Thursday, March 31, 2011

Celebrity Cobra Takes Manhattan

It didn't take long for that cobra that's missing from the Bronx Zoo to become a beloved national celebrity.

The cobra's Twitter feed is boffo, with over 100,000 followers,  and all the late night comics are talking about him.

On Twitter, our cobra is reporting on his successful tourism gig through the Big City: "I'm leaving Wall Street. These guys make my skin crawl." and "Does anyone know if the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle sells organic mice?"

There's already a lot of cobra merchandise, including the lovely coffee cup pictured in this post.

I know cobras are dangerous, but based on his  Twitter account and the snarky comments from late night comedians, the cobra would be a lovely companion on a tour of the Big Apple. I figure if I just keep feeding him mice, he'd leave me alone. (I have a huge supply of field mice in my tool shed, and I'd be glad to donate them to the cause)

This all will probably end either badly or boringly. I hope the cobra is alright. I also hope he really is enjoying himself. Because there's not many things worse than a crabby cobra.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Have a Scary Easter

Easter is coming up in about a month, so tis the season for tacky plastic eggs on trees, Peeps exploding in microwave ovens and kids overdosing on chocolate bunnies.

A very, very sketchy Easter Bunny
Those bunnies. If you think about it, it's strange. A holiday that features rabbits hiding eggs for children to find. Just bizarre. Easter, if you ignore the religious part, is a much stranger holiday than Halloween, if you ask me.

In that spirit, I give you the web site Sketchy Bunnies, a great, fun time waster showing dozens of pictures of Easter bunnies that you dare not go near.

Why do we terrify innocent children with creepy men dressed up as giant rabbits, or Santa with whiskey on his breath, or wild-eyed clowns staggering menacingly around playrooms? I still have nightmares about Bozo.

The Sketchy Bunnies site seems to add more pictures daily, so you can check back to see which Easter Bunny is the scariest of them all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Searching For Even Worse Weather Than Vermont's

It's spring, and it snowed a bit in Vermont this morning. And weather forecasters are threatening the Green Mountain State with a possible big snowstorm on Friday, April Fool's Day.
A snowstorm in Burlington, Vermont earlier this month

It's already been the third snowiest winter on record in Vermont, and there's still snow on the ground. So the snowy weather forecast has been met with the kind of general dread you get when told the person coughing in the crowded, stuffy room you're in has both typhoid fever and bubonic plague.

At times like these, I go in search of places that have even worse weather than Vermont, just so I can retain a bit of smugness and schadenfreude

I'm happy to report I've found a pretty amazing, scary video depicting weather more horrible than here. Watch, below, the lovely, sandstorm weather in Kuwait last Friday. So far, no sandstorms are in Vermont's forecast, but that could change.

Overreaction Patrol

In my never ending quest for examples of people who overreact just a teensy bit, I give you my latest two examples

Ricardo Jones, upset over a Taco Bell
price increase
The first incident hit recently when the price of a Beefy Crunch Burrito at a Taco Bell in Texas went up from 99 cents to $1.49. Customer Ricardo Jones, 37. was so displeased with the price increase that he fired an air gun at a restaurant manager, displayed weapons, and had a three hour standoff with police, according to the San Antonion Express-News. 

Apparently, he was trying to order seven Beefy Crunch Burritos, so Jones faced a price increase of about $3.50. Too much for him. Talk about driving a hard bargain.

In the end, he lost out, because he never did get his Beefy Crunch Burritos, and now has all these annoying legal expenses and possible jail time to deal with.

Still, it was nice of Jones to at least try and strike a blow against inflation, anyway.

Meanwhile, in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Isaiah Doyle maybe did not help his case as a jury weighed whether to impose the death penalty on him for killing a convenience store clerk in 2005.

He told the jury, "If I had an AK-47, I'd kill every last one of y'all without remorse," according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. 

As for the store clerk he killed, Doyle told the court, "The only reason she was shot four times is because the gun jammed. Otherwise, I would have emptied the gun in her (expletive deleted) head."
A jury imposed a death penalty on Isaiah Doyle
after he said he'd like to kill them. 

This of course is a terribly sad case, in that the convenience store clerk's family is still devastated.

The jury opted to impose the death penalty, no surprise there. Defense attorneys are seeking a new trial, saying Doyle is mentally retarded.

He's something, all right.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Butterfly Dreams

"Excuse me sir, you have a butterfly on your butt,"

The remark came from a boy, about eight years old, who alerted me to that very problem Sunday afternoon.
A butterfly on a child's hand at the Montreal Botanical Gardens

The explanation is I was at the Montreal Botanical Garden's Butterflies Go Free event, which continues until April 25, in case you're interested.

It hasn't been much of a spring so far here in Vermont.  It's cold. The snow hasn't melted away like it often does by the end of March. The ground is frozen rock hard. The only spring beauties that have appeared around my house is a few pathetic, shivering crocuses crowding up against the sunny, south side of my house.

So it was off to Montreal, in part to find warmth, fragrances, flowers and tropical plants at the botanical gardens.
A flower enjoys sunshine in a Montreal Botanical
Gardens greenhouse.

The gardens are a photographer's paradise. The place was filled with camera toting families who probably collected a million Kodak moments in one day. Especially in the greenhouse with the butterflies.

The exhibit features hundreds of free-range butterflies flitting around a greenhouse filled with fragrant, colorful plants. I'm so winter-starved that I thought I'd died and went to heaven when I was in there.
A butterfly on a flower Sunday at the Montreal Botanical Gardens

I especially liked a particular kind of large butterfly. It was brown and somewhat dull, with markings on its wing looking like a huge eye when the wings were closed. The insects would then open their wings revealing a tropical blue surface that took your mind immediately to a tropical island paradise.

There were hazards of course. Both the butterfly and I survived the butt encounter the boy pointed out. "Sweet nectar," my companion, Jeff, said sarcastically at the incident.
Unusual flowers at the Montreal Botanical Gardens,

You had to watch out underfoot. Sometimes a butterfly would set down in your path, and I don't know if the Botanical Gardens shoot guests who kill their butterflies by stepping on them. Also, children scampered about, chasing butterflies, sometimes without looking for other hazards, like my leg or my camera lens aimed at a butterfly who refused to settle down and pose like a proper model.

Luckily, the Montreal Botanical Gardens survived my visit intact, which really is quite a feat. To the best of my knowledge, none of their plants wilted under my steely gaze, and I know I didn't knock any plants over. Which for me is quite an accomplishment.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Deck Demolition

Darlusz the frog supervisers my
deck railing demolition
"What you do, dat noise, da pieces of wood all over. You make da mess," Darlusz Zabagaiski told me as I stood there, axe in one hand, claw hammer in the next. "You look like you murder somebody. I hope you no hurt me."

As readers of my blog at know, Darlusz is the big brown frog made of plastic and resin that lives here and comments on my comings and goings. He believes he is my muse. He's nosy, but I don't mind because in the summer he consumes some of the mosquitoes that plague the boggy woods around my house.

As he always does, Darlusz was watching me work. I was starting to demolish the ugly, rotting wooden railing around the deck near the front entrance of my house.

Darlusz tottered on top of the railing I was destroying, seeing how his balance is

"Careful, I don't want you falling and breaking another foot. You still haven't recovered from that fall at Thanksgiving," I said, pointing to his bandaged front foot.

Darlusz  was looking doubtful about my work, and I could tell he needed more explanations from me.

"This will look better eventually. The railing is in the way. I'll have a garden in front of it, and we'll build  some seats. We can sit out here in the summer and enjoy the flowers. You can be my bug control guy," I said.

Darlusz brightened at that. He's been missing the big juicy insects we get out there when it gets warm.

I cut the railing demolition short though. After I knocked down about a third of it, I decided I didn't want to wrestle through the remaining snowbanks to get the rest of it. The railing demolition will have to wait.

Darlusz and I both want spring to arrive.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Um, Interesting Disaster Theories

A (very) few commentators say this tsunami was God's
punishment against atheists in Japan
The sober among us usually have pretty logical explanations for disasters that befall the world.

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami had to do with plate techtonics. Hurricane Katrina's destruction came from, well, a hurricane, plus maybe some inadequate levees. Terrorists are to blame for the 9/11 attacks.

These explanations don't stop people with more, um, interesting theories as to what caused some of the world's catastrophes over the past decade or so.  It seems God hates us for not hating certain people, so he unleashes traumatic but photogenic disasters upon us.

The Web site Jezebel has put together a nice timeline of offbeat theories behind major world disasters from the past ten years or so. 

As you can see in the list,  abortion providers, gay people and atheists seem to be the cause of many calamaties. I wonder if any members of these blamed groups do any of the heavy lifting.

Abortion doctors, like 'em or hate 'em, don't seem to have the skills to spin up hurricanes. Most gay and lesbian people I know don't have the strength to shift plates in the earth's crust to set off earthquakes.

The list indicates God is clearly in cahoots with these groups. See, he's punishing the world, or at least some denizens of the world, for accepting the fact there are gay people, abortions, atheists and the less-than-devout.

But what of the collateral damage? Seems these disasters kill, along with the heathens, some people who don't like gays, atheists, etc.  What gives? Is God clumsy? Or do the victims of the collateral damage go straight to heaven, where they help God plot future disasters.

Inquiring minds want to know.  So I can begin cowering in the basement.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Amazing Aurora Time Lapse

Watch this absolutely amazing time lapse video of the aurora borealis over Norway.

Video is by Terge Songjord. Simply amazing  But you might get a black screen with a link saying "Watch on YouTube to actually view it. But it's worth doing that.

Cold, Snowy Spring in Vermont

It's nearly a week into spring, but the temperature is staying at or below freezing, the snow isn't melting, buds aren't swelling. It's still winter in Vermont.

The forecast calls for no warm weather in the foreseeable future.
A cold sunset amid snow flurries Thursday night
in St. Albans, Vermont

The picture tells the tale. In the spring, I like to watch the sun set from the back deck of my house in St. Albans, Vermont.

Instead, as you can see in the photo, a pale cold light struggled through a snowy haze and bud-free branches Thursday evening just before sunset.

No spring for awhile yet. Sigh.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Poll Dancing for Jesus?

A big flurry in the blogosphere this week are the women who are pole dancing for Jesus,  according to MyFoxHouston, a Fox television station in Houston.

Never thought Jesus was such a randy guy, did you?

Well, he probably isn't, but that's not stopping these women. Every other Sunday, they gather to pole dance to what the ringleader of the group, Crystal Deans says is "upbeat Christian music."

You know, I say go for it gals. The Bible tells us our bodies are our temples. Pole dancing is apparently good exercise, so it keeps you in shape. (Don't worry people, this middle age, male Vermont hick who's writing this is NOT about to take up pole dancing, so relax)

"There's nothing wrong with what I do. I teach women to feel good about themselves, to feel empowered and we get in really good shape. God is the only person that judges so anybody who wants to judge me, feel free to but I'm good with God, so that's what's important tome and I really don't care what people thing," Deans says.

Good for her! As an aside, I am stereotyping when I note that everyone who is a stripper seems to be named Crystal or Tiffany. A woman named Tiffany is quoted elsewhere in the MyFoxHouston article. Just noting that.

Actually, I love some of the other headlines in the MyFoxHouston Web site, which really shows that the Houston area is a unique part of the world. One headline reads "Monster Truck Kills Woman in Strip Club Parking Lot," while another says "Pastor Calls Flock Devils, Demons."

I wonder if all three articles are somehow related, other than the fact they all happened in the Houston metro area?

Anyway, I would say that I am now inspired to find another creative way in my life to praise Jesus. But this is a family blog, so I won't go there.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Capitalism Killed Mars Civilization?

Thank Gawd for Hugo Chavez, the guy who runs Venezuela.

Hugo Chavez of Venezuela says capitalism
killed Martian civilization.
He's figured out why there is no life on Mars, proving that the guy is even smarter than most astronomers.

According to Chavez, the evils of capitalism wiped out civilization on Mars, says a report from Reuters. .

"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet," Chavez said  

Chavez has never been a big fan of capitalism. 

I wonder about his theory, though. You'd think  they would have found some artifact on Mars that proves these horrible capitalists plundered the planet. Maybe they even left some money behind. I think we should explore Mars further, just in case.

Chavez's theory makes me nervous about other ills. They say some day, zillions of years from now, the sun will explode, destroying earth. Will capitalists hasten that process? Maybe capitalists will go to the sun and mine it, causing it to explode?

Yes, I know the sun is pretty hot, and if you get too close, you'll get the ultimate sunburn. But those wily capitalists will find a way to withstand that, just you wait and see. 

So now Chavez has me worried. Maybe as we speak, Wall Street is plotting our collective doom by launching themselves toward the sun. 

Some would say we could only be so lucky. 

The Arsonist Was a Tortoise?

We often hear of heroic animals rescuing sleeping people from burning houses by barking, yowling, tugging on people, jumping up and down, etc.

We rarely hear of household pets starting fires. Today we have one. An unusual one. According to the Gothamist, Giovanni the Tortoise burned down his family's Bay Ridge, Queens apartment. 

Luckily, nobody was home, so the occupants were not hurt. A few police officers and firefighters had minor injuries.
Could this tortoise be an arsonist?

Still, a tortoise? According to fire investigators, Giovanni tried to make a break for freedom out of the house while the humans were away. Tortoises being tortoises, he didn't get very far. But he did knock over the heat lamp that kept him warm. It landed on flammable material and the place went up in flames.

Firefighters rescued Giovanni, who was found by firefighters on the kitchen floor.

So let this be a warning to you. Tortoises can be evil. If you get one, make sure your insurance policy is up to date and your smoke alarms are working.

Maybe we should just get Smokey Bear to stop on all those pyromaniac tortoises out there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Misery in Japan and Miserable People

Note: This is something of a rewrite of my blog from its previous location,
At first, I will post new items and recent ones from the old site here at blogger.
The entire archive of photos remains at

The post:

People, predictably, have been getting in trouble for saying wildly inappropriate things about the tragedy in Japan.
We do have an amazing capacity for stupidity, so that's to be expected. I say the wrong things sometimes, so I'm not immune from commenting stupidly on awful things like the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster.
Some things I've seen take the cake. I saw a YouTube video this week called "God is So Good" It's a valley girl type idiotic woman who is SO HAPPY the earthquake happened in Japan

She's what is know as a YouTube troll. She posts videos sure to anger people, because I guess she likes angry people. Or people who are angry at her. A self-esteem issue perhaps?
YouTube troll tamtampamela

Part of it is she wants a lot of hits on her videos, and she can make money through advertising this way. Piss people off, make money. And I realize I'm violating the "Please don't feed the trolls adage fro on line behavior. But here, I can't resist.

Anyway, she says she's been praying that God would offer a sign that those awful atheists, of which she said Japan has plenty, would show the world who's boss. And he did!, she says, with that earthquake and tsunami.

Watch this bozo's video if you can stomach it:

I've never wanted to slap the smug look off somebody's face more than I do hers.

The worst quote from the vid: "I'm so amazing God has answered prayers like this. I'm so overjoyed and so encouraged," she said.

Yeah, and she should have been standing on the beach in Japan when the tsunami came in. Overjoyed? Encouraged? Eve if she is "joking," tell that in person to a Japanese tsunami victim, then, and see what reaction you get, you slimeball.

As you might imagine, our "God is So Good" piece of crap of a ditz has gotten a lot more hate than even she thought she's imagine. Some resourceful people have posted her name and address on line. People have gone so far as to threaten to rape and kill her.

I know the Internet is the land of frontier justice, but death and rape threats are no good, obviously. But you'd think she would have anticipated one of her troll videos would eventually garner such a response. People have ordered zillions of pizzas to be delivered to her door, as a prank. I do hope she continues to have a miserable time for awhile.

Maybe we can make her go to Japan for a year and clean up the muck left by the tsunami.

She's asking that people stop being mean to her now, but the blogosphere and on line world is having none of it. The woman, known as Tamtampamela, is still getting incredible hate directed her way. Though she doesn't deserve the death and rape threats, she does deserve the generalized hate.

Let that be a lesson to you, sweetie.

I've seen other examples of Japan disaster stupidity. In saw a post on Facebook from someone I know who posted a video of the tsunami. The person who posted the video said she is praying for the Japanese, was upset about the disaster and urged people to help.

The Facebook post was a giving, loving gesture.

However, it always takes one person to muck up a bit of kindness. One guy who responded to the Facebook post said the Japanese got what they deserved, because some fishermen there kill dolphins for food. It was karma, he said.

So 10,000 or so people deserve to die and millions deserve to suffer because a few dozen people in Japan engage in the ethically dark activity of hunting dolphins? Oookay..... The mean Facebook poster really deserves his OWN awful karma.

Also because of the Japan disaster, Gilbert Gottfried is no longer the voice of the Aflac duck. A tragedy, of course. Gottfried tweeted some wildly inappropriate, insensitive jokes about the Japan disaster, so Aflac dropped him like well, a dead duck.

Frankly, I'm not exactly upset that Gottfried lost his job......

Super Coordinated Marketing From Chex

Some people figured out a cool marketing trick from the maker of Chex cereal and party mix. 

Arrange boxes of corn, wheat and rice Chex together and you see the drawings of the people on the boxes connect. One person reaches over to the next box to get a handful of Chex snacks, and so on.
Cartoon characters on Chex boxes reach into their neighbors' bowls.

Pretty simple, but a fun way of marketing the cereal, in my opinion.

I wonder if other companies do that.

Deer Are Iffy Visitors

Deer visited my property in St. Albans, Vermont again yesterday.

Many people are charmed when deer are around, but I have misgivings. They eat and damage stuff that I want to keep. Sometimes I regard deer as rats, except they are bigger, look better and presumably taste better
A deer at the bottom of my yard in St. Albans, Vt. yesterday

Every winter, I have to fence off some cedar trees growing on my property because they munch on those.

It's been a snowy winter, so deer have had a hard time getting food. So they're sniffing around my compost pile, looking for scraps. I don't want to get them used to finding food here, so I hope the deer move on.

Yes, I feel sympathy.  Believe me, I wouldn't have wanted to spend the entire winter belly deep in snow, freezing my butt off, starving and searching in vain for any bad tasting morsel of food to keep me  alive.

But hey, I'm not a deer. I can go to the supermarket. So call me heartless.

One of two deer visiting my property yesterday
Spring is allegedly coming, so green shoots of grass and other plants and buds should appear soon. Maybe the deer will go back into the fields and forests, looking for those. Then they'll leave my gardens intact and in peace. At least I hope.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Winter Grabs Spring Away

Yesterday, as spring officially arrived late in the afternoon, the sun felt sort of warm and the snow continued to melt.

Today, the first full day of spring, winter elbowed spring aside in a hurry.
My back yard this morning, just before the snow began

I knew the snow was coming, so I got up early to get as much work done on my property in St. Albans, Vermont as I could before the snow buried what I was doing, forcing a postponement until things thaw again.

It's quite a give and take. The snow tapered off early this afternoon, accumulating to less than the predicted three to five inches. Some of the new snow even began to thaw a bit.  The forecast changed late this afternoon, with only light flurries predicted. I was hopeful.
Same scene, 90 minutes later after snow erased spring

With that, winter took umbrage. A big area of snow blossomed on radar over northern New York and has now moved into St. Albans. It looks like that three to five inches is coming after all.

You can't win with spring in Vermont.

Below: The view from my back deck as the snow fell. I usually like being out there on warm spring days. Not this one.

Crimes of Stupidity

I'm always fascinated by stupid criminals, or paranoid people who report crimes when something completely normal is going on.

So I was pleased when the Huffington Post offered some fun police blotter items. You know, those are those little items in local newspapers that say Mrs. Smiths flower shop got broken into or there was a fender bender on Elm Street.

These are a lot better though. Some of the better ones include a report that a car was slowing going up the street, stopping at each mailbox. Investigating officers discovered it was the mailman. And there was the call from a Wal-Mart where somebody reported finding an infant in a trash can. The "infant" was a discarded burrito.
Why did the Swanson Chicken Pot Pie cross the road?
Because somebody who reported it to police was wacko.

And there are the thoroughly perplexing one, where somebody called police to report a Swanson frozen chicken pot pie running down the street.

Um, I guess if people are going to ask why a chicken crossed the road, why not ask why a Swanson frozen chicken crossed the road.

Do any readers out there have funny police blotter stories? Put 'em in the comments section and join the fun.

Meanwhile, I'll relax, although since it's wintry out today, I am worried abotu seeing a Swanton frozen dinner run by. If so, I'll just stab it with a fork and throw it in the microwave.

Talk about hunting for dinner!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vermont March Weekend Scenes

March in Vermont is when winter ends only reluctantly. This weekend has been a good example.

Turkeys in the corner of my St. Albans, Vt. yard Saturday morning.
I awoke Saturday morning at my St. Albans, Vermont house to a dusting of unexpected snow that put the lid on the nice thaw the day before. Turkeys in my yard picked through the snow, looking for scraps of food. By the looks of things, they were successful.

Ice piles up after a thaw along the Missisquoi River near East Berkshire, Vt.
That thaw shifted the ice in rivers, and it piled up in spots to jam, back up water, or at least make some jumbled natural ice sculptures. The north wind Saturday froze the moving ice into place, where it will stay until the next thaw.

The day stayed chilly, but the March sun is strong and erased the skim of snow and softened the earth, enabling me to get some early landscaping work done outside. At the end of the day, I turned the corner and spotted a flash of purple near the foundation on the south side of my house, where the early spring warmth collectes.

Crocuses! There is hope for spring. But not right away. It's Sunday morning and it's 15 degrees. We're supposed to get a couple inches of snow tomorrow. And several inches more midweek.

Crocuses appeared this weekend on a sunny corner near my house.
Spring officially arrives today, but in Vermont, Mother Nature isn't going to let the season in the door just yet. Winter is one of those guests who doesn't know when to leave, so we have to put up with that for a little while longer.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Losing Money at the ATM.

ATMs are getting to be dangerous places.

We've always been warned about being careful for prying eyes that could obtain our PIN numbers and rip us off mercilessly.

People have hacked into ATMs and stolen money. Or just taken the whole damn machine. recently reported a more low tech, but probably more effective way of scamming money from ATMs.

Thieves  have started putting glue on the "Enter," "Cancel" and "Clear" buttons, so a user would get stuck in mid-transaction.

At that point, the victim would go into the bank to ask a teller to help solve the predicament, and while the customer was doing that, the thief would go to the ATM, which was in mid-transaction, and the customer has already logged in his or her PIN number, remember, and take money.

The number of ways to lose money at ATMs is growing,
So on top of everything else, we now have to check the ATM before we start to see whether there's glue or other stuff to creat havoc. Life keeps getting more complicated.

Meanwhile, the Gothamist is heralding the days of $5 ATM fees. Seems banks are annoyed by new federal regulations limiting bank overdraft charges and debit card fees. They want to make up for the lost revenue somewhere, so the thought is, jack up the prices big time at ATMs.

We'll just have to plan carefully and not use any ATMs that don't belong to our own banks, won't we?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Penguin Friday

My favorite animal, of all things, is the penguin. Too bad you can't have pet penguins, but you can't have everything, no?

To celebrate penquins, I offer you two penguin videos that have gone viral in recent weeks.
The first one is the anti-horror movie: You've heard of the awful film "Snakes on a Plane," I'm sure. This one, a real life version, is Penguins on a Plane. They were on a Southwest flight in California recently.

Next, we go to South Africa, where a poor penguin couldn't decide whether to leap between two boulders. So dramatic! So cute!

Burlington, Vermont's St. Patrick's Day

S.D. Ireland Trucks in Burlington's St. Patrick's Day parade.  
Note: Matt of All Trades blog relocated here to blogger, on March 17. Archive Matt of All Trades blog post prior to March 17 are at

Yesterday, in Burlington, Vermont, the first warm, sunny day of spring coincided with St. Patrick's Day, leading to a rather exuberant scene in the city's downtown.

Usually, it's cold and wet and snowy and dark in mid-March in Vermont, so it was nice to see a pleasantly warm day to keep the revelers comfortable.

Burlington St. Patrick's Day hatwear
People have been getting into costumes a lot more during holidays lately. Dressing ridiculously isn't just for Halloween anymore. Unless two-foot tall bright green plastic top hats and black poodles painted green are now in fashion, I don't know.

Every year, the highlight of Burlington's St. Patrick's Day celebration is the S. D. Ireland parade.
For years, S.D. Ireland, a local concrete company, has held the noisy St.Patrick's Day parade in downtown Burlington.
It involves cement mixers, honking truck horns and rumors of margaritas being mixed within the cement trucks.

Definitely not your usual St. Patrick's Day parade. Below is a clip of this year's edition I shot and uploaded to YouTube.

St. Patrick's Day fashion statement in Burlington, Vt.
A lot of people are annoyed by the noise and disruption of the parade, but I kind of like it. Celebrations are supposed to be noisy. I mean, who would want to go to a silent Fourth of July fireworks display? The booms complete the experience.
St. Patrick's Day in some circles is a day for drinking. All day. Starting at the crack of dawn. Call me a wimp, but I don't have the stomach to stay drunk all day. I'm too busy. And the old bones in my body can no longer take falling over repeatedly for a full 12 hours.
Still, the line to get into RiRa's Irish Pub was there all day, so the drinks clearly flowed.
My only quibble: If only the bar next door to my workplace hadn't repeatedly played "The Unicorn" song. It felt like maggots boring into my brain after awhile.
Other than that, I'm glad everybody had a good time and the weather was great.

 The crowd at Burlington Vermont's Ri Ra Irish Pub yesterday

Monday, March 14, 2011

Welcome to My Relocated Blog

Me. I've relocated my Matt of All Trades blog here, from Wordpress
Hello, Many of you know me as the guy from the Matt of All Trades blog, over at

I'm moving. Matt of All Trades is now here, in Blogger, so bookmark the new address!

It's been great over there at Wordpress, but you really can't put up paid advertising over on that blog. Well, you can at, but it's too complicated for my simple little mind

So, I'm shifting over here, to Blogger, where I can attract advertisers. I know, I know, advertising can be annoying on a blog and everywhere else, so why am I drinking that Kool-Aid? Because I'm a money grubbing cheapskate. I'll only get minor ads, and I'll earn pennies. Little pennies. But pennies count in my warped mind.

For those of you not familiar with the Matt of All Trade blog, Welcome! The blog is a potpourri of my thoughts on all things, hence the "All Trades" name. Look for my skewed, offbeat (some say weird) views on pop culture, news, humor, my occupation as journalist, writer and landscaper, my photography, and whatever is on my mind at the moment.

The blog can be a odd, strange trip. But it's worth it, at least to me.

I almost always update the blog at least once a day, usually twice a day, sometimes more. So check back often for new posts. And please, please, leave your comments, observations and ideas on the posts. The bigger the conversation the better.

The Matt of All Trades blog over at Wordpress remains up, so you can look at my hundreds of archived posts dating back to December, 2009.

Here at Blogger, it'll also take me awhile to learn to get the bugs out of this different format, so things might look a bit goofy here at my new home for awhile. Please be patient with me. I'm good at a lot of things. However, web design, and anything to do with this Internet thingy is definitely not one of my strengths.

Most importantly, thanks to all of you for reading, commenting on and telling others about this blog. I deeply appreciated it.

Thanks, Matt