TAHOE/TRUCKEE - With snow on the ground, it's time to hit the winter button. I'm talking about major preparations. I'm not going to let this year slide by like last year while we all sit around, slapping our fat bellies and guffawing. I'm going to be ready for each and every inch of snow that falls.Now, I know preparing oneself properly can be a little overwhelming, especially with all the holidays and parties and baseball and football that's screaming for attention. So I prepared a short list of the tasks I'll be taking on. My hope is that Old Man Winter will catch wind of my effort and reward all of us. But you never know. He's a finicky old guy.1 Cut cheese: Bust out the skis and boards and get your tune on. A wise ski tech once told me that edges aren't sharp until they can cut aged cheddar. Don't try to get away with brie. Whether it's p-tex, grinding, waxing or sharpening, those winter sticks probably need a lot of work after last year's rocky runs.2 Do dry cleaning: Pull out your outwear and, for God's sake, burn it or take it to the dry cleaner. The smell in those pants could suffocate a skunk or a stinkbug or a Golden Gate Park hippie.3 Online shop: Seems like I never know what you may need this winter. Better stock up on those last pieces of gear, so you're not waiting for it to arrive while the snow is coming down. Backcountry.com, Steepandcheap.com, Shorelineoftahoe.com and, um, AsSeenOnTV.com are all great shopping sites. 4 Watch TV: There's no better way to get into the winter spirit than sitting on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa (with or without whiskey), watching a marathon of ski and snowboard videos. Get all your friends together, have everyone bring their video collection, buy a ton of junk food and zone into the white screen.5 Eat: The fatter you are, the warmer you'll be? Hmmm. Probably not, but food tastes so good this time of year and there's not that much else to do in the fall, just ask the bears.6 Study: Stop calling your favorite trail "that one with the tree." Get out the trail maps and learn the names of all those runs that you love to shred. I've found a great place to hang them is the bathroom. Two birds with one stone, if you know what I mean, but make sure to keep one eye on the bowl for the sake of sanitation. 7 Get a tan: We all hope it's going to be a long, cold winter and that we'll have to bundle in more layers than that one kind of bean dip. It might not hurt to jack up your melanin one last time before you give Snow White a run for her money in the poorest complexion contest. 8 Dance: If winter gets off to a slow start, we all need to be ready to throw caution to the wind and unleash the ultimate snow boogie. A pitiful hustle or two-step might make matters worse. So I'm going to put some work into it, maybe incorporate some of the moves from the "Gangnam Style" video, throw in a little "So You Think You Can Dance", and it should pay off ... hopefully not as a broken leg.9 Lift weights: When I say weights, I mean something about as heavy as a snow shovel. It won't be long now before shoveling the driveway will employ most of, if not all of, your energy. Get a jump on it with shovel deadlifts and shovel squats.
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