The 2009 Bend Winterfest is on!

2009 Winterfest PosterWinterfest is on, and in true form the snow has arrived with it. It’s cool to finally see all the creative materials I worked on with the Winterfest peeps up and around town.

This marks the first year Winterfest will be held at The Old Mill, and not downtown – so parking should be ample and the music louder. Downtown will for sure miss this annual event.

The combo of Valentines Day, Winterfest, and more snow pummeling the mountain, is no doubt going to make this a great three day weekend in Bendo for locals, visitors, and shops alike.

On the hill

Making Calls
Super fun half day today on Bachelor – the snow was great, kinda sketch making the traverse from the summit to the backside, but well worth it. Sunny morning with the clouds rolling in just after noon. The fresh wax on the board did the trick, it felt good to float on the snow once again.

Waxing the Baron

Wax on the Baron
Prepping the Baron for a day on the hill with some fresh wax. Switched up the stance on the 162 a bit for the powder too. Should be a sweet day for sure. Looking forward to some fresh for a change – nothing wrong with first tracks on the courd, but floating through powder is so much more fun than shaved ice on Sundays.

Really Good Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

What you’ll need (Use organic ingredients if you like):

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature (two sticks of butta)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 medium eggs (large are fine)
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground seasalt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (bag o chips)

Throw on some good tunes before you do anything.

Preheat convection oven to 375 degrees with three racks ready to go (you’ll be using the middle rack , the rack right above the bottom, and the rack right below the top). Line the baking sheets with some parchment paper – or just throw the dough on the sheets, it’s up to you.

In your electric mixer bowl cream the butter. Then add the white and brown sugars and beat them like they owe you money, or for about two or so minutes. Once fluffed, beat in the eggs one at a time – Wait about a minute before tossing in the second egg. Make sure to grab a rubber spatchula and mix in all the love from the sides of the bowl the mixer attachment missed. Add the vanilla and beat once again for about a minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt with a utility whisk. Whisk it up for about thirty seconds. Yeah.

Turn the electric mixer on (with the butter, sugar, egg mix still in the bowl) and slowly add the flour combo you just whisked. Right before you add the last portion of flour mix, rip open the bag o chocolate chips and pour them into the bowl, followed by the remainder of the flour mix. After about thirty seconds turn off the machine, lift up the mixer arm, grab the spatchula and make sure it’s all mixed up real good.

Grab a 1/4 cup measuring cup, and scoop up your first cookie. Level off the dough, swing on over to your cookie sheets, stick your finger in the 1/4 cup full of dough and plop your first raw cookie on your cookie sheet. Repeat twenty three times.

Eight cookies per sheet. Stick them in the oven and wait for the love.

Cooking times will vary, as will the texture of the cookies:
We live at about 3600ft above sea level and dig our convection oven, which produces killer cookies. So in our case we leave the cookies in the oven for about 15 minutes, resulting in the top and bottom racks producing nice, lightly browned and crispy cookies, while the middle rack produces chewier cookies. Using all three racks makes for cookies that are both crispy and chewy for all to enjoy.

Once they’re done, lay them down on a wire rack – spray them with a little (super little) water to keep them chewy longer. Put them in a jar or container (glass or ceramic is best) after they’re cool. Actually wait –  it’s best to eat maybe one and give the rest away immediately, or else you will eat them all and then your kids will yell at you.

I found the worst time to make these is when you’re really hunger. Happiness is a warm cookie.

Day 141

Continued from a previous post. Day 141
It’s been over five months since Max was severely burned over his face and upper body – it continues to amaze me to see him heal so quickly. Granted, the advent of youth, proper medical attention, application of skin care products, and continued support by family, friends, and the community, has accelerated the healing process. Max is enjoying school (as much as a 10 year old boy can), his weekly stint on the snowboard, playing video games, and is progressing nicely on the piano. Leading life as though nothing had happened seems to be going rather well.

There are however occasions when we are reminded of the incident – obviously we think of what happened almost everyday as the scaring is a constant reminder – but on occasions when we run into friends, some of whom who are more like acquaintances, we find ourselves retelling the story, which brings back memories, glimpses of that day as it happened. The most disconcerting is running into mutual friends of Eric and having to retell the story as it truly happened (Eric was my friend who caused the explosion – an adult in his 40s – I mention this because people have asked, and in my prior posts there is little description of him).

The incident was by all means avoidable and not entirely accidental. The explosion was caused by him squirting high octane fuel used for model airplanes onto previously lit charcoal briquettes. He had kept this fuel in a clear plastic squirt bottle (similar to one you’d find on a picnic table – you know the ones filled with ketchup or mustard). I recall seeing that bottle earlier that evening (it was about one third of the way full) and asking him what it was for – he mentioned he was going to use it to light the BBQ fire. I immediately offered to run out and buy lighter fluid, for the thought of lighting a BBQ with that pink fuel in a plastic bottle seemed, well, idiotic – maybe something you would do as a teenager, but not at a BBQ, not as an adult, and especially not with kids running around.

He assured me, he had done this before and it was no big deal – I think of that moment in time, constantly.

It’s apparent that when we retell our story to those friends, they are under the impression it was an accident that could not have been avoided, not so. He was squirting high octane fuel, not lighter fluid, directly over briquettes which he attempted to light previously with no success. Model plane fuel is designed to burn fast and hot in a closed cell, not to light outdoor fires. Unfortunately Max was standing by, under adult supervision. Boom.

Max’s scars look really good for what happened. I realize it’s been a while since posting about this incident, but taking some time off from dwelling on what happened has really helped us all. We’ve talked with a counselor, and Max is doing good. The interesting thing is how it’s affected his sister – she saw it all happen, and now seems to dislike any sort of fire, specifically candles at dinner time. During this whole incident, she’s the one factor we’ve overlooked.

The most expensive appointment you never went to

So you have an appointment scheduled with your doctor, therapist, counselor, dentist, or whatever – an appointment with an individual who provides a professional service. Someone whose time is just as valuable as yours, in some cases – depending on the specialist, they may perceive their time to be more valuable.

Regardless of the profession, lets say you make an appointment. Your calendars are reviewed, time slots are filled and your done. Off to go do whatever it is you do to fill up your time until the next appointment – snowboard, hang out with the kids, run errands, sleep, work, play with the dog, go for a ride, eat, pay bills, sleep, exercise, go out to eat, have beers, party, sleep, work, make deadlines, kids, etc. Life goes on, and you realize you just missed that appointment. Oops.

So you forgot the appointment, honestly. It slipped you mind – there was no malicious intent. So you call about twenty minutes into the appointment you were supposed to be at, to reschedule. No answer, so you call again, no answer, and then you finally send an email. ‘Sorry I missed the appointment, can we please reschedule’ (or something like that).

About forty minutes into the appointment you were supposed to be at, you get an email – not a phone call – stating that your appointment was missed and according to the contract, since there was less than a 24 hour notice you are being charged the full fee of, let’s use $100 as an example. And let’s say that he/she decided to use the numbers of your credit card (which was retained without your knowledge) to charge that no-show fee. Is that desperation, or just a strict adherence to a self imposed rule which undoubtedly leaves both parties at odds.

All of us have missed an appointment for some reason or another. Perhaps to no fault of our own, we’re not infallible. None of us.

Most if not all of the service related professionals listed above have a similar cancellation policy. Some go even as far as 48 hours. It’s understandable. But to charge the full fee – immediately after the appointment missed? What happened to three strikes? Or in this case, the first one? A partial fee maybe. But to even charge at all? If it was an oversight and you have every intention of rescheduling, why not empathize, reschedule and say “next time buddy, you will pay – oh you will pay”. That’s fair. But no warning?

I’ve talked to several doctors who have similar policies, and asked them if they have exercised their “cancellation policy”. The answer was predominantly “no”. The repeat offenders – the ones with great excuses for continuously missing appointments were charged and in the end went away. But they did not penalize their regular patients who may have once, maybe twice forgotten an appointment over the years. It’s about fostering relationships in a small community, not enforcing unjust stipulations. I suppose some people cannot see the forest through the trees.

Rant over and out.

President 2.0

Today was a great day for our country – a definitive step forward and dawn of a very different type of presidency. I’m glad to be a part of it.
One of the cool things about this inauguration (besides its obvious historic significance) was the ability for many of us to watch it in various places and formats. From the television in our family room to the monitor at my studio, the coverage was live – be it broadcast or streaming (via CNN/Facebook). And if you happen to miss it, there were plenty of places for you to have a glimpse of the days highlights – one of them being our home gaming console, the xbox 360. The coverage was rampant, and there’s no doubt this is just the beginning.
Obama’s marketing juggernaut will once again rear its head – this time for at least a four tenure. Keeping the people informed the way no other president has.
Through social networking hubs scattered across the internet, our president will have an arsenal of venues to communicate directly with the “plugged-in” people of this country – traditional media (radio, television, print) will for the first time take a back seat as our primary source of information into the White House, we will have a direct line to our Commander-in-Chief. How much we will be informed will obviously be filtered, how often we will be informed is yet to be seen, but one thing is for certain, it’s going to be cool.

How’s it going to end?

The Truman Show was on USA tonight – super good movie all around. It was in theaters back in 1998. ‘How’s it going to end?’ was a button worn by Lauren (played by Natascha McElhone). One of the greatest lines was from the aptly named character ‘Christof’ – We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented. So true.
It was cool to see it again, even with the Obama commemorative presidential coin commercials in-between. The coins are awful – but no doubt people will buy them. Poetry.

Mt Bachelor Screws up – again

I love the mountain. I was up earlier today – cruising the groomed ice. But when I got home this afternoon I received an email from Mt Bachelor, which included this statement: ‘effective immediately, we require all season passes and lift tickets to be clearly visible, easily accessible and made readily available for inspection by Lift Access staff at every lift for every ride on the mountain, and by Nordic staff upon their request’.

Not sure about most peeps, but I keep my pass safely tucked away in my jacket sleeve – in a special pocket designed for passes. Removing it wouldn’t be much of a hassle, but an annoyance none-the-less if it had to be done at every lift, day after day, week after week. Now Mt Bachelor is demanding that we show our pass or as they say make it available. Lame, Mt Bachelor. Why?

Mountain visits are supposed to be a relaxing time. If you are having issues – deal with them without inconveniencing season pass holders.


When we first moved to Bend we had a car. Then it became clear we also needed a 4×4 of some sort. Something to get us to the mountain, take us on trials, and the occasional trip to the coast with the kids and dogs. The FJ60 was perfect. Even though its appetite for fuel was rather voracious, it didn’t seem to matter much then. 10 MPG, whatever.
The thought of getting an FJ was planted years earlier in Dallas, when my buddy Mark had one. It was a cool blue FJ60. But it wasn’t until we moved to Oregon that I really saw a need for one, so the search for what would soon be our first 4×4 began.

After months of checking out FJ’s, one finally stood out – and it was for sale in Portland. It was exactly what I was looking for, and in great condition. I flew up, paid cash and was on my way – kinda. There were a few minor issues after I picked it up, but nothing that some extra time, a few helping hands, and some cash couldn’t fix.

We owned it for about five years or so – it was a great vehicle for sure. Many memories, but in the end it was just a mode of transportation – the price of gas was starting to creep up and the amenities of newer more fuel efficient modes of transport were appealing. But still, it would be cool to have one again some day – it was kinda fun getting out and locking the hubs to get into 4×4 mode.