Monday, November 30, 2009

DIY Barbour Reproofing: The Beaufort

Somewhat in conjunction with my post about sending my Bedale in to be repaired and reproofed at Green Mountain Reproofing, since my Beaufort was in better shape, just in need of a rewax, I decided to do it myself a couple of weeks ago.

Having performed this operation three or four times, I feel like I am getting a little better at it, but I'm definitely still not a pro. However, along with the photos, I'll provide some tips that may help you out if you decide to give it a try.

First, if you're going to do this outside, pick a warm day. I did this on a Sunday that had actually been fairly warm, but by the time I got around to getting everything set up, it had started cooling off and made things a bit more difficult. Before I started getting set up, I put a pot of water on the stove to start to boil. I then took a piece of scrap plywood that we had and covered it with a trashbag. This was actually worked great, and if you happen to be in possession of both of these objects, I highly recommend this set up. Once the warm came to a boil, I placed my can of Barbour Thornproof Dressing in the water to started to melt.

Once it has become oil-like, I used an old rolled-up crew sock and started to apply the wax. You've got to work fast, especially if it is cool outside, as the wax starts to solidify pretty quickly. I like to zip the jacket up and do the front first, trying to take care of all of the nooks and crannies before moving onto the arms.

The front is done

I then flip it over and do the back and that is the easiest part and the key there is really just coverage.

The back was clearly very "dry"

Nearly finished

Speaking of which, I was really pretty liberal in how much wax I was using. My goal was really to get about as much on as a I could and then worry about smoothing it out later. And on this note, I should also point out that you ought to make sure that you've got enough wax on-hand ahead of time. If you've got half of a can, it would probably be best to go ahead and pick up another can just in case you run out. But if you've got half of a can, you've done this before and probably already know this.

Finished; time to hang it up

After I finished up, I hung the jacket up to dry in a warm room for a day or two. Next, and most critically, I took a hair dryer and ran it all over the jacket, using my free hand to smooth out the wax. This is really an important step and it helps to really get the wax into the cotton, and helps to smooth of the wax so that it not only functions better, but also have a nice even-looking appearance. If you noticed some dry spots while using the hair dryer, either try to smooth them over with some wax that's already on the jacket, or dab a little bit on from the can and work it in with the hair dryer. After I finished this, I left it to hang for a couple more days.

In the end, it came out pretty good, if a bit "wet"-looking. I was rubbing wax off on stuff for a couple of days which did get kind of annoying, but after about a week or so, it has calmed down. Below is a picture of its current (glorious and water-resistant) state.

I hope this was a helpful post inspires you to give DIY reproofing a shot.

The 'Hooch

I stopped and took this picture of Georgia's most famous river on my way home from work a couple of weeks ago. It happened to be one of the few days in the past several months where it actually wasn't raining.

While walking over to the river, I took this shot in honor of Foster.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Southern Staple: Fried turkey

You Yankees can keep your pop-up thermometers and Butterball hotline. Here in the South, we like our turkey with crispy skin, moist, delicious meat, and the ever-present threat of a giant grease fire.

Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Trip Down South logo

I've been playing with the idea of coming up with a logo for the blog that I would use to replace the main image at the top of the page. I had an idea about what I was looking for, but not having any real experience in this field, I consulted fellow Samford graduate Eric Holsomback about his opinions. Eric does graphic design stuff for a living, so I figured he probably knew what he was talking about. In addition to providing some advice, he whipped up the logo below and I wanted to share it.

While it's not exactly what I'm looking for, I did think that it was pretty cool and wanted to let Eric know how much I appreciated his help. If you're in need of any graphic design or photography services, definitely look Eric up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Southern Staple: Costa del Mars

While guys across the country having been donning Wayfarers and Aviators for the past year or two (not that I have anything against either of those glasses), guys in the South have stuck with their Costa del Mars.

Coming primarily from a deep sea fishing tradition, Costas do have a bit more of a "sporty" look than classics like Aviators or Wayfarers, however, their styling has always been more subdued than Oakleys, and the ability to get nearly every pair in tortoise shell is a great plus. These glasses are more than just a pretty face, though. Their polarized lenses are top-notch, and not only are they well-constructed, but every pair has a lifetime warranty so, in the event that they do break, you can get them repaired, and at no charge if the break was due to a manufacturing defect.

Deep Blue
I've had a pair of Deep Blues (which I think are their best looking model) for three or four years now. They have been great glasses, and after wearing the polarizing lenses, no other sunglasses seem to work as well. While the first pair that I had did break at the hinge a couple of years ago, I mailed them in, expected to follow-up with a $30 or $40 check to pay for the repairs. Instead, Costa sent me a brand new pair at no charge. If that isn't good customer service, I don't know what it. My only complaint about them is that the blue mirrored lenses that I haven't aren't the best for duck hunting.

Costas are especially popular in South Carolina, perhaps due to that fact that most everyone does deep sea fishing, or wishes that they did deep sea fishing. Of the nineteen people in my grad school class, eight of them owned Costas, two of those were girls, and five of them were from South Carolina.

If you're looking for a pair of good sunglasses, I would highly recommend looking at Costa del Mars. They have really expanded their styles and have a number of different lens types, so there is likely a pair that suits your taste. They certainly aren't cheap, but for the quality of the glasses and lenses, and the lifetime warranty, they are worth every penny.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Congratulations to Porter Hovey

Back in July, Porter Hovey, sister of blogger Hollister Hovey, submitted the above pic to Banana Republic's Mad Men Casting Call in which the winner would get a walk-on appearance on Mad Men. With the support of a good part of the blogosphere, it looked like Porter was doing well in terms of votes. After several months of being kept in the dark, we finally found out today that she actually won! You can read more on Hollister's blog, which also has a link to Porter's interview.

Now that I am all caught up on Mad Men, this is just another reason to look forward to the next season. Congratulations!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Barbour Bedale repair and reproofing

I got my Bedale, my first Barbour jacket, about four or five years ago. I picked it up from Ebay for something like $40. Back then, J. Crew hadn't discovered them, so there wasn't as much competition on Ebay. While having been previously worn, it was in really good shape.

Over the years it has been my go-to jacket as the shorter size makes it easier to wear. I think I reproofed it myself one time in those years, but should have done it more often. In the meantime, it has developed some holes in the sleeves, one of which has turned into an inch and a half long tear. Being paranoid that my sleeve would get snagged on something and the whole thing would tear off, I finally decided to bite the bullet and ship it off to be repaired and reproofed.

Clearly in need of a little TLC.

I know that most people choose to send it back to Barbour's shop to have these things done, but after hearing stories about of month-plus long turn-around times in the fall, I decided to give Green Mountain Reproofing a shot. They are a family-owned business based in Vermont, and they're actually a few dollars cheaper on their reproofing than Barbour. I got in touch with owner Ken Bissonette about repairs, and he said to go ahead and mail it to them and they would send me a quote, and then I could mail them a check if that sounded good. I shipped my jacket off on Saturday, so hopefully I should be receiving that quote soon, and should be getting my jacket back in a couple of weeks. I will post an update when I get it back.

A trip to Kudzu Antiques Mart

Sunday after church, I went with some friends to Kudzu Antiques Mart in Decatur. I had heard great things about it, so I wanted to check it out.

At 25,000 square feet, the sheer size of the place is overwhelming. It is basically like a flea market crossed with an antique store. They've got some really great antique furniture and accessories there, but they also have the flea marketesque knick-knacks and chachkas that some people love, and others (like me) typically hate. I needed to have some sort of mission while looking through this place since there is simply so much stuff, so I was on the lookout for some nice-looking crystal (or crystal-looking) liquor decanters. Here are some highlights that I saw while perusing:

Everything is organized into these "rooms." As you walk down the aisle, there is a room on either side of you. There are probably 50 or 60 of these rooms throughout the store, so hopefully this gives you a better idea of the sheer volume you're dealing with.

Good looking desk.

Fencing sabers. These would have looked nice on my wall (and only $35 for the pair).

This bell is actually cocktail shaker. You unscrew the handle and load everything in. You can see the screw-top spout which lets you pour your drink.

An artillery shell made into a lamp. Awesome.

An old English pub game.

I thought about buying the plaid one. $30 seemed a little steep, though.

Someone must have lifted these from Sterling Cooper...

Framed Civil War prints. For $10 a piece, these were really tempting.

Toy trains.

I bet Hollister would have picked this up. For better or worse, I exercised restraint.

And the pièce de résistance. A framed antique Alabama flag. If it wasn't $250, it would have been mine...

In the end, I left empty-handed, but that's OK. I get the impression that this place has pretty high turnover, so regular trips are probably warranted. They're open seven days a week from 11:00-7:00, so next time you're in Decatur, drop in.

Kudzu Antique Market
2928 East Ponce de Leon Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404-373-6498

Monday, November 16, 2009

Recommended: Palmetto Cheese

Photo taken from this blog (because I was too lazy to take my own picture)

For those of you who have been reading this a while, you may remember my Southern Staple: Pimento Cheese post, or my other post when I made my own pimento cheese--which brought about a reversal of my 24 year objection to it. Well, the other day my mom spotted some Palmetto Cheese at Costco and picked some up. After giving it a try, first on crackers, then on a sandwich, I've got to say this is the best store-bought pimento cheese I have had. Really, this stuff almost makes making your pimento cheese a moot point.

She bought the regular, not the jalapeno, and it was not too sweet or too mayonnaisey, with sharp cheddar and just the right amount of heat. I would like to give the jalapeno a try, though. Interestingly enough, according to the website, they use Hellman's mayonnaise; this is sure to stir up trouble with those who insist on using Duke's.

On top of being delicious, this stuff is made at Pawley's Island, SC, so obviously they know what they are doing. According to their website, it is available at Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Costco, Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo (and some other place called Central Market, which I have never heard of). You may have to request it, but I suggest that you do.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Avett Brothers- "I and Love and You"

I really enjoy the music of the Avett Brothers, and the fact they hail from North Carolina certainly doesn't hurt. While I don't have their latest album, I and Love and You (yet), their single of the same name (that came out this summer) is pretty great.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cocktail hour

I don't know if you've taken a look at EJ Forbes' blog that is on my blog roll, but I've got to say that one of his best recurring topics if Cocktails. He features both classic cocktails (like the Manhattan and the Sidecar), as well as some new cocktails made with classic ingredients (like the Satan's Whiskers and the Orange Blossom). In addition to the recipe for each drink, there are great photos, and there's usually come entertaining prose, too.

My only complaint is that due to the way WordPress is set up, it is a bit difficult to navigate through just the cocktails. The easiest way I've found to look at all of them is to click on the "Cocktails" tag on the right side of his page. At this point they go back a good six pages, so be sure to go back to the beginning as the oldest posts were written last fall and thus the drinks are a good seasonal match. I'm sure that you'll be able to find something that should hit the spot when 5:00 rolls around today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Southern Staple: Carhartt Bib Overalls

Made from durable 100% cotton duck, Carhartt's Bib Overalls are the perfect choice if you're going to be out in a field. Whether you're actually doing work, shooting dove, or just standing around a fire drinking beer and bourbon, it's hard to think of a better alternative. While the workwear thing may be popular with hipsters right now, hard-working people have been wearing these for decades and fortunately, they will most likely never be sold in a boutique store in New York City. Find them at your local hardware store, or other place where manly things are sold. If you're south of the Mason-Dixon line, you'll want to get the unlined version, but I don't have to tell you that.

Oh, and while you're at it, pick up a pair for your girlfriend; you won't be sorry.

Porsche 944

Photo credit here

If I were in the all-too-common scenario where someone offered to give me my choice of any non-911 Porsche (not including the Cayman), my choice, hands-down, would be the 944.

Photo credit here

Built between 1982 and 1991, this car just oozes 80s awesomeness, without being as obnoxious as other 80s sports cars like the Lamborghini Countach. While it isn't as fast the 928, it does come in a turbo version, and seems like it would make a great daily driver with plenty of fun leftover.

Photo credit here

Besides, if it was good enough for Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles, how can you go wrong?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Boning the fish" is the new "Jumping the shark"

When a TV show, movie, or band has reached a point where their own absurdity can no longer save them from themselves and they would be best served by being put out to pasture, they are said to have "jumped the shark." This term is derived from an episode of Happy Days where the Fonz jumped over a shark on waterskis (the Fonz was on the skis, not the shark) and the show is thought to have gone down hill afterward.

Thanks to the glory of the internet, this idea flourished and was explored in depth and supported by a website, (please note that I did not actually link this site). On it, one could look up their favorite (or least favorite) show and could submit their ideas for exactly when a particular show had jumped, or vote on some of the most popular choices. This website actually developed a pretty strong following and the term "jump the shark" reached fairly widespread use. However, it would seem that sometime in 2006 the creator of the site sold it to Gemstar, the parent company of TV Guide, who in early 2009, scrapped the original site and basically turned it into a portal to TV Guide's website. In an irony to end all ironies, the Jump the Shark website essentially jumped the shark.

While I had been familiar with the old website, I didn't discover its fate until a couple of months ago when I was looking to see when a particular show had jumped. I was pretty dismayed at seeing what had happened, but fortunately Wikipedia pointed me in the direction of the spiritual successor of the original website, Bone The Fish.

Bone The Fish has essentially recreated the old site, and seems to have expanded on the number of categories. On the site you can read a more detailed account of what happened to "the site that shall never be named" while posting your thoughts on, say, when Friends started to go down hill (Ross and Rachel break up again??). While I'm not sure if the term "boning the fish" will ever gain the same acceptance as "jump the shark," this is definitely a website I would suggest taking a look at.

Alison Brie: Double trouble

So I had no idea, until tonight, that Alison Brie plays two of the best looking characters on TV right now.

Trudy Campbell on Mad Men

Annie Edison on Community

I like them both, but my vote would go to Annie.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mobley & Sons in Birmingham gets a face-life

It is no secret that Mobley & Sons is my favorite men's store in Birmingham. They carry some great labels, but manage to leave behind the pretentiousness that some other store seems to insist on carrying (I'm talking to you Harrison Limited and Shaia's).

When I was in the Magic City a couple of months ago, I drove past Mobley & Sons and saw that it appeared to be closed. Somewhat dismayed by this, I sadly chalked this up as another victim of the bad economy. However, to my pleasure, a couple of weeks ago I found out (via Facebook) that the store was not closed, but instead was going through some renovations, and boy does it look great. Hunt Mobley, the latest generation of the store's proprietors, has done a great job of giving the store a feel that matches its great merchandise. I especially like the leather couches and using the pool table to display shirts. Next time you are Birmingham I suggest stopping in, as that is exactly what I intend to do. Enjoy some photos:

All images courtesy of the Mobley & Sons page on Facebook