Feb

11

Winter Past Time, by Ken Drees

February 11, 2010 |

Once or twice each winter–during the boredom days, I bring up a puzzle from the basement game/storage locker. This season's is Claude Monet's "The Red Kerchief: Portrait of Mrs. Monet". I forgot where or when we got it. It was still in a wrapper with an art history store price tag. What great fun/interaction! I poured it out during a snowstorm day–enlarging the dining table with a few leaves. 500 pieces. And each piece seems to bring gladness. Time spent at the puzzle goes superfast. Kids walk past and then circle back and sit down to "work it"; wife loves to relax after dinner with the 'puz'. We are now 2/3rds done–each piece is a little victory–the shades of colors are illuminated by a task lamp on the table–"Monet can really blend"is what is heard by the casual commenter. I forget the market when I work the puzzle –thats a good thing sometimes, yes its a good thing indeed. I feel refreshed afterward—like a part of my mind has just been worked out.

James Sogi comments:

Speaking of winter pastimes, I recently tried a relatively new sport calledalpine touring. In Europe and Scandinavia they have done randonee andnordic touring for years, but recent advances in equipment have developedinto a whole new sport. The skis are semi wide skis. The special bindingsallow the heel to rise so a regular walking stride can be used while walkingover snow. Skins are attached to the skis to allow walking up steepmountains on skis on the surface of the snow. New advanced boots allowflexing cuffs that allow walking and climbing easily, but also lock down forcontroled skiing downhill through deep powder on steep couloirs at highspeed. This allows access to back country mountainous terrain in midwinter to enjoyfresh air, pristine uncrowded mountain landscapes. Alpine touring givesaccess to undeveloped terrain such as the Rockies, Alaska, Nepal, theHimalayas, Antarctica, Greenland. There are some amazing trips possible. The climb up is pleasant though hard work. The exertion puts the heart rateand breath right up against the cardio vascular wall and is a great workoutand a great endorphine high. The calories burn rate is close to 900calories per hour. The biggest thrill is the descent through deep power onsteep hills. Avalanches are a constant threat and can injure or kill. Three people werekilled last week in the Wasatch. The snow just healed two days ago fromprior storms when the snow crystals layers anneal. This healing processseems similar in many ways to current market consolidation.

Newton P. Linchen comments:

"I forget the market when I work the puzzle –thats a good thing sometimes, yes its a good thing indeed. I feel refreshed afterward—like a part of my mind has just been worked out."That's even most true about surfing. Your mind becomes "empty".Surfing, and many other sports/hobbies can put you into a meditative state - the one focused only in the task at hand - and that's indeed a relief for our minds.


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