughters Like This?

Last Saturday, #1, #2 and I went and did our first BMX races. We all had a blast and learned a lot about the culture that is BMX. There were all kinds of racers there ranging from the 3 & 4 year old kids riding $1000 bikes with clipless pedals to 40 year old women racing against each other and having a blast. The little kids fields were huge but so were the middle aged men categories. Some of it was like in church basketball where you get guys that used to be athletic at one point in their lives but are now overweight and somewhere along the way lost all coordination, and then the opposite end of the spectrum was guys that are national champions in their age brackets and still ride super fast.
#2 told me it was "funner than Thunder Mountain at Disneyland". She wanted to know if i could dig some bumps in our back yard so she could practice. I told her it was ok with me but that she would need to ok it with her mother first.
Both #1 and #2 wanted to know when the next race was so they could go and do it again. They also wanted to know when they could get real BMX bikes. Apparently it is not cool to race bmx on a pink princess bike. Someone also told #2 that she kind of looked like the witch from The Wizard of Oz or Mary Poppins when she rode her bike.I have been told that a front loading washer and dryer are a higher priority than buying more bikes. Does anybody know where i can get a frontloading washer and dryer for super cheap? I don't even think they need to work.

In all of our first races, we started with 5 people per heat and if we placed in the top 2 we would advance to the final round. If we did not advance in the first round, we raced again against the other 2 that didn't qualify in the first round. Below is a video of #1 and #2's second heat and my final Heat. Listen close for Megan's commentary on the back stretch on #2's race that she needed to finish 2nd out of 3 people to advance to the semi finals.



I have gone from doing a 10 hour LOTOJA race to 45 minute cyclocross races to 30 second BMX races. Before long, i will just take my bike off the car and then put it back on.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sledding with the Kids

We got to go sledding a couple times over the Christmas break. #3 got a camera for Christmas so she was taking lots of pictures of everybody. A few of them actually turned out. Here are a couple more pictures that she took with her new camera that were a little more artsy.
I have taken the liberty of naming the photos for her.
This above picture is called:
"Fleeting glimpse into the sometimes dark life of a baby doll who is loved by a little girl who doesn't know better"

This photo is called:
"Please read me a bedtime story or i will go through this entire book and take a picture of every single page of the book, edition #1 of 29"

#3 got the hang of sledding by the 2nd day. The first video is of day 1, the second video is of day 2. She was having fun either way, but day 1 was less work for me because she only walked 10 feet up the hill
video video

I was surprised that #1 and #2 automatically went for the top of the steepest parts of the hill.
You can see in the picture below what an ice burn will do to a little face at 40 miles an hour when you come off the sled and bounce with your chin.
Blog give aways are the craze nowadays. And of course i am one to jump on a band wagon and pretend like it was my idea all along. Whoever comments or e.mails me with the best near death experience they had during the calendar year of 2008 will win an archival quality print of the photo called "Fleeting glimpse into the sometimes dark life of a baby doll who is loved by a little girl who doesn't know better" signed by the artist.