Friday, December 26, 2008

Fancy News from Springfield, Vermont, Home of the Simpsons - A Warning - flashing lights ahead



"Warning - Flashing Lights Ahead - Begin Accelerating Now"
That is what the sign should read as one approaches the urban core of Springfield, Vermont, City of Lights and Official Home of the Simpsons.

This sign would serve to warn drivers of the danger ahead, that when they get to either of two controlled intersections in town they will find the traffic control lights there - set to flash either red or yellow.
The danger lies in the fact that the local convention seems to be that a flashing yellow light is the signal to increase speed and plow through the intersection (the larger the vehicle the faster it should proceed in this), and that a flashing red light is the signal to park the car and wait for anyone to have the class to take turns.
Driving conditions are what they are in the Winter, especially after ice and snow and despite thawing rains - so that allowing the only controlled intersections in town to devolve into utter chaos is wicked silly.

It seems odd, that on frequent passes through town, no police department presence has been seen on the scene of either of the two malfunctioning traffic lights to monitor driver behavior, not even the uniformed person chalking tires was ever anywhere to be seen during this chaos. There was one portly older gentleman seen walking about Main Street late on Saturday afternoon sporting some kind of reflective crossing guard outfit, but he was just lost or looking for attention, and at least one cruiser was seen ziping through the intersection without hesitation.
On the other hand, this presented a golden opportunity to witness machine chaos at any moment - nothing could be more interesting than sitting with a camera at the ready at a strategic place, watching yet another jacked-up SUV or pickup truck or logging truck neatly barrel-assing it's way through the superfluous flashing yellow light. One might sit there knowing that with this degree of bad driving it is very likely that an opportunity will soon occur to capture on film the material ballet of a Subaru in flight. The failure of any cruiser to show the badge and control the intersection was a guarantee of that possibility.

Update - no luck with any flying vehicles, though there was no lack of trucks barreling through the flashing yellow light, loaded for bear and ready to lend motive force to any driver daring enough to make a break for it. The lights are back on a schedule of sorts since Monday, and finally, the police never did anything about monitoring traffic control during the outage.

Hay que ver, que es raro observar malas costumbres en lo que es conducir un coche, en una region donde se acostumbra hasta parar el coche y ceder el paso si hay algun peaton preparando para cruzar el calzado.
En los ultimos dias, y que son dias de mucho hielo y nieve, se ha observado una forma de conducir increible.
En primer lugar, y sin razon obvio (porque no hemos tenido averias en los servicios), los semaforos ya van dos o tres dias pulsando de rojo o amarillo, sin funcionar de control como de costumbre en las dos cruces mas importantes del pueblo (claro, hay varios lugares que precisan semaforos, pero de momento solamente tenemos el orgullo de ser un pueblo de dos semaforos), con el resultado de que de repente la costumbre de muchos conductores es de ir a tope donde se ve el semaforo en amarillo y pulsando (enlugar de ir con cualquier cautela), igual es la costumbre de muchos conductores el "pasar sin nisiquiera mirar", donde hay semaforo pulsando de rojo (esto en lugar de parar el coche por un momento como un "stop" normal) - y en todo caso, cuanto mas grande el vehiculo mas deprisa ha de llevarlo el conductor.

Seguramente vale la pena plantarse uno con camara, preparandose bien donde no le ha de llegar "schrapnel" o fuego, y estar listo para ver estrellarse un camion lleno de troncos de arbol, con un buen Subaru.
Vaya divertido!
Quien se atreve a decir que no hay manera de divertirse en Vermont?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fancy News - The Big Snow hits Springfield,Vermont - another classic nor'easter

There is a deep low point in the roadway of Rt 91 to the South of the Springfield, Vermont exit, on the way South near the northernmost exit for Bellows Falls. In fair weather it provides an exhilarating if mild rollercoaster thrill of g-forces and a great view, in Winter the unfolding approach of such a long, straight descent and equally long and straight climb, in icy conditions, is enough to chill the blood of the most accomplished Sunday driver. As one approaches this exit, travelling southbound, the roadway reaches the crest of the hill after a long climb, and if the drive uphill has been at full power, it is easy to notice the point at which the car ceases to labor and feels like it is ready to take off in flight. Unfortunately, many vehicles do come close to this - they lose traction at this very poetic point, and, with the extra lubricating effect of freezing weather on Winter road surfaces, more than one vehicle has lost control and tipped over among the fallen boulders in the sloping shoulder blasted from live rock. One was resting there today as a matter of fact, the latest victim of treacherous road conditions, and perhaps of cruise control as well.

Other than that, there were none of the usual upturned personal automobiles with New York plates or anything like that (that could be seen from the road anyway), the roads were kept clear by Mr. Henderson and his crews, and the landscape and urbanscape of this City of Lights - Springfield, Vermont - were like a Currier and Ives print, as befits the Official Home of the Simpsons.




Friday, December 12, 2008

Springfield, Vermont, digging out of our first Nor'easter

Last night, (as I am told by a neighbor who is a night worker and who commutes to the Brattleboro area from Springfield, Vermont), the high voltage electric power line transformers could be observed exploding off to the East near the exit for Westmoreland, Vermont, on Route 91 sometime in the wee hours. He said that it was quite impressive since there wasn't much else to see anyway at that time of night - just the task of driving alone was a challenge in that ice storm and freezing rain, (the usual half-hour trip took nearly three times as long, in low gear, at low speed).
Even though it was necessary to keep focused on the traction issues, it was hard to miss the bright orange and white air bursts of the one nearest explosion. Soon after this display, he drove by the Sunoco gas station near Putney at exit 4, but the only way to be sure of that was by all the auto and truck lights running - the gas station itself was hit by the power outage, and revealed none of the enticing glow that beckons the night traveler from a distance.

This morning I got it into my head to take the 1994 Buick RoadMaster Estate Wagon and have a "nature observation and egg purchase trip" over to Ephraim Mt Farm here in Springfield, Vermont, for eggs and general adventure, trusty Sony Alpha 100 dslr camera in tow.
From what I variously heard, read online or saw on the weather channel, there was much ice-based fun to be had.
I found neighbors hard at work digging out and dealing with the power outages and downed trees, and I found delicious ice baths freezing crystal frenzies from brambles and birches, and where they didn't break clear there were fallen branches stradling power lines like giant wishbones inviting twin pulls, and there were myriad glazed fragments of leafless or dead branches and also many frondy growing tips from pine trees that seemed to have snapped off just like a fresh stick of asparagus, and stone walls, outbuildings and barns were dressed in frost like Mrs. Havershams wedding cake, but nowhere did I see even a single car with NY plates turned upside down on the hillside, this being somewhat off the usual tourist route.
The artist was delighted by the scenery, but the hunger-driven citizen turned back at the biggest fallen tree, and gave in to the need to purchase sad and dubious factory eggs at the market, oh well, it is good to compare eggs now and then in order to keep in mind how great it is to buy locally from one of the farmers! Here are some photos of the morning excursion to see the effects of our first Nor'easter of the Season.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's that time of year again


Time to chop down otherwise perfectly good little trees and drag them behind the Crusader's Chargers along with their respective tourists, all a-bundled up in the wagon. This was the scene today at Homestead Farms, in Walpole, New Hampshire.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Snow showers

This kind of edge of the snow fall in an otherwise clear and sunny sky is a delight to be in.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Horse Traffic


This is a great time of year in Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hallowe'en Sparks Mayhem and Laughter in Springfield, Vermont, Official Scary Home of the Simpsons


¡¡¡ EEEE-E-E-E-E-E-E-EEEEEEEEEEK !!!!









"Go ahead, try to change that bill into case quarters, I dare you my pretty!", said the Money Witch of the Black River ...




video
Here are a few of the shots from this year's Hallowe'en revelry - see more on the slide show made with iPhoto.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fancy News - another fire averted by quick action from the Springfield Fire Department!


One neighbor claimed to hear a fireman say something to the effect that it was entirely possible that a little bit of burning paper could have easily developed into a completely involved house fire, and that quick reporting let them arrive in time to prevent such a result. Las casas de madera corren alto riesgo de incendio, mas las antiguas (lenya de cien anyos, anyejo, y en su punto), y mas peligro aun cuando hay entre los habitantes chiquillos menores de edad con curiosidad pirotecnica. Se ve en este caso, que en el primer momento de sentir humo alguien llamo a los bomberos y llegaron a tiempo para prevenir una Falla espontanea, Bien Hecho!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fancy News - Voila ici folks!, le famous snap-disc, Woo-hoo tout le monde!


Recently, I walked into a prominent piece of commercial architecture with great 1970's era signage proclaiming their confident posture as suppliers of electric parts and supplies, this while looking for a simple electric switch. Located as prominently as they are (on a big shopping drag strip in another "old milltown-turned-shopping-mall", in the midst of re-inventing itslef yet again, over the Connecticut River in New Hampshire, yes everyone shops there), and for as big a deal as they make of their claim to do business as an electrical supply outfit, they failed miserably when asked for a snap-disc type fan control switch that should be a cheap and common item of the most basic design and manufacture, typically stored in bins like pop-corn, pre-set at the factory. Luckily, I came across reference to the item - as produced by www.grainger.com - the reader may like to look for grainger part no. 2E245 on their easy to use online catalogue. Grainger is based in Iowa, entirely, with a friendly and helpful 24 hour telephone switchboard, and they were a snap to deal with for this kind of thing. I would recommend them to anyone. Este es el mecanismo, sencillo y eficaz, que abre y cierra el circuito electronico que manda el ventilador en el colector de aire caliente solar - que por fin lo pude encontrar, (despues de encontrarme con muchas caras estupificadas en tiendas normales), en una tienda virtual que no acaba de agradar, los www.grainger.com, vale, ya voy a poder terminar estas cosas por fin!! Update - the order shipped out within minutes, as I found out when I called a scant four minutes later to add to the order; it arrived today in a "Jiffy" Padded #2 Cushioned Mailer, Monday following, while I was out for lunch! Everyone is pleased.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fancy News - New Tree Boxes Make First Appearance! ... Hey, wait a minute!


Update: it seems that the logistics and engineering aspects of one tree box were too insurmountable for our town to overcome, and the neat little tree box is no more folks, oh well, it was too much to ask drivers to turn the wheel when parking or re-entering the traffic lane. Geesh!



There is a new tree boxe on Main Street, in lovely downtown Springfield, Vermont, Home of the Simpsons - one is in the picture here. It was right on time for a walkabout by a pack of legislators and a news crew, and it is way right on time for the citizens of this happy dale, who are as pleased as punch to see that soon there will be a fine new tree on Main Street! Some people have expressed dismay to see one of the twenty or so main parking spaces replaced by the tree bump. Even more amazingly, some find in the change a daunting obstacle to convenient maneuvering while removing from the adjacent parking space - to these timid souls I point out the big round thing on a stick that sits right in front of them when they are seated at the controls trying to park or de-park, it is called a steering wheel, and if they grab and turn it gingerly and with premeditated caution, while applying alternate breaking and accelerating pressure, they will find that the car can be made to go around it! A new tree for Main Street!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fancy News - one solar hot air collector nears completion

Well, I finally am making progress on the solar hot air collectors - are you? I swear, at the Springfield, Vermont, Recycle center enough tempered glass panels show up from old windows to make a double-glazed 4' by 8' collector every day (the trick of course is to get to these windows before mr. cranky bashes them to smithereens). I think that everyone with some kind of four or five daily hours of good sun exposure should put together their own solar hot air collector, using their local recycle center as a source of quality tempered glass for low cost or for free. Now then, moving them is another thing, you will do well to plan the actual retrieval and conveyance and storage of these (especially if you are going for the big sheets).
The main thing with the whole solar hot air collector idea is that it involves no plumbing, and little or no electric work, and most anyone can approach the technology. Of course a solar hot air collector only works while the sun is hitting it's absorber. And it's product is not considered "best grade" heat. But heat it is, and if the rule of thumb is true that every square foot of well made solar hot air collector absorber area equals 1 to 2 gallons of fuel oil in a heating season, then there is a cash value to the exercise as well. Considering that the fuel is free (however capricious), and that the mechanism requires little or no maintenance, I call it a bargain.
The one solar hot air collector that is coming along nicely will serve to keep pellets dry in their storage area in the basement. This collector will work continuously all year-round, mainly to ventilate the pellet drying chamber.

Por fin, algun progreso en tema de las placas solares, y con la elaboracion en metal de las diversas partes del aparato mismo de controlar el aire ya calentado. A ver si me explico, (que a proposito subire' pronto alguna foto), para aprovechar de un espacio estrecho, alto y bien colocado en relacion al sotano donde se almanecen los pellets dichosos, he construido un colector de aire calentado que incorpora no tan solamente el panel negro absorbador y el vacuo detras de el, pero detras aun hay lugar suficiente como para incluir un canal que vaya desde la parte mas alta, donde habra que llegar el aire ya calentado, y llevarlo hasta la camara de secar pellets, cuatro toneladas, si, cuatro, preguntaselo a Alva y te dira'!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fancy News - Pavement Progress in Springfield, Vermont

Above: a view showing the dog-trot in the otherwise unbroken line of the curb, it would be nice to see a tree there, but more likely than not this indent allows a controlled transition - from one travel lane alongside one parallel parking lane, into three clearer options for traffic flow at the trafic light controlled intersection. No se hace asi en Espanyah, pero aqui por fin tenemos reparaciones en las calles, o, por lo menos tenemos indicaciones de la intencion de modificar en alguna manera positiva lo que es un systema de baches, escaleras sin ritmo, y caidas mortales, a que se le da nombre de "calles".
Here we have a portrait of the fine new granite pieces that will soon be nestled in the paving of Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fancy News - the Pellets arrive!


And what a fine raft of pellets they were! Luckily, we had house guests to put to work, guiding the truck into the flower beds, and ripping the bags open on their way into the cellar! The fireman's brigade method worked well actually, and with the smart deployement of the moveable ramp of rollers a la supermarket box delivery roller bed system it became a quick piece of work. Of course several bags did catch and rip but not many - just enough to make the floor look like the scene of a guinea pig traffic accident involving two guinea pig baked goods delivery vans. - Aqui vemos la llegada de los famosos "pellets" para el "pellet stove", cosa que ayudará mucho en evitar el consumo de petroleo en esta casa. Llegaron justo a tiempo para que los primos se divertiesen en lo que es un ritual de Verano en el Noreste/New England de los EEUU - el hacer las mil y una tareas en preparación para el Inviernoooo. Con los pellets se produce un calor eficaz, mas barato, y con menos poluición en contraste con el calor producido quemando ese tesoro magico, el petroleo. Y, sobra hablar de que cuando cae sol en las placas solares, ese calor solar es gratis y ayuda mucho hasta en los dias mas frias de Invierno, en evitar en algo el consumo de los dos combustíbles. Ya veremos, we'll see how it goes in practice during the Winter!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fancy News: Paving Pandemonium; Mayhem on the Midway.



The reason for that private firm's service vehicle being there in the middle of the ongoing sidewalk work on Main Street this morning, in downtown Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons, and for the presence there of their workers, and for the presence there as well of other service providers' crews, all busily engaged in tasks literally in, on, and about the Great Main Street Excavation of 2008, is that nobody did a dowsing before ripping into the sidewalks like it was their first day running the thresher in the big alfalfa field. Electric lines, telephone lines, lay lines, all torn at, causing inconveniences and outages to local residents and merchants, these adding to the burden of their suffering through all of the attendant distractions of the mechanical interruptions that are to be expected even in the best circumstances with professional planning and preparation ("how 'bout them 'cheese-ola' plywood bridges, anybody figure for lateral stresses at all? What about sea-sickness on the wobble across? What is going to happen when Aunt Bee leans against one of those handrails and takes a header into 4 inches of crushed stone?" - these are said to be the tone of some questions that have arisen in tone-y circles about town). Yes, the residents of Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons, are enduring a job that perhaps seems to last longer and satisfy less at every puff. And let's not get started with the many street lamps that have been konked (please gentlemen, more than one?) and broken and which now need to be replaced. Was someone walking around carrying a ladder in the air and losing his balance all the way down Main Street like Charlie Chaplin? One Clever Wag About Town (cwat) suggested that they wait to order replacement street lamps, since they will be cheaper to buy by the dozen.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fancy News - Solar Hot Air Collectors in Progress

Today, following the excellent advice and examples on www.builditsolar.com and to also on homesteadingtoday.com I indulged my curiosity about solar alternatives for supplemental heating, about specific projects, in especial the active solar hot air collectors - that have use in the Summer as ventilation devices for hot rooms or attics or musty cellars. I like aspects of the three main types of hot air collectors that I see used often and spoken well of, so I decided to make at least one of each (they won't go to waste, immediatly), and gradually:

1) There was progress on a box for the ventilator/heater for the attic window, it will be a black polyester felt absorber type collector, in a "smallish" box of about 45" x 60", this size is to best take advantage of the existing 30" x 30" window opening. and still fit within the eaves and the window frames below it.
The black poly felt came in yesterday as a matter of fact, it is grand, and oh so very warm in it's inimitably polyesterlische way that it gags me to touch.
This black felt absorber theory is interesting. They claim great results from it for heating (but I will be happy just to keep attic from being a late afternoon radiator with any decent ventilation), the idea behind the theory of using felt is that the felt bakes like mad and has a million surfaces to release the heat. It's design is also different than the others in that it lets intake and output share same manifold opening in the unit, albeit with a partition. This attic unit will have a simple flip damper that moves to send heat either out to the sky or back into attic in the Winter (it will be good for the attic to have some heat, it will not be much anyway) - it's main value to me is in it's ability to ventilate the attic/oven in the Summer -

2) There was progress as well on the 4' x 8' box for the flat plate collector - I managed today to make a 1" x 3" frame around a sandwich of a 1/4 inch plywood and a 1" sheet of foiled insulation, with no accidents, gross mis-measuring, or ridiculous patches - this with a power drill, circular saw, and silicone caulk, I have already formed folded sheets of aluminum for "internal girder/baffles" and will assemble them tomorrow or maybe tonight, it is so much fun! Then the alum plate goes over that, cobbled from 36 inch wide sheets, then the cover of polycarbonate roofing, then the tempered glass.

Of course, besides making the collectors, there remains the confusing issue of ducts and fans, with various confusing but clever openings that let air supply be either cool room air or overheated room air, and with exits for heated air to the interior space or to the outside atmosphere - this will call for a dedicated "chimney" on the inside, and a similar one on the immediate outside, for each installation. I would far rather use the systems in the Summer for their excellent ventilation uses than just cover them up. For the big soda can collector I will use a second floor window for air to be delivered to the heater, it will deliver to the collector hot house air in the Summer or cold house air in the Winter, and whenever it sends it's product of hot air back to the inside it will go through an 8" diameter insulated duct of about ten feet long.

I have two huge bags full of Arizona Ice tea cans waiting too, but they need to go to a local friend's house where he has a drill press in his shop for me to trim each one.

Update, I bagged the aluminum beverage can cylinder idea as too much work for similar output, although I will make a soda can collector at some point for the shear joy of it.

See my www.solarhotair.blogspot.com for other related posts.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fancy News - oil "pre-buy" contract doesn't mean a darned thing according to the fine print!




Enough said about alleged clumsy editing in "prebuy" paperwork, and on to the Future! on to Solar Stuff!
Solar power is the obvious way to go for supplemental heat at least.
The trick is to use what systems do work, the way they work best.
Solar often gets short shrift, but this writer's oil boiler has not fired up since late March or early April for heating domestic water - thanks to german-engineered Sunda Evacuated Tubes that work like champs - installed by the professionals at Clear Mountain Solar. That system was a no-brainer to choose for the site, simple, tried and true, and effective solar stuff for a specific and defined task.
In the search for some other solar opportunity to burn less heating oil made of that amazingly versatile treasure called petroleum, I have done hours of research recently, to come to the conclusion that I have enough solar exposure to a convenient outside wall (three areas really, but I am only doing one, maybe two), to warrant spending the time and energy on a solar hot air collector, that will be pretty much a passive thermosyphon system with the air flow assisted by a solar PV powered blower (that coincidentally goes on when the sun hits it - no power outages!).
I would encourage Springfielders everywhere to get on the stick and see how simple these supplemental solar hot air collectors are. If they have a good place to site them, then they are worth the trouble. In ideal situations there is no need for any mysterious wiring at all, and since they deal with air not water or other fluids, there is no mysterious plumbing either - any wood butcher can do it, if they can really figure out the system and plan it well and methodically implement it.
Collecting solar energy in water is five times more efficient for heating then air is, so forget about storing heat from solar heated air, and any solar collector may not get sun everyday anyway. However, by comparison to solar hot water, a solar hot air collector is way cheaper to build, and it is easy to design and build by the homeowner with moderate handyman skills.
Some rules of thumb that I see mentioned often in regard to designing a thermosyphon system for the home:
1) Solar hot air collectors are only supplemental heat sources, never primary. They work only while sun is impinging the collector, and only then - think of them as a space heaters, if the space that a solar hot air collector is designed for is too big you won't really notice the heat from it.
2) figure one square foot of collector surface area to cover ten square feet of living space to be heated.
3) keep the collector square footage less than twenty percent of the square footage of the living space to be heated.
4) no ducts or vents that move either the cold or heated air should be any less than six inches in diameter, if round.
5) success in all cases depends on rigorous attention to detail in the construction of all elements of the solar hot air collectors of any configuration. Solar hot air collectors are, to be sure, all by their very nature utterly simple to design and craft, but they must be scrupulously riveted, caulked, and sealed, and with the right materials.
6) if you are a plumber with solar exposure at all you need to be doing your home heating system from solar hot water heaters and cut back way dramatically on heating oil!!! Not to mention you need to be using solar hot water collectors for your domestic hot water!!! My conventional, primary oil burner practically does not ignite from Spring to Autumn thanks to the Sunda DHW collector array, and the water in the holding tank in the basement stays warm enough to make an appreciable dent in Winter oil burnage as well.
Consult www.sunda.de about evacuated tubes.

So then class- it transpires that a cleverly designed, fan-assisted, flatplate, tube or thermosyphon solar hot air collector will apparently produce useful heat for the appropriately-sized insulated interior space, if it can be sited facing about true South for four hours per day, and if it can be sited adjacent or close to where the hot air needs to be delivered.
Repeated claims and testimonials offer the same story, that this system will bring up the temperatures appreciably or dramatically, with different writers claiming to see anywhere from ten or fifteen percent, to as much as sixty percent in real savings on their primary heating energy bills.
Time will only tell, don't take my word for it.

For further information, I recommend this site as a good point of departure in your own quest to find a way without so damned much oil burning - http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/SpaceHeating/Space_Heating.htm#NewBeerCanCol

I will make a report on this on-going Summer project as developments unfold. Meanwhile, back to spirals ...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fire! - fire has gutted several apartments and the old-fashioned movie theater where the world premier was held last year for the Simpsons movie!

To be sure, Springfield, Vermont, besides being the official Home of the Simpsons, has for far longer been know as the home of Vermont's oldest community theater group - the Springfield C ommunity Players.
However, the high visibility of the fire in the cool old building that houses several homes and the movie theater makes it feel like the stage is dark in Springfield. I hope that bad planning and apathy do not finish what the fire almost completed, the razing of one of our few remaining old victorian-era brick commercial structures on what is left of the historic "downtown". In the meantime ...
Why not patronize the Springfield Community Players while the movie theater is closed?
Check them out here - www.springfieldcommunityplayers.org

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The artist's steed is re-shoed - another fine job by Ferguson's Automotive

Yippee! No more clatter as we trundle across the patches and random staircases that we use for roadways here in Springfield, Vermont - New brake calipers up front for the RoadMaster!

You have to really look in this picture, but the floor is a marvel of cleanliness and order at Ferguson's Automotive, testament to the seriousness of their attention - if it isn't broke, don't fix it, but if it is, you can trust it to be well-cared for at Fergusons. El taller de Fergusons es un lugar ultra-professional, donde toman el tiempo para dar atencion a todo detalle.

Fancy News - it was a grand Strawberry Season, but now Blueberries take center stage.

If you drive about Springfield, Vermont, on any fine day in June, you will see a cryptic note along the road adorned with a large happy Strawberry - heed it's injunction and at all cost get thee down to the river and meet the fine people who husband a few choice acres of the best Strawberries on this side of the Connecticut River, and where you can pick your own. Que aventura! ir recogiendo fresas frescas en una granja de Springfield donde producen una cosecha de fresas incomparables!Here at home our blueberries are preparing a feast for that busy Thrush who sings all morning high in the Maples.

Fancy News - the Precision Valley abounds with fine old cars

Maybe it has to do with all the precision tool and die and other machine shop employees left behind when the factories were moved to places where people work for beans, but there certainly seem to be abundant and well-cared for antique roadsters in the area of Springfield, Vermont. Sera posible que a causa de que dejaron aqui los maquinistas cuando vendieron las fabricas, que hoy en dia hay tanto coche antiguo en Springfield, Vermont, aqui dos ejemplares.

Thermosyphoning properties aside, this is one fine ride to see up close, finished as it is in "solar collector flat black" and sporting a jaunty red plate that has a rack of animated skulls letting all know that "old guys rock". Este es un vehiculo privado del vecindario, buen ejemplo del cuido con que se mantienen los carros mascotas.

Here is one excellent Chevy - pampered by one of our local car whisperers and the people at Green Mountain Motors, purveyors of cherry rides in the valley.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fancy News - Bongo holds court in Downtown Springfield, Vermont, Home of the Simpsons

Here is Bongo the Goat, our very own Bongo - undeclared Mascot of Springfield Vermont -


He knows what he wants and when and where as well, not to mention why -
Bongo loves doggies, for target practice that is - even Badger, yes dear Badger who adores Bongo's lovely natural blond tresses and handsome rack, even Badger runs the risk of being head-butted by our Bongo -


But best of all Bongo loves his friends. Yes, everyone knows Bongo, the unofficial mascot of Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fancy News -New Paving in Springfield, Vermont

Mm-m, New Paving!!!


The spankin' new granite curb stones are mighty fine looking and well-set but the proof of quality is often in the details that will be hidden from view ... nice work!

Now that the sidewalks are re-constructed, the people who run around in big, bulky, bobble-headed costumes portraying Simpsons characters won't trip that often, especially on their way to Jake's Market!

Seriously, you could have knocked this observer over with a fiddlehead the other day, when something no one ever expected to see suddenly happened, (certainly no one expected to see any new paving hereabouts any time soon, after hearing rumors that the town dropped the ball on the deal to resurface Springfield's streets as part of the deal that stuck us with a state jail and all the negativity that that entails).
I waited a day or two to see if the mirage evaporated, but it is real, and after talking to the road crew I find that indeed, significant portions of the embarrasing and irksome dry stream beds called Park Street and Union Street are being resurfaced, and this includes the sidewalks! -even on the block that has them on both sides!
Unbelievable!
Maybe this is one reason why our property tax bills went up by about a million percent recently - forcing many to choose between paying taxes and paying a heating bill of course (that reminds me, it is time to watch for spikes in the sales of bailing wire, I am told it is the preferred method by rural folk who have reached the end of the rope, ugh).


Here are Springfield's Other Finest, the road crews who actually manage to do real work with such a situation, bungled by such inept pikers - they take not a little grief from citizens who are distressed enough to complain to any captive audience (no matter how inappropriate, imagine, complaining to the workers about the streets, geesh they need to get on the horn to the town and to the state about it!).
Here they are seen interrupting their well-deserved coffee break just to assure nervous passing motorists that this is real work, not a mirage, and certainly not any bizarre illusion that they risk losing themselves in if they pass - Yes Springfield, Vermont, Home of the Simpsons, you are really getting New Paving on Several Hundred Yards of City Streets, some of it with New Sidewalks, ¡ON BOTH SIDES!