Saturday, June 25, 2005

mt. hood, last day

I guess it's been a few days since I rapped at ya... sorry 'bout that. Training's been solid; basically I've just been doing drills for five days, some on my own and some with the Winter Park team. The second day, Winter Park had the day off but I went to the mountain on my own. It was pretty cold and windy up on the mountain, and it even snowed a bit. Kids were huddling in the building at the top of the lift to try and stay warm in their summer training clothes, and ski patrol kept shooing them out. I didn't have much winter clothing on that day either; it was raining lightly down in the town of Welches that morning, but usually on the drive up to Timberline we pass through the clouds and into the sun... not the case that day. The last three days have been nice and sunny and warm — by noon, it can even get downright hot up there. I just stumbled on this live cam of the view from Timberline Lodge on the mountain... wish I'd discovered that earlier. Tomorrow it's home to Maine for some more traditionally summery pursuits.

Currently listening to: the mid-'80s power-pop outfit Let's Active

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

mt. hood, day 1

A few days ago, as the rest of the US Disabled Ski Team was leaving Mt. Hood, I decided I should probably make a trip out there myself. I missed the last two team training camps because of school and graduation, so I was feeling a little guilty — plus I just really felt like doing some skiing. I'm out here in Oregon for like 5 days of skiing, staying with the Winter Park team but just kind of doing my own thing, lots of drills and free skiing, no race courses. I'm gonna bring my camera up on the hill one of these days and take some pictures so you can see what Hood is like in the summer... there's really nothing else like it, a whole mountain full of racer kids and freestyle snowboarders. Usually really great, warm, sunny weather too, although today around midday it got so foggy it was pretty much a whiteout... kind of freaky!

Friday, June 17, 2005

post-graduation, post-DSNA

I'm back in Maine now at my parents' house, sitting in my bedroom with every surface covered with random clothes and books. But at least now I'm the proud owner of a $160,000 piece of paper that says, in a language I can't read, that I graduated from college. Tomorrow I'll begin volunteering with a service organization in South Portland called Strive. I'll be helping out with a fundraising program they have called BookWorks and helping them to extend it from just a bricks-and-mortar operation into an online operation as well, via eBay or Later in the summer I will be pretty busy with skiing though; we're heading to New Zealand for a couple weeks in August, and I may even head out to Mt. Hood for a little training on my own next week.

Senior week, graduation, and the following couple of days were all really fun. Instead of sticking around campus for all of the final week (after exams), I went to the biennial Meeting of the Dictionary Society of North America in Boston for a couple of days. Apparently someone from the Phoenix was there on the first day, and they wrote this story... pretty funny. There were indeed lots of lectures on obscure and funny topics, and there were indeed lots of obscure and funny people in attendance, most of them a lot older than myself. I did, however, meet all the hip young lexicographers I had read about a while back in this article, and one of them (Grant Barrett of the HDAS and OUP USA) even offered me an internship, at least unofficially. So that may happen sometime next year.

When I got back from the DSNA Meeting, the family and friends began pouring into Hanover for graduation weekend. In all, 13 people came for the festivities, including six of my friends from the Dartmouth class of '03 (my official class year, even though I graduated two years late). It was a hot weekend but we enjoyed ourselves immensely in Hanover and up at Hinman Cabin in Lyme, N.H. My friends Abby and Tracy helped me get everything packed up, and we drove back to Maine and spent a few (much cooler and rainier, but still idyllic) days, including my birthday, in Cape Elizabeth and on Peaks Island. I got some fantastic graduation and birthday presents, including an issue of Playboy from the month and year of my birth and a beautiful photomicrograph of a snowflake taken by William Bentley, the guy who supposedly first hypothesized that — you guessed it — no two are alike. He called snowflakes "exquisite crystals from cloudland."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I left Hanover around noon today and drove down to Boston for the biennial meeting of the Dictionary Society of North America. I'll be here for the next two days listening to people talk about lexicography — not the most interesting topic to some of you, I know, but I love this stuff. I'm hoping to meet some people in the dictionary world and make some connections.

This afternoon after I registered for the conference, so I had some time to kill. I wandered around Comm Ave. in the 94-degree heat and bought an old paperback of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and a used copy of Bob Dylan's Infidels on vinyl for $4. (If you haven't heard it, I would say it's highly underrated. It came out in 1983 and includes some of his most lyrically challenging songs, like "I and I" and "Jokerman." Then I got my hair cut. I really should get that done more often...

Friday, June 03, 2005

one more to go...

So I'm sitting in Collis Café right now, doing some research for my last paper, and what happens? Two girls wearing ski helmets, goggles, minskirts, fluorescent Spandex, and butterfly wings come Rollerblading into the room. One of them is holding a boombox playing "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band, and the other is tossing out candy onto all the tables occupied by people studying. Some people roll their eyes; others smile; none are particularly surprised. A minute later, the girls leave and people resume studying. It's finals weekend at Dartmouth.

On a less upbeat note, there's some sad news in the disabled skiing world. Mike Goodman, who for many years ran Radventures, the company that builds Yetti monoskis, died on May 24 of prostate cancer. I just found out about it today when I sent the Goodmans an email about my upcoming graduation and change of e-mail accounts. Mike had been sick for quite a while now and I guess it was just a matter of time, but it was still a shock to learn the news. He was an immense help to me over the years, building and maintaining my monoskis for me from the time I was 11 or 12 until just a couple years ago. He and his family hosted me (and in the early years, my dad too) at their house in Oregon numerous times over the years while they fit me for new equipment or made modifications.

A dentist by trade, Mike bought one of the first American monoski companies, Fallon-Ski, from Dan Fallon in the early 1990s. From the beginning it was a family business, with Mike's wife Genie handling the business side of things and his son Jeff helping out in the shop. Their other son, Joel, has spina bifida and skis in a monoski himself. Jeff is the one who took over the main work of the business after Mike stopped spending much time in the shop a couple of years ago due to his illness. For most of the time that the Goodmans have been running the monoski business out of their basement workshop, Mike was also continuing to practice dentistry at his office in the Portland, Ore. suburbs.

Mike was a remarkably soft-spoken man who somehow never had anything bad to say about people, even those who probably deserved it. A wiry, gray-haired Montana native with a perpetual twinkle in his eye, he had that classic Western amiability without any cowboy bravado. I got the impression that beneath his quiet exterior he was a brilliant man, and that was reflected in his monoski designs, which were revolutionary for their time. For most of the mid-to-late '90s, when I think Mike's heart was most in his work, Yetti was the monoski to have if you were a serious skier or racer, and I would credit it with a big part of the success I had in first making the team in 1998. For now, the Goodman family continues to run Radventures in Mike's absence.

In her e-mail to me today, Mike's wife Genie wrote me the following:

Mike always had a special affection for you, Carl. He enjoyed working with you and your dad - we always looked forward to your visits here. He and I both regard you and your family as an extension of our own. I hope you'll stay in touch because I think of you often and love to hear what's happening with you.

In the end, Mike went very quickly. He was suffering a lot though so I was happy when he was freed of all that pain. In my most selfish moment, I couldn't wish that he would stay any longer. I will miss him every day that I have left. My wish for you is that you'll find someone to love and who will love you that much.

Jeff, Joel and I are holding each other up. We'll be ok. It was Mike's adamant request that there be no services, so please tell anyone that you talk to not to send flowers. If anyone wants to "do something," I have been suggesting that they make a contribution in his name to Prostate Cancer Research at OHSU. In doing that, they will be doing something to help themselves, their sons and grandsons as well as remember him — he would like that kind of sharing.

Take care of yourself, and enjoy this special time. I'll hope that the sun shines on your graduation. I have a feeling that Mike just might look in on you!