A good way to test out a possible new car is to rent it first. Not that I’m in the market for a new motor but you may find this useful.

I got a free upgrade from a Ford something or other to a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Given our current location 4×4 may come in handy. Anyhow, here’s my 2 cents on it.

Here’s a photo so you have an idea of what it looks like. 

It’s kinda cool looking but that’s where it ends….at least for me. The first thing I noticed was I could not see out the drivers   window, as the side view mirror is huge. It literally block the entire view range when turning. As a result I have no idea where the corner of the car is….well once I did as I drive over a curb!

Next, the ride. Think farm tractor meets pickup (from the eighties), that’s loud. Nuf said on that.

Handling, it’s a typical 3’000 + pound car thats top heavy. You turn the wheel, it reacts….meaning the steering wheel goes around, then the car reacts…meaning it starts to lean, then the suspension decided to get in on the action and does something….really more lean, then you start to go around the corner….then you have to let off the gas….to stop the lean, then it snaps back and you start the process over…. just in the other direction. It’s more like a pin ball going back and forth that a car going down a highway.

Next we have the blind spot. Those that know me know that my side view mirrors are adjusted so I cannot see the side of my car….because I already know what that looks like, instead I’m looking at the entire lane(s) next to me. Typically in my car I can see the back corner of the passing car in my side mirror and part of the nose out of the corner of my eye….all at the same time. The Jeep on the other hand….I managed to lose a bus in the blind spot for a few seconds. That was a city bus, not a short one….yikes. I did readjust but given the before mentioned huge mirror I was a bit surprised.

Beyond that it does have one really cool feature…it has a heated steering wheel. Again, given our current location that will come in handle.

In closing….its unlikely that a Jeep Grand Cherokee will be in my future, but don’t let my opinion sway you from loosing a bus, camper or oversized SUV in your new blind spot.

Mount Snow – Drive up and 1st day

Spring boarding with winter temps. I was really hoping for mid 40’s but tonight will be below freezing!

We took the back road to VT….119 all the way. It was nice to take a trip on a two lane road with frost heaves. Our home away from home is the Snow Goose Inn….my better 1/2 picked it out. Reviews were good and it’s not party condo style hearing the neighbor four doors over. However, so far it’s a bit if a bust. The driveway, steps and walks were all caked in ice, the heat was not working…inn keeper is looking into it, and its the only inn I ever visited with wall to wall carpet…..well….gray with dirt.

After we checked ourselves in and unloaded we visited Mount Snow. I was here once before….many year ago with my brother Mick. We had big plans on renting him a mountain bike but he decided to sleep off the night before in the parking lot, so I decided to cheap skate it. I pushed my bike up what is now Nitro Express….after two heart attacks and twenty five minutes of huffing and buffing I made the top of the chair lift…..I rested for a few minutes and the trip down took a little under two minutes. At the bottom my breaks were gone but I was still in-tacked. One run was enough for me.

Anyhow, back to this trip. We strolled around for a few minutes…..visited the main lodge and drove by the 1/2 pipe….nice, but not for me.

Back at the inn we helped ourselves to wine and cheese with the inn keeper and some newly weds from CT. The wine was in a carafe……which is always suspect….but I needed something to take the edge off. Cheese and crackers were…..well cheese and crackers.


It’s the North Pole! Way too late for XMass lights.


Dinner next door at The Last Chair was good.


News flash. The inn keepers husband fiddled with a valve on the heater and I think we may survive the night.

The bonus at The Last Chair is the arcade. GMan and JMan were right at home.



I was drinking and driving! Not really….but I was mobile with my beer.


The heat came on. For a while there I felt like I was on vacation in Ireland. Sur it will be grand….here’s another blanket….who needs heat!

Hmmm. Apparently the heat came on with a vengeance. At 1:30am Jess was wondering around with her iPhone flash light trying to find that same valve.

Breakfast was great. Mount Snow here we come.

View from the top.


The Saint Patricks Day $17 special brought out the crowds, but the lines move fast. Conditions are great and we managed several runs before lunch. JMan Riglets lesson went great. We’re off to the mini park in a bit.

GMan in line.


The Blue Bird lift was broken. Apparently something went on its gear box and everyone needed to be belayed off. However, there are many other ways of making it to the top.

Here’s Jess and the boys on the way to top. We’ll not really. Jess is sporting a rather cool bag. New lodge side style.


And here the whole gang.


The boys in our Saint Patrick Day attire.


Flow NX2-SE Bindings

I’m not getting any younger and having to sit down to strap in is getting old. Last season I was just bending over and strapping in but GMan had Flows and was always waiting around for me. This season I picked up a pair of Flow NX2-SE from Vince at Zimmermanns in Nashua NH. Vince is a no frills, no pressure sales guy who’s really into boarding and is very helpful and friendly……look him up if you need anything related to snow!

Anyhow, now that the shameless plug is done here’s my first impressions of the bindings……..I like them. I tried then on in the house a few time prior to yesterday first time on the mountain trip. You still have to reach down, but it’s a lot easier than fumbling with two straps and all that cranking. Clearly it’s a lot better than sitting down, because you need to get up and yes it’s hard.

You do need to commit to putting your free boot in, meaning find a flat spot or keep your board perpendicular to the mountain and go for it. It’s at this point gravity could take over, but for the most part I found it very manageable. With regular bindings you place your boot on the board and strap the board to you boot….so to speak. On these you need to get your boot into the binding then pull up on the back latch to lock in. It’s the getting the boot in that’s different. However, it worked very well and believe it or not I beat GMan a few times!

Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks and something to keep in mind, you can still strap in and unstrap like regular bindings which is nice. Mind you, getting the board off while sitting on the ground by unlocking the back strap is work but it’s possible.


For more information the bindings go here.

For more information on Zimmermanns go here.

NRS Paddle Bag

Originally submitted at NRS

Total protection for your 2-piece touring kayak paddle. The NRS Touring Kayak Paddle Bag protects your paddle from scratches and cracks that occur during road trips and airline travel. Padded and fleece-lined for the ultimate cushioned protection from all the hard knocks of traveling. Fleece lining…

Paddle bag

By quinnjalan from Groton MA on 7/23/2013
5out of 5

Pros: Easy to Transport, Durable, Good Zippers, Lightweight, Large Capacity

Best Uses: Extended Travel, School, Airline Travel, Weekend Trips

Describe Yourself: Casual Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

Was this a gift?: No

This is a nice paddle bag, well made and easily holds three paddles. It sure beats trying to carry 3 paddles that are broken down, making a total of 6 pieces! All I need to do now is grab the bag and toss it into my car and I don’t have to think twice about our paddles.


Bahamas Breeze

Checked out Bahamas Breeze in Nashua today. It felt like St. Kits where Jess and I honeymooned. The food is good even if I got the wrong thing! I ate it as it looked great and tasted better. Now I have lunch for tomorrow.






Johnny Rockets

Just checked out the new Johnny Rockets’ in Acton MA. The new burger “New England Squealer” is good but the acoustics leave a lot to be desired. This place is one hard surface!


Come for the burgers and hope it’s quite.

Rockets’ on a wet March night.


GMan and his Malt.


Tonight’s Beer

To ring in the New Year I will be putting away a few Aloha Series Pipeline Porters. Its unlike any porter I ever had but enjoyable all the same. Noting like the real deal “Arthur” (that’s Guinness to the rest of ye!). It goes down easy and definitely has an after taste……well its is a porter, so it should have.

IMG_3844 IMG_3843


Friday’s Beer

Tonight’s beer is Post Road Pumpkin Ale from Brooklyn Brewery. The label reads “Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices” and I believe it. You get the pumpkin taste followed with the kick of the spices. Good stuff.