Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Greatcoat revisited

It was four years ago when I first introduced you to the great overcoat awakening and the greatcoat renaissance.  If I blog it here you can rest assured that it will enter mainstream culture in a few years.  These days "military style overcoats" are all the rage.  And a lot has changed since then. Well I'm here to share my findings.

I have cycled through many an overcoat over the years. All relatively cheap. And these days I'm settled on bridge coats (alternately spelled bridgecoats with no space), the coat of choice for naval officers stationed on the bridge in inclement weather.  Why bridgecoats?  Glad I asked.

The bridgecoat way

First and foremost bridge coats are black. Black is the traditional color of overcoats and you won't find many men wearing any other color. So while the overcoats and greatcoats of different branches of different militaries around the world have an interesting variety of colors; black is best.  Black has always been my favorite color and is also the overwhelming favorite color of business jerks wearing long wool overcoats.  These days it is nice to be a little less conspicuous.

Second they are double breasted in a way that is different from your typical double breasted overcoat. With a typical double breasted overcoat the lapels stick out when you pop the collar up.

This is because of the way the collar and lapels are cut.  With a bridgecoat and the pea coat cut, this isn't an issue.  You see, every part was designed for a specific function.  The collar was designed to fold up to protect the back of the neck and head from the elements.  The lapels too are functional.  They are designed to fold over and button up to protect the chest from the elements.  There is even a chin strap included that buttons in to protect the front of the neck.

Underneath the collar is yet another set of buttons.  These button up the now folder over lapels, just in case you forgot your scarf.  On the underside of the collar is a set of tiny black buttons for buttoning up your chin strap.

The chin strap conveniently buttons into the inside of your coat for storage during regular times, to be buttoned under your chin when you really need it.

Typical civilian overcoats turn functional design into useless vestiges.  A small collar that doesn't fold up.  Small lapels that are mere decoration.  But military clothes tend to follow the "form follows function" philosophy so most everything has a purpose.  I suppose the row of buttons on the left side is superfluous as they are typically anchored in a way that they can't button, even if the coat has a set of button holes on the other side (which they usually do).  They are there merely for symmetry.  But check it out they have this small side vent for carrying a sidearm.  So you can pull out your saber or something.  And of course it buttons closed.  Did I mention these coats have a lot of buttons?

There's also something timeless about these coats.  The cut and look of them fits with today's military coat fetish but also reminds me of coats from the Victorian and Edwardian era.  I had this olde timey picture of dudes hanging around drinking whiskey from the 1800s wearing similarly cut coats but now I lost it.  But you get the point.  No matter the trend this look will last.

Okay so I've cycled through 3 and I'm here to tell you about them. Let me preface this by saying I bought them all on eBay and the most I paid for any individual coat was 40 dollars including shipping.  I am an obsessive eBayer and I find deals, okay?  They usually go for a lot more.  My first bridgecoat was too long and narrow. The original owner must have been tall and thin.  I am guessing it was a more modern vintage because the lapels were fairly narrow. So too small of collar and lapels, poor fit because many of these old coats don't have regular measurements.  Eventually I bought a second and unloaded the first on eBay. So, on to the second. 

My second bridgecoat was superior to the first in every way. Bigger lapels. Wider collar. Shorter length.  Wider in torso and shoulders.  A better fit overall (I am short ok!). The wool is very thick and very fine and it is a very warm coat. Overall it is superb and I have no complaints about it other than the coat is so old that the threads that held the buttons on disintigrated, especially the top and most important button, so I had to re-sew it.  Everything else was in great shape.  I am not a natural at sewing but I did an ok job at it.  Now the threads that protect the button holes are wearing away because of the brass buttons, but that is another story.  This is still my favorite coat.  Better than my first bridge coat.  Better than my regular double breasted overcoat.  About as heavy and awesome as my Soviet Greatcoat.  All black and looks great.

So why did I buy a third?  Well, a few reasons. Mostly because it was a bit snug in the shoulders and with all that GTL I was worried it wouldn't fit.   Good news, it still fits okay, but I still I went shopping for something maybe a little wider...

File photo of Mr. Booze hard at work this summer

My third bridgecoat was a super deal on eBay (less than ten bucks including shipping!). The seller had only one crappy picture. The coat itself was in bad shape. The owner cut all the original buttons off; probably thinking that they were the most valuable part and sold those separate. He replaced the buttons with standard plastic ones but did a shitty job. For some reason he sliced open the lining to sew the buttons between the inner and outer layers instead of using a back button. Stupid and I have never seen it on any overcoat I've owned - and this is my 6th.  Yes I have problems.  So I've been slowly repairing his handiwork.  Unlike my other coats this one has a clear date of manufacture:  1977.

Overall my second bridgecoat, which I will never sell, is the best. It is the thickest wool, the nicest shape. Overall a winner. The wool on my third bridgecoat isn't as thick. I'm not sure if it was made that way or what but there isn't an inner wool shell in the sleeves.  The inner lining was sliced at the cuffs.  Did the original owner slice it to remove the inner wool shell too?  Still my third bridgecoat has virtues. The plastic buttons are more discrete. It is lighter, which is sometimes useful.  And it is slightly wider in the shoulders.  And though not as heavy and warm it is still about as heavy and warm as a typically modern department store overcoat.  They truly do not make them like they used to.

The brass buttons of a bridge coat depict an eagle perched atop an anchor.  Kinda cool but the raised relief frayed the button holes.  Also my second bridgecoat is technically a Coast Guard coat, though the only difference is the inside tag and the position of the eagle, who is perched atop the very top of the anchor.

Most Navy bridgecoats I've seen have the eagle sitting on the sideways anchor so this might be a distinctive Coast Guard thingy.  This is literally the only difference between the three coats in terms of actual design.  The other differences are just variations in size and manufacturing style.  Though these buttons are cool and interesting they are also a bit bling and cause the button holes to fray.

So there you have it.  Come hang out with Mr. Booze in the winter cold and have a nip of brandy or whiskey and keep warm wearing a old bridgecoat you bought on eBay.  Because you deserve it, baby.

Midnight tobacco induced hallucinations

I love old cigarette commercials.  They are wacky.  They seem to take me back to an earlier era better than any other piece of media.  The way people lived.  Everything from how popular music was produced to what sort of clothes people wore is all represented in these little nuggets.  And after watching enough of them the very idea of smoking becomes nauseating.  After a while all people do is bitch about their cigarettes.  The flavor doesn't last.  Menthol too strong.  Not mild enough.  Whine whine whine.  Seems like a big drag to me.  Hah, I kill me.

But maybe I watched too many?  Like this poor bastard here who probably found something wacky in his tobaccy:

Look at this related series of Kool commercials and scroll down to the comments.  Some guy is so pissed off for some reason that he challenges a person to a fight.  In his zeal he gives out his phone number.

Click to embiggen and WTF

Yeah I guess that is what happens when you stay up too late smoking cigarettes.  You go crazy.  If I was drunk and all alone here I would probably call this number just to see what happens.  I already put the number into google, and I won't spoil that mystery fun time for you.  But man...what was in that cigarette?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Whiskey for your health!

I've uncovered more evidence that whiskey is good for your health.  Check out this 100 year old lady who drinks whiskey and smokes cigarettes every day.

I put my health down to whisky and cigarettes. I only drink when I’m out but my doctor said I wouldn’t be alive without them. I’m still alive and I can lift my elbows - it’s great. I’ve had a great life and God has treated me very well. I’ve been very lucky.

Yeah and here is America's oldest veteran drinking whiskey and smoking a cigar every day.

 “I may drink a little in the evening too with some soda water, but that’s it,” Overton told Fox News. “Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender.”

There you have it, folks.  The evidence speaks for itself.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Still ahead of the curve: Starship Troopers

First they rip off my movie ideas.  Next they rip off my blog posts.  Remember when I wrote about Starship Troopers and how it was a misunderstood and underrated movie?  That was back in March of 2011.  Well now the Atlantic is working a swagger jacker as well.

Starship Troopers is satire, a ruthlessly funny and keenly self-aware sendup of right-wing militarism. The fact that it was and continues to be taken at face value speaks to the very vapidity the movie skewers.

But I said it better:

Some people think the movie is pro-war.  Some people think the movie is satirical and is anti-war. Why do you think they dressed Doogie Howser like Dr. Mengle?

I think Calum Marsh, aside from making an article based on my uncredited work, misses what is the real charm of the movie and why critics don't give it is a break.  Critics bash the movie because it was so radically different from the book.  But just forget about the book and judge the movie based on its own merits as a stand alone film.  And also keep in mind the way that we see and view wars today and how that was changed after the film came out.  The bugs launch a terrorist attack against civilians and there is a jingoist rise to wage war against them.  We watch the war passively through video clips and embedded journalists while the enemy's mastermind is hunted in the caves in the mountains.  And even if we catch the mastermind the war will go on, doesn't it?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ripped Off

I told you to mark it here.  That's right, I came up with the idea for a movie about Somali Pirates way back in 2011.

But it would be an inside look at the lives of Somali Pirates.  The gritty stories of desperately poor young men searching for riches the only way they can might have some resonance with the entertainment audience.

And now they made it.  Starring Tom Hanks or some shit.  Come on Hollywood, pay me.

Monday, November 4, 2013

From the bargain bin: Nature Quest CDs

Do you remember the 90s?  Like really remember the 90s?  If you do, then you remember that New Age music was big.  Oh, maybe it was bigger in the 80s I don't know.  But in the early 90s it was still going strong.

During the twilight of the New Age there were a lot of "relaxing" CDs pressed.  But not all of it New Age music.  In fact there were quite a few albums of straight up classical music with the "sound of nature" mixed in.

This is a safe place, right?  Ok, I'm going to tell you I really dig these albums.  That's right, these are Amazon's gems.  You can get these discs for a buck.  They have solid classical music and some decent nature mixed in.

Yeah I know, right?

Check out Wolf Song.  You won't find any info online, but it is all classical music with howling wolves interspersed.  I don't recognize a lot of the songs, but I recognize a few like Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughn Williams.  Not New Age at all.

Some of the others feature the ocean with Pachelbel, Handel, and Bach.  Or the ocean with lots of Debussey.

At a bargain bin prices I am stocking up before these beauties disappear forever and become horribly overpriced collector's items.  Maybe you should too?

Friday, November 1, 2013

DIY true tone flash

So if you've seen the new iPhone's camera, you know it has a "true tone" flash. One is the regular blue and one is yellow for warmer light conditions. Kinda cool. Pros have been balancing the color of their flash for years with gels. You too can do this to your camera phone with these simple instructions.

1. Buy some gels. Back in my day grocery stores used to sell colored cellophane. I didn't see any so I guess this is a "back in my day" story. So instead you can order some from Roscoe. In fact they often have a multi color sampler pack for cheap. The samples are more than enough for your camera.

2. Cut the gel into the right size.  Basically you'll just cut out a square big enough to cover the flash on your camera.

3. Tape it over the flash. Pretty easy, right? But what if you want to switch colors? You can try the Velcro trick. Instead of taping it directly to the phone, tape it to a strip of Velcro. Cut it down to the right size and put another strip of Velcro on the phone. There you go. Customized true tone flash for any camera phone with a flash.

Friday, October 25, 2013

False Flag

I used that website to see if the new iPhone is in stock.  It said the phone was in stock.  I went to the Apple store, because I want to get the trade in credit.  They said they don't have any 5S in stock.  None.  I went home angry.  I checked the website - this time the Apple website - and they said they have it in the store I just returned from.  This is the third time this has happened.  Three strikes and you're out.  Well the first time my mobile carrier went down and they couldn't sell them.  So two stupid strikes.  Maybe it is a sign.

So I'm thinking again about the Android.  I recently read that not only can I ditch the awful iTunes but that you can plug your DSLR directly into your phone and then load the pictures and post them to the webs.  How awesome is that?  For these two things alone it might be worth it.


Wish I could just put Android on the iPhone.  Because nothing beats the iPhone for looks.  If it is just going to live in a case then who cares about little details?  Flat back, flat sides, and rounded edges; just the overall shape is perfect.  Well it also has that awesome camera.  Photo noobs take note:  bigger megapixels are better.  The new iPhone camera has bigger megapixels and the lens has a wider max aperture.  It is possibly the best camera in any cellphone.

Two years is a long time to commit to something.  I would like to have a phone with a bigger keyboard and be able to do some Androidy widgety things.  Maybe Apple Store shenanigans is a sign?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Time to buy a new phone

It's that time of year.  Time for a new phone.  The current Godmachine is the iPhone 4S, so it is time to upgrade.  This year's Apple offering is the iPhone 5S.  It is a nice looking phone, but iOS 7 has a few bad features in with the new features.

But before that, let's take a look back at the first iPhone.

Love or hate them, Apple changed the cellphone market forever.  While they didn't create the first smartphone (and never claimed to), the first iPhone was truly revolutionary.  Look at how phones changed.  I also find it useful to compare this video with Microsoft's response. 

The first thing he has to say is that it isn't a good business phone.  Because back in 2006 the only people who had smartphones like the Palm and the Blackberry were business people who often were assigned their phones by their jobs.  So Ballmer is here thinking that because businesses won't buy them (because they won't be as efficient for typing emails) that they won't sell well.  He doesn't seem to realize the consumer potential.

Okay now let me bitch about the new iPhone!

First they have disabled the music player from playing podcasts.  I hate this "feature" because I listen to a lot of podcasts.  Music podcasts, comedy podcasts, and educational podcasts.  All the while I mix in some regular old music.  Switching apps is a chore and the podcast app sucks.


Yes, pastels!

I give this phone a lot of credit though.  The iPhone is the most stolen cell phone.  Theives target it because of the high resale value.  They call it "Apple picking".  Apple decided to add a fingerprint scanner to stop this.  They didn't have to, and I give them a lot of credit for doing it and making it work fairly well.  If your phone is stolen I imagine it is a race against time between you and the theives to see who can get to a computer first.  You try and get to a computer to brick it.  They try and get to a computer to hack it.  If it takes a few extra hours for them to hack your phone that gives you precious time.

Still, having flaws gives me pause.  Maybe it is time to look around and size up the competitors.

Android phones:

One thing I like about Android phones is that they are so customizable.  You can change just about everything regarding the look and feel of the UI.  In a way, that's part of the problem with these things.  Many of the handset manufacturers have loaded their own UI over Android.  I've played around with a few of these and so far I don't like what they've done.  Maybe the "pure" Android with my own custom crap would be good, but some of these don't look that great - like Touchwiz - and some don't respond so well - like the Nook.

There are some other nice looking features, like freeing me from iTunes (which I still hate) and being able to add widgets.  Because I hate that the lock screen on the iPhone doesn't display the date and there is no way to make it do that.

All in all I'm not really sure if the pros of Android outweigh the cons.  Android updates are so disjointed that there is no way to know if your phone will even get the next update.  But I'm sure that the iPhone 5S will get next year's iOS update.  I'm also not sure that I want to spend a lot of time figuring out a new OS and how to customize and maximize the darn thing.

That's just the software.  So the only ones that look like something to compare with the iPhone from a hardware point of view are the HTC One and the Moto X.  Also I'm not into really big screens because I don't carry a purse around, so I'm not interested in things like the Galaxy.  I can't really say if they are better hardware or not.  Pretty good specs.  I'd lean towards the HTC One because of the aluminum body and square edges.  I like that the iPhone lies flat when I set it down and that I can rest it on its side to use the flash as a minilamp.  You'll understand when you get married.

Microsoft phones:

I really wanted to like these.  They seem like they work well.  Like most Microsoft things, they are very poorly marketed.  Remember that commercial that had the thesis that it freed you from your old phone, which was too consuming.

When you watch this commercial, without seeing the Microsoft tag at the very end, it would be easy to imagine this commercial was made by someone who hated smartphones.  Showing you people who loved their phones too much; it was like they were trying to get you to use a new product like google glass or trying to convince you to take a vacation and unplug from the Matrix.  I mean really?  What idiot dreamed this up?  Oh right...

The best quote is from the youtube comments

Great commercial! Really highlights how if you get a Windows Phone you won't even want to use it like those other suckers out there. My friend actually leaves his Windows Phone in a drawer for weeks at a time.

So the actual Windows phone, which they don't even bother to show you in this commercial, isn't bad.  But I don't know if I could ever really like the hub and tiles.  I like that they tried something different.  But if pastels were bad then big color blocks aren't much better.  I'm old and boring and I don't need to have live tiles constantly update.  There won't be updates and that will just depress me and remind me of how boring my life is.

My brother, the other Mister Booze, has one and likes it.  But he likes the XBox live stuff.  I hate games and would have no use for it.  It doesn't look any more customizable than the iPhone.

So it looks like my choices are iPhone or Android - most likely the HTC One - and I'm leaning towards the iPhone.  Maybe if we complain enough Apple will let us customize some more things (remember when they finally gave us custom text tones) and fix the music player.  Remember when the first iPhone came out and you could only sync music, you couldn't even manually manage music?  And it didn't have a landscape keyboard or cut and paste?

Speaking of which, I understand that the young kids stream all their music these days.  And I get that.  I do.  But if you were me you wouldn't stream music either.  I work downtown where the network is bogged down and speeds over the 3G/4G whatever are terrible.  There isn't a free wifi network near my desk.  And I stupidly tried to save a few bucks and dropped my unlimited plan back when I did have a free wifi network at my desk and only used a few hundred meg a month.  And now I'm too cheap to bump up my monthly data plan.  So yeah, stream that music kids.  Grandpa booze over here will be doing it the old fashioned way and upload mp3s to his phone.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm so bad I party in Detroit

This used to be a t-shirt slogan in the 80s.  Might still be available at some hold in the wall Army surplus store.  Do they still have surplus stores?

So bad!


Yolo!  Don't ask what building this was, I don't know.  It was pretty rad.  Detroit has quite a unique attraction; I'm not sure why Detroiters are so intent on chasing away tourist dollars.  They act like they don't need the money or something.


It sure looked like they could use the money when I went there.  And I was near the "up and coming" Eastern Market.

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I feel real bad for the people who live in these places.


I saw a few kids in the neighborhood and I can't even imagine growing up in this sort of place.  It seems really dangerous.  And statistically speaking, it IS really dangerous.

Monday, September 30, 2013

More GTL for the last gasp of summer: Crowbar

This September we've had an Indian Summer.  And it feels like August when I was in high school in the 90s.  I'm lifting weights and in the best shape I've been in over a decade.  I feel young again.  And for GTL I'm listening to some old Crowbar.

They don't make albums that sound like this anymore.

Crowbar is a band I never listened to as a teen, but I should have.  I spent too much money on crap albums back in the pre-internet era and didn't want to gamble on an album based on one Beavis and Butthead clip and Phil Anselmo's name on the back as producer.

Yeah what a fool I was.

This album is great for lifting weights.  Slow and angry.  And it takes me back and feels nostalgic, even though I didn't listen to it back in the day.  Just the sound of those drums without triggers, the fat guitars with scooped mids, the yelling vocals that don't growl, hiss, or scream. It feels like back before air conditioning was ubiquitous and summers felt hot.  Back before everything became extreme and the Scandanavian invasion and Death Metal rising.  Back in the day.  Summer.  Uncomfortably hot; t-shirt sticking to skin and beads of sweat on brow.  Even the air smells different when it isn't cooled, condensed, and filtered.  The smell of summer.

Summer's quickly fading.  The cool crisp in the evening feels like autumn.  The start of school.  Of days less hazy and halcyon.  Days of the rote monotony.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Booze films presents: The Avengers Two: Inbetween Days

Wasn't the Avengers a great action flick?  Sure, it kinda got lost in the middle where they were trying to have tension and drama for no reason.  Like why did Loki get himself captured?  But anyways it is really hard to make an action film where there are multiple action heroes.  It was a great ensemble piece.  I liked it so much I came up with an idea for a sequel.  It will be called The Avengers in Between.

It will pick up immediately where the last one left off.  It will start out as a buddy movie where we see Bruce Banner and Tony Stark have a bromance.  Bruce works in Tony's lab and finds tranquility by immersing himself in his work.  Tony tries to teach Bruce the zen of Stark.  After a lab montage Tony says "hey bro you've been working too hard.  Let's take the Ferrari to some clubs and get you laid."  Its like a buddy movie where the cool guy helps the nerdy guy get the girl.  Only Tony Stark is teaching Bruce Banner how to not get angry.

Moving on we will follow Captain America.  You see he is the man outside.  Being frozen in time since 1945 he missed out on so much that he doesn't even understand America anymore.  Everyone he ever knew or loved is dead.  And America itself is so different he doesn't even know if he fits in anymore.  Can he really call himself Captain America?  So he gets on a motorcycle and drives west from New York to California.  It is a road trip movie where Captain interacts with the salt of the earth and realizes that he still loves this great nation of ours.  It is the story of Captain America falling in love with America all over again.

Then we follow Arrow Guy and Hot Chick as they start an odd couple romance.  You see Hot Chick is a real neat freak and Arrow Guy is a real slob.  Hot Chick walks into the apartment they share and steps on an arrow and yells "If I trip on one more arrow I swear I'm going to shove it where the sun don't shine!"  After a hot and cold affair they decide that, while they love each other, they are totally incompatible as a couple and decide to just be friends who occasionally blow off some steam with a hot hookup.

Next we see Thor.  He goes back to Asgard and drinks beer with his buddies.  He basically just sits around boozing with his pals and telling stories about vanquishing his foes and saving Earth.  "So I hit it with a lightning bolt.  Boom!"  Obviously this will be a short vignette.

Finally we see Nick Fury sitting in conference calls.  The top brass say things like "Listen, we appreciate your judgement.  But we just don't see why you need another flying aircraft carrier.  I mean I'm reviewing your briefing and I don't see how it gave you a tactical advantage.  Why can't you just settle for a real nice jet plane like those X-Men?"  And Nick Fury sighs and says "Did I not just save the world from total annihilation at the hands of interdimensional beings?  And you can't just fix my damn aircraft carrier?"

Then as things get too complacent alarms go off in Nick Fury's headquarters and he touches the Avenger's button on his lapel and says "Avengers, assemble".  We see all the other Avengers get the signal and give a surprised look to the camera and the film ends.  The end.  The Avengers Three would be all action.  But I don't care about that.  I just want to see the Avengers go through their small lives and experience those small hours in between the life changing action sequences.  That's why it is call the Avengers in Between.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Booze Films presents: The Big Lebowski Two

Some days the fever takes hold and the visions come.  Today I will share one such vision.  The sequel that will never be made.  The sequel flitters through your eyes in a reverie when you find yourself uttering a Dudeism.  I present to you an outline for The Big Lebowski Two.

Fast Forward to the early 2000s and the time of the second Iraq war.  The Dude is living in Los Angeles as always, and working at a medical marijuana dispensary.  "The Dude is a horticulturalist."  It is a co-op, of course, and the Dude has "glaucoma, man, a real bummer.  But, what're you gonna do?"

It is an average day in the dispensary where a variety of strange Los Angeles types come in and interact with the Dude.  Then, just before closing, in comes The Big Lebowski.  "Of all the medical marijuana dispensaries in all the world he has to come into mine".  You see The Big Lebowski has cancer and a real prescription for a real condition.  They have an awkward conversation about the Dude's son, and everything gets really chill after a few tokes.

You see in my vision for the Big Lebowski Two there is even less of a plot than the first one.  It is going to be a movie about nothing.

A movie about nothing.  The Dude hangs out with his buddies at the dispensary, goes bowling with Walter, and does yoga on the beach.  Nothing.  Nada por nada es nada.  Nihil est nihil.  Nothing.

Lebowski fans I pitch this idea to are not amused, but think about this objectively.  You'd get to see all the best bits of the Dude that you loved from the first film without it being ruined by the needs of the sequel to outdo its predecessor.  Think about, man.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The great bandana face off

Wouldn't you like a soft decorative rag upon your person? Something to tie over the crown of your head to prevent your bald spot from getting a sun burn? Something to tie around your forehead to sop up sweat? Something to soak and tie around your neck to keep you cool like a dog or Charles Nelson Riley? Well I have just the ticket: bandana!

Oh but you find life too short for itchy fabric. You will stop at nothing to comfort yourself in the softest fabrics available. Then I am here to help you.

The two websites which boast of the most premium bandanas are tansclub and wholesale for everyone. A bit of warning:  both stores will charge you a minimum of about 7 bucks for shipping but a trifle for the bandanas. Like 39 cents or something silly.  So buy a few; you might as well.  Shipping was fast for both websites.  I followed the wisdom madness of the nets and boiled these to reduce starch and stiffness. It helped a little but putting them through the washing machine worked better (don't forget the fabric softener).

Well here is the result of tansclub.  They seem nice.

Look closely you can see the quality stitching around the edges that tansclub premium advertise.

And how does wholesale for everyone compare? First I should note that they have 2 premium choices. The regular and the made in USA. When I opened the package I couldn't tell which was which. They have different hues, and one is slightly larger and slightly thinner. Then I noticed the stitching around the edges was different and compared to my other regular. Turns out the USA one has better stitching and is the slightly smaller and thicker one. So there's that.


Inferior Chinese stitching.

As you can see they are all slightly different hues.  The Tansclub's bandana was very very slightly thicker than the other two.  However I would give the slight edge in softness to the USA made wholesale for everyone bandana.  I also liked the hue, but each color variation has its own merits.  So there you go.  The softest bandana is the wholesale for everyone.  The thickest is the tansclub.  They all have slightly different shades of orange.  Paisley is suckass cowboy crap.  I have problems!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Forgotten Classics: Vader's Spiritual Litany

Too often we forget what a profound spiritual work Vader unleased with Litany.  Rushing like a tsunami, Wings sets the tone of the album perfectly.  A philosophical and poetical work revealing the godlike nature within.  Would you do the same if I shed my pair of wings it asks.

The symbolism of the scarab is veiled in the mythology of ancient Egypt.  Personified by Khepri, the scarab was the god of rebirth.

A scarab beetle which toils through its phases
From an egg through a larva to the protector of the dawning Sun

The birth of the individual from his humble beginnings to the creation of the will requires toil. Much like the word yoga originally meant to yoke onself to a task that requires exertion (before it came to mean leggings for rich white women), Xeper symbolizes not just the Egyptian mythology of creation but of our inner creation.

Meaning can only come from the individual In the moments of divine clairvoyance and intensification of Being The utterance of the word which ripples through the fabric of the world And gives insight and strength to those who want to become

I have come into being

Sounds existentialist, no? The One Made of Dreams takes us through similar existential questions.

I am the Lizard without the King
I am Fall without the Leap
I am the Power without the Might
I am the Wanderer without the Road

The inner logic of this album is punctuated by the music, which seems to wash over the listener in waves.

Yes it is percussive. And fast. But it also the most intense album Vader has released. Each moment is embedded with so much passion that it is at times overwhelming. Anyways, it seems like an overlooked classic that gives greater insights and revelations as time goes on. It doesn't sound dated at all, though it was released about 13 years ago. My how time flies. Heck I even really dig the cover art. It is a lot classier than the last couple albums. Some digitial looking stuff and that neo-fascist stuff I wouldn't be caught dead wearing that as a t-shirt (not that I wear t-shirts anyways). Would would buy that merch? But the Litany art? I would buy that merch.

So there it is, Litany. My favorite Vader album. Your thoughts?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Orange Creamsicle

I have a dog and when it gets hot I soak a bandana and tie it around his neck.  It is an old dog trick.  This summer is taking shape as the grasp of winter slackens and spring begins anew.  Spring is either cold and grey or hot and bright.  And old man booze is ready for hot and bright.  I am already soaking my bandana of delight in a well of intoxication in preparation for the heat of the summer to come.

I have already prepared a theme for this summer.  Orange Creamsicle.  The color orange will be the color of 2013.

Yes.  Come join me on a journey of intoxication from various substances that will result in tremens delirium.  We may even leave this earthly realm and have an odyssey of epic proportion with the help of some wonderful alkaloids.  If you put up with my music the drinks are on me.  My treat.

What are your plans for summer?  Summer requires planning, really.  You need to set the mood.  The theme.  The feeling.  The soundtrack will fall into place and everything just might go right.

Have you decided what booze and drugs to stockpile for the long hot summer sure to come?


Somehow right now the dream of summer feels like a fevered hallucination brought on by too much benedryl.

Some people don't like the heat.  I understand not liking the heat once it crosses 90.  That shit's unbearable.  Otherwise I don't mind it and I don't really understand the animosity.  People seem to have an aversion to feeling like they are alive.  They don't want to be too hot that they sweat or too cold that they need to wear long pants.  They seem to want a boring stasis of stale 70 degree grey.  But the bright sun is mercilessly hot.  And feeling that bead of sweat trickle down the side of your face is what it feels like to be alive in the summertime.  Doesn't anyone like feeling alive anymore?  Has the whole world gone crazy?

So what are your plans for the summer?  Have you picked a theme yet?  Don't wait too long because it will be hot before you know it.  Unless you live in San Francisco in which case it will not be hot and you will be wearing a hoodie in July and I will feel sorry for you.

Monday, March 25, 2013


His two best by far?  You don't say!  I wonder why...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is this good or bad?

I can't tell, halp!

You'd think I'd like this kinda crap intrinsically.  I hate that 4 cello Metallica crap though, and most of these Vitamin quartet songs are not that good.  But good?  I don't know.  wat u think??

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More custom swag?

Not only do I want a hipster Type O Negative scarf, I want a pair of Type O Negative jogging/basketball shorts.  Something like this:

Can you believe these don't exist in real life?  WTF Bluegrape?

I would just have a pair custom printed but I don't trust them to be aligned properly.  Heck the alignment is a little off on this mockup!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

podcast hallucinations: conspiracies

Right now Mr. Booze is jacked up on benedryl and things are maybe not as clear as they should be.  But it sounds like the guy with those weird psychonaut podcasts on aliens and stuff also is the voice of the podcast on schizmatic pre-Vatican II Catholicism.

Yeah, what u think?  Aren't allergies terrible?  Would it help if I moved to LA?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Latin grammar with Morbid Angel

Morbid Angel's newest album is titled Illud Divinum Insanus.  In English it can means That Divine Insane One.  Let us step a little closer to the original Latin title for a moment, if you will.

Illud is the singular neuter of ille in either the nominative or accusative tense.  In this case it is nominative because, as best as I can tell, the divine insane one is not the direct object of a verb.  It means "that".

Divinum is the singular neuter of divinus, an adjective meaning "divine" or "heavenly".

Insanus is the singular masculine adjective meaning insane.  The neuter is insanum.

Together it is rendered literally as that divine insane, however I would assume that the lack of articles in Classical Latin it is implied that in this context the divine is being used like divinity as the subject, in that case it would be that insane divinity.  Or maybe Morbid Angel looked at this site and decided that was how they would translate it instead of taking the time to study Latin and buy a dictionary and use the substantive divinitas, which is actually a noun and would make That Insane Divinity or That Insane Divine One more grammatically correct.

In Latin grammatical tenses match gender as well as try to agree on inflections in order to create meaning.  So for example if you were to say that crazy divine in Latin and you were referring to a crazy divine man you would inflect as follows:  ille divinus insanus.  Or if it was of no gender or indeterminate you would say:  illud divinum insanum.

Basically if this were grammatically correct it would be Illud Divinum Insanum.  Or Ille Divinus Insanus.  Or even better Ille Divinitas Insanus.

So maybe Morbid Angel incorrectly translated this phrase into Latin because they wanted to illustrate "insanity".  Right?

Also also, All Music gave it 4 out of 5 stars and Metal Hammer gave it 9 out of 10!  So you also know that Phil Freeman and Dom Lawson picked up on the "crazy" theme, right?  I mean what other explanation could there be for giving it an A-, one mark short of perfection?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter's end wishlist

I wish that there was a black and green striped rugby style scarf for sale.  Like this:

Except black and green.  Sorta like this:

Except not such narrow stripes.  And a better shade of green.

Basically I want a hipster looking Type O Negative rugby scarf.  Which means I am going to hell.  But I don't care.  I also want a hat that just has the logo on it, nothing else.  But since Pete died the merch has dried up.  Are you listening Bluegrape???

Friday, February 22, 2013

The end of Japan

Did you know that Japan's birth rate is below replacement levels and the population is shrinking?  Do you know why?  Well I will show you why.

Yup, a clear case of guitarsterbation.  Such wankery will sour you with fertile women.  I'm sorry, it's true.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dress shirt lifestyle

You may have come across this article on the Dude's t-shirts in the Big Lebowski.

Most anyone dedicated to the T-shirt lifestyle maintains some sort of T-shirt rotation. Typically, there's a staff ace – the first shirt worn after laundry day – plus a couple of innings-eater types, maybe a long reliever and spot starter that's useful for mop-up duty late in the laundry cycle, and for some even a closer reserved for high-leverage nights out. 

From the looks of it, the Kaoru Bettu shirt maintained a spot near the front of Bridges' rotation for nearly a decade at the least, looking fresh but untested in the late 80s, blossoming into a star in the early 90s and sticking around with veteran savvy as the new millennium approached.

I was unaware that there is a t-shirt lifestyle, though I confess I was once unknowingly a part. You have your basic rotation through the week as well as dedicated "special occasion" shirts for concerts and parties and whatnot.  But I moved on.

Circa 1999 [via being hessian]

These days the old man is living the dress shirt lifestyle.  You have your Monday all business dress shirt which gradually gives way to the Friday casual dress shirt.  Tucking in is optional with this bad boy.  Because it's casual Friday and those jeans don't give a damn.

Casual Friday

Circa 2013 [via being an oldster]

There is also a rotation for the seasons.  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Lighter shirts and sleeveless in the summer, darker colors and heavier fabrics in the winter.

The beauty of this system is that you are a man for all occasions.  You don't have to plan, you just are.  End up some place upscale?  Just tuck in your tails and you are already "dressed up".  End up someplace casual?  Pull the tails out and suddenly you are the casual gentleman.  I know some people build their wardrobe from the shoes up.  Piffle.  Nobody looks at your shoes.  The shirt is the heart and soul of your attire.

Sure, you can dress up the t-shirt.  But a t-shirt will always say casual, even if you make it a more iustus.

dressy casual is still casual

If this is all new to you and you are ready to get old and embrace the dress shirt lifestyle, remember to be patient.  That closet full of black band t-shirts didn't spring up over night.  In the early days maybe bum around TJ Maxx and Marshalls for some basics and over time you can pick one here and one there to fill in the collection.