Thursday, April 28, 2005

Gaelic Football, Furniture, the weather

These all have something in common.

Give up?

They are all things that confuse and frustrate me.

1) Gaelic Football. I am convinced that this game was invented by an ardent Republican, as a foolproof method of finding English spies.

Dublin, some time in the 19th Century.
"I know Patrick, let's make a game that's like football, except you get to carry the ball in your hands."
"That's a grand idea and will confuse those English to be sure."
"AND,let's make it that you're only sometimes allowed to use your hands."
"Another grand idea Seamus."
"AND lets make it so that when your run with the ball you have to either bounce it every three steps, or kick it to yourself, and you can't put two bounces in a row."
"You're a terrible devious man Seamus, so you are."
"And let's make it so you can score points by kicking the ball either under or over the crossbar."

It's a great game (and much less insane than hurling, which pretty much has to be seen to be believed). But it's frustratingly difficult to learn the "simple skills" (like running along and kicking the ball up into your hands).

2) Furniture. Two days late, but we got our table and Dan's desk. That's the frustrating part. The confusing part was trying to fasten bracket A into tube B with bolt Z and Allen key Q (especially since we didn't have a proper screwdriver.

3) The weather - I just get used to 16 degrees (weather in which nobody can complain about me wearing shorts and t-shirt) and then it starts to snow again. Couldn't we have had this cold snap, um, during the terrible warm spell in winter?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Back in Calgary

Well, I'm back in Calgary again - the trip from Fernie was pretty uneventful. I got my photos back from the developer (Ruapehu and december-january in Fernie) so that was pretty cool. A lot of fairly average photos of mountains and stuff, but there were some nice ones of mountains and stuff too. I think two out of fifty photos included people, and one of those was accidental.

If I can be bothered I'll scan some of the better ones - some of the sunset photos I took from the lodge on ruapehu are pretty impressive.

So yeah, I'm in Calgary, and staying in an apartment pretty much downtown. It's pretty sweet actually. We're only on the sixth floor, so the view isn't great, but there's plenty going on at street level to watch.

I'll be in Calgary for a while, so we'll see what happens.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Well, it's over. The modem has been picked up by the cable company, all my stuff is packed (and I have fretted about how much I have but more on that later), I have had several meals of leftovers and tidied the house up after the huge party we had (or not - but one of these times I'll convince Kara that I did and her head will explode).

Anyway, in about 24 hours I will be arriving at Calgary International Bus Station, and Fernie will be done. I will be carrying a large backpack *and* a hockey bag that is bigger than my room was this season. Well, almost.

I own too much stuff - the funny thing is that I haven't used half of it. It's not just summer stuff either, there are trousers and shoes I haven't worn (but then, I do dislike trousers and shoes as a matter of policy, so we shouldn't be too surprised).

For a self-proclaimed nomad, I travel pretty heavy, I guess I'm one of those nomads who has a camel train, or at least a camel metro, with him. In theory, I could live out of my backpack, and I probably should. But, just like my mother, I have a natural instinct towards hoarding stuff because it might be useful. Even if I have no possible use for an object (for example a Dodge branded tie-clippy thing), and even if the Salvation Army (a convenient receptacle for the junk that I can bring myself to shed) would turn up their nose at it, throwing something out just seems wrong somehow.

To show how much of a hoader I am, it was a struggle to throw out the remnants of my gloves (well, Tim's old gloves that I appropriated at the start of the season). They were barely even glove shaped any more and had more holes in them than Uday and Qusay (love that belated topical humour - come back in 2007 for references to the Papal elections). Sure, the duct tape was sticking to my skin in places, and my right hand kept coming out of the outer layer, but they were still worth keeping. Seriously, these gloves were a disaster area, any normal person would have tossed em without a second thought. It took me about two and a half thoughts (I was distracted by a chimpanzee riding a bicycle on TV during one of the thoughts).

Wow, there really is nothing happening, is there? And I've still got an hour and a half of internet time. The timecode for a local internet cafe was kindly donated by my ex-flatmate Edouard, currently somewhere in America in a beat up old Chevy van trying not to arouse the suspicions of the Department of Homeland Security (no really officer, all this propane is for personal consumption).

So, I'm off to Calgary tomorrow, and it's about time. My feet itch, and it's not just because I'm wearing shoes after foolishly packing my jandals (although that is one of the reasons).

I've got to keep moving in case the CIA find me - they've got a new brain reading thingee that can see through tinfoil.

Yes I've had lots of spare time over the last couple days, especially since the Fernie library is now closed on Sundays - on the upside, my Italian is a lot better (what you do is flick between CNN and TLN (Tele Latino Network, aka the Italian Chanel, and "how many pandas did that lady kill to harvest their mascara" and by about the third time around through the story cycle, you can start to nod sagely when you hear "il convocationa di papa es multo importanto"). My French is marginally less rusty from watching the various french channels - aka "why are they all clapping and singing?" - for the record, Daveed BeckHAM faitunbutcontreBarcelonadansla coupe U Ey Fa.

But enough about me, how are you?


Mmm huh.

I've managed to forget my brother's birthday, but it's OK, because I'm fairly sure that even if he has shot up recently, I'm still bigger than him. The younger siblings in my family tend towards beanpoleism, except Thomas, who as everybody knows was actually swapped shortly after birth with another, shorter, baby. Which is amazing because the Kimpese hospital only had one European baby in stock at the time.

OK, it's chucking out time. I will go home and watch several hours of Seinfeld, Friends and the Simpsons (cable TV is great). You can also watch four different home makeover programs at once.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

All's well that ends.

It might not have ended particularly well (conditions today were icy, overcast, and generally very fin de saison (I'm not trying to show off - this French keyboard has a life of its own) but it has ended.

Barring a dump overnight (lifts are open for staff skiing tomorrow, so if it dumps,I'll be impersonating Tim), the three or four runs I had today were the end of my Fernie season. I'll be hanging around town for a few days at least (I've got to clean up after the huge party we had last night).

Actually, I'm kidding about the party, but since Tim said he'd still be checking my blog I can't tell the truth about living with him and Kara, so I may as well have what fun I can at their expense (for the record, they were fine flatmates and good people).

I will be hanging around for a little while though. I've got library books to return, I really should do some work on the book I vaguely dreamed of writing about this season, and the cable company won't be collecting the modem until at least the 17th (although it appears that my XYZ port (or whatever it is that I plug into) isn't working so it's not much use to me after edouard leaves on his summer roadtrip.

OK, this French keyboard is bugging me - a, z, q, w, m, ;, qre all in the wrong place, and even though I am little ,ore than a two finger pecker; I knoz ahere the English keys qre.

I'll write more later.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Today's episode is brought to you by the letter "s"

S is a great letter to use for Sesame Street style sillyness. So, let's set this show on the street. The S sound starts a startling number words, some of which seem suitable to show you how snowboarding was today.

Sunny - Today was a brilliantly sunny day - it was bright and there was hardly a crowd in the sky. It was a nice day to be outside (especially for a hermit like me).

Slushy - This was no surprise, since it's been warm for about two weeks. The snow was very wet and slushy.

Sticky - the snow was ridiculously sticky, I kept feeling like I was going to stop.

Splash - there were actual puddles on the track out of the lower mountain.

Bah. This was much better in my head.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I'm a snow snob.

It's not the kind of thing that I should be admitting, especially since I took a stubborn pride at Whakapapa in going up every day that any of the lifts were open. Yes, I went up even if only Happy Valley was open and it was raining. It was what I did.

Here, I'm one of those people that almost only appears after a snowfall. I'm a bit more committed than that, but not much. It depends what mood I'm in.

In many ways, I'm kinda done with winter. Snowboarding is still better than being poked in the eye with a blunt stick. But it's no longer something I just have to get out there and do all the time. This is kind of sad, and I could blame the bad parts of the season for sucking my motivation (I'm not quite sure how, but I could), but really, it's my fault.

But anyway, there's still a few days left in the season, althought I'm sure I'll make it up for at least one more day snowboarding. It will probably closing day and only out of a feeling of duty, but it'll be a day up the hill anyway.

Yes, I should have been forcing myself to go up the hill, and riding all day every day. My snowboarding would be much better now. But hey, what's done is done. I'm sure that in a month or three I'll be eagerly awaiting the next winter (for which I will probably be in Europe) but for now, it feels like time to move on.

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