Monday, February 28, 2011

why telemark?

Why did I decide to start telemark skiing?

My quick answer:
-new challenge and good workout
-snowboarding icy groomers really isn't much fun
-split-boards are too expensive, and I wanted to earn some turns climbing uphill and getting fresh pow runs.

First off, I love snowboarding. On a really snowy day, it will be tough for me to turn in my board for my ski's. If you are thinking about (seriously) learing tele or learning to snowboard, snowboard. If you just want to do it for one day, tele may be less painful.

I love a new challenge, and being on that learning curve. The prospect of starting over at the beginning is humbling, but it makes you stronger. Tele skiing is a great workout for my quads, it makes me a stronger snowboarder, it works my quads so when those powder days come, I'm ready to rock. On a mountain that is relatively flat or boring, or when I'm spending time with friends that go skiing about once a year, tele skiing is much more fun than waiting for them mid-run or at the bottom.

A typical new england day, isn't always a powder or packed powder day... The less powder and snow on the mountain, the more I'd rather ski... Two edges has advantages when there isn't much to grip.

After some point in your skiing career, you get spoiled. You start to have 'powder-greed', this greed drives you try to time your days on the mountain with big snowstorms. While fresh powder on resorts is typically gone within hours, the snow is still out there sometimes several days after the storm on less-traveled and mountains without lifts. This brings me to uphill/downhill, I'd hike a mountain and snowboard down it. Snowshoeing up isn't a bad way to go -- although the best way up, is to get a splitboard with skins. This setup can be expensive though. I found a used telemark setup was a bit cheaper for entry-level.

There is a rhythym to the tele turn that is invigorating, linking a few turns, feeling good, can be a great experience. I sometimes find myself walking down city streets, with each footstep bringing back a memory of some great tele turns. Oh, and since you may not be on the mountain with too many others, bring a friend and some spare parts...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wireshark, you're best friend or worst enemy

You have heard of the dangers of unsecured wi-fi spots by now? You know not to enter your credit-card online when there is no S tacked on the HTTP or no lock to show the site is safe and trusted?

Enter the world of a wi-fi thief, using packet sniffing technologies the data is really just out there floating around. Many years ago, I used a product called Ethereal to open my eyes to the world of network packets, sniffing, and analysis. At the time, I was amazed at how unecrypted and exposed Instant Messages were --

Ten years later, the world is more connected than ever, public-free wifi spots are still common. Just use your brain before entering your important data on the line, or else the wire shark may bite you--

If you have some geeky inclination to inspect the wire and packets of your home network, check out the Wireshark product:

Guitar, Day 1 with pentatonic blues

Many years ago (10+?), I picked up my first axe, it was a Strat Squier-- My first informal lesson came in the way of the blues, and here is what I learned, practiced, and to this day still has heavy influences to my playing style...

This is more what I'm working with today, although I never knew that until I found this searching around and looking at blues scales--

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

new year, new mountains

This winter has been pretty good so far, I've been able to see a lot of different mountains. A few new ones too. I checked out Bolton Valley in VT for the first time, along with Crotched Mountain in NH, and Saddleback in Maine. I explored some local hills in Ravenswood park and Watatic in Ashby by my folks.

I'd still like to see a few more new ones this winter, perhaps Burke, Black, and Wildcat and get over to some favorites like Magic and Jay Peak.