Finally, Spring is here!! With it, comes my favorite part…the birdsong. It is thought that the human ear can recognize at least 1000 different voices. Experienced birders, and novices alike, often identify birds initially from their song. All of the above phrasing is taken from Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Birds. It makes for excellent and quite humorous reading. Each line is a phonetic description of a different birdsong. If you want to hear extensive recordings of different birds singing, might I suggest going to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
If Werner Herzog‘s rhythmic phrasing and distinctive lilt aren’t enough to get you to see this movie, than maybe the story is: it’s a sparse portrait of three men — though mainly of Gennady Soloviev, who wins my heart — making a life for themselves and their families in the Siberian Taiga. A large portion of the year is spent completely alone (except for the company of their dogs) in the wilderness, maintaining their huts and trapping sable. The movie was marshaled out of Dmitry Vasyukov’s four hour documentary originally made for Russian television. In a reversal for Herzog, the main characters are self-possessed, and at one with nature, instead of being on the edge of insanity and at war with the elements. Whatever you may feel about the killing of animals (note, there is no gore depicted), I cannot recommend this film enough. It is a mesmerizing snapshot of a people who are largely self-reliant and almost completely off the grid. Pay especially close attention to the woodworking!
Oh, and if you are looking for a related “truth is stranger than fiction” read, go here.
As befits a holiday card from Los Angeles, my friends Molly and Ryan (owners and designers of a clever and subversive line of cards), and their totally adorable dog Stella, put together this special Christmas photo. The whole thing is just too weird and wonderful and, to date, the best use I’ve seen of a 7 Eleven logo. Happy Belated Holidays!
I don’t want to be one of those people who talks incessantly about the good old days of NYC: before Giuliani cleaned up 42nd Street, when the definition of “hipster” made reference to the jazz era, and you probably took your passport on a visit to Brooklyn. Just in case. BUT, I was going through my photos the other day and came across these two portraits of Pablo the Rooster. He lived on the Lower East Side close to Canal Street. He had free reign of the alley that ran between two buildings. I know, from a reliable source (and to my great relief!), that he wasn’t part of a Cockfighting ring. Better yet, he had plenty of hen friends who shared his 100 square feet of pavement. They even had a nice little grassy spot where, on any given day, they could be found digging for bugs. So, while I know there are lots of good things to be said for urban development, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be woken up every morning by his crazy loud crowing, I still miss the good old days when you could be walking along in Manhattan and come across a rooster just running free on Ludlow Street.
Sid is nine, and amazing. She is all stream of consciousness. Her voice will leave your jaw hanging. She has the “top hat” gene like no other child I have ever met, not to mention a quirky and original sense of humor. Now, to add to her growing list of talents: illustration and anatomy.
How about this for a work ID? A far cry from the crap plastic things hanging off one’s neck these days. My best guess is that my stepfather worked at Nash-Kelvinator Corporation sometime between 1937 and 1954. Kelvinator is now a brand owned by Electrolux, with many iterations of the company in between its founding and now. If you didn’t look closely enough, those lines behind his photo are a height chart. Oh, beauty really is in the details!
So much good typography in Maine. Unfortunately, most of the time I was driving and on a mission. But, is that the best fish truck signage you’ve ever seen? Nearly went off the road with delight.
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