Lee,

Here is the amended column. Apologies and thanks for not running my Unmarked Hazards thing on SOL. Metallica fills me with inspiration and visions of Pushead carictures.

All of my stuff is in boxes and I’m preparing to move into a room in a condo with Jeff Jewett (former director at High Cascade Snowboard Camp, friend of Billy Miller’s, and new team guy at Scott). None of this has been approved by his landlord. I’m currently being crushed by taxes, and have little to no direction in my life, whatsoever. Perhaps it is nigh-time for a shot at a political career as a small-time secessionist in Glacier, Washington. This, I think, presents some honest potential: with no cops in town and more guns per-capita than the entire National Guard arsenal at the Blaine border crossing, Whatcom County will not be particularly stoked on having a Federal situation up the tourist-strewn Mt. Baker highway.

In fact, in re-naming the place Raintopia (with a nod to John Erben’s much-maligned attempt to rename Juneau, Alaska as “Rain”), the area will take on a new vibrancy based on a barter-economy centered upon Israeli weapons parts. Though, having actually been a licensed California driver and taxpayer at one point in my life I may forfeit a Glacier political career, this may be for the best.

I digress, Lee…

Have you seen this year’s Mack Dawg film, This is the first one I’ve been really stoked on since “The Garden” and “Roadkill”. J.P. Walker, the Leines bros, Pete Line, Mikey Leblanc, Chris Dufficy, Devun Walsh, and the other monkees have made the first real dent in freestyle progression since the break-out year of Jamie Lynn, Bryan Iguchi, and well . . . Pete Line. In fact, it got me much more stoked on going snowboarding this season, as opposed to heli-ice-axe-helmet-mountaindeering. Love thy chairlift. The bridge railslide which J.P. Walker slips with ease over death-gnarl, and JP’s quaterpipe-to-platform transfer a la Jeremy McGrath stand out as “Pleasure” highlights. Dammit, that’s it: I’m riding the Austin kickers all season and when Ross Steffy sees my video resumé, I will never have to write about this shit again.

I still have great many reservations about a Nagano trip:

1. I just wrote a three-thousand word toxic exorcism denouncing the whole bit as the handiwork of Satan.

2. It will be crowded and difficult to get beer.

3. It’s in Japan.

4. If I stay home and watch it on TV, I can switch channels and catch the Sonics during the Visa commercials.

5. I don’t trust the FIS, and can easily foresee a situation in which their athletes receive a collective ass-kicking after expending wads of X-nix’s cash on training programs at the US Gymnastics center in Pennsylvania, and the FIS simply reneges on their deal, and names their compliant, ass-kissing replacement players as the US Olympic Snowboard Team.

6. Unfortunately, Jimi Scott is more likely to make the team than John Sommers, which, in itself, is probably enough reason for me to stay away.

But, who knows? Perhaps I’ll get a gig to cover the inaugural Women’s Hockey event for Fresh and Tasty and discover the Hansen Sisters.

Whatever, the current dilemna regarding my residency and life will be somewhat resolved when I settle upon a graphic for a custom board this winter. At this point, it is between a Joe Walsh motif, or the album cover for the “Vision Quest” soundtrack. I’m drawn to the image of Matthew Modine skipping rope in preparation for his showdown with Shute.

Because I as well am getting lean and mean, and in the immortal words of Robert DeNiro: “I just feel like doin’ something really big, ya know. Real big. And I got some bad ideas.” (“Taxi Driver”).

El ojo del tigré, amigo,

JHG