Archive for October, 2015

rustI have said it before, just about every subject can lead to a compelling book. Like the idea that every person has an interesting story, you can take a seemingly common item, substance or thing and with the proper research and talent, turn its story into a great read. Such is the case with this week’s book: Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman.

Yes, Rust: The Longest War is basically a history of rust, you know, that thing that destroyed your favorite car and leads to a nice but destructive patina. It turns out rust is one of the most expensive things we as a society have to deal with as it destroys all sort of things and eats away our infrastructure, costing the US billions every year. In his fine book, Mr. Waldman presents the story of rust and takes us on a journey to discover what we know about it, its effects and how we are fighting back.

About Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman: “It has been called ‘the great destroyer’ and ‘the evil.’ The Pentagon refers to it as ‘the pervasive menace.’ It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year—more than all other natural disasters combined. In a thrilling drama of man versus nature, journalist Jonathan Waldman travels from Key West, Florida, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to meet the colorful and often reclusive people who are fighting our mightiest and unlikeliest enemy. He sneaks into an abandoned steelworks with a brave artist, and then he nearly gets kicked out of Ball Corporation’s Can School. Across the Arctic, he follows a massive high-tech robot that hunts for rust in the Alaska pipeline. On a Florida film set he meets the Defense Department’s rust ambassador, who reveals that the navy’s number one foe isn’t a foreign country but oxidation itself. At Home Depot’s mother ship in Atlanta, he hunts unsuccessfully for rust products with the store’s rust-products buyer—and then tracks down some snake-oil salesmen whose potions are not for sale at the Rust Store. Along the way, Waldman encounters flying pigs, Trekkies, decapitations, exploding Coke cans, rust boogers, and nerdy superheroes.”

Part history, part memoir, and all interesting, Mr. Waldman’s examination of public enemy number one is worth a read and will definitely enlighten you on our common foe.

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

sweATThere is a chill in the air, which means fall is definitely here and winter is not too far behind. Which means I have pulled out my sweater collection and have been drinking more hot tea. I have found the best way to celebrate my sweater and tea season – The Sweater Collection I found from the fine folks at Yedi Houseware.

About The Sweater Collection from Yedi Houseware: “The Sweater Collection from Yedi Houseware makes the perfect gift for your loved one. Made from the highest quality porcelain and finely detailed with the classic look of a cable knit sweater, each item is hand glazed and available in six playful yet sophisticated colors, most notably a very romantic shade of red. The items in the Sweater Collection include 14 ounce mugs (also available at Bloomingdale’s), teacups, espresso cups, saucers, dessert plates and a 40 ounce teapot. All items come beautifully packaged for gift giving.”

Also available from Yedi Houseware is their really cool Tea Tower 4 Two, which will make you want to whistle “Tea for Two” all day long.

About The Tea Tower 4 Two from Yedi Houseware: “Unique in both functionality and appearance, the Tea Tower 4 Two, the newest creation from Classic Coffee and Tea, is a must-have for any tea lover. The one-of-a-kind stackable set not only provides for fun tea service, but it makes storage easy, efficient, and stylish. The set comes complete with 2 saucers, teapot, 2 mugs, creamer & sugar set with lids. The Tea Tower is also microwave safe & hand wash recommended, and is made from fine porcelain that would satisfy the most refined tea connoisseurs. No tea-drinker’s collection is complete without the Tea Tower. Whether you are serving a guest, serving yourself, or looking for a housewarming gift, the Tea Tower is sure to please.”

Fine all the great product available from Yedi Houseware here.

elixMy search for the perfect bar cart has been well document here on Lost Cowboy. I have looked at vintage bar carts, new bar carts, and even contemplated making one. However, I think I may have the wrong strategy. Why limit myself to a CART when there are some pretty cool stationary bar carts out there?

You be may be wondering what prompted this contemplation of a strategy change… Well, it is quite simple, I discovered the Elixir Mini Bar from the fine folks at CB2.

About the Elixir Mini Bar from CB2:

“The kind of space-saving design we flip for. Designed by Leonhard Pfeifer, two-in-one coffee table/mini bar is at your service on a micro footprint. Handcrafted of solid, sustainable acacia wood, compact frame tucks right next to your sofa on u-shaped legs. Flip it open and both sides double down as a self-serve bar to showcase your curated bottle collection; lower ledge hosts glasses.”

I think this may be the new leader in the clubhouse as the Elixir Mini Bar can double as an end table – something else I need desperately.

See all the coolness that is CB2 here.

Well this never happened with my container gardens in New Hampshire…

…my plants here in Kansas City are still producing in the middle of October.

cont.10.15

I have a ton of peppers still ripening and a couple of cucumbers (not pretty but yummy) are on the vine. But most surprising, I still have some tomatoes on the vine. The weather has been mostly dry, sunny and relatively warm (until just this weekend) which has led to an extended season.

This may be my final harvest – but I do have a ton of basil and other herbs growing strong that I need to find a way to preserve.

kidsAlthough Nationwide Children’s Hospital is located in Ohio, they are committed to helping kids everywhere. As their motto goes: “At Nationwide Children’s Hospital everything matters to us. Because when it’s your child, everything matters to you.”

About Nationwide Children’s Hospital: “At Nationwide Children’s, we are creating the future of pediatric health care. We are more than a hospital. We are one of America’s largest pediatric health care and research centers delivering care to more than one million patient visit each year. Families travel from around the nation and around the globe to access life-saving treatments – many unavailable anywhere else. We are 68 facilities extending out across Ohio and beyond. It’s the pediatric expertise every child needs. Here, the future health and potential of all children, is being shaped. Here, our doctors and researchers are revolutionizing your child’s health and the health of future generations.”

Learn more about Nationwide Children’s Hospital and how you can help kids everywhere here.

FF: The Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Extract from Oak & Salt

FF1Two of my favorite flavors in the world, vanilla and bourbon, all in one…

…the Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Extract I found from the fine folks at from Oak & Salt.

About the Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Extract from Oak & Salt: “Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Extract is aged in bourbon barrels that were once filled with some of the Bluegrass State’s finest bourbon. This single-strength vanilla extract is rich, sweet and aromatic with a bit of southern heritage and charm.”

Find the Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Extract from Oak & Salt here.

See all the great products offered by Oak & Salt here.

FF: The Bourbon Smoked Simple Syrup from Oak & Salt

ff2Also at Oak & Salt, I found this Bourbon Smoked Simple Syrup produced by the fine bourbon distillery Woodford Reserve. I think this would make a fine mixer for the Vanilla Seltzer from Polar.

About Woodford Reserve’s Bourbon Smoked Simple Syrup available from Oak & Salt:

“This is a rich and thick simple syrup that has notes of caramel and smoke. Bourbon Smoked Simple Syrup is made from a raw Demerara sugar and is perfect for cocktails and other drinks.”

Find the Bourbon Smoked Simple Syrup available from Oak & Salt here.

FF: The Tahitian Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup from Food 52

ff3I am not a big pancake or waffle eater, but I think I am going to become one, just so I have an excuse to eat more of the Noble Tonic 02: Tahitian Vanilla Bean & Egyptian Chamomile Blossom Maple Syrup I found from the fine folks at Food 52.

About the Tahitian Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup from Food 52: “The Noble brand of handcrafted wares has maple syrup down. Here, floral and fruity Tahitian vanilla meets buttery apple-like Egyptian chamomile in a delicately balanced mature maple syrup. Pour some on vanilla ice cream, thank us later.”

Find the Tahitian Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup from Food 52 here.

Find all the cool products offered by Food 52 here.

momAnother week and I have fell in love with another bicycle – this time the bikes from the fine folks at Momentum.

About Momentum Bicycles: “Momentum is a fresh new brand of lifestyle bikes that combine function and fun. Guided by the words of our brand spirit, “Move Happy,” Momentum creates elegantly designed bicycles that are stylish, comfortable and easy to ride. Momentum was founded by Giant with a clear mission: To help you move through your life with happiness and ease. Backed by the innovation and manufacturing expertise of Giant Bicycles, Momentum offers the highest quality bicycles and gear aimed at lifestyle mobility solutions. Available at retail partners worldwide, every Momentum bike includes innovative features and thoughtful designs that make it easy, healthy and fun to get where you’re going.”

I like Momentum’s blue/bronze iNeed Street model: “Mobility meets fun. This all-new bike combines classic looks with modern functionality—the perfect way to hit the city streets in style.”

Learn more about Momentum Bicycles and find your ride here.

arcOne of my brothers, who is rumored to visit Lost Cowboy from time-to-time, is a fan of Joan of Arc. Well, fan may be a strong word, he is enamored by the iconography of Saint Joan and collects all sorts of items that depict her. I on the other hand really did not know much about Joan other than what I saw in movies and picked up in popular culture – until I read the wonderful new biography Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured by Kathryn Harrison.

About Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured by Kathryn Harrison: “The profoundly inspiring and fully documented saga of Joan of Arc, the young peasant girl whose ‘voices’ moved her to rally the French nation and a reluctant king against British invaders in 1428, has fascinated artistic figures as diverse as William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Voltaire, George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, Carl Dreyer, and Robert Bresson. Was she a divinely inspired saint? A schizophrenic? A demonically possessed heretic, as her persecutors and captors tried to prove? Every era must retell and reimagine the Maid of Orleans’s extraordinary story in its own way, and in Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured, the superb novelist and memoirist Kathryn Harrison gives us a Joan for our time—a shining exemplar of unshakable faith, extraordinary courage, and self-confidence during a brutally rigged ecclesiastical inquisition and in the face of her death by burning. Deftly weaving historical fact, myth, folklore, artistic representations, and centuries of scholarly and critical interpretation into a compelling narrative, she restores Joan of Arc to her rightful position as one of the greatest heroines in all of human history.”

Whether or not young Joan heard the voice of God for real can be debated of course. However, what is a fact is that her legend has survived almost 600 years and is as compelling today as ever. In the deft hands of Ms. Harrison, the tale of Joan of Arc has never been more alive or better told and is a fitting tribute to one of history’s most enduring figures.

Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured by Kathryn Harrison is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

BanksI love the auction site Paddle8.

Paddle8 brings great art and design together for sale. On the Paddle8 site, you can browse the art at your leisure as if you are walking through the finest gallery or auction house.

The reason I like it so much is that you can see some great works by noted artists and not feel like you are brown suit at a black tie event. Meaning, in the past I have arrived at live fine art auctions only to feel out of place with the clientele these events tend to attract.

Anyway, Paddle8 allows you to browse and see what the current bid is for the fine works and sometimes you may be surprised that you can actually afford a great piece of art.

About Paddle8: “Paddle8 is the auction house for the 21st-century collector. We give a global community of passionate collectors unprecedented access to online auctions of high-caliber inventory. We’ve streamlined the collecting and selling experience, combining the excitement and expertise of an auction house with intuitive technology. In other words, we’ve made collecting swift and satisfying, connecting you to the most covetable objects in an elegant format that’s as enticing as the works themselves.”

I just may be able to score my very own authentic Banksy.

Learn more about Paddle8 and see all the current auctions here.

myersTucked away in the northwest side of New York’s Greenwich Village is a little bit of England, a fine shop called Myers of Keswick.

The fine folks of Myers of Keswick call themselves “Your traditional British grocery store in New York City” and they offer a wide variety of imported goods and they make their own bangers on site. As a dyed-in-the-wool anglophile, I can say I can’t wait to visit Myers of Keswick on my next visit to NYC.

About Myers of Keswick: “Myers of Keswick is that bastion of Albion in Manhattan – where we have been serving porcine perfection to the expatriate community for almost 30 years. Here, in our quaint little shop, we make the best Cumberland sausage west of Allonby! Our Pork Pies and Sausage Rolls are second to none.”

Check out the variety of products offered by Myers of Keswick here.

Myers of Keswick is located at 634 Hudson Street (between Horatio and Jane St.) in the great American metropolis that is New York, NY.