Snuggly not too uggly ugg ‘stryne boots

Whittier wrote,

She comes in colors

She comes in colors

The foot is yours; where’er it falls,

It treads your well-wrought leather,
On earthen floor, in marble halls,
On carpet, or on heather.
Still there the sweetest charm is found
Of matron grace or vestal’s,
As Hebe’s foot bore nectar round
Among the old celestials.

Rap, rap!–your stout and bluff brogan,
With footsteps slow and weary,
May wander where the sky’s blue span
Shuts down upon the prairie.
On Beauty’s foot your slippers glance,
By Saratoga’s fountains,
Or twinkle down the summer dance
Beneath the Crystal Mountains!

In Whittier’s day the the word “ugh” (or “ugg” or even “ug”) was simply a grunt, generally signifying laconic approbation.  Some say the word as applied to boots originated with Australian surfers in the late sixties or early seventies.  Others claim that the boot has been common in the outback for more than a century. None will question the use of “ugg” to describe a fleece lined sheepskin boot manufactured in Australia. There have been nasty legal battles fought by the marketeers of Decker’s Ugg Footwear against the manufacturers of ugg style boots everywhere.

I thought “Uggs” were a particular brand of Australian boot favored by co-eds, a boot perhaps to be worn with tight pegged pants, preferably levis–not Donna Karan parachute pants–a boot for bare legs dropping out of a kicky little dress that maybe skims the knee, a brand of boot as practical as it is pretty.

As it happens, “Ugg” is generic. There are a lot of boot makers with uggs to offer, notwithstanding Decker’s efforts to register the name as a trademark and prevent others from using it. So how do you sort the good uggs from the bad uggs?  There’s a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western about that, I think.

Sadly, now that Carrie Bradshaw is deep into re-runs, it is only the Manolo who informs me regarding the fashions of the feminine pedal extremities. And Manolo does not like the Uggs. They are too comfortable to please the Manolo. They are perhaps not fetishistic enough. They are simple in design, practical, affordable and attractive. Manolo likes the gaudy and the extravagant footwear. Uggs are anything but gaudy and extravagant.

Manolo does not like the uggs, but the ladies do. (And actually so do the gents. What’s not to like about a comfortable boot that keeps the foot cool in hot weather and warm when it’s cold)?

Once, the Manolo, he saw the aging minx the Shannon Doherty coming out of the Malibu Country Market, and she had on the Uggs and the miniskirt of the denim.

Perhaps she saw the Manolo frowning at the ugliness of her feetwear, for she scowled at the Manolo as if to say “you are the insect who is not worthy to gaze upon the shoes of the Shannon Doherty.”

Wikipedia says, “While in the boot, the sockless foot is in full contact with the sheepskin lining, thereby maximizing the insulative properties of the boot. The mid-calf shaft, while not encasing the entire lower foot in wool, further enhances the thermal qualities of the boot by encasing the ankle and lower portion of the leg. The wide, rounded toebox, wide shaft, and wide heelbox with a heel-less sole enhance comfort by providing a non-constricting space for the foot.”

Comfy, isn’t it? And oddly stirring, a bow to the erotic qualities of the fresh pedicure, polished toenails concealed in warm comfort. The Manolo probably doesn’t get that, but maybe he should take a closer look.

Shoes fly in Montreal…

No Uggs were hurled

No Uggs were hurled

Quebecers stepped all over George W. Bush’s visit to Montreal on Thursday. Bush was on a tour promoting his soon to be ghost written autobiography. I liked the part about throwing shoes, but the burning in effigy? A little strong for my taste.

Police collected an odd assortment of shoes, including a slightly worn Jimmy Choo pony fur pump with snakeskin straps, and a patent leather Mary Jane with four inch spike heels by Manolo Blahnik that looked like it was fresh from Nieman Marcus.

No Uggs were found in the pile of confiscated footwear.

Manolo the shoe blogger has yet to weigh in with his impressions of the Montreal protest.

Whatever happened to Swifty Lazar?

First, who was Swifty Lazar? It’s one of those names that has been embedded in my consciousness seemingly without antecedent. So, this morning, when–while following a thread from Improprieties–I happened upon a young fellow named Irwin Lazar, my thoughts swiftly turned to Swifty.

Swifty Lazar. The name stood out clearly in my mind, like the crisp label on a file folder in the well organized file cabinet of my awareness. The folder alas was empty.

Luckily the ‘pedia can frame an answer even if the question isn’t clear. Irving Paul “Swifty” Lazar was Bogart’s agent. And Bacall’s. And Cher’s. And Madonna’s. From pop cultural scribblers like Moss Hart and Larry McMurtry to famous literati like Nabokov and Tennessee Williams, Swifty represented them all.

He died in his eighties in 1993. Maybe Irwin is like a great grand-nephew or something.

Fiberguy on harp

But wait, there’s more!

Received the following email this morning.

I’m insulted.

Selling a slim chance at (fake) access to Democratic big-wigs is bad, but hiring Ron Popeil to write the ad copy just takes the cake.


Picture it. You and your guest are sitting at dinner with some of your favorite Democratic Members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi. Suddenly the room comes to a hush and before you know it, President Obama is standing just a few feet away.

This doesn’t have to be a fantasy – it could be your reality!

Contribute $50, $75 or more today and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to Miami, Florida (airfare and hotel included). You and your guest will attend a dinner with President Obama on October 26th and get to hang out with leading Democrats from across America.

Join President Obama for Dinner

Now is the time when grassroots Democrats need to stand strong. Republicans are throwing everything they have behind their effort to kill health insurance reform and block our progressive agenda.

No lie is too outrageous and no attack is too ludicrous. From Rush Limbaugh jumping up and down with glee that America didn’t get the 2024 Olympics to some hack at the NRCC actually saying Speaker Pelosi should be put “in her place.” What century are these guys living in?

But if we don’t have the resources to fight back, nobody will.

Contribute $50, $75 or more today and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to Miami, Florida (airfare and hotel included). You and your guest will attend a dinner with President Obama on October 26th and get to hang out with leading Democrats from across America.

I know how much you support President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and how hard you fight every day to help him and Democrats in Congress move America forward.

Contribute today and you could even be lucky enough to come to Miami and tell him about it yourself.


Paul Begala

P.S. With Republicans throwing everything they have behind their effort to kill health insurance reform and block our progressive agenda, now is when grassroots Democrats need to stand strong. Contribute today and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win dinner with President Obama on October 26th.

Kitchen remodeling

We have a new kitchen floor. Maple. It’s a nice replacement for the gray asphalt tile that we put down when we added the new kitchen almost twenty years ago. The new floor extends down the hall into the laundry room. All the old gray tile is gone. We laid ceramic tile in the bathroom and the rear entryway where they butt up against the new maple.

The new floor mandated major refurbishment and appliance upgrades. We had the granite versus Corian debate about new kitchen counters. Corian won. I’ve already scratched it, but the finish was easy to restore.

Today I have to call Casablanca about the new ceiling fan qua light fixture. It’s a beautiful fan but somehow they left the blades out of the box when they shipped it.

The work remaining for me involves washing and painting the woodwork and refinishing the cabinet doors. I’m waiting for the saw dust to settle.


Drizzly morning and I left a wheelbarrow load of popcorn out last night. I better shuck it today and get the ears under cover or it will get moldy. I would have preferred to leave it in situ in the garden a little longer before picking but I was in a race with the deer to harvest it. The crows and raccoons were also in the competition.

If I’d left it under cover in the shed, then I wouldn’t have to shuck it right away. But I didn’t, and so it goes.

(Here’s a good link about harvesting popcorn: