Friday, November 27, 2015

Southern Thanksgiving

Friday, November 20, 2015

When Good Tools Go Bad

As you no doubt know, I love tools.  I've posted this here several times.  I like having tools around, I like using them, I like the way they help me.  Some tools are, of course, better than others.  By better, I mean of course, more universal. Most tool guys are always on the lookout for that one tool that can do more than just cut open a bag of cement. So when I find a tool that does that and so much more, it becomes my 'go-to-tool' (or go-tool.)

See that tool up there?  For a long long time, it's been my go-tool for the honey-do projects and working around the house.  It's more than universal.  You can't see it, but in addition to the knife blade and alligator grip nose, it's got a wire cutter and stripper, 2 standard flat-head screw drivers, a phillips screw driver, an awl, a can-opener, bottle opener and a fish descaler and hook remover (because you never know when you're going to catch a fish while you're hanging drywall.) It also came with a set of special bits and a nut driver in a special belt pouch.  The whole thing is not much heavier than my usual pocket knife I carry to work, but made so much better.

And it recently broke. (Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth!)

I can't begin to tell you about it. I was lost all weekend, reaching for my go-tool and realizing that I couldn't use it as it was broken.  Then I'd look at it and fiddle with it and try to figure out how to fix it. Maybe if I found the part it needs online and then find out that, no, the parts are not available anywhere and by then I've totally forgotten the project I was working on.

Other than losing the go-tool, the problem now comes in finding a suitable replacement.  This one was gift, from my wife.  Now I will have to start trolling the online stores, big box hardware stores and even yard sales for just the right tool to become the new go-tool in my tool box arsenal. 

I suppose that it's really not so bad as I will get to spend time in the big hardware store comparing multi-tools to replace it. I can hear my wife's eyes rolling from here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thank you, Joe Biden!

Ok, first the facts.  Vice President Joe Biden  (Pronounced like Bye Bye) was in Nashville this last Thursday to deliver the keynote address at the National League of Cities conference. He was here for several days and stayed at the hotel right downtown.  I like Biden. A damn sight more than I like his boss, but let's not get into that.  

Ok, so Biden was in town. His speech is completed and he's headed to the airport.  Have you ever had the Pres or Vice Pres in your city headed to the airport?  It works like this:

First, the Secret Service (who are none too secret if you ask me) put together an unknown path from the aforementioned hotel to the additionally aforementioned airport.  Just before Mr. VP is ready to go, they lock down the chosen path by blocking any and all traffic into this corridor. Into the limo, big black SUVs pull out and it's off to the airport. The corridor is not unblocked until the entire entourage is several minutes past. When they are sure they won't need to return to the point of origin, they re-open the streets.

Simple, yes?  Yes.  

What this means if you've never experienced it, is that during frakking rush hour, none of the major streets are available to get home! It means that all the traffic that regularly uses these roads (4 lane streets, 8 lane highways and the like) is trying desperately to find some way to get home. It means plenty of angry drivers driving on routes they don't want to be on, driving bumper to bumper, stop and go. And the result: it took my bus about 2 and a half hours to complete a route it usually takes only 30 minutes to complete!  

Thanks, Joe!

There is only one major advantage to this and it's only for those of us to take the bus or ride in ride share.  We have time to read.  I may have been ravenous when I got home to my dried out dinner (Biden's fault, not the wife...) but I had time to finish a book I started only that morning.  So, again, Thanks, Joe!

But yeah, the dinner was dry and for that, yeah, Thanks again, Joe.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Ubiquitous Southern White Suit

Boss Hogg wore one.  Colonel Sanders wore one.  Don Johnson wore one in both Miami Vice and Django Unchained.  Though Crockett didn't really embody the typical Southern Gentleman, the white suit (with either a black string tie or white bow tie) has always been used to denote a man of Southern class, gentility, and affluence.

But Why?  That's the question, why do Southern men get remembered for wearing white suits?

Looking around the Internet, someone mentioned that a white suit would be cooler and in the south this was important in the southern heat.  Yes, white clothing is, indeed, cooler, but not really that cool when you're wearing a shirt, a 3 piece suit and a tie.  In addition, the Caribbean is also known for hot weather and their suit of choice is made of Seersucker.  (It breathes, you see...) Cuba is also known for white suits, but this doesn't explain how it came to be associated with the affluent Southern Gentleman.

My research found a scan of an old cigar box label which shows an old southern plantation owner in all white thus proving that this is not some TV Trope trotted out for quick character identification. But I was stuck on the why..

Until, that is, I came upon a thread from a few years back where people were talking about the white suit and what it meant and most importantly WHY. You can imagine how hard it is to keep a white suit looking clean and white, especially back in the days of horses and carriages. Not only that, but suits back then were washable as they had no dry cleaning (or worsted wool.) So, it's the simple fact that someone is WEARING a white suit that says it all.  It says blatantly, "I have the resources at home to keep the suit looking its best!" This means one must be affluent enough to afford said constant cleaning as well as 2 if not 3 or 4 of these white suits to wear and impress the assembled.

So, if I'm going to be a true southerner, a true Gentleman of the South, I guess I had better get me a white suit. And, a black string tie.
Oh, and fried chicken.  Lots of fried chicken.