Houndstooth everywhere (fall commute)

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For years I’ve been documenting my commutes, usually around the change of seasons. Today it once again struck me to take some snaps, but since I hadn’t given it a moments thought all I had was a phone. Still, as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you…

The drive starts in darkness this time of year, the sun rises as I go, and the day has begun when I get into the City. I do not recommend taking pictures while driving… but I’ve developed quite a few techniques for making this work, which I will not discuss.

And now the continuation of the Houndstooth Chronicles™. Here is a scarf I found for seven dollars that continues the journey. Casually wrapped around my neck this morning, it’s a great transition piece, keeping the drafts out in the cool mornings, yet easily adjusted and removed.

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For reference, Wikipedia defines houndstooth thusly: “Houndstooth checks originated in woven wool cloth of the Scottish Lowlands, but are now used in many other materials. The traditional houndstooth check is made with alternating bands of four dark and four light threads in both warp and weft woven in a simple 2:2 twill, two over – two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass.”

I don’t see the hound in all this, but I do love the constraint of the pattern applied in so many different ways. It is that tension that makes design so exciting to me. Another favorite? Herringbone. We’ll be getting to that soon…

Lastly, a shout out to the guys at Outlier. I’ve been meaning to write something about their designs which I’ve been wearing for a while now, both on and off the bike. A full write up of the pieces I’ve worn soon…

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Bluepoint Brewing Oatmeal Stout

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Not long ago, my friend Evan decided I (and the team) needed to taste some Bluepoint Blueberry. Of course, he brought other varieties when the time came (we try and taste four varieties in order to get some sense of the brewery as a whole and not just a single flavor or batch) he brought a growler of Oatmeal Stout. I do enjoy a stout. Seemingly almost any stout.

This one however was particularly smooth and rich. Seriously. No… seriously! Sure it was helped by the lack of preservatives that bottled beer contains, but even so, this was wonderfully balanced.

There was a bit leftover when all was said and done, so I cooked it down with some roasted onions and placed it on a number of different vegetable sandwiches. This classic recipe for brats works really well for all sorts of things, I find if you;re not using it with a meet product that sour things and spicey things help to balance the sweetness of the onions and stout. So an eggplant wrap with chipotle, tomato, and the onions is awesome. You can also add some Tahina to the onions to further thicken, and balance some bitterness against the sweetness. (and blend if you’re using it as a dressing or spread). The Bluepoint Oatmeal Stout worked exceptionally well for all these cases as well.

In a couple of weeks we’ll be using a similar recipe, but we’ll be cooking outside over hickory and oak. You can in fact smell the yumminess.

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The onions here are about midway through the thickening process…

Houndstooth rules!

It isn’t often that I take a stand on things which culture and taste make clear to some and not to others. But this shot from lunch at work today, expresses the obvious… Houndstooth rules! (As does green tea from Adagio with their brilliantly simple ingenuiTEA, and a warm, bright final day of summer.)

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Other sources of houndstooth finery can be found at Panache Cyclewear (I have the socks, but more to come, hopefully, next season) and more generically, here.

Proud of your Houndstooth? Let me know (No one has more fun than I)

10 Futuristic Materials

Accelerating Future » 10 Futuristic Materials:

1. Aerogel

Aerogel

Aerogel holds 15 entries in the Guinness Book of Records, more than any other material. Sometimes called “frozen smoke”, aerogel is made by the supercritical drying of liquid gels of alumina, chromia, tin oxide, or carbon. It’s 99.8% empty space, which makes it look semi-transparent. Aerogel is a fantastic insulator — if you had a shield of aerogel, you could easily defend yourself from a flamethrower. It stops cold, it stops heat. You could build a warm dome on the Moon. Aerogels have unbelievable surface area in their internal fractal structures — cubes of aerogel just an inch on a side may have an internal surface area equivalent to a football field. Despite its low density, aerogel has been looked into as a component of military armor because of its insulating properties.

[There’s nine more. Awesome stuff.]
Source: The Hole

It’s still summer…

…but it’s far cooler than it was a few weeks ago in the morning. 6:30AM this morning I tossed on a vest and arm warmers and through a leg over my bike.

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Since the ride I did a few weeks ago I haven’t been able to spin out all the pain in my knees, but both were better this week than last… and again I forgot to take some pre-ride NSAIDs. Sigh.

Anyway, I shouldn’t have sneered at the cold this morning when I decided not to put on some leg warmers as well, there were some times that my knees were red with cold… not a good choice considering. Ah well. But on days like this I love riding early when the roads are quiet, the sun lights up the undergrowth, and the day is cool. Soon enough, it’ll be truly cold when I ride, and I’ll be whining (to myself if only) about being cold. As a final insult, some embrocation I’ve been waiting to try seems to have lost it’s kick, and I didn’t have time to rinse off and use something else. Life, in the small sense, can be… unkempt.

So 28 miles later, I cleanup and hit the road (in the car this time) with the Little One and the Wife. I had pulled out a shirt with happy little football on it, and hoped that I might get a chance to watch a little bit of opening day Jets or Giants. (Both teams won!) We visited a favorite craft fair and said hello to some of the artists and artisans we see year after year (they do become like family after a while… you know the good family that you miss hanging with and don’t see often enough). The Wife picked up a inexpensive bauble or two, and then on our way to check out the “tent sale” of another favorite store, we ran into a street fair where the Little One got a chance to climb into a fire truck for a photo-op. Moments later, the two of them were contemplating a classic street rod. Ah… the joys of youth. And in this fashion the last Sunday I’ll be able to enjoy for a while was spent.

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Violence is a disease

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And when it’s unleashed to such awful effect it cannot help but leave a lasting scar. If you have the strength, click the drawing above. But I warn you the pictures are beautiful, haunting, painful, tearful and stunning. Go in peace. Always.

Far Foods by James Reynolds

Far Foods by James Reynolds: James Reynolds’ Far Foods project is an alternative packaging for supermarket. It shows the distance that some foods travel from and the
resultant carbon dioxide released during the journey. The receipt features a boarding card style tear-off strip.

James Reynolds has recently graduated from Kingston University studying Graphic Design. He lives and works in London. (Copyright 2009 James Reynolds)

Via Designboom

[Nice idea!]
Source: The DesignAddict Blog