Why are all hockey observers morons?*

After a while, you just learn to turn the sound off. It's not like listening to a broadcast will add anything to your understanding of the game anyway. In hockey, I mean. I gave up on baseball broadcasters long before Tim McCarver was honored as one of the best at that, but baseball is different.… Continue reading Why are all hockey observers morons?*


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

Notes from the editor emeritus

In early 2012, needing a job, I went to work at a small newspaper in nearby Granville, NY. It was eye-opening. My adopted hometown of Rutland, VT, has a reputation, well-earned, for having a problem with petty crime caused mainly by abusers of recreational drugs, largely prescription but also pot, heroin, coke and the rest… Continue reading Notes from the editor emeritus

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

Chlora what?

Chloramine. There's a small but vocal group of city residents fighting to prevent Rutland from switching its water disinfectant from chlorine to chloramine (a compound of chlorine and ammonia). They have an active Facebook presence. I can't remember if it's an open or closed group right now (its status has moved back and forth), but… Continue reading Chlora what?

Saving heat

My friends over at the NeighborWorks of Western Vt. Heat Squad were pondering the question, "What would make you complete home energy improvements?" I think they aren't getting a full picture of the results of their work. We had a home audit done through them, which suggested half a dozen worthwhile projects, ranging from replacing… Continue reading Saving heat

Free the compost!

I'm guessing a lot of folks got an exhortation to plant a rain garden in the junk mail in the last couple of weeks, just like chez Cooke-Smathers (link is to the full-blown piece, not the pocket-sized mailer). Why the junk mail is there is as simple as following the money: Lake Champlain is getting… Continue reading Free the compost!

Open government award?

Just got a press release advising us that NY State Sen. Roy McDonald is to be honored as the Saratoga County Citizens Committee for Mental Health citizen of the year. I'm sure we are delighted to join in recognizing not only the senator's work in mental health but in open government. The picture accompanying the… Continue reading Open government award?

Baseball books

I spent a good many hours this winter in the 796.357 section of the Rutland Free Library. That's baseball's number in the Dewey decimal system. I have to say I came away largely unimpressed, not with the library so much as the overall quality of writing. But there's a special on-deck circle of hell saved… Continue reading Baseball books