Friday Jam: “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole

By this time next week, Christmas will effectively be over.  Most of the gifts will be unwrapped, and all the turkeys will be in a leftover state.  Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, but the good games don’t start until just after Christmas.  It really crept up on us this year…not just because Thanksgiving was so late, but also because the Christmas specials started in October, Unfortunately, it’ll probably get worse next year.

One thing that has been nice about the extended season is the Christmas music.  It never gets old.  All of it.  Even the “Grandma/Reindeer” song.  But from my point of view, it doesn’t get any better than Nat King Cole.  His voice is tailor made for Christmas music – especially “The Christmas Song”…how can you not get in the holiday mood…


So readers, A BIG MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you, your friends, and your families.

High Five

This time of year, there is so much good stuff flying across the Interwebs…except for all the sale emails that inundate our inboxes.  Well, it’s marketing, and there are some good deals to be had.  That said, there are five in particular that have been great to see:

1. Emmie of Southern Proper in the Wall Street Journal – Emmie has been a great friend for many years now, and it was so great to see her and her company Southern Proper featured in the Wall Street Journal.  I completely agree with what she said – be a niche company that works within your bounds and grow slowly and smartly (pardon the paraphrase).


2. Mid-Century Salvage in Charlotte – Personally I have never been, but my brother, who has spent some time up in Charlotte, turned me on to them.  Absolutely incredible.  I’m not a huge furniture guy, but I do know that I love the mid-century stuff.  So much so that the (future) Mrs. and I will probably take a trip up before long…  Check out their website and their Facebook pages for some really cool pieces.


3. Fox Needlepoint Belt from Asher Riley – Cool new outfit based in Birmingham…doing some good things with needlepoint.  This Fox Belt is outstanding…and you know I like the fox.


4. Icon – I saw a quick blurb about this LA-based company that refurbishes old trucks (among other things).  The bit on TV was a bit profound, but their website isn’t.  What they do to these iconic trucks is out of this world.  Be careful – this website will suck you in…the images are outstanding.  What I wouldn’t do for one of those Broncos or one of the LR FJ’s.  Wow.


5. Whiskey Barrel Coffee Table from Mizzen & Main – Every room should have a statement piece, and this would definitely fit that bill.  Mizzen & Main are known for their shirts, but there are a few other jewels on their site…including this piece.  Made from an original whiskey barrel, a base was added for stability, and the top actually opens for storage in the barrel.  Cheers to that…


For all those looking to spend a little under a hundred buckeroo’s:

From top left:

1. The Perfect Wallet from Ball & Buck:  This is one of those gifts that only gets better with age.  You start using a front pocket wallet like this and you wonder why you ever needed all that stuff in your old bi-fold.
2. Spyderco Tenacious G10:  Can you have too many knives?  The blacked out look is sharp and the clip is handy.  Opt for the serrated and flat blade – it adds more utility.  This ain’t your normal whittler.
3. Everlane Weekender Duffle Bag:  It’s time to stop using that old Jansport backpack for trips with friends.  You are an adult now.  Act (and pack) like one.
4. Maurice’s Southern Gold BBQ Sauce:  This is liquid gold.  It goes well on everything.  The gallon size should last you until about mid-year.
5. Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter-Zip:  No denying that Patagonia is known for quality.  It’s almost impossible to wear their stuff out.  Even though they are known for their Stand Ups and fleeces, this sweater is a great option that doesn’t have to be worn on the side of a mountain.
6. Bridgestone B330-RX Golf Balls:  Even though you won’t be swinging the clubs for a few months, there’s no reason you can’t start stockpiling ammo.
7. Orvis Initial Belt:  This will become your everyday belt.  The buckle isn’t so big that you cowboy up, but just the right size.  Khakis, jeans, whatever.  Just remember that these are initials, not your monogram.
8. Tovolo Square Ice Cube Trays:  Be like all those cool bartenders who know what they are doing.  This is the best ice to cut bourbon or scotch…so it’s best to get two trays, as they will go quick.
9. Belle Meade Bourbon:  You can never go wrong with bourbon.  There’s always room for one more bottle.
10. The Mason Shaker:  Couple things about this bad boy – first, it’s a mason jar, and I know that they are completely overplayed.  But – it’s huge, and you can easily mix two drinks and change, while seeing what the concoction looks like.  Just don’t serve the drinks in mason jars while burning your mason jar candle and lighting your mason jar Christmas lights.
11. Timex Black Weekender Watch:  The best beater you can buy…and as with #2, the murdered out look sets you apart from everyone else.
12. Southern Proper Varsity Vest:  Ok, so this may go over a hundred, but it’s totally worth it.  It’s got zippers and hidden compartments like you wouldn’t believe.  The fit is great and the color scheme goes with everything.

Friday Jam: 1:29

0 to 100 at 1:29.  Insane.


Second Skin

I’ve been thinking a lot about jeans lately.  The whole time/place/value proposition thing…there really seems to be a formula and an attitude that goes into jeans.  More on that later.

One of the coolest things about raw denim is how it becomes one with the owner after a relatively short period of time.  Like a second skin.  I’m not a fan of tight jeans, but I do like jeans to fit.  And jeans that fit will develop wear and whiskers.  I work in a business casual environment where jeans aren’t allowed (but I still wear quite a bit of colored jeans – thanks Levi’s), so it’s tough for me to reach the optimum faded look in short order.

There are so many choices for raw denim.  The first pair I had was from the Gap, which were great.  That pair of jeans really helped me understand a couple things: 1. dark denim is good, 2. making your own whiskers is cool, 3. jeans are really tough, and 4. you really don’t have to wash jeans unless they absolutely need it.

I lost some weight and had to retire those jeans, and have moved on to some Levi’s Made & Crafted, Naked & Famous, and APC.  They are all great…and different.  At night and on the weekends I pretty much wear jeans and khakis exclusively, and I’m over the ‘well, maybe I need a pair of jeans to bum around in’.  Buy well and wear it.

That said, a worn-in pair of selvedge jeans is a thing of beauty.  Google Images is a goldmine for this sort of thing.  Here are some examples of APCs that have been well loved:

Pretty cool, huh?  Yeah, looks like APC thinks so too.

Images: Google Image Search


Moving on to the next gift guide is about just that – moving on.  These gifts are for the traveler…whether world traveler or state to state, this list has you covered.  Remember that you are on the road or in the air, what you pack and what you pack it in need to be good quality – these are experiences that only happen once (maybe twice).  Buy well, and travel well.

From top left:

1. Ledbury Grey Huxley Sport Coat:  Rule number one.  Always travel with a sport coat.  Use it like a work coat – plenty of pockets to stow your stuff as you go through security.
2. Fujifilm X100S Digital Camera:  You need to document your travels.  Mental snapshots aren’t enough.
3. BillyKirk No. 153 Passport Wallet:  One out of every three trips that require air travel should also require a passport.  There is so much culture in the world… So get that passport some padding.
4. New Balance 1300 Grey / Navy Shoes:  Long days of walking require a good pair of shoes.  You can’t beat New Balance, but keep the colors subdued.  You don’t want to look like a neon glow stick walking through the airport.
5. Randolph Engineering Avitor IIs:  This should go without saying, but a good pair of sunglasses is essential for travel.  Buy classic, and buy American.  Oh, and these RE’s are green.  Envy.
6. Brooks Brothers Slim Fit Must-Iron OCBD:  For some reason, non-iron is getting way too much play.  They never soften up, and they never look just right.  Instead, splurge on the must-iron OCBDs, and wash/dry liberally.  They’ll soften up over time and be more comfortable than a t-shirt.
7. Ghurka Cavalier II No. 97 Navy Twill Duffle Bag:  You will be judged by your luggage.  Go big or go home.  Wait…  And never check it.
8. Hudson Suttler Tahoe Dopp Kit:  Good thick canvas and easy access to the must haves.  Perfect size so you aren’t tempted to pack more than 3 oz.
9. Barbour Fieldmarshall Jacket:  For those days when you take off from Atlanta at 55 degrees, and land in New York at 35 degrees.  Prepare accordingly.
10. APC New Standard Jeans:  A good pair of rigid jeans like these will wear in nicely…and become yours and yours alone.  Consider them like a stamped passport.
11. Oak Street Bootmakers Naural Trench Boots:  And when the New Balances won’t work, travel well with a pair of boots…the kind that look great with a pair of jeans and a sport coat.
12. Parrot Zik Wireless Headphones:  Anyone who has ever flown on a plane knows exactly what these are for.

Austin Rocks: New Button Ups from Criquet Shirts

They good ‘ole Criquet boys from Austin are releasing the latest addition to their lineup today…button up shirts.  These are the perfect compliment to their Player’s Shirts and their long-sleeve collared shirts.  The shirts come in both short sleeve and long sleeve with or without a “Grassy C” snap button on the pockets – a nod to their Austin roots w/o being overly cowboy.   Folks who want to go the more conservative route can opt for the regular button.
Besides being great looking super comfortable shirts made with 100% organic cotton, they also a deep pocket with a pocket slot for your glasses or pen and a patent-pending  “Bendle sleeve,” (named after a good friend of theirs & an experienced beer drinker/inventor) which protects the shirt from beer twist-off tearing.   A common problem at most 19th holes.
The Bendle Sleeve is basically an extra layer of fabric built in behind the bottom placket of the shirt, strategically positioned to help keep the shirt from tearing.  See it in action below.  Genius.
Oh – and yes, they come in long sleeve as well:
Head on over to and get yours ordered today.  They’ll be all the rage.