Saturday, February 19, 2011

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Naaah, it only feels that fact, Thursday's shift was half an hour shorter than Wednesday's. Factor in the longer driving times to and from work, throw in the driveway and stairway snow removal, and life's down to Work and Sleep. Chain controls are a good molasses, sorta...

I've barely had a moment to keep up with Reno's Area Forecast Discussions...or even miss all the Baseball Spring Training News that's passing me by! The 34th America's Cup Regatta is pumping out news too, but I'm too tired to click and read any...three more nights 'till I get a night off.

Meanwhile, we've got another night of fresh, dry snow under a Full Moon. That Moon doesn't set until 0642, so the seeing will be excellent all night.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just Relief

Well, 12 hour shifts in heavy blowing snow does force even the most excited groomer to get his sleep!

Home at 1PM, Happy Hour lasted 30 minutes before the in-depth study of my eyelids began...even SPEED's Live coverage of the "Gatorade Duel at Daytona" couldn't keep me from entering dreamland post haste.

Awake at 7:30PM, I've got the replay of the racing on the tube...let's just say Sunday's Daytona 500 should be a barn burner...

About Last Night
Even though the Heavens opened and snow poured out in copious amounts (My Mountain reported 22 inches of snow for the 24 hour period) conditions were wonderful! Refusing to be obscured, last night's Full Moon put a fine light on everything, taking the sting out of the difficult climbing and tough seeing. The fact that we got more snowfall during our shift last night than we did for the entire month of January did wonders for spirits, too.

I started leaving the hill at 0900, but on my way back to the shop, I kept finding things that needed to be done...buried roads and footpaths the time I'd picked up the loose ends and filed my after action report, it was noon.

Nap Time
So it's back to bed for a little extra Power's funny just how comforting a crackling Police Scanner can be...especially after a month of  "Radio Silence"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just Damn! I am...layin' in bed, twenty minutes before BedTime, Wednesday...the trouble is, I'm fully adrenalated...yes, adrenaline is fiercely coursing through my veins, preventing my lesser sleep hormones from doing their assigned's my tiredest cliche...for lack of a more creative thought, I'm like a little boy on Christmas Eve...yet again.

I followed my own best advice, and stayed up all night. Not difficult really, the wind was makin' plenty of noise...and every hour or two, a large Ponderosa Pine Cone would slam into the DaveCave's protective skin or front porch causing a momentary Fight or Flight Response.

At 0430, the Local TV News Shows began their "Storm Watch" coverage...plenty of wild remotes of windswept reporters, snowy webcam feeds, rulers in gloved hands measuring the snowfall, and viewer photos of puddles and ponding...what's not to like? After a month+ of fair weather, you could say: "I Live for this stuff!" Sadly, I fell back to sleep around 0630, and woke up at 0830...d'oh!

Here at the DaveCave, I cleared an honest foot off my front porch at 1100. The wind had abated, and the trash and recycling needed to go out for pickup...Wednesday is Garbage Day in my subdivision...and it was still snowing!

I took some snaps as the storm dawdled, finally arrived, and the snow piled up. The Winter Storm Warning continues, and the Reno NWS Office says:


View from the mouth of the DaveCave 2/14/11 6:37PM

12:20AM 2/15/11
Lull in the action 2:12PM 2/16/11
So far, so good!

Competing for my attention, my niche sports are all trumpeting their latest Siren Calls...
Bicycle Racing: 
Lance Armstrong announces his retirement 2.0
2010 Tour de France Champion Alberto Contador is exonerated of Doping Charges that would have stripped him of his TdF Victory.
All of AMGEN Tour of California's Stage Details are now announced.
Middle East Unrest gives pause to Formula One Organizers over the March 3rd beginning of three days of testing, and March 13th's Bahrain Grand Prix...the verdict still out...
Daytona 500 Pole Sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrecks racecar in morning practice session, will start Thursday's qualifying race in backup car.
America's Cup News:
More challenger syndicates announced, bringing total to five including the Australians back for their eighth challenge.
Exhibition America's Cup Racing to begin this July 2011 on San Francisco Bay!
Non-Niche News:
World Champion San Francisco Giants begin Spring Training in Scottsdale, AZ- Pitchers and Catchers reported Monday 2/14, position players report Friday, and full squad practice begins Saturday. The Giants open their season Friday, April 1st at the LA Dodgers.

No wonder I can't sleep...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Storm Door Re-Opens Pandora's Box

Tom Petty sang: "The waiting is the hardest part" No truer words were ever crooned.

The pre-frontal winds arrived before dawn Monday. The sun came out at the DaveCave, but flurries were blowing in from the Sierra Crest, about four miles West, as the snow flies... I ran errands, straightened up my side of the garage, put the pickup in the garage, and began my weekend of hunkering down. (I wussed out on my trip down to the Ancestral Digs...the forecast has snow levels way down to 2000ft on Wednesday, when I planned to return, and the thought of 50+ miles of chain controls is more than I'm prepared to endure!)

Here on Tuesday afternoon, the sun is still shining, the roads are clear, and the wind is still howling. Interstate 80, while Chain Control-Free, was closed for a time Tuesday morning Westbound for a tipped-over hay truck just West of Donner even made the Sacramento TV News thanks to the miracle that is Skype and cell phones...whatta mess.

I did some Spring Cleaning in the DaveCave proper, ran a load of laundry, edited the DVRs, and got the recycling done. I was listening to the radio, and had the TV on with the sound off...the better to watch the approach of the storm system...only it didn't get any closer.

I took a break for lunch (a Homemade "Bakesale Bette's" Fried Chicken Sandwich, with a Gordon Biersch Czech Style Pilsner) I looked around my weather websites for some intel, and the forecasters were moving the storm's arrival back...web serendipity being what it is, I found a story on what type of drivers will be the first to get in a wreck when the snow starts falling, and chain controls start marching down the mountain...

Duh...SUV Drivers! All Mountain People know this...KCRA3 has the story with video. Who hasn't cursed one of these fools as they blow past you like Mario Andretti, only to enjoy the schadenfreude a little later when you pass them while they're high-centered on the median or guardrail?

Ah ha! My 9:30PM check of the webcams told the story...the wait is over! Chain controls are up from Drum to Truckee...there's a growing inch of snow on the DaveCave's front porch, a Winter Storm Warning is up, and the WeatherReaders on the 6 O'clock news all agreed, the worst was coming overnight...damn, and yours truly with the night off!

I won't be able to sleep tomorrow, for tomorrow night I get to play again!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Niche Sports Newz
I fell asleep way early this morning...consequently, I'm up early this evening as well. Fully expecting to stay in bed and to fall back to sleep, I started clicking through the TV channels to find a Weather Report, when I fell upon NASCAR's Budweiser Shootout from Daytona Beach, Florida.

This is the first event leading up to next Sunday's Daytona 500, Stock Car racing's "Super Bowl" NASCAR finds itself "on simmer" a decade after it's biggest star, Dale Earnhardt lost his life in a last lap crash at the 2001 Daytona 500. It's beyond me this evening to opine on the myriad reasons behind NASCAR's fall in this space, but judging by what I'm seeing tonight, the series may be reawakening.

The Daytona International Speedway has been repaved since the Firecracker 400 last Independence Day Weekend. Several rules changes appear to have put Drafting back into the show. I saw pairs of cars running together outpace all comers...old-timey racing for a change...we'll see next weekend...

Lats just say that I'm really looking forward to Mid-March when the Formula One Season takes the Green Flag in Bahrain.

Piste News
WTF? I actually dug a hole last night! Huh? Yup, on a pass I've made at least twenty times over the past two weeks...Groomers say the pack is rotting from inside. I didn't find any geology under there, but it did require three down-passes to fix it.

My trusty old BR350 is just rockin' the mountain since that fuel injector swap...the oil consumption is back to nil as well...good times. I took some snaps of my office...

Executive Chair, groomers call it The Throne
Essentials: French Roast, Talk Radio Podcast Gear
Bicycle Racing News
The Organizers of the AMGEN Tour of California finished rolling out the Stage Details this week. Stage 2 is right in my backyard, and there's a couple of new wrinkles in Stage 4. The first Mountaintop Finish for the ToC, plus the first Hors Catégorie climb in the ToC to the Mt Hamilton Observatory. With "real" mountain profiles and the World's best racers, this will be a great race.

America's Cup News
Saints be praised! There will be America's Cup racing on San Francisco Bay in 2012! Twenty days of Exhibition Racing between July and September 2012! Today's SF Chronicle has the story.

I guess I really am scattered tonight...everything is out there in the future in My World. Pattern Change is coming, but first I have to finish my week. Tonight, I'll start the trail with the rotting hole thing on a down-pass tonight...but before that...nap time...