slyvermont: (Default)
Pete Hartt, the former sports editor of the Times Argus, died yesterday. He was 52. He had a heart attack while working out at a fitness club. 

Pete was a very big man, overweight -- although apparently he had lost some weight recently. But 52 is still much too young. 

He was a great deal of fun to work with -- he was one of the reasons I looked forward to going into the office. He was a journalist with his priorities in the right place. He sat across from me, and I enjoyed catching his eye about things that were absurd. 

And he’s the second Vermont journalist to die this year – Peter Freyne died recently, too. Peter was very sick; he had quit his job a while ago. He was such a staple of Vermont journalism and politics that it’s hard to imagine that he’s gone. 

He wrote a weekly column called Inside Track that was mandatory reading for every politician and journalist in the state; one of his hallmarks were the funny nicknames he gave politicians. Howard Dean was HoHo; Gov. Madeleine Kunin was Queen Madeleine; Patrick Leahy was St. Pat. He also covered the state's media, calling them out for mistakes and following who was fired and hired. For a long time I'll bet every new reporter in the state was told on the first day on the job about Peter and the necessity of reading his column. 

Peter Freyne was young, too, just 59. 

Here's an article about Peter Freyne and one about Pete Hartt

Apples!

Sep. 19th, 2007 11:48 am
slyvermont: (fieldofdreams)
Early (for us) on Sunday, Rich and I went apple picking. We’ve been going to the same orchard (for Vermonters -- the one at VTC) for years – I’ve never seen it this ripe before. Apples everywhere! The trees were laden with them.

While I took some pictures, they just don't capture what the place was like.
slyvermont: (fieldofdreams)
I’m behind on everything. I feel like I’m operating on slow motion. I haven’t wished happy birthday to several people (jedihealer and hlynn are two of them -- happy belated birthday!), and here I am posting about stuff that happened a week ago.

Last weekend ended up being unplanned family together time. The three of us went to a movie and two very Vermonty activities – Circus Smirkus and Bread & Puppet.



slyvermont: (ritaskeeter)
While I was being a geek in LA, the Times Argus published another article of mine, on authors who connect with readers on the Internet. To most of my friendslist, the most significant aspect of this story is at the end, when I quote one of our favorite Star Wars authors.

Click here for the story.

Another article I wrote is here, on how blogs are being used by college professors. It's not that great of a story, but I am trying to keep a record of my articles here on LJ.

In other Vermont news, the 802 rap video made the New York Times. For a while it was the lead story on the Times' Web site; as a result, hits on YouTube are up to over 84,000. Some of the reactions, though, are disturbing. People need to get a life and a sense of humor. There were a number of people who derided the Times for writing this story: “a clear sign newspapers are a dying bread...when the New York Times fishes around YouTube for this stuff,” said one; “Utterly boring. Thanks for nothing, NYT,” said another; “i just lost some respect for the new york times,” said a third.
slyvermont: (harry disco)
"Rapping in the 802"

It took us forever to write this headline for today’s paper – and it’s not even that good ([personal profile] hollywdliz would have done better, I'm sure). It is  our lead story, about this hysterical and addictive rap video created by three MHS students about Vermont and Montpelier. Not only was it on our front page today, it was a feature on VPR this morning.

802 is Vermont’s area code. You have to listen to the song several times to catch the lyrics, which I’ve now done because we played it numerous times at work yesterday and I saw/heard staff and faculty watching it at school, too.

Lyrics are behind the cut (except for a few lines I can’t quite catch). I know there is a way to embed the video in this entry, but I can't figure it out, so here's the link to the YouTube page.

slyvermont: (Valley snowfall)
Normal average high: 50s
Average high the last couple weeks: low 30s
High last year today: 69

It's been snowing since I woke up this morning. The forecast: another foot of snow in a massive storm coming on Sunday/Monday.

Get me out of here!!!
slyvermont: (fieldofdreams)
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'm sharing what I did this weekend in pictures. (Lots of pictures.) For those of you unable to enjoy our beautiful foliage in person -- here it is!


Potpourri

Jul. 1st, 2006 05:12 pm
slyvermont: (fieldofdreams)
Fresh strawberry and peas. Yum. I went strawberry picking (again) yesterday, and picked up peas at the farmer’s market. My favorites. I love this time of year, just for strawberries and peas.

Here was an interesting message on my answering machine: ‘Hi. This is Bonnie Helman at the Carenet Pregnancy Center. My phone number is 484-5413.’ I’m not pregnant. I’m pretty sure Caroline isn’t, and I’m positive Rich isn’t. It’s either a fund-raising call or a wrong number. A really wrong number, since I did a search for 802-484-5413, and got a private residence, and a search for Pregnancy Carenet in Vermont shows different phone numbers.

Last night I saw "The Devil Wears Prada." It was a fun movie, but the situations were certainly frustrating. I don’t think anyone should put up with the kind of crap that the boss (played by a spellbinding and fabulous Meryl Streep) was dishing out and I didn’t like the way the main character (Andy, new college graduate and aspiring journalist) decided that she had to look like every other fashion-conscious person at the company (including going from a size 6 to a size 4 – since when is a size 6 considered fat?).

And I just don’t get the allure of high-heeled shoes. If I had to have a job that demanded I wear 6-inch spike heels – just forget it. Nothing is worth spike heels.
slyvermont: (typewriter girl)
Today is Town Meeting Day. It’s one of the things that make Vermont special.

Even though I’ve lived here for 21 years (wow, how did that happen?), I’ve never attended a real town meeting – where the residents raise their hands to vote and decide on the spot whether to buy that fire truck or repair the roof. I’ve always lived in the "larger" cities (if you can consider a place with 8,000 people large) where I voted using a ballot, and even as a reporter was never assigned to cover a meeting. So I asked to go cover a real town meeting today.

I went to a small town north of Montpelier, called Worcester. Population 900. Number of houses – 380. There was the town moderator exhibiting his dry wit; the residents worried about tax increases, the 15-minute debate over whether to set aside $10,000 to fix a bridge (“the bump in the road is where the foundation and the bridge are separating”). There were no controversies, but that’s OK. It was cool to watch. Real, grass roots democracy.

Then I voted in my own town, of course. We may have democracy, but the sad thing is that there were no contested races. I hate filling in the circles for people running unopposed. What’s the point? There are a lot of uncontested races this year, in a lot of communities.

Off to work soon. It’ll be a late night. But fun.
slyvermont: (Default)
Caroline testified yesterday before the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. You can listen/read to the Vermont Public Radio story here, and read the Times Argus story and see a picture here. She's been working very hard on this legislation, which would create a tire deposit similar to the bottle deposit.

Funny story: Caroline has been suffering Vermont's one-degree-of-separation intensely. Lobbying in the Statehouse, she meets  politicians who notice and comment on her last name all the time. The VPR reporter knows me and Rich.

In a bizarre coincidence, Rich was scheduled to testify before the same committee that afternoon. While Caroline was testifying, a committee member noted her last name -- and her response was that they would be seeing her father later that day. When Rich showed up, the members told him that they hoped he did as good a job as his daughter.

(Hopefully they both did a better job than I just did frosting her birthday cake for the party tonight. There must be special tools and tricks of the trade I don't know, because the frosting looks like it went through a hurricane. All that matters is that it tastes good, and there's enough chocolate and sugar to ensure that.)

More news

Sep. 3rd, 2005 11:28 pm
slyvermont: (Default)
Rehnquist just died.

Two nominees. This could get interesting.

As if the news media wasn’t overloaded already with all the hurricane coverage.

I have to give the man credit for hanging in there to the very end. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that he insisted he wasn’t going to resign the court? This man died with his boots on, so to speak.

Rehnquist had a summer home in Vermont, in Greensboro, so I’m sure we’ll cover his death with a more personal angle.

Speaking of the hurricane, I did my good deed today, and dropped off three bags of stuff that was packed onto 20+ trucks that Vermont sent to the Gulf regions affected by Katrina. The effort here in Vermont was impressive.

Another thing that is haunting me about this whole Katrina disaster is how poor the evacuation plans seem to have been. The mayor asks that the whole city evacuate. Which is fine if you have a car, or the funds to rent a car. But nothing seems to have been organized for the carless, the infirm, the hospitalized. The images of the patients in hospitals really, really bothered me.

The question I have is – do other communities -- mine? yours? -- have plans to evacuate their hospitals, their nursing homes, their homebound citizens? Because between earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and volcanoes, most places in this country are at risk of some natural disaster. And it’s not only evacuation plans, but plans for these people after the disaster strikes. I know that there are emergency drills all the time (I’ve covered them), and I find it unfathomable that New Orleans didn’t plan for this scenario. But if New Orleans didn't, chances are that most other places haven't either.
slyvermont: (Default)
I finally did a real outdoorsy Vermont activity. Rich and I rode the entire Burlington bike path yesterday – amounting to about 15 miles. It hugs the shore of Lake Champlain, and since yesterday was one of those crystal clear days with azure blue skies, we got great views of the Adirondacks across the lake. Didn’t bring the camera with me, but it was gorgeous.

One amusing vignette: we passed Howard Dean and his wife twice, coming and going. We didn’t stop and talk (even though we both know him, Rich especially). Our second passing, he was busy chatting on his cell phone.

Then we did some shopping downtown, and ate at the Daily Planet, which was my favorite restaurant when I worked at the Free Press. It seems appropriate to like a restaurant with that name when one is a journalist.

I’m trying to figure out if this is the longest I’ve gone without any communication with Caroline. Yesterday was her “non-work” day, when she could do a touristy activity. One of her options was going into Belize City, where she could have called us. Since we got no phone call, I assume she did one of the other choices, like snorkel around the Barrier Reef (which sounds really cool). She’s back on the job again today, so unless she calls Friday morning before leaving, I won’t hear from her until we get her at the airport around midnight on Friday. I think I have gone longer without talking to her, but I always knew that I could pick up the phone and reach her in an emergency. And I was able to send her letters, which I’m not able to do with this program.

OK, need to stop dwelling on this to reduce momentary maternal panic.

Today’s another gorgeous day. Gotta find something to do.
slyvermont: (Default)
Voila! Here they are. (These were taken at the Vermont Quilt Festival last month.) I wish I could be half as talented as these people, to be able to make quilts that look like this -- like real art. I think the one I called "winter" is my favorite -- I particularly like the quilting detail in the sky in this one. I really have to get a new sewing machine to replace the limping early 1980s model I have now.

Enjoy!
slyvermont: (Default)
You know you are a real Vermonter when, unlike most wimpy New Englanders (see last entry), you use a snow shovel instead of a snow blower. Who needs to belong to a fitness club when you can spend an hour and a half shoveling snow?
slyvermont: (Default)
1. "Vacation" means going South past New York City for the weekend.
2. You measure distance in hours.
3. You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.
4. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again.
5. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.
6. You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings).
7. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
8. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend/wife knows how to use them.
9. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
10. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
11. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.
12. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.
13. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.
14. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.
15. Down South to you means Philadelphia.
16. A brat is something you eat.
17. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new shed.
18. You go out for a fishfry every Friday.
19. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.
20 You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
21. You find 10 degrees "a little chilly."
22. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your New England friends.

A good friend just sent this to me, and I guess I'm a true New Englander because I get these. Well, almost all of them. I don't go to fishfries.
slyvermont: (Default)
Amusing moment of the day:

I am walking in Hubbard Park. It’s a picture postcard day, with clear blue sky, bright red, orange and yellow leaves. I decided to bring my camera with me, because one thing I rarely do is actually take photos of the foliage. I am composing a shot of a tree with brilliant red leaves when this guy walks by me, sweeps his hand, and says, “This is the town sledding hill in winter.”

My first reaction was to say, “I know. I live in Montpelier.” And that’s what I did say.

He thought I was a tourist!

Oh, one more thing.

Go Red Sox!

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