27oct03: paper shuffling
[I just think Tesla, but I know that can't be right....] Since the holiday season looms large I have been dealing with the ins and outs of taking time off from work, and how flexible or intractable work schedules are. The upshot seems to be that while my co-workers and bosses are very flexible, the system is not [perhaps rightly so] so that days off and holidays become an elaborate ballet of mathematics combined with dread and hope. So far it's all been working well and uneventfully, as long as I don't mind paying for my own health insurance on any unpaid leave days I take where n > 4. I'll be taking a short trip to Concord California in a few weeks and a longer trip to San Diego in January. The trip to Buffalo was fun, all smiles and food and ministers. It wasn't until the way home that Greg and I realized we haven't really had a spare few hours to talk to each other in months now.

I have two nagging questions left over from the past week. One is who wrote this poem, and the other is why are the electrical towers in Ballston Spa New York so lovely?
24oct03: shuffling
Heading to Buffalo this weekend for the wedding of my good friend Blake, back on Sunday. In the meantime, I've written up my thoughts and capsule reviews of the VT International Film Festival that was last weekend. Some good movies and some bad ones. It's weird how probably 50-60% of them come from one or two distributors. I suppose there's only a small subset of film distribution companies that are into that sort of movie, but every year I wonder why there isn't more variety.
20oct03: librarian, the media whore of the oughts
I've spent the last four days in a darkened room watching socially responsible films. Some better than most, all better than 8 Mile. I'll have a full list up in a bit, but for now, this is going to be a bit of a bulletin board of recent events.
  • My letter will be in the NY Times magazine next week, heavily edited, I'm sure
  • I sold an anti-PATRIOT Act bumpersticker for $22 which I immediately donated to the EFF. Many thanks to Dan Greene who ponied up the actual cash and Jason Pettis who made the sticker.
  • I was mentioned in both Reason Magazine and the Utne Reader this month, for different things. Neither are online yet.
  • I feel like the waiting period on moving to a new place is up; Greg and I have started meeting people here and there. A clothing swap in Burlington, a VLS student who lives near the library, some friendly librarians.... It's been super isolating here and destined to only get worse as the weather socks in.
  • Greg positively shines with enthusiasm and happiness at the crazy paces he's been running through at law school, which makes taking on more of the cooking tasks worthwhile
  • income is finally starting to overtake outgo, hopefully this trend will last
It's been a good week or two and I can tell because I feel like blowing kisses at everyone I drive by on my way to and from work, that has to mean something.

Anita, I hope you recover speedily and fully and with great elan.
12oct03: hello gutless my old friend
[digital pictures of nature never come out right for me] This week has brought us many visitors. Andrea and Corey came up last weekend from Boston, bringing snacks, ferrets and some nifty Cheapass games. Then my Mom came for a whirlwind trip and I showed her my new place, my new job and Greg's new school. Then, Friday night, Gutless the Car and my pal Scott drove in the driveway no worse for wear after a 3400 mile trip from Seattle. Somehow Chet the truck knew it was time for him to go [too many cars = too many cooks] and a nice guy from New Hampshire came to take him home Saturday morning, paying cash. I had Chet for six years. Auf wiedersehen Chet.

I have to say that I used to toss around foliage terms like "peak weekend", but I was talking out of my ass, at least until this past week. My commute takes me down Route 100, and over Killington. In Topsham we have hills of glorious trees and foliage, but it's always deciduous and confierous, mixed. Always partly green. Out by Killington it's all leafy and orange, yellow, and red, and with the sun setting, it just can't be beat. This has definitely made driving home behind 25 mph motorhomes and tourists -- I saw a 22 foot motorhome do a 3 point turn in the middle of the road on Thursday -- a bit less aggravating.

No word from the New York Times, I'll be calling them on Monday. They seem non-responsive to email. I'm auctioning off a anti-PATRIOT Act bumpersticker this week; I got five as a gift and we only have so many bumpers. Proceeds go to your favorite lefty charity.
06oct03: my times
So, one of the least interesting thing going on around here lately is that I was in the Sunday New York Times the weekend before this past one. No suprise if you didn't see it, since they didn't really credit me and it wasn't in the web version. They just included some [mostly accurate] text from the page, a link to the main site and no mention of my name at all. I did mention all this when it happened, but now that I'm over the mini-fame, it's been gnawing at me. No one asked my permission to use the text. They used text from my graphics instead of the graphics themselves. They misquoted the text, a teeny bit. They used the URL of my main site instead of the page the images were on. They didn't use my name. They ignored the request on the page for citation or permission. In any case, I dropped them, actually five of them, a note, actually two, four days ago. I haven't heard a word from them.

The reason that this is all least-interesting is because of the surfeit of broken cars, houseguests, leaves, hail, carmel apples and general sugar bingeing that characterized this weekend. Plus there was a cold snap, ice in the birdbath and a hailstorm during a haircut.
04oct03: winter already?
Frost on the pumpkins last night. We got the woodstove cranked up in the house and went to sleep to the smell of burning cedar and maple logs. Up early and anticipating lots of traffic jams on the way to the dump, rummage sale, library booksale, and possibly the parade. There is never as much to do in the Northeast Kingdom as there is this weekend, but the woodstove makes it tough to want to go anyplace. Greg and I are already gearing up for the long winter nights ahead, polishing up our word games.

Nose weasel
Mouth ferret
Butt fisher
Toe badger
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Jessamyn is in...
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