Well, this year was a fun one. I am currently flying above
what looks like the arctic tundra on my way from Denver, Colorado to Boston,
Massachusetts.From there I will
take the bus back to New Hampshire and finally reach my destination of Vermont
later on this evening.I feel like
SIA (Snowsports Industries of America) moves way too fast and there is never
enough time to meet with all of the people that I would like to and see old
friends that live in Denver.
I would have to say that the best part of the show was
seeing the reaction on people’s faces when I would tell them that I moved from
Bellingham and Mount Baker, Washington to Vermont. Not just Vermont, but a
little town on the edge of New Hampshire to work at a skatepark of a mountain
named “Whaleback” in Enfield, NH.There are quite a few people out there in the snowsports industry that
know how amazing Baker is, and how crazy one must be to make that type of a
change.I would then explain my
story and make sure to add in the main reason why I am stoked on the move, and
that is to be able to share with the kiddos that I coach the amazing snow that
is out there and that they too can get after it if they head that way.Helmet cameras and pov videos have enabled us to share
the world as if through our own eyes and in a fashion that can take the “yeah
right” out of our tales.They also
allow us to be more honest with ourselves and learn from our mistakes. The kids flip out at some of my Contour videos from Baker, Shuksan, and Mount Herman. Some of these kids will never see that kind of pow.
Then there was the bad part of the trip.Detox.If there is one thing that I can tell you without any
hesitation it is that you do not ever want
to go to the drunk-tank.Additionally, I noticed a lot of police officers do not have a sense of
humor on the Saturday night of a fairly raucous trade show weekend.I know that I can be a rather sarcastic
fellow and may get a little impatient with others when I feel that they are not
up to speed. This, I believe, was the cause of my trip to the fishbowl.
The full story goes something like this: the first full night
of the trip I had disappeared from my homies and talked a little shit to the
fuzz out on the corner.That would
be Thursday night.We got split up
and just as I was walking back to my friend’s apartment less than half a block
from the bar another homie that I know from Bellingham saw me, thought I was
lost or something, and got me get into the cab with some other dudes on his
team and that he rides with.My
other friends tried to find me within the five minutes of our separation.They asked two police officers if they
had seen me, to which they replied, “hat and a mustache? Yeah, that guy is an
The next day I woke up and did day two of the trade show:
meetings and hi-fives, trying to set up more impromptu meetings for the
following day, and I think I even snuck a little nap in there, too.I will go into more detail about the
trade show and things that I found interesting to note or major items of
importance once I get all of the photos and videos logged and edited.This story is about the darkside.
Fast-forward to Saturday.Trade show had closed for business, beers were enjoyed at
the Convention Center Happy Hour, and my buddy and I headed out to grab some
dinner before the trade show’s after-parties were to begin.Dinner didn’t happen as planned and we
continued to drink as though we had eaten.That was probably where it all went south.At one point I was told the jello-shots
were for a charity to help fund underprivileged inner city kids the ability to get
out of their reality and ride the mountains.I tried to just give the dude my cash and sell the shots to
someone else but he made me take the three I paid for.I gave two away and took one.
My night only went downhill from there, and straight into
the gutter.Long, blurry story
short, I lost my friends in the madness of the bars, headed back to the
apartment to drop off my computer bag and its contents, and then headed over to
another bar that I figured I would run into someone that I know.That went on for a while and as I was
on the street outside the police decided it was in my best interest to go to the
Denver Health Detox.They didn’t
charge me with any crimes and took me straight to the med center.
As liberal as Colorado is on the whole marijuana legality
Denver is still pretty strict about the drunk in public, drinking in public,
and public intoxication thing.On
one hand it was very nice of them to think I could use an overnight stay on a
cot in a health facility while being monitored.On the other hand, that shit sucked!
I awoke from my horrible half-slumber and marched straight
over to the nurses’ station.Thinking about my day ahead of me I told the nurses that I had a couple
of last minute appointments and that I had scheduled and needed to make.The “behavioral health technicians”
didn’t care.They had set a time
for me to get out based on a mathematical approximation of time it would take
my blood alcohol to drop to .000.What
I blew at the time of being taken into care is irrelevant (but if you really
want to know shoot me personal message, text, phone call, whatever.)I guess that they had allowed people to
go on their own in the past if they could blow earlier and that backfired. Now
they figure out the timing when you arrive and don’t budge.I tried to reason with them, they were
very clever in their responses, but still wouldn’t release me until it was my
“sober time.” One nurse said,
“we’ve had PhD’s in here, you ain’t special.Go lay down and we’ll call you for lunch.”
The staff was actually quite amazing for what they have to
deal with on a daily basis.They
even have a couple very attractive ladies working there, but it’s kinda hard to
even think of picking up someone that works at a detox center when you are
occupying a cot. I assume the regulars that frequent the center have a whole
system due to witnessing those who were sneaking cigarettes into the place and
smoking in the bathroom. I saw some drug use and even a few jail/prison like
deals go down.
The worst part was that I honestly felt like I was becoming
dumber by the minute listening to the conversations of some of those around
me.Now, I’m not trying to judge
but it definitely wasn’t a meeting of the Mensa.Sure, there are some people with serious alcohol and drug
problems that need to be in that place.There’s no questioning that.One of the guys that was in a bed near me had been in there for 24
days.I asked how long he had to
be there and the nurse replied, “when he’s sober.”Good enough answer, I guess.
Put it this way, I was definitely the only person that was
doing yoga next to their bed.
One of the guys had said that they don’t release people on
their own because the Denver Health wasn’t trying to have a line of drunks
walking out of the place.I ended
up being let go on my own.I
chatted with the gentleman taking care of my release and was able to have 50%
of the fee reduced.He thanked me
for my military service and asked me for some advice about his oldest son’s
plans to join the service, which branch I recommend, jobs/rates he should look
into, et cetera.
Not my happiest day on Earth. I’d say that military
restriction is the only thing even close. The food is the same.
Here is a list of things I learned from the experience that may
·Don’t assume police officers have a sense of
humor, or are as intelligent as you are and know the difference between sarcasm
and being a trouble case.
·It costs $325 for an overnight stay with really
·If you can pay upon time of release it costs
·If you can prove you are indigent (which sounds
like an oxymoron) the Denver Health (i.e. tax payers) will pay for your stay.
I guess it goes to show you that when you get a bunch of
skiers and snowboarders together in one place awesome things can and will
happen.With that in mind, you can
probably expect the polar opposite to occur as well.There was only one other person that was in town for the
show in there with me.He had been
turned over to the police after the EMTs cleared him from being passed out in
the hall at his hotel.I figure we
probably won’t be the last people from the convention to get some time to think
at Denver Health.
I told my Mom about my experience and she said the standard
Mom thing: “you are too old for this crap.”That’s true.No
matter how hard I try to justify it there is no reason for it.Open bars, jello-shots, police with
attitudes that rival my own heightened sense of self worth, nothing.Just plain, old fashioned stupidity.
Well, I am at Logan Int'l Airport in Boston finally getting a little bit of a break from Vermont and New Hampshire. It may seem like a weird time to take a vacation, but I'm not. I am headed to the yearly Snowsports Industries of America trade show. I figure it is a good time to get my head back into the future of the industry I work in and love.
Leg 2 - Not Driving
This Winter has been a good one so far, minus the fact that every week I have a kid that I coach get broke-off AND the East Coast does not have the snow I have grown accustomed to. At least only two of the kiddos from the Mini-Core and Mini-Core Plus Teams that I work with ended up in hospital visits. Yes, the little shredders are OK. No, they are still stoked on riding and getting better at ripping up the slopes. Children can be so resilient. I remember those days as a skateboarder. You couldn't pay me to take those slams on pavement again. I will make sure to write more about one of the incidents in particular in the very near future. Comment to remind me if you feel froggy.
The main point of this post: If you are in Denver I hope to see you at one of the many events and/or 'Happy Hours' that are about to go down.
Here it is, December 12, 2012 (12-12-12) and I am already anticipating the biggest trade show of the year. That is, should we out live the Mayans' expectation. But honestly, get real, they didn't even see the For me this is the most important opportunity to see what the ski and snowboard industry have up their respective sleeves. Total pun intended.
SIA is a time for next years business to begin, parties and award shows to attend, photographs to be captured, and old friends to be gathered. It has been two years since I attended SIA and I am ready for the show.
Things I expect/hope to see this year:
- Lots of old friends
- New and Improved Styles
- Sustainability and Ecologically minded breakthroughs in technology
- Fun and Exciting Exhibitions
- Great Music
- Delicious Beer
- Hot Babes
Of that list, are any too much to ask? I think not!
Well, hello there. I am writing to you live and direct from Vermont. I have made my way back to the East Coast, and up. After a short stint visiting family, weathering a hurricane, visiting my parents homes in North Carolina and Alabama, I have made my way up to the "Green Mountains." It is my goal to ride them when they turn white!
I moved back to Virginia in August in hopes of working for a friend's construction company. Things didn't go quite according to plan and after a few weeks I knew that I had to be back in the mountains. The only question at that point was, "which ones?" I called up my buddy, Gregory Brown, who I had met while we were both volunteering for Eco-friendly companies (Protect Our Winters and RAMP) at the Gorge for the Dave Matthew's Band Caravan, and asked him if he knew of any work opportunities in his area. I knew that he was in the snow scene up here and figured he would be a good contact to touch base with to see about mountain living in the North East. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest for the past six years it only made sense to try out the other side of the country for a seasonal comparison. Greg said come on up and check it out, so I made my way here this past Friday after my first Thanksgiving with my Mother in over 12 years.
Friday I traveled. I actually missed my first flight due to a delay, complications figuring out when the new boarding time was, beers in the lounge, and a lack of attention to the overhead paging system. I guess they still have them, and apparently they will try to call you over it several times. I didn't make the flight but I somehow managed to get booked for a later flight through a completely different connecting airport, and I was bumped up to first class. Greg met me in Manchester and we drove the final hour and a half to the house. All-in-all a very long day of traveling and drinking on my way to a new state for the first time.
This Winter I will be living up here in the farmhouse with Senior Brown. The first night was pretty chilly. Second night got much colder. Last night was REALLY cold and I could see my breath when I woke in my room, which is the upper floor of the house. We decided that the current situation would not do once the snow starts to fall and heat is a big deal after being on the mountain all day. This morning we embarked on a simple insulation replacement. That was until the small scampering across the drywall the past couple nights went from an assumption of a few field mice to a gang of flying squirrels. We were opening up the ceiling and from the amount of debris and animal shit there were a lot more than a couple. What neither of us knew is that there were over 14 calling the roof area their home. We had removed a decent amount of insulation, then packed it back with new insulation. Just as we were putting up plastic on the hole we heard a lot of commotion from the new zone of pink. Greg pulled the plastic down and as he was pulling out some of the new stuffing one of the little dudes flew at him, bounced off his chest in my general direction, I screamed like a little girl and ran as the little sucker ran laps all over the room. Freaked me out!
For the next few hours Greg battled the squirrels. Initially the plan was to achieve a humane relocation for the little guys, eventually the plan was impossible and "The Great Flying Squirrel Massacre of 2012" ensued. We left the house at about quarter to nine with the ceiling open, windows open to air out the mess, the door to the room closed, and a much larger project to complete before the house is habitable again. Tomorrow we will take the findings to the landlord and see what we can work out as far as a solution. Not too bad for my first few days in the North East. One thing I can say is that this has been anything but uneventful.
Update: Landlord returns from hunting Friday. We finished cleaning out the baffles in the ceiling and removed all of the old insulation today. This evening we had a funeral for the Flying Squirrel Tribe. May their souls rest in acorn and fiberglass heaven.
PS: Leave me a note to say "Hi" if you stopped by. =D
I am always looking for new and interesting perspectives on Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Rock Climbing, Action Sports, and Marketing. Along with those topics some related issues that interest me are Sustainable Marketing and bridging the gap between the growing nature of businesses and the goal of enhancing the current sports industry business model to a healthier design for all!