It Won’t Be The Same (O.o)

I bring to you the fabled Colorado post, minus one picture (which happened to be the one I looked forward to seeing full-size the most) which my dad deleted. This is what I get for letting my dad touch that camera. *grumble* All my mom and dad’s pictures turned out like crap – they’re barely worth putting up. It ticks me off a lot – the scenery is completely ruined by a crap disposable camera and poor photography skills. *more complaining*

We left Sunday, landed in Denver about dusk, picked Christopher up from Clair’s (cousin’s widow, for those who forgot). We drove on over to the Johnson’s, which was a two hour drive with 20 lbs of luggage on my lap. It’d been years since the 5 of us had been in the same car, so this was something to be savored, in that bitter kind of way. We got there about 1 AM, greeted by the Weimeraner known as Tenzing (after the mountain climber).


Driveway (that’s our rental in there):

Tenzing (poor picture, apologies):

We slept, and spent Monday adjusting to the elevation of 10, 800 ft.. Christopher ran out and bought a Gamecube on a whim, and rented Mario Kart, which supplied Jonothan and I some amusement. He had a Gamecube, but it was stolen a little while back. Poor Christopher has a hard history with robbery – all his possessions were stolen from a storage facility when he was 18 and had just joined the Army (that was a lot of stuff). Not too long ago his laptop and other major appliances were stolen.

Yes, we woke up to this view every morning:

We stayed in the bottom portion of their house. Their house by the way, is custom, completely wood, and disgustingly nice. Not rich kind of nice, but non-standard kind of nice. Retirement kind of nice. The bottom portion has two bathrooms, two bedrooms, a den (with TV, VCR, DVD).

The downstairs main area:

The upper portion is wide, lots of windows, and shockingly bright in the morning. I took most of the pictures around dusk, so it’s not bright, as the mountain blocks the sun.

The living room (there’s a huge wall of windows to the right (you can see them on the east side picture), but for obvious reasons I can’t take a picture of that):

The kitchen (facing out the south side):

The entry (facing out the north/west side, with my back to the windows):

The outside is very much like a log cabin. Pictures tell more than words, though.

The north side (the outside pictures are going in something of a circle, you should be able to get something of an idea of what the outside looks like if you follow it):

The east side (this ones a jump, sorry):

The south side (you can see the porch that’s in the east side picture on the right, for reference):

I won’t supply many skiing pictures, simply because it’s a lot of work for something that isn’t going to tell much. So, skiing. We skiied Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I didn’t actually ski though. Christopher, Jonothan, and I all snowboarded for our first time on Tuesday, and stuck with it the entire time. It really hurt the first day – you fall down a lot, it sucks. You run out of breath so fast at 11,000+ feet, we were sweating up a storm that first day.

Tuesday was Copper, which is the biggest resort in the vicinity of 1.5 hours. It has about 125 trails, a dozen or so lifts (speed lifts, at that. if you didn’t hear this last year, they’re lifts that go about 3 times as fast as normal lifts. they detach onto an alternate rail at mount and dismount, which goes about half as a fast as normal lifts. the convenience of this is indescribable). We took a lesson that day (and only that day) to make sure we got the basic techniques and stuff. The lessons were so much better there – it’s amazing. Greek Peak’s instructors do this “do this, no you’re not doing it, you have to do this” kind of thing. Our instructor, Jeff, gave us all kinds of tips for how to do all the stuff, it was really nice. We found that when we applied the rules he taught us, everything worked, it was amazing. We just did the bunny hill that first day – and that was hard. It hurt. It hurt bad. When the lesson was over I decided to go attempt a green, and wow was that a mistake. Apparantly Copper stops grooming about mid-season, so on the mildly steep parts of greens, there are moguls. Understand, moguls are completely different on a snowboard. If you don’t know what you’re doing (me), you can’t do crap, whereas on skis you can at least run over the moguls and ruin them. I fell about 30 times on the run, and I wore myself out badly pushing myself across the straits. I was about ready to go back to skiing the next day, but some encouragement from Brian and the brothers kept me at it.

Wednesday we went to Cooper – the smallest resort, but the highest at 13,000 feet. Towards Cooper is about the size of Greek Peak in terms of amount of lifts and runs, and even layout. The runs are still about twice as long, though. I forgot to mention – the runs at Copper are generally half a mile to three-fourths. The green path I took made for a 20-minute run, with a 4-5 minute lift ride. That’s about four to five times as long as Greek Peak’s. And about half to a quarter the lift ride. Amazing, yes? By the end of the day we braved a mild blue. Two days, and a mild blue!

Thursday we went back to Copper to meet up with Clair. We spent half the day floundering on these really bad greens – most greens had “traverse” zones, where snowboarders have to detach their back foot and push for a few hundred yards. This is really tiring, and just frustrating. We managed to get some advice from some seasoned Copper-goers and took a few nice and steep blues, which really made up for the first half of the day. The last run, though, we went to the top to try another blue to discover that it’s really, really steep and had moguls. We actually did ok, but we split when it came to a fork in the path. I went down first, and stopped at the fork. It forked between a blue and a black. The plan was to take the blue, but Jonothan and Christopher missed the blue and went down the black. Jonothan did ok, but Christopher wasn’t feeling too hot and just detached and walked back. Three days, and harder blues!

Copper, at the top (crappy camera):

Friday was Monarch, the middle-range between Copper and Cooper, but all the trails are of far greater difficulty. This is by far the best resort, IMO. It has a lot of unmarked forest trails which are really fun and challenging, they all have huge jumps, lots of powder, huge moguls, all created by skiiers. We did one trail, called “Turbo” 6 times. It’s about the equivelant of Olympian on Greek Peak, the hardest black on the mountain, and yet it’s blue. The first four times were pretty tough, we didn’t know how to handle the moguls. By the 5th and 6th time, we had it down to a science of jumping and braking, it was far more dynamic than it is on skis. FOUR days, very steep blues with a lot of moguls!

Snowboarding has it’s perks, but I think I’ll stick with skiing. Skiing has a lot of conveniences, like poles, seperated feet, and is generally more mobile. Also, you can’t really do back-trail snowboarding around here, as you’d have to push yourself everywhere. Anyway. Monarch had a few ok pictures. There was a professional photographer at the top taking pictures, so one is good.

That was our last day of skiing. Saturday was nothing, I just ran around taking pictures and such. There are a few left of views of the scenery. These are the good ones.

This is of Buena Vista, from the windows:

Night time:

View to the west:

View to the north:

We packed up and cleaned the rooms Saturday too. I ended up vacuuming with a vacuum older than my parents. So old, there was no date on it, anywhere. I took a picture to immortalize this antiquity.

The trip wasn’t just fun, though. It was (and this is said at the risk of sounding corny) a really good family bonding experience. Every time I spend time with my brothers, I realize how much alike we really are. It helps that I’m old enough to really have fun with them now, and not constantly be left behind. Our family sat down for about 3 hours just talking about problems we were facing and prayer requests, it was nice like that. It’s a little weird looking past the outside stuff that bothers me about the family and seeing what’s really worth looking at. It wasn’t gooey, soft, and pretty, but was definately heart warming. Anyways.

And a poorly taken picture of our final feast:

[2012 edit: lost forever]

We left Sunday morning to Denver airport, sent Christopher off to San Antonio, and moved on to Denver. We checked in at the hotel and just…sat, basically. We didn’t do anything until we saw Tim and Joyce Hume (this is the guy I’m named after, remember). It was really good to see them back together (they’d been seperated), and with a child no less. I really enjoy my time with Tim, he’s an awesome one. No pictures, for some reason. Monday was pretty boring, we just kinda sat around, had dinner with Clair, and that was it. We left Tuesday morning, and got back to Ithaca at 12:00 AM Wednesday. They lost Mom’s and Jonothan’s luggage though (after the flight was delayed, too), so we didn’t get home till 1:30 AM. For obvious reasons I didn’t go to school, and that was my trip. Exciting, to be sure.

Three Trees Can Only Be So Interesting (O.o)

Another day-by-day breakdown of the recent events, brought to you by yours truly.

Thursday was cold. When I say cold, I mean -30 cold, as well as harsh cold. I did indeed ski in that -30 wind chill, while missing a movie with those smart enough not to ski. It was one of those lose-lose situations…either way, I’d miss hanging out with a few people, but the added weight of “you already missed one day of skiing, don’t waste more of our money” is what truly tipped the scale. The skiing itself was, at best, marginally bad. All the powder had been robbed from us honest skiers by the bloody snowboarders, and we were left with the rough equivelant of an ice rink, except you had the occasional snowblower freezing your face, which are lacking in most ice rinks (to my knowledge).

Friday was mildly good. I went over to Ben’s for his party thing, which sort of turned out sub-par because nobody showed up. It was kinda fun though, cause I got to see Eddie Izzard (that was a shock, I was expecting some funky and lanky dude, reminiscent of Chris Rock, but I recieved instead, a transvestite with leather bellbottoms and a face akin to a woman I shovel snow for).

Saturday brought about the Klondike, which is a fairly big Scouting thing where Troops compete for the District award (dubbed the Klonduck, as it is a red & white barber pole with a duck nailed atop of it). For the third year in a row, our troop (troop 2) won (absolutely no surprise). We had 77 points at the end of the day (after being shafted at least 5 points total for retarded things), the next highest had 64. That was pretty fun overall, although the pushing a very heavy sled (I’m guessing 70 pounds, I’m really not sure) up a very large hill with considerable amounts of snow. Hopefully the pictures of me on fire (it’s hard to explain, but I was so hot and so sweaty that every inch of my body was steaming, it looks pretty awesome) turned out well, but I doubt they did since he had to do a long exposure to get the steam.

Saturday night we slept outside (no shelter, the logs we were using snapped after we got 50 or so pounds of snow on top of it), it was about 15, at most 20 out, but it was pretty warm. Benjamin, Daniel, Jesse and I all stayed up talking to eachother for a good 5 hours, and boy was THAT weird. The tree analogies and random word-connection games we played definately got odd. The title refers the the three trees I was forced to stare at for 3 hours as we talked, which never changed, and got awfully boring to look at. For those of you about to say “so turn over”, remember that it’s 15 degrees out, and I had to be in a rather specific position to maintain the perfect temperature.

Sunday I got back home about 11:00. I wanted to go to church, but I smelled and looked awful (consider: no shower saturday, plus campfire and extreme amounts of smoke, plus sleeping outside in a sleeping bag, plus that gigantic workout going up the hill, plus random food, makes for a less than stellar smell), so I opted to get a shower and such. [geek] I spent my spare time searching for Gameboy and N64 emulators (which I found, although I have yet to find N64 ROMs). I’ve almost beaten the Gameboy Zelda (I spent a lot of time being really bad at this game as a younger child), and this of course brings up the desire to play the Ocarina of Time (upon remembering the game, it may rival FFVII as the best game ever created, but I’m not completely sure). [/geek] I also talked to Sean from Young Life a little bit, which is always nice.

Today has been very pleasant, and perfectly filled with events. I’ve had enough to keep me busy, but not so much as to get me frustrated. I went to a 30 minute Young Life thing-doodle at Wegmans (easy access to cheap food), met and re-met a few of the guys in that (They’re all seniors, I’m the only underclassman), talked for a bit, nothing out of the ordinary. From there I went to Chili’s with mom and dad, ate, went to Scouts, home, and that’s that. Somewhere in there I also talked to Christopher for 15 minutes, which was spectacular. We’ve challenged eachother to see who can learn how to snowboard faster while we’re in Colorado. We’re both moderately good skiers, he’s been skiing in Canada a number of times, maybe in Colorado once, I’m not sure, he’s been here a few times too.

In unrelated events, I have a few things as well. I finally found and used a crack for the Windows activation thing (just a few hours before Windows would strangle me, too). I talked to Jonothan for 2 or 3 hours the other night (Thursday, possibly Friday I think) which was quite awesome. He told me some of his military stories and stuff he’d heard from comrades of his while he’s been down in Military Police Training Camp (he got called up for training, as did a bunch of random people, in no specific order). I’ll probably post those later, I told half a dozen or so people in my awe at the coolness of them. For now, the possibility of school tomorrow calls. There’s a chance school won’t be in due to some serious flooding in certain parts of the school. One can always hope.

The Chaotic Theorum (O.o)

I’ve experienced a rather excellent week, and next week promises to be equally excellent, as it is Regents, meaning two days lacking anything related to school, and two short and relatively painless tests.

After a full 2 weeks (approximately 150 hours of downloading) I got the first 31 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist downloaded (I uploaded over 50 gb worth of data), and I’ve watched them all (it only took me 3 days), and the next 29 episodes only have 43 hours more left to go (keep in mind, each episode is 175 megs, it makes for 9 gigs total for the series). I introduced it to Daniel last night when he was over (he strolled in as I was watching it) and he ended up watching 12 episodes (remember that these things are 25 minutes each). I have deduced this to be the best anime, and even show ever created. The unique and creative genius of the plot, characters, and the world is astounding. The animation style and quality is akin to Trigun (which I should also download). Sick of the parenthesis yet?

I’ve also gotten around to playing Rome: Total War, and it is, to my delight, the best strategy game ever created. Ben and I keep talking about playing online, but we never get around to it, but it isn’t as if I don’t have things to keep me occupied. I still have yet to beat Neverwinter Nights, and all those SNES games.

In the mean time, I’ve also been tracking Splinter Cell 3 and Elder Scrolls IV (three new screens came out today, in fact). I had been on the look out for Jade Empire and KotOR II, but after having played KotOR and NwN, I’m not sure if the same formula of game would still be all that fun, as I tend to get over-manipulative of the system. I’ll stop talking about games now.

I was thinking to myself earlier about Macs in general – and why they’ve become comparable to PCs in the recent year. I did myself a Google, and discovered a number of things, from reading the most intelligently disguised Mac-PC flamewar, on a Linux forum.


I have long argued over the inferiority of Macs compared to PCs, but recently much of my argument has blown up in my face, due to the de-retardation of Macs. It still hasn’t answered as to why I find them so awful (I use G4’s at school on a daily basis, just so my experience is not in doubt EDIT: apparantly my experience is in doubt. i’ve also used powerbooks on multiple occasions, and OS9’s fairly regularly, but i admit that i have not used a G5). A number of posters on the previously stated site brought up extremely valid points as to why the experience varies.

  • Macs are preferred for the software capabilities. PCs are preferred for the hardware capabilities.

An owner of a server put it quite well. His needs do not revolve around multimedia. His three PCs don’t even have sound cards, and use very low end video cards. In place of those, he needs massive storage. PCs allow you to do that infinitely, they don’t have a cap on how much of what you need. Macs cannot be built from scratch (technically it IS possible, but the amount of work and experience involved surpasses that required for a PC by far), you have to buy a pre-made from Apple. You CAN upgrade it, but that does not allow you to specialize in certain areas, but not sacrifice economics. Macs simply have superior software. Some of their formats have better, faster, higher quality compressions and decompressions (for video or pictures). That’s always been true.

  • Macs are inevitably more expensive for those who have special wants or needs.

Because you cannot just sacrifice in one area to add to another, you have to go for the more expensive package. PCs end up being cheaper for those with special needs. PCs may or may not be expensive when it comes to a rounded-out machine. Generally, if you build a PC from scratch, it’ll be cheaper than an equivelant Mac or pre-built PC. Macs have been known to be more expensive since the beginning – this has been studied dozens of times, results are neutral according to bias, but for the standard machine, Macs will cost more.

  • Benchmarks and power comparisons are inconclusive.

I’ve had several people tell me that the newest Macs would rip apart a Pentium 4 – this is meaningless, as the power of a P4 can range immensely, from < 1.0 to 5.0, and the clock cycles per operation between mac and PC procs vary as well. This also doesn't consider that AMD chipsets are far faster the P4's, (I have the evidence to back me up), and most benchmarks are run on Dells, which certainly do not run high quality hardware. Anyways. Skiing was cold. It was about 5, possible 0 degrees out, with a wind chill of like -5 or -10. Fun, but cold. The bus rides to and fro (the irony has just now struck me) are actually one of my favorite parts, I have to say. I was wearing so many layers – I had 6 on my body, three on legs, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, two goods, a turtleneck, and earwarmers. I still froze. I had no goggles, so every snowblower was like “OH SWEET HEAVEN THE PAIN! AHHHHHHHHH!”, but was otherwise, just cold.

“Winter” and Other Such Ironies (O.o)

Spectacularity! I’ve just got back from church, which was good. Sunday school started up again, and the list of topics we have is looking really good. I still have yet to get Kerry or Ben to come with me (I honestly think you guys would enjoy it), but all good things come in time.

Thursday was skiing, which turned out okay. I really like the group of people that we have going, there’s Amy, Colette, Zach, Jared, and K2, as far as I can remember right now. It was mostly fun except Zach and I got stopped because we didn’t have the retarded color tags after two or three hours of skiing. I wanted to just smack the girl and say “You see these tags? These are from Colorado. You want me to go ski down Illiad for you? I’ll do it!”, but of course I settled with “This is bull.”. While that is something of an emo reaction, and there is a reason for the system, it’s just beurocracy. The system is really only worth putting on little schoolchildren, because they don’t know better. Let people judge for themselves. If they can do it, then let them do it, if they can’t, they probably won’t do it again. In short: let the stupid people weed themselves out. Anyways.

Friday can be dubbed as “tim is stupid” day. I was all like “meh” and Amy, Gwen, Paul, and Julia were all like “you must!”, so I was forced to give in. I went down to Amy’s house (where the aforementioned persons + Crawford were residing) and from there, we strolled over to Fall Creek and saw Finding Neverland. It WAS a chick flick, but I regret to admit that it was a good chick flick. I was then pulled from the group at my Dad’s hands, after a failure to understand the words “I’m gonna stick with them, Julia can give me a ride.”, which transformed in his mind to “I already have a ride.”, to which he responded “Uh, I’m already here.”.

Saturday was laxidazical, I wanted to do something but nobody else was around to do anything. I just lazed about and did nothing of particular amazement.