A wolf in faux shearling

What's more surprising?

* That a fake quote was plucked from a gag press release without any attempt for verification and made it to the front page of the LA Times?

* That nobody in the newsroom batted an eye when the faux Wyoming governor declared open season on the Endangered Species Act?



Santa Claus: Branding Genius

From the guys at the "Economist," masters of playing it straight:

... "THE man who created the world's most valuable brand remains an elusive figure when not in his grotto, often shielded by the tinted windows of a personalised executive sleigh that serves as his mobile office. Friends say that money is not his motivation, even though he is apparently seeking now to sell off all or part of his privately held empire. Talking to the elves, seeing the children smile, guiding the creative side of Christmas, these are the things that drive him, he says.

Yet the owner of the trademark beard and belly-laugh is also a man shrewd enough to have grasped the money-making potential of Christmas when nobody saw it as a commercial enterprise at all, and many thought it doomed to merge with New Year. Santa Claus, a former bishop from Asia Minor, thought differently. He did not invent Christmas, he likes to say now, but he did re-invent it. Probably nobody has ever seen the link between reindeer and revenues more clearly. "Besides," says one high-ranking elf, "he throws great parties." "



Bored at work?

So ... Christmas is a few days away, but you're still at work counting the hours till Friday afternoon.

You've done about all the online Xmas shopping you can at this point without the Big Man in the Corner Office (BMCO) noticing ... but you're bored.

Here's an idea. Shop for some charities.

In case you've been sleeping under a rock somewhere, the holidays are considered the "season of giving." Season meaning now. Giving meaning cash.

A few years ago, we started a tradition of saving up all those charity come-ons that we receive in the mail over the course of the year, and digging them out the week of Christmas. We choose a handful of them, and we give whatever we can.

That's the thing about giving ... it doesn't matter if it's $5 or $500, charities are always grateful, and they need help more than ever with the ever-decreasing contributions of our federal government.

Look around the local coffee shop, check the paper, or ask a friend if you need some ideas from your very own neighborhood. In case you're looking for a few suggestions, however, here are some that might work out:

Lance Armstrong Foundation : Say what you want about those yellow wristbands, but Lance has done great things here.

American Cancer Society : It could be you. It could be me. It could be a good friend. But cancer is something we're all going to have to deal with at some point.

The Jimmie Heuga Center : He shared the Olympic podium with Buddy Werner and Pepi Stiegler, and now he helps families living with MS learn how to minimize the impact of the disease through exercise and lifestyle changes.

National MS Society: The point man for batting MS. Don't underestimate the importance of battling multiple sclerosis.

Northwest Medical Teams : This is the group that sent a team of doctors (including my father-in-law) to help after the Tsunami, after the New Orleans hurricane, and after the Pakistani earthquake.

Amnesty International : In case you haven't noticed, human rights are on the slide both at home and abroad. These guys take it head on.

The Conservation Alliance: Founded by Kelty, Patagonia, the North Face and REI back in the day, today's Alliance is a force in conservation.

The Natural Resources Defense Council : The Natural Resources Defense Council: These guys are fighting the conservation fight the old fashioned way ... by suing people.

Leave No Trace: The best defense is a good offense, and LNT does just that by encouraging "responsible, non-motorized outdoor activities with minimal impact on public recreational areas." Love it.

Trout Unlimited: For over 35 years, Trout Unlimited has been America's leading trout and salmon conservation organization. If you fish, and you're not a TU member, you're lame.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail The Northern Forest Canoe Trail: A personal favorite, this group is working to establish and conserve a historic 740 mile water trail through New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire and Maine.


Christmas Card of the Day

Dan the Man
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Maine moutain bike "legend" Dan Ventura takes one for the team ...

And if you buy us a new tram, we promise we'll quit talking about "Brokeback Mountain"

From the 'no big surprise' file: JHMR annouced plans to ask the Wyoming legislature for cash to help with the construction of a new tram.

What is a surprise, however, is how Wyoming ... a state with no income tax ... has a sudden $1.8 billion surplus. That couldn't be from Big Energy tax breaks, could it? Nah....


War on Christmas? What War on Christmas?

If Santa and Jesus can enjoy a pint together ... why can't the rest of us just get along?


Micah's Nipple

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Micah Black’s nipple.

I saw it on the back page of Powder magazine this month, and it haunts me.

Why is it there? Where is the merino wool mock zip t-neck vented articulated thumbhole thing that should’ve been covering it?

I think I saw his belly button too.

Maybe it is a joke. Maybe this is the “Humor Issue” and I somehow missed the cover benefit and knee-slapping editor's note.


I strafed the pages, I looked for clues, and what did I find? Ten thousand words on the deeper meaning of skiing. Shit ... I didn't even know there was one.

Apparently, they're serious about the nipple.


China tops US in fuel economy standards

Chinese fuel standards for passenger cars are now tougher than those in the US.

Although the temptation is sit back and blame the Bushies for this one, the reality is that we haven't touched our standards in 20 years.

Think about that the next time you rent that Expedition for getting around downtown SLC at the Outdoor Retailer show.


Fishpun frenzy

Looking for a couple dozen easy ways to work fishing terms into a headline? "Cast" your vote for "outdoor blog of the year" here:



A very important date

down the rabbit hole
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
We're taking a few days off ... so until blogging resumes, please chew on this:


For Him …

Your primary reason for seeking companionship through our unique, ski-town video dating service is:
a) There comes a time in every man's life when he needs someone to share his life with.
b) Your cable got shut off.
c) You blew out your knee.

Your ideal first date with a new partner would be:
a) Maguro, toro, and sloppy sake swapping.
b) Nibbling through the all-you-can-eat salad bar with a few Moose Brews.
c) Writing your date a check for $40 and making out in your truck.

Which is your favorite part of the dating process?
a) Wondering what your date looks like naked.
b) Wondering what your friend's date looks like naked.
c) Wondering what the waitress looks like naked

If a genie gave you a choice of having sex every day with a different woman OR heli-skiing every day of the season for free, you would choose:
a) Heli-skiing.
b) Heli-skiing.

Your biggest turn-on during a conversation with a prospective dating partner is:
a) A playful sexual lilt to the discussion.
b) A hint of cleavage.
c) Finding out she owns her own snowmobile.

How many condoms do you carry in your wallet during a first date?
a) Four.
b) Five.

What is the first thing you notice about a woman?
a) Her eyes.
b) Her thighs.
c) Her snow tires.

What do you feel will be your greatest challenge in creating a lasting, positive relationship?
a) Listening to Norah Jones.
b) That time between Opening Day and the Last Tram.
c) Taking your dip out before bed.
d) All of the above.

For Her …

Your primary reason for seeking companionship through our unique, ski-town video dating service is:
a) You've been thinking about your electric toothbrush a little too much.
b) You need someone to shovel your driveway.
c) Your dog ran away.

When your last date showed up in a t-shirt saying "Just because I sleep with you tonight doesn't mean I'll ski with you tomorrow," you sprayed him with mace:
a) Immediately.
b) After he bought you dinner.

You prefer romantic men, but you'd settle for:
a) A man with less than $10,000 in credit card debt.
b) A man with easy access to the first tram.
c) A man with a job.

If a genie gave you a choice of having a fulfilling relationship with a handsome, successful man and heli-skiing every day, you would choose:
a) Heli-skiing.
b) Heli-skiing.

Your biggest turn-off during a first date is:
a) Your date staring at your breasts.
b) Your date staring at the waitress' breasts.
c) Your date asking if you own a snowmobile.

Please finish the following sentence: "Men in a ski town are only interested in one thing, and it is ______________.
a) Skiing.
b) Not sex.

What is the first thing you notice about a man?
a) His eyes.
b) His hair.
c) His snowblower.

How important is it to you to have a traditional "boyfriend'?
a) Significantly less important than a decent cup of coffee.
b) Slightly less important than vanilla soymilk.
c) Slightly more important than good reception for Olympic pairs figure skating.

If you developed a relationship with a man, and if that relationship became sexual in nature, and if that man wanted to name his sexual genitalia, and if that name happened to be "El Nino," you would:
a) Accept it, as long as things remained wetter and warmer than usual.
b) Reject it on the basis that El Nino really isn't that big of a deal.

# # #


For the Love of Dave

Who doesn't love those "soothing eyes", "sage-like wisdom", and "healthy beard" ... oooh, it tickles!

Whatever it takes, Dave. Whatever it takes.