Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Desktop Office Defense System

Yes, it really works.

It lobs the yellow clay ball up to about 20 feet. I built it from a kit that I bought.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Going Home

The Boy and I spent the long Independence Day weekend in my hometown, Montpelier, Vermont. On the drive up Interstate 89 we stopped to visit my father's grave at the Vermont Veterans Cemetary, where I shot the above picture of the view from his headstone and the one below of the state seal on a granite post at the cemetary's entrance.

Montpelier is Vermont's state capital and, while not an otherwise industrial place, it also is home to the country's last plant manufacturing wooden clothes pins.

The Boy and I took in a ball game. We watched the Vermont Mountaineers defeat the Concord (NH) Quarry Dogs (what's a quarry dog?). Both teams are in the New England College Baseball League. Fittingly, the Mountaineers mascot is a woodchuck, the local vernacular for a Vermonter.

Montpelier's Independence Day parade has become a large affair lasting over an hour and featuring politicians, performers, and community groups.

The victorious Mountaineers riding on an historic firetruck.

The sailor's of the Mighty Monty came all the way from their home port of Norfolk, Virginia. One of these days I'm going to look up the story of how the capital of a landlocked state came to have an attack submarine named after it.

The Shriners were there driving their little cars. The Boy remembered them from last year's parade and he was eager to see them again. I remember them from parades when I was his age.

Vermont's Bread and Puppet Theater performed political street theater and had their trademeark washer women and giant flying bird. I also remember Bread and Puppet from parades when I was The Boy's age.

The Boy and I also visited nearby Barre, Vermont to take in a matinee of the new animated movie Cars. We had a few minutes to kill, so I took these pictures of the old Socialist Labor Party Hall. Notice the arm and hammer over the door in the picture above.

Barre is home to the world's largest granite quarry (but no quarry dogs that I've ever seen). It has over the year's attracted and turned out many very talented stonecutters. There are several excellent examples of stonecutting to be found in Barre like the statue pictured below.