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February 25, 2012

Vibram Fitness Portal; Yosemite Firefalls; Random Shots of Beauty

A couple of quick announcements before some pleasant weekend viewing before another announcement that took me completely by surprise … I know, it sounds confusing, but stick with me – it will makes sense by the time we’re done.

First, the announcements:

1. You’ve still got a few more days to get Patagonia Fall 2011 gear at 50% off from the company website. I’ve advertised this already, so I don’t need to say anything else on this one except that the sale ends on Feb 27th, so get going.

2. Yesterday I was contacted by a Vibram rep in hopes of promoting the company’s new fitness resource portal. Honestly, Vibram was kind of late to the game of providing comprehensive barefoot running instruction, as VIVOBAREFOOT and Merrell have long since been providing that service. However, Vibram’s portal is unique in that it provides information not just on running, but all varieties of barefoot fitness activities – and for what it’s worth, FiveFingers seem to be taking over the Crossfit / general fitness communities in the same manner that they’ve swept through the running community lately. And if that’s not enough to get you to click over, the site also features a pretty hardcore trainer who looks something like a female Tarzan.

As for your weekend viewing: this time of year is part of a remarkably short window of opportunity to see one of the most unique and wondrous natural phenomena that Yosemite National Park has to offer: the illusion of fire tumbling down Horsetail Fall off of El Capitan. Of course, seeing it requires being in the park in the middle of the cold, snowy winter, which, um … isn’t really my thing. That’s why I’m happy that people make videos like the one that follows.

It’s part of the fantastic “Yosemite Nature Notes” series, and also makes reference to a discontinued man-made occurrence in the park that created a fall of fire – in this case, actual burning embers cascading down the granite cliff. It’s somewhat bizarre to think that the Fire Fall was one of the most popular attractions in the park, but a nice reassurance to think that smarter policies finally prevailed.

"Yosemite Nature Notes: Horsetail Fall" (click to play):

Finally, this weekend’s Random Shot of Beauty is one that was absolutely unexpected:

A gymnasium that was the site of today’s Lyceum Spelling Bee, where my 5th-grade daughter prevailed over the champions from every elementary school in Monterey County. Newer readers might need a reminder that I’m something of a freak when it comes to spelling bees, so to say I was excited about this development is a bit of an understatement.

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Gretchen 2/26/12, 11:30 AM  

Yeah, Spelling Bee Champ!5th-Graders rock. Tell her congrats from me.

Anonymous,  2/26/12, 1:46 PM  

Two natural wonders - the Falls and the SB Championship. Terrific!

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