Thursday, February 28, 2008

Peggy Light

Today I crossed the 200 mile mark in the Peggy Light 1000 mile challenge. I feel that this is going to make it difficult to achieve my New Year's resolution of doing less exercise this year.

At the beginning of this month I was 77 miles behind target. I need to average just over 2.7 miles a day to make it so I started cycling to work and have managed to notch up 190 miles this month.

Early, in a desperate attempt to make up miles, I asked the organizers if I could include distance skied in the figures. They said yes but I decided not to add those miles as technically you don't propel yourself to the top of the mountain and gravity pulls you down. So cycling to work it'll be.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Real Cost of Timeshare

My parents-in-law recently bought some time-share in Vegas. They were under strict instructions to not go to any time-share presentations and if they ignored that instruction they were not to buy any. My wife and I arrived in Vegas the following day and took them to the time-share office and returned the time-share under the 5-day cooling off period.

On the face of it, time-share often looks cost effective and appealing but there are a whole bunch of hidden costs that you don't take into account.

In the worst case scenario, I would be paying $55/day on top of my timeshare for staying there. That's $10/day for the safe, $10/day for the Internet connection, and $35/day for cleaning service. Can you believe that there's a safe in each room but they charge you to use it? All of these costs are included when you stay at a hotel apart from maybe the Internet which is included 90% of the time.

There are other annual fees that the timeshare company will charge you that will also add up. There's the annual maintenance and then they nickel and dime you with other taxes and fees. They often state that the annual maintenance fee is "only" $790 and then further down the contract there's an annual $89 charge for something and then another $59 charge for another item.

In the case of my parents-in-law, when we added up the annual and daily costs (excluding the purchase price) they can stay in a great hotel in Vegas for that period of time without buying the timeshare.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mexican Interior Design Mistakes

My skill at interior design has never before allow me to criticize or look down on anyone else's handiwork, until now. Have a look at the image, can you spot the mistake?

We just spent a great weekend at the Mexican resort town of Puerto Penasco (there's a tilde over that n but I'm too lazy to go looking for it). I was admiring the Las Palmas condo that we were in and came across the coat hooks in the cupboard. I was somewhat surprised to see one of them upside down. You had spotted that by now hadn't you?

In my best Spanish I asked the front desk to explain it. In his best Spanish (which is excellent by the way) he said: "It's for when the polarity of gravity inverts and you still need to hang your coat or umbrella."

I got my money's worth out of my dictionary to give you that translation.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


That was a pathetic attempt on my part to blog every day this month. Maybe next month...

Sunrise was great. First time I've skied there when all the slopes were open. Interesting to see the other two mountains; Apache Peak at 11,100' and Cyclone Circle at 10,700'. The black runs on Cyclone have some great names like Tempest, Thunder, Suicide, and Hurrican Ridge.

Driving back from the ski slopes I saw some guys doing some ice fishing and curiosity got the better of me and I walked out onto the lake to see how they do it. They've got this massive drill bit that's the diameter of a medium sized tree trunk that they screw through 3 feet of ice and then drop their line in. A few pan sized rainbows were lying on the ice next to their coolers. You never have to worry about keeping your catch fresh when you go ice fishing.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Month of Blug

I've decided that I'm going to blug every day this month. Well not quite. I'm hoping that 1 out of every 5 posts will qualify as a blog.

I almost missed today. That wouldn't have been a very good start.

Straight after work we drove up to the Mogollon Rim town of Show Low. There's snow everywhere and this is easily one of the most beautiful places I've been to. Tomorrow we ski.

So how did Show Low get its name?

According to the legend, the city was named after a marathon poker game between C.E. Cooley and Marion Clark, they decided there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement. The two men agreed to let a game of cards decide who was to move. According to the story, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, "Show low it is." The stakes were a 100,000 acre (400 km²) ranch. Show Low's main street is named "Deuce of Clubs" in remembrance.