Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer concerts last hurrah...

This past Friday was special as we attended a private concert by the artist Lipbone Redding at a secluded Park City home.
The one-man-band-singer was awesome, the setting fabulous, the pot-luck food pretty good and a cool, late summer night fell onto us before we had time to put on a warm jacket and slip under a blanket.

A season of outdoor concerts is coming to a close...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Olympic economics

Another Olympic is gone and a lot of money has been spent by a city and a country that would have loved escaping such a burden. At a projected $11.5 billion, that's a lot of money, and this is just a “projection”. Of course it pales in comparison with $51 billion spent in Sochi and $44 billion spent in Beijing!

This made me think that a better to run the Olympics would be for the various nations and sport federations involved to take control of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and pick up the bill for the cost of infrastructure and operations to build and run an Olympic venue based on the number of athletes and officials each national federation sends to the games.

At the same time the new consortium would get all the sponsorship money the IOC pockets and would pool them into the overall budget. If the Games make any money, the federations would partake into the surplus.

The reverse wouldn't be palatable to anyone and this would guarantee that the Games would no longer lose money, that former venues get “recycled” regularly, the IOC doesn't go the way Fifa went and that the Games spend within their means and stop the escalation of spending and other excesses that we've witnessed in recent decades.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The “hovershoes”

Last night, I had that dream about sliding while standing up on a very slight incline and moving down very fast as if I were on a very slippery slope, a little like I used to do it on snow, in my cowboy boots, some 45 years ago.

The difference was that the ground felt like sand and that I had the impression of having an air mattress between it and my feet, just like a hovercraft.
As I barely came out of my slumber, I thought that my shoes were engineered to create that slippery interface by somehow “massaging” the air molecules, breaking them down and allowing them to roll on top of each others, just like ball bearings.

At that point, I thought it would be cool to make this dream happen in reality. Now, I've got my work cut out for me!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Portillo 1966

Fifty years ago, the world ski championships were held in a small Chilean resort, high up in the Andes, from August 4 to August 14, and were dominated by a surprising French ski team that managed to win 16 medals out of 24.

To this day, it's still the only alpine world championship contested in the southern hemisphere.

During that summer of 1966, I lived in the French Alps and was waiting tables at the family's restaurant, following each day the amazing results of my home team on the local newspaper, as I don't think we even get them on the radio.

The weather in the Alps was terrible with rain everyday, and while I was toiling, I was also dreaming that I would, some day, ski Portillo.

As of today, my wish has yet to be fulfilled...

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Syrian crisis and the West

The G7 in particular and the West in general has done nothing to stop Assad from exterminating his people, and while Obama choose not to follow his own “red-line”, his colleagues from the G7 have done diddly–squat too, waiting for the US to take the lead and bear the brunt of the effort.

It would seem to me that our political leaders are much better in their celebrity roles than in accomplishing unpopular and challenging missions that normally are part and parcel of true leadership.

By doing nothing or just dragging its feet, the West shows that the G7 is a total waste of time and only good to enables despots like Assad and Putin while assuring them that they can get away with the most barbaric deeds without fear of retribution...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sealed and... waterproofed!

For the past two years, I've been thinking of “sealing” the pavers that we placed on the entrance to our new home and garage.
I finally got this chore done last week, during another sunny, warm and super dry day. 
By this I mean something like 10% humidity, as the precious and precisely measured liquid I applied dried just before my eyes as I rolled it on the stones.  
     
All along, I fretted and spread the liquid as fast as I could and equally as humanly possible; while I was toiling, I kept on having plenty of doubts about the results of this hard work. 

For the past two days, I've been looking to the heavens for a promised rain storm that never materialize that would enable me to check the outcome. 

Yesterday, I just threw some water on a few pavers and the miracle happened: The water pearled on all of them, as promised on the documentation I read and by the technicians I talked t

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Under “reconstruction”

Cosmetic surgery is extremely popular in the developed world, particularly where disposable income allows for a routine $25 to $50,000 “face job.”

The only problem that we've witnessed is that, over time, and I mean a couple of decades later, the result just look simply disastrous. Rebuilt faces appear to be under permanent tension and mommy-like, just like the late Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers' faces to name a pair of stunning examples.

Last night, as we attended a wonderful party in our neighborhood attended by a rather “senior” crowd, a friend of ours just whispered into my wife's ear that “most women at the party have had their faces redone and all very poorly, it seemed...”

I don't think plastic surgeons are foolish enough to guarantee their work for more than a couple of years!