So I am rolling in fantasy novels right now ... which is typical of my reading. I will go through a phase or an author where I read little else, then move on. My fixation with the fantasy genre started ... well it started with The Hobbit, but that was many years ago. More recently,… Continue reading Booksbooksbooksbooksbooks


As American as ice cream

So on Monday I finally got my American citizenship at a ceremony in Montpelier, so no more green card. It was a nice ceremony. The speech from Judge William Sessions was heartfelt, but it rather missed the point for me and most of my fellow emigres, or at least the ones to whom I spoke.… Continue reading As American as ice cream

Missing the thread

Well, we know who's winning the parental influence tug-of-war, at least when it comes to music. On the way to the boys' first professional hockey game (Adirondack Phantoms 4, Albany Devils 3), I was searching unsuccessfully on the FM for something more appropriate than Cat Country (gack) and generic office-muzak "rock" stations. Katya asked if… Continue reading Missing the thread

‘Tis not the season

Headline writing is one of the most enjoyable parts of working in a newsroom, but it's not easy to do well. In fact, it's easy to do crappy: Shut off your brain and pound out several words that sort of introduce the story without worrying about whether they are the best words to describe the… Continue reading ‘Tis not the season

Call me Mr. Manners, but …

We attended Finian's preschool Christmas show last night, an event which tends to put the fear of the coming apocalypse in me. We hear a great deal about how unprepared kids are for school, but not so much about how unprepared their parents are to be -- what's the word? Not parents; all that requires is functioning… Continue reading Call me Mr. Manners, but …

Halloween belongs on Halloween

OK, I confess. I like my Halloween festivities on Halloween night. That sounds stranger to people from outside Vermont and Rutland in particular. You see, Vermont is part of a hit-and-miss phenomenon known locally as Cabbage Night and in other, often rural, pockets of the world by names like Mischief Night. At least according to… Continue reading Halloween belongs on Halloween

Wangari’s lesson

Noting the passing of Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who won a Nobel Prize due to her work, in part, with the Green Belt Movement. She was something of an additional celebrity in our house after my wife's mother gave the boys a wonderful book called Wangari's Trees of Peace. A brief aside for those who… Continue reading Wangari’s lesson

Grade two, or second grade?

Our son's class at Northwest School is learning single-digit subtraction (one number between 1-10 minus another number between 1-10 equals). Last night's homework involved subtracting 1 from numbers 2 to 10. (Yup, 5-1=?; 10-1=?) It's the SECOND GRADE. It's the second half of September. From the kindergarten standard from Vermont: 2. Solve addition and subtraction… Continue reading Grade two, or second grade?