Category Archives: Totally random

As Warm Weather Arrives…

…it’s always a good idea to walk your unicycle across the street.

Unicycle

Hat tip to JP Vellotti for the photo and text.

It Only Takes A Minute, Man, To Get Ready For Easter

Minuteman Easter

(Photo/Hannah Persinger)

Help Solve Westport’s Latest Mystery

Back in the day, the downtown Saugatuck River bridge had toll gates.

For the past few decades – now called the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge — it’s been the site of anti-war protests.

These days, there’s something new there. But no one knows what.

An alert “06880″ reader sent this photo, of the south side of the bridge:

Post Road bridge

So what is it?

A way for the Downtown Steering Committee to measure river traffic?

Something the Saugatuck Rowing Club uses to tell scullers they’re near the bridge?

Or just another NSA tracking device?

If you know, or think you do — or want to hazard a wild guess — click “Comments” below.

The good news: The sky looks clear. No chemtrails.

Terrorizing Turkey

Today is Animal Day on “06880.”

Hot on the heels of an albino squirrel, we’ve got a wild turkey terrorizing Westport drivers.

Alert “06880″ reader Mark Jacobs took this photo this morning, near Birchwood Country Club:

Turkey

Mark says he (the turkey) attacked half a dozen vehicles, pecking at tires.

It’s the same animal Mark saw (and photographed) earlier this month:

Turkey 2

Mark writes:

I contacted Westport Animal Control. They said the state has been informed, and will (eventually) relocate the bird. Unless someone runs him over first.

Apparently he is a regular highwayman. I’m curious what set him off.

Maybe a discourteous, entitled Westport driver flipped him the bird.

A Squirrelly Survivor

Mary Maynard sent this photo from Green’s Farms:

albino squirrel

She saw the albino squirrel last year too.

Defying all the natural selection odds, he — or she — is a survivor.

Spring Forward!

Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow. So before going to bed tonight, “spring” your clocks forward one hour. (Though “spring” will not arrive, weather-wise, until July.)

But Daylight Savings Time hasn’t always started the 2nd weekend in March. For many years, it came  at the end of April. Then it got moved to late March, before creeping even earlier, by a couple of more weeks.

Daylight Savings

At the back end, Daylight Savings Time has been extended from late October, to early November.

Which means Standard Time now runs for only 4 months.

And that means it’s not so “standard” any more. Daylight Savings Time is our default mode.

Perhaps we should call tomorrow “Eastern Standard Time.”

And rename the winter months “Daylight Loss Time.”

Dude, I Got Fired!

The New York Times‘ “Metropolitan Diary” usually offers up cute, only-in-the-city tales about taxi drivers, museum guards and  – earlier this year — Westporter Catherine Onyemelukwe’s encounter with a Nigerian saleswoman at Bloomingdale’s.

Last week, there was a much different type of story. In the words of former Westporter Rod Serling, it is “submitted for your approval.”

Or disapproval.

Dear Diary:

After 15 minutes spent waiting in the rain with a dead phone, Robbie finally found me. We walked back to his place, a two-bedroom Harlem walk-up with a third bed in the main room that was made of plywood and inexplicably stood about 10 feet off the ground. It held a 20-something male whose connection to Robbie or his middle-aged father was never made clear.

spliffWe sprawled out on the couch and smoked a spliff, which was why I had agreed to come uptown this late, even though I had to be in Connecticut at 5 the next morning for work.

“I have to catch the train,” I eventually said, floating on air. “The last one leaves at 1:55.”

We walked to Harlem 125th, without umbrellas. By the time I was on the platform, I was bone-tired, soaking wet and very stoned. So much so, in fact, that I got lost in my thoughts and failed to board the train, even when a door opened inches away from me. I came to just as the train was leaving, and cursed loudly.

I had no choice; I got on a 2:05 train to Stamford, and there found a cab that would make the 30-minute drive to the Westport station, where my car was parked.

Ninety minutes, $75 and one headache later, I pulled into my parents’ driveway. The clock on the kitchen counter read 3:30, half an hour before I was supposed to wake for work. I decided to stay up and wait out the time, sat down on the couch, and promptly passed out until 7:30.

I was fired.

We’re #9! Completely Arbitrarily!

You may have missed this recent news, but “06880″ did not:

Westport ranks #9 on a list of “America’s Top 15 Economic Power Towns.

That’s right. Our humble burg trails only #1 McLean, Virginia, Weston (Massachusetts, not Connecticut — whew!) and 6 other places as — well, something.

SpareFoot logoTo compile the list, SpareFoot – - an Austin, Texas-based company that boasts “the largest inventory of storage units in the U.S.” – examined every place in America with 50,000 residents or fewer, that also happens to be home to at least one Fortune 500 company. More than 120 towns fit into that category, meaning nearly 10% of all candidates had a chance of making the list.

(Can you guess Westport’s Fortune 500 company? I couldn’t.)

SpareFoot then applied 6 criteria to rank the “economic power” of Fortune 500 towns:

  • Home ownership rate (Westport’s: 86.2%)
  • Median household income ($152,586)
  • Local unemployment rate (7.4%)
  • Percentage of residents living in poverty (3.7%)
  • Ratio of median home value to median income (7.2)
  • Median value of owner-occupied homes ($1.1 million)

So, to summarize: A random self-storage business decided to create an “economic power” index; chose arbitrarily to limit it to places with Fortune 500 headquarters, but also arbitrarily with a certain limited population; came up with 6 totally random categories, having absolutely nothing to do with the original arbitrary premise of Fortune 500 companies, and then tried to convince “06880″ to run the story.

Hey. It worked.

So what Fortune 500 company is headquartered in Westport? Terex.

This was the photo SpareFoot used to illustrate Westport's #9 appearance on its "Economic Power Towns" list.

This was the photo SpareFoot used to illustrate Westport’s #9 appearance on its “Economic Power Towns” list.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

With love to Westport
From photographer Betsy Phillips Kahn, and “06880″

Valentines Day - Betsy Phillips Kahn

Snow Guy

Alert — and somewhat perturbed — “06880″ reader John Hartwell followed this driver from the Sherwood Island Connector to Riverside Avenue. (John took the photo at the Bridge Street light.)

John Hartwell snow car

He reminds readers that it is illegal to have snow on the top of vehicles (because it can blow back); drivers can’t have their vision restricted; brake lights must be visible — ditto for license plates.

And “06880″ reminds readers: Common sense dictates you should not be an idiot.