TO SKI OR POOL ?

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Perhaps this is Global Warming  or is it just freaky weather ? Current temps here in Dolores are in the 60’s with no wind and clear skies! …. and its only mid Feb.

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We were hoping for some of this

We would have going skiing today to try all the new equipment and Christmas presents but yikes! its too hot! No matter I’m sure Mother Nature is not done with us just yet. Normally we have at least 1 foot plus of snow lying around and temps just crack freezing by lunchtime. All the snow we have had, and I suppose the overall total would be around 18″, has all melted and gone and the normally frozen lakes and ponds are free and clear.

Last weekend I was at Telluride with the school party and the conditions were a lot better than I expected. Everything was nicely groomed, no bare spots and despite the 50+ temps it seemed to hold up and only started to look a bit soft by closing time. Being up the Mountain of course meant I was “pool deprived” last weekend where they had 23 players and the party was still in full swing when I drove the bus by at around 1730. Brenda says she played well before the alcohol took over.

This weekend the schools have a mini Spring Break with Friday and Monday off and I’m enjoying every minute. Brenda has been working flat out on several projects and has just finished putting 50 door handles on all the kitchen cabinets in the pre-revamp of the kitchen itself which is getting NEW GRANITE WORKTOPS next weekend.

The new granite is in so before the masons get at it we must go and see if we like it. Friday and the stone is seen and is the one we selected so all is well. Now into Cortez and pick up the trailer hub cap which has arrived and then on for the Chinese Buffet and the duty visit to Walmart where I’m returning a couple of items and the battery that had to be changed this week in the Cadi. The return cash gives me enough for a new tire and tube for the bicycle front wheel to catch up with the back one that went “pop” while we were in Napa last year. Back home and the mason arrives and makes his templates ready for fitting next weekend. Final surprise of the day was an “instant payment” from Paypal re the skis that finished their auction on 31 Jan and had been the subject of a “non paying buyer” case. I can only assume ebay sent a one sided message .

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Unexpected payment on the skis

Saturday morning and Brenda is hard at it trying to finish knitting a wool scarf, get a cake collected and all in time for Carol’s birthday party over at the Riverfront where yet more pool is the order of the day.

With no post on Monday I’m in a rush to get those skis packed up and delivered by noon and have at the camera for the next bunch of items that are going under the ebay hammer. I can’t resist a couple of items on the bay and then find another ski jacket (like I really need one?) …… well it says “best offer” and is a NEW Marker jacket, complete with tags, that normally retails at around $300.  They also have a very reasonable buy-it-now  so I venture an offer, which I don’t expect to even get a response, but within minutes it comes back YES!!

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A few practice sessions with the stick and then over to the bar for some serious GT drinking. Today we have 17 players, Carol’s birthday + cake and the weather is just incredible at a very warm 65 degrees and no wind under very blue skies.

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Carol and husband George playing with party balloons

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Party underway, pool coming soon on a 65F day in Feb

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I meet Marty, last week’s winner, in round 1 and get the win without any dumb shots. More GT required! Next up quickly improving Austin who runs the competition these days. I like Austin who is 20 and also listens when advice is given. He has the potential to be pretty good….. but NOT today and I’m through frame 2 with another win. More GT!

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Bye, bye!

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Two down ….. keep ’em coming!

Brenda is playing well and also wins her first 2 games so this is a very good afternoon for the Cozy Team. Round 3 and Brenda meets Lauren and just loses in a very close game. With yet more GT in hand I’m up against Mike who is a force to be reckoned with and has been on fire at the tables since just before Christmas. He is going well until he follows a ball in with the white giving me position and a clear run for the victory. More GT, and why not as with 3 wins I’m now in the money! A bit of a rest for me while the last batch from the losers bench fight for the possibility of the third or better place.

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Yum, Yum !

The ever present John McEwan plays Brenda and wins although not by much, and then defeats Mike who I met in round 3. Time for the decider of who will be in pole position for the final as I take on the only other undefeated player in the shape of Lauren.

Lauren plays well with some excellent shots but looks a little nervous. Gin & Tonic has already given me a head start and while Lauren goofs up cue ball position and misses an easy shot he gives me a great position to step in for the win and secure my place in the final.

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hic

John now plays Lauren and is in top form as Lauren is beginning to crumble. Never mind Lauren gets 3rd place and John now racks for me in the first frame of the final.

A solid break and a stripe drops with an “oh so nearly on the black”. The cue ball spins and comes to a stop with a nearly touching 3 ball cluster leaving the square root of FA to shoot at. While I’m recharging GT John sets about the table taking off all the solids with a perfect display. He is now on the black with 6 of my balls still on the table. His shot is well within his scope but he nudges one of mine but the black drops in and the day is done and I get the WIN !

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Ooops!

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What a nice Saturday!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

THE BAY SAGA

The annual transition from the loft to the post office via ebay continues. It never ceases to amaze me, no matter what I’m selling, and in this season I’ve netted $2200 from stuff that I either can’t fit into, was a dumb purchase!, or I can’t see myself ever using or wearing again. This was the same during the trials bike building era when crap that would have gone in the bin was seen to be fetching absurd prices as “originals” on the world wide vending machine.

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The 2 Screamin Eagle jackets went for $1055 !

Well of course everybody has a finger in the pie with ebay charging 10% and paypal taking their slice too. However when you can do all this from the comfort of your own home those fees are not that bad.

Sod’s Law its not all sweetness and roses as this season I’ve had a string of 3 non paying bidders which is very annoying to say the least but eventually the system should treat them as they deserve!

Amid all the selling there were some things I wanted and have purchased including the Roxa ski boots. Over my many years skiing boots have always been the least favorite part of the day. Styles, number of buckles, plastics, liners, boot last and volume have all been issues with my short, but club like foot. I’ve tried Tecnica high volume, which was a great and comfortable boot to ski in but had me sweating like a pig in the parking lot trying to shove my lower appendage around the 90 degree bend and get it in!! Last year I tried the Atomic “live-fit” which were marginally better but still had a few problems for Sasquatch.

This year my “1 Jan resolution” was to find something that was comfortable, easy to get on and off, and skied well and indeed I thought I had found it with the new Head I type 8 boot which had a very wide last, was very easy to get on and off, but gave me reservations about the heel fit which I knew would not let me ski the way I like to.

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So, the quest continued looking at the cabrio style boot which for those non skiers reading this is a design whereby the top center hinges forward allowing the foot in and then closes back up once the club foot is in the shell.

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There are a few boot manufacturers who use this design Dalbello and Full Tilt are two but both don’t come in a last that is really wide enough for my foot. Further research shows that these boots are made by Roxa an Italian company and they have their own boots in the wider last that I need. Well as to be expected, apart from living 50 miles from one of USA’s premier ski resorts at Telluride nobody stocks them locally!

An evening basketball school trip to Durango allows me to walk across the road to a Full Tilt retailer and look at the boot concept. Needless to say they don’t have the boot in my size so I try on a larger size just to get an idea of the simplicity and I’m impressed.

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The boots arrive from Roxa with free shipping and I’m off to get the  bindings adjusted which was done by friend and former Cozy resident at no charge! Now its time to get these intuition liners heat molded to my foot. Fortunately for me I’m on a ski trip to Telluride so while I’m waiting for the kids I can amuse myself in Boot Doctors. Liners duly molded to the tootsies.

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So with boots done (I hope) I thought perhaps it might be a good idea to use a ski helmet especially after Michael Schumacher’s accident last year. Various helmets were reviewed and I finally opted for the Alpina with visor which was a bit like my RAF flying helmet.

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This had to come from Germany and the shipping was remarkably cheap considering it came with tracking. Normally anything going global they tell me is in the “too difficult box” for tracking. Well mine was done by DHL and it was a blow by blow account and even had the next stage written in as to what was going to happen…. FIRST CLASS!

Still with excess money as I’m trolling the bay looking for best place to list my XC-Ting helmet I bump into a cracking deal from the UK for XC-Ting NEW trials pants and shirt for $100.94 with FREE shipping ?????? It arrived yesterday and I’m still amazed.

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Now time to sell off a few trials items, 2 sets of pants and my “Jacob’s Coat of Many Colors”   …… (she absolutely hates this)

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Jacob’s Coat will be on the bay

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No red bikes so some Hebo pants are up for sale

Meanwhile a total surprise again from ebay. I listed some skis at $50 and as the auction came to the end the price started to go up with people outbidding each other until it closed at $70. Two weeks goes by with no payment and despite 4 emails the buyer refuses to respond. A non paying buyer case is opened, the skis are relisted and hopefully the bidder gets his black mark. Then WHAM full payment last night so I’m left speechless!

So far its been a good run and I have another 17  items closing today but seemingly people are not buying with the same enthusiasm  as they used to or maybe they don’t like what I’m selling. Of course you can run an item many times over without a sniff and then for no logical reason it becomes a feeding frenzy. 4 of the 17 have bids and will sell and I have another 10 to list today.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

ONGOING REPAIRS AND THE BAY

..The saga of the trailer and the missing wheel continued over the Christmas break and the supposedly correct axle arrived in January. The trailer shop fitted same, only 4 bolts after all, but apparently it needed a little “persuasion” to get it on.

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MLK day and I’m off to collect same along with all the wheels, jacks and braces. Helpful guy says he’ll fit them at no charge so wheels go on but one hub cap won’t! Well as to be expected its the wrong size … yes, the come in 2 sizes 3.3″ or 3.19 and we need the latter but have been sent the former ……. but I’m nearly there!

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Next up will be trying to rebuild the hydraulics on the Beemer center stand and then the mystery of the horn relay which is somehow wired into the anti theft mode.

Assuming progress goes well on that then time to move over to No Excuses and get that infuriating oil leak off the rocker returns fixed once and for all. Bit of bar swapping between Superglitz and No Excuses and some bar risers for same. New grips and Iridium plugs and we should be there. All of this hopefully funded by ebay sales which for some reason are remarkably slow?

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The Glory Days of “Money No Object” with the VROD and our Screamin Eagle leather jackets

…….. well they were, …… and then I listed our two old HD Sreamin Eagle jackets that were purchased (when money was no object!) when I bought the SE VROD. I looked at some of the SE jackets on ebay and there were a couple of the same ones we have at OUTRAGEOUS prices!!! after some thought rather than go for the Buy-it-Now option I went for auction starting mine at $455 and Brenda’s at $405. 5 days go by of the 7 and watchers are building up and of course you never know whether they are going to bid or just curious to see what an item sells for. So on day 5 the first bids, 3 in fact, from the same buyer who is clearly covering his options. Then another joins the fray and a mini price war begins with bidder1 clearly holding the advantage.

Now we are down to the last few hours and returning after the morning drive the price has shot up to $525 !! With another hour gone bidder 3 throws in a bid and before we know it the price is $570 !!  Into the last 30 mins and battle is raging with 1 & 2 nibbling at the “cheese” but bidder 3 is NOT to be denied and runs away with it for  ………. (wait for it) …………. $650   !!!!!! WOW!

20 mins before Brenda’s comes to an end and magically the red numbers change to green and I see its the same lady who won the 1st auction going for the double. Perhaps her determination in the previous auction frightened the other potential bidders off….. anyhoo, she won that one as well. Several other goodies get the heave-ho including a pair of Sidi road race boots that I wore once for a track test day on the Ninja Z12R (a terrifying 200mph machine and anything BUT user friendly!) Another BMW leather jacket goes along with Brenda’s old skis and my Atomic Live Fit boots.

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Road Racing boots ……. gone!

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Ski boots ……. gone!

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Small celebration supper with smoked salmon and champagne

Ebay fever lives on, and this morning a load of relisting for round 2 with newcomers in the shape of a nice unused XC-Ting Helmet that I put somewhere but could never find, which is why its still NEW !

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Brenda produces a BMW handbag/purse with matching wallet and tells me I bought it for her as another extra Christmas present ? I have absolutely no recollection of this? Isn’t old age fun ?

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With the success of the Harley stuff I’ll be looking for the “I’ve been everywhere Vest” that I HAD to buy to join the “cult”. What a ridiculous garment, might look pretty with all the pins but serves no useful purpose, and the wind gets under the shoulders which then slap you around at high speed.

Meanwhile the dreaded cat has been watching too much TV and dual survival and keeps converting USPS boxes into overnight shelters.

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“If I could just get the fire to light”   

 

TONY DOWN