Breaking Bad – Gale’s commonplace book

Gale you intrepid, naive b….d.  Without Gale’s commonplace book Walt would be safely dead from terminal cancer and Marie Schrader would still be busy stealing spoons.

It’s called his “notes” in the series and that’s more or less what it was, a simple notebook, but, of course, Gale Boetticher would not stop merely at transcribing laboratory information.  AMC has a neat little interactive site with the “full” lab notes, only a few pages but worth a look.  Here’s a list of the topics:

  • (Inside cover is blank in this version, but the actual lab notes had a dedication page)
  • Walt Whitman quote
  • Chemical diagram
  • Process for cooking the product
  • Sandia mountains climbing routes – checklist (none completed)
  • Chinese symbols
  • Product diagram – equipment
  • Site visit – floorplan, H. Walpole quote and to-do list
  • Sun tomahawk bicycle drawing
  • Recipe for Vegan Graham Crackers
  • Recipe for Vegan Marshmallows
  • Floorplans of business cooking site, chinese symbols and question about where to find good coffee
  • Large Walt Whitman quote and picture

Commonplace books were made to be used.  They were full of items the author would find useful, from a work or personal context, and also quotes and snippets to inspire.  Needless to say, this is the kind of book Gale would want to carry wherever he went and add to over time.  Who could know what this little book could have turned into given time and Gale Bottinger’s weird, eclectic interests.




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