Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Call of the Wild

Hoping little Jack London grows into those ears.

…is apparently not that strong. A new wave of mice moving indoors has set the Freedom Chronicles back in motion.

Only these guys don’t want to leave their Tomkat “Live Catch” Torture Box once in the wild. Stockholm Syndrome? Too chilly out? Who knows. Never try to get into the head of a mouse.

Snow Falling Off Cedars

shoeing at the 3SI

The X-country trails are much wider than this snowshoe trail.

In Vermont, we make hay while the sun shines and make tracks when the snow falls. In between, we get indoorsy.

Find places for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing here and especially here. The charming Three Stallion Inn, located in cozy Randolph (the geographic center of Vermont), is where I took this photo today. The only sound was snow falling off cedars and the birds. They have a nice Valentine’s weekend package and it’s quite near I-89; use of their densely wooded, hilly, underpopulated trails is included. I recommend also the ski touring center at the Woodstock Inn, which will run you more but has a gym, indoor pool, and hot tub. It is more of a hike off the interstate, 30 minutes from Killington. There is a cool-looking concert that Saturday night in Randolph’s Chandler Music Hall, favored by musicians of all stripes including “fiddlers” Natalie MacMaster and Midori.

All of Earth’s Peoples Have Their Dance

happy people dancing on planet earthI love that this guy isn’t so fit, and the unbridled joy of all the nations dancing. The music is perfect.

Nutters like the creators of this video who spread cheer on a disturbed planet deserve, in my opinion, the Congressional Medal of Honor. Which is actually called just the Medal of Honor, despite what the angel says about Harry in It’s a Wonderful Life.

If an intergalactic oppressor invaded and forbade earthly pleasures, we’d reply in 900 languages: “Good luck keeping us from dancing, pally.”

Play it here:  http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120710.html

“Spittle crackles at forty below.”

Also bad for Outdoor Concert and Ocean Cruising.So said a Jack London character, although you will find evidence to the contrary online.

What crackles at 18 below? Your resolve, for one thing. And according to my favorite weather application, AccuWeather, this temperature is POOR for Barbeque, Kite Flying, Outdoor Activity, and Lawn Mowing.  Hair Frizz Risk is LOW, so there’s that.

Trippy, Trippy Night of Music Plus

Bow Thayer setVermont band Bow Thayer & Perfect Trainwreck held an album release party for their new gem, Eden, last night at the Chandler Center for the Arts. With a sooper trippy stage, aws musicians including a chick horn section, belly dancers, and rabid groupies unable to remain in their seats, it was an extravaganza of mid-winter revelry. Jeff Berlin’s drumming on some especially rrrock-ing numbers converted yours truly into a BT&PTW junkie.

Banjo Bow

LERV the banjo.

They have been described as “Vermont’s third nationally acclaimed rock band” — watch them rrrock-et. Bow Thayer fans go wild I

Tell Me Something Good

What's in it for me?

What’s in it for me?

If the holidays aren’t about discord and disappointment, I don’t know what is. One antidote is your annual batch of UVG New Year Predictions. As always, these come from the coterie of crazed crackpots I call friends.

Predictions are not necessarily endorsed by WordPress, God, or the New Hampshire Division of Ports and Harbors. They are, ideally, to be read to Stevie Wonder’s Tell Me Something Good, as performed by Chaka Khan and Rufus.

Fashion  A new shoe will be developed that will be a lifelong possession. It will automatically adjust for growth, bunions, hammertoes, and falling arches over time. Designers are unhappy that these will also change design; manufacturers are unhappy that one pair can be worn for a lifetime. It will not help the economy.

Entertainment  The sequel to Lincoln, titled Johnson and starring Jackie Chan, flops at the box office.

John Lennon and George Harrison come back to life and the Beatles reunite.

Travel  Velcro® announces their “robust solution” to people sneaking too much luggage on board airplanes. All carry-on will be stuck to the outside of the airplane.

Math  2013 will be known as “twenty thirteen”—the old “two thousand and…” neatly dispensed with forever.

The Law  Phreaques who wash practically their entire cars at the gas pump with the trough of murky windshield fluid, further befouling that and the cleaning wand, will be charged with a misdemeanor and fined.

Congress will stand up to the NRA and enact reasonable gun legislation.

Congress will re-issue the Violence Against Women Act, which was not reauthorized in 2012 by the House after 18 years of being in effect.

The alterant marijuana is decriminalized.

The term “shout out” is criminalized.

Medicine  Men become able to carry a developing fetus to term via a transplanted uterus, though most refuse.

Celebrity  At award ceremonies, actors are banned from speaking about their co-stars’ “bravery” and “courage” while “making choices,” and from giving “shout outs.” Those making incomprehensible, rambling speeches—teary or otherwise—that confuse fellow attendees as well as viewers will be given a reality show, “Barmy Drunk Unstable People—Plus They’re Famous, Yes, Famous!”

Donald Trump admits he’s been wearing a marmoset on his head for years.

Education  The US Secretary of Education will continue to be someone who has no training or experience in K-12 academic education. Since the re-creation of the Department of Education as a Cabinet-level position in 1979 by Jimmy Carter, there has been only one educator to fill the position, Terrell Bell, who served from 1981 to 1985.

Nature  Global warming will continue at a rate far faster than anyone has predicted, hastening shuttles to imperialistic earthly colonies on planet Kepler-22b.

Three words: giant robot squid. No, make that four: giant robot squid apocalypse.

World Affairs  The United States will engage in no new wars. I mean “initiatives.”

Sports  Lance Armstrong capitalizes on admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs by signing a $10M endorsement deal with Viagra. The LiveStrong Foundation foregoes support of cancer victims and focuses solely upon erectile dysfunction research, increasing global warming of a different kind.

Wearied by last year’s tiresome coverage of volleyball, beach volleyball, and water polo (= water volleyball), the International Olympic Committee relaxes doping regulations for these three sports.

Blue Skies  This year, what environmentalist and author Paul Hawken calls our blessed unrest will continue to help re-imagine our relationship to the environment and one another. Across our precious planet, we will see ourselves—in all our diversity and various wisdom—gathering to create specific resolutions to complex challenges, taking care of each other, changing our priorities here at home, with each other, right here in the communities where we live and love.

Tell Me Something Good indeed.  Thank you, beloved kontributors. Good year and good day.

Twitter: @uvgvt

Not Winning Any Beauty Contests

snowman - VT giantBut every snowman deserves his due.

What’s noteworthy is that this was made quietly by a muscled young man, by himself, on a Sunday afternoon, for no seeming purpose other than itself.

And to think he could be inside, Gaming in a darkened hole.

Got Knitz?

scarves instagrammed Even those of moderate intelligence now hate slogans that begin with “Got…”,  except on the rare occasion it’s something twisted like Got Blubber? My apologies. Sometimes I use an expression I detest.

Point is, not a bad time of year to hunker down with a few skeins during the award ceremonies and such. You don’t have to know much to knit something. You can be a perpetual hack and make only scarves — no one notices.  Then you can alter photos of them to make them look all anti-matter. But don’t use Instagram to do so if you value your privacy or intellectual property.

Tip fer ya: crocheting’s way faster.  Apparently, you can crochet at one mile per minute. Let’s just yarn bomb the earth and cover up all the garbage, fig. and lit.

When Days and Tempers are Short

Wintry Sky

…it’s good to think on something perty. They sky is a good place to start.

A poet friend in New York years ago would end our partings (pretty much always at the bar) with, “I’m going home now, to think pleasant thoughts.” Some of us adopted his way of ending each day (not at the bar — I mean with pleasant thoughts).

When it fails, it fails miserably, but most the time it works. Get all cozy in bed with your book.  With or without another creature, it’s nice in there. Think pleasant thoughts and just…drift off.  The good news is: when the days are short, the nights are long.

Maine, in the The Magic Hour

Is this thing on?

Wine o’clock and all is well.

Sources differ in photography and cinematography as to whether it is called the “magic hour” or the “golden hour,” when this hour occurs, and if it is, in fact, an hour.  Handy calculator here. I prefer “magic hour” because in medical terms the “golden hour” is the critical hour following a serious injury or risky birth — a notion fraught with peril most of us want no part of.

In my family it is known more widely as “wine o-clock” or, in our Midwestern contingent, “beer o’clock.”

The houses along the shore are lit up by the setting sun in a way that reminds me of the Emerald City in Oz. Beer o’clock can get you to the Emerald City.

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