Blog Posts

On the Road

2016 July 27

Seen about town today… A dozen or so large yellow onions nestled in the gaps of a storm grate like eggs in a carton. A person wearing dark glasses and carrying a white cane… riding a bicycle. A head-on car collision involving two elderly ladies, both texting while driving, at the entrance to the retirement condominiums. They were driving at a crawl and the impact couldn’t have carried any more energy than a fist-bump. ... Read more …

Tags: burlington

Gangnam Style and Santa Hats

2016 July 20

Seen about town today… Another surreal walk in Burlington: On Main & St Paul, there’s a father and son walking toward me. The kid is no more than eight. He’s playing some game, weaving all over the sidewalk. “Careful” I say, very politely, as he nearly bumps into me. Kid stops and says “You’re a poopy-headed penis butt” and starts a Gangnam-style dance. His father thinks this is hilarious. Stunned, I say, “Well, thank you, you’ve made my day. ... Read more …

Tags: burlington

Nude Photo

2016 June 28

Seen about town today… An elderly woman carrying a curling iron in each hand. A dude dressed kind of like Crocodile Dundee carrying four Victoria’s Secret shopping bags. This is the second time in a month I’ve seen him with four such bags. Later, a trio of tourists ask me if I can take their picture. “Sure” I say, “Where are you from?” They tell me they’re from Bosnia. They want to have their picture taken with the mural on the back of Simon’s convenience store in the background (the one that backs up to Center St. ... Read more …

Tags: burlington

All About Tee-shirts

2016 June 24

Seen about town today… Great tee shirt. On the back: Calculus textbook… $150, graphing calculator… $100, mechanical pencil… $5, knowing how to evaluate ∫f(z)dz = ∫(u + iv)(dx +idy)… priceless. I’m downtown, and was just approached by a woman who’s 90 if she’s a day. She walks right up to me: “Where do you get those tie-dyed shirts like that?” “I got this in a thrift shop, but there’s a push-cart parked on Church Street that sells all kinds of tie-died stuff. ... Read more …

Tags: burlington

Goldfinches and Oompa-Loompas

2016 June 22

Seen about town today… A dozen goldfinches flew across the bike path, right in front of me. They aren’t really gold at all. They’re more lemon or sulphur. (But you knew that.) Someone who looked like a cross between the Gloucesterman on that box of frozen fish sticks and an Oompa-Loompa.

Tags: burlington

Matt Dunne for Governor

2016 June 15

Seen about town today… A young lady walking toward me with a tee-shirt bearing big block letters: “MATH DUNCE”. I wonder what could motivate someone to wear such a shirt. As she gets a little closer, I see that it says “MATT DUNNE”. Now I feel like a dunce. Passing Sigma Phi, I see a clear plastic tote—like one might use to organize one’s closet—and I see the silhouette of paddling feet. ... Read more …

Tags: burlington

Cedar Waxwing vs Falcon

2016 April 21

Seen about town today… A falcon took a waxwing in mid-flight yesterday, but couldn’t hold it. Instead, it dropped it on the sidewalk right in front of me. So here is this little bird, gashed and bleeding. There’s no way it will survive, and it lies there suffering. What to do? Pick it up and try to comfort it? That would only terrorize it more. Stomp on its head with my heel and put it out of its misery? ... Read more …

Tags: burlington

Newtonian Mechanics

2016 April 19

Seen about town today… A truck made a left turn onto Shelburne Road in front of me. The right side door of the container popped open and a pallet jack flew out, at high velocity, straight across two lanes, slamming into the curb. Nice lesson in Newtonian mechanics. Very lucky no one was hurt.

Tags: burlington

Eytan Bakshy Seminar

2016 March 2

Attended Complex Systems Group seminar “The role of causal inference and machine learning in engineering complex systems”, Eytan Bakshy, Data Science Team, Facebook

Tags: uvm

Bunny Slippers and Reincarnation

2016 February 28

Seen / encountered about town today… At the gas station, Shelburne and Allen. A young man, who does not look old enough to drive, is wearing a flamboyantly embroidered, dragon pattern silk tunic and fuzzy bunny slippers. He fuels a black Mercedes-Benz sedan. On the front fascia, just below the headlamp, someone has drawn with a finger in the dirt: “WASH ME”. At the grocery store. I open the cooler to get a gallon of milk. ... Read more …

Tags: burlington