Posts Tagged ‘hats’

Personal Miscellany

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The major muscles around my left shoulder — trapezius, deltoid, latissimus dorsi, and especially pectoral — have been hurting a great deal whenever I've moved that arm in the last few days. I hadn't recently engaged in any major physical activity nor been in an accident. I'm wondering whether I've injured a nerve with my back-pack.


On Thursday night or Friday morning, at the Hillcrest CVS/pharmacy, I noticed that bags of pistachios, regulary priced at US$3.99, were on sale for US$4.99 for those with a loyalty card. I brought this problematic sale to the attention of a supervisor, but the offer continued at least through Friday night.


On Friday night, I was walking to my car, when I spotted a feral mouse running ahead of me on the side-walk. All of the feral mice that I'd seen before were wood mice or deer mice, and all back in New Jersey, on property adjacent to woods. Here in San Diego, the only feral rodents that I'd seen were pack-rats (about the size of domesticated hamsters or gerbils[1]). This little creature looked like a house-mouse. At one point, the mouse was cornered in a door way. But, of course, I had no intention of hurting it and wouldn't even have wanted to catch it — it might have pups back in a nest somewhere, and I'd have to worry about the diseases that a wild mouse might carry.


This morning, near my home, I came across a relatively young immigrant man and woman, trying to figure-out how to start her car. They had another car with them. I asked if they needed jumper cables, and the man said yes, so I got mine. (Most people in this area don't have jumper cables; I keep long, heavy-duty cables in my car.) I let the guy do the connecting — I just discreetly watched to ensure that he didn't wire the batteries in series — because I neither wanted to make him seem ineffectual in front of the woman nor wanted to be blamed should something go awry.

He really didn't know what he was doing. He connected the negative line directly to the batteries, repeatedly clacked clamps together as a way of ensuring that the connection to the running car was good, didn't listen to the car that wasn't starting, and didn't seem to understand that a bad battery wouldn't explain the inability to start the parasitic car.

I couldn't hear the solenoid. I tried to explain to them that there was a problem with the ignition or a blown fuse. Anyway, they eventually gave-up on trying to jump-start the car, and returned my cables. I wished them good luck. The car is parked in a metered spot, but they have until 8 AM on Monday before that meter has to be fed.


I have an intermittent, vertical, purple line appearing on the display of my note-book computer. This tells me that the LCD panel, only about a year old, is beginning to fail. Bah!


[1] I'll rat myself out: One night several months ago, thinking that a rodent (which I could not see well) might be an escaped pet, I caught one of those pack-rats with my hat. A neighbor told me that the creature was a rat; it plainly wasn't a domesticated R. norvegicus, so I released it. The Woman of Interest noted to me that I needed to do something about mites and what-not that might have been transferred to the hat. I felt foolish.

Radical Reformation

Saturday, 10 January 2009

These days, with the weather colder and often wetter, when out-of-doors I generally wear my Peterman duster and my Jaxon nubuck leather safari hat. Throw-in the L.L Bean Wellington boots, and you have what the Woman of Interest calls my mouse-boy outfit. (I am not, never have been, and never plan to be a cowboy, but I have had mice and plan again to have mice.)

Meanwhile, I still have the Wolverinesque sideburns.

To-day, I was walking past the Hillcrest CVS/pharmacy, with the sideburns, duster, and hat (but wearing Skecher's trainers). A couple of fellows, in all seriousness, asked me if I were Amish. I told them that I was not, but one said to the other He's one of those. and asked me what I was. I'm an atheist. The fellow seemed to take that as confirmation of what he'd thought. Perhaps he uses an odd taxonomy.

In this Style 10/6

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

I had a brief but very pleasant conversation this morning with Fred Belinsky, owner of the Village Hat Shop.

One of Mr Belinsky's 'blog entries had been about common-sense responsiveness to customers, and I felt that if I spoke to him about a sort of hat that I'd like to buy from him, then my request would be weighed into the decisions about what their in-house manufacturer, Jaxon Hats, would make.

Mr Belinksy was perfectly reasonable. He suggested some items from their present wares; he respected and even sympathized with my discomfort with fur felts. (In fact, his remarks made me more inclined to think that someone might make a go of a business that made fur felts without the animals having been killed or injured to collect the fur.[1]) Further, he thanked me for expressing my desires, and asserted that, indeed, such requests were factored into the decisions as to what to make. When he learned that I had quite liked a now officially discountinued hat, he made a check in the back room to see if he could find one for me. (Tragically, he found one in each of the other two colors, but not the grey that would go with my suits.)

Before I spoke with Mr Belinsky, I'd found a hat that I wanted to get for my mother. Mr Belinsky was kind enough to give me a Jaxon baseball cap as a lagniappe with that purchase.

And, as I was checking-out, Mr Belinsky amusedly brought-over another customer, who had just asked for a hat of very similar description to that which I'd requested.


[1]No, I wouldn't want to call it the Shaved Beaver Felt Firm.

Better Nothing at All

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

English Leather used to be a major brand of men's grooming products. The English Leather brand was introduced by the House of Dana in 1949. I'm not sure exactly what happened to the brand, but in 1995, les Parfums de Dana was acquired by Renaissance Cosmetics, Inc, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1999 and was acquired by Fragrance Express, Inc, which creäted New Dana Perfumes Corporation with the portfolio. In 2003, Dana Classic Fragrances, a company closely associated with New Dana Perfumes Corporation and principally owned by the CEO of New Dana Perfumes Corporation, bought the fragrance brand portfolio of New Dana Perfumes Corporation.

And yester-day, in my mail-box, I got a different sort of indication of the fate of the brand.

The junkiest of the junk-mail that I get comes in a form rather like newspaper inserts. On the back page on such an assemblage, was an advertisement for English Leather® hats. Here's a version that I found on-line of pretty much the same advertisement: [advertisement for four tasteless black leather hats] I don't know how English Leather comes to be used to brand extraordinarily tasteless hats, whether this be a hijacking or Dana having left a back-door unsecured. But this is a brand either in free fall or in grave danger of becoming so.

Parental Visit

Sunday, 16 November 2008

My parents were in-town from Friday after-noon into Sunday morning. Dad came in part to do a reading and book-signing at Mysterious Galaxy Books. [image of DLMcK at a lectern, answering a question]

My parents were quite surprised by my appearance, not having seen nor been warned about the sideburns. My mother insisted that I now have a beard.

They brought with them a bicycle that my father used. He now finds it too hard on his hips, and so gave it to me. It has been more than fifteen years since I owned a bicycle, and more than twenty years since I rode on one. I'll hope that riding a bicycle is just like riding a bicycle.

He also gave me a couple of surplus Logitech computer mouses (one in need of repair and the other essentially brand new), and books and copies of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

I gave to Dad the crushable Aussie hat that I got for him, and a Beanie Baby husky. (Dad is not know for being a fan of Beanie Babies, but we have fond memories of our last family dog, a Siberian Husky.) I completely forgot to give to them any of the CFLs that I got when they were on sale.

I have plans to travel to Tucson for Thanksgiving, in part because my parents' computers need some sort of maintenance.

Smashing Hat Service

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

One thing that I regret about my Jaxon safari hat is that it's not crushable — I cannot simply stuff it into a suitcase. So I was cruising the website of the Village Hat Shop, whereupon I found crushable wool Aussie hats on sale for just $15 apiece.

At that price, I decided that I should get three — one for myself, one for the Woman of Interest, and one for my father. I would also have got one for my mother, except that I don't know the size of her head.

So I stopped at the local store yester-day morning. Unfortunately, they had none in the appropriate size in-stock, but they took my name and number, and said that they would call if they some were found in the warehouse or at one of the other stores.

In the event, they called that after-noon to report that they now had three at the local store, being held in my name for a few days. I stopped again this morning, when they opened, and bought the hats.

Anyway, I thought that they gave very good service on some very inexpensive hats.

A Man of Many Hats

Friday, 15 August 2008

*The Village Hat Shop has a price-match policy.

But I Shan't Talk out of It

Monday, 11 August 2008

For many years now, I have had a Peterman duster (in the original canvas color, which I'm happy to see has again become available), but really no hat to go with it. I've been known to wear a baseball-style cap (with a graphic for the now-defunct UCSD HP-PAL) with it, but the result was questionable.

While I was out to-day, I was seized by the urge to get a hat. So I stopped at the Village Hat Shop. There I found and purchased a chestnut-colored Jaxon Nubuck Safari.

(As I was completing purchase, the salesgirl said that /ˈkiən/ was a fine Irish name. I didn't tell her that my middle name is in fact pronounced /ˈkʌɪən/ and that, though there are Irishmen named Kian, in my case my name was just an invention based on my father's notions of euphany, and his disregard for how a name pronounced /ˈkʌɪən/ ought best to be spelled.)

The hat unfortunately isn't packable/crushable, but should develop some character with time.