Tuesday, March 31

10E2440: Shackleton's Journey - William Grill

 Images via publisher Flying Eye Books

The true tale of Ernest Shackleton and crew on their Endurance expedition would not be believed if a fairy tale. And may not be a first guess as a children's book (though better than Scott's journey to the Antarctic - the jokes really tail off at the end...).

This is a fascinating, descriptive, illustrated account of early 20thC exploration and daring-do. The story demands it really. Super human leadership and willpower and *ahem* endurance shown by the crew. Come on, at one point they spent over a year camping out on an ice floe... #mindblown

Lots more of this in Robert Lansing's fantastic 1959 book Endurance.

Thursday, March 26

10E2439: Giveaway | Nomadic

 Jordan from Nomadic wants to give you a shirt inspired by nature. Sure!

On a personal note these remind me of kids photoshirts from the 70s. 100% recycled poly, a part of sales go to conservation efforts, classic. These insane prints would make cool longjohns as well... phase 2! Lithographs taken from; 19thC Kunstformen der Natur by German biologist Ernst Haeckel, 1901 depictions of small and large game by Richard Lydekker, topographic and other prints.

Calling it! The winner Kyle wa picked out of a hat and contacted... Thx Folks. How to win: visit the Nomadic site site then email me your the name of shirt you want and size, and why - and a winner will be picked at 5pm (today, March 26). Or RT this w/ shirt design and size.

Wednesday, March 25

10E2438: Big B

Bromley Mountain (colloquially BIG B) in southern VT is known for its southern exposure, so generally warmer than nearby Stratton, and a great mix of terrain - ie some big bumps and steeps for adults. Lucky schoolkids in the area get to ski and ride here instead of gym once a week in winter. We grew up this way - fantastic.

The ski area started with a J-Bar in the 1930s, essentially founded by Fred Pabst Jr., the son of Blue Ribbon founder Fred Pabst, you KNOW they sell tall boys at the waffle shack... #essential. And genU-ine maple syrup for free. #parenting

The spring 'pond skim' went down last weekend. Pros at this can hose the crowd as they go by. Kids on left got soaked. One kid rode full speed to the water's edge then jumped chest first onto a boogie board - and made it. Not sure how he practiced that move but crowd went wild. Sharkman made it. Chickenlady didn't... crowd loved her for it.

Love that National Forest font - hard to get info on that... anyone?

Always slightly amused by workouts that use "farmers walk" as a routine - carrying weights on each side as if carrying bales of hay. Is this a comment on how far we have fallen, that we have to imitate good old puritan manual work rather than engage in it? One could go further and say that about going to the gym generally - basically an acceptance that we eat too much and are not physical enough to keep from wasting away...

These lawn ornaments take 2 bales a day. Who wants to carry them out next?

Wednesday, March 18

10E2437: Spring Onions Forever

Picture tells it all really. Chop off tops, put in water, put on windowsill - then the live center grows (you can see them poking up, this is about 2 days worth) and you can clip off spring onion green from the top after about a week. Practically endless supply. Looks sort of healthy and inviting too...

Friday, March 13

10E2436: Bern Goes Goggles | 2016

Bern [helmet maker] introduces goggles for the first time. 
Plus Foam, featured therein, is 100% recycled and can be recycled again.   
Photo Copyright: Ashleigh Miller Photography

Starting with large framed models for men (Eastwood) and women (Monroe), Bern Unlimited are taking the next step in modular protection and creating goggles to uniquely fit their helmets. Midsized frames will follow, along with kid-specific goggs (Scout and Sawyer). Available next season. Also opens the door for a raft of neat collabs and materials and colors. Market prices, $50-150.
"Plus Foam material features a soft, ergonomic fit and feel, resulting in the first 100% recyclable frame on the market. LENS POP’s fast-change lens system with seven retention points allows for safe and easy adjustment to environmental lighting changes."

Thursday, March 12

10E2435: American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship

This Tuesday with Balvenie we celebrated the American Craft Council Rare Craft Awards. This is the 3rd year granting a Fellowship to one of 4 artisan finalists.

We can discuss art vs craft vs makers [no sh*t it's handmade... believe me I can tell! - ed] and so on. Would love to - stop me anytime. In this case I was fortunate to be included on a panel with Garth Johnson (Curator of Ceramics ASU Art Museum), Perry Price (Director of Education at the American Craft Council), and Anthony Bourdain to select the finalists;
Mark Hewitt, potter.
Elizabeth Brim
, blacksmith.

Mary Jackson
, sweetgrass basket weaver.
Bob Kramer
, bladesmith.
 (ACC Rare Craft Fellowship Awards finalists and winner pose for a photo
with Anthony Bourdain. Photo: Courtesy of Jackie Hart/DOWNTOWN Magazine)

Bob Kramer received this year's Fellowship; past winners being Graham Thompson of Optimo hats in Chicago, and Douglas Brooks a canoe builder from VT who specializes in Japanese technique.

This is the entree (see what I did there) to the larger collaboration between Balvenie and Bourdain in his Rare Craft tv series coming out. All good stuff.

10E3435: Spring Skiing

Have to admit I'll use skiing as a generic term for being out on the mountain, though have not used skis in almost 20 years. And probably won't since a friend traded his board with a skiiing buddy for 15 minutes to 'try it' and ripped his knee apart.

Anyhow - some great deals on 'ski' tickets right now in New England if you look around. I know Bromley Mountain in VT is doing $17 tickets next Tuesday for St. Patricks Day [a ton of places doing this, see Waterville, NH too - ed.]. Liftopia is good, but the mountains have caught on and offer their own discounts now too.

And this weekend (March 12-15) the VT Open comes back to Stratton; an all ages race, retro pipe and Snurfer Challenge snowboarding event. On that note there was a great article on YoBeat the other day about the positive state of snowboarding currently - go read.

Friday, March 6

10E2434: Aran Knit - Fridays Are Tie Days

This seems like a quick way to age yourself by about 30 years. File under 'old man'. Love it.
"Aran" style wool knit ties from The Knottery - in 'army', burgundy, navy or off-white.
Use promo code WINTERSALE for 35% off even the sale prices...

The Aran Islands lie off the west coast of Ireland don't you know. Read much about this fabled style of knitting in our older post on the subject. Is it all bunk about the family patterns??

Read the origin of the Fridays are tie days posts here.

Wednesday, March 4

10E2433: Rare Craft Fellowship

What, you already saw this clip? Anthony Bourdain starting a new show celebrating craft of various kinds. As you would expect he is fully conscious of the dilution of this word. Great ender; "Make it by hand. Take your time". Steak au poivre cooked on the skilletron at Borough Furnace? Love it. They won't all have a food tie-in I don't imagine...

American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Awards in association with The Balvenie 
[Anthony] Bourdain will serve as the lead juror for this highly coveted award in both 2015 and 2016. Presented annually for contributions to the maintenance and revival of traditional or rare crafts in America, the Fellows will receive an exclusive trip to Scotland and a $10,000 endowment to go towards materials to continue their crafts. The four additional finalists will receive a $5,000 endowment. This year the announcement will take place in New York City on March 10th, 2015. 
Thanks to the American Craft Council and Balvenie I have been part of the panel judging this years Rare Craft Fellowship, along with several academics and writers and Mr. Bourdain.  It has been extremely educational (and hell, fun) and really looking forward to announcing this year's Fellow and finalists. I'll be in NY next week for the formal announcement and knocking around town. 

The Raw Craft show itself looks great too - firing off (see what I did there) with that trip to Borough Furnace. Long time 10e obsessives might remember them from their kickstarter a few years ago. My iron bottle opener will probably outlive me... you got yours too right??

Tuesday, March 3

10E2432: Town Meeting (VT)

In Vermont, the first Tuesday in March (today) is "town meeting day". Budgets are looked at for the year, issues raised... Our town of Peru will be pouring the coffee and lining up metal chairs in the town hall at 10AM... maybe get some live tweets. I write this little bit every year and it all still applies [that is half the point -ed.].
"On Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday in March, citizens across Vermont come together in their communities to discuss the business of their towns. For over 200 years Town Meeting Day has been an important political event as Vermonters elect local officers and vote on budgets. It has also been a time for neighbors to discuss the civic issues of their community, state, and nation." -via A Citizen’s Guide To Vermont Town Meeting

While he [Norman Rockwell -ed.] mulled over the problem of the Four Freedoms, he painted another illustration for a magazine cover, went to a town meeting, and attended a Grange supper. One night he went to bed, still struggling to come up with an idea. "As the minutes ticked by, all empty and dark, I suddenly remembered how Jim Edgerton had stood up in a town meeting and said something that everybody else disagreed with. But they had let him have his say. No one had shouted him down. My gosh, I thought, that's it. There it is. Freedom of Speech. I'll illustrate the Four Freedoms using my Vermont neighbors as models."

-via NormanRockwellMuseum

Further reading at The Nation Archives / Four Freedoms.