The Greenneck: Airborne Again

And so the GN finds himself airbound again, with all the complications and contradictions it brings: The dash to the airport (first riding the bike to pick up the truck at the shop; the truck needed rather suddenly and immediately to jumpstart the old Subaru, the one set of presentable travel clothes already grease-stained before the airport hoves into view, the strategic parking of the Subie on the uppermost deck to allow for the inevitable push start upon the GN’s return and on and on and on), the wondering if it is even worth it: Detroit, of all places, to drive VW’s 2008 clean diesel Jetta and talk to the car maker’s engineers about the future of diesel in the US. Interesting stuff (to the GN, at least), and it pays ok, but still… cars? Flying to drive? It is unseemly, like playing witness to the latter part of Axl Rose’s singing career.

And next week: Back to Detroit, this time for a sit down with GM’s Bob Lutz (a man who owns a Russian MIG fighter jet and subscribes to the “so-called theory of global warming”) to talk about GM’s plans for plug-in hybrids.

The Greenneck likes his work, and the recent turn it has taken from vapid adventure travel to issues of energy and how it is used. But there are times – and this is one of them; how could it not be? – when he feels like little more than a cog in the consumer machine, preaching the gospel of green tech, promising a reprieve with no more hardship than it takes to mosey on down to your local car dealer and trade the Explorer for something newer and better.

So let it be said here and now: It ain’t gonna be that easy.

Wallingford Cob Smoked Bacon

Perhaps the only bacon ever to be honored by Vermont governmental decree (LINK,) this tasty little porkparazzi from the Wallingford Locker has kept me smiling all week long.

Now ... if that damn donut shop would just re-open.

BACON RATING SYSTEM: Wallingford Cob Smoked Bacon

Pork Flavor
not enough << 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 >> too much

not enough << 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 >> too much

not enough << 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 >> too much

not enough << 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 >> too much

not enough << 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 >> too much

too chewy << 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 >> too crisp


Walk this way

Rank your pedestrian unfriendly neighborhood in a couple quick clicks. The score will tell the tale.

90 - 100 = Welcome to Boulder.
70 - 90 = Not so bad. But better when you're baked.
50 - 70 = Decent. If you don't mind wearing body armor.
25 - 50 = Brutal. Get another Hummer.
0 - 25 = Welcome to Sprawlville

LINK: WalkScore

EcoStalker: Kirsten's Jetta

Make: Volkswagen Jetta Diesel
Year: "2001, I think."
Conversion: 2006
Runs on: Diesel, Biodiesel, restaraunt grease
MPG: 55
Conversion Cost: $2,000
Done by: Full Circle Automotive
Last stop for grease? "The V.G. They're so used to it at this point, they don't look at you funny at all."


Tour de Frances set for Saturday

"... Like all great sporting events the Tour de Frances comes from humble beginnings. The race was created by four friends after a day of watching the final time trial of the 2003 Tour de France, 9 holes of golf, and copious libations. Inspired by Armstrong's victory and alcohol induced bravado it was decided that the four should square off on one lap around on the block for time..."


Scooby Doobie ... uh, dad?

A Santa Fe 4-year-old slammed a four-pound trout on the Pecos River last week ... using her Scooby Doo rod and some salmon egg bait.

The fish was released.


Spielpalast Cabaret

What made Saturday's Spielpalast Cabaret show so remarkable?

There was no psychedelic light show. There was no special guest appearance by Trey Anastasio. There was no USA Today fanfare.

Yet a theatre full of well-traveled, well-rounded, well-fed locals sat there with expressions alternating between fly-catching amazement, stupid grins, and pure enjoyment.

It was reality. Only available in that one place at that one time with those certain people sitting next to you to share it. A gift shared by everybody lucky enough to have made the effort to swing by.

In our current era of everything-everywhere-all-the-time, the singular pleasure of something purely local is nothing less than priceless.


What state's that in?

There’s been a lot of talk in VT about climate change legislation, with all the divisiveness that’s come to define the state’s political goings-on of late. Douglas, as promised, vetoed the energy bill and was predictably – and justifiably - lampooned by those left of right-center.

To be sure, we needed that bill and so much more. But we should be equally sure that we’re crafting and passing bills for the right reasons, none of which have a damn thing to do with crowing that we’ll be heralded as the cutting edge of the green revolution.

Don’t you get it? Most American’s don’t even know what state Vermont is in. And those that do associate it with gay marriage (yeah, yeah, it ain’t marriage. But to most Americans, that’s a pesky detail), Howard Dean, and cows. Vermont is quaint. Vermont is pretty. Vermont is progressive (sorry, JD, but it’s true). What Vermont ain’t, to the 300-and-some million Americans that don’t live here, is relevant.

So let’s stop wasting breath and print space arguing for a role as environmental leader and get down to the brass tacks of becoming environmental doer. This is not about the pride of being first or setting some sort of standard; to pretend so is to dilute the importance of the message, and to wallow in the same sense of self-importance that got us to this sorry crossroad in the first place.

No wonder we haven't heard from Ben lately ...



Don't fear the 'Fro

Roy's excellent two-wheeled adventures, as expected, make a hell of a slideshow. As long as you like short shorts and Seventies 'staches.

LINK -- Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100

You might be a greenneck if ...

... your kids can't operate an iPod, but they can throw down a serious scale model of aspirational greenneck living.

Photo courtesy of apprentice design builder Wyland Seibert, age 8.

Any PR is Good PR

Vermont reaps the benefit of great donuts, local nukes, and a Governor with an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Smithers by winning the right to host the much-anticipated Simpson's premiere.

LINK: JD's PR machine


10 things to do before you buy this book

10. Forget your earplugs at Thunder Road.
9. Learn new words at Fenway Park.
8. Ride Stowe trails with a snapped seat post.
7. Prepare for a liver transplant after rafting the Kennebec.
6. Run the Long Trail in peak black fly season.
5. Sleep through the 4 a.m. songbird onslaught.
4. Catch a trophy brown, then remember to get your fishing license.
3. Drive the 9th green at Sugarbush ... from the 7th tee.
2. Secede from having to do the dishes.
1. Bike to work in Waitsfield, and survive to buy Jim's book.



When a Wyoming-based distributor of premium international outdoor brands looked for a new PR firm, where did they turn?

Vermont, of course...



Fern It If You Can

Skier Hansi Johnson, chest deep in fresh, untracked ferns, makes the most of a warmer planet.


Those responsible

To call it cruel irony doesn't even do it justice. The man whose secret service code name is Angler, in tribute to his flatwater passion, is also the man responsible for 77,000 dead salmon, the potential crash of the Yellowstone cutthroat, and a variety of other eco-woes.