Wednesday, January 31, 2018


i'm not telling you where this happened, just that it did.

i was driving along thinking to myself that i might get a sandwich or something and i realized that i had somehow left my wallet at home.

and then about a half hour later i was coming into a town and i saw the speed limit 30 sign but i was turning left ad it surprised me a little to have that police car alla sudden pull out behind me.

so NOW i was thinking i had apparently missed a previous speed zone sign and that my wallet being at home in the front hall was suddenly going to be a liability, and not the kind of liability where you can't get a sandwich if you want one.

"good morning officer" i say, keeping my hands where she can see them.

she is young, like this might be her first job right out of college. she is teeny, maybe five feet tall. and there is not a speck of lint on her, not a hair out of place. she looks very businesslike, and yet kind.

she asks me if i am lost and at this point since i'm driving on google navigation i wonder if maybe she knows more about this road than i do and maybe i AM lost, so i say "i don't THINK i'm lost..." but clearly some doubt crosses my face.

she says "well, you slowed down and then sped up and then slowed down so i thought maybe you were lost. anyway, you were doing 40 in a 30."

and i said "really? i thought i hadn't got to the sign yet?" and she told me that i had missed a sign a little ways back and i'm like "oh, sorry"

and then she asks for my license and registration and i have to tell her that i had only a little while ago come to realize that i had left it in the pocket of my other coat at home.

and she said "well, this is awkward."

so she asked my full name and birthdate and stuff and she ran that with my plates and everything matched up with what information she had i guess and apparently she couldn't ticket me for speeding without also ticketing me for driving without my license and it was probably more of a headache than it was worth but also i got a sense that she felt the consequences for me were kind of disproportionate to 40 in a 30 so she let me go.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

nervous history

i told you that i was going to explain why else i was nervous on my trip, and it's related to historical events.

i used to do a lot of camping in the adirondacks on DEC sites, mostly ones where you can car camp. if you know where to find them, they're convenient and cheap, and sometimes in stunningly beautiful locations.

i listen to podcasts while i am falling asleep. i like radiolab.

one night i was listening to a podcast and way too late into the podcast i realized that it was an episode i should not listen to.

one of the things people ask me about when discussing the many, many weeks i spend camping all alone is if i am afraid.

no. usually i am not.

i also do not watch horror movies, or read ghost stories, and i like to be in camp before it's dark. i like to feel safe. for the most part, i explained to some people who really wanted to dwell on the possibility of predators out there, nobody abducts you in the wilderness. i mean, what are the chances? you get abducted somewhere populated and TAKEN to the wilderness, right?

so then i was listening to the buried bodies case episode, which takes an in depth look at the complex legal issues surrounding some terrible crimes.

only some of the crimes happen on campsites in the adirondacks. they don't say where specifically, but if you know the sites well, you all of a sudden may realize exactly where they're talking about and realize that you have camped on those sites.

that's what happened to me.

the crimes, most of them, were committed in 1973 and the killer is long dead, but it's hard to feel as carefree when you're passing the place where a body was buried.

i can't say it's the primary reason, but i hadn't been back to the adirondacks to camp since before i heard the story and in order to get to hurricane mountain i was going to have to pass through nearby mineville and you can't unknow the story.

it's an interesting story, and it has far reach into american jurisprudence and is taught in nearly every legal ethics course but yeah, i was nervous about camping near there.

not because it's reasonable, but because of that emotional resonance.

but saturday when i arrived there was sunshine and clean smelling woods and camp had friendly people in it and i found i could still camp there, even with that darker story hanging out in my head.

because ingress. (blue team, everybody!) i met the challenge because we needed that portal. i got the adirondacks back, although i'll probably avoid that one site on route 8 forever.

Monday, January 29, 2018

january down

you both know i like to have a project.

i decided recently that this year i would like to go camping in every month, and i was running out of january.

i had been going to just toss up my tarp somewhere in camel's hump state forest not too far from the parking, but my team (#ingressresistance) became aware of a problem portal, so i went there instead.

i was nervous about it, because hurricane mountain, or at least the trail to it and the campsite under it is pretty far out of cell reception so my usual safety protocols just weren't possible.

i worry a lot about safety protocols because i do most of my camping and adventuring alone and although most of the time you'll be just fine, you're an idiot if you don't pay extra attention to your safety gear and your safety plan.

in winter things can go sideways fast.

in winter i bring more gear, and redundant safety gear. if i plan to stay on a summit to farm keys, i bring extra clothes for the summit. if i'm going to take a long time on the down side or am camping, i bring a full change of dry clothes that are not the same as my summit clothes, because your summit clothes may be damp from sweat later when you need them to be dry.

i bring enough food to live on for an extra day, and enough firemaking supplies to be able to survive in case i am hurt and my safety team calls out a rescue but i have to wait a few hours or even overnight for it.

it can make the difference between a rescue and a recovery.

nobody likes a recovery.

there was another reason i was nervous about hurricane mountain, but that was a psychological nervousness based on history that i will tell you about later.

anyway, it was warm and pleasant for a hike.

i went up to the shelter and pitched camp at the already occupied gulf brook leanto. i like my solitude, but often when camping i like to have neighbors. the gentlemen at the leanto were welcoming and polite and offfered to share their beer.

they went on their hike; i went on mine. we all returned to camp at about the same time.

left alone i would have just eaten dinner and gone to bed, but they made a toasty fire.

it was the best night's sleep i'd had in a long time.

in the morning they had made too much delicious hot oatmeal and so gave me a hot breakfast. we all packed up and went home.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

the earth was doomed

"And when they knew the Earth was doomed, they built a ship. "

it's the opening line of a game called seedship, which is a little text based game that's all about terror and hope. you don't know why earth was doomed, only that it was.

these days it's not too hard to imagine that it will be.

gun violence is our normal. we keep shooting each other, and i'm pretty sure this is a problem. i am uncertain of what the solution to this is, but i'm willing to bet that it has complex components and that refusing to discuss it is not helping things. i'm lookin' at YOU, NRA.

i recommend this piece by chuck wendig.

racism is flourishing, but it always has been. it's really easy to condemn white supremacist marchers (unless, i guess, you're the president), but it's harder to be active against the everyday racism that black and brown people endure. we should be looking at each other, fellow white people.

net neutrality isn't entirely dead, but it's mostly dead and the rich are set up to colonize the internet. if you thought ready player one was more dystopian, you just really don't understand what's about to happen to us.

because at least in that book, the internet was freely accessible even to the poor.

surprisingly, burger king has taken it upon themselves to explain it.

i'm looking at YOU, congress. and i am looking at anybody who lives in a state where they keep electing hatwipes who vote against net neutrality. do you guys even check your delegation's voting record against their donor list?

are you depressed enough yet?

would you like a cookie?

here. here is a link for some amusingly named minifigs you can buy.

also, you should watch this video, even if you've seen it already.

put it on fullscreen and turn up the sound.

you're welcome.

Pow Surf 101 from Kurtis Jackson on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

no, that's not love.

it makes me sick that we think the world is upside down when a few high profile sexual predators are getting what they deserve instead of the support and complicity of pretty near everybody.

it's maybe a little more appalling that men especially are taking their hurt little feelings about it and whining "but how will we know how to act? do we have to treat all women like our sisters or mothers? how will we KNOWWWWWW?"

the reason i'm not concerned about men's feelings of worry is that the ones who are worried (#notallmen, asshats) are mostly worried because the thing that hurts their feelings is being called out on having not cared what women's feelings have been or even if we had feelings and they are very much afraid their dominion over us may be impinged. (#yesallwomen)

men worry they might have an uncomfortable conversation. women worry we will be killed. followed, stalked. our livelihoods put in jeopardy. we are SO sorry you guys worry we may not welcome your advances. we have bigger things to worry about.

if you consent to sex because it's the least dangerous way to get out of a situation, it's not consent.

i've never been an advocate of book burning, but i have on my shelf a couple of volumes by garrison keillor and let me tell you, i came close yesterday afternoon.

i'd stopped listening to prairie home companion* years ago because it stopped being endearing and funny and became more of a one joke marathon hosted by a cranky old guy for other cranky old guys.

and then a day or two ago i read a piece by pz myers about how the story of keillor's sudden and quiet firing by Minnesota Public Radio is now starting to come out in detail.

i was suddenly in the weird position of thinking what an upstanding guy mario batali is for his "yeah, that totally sounds like me, whoops sorry and here's a recipe for cinnamon rolls", which sounds downright PRINCELY next to garrison keillor's angry whine of betrayal -BETRAYAL!- over his innocent and accidental skin contact with one woman whom he THOUGHT was a friend until he heard from her lawyer.

i used to think it was cute and funny when he said "i believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it", but now it seems more creepy. i used to think it was sweet when he kept returning to the theme of flawed people who behave badly because they love. he keeps returning in his monologues and books to the idea that his protagonist feels love. it's love that makes him behave badly.

it seems less and less sweet as i start looking closer.

remember all those years we thought he was laughing WITH the unitarians?

not so much. he's not so kind to jews or gays and while we're at it, keith ellison is too black and too muslim.

after wading through that much filth, maybe i just need to have some cinnamon rolls and watch a video.

*praire home, under its new host, chris thile, is lovely.

Friday, January 26, 2018

internet advertising

i get that a lot of the internet works on the money that advertisers pay to get relevant ads to my eyeballs.

the internet is not good at allocating that advertising money effectively.

for example, last week i bought a refrigerator. i did a lot of internet searching for one day and then bought a refrigerator. i am no longer looking to buy a refrigerator. i have one. it will be a long time until i buy another.

but the internet is all "AHA! flask is deeply interested in refrigerators. let's show flask a lot of refrigerator ads, because that will surely pay off."

similarly, i was shown a lot of ads for camping gear i had already acquired.

hey, internet! by the time you show me ads for a thing, i have probably already bought the thing and your ad money is wasted.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


ok, so i watch a lot of little animated shorts, because i like them.

i fall right down the youtube or vimeo rabbithole.

so there's this:

the unusual thing about it is that the animator worked with the violinist. yes, many animated shorts have a composed soundtrack, and yes, many little movies have a classical music soundtrack.

this one, however, is a collaboration between a currently active classical artist and the animators, which makes it interesting as well as charming.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

things to consider

have a look at this interactive infographic on the demographics of others. i don't feel i need to draw any conclusions for you; it's just worth seeing.

if you live near the marcellus shale, here's a thing to worry about. you're welcome.

maybe you need to know how to hang a bear bag for when you go camping. i do.

here is a deeply worrying documentary.

Harvest from Indevu Films on Vimeo.

yeah, DOCUMENTARY.  i looked into ReCon, but i hit a dealbreaker in the terms of the research project. but you might want to look at it and consider it.

and yeah, your car spies on you, too. you agree to it in the purchsse contract. what are you going to do? not buy a car? you're trapped. big data OWNS you, and you know you can't count on your government to keep you safe.

ok, enough.

here's your cookie.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

seen on snow

recently i was out making things blue (#ingressresistance) and i saw some things in the snow.

you know how we all know jokes about peeing in the snow? i've heard jokes about guys writing things, but i'd never seen it until i was up on mount elmore and i saw this:

i don't know what the guy was trying to spell, but he got as far as PIL before he ran out of fluid.

a few day before that, back on flat ground, i saw an interesting collection of critter tracks. from the look of it a small canid, either a small rabbit or a large squirrel, and some little rodent with teeny tiny feet. so cute.

here are some of those tracks with a car key for scale:

and i do not know what made this print, but it's pretty:

you know, when i first saw it, i thought it might have been a human made print sorta like a snow angel, but now that i think of it,  this is almost certainly DEATH FROM ABOVE- a strike on some little critter by a hawk or owl or something.


Monday, January 22, 2018

how does the government work?

no, this is not a rant on the current dysfunction of the government.

my scout troop is working on the inside government badge and i spent my morning putting together a list of youtube links with various degrees of goodness that explain (at least on the surface) the three branches of government, the constitution, and the bill of rights.

because it took me most of the morning to review and organize all that, you're getting the list instead of pictures of adventures or a long ramble about my thermos.

i'm just a bill (schoolhouse rock)

less good, but classics anyway:

the preamble (schoolhouse rock)
three branches of government (schoolhouse rock)

here's pretty good one that explains what the constitution is and what it does.

constitution rap (smart songs)

and here are a couple of takes on the three branches of government:

branches of government (songs of higher learning)
three branches superheroes (griot b)
three branches of government explained (hip hughes)

not catchy at all, but a good explainer on the bill of rights: 

a three minute guide to the bill of rights (belinda stutzman)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

it's a long slide

yesterday i did not write to you because instead i spent the day marching up camel's hump because it needed to be made blue. i went yesterday because it was warm (37 degrees down in the parking) but even on a warm day it's COLD up at the summit in the wind, so key farming is less pleasant than it could be.

in a lot of places in my life my walrussy physique is not a benefit, but in cold weather it's really handy as an insulation layer.

and REALLY handy for what came next, which is that i got on my sled and rode it down.

no, you can't ride a sled all the way down camel's hump because that would just be stupid but you can ride a lot of the way.

your butt gets really, really cold.

no, i did not take pictures.


another thing i did not take pictures of is the bruise around my asshole. no, i'm not talking about that one guy on the other team.

i ran over a root at full speed when i was sliding on my butt (you do that partway because it's too steep for the sled) and let's just say attempted high speed penetration by the local flora is painful.

the first thing i thought was "wow. that's going to leave a mark."

it was STILL an awesome sled ride.

Friday, January 19, 2018

is your refrigerator running?

mine isn't.

lucky thing for me it's winter and i can just put everything in coolers on the porch.

why cooolers? to insulate everything from freezing, duh.

instead of writing about things and showing you pictures, here are some videos i have enjoyed this past week.

and yay! closed tabs.

here's an arty little number about the textures of new york.

NYC Textures from Ynon Lan on Vimeo.

a little informational vidow about the color blue in nature, which is often structural and not pigmented:

if you like little explainers about letters that used to exist in the english alphabet but don't anymore, you will love this:

here's a sweet little animated short about a puppy:

file this one under educational AND strange:

and this. hooray for old guys!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

up mount elmore

strategically mount elmore is not a big target in the game (#ingressresistance we're the BLUE team!), but it makes a nice anchor in a core area around which i like to play, plus it's a nice walk with a good payout. it's not too hard, not too dangerous in winter, and feels like an achievement, plus you can sled down if a lot of it.

tuesday i marched up it because monday it had been taken, but i had some trail intelligence that post thaw that last tenth of a mile may or may not have been hairy, so i decided to go up by way of the ridgeline trail, which is a mile longer each way, but presents less in the way of ledges you could fall down.

it took me longer than i expected, because snow conditions and also i wanted to make sure as i went up that i cleared all the steps and ladders to make a safe descent for myself and anybody coming after.

also i think i was just slower because i'm either in the middle of or just coming out of a flare-up.

it's hard to tell. a lot of days i have as much pain as i used to before i started taking antimalarials, but i do more stuff before i get to that layer of pain.

anyway, the temperature was challenging in that when it's REALLY cold out you just bundle up and keep moving, but when it's moderately cold out you have to dress for not sweating too much if you're going to stop at the summit for any length of time because then you will freeze.

and when i got to the summit, i was under a green field that hadn't been there in the morning when i left the house, so not as big of a triumph as i'd been hoping, but then because that guy robbed the bank, one of my teammates got called into work early and was available to clean that up for me instead of at home sleeping.

i thought "that's ok. i'll just hang out up here and have a nice hot drink of tea."

and then i opened my bottle to find my tea STILL TOO HOT TO DRINK.


anyway, by the time i got down to my car it was well dark, so that was an adventure.

but it was seriously cool waiting at the top of that mountain for the field to come down.

and now we have a link from elmore to spruce, which we had not had the opportunity to do in some time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

local news

yesterday i blew you off because it was my day to walk up a mountain. i did not walk up the mountain i originally planned to walk up, but sometimes the green bastids take back some mountains and it's more fun for me if i take them back next day.

later on i will tell you about that adventure, but it happens kind of in context of some local news that happened while was blithely on my way up a mountain.

on my way home afterward, i heard that a guy had robbed the montpelier branch of the Vermont State Employees Credit Union (which is a credit union any vermont citizen can use) (but not rob. that part bears noting), which is across the street from montpelier high school, the lawn of which being as far as the guy got before he was apprehended and later shot.

i maybe would be more saddened about this loss of life, but the guy had a long string of convictions including one for BANK ROBBERY so clearly he was not a good fit with the rest of society. i'm not saying he necessarily deserved death, but when you're waving a gun around on the lawn of a high school after having robbed a bank you're about as much asking for it as you can get.

in other news, the state of vermont is about to offer a nonbinary option to people for their driver's licenses. i was reading that linked article there to learn about the proposal because the story gets weird after that and i noticed that one of the very sane explanations about why such an option is needed comes from the interim executive director of the pride center of vermont, a man named Rex Butt.

the cheap joke center of my brain is going into overdrive. that doesn't even sound like a real name; it sounds like a pornstar name.

anyway, for some reason the editor of the burlington free press (which used to be a moderately respected local paper) decided to have some personal opinions on gender nonconforming on teh twitterz and when called out on it he doubled down. monday night he was fired.

now i have to go to the hardware store.

Monday, January 15, 2018

random stuff

hey, hi.

here's some stuff i've been keeping on my desktop because it may be interesting to you.

of course, we're all following the story in which the president calls various nations of the world "shithole countries", but you may not be following the reaction by linguists.

the world is a risky place. maybe you like to live dangerously. or maybe, like me, you have menu fatigue and are paralyzed by choice. either way, maybe you want to play pizza roulette with your local domino's.

if you have randomly ordered your pizza, perhaps you would like to allow a neural network to say grace. "and he brought forth his praise to pants"

in local news, recently i was in the town of plainfield, vermont (#ingressRESISTANCE) and i saw an official looking sign on a post in the middle of downtown. it said


and i thought that was weird, so i went around the block to have another look and there was also another handmade sign that said


and below it was a small toy stove. do NOT ask me how i missed that the first time, and i thought i might get out of my car and take a picture to show you, but it was well below zero and i was just warming up from my hike up spruce mountain and didn't feel like it.

you're in luck, though, because i thought "there HAS to be a story behind that" and it turns out there is a story and it has been duly reported on in the news AND there are pictures.

i love local news.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

nation building

my scout troop is working on a merit badge about government.

one of the requirements involves solving government problems in an imaginary scenario and as i was thinking about what activities to offer the girls, i realized that the requirement would be satisfied easily by playing nationstates.

and why reinvent the wheel?

nationstates even has an educational setting that will insulate your class group from the other players and do other things that make it suitable for group study with children but it turns out you need to be a legit school to get that kind of region set up for you on account of there are people out there who will call themselves schools just to gain political advantage.

ok, not how i was hoping that would turn out, but the nationstates moderator who splained it to me was very knowledgeable and nice.

so yesterday i went on a research bender looking for online government simulation games.

i found republic of you, which seems to be little more than a thinly disguised argument for democratic socialism, which i'm not against, but it has only fourteen issues to solve and there aren't really any consequences for your decisions. if you solve your poverty problem by simply giving everyone living wage ( a thing i support by the way) the only consequence you get is an angry text from a corporate CEO, which in no way illustrates how anything works. it will, however, tell you what percentage of other players thing that's awesome too, and that's kind of a no-brainer, because people who are interested in playing oxfam games have self-selected to look at things that way.

there's filteries, a wonky little simulator that more or less shows you alignments and costs. it has a pretty graphic, but exciting it isn't. fun for me to play with, but probably a snoozefest for kids.

cybernations is text rich and slow playing (nation simulators all tend to be slow) it's low on social policy content and high on resource management and empire building. it has the option to let you play it in peace mode, which lets you concentrate on building an economy rather than defending yourself from the other countries.

nations has a pretty graphic interface that i am finding difficult to learn but easy to use once you figure it out. it's less about policy than it is about resource management, and its quest chain requires you to use combat to succeed. i STILL can't figure out how to get more cows. i like that it has sports teams, but i REALLY don't like that all the terrorist groups have vaguely islamic sounding names. there's also no pacifist mode; if some other country wants to have a war with you, i don't think you have any protection from it, which is pretty realistic, i guess.

ars regendi seems to be the most realistic of the lot. you can really get into the weeds here with budgeting and policy and it has the interesting feature of assuming that your country WILL eventually fail. the trick is to make is as good as possible for as long as possible. it has the added benefit of letting you play two countries at once in the free version. it is also slow. there are a limited number of actions you can take per game day.

that's my list.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

mount hunger by the waterbury trail

last week i went up mount hunger because ingress portal. (join the BLUE team, everybody! we're the RESISTANCE!)

i have been up mount hunger, but never by the waterbury trail, which is uh, steep. i was not at all sure i could actually succeed in getting to the summit, but no knowledge about that is gained by sitting at home, so i packed up my gear and marched up it figuring that i would either succeed or i would know it is not possible for me to do in winter conditions.

i'm a level 16. i don't need AP. nothing is lost by trying.

anyway, it was about 30 degrees at the trailhead, which means colder farther up the mountain, but the trail mostly goes up in a crease between two mountains and is out of the wind. most of the way up i went bare-booted. i would have preferred spikes for traction, but the snow was soft and clumpy underfoot and that was more trouble than it was worth.

snowshoes may have been a good option, but unless i really need them i do without because the wider stance required is hard on my hips and back.

about two thirds of the way up i changed over to ten point crampons, which was awesome because all the way so far i'd had to kick in a lot of my steps and that really wears on your feet and knees.

near the top it becomes VERY steep, and although it's steeper on average than the firetower trail on mount elmore, it's less frightening because the stakes for a missed step are lower.

i don't know if either of you does a lot of winter hiking, but if the trail is wide and the footing is good you can just creep up things surprisingly close to vertical and as long as there's a periodic soft landing you can aim for if you miss, it feels pretty safe.

sometimes you might only have a little ledge to get over, but you're painfully aware that if you miss that one step, it will be a long way down before you stop falling.

so. up the trail. i passed out of mixed forest and into boreal forest, and then up to the treeline. the worcester range has pretty spectacular views, but up near the summit in a twenty mile an hour wind you don't really stop to admire it.

in fact, i could reach the portal from just below the summit, so i found a place in range where i was sheltered from the full wind, but it was still frostbite zone. not so bad with my back to the wind, but i did turn into the wind for a few seconds to take a picture of the view. you will excuse me i hope for not taking the time to frame a really good shot.

here's a picture of the trail on the way down. the image does not do justice to the steepness of it, but you do get to see the pretty mountain ash berries in their snowy hats.

Friday, January 12, 2018


you know how it goes: a local scout troop calls you up to ask if you can help them with a merit badge that happens to fall in an area of your interest.

you go camping with them to finish up that activity and while all the adults are sitting around a fire, the leader talks about the challenges of the upcoming year and warmly includes you with some well placed "we" pronouns and next thing you know, you're a scout leader.

then the girls are looking for a service project that has to do with animal conservation and you've been thinking about whether the loon conservation project doesn't appear to be active at the place where you camp because they don't have an interest or because they don't have the manpower and you call them up to see what the deal is and whether there's an opportunity for your scouts to do a service project with loon conservation and the next thing you know, you are a loon conservation volunteer.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

bottle sling knot

i have a thermos i really like, but it has no handle, which makes it hard to just grab along with my handled things for transport.

but of course there is a knot to solve that problem.

it is ABOK #1142, the bottle sling knot!

i went ahead and tied an overhand knot in the free ends of mine to keep it in place without loading all four strands.

here's a method for tying it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

not the brightest in the box

i came home from a little drive today and i accidentally left my thermos in the car. my feet hurt from yesterday, so it took me a few minutes to decide whether or not to go back and get it.

and i decided i wanted my thermos, so i trudged back there.

and i had been thinking about how pinpad coded can get cracked because it's easy to see what numbers people use so i entered a random bunch of numbers just because.

and then when i entered my code, IT WOULD NOT OPEN.

nothing seemed to work.

i was out there a long time.

and then my neighbor came out and asked if i was at the right garage.

and then she asked if i needed her to drive me somewhere.

i feel so stupid.

of course MY garage opened right up.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

the birthday doodle

i had a birthday last month, which means that when i opened up teh googles to look something up, i got the birthday doodle.

it has a cute little animation and stuff but i couldn't remember telling google my birthday, so it felt weird.

then again, i use a variety of google products and i cannot imagine it's all that hard for the internet to find out when my birthday is.

and speaking of personal identifiers, have either of you used paypal recently? they're now asking you if you want to provide them with YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!

yanno, just in case you want to provide one stop shopping for identity thieves.

then again, paypal is probably more secure than, say, your doctor or your bank.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

flask film festival, january 2018 edition

this year i got rid of dish, which saves me about 1200 dollars a year. i got sick of those sumguns showing me ads for how MUCH I COULD SAVE as a new customer and asking them if they could give me maybe the same price they give to new customers, which they were only prepared to do when i said "yanno, i think i can do ok without dish entirely. i have now made other arrangements."

basically i was paying a hundred dollars a month for the privilege of watching a lot of law & order reruns and i am actually happier watching youtube.

tangentially related, for some reason this year's fist night burlington program sis not include my favorite thing, the animated film festival.

so we're on our own.

i have assembled a collection of videos for you to watch or not as it amuses you.

the one thing i know for sure is that i really need to close some tabs.



 a camping vid, because i can watch hours and hours of people setting up tarps and making fires.

ok, if you're done falling down that video hole, let's talk about art:

and dance:

and maybe the intersection of the two, william forsythe's choreographic objects:

nowhere and everywhere at the same time no. 2 which gets a link instead of an embed because of some explanatory text, and this thing, which sort of screams the question HOW EVEN?

for some it might bring to mind the question "why?" but i did the reading ahead of time.

ok now, let's skip to true life horror, and i am giving you a link instead of an embed because accompanying text.

ok, ready to lighten up?

here's why you should:

still with me? good. here are your cookies.

Friday, January 05, 2018

can i get my inbox lifeproofed?

i have a lifeproof nuud case on my phone. i love this case. it's very shock resistant, and waterproof.

i almost recommend you buy one. if you can get it off amazon or something by all means go for it.

but if you buy it from lifeproof themselves, you are agreeing to receive several emails a day offering you more deals on lifeproof cases.

seriously, how many cases do they think i need for my phone? if the idea is a durable phone case, why do i need a new promotion every day?


Thursday, January 04, 2018

whitewater paddling

today i marched up the pinnacle meadow trail at stowe pinnacle as far as the trail junction, which is about a half mile.

that in itself is barely worth noticing.

what was AWSOME about it is that you can sled down a little more than half of that, and i discovered that you can hold your poles sideways like a kayak paddle, which gives you steering and speed control.

i am totally going to do it that way from now on.

i'm sorry, but there are no pictures.

maybe next time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018


today i hit the last of my big ingress playing goals for my rookie year.

today, at the summit of mount elmore, in white snow and blue sky, i made the hack that gave me my black sojourner badge.


my first year isn't over yet, but i have a black sojourner and i'm a level 16.

i was worried today that i would feel sad and lonely making the trip up there for the second time in as many days, so i brought along podcasts to listen to, but it wasn't necessary. the time passed quickly and easily, and every time i do it, it gets easier.

there were a couple of inches of freshies on top on a good hardpacked trail, and while it was squeaky loud snow yesterday because it was seventeen below zero, today it was thirty degrees warmer (still cold) but the new snow absorbed all the sound and it was bright and lovely and silent.

and the trip down was made in record time since this time i remembered to bring my sled.

Monday, January 01, 2018

happy new year

this is me on church street in full regalia.

may the new year be kinder to all of us.


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