Thursday, October 30, 2014

old grand prix course

a few weeks ago on roadtrip we visited watkins glen. even if you're not an auto racing fan, it's fun to go see the original grand prix course, which you can drive although it is recommended to stay reasonably near to speed limits because the whole old course is on town roads.

i've driven the course before, so my friend barb took the wheel and i made a little video.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

press 2 for spanish

i get cranky every time in am in some public place near my home and i am presented with a spanish language option.

i'm irritated about spanish language options, but not for the usual reasons. i am angry about spanish language options in northern vermont because if we're going to be offering a second language option to make things more convenient for people whose first language is not english, the most logical choice based on number of speakers is FRENCH.

french is the most widely spoken language aside from english in vermont households, both because of our long-standing french heritage and our current influx of african immigrants, many of whom speak french as a second or third language.

on top of which, we are nestled very snugly up against the largest french-speaking population in north america (quebec) and if we're going to be offering second language options, the convenience of a large segment of our tourist population is also a viable consideration.

so. most widely used secondary language, by a wide margin: french.

why are we still pressing 2 for spanish?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

seven falls

ok, i'm back to writing about things that happened a month ago.

so on my adventure day with my new friend TAT we're driving around looking at his favorite places and a lot of them are waterfalls. he says we're going to go to his waterfall., only we've been going to a lot of waterfalls so this one is special?

and bit by bit over a number of hours this story develops: he's always wanted to have a waterfall. and a friend of his was working as an agent for diamond matchstick when they were unloading some property and they had this parcel that had no real value except it had this waterfall on it, so TAT bought it.

and then one day a geocache showed up on it, and he's pretty sure nobody asked the landowner for permission, since he happens to be the landowner. but he'd have given permission for it, so he decided it was ok.

there's some other stuff in the story, but that's as much as i'm telling you.

it's a very lovely waterfall, though. it has, as promised, seven falls and the sound of the place is kind of incredible.

here's a little video.

Monday, October 27, 2014

well, i'm home.

since i just got home, i've started laundry (there s a lot of it) and cleaning and maintaining gear (my house looks like a dumping ground for used sporting goods) and maybe i will get organized now and show you some pictures and write you about what all i've been up to.

i was thinking of you, and took pictures and notes and stuff just so i could show you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


often in the morning i wake up when i wake up, have a little breakfast, and sit comfortably at my computer playing games and gradually moving toward working on projects and bit by bit it gets light out and i go out to play or something.

sometimes if i have a plan or if it's WINTER i go out to play before the sun is up, because if i wait until the sun comes up, the day is half over.

anyway, these days i have been waking up at my campsite, striking camp and then driving to the library to sit in my car and generally have breakfast and sit comfortably at my laptop playing games and gradually moving toward working on projects, which these days is planning  where i will go for my day.

then i tend to head east an hour before the sun is up and i really NOTICE that the sun comes up two minutes later each day because my navigation screens switch over to day mode at sunrise, and i'm all, like, WOOHOO!

because the day is full of promise and anything could happen.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


sometimes you don't succeed.

this morning (wednesday) i woke up and i was thinking of going mountain biking in the pack forest, some forty minutes away.

but for some days now i have been living very close to this geocache, and for you to appreciate why this is important to me, i should back up and tell you that in geocaching each cache has a difficulty and terrain rating, difficulty being how hard it is to FIND the cache, and terrain rating for how hard it is to GET to the cache. it's based on a scale of 1 to 5, with half-point gradations.

geocachers being who they are, they tend to like statistics.

it is a sort of totally a badge of honor to have completed a grid of all the possible difficulty/terrain combinations. the name for this among geocachers is the "fizzy grid", named after an old-time cacher named fizzymagic who is generally credited with being the first person to begin to compile statistics on such a thing.

i am only missing one square on my fizzy grid; one that would be filled very nicely by finding this cache that's been on my way to my campsite or even to the outhouse i'm using these days, so i go RIGHT BY IT an average of four times a day.

problem is that it's been cold and rainy and overcast and finding this cache involves putting on your mask and snorkel and fins and going for a little swim.

so this morning i decided just to go DO it. enough whining and justifying why i wasn't doing it.

i go all suited up and into the water and it was COLD. and did i mention that even more than i am afraid of closed spaces, i am afraid of submerged objects?

so. dark, scary, cold.

and cold.

did i mention cold?

i did not find the cache. i am too buoyant to stay down without a lot of effort, and effort clouds the water. if there had been strong sunlight i might have been able to see it, but in the end i reached my turnaround time as measured by how cold i was starting to feel.

i am satisfied with my attempt. i know now what is involved to find this cache. i know what the terrain looks like underwater near the cache. i know how much light i will need, and how deep the container is.

and it's still going to dog me until i find it, but this kind of haunting is much easier than the kind of haunting in which i don't really try but stand around wondering if i could.

Friday, October 24, 2014

it's good for children

recently i was walking around in the ithaca children's garden and thinking about what a great thing it is for children who otherwise may not have the means to experience gardening to have these programs available to them.

we keep talking about teaching children responsibility and discipline and stewardship, and can you think of a better way to do this than through gardening?

and you may not think of it, but the ability to garden is a thing that is often unavailable to urban kids. ithaca isn't exactly a huge urban sprawl, but its urban neighborhoods are urban enough.

it strikes us as visitors to ithaca that while it is much smaller than the city i live near (read: forty minutes by car from), it feels much more urban to us, probably because of the presence public transportation and stuff like that.

so anyway, we were wandering around in the garden, looking at the different "zones" and we came up around the back of an area with a lot of tires and crates and mud and a hammock and nothing organized and i quipped "what is this? the anarchy zone?"

and you know?

it was.


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