Monday, February 23, 2009

It's snowing again!

Hello. As I speak/write, it is putting down the snow outside! It's the big soft fluffy flakes too! Gotta love how everything looks when it's said and done:)

Anyways, speaking of snow, this past weekend I was privileged to go skiing! WooooooO! There was an email going around to faculty and staff here at the college that they were in need of volunteers for the ski race weekend up at Crested Butte (the ski resort North of me 30 miles). So, I responded to the email and discovered that not only would I get free-time between races to ski but also a complimentary lunch and another whole day's worth of free skiing (in the form of another lift ticket). For those that aren't familiar with lift ticket prices here...80 bucks will buy you a day...from 7 or 8 am to 4pm. 60 smackers will get you a half day. Pretty damn expensive! Worth the price? Umm, yea I guess but man sure expensive...glad I've got a 'free' one.

Lets see what else was going on Saturday...well at the race, I was responsible for watching the a certain section of gates that the skiers have to pass through in proper order, otherwise it's a fault. I put up new pictures through my Picasa website. (REMEMBER: follow my link in the FYE section of the blog). Pretty easy work and then got to skiiiiii, woop woop. Man, this snow makes me wanna go again. This is my 2nd year now not using any ski poles. When the snow isn't deep (like at a groomed resort such as CB) using poles isn't entirely necessary. I feel faster without poles and in some instances I can skate ski faster than people with poles! What is skate skiing? Well, it has practical uses in both Nordic as well as downhill skiing. It is a more newer fad amongst younger generations though older ones have adapted it as well. In Nordic ski racing, skate skiing is the fastest method, where as traditional or classic Nordic is more for leisure activity.

Anyways, also on Saturday night I went out on a date with a friend of a friend. I won't reveal too many details besides that it was very nice, we sat and talked for over an hour after finishing dinner before she went home and I to work at Hertz. If it is in the cards, I will give you more details as they become available. If you don't like waiting...too bad! haha.

Not too much else is new. Had a busy hectic day of work yesterday (Sunday) at Hertz. I was the one-man show for the most part. My boss Rayna came in for oh say an hour and then left. I'm finally starting to figure it all out. You'd think that renting cars is easy...well with the 10 or so different classes of cars you have to try and best match the class you have with what people are requesting for the rental. Sometimes that requires having a car returned and then having to rent it out in another hour. If that is the case, then I am out in the garage cleaning the car and washing it in under 15 minutes. Sounds fast, that's why rental cars don't always smell or look so great. Though, it seems the nice luxury cars get better treatment than the lower classes (i.e. Cadillac Escalade vs. a Ford Explorer, etc). Then of course there is problem-solving involved when a customer has a discrepancy with their rental agreement, etc. I'm still learning all the little quirks of our computer system which still runs in a format a few steps/years ahead of MS-DOS. Pretty rediculous! It's the Hertz company not so much us here in Gunnison.

Anyways, I enjoy working the easy hour in the evening because I get to walk there from my apartment and it's about a 17 minute walk, which is enough there and back for me to get some thinking time as well as a little bit of cardiorespiratory work.

I was excited for spring to spring, but with the onset of this fresh "pow-pow" (Scott and I making light of the terrible grammar some stoner students use to refer to snow) I doubt it will be soon. Hopefully/maybe by the end of March?? We'll see!! I'll try to get some pictures of the snow today....too beautiful to not! Keep up the good work ya'll....whatever that may be.

Later gators,


Sunday, February 22, 2009

A new update will be hot off the press tomorrow sometime. Have been busy this weekend. I will explain. Keep on smilin'


Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Impressions of Gunny...

Last evening as I was walking before dark around town. I decided that perhaps I should visualize the town of Gunnison a little bit for you who have not been here.

Where to start? Well, the streets are all up/down and left/right. Only one street meanders through town and that is Route 50-which goes East/West otherwise, not including campus, they all are straight. One cool thing about standing on any of the streets except maybe facing East, is that you can look up and see mountains or scenery. Gotta love the constant form of visual entertainment!

Getting out and walking about town it definitely seems a lot bigger than it is. I easily spent 40 minutes in the same Northwest part of town without doubling back on anything. There are some quite boring houses, and then there are some very cute and well maintained houses/homes. Some people live in theirs for the sake of living, and some express themselves with some neat paint schemes. Solar panels aren't huge out here but there are definitely more of them here than anywhere back East that I've seen!

Roofing...Tin roofs are in! It is quite easy to spot a tiled or shingled roof here-the snow just sits on the roof instead of sliding off like with tin. Some of the h0uses are quite close together with little room for outside yard activities but that tends to be the homes that are just for living in...not expressing. As you get a little further away from town central, you see the yards expanding quite wide. Another thing, there is no elevation gain or slight up's or down's here in town. The roads are flat flat flat. Only exception being over by campus or some of the smaller foothills where the road will rise. As I may have mentioned before, Gunny sits in a valley and therefore a flat section of no-rise at that.

In other news, I am starting Tuesday with a professor's wife in fitness programing (aka training). She has had some previous pulmonary issues so it should be interesting to see how she deals. She seems quite eager to start. I will work with her 2 days a week for a nominal fee. Granted, I could get twice as much someplace else for my qualifications, but hey it's Gunny!

Furthermore, I may be getting a summer job at the Crested Butte Country Club personal training. CB is the rich resort area just north of town by 30 minutes. Check out the website: One of Scott's students (non-traditional mother who's son Tim is also in the program-great kid by the way) has asked Scott for a recommendation so I may have more work besides Hertz and the HAPLab this summer. Busy busy. Whew.

Anyways, to get the full Monty, you'll just have to come check out the lovely things Gunny has to offer. Lots of little independent shops; though no independent Pharmacy...hmmmm. Haha, talk to you all later.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Has it really been a week?!

Hello once again peoples. Sorry it has been a week since last exchange. I realize some of you quite enjoy reading about my life. I appreciate that. As you can see from the opening picture at the very top of this page, I climbed a tall tall mountain this past Saturday. The name of the mountain was Mt. Shavano. It is near Salida, Colorado-about an hour from me here in Gunnison. Some fun facts about the peak can be found by clicking on this link

Hmm, well there is a lot more pictures from the climb up too. On the left toolbar, you'll see the heading FYE (For your entertainment); click on the link Al's Pictures Online to see all of my web albums through Picasa's website. Sorry to say the pictures can't show you how tired I got climbing to the top. Obviously the lack of oxygen at 14,000+ feet starts to exhibit effects on the still-acclimating soul. Scott, the lucky bastard, has been scampering up peaks for years now and he made it look easy; but following him was quite a challenge. I will improve...I haven't been here a month even yet so there is room for such improvement:)

On Sunday I worked my 1st big day at Hertz. It went fast. I worked/trained with Terri still and got to learn more and more. We cleaned cars (inside and out) when we weren't renting them at the counter. See here in Gunny, the flights come at known intervals and so therefore we can go do other necessary things in the mean time. It's funny how fast we cleaned a car. We'd pull 2 into the garage, she'd clean the inside of one while I washed the outside of the other and after it was said and done no more than 10 minutes elapsed for complete turn-around of a clean car. Goes to show you just how "clean" rental cars really are. Yummy.
I work again at Hertz tonight and tomorrow night. Once my training is complete, I will be working probably every week night and every other weekend. The week nights are easy b/c I go with my word search book and sit at the counter for an hour waiting to see if anybody off the flight needs a last minute rental. Most of the time, all the rentals of the day show up on our manifest and getting a walk-up/last minute rental is more rare. So basically I get paid an hour's worth of work to do whatever. Not too shabby. Glad to have work; and once summer comes Terri will go on hiatus for her and her husband's guiding service.

So what else is new? Well, the lab isn't busy busy but it has it's points. The students and I are becoming better acquainted and I have made a few friends. As you can see from some of my more recent pictures, I attended a cocktail party and knew maybe 10 people there by name so it goes well.

Can't think of too much more. I will hopefully try to update more but sometimes having appropriate material to share gets a little slim. Haha (*nervous laugh*)-no worries though...I continue to do well and am staying out of trouble for those that may worry. Be good to yourselves and find sometime to get out of the house and exercise while winter is still here! I know sounds funny b/c it is summer that we cherish, but make a good habit year-round. Stay warm.


Monday, February 2, 2009


Well good news came this morning in the form of a phone call from Hertz Rent-a-car. The administrative assistant (aka secretary-a nice one at that) gave Scott and I the heads-up last Friday that perhaps there was a position open at Hertz for me to apply for. Terri (our secretary's name) also put in a good word for me because the manager of Hertz at the airport rarely hires men so I had to impress her. Being a Smith I just smiled and instantly was hired. Haha, I wish it was that easy. I did smile though and made it a comfortable situation (seeming so) and convinced her that I was worth the hire. Talked about dealing with customers back home working for Steph at Gatti's.

Anywho, I will be getting not a whole lot of hours but hey it's a start! I begin work/training this coming Wednesday evening at 9:30pm. For the remainder of winter (probably till mid-March) I will be in charge of the night flight. Speaking of night flight, that is the name of a great song by Led I'm also fairly sure she said I'd be working some Saturdays as well. The manager Rayna has 2 kids and is going through a divorce I hear so she needs some time off or at least in the evenings.

So that is a brand-new development as of about an hour ago. She had said she was going to call me but you can never be sure until you actually get confirmed. So what about the Census job? Well, if the hours of the new job at Hertz allow/permit me, and the Census job offer comes up-perhaps I will work both! The Census job is only temporary so if I can eek out a number of weeks doing that then props to me.

Otherwise, things continue to go well. Yay Steelers! Glad to see Pennsylvania is far superior to any other state in the Nation. Makes me proud of my home...Western PA that is. Hosh-posh to Eastern PA, except for the few good souls living there-Amy/Andy etc.
Lastly, I went hiking this past weekend with Scott and Liz and then to a genuine hot springs! Though as you can see in the pictures (REMEMBER: to look at my photos click on the link to your left that says "Al's Photos Online!!") the hot springs flowed/were pumped into a swimming pool but still pretty sweet.

Hope things are going well. Ttys ya'll