NToddcast RSS Feed

Monday, July 03, 2017

States My Dogs Have Pooped In And Other Fascinating Facts

  • License plate game results
    • Total: 51 (not counting variants)
    • Non-states: DC, Quebec, and Ontario
    • Missing: Hawaii and Rhode Island

  • States lucky enough to have extra canine fertilizer
    • Vermont
    • New York
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • Ohio
    • Indiana
    • Illinois
    • Missouri
    • Kansas
    • Nebraska
    • Colorado
    • Wyoming
    • Idaho
    • Oregon

  • Parks and other points of interest
    • Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
    • Adirondack Forest Preserve
    • Gettysburg National Military Park
    • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
    • Cracker Barrel
    • Fort Riley
    • Sand Creek Massacre Trail
    • Wind River Reservation
    • Wyoming Dinosaur Center
    • Shoshone National Forest
    • Continental Divide
    • Bridger-Teton National Forest
    • Grand Teton National Park
    • National Elk Refuge
    • The Most Expensive Motel 6 In America
    • Caribou-Targhee National Forest
    • Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
    • Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area
    • Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
    • Ochoco National Forest
    • Crooked River National Grassland
    • Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation
    • Mount Hood National Forest

2 cars, 2 adults, 2 kids, and 2 dogs traveled 3500 miles, not counting our various backtracks and detours (deliberate or accidental).  Compare with the Great Eastward Childless Trek of '08, and remind me to never do this again.


* 14th Blegiversary: wanna help feed our oxen? *

July 3, 2017 in Family Life, These United States | Permalink | Comments (1)

NToddcast RSS Feed

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Close The Door Behind Me

See everybody when we see you.  Remember, there's rain enough for everyone...

* 14th Blegiversary: wanna help feed our oxen? *

June 22, 2017 in Family Life, These United States | Permalink | Comments (0)

NToddcast RSS Feed

Sunday, June 11, 2017

"You Have Died Of Dysentery."

Go West and grow up with the country.

 - Horace Greeley, 1854

Before rumor festers into fake news: the Garstka-Pritsky clan is hitching oxen to our wagons and heading West for an extended period of time.

The prime driver is significant health issues our family has been struggling with for a year--blogging about such will commence at some point--combined with a need to get to Oregon to be near to the support offered by a pair of grandparents, three sets of aunts & uncles, and numerous other relations.  Also, too, closer proximity to responsive medical care, in contrast to the lackluster level of service we've received here in Vermont which has driven us, literally (literally) to Boston for more adequate attention from specialists.

So, we begin a road trip in a couple weeks, almost 9 years exactly after Ericka, Neppy, and I piled into a car in PDX to make the Eastward Crossing.  This time, it's 2 dogs and 2 kids in tow, heading the opposite direction.

We're not reversing the trip, but rather finding some new adventures along a new route.  First major stop will be Gettysburg, where we'll be forcing the kids to run up the same hill Ericka did when she was pregnant with Sam (no more free rides for him).

We are keeping the house in Fletcher for now, as we are truly not sure what the future holds beyond the next few months, let alone years.  There will be a caretaker family living here, feeding the cats until we know more.

Dunno how much blogging of this adventure will occur.  2017 is a different world than 2008, and I might rely more on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook than the longer-form stuff, but we'll see.  That certainly won't stop me from noting that this here blog--which has devolved mostly into reposts, poetry, and YouTubes--is celebrating its 14th Blegiversary on June 14th.  Yup, I still kick it old school, my beloved 3.25 readers...


* 14th Blegiversary: wanna help feed our oxen? *

June 11, 2017 in Family Life, These United States | Permalink | Comments (2)

NToddcast RSS Feed

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wow, Eight Years Already?

Me and Neppy with Deke Slayton, July 11, 2008, mere days before arriving at his new home.  Ericka came with, too.


July 14, 2016 in Family Life, These United States | Permalink | Comments (1)

NToddcast RSS Feed

Friday, August 07, 2015

To Coventry!

Congregational Church of Coventry (est 1810, unclear when it went defunct).

Veterans Memorial (Civil War and Spanish American War).

Four men of color from Coventry served in the 54th (more on them in a bit).

Pritsky Children, To Arms!

I didn't tell them about the barrel-dwelling arachnid.

Eh, I liked the overexposure.


Orne bridge connecting Coventry and Irasburg.

Ericka likes barns, I like signs: National Farmers Organization collective bargaining sign from the 1950s.

More pics and other exciting stuff to come...


August 7, 2015 in Family Life, These United States | Permalink | Comments (1)

NToddcast RSS Feed

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

That's One Mean Center

Heard on the way home from class this afternoon:

What's a centroid? It is a hypothetical calculation of the exact center of the U.S. population. It involves the U.S. Census and has changed over the country's 220 years, sometimes falling in a town and at other times settling in the middle of rural country. Orion Magazine writer Jeremy Miller explores the centroid and finds that its movement has matched the country's westward expansion and development.

Here's how the centroid has moved:

That's fairly neat.


April 10, 2013 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Adventure Continues

1 year ago today Ericka arrived in Vermont after our Epic Journey across the country.

We survived 3518 miles together.  We can survive a couple months of bedrest.


July 14, 2009 in Family Life, These United States | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Saturday, May 09, 2009


There 1,328 monuments, markers and memorial in the park, including this one of Abner Doubleday (who did NOT invent baseball) on Reynolds Avenue.

The famed Lutheran Seminary shot from a bit to the left of Gen Doubleday.

Near the Eternal Peace Memorial.

Where Longstreet had much of his artillery before Pickett's Charge.

On the left, the Clump of Trees.  In the middle way in the distance, the PA memorial.

Virginia memorial.

Off the path between the VA memorial and the field where Pickett's Charge started.

I think that's Big Round Top.

From below Little Round Top.

44th NY memorial.  I made Ericka hike up even in her condition, and we marveled that infantry climbed up this on a hot July day wearing woolen uniforms.

Where Col Vincent was slain, just below the New Yorkers' position.

On "The Loop" near a marker for MI infantry.

Stopped here in honor of Darryl Pearce, who introduced me to the Old Brigade which suffered the greatest Union casualties in the war--and the history of the US Army--and was memorialized here in 1889.

Across from First Vermont.

Your humble, fairly-ignorant tour guide at the 13th VT, with PA in the back right--part of Second Vermont, I think, commanded by Gen Stannard.

Okay, off to Lafayette Park now.


May 9, 2009 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


MGM lion habitat.

Hoover sucked, but Bush doesn't even have a God dam for his legacy.

Colorado's so low there is no water in the spillways.

A little Vertigo from the AZ side.

Intake towers from AZ.

Construction on the new bridge and highway seems to have pretty much halted.

From the NV side.

More than 100 men died building the dam.

And now to Red Rock...

NTodd's Pa wearing his new birthday hat.

Rock climbing might be fun.

Love all the contrasts in this environment.

Some sort of shoot was happening.

I wonder where the name 'Red Rock' came from...?

I love winding roads.

A lot of this reminded Ericka and me of the Badlands.

Lens flare!  And magnificent desolation...

So many interesting trails, so little time.

Ice Box Canyon.

This would be awesome to bike, motorized or otherwise.


January 14, 2009 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Didn't we just leave there?  Well, we've been planning for months to go back to Portland so as to bring NTodd's Pa out, to do some family things and have fun with Atriots who are congregating.  The ankle hampers some of the activities I wanted to do, but it's still going to be a hoot and a holler.

PaxLive this Friday will be coming at you from somewhere in the city, probably Pioneer Courthouse Square, and will hopefully feature three interesting, empowered women if we can work out all the logistics since each is in a different timezone.  Should all the pieces fall into place, allow for a full hour to be riveted and even call in.

Blogging will be light and variable, twittering more obsessive than usual.


September 3, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Is That A Ferret In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To Plague Me?


On the grasslands a few miles from the pinnacles and spires of Badlands National Park, federal wildlife officials have been waging a war since spring to save one of the nation's largest colonies of endangered black-footed ferrets.

The deadly disease sylvatic plague was discovered in May in a huge prairie dog town in the Conata Basin. The black-tailed prairie dog is the main prey of ferrets, and the disease quickly killed up to a third of the area's 290 ferrets along with prairie dogs.

The disease stopped spreading with the arrival of summer's hot, dry weather, but it poses a serious threat to efforts to establish stable populations of one of the nation's rarest mammals, said Scott Larson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Pierre.

When we entered the Badlands in July we saw signs warning that prairie dogs carried the plague.  However, we saw no prairie dogs.  Or ferrets.


August 30, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Worst That Can Happen Is They Reject Me

Just finished applying to be a part of the The Art of Action project sponsored by the Vermont Arts Council:

The Arts Council is collaborating with Vermont entrepreneur and philanthropist Lyman Orton on a unique project:  The Art of Action - Shaping Vermont's Future Through Art.

Ten visual artists will be commissioned to create two-dimensional works of art that address issues shaping Vermont’s social, political, environmental, and economic future.  Informed by the work conducted by the Council on the Future of Vermont, "The Art of Action" project is designed to inspire people to take action to realize their vision for the future of our state. 

Commissions will range from $10,000 to $40,000 and average $25,000.

I had to provide 9 images of example art, my resume and an "artist statement" of fewer than 4000 characters.  Figured I might as well share it with you:

Vermont: Far Away Close

I’ve never applied for any type of grant before, let alone an artistic one but since I am currently on an Amtrak train returning to Vermont from Washington, DC, I thought I might as well use the time to try something new.

I grew up in Ohio and moved to Vermont in 1991 after graduating from college in Maine.  My grandparents lived in New England so we usually spent at least a couple weeks up this way every year, and often drove through Vermont.  The contrast between a literal flatland and the Green Mountains is obviously stark and I always found this state’s landscape to be welcoming, friendly and cozy, which is the main reason I came here after school.

I got a job that had me travel all over the country and while I enjoyed going to new places, particularly cities, nothing was better than coming back to the cool mountains of home.  I’ve owned a camp in the Northeast Kingdom for 10 years and one day I realized I didn’t get to spend enough time there, nor in my state exploring, so I started going on 251 Club jaunts, which I document online (www.251club.org).  Part of the sensibility that informs my photographs in general comes from an exhibit I saw in Denver, CO, several years ago called Colorado Then & Now, featuring pictures William Henry Jackson took of the state in the 19th century and John Fielder replicating them in 20th to show how the landscape changed.

I live in cow country and have seen the living, working landscape evolve as farmers subdivide, new bedroom communities are established when industry and business move in, etc.  I wonder about the inevitable changes brought about global warming: will we see more patchwork quilts of agriculture spring up as local food production becomes more important, with forest or developed land reclaimed for such use; will family farms be able to recover if petroleum-based fertilizers and gas-powered equipment become even more expensive; will barns and covered bridges and old churches be maintained when communities cut back on “luxuries”?

A lot of what draws people to Vermont is the Bob Newhart, picture postcard mythos, and it will be a challenge to maintain that character we and our visitors cherish whilst creating a sustainable economy and environment.  My eye is usually drawn to balance and contrast between agriculture, forest and the invasion of modern life, all of which are impacted and have impact on our tax base, infrastructure and ability to teach our children how to survive and thrive in a new world.

I’d like to spend the year more rigorously documenting the unique and the mundane aspects of Vermont life in all 251 towns photographically and try to capture both the picturesque, idealized landscape and the close-up details that you can only see if you come here and get off the paved roads, to show how things are changing for better or worse, falling apart or being sustained. I hope these images are representative of how I look at and present our state.

Shed – sheds, shacks and barns in various states of upkeep are a good indicator of Vermont’s cultural and agricultural “health”

Southern Vermont – from a train this week, a stereotypical farm community beyond cell service

Pumpkin Harbor – a few miles from my house we have the ski industry in the background and a farm in the fore split by a paved road

Cows – the other direction from my house, such scenes are common because roads necessary for non-farmers like me have divided farm land

Day Ranch – zoning, what zoning?  Guests are usually astounded to see horses and other livestock in residential areas

Fletcher Garage – the old garage retains character that our new one lacks

Swing – Tilley Farm, recently subdivided for development by Pizzagalli

Windsor-Cornish Bridge – how people might see Vermont from Amtrak

Randall Bridge – details oft missed as you ride by

Thanks to Ericka for first discovering this was even going on and for encouraging me to actually try for it.


August 28, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Train 56



The train rolls on...


August 28, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


We've walked so much the last two days it felt like we were pinking Congress.  Anywayz, we started our walking tour at Metro Station and headed over to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...

Segway tourists pose for a pic in front of Obama's new digs.  Dorks.

This woman has been holding continuous vigil in front of the WH since 1981.

More about Concepcion, and almost a score of photos of DC below the fold...

No blog, but she does have a website.

We chatted with Concepcion about what she was doing and why.  She graciously consented to my recording her and when we get home tomorrow night I'll try to gin up a Paxcast--a low talker, so I'm not sure how good the audio is but I'm hopeful I can work with it.

After giving me permission to take a picture, she scurried back into her little tent and grabbed this article, saying "this is our enemy."  Here's hoping he won't come near the Executive with McCain.

But this is the real enemy.

Then we headed back to The Mall.

Canada geese were all over the lawn around the Washington Monument.  Like, gajillions of them.  Everywhere.

Being a flying shit factory must be thirsty work.

On our way to The Wall.

Not so many offerings today as I've seen in the past, but I don't think this is a big tourist week with schools starting up and whatnot.

These Germans were representative of the tourists around today: mostly folks from abroad and not Americans.

I'm still always struck by the need to touch the wall, and how people study it to find the names significant to them.  I shot this picture from my usual pilgrimage spot: Panel 3E.

The Vietnam Nurse's Memorial.

Then we walked the steps to see Uncle Abe.

Silly tourists, taking pictures of themselves.

Then to Korea.

In the water feature by the Korean memorial.

A very busy little critter as we walked through West Potomac Park.

Over by JFK Hockey Field we saw some geese decide to take wing.

Still lots hanging out by Washington, but clearly this isn't Tippi Hedren's daughter.

Nobody seems to remember The World War.

I think this crosswalk was by the Dept of Agriculture, where we saw a tree named for Hillary Rodham Clinton because of her call to plant trees for the Millennium.

Now to bed for we must rise early so as to catch the train home after a lovely visit with dear Hecate, our totally wonderful host, and a great time seeing where the sausages get made...


August 27, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (2)

NToddcast RSS Feed


hecate gave us a very interesting reading in the wee hours.


August 27, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Monday, August 25, 2008


Ericka shot this lovely picture with her little Olympus.


August 25, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

New Haven Redux

Yes, we are on Amtrak.

For several more hours.

I'm not sure if this is a look of adoration or bemused tolerance.


August 25, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed


Dirtfy fucking hippies, always being naked and shit.

We did indeed hop a train.

Uh...yeah, a crappy shot, but I really liked the broken screen door on the right of that building in front, and the whole "town on the edge of a river" feel. Just couldn't quite get a good hip shot off.

I believe this is still in Vermont.


August 25, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

Bellows Falls

Ericka went to the other side of the train when we were crossing Bellows Falls and called me over to see more raptors than either of us had ever witnessed before. 

Crossing the falls back into Vermont from New Hampshire. 

Accidentally moved my polarizer and got some neat rainbow effect which distracted me momentarily from the apparent leaks in the dam. 

The station. 


August 25, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

NToddcast RSS Feed

White River Junction

Our conductor helps passengers board.

Yet another cute little Vermont town by the tracks.

Couldn't post for a bit because we lost signal in the boonies.  Now we've just left NH and passed the Cornish-Windsor bridge a little while ago...


August 25, 2008 in These United States | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack