Remember last winter? I don’t think it got below 35 degrees…extremely mild. It was almost too tough to bear. It didn’t feel like winter, but it was still too cold to do anything. Well, we don’t have that problem this year, as Mother Nature has gotten a bit schizophrenic. The images below are from my neighborhood only one week ago. Atlanta was in the middle of it’s second ice storm in two weeks, and the city was essentially on lock-down. Today the temperature is supposed to reach 70 degrees. One week:
It’s funny how things have a way of working out. I had watched the Hodinkee “Talking Watches” video with John Goldberger, when I noticed a style of watch strap on some of his pieces that was so simple, yet so elegant. They were simple pieces of leather with the ends tied with white thread. No stitching, nothing fancy. While I have jumped on the Panerai bandwagon, I still have a few watches that I wear that require an 18mm strap. I have quite a collection of nylon bands, but not too many leather straps. I explored the Interwebs for something like Goldberger’s, and couldn’t find anything under $85.
No joke – a week later, I got an email from Charles Mitch Boudreaux, who wanted to introduce me to his company Vieux Halloo. Charles’ hobby is making watch straps out of remnants from larger leather product makers who source leather from Horween as well as premium leather tanners in Oregon. Not only that, his prices are MUCH more friendly than what I saw in my initial search.
Some mid-post education: Vieux Halloo is a take on the expression that fox hunters shout when spotting their quarry (View Halloo!). The spelling of view was changed to vieux as homage to his Cajun French heritage. Vieux means old in French. Nice touch.
Charles was nice enough to send me a strap, and I am more than impressed.
I love the way the strap looks on my Omega, as well as on my Timex. Again, there is nothing ‘fancy’ about the strap. It is simple: a quality piece of leather that has been hand-made into a watch strap. Very utilitarian. The craftsmanship is spot on, and it will only get better with age.
Check out Vieux Halloo on their Etsy store.
What a shame. The famed Eisenhower Tree on Augusta National’s 17th fairway was removed this weekend due to damage from the ice storms. “The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept,” Augusta National and Masters Chairman Billy Payne said in a prepared statement. “We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible.” The tree was an iconic symbol of Augusta National, not only because it made 17 nearly impossible to drive, but also because it showed the power of Augusta National’s leadership.
The 125 year old loblolly pine sat 210 yards down the left side of the 17th fairway. Players had to choose to try and fly the tree off the tee, or to play a serious right-to-left draw to avoid hitting the 65-foot high obstacle. Eisenhower, an Augusta member from 1948 until his death in 1969, hated that tree. So much so that he lobbied to have the tree removed in 1956, the last year of his first term as President of the United States. At that year’s Augusta National governor’s meeting, Eisenhower proposed to have the tree removed. Clifford Roberts, Augusta National’s Chairman and co-founder, overruled the sitting president, and the tree stayed.
Word is that they are working to figure out what to do in place of the tree. They should call the folks down at Auburn..they seem to have some history with this. While it is a shame to miss the tree, this is part of evolution. The Eisenhower tree, as well as other natural landmarks at Augusta National, will change over time. You can’t control Mother Nature. From our seat, it will change play at Augusta National and the Masters this year, but not for the worse – all players will have the same view off the tee box, so watch ‘em grip it and rip it.
Images: Google Image Search
I’m not a cynic about love, or Valentine’s Day. In fact, I’m very pro-Love. I’m big on Valentie’s Day. For those of us in relationship, it is a day of buildup and maybe some expectations. Although Valentine’s Day does allow for a thin layer of ‘cheesy’, cash in your cool card and be (somewhat) public about how you feel.
That usually involves a gift. Now, we should all be self-aware of what’s going on – especially in our relationships. You know the temperature of yours, and you should know where it is going.
Your Valentine’s Day gift says a lot about you. You need to know this going in. She has her own idea about what each of these gifts means. As a public service, this article is being released two weeks prior to the big day, so don’t say we didn’t warn you:
- Chocolates: You are secure in your relationship. Considering all the gym-work, Pure Barre, Crossfit, and Boot Camp work, you better be. She busts her butt getting ready for swimsuit season (just around the corner), so make sure this isn’t going to backfire.
- Flowers: You are phoning it in. She’s going to get a dozen or two red roses in a beautiful vase just like every other woman in her office. Don’t take it the wrong way, flowers should be part of your Valentine’s Day gift, but they should accompany something else (NOT a pajama-gram or a life-sized teddy bear). You can do better than flowers.
- Weekend Giveaway: You are serious about this girl. Researching, planning, pre-paying for a weekend getaway with your main squeeze is not only an investment of money, but also of time. Don’t just book the room. Get dinner reservations, bring a couple bottles of champagne, and reserve something special for her (couple’s massage?). She will read that you really went out of your way to get her something very special that will make memories.
- New Bag: You are meeting her needs. Think about it – how fun is it to give her a new bag? She already has 20, so how is one more going to stand out? Now, she’ll love it, but it doesn’t ooze romance like you wanted it to. Opt for a new bag if you are in the doghouse.
- Lingerie: You are interested in more than her personality. If you have enough guts to show up with some lacy unmentionables, then she will get the hint that you are interested in more than discussing the merits of the Denver Broncos’ offense. If you do choose this route, make sure it is beautifully wrapped and not in the same bag from the store. It shows effort. Bingo.
- Jewelry: You take directions well. You’ve noticed her fleeting glances at other girl’s shiny stuff. You’ve picked up on her subtle musings about some jewel-adorned metal that will highlight her ears/fingers/wrists/neck. You are going to get an A+ in “pays attention” when she opens that box on the 14th.
- Diamond Jewelry: You are winning the lottery. Is getting engaged on Valentine’s Day trite? Absolutely not. It’s the day of the year where love is celebrated, so jump in with both feet. Not to get into engagement advice, but her saying “yes” will make Valentine’s Day a special day for both of you until you are parted by death. She saying “no” will grant you immediate entry into the V-Day “Haters Club”.
Thanks to the good folks at Onward Reserve for sharing this with their Gazette readers…
It’s strange to say that I’ve been wearing Patagonia Stand Up shorts for almost 15 years now. Makes me feel old, but it confirms the timeless style of the Patagonia’s staple. I used to wear the 5″ inseam in college, and have since been wearing the 7″ option. I love these shorts. The fabric is essentially bulletproof, and they are very easily cleanable. A little Zout and it’ll remove 99% of stains.
The best part about the Stand Ups is the way they age. The cardboard-like folds develop a really nice patina in relatively short order. Since the fabric is so thick, it takes a long time to wear them down…but the process is really cool.
Fast forward to last week. As most of you know, Stand Up shorts are relatively easy to find. Whether new options from the source, or via Ebay…you should be in business. Now – take a look at these pants. They look like normal khakis, right? They are made with a thicker cotton, a little rough around the edges, and that great hue of Patagonia tan….
But flip them over, and you’ll see a Unicorn. Don’t be afraid to stare… These are the ultra-rare Patagonia Stand Up pants. I have been looking for these for years, and was lucky enough to find a pair at Goodwill IN MY SIZE. They are a little long, so I’ll have to have them taken up an inch or so.
Now, it’s safe to say that these reside on the far edge of my ‘style’. I’m not very granola except in my choices of t-shirts (old Panic lot shirts seem to get a lot of play), but some would categorize these as such. I don’t care. I love them. I wear them like jeans with a pair of New Balances and a plaid sport shirt. An iron will never touch these pants.
Keep an eye out for some other Unicorns…I seem to be herding them lately…
Another PSA: check out the Patagonia sale going on at Zappos. Serious business….
How does a huge giveaway from La Matera, Criquet Shirts, Jack Donnelly, and Hudson Sutler sound?
Real simple folks. Winner takes ALL. Go here to enter: http://j.mp/Mvyusa …but do it by tomorrow…
I have to admit, I do enjoy getting catalogs in the mail. It’s nice to hold something substantial and see new lines from some of my favorite companies. The nice photography really gives it a good feel of not only the products you are perusing, but also the lifestyle they portray. I’m very lucky to call Martin Dingman a friend. He is a great guy who has been in the business for quite some time. His attention to detail is as good as it gets, and his catalog is eagerly anticipated.
His Spring 2014 catalog is absolutely outstanding. He has expanded his line of leather goods to include menswear that has a country feel to it, but can be ‘urbanized’ with a few tweaks. Looking through his new catalog, here are a few items that stuck out:
The Khaki Field Jacket is just right for Spring and Summer wear here in Atlanta. How great does the fabric look, and the interior plaid is a nice touch.
The Woodrow Houndstooth belt is great looking, and that tortoise roller gives it a touch of class.
Spring ties…you can never have too many. I have a feeling I’ll be sporting one of these to church on Easter Sunday.
His new Wallace loafers feature rubber nub bottoms in alternate colors. These should stand out.
Cool pooch. The bit loafers aren’t bad either.
Sign me up for the navy Nantucket belt now. This belt would look great with a pair of khaki shorts.
And the Farrier Wine Caddy? How cool is this? No longer will I have to transport my favorite spirits in brown paper bags…
Be on the lookout at your favorite men’s stores for Martin’s new offerings.