[news] Goodbye, New Orleans

"The City of New Orleans Is Devastated. Those were the words of Mayor C. Ray Nagin and based upon a major breach of a levee system, water is flowing into New Orleans flooding it beyond recognition and could very well destroy New Orleans, Jefferson and the surrounding areas." More...

Google satellite map, with the location of the breached levee highlighted.

Levee system in NOLA.

Photo of levee breach.

Holy Cow.

"Residents will probably be allowed back in town in a week, with identification only, but only to get essentials and clothing. You will then be asked to leave and not come back for one month."


[knitting] Secret Sleuth

Oh ho ho, Secret Pal. I'm afraid you've given yourself away. Yes. Too many clues. And I've managed to figure out your identity with mere hours to spare.

What was it that gave you away? Oh, the little comments. Hiking. A recent trip to that place where the French-Canadians habitons, as they say. Your address helped, too.

Like any good detective, I sorted through all the clues. The fact that you like to knit and have a blog is given. Your presents were sent to me from California. You left a comment saying that you had recently hiked up Mt. Tamalpais. You also said you'd been to Quebec. Well, ha ha, that's all I needed.

I googled a guess and saw a post from someone named "orangina" on the Knitter's Review Forum. I could find no personal information about "orangina" after I applied for forum membership, so that was a dead end.

... Or was it? Another google search returned a promising blog. This blogger is part of Secret Pal 5, was knitting Orangina and quite recently went on a hike (and the Matt Davis Trail just happens to be in Mt. Tamalpais State Park). I couldn't find anything in the archives about a recent trip to Canada, but like it matters- I know it's you, Big Sister!!!!

Am I right, or am I right? I'm right, right?

[amy] Voyage de Route

I'm going to take a roadtrip up to Montreal this weekend with Ken and Ram...

I had planned on clubbing my brains out up there (not, like, with an actual club, I mean "going to clubs"), but this past Saturday night I raged a little too hard. From what people tell me, anyway. Imagine me, slurring into a kareoke microphone, "WHY do you build me up (build me up) BUTTERcup, baby, just to let me down (let me down) And MESS me around and then WORST of all (worst of all) You never call, baby, when you say you will (say you-) Because you're a piece of shit (piece of shit?) I hate you (I hate you) More than ANYone, cuz you string me along-"

I haven't been to Montreal since the 8th grade and I'm looking forward to driving too fast on their highways and being rude to everyone. That's what the Quebecoise... Quebecers... Que- That's what the people from Quebec are like in America so, when in Rome, do as the French-Canadians do. C'est vrai?


[uvBookClub] NOT!

uvBookClub is about books. NOT! We read and talk about books. NOT! uvBookClub is a SHAM. Poor, poor Valerie. This was her first time in the faux club des livres and I don't think she knew what to expect- Probably not a bunch of people who are more focused on drinking and fixing a nice meal than talking about the literary relevance of the graphic novel and what Ghost World really means.

Amy: Read the book.
Valerie: Read the book.
Ken: Read a little at my place.
Angela: Read a little at my place.
Charlotte: Didn't read it, didn't really stay for the movie either.
Ram: Isn't even in the book club; just wanted a free meal and movie.

Tyler: Told me he read the book, yet didn't show up last night. WTF?
E!: Said she might come... didn't.
Clare: Didn't come; was house/cat-sitting last night.

I was about to have an aneurysm thinking about all the food preparation that needed to be done before people arrived (gotta make the pesto, chop all veggies, make the pizza dough, make the salad dressing), but everyone helped and the evening sailed along smoothly. I think the nicest part of having lots of people around are the eclectic conversations…

* * *

AMY: Do you want a beer, Ken?

KEN: I don't know. I guess I'm waiting for a mojito.

AMY: What?

KEN: Today you posted that drink recipe.

AMY: Yeah. That doesn't mean I actually have the makings for a mojito at my place.

KEN: Really?

AMY: Yeah, I'm starting it as a new weekly thing, like the Friday Five. Thirsty Thursday- It'll be a different drink recipe every week.

KEN: ... Oh.

AMY: So I'm sorry you somehow got the impression that I would have mojito stuff here, based on a post I put up, but I don't. Do You Want A Beer?

KEN: Yes.

* * *

AMY: Ram is peeing for a really long time upstairs.

KEN: Well he had a long drive back from Northampton.

AMY: You don't understand, he was peeing when I went up there to get a chair from my bedroom, while I was moving stuff off the chair and while I was bring it back down. I bet he's still peeing right now.


RAM: So Amy, I hear you think I take too long to pee.

AMY: What? No, I never said that.

RAM: I wish I could pee faster for you. Would that make you feel better?

AMY: Dude, you take as long as you need to pee, it's no big deal. You can't help it if it takes you an abnormal amount of time to drain your bladder.

* * *

ANGELA: You remind me of the babe.

AMY: The babe?

ANGELA: The babe with the power.

AMY: The power?

ANGELA: The power of voodoo.

AMY: ... Voodoo?

ANGELA: You do.

AMY: I do?

ANGELA: Remind me of the babe.

AMY: ... The babe?

ANGELA: The babe with the power.

AMY: The power?

[And on into infinity...]

* * *

[Dinner is on the table, everyone sits]

AMY: Oh no.


AMY: I forgot the red onion. I wanted to put some red onion on the salad and on the pizza. ... Shit! Fuck! That red onion would have totally- Fuck! Supper’s RUINED now!

KEN: That's okay, now everyone can make out after we're done eating.

AMY: ...

VALERIE: Red onions give you gas anyway.

AMY: ...

RAM: See, Amy? It's better that you left them out.

AMY: ...


AMY: Don't you like green peppers, Ram?

RAM: No, Amy, that's why I didn't eat them.

AMY: Jesus, why are you such a picky eater? What have you got against green peppers?

RAM: I don't like the skin.

AMY: Oh really. And if I were to peel the green pepper for you, would you eat it then?

RAM: Yes.

AMY: ... Hmn. Well, I'm not going to peel my green peppers just because you're so freaking finicky.

* * *

I lent Valerie a couple more graphics novels after the movie ended, when everyone was preparing to leave. Angela said she was going to make next month's book selection and let the rest of us know what our next reading assignment is. I'm already thinking about what to serve for supper...


[amy] Birthplace closing down

The Water Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., the place where I was born, is going to be closed down.


[videogame] Nintendogs

I had heard that Nintendogs for Nintendo DS was a surprisingly addictive and fun "game". Jason got it and is now the proud digi-owner of a vitru-pet. He's got some kind of small collie named "Jackie". I don't know where the name came from, but I think it's given by the game so that it can recognize when you say the dog's name. That's right, the dog can hear you and can learn voice commands. So Jason showed me and Jake last night...

JASON: Watch this: Jackie! Jackie come!
AMY: That's so cool!
JASON: Jackie sit! Sit Jackie! Sit Jackie! Sit-
JAKE: Let me try- Jackie! Jackie sit!
AMY: Jackie! Jackie come!
JASON: Jackie!
JAKE: Sit Jackie!
AMY: Let me pet her.
JASON: Lay down Jackie! Lay down!
JAKE: Sit!
JASON: Jackie!
JAKE: Sit!
JASON: Jackie!
JAKE: Sit!
JASON: Jackie!
AMY: Let me see the DS.
JASON: Jackie! Wait. Jackie!
JAKE: Jackie!
BARBARA: [shoots herself in head]


[books] As heavy as a six-pack of beer

Hunger's Brides: A Novel of the Baroque, by first-time author Paul Anderson, is 1,376 pages long and weighs 4.5 lbs. Does that make me want to read it? Yes and no. Yes, because I occationally like a long, satisfying story. No, because it's so heavy. I don't want to hoist it off the night stand, drop it on my chest ("Oof!") and pretend to read as my ribcage slowly cracks under the pressure. I loved Michal Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White, but I had to read the whole thing (a) sitting at a table or (b) on my stomach on my bed. PLUS, the Amazon discounted price is the same as a regular, non-discounted hardcover. What to do, what to do?!?!

"The plot of Hunger's Brides revolves around Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, the 17th-century Mexican poet and nun whose vow of silence at the age of 40 was signed in her own blood. Her life and work have inspired writings by Octavio Paz, Robert Graves and Diane Ackerman.

But the book is more - much, much more - than an extended piece of historical fiction. It is also the story of Beulah Limosneros, a graduate student who immerses herself in the study of Sor Juana, and Donald Gregory, her professor and a serial adulterer. And in addition to narrative fiction, it is told in the form of poetry, dramatic plays, letters and notes in the margins." -- NY Times

[videogames] This Spartan Life + Domino

More machinima! I can't get enough!

This Spartan Life: A Talk Show in Game Space. Halo game space to be specific. The conversations could be more exciting but there's an entertaining montage and a music video. And people blowing up (which is always nice).

And this is the most awesome- the most awesome- It's so awesome I can't put it into words.

[books] Memoir spawns lawsuit, movie

Speaking of Northamption...

"In the suit filed last month at Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge, various members of the Turcotte family contend that Running With Scissors is largely fictional and intentionally written that way in order to sensationalize Burroughs' past and make his book more marketable. At the same time, the suit says, the book has defamed the Turcottes, causing them harm and humiliation." More...

Uh duh, that's the whole point of the pop-memoir- "You think your adolescence sucked? Mine was, like, so messed up!" I didn't especially like this "memoir". It struck me as trying to be as intelligent, funny and moving as anything David Sedaris has written and failing on all three counts.

I must say, though, that the movie adaptation might not suck. Hopefully.


[amy] Visit Ram

Ram is moving down to Northampton, MA in a week. Regarding this issue, I had the following conversation with Angela:

AMY: We should go visit Ram after he gets settled down there.

ANGELA: We totally should.

AMY: Well... I only want to go because Northampton has the largest yarn store in New England. Maybe even America.

ANGELA: I only want to go because there's such a large gay community there.

AMY: ...


AMY: So...

* * *

So if anyone else wants to go to Northampton under the pretense of visiting Ram (but not really!), let me know and I can probably give you a lift down.


[amy] Drunken Debauchery

What day is it? Sunday? Yesterday I stopped by Plasticpalooza for a while. I chose not to slide (i.e. seriously injure myself) and instead focused all my energy on drinking beer and kicking ass at ping pong. Then I went to a bbq at Adam and Dollars'. There, I played a particularly involved drinking game and eventually passed out on the world's smallest couch. I literally had to fold my body into an envelope and periodically rotate throughout the night when various parts of my body lost feeling.

And in the wee hours of the morning, Adam could be seen walking around like this:

Is that a banana sticking out of your pants or are you just... No wait, yeah, it's a banana.


[amy] Pre-Weekend Roundup

Last night Angela came over to my place for a Knit Night. Since last week, she seems to have perfected the knit stitch and is worked on a garter-stitch scarf. She doesn't feel too comfortable with purling, so maybe we'll tackle that next week. I'm currently working on a gift for someone who will so be leaving the Upper Valley for greener pastures.

I ordered a few movies from Amazon, which arrived in the mail yesterday. I immediately brought Battlestar Galactica up to my sister's, telling her she needed to watch it asap. I opened and played Team America while I tidied my place before Angela came over. I love that movie. It's so hard to pin what my favorite part is... The puking? The dicks/pussies/assholes speech? Durk durka jihad?

I also got Ghost World, which the uvBookClub is going to watch next week. After a democratic vote (in which one person's votes were not counted because she sent them the wrong email address, and whose votes would have totally changed the results but...what are you gonna do?), the August book selection is Daniel Clowes' Ghost World. The plan is for the book club to read a book and then watch the movie adaptation. I've read the book and read through the movie's production notes. It doesn't sounds like the movie is exactly like the book. The characters are there and the themes are there, but it looks like some new material. I'm not to apprehensive about the film, though, because clowes wrote the screenplay and worked closely with Zwigoff during the making of, so I can presume that the movie is Clowes-approved.

I also got another knitting book. Another knitting book. Christmas Stockings. I'd like to make one for Barbara, Jason- They have the ugliest, most ghetto-looking stockings ever. Also, it might be good to learn fair isle knitting on a smallish project like this.



[knitting] Yarn Pr0n

Look what I got in the mail yesterday...

Sack O' Yarn

I ordered some new fall yarns from Knit Picks!

Clockwise from top: Sierra in Bud, Palette in Tan, Petal and Fawn, Suri Dream in Fern, Decadence in Tan, Twirl in Pumpkin, Ambrosia in Lavender, Panache in Cranberry

I haven't messed around with them too much but I had to knit a little bit of Panache. The color is Cranberry but it should really be called Ruby. The blend of alpaca, cashmere, silk and merino work together to make this yarn almost unbearably soft and give it a subtle sheen. It knit up quickly on size 9 needles...

Penny for scale

The only bad thing I have to say about this shipment is with regards to the Palette yarn. I ordered a light brown (tan), a dark brown (fawn) and a light pink (petal) to try my hand at Fair Isle knitting. What I got was tan, diarrhea brown and nuclear pink. Take a look at the "Fawn" I got:

Now take a look at what color they advertise "Fawn" to be on the website:

No shit. I think they sent me "Bark" by mistake but it PLAINLY says "Fawn" on the label. I don't know what I'm going to do with this yarn. The color isn't the end of the world but I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to knit with it because it just screams "Hershey Squirts!" at me.

I went up to my sister's last night and after I showed her all the yarn, one by one, we had the following conversation:

AMY: You can have that Twirl if you want.
BARBARA: Really?
AMY: Yeah, I ordered it for you.
BARBARA: Thanks! I think I'll make a hat.
AMY: There isn't enough for a hat.
BARBARA: Are you sure?
AMY: ... Relatively. ... No, I'm sure.
BARBARA: Well then maybe I'll knit it with another yarn.
AMY: Whatever, I'm going to go back down to my place. [Packs up yarn.]
BARBARA: Don't forget your diarrhea yarn.
AMY: ... [Gets up from couch.]
BARBARA: Hey. I said-
AMY: I'll see you later.
BARBARA: I don't want this one. It's gross.
AMY: I know it's gross! That's why I tried leaving it! ... Oh fine, just give it here.

And then, this morning when I got in my car, guess what I saw on the floor? The diarrhea yarn!!! It must have fallen (jumped?) out of my bag last night! AGH! It's the Tell-Tale Yarn! It'll follow me everywhere I go until I knit a noose out of it and hang myself. ... Hey, that would make a good short story. I call dibs!

And I'm still plodding along on my Kiri shawl. I was able to add a couple more inches this weekend. I'm closing in on the end of the second ball. Only three more (600 yards) to go. I hope I don't hate this shawl by the time I finish it.

* * *
They've traded the "Fawn" and "Bark" images on the website. They're trying to quietly correct their mistake and make me look insane at the same time. Those cunning Knit Pick devils! I swear I would never order a shitty color like that.


Holy crap! Any bad Knit Picks feelings I was momentarily having vaporized after I called their Customer Service! They're sending me a ball of Bark. Just like that, poof, they're sending me one. They didn't think I was crazy or anything! I offered to send them back the Fawn, but she said, "No, that's okay. I'll cost more sending it out here and then sending you the right one back." Which means... I'll never get rid of this ball! Noooo! Kaaaaaaahn!!!


[amy] Candleblog weekend

I went up to Burlington on Friday afternoon to be a guest on Friday Coffee Blogging. Read about it (and see my totally stiff picture) here.

I can't remember exactly what I talked out but my mission was mostly to recruit people to come down to the Upper Valley for parties. I remember talking about nudity a lot.

* * *

Candleblog points to a hilarious Hillbilly montage. It's like flipping through my family's photo albums really fast.

* * *

Recently Candleblog made mention of a little sci-fi show called Battlestar Galactica. I like sci-fi but I'm not in like with it- I couldn't make it through Season 2 of Farscape and whenever I see my sister watching Stargate, I say, "What are you watching? Stupid-gate? Is McGuyver gonna stop a bomb with a pair of hockey tickets? Does Tilk want a glass of milk?"

But I trust Bill's taste and get the original one-shot mini-series from Netflix and watch the whole thing last night. It's so good! My love for the show doubled every fifteen minutes! Man creates Cylon, Clylon wants to kill Man, Cylon creates hot ass Cylon that can pass for being a really hot ass human, there's space flying and space fighting, Edward James Olmos beats the holy hell out of another human-looking Cylon with a flashlight (that's when I said "I love this show" out loud in my living room), reference is made to this mythic place called Urth (Earth!)... Season 1 of the show comes out in September and it's at the top of my Netflix queue.

[amy] Another helping of leaves, please...

I had my Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants class this past weekend. Starting Saturday morning, you hike through the woods to the homestead, eat/learn about plants and help out with homesteading chores. I was going to stay over Saturday night, but as I was doing the dinner dishes (I got stuck with "Dishes" as my chore and let me tell you, doing everyone's plates and all the pots and pans after lunch and again after supper was not the high point of my weekend), all I was thinking was, "I've got to get out of here." I rolled up my sleeping bag, gathered all my belongings and ran out of the woods to try to get back to my car before it got completely dark.

Why did I have to leave? Well, lots of things. I can't really explain it, but I didn't feel comfortable being so quickly immersed in this kind of sustainable/communist lifestyle. It was too much to take in. Example: you need to eat a lot of roots and leaves to feel full. I wondered why everyone was piling so much onto their plate during lunch but come suppertime, I'm LOADING my plate with all the nuts and berries and leaves I could. Oh yeah, and then there was the naked swim time in the late afternoon. Everyone was asked if they had a problem with nudity and I said that I don’t. I swear that I don’t mind nudity but when we got down there, everyone got naked except for me and one other girl. Now, being surrounded by ten naked guys sounds alright in theory and under the right circumstances, I could have enjoyed the experience but as it was, I felt a smidge uncomfortable. Perhaps because I was outnumbered? I don't know. And the threat of leeches didn’t make matters any better.

So what have I covered: (1) Meals consisting of leaves, roots, flowers, etc (and the imminent possibility that my next bowel movement is going to be a miniature bale of hay). (2) Nudity is okay but too much freaks me out a little. (3) Doing everyone’s dishes seemed like a raw deal to me. I’d rather do mine and have everyone else do their own. What does that make me? Selfish? Lazy? See, this is why I’d make a better hermit than a community member.

I did return Sunday morning and we all went on a walk through the woods, had lunch (Nooo!! More dishes!!), and made salves using infused oils, beeswax and essential oils (mine smells delicious). I did learn a lot and am planning on taking a couple short hikes after work this week to go foraging...


[funny] Trained monkeys? Are you sure?

Listen to Act I of the following episode from This American Life: A Little Bit of Knowledge:

"Small Thoughts in Big Brains. This American Life producer Alex Blumberg investigates a little-studied phenomenon: Children who get a mistaken idea in their heads about how something works or what something means, and then don't figure out until well into adulthood that they were wrong."

I can't think of any of my own examples concerning this, but it's probably because I haven't been corrected yet. I will say that a couple years ago I was corrected by a co-worker on the pronunciation of the character "&". It's not like you ever need to say it (one would just say the word and in conversation) and you only rarely see it spelled out. So we're at work, tacking letters and characters onto a board and I ask for an "amfursan". Am-fur-san. My co-worker immediately says, "What did you just say?" Uh... am... amfursan. "Do you mean AM-PER-SAND?" Whatever, you know what I'm talking about- Just give me one!

Ampersand. Amfursan. That's how it's always sounded to me.

[amy] Mail Call

What a great mail day yesterday. I got a couple books from Amazon, Season 3 of Red vs. Blue and another present from my Secret Pal. From Amazon, I got: Stitch-It and Sew Fast, Sew Easy. I really like Stitch-It because it's a kit; it comes with a needle, different colored skeins of colored embroider thread, a how-to book, two white tea towels, a packet of iron-on transfers and a hoop. So it's everything I need to get started embroidering. How easy is that?

Stitch-It Kit

Speaking of easy, Sew Fast, Sew Easy is a good intructional book. The only fabric I've ever cut and machine sewed was for a quilt (which subsequently never got finished) and I now realize I was doing it all wrong. This book comes with patterns in the back that you can use to make a pillow, then a tote bag, then a skirt. I want to try making a couple things from this book before tackling an apron for Tie One On.

Speaking of tying one on, the new gallery is up. June's theme was 'Pink Lemonade'. August's theme is 'Mini Me'. Since I don't have/know any kids and don't have any dolls to dress up, I may be forced to make an apron for Griffith. Or, since I keep saying I'm going to participate in this apron thing and never do, I may just not make an apron at all. Who knows?

Speaking of... uh... knitting, my Secret Pal sent me two skeins of dyable wool, packets of Kool-Aid, directions on how to dye with Kool-Aid and Yarn to Dye For.

My Secret Pal RAWKS!

I'm excited to dye, but won't be able to this weekend because I'm going away on that Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants thing. What I'd like to do, though, is dye both at the same time, in a graduated color scheme, then knit a pillow cover out of it.

Speaking of dying, Season 3 of Red vs. Blue is AWESOME! Frikkin' AWESOME! From the brand-new intro (and music) to the story and all the different levels utilized and- and- I don't want to give anything away but the move from the Halo world to the Halo 2 world is pretty funny.


[knitting] That's not a woman. That's a MAN, baby!

Nice. I don't know where in Germany Strickolino is, but I doubt it get's cold enough to justify men wearing emerald green, sparkly, cabled, turtleneck bodysuits. This is beyond "knitting the fugly".

And how cold can it possibly get there? It's not Antarctica. It's not even Siberia. Checkout the company's balaclavas: It's basically a ski mask on steroids- with no hole for your eyes. Functional? Sure, if you're blind.

I don't get it...

[amy] The D.O.C. has got nothin' on me.

I finished all the hikes in the Dartmouth Outing Club's guide. Or, I should amend that: I hiked all the Mountains listed in the guide. I haven't hiked ALL the trails up Mt. Cube or Camel's Hump, but I'll get there. This past weekend I went up Mt. Ascutney and Mount Moosilauke.

Ascutney was off to a nightmare beginning on Saturday morning. I parked my car at the Windsor Trail and was going to walk to the Brownsville Trail. Well, after two minutes of walking along Route 44, this psycho dog comes running across his lawn, across his driveway and into the street. The dog's not on a fucking leash!!!! He's barking, ready to pounce and totally has this "I'm going to kill you any second now" vibe.

I. Am. Terrified. I stop walking and pull off my backpack so that I can swing it like a hammer whenever the dog decides to attack. It's early in the morning, but a car comes up the road and slows down- and then keeps on driving. What the fuck? What is it about my situation that makes it look like I've got everything under control? I need some help here! I can't get by this dog! I can't even take one more step. The second I slide my right foot two inches forward, the dog comes two inches closer to me. Another car approaches and stops because the dog is right in the middle of the road. I don't know what the driver sees but it must be: a girl in hiking gear, holding her backpack in front of her like a shield, and a dog ready to kill.

The van passes by slowly. I'm frozen with fear and- I physically couldn't help it- I start to cry. I was so scared. I look back at the van and see it turning around. It pulls up along side me and the elderly couple inside say, "Get inside, hon. Where are you going?"

I try to wipe tears and snot from my face with shaky hands as I answer, "Just, like, right there, to the stop sign. I just need to get by the dog." They end up driving me all the way to the Brownsville trailhead, all the while tsk'ing over the dog (why wasn't it on a leash, why was NO ONE HOME TO STOP THE STUPID DOG FROM SCARING 7 YEARS OFF SOME POOR GIRL'S LIFE, etc etc).

So... that was a shitty way to start out but the hiking gods make up for it- The Brownsville Trail was awesome. There was a nice, steep ascent in the beginning, then a wide open gravelly carriage road, then piles of huge boulders to climb over, and near the top the trail was tighter and covered by the trees (like hiking through a tunnel!). The summit was okay- the Observation Tower was nice but tall electrical towers kind of ruined the view. Then I took the Windsor trail back down, which was steep and tough on my knees. I was even back home before noon!



Saturday afternoon I went kayaking on the Connecticut River between Norwich and Hanover. I hadn't been in a couple years and thought it was be fun. Yeah, not really. Ledyard was crowded (until we got far enough upstream) and I spent all my energy going upstream and barely had enough to get me back down. So, after hiking 4 hours and paddling for 3, I slept like a baby Saturday night.

Sunday morning I was meeting my hiking/kayaking partner, Clayton, for Mount Moosilauke. It's about an hour's drive away, right on the southern border of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. The hike was okay, just a little cold. I was FREEZING at the top and had to take an hour-long hot shower when I got back home just to warm up. I wouldn't be surprised if it was snowing on top of Mt. Washington yesterday.

The hike yesterday was kind of hard. I didn't have much energy and keeping up with Clayton is hard. His casual stride is unbelievable. He'll step from one rock to another and for me to take that same step, I need to do a flying jump/split in the air. And I'm 5'11". But it's nice to hike with someone else. I enjoy hiking by myself, but only on relatively busy trail.

Now what, now what, now what? Ram went mountain biking in the Northeast Kingdom yesterday and mentioned a hike he'd like to go on. I also want to do Mt. Mansfield. I've got to find some of my VT hiking books...