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

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Dennis Drive-In

Unfortunately it's now long gone, but I have some extremely fond memories of the Dennis Drive-In.  In the early summer, the sun goes down late on the Cape, real late, 9-9:30 late, so a trip to the drive in when we were little almost always involved jammies and sleeping bags.  When we had a wagon or truck, we would park facing backwards and open the tailgate.  The three of us kids would lie down facing out the back with our pillows on the tailgate.  Since the speaker (pictured right) was invariably shitty and hung on one of the front windows, there was considerable debate among us siblings as to what exactly was being said at any one time.  This was how I experienced both Jaws and Star Wars, the two seminal movies of my childhood.  Needless to say Jaws scared the living crap out of me, to the point where I couldn't go in the water for like a year, I shit you not.  Star Wars on the other hand topped up an imagination originally filled with Star Trek and Forbidden Planet.  In high school I also saw The World According to Garp while parked with a girlfriend in an adjacent development's cul-de-sac.  By that time (~1982) the speakers had been replaced with a system that broadcast radio over FM.  One of the things I remember most is the peculiar experience of climbing out of your cozy sleeping bag, putting your sneakers on and walking to the snack bar to get some popcorn or go to the pot (most likely the pot as I am pretty sure we brought our own refreshments), it's a weird feeling walking around in what is essentially a huge dark parking lot in your pajamas trying to watch the screen and where you are going at the same time, stopping from time to time as something exciting happened in the movie.  Finding your way back was a bitch, in the dark cars look remarkably alike and it was easy to get turned around, especially when you were focused on the movie.  I hope we can find a drive-in this summer, our Van has a bed in the back and rear facing seats, it is the ultimate drive-in mobile

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Hand Wrapped Sage RPLX 10wt Striper Fly Rod

A few months before Stoddard's downtown closed, I picked up this blank for short money, it must have been sitting there for a while as the RPLXi had been in production for quite some time. The RPLX is an absolute gun of a flyrod, and although some people complain that they are too stiff, I find it easy to cast and it will easily throw a Teeny shooting head line across the jetties in Menemsha. I am really pleased with the way it turned out, the copper and black thread really sets off the lovely deep brown of the blank.

Gretsch Guitars

I don't play guitar, but if I did, I would play a Gretsch. To me they are just beautiful instruments.
Hell, if I were made of money I would buy one just to have around for guitar playing friends to
noodle around with. If it's good enough for Brian Setzer and Chet Atkins it's good enough for me.
For a sample of what these guitars can do in the right hands, here is a link to a short video of
Brian Setzer demoing some rockabilly licks.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

1978 Dodge L'il Red Express Truck

The L'il Red Express Truck was produced during the height of the CB/Trucker obsession that held America firmly in it's thrall in the Late 1970's. Although I generally get most cars, this trucks target audience remains a mystery. I understand the stack exhaust, it was a popular modification back then and was nothing unusual. But what's up with the old timey script and logo ? Who is at the intersection in that Venn diagram? Wilfred Brimley ? John Denver? General Store owners? Cooter from Dukes of Hazard? I just don't get it. In any case, the very next year saw Chrysler's first brush with bankruptcy. Coincidence? I think not. >Free Bonus Puzzler: This is not the weirdest 1978 Chrysler truck, for my money, that the honor is bestowed upon the black and gold Dodge "Warlock". Seriously look it up, WTF? was it the coke talking?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Paul and Elizabeth's Natural Foods - Northampton, MA

I worked in the kitchen at P&E's in Thorne's Market, NoHo in the late eighties for a bit and they had some of the best food going (natural or otherwise). I was glad to see recently that they are still a going concern. Aside from one notably volatile personality, it was a really good crew who really cared what went out the door. Their Hummous, Tabouli, Cous-Cous, Tempura, Salads and Breads were all great, but to me, the absolute BEST thing on the menu, hands-down, full-stop, don't-stop ! was their Banana Cream Pie. P&E's also turned me on to the virtues of Japanese kitchen knives way before they became trendy and I have owned a Mac knife ever since. We are planning on taking a trip out to Northampton some time soon, and I can not wait to go drop in at P&E's for a slice or four of Pie. Oh yeah, and I hope the Herrel's is still there doing smoosh-in's. BTW: Apropos of nothing, back when we still had Blue Laws in MA and no liquor,beer or wine could be sold on Sundays, there was a pharmacy in the vicinity of Thorne's which used to sell beer out of the pharmacy on Sundays for "medicinal purposes".

1968 Fiat Arbath 695 SS

Besides having one of the coolest logos in motorsports, Fiat Abarth created some of the most memorable Italian cars ever (with competition from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, that's high praise indeed). When the teeny Fiat 500 Nueva debuted in 1957 powered by a 13hp two cylinder engine, it seemed an unlikely candidate for racing. However, by the time Austrian born Karl Abarth (later Carlo) got finished with it in the late 1960's, the Humble & Lovable Luigi from the movie Cars had been transformed into the rip-snorting Abarth 695 SS pictured below (though even with 40hp pushing it's 1,100 lbs it's no Porsche). How "rip-snorting" can it be? Have a look at the Video below and be your own judge. 695 Rally

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I am New - Kutiman Thru You

I know I already put one from this collection up, but it's just so
good I had to include another. I REALLY like Kutiman's
You Tube Mashups, maybe it's just me ? Anyone? Anyone?

Stanley FUBAR

I got one of these the other day for a demo job @ our house and I have to say, this thing
rocks ! I hate demolition, but the FUBAR makes it go a lot faster. It absolutely slays
drywall. A quick whack with the hammer end to make a hole, and then you use the
toothed jaws like an old fashioned can opener, very quick and no worries about wires
like a sawzall (Which is of course indispensable).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Warm Morning Gas Heater

My Aunt June and Uncle Pete used to have one of these in their cottage in Brewster Park
on Cape Cod. We lived year round on the Cape and thus our house had none of that delightfully
half assed aura (for lack of a better word) that a summer cottage had. A summer home smells
inherently different than and continuously occupied house. There's a funky, earthy smell that
overpowers the cooking/laundry and people smells that dominate an ordinary house. O.K.
so it's probably a cocktail of mold, mouse droppings, mildew and dust mites, but whatever it is
it has a special place in my heart. A key ingredient to that smell is heat, nothing, absolutely
nothing smells better than a summer home in Autumn (Indian Summer Here) on a cold morning
with the heater warming up (be it a Warm Morning as pictured or a Wood/Coal Stove) and
coffee and bacon on the stove. The only thing that might be better than that is listening to the
Red Sox in October on A.M. around a campfire on a transistor radio (borderline reception helps
here) civilisation is at it's sweetest when you have to work for it.