I recently helped out on an entertaining music video shoot to promote FAFSA opportunities for high school graduates. Fun times! Stay in school kids!
Months ago, I visited Chris Dornbach, of Dornbox Bicycles, in his home frame shop in Gray, Maine. Chris builds bicycles, primarily road and mountain, out of steel using mostly TIG welding. It was great to shoot around his shop and even see a bit of frame construction as well. Click through the gallery below and be sure to visit Chris’s website. Perhaps it’s time for you to pick up a new custom 29er or cross frame.
Listen up, it’s storytime.
Growing up in western Maine was great. There were countless miles of rivers to swim, tons of mountains to snowboard and cheap candy at your local Dead River convenience store. An often overlooked aspect of western Maine is it’s close proximity to the great country of Canada, also known as “get drunk when you’re eighteen-ada.”
February 2005, the summer of love, Pat, Seth and I are in Montreal. I’m driving and they’re beyond wasted. (Side note; if you don’t read the whole story you won’t realize that I’m not trying to make drinking look cool.) We are about to head home, when Seth speaks up from the backseat. “I think they’re trying to flag us down.” Sure as shit, a car of four hot girls has pulled up next to us. They’re pointing us towards a parking lot. We pull in and I am quickly reminded of day one of a communication class I took in college. (Warning: Story within a story.) The teacher bursts into the classroom screaming German at us. It was loud, scary and perfectly represented his first point. You can’t communicate if you’re not speaking the same language.
Back to Canada, the girls are speaking French and we’re still having a hard time with the English language.
You would think that screaming “we want to give you kisses” while pointing to your lips would make sense to them. Nay. After a few minutes of failed communication, we left. Empty handed. Defeated. Cock blocked by our own global ignorance.
We rode in silence for a few miles, I mean, kilometers. The silence was broken when Seth drunkenly spoke up again.
“Wait, I know French.”
I have two very important announcements to make in this post.
The first one is a recession tip for thrifty folks with a sweet tooth (myself included.) I present exhibit A:
See that dollop of frosting and sprinkles? That has been abandoned by the buyer of the donut and is now up for grabs to the fortunate individual who finds it. Go on, take it, just be sure to use a tissue.
My second announcement is a little larger. The BLS just reported that the average employed American now works 33 hours in a week. All those furloughs have brought us to the shortest work week since these figures have been recorded, 1964.
Because of this, I have decided that any friends who come to visit me in Seattle are allegable to apply for a tax rebate up to $50. That’s right, I’ll reimburse you for the tax that you spend while visiting me. You’ll get a bonus $5 if you bring a skateboard.
Wondering if you qualify for the rebate?
Have we ever gone swimming together?
Have we ever shared a pizza pie?
Have you ever pretended to be interested in my LOST theories?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, pack your bags. See you soon.
So I mentioned to Ashlinn that New Year’s Resolutions never really work for me, and I am going to start doing New Month’s Resolutions instead. She told me that was the most Adam Belanger thing she’s ever heard and I should sue myself for impersonating my own self.
Regardless, before February I will:
1. Finish refurbishing and sell my Bardwell & McAlister 2k fresnel.
2. Finish reading World War Z
3. Eat more vegetables.
I just got back from the holiday in Maine and I noticed a few things. I present to you Stuff Maine People Like:
1. Boots – My parent’s breezeway has a shelf containing only boots. Some of them don’t even fit anybody’s feet. One look at L.L. Bean’s boot page will confirm this.
2. Typar – I’ve never seen as many houses covered in Typar as I do in Maine. Apparently you don’t have to pay as much for home insurance if your house isn’t completed, so people will put off certain parts of construction for as long as possible. That’s yankee ingenuity right there.
3. Uncle Henry’s – Mainers hate throwing anything away if it can be reused for something else. If we finally do come to the conclusion that we have no use for something (or we have better use for it’s worth) then we go straight for the back page of Uncle Henry’s. It predates Craigslist by nearly 30 years, and is still printed on an ancient material known as “paper.” Even the Wall Street Journal can’t stop raving about it. I especially like the part where they talk to Warren Sylvester, owner of Warren’s Wood Stoves in Warren, Maine.
4. Coffee Brandy – The Champagne of Maine is the top selling liquor in Maine for over 20 years. The 1/2 gallon bottle of Allen’s Coffee Brandy sells 98,000 cases every year, and it’s only competition is, of course, the liter sized bottle of Allen’s Coffee Brandy.
“It’s an ideal food for crime” says Portland defense lawyer Thomas J. Connolly. More hilariously disturbing quotes can be found here and here, which includes a photo from former Rumford dive, The Barn Board.
5. Patrick Dempsey – I don’t actually know if Mainers like the Grey’s Anatomy star and Lewiston native, but they certainly have reason to. In the last few years he has donated butt loads of money to cancer research and treatment, and has recently funded the opening of The Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing at CMMC with a cool quarter million dollars. The DCCHH is not only trying to help fight cancer, but also putting a lot more emphasis on education of cancer with a cancer resource library, a dedicated space for support group meetings and a toll-free assistance line providing information on local, state and national resources for those living with cancer. Just last week Dempsey announced The Dempsey Challenge, a 100 mile 1 day cycling event that will bring more funds into The Dempsey Center. It takes place in October, and Dempsey himself will participate in the ride.