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Showing posts from February, 2020

Camouflage Belt Style. . .

The Young Master earned his camouflage belt in Tae Kwon Do during a Tuesday evening belt test earlier this week with the belt ceremony on Wednesday.  His side kick and stepping side kick took a bit of extra work to nail down over the last several weeks, but in the end he broke his boards on the first attempt(s) Tuesday evening.  In front of room packed with fellow testers, their parents, and or family members no less.  Paul actually has a mini-tournament coming up in a few weeks during which he'll perform a bowstaff routine.  We're so proud of him we can hardly speak.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


P.S.
As an added bonus, here is highly useful advice for succeeding in life that Master Rodriguez and his fellow teachers impart to their students at each session, test, and belt ceremony:

Four Levels of Discipline
ObedienceSelf-DisciplineSelf-ControlSelf-Awareness
Eleven Components of Discipline
CommitmentPunctualityGoalsFocusPersistenceDeterminationResponsibilityCourageFitnessVisionPassion

Solid guidanc…

"How Do I. . .???"

A pleasing, albeit dated, illustration of male professionals the way they looked once upon a time (not all that long ago) before egalitarian sloppiness took over in the name of perceived comfort, 'Relatability,' and a standard to which all could more readily aspire.

About three weeks ago, a male student asked to talk to me following my class on Contemporary Global Cinema.  Mr. D. is a pretty good student who views most of the films, does most of the related reading, and contributes to class discussions as well as his student learning team projects.  A Michigan rocker judging by hair length and attire.  

Anyway, once the room was empty, he asked how he might increase his vocabulary and spruce up his appearance.  I suggested a few book titles via Amazon and told him to pick up a few if he could and read a little everyday.  A week later, he proudly stopped by after class to show me the three he had ordered and was working through.  We chatted for a few more minutes, and I asked him…

Live Life on an Even Keel. . .

Holding up the bar in the 1930s.  Who knows?  Maybe these men were discussing the points made in today's post?

How does a person live in a steady, untroubled state without drama?  To put it another way, how might one live life on an even keel?  There are probably many ways to approach that particular question, but here's my take on it.  See what you think.


1) Get serious about life!
You don't actually want to live in your parents' basement forever, right?  So, stop drifting.  Decide on a goal, make plans to achieve it (LEGALLY), and follow through.  Make a decision even if it turns out to be the wrong one.  But whatever you do, don't become so anxious about making the decision ("Oh, my God!  What if I choose. . .  THE WRONG OPTION???") that you never do it for fear of skinning your knees.  That is part of life.  But above all, you need to get serious about life much sooner than has become the norm for people everywhere.  You can't remain a feckless adole…

Tweed & Cords Thursday. . .

As above. . .

Oppressing the rest of the world today.  Yes.  Really.  The variation of my usual attire was topped off by a chocolate brown fedora, a camel polo coat, lengthy wool university stripe scarf that I've had for 20+ years, and a dark tan leather briefcase given to me by The Grand Duchess three and a half years ago when I reached a certain milestone.  

Lest you think I am kidding with the first sentence above, it would seem that there are people in the world who themselves neither aspire to, nor want others to dress presentably.  In their words  such clothing evokes "misogyny, racism, and oppression." 

Um, right.

I have encountered similar language and the attitude behind it in a few different places online the last several years.  It's funny, but that line of thought seems awfully close to some kind of broad brush reverse bigotry, discrimination, and profiling.  But we're not supposed to do that, right?  Hmmm.  A sign of the times I suppose.

-- Heinz-Ulric…

Valentine's Day Skiing Style. . .

Part of the trail system in the vicinity of Lake Lansing here in Mid-Michigan.

After a 9am meeting this morning on campus -- a very pleasant meeting by the way thanks to the personalities involved -- I had the day to myself and decided to hit the trails given our cold and snow here.  

Just 10 minutes from the house, I enjoyed a wonderfully invigorating 90-minutes skiing through the woods and across fields at a leisurely pace.  Besides brief and happy chats with two or three other skiers going in the opposite direction and two different couples snow-shoeing through the woods, I had the place to myself.  I arrived home tired, relaxed, content in the way that only extended physical exercise permits, and with a clear mind.  

If only I could manage this sort of thing three or four times a week, my stress level would be considerably lower.  Hmmmm. . .  I might have to purchase some of those fancy roller skis for dry land training during the summer.  Now, THAT would give the neighborhood someth…

Where Does One Find Scintillating Conversation in 2020?

A 1937 cocktail party rendered, I believe, by the late illustrator Laurence Fellows.

How do you and yours go about compiling the guest list for a gathering in your home? 

My own observations over the years suggest that, at least here in Middle America, few give much thought at all to a guest list when planning such an event.  People simply invite anyone and everyone they might know with little forethought as to how different guests and personalities will mix.  Or not as the case may be.

I’ve largely given up on accepting invitations to dinners and parties during the last three years or so, much to my wife’s chagrin and annoyance, because so many in the academic sphere, while they can hold forth ad nauseam about their narrow subjects, are more challenged when it comes to general (and, frankly, more interesting) chit-chat.  In a word, it is excruciating.  And sometimes difficult to avoid or escape once these types attach themselves to you early in the evening.  The related conce…

Pizza Chef Style. . .

The master chef hard at work kneading his dough.  His mother was imbibing the red wine, not, I hasten to add, Young Paul.

The Young Master is turning out to be something of a Renaissance Man.  Besides his ongoing study of the piano, Tae Kwon Do, a strong interest in Science, and a good command of conversational German, albeit with a Berlin-specific tinge, he has recently become very interested in cooking and baking, producing some very tasty things with only minimal help from ol' Mom and Dad.  Last weekend, he took his first stab at making a pizza from scratch, and has improved upon the process this weekend as well.  Here are a few photographs documenting his adventures in the kitchen last Saturday afternoon and evening.
-- Heinz-Ulrich


The finished pizza just before going into the oven last Saturday evening.

And the finished pizza, fresh from the oven.  Not usually a fan of home-made pizzas, which have almost always disappointed in the past, Young Paul's tasted even better than I…

Wednesday in Winter Coffee Break Style. . .

As above. . .

Student learning team presentations today!  Article review 'newscasts' in which small teams of students quickly review and critique two journal articles in the form of a TV newscast or news talk show.  To my delight, we finished with the first class about 10 minutes early midday, so I decided to dash across the street for a cup of Italian dark roast coffee before the second class began just after 12:30.  I took these photos while enjoying the fresh air outside in an Optimo 'Dearborn' fedora, Harris Tweed jacket, and a vintage double-breasted camel polo coat.  I'm sure I looked like a complete and utter space alien to anyone who noticed.  No matter.  It was about 30 degrees F. in my part of Mid-Michigan this afternoon, but no wind, so very pleasant outside for half an hour or so.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


So below. . .

An Order Placed with Mercer & Sons. . .

A lovely yellow and white university stripe 100% Pima cotton oxford for the first shirt (swatch from the Mercer & Sons website).

Where in the world did January go?  It still seems like we were just in the midst of Christmas Week not five minutes ago.  No matter.  Here we are at the start of February, and it's time to revisit The Classic Style theme for 2020, the willingness to take a hard look at things and make the necessary changes.

With that idea in mind, it's time to swap out a few dress shirts from the ol' professional wardrobe that are beginning to show their age with collars and/or cuff edges that are becoming more frayed than I'd like.  And while there is no problem dressing in attire that looks lived in, comfortable, and loved (albeit clean, pressed, and well-maintained), none of us want to walk around looking threadbare.

In recent months, therefore, I've filtered out a few old Land's End shirts, purchased in the very early 200os when I took my first …