Friday, January 29

joel salatin -food safety

Above, Joel Salatin, local food advocate and owner of Polyface Farm in Virginia discussing food safety by way of a history lesson into the techno-food complex. A lot there, over an hour. You can see his way of open air processing poultry here (worth a look, it is quick). I am sold on this guy 100%.

late to the party -chewin the fat

Late again me... old news for the UK crowd no doubt. Serious "smoking for Scotland" humour. The rest were all nsfw... Thx Donna (Tinder).


Tinder is a small, perfectly formed, online store operated by a couple of archaeologists, Donna and Angus, in Novia Scotia. Tasteful, utilitarian goods and sundries etc. From their site;
Sourced from traditional manufacturers & modern cottage industries, our inventory is based on simple utility & sound construction...

We endeavour to support a small number of worthy causes {social & ecological} specific to Canada, with a modest portion of our profits {thanks to you}.

Hit Tinder to find out about the orangy plastic basket... [hint it is made by a Canadian firm called Logmatic.]
Loving the stuff they have selected, greedy for more...

Thursday, January 28

troy mills

Whether a Levis or a Lee Storm Rider or Carhartt's Detroit, I'll wear a blanket lined jacket probably 200 days of the year. Fall, bingo. Winter, throw a vest on top. Summer?? those cool summer nights, or on the ferry... solid gold. Springtime, you know the answer.

This could easily run away from me here; posting some history of Troy Mills in NH, (famous as makers of horse blankets) and the use of blanket linings for work jackets... I'm hoping others will have some great images in the ol' file... would love to feature them in a follow up. Spoiler alert; Troy Mills declared bankruptcy in late 2001, and ceased operations in 2002...

Early Troy [New Hampshire, possibly named after Troy, NY] was a New England farming community, although the abundant forest encouraged the manufacture of wooden ware such as boxes, wooden pails, clothes pins, tool handles, and bowls. A brickyard furnished brick for some of our early nineteenth century homes. Tanneries and a pottery thrived at one time. Dependable water power attracted establishment of carding and fulling mills, and woolen and cotton fabric makers.

Of signal importance to Troy was the arrival of Thomas Goodall in 1851. Goodall's brilliant development of the fitted horse blanket in 1857 led to the establishment of a mill later known as Troy Blanket Mills. Acquired by Barrett Ripley and others in 1865, this business has endured under Ripley family management until the present day, now known as Troy Mills, Inc. This places Troy Mills as the oldest textile manufacturer in New Hampshire and third oldest in the United States. Troy woolens in the form of work clothing and "Troy Robes" became nationally known. The Mill successfully made the transition from the horse blankets of the horse and buggy age to become a supplier of needled fabrics to the automobile industry, a classic success story of American enterprise and management. -via

[1998 article] Like most surviving mills, Troy has had its "ups and downs" over the years. The firm that had more than 500 workers in the 1960s employs 300 today--roughly the same number it had in the early part of the century. Newer technology has replaced the looms and weavers and enabled the company to move into a wider array of markets. As it continues to innovate and expand, however, both temporary and long-term changes in some of those markets have resulted in declining sales. -via

Since 2008, and still ongoing, the mill is being developed to become a retirement community; The Residences at Troy Blanket Mills. Just getting this out of the way, Troy Robes were infact tartan travel blankets; great name. Good examples available on ebay.

Plain-faced labelling as Troy Mills blanket linings can be seen in these Carhartt examples below (inside a waistband then a jacket) guesstimate vintage as 1960's-70's. After that is a very nice but little known Bar C jacket w/ Troy lining again dated around 1960. Images via ebay.

That is all I can claim at this point... but at least from 2000-odd and no doubt earlier, you see Carhartt/Lee/Wrangler et. al. turning to semi-felted (mangling textile vocab no doubt here) blanket linings with painted on stripes, rather than woven dyed wool (or were they always painted on?). Watch the changes below. Sidenote, the direction of striping tended to go from horizontal to vertical around the end of the 70's I believe??

I do not know if the below are Troy lined, but in my book the style owes much to the shuttered NH mill. All of this is no doubt dissected to within an inch of it's life in Free&Easy or similar... just enjoying the ride.

[Update: never checked that white tag at right hip of my Levi jumper till tonight... yup, Troy Mills lining. And yes, it is dyed yarn woven to stripe, not painted on... you can clearly see that where the blanket fraying. Best 250 I ever spent. That is $2.50, and no not telling where.]

Great older article at TheSelvageYard talking about some of this stuff, then blanket pr0n at Workers. Also thanks to Jedd@MenAndWomenOfIndustry, Dana@IndianSummerVintage and Lesli@ArchivalClothing.

[Update; must find a copy of this, The fabric of Troy: a history of Troy Mills by the former owner Franklin Fuller Ripley]

Wednesday, January 27

levi strauss & co. -shooter vest

Wool, buffalo check vest with two lower bellows pockets and some funky placket action (looking slightly Woolrich Woolen Mills reboot and not any worse for it). $98 from Levis. They called it the shooter vest not me.

finding flight

During the Great Depression, Bernard H. Pietenpol, with no more than an eighth-grade education, designed a “common-man’s airplane” built with scavenged and hardware-store parts. Today his son and grandson carry on his legacy, and his airplane’s simple design enjoys a popular following among people of all ages who share his dream of flight (2007).

Further reading at PietenpolMovie.
One in-law had her flying license for a good while, used to often fly "by eye", that is you looked down at where the roads were and just followed, said it wasn't too hard. Great stuff...

Tuesday, January 26

unused commercial

Skaters pulling powerslides while crushing tallboys. Can't imagine why Miller/the network didn't go for it... Not 100% this is really an old spec presentation for a High Life commercial, but worth watching once.

parenting -l bow gloves

L-Bow make children's gloves and mittens that have a gaiter up to the elbow; goes over the jacket or under. Have seen these in the wild -bulletproof. The mittens are sort of uni-thumb in the middle, so does not matter which one goes on first. Further reading at LBow.

washed up cup -2

Mark your calendar, the Washed Up Cup is coming back for round 2 [never doubted it -ed.] Again, will take place the day before the USOpen Snowboard halfpipe finals at Stratton... 10e report from last year here.

On the woodgrain theme, a birdy pointed me to a possible Hayes Brothers board for 2009/10 with an awesome, restrained, woody/Little Tree graphic scheme. Grainy (ouch) pic only so far...

Monday, January 25

drop mfg.

Drop have updated their site with the 2009/10 line. Below, the HD in woodgrained glory.

ryan fowler

Accessible, slightly whimsical images by Ryan Fowler, working as Native Vermont Studio. Thought I posted a card from here ages ago, but new prints up at the etsy page.

from rick walker -eagle beak r.i.p.

Received this email a little while ago from Rick Walker (owner of western store Rick Walker's in Boston; good resource for deadstock gingham Rockmount shirts) and he agreed to share it. Great stuff.
Last night my little buddy Eagle Beak died in his sleep. He was a Cornish rooster and four pounds of fun. He loved tomatoes, cracked corn and pasta. We found him at a farmer's swap meet four years ago. He was in a cage with a sign that said "My name is Eagle Beak, I love to be held and I'm not very good with children" I knew right away It was a match made in heaven. He knew his name and would come when you called him. Two years ago he moved in to the house from the barn. Every morning at 6:15 He would scream good morning at the top of his lungs and the day would begin. We'll be sleeping late tomorrow. So long pal, I'll think of you every sunrise. It's a sad day.


If you wear western shirts atall, or go thrifting for them, eventually you will have to replace a "snap" or "pop". Probably easy with a clamp tool like the above, but you can cheap out (I mean save $10...) and buy something like The SnapSetter, where you line up the snaps with a guide and just wack it with a hammer. Very satisfying. Generic versions for around $6.

Sunday, January 24

the haggis

A cine film made around 1969 by the Largs Cine Club. Starring Dram the Dog. Plot may be B- but scenery and music B+.

Tomorrow is Burns Night (the celebration of Robert Burns' poetry, excuse to eat haggis etc.) Wrote a bunch about it last year (Haggis; Kilt).

Saturday, January 23

sleep furiously gather in the crops; schoolchildren learn to make clay figures; a parishioner prepares the church for Mass; the mobile library rattles along country roads; sheep submit to the quick skills of practiced shearers; pies and cakes are laid out for the judges’ inspection at the village fete. -via The Telegraph
Portrait of a small farming community in mid-Wales, Trefeurig, where director Gideon Koppel grew up. The community struggles for survival as the local primary (grade) school is threatened with closure, traditional farming methods are rendered non-viable and services disappear.

One portrayal of rural life. Soundtrack by Aphex Twin. [thx Jedd]

Friday, January 22

the pursuit aesthetic

Brennan Woods aka The Pursuit Aesthetic is featuring a substantial roll call of the fencepost types and I am v fired up to have been asked to contribute one of the head-to-toes (as below). See the whole series here.


Logorama; a short at Sundance and up for an Oscar too I think... clip above.

quotable -so i married an axe murderer

Charlie (Myers): Excuse me... I asked for the LarGe cappaCCiNO.

hu2 -eco reminders

Dubbed Eco Reminders these vinyl wall stickers from British design team Hu2 go next to and around light switches and plugs. Cool visual prompt to raise awareness of electricity (over)use. Would be esp' great for a school, library, common room etc. Bunch of other clever stuff; flyswatter training range... classic. [found via 14bikeco via EdinburghFixedGear]

Thursday, January 21

bookmark -rogue's rookery

Brandon Vogel's Rogue's Rookery blog just getting off the ground... Comes out of the gates with a history on Dale Earnhardt Snr.'s Wrangler Jeans Machine, #15... further reading.

His blog's previous incarnation had stuff like the below. Not a compulsive-disorder poster like some... but quiet quality. Cheers Brandon.


Volvo and Saab were industry leaders for safety, and the Swedish company POC (not sure what that means/stands for) is continuing that tradition. Had never seen this helmet/google/armour brand till last month... you tend to see skiers (esp. racers, and they are the nuttiest) wearing them but now more snowboarders too. Goggle/helmet integration is perfect plus they come in a rainbow assortment of colors schemes; orange, green, black/grey, blue/brown, pink/green?? Maybe that will get Sis out there... Shopping around, the helmets are not out-of-sight expensive though getting up there at around $150-200.

They have a kids line, dubbed POCito, all bright orange, w/ adjustable sizing, and a snap on LED blinker at back, nice touch. RED have stopped making their MT-1 full-face helmet, so if you are into that style (yes, but hard to spit with that thing on...) POC have options.

[Realise getting a little cute w/ the matchy matchy colours here but subject matter is absolutely serious -ed.]

Sidenote; Stratton in southern VT may be one of the most expensive day tickets around but they do offer $5 tickets for under 6's and with the $15 ticket for adult "learner slopes" it means you can spend 2 days teaching the kid to ski or ride for $40... can't beat that w/ a stick. [Disclaimer: used to work at Stratton a decade ago (Bear's Den shout out) but have nothing to do with them now.]
POC is a Swedish company, built on a strong mission; to do everything we can to possibly save lives and to reduce consequences of accidents, for gravity sports athletes, by developing and renewing what personal protection is all about.

The organization involves competences from different fields, such as engineers, material specialists, industrial and graphic designers, neurologists and back specialists.

All our products have been tested by top world gravity sport athletes and then further refined to perfection. The end result is a line of lightweight, high performance gear that offers the ultimate protection against injury thanks to superior impact absorption and penetration resistance. -via POC