Back Alley Bookends

via Spoon and Tamago, these appeal to my appreciation of the miniaturized mundane.

via twitter user @monde

The clever idea is the brainchild of a Japanese designer who goes by the name monde. Based in Tokyo, monde creates objects inspired by the city but also animals and insects. The back alley bookends come in a pair and can be used together to replicate a small back alley, or they can be used individually, exposing the intricate stepping stones, A/C units, piping, plants and other details that have been carefully recreated by hand.

Aretha Franklin – “Something He Can Feel”

I’ve been on a tremendous Aretha Franklin kick lately. Her work in the late 60’s through the early 70’s is my favorite in her catalog. Here’s a good one to start your Monday.

Curtis Mayfield-penned hit from the 1976 movie soundtrack “Sparkle” (starring a pre-Miami Vice Philip Michael Thomas and Irene Cara). Aretha doesn’t sing it in the movie, but she does on the soundtrack. It’s a killer slow-burn.

I only ever knew about the En Vogue version from 1992, with the video drawn right from the film. It’s also great:

I feel obligated to share the Sparkletrailer here. It’s narrated by Casey Kasem, for one, and it is evidence that movie trailers have always given away the whole plot.

And then they re-made the movie in 2012 with Jordan Sparks and Whitney Houston?!? Crazy.

Lifting Diary!

I’ve made the tour through some strength sports at my gym. The last couple of posts about lifting have been from Weightlifting meets. I had been powerlifting for a while and I was looking for a change. It was fun, but now I’m ready to get strong again via Powerlifting.

That video is me trying to re-learn how to deadlift. When I first started lifting, the deadlift was the last of one I got good at. I’ve lost a lot more than I expected. I also know that I can get back there again and this slow (but steady) build is the way to go.

I should also engage salads more regularly. Sheesh….

English Wordcraft

I’ll wish you a great weekend with one of my favorite Instagram accounts. 100% worth a follow if you’re into deep etymology.

BRITTLE BREAD Behold the attached picture of outright depravity, a BROTHEL. This inconspicuous word is actually rather useful in understanding a cluster of related words in English and looking into some lost words too. . A BROTHEL is a shortening of a 'brothel-house' where a brothel itself is a wretched and depraved person. The word was originally an adjective, meaning 'degenerative' or 'corruptive', such adjectives are formed from certain verbs + an -el or -le suffix meaning 'prone to ___'. These words were replaced by Latin '-ative', English could have had '*SPEAKLE' from Old English 'sprǣcol', but replaced it with 'talkative'. In this case BROTHEL, though not attested directly in any Old English texts, is from the verb 'brēoþan', (reconstructed as '*BREETHE' by analogy to 'SEETHE'); to deteriorate or fall apart. Much like the Western world now. . Another example of these adjectives, and one which is still in current use, is 'BRITTLE', this time from a related verb 'bryttian', meaning prone to BRIT, shatter or break into pieces. Icelandic 'brytja' and Swedish 'bryta' share this same word. In Beowulf, recalling the role of a king, Scyld Sceafing is described as a 'bēagbrytta', someone who 'brits', distributes, divides or dispenses (literally breaks apart) rings. This word survived into Middle English as a 'BRET', a dispenser, but there's no reason a vending machine cannot be a '*sellbret'. . From this same root of breaking, crushing and disintegrating is the verb 'to BRUISE', originally to break or crack. But quite strange is how this meaning is unique for English yet the 'crack' became metaphorical, German 'brausen' and Swedish 'brusa' mean 'to roar' (German takes it further where it is slang for driving fast), and Norwegian 'brosa' is a storm. . Further yet, there is still speculation over the source of 'BREAD' which may be related either to 'BREW', or perhaps the above words, it may have merged the two early forms together. This word shares its roots and meaning with Latin 'frustrum', a scrap or small bit of food, something broken off. . Sometimes we need to look at what is broken and look to the source before it became that way. .

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Machine Era / makerset Field Pen | Compact

This pen is the third thing I’ve ever funded on Kickstarter. It’s really really nice. Dead-silent click mechanism, juuust long enough to be usable but still small enough to disappear into a pocket.

Machine Era is a Richmond Va machine shop that is best known for their metal wallets. They made my (current) favorite pen, so I didn’t hesitate to back the campaign.

The makerset brand is an offshoot of Machine Era where they focus on writing instruments. I’m excited to see where they go.

Toad In A Hole

I know I’ve already memorialized this on Instagram, but I feel like I need to restate just how damn delicious this breakfast was.

We just finished renovating our kitchen and our decision to go with a 5th burner as griddle is turning out to be a stroke of genius. We use the hell out of it.