Camping Around the Appalachian Mountains
March 29, 2011, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Maps, The Great Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

With summer in mind and the hope of getting out and doing some camping/hiking I thought I would share this book I recently picked up. Camping Around the Appalachian Mountains by Jim Crain and Terry Milne, published in 1975, it is a collection of beautifully hand drawn maps and useful tips for camping both on the Appalachian Trail and other parks around it.

An example of one of the maps found in the book, a favorite and close to home section of the trail.

Along with tips for camping there are also tons of suggestions on what to do and see while out camping, as if the simple act of camping and enjoying the Appalachians isn’t enough. Of course accompanying the advice are some excellent illustrations. The rest can be seen here.

RIP Owsley “Bear” Stanley
March 27, 2011, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Listen | Tags: , , , ,

Owsley Stanley pictured with Jerry Garcia

While this news is over a week old at this point I thought it was necessary to pay tribute¬† to the creative force of Owsley “Bear” Stanely who died on March 13th. The man who provided massive quantities of LSD to the Dead and the rest of San Francisco in the 60’s, Stanley was also responsible for engineering the Wall of Sound and for designing many of the Dead’s logos including the skull and lighting bolt which appeared on the cover of Steal Your Face.

The Wall of Sound in all its glory.

Stanley was also responsible for some of the early live recordings of the Grateful Dead. As their sound engineer he recorded the shows in order to be able to listen back to them and make improvements on the next show’s sonic quality. However some of these recordings went on to be the first and best live shows the band released as records. However many more of Stanely’s recordings have yet to be released.

In Christ there is No East or West
March 24, 2011, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Listen | Tags: ,


In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord,
Close binding humankind.

Join hands, then, members of the faith,
Whatever your race may be!
Who serves my Father as His child
Is surely kin to me.

Saturday Projects:Spring Garden Preparations
March 23, 2011, 8:38 am
Filed under: Saturday Projects | Tags: , , ,

Continuing the preparations for the spring’s vegetable garden beds, this weekend we cleaned out what was left of last years fall garden and prepped the soil for new growth.

The raised beds we built last fall held up very well over the winter and the soil was still in great shape. However the lettuces and greens we grew in the fall had grown pretty unruly and at this point mostly to bitter to eat.

The only thing worth salvaging was the kale the rest of the roughage went straight to the compost. The onions and garlic which established themselves well during the winter months will stay in the ground til at least June when they should be ready to harvest. Now the question is, what should we plant?

Gardener’s Year Book

For those of you planning a spring vegetable garden, or fall garden depending on where in the world you are, I thought you might appreciate some helpful hints from the House and Garden’s Gardener’s Yearbook for 1939.

This is a basic set of tools any gardener will need to get started, a trowel, a hoe for cultivating, a spade, and a spade to dig up soil.  However you might also want to have these around.

And depending on the size or type of garden y0u have you also might want some of these tools…

Make sure to aerate your soil real good and add plenty of compost and fertilizer.

When the soil is ready add go ahead and sow in those seedlings you started a few weeks earlier. Now all you have to do is hope no varmint eats your veggies.

Bascom Lamar Lunsford

A lawyer, folklorist, and performer of traditional bluegrass music from western North Carolina, Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a folk hero also known as the “Minstrel of the Appalachians.” Lunsford a prolific songwriter himself also spent time collecting the songs and dances of many performers of the Appalachian in order to bring dignity to “hillbilly music.”


I wish I was a mole in the ground
Yes I wish I was a mole in the ground
If I’s a mole in the ground I’d root that mountain down
And I wish I was a mole in the ground

Oh Tippy wants a nine dollar shawl
Yes Tippy wants a nine dollar shawl
When I come o’er the hill with a forty dollar bill
Baby where you been so long

I been in the bend so long
Yes I been in the bend so long
I been in the bend with the rough and rowdy men
Baby where you been so long

I wish I was a Mole in the Ground” first recorded by Lunsford in 1924



Hardy Brothers Archive Films
March 7, 2011, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: , , , ,

The Hardy name has been synonymous with fly fishing for many years. Founded in 1872 in Alnwick, England, the Hardy brothers who were first gunsmiths began producing high quality rods and reels. They were the first to build bamboo rods with hexagonal profiles and their designs for reels became a standard which many companies still try to emulate today.

I am going to stop with the history their, they real reason I am writing about Hardy is because of the archival footage I recently came across. The films recall some of the early history of the company but also showcase some excellent gentlemanly angling.

This film also shows the Hardy techniques of splitting bamboo for the crafting of rods. If you like people wearing waxed canvas jackets and fly fishing then I promise you’ll enjoy these. A few more films can be seen at the Hardy North American page.


Lie Nielsen Toolworks
March 1, 2011, 8:53 pm
Filed under: Craft | Tags: , , , ,

Lie Nielsen, a family run business from Maine, makes some of the most beautiful and hardworking woodworking tools around. If I were even slightly a true wood worker I would consider purchasing their tools, however it is still inspiring to look.

They are probably most known for their planes, both block and bench planes, which are derived from the plans of the original Stanley 95 planers which Lie Nielson acquired.  Along with their tools they also make amazing wood working tables which are closer to pieces of fine furniture then workbenches.

All images come from the Lie Nielsen website except for the last which is from someone else’s visit to the Lie Nielsen headquarters where you can try out all their tools and workbenches.