Friday, July 28, 2006


The name of this airport has always reminded me of the bacteria giardia. Assuming you find bacteria distateful, the comparison is apt. I sat on my plane from Portland for about 35 minutes before the people showed up with the ramp and aisle chair to get me off the damn thing. (Fortunately, I have lots of time to kill here before my flight to Denver.) They have the weirdest system of transferring between the different terminals here; you have to take a bus that's not wheelchair accessible, only comes every 15 minutes or so, and leaves not from the gate area but from baggage claim... wha??

After I get in to Denver, I have to pick up my monoski from Aspen Seating, go home to Boulder and pack, and then head back to the airport tomorrow to fly to Mt. Hood for a one-week training camp. I'm looking forward to it though.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I've been home in Maine for the past 8 days or so. I figured I should mention that, although I don't have much to write right now. Been hanging out with Jared, Elise, and the fam... went to a couple Sea Dogs games; they're kicking ass right now. Heading back to Boulder on Friday.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

tapioca time bomb

The following is a genuine news story from 1972:

CARDIFF, Wales, Sept. 14 (AP) — The biggest tapioca pudding in the world is cooking in the hold of a fire-swept Swiss freighter and threatening to split the vessel at its seams.

"It's like a huge tapioca time bomb," said an incredulous fire chief today as he watched the smoldering 12,165-ton Cassarate at the Cardiff docks.

Firemen earlier controlled the fire which started in timber stacked in the upper holds 25 days ago at sea. The crew kept the smoldering timber dampened until the ship docked here late [on September 12].

But the water from the Cardiff hoses seeped down to the lower holds where 1,500 tons of tapioca from Thailand were stored.

The water swelled the tapioca and the heat from the flames started to cook the sticky mess.

The swelling tapioca — enough to serve a million plates — could buckle the ship's steel plates, fire chiefs warned.

"It's got to burst somewhere," one said. "It will take dockers a couple of days to clear the smoldering lumber before we can reach the tapioca."

The plan is to load the gluey mess onto a fleet of trucks and dispose of it. One report said there was enough to fill 500 trucks.

But where do you dump 500 truckloads of tapioca pudding?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

grass skiing

This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my life.

For a while now I've been vaguely aware that the Fédération Internationale de Ski governs "grass skiing" as an official discipline — in fact, on the FIS website you can view grass skiing race schedules, results, competitor biographies, and official rules (even though nary a mention is to be found there of disabled alpine or cross-country skiing, both of which are administered jointly by the FIS and the IPC and which have hundreds of competitors and THEIR OWN FREAKING WORLD CUP CIRCUITS). (Not that I'm bitter.)

Nevertheless, until today I had never really investigated this "sport" or fully grasped how truly asinine it is. If you want to learn more about grass skiing history or technique, the place to start seems to be this website, the online home of Grass-Ski France. (Why doesn't it surprise me to learn that the French are really into something this dumb?) From that site I learned that the only place to go grass skiing in the United States is apparently Bryce Resort in Virginia, where its introduction is the brainchild of one Horst Locher, a German-American who says of the "sport": "It's kind of my baby... I still dream that it will grow big."

Keep dreaming, Horst. Keep dreaming. I can think of no better way to bastardize my favorite sport than by removing the essential ingredient: snow. Why not try swimming without water or playing baseball without a ball? Those might be fun, too. I bet grass skiing involves way too much friction, a much greater potential for injury, and a lot of overheating due to wearing too much protective gear in the hot sun, with a dose of hay fever thrown in for good measure.

But OK, I can hear you critics out there already: "How can you knock it if you haven't tried it, Carl?" This may or may not be a valid point. So here's what I'm proposing: if anyone reading this can find me a place to stay within one hour of Bryce Resort and arrange with the mountain's management for visiting U.S. Disabled Ski Team dignitaries or potential disabled grass-skiing pioneers to receive grass-ski rentals and lift tickets free of charge, I will be on the next plane to Appalachia. Because to tell you the truth, I'm kind of curious.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

joe buck

I'm a little confused... earlier today, I watched the 1969 movie Midnight Cowboy, starring Jon Voight as Joe Buck, a tall, blond, hickish male prostitute in New York who dresses like a cowboy. I liked it pretty well. But now I'm watching the MLB All-Star Game, and Fox has a tall, blond, annoying commentator named... yep, Joe Buck. Weird.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

new toy

I decided to use some b-day cash to buy a new stereo for my car. I wanted several features that I didn't have in my factory-installed stereo:
  1. a CD player that works
  2. a way to hook my iPod directly into the stereo without needing a terrible-sounding cassette or FM adapter
  3. satellite radio. I've been curious about it for a while, and after taking a few trips with Ralph in his Sirius-equipped Subaru, I can't deny how nice it is: 175 channels of commercial-free music, NPR, baseball games, stand-up comedy, and just about anything else worth listening to. (They even have a left-wing talk-radio channel!)

After mulling it over for a week or so, I bit the bullet today, bought this stereo and signed up for Sirius. At first the controls were really confusing, so I parked outside my house, turned off my engine and spent over an hour reading the manual (yes, I actually do that), figuring out the controls, and setting my pre-sets. Then, abruptly, it turned off. I had drained my battery and my car was dead... d'oh.

In other news, I'm going to a Rockies game tomorrow and hope it stops raining. What's up with this? It never rains in Colorado.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

tour de france

I'm really getting into watching the Tour de France. When Lance was still racing, I never had OLN, so I couldn't watch their daily coverage — which, incidentally, is fantastic. Now I'm glued to the TV. Today's first full stage finished in an exciting sprint, with a Frenchman winning for the first time in 20 years and George Hincapie becoming just the fourth American ever to wear the maillot jaune. Yesterday's prologue winner, Norwegian Thor Hushovd, got a nasty gash on his arm after getting clipped by a spectator with a giant green foam hand during the final sprint.

(video highlights here)