Peter Shelton

Worst Ideas of the Week

Posted in Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on October 28, 2009

1. Get yourself a TV show, or at least get yourself famous, by pretending to—oops OMG, help! help!—accidentally send your six-year-old aloft in a homemade Jiffy-pop balloon.

2. Get Sarah Palin and Fred Thompson to endorse your candidacy for political office.

3. Actually seriously try to follow the tongue-in-cheek directions in Skiing magazine this month on how to make an emergency (tobacco) pipe out of a snowball.

Speaking of smoking, (more…)

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The Empty Nest is a Figment

Posted in Watch columns by pshelton on October 22, 2009

Cecily just had her 30th birthday. Cloe is 32. Both are married and working, living responsible adult lives. So, do their mother and I stop worrying? No. (more…)

Yard Sale

Posted in Gas Pains, Watch columns by pshelton on October 17, 2009

In 2005 we learned that the mineral rights beneath our home were about to be sold to the highest bidder. I wrote this column after the auction at Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Denver.

Seven fifty-eight am. Bureau of Land Management State Office in Lakewood, Colorado. Two faded fiberglass Bambis cavort beside a closed-loop brook that emerges from behind the glass front doors. Inside, the brook burbles antiseptically. “They ought to put fish in there,” says a man in unscuffed cowboy boots. We’re early. Other bidders, some in western gear and some crossing their soft, Italian loafers, idle in line. In the awkward silence I flip a penny into the water, thinking about fountains and luck. It is the only foreign object, the only shiny thing in the dim hallway.

I am here at the quarterly BLM mineral lease auction to defend our Montrose County neighborhood. Or a portion of it, if I can. Three of the six property owners in our parcel have decided to pool what money we can afford and try to buy the lease ourselves. Try, in other words, to tie up the mineral rights for the ten-year life of the lease in order to prevent some oil-and-gas company from coming in and having its way with us. (more…)

Split Estate

Posted in At the Movies, Gas Pains, Watch columns by pshelton on October 13, 2009

This is about Split Estate, a film on the oil and gas industry that should be required viewing for everyone living in Colorado, and indeed anywhere the drill rigs are going up.

But first, Scott McInnis needs to down a couple of pints of fracking fluids and relieve us finally of his presence on the political scene. The man is a menace. Our former Congressman is running for governor. (His six terms in Washington were notable for his opposition to wilderness and his repeated introduction of flag-burning amendments.) He is currently running around the state telling whoever will listen that the natural gas industry is leaving Colorado because of new regulations championed by Governor Bill Ritter.

It’s a flat out lie. (more…)

The Edge of Never

Posted in At the Movies, Ski history by pshelton on October 7, 2009

At an early-fall screening of the new ski movie The Edge of Never (in a comfortably thread-bare art-house theater in Salt Lake City) we were probably the three oldest guys in the audience. The filmmaker, ex-pro freestyler Bill Kerig, a youthful forty-something, bounced up on stage in fashionably saggy pants and encouraged everyone to “give it up” for the three little kids (two of whom were his) handing out Leki hoodies and Skullcandy ear buds and other door-prize swag. (more…)