Well, the wait is over. Maria is finally on Facebook.

It’s funny that it happened this weekend because we were talking about it in class on Friday. Somebody asked me why she was holding out, and I told them that it was because she had no interest in it. I didn’t think she’d ever sign up.

What happened?

Her friend and college roommate sat down with her and set it up.

We had a couple of long distance friends (Mike from Chicago and Donnie from San Diego) at our house this weekend. They were both on Facebook and talking about how great it was when keeping in touch with everyone. Donnie convinced her that it was time to give in and sign up.

It’s new and she seemed to like it, but I wonder how long she’ll really stay with it. This will be like a little experiment.

What in the hell?

So I just bought an iPod Shuffle. Well, my wife bought it for the charger that came with it as she seems to have misplaced hers. The charger by itself costs $30. A brand new Shuffle costs less than $50. (You’re shocked by this I’m sure) My old iPod died a while back so she just went ahead and bought a whole new one and now we’re sharing chargers and have two Shuffles.

Anyway, I’m getting of track. I’m sitting here at our dining room table, reading for class and listening to this neat little gadget. I’ve been here for an hour or so and at least three times I’ve said to myself, “What the hell is this and where did it come from?”

Is this a sign that I have too much music?

Is my taste in music really this bad?

That’s what fun about these little shuffles, and completely annoying at the same time. If you allow it to add music randomly, you’ll never know what is coming next. Of course, if you in the mood for that one particular song, good luck finding.

Now playing, some song by Weezer off of some album.

About Me

What’s A Little Spunk ?

Well, when I started this thing I had planned on writing mostly about higher education and marketing, Web 2.0 and technology. My plan was to essentially be one of those New Media D— (see this May post).

I discovered that I didn’t want to write about that stuff. I wanted to write about other topics – family vacations, neat things I found on the internet, making beer, and other stuff that just popped into my head.

So that’s why I decided to redesign. And toss out everything – url, title, etc. The only thing I’m saving is the layout (I like the simple design) and the photo of that special place of mine in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

If you ever see a car with a NEK euro sticker, guaranteed they’re not originally from the Kingdom. They’re either from Connecticut or Massachusetts.

So why “A Little Spunk”?

Well, this blog idea has been through a couple of different redesigns. It has been Drew In VT, Millin’ in VT, Millie in VT, and in its latest installation, edu-Mill. Those were all pretty lame. I liked the edu-Mill the best out of all of them, but it stopped making sense when I stopped writing about higher ed.

So, I came upon “A Little Spunk”.

My Dad’s nickname is Spunk. He comes from a family where they were all given nicknames in addition to their Christian names. My mom, in her good sense, put an end to this with our generation.

My grandfather from time to time would call me Little Spunk or Spunky Jr., but otherwise, there were no quirky names for us.

So when pondering a quirky and witty title for his blog, I thought back to my grandfather calling me Little Spunk, and thought it would be a neat title. There’s a nice play on words in there too.

Like: It will add a little spunk to your day.

Now there is some sexual innuendo there. We’ve learned not to call my dad “Spunk” in say, England where it means something inappropriate. But I’ll live with it. Who knows, maybe it will drive more traffic to the site?

Now on to me.

I live in Northern Vermont outside Burlington where I work in the admission office in one of our many private colleges. My focus is mostly on social media and e-communications. I know a little html and css, but just enough really to get by, adjusting size, changing colors, etc.

My wife and I have two stupid pugs. You’ll see photos of them from time to time. I love traveling, skiing, beer, and my family’s camp in the NEK.

Writing for me is therapy. I write about what’s on my mind. I’ll try not to censure too much, but knowing who some of my readers are, I have to be smart. I clearly can’t write something like, “I hate my job and am desperate to GET OUT!” That could get me in trouble.

I hope you enjoy this.
Now playing: Grateful Dead – Big River
via FoxyTunes


I love beer. I really love beer.

Now when you read that, what was your first reaction? Was it negative?

It’s my belief that American culture towards alcohol is primarily a negative. When I say I love beer, I often wonder if I’m perceived as an alcoholic or a beer swilling frat boy.

I don’t think I’m either. I just love beer.

I like the taste of beer. Sure it was an acquired taste at first, but now it’s an appreciative taste. Depending greatly on my mood, I may thirst for a Labatt Blue, or a Budweiser. If I’m feeling eclectic, perhaps a PBR tall boy.

Hot summer day, something hoppy like a Magic Hat H.I.P.A. And nothing tastes better than a fresh Switchback after a day of skiing.

So what brings this up? Well, I was on a business trip with some colleagues last week. We had been delayed in Richmond, VA for a couple of hours and we were had a couple of drinks at a bar there. Finally we took off and landed in JFK (most disgusting airport I’ve ever been in) where we were delayed for another couple of hours. By then it was after nine o’clock and I was sick of being in an airport.

The others grabbed a table at a restaurant while I stayed outside to answer a phone call. I got back and they were all drinking waters. I ordered a Yuengling (they don’t distribute to the VT so I try to order it hen I can) and maybe it was me, but I felt like I got looks from the group.

This could have been a total paranoid observation on my part, but I think it did spark something in my mind re: alcohol and it’s perception in the U.S.

When I think of alcohol and it’s effects, I think back to my high school French teacher and his description of the French devotion to wine. He said essentially that the French don’t drink to get drunk, it is instead a side effect tot he experience of drinking alcohol. They drink wine in an appreciative way – appreciating the taste, fell and smell of the drink and conversations and experiences while drinking.

I’ve tried to think of drinking in that way too. I won’t apologize for my love of beer. Like I said before, I love the taste of beer. I love tasting new and different varieties of beer and returning to old favorites as well. Beer varieties can be like tags for the memory. Certain beers will bring up specific memories.

I will always associate a recent trip out west with Fat Tire Ale. College: Labatt Blue, the first summer out of college: Harpoon Summer, a NEACAC conference in Boston: Samuel Adams Summer Ale, a trip to Paris: Heineken, St.Patrick’s Day my freshman year of college: Magic Hat #9, and there are many more.

So where does the problem begin? At what point are we taught that alcohol is bad and people who enjoy alcohol (without taking it to excess) have a vice?

I need to think about a little more. This post is already much longer than I had anticipated.

We try to fight that rural reputation that Vermont has. There was a time when there were more cows than people, but those days are long gone. Burlington is a happening place with a great music scene, vibrant night life, etc. I mean, Wyclef was on campus last week!

But then there are times when you’re reminded that Vermont still can be a pretty wild place. Today was one of those days when Bullwinkle made an appearance just outside the president’s house this morning. This really never happens here. Really.

Now playing: Jerry Garcia & David Grisman – Drink Up and Go Home
via FoxyTunes

Just a gorgeous spring day today! High 40’s, sunny, it was a perfect day to spend the lunch break outside.

I just bought a fly rod, and I really want to learn how to fly fish this summer. One of our swimmers is also an avid fly fisherman and a member of the Fly Fishing Club here at Saint Michael’s. I mentioned to him back in February that I wanted to learn how and he agreed to help me out. Total role reversal! Coach became the student and the student became the coach.

It was great. We went out on campus and cast out to a 2 liter bottle on the grass. It’s only the second time I tried to cast, and I think I’m catching on pretty quickly. There is definitely a meditative element to fly casting. For me, one of the most difficult past is to slow down. As you pull out and cast with more line, you have to slow down and there is more pause between your strokes forward and back. It goes against your instincts, or at least mine.

Rob’s a great teacher and knows a ton about fly fishing. We were out there for an hour talking about what flies to use, different casting techniques, and fly lines to use and where to find the fish. It was a great hour.

The Fly Fishing Club is heading down to Deerfield, MA in a couple weeks. I’m not sure I’ll make the trip, but Rob said there’s some great fishing right near campus. Once the water level goes down (the melting snow causes the rivers to rise pretty significantly here), we’ll be able to get out catch some trout!

Now playing: Grateful Dead – Eyes Of The World >
via FoxyTunes