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My first post of 2014, begins with ranting about the weather ending in 2013, and continuing into 2014.

Luckily, here in the New North End of Burlington, we had no power outages with the ice storm that left almost 1/2 an inch of ice over everything…

The first day of the storm, we had an unexpected trip up to Montreal to see Cirque du Soleil’s VAREKAI show at the Bell Center.

We drove up, taking 2 hours each way to get from the Highgate border crossing to Montreal, mostly due to freezing windshield wipers, but made it there & back with summer tires & wipers without going off the road. 
I blame this scary looking Canadian sign guy for the weather:

CanadaBlowingSign

When the iciness finally stopped on the 23rd of December, we emerged from hibernating to uncover the car and clear the parking spaces… see a picture of a frozen hummingbird I took mid-ice breaking:

FrozenHummingbird122313

And 90 minutes of ice clearing & then car warming later, a Christmas themed selfie was taken for a ShopChurchStreet Instagram contest:
ShopChurchStreetSelfie

On Christmas eve, we noticed we should clear the steps to our house of the ice and snow that had accumulated.
Taking a cue from a Facebook friend, Jeremy took a mallet to the steps, and within no time they looked almost clear, but then one last wack of the mallet broke the last of the ice, but also snapped the screws holding the middle step in place.

An impromptu trip to Lowes in South Burlington, and $8 worth of 3″ screws later, the step was secure.

The joys of winter weather did not stop there, on Christmas day, our family gathered for lunch in Swanton, to a balmy 9 degree high temperature, but at least the sun was out:

2013 Christmas Day in Swanton, VT

After a wonderful meal & enjoying past TV episodes of The Wild, Wild, West, we meandered back to Burlington, to hope for warmer weather to melt some of the ice from the storm.

But the temperatures only rose above freezing for 1 day, which I quickly scurried to remove all the brine and salt off the car from the aformentioned Montreal trip, then went back home to hibernate, with a quick trip to see the Ethan Allen Park igloo that had sprung up:

 

An igloo located in Ethan Allen Park, Burlington, VT

An igloo located in Ethan Allen Park, Burlington, VT

A day or two later, with cold temperatures still below 32 degrees, I ventured out for errands and supplies, only to find the driver door’s lock frozen, (and would remain that way for the next week). Luckily, the passenger door was able to be unlocked, and fortunately the recent stretching with our daily exercise regimen had helped my flexibility to be able to get to the driver’s side, kind of like the picture below, but with winter gear on & a not so happy look on the face…

caryoga

 

Although cold, fortunately the weather cooperated for our New Year’s eve outing to our favorite Grand Buffet in South Burlington, and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug at Essex Cinema‘s TRex theater. As the night went on, we decided to head back home as the weather was changing back and forth between snow and sleet.

 

A new year, but still no warmth

The first day of 2014 were spent in complete hibernation in our house, not due to a hangover from partying too hard, but due to the below zero cold.
The second day of 2014, I ventured out first to check mail, then to run errands and get groceries in below zero weather. Surprisingly I made it downtown and to Shelburne Road with the only slippery spot going up College Street hill.

The third day of 2014 was spent in total hibernation at home;

The fourth day of 2014 involved another dreaded trip to the mailbox, and the usual 5 minute ordeal of taking the mallet and screwdriver to break up the ice on the doorframe.

Finally, on this the fifth day of 2014, we are happy to see the temperature above 32 degrees again, even though there is a Winter weather advisory until Monday morning, with sleet or rain likely.

 

That’s enough about the weather, now to recap 2013… 

 It’s been quite a ride the past year of 2013, 5 unexpected trips:

    • first to see Mosaicultures International exhibit at the Espace pour la vie in July,

MotherEarthatMosaiculturesMTL

    • then a week later driving to Saratoga, NY for Rockstar Mayhem Festival at SPAC (as well as stopping by their famous Congress park):

GirlCongressParkSaratoga

    • August heading up to Parc Jean Drapeau for the 2 day Heavy MTL concert: 

HeavyMTL2013

    • the Saturday before Thanksgiving in November, headed up to CEPSUM in Montreal for the Gojira & Slayer concert:

GojiraSlayeratCEPSUM

    • and finally the Saturday before Christmas, seeing Cirque du Soleil’s VAREKAI at the Bell Center… I feel I should have pictures of the great show, but they did not allow them  :-(

This past year, I’ve taken a few good pictures, crossed an item off my bucket list (became a runway model for a night in July):

CrosswalkVT

    drove through an ice storm to Montreal and back, and have lived to tell about it.
    Here’s hoping 2014 is full of more great pictures, good times, and hopefully a slightly warmer, more outdoor activity based winter ahead.

Morning, and happy Easter to those in celebration :)

Just wanted those who read the blog to know that I’m still around on the wondrous world wide web…

Recently started a Twitter account for those Tweeters, simply search for me by my name
For those that are not familiar with the service, it’s similar to Blogging, just less characters… great for those on the go ;)

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Yeah, due to some last minute saving maneuvers by some wonderful UVM students, a few events have been saved from the chopping block. My favorite is the ice sculptures.
Click this link for some video footage I took of last year’s sculptures, near the ECHO center.
Hosting courtesy of Hello Burlington.

Thankfully this year, the sculptures will be on the Church St. marketplace, as you can hear in the video, the wind off the lake can be quite chilling.

Here’s the synopsis of the Festival:

Friday, February 8 – Sunday, February 10
The Burlington Winter Festival is back for its 15th year, bigger and better than ever, with events on the Waterfront AND on the Church Street Marketplace! Marketplace activities include Vermont’s own sanctioned snow sculpture competition and the Ice Walk, featuring fabulous carvings by seasoned and professional ice sculptures in front of select businesses. Stroll by the wonderful exhibits, vote on your favorite snow sculpture, and you’ll automatically be entered in a raffle with prizes from local stores and the University Vermont! Waterfront activities include the Kids VT Family Expo at ECHO at the Leahy Center, and the 12th Penguin Plunge. Come enjoy this fun and dynamic winter celebration. The festival is sponsored by the University of Vermont’s Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, Chittenden Bank, Burlington Parks & Recreation, the Church Street Marketplace, 95 Triple X and WVMT.
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Just received this from VPIRG (Vermont Public Interest Research Group):

Global warming is all over the news, and has become the top issue of this legislative session, ski season and kitchen table conversations everywhere. But it will be up to the people of Vermont to ensure we find solutions that match the severity of the problem.

We want to invite you to join Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss, neighbors, friends and experts in a new campaign to build a clean, safe and affordable energy future for Vermont.

VPIRG and the Mayor’s office are teaming up to fight global warming at the city and state level, and we want you to join us at our kick-off meeting! The meeting will launch a new city-wide effort to cut global warming pollution, discuss our state-wide campaign strategy, and plan for coordinated grassroots action.

I hope you’ll join us at Burlington’s City Hall: Thursday February 8th at 6:30pm.

Burlington and Vermont have a chance to lead the nation this year by cutting our energy use and getting more power from clean local sources. It’s the most important issue facing the legislature and the city of Burlington this year, and we need your support to ensure a victory. Together, we can make it happen!

Just checked the City’s events calendar, but no mention of the event… here’s what I found at VPIRG’s website:

Kick-Off Meetings Launch Campaign for Clean Power
VPIRG is part of a coalition of anti-nuke, pro-renewable energy groups supporting legislation that would ensure that our energy needs are met through investments in renewables and efficiency first. We are hosting kick-off meetings across the state to engage citizen activists, discuss our campaign strategy, and plan for coordinated grassroots action (calling legislators, writing letters to the editor). The Vermont legislature has made global warming the number one issue of this legislative session. Now it’s up to the people of Vermont to make sure that the solutions they propose match the severity of the problem before us.

It appears from the email that I received that Mayor Kiss is in agreement with VPIRG about the issue, to let our Mayor know how you feel about the issue, he will be taking calls tomorrow morning at 7AM on the Charlie & Ernie Show (620AM on the radio), phone 655-0303.

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Yeah, I know… long time no blog, since (glances at past blog entry) November! wow… anyways, here’s the 1st entry for ’07

Yup, announced on Ch. 3 last night:

Burlington is putting the freeze on its annual winter festival. The snow sculpture contest and popular Penguin Plunge have helped attract people to the waterfront at a slow time of year. But the festival costs the city about a thousand dollars. And Mayor Bob Kiss says that’s hard to justify for an event that’s lost a major sponsor, and had a history of bad weather– all while the city faces a looming budget deficit. So this year’s festival is cancelled– except for the Penguin Plunge.



Last year, Jeremy and I took time out of City Council campaigning to enjoy the neat ice sculptures… we’ll see if we can upload the video when we have time.

As for the Festival, Mayor Kiss will be on Charlie & Ernie’s 620AM morning show tomorrow (show is from 7AM to 10AM), so if you’d like to call in with your opinion of the cancellation of the festival, or to chat with the mayor, their call in number is 655 0303

Also, on a side note, remember to set your Christmas tree out by the curb for disposal by 7AM Tuesday for pickup ;-)

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V (as portrayed by Hugo Weaving. – image from Wikipedia

Just a little reminder 401 years ago today Guy Fawkes Night occured, and even Wikipedia is listing the V for Vendetta movie(which is closely connected to the movie) as their featured article today.

See my last post on V for Vendetta, and it is available on DVD.

Jeremy and I are planning on watching the movie today in honor of the holiday, and for those without the movie, read the Wikipedia’s quotes from the movie. My favorite quote is when V addresses London:


Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, whereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle are celebrated with a nice holiday. I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, think, and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillence coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now High Chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence.
Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.
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In the midst of all the political campaigns this time of year, I Just thought I’d mention that our local Libertarian candidates are getting press coverage!:

  • VPR Switchboard 10/19: Thurs., Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.: Minor Political Parties
    Most of the attention this election season is on Vermont’s major party candidates. But those aren’t the only names you’ll see on your November ballot. Bob Kinzel talks with representatives from the Green Party and the Libertarian Party.
    (Mp3 version available for download by VPR, the 2nd half is Libertarian party candidates.)
  • From Cathy Resmer’s 802 Online:
  • Also, on Wednesday, 10/18 during Shay Totten’s Vermont Guardian segment on the Charlie & Ernie Show, it was mentioned that minor party candidates (like Libertarians) are beating the major party candidates to the punch in answering the Vermont Guardian‘s ongoing political survey

As our state chair, Hardy Machia mentioned in his VPR interview, we currently have 15 candidates running for state and local offices this year. To view our state house candidates, visit: 2006 Vermont Libertarian Candidates on VTLP.org

Also, we do have 2 Libertarians running here in the Queen City, Rob Bussiere, and Johnathan Stauffer are both running for Justice of the Peace under the Libertarian banner.

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Not all the Vermont TV campaign ads are about Sanders, Tarrant, Rainville, or Welch… as you just may see a unique candidate; From PayAttention.org, may I present Tacky Ceramic Rooster!



Yup, last blog entry from the candidate on the campaign trail was right here in Burlington!

Tacky Ceramic Rooster Credited For Pottery Surge
BURLINGTON, Vt. – According to pottery enthusiasts across the country, enrollment for pottery classes is at an all time high. Many believe Tacky Ceramic Rooster is responsible for the crowded classrooms. “Tacky Ceramic Rooster has sparked an interest in people who have overlooked ceramics in the past. He has brought passion to this quiet art form.” Pottery instructor Lindsay Gangle couldn’t be happier. “Thank you, Tacky Ceramic Rooster. Thanks for making ceramics mainstream.”

Yes, PayAttention is actually airing commercials (in parnership with the AdCouncil) regarding paying attention to campaign ads. Here’s their explanation:

If you’re not voting, then who are you electing?
Truth is, you affect the outcome of the midterm elections whether you vote or not. If you don’t it will translate into one more for someone else. And that someone else may have the leadership skills of oh, lets say a bag of leaves, or a tacky ceramic rooster. Moral of the story? Get involved. Get informed. Pay Attention. And vote.

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In today’s Free Press

New idea for Battery St. site

Hopefully Monte is right, and the city will not lose any more money than it already had with the multi-modal plan.
It’s kind of funny that this is the first mention of a project update about the building, and no mention of it on the local TV stations RSS feeds…. perhaps Ch. 3 and others will have more coverage about the development soon, as I’m curious (as I can imagine others are as well) as to how the parking and traffic issues will be addressed with this proposed mixed commercial/residential building.

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