Saturday, February 20, 2010

Horror Movie

Jeez, I feel like a waif in a Slasher Movie this week! I've become hyper-vigilant waiting for the other shoe to drop!

Sleep deprivation aside, it's been a struggle this week...I drove two tractors again last night. I lost my "magic touch" with the tiller electrical last night and I couldn't keep it running. Night before-last, my cat blew a seal in the tiller motor and pumped all the hydrostatic fluid out through the case vent, and I didn't quite make it back to the shop before the low fluid alarm started. I finished that shift in a Sherpa Winch...running around the flats.

Maybe it's in my stars or something...tonight I updated my turned my sound card off! A reboot revived the function, but not before I missed half of a live streamed event!

Also this week, the LCD screen on my camera got broken in my back pack...

So tonight, we'll see if my mechanic has finally got a handle on the confused electrons that have plagued me these past weeks.

That's all...I'm starting to whine...never a good thing...sorry!

I'm hoping that it starts snowing soon...we need it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Still Doomed...Again

These Olympics are killin' me! Tonight it's the women keeping me from my Beauty Sleep. Women's Alpine Combined and Women's Half Pipe. Great stuff.

It's hard to believe that it was 50 years ago that Squaw Valley hosted the Winter Games! I missed all the celebrations they've been throwing this month. But don't think this Golden Anniversary isn't important in my life.

I'm writing tonight, and I live in Truckee, and I work in the Ski Industry because those 1960 Winter Olympics happened at Squaw. It's funny how life works out.

My father's firm designed all the utilities for the Olympic Village built for the Games at Squaw. A couple years later, they designed the Sewage Treatment Plant for Salt Lake City, and my father was tasked to be the Supervising Engineer for it's construction. While in Salt lake for two years, us kids went to private school, so we wouldn't fall behind when we got back to the Berkeley, CA schools upon our return. At that time, Berkeley's schools were top notch, some of the best in the country.

While attending the private school, we learned to ski. Skiing was one of the physical education options during winter semester. When we returned to California, we kept skiing. Dad didn't ski, but he wanted us to be happy, so when he took us skiing, we went to Squaw so Dad could chew the fat with some friends he'd made up there while the Olympic Village Project moved along.

Back in 1960, Squaw had similar snow troubles to Vancouver's. Squaw didn't have any snow seven weeks before the start of the games! Luckily, on February 11th, a storm blew in and dumped 65 inches at the base in two days! The Games were saved, and Squaw became known worldwide.

I'd like to see a two day/five foot storm next week, but I don't think it's in the cards.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Suffering For My Art

Well, Craft...

I paid the price last night, alright! One hour of Nap Time does not a full night's sleep make. (Sometimes I think I'll never learn)

So here's how it all shook out...

As I trudged up the Shop Road I heard my guys exclaim: "Dave's here!" Strange I thought, I'm supposed to be here... as it turns out, the Boss gave me the night off...and forgot to let me know!

Cool I suffering will be at the DaveCave, fighting to stay awake while working on my music collection project! Swing Shift was still on the Mountain, so the Graveyard Crew chewed the fat while waiting...looking at the Situation Board, I noticed two of our cats were already down.

Swing Shift started arriving at the Fuel Dock, and they trickled in...every one of them looking crestfallen and stressed...Not Good...

As they spun their tales of woe, I reconsidered my plan to take the night off. My cat was on the Board as down, and I quizzed the operator who downed it. Same tiller electrical problem that's been plaguing her for the past two weeks.

The other cat on the Board had a life-threatening hydraulic leak at the stinger, and the Graveyard Mechanic was enjoying his my fate was seemingly sealed...

OK, Spring wasn't false today, the Hero Snow had morphed into Swing Goo/Grave Porcelain...I had to stay...the Guys were starting way out in the weeds, I have the patience to keep ahead of the electrical gremlins with my tiller, and the crew needed me to edit the Work Orders into something realistic...and attainable. (Let me say here that my Boss is still in training...he means well, but there's no substitute for experience) The Work Orders were of the "Most Optimistic Ever" variety, and the Swing Guys let the Orders psych them a little too much...

I did a little mental inventory, and found a cat for everyone...provided I was in my BR350. I made a mental deal with myself...I'll run her long enough to get the Guys onto a positive plane, do all the leftover Special Projects, finish the Ramp Work, edit the Orders, and when I can't keep the eyes online...I'll call it a night...and the Sow's Ear will be as close to Silk Purse territory as possible.

So confident was I of my Plan, that I left my lunchbox and backpack in the Locker Room, and armed with my trusty iPod and MiniMag flashlight, rumbled off into the night. It took reality just twenty minutes to disabuse me of said Plan...and I returned to the Shop, fetched my stuff, refueled my steed, and got down to business.

The Psych had been in full effect apparently...more than an hour of details didn't get taken care of by I did 'em, and edited some more.

About an hour and a half in, my tiller quit. Less than five minutes of fiddling with the wiring, and she was good to go, and the problem was diagnosed a little more finely. It didn't even hiccup the rest of the night.

Now my real fight eyes wanted to close so badly! I was almost delirious, and the hard snow wasn't helping...grinding along the Flats at Full Slow Ahead is the textbook definition of Highway Hypnosis...I was doomed...once the nodding off began in earnest, I pulled up and took a 15 minute cat nap. That did the trick...for about 30 minutes...then I handed off the Great Wide Open of the Flats and went to some North Facing Tree Trails for relief...not much there either...

About 0330, one of the BR275 utility cats gave up...auxiliary hydraulic hour later back-up cat number two goes down...coolant leak with overheating. More editing...

I caught a little relief when the pre-dawn color began to silhouette the trees, and we ended the show on time, and without further drama.

The edits of the Work Orders tallied out to about 25 percent of the list...just reality...I told the Boss to use the results to keep making the case for leasing our fleet to the Big Boss.

I had enough life left in me, that I did some grocery shopping on my way home. I got a full day's sleep today too!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

False Spring?

Tonight I'm going to pay the price for not following my own "ironclad" sleep rules this "weekend" weekend, I mean my one night off. I worked Sunday night for the President's Day holiday.

Monday night, I fell asleep around 1AM...and didn't wake up from my nap 'till 0430...woops! With the blinds drawn, I've been toiling away in the DaveCave all day trying to get some fatigue goin' so I could fall asleep...alas, I was still wide awake when the alarm clock chimed it's intention to wake me up. I did manage an hour or so of nap time...too little, too late...

I watched a little TV Weather at noon. One of the weather people even uttered the phrase "False Spring" before going on to allude to a return to stormy weather next figures... SturgeUrge is coming up to the Lake for his annual Timeshare Ski Week, and we've penciled in Tuesday next for a little Ice Fishing down at Boca Reservoir. I'll give in on the Ice Fishing however, if we get a solid return to winter weather!

We had some Spring-Like temperatures over the weekend, and the Hero Snow Regime clearly was on it's way out. I think Sacramento hit 70F this afternoon, while it almost made 50F on my Mountain.

Even though it's five weeks until Spring arrives, I fear these few days of Spring-Like conditions have induced a bit of the "Spring Fever" in yours truly...I feel that swell in my chest, and I have been smiling my goofy smile most of today. I spent all morning reorganizing my music collection and listened to some favorite old Blues albums. Buddy Guy...A National Treasure! The "Sweet Tea" and "Blues Singer" albums are both masterpieces.

I felt the buzz from across the country too. I heard from SturgUrge, Sister Sweetly, BajaBabe, and KirkVallus over the weekend, and lots of Old Friends are crawling out of the Facebook woodwork of late, too...may be a Spring Fever Pandemic on tap?

I for one am rooting for a return to Winter! The Eastern Seaboard got plenty of snow this week. Now it's our turn out here in the West! I don't want to see the Squeaky Snow's Swan Song just yet! Put me down for six more weeks of Winter! (a belated hat tip to Punxsutawney Phil!) I don't want to start earning it until Trout Season Opens!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

There Goes Maverick's

We had a great night last night...all things considered...we lost a winch cat again. A brand new cable made a bird's nest and tore off the level wind mechanism.

On the bright side, I got to climb some seriously steep stuff that I haven't groomed in a few years!

I enjoyed the sunny morning so much, that I forgot to watch the Maverick's Surf Contest webcast! When I awoke tonight, I watched the 6 O'clock News to get the story, and there was a different Maverick's story. Not only were the waves big out at the Maverick's break, but on the beach as well! The story was about the three "Rogue Waves" that pummeled the spectator beach! Thirteen injured, three seriously. The News Broadcasts I watched didn't show one second of the contest...maybe film at 11?

While I was surfing the internet to find some Maverick's Video, I found out that the America's Cup is on! I haven't found any TV coverage yet, either. Please God, help Larry Ellison win the Cup and bring the America's Cup Regatta to San Francisco Bay! What's up with the schedule there? Who thought it was a good idea to go up against the Olympics and the Daytona 500?

On a weather related sports note. The Olympic Alpine Skiing events scheduled for today (Sat) were postponed due to snow and fog...Lindsay Vonn has another day to recoup.

It got warm this afternoon on my Mountain, we'll see if there's any Hero Snow left tonight!

Be good to your Valentines today!