Saturday, February 26, 2011

Don't ski Bousquet!

News: Schlepped up to Bousquet, the 4th & final ski field in the Berkshires on the outskirts of Pittsfield MA about an hour north of here, only to find out they had run out of rental equipment! The lodgings are run down, what equipment they did have was very worn, the chairlifts were old and the mountain is much smaller than the others (only 750 ft drop) so I would definitely not bother going back. I would rate them Jiminy Peak 1st, Catamount 2nd, Butternut 3rd and Bousquet a distant 4th. But we had a nice drive in the country in the sporty Mini we rented this week.
Entertainment: Oscars tonight. We will be rooting for Geoffrey Rush for Supporting Actor, but would be happy to see Christian Bale get it for his great effort in The Fighter. Mark Ruffalo is the dark horse.
Finance: oil went over $100/barrel and this impacted on the stock market with all the indicators down
Sport: Rex Ryan said this week the Jets will definitely win this Superbowl next season, but the season may not even go ahead as the owners & players negotiations are not going very well.
Weather: sunny and cold early in the week then wet Thurs/Fri. should be in 5-10C range most of next week, so windchill less of an issue from now on. There could be flooding in the Northeast next week as rain and warmer weather starts melting the icepack
Bousquet Mountain

Berkshire cows in their winter coats

more Berkshire cows

our street in Millerton

Main St, Millerton

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Paul in Vancouver

Paul had to go to Vancouver last week for a conference. At the Vancouver Convention Center, down on the harbor. the convention center precinct is like Darling Harbor, and the harbor is busy but more Queenstown than Sydney. Vancouver does have a Sydney feel to it. Highlight was catching up with Joan Sheehan. it's about 18 months since Barry died and she was looking much better than when we saw her in NYC last summer.
Entertainment: Unknown (Liam Neeson) is #1 at box office this week. Oscars this weekend
Business: Aust $ hovering around parity
Sport: quiet now post-Superbowl until baseball starts in April. it is basketball and ice hockey season
Weather: got up near 20C on friday, but back into 0-5 range over weekend. was snowing on waking this morning and had 5cm accumulation, but melted quickly during day. Days are getting longer: now light until 5.30 pm

looking north across the Harbor to The Coast Mountaisn in the driection of Whistler

"Canada Place" and Vanc Convention Center

inside the conference center, with a peaceful vista onto the harbor

world globe inside conference center

the cauldron from last year's winter olympics (green) is now permanently located here near the conference center

Sunday, February 13, 2011

US Eastern Ski Jumping Championships

Unfortunately we missed all the fun of Gerard's 60th last night. But a slight consolation was that while we were in Millerton we were able to attend the ski jumping in Salisbury CT. It was quite a spectacle. The US Junior Olympic trials will be held at the site in 2 weekends time. Not sure of all the details of the height, slope, speed etc but the record jump length is 73 metres. We saw one of 70.5 m. One of the jumpers was only 13 and weighs only 50 kg. Obviously got to have courage: may be something Gerard could try to celebrate his milestone!

The jump

the view from half way up the landing strip

action shot: getting some nice air

hope they didn't need to use the ambulance

more ice sculptures in the main street of Salisbury

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Patricia's blog

the link didn't work. It is http:\\ it is hilarious

Superbowl XLV: Packers beat Steelers 31-25

This year, we watched the big game from the comfort of our living room on our new Sony 24 inch Google TV. Monica finally succumbed!
The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington (near Dallas) Texas. You can see it on the horizon from dallas Fort Worth Airport, which we did last Saturday on our way to Hawaii. We were glad GB won, after Steelers knocked Jets out of the race last week, and having chronically suffered at the Steelers hands when following the Browns. It was a pretty good game as football goes. The Packers led 21-10 at half-time after their quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw touchdown passes to Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings, and Nick Collins intercepted a pass by the Steelers QB and returned it 37 yards for a score. The Packers raced out to a 21-3 lead during the first half but the Steelers refused to surrender in their bid to claim a record seventh Super Bowl triumph. They came back in the 3rd qtr as Rashard Mendenhall (who demolished the Jets in the first half last week) scored on an eight-yard run early in the third quarter and trim the Steelers' deficit to 21-17. But the Packers dug deep in the closing stages to shut out their opponents.

Next year we will have to watch it with Monica's friend Patricia, an expat Aussie who is a real NFL nut, as per her blog, !

Nelson scoring touchdown for Packers (and he bombed several other chances)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aloha from Hawaii

Weather has been fantastic 25-30C and sunny every day. Have been to beaches of North Shore and of Southeast Oahu

near Makapu'u Point

Hanauma Bay

Waiamea Bay

Honolulu Memorial at the war cemetry