Thursday, February 25, 2010

Customer Methodology 101

1: Call first thing in the morning to extract a promise that a certain job can be done by closing time.
2: Don't bring in the object in question until lunch time or later.

Advanced play:

3: Don't pick up the item for a week or more.

4: Bitch about the price.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rock Ski Winter

After two years of deep, heavy snow, the pattern shifted to leave us essentially in a drought.

A storm scheduled for tomorrow may put us back in full operation at the same time it seriously interferes with the cellist's travel arrangements for a work-related trip she's had planned for many months. The snow would help us salvage some of the Massachusetts vacation week business. We're not looking at a Baltimore-Washington amount of snow, but the projected four to eight inches would cover the dirt, ice and windblown debris we've been grooming for four weeks.

I enjoy the challenge of skiing the absurd. I like figuring out the timing and weight shifts I need to negotiate a field of obstacles. It's not my preferred format, but it adds interest to bad conditions. For routine conditioning I would rather lay down a steady rhythm on a well-covered trail. But a little skedaddle around shriveling remnants not quite covering an assortment of reefs and shoals is fun the way miniature golf is fun.

When a winter acts like this, you get into skiing shape and want to use something better than rock skis if your rock skis are really obsolete, shabby or improperly sized. Even with the nasty conditions on our local trail network, sections have good enough cover to let you rip right along. People start looking for a better quality rock ski. It's like wanting a sporty beater bike for abusive conditions or high theft risk areas.

Seeing as it's February, I won't mind getting back into something more like skiing. The groundhog told us we were in for the long haul. After an early taste of bike season, March could put us back into ski season for most of its 31 days. Or we could continue on crumbs and crusts tossed from the banquets dumped on other parts of the country with less appetite for them than we have.