Wednesday, December 31

happy new year -too easy

Don't end up like these guys.

sliding door

Dwell type modernists love their sliding doors, but indoors. Me too, have to admit. The companies that do this charge an arm and a leg...but it is simplicity itself to buy the hardware and DIY. The below image is from the LIFE archive. Modernist structure on Block Island, RI, 1967. There is nothing new under the sun...

Tuesday, December 30

boston sand & gravel

via Flickr AnnaK7

Iconic sign near the Boston/Charlestown border for an established cement and fill distributor. Boston Sand & Gravel. So simple. I love it when "it does what it says on the box." Plus you get a great view of the Zackim bridge. I can't find a stellar shot (you have to take it as travelling on 93 south, or better yet the Leverett connector) but the building is infact huge and looming.
[Update: contacted them; they don't make a tshirt of that sign... a la Mayflower Poultry's classic "fresh killed" tee. Gap in the market.]

via Flickr KaptenHanna

criterion collection -online

Just discovered that you can watch a whole slew of the Criterion Collection picks online, for $5 a throw (click here). A selection for now (Au revoir les enfants, Blood Wedding, Clean, Shaven, Cléo from 5 to 7, The Cranes Are Flying, Equinox Flower, Fat Girl, General Idi Amin Dada, God’s Country, Hopscotch, The Horse’s Mouth, I Shot Jesse James, Il Posto, Juliet of the Spirits, Lord of the Flies, Overlord, La Pointe Courte, Ratcatcher, Sans soleil, Solaris, The Spirit of the Beehive, Sweet Movie, Sweetie, The Thief of Bagdad, Thirst, Wooden Crosses) and more coming.

utah saints

Fell through a wormhole in the youtubes linking The Proclaimers to Deacon Blue then Hue and Cry. Then, to quote Ackroyd in Ghostbusters... "I don't know how, it just popped in there..." Utah Saints. One of their first big hits here, Something Good. No doubt novelty factor wears off quickly, but the rerelease this year might make you smile. Cosmic piano take me away...

Monday, December 29

bookshelf -wee gillis

Wee Gillis came after The Story of Ferdinand for Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson. In Wee Gillis the eponymous orphan, living in Scotland, spends half of each year with his mother's people in the lowlands, while the other half in the highlands with his father's family. In the lowlands, he is taught to herd cattle, calling to them in the heaviest of evening fogs. In the rocky highlands, he stalks stag, holding his breath so as not to make a sound. Lung power improves. Bagpipes come into it. Hairy tweeds and woollen socks. Fantastic illustrations.

the wrestler -stays with you

Knocked out The Wrestler yesterday. Reviews are all over the web, here, here or here. My thoughts are in the comments section below - so don't look or your experiece will be tainted.

Friday, December 26

wagner and yo la tengo -the one

Kurt Wagner (Lambchop) w/ Yo La Tengo from Music City Arts on Vimeo.

Kurt Wagner from Lambchop performs "The One" with Yo La Tengo at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville TN.

Wednesday, December 24

white christmas

custom fishknit -earflaps

Best $30 i ever spent. Fishknits are a tiny home operation, love the result. Deere icon with woven "10ENGINES" across the neck. 1 off.

Tuesday, December 23

morning of the 25th -preview

The boy's eyes open: 5:58am. Feet hit floor 5:59.
Blueberry pancakes, Henry, this year's Oor Wullie annual, children's size shovel, and Buzz. I have some comedy-coal for my stocking...can't wait to see his reaction.

blackadder -25 years

One of the best presents from M (after 2 healthy cubs) was the 5dvd complete set of Blackadder. Was watching some series 3 the other night...never fails to amuse. It is the 25th anniversary soon..insane. Further reading via the Times.

"I won't have anyone staring in disbelief at MY willing suspension..."
Bonus feature-ish here of Blackadder x Shakespeare.

The "final push" scene from WWI era "Goodbyeee..." is below. The jokes really tailed off at the end...

teele square liquors -somerville ma

This is our local packy (package store=liquor store in Massachusetts, no ethnic slur here). Wine selection is fine, sparkling/champs not great, but beer is dirt cheap. They are also a stealth pick for quality $1 nips. No Aftershock here. Jae (the owner) has little post-it portraits of the regulars (is it good or bad to be up there...not sure). Little tv near the door lets you catch an update on the game, or some No Reservations if you time it right (was the Cairo episode last night).

vermont flamingo

Was thinking about those "stick in your lawn" crows (vermont flamingos) that some have in New England, and found the above. This will be it on the pillow posts, promise. We did get their tractor pillow as a gift last year that fits in perfectly. Company is called Hooked On Vermont. Some sort of Susan Sargent-ish stuff (alliteration override switch must be broken today...) meant in the best possible way.

BTW, if you have never looked at the Dictionary of Regional English, it is a must see. Jeezum crow.

Monday, December 22

horse's neck

Great name for a cocktail.

2 oz. Famous Grouse blended scotch whisky
3 oz. Fever-Tree ginger ale
Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with long lemon-peel.

Saw this on a great bit via The Upgrader featuring a Gramercy Tavern bartender, Jim Meehan. Don't know him nor ever been to Gramercy, except have a weak spot for it since a friend from the Vineyard, Marco came out of there. I don't do whisky recipes in general but tempted...

life -archive II

Old Boston place called Caverly's Diner. Fried smelts, awesome. Looks like it might be near North Station (with the overhead T line etc). Can't find a trace of it on the internets besides reference to a LIFE story though. Again, the below from the LIFE photo archive.

The Calvery (sic) Diner.
Location: Boston, MA, US
Date taken: 1971
Photographer: Yale Joel

Wide angle view of customers eating at the long counter in the Caverly Diner. [note Miller High Life box propping up the donuts in foreground, sweet]
Location: Boston, MA, US
Date taken: April 1971
Photographer: Yale Joel

Fried smelts sea food dinner, a specialty at the Caverly Diner.
Location: Boston, MA, US
Date taken: 1971
Photographer: Yale Joel

life -archive

Inspired by ACL's look into the LIFE photo archive. Day-wrecker material for sure.

A man riding a wild horse at a rodeo.
Location: CA, US
Date taken: April 1958
Photographer: Nat Farbman

Country Dr. Ernest Ceriani (R) holding 11-month-old Gary as his wife Bernetha steadies 3-year-old Phillip on rail fence while watching a rodeo parade.
Location: Kremmling, CO, US
Date taken: August 1948
Photographer: W. Eugene Smith

6 yr. old cowboy pouring some coffee.
Location: US
Date taken: July 1954
Photographer: Allan Grant

6 yr. old cowboy learning how to shoe a horse.
Location: US
Date taken: July 1954
Photographer: Allan Grant

Saturday, December 20


The Tintin movie is still stalled out really, but this is a great article from The Economist about the appeal of the character and why it is limited mainly to Europe, or as a "...minority taste, bound within narrow striations of class: his albums are bought to be tucked into boarding school trunks..."

Friday, December 19

tip -white horse

The brother put me onto this. White Horse is a bit of a dark horse (horrible phrasing) in the good/breakfast whisky department. Contains 40 percent malts including Talisker. White Horse gets its distinctive taste from the Lagavulin content. Nae bad...and very *ahem* economical as well.

Thursday, December 18

secretary of agricuture -appointment

An interview this morning via NPR of Michael Pollan on the appointment of Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as the new Secretary of Agriculture.

A secretary for food, could put the focus on diversifying America's farms and using local food sources around the nation. But those topics weren't in the spotlight when Obama chose Vilsack to be agriculture secretary, said Pollan. Listen.

quotable -in praise of facts

"You cannot look up on Google something you do not know exists..."

"In Praise of Facts." The Economist 11 December 2008: 18.

Wednesday, December 17


Spuds by Karen Hesse. Rural depression era dialogue, not too forced... the kids steal potatoes from a nearby field, and Ma finds out. Won't say any more.

Minerva Louise (On Christmas Eve) by Janet Morgan Stoeke. Some nice wordplay going on if your kids like that.... silly Minerva.

Really like this lady's book blog Vintage Books My Kid Loves. Inspired to start putting up the books we borrow from the library.

orvis -vintage lures

Got these sweet older Orvis lures on the 'bay. The Froggy lure is really cool. Thinking, set them up, in package, in a shadow box, or similar. All from late50's-early60's if seller to be believed. And why not.

Tuesday, December 16

nothing on tv

Don't know too much about this guy AA Gill at the Times but like reading a bit of smartypants vitriol every now and then. He had a great piece about organic food i mentioned a while back. We have a tv packed in the basement, but it is not digital ready, so by February will really be able to say 'we don't have tv'. But this is funny.

"I’ve always considered 'nothing on television' the most asinine cultural comment a grown-up can make. There is a multicoloured cacophonous Niagara of stuff pouring out of every screen all day, every day. There are more tellies than people in this country. There are lots of things you could say about television — and I do — but 'There’s nothing on' isn’t one of them." Further reading.

ice coast -not kidding

The ice storm that came through eastern NY state, western and northern MA and NH was a doozy. Lovely to look at... Power is still out for thousands of people. Amazing. Keep warm Mike.

merry christmas -virtual shopping

-On Being a Scot, Sean Connery
-Tx to The Wrestler
-Haggis supper (customs took the one Oma brought over...)
-Cat Power EP, Dark End of the Street.
-LL Bean plaid duct tape
-Jonesing lobster (you know how it is). Have a great avacado/lime/mango salad we do.
-Have held off until now, but about to start collecting some classic Hot Wheels tracks and cars...for the boy *ahem*. Mongoose and Snake were prime in my day, with the lift-up hoods.

No pithy comments...this is actually my list to Santa.

Monday, December 15

pillow -vintage grain sack

Sis met this lady at a crafty fair in Bondville, VT. Like the idea of reusing older, cloth grain bags. Leslie Janson is her name i think. Etsy shop here.

Saturday, December 13

the weather outside is frightful

Gas prices ARE going down, but you know what... let the OPECs keep their gas-o-line.
Got our tree today... let it snow.

Friday, December 12

tip -your little genius

What do you do with the never ending fingerpaintings that come home from daycare. Feel bad sending them straight to the 'circular file' right? You can't tape them ALL up in the office... Got this from a parenting magaine at the dentist's i admit; take a photo of each one then set it as your screen saver. Then you can trash 'em...

pig cutting sheet -leaflard

Third from bottom. Leaflard. Hog fat. Fat collected from around the internal organs of the hogs and then heated to a high enough tempature (rendering) so that all of the impurities float to the surface (cracklings). The liquid hog fat is then poured onto a large sheet and cooled down until it sets up firm. Slice it into chunks of one, two or three pound (pound!) blocks. It is rendered so ready for baking and frying.

A library friend is getting 2/3s of a pig. This is the butcher's form she was given to fill out from Windham Butcher Shop in Maine. Fantastic.

guilty pleasure -gloves

Work gloves are a little guilty pleasure/collectable of mine. Getting vintagey items for the wee boy is another, so this is gold. Roy Rogers, western fringed work gloves... 2 worlds collide. ebay for $16 now.
[Update: went for $76.]

obama's secretary of food

"The problem isn’t farmers. It’s the farm lobby —hijacked by industrial operators —and a bipartisan tradition of kowtowing to it."

Article in the Op-Ed section of the NYT today. Further reading.

comic shop -gosh

I called it Bloomsbury Comics but was set right by OMIL. It is in Bloomsbury (London) but is called Gosh. They have a good blog going for a quick dip.

"still probably the best comic shop in central London... Comic Showcase closed years ago (used to be on Neal St, then moved to Charing Cross Rd) and Forbidden Planet is more of a supermarket than anything else... Gosh is the only place left where the staff will know who you are, have time to chat and will suggest stuff that might be of interest..."

Lightning review. Perfect.

Thursday, December 11


On the same track as below, just found a ceramic egg carton/pallet for the home kitchen. Postmodern wink wink. $18 Nice.

[Update: ceramic crinkled coffee cup. Awesome.]

i am not a pot noodle

Similar to the 'i am not a paper cup' idea is this ceramic, faux polystyrene, ceramic noodle cup.
Been into ramen since Pops would make it for us (hot dogs and peas included natch'), but took it to the next level working for Wagamama at their first site in London (shift dinners=dream job for a student). Met OMIL there. And here, which used to be called Bloomsbury Comics i thought... Still don't make my own broth, but definately need hardboiled eggs and curry in ramen now. Yes, Tampopo is a must-see.

old jokes home

Q: How did Darth Vader know what Luke was getting him for Christmas?

A: He felt his presents...


Tuesday, December 9

rural clinician award 2008 -dr. roger fox

The New England Rual Health Roundtable Annual Symposium concluded recently and the Rural Health Award, honoring outstanding achievement in rural health care service, was given to Dr. Roger Fox. I said 'rural', did you get that...

Congratulations Pops. Insert smiley face here.

morning becomes eclectic -nick harcourt final show

I hadn't looked in a while...and now see Nick Harcourt just finished a 10-year run at KCRW. Final show above from November 28th. The archives there are stacked, a must-look. Have had a few shows; Lambchop, Cat Power, Willie Nelson and Be Good Tanyas bookmarked for years. The Willie Nelson show is really excellent.

jools holland -later

Not sure how well known this is in the states, but Jools Holland has pulled a Grey Whistle Test reinvention over the last 15+ years in the UK with a 'live' music show broadcast (though not really live, yet) on Friday nights. [update: "Later" was on BBC America, maybe still is, we don't have a tv] The roll-call of performers is jaw dropping, though the dvd release earlier this year does veer towards better known names and leaves a lot on the editing floor... hard not too i guess. There is grumbling recently that the show is getting a little stodgy as it recently passed its 200th show. Anyway, daywrecker link here to over 3,000 session clips on youtube.

Trying to find the first episode ever...let's see how long it takes OMIL to rip it from his personal collection, because he no doubt recorded it (on VHS no less). I think Bjork was one of the guests (singing Human Behaviour maybe??). Clip above is Sonic Youth from one of the first shows.

Monday, December 8

podium -snow|skate|history and now art gallery

Bit of a shameless plug here for Podium, the skate/snowboard store in Manchester VT. Unprompted, truly. We were huge fans of Sound Barrier back in the day, and like that place, it feels great to have an actual brick and mortar store to go visit, check out equipment, chew the cud etc. Sure you can wait for that whiskeymilita email to pop up... but nothing beats walking to a store for an item then immediately stickering up your car. One Up have turned the upstairs into a small gallery and the opening was a few weeks back.

The shop is worth a look-see for the old boards too. Various area riders, plus co-owner Ross Powers have given up boards for display. US Open legend Andy Coghlan has also donated a few boards to this impromptu 'museum'. One has a great inscription; "short boards suck. long boards truck." That needs to be on a sticker.

Double bonus, they are right next door to Candeleros, which have wicked tasty (a bit sweet though, not for everyone) wings. The fermented jalapeno-oil sauce is a must. Trust me on this one, don't splash it in your eyes...


Good sledding over turkey weekend. No skiing for me yet (i still slip and say skiing...even now). Pops did say it was chucking it down last night though, so almost time to wax/resticker the board... Big question is, do i start the wee man on k-tel skis or go straight to the board (ancient Burton Chopper in the barn. it is old, and covered in chicken poop and cobwebs, but hey at least the edges are rusty... )

Friday, December 5

tag galaxy -flickr

Learned about a cool flickr related app today, Tag Galaxy. Search term creates visual search results for related terms as well as polling images. Planet Martini is above. Big ups to my professor Candy Schwartz for the tip.

Thursday, December 4

tip -segura viudas

Once more, thanks to sis for this tip. $10 sparking here, and to use a well worn phrase, "eminently quaffable". Segura Viudas, cava basically. Just got a write-up as part of a larger article on inexpensive bubbly. Consumer Reports via Liqurious. As with Russian Standard, the bottle art and label may not inspire, but proof is in the pudding.

jacques' three clock vinaigrette

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 big spoon of Dijon mustard
The juice of a lemon
Coarse salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
(1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar dug out of your fishing box.
Shake hard to mix. Store in plastic tub, in walk-in cooler, for up to 1 week.

Adjust belt one notch.

Us kids all used to work here, The Three Clock Inn (no, no named cause it had 3 clocks on the the 3. clock. inn. see?). Jacques was the waiter back then. We learned everything from him. Hell, my sis is a restaurant person because of him. Went as a diner and had frog's legs for the first time last weekend. Totally converted.