Welcome

I believe that history and heritage are valuable, and that gentility among people is still the "currency of the realm." I believe in the solid principles that have been passed down from generation to generation; that there is value in a man's word, that there is goodness in the hearts of all men, and that a knowledge of the woods, fields, lakes, rivers, oceans, and the creatures and crops we find there, makes us better stewards of God's amazing earth!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The iScope

Now those of you who know me know that I'm a bit of a conundrum.  I'm a guy who's in the tech field but from a sensibility standpoint was probably born a century too late.  I enjoy tech and all the benefits, but I'm also one that loves shooting sports, lazy days of fishing, slow cooked meals, being a southern gentleman, working in the dirt, my strong Christian faith, making things by hand, etc.  In short, with all the conflicts running around in my head it's really not very easy being me!  Every once in a while, however, a product comes along that bridges the hi-tech / low-tech chasm that I fight to get over every day.

The iScope is one such product.  This little gem allows you to simply line up the optics of your iPhone with the optics of your favorite hunting rifle.  This is too cool!  With this adapter, you simply slide your iPhone into place so that the optic on the back of the phone is peering down the rifle scope...thus, what's being seen through your scope is being displayed back to you on the screen.  It allows for zooming in on a subject or target and (if you want) recording what you see.  It also gives you a "heads up display" type of orientation from which to take your shot.  (I especially like the ability to record).

The beauty of this product is that it's nothing more than an extremely  well thought out adapter (some of the very best ideas are the simplest).  All the functions are already built into the iPhone.  They're just being utilized in a very unique manner...  For hunting!  I'll bet that's one function that the good folks at Apple never thought that their iPhones would be utilized for.  

Anyhow, if you use optics for birdwatching, hunting, spotting, or simply for enjoyment and would like to have a larger field of view, or would like to record what you see directly to your iPhone, be sure to check out the iScope!

Neat idea that even someone that's as conflicted as me can wrap his brain around!



Until Next Time ...

D. Jeffries

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall & Rustic Cornbread

Nothing signals fall to me like coming in from the field to a hot bowl of Chili and some homemade cornbread!  Now, we all have our preferences when it comes to both, but I thought I'd take a moment to share my favorite "sweet cornbread" recipe.  It's simple, it's quick and it's just right (for me.)  If you do try it, let me know if you like it...a true southern delight!

Ingredients

1 Cup Flour (sifted) if you don't have a sifter, use a wire egg-beater once it's in the bowl)
1 Cup yellow Corn Meal
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder

Combine all these dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

1/2 stick butter - (melted)
2 eggs (beaten)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar

Combine all these wet ingredients in a separate bowl

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl...mix just until the dry ingredients become wet...no more than about 10 seconds.  Mix should still be lumpy.

Pour into either a non-stick pan or (as I like) a cast iron skillet.  Put into a 400 degree oven for ~25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean from the center.

Again, hope that you get a chance to try this.  (I've also been known to add bacon, jalapeƱos, or dried raspberries/blueberries to the mixture to provide a great compliment to other items on the table.

Until Next Time!
D-

Monday, July 30, 2012

The South's New King of Tailgate

Well, K. Cooper Ray has done it again!   He's teamed up with his ol' partners at Brooks Brothers to bring us a new southern collegiate inspired style tailgate blazer that is sure to be the talk among any and all who see it!  This is a fantastic looking garment and one that I personally cannot wait to sport with a comfortable pair of blue jeans, a white button-down and some dirty bucks (sweater vest, tie and bourbon optional - depending on the weather)! True to form, the Fitzgerald fit with the patchwork pockets and amazing hunt-themed lining is vintage "Social Primer." (similar in fit to last year's navy SP for Brooks Bothers blazer)  It's a limited edition, and I can only imagine that it will be a huge hit among UGA, NC State, and  Ole Miss fans - or anywhere else where red is the color of choice. 

(Had to add one ACC team in there for good measure).

This one's just out of the gate and I can't wait to see what next year will bring - Long Live the King!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Dog Days Bring Special Tastes

Been a while since my last post and like most summers, it's been a hot one here in Dixie!  Lots of 100+ degree temps that have fried lawns and made people downright irritable.  However, keeping things in perspective, we did have a cooler-than-normal spring so it was somewhat foolish for anyone to think that we weren't going to pay for our temperate good fortune.  Summer camps are in full swing and trips to the beach are almost always on the calendar!  All in all, it's been alright.

Even with all the hot temps, afternoon thunderstorms, fried lawns, etc., there is one thing that always makes me happy.  The NC farmer's market.  This is the time of year when all the wonderful corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, watermelons, etc. come in season and find their way to our kitchen.  There is no better time to be a lover of all things culinary. Whether enjoying today or canning/saving for the grey days of winter, this is a time to be absolutely enjoyed to the fullest.  So, if you have a farmer's market nearby, or just happen to be passing by a roadside fruit and vegetable stand, do yourself the considerable favor of picking up some local, farm grown produce and enjoy food that will forever be something positive when facing-down the dog-days, as they roll around each year!



Monday, April 23, 2012

New YouTube Channel and Video from The Presnell Sporting Collection...really nice imagery.  Makes me want to be anywhere outdoors and NOT in my office!
Until Next Time ...
D-



Monday, April 9, 2012

Ah, the horsey season....

Here in the south there's nothing quite like horse season....that time of year when all the young (and some not-so-young) "would be southern gentry" gets together, displays their best and most colorful attire, tailgates out of the back of pickups, SUV's with silver and fine linen...it's truly a sight to behold and if one happens to be a part of it, an addicting experience. One of the first things that hits you square in the face are the women's amazing hats!!!  I was never  a big fan of hats in general, but a beautiful southern belle with an amazing lid (and air of sophistication to match) is truly something to behold.  Together, in equal parts, they can absolutely make an entire ensemble, and put a gentleman's head on a swivel!  The gents are usually dressed in some sort of light (but colorful) pants a white shirt, and a bow tie is preferable.  Sunglasses (usually Ray Bans) with croakies are a must - as are white or saddle bucks (a fine cigar is optional).  As you can imagine, it's a place to see and be seen...a people watching extravaganza.  And it's all about the PARTY!  The horse racing, while certainly on the menu, takes such a far back seat to the overall "experience" that it almost doesn't need to exist at all...almost.  This group of fine partiers would indeed show up in just about any field, on any bright spring day just to revel in the pomp and circumstance of it all...AND I DON'T BLAME THEM ONE BIT!

Until Next Time...
D-



























Photo courtesy of High Cotton Ties



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ripping off American Ingenuity in favor of a profit...

Now first and foremost let it be known that I am a Capitalist!  I love ingenuity and the ability to make a market for yourself and others (who benefit from jobs being created).  It, however, is never alright to simply "steal" from another person.  I don't care whether it's a clothing design, a computer code, a blueprint for a widget maker, etc.  Theft is theft, no matter (as my grandmother used to say) how you try and "church it up."  

Just today it's come to my attention (from friend, designer, and social arbiter extraordinaire, K. Cooper Ray over at Social Primer) that one of his fellow designers, Kiel James Patrick, who is based out of Rhode Island, has had his signature creation (a fantastic nautical rope belt that really must be seen) both knocked off and off-shored by none other than the iconic American brand, Land's End.  Apparently there has been a firestorm of blowback towards Land's End within the social media space regarding this issue, and from what I can see, rightfully so!  KJP has developed an item that is not only appears to be amazingly well designed, thought out, and executed, but that took literally years to fully develop and employs no less than 20 American workers for both sourcing of materials, and hand crafting.  Land's End, being opportunistic (and I have to say...seemingly Machiavellian) took this KJP design for themselves and outsourced the manufacturing to China.  This is not Capitalism! Capitalism is making it on your own steam...the inspiration, the innovation, the refinement, and ultimately the manufacturing and selling.  To stand on the shoulders of giants is one thing, but to already be a giant and try to squash the little guy is nothing more than despicable. My family and I have bought from Land's End in the past and I'm sure that that they will sell a ton of these fantastic belts, but to not at least approach the designer and offer a design fee or a percentage of sales is about as Draconian as I've seen in business. We, as an American people (and yes, corporations are made up of people) are better than this, and for most of my life I thought such storied brand as Land's End were, too.  Sorry to see that I was wrong!  

Sorry Land's End...mark me as an ex-customer.

Until Next Time...

D-
Belts Photo Above used from http://www.ivy-style.com/

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Deep Sea - Black Marlin - Photography

It's that time of year when the trips to the woods fade into the rearview mirror and I head, full-steam for varied bodies of water.  Whether lakes, rivers or oceans the warm weather means fishing. This is a great mini-documentary provided by our new friends over at the Presnell Sporting Collection.

This video provides some amazing footage of a photo-journalist's struggles to get "the shot" of a Black Marlin off the coast of Panama.  Just the views and the fantastic videography give me a bad case of the "wants" for trips out off the continental shelf on a fishing boat this summer!  Hope that I'll be able to make the time for it!  Happy Spring and enjoy the video!

Until Next Time...
D-

video


Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Has Arrived

Well, it's official...spring is here.  The evidence? The thin layer of greenish-yellow pine pollen on my dark green car and any number of flying insects that are continually re-enacting Maverick and Goose's "fly by" maneuver as I sit here on my back deck. The temps are in the mid 80s here in beautiful NC and I have no doubt that the azaleas will be in full bloom by no later than early next week.  (and the Good Lord only knows that I've never heard so many songbirds in my life)

Spring is a wonderful time...I cannot help but to be somewhat optimistic during the mid-March - May timeframe. It's a reflection of the winter past and a time to look forward to Turkey hunts, picking strawberries, trips to the beach, almost nightly cookouts, my son catching lighting bugs, Saturday baseball, skeet shooting, and long evenings on the porch or deck with the family.

So with that in mind I leave you to your weekend and your own thoughts of Spring. Hoping that it's as fond a time for you as it is for me!

Until Next Time ...
D-

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My new obsession

Now that I've obtained the shotgun of my dreams there is only one other major item on my original "wish list."  Back in the late 19th century the Wooten desk company made some of the most fantastical and functional desks ever dreamed up.  These desks were an amazing blend of art, furniture and functionality.  Some of these "Wooten Patent Desks" had over 100 cubicles, drawers and letter slots in them for the organization of far flung business affairs.  Then, as if by magic, everything went back together with such precision that the main elements (cabinets) of the desk could be folded up and the desk locked for security.

Now, these desks come in various grades - the lowest grade for an "all original" Wooten patent desk that I've found is around $13,000 USD and for a "superior" grade you can expect to shell out a cool $250,000+. I love a good writing desk and to have/use one that came from the time period I'm enthralled with can only make it all the better.  I look forward to the days when I can toil away in my office at such a fantastic desk.  I'm going to start looking around for the mid-grade desk and hope that I don't get carried away..not that I could get too carried away, anyhow.

Until Next Time...
D-

Monday, March 5, 2012

On behalf of Southern Culture, Thanks Social Media!!!


I was just sitting back here at the end of a long Monday -  pondering how the Internet and the advent of social media has aided in what could be argued is nothing short of a meteoric resurgence of Southern Culture.  You see, if it weren't for the newly increased stream of information and subsequent heightened awareness of certain aspects of today's "new south," I'm quite sure that many new lovers of all things southern wouldn't have ever truly known what they were missing!

And along those lines, I  have to say that I'm pleased with some of the broader trends that I see... for instance, there is a resurgence towards working in harmony with the land, buying locally grown and sold produce, slowly cooked foods, a love of southern heritage and history, and a groundswell among the ranks of people pursuing the shooting sports.

Whether it's Garden & Gun (fantastic magazine - I highly recommend it) exposing throngs of new listeners to the uniquely southern sounds of the Avett Brothers, K. Cooper Ray's Social Primer introducing a whole new generation of young men to Charleston-style gentility (and amazing bow tie creations), or any number of the fantastic new bars, bistros and restaurants such as Mandolin (Raleigh, NC) or Husk (Charleston, SC) that have adopted historic southern favorites and refined them to today's diner's palette,  there is a blending of history and social-media technology that is benefiting my beloved southern U.S.  Yes, it's a great time to be southern, and an even better time for those who aren't, to discover why we love this land, region, and culture as much as we do!

And it's all just a mouse-click away!

Until Next Time...
D-

note:  all links are to social media pages...only befitting for this post

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Presnell Sporting Collection - The Sporting Traveler's Dream Club

I've recently come to know about a new service offering for those who truly appreciate all of the finer things that the sporting world has to offer...The Presnell Sporting Collection.  

For those who are not familiar with this truly unique concept, this is essentially the "Country Club" for the sportsman or woman who expects only the very best!

An individual can purchase a membership to this prestigious club for as little ~$300 a year (for a 10 year term) and then, in return he or she will gain access to Presnell's amazing destinations.  Here are the some of the main details/benefits, as we understand them:

  • You will pay anywhere from 15-30% less per trip than you would if you booked an excursion to one of these world-wide locales through a standard travel agency or via your own efforts.
  • Everything for your trip is planned out for you and included (except airfare, of course - but they can certainly help you with the logistics, I'm sure) - That means that licenses, gratuities, upscale lodging & meals, game preparation, etc. is all in the price.  For anyone who's been on such high-end trips, you know all to well that such "up-charges" can run into REAL MONEY!  With this service, you are booking at a discount AND getting the top-tier services included...that's very cool!
  • Global Rescue - now this is truly amazing!  This service has contracted with the world's premier aid and extraction company so if something happens on your trip, a dedicated team of medical and transport personnel stand at the ready to provide whatever aid is necessary, Stat!
  • The review process of the properties included in the Presnell Sporting Collection is ongoing and completely beyond reproach.  Unlike other "destination clubs" these select properties cannot buy an endorsement or inclusion...it's black & white, pass or fail. They cannot even be considered without having passed (and continuing to regularly pass) a 250+ point inspection process.
  • The Guarantee...Now here is the final point that blew us away...the adventures taken through The Presnell Sporting Collection, to their select destinations, are guaranteed to meet or exceed member expectations with all necessary actions being taken to ensure the members' satisfaction up to, and including, a refund of part or all of the associated trip charges. You just don't find that kind of commitment in today's travel!
Again, this is what I believe the be the pinnacle of luxury sport travel!  They have amazing destinations, a pricing structure that will not break the bank, and features that are amazingly well thought out and designed.  I, personally, cannot wait to get going! (PSC - Facebook Link) (PSC - Twitter Link)


Until Next Time...
D-

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Location Specific Camouflage...

I was just reading a story on the local news website about how U.S. troops in various locations throughout the world could, with a smartphone app, photograph elements of terrain where they would be conducting operations (or a specific mission), send those photos in to a digitizing group and have those images incorporated into "location specific" camo that would work better than the standard issue camo they traditionally wear.  This is technology at its best.  Now, for the purposes of hunting, wouldn't it be nice to be able to photograph location specific shots and/or elements, send those in and have a customized camouflage set show up at your door a week or two later.  A really nice use of technology...proud to say that the innovative folks who developed this are right here in North Carolina!  Fantastic job and way to go!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Polite Conversation Welcome!

I find it interesting that in today's world we have lost sight of so many things that made the world a more gentile place to live and work.  One of the primary lessons my good southern mother taught me was that there are such things as "polite company," and "polite conversation."  Polite company is when one is in the presence of women and children..or others that are not "familiar."  Polite conversation pertains to any topic other than religion, politics, or private family matters.  The reason I bring this up is that in today's world I believe that we would all get along so much better if we were to adhere to this time-tested approach to communication.  In our age of social media we should be aware that just because we can post it on Facebook, or Google+ or Twitter, etc., DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE SHOULD.  I mean nothing tends to get people more riled up than a religious or political topic with which they disagree...and to compound matters, the tone of whatever is being written is applied by the person who is reading it.  This, in and of itself, is extremely dangerous.  An innocuous comment of a religious nature, read by someone who's of a ill-humor, could be taken in a way most unintended, and lead to a less-than-civil exchange, fracture a relationship, or worse.

I mention this as this has happened more than once recently (not by me but I was witness) and it seems to be happening more and more frequently.  So  Rule #1 - Polite topics of conversation only, and Rule #2 - Always remember that the tone of anything written is determined, not by the author, but by the person reading it.

 In this digital, social-media-heavy age, these are two golden rules to live by.

Until Next Time...
D-

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Tech-Sportsman's Dream Product!

I have to say that this is one of the best looking and seemingly most functional products I've seen lately!  Just think...a wood burning camp stove that can also re-charge my phone, my gps, my lights, etc.  Now this is a product, that as a tech-sporting gentleman that I can really get behind!

Until Next Time...
D-



Is it a portable stove or a gadget charger? How about both. The BioLite ($130) is a compact, portable stove that burns sticks, twigs, pine cones, and other renewable resources instead of petroleum gas, lighting quickly and bringing water to a boil in no time. In addition, it packs a USB port on the front that draws its power from the heat of the fire, letting you charge your phone, GPS, or LED lights miles from the nearest outlet

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Shotgun - Oh the thrill!

Just bought my new shotgun today!  It's finished but cannot be shipped until May due to the fact that it's coming from a climate that doesn't lend itself to full factory operation in the winter...so, it's a custom 20 ga. O/U with nice scrollwork engraving, grade 5 walnut...BEAUTIFUL -  it was special ordered and the person ordering it bailed on it, so now I don't need to wait a full year for it to be made...waiting until May will be hard enough!

Pull!

Until Next Time!
D-

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spring is in the air...

video

Although it may only be the 31st of January, Spring is certainly in the air here in North Carolina, and by spring, I do mean - SPRING!  Perhaps it's the streak of at or above 70 degree days, but it seems as though I should be out at the lake (with my son) Crappie fishing.  This unusually warm weather has me thinking about turkey hunting, fresh produce, vacations to the beach, fishing trips, shooting sporting clays until well after dinner time, and all other manner of outdoor pursuits! I know that I'm getting ahead of myself, for as I've already stated, it is only the 31st of January...still lots of time for old man winter to make a comeback.  Just wishing that he wouldn't.

Until Next Time -
D-

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Across Regional Lines

I love my Southen Heritage, but if there's one area that I love almost as much as my beloved Southeastern United States, it's the Adirondack region of NY.  It has such an amazing sporting heritage.  First explored by European hunters in 1573, the region has had a profound influence on sporting lifestyles throughout the United States.  One of its primary influences (Architecture) was developed by William West Durant...son of Dr. Thomas Clark Durant (one of the original 12 Robber Barons - who's Union Pacific Railroad was the eastern half of the original transcontinental railroad)...Because of Dr. Durant's land grants from the U.S. government (to build the railroad) he had land holdings in the Adirondack region that totaled more land than the entire state of Connecticut.  It was out of these vast holdings that his son W.W. Durant developed the Adirondack, Great Camps (Pine Knot, Uncas, and Sagamore) and subsequently the Adirondack style of architecture that is still influencing rural and sporting structures to this day.  It focuses on the use of native materials - a rugged but comfortable feel, and a sensibility that encompasses both form and function. It truly is a fantastic look into our past, and at the same time, quite possibly a look ahead to our future.

Until Next Time -

D-









Saturday, January 21, 2012

Holland & Holland - Video

This Holland & Holland video is great! Had a nice e-mail exchange with the fellow (Mr. Billy Payn) over in the U.K. who made it for H&H.  What fantastic firearms and bespoke sporting attire ... Craftsmanship still counts!


video

Friday, January 20, 2012

AND AWAY WE GO...

Well, I'm not sure whether anyone other than me will wind up reading my modest offering on this blog site, but if you do, great... if not, then this will be nothing more than a cathartic means by which I will long for (and strive to implement in my own life) the values of a bygone era...  A time when we were more "in tune" with our natural surroundings...when men and women knew what it meant to be not only good neighbors to each other, but also good stewards of the land.  I admire those who, without modern conveniences, knew how to make the best of difficult times and still maintain  a level of civility not seen in our modern era.  It's a time to be looked upon with great admiration and strived for in our increasingly "wired in" society.

In this blog I will seek out the best of what is out there for gentlemen, sportsmen, and those who enjoy working with the land.  I will try my best to get content that will not only prove to be entertaining but will also provide useful information that you (or me, if I'm my only reader)  can apply to modern life.  So with that, I'm off to being scouring the Internet and libraries for such items.   Until next time...

David J. Jeffries, II