Garath W. Henry

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Words of Wisdom: Merlin Mann, via Kung Fu Grippie.

In Quote, Social Style on July 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Via: macinate's photostream

I’m a huge fan of the work of Merlin Mann (of 43 Folders & You Look Nice Today Fame) on so men levels.  Today I read a post from one of his blogs called Kung Fu Grippie, and I thought “HOT SHIT AND HAPPY DAMN!  That is a great way to explain something that is soooo complex…”

This is what I saw:


So, Tim Kazurinsky does an improv scene in a workshop led by Del Close. Del tells him to do the scene as an ogre. Kazurinsky’s stuck:

[Kazurinsky] said, “Damnit, Del, I just don’t have it in me to be an ogre.”

And Del said, “Damnit, do you think ogres are born? Ogres think they’ve been hurt worse than anybody else. So you don’t play the hatred. You play the hurt.”

And I just sat there and thought, “Oh, my God, I think I’ve just learned something about life.”

So great on so many levels.

Seriously.  How awesome is that? 

It is really what I was talking about here when I wrote about how I think people should respond to rude behavior with class and style.  Mr. Mann’s example is a really great way to illustrate what I was attempting to get at.


Words of Wisdom: Ryan Holiday via

In Quote, Social Style on July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

via: Ed Yourdon's photostream

Today I was going through some of RSS feeds that I read, and I happened onto a post by Ryan Holiday about rudeness.   The post states…

Try not to get upset by people’s rudeness. Notice: how it never seems to come from someone who has ‘earned’ the right to be rude. In other words, this attitude (or stupidity) has not served them well. It has held them back and punished them. So you pity it, place it properly in context with the costs, or pretend not to care but don’t feel resentment if you can help it. Because they’ve borne more of the burden than you.

I believe there is lots of wisdom in this short but eloquent post.

I’d like to add my own thoughts to this.

(1) Anyone can be rude.  It is part of living in an open society that values free speech.

(2) Anyone can be rude to someone who was rude to them first.

(3) It takes some real class, and dare I say style, to be kind to someone who is rude.

I’m not saying that people should just look the other way whenever someone is rude.  There comes a point when you need to take a stand absurd and inappropriate behavior.

The trick is to take that stand in such a way that you respect the dignity of the rude person while letting them know that you disapprove of, and will not stand for, their rude behavior.  Doing that is showing that you have grace, tact, class, and style.

Put Another Way:

We teach by example all the time.  Even when we don’t intend to do so.

If we stoop to a level of rudeness (even as a response to rudeness) we teach something.

If we elevate our behavior by respecting the dignity of someone who has behaved in a way which is rude we teach a very different something.

One is clearly better.

Summer headwear: The Straw Cowboy Hat.

In Headwear on July 28, 2010 at 5:03 am

This is the second post in a series of posts on Summer Headwear, the first was about the classic bandana.

This post focuses on the straw cowboy hat which I personally think is a damn fine bit of headwear, because it combines the fashion of a regular cowboy hat with the (literal) coolness and sun protection provided by a straw hat.

Up until this summer I shunned any and all sorts of western wear, because I believed that I would look like a total fool if I tried to pull off any sort of western look.  But this summer I got sick of getting bad sun burns (my ancestors were Irish troublemakers)  so when I saw a straw cowboy hat on sale in Target for $6.99 I thought “The only thing I stand to lose by trying this is a few dollars…” and I gave it a try.

Here are the results.

Cowboy hat in the summer by you.
And form a different perspective….
Cowboy hat by you.

Since buying the hat I’ve received received many compliments.  (At one point eight people said how much they liked it on me in the course of a single day).

To date my favorite compliment was someone who said “That hat is awesome!  It is like an angel took a shit on your head.”

Moral of the story:

For less than $10.00 I found out that many people believe I can pull off a somewhat western look, and I got a bit of headwear that I can wear to protect my trouble making Irish skin from the sun.

FTW, eh?

A few bits of style from around the web

In Links on July 27, 2010 at 4:36 am

I read lots of blogs, I mean LOTS. Several of them are “style” blogs, a few are fashion blogs, but most of them are what I would call “digital culture” blogs. I use Google reader as my RSS reader of choice, and over the past few days as I consume content I’ve been tagging a few posts that I wanted to call attention to here, because IMHO they offer some really great sort of style ideas, opinions, and observations.

So. Without further adieu:

1.The first item is from internet superstar Doc Searls (of “The Cluetrain Manifesto” fame) talking about how he lost some unwanted weight when he went to France and changes many of his behaviors due to the culture there.

Weight chart.

From June 13 to July 21, I lived in France. This was the longest I had been out of the country, ever. And, while I loved just about everything about being there, what I’m liking best at the moment is what I failed to take back with me: about ten pounds of fat.

2. The next item is from the wonderful style blog Beyond Fabric.  It is a few simple, but IMHO very important, tips for men who want to look good at work during the summer months.

Clothes, besides serving the basic purpose of protecting you against the environment, and your private parts from the ever watching critical eye of society (Janet Jackson incident is in order), are a means of expression. Well, at least to a certain extent since that same society we’re a part of, dictates and defines rules, protocols and standards for what’s commonly accepted.

3. The third item comes from the always awesome Put This On blog.  It is a great link to a web based tool that can help you find thrift stores in the area you live in.

If you’re looking for thrift stores in your area, you could do a lot worse than The Thrift Shopper.  They’ve got a pretty comprehensive directory of thrifts, searchable by zip code.  Review a few thrift stores in your area, and help build their database!

4. The fourth item is this amazing image from The Satorialist.  I love this image, but I’m not sure why.

On the Street...via Valfonda, Florence. Via: The Sartorialist.

That’s it.  Hope the links are helpful.

Words of Wisdom: Jesse Thorn, via Put This On.

In Publications, Quote on July 24, 2010 at 1:47 am

I’m a big fan of the fashion blog Put This On, which is done by Jesse Thorn (of “The Sound of Young America” fame) and Adam Lisagor (of “You Look Nice Today” fame).

Put This On logo

Yesterday Mr. Thorn wrote a very short, simple, yet very effective post, which stated:

To some, this may be self evident, but there is a noteworthy difference between dressing up and dressing well. Do not confuse the two. We are always dressing for a situation. Dressing is always a social act. It is just as possible to dress too formally as it is to dress too informally. An elegant man needn’t dress like everyone else, but he should always dress with the situation in mind.

I can’t agree with Mr. Thorn more, and I’m rather jealous of his ability to eloquently craft words into meaningful blog posts.

If you don’t  read Put This On you really should.

Summer headware: The classic bandana

In Headwear, Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Green Bandana

Green Bandana: via Spencer C. Curtis' photostream

I’m a guy who has longish wavy hair, which is something that I’m very happy about most of the time. However, during a hot humid summer day when my hair becomes more difficult to difficult to manage there are times where I really think about cutting it all off.

As of this writing I’ve never pulled the trigger on a massive haircut, but I have often turned to using some sort of headwear that will not make me feel any more miserable in the heat and humidity.

My most used headware in the summer is the classic bandana.

A bandana is cheap, and most of the time by spending very little money a person can have several bandanas, in several different colors, which can be matched to damn near any outfit. 

Side note:

Early in June of this year (2010) I did lots of home improvement projects.  One of those projects was putting in a new floor in the main room of my condo.  To put in the floor I had to rip up the (ugly) carpet that was all ready there.  As I was ripping up the carpet I was scared about what the state of the concrete under it might be, but I was very lucky because about 98% of the concrete was in wonderful contedtion.  However, there was a small amount of the concrete was jacked up.  One section in particular had two nails sticking out of it.  At first I thought it was no big deal, and that I could just pull them out.  however the nails were really huge!  It took me damn near an hour to pull the suckers out. 

The result can be seen in the picture below.  Notice how hard core the bandana makes me look! 

Home improvment + nails + bandana = Gorman!

Cheap Outfit 001

In Outfit on July 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm

With the exception of my glasses all the items of clothing that you can see in these pictures were bought at a thrift store, and their cost was under $20.00.  Here are the items…

Cheap outfit 001: shirt, tie, and vest cost under $20.00

Cheap outfit 001: shirt, tie, and vest cost under $20.00

I’ve rounded the prices of everything up to the nearest .25 figuring in the sales tax per item.

1. The tie cost a $2.00

2. The shirt (from Express for men) cost $7.50

3. The vest cost $5.50

And just in case you’re curious, here is how they look on me…

Indoors with regular glasses.

Indoors with regular glasses.

Outdoors with sunglasses.

Outdoors with sunglasses.