Thursday, January 20, 2011

Holy Grail Time

Maybe describing a new old stock white buttondown shirt from the late, lamented Huntington Clothiers of Columbus, Ohio as a Holy Grail is a stretch.

But Huntington supplied my shirts for my post-college years, when I lived in Boston and made about $400 a week if I was lucky.

And now, thanks to the magic of eBay, here is Huntington again supplying a shirt. (I now live in rural Connecticut and, er, make $400 a week if I'm lucky. But unlike Huntington, I'm still here.)

This shirt is at least 15 years old. Still in the wrapper, still has the pins in it.

In those days half a dozen shirts ran about $125 with shipping. They advertised in the New York Times Sunday magazine, I think. I'd clip the ad, fill it out, mail it off with a check and a couple weeks later receive a box of Made in USA oxfords, plus a nifty little catalog with some fancier shirts, $40 jobs. Ritzy stuff.

I don't actually need another white shirt in the rotation right now, so I think I will instead construct a shrine for this one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Now This is a Snow Storm

I often make snippy remarks about what I consider the myth of the hardy, can-do New Englander — at least in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut, where schools are closed at the merest hint of snow and people act as if they'd never seen the stuff before.

I blame proximity to New York City for this degenerate attitude.

But this here's a storm! I went outside at about 3 a.m. for a look. It was coming down heavier than horseshit out of Paul Krugman but I figured we were looking at a foot, tops.

Should have taken the over. I cleaned off the car in the photo, which at 7:30 a.m. is well and truly covered.

Yessir, this here's a storm. I got my case of condensed milk (Desert Storm surplus), my water purification tablets, extra batteries, a miniature Bible, and plenty of extra .22 cartridges in case I am forced to go on the possum diet.


Last winter those big storms that pummeled the mid-Atlantic seaboard pretty much conked out at the Hudson River. We'd get five inches in NW Connecticut, and Kingston, N.Y., only 40-odd miles away, would be digging out from a couple of feet.

Not this year. My ballpark guess is 20 inches (ruler on top of car).

Today the well-dressed man is wearing LL Bean snow boots, insulated, with a sort of mini-gaiter up top. Fabulous boots, now discontinued. Plus a Bean sweater, flannel shirt and long johns, Orvis moleskins, and my dorky red hunting cap.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Loafitation (more to come)

This post started as an end run around my antiquated computer's inability to handle Photobucket. I discovered how to post photos to the blog and then use that URL plus the [img]...[/img] thing to post photos on message boards. Cumbersome but there it is.

The thread on FNB was about who's got the fattest beefroll. Sounds vaguely obscene if you have a resolutely filthy mind — which I do.

From the top: Sebago in a waxy leather that I believe was discontinued. It is an unusual shoe and looks best with jeans, I think.

Next is the modern-day Sebago in the dreaded brush-off finish. I find them superior to the modern Bass equivalent. I think the construction is better and certainly the finish is far less plasticky. (Now someone will chime in with proof that they are al cranked out in the same factory in El Salvador.)

Then there's an older Bass, still made in the U.S.A. These have been resoled by me once and I think by the previous owner.

And finally my favorites, Johnston and Murphy Aristocrafts from their Made in U.S.A. days. I'm not sure if this is the "Ski-Moc" — and frankly I never understood that name anyway. What does it have to do with skiing?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mr. Winky Returns

One New Year's resolution was to wear more bow ties. So here we go.

It's hard to tell in the photo but the shirt is pink. Pink and grey is a good combo, don't let some stick-in-the-mud tell you otherwise.

Brooks jacket (Ask Andy thrift exchange); LL Bean shirt; Brooks tie (eBay); LL Bean wool trousers; thrifted Church's cordos, one of my best scores ever.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Merry Christmas, Here's Your Gorilla

A few days before setting off for Christmas I found a smallish toy gorilla — some kind of insurance company giveaway — on the 25-cent table at The Bargain Barn, Sharon, Conn.

Then I found another.

The ladies got into it, and unearthed three more from the great pile of assorted junk.

This allowed me to walk into the room Christmas Day and say to my parents, cousin Dan, and his girlfriend Kanako, "Merry Christmas, here's your gorilla, Merry Christmas, here's your gorilla..."

The results were most gratifying. Best $1.36 I ever spent.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ugh. New Year's Trip.

I think I have perfected the Northwest Corner-to-NoVa run now. This time I went from the Washington Beltway to Interstate 95 to the Baltimore Beltway. Once there I headed towards Towson and followed the signs for Interstate 83 to York, Pa.

From there I-83 runs the traveler into I-81 in Harrisburg, minus the scramble and construction delays and other assorted crap of the Leesburg-Gettysburg-Harrisburg route. (Lotta burgs there.)
I-81 north to Scranton, pick up I-84 east to Port Jervis, N.Y., take the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge (with great view to the south of brooding mountains over the Hudson) to the Taconic Parkway north to US 44 at Millbrook and onwards easterly into Lakeville, Conn.

In contrast to the ride down, seven and a half hours (four pit stops), 410 miles. $1 in tolls. Heard Debbie Boone's "You Light Up My Life" for the first time in years and marveled at what an absolutely awful production it is, in every possible way.