Thursday, November 30, 2006

An offer I can't refuse?

I just received this very attractive email from United offering me unbelievable deals on a skiing holiday.

Lots of places I can choose from, including Steamboat.

Hmmmm, maybe it's an offer I can refuse. It seems a bit excessive to fly from my house to the lifts!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Powder chaser

Today was one of those days where there's a few inches of new powder on top of the previous day's big fall and you go chasing the leftover stashes. I found some good deep snow on the skiers' right of Tornado and likewise on Cyclone (including face shots), all over Triangle 3 (great because it was closed yesterday) and in the middle section of the Bar-UE Liftline.

Here's the map of today's runs for a total of 11,268 vertical ft and a season total of 38,078 vertical ft (or 3.8% of my season goal of skiing one million vertical ft).

Hopefully we'll soon have enough snow to open more of the mountain. As much as I like some of these runs, I'm itching to ski some of my other favourites, especially Shadows and Twilight!

Update: I forgot to mention that it was much colder today than yesterday. It was about 10F (-12C) when I went out at 8.30 am "warming" to 15F by the time I finished at 10.30 am. Also, check out this picture of yesterday's action from the front page of today's newspaper.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Powder day

Two days ago it was like spring, but today it's definitely like winter, the very best of winter. A major storm rolled in last night and brought with it 8-12 inches of Steamboat's famous champagne powder.

Here's the map of today's runs for a total of 11,530 vertical ft and a season total of 26,810 vertical ft (or 2.7% of my season goal of skiing one million vertical ft).

I followed a pair of instructors down BC Liftline for first tracks and was embarrassed to fall on my second turn, but I felt a lot better when one of the instructors fell a few turns further down. Most of the rest was tracked up by the time I got to it because the normal quota of powderhounds was squeezed into about 10% of the mountain, although I did find some very nice lines on Hurricane which only opened later in the morning.

It's still snowing and forecast to continue well into tonight, so it should be more of the same tomorrow, only better!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

November spring

The conditions on the mountain right now are like spring skiing which is fine, except that it's November! Today was much like Friday only a little bit more. Here's the map of today's runs for a total of 9,020 vertical ft and a season total of 15,280 vertical ft (or 1.5% of my season goal of skiing one million vertical ft).

And now, since it's already Monday in Asia, I need to get to work.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Back on skis

Steamboat's 2006-07 ski season opened yesterday and today was my first day out. Unfortunately all the snow we had in October and early November has melted because it's been so warm the last few days. They've done a great job with snowmaking but it really needs to snow in the next few days.

While there's not a lot of people here it was still a little crowded since everyone was packed into just a few runs. Upper Buddy's was nice and the bumps on Whiteout and BC Liftline were surprisingly good - perhaps because the warm weather had softened them.

My skiing was also much better than I expected given that once again I failed to stay fit during the summer and that I'd only got off the plane from New Zealand yesterday.

Objectively today was only one star, but it's so good to be back on skis that subjectively I'd have to rate it four stars!

Here's the map of today's runs for a total of 6,260 vertical ft.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


If you want to understand the key to programmer productivity (and any other task that involves the manipulation of a large number of inter-dependent ideas) read Joel On Software.

What it comes down to is this - interruptions are really, really, really bad for productivity when you are doing this type of work (because every time you are interrupted you need to reassemble all the ideas you were holding in your head in exactly the relative positions they were at the point you were interrupted). The lack of interruptions is one of the main reasons I like working from home (the other reasons are being close to my espresso machine, my wife and the ski lifts, but not necessarily in that order).

However when I'm visiting one of my company's offices I usually end up working at a cube in what we call a 'business centre'. The idea is widespread in big consulting companies now and is usually referred to as 'hot desking'. It's driven by bean counters who believe that it saves money which on the face of it is true because you can squeeze a lot more people in the same amount of space. Of course it's only a saving if you completely ignore productivity, which in my experience is about 25% of what it is when you have a quiet private space (like my home office), at least if you measure productivity in terms of producing the stuff that we deliver to clients and actually get paid for as opposed to 'busy work'.

But someone in our office in Wellington, NZ has taken the concept to new levels of stupidity because the 'business centre' is also the coffee break room. Try preparing a presentation to a client to close a multi-million deal while a dozen people are taking their lunch break around you. I really wonder how the guy that came up with this can justify taking a salary.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I love snow but...

..this is ridiculous. I'm in Canberra, Australia where the summer solstice is a little over a month away. I lived here for most of the 1980's and it snowed twice. And yet right now it's snowing!