The world falls apart without a Jro

The following is something of a hybrid blog. I hand-wrote the first part on Monday at work. I was working the Toby on a really quiet day, so got a couple of pages in whilst I was at the top. The second part was just written as normal on my laptop. The plan was to write part 2 on Monday as well. But as things transpired, I didn't actually find the time until Wednesday night.

Part 1

Page 1 Ever since I got my first paper round at 13, places where I work, seem to fall apart when I'm not there. When I quit my paper round, now age 14, the newsagent closed down 6 months later & turned into a video store. At age 15, I worked as a part-time kitchen porter in a restaurant. After unceremoniously quitting that job, a few months later, the place had closed down. Next, I worked in a pub for just over 2 years. Started off as a kitchen porter again. By the second year, I was working down in the bar. After I quit that job to go & work as a lifeguard, a few months later, the landlord's nowhere to be found. Rumoured to be in trouble with debt & debt collectors, his whereabouts became unknown. His story was he was leaving the pub & going to Australia. But I have reason to believe that that was nothing more than a cover story to escape his problems. I'm not trying to justify any reason for these collapses. Maybe I was such a great worker that they just couldn't cope without me. Maybe I was such a shit worker, that I jumped off sinking ships. Or maybe it was all just coincidence, & I had nothing to do with it. All I know, is that history tells us that when I leave my place of work, shit starts to happen.

Fast-forward to the present day. And I leave Panorama for the first time, to have 3 nights in Calgary. When I come in for my late shift, the day after I get back, guess what I find out. In my 3 night absence, 4 lifty's; including 1 crew chief, have been fired. This wasn't just normal firings though. There's a lot of politics surrounding it all. And I missed the whole thing, obviously because I wasn't here. These things always happen when I'm not here. Becuase the world falls apart without a Jro.

In the early part of the season here, we have snow-makers. They make snow, fairly obviously. For some reason however, they stop making snow in early January. The controversy over the firing's of these lifties, lays in the following. From what I understand, until they find another job, the snow-makers are afforded free accomodation by the mountain. And at a guess, this free accomodation comes out of the budget for mountain operations. So what the conspiracy theory is, is that these 4 lifties were fired, so there was a job opening for all these snow-makers, which would get their free accomodation off of the budget.

And when I first heard this, my first thoughts were that this "conspiracy theory" was nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction from friends of those whom were fired. But the more people I talk to, including long-term employees here, with no social connection to these lifties at all, the more of a real possibility that this might actually be what happened. This conspiracy theory does seem to have some clout behind it.

Page 2 Of those whom were fired, 3 were Aussie's, & one was Danish. And I would like to think that this company wouldn't fire people whom have travelled half way around the world to work here, just to save a few bucs on the budget. But I'm really not too sure.

There's a lot of confusion about what these guys actually did. The crew-chief firing was for constant absences. But for the other 3, no one really knows. They all live in town like me. And they were up at the mountain drinking one night, too late to get the bus home. And somehow, they end up in one of the unoccupied rooms in one of the lodges. How they got in there, is where their stories differ from upper management. They say that they got let into the room by some guys that they met, who claimed it was their room. Management claim tat they broke in. And unless one side is willing to admit that they were lying, the truth may never be known. But knowing these guys like I do; 2 of them having unblemished records here, myself, & virtually everyone else, believes their version of the story. To get the snow-makers free accomodation off the books though, there's a theory going around that upper-management did what it had to do to get some job openings here. Whatever their offence was, the consensus is that it was not worthy of a firing. So the mood around lifty camp has been brought down a bit since I left. A lot of people holding the management in contempt over the whole situation.

I have to make the point though; I leave, & the place falls apart. It happens wherever I work. 4 people got fired in the 3 nights I was gone. Coincidence? I'm the glue holding this whole place together. And it wasn't even the only issue to arrise during my absence.

If you were reading the pre-departure blogs, & some of the early ones once I'd arrived, then you'll know that I was almost living with Chris & Kirsty, & subsequently, Laura & Kat. Well as much as I moan about my accomodation, I dodged a bit of a bullet with that whole situation. I think Kirsty's great. I see her all the time at work. The same with Kat. She seems really sound. But the other 2... When I first met him, & talking to him on MSN before coming out here, Chris seemed such a sound guy. How wrong could I be though. The guy really is an absolute jackass. And Laura; she's alright in small doses, mainly because she's cute. But to live with! I'd have killed her within a week. And this all came to a head whilst I was away as well, as Kirsty & Kat both moved out of that house, & up to the mountain. Despite the fact it was essentially Kirsty's house. That's how bad they were to live with. They'd somehow got that place without signing a contract. So unlike me, who's tied to my place, they were able to just move out.

But once again do you see? I leave, & everything turns to shit. I don't know Page 3 why, but this is just the way things happen.

The reason that the first part of this blog is being hand-written, is I'm on the Toby again (I swapped shifts to get it). But one observation I've made today: Of the very few people riding this lift, a lot of them have very large faces.

And at that point I got my lunch break, and didn't pick up my pen again. Which is a shame. I really had a lot to say about the big-face people.

Part 2

Man, so it's 2 days after I wrote part 1 now. So a lot of the stuff I was planning on writing on Monday, just doesn't seem so important today. So I'll try to keep this part fairly short, and possibly sweet.

So I said, spanning across 3 blogs, that once I got back from Calgary, I was going to start living the healthy life again. And I even came up with a plan. The Jro 9, ½ day plan, that I was planning on implementing once I got back. The problem was, as follows.

The Jro 9,½ day plan (I just came up with the name then), takes into account, the 9, ½ days off work that I get per week. I work 5 shifts per week. Which means that (with the exception of split shifts), I have 5, ½ days, either before, or after my shift. Then I have 2 days off per week. It doesn't take a genius to realise that 2 full days is 4, ½ days, meaning that each week, I have a total of 9, ½ days off per week. For each of these ½ days, I would then allocate 1 of 3 things. Gym, skiing, or writing. At approximately a rate of 3 gym ½ days per week, 4 ski ½ days per week, and 2 writing/website ½ days per week. Get that allocated task done with time to spare, and the rest of the time would be relax time. So, for example, if I'm working the morning one day, then I have the later ½ day to write a blog, for example. Get the blog finished by 9, and I have a couple of hours before bed to relax in front of the TV. And that, in essence, is the Jro 9, ½ day plan. Basically allocating all my free time, to skiing, exercising, and writing. Keeping me out of the pub, and limiting how much time I waste hooked in front of the TV.

The problem I've had so far, is that despite being back a week, I haven't been to the gym once. Writing about Calgary took the first 3, ½ days that I had. And other things have come up, that have meant that I've been a little short of free time. I'll get into those things in a bit. But I still plan on implementing this, and sorting myself out a lifestyle to get myself back on track. I've got my diet pretty much sorted already. There is something of a transitional period. Like having to eat all the crap food I've bought, and drinking all the beer, so that I can replace it with better food and fruit juice. Afterall, I'm not in the financial luxury to be able to throw food away. But I'm getting towards the end of that transition. Once I've eaten about 20 cans of tinned ravioli, and about 10 packets of instant noodles, all the crap is gone (they were on special offer, so I stocked up). But that, should really sort myself out. Largely weights at the gym. Complemented by skiing, which isn't an especially adequate substitute for the running or cycling that I did before I came out here, but it's better than nothing. And then just to keep me sane; to keep my brain stimulated after watching a chair-lift 8 hours a day, I'll try and write, or at least work on this website 2 or 3 times a week. It wouldn't even bother me if no one looked at it. I just need to be doing something that requires a little thought. Keep my brain active. That is, though, the Jro 9, ½ day plan. All that crap I was banging on about, about saying goodbye to the good life. Well this is the structure that is going to do it. An improved diet, complemented by mental activity, cardiovascular exercise, and weight-training to keep my body strong.

You may have noticed there was no mention of socialising in the 9, ½ day plan. A couple of reasons for that. First off, I've come to realise, that although I'm on a shit wage, my entire outgoings, are essentially rent, and food. I don't pay to ski, my main recreational activity. And I don't pay to travel. I really don't have any other expenses. Therefore, earning up to $1,200 per month, there really is no reason that I shouldn't be able to make some kind of saving whilst I'm here. However small. I should be able to go some way to recouping the money I spent on flights, and hostels, and bus fares, before, and since, I've arrived here. Hopefully leave with a similar amount of funds to what I started with. It's a realistic possibility. But just not if I'm wasting all my money drinking piss every night.

Then I've also got to the point of asking myself, why? What the fuck do I gain from drinking nowadays? In the past, yes, there was some benefit. But due perhaps to persistant alcohol abuse over the years. Or perhaps due to cannabis abuse as a teenager. Or perhaps due to some other reason, there is only 1 of 2 outcomes that I can have after a night out due to my memory failing so catastropically after drinking. Either, I stay sobre enough that there's no point in drinking at all. Or I get drunk enough, that although I might have the best time in the world, I wouldn't fucking know it, because I wouldn't remember anything. For spending $100 on a night out, all I would have to show for it, would be a cunt of a hangover, and perhaps a few stupid pictures on Facebook. My memory is so bad after drinking nowadays, that there really is no middle-ground. Do I want to be boring? Or do I want to have no recollection of what actually happened? Because that is the choice I face nowadays when I drink. And I've finally got to the point of realising, it just isn't worth it. What the hell is the point in that? Is it worth fucking up your liver and killing more brain cells when you won't even know what happened, come the next morning? I don't think so. Especially considering the amount it costs to drink out here. I'm not saying that I'm never going to touch alcohol again. I'm just saying that I'm beginning to see the light, in that it really doesn't provide too much benefit. So when I really don't have to, I'm not going to be drinking piss, just for the hell of it.

And then finally; I'm not someone who really likes getting close to people. I've said that 100 times. Here, in such a small place, you see the same people everywhere. At work. On the bus. In the pub. At the supermarket. Everywhere you go, you see the exact same people. I just like to get some distance from people. So although I'm not saying I'm never going to be going out again, I'm going to make it an ever-rarer occasion. At least whilst I'm living in such a small place. The gym costs $2 per time. Skiing and writing are free. So these are what I'm going to be spending my 9, ½ days off, doing. It's not a mantra I have to follow everyday. But as long as I have the discipline to limit or eliminate drinking and social time, I should be able to get back to a much healthier me. Because right now, I just don't feel good. I don't feel good when I look in the mirror. And I don't feel good inside. Compared to how good I've felt in the past, in the peak of my fitness. Not exercising properly, and living off shit food; I just don't feel healthy. So that's the plan I came up with. And now I've finally got the Calgary blogs written, and other things are out of the way, then it's time to implement. Get myself back on the right track.

Now I just mentioned that your mind isn't always overly stimulated by watching a chair-lift for 8 hours at a time. That's great some of the time. Sometimes you just don't want to have to think. Or do anything requiring energy for that matter. Then other times, you just do.

My first shift back was one of those days. I was working the gondola. And I guess seeing as I'd been away from Pano for 4 days, I didn't see every shift as an opportunity to catch up on some sleep. Because as soon as I started at 14:45, I just picked up an ice-chipper. Then 3½ hours later, I'd carved a chair. Yes, I was just stood there, for no reason at all, carving a chair, for 3½ straight hours. Panorama Gondola Ice Chair Now I know this picture might not look very impressive. But appreciate that I didn't have my camera on me the day that I did this. Appreciate, that my chair was not only sitting in direct sunlight for 3 days until I was working on the gondola once more. But also appreciate the wear and tear of having every fucker who rides the gondola sitting on it. Standing on it. Most people even have their picture taken on it. I'll tell you one thing for free. I carved this chair out of bordom. I had some pent-up energy, so I built it. If I'd known that this would provide so much happiness to so many people, then I tell you now, I wouldn't have fucking bothered. I'm not someone who likes seeing people happy. When people are happier than me, it brings me down. It makes me realise that other people have it better than I do. Miserable people are the ones I like. They remind me that their lives are a butt-load shitter than mine. And that brings a smile to my face. So I'm actually a little pissed off that this chair I made is bringing so much happiness to people. It's almost become a tourist attraction, with people having their photos taken with it whilst they wait for the gondola. If I'd known that it would bring other people so much happiness, and hence, me, so much sadness, I would have just stayed bored. But now I've built it, I just don't have the heart to tear it down. Fucking hell! I'm a good guy, even when I don't try to be. That pisses me off. I'm not a nice person. Yet people seem to think I am. And that makes it even worse. Fucking happy people.

Panorama Gondola Ice Chair Now taking into consideration what I've just said, you'd think that a performance review surely couldn't go so well. I slack off at every opportunity. Yes I'm very conscious about the safety of guests, which I guess is the primary role I'm here for. But I definitely don't give a fuck about providing the best memories, or any of that crap. If I'm working the Toby chair, you can be pretty damn sure I'm not going to be out shovelling snow all day and greeting guests like I'm supposed to be. So when I had my performance review yesterday, tell me how the fuck, I managed to score all A's and B's? How the fuck did I do that? I was even so surprised by that, that I was "Wow. Thanks Matt." And you know what he said? "No, no. Thankyou." I'm apparently really reliable and responsible, or something stupid like that. I make no effort to be nice to people. But then in an inadvertant act of boredom, carve a chair out of ice that's been making people smile for days. And I make no effort to be a good employee. But somehow, I'm the fucking bollocks. I just don't know how I do this crap. I can't fucking do anything wrong!

That's a lie right there. I might not be able to put a foot wrong at work. Despite my best efforts. But at home... I've had an interesting couple of days.

Take yesterday, for example. I decide to cook a steak. Now I think I've spoken before about the ghost fire alarm in this appartment. Even if you take out it's battery, it still works. It's freaky. Which means that there's nothing that I can do to stop it when it wants to start bitching and moaning when it thinks the house is on fire. Apart from tie a tea towel around it which I've since done. Maybe that'll teach it to not start wailing everytime I cook toast. You should see how much smoke I make cooking a steak then. So I put this steak on. Then as normal, despite being about -20°C at the moment, I still have to cook it with 2 doors wide open, just to fucking keep the smoke alarm quiet. We've had a little trouble with the front door lock for a few weeks now. I don't know if the cold gets to it. In these temperatures, even water vapour turns to ice and sticks things. So having a shower in the morning, for example, could provide enough vapour that by the end of the day, the lock is iced shut. Something along those lines. So anyway, I put the steak on. And I go to the front door to open it, to get a draught coming through the house. A -20° draught (fucking smoke alarm). But as I turn the door handle: "Ping!" Something went. And instead of now opening the door, the door-knob was doing... fuck-all. You could turn it still. But it didn't do shit. Me and Greg were both in. The windows were locked shut. Or iced shut. But whatever it was... we were both trapped in the appartment.

For probably about 2 hours, we tried jimmying the lock open. But like I said; in these temperature, the locks are stiff enough using a key. Lacking tools, trying to jimmy it with coat-hangers, and knives, and whatever else we could find... it really had no effect. So after a while, I called a lifty who lives downstairs, to see if he could do anything from the other side. But whatever I'd done to this lock, the door-knob had no grip from out the front either. We were literally thinking... what the fuck can we do about this? We were looking over our 3rd storey balcony. Can we make that. Could just put a brick through the window. It got to the point, that Greg actually called someone at work, to say he probably wouldn't be in tomorrow because he was locked in his appartment. Because we literally couldn't figure a way out. And putting a brick through the window might sound a good idea. But how many glaziers do you think there are in this tiny mountain town? Because I haven't seen any. You got any idea how cold it gets around here at night-time? You really want to be living in an appartment, minus a window, for what could be weeks? Me neither. Eventually I was able to get hold of a guy called Dave. I've never met Dave. But his number was given to me by the landlords when I moved in. He had agreed to help out with this place if anything went wrong, seeing as the landlords live, apparently, a 5 or 6 hour drive away. So I got hold of him, and he was "Yeah, yeah. I'll be right over." So an hour later, getting to the point of wanting to go to bed, I was at the point of, do I call him or not? Has he forgotten, and needs a reminder? Or is he the kind of guy who get's all pissed if you keep on bugging him.

I did call him again. And it turns out he had forgotten, so it's lucky that I did. Apparently some guys turned up at his place with beer as soon as he put the phone down, and he'd forgotten all about us. When he does get here though, he wasn't one to be waste his words. He didn't even try to contact us. He immediately started playing with the door from the outside. Then when he couldn't do a thing from the outside, with him jimmying from the outiside, and me pulling from the inside, we were eventually able to get the window open. This Dave guy managed to climb in. And without even introductions, he took some screwdrivers to the door. And just took the lock off. Whatever it was that was wrong with the lock, taking it off the door, seemed to fix it. So he put it back on again, minus the cover. So at least now the screws were exposed. And he left us some screwdrivers, in case this happened again. And as quickly as he'd arrived, he was gone again. A nice guy. But I'm pretty sure he had some beers to get back to. We were locked in the appartment some 3½ hours though. Enough time to have carved a chair out of ice if we'd wanted to. In the end, it didn't turn out too bad. But unable to get hold of the landlords, open the window, jump from the balcony, or anything, we'd both started making plans to be trapped in all of today as well. We were even looking at how much food we had. 3, maybe 4 weeks worth. That's how stumped we were about how to get out.

Maybe though, it would have been good to be trapped in the appartment today. Because guess what I did? I put my cell phone through the washing machine. Fuckin eh! That was my phone. That was my watch. That was my address book. And now all it does, is vibrate. If the battery's in the back of the phone, it just vibrates until it's dead. Then you plug it in, and it just vibrates some more. That is the only thing my phone does anymore. And I hadn't really realised how much I was relying on that phone, until, for the past 4 or 5 hours, I haven't had it. I need to know the time at work. Closing chairs, that kind of thing. I don't have a watch, so I'm going to have to carry around a fucking alarm clock with me. All my Invermere contacts were in there. And for some fairly important people, that was the only way for them to contact me. With rent due in 4 days, I'm due a call from the landlords. Not going to happen now I'm afraid. As I've said, they live a 5 or 6 hour drive away. And I just put the only way for them to contact us, through the washing machine. So what the fuck do we do now? I may be able to recover their number from old emails, if I still have them. If not, there literally is no way to contact them. Because I don't have their number stored anywhere apart from my phone. And that's the only way work ever gets in touch with me. And vice-versa.

Looking on the bright side, I owe about $150 in unpaid phone bills. It's not that I've been avoiding paying them. It's just that the phone company's website is retarded. And they don't know that I put the phone through the washer, so I just sent them an angry email saying that the phone I bought from them has stopped working for no apparent reason. And I need it replaced or I shall be moving to another service provider. And it's not like they can do anything. They don't even have my address out here. All they have is the address to the SWAP office in Vancouver, and seeing as they can't call me now, just my email address. So I might actually just boycott this payment. I've tried to pay it before, and it wouldn't work. And seeing as the phone is broken now, unless they're willing to replace it, I really don't need to stay on the good-side of this company. Could save myself $150. Might not be such a great idea to get a bad credit record. But I get kicked out of this country in 9 months. It would be a waste of resources if I didn't leave some unpaid debts and fines behind. And then I suppose it's morally wrong to do that. But as I've said many times in previous blogs, the telecoms industry angers me more than any other with it's blatant cohesion to keep prices high. And in this country it's worse than back home. All this crap about long-distance cell-phone calls, and long-distance texts. Just to contact someone in Banff, for example. It's bullshit. Does it cost this company any more money for me to send a text to someone in Banff, than it does to my next door neighbour? No. Then why the fuck should I have to pay 50¢ more? I fucking hate telecoms companies. They're some of the most unethical out there. So I have no problem screwing them over. And as I demonstrated on my arrival to Canada, honesty doesn't fucking get you anywhere. Everytime I'm honest, I get screwed over. I try to be a shit worker, and I get all A's and B's. If I'd been a lazy cunt about getting accomodation in Invermere, I could be living in staff accom up at the mountain about now. As it is, I pulled my finger out of my ass and found a place, and now what? I'm stuck in an overpriced appartment a 40-minute bus journey from work where the front door doesn't even open. Honesty. Integrity. Hard-work. You know those things people try and brain-wash you into thinking are good qualities. Well whenever I implement them, I get fucked over. So I'm done with that. An honest man would pay his phone-bill because I'm sure there's some crap about doing that in the contract that I signed. But if I did that, I'd get screwed over. I'll just wait and see. If they give me a new phone, seeing as this one just broke without warning, for no reason I'm aware of, then I suppose I might pay my phone bill. If they don't give me a new phone; then hell, I've got no reason to pay my bill. To be an honest person? Get fucked. It's unfair on the phone company? They're all cunts anyway. We'll see how this one pans out.

Also had I been locked in the appartment all day, I would have spent my first day off since getting back from Calgary, stuck in front of the TV. As it was, we got out. So I got a day of skiing in instead. And what a day it turned out to be.

Taynton Bowl This was my first time venturing into the Taynton Bowl. This is the back-country. The expert skiiers only area. No hazards are marked. There aren't any trails. The avalanche warning today was human-triggered avalanches probably. It's no different from just going up a random mountain in the middle of nowhere, and skiing down. If you hurt yourself, it could be hours before you're found. You at least need to have the right equipment. Good powder-skis. You know what I have? I have racing skis. These are designed for going quicky, down groomed, maintained, runs. They aren't designed for going through trees and rocks, in waist deep powder, on very steep drops. So it's fair to say I probably wasn't overly prepared. I made it down ok though. In fact I found it much easier than some of the other runs that I've done. And I was just getting onto the cat-track back to the rest of the mountain. So easy, that just stand there and slide, type terrain. I've even got a phone call skiing down here before. I was able to put both of my poles in one hand, take of one of my gloves, get my now-deceased phone out of my pocket, answer it and have a phone call, and do all of that in reverse at the end of the call, without stopping, or even slowing down. Yet today I somehow make it through the Taynton bowl without any real problems. I stack it a couple of times. But nothing that hurts. But it's on getting onto this cat-track; here is where I somehow get hurt. I was going pretty fast. My skis crossed over. Got caught on each other. And the pressure on my boots meant that my right boot popped out from the binding. I fell directly forward at such speed I didn't have time to get my hands up to break my fall. And I land flat on my face. I wasn't knocked out at all or anything. So I got up straight away. It was a hard fall. You know how you can hear your face crunch as you hit it hard sometimes. I heard that sound. Bone meets ground. So as I'm coming up I'm expecting blood. At the very least a bloody-nose. But as I reach for my nose, nothing. Surely a bloody lip? Nothing. I reach around my mouth with my tongue. All my teeth are still there. This has just become frustrating now. I've just landed flat on my face. I want something to show for it. Just give me a broken nose or something. Otherwise no one will believe me. In the end I've had to search really hard just to find any fucking injuries. I deserved so much more. But here, is the sole evidence that I landed, on my face, travelling at high-speeds, on packed ice. Exhibit A, a minor laceration on the bridge of the nose. And Exhibit B, minor bruising below the left eye.

You don't know how frustrating that is. It really was a hard fall. Honest!

After that I was skiing about, and there's another double-black run that opened recently. I decide to go and have a look at it from the top. And just see from there whether it's doable on my skis or not. But as I'm getting there, 2 lifty snowboarders come through the same way. By myself I probably would have turned back. But with other people, I decide that this very treey, very deep powdery run, aptly title cliff clades, seeing as there are drop offs you just can't see coming, is worth a go. Man I had fun. It's hard to hurt yourself falling in snow so deep. As long as you avoid the trees that is. My legs were contorted into all sorts of positions they aren't designed to be coming down this deep-powder run in racing skis. But I got through the other side. This really was a tough run though. My knee's a bit sore now. Possibly from this run when my legs were getting all twisted about. But nothing serious.

Just to let you know why this is difficult in racing skis. The whole point of snow, is you float over the top of it. On groomed runs, it's packed so hard, that there's no way, regardless of equipment, that you can sink into it. On unmaintained areas however, very few people ever go on the runs, so the snow is not packed. Plus there isn't any set-way to go, so of the few people who go that way, they all may choose a different path. So it is just powdery. If you have powder skis, they're thick. And in these thick skis, you can sit on top of this powder. Racing skis are thin. They're designed for speed, on hard-packed surfaces. They aren't designed to float on powder. So when you go through this powder in racing skis, you know what happens? Rather than floating on top, you just sink. And this powder was pretty damn deep. So rather than skiing on top of the powder, you're skiing through the powder. And that surely isn't easy to do. When you're in the snow up to your knees or deeper, as opposed to floating on top of it, then it makes it a pretty tough ride. Fun, but tough. Old-style, 2nd-hand racing skis for $67.50, aren't exactly what you'd call proper equipment for this kind of thing. But like most things, as long as you don't fuck yourself up, the harder it is, the funner it is. If I can learn to ski on powder in these skis, there really will be nothing I can't do. It wasn't easy. I got through the other side though.

Stumbocks Going through Taynton bowl today, down Stumbocks, this very mogully run, through Cliff Glades, falling flat on my face on a cat-track, take a guess at where my worst injury of the day came. Can you guess? That's right. Eating lunch. I dropped a fry off my plate. And as my hand shoots after it to try and catch it before it hits the ground, my little finger gets caught on my chair. That hurt even more than landing on my face on some hard-packed ice. Even makes typing this blog a little tricky. I can do the Taynton bowl and cliff glades in 2nd-hand racing skis. But eating lunch is where I get hurt. A similar thing happened in my final season playing American football. I played the whole season without a real injury. But I wasn't 100% for one of out games once, because I somehow hurt my leg when I was sleeping. It's fucked up how this happens.

Do you notice a theme here? You do something dangerous, but get hurt doing an everyday activity. You're honest and you get raped. You're a terrible worker but you get praised. It's a fucked up world. Just writing this I'm noticing, that everything that I do, really isn't getting the reaction you'd expect from it. Just something that I've noticed.

I'm almost done for today I think. Just a couple more things I want to get through. Firstly I want to pay homage to my Fujifilm Finepix E510. She's a little sick right now. I landed on my face today, with basically no effect. But half my Fuji's face fell off today and got lost in the snow somewhere. Poor girl. We've been together for about 3½ years now (that number's come up a lot today). I bought her from Black's in Vancouver in 2005. And we've been together ever since. Vancouver was really my first stop of all the travelling that I've done. And everywhere that I've been since, she's been with me. All the photos from Vancouver, Alaska, Mexico, Jasper, and a whole host of other places, some of which aren't featured on this website... she was there, taking those pictures the whole time. So although she's still working, after being dragged around the world with me for the past 3½ years, losing part of her face today, I feel that her life may soon be coming to an end. So if everyone reading this, can bow their heads for a moment of silence, and remember the good times. Remember all the places that we travelled together. The things that we saw.

Then I also want to say to Australia, you're a bunch of fucking pussies. It was Australia day a couple of days back. And Australian's think they look cool with their little sleeves to go around their 330ml beer cans to keep them cool. I just want to say, if you drunk your beer like a real man, Australia, then you would have drunk it by the time it got hot. It's the size of a can of coke for fucks sake. What kind of pussy doesn't drink a beer that size before it gets warm. Fucking Australia.

I also want to say thankyou to the hippies that picked me up when I was hitching the other day. The bus was broken down. Again. So I was hitching back from work. Some people are rubbish to get picked up by. And some people are awesome. This little hippy couple picked me up. Almost out of a movie kind of couple. He was a pot-head business man. She was in college still. Really chilled out. I get in the car. They give me a fan to warm me up. Turn on a heated seat for me. Give me a bag of mini-eggs. Ask me what music I want on. And then take a detour in the wrong direction through all of Invermere, not to just drop me on the corner of my appartment block. But actually driving all the way around the block and down the hill, and dropping me right by the front door. These, most definitely, were some good people to get picked up by. Better than some old Spanish couple who kept on arguing. I had them a month or so ago. I actually felt a little uncomfortable sitting there that time. Then you get the people who show off and start speeding, and skidding down the road. They're always fun as well. It's just a lottery who you get. Good times. No journey's ever the same when you're hitching.

I'd hope I don't need to tell you that it's the Superbowl this Sunday. I've managed to get the day off work, so I won't have to quit my job luckily. Right now I'm thinking, I'm going to watch this game alone. I haven't found one person in Invermere who's into their football. And to be stuck in a pub with a bunch of drunks who think they know football after watching the 1st quarter, that just annoys me. If I could, I'd lock myself in a room with a couple of crates of ice-cold beer. Turn on the TV, and have no outside contact until the final whistle. I'm not sure how happy Greg would be if I stole the TV. But I'll make it as close to that as possible. And just for the record, I hope that by some miracle, somehow, neither team wins. Of the 6 playoff AFC teams, and the 6 NFC playoff teams, these 2 meeting in the superbowl, were the 2 I didn't want to be there. I'd have to say I'd hope Arizona get the win. But only just. Do I think they will though? Not really. It'll be a tight game. A hard one to pick, but I'd give Pittsburgh the edge. I never want those cunts to win anything mind. So I'll be begrudgingly pulling for the Cards in this one.

One more thing I want to bring up: Time. I always write in the 24 hour clock. Not always in this blog, because you never know how retarded the person reading this might be. But if you look in my filofax, everything is 24 hour. And people think I'm weird for this. I just want to say, is it not surely time that the 24-hour clock becomes mainstream? Like people talking in the 24-hour clock? Instead of one O'clock, it becomes 13 O'clock. It just seems to make sense to me. In a digital age, where the 12-hour clock is nearly extinct, why don't we just save confusion and talk in 24 hours? Do away with am and pm. Because it's a damn stone-age system. Why can we only speak 12 different hours, when there's 24 hours in a day? Just thought I'd put that out there.

Snowflake And you know snowflakes? I was working the gondola the other night, and I started catching them. I'd always figured snow flakes were exactly that. Flakes. But when I started looking at them, I realised that those snowflakes that you see in cartoons, with 6 points, and in a kind of spider-web shape, a little bit like this picture. Well that is what snowflakes are actually like. How freaky is that? How exactly, in the sky, does this frozen water end up falling in such an obscure shape. Freaky eh! That is actually the shape of snow. I spent a Winter in Nova Scotia and never realised that. This is actually what a snowflake looks like though. Fucking weird eh!

And just finally, I've started my search for a job post-Panorama. I haven't got very far yet. But I've started looking, so I'll keep this blog updated with any progress. And also, I want to try and film myself skiing at some point. I've spent so much time going down these runs this Winter, and I don't know when I'm going to be back here again. If ever. When global warming kicks in a bit more, are we even going to have skiing still? I don't know. 10 years from now, this mountain might stay green all year round. So I'm trying to find some kind of camera that I can attach to myself as I'm skiing one day. Keep a video memory of what it was like to ski down Panorama. Something I can look back on. Plus something that I can add to this website so people can see what I'm talking about when I write. But mostly as something I can look back at a few years from now. When I've forgotten what it was like to be at Panorama.

That's me done. I can't be arsed to put this online tonight, because it's got quite late already. So at a guess, this'll go online tomorrow sometime. Not that this sentence is relevant to you at all, because if you're reading this, it's obviously already online. But I just thought I'd say that.

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