Wednesday, December 31, 2014

old and new

my grandmother died yesterday afternoon.

she was very old and it was a good time for her to go, but we will miss her and we are sad.

meantime we are still going out for new year's eve, because it will be beautiful and life goes on.

i will meet up with my family at one of the concerts and we will hug and cry a little and say that we love each other and we will watch with no small affection the party going on around us.

new year's eve is a dark kind of party anyway; with the deep cold of long winter nights, the death of the old year, and the small bright hope for our futures.

i will be wearing my famous hat and scarf.

and in the meantime, here's today's download for you.

be well, my friends.

may your sorrows pass with the old year, and may your joys increase in the new.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


i have a general fondness for the wassails, probably over the other carols.

here's one:

in other news, i'm getting my hat and scarf ready for first night burlington. i ran into someone in downtown winooski the other day and she said that a picture of me had been in the paper or something.

you know, with my hat and scarf.

because while i myself am rather unremarkable, my hat and scarf are a fixture.

Monday, December 29, 2014

two today

so i was a bad, bad blogger and i totally skipped yesterday.

stuff came up.

but here are two carols for you:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

fum, fum, fum.

today's download, available until 6 january.

recommended with headphones.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

open letter to the vermont legislature

dear vermont legislature,

house, senate, and legislative staffers- i am writing to you as one august body instead of writing to just those of you for whom i vote (or would not have voted, you know?) because all together you are much more than the sum of your constituent parts.

while we may all have differing opinions as to the best methods of meeting the common challenges we face, we do all face those same challenges and when i follow the news of your work i get the feeling that you're trying to come up with solutions that best benefit the people and land of vermont.

sometimes when i look at other legislatures i get the feeling i'm watching an obscene obstructionist clown car performance whose purpose is really to distract people from the real work, which is figuring out how to take care of our people and our land and be fair about it.

we NEED to have important arguments, because even good ideas we believe in may be in conflict. i LOVE the idea of open immigration, but i don't love the idea of overtaxing social systems, or cutting the job pool. i like the idea of single payer healthcare, but i don't want to break the treasury.

these are just two examples of where thoughtful people need to think and argue and try some things and see how they work and then maybe go back and try some other things.

so really. the short version of what i'm saying here is thanks. thank you for taking the time to do this work on behalf of our state. thank you for doing the heavy lifting. i'm proud to have you represent me.


love, flask

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

little gifty things

hey, everybody!

here are some little images you can print up and take to your family's christmas celebration! have fun with the, they are optimized to be printed at 4" x 6".

il est né, le divin enfant

this will be available for download until 6 january.

today's selection is in honor of a friend of ours.

this friend moved to vancouver to look for a job because she loves vancouver and wants to live there.

but after many months she was unable to land any kind of job at all, ran out of money, and had to go home to her parents, who live in florida.

she put a brave face on it, saying at least she would be with her family for réveillon, which, if you do not want to look it up, is the traditional celebration of christmas eve by many french speaking populations and our friend is quebecois.

her flight out of vancouver (the city she loves) was to have been monday morning.

but sunday night her passport was missing., and the best she can do to get home is 5 january, so alone and broke in the city she loves, unable to go home to the family she loves.

that is so many kinds of suck.

but there is a group of us, we friends. we did the math and we realized that if we each pitch in ten dollars we can send our friend out to a very swanky christmas dinner. we can't take all the suck out of it, but we can make a little magic.

we have reservations at EBO.

that's my christmas story.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

un flambeau, jeanette isablella

available to download until 6 january.

so i found this thing...

i was in the grocery store in winooski and there was this THING in the produce aisle and i had NO idea what it was, but it looked a lot like a fruity cthulhu, which makes it a perfect gift for my sister.

because really, nothing says christmas like a a citrus monster from the deep.

of course, when i got home, my internet friends were able to identify it instantly just based on the words "it looks like cthulhu", so now i know what it is.


it's more fun to call it cthulhufruit, though.

and i picked up a cute little bright red ribbon decoration yesterday, so that will look nice.

Monday, December 22, 2014

lo, how a rose

downloadable until 6 january:

do you know anyone who knows anyone?

i have an internet friend who went to vancouver to look for work but then crapped out and now has to go home to live with the rents for a while.

the problem right now is that my friend was packing up to leave on the flight home TODAY and found her passport missing.

so NOW she can't even go home to be with family over christmas, which was the silver lining to the having to leave vancouver cloud.

so. broke. no passport. stuck in vancouver with no money, no family, and friends all away for christmas.

do you guys know anybody who knows anybody in vancouver? because i know someone who could use some kind company and maybe a meal in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

how i'm doing

well, i have now had two whole days with uninterrupted power, so i can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.

when you don't have power is only slightly more stressful than when you do have power, but you know you're going to lose it very soon, maybe for days.

and it manifests other ways.

you don't start projects that need electricity. once last week i started cooking dinner in the oven and finished in the fireplace.

you also think about taking a shower, and you keep a jug hand just in case.

and you don't change the sheets on the bed, in case you lose power too close to bedtime AGAIN and need to go to bed a little grubby.

yesterday the sun was out for the first time since well before the storm, and the neighborhood children went screaming around outside as soon as it came up.

for christmas eve we're going to get sleet, freezing rain, and rain. and flooding.

and for some of us, that will mean darkness.



today is the shortest day of the year, and i'll make some hand pies and some loaves of good bread, and i will be happy that the days will be getting longer. we have done it, my friends. we have gotten through the darkest.

it will be slow, but bit bit bit the light grows.

and so may it with you.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

morning on mount worcester

so a couple of weeks ago i went up mount worcester.

i took some pictures and i promised to show you, so here they are.

Friday, December 19, 2014


i have a flickr album of selfies.

it started out as a thing where i show how i am dressed for the day, kind of a commentary on the weather.

i sort of liked the collection and i keep it going.

you can find it here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

getting along

the storm started last tuesday afternoon.

since some of you do not live in snowy places, i'm gonna 'splain to you how it went down.

we can and do get a metric crapton of snow on occasion but because it's mostly cold here in the winter, it's nice dry snow that doesn't stick to much as it goes by.

tuesday afternoon, late in the day, the freezing rain started. then overnight that alternated with sleet and sticky slushy snow. so everything got a nice coating of that. and by "everything", i mean roadways, rooftops, tree branches and power lines.

so then when the whole thing converted over to plain old snow, there was already a layer of slushy ice, or snowglue on everything. oh, and it wasn't windy at all, which is unusual.

so the snow just fell down and stayed wherever it landed.

a lot of which was on tree branches and power lines.

now, see, trees bend. they bend quite a lot sometimes. but the longer they have to stay bent, the more likely it is that they will break.

the weight of the snow alone on powerlines was bad enough and lines were hanging frighteningly low over roads so you sort of wanted to car limbo, but then when trees started falling on lines, all hackensack broke loose.

plus when the snow unloads from the trees there can be a giant WHUMP of a big chunk of snow and anything under it (like a power line) is in some trouble.

it stayed cold for a few days following the four days of the storm, so no relief for the trees. many of them just gave up.

which brings us to sunday.

and then the temperature came above freezing for a little while and there was a little breeze, so more snow unloading, plus when the weight on the bent trees releases, the trees straighten up some and if a power line is in the way, you get more of that nonsense.

so then it's tuesday again, and there's freezing rain and a forecast of more freezing rain and some snow and every day the power goes out and some days it comes back on and some days it doesn't.

my telephone company is keeping phone service going by running a generator when they need to at the relay station a the end of my driveway.

we're all keeping water on hand. when the storm started i had three gallons of drinking water which is plenty for one person for a a couple of days, but not if you want to flush any toilets, so i got to melting snow.

of course i could have gone and bought more water, but you don't really need to pay for drinking water just so you can flush toilets, especially if you have a toasty fire going in the fireplace.

plus i had just come back from a camping trip for which i had made a spiffy snow melting funnel out of some milk jugs and duct tape.

it's going to be a couple of days before we get reliable uninterrupted power, i think.

i'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

lineman's lunch

last week when i got it into my head to bring a hot lunch to a crew working the power lines, i needed something i could toss together pretty quickly and on the turned out pretty well. nothing, fancy, but good tasty and filling and most importantly for the linemen: hot.

here's how you can make your own:

lineman's lunch

first, preheat your oven to 350.

take 2 cups of cooked rice (it is way better if you cook it in stock or something or even throw in a bouillon cube) and dump it in a big bowl with a can of diced tomatoes (plain or flavored) and a couple of cans of beans. use whatever cans of beans you have in the house. i used red beans in sauce and black beans. toss in half an onion, chopped. then put in cheese. the amount of cheese i used was however much i had in open packages. mix in some taco sauce or salsa or something. i used all the taco sauce i had left in two jars of different brands. and then for good measure i put in some chunks of cream cheese, whatever i had left in a block of it.

what i'm saying here is that this is not a very fussy casserole.

then toss it in the oven until it's all hot and bubbly. again, since al the ingredients are cooked already, this is not a critical measurement.

anyway, if you're serving it to linemen, put eight large serving in bowls and cover them in foil and put them in a box cooler which you have filled with hot packs and insulated with a bath towel. then drive it over to where they are working with some forks and napkins, some cookies, and some handmade caramels.

if you're eating it at home, just put it in dishes and eat it. it's reasonably good.

and it's hot.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

how to tell if this post was written today

usually i write my posts a day ahead of time and schedule them to post later.

sometimes if i get caught up processing pictures and such, i schedule posts as far as a week in advance. when i do this, i usually schedule them to run at 6AM. sometimes my schedule time is five, because sometimes i just hit the button that way.

any post with a different time on it is a post i wrote the day i posted it, and posted it with the automatic time stamp.

oh, were you LOOKING for the time stamp? i don't think it's in the RSS feed, but if you really, really want to check whether a post is from TODAY, the timestamp is in the lower left corner.

Monday, December 15, 2014

scenes from the storm

everyone still doesn't have their power back, but mine hasn't gone out since yesterday afternoon.

there still hasn't been any melt, so the snow is still hanging on the trees, but at least only a dusting falls from time to time.

here are some pictures from it.

cochran road in richmond. that's s live wire down.

richmond road in huntington. line grounded for work.

nashville road in jericho.

downtown west bolton.

stage road, west bolton

my driveway
notch road, west bolton

notch road, richmond

spence road, huntington

Sunday, December 14, 2014

in the dark

i realize that i am piling up a lot of things that i keep saying i'm going to tell you about, and really and truly, i am. it's better if you can see pictures.

so there's a thing about an aborted camping trip i'm not telling you about yet, but right now i want to tell you that when i got HOME from that, my neighborhood was ominously dark. there's a look to an area when the power has been out for some time and it's not coming on real soon.

so i went to bed in the dark and woke up in the dark with the house twenty degrees colder and the first thing i did was get in the car and go for a ride because i wasn't going to face the day at my house until the sun came up.

then i came home and worked on the projects at hand: no heat, no running water, no light.

headlamp: check.
fireplace: check.

i mostly don't burn a fire, because it's not so good with my asthma. my mom suggests periodically that i get rid of the firewood on my porch that i NEVER USE, but i keep telling her that one day the power will go out for more than a few hours and i will need to use it.

welcome to one day, as someone i know said.

snow: check.

because while i have three gallons of drinking water in jugs, which is enough water to drink for a day or two, it's not enough to wash anything or flush a toilet.

not if i also want to drink.

so i start the work of gathering snow outside, bringing it in, and melting it.

in only four hours i have nearly enough to flush a toilet. and then somewhere around one in the afternoon, just as i was hearing the news that the power company had NO IDEA what day my power might come on again which is reasonable because people in huntington have been waiting since tuesday, my power came on.

so i had a little domestic adventure in self-sufficiency, a cozy fire, and watered the houseplants.

it's still a little chilly in the house while the heat makes up for the outage.

the power crews are still working 24 hours. five hundred people in huntington still don't have power.

huntington, hinesburg, fletcher, underhill.

across the state the number of power outages has fallen under ten thousand for the first time since tuesday.

EDIT to add:  shortly after writing, this, my power went out again and is expected to be out at least until noon.

more adventures.

VEC line crews, contract crews, and VEC staff are working to provide around-the-clock coverage and will continue to do so until all outages are restored. Some outages could last through the weekend and into early next week, especially in the hardest hit areas of Starksboro, Huntington, Hinesburg, Bolton, Richmond, Jericho, and Underhill.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

day four of the storm

bear in mind when you see thirty thousand power outages in this state that we only have 626,000 people.

school has been cancelled three days.

THREE DAYS. maybe you cancel school where you are if there's a light frost, but we're used to snow.

in many cases schools simply can't open because there's no electricity and no heat.

and it is still snowing.

i'm going camping.

Friday, December 12, 2014

day three of the storm

it's still snowing. the power company is losing ground against the rising number of power outages.

so far i still have power, but i'm not counting on that being a continuing trend.

today (yesterday, when you read this) i went out just before eleven to deliver what i am now calling "lineman's casserole".

later (but not now) i'll have pictures for you and maybe even tell you what's in the casserole.

the place where the supervisor told me i would find the power crew is only about fifteen miles from my house, but it took me an hour to get there. the snow is heavy and trees are coming down all over and power lines that are still up are saggy.

i made the casserole, delivered it, and then came home and whipped up some foil packet dinner to be cooked tomorrow afternoon while i am CAMPING. yes, i'll tell you about it later.

right now i am making a breakfast strata kind of thing to put in another foil packet for warming up saturday morning while camping.

later on i'll tell you more.

right now i'm tired.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

fell in

the storm started tuesday afternoon. in terms of massiveness of snow, it's not much to look at, but it's crossed over between snow and sleet and rain almost as many times as there are hours and the road crews are behind and the power crews are working 24 hour shifts and while i have power, there are areas hard hit to my north and to my south.

i want to live in a world where power crews working emergency shifts are brought fresh cookies or hot burritos or something, and if you wan to live in that kind of a world, sometimes you have to create it.

so this morning i wrote to the support address at my electric company -isn't it interesting that they have someone a manager at a desk at four in the morning?-

hey, hi! it's been a long night for your crews and it's going to be a longer day.
can you tell me where a crew will be working near my home so i can maybe bring them fresh cookies or a hot burrito or something?
(...)your crews are always out in the worst of it, keeping us warm and safe.
i have power, but many of my neighbors (if we define neighbors loosely) don't.
today i'm baking things, but i'm looking out the window and i see snow and more snow coming down and trees leaning and i'm guessing "fell in" is going to get written a lot more times as the day goes on.
later in the day the nice lady will write to me and tell me where i can drop off some hot food.

maybe i will make a casserole or something.

"fell in", by the way, is the thing the workmen write on the report to indicate why the lines are down.

the weight of heavy snow causes them to collapse.

the member service manager wrote back:

Unfortunately, I think you are correct. New outages will continue to be called in and there will be members who have had their power restored only to have it go back out again! We really appreciate our Member’s support during these types of events; you have brightened my morning! I will email you in a short while to provide you with info.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

a morning's work

i made this little image.

late on i'll take the ones i have and collect them in one place so you can download and print them and put them on cards or ornaments or whatever and enjoy them with you family of birth or choice at your festive holiday celebrations.

in my family we actually say "happy midwinter gift-giving light festival of your choice!" because we love holidays and lights and celebrations and presents, but we are not very fussy about cause or dogma.

so anyway.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

package experiment

a thing happened: i found an interesting rock and i was going to mail it to one of you, but then you beat me to the punch and you mailed me a little package.

and i was thinking that i would like to send some little surprises out to you, so here's the deal: if you would like me to send you a little surprise, drop a mailing address in the comments even if you thin i already have it, because i lose things.

your comment with the mailing address will not be published, so if you want to make a comment that WILL be published, make sure you leave an extra comment without your address.

i'm not telling you what i will send, or when i will send it, but one day you will get a little package.

Monday, December 08, 2014


the day before yesterday i went into my kitchen, turned on the light and surprised a large mouse.

now, you don't live in the county and not have mice, especially in winter, and especially if you don't have a cat.

so i periodically check drawers and crevices for evidence of mice and i hadn't been seeing any.

...until sometime a couple of weeks ago when i made myself a salmon fillet and typically i leave dishes undone at night because i'm all out of energy then and sometimes when i'm done eating my evening meal i just leave the dishes where i ate because i live alone and nobody cares if i leave things out until morning.

but i woke up and the plate was still there, but the salmon skin was gone.

and i hadn't remembered cleaning up the salmon skin but not the plate. i sort of shrugged my shoulders, but i also checked my bags of rice and flour and beans and such for evidence of mouses, but there just wasn't any of the telltale signs.

until saturday morning when i turned on the light in the kitchen and surprised a very large, sleek, and healthy field mouse who kind of gave me a bad look as if to say "what?  what are you doing in MY kitchen?"

now, i've sen a lot of wild mice and as a species they tend to run low on personality, but this one has a look about her. she had more of a personality than some pets i've had.

so i named her betty.

she will be pleased to know we're having salmon again this week.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

the answer is yes.

 absolutely, if the question you have is "should i make an omelette with salt lox and cream cheese?"

because the answer to that question is unequivocally, absolutely yes.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

too spoilery?

yesterday i made a new geocache puzzle for a cache i placed yesterday. it isn't published yet, so i guess anyone who can read it here can poach the cache.

once you go to the given coordinates, you should look here:

Friday, December 05, 2014


yesterday i did not get out of my pajamas, except to shower and put on clean pajamas.


the whole truth is that at eleven o'clock in the morning i was standing on top of a mountain at fifteen degrees and windy.

thinking all this an here i am still in my pajamas.

because the athletic tights and polypro tops that serve as my base layer also double as loungewear and pajamas. so in the cold seasons i just slide right outta bed and put clothes on OVER my pajamas.

like snowpants.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

sometimes it comes and sits

today the depression has come to sit on my shoulder. it's not the full-bore crazy, but neither is it just sadness or anger.

it's not attached to anything and even though nothing has changed in my life since last week, i feel sad and angry about EVERYTHING and i would very much like to place blame somewhere.

i've decided that i have to go walk up a mountain and also that i have to get off the sofa and make cookies. and caramels.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

ammonoosuc rail trail

a couple of weeks ago i packed my gear and went for a ride on the ammonoosuc rail trail.

it was wicked cold in the morning, and it had snowed overnight.

if you want to read the blow-by-blow, it's in the geocaching logs, but otherwise here are some pictures.

i am particularly proud of this log. i think you should go read it.

Monday, December 01, 2014

morning on bald mountain

a couple of weeks ago i was up on bald mountain, which is up in the northeast kingdom.

there was a little bit of snow on the ground, but now so much that you could wear you spikes, because spikes aren't so good on leaves and rocks.

most of the way up i might could have ridden a bike, but hoo-boy! that last half mile or so gets TILTY and it's hands and feet climbing.

and then of course when i got up to the top it was cold. not just cold, but the kind of cold where you pronounce it with two syllables: co-old.

and windy.

i was up there to look for a geocache that i really NEED and it was so cold up there that all of a sudden i was seized with the fear that i would die if i didn't go into that little cabin and make a fire.

it maybe wasn't strictly true, but once a long time ago i was on a mountain and nearly froze to death, so i'm a little sensitive about it.

but the thing about lighting a fire in the cue little stove is that once you've committed enough of the existing wood to making a fire, you are committed to replenishing same, and that takes time, plus you can't just decide you're warm enough and decide to leave.

i quick calculation of the situation revealed that if i was going to devote enough time to making a toasty fire, i was going to be spending the night, because by the time i got down off the mountain AFTER that, there just wouldn't have been enough daylight to go somewhere else, so why bother going down until morning?

still following me?

if you take the strings of actions to their logical conclusions, you get only two choices: build a fire and stay the night, or GO THE HECK DOWN.

i searched some more for the geocache, but it was VERY windy in the tower and sometimes you just have to accept that you've hit your hard turnaround, whether you have been successful or not.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

thanksgiving in claremont

it's easier to find the walmart, the mcdonalds, the public library and the trailheads before the sun goes down.

i'm in claremont, new hampshire, which is a town that's seen better days.

it's usually not too hard to find the corner of the parking lot where you can sleep at the walmart. it's the out of the way corner where pretty much nobody would notice what you were doing.

at the walmart in claremont that corner is set off from the rest of the lot, and it looks kind of like the low rent district even for a town where there are a lot of "STORE CLOSING- EVERYTHING MUST GO"  signs.

there's a car that has clearly been parked there since before the snow storm, which means it's been there at least overnight. there's a pickup truck on the inside edge, jacked up and missing a tire. a window is down, but there's nobody nearby.

it is thanksgiving afternoon.

i am here looking at this corner because my grandmother lives across the river and it is far enough from my home that it's a PROJECT to drive down and back for thanksgiving, but if i take two days and find some geocaches, it's almost like a vacation, but i need somewhere to sleep.

so here i am. i turn out of the parking lot, looking for a public library because that's how i get internet connection when i'm away and those things are easier to find before the sun goes down. when i find the public library, i have good connection to their router, but for some reason they need to reset their router and i have no connection to the internet.

it happens.

when it happens on thanksgiving, though, you're pretty much out of luck unless you can find another library.

the trailhead i was to use is in andover, so i go there and i find a public library there as well. i can get connected to the internet, but the signal is too weak to do me any good. i go to look for the trailhead.

when i get there, i realize that i should have brought skis and not a bicycle and now i need to rethink my plans. i punch my home coordinates into my map and i realize that if i leave now, i will get home around seven thirty, which is early enough if i can just go to bed but the idea of carrying the pillows into the house and taking a shower just seems like too big a project.

plus i'm TIRED and at this point what i really need is to crawl into bed and i don't know if i have the energy to stay awake until six or seven and i don't like to sleep in a walmart lot before then because there's no place to get out in the night if you need to pee.

not that i ever do, but somehow if you CAN'T, invariably you need to.

and now that i know i'm not going to ride a bicycle in the morning, i need an internet connection so i can form a plan B.

it's dark now, having passsed suddenly from the blue light of snowy afternoon to snowy night, and there's nothing open.

you know how mcdonalds is always closed on thanksgiving?

well, in claremont the mcdonalds is open 24/7, even on thanksgiving. it's the only open business on that stretch of road. i sit in their parking lot for a little while and use their internet. it's a busy place. why are all these people in the mcdonald's on thanksgiving night?

clearly, some of them are travelers. but some of them are just hanging out. whole families, with kids.

it's still kind of a lonely place.

the restrooms are clean.

eventually it's late enough for me to use the restroom and assume that i will be able to go safely until five AM without needing to pee again, so i head back to the walmart.

traffic in the left turn lane is backed up for a mile or so into claremont because THAT many people are trying to get to the walmart on thanksgiving night  and the lot is nearly full but that out of the way corner still has spots in it.

the overnight car is still there. the pickup truck without the tire is gone, which makes me happy. i pull into my spot and get ready for bed. cars pull in and out around me. a couple pulls up next to me and they get out and walk their dog. they're still there when i fall asleep.

snow falls. people come and go. there's a friendly anonymity, a camaraderie of darkness.

in the morning the lot still has cars in it. the overnight car has been pulled out, driven somewhere, and has returned. there's a minivan parked near me, and it clearly has somebody sleeping in it.

it's dark and still going to be dark for a while as i make my way to the mcdonalds, which opens at five. i use the bathroom, change my clothes, and i buy breakfast. i sit at a table in the quiet with my computer and a cup of coffee, comfortable and happy.

the workers are friendly and polite to each other and to the customers. most of the other people who file in are regulars. they are greeted by name.

after a while it is almost sunrise. i pack up and get on my way.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

shaka, brah.

so i was on the road last monday afternoon and i went by a young man all loose and gangly in the way only fifteen year old boys can be, and he was ambling along in his green t-shirt, with his droopy jeans and untied sneakers, sort walking backward the way you do when you're looking at traffic on the road.

hitchhikers do this a lot.

he wasn't hitching, though.

he looked at me and raised an arm in shaka brah.

i returned the sign.

beautiful moment, that.

Friday, November 28, 2014

niquette bay state park: management

i don't know who the ranger at niquette bay state park is; it is one of the state parks with a residential ranger station. the regional manager is rob peterson, but chances are the ranger is someone with less seniority.

but there are some things being done right here.

aside from the place being clean and well-maintained, someone (probably the ranger) has put some thought into it.

for instance, the outhouse down by the beach. anyone who is a frequent user of outhouses knows that people are slobs. and that land managers and park rangers are always trying to get people not to throw their trash in outhouses because it's a real son-of-a-bear to get out. everywhere you go, you see signs asking you not to throw your trash in the outhouse, but people throw their trash in there anyway, even if there's a trash can RIGHT NEXT TO IT.

because people are slobs.

so this ranger, putting on his thinking cap, has thoughtfully provided a little trash receptacle IN THE OUTHOUSE so that if people can't be bothered to take care of their own trash, at least nobody has to fish that trash out of the pit.

it's annoying to have to haul other people's trash, but it's annoying and disgusting to have to haul other people's latrine soaked trash.

glass isn't allowed on the beach, because glass breaks. but even if people aren't slobs (see above) and don't bring in glass and don't break glass, beaches on large bodies of water tend to get glass washed up anyway.

and people who are not slobs (yes, we exist) might pick up the broken glass when we see it, but many of us are not prepared to carry the broken glass out.

because broken glass.

so the ranger has thoughtfully provided a little receptacle into which people might put the broken glass they find. mostly people are using it for that purpose and not as a regular trash can. mostly.

still, it's a good idea.

and then we get to the thing about the dogs.

niquette bay state park used to have a large area in which dogs were allowed off leash, but they had to disallow it due to the large number of boneheads showing up with aggressive untrained dogs.

this is not my rant about people who can't be bothered to train their dogs, though.

this is my post about what's right in park management.

instead of just putting up new signs saying dogs aren't allowed off-leash, the ranger posted the letter from the regional manager explaining WHY.

that's a very good first step.

the ranger also goes on to post that dogs are still allowed to swim at the cove and THEN GIVES DIRECTIONS TO GET THERE.

so good job, mr. ranger.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

niquette bay state park: it's pretty here

earlier this month i visited niquette bay state park and i wanted to tell you about my visit.

i'm breaking it up into two posts, because part of it is just about the park, and part of it is about park management.

it's one of your lesser-known state parks, sitting kind of in the shadow and kind of on the way to some of the more famous ones, but it is lovely all the same.

it's got a nice trail network up and around some interesting ledges and cliffs, it has some nice beachfront, and some impressive views.

it used to have a lot of off-leash area (which i'll talk about later) but your dog cans still go swimming down at the cove beach, which is worth seeing even if you don't have a dog.

trail map

sand castle


island view

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

severance culverts

often when i pass through culverts, i like to play with their acoustic properties.

these are the culverts just off the parking lot on the trailhead of severance mountain.

Monday, November 24, 2014

72 miles to albany

in downtown bolton landing ny (which is nothing like bolton landing vt), there is a stone marker reading "72 mi. to albany". it's kind of a crude hand carved affair, and according to the historical society of the town of bolton, it was set in 1802:

"Stone markers like the one below were set one mile apart from Albany to Canada to mark the "Great Road". This original marker, set by Bolton's Roger Edgecomb, is still in its original location."


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