Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat- again

Something in my Celtic DNA makes me love this love the Halloween season. I wait all year for this. It's my super bowl, my world series, my St. Patricks Day, my best month of all.

For me, Halloween season runs from the week proceeding All Hallows Eve until the Monday after Thanksgiving. It includes Halloween prep, The Day of the Dead, Katy Day, all the exciting Thanksgiving prepartions, the big day and let down afterwards. The rest of the year is just the waiting for this time of year.

Not that I particularly do anything special, but I do have my routines. I reread Washington Irving's stories, epecially Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane. Build a scarecrow at the foot of the drive, watch The Great Pumpkin and Sleepy Hollow for the hundreth time, chop firewood, and prepare for my annual argument with Mrs. T about how much trick or treat candy we should have on hand.

This is our only major argument throughout the year. 5+ lbs each of Snickers, Butterfingers and Baby Ruths seem appropriate to me. Mrs. T sees the world through very dark glasses and believes we really don't need any. This is from a woman who lives for Christmas. Just because we have never had a trick or treater, nor are we ever likely to, she feels we can do without. Bunkum.

There is something fundamentally right about both hard and sweet apple cider, candy apples, harvest festivals, jack-o-lanterns, fall leaves, bonfires, dove hunts, moleskins and all fall activities.
Whatever your plans,be safe but have fun.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Let us give thanks for....

Had you forgotten that the London Olympics are approaching?

In an effort to sex up the games, several international sports organizations hired consultants to make suggestions on how to make female athletes "more attractive". For instance, last May, the Badminton World Federation in an effort to make a more "attractive presentation" instituted the Skirt Rule for its women members. "We just want them to look feminine and have a nice presentation so women will be more popular" said the sport's mouthpiece.

It took the women less than a week to have the rule tossed. New uniform standards for both men and women are expected in December.

Sex of course sells, and few athletes are sexier than women boxers. The Amateur International Boxing Association,preparing for women's boxing's first Olympic participation, is taking a page from the Badminton World Federation. The AIBA worries that television viewers may be unable to distinguish male from female boxers. (I wish I were clever enough to make this stuff up.) Their solution? World wide eye exams? No. Mandatory 3D HD television reception? Nada

The AIBA wants female boxers to wear, wait for it...Skirts in the 2012 Olympics. How hot would that be?

In a just world, women's hockey would hire the same image advisers. Gymnastic burkas anyone?


Friday, October 28, 2011

Nordstrom's Holidays

I refuse to shop anywhere ever at stores that advertise Christmas in October. Last night I'd had my fill of the Deck the Halls. Nordstrom may become my favorite shop in the world.

Thank you James. Flo I missed that one too, likely tonight's as well.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hartford York

The onslaught of holiday catalogs has begun at our house. The most interesting in today's batch was the latest from hat purveyor Hartford York. I've never shopped here, and am only marginally familiar with their catalog, but being a hat guy I peeked.

Included are hats of all styles from top hats, flat caps, fedoras and ear muffs, from manufacturers including Stetson, Borsalino, Christy's, along with stylists unheard of by anyone not a mad hatter.

Buying a hat is not unlike buying a lamp shade. A successful outcome is more likely if the object to be covered (lamp or head) is present, and is part of the buying experience. Fractions of an inch matter, as gentlemen's hats are sold in 1/4 inch or 1 mm increments. That's why catalog hat shopping only works when either you are replacing a known favorite hat with its identical twin, or price shopping for a chapeau you've tried on elsewhere.

Oddly, all Hartford York hats, save Christy's, are sold, small, medium, large, with no indication anywhere of what a s, m, l, xl is. Since each manufacturer's range is likely different, HY's hat are guaranteed to fit only the very lucky few.

Should you need a hat, buy locally. Buy from a pro. The few dollars extra it costs will pay dividends forever while you enjoy a hat that fits, and enhances your appearance.

Every man looks good in a hat.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Having or showing tenacity and grim persistence: "success required dogged determination".

Like many others I'd considered doggedness at least a minor virtue, before its true meaning became clear to me.

Having one dog is boring. The dog shows you his new tricks, you praise him, he does it again, you praise, quickly each tire of the game. When there are 4 dogs at home, life is a continuous game of one upmanship. Alpha dog shows you her trick, the next tries unsuccessfully to top it, dog 3 not an Alpha wannabe does just enough to get by. Old Ted, his own pack, no longer cares. From dawn to dusk, except for nap times is a constant game of look at me. I love it.

Charlie (on the right below) is youngest, smallest, Alpha and dogged. She'll spend however long it takes to keep her pack in line. Away from the others she'll spend all day hiding a bone in the couch cushions, checking on it, moving it, all the while believing no one in her pack sees where she hides it, before forgetting where she put it and starting over. In her single mindedness she never understands where Ted got the bone he's chewing on, or where her bone went.

Then it hit me. Doggedness* may simply be the result of having a head too small to hold two ideas simultaneously. The other dogs are larger and are far more mischievous. They have larger heads too.

*I'm talking about MY 10 pound dog, not you or your dog.


OK Corral

Allen street, Tombstone, looking east, with a parade in progress.
Main entrance to O. K. Corral in clump of trees, top center.
Photo: W. B. Shillingberg.

On this date in 1881, at approximately 3pm, what has become known as the Gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory took place.

The gun fight took place not at the OK Corral , but in the alleyway shown behind the wagon on the left.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The Charge Of The Light Brigade

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Note: This poem, including punctuation, is reproduced from a scan of the poem written out by Tennyson in his own hand in 1864. The scan was made available online by the University of Virginia.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Walnut season

For many folks, hard times are all the time, especially in the eastern Missouri Ozarks. A dollar can be hard to come by, so it's not uncommon, perhaps even necessary for entire families to work together to accomplish an incredibly difficult job for a little cash.

It's black walnut harvest season in Missouri. The nut hulls are mostly windblown, which makes the job relatively safe for children. Locals gather the green seed hulls wherever they can. State and national forest rangers tend to turn their backs and allow "nutters" to gather what they will from the parks. It's what comes next that defines work.

Gatherers remove the green outer hull, fairly quickly before the hull discolors and sours the nut inside one of nature's hardest nuts, all without harming the inner fruit . A lot of methods accomplish this work, some suggest driving over the shells with a truck, some say soften the nut in water, other suggest a corn sheller. Any way you chose is going to be difficult, the green hull stains everything it touches, and the lingering aroma, likened to sour onions takes days to fade from your hands and clothing.

In the US there are 2 commercial processors of black walnuts, one in California, one in Missouri, each with a number of hullers (receiving stations) scattered around the growing region. After filling your truck with hulled nuts, and delivering to the nearest huller, at this year's price you may earn a penny per nut.

A very hard earned penny.


Saturday, October 22, 2011


Did you know that Hugh Laurie, aka Bertie Wooster/Dr. House is a talented blues singer and musician?

PBS's Great Performances featured Laurie along with Irma Thomas, Tom Jones and Allen Toussaint in a pilgrimage to New Orleans and its music to coincide with the release of Laurie's album Let them Talk.

The episode may be seen here.

This is one of my favorites

Did I miss the Rapture? This date was known as The Great Disappointment by the Millerites in 1844. They too expected the rapture on 10/22.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Great Alone

“Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised.” Apsley Cherry Garrard

Somewhere in the hidden recesses of my DNA is an attraction to the stories of adventurers and explorers. Discoverers, pioneers or all stripes fill my imagination, but at the pinnacle are the tales of Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton, Cherry-Garrard the men who first explored the Antarctic.

The Centenary of Robert Falcon Scott's unsuccessful attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole is next year. In preparation for the anniversary goings-on, Buckingham Palace has staged an exhibit of photos from the Royal Collection taken during Scott's journey by Herbert George Ponting, and of Shackelton's Endurance Expedition by Frank Hurling, the expeditions official photographers. That any glass plate negatives survived is a miracle. That any survived Shackleton's expedition boggles the mind.

If you are unlikely to find yourself in the UK before mid April 2012, many of the photos and artifacts may be found here.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cool Guy- Dominique Browning

In the early days of this blog I would periodically raise the question "Where's Dominique?". Everyone seemed to have an online presence but her. Dominique's devoted fans would email me questions about her whereabouts/comings and goings, as if I knew, I answered their queries as best as I could.

After about the fourth "where's D" her publicist commented that Dominique was engaged in the finishing touches of her latest book,Slow Love which would be published in the not too distant future. Shortly before Slow Love was published, Dominique emailed, and we have maintained an irregular ecorrespondence since, one thread of which led to my standing her up on my first trip East. I must have been out of my mind.

Today is her birthday. I trust she won't object to being included as one of the "cool guys". She is far more than the woman who once... Besides being a gifted writer, blogger and editor, mother and mentor, she is a concerned citizen donating her considerable talents writing for The Environmental Defense Fund. Her work there will have a far more lasting impact than whatever came before.

Happy Birthday Mrs. B.

Toad and Mrs. T

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My 1954 Bentley R Type Continental

Didn't you always imagine Ray Milland driving an R- Type Continental in Dial M for Murder?

At the time the most expensive automobile in the world. Hardly a country car, Radford Countrymen were better suited for tweed. James Bond was a Bentley Continental owner albeit in modified trim, as was Ian Fleming. More Saville Row I'd think.


Must be something in the air

J Peterman's holiday catalog (owners manual 91)arrived by post this morning. One of their best catalogs in along time, it included the double breasted tweed jacket below.

Again, a nice tweed, but doesn't change anything.


Double Breasted tweed

By actual count I have more than my share of tweed jackets in my closets. Irish tweed, Manx tweed, Harris tweed, and the odd mutt thrown in for good measure. Not a double breasted in the mix. Rarer than hens teeth, Ben Silver is showing 2 this season.

Nice tweed, but to my eye something appears off. Perhaps it's the juxtaposition of the casual tweed and the more formal peaked lapels.

I'm all over wearing the unexpected, and applaud the man who can wear this, but if this is such a great idea why don't we see it more often? Makes a better suit coat than odd jacket, don't ya think? Just saying.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Still the best

I climbed in the car last night, switched off Mrs. T's radio station just in time as this song was starting. It may have been the first hip hop song, but it is still the best.

Recorded in one take with the bass player and drummer breathing heavily by the end, long before the days of drum and bass machines. It's bound to add a smile to your Monday.


Sunday, October 16, 2011


If you have ever had the unwelcome experience of sharing the bad news that you have lost your job with family and loved ones, you may be able to feel this man's pain. Having been there, I know what he's going through.

This is from Letters of Note, a site I have recommended previously. For those new here,add it to your reader. This is lifted straight from Letters of Note.

February 2nd 1929.

Kind Sir,

On opening this epistle you will behold the work of a dejobbed person, and a very bewifed and much childrenised gentleman.

Who was violently dejobbed in a twinkling by your goodself. For Heavens sake Sir consider this catastrophe as falling on your own head, and remind yourself as walking home at the moon's end of five savage wives and sixteen voracious children with your pocket filled with non-existent £ S D; not a solitudery sixpence; pity my horrible state when being dejobbed and proceeding with a heart and intestines filled with misery to this den of doom; myself did greedily contemplate culpable homicide, but Him who did protect Daniel (poet) safely through the lion's dens will protect his servant in his home of evil.

As to reason given by yourself — goodself — esquire for my dejobbment the incrimination was laziness.

No Sir. It were impossible that myself who has pitched sixteen infant children into this valley of tears, can have a lazy atom in his mortal frame, and the sudden departure of eleven pounds monthly has left me on the verge of the abyss of destitution and despair. I hope this vision of horror will enrich your dreams this night, and good Angel will meet and pulverise your heart of nether milestone so that you will awaken, and with as much alacrity as may be compatable with your personal safety, you will hasten to rejobulate your servant.

So mote it be - Amen

Yours despairfully

Sgd. Asuquo Okon Inyang.

Takes a very brave man to want to go home after that!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

my gym shoes

One of my must stops each day is to A Bit of Bubbly. Yesterday's post told the tale of a love/hate affair with Vibram running shoes, mayhaps you have tried them yourself. Supposedly the benefit of these sleek Italian numbers is that they mimic running barefoot.

I've never liked running shoes. Nike, Saucony, Adidas aren't for me, nor is barefooting through my daily regime. I prefer my lifelong friends, Converse All-Stars and Jack Purcell's, even for the gym.

I learned from Bubbly that "Barefoot runners land on the forefoot and then put their heel to the ground. A running shoe wearer will land directly on the heel, helped by the elevation and cushioning of the shoe. Apparently there is less impact if you land on the forefoot, which is the basic premise behind the Vibram five-finger shoe." Lack of cushioning may explain why my feet don't feel contorted into an unnatural posture, in my Converse as they do in running shoes.

Which got me to thinking. If landing on your forefoot is better, how well do my cheap $39 gym shoes meet that objective?

Not too shabby. Maybe Santa will bring a new pair.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Mr. Big

It's been a good year for Mr. Big. Married off his 2 youngest kids, the company stock is doing well, the car collection was on display in Paris, the new lines are performing better than expected, all in all not bad for a kid from the Bronx.

It's easy to have sport at Ralph expense, but certainly not on his birthday. His ubiquitous, now cliché, over priced Big Pony polos, the BIG BOOK, the car collection, the lifestyle are all fodder for amusement. Much of his design sensibility may be stuck in the 1930''s, but as a society we owe Ralph a great deal.

To my view of the world, without his impermature, a lot of clothes we take for granted would have died unmourned long ago. Who else kept tweed alive? The citizens of Lewis and Harris Island celebrate Ralph's life, and are eternally grateful for his annual fall looks. It keeps them alive. Fair Isle sweaters? Norfolk Jackets? No one else, but Ralph.

Imagine the newspaper and magazine publishers in fashion or design that would commit ritual suicide before losing RL's advertising. Single handedly Ralph Lauren Corporation must keep much of the lifestyle publishing world employed in these difficult times.

Ralph represents a taste, style and level of quality that few purveyors imagine, much less strive for. He's one of a kind.

Happy Birthday Mr. Lauren. I wish you many more.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is your spouse Fair Game?

From the Daily Mail

Domestic violence is now legal in Kansas's capital after the city changed the law - to save police time.

In a shocking move yesterday, Topeka's mayor and council repealed the ruling banning domestic violence and released 18 suspects from jail without charge. Victims of domestic abuse appear to have become pawns in an argument between county and city politicians over who should pay for prosecutions.

Cutting corners: Domestic violence is now legal in Topeka, Kansas, because leaders say they can't afford prosecutions. Shawnee County's district attorney last month handed over responsibility for prosecuting crimes including domestic abuse and battery to the city. But Topeka's leaders say they cannot afford to provide services for domestic abuse victims as well as rent jail space from the county for suspects.

Domestic violence support groups were horrified at the move, saying that 'people could die while they're waiting to straighten this out'.
'I absolutely do not understand it,' said Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
'It's really outrageous that they're playing with family safety to see who blinks first. People could die while they're waiting to straighten this out.'
The repeal came during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. City and county officials have received hundreds of emails in the last few days from people upset over the situation.

Shocking move: Only three city councillors voted against the proposal to legalise battery and domestic abuse
'Just the fact that it was on our agenda gave us a black eye,' said city councillor Denise Everhart, who was one of just three leaders to vote against repealing the ordinance.
Claudine Dombrowski, an abuse survivor from Topeka, told the council: 'It's a slam in our face'.
She threw dice down on the podium as she spoke, saying, 'Roll the dice — that's what we're playing here.'
District attorney Chad Taylor insisted that the county commission forced his decision to cut the budget by 10 percent next year, with his office still swamped by felony cases.
His spokesman called Topeka's move 'drastic and unprecedented', but said Mr Taylor would re-evaluate his position.
Dan Stanley, who was voted official negotiator with the county over the prosecution of domestic violence cases on Tuesday, advocated the change in the law.
He said: 'I think it draws a line in the sand. It says we will remove all ambiguity from this question, and we will negotiate from a position of strength.'

'It just means there is a new dynamic in play,' said Mr Taylor's spokesman.
Topeka has had at least 35 reported incidents of domestic battery or assault since early September.

With those cases not being pursued, as of Friday, 18 people have been released from jail without charge, according to police.

Prosecutors and police have refused to discuss details of the cases out of concern for victims' privacy, making it difficult to assess in what situations suspects are not being prosecuted.
The use of a weapon in an assault or battery makes a crime a felony, which would be handled in state court.

Mr Taylor has said he knew his decision would upset people but added that the cuts his office faces will force him to lay off 11 of his 63 employees. He said had he considered 'every angle' before making his announcement in early September.

In a memo issued just days before the county commission finalized his budget for next year, Mr Taylor's office said the cuts would force it to drop its prosecution of misdemeanors occurring within Topeka's city limits and 'of greatest concern are domestic violence cases.'
Topeka officials feared the city's ordinance against domestic violence could have forced them to take over prosecuting cases and filing them in its municipal court.

They said they could not handle the £47-a-day cost per inmate of renting space from the county to jail several hundred suspected abusers, or of hiring additional staff to handle prosecutions.
The city already handles cases of simple assault and battery, and incidents of assault or battery against police. Domestic assault or battery victims often need additional services or shelter.
For years, the city and county agreed that the district attorney's office would handle domestic violence prosecutions in the better-funded state courts.

City officials also note that municipal court convictions can be appealed to state courts.
More than 20 demonstrators gathered outside the Shawnee County Courthouse yesterday to protest against the decision.

Many of them went to the City Council meeting to express their opposition to its actions.
'Everyone's just saying, "Oh, it's not us you need to be talking to. It's this other person,"' said Hannah Rucker, a protester from University of Kansas. 'And it's just going in this circle of, "It's not my fault."'

There is no getting around, You get what you vote for.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Phone Numbers

A woman is a person who reaches for a chair when she answers the telephone. ~Milton Wright

Ever give your telephone number a thought? Its history is interesting.

On Valentines Day 1876, Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray showed up at the US Patent Office within 2 hours of each other, each in hope of obtaining a patent on the "telephone". US law states the first in the door wins, which explains why you've never heard of Elisha Gray.

Patent in hand, Bell began demonstrating a practical telephone in June. It's practicality was evident to most save for Mark Twain, an investor in an alternative design, who had an opportunity to invest in the telephone directly with Bell, but he rejected the opportunity. According to his writings, he was a big fan of new inventions, but since he had previously invested in several that had failed, he turned down a chance to invest in the telephone.

By the mid 1890's some 300,000 telephones were in service, by the end of WWI 10.5 million, and studies at AT&T showed that every unmarried woman in the United States needed to be hired as operators. Remember from old movies or Green Acres how telephones worked? Pick up, crank the handle, the operator answered and you asked Central to get...

Necessity was the mother of invention.Once upon a time, in Kansas City, lived an undertaker named Strowger. Strowger's fiercest competitor's wife was an overnight telephone operator. Strowger believed, in his heart of hearts, that when someone wanted an undertaker overnight, that call was directed to his competitor, so he struck back.Undertaker Strowger, along with his engineer brother and several other smart guys, invented the switching system that allowed for direct dialing, saving millions of women from the horrors of operating a telephone switchboard. It took a few years for the Strowger switch to become commonplace in telephone offices, but Strowger and his investors eventually died wealthy men.

On this date in 1983, the last hand cranked telephone system in the US serving 440 telephone customers in Bryant Pond, Maine were converted to direct dial.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Western Hat

When you picture the wild west what image comes to mind? Perhaps the Marlborough Man wearing the iconic Stetson?

Or maybe bad guys Butch and Sundance as imagined by Paul and Bob?

Or the ropenist, fightingest, meanest of them all

Our collective memory, even our artistic memory (consider Frederick Remington) identifies the man of the west by his dusty Stetson. Sadly, it just wasn't so.

The hat of choice in the old west wasn't the classic cowboy hat, but a standard hard top Victorian Derby, bowler or Coke if you prefer.

Have you ever examined photos of the 1870 and 80's? Here are photos of some folk whose names you may recall from the movies. Count the Stetsons.

Original photograph of the 'Dodge City Peace Commission' in June 1883. Front, l-r; Chas. E. Basset, Wyatt S. Earp, Frank McLain, and Neil Brown. Back, l-r; W. H. Harris, Luke Short, W. B. Bat Masterson, and W. F. Petillon. This is the version with Petillon beside Masterson. All rights reserved. FCHS.

Bat Masterson

The Hole in the Wall Gang
Butch Cassidy's Gang

Butch Cassidy

Frederick Remington and Hollywood are to blame. Now try and imagine Clint Eastwood in a derby.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm confused

I'm confused.

I was home alone Friday when one of Mrs. T's girlfriend's phoned. "She was shopping across town and lost her car keys. Would I please jump through 2 hoops, pick up her spare set of keys, and rescue her?" Having no reason to say no, I said yes, jumped through 2 hoops and delivered her keys. No big deal, and everything turned out all right.

Somehow word leaked, and I've heard nothing but grief from women since. Ever since I heard "Why did you go?... Why didn't you tell her to call one of her siblings?... Why not say no..why why...

My sole answer is: Once upon my lifetime, chivalry was an expectation. Forget paying Karma forward, gentlemen came to the assistance of a woman in distress. To do otherwise was unthinkable. Skipping the Blanche DuBois, damsel in distress card, a friend needed help and I was glad I could lend a hand. How difficult is that? If I am a MCP so be it, it's part of the Boy Scout code of conduct.

Women's struggle for equality has come with an adverse effect for civics teachers. Civility, and the daily examples which allow young men an opportunity to learn that however the scales of equal opportunity are tipped men and women still have differences, and those differences need to be respected and cherished.

Sadly, the genie has escaped and is most difficult to squeeze back into the bottle. From my recent experience I'd believe it's the sisterhood that wants him out. In my heart I don't believe it.



Friday, October 7, 2011

10th anniversary

Neither an editorial nor a political statement, simply a factoid:

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

post haircuts

Pooh, Milo and Charley

The town mouse and the country mice

Remember Aesop's Tale, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse? A story about coping in an unfamiliar world, trading plenty for security. We've had the same sort of tale at our house.

Our newest member Milo, is our fashionista's pup. Milo, born and bred in Boston, is the consummate gentleman. He sits quietly by the door, awaiting his leash when it's time to go out. He's civil, alert, urbane. In all his life he has never seen anything more upsetting than a squirrel, or more fun than a dog park.

Then he gets to our country house. Country mice Charley and Pooh quickly taught Milo about life without a leash, always open doors, bug shopping and wildlife. It took the 3 Foo's about 15 minutes to become BFF's. Ever since, each day has been a whirlwind of new adventures, excursions, and playmates.

Always top dog in Boston, Milo learned there is a new sheriff in town, and it isn't him. That was a hard lesson, frequently reinforced until he clearly understood Pooh was in charge.

Looks like a boss doesn't she? Now the 4 of them, like 3 year olds, wear themselves out everyday. Except for Pooh, who's on the lookout 24/7.

Yesterday was haircut day. All 4 received their winter cuts. They were scalped, which is a function of living in the wild, but you can tell from the way they carry themselves they think they are stylin'.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thanks Steve

It took me a long time to get over my Lisa computer's death.

Love him or hate him, he changed the world. Respects to his family.


My fall Go-To outfit 2011

This should scare the trick or treaters.

Orvis black watch wool trousers and cream cotton turtleneck.

Black velvet jacket and navy Broadland Albert's


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Saturday in St. Louis-Redux

Ever offered your services to a project that, in your heart of hearts, you knew would never come off, only to find not only has your offer been accepted, but you've become the prime mover in seeing it accomplished? I have, and I have now joined the worshipful company of Mayberry house painters to prove it. Mercifully, the weather is glorious, no one is harping at me and with luck I'll finish tomorrow.

In the mean time, on offer is a very early TTMB rerun. While not particularly well written, the situation itself is funny. It is also a cautionary tale. If you are planning a wedding in the next year pay close attention to the venues you select. Election time will be too swiftly upon us. From October 20, 2008:

Another funny story.

This photo was taken at a political rally in St. Louis this past weekend. Let me point out several local landmarks. The white building in the background is the Old Federal Courthouse, scene of the early Dred Scott trials in the 1850's. There is a street behind the speaker, and directly across that street is a Catholic Church, known as the Old Cathedral. Behind the Old Cathedral are the Arch, and St. Louis riverfront.

Several months ago, a young couple were planning their wedding. They checked the calendar to make certain that the Cardinals would not be playing, (the Cardinals play a block or 2 to the left of the Courthouse) and that the Blues hockey team (a mile or so away)was not in town. Thus assured, they scheduled their Old Cathedral wedding, for 12pm Saturday.

Local reports suggest that nearly 100,000 attended the noon political rally which was held immediately outside the church door. Supposedly, the local police did an exemplary job in getting the wedding party and guests to the church on time.

Report in Sunday's paper indicated that the bride's family was still planning on voting for the other guy.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Dr. Koo in the news

You've seen before and after advertising pix from plastic surgeons in your community. Truly miracles of modern medicine. Occasionally though, since people are involved, things go amiss.

Dr. Michele Koo is a plastic surgeon in Mayberry embroiled in controversy with several of her female patients. The well meaning doctor posted nude, neck to waist, before and after, patient photos on her web site, although with a twist. HIPAA (Health Information Privacy Accountability Act) be damned, Michele's twist was to include the full names of the patient in the photo and communities the women lived in.

The photo's presence became known when the guys in the next cube at work gave one of Dr. Michele's patients stink eye. The woman has a unique name, and the boys at work knew exactly whom they were ogling. A close friend and co-worker delivered the news, and Calhoun was summoned.

Of course no one gave permission, and most of the women only learned of their eternal internet stardom when Calhoun came calling. Sadness, lies, recrimination aplenty. Money will likely change hands.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bald Chickens?

I think I'm being had, not knowing how to definitively tell, I once again come to you.

We eat a chicken a lot at our house. I'm told It's good for you. Fried chicken, a true rarity, is my favorite food in the whole planet. I've traveled out of my to sample highly recommended fried chicken.

Instead, we have what is described as a hybrid; a skinless, boneless variety of bird. No schmaltz. I wasn't aware there were such creatures, so I asked Mrs. T about it.

"If chickens now come skinless what became of their feathers?, I asked. "They are bald, featherless animals", came the reply.

"How do they stand without bones?" "Don't ask so many questions."

Before I harrumphed off, I fired back, "where has the taste gone?

I'm certain that the boneless skinless stuff I'm served is the missing link from chicken to a McNugget. Didn't chicken used to have/(doesn't chicken have) taste? I looks like chicken, but when I hear something tastes like chicken, I'm mentally comparing it to the taste of a Domino's box.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

October-The eighth month

Welcome October, my favorite month of the year. In the northern hemisphere, October is a month wrapped in ancient lore, some of which carry over to modern times.

The Germans called it Wym Monat, the wine month. The time for the grape harvest to be stomped, and the wine making to begin. Although it's primarily held in September, mostly to fool the foreigners, Oktoberfest has its origins in Wyn. The grains necessary to make beer have been harvested and wort is fermenting to see the farmers through the cold, dark months to come.

The German's Slavic neighbors called October, the yellow month, in honor of the colors of the fading leaves. Anglo-Saxons knew it as Winterfylleth, because at this full moon (fylleth) winter was supposed to begin. Danes know it as the seed month. A time for saving seed for next year's crop.

Halloween is coming.