Friday, January 22, 2010

Houndstooth & Paisley

Sounds like a nice mens shop doesn't it - Houndstooth & Paisley.

It's been a  little while since I posted and decided I'd post something satorial since that's part of my new years resolutions.

We had a staff meeting yesterday, which we do every month, but I decided instead of wearing a suit and taking the chance of wearing the same kit as the boss, I would go the sport coat and trouser route.

I knew I wanted to wear the lambs wool houndstooth  and deiced on olive green trousers.  Pleated front with cuffs.  They are both Chaps, but not the "Chaps by Ralph Lauren".  I'm guessing he sold of the rights to the brand or something since you can buy Chaps in most major department stores now.  And that's exactly where I bought these.  The jacket and trousers were both on sale, both 100% wool, pretty well made and I liked them.  The great part is that I paid less than $100 for both of them.  I ended up with two suits the same way, but that's another story.

The puzzle was the tie.  I have a chocolate brown paisley with some rust colors that go quite well with the slight windowpane plaid that's in the houndstooth pattern but thought I wanted something a little more exciting.  So pouring through the ties I came across a paisley that was more on the gold side with brown paisley.  I thought it didn't look too bad so what the heck. 

This is what I came up with:

I have to say - I got more compliments from this outfit than I ever did with the other tie.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Coco Chanel and Trad Pets

I tend to lean toward the conservative side of life for most things.  That would include pets.  If there is such a thing as a trad or preppy pet.  I'm sure TWA over at "Are you a preppie?" would be able to tell us.

Anyway - growing up we pretty much stuck with Black Labs, Beagles and the occasional Basset Hound.  We did have a German Shepard once too. Oh - and a medium sized poodle brought home after the vet made a call to my soft hearted mother when it's owners wanted it put down because it barked too much.  The poodle not my mother. (My soft hearted mother is another story).  May favorite pet as a young adult was a Beagle/Terrier mix.  We bought a new hunting dog and the breeder gave us the runt for free.  It seems a male Terrier got mixed up with the female Beagle - but that's for biology class.  She was marked like a Beagle but had fur like a Terrier.  My father thought it would be funny to be tromping around hunting yelling for "Rosebud".  So she was named!  She truly was a great dog.  She eventually passed of old age and never did hunt. 

So time passes - I married my wife and we had decided not to have pets right away.  Well as fate would have it, we got pregnant and got our first dog the same year.  A Springer Spaniel named Audrey.  Actually her AKC name was Audrey's Little Princess.  Not given by me but by the original owner (another long story).  A few years later we found out the local dog catcher had found a White West-highland Terrier.  We named her Maggie.

Maggie and Audrey left us both the same year. Audrey one January morning and Maggie on a September afternoon.  At that point we decided we had enough with pets.  We still had "Boo" the black cat and Tommy the Turtle who turned out to be a Thomasina.

So where is all this leading - well that soft hearted mother of mine decided that our daughter needed another fuzzy bundle of joy.  Thanksgiving, 2008 -  I receive a call from said mother:

"I'm in big trouble."

"Why - whats wrong?"

"I went to check out the dog I told you about and decided I couldn't leave it with the breeder."

So - a little 1lb ball of fur was looking at us through the door of a portable kennel.  It turned out to be a toy version of a Phantom Poodle.

So what's conservative/trad about a poodle - nothing unless your daughter names it Coco Chanel.

Coco is now just over 1 year old, and weighs in at a whopping 5 pounds if she's been eating a lot.  I have to admit that having a small dog is very convenient for a change.  She eats less, poops less and is much easier to scoop up to travel with.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I don't usually do New Year Resolutions.  I'm not sure if it's because I don't think I'll be able to go through with them or what - I just don't do them.

However, this year I've decided to make some changes.  Call them resolutions if you want - whatever.

I'm going to dress better for work.

I have a closet full of suits from professions past that hardly ever see the light of day.  I once worked in the mens department of a local department store that carried a number of upscale brands.  I was able to purchase them at cost a few times a year.  Lately, the only time I wear a suit is when we have an office meeting or when I know I'm meeting with an outside customer.  That means I'm business casual most of the time.  Weekends are reserved for the Barbour jacket and such kit like this:

Photo from a local department store but Ralph Lauren.

I'm going to simplify my life and be more organized.

I see these two as going hand in hand.  Some people would see them as two separate items. I think they go hand in hand.  After all, how can I be organized if I don't simplify things?  This will include getting rid of "stuff" hanging around that we no longer need.  Leo over at Zan Habits has some pretty good advice on become more simple.

And lastly - to procrastinate less.

I'm not sure why I procrastinate.  I'm not lazy.  I do seem to get distracted easily.  I'll be working on one project, come across information for another project and before you know it I'm three tasks down the line from where I started.  I've heard it called Office ADHD.  Some would say that as long as everything gets done it doesn't matter.  Well - I've gotten to the point that it drives me absolutely nuts to be that way.  Thus - I'm going to make an honest effort to change.

So when is all this going to happen.  The organization and simplify part has already started.  During the holidays, as we are pulling out the gaggle of holiday bins, we tend to purge.  Knowing that there will be new things coming into the manse we get rid of the old.  We usually cross the river to the Salvation Army and drop it off in their shed.  I'm always hoping maybe someone else could use it. (I'm also a BIG re-cycler, I HATE to throw out anything knowing it will clog up a land fill for generations to come - so off it goes to SA.)

The dressing better part will happen gradually.  As time moves forward I'll slowly mix in a few suit days with the casual days.  After all I don't want anyone thinking I'm going to job interviews or anything like that.

Procrastination - well, that's something that will also come with time (hmm-prolonged procrastination?).  This Blog is part of it.  I've committed to doing it and I think it will be fun and help with my writing skills.  I don't write well now - but maybe I will and that's always been one of my "bucket list" items,  to write well enough that someone would take notice and read it.

I don't expect these things to be done in the next few days or weeks.  Even the next few months for that matter.  As long as I can reach the end of MMX and say - I look pretty good, we have less of every "thing" and my desk is pretty clean - I'll be happy.

What are your resolutions?


Monday, January 4, 2010

I need names!

I want to know who it was that decided Christmas ended on December 26th?

Is it a result of commercialism that starts shoving Christmas down our throats in July with the ornaments or the trees and bows in October?

Does everyone get so wrapped up in "the season" that they just want it to be over and done with?

There is a radio station here that plays Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving through the 25th and changes back to it's regular programming at midnight. My family went to see the "festival of lights" this year on the 28th and everything was dark.

Do we forget the 12 days of Christmas? They are not the 12 days leading up to December 25th but the 12 days after. Did anyone ever take the time to count the number of days from December 25th to January 6th (Orthodox Christmas). The day the wise men actually arrived at the manger. I won't go into the whole religious side of it.

Well - enough ranting. As for me and my clan, we will be continuing the festivities through this weekend. The tree is still up, the lights are still lit and the bows are still hanging.

To anyone else that celebrates the actual Christmas season, Merry Christmas.

And Happy New Year.
So one of my resolutions is to actually put forth some effort to do "this blog thang". I thoroughly enjoy reading so many other blogs. My grammar isn't as good as the others. and I don't have a list of fancy words to spew out at any one that happens to come along to read this. But I'm going to give it an honest try and see what comes of it.

Maybe someone will actually read it, besides me that is.