Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The changing nature of jet lag

I used to travel an awful lot and through the years, developed my own technique in dealing with jet lag.

For one thing, I always adhered to the following principles: 
  • Try to sleep as much as possible during the flight. 
  • Run or exercise strenuously upon arrival at my new destination. 
  • Convince myself that the new local time is the real one and never “translate” with the time at home. 
 The bottom line is that it worked pretty well for me as I was trained and much younger. I've also always experienced that eastward travel was much tougher as I was losing precious sleeping time and my circadian rhythms were more perturbed.
Westward flying was much easier, of course, for the very same reasons. Sitting still for hours plus breathing recirculated foul air wasn't helping either.

Today as I am getting close to 70, most of these negative elements seem to have amplified and jet lag is no longer a fun and enjoyable game to play. Morale of the story:

Don't wait until you're 80 to do all your heavy traveling!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Post-vacation chores

Returning home after a vacation always feel good. Re-discovering one's own home, re-experiencing one's own bed ; nothing beats these feelings.

There's of course all the mail to sort, the bills to pay and the urgencies to address. Along with all of this there are the other by-product of all that the time-off, like pictures and videos, among others.

These are also my biggest pet-peeve that we seem to accumulate in huge quantities, especially now, in that smart-phone era, where we always have a camera or worse, a video-camera in our pocket. How do we deal with that deluge of material?

I usually leaves that for last. I get to do my daily blog first and then, when it's all published, go to the pictures. That's what I just started today. This is hard work because is requires sorting, which mean choosing and major brain damage.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A former colleague drops by...

My countryman Patrick and I used to work for a while at the same ski school, in Avoriaz, up in the northern French Alps and both of us had since moved on, he to Canada, me to the United States.


Yesterday happened to be a superb opportunity for us to meet again when he, along with his wife Vicky, came to visit me and my wife in Park City. Lots of stuff to reminisce about and old memories to dust off.

A wonderful day for all of us!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

KLM's toxic food

In case you didn't know it, the “KLM” acronym, means Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, which simply put, stands for Royal Dutch Airlines. Sound good, except that the food they serve on some of their flight is downright poisonous.

When we flew KLM from Nice to Amsterdam on our way back to America, the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands served us cheese sandwiches for breakfast that were not really attractive. My wife took a bite of it and tossed it away. I was hungry and ate the whole thing, not knowing that sometime later that Dutch delicacy would strike me with a vengeance.

You could think that KLM's recent merger with Air France would have had a positive influence on the airline culinary style, but apparently not. Upon my return home, I got food poisoning so severe that I thought I would die.

Since I'm writing this, I did survive it, but enough to remember never again to fly KLM or eat their spoiled food.

Better yet, regardless of the airline we'll fly in the future, we'll a point to pack up our food before boarding. Don't we learn something new everyday?

Friday, October 13, 2017

What could Deer Valley improve?

Being the “number one ski resort” in North America would suggest perfection, but perfection exists nowhere and for those that know Deer Valley Resort well, there are quite a few things that still could be improved.

These are personal thoughts coming through seasons of experience and observations. Let's start from the beginning, with parking. The current set up, while permitting unloading at the top, still requires one driver or a ski party skipping the whole valet thing to walk up to the resort or wait for the little shuttle-train.

What about instead, a series of covered moving walkways, just like the escalators at Beaver Creek? Then, there is the antiquated paper lift ticket that needs to be attached to the jacket or the pass that needs to somehow hang out.

Time to move to RFID and get a real count of how many skiers are on the mountain; I'm certain the new owners will do it! There, on the slopes, there is definite need for some in-between grade between the steep runs (terrifying for intermediates) at the top of Bald Mountain and the sheer flatness of Homeward Bound, as well as widening congested zones like Ontario run for example; some creative design is required to address these problem!

Also, be a bit more customer-oriented and delayed closing time at Empire and Lady Morgan, not to mention getting Carpenter to start a tiny bit earlier to disgorge skiers faster out of Snow Park. Having all ski instructors wear a helmet might also go a long way in setting example for all skiers and while we are at it, isn't it time for letting all users (skiers and snowboarders) enjoy the mountain together?

Discriminating against boarders pleases the dying crowd that still is – until now – the core constituency of Deer Valley, but it might be prudent to attract more millennials by walking the talk and creating more youthful activities to the resort by designating and building a series of real Park for the new generations and get rid of Cadillac as the official car of the resort?

Finally, tastes change and evolve all the time and it seems to me that the resort's food services have stayed stuck in the past and should strive to maintain their leadership through innovation in dining.

I won't even mention the creation of a good website and a workable app, but you get my drift...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Jean Ferrat's lust for life

When we found ourselves in Ardèche, I wanted to visit the village that the French singer Jean Ferrat literally “adopted” leaving Paris and its glamour behind.

The village of Antraigue sur Volane fits my one of my favorite French singer like a glove and while I never was fond of Ferrat's political views (he openly espoused communism for quite a long time until discovering Stalin's true work) I loved all of his other songs.

Seeing the kind of place and lifestyle he picked for himself in Ardèche made sense to me and fell perfectly in line with the image I had of the man and the poet.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Morzine vs. Park City; that's the question!

Upon my return from France, my wife is asking me how I feel about my distant hometown in the French Alps and how it compares with Park City.

My response never really changes. French lifestyle is fun but is also quite complicated. Park City's is super casual and totally uncomplicated.

The weather in Morzine is humid and subject to change almost all the time with about 250 days of precipitations a year. Contrast this with Park City's 250 days of dry and steady weather.
Skiing is just incredibly good in Utah while far too crowded, bordering on dangerous in France.

Then there's on big thing: Food. We eat like kings in France, while we tend to eat like our new president in American, but fortunately – and we have 40 years to attest to that – the gap is closing fast plus my wife and I have stayed thin!