Category Archives: lifestyle

Sir, Your Bespoke Shoe Shelving System is Nearly Ready!

Many years ago, I was flummoxed by the Estonian custom that one takes off one’s shoes before entering a residence. Americans tend not to do this. But I realized that in the Estonian setting, this makes a lot of sense. Credit the wetter climate where shoes gt a bit “rank”.

And I adjusted. But the adjustment created an issue. I noticed that I was growing a nice garden patch of shoes around the front door of my apartment. And when I had guests over, that garden patch grew to alarming dimensions.

So it was for many years. Indeed, So it was until this year. I finally realized that it was not all that complicated to organize the shoes on shelving. I did that, using a rather beat up old thing. And all was perfect.

Errr … except it was not perfect. As my friend Peeter pointed out, the shelving system I was using could be a lot more interesting. He suggested that I have a custom built system installed. BTW, this is the same Peeter who built a custom made book shelving system for me, and so his idea was worth considering.

And there is a bonus. Peeter builds his systems using discarded wood. He “re-purposes” the wood to make really interesting wood patterns. And he does really precise measurements so that the final piece fits exactly into the space you have.

I agreed and Peeter just called me today. He wants a few of my shoes to see how they fit into the system he is building.

Dude, for bespoke you need to make yourself available. “Come on over!” I said.

Stay tuned!

Is This the Revolt of the “Henry’s”?

You might be wondering what the heck a “Henry” is. I was. Here is the basic idea

“Henry,” …  stands for “high earner not rich yet,” Melkorka Licea reported for the New York Post late last month.

And pray tell, who are these folks?

. Shawn Tully invented the acronym in a 2003 Fortune magazine article, but it now characterizes a certain group of six-figure earners who are mostly millennials,

So where is the cash going?

The Henrys (have)  expensive habits, like staying at luxury hotels, taking international vacations, owning and/or renting two homes, signing up for ClassPass (which can cost as much as $180 per month), or having a “pleasure fund” for fun activities.

Call it a “devil may care”  approach to living.

BTW, if you don’t know “devil may care” is a common expression that is in fact, a shortening of “the devil may care but I do not.” In other words, why worry if I am in some way transgressing?

I can’t really blame folks for taking this attitude towards life. We are bombarded with marketing for high end consumption, and not bombarded with marketing for using our better judgment. Not only that, one’s set of relationships may hinge on the ability to live in extravagant ways.

Could one — and should one — walk away from this sort of thing? Be more prudent? I am not a betting man, but I would guess that the time for prudence will come. But not just yet!

A Move to Lunigiana?

Many years ago, I made a big move from Philly to Tartu, Estonia. Having done that, I am always interested in the stories of folks who have made similar transformative leaps.

Here is a story of a UK couple who moved to Lunigiana, Italy. That is in northern Tuscany, btw.

Image result for Lunigiana

And it is pretty rural.

Image result for Lunigiana

One interesting aspect of their move — they finance their new lifestyle with a web business. How to do that? Interesting question! Here is their  solution

… we run our online Italian Themed Apparel and Accessories business Shabby Sheep Design from our home. We create all our designs and concepts from up a hill in northern Tuscany and then manage everything else digitally/online, with the actual printing of our t-shirts and other gift products like tote bags and our recently launched re-usable water bottles taking place in the UK from where we ship worldwide. Apart from the creative satisfaction which coming up with new themes, designs and products gives us, there’s plenty more techie stuff to learn too which keeps us mentally stimulated.

Very cool!

Enjoy with an espresso and vanilla cream!


The Most Boring Lunch in the World?

To qualify for this award, the lunch in question must be intentionally boring. Not just the product of outrageously bad kitchen skills.

And which culture produces this?

According to BI, the answer is Norway. Many Norwegians eat a “matpakke”. And I would agree that this is very, very boring. Basically, a few pieces of bread,, a wipe of butter or other spread, and a piece of something.

Image result for matpakke

It is meant to be eaten without enjoyment.

Vox gets into the philosophy of this style of lunch. Minimalism, dude!

Is Loving Death and Decay So Bad?

To be more precise, I do not mean to argue that inflicting death and decay is justifiable. No, no, no! It is nasty — and I have written below that I I am opposed to nastiness!

That should be clear.

But I am in favor of autumn. I like how the trees shed their leaves and how those leaves decay. And I know that a certain amount of dying happens because of this seasonal change. It is unavoidable. Does that mean I am in favor of death and decay?

While you think about it, consider this quote from Carla at BA

I’ve written before about the feelings of dread and despair that accompany the fall season, and I realize that my perspective may be offensive to the leaf-peepers and sweater-weatherers. I don’t love death and decay, is that so wrong?

Poor Carla! Get a grip! At least she loves soup! And she knows how to make it!

I don’t suffer from Carla’s sense of dread and despair. To the contrary, I feel a sense of adventure coming. The cold is on the way! Get ready! And I love soup too!

Errr … not to mention a sip of whiskey on a cold winter’s evening sitting by the fireplace with Oscar Bruun, my rescue cat. By then, he will have had his vet check up and might be ready to venture out into the yard again, just for fun. So far, he has rejected any such opportunity!

A Sad Farewell to Dean & Deluca

The Manhattan deluxe food purveyor has shuttered its falgship location.

This is not a huge surprise.

In July, an article in The New York Times highlighted the chain’s financial troubles and painted a bleak portrait of its Bangkok-based owner, Pace Developments. Dean & DeLuca’s parent company, which bought the grocer in 2014, reportedly pulled out of lease agreements, promised and then revoked sponsorships and consistently fell behind on payments to vendors.

At the same time, it is a bit sad. Dean & DeLuca was — in its day — something new and exciting for foodies. It was an emphatic advertisement that  high end food culture had burst out of expensive restaurants and now was there for nibbles, take out, and the rest.

Sure, we moved on from those days. Food culture is no longer just for yuppies. And that is a good thing. But the closure of Dean & DeLuca does make you look back to where we came from.