Friday, October 30

ben silberfarb

Ben Silberfarb, bike enthusiast and 3-chipper from Vermont. The 2 weathers here make a cool contrast. More.


Plaid shirt and turtleneck. Lived in turtlenecks... we all did. Man those cookies must have been good. Scan of an old polaroid, circa 1979, Vermont. Sis, me, bruv.

rem -let me in

Was late to the party on REM back in the day... came in on Green (1988, thank you MTV). Just intertubed that this 2008 song Let Me In was recorded as a tribute to Kurt Cobain. Mike Mills is in fact using Kurt's Jag-Stag custom Fender which was gifted by Courtney specifically for the song. Was not aware myself how close Stipe and the Cobains were, late again I guess. Not a guitar nut myself but full history about this specific Fender here. Worth a read. You know how there is a site for everything... there is a blog that documents Kurt's guitars; KurtsGuitarsNow details the sonic blue...

There was a recent (Oct 25th) interview w/ Stipe on NPR discussing their decades long transformation from college band to worldwide powerhouse. Listen. I'm a total sap for all the nightswimming type stuff. Remember the slightly rushed Ewan McGregor/Cameron Diaz/Danny Boyle vehicle Life Less Ordinary? (Holly Hunter is stealth in serious yes ma'am tweeds). Great alternate weepy version of Leave on the OST. Serious slice of 90's soundtrack generally.

Thursday, October 29

quiche = egg pizza

Good way to use up leftover whatevers. Tofu? Sure, fry it in garlic and throw it in. Eggs from Pops so nuclear yolks. Standard issue... TO quote from Uncle Buck (can't wait for ehh Criterion release...) "hey, he's cooking our garbage for breakfast."

old jokes home

There are 10 types of people in this world.
Those that understand binary and those that don't.

via friend of OMIL. Awesome.

folding rulers

Something pretty satisfying about stretching one of these out then doing the concertina dance at the end and snapping it shut. What is your poison?? The wood rule w/ graduated 6" extension slide... or the old bi-swing 3-footer with brass joints. How about bombproof fiberglass (had to be called Rhino right)? Folding ruler prawn below. Start w/ the Hultafors Downy Birch, they practically invented the folding ruler, further reading.

last from Horrible Old Man

parenting -indoor bowling

Forget those wimpy, candy colored grocery store bowling sets... First, these are made of foam, so not too loud for those early morning bowling sessions... but come on, you get your own lane with it. Essential. From One Step Ahead.

Wednesday, October 28

carhartt 6" moc toe boot

I believe Carhartt Boots are a division of Red Wing... further reading. Only a matter of time before a Carhartt branded moc toe boot appeared. Sub $100 anywhere you look. $77 here. Either you will like the knobby textured leather and ankle cuff or you won't. [tautology -ed.]

Tuesday, October 27

barn lights

Pops has a classic dark green ceramic gooseneck-radial barn light as above, love it. Barn Light Electric reproduces these and many other industrial/rustic/russian-oil-platform (can I just use fencepost??) styles. I'm a sucker for galvanized steel too, so in trouble here. Data mining below.

that 4x4x8 look -grommit edition

Henley: JCrewCuts.
Grey flannel shirt and flannel lined jeans (essential): Gap Kids.
Aran knit hat: A Soft Idea.
Mittens: child's Axeman mittens from Kinco.
Jacket: buffalo plaid peacoat from 77Kids. Out of sight...
Old enough now to carry a nose-blower. Hav-A-Hank.
Timex Camper watch via JCrewCuts.
Boots: Kamik.
Logging truck from Holgate Toys.

In 1789 (the year George Washington became America's first President) Cornelius Holgate established a small woodworking shop on the outskirts of Philadelphia. From this humble background, Holgate Toys blossomed to become America's number one wood toy maker. In the 1920's and 30's, Jarvis Rockwell (brother of illustrator Norman Rockwell) was Holgate's chief toy designer. Rockwell's concern for safety, durability and educational play earned him recognition as the premier toy designer during this period. Their factory is now located in Bradford, Pennsylvania, still in the middle of America's premier hardwood forests. Made exclusively in the USA. -via HolgateToy. Just found these guys... late to the party I guess.

-via Even Clevaland.

Monday, October 26

sartorial heroes

After Felix and Oscar, but before Randolph and Mortimer there was Statler and Waldorf. They are every suited man's yin and yang... tweed suit (Waldorf) or pinstripes (Statler). Both shooting the french cuffs like absolute pimps btw... Blue steel as below.

games -act your age

Couple of good games to keep in the back pocket for Halloween, or a small person's party. I would never use these as an activity for adults. Oh wait...

Game 1. Race; eat a cracker then whistle.
You could use 3 saltines, or these excellent ribstickers below from The Vermont Country Store. We call them excitables.

"Before the water cooler and copy machine became the places for informal discussions and idle talk, people would hold their casual conversations at the "cracker barrel". Further reading.

Game 2. First one to blow a bubble wins.
Must use an old school tough-as-boots gum, e.g. Double Bubble. (DB is held up as the first bubble gum.)

Game 3. This two stepper puts the cat amongst the pigeons...
Have an apple dunking area. Dunk for apples. Next have a deep tub (at least 6" deep) with a few inches of flour on the bottom, and some spearmint leaves or similar candy hidden in the flour. Immediately dunk for those. Sure your face is essentially caked in paper mache for the rest of the night, but it is fun...

Friday, October 23

that 4x4x8 look

Carhartt union suit henley. Put that union suit to good use, the one that you got for Christmas a few years ago and never wear (sorry hun). You just need a pair of scissors...
Double-kneed pants from LLBean. Or the pair of older cut Carhartts you scored on ebay...
Lacrosse steel-toed boots.
Vermont belt buckle from Sam at Dorset Custom Furniture.
Ray Bans. The PX crowd will no doubt have a line on better prices, but some kind of eyewear is needed.
Snow & Nealley splitting maul. Made in Maine. I use gloves for stacking the wood rather than the splitting. Don't want to do a comedy wimbledon tennis raquet with that hardware...
BNJ. Bailie Nicol Jarvie is a blended whisky sold by Glenmorangie -in Scotland only as far as I can see (anyone have a line on it here?). Sis declares it "excellent". And cheap too.

The BNJ is for the end of day -not for use while discussing what can we chop next...

orvis x merrell vintagey hiking boots

An exclusive for Orvis made by Merrell. Crafted in Italy from water-resistant leather with an all-leather bellows tongue, antimicrobial knit lining, rubber midsole and Trek rubber Vibram® lug outsole. Red laces, natch'. Further reading.

Merrell was originally based in Vermont before being acquired by Wolverine Worldwide in late 1990's; thus Merrell now headquartered in Michigan. Back in the VT days they were famous for their rugged/fugly looks and every guy and girl over the mountain our way rocked them under worn Carhartt-double-fronts. This new collab w/ Orvis makes perfect sense in a way... these waffle stompers strike me as a psychological return to their roots and a clear move away from the futuristic Merrell styles of late (which are not all bad, but I just like these vintagey ones.) Really enjoying this resurgence by Orvis... [disclaimer: I grew up near Manchester VT so soft spot for the old rod and tackle company. Have nothing to do with them professionally.]

Thursday, October 22

don't tell pops

Have to bust this out soon... have the we'ans surprise Pops walking in with the bubble pipe working. They are getting fancy, instead of the bubbles just cascading all over the pipe bowl (and your hand) now a hole in the stem blows air through the flip up ring bit... snazzy. Tangent and Pustefix (toy companies) merged in 2000, this was one of the results. Nice e-commerce website guys... sheesh. [Update 10/27/09: Or go w/ the old liquorice option as below.]

battle -coffee cups

Bodum CANTEEN. Double walled white porcelain cup features silicone non-slip grip. Various sizes, $30 for 2. Tasty, $$.

Diner mug. $6. Have a bunch, but some people don't like the thick edge. Goes with your egg sandwich...

egg ring

On a huge egg sandwich kick as they are proving popular w/ the young, so upgrading my frankenmuffin style w/ proper egg rings. A bunch out there. $5 for 2. Line in the sand; do you go for a broke yolk?? Related post, Square Egg.

Wednesday, October 21

must know -where the rivers flow north

Howard Frank Mosher's novella Where the River Flows North (1978) is a perennial read of mine. I think I'm on my third ripped copy. The stubborn (to put it mildly) old Vermont logger Noel Lord and his native American girl-friday Bangor are huge characters that Mosher references in other works as well. Jay Craven's 1993 movie of the novella was a fair hit. Rip Torn (what a fkin name, btw mental) is covered up and smothered in hair and woolens, and raising sufficient production money was a problem. This film and Craven's later adaptations of Mosher's Stranger in the Kingdom (1998) and Disappeareances (2006) are labors of love no doubt about it. This old review from the NYT echoes my thoughts. Besides WTRFN, Mosher's Northern Borders is another good read.

"Have a drink" New York Money said to Noel.
Bangor said sharply "Don't you crowd him mister, you wish you hadn't."
Noel brought his cant hook up from his lap and drove it through the big man's hand into the tabletop. Noel picked up the fifth and smashed off the top against the edge of the table. He rammed the shattered bottle between New York Money's teeth. Brown, murky liquid foamed into his mouth and over his cut face.
"I never suspected he could chug that quart of mule without breathing. It must have been cut. No man could have chugged a quart of Father's."

That last sentence is practically a whole story.

Tuesday, October 20

john irving -last night in twisted river

There is a bit towards the end of Hotel New Hampshire (1981) that I often think about... the father takes his son to a fancy hotel bar in Vienna, round the corner from their own slightly run down hotel. The dad's belt is old and cracked and clothes beaten up, in a sort of world weary dishevellment. The pair link arms in pure paternal love and share a drink. Anyhow, great scene. Long/short that book set me following each subsequent release from John Irving with great interest. Did not hurt that he later moved to about 20 miles away from our homestead in Vermont or that his last book, Until I Find You, featured a tattoo parlor in Leith (Scotland) as a venue, (Sis lives round the corner from one of the possible inkshops Irving thought of) or that my Scottish grandfather was a church organist and Oma now attends Old St. Paul’s kirk (as featured in that last book too).

Irving's newest, Last Night in Twisted River, is released next week I believe?? Hope to grab it right away. The story concerns a crusty logger, a cookee and a young boy who flee a logging camp after a tragic death (something like that...). Look forward to the description and details in this one as some of these places and people may be coming from the author's own timber-lined past. Further reading. You can read a big excerpt Chapter 1 here. Review by Irvine Welsh via the FT (yes Trainspotting Welsh).

A fantastic, historical logging book is Tall Trees Tough Men. Lots of teamsters spitting tobacco etc, a great read.

Mildly related on the Leith tip and worth a few minutes; Anthony Bourdain meets Scottish writer Ian Rankin (famous for the Inspector Rebus books) and they take in a few of the sights of Leith. Point of fact, The Mermaid is not my go-to chippy, but deep fried haggis is goooood -sholt and shauce.... Not a sheep's bladder though, it is stomach... haha. Love that they eat out on the street, epic. Found the video via All Plaidout. In the 4 other parts of the series below AB visits Marco Pierre White, Fergus Henderson, Smithfields market, Morcheeba(?) and more... way too much. All good stuff though. Jealous as hell.


"Alfred Woelbing was a buyer at a Chicago department store back in 1937, but he didn’t much like working in the big city. So he began his own business, making silver polish in the basement of his home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. It paid the bills, for the time being.

Alfred then decided to create a home remedy for a pesky condition that he’d often suffered: cold sores. After much experimentation over a hot plate, Alfred created Carmex, and then proceeded to sell it to pharmacies by going door to door. If they weren’t interested in purchasing his product, he gave them a dozen jars for free—along with a post card for a re-order. He figured that if he could sell one jar at every drug store in Milwaukee and Chicago, he and his wife could make a decent living.

It wasn’t long before Alfred’s home-based business was booming. Apart from a wartime hiatus in production due to lanolin rationing, Alfred’s company—now known as Carma Labs—grew steadily. For 35 years, Alfred made sales calls in Wisconsin, Illinois and parts of Indiana. He remained president of the company until his death in May, 2001...

Alfred died at age 100. Up until the age of 96, Alfred worked 8-hours a day, driving over 40 miles to get to work. Even after he stopped his daily routine, his presence was still felt. His son and grandsons continue the Carmex lip balm tradition today."
-paraphrased from MyCarmex.

Iconic original jar imho, though no shock that the original cold sore purpose slightly downplayed in the jar's later iteration as below. Slight irony alert that a product to treat cold sores can help spread them if you use an infected person's jar... I guess "don't share" is the answer at all times. Anyone else keep a jar in the glovey that either melts in summer or is rock hard in winter? I should probably rethink that habit. The tubes (introduced in 1988) might be easier to work with in winter but something about the milky glass of the jars is so great. The smell is pleasant and the mouth feel is tingly due to camphor and menthol. Ingredients.

Sunday, October 18

another log on the fire 3 -jcrew x mister freedom

Had not seen this chambray version of the JCrew/Mister Freedom shirt till Secret Forts put it up. North of $200. Hello xmas sales...

"...naval supply off-duty chambray shirt. Made from end-on-end 100 percent Japanese selvedge cotton with super-special details such as hand-painted metal buttons, a concealed passport pocket and reinforced elbow construction and side gussets. And in the traditional uniform style, the fit is extra snug..." -via JCrew.