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Showing posts from July, 2019

The Dog Days of Summer: Beating the Heat Yellow Lab Style. . .

  'Daisy Darling' just after her arrival at my parents' home.  She is just over eight weeks old here. B ack at the start of July, ol' Mom and Stepdad took delivery of 'Daisy Darling,' their new yellow Labrador puppy.  Since then, my 74-year old mother has been busy with house training and regular walks with the puppy on top of her landscaping research and planning, observing the golfers at play, or groundskeepers at work on the course immediately adjacent to their house in Pinehurst, North Carolina.   As children way back in the 1970s, my family had a pair of black Labs, and they were ideal family dogs.  Calm, good natured, playful out of doors, and just plain nice company.  Relatively easy to train too, something that more people with dogs  (and children) ought to be mindful of but typically (at least in the United States) are not. Anyway, it's easy to see why so many people are so fond of Labs and various similar retrievers as one peruses th

Hardboiled July. . .

The late Ella Raines.  You can almost hear the lonely, late night trumpet in the distance. A couple of weeks went by without any leads.   June Knorr Ph. D. had blown town.   All I’d heard from her was a short note saying she wasn’t ready for anything serious.   Had to figure things out while she was at some archive overseas.   No explanation.  No expectations.   No apologies.              Some guys have all the luck.             It was pushing 11pm, and I was getting tired of driving around thinking about it.   Mr. and Mrs. Goad seemed more interesting by comparison than my apparent inability in the romance department.   Seemed like a better idea to head for home and get some sleep.   Maybe things would look better in the morning?   Nah.   Who am I kidding?   They wouldn’t.   I’d be just as much in the dark about it later.   Certainly in a darker place.   What difference would six or seven hours make?             A breaking news bulletin came on the car radio

4th of July Style. . .

  As above post-shower.  The seersucker shirt is a recent Father's Day gift from The Grand Duchess.  Highly appropriate for July 4th. I t is amazing the transformative effect that a tepid shower and something cold to drink after donning fresh clothes can have.  After a morning on the lawn with Mr. Toro to beat the forecast thunderstorms -- of course, now the sun is shining, and no sign of the predicted weather -- that is just what I did before some lunch and then rehanging a couple of troublesome cabinet doors in the kitchen. Amazingly, that little unexpected side project went well the first time.  It is not always so.  Typically, my "handiness" does not go beyond some basic interior painting, use of a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers.  In short, I know when it's time to call a service person! Anyway, it is a quiet, warm Fourth of July.  Many people are away, so the neighborhood is blissfully quiet while North Carolina Pork Barbecue and red slaw (my late mat

The Necktie Is Dead? Long Live the Necktie!

The just arrived vintage 1960s Eustice Tilley necktie.  I think I'll wear it on the first day of the new semester at the end of August. M ost places these days, men no longer need to wear neckties here in the United States.  Even in the so called white collar professional world.  However, there are still a few of us around -- weirdos admittedly -- who don and sport them with great aplomb even when the dress code suggests otherwise.  Not necessarily because we HAVE to, you understand, but because we enjoy the simple act of dressing somewhat more presentably than has become the disheveled norm. While my wardrobe feels largely complete, occasionally I spot the odd item that is simply too interesting to pass by,  Such was the case last week when I came across the item shown above on Ebay.  Initially, I did, in fact, pass it by.  Several days later, however,  I remembered the necktie, checked back, and amazingly it was still available.  So, I pulled the trigger, and it arrived