Archive for June, 2008


Stowe Pinnacle, Seventh Horizon Design Company, and Slugs

June 29, 2008

See the Pinnacle on yonder horizon? (the road almost points to it).

I did a bit of business for Seventh Horizon Design Complany in Waterbury/Stowe areas yesterday, and managed a climb up to the first real viewpoint on the Pinnacle trail, before the rain and wind became too problematic. I was drenched, but the real concern was how slippery everything becomes on the way down.

The woods looked less well than I have ever seen. Each year seems to bring further deterioration. One possible explanation for this particular area is that it is a forest in transition from the pioneer species such as paper birch, aspen, pine, to the more mature beech, yellow birch, maple. Since most of VT was at one time agricultural, it’s likely that most forested areas now are evolving toward the eventual stable mature forest types. The other thing is that we have had recent higher winds and more ice storms that tend to bring down more trees than one would normally expect to find. In any case, there were loads of downers, and loads of trees with various afflictions. Maples, Beeches, Pines, others? lots of blighted looking trees. I saw one orange newt and one fast moving toad. Seems like we used to see many more of these sorts of things on a typical hike in days of old.

The Pinnacle trail has become much more of a highway in recent years too– wider, more erosion and tree root exposure all the way up. Trail maintenance is fresh though, with newly laid timbers on the first 1/4 mile which is sort of wetland area. Given the wet wet weather we’ve been having, it was a real good idea.

The boardwalk was covered with slugs! mainly the orange ones. I had a discussion with a gardening neighbor last evening who thinks that those orange ones are just a more mature form of the grey ones, maybe back from last year. In the garden, there are many many babies, which seem to be the grey type, but few of the larger orange guys. Previous years, I have had many more of the larger orange type, but also the larger more greyish ones. And snails. not so many snails this year, since I removed the patch of perennial stuff from the NW corner. The horseraddish was the real culprit for snail fostering in previous years. Probably a bit of research would yield info on slug types and whether I have several varieties or just differences due to ages. In any case, I’m sure glad we don’t have slugs the size I saw out in BC a few years ago!


Brady Turns the Music Up

June 28, 2008

This is My nephew’s new boy.

Pretty funny, and, proof that coolness runs in the family… (smile).

Coolness is not running in my household however. Suddenly this summer I am full on into hot flashes, and I must say, it sucks. I don’t know why I don’t get that air conditioner going, except that it really isn’t THAT hot in here. It’s 72. and 72 outside. A bit on the muggy side, at 69%. It’s going in this weekend.

A woman I know went to a tropical island and just danced the year away. I used to think that was a pretty drastic measure to take for the remedy of mere hot flashes. But the days go by and I am thinking differently about options myself.

Here’s a painting I did in 2002, long before hot flashes hit:


Burlington Telecom and Al Jazeera, work work, and Buono’s Italian Restaurant

June 26, 2008

Well thank goodness a decision is made regarding Al Jazeera and our lovely local network. A joint resolution by the two advisory committees recommends that it remains on the channel lineup.

It should behoove you who want to make a case against a channel to bring evidence to back up claims next time. The issue was worthy and very important to defend, but please: you who would wish to censor my media experiences, why not use your time and efforts for more productive purposes. Instead of wishing away Al Jazeera, why not further your cause(s) in a creative and instructive way. For example, why not start your own channel? there seems to be enough of an organizational thrust behind you. Talk is cheap.

WCAX covered the story this evening. I noticed that a clip running behind one of their interviews showed the orange jumpsuits and the hooded men, a clear allusion to, and reminder of the beheadings. I don’t think WCAX is complicit in the disinformation campaign against Al Jazeera, but their unfortunate choice of back drop does not un-muddy the waters.

And now, we can all get back to business. I did not do any Telecom door-knocking today, but I did manage to work in at least three other areas– 1.5 hours on a contract painting job on Willard Street, 6 hours on bookkeeping and tax work with my finance guru, and 1.25 hours for Ribbecke Studios cementing 2 panels. Tomorrow, I will paint in my studio… oh- after opening at Ribbecke Studios. I have a painting to finish… tomorrow is the day!

Evening dinner with friend at Buono’s on Shelburne Rd. Rumor had it that there was fried chicken to be had on Shelburne Road. Yes indeed, Buono’s did, but at $18, I balked. I ordered the Pesto Linguine at $10.50, and based on the quality of that dish, decided I was glad that I hadn’t gone for the fried chicken. Olive oil and basil flakes do not pesto make. The first cup of coffee was stale and burned, the room was too loud. But the company and conversation made up for it. Living by art. Why is it so easy to show up for work at other people’s operations and projects to help them along in their processes, but nearly impossible to stay focused on my own? I think it comes down to risk management, which is further deconstructed to get to fear. REALLY? …FEAR?


Oh the Greens! and Omnivore’s Dilemma

June 14, 2008

Every day I am having copious salads–lettuce and arugula– and steamed greens: spinach, mustard, chard, beet, and of course arugula. A few weeks ago I was scrounging dandelion and some of the leaves off of chard, beet and arugula that made it through the winter, but now, everything is coming in …ahhhhhhhhhhhh

I missed Michael Pollan’s visit and talk at UVM last week, but heard there was an over flow of the over flow space for the event. He wondered if he was preaching to the choir here in Burlington VT, and whether the strong showing for his talk was any different than a strong showing for a Bush talk (President that is) would be in Kansas… (sorry Kansas!).

I disagree that there should be discounting of importance to “preaching to the choir.” Howard Zinn tackled this question on one of his visits to Burlington, saying that there is always value because there will be those, perhaps around the fringes who do come and learn, and may be swayed. I would ad that there is value to feeling solidarity in the presence of so many other like-minded folks.

Anyway, Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma was a favorite read of mine a couple of years ago. I have a dilemma right now: a woman is willing to deliver to me her old laying hens. She has three of them, and needs to have them taken off her hands. She wants to be sure that I would be butchering immediately. A few weeks ago, I agreed that I would happily take them off her hands. Now, I think about the reality of the bloodbath here in Lakeside, and am not so enthusiastic. Once upon a time, I would have thought nothing of it. Turkeys, pigs, rabbits, ducks raised and put away; all the years of hunting too. But I was a country person then. What to do. hmmm


Al Jazeera Star Struck in Burlington?

June 12, 2008

The auditorium was filled to standing room only. The list of speakers was long. At issue was whether Burlington Telecom should remove Al Jazeera from its cable offerings. Most people stayed through all 50+ speakers. These are my notes:

Afterwards in the courtyard I met and talked to Josh Rushing an ex marine and star of “Control Room” who is now a correspondent for Al Jazeera. Also met briefly Tony Burman the managing director of Al Jazeera International. They both seemed as blown away by Burlington’s rising to the occasion as some of us were by their attendence. Burlington Telecom is one of only three cable networks in the country that carry the network so far. Once we are past this jam we must lobby to have Al Jazeera included in the basic package. Really!

How many places in the world would you not be surprised to find a bunch of folks inside for several hours on one of the most beautiful Vermont evenings of the year to discuss whether or not the Al Jazeera network should be carried by a telecom company.

I have to admit I almost bagged it to spend time in the garden. but I am not disappointed. I am disappointed that I did not get up to the mike, but plenty did. the tally was 43 or 44 pro keeping the network in the BT lineup to 8 against. In my own defense, I did write a letter to the editor of the Burlington Free Press, which was in part an editing of previous post ( see June 1).

The friend that I attended with thought that there was a clear class divide, or if not class, then one resting on educational level, between the two camps. I don’t know about that. In any case, it makes me sad that there are people who genuinely wish to have the Arabic network removed.


Indiana Jones and Ultimate Knowledge

June 11, 2008

Not being an Indiana Jones kind of gal, I am surprised at how easily I said yes to the invite to see the movie with two women friends. The nominal reason, I told myself, was that it would be a good test of my current movie sensibility. What does that mean? After a semester-long involvement with Hegel’s Aesthetics, often filtered through film theory and mechanisms of meaning, I was afraid that my already narrow and elitist taste in movies might have become further constricted. But no, … surprise surprise… apparently I LOVED the IJ4 movie more than the critics do. Of course for me it’s not the “same old same old,” because I haven’t seen #2 or #3.

There was plenty of food for thought for those who require a dose of the intellectual/political/philosophical to make the medicine go down. For example, “These aren’t just drawings, they’re directions…they’re a map!” said the professor (Harrison Ford), as we realize that every drawing is a map in some sense, especially if you are an anthropologist. Did anyone notice that the map could only guide them so far? That their eventual progress was more pinned on the “crazy” guy’s intuition than on the piece of paper?

Of the crystal skull people: “Knowledge was their treasure;” it is only under the model of a collective consciousness that all can be known, but what a price to pay! “Lawnmower Man” in which the intellectually challenged gardener gets a taste of pure knowledge and becomes addicted tracks a similar pull between good and evil on the path to ultimate knowledge. Was Socrates right that knowledge is a virtue, and that it’s only in the case of deficiency of knowledge that evil is done?

The sunset last eve, following wild and wooly storming was something to behold.

I don’t think this quite conveys how special — golden yellow almost brassy– the lighting was. then my neighbor Larry came along and pointed out the rainbow right behind me!


Island Ice Cream and European Sawfly Infestation

June 3, 2008

Last night I had what has to be the best ice cream cone I’ve ever had. I am a chocolate fan, so the criteria I use to compare brands is simple and flows from one question: how good is the plain chocolate ice cream? Island Ice cream’s chocolate is very dark in color; so dark in fact that I am suspicious about why it is so dark. — okay, I just found out that it’s dark from chocolate! — …It is dense but not as solid as Ben and Jerry’s. It’s very creamy texture must have something to do with freshness? but the flavor… the flavor is killer. I had a sense that it has a good level of salt, but “saltiness” can not actually be ascribed.

Where to get Island Ice Cream in Burlington? down by the waterfront, at the Burlington Bay Deli. And other places.

Another high point yesterday was the next increment in the battle of the sawfly. We have an infestation here in good old Lakeside, so every outbreak we can spot and attack is a battle won. here’s a poor quality video that shows a weird phenomenon – the larva, all clustered on one branch, all rise up at once in sort of a wave motion when they are disturbed. Here’s a picture from infestation last year. Why is this a highpoint, you might wonder. isn’t it sort of on the same plane with taking out the recycling, or going to the post office? well, yes, and those are pretty special times too…