Sunday, July 31, 2011

A mistake you will only make once

Marketeers and Engineers view the world differently.

The Marketeer says give the consumer a familiar, comfortable design. So engineering comes up with:

The first design was so great, the next time up the Marketeer says to hell with Engineering, just use the same design and we'll change the packaging.

Dressing while on auto-pilot will never be the same again.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fashion Odds and Ends

1. Normally, I like Cole-Haan products, and my bonus daughter gives full marks for the Nike inner soles, but these give me the fear. Ladies, are these as ugly as I think they are?

II. Who'd have thought the nanny state would evolve to this? From The Independent

"Britain's advertising watchdog said Wednesday it had banned two adverts by French cosmetics giant L'Oreal over "misleading" airbrushed images of actress Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington.

"We accept that digital manipulation is used in adverts but it has to be done in a truthful way," Advertising Standards Authority spokesman Matt Wilson said.

"In these particular adverts we were not satisfied that the post-production techniques have not exaggerated the benefits of the product."

Obviously L'Oreal disagrees.

III. Huh?

Trendy moms wish to look like their daughters

IANS Jul 27, 2011, 12.52pm IST

Ever wondered why a lot of middle-aged women dress up likegirls younger to their age? A study has found such women are actually trying to look like their daughters.

The study reveals mothers who consider themselves young at heart will often use their daughters as role models, copying not just their clothes but also their hair and make-up, the Daily Express reported.

According to the study conducted for the Journal of Consumer Behaviour , daughters, however, are far less likely to want to dress like their mothers, even if they are trying to look grown up.

Just reporting on, not making the news.


Friday, July 29, 2011

I so hope this is true

This one's for Mel.

I like lawyers, socially. They, for the most part, are reasonably bright, erudite, enthusiastic natural born storytellers. They are fine folks for sharing a cocktail with. I respect what they do yet prefer not to do business with them, leaving that to the fat cats.

This is from Manifold Destiny, and as soon as I saw it I sent it to my favorite attorney, scourge of Alabama, David Bagwell. He liked it, so maybe the barristers in your circle may as well. This order is from Judge Martin J. Sheehan of the Kenton Circuit Court in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

"And such news of an amicable settlement having made this Court happier than a tick on a fat dog because it is otherwise busier than a one legged cat in a sand box and, quite frankly, would have rather jumped naked off of a twelve foot step ladder into a five gallon bucket of porcupines than have presided over a two week trial of the herein dispute, a trial which, no doubt, would have made the jury more confused than a hungry baby in a topless bar and made the parties and their attorney's madder than mosquitoes in a mannequin factory:


1. The jury trial scheduled herein for July 13, 2011 is hereby CANCELLED."

I wanna buy Judge Sheehan a drink. Probably lives in a dry county though.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ladies Day at Glorious Goodwood

While I am ambivalent about horse racing, I do so enjoy watching rich people at play. This week, the English rich are to be found at Glorious Goodwood, self proclaimed as "The world's most beautiful race course." Held on the Goodwood Estate of the Duke of Richmond, the annual 5 day race meeting is an opportunity for the swells to share a glass campaign or 2, enjoy a bit of eye candy and rub shoulders with other swells.

Today at Glorious Goodwood is Ladies Day!

From their web site:

Glorious Goodwood

More than 100,000 people flock through the gates during the 5 day Festival to enjoy the chic, relaxed and incredibly stylish atmosphere. A quintessentially English event, where champagne and strawberries are in abundance and everyone is dressed in their chicest summer fashions, it has none of the formality of a great occasion but all the glamour. Glorious Goodwood attracts the very best from the international world of horseracing, as well as the crème de la crème of English Society.

Those in the US may think of it as Derby Day, without the proles.



Richmond Enclosure

At all race meetings in the Richmond Enclosure, gentlemen are required to wear jackets and ties, cravats or polo-neck sweaters. For the traditional, linen suits, waistcoats and the archetypal ‘Goodwood’ Panama hat can be worn, as popularised by King Edward VII in the early 20th Century.

Ladies should also dress smartly and are encouraged to wear hats at the Festival Meeting. Jeans and shorts are not permitted at any meeting, for men or women.

Other Enclosures

Informal dress is permitted in the Gordon and Lennox Enclosures. Bare chests and fancy dress are not allowed in any Enclosure and stiletto heels are not recommended, due to the Goodwood terrain and areas of decking.

Our host-Lord March
Goodwood is his Father's, The Duke of Richmond's Estate

Racing Pundit John McCririck

All photos of prior years Ladies Day events from Zimbio or the Glorious Goodwood websites.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winners

Knebworth House-home of the Bulwer-Lytton's

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, renowned author of the 1830 classic, Paul Clifford, whose opening line, "It was a dark and stormy night", memory is preserved by the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest sponsored by San Jose State University.

The contest asks writers to submit the worst possible opening sentence to an imaginary novel.

This year's winner, Sue Fondrie of the University of Wisconsin, submitted this future classic:
"Cheryl's mind turned like the vanes of a wind powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories."

For my money should should have won just for inventing the phrase "sparrow-like thoughts".

Novels not your thing? Perhaps Historical Fiction better suits your temperament. John Doble of New York won the category with his entry: "Napolean's ship tossed and turned as the emperor, listening while his generals squabbled as they always did, splashed the tepid waters in his bathtub."

Purple prose winner, Mike Pedersen scored with "As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a saphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue."

Most English speakers know the opening to Paul Clifford without having a clue who wrote it or why, however Bulwer-Lytton is remembered for creating another well known turn of phrase. Edward created "The pen is mightier than the sword" for his 1839 play Richelieu.

I've submitted the openings of several posts over the years all to no avail.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another thing to be grateful for

Forget the Real Housewives of New Jersey jokes, Snoki, or whatever mental images of George Clooney you conjure while dreaming of Italy. Today we consider the harsh reality of life in modern Italy.

Time Magazine photo

From "The Guardian" we learn that Italian mobsters are "humiliated" because they are no longer allowed to wear designer clothing while in Palermo's Ucciardone prison, known to its inmates as "The Grand Hotel" No more Prada, Armani, Gucci, or Versace. No Nike, no Adidias.

OJ in Armani

Sayeth the Guardian "Prisoners' wives, who were refused permission to deliver designer clothes to the 19th-century jail after the introduction of the new rules, said they were furious.

"My husband will be left naked," said one.

"He only has designer clothes, and that's not because he's flashy but because they last much longer and are better quality. Why humiliate him? Why force us to buy clothes at street markets?"

If the fear of street market clothing doesn't make Sicily's youth straighten up and fly right I can't imagine what would.


Monday, July 25, 2011


If the kids can leave the nest, why not mom and dad? After the second bottle of wine, Mrs. T and I occassionally fall into the "where do you want to live" discussion. Near water, where winters are bearable, and summers no worse than Mayberry. Naturally, low taxes, low cost of living, abundant recreational opportunities come into play. Near an airport, and with high speed internet round out the first cut.

Somewhere South, but nowhere obvious. Somewhere one may wear seersucker and linen 6 months a year. No where in particular. Then one morning coffee in hand scanning Google reader, there it was. Home. Just like Natalie Wood's Christmas wish in Miracle on 34th Street.

Do you read Between Naps on the Porch? If not, do. Susan has an unerring eye for detail, and a southern woman's knack for good story telling. A while back she visited Isle of Hope, Georgia outside Savannah. Her 2 part story makes Isle of Hope Look like Disneyland for adults. Of course we've never been there but I'm already clearing out the garage, preparing for the agents tour.

If I hadn't another cross country tour planned I grab my bride and head there tomorrow, of course Savannah may not show itself best in summer. Now if we wait until fall....


I've ordered the first 7 volumes of A Dance to the Music of Time.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

separated at birth

This photo of Carly Simon appeared in the New York Social Diary . I don't believe the ban has yet been lifted, so it is still required that persons of a certain age love and adore Carly and all she does. You'd hope for a statute of limitations, but no.

Carly has been a fixture for eons, and dated so many of the pillars of rock, that many folk, pop, rock and easy listening musical types have morphed into Carly look a likes. Personally, I suspect they are all one person, just something done with mirrors but I'm open to other possibilities. Here are some optional Carly's.

Gratuitous Freddie photo. All big hair band guys qualify

have you forgotten Dyan Cannon?


Friday, July 22, 2011

Another day at the beach

white trash repairs - They Couldn't Figure Out a Way To Segway This Product To Market
see more There I Fixed It

I'm still playing grandpa, and hope to be back to normal sooner rather than later. In the mean time may your Rolls Royce have a full complement of Segway's to see you over life's bumps.


Thursday, July 21, 2011


Are you a treasure hunter? Historian? Have time on or hands or just plain curious? If so take a month and have a peek at Europeana, and then bookmark it for later.

The EU has ruled that all member country, public domain masterpieces must be accessible on line through Europeana by 2016. Their definition of masterpiece is BROAD. Newspapers, photos, diaries, books and pamphlets, works of art, radio clips, maps, music and public submissions. Thus far about 15 million items have been cataloged.

I've been comparing the stories of WW1 British and German soldiers while in the trenches. They tell 2 completely different tales. The photo above is a German military triage tag. Notice the red stripe? 2 stripes indicated you were soon a dead man. One stripe meant you were safe to move. No stripes indicated the walking wounded.

What I find most fascinating are the eastern European archives. They are like finding buried treasure. Just don't blame me if you aren't heard from for days.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Which Service Dog?

I feared we needed a fifth dog, but knew how tough a sell that would be. Maybe just a white cane would suffice, and someone could train one of our beasts to do perform service duty. The more I tried to imagine which of our dogs I would entrust my life, the more preferable a black capsule sounded.

Problem is, I'm having trouble seeing. My head and eyes hurt, my vision is blurred. I go to the eye doctor every decade whether I need to or not, regular as clockwork, but now 6 years hence, my glasses aren't working. My distance vision is deteriorating. Why do I always imagine the worst?

So while my girls slept in, I snuck off to have my head examined. Turns out I don't need a seeing eye dog. AT MY TENDER AGE, MY VISION IS IMPROVING! I don't have a tumor or adult onset blindness. My current script is simply too strong, that's why I don't see so good. If taken today, I'd pass the drivers eye exam without restriction. Hallelujah.

When told I have neither glaucoma nor cataracts I asked if I could start smoking. Alas, no but don't need arm extenders either. Oh happy day.


Monday, July 18, 2011

A Stranger in a Strange Land

It's summer it's supposed to be hot, and the gods of weather have bestowed heat. Taking full advantage of all the weather has to offer Liz and I have decided to play tourist. I get a staycation, Paige gets to see Mayberry.

I have a hidden agenda. There are things to do and places to see in Mayberry that I couldn't find with a map. Places I've never been or haven't been in many years, so I think this may be a great time to find them, so long as my traveling buddy is willing.

We began at Laumeier Sculpture Park, a 96 acre outdoor sculpture museum. It's an incredible hidden treasure. We went to see an exhibit called the Dog Days of Summer, sculpture made for pets and their people. After walking for miles we found the best exhibits in the indoor gallery (read a/c), next to the parking lot.

Then we visited the Dr. Richard Schwartz observatory at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. That was a tough sell, and most probably a major disappointment. That didn't really look like any photo of Saturn she'd ever seen. Damn Hubble telescope!

We had to see Harry. In fact, Liz's visit was almost postponed so that she could see Part 2 with family and friends at home. No review is necessary, you're either going or not going whatever I say.

Today and everyday the pool. I have a date with a young lady on a paddle boat, on the lake, this afternoon. 36C and 70 % humidity. My eyeballs fog going outside. If this doesn't kill me, nothing will. I'm having a ball.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

The White Rolls Royce

In some circles a wedding isn't a wedding without the shiny white Rolls Royce purring outside, available to squire the bride to the ceremony and later the happy couple off to begin their lives together. It wasn't always thus. A white Rolls Royce is a fairly modern conveyance.

Prior to WW2, a RR customer would first commission Rolls Royce to build a chassis, then they would hire a firm to build a body and all interior fitments and perform all that was necessary to assemble a finished car. North Americans may recall the "Body by Fischer" tags on their GM cars. It was the same sort of arrangement.

During the war, the body makers found their skills quickly transferred to air plane manufacture. Several coach builders were destroyed during the blitz, the skilled talent found more lucrative work or died, and the days of custom coach building quickly came to an end. After the war, RR manufactured their own automobile bodies and completed assembly in house.

Rolls Royce knew what their customers wanted, and built motorcars to suit. For the most part they were large, stately, conservative. Customers could customize to suit their requirements but nothing garish would ever be considered. Then along came novelist Barbara Cartland.

In 1963 her husband died and his employer reclaimed his company car, so Barbara needed new wheels. Being a successful author, politician and campaigner, a woman with an image to uphold, she went to Rolls Royce. "Make it white" she said. RR refused. "Make it white or I'll go elsewhere." Wanting her money RR eventually agreed.

Cartland was the first person in London to own a white car - a white Rolls-Royce - making quite vocal later on in her life, her utter disdain at the Rolls-Royce takeover by "foreign people". (BMW took over the RR name in 1998.) It was her only Rolls. While complaining of the foreigners, she was driven in a Mercedes.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm considering a slog

photo by EncycloMundi

Has anyone, not paid to do so, read the entire 12 vol. A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell? I've space on the bookshelves and it's sounds like an ideal fall project. A sort of followup to the wonderful WWI history I recently completed, "To End all Wars" by Adam Hochschild.

Or is there a starter Powell, one needs conquering, before tackling his opus?


Friday, July 15, 2011

Thanks to Mister Mort

I have been whining about the two twill jackets I purchased over the winter. Finally, I got the colors right, but they looked sloppy. There is enough blame to go around on this score, I ripped the shoulder pads out, I iron poorly, I'm too....

Life is way too short to beat yourself up over something like this, so while contemplating salting my wounds Mister Mort came to my rescue. Around the time I asked Mort for permission to run the header photo, he ran the photos shown here, taken while in Italy for SS 12 Fashion Week in his blog. Finally, I got it.

To my untrained eye they are the bottom 2 are same jacket, only different. The pocket detail gives them away.

I love how they are rumpled and how relaxed they look. I found that by throwing my jackets in the dryer with a damp towel they softened and rumpled magnificently. Scalpel a few extra inches off myself, stand up straight and all will be perfect. It's just not often I need a jacket when it's 95 (35C) degrees.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

La Fete Nationale

Without the intervention of the French government, the United States would not exist. Perhaps without the intervention of the American government, France would not exist. Two countries intertwined in history, with deep mutual misunderstanding and disdain.

Well I love the French. Every modern notion of elegance, comfort, style, and sophistication is a French invention, for which I'm grateful.

The citizens of France , we salute you on your National Day.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On the Road Again

I know, but this time it's for fun. Mrs. T and I are leaving our kennel in the hands of her capable daughter and heading to Topeka, Kansas to pick up granddaughter Paige. Paige has shown up on these pages before, usually under the guise of some mischief. This time she is coming to stay with us, alas for only a few weeks. The best part of being a grandparent is having grandkids to spoil me all summer.

Do you recall the trauma that was 11? Starting middle school in the fall? Now that she is 11, and entering middle school, some changes are necessary. Paige informed her family that the name Paige is sooooo juvenile. From now on she will only answer to Liz.

Or in our house, "Liz, the girl formerly known as Paige." We'll be back in time for the storming of the Bastile.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Editor Wanted

Our local newspaper, like yours is going through a rough patch. Not a job secure anywhere in the house. While the news people are doing their bit, the back of the house folks are doing theirs, like offering your paper, while you vacation, to local schools, instead of forgoing the revenue. Who knows they might not be here when you return.

So I wonder how many English teachers turned down the offer of receiving the paper after this headline from Sunday's paper?


Sunday, July 10, 2011

And Now We Are 4

Want to really confuse a dog? Follow my example.

Show up at the dog's house, a complete stranger. Take the dog from the arms of the only guy he has ever parented, put the dog in the car of the woman he loves but hasn't seen for several weeks, and drive him for 3 days to who knows where, for why. You'd be scared too.

This is Foo Dog number 3, Milo. Don't you love his collar?


Milo spent every inch of our 1287 mile drive right here or on my lap which was the only space available in our tiny car, which turned out OK as he claimed the floor under the drivers legs as his private querencia* long ago.

Although they have lived far apart for all but 7 weeks of their lives, Milo is Charley's big brother, same parents /different litter. At last, they are reunited.


You may recall when Pooh moved in,

Pooh Bear

it took a while for the 2 girls to determine a pecking order. Now, we've added an older male Foo to our mix, along with Ted the Wonder Dog who wants his say,

Ted the Wonder Dog

and every day is Christmas.


*The querencia (the word does not translate into English) is the location, inside a bull ring, a fighting bull believes to be its sanctuary.