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Mellow mountain musings - Desolation Row

How else does one explain the bounty of white stuff that fell on our slopes in ? Think about it. From the crazy-good March skiing last winter to the snow-Nirvana that visited us this past month, Whistler has been sumptuously blessed by Ullr in the last year. I'm not complaining mind you, just pointing out an interesting phenomenon. While other big players in the ski world — Colorado, Utah, California, most of the European Alps — struggle to make their snow last through the regular winter season, Whistler just keeps bopping along, breaking snowfall records like it was a birthright. Take last month.

Even before winter had officially made its entry, WB was reporting a cumulative snowfall of over five metres In my forty years of early-season skiing in this valley, I've never experienced such plentiful snow And no matter whom I asked among long-time locals — Bob Dufour, Binty Massey, Doug Mac, Rob Boyd et al — none could come up with a bigger start to the year than this one. I know. Be careful what you write about. It could start raining tomorrow and the whole subject would be moot.

But my goal here is not to wax smug about our situation. Au contraire! Just sit. And be. Create a budget. You know what's scarier than having to follow a budget? Not having one at all. I'm not talking about a budget in minute detail - just know what you are paying for each month, and how much you are paying for it.

Take your medication as prescribed. And if you aren't taking it, see 7.

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Maybe you aren't taking it for a good reason side effects, it's no longer effective, etc. See your doctor. Learn to be okay with impermanence. Once you come to terms with the fact that every single thing in life is not permanent, you start appreciating it more. Even if expenses are tight, find a way. Even if you are a tourist in your own city or state. People were meant to visit other places.

It makes your neurons happy. Make a list of lifetime goals. Some people call this a "bucket list". That sounds kind of morbid to me, but whatever you call it, write down the things you want to accomplish in your life - no matter how outlandish they may seem.

The fact that you've written your goals down means you've taken a huge step towards accomplishing them. Spend at least 2 hours every day away from your iPhone, Blackberry, laptop, anything electronic. Sounds easy, right? Try it. Monday, December 27, I AM. Tom Shadyac , an extremely successful Hollywood director, had all the toys and luxuries that money could buy but still wasn't happy. Then he had a mountain biking accident which left him with post-concussive syndrome. As he dealt with his injuries and continued to question, he set out on a journey that resulted in the uplifting documentary, I AM.

I AM illustrates its message, "We're all connected" persuasively in scientific and straightforward terms. It makes the case that cooperation, not competition, is far more important to the Darwinian world we inhabit and that the smallest of actions can have impact. Rather than be paralyzed by the enormity of the problems, I AM encourages us to act with empathy and sympathy. Some in the audience wished to take his message into the realm of new age spirituality and Shadyac did an admirable job of validating their views while still maintaining a grounded realism.

It seems to me that there is something to this idea that while we can't yet scientifically explain it, we are all connected on a physical, biological but mysterious level. He uses an Einstein example of two spinning atoms separated by a great distance, each of which simultaneously mirrors changes made in the other's rotation. We don't yet understand why it occurs, but we know it does. The linear, rational being that I am appreciated Shadyac's well-reasoned argument. Do We Know , a few years back and left the theater feeling like I had just been fed a bunch of weird mumbo-jumbo.

It was just too over the top. Do We Know. Labels: movie review. Sunday, December 26, Who do I look like? As we were walking up the stairs, someone I did not recognize at all greeted me with 'Hi! Good to see you again! Not this time, so, as I was searching my memory in vain for some spark of recognition, I quickly smiled and acknowledged him with the customary niceties. As we went our separate directions, I turned to Steve and whispered, "I have absolutely no idea how I know that guy.

A short while later, whilst sitting in the balcony of the Wheeler awaiting the start of the movie, a young guy across the way waved and smiled a greeting to me. Again, no recognition. Was he waving at me? It sure seemed like it. So, now I'm just wondering who else I'm going to see that I don't recognize and I'm feeling a bit sheepish about my lack of recognition skills. The movie started and almost immediately, I saw the guy from the stairs on the screen. Tom Shadyac thinks he knows me? Well, that's kinda cool. But I did spend the rest of the movie wondering, "Who do I look like?

Wednesday, December 08, Disappointed. Although I'm disappointed in Obama's failure to go to the mat on tax cuts, I'm still enough of a fan that I'm open to an explanation that will help me understand. In furtherance of that end, I watched yesterday's press conference and was struck by his monologue at the end. What he had to say was compelling and I will be watching this story develop with interest.

So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are, and in the meantime, the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of preexisting conditions or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out.

This is a big, diverse country. Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people. The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across all of America. Neither does The Wall Street Journal editorial page. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare was started, it was a small program. It grew. Under the criteria that you just set out, each of those were betrayals of some abstract ideal. This country was founded on compromise. So my job is to make sure that we have a North Star out there. What is helping the American people live out their lives?

What is giving them more opportunity? What is growing the economy? What is making us more competitive? Take a tally. Look at what I promised during the campaign. This is not a short game. Thursday, September 30, Tumblr. Since I have way too much time on my hands, I've started playing around with Tumblr. It's kinda fun, the way it can gather all of my different social media outlets in one place. As with any new toy, I have no idea how long it'll be before I tire of it but for the time being, that's where my "creative" impulses are landing. Labels: social media. Monday, September 20, Dear Rachel - 9.

I had a quiet day today. Did some work from home, got caught up on some stuff, did some but not all!

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Now I've got a busy day tomorrow, what with payroll, a conference call and class. Maybe I should have gone in to the office today. Not much else to report. I'm excited for Glee tomorrow night. Have you already listened to all the music? I'll wait. I've been recording some stuff on the DVR but I haven't really watched any of it.

That's not really the point, now is it? Not sure where the comma should go in that last sentence. But at least now that I've emailed them, you'll be able to catch up. Labels: family , letters. Sunday, September 19, Dear Rachel - 9. Well, we're home but we had fun driving the TT down those lonely highways. Steve got it up to today. That's crazy fast. I didn't like it, I mean the car felt fine, it just seems like it would be too easy for something to go wrong. Yesterday was very nice until I got sick. Then it sucked. Today too. I drank a Sprite and ate Saltines. I actually dozed off in the car which is very unusual for me.

Clark was very happy to see us and was pretty lovey-dovey for a little while but then Ellie went after him after he jumped off the couch onto her. I went over to make sure that he was okay and while I was holding him, he scratched my temple and bit my nose.

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I screamed at him in pain and he immediately just hung there in my hand. Steve thinks we should just go ahead and declaw him since he can't go outside. I'm willing to be persuaded. He has trashed the side of the couch. The aspens are in full yellow. It was really beautiful driving through southern Colorado and over the pass. There were even bits of orange here and there.

Work tomorrow. I'm envious that you have the day off. But, of course, you do have homework to do. Friday, September 17, Dear Rachel - 9. Drove to Angel Fire today. Got a later start than we wanted but don't we always? Left Aspen just before am and drove over the pass. We stopped at the top and then once on the way down and then not again until we hit Taos. I played with the TT, seeing how it felt and what it could do. On one straight shot, I got it up to It could have done more comfortably but I was a bit freaked out by the number.

I then set the cruise control at It was great at passing on the one lane highways. And I loved telling people here, yep it's gonna be mine. I told Steve that once I own it, he's going to see a whole nother side of me. I'm gonna remind you of your dad, washing my car every week. That's how I was when I had the Saab. We got here before everyone and were starving since we hadn't stopped at all.

Steve really wants to walk around the Taos square so we decided to drive the 25 miles back there and find a place to eat. We got there, parked, checked voice mail and found out that we were supposed to be meeting up with Campo back in Angel Fire. So we loaded back into the car and drove back 25 miles. Maybe we'll stay in Taos on Sunday night. It's been fun talking to everyone but then it'll get sad.

Such a crazy thing. We met at the golf club for drinks and then drove up to Sandie's parents' house where we visited and ate. Then we came back to the hotel where the guys are still down hanging out in the bar.

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  7. The memorial is tomorrow at 2 pm so I'm sure we'll hang out some more tomorrow morning. Mark really appreciated our all being here. I'm touched by how appreciative he is. I'm glad we came. It's so important to be there for your friends. Thursday, September 16, Dear Rachel - 9. We just got home from picking up Kim's car. It's complicated! And even more so trying to figure it out in the dark.

    It'll be fun to drive it over the pass. I loved your text, "You know, I kinda like being the good girl. I'm sorry you missed Aaron Sorkin but I'm proud of you for not skipping class. Such a hard decision. We've got a full-time opening for a receptionist. Want the job? Nowhere near ready to leave in the morning so I'm going to bed so maybe we can leave somewhere near 8 am. Wednesday, September 15, Dear Rachel - 9. Dear Rachel, Hmmm. Last printed sheet of this stationery too. Struggling a bit to come up with something worth writing tonight. Pretty mundane day so not much interesting to say.

    I'm glad you were able to be productive today and that you feel good about it. I'm proud that you're making such a conscious effort to stay on top of things. That'll make a huge difference in keeping things manageable. Crazy stuff happening in these mid-term elections. Makes me want to be sure that you get a mail-in ballot. Have you heard anything about the Tea Party lady in Delaware? If only the crazies vote, only the crazies will get elected. Tuesday, September 14, Dear Rachel - 9. I'm sorry you think that you miss me more than I miss you.

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    It's not really a competition but it's natural that you're feeling more uncertainty and anxiety. You're dealing with so much that's new, unfamiliar and stressful. You're trying to navigate new expectations and challenges, all of which force you to miss the familiar more keenly. But this is your time to explore and experience, still with some measure of a safety net. Embrace the challenges and see where they take you! And take comfort in the knowledge that the familiar is out there even as you create new familiar.

    Envious that you have the possibility of seeing Aaron Sorkin. Not thrilled about you missing class, though. That's a tough call..

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    Can't condone it but can't condemn it either. I had my photography class again today. I'm learning a lot about all of the possibilities of digital cameras. Will it make me a better photographer? We got one of those water fountain things for Clark since he loves to drink from the faucet so much. We also got an automated food dispenser. It'll probably take him about two seconds to learn what that noise means. He should be all set for his first weekend home alone. We'll be missing the Snowmass Balloon Festival and some bazaar that they're having in Aspen.

    You should call Grandma Nina. Try to stay in touch with her regularly. Monday, September 13, Dear Rachel - 9. One of the productions companies responsible for the movie we saw tonight is called A Likely Story and its log is a drawing of a "Bad Panda. You should google it. They have a Facebook page with their logo. Got me thinking about what you might name your future production company.

    Sad Panda Productions? Sidewalk to Nowhere Productions? Happy Moose Productions? Triquetra Productions? CharmedFreak Productions? I could go on. The movie, Please Give, was odd.

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    Papa's response when it was over was "Wow. I'm feeling pretty productive this evening since I worked all day, went to a movie, finished my homework sorta , posted a picture and am now writing your letter. I never turned the TV on so that probably helped. The saga of the car may be settling down. The saleswoman wasn't able to find any black Q5s so Kim's going to just wait until December for the blue one that she already ordered. Or so she says. I'm not sure that she's patient enough. We'll see. I guess you're getting into it, the college grind, since your texts to me have precipitously fallen off.

    That's ok, I'm just wondering if I pulled the trigger too quickly on the change in text plans. Sunday, September 12, Dear Rachel - 9. Oh no! I missed a day! I think the irregular mail delivery at the University Center has taken the wind out of my sails. Well, that and the TV are probably both to blame. I've been staying up way too late. Friday night really Saturday morning I was up until am even though I had to get up and go to class.

    I was exhausted last night and now it's pm. Crazy stuff. I'd never seen Justin Bieber before. What's the attraction? That Eminem song is growing on me. Who is Chelsea Handler and why did someone think she'd be a good host? These are rhetorical questions by the way. It looks like we're back to December for Kim's car. She really likes the blue so I think she should wait and get what she wants. We're still planning to take it to New Mexico next weekend. We're going to take Ellie too.

    Poor Clark has to stay home. Leaves are turning and it's getting cold here, especially early in the morning. Even though I didn't write a letter yesterday, I do get huge points for mailing your package especially since I had to go out of my way for an envelope since they neglected to restock the priority mail supplies in the post office lobby! Friday, September 10, Dear Rachel - 9. Well, I feel like I'm back in college. I just fell asleep doing my homework.

    Hopefully, I'll get up in time to finish it tomorrow. More old school stationery. We've moved from Woodstock and Peanuts to carousel horses. I was quite a fan of carousel horses. Kim found out today that she lost out on the Q5 that would have been here by the end of the month so now she's broadening her range of color choices in an attempt to increase her odds of getting one before Christmas. The limitations of the lack of dealers in the valley are a bit frustrating. She'd love to look at other makes but doesn't think it wise. I'll be in class tomorrow while you are. How cool is that?

    Ok, not really, but whatever. Clark's being a troublemaker. Ellie got tired of keeping him in line so she left and now I'm unprotected. Learn to let go. As I went along my journey, one thing that struck me was about letting go of things — at various levels. Many of the problems that we make such a big deal about are actually insignificant in the larger scheme of things — let go of them and you will feel lighter.

    On the first day, I was grumbling about the 2 litres of water I had to carry apart from the other essentials in the day pack. Also in the presence of the mighty mountains, we are but a mere speck — we need to let go of our ego and not give ourselves so much importance. At another level, we end up accumulating so many things as we go by in life — material things and emotional baggage. We need to shed the baggage as much as possible. And lastly every day is a new beginning. Leave behind the baggage from yesterday, learn from the mistakes, start afresh and move on.

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    There is a new mountain to climb today… Now that I am safely back to reality, I have started practicing these in a more consistent and disciplined manner. The following two tabs change content below. Bio Latest Posts. Rajesh Ramakrishnan. He is currently the Managing Director of Perfetti van Melle India, where he is in the process of growing the business on the back of an innovative and vibrant culture. He is also a passionate award-winning photographer. He recently won the 2nd prize in the Instagram Recreatedclassics contest and his work was featured at Cannes.

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    His work has been extensively featured in several publications in India and outside, and also in exhibitions in India. Rajesh has also conceptualized and shot a desk-top calendar every year for the last 5 years to raise money for charity. Rajesh combines his passion for photography with a love for travel and likes capturing the nuances of life on the streets in different cities.

    Rajesh is currently working on evolving his photography into an art form. His work can be seen at www. Latest posts by Rajesh Ramakrishnan see all.