Category Archives: Posts by the Princess Consort

Now Stepping To The Plate… The Consort

2011-opening day

Hello-hello, all.  The Consort here stepping into the batter’s box while The (lovely and very talented) Princess takes a spa day.  We’re going to talk about a topic near and dear to both The Princess and I: Baseball.  We both have life-long passions for the game.  She stole my heart when she recited the starting lineup for the 1968 Detroit Tigers when we first started dating.  One of my earliest memories is being at a Tiger game on August 3, 1962 when Minnesota Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew became the first player to hit a ball over the left field roof and out of the old stadium.  Later in life I quit a well-paying job in television to be an usher for the Colorado Rockies.  Playing baseball has taught me quite a few life lessons and I thought this might be a good time to share them.

1.  You will fail more than you succeed.  As a batter if you hit safely three out of ten times you may well be considered an All-Star.  That high percentage of failure can be an inspiration.  What happened in your last at-bat is a learning experience.  The most important attempt you’re going to make is the next time you step up to the plate.  Make it count.

2.  Someone’s going to be throwing you curveballs.  It might be on the field or it might be in an office meeting.  That pitch is going to look like something you’ve never seen before.  Hang in there, relax and take your best cut.  If you’ve done your preparation you can handle any curveballs you see.  And if you haven’t done your prep work than you deserve what you get.  Which leads to my next point.

3.  You have to work.  Baseball (and the workplace) are full of stories of “the newest, greatest” star.  Sometimes those stars burn brightly but flame out quickly.  Perhaps they relied on their natural gifts but those gifts could only take them so far.  We want long careers.  That requires hours of hard work.  It’s not glamorous but it pays off more times than not.

4.  Pay attention to the signals around you.  During a baseball game you’ve all seen that third base coach who looks like he has fleas.  His arms are moving around and he’s making all kinds of gyrations.  He’s sending signals to the batter.  The coach might be telling the batter to swing at the next pitch, let it go by, bunt or if there is a special play for a runner on base.  It sounds complicated but it really is just based on the game situation.  People are sending you signals every day.  You have to pay attention to the situation in which you find yourself.  Watch for the signals and act accordingly.

5.   Overcome your fear.  In baseball you’ll be hit by pitches or balls taking bad bounces.  You’ll get knocked down by opposing players.  And you get back up.  Same for life.  Getting knocked down is no big deal; getting back up is what will make you stronger.

6.  Enjoy the wins.  Savor the moment.  But today’s game is over.  Tomorrow is bringing you more challenges and what you did today will prepare you for them.  Keep looking forward.

That’s enough for now.  I’m keeping away from topics like chewing tobacco and spitting in public.  I’m not sure there are any lessons to be learned there beyond “Don’t do it”.  As always I thank you for your time.  Don’t forget to take good care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today.   Good night, everyone!

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Fore, Please. The Consort Steps To The Teebox and Swings Away

Hello-hello, all.  The Consort here striding confidently to the microphone to amuse and confuse you while The (lovely and very talented) Princess deals with her commitments to the community.  Now that the temperature is climbing my thoughts are turning to golf.  To be more precise, golf fashion and a dash of fun.  Ready?  I believe we are up on the tee.

Let’s begin with some golf fashions that have caught my eye recently.

Photo: Maide Golf

Maide Golf is rolling out a great line of pants, shirts and more.  You’ve likely heard of their parent company Bonobos.  The pants come in a variety of colors and the attention to detail is exciting.  I’m loving the 2″ zipper on the hem to allow you to adjust the break of the pants on your shoes.  Nice touch.  Next time you have a spare minute give them a look and envision yourself sporting those clean lines the next time you step to the tee.

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 2.50.17 PM

Or you could make a bolder statement with our friends from Loudmouth Golf.  You’ve no doubt seen their memorable patterns for pants, shorts, shirts and accessories.  Here’s one of the new looks for this season:

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 2.56.15 PM

This is the “Dropcloth” pattern but I imagine you figured that out for yourself.  They have a wide variety of patterns with a price tag for pants of around $100.  Go ahead and let the world know you have confidence in your game.

When I was younger we all believed there would be flying cars in our garages by the year 2000.  We’re not quite there yet but pro golfer and Masters Champion Bubba Watson might be taking us closer to that reality.

Bubba Watson's Hovercraft

Bubba and Oakley have reportedly created a hovercraft golf cart that might just usher in the next great age of golf cart racing.  Is it for real?  It seems to work in the video.  All I know is that this hovercraft might be just what I need to lower my handicap a few strokes.  The cost?  Who cares?  It’s a HOVERCRAFT GOLF CART!

It’s time to wrap this up for the day.  The Princess will be back here next time  with information you can actually use.  Until then remember to take care of your waitperson tonight because they’re working hard for you.  Good night, my friends!

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The Consort’s Rules For Thanksgiving Touch Football

Hello, hello.  The Consort here gliding effortlessly mikeside to dazzle and baffle you whilst The (lovely and talented) Princess ponders the Thanksgiving menu.  I thought it might be instructive to review the rules for that great family tradition: The Thanksgiving Day Backyard Touch Football Game.  While I put my coaches whistle on please focus your attention on the chalkboard here at the front of the room.  Ready? Let’s go!

1.  The playing field is whatever size and shape you decide.  Convenient end zone markers could be a flower pot, tricycle, deflated basketball and your drunken Uncle Fred.  It’s likely the flower pot will move before Uncle Fred.

2.  Mom gets to be quarterback.  Remember this rule: Those who cook get to call the shots. Don’t dispute it or you will be relegated to the kiddie table with a bowl of Fruit Loops for your meal.

3.  No chop blocks to the knees.  Come on, folks.  This isn’t the NFL or even a Division III game.  No matter how tempting it might be to take out your obnoxious brother-in-law with a brutal low block you must resist the temptation.

4.  Anybody with any organized football experience must be a blocker.  We don’t care about that one high school game in which you ran 35 yards for the only touchdown you ever scored in your life. You’re 57 years old – move on.

5.  Catching a pass with one hand and not spilling the beer in your other hand is worth six bonus points.

6.  Pass rushers must first count out loud “One Mississippi – Two Mississippi – Three Mississippi” and then do the Hokey-Pokey before taking off after the quarterback.  Failing to do so will result in seating at the kiddie table sharing a bowl of Fruit Loops with the knucklehead who questioned Mom’s authority.

7.  If you wear a tie you are fair game for whatever punishment might occur.

8. Post-touchdown endzone celebrations are encouraged.  The more choreographed the better.  But if someone breaks into the finale of “Riverdance” there will be an automatic penalty of having to spend two minutes in the “Box of Shame”.  This box is the front porch where Grandma will regale the guilty with her stories of great family Thanksgiving games from the past.

9.  Children are encouraged to play.  Whenever a child begins to cry all the adults in the game must either drink a beer or glass of wine, whichever is at hand.  Unless the child is injured, in which case the game will be adjourned to cluster around the child and encourage the poor thing to “rub some dirt on it”, “play through the pain”, “suck it up” or any one of those inane statements football coaches are known for saying.

10.  Take a moment during the game to stop and look around.  This is your family.  They might be crazy sometimes but they are yours.  Be thankful for them every single day of your life.

And we are thankful for all of you.  The Princess and I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  We hope you’ll visit us on Monday for our fabled “Pink & Green Monday“.  We’ll have great savings and you won’t be exposed to some maniac who has spent the last six days sleeping in a tent on the sidewalk so they can be first in line for the bargains.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.  The Princess will return tomorrow.  Remember to take care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today.  Good night, everybody!

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What The Consort Likes These Days

Hello, hello all.  The Consort here striding confidently mikeside to amuse and bemuse you while The (lovely and talented) Princess enjoys a spa day.  I’ve been lurking around the Interwebs and have uncovered some items that have captured my attention.  They are generally expensive, loud or shiny but, hey, I’m a guy and we like those things.  Let’s get started, shall we?

L.L. Bean never lets me down.  Never.  Take a stroll through the Signature lines and you’ll be ready for the worst weather fall and winter can offer.  The prices are attractive, too.  I’m loving the plaid shirt pictured at left for only $69.  The hooded field coat seen at right is $249.  A small price to pay for something you will probably be able to hand down to your heirs.

While we’re discussing jackets let’s turn our attention to the stunning Belstaff Roadmaster jacket.  How can I describe this work of genius?  Here’s what Belstaff says: “Hand-waxed cotton seals out the elements. – Reinforced elbows and shoulders provide extra protection. – Throat latch and triple-snap cuffs seal out the wind and rain. – Bellows pockets hold personal effects without extra bulk. – Collar and cuffs are lined in cotton velvet.”  I think of it as armor for the outdoors.  You can find yours at J. Crew for $595.  It’s an investment – especially if you really do ride a motorcycle.

Did I mention motorcycles?  I’m enthralled with Blitz Motorcycles in France.  I’ve ridden Harleys for years but am evolving into a “if it doesn’t make the bike go faster or stop sooner keep it off the bike” kind of guy.  That’s why I’m so attracted to Blitz.  The bike pictured is their version of the bike Steve McQueen rode in his classic film “The Great Escape”.  The remodeled BMW is stunning in it’s simplicity.  You can order a Blitz bike but be ready to wait.  The bespoke rides begin at about $20,000 and they only make about ten a year.  The shop is in Paris but the address is unlisted.  I love that.

You’ve got the jacket and you have the motorcycle.  It’s road trip time!  Wait! First grab your Filson Duffel Bag from Brooks Brothers and then you’re all set.  These twill and leather medium-sized duffles are water repellent and have loads of interior pockets.  I know we’ve been looking at some international things but these bags are made in the USA.  As the good folks at Brooks Brothers say,  you “might as well have the best”.  I love that, too.

I also love people with vision.  Randy Grubb lives in Southern Oregon.  He’s the owner of Blastolene, a garage where works of art like the Art Deco motor coach you see above are born.  Randy used a 1973 GMC motor home and a White Motors truck cab from the 1950s to create the behemoth Decoliner.  The portholes and flowing lines are fantastic.  Randy also turned out the Blastolene Special, a monstrous tank engine-powered hot rod that now can be found in Jay Leno’s garage.   It’s safe to say that Randy Grubb is creating classics.

Another classic turns 50 years old this month.  James Bond made his movie debut with “Dr. No” in 1962.  Sean Connery was the first (and I say best) James Bond.  That was a different time: John Kennedy was president, gas sold for 28 cents per gallon, a year’s tuition at Harvard would set you back $1,520 and October saw the US and Russia square off during the Cuban Missile Crisis.   But there was no crisis  Commander Bond couldn’t resolve in his trademark style.  The films are fascinating snapshots in time.  Each one tries to trump the special effects and plot twists seen in previous films.  I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll never be as suave as James Bond.  But then he’ll never be the Princess Consort.  You lose, Mr. Bond.

Where does the time go?  I must run but The Princess assures me she’ll be back next week.  Until then I remind you to take good care of your waitperson tonight because they’re working hard for you.  Have fun, all!

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The Consort Considers His Holiday Options

Hello-Hello, all.  The Consort here dashing mikeside to amuse and baffle you while The (lovely and extremely talented) Princess meets her volunteer obligations.  I thought we might spend a few moments grappling with holiday deadlines, old friends and whatever else wanders into the wasteland that remains of my mind.  Let’s begin!

I’m considering the merits of beginning my Christmas shopping.  Now some of you might be chuckling and wondering if I’ve lost my mind.  Yes, but that’s not the point.  The point is I understand time.  After decades of working in broadcasting I know one minute is truly a long time.  Don’t believe me?  Stare at someone for one minute.  Do not speak. Do not avert your eyes.  Just stare for one minute.  See what I mean?  One minute is a long time.  Now string together sixty of those minutes and you’re talking some real time.  So I have plenty of time to buy holiday gifts.  And that’s another thing: I don’t shop – I buy.  Most guys do the same thing.  We walk into a store and head directly to whatever it is we intend to buy.  It all comes down to prep work.  A little research can be a timesaver and a lifesaver this time of year.  Or it can work in the other extreme.  When that happens I call it Zen buying.  Walk into a store with a empty mind (not hard for most guys) and listen for the gift to speak to you.  When it happens it’s a truly magical feeling.  When it doesn’t happen then everyone gets gift cards and it’s time to head to the nearest bar.

I’ll be having lunch in a couple of days with some guys who have been my friends since middle school.  Some of you are young enough that that’s not too remarkable.  For this bunch it’s quite a feat.  There will be eight of us around the table.  Through the decades we’ve seen weddings, divorces, births and, sadly, deaths.  Some of us have moved around in our careers while others stayed close to home.  Now a couple of the guys are even retired or considering taking that step.  We’ve all followed our own paths but managed to stay connected.  It’s more than just a lunch.  For a brief time we’ll be eighteen again.  We’ll tell the same stories we’ve always told and poke fun at each other.  We’ll laugh at the old jokes and wonder “whatever happened to…”.   It will be one of the best gifts I will receive this year.

The Princess and I tossed Tilly in the back of the Prepmobile and went for a short ride around the neighborhood the other night.  We thought it might be fun to look at the decorations.  It was nice but in a couple of instances I wanted to get out and ask the homeowners if they had lost their minds and any shred of decency they might have possessed.  Garish does not begin to describe some of these houses.  I struggle with the idea of someone randomly draping thousands of dollars worth of decorations on every available inch of space on their property.  We saw one house that was likely setting off seizures with the incessant strobe effect of the lights.  Too much is often just that: too much. It seems the over-the-top decorating is everywhere and so I better get used to it.  There are entire streets where the neighbors combine their efforts to create a well thought out wonderland of light.  But some good can come of this.  In some cases these neighborhoods are accepting donations for local food banks or other charity groups.  Maybe I should just get over myself and appreciate some people’s willingness to add a little light and color to the world.

But I’ve blathered on long enough.  The Princess will return to this space tomorrow with items of much more interest than I brought to the dance today.  So I’ll leave you with the usual reminder to take good care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today.  Good night, everyone!

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Some More Friday Fun with The Consort

Hello-hello, all.  The Consort here striding confidently mikeside in an effort to dazzle, or at least baffle, you.  The Princess has asked me to step in for the day while she attempts to run to ground a contest that is spinning wildly out of control on our sister site.  She’s handling that with her usual aplomb so I am pleased to share some Friday Fun today.  Before we get started let’s have a snack…

Courtesy Heart Attack Grill

This 8,000 calorie behemoth graces the menu of the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas.  You’ll find it listed as the “Quadruple Bypass Burger”.   I can hear my arteries shutting down even as I write these words.  The sandwich (and I use that term loosely) is made up of four half-pound beef patties, cheese, bacon, tomatoes and all the usual suspects.  Since this beast couldn’t possibly fill you up you also get a milkshake made with “the highest butterfat content” and a side of “Flatliner Fries” deep-fried in pure lard.  You know, they must use pure lard because they are concerned for your health.  The 8,000 calories are equal to about one week’s worth of meals for the average person.  I can hear what you’re saying: “Oh sure, I can just walk off the calories”.  Of course you can.  Walking one mile burns about 100 calories.  Do the math.  I would have liked to have had a comment from the Heart Attack Grill on this but, sadly, the spokesperson passed away in March.  Of a heart attack.

The Princess tells me she still hurts because she did not have a Barbie doll when she was young.  I know my sister had one and even had the Barbie Dream House.  But my sister’s Barbie dolls never had tattoos until my brother and I got hold of them.  Now, thanks to LA-based Tokodoki and Mattel, Barbie has her own ink.

Courtesy Tokidoki

For only $50 you get a tatted-up doll with pink bobbed hair, stacked bracelets and a dog named Bastardino.  Apparently the doll is targeting “adult collectors only” and that has me a bit unhinged.  This is not the first time Barbie has been sporting ink.  There have been two previous editions and this particular model is limited to a run of 7,400 dolls.  I guess you probably don’t want to miss this opportunity.  I know I won’t miss it; I likely won’t notice at all.

I’m a guy and I confess, like guys everywhere, I have used duct tape to make quick and dirty repairs.  That sticky stuff is part of every well-stocked tool kit.  Now it can be part of every tailgate party…


This is just a sampling of the variety of schools that are available.  Think of the uses… create your own fashions; wrap that annoying brother-in-law who insists on rooting for the other team; securing your adult beverage to your hand when your motor skills begin to flag; the list is limited only by your imagination.  Sound intriguing?  Check them out here for more details.  Just don’t blame me when the males in your house go all slack-jawed when they realize the potential here.

But my time is running short.  Please take good care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today.  The Princess will return Monday.  Thanks for sharing your time with me!  I’ll leave you with a little number by four fellows playing a little ditty you might hear this weekend at a sporting event.

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Friday Fun

Hello-hello, all.  The Consort here striding confidently mikeside to entertain you for a moment or two.  The (lovely and talented) Princess has asked me to step as she frantically attempts to sort out too many business and social commitments.  Strap yourself in… this is going to be a fun ride!

Let’s first discuss people doing bizarre things to unsuspecting pets:

Via Boston.com

What is it that makes people think a pug makes a cute flower?  Besides the fact that they would be correct I have a great mental image of someone sitting at the kitchen table designing this costume.  They look at the flowers in a vase.  They look at the dog.  Back to the flowers… Ding! Lightbulb moment and the rest is history.

Via Huffington Post

Somewhere Lynda Carter is shuddering.  I can’t believe Wonder Woman ever imagined looking like this.  That face says a lot about the dog’s feelings about this whole costume thing.

Huffington Post /Shoe the Linux librarian (R)

I always thought that you could never go wrong with pigs and pirates.  And I would be wrong.

Via Huffington Post

Some pug owners venture off into the world of science fiction when they dress up their dogs.  I can’t believe I actually wrote that sentence.  But then for some people pink unicorns and Mr. Spock are very real.  To those people I wish nothing but sparkly rainbows.  Live long and prosper.

Owned by Pugs

But take heart!  Batman and Robin are on the case.  Actually Robin looks he needs to push away from the buffet table but Batman is looking heroic.

It’s all fun and, bless their hearts, the dogs seem to be good sports about the whole thing.

For those forced to get around on only two legs there is always the Scrabble option.  Two options actually, the Ladies version ($59.99) or the Unisex model ($39.99).

What's a 7-Letter Word For....

Here’s hoping you have good luck as you put your Halloween costume together for this year.  Trust me, there are some costume suggestions out there that will give you a case of the vapors.

It’s time for me to get back to the shipping department.  Thank you for indulging me these few moments.  Don’t forget to treat your waitperson well because they’re working hard for you today.  Have a great weekend!

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