Friday, December 02, 2016

Motorcycle Fun Facts

I heard a comedian make a joke about this, and he just got a huge laugh from it.  The entire audience had an "I never thought of that!" moment.

I guess they weren't bike riders.

When filling up, aim for a gas station that features a separate hose for each grade.  Why?  Because the hose holds about a gallon of gas.  As someone who has a 2.1 gallon fuel tank, I'd only be getting about half the fuel I really need to be using.  Yeah, I'm also paying the high test price for a gallon of low grade gas but the poor performance would bother me more.

Plus 12 years of running non-ethanol helps, too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Why Trump Won

Because everyone's vote is their voice - not just yours.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Woof! {burp} Welcome To My Town!



This photo basically explains everything about my city.  It's chock-full of dog-loving, bearded young hipsters who are positively mad for craft beer.  It's not like these kids just sit down somewhere and order a beer, either.  They get four kinds of beer.  I know it looks like drinking, but they're crafting.  Good for you, kids!  You found a way to put a creative spin on good old fashioned getting hammered.  Neat-o!

And pet-lovers in my city are doing their level best to make dogs full citizens with full rights.  You see them more and more in shops and, sadly, grocery stores and restaurants as well.  The place pictured above had to put a notice up explaining how they could no longer have dogs inside since they have started serving food.

This outdoor seating area does serve food.  The couple here left their dog's frisbee on the table.  Oh - this town is also full of older, dog-loving hippies.
















Do I hate dogs?  Nope.  I just think we should be able to go places without them.  Few around here would agree with me though and would probably just as soon see them get their drivers license.  Who else is gonna drive their owners home after drinking all that microbrew?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Too Many Bands

Looking for a job is a great way to get the feeling you've been kicked in the nuts without actually having to be kicked in the nuts.  I hear it's the rejection that sucks most, and as soon as I get a response from someone, I'll be sure to tell you if that's true.  Right now it's the being-completely-ignored aspect of it that seems to be doing the most sucking.

I'm playing in a duo with a guy who once played in a band that opened for The Clash in 1982.  Do you know what that credential is worth today?  If your answer was to stare blankly at your screen and then click over to check your twitter feed, you are correct.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sept. 11

One pretty cynical thought I remember having on Sept. 11, 2001 was, "I wonder how long it's going to take people to forget this."  Now 15 years past, we have a generation of 20-somethings who were too young at the time to really understand what that day was like.  Today I felt like I found the best way to explain it.


This morning, MSNBC aired an uninterrupted rebroadcast of the Sept. 11 NBC Today show, synchronized to, and played out in real time.  It was a rapid, flailing, chaotic mess of journalism; things the newspeople couldn't make sense of happening faster than they could even describe.  It perfectly captured the feel of the day.  It's a far better retelling than some carefully organized outline of the day's tragedies all laid out with the most descriptive photos and video clips possible.  Gathering that information in such a civil, organized way really misses the point.   Instead, watch it happen in real time, and listen to the words of the people trying, first, to believe their own eyes and then trying to make sense of what they are seeing... as more unprecedented shit continues to unfold. 

And THAT feeling was just part of what Sept. 11th was about.


Thursday, September 01, 2016

The Wood Makes it Good

Redwood
$4,000




















Koa
$5,200









Figured Walnut
$4,000




















Quilted Maple
$10,000


I could go on but I won't.

Friday, July 29, 2016

We Already Have a Wall

It may not run the entire length of the Mexican border, but in Tijuana at least, it is heavily fortified, patrolled, surveilled, enforced, etc.


So if building a wall is a racist thing to do...

For the record, I haven't heard anyone suggest we tear it down.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

3B

A triple is the most consistently exciting hit in baseball.  Here's why I think it beats the home run:


A home run doesn't always matter.
Sometimes it's just the winning team in a blowout tacking on another run.

Oops.
A breaking ball that didn't break.  Poor pitch selection or placement.  Sometimes a pitcher just makes a mistake and the ensuing home run comes as no real surprise.

The trot.
In any other context, it's not really interesting to see a guy jog around the bases.

"...but the ball carried just enough."
How many homers have you heard described that way?  Sometimes a homer looks like a routine fly ball, but gets just enough lift to go an extra three feet.


With a triple there's always hustle.  There's most likely going to be a play at 3rd that ends in a slide.
It also means a well-hit ball either caromed pretty hard off the corner or made it by an outfielder in plain view (which is pretty rare and at the major league level is probably the result of the outfielder taking the chance on a dive for the ball and missing.)  Then the fielder has to get up and give chase, Benny Hill style, and the base-running intensity immediately amplifies and we've got ourselves a show here.  And when that's all over, you've got a guy on third, which creates more excitement for the next at-bat.

On top of all that, you just don't see them everyday.  Kind of a rare bird.  An open and shut case in my book.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Words Have Meaning, You Know

I'm a big fan of being able to express a point with exactly the right words at exactly the right time.  Big fan.  I also think it's a pretty rare thing, so I put a lot of practice into it.  What you just read is a third draft.

So here's my problem with "Black lives matter."

I think we have to conclude that the phrase is poorly constructed because it elicited too many responses of "all lives matter" and created the wrong debate.  It did not express itself well.

Possibly the problem lies in the fact that, these days, anything you can stick a hash tag in front of has the potential to spread like wildfire, which is to say the popularity of the phrase grew haphazardly.  "We shall overcome" certainly didn't suffer the same fate.

You can write off any opposition to the phrase as ignorance, but I think these are the problems you invite when you fail to find exactly the right words.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mt. Mansfield


Monday, April 18, 2016

Mt. Washington


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Smuggler's Notch


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Art > Politics

Louis Armstrong   Duke Ellington   Jackie Robinson

These folks did more for civil rights than any politician of their time ever could.  A politician will ask you to be sympathetic to the civil rights cause, but an artist (or talented entertainer) can get you to admire the people behind the cause.

A racist tapping his foot to "Take the 'A' Train" and learning that it was created by a colored has some brand new issues to reconcile.  The difference here is that he comes to this realization all on his own.  No outside source had to lecture him or offend his sensibilities to shed light on the issue.  Artists have the huge advantage of being able to work the problem from the inside, out.

Who was one American that got through to bin Laden? The one that he just knew was okay? Whitney Houston.

Who is the American politician that can waltz in and out of Pyongyang any time they damn well pleases?  Oh wait... actually that's Dennis motherfucking Rodman.  He's the only person we know of who was able to break down that barrier.

The politician's job will always be easier after the talented and charismatic folk pave the way, solving the problem from the inside first.

"You'll never know what you and Jackie and Roy [Campanella] did to make it possible to do my job."
 -Martin Luther King Jr. to Dodgers star Don Newcombe, Negro League baseball player.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

My Fellow Americans...

During times of election, I implore you to express yourself with deep animus and contempt toward fellow voters who take an opposing point of view.  It is important that we view the People of this great land as being in only one of two categories: like-minded or ignorant.  I encourage you to get as upset as possible at every turn.

More than ever, the presidential race, if not the general office of presidency itself, only seems to serve to drive the country in two.  We all need to dial back the vitriol.  These states are less united than ever.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

This Is Vermont

I was born in another state and lived there for my first 15 years, but I've been around long enough that I feel pretty qualified to identify a Real Vermonter when I see one, and Tim was one of those.

He was my mechanic (when I got myself in a real jam) for 15 years.  He had the full Vermont accent.  He owned the word "ain't" in a such a way that you would've looked dumb trying to correct him.  He was one of those big, burly guys that are immune to cold weather.  One of those guys who wears a jacket short enough that, it seems with the slightest bend forward, their lower back is completely exposed to winter cold and wind, but they never flinch.  One of those guys who is perpetually scuffing around in snow pants chewed up at the ends by his boots, always a little ashy from stoking the wood stove, always out there doing some kind of work in the blowing snow.  Some people are just built for it.  Guys like this can't even function in warm climates.  On hot summer days you see people like this and think, "You are clearly out of your element, buddy", like seeing an Eskimo in a cornfield, or a husband at the mall.

And you know how people always say, "Oh, that guy's just a big ol' Teddy Bear'?  Tim actually looked like a giant Teddy Bear.  He had big hands and stubby fingers, and kept his arms slightly out to his sides as he walked.  He had a big round face, bushy dark hair and a beard... all offset with sparkly bright blue eyes that had long lashes.

So with Tim's passing goes another piece of true Vermont.  I think they literally are a dying bread.  When I see all the Manhattanites coming into town, building large homes and chasing some quaint New England dream they've romanticized for themselves, or all the microbrew-swilling, outdoorsy millennials moving here for "the lifestyle", working for some .com with an overly-inflated pay scale, I think of guys like Tim, and the late, great Paul, who actually represent what Vermont really is.

Tim


Paul (notice the long shirt and pants in summer)

Paul was an arm wrestling champ in the 80's, but he wouldn't go around telling you that because he didn't feel like arm wrestling every chucklehead who thought they could beat him.  His main gig was to drive a flatbed tow truck around, but for fun he worked as a bouncer.  He was the guy on the race crew that was assigned only one task, which was "Here - lift this." and he did that very well.  He also enjoyed the music of George Michael and, when dining out, always ordered strawberry-flavored milk.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Winter

Thursday, February 11, 2016

News

Vermont has done a few things over the years that have been noteworthy on an international scale.  Quite a feat for the second-least populated state in the US.

Lately it seems none of that will ever get more attention than the heroin problem we currently have, because that's the kind of thing you'd expect to hear about the second-least populated state in the US.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gas is Cheaper in Hawaii

Sort of.  Check me out...

For as far back as I can remember, gas prices for various grades were structured 10¢ apart.  A gallon of mid-grade was 10¢ more than regular, and premium was 10¢ more than mid, so the total spread between grades was 20¢.  Hawaii seems to still follow this pricing structure, but in my state the spread between grades is as much as 75¢/gal.

According to gasbuddy.com, premium unleaded is going for $2.84 in my neighborhood, and the price in Hawaii is $2.61

Otherwise, yes,  HI pays 32¢/gal more for regular... which I never use.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Notice to Parents:

8th grade "graduation" is not a thing.

You don't graduate from 8th grade any more than you graduate from 9th grade.  You may graduate once you have completed your basic education.

Thank you.