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!

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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