Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Winter's last hurrah

Between Wisconsin politics and worrying about the status of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, I was ready to get the hell out of dodge. Conveniently, I had a last-minute work trip planned to go back to Berkeley, the mother-land of the blog (in the sense that I was on a three month work-visit there when I started it). Berkeley welcomed me with open arms:

But it didn't help that I was working with a group of nuclear engineers, ergo about half of the topics of conversation revolved around the aforementioned nuclear plant. But it was warm, there were no protests (remarkable for Berkeley), and you can't have it all.

A few weeks ago, I had decided I was totally over winter. Oh-ver it. Done...with the minor caveat that I hadn't done nearly enough snow skiing. What was up with winter turning into a nasty slushy mess of winter/spring limbo before I'd shredded1 an adequate amount of gnar2? So, while in the Bay Area, I figured the copilot and I might as well take a little trip to Lake Tahoe while we were in the area.

We checked out a smaller resort, Sugar Bowl (get it?? The snow is the sugar, and the slopes are the side of the bowl...nevermind). We ventured into the backcountry for a quick off-piste trip and found:

a mini village of snow buried summer cottages. I want one (unburied, of course). But it had to be a quick trip out-of-bounds, because an epic storm was coming in...the National Weather Service actually used the word 'epic' as a descriptor in their in their forecast. And indeed it was:

Our pitiful 2-wheel drive rental car. Chains transformed him into a bad-ass!

Thirty inches of freshies, chains on our tires, and a 45 car, 7 semi pile-up (!!) that closed the interstate. Fortunately, we were trapped on the right side--the side with not crowded Sugar Bowl powder skiing. However, it turns out 30" of pow is a lot for two relatively tiny people to plow through on skis. At one point, I found myself on a black diamond run pointed straight downhill, going nowhere. I had to kind of hump my way down, much to the delight of people on the lift watching. Still, epic was the correct word. I don't have my fill of snow skiing (does one ever?), but it's a step in the right direction.

I also made a little headway in the war against winter with the completion of these babies:

Dunzo. I have dubbed them the "Ace Fingerless Mitts", a name inspired by the remedial wrist bandage that I was afraid they were too reminiscent of. I'm thinking of submitting the pattern to the Free Pattern Testers group. These are a Merry Xmas to my good friend E, and only three months late. A new record!

[1] Skied with vigor.

[2] Exciting and/or challenging ski terrain; derivative of 'gnarly'.


  1. Do I finally get a blog shout out? And are those gloves for me? :). -E

  2. That's a negative, Ghostrider. You severely overestimate how long it takes me to finish a project....besides, I thought you wanted convertible glove/mitts?

  3. Err, underestimate how long it takes.

  4. I was a little confused as to how those would convert to mitts - I thought it was maybe some voodoo knitting magic ;)