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2005/02/28 Live From Netherlands, this is Armin Van Buuuuuuren....
π 2005-02-28 15:08 by Merlin in Clubbing

Current Music: AVB - ASOT 186 (live from Armin's home)
Current Mood: Good

I've often been missing the live broadcast since it's in the middle of my work day, but I made a point to listen to it today since out of 180 continuous weeks, I only barely caught one on the original radio station (Id &T; ), until it got cancelled there for some weird reason.

Anyway, Armin is now playing out of ETN.FM , from his home, and it is being broadcast over the internet to thousands of listeners worldwide (pretty cool use of technology BTW, 10 years ago people would have looked at you weird if you told them that you'd be able to do that. ETN can broadcast over the internet to 40,000 simultaneous listeners).
It's kind of fun (albeit a bit distracting) to read live comments about the tracks and responses from Armin while he's doing the mix and announcing the tracks.

Random comments from Armin on irc during the mix:
  • In my opinion, this genre needs a new name and then we all love it again. Trance is now considered cheesy, just because it's trance. When I made Blue Fear they called it "club music".
  • Shit man, all this discussion about trance, about progressive, what the hell! To me it's still dancemusic
  • Let's talk about music, wether you call it trance, progressive or your moms cake.
  • A state of trance doesn't say the show is about trance, but it puts you in a state of trance. lol

thump, thump, thump :)

And don't forget what happens every time you listen to ASOT
2005/02/21 All in a day's work
π 2005-02-21 22:34 by Merlin in Snow

I hadn't realized when getting up this morning that this was the first time I felt slightly sore, not in a bad way though (and after getting home and writing this, I can't really say I'm hurting anywhere except a little bit for my left knee, which brushed a tree from a little to close ;)
This last day was quite good too, not the epic powder day, but still a nice amount of powder and lots of spots left to run in the mountain. My only mishap for those 4 days was to hit my knee against a tree I went a bit too close to. No big deal, but a good reminder that I'm sometimes cutting it a little close, just to get more of the fluffy white stuff :)
I saw a guy do a back flip off the wave, that was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I'm missing the first couple of seconds of video (didn't get my camera out quickly enough), but this still taken off the video still looks good



Since it was snowing pretty much all day (even if only lightly sometimes), my concern was getting home, but while I was there, I might as well still do an entire day of riding, so I only left after 16:45 or so (this included finding someone to jump start my car since for some very strange reason, the battery had lost most of its juice. I'll have to look into that problem).
Anyway, I got very lucky, the temperature and sun were just right, so Carson Spur was actually open with no chain control and no snow on the road as it was melting on contact (although had I left 30 to 45mn later, that would have been a different story). I got home in about 3H05, which ain't too bad, and even averaged a respectable 24mpg (instead of my usual 12 to 14 :)



Although I do regret that I ended up going there by myself, it was a great 4 days.
The rest of the pictures and videos are here
2005/02/20 Epic day
π 2005-02-20 19:41 by Merlin in Snow

I don't think I can express how happy I am that I decided to crash at kirkwood. Carson Spurr was of course closed until noon-ish, so had I gone to my friend's cabin, I'd have missed a 2 foot powder day, something that you only get a couple of times a year.
In the funny fact category, I was on the very first lift up the mountain (Solitude, which I ran 3 times while others were waiting and hoping in the Corniche line, which wasn't opening because ski patrol was still blasting the mountain).
I don't know how many powder runs I did, but I was able to use all my well known hidden spots and get fresh tracks down many times off multiple lifts as they opened.
I even got 3 runs of Sunrise (chair 4, back side), even though the lift was quite flaky and only ran for about 4 runs. The trips down in wide open bowls filled with powder were just awesome.
And on top of that, after getting the first chair up, I sneaked on the very last chair up the mountain on Corniche, for a last palisades run.








People waiting for ski patrol to open a new bowl is always funny. Looks like a gold rush

Tonight, I'm staying at the kirkwood main lodge. It's way too expensive ($350/night for a studio), but they only had one, I needed a shower, and it has a great view on the reut and the wall. It's also snowing tonight (another foot), so I might as well stay here. The only sucky part is no wireless. WTF? Oh well, at least I have a modem and a 1-800 number I can call...



Oh, in case I forgot to mention that, I had a great day today :)
2005/02/19 Kirkwood: 2 days, 2 to go
π 2005-02-19 19:24 by Merlin in Snow

This morning I already had to check out (fully booked for sat night), and I was somewhat worried the that maybe only gas station I could get to without pushing might run out of gas this 3 day weekend, so I drove out the nice covered parking lot and went to get a few gallons (it's the wrong octane rating, but my engine will auto-adapt down). The very short drive down there was interesting to say the least. I confirmed that my tires have close to 0 traction in the snow (and we're talking traces, maybe 5mm), but BMW's DSC (stability control) did a good job of it, I think it's hard to spin the car out if you drive slow. I'm just worried of what it would do downhill or uphill if the car weight exceeds the very little traction the tires offer (which is why I'm not really looking forward to driving over Carson Spur on them if there is any snow/ice)
I checked at the main lodge if a room had freed up for tonight, and they just got a studio for the bargain price of $350/night, swell. First, I thought that they were pushing, and then figured fuck it, I can afford it anyway. Unfortunately, in the 2mn that took, the room got booked.
Oh well, I went to have Kirkwood's famous cheese and bacon croissant, started a little late (09:45), but since it hadn't really snowed, that was ok.
The funny part is that I got to meet someone from mc during the day. When we Emailed this week, we realized were were both spending the weekend in kirkwood, so might as well meet there. That's unusual, but I found the idea amusing.
She's a blue skier, so we had lunch and did a 3 runs together (solitude first, then I brought her to Corniche, which she had never done, and she survived the way down, although I had to catch her once when she missed a turn and was most likely going to slide down the hill for a long time (rode down in front of her, and stopped her, which was a bit brutal, I got hit in the face a bit, but whatever, I wear protection for a reason)



After being booted off corniche the second time up because she has a beginner pass and wasn't allowed on the said lift, we did the reut, and then she bailed because she was getting tired, so I had enough time for another couple of walls in heavy snow and fairly bad visibility, and one last corniche to finish the day.
I went to the main lobby again to beg for a room, but they only had one that just freed up and hadn't got cleaned ($350 too), and that was it (they later confirmed that they were not allowed to sell it to me unclean). So, I just went back to the meadows, and I'm going to sleep behind one of the sofas on the 2nd floor (luckily I brought a sleeping bag, and an air mattress, so with ear plugs on top, it should be ok as long as no staff finds me and tries to boot me out).
It's still nice and warm, and they still have wireless :)
Looking at snow conditions, I may actually stay all 4 days: tomorrow is going to get a fair amount of snow too, so I might as well stay until monday night. If the floor isn't too bad tonight, I'll probably do the same thing tomorrow night too.
In the meantime, my car is safe illegally parked in a safe spot underground :)

Mmmh, I also just received some not so good news, which I guess were good news too. It's good to at least know something. Thanks.
Comments:
Wasn't the best night ever last night, but who cares, 2 feet of fresh powder fell. Woot! :)
posted by MM : 20 February, 2005 07:15

2005/02/18 Planning, what's the point? :)
π 2005-02-18 18:50 by Merlin in Snow

Ok, so I didn't exactly get picked up to go to kirkwood, my ride had a problem and had to cancel. The only problem was that it was after 21:30, and my backup plan was to spend the weekend at a cabin with coworkers, but they had already left, so no riding with them.
Then, just to make matters simple, since I sold my mazda protege, the only car I had that could take chains, neither my miata with R compound tires, nor my M5 with "do not ever use in snow" low profile tires that can't take chains without breaking traction control sensors, were a good idea.
I had actually just bought a set of spikes spiders sport, but those take a while to install the first time, and arent' much fun in the dark with a flash light when it's raining. Also, a quick read of the manual and measurement seemed to indicate that they wouldn't fit my wheel offset (clearly, they've never sold them to a BMW M5 owner, or they'd know that it wouldn't really fit).
After about an hour of considering options, I realized that I could just drive the M5 to my coworker's cabin since it's only at 4000 feet, and then ride to Tahoe with them the next days.
On the way there, breaking some new records (Sunnyvale to Jackson in 1h30 flat, with triple digit speeds, including 88, and a cop coming the other way, I nicely avoided because I slowed down on 88 for each car coming), I found out that Kirkwood's cancellation policy wasn't that good, and that my $530 for double unit way too big for me anyway would be hard to get back.
After some trouble (I was stupid enough to trust my GPS navigation system and take some stupid roads it indicated instead of staying on Hwy 88 and following the paper directions I had), I ended up in the middle of BFE, and my nav system said "I now have no idea where you are, good luck", which is always nice in the middle of Pioneer (gold rush city off hwy 88) past midnight. Eventually, I actually ended up on the road my coworker's house was on, and after more night driving trying to find signs and numbers, ended up at his place around 01:00-ish.
After realizing that I probably wouldn't get much sleep there (I heard up to 29 people would show up, and there were going to do more partying than sleeping and going to kirkwood when the lifts open), and since it wasn't actually raining at the time (despite weather reports), I took a chance and drove to kirkwood, where I got a little more than 30mn later after getting badly lost because my GPS sent me the wrong way and I had no idea how to get back to hwy 88.
Long story short, I was in bed in my double unit by 02:30. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, I had a very bad night, and barely slept more than 4H

I was on one of the first lifts up today at 08:45, and had a decent day (it wasn't a monster powder day, but it was nice, and almost empty). The first 2H were tough though, as my body really wasn't awake, and I had a hard time snowboarding at all. Eventually, it woke up a few hours later.



Now the only fun things are that my car is almost out of gas (yeah, you don't really find gas in the middle of nowhere at 02:00), and I have no idea if my spikes spider are going to fit. If they don't, getting out of here is going to be very dodgy (starting with chain control, which will never let me through).
I actually spent an hour trying to set them up in the underground parking lot (ok, that was definitely worth part of the money I gave kirkwood, not a trace of snow on my car :) and indeed the offset is wrong.
The clips that hold only the bolts also look flimsy, and I'm surprised they don't specify any maximum speed when you don't drive with the chains. Somehow, I think the thing will just fly off if I drive 140 with it (especially as I can only clip it to 4 out of my 5 bolts, one is an anti-theft one with a different pattern), and yet it's designed to be set on your car once, and left there. Oh well, I'll deal with taking it in and out, even though it takes quite a while (30mn each time I guess) as opposed to 1mn to put the chains on after that. They look butt ugly on my rims anyway. If you're curious to see what the setup looks like, have a peek (the chain assembly just clips on, except that on my tires, the metal part doesn't stick out enough, so clipping is a problem because the tire sidewall gets in the way)
I guess you call that flying without a safety net, but right now, I don't really care, I'm just happy I made it there (even if alone), enjoying the snow, and in a double unit apartment that 5 times what I need, but that's warm and has working wireless :)

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