Saturday, April 25, 2015

When “tunnel vision” beats no vision!

History of mankind has been changed for the better by individuals who had a strong vision. For every visionary though, there's always a crowd that harkens to the past and strongly believes that no change is better than trying anything new, even if venturing into something original and different mean addressing a major concern or solving a serious problem.

This seems to be what is happening with the Utah Front Range's Mountain Accord process. Transportation problems, huge carbon footprint and pollution have emerged as crucial issues and demand some bold and innovative solutions.

Along with interconnecting our six resorts, mass transit is one of them, as far as accessing our delicate canyons is concerned. This is why the creation of rail and tunnel is being suggested as part of a possible solution. If that's what it takes, this kind of “tunnel vision” is better than no vision at all! In thinking about what the Wasatch Front region ought to do, I had come to the same realization a few years ago.

As shocking as they may be to some, these proposals still must be fairly evaluated within the whole Mountain Accord thought process. These may appear as daring concepts, but I always thought that of all places, America was the one where progressive thinking was embraced? Am I missing something?

When I hear naysayers so bitter about what is supposed to be a civil and constructive dialogue, I'm reminded that retrograde folks fear change the most and that game-changing evolution always demands faith, courage and entrepreneurship.

Friday, April 24, 2015

My farming roots

Within me, these roots run both deep and shallow. Deep because I was raised by parents that for the most part of their lives were subsistence farmers, until mountain tourism pulled them out of their misery.

They're also shallow because I never was much of a “green thumb” myself. This said, I tend to our small veggie garden because we love fresh salads and herbs (the only crops that grow reasonably well at Park City's high elevation) but I hate working the soil.
For the past two days, I'm doing just that, toiling to turn the dirt around and get it ready for the growing season. My back cringes, my stamina is clearly not up to the task, but I grit my teeth, do the work and hopefully this physical torture will pay off...

Bon appétit!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

First visit at IFA!

The IFA coops are the retail stores of the Intermountain Farmers Association found mostly in Utah, but also in Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico.

For years, I drove by the Salt Lake City branch without paying much attention to it and just assuming that it must have been an uninteresting farm supply warehouse. All of this changed when my wife and I decided to step into that place and boy, were we amazed by all the treasures we discovered.

Not just farm implements and tools, as we expected, but also clothing, boots of all kinds, including cowboy boots for tots, live chicks, rabbits and everything needed to become a bee-keeper to name just a few of the innumerable items we saw inside that country store.
It sure looked liked an other era, before the age of big box retailing and the internet. Even if you don't need seeds, chick and Carhartt overalls, just go in and let yourself be captivated by the variety and uniqueness of its unfathomable product offering. We'll definitely be back!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Back into gardening!

No more skiing, so it's time to retrieve my green thumb and move from white to emerald in the color register. It's also time to begin what I hate the most on this first day of gardening: Bringing my lawn mower and trimmer back to life.

That's right, resurrecting these reluctant machines that visibly don't want to remember how to start after a winter of idleness. I spent a good hour doing just that, and just when I was about to give up both devices showed some vital signs and rose from the dead. Now, I'm tired and I will resume garden work tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The French way...

I'm currently trying to get things right for me with the French administration and it's not easy. For months now, I've been trying to get some administrative details ironed out and it's so difficult. Impossibility to deal with the administration online.
The web site is only partially functional, allowing some information to filter through but not interaction, plus there's no possibility of email.

The only one way to communicate is snail mail and when it's processed, it's not answered with the needed details which forces me to telephone – when I can get someone picking up on the other end – and pull information out of a robot-like bureaucrat.

France is definitely not catching up in the area of technology and no wonder it's crumbling under the weight of public spending that are more than 55% of the country GDP!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Time for new ski bindings?

Ski bindings evolution (just like ski boots and even skis) has been woefully lagging behind modern technology and it's past time for a brand new design.

Now, I believe I have an idea that is simple, easy to produce and install and would work much better that the contraptions offered on today's market.

It just needs to be developed a bit. So, give it some time, a bit of leeway, hope that the Holy Spirit will inspire me big times and just stay tuned!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Snowbird : When April feels just like May!

Yesterday was another perfect spring day, so grandson, son and grandpa all went skiing at Snowbird, enjoying the crisp morning snow and the warming sun. The quality skiing only lasted till lunch time when everything suddenly turned into mush.

Without much snow, the season seems ahead by one full month; the snow cover was already thin and unless winter returns with a vengeance (we've seen that before in Utah), I give the resort another four weeks at the most. We'll see...