LIONS AND LAMBS

 

More “old wives tales” and March roared in like a Lion with the non stop heavy snow which has dumped over 5′ at Telluride in the last week.

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I’ve been fighting a cold all week but I’m winning the battle and should be good for pool on Saturday, and finally our first trip to the slopes on Sunday if Brenda can shake her cold with massive injects of vitamin C. Need to get up there as the resort closes first week in April and we haven’t strapped on a ski yet!!

A not to be pool afternoon, Brenda gets first out and I seem to be going well with 2 wins then a loss, but I’m missing what I would rate as easy shots and letting the opposition back on the table. Another lucky win and then an infuriating loss with the black just on the lip after a superb cut. Yet another non paying 4th place. 3rd I can always live with but 4th ?

Sunday morning, time change done, never see the point at this latitude, now its back to driving in the dark again for the first run. Brenda is heavy with cold so skiing gets the cnx! Seems there is a lot of this one around and everybody is going down with it and complaining of no energy.

We venture up to the Hollywood and see how week 2 will be of these new Sunday competitions. Not so good, not enough players to run it so it gets the cnx too! Only bright spot was another black ball break for me and after clearing the “pot” last week I was surprised to find just over $14.00 in the jar.

The week slips by, the snow melts and temps are back on the way up. Saturday pool comes and goes…… not so good today! Brenda does somewhat better and ends up in 5th. Plan now for skiing on Sunday but the temps are forecast for the high 50’s and she is not that keen for some reason so it will be Mancos where we have not been this year so virgin territory for the 2015 pool sharks.

Temps must be close to 70 ??? Very warm, no wind and cloudless skies. Have to agree that skiing would not have been ideal. Ice in the morning, slush in the afternoon. Oh well, its only mid March and it could be awful and bitterly cold but Spring is very much in the air for the second time this year.

Pool kicks off with a full 16 players and I win game 1. Brenda looks set to win hers but the opposition gets lucky and manage to take it while she was a mile ahead. I meet Anita who has just beaten her husband Mike which is a bit of a surprise.  Anita is “on” and very accurate, but so am I and I get the upper hand for the win.

Brenda is pretty angry about her first loss and is first on the black for a simple shot to the middle having been given a scratched white. It all looks good, angle, speed and in it goes but the white seems to suddenly pick up speed and with the “less than perfect” level of the table runs downhill and curves into the bottom pocket like a golf shot! Now she is seriously unhappy and drinks heavily and unwisely!

My next match is against Teresa who plays well and is on home turf and knows the tables. She very nearly runs the table but misses the black which is within an inch of the pocket. I make a great comeback and then I’m on my last ball with the easy black to come. Even with the odd levels the ball refuses to drop and she is now set up for an absolute straight in shot. Looks like curtains for me but she follows it straight in giving me an unexpected win!!

So with 3 wins with 16 players I can’t finish worse than 3rd so that does take some of the pressure off. I play Donnie next and this year we have been close to 50/50 with perhaps me having a slight advantage overall.  Today he gets it in a VERY close game and advances to the final while I move over and take on the winner from the loser’s bench for the 3rd or better slot. I have a good game here and win without it getting too close.

Donnie and myself then in the final and I must rack the first of 2 frames. I win the first and now its a coin toss which I also win so I get the advantage of the break. Now would be a perfect time for another one of my famous “black ball breaks” ……. it doesn’t happen and every ball moves apart from the black ! A very strange game develops with each ball just getting in the way of anything you want to make. Donnie eventually makes a run and then I’m back on for about 3. Donnie runs out to the black ball but misses, I’m back in for another 3 but miss the last allowing Donnie back and he misses again! Cue ball in a less than ideal position for my last ball. Cut or bank? Neither is easy but the cut will give me a good position on the black. The cut angle is about 95 degrees and I get about 97 and it gently bumps the side rail and sits in the jaws, and of course the cue ball rolls up nicely for the black which is now a gift! Close, but never mind 2nd place will do as the first qualification for this season at the Columbine and goes someway to make up for yesterday’s dismal  showing. Now I’m all pumped up for this coming weekend.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

SNOW AND MORE SNOW

 

 

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Back to work on Tuesday after the luxury of my first School Snow Day. Cortez being 500′ lower than Dolores never gets anywhere the same amount of snow that we do so after creeping out of Dolores after about 5 miles the roads are clear and just wet. However the run is not so good after I leave the main road and many areas have not seen a plow.

A couple of turn rounds are like trials sections and a fine balance of steering and power, with and without the whirling chains, just looking for traction to ease back onto the route. Fortunately I get round without getting stuck but the roads are still dodgey to say the least.

By Thursday most of the white stuff has melted apart from my high country section where it piles up. I’m taking the wrestling team to Dove Creek this afternoon and the roads are clear and dry but there are snow showers in the forecast for nighttime. Doesn’t seem like a concern at this stage. The wrestling competition is nearing the end and I pop outside for a quick smoke……. and lo, its just starting to snow!

1830 and we are leaving and the snow it pretty thick and intense. I enlist the help of a coach to do the windscreen demisting but even with the help its hard to see the road due to the intensity of the storm. It takes 1.5 hours to cover the 34 miles back to Cortez and as we approach the school I have to say I’m very pleased the drive is over! Kids unloaded and drive back to the Bus Barn and the viz is good and the roads are only wet.

Bus parked and homeward bound but as I get 5 miles out of town I run into the snow once more. The roads are covered and no tracks to follow, speed comes down to 10 mph as I struggle to find a reference which is proving impossible. This is quite frightening but I can’t stop as some clown will surely crash into me. Finally down the hill and with the aid of street lighting I can see my position on the road. 10 miles to home completed in some of the thickest snow I have EVER seen! It took 45 minutes to travel those ten miles!!!

Forecast is now snow all weekend with another mega dump for Telluride. However, we are feeling pool deprived after last weekend’s bus driving and countertops so pool it is! Saturday at the Riverfront and the biggest turnout ever with 24 players and some regulars missing! Guess we could have made 30 at a push.

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Games get underway and I sail through my early games winning the first 3. Drop 1 then win 2 more so now playing for 3rd or better if you win or 4th if you lose. Had my chance but finish at 4th which is always annoying. Record now 1st, 2nd and the 4th.

The snow has been intense but a melt has the roads clear, or so it looks, until you walk on them only to find its polished black ice! The gin & tonic has done its work and its an early to bed for me and we have another session at the Hollywood tomorrow after Brenda has persuaded Travis to run one.

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Must have been all the GT but somehow I’m not really in it and can’t seem to get going in the first game which I lose but come back strongly for a “black ball break” in game 2. A perfect shot, just like the “how to” video and the black is in the center pocket. 2 more good wins and I’m playing old friend Isaac for 3rd or better. I’m first on the black for a very difficult cut  to the center. Just about a true  90 degree shot. If I can hit it correctly the white should come off 2 rails without scratching but it will be hard to get it to travel the 9 inches to fall in. No error in the impact and the black runs true to the pocket as I watch the white running it’s course. The black stops 1/2 a rotation short of falling in !!! ………several expletives later Isaac picks off his last 2 and of course the now very easy black. So a weekend of 4th’s but at least I won the “pot” for the break shot which was worth more than 2nd place!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

IT’S BACK !

After all the speculation about an early spring and soaring temps in the mid 60’s Mother Nature has returned and the “dump” begins! Forecast for a load of wet snow for the next few days just to remind everybody that this is Colorado and we are still in Feb.

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Sunday morning and 2″ on the depth-o-momenter and still snowing. Better get a load of wood in this morning as its clearly an inside fireside day.

Yesterday another school bus trip up to Telluride to see whether its good enough for us to make our first trip of the year to the slopes. Still skiable and holding up despite all the melting. The piste bashers have done amazing work with what they have. Yesterday’s weather was cold, overcast and bloody miserable as the front slowly dragged itself into place. Well if their forecast is accurate they could get 2′ this week which they desperately need.

Now 1500 and its snowed all day since I got up at 0700 and the “deptho” is showing about 6″

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While I was chilling on the slopes the masons arrived and were hard at it humping giant chunks of granite upstairs and fitting the new kitchen counter tops. Hard work, and master mason left at 1900 promising to be back this morning which he did.

An inside day then, plenty to do apart from the lumberjacking and fire stoking. Mega Ebay day with another 8 items to list and about 24 finishing at lunchtime or this evening. As always ebay continues to surprise me and things I expect to do well hardly get a sniff while other stuff that I’m almost embarrassed to list sells for crazy prices!

The snow continues but the temps are up so we are hovering around 6″. The standard questions and answers on ebay and the first items come under the hammer. Some trials stuff that I put on had been going well, and as we came towards the time an old pair of XC-Ting pants had moved up from the $6.99 opener to $11.50 while a better pair of Hebo pants accelerated from the $20 start to $27 and then went mad shooting up into the high $40’s. There is also my “Jacob’s Coat” coming up and I had a question earlier about combined shipping so  you never know……… well the questioner steps up to the plate and buys all 3 !! $35 for Jacob, $51.89 for the Hebos and $14.50 for XC-Ting ……. its hubby’s birthday and he is a trials rider.

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She bought them all!

The snow continues as does the countertop fitting, more wood is split and the other 8 items are listed.

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0424 and the phone rings 6 minutes before my alarm is due and its the Director telling me its a SNOW DAY, the first I have ever had in 5 years so get up a take a coffee while drinking in the volume of snow piling up and still coming down. Back to bed ….. luxury! Up again at 0630, bonus 2 hours in bed, and its now 10″+ on the rail and the trees are having a hard time supporting the weight of all the wet snow.

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Dog time and the Cavaliers are having a hard time struggling through chest deep snow in the drive but the lane has been plowed although there are now other hazards in the shape of fallen branches and while I’m chatting with George there is an almighty CRACK and down comes a 20 foot branch nearly blocking the entire road.

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Great balls of snow on Rossi

It continues to snow ALL day but melts a bit about 1400 to 1600 and is a real muddy mess. Temps are going down with a forecast low of 19F tonight with 4 more inches on the way and indeed its still snowing and settling again!

Meanwhile the kitchen comes back to life and all is well …….. and “she” is pleased with the results

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TONY DOWN