10.29.09 How to Snowboard Online Videos


I came across an excellent how-to-snowboard website that has streaming videos. If you’ve been looking for streaming videos on snowboarding instruction, I think this may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. The site is called snowprofessor.com.

The site is run by a brother-sister team from Colorado. They’re both snowboard instructors. They started the site because, as mentioned in their Web page, they went looking for how to snowboard videos on the Internet but couldn’t find any decent ones, so they decided to make their own how to snowboard video series.

The site contains a series of videos divided by topic. Most of the videos are devoted to instructing the novice how to move around on a snowboard on the snow, and is broken down into short chapters starting with the real basics and ending with linking turns.  There are a few other videos on tips, like how to do jumps and how to buy your gear. Usually one from the pair is in front of the camera demonstrating, while the other is behind the camera.

I really enjoyed watching these instructional videos. The wide-screen video quality was excellent, unlike the often blurriness problem found in many Youtube videos. The picture quality was crystal clear.  They used lots of analogies that made it easier to understand. The instruction was clear, concise, straightforward and easy to follow.  I noticed they avoided technical jargon. For example, they referred to jumping up with your board as a “pop”, whereas in snowboarding and skateboarding lingo that would be called an “ollie”. And I especially liked how when the narrator would be talking about how to do something, they showed a clip of someone demonstrating it on the hill, so you could follow along and see what they’re talking about. The audio production was excellent too.

As a former snowboard instructor myself, I see that they have included all the necessary progressions and presented them in the proper sequence, using simple, easy to understand terminology. I highly recommend this site. It may be the definitive learn to snowboard video series on the Internet. If you’re a newbie and want to learn snowboarding but don’t know where to begin, go check em out.


10.23.09 College Winter Break 2010

I can see why swat the college tour group hadn’t posted any info for their upcoming college snowboarding trip to Tahoe which is called SWAT-72. The “72” refers to three days of non-stop partying. I checked their Web page recently and see that they have modified the program and thus the program name.  It’s now called, very straightforwardly, College Winter Break 2010. I called their corporate office located in Orange County and spoke with a staff member to get the full scoop. I found out that

1. Lodging is now at the Grand Sierra Resort, an upgrade from their previous lodging at Circus Circus and Sands Regency

2. Package price now includes buffet breakfasts, lunch and buffet dinners which includes crabs legs, previously no meals were included

3. Package now includes riding at Northstar Resort, rather than Squaw Valley, which according to swat is “the second best resort in the U.S. for boarding”

4. As a result the package price has increased from 299. to 399. per person

What has not changed:

1. Remains on the Martin Luther King weekend in January

2. Nightly entertainment still included in all-inclusive price

3. Bus transportation from campus to Reno continues to be optional

I asked the staff member why they made the changes and he said basically that they’ve been doing swat-72 for 12 years or so and thought that is was a time for a change. This year’s entertainment guest will be LMFAO. Now I’m tempted to check it out, although participants will need to be prepared to get no sleep during these trips (I’m sure they’re used to that already) as I found out on my first trip with them, but that is compensated by the fact that you’ll be partying with lots of hot boarder chicks.

On my first night at the hotel on my first swat trip, during the early morning hours, there was a catfight between two drunken girls in the hallway outside our room. The spectacle was no doubt recorded on several cell phones and cameras, and produced such a humongous ruckus that it caused sleeping families to complain to security. Rapper E-40 was the guest one night at some livestock exhibition hall in Reno. I was standing on the main floor when suddenly some drunk chick came up behind me, grabbed me and kicked me in the back several times with her knee for some reason. By the time I turned around she had disappeared into the rowdy crowd.

Believe me, swat trips are adventurous, eventful and memorable.


These type of tour group traveling is ideal for boarders who like to pay one all-inclusive price that includes most everything, who don’t mind riding and hanging out with a bunch of other crazy people, most of whom are strangers that you’ve never met before, who don’t mind getting little if any sleep, and who don’t mind following a rather regimented itinerary.

But for riders who are more the “solo adventurers” (I’ve met many over the years) who prefer to be independent from group itineraries, groups of people and crowded resorts, who like the backcountry, and are serious about their riding, these programs are definitely not recommended.

This may not have been the optimum time for a significant price increase considering the current state of the economy. Families are cutting back costs, and luxury items, recreational expenditures, and things like dining out are usually the first to go. And with many students struggling to pay the sharp increase in college and university fees, I think more people will be prevented from participating.

Here is a slide show of my first snowboarding trip with swat:


10.21.09 Tahoe Ski Areas Announce Opening Day

Northstar at Tahoe and Squaw Valley have announced their opening day is scheduled for November 21. That’s just one month from today! Locally, Bear Mountain and Summit have not scheduled any opening days yet. They will make an announcement after they begin snowmaking. According to their Website, “Once the conditions are right for snowmaking, we can be open from top-to-bottom in as little as two to three days!”



I did some researching to find out where and when the local ski and snowboard show will be. I found out it’s called Skidazzle and it will take place at the LA Convention Center on Halloween weekend, in 2 weeks. I’ll let you know how that went. On their Web site skidazzlelosangeles.com, I see that attendees will receive a complimentary lift pass to Big Bear/Snow Summit. The event takes place over 3 days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

About mid-October to late October, skiing filmmaker Warren Miller debuts his latest film, also as part of the pre-ski season tradition. Over the years I have seen bits and pieces of his previous films on skiing shows on cable stations like Fox Sports, but never had any real interest in going to see a full movie because it seemed mostly aimed at skiing. My first (and only) time I went to see a Warren Miller movie was in Portland Oregon when I went with a group consisting of two families, their kids and their kids’ friends. I went as a result of a special group pricing deal, arranged by one of my snowboarding buddy’s mom. It was shown at an indie theater in downtown. Miller puts so much of the action in slo-mo, the rock music was slow paced and sleepy, and the soothing calming narration style of Miller was so drowsy that all the kids in our group fell asleep by the second half of the movie. Afterwards, some of the boarders complained that there weren’t enough snowboarding action, which I agree. Some where during the evening, each person got a hand-out bag containing all sorts of goodies including coupons and a voucher for a complimentary ski ticket to Heaven Valley, which I never used because I don’t usually go there. I have not went to see another of his movies since then.

One thing he did in his films that I thought was memorable, interesting and a novelty was that he would station a camera atop a ski lift and record ski lift disembarking mishaps. It seemed quite funny. One year at Mt Rose, I did my own version. I noticed alot of people were falling off at the top of the beginner lift so I sat across the way and began recording. I’ve edited the most interesting parts together into this little video below. It’s called People Falling of the Chairlift. In the 2 and a half years I’ve had it up, it amassed over 84,600 views, making it the most watched video on my Youtube channel:

People Falling Off the Chairlift



This past week I submitted my first ever news feature story, “Beef Noodle King”, to the Wednesday class, and in the Thursday class, I turned in and we screened my other big project, Lost series finale parody in the form of an interstitial ad. It was well received by the class. Everyone understood my spin on the series, which is about a TV convergence meltdown where island TV shows from the past all come together on the Lost set (Brady Bunch Hawaiian vacation, Hawaii Five-O, Fantasy Island and Love Boat). The professor approved of the project. The professor said she liked how I kept all the pictures of each TV show on the screen, giving a “mash up” feel. She also liked the background I created for this ad. Both projects were uploaded to my Youtube.

There were 2 other projects from the class that I really liked. One was a parody of Extreme Makeover Home Edition called Extreme Homelessness Makeover and the other was a parody of Dating in the Dark, called Dating in the Darkroom:




Today we had the first rainfall of the season. Yay! It was heavy mostly in the early morning hours, then becoming mostly a drizzle throughout the day. All the other students were in long pants, wearing jackets and hoodies and carrying umbrellas. What a big change from the summery weather last month, when girls were in skimpy tops, short shorts and flops. Now all the girls are wearing those sheep skin boots! Are those supposed to be comfortable or what? Can guys wear those too?

While eating lunch outside the comm bldg I met and talked with filmmaking classmate Corey. He just got out of a meeting with his screenwriting professor. He’s also writing a comedy. He also boards. I said we should hookup this winter and he said that”ll be sweet. I had a comm lab test Monday, a take-home midterm test Monday from a multimedia class, an exam in comm lecture today, another quiz in media history today, and another quiz next Monday. Mid October seems to be test-crunch time.

Today is the birthday of my Oregon pen pal Teresa, aka Tonic. She would be pleased to know I remembered her b-day. We met through a music mag. She was one big party chick. I understand she was a smoker and a drinker. Believe it or not, we communicated the old fashioned way – by paper and postal mail! Wasn’t that sweet? Even though I was living in Oregon too, we never met in person, but for some weird reason, I dated her best friend. I say weird because she was a country music girl and I hate country music, nor was she really my type. I can’t remember her name. Thank goodness. I stopped corresponding with Tonic when she sent me letters telling me she got hooked up with some guy and had a few kids with him. Plus I started to turn my attention to snowboarding. Future gf’s should know that if you’re not into country music, we should be OK.

10.14.09 Planet-wide Devastation


I was living on an alien world, an Earth-like planet, but it was much smaller than Earth. Environmentally, geographically and topographically it was very similar to Earth. Every year during the spring equinox, for whatever reason, the planet’s rotation was artificially stopped. It was to occur overnight, sometime in the early morning hours, when most people were asleep. Tonight was the night this event was to occur.

I was sleeping on my bed in my bedroom. I was alone in the room. It was very big and it was rectangular in shape. It was located upstairs on a second or third level and had an overview of the street below. The room was situated on a bridge that crossed the street. Even though this planetary event happened regularly and was routine, I wanted to be awake to witness it. I slept lightly, awakening sometime after midnight. The room was very dark, with only minimal light entering through the big window. At aproximately 2am, I heard a deafening boom and then a short thunderous sound like a rocket blast-off, followed by a high pitch whine that sounded like a bomb being dropped from the air, and then there was the sound of a massive explosion, like a nuclear explosion, but there was no bright light and little blast effects. It was scary. Then suddenly, I felt a strong pressure or force that forced me to move in one direction. Everything not tied down slid to one direction, as the planet came to a grinding halt. It was a very powerful force, like the jolt of an earthquake except instead of a short jolt, it was long jolt. I am reminded of that scene from Spaceballs where Dark Helmet ordered the ship to stop from “ludicrous” speed.

During the start of daylight at sunrise, I pulled aside the thin curtains and peaked out the window. The street was scattered with debris and rubble. As if to escape the destruction, I rode on the top deck of a touristy double decker bus out to the countryside on a country road that meandered through fields, forests and meadows. Along the way, I (or we, there might be another person) was stopped by authorities that resembled a cross between the highway patrol and the FBI, who drove dark brown colored vehicles.

Earthquakes and nuclear wars are certainly a concern. Interestingly, while doing researching on “equinox” and “UTC” (Universal Time, Coordinated) I found out that the Earth’s rotation is in fact slowly decreasing, and that Hewlett-Packard, the maker of laptops, built one of the earlier atomic clocks. Coincidentally, I just got word that tomorrow, California will have a statewide “Shakedown Day” where schools and public offices will hold earthquake drills.