Wednesday, March 31


There is a time of year, maybe around Labor Day, in Santa Fe where the chile harvest is in and on backlots and streetcorners people set up big wire tumblers of chilis and roast them. Usually over propane flames it looks like.

Something like that.

Really want to go one day. Up there with cranberry bogging. Need to find some chile roasting gloves, they are probably just like pig roasting gloves... The food forums are full of arguments about who does the best chile roasting; the guy in the BigLots parking lot or the Santa Fe farmers market -awesome. Can imagine the air all smokey with chile-eye-burning goodness... getting hungry. Have had New Mexican food a few times (meaning in NM, not nouveau-mexican or anything) and it is fantastically greenchilesloppy.

Roast chiles do not equal dried chiles is my understanding, cheat sheet below... Sidenote: at Dave's Pasta in Davis Square they have a bowl of cherry peppers you can grab from on the way out. Perfect for the walk home.

lochcarron -wool ties

Lochcarron of Scotland is a family owned company which has been weaving a wide range of fabrics since 1947 [insert any fabric as long as it's plaid joke -ed.]. For over three decades it has been offering factory tours, and a visit to Lochcarron is a chance to see the industries which were once central to the economy of southern Scotland; weaving and knitwear.

Since 2006 Lochcarron has been in a modern facility in Selkirk named Waverly Mill, the name is all that remains of Lochcarron's old premises, six miles to the north in Galashiels [both tiny towns in the Scottish borders -ed.].

I found a great flickr set by one Alexander Cunningham of a factory tour he had taken, and he has agreed to share the pictures, thx Alex.

Setting up the threads for the warping mill

Guide explains the workings of a modern Suzuki Warping Mill.

Sulzer Ruti Loom

The darning room, where minor flaws in the mechanical production are carefully repaired manually.

Freshly completed tartan bales.

Lochcarron pops up as source materials for Jack Spade, JCrew, Ralph Lauren, JPGaultier and no surprise Vivenne Westwood. There are 3 weights of tartan fabric created;
REIVER, 10oz -Over 500 authentic tartans in a light worsted wool suitable for tailored items.
BRAERIACH, 13oz -Over 220 authentic tartans in a medium weight worsted wool suitable for kilts, home furnishings
STROME, 16oz -Over 580 authentic tartans in a traditional heavy weight worsted wool synonymous with the 8 yard hand made kilt.
Long/short of all this is that I like wool ties... it sort of dresses you up and down in an odd way. The texture of a woolen tie synonymous with the outdoors, and tartan working its usual transporting power. Bonus points for a family tartan... Lamont below.

Same up/down dynamic could go for the selvege ties of Hill-Side or the winter stuff from Pierrepoint Hicks. Lochcarron seem to be THE source for "100% wool made in Scotland" wool ties, especially the gift shoppy tartan ties (nothing wrong with that, not at all) and older examples are all over ebay in the $10-20 range. Hell, new ones only cost about $20 with shipping. Locharron seem to have sidestepped the 70's affection for wide ties and all models old/new are in the 3-4" range for width.

Tuesday, March 30

ignore that elephant in the room

Didn't know Kim Katrall was English. She got one of her big breaks in Porkie's; sweater girl remember? Respect. Great older interview in The Independent with Ewan McGregor (about parenting, laying off the bottle and loving radio) that I fall back on myself sometimes. Dwell-tastic beach house, and Ewan kitted out in ?? Anyone? Paul Smith? Anyhow looking quite sharp. Plus this film has Olivia Williams and Eli Wallach. Class. But then there is that elephant problem...
The film began production in February 2009 in Germany, at the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam. Germany stood in for London and Martha's Vineyard due to Polanski's inability to legally travel to those places. The majority of exteriors, set on Martha's Vineyard, were shot on the island of Sylt in the North Sea, and on the ferry "MF SyltExpress". The exterior set of the house where much of the film takes place, however, was built on the island of Usedom, in the Baltic Sea. Exteriors set at a publishing house in London were shot in downtown Berlin, while Strausberg Airport near Berlin stood in for the Martha's Vineyard airport. -via Wiki.

parenting -gap

Chambray lined collar and cuffs, check. Western styling and/or pseudo period stitching, check. Gingham lined and tab collars, check. Madras, natch'. In 3 color schemes. For kids only... Gap.

little blue bird studio

Reclaimed/recycled dictionaries are the medium here. LittleBlueBirdStudios prints vintage inspired illustrations over the pages. A snip at $8. Alice in Wonderland, London, and other themes available now... Liking the nautical prints as below.

Monday, March 29

that odd couple look

Closing the loop on the Odd Couple posts... Jedd Rose at Men and Women of Industry took time out to make up a Felix and Oscar cheat sheet for 2010. Not sure of the power structure over at MAWOI (believe it is a 2 person show) but Jedd has also been tapped for some head-to-toes for Uncrate (who are picking up their game a bit). Sidenote: great to see another family man in the mix of rakishly single fenceposters. The OCD therapy books are inspired... Thx JR.

Suit - Brooks Brothers Regent Saxxon, more tailored cut, slimmer lapels, etc.
Shirt - RL Fine Slim Custom Fit
Apron - DWR Fog Linen Cafe Apron
Tie - Alexander Olch Grey Triple Stripe
Socks - Brooks Brothers Merino Big Dot
Shoes - Bass Dover

Sweatshirt - Buzz Rickson Set-In Sleeve Four-Needle
Pants - L.L. Bean Signature Canvas Cloth
Shirt - L.L. Bean Trim-Fit Oxford no-iron of course
Socks - Wigwam Striped Tubes
Shoes - PF Flyer Archival 50's Reissue
Schlitz Beer Can Bank - For stashing poker/alimony dough

quotable -the odd couple

Oscar Madison (Matthau): I can't take it anymore, Felix, I'm cracking up. Everything you do irritates me. And when you're not here, the things I know you're gonna do when you come in irritate me. You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can't stand little notes on my pillow. "We're all out of cornflakes. F.U." Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Ungar!

r kikuo johnson

These witty illustrations by R. Kikuo Johnson from a recent NYT magazine drew me in. The article ain't half bad either, about teaching but I found it useful as a parent. Going to paraphrase mercilessly below...
Here’s what I need from you, I need that piece of paper turned over and a pencil out.

Imagine if the first direction had been, ‘Please get your things out for class,’ ” he said. The students [or your children -ed.] pay attention not because of your inborn charisma, but simply by being direct and specific.

In Boston, he [Doug Lemov the subject of this piece -ed.] declared himself on a personal quest to eliminate the saying of “shh” in classrooms, citing what he called “the fundamental ambiguity of ‘shh.’ Are you asking the kids not to talk, or are you asking kids to talk more quietly? A teacher’s control, he said repeatedly, should be “an exercise in purpose, not in power.”
Lots of good techniques that I've been trying to use... we'll see. Further reading.

Friday, March 26

rosies vermont beef jerky

It is dry, almost the feeling of bark, has a good chew to it and tastes like salted beef. Not much more you can ask for. Not greasy or colored (you ever spit after eating a slim jim... that elastic orange grease... yikes) and won't rip a hole in you later... RosiesJerky.

OK, it is not going to take out the trash or achieve world peace... it is jerky. Backup plan for watching a game or on a hike etc. They have a bunch of flavors, usually sold at smaller gas stations or convenience stores in southern VT. Everything is a little much; myself I stick with Original or throw in a Cajun if getting more than one. I like the way they don't over-reach on the sales pitch either; "quite possibly Vermont's finest tasting jerky."

Thursday, March 25


For the Documerica Project (1971-1977), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s. The National Archives digitized part of the series "Documerica" and more than 15,000 of these images are available in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC).

Searched "adirondack" and head exploded... #daywrecker. Had never seen this before, in the mix of LOC and Life archives etc. but imagine it is well know.

One more; this maple syrup will put lead in your pencil.
Resident of Roxbury, Vermont, draws off the finished syrup from a homemade evaporator. Instead of working in a sugar house he sets up a makeshift rig in a new spot each year to use fallen timber and loose brush to fire the sawed-off oil drum [!! -ed.] 05/1974. Photographer: Cooper, Jane. Full set from Jane Cooper is fantastic.