Archive for March, 2017

FF: Yippee Ki-Yay Whiskey from High West Distillery

aaa1I am more of a straight Kentucky bourbon man, but sometimes I stray and try bourbon’s rye and whiskey cousins – and I simply could not resist checking out Yippee Ki-Yay Whiskey from the fine folks at High West Distillery.

About Yippee Ki-Yay Whiskey from High West Distillery:

“We confess…we didn’t coin the term “Yippee Ki-Yay”. Moreover, we didn’t paint the picture on the front label. It’s an historic poster (Gift of The Coe Foundation and Henry B. Balink) now at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming (, you really ought to visit). Furthermore, we didn’t distill the whiskeys in this bottle – it’s our Double Rye! However, we did come up with a combination that we think will make you say…Yippee Ki-Yay drinkers of horrible tasting cheap flavored uisge beatha! One day, just for fun, we put Double Rye! into oak barrels that had originally been used to age two different types of wine and discovered an all-natural, not disgustingly-sweet sipper for the rest of us.”

Learn more about Yippee Ki-Yay Whiskey from High West Distillery here.

See all the fine spirits from High West Distillery here.

FF: The Pasta Collection from Gustiamo

aaa2The fine folks at Gustiamo import great products from Italy, like their line of Italian pastas.

I like the Martelli pasta Gustiamo offers:

“Martelli pasta is much more than just a dried vehicle for sauce. What makes Martelli pasta exceptional is the taste – the earthy flavor of quality wheat – and its satisfying density. It can be enjoyed with just a drizzle of olive oil, but be sure to cook it al dente! Martelli pasta is made from top-quality durum wheat, manually worked into dough using cold water. The dough is cut with traditional bronze dies and air-dried for 40-52 hours (compared to conventional pasta that is oven-dried in under an hour). These processes give the pasta a rough surface and special porousness, perfect for catching pasta sauce. The slow drying also allows the pasta to be digested much more easily, and keeps you fuller longer.”

Find the Pasta Collection from Gustiamo here.

See all the fine imported products from Gustiamo here.

aaa1When I was a kid I loved smelling the ink in those big fat markers used to write posters and such, and this was way before they came out with scented markers. So yeah, that may explain the loss of brain cells that led to Lost Cowboy. Even today, the first thing I do when I take a cap off of a marker is take a sniff.

Now that I am into the adult coloring craze I am using all sorts of colored markers and sniffing my way to relaxation. But now I am totally stoked, because I have found these great Sketch and Sniff Scented Pencils from the fine folks at Always Fits.

About the Sketch and Sniff Scented Pencils from Always Fits:

“Looking to spice up your coloring and artwork fun? Try these Sketch and Sniff Scented Pencils! Set includes 12 triangle shaped pencils. Scents include strawberry, grape, peach, blueberry, rose, apple, coconut, pineapple, orange, watermelon, chocolate and vanilla.”

Did I mention there is a vanilla scented pencil?

Find the Sketch and Sniff Scented Pencils from Always Fits here.

aa4I have been a big fan of Steve McQueen since I was a wee lad. I will admit that my fandom originated with the film The Towering Inferno because as a kid I was really into firemen and he played a fireman so it made sense to love the guy. Of course in the years since, I have come to appreciate Mr. McQueen as an actor, an icon and just the cool cat that he was. I am thrilled that Mr. McQueen has been discovered by subsequent generations and is still celebrated for being, well, so cool. In particular, his passion for motorcycles and his need for speed gets considerable attention, as in the new book McQueen’s Motorcycles: Racing and Riding with the King of Cool by Matt Stone.

About McQueen’s Motorcycles: Racing and Riding with the King of Cool by Matt Stone: “The long-departed Steve McQueen is still the coolest man on two wheels. Even thirty years after his death, Steve McQueen remains a cultural icon. His image continues to appear in advertising and pop culture and his fan base spans from car lovers to racing enthusiasts to motorcycle obsessives. In his movies, McQueen’s character always had an envy-inducing motorcycle or car, but in his personal life, motorcycles were always McQueen’s first true love. McQueen’s Motorcycles focuses on the bikes that the King of Cool raced and collected. From the first Harley McQueen bought when he was an acting student in New York to the Triumph “desert sleds” and Huskys he desert raced all over California, Mexico, and Nevada, McQueen was never without a stable of two wheelers.”

McQueen’s Motorcycles is a great take for any McQueen fan, or motorcycle fan, but it is also a treat for anyone interested in two cultural phenomena of the last 100 years.

McQueen’s Motorcycles: Racing and Riding with the King of Cool by Matt Stone is available from Amazon and fine booksellers everywhere.

aaa1I like pins and broaches, and I simple adore sloths, which is why I fell in love with the Enamel Sloth Pin I found from the fine folks at Gingiber.

About the enamel Sloth Pin from Gingiber:

“Your favorite Gingiber critters are now available to add some Zest to your Vest! This sweet little sloth is will bring a smile to any person’s face. It measures 1 1/8 inches wide, and is the perfect gift to brighten someone’s day!”

By the way, did you catch the sloth sequence in the hit film Zootopia from Disney Animation? Seriously, the scene where the DMV is staff by sloths is one of the most inspired and funniest movie bits in recent years.

Find the enamel Sloth Pin from Gingiber here.

See all the “zest for your nest” from Gingiber here.

aaa1Nevada-based artist, Anna See has curated a fine online shop with all sorts of items, but it is her own artwork that steals the show. I love her collection of cities prints, which features colorful cityscapes from various cities around the world.

I love her illustration of Boston’s historic townhouses, which helps my homesickness (I lived in Boston for many years in my young adulthood).

About Anna See’s New England Brownstones print: “New England Brownstones and row houses were a common sight during my brief stint living in Boston, Massachusetts. The charming historical architecture and colorful houses and buildings were postcard perfect! This colorful, bright art illustration combines different styles and colors of real buildings from Boston areas like Back Bay, Newbury Street, and Beacon Hill and makes for perfect cheerful decor or wall decoration for any children’s room, kitchen, living room, your home!”

See Anna See’s entire city collection here.

Learn more and visit Anna See’s online shop here.


aa4It is a minor miracle that I have not yet been inflicted with Lyme disease as my lifelong friend Lynda has dragged me through tick-infested sea-grass up and down the Atlantic coast for years. However, I have known many people who have not been so fortunate and I have seen firsthand how hard it can be to deal with. The fine folks behind Project Lyme are committed to helping build awareness of the disease and ultimately prevent and reduce new cases.

About Project Lyme:

“Nearly 30 years ago, a proper diagnosis and antibiotic treatment saved the life of Project Lyme founder, Heather Hearst. Decades later, the patients she meets with and hears about are still fighting a silent battle. Focused on prevention and early diagnosis, Project Lyme, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is putting a spotlight on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Together, let’s create a dialogue that makes Lyme disease awareness commonplace.”

Learn more about Project Lyme and how you can support their efforts here.

aa1The challenge of stuttering may not seem to be as big an issue as other causes seeking our attention, but for those who are challenged with this disability it can debilitating. The fine folks at The Stuttering Foundation seeks to raise awareness and find solutions for those challenged with stuttering.

About The Stuttering Foundation:

“Stuttering. This often misunderstood disability affects over three million Americans. And despite decades of research, both basic and clinical, the causes are still largely unknown. The history of the Foundation is the story of how one person with a significant stutter led a successful life and made a lasting difference in the lives of others with the same disability.”

Learn more about The Stuttering Foundation and how you can help here.

FF: Monticello Heirloom Seeds

aa1Thomas Jefferson was a lot of things, but he was first and foremost a man of the land. In fact, it has been noted that he grew more than 330 varieties of vegetables in his personal garden at his famed Monticello estate. Now you can grow a garden like Jefferson with the collection of Heirloom Seeds from the fine folks at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants.

About the Monticello Heirloom Seeds:

“Bring heirloom seeds from the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants to your garden and yard. We have a wide selection of vegetable and herb seeds, annual flower seeds, and seeds for perennial flowers. Many are unusual and hard to find like purple calabash tomato seed, and hyacinth bean seed. Don’t know where to start? Try a seed sampler kit, like the one designed for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.”

Find the Monticello Heirloom Seeds here.

Visit the online Monticello shop here.

FF: The Essential Gardener Tool Set from Barebones Living

aa3Just in time for setting up my container garden for 2017, I found the Essential Gardener Tool Set from the fine folks at Barebones Living.

About the Essential Gardener Tool Set from Barebones Living:

“The complete collection for the lifetime gardener, created and combined to help you root deeply and harvest often; to dig deep, both inside and out. Use the handmade pine crate to reuse as a garden container, a gift, or a box for safe keeping.”

Find the Essential Gardener Tool Set from Barebones Living here.

Visit Barebones Living online gardening shop here.

aa4You know me, I love a fine charcuterie and all manner of cured meats and related items. Which is why I love the fine folks at Formaggio Kitchen who offer a nice sampling of their meats and charcuterie in their online store (which also includes cheeses and other great items).

Try Formaggio Kitchen’s Culatello: “Culatello is known as the heart of the ham because it comes from the same part of the pig as prosciutto (the haunch), but it is trimmed down to only the tastiest portion of the leg. We love this as the centerpiece of any salumi plate with a side of aged pecorino, some Ligurian olives, and perhaps a drop or two of fine balsamic. We slice this half pound thinly and package it in a vacuum sealed packet.”

By the way, if you ever get to Boston, and you really should get to Boston, you can visit one of Formaggio Kitchen’s three retail locations – in Boston’s trendy South End.

Learn more about Formaggio Kitchen and see all their locations here.

Check out Formaggio Kitchen’s meats and charcuterie offering here.

aa1I have not been everywhere in the world of course, but of the places I have been, Maine’s Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park is the most beautiful. Back in the day I made several pilgrimages to the area and totally fell in love with the place. Of course I am not alone, Acadia is cherished by many others and is again being celebrated as 2016 marked the park’s centennial as a national park. This milestone is commemorated by the wonderful book Acadia National Park – A Centennial Celebration by photographer Tom Blagden, Jr.

About Acadia National Park a Centennial Celebration by Tom Blagden, Jr.: “The official book of Maine’s treasured and New England’s only national park, published on the occasion of the park’s centennial! Created in 1916 and encompassing 45,000 acres on two islands and a mainland peninsula on the rugged coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is a unique piece of the American landscape. This stunning portfolio of photographs by Tom Blagden Jr. alongside essays about the history and landscape is a perfect memento of the park’s 100th year.”

I love looking at the fine pictures in this book and reliving the great memories of the times I spent in Acadia – and dreaming of visiting again soon.

Acadia National Park a Centennial Celebration by Tom Blagden, Jr. is available from Daytrip Society and other fine book retailers.