A trip to Secret Pond

Jenny and i were discussing out plans for the afternoon this morning and it occurred to me that i hadn't been up to Secret Pond in years. Sara Paule and her brothers had first show me it's location four years ago, and as I was thinking about it, I also realized I'd forgotten how to get there, but I knew 3 guys that could show us.

So Jenny, Oldham and I piled into the Tacoma and headed off towards Starksboro, taking a left up Big Hollow road and a quick stop at the Kohler house to gather up my guides Ian Miles and Spencer.
The boys jumped into the bed of the truck and guided us down the road another 2 miles to a little yellow house with a dirt road running out behind it across a field and up into a wooded ridge line.
We parted at the bottom of the field, and started walking up the old dirt road that snaked up the hillside. We walked up the hill for about 2o minutes the boys chatted with us about this and that, video games, and Paul Simon - the usual. The hill leveled off, the tree line opened up and we walked out into what was quite obviously someone's personal slice of heaven.

That someone is a local farmer - Mr. Clifford. Years ago he purchased the ridge line, flooded out a little stream into this gorgeous pond, and developed the land around it creating his own personal reserve. He planned wild flowers everywhere, build a filtration system into a little waterfall, placed massive stone monuments on the hillside, stocked the pond with fish, hand built bridges, carved trail markers and skillfully constructed a log cabin complete with front porch, rocking chairs, bunk beds and wood stove.

All this he accomplished in his later years.

And then he opened it all up for everyone to use.

providing they leave everything as they found it.

and enjoy their stay.

Yertpod 10: Burlington!

Ya Vermont!

I'm feeling much better,

Thanks for your concern everyone!

-Oldham, aka Mr. Fuzzylumpkins.


Ouch! Growing up hurts

I dare you to not get this theme song stuck in your head.

In one of my recent sojourns through the vast trivial wasteland that is Wikipedia, i came across the page dedicated to the mega popular 80's family sitcom Growing Pains - while i remember watching it on occasion i don't think i was ever that into it; i was more of a family matters kind of dude, TGIF in the house...

anyway - instead of clicking through to find out the scandalous life story of Tracy Gould or Kirk Cameron, I stopped on this little section of the page titled International Names. Fascinating really, how culture is translated, or rather is lost in translation - these names strike me as sign posts to the mainstream cultural norms of the various nationalities. My favorite is probably China's sinister "Growing up's Agony" (me thinks i wouldn't like to live in China in the 1980's... or now.) or how it's juxtaposed against Japan's vision of the stoic patriarchy. Consideration should probably also be made for the re-translation back to English... Enjoy.

China: 成长的烦恼 pinyin:ChengZhang de FanNao - (Growing up's Agony)
France: Quoi de neuf docteur? - (What is new doctor? or What's up doc?)
Germany: Unser lautes Heim - (Our loud home)
Italy: Genitori in blue jeans - (Parents in blue jeans)
Japan: Yukai na Seaver Ke (愉快なシーバー家) - (Happy Seaver's family)
Latin America: Ay! Cómo duele crecer - (Ouch! Growing up hurts)
Spain: Los Problemas Crecen - (Problems grow)


Spitting out Nothing.

In what seems an obvious grab for attention it became official today that the internet circulated "Jay Blanchard of that band Solah sex tape" was nothing more than a clever publicity stunt meant to draw attention to his band Solah's forthcoming debut. The unamed actors that appeared in said tape, faces obscured, can be heard repeating lines such as "Oh fucking-A, Jay Blanchard, of www.spittingoutteeth.com you're cock is like a beer can..." and "Know what would make this rim job better? Your forthcoming debut album...".

When reached for comments Mr. Blanchard responded "I can categorically say without a shadow of a doubt, that nothing would have made that rim job better." he then could be heard over the phone making a smacking sound, and after a brief pause included "I just did that French chef "Bon apetit!" thing... like chef Borjardee."


Been a long day

Been a long day - Saw American machine, it was excellent - Seth Jarvis's performance, as a slow witted night manager of a plastics factory w/ a gimp arm and cleft pallete floored me, moved me even to almost tears. Theater, is not my cup of tea usually; something about the artifice of it's sets and the requirements of its characters to project and "play" to the audience... that being said, i found myself really being drawn in by his character. Go and see the show, if only to see his excellent acting, or Jenny's brilliant assistant-directing.

Oldham is having some problems - therefore I'm having some problems; he may or may not have ingested some chicken bones on Friday and the last few days have been an exercise in patience. I tried not to freak out; but the signs are all there - he thew up... he pee'd 3 times in a row ( a sign of distress...) he's developed chronic diarrhea and will suddenly start to try and hack something up to no success, tonight i picked him up and sat him on my lap and he start to breath heavy and whine a little... I called the Vet twice in the last few days and they had me put him on a white rice and cottage cheese diet, but what the fuck is that going to do for a chicken bone? Nothing apparently. Today i called another vet and they told me to bring him in first thing in the morning for test... Lets hope they can give me some answers, at the very least, i want to know if there's a chicken bone in there, and then we can go from there. Needless to say, i'm worried sick about the little guy.



beautiful, narcotic, moving, lovely.


How to build a custom shelf for your Vinyl

If you've ever had a sizable amount of vinyl, you know just how difficult it can be to find the right place to keep them. Even if you find the right spot, the right shelving becomes the next issue. Most bookshelves lack the the proper shelf height to fit the average 12.5" records, nor the proper shelve depth - beyond that most are not sturdy enough as vinyl weighs quite alot.

Currently we have a rather nice spot in our living room a roughly 3x4x4 area in the corner that we've decided would be our record nook, not to mention the repository of all things precious, like our 12 tape North & South collection.

At that point i was using whatever i could find to crate the records, on the landing i had a couple old vegetable crates, you know the type - they work quite well; but where not as sturdy as I would like, not to mention, my collection had out grown them. Here in the living room; we were using the plastic variety - these warped and shifted with the weight of the vinyl and on one occasion completely collapsed. Beyond that, they were ugly, and didn't even hold all our vinyl. What was I to do?

First i pulled everything out - the DVD shelf, and the records, the lamp and plants, and started from scratch - it's funny how when you take things out of a room, often times it looks smaller, instead of more spacious.

Now here are the supplies i used; and that i recommend, but of course your proportions will vary. The beauty of this method is that you can rather cheaply and effectively build a custom shelf to fit the exact proportions of your space.

2 1x10 cut to 4 foot lengths
2 1x10 cut to 3.3 foot length

These are cut to match the lengths of the two facing walls the shelf will go along; one minus, the width of the other 10" board, as they'll be butting up against each other. If you're going to go much further lengthwise than 4' than i recommend stepping up to a 5/4" board. I went with a 10" board over a 12" to give the records a bit of an overhang of the edge to facilitate easy access.

4x two core partition stone
4x half sash stones

the four partition stones will be the outside supports; they have the same proportions as a capstone but they're hollow which makes them easier to lift and place; but heavy enough to hold that place. The half sash i chose for the middle joint, as i needed a surface area large enough for both boards to meet on.

Then next step is easier illustrated, but it's pretty easy all together... it's just a simple matter of stacking everything together; like making a lasagna.

The only issue you may run into with this form of shelving is if your ends aren't being supported against a wall, or are in a similar situation to the partition stone on the right end of this shelf; in these situations it'd make sense to cut another board the height of your shelf and secure the ends of your shelves, using corner brackets, or similar fasteners. All this though, may be unnecessary as the concrete blocks are extremely solid and support themselves, and as you add weight to the shelves above, they work as their own sort of fastener, holding them in place. But just to be sure, i tested them out against a "record flop!". Solid as a rock.

Here's it is; now the nook contains all of my records, as well as all of Jenny's with room to spare, and in eye pleasing uniformity. While i enjoy the utilitarian aesthetic of exposed concrete and unfinished pine board; feel free to paint and polish to your liking.

Cost of parts: 30$
Driving to Highgate:10$
Building something with my own two hands: Priceless.


It's friday thank... someone.

Oh what, you want some content? Go read my housemates post then, or go out and do something cause it's the fucking weekend and it's beautiful outside. Look at this guy, he's doing something, he's being awesome while shitting.
Here look at his blog.


Art Hop

I took a few shots at the art hop; i felt like it'd be fun to try and use no flash and a longer exposure time to see what i could come up with - most everyone is blurry - but their instruments are in focus, i concider it an artistic statement, yeah... that's it... |The Rest|

But before JB complains that he's never in any band photos taken with the band's he's in I went ahead and found his picture:

I then submitted this picture to the Crime Lab for further analysis & enhancement:

Analysis returned the following likelihoods:

JB: 70%
Giant Banana Slug eating JB's head:5%


My 16 Living Situations:
Part One

I was day dreaming yesterday, thinking about my new place and how much it feels like home to me. My thoughts started drifting back across all the various people I've lived with over the years... The more i thought of it, the more i realized I've lived with a series of interesting people... some more than other; old pedophiles, young drug dealers, suicidal Alcoholic gay men; it's been a bumpy ride to say the least. So here's part one of my three part very mini-series on my various roommates, entitled "Perfect Strangers: The Aussie years".

1. Bob, 45 year old Aussie guy who i was sure was a closet pedophile, at the very least a closet homosexual. He was nice enough to put me up with his family for a couple weeks when i moved to Australia. When i arrived at his modest suburban home and met his family, it become apparent that Bob had invited other young men to stay temporarily, and that i was a huge burden on his family. I wanted to move out as soon as i got there; but Bob insisted that i move into this old dilapidated house with his father...

2. Bob's dad, Bob. 65 year old Aussie, he'd wake me up in the morning to the smell of deep frying tomatoes eggs and sausage. Then after soaking up the last dribbles of grease with his toast would roll up big cigarettes and slurp on Earl Grey while regaling me with stories of his many infidelities. Like how he and his buddies would gang bang this one friend of there's behind the woodshed, or how he copped a feel on his wife's best friend breast while she slept one morning while they had been out yachting - His wife, god rest her soul, had died that past spring. I'd come home from school and he'd be sitting in the kitchen smoking and listening to "Tubular Bells".

3. Bob's son, Robert. 18 year old crusty punk, and his sweet charming girlfriend who's name i can't remember - (revision: It was "Jenny", actually.) They moved in to my house with the elder Bob while they were taking a year off and living on the dole. They'd have loud sex that I'd listen to through the wall most nights. Young Bob wasn't around much, which was good cause he was a dick, but his girlfriend was, and i spent some time getting to know her. Jenny got a puppy one day a little Aussie blue heeler, it got hit by a car one day and i had to take it to the vet to be put down. One evening while Robert and i were sharing a silent dinner in the same room together he looked up at me and said "... You reckon my Dad's gay?" I thought real hard about how to answer that one. "Yeah." i said. He nodded, and went back to eating, we never talked about it again.

4. GT 27 year old Norwegian house DJ + Rotating cast of Norwegian free loaders, GT's name was Norwegian, and sounded something like "Gee-ara Tjoura" i called him GT, or Grand Tourismo, or Gay Turtle. He turned me on to electronic music and spun really sharp tech-house / electro. GT had a good ear for most anything electronic - he was also a big fan of prostitutes and recreational drugs. We shared a tiny flat on the 18th floor of an Oxford street apartment building, along with various friends and party acquaintances that would float in, stay for a couple days and then disappear without a trace; One of the longest stays was by his "brother" a Brit from Cornwall named Stephen, who had the worst acne scares I've ever seen and a thick Cornwall accent to match; Water was "Woot-ahh" - Actually thinking back on him, he looked like a shorter version of Rob Brydon. Another favorite was the next door neighbor, a friendly, bright eyed, clean cut 30 something fellow named Marc. Marc was a Buddhist and a high price prostitute. He would often offer me "Free-bees" but would settle for sitting on our balcony smoking endless numbers of joints and watching the city skyline for hours on end.

5. Jess 18 year old Aussie and life saver; she was GT's on again, off again girlfriend but more than that was my life raft when things got a little weird. I only lived with her for a couple weeks towards the end of my Australian Sojourn, but i remember that time like a camel remembers where to find water.

6. Lindsay and Tatiana 18 year old Vermonters - When i returned from Sydney i lived at home for a bit; rather in the old horse barn behind my familial home. But that didn't last, it's hard to move back to small town Vermont after having had my senses blown away by so much culture, so i moved to Burlington. My sister's ex-girlfriend and her friend let me sleep on their couch in Winooski while i tried to find a job in town; They were great roommates; Later Lindsay and i shared a room together and would lay in our beds at night arguing whether man was inherently selfish or whether or not that was beneficial... It was my believe that we are, and it is - a notion i still stand behind. Lindsay, believed we need to strive towards selflessness - last i heard she was leading outward bound students through the Andes.

It's also worth to note that both these girls at that time, i think based on some sort of dare, were dancers at "Planet Rock" for a short stint. Therefore, i can now tell people that at one point, i lived with two strippers.


Now tell me about your strangest living situation...
or just check out Lolsecretz.

Last night i finished reading "The Poor Bastard", Joe Matt's first collection of autobiographical stories centered around his life, his failed relationships with women, porn addiction, and his general neurotic selfish dickheadedness. It was the first comic (i waffle on the term graphic novel... only because i don't think Comic book is bad word.) I've read in a while, the last one being Blankets, more than a year ago - no, that's not true i also read "Every girl is the end of the world for me" while i was waiting for my clothes to dry at the laundromat, i got it as a gift for someone... Also Palestine, and Allison Bechdel's absolutely amazing Fun house. Actually i also read most of "I shall destroy all civilized Planets" A collection of some of the most early and original super hero comics ever created... but Herb's currently holding that one hostage.

I could go on about how this medium, with it's use of images and text create an emotional pull that i find enthralling, but it's probably just as much that i think I'm mildly dyslexic and reading as much as I've always loved it, takes me alot longer than everyone i know... a 150 page book, will take me a solid month. Comic format allows my brain to follow a narrative, without the bottleneck it experiences with pure text. It could also be that My summer reading choice of Cormack McCarthy's "The Road" isn't all that. Or it could be that I'm a sub-mental that likes reading comic books. Either way, I'm glad someone out there somewhere decided that comic books were a valid artistic medium.

Anyway - The Poor Bastard, is fantastic, if you're a fan of autobiographical comics you know the score, painful candid moments timed just so for maximum impact and self reflection... If you're not a fan, than well - you know how annoying these sad bastards can be. I for one, love them - beyond the artistry of combining self reflection with storytelling and visual flair - there's that warm feeling i get when i see someone having a harder time than i am making it through the day to day. schadenfreude? Either way - I'm looking forward to reading the next two collected books, one focusing on his Catholic upbringing in Philadelphia (Fair Weather) and his ongoing addiction to pornography (Spent).

Oh yeah i also read "David Boring" and various issues of Black Hole. Not to mention i read a ton of x-men and Ghostrider comics when i was a kid... and i used to oggle the Gen 13 comic covers
but was always too embarrassed to buy them.

The Poor Bastard can be read online here


Just before it rained

I snapped this picture while i was laying down in my bed reading this evening, it's the view out our south facing bedroom window...


Cool wet grass,
Cool wet grass.

Japanese Maple or "Momiji" |link|

So, we're in the final stretch of the, "are you getting a raise and a promotion or shitcanned and disgraced" games here at work... So far the entire IT staff got the latter... my Development team (all four of us) is up next. Yay. In the mean time we've been given a form where we're to list our potential goals for the next quarter, by "Objective" "Specific Deliverables" and "Alignment with Company Goals", Fun. Meanwhile i get to watch out of the corner of my eye as my already small office cadre cleans out work areas and packs up personal belongings.

Kind of reminds me of that short story "The Lottery" - leaves me wondering which of us will draw the black dot and get stoned to death to appease the gods of "The bottom line." Part of me is kind of thrilled by the whole thing... i'm new to this world of corporate restructuring and downsizing, rumors flying around by IM, "They shitcanned IT, and we're a tech company WTF?" or "Did you hear? They're moving everything to Montreal..."

This one just came from a fellow designer:

[10:40] *********: What are you putting down under Alignment with Company Goals? I put "yes" for all of them
[10:40] tanner: lol
[10:41] tanner: i put "Chaotic Neutral"
[10:42] **********: ...?
[10:43] tanner: *dungeons and dragons humor*

and then on the otherside, i'm like... crap, i don't want to have to find another job right now, this is really inconvenient...

In other news:

Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8

The Onion

Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8

CHICAGO—According to the review, the popular medium that predates the written word shows promise but nonetheless "leaves the listener wanting more."


Just what i needed...

... While i was spending the the afternoon at home, licking my wounds from a particularly unsettling disagreement with Jenny i figured it was the right time to organize some things in my life, really straighten somethings out, i figured my MP3s are the best place to start. Then i remembered Nick forwarded me the new Scout Niblett featuring a couple duets with Will Oldham, this is probably just want i need, i figured.

Misery loves Will Oldham yeah?

I was right on. With the first handful of tracks at least, i haven't made my way through it yet. Rather surprising actually - Scout Niblett's a grower for me, I've always appreciated what she's trying to do, i just don't always think she does it. This album she seems to be "doing it" with more frequency, and the numbers with her and Will are excellent, minimalist country-blues love songs with lots of tasty call and response and rough edged guitar and strings.

It all goes down as smooth as these vodka tonics - what is it, 95 degrees on a September afternoon?

Scout Niblett and Will Oldham - Do you wanna be buried with my People?

I just sneezed on my new Herb & Rose T-shirt, nice.


See ya guys at the Arthop!


Badum *Crash!*

Speaking of genocide humor... at work today we had our first company sexual harassment meeting... stay with me now.

Two lawyers from a local business law firm, i think... PFC Law, (though i referred to them in my head through the excruciatingly long meeting as "PF Claw!") were just about to finish up their question and answer section of the info meeting when this one fellow coughed and raised his hand -

"Is "I was just kidding" a defense against sexual harassment?" A bunch of the guys in the office nodded in contemplative agreement, i guffawed - the lawyer blinked and responded, "No." Then paused as if wondering if his next statment was even worth it... "There's never been an precedence set regarding the "I was just kidding" Defense..."

A round of quiet murmuring.

Then one of the guys from the office quickly responded... "Wasn't that defense used in the Nuremberg Trials?"


One week on Carmi

Thursday morning we climbed up Minister hill; it had rained all the night before and there was nothing but a massive and silent wall of fog when we got to the summit. On a clear day you can see all the way to Montreal... the only thing we could see was the tops of some evergreens below us and two hawks rolling around in front of us.

Jenny: When we reached the top of the cliff it felt like we'd ascended the peak of some ancient, mystic country, it was almost surreal, like nothing I've ever experienced. Most folks said we should hike it again when it's clear, and I would like to see that view, but nothing will hold a candle to the miles and miles of foggy mist. Two hawks flew out of the canopy and into the sky, it was breathtaking.

Oldham got ahead of us a ways and when he realized how far off he was came charging back towards us. This shot sums up the whole trip for me...

Jenny: earwahs!

We got to play host to Jenny's parents for a day and night; which is wonderful because they're such gracious hosts themselves, it was nice to see them come and relax, read books, drink wine, hike, laze about and hold hands.

Jenny: that was a nice thing to say tanner.

The sensation of being when this picture was taken is indescribable - The moon was shooting straight down to me. There were alot of nights that were perfect like this.

There were also alot of beautiful people -

...And old french Canadians arguing politics and milk prices eating 25$ steaks and washing them down with The Champagne of Beer.

Jenny: Tanner and I (with Eddy's help) found this gem of a peach of a restaurant in a tiny Vermont town near the border, The Crossing. I believe we were the youngest people there and probably the only Americans, which made for a lovely, out of state eating experience - as though we went to Canada too! We split french onion soup, crab cakes, filet mignon (medium rare, love allowed me to compromise on rare) and stuffed shrimp. The best part, I think, is an area we didn't visit, the dark, swanky, den of a bar that hasn't changed since the 60's and probably still plays new hits from Sinatra and Martin. In summation: hop the next ride to Richford with that special someone. Bon apetit!

Jenny: I opened my mouth, but I'm not sure anything really came out. I was in complete awe.

The Void... behind me you can't see franklin county, Highgate, Lake Champlain, and Montreal.

Oldham prefers the mud and shade... here he's taking a breather next to an old broken something or other.

Leon's Diner, he's got the good cheap breakfast.

Jenny: Another great Franklin county eatery! We watched The Price is Right, ate delicious homemade blueberry muffins, and found some pretty unique decor . . .

Pretty Jenny-benny day dreaming out the window. Not much else to do in Enosburg...

besides take artsy shots of Jenny...

Jenny: I was going for a very old, serene painted portrait look here, aided by the perfectly folded hands in lap, which aren't pictured here. Postmodern idleness at a Franklin County diner. I suppose you can take the vermonters out of burlington, but you can't take the burlington out of the vermonters . . .

... and of the walls. I love these three together; they say so much about Leon. It's like i knew him. I liked to pretend that, that was Leon there, and i was the little deer...

Jenny: he was a good man . . .

Jenny: stuffed

JB... i think he'd been drinking. Either that or he fell asleep while standing up. Both have been known to happen.

Check out my bulge. That's my sister Tara on the left, and my Dad's Girlfriend's Son's ex-girlfriend's daughter, Britany on my right.

Jenny: nice bulge, complete with phallus in hand! two shouts out for this lucky lady

Me and the Oldboy taking a snoozer

Check it out; i think the sunlight is trying to cop a feel of Jenny's sweet ass... hands of asshole.

Oldham's wondering if we were finally gonna get a chance to watch "Next of Kin" that night. We did. Oldham is forever grateful.

Jenny: You know why camping is so great? Because all day long all you really have to do is knit a hat. That's it, just do some knitting and make some outerwear. It's a sacred thing.

There are so many things that give me a boner looking at this picture of myself i don't know where to start... Ok, i'll start with my skin tight golfer's shorts.

Cutest Couple award... Meghan made like 45 Salads in the span of about a day.

There was a few days of moody weather; which suited me just fine; something about sitting on the dock watching heavy clouds roll off, that puts me at ease.

The homestead; Camp Campingston

Jenny: Birthday cake for Tan Tan! (later eaten by a hoard of pound cake loving ants)

The best breakfasts in world were had by us that week... I think Jenny and i put on about 5lbs each.

Jenny: so i guess i can't eat pancakes and burgers and creemees everyday and still fit into all my clothes. who knew?

This old electronic Organ rocks... a few dead keys, some dirty POTs, but a whole lotta warm buzzing and wirling. I think SP is summoning a spectre out of it....

Jenny: Another birthday cake for Tan Tan! (This one eaten entirely by hungry humans)

5 minutes before we said goodbye to summer, just let me set the timer... k.... shit. hold on...

Huge thank you to everyone who came; you all made last week truly magical - Here's to next year.

Jenny: Thank you babe. This week was without doubt the best vacation i can remember and i hold it very dear in my heart. right next to that spot saved just for you.