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Saturday, May 19, 2007

The last tie?

Nothing says "mod" like eccentric circles. This vintage polyester tie was custom made by the William M. Frazin Company, Custom Neckwear Makers, Chicago and Los Angeles. I wore it on May 14, and I haven't worn a tie since. Perhaps when the students return to campus in late August and we go back into "business mode" I'll tie one on again, but during the summer I'm just wearing open-necked shirts. I have some pretty wild ones, so I don't feel completely bereft of adornment.

In the meantime I've started a new blog devoted to music, on Vox. I hope you will visit it and hear something you like.

The patterns I've displayed here are but a blip compared to the patterns displayed at the print & pattern blog, a veritable orgy of fantastic graphics. Visit it frequently for an awesome design fix. And for neckties in particular, Mike and Will's excellent tie blogs continue unabated. Carry on, gentlemen!
I won't say goodbye, because I still have a few hundred unblogged neckties; even if I don't wear them I may get around to posting pictures of them sometime. So I'll sign off for now with "Until we meet again..."

Saturday, May 12, 2007


It's hard to pin down a time period for this tie; the fabric is acetate, which was widely used for ties in the 40s and 50s, but the pattern is more late 60s/early 70s. It is safe to say, however, that it is not recent.

The past weekend was quite eventful: on the first day of the semiannual Friends of the Library Book Sale (with its own dedicated building, no less) I spent a couple happy hours perusing the shelves, and ended up with a stack of modern art books and a few novels, all on the cheap. Then on Sunday I finally got to try out my new cordless electric lawnmower. From studying product reviews on the web, I understand that the biggest problem with most cordless mowers is that they just aren't powerful enough to be practical. One reviewer noted that when he modded his Black and Decker mower from 24 volts to 36, it worked just fine. I took the easier route and found a 36-volt mower on eBay. It's by MPL and it cost about 40% less than the Black and Decker. It does weigh 90 pounds, and the body is made of resin rather than steel, but it's much quieter than a gas mower, it doesn't shake my arms, it cuts my grass, and it holds a charge long enough to mow the whole lawn. Hurray for eBay! I closed out the weekend by taking the kids to Cornell for the outdoor World Percussion Festival, with performances by several student percussion groups: the Percussion Ensemble, the World Drum and Dance Ensemble (with distinguished guest Bernard Woma of Ghana; and the women of the group wore skirts with amazing patterns!), the Steel Band (with their own distinguished guest Liam Teague, of Trinidad via Northern Illinois University), the Boogie Band, and the "Inline" Band (I think), a non-marching subset of the marching band. The high point was when Bernard Woma got the whole crowd up and dancing, his energy was infectious!

This tie is now off to Mississippi, to one of my former eBay customers. He just outbid me on several lots of vintage ties (which reminds me of a story, for another entry), but we worked out a swap for some of the duplicates. Thanks, Blake!

Friday, May 04, 2007


Look into my tie, look into my tie, the tie, the tie, not around the tie, don't look around my tie, look into my tie, you're under. You will marvel at this black-and-white op-art vintage polyester necktie from Pauline Trigere and admire its wearer for his keen fashion sense. Three, two, one... You're back in the room. (Or, as our three-year-old says, "What you want... you're back in the room.")

(Patter lifted from Kenny Craig, Matt Lucas's stage hypnotist character from Little Britain. A new Little Britain series is in development for HBO's fall season! Yippee! I might have to get HBO for that.)

Over the weekend we took the new Veneer family minivan (a Nissan Quest, surely the most stylish of all minivans and a vast improvement over our lumbering old Plymouth Grand Voyager) to Corning for a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass. What a fascinating array of historical glass, art glass, and practical glass exhibits! The paperweight exhibit includes Josh Simpson's record-setting hundred-pound Megaplanet. (An eighty-pound Megaplanet is available for purchase in the museum store for $44,000.) The intensity of color and sinuous shapes that can be achieved in glass are remarkable, but I think I will leave the crafts that involve melting glass to the pros.