Skiing at the World Criterium Races

A Little Personal Info

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Hi, I'm Brad! I love the great outdoors and enjoy skiing. This blog is inspired by some of my many life experiences and world travels. I have a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis and work to find solutions to some of the world's challenging energy and environmental problems. In 2011, I went back into competitive snow ski racing and won the USSA National Speed Series (Downhill and Super G) title for my class (M5). It was an amazing and fun year of skiing. I also enjoy being around all kinds of animals from horses to dogs and love to spend time at Tahoe, my little farm near Cool or traveling somewhere new around the world. I have been to Nepal and seen Mount Everest, to Alaska's Denali, the Matterhorn in Switzerland and even Maroon Bells near Aspen, CO. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my website.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Family Life

Kids:  Jordan, Katie and Trent

My wife Alana

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tribute to Stevie Nicks - Once in a Lifetime

A short little tribute to Stevie Nicks.  Definitely one of the greatest female rockers of all time and a most memorable baby boomer...  Mysterious, hauntingly beautiful and a gifted song writer with a magical voice.  I really enjoyed her early years with Buckingham Nicks and Fleetwood Mac through her second solo album The Wild Heart...but everything she does is good.  The history of Buckingham Nicks, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks is really an amazing story of resiliency…a bit too complicated for me, but I sure enjoy her music.  Here's to you Stevie Nicks!

Once in a Lifetime
By Bradley Meister

And in Stevie grew the call
What started in a painted desert
Became a beginning that sparked something new
Despite the travels too far and too soon
Her first song was sad but would not end as blue

Then a young girl made an inspirational friend
who would always be true
The early bird with the pretty song we know
Who would become the future nightbird
And touch Stevie’s life through

Then came Lindsey who she met after school
And it was California Dreamin that made her sound cool
They eventually joined forces and their passions were true
They loved as they struggled but always followed their dreams
And despite all the hardships they worked together as a team

A trip to Aspen while struggling with fear
What would life hold - would her loves always be there?
In a landslide moment, she wrote her father’s favorite song
Then a chance encounter with one of their songs
won the attention and impressed someone new
An offer by a Mick would be the bonding glue

And a new Fleetwood Mac was born with an eponymously album high
Rumours then flew and success was off the charts
Taken by the wind, a talented young woman blossomed into a star
and put the world in a trance
as she tugged at their heart-strings
with just a sound and her glance

Look into her dark eyes and feel the emotion and pulse of her wild heart
The sound of her voice transcends our imagination
Hauntingly beautiful for sure – rapture may not quite do justice
Magical and quintessential
Feminine, vulnerable and with a slight touch of raspy
In a world filled with talent
her voice simply stands alone near the very top
emanating that distinctive atmosphere that is pure Stevie Nicks

It calls within us like that thundering sky
Oh all the days within our lives it tries
It wakes you up with the morning sun
And reminds you again when your day is done
It will pound at your thoughts the whole night through
The inevitable destiny of the spell she's cast on you

So fame soared until days were too long
Life got crazy and sunsets reversed
Band members changed partners and money overflowed
Then drugs became vogue until silver spoons got old
and such was the new life of rock and roll on the road

Names emerged that provided a glimpse of her past
The great dark wing came along and may have been a bold 
Her sisters of the moon were kindred spirits who took form
in a somewhat dark and lonely piece of prose
Rhiannon was the mystical one who could almost possess and control
Sara was a cornerstone of creativity in her heart
And the simple gypsy who loved the floor was just Stevie returning
to a comfort that she knew from before

But perhaps all she really wanted was that real Silver Spring
What may have started as a younger woman’s cherished dream
will likely always be missed
As etched in the memory as a touch that goes unnoticed
or a love that is ignored
More precious and simple than a whole pot of gold
Just someone special to love as Stevie grew old
Perhaps that invitation would have been just fine
But don't tempt fate might be the spoken end of her line

Striking on her own there is first Bella Donna and then The Wild Heart
Others follow and everything she touches becomes a chapter of harmonized emotion
As she weaves words into feelings and spins magical sounds into uncharted bliss
A short visit from a Prince has her standing back at times
but never too far from the edge
as her kindness and love for her dying uncle
emerges in one of her favorite well-known and enduring songs

Stevie Nicks is enchanting – her presence abounds
Once in a Lifetime... we may experience such an aura in a person
the magic of words and a voice that radiates the essence of that in sound
Her songs filled with memories and tribulations and covered in dust

But to many of us, her music goes far beyond 
It's a simple timestep that reminds us of our own
From the chapters of our lives and the ups and downs we've known
Just a place we can come to  -  a place that feels like home

The authentic rock queen whose spell has been cast
The embodiment of near perfection in a league of just her own
She is the master of mentors, the sorceress of melody
the wings of many of our life’s storms and a real gift to us all
A genuine person who became a legend
by simply following her heart and using her talents
to create a unique style just her own

I’m just grateful for her music
and I’m really glad she heard the call 
Thanks for a lifetime of memories
and the dreams you've sent us all

Friday, December 2, 2016

Boeing 737 into SFO runway 28R and Baron G58 Over Idaho and into Boise

ILS runway 28R into KSFO (that's San Francisco, California)

Beautiful sunset on fun FSX flight from Missoula, Montana to Boise, Idaho.

Landing ILS 10R at Boise, ID

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

F/A-18 Simulator

I have been having a lot of fun flying the F/A-18 simulator.
Here is a climbing 9,000 feet per minute turn at Mach 1.1 near Flight Level 200 on the heads-up display.
You can see Lake Tahoe in the distance.
You have to really stay ahead of the airplane or it can get away from you quickly!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Getting my trees ready for Christmas

Owl Creek Ranch Activities

I'm starting to get my Douglas Fir and Noble Fir trees ready for Christmas. 

I've trimmed about 25 percent of my trees so far and they're looking great.

Some trees are over 11 feet! 

Lots of wildlife out and about this time of the year.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tribute to World Cup Ski Racer - Bode Miller

This is a small tribute to Bode Miller.  Bode is a member of the US Alpine Ski Team.  He is the most successful male skier in US history and is considered one of the greatest World Cup racers of all time. 

He has 33 World Cup wins, 79 podiums, two overall world cup titles, has won in each of the five ski racing disciplines (only five male skiers have ever achieved this in history), has won 6 Olympic medals and 5 World Championship medals. 

Anyway, a short tribute to a great World Cup, World and Olympic Champion.  I’m not sure any words can really do justice to his amazing skiing…but, I thought I would at least give it a try.

Here’s to you Bode!

Inspiration on Ice
By Bradley Meister 

Bode pushes forward in the start house
And stops at the wand across the gate
He is focused and ready and gets into that place
Matching his mindset and mood
To the rhythm and pitch of the initial course conditions

As he looks down the course
That iconic stoic stance is captivating
His unique style uniquely fascinating
The risks and thrills beyond exhilarating
The admiring world stares waiting for Bode Miller

Moments away from a run that will be inspiring
The time clock starts its countdown
He’s in a place he knows as the zone
In seconds he’ll unleash the many skills he has honed
Flying down the steep sides
Of a treacherous sheet of ice he will own

His motivator starts in on his motivating tone
Then onto the course he is skiing all alone
Remembering the place he has previously flown
That now feels less like a ski run and more like a drop zone
Filled with endless rush as he carves his way home

In a two minute race he will break eighty or more
Screaming down a run most would not dare
Laying on his side with a chiseled base pattern
He rides a tuned steel edge to the limits
Arcing a new curve as he slices through the snow

On a set of World Cup skis that are black and white Head
Down a run he’s quickly repelling
Soaring through the air like a man on a mission
Like fire through the cold
He is now completely ripping
Skiing straight down the fall-line
Releasing leveraged power
As the course crowd goes louder and louder

With the tactics and plan perfectly dialed in
He now steps up the intensity
To the limits of his mind
When he’s really on the edge
He hangs out at the place called “neutrality”
Then waits for his innate talent
To just wed with reality
Then boom he defies gravity
Like he’s from a different galaxy
Living his words and...
"Skiing as fast as the natural universe will allow"

Each run is once chance for gold
Bode will let it all go
The only thought through his mind is skiing sublime
When asked how he does it
I think I know what he’d say…
Inspiration on ice
He doesn’t need to think twice

He’s got the balance of life in his hand
Skiing the circuit and being a husband and dad
He loves his precious daughter
And now has a son and is the two-time proud father
He found the love of his life with Morgan
She improved the quality of his life
You can see it when he skis
He is focused and ready
And turns the skis with ease like he’s running the table
Rolling the dice every time
Lighting up that course when he tucks

With his heart in every turn he is running on the edge
But consistent and steady
Poised like a cat ready to pounce
He’s alert and always ready

Far from a New Hampshire farm where he was homegrown
Living his State’s famous motto to “Live free or die”
Skiing in the backseat as he believed true all along
Frustrating the coaches advice from the sound of their tone
Doing it the Bode way from the start  
In a red barn with the high jumps and squats
And the freedom to roam alone…in the woods by his home

Where he built strength in his legs that allowed for more power
So he could ski off the wall on the Strief
Like when he’s doing a high speed left footer
At the bottom of an ice covered tower
Coupled with the many skills he has shown
Made him a rare five event winner
And put him on top with 33 world cup golds

Each run is once chance for gold
Bode will let it all go
The only thought through his mind is skiing sublime
When asked how he does it
I think I know what he’d say…
Inspiration on ice
Is his prescription for life

In 2002 Salt Lake City games, he was supposed to be down
His body got twisted and he nearly spun around
Then he popped back up and actually flew down
In the downhill portion of a race called combined
And finished the slalom run after turning on a dime
To speed to Olympic Silver with an awe inspiring time

In 2005 at the Alpine World Championship Races
He lost a board on the high speed Bormio downhill track
And nearly finished the race as he continued to attack
He flew down San Pietro and tucked La Konta with one ski
Until he decided to stop
To the cheers of the crowd
To the sounds as Bode rocked

In 2008 he almost won the Kitzbuhel Hahnenkamm race
He did something crazy coming off the Steilhang face
I still think the Italians had the best playback call
“Mama mia” they said… as he skied on the wall
Then Bode came from over a half second behind
Just after the Hausberg to again blow our minds
To close after the Zielsprung
In a high speed mid-air tuck
Was something to see
Surreal for sure
He’s rare company

I could go on and on - there are just too many to list
Every time he gets on the mountain
Is like a masterpiece of skiing bliss
As he flies through air and turns ice into mist

He’s Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh all in one
His canvass is the mountain and his paintbrush a ski
Each run a unique piece of artwork
Personally carved for us to see
The balance, the skill and crazy risks he takes
Makes him Bode Miller - makes him history

Bode, when you ski, the world is inspired by your talent
And we are captivated in time
In every turn you push yourself to new record lines
You’ve earned your place in history and set yourself apart
A magnificent Overall, World and Olympic Gold medal champion firmly etched in our minds
The epitome of Inspiration
And a true legend in your time
Good luck with the 2015 ski racing season!

Solden 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Enjoying the Fall Weather in California

I am standing near the base of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in California.  Can hardly wait to start skiing.