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Showing posts from July, 2017

It's High Summer at Totleigh-in-the-Wold. . .

The results of our joint efforts once we finished late this afternoon.
The Young Master and I spent the afternoon today brushing up our driveway and front walk by weeding, picking up twigs, raking, sweeping, transplanting some newly purchased plants, and finally putting up our flag and flagpole.  Almost a month after July Fourth!  Never mind.  The Grand Duchess was at work 15 minutes away on campus, so it was a good excuse for father and son to spend time together taking care of some external upkeep and getting things accomplished.  Our seven-and-a-half-year-old was extremely helpful all day. He pushed the cart at the supermarket and DIY bigbox store, and even offered to share his highly coveted Star Wars light sabre popsicles with ol' Dad once we finished, cleaned up, and stood back to admire our work before heading inside for dinner.

-- Heinz-Ulrich



It's Not Rocket Science. . .

A stretch of the former Berlin Wall, somewhere in Berlin during the 1960s from the look of the children.
Pardon the cliche, but after suffering through one more article online in the New York Times about the difficulties of, and barriers to, class mobility -- specifically access to the upper middle class -- it's hard to keep silent any longer.

First of all, let's be clear about one thing.  Lots of people manage to move up the socioeconomic ladder.  While not always easy, it remains entirely possible and within reach although many, it seems, prefer to think otherwise.  The following will, no doubt draw the righteous indignation of many readers, who will choose to interpret it as dismissive, elitist, and arrogant.  That is not the intent.  Instead, what I suggest below is meant as hard advice without any rosy sugarcoating or kid glove treatment whatsoever.  Ready?  Here we go.

Changes to one's social standing might actually have to start with (Surprise!) the individual.  It mig…

If You Make an Appointment, Keep It. . .

Here's another classic style tip that will cost nothing, and does not necessarily require that you are "dressed up" although you might be if it has anything remotely to do with your job (or getting a job).  When you make an appointment, keep it!

One more time, I have made sure that I am up early, showered, and dressed, so that I would be ready for an appointment with a service person who was to come by the house this morning to discuss a possible big ticket purchase and installation.  There are a number of things that need replacing here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold to keep things looking nice and relatively up to date in and around our vintage (tongue firmly in cheek, you understand) house built in 1985.  And once more, we have been stood up.  No call.  No voice mail.  No email.  Nothing.  Just like the old Ricky Nelson tune.

If this were a isolated incident, I would not be so annoyed, but this has happened repeatedly with various service people over the last nine years since …

The Eyebrows Etc. . . .

Not me, or my barber's hand, but the photograph illustrates the point behind today's post.
Facial grooming -- and I don't mean shaving, mustache, or beard timming -- is something that a lot of guys seem to forget in the quest to kick up their style several notches.  And while I do not advocate the current trend for  "manscaping" and the bizarre, almost pathological need that many people these days seem to have to remove any and all body hair (like tattoos and piercings, I simply don't get it), it is important, however, not to forget smaller things like the ears, nose, and eyebrows.  

Have you ever tried to talk to someone with visible tufts of hair sticking out of his nostrils or ears?  Then you'll know what I mean.  It's like some bizarre hobbit version of The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells!

Anyway, where the ears and nose are concerned, it's easy  and fairly inexpensive to take care of yourself in the privacy of your own bathroom.  Pick up a tr…

Happy Belated Independence Day and Casual Summer Style. . .

An assortment of short-sleeved summer shirts collected over the years.  These, and others in my dresser similar to them, have been part of my go-to warm weather attire since at least the late 1990s.

We're in High Summer mode here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold on July 5th, and it seems like a good idea to get back to attire for a few minutes.  Without going into a long dissertation this afternoon about the whys and wherefores of dressing better than what is now the sad, pathetic average in so much of the developed world, let's keep things short and sweet today.  

I often hear, when talking to various male friends and acquaintances that they either 1) don't have the time, or, as they admit in more candid moments, 2) lack the sartorial knowledge to dress nicely.  Please allow me to channel Colonel Sherman T. Potter from the old 1970s TV series MA.S.H.  In a word (well, two really), "Bull Puckey!"  

All you need are a few different (collared) shirts, and a few different pairs…