Archive | July, 2008

A letter to our (next) president

Several years back, McSweeney’s held a contest asking people to write a note offering advice, to the first-term GWB.

A friend of ours won that first contest with a plea for principle and reason, especially concerning our environment.  When we stumbled onto that letter in a conversation last week, we thought it might be worth re-reading and passing along to our future Mr. President.

Here’s hoping that this one will be the letter reading type.

McSweeney’s Dear Mr. President Letters (the first one, signed a concerned citizen).

MP3: Talking Heads – Born Under Punches

July 13, 2008 | The World Is On Fire! | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Obvious Child

Many years ago I spent a summer driving around British Columbia in a big white van with a bunch of soon to be high schoolers with names like Robo and Rufus and Mary Apple. I called my mom from a supermarket parking lot after I had stuffed myself with Corn Nuts and Coca Cola and, as I put the phone to my K.D. Lang haircut, she hung up when she didn’t recognize the voice that had so embarrassingly dropped the night before.

We were on our way to some place with a name I can’t remember and a marmot that liked the way we smelled. On the first night, we got scared there was a bear near our tents so we screamed the Fresh Prince theme song at the top of our lungs until we felt safe. The ten of us came back five days later and I burned a piece of twine around my wrist and made a fancy bracelet out of blues and yellows while people barked a funny noise at an RV Camp that would be the last place I ever slept in Canada. For a whole summer my only options were Bob Marley Live and Paul Simon’s Rhythm Of The Saints and it just dawned on me how wonderful it is that “Obvious Child” is the name of the song that I remember most from being a fourteen year old going through puberty on a camping trip.

MP3: Paul Simon – Obvious Child

July 11, 2008 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 6 }

Orient, NY

The north fork of Long Island is a real jewel of a place. Farmland, vineyards, diners, thrift shops, mansions, shacks, cattails, prickly pear cactus, and some mighty warm ocean water. Don’t let the proximity to the Hamptons cloud your mind. Apples and oranges, my friends. Yes, there’s a lot of money. Yes, there are big houses. But there ain’t no glitz and glam. It’s wine, beets, and fresh cut lavender.

At the end of the North Fork is Orient Beach State Park, which boasts 45,000 feet of frontage on the bay. The forest along the beaches are beautiful, filled with cedar and cactus and piping plovers. And getting to the beach? It’s as good as it gets. Endless amounts of fresh food being sold on the highway that was picked forty feet away.

It’s a little bit of a hike to get out there but well worth it. Take the LIRR early in the morning to Greenport with your bike. Don’t forget your permit. When you get off at Greenport, poke your head around a little bit. When your belly’s full, go north on Main Street to 25 and head east until you can’t head east no longer. The ride is about five miles, but if you don’t want to go the whole distance, take a left or a right just about anywhere and you’ll find small mazes of aromatic back roads that will eventually lead you somewhere you won’t want to leave.

MP3 – Youngbloods – Sugar Babe (Thank Your Rising Storm)

Youtube: Johnny Cash + Joni Mitchell – Girl Of The North Country

July 11, 2008 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Mother Nature’s Quite A Lady

Beside a singing mountain stream
Where the pussy willow grew
Where the silver leaf of maple
Sparkled in the morning dew
I braided twigs of willows
Made a string of buckeye beads
But flesh and blood needs flesh and blood
And you’re the one I need
Flesh and blood needs flesh and blood
And you’re the one I need

Youtube: Johnny Cash – Flesh and Blood

* If anyone can find that video from The Man, His World, His Music where Johnny sings this song to June on their couch, let me know. That video can probably cure a few diseases.

July 10, 2008 | Flora/Fauna | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

To Build A Fire

Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank, where a dim and little-travelled trail led eastward through the fat spruce timberland. It was a steep bank, and he paused for breath at the top, excusing the act to himself by looking at his watch. It was nine o’clock. There was no sun nor hint of sun, though there was not a cloud in the sky. It was a clear day, and yet there seemed an intangible pall over the face of things, a subtle gloom that made the day dark, and that was due to the absence of sun. This fact did not worry the man. He was used to the lack of sun. It had been days since he had seen the sun, and he knew that a few more days must pass before that cheerful orb, due south, would just peep above the sky-line and dip immediately from view.

- From Jack London’s short story, To Build A Fire (1908)

MP3: Witchcraft – Walk Between The Lines

July 9, 2008 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }


We need to do better.

MP3: Corey Harris – Fish Aint Bitin

July 9, 2008 | The World Is On Fire! | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Future House Farm

Future House Farm is one of Cold Splinters’ favorite blogs. Kelly and Meg live in a house outside of Philadelphia and have converted their backyard to an organic farm with loads of vegetables and a few chickens. They both have 9 -5 jobs and they’re not experts, so they’re learning as they go along, which makes the blog so damn enjoyable. Kelly on their newly built chicken tractor:

*Have you ever heard the sounds a chicken makes when it eats a really fat grub? Imagine someone eating a raw steak with their mouths open. It may not be as loud, but yeah, it’s nasty. I just have to remember that the slurping makes the eggs taste better. Shit, that doesn’t help at all.

Their trials and tribulations can be found here.

July 9, 2008 | Flora/Fauna | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

No Road Is The Right Road

“Of course I litter the public highway. Every chance I get. After all, it’s not the beer cans that are ugly; it’s the highway that is ugly.” - Ed Abbey, The Journey Home, 1977

MP3: Christine Perfect (McVie) – No Road Is The Right Road

July 8, 2008 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

On the shore of a lake in the great Granite State

We spent our July 4th in New Hampshire at the mighty Lake Winnipesaukee this year. (The Native American name Winnipesaukee means either “smile of the Great Spirit” or “beautiful water in a high place.”) After a day of swimming, wiffle ball, and death defying stunts, we took a 9 p.m. light speed boat ride to catch a glimpse of the fireworks. Daniel laid back in the bow and took a thousand pictures of the show while the rest of us yelled, “grand finale” over and over and ate New England clam chowder. His half hour vow of silence paid off. Enjoy his wonderful out of focus kaleidoscope set here.

Dark soundtrack:

MP3: Human Bell – Hymn Amerika

July 8, 2008 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

White Winter Hymnal

Fleet Foxes have gone done and made a video for a song called “White Winter Hymnal.” Watch it here.

July 8, 2008 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }