Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Doe Bay Orcas Island WA. State

We camped here several times and the view from this site @ the point was magical
Doe Bay, Orcas Island WA.

USB Mix Tape

This is Freaking Awesome, and you can customize them

When was the last time you saw one of these?

Go Figure - Tanker Desks

There is a thriving market for refurbished steel desks from the 50's and 60's.  I had one of these
beasts in my room growing up, and we had one in our old house that had our old Mac Classic on
it.  The last one came from MIT and weighed more than a full waterbed.  When repainted and
refurbished, they do look pretty cool, but they are not cheap any more!

Here're some links, the second link will take you to some awesome coffee tables, one of which is made from old gym basket lockers remember those?  

Classic Whaler Friday

When I was a kid wasting away the summers down at the harbor in East Dennis, I just adored
these Boston Whalers.  I still do, especially with the vintage Mercury Outboard. To me, the blue
interior and mahogany center console look much better that todays all plastic, all white boats.
The blue in particular was practically a trademark.  IIRC, I think they had one of these with two
outboards on the original "Flipper"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Not?

This morning I was listening to yet another story about junky Katrina trailers when the following
occurred to me. Why not use shipping containers as emergency housing.  I don't mean that people
should live in empty steel boxes, I was thinking more of the type I wrote about HERE.  My Logic is as follows.

Containers are:

1. Cheap
2. Extremely durable (Easily Hurricane Proof)
3. Stack able up to 14 High
4. Standardized around the world.
5. Easily transported intermodally

The Durability and Uniquely portable nature of containers makes them ideal.  
They could be stored near frequent trouble spots (Hurricane Alley, The Gulf of Mexico etc.) without risk of damage or vandalism.  Rapidly deployed, loaded and unloaded via existing transit methods of Truck, Ship or Train.  And because the walls of containers are not load bearing they could be built like the design I posted earlier and closed up when not in use.  Best of all, because they are standard around the world, the design and construction could be universally applicable 
from Darfur to Dartmouth. Personally I think it's a slam dunk, am I missing something?

Bartender Boats

I remember seeing adds for these boats in the back of boating magazines from the 70's.  They always touted the extreme seaworthiness although I think the may have used the word seakindly.  I am pretty sure the photo on the left is from one of those adds. In any case, I was pleased to find that they are still in business and selling plans and kits out of Bellingham, WA.
Very Cool Little Boats

Goofy Vehicle of the Day

 Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 (AKA Kettenrad)  A WWII German Half Tracked Motorcycle, all in all a pretty cool little ride.  And talk about go anywhere, see this video of a restored one running today 

1971-73 Mustang

For the same reason I love the Lamborghini Espada , I love this generation of Mustang.  
While logically I feel some of the earlier models are better designs,  there is just something about this
model series in fastback, especially in "Grabber Lime".  This was the perfect car to usher in the
70's and the logical conclusion (albeit taken to extremes) of the Mustang Aesthetic - Longer,
Lower and Swoopier than any before it or since. When you considering it's ghastly successor, it
also marked the end of an era. No further evidence illustrates this better than the fact that there
are NO/NADA/NONE/ZIP of the 1974-78 models for sale on hemmings motor news vs. 23 1973's 

Steyr Puch Hafliger

Here's a cool little vehicle you've probably never heard of, the Hafliger 4x4.  Smaller than
a Jeep, light enough to be lifted by four strong guys and nearly un-stoppable the Haflinger
was used primarily by the Swiss Army and is now long out of production.  Proving that timing
is everything, the unfortunate Haflinger was 40 years to soon for what was to become a
significant market for what is now called a UTV (Kawasaki Mule, Kubota RTV etc.).  

Fortunately you can still get good used examples like the one below for around 11k from:

Speaking of Logo's

The official seal of the city of Newton has always struck me as a bit funny especially
given the often painfully politically correct nature of much of the populace.  Have a look,
somebody is about the get screwed big time in whatever deal is going on down below, 
and I have a hunch it's not the white guy.  I guess it's appropriate in a way the the city's seal
is basically a real estate sale.  FWIW: the town of Needham's seal is essentially the same.


Although it sounds to my ears like some sort of lame government
sponsored Rehab program (although admittedly better than anything
with "stimulus" in it), revovery.gov now has a logo.  Barack does love
his circles.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Silly Internet Meme of The Day

Philippe Starck's Bubble Club Sofa

I love this furniture as well, made from roto-molded poly like a kayak, they should be
nearly indestructible, though if they are anything like my Kayak, they will be tough to
get stains out of.

Emeco Navy Chair

This Chair is one of those timeless designs that are so omnipresent that they just more or less
fades into the background.  Probably all of us have sat in this type of chair at one time or
another.  The odd thing about this design is that it was originally designed for the US Navy
pre-WWII to meet the goals of durability, fire resistance and light weight.  You've probably seen
them in movies like Midway and other period films.  Completely seemless and hand made, 
they are still made today by Emeco.  Fittingly they retail for the D.O.D level price of $451-$1000

Personally I think these are totally cool.

John Stewart explains Twitter

Andy Samberg is on a boat !

Will Ferrell's Latest - Bat Fight

It's a bit long, but stick with it !

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lockwood Aircraft AirCam

Originally designed as an airial camera platform for National Geographic, the AirCam and it's
Little brother the Drifter are really nice "Low and Slow" ultralights type aircraft (only the
Drifter is an actuall FAA Ultralight.  I would love to have one of these for sightseeing and
general knocking around.

AFS/Kriket car speakers

Does anyone remember these car speakers?  They were the thing to 
have way back in the day, late 70's early 80's.  Right up there with a
Pioneer Super Tuner.

Anyone ? Anyone ?


Medieval Helpdesk

This has been around for a bit, but still makes me chuckle

Planetary Nebula - Go Figure

from Wikipedia:

planetary nebula is an emission nebula consisting of a glowing shell of gas and plasma formed by certain types of stars when they die. The name originated in the 18th century because of their similarity in appearance to giant planets when viewed through small optical telescopes, and is unrelated to the planets of the solar system.[1] They are a relatively short-lived phenomenon, lasting a few tens of thousands of years, compared to a typical stellar lifetime of several billion years.

At the end of the star's life, during the red giant phase, the outer layers of the star are expelled via pulsations and strong stellar winds. Without these opaque layers, the remaining core of the star shines brightly and is very hot. The ultraviolet radiation emitted by this core ionises the ejected outer layers of the star which radiate as a planetary nebula.

Planetary nebulae are important objects in astronomy because they play a crucial role in the chemical evolution of the galaxy, returning material to the interstellar medium which has been enriched in heavy elements and other products of nucleosynthesis (such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and calcium). In other galaxies, planetary nebulae may be the only objects observable enough to yield useful information about chemical abundances.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Adirondack Chairs

I have built a number of the traditional slat back adirondack chairs in the past
and had been thinking of how I might change the design to make it more minimalist, 
simplify construction and decrease cost using modern alternatives to
traditional wood such as plywood or what have you.   I more or less had the design in
mind and was looking to see if I could find something like what I had imagined.
I was surprised to see the chairs below come right up from google as this was 
what I pretty much had in mind.  Turns out the chairs below are from 1905 
and recently sold for $6,600 to Annie Liebowitz.  Apparently the Adironack Museum in 
NY sells the plans. I'll have to check it out.  This particular style of chair is called a 
Westport chair after the town in Upstate NY.


Here is a link to the plans from the Adirondack Museum

Here is a link to a place that makes what appears to be a decent repro (See Below)


This is one of the better houses made from cargo containers that I have seen.
This one takes advantage of the fact that containers walls are not load bearing.
All of the load is born by four corner posts , which can hold the weight of 14 full
containers.  Knowing this, they have made this dwelling with whole sections which
slide out of the way to open up to the windows.  One nice thing about that is that it 
pretty much makes the place bomb proof for the off season.  No worries about intruders
or storm damage.  You could probably dress up the steel a bit with some different paint
and wood slats or something.   Anyway, here are the folks who thought it up...

Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House

Even though by all accounts the iconic Farnsworth house was crummy house to live in, with numerous flaws, I still love the IDEA of the house.  I think the all glass house would be a
wonderfull house for the wilderness.  For me there is something very soothing about just looking
out a window at the woods, so much to see, but so little happening. 

The Farnsworth House, designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945-51, is a one-room weekend retreat in a once-rural setting, located 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago's downtown on a 60-acre (240,000 m2) estate site adjoining the Fox River south of the city of Plano, Illinois. The steel and glass house was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a prominent Chicago-based kidney specialist, as a place where she could enjoy nature and engage in her hobbies, playing the violin, translating poetry, and enjoying nature.

Nelson Ball Clock

I love these clocks, so Jetsons !  But designed in 1948

Unfortunately they are pricey ~$300 @ Design Within Reach