Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Is Why Government Exists

Otherwise you wouldn't know.

Let us give thanks that February is over.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Apologies to Oz

Mrs. T's favorite child graduated from Tulane 5 years ago. Immediately he went to work for a company which promised to work him to death, pay him well, give him lots of experience,and if he held up, give him a 1 month paid in full, anywhere in the world for two, sabbatical at the end of 5 years. That would be July.

But boys are different from girls.

The Friday before Valentine's he told his great boss, thanks, but I've had enough, I'm leaving the end of the month. Since his employer had heard that story before, he took the news in stride.

Girls would have stuck it out, at least until after sabbatical time.

His first call, after giving notice was to his sister, Mindy. You remember her.

" You're on spring break the first week of March aren't you?"
"Wanna go to Australia?"

They left this morning with no more planning than you gave to picking up the morning paper. She's back in 10 days. He's staying a week or so longer.

To all my friends in Oz, I'm sorry to drop our problem on you. A week or 2 with 100+F temps may make the rest of winter in Madison, Wisconsin seem more bearable.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Separated at birth?

Mike Greenberg, ESPN

Famed boob guy, Dr Rey

TV's Dr. Fixit Fox, Dr. Oz


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I picked up a new summer wardrobe

I am ever so grateful that traditional men's clothing rarely goes out of style. I'd be sunk.

While putting away the summer clothes last fall, I got a glimpse of what was in the back, all that I could have worn if......

And it really pissed me off.

So I decided to do something about it.

Around the time our SIL invited Mrs. T to join her at WW, I returned to the gym. 5 days a week. I began by taking baby steps. 3 years ago I couldn't walk due to a knee injury, and I never want to repeat that.

Eventually, I began to crawl. I told myself I was a more virtuous person, just by showing up. Male ego is fragile and needs constant stroking.

Now I'm at least standing up, and still showing up. 5 days per week.

Funny thing though. I haven't lost an ounce, but have lost beaucoup inches. I lost a suit size, and while I should be proud of that, I factor in the necessary shame that goes along with putting on the girth. It all evens out.

So since the weather was lousy all weekend, and I had Sunday to myself I went back to the summer clothes storage closet to see what turned up.

Thus far I have recovered all that you see here. An extra 6 pair of pants, a BB seersucker and a Cable Car poplin suit.

And a couple of spring sport coats.

Another suit size and the world is my oyster. Summer without the shopping. How novel.


Looking for 11 co-conspirators

You didn't really believe that summer without shopping bit, did you?

Buddy ADG at Maxminimus started an itch with this shoe.

I have the same opinion of GTH shoes as I do pants. Everyone needs at least one pair. However, I draw the line at dropping a wad on what are at best a private joke amongst insiders.

"Look at me's" don't need to start in the 4 figures.

That said, I believe every man's wardrobe should have at least one great pair of summer shoes. In the warmer climes a guy can get away with a lot, and not look like he's wearing clown shoes. Problem is there is not a lot to choose from.

ADG's post got me thinking. The greenie stickem caps are clearly shell cordovan Aldens. Saturday, I went to my local Alden buddies and asked them, what else ya got for summer? "What do ya want?" they replied.

Seems Alden will make anything, in any size, for an order of 12 pair.

So I'm looking for co-conspirators. Who needs a great pair of summer shoes?


My preference is for brown.

Blue Suede?

If we can find 11 like minded souls, Alden is at our beck and call. Any style, any last, any leather, any color, any trim, and it needn't cost an arm or a leg.

If you want to play email me.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tiger you owe me nothing by Roland S. Martin

Editor's note: Roland S. Martin, a CNN political analyst, is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith," and the forthcoming book, "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host of a one-hour Sunday morning news show.

(CNN) -- When Eldrick "Tiger" Woods joined the ranks of professional golf a dozen years ago, it was via the heralded "Hello, World" Nike commercial. When he steps to the podium Friday to speak to an assembled group of friends, colleagues and journalists, the world will truly be watching to see and hear the greatest golfer of this generation talk about the sordid events over the last three months that have kept him off the golf course and shredded his well-cultivated image and reputation.

The broadcast networks will air live reports with their main anchors there to report and comment on every word; the cable nets will undoubtedly have multiple individuals ready for instant analysis; and millions will tune in to hear Tiger likely apologize and possibly say if and when he will return to competitive golf.

He isn't expected to take any questions, and that has made for an angry bunch of columnists and commentators, denouncing Woods for calling a news conference to make a statement, and not undergo the grilling many want to give him.

Woods hasn't even said a word, and already he's been called a spoiled, petulant child who has lived in a sheltered world of handlers since he was 2 years old. Some have even gone as far as saying nothing has changed about him and he's showing that he is just as selfish and self-absorbed as ever.

Tiger, let me be as clear as I can as to whether you owe me or the American people an explanation of the events surrounding your car accident Thanksgiving weekend: Hell no.
I repeat: Tiger, you don't owe me or anyone else anything!

I'm sick of these sanctimonious folks who are blabbering about Woods needing to be grilled about his private behavior. Look, Tiger Woods didn't cheat on me. He's not my daddy, brother, cousin, church member, neighbor or friend. He didn't let me down or crush my view of him. He is not and never was my role model.

The only people he owes a grand apology are his wife, momma, family, maybe his friends, and his children, when they come of age. He doesn't have to work hard for me to trust him again. The most important audience he has to satisfy is a very small group of people.
That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Ever since I was 14, my desire was to be journalist. And in the last 27 years, I've covered it all. In all of those years, I've never believed I was entitled to ask anyone a question. If it was at a county government board meeting in Austin, Texas, or a city council meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, public officials made a choice to talk to me and other journalists. It's our duty to ask; it's not their obligation to answer.

Yes, they were public figures, but no matter how many times I asked the same question, they didn't have to talk to the media. Should they? Yeah. Must they? No.

Every sports league has a rule requiring their locker rooms to be open to the media shortly after a game ends. Athletes are required to make themselves available or face a fine, but there is nothing that says they must answer our questions. If they choose to expound on what happened in a game, that's their decision. But their personal life? That choice is all up to them.

We have had to bear witness to all kinds of allegations about Tiger, the married sports star and successful product pitchman, being involved in a variety of affairs with cocktail waitresses, party girls, and porn stars. The details have gone from freaky to bizarre. His reputation has taken a substantial hit; companies he endorsed have removed his face from billboards and canceled contracts; and by multiple (and unsubstantiated) accounts, his marriage is hanging by a thread.
Yet still, he doesn't owe the American public or me a damn thing.

Meryl Streep has always earned my respect. When you see magazine cover stories on her, such as the recent one in Vanity Fair, she will talk about a host of subjects and pose for a ton of photos, but her family is off limits. She makes it clear: I'll talk about the work, not my home life.
Jodie Foster is the same way. If she is scheduled to discuss a movie, anything work-related is fine. But when you start asking about the father of her children, her love life and anything personal, she shuts you down quickly. In fact, her folks will let you know before the interview what the rules are. She's consistent and clear.

Intensely private people choose to remain that way, whether loving and faithful couples or a married athlete who is accused of bedding anyone and everyone.

Someone's personal life is just that, personal. None of us have the right to know what's going on in someone else's life when they are out of public view, especially if no laws were broken.
I've been clear that I'm a huge Tiger Woods fan. I've walked inside the ropes of many golf tournaments he's played in; shot hundreds of photos of him that hang on my wall; and count an interview with his father, Earl Woods, as one of my all-time favorites. But journalists need to cut the crap when it comes to demanding that he owes it to us to talk to as many of us as possible.
What's amazing is that many of us are hypocrites on this subject. For example, if a journalist is fired, you will hear the suits at the company say they cannot discuss the actions behind the move "because it's a personnel matter." Wait. Isn't a TV anchor, columnist or reporter a public figure? In some cities, they are considered celebrities. So the rules are different for us?

In fact, what if a reporter covered a news conference and returned with a team owner or elected official saying the following about one of their employees: "That's a personnel matter and I'm not at liberty to share with you the details of his termination." Would that editor, news director, or network president say that is acceptable? No! They would jump all over the reporter "to do their job" and keep digging to find out what happened. And the columnists and bloggers would be ripping them to shreds.

So what's the difference between them and Tiger? Personnel? Personal? Hello!

Isn't it amazing how different the view looks from the other side of the river?

iReport: Share your reaction to Woods' statement

We live in an age where public figures often share with the world who they slept with, want to sleep with, what they ate, what they wear, their travel and everything else. Nothing is off limits. The public craves it all on blogs, and in magazines, newspapers, TV and radio. For me, I don't care about any of it.

All I want is to see is a good movie, dance to a great song, watch an awesome sporting event, and witness one golfer take on his peers to become the greatest in the game.

When that public figure, whether Meryl, Jodie or Tiger, chooses to walk off the public stage, they don't owe me or anyone else an explanation. Their body of work is all that matters and that is what we will discuss for generations to come.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roland S. Martin.

My opinion: Could anything be more true?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

if I had a dime

If I had a dime for every time a teacher told my parents,"he seems smart enough, just needs to apply himself more", I could retire.

To my way of thinking I did apply myself, just had a hard focusing on the nonsense I was being fed. The Simon and Garfunkel song, Kodachrome, pretty well sums up my life.

I spent much of the day playing with the dogs, instead of what I really should have been working on, which led me to thinking how shaggy the big beast was, which led to trying to figure out when he should get a haircut.

Typically, his spring cut, is what is known as a puppy cut in the trade. His hair is about an inch long, and he's really cute. If he is terribly matted, or the barber is inexperienced, he gets shaved.

I can't bear to look at him when he looks like a bald deer. I know he is embarrassed for himself. It's days before he'll even go outside.

Then the stars aligned. The baby of the house is a Shih Tzu, which translates into Lion Dog.

I came across this in my travels. It's not a Ted, The Wonderdog kind of dog, but it's close enough.

I'm already in the dog house from yesterday, Mrs. T says absolutely not (abso-posalutely). What do you think?


Friday, February 19, 2010

Remember the Costanza prayer?

Please God make it stop.

I've got a birthday coming up. I've had them before, it's no big deal. That is why I was surprised to get a save the date email this far in advance telling me of my early birthday celebration.

Imagine if you will, it's mid afternoon St. Patrick's Day. In my youth, my Irish mother made certain to make us understand, we were deep into Lent. ST. Paddy's was a day of fast not feasting. Then something happened. Ever since, our family has celebrated our Irish heritage in a more contemporary fashion.

So, I get the email I am about to share, joyously telling how tickets have been secured for the following event to take place, Saint Patrick's Day afternoon featuring one of the wee people so well known to the Irish.

I quote,
"Marvin Hamlisch is host of “Marvin Hamlisch Presents: The ‘70s, The Way We Were,” a PBS national television fundraising special featuring 13 live acts performing their big hits from the 1970s, plus video of the music and pop culture happenings of the decade of the 1970s. The special will star Marvin Hamlisch, BJ Thomas, Three Dog Night, Debby Boone, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., Ray Stevens, Freda Payne, Guy & Ralna, Bobby Goldsboro, Billy Joe Royal, Peaches and Herb, Jonathan Edwards and Vicki Lawrence.

The television special will be taped March 17, 2010 at 2 p.m. at The Bezemes Family Theatre at Lindenwood University’s Scheidegger Center for the Arts in St. Charles, Missouri. All tickets will be $42.50 and will go on sale Friday, February 5 at 10 a.m. at the theatre’s box office 636-949-4433, at or by calling 800-447-7400.

“Those who attend the taping must realize this is a ‘television taping’ and not a ‘typical concert,’” said Susie Dowdy, producer of the special. “This taping could last three hours or longer and might have stop downs and song restarts to get our camera angles right. The audience also needs to know they might be videotaped and photographed and included in shots within the special,” she added. The audience will not be permitted to take photographs, use cell phones or shoot personal video within the theatre property.

“Marvin Hamlisch Presents: The ‘70s, The Way We Were” will air nationally on public television stations beginning August 2010 (check local listings.)

This particular PBS national television special is a nostalgia program featuring the great songs and happy times of the 1970s. It is heavy in performance, but also includes “vignette pop-outs” featuring the pop culture happenings of each year in the decade…these brief, nostalgic pop-outs with voice-over will lead into live stage performances by various stars in the special.

Featured performers (through live performance) include:

Marvin Hamlisch - The Way We Were (1973) / Nobody Does It Better (1977);

BJ Thomas - Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (1970) / (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song (1975);

Debby Boone - You Light Up My Life (1977); TRIBUTE TO THE CARPENTERS: Close to You (1970);

Three Dog Night - Joy to the World (1971); Shambala (1973); Mama Told Me Not to Come (1971); I've Never Been to Spain (1970);

Ray Stevens - Everything is Beautiful (1970)--GROUP NUMBER; Misty (1975); The Streak (1974);

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., - You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show) (1976); Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All (1970);

Freda Payne - Band of Gold (1970); Bring the Boys Home (1971);

Billy Joe Royal - Cherry Hill Park (1970); Under the Boardwalk (1978);

Bobby Goldsboro - Watching Scotty Grow (1971); Summer (The First Time) (1973);

Guy & Ralna - Put Your Hand In The Hand (1973); You Needed Me (1978) / Lean On Me (1972); Just An Old Fashioned Love Song (1971);

Peaches and Herb - Reunited (1979); Shake Your Groove Thing (1978);

Jonathan Edwards - Sunshine (1971); That’s What Our Life Is (1974);

Vicki Lawrence – The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1973)"

Who knew most of these people were still alive?

Makes you want to gag doesn't it. I feel like Ralphie in the bunny jammies. No telling how much Redbreast will be necessary to purge this memory.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

spring is on its way

Bill's Khakis irregulars in the summer styles are beginning to hit EBAY. Spring can't be far behind.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dog Show - Part II

Let's get this out of the way early.

Repeat after me, " Toad, you are a pig".

I admit it, but sometimes it helps you feel better to call others names when someone is pointing out obvious truths.

I am willing to concede several points early on, in the hopes you will return the gesture when the time comes.

Point 1. Besides all the work that goes on behind the scenes, it is a great skill to lift a dog onto the judging box, take it down when told, and walk a dog down the runway on command. I grant that this is true.

Point 2: This skill is trainable to someone with a bit of common sense and a willingness to show up on time, perhaps in exchange for money.

In return for these concessions you must now accept the following.

Point 3: Many of the people on the front lines are, shall we say, stout? I am too. I'm merely pointing out the obvious.

Point 4: The baser instincts of humankind are always in place. That said, judges are people too, and all things considered, judges however much their work is to focus on the dogs, would rather deal with an attractive human. Whatever your preference, male or female, straight or gay is makes no difference.

Attractive participants probably makes for better television too.

Point 5: There are lots of trainable real and wannabe models looking for work.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce to the you, the Toad School of Dog Show Handlers.

At the Toad School attractive model types will learn such skills as how to pick up, and set down a dog. Walking the catwalk with a dog. How to make and keep eye contact with judges.

Once trained, clients can safely hire a passel of graduates to attend shows, based upon the judges preferences.

Straight Female judge hire a beefcake. You get the picture.

Enrollment begins soon.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mrs. T dodged a bullet

Gents, you can be the right guy, but you can't make yourself be the right guy.

Women will understand this intuitively, while very few men will understand it at all.

Mrs. T dodged a bullet last week. Her daughter(a college junior) has been dating a guy several years older, since school began in the fall. The lad has completed his schooling, and is hard at work on a successful career. On paper not a bad catch.

Last Tuesday, clearly thinking he was the one, the lad called and asked Mrs. T the dreaded " may I ask for....." question.

Mrs. T told him to call back in a couple of years when her daughter finished her schooling.

The two of them were here for the holidays. It was clear he was besotted, and that she liked him but maybe not as much.

Valentines Day came and went with no major announcements. It was clear they have discussed the matter, but maybe mom scared him off.

let the good times roll!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Westminster Dog Show

I've written before of my fondness of watching rich people at play. Often the settings are near idyllic, the toys exquisite, the charm gushing, the effort posing as non-chalance. It's almost too much to bear.

It's even better when the very rich go slumming, allowing the proles to think the rich are just like them. Dog shows exemplify the "they're just like us" cynicism which does so much to keep the lower orders in their place.

Tonight, is the kick off for the Westminster Dog Show, the World Series, Super Bowl CXLIV, the annual Olympics of the dog world.

Approximately 3500 dogs will compete in best of breed, best in class, best of show categories.

Americans are inbred with the notion that they can grow up to be anything they set their minds to. That same mentality allows anyone with a dog to believe their pet can be Best of Show. On a good day near anything can happen. You and your dog may actually win your local show.

That's not the way to bet though. Westminster entrants have been competing in 2 or 3 shows a week for several years. Amateur Owner/Handlers are competing against professional handlers at every meet.

Amateurs may go to several shows a month. The pro's and judges a dozen. It's all on the up and up but the playing field is not level.

To get into the best of show ring Tuesday night will set you back 6 maybe $700,000, all for practically no return. Start saving. I'll be watching for ya. (Animal Planet 8pm EST)


Friday, February 12, 2010

Sir George Sitwell

British poet and author, Edith Sitwell was certainly no stranger to the odd, as demonstrated in her book, English Eccentrics. Her father was one of the greatest.

Sir George Sitwell, son of Sir Sitwell Sitwell, was a noted amateur landscape gardener with a fondness for shooting wasps. In fact he invented a pistol for just such purposes. He wasn't much of a shot, but seemingly enjoyed it immensely.

My favorite tale of Sir George relates to a sign he had posted at the front gate of his home, Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire.

In its entirety the sign read:

I believe I would forgive a man anything who had the good sense to post this notice at his front door.


“A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits.” Edith Sitwell

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The end is nigh

Even I couldn't make this up.

The rest of the story is either sadder or funnier, you pick.

The sign is real. The plan was for The Pad to collect lots of yoga mats, send them to Haiti and lots of homeless folks would have a more comfortable place to lay their heads.

Imagine what happens next.

The Pad mails off their mats to some unsuspecting do gooder in Haiti. Do gooder, opens the box, sees the mats and says, "huh?" , we ain't doin much yougurt here.

Option 2: Do gooder opens the box, puts on his official hat. "These here mats are used, I can't give these out. Put 'em in the box of ratty clothes Goodwill and Red Cross are sending to Africa".

Very few good deeds go unpunished.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I don't have it.

One of my heros is James Madison, 4th President of the United States. It was Madison's lifelong job, to save neighbor, Tommy Jefferson from himself. Jefferson may be the better known, but that is only because Madison was his editor, sounding board, buffer.

That's not why I like Jimmy so much though. What I find particularly interesting about Mr. Madison is that for the last 19 years of his life, the years after leaving the Presidency, he left home only once. When he made his last trip he was old, near senile, and disavowed most of his legacy. He was a doddering old fool, told to put on a show, and he did.

To me that sounds like a pretty great way to go out. Having Montpelier to keep you company wouldn't hurt either.

As much as I could easily never leave home again, I have an incredible desire to go to India.

I blame this on two television programs, for I know absolutely nothing about the subcontinent, and presumably most of the nothing I know is wrong, and wrong headed.

Last year around this time, PBS ran a 6 part series "The Story of India" with Michael Woods. I sat transfixed, as week after week this wonderfully photographed program aired. You could taste the dust, and smell the cities teeming with life.

Such things I learned.

With India on my mind, an episode of "Man shops Globe" aired, with the hero traipsing through Jodphur searching out trinkets and treasures. I've got a wish list should you ever find yourself there.

The last nail in my coffin, was the recent Maharajah exhibit at the V&A in London.

This is a very long walk, towards a very short finish. The PBS series is being re shown. Look for it on your favorite channel, or if you can't wait the episodes are also on VEOH.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


It's unfair to call fine stationary as a girl thing, but....

For those into sending email cards, stationary, invitations, etc. might I suggest you visit Cocodot.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Gentlemen, Valentines Day is Sunday

Gent's hopefully by now, you have learned that fair died in the war. Get over it.

Sunday is Valentines Day. Another Christian bastardization of an ancient Roman tradition, you're thinking. Doesn't change the fact between now and Sunday you had better come up with your best expression of your love for your better half that ever was.

Regardless of what you may have thought you heard, you absolutely must come up with something. It need not be purchased, need not be expensive, need be meaningful.

Should you need ideas, put down the sports pages, and search the better bloggers.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

A boy and his dogs

I'm willing to start on the right foot here. Your dogs are smarter, better trained, and cuter than mine, but they are yours, and you're not sharing.

These two are ours. When you last saw Teddy, he had had a very bad night, traipsing the briar patch with his old buddy, Brer Deer. It took a couple of trained troops to shave him bald headed just so he could open his eyes.

That was Labor Day, and now he looks like his old self.

Ted is a 13 year old soft coated Wheaten Terrier. Wheaten refers to their color, but its an Irish breed, and like many of his countrymen, he takes life a little slower, and with a bit of humor. A sweeter, more gentle beast you will never find. He's been my buddy for a very long time.

With his long coat he loves being outside. He comes alive in the worst of weather. He'll cry, whine, and kick the door down if he must to get outside. Once there he take a slow amble around the grounds, then lies down and takes a nap.

Ted's little sister was a Christmas gift to Mrs. T from her children. Charlie is a 4 month old Shih Tzu.
My bride made it very clear up front that if it was cold out, dark, inclement or inconvenient I would be allowed to tend to her baby. Guess what?

Winters in Mayberry are cold, and frequently inclement. Nights are dark, and I tend to get up earlier in the morning than my wife, so I get to be first to let her out, feed her, and tell her stories. Charlie won't give her mistress the time of day, and I'm in trouble. Go figure.

If I ever knew, I'd forgotten just how much puppies were like little people. They are demanding, require constant surveillance, and are funny as can be. I haven't laughed so much for so long in ages. She is a real joy.

It will come as no particular surprise to anyone with multiple pets, that my two kids don't necessarily get along.

Charlie is all baby,trying aggressively to learn. She also is accustomed to having other dogs around. Ted is not.

It's much like taking the kids to grandpa's. Grandpa Ted will allow himself to be jumped on for a little while, then suddenly its get me out of here. Everyday is a holiday around here.

I took the outside photos this morning. Our snow was gone by noon. My heart goes out to all of you experiencing weather. Please be careful.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Singapore

How many dates can a country celebrate? The choices are many. Day of discovery, day of independence, ruler's birthday?

Today is the anniversary of the date in 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, administrator of the British East India Company, stole the island of Singapore from Malay and handpicked someone to become the Sultan of Singapore. Sir Stamford stole Singapore and created this position out of whole cloth, without permission or authority from anyone.

Clearly, he was a man with a plan. The plan was to create a free trading port between India and China. He was marvelously successful.

Upon hearing of his coup his masters at the BEIC through a fit, and recalled him immediately to India. It took him 3 years to return.

While away he designed the city, created the plans for new wharves and sea ports. His city plan is mostly still intact.

Today, Singapore is the 16th largest trading economy in the world, thanks to the foresight of one man.


forever thanks to ADG for the use of his Jaguar while at my favorite hotel

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thanks Richard

Thank you Richard, elegant creator of Wasp 101 for the inclusion in your list of Top 5 blogs. I promise to try every day to live up to your high expectations.

To those friends of Richard,s who have tagged along, welcome, I hope you stick around. We have a very nice collection of friends around here.


Where Light Goes To Die

Our family room is where light goes to die. A proverbial black hole.

Very little natural light comes into the room. Whenever a ray of sunshine appears, it naturally races towards the corner and dies. It's a very gloomy room.

Once upon a time, the fireplace wall was the north exterior wall of the house.

In time an addition was added, and since the floors were uneven, an attempt was made to make the original and new look more cohesive by adding book cases across the long wall.

Today I was given my marching orders. Make something of this mess. Turn it into a room you're not afraid to go into. The only constraint is the wall color stays.

This afternoon was spent clearing the room, emptying shelves. From chaos comes order sayeth Nietzsche.

I've been looking forward to and dreading this day for a long time. I need to add light, so I can see a new coat of paint in the book cases and crown moulding's future. I'm hoping the nice lady at the paint store saves me from myself. If not, it's just paint.

All ideas gleefully accepted.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Odds and Ends

Window shopping throughout the Empire the past several days has turned up several interesting items. I also learned a thing or two.

1. Ellie Stager, the Cordial Churchman,tired of fielding requests for my one off patch tweed scarf, has decided to make them available to any and all. I love mine, but she has added a couple of twists which I think you too will like. She has graciously consented to name them after moi. You may order your own Toad from Ellie.

2. The Balmoral Bonnet: this may surprise some of our European readers, but were you aware that most Scottish hats are made in Pakistan? I'm unsure why that caught me off guard, but it did. Seems there is a guy, that everyone in the hat bus knows, who knows a guy who makes them. Mine should arrive in a couple of months. Thank you to all who helped in my search.

3. Fat men need to be careful when wearing tartan. Too much horizontal stripe, and you look like the Michelin man gone bad, or the Duke of Windsor's grandfather, Edward VII.

For you young, trim, rakes looking to add a little color to your rainment, might I suggest a pair of genuine, official, British army issue tartan trousers. You may find them here. 25 GBP less VAT. Not bad. 4 tartan choices are available.

4. Stable Belts: Once upon a time, Tintin of The Trad wrote about stable belts. I hadn't a clue what he was talking about. I thought it must be a surcingle belt in regimental colors and left it at that.

Last week my Brit Khaki's arrived. The long pants and the drill shorts have a double belt closure, which struck me as dumber than dirt. What did I know?That double belt closure, derived from cavalry uniforms, is known as a stable belt.

In the 1950's regiments began having belts made in their regimental colors. In addition to the double belt, alternative buckles are available.

5. Sting and The Police: Sunday's NYT book review pages had an interesting factoid. Each member of the band, The Police has written an autobiography. Collectively, 10 pages deal with the band.

Keep your shady side up today and happy shopping.