First day with a helmet cam

What Waitsfield wants

Here's a "word cloud" based on the comments attached to the recent Waitsfield town survey.... it's an interesting gauge of what people in a small Vermont town are interested in.

I (heart) darkness

According to the weather guy, there will be 23.5 hours of darkness in Vermont today. I checked.

The darkness will provide a wonderful backdrop for watching the meteor shower, and if you haven't seen one of these before, it's kind of like being visited by the ghost of 1990s Christmas Past bearing a huge black velvet Magic Eye poster ("I saw it! I saw it! It's a shark!).

Being ensconced (SAT word, 4 points) by blackness is also great for

a) ignoring late season yardwork;
b) blowing off your daily run;
c) falling asleep in your kid's bed at 7:45 pm;
d) all of the above.

During an imaginary interview with Katie Couric about my non-existent tell-all autobiography ("Open, for the Right Price"), I had a hard time answering her penetrating inquisition: "what's your favorite part of November?"

Was it the weekends full of freezing rain? The guaranteed overeating and family-inspired binge-ing of Thanksgiving? The need to wear blaze orange in my backyard so I don't take a shell through my fleshy parts? No, no ... I tell Katie as I pantomime a pat on her on her head and try not to get freaked out by her tiny little hands .... it's the darkness.

Nothing makes a gray day look brighter than bookends of pure, dripping blackness, and riding the cruiser to the mailbox at 3:45 pm is so much more exciting when you wonder if you'll be flattened in the darkness by a speeding UPS van.

For some reason, I always think of Icelanders at this time of year. Apparently, they embrace the darkness like no other nation, setting up brilliant holiday lighting displays and enjoying the aurora borealis from their luxurious lagoons of naturally steaming hot water. They embody a positive spirit year-round, and they are an inspiration to us all (editor's note: Icelanders also lead the modern world in alcohol "enjoyment", the lowest age for losing your virginity, and web traffic at Overstock.com).

How do I love the darkness? Let me count the ways.

OK, I'm thinking. Wait. Here it comes.

Can I get back to you on that?