Trunks & Leather
Old Trunks, New Leather.
All from Maine.
December 20, 2013
Well, we’ve reached the solstice
so I guess we’ll be stepping into the realm of ‘Winter’ a little later
today, and I’m ready. You know how it is up this way in Maine ‘ the
days are pretty short right now, the nights are long and a bit on the cool
side (the ‘below zero ‘ kind of cool). Starting tomorrow we’ll be
gaining daylight, day by day, though it’s difficult to notice it much in
January and February. By March though, you notice that you can see
threads of daylight in the Eastern sky at five o’clock-ish am as you coast
the pick-up down Goff Hill, heading toward the bridge at Great Falls.
By May you’ll be wearing sunglasses on this same stretch, but you don’t
need shades right now. We’re seeing the sun for only about nine hours
a day, which is why I always call December 21st ‘The First Day of Maine
Summer.’ It’s my own little message of hope; a hope that centers
on not having to wear long underwear day in and day out.
Sorry to be out of touch
most of the year. We’ve had some business management issues to deal
with, and will be chalking up the year to improving our web expertise.
The vast and expanding Brettuns Village empire has been on a roller coaster
ride this year; a ride that came complete with a search engine scare and
let me state right here to all you web types that prior to this past summer
I thought SEO meant something like ‘Save Every Oreo’ or maybe ‘Start Early,
Oscar’ but it turns out it means Search Engine Optimization and if you
have any interest in your web based business showing up on Google or Bing
or Yahoo or I’m sure there must be others then, brother, you’d better do
some SEO work from time to time. OK, we get it now. Tough summer
and early Fall though. Once we figured it out things sure did bounce
back, mostly thanks to you, our customers. Greatly appreciated, and
when I say that I want you to know that I mean it from the very bottom
of our College Tuition Savings Program (two and a half years to go!).
Got your shopping all done?
Me neither. I planned to get done early. I gave it a lot of
thought back in October even, but then things got busy and now I know there’s
one thing I bought but I can’t remember where I hid it so I guess I’ll
start over again this weekend. Wave if you see me out there, stumbling
around central Maine, looking for glow in the dark towels or electric underwear
warmers or exercise equipment that looks exactly like cinder blocks but
comes with a video (‘Great job! Now take your wall apart, one block
at a time, move it over 40 feet, and put it back up again. Feel the
burn!’). I’ll wander up and down aisles, pick up something, look
at it for a minute, then put it back. I wait for that jack-bolt of
inspiration to hit ‘ and when it does I head to the register, say hi to
Gladys, and then I’m off to the next spot. I’ll be looking for a
few things, but, as you already knew if you’ve been a subscriber for a
while, the list in my pocket will be long, but it won’t contain items I
want to find ‘ no sir. It’ll be a list of the stuff I don’t want
for Christmas. So here, without further ado, for the tenth year running,
is your old pal Churchill’s List of Stuff I Don’t Want for Christmas:
It’s looking pretty Christmasy
around here, thanks to a couple of good snow storms in the last week or
so, and more snow plus the rip-roaring pleasure of an ice storm predicted
for this weekend (gas up the generator!). The neighbors and yours
truly have been running snow blowers, those funny little electric snow
shovels, and our manual snow shovels quite a bit. The Farmer’s Almanac
says we’re in for a whopper of a Winter, so item one on the list of stuff
I don’t need is a gym membership. Very few of you need this either,
unless you can buy one for three visits per year, which you and I and Indie
all know is exactly how many times you made it the last time you shelled
out all that loot for a one year membership. Go shovel snow.
In Florida? Shovel sand. I don’t care what it is, just shovel
it. No gym membership.
Slingbox: I have no
earthly idea what this is but it makes me picture that guy with the weird,
low voice in that movie ‘Slingblade’ or was it ‘Swingblade’ or whatever
‘ I don’t care but every time I hear ‘Slingbox’ I picture that guy standing
at the foot of my bed at about 3 am and I’m telling you it’s darned unsettling.
It’s off the list.
Heating Oil: OK, so
this is almost a necessity up this way but what used to be appreciated
at 62 cents/gallon is now officially despised at $3.50/gallon. We’re
burning wood, mostly, and have plans to add a pellet furnace soon, so our
fuel will be renewable, and when I say ‘renewable’ I mean it GROWS BACK
in a decade or so, which seems to be somewhat of an improvement over the
32 million years that’s required to convert dead plankton and vegetable
matter into petroleum. Folks used to give gift certificates for heating
oil to their loved ones at Christmas, or you could win a coupon at the
local fund raiser over to the high school, but now everyone’s so mad about
the cost of oil that you don’t see that sort of thing anymore. Good
OFF the list. The outdoor temperature sensor. The stereo speakers
that sit on the patio. The light switches, fan rheostats, garage
door openers, car starters, etc that work at the push of a button with
no wires needed at all ‘ these ‘cool’ things work for about ten days, as
you well know, and I’m not entertaining any comments on this about the
remote thingamajig you have that just works so well all the time because
no it doesn’t and just wait til the next time you try it. No more
wireless stuff! Except the light switch that lights up our two Christmas
deer out by the pear tree. They look cool. Also except for
Amanda’s remote car starter that allows her to get the heat going and the
seats heated up. I don’t have a remote starter for my truck but I
guess I do have a seat warmer if you count me letting Indie into the front
seat fifteen minutes before we leave the driveway in the pitch black (as
described above) whilst I scrape the frost off the windows. For those
of you who haven’t had the pleasure let me just mention that Indie is the
Brettuns Village Corporate Spokes Model and Black Lab. She does NOT
have a wireless training collar that makes the tips of her hair smoke when
you press the button. I trained her. She’s trained. No
wireless collar required. Good dog.
Quick, don’t think, just
tell me right now what your heart rate is? QUICK! Come on!!
What? You DON’T KNOW? It’s a wonder you’re still alive.
Don’t you know you need a heart rate monitor strapped to you every time
you go for a walk from here to there or maybe ride your bike or even just
sit up in bed? Don’t you need to know your heart rate at all times?
No? Me neither. Let’s move on.
Now this next thing I want
to mention is, well, oops, hang on’. Give me a second
here’ Oh I see, the computer is telling me that some software
needs to be updated. I was just going to say that this year another
thing I don’t need is, whoops’hold it’ restart? I guess one thing
I don’t want is software that isn’t finished yet. Am I over-simplifying
this whole mess? Sell it when it’s finished. I wouldn’t buy
a half-way finished pizza nor pickup truck nor best selling novel, so why
do I have to buy half-way finished software? Is my time not valued
at all? Restart ‘ just the word itself sounds so easy, but man oh
man it takes FOREVER. I don’t need any new software this year.
Unless it’s finished.
More fiber in my diet ‘ I
don’t think I need it. Somewhere out in the world of Gigantic Food
Generators there seems to be an effort to add fiber to just about everything.
It’s in your breakfast cereal, your sandwich bread, your juice, your crackers,
and even in your chewing tobacco. Is this some plot launched by the
last remnants of some Communist regime that’s still hanging out there in
Siberia or wherever? Add more fiber, and the Americans will be busy
when we launch our missiles. You’re darn right we’re busy ‘ we’ll
be in the bathroom. No more fiber in my diet ‘ just EAT YOUR AGE
and pay attention to be sure you get lots of colors on your plate and you’ll
be fine. Not guaranteed.
Seen those magazine ads for
steak lately? Holy cow do those ads make me hungry. The steaks
are about two inches thick and they’re juicy and cooked to perfection and
brother can you spare me a Porterhouse, but then you read the ad and they
want to mail the steaks to you. Up our way they’re either going to
arrive green and smelly or frozen solid. Those are our two seasons.
Mail order steak? They’re kidding, right? No thanks.
Now, the outside of the cow, the leather, that’s another story.
One last thing I don’t want
this year and that’s one more and mean just one more e-mail from Kohl’s.
Not sure how we got on their list but every day for about two years it’s
been ‘Kohl’s Gift Card This’ and ‘Kohl’s Gift Card That’ and I’ve had about
enough. We have a Kohl’s store nearby ‘ I went in once. For
a second or so I thought I was in JC Penney, but then I noticed the racks
were a mess and there were new clothes on the floor and boxes in the aisles
and I knew for a fact I wasn’t in Penneys. Maybe if those Kohls employees
spent more time straightening up the store after the stampede that must
happen daily and less time sending out e-mails I’d be tempted to go back
in again. Not yet though. Not this year.
So, there you go ‘ stuff
you don’t have to worry about getting for me this year. I’ll take
the usual ‘ a wag from the dog, some time with my daughters (both home
from college and both spectacular), and time to sit with Amanda in the
living room where our Christmas tree is standing. This, our 25th
Christmas tree together, just looks better than any I can remember for
a long time. Maybe next year we’ll figure out how to work in
a visit with my Mom and Amanda’s folks, but this year we’ll be here in
Maine, probably still heating with wood and cooking on the grill since
this ice storm forecast for the weekend looks like a monumental tree crusher.
In Maine, when trees fall, they take power lines with them. What
A little BV news before I
leave you- on the leather side our next shipment of Sunrise WigWam is due
to arrive the first week in January. Great way to start the new year.
Also, Chaz and his boys have added a mess of new items to the Clearance
page this week, and they plan to put in some hours next week adding more
leathers and hardware types to that page. On the Trunk side we have
standard straps in black leather now; very chic, and a couple of new old
trunks for sale, if you’d care to take a look.
Have a Merry Christmas and
a wonderful New Year ‘ as in other years I wish you some peace and quiet
during the hustle and bustle ‘ some time to sit and enjoy this wonderful
time of year. I recognize that my list of ‘stuff I don’t want’
really comes across as a long gripe session, but I’ve got nothing to complain
about. Business is great. Family is great. Weather is
great. For a penguin, that is. Ho Ho Ho.
Best wishes to your family
Brettuns Village, Inc.
Where’s Indie? Tell
her to get into my office STAT!