Archive for August, 2017

Wait. What? There is a super cool website called Chairish where people can go to sell and buy high-end vintage furniture and art and nobody told me about it until now? Worse – I had to find it on my own? It’s all good, because now I am obsessed with Chairish and am trying to find all sorts of excuses to buy some stuff for my already over-decorated shack on the edge of the prairie.

About Chairish:

“Viva La Vintage! Chairish is the leading online marketplace for design lovers to buy and sell chic vintage decor, furniture and art. We are America’s largest and fastest growing marketplace dedicated to home decorating and design.”

When I first landed on Chairish I spent hours looking over the collection of more than 11,000 paintings available for sale on the site. There are some great finds there – and at all price points, many quite reasonable – like this “Old West Style Painting” (above right) which I love.

That’s just scratching the surface of Chairish – they have more than 400 magazine racks for sale!

Yep. See? I told you!

Fall in love with Chairish and lose a few hours browsing here.

While conducting research for my upcoming vacation in the White Mountains of New Hampshire (I can’t wait by the way) I came across a recently published book of essays about New England’s tallest peak, Mount Washington. Mount Washington: Narratives and Perspectives, edited by Mike Dickerman, provides some nice stories about the famed mountain, providing an appropriate narrative for such a stunning sight.

About Mount Washington: Narratives and Perspectives edited by Mike Dickerman: “For two centuries, Mount Washington has been the object of countless writers’ wonder and fascination. In this volume, more than twenty previously written pieces inspired by New England’s highest peak have been carefully selected, and collectively these cover nearly every aspect of the mountain’s storied past. Tag along on early explorations of the White Mountains and its fabled Presidential Range. Follow the history of the nation’s first mountain-climbing train and witness many of Mount Washington’s tales of human tragedies. Editor and area historian Mike Dickerman explores the captivating history of one of the Granite State’s most remarkable places.”

It is great to have some history and insights to the places you visit, Mount Washington: Narratives and Perspectives provides that and more.

Mount Washington: Narratives and Perspectives edited by Mike Dickerman is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

Schools have started – so many people are looking for ways of packing a lunch. Well, the Food “Flask” I found from the fine folks at Box Appetit certainly isn’t the Thermos that came with my Snoopy lunch box when I was in first grade, and it most certainly isn’t one of the many flasks I tote my bourbon collection in. However, what it is for sure is very cool, or hot as the case may be.

About the Food Flask from Box Appetit:

“This perfectly compact food flask is ideal for keeping your soups, casseroles and stews hot or fruit salads, gazpacho and ice cream cold. The vegan leather strap holds a super convenient ladle spoon which is shaped perfectly for scooping out the tasty contents.”

Find the Food Flask from Box Appetit here.

See all the great food storage solutions from Box Appetit here.

My vacation is coming up next week which means I am looking for a new kite to fly on the wind coming off of the mountains. I think I may have found the perfect kite from the fine folks at Haptic Lab – their very classy Swallow Kite.

About the Swallow Kite from Haptic Lab:

“One swallow does not make a spring, but you can still celebrate the season with this whimsical Swallow Kite! Balanced by a forked tail that angles with the breeze, this handmade kite appears to flap its wings in flight just like a real bird. Beautiful in the sky or a child’s bedroom.”

Find the Swallow Kite from Haptic Lab here.

See all the cool products from Haptic Lab here.

I am getting ready for my traditional late summer vacation coming up Labor Day week. As I mentioned before, we are breaking with tradition this year and trading our Cape Cod vacation for a week in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It will be awesome, but this decision has me thinking about Old Cape Cod and I will be missing it. But I’ll be fine with these great Cape-inspired finds to ease the pain.

FF: The Cape Cod Nautical Chart Bucket Bag from Sea Bags

About the Cape Cod Nautical Chart Bucket Bag from Sea Bags:

“From Provincetown to Nantucket, this recycled sail nautical chart bucket bag will set your mind adrift, thinking of the sand and sea around Cape Cod. These versatile bags are a modern take on the basket: creative customers continue to invent new uses for them, from apple picking pails to hand towel holders to centerpieces that display plants and flowers.”

Find the Cape Cod Nautical Chart Bucket Bag from Sea Bags here.

See all the cool products from Sea bags here.

FF: The Cape Cod National Seashore scented Yankee Candle

About the Cape Cod National Seashore scented Yankee Candle:

“An oasis of tranquility, the perfect mix of fresh lavender and warm vanilla with musk and bergamot. A sunny day along the Cape — warm scents of salt air and beach flower. Fragrance Notes: Top: Salty Sea Accord; Mid: Jasmine, Lily;Base: Moss, Amber, Blue Musk. Top note is the initial impression of the fragrance, middle note is the main body of the scent and base is its final impression.”

Find the Cape Cod National Seashore scented Yankee Candle here.

See all the candles and related products from Yankee Candle here.

There was a time, not all that long ago, when packing for a trip I had to make sure I had a camera, a GPS device, a phone, an MP3 player, a laptop and all sorts of other things like a flashlight, calendar, address book or voice recorder. I used to think how nice it would be to combine all of these things into one device. Well, along came Apple and the iPhone and my life, and millions of others, have been all the better for it.

Now, in his new book, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, journalist/author Brian Merchant provides us with the definitive history of the development of the iPhone, from vision to earthshattering disruption device, and it is as compelling as you would want it to be.

About The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant: “Odds are that as you read this, an iPhone is within reach. But before Steve Jobs introduced us to ‘the one device,’ as he called it, a cell phone was merely what you used to make calls on the go. How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? Veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the inside story you won’t hear from Cupertino-based on his exclusive interviews with the engineers, inventors, and developers who guided every stage of the iPhone’s creation. This deep dive takes you from inside One Infinite Loop to 19th century France to WWII America, from the driest place on earth to a Kenyan pit of toxic e-waste, and even deep inside Shenzhen’s notorious ‘suicide factories.’ It’s a firsthand look at how the cutting-edge tech that makes the world work-touch screens, motion trackers, and even AI-made their way into our pockets. The One Device is a roadmap for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age, and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, ten years in the making, of the device that changed everything.”

As awesome as the iPhone is it is not all rainbows and lollipops, there is a dark side, from the sourcing of materials to its dubious manufacturing, let alone the down side of the cultural effects of device-addicted zombies walking around with their eyes fixed on a small screen – and worse, driving. Mr. Merchant does not shy away from these things and provides a well-balanced, extremely well-researched, history of one of the greatest consumer product every produced.

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.


Despite still having to deal with little pests dining on my plants – I had a pretty good week in the container garden. The hardest hit plant – my Japanese eggplant bush, which has had a large yield mostly consumed by an albino possum – has recovered nicely with some new growth (right). Meanwhile, the various varieties of tomatoes are ripening on the vine and they are delicious. I also have plenty of peppers and even a few chubby little cucumbers.

This is my favorite time of the season – when all the hard work of starting the seeds in the spring, protecting and caring for the plants as they grow, is really paying off with nice yields and plenty of fresh herbs and vegetables for the table.

“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects: love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked ‘twixt son and father.”

  • William Shakespeare, King Lear