THURSDAY'S HUM (1-31-08)

In a recent test of all frozen french fries, the Hum staff has chosen the McCain brand as the tastiest. Ore-Ida was a close second, with the ShurShine entry a distant third. This is the first entry in a continuing series of monitoring various food offerings. Stay tuned.

Oh, as far as our choice for the next president, we're leaning toward Paris Hilton as a possible write-in candidate. She's cleaned up her act and is sounding real intelligent.

Imagine going to Hooters on Super Bowl Sunday, finding a great seat near the 390 inch HD-LD-OD-SD-RD TV and saying to the lovely young service starlet: " Uh, yes, I'd like a plate of wings, some skins and a ... chocolate milk."
We don't think so. We'll fold.

Wait a minute. We're wrong. They didn't come to blows. In fact, they were extremely civil; both ex-govs posited their respective positions with clarity and passion. And Howard only screamed once. AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
By the way, Dean is happy with the current 2 year governor term; Kunin would like to see 4 years. The best report on the discussion comes from VPR.
We think a governor should get a contract, like a baseball player, where he or she receives incentives for performance, like lowering our taxes, fixing the roads... or striking out Peter Shumlin.

Interminable wait at the Essex Junction Five Corners light this morning. We achieved a boredom level rarely felt, and decided to pass the time reading food labels from groceries tucked inside our Mac's Market bag. One item we pulled out was a can of Campbell's Select Split Pea soup.
By the way - why is it always SPLIT PEA?! What are the other alternatives?
Anyway - get this. If you eat the entire can, you will ingest approximately (God, is that a ridiculously hard word to spell) 1700 mgs of sodium, practically the day's alotment put out by the FDA and the FBI. Insane. Remind me to e-mail Campbell's.


TUESDAY'S HUM (01-29-08)

Ever wonder what you get with a thirty minute news broadcast?

We did, and decided to chart the local half hour productions. We started with the WCAX 11 P.M. show with Roger Garrity and Kristin Kelley.

11:00 - 11:12 Top stories
11:12 - 11:14 2 minutes of ads with Ford, Dr. Juli Larson, Comcast and another Ford spot.
11:14 - 11:17 News
11:17 - 11:19 2 minutes of ads featuring Lincoln, Green Mountain Care, Dr. Phil and Honda.
11:19 - 11:22 News
11:22 - 11:24 2 minutes of ads with Unicel, Ford, Geico and Toyota.
11:24 - 11:28 News
11:28 - 11:31 Ad featuring DirecTV and a few PSA spots.
11:31 - 11:33 News and sign-off.

Here's the wrap.

  • Within the newscast, we are bombarded with 6 car ads, most of them extremely obnoxious.

  • We are presented with at least 8 minutes of commercials and PSA spots.

  • The Unicel ad is particularly agitating, but at least the individual warns us that she will take 60 seconds to share valuable information that we need to know.

  • Dan Dowling is a big teddy bear, isn't he?

Don't worry, CAX. In the near future, we will be monitoring the Channel 5, Fox and ABC local news. Uh-huh.


This is a story from the Barre Times-Argus that is likely to make one shake one's head and render one speechless.

Exes reunited in separate DUI charges11:38 a.m. January 28, 2008
Staff Report
A man and his ex-wife are each facing charges of drunken driving following two different incidents in Addison County.Vermont State Police said around 10:30 p.m. Saturday they were called to a two-vehicle crash on Richville Road in Shoreham. Police reported Tanya Laporte, 33, drifted over the centerline and crashed her vehicle into another vehicle.Both vehicles sustained extensive damage, though no injuries were reported.Laporte was taken into custody for allegedly driving drunk and possessing marijuana, according to police. About an hour later, her ex-husband, Michael Laporte, 47, was on his way to come pick her up when he failed to make it around curve on Fern Road in Leicester, went off the roadway, and flipped over his pickup before the vehicle came to a stop on its roof, police said.Police said Brandon rescue personnel had to free him from the vehicle. He was also cited to appear in court at a later date on charges of driving with a suspended license and drunken driving, according to police.


SATURDAY'S HUM (01-26-08)

OK. We're kidding. It hasn't gotten that bad. But recently, the BPD has had a ball trying to shore up its depleted corp. Recent hires include individuals having experience in retail sales, office administration and the food industry. The food industry?

Well, I guess the prospect from retail sales would be well-qualified - she's obviously had the opportunity to sharpen her people skills - dealing with upset socially challenged patrons that want their money back.

And the dudes from the food industry - they've had to perform under intense pressure. If you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen!

Oh, and by the way - it's not true that the department has been recruiting at the Five Corners. That's just a vicious rumor.

We stumbled on a well-produced (should there be a hyphen?) blog in our travels; a blog which admits it is..."stubbornly leaning to the left."
Mulish Behavior's publisher is an attorney from Northfield and from his ID photo, he looks like he belongs on "Scrubs".
We really enjoyed his essay regarding the stimulus package; although Mr. Scrubs whines about the shortfalls of the plan, he has the courage to offer his own suggestions, albeit seemingly derivative. But who cares. He's trying to help. We need less citizens watching "Dancing With the Stars" and more citizens trying to tweak policy. Go mule!

Five Corners Update
We were stuck at the Essex Junction Five Corners light facing south. After napping for a while, we woke and noticed a beautiful thread of light coming from...heaven?
After rubbing our eyes, we realized the light stream was not from heaven - it was from Bolton Valley!
What a wonderful display. Here is a local ski area - trying like HELL to secure local biz, with great specials and community involvement - AND a great light show. More power to you, dogs.
We hope you shine on for many years to come.


THURSDAY'S HUM (1-24-08)

It's great that Rep. Ann Pugh (D-South Burlington) wants Vermont teachers to increase their multicultural awareness, but her bill H.640 borders on lunacy.

Introduced by Representative Pugh of S. Burlington H.640
Referred to Committee on
Subject: Education; professional educators; licensing; African American history
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require each applicant seeking to obtain or renew a license to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in Vermont to have completed at least one three-credit course at an accredited college or university in African American history, covering the period from the European colonization of North America through the end of the twentieth century.

Vermont Tiger , and Vermont Hum, agree that African-American studies are important, but so are Hispanic-American studies, and Asian-American studies and so on. Please check this out. It's only a three minute read, and it's smart,topical stuff.

In a searing submission to the Burlington Free Press, Sam Osborne tells us why he thinks Anthony P should lower his expectations, maybe running for a school board somewhere instead of being a "roadblock." Here it is:

"Pollina should prove electability first. Everyone knows the story of Abraham Lincoln who lost more political races than he won. For the record he ran for political office eight times and lost five. He really personified never giving up, and we are all better for it. But when does a politician go from "fighting the good fight" to being a candidate who never wins? When does a politician in television parlance "jump the shark?" In running for governor I believe that Anthony Pollina has found a shark in land- locked Vermont and jumped it. In my opinion Mr. Pollina has officially moved beyond being a credible candidate who can win, to a road block to real change in Vermont. Candidate Pollina has run three times for public office and has never won. Before Mr. Pollina runs for governor, he should go back to square one and prove to Vermonters that he can be elected. If running for governor is important to him why doesn't he get elected to his local school board, or as a state representative or state senator first? There are a number of great people who are thinking about running for governor. They have proved more than once that they can be elected. Unlike Mr. Pollina they have written bills, stood up and advocated for them, voted and passed legislation. Mr. Pollina has many good ideas but lacks the key ingredient to seeing those ideas become legislation; Mr. Pollina has never been elected."
SAM OSBORNE Burlington

Wow. You think Ozzy's been reading the Hum?


TUESDAY'S HUM (01-22-08)

BLOGJOG - We take a run through the local blogosphere.

-At She's Right, Charity marks today's 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a flashback - an essay she wrote for the 30th anniversary, including this:

"The so-called champions of choice (the abortion enthusiasts) have been out
in full force getting out their message. More power to them. The greatest part
of our country is the open discussion of ideas, but an issue this important
deserves to be debated truthfully. Much of the pro-choice rhetoric is nothing
more than loaded sound bites and scare tactics."

Speaking of Roe, all of the Republican candidates for Prez would overturn it - with the exception of one individual. Can you guess who?

-Peter Galbraith is now raising money for the Vermont Democratic Party. So goes the story from Vermont View, the Rutland Herald political blog.


WEEKEND HUM (01-19-08)

We don't know if that's the right way to turn Pollina into a verb, but it's close enough for us.
We also don't care if he's raised 100,000 or 10 million, he's still gonna lose if he runs for Gov.

Anthony Pollina is trying to make the world a better place. He cares. And he still has decent hair.
But he has not won anything that we can remember - maybe a scratch ticket? NO - he wouldn't gamble! But c'mon...

Poor Racine (Doug Racine). Poor Galby (Peter Galbraith). Poor JC (John Campbell). And poor Matt Dunne-a-lot. Who wants to stick their bloody neck out when there are three salesmen on the lot. So to speak.

Trouble is - Doug would probably make a decent Governor. Galby would probably infuse a different type of energy we have not seen in Montpelier. JC would be solid and Dunne will probably be something someday if he can win something! Huh?

With his world cred and his police dog passion, Galby would be tough. But not with Tony Polloni hangin' around. If Douglas, Galbraith and Pollina duked it out, it would end something like this:
Douglas - 45%
Galbraith - 31%
Pollina - 17%

If Douglas and Galbraith went mano-a-mano, it would be close, but only if Progs and Dems were to be kissin' cousins, or at least, huggy buddies!

If Gentleman Jim and Tony went head-to-head - um, no contest.

Advice to Demmies --- offer Tony a lucrative consulting position --- maybe special assistant to Gaye, or Petey, or even Daniel Schorr! Get creative.


We were hangin' at the Essex Junction Five Corners and a dude in the car next to us looked a lot like Dennis Kusinich. We rolled down our window and inquired.
Turned out he was just somebody who looked like DenDem. Said he actually worked at Price Chopper and is voting for McCain.
Oh, well.


THURSDAY'S HUM (1-17-08)

When school shooter Christopher Williams rejected his guilty plea deal yesterday, we were shocked. When the Essex Reporter hit the newsstands later in the day, we were shocked again.
There, on the front page in glorious color, just a few hours after the hearing, was the complete story, along with 3 photos and a headline telling us that the trial will take place in July.
It's as quick of a turnaround as we've seen recently in the world of print; granted it was helped along by the fortuitous coupling of the hearing's timeline and the Reporter's deadline. But good stuff just the same.
Many weeklies have beefed up their news coverage - The Essex Reporter and the Williston Observer come to mind as two of the best.

Considerable Hum in the blogosphere thanks to an article written by Kevin Kelley in the January 9 edition of Seven Days entitled 'Who's Writing Vermont's Newest Political Blog? Anonymous'.
It seems has less connection with Vt and more with NY and DC. The site is produced by the Observer Media Group, which also pubs The New York Observer.
Kelley's excellent article points out:

-The new blog entry " riddled with typos and malapropisms."; Kelley gets to throw a few '[sics]' at us, which is always fun.

-The site commentator goes under the pseudonym 'Wally Edge'. Kelley hilariously adds, "He or she did not respond to repeated requests for an interview." Wally Edge does live in Vermont, though.

-"And Wally Edge's Vermont commentaries are not exactly drawing a crowd. In the blogosphere, comment quantity is one measure of success. So far has elicited a whopping "zero."

Short light today at the Essex Junction Five Corners.
Just as I snuggled across the front seat of my Century with Tom Slayton's new book, "Searching For Thoreau", the damn light changed. I was incensed.
Slayton's work has become the literary talk of the town; it's a 240 page analysis of Thoreau's journals, combined with accounts of Tom's visits to the places HDT wrote about.
Oh well, maybe I'll get to it next light.


SATURDAY'S HUM (1-12-08)

Wonder what Fred Thompson is all about? Wonder what that big, lovable, sleepy avuncular sheep dog of a man thinks about?
Local blog Cool Blue lays it out better than many national magazines have, using excerpts from a recent debate.

Got to the Essex Junction Five Corners light and saw some cars still waiting from yesterday. So I brought them blankets, hot cocoa and yummy sour cream doughnuts from the Quality Bake Shop. They were delighted to see me and I felt really good about myself. I also assured the idlers that the light would be changing soon, maybe in 2 to 3 hours. They seemed much relieved.




Campbell, Mullin and Pearson. No, that's not a legal firm specializing in farming accidents.
Those are the names of three legislators who appeared on today's Vermont Edition with VPR's nouveau etoile Jane (Let's keep it brief) Lindholm.
John Campbell is the dashing Dem from Windsor, Kev Mullin is a Repub from scenic Rutland, and Chris Pearson is the attack progdog from Burlington.
The three combatants were on VE (noon,107.9) outlining their respective parties' priorities, and nonpriorities for the current session.

Campbell - Property tax relief, energy discussions and continuing focus on healthcare
Mullin - Healthcare
Pearson - Healthcare and general affordability issues

- Mullin took exception with a few of Campbell's remarks, especially when Campbell berated the Gov for even thinking about dumping the lottery. Mullin was "disappointed" that Senator Campbell phrased his remarks so negatively and went on to point out inaccuracies in the dashing Dem's statements.
-John Campbell, when asked if everyone would get along, replied rather cheerily that, yes, there would be cooperation and everyone in the statehouse respected each other. Right.
Sounds like JC is running for Governor, huh?
-Both Pearson and Campbell blasted Governor Douglas, which does not bode well for the session upon us. Don't they know that they should use restraint early in the session, and blast away if things aren't happening.
-Whip Mullin sounded like he was ready to defend the realm -- has he been listening to Jim Barnett instructional tapes again?
Very windy yesterday at the Essex Junction Five Corners. Knowing I'd be waiting at the light for 4, maybe 5 hours, I retreived a kite from the trunk of my Prius and got on the hood. I unfurled the 'Wind Flyer' and let 'er go. That kite looked so happy to be soaring high above the intersection.
A fellow idler at the light got out of his Cavalier, walked to Big Lots and purchased a cheap model, one with the name 'Eagle Spirit'.
A minivan mom dug an old kite out of her cargo area and set sail.
We all had a grand time at the intersection, playing like children. Five Corners -- we love you!

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