Saturday, December 19, 2009
I'm still wearing the two pairs of long underwear i put on yesterday. They never came off. After Kaylin landed 22nd in yesterday's super combined in Val d'Isere (which is in the French Alps). We jumped in the car and bolted for Pozza di Fassa (which is the Italian Dolomites). It was snowing. We got in at 3 a.m. i left my bags in the car.
I was supposed to crash in room 208 for a few hours. i couldn't find it, but 217 was open and i went for it. Up at six bells and over one of the most unbelievable mountain passes i've ever seen and i just had breakfast with Virgil, Christa and Mick at the Alpino Plan in Val G. They have some pretty good coffee here.
The Saslong Classic downhill starts in a few hours...no chace would i miss this. Here's the notes:
Val Gardena, Italy - The Saslong Classic downhill
- The Saslong, which is actually an enourmous rock, is one of the most incredible downhill tracks in all of ski racing. A rollercoaster from start to finish, there's over 20 spots where the boys get light. At one point for over the length of a football field - at 80 mph. Two years ago, i shot a vid of Mr. Nyman, who won the thing in '06. He definitely describes it best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMJgrk8KWX4
- It will be tough to match last years historic five Yanks in the top 10 and seven in the points. The guys are a little banged up - Bode's ankle, Mac's back is still a bit sore, Steven just got back on snow in Nov. BUT, it's possible. Bode has still been fast, this hill was built for Marco, Steven was 4th in the first training sesh and Fish made a name for himself on this hill last year with a Warhorse-esque run from 52 to 7. And speaking of Andrew, he's been in the top 15 of every speed race this season - including yesterday.
- Bibs: Fish 4, Sully 5, Bode 22, Esteban 24, Horse 29, Mac 32 and Worm 48. Thanks for the coffee Babs.
We're stacking them quick and hot and this baby doesn't start until 6:15 a.m. ET, so do what you need to do to get Universal Sports streaming through your plasma.
Val d'Isere, France - women's downhill
- Pretty sure i made this point yesterday, but it's worth a mention again. LV has won three consecutive DH runs on the OK piste. Four straight if you count her 2006 win. She took yesterday's speed portion of the super combi by 1.52 seconds for her 25th WC win. You get the picture. She has bib 19.
- Jules is downright angry and she should be. She knows she's fast on this hill. She's won on this hill and was third in the first DH trainer. She was nuking the top yesterday and went BIG off the first jump causing her to get way inside on the next turn and went out. That's not going to happen today. Watch No. 23.
- Now, here's were it's really going to get exciting. Last season i went to St. Moritz with this Team and the men dog piled the points in Val Gardena. I don't gamble - never bought a lotto ticket - but Cookie starts 2, Alice 7, Leanne 36, Chelsea 41 and Keely 44. All of these girls have been top 20. If they ski the way they all know we can, well, the story will tell itself and i'll be just fine with missing it.
A 10 piece brass band just fired it up outside the men's hotel, that's my cue. Women actually start earlier than the boys at 4:45 a.m. ET. Good thing for you, Universal Sports has on-demand streaming. Be resiliant, don't check the results first...just watch the race.
Whoa! The band just moved into the hotel to play a good luck song for Bode. Don't believe me? Check this out: http://usskiteam.mobilerider.com/flash/player/index.php?vendor_id=626&video_id=24897
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This was my first time ever cooking a full turkey and I have to admit I was little nervous about it. Not to mention the fact that you have to prepare side dishes as well. Any number of things can go wrong. God love my mom, she's made countless Thanksgiving dinners by herself and rarely messes anything up. But if there is one thing I learned this Thanksgiving it's that potlucks are the way to go. Each person can really concentrate on one dish and make it truly special. Thus, this was our menu:
Turkey w/ gravy
Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Dressing
Sweet Potato Casserole
Cornbread Pudding (aka Swik Souffle)
Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Honey Balsamic Glaze
And this was us enjoying all our hard work
Sunday, November 8, 2009
This weekend one was of firsts and lasts. Light snow showers present during the end of the work week actually accumulated into something skiable. Saturday morning Doug, Jim, Jenny and I hit up the Toll Road for our first cross country ski of the season. While the cover was pretty thin and the snow texture quite sticky, the feeling of gliding over the snow for the first time in months made the excursion more than worth it!
Sunday, the sky was sunny and the temps were soaring into the upper 50s (heat wave!). Doug and I decided to take our canoe for one last spin before putting it to bed for the winter. We enjoyed a beautiful late afternoon paddle on Oseetah with Michael and Cindy before settling down next to the woodstove to warm our toes and enjoy a hot bowl of stew.
These tourists don't know what they're missing!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
A few hours following the women's GS, Soelden's main street closes and becomes a sea of painted people, drums, horns, banners and rickety homemade wheel barrows stocked with dripping wooden kegs. It's a scene for sure. The first BIG party for the World Cup fan club circuit, which truly is a tour of its own right.
Pretty sure Tom Kelly was there and dropped a vid on YouTube. Hopefully Audi USA marketing chief Scott Keogh caught it too. He flew over the pond just to see our boys rip today. That's cool.
The fan club parade ends at the women's public awards and men's GS bib draw, but the party cranks on until, well, tomorrow.
Soelden, Austria - men's giant slalom - Rettenbach Glacier
The men's tech Team is a fun group to be around, easy going and constantly poking fun at each other. Ted is the ultimate offender, but the coaches are pretty solid themselves. It's like being in a high school locker room and really the only way this Team could work. European racers will go home for a couple of nights following a race, then move to the next training site. Ted won't be home until Christmas.
At the race eve Team meeting, they go through the normal next day logistics, hand out the appropriate credentials and spend at least five minutes or more talking about how to get lunch between runs. Most of the time this involves speculating on whether they can sneak into the VIP tent (the girls were successful yesterday). But it also involves a motivational video produced by Team PT Adam Perreault and coach Pete Korfiatis, AKA Happy 1-9 Productions. The films features fast runs from the race venue, solid training clips and in last nights case, about 30 seconds of dirt jumping a junker car named "Sweet Caroline" at the New Zealand training camp. It was Warner Nickerson's and he got it for free.
Today is Warner's first World Cup start since Dec. 12, 2006 and he earned his spot by winning a time trial last week. It's a first for Tommy Ford as well - his virgin World Cup start - there's a lot of excitement around this two-time Ski Racing Junior of the Year and to be honest, i'm pretty psyched to see him go today too. He's a mellow kid and probably only travels with two shirts (both plaid flannel), but he's been nipping Ted here and there in GS training.
While i'm on the list of first, let's go with Jake Zamansky. The Z-man is staring bib 30 - his lowest World Cup starting number ever. Tim Jitloff is No. 25, Warner 47 and T-Ford 52 with 74 racers on the board. Those are good numbers.
So is No. 3, drawn by Shred last night in front of about 2,000 screaming teenage girls. In three World Cup starts at Soelden, Teddy Ball Game has finished 8-2-3 in that order. It'd be cool to see a 1 added to that string and if it happens, i might buy the first lottery ticket of my life. Even more amazing is the start order for today's race of Swiss Didier Cuche, Austrian Benni Raich then Ligety. Last season's final giant slalom standings read the exact same way. Actually the first five starters mirror the '09 standings. The draw is random. Random.
Daylight savings hit Europe last night, so i banked a bonus hour and so do you early risers. First run start time is 4:45 a.m. ET with second run at 8:45. Get your stat sheets out and start scribbling blurry eyed while watching Live Timing. Light is looking a little flat right now, but that could easily change.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Soelden, Austria - Women's giant slalom, Rettenbach Glacier
Julia Mancuso is sick of training. It's been seven months since World Cup Finals, three on-snow camps, multiple conditioning blocks, and countless hours in the gym without one singular opportunity to hold a measuring stick against the rest of the ski racing world.
Not easy for those with competitive personalities.
Welcome to Soelden. At 45 turning gates, the traditional giant slalom opener busts the timing wand onto a short steep pitch before mellowing out on a B line for the Rettenbachjoch midstation. At last night's Team meeting, Head Coach Jim Tracy said, "It's full-on hammer down from the start, send it down the hill or you don't get a second run."
At midstation, the course breaks on a hard left boot turn over a brink and down the glacier throat towards the finish stadium. It's loud down there, cold and petty dark through about 30 in the first run or until Ma Nature's fireball slivers over the peaks to heat things up.
Course crews are shoveling snow out of the finish corral right now, slipping the fresh wet off the slope and getting ready for athlete inspection. The slope is World Cup stone hard and looking perfect - hard to believe that around 10 days ago, the glacier was black, meaning it was a parking lot. Seriously, the last few gates and the finish arena are over a parking lot.
Double World Champ Lindsey Vonn lights it up for the U.S. Ski Team with bib 11, Mancuso is rocking No. 18, youngstar Megan McJames has 31, Resi "Le Tigre" Stiegler 37, racer mom Sarah Schleper 39 and Vermont's Jessica Kelley in 45.
Lindsey is looking for her first World Cup podium in GS, she has W's in every other discipline and titles in downhill and super G. Julia was second here to open the '08 season. Sarah has been crushing it in training the last two weeks. Resi want's to prove she's back - it's her first World Cup race since Dec. 28, 2007. McJ set her personal best here last year with 14th and Jess wants to hit the hill that slapped her with a ruptured disc last season.
Fog is burning off, ORF Hitradio has cranked the system and the line of cars is melting into the clouds down valley. I love race day, especially the first.
Click your cyber boots in at http://www.universalsports.com/. First run starts at 3:45 a.m. ET with No. 2 on at 7:45. Game on.
The USOC has been doing vodcasts to intro top candidates for the Oh 10 Team, check out Lindsey's and here's Jules.
Oh, and I took some cool interview vids of Lindsey, Jules and Ted from Audi's opening press conference on Thursday, cue those suckers up on http://www.usskteam.com/.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
I'm off to Austria tomorrow for the Alpine World Cup opener...not long and it will be the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Tempus Fugit as they say...
Sunday, September 20, 2009
The proud gardener
While not as sweet as some corn we've eaten in the past, the whole "from garden to table in less than 20 minutes" thing was more than worth it.
A sample from that day's harvest
On a separate note I tried a new bread recipe yesterday. You make a large batch of it and store the remaining dough in the fridge for up to two weeks. At any point, cut off a piece and bake it for some of the most amazing bread ever. I used half unbleached all-purpose flour and half bread flour. Made it a bit chewier which I love! Here's the link: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx
Also made a spectaculor beet and spinach salad with feta:
4 large beets
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 2 teaspoons dried
1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small red onion, diced small
Fresh salad greens, enough to make a nice bed on a large platter
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (cow's milk feta is milder than sheep's milk)
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the tops off the beets, leaving 2 inches of the stems. Wrap beets in foil. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool, peel and slice the beets. (Ormicrowave without foil).
While beets are roasting, you can roast the walnuts and make up the salad dressing. I put the walnuts in a toaster oven, at around 250 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (if you do it in too hot an oven, the walnuts can burn). To prepare the dressing, blend oil, honey, vinegar, garlic, oregano and mustard in blender until thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Wash and dry salad greens, and keep them fresh in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the salad. Arrange the greens on a serving platter. Top with sliced beets, feta, walnuts and red onion. Spoon dressing over.
Even Althea can't resist fresh baked bread. This was how she sat all during dinner.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Last night we indulged. With our own home-grown lettuce and the very first full size tomato from the garden as the star ingredients, this sandwich was worth the wait!
Despite the fact that my plants look like crap they have still managed to produce a decent amount of smaller tomatoes.
Monday, August 24, 2009
-making pickles (both zucchini and bread and butter)
-freezing lots of beans
-discovering a superb patch of raspberries and freezing a few quarts
-planting fall crops of spinach, turnips, and radishes
-Making 3 batches of pesto and freezing it in ice cube trays
Other than that I'm simply cooking most of our meals from the garden, which is just such a great feeling.
My other major accomplishment of the week has been getting back onto my running schedule. I was doing really great until right before the wedding. I think it was because Doug was training for the half marathon and I just kind of tagged along. But after the wedding we both kind of took a break. Now I'm right back on track doing about 3 short runs a week (2.5 or 3 mi.) and one long (4+). This week's long run was the Trudeau Rd. loop which for those of you not from the area is a 5 mile course consisting of roughly a 1.5 mile gradual incline right in the middle of the run. I was definitely feeling the burn by the end of the run.
This week will be dedicated to getting my library ready for the start of school and enjoying every last minute of the nice weather. I'm sure we'll be back to the cold before we know it.
2 c. basil
1/4 c. pine nuts (walnuts are good too)
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
Food process into a thick, smooth paste
Bread and Butter Pickles
1 1/2 lb. pickling cucumbers
1 lb. onions (sliced 1/4 in. thick)
3/4 lb. red or yellow peppers (sliced 1/4 in. thick)
3 tbsp. salt
4 c. cider vinegar
2 c. light brown sugar (or white)
2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbsp. mustard seed
2 tsp. dill seed
Put cucumbers in bowl and pour boiling water over them. Drain and refresh under cold water. Slice 1/2 in. thick. Place all veggies into a glass bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Mix well, cover and let stand overnight.
Drain off veggies and rinse with cold water.
Put vinegar, sugar, turmeric, mustard seed, and dill in a non corrosive saucepan. Boil rapidly for 10 min. Add vegetables and bring back to boil. Remove from heat.
Pack into sterilized jars and seal. Process for 5-10 min.
Monday, August 17, 2009
So an upgrade has come at last. I am now sporting a Sony VAIO (in my signature color- brown) which with any luck will last me another 6 years.
Hey a person can dream can't they?
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
My college buddys always know I'm in town when there's a Subaru in the driveway with smelly paddling gear draped all over it.
I ended up bringing my longer playboat because I thought the wave would be a little flat. Thankfully it wasn't. The longer boat doesn't have as much bounce as my new playboat, but she can still throw down.
Here's a quick vid from the session. Kat is always so cool about hanging out with the camera while I surf my brains out.
Dougie rocking the old school Dagger Id
4 varieties of leaf lettuce (red mascara and black seeded simpson shown)
Red Rhubarb Swiss Chard
Just one small handful of the unbelievable harvest of sugar snap peas.
This is a photo of our garlic while it was growing... visitors to our house commonly mistook it for corn and bamboo it was so huge.
Berry picking this year was definitely hit or miss. Doug and I picked strawberries the last weekend in June and felt like we struck gold when we brought home 20 quarts. But as excited as we were about strawberries we suffered an equal amount of dissappointment in the lone quart of raspberries that followed. However, blueberry season? The best I've ever seen! Still picking those....
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Mom Haney and Addison
Who says 2 year olds can't drive? (Fear not, the boat was parked)
The actual wedding day was amazing. Even the unexpected torrential downpour during our ceremony seemed to only add to the perfection of the day. Both the ceremony and reception were held at South Meadow Farm in Lake Placid, NY. The plan was to get married in the field which overlooks Pitchoff Mountain (where Doug and I had our first date and also got engaged). About 30 minutes before the ceremony the sky opened up and it just poured. While my immediate reaction was one of pure dissapointment, I soon realized that the weather made no difference. We were going to get married and it was going to be perfect, rain or shine. Here are a couple of shots from the day. (Photos taken by Jon Zander)