Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A much quieter Sundance Film Festival

Not so long ago, we used to see a dozen or more film at our famous local festival, but waiting for hours on end, inside a cold tent and fighting some challenging transit logistics in hopping from one film to the next, has finally taken its toll.

This year, we limited our cinematic splurge to only four films that had all won in their respective, categories so we wouldn't be too disappointed in discovering them.

Among these flicks we loved “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” the story of a 14 year-old Joshua Wong who decides to fight for Hong Kong and challenge the Chinese Communist Party. What an example in leadership!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Trump's wall on insanity

Intuitively, I've always thought that Trump's wall idea was as idiotic as it was naive. For one thing, we should first enforce our immigration laws and go after the illegals that are in the country now.

At that point we could either deport them or make them pay a hefty fine, or why not, offer them to stay, with a green card against a hefty payment that could either be in full or staggered over a long period of time like student loans are.

Going back to the wall idea, we are told that it might cost $15 billions, but expect it to cost up to $30 or $50 billion when all is said and done, not to mention maintenance and plugging up tunnels that “El Chapo” type Mexicans will dig under the fence.

Then, with the wall built, illegal can still enter from the sea, either on the entire Atlantic or Pacific coasts. The most fortunate or astute who get to Canada, would then have a wall-free border to cross. Better yet, why not simply board a plane in Mexico City like up to 40% illegal immigrant do, clear the U.S. Customs perfectly legally and simply overstay their visitor's visa.

There's also a well established “circular flow” of immigrants that come to work in the United States and then cross back to Mexico to their homes and family. A wall would trap all these folks inside the U.S. and the number of illegal would soar.

Finally, since Mexico said to Trump that he could stick his wall in his rear end, we, we the U.S. Taxpayers would have to pay for that monstrosity. Another unintended consequence. As anyone with brain can understand, building a wall between us and Mexico is simply a demented idea.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The unpredictability of downhill

In recent years and for both Slalom and GS events, ski competition has always been reasonably predictable, as to which racers would end up standing on the podium.

The same can't be said of Downhill and to a lesser extent, perhaps, of Super G. Speed events are in fact quite unpredictable and while the top racers win most, the definition of “top racers” goes up from 3 to 5 down in technical events to 10 to 20 in speed races.

Downhill has too many variables to be accurately forecast and between equipment, base structure, choice of wax, speed in some critical areas, best possible line, visibility and of course, snow conditions. The result is that the potential for variation scatters the event predictability.

This is perhaps why last Friday's winner of the Garmish downhill ended up 12th the next day...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Behind the “knee replacement industry”

If you live in a ski town, you know scores of people that have had their knee repaired, replaced, or are scheduled to go under the knife. This for sure wasn't the case 25 or even 15 years ago and begs the question, why?

For one thing, today's skiers have hit the slopes more than their fair share with the advent of high-speed lifts in the mid 80's. In addition, better, shorter skis, good instruction that let most of them access bumps, steep terrain and considerably more mileage and vertical that amplified all kinds of bodily impact.

Add to this the popular practice of an array of other sports that weren't always gentle on joints and you get a recipe for destruction. In the same time, prosthesis technology and surgical techniques have improved by leaps and bounds and have allowed for replacing almost any joint.

Today, after enjoying too much of a good thing, these skiers' “original equipment” is showing signs of wear and tear and needs to be replaced. As all of the above keeps on accelerating, expect joint replacements to become routine and part and parcel of a skier's life.

This said, I still won't go skiing today and nurse my natural, ailing knee a little bit longer...

Friday, January 27, 2017

How I resist Trump

I'm not good enough to climb up a crane and hang a “Resist” banner in plain view of the White House, but this week, I have initiated a simple routine that I hope will make a huge difference, especially if others do the same.

I have decided to call my Representative and my two Senators each and every day of the week I am against a GOP proposal, a Tweet or any bad idea emanating from President Trump. My phone speed-dial has been programmed and I've just began my daily calls.

I've made them clear, logical, simple and to the point. Soon, I'll record a video that I'll put on Facebook showing in detail how I got organized to make it happen, so more can follow that single daily step and together, we'll soon make a huge difference!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Forays into politics

A few nights ago, my wife and I attended a local Democratic Party meeting aimed at listening to their constituency.

Even though we are registered Independents, we were welcome to it and were stunned by the “business as usual” atmosphere that prevailed; instead, we were expecting a most alarmed and defensive atmosphere.

At any rate, I had a chance to vent all of my frustration about Hillary's loss to Trump and underscored a few points that are dear to me:

1. Trump (more like Sanders) was an iconoclast that got the people's attention, took all of his opponents by surprise and won because of his trademark rudeness, bullying and lies. No one had the backbone to go against it.

2. Hillary was a terrible candidate coming into the battle with some terrible baggage, not to mention sabotaging Bernie Sanders' campaign and a bruising loss against Obama in 2008. From the get-go, she wasn't presidential material.

3. Unlike what Michelle Obama admonished “'When they go low, we go high”, the only way to fight Trump is to hit him 10 times as hard with the same mean rhetoric every time he crosses the line.

They were a few interesting comments from the light attendance, comprised of too few young people and too many old guys like us. Ideas like going after the latino electorate, getting money from the Recreation Industry, etc. but, by and large, a lot of quiet resolutions that would never suffice to make in-roads in Utah under the present circumstances.

In the process we learned that the Democratic Party was dubbed as the “Abortion Party” here in Utah (because of the Mormon Church) and that Democratic is a dirty word that Utah Dems don't have the guts to use. Yet, Mr. Trump has shown that an unshakable self-confidence combined with an iconoclastic approach were a winning combination.

I'll pass these comments on to the State Party big wigs...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Trump's 27 Percent

While we often remember that Trump suffered a significant loss against Clinton in terms of the popular vote with a stunning 2,865,080 votes, we forget that only twenty seven percent of the illegible Americans voted for the current president.

It means that almost three-quarter of the electorate didn't care for the billionaire turned politician. Sure, we shouldn't forget that about 45% of Americans didn't bother to vote, but with a large number for Trump voters casting their ballot against Clinton, but not necessarily for Trump.

This might leave us with, at the most, some 35 millions (or 15% of the electorate) that were hard-core Trump supporters. Unless, the new president delivers on his promises and some, he might soon have 85% of the populace turning against him much sooner than he might expect...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Too much of a good thing?

Any ski resort always wishes for snow and lots of it, but when there's too much in a shorter time span, the excess always causes problems. From driving to roof leaks to repeated clearing, snow heaven quickly turn into snow hell.

I keep track of all the snow I must remove around our house, and since late November, we've accumulated more than 90 inches while there's about 3 feet sitting around the house.

Our Park City resorts usually claim that anything around 300 inches for the whole season is an excellent snow year, but we're already at 227 inches for Park City, while Deer Valley that is a tad lower boasts 258 inches (probably a stretch...) Go figure!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Deliver us from pre-release?

Kitzbühel's Streif is the most difficult downhill course in the world and on Saturday, as we watched it, I followed with particular interest what happened to Max Franz, an Austrian racer who lost a ski for no apparent reason and managed to save himself, if not a podium.

Well after the race, being the binding expert as I used to be, I observed slo-mo videos and could see that while the ski was pumelled by the wavy, hard snow, it's not the toe piece (Atomic branded Salomon) that gave way, but rather the heel piece that seemed to release sideway (like a Knee binding would), letting Franz's right boot escape.
What happened? I would suspect that the forward pressure springs broke or were weakened or that the heel piece wasn't properly adjusted to the boot length. Hopefully, someone will figure out!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's Rally Park City

To me, as much as it was a Women's Rally, it was even more an anti-trump demonstration.

Yesterday morning, after clearing up snow to get out the house, my wife and I boarded one of the many public buses to get to Main Street, Park City and it just took us one solid hour in total gridlock and in an overcrowded shuttle to finally reach old town, less than 3 miles away from home.

According to Park City's Police Chief they were between 5 to 7,000 demonstrator braving the cold and the snow that were determined to make their voices heard and send a message to the new administration.

I simply hope that all of the demonstrations against Trump will carry the seeds of a forceful push-back and return to normality in two to four years from now!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

How mental is great skiing?

This always has been a huge and hard-to-answer question. First it must be said that out of all learning phases, the beginning part of skiing is as much physical as it is mental. I'd say 50/50 for both.

Learning movements, remembering sensations, finding the right balance and doing more than one thing at once fills up the physical side of the equation while overcoming fear, remembering terminology and basic gestures, takes care of the mental balance.

As a skier's set of skills evolves and develops, most of them become second-nature and season after season, just like the act of riding a bike, skiers remember these skills and build on them.

It's only when skiers get close to the apex of their learning curve that they seem to reach the law of diminishing returns and that even an inordinate amount of extra practice fails to deliver the tiniest improvement.

That's were the mind locks itself up and won't seem to cooperate any further. One of the reasons for that mental block is that there are some gestures and mental imaging that stubbornly resist becoming second-nature.

The skier will have to consciously invoke them in order to be able to use them. They don't come with the usual recorded set of skills and if skiers forget them, they may be headed up for some trouble.

Specifically, I think of concrete actions like systematically anticipating each turn or holding a picture of the ideal way of skiing or the mental image of a mentor. It does work, try it, and when you've reached the “10,000 hour law”, this may the only ammunition left to either get better or stop the decline...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Our new emperor has no clothes...

We won't watch the “crowning” of our new emperor.

We'll go skiing instead; it will be much, much more fun.

So we don't get distracted, we just have to remember that we're not crowning a king or bowing down to a dictator. 

Today, our new employee is starting his temp job.

We simply won't forget that we all are still his boss.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Taxes : Fair, moral or arbitrary ?

Trump pays no Federal taxes but he claims that it's perfectly legal and blames our outrage on the Tax Code.

Supporters of that unfair state of affairs claim that if taxpayers feels slighted or are unhappy, they just have to petition Congress to change the Law. Is that fair? Fair perhaps, but definitely immoral, unjust and un-Christian. At least that's my opinion.

The example I tend to throw at the hypocrites hiding against our American Tax Code is that it might be a good idea to set up a rule under which anyone could steal – yes, I meant STEAL – up to $20,000 worth of goods and/or services per year, and get Scott-free.

You could steal your neighbor lawn mower, a stranger's motorcycle, skip paying a fat hotel bill or a nice men's suit and still be within your legal limits. If that were the case, mobs would march in the streets in protests, and the law would be repealed sine die.

Isn't it time we did the same with our immoral, unjust and un-Christian entire Tax Code?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Showing Park City to a friend...

Yesterday, Gerhard Zimmermann, a long time ski biz friend came to Park City to ski with me and I was delighted to show him around and make him discover much more than a visitor will ever experience.

This sharing of great hidden spots, and of the ski resort I love, always makes me smile and fills me with great pleasure and pride. The outing came and went and before we had time to realize, it was time to call it a day.

I was glad my recovering MCL held up and that Gerhard made me aware of my gliding shortcomings. I blamed them on an extruded base instead of a sintered one, but he maintained that some smartly applied wax might help!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Creative Cost of Trump's victory

Ever since Trump “won” the US election, there have been speculations on how the event might impact the economy, ranging from “trickle-down” growth created by aggressive tax-cut, less regulations, tougher trade agreements and a general “business-approach” to government.

Little has been said though, about the paralysis that has affected the most creative minds in the country could not digest that November 8 electoral upset. Sure, the 60+ million idiots that voted for Trump are delighted, but these people have little impact on dynamism of the nation except for their own consumption.

What's been the cost to the Nation's GDP in the last two months in terms of lost or delayed creative ideas, inventions, entrepreneurship and positive initiatives? I'd say between 2 to $300 billions. What's your guess?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump reminds me of...

When Trump speaks publicly, he always reminds me of a former business associate and boss that used to behave just the same, both in his demeanor and words.

Even though this man has helped me along with my career, his bully, righteous and domineering behavior was just unbearable. He eventually failed, his career came to a dismal, screeching halt.

Today, my gut tells me the next president Trump will follow his dismal path...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The wrong way to blow snow!

Snow removal is always a big headache for ski town municipalities that need to deal with speedy clearing and removal.

This is why they also ask residents not to push, or blow snow, back into the street. This is pretty logical and any individual with minimum brain power should get it, but this is far from being the case.

Many big-city dwellers that have make Park City their home and other egocentric characters still can comprehend this civic rule and sometimes we need to tell them or let the municipal authorities know. This shows, if it ever needed to that common sense has truly become an endangered specie.

How do people blow their snow in your town?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Does practice make perfect?

I am the first to say (with great conviction) that the more one practices, the better one gets.

This probably goes hand-in-hand with the “10,000 Hour Rule” that is promoted by the pop writer Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” and that says that at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are needed to become world-class in any field, citing the Beatles and Bill Gates among other examples.

This assertion is based on a study by Anders Ericsson. So when I apply it to skiing, after tallying how many hours I've spend on skis since I learned as a kid, I get to 12,500 hour, so I feel I can claim that I master the art of skiing.

This said, a recent Princeton study just debunked that theory. In a meta-analysis of 88 studies on deliberate practice, the researchers found that practice accounted for only a 12% difference in performance in most domains, and only 18% in sports.

Of course, I don't buy this and remain a staunch proponent of the 10,000 hour rule. Do you want me to substantiate my hunch? I may, but will only do it when I'm done practicing and finally have more time on my hands!

Friday, January 13, 2017

The age of reason?

Since January 3, I've not been on skis and I don't plan to return until this coming Monday. Together, I will have stopped skiing for two full weeks and have amazed myself at my patience in not itching too badly to return on my skis.

I couldn't have done this when I was 18 years of age, let alone just two or three winters ago. The temptation was immense though and was measured in feet of new snow everyday.
Instead, I have gradually eased into snow removal, stationary bike and walking with my wife around the neighborhood. I still can't believe I was able to do this! I must have finally reached what wise people call the age of reason!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Dinner with a Trump supporter

Last night we invited one of our neighbors for dinner and while we avoided bringing up politics to the table, the husband, a die-hard republican, couldn't avoid praising Trump (even though he claimed he didn't vote for the man – Wow!).

His wife who said she voted for the Libertarian candidate wasn't as adamant about Donald Trump.

I pushed back as strongly as I could, trying to remain a civil host, on the account that the man was 1) a jerk, 2) a hypocrite and 3) a potential tyrant. In the end we agreed to disagree in the most civil way but by nonetheless standing on our respective positions.

Today, after watching a rather defensive and overly controlled press conference by the soon-to-be “Reigning Duck”, I felt that I was perfectly right to stand my ground and that my first fears about the out-control-leader were well grounded...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What is the Pineapple Express?

For us who live in Park City, Utah, the “Pineapple Express” is the name we like to call a meteorological phenomenon characterized by a strong, persistent flow of atmospheric moisture associated with heavy precipitations originating from Hawaii and reaching first the Pacific coast of North America and eventually our Rocky Mountain Region.

We could say that a Pineapple Express is just like an atmospheric river driven by the strong splitting southern branch of the polar jet stream circling around the high pressure system. This causes torrential rains to occur in the region with typically very heavy snowfall in the mountains.

Besides being abundant the snow is also quite humid and can be preceded by high-altitude rain, which is just what we've been receiving in the last few days and is likely to last for one more day or two...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trump's advantage

I don't know about you, but until now, I've not been able to save enough time to accomplish all the things I want to do in my life. In reality, time has been flying too fast and many times, I wished it could slow down.

Now, thanks to Trump, that day has finally arrived. The time we'll have to endure this imbecile is likely to feel interminable and, as long as he's is at the White House, most of us will be desperately looking forward to the end of his mandate.
So, in a way, we'll get most of the time back that has been flying for as long as most of us have lived.

The difference is that we used up and wasted too much good time and now, the type of time we'll get plenty of, will be of mediocre quality. Sure, it will be incumbent on us to make every effort in order to enhance it and put it to good use.

I only hope the opposition party will be wise enough to do the same with it!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Finally, a real winter!

It's been since 2010-2011 that we didn't have a “real” winter in Park City, with razor-thin coverage all these previous seasons.

This year is a big change and so far, snow has been phenomenal. Too bad I'm currently sitting out the “pow” while I nurse my left knee.

Like anywhere else in the world, weather remain unpredictable and while temperatures keep on slowly rising, this still doesn't precludes exceptional snow years, so we must enjoy the white, fluffy stuff while it keeps falling.

Sorry, I need to stop my diatribe as there's more snow to shovel!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Don't write, call you member of congress!

Like many people I've often found convenient to contact my Congress person (Representative and Senators) via email, but after all what I've read, I've concluded that this was a royal waste of time.

I should call them instead when I am not pleased with what's going with our government and if we all do this not only we'll make them go nuts, but they might also begin to pay attention.

And paying attention they'll need to, with the crazy ideas that their leadership as well as the new “Tweeter in Chief” will be promoting. So, with no further ado, I've decided to put their three numbers on speed dial and will call them on a maddening, regular fashion.
If we all do that, we might get some good change going, so just find your representative (you only have one), your two senators, make a note of their numbers, program them into your phone, plaster them on your desk, your kitchen counter and begin calling the hell out of them, especially if they're republicans.

Be nice and courteous with the interns that pick up the phone and remember that they are just volunteers. Good luck!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coping by using humor and laughter?

Life never fails to serve us with more than our fair share of unpleasant situations. These tough times, in turn, grind us down and are exacting a terrible toll on us. It then seems normal and unavoidable to let sadness, anger, negativity or gloom set upon us and see our lives spiral down.

As you might expect, there's always a counter-measure to that dismal turn of events and it can be found under the form of fun, humor and laughter. Training ourselves to use these might come in very handy. But we need to make a conscious effort to incorporate that response into our lives.

Perhaps, the most destabilizing and constant event is Change. Of all the scary things that rock our lives, this one is permanent. It causes us to be scared and panicked and deprives us to look at its potential fun sides and other silver linings as small as these can be.

Humor and laughter are time-proven stress-removing tools too. Our only trouble is that we don't think about them when we need them most. We just need to cultivate that mental habit to seek their soothing help.

Of course this comes hand-in-hand with choosing our attitude and again, opting for the sunny, instead of the shady side of life, takes conscious efforts and repetition, but is worth its weight in gold.

Finally, there is the comfort of feeling more in control when we are able to extricate ourselves out of an unpleasant situation and create a pleasant and joyful place instead.

So, at the end of the day, if we can turn gloom and desperation into fun and games, we've done ourselves a huge favor. Let's get to work!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Lots of early snow...

This early winter season is probably one of the best I've seen in many years, with more snow to come, already waiting into the “California Pipeline”.

Skiing has been great and now that the crowds are thinning out, there will be more “pow” left just for the locals.

In the past few days, I've refocused my winter skills into snow removal as my left knee has not appreciated my taking it into places a guy my age would be wise to ignore, but my excuse was a good one; I had to do it, I was skiing with my daughter!

For now, I plan to be patient, let that inflamed MCL (just my opinion, I haven't seen a doc yet) calm down and, Ullr willing, I'll be back on my skis in no time!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Testing skis...

Assessing a pair of skis is always very tricky. First of all, we get used to the skis we normally use and trying a new pair of ski for evaluation demands a certain time to adapt to that ski, yet alone get a good idea on how the ski performs.

Then, we're all different; weight, body-shape, personal technique, skiing preferences, terrain and snow conditions are as many variables that complicate the assessment and can throw the results into multiple directions.

This said, I tried two pairs of XO skis last year, made in Poland and distributed as a luxury, limited production in the United States. We tested the skis on groomed runs under perfect snow conditions I loved one of the model, the One Sixty Six that blended an incredible ease of turning, a great precision, unflinching stability and wonderful carving.

I loved that ski albeit I found it a little short for me (I'm used to ski on 180-188 cm long skis). At that time, I also tried another model, that I understood it was an all-mountain ski, dubbed the One Seventy Two. For me, this ski didn't compare as well as the other model, wasn't as steady and simply was more “work” to handle.

Recently, I was again given a chance to ski for a few days on the One Seventy Two. This time I took it both on groomed and unprepared runs.

The sensation I got from that ski was that it was more difficult to ski on groomed run that any of the three pairs of skis I currently ski on (Rossignol Experience 88, 188 cm, Salomon Wing, 180 cm, Dynastar Powder Pack, 180 cm).

When I took the skis in powder, crud or other regular snow, that difficult behavior felt somehow amplified and demanded much work and focus on my part. This said, I can't pinpoint anything in particular that could cause the steering difficulties I experienced.

Was it the dimensional characteristics of the skis, their stiffness, I can't tell, but it demanded simply more attention, concentration and efforts than my normal skis, in an even shorter version...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Jean Vuarnet, 1933-2016

This was the first champion that captured my imagination and he was a skier. A lot has been written about my countryman and local hero, Jean Vuarnet, and I only will add what in him touched me the most.

I particularly remember that after he won his gold medal in Squaw Valley, a big celebration was held in Morzine, in his honor. This ski town is located in the northern French Alps, just west of the Swiss border. I was then just twelve years old and had walked from my to home to the main Plaza where he was honored and given a brand new Renault Floride convertible.

Then, I got to know Jean and his wife Edith when the came to my summer hamlet of Les Lindarets, just below Avoriaz and were coveting a beautiful, original chalet, that his owner would never sell them.
In these days, Les Lindarets was already the tourist magnet that it has remained over the years and the place was always filthy after the passage of tourists, and he must have thought that I would be more receptive than the rest of my family in advising me to follow the method used at North American National Parks by placing garbage bins in strategic locations!

Later on, as I taught skiing in Avoriaz, the Vuarnets were the iconic family with their small boys, their modern ski shop, Jean's beloved cigar, their beautiful contemporary home where my ski school buddies and I celebrated Jean's 40th birthday (the year was 1973).

After I moved to the United States, in the late 70s, I saw Jean at the North Americans ski shows until about the mid nineties, when I moved away from marketing hardgoods.

Jean Vuarnet definitely fueled my love for skiing, my career in the industry and a winning spirit that I always tried to emulate. He passed away in Sallanches, France, on January 2.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Forty years ago today...

This was a Monday and after flying from Geneva to Paris, I met Roland Cattin and Philippe Blime, two top execs at Look, at Charles de Gaulle airport to board our flight to New York.

I was beginning a new life and a new career in the United States. The day before I was still teaching skiing at Avoriaz and had left my wife alone in France while I started my job in Westchester County, New York.

I would return twice to France that winter, teach a bit while I was home and preparing for our big move in May. Back in that January day, I was filled with both apprehension and excitement, was eager to learn and see my American dream ready to unfold.

This fateful decision to leave everything behind had been experienced by millions of people before me and is one that we've questioned on many occasions.

Today, the time is no longer about questioning, but reminiscing, and on the whole, it still seems to me that it was a good move for everyone's involved...

Monday, January 2, 2017

A nightmarish wake-up call...

Two days ago was New Year Eve. As usual, we went to bed early (around 10 pm) as we've never had any patience to wait until midnight after a traditionally busy and festive week.

We simply called it another night and 2016 a dismal year with a terrible election outcome and nothing to rejoice about.

Then around midnight, the neighborhood exploded with firecrackers noises lit up with fireworks too. We stayed calmly in bed in the hope that 2017 wouldn't be as bad as it portends to be.
Of course, we've held this way of reasoning every-time we awaken since November 9 (the day after the election) and our new American Nightmare is here to stay for a long while, all too real.

What is for sure is that – as a Nation – We certainly deserved this harsh wake-up call. Whatever happened to the American Dream?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy (?) Birthday...

Not so long ago, I had another birthday and for the occasion we had a wonderful family dinner prepared lovingly by my wife and daughter. It was a delightful and fun evening.

Sure, birthdays don't ring as pleasantly these days when another new year isn't necessarily a harbinger of dreams to materialize, plans to unfold and exciting new things to happen.

At my age, they are too often about wondering when the next (bad) shoe will drop if we happen to see the glass half-full.

In my case, as I am still a rather optimistic guy, I'm just looking forward to see all the good things that grace my life to last as long as they can and to spoil none of the future moments that are still in store for me.

To me that's the new way of celebrating another birthday while keeping my hopes high and my smile wide!

By the way, happy new year!