Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Number 1 son and his family left us this afternoon, so that they could begin their recuperation. I'm beat, although I can't exactly explain why.
We've had a wonderful week. I got to be a hands on grandpa every day for the past 10 days. Watched as 9 yo Paige overcame her fear of the water, and became a very accomplished swimmer in just a few short days. If you asked she would tell you she learned "automatically". It may have been the gills she was growing.
So now things are back to normal. I can catch up on all the chores I wouldn't do when it was 98 out, but it is going to be lonely. Even Ted the wonder dog is moping around looking for his friend.
On the bright side. Driveway work begins this tomorrow. Supposedly the work will take two days, and we will have to keep off it for several days after. Sounds like a 4 day project, with the weekend screwed up. Pictures tomorrow, let's hope the EPA stays away.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I'm going to miss Farah. For those too young to have known her in her heyday Ms. Fawcett was more than a drunken bimbo on David Letterman. She will always be rightfully remembered for two things. 1. She looked pretty good in a swimsuit, and more importantly
#2. In perhaps the nadir of women's fashion, the mid 1970's, thousands of young women traipsed to their beautician with a photo of Ms. Fawcett in their purses and said I want my hair like that. She was the Jennifer Anniston of her day. Single handedly, Farah made girls worth looking at. Their outfits certainly offered no reason to.
Keep in mind, the woman could not act, but that does not necessarily grease the skids for her oblivion. I'll remember her fondly.
Respects to her son and family.
No comment. As I write this his spokespeople are sticking to the heart attact story. Reminds me of the gov and the AT however.
Respects to his family.
Channeling Bunny needs your input. Holiday, party,va(stay)cation, backyard news, pictures, fashions, tips, ideas, and hopes dreams and aspirations welcome.
Every now and again I get the notion that Scott's losing it. I realize the impossibility of the task he has set for himself, and admire the career he has created, but sometimes I just wonder what he has done with himself.
Then he does something like this.
I either blame or credit The Sartorialist for my interest in men's clothing. I found him early in his blog career, at a time when I was seeking something sartorially special. Scott showed me the way. I'll never doubt him again.
One of the reasons many of you lament the heat, is that you're forced to put your slanket away for the season. Worry not my friends, now there is the wearable towel. Perfect for warm weather occasions which require that something extra. I endorse the white or blue toga.
Friday, June 26, 2009
As every married man worth his salt will attest, they married well above their station. So it is with me. I'm not going to go into that "she completes me" nonsense, or the we're best friends, BS. Neither of which is necessarily true.
She is however the love of my life though. I adore her, am blessed to be married to her, and am happiest whenever she is near.
Happy BD my love.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Positively, no one stands in front of me in the line which sings the praises of rodents, and reptiles and most insects. My voice is heard first and loudest extolling their virtues. However, I draw a line, not in the sand, but at the front door.
Something just hasn't felt right around here the past few days. I couldn't figure it out, and I didn't want to talk about it either. I just wanted whatever bad vibe was lingering to go away.
So last evening, at cocktail time, #1 son quietly says, "oh my, don't tell my wife". What? answers I. There, a mouse. The fog lifted. Immediately, I knew what I always knew, but didn't want to face.
So after, everyone goes to bed, son and I lay out a couple of traps. Please don't tell PETA. Almost instantly, bam.
From the other room, "What's that noise?" Nothing, I lied, as I set another trap. Bam, bam.
Now, Mrs. T is up. What's going on? I had to fess up.
God, I hate getting rid of mouse meat. Makes me wish for a mouser. I set a few more traps and went to bed.
Around 4AM I get a poke in the ribs. Got another one, my wife says. Get it, you don't want the girls to get up and see the traps, or a mouse. Grumble.
Four down and mouse free all day. Plugged many of the possible entry points, and have so far avoided being noticed by our guests. Tonight I'll set a few more traps and pray for an undisturbed sleep.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
All in all it was a great time. The place was well supervised. A number of Big Kids were the bosses. Their job was to segregate the kids by age or size if it became necessary. Otherwise they watched, and were helpful without being intrusive.
This might come as surprise to some, but franchise rights are available.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
2. Governor's office: Sanford is hiking the Appalachian Trail
June 22, 2009 10:18 PM CDT
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - After questions of his whereabouts, Gov. Mark Sanford's office says he's hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Joel Sawyer, the governor's spokesman, released a statement and wanted to emphasize that the staff or the governor's wife weren't concerned about his location because Sanford has done something like this before.
Anyone else suspect the Gov is really on a bender in Cherokee with ADG and some of Spitzer's friends? He's no more hiking the AT than I am.
Monday, June 22, 2009
So you are asking yourself "how dumb are these people that they put up with this for so long?"
Dumber than you'd hope.
A week or so ago, we hired a contractor, and to protect his and our backsides he went to Mayberry City Hall to enquire if he/we needed a building permit. A reasonable safeguard I would think. Except he asked on the wrong day.
We live a mile or so from the Missouri river. Our lake drains into a neighboring lake, which drains into a neighboring lake, all the way downhill until it hits a creek which drains into the river. So far so good.
The day the contractor asked about the permit, the EPA was in the office. We live in a protected water run off area, and since it flows directly (more or less) into the river the EPA can claim jurisdiction. They decided they needed to take a look.
Somehow it reminded me of Arlo Guthrie waiting on the Group W bench.
Two reps from the EPA stopped by, with the largest binders I have ever seen. They had regulations and pictures, and site surveys, and god only knows what else. After consulting with the contractor, reviewing our plans and listening to us beg, they finally relented and told us we could safely build, if we followed their guidelines.
Alleluia! It will only cost us another leg.
Since we have number one son and his family with us this week, work commences next Monday. The EPA promises to stop by.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Good. here's how.
Add the gadget to your blog layout that says "Subscribe" (followers is good too!).
Since I am inherently lazy, I'm trying to load as many of my favorite bloggers into Google Reader, as I can. I consider it one stop shopping. Via Reader I am unlikely to miss even a day of your favorite posts.
Just thinking out loud, and thanking you in advance.
Friday, June 19, 2009
A year or so before his death producer Don Simpson and his partner Jerry Bruckheimer did a joint interview in either Esquire or perhaps GQ. Those were drug addled days, but they boasted that every blessed day they would each don a brand new pair of black Levi's, discarding the pair from the day before. I didn't necessarily believe it then but I want to now.
If I were King of the Forest I would have just one request. Every day, after completing my ablutions, I would want to put on a brand new pair of undies, and whenever I wanted to wear a polo style shirt, it would also be brand new. Very few things feel better than new undies and polo shirts. I like Ralph's polo's but these are troubled times.
So, I'm not king, and I followed Egadfly's advice dragging myself to the local Old Navy where I picked up several white polos. I may have been the last ON virgin in America, but I was gobsmacked. Polo's for $7.50. The navy gingham I have been shopping for around the world to no avail. Right there on the rack $12.
I left deeply troubled though. A number of stores were advertising "end of the season" sales. Presumably the season is summer.
Friends, in Mayberry we have had 5 inches of rain so far this month. Temps have climbed over 80 twice before today. Today was 95 and is expected to remain that way foreseeably. Summer has finally arrived. I would reasonably expect temps to stay in the high 80's to low 100's from now until near the end of September. I'd hate to get a jump on fall wear before the 4th of July.
Could that be what's wrong with retail?
On another note, I plan on taking weekends off this summer, so stop back Monday. Also, if you are a father have a Happy Father's Day. If you are not a father, but have one wish him an HFD for me.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Bill would prevent firing guns at parades
by Ed Anderson, The Times-Picayune
Wednesday June 17, 2009, 3:54 PM
BATON ROUGE -- Barring a gubernatorial veto, it will be illegal to recklessly discharge a firearm within 1,000 feet of a parade or demonstration starting Aug. 15.
My suspicion is the operative word is "recklessly". I doubt seriously state troopers really want to get involved in a local matter. The Gov, recently released from Chinese quarantine, has not yet offered his two cents worth.
2. The Joad's may be moving again after all.
Calif. Aid Request Spurned By U.S.
Officials Push State To Repair Budget
By David Cho, Brady Dennis and Karl Vick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Obama administration has turned back pleas for emergency aid from one of the biggest remaining threats to the economy -- the state of California.
Top state officials have gone hat in hand to the administration, armed with dire warnings of a fast-approaching "fiscal meltdown" caused by a budget shortfall. Concern has grown inside the White House in recent weeks as California's fiscal condition has worsened, leading to high-level administration meetings. But federal officials are worried that a bailout of California would set off a cascade of demands from other states.
With an economy larger than Canada's or Brazil's, the state is too big to fail, California officials urge.
Hold on to your hats boys and girls this is gonna get ugly. The state of California will eventually receive the money, but there will be a new Terminator in charge.
California census data suggests the population will add the equivalent of a city the size of LA within the next 20 years. I am willing to publicly predict there will be a MASSIVE outflow of citizens from the Golden State beginning later this year. I base this on a jump in the cost of living, continuing falling housing prices, crumbling infrastructure and lousy schools. Weather is not everything.
In the mean time:
3. PETA takes exception to Obama fly-swatting
WASHINGTON — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants the fly-swatter in chief to take a more humane attitude the next time he’s bedeviled by a fly. PETA is sending President Barack Obama a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, a device that allows users to trap a housefly and then release it. During an interview Tuesday, a fly intruded on Obama’s conversation. "Get out of here," the president told the insect. When it didn’t, he put his hand up and then smacked it dead. — The Associated Press
Wanna bet the Katcha Bug never makes it past security?
End of my rant.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Founded in Greenville, Mississippi by Wilbur Hardee, the Hardees restaurant chain has long been the last word in exquisite fine dining. Sadly, they are located mostly east of the muddy Mississippi, while their little brother, Carl's Jr. rules the west. Perhaps fortunate travelers have had opportunity to partake of Hardee's notable fare.
Allow me to present the classic Hardees nutrition facts for your edification. Absolutely stunning the lengths they are willing to travel in a corporate effort to kill off one generation of eaters in hopes another comes around.
To speed the process of mass extinction Hardees has a new breakfast sandwich coming in August. Get ready, its a doozy....
The Fried Bologna Breakfast Biscuit.
Publicly, there has been no corporate announcement regarding the health benefits of such a breakfast, but if history is any guide, you may wish to order a side of angioplasty to go with that.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
This is another example where women are smarter than men. Allow me to explain.
By definition, clothing off the rack fits no one. Its not supposed to, it only gotta be close. A competent tailor can make it fit you later. As systems go, its mostly OK, but falls apart in the details. It implies an informed consumer and a competent tailor. Both are in short supply.
While having suit pants measured or pants altered, the tailor will begin at the waist. Do the pants fit comfortably there? If so, he works his way down. Does the seat fit. Do you want cuffs? Do you want a slight "break" at the bottom.
The photo above is from Alan Flusser's "Dressing the Man". Notice the left illustration. " Cuffed bottoms should rest with a slight break on top of the shoe". "Break" is defined as the amount of folding or creasing of a trouser bottom when it meets and sits on top of the shoe.
So how is this interpreted? Look at the ankles. Looks like hell don't they?
Several things cause this. Gravity is the main culprit. Clothing SHOULD hang from the shoulders. Suits especially. That is why for generations stylish men have worn braces. They hold pants up, far better than a belt will. Over the course of a day belted pants begin to sag, at the waist and down below. The other offender is an overly generous tailor.
Now look at these photos.
Which looks better? The straight elegant line, or the droopy puddle?
I prefer Mr Flusser's mid Atlantic solution. Once I noticed it, I couldn't get how badly the break looks out of my head. Women know the importance of the shoe, and would never intentionally draw attention away from it.
photos from The Sartorialist, and Well Dressed. Thank you.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I am a much better hedge and bush gardener than a flower guy, and that is not saying much. That being said let me introduce to you a product which Mrs. T swears by, Soil Moist.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Unsurprisingly, the catholic church worked overtime to build on top of them, when they could.
I bring this up as a follow up to the darling Meg, of PigTown Design post today on recent monuments. They reminded me of ancient runes.
Runes are a Norse version of Kilroy was here. Nordic explorers would engrave stones along their journeys to leave behind a record of their exploits. Most naturally are in Britain and Ireland, but surprisingly a number have been discovered in North America.
The most famous, The Kensington Stone, was uncovered in the 1890's by a Swedish bachelor farmer pulling tree stumps from his field near Kensington, Minnesota. Researchers will forever dispute the authenticity of the stone, but it tells an incredible story.
"Eight Goths and 22 Norwegians on a journey of exploration from Vinland very far west. We had camp by two rocky islands one day's journey north from this stone. We were out fishing one day. After we came home we found ten men red with blood and dead. AVM save from evil. Have ten men by the sea to look after our ships fourteen days' journey from this island. Year 1362"
Scientists believe the men died of bubonic plague brought with them from Europe. AVM refers to Ave Maria.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The pre WW-II world of the British ex-pat in the far east. Raffles Hotel, Singapore, China, Malay. The weather reminds me a lot of living in the Low Country only with better clothes.
After the master engineers left, and after lunch, Mrs. T decided to leave me alone for the afternoon. It was rainy, so I curled up with TIVO, and re-watched a lot of old movies. The Letter, with Herbert Marshall and Bette Davis.
Bette is cold as ice. It's a role she played a hundred times. Scheming, cheating wife of a decent guy. Half the men in the movie sell their soul to do her bidding. Based on a Maugham short story. The men's clothes are fantastic. Mostly all white, silk suits for day wear, dinner jackets in the evenings. I realize movies are made of magic, but I have never seen such structured clothes move so well in real life. Life in the tropics in uncreasable suits. Go figure.
Another Maugham story based in China, after the first world war. It's gloriously filmed. If you haven't seen it, you must. Naomi Watts is stunning. Its the story of a couple who marry although they barely know each other. She is quickly bored by being a doctor's wife in Shanghai, and has an affair with the British Consul. The good doctor quickly finds out and for revenge drags his wife to the interior to help him fight a cholera epidemic. He's half hoping she dies. She's half expecting to.
The Painted Veil came next.
Over time they mature, appreciate each other and eventually fall in love. I cry every time.
As a period piece it works well. In the hottest weather, in the worst muck, he's buttoned up. Dressed in linen suits, with vest and tie. The suit rumples, shows sweat stains and he doesn't care a wit. The clothes throughout are fantastic. Did I mention Naomi is stunning?
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I have... today.
Since I laughed at Cowboy's passing the gods have not been kind. I acknowledge that and have made amends. Cowboy still is working overtime to make certain that I learn this lesson, and hard.
After a minor flooding rain last night, I awoke to no Internet service. It wasn't restored until almost 6pm. That was mostly OK since I had other troubles to attend to.
We are scheduled to close on our mortgage REFI on Wednesday, and it struck me as odd that I have heard nothing from anyone about when, where, how much, etc. So I called the numb skull loan officer. The conversation went something like this. Oh yeah, I've been meaning to call you. We can't close the loan because....
So we walk through all his becauses. Finally, oh I see the supporting documentation is here on my desk, and I misplaced it. I'll walk the paperwork through underwriting. We probably can't close until next week though. Then I reminded him that we had the same conversation a week ago. Didn't ring a bell.
Next was the driveway. Humans don't live this way, but sometimes we do. Since the drive washed away Mrs. T and I have been playing a little game. We have had her car towed to the other side of the break, and we drive my car to her car, switch, then reverse the process when we arrive at home. Dumb, but effective.
Who do you call to fix something like this? I haven't a clue, so I started with road people. No, not them. Excavators? Excavators are really cool guys, but it turns out they are doers not thinkers. Give them a set of plans they'll do it, but figure it out themselves, no way.
Monday, June 8, 2009
One really odd story popped up this week though. Love does really odd things. Try to imagine this in real life.
Joy and Timmy were married Friday in Switzerland.
Joy is another archer, in training for the 2012 Olympics. Timmy is a rower, and head coach of the Swiss national rowing Team. He was also a member of the British team which won Gold in 2000.
Oddly, Joy's first love was rowing. Each year she would rush out to buy the video of the World Rowing Championship (imagine trying to do that without Google) including one where Timmy was interviewed about a silver medal he had won. "I actually remember saying I want to marry him right then", she said about seeing him for the first time. "He was so humble and so direct-and handsome too."
The couple met in 2001 at a rowing clinic in Spain. Joy had a dislocated shoulder and Timmy offered to cut her food. Romance flourished and the couple returned to London, where she was studying,and he was coaching. After her JYA she returned to America. He stayed in London.
He's quoted as saying he wanted to propose, but well, like you know how long distance relationships are.
Fast forward 7 years with nary a word between them.
Beijing Olympics. Timmy sees Joy's picture in a Polo ad, sends her a Facebook message, and learns she too is in Beijing. They agree to meet. Romance rekindles, they go out a couple of times. He proposed while they are in Beijing. Unhesitatingly she said yes. Now imagine Joy explaining that to her girlfriends and family.
End of Story.
I don't see it myself. In my life experience, had a guy shown up 7 years late, he mighta, shoulda woulda, got kicked to the curb.
My best wishes to all the happy couples. May you be as happy as Mrs. T and I.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
More and more, it seems like people are yelling at me. This is especially noticeable on local and cable news, TV and radio ads, morning, afternoon and late night talk shows, religious channels, entertainment tabloid shows, and, NPR aside, radio. It's almost as if all the news anchors, reporters, product pitchmen, talk show hosts, politicians, sportscasters, DJ's and preachers have forgotten how good modern microphones are. Regardless, the purpose of vanity cards is not just to point out the problem, it's also to propose the solution. And here's one: The Whisper Channel. A cable news channel where everyone, including advertisers, speaks in gentle, dulcet tones. Our marketing tag line will be one word, "shhh." Instead of grinning, shouting, overly-coiffed failed actors, our news anchors will be regular folks with beautiful speaking voices who, just to be on the safe side, have been heavily sedated. Think of it. You've had a brutal day at work. Traffic on the way home was a righteous bitch. You crawl into your home which is worth far less than you paid for it, and, because you want to stay informed, you turn on The Whisper Channel where a pleasant-looking woman with real hair, real nose, real wrinkles, real breasts and teeth the color of teeth, soothingly tells you about the latest terrorist attack, stock market fiasco, school shooting and, just to keep it interesting, emergency recall of the anti-anxiety meds you've been taking because they might cause impotence, blindness and insanity. But because of the way she says it, you are hunky dory. ALTERNATE MARKETING TAG LINE:
the whisper channel...
where human civilization sliding into the abyss
is nothing to shout about.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
My bride sees me as something completely different. In our 13 years together she has at every gift exchanging opportunity bought me clothing. With two notable exceptions, every last gift has been returned within days if not hours.
Frankly, I admire her trying, but you'd think eventually she'd give it up. Not my bride.
So for my birthday she gave me a pair of shoes. They went back.
Today she sent me an email confirmation of another pair of shoes she ordered to replace the ones I returned for my bd. I kid you not, they are the exact duplicates.
Without meaning to be testy I tactfully enquired why I wanted them now, but not then.
It became a tad frosty around the manse. "Well just send them back, if you don't want them".
Apparently, I'm meant to have these, but do I have to wear them?
Friday, June 5, 2009
My dad wore a couple of old standards and I still have strong scent memories of his favorites, Skin Bracer and Old Spice. Beyond those 3, men's fragrances are lost on me.
I do have a list of men's hates though, including :
All of Ralph's catalog.
Remember English Leather? Do they still sell it? I kinda liked the lime though.
Most designer scents.
Some scents just push all the right buttons. I guess that is what they are for.
Ralph's "Lauren" tops all my lists. She had me with one whiff.
"Joy" An oldie but.....
Is anything worse than Estee Lauder's "Beautiful"?
So chime in. Teach me something new. What else should be avoided, sought out?
Thursday, June 4, 2009
We have been blessed as a nation, and we have very often taken advantage of our privileged position. The ugly American, as we are often seen abroad, is also a reality.
So, North America will never be Europe. Our cities are new, our roads are straight. Public transportation is more an ideal than reality for most Americans. We need our cars. We don't have to navigate tiny ancient cart tracks. In America we have roads.
We also have SUV's. They come big, bigger and biggerest. Not only do we need them, but we have somehow persuaded auto manufacturers in countries where cart tracts are still frequently found that we need them to make SUV's also.
That is why it is so easy to establish the value of a single American life.
Mosey down to the local retailer vending the "Smart Car" shown in the first picture. Watch his video about crash test safety, side impact restraints, and its great warranty.
Granted the car is cute, comes in a wide variety of configurations from convertible to sedan, and engine sizes, from mouse to squirrel. Attractive color schemes (all the better to be seen). handles like a go-kart, sips mouse fuel. Sounds like a pretty attractive deal.
Your thinking, wow what a great car for the kids.
So take it for a spin. While you buckle up, keep in mind how uncomfortable you are while sandwiched on the road by tractor trailers looking up at compact cars.
That thought will help you adjust to the notion that every car on the road is much larger than you. Every time you're at a stop light you're in that same tractor trailer tunnel. Even if tractor trailers are no where to be seen.
So what's an American life worth? I figure the cost of a smart car. If you're driving one, you value your life somewhat more than a bike ride, but less than a someone in a used Hyundai. High self esteem drivers need not apply
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I'm married to a woman with no unexpressed opinions. She hates it. How much? She has asked to be forewarned before its appearance so that she can make other plans. She's thinking Airplane, I'm thinking 'Big Daddy". The lower orders have Boss Hogg in mind.
What am I talking about? The white suit, of course.
It's still too cold to bring it out in public, but I did try it on, and take a few turns around the manse. I'm going to like it. It's my first linen suit, I like the wrinkles and rumples. I do not have to make excuses for my slovenly appearance. I like it so much I recently purchased another linen suit. This time in a "natural" tone. Two button, side vents. It's at the tailors.
Also, finally the BB mongrel shirt showed up. I got the idea from Tom Wolfe's tribute to Clay Felker. The Felkers were neighbors to my father in law while he was growing up. Clay is the man who made Tom Wolfe famous.
The shirt is Oxford cloth button down, white collar and french cuffs. Other Toadisms include, no front pocket, placket buttons and side back pleats. The buttons are a bit better than standard BB wares, and the tails seem longer, but I haven't compared. It gets its first public airing later this evening.
Hopefully, soon the weather gods will shine, and the streets of Mayberry will become a bit more dapper.
In 1784, the US Congress created the United States Army on this date. On June 3, 1864seven thousand of their solders were killed in the first 30 minutes of the Battle of Cold Springs Harbor. I was an Air Force guy myself, but I give thanks every day for those who live and die defending us.
In 1937, Mrs. Wallace Simpson was married to the Duke of Windsor. This may have been the best thing to ever happen to Britain. David would have made a horrible war time king. Think back friends, can you think of a more vapid couple than these two?
And solely for our MIA friend Sarte's benefit and pleasure, on this date in 1888, "Casey at the Bat" was published.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Has had the same day job since January, 1963. Married, 45 years to the same woman. Complains of insomnia when away from home, and his wife is not with him. Avoided most of the excesses of the 60's,70,s, and 90"s. A mid-life crisis in mid 80's was a bit rough.
Throat cancer survivor, vegetarian.
Commercial artist, Arabian horse breeder, musician, jazz aficionado, Saville Row habitue, elegant boulevardier, citizen of the world.
The day job involves music. Charlie is the drummer for a rock band. Perhaps you've heard of them. Maybe sent a bit of cash their way. The Rolling Stones.
Passionate about his work. The day band defers to him in all personnel matters, and questions about musical styling.
A famous anecdote relates that in the mid-1980s, an intoxicated Mick Jagger phoned Watts's hotel room in the middle of the night asking where "his drummer" was. Watts reportedly got up, shaved, dressed in a suit, put on a tie and freshly shined shoes, descended the stairs and punched Jagger in the face, saying: "Don't ever call me your drummer again. You're my f-ing singer!"
His night job is leader/drummer for some of the greatest jazz combos of the last 20 years.
Charlie in what may be one of ADG's jackets.
Happy birthday, and thanks for the memories.