Found in Nature

Friday 06.15.12

Barry Rosenthal is a precise photographer and a scavenger. Of the very best kind. This series of images portrays found objects, for the most part culled from the mass of detritus in and around the waterways and beaches of New York and New Jersey. I hate to think that garbage is beautiful, but here it is, in all its glory. It’s a sad commentary that there is this much waste that it can be organized by kind and hue. It should come as no surprise that I first stumbled across Mr. Rosenthal’s work on Things Organized Neatly.

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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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Erasers

Wednesday 06.13.12

These erasers are all hard as rocks, so of no use to me or anyone. But I love them all the same. Especially the round Mallat wheel erasers. And, if you are of a certain age, you’ll remember with fondness the ones with the little brushes at the ends.

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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)

http://slo.craigslist.org/bik/3050996290.html

BTW, a Fixie is a fixed-gear bicycle.

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Hydrometers

Wednesday 06.06.12

I thought I had lost these somewhere along the way. Perhaps in our last move. With a sigh of relief, I recently unearthed them along with some beautiful French boxes of insect specimens. I was less concerned about the loss of the bugs because, while quite unusual and striking, they posed no safety threat. Not so for the hydrometers. Those big silvery bulbs at the ends contain mercury. And lots of it. I just happened to have finished reading a disturbing article about South America and how, as a result of the gold boom, mercury contamination has spread at astonishingly high levels in both air and water. So the question of what to do with these things is front of mind. Suggestions are welcome. I don’t mean to be glib, but poison aside, these are pretty amazing.

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