The torch has been passed

What do these three things have in common?

... President Gerald Ford passed away today.

... Arnold Schwarzenegger broke his leg skiing in Sun Valley.

... Chevy Chase could definitely use some work.


Unauthorized pix

Outdoor Industry VIPs gatheirng to discuss "this RSS thing" and whether or not it might replace their trusty fax machines.


Holiday card of the day

The Week Before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas on the river, Smallmouth bass were biting better than ever.

Some say 40 degree water is simply too cold, But frankly that story line is getting a bit old.

These northern bass were eating jigs and bait like candy, And some of those brownies were down right dandy.

Marilyn and Darl know when the Allegheny River is open, Fishing with friends is oh so much better than sitting mopin’.

If you’re up our way in November – December, We will gladly show you a time to remember.

From our jetboat on the Allegheny where bass are still feeding, We’re taking time between hooksets to send this seasonal greeting.

Merry Christmas to All and Great Happiness for 2007


Chasing 27 ... Bode wins again

Bode wins the Super G at Hinterstoder, taking the World Cup lead and inching closer to the proverbial record books. The victory moves him to 24 career wins on the circuit ... not that anybody's counting of course.

Chasing 27
Phil Mahre career World Cup wins: 27
Maier/Stenmark single season World Cup wins: 13
Bode's current career World Cup wins: 24
Bode's World Cup wins this year: 3

Bode's wins this year
Dec. 1 Downhill @ Beaver Creek, Colorado
Dec. 15 Super G @ Groden, Italy
Dec. 20 Super G @ Hinterstoder, Austri

Where Bode will be next
Dec. 21 Giant Slalom @ Hinterstoder, Austria
Dec. 29 Downhill @ Bormio, Italy
Jan. 6 Giant Slalom @ Adelboden, Switzerland
Jan. 7 Slalom @ Adelboden, Switzerland


Things to do while you're working on next year's Skiing columns

The most famous leg shaver in Vermont, as well as the Right Coast's illustrious ski columnist/editor type, has reached a new plateau of notoriety.

While the rest of us have been bantering about whether or not to switch to organic shaving cream, Ben's been living out his greatest eco-geek fantasies

Lost in Translation

The actual message is unclear ... but i believe these are unauthorized photos from the Ibex holiday party.

Keep the photos coming!


Chasing 27

With a RIPPING run in the Super G last Friday, Bode continued stalking Phil Mahre's career world cup record of 27 wins. The win was his second of the season, and puts him closer to knocking off Washington's home hill hero as well as the uberskier himself, Hermann Maier.

"One of (my) goals ... is to try to win the most World Cups in a season that has ever been done," said Miller, back in October, around the same time that he hinted he might retire after this season.

In plain english, Bode Miller has painted a target on the single-season record of 13 World Cup victories, a mark shared by Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden and Austria's Hermann Maier. Is it because of his new skis? Or because his coach won't let him sleep in the RV anymore? Or simply because when he's on, there's nobody better.

Here's the rundown:

Phil Mahre career World Cup wins: 27
Bode's current career World Cup wins: 23

Maier/Stenmark single season World Cup wins: 13
Bode's World Cup wins this year: 2

Next up:

December 18 -- Slalom --Alta Badia, Italy
December 20 -- Super-G -- Hinterstoder, Austria
December 21 -- Giant Slalom-- Hinterstoder, Austria
December 29 -- Downhill -- Bormio, Italy


Sure ... but can he ski?

Waiting for winter, while winter is apparently ... blogging?

Sure, we all know that winter is cool. But what about its blog? I'm not so sure a key season should be spending valuable time blogging while the rest of us wonder if we'll be golfing with our egg nog.


Organic is the new black, take 2

For organic lovers ... last week's Economist will definitely live in infamy. Check this blurb out from "Good Food?"

"There are good reasons to doubt the claims made about three of the most popular varieties of “ethical” food: organic food, Fairtrade food and local food (see article). People who want to make the world a better place cannot do so by shifting their shopping habits: transforming the planet requires duller disciplines, like politics."

The jist of the article is that farming, by nature, is a brutally inefficient use of land. And that organic farming, while being lighter on the DDT, is way worse in terms of the amount of land required to get the job done.

Not to say that organic is bad or unworthy in any way ... but, rather, that the job ahead of us is far more involved than merely whipping out the credit card and shopping our way to a greener planet.


Mea culpa

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, I read on Gawker.com that one of the outdoor industry's leading brands had a pair of ads censored by Entertainment Weekly. The ads were creative, agressive and attention getting, and prompted numerous reactionary postings by Gawker's regular readers. One of those postings was a mocked up version of one of the censored ads that exaggerated the original concept to a ridiculous level.

At the time, I was struck and impressed by the fact that this member of the occasionally low-tech outdoor community had the wherewithal and the courage to go "viral" with their marketing. Eager to help the momentum of this viral marketing campaign, I posted the original censored ads as well as the reader-posted mock ad.

Unfortunately, the mock ad got picked up by RSS feeds ... distributing it to reader programs without context ... and i found myself in the unwanted position of potentially hurting a brand i was sincerely hoping to help.

Even though I had nothing to do with the creation of the mock ad, I still regret my decision to post it.

Making people squirm has never been the point of Wicked Outdoorsy. Rather, it has been an effort to learn the ropes of Web 2.0 by being a part of it, and along the way trying to provoke some thought and an occasional smile.

My sincere apologies,

Drew Simmons

Fly the friendly skies

Offering an early look at what'll be coming out at the January shows, Smith dropped their first PR today, introducing the MHC -- a frame that salutes "remarkable airborne achievers."

Yeah ... It's just a sunglass, like the MHC is just a club.

In case you want to get the most out of your frequent flier miles, here are a few helpful links.

Do it in Georgia

Do it in Chicago

Do NOT do this

DEFINITELY do not do this

Open season for 'The Goods'

RSN is going to do another round of filming at the 2007 SIA show. This is the one that's filmed at the show, edited that night, then broadcast to all the rooms in Mandalay Bay, the Luxor, and whatever that cheap hotel is where Hixson always stays.

According to Maggie "Double Down" Piveronas: "It's shot at SIA, airs in a daily format there & then becomes a one-hour gear preview show that airs across RSN for about 6 months. Additionally 16,000 dvds are sent to all SIA members as part of the program. It's so inexpensive and reaches millions across the retailer, industry & consumer audiences. It really is a sweet deal."

This one's a paid placement folks. But it's limited space. Email mpiveronas@rsn.com with your questions.



Cloudveil ads censored by Entertainment Weekly

From the "you can't buy this kind of publicity" file, our friends at Cloudveil allegedly attempted to place a couple ads in EW that would run during Sundance. The ads -- the latest excellent work from the Jackson Hole brand -- poke a little fun at breast implants and scientoloogy.

Apparently, EW was not amused. However, the boys at Gawker.com liked the piece enough to make it their lead of the day.

How great is this? Not only do you get some props for a sweet ad ... but you don't have to pay the $100k for a full page ad!




The Gear Junkie does not write about equipment for junkies. He writes about equipment for ultra endurance adventures .... it's totally different. Adventure racers wear heart monitors.

Greased lightning

Won't you please help?

Run out of Vermont in a German luxury sedan (like that's even comfortable) that won't even use gas (like that's going to work), Veggie Boy is being forced to ski in the backcountry every day in a new place (like that's any fun) with new friend (people can be so tiring sometimes) for the next five weeks (an extended ski tour of the West with no Tivo?).

No word on whether his taskmasters will also force him to clip tickets in the Jackson Hole parking lot, sneak into the Sun Valley Lodge hot tub, or work the acute angles of happy hour snack freeganism.


How to make your man happy: Gift guide idea #247

I love these pants. If I was stranded on a desert island (ok ... a really cold desert island that hasn't heard about global warming), i would wear these pants every day.

Horny Toad calls them the Hangover. They're made out of something called "fleece" that's apparently really really warm and really really cozy. I think it's very new and may have been used in livestock experiments conducted in outer space . I'm not entirely sure.

The Hangover is cut like a pair of loose jeans, so you can wear them on a date or to a volunteer EMT meeting for about a half hour before somebody notices that you're not wearing pleated front khakis from Banana Dorkpublic.

And what does it cost to make your man happy this Xmas? A low, low $74. That's way cheaper than a ego-crushing sweater, and leaves some extra coin left over for your own personal needs.


As organic cotton goes mainstream ... is the mainstream already bored?

Is organic cotton more than just this year's iPod pocket?

According to this week's Economist, the combination of minimal supply, high potential for fraud, and fickle consumer attitudes is casting a grey light over this shining beacon of eco-apparel.

<< Cotton-industry officials say it is virtually impossible to tell organic cotton from the ordinary kind. The premium on organic cotton and an overstretched inspection system mean that “the market is absolutely ripe for fraud in organic,” says Mark Messura of Cotton Incorporated, an American trade group.

He is not alone in voicing scepticism about the long-term appeal of organic cotton. He suggests that the current surge of interest is driven more by retailers than consumers, whose fickle tastes might suddenly change. “This is the season's new black,” says Mr Messura. “Next year we'll be off to something else.” >>


Life in Vermont

From today's New York Times ... who cares if it's raining and 50 degrees?


Blogging, Inc.

With the eagerly awaited debut of Nau's blog, The Thought Kitchen and the upcoming debut of Patagonia's new blog "The Cleanest Line" (rumored launch of December 4), it's clear that two of the most inflluential eco-lifestyle brands of the last gazillion years see blogs as hugely important to their future marketing strategy.

Consider also that Backcountry.com -- arguably the most influential outdoor retailer in Internetland -- has devoted a full-time staffer to their own blog at The Goat, (the clearly underpaid and soon-to-be-famous Rocky Thompson); that the Huffington Post has announced that they will do their own reporting on the 2008 presidential campaign; and that even my father-in-law, a man who i personally introduced to an ATM machine, now knows what blogs are, and you start to realize that blogging isn't just the domain of cranky curmudgeons and long-tentacled PR firms.

How to pitch Doug Schnitzspahn

'Tis the season to crank out some serious word count. And the man of the hour is our dear friend Doug Whatshisname. No member of the outdoor community has ever had a name so hard to spell, and so easily massacred. In hopes of helping us all through this very challenging time, we've compiled a brief selection of options for the pre-show pitch fest.

a. Dear Mr. Schnitzbaum ...

b. Hello Mr. Shnitzpawn ...

c. Dearest Schnizzlesticks ...

d. Guten Tag Hein Schnitzwhatever ..

e. Schnizzle me timbers! ...

f. Word up, Shi-nizzle ...

g. One schnitz, two schnitz fish, red schnitz, blue schnitz ...

h. Hey Doug ...


And the winner is ...

Last year, Outdoor Industry Association rolled out a very cool concept ... the Innovator Award. It's sort of an "MVP of Merino" thing, where they're putting some effort into thanking one of the crowd for helping freshen up the place.

Think through the last year, and I guarantee you that we all agree on who that award recipient should be. Without a doubt, this brand has changed the way the OI population thinks, acts and markets. And the winner is

LINK: Nomination Forms


eXercising with Xbox

That giant hissing sound you hear is the air coming out the outdoor industry's anti-obesity strategy.

As painful as watching a teenager mix Red Bull with perfectly good vodka, the ironic growth of virtual athletics almost directly parallels the OI's soft targeting of the “obesity epidemic.” In so many words, the harder the OI attempts to rally around making fat people thinner through nordic walking, the easier it seems to be for e-companies to capture the hearts and souls of the inactive generation.

One reason might be the sensation of pandering that targeting fat folks feels like. It's so clearly a sales strategy, rather than an advocacy strategy, you know? The conversation has yet to touch on the challenge of how to really move the needle and increase the average American’s fitness level. Instead, it hovers around the base goals of selling more product. And for a niche driven sports market like ours, that’s simply not good enough.

NPR : California Gym for Teens Mixes Exercise with Xbox


How we roll in VT ...

Eat your heart out Chopper.

LPGA to start drug testing in 2008

Good news for fair play in the women's golf world, bad news for Barry Bonds.

I'll bet you a dozen donuts their PR guy gets paid by the hour.



Have the anti-dopers been smoking?

Either that, or Floyd Landis is innocent.

Report: Lab in Landis case made 'administrative error' on 'B' sample

When the pros go to YouTube ...

So the NHL is partnering with YouTube for the coming season, placing highlights of "last night's game" on the site within 24 hours.

Who will be the first ski area to launch a similar partnership with the online video kings? Seems like a natural, don't it?

LINK: SportsOneSource.com


Happy 40th Pedro !

The wizened ski rag man turns the big 40 today. There's no official word as to the carbon dating of his lungs, however.

Toasting Doug

Jackson Hole will name a premium line off the Headwall after Doug Coombs, honoring his memory in a way that just seems fitting.

What's interesting is that the chosen run ... and please correct me if i'm wrong ... is near the area (if not the exact area) where Doug had his legendary showdown with one of the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol back in the early 1990s. As I recall, Doug ducked the rope on the skier's left edge of the Cirque to access the area, and the infamous "Dr. No" was waiting there for him and revoked his season pass privileges.

It was an unfortunate moment for JHMR, as they found themselves obligated to stand by one of their employees who was just doing his job, against a skier who was almost singlehandedly elevating the status of Jackson Hole skiing to world-class calibre. However, the incident also elevated the conversation about the legitimacy of lift-access backcountry. It caught the attention of newspapers and magazines. It dominated the conversation in the Jackson Hole community. And it proved, once again, that Doug Coombs was a trailblazer.


Trunk Monkeys

A Marketing Maven in the Making?

Has Charlie Lozner scored his first HR coup?

LINK: Karhu

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Like skiers in the East, the GOP adjusts their expectations

Turns out the GOP doesn't want to win every election today, they just want to beat the historical average of a 6th year president ... an average loss of 67 seats in the House and 11 in the Senate.

Thanks to Ann Coulter for reminding us that anything less for the Dems would be a HUGE victory for the GOP.

LINK: Welcome to AnnCoulter.com

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Kerry Says He Deserves 2nd Chance in '08

Others with a better chance of a 2nd shot in 2008 include:

* Mike Tyson
* Saddam Hussein
* Nordic Walkers

ABC News

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: IRS Raises Mileage Rate to 48.5 Cents

yes, i know it has nothing to do with politics, but it will help you with your next expense report.

ABC News

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Cheney Going Hunting on Election Day ... No, really

My Way News - Cheney Going Hunting on Election Day

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Vote rigging in Utah? Who'll notice?

CNN.com - CNN Political Ticker

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Colbert defends Haggard as "educated consumer"

Colbert: I Buy Meth "All The Time"... | The Huffington Post


And I was thinking about building a backyard ice rink ...

Bob Burnquist has built the world's largest backyard toy ... a giganto skateboarding ramp that is "approximately 360 feet long."

Here's more .. "the ramp is 75 feet high at its apex. That is where riders begin their run, speeding down a 180-foot-long roll-in to a ramp that launches them across a 70-foot gap with trapeze netting below. Landing on a 27-foot sloped section, they then boost up to 50 feet above the ground from a 30-foot quarterpipe. A shorter route begins with a 55-foot-tall platform leading to a 50-foot gap, and the 30-foot quarterpipe."

Check the video here.



The man

For those of us in the outdoor industry ... a world without Lance is fairly hard to imagine. His image, his resume on the bike, and his legendary health struggles are known by all of us, by heart.

But for a surprisingly large population, the waiting room of a cancer ward is the first time the Lance story is encountered. There are free copies of "It's Not About the Bike," free support materials from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and free words of inspiration from Cure magazine laying everywhere. And it's impossible to not feel some solace that this man, so well known by so many, was diagnosed with fatal Stage IV cancer.

This fall was the 10th anniversary of Lance's diagnosis. Regardless of the noise that surrounds his professional career, we are all truly lucky to have him on our side.


A new home for Mountain Khakis?

... "The Government and private sector partnership in Dubai has stepped forward to bring Arctic winter experience and winter sports to Dubailand (said to cost AED 18 billion) in a unique project that is estimated to cost more than AED 1 billion. A huge 'ski dome' shall rise from the skyline of Dubai's mega tourism development project. The project will be called 'Dubai Sunny Mountain Ski dome' and will be the first of its kind in the Middle East ... "

" ... the project consists of a dome - a steel structure - that will include a huge revolving ski slope, going through and around an artificial mountain range - created to emphasize the "Arctic Experience" effect. Two huge real-ice columns will mark the entrance to the dome. Within the dome, there will be all kind of Arctic experiences, ranging from Penguinarium, winter aquaria, snow castle, ice-rink, Arctic animals statues, 4-season aquaria, snowfall, sound and light effects, cold and warm bath spa and other facilities, an ice-bridge, a cable-lift, snow maze, ice-slide, polar bears, are some of the features that will be integrated into the development and attractions. It will also have a deluxe hotel, a shopping mall, restaurants, coffee shops and other retail outlets ..."



Stick season

When the explosion of peak foliage finally drops, "stick season" arrives. Other than delivering a heaping helping of short days, long nights and plenty of hunter orange ... stick season is generally a pretty good time to get aquainted with HBO while we wait for snow to show up.

For those of us in the broad outdoor industry, stick season also marks the end of trade show season ... that liver-hardening span from july to october.

Which brings me to my point .... why do we have trade shows in the most beautiful time of the year and then spend stick season twiddling our Tivo? Why don't we revolt and host Outdoor Retailer in November? I'm sure there are at least a dozen logical reasons the shows are when they are, but what about our personal priorities?

Outdoor Retailer in November !!!



Was Burton trying to buy Mad River Glen?

According to these bloggers ... Jake had his checkbook out and ready.

Can you imagine the carnage? It'd be like tossing some anti-matter in the photon drive.

LINK: PowderJihad


Where's Waldo?

The official NFL team of the ski industry

No other professional sports team influences the ski industry the way the Denver Broncos do.

With a Monday night prime-time game scheduled for nearly every season, on-camera foul weather for the Broncos means early season bookings for ski country.

And while the Broncos are inexorably linked to the alpine industry ... other franchises, like the Kansas City Chiefs for example, are synonymous with inactivity: overeating, overdrinking, and long naps on the couch.

LINK: skipressworld


Hobby of the day


Adventure pimps the Piton ... sort of

The Piton is ...."the best anonymous outdoor industry insider blog I've read."

Not to be confused, of course, with all those other anonymous outdoor industry insider blogs that you've read.



Non-profit goes high-tech for fundraising

Ask any non-profit about the challenges of fundraising in the outdoor space, and they'll all tell a similar tale ... everybody's eager to give product, but few are willing to actually write a check.

Wouldn't it be great if merino wool and soft-shell samples could be magically changed into trail crew time, community outreach efforts and staff time?

Apparently ... now it can. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail has figured it out by running an ONLINE AUCTION where they sell all those goodies in an eBay format.

Good stuff.



Safe, boxy ... and LAME

"Who would you give a Volvo to?"
= "We know people will think this is a chance to win a free car, and will visit our website."

"This is our way of inspiring you to think of the people you care about"
= "This is our PR firm's way of increasing web traffic"

"This isn't a contest."
= "This is actually quite lame, and we know it."

"It's your chance to tell us-- in your own words, videos and photos -- about the people you want to help protect by putting them in one of the safest cars on the planet."
= "The guy that came up with this idea has already been fired, and rehired by Ford."

"So please, tell us your story."
= "So please, don't close your browser yet. The longer you stay, the longer we'll keep our marketing firm on retainer."

= "It's a spin on What Would Jesus Do, which was co-opted by What Would Jesus Drive, which is so very 1998, but it's the best we could do."



this just in

hey ... everybody's entitled to their own opinions (for example, mine include an open recognition that snowboarding is far, far easier; that the Mad River Glen single chair is ridiculous; and that the JH Tram should be replaced by a gondola... but that's just me.)

fortunately, there's still one thing that knee-droppers can do that no one else can, regardless of their alpine pedigree.... the telemark turn.

pinheads unite!

Ode to JFK

How do I love thee, JFK?  Let me count the ways ...

... for my outgoing flight, which sitteth on the tarmac for nigh under 75 minutes.    thank thee for letting me wave to my connection as it taketh off.

... for rerouting me from the knaves of Delta to thine simpler cousin, America West, and allowing me to enjoy the pleasures of elevated train travel.

... for questing me to thine cousin without the kingdom’s true mark on my parchment, and allowing me to enjoy the pleasures of elevated train travel once again.

... for my incoming flight, which toured the Island of Long for many minutes instead of landing on schedule, helping me learn the ways of the many storage units and office parks that grow fruitfully and multiply in thine meadows.

... for staffing thine terminal gates with fair ladies of Herculean heiniousness, who set Olympian heights for raising the sadness and consternation of many, many travelers.

... for ensuring that the one flight that left on time from thine shelters was the one I was supposed to be on, and allowing me to engage thine bitchy ladies once again.

... for closing thine elevated train ... thou I doth love it ... because of a bomb threat.   oh, happy day.

... for knowing that I love standing with my fellow men in lines so very much, and treating me to a 90 minute taxi wait with my fellows.    thank thee.

... for building such grand and noble lodgings at the kingdom of Airport Ramada, and treating me to victuals and beddings previously known only by the knights of the Island of Rykers.

As the old people arrive, the youngsters are fleeing

From our friends at the Label Networks comes yet another hint that maybe Madison Avenue (and Rupert Murdoch) might be getting on the social networking train just a little too late.

According to LN's "North American Youth Culture Study Fall Report ’06", a vast majority (70.5%) of 13 to 30-year-olds believe that MySpace is an internet fad.

Damn ... and just when i was starting to make some real friends!



The largest ski test of the year

It's good to see that Skiing magazine has opened up their roster of ski testers to include non-traditional alpine body types ... like Marc Peruzzi for example.

According to page 71 of the September issue, Marc has put on some serious poundage for this year's test. Once a nimble, deft alpinist with a taste for the trees ... Marc has apparently replaced his appetite for adrenalin with a hunger for home fries.

Marc Peruzzi
4'11 1/2"
350 lb.

Clearly, he's twice the skier that I am.

LINK: Skiing Magazine


Future Thursdays

The NY Times this week named their first-ever (and the world's first-ever?) "Futurist in Residence." Sign me up!

It's a one year gig, essentially a consultant job, that's able to influence any realm of the business from news creation to news delivery.

At first, the story appealed to me because of the sheer forward thinking bravado of it all. But then, i became more impressed by the rhetorical punch that the position has delivered. Essentially, this job is not far off from being a "Sustainability Manager" ... but sounds sooooo much cooler.

"Sustainability", while important, is a word that brings to mind survival mode. It makes me think of lifeboat refugees, or stranded astronauts, or bean-eating ski bums, all who are trying to "sustain" their existence.

A Futurist, on the other hand, can tackle all of the same challenges ... eco-sensitivity, efficiencies, smart growth strategies ... with some supremely happy wordplay to back him or her up.

A few years ago at Pale Morning Media, we instituted "writing Thursdays" ... a clunky name at best ... but a great concept. The fourth day of the work week became devoted to putting ideas down on paper. Not doing web research, not doing groupthink bull sessions, but actually striving to translate ideas into the written word.

From now on, however, we're going with a new name. "Future Thursdays."

LINK: Editor & Publisher


Johnny can't read ... but DAMN can he skate

Home schooling draws the leer of the Gray Lady ... as a growing number of action sportsters (ie, surf/skate/snow) are either dropping out or shooting for an equivalency degree via home schooling.

It's not unusal in the outdoor space either ... check out some of the budding kayak stars and ask yourself when the last time they saw the inside of a biology classroom.

And, in what may be the biggest mainstream story of all, traditional sporting athletes (stick and ball boys) and their parents are lobbying to allow them access to varsity athletic programs, while maintaining their own home-schooling curriculum.

For New-Sport Athletes, High School Finishes 2nd - New York Times


You can't beat something with nothing

This is a long excerpt regarding this fall's election cycle from Peggy Noonan at the WSJ ... it's worth reading the entire piece, and worth thinking about.

"... I feel the Democrats this year are making a mistake. They think it will be a cakewalk. A war going badly, immigration, high spending, a combination of sentimentality and dimness in foreign affairs--everyone in the world wants to be free, and in exactly the way we define freedom at dinner parties in McLean and Chevy Chase--and conservative thinkers and writers hopping mad and hoping to lose the House.

The Democrats' mistake--ironically, in a year all about Mr. Bush--is obsessing on Mr. Bush. They've been sucker-punched by their own animosity.

'The Democrats now are incapable of answering a question on policy without mentioning Bush six times,' says pollster Kellyanne Conway. '�'What is your vision on Iraq?' 'Bush lied us into war.' 'Health care? 'Bush hasn't a clue.' They're so obsessed with Bush it impedes them from crafting and communicating a vision all their own.' They heighten Bush by hating him.

One of the oldest clich�s in politics is, 'You can't beat something with nothing.' It's a clich�e because it's true. You have to have belief, and a program. You have to look away from the big foe and focus instead on the world and philosophy and programs you imagine.

Mr. Bush's White House loves what the Democrats are doing. They want the focus on him. That's why he's out there talking, saying Look at me."


Telemark skiers are better in bed?

A classic riff from The Daily Show, via You Tube, goes deep on cable news channels' overuse of the question mark ... aka using it as a permanent safety net for inflammatory rhetoric. (Stewart: "Fox has figured out that by simply putting a question mark at the end of something, you can say f---ing anyhing.')

mediabistro.com: TVNewser:


Black is back with 'On the Go'

Kent Black will be the EIC of "On the Go", the new men's travel title from Larry Burke (Outside). The first issue hits the stands in March.

OUTSIDE MAG IS ON THE GO By KEITH J. KELLY - New York Post Online Edition: Business


CNN delves into commercial whitewater world ... and comes up soaking wet

Our friends at CNN attempted to make a big splash this week by citing some unclear statistics on whitewater fatalities, nationwide.

The crux of the matter is how many of the deaths were involved with commercial guides, whose living depends on balancing safety and the perception of risk.

In CNN's blurry repororting, 50 fatalities were attributed to commercial guides. According to a rebuttal by American Outdoors, that number was only 10.

And for an industry that supports more than 10 million whitewater trips a year, the number of incidents is still remarkably low, making it one of the safest outdoor excursions available.

CNN: Whitewater deaths surge in US

America Outdoors refutes CNN piece


The 3 Best Jobs that Men's Journal Forgot

Beginning salary: $100,000-$200,000
After 10 years: Ask your Fidelity advisor.
Description: What better way to keep fit, stay in touch with the core outdoor experience, and get lots of ladies than to be the resident rich guy in a mountain town. You get to drive whatever you like (recommendation: vintage Toyota Landcruiser), you get to dabble in the creative arts (photography, drift boat rowing, wine consumption), and there’s absolutely no downside
Prereqs: You’ve got to earn your cash the old fashioned way … by inheriting it.

Beginning salary: $6/hour
After 10 years: $6.35/hour
Description: To stay happy and close to your passion, there are few better ways than to load up a three-foot tube with ice cubes, scope, and a little KGB on a daily basis. You’ll ski 100+ days a year, ride 100+days a year, and learn all that you ever wanted to know about dishwashing.
Prereqs: No high school diploma is nice, but ideally you’d have a Bachelor of Arts (no specialty) from Western State or St. Lawrence.

Beginning salary: $20,000-$30,000
After 10 years: ????
Description: Is there a better job in the outdoor world than being Ben Hewitt? In the morning, he’s a truck-driving, cow-milking, pig-raising, gen-u-ine certified Vermont redneck, with all the benefits that apply. But by the afternoon, he’s plugged into his DSL line and become one with the outdoor celebrity universe. Want to cover the Tour De France … be Ben. Want to zip out to LA to interview Jay Leno … be Ben. Want to stay home and hang with the kids … Be Ben. (Note ** If this job is filled, you may want to consider several other people to become, such as Mark Anders, Steve Casimiro, or Tom Bie.)


Rich Hill is no longer unemployed

... but apparently Vermont is a bit too red for him.

Congratulations ! Mullets for everyone !



FFR 2006: Rumors and reality

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
The 2006 Fly Fishing Retailer show heads to Denver this week ...

And what's the biggest story of the show? Not mega-hucking spey rods. Not fiercely snappy ultralight rods. Not a surging film industry nor a boom in flyfishing bloggers. No sir.

The biggest story is whether or not the show might move to Las Vegas beginning in 2007.

The truth is that the show is in, and will remain in, Denver until the AFFTA board and the show exhibitors decide otherwise. (An official announcement will be made regarding the 2007 dates and venue on Aug. 29) Our friends at VNU are very clear about their intent here: their job is to listen and respond directly to the market's desires.

Yes, it's true that the show organizers looked at a venue in Las Vegas earlier this summer (the Sands CC). But ... and here's the news flash of the day for you ... they look at new venues EVERY summer. They do it for FFR, for OR, for Interbike, and so on, and so on. It's their responsiblity to continually evaluate the best possible dates and venues for every market which they support, and if they didn't snoop around for better deals ... well, they'd be doing a very poor job indeed.

The instigator du jour is the publisher of Tackle Trade World, Sean O'Driscoll, who penned an editorial entitled "Flying to nowhere!" which ran hand in hand with a tabloid-style piece labeled "FFR: The End is Near." His main grind? One is that VNU has been delinquent in investing in the show. Another is that the fly-fishing industry would be better off merging forces with the conventional fishing market.

The cool thing about FFR is that it's the only show devoted to the survival of the specialty fly shop. Admittedly, it's a small show compared to OR and Magic. But it's a huge show when you realize that it's the biggest congregation of fly-only businesses in the entire world. Should we dilute this character by moving into a bigger pond? I don't think so.

It's up to VNU to host FFR in the best possible place at the best possible time. It's up to the rest of us to get people fishing.


The last ten locations at ORSM where Timmy O’Neill was NOT an emcee.

10. Metzler’s valet-parking-zone changing room. You look great in black, dude.
9. The “Saudis Love Hummers” fundraiser.
8. My Friday morning USA Today “research session.”
7. The Olive Garden’s Hospitaliano! all you can eat pasta bar
6. The Smith Limo.
5. Little America. David Beckham. Enough said.
4. Kenji’s after-hours open-mike nite.
3. The Crocs booth.
2. Two words: Burrito bathrooms.
1. The “what was I thinking?” dinner following the Ramp it Up drag show.

Congratulations once again to the OIWC. By successfully convincing 70+ men to commit career suicide, you have fulfilled your goal of creating more opportunities for women in the outdoor industry.