From the “Things I Will Never Understand” Department

Like most people, I’ve uploaded a few videos to YouTube over the years: mostly videos of the Burlington Concert Band performing at Battery Park, but a few other things as the occasion has arisen.

Most of my videos have gotten ten, twenty, sometimes as many as forty views. (Who knows how many of those were me, looking at my own videos and tweaking something?) Video of our local concrete ‘n’ cement company doing festive things for New Year’s and St Patrick’s Day have done a bit better.

Then there’s my all-time champion:

That little video of the ice cream truck was taken one sunny day in June of 2016 when our building arranged for an ice cream truck to pay a call. I stopped and recorded a short video as it pulled up. Totally pointless. So, of course, I uploaded it to YouTube for posterity to enjoy.

I grant you that just shy of 25,000 views is nothing in an era where Rebecca Black can get sixteen million views spitting phlegm into a Kleenex, but it is perplexing when such a video is head and shoulders above everything else I’ve uploaded in terms of viewership. Is there some unmet need out there on the Internet for ice cream truck videos? Am I missing my calling?

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Memphis Follies

I’ve been in Memphis, Tennessee for work most of the last couple of weeks. Two days out of three, I’ve stopped by a Starbucks at the corner of McLean and Union to grab a green tea latte and a chai tea latte (iced) before heading on to the customer site to work.

And apparently my normal morning zany/attention-hungry behavior has gotten me some attention:

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Meticulous Accounting, Home Edition

So yesterday I picked my car up from our mechanic and paid a not inconsiderable amount of money for a new exhaust pipe/muffler assembly, plus labor.

And this morning I sat down, as one does, to enter the transaction and the other expenses of the week into Quicken.

And upon entering the payee, the amount, and the date, and moving on to choose a category for the expenditure, this is what the program served up to me:

Apparently Carole, over the years, has found it necessary to enter certain automotive-related expenditures with extreme accuracy.

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Slices-o-Toast

I had lunch today at Cafe Eclectic, an unassuming little joint in Memphis, TN.

I had chicken pot pie, but that’s not what made me want to post about the place.

What did was this:

Slices-o-Toast.

I mean, man! With a name like that, the item could have consisted of them staple-gunning a loaf of stale Wonder Bread to my head and I’d still have ordered it.

The reality wasn’t that dramatic, but what do you expect for $1.50?

A+ for marketing, Cafe Eclectic.

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Proof that I’m insane

Carole and I live in the woods, in Vermont. We’ve got about three acres in the town of Richmond, up on top of a hill with a deep gully behind the house. Trees all around. We see all kinds of wildlife criss-crossing our lawn: deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, foxes, wild turkeys, even the occasional bear. We may have moose now and then but we haven’t actually spotted any and we haven’t been motivated enough to go out after a fresh snowfall to examine tracks.

Anyway, Carole bought me a wildlife/game camera for our 20th anniversary last September, something I’d put on my wish list on Amazon and hoped to get one day. It’s got lots of features — infrared pictures, video, all kinds of groovy things.

And I haven’t installed it. I know where I probably will install it, on a post in the middle of our back yard or by the back of our deck, both places that I know we get a lot of critters. But I haven’t taken the minute or two it would take to go strap it to a post and configure it for nighttime shooting.

Why?

Well, Carole bought it for me in September. In Vermont, the cold weather rolls in pretty early; we’ve gotten snow in October before. And it tends to stick around; we’ve gotten snow in May. And … I haven’t hung the camera up yet because I’d feel sorry for the animals stuck out in the cold. If I got a picture of a bunny hopping across our snowy yard, I’d just feel so sorry for the poor little cold bun looking for something to eat.

Obviously, this hypothetical bunny is out there whether I’m taking photos of it or not, but if I don’t take photos, I don’t have to think about the bunny.

But in a few weeks when the weather does warm up, I’ll hang the camera up then…

Watch the first picture I capture be one of some weasel or fox or something eating our hypothetical Mr. Bun.

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Mascot Parade

I have a bizarre fixation on “Champ“, the costumed mascot for our local short-season A minor league baseball team, the Vermont Lake Monsters. Despite the creature obviously just being an employee in a suit, I have a habit of projecting that he’s a barely-tame creature of menace that is only kept under control by being fed copious amounts of ballpark hot dogs.

Carole has grown used to my texting running comments about Champ during games:

Champ makes a lot of public appearances and, if I can, I try to show up. Like I said, it’s weird.

So when the local mall (we’ve only really got one in the whole state, in terms of an actual mall with interior areas and not just a big strip mall) announced that they were going to have an Easter Bunny Mascots Parade this past weekend, I promptly added it to my calendar. Apparently they’ve done this before, getting something like 12 local mascots from various teams and nonprofits and so forth to show up and pose for pictures with kids and the Easter Bunny and so forth. I knew I had to be a part of it.

I was a little disappointed when we didn’t get twelve mascots this time around, but Champ was there, as was the moose mascot of the local hospital, Rally the Catamount from the University of Vermont, a big fishing bob from Lake Champlain International, and the bear mascot from Smuggler’s Notch, one of our local ski area. Oh, and the Easter Bunny.

The kids in attendance mostly stood around dazed — your average three-year-old is kind of overawed by having a giant anthropomorphic fishing bobber looming over him. But we had a good time.

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CORNHOLE GLORY

GREETINGS FLESHLINGS

I WILL BE COMPETING IN THE 2018 LUND FAMILY CENTER “PITCHIN’ FOR A PURPOSE” CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT.

CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR ME.

I WILL CRUSH YOU ALL

YEA VERILY THERE WILL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH. AMONG MY FOES, THAT IS

THE LUND CENTER DOES VERY GOOD WORK TO SUPPORT FAMILIES, PREGNANT AND PARENTING TEENS, YOUNG ADULTS, AND ADOPTIVE FAMILIES. NO NEED FOR GNASHING THERE! HA HA HA

PLEASE SPONSOR ME AND IN SO DOING HELP FUND THE VITAL PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT WOMEN AND CHILDREN ACROSS VERMONT.

I SHALL BESTRIDE MY OPPONENTS LIKE A COLOSSUS OF YORE. COME WATCH ME AT BURLINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON MAY 12 STARTING AT 11 AM. BRING SUNGLASSES TO PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM THE MAGNIFICENCE OF MY CORNHOLE BAG PITCHING GLORY

OH MY YES

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A Different Kind of Valentine’s Day

The lovely folks at the Vermont Lake Monsters minor league baseball team (short-season A, New York-Penn League) offered a special deal this year — for a low, low price, their team mascot, Champ, would deliver flowers, chocolates, a special customized card, and vouchers for two game tickets to the special person of your choice. Needless to say, I didn’t pass such an opportunity up.

Carole was amused.

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Hoons At Night

Note 1: Carole, like any adult, has occasional bad dreams that prevent her from getting a good night’s sleep.

Note 2: Carole typically has a terrible temper in the morning, made even worse by tossing and turning all night.

Note 3: Carole would like to come downstairs to the room I sleep in (when I’m in town) and be comforted after a bad night, but, unfortunately, her terrible temper means it’s hard, if not impossible, for her to find a polite way to request said comforting services. And she doesn’t want to come down and just yell at me when I didn’t do anything wrong.

So I suggested that I simply put up a poster somewhere in her room where she could wake up and see it, something that said something along these lines: “IN CASE OF HORRIBLE NIGHTMARES AND YOU NEED COMFORTING, TELL JAY THE HOONS HAVE BEEN SQUAWKING”.

She liked that idea a lot.

So I blew a few minutes, needing no further encouragement to exert my creativity in pursuit of inanity, and produced the following:

I think that oughtta do the trick for even the surliest Carole, don’t you?

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Heroes of the Shutdown (1995 Edition)

With the 2018 Federal government shutdown careering along, I thought I’d share a treasured old, but true, story.

Carole and I were on our first date on Saturday, December 16, 1995 in downtown Washington, DC — during the 1995 Clinton/Dole/Gingrich shutdown of fond memory. There was nothing else open in DC thanks to the shutdown so we went for a walk around the Mall and Washington Monument and environs.

An ABC TV news crew was there at the Washington Monument interviewing tourists, and since we were just about the only tourists there (except one cranky old guy and a bunch of homeless people) we of course got interviewed. Didn’t know until later that we’d actually been aired as part of that evening’s ABC World News Tonight, but Carole’s dad had set the VCR to record just in case, so that’s why we’ve got the video to share (see below).

I suspect we’re just about the only married couple who can truthfully say that their first date was aired on national television as part of the evening news. We got married in September of 1997 and are still married twenty years (and two more shutdowns) later.

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