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So the Strolling of the Heifers in Brattleboro, Vermont came and went this past weekend.

Big crowd, as always, though it seemed smaller than in years past but was still a good time and still *very* Vermont.

Here are some pictures of the, ahem, Vermont-ness…

The obligatory intro banner.
The obligatory intro banner.
Strolling of the Heifers 2015
Um… yeah. This is Vermont, alright.
Strolling of the Heifers 2015
Alright, a real cow. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about…
Strolling of the Heifers 2015
No, sorry, there isn’t really a way to “look cool” driving a tractor. Nice try, though.
Strolling of the Heifers 2015
Good god, if those are the Future Business Leaders of America, I’m glad I can legally move back to Canada.
Strolling of the Heifers 2015
I’m about 90% certain this is the guy that wanted Indiana Jones to bring his village’s sacred rocks back from the Temple of Doom.
Strolling of the Heifers 2015
Farmy. Yep, sounds about right.
Strolling of the Heifers 2015
You know, I always wanted a unicycle but my parents never got me one. Seeing this, they made the right call.
Strolling of the Heifers 2015
In most of the country, beatniks are all about Beats by Dre. In Vermont, it’s just plain old beets. The kind that grow in the ground and taste terrible.

Further, my arch-nemisis, Miss Vermont was a no-show but her more mature (and far wiser) counterpart, Mrs. Vermont (Ashleigh Ricciarelli), was in attendance and far more appropriately dressed for the event…wearing rollerblades even! Big thumbs up to her.

Strolling of the Heifers 2015
Mrs. Vermont — LOVE the outfit. For real. I mean it. Please don’t send hate mail.

Vermont Senator (and 2016 Presidential Candidate) Bernie Sanders was also in the parade again.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders marching up Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont.

He had an entourage of media folks around him documenting the day, and an army of staff handing out bumper stickers to Canadians like me who can’t vote for him anyway, but surprisingly no noticeable security.

As with the last time I saw him in this parade, he appeared totally comfortable in his backyard environment — which is to be expected — but I still thought he’d have a security detail around him this time, you know, possibly being the next President of the United States and all.

The Governor of Vermont, however, had a couple of these guys less than 10 feet away on either side.

Strolling of the Heifers 2015
Member of the Governor’s Brute Squad.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, those who chose to barricade themselves into an “inner circle” rarely progress or succeed.

And while I would likely never endorse a candidate like Bernie Sanders (though he does understand what universal health care really is and should be), I’ve gotta give him credit… he’s clearly a down to earth people person with appealing “regular people” ideas kinda like Ron Paul…without the loose screws or radical son.

That, and apparently we both shop at the same store as I have the EXACT same shirt.

Yep, I dress like a 72 year old Vermonter.

– – – – – – – –

For the record, while this may all seem like a very harsh criticism of Vermont and the agricultural community in general, it’s all in good fun.

I do enjoy watching this parade however I don’t think I’d ever want to participate in it — not that they’d ever invite me anyway.

I don’t fit in and I guess I don’t really have much of a desire to fit in.

Too rural and, frankly, too artsy for me too. For those that clump all of New England together like we’re all living in small towns with white churches on the town green, well, I have news for you. Only Vermont is like that.

Maybe it’s the agricultural aspect (or maybe just the unusual — to me — people and lifestyles they choose) that turns me off more than the rural setting since I do enjoy getting off the beaten path.

Oddly, I was born in the middle of potato country (ever heard of Miss Vickie’s potato chips?) but would, clearly, never ever never choose to go back and live there. I just don’t like potatoes that much.

I dunno, it’s weird. Like Vermont.

But have no worries, Vermont…

Most of Maine is even weirder.

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    Now I have to admit, whenever a folder full of artwork comes home from daycare, it’s pretty unusual for me to take the time to actually look at it.

    I’m not proud of that.

    But last night my wife went through a bunch of it and hung (masking taped) some updated stuff on the wall. By “updated”, I mean more recent than 2010.

    Here’s one of my favorites by my younger son Henrik…

    Chicken Artwork

    Now, I know, this is clearly not the work of un-aided toddler. Their “real” artwork has more of an abstract expressionist (not to mention worthless) feel to it.

    That’s okay, though.

    I never really had my hopes set on either of them becoming artists anyway…

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      Since I’ve been referencing them in my posts lately and I’m the exact type of person to silently exclaim, “This post is useless without pictures,” I thought I should post an updated photo of them.

      Smurflings

      Smurflings

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        No one mentioned anything but, while recounting my recent debt payment payoff success, I noticed that I hardly have any photos of Smurfling 2 on here but tons and tons of Duncan (Smurfling 1).

        That’s not fair, so here’s a shot of Henrik from this past weekend.

        Honey Badger

        He turned one back on March 31.

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        As a professional photographer, it’s sad to see Kodak’s coffin apparently on the verge of being nailed shut permanently.

        They filed for bankruptcy protection today and if memory serves me correctly, this has been a bit of a recurring occasion for them over the past few years.

        I think at one point they even demolished a number of their buildings on their historic campus in Rochester, New York simply to save some money on property taxes. You know you’re in rough financial shape when the situation is so dire that things like that begin to appear as solutions.

        Though I rarely used Kodak film during my days of shooting with a film camera (in favor of, im my opinion, the far-superior FujiFilm) and haven’t even considered purchasing a roll of film since my switch to digital over a decade ago, I still use the phrase “Kodak moment” from time to time.

        It’s going to become outdated quick — if it hasn’t already — like saying something like “Tommy Gun” or “Chicago Typewriter”.

        My uncle says stuff like that and had I not sat and watched Geraldo’s anticlimactic primetime opening of Al Capone’s vault, well, I’m not sure I’d even know what a tommy gun is.

        Obviously it’s a gun, duh, but for those that are completely lost, a tommy gun was the drive-by shooting weapon of choice from 1920 through, hmmmm, probably the mid-1940’s. Simply put, it’s an old school machine gun.

        Anyway, back to the present, at less than 50 cents per share now, I almost want a piece of Kodak just to say I had it. Maybe even frame it and put it on the wall.

        Do they even issue paper stock certificates anymore?

        Probably not.

        That’s too bad.

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        So as I was out shoveling the snow this morning with my shoveling partner, I started to salivate at the thought of doing my taxes…

        I mean, usually, a month from now, I’m finishing up my taxes and waiting for that nice big check (I mean, deposit) from the government. This year is no different — February should be pretty nice on the income side of things.

        On the other hand, with another shoveler on the way in less than 90 days, well, we need a new car. One that’ll fit four of us. Comfortably.

        Yep, that’ll cancel out the tax refund.

        And then some…

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          The renovation continued this weekend as the electricians moved in to start removing all of our knob-and-tube wiring.

          It’s pretty neat, now with all of the walls down, knowing for sure, that when this house was originally built, there wasn’t electricity. No plumbing, either. It’s hard to even imagine.

          Anyway, during the week, the demolition guys uncovered this photo under the stairs…

          November 1962

          On the back, it’s dated November 1962. Check out that wallpaper that looks like some cheap linoleum tile or carpet from a casino!

          I’ve no idea who she is — a looker for sure — but I’m assuming that she’s one of the daugthers of the previous owner.

          Pretty cool, you know, the stuff you find hidden in old houses…

          Can You Dig It?

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