Day in the Life

He rolls out a new round bale, forks a couple hundred pounds of baleage to the cows. He breaks the ice on their water. Throws a couple flakes of first-cut to the sheep. Grain to the chickens.

The chores done more quickly than usual, none of the typical savoring of the morning, or he’ll miss his plane. Still, he sets out for the airport with little time to spare: Cabot to BTV in 70 minutes, and perhaps another 35 before his flight lifts off. Close, but not nervous-close.

Until the gauges in the old Subaru go flat on the run-in to Montpelier. He knows this symptom all too well: Alternator. He acts quickly, makes it to the car rental counter in less than 5, is out the door in another 10, rolling in a new Outback, the seat warmer pushed to 11, the heat making him squirm a bit, but he’s gotta have it, gotta experience this slice of the good life, even if it’s making his ass sweat.

He makes his flight. He makes his connecting flight, even scores an exit row. He lands. Another rental, a short drive through the barrenness of small-town Minnesota. He reclines, watches a bit of bad TV, heads to the neighboring pub. Eats, drinks. Calls the wife.

She’s not upset, but that’s only because she’s been long-groomed for this life, for the sickening reality that, as she drives down the main drag of Vermont’s capitol city, the hydraulics on the 8-foot Fisher plow attached to the nose of the Chevy are failing, and now the plow is throwing sparks on Main St, trying to scrape the pavement off the road, and the boys are staring in wide-eyed wonder saying “what’s happening, mama? What’s happening, mama?” And it’s getting dark and it’s cold and he’s halfway across the country enjoying a two-beer buzz.

To recap: He is in Minnesota, chasing a story. Their car, a 1995 Legacy that’s about to turn 200,000 and might not be worth the price of the rebuilt alternator they’ll now have to buy, is stranded in the Thrifty lot. A few miles down the road, their Chevy is parked at the end of a long streak of pavement scrapings.

When one considers the goings-on in this world, it is small stakes drama. They remind themselves of this as they chat, telling their respective tales of woe. Soon, he’ll be home, and they’ll collect their broken vehicles, fix them, and carry on. They could wait until later to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Or they could do it now, separated by 1500-miles of America, he shivering under a cold Minnesota sky, she stoking the wood stove in their little Vermont home. And that’s exactly what they do.



Another Thanksgiving come and gone. For the Greenneck, a day of work, play, food, drink, and conversation. Dinner was the leg of a lamb the Greenneck had dispatched only a week before; it was extraordinary in its tenderness and flavor, particularly the crisped bits of fat clinging to its meat. And after dinner, an impromptu jam session based on GN’R’s “Patience.” Even the GN, with his rudimentary chops, chimed in and no one complained. Could a holiday be any better?

Well, perhaps. Because to be truthful, the conversation, while stimulating, was a wee distressing. The theme of the day was the acute sense of pessimism that seems to be sweeping through the halls of left-leaning America, and the consensus that it is not misplaced, not merely fretting for the sake of the fret, the way liberals are wont to do. Climate change, resource depletion, the housing crash, skyrocketing health insurance, the diving dollar, the uneasy truth that our economy depends on our continuing to consume beyond our means or ability to mitigate the after effects. Goodness. Can it all be true?

The Greenneck suspects it can, and lately he’s been taking careful measure of his own waning optimism. It is a worrisome trend for a man who’s long traded in happy-go-lucky, and on one level, it seems fraught with ill gain. As Axl Rose so sagely sang “I don’t worry ‘bout nuthin’, ‘cause worrying’s a waste of my time.”

But maybe it’s ok. Maybe acknowledging these things – not just thinking ‘yeah, they’re true,’ but really knowing them – is a step in the right direction. Maybe it’s not only not a waste, but an essential process on the path to action. What action? The GN’s not yet certain. He’ll take his time and think about that. He has that luxury; he needn’t defend his life practices to anyone. Still, it won’t be easy; he’s always been the impulsive sort. He needs just a little patience.



First snow, moustache grows
First turns, razor burns no more
Skin it if you can


Growing new together

Despite being wicked economist name droppers and show-off spellers, the guys over at Breakthrough have thrown out a verrrry interesting solution to global warming and the end of oil ... namely, to work together and focus on the solution.

Their point is that between the drums of the doomsday crowd and the shrilling of deniers, political lines are being redrawn regarding what it means to be green. And as a result, another group is emerging. One that's not red or blue, Democrat or Republican, urban or rural. Hmmm, sounds sorta like a bunch of Greennecks to me.

It was Breakthrough's idea, but Triple Pundit says it best: ... to get to a new world order takes more than just tearing down the old world order. You have to grow the new one at the same time. And the engine of that growth will come from a new environmentalism of global cooperation, carbon equity, and technological innovation. The only way to get global cooperation is if everyone prospers ...

Happy Anniversary

Two years ago, today, I was diagnosed with stage 3b colon cancer. It wasn't a very good day.

As of this moment, however, I'm cancer free and considered to have a very strong chance of leaving this chapter in my rear view mirror, forever.

I have a lot of people to thank for my survival, including my surgery team at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, my oncologists at the Norris-Cotton cancer center, my chemotherapy nurses, and of course my incredible wife and family and friends.

But i also have to thank the cancer patients who went before me. Their experiences and their willingness to be a part of shared research enabled me to reap the benefits of the best medicine and treatment technologies available. Without them, I might not be here today.

Cancer is a savagely unpredictable disease, and they say that the best weapon against it is prevention. But I'd take that a step further. The best weapon is medical research.

Believe it or not, US funding for cancer research will likely decrease this year. While some groups like the Lance Armstrong Foundation are lobbying the federal government to increase their support of essential research, other groups are doing the research on their own.

Growing a moustache for 'Movember' is a fun and lighthearted way to kill a few weeks in the pre-ski season. The reality is that the dollars raised will be well spent on better, more aggressive, and more effective ways to battle prostate cancer. LINK

If you don't feel like donating money to my moustache .... don't sweat it ... there are thousands of other guys with moustaches and dozens of other exceptional cancer programs worth supporting as well. I've listed a few below.

Happy anniversary.

Sponsor my moustache
American Cancer Society
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Lance Armstrong Foundation
Colon Cancer Alliance
Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Planet Cancer
First Descents Kayak Camp for kids with cancer
Boarding for Breast Cancer

Can't stop

Beards are fine I guess
But furry, long, hard to tame
It’s ‘stache for me, thanks



Food catcher. Beer foam
Chocolate milk, egg yolk, cheese
Save it for later


Moustache Haiku

Moustache won't you grow
Facial hair ain't my strong suit
Stroke my wispy fuzz


Mo means Mo

Full disclosure ... it was Steve Mazzuchi who did it first. But like any good idea, it was worth stealing. So, for the month of Movember the team at Wicked Outdoorsy will be growing moustaches to raise cash for prostate cancer research.

We're shaving 'em down and growing 'em back. Our heroes are Tom Selleck, Borat, Wade Boggs, and the entire Ski Patrol nation.

In case you were wondering, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, and more than 218,000 men will be diagnosed with it in the next year.

All donations from our 'STACHE FEST will be made directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (ie, "high-impact research to find better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer:"). It's a 501(c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by your accountant

Click on the button below to GIVE to TEAM VERMONT CHEESE. Movember - Sponsor Me


Looking high in the Northeast

About a week ago, the Comet Holmes got about a million times brighter. You can see it to the northeast, just after dusk (or so they say.

The cloud of dust around the comet is apparently getting bigger, bolder, and attracting amateur photographers from around the world ... not unlike another galactic cluster.