Archive for February, 2011

DUI Stop? Smoke Pot, Dumb People In Car Decide

February 28, 2011

When a cop pulls you over, it’s best to be on your best behavior. Yes, sir, no sir. And make SURE you don’t violated any other laws besides the one you might have violated to prompt the stop.

Don't light up during a DUI traffic stop, pot smokers learned in Vermont early Sunday morning.

Apparenly, not everybody understands this Captain Obvious advice. According to the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, State Troopers stopped a car in the remote town of Berkshire, Vt. early Sunday morning and arrested the driver for drunken driving.

Meanwhile, two of the three passengers in the car decided the traffic stop would be a fine time to light up a joint. The cop was just 20 feet away from them when they did this. The cop returned to the car and arrested the high, and stupid pair.

Vermont State Police said one of the probably pot heads admitted to them it was probably a “dumb idea” to get baked at a DUI traffic stop.

Ya think?

Things Go Wrong at Weddings…….

February 28, 2011

Found this fun video of a couple in California who got married last fall. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Sometimes, wedding ceremonies devolve into disasters, as one California couple learned.

Every wedding has at least one little disaster. But this one really had its troubles. The best thing about it is the happy pair kept a good sense of humor about the whole thing, which bodes well for their marriage.

Watch the video for some wedding ideas. Or bad wedding ideas. And for instructions on what can go wrong:

A Fun Bookcase/Fun Video

February 27, 2011

The video is below is strangely amusing so I had to share it.

Watch the video to see the fun things that happen to this bookcase.

My gawd, it had to have taken a LOT of work to do the video, as somebody had to constantly move the books just so. You can see the hours go by on the clock on the wall.

The person who made the video had a lot of time on his or her hands, but I sure do appreciate it nonetheless. Here it is:

The Vermont Snow Keeps Coming, Setting Records

February 27, 2011

It snowed again here in Vermont last night. Not much, just an inch or two. But it was enough to make this the snowiest February on record, at least in the Burlington, Vermont area.

I spotted this tree skier Saturday in Vermont's Underhill State Park. It is northwestern Vermont's snowiest February on record.

Burlington has had 42.6 inches of snow this month, barely beating out a record for the month set just three years ago.

As a weather geek, it’s always fun to set some sort or climatological record, but I’m chomping at the bit more than ever for the snow to go.

But instead, it keeps on snowing.  I have all these plans for landscaping on my property, plus I want to start getting my clients’ yards into shape at some point. The snow has got to melt by the first of April, and prospects of that seem to be dimming.

The sun’s a little stronger now as we’re heading into March, so that helps me grab glimmers of hope whereever I can get them. As I cleared the bit of new snow from my driveway this morning the sun felt warm and I could see it starting to melt the snow up against sunny corners.

We’re at a stage where the snow comes, a little melts, and little more comes. It’s a snowy standoff.

A tree skier enjoys lots of powder in Vermont's Underhill State Park as one of the snowiest winters on record continues

I can’t do anything about the snow. I could complain about it, or embrace it. I did think it was pretty out this morning with a few glittery snowflakes falling through the winter sun.

Yesterday, I went snowshoeing in Underhill State Park at the the base of Vermont’s Mount Mansfield. All this snow makes things look and feel incredibly clean and fresh and healthy. It was good for me to get that bracing air.

The woods was winter quiet, which I like, except for the bursts of excitement as tree skiers crashed through the woods, expertly zigzagging around all the brown tree trunks and leafless branches.

So that was nice. But I’m actually ready for Vermont’s ugly mud season with it’s slush, slop, dampness and gray.

It won’t be nearly as pretty as this weekend, but mud season will at least signal we will finally throw off the weight of the snow that has confined us since December.

Bizarre Craigslist Ad in Vermont

February 26, 2011

I was looking at Craigslist here in Vermont, looking for any opportunities where I could make an extra buck.

You REALLY never know what you'll find on Craigslist

I stumbled on the following Craigslist ad. I’ll reprint it in its entirety below. I decided not to contact them, as I don’t need the extra money that badly.

But if you want to take this job, let me know and I will connect you to the ad. (I’m keeping their contact email off to discourage unpleasantness)

I swear I am not making up anything in this ad. Here it is verbatim:

I am looking for someone to reinforce my fragile self-esteem by shadowing me throughout the day while constantly reminding me that everyone I encounter is inferior to me in both physical attractiveness and cognitive ability. If the day has provided me with an unusual amount of adversity, I may also require use of a commercially available theme song to be determined at a later date. If use of said theme song is deemed necessary, you will be required to accompany me while carrying my iPod and speakers. If questioned by other pedestrians about said task, you are to reply with only the cryptic phrase “The purple rose always knows how fast a river flows.”

You will be provided with a pager in case one of the following emergency situations presents itself while you are off the clock:

1. I find myself on a date with someone who finds any member of the Kardashian family “inspirational.”
2. I am exposed directly or indirectly to the music of the Black-Eyed Peas.
3. I discover that a childhood nemesis resides in a higher income bracket or has more Facebook friends than me.
4. I am faced with the chilling realization that my favorite T-Shirt has formed a dreaded “armpit hole.”
5. Someone refers to me as “chief” while slapping me on the back like a pack-mule.
6. I become disoriented as the result of Daylight Savings Time and place the wrong DVD at the top of my Netflix que.
7. I cannot decide whether or not I like the first season of The X-Files.

At this point in time I am unable to offer dental or vision, but I can provide a rudimentary health policy in the form of a few expired antibiotics and generic ibuprofen. There is no preference on gender, but I do have an odor aversion to Polo cologne and stewed beats. If you utilize either (or God forbid, both) please do not apply. We can discuss monetary compensation after I receive your qualifications and can accurately assess your level of financial desperation. Good Luck!

Why Congress Screws Us

February 26, 2011

I found a poll yesterday that said 22 percent of Americans think the health care reform Obama pulled through Congress last year has been repealed.

It hasn’t been repealed, of course, but when people don’t pay attention, they seize on snippets and draw their own conclusions. Even if they’re wrong.

Polticial blogger Jonathan Bernstein makes sense of this phenomenon, (I found his thoughts on the matter via Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish blog.)

As Bernstein says, there’s a lot of things that are culturally and socially prominent that many of us have barely heard about. I, for example, have barely heard of the band Arcade Fire, but apparently they are hot and prominent.

Many Americans are like that concerning politics. It’s in the background, but it’s too difficult, byzantine, boring and time consuming to pay attention to.

The problem is, a lot of polticians know this. You want members of Congress to work for the public good. After all, that’s why the country’s founders set up the system the way it is. Most of the public is too busy dealing with their lives and jobs to run the government, so we sent representatives to Congress to work in our best interests.

But a perennial problem has gotten worse, much worse in recent  years. Many members of Congress, and various political groups, work to enrich themselves, and screw us.

So politicians make a lot of noise, much of it false, yelling “communism” over health care reform or yelling “oligarchs!” and “fascists!” about Republicans. We’re distracted by all that noise and disinformation, and only have a vague idea what’s going on.

So stuff gets done that goes against our interests. And they distract us with noise that leads us to vote for politicians that will work against our interests, and for themselves and the corporate cronies that pull all the strings with their millions of dollars in lobbying money and payoffs.

The frustrating thing is I don’t know how to fix it. News junkies like me pay attention and howl when political leaders are evil or stupid. But you can’t expect the entire U.S. population to pay attention. They’re too busy keeping their heads and that of their families above water.

In-depth journalism is weak nowadays because nobody has figured out how to make money off it, so news corporations don’t invest the money needed to tell the public what’s really going on. Besides, some big news and media companies have a vested interest in not telling us what’s really going on. They’re kind of on the take, too.

Plus, members of  the public has their own conspiracy theories, biases and slants that blind them to reality. Some people believe what they want to believe, because it keeps them in their comfort zone.

For instance, a lot of people don’t trust the government, and I can see the reasons for that. But some of these same people tend to trust corporations, because they are part of the “free market.” But some of the corporations running the “free market” are out to screw us for their benefit. So why should we trust them?

Notice nobody from the banks who swindled the nation in the 2008 financial crisis went to jail. Why is that?

I’m being a Gloomy Gus, aren’t I?

But if anybody has any realistic suggestions on how to improve this situation before we all turn into serfs ruled by the iron fist of corporate and political powers, please let me know.

Love Conquers All, Including Earthquakes

February 26, 2011

We always look for the bright spots in a tragedy, so here goes.

The death toll in that awful earthquake in New Zealand is over 100, but one couple got married after the bride had a close brush with death.

Bride-to-be Emma Howard was in this building in Christchurch, New Zealand when it collapsed around her during Tuesday's quake. She was rescued and her wedding went on as scheduled Friday.

According to the New Zealand Herald, bride Emma Howard was trapped for more than six hours after the Pyne Gould Building in Christchurch, where she was working, collapsed in the quake.

The groom, Chris Greenslade, waited outside the collapsed building on Tuesday for more than six agonizing hours while rescuers tried to retrieve Howard. The couple had managed to text each other, so Greenslade knew she was alive. But of course nobody knew if the frequent aftershocks would further shift the building and crush Howard.

But rescuers finally got to Howard and six coworkers

The earthquake was on Tuesday. They were scheduled to get married Friday, but assumed the wedding would be postponed because of the quake. Their family and friends had none of that. Love would defeat the quake, and the wedding went on, as the video shows:

They STILL Can’t Drive in the Snow!

February 25, 2011

So far this winter in Vermont, we’ve had about eight feet of snow, including what fell in a standard issue, run of the mill Vermont storm of six to 12 inches of snow today.There were no crashes on this Burlington, Vermont street when I snapped this picture today, but I'm sure somebody eventually caused an accident on the slightly slushy road.

You’d think people would have learned to drive in the snow by now. But this was one of the worst storms this winter in terms of people crashing their cars and hitting each other.

Video below is a dash cam from my truck of Interstate 89 in South Burlington around noon today, slowed to a crawl by a minor collision in the snow.

I’ve railed at this state of affairs before. Now it’s time to get serious.

Vermont State Police routinely ticket people who cause these crashes for going too fast for the road conditions. But the most these people pay is maybe $200.

The ones that own those expensive SUVs that cause the crashes probably regard $200 as chump change, worth the cost of racing down the highway in a snowstorm.

After all, many of the people that cause these crashes are just narcisstic jerks subconsciously trying to get attention because they can’t get attention for their own accomplishments. Because they’re incapable of accomplishments.

So they gain attention to themselves by making people focus on them and  grumble about how fast they’re going past them. And people rue the huge traffic jams they cause with their snowy weather crashes.

I have two possible remedies. One is sentence these jerks to 3o days in jail, to make them contemplate their stupidity, and maybe make them lose their jobs so they can’t afford their expensive SUVs.

The drawback to that approach is we, the taxpayers, must pay for their jail time.

The alternate proposal is to comfiscate these idiots’ vehicles, and if they are still intact, sell them to raise revenue. Or if they’ve totaled their SUVs, make them buy two new cars instead of one. Then they can eventually drive one of the new ones, and sell the other to the state to offset taxes. Or give the vehicles to a charity like Good News Garage, which provides vehicles to people who need them and don’t have them.

In any event, we do have to crack down on these reckless winter drivers. I know a few of them just make a momentary stupid mistake, But most of these crashers are habitual offenders.

It’s time we start treating them as such.

The (not a) Witch Keeps on Giving

February 25, 2011

Christine O’Donnell, that Tea Party candidate from Delaware who lost the election because She Is Not A Witch, keeps on giving.

Will Christine O'Donnell be on "Dancing With the Stars"? Stay tuned....

Her political career seems on the ropes, but now, thanks to reality television, she might be on Dancing with the Stars!

Read this, from Time magazine’s on line news feed: O’Donnell declared, “I just got the Official ‘Ask’ from Dancing with the Stars!!”

She also said:  “My initial thought was to decline, as 2 year old nephew has more rhythm than me, and my two left feet!!”

Her most memorable moment in her campaign last fall was to air an ad in which proclaimed, “I am not a witch.” She did so because she was reported to have dabbled in the occult years earlier

There’s been lots of suggestions on what she should dance to, including “Witchy Woman,” “Black Magic Woman,” and “She’s a Maniac”

It was revealed during O’Donnell’s campaign that she is really, really opposed to masturbation, so I guess she won’t dance to that ’90s nugget of a  song “I Touch Myself.”

Time reported that hundreds of her Facebook fans were quick to reply, mostly with encouraging comments. She updated the page later that day, noting that her “book comes first.”

So she’s undecided. But she’s writing a book, too? wow!

The next cast of “Dancing With the Stars” is due to be announced Monday.

I, for one, am sitting on pins and needles awaiting this news.

Super Dad Makes Huge Snow Fun Park

February 24, 2011

Up here in Vermont, there’s a winter storm warning because forecasters say we’re going to get six to ten inches of “heart attack snow” tomorrow.

The giant snowman slide in South Lake Tahoe

Heart attack snow, for the uninitiated, is a heavy wet snow that is perfect for making snowballs and snow sculptures, but will kill you when you try to shovel it, it’s so heavy.

But, on the bright side, I just found a very timely, great idea from South Lake Tahoe. Somebody took a huge amount of snow – I’m not sure if it’s heart attack snow – and made this super, complex and really fun looking snow sliding park.

It includes a giant snowman that you can sled in and out of.  Reports are a dad spent 80 hours (!!!!) shoveling to make the slide for his kids. I hereby nominated him, ah hell, I annoint him, dad of the year.

I really don’t want more snow to fall at my  St. Albans, Vermont house because I need it to melt so I can get some grandiose landscape projects going. But since I have no choice in the matter, I will take notes so maybe I could build a snowman slide as we all watch the video, below.