Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Stone Man Cometh

bahr 1…and goeth…and leaveth behind a thing of beauty.

Greg Bahr — native Vermonter, neighbor, artistic madman behind Bahr’s Stoneworks — has a far-out genius for putting rocks together. Here’s a recent wall of his in downtown Bethel, incorporating old bottles and bones he found on-site. “Are the bones human?” everyone asks. “I’m not sure,” says Greg.


[Ed. note: Who knows, maybe a barfight behind the Pink Pony one night in the 70s…yes, I’m dating myself…no one remembers the Pony.]bahr 3 bahr 2 bahr site bahr sign

The Calm After the Storm

Tunbridge 12.13.14We hate to say it when so many have been without power after New England’s second last-minutely predicted storm this season, but:  Damn, it’s gorgeous out there.

There has been no wind, so the snow/ice keeps Winter Wonderlanding on the trees.

For good and bad. They bending.

Corporate Bullshit Generator

CBGGeez, if only mankind would stop picking the low-hanging fruit and kicking the can down the road in granular, bricks-and-clicks efforts at synergetic pushback 24/365, just think how far we’d have gotten by now!

If you don’t work in a a corporate environment, you won’t find that to be annoying, or even English. You may have been mercifully unexposed to unintelligibly strung-together words that sound important yet have no meaning.

But if you do, and haven’t, the sites below will transfix you…or should I say, their robust, outcomes-based, multi-tiered platforms will integrate your scalable branding:

Here click on MORE BS, PLEASE! for a fresh batch of lifelike BS.

On this gem hit MAKE BS and watch it pull from three Parts of Speech columns.

This is pretty, but will make you insane.

A Brit one offers “A random piece of business bullshit every time you visit this site.” You can even submit!

Happily, some people make corporate jargon Bingo cards before meetings and see who gets Bingo first based upon hearing their words in the meeting. Not sure what the prize is. The last link offers a delicious twist that makes me wish I still attended such meetings. Click Bingo tab at top.

We’ll Use Anything for Storage

Canadian Passport…in rural America. This one’s sporting a mullet.

Sometimes the DOT Can Read Your Mind

Rough RoadAnd when it does, it’s usually not that good.

[Note storm blowing in for emphasis, just in case you were deluding yourself.]

Making Hay (lit. and fig.) While the Sun Shines

Susan M. Carter

With last week’s cosmic Soopermoon and unexpected low humidity, Vermonters were feeling their oats—a horsey expression referring to “hot” feeds such as oats that provide extra equine energy. Carbo-loading for ponies.

We’ve been flat-out frolicking. As we bike, swim, and tool about our gorgeous state via horse, cycle, and golf cart, we inhale gnats and drink in the astounding natural beauty of the Land. No matter our troubles, her scenic landscape’s backdrop to our drama grows, flows, and enchants mightily. The Creatures of the Land also sparkle. Musicians strum, hummingbirds hum, and stories fill out ears with delight. Campfires! Charades! Laffs!

Deliriously happy, we pack on summer blubber by way of chips and macaroni salads (hot feeds), with dripping cones, toasted marshmallows and extra mayo all around. Chomping chewing gum with the ferocity of a jungle cat, I wear a bikini as a disturbing incentive to avoid the snack bar lakeside. Unsightly, but y’all don’t look that slender, either. As a friend’s father happily observed, “There are no Beautiful People at Silver Lake.” It’s Vermont. We just don’t care.

With little rain, the long and sunny days demand movement. Soopermovement. Early we rise, to tend gardens and hit balls, knowing that pacing oneself now is not an option. For soon the air will grow cold, leaves will float down the brooks, and the Tunbridge World’s Fair will be upon us. Is this year’s theme The Year of the Insect?? Giant horseflies take meaty chunks from us daily. I hope they are having a good time.

The tourists are. As they cram our roads with Corvette Clubs, motorcycle brigades, and kayak-lidded vehicles, they stuff our coffers with (hopefully) enough wampum to get us through what friend Sassy calls “the dark months.” While we lament oftentimes the physical and financial hardships of Vermont, visitors envy our visual bounty from the windows of inns and restaurants. Let us see, as they do, that the grass is in fact greener here. There’s a heck of a lot more of it.

With all our rivers, woods, and contradancing, we get physical without pricey gym memberships. Fishing and tennis are almost no-cost, and you can’t live here without knowing someone with a canoe or bike to borrow. We get our ya-ya’s out for next to contranothing. People everywhere need to get their ya-ya’s out because life in Modern Tymes is vexing. Tech nuisances drive us batty, our free time devoured by the modern bane that is overcommunication. Which disPinterested, Twitterless, Linked Out Facebidiots like me don’t do much of, yet it’s still exhausting. Many here lack—or shun—the [devil’s!] tools needed to overcommunicate, a source of ruin. Good for them. It seems to me that the more we communicate, the more we worry. More people to worry about, I guess. More worrisome details shared. Just. More. Worrying.

I told my friend Kay I was glad in some ways I have no kids, so in our “sandwich generation” years I am open-faced, with only parents to be concerned about. Her reply:

“One thing better about parenting elders than parenting kids is that people are not competitive about their aging parents.  Imagine if they were.  ‘My mother got into Green Mountain Golden Years Assisted Living.  It was her reach facility, but she got in!  Her safeties were Maple Heritage and Mellow Manor Northeast Kingdom.’   ‘Well, my mother was sent to prison and it’s not costing me a dime. Free dental!” We could brag about who has lasted the longest without a walker.  That would be like lettering in track.   Blood test results as SAT scores…’My dad’s combined LDL and HDL were under 250!’  ‘Wow, you must be so proud.  I’m going to make my dad take it again. Surely he can improve over last time.’ I feel a Roz Chast cartoon coming on… ”

A toast to Green Mountain splendour, hay-makers, canoe-loaners, tech-shunners, shenaniganers, parenters, summer fatties, and sooperfriends who supply laffs. Thank you all. Good day.


Come to Vermont…Post-Peak

later foliageWe’ve saved a few colored leaves for you, have oxygen in ample supply, and our inns and B&Bs with fireplaces wait to cozy you up now that the full-throttle foliage traffic has passed. Our book stores are not chains and our yard sales boast the prices of yesteryear.

Learn about our human leaf forecaster here. And while Vermont’s colors may not be at peak, I can assure you that her nutters are.

Ah, Teenagers

teenagersI don’t have any, but I get where this is coming from.

Dig the Thomas Paine print job.

Some Like it Hot…ter ‘n Hell


Hot & sweet with a tropical twist, like the label says.

There’s hot, there’s sooper hot, and then there’s just too bloody hot. Dirty Dick’s Hot Pepper Sauce is sooper hot.  I didn’t know that when I soaked a cracker in it.  Hoo!  I then made Dirty Dick’s Mayo (for mini ham sandwiches on crackers), Dirty Dick’s Tomato Bisque, Dirty Dick’s Home Fries, a Dirty Dick’s Bloody Mary, and a Dirty Dick’s Vanilla Ice Cream Cone. Why not? It’s won awards incl. a first place Screaming Mimi award at the 2013 NYC Hot Sauce Expo. Everyone loves a winner.

The label graphic appears to be of a flaming, drunk pig. A serving suggestion? Just marinate the little feller in some some Dirty Dick’s, add a splash of hooch, and spark up the grill!

Hoist Up the Father’s Day Sale

yard sale wares

Oddly, none of these went.

While normal people were celebrating on Father’s Day, my neighbors and I held a yard sale. It was not a sanctioned event.  Nor was it particularly reverent of fathers; my own had to wait, until the rain shut down the sale, to begin the family festival of socializing, overeating, and a viewing of The Shining, a touching little film about a father.

I freely admit my portion of the yard sale was weak. There was little of value (set aside for when I learn how to sell on eBay, which will be never) next to the incomplete, broken, and useless items for sale. I also admit I enjoyed watching shoppers regard my sad offerings with knit brows, trying to make polite conversation, wondering why I had even bothered and was I indigent or just crazy. Others glanced about in an uncomfortable silence and moved quickly on.

The few desirable objects I’d included I, at first, priced too high—maybe so as not to have to part with them (mistake number one). As the day went on, I grew despondent from lack of sales and underpriced these treasures, realizing much too late that I should have just kept them as gifts for people I actually know, rather than selling them for peanuts to strangers (mistake number two).

But the entertainment was priceless.  While the big coin my neighbors were hauling in made me feel inadequate, mine was  a Feel-good Mart, with neighbors, nutters, friends, friends of friends, and a lovely new Southern neighbor all engaging in lighthearted convo, some of it with clever volleys and returns—always a delight—and some with thoughtful advice or heartfelt condolences.  I told a young couple they looked happy.  They were. Another couple and I swapped ghost stories.  True ones. Another adored my flower boxes I’d sawed and painted by hand. With reversible colors. I taught a teenager how to clean an antique typewriter; maybe one day he’ll be a writer, or the only typewriter repairman left on Earth. A madcap golf buddy showed up.  We laughed and laughed. Because my “storefront” was right on the road, it was almost a drive-through; I could have rollerskated over and taken orders carside. But I’d sold my skates before I thought of it (mistake number three).

At one point it “snowed” fluffy cottonwood seeds. When the golf buddy showed up, her cheer generated a flurry of sales. My junk was wanted! People loved it as I had, and thrilled at getting it on the cheap. It solved problems for them, saved them a trip to NH, provided a Halloween costume for 2013. Another satisfied customer.

I know my trifling sale and its collateral laffs are nothing to brag about.  I have a television. I see the “This is your life…at 50!” commercials with young-looking retired couples in vaguely nautical outfits and deck shoes shaving happily away at their nest egg, having planned well, invested well, married well, dressed well, monitored their teeth well…roaming a beach hand in hand, scanning the buffet, taking Cialis®…when, in Vermont, we’re selling our shirts to get by. But it was a fun time for All. And I didn’t have to listen to my husband of 40 years tell the same story for the 300th time to a table of yachties (at the Captain’s table, in the Mediterranean!), or tighten my Hermes scarf to protect my ears from our (private!) chopper’s (noisy!)  rotors, or turn my head politely as our other (handsome!) golfing couple (in Scotland!) sandbagged their scores. I set sail when I wanted. Dropped anchor when I wanted. Ahoy.

In closing, your good news:  Prague subways now have cars where singles can meet, dubbed “love trains” by Reuters, so you can be wookin’ pa nub in at least one wight place. The Washington Post was skeptical, considering this train car “a great way to attract unwanted advances,” but I promise you there will be at least two lucky Czechs in 2013 who find nub. Maybe they’ll retire early and linger around seaside buffets a lot in special outfits. Now that’s what I call a good day, one right after the other.

Ann Aikens can be reached at ann.aikens.7 on Facebook, or on Twitter at @uvgvt.

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