Category: common sense

You Don’t Own Me

Tuesday 10.23.12

Thanks Julia and Robin for posting this. Lesley Gore wrote this song in 1964. Still fighting the same fight. Really?

Correction: My mistake. You Don’t Own Me was in fact written by John Madara and David White, but recorded by Lesley Gore when she was only 17. Thanks Matt!!

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A Dutch Wife

Tuesday 10.16.12

Also known as a Hottie or, to most of us, a Hot Water Bottle. Originally made from metal, ceramic, glass or even wood, early hot water bottles actually contained the coals from whatever fire was had earlier. Now that the weather is finally getting colder (already had a hard frost upstate!!), I get a little peevish about slipping into an icy bed. I want my nose to remain cool, but I prefer warmth under the covers. My friend Jody swears by her hot water bottle. In fact, she says she’s got two on hand for chillier nights. All the pics are from Ebay.

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The Graham Cracker

Tuesday 10.09.12

Not the most exciting snack on the planet. But certainly one of the only biscuits to be developed as part of a dietary regime designed to stifle destructive carnal appetites. Invented in New Jersey, of all places, by the Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, the graham cracker was originally made of far sterner stuff: graham flour with little or no sweetener. The thinking being that if one is to curb sexual enthusiasm, the solution would be to eat a bland diet. Apparently, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg also subscribed to this theory. Hence the invention of corn flakes. Who knew? These days the crackers are laced with loads of sugar, cinnamon and maybe even chocolate. And even worse, they are made from white flour. The ultimate sin.

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L.L. Bean Boot

Thursday 06.14.12

Have you ever really looked at this thing? It is UGLY. Really really ugly. At least to my eye. But in a good way…I think. We moved from Philadelphia to Maine when I was 11, and I have distinct memories of going to the original L.L. Bean store in Freeport, in the dead of night¬† — they have always been open 24 hours, 365 days a year — to go shoe shopping. Specifically boot shopping. The Classic Bean Hunting Shoe is almost a wardrobe requirement in that state. Coming from Pennsylvania though, I had never before seen such a hideous piece of footwear. And while I never ever came around to appreciating its aesthetic merits, there was something in its utility that made me a convert. (It’s important to note that Mainers, as they refer to themselves, take great pride in their common sense and practicality.) Yes, your feet froze in winter. And they didn’t do much to save you on the ice. But they were great in the mud (of which there is an abundance) and in the rain, which is near constant at times. If your soles wore out, or the stitching gave way, all you had to do was send in your boots and they would fix them for free. The shoes pictured above are from the catalog itself. And they look a little different from the ones I grew up with. These are a reissue/redesign in honor of the boots’ 100 year anniversary. Oh, and one other thing, these are still made in Maine, one pair at a time.

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Fixie Don’t Care

Thursday 06.07.12

A real ad from Craigslist in SLO (Saint Luis Obispo). Thanks Sandy for sending it my way!

I tried so hard. I dated a girl from Portland. I criticized cheese. I applied the term artisanal to every inanimate object that went in or on my body. I burned and singed my forearms just to make it look like I was going to culinary school. I grew Carol Brady hair. I got itchy from the finest flannel and I cut off circulation from the waist down with jeans that made my ass look like an elevator button.

. . .And I rode a fixie.

No more. It’s all gotta go. The hair, the macrame, the texting overages, the Netflix and Hulu Plus. The record collection (have you ever tried to box up and move an effin stack of LPs?!) . . .and the bike. Pictured below is the bike. It’s beautiful. It’s got red rims. Red chain. Red tires. Red handlebars shaped like devil horns —¬†because it’s the devil.

The guys at the hipster store don’t tell you fixies don’t stop. So I will. Fixies don’t stop. Stop sign? Fixie don’t care. Car coming turning in front of you at a three-way stop? Fixie laugh. Want Chipotle? Nope. Fixie want protein powder/beet/purple carrot/bee pollen juice and won’t stop till he gets it. Fixie has a mind of his own.

Yesterday, Fixie got pulled over twice by SLO PD in three hours. In six months time, Fixie collected more tickets than a scalper for a Radiohead show at Hollywood Bowl.

I’m selling this badboy and tipping the dregs of my last PBR tall boy in his memory.

The (Devil) Fixie:
Cinelli Gazzetta Frame (2011)
Crane Creek and Origin 8 components

$1,100 ($1,600 new)

BTW, a Fixie is a fixed-gear bicycle.

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44. Fear of Tall Giraffe.

Tuesday 05.29.12

When my friend Molly gave me this book years ago, I couldn’t figure out if she was sending me some kind of subtle message. Did she think I had issues? No, she did not. It’s just a great book. This volume may be a catalog of one man’s fears, but what’s crazy is that it turn out to be an inventory of all of our fears. More or less anyway. Hats off to Creativity Explored, in San Francisco, for giving Michael the support to create something so unique, yet so very universal. For more info on the book, go here.

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Wires & Pipes

Wednesday 04.25.12

Most forms of work possess a certain level of artistry. Wiring and plumbing are no exceptions. Like most of us, I have a fear of my home catching fire or of the pipes bursting. I don’t think about it all that often until I come face to face with evidence of a really bad job. Or, for that matter, a really good job. Regardless, I am fascinated by schematics, and especially so with those that either represent a system that is highly functioning or one that is on the verge of failure.

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