Tuesday, March 31

marco pierre white

Photo via yumsugar

Finished MPW's easy reading bio The Devil in the Kitchen recently but without a clip it may be hard to see what the fuss is about. Don't know if that recent Chopping Block show was a good fit for him... MPW is the draw, not 8 whiny couples...

I posted this clip before, but it is a great example of his back-to-basics approach. Anyway, I love making fish pie for M and the boys, so easy and good for you. [Just realised those white pots and pans -get it, white -are his line.]

"Cooking should be a pleasure... if it's a job get a takeaway."

willie nelson -blue skies

A stone cold classic. American Masters did a fantastic program on Willie a few years ago. Icon status.

Blue Skies penned by Irving Berlin. A great old 78rpm version by Bing Crosby here.

quotable -mr mom

Jack: Honey, if you call and I'm not here I'll be either at the gym or the gun club.

This was preceded by;
Jack: Want a beer?
Ron: It's 6 o'clock in the morning!
Jack: .... scotch?

Monday, March 30

tip -peterson of dublin

Photo via Georgetown Tobacco

In 1890, Charles Peterson developed the Peterson Patent System - a graduated bore in the mouthpiece helps to collect tar and moisture in a reservoir and away from the bowl of the pipe. The shape of the "P-lip" vulcanite mouthpiece, invented in 1898, is designed to direct the smoke up and away from the tongue, reducing "tongue bite."

I don't have any solid stats in front of me, but I would bet that pipe smoking has slowed, in the way that using hair jelly or carrying a penknife and pocket handkerchief have slowed. Pops has smoked a pipe forever, practically a trademark, but I still cringe when I see most other people smoking a pipe, especially those under say... 40. Seems a bit of an affectation; along with dandy canes and capes1.

Peterson of Dublin (with their trademark silver band) make many entry level pipes that are not the object of desire for collectors, but if you have a pipe smoker on your gift list the trick is this; at your reputable tobacconist (e.g. Leavitt & Peirce in Harvard Square) ask for refurbished Petersons. You may have to ask, they are often kept out of sight. Half the price, better aged and in the preppy tradition of fixing something to reuse.

The refurb is usually a complete restoration so you can rest assured, and goes something like this:
* Replace Stem
* Open airway to approx 5/32”
* Refinish rim - remove all charring, rerusticate (if appropriate)
* Strip, sand and restain pipe bowl
* Remove carbon from tobacco chamber, reround pipe bowl and finish
* Sanitize entire airway and freshen

Incase anyone cares, Pops smokes Balkan #2.

1The absolute worst though is the contrived tapping down of your pack of cigarettes. Please stop, it is the immediate sign of the look at me smoker. Sure they are not good for you -to put it mildly- but I actually love seeing someone genuinely enjoying a cigarette (hi sis), and need to be restrained when someone starts this whole slapping the pack on your palm dance for 5 minutes... if you want to smoke just freekin smoke your cigarette.. or is that a mating call for other greeks?? It is not the 1920's... your store bought cigarettes are not going to cascade tobacco when you pull them from the pack. Both barrels if you have no idea why one would even engage in this behaviour and are tapping the bottom of the pack -thus loosening the tobacco more!

quotable -thunderball

Bond: That gun. It looks more fitting for a woman.

Largo: Do you know much about guns, Mister Bond?

Bond: No. But I know a little about women.

Saturday, March 28

triple overhead

Photo by 10engines

There are more photos out there, probably in focus, taken with better equipment, but at the US Open last week Kevin Pierce from Norwich VT was going huge. It gets a bit lost on tv and in all the hype, but the lip of the pipe is already about 20 feet from the bottom of the transition, so figure the rider is about 40 feet vertical...

bookshelf -oral histories from the down country to the northeast kingdom

This monograph (fancy name for a book), Vermonters, by Ron Strickland is a pitch perfect collection of characters and amazingly available via google books; so read away. It features oral histories (not transcribed... cleaned up a bit) from Chet Grimes (horse team logger), Jay Craven (the interview is with a young Jay Craven, best remembered for Where the Rivers Flow North IMHO), and Fred Tuttle's father, Joseph Tuttle. Tons more... a must read for those interested in the vanishing ways of old timers. Worldcat tells me most library copies are in academic libraries, but you can read it as above or just go buy it.

Friday, March 27

eventually -metisse desert racer

Photo via Hell For Leather

Similar to a certain Husqvarna motocross bike from 1970 is the Metisse Desert Racer. Obvious provenance aside, much prefer an older scrambler like this to a radio-blaring windscreen hog. I remember a great bit from Jools Holland's trip across America (on a Triumph) where he comments to a biker bar, "Harleys make a very nice bike... for a woman." Exit stage left.

late to the party -jay reatard

Photo by Tom Oxley

Jay Lindsey's recent recorded stuff is more power pop than punk, which is fine by me... getting a little grey in the muzzle for loud music, completely my problem. Anyway, a couple of cuts below from the Matador Singles release to ease you in.

Full disclosure: I do know some of the top brass from Matador... and while not wild about the finbar saunders bandname here, or some of the uglification they get into... I'm liking these. I hear there is a new record coming out that continues this mellower-than-drunkenpunk vibe. Look forward to it.

Thursday, March 26

drag race sticker jobs

From the fliptops of Mongoose and Snake going back to hot rods; love drag race paraphernalia especially the aftermarket decals. Paraphrasing TurntableLab here, "bite, but don't bite too hard", the above are part of a huge collection here.

Not even scratching the surface of this hobby/obsession, others have devoted their entire lives to it; respect. More bananas diecast repros like the below here.

[Update: AMC Rebel Machine via A Time to Get.]

bookshelf -stone soup

Photos via Amazon.

Marcia Brown's retelling of this tale is a classic. 3 soldiers prepare soup, with just some stones... with a little help from the stand-offish villagers by adding carrots, maybe some meat, a cup of milk, some barley, a few potatoes... etc. And it is an easy rainyday project for your kids with something like ramen (add peas, old roast chicken, herbs... whatever.)

Wednesday, March 25

bookmark -commanders club

Though never updated (2007 was the last time I think) Commanders Club lovingly details the minutiae of Ian Fleming's creation, that certain Scottish peasant named Bond. "A martini properly made. A holster worn well. A lighter showing the requisite amount of wear" etc.

Find out what Bond drinks where (Miller's High Life when in America) and wears when (Avoid anything gaudy or flamboyant or obviously expensive. President Truman shirts, for instance, are out of the question).

morning pro musica

Robert J. Lurtsema, the host of WGBH's classical music program, Morning Pro Musica, died in 2000 after almost 3 decades of radio work on the show. His bass tones and pregnant pauses made him a New England institution.

From his obit; "John Harbison, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, noted that Mr. Lurtsema stood out in a radio environment where individual taste and commitment to music are increasingly made to defer to homogenized programming. Morning Pro Musica, Harbison said yesterday, was one of the last bastions of playing complete, challenging pieces from beginning to end."

Though this radio program is not on the air anymore, the Dawn Chorus also called Birds of Morning, is still used by WGBH Classical at 7am and 8am. It is the greatest way to wake up on the weekend. Set the alarm.

Tuesday, March 24

washed up cup -in the books

Last weekend, after a running joke by Steve Hayes turned into a dare, the first Washed Up Cup went down at Stratton (GS race, best combined 2-run time wins, 30+, softboots only). A good friend Skye Chalmers was on hand to shoot and agreed to share.

Co-organizer Seth Neary: Driven Studio. Washed up and on course below.No helmet, no jacket, hell no gloves. Ice coast style.
Seth Miller: took joint 3rd down to 1/100th of a second.
Tricia Byrnes: grand dame status.
Curt Gurry with the camo cans.
Color combo. Rock the compass.
That winter look: trademarked.

murray & lanman's florida water

Murray and Lanman Florida Water was introduced into the United States market on February 14, 1808. They have soap bars now too. This is a staple in Pops' dop kit and have gaffled it myself. Very inexpensive; citrusy.

"In hot weather, a feeling of agreeable coolness is quickly induced by applying Murray & Lanman's Florida Water to the brow. Use as directed in bath and after shave." Further reading.

Monday, March 23

no nylon fibers

I don't think I have ever seen this gent, Hobie Chittenden, wearing nylon or "performance" anything while out riding; admire his style no doubt. Whether putting a Corvette engine into his one-ton or building a chainsaw/blender he's definately a tinkerer and though humble as hell, this tree surgeon/logger is a bit of a stealth snowboarding icon.

Boardercross/racing seems to be clawing back slightly here in the States, good to see Hobie and some of the old guard get back into it. VTSP... yeaaaah bro' point it.

late to the party -santigold

Santigold (recent name change from Santogold for legal reasons) rocked out after the end of the US Open halfpipe competition last w/e. More dancey/bass live than this clip, the sound set up was great and Santi White herself was very chatty, cheeky and fired up.

Have to admit I had thought Santigold might be toocoolforschool or achingly hip, but completely my loss. Stylized to hell sure, but great stuff. A calculated sound, try "the love child of submarine sonar and low frequency midnight moans...dub and 80’s-pop ... sometimes basement rock, sometimes Bananarama-soundclash...spaghetti western-outlaw, roots rock and digital street blip" from santogold.net.

the red blinker

Photo: 10engines

This barn is in South Londonerry, VT, route 100. On a tight corner. Think for a second and you'll get it...

Thursday, March 19


After this 400th post will be on radio silence for a few days. If you are reading this, 70% chance you came here via the powerhouse A Continuous Lean (big ups), 20% chance from All Plaidout (many thx), everyone else seems to arrive by googling "cat power x levis", "lee storm rider" or "carhartt font"... good stuff.

Since the last round up (200) have been having fun with some recurring sections; head to toe setups, bookshelf, late to the party, and bookmark. A couple of the following buried posts might amuse... the kilt, sugaring, vintage lures and jnr bonner.

Next up: w/ the assistance of my textiles cousin I want to get the backstory of the elephant logo on old bandanas, and will have a big report from the upcoming 2009 US Open Snowboard Championships. See you in the beer garden...

[Update: Friday at Stratton, The Washed Up Cup... aging shredders race GS... cannot wait.]


Great name. The Pixelvision PXL 2000, from Fisher-Price. Recorded to regular cassette tapes and still has some fans. Would love to grab one, I see them on the 'bay for 50ish. Lo-fi in the hizzous. Talking of tapes... did you ever gauge your trip by tape length... "Rutland to Boston? Not bad, it's a couple of C90's and you're there".

Wednesday, March 18

nantucket and martha's vineyard subway memorabilia

Get ready for the mother of all Zoning Board meetings...

From Transit Authority Figures come perfect-world subway prints for Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. (Also Cape Cod extensions and a fantastic new design for Manchester, VT, including a Kandahar stop)

"...sunsets in Menemsha without arriving 3 hours early or circling endlessly around the parking lot."

"Jared Coffin probably couldn’t have imagined such a thing - nor the Nantucket Conservation Commission."

Full disclosure: I know the husband and wife team behind this, Rob and Damia Stewart, and think this is a genius idea. The Manchester print is available now. I just bought mine.

Tuesday, March 17

eventually -workshed

This is the biggy. Having your own workspace is key. The above is Jackson Pollack's barn in Springs, NY. Set up an old iMac G4 like the one that was stolen from our kitchen a few years back, have a bunch of tweed speakers connected around, an old fridge, a woodstove... go to town.

port out starboard home

Song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the movie, based on the children's book written by Ian Fleming (illustrated by John Burningham of Mr. Gumpy fame). Always loved the breakfast machine they had.

Port Out Starboard Home (POSH) a shorthand for high living as these cabins were on the shaded side when traveling to the far east. There is some debate as to the truth of this definition, but it's adoption can't be denied. Easy way to remember which side is port... and which color associated (green/red)... "pass the red port left" (or have heard "there is no red port left" in our house). Knew an older lady that wore a massive emerald on the right hand and a ruby on the other, gift from a sailor.

The original book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang might be good for an 8ish year old, as some kidnapping and dynamiting going on in addition to the flying/sailing car.

Monday, March 16

bookshelf -the continuing struggle

The Continuing Struggle : Autobiography of a Labor Activist.

This is a fascinating memoir of a key figure in the unionization of the coal industry in Illinois and beyond by C.H.(Hank) Mayer. A warts and all history. The pages were hand typed by his assistant, and underlines done with a ruler. Awesome. No copies on amazon/google books, but if you look copies are around. This author later moved back to the land, 1950's VT.

I am no expert on Scott Nearing (who wrote the foreword here), but Mayer and Nearing not only shared some ideology but also love for the state of Vermont.  We have several copies of Scott and Helen Nearing's The Good Life, and it is a great homesteading read. Anyone interested in homesteading or the history of southern Vermont in the 40s-60s just before the ski areas arrived needs to have a copy.

one up creative space -manchester vt

If you are in southern Vermont for The USOpen this weekend and want to expand a little besides a bro-down at the Green Door (though nothing wrong with that), on Saturday March 21, 5-7pm, One-Up Creative Space will be hosting a closing reception for the current show "Rise Above and Never Forget - The Manufacturing and Propaganda of Wounded Knee Skateboards." Located above Podium Snow/Skate in Manchester Center.

From One-Up's pressi; "Jim Murphy, owner and co-founder of Wounded Knee, will be at One-Up to discuss the true history of Native American peoples and Wounded Knee's role in shaping the future of at-risk Native American Youth."

Friday, March 13


A few months back (a lifetime in blog-years) A Continuous Lean posted Could This Be The Preppiest Movie Ever, citing the modern classic Trading Places. Cracking. I have a stealth pick though for the everyman preppy; Splash. Hear me out...

Morning suit on the beach in Cape Cod (sidenote; landcruiser? and hey... like the moron twin's maroon rugby), golden fleece at the raquetball club, OCBD's with windbreaker/cord jacket/letterman, then for dinner it is blue blazer and grey flannels. Not bad Mr. Alan Bauer.

Sidenote: this was the first vhs movie we owned (second was Trading Places I think) back when a 'remote' for your vcr was a 6foot cable. I think I can repeat the whole movie verbatum...

Thursday, March 12

tom waits -travelers cafe interview

"Take a little off the top, leave the sideburns... block it in the back. You just have to know how to talk to your barber."

Video quality starts a bit rough but give it a minute. Class in a glass.

boy's bike

The boy's birthday coming up. First bike. May end up with something vanilla like the above. But eventually he may graduate to the below. Crazy stuff they have now for kids. Awesome.Bern Nino helmet as below will be mandatory... and pretty freekin good looking I must say.