About me

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Turtle shell hat

OK, so the rest of y'all call it a pith helmet. Cool. I only use that name when I know I need to be understood by people not from around here. Or when searching on Amazon.

Behold! Something to keep my noggin cool. The sun off my neck and ears. The lions at bay. Yeah, I made up that last part.

It'll be a while before the band molds to my head, but in the mean time, just imagine the tendrils of smoke rising through those vents as I steam and smolder over one thing and another.

Every summer on the farm saw a new turtle shell hat. I usually bought the cardboard and paper variety, painted, and that'd last about a season. They were cheap, you know. My daddy always had the same hat, cloth covered. Somewhere in this world, that gnarly thing still lies unless they cremated it with him.

The band in this new one adjusts using velcro, not a shoe string like they used to. I'm not sure that's an improvement, but it does make the adjustment simpler. There's also no loose string to slip and tickle the back of mu nect. That's a definite improvement.

So, so, so, I suppose it's time we organoze a safari. We should practice a little, perhaps starting with an afternoon fishing trip to be sure we have the hats sized correctly. Just let me know when, and I'll get the cooler chilled and stocked.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Butt light

Yes, I have a butt light.

Where it came from, I don't recall, but it was probably some part of a bicycle pack from a few years back. I've had that bike for a few years, but only this year have I ridden it much, and now I'm really getting into it.

Yes, it can take Grandpa a while to get into gear.

In particular, I like to ride it around town in search of food. What it means is that I can have a drink with dinner, and not have to worry about making a memory at that one check point on that one day when the beer was especially good. More to the point, the ten-mile round trip goes a long way to negating the caloric load, and before you get all so excited about what something might cost, you might pause to consider the price of blood pressure and cholesterol medications. They ain't cheap, and side effects, in my case, make me feel my age, which is so not good.

The problem is that I've grown accustomed to the long days of summer, and now with fall approaching and daylight saving time about to expire for the season, it's easy to be out after dark. Hence, the butt light.

I suspect it was made for runners, and I've seen such lights for sale at Home Depot, though why is a very good question. However, the bigger, the more important, question is: Does it make my butt look fat?

Well, fatter is the better, more appropriate, word, and thank you for bringing that up. This is why that bike needs disk brakes.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Salt and pepper shakers

It probably doesn't get much better than this. Soft plastic salt and pepper shakers with lids to keep the humidity out. Such as this was on the table when I visited relatives in Spring Lake, back when Fayettenam meant something, and the very mention of Hayes Street sent you to the clinic.

Like much of my stuff, these are relics from the camping days. I can't say that I miss the trailers, much less the setups, but I did enjoy some of the times, especially with the children. Home schooling and the professorate meant we could take extended trips to the beach where they could engage enrichment as appropriate.

Maybe it was that, at the beach, a beer at 9 A.M. is not seem so unreasonable.

Regardless, those days are behind us now, and I doubt we revisit them in any recognizable manner. If we so, I hope there's a Hilton involved, or perhaps a Class A motorhome with a houseboy.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I've long had something for hats. Back when I was just a young thing, I had a cap that I wore until my daddy had a fellow at the local store snatch it off my head and throw it in the fire. Tough love, I guess. Folks then didn't much wash caps.

A few years later with Gilligan's Island on the TV, I managed to find a white sailor's hat. I wore that hat inverted for years. There was also the proper hat with the small feather that I wore to church. It was more expensive than I could really afford at the time.

Oh, and yes, for about three days, I wore a beanie with a propeller on top during high school.

Speaking of back in high school, I managed to get a Mexican-style sombrero from a traveling salesman. It was fun to wear, but it quickly shrank to miniature. By quickly, I mean about a fortnight. You could almost watch it disappear.

All through those years, summer was the time for the turtle shell hat. You might know that style as a pith helmet a la the old safari movies. Each summer saw a new turtle shell because we sweated so much that they wore out quickly. We also had a habit of hanging our hats on the last stalk of tobacco of the season. I did that once or twice, but I knew I'd need that hat later when I was working in the barn. Besides, it seemed a shame to abandon a fine and faithful hat like that.

At this point, I buy my hats at a serious discount. Think a very few bucks, usually at Goodwill, but there are notable exceptions. Although I'd dearly love that felt Bronner at the local Army surplus store, the $50 price tag seriously hurts my feelings. Surely, someone will give one in my size to Goodwill soon.

So here's what we have now.

The baseball caps.

There was another half dozen last summer, but the walking program led to a serious degree of salt deposits. I probably should have washed them, but I let them go. I don't really care for the baseball cap, though I wear them often. That's likely related to that thing with my daddy at the store way back. I suppose there's a little baggage remaining in that memory.

The straw hats.

In the back with the blue ribbon, sits the lake special. It often keeps my old bald head from burning when I'm out at the lake. Yes, a bandanna would do the same, and has, but bandannas produce a distinct tan line that is oh the embarrassment the next day. People have enough reasons to laugh at me without me offering them the ammunition.

The other one in the back is a gift from a dear friend. It's a little small now because straw hats shrink, and it rides in my car a lot on the rear shelf. It also sees some time at the lake, and yes, I am sufficiently secure in my sexuality to wear a straw hat with a pink ribbon. You should have figured that already.

In the front is the hat I wore to the bell ringing back on the 4th. There are times it works for me, and other times I cannot bear it. No, I do not know what that is about. Maybe I'm wierder than we thought.

The boonies.

The boonies probably hearken back to the Navy hats from Gilligan's Island. I started noticing them after the Vietnam war, probably because they were becoming available in the surplus stores, and perhaps because they were becoming acceptable when the war ended. There have been many boonies on my head over the years.

The green on is from KMart. It fits, but it's a little small. It sees a lot of use at the gym where it's probably a violation of the dress code just as bandannas are. So far, neither the gym nor the restaurants downtown have asked me to remove it. Maybe one day, you can hope.

The black one is from the local Army surplus. It's bigger, and it fits better. I could use a tan one, but that'll have to wait until I'm on the south side of town AND the surplus store is having a sale.

A proper hat.

I'm wearing this hat right now. It's a proper hat for a proper moment. Given my improper nature, it's not likely to see much action any time soon. However, a girl can dream, can she not?

Driving caps.

The leather cap, I bought on a lark. I'm not certain it'll ever see the light of day. Well, perhaps it will when leather chaps and a vest find their way into my closet, but that's a wholly different situation that's likely a long time off. Have you priced leather clothing lately?

The other is in the hat like my daddy wore, and there's an hole nudder story there. He usually wore a style from London Fog. My mother once even gave me one along with a London Fog rain coat. She said I would need this for college. As I recall, I never wore either. It's only been in the last season that I can bring myself to put the cloth cap on my head, much less look in the mirror. Nonetheless, I find myself liking it, and you're at risk to see more, perhaps even at work. It's probably better to deal with the old baggage before it takes us down, and we wonder what happened.