Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This Car Climbed Mt. Washington

The first "road" up Mt. Washington went into construction in 1850 after a rail line was built from Montreal to Portland, the line passed through Gorham and sparked some tourism into the whites. This lead the rail company eventually finance the rebuilding of the road from Gorham to Pinkerton Notch and extended it all the way to the summit of Mt Washington. The plan was to build a grand hotel at the summit and use the road to move visitors up and down in carriages.

The building of the road was hard and dangerous work. Supplies had to be brought up by horse, oxen or simply by hand. Hand drilled holes were filled with black powder to blast out rock, which then had to be shoveled and carted away. Laborers lived on site in small tents and worked twelve hour days even in the harsh weather. The road was halfway finished in 1856 and the initial company that had been selected to build the road was bankrupt and construction was halted until 1859. Then a new company, the Mount Washington Summit Road Company, began construction on the road. The company opened the road on August 8, 1861 and continues to manage it until this day. Now most of the road has been paved, although a dirt section does remain. Each year over 45,000 vehicles summit Mt. Washington.

Now the point of this post in only half history. The other half is that where there is a road there is a race, and the Mt Washington Auto Road is a good one. The current record was just broken by Travis Pistrana with a summit time of 6:20.47 beating the previous record set by Frank Sprongl (above in the Audi Quattro) by over 20 seconds.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Skyline GTR

The Skyline that started it all, the C-10 GTR debuted in 1969. This was the first racing model skyline produced, it pushed 160hp from a 2L inline six, which was competitive for sport coupes at the time. The Hakosuka, which translates to Box Skyline, would help spawn some of the fastest and most competitive Japanese cars ever made.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chow: Obsessives

Chow runs a regular series known as Obsessives. They feature people who have taken their love of a specific type of food to the limit. They cover anything related to food in cooking, from knife making to pickling, or beekeeping to pizza. Its a great way to learn a thing or two about something you may not put a whole lot of thought into. I always like seeing someone that is truly passionate about something, even if it does seem strange.

Obsessives: Soda Pop from on Vimeo.

Pure Pizza Pleasure from on Vimeo.

Hard Cider

Fall means many different things to many people. The leaves change color, sweatshirts and flannel get broken out, wood gets split, and boats get put away. To me one of the best things about fall is apple cider. All over the country orchards are taking excess apples and pressing them into delicious cider. What is my favorite way to enjoy cider? Fermented.

I usually brew a couple of my own batches each year. The problem with home brewed cider is that a good batch takes 6 to 8 weeks at a minimum, so by the time its ready to drink, fall is almost over. Luckily every year more and more companies produce their own batches of cider, giving me something to drink while mine is fermenting. Besides its always good to do some research so you know what to compare your homemade stuff too, right? Best of all Harpoon Brewery will be having some free cider tastings around the Boston area next month.

Scrumpy's Organic - Michigan

Farnum Hill - New Hampshire

Doc's Hard Cider - New York

Black Star Farms - Michigan

Ace Hard Cider - California

Wild Fire Cider - Washington
Harpoon Cider - Massachusetts

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reel Rock Tour 2010

The Reel Rock Tour is back again for its 5th year. They will be showing six new films from some of the biggest names in climbing. The films will feature footage from all seven continents in every season imaginable. The limits of every type of climbing will definitely be pushed. I'll be checking out their stop at the Regent Theater in Arlington Mass. on October 14 where its being put on by the fine folks at REI Boston, Metro Rock, and Boston Rock Gym.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jaques Mesrine - Killer Instinct

The two part film about career criminal Jaques Mesrine is finally making it into theaters in the states. Bank robbing. Kidnapping. Jailbreaking, all in a days work for the French ganster. He was their Dillinger, except with twice the criminal accomplishments. Catch the first part, Mesrine: Killer Instinct, now to see his the start of his life as a gangster. The second part of his story Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 when it gets to theatres this fall.

Backpack for Fall

I'm a sucker for a nice rucksack. I like everything from high tech waterproof bags, to vintage style canvas daypacks. A bag good for hiking in the whites, or a bag for the work day. High-end Japanese companies or high value skate companies. Here are a few that have caught my eye lately.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Harry Clarke Illustrates Edgar Allan Poe

Dublin born book illustrator and stained glass maker Harry Clarke created 24 black and white illustrations and 8 color plates for the 1923 edition of Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a collection of Edgar Allan Poe's works. Clarke was initially trained in the works of stained glass at Dublin Art School, where he excelled. After graduation he decided to put his efforts towards book illustration and sought work in London. His first published work was a set of drawings done for Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson. This work was then immediately followed by the newest edition of the Poe collection. He would go on to illustrate the works of Charles Perrault, Goethe and even do a booklet for Jameson Whiskey.

Its amazing how intense and detailed his illustrations for Poe's collection are. The paintings are easily at tortured and haunted feeling as the poems they accompany. His stained glass work is also nothing short of stunning Stumbled upon this while looking thought the amazing imagery and information at A Journey Round My Skull.