Monday, January 30, 2012

Ithaca For Your 15th.

Saturday was my son's 15th birthday.On Friday evening we went out for dinner and enjoyed dry aged prime bone-in Ribeyes at Fleming's in Radnor then proceeded to the Waterfowl Club for the last day of the Duck/Goose season. When we awoke early Saturday morning, it was warm and there was no cloud cover so we did not anticipate any action in the blinds...and we got none....a pretty weak season overall.
The action came when I presented this birthday present to my son:

Ithaca SKB 200E 12 Ga S X S, 28" barrel, chokes are full & mod, raised rib, nice scrolling on orignal coin finish, single selective trigger, auto safety, orignal recoil pad, 14" LOP, stocks are very nice, excellent condition.

After we put away the decoys and took off our waders,I went to the truck and pulled out an Orvis "leg-o-mutton" break down case, handed it to the boy and said "Happy Birthday." When he opened the case and I showed him how to put this fine double barrel side by side shotgun together, his face nearly cracked in half from the giant smile. He mounted the gun a few times to get the feel against his shoulder and cheek and said something to the effect of "this is awesome."
We then went behind the decoy shed where we placed a clay pigeon launcher on the back of one of our ATVs. He proceeded to go 4 for 5 on his first set and it was obvious the gun was a decent fit and he could handle it well. We shot about half a box of clays then cleaned her up and put her away. The kid is thrilled! This Saturday he is coming with me to a Tower he will get a chance to try out his new gun in some real wingshooting.
He had previously been shooting a youth model Browning Gold semi-auto. I told him since he was 15 it was time for him to have a gentleman's gun...a double gun...a 12 ga. so he can really reach out for the birds.I suspect it was a good birthday for the lad....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Art in Boxing

We attended the boxing matches in South Philly on Saturday. Sadly, my welterweigth had to scratch due a hand injury from sparring.Nevertheless,it was a great card and we saw some excellent bouts.
The lady shutterbug of Keyartphoto shared this photograph with me from her friend Chris Toney. This is a very artistic snap from the Rosado v. Sotto-Karas bout. Something about this photo really captures the energy and struggle of the fight.

Semi-Sleeper Sports Movie

Dennis Quaid,Jessica Lange, Tim Hutton and John Goodman take us back to a slightly different era of College Football. Quaid is the hot shot QB who rules LSU but struggles with life after College and after the NFL. Lange is the Magnolia Queen-College Sweetheart who blossoms into a strong woman in her 40's. Now that "Rudy" is tainted by his recent swindling....this film should be next to "Remember the Titans" on your football movie watch list.
This is an entertaining film with some good acting and an engaging story. Plus...Hutton's character ends up teaching History at Lehigh.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Planter's Punch Brand

Mixing Gin and Dark Rum to form a bastardized Daquiri is somewhat suspect. However, the result is pretty damn good. I would suggest sticking to Planter's Punch...the recipe is on the bottle. Or a Sharkbite: Myers's dark..Orange juice, Pineapple juice and a splash of Grenadine...I consumed countless Sharkbites at "The Bluffs" in Bayhead.
I really like Myers's with tonic and a large wedge of lime...that is my "go-to" drink all Summer. It is also delicious in hot cider after skiing or in hot tea after an afternoon in a cold,damp goose pit.
According to this old drinks the cocktail described while watching polo in Jamaica.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jenna is Coming

In a few days I will have a new addition to my hunting dog line-up. A wash-out from a Field Test and Hunt Test breeder/trainer....she should be fine for my waterfowling pursuits. Her disposition commends her to the dual role as a house-dog and companion for my other dog and the Family.
While combing the various Lab-rescues and shelters since the passing of our sweet Dixie...I came across this girl.We are all excited and this Spring will afford plenty of time to train her to my purposes.

Friday, January 20, 2012


For that classic and old-school, just-left-the-barbershop scent...check out these products. Bowman has them all....Clubman after-shave...Bay Rum...surgical grade styptic pencils...talc as fine and pink as Bermuda sand(the pink is great for dabbing under the collar when wearing a tie....keeps the neck from getting beat up on sweaty Summer days...and blends in...not visible like white talc...but they have both....shave talc and regular. The Osage rub is an ethereal experience. After showering and shaving. ..douse on scalp and face...the eucalyptol and menthol combine for a freight train rush of cool refreshing bracer. The Clubman shampoo is great...and to keep the fragrance consistent they have a non-aerosol deoderant as well.They have mustache wax and quinine hair tonic...these are the products on the counter at your Grandfather's favorite barbershop..the one with deer heads on the wall and Playboy on the table and where they talked about Willie Mays or Stan Musial or even Ty Cobb...Jack Dempsey and the Army/Navy game...coffe always hot and scissors and clippers always sharp as the jokes and ribbing between the Barbers. By the way....this stuff ain't expensive at all...very reasonable.


Back in 2010 during the Winter Olympics I posted about Lindsay Vonn: Gorgeous and a beast on the downhill run. She is still winning World Cup Races.
Today we have the sad news that Sarah Burke has died from the injuries she sustained on 1/10/2012 while training in Park City,Utah. Burke was talented as Hell...beautiful and successful in her field of competition...a dream girl on many levels. Now she is gone...her organs have been harvested and the World has lost something special.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Squash Streak

The longest winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports is over. Trinity College, 13-time defending national champions, lost to Yale 5-4 on Wednesday. Yale’s win snapped a 252-match winning streak that dated back 14 years to the 1997-98 season. Trinity’s squash dynasty might be coming to an end given the parity today, but the Bantams can still wear their historic record and those “Fear the Chicken” t-shirts proudly. Congratulations to the players and coaches on a truly miraculous run.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Indianapolis 500-1994

Before we all got caught up with kids and all that they entail...we used to go to the Indy 500 every year. I have mentioned that my Lehigh crew has been going since 1989. This disheveled crew of Indy race fans posed for this photo after the Race on Memorial Weekend 1994. This cohort is comprised of Lehigh boys, friends and brothers of Lehigh boys and some high school buddies and random aquaintances thrown in. What made this year particularly special was that my 2 Freshman year room-mates were in attendance. Every year it was a beer-soaked weekend of fun and Indy Car spectation, beer pong and strip clubs, poker, Wiffle ball and cheeseburgers, fireworks and hard core boys weekend buffoonery. In 1996, after my second kid arrived, we 86'd the trip...but we all talk of doing it again with sons.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Imitation is Flattery

Like many of you, I enjoy reading posts on The Trad. Today he featured a photo of himself on a boat in 1985 sporting a beard and a nice duffel coat. The photo for some reason reminded me of one from 1993 when I was motoring around Lake Mead outside Las Vegas.
Similarities in the photos: White boy...check. Body of water...check. All American background...check. Boat....check. Ray Bans....check.

Hunting Upland Game

As reported in the last Post...waterfowling has been fairly miserable this year.So in an effort to assuage my solemn mood...I dredged up some photos of hunting pheasant and quail with my faithful bird dog Archie. Oh yeah...the other guy in the picture is my faithful college buddy Glenn.
When Archie takes a point and holds over a bird, it never fails to send a chill tickling down the vertebrae. The flush and a clean shot is rewarding, but I think I enjoy watching my dog, that I trained, more than anything. Archie is getting a bit old now but he is still game. In fact, he spent the better part of the weekend in a duck blind and goose pit with me. We are both happiest when we are together.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Bust So Far

These images are decidedly absent from our Waterfowl Club so far this season. The lack of snow covering northern field and warm tempatures keeping northern ponds and lakes from freezing...all contribute to a sparse migration of ducks and geese.When the birds have open water to rest in and open fields in which to feed they just do not have to fly south.
By this time in the season I have usually killed and cooked about 10 or 12 geese and had some decent shots at Mallards or Black ducks. The birds are just not here. We are hoping that the recent snow and cold in New England and upstate New York will improve the hunting for these last 2 weeks of the season. My son has off from school tomorrow so we are going down tonite to meet some of the guys for dinner, football,poker and a Monday A.M. hunt.We are hopeful....and as my Grandfather used to say: " You can't shoot 'em from your living room."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spit and Punch

Oldest club in the United States( 1732). I am not a member...likely never will be as I do not really have the pedigree. However, a bunch of the guys I shoot with are members so I am familiar with the drill and I commend them for their history and their activities. It is mostly a dining club but it started as a fishing club...hence the "Fish-House Punch." Tasty stuff from a guarded secret recipe that can get you buzzing right quick.The bowl holding the sacred punch is like a bazillion years old. The cooking is taken seriously as you can see by the spit roasted lamb...not many guys can say they know how to spit-roast meat...or even have the facilities to get it done....but the result is a succulent cut of delicious lamb redolent of garlic and rosemary and smoke. After dining there are cigars and port and jokes and singing...these guys know what they have and keep it to history.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

John West Red Salmon Pub

More extreme fishing. This literally made me laugh out loud.

A River Runs Through It - best moment

Some extreme fly fishing. This movie is a well done adaptation of a fairly good short story. The cinematography is excellent and Redford's voice overs are perfect. I love how he puts his smokes under his hat...A worthwhile Sportsmen's movie.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Poor Sportsmanship in the Ancient World

Evidently John McEnroe did not invent the childish tirade during a sporting contest...and Mike Tyson's ear nibbling seems tame considering this Classical era jerk seemingly killed a bunch of innocent kids because he lost a boxing match:

Cleomedes of Astypalaea, 492 BC. A strange story about this athlete who went crazy after a decision by the chief judges of the Games. At the Festival previous to this it is said that Cleomedes of Astypalaea killed Iccus of Epidaurus during a boxing-match. On being convicted by the umpires of foul play and being deprived of the prize he became incensed and returned to Astypalaea. He attacked a school there pulling down the pillars which held up the roof. This fell upon the 60 children in attendance.
Cleomedes,was pelted with stones by the citizens and took refuge in the sanctuary of Athena. He hid in a chest in the sanctuary. The Astypalaeans toiled in vain to open the chest. At last, however, they broke open the hiding place, but found no Cleomedes. So townspeople sent envoys to Delphi to ask what had happened to Cleomedes. The response given by the Pythian priestess was reportedly as follows: "Last of heroes is Cleomedes of Astypalaea; Honour him with sacrifices as being no longer a mortal."
Some hero...this is what you get when you take advice from a supposed fortune teller who pokes around in the entrails of dead birds with a pointed stick to make her predictions.

A bizaare incident in Ancient Sports...a boxer kills his opponent,is disqualified, and his response is to cause a cave-in on some school kids in his home town...nice work you Greek wanker.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Snap of Synapse

When I was a kid, my maternal grandfather usually spent about 6 months of the year at our house. I have posted about him before with some old photos of his sporting pursuits....and the passing of sportsman's wisdom from him to me.
What brings him to mind today is a recent mental flash I had just before Christmas. I recently purchased a pair of Bean Boots as pictured above...the zip front model with a wool liner. They are "vintage" but in excellent shape. After cleaning the liner, I went to wear them and the zipper on both boots was a bit sluggish and stuck.
I went to the dining room and grabbed a candle nub from one of the candlesticks...then proceeded to rub the candle-bottom on both zippers. The zippers now operate as if brand new and whiz up and down with a effortless pull.
I then stopped and reflected...where the Hell did this trick come from...and immediately had an image of Granddad showing me to use a candle nub to make the zipper on some snow boots work properly one morning as I dressed to go sledding. That shred of information was lurking deep in the cranial archives and just surfaced when the time was appropriate.
I had a similar synaptic surfacing several years ago when fly-fishing in the Adirondacks. My buddy Glenn and I were in a Guideboat on Lake Colby at the evening rise. I was just out of Law-School and had not had time to fly-fish in several years.When I took the rod from it's case....I rubbed the metal tipped bottom of the top half of the rod in my scalp before connecting the two pieces. Glenn asked what the Hell that manoeuvre was all about and I really was not conscious of having done it. Then I remembered fishing with my Grandfather in Pacanac lake and his instruction that each time you put your rod together you first rub the one end in your scalp so a bit of oil will lube the piece and prevent the rod sticking together when you break down for casing.
Grandad taught me many things about hunting and fishing...obviously some that I remember clearly and some,like candle-nubs and scalp oil, that only percolate to cognition when the circumstances dictate.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ritz Carlton-Cancun,Mexico

When you have a 20th Anniversary you owe it to each other to celebrate it correctly. For the Wife and I, this meant a trip to the Ritz in Cancun. This was an ideal destination as the plane ride is not too long and in early September it is off-season so there are no hordes of idiot college kids puking Cuervo in the street.
Furthermore, I have a client who used to manage 3 Ritz properties in Florida...he owed me a favor and was thrilled about a result I got for him at a few phone calls from him garnered my wife and I a luxurious suite on the ocean with 3 balconies at a rate cheaper than a Holiday Inn at the Philly Airport. Plus, the juice from this guy got us the "Sinatra treatment" the entire time we were there.
The trip was fantastic...but the coup de grace was the anniversary dinner. My wife did not know that I had planned and schemed to have our dear friends come and meet us 3 days into the trip. They arrived and brought my evening clothes with them. I left my wife in the room and went to the hotel gym...telling her to meet me at the bar for drinks before dinner. I suited up in my off white dinner jacket in the locker room after a nice work-out, steam,sauna and shave. Bonnie and Glenn met me at the bar so we were waiting in black tie for my wife. I had told her the place we were dining was extremely fancy so she should dress accordingly...thus she was not left feeling under-dressed.
Bonnie and Glenn were both in our wedding and are our closest friends...we Summer in the Adirondacks together and in fact they spent some time in Stowe with us this Christmas and last. They have been featured in many pictures posts over the past year or so.
I had also arranged a private dining room in the Hotel restaurant:Fantino. Imagine my Wife's astonishment when she walked into the hotel bar to see the 3 of us in black tie ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary. She was almost literally floored. The evening that ensued was simply beyond description with the food and service and setting.
Last, for you menswear blogger is the rig:
Joseph Banks Shawl Collar off-white dinner jacket
Brooks Brothers flat front formal trousers.
Brooks Brothers unpleated formal shirt w/ gold knot studs.Shotgun shell cufflinks
Ferragamo patent leather formal slippers.

It was a memorable evening and truly enhanced by the evening wear. Other hotel guests thought we had just gotten married. When I stated we were celebrating an could see the jealousy in the wive's eyes and the frustration in the men's...that suddenly the bar had been set so high.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

That Was Then...This Is Now

More beer adds wherein the purveyors use hunting ladies to try and expand their market:"Honey, we know you like to kill stuff with the here is the beer to guzzle after you are finished."
What I appreciate is the setting and the tone of the old beer photo advertisments. Then we see what technique they are currently employing vis-a-vis women and beer and sporting pursuits:"OK boys...drink our beer and you may just run into this scantily clad vixen out in the field..." One approach has discretion and class...the other just a bludgeon hammering at the purient interest.

Monday, January 2, 2012

HD Woodland String Band Winners Philadelphia Mumers Parade Sugar House C...

The Mummer's Parade on New Year's Day is not unlike either get it or you don't.
Here is the 2012 String Band winning performance by Woodland. My kids and I,along with some friends...watched on Broad street and saw 13 of the 17 Bands. A few beers and cocktails and the unique sound of Mummers String Bands. These things really make a New Year's day...better than slugging on the sofa nursing a hang-over and watching some 3rd rate Football.
One of our guests was my daughter's friend from College. She is from Amherst,Mass. She got it...really loved it. Happy New Year everyone.