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.)