Home > Uncategorized > A Skier Looks At 50

A Skier Looks At 50

Yes, I’m turning 50. Quite a bit has happened in the world since 1967, including a good variety of my own adventures. Many of my favorite adventures have to do with skiing, hence the title “a skier looks at 50”, because I identify as a skier. Also as a husband, son, brother, uncle, friend, dog owner, adventurer, traveler, nerd, kayaker, environmentalist, cyclist, snowboarder, hiker, wakeboarder, sailor, hard worker, and many other things. But really, I feel like a skier. I very much thank my mom and dad for that. But also all of my ski buddies along the way: Michael, Jeff, another Jeff, Keith, Wayne, Vonda, Shelly, Lori, Daniel, Jay, Paul, Sam, Milo, Taylor, Haakon… You know who you are.

The following is a very short list of my favorites, with links to some of the stories. All of them were made better through the connections I have had with others during these adventures and experiences.

Snow and Mountain Adventures:

  • I have gone helicopter skiing (more than once) and it is worth it. Cat skiing is a close second.
  • Lorie and I dug out and slept in our own snow cave in Washington State near Steven’s Pass.
  • I have hiked the cliffs of Dover, all around Mt. Rainier, the tallest peak in Germany (Zugspitze), and the summit of Mt. St. Helens (after it got shorter in 1980)
  • I’ve skied the Alps, Rocky, Wasatch, Sierra, and Cascade mountain ranges, which covers skiing in the US, Canada and France (via Austria). Unless riding a snowboard on a sand dune counts, then Dubai and Morocco need to be added to the list.
  • I’ve been a ski patroller for one run, to sweep it at the end of the day.
  • I have earned my turns by hiking up the backcountry, quite a few times. It is my favorite way to get up a mountain, but I do it with some survival skills: I know how to clear a landing zone in the mountains for a helicopter rescue. Thankfully, I’ve never had to use it.

Travel Adventures:

  • I’ve been able to see Lorie serve peanuts on a flight, get her first speeding ticket, bake bread in a restaurant in London, throw a party in New Orleans on Bourbon Street, and manage a 6-foot tall milk carton. I got to be part of all of those things.
  • Lorie, friends and I have ridden camels into the Sahara desert, climbed up a sand dune and looked out across the dunes under bright sunshine and under bright moonlight.
  • Lorie and I were bartenders at a castle in Ireland, serving friends drinks from our own recipes.
  • I woke up in the jungles of Thailand (with Jeff and a few Europeans), had breakfast, and then got on the neck of an elephant and rode through the jungles. I even learned how to steer her.
  • I’ve sailed the British Virgin Islands with 5 friends for a week, but had no captain other than ourselves.
  • In the 1970’s, I car camped with my parents and brother between Washington state and North Dakota. As a kid, Michael and I carved diagrams in a small log while at a camp ground somewhere between WA and ND (probably in Montana somewhere). We were surprised to see dad strap it the roof of the car the next day, so when we finally got back home we used it as a main support in our back-yard fort.

Dog Experiences:

Weird Experiences:

  • I am a Laird of Kincavel, Scotland and I own part of Mars; they were both gifts.
  • I’ve once been a roadie for a band… my dad’s band; The Downhome Singers
  • I have a patent, as the inventor. It has been cited 17 times and referenced 46 times so far, which means other patents are building on my ideas.

Water Adventures:

  • I’ve kayaked into crashing waves, into the moonlight, on rivers, and almost into a bus-sized whale.
  • I’ve enjoyed traveling by water: Ski boats, canal boats, ferries, bamboo rafts, sailboats, catamarans, kayaks, pontoon boats, paddle boards, and even a hand-made log raft in a mountain lake.

Life Adventures:

  • Lorie and I learned to fly a Boeing 777 in a flight simulator. I sort of talked our way into it.
  • Lorie and I have had our own episode of a television show: House Hunters International; “A Doggie Dilemma in Amsterdam”
  • I picked up Lorie at a bar in Tijuana (or did she pick me up?). We later had a small wedding and a large party with friends and family in Seattle.
  • Moved to London. Moved back to Seattle from London. Moved to San Francisco. Moved to Amsterdam. This is partially why I have owned 10 homes; 9 of them with Lorie (Bellevue, Houseboat 5, Kirkland cottage, Purple house, London on FPR, Seattle loft, Houseboat E, Castro in SF, Alpine Terrace in SF, Amsterdam in De Pijp)

Work Adventures:

  • I have presented to scientists at the European Space Administration (ESA), been presented to by students at the United Nations, and presented in front of about 1000 Microsoft employees while wearing a purple, glittery, leisure suit.
  • I architected Microsoft’s “Messenger TV” and managed the team that designed, developed and launched it in 20 countries and 12 languages. It was featured in Reuters, CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg.com, Seattle Times, and the Calgary Herald.
  • I played a video game with Bill Gates.

Yes, it looks like I am bragging… and I guess I am. After all, it is my 50th birthday! But now, I am ready and on the lookout for more adventures and interesting experiences.


  1. Peter
    November 12, 2017 at 11:07 am

    50 is not the new 40… so you know… it sucks..

  2. Gail D Groth
    November 12, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Brian, Great piece of writing. I’m amazed at the scope of your adventures. Have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of some. You are not bragging!

    • November 13, 2017 at 8:08 am

      Thanks for introducing me to skiing and getting me started on those adventures. And Peter, yes, 50 certainly feels older than 40!

  3. Dad
    February 15, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    You forgot bungee jumping!!

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