Monday, April 17, 2017


here's a story from a long time ago.

i was working as a housemother at a boarding school. not important which.

and it occurred to me to wonder how easy it was for the students to look into my bedroom window, so i went out on the fire escape ostensibly to clean the windows on the outside.

later that day one of the students came to offer me a homemade cleaning solution along with the subtle message: we know you were spying on us.

oh, how wrong he had been, but what could i say?  "i was only checking to see how easy it is to spy on me"? because THAT would totally not have sent up any flags.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

burtonsville rig and a star fire

at thanksgiving camp i have to keep a fire going most of the day.

in summer i will often not make a fire at all and only then for cooking, but in winter this becomes a matter of safety as well as comfort. with a fire going all day, you can warm up in a hurry if you get a chill, and you always have fire to make hot food, hot water for washing,  and if you have a pot hanger, you can keep tea water just below boiling all day.

with an adjustable pot hanger, you can just drop the pot down a notch and get your water right hot on the quick.

plus you know i love to have a project.

there's a lot of advice around the interwebs on how to make various cooking contraptions and you can really fall down a rabbit hole on that one, but i like this guy.

mine wasn't as elegant as some of his, but it is serviceable and a good beginner effort.

and oh, man! having hot water all the time makes such a difference at a cold weather camp!

this camp was also the first time i used a star fire configuration. it's not tidy and can't be used in a busy camp or one with kids but it saves you a lot of time cutting wood and you can control the heat and the rate of burn very well by pulling the spokes in or out. you can move the shorter spokes to the areas with more traffic and leave the longer spokes away from you until they shorten up.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

thanksgiving camp

i'm just going to call this thanksgiving camp no matter when i camp there from now on, i guess.

anyway, if we can go back to thanksgiving in the story, i was staying on remote site #3 on the res, which is extremely handy for camping at thanksgiving because it an be reached by foot if you know where to park and pick up the unmarked trail.

it takes about the same amount of time to walk in from the road as it does to paddle across and it has the added bonus of you con't need to put in a boat.

of course, you can't carry so much gear on your back, but it makes a nice alternate approach for visitors to camp.

here are two pictures of thanksgiving camp from the water approach. don't be fooled by appearances; the one with snow is some days earlier than the one without.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

the pi day storm of 2017

well, it snowed here. the forecasters told us to expect 4-8 inches, but by the time it was finished we had over three feet.

it was two months too late if you ask me, but gave our ski mountains a needed late season boost anyway.

here's a picture out my front window about halfway through the storm:

awesome, right?


Saturday, February 18, 2017

my fake boyfriend

so i told mb i was going to get a boyfriend for valentine's day.

to her credit, she thought this was very funny.

well, i needed someone to smooch for valentine's day and i told all my friends i wasn't fussy about gender. step up, boys and girls! i said.

and this guy whom i had never met stepped up to be my fake boyfriend and there was a lot of farting around getting him a ride and i ended up picking him up from someone who had given him a ride halfway at six freakin'-thirty in the morning out in the nowheres.

WHY?  you are probably asking.

and you would be right to ask.

so, so a half day lift ticket at mad river glen is $49 and you have to start at noon, which is not so good for me because with my knees i need as much groomed terrain as i can get. but on valentine's day your full day lift ticket is $14.

IF - and that's a big if- you bring along someone to smooch in the ticket booth. no kiss, no discounted lift ticket.

so i brought along this guy, my fake boyfriend.

and he was very sweet and showed up with a little gift bag with candy and a rose, which i thought was very sweet.

and we had to kiss three times, because the first time we forgot to have the ticket man take a picture and the second time the picture didn't come out, but the third time was all good.

here is the famous mad river single chair:

and here is the view from stark's nest at the top:

i had never skied mad river, so i feel i have now completed a rite of passage.

here's a video about the preservation of the single chair.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017


ok, so last year i was all like "let's not do anything for valentines day" and then i was all of a sudden and by surprise SAD that i didn't have anything for valentines day and mb was a good sport about it and arranged to have me receive a box of chocolates made locally.

crisis averted.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

what's in the box?

here's a thing i threatened to tell you about when it happened, which was about two years ago.

i got a package in the mail with some little gifty things but the most awesome thing was this little box, made by my little friend flurgh.

it is decorated with imagery from out still beloved and much missed game glitch, and it contains a little hat of the style flurgh used to wear in the game.

Friday, February 10, 2017

hey, look. it's me.

i haven't forgotten you guys.

it's just that playing ingress has seriously disrupted my daily routine and now sometimes i leave the house to go play before 0400, which used to be my best blogging hours and then when i get home i'm kind of cold and tired so i do only things that allow me to lie on the sofa.

yeah, i know, it's sort of a lame set of excuses, but here's a pretty picture i took for you while i was out playing.

this is the williston overlook.

it's also my first pano with my new phone.

used to be i had to stitch together panoramic shots the old fashioned way but now phones just DO that.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

ice motorcycles

here is a thing i saw last week while i was out at lake iroquois.

they guy on the four wheeler plows the track.

Monday, January 16, 2017

gotta catch some of 'em

ok, so since i started taking the medication i have a lot more energy and a lot more stamina, but still not enough to do big things the way i used to.

and maybe you're saying but flask, don't you do a lot of active outdoor stuff?

well, yes and no.

i had gotten to the point where setting up camp was as active as i could get, and you can set up camp kinda slow, and also i haul my gear by boat, so not a big energy drain if you don't mind taking all day to do it. and yes, i did do some mountain biking and hiking last season, but after most of those outings i required so many days of recovery that i maybe lost ground each time.

and then after i got the smartphone i thought hey. pokemon go is probably a nice way to go out and walk up and down some nice flat streets for a while and build my stamina.

it is, too. i sort of got into it and did some nice walking. i am also still cleaning up things in my house.

but then while i was looking for ways to see more of the pokemon go world on a map and maybe plans some trips, i discovered INGRESS. it is the game pokemon go was built on. that, my friends, is a whole nother game. it is darker, more strategic, and your game actions have effects on the game everywhere else in the world.

it is fun and engaging and i am meeting people (online, at least, because players can be a secretive lot) and i'm getting more exercise.

what i'm NOT doing is as much laundry or dishes. or blog posting.

i will be writing more about this game later, i'm sure.

meantime, if you start playing, i'm going to ask you as a friend to choose resistance.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

digital cats

for some reason i decided to play neko atsume. go ahead and google it yourself.

it's awesome if you like to feed digital cats on your phone.

or buy digital cat toys.

so yeah, i play it obsessively.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

shorten a song (NSFW)

chestnuuuuuts roasting on an open fire...
jack froooost nipping at your nooooooose...

...because we're CAMPING, motherfuckers.

yeah, camping.

and when i go late fall camping, i like to bring chestnuts, because they really are good roasted on an open fire, plus you can hold them in your hands to warm you up.

no, i don't have pictures. it was cold out.

but i kept singing that.

i kept thinking it was funny.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

a season of hammock testing

i told y'all i'd get you pics of the rigorous testing of my woven hammock.


Monday, January 09, 2017

vtiff at first night 2017

every year at first night the VT international Film Foundation screens a set of animated short films. they are like my favorite thing to go to.

many of them are available on the interwebs, so i have found the ones from this year and put them together for you, more or less in the order of how well i liked them.

a couple of them are not available (apparently) but are worth knowing about, so i've given you what links i can.

it's worth your time to watch them on vimeo or youtube, where you can see better than if i make little embed windows, so hold onto your hats because here come some LINKS.

Cravings is mildly cute, and nutritionally themed. while the vimeo version is labeled as the trailer, it appears to be the whole thing, or at least it's what they showed at first night.

Kahānikār is both cute and sad, a story about a little girl living with a grandfather who has dementia, and the telling of stories. only the trailer is available.

The Bubbleologist is a live-action mini documentary about a man who loves bubbles and holds bubble-making world records. i had seen it before, but did not mind seeing it again. if you haven't seen it already, you can see it now.

if you like tapirs (and who doesn't?), you should not miss this animated documentary, Pinchaque. plus it's fun to say "pinchaque".

Little Matryoshka is a charming little film about -what else?- a set of little matryoshka and some other wooden toys. it has a very satisfying soundtrack.

i was completely unable to find an online version, even a trailer, of the delightful little film Pautinka, which is a tale of friendship between an old woman and a spider. the animations of the spider are particularly amusing.

so now we're getting to the ones i especially liked.

A Girl Named Elastika is worth watching just for the animation, which is stop action with OFFICE SUPPLIES. watch all the way to the credits, because the "outtakes" are worth as much as the rest of the movie.

then we have two dog tales, The Present and My Happy End. both awesome.

and if you only decide to watch one, make it Chinti. the animation is stop action made of TEA LEAVES. and because i'm sure you want to know, "chinti" is hindi for "ant". you're welcome.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

no hurry to leave paradise

so i was leaving paradise.

and while i left, i started making a song. it goes like this:

and here's the sheet music.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

librarian lottery, game 2

in case you only just walked in, i'll tell you how the game is played. when i was getting ready to move to site 13 i went to the library and asked the librarians to play a round.

i went with three books: one i had gotten on purpose, because MB was reading it, and also because i like birds and sciencey things.

i enjoyed this one very much, but it was a bit of a slow read for me because while written accessibly, there's a lot of information in there and i had to keep putting it down to let my brain catch up.

and if the idea of research on live animals bothers you, maybe you want to stay away from this one, because it does talk about live research.

the more we understand the intelligence of other species, though, i think the more likely we are to  appreciate them and maybe care more about their habitats.

enter librarian lottery book 1:

this was a lovely and gentle romance, understated and funny.

also, refreshing treatment of contemporary racism.


this here is pride and prejudice told from the perspective of the household staff. or rather, it's the story of the household staff while pride and prejudice takes place in the background, largely unnoticed.

it works as a stand-alone novel, but for full enjoyment you should at least have a passing familiarity with pride and prejudice.

and then, if you are like me and somehow made it into adulthood never having read that, you may wish to pick it up.

i did.


Friday, January 06, 2017


last year my brother in law got me a windmill generator. it's supposed to be a kids' project, but it's a cool little project and it should be fun to play with.

my work table was still pretty cluttered with bits of other projects, but i managed to clear off enough space to work.

it's got good directions and doesn't need much in the way of tools.

here it is assembled.

so i took it for a spin!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

christmas at my moms'

here are my festively wrapped gifts all packed and ready to go. if you look carefully, you will notice that they are not just wrapped in black, but hand decorated IN black. it's kind of a family tradition.

and here are the fabulous presents under the tree. yes, we call them "fabulous presents". it's also a family tradition.

here are my moms in their new matching shirts.

one of these things is not like the others.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017


while i was staying on site 7,  i broke down and old fireplace that the ranger wanted gone and i built a classical 3x3 labyrinth on the flat surface on that part of the site.

this is the design:

it's smallish as labyrinths go, but given the width of the path for walking, it was all that would fit into the space. i used a compass to align it to the cardinal directions, with the entrance / exit opening to true north.

here's what it looks like laid out in stones on the ground:

and this is the center:

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

life skills

a long time ago i used to be a classroom music teacher. and one day every year we had a lesson on HOW TO TIE A TIE.

i taught them how to tie a tie on themselves and on someone else.

i did this because i had a sixth grade language arts teacher who did the same for us.

and when we asked "mrs. ferguson, why do we have to learn this?", she told us that it was an important life skill. even for girls. because, she explained, most of us girls would one day have brothers or boyfriends or husbands or sons or cousins who would not know how to tie a tie because nobody had taught them and we were going to have to do it for them or teach them how.

she was right, you know.

Monday, January 02, 2017

lights for the new year

here's my hat, ready to go out.

and here's my scarf against the floor at Burlington City Arts. they have a really cool interactive light up floor.

and my stepmother gave me an awesome pair of light up gloves.

and here's three of us wearing our gloves at the top of church street.

Sunday, January 01, 2017


here is an awesome thing my stepmother gave me. i had no idea such a thing even existed.

it's a tshirt in a handsome color and the GRAPHIC!!

so i was all like "whut? how? where did you EVEN?"

and it turns out there's a store in waterbury center called VT 100 that sells all things related to vermont route 100.

how awesome is that?


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