Panorama: The end

Well, before I overdosed on Rockstar energy a couple of days back and seemingly went mental, I was planning on instead talking about skiing.

Seriously! As I was reading that last blog through, the screen was literally pulsating at me. Rockstar Energy is potent stuff. I can see why that kind of thing is illegal in some countries. That being said, I do have a can sitting next to me as I write now because, well, I still have a can left over. So if you notice this blog take a turn for the worse, then that's probably why.

Where I last got up to regarding skiing though, was that I'd managed to have a somewhat successful day on the Platter. Not successful in that it felt great and I was all healed. But successful in the sense that I was able to do very slow, careful skiing, relatively pain free. And I didn't stack it once.

Well right after I wrote that blog, I headed back up to the mountain. Back to the Platter. And I tested out my knee once more. Before pushing it, I wanted to see how much strength I had left. And it was all working well. I did 3 Platter runs that were all good. I did 2 carpet runs, that also went well. So I decided to take what was a big jump, and head up the Mile 1.

Having not skied in 6 weeks, I was a bit rusty on it all. In fact so rusty that the last time I'd skiied, I was wearing my big Winter jacket. This time I was skiing in a t-shirt it was so hot. But it took me until I'd got to the mountain to realise that my pass was still attached to my jacket. So before I could go anywhere, I had to get myself a temporary ticket printed off. And then I headed over to the Mile 1.

Just getting onto a chair lift was something I hadn't done in a while. And since I hurt my knee, even sitting down is something I do slowly. So having a chair mechanically rammed underneath me caused enough pain in itself. Not enough to make it worth mentioning, but I guess it's too late for that now.

As I got to the top, getting off the lift went without a hitch. And I was only going to do the easiest run I could, so I headed down Horseshoe. This was the run that I did when I first got onto skis before the season had even started. That time it took me something like 10 or 15 minutes of just standing their to pluck up the courage to try and ski down. There wasn't the time delay on this instant. But the fear was something that had returned. Not because of a doubt of my ability. But because one bad turning, one patch of ice, could put me back in my Zimmer splint and put me back at the beginning of a 6 week road of recovery, to just be at this point again. And these 6 weeks; particularly the first 2 or 3 when the movement in my knee, and resultingly my movement overall, were severly restricted, were one of the most frustrating periods of my life. I was living like a hermit. Often in pain from any degree of movement. Resting at any opportunity. It was torture. Especially to someone like me, whom prides themself somewhat on their activity level, it was torture. And as I stood at the top of Horseshoe, I had that fear running through my head that this would be what put me back to square 1.

If I'm completely honest, skiing at this time probably wasn't a good idea. I didn't think I was ready yet. However, the end of the season was looming and it was now or never time. This was it. So I'd made the choice to risk it.

I think God's a cunt most of the time. But I thank the lord for making it as sunny as it was today. The snow was slush by this time in the afternoon. And although to most people this is a hinderance. To me it just means slower movement and more control. And it was humbling to me, someone who had got used to being the fastest person on any groomed runs like this, to have to be taking it so easy. Getting overtaken by people not even in the same class in terms of ability. This is a dedicated "slow" slope afterall. But my knee was more important than any little battles for pride. So I kept my speed in check, and this run went well.

What would have previously taken me 30 seconds was now taking me closer to 10 minutes. But I was skiing once more. And not beginner hills either. Proper, actual, skiing! Fuck I'd missed it. I think I'd been in something of a depression for the past 6 weeks. Working on a ski hill, you have to watch other people skiing all day. And for some reason, when you can't ski, even more than when you can, people feel the need to talk to you about how great it is up there. And having to deal with that for the past 6 weeks, wanting to be there with them but being too retarded; it had affected me somewhat. I'd been in a bad mood for 6 weeks now. I was fine at home. But at the mountain, just surrounded by skiing, it had pissed me off. It had pissed me the fuck off. So to get this run in, however slow, was just awesome. I was back baby!

Horseshoe at Panorama So I headed up the Mile 1 again. And this time I did the top half of Horseshoe, and the bottom half of Powder Trail, a run that runs adjacent to Horseshoe. And again I had to go really slowly. But again, I made it down with no falls and no damage.

So I headed up for a third time. And this time I did a run of all of Powder Trail, again with the same result. Laura was working at the top of the Mile 1 all this time. And I'd been speaking to her each time as I went by. And getting her take on what the mountain was like higher up, I decided that after this run, I'd push the envelope even further and do a Champagne run. Get me one step closer to getting to my ultimate aim of getting to the summit one final time.

This was feeling so good in fact, much better than I'd expected, that had this been my final chance, I probably would have risked a trip right to the top right now. Chance it. But seeing as I had tomorrow off as well, I decided to just use this time to go up Champagne.

Horseshoe at Panorama You have to remember that 24 hours earlier, I'd come to the conclusion that my season was over. It was done. As I'd been riding up the Platter lift after my first run the day before, I was convinced I was done. There was just too much pain in my knee. But I guess that's a result of not using your knee properly for 6 weeks. It becomes complacent. 24 hours later it had really loosened off, and now my major concern had gone to getting too confident that I would push it too hard and end up falling. Something that I hadn't yet done since I was back on skis. But something that I was most concerned about could cause serious damage.

And although I took it really, really slow, I made it down Champagne. Not only down to the bottom of Champage with no falls. But the whole way down the mountain. I all of a sudden felt good again.

It was still perhaps a sting to my pride everytime someone with less ability was overtaking me. Despite getting old, I still have that youthful competitiveness inside of me. Where I just hate to lose at anything. However petit. Even if the other person doesn't know that we're competing. Like when I was in the sauna a few weeks back, I refused to leave until these old people left. There was no way that I was going to get beaten by a couple of old people in an endurance contest. Even if I had been in there for ages before them and they didn't even know we were competing, I still refused to leave before them. I think I nearly suffered from heat exhaustion as a result. Definitely cold sweats. But that's just me. I hate to lose. At anything.

Powder trail at Panorama So when these clearly inferior skiers were shooting by me, well it pissed me off. But sometimes you have to swallow your pride and look at the bigger picture. My pride took a hit each time though.

I had a bus timetable to keep to. So once I got down to the bottom, I decided to have one final run from the Mile 1, and call it a day. Getting down safely from Champagne was more than I'd hoped to get in today. So I didn't want to push it.

As I got to the top of the mile, I stopped and spoke to Laura for a while longer. In this weather, despite the now dwindling wishes of management, no one wears their orange Panorama jackets. It's just stupid to even comprehend that. You're surrounded by snow, which is reflective of heat. You're working machinery, which creates heat. And if you're out in the sun, temperatures can get ridiculous. Especially for people who had to climatise to working in -35°C earlier in the season. When I was working the Magic Carpet 2 days after this in similar conditions, I took this picture. It got to 36°C for fucks sake.

Thermometer I'm sure this wasn't the actual temperature as you would see it on a weather report, as that is taken from in the shade, where as this thermometer is out in the sun. But still. It shows it's got pretty fucking warm around here right now.

The bottom line though, people don't wear their Panorama issued jackets around here anymore. And the point I was trying to get to, was that Laura was wearing this tight black top and looked fucking good. The second point I was trying to make there, is that I'm finding that there is seemingly going to be a lot of people heading Vancouver way once the season is over. Mostly just for visits. Some to work. Laura is one of those going for a visit there. But the more people I speak to, the more it's looking like there's just going to be a butt-load of Pano people in Vancouver. And seeing as I'm here, I'll make one more point.

There's no one at Pano that I'd say I'm really, really close to. There's a lot of people I'd go so far as to call friends. Which for me is good seeing as I generally have the attitude of I dislike anyone until I have a reason otherwise. But I'm generally a person who avoids getting close with anyone. I travel alone. I exercise alone. I ski alone. I just prefer doing shit by myself. So I don't really need close friends. But there's a lot of people I'd term friends here. And more importantly to this point, there's no one I especially don't like.

And this was triggered by the fact that I was just talking about Laura here. Because I'm fully aware that I've said some things in previous blogs, that probably weren't too kind. They were truthful to the way I was feeling at the time. But they were just my thoughts, at that time. I've got on with her 90% if the time here. It's just that it's the 10% that I wasn't getting along with her that made it into these blogs. Afterall, who the fuck wants to read about how well you're getting along with someone? Essentially, she was just a victim of the times that I was writing these blogs. I'm sure had I written these at other times, there would have been someone else who had pissed me off last, and they would have ended up in these blogs instead. Dan T. is a prime example. I've got along with him really well for the whole season. Yet the one time that he really pissed me off, was the one time that I was heading up to the top of the Toby, with nothing but a pen and paper to keep me occupied. So he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and ended up in these writings for the wrong reason.

The truth is that I've got no beef with anyone here. I'm getting along with Laura great now. And she looked hot in that top. And it's just that to write about how well I'm getting along with people is going to be of no interest to me, or to anyone else, to read.

Now I've pledged in the past, something that I will stick by, never to change any of the content of these blogs once they've been written. I want them to reflect my feelings at the time that I wrote them. So I'm not going to go back and change anything that I've written already. But what I will say, is that they probably aren't a true reflection of my broader feelings for people. With the exception of that Chris guy, who I almost ended up living with and is an absolute jackass, no questions asked, I get along with everyone here. At least to an amicable point. So I'm almost trying to say sorry to those that didn't come across too well. They'll probably never read this. But in the off-chance that they do, well, don't take it personally. You were just the victims of timing. Had I written these blogs at any other time, you probably wouldn't have been here. You just happened to do something just as I was writing, that pissed me the fuck off. Chris, you can ignore that last statement. You're still a cunt.

I guess in the monotony of work-life, you see people everyday and your feelings get clouded. But seeing people for the final times now, with the air of leaving upon us, things come into focus. And when I see how I really feel, then some of these blogs probably weren't the most accurate reflection.

Anyway, after standing there for a good 10-15 minutes speaking to Laura. To the point that I actually had to leave so I didn't miss the bus, I skiied down, again successfully, and that was me done for the day.

The next day was my last day off of the season. My last chance to make it to the summit. I just wanted that one last look from the top of Panorama. That was all I wanted. That was why I was risking the health of my knee to be back skiing again.

(I just opened that can of Rockstar Energy)

Well the next day comes, and the weather is looking much the same. And having made amends with Subway on the day that I bought my bus ticket, I decide it's going to be Subway for lunch today. Meaning that I leave at about 12:30, rather than 13:30, what with the walk to Subway, then back to the nearest bus stop.

And with the weather looking much the same as 24 hours earlier, I'm thinking another day of sweating into a t-shirt as I'm skiing. That's how hot it was. No gloves. No hat. Just a t-shirt and goggles covering your whole upper body yesterday. I packed my Pano fleece into my backpac just to be safe; it is a ski hill afterall. But I really wasn't expecting to need it.

Just as a side-note, the Subway was good. Really good. Italian B.M.T again. Monterrey Cheddar instead of American this time. But apart from that, the same great sandwich that I talked so lovingly about last time out.

As I'm sitting in the Subway though, something happens that I haven't seen happen in a long time. I'm sitting there, facing out of town. And... water starts to fall from the sky. That's something that hasn't happened in a long time. But it's... raining. Fuck! I was beginning to forget what rain was like. And all of a sudden, leaving my gloves at home isn't seeming like such a good idea. But with a bus to catch, going back to get them isn't an option. So maybe this won't be the magical final last summit run I'd been dreaming about for the last 6 weeks. Something that for a long time looked as if it would never come.

Getting to Pano though, it's not as warm as yesterday. At least it's not raining. But the mountain ops lockers are in the basement of mountain ops. And my locker is around the back, so I'm out of view of outside from where I get changed. So it just slipped my mind to consider getting my fleece out to go riding with. And as I get out, I'm thinking I should probably go back and get it. It's borderline warm enough to go in just a t-shirt. And common sense says that if it's 50/50, then go for warmer rather than colder when you're going to be up on a mountain. But that would also mean having to go down half a flight of stairs and unlocking my locker to get my fleece out. And that's way too much fucking effort. So I don't.

I don't bother with any warm up runs on the Platter or anything today. Instead I head straight up the Mile 1, and do my first run down Horseshoe. I'm thinking as I'm doing this run, and even more so on the lift to get to it, that I should really go in and get my fleece. It's too cold to be skiing in a t-shirt. I'm looking around me. And everyone else is back in jackets today.

But as I get down to the bottom of Horseshoe, the sun starts to shine again. And looking up through my goggles, I can see that it's only a small break in the cloud. But somehow I still convince myself that it's not worth the effort to go back for my fleece.

A further hinderence of this cold, is that the runs aren't the easy to ski slush that I'd got used to for the two days prior to this. They're much more icy today. And not taking that opportunity to get to the summit yesterday, is looking like it could have been a bad decision. Even the extra 24 hours of heeling won't compensate for the extra difficulty of the skiing conditions coming down from the summit. I don't expect it to stop me trying. Afterall, I've haven't spent the last 6 weeks healing just to get this far. But the risk of injury coming down from the summit has greatly increased from yesterday.

Sure enough, once I've boarded the Mile 1, the sun disappears again. But I'd decided long before this, that this was going to be a Champagne run. I wanted to build up to getting to the summit. Gradually get used to the conditions higher up the mountain, rather than just skiing the Mile 1, and then "BAM", going straight to the Summit. I wanted to get myself used to it gradually, so I could be prepared and not fuck my knee up.

So once at the top of the Mile 1, I head straight to the Champagne lift. This is a pretty long lift ride. And it's high up, largely unsheltered by trees, so vehemently affected by the wind. And this is kind of stupid to be up here in just a t-shirt now. Everyone else is wearing jackets. And the higher up I'm getting, the colder it's getting, and so the worse the skiing conditions are getting. A cold body will be more susceptible to injury. As I also will be in these icier conditions. And you don't want to be the dick that has to get rescued from the top of a mountain in a fucking t-shirt. So as I'm skiing down Champagne, I'm thinking about going down to the bottom to get my fleece.

But again, common sense is overruled. Time is an issue. The summit chair closes at 16:30. And although there is plenty of time until this, I don't especially want to have to rush to the bottom to get my fleece. Especially in these icier conditions. And I don't want to get held up and miss my one shot at the summit. Anything could happen. A mechanical problem on one of the chair lifts for instance. And I don't want to miss this just to save myself getting cold for an hour or so. So rather than skiing to the bottom, I just go to the bottom of Champagne to finally... finally, after 6 long weeks, get my final trip to the summit.

And just as I board the Summit chair, guess what happens. I'm cold enough as it is in my cotton t-shirt. And as I get onto the chair... it starts to snow. I'm sat here, for another long chairlift ride, in a t-shirt. And it's snowing. Not the best kind of snow to be sat on a chairlift in a cotton t-shirt in either. It's heavy, sticky snow. So it's just sticking to my bare arms and to my t-shirt. So every few seconds I have to shake myself to get it off.

I don't know how long this chair-lift takes. 6 or 7 minutes maybe. But by the time it gets to the top, I am fucking freezing.

I'd kind of been dreaming of getting to the summit one final time, for 6 weeks now. It was my main motivation for healing quickly. I just wanted one final view from the top. It was one of those things I didn't really appreciate until I couldn't get up here anymore. And once I couldn't make it up anymore, I'd spent the last 6 weeks, dreaming of getting on final look from the top of this mountain. And I was finally here. But it wasn't kind of how I'd imagined it.

View from the summit of Panorama Mountain First off, rather than getting to bask in this view, the first thing I see is 2 people I know who ask me to take their picture for them. And then the next thing, is I'm fucking cold. Fucking cold. And it's snowing. So rather than getting to bathe in one final view from the summit, it's more a case of, "Wow. Look at that view! I'm going back down now." I stopped on the way down to take a couple of photos. But other than that, this wasn't quite how I'd imagined it. God was just toying with me when he made the snow all nice and slushy. He'd been luring me into a false sense of security. Making me come to the summit in a t-shirt. And now I was just cold.

That doesn't mean it wasn't worth it though. I would go through all that healing again, just for that brief view from the top. Photos don't do it justice. And now I have it fresh in my memory once more.

View from the summit of Panorama Mountain Of course if I could come back and work here next year, I wouldn't have been so bothered. But more than likely, this will be my last ever time at Panorama. So my last ever view from the top. So I had to get that one final trip up here. I had to.

It's amazing what a difference 6 weeks can make as well. I'd been virtually living up this mountain prior to my injury. But now, large sections of it that were previously white had turned back to rock. It just looked... different. Not just on and by the bits you were skiing on. But looking around at other mountains from perspectives I hadn't had in a while. A lot had changed since I'd been gone.

The journey down I was taking extra care. I'd got up here now. No need to push myself. So despite the cold, I was really taking my time. Something that perhaps someone else should have done.

As I'm skiing down, I hear what sounds like a boy crying. Whailing almost. Like he's in pain. But by the time I've heard it, I've skiied too far by to go back and check. Especially on my knee. So I let it go.

Then as I get back to the top of Champagne, a man with an teen son stops me. "Did you just come from the summit? You didn't pass a boy on your way down did you?" I tell him what I heard. And it's a pretty thin track that I came down so you aren't going to miss someone if you pass them. So I would rate it as highly likely that this crying came from this man's lost son. As soon as I've told him this, he doesn't hang around in heading back off in that direction. Despite being upwards. I never heard how this story ended.

Sod's law would have it that as I'm heading down, obviously the sun comes out again. For the first time in long time, I'm able to do a full run of the mountain. Summit, all the way to the bottom. It might have been on boring, easy runs that I'd have sneared at previously. But I'm just happy to be back out here. And with the sun now shining, I decide to close another chapter on my Pano career.

I'd loved working the Toby Chair before I injured myself. You can probably tell by reading some of the earlier blogs. Some of which I wrote whilst working on that chair. And just like the summit, riding this chair had eluded me since my knee injury. So once down at the bottom, I headed over to the Toby chair. To get one final run, and one final look, here.

Just like the summit, it's amazing what a difference 6 weeks make. There was masses of land here, previously all white, that was now completely uncovered. Masses and masses of snow had melted.

View of the Summit from the Toby Chair at Panorama Mountain And just to rub it in, I took this fairly poor quality photo from the Toby chair. Look up at the Summit. It's sunny now! God's a cunt.

I gained some degree of closure on this day. And since then I've worked the Magic Carpet for the past 2 days. In which time I've managed to get 5 runs down from the Mile 1, and one run down from Champagne from ride breaks and lunch breaks. And my knee is really starting to feel good again. I still haven't faced my cardinal fear of having any falls yet. So fingers crossed I won't have to. But I've started getting the confidence to get some semi-decent speed back into my skiing again. Even if it's nothing compared to prior to injuring my knee.

And I don't remember if I've said this already or not, but on the last day of the season, tomorrow, I've got the Gondola shift. With Adam, the other crippled Enlish guy. And I say, 'the gondola shift', because rather than an am and a pm shift as normal, there is just one, very long shift tomorrow, as it is closing at 6. But to compensate that, what we've been told, is that we'll be getting an hour long lunch break, and an hour long ride break. Something that I hope to change to a ½ hour long lunch break, and a 1½ hour long ride break. Regardless of which, should give me time to get up to the summit one final, final time. So all of what you've just read about me getting closure by getting to the summit for one last run; well by this time tomorrow it could all have become null and void. I bet you feel fucking stupid now eh?

Last day tomorrow though. One of the reasons I'm writing now, is that it's probably going to be the last chance I get before a 13 hour bus journey to Vancouver. And obviously that will just be pen and paper, so it might not make it's way online for a while after that. So I'm trying to get as up to date as I can with this blog before I go to bed tonight. Because after work tomorrow there is a mountain ops party. Then on Monday there is a whole staff party. Which includes running the Mile 1 lift for some of the day, just for staff. And in a state of drunkness/hungoveredness, if there's going to be a day I reinjure my knee; well that'll probably be it. Probably at a time where there are no ski patrollers and all the medical equipment has been cleared from the mountain. Though I'm not 100% sure what this staff party actually entails. I assume I'll be there. But we'll see. Then on Tuesday, it'll be a case of getting packed, and getting the appartment into a condition, ready for the next people to move in (if there are any), so we can get our damage deposits back with no fuss. That might take a while. And although I might have referred to Greg as a retard once or twice. Today. Cleaning is one thing he is good at. He's got a little slack lately. I mean the kitchen is a right mess and he's not doing anything about it. But in general, he does a fuck of a lot more of the house-work than I do. Which goes some way, not all the way, but some of the way, to compensating for the fact that I have to do every fucking thing else. Like walk for 2 hours in a splint to get a new key cut. But he's actually said to me, "Don't worry about getting the appartment clean. I've been doing that all season [he's a housekeeper at Pano]. I can get it done in no time." So hopefully he's true to his word and Tuesday doesn't prove to be too painful. Even so, I don't expect to have the time to write at all that day.

And then on Wednesday... well Wednesday, is leaving day. That is it. Barring any unforseen circumstances, I'll be out of here on a bus at 17:35 I think the time is. Hopefully not having had to walk all the way to Windermere with all my worldly belongings on my back. But that will be it for me. I'll probably do some writing on the bus. As I always do on long bus journeys to pass the time. But when I'll have the time to type that up into an HTML document is anyone's guess. Because as soon as I get to Vancouver, the job hunt has to start in earnest. I haven't even booked accomodation or anything yet. So Vancouver could be quite hectic for a period of time. So what I'm trying to say, is this is me signing out for a while. I don't know when I'll be writing again. Which is why I'm trying to get this blog as up to date as possible.

Just regarding the job hunt, something that I found quite funny, is that do you remember that I said I sent a job application to a hostel that I stayed in in Victoria on '05? Well I sent that job app. just on the information found on the employment page of their website. I wasn't replying to a particular job ad or anything. Well I was browsing the job's page for Victoria on Craig's list the other day. And the first ad that I see, is this place advertising for staff. I guess that means I shouldn't hold my breath for a call back. I just thought that was quite funny. A bit depressing, but still pretty funny. Funny if it was happening to someone else anyway. Think positive, they might just place ads online periodically so they receive a decent amount of resumes. Who knows. I was laughing on the outside when I saw that. Crying on the inside maybe, but still. It's pretty funny.

You know how I've been saying lately that I'm getting old? Well you know what I realised at work today? I'm working under people younger than me. That's never happened before. And I think I knew it already. But that fact just somehow got blocked from my brain's receptors to salvage my pride or something. But I was working with Candice on the carpet today, who is the crew chief for there, and she's 22. She's younger than me. It's never really clicked, that I work under people who've been alive less time than me. That's really fucking depressing. In fact as I already knew, but hadn't really clicked on, I'm working under some people 2 or 3 years younger than me. That'd never really registered to me. And I'm just kind of thinking, what kind of person was I, 2 or 3 years ago? I definitely couldn't make decisions with the maturity that I do now. And a lot of times this year, I've called someone, because they're higher up than me. Or they've done something that I didn't agree with, but let go because they're higher up than me. The kinds of things that I would have done 2 or 3 years ago, but I'm too mature to do now. And it just really clicked today, that fuck. These people are really immature. How are they higher up than me? I can't believe I've respected them all season as superiors, when, when I think about it, they really have no right to be. Because they're doing things that I would have done 2 years ago. But now, I just know better.

It could be worse. We have a 31 year old lifty for fucks sake. But it just suddenly dawned on me. As I was the worse skiier/boarder out of everyone at the start of the season, I kind of felt from the beginning, that I was starting at the bottom of the pack. So that kind of thing didn't really register with me. But today I'm just thinking, why the hell did I make those calls for advice? I did it because they're there to make decisions and advise you when you're unsure about something. But now I think about it, with their levels of immaturity, they're less qualified than me to make those kinds of decisions. I think this is just the first time I've been working under people younger than me. So it's just been an assumption all season, that someone in autority, is older than me. That's just always been the way it is. It just dawned on me today... these fuckers are younger than me. Fuck! How did that happen? I really am getting old!

These are people who care about their career and progressing themselves. Where as I just want to bum around for a while. So I guess it's no surprise and it had to happen sometime. But it just suddenly dawned on me. In what society views as success (which I don't agree with), there are people younger than me, who're higher than me. That's never happened to me before. Lucky I didn't realise until the penultimate day of the season eh!

In my defence though (I'm going to go on about visa's some more here), if I wasn't racially discriminated against regarding getting a visa extension issued, I would probably be back here next year. And then I would have some old guys working underneath me instead. But no... Canada didn't make it into the retard box by not being retarded. So they're going to give all the stinking Aussie's the visas instead.

It's taken me a while to get here, but new Jro tries to find the positives in shit. And here's what I've come up with regarding this gay fuck, retarded visa issue:

Canada is pretty much the same shit as the UK. Afterall, we invented Canada. The queen appears on every coin, just as back home. And Canada, is essentially the UK. Just 10 years behind (they're a bit slow over here). And why am I travelling? Why did I leave the UK? I'm not sure I can wholly answer that question. It was just one of those things. But to experience different things I guess. To look for answers perhaps. To basically not get stuck in the mundane 9-5 lifestyle that so many others seemingly choose to go for. And although working on a ski-hill isn't something that I can do back home, that is really the only difference. The landscape is different here. The foundations of society here though, are pretty much the same. And if I was able to obtain another visa for next Winter, there would be a 98% chance I'd come back to Pano and work here again. Probably in a higher position to where I am now, with some old people working underneath me. But coming back again, I'd risk getting stuck in a cycle of coming here every Winter, as seemingly so many others have done. And my travelling could almost end up getting stuck. The cogs could come off in my first destination.

If I was a crew-chief next year, for example. Very likely seeing as some of the crew chiefs this year had no experience even as lifty's. Then the year after, I could really be in a position of more power. Perhaps even in a seat of hiring and firing. And having done 2 Winter's of being a dog's body; then maybe that opportunity would be too good to turn down. And each year, the rewards of coming back, would be greater and greater. And to do a job getting paid to ski. Something that I love doing.

And no doubt this cycle would be good for me in terms of a career. But it's not why I'm travelling. I don't want to get stuck in one place. As I've said on multiple occasions previously, I try to live my life under the premise that one day I'm going to be laying on my death bed. Too late to rectify anything I've done before this time. And when this time comes, laying on my death bed, I want to be able to look back over my life, without regret. If I got stuck in a cycle of coming back to Pano, Winter after Winter, sure I'd be happy. But would I really be achieving anything? I wouldn't be experiencing anything new. I'd have got stuck into the trap that many people do, of finding something that makes them moderately happy, and just sticking with it. Stopping looking for anything better. Satisficing to use a business term. Could I look back proudly then?

So although this whole visa thing pisses me off. I hear all these Aussie's talking about how they'll be back next year. "See you next season," they say to each other. Although it pisses me off, and will probably continue to piss me off into and beyond next Winter, in the long run, maybe it's for the best. Who knows what kind of a cycle I could get trapped into if I came back next season? So I'm just trying to look at this as signal that I need, to carry on with my travelling. If the plan I currently have in my head is put into action, then 12 months from now, I'll be teaching Enlish in Bolivia. That's a long way off. And a lot could happen before then. But would I miss Pano then? Maybe I'd miss the skiing. But I've done Pano now. Time for something new.

Plus by that time, my unpaid phone bill will be hundreds and hundreds of dollars. So it'll probably be time to leave by then. For legal reasons if nothing else.

Now that's not to say it doesn't still piss me off. Dan T. left earlier this week. Which, unless I'm mistaken, means that just 50% of the lifty's and crew-chiefs who were employed in that position on opening day, are still here. And most of those who left are Aussie's and Kiwi's. So why the fuck do they get visas? They're clearly unreliable. Shit happens though. It does still piss me off. But at least I've found a positive in it now. And you take what you can get. No point wallowing in shit that you cannot change.

That's really where I'm up to regarding Pano and my travelling now. It's probably about my bedtime seeing as I've got an early start and a long day tomorrow. However I've drunk a can of Rockstar Energy. Plus, due mainly to sunburn yesterday, I accidentally slept for about 12 hours last night. So before I finish off, I'm going to, very briefly, weigh in with my 50¢ on some more topical issues.

First off, Italy.

Earthquake. People dead. Shock horror.

When the fuck are people going to wake up and realise that this is going to become the norm. Changes in temperatures due to climate change are going to lead to more frequent and stronger earthquakes. The same with floodings. The same with all natural disasters. You can't expect to alter the temperature of the world, when so much is impacted by just miniscule changes in temperature, and not expect this kind of shit to happen. Regularly. As I termed it in the pre-departure blogs, what we're essentially leading towards, is a death lottery. A worldwide game of Russian Roulette. No one's immune. As as this becomes clearer and clearer, all people want to do, is fight over the little remaining oil that will push us over the edge. As Russia, Canada, USA, Denmark and one or two other countries I can't recall right now, bicker about the right to arctic resources. Previously inaccessible.

They like to claim that they're doing all they can to reduce carbon emissions. Yet they cannot wait to get their hands on all this new oil. And until this attitude is changed, and people start actually doing something about it, rather than talking about doing something about it, then Italy will just be one in a millon. You just need to pray you have a lucky ticket for the lottery.

And what makes this situation even more laughable, is one of the main stories on the BBC website today (click here). An earthquake, to a Christian, is an act of God. Right? So these 20,000 people living in tents in Italy, because God got out of bed on the wrong side one day, are still going to praise that asshole. He just killed your family and took you home you dumb mother-fuckers. Why not fucking suck his dick then? I mean fuck me! These levels of retardedness, are exactly why the world is in so much shit. Now I won't get started on this because I'll be here all night. And I've made my feelings towards religion perfectly clear in the past. But fuck me! Fucking retards!

Relating to global warming still, I've seen some positive signs this week. Still nothing more than talking, but positive none the less.

I'm not sure how vehemently this new GM/Segway "car" was portrayed in the mainstream media. I tend to keep my ear fairly close to the ground regarding technology of this kind, so I heard about it from a variety of sources. But I'm not sure if it made it into the mainstream headlines.

Well if you hadn't heard, General Motors and Segway are going to release (if GM stays in business long enough), a 2 person, 2 wheel, "car". Electric. 2 seats. Designed for use in the city.

It's the first sensible city car that I've seen. Compare that to so many of the retards who live in Western Canada who think you need a truck to do your weekly shopping. Well this thing, is genius. I didn't think much of GM previously. But based solely on the innovativeness and common sense that has gone into this vehicle, they deserve to survive. If we're going to have any chance of reversing the trend of global warming (which we don't), then this kind of radical thinking is what we need.

It goes 35 miles on one charge. And how often do you need to go more than 35 miles in one trip in the city? If I was in government in any major city in the world, I would fast be removing traffic lanes to replace them with dedicated lanes for this new vehicle. Because the faster petrol powered cars are replaced in cities by these things, the better it is for all of us. The first positive thing I've ever seen come out of GM. And as I've said, something that I hope they survive to see through to launch.

I think this threat of bankruptcy has made them look at the market and analyse what will be the consumers need, not this year, or next year. But for the next generation. If we are going to survive on this planet, then what will people be driving? And they've actually looked, taken a big risk, and come up with a product so radical, but in such the right direction, that if leaders in every other industry followed their lead, then we might stand a chance. Haven't seen this thing? Then look it up on Google. If we're going to have a future, then this thing needs to be the future.

And you know I find it ironic, that unnecessary advances in technology, are the reason that we're in this global warming mess. Yet seeing as people are unwilling to willfully change their pollutive habits, our only hope is to make further advances in technology. Figure that one out. Is technology a good thing or not now?

Personally I'd just take anyone who drives around a city in a 4×4, and shoot them. In the face. But apparently "society" doesn't allow for such a thing. Shame. We could fix global warming in a day.

Next I just want to pose a question. We caused global warming by fucking with nature. So is fucking with nature further in an attempt to try and fix global warming, a good thing or a bad thing?

Because personally, I'm generally against any kind of nature fucking activites. However, do you try to right a wrong? Or do you just let it fix itself?

I'm asking this question, because "cloud ships" made fairly unnoticecable headlines this past week. They're unmanned ships, that increase the number of droplets in clouds, reflecting sunlight away from the earth to a greater extent if I'm not mistaken, and decreasing global temperatures. They would be cheap to build and run (comparatively speaking). And by a small increase in the number of droplets in clouds (from 50% to 52% for example), could go to combat climate change. These ships would run out in oceans away from land. So the only wildlife directly affected, would be living underwater. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Because like I've said, fucking with nature is invariably a bad thing. I'm sure that their can and will be consequences that we did not consider. And we could just end up fucking ourselves over further. But from the research I've done, there seems to be very little downside.

I first heard about these ships about a year ago I think. During a time I was studying sustainable business at university. There was, I believe, a NASA conference to consider varying solutions to climate change. And to me, this was the one that stood out. And here it pops up in the news again. And to be honest, my feelings on it are torn. I vehemnetly disagree with people trying to play God (even though he's not very good at it himself). You just don't fuck with nature. You don't know what's going to happen. But then I'm thinking that global warming is seemingly not going away. And that was caused by us fucking with nature. So is fucking with it just a little more, to reduce the impact of global warming, a bad thing? And I just don't know the answer. I'm sure I'll come back to this issue at some point. But I just wanted to throw that out there.

One encouragement that I got when researching this issue, was the language used by Obama's lead science advisor. He seems realistic to the realities of climate change. So let's hope Obama doesn't prove to be a retard and we might start getting somewhere.

Also when researching this issue, I coincidentally stumbled upon an article on the BBC website; Earth population 'exceeds limits'. It's pretty selt-explanitory from the title, so I won't go on about it. But have I, or have I not been saying this for a while now? To quote: "...humans have exceeded the earth's limits of sustainability." Dr. Federoff, science and technology advisor to Hilary Clinton, goes on to say: "There are probably already too many people on the planet."

Now I don't agree with the rest of the article. Promoting GM foods to combat the problem. But at least the problem is recognised. What I can't understand is how my suggestion to get rid of all the French people is repeatedly shot down.

I was going to give my own personal solution to the economic crisis right here. But it's rather long. And judging by the current government response worldwide, the economy will still be in a crisis next time I get a chance to write. So I should get to add my 2¢ then. Because it's already just passed midnight. And I have a long day tomorrow.

Just one more thing making headlines right now. The Conficker virus. That's the computer virus giving everyone the shits right now. I don't have on opinion on this virus in particular. In fact I haven't been paying as much attention to it as I should, so I'm not really in a position to comment. One thing that I want to say though, is that I just don't trust an industry who's sales increase as fear rises.

I'm not accusing anyone here. I'm not making any judgements. But I'm just saying, that in the anti-virus industry, a company's sales are going to be higher, the more afraid the public are of attack. So it's in their interest, to word the severity of this virus, and any virus for that matter, in a way that has people worried. And yes, it's even in their interest to create viruses. I'm not accusing anyone and I'm not trying to imply anything. All I am saying, is it's hard to trust an industry who's sales depend on fear. Especially in a time when economic confidence is shot, and sales in nearly all industries is falling. Companies are going to do whatever it takes to survive. And this Conficker virus seems to have surfaced at a convenient time. That's all I'm saying. A coincidence probably.

Well this, most likely, is the end of the last blog that I'll ever type in Invermere. I don't know when I'll get the chance to write again, but it may well not be for over a week. So for the last time in Invermere, adiós amigos. I am done.

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