A new respect for cold

Ishir in the cold after skiing

After a long month of work, I recently escaped to Stowe, VT for a few days of relaxation and skiing. An amateur skier, my previous experience on the slopes has been rather limited to a few moderately successful tours down beginner paths and a clumsy, prolonged tumble down an intermediate course.

The first order of business was to equip myself appropriately. My fashionable, but impractical, black overcoat stepped aside to make room for the more durable North Face parka above. With a rented set of skis, boots, and goggles, I was ready to tackle any slope (provided it was clearly marked with a green circle).

One variable that failed to enter into the calculus of an enjoyable ski experience was the importance of adequate hand-warming. Despite double-gloving in preparation for the frigid Vermont air, my fingers were greeted to a novel combination of pain and numbness that I previously was unaware was possible. I waited a good 30 minutes after the second day??????s ??????run?????? before any semblance of normal sensation and function returned to my digits.

Despite the lesson in the function of my peripheral nervous system, I am finally gaining greater comfort in this sport and beginning to understand why others consider facing almost certain doom sliding down icy paths on thin planks an enjoyable experience.

Trashcans are still rolling

The superbly underrated Scottish band, the Trashcan Sinatras, have emerged with a new single following the release of their latest album, Weightlifting. Another nice mellow track, perfect for a relaxing Sunday like today. Unfortunately, despite the website??????s claims, it doesn??????t appear to be ready for downloading from iTunes yet, but the CD, with two additional live tracks, can be purchased from the band??????s website.

An AM Masterpiece

A perfect cup with latte art

Latte art: often attempted but rarely mastered. When the barista pours the milk of a cappuccino just so, it winds its way through the espresso, blooming into a silken flower almost too perfect to drink. This is what emerged this morning when I, in my semi-awake state, created my usual morning beverage. If I admire it any longer, it will grow cold and bitter so, after a brief photograph session, I sip it down and head off to work.

I have been working on my latte art for years now, often with limited success. As what I think is a beautiful rose is emerging, my wife looks over my shoulder and comments, ??????oh…a brussel sprout!?????? Such is the pain the struggling latte artist must endure. Still, I persevere, and every now and again, true perfection emerges.