Ski season is in full swing with the large, Metrodome collapsing, indiscriminate car towing, idiot driver snowfalls we've had here in the Twin Cities area. Like most activities that are worth doing, there are licenses, fees, and registrations involved in the activity. After all, the ski areas charge you to be hauled up the hill on a daily basis, why shouldn't we pay to have cleared and tracked ski trails? Right now we have our Three Rivers Ski Pass, our Minneapolis Park Board Ski Pass, and will likely purchase our Minnesota DNR ski pass this weekend. Even though we will be celebrating the start of the 'new year' this evening, ski trail passes, like many things that require an annual renewal, ignore the calendar new year and pretty much create their own year or season.
The disclaimer on my ski pass tells me that it "expires March 31, 2011 (or when conditions warrant)". My pricey out of state Wisconsin hunting and fishing licenes expire on 31 March as well, even though deer gun season ended a month ago and today is the last day I can sit up in a tree with my bow for deer archery season. I believe I will pass on that opportunity. The card to renew the state registration for my Q boat showed up and that does expire on 31 December. I will wait to renew that one until people can't drive their cars out on the lake ice any more. My drivers license is up for renewal on 3 February and I won't be late with that one. I screwed up one time and was unable to rent a car when I arrived in Denver on business, due to an expired license.
The most important annual renewal however, will be the renewal of my bank of vacation on 13 May. Some of us are renewed on our employment anniversary date, but most mark tomorrow as the day the vacation account gets refilled. Several coworkers will lose vacation by getting paid for it, a concept I just can't get my head around. I don't have time for my avocations now, I can't fathom not using your vacation plus a couple unpaid days off to round out the play schedule.
Enjoy the year end and beginning of the new year. Just don't forget all the other artificial 'year ends' that needed to be kept track of. We will be heading for CampO and its large, welcoming bar room fire place, meticulously tracked ski trails, and reservoir of New Years camaraderie and cheer. Here's wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable New Years weekend. Have fun!