Thursday, July 30, 2009

Men and their wallets

From I Luv Fashion

Do men feel the same way about their wallets as women do theirs? I wonder.

It's been my observation that men come in two flavors. They either feel compelled to carry everything they own in their pockets, or they don't. Fit me in the latter category.

As with the ubiquitous tie, carryall men can count on opening that little package each Fathers Day and act surprised when they open a new wallet, just like their old one. They then spend the rest of the day throwing out little scraps of paper and lint, restocking the new wallet, looking at the pictures once more, then slam it into their back pockets.

Their backs hurt and never understand why. God bless them.

My group on the other hand, can't stand things in our pockets. Our wallets, while they reflect nothing of our inner goodness, are selected by us, with care to provide a place for everything. The thought of someone else selecting our wallets sends shivers down our spines. We also tend to keep them forever.

I had the good fortune to find a wallet while in high school, that was to me the last word in what a wallet should be. It was just the right shade of brown, opened the right way, was just the right size. It lasted 35 years. I nearly wept when it died.

After it died I experimented a bit. Never one to live in the past I tried this Bosca breast pocket number. It came well recommended, but somehow it just didn't work for me. I don't always wear a jacket, and this is exactly as long as the front pocket in a pair of Bill's Khakis.

After much trial and error I've settled on something a bit more esoteric. In my working days a major client was an international architectural firm. All of the principals carried a pocket case which held a number of 3X5 index cards. The Ettinger case in the first photo is as close an approximation as I could find.

It works perfectly as a wallet. Just a tad larger than an index card it holds everything I need in practically no space. (Currently holding 5 index cards, drivers lic, 3 credit cards, library card, gym card,and $50.) Built like a tank too. I ought to get another 20 years out of it.

Below is a photo of mine. Fits perfectly in a breast or front pants pocket, and not a 1/2 inch wide.

Try it you'll like it.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waitress Cards?

Perhaps I am not as with it as I had hoped, since I was left slack jawed leaving a local eatery.

Are bars family places? Not necessarily, but most don't mind mom, dad and the kids stopping by for dinner, just as long as they pick up and go pretty quickly. This was one of those places, you could tell that by the waitress suits. Not Hooters skimpy, but.... God, I'm getting old.

The joint had been opened only a couple of weeks. Mrs. T wanted to try it, so with another couple we headed towards the bright lights of the big city. Dinner was bar food, which wasn't unexpected. What may have been unexpected was the servers had no trays.

Whenever an order was ready, a bevy of barmaids, each dressed skimpier than the next appeared, each with one order. Obviously, no one knew who got what, so service was sloppy, and food was cold. No particular reason to return.

Eventually the bill was presented, in our servers "Little Black Book". Cute, eh? Not as cute as the waitress trading card included in her book.

Is that cool or what? Actually our server was Allison, but I traded with the guy at the next table. He had the whole set. As daughter Katy might ask, "could you imagine?"


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The linen jacket

I doubt that I am alone in having clothes in my closet that seemed like a good idea at the time. Generally, if I wait a while, they either grow on me and I love them forever or I see the mistake and rid myself of their memory pretty quickly.

I do like clothes with a bit of a twist. Especially jackets.

This was the first jacket I'd ever had made, and it took a long time to come around to it. It was too stark, too white. Several years on its beginning to mellow wonderfully. The wool is taking on a nicely aged yellowed patina.

From the looks of it, its a standard white dinner jacket. Double breasted, shawl collar. I love shawl collars. Although you can't tell from the photo, its made to button only at the bottom, a style popularized by the Duke of Windsor's more famous brother.

While its never seen a formal dinner, it does get much use as a summer sport coat. With a pair of red, or blue poplin pants its the bees knees. Wear black and your mistaken for a waiter. Super 140 Merino wool, light as a feather.

Several weeks ago I asked your recommendations for a jacket similar to this.
From Mr. Mort

I listened. Thank you for saving me from myself. I did not buy the black linen, as much as I wanted to. Instead I selected this.

It's a 14 ounce, unbleached natural linen. It nowhere near as light as this picture shows. Think the tan in a Eileen Fisher ad.

I spent Monday morning with the tailor.

Within three weeks this scrap of fabric will turn into a one button, shawl collared, patch pocketed, unconstructed jacket. The effect I am going for is almost a sweater (I get cold in A/C). Side vents, surgeon sleeves, sleeve buttonholes outlined in darker brown thread. It will never see a tie, but if all works as I hope, it may get worn out from wear long before its due. If it doesn't a year or two in the closet will fix it.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Soul Storage

Your soul troubling you?

Might I suggest The Soul Storage Company . My initial suspicion was that this may have been a Maxminimus consulting project gone horribly wrong. Further research has shown that it's for real. Nonetheless, their state of the art soul extraction system will quickly and easily unburden you of your unwanted soul and its clinging desires and cares.

Satisfied clients describe soullessness as being lighter and more care free. Dark moods pass more quickly, earthly desires less intense. An ideal situation for most overstressed urbanites since your soul is not responsible for your actions when it's not with you.

Should you want your soul back it can easily be returned, although it's recommended that not do this more than 6 or 7 times a year.

Additionally, this being a full service organization, you can try on someone else's soul for a while. Rent one, rent yours out. (Safer and more profitable than selling blood on the Internet) They have many available, some in your area. Try several on, its OK.

Think of your soul as a timeshare. Take it when you want it, let someone else worry about it when you don't.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ms. Mindless

Ms. Mindless of Mindless Musings is being married today. I am very happy for Mrs. M, and the lucky man who will share his life with her.

I found Ms. M's blog just prior to beginning mine. It has been a secret goal of mine to write as well and as funny about every day occurances as she manages to do. I'll never match her wit and panache, but it doesn't keep a boy from trying.

I can't wait for the pictures from the wedding and reception.

Best Wishes, Ms. M from Mrs. T, myself and all of us here.


Friday, July 24, 2009

This just in

I've had weddings on my mind for the past day or so. I'll more fully explain why tomorrow.

I must have been sending out some kind of vibe, since out of the blue daughter Katy sent this to me with the tag, "Could you even imagine?"

This would never fly in a suburban Catholic church, and maybe not yours either, but it's not my wedding to judge. The kids look like they are having fun,and they end up just as married as the couple married by a bishop.

So take a couple of minutes out of your busy day, and wear a smile every time you think of this.


Thursday, July 23, 2009


Once upon a time we had a VCR. A movie was never played on it in the 5 years we had it. It lived on the dresser in Mrs. T's office (our bedroom) and was set to daily tape Oprah and Dr. Phil. This system worked perfectly well.

About the time we moved, some idiot gave Oprah a TIVO. My life hasn't been the same since.

I caught stupid. If Oprah loved hers, why wouldn't Mrs. T love one too. The VCR began to smoke, so one evening while at Best Buy I bought a TIVO.

Initially sceptical, Mrs. T took to it like a duck to water. Within hours she had it mastered. No longer content with recording Oprah and Dr. Phil, she recorded season passes for every wedding, birthing, home remodeling and doctor program on television. Peace reigned supreme in our household.

A year of two later, we received a big screen HD television for Christmas. A new TV required a digital TIVO. Would it surprise you to know the big screen was set up in Mrs. T's office? We haven't watched a live program since.

Unfortunately, the new TIVO had 6 times the recording capacity as the old, so the old TIVO was sloughed off to me. Our viewing habits couldn't be more different.

I tend towards the old movie, PBS side of the equation. Here's what's on mine.

Mrs. T's is somewhat different.

Naturally, its a friendly battle, but if one of use needs a little space, all they have to do is turn on their TIVO. The room clears pretty quickly.

If you do have a TIVO make certain to connect it your home network. There are a surprising number of goodies hidden away.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Report Day

I've lost two consecutive nights sleep lately, and frankly I don't mind so much. Recently, I asked for book suggestions to fill in my meagre background of immediate post war Southeast Asia. I received two great suggestions that I want to pass on. Thank you ADG and ignorance arbitrage for your suggestions. I didn't need the sleep anyway.

The Golden Boy, by Martin Booth
Martin Booth was the 8 year old son of a low level British naval employee who was sent to Hong Kong in 1952. The Golden Boy is a memoir written to his children shortly before his death. of his 3 years there. In many respects he had a horrific childhood, as his father was a drunken martinet more concerned with appearances than his family. His mother and he loved Hong Kong, and had many adventures in and around the community trying desperately to keep out of his father's way. Father accused them of going native.

Typically the English rulers never saw, or got to know the city. A young boy, who secretly learned Chinese and his daring mother did. Theirs is a Hong Kong which probably no longer exists but for several years it was heaven.

Incidentally, after returning to Britain in 1955, at the end of dad's tour, they returned to Hong Kong for good in 1958. That was probably a better story, but one Mr. Booth did not live to tell.

The Great Fire: by Shirley HazzardThe Great Fire is story of the forbidden love of a thirty something year old English war hero with the teen aged daughter of a tyrannical Australian medical administrator in occupied Japan.

While our hero struggles to do the right thing, love keeps dragging him closer to destruction. With 20 pages to go, and sunlight rising I couldn't figure out how it would end gracefully.

I'm not much of a novel reader, but this pushed all the right buttons.

So I'm still searching. If you have any recommendations novel, biography or history of the returning expats to Southeast Asia immediately following the end of WWII, please let me know.


Monday, July 20, 2009

So who'd want her?

I am in no position to give dating advice. I've been out of the game too long, and was never very good at it to begin with, so take some of this with a smidgen of salt.

Mrs. T and I each have our separate TIVO's. Our viewing habits are dissimilar at best. Mine is filled with old movies, and hers has EVERY reality, dating, bride and birthing show aired. Both are full. Mine has 40 hours storage, Mrs. T's 240.

That being said, I generally, do not get to see the Bachelorette. I think its on the same time as curling, but I've caught enough walking through the room to gather that the current bride to be is not much of a catch,and may in fact be a living, breathing, walking demonstration of how not to date. Let me offer several examples.

If you haven't seen the program allow me to offer a bit of background. Ladies correct where necessary.

The bachelorette is a youngish woman, who in normal circumstances could get a date. She is attractive, out going and alleges to be fun. She wants badly to get married NOW.

She is then presented with 2 dozen single, model type guys who also appear to be fun, and available for marriage. The bachelorettes job is to whittle the eligibles down until she finds the guy of her dreams. In 8 years its only happened once, but that is neither here nor there. Hope springs eternal.

In the course of whittling the eligibles we are shown the B'ette in a number of vignettes where she gets to know about the boys, and opens up about herself, both in group and one on one settings. This is where we come to find that this woman is in trouble.

So what's so wrong? Guys if you're still here I need you now. Remember when I mentioned she wants to get married NOW? OK, so guys in their late 20's and early 30's want to get married too. Not necessarily NOW. We want to get to know a woman a bit, know her family, understand who it is we're waking up with in the morning. Meet her friends.

A few months competition on a TV game show doesn't count. Leading with I want to get married NOW, may make for good televison amongst the sisterhood, but is something of a turn off.

She's anxious to start a family. Boys understand the biological imperative. Few are driven by it. Nothing is scarier than meeting a woman and being confronted with, not only do I want to get married NOW, I'm looking to start a family Now too. Most guys run away quickly at this point. Ladies, while the biological imperative may be true, keep it to yourself. Big Turnoff.

Finally, the overnight dates. When the B'ette narrows the field down to a manageable 3 or 4, the contestants are offered an overnight date. Sort of a try before you buy scenario. Call me a prude, but I'm wondering how this is working for her? You're guy number three and you know every guy in the room has tried her already. Not something you're looking for in wife material. He might try, he won't buy, knowing all his friends have been there first.

I wish her luck, but she's been dealt a poor hand, and either doesn't know how to play it, or can't. Not gonna turn out well.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Want your name in the paper?

All of your life you've read the Times wedding section. Seen the beautiful brides, fantasized about the church, the ceremony, your spouse to be. And dagnabbit, you've work hard, done the right thing, found the right partner, and you deserve for your wedding announcement to appear in the Sunday NYT vows section.

So how do you go about it? Go Bridezilla on them and your toast.

According to a recent story in the Times, its not all that hard. You just have to complete the following info and submit. They are looking for achievers, so you better have done something worthwhile. If your submission makes the first cut, every blessed thing you submit will be fact checked, six times to Sunday so DO NOT LIE. Revisions to the rules are coming soon, but I doubt it will make it easier to get in. You have about a 1 in 5 chance of making it.

How to Submit an Announcement

To submit news of your celebration to The New York Times, please observe the following instructions closely.
Weddings and commitment ceremonies are reported in the Sunday Styles pages and on the Web at We report ceremonies taking place during the previous six days. Events that take place on a Sunday are reported on the day of the ceremony. The timing is governed by the date of the formal event. Submissions are rewritten, fact-checked and edited according to the standards of The Times.

Engagement notices are no longer published.

Please send in requests for weddings or commitment announcements at least six weeks before the event. Although we sometimes consider submissions received after that deadline, we give preference to those received first.

The Times does not charge for publishing these news articles — but space is limited, and we cannot guarantee publication.

Your request must be typewritten and include the full names of the couple, the date of their event and the approximate time of day. We need their addresses, schooling and occupations. Also mention any noteworthy awards that the couple may have received, as well as charitable activities and/or special achievements. We also ask that you tell us how the couple met.

We also require information on the residences and occupations of the couple’s parents. Please include this information even if the parents are no longer living.

In the case of a wedding, a civil union or a partnership registration, we must have the name of the person who will sign the official certificate. Please give the exact title and affiliation. For an interfaith event, please include the names and affiliations of any other officiants who will participate. Please also state the exact location of the event.

All announcements must include daytime, evening and cellphone numbers for the couple and their parents. We also need the office phone numbers for those performing the ceremony. Please identify each number. Submissions without telephone numbers cannot be considered.

If you wish, you may demonstrate your preferences by following the form of an announcement that has appeared in our Sunday newspaper.

Our policy on photographs has changed. While we continue to include formal portraits of couples and individual brides, we also include full-length images of brides in wedding dresses, as well as informal photographs of individuals or couples at home, outdoors or in other attractive settings. Those posing for pictures should be neatly dressed, and the images should be of professional quality. Five-by-seven or eight-by-ten prints are preferred. They may be either black-and-white or color.

Couples posing for pictures should arrange themselves with their eyebrows on exactly the same level and with their heads fairly close together. Couple pictures should be printed in a horizontal format.

Please be sure to write the couple’s names and the date of the event on the back, and include the photographer’s name if credit is required. Photographs altered in any fashion are not accepted. And pictures cannot be returned.

If necessary, photographs can be submitted under separate cover, but they should be delivered to The Times, at the address given below, at least 10 days before the date of the event. Please note that while pictures may be sent by regular mail, recent events have dramatically slowed delivery. To ensure that your photo reaches us on time, we suggest sending it by overnight delivery or messenger service.

Guidelines for Sending Images by E-mail
Image requirements: - JPEG file format- File compression size of 9 or more- RGB color- 300 DPI at an 8x10 size (or 10 inches on the longest dimension).- File size of 12mgs or more (this will be determined by the above).

Other suggestions: - Please try to avoid images with red-eye.- Images should be sharp, in focus.- Try to avoid busy or confusing backgrounds.- Try to select an image where couple's heads and eyes are on the same level.

If you wish to have us consider your event for the Sunday “Vows” column, please prepare a duplicate submission, along with a covering letter giving details about the planned ceremony and reception. Tell us about how the couple met. Please direct your request to the “Vows” column.
Where to Send the Information
By e-mail:
By fax: 212-556-7689. (Fax users will not receive confirmation of delivery.)
By mail or overnight courier: Society News, 4th floor, The New York Times, 620 Eighth Ave., N.Y. 10018. (If you would like to verify receipt of your submission, please also include a stamped, self-addressed postcard with your mailing.)

Again, please note that we cannot guarantee publication. If your announcement is selected, you will be telephoned by a member of our staff a few weeks before the event.

If questions remain, you may telephone the Society News desk at (212)-556-7321. Because of the volume of requests, we may not be able to reply immediately.

How to Submit Yourself for Our 'Vows' Video Series
Please submit your wedding announcement for consideration to the paper before being considered for the video series (see above).

If you would like to be considered for our Vows video series, please send an e-mail to Please include the following information in your e-mail:
1) The full name of the bride and groom and contact information, including address and phone numbers, for both.
2) The date of your wedding.
3) How did you first meet?
4) Who proposed and how?
5) Is there anything else that you would like us to know?
6) Do you have any home video of the two of you that you would be willing to share?
If you are selected for the series, a Times producer will contact you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Camilla's Birthday

Since Fairchild's too early retirement from the motor pool, automobile maintenance and care have fallen on my shoulders. Frankly, I've done a lousy job of it.

A perfect storm of the hole in the barn roof, the bridge washing away and troubled economic times have kept Camilla home far too long. I am unsure if it latent Roman guilt from my youth, or adult onset conscience, but it feels unseemly to travel the highways and byways in a giant luxo barge when so many people are hurting

With that out of the way, today is Camilla's birthday. On this date in 1977 she left the Rolls Royce factory in Crewe, for her voyage to America.

I had to celebrate such a momentous day somehow, so after getting my daily chores out of the way, I brought her to the house for a day at the spa. She has been washed, waxed, had the leather seats conditioned, and good vacuuming and window wash, and she looks as good as new.

Then it was off to a day on the road. Bentley's need driving and Camilla showed how she had been neglected. Another few hours with spanner and grease gun in hand she finally ran as well as she looked. Good for another 32 years I hope.

And yes, mother nature is still in charge, so it did rain on her as soon as I was completed.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Add your two cents worth

Photo from Mr. Mort

I think I want a linen sport coat. Just like this one. Heavy weight linen, say 300 grams, probably black. Unlined, open patch pockets, surgeon cuffs, side vents. What am I missing?

So what brought that on all of the sudden? I spent a bit of yesterday afternoon with my dear friend the Polish tailor. Last fall I had a modern Blackwatch plaid sport coat made, that I was never really happy with. For multiple reasons it just didn't fit well.

So, being bored, I spent a little time cleaning up my closet and came across it. In a fit of pre-planning I'd rarely experienced in my life, thought why not get it fixed in advance of when I need it. Sounds like a plan.

In pure tailor speak, he led with, put on a little weight huh? I allowed that for once that wasn't the case,and to prove it, I had brought the jacket he made the month prior to the blackwatch. Fits like a dream.

So now I wait, but while there I fell in love with a piece of black linen fabric.

By the way, our friend Cristoffer, of the Well Dressed blog gave up the ghost yesterday. His blog shall be missed.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ever hear of a bark beetle?

I feel that much like religion, each person has to come to their own conclusions about where they stand on environmental issues and accept their personal responsibility towards the stewardship of their own patch of green. I am neither an alarmist or proselytizer so I'm not going to preach, and I have no desire to persuade you to act one way or another. Today, I just want to make you aware of something that has happened already. The fun part comes later.

Several weeks ago, I wrote somewhat tongue in cheek about the financial troubles facing California. I was surprised by the locals who responded that the real war will begin and end with water. I didn't realize until recently how much that was in jeopardy.

My youngest son, Bunky, is a federal forest fire fighter, serving this summer near Colorado Springs, Colorado. He lives in Portland, Oregon off season. I think he fits in pretty well there.

Last week he and his crew were "invited" to attend a co workers funeral near Steamboat Springs, and he came back with a story which shook him to the quick.

The Colorado River headwaters are in the middle of a 2.5 million acre dead forest. Bark Beetles have infested the pine forests in Colorado and southern Wyoming and killed virtually every pine tree in the area. Another 5.5 million acres in surrounding areas are also dead. Bunky said it is a sight beyond compare. Dead trees everywhere, as far as the eye can see. 12,000 square miles worth.

When, not if, the fires come, they will be virtually humanly unstoppable. How, why, do you cut down 8 million acres of dead forests of unusable timber? How many lives do you risk? This isn't a projection, its not part of some profound group think experiment, it already happened, its real, today. You can go see for yourself.

According to Congressional testimony by the fire service last month, 33 million Americans get a quarter of their drinking water from the Colorado River. San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tuscon are dependant on the Colorado. Fires in the headwaters will affect erosion, run off, snow melt and the quality and quantity of water available for years. And there is not a practical thing anyone can do to stop the spread of the beetle infestation, the fires, or the inherent risks of the dead forests in the federal forests.

So, if you have the opportunity to camp or vacation in the west this summer, keep your camp fires under control (I worry about Bunky a great deal). Take lots of pictures. Your children and grandchildren will never see western forests like that again.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Graydon Carter - Cool Guy

As a kid, I was never much of a Mad Magazine fan. My buds and I were too busy to find much time to read, and we blew all our grass cutting money on french cars and motor boats.

In the spring of 1970 though, a new magazine emerged. The National Lampoon. It was irreverent, topical, funny and strongly directed at college age males. I was hooked immediately, and can still recite verbatim many of the first several issues. The creativity level died pretty quickly though,and by the time the movies came out it was a hollow shell of its former existence.

Fast forward 15 years or so. Another new magazine arrived aiming at the demographic of the original National Lampoon reader, now in his 30's. You remember it as Spy Magazine.

Spy, like NP was topical, satirical, funny, and at times nearly libelous. Occasionally, you be amazed to find a hard hitting investigative piece which would knock your socks off. The recession of the late 80's crippled it, and it was killed it off too soon in the early 90's. It's creator was today's birthday boy, Graydon Carter.

Carter sold off his share of Spy and knocked around journalism awhile. In 1992, after Tina Brown left for the New Yorker, he became editor in chief of Vanity Fair, a position which has given him access to the world of celebrity, wealth and power for nearly 20 years.

Blogging buddy, on hiatus, Sartre hates VF but reads it regularly. I like the magazine a great deal, but get to it infrequently. Like most of us, I enjoy looking at beautiful people, but unlike Jon Goesselin I don't ever want to get caught up in the mix. Fortunately, for me, it ain't never gonna happen.

So the years have been good to him. He's put on a pound or two. Owns the Waverly Inn, his own restaurant in NY. Shows up in a movie here and there. Is a well known raconteur, and pretty good guy considering all that he is surrounded by. There is a marvelous book about Graydon's unique management style, "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" by Toby Young. Catty!!

I'd kill for his hair.

Here's to today's cool guy, Graydon Carter. Happy Birthday.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Preparing for Bastille Day

Allow me to preface this by publicly stating "I love the French".

I love their arrogance, their smugness, some of their food, most of their wine, and am thankful for their contributions to American culture. I am glad they are around.

That's why I was caught off guard recently doing a bit of research on our local community. Eastern Missouri was a decidedly French outpost. The earliest explorers were French. Cities, rivers and churches were given French names, there are even small very rural communities within a short drive from Mayberry where the locals speak almost exclusively French. Go figure.

Archaeological digs nearby have shown that people lived in Mayberry over a thousand years ago. I presume the earliest white men to come through here were trappers in the early 1700's. The earliest churches in the area were built by French priests in the 1790's.

The Park however was originally part of a Spanish land grant given in 1797. Approximately every 40 years throughout the 1700's this area traded hands from the Spanish to the French, and back again. The last trade was 1798 when it was reclaimed by France only to change once again during the Louisiana Purchase.

The only sign the Spanish were ever here is a Catholic church 5 miles down river. Now Mexicans, that's a whole 'nothr story.

Locally, we cherish our French heritage, no matter how big a stretch it is to think that it includes us.

Celebrate your frenchness tomorrow. You deserve it.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another day in paradise

This is something I rarely say, but check out the rack on this GUY!

click on the photo

You can understand why I get so happy when even weeds flower, as long as we have eating machines like this around.


Thursday, July 9, 2009


Have you tried it?

For those on vacation, Microsoft has once again copied another's product instead of doing something unique. Their new foray is called Bing, its a search engine which aims to compete with Google's. Frankly, it's not bad, and that is coming from a died in the wool Microsoft hater.

Competition makes the product better and in some ways Bing trumps.

Take a look at the image search function. Comes without the clutter of Google.

Standard search is so so but many of the more esoteric features work very well.

Give it a shot. It will make Google better.


My Favorite Beauty Secret

You've seen the ads. A cosmetics maker takes a teenager, doctors her photo so that her parents couldn't pick her out of a lineup and adds some stupid caption about how at 45 she's glad she looks 10 years younger.

Give me a break. Do as I do.

Lie about your age. Blatantly.

For the past 20 years, when asked, I've added 5 years to my age. Why?

Well to look at me, knowing my "real" age one would get the impression I was near deaths door. A foot in the grave so to speak.

But add 5 years to that, and folks begin to say, for god sake he doesn't look too bad.

Try it, it works every time.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nupts, an irregular series

As condensed and retold form the Sunday July 5, 2009 New York Times

First, I wouldn't have thought that the July 4th weekend would be a wedding biggie. Was I wrong.

Erika and Ted At heart, I am a sap for a good story, especially a good love story. Their story has elements of all the great movies you have ever seen, the fantasies you've conjured, and a beautiful ending.

Ted and Erika met 17 years ago in high school. He was a wrestler and cartoonist, Erika was the new kid, a transfer student focused on her love of equestrian show jumping. The girl was disciplined, and had little time for socializing. At a graduation party she told him she had a crush on him. he replied" I've had a crush on you since the moment I met you". After that they were an item.

August, she went to college in Colorado Springs, while he stayed home. By October the distance became too great. They broke up. He tried to keep it going, but to no avail. So he made a vow, " I will never date you again".

So Ted got on with his life, moved around the country for a while, writing long letters he never sent, but he still kept tabs on her. Friends would tell him Erika is going this, Erika is doing that, but he never contacted her.

In the mean time, Erika got on with her life too. She never found Mr. Right, but she never called Ted, remembering his vow.

In 1988 they were each living in NY but had minimal contact. Then in 2007 he emailed her, inviting her for a drink. Ted was in a 3 year relationship, but couldn't pull the trigger, stymied by his memories of Erika.

Erika was late, but he didn't notice. They had a quick drink, hugged on the sidewalk, she walked around the corner and cried hysterically.

Another year goes by without contact, then out of the blue he invites her to a reunion for a mutual friend. By the end of the evening they were goners. Remember his girlfriend? Kicked to the curb.

Six months later they were engaged, six months after that they were married.

I think they'll make it.

Allegra and Richard: A common story of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, but with a twist. "The couple were married on their birthday" Odd?

Priscilla and Derick:The bride 34 is in her final year of a 4 year dual degree program at Columbia. Picking up a MS in Nursing, and Masters in Public Health.

Derick, 40, is the communications officer of the Texas State Library in Austin, Tex.

What, they couldn't wait a year? Any thoughts?

Last story

Jana and Robert: The couple met in 6th grade, where they attended classes together. When they shared a gym class in 11th grade, she developed a crush on the shy unsuspecting lad. He accepted her invitation to the Junior Prom, and they have been together ever since.

On Jana's 21 birthday the suave, devil Robert proposed in Nordstom in Seattle of all places. He didn't have any money or a ring, so he gave her a pair of Chanel sunglasses. Later, after taking work he presented Jana with one of his great-grandmother's rings, which he had reset.

Says the bride, "It actually has more diamonds than his great-grandmother had. I designed it and made it more modern, so now it's my own."

Secretly, I have my doubts about these two, but I wish them the best.

And to all the happy couples I offer this one wish. May you each be as happy as Mrs. T and I all the days of your lives.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A friendly fight

Ladies and gentlemen I offer for your consideration a question I raised with fellow blogger Cristoffer, of the Swedish blog, Well Dressed.

The photos below have been shamelessly borrowed, with permission, from his July 6 post.

I commented to this post with the question," have you noticed how short the jackets are in your posts? Is that a Swedish thing, or do Americans wear their jackets too long?"

The reply was that Americans, (and by implication the British), wear their jackets TOO long.

Now obviously several things come into play. Age of wearer, culture, class, race .... , but I was taught that jackets should cover the wearer's rear end. Supposedly that is derived from the drape of hacking jackets. There is a lot of arcania abounding length, but simply put, a man standing should be able to cup his hands under the hem of his jacket.

So, are our jackets too long?

Am I simply too old to see the cool factor of shorter jackets

Are the Swedes all wet, and should we bomb them back to the stone age, or flood them with global warming?

I await your erudition.


Monday, July 6, 2009

The Long and short of the driveway

Loose lips sink ships

British spy chief's cover blown on Facebook

Posted on - Mon Jul 6, 2009 8:23AM EDT
LONDON (Reuters) -

The wife of the new head of Britain's spy agency has posted pictures of her husband, family and friends on Internet networking site Facebook, details which could compromise security, a newspaper said on Sunday.

Sir John Sawers is due to take over as head of the Secret Intelligence Service in November. The SIS, popularly known as MI6, is Britain's global intelligence-gathering organization.
In what the Mail on Sunday called an "extraordinary lapse," the new spy chief's wife, Lady Shelley Sawers, posted family pictures and exposed details of where the couple live and take their holidays and who their friends and relatives are.

The details could be viewed by any of the many millions of Facebook users around the world, but were swiftly removed once authorities were alerted by the newspaper's enquiries.
"There were fears that the hugely embarrassing blunder could have compromised the safety of Sir John's family and friends," the newspaper said.

Publishing the story on its front page and the pictures on a double-page spread, the Mail on Sunday said the information "could potentially be useful to hostile foreign powers or terrorists."
It was the latest in a string of security blunders, lapses and leaks by British officials that have embarrassed the government of embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

(Writing by Jon Hemming; Editing by Jerry Norton)

We should all be grateful to The Mail for passing on this "potentially useful" info. The world is a safer place for their sacrifice.

The years have been good to.....

Bjorn Borg

I'm not a particularly interested tennis fan, but even I could recognize that Bjorn was a gifted player. I never thought he was particlarly good looking and the wispy beard needed to go, and while I could see his abilities, the whole big hair era left me cold.

I much prefered rooting for local boy Jimmy Conners and his Playboy centerfold wife. However, since some of you enjoy gratuitous photos of man/boys in tight shorts I thought I would begin our story there.

I happened to be watching a bit of Wimbledon, Friday morning, and the camera briefly panned on Mr. Borg. I was awed. The things that money, a haircut, good tailor, the sweet Swedish air, and a little sunshine can to for a boy.

My wish for you is that we should all age so gracefully.

While he may be startling good looking, I am not yet willing to line his pockets by trying out his brand of intimate apparel.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 5th of July and the Driveway.

First, allow me to admit I will not be attending Michael Jackson memorial services in LA this week. In a just world, Diana Ross might give them a miss too. What a bullet she dodged.

So I wanted to write about how well the driveway project went. The crew finally did show up , the EPA rep showed up, and everything was hunkey dorey. All this in fact happened, and everything would have turned out alright except.

Except that the contractor failed to listen to my one word of caution to him, and it rained like nobodies business while we were away.

Our culvert is in three sections, lake side, middle, and drain side. As the boys began the project I reminded them that the middle and drain side sections were not connected very well. Yea yea yea. "We'll take care of it...."

They didn't. The concrete pour was Thursday, it rained Friday and all day Saturday I got more water from under the culvert than through it.

Now, they start over at their expense.


Thanks Mrs. News Reading and More Odds and Ends

I'm a reasonably patient guy. I can be an impulsive shopper at times, but generally I'll mull an idea around for a while before pulling the trigger. There may be half a dozen wish list items rolling around my fantasy closet at any one time, and slowly but surely I'll either succumb, or give up the ghost.

That said my list just got shorter.

Long time reader, and now Channeling Bunny contributor, News Reading Wife, of the award winning blog, Breaking News sent me an email, earlier this week regarding an item she wanted to post on Channeling Bunny. Hooray I said, and she promised to post soon. In our exchange of emails I asked her if she knew about "The Man".

"The Man" is the logo of Wm King Clothiers in Bristol Tennessee. Southern Proper made a batch of custom ties for the shop and I have long wanted one, based upon the picture on Southern Proper's Custom page.

In about a minute she replies they only have bow ties and only in navy blue. She had to be in the store, it's the only excuse for knowing this. Five minutes later, my wallet is lighter.

My tie arrived today. Thank you News Reading Wife.

2. Once again I come hat in hand seeking your recommendations.
Continuing on my Somerset Maugham theme, I looking for a book suggestion. What I am looking for ideally a history ( a novel will do in a pinch) that picks up where Maugham left off in Southeast Asia.

Ideally,set in the period immediately following the end of the Second World War, but before the Viet Nam War. Something other than the Quiet American.

What I want to know is, what happened when the Dutch and Brit ex-pats returned to their rubber and tea plantations and tried to pick up the pieces

Any ideas?

3. Driveway tomorrow, I promise.

Have a SAFE and happy holiday my friends.


Mrs. Slocum

First Wendy, now Mrs. Slocum.

British actor Mollie Sugden, best known in America as Mrs. Slocum on "Are You Being Served", died Wednesday after a long illness. She was 86.

She and her "pussy" will be long remembered by her many fans.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ed Herrmann- Cool Guy

I've always had the sense while watching Ed Herrmann at work, that I was seeing the real deal. That he's not acting. The man on the stage, or film, or television is whomever he portrays.

I would love to learn, in real life, he's an incoherent, gibbering wildebeest. In fact I know better, he is a gentleman, scholar, family man and car nut.

I've met Ed several times at at events sponsored by a car club we each belong to. He can out Jay Leno when he gets rolling about "his"car. Jay's breadth of car knowledge is otherwise untouchable.

One of his better regular gigs is being the MC for the annual Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance, the supreme test of ultra rich car nuts in America.

Many of his roles over the years have had the same basic format. Eastern, patrician, well educated, establishment guy. He has been the "voice" for Chrysler for over a dozen years, a television staple for 30 years, and I understand that the History Channel is to be renamed the Herrmann Channel due to the frequency of his work there.

On those few occasions I have met him, one would get the impression he works in his own clothes. Always classic, in a Tradional manner, comfortable and never full of himself.

My nomination for cool guy.


Thanks to Will of A Suitable Wardrobe for the Pebble Beach photo.