Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cap Guns

I will always be a lost boy. Cap guns are an essential part of the Lost Boy lifestyle. They are loud, smelly, offend old people and illegal in fine state of Massachusetts. Have a nice weekend and go get a cap gun, they are 3 dollars, and put a smile on your face.

Charlie killing it with his Cap Guns.

Here are some more links,
Cap Guns (Life Archive),
Hubley Cap Guns,
Hubley Cap Gun (Ebay),
Cap Guns Made in the USA.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Photos from Vermont

Here are some photos from my trip to southern Vermont, all taken from the side of various back roads.

Not exactly a New England Barn, but cool color composition.

Here is something you don't see everyday, a dead coyote, with no apparent wounds, hanging frozen from a small shed.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New England Barns

Desperately searching for talking points, my friends' awkward parents always ask me, "...So, how is New England different from the Northwest?" I usually fire back with a stock answer like, "Well, most people are much more socially conservative, and the whole preschool thing was completely new to me," and thus dodge a prolonged conversation. Regardless of my poorly-masked lack of enthusiasm for discussing cultural differences with uninterested, Xanax-infused housewives, I ponder their question long after dinner is over.

After spending countless hours driving to and from remote colleges around the New England countryside, I finally have an answer worth listening to. It's the barns.

The Northwest doesn't have old, beautiful barns. The wet climate rots wood and the harsh wind chips paint and rips off shingles. Most barns are textureless extensions of a suburb made from prefab trusses with synthetic or aluminum siding and roofs, and cement floors. New England barns transversely, are old wooden, structures who sag and chipped paint only makes them more enduring.

Here are some photos taken on the side of New England roads that embody the weathered beauty of a good barn.

Here are some more links, (Thanks Sam).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Carey and His 24-Year-Old Beard

When most people think of southern Vermont, they think of skiing, overpriced maple syrup and picturesque dairy farms, not men like Carey. I spotted Carey shoveling snow off of his trailer in North Windham, Vermont on Saturday, the 21st. His openness and friendliness was that of someone often overlooked and neglected by passers-by.

Carey hasn't cut his beard since "sometime in '85." I was born in '88.

Carrey is New England.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Growing up, I knew a family (The Vollums) who had a Turbo Grumman Goose. On weekends the Vollums would fly their Goose to a lake house in British Columbia or McCall Idaho. In under two hours they could be worlds away from their house in downtown Portland (Oregon). I will always remember my first ride in an "Airplane-go-water," as I lovingly called them.

Seaplanes are used for exploring the territories and connecting urban and remote worlds and thus are inherently rugged.

A couple times an hour, commercial seaplanes leave from Lake Union in downtown Seattle, shuttling commuters to and from the San Juan Islands and British Columbia. These seaplanes turn a 4 hour commute involving ferries and multiple highways into 45 minute plane ride.

This is what I imagine every seaplane pilot looking like.

Despite improved roads and highways, Seaplanes remain the preferred means of transportation in much of Alaska and British Columbia.

I want to live on a secluded island or lake and commute to work one of these guys.

The location of runways doesn't hold these guys back. Seaplanes can land on roughly 75% of the Earth's surface. Ohh the freedom...

Thanks to Seaplanes in the Great Northwest for some photos.

Here are some more links,
Seaplanes in the Great North West (Blog),
Grumman Goose (Wiki),
Howard Vollum (Wiki),
NW Seaplanes (Scheduled Seaplane flights from Seatle to the San Juan Islands and BC),
DHC-2 Beaver Wiki.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Harry McCotty and His Rose Tattoo

Harry McCotty is the real deal. During the summer, he is a stone foremen. During the winter, he splits wood in his backyard outside of East Dorset Vermont. Regardless of the season, he wears wool.

Although born and raised in southern Vermont, Harry received formal training as a topiarist in London, England in his early twenties.

Harry got this Rose tattoo during a 5 year stint in traveling throughout Europe in his mid 20s.

Harry manning his hydraulic wood splitter.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Canon 430EX II Speedlight Flash

Over the weekend I got a Canon 430EX II Speedlight Flash to use during both night and daytime photography. Needless to say I am pumped. It giving me a whole new venue to experiment with and I recommend a hot shoe flash to any one interested in photography. I wager that a $300 flash will help your photography more than a $1000 super fast lens.

Unlike the built in a flash, a hot shoe can pivot and be aimed away from the subject enabling the light to be bounced off the ground or a nearby window. For this photo I aimed the flash away from the subject and bounced it off the ground.

In addition to using my flash at night, I also use it in the daytime to illuminate faces and details. Here is an example.

Without a Flash.

With a flash. Here is another one during the day with a flash.

Here are some more Links,
Canon 430EX II Speedlight Flash (Amazon),
Canon 430EX II Speedlight Flash (Review),

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sir John Norton-Griffiths

I have to read a lot for school. Normally, I read assignments while watching a movie or wondering around on my computer and thus the pages blend together in a haze. Every now and again something catches my eye. A couple days ago I was reading Daniel Yergin's "The Prize" and stumbled across a brief discussion of an adventurer named Sir John Norton-Griffiths (pictured above). Here is the exert that captured my imagination:

“The British Government took matters into its own hands (the sabotaging of German occupied Russian oil fields) and recruited Colonel John Norton-Griffiths M.P., to organize the destruction of the Romanian oil industry. A larger-than-life figure, Norton-Griffiths was one of the great engineering contractors of the British Empire. He had undertaken construction projects in almost every corner of the world—railways in Angola and Chile and Australia, harbors in Canada, aqueducts in Baku, sewage systems in Battersea and Manchester. On the eve of World War I, he was in the midst of promoting a plan for a new subway for Chicago. Handsome, physically imposing and with the strength and endurance of a prize fighter, Norton-Griffiths was a charming swashbuckler and a persuasive showman. Men invested in his projects, women were attracted to him. He was considered ‘one of the most dashing men of the Edwardian era.’ He was also a man of fiery temperament, rebellious nature, and uncontrollable rages. He lacked discipline and perseverance, and some of his projects were spectacular financial flops. But he did achieve prominence as a Parliamentary back-bencher, variously known as ‘Hell-fire Jack,’ and ‘the Monkey’ (for having eaten a monkey while in Africa) and since he was a thoroughgoing imperialist—by the sobriquet he treasured most, ‘Empire Jack.’” (Daniel Yergin, The Prize, 180)

I will leave it at that....

Here are some more links,
The Prize (Amazon),
Sir John Norton-Griffiths (Wikipedia),
Sir John Norton-Griffiths (Royal Engineering Museum and Library),

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My 21st Birthday

I have been dieing to use this photo for some time. That's me on the left looking fierce in a Tasmanian Devil shirt and face paint. I turn 21 today, hopefully I won't look like that tonight. Any drink suggestions?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Swiss Army Hiker Knife

"I woke up dry beneath the African sky just me and my Swiss Army Knife," the venerable Jimmy Buffet.

Every person should have a pocket knife. As boy I kept myself entertained and covered in band-aids with the iconic Swiss Army Knives. My parents gave me my first one on Christmas of 1992, I was four at the time. To keep me from cutting one of my digits off, my parents dulled the the blades with a file. Since then I have have accumulated numerous scars and memories with my dozen or so Swiss Army Knives.

There is something oddly liberating about owning a knife that can open a wine bottle, saw off a branch, cut rope, punch holes in leather, and remove a splinter.

Recently, I received a Swiss Army Hiker as a gift. It fits perfectly in the pocket and has the essentials; a long blade, short blade, saw, flat head screwdriver/can opener, Phillips head screwdriver/can opener, leather punch, Phillips head screwdriver and of course the toothpick and tweezers. James Bond would approve.

Here are some more links,
Victorinox Swiss Army,
Swiss Army Knife,
Swiss Army Hiker (Amazon),
The American Boys Handy Book (Amazon),
Crocodile Dundee (IMDB),

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A look inside Rogues Gallery's 41 Wharf Street Store

Since September, I have interned at Rogues Gallery in Portland Maine. A few times a week I make the 70 mile drive down 295 to help Daniel Pepice and Alex Carleton with various projects. I have really enjoyed interning at Rogues Gallery and my experiences there have opened my eyes to a new world and inspired me a lot.

On Friday night I stopped by Rogues Gallery's flagship store on Wharf street in Old Port to drink some hot apple cider and check out their AW08 sale. Here is a look inside the store and more info about the sale that's going on right now.

Alex Carleton started Rogues Gallery in 2004, screen printing images of Maine onto vintage t-shirts out of his garage. The AW08 line of vintage t-shirts is now 40% off at 41 Wharf Street.

All Rogues Gallery jackets, sweaters, jeans and woven shirts are marked down 60%.

Hand made in Maine by Quoddy Trail Moccasin, Rogues' shoes come in high and low tops and are currently 40% off in the Wharf street store. I want the hightops in black with the white soles.

Chad holding down the fort.

The art and other Maine memorabilia in the store does a great job of conveying Rogues' brand.

In addition to carrying a the full line of Rogues Gallery, 41 Warf Street also caries Woolrich Woolen Mills, S.N.S. Herning, Band of Outsiders, Cheap Monday and A.P.C. all of which are marked down 25%. Rogues' bags are marked down 40%.

Unfortunately the seven point buck is not for sale.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Trip to Popham Beach

Popham Beach State Park is nestled on the south side of the mouth of the Kennebec river and is a must see spot in Maine. Here are some photos from a recent excursion.

Gill Short Cruising Boots at work on the Kennebec River floodplain. The irregular ice formations are caused when brackish water (a mix between fresh water and salt water) freezes. The large blocks of ice float around during high tide and then settle like drift wood.

In the The Hunt For Red October, Captain Marko Ramius, played Sean Connery, sails his rogue Russian Submarine right past Popham Beach.

Excuse my booger.