Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Peru trip – Photographic nightmare

The curse of digital photography is that we end-up taking far too many pictures. Then after a trip, an event or a celebration, we're stuck with a pile of shots that we don't know what to do about. First, we need to sort them out.
A long, painful process that calls on the most brain, energy-intensive operation called “decision”. Then, if we have the chance (or the curse) to use a photo editing software, we need to clean up each photograph, re-frame it, light it up or make it more contrasted, and continue the sorting process as we discover more shots that don't deserve to be kept, as we go along.

I've been working on our Peru pictures since we left Lima and haven't finished the work yet, more than two weeks later. Of course, I haven't begun looking at my Peru videos. Now I need a vacation!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Another weird, ski dream

Last night, I dreamed that I had been skiing somewhere in the California Sierras with my friend Jean-Louis Villiot. When the skiing was all done, I suddenly couldn't figure where I had left my ski boots, my after ski boots and boot bag.

I was all alone (Jean-Louis was long gone), I looked everywhere, to absolutely no avail. I went to see and ask the other people that hadn't left yet and they were quite nasty to me. Some snickered that – for someone who had worked in the ski business – that was pretty unbecoming to be so callous about one's own equipment.

Then I began to rationalize and said to myself that after all, my boots were old and so were my after ski boots. I suddenly realized that I had my custom Superfeet custom insole inside my boots and that mere realization made me cringe. Cringe so much, in fact, that this very thought woke me up...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Smoother conflict resolutions

With age and experience, handling all kinds of conflicts can get a lot better if one pays attention on the goal and less on the circumstances. In other words, we're too often solely focused on what or who is right, and not enough on what's a good and desirable outcome.

Age and experience give older folks a better chance to do just that, deal much more calmly with the issue at hand and far less passionately about the form, the nastiness or the passions surrounding the conflict instead of resolving the issue at hand in a calm, objective and pragmatic manner.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Looking at my utility bills...

This weekend, the summer, balmy summer weather that we had in Park City, came to abrupt end, ushering the real Fall season. This morning, our heating system kicked on and we all were turned towards a less carefree weather pattern.

I was thinking about all this and looking with astonishment at our low heating bill for the year, in our new, energy efficient home. We're now spending an equal amount to keep us warm and keep the light on than we spend on telecoms (internet, phones, not counting the purchase cost of smart phones or tablets).

What's more astonishing though, is that most of our utility money goes into water and water treatment, even though we use that precious commodity quite sparingly, which given the rarity of water in the West makes a lot of sense nowadays.

I compared these numbers with some of those we had in our New York suburban home in 1981. Heating oil was by far the biggest expense, adjusted for inflation, electricity was three times what we paid today, but water was dirt-cheap in those days! Feel free to use the illustrating table and plug-in your current numbers. I'd love to see a comparison!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Getting an electoral education...

Yesterday was our a chance to see the six candidates vying for the upcoming Park City Council election, jousting in a public forum the first time.

Six men and women for filling up three vacant seats. The event was organized by three business-related groups (the realtors, the Historic Alliance and the Chamber of Commerce) and the debate revolved around growth in Park City, affordable housing and transportation.

The debate ran from 11:45 am till about 1:30 pm, was moderated by a former City Councilman, and while his questions were rather convoluted and gave candidates many opportunities to stray off subject, we left the room with a crystal clear idea about the three candidates that would receive our votes early November. A rather painless and straight forward way to make another decision in our lives!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Meet Putin, the cowboy!

I believe Putin is a bully and he knows it. He also knows that he is unstoppable at the moment. At least, no word leader has shown the audacity to call on his bullying tactics or maneuver him into some form of reasonable behavior.

Too bad Obama doesn't show the appetite to handle the wild Russian as he should be capable of (people massaging has never been our current president's forte...)

As a result, he is playing the cowboy he always dreamed to be and is currently making sure that he can save Bashar al-Assad and his strategic bases on the Mediterranean. Beware of that cowboy, he's armed, reckless and extremely dangerous!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lunch at the Avoriaz ski school

Last night, I dreamed that I was having lunch at the Avoriaz ski school. Even though we never had a lunch room there per se, here I was, having a bit in my sandwich and listening to some American clients boring their French instructor with their arcane ski technicalities. 
Then, I got bumped out of my table as I wasn't supposed to sit there and tried several other spots and each time, I got kicked out. I certainly didn't belong there anymore, in spite of the fact that I was wearing the official, red “Montand” sweater with my French instructor pin smack in the middle of it.

I felt a bit embarrassed because instead of ski pants I wore what seemed to be long johns or perhaps sweat pants. I retreaded to yet another table where a lone ski instructor was too, munching on a sandwich. She looked resigned and just said to me: “Thing have changed a lot, they're not the same anymore...” I nodded in agreement and woke up.