Thursday, July 30, 2009

Theater Theatre - Fancy News!

Oh yes, the Springfield Theater, even if we don't daily drive by the burned out shell of this once almost proud icon of day-to-day life in beautiful Springfield, Vermont, still we all must remember it fondly, and from time to time we must have all wondered what will come of it, absent news of it's status from any responsible organ.

One would not be alone in asking, is it "Dead in the water"? And actually the answer is probably no, not really.
While it is an oft heard story, that the former owner of the now boarded over burned-out theater building at the heart of Springfield, Vermont's downtown, did at the time of the fire make a great show of bravely assuring everyone who would stop to listen, that they should not give in to despair, no, no not that, for they would soon rebuild the theater (and the fire-trap like warren of rabbit hutches above it no doubt), while this is oft mentioned, and while it is now widely rumored and accepted as fact by many that the owner seems indeed to have simply taken the insurance money and sold the smoking hulk to the town for a dollar, lol, what is not clear at all is the current status of the building.
Yes, everyone in town likes to laugh at that common knowledge, as of course they should, but far less is known or laughed about with regard to current status of the building that housed the theater where the Simpson's movie held it's earth-shaking gala world preview a few short years ago.
It seems that the work done recently to the building was merely to close it up and stabilize it, and that now the Town of Springfield, Vermont, is in the middle of a bidding process to have the interior construction commence.
It seems also that there has been an asbestos removal episode, and a cursory glance shows that some windows have been finally white-washed over, and that some have taken a few hits from rocks.
But at least Penelope's is back!

Update, conversations at Penelope's confirm, at least in some minds, the rumors that the Theater and it's host building will soon be in a new phase of renovation and re-birth!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Springfield Vermont's Resident Ducks Explore New Territories

"Why yes, in point of fact I am indeed a duck."

The Springfield Plaza, located on a bow of the Black River just upstream from Springfield, Vermont's famous Duck Beach, is an inviting area to reconnoiter for at least one adolescent Mallard Duck - this fellow was seen yesterday having a walkabout about and in front of the grocery store and Von Bargen's Jewelry store - (a far more welcome sight than the poorly maintained motorcycle that has been seen to drop in front of the showcase window on at least one occasion). Easily drawn into conversation, this Mallard was led by one obliging store clerk to the green near Dr. Fauver's dental practice, where he (the Mallard, not everyone's favorite dentist, Dr. Fauver) finally took flight, making a bee-line to his more familiar surroundings.

[Dear reader, be sure to continue, and read the way-amusing story told in the comment here ... ]

Ed F said...

You should have been there in the Plaza with your camera on Alumni day when noted local livestock personality Bongo the goat was temporarily left alone outside Shaw's supermarket. His handler went into the store briefly to purchase some liquid refreshment. Bongo soon discovered the automatic door opener and took full advantage of it, heading straight for the glorious display of fresh produce. He immediately proceeded to chomp away at all the healthy goodies before him. Stunned employees had to learn goat wrangling techniques on the spot to avert disaster and get Bongo pushed back out the door. His handler unaware of what was happening, the produce section can't be seen from check-out. They should have put that security cam video up on YouTube!

A video showing Bongo getting into mischief at the Simpsons movie premiere can be viewed here:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Playground for the Union Street School in Springfield, Vermont! - Fancy News!

The effort Saturday morning to assemble the New Playground at the Union Street School was a rousing success! Children for many years to come can thank the group of friends and neighbors who came together under the guidence of Jayne, Playground Chair, to perform the modern version of the time-honored "barn-raising" style cooperative event.

The playground itself is nicely situated - not only is the newly finished work splendid in aspect, but the location comes with a fine view of the forested hills on the other side of the Black River and up toward North Springfield, a green carpet of dark Verde Antique velvet only rarely broken with a patch of orchard or mown field.

The hill, upon whose flank nestles the school itself, where the moose still lives, and where it could be that still Indian warriors lurk behind the bigger trees, rises behind the school and playground, nicely wooded, providing a cascade of cool and refreshing forest-lische air all afternoon.

The actual playground furniture is a clever assembly of even more clever prefabricated plastic parts, plastics that one would hope are designed with properties dedicated to allowing the Product to survive the harsh climate and vigorous use to which it will be subjected on a regular basis, and of course formulated to withstand modern solar radiation levels (since the gradually changing "new atmosphere" no longer protects in quite the same way as it formerly did). The fittings employed to anchor elements together and to the Earth, look like they are of steel with a galvanized finish, of stout dimensions and easily handled.
The whole play array is set in a cushion of mulch about one foot deep, that rests upon a bed of crushed stone of differing grades that will keep rain water from pooling, letting it drain off to the grassy hill and wood that separates this play area from the row of 1880's vintage Victorian Village Farmhouses that stud busy Union Street, overlooking the valley that cradles Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons.
(also send in your own photos if you like, make a note about how you would like the credit line or attribution to appear).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blueberries are Ripe and Ready in Springfield, Vermont - Fancy News!

Yesterday afternoon, we came across a little angel making careful selections among the Blueberries.
Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons, was pleasantly surprised by the visit of friends who came all the way from Seoul, Korea, to say hello and check the crop.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Playground Equipment arriving any day now - the Union Street Playground is ready for volunteers to help assemble the fun!

This just in from a neighbor here in beautiful Springfield, Vermont, City of Lights and Official Home of the Simpsons:

A letter calling on citizens to lend a hand to a happy task, reprinted here in it's entirety -

Union Street Elementary School has undergone massive renovation and expansion during the past year. This construction made it necessary to demolish Union Street’s beloved playground, leaving the kids with only a pea stone area with a couple of tetherball poles in which to play. In response to this,a group of parents and teachers have assembled to raise money for and design a new playground to fit the needs of our school. Over 9 months of planning and hard work are finally paying off as we are preparing for the installation of our new equipment during a Community Build on July 25th 2009!

On Friday, July 24th, we will be busy unwrapping equipment and getting it ready for the big day... we welcome any helpers after 11:00! The actual build will be starting on Saturday morning at 7:00 AM (of course there will be coffee:) and continue till it's done (likely before 2 PM). Each shift needs at least 18 people to assemble the equipment so we will need all the help we can get! Any amount of time you can help is appreciated so don't stay away just because you can't be there AT 7 AM :) Ben & Jerry's has graciously donated ice cream to keep the volunteers fresh, and pizza will be provided for lunch!

I am also attaching a picture of the area that the playground will be built. I'm sure you will agree that the new playground will be a vast improvement! Once we get the equipment in, we will be working to replace the pea stone on the site, which is causing a lot of injuries and is not accessible to a couple of students who are either in a wheel chair or have to use a walker due to a brain injury sustained this past January.

Thanks again!

Jaynie Smith
Playground Chair

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fancy News - Adoption Fees Waived at Springfield Vermont Humane Society!

Need a cat?

They're giving them away without an adoption fee for a few more weeks at the Springfield animal shelter, here in Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons.
They have a select group of great candidates cats at the shelter (802.885.3997), who are all ready for new homes - these cats are all neutered, housebroken, and well-socialized.

There is another good reason today to free up space at your local animal shelter by adopting a rescued pet, because there are people in as much personal distress now, as a result of the quiet calamity that is our economic collapse, as there ever were from the natural disasters that have tested our security net in recent years. As happened then, people now are forced to give up beloved pets as they find themselves downsizing and moving about in unsettled times, searching to find a place to live on shrinking incomes.
Their pets deserve a place to be received as surrendered pets, but the capacity of places like TARPS (in Chester, Vermont) and of the Springfield Humane Society to accept these casualties is limited, depending not only on donors and volunteers, but the ability to take in new animals depends also on freeing up space by finding new homes for good pets. The only way to make room to help people forced to surrender pets, is for people to consider adopting another pet from TARPS or from the Springfield Humane Society, where they have been screened, neutered, brought up to date on their innoculations, etc, and where they have been observed and cared for by dedicated and professional staff and volunteers.

The reader inclined to do so should just go ahead and get a cat, or a comfortable pair like Ethan and Allen. Think about it, formulate a few questions, call your local shelter about it, and when you are ready to meet a new pet just go have a visit, sit with them and see who comes over to say hello. But don't wait too long, cats like Ethan and Allen don't grow on trees.

At least one friendly female of about 1.5 yrs old did get a new home yesterday!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Beautiful but Erratic Haying Season in Springfield, Vermont?

The gradual emergence of an inopportune New England Monsoonal period is a major annoyance for local farmers who have every day counted in the brief but boisterous New England growing season.

The rainy weather in late Spring and early Summer raised Cain with the local farmers here in Springfield, Vermont, and in the region generally.
They needed enough sun for the succession of harvests to mature properly, and the lack thereof has affected the hay production for everyone - disaster looms.

Even the casual observer sees that the new-cut rows have this time no deep green shadows, and that the otherwise thick and sultry Summer'y air in the vicinity is not rich with the freshly mowed lawn perfumes of a countryside tamed to service or to beauty.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Climate Change? VT Viticulture? Just Ask a Farmer - Fancy News

When the local farmers here in Springfield, Vermont, begin one by one to adopt the change-over from traditional Vermont crops like Christmas Trees, to crops more suggestive of a mediterranean clime, when they invest in introducing new crops like the venerable and ancient Vine, one has to ask one's self - "are we not then beyond the question and into a phase where Climate Change is a fait accompli?"

This new vineyard was planted this very Spring, as soon as the ground was soft and ready, off Scenic Rt. 5 in Springfield, Vermont, City of Lights - and, Official Home of the Simpsons. Bacchus would be proud, Pan would leap to the merry dance, and the wood nymphs would wake from their sleep for real.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

From Springfield to Brattleboro - more than a simple jaunt but not quite a staycation.

Scenic Vermont Rt 5 offers delightful simple pleasures when driving for the hell of it South of Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons, and with the promise of all that is exotic in a city like Brattleboro, Vermont, waiting to entertain and delight, who could resist a motor excursion with camera in tow?

Stopping along the way one has a fine view of the full and slow Connecticut River, in Putney, Vermont.

In Brattleboro, Vermont, the San Francisco of the East Coast, the busy crowds of shoppers and tourists fill the hilly sidewalks, a veritable parade of fashion and style. One might ask, is there more than one individual in this crowd wearing a sensible cardigan, in the first week of July? The answer would have to be a resounding "Yes!", there is nothing quite like Nature's Own Air Conditioning!

Visit Vermont Today!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Time to buy eggs again

And what a nice store to patronize, there is nothing like a dozen of fresh, real eggs, from one of the local farms here in Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pellet stoves - handsome and cozy alternatives to burning oil

Just a note to say what good service and delightful entertainment the Mt Vernon pellet stove has given.

The figures for last Winter's heating season were an eye-opener.
Burning hardwood pellets, the pellet stove saved way more than half the usual consumption of heating oil - (the pellets were by Lignetics, merely adequate, but this year our trusty heating contractor HB Plumbing and Heating advised us to use their selection, a much cleaner looking soft wood pellet from Canada).
The actual pellet stove of course is the late 2008 Mt. Vernon by Quadrafire, a peach of a machine to be sure, but with the expert installation and advise and follow-up and other benefits of buying, installing and servicing locally - in this case entirely through the heating experts at HB Plumbing and Heating - it has turned out to be a pleasure to operate and live with, and not just during the cold weather.
The generous proportions of the window and the attractive overall design of the Mt Vernon make a very dynamic and captivating display of Fire when in use, to be sure, but the machine is perfectly handsome just sitting there during the Summer, topped with a cat or a potted plant or some other table top arrangement.

If you are reading this post because you are considering the purchase of a pellet stove in the area of Springfield, Vermont, City of Lights and Official Home of the Simpsons, then it would behoove you to call Brian or any of the other capable people at HB Plumbing and Heating and ask them about the deal they have right now on one pre-owned late model Mt. Vernon pellet stove, that is probably a very good deal. Apparently it was only used for a few weeks, and it is ready to provide toasty service in a new home. It is offered at a discount, and of course the buyer would be well-advised to let the people at HB take care of the installation from start to finish, as they know what they are doing and they have very good experience with these complex but effective and esthetically pleasing electric appliances.

Update - a brief explanation of what it is to be a pellet stove, in Castillian, for a reader in Spain, who asked perhaps because his home heating bill has become a pain, on the plain, in Spain.

Me pregúnta un interlocutór hispanoparlante, que ¿que es lo que es un dicho "pellet stove"? Y para explicarlo en algo, doy aqui una explicación básica:
El pellet stove es un electrodoméstico de calefacción suplementál, en algunos casos principál, a base de un combustíble abastecido en forma de trozos uniformes de fuel natural, producidos principalmente de leña, pero tambien de otros productos de agricultura.
Es la forma de utilizar la leña para producir el combustíble, lo que le da el nombre a la calentadora de "pellet stove".
Esto es porque lo que en un principio es leña, ha de convertírse en pedacíllos uniformes, para poder ser parte de un systema muy controlado de dar fuego. La lenya puede ser cualquiera, limpia claro, pero la hacen serrín y de serrín le hacen una tira comprimida con forma de lapiz, a base de una maquinota en un taller. Entonces, al salir de la maquina rompe naturalmente - en trozos de uno a dos centímetros de largo nada mas, perfectos para abastecer la tolva y de alli la hoguera.
Estos trozos, los mismos pellets, ya llegados al hogar y llenados en la tolva del pellet stove, van entrando en el area de combustión de la maquina, donde siempre hay un cristal para ver la hoguera - hoguera pequeña pero divertida, y mucho mas potente de lo que se presenta, Esto porque el electrodomestico esta hecho de tal forma de que extrae tanto calor de la combustión y la tira al hogar tan efectívamente, que lo que es el humo que sale afuera tiene apenas suficiente calor para poderse volar y escapar.
Para controlar la combustión de combustíble, hay pellet stoves diseñados con un ordenador propio para mejor mantener y utilizar el aparato, otros simplemente usan un termostáto u otro sistema sencillo.
Siendo aparatos electronicos, y siendo hogueras a leña, precísan cierto nivel de mantenimiento, facil de aprender.
Casi mas importante es el diseño y la instalación del electrodomestico, y por eso es imprescindible, al buscar y comprar un pellet stove, de hacer el tramite en todo caso através de un proveedór de servicios de calefacción, ubicado en el area, y muy conocido.
Entonces, el comprador hace bien enterarse de los miles de productos llamados Pellet Stoves, atención a las marcas que prefiere el profesional de calefacción escogido, pero también atención a lo que es un pellet stove en sus diferentes aspectos, para mejor entender la compra.
Se ve que cuanto mas caro el aparato, mas exigente es de instalación y mantenimiento, y mas hay para fallar y reparar, pero tampoco vale bien comprar un pellet stove primitivo. Lo mejor es buscar un pellet stove con un conjunto de puntos de control suficientes como para no enrabiarse durante un Invierno frio. La compañia tiene una linea de pellet stoves con buena fama. Igual la compañia New Englander, conocida por pellet stoves mas sencillos o economicos.
Se dice mucho de que es preferible nunca usar como el combustible ni maiz, trigo, ni otras semillas o cascaras de nueces u otros residuos agricolas (como de las piedras de cerezas, almendras, y melocotón), apesar de ser todos muy populares como combustibles en pellet stoves diseñados para acceptar tanta variedad de combustible - todos preparados para forma trozos semejantes a los pellets ordinarios.
Esto se dice porque los demás pellets, ninguna de ellos de leña de alguna clase, son muy sucios al quemar, y requieren mas mantenimiento del pellet stove.
Entre lo que es el pellet normal de leña, hay simplemente dos clases, hechas ó de leña tipo softwood, ó de hardwood.
El pellet tipo softwood es preferido porque es el que mas energia rinde con menos ceniza, y au. es un foro de conversaciónes activas con temas incluso de muchos aspectos de calefacción alternatíva y a base de leñas y otros combustibles no petroleos, la conversación es a base de en inglés, pero lleva mucha información útil.