1.63 days (or 2349.5 minutes) of riding the lift in 2015-2016

For the last several years I have been tracking the number of ski days and number of vertical descent by tracking which lifts I ride.  If you go up you must go down.

One of the stats I also track is the amount of minutes I actually are ON the lift.  This year it was down as well, at 2349.3 minutes or 1.63 days!

But this year I did make my 50 days goal of at least one run



, but fell well short of my 500,000 feet goal.

Ski_2015-16_-_Google_Sheets 2

Here is a Pie chart of the lifts I rode.

Ski_2015-16_-_Google_Sheets 3


Overall it was a weird year snow wise, amazing snow in late December but no snow in  mid February to mid March.

Oh what difference a month makes. #feels #like #spring

A photo posted by Michael Mowery (@michaelmowery) on

I probably say this every year, but next year I will take it to next level (what ever that is).

Cheers!  it was fun.

If you are interested in knowing how I do this, comment below.


ps.  Other data


Ski_2015-16_-_Google_Sheets_and_Dropbox Ski_2015-16_-_Google_Sheets 5 Ski_2015-16_-_Google_Sheets 4

Dropbox Pro

So I have been a Dropbox user since 2009. It is just plain simple.

This year I now have two laptops (one mac, one pc) that I am experimenting sharing my lightroom catalog and photos between the two. At least for this year 2016, anyway. This required me to upgrade to Dropbox Pro.

My top 7 reasons why I love Dropbox.
1) Super simple.
2) It just works.
3) Integration with several apps that I use
4) On all devices and platforms (Mac, PC, Linux, Android, IOS, ....)
5) My friends and family use it, so it makes sharing files between us extremely simple.
6) Access to files in the cloud.
7) Yet another backup of files

If you are considering signing, here is a referal link https://db.tt/pJuQd9z

Android N (my Saturday night excitement)

After a previous big Friday afternoon/night, I thought I would take it easy this Saturday evening.  So I made dinner and watch This Week in Google.    The big announcement in Google land was the surprise release of Android N.

One of the reasons with I got my Nexus 6P so I would have more access to latest and greatest Android releases.  There are lots of warnings that this is a Preview/Developer version (not ready for prime time) and NOT to install in on your primary phone.  But this warning made me want to install it more!

Since I can't get seem to get a stupid SIM card in my hands (Thank you Verizon, NOT, subject for a different post), I am still using my Samsung Note 3 as my primary phone, so what the heck, lets do this ...

For those that don't know the history of Android naming here is a list of  Android Code names from Wikipedia

Code name Version number Initial release date API level
1.0 September 23, 2008 1
1.1 February 9, 2009 2
Cupcake 1.5 April 27, 2009 3
Donut 1.6 September 15, 2009 4
Eclair 2.0–2.1 October 26, 2009 5–7
Froyo 2.2–2.2.3 May 20, 2010 8
Gingerbread 2.3–2.3.7 December 6, 2010 9–10
Honeycomb[a] 3.0–3.2.6 February 22, 2011 11–13
Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0–4.0.4 October 18, 2011 14–15
Jelly Bean 4.1–4.3.1 July 9, 2012 16–18
KitKat 4.4–4.4.4, 4.4W–4.4W.2 October 31, 2013 19–20
Lollipop 5.0–5.1.1 November 12, 2014 21–22
Marshmallow 6.0–6.0.1 October 5, 2015 23

The current "Dessert Name" for Android N has not been decided yet.  A hint might be in the following quote from google official blog.

So, the burning question that’s on everyone’s mind: what will the N release be named? We’re nut tellin’ you yet.

My guess is Nutella.  This a Commercial name but so was KitKat    :-)

Anyway, I was fully expecting to have to restore to factory settings and go back to Marshmallow, but so far it has been very solid.  Yay.  Marshmallow was new to me, so N is even newer.  But I am liking it.  The split screen feature I am still trying to figure out a use case for.

I will try and update this post with future thoughts.

Top 25 Beaches in the World (according to Trip Advisor), I have visited 3 of them and very close to 1 more.

Trip Advisor produced a list of what its users thought was the Top 25 Beaches in the World.

I thought it would be fun to create a google map of them all. Try expanding out the map by clicking on the [ ] in upper right and interact with it.

yes, yes I know that when Google map is zoomed out the pins are misplaced, (the earth is round?)

I have been to 3 of them ones noted in BOLD (with year visited).  Obviously,  I need to get my Beach on.

  1. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
  2. Praia do Sancho, Brazil
  3. Playa Paraiso Beach, Cuba
  4. Anse Lazio, Seychelles
  5. Cayo De Agua, Venezuela
  6. Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico (September 2015)
    Playa Flamenco and sun starting to set.
  7. Platja de Ses Illetes, Spain
  8. Ngapali Beach, Myanmar
  9. West Bay Beach, Honduras
  10. Nacpan Beach, Philippines
  11. Maho Bay, Saint John
  12. Whitehaven Beach, Australia (1995?)
  13. Sharm El Loly, Egypt
  14. Elafonissos Beach, Greece
  15. Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica (1997)
  16. The Baths, Virgin Gorda
  17. Camps Bay Beach, South Africa
  18. Praia da Marinha, Portugal
  19. Kata Noi Beach, Thailand
  20. Clearwater Beach, USA
  21. Playa Paraiso, Mexico ( I was close to this beach but was not exactly there in 2012)
  22. Agonda Beach, India
  23. Horseshoe Bay,  Bermuda
  24. Tumon Beach, Guam
  25. Praia de Santa Maria, Cape Verde

How I use Abreva as a Preventive for Cold Sores

First off I am NOT a doctor and I sure don't play one on TV, yet I wanted to share with the world some thoughts on Abreva. Please consult your doctor for real advice!

Oh the dreaded Cold Sore, I will speculate I have spent 25% of my life either having or healing from Cold Sores. They flat out suck!

Abreva is well known to help shorten the cycle and I have had some success with this, but using it proactively is what I want to talk about.

Cold Sore
One of thousands of photos of me with a Cold Sore.

So what is a cold sore?

From https://www.abreva.com/about-cold-sores/
Most cold sore sufferers aren’t exactly sure when they first encountered HSV-1. This is because the HSV-1 infection is usually contracted early in childhood and may not result in a visible cold sore outbreak. The virus will stay “asleep” until the secondary infection.

During a cold sore outbreak, which often occurs after you have experienced one of the cold sore triggers, the virus “wakes up” and infects the skin cells in or around your lip or mouth, eventually becoming a visible and contagious sore. By using Abreva® cream at the first tingle,* you can help shorten the healing time of your cold sore cycle.


On mayoclinic.org site they list the following triggers:

  • Viral infection or fever
  • Hormonal changes, such as those related to menstruation
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Exposure to sunlight and wind
  • Changes in the immune system

With the exception of Hormonal changes, it seems like:

  • One of the above triggers, I am likely to get a cold sore about 10% of the time.
  • With 2 of the triggers, the chances are closer to 50%.
  • With 3 of the triggers, then changes jump up to 90%.
  • With 4 of the triggers, it is almost guarantee I will get one or multiple sores. Ugh!

Yet, I have been trying an experiment the last 9 months. If I have been exposed to one or more triggers, I will apply Abreva to ALL areas of the lips. With this approach I have NOT had a severe outbreak once since.  A couple of times I have had very small outbreaks, but that is when I didn't apply soon enough after my triggers.

Lets take a concrete example. I went to Puerto Rico and spent a lot time in the sun. (Trigger #1). Travel is stressful (Trigger #2). Travel is also tiring (Trigger #3). Each day of the trip and afterwards, I would apply.  I don't think I have ever returned from a trip and not got a Cold Sore.  So, yay!

Abreva is not cheap! So, I don't apply it all the time. Yet this strategy has definitely improved my quality of life and hopefully someone may get some benefit from it.

Little Debbie's Chocolate Chip Cakes (under the Blue Light)

For people that know me, I love my chocolate!

If I had to pick one chocolate "item" of my dreams, it might be Little Debbie's "Chocolate Chip Cakes".  Yep, I have tried most (if not all) of Little Debbie's products, and I don't really care for most of them with the exception of new "Cookies and Cream".

Why do you ask do I love them so much?  Just look at the goodness here:


  • It first starts with the little chocolate chips on top.  The best part, when (and for certain they will) some of these amazing chips will fall off.  I will find them later (sometimes days), and it will bring back memories of oh such sweet dreams.
  • The white frosting coating that doesn't try to be anything but pure sugar, but gives form to my hands.
  • Ok next is moist chocolate cake that never crumbles.
  • Finally at the very center yet again more white frosting.  How can it get any better than this????

Yet, for some (most) this "cake" looks like a bunch of chemicals and sugar mixed together.  True...but for me it gives me such guilty pleasure.  I know it is so bad for me, but most things I enjoy there is not much nutrition value in them.  (with the notable exception of Blueberries)

The good news (I guess) is they don't carry Little Debbies here in Telluride.  So.... in order to fulfil my fix I have to drive 1.5 hours to pick me up a box of yummy.  Sometimes nice people will bring me a box.  Yay!   They don't last long, sometimes I will eat the WHOLE box on the way home.  Then I am sad.  But sometimes, I hide them from me and when I "discover" them, then I am happy.

Wow, after writing this I might need to check in to LDCCA (Little Debbie Chocolate Chip Anonymous)


Why the Blue Light?  That is a good question  It was the lighting that was on over the kitchen at the time.  Not sure WHY I did not change it.  Oh well.  Adds a bit of color to the post.

Sophia (Nexus 6p) meet World, World meet Sophia

Sophia (my name for my new Nexus 6p phone) is a pure Android (Marshmallow) experience.

I did (and still do) like my two year old Samsung Note 3, but something about all the bloatware on kind of bothered me.  Also it was getting a bit beat up, surprised that it lasted as long as it did.  Many of great photos were taken on it.

I have only had it for less than 24 hours, so this review is probably a bit rushed, but here is my experience with it:

Screen and Size:


A 5.7-inch, high-resolution WQHD AMOLED display


WOW!  It is gorgeous! It is about the same size as my Note 3, so no surprises there.20160219_143647-01



The powerful camera was built to capture your world in true-to-life detail. Larger 1.55 µm pixels absorb more light¹ in even the dimmest conditions to make your photos brighter.


The few photos I have taken look really good.  Very excited to run it through it paces!

Took quick photo at the library (where I am writing this post)


Fingerprint Reader:


Your Nexus is quicker to access and more secure with a fingerprint sensor placed on the back to complement the way you naturally hold your phone. Unlock your phone and compatible apps with just one touch.


This is something I was always curious about but really was not High on my list of requirements.  Boy was I wrong about that.  I LOVE it.  It plays sooooooo nice with LastPass.   Never again will I not have a phone with a Fingerprint reader (or equivalent)


Android Pay:


With Android Pay, you can start leaving your wallet behind as anyone with a compatible devices can pay for things with a simple tap via the NFC contactless payment system. Here's a guide to all the phones, places, and banks that support Android Pay.


I will admit, this was a driving force for getting a new phone.  The Note 3 was not able to do Android Pay.

I had my first Android Pay experience to buy a nice chocolate bar.  :-)



Performance and Power:


With the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 v2.1 processor, performance is fast, yet gentle on the 3,450 mAh battery, so it can last all day long.² If you do get low, charging is quick with the USB Type-C plug. It's reversible, so there’s no more guessing which way is up.


Always with a shinny new gadget it is FAST.  This one is no exception.

One of my biggest complaints is NO wireless charging.  I am missing it already!.  :-(  However, the USB-C charge went from 0 to 100% in what seemed less than an hour.   WOW!


Sim Card:


The Nexus 6p takes a Nano-Sim card.


My Note 3 is not a nano-sim card so I had work with Verizon Support.  Typically you just go into the store, but being 1.5 hours away (Montrose), I decided to have one shipped to me.

The chat with the Verizon representative was very pleasant (and dare I say fun)




So far in my 24 hours, I really like my new device.  Stay tuned for updates!



Pearl Jam (Ride Festival)

There is not much infomation here, so visit http://ridefestival.com/ for the full details!

The Ride Festival announce their lineup. I have never seen Pearl Jam, this can and should be good.



Telluride power outage Feb 13/14 2016

I don't always take my DieHard battery charger to bed with me, but when I do it is to power my phone through 14 hour and counting power outage.

Updates:  (from Twitter , Facebook and else where)

8:42  SMPA: The Telluride outage updated time of expected restoration is 12pm.

8:00  Telluride Ski Resort: Lifts 8 (Oak St) and 10 (Sunshine) will not be running until power is restored. Other lifts will be running on diesel beginning at 9 am.

7:30 am SMPA: Crews are still working to restore power to the Telluride area. Will post a new estimate of completion time as soon as one is available.

Hey we made the Denver Post!  http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29514733/rock-slide-knocks-out-electricity-telluride-area

Telluride's electric does not come in via a "grid". A rockslide took out the transmission line. Photo from San Miguel Power Association.



In part because I feel asleep at 9pm on a Saturday night, I was up at 5 am and have been interested about our local "grid" and power in general.

As many of you know Telluride had a big part in AC electricity.  Ophir is right over the hill from Telluride.

"The Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant, located near Ophir, Colorado, was the world's first commercial system to produce and transmit alternating current (AC) electricity for industrial use. It is now on the List of IEEE Milestones.[1]"    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_Hydroelectric_Generating_Plant

San Miguel Power Association (http://www.smpa.com/) is our local rural electric cooperative that serves our members in portions of Montrose, San Miguel, Dolores, Mesa, San Juan, Hinsdale and Ouray counties in southwestern Colorado.

Image from SMPA.


Power in a mountain communities is hard.  Low population density, rough terrain, inclement weather all play a part of why we have power outages several times a year.




Hope everyone stayed warm through the night and they can get power restored quickly.


Casper Mattress

Let me first state, to the best of my knowledge, in the last 25+ years of my adult life, I have never myself purchased a proper mattress.  How is that possible?  One of the first things I bought when I moved in to my new place was a nice air mattress.  It had served me 7 months.  Yet the time as come to move to the next stage of bed.

Casper advertises a lot on my favorite Tech podcast TWiT, so I thought I would give them a try.  I read as many reviews as possible and seem like a good fit for me.

After reading the rest of this post and are interested,  I can get you $50 if you follow the following link: $50 off

Here are some thoughts on my new Casper Mattress:

First off it was delivered by UPS in a BOX.  Yes a box.  Here is unboxing video sped 8x of me setting it up.  Quite amazing how it expands out into a queen size mattress.


I have since got a frame for it so it does not sit on the floor.

As the reviewers have said, it will be firm.  I tend to like a firmer mattress anyway.  I put a heated pad over it so it acts a bit like like a mattress topper.

After about a month, I am very happy with it.  It is firm, but not hard.  As other reviewers have pointed out, the side walls collapse a bit when sitting on the edge, but it is not terrible.

I am very happy with my purchase, it came with free delivery, so no worry about paying that extra charge and hassle of getting it too your place.

Also, it comes with a 100 night trial.  No springs attached.


Again if you are interested, here is $50 offhttp://refer.casper.com/v2/share/6237499336757678493.

Sleep on...