one thing at a time or it's all too much

iron fish

iron fish
Beacon, New York,
Not A Company Man, Inc
Every three or seven years I start over.


Iron fish's Links

SEPTEMBER 17, 2009 12:36PM

C. Jere

stone and metal tree sculptureCurtis Jere made lamps, mirrors, and table sculptures in the 1960s and 70s, but was probably best known for its metal wall sculptures. Like some of the other “designers” mentioned on Absolute Galore recently, C. Jere, as many of the works were signed, was not an actual person, but… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 16, 2009 6:13AM

Monkey Wrench

monkey wrench miniThis little five-inch wrench is a bit of a rare thing, a true monkey wrench,  not to be confused with a pipe wrench. It’s one of those odds and ends I of course do not need and never will, yet it has too much of a presence for me to discard… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 15, 2009 11:45PM

Gorgeous Georges

georges briard compoteEven if you’re not really trying, when you’re in the vintage business you learn things, if only to help spin a tale for a sale. Like the names of designers.  Russian glassware genius Georges Briard was one of the first I discovered after I picked up a set of his stripedRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 10:21PM

Pack Mule

town bikeNot only do different bicycles have different road feels, I find what you are doing on the bicycle affects the experience as well. I first got into riding as an adult in my late twenties. I rode recreationally, then got into racing, which means lots of training rides.

On a training… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 11, 2009 8:38AM


Cap'n Crunch's Crunch BerriesWhen I was a kid, we did not have many sweets in the house. I would sometimes sneak downstairs early in the morning  and eat sprinkles or a can of cake icing. Soda and blatantly sugared cereal were mostly forbidden, but for a while it was something of a tradition to… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 10, 2009 6:31AM


Richard Rupchuislias painting 196727Paintings can be fun to buy, especially fresh off the street. You never know when you might hit it big. The picker who brought me this one picked it up in front of a house where, years earlier, he scored one of his best finds.

I first heard the story as… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 9, 2009 6:10AM

Farewell Dinner

Queen Mary menu coverSometimes I feel like I’m living in one giant junk drawer. I look at a pile of stuff and I want to heave the entire lot. Then I get up close and personal, and when it comes time to pull the trigger, I cannot do it.

When I was I’m not… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 7:49AM

A Change of Attire

orange mohair sweaterSteph and I had Labor Day brunch at the neighbors, and we ate on the back porch dressed in shorts and sweatshirts. Josie mentioned the cool air always got her looking forward to breaking out the fall wardrobe.

I get a similar feeling  this time of year. I think it harkens… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 4, 2009 6:00AM


wine cork trivetThere is a pleasantness to the feel of cork. Lamps made of cork were popular in the sixties. These days you can even get cork walls and floors.

I couldn’t resist this cork trivet. I’m not a wine expert, but I think all the corks used to make this trivet… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 3, 2009 6:01AM

The Earth is Blue

cosmonaut yuri gagarinThe other night my partner Stephanie and I went to the 3-hour breastfeeding class given by our birthing center. It wasn’t all just latching and double electric breast pumps. We got a poop color chart to help us read the diaper droppings. A poop with the consistency and color (I… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 2, 2009 6:00AM

Our Lady of the Dishwashing

our lady of dishwashingIf it were not for the Venus de Milo, of course, I never would have bought this broken statuette at my local thrift store. The Venus de Milo, more properly called Aphrodite of Milos, is made of marble, missing both arms, (hardly) draped in a sheet, slightly larger than life-size,… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2009 6:00AM

Sometimes a Pepper Mill

pepper grindersThere is no reason in the world for me to have this many pepper mills. Of all the mills that have come my way, the one that works the best is the one in black plastic from Ikea.

I’m no fan of the company, but this peppermill has good ergonomics and… Read full post »

AUGUST 31, 2009 5:45AM

Pin Dry

praying hands clothespinA few years ago my housemate at the time returned from a trip to India with a present for me—a bag of colored plastic clothespins in the shape of hands praying. Not your typical gift, I must have mentioned to him once or twice how much I like to hang my… Read full post »

AUGUST 28, 2009 6:02AM

Red Raleigh Red Raleigh

red raleighCan a single 3-speed bicycle be the agent for taking a new turn in life? In July of 2001, about to accept a job I didn’t want and feeling the need for drastic measures, I  left Manhattan after 17 years and moved in with my mother down on the Jersey Shore.… Read full post »

AUGUST 27, 2009 5:55AM

Art à la commode

bathroom tissue painting 2It’s Art Thursday again. Here’s a painting that came from the secret giant charity tag sale. Like much of the art around my house, it was a survivor from my old store. This one got a few nibbles, but no overwhelming interest that I recall.

The paste-with-a-punch colors and the bala… Read full post »

AUGUST 26, 2009 6:00AM

What’s in a Bowl

green metal bowlI grabbed this olive green bowl from the top of a kitchen cabinet yesterday to hold some dark purple grapes. Mostly it sits up there high above the stove with two other bowls, one black and one dark brown. All three are the same shape, all made of enamel-coated metal.

On… Read full post »

AUGUST 25, 2009 6:10AM

Dandelion Killer

dandelion puller toolIf a 49-year-old man had hair like the lawn in my friend Liz’s backyard, it might provoke a fleeting moment of  envy in other 49-year-old men who perhaps did not have such a freakishly thick, immoderately healthy growth on their own heads.

But we’re talking about lawns. And Liz, w… Read full post »

AUGUST 24, 2009 6:18AM


ball bearing with packagingAfter I had been into cycling for a while, I treated myself to a fancy titanium frame. It cost two grand back in about 1991. I bought it from Tom Kellog’s Spectrum Cycles, one of the first builders to work extensively with titanium.

I remember Tom, who has a voice kinda… Read full post »

AUGUST 21, 2009 6:01AM

It’s A Jar

jar with homemade cleaning pasteSince she’s been pregnant, I’ve been haranguing my partner Stephanie about the avoidable dangers of cleaning products for the home, and how, using vinegar and a few other non-toxic, inexpensive ingredients, we could save money, be safe and get the house just as clean.

I was surpris… Read full post »

AUGUST 20, 2009 6:00AM

Mad Men Blues

geometric print from J Walter Thompson collectionI haven’t seen Mad Men yet, mostly because I don’t have TV service due to my addictive nature. Apparently, even most people with TV reception don’t watch it. But most of us read about it, as its become the darling of the punditocracy as well as your everyday TV critic.

Today&… Read full post »

AUGUST 19, 2009 6:00AM

Big Bird

big bird lampWhen Sesame Street first aired in the fall of 1969 I was nine, a little older than the target audience. But I remember watching the show in our apartment in the Bankcroft Building on West 121st Street in New York City. If the Bankcroft sounds fancy, more often than not the… Read full post »

AUGUST 18, 2009 6:35AM


26 week sonogramWhen the technician was taking this sonogram of my not yet born son the other day, she remarked he had long bones as she measured his femur. My first thought was something along the lines of longer thighbones=more leverage= World Championships 2035. We left the medical office clutching the fax… Read full post »

AUGUST 17, 2009 5:30AM

Unlocking Heaven

church key can and bottle openerThis combination can piercer bottle opener is also called a church key, possibly somewhat ironically. You don’t see these around much any more. I bought a pair at a yard sale still attached to the original cardboard packaging. I’m not sure where the other one is. I have a few bottl… Read full post »

AUGUST 14, 2009 5:35AM

Belle de Paris

Astra 3-speed city bicycleI find it hard to resist bicycles, and the Astra has more than its share of irresistible features, including the color, the gearing, the chain guard, and the frame style and material. To think I almost passed it up for the silly reason that I already own eight bikes and have… Read full post »

According to neurobiologists, Google executives and The New York Times, in the not too distant future cell phones may replace our biological ability to mentally map our worlds,  consequently shrinking that part of the brain responsible for such things, the hippocampus. This new technology will h… Read full post »