Ties, ties, Ties, ties, Ties, ties, Ties, and…

“Pack it up pack it in, let me begin. I came to–” tell you the tried and true best way for packing your Sunday best to avoid that crumpled foil ball look that not enough shower steam in the world could smooth. Let’s get packing.


The Wardrobe:

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Suit Jacket:

  • Place jacket on flat surface
  • Fold both arms to center
  • Fold top down
  • Fold bottom up

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Dress Pants:

  • Fold pants along pleat
  • Lay elongated
  • Place suit jacket in center of elongated pants
  • Fold pant tops over jacket
  • Fold pant bottoms over jacket

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Dress Shirt:

  • Place shirt face down with arms extended like wings
  • Fold one arm over to other extended arm
  • Take folded arm and make a second fold back and down so the cuff faces bottom of shirt
  • Do same with second extended arm
  • Fold up from bottom to top

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Ties:

  • Fold tie lengthwise
  • Roll tightly from narrow end of tie to fat end
  • Keep tie secure by placing in shoe openings

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Handkerchief:

  • Fold into square
  • Place in freezer bag
  • Flatten air out of freezer bag, zip, and pack on flat surface

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Now your suitcase looks like a good game of Tetris, and, best of all, you’re packed and ready to go. Well, almost. Wouldn’t hurt to pack a few more ties. Just a suggestion. Now “Jump Around!”

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*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

Ties and Three Square Meals


Ties, ties, Ties, ties, Ties, ties, Ties, and…

There are many things a man should have in his repertoire. Most important off the top of my head, owning an array of tieroom ties and knowing how to tie those ties. But, other than that, a man should know how to whip up a decent meal… or three. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are on us. So flip that tie over your shoulder, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to be a man worth his salt!


Breakfast Scramble

Ten minutes tops, and your morning coffee has competition for best part of waking up. A dealer’s choice when it comes to how much. The more the better, I say.

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The what and the how:

  1.  Skillet
  2. Olive oil
  3. Mushroom
  4. Onion
  5. Tomato
  6. Kale or Spinach
  7. Egg(s)
  8. Feta cheese
  9. Hot sauce
  • Chop mushroom, onion, and tomato to preferred size.
  • Give skillet few generous swirls of olive oil and heat on medium.
  • Toss in onion and mushroom. Let cook for 2-3 of minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  • Add tomatoes. Let cook 1-2 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add kale or spinach. Stir until cooked down.
  • Add egg(s). Stir until scrambled.
  • Transfer into a bowl. Crumble feta and dashes favorite hot sauce.

Add a buttered and jellied piece of toast to kick this breakfast up to 11.


Balsamic Tuna Sandwich

Meet your new favorite midday munch. Health and taste in one sandwich.You’re going to be full and energized. Let’s just hope there’s still room for dinner.

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The what and the how:

  1. Bread
  2. Cheese
  3. Can of tuna
  4. Tomato
  5. Spinach
  6. Olive oil
  7. Balsamic vinegar
  8. Dijon mustard
  9. Pepper
  • Drain tuna, put in bowl.
  • Give a few generous swirls of olive oil.
  • Give even more generous swirls of balsamic vinegar.
  • Few zigzags of Dijon mustard.
  • If chopping tomatoes, add that to the mix.
  • Few grinds of pepper, dash of salt, if wanted. Stir mixture.
  • Toast bread with slice of cheese.
  • Add spinach leaves (and tomatoes, if sliced) to toasted bread.
  • Spoon tuna mix atop toasted bread.

Add lightly salted mixed nuts to obliterate the rest of the work day.


Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon

Yes, Summer is winding down, but this meal might have you outside grilling right on through snow season. With all due respect to propane–which still works if that’s what you got–this meal really shines with charcoal.

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The what and the how:

  1. Cedar plank (pre-soaked are available and convenient)
  2. Wild caught salmon
  3. Corn on the cob
  4. Fingerling potatoes
  5. Brown sugar
  6. Dijon mustard
  • Get grill heated up.
  • Shuck corn. Butter, salt, and pepper corn as wanted. Roll tightly in foil.
  • Chop fingerling potatoes in halves. Butter, salt, pepper potatoes, as wanted. Place potatoes on foil sheet, cover with second foil sheet, folding together to make cocoon.
  • When grill is ready, put corn and potatoes on. Cover for 30-45 minutes. Turn corn every 15 or so. Depending on heat, corn and potatoes can take an hour–but it’s worth it.
  • Mix Dijon mustard and brown sugar in bowl. Baste salmon with mustard/sugar mix.
  • Place salmon on planks, place on grill. Let cook for 20-30 minutes.

Add favorite beverage, loosen that tie, and look forward to breakfast.


*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

Ties and Socks


Tie, ties, Ties, ties, Ties, ties, Ties, and….

Quick history of how socks came together ; ) Socks can be traced back 8th century BC when fashionistas used animal hides to wrap their tootsies for warmth. Some time later Aristotle and his crew were spotted wearing socks made from matted animal hair and all of Greece lost their minds to get a pair. But it was the Romans, during fashion week, that really took the sock to the next level, when they incorporated leather and woven fabrics. After that, all bets were off,  and the sock not only became a staple of wardrobe, but a way to make a statement. For holy men the sock was a symbol of purity; for the noble, wealth; nowadays, whatever you want them to symbolize. Just, please, make sure they match.


How to Rock the Sock:

  • Solid Colored Socks: The general rule of thumb is to match sock color with pant color: Black dress pants, black socks; blue jeans, blue socks, so on.

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  • Colored and Patterned Socks: Options for socks out there are as plentiful as the options for ties are here, so if you like a little pop in your sock, this rule is for you: Match your socks to your tie to express yourself from top to bottom.

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  • Fabrics:  Cotton is the most common material out there and the best bang for your buck. Wool is a one-two punch of a material when it comes to insulation. Wool can provide warmth in cooler months while still being breathable when it’s cooking out there so your feet can stay as dry and cool as you look. For less bulk than wool, but the similar results, go silk.

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*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

 

Ties and Tie Bars and Tie Tacks


Ties, ties, Ties, ties, Ties, ties, Ties, and…?


You adorn your head’s pedestal with one amazing tieroom tie after another. You look amazing. But maybe “satisfied” is not in your vocabulary. Maybe you demand that extra little ummph! If so, we suggest adding either a tie tack or a tie bar for a finishing touch that will elevate your look to a whole new level.


Tie tacks have been around since the 1800’s; tie bars or clips, the mid-1920’s. Both were borne out of the same need: to keep ties out of soups, faces, ways, and so on. And both have become staples for the tie-wearing community, not only for their functionality, but for their fashion. Below are a few simple rules of thumb to get the most UMMPH! out of this tie accessory.


Tie Bars Rule of Thumb:

  • 1/2 inch thickness is best for either short or long tie bars
  • Narrow tie = short tie bar
  • Thick tie = long tie bar
  • Place bar between 3rd and 4th button of shirt
  • Clip tie bar onto placket (fabric that runs down shirt where buttons are sewn) as well as tie

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Tie Tack Rule of Thumb:

  • Position tie tack around your midsection or slightly higher
  • Remove clasp, pin tack to tie
  • Locate nearest button hole and pull bar that is connected to chain through and button
  • If tie hangs too loose, try lowering the pin

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One last rule of thumb:

  • Subtlety wins the day

*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

Ties and Dads


How about some Dear Old Dad with that tie?

Dear Old Dads. They’ve been around since being around was a thing, and all that being around has brought about one of the hallmarks–and most enjoyable parts–of Daddom: Passing along fatherly know-how. The handing down of patriarchal wisdom is as time-honored a tradition as buying Dad a tie for Father’s Day. And though the lessons have varied over the ages, the gist remains the same: No. Mate. Wants. A. Dullard! So it is in the spirit of dads then and now that we share a few poppa-inspired how-tos worth passing along.


Primitive Dad taught spear chucking/Modern Dad teaches fastballs and perfect spirals

Painting the corner of the plate or hitting a receiver in stride is today’s equivalent of kabob-ing a charging sabertooth with a hand-fashioned spear.

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4-seam fastball: Grip the baseball so that the “U” or horseshoe-shaped seams of the ball run sideways. Place your middle and index fingers across the seams, while your thumb grips the smooth surface under ball. Upon release, push middle finger towards the batter, palm facing down. STRIKE 3!!!!!!!!

Perfect Spiral: Grip the football with your ring and pinky finger across the second and fifth lace. With your body perpendicular to your target, rotate away from your target while drawing your arm above your shoulder. Rotate forwards, bringing your arm forwards, and step towards your target. Release the ball with your hand pointing at the target, palm down.  TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!

Primitive Dad taught how to hunt wild beasts/Modern Dad teaches how to cook perfect steak

Nowadays the beasts are tamed to the meat isle at your grocery store, so the hunt turns to tracking down that perfect piece of meat and making sure it’s prepared to perfection.

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Steak Tips: When selecting steaks, look for a mixture of marbling (muscular fat) among good, red color. Prime, Choice, and Select are the quality grades of steak. But, at the end of the day, it’s steak, so, how bad can it be?

Before cooking, make sure your steaks are at room temperature to ensure even cooking. When on the grill, ensure your steaks won’t become under or over done with the “handy” chart above.


Primitive Dad left courtship to instinct/Modern Dad instinctively knows better

Courtship has and always will be a tricky game, but man has developed a few tricks to put the odds in his favor, to show the world that there is a man inside this man. One such trick, goes around the neck.

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The Dimple: From the Windsor to the Fishbone, tie knots are as wide a varied as the ties we carry, but a dimple-sized detail can elevate your tie game a step further. With your tie tied, but loose, pinch the edges of the tie below the knot with your thumb and middle finger. Place your forefinger in the middle of the tie and push down. Hold this while you slide the knot up into your collar.


Happy Dad’s New Tie Day!

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*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

Ties and How to Count Cards


How about learning card counting to go with that tie?

A Gambler’s Tale:

Vegas Baby! There she is. Your plane sees her too, heads for neon, as if drawn by the same siren that called you here.  Your treasure-hunter’s spirit is on the casino floor before you even deboard the plane.

When the rest of you does finally catch up, you’re looking Rat-Pack right (courtesy of tieroom, of course) and ready to collect. You spot a blackjack table that looks like it owes you. You un-pocket your bankroll–a fat folded-over C that represents more overtime than you care to remember–and settle in, ready to move up a tax bracket……

And by the time you get done blinking, your flipped-out pockets are helping pay the light bill and your spirit has gone to the desert.

The End

And the moral of our little loser’s tale: Lady Luck is not a booty call (get it). She wants to be courted, see some effort. Here’s how to get her to like you.


Card Counting 101:

Card counting allows a player to track the potential of upcoming hands by simply adding and subtracting as the cards are dealt. As shown below, cards are assigned a +1, -1, or 0.

  • 2-6 = +1
  • 7-9 = 0
  • 10-A = -1

If a +1 card falls, add one. If a -1 card falls, subtract one. If a 0 card falls, do nothing. Starting with 0, keep a running count of each card (player’s and dealer’s) as they are dealt. When the dealer reshuffles the count resets to 0 and begins again.

Example:

  • 9 (zero), 3 (plus one) = +1
  • Q (minus 2),  K (minus 2) = -2
  • 6 (zero), 7 (zero)= 0
  • J (minus 1), 2 (plus 1) = 0

Card Counting 102:

The running count tracks whether or not the cards that have yet to be dealt are favorable (loaded with tens and face cards) or unfavorable (nothing but single digit numbers). In other words, it lets the player know when their odds of winning an upcoming betting round is at its highest and lowest potential.

Example:

  • Player A 10,3,7
  • Player B Q,K
  • Player C 10,6
  • Player D 9,9
  • Dealer J,2,5

Running Count = -1 (The potential of the next round is unfavorable)


Card Counting 103:

The betting system is simple. If the count is negative or even, bet only the minimum table bet. If the count is positive, bet one unit (chip) equal to the count. For instance, a player at a $5 minimum bet table with a count at +2 would bet $10 on the upcoming hand. Now let’s put it all together.

Example:

$5 minimum bet

  • Player A  2,3,9
  • Player B  10,9
  • Dealer  5,4,9

Running Count = +3

Upcoming bet = $15


In Conclusion:

While this system is relatively simple to grasp, application of the system is not so easy. Dealers deal like lightning so keeping a count can be a bit of mental attrition. But even a rudimentary grasp of counting cards with a lost-in-all-the-dealing-half-known-vague-idea running count is better than a straight up “Guess I’ll bet big now?”

To really make your tie money, the system needs to be ingrained like a trait. Therefore, practice, practice, practice makes money, money, money as the saying goes. So deal to yourself or download one of the upteen card counting trainer apps (iCount Pro is a great one) that are out there and turn a typical night at the tables from Pesci in Casino…

OF40PV…to Hoffman in Rain Man!

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 Good luck, PLAYA!


*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

Ties and Spring Reading


How about some great reads with that tie?

If you’re like most, you own a stack of “I’m gonna read those one day” books that you will never read. Life apparently has something against you reading Don Quixote cover to cover–or any other tome–be it of doorstop or just hearty sandwich size–that you got all inspired about and decided to make its completion your mission in life.

True, most of us don’t have “novel time”, but that shouldn’t mean we give up and banish our inner literati to the island of nothing but Facebook feeds–not that what’s-their-faces new bathroom remodel or last night’s dinner isn’t a page scroller… So if you want to feed your need to read: give short stories a try. As satisfying as any epic, if you get a good one, and in half the time–sometimes less.

Here’s a famous one to get you started: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” There you go, one down. You’ve just read Hemingway. Congrats. In six words we get the story of a couple’s hope for a child, a child that never came to be, and the couple’s attempt to move on. I know, a bit of a downer, but the point is, a complete, impactful story doesn’t always have to be so, well, Quixotic.

Now that your beak’s wet, dunk your face into one or all of the exceptional short stories below. The list is eclectic genre-wise and laid out in no particular order. There’s happy ones, sad ones, weird ones, thought-provoking  ones, great ones, all. Happy reading!


Sea Oak by George Saunders

Confessions of an Opium-Seeker by Nick Toshes  (non-fiction)

God of Dark Laughter by Michael Chabon

Premium Harmony by Stephen King

Brownies by ZZ Packer

In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried by Amy Hempel

Cathedral by Raymond Carver

Midnight in Dostoevsky by Don Delillo

The Ways by Colin Barrett

Town of Cats by Haruki Murakami

Chicken Hill by Joy Williams

Smokers by Tobias Wolff 

Black Box by Jennifer Egan


*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

Ties and EDC Knives


How about a knife to go with that tie?

One summer day. Antique show. Vendors and shoppers galore. Strolling, perusing booths full of nostalgia: Nic nacs to sit some place, dishware your grandmother had, rusted metal things to hang, old wood  pieces to refurbish, etc.

Nearby, a woman cries out–yelps, rather. I look. She’s holding one hand with the other–the held hand, I can tell, wounded. Word spreads like fire–actually, my wife and I were grouped right there with the woman and heard what happened: It’s a splinter. The gravity of the situation takes a moment to set in, but when it does…O.M.G!

I look around, realize we’re at the last booth, the LAST booth. There’s no vendor, just a mutt dog leashed to a chair. I wanted to scream for help, for a medical professional, but it was no use. Doctor’s Without Borders don’t even come this far.

I know it’s up to me to do something. I’m dumb with ideas, though, and the lady’s failing fast. I’m not far behind. The sun cranked the mercury. There’s an old lifesaver from some ship and an empty army first aid kit mocking the situation, mocking me. “Shut up!” I yell, trying to think, to solve the problem, but the futility is too much. I drop to my knees, fists pumping at the heavens, shirt ripped open, crying without sound, crushed by my own uselessness.

And then, like a bolt to the brain, I remember: I have a knife in my pocket. AND MY KNIFE COMES WITH TWEEZERS!!!!!!!! A life was saved that day, my friends. A life was saved.

The hero of the “slightly” over-dramatized story above was a Swiss Army knife that fit on a keychain. And as insignificant seeming of an accessory as my little knife was it made me the most prepared man in the room–or booth. And it was in my afterglow of heroism that I realized something: as one saying goes “Cleanliness is next to godliness”,  then I must reasonably assume another adage might work for this life “Preparedness is next to to manliness.”  Just next to manliness, though, you’ll also need a really great tie. But it did feel nice to have at the ready what was needed to help someone in need. So it is in the spirit of readiness-and-preparedness that the good ol knife gets our support for your pocket.

There are about as many EDC (everyday carry) knives on the market as there are ties, so we’ve whittled (killer pun!) it down to two of the best–so says internet. One single-blade, one multi-tool. Now for the best EDT (everyday tie)…well, you know where to look–so says us.


Best EDC Knife: Spiderco Paramilitary 2 Folding Knife

C81GBK2_L-1 This one is the one knife junkies will tell you is THE ONE. And this is the second iteration so I guess it’s THE ONE-ER. Small enough to carry in your pocket, big enough for jobs large (grizzly bear fights) and small (opening boxes, splinters and such). It’s practical, tactical, and sleek as James Bond in a tux. If this is your EDC, then you are everyday ready for whatever.


Best EDC Multi-tool Knife: Leatherman Skeletool

leatherman-skeletool-closed-2-1024The Leatherman Skeletool is a trimmed-down version of the classic Leatherman, essentials only.  With its combo blades, pliers, bit driver, removable pocket clip, and carabiner/bottle opener, only weighs in at 5 oz. If we’re talking preparedness, then consider yourself prepared for just about anything. And, the best part, all of that readiness fits right in your pocket: “… and after I get this splinter out, I’ll fix the leak under your sink, screw in a light fixture, cut some wire,…,” and so on and so on.


*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

Ties and Oscar Must-Sees you Might Have Missed


How about some seriously great films to go with that tie?

88th Oscars are coming up. 88 years. Phew, that’s a lot of black ties and red carpets. And, of course, a ton of films. And just because the Academy recognizes a film doesn’t always mean the public does. So many films, so little time, right?

Well, here are five must-sees from Oscar’s past that the film buffs here at tieroom believe are definitely worth your time. So put on your best black tie and award yourself. Go. Find. Watch. And then watch again. They’re that good.


The Third Man (1949)

thethirdman-pos_1436394567American pulp novelist Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) arrives in postwar Vienna for a job promised to him by an old buddy, Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Unfortunately, Lime has been killed in a traffic accident. Or was he murdered? Or is he even dead? Martins hooks up with Lime’s old flame, Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli), to find out the truth. What awaits Martins and Schmidt at the end of their search is disturbing enough to still raise eyebrows these 67 years later.

From Graham Greene’s novel of the same name, this classic is perfect in every way. If you ask me, Casablanca can take a hike. And there’s zither music to boot–trust me, not a bad thing.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%                                                                                                                                  tieroom FilmBuff: 5 ties


Barry Lyndon (1975)poster_05The film version of William Makepeace Thakeray’s novel of the same name. An Irish rouge, Redmond Barry (Ryan O’Neal), cheats and lies his way up the social ladder in 18th century Britain, eventually marrying a rich widow, Lady Honoria Lyndon (Marisa Berenson), and assuming her dead husband’s aristocratic position and a new title: Barry Lyndon. But there are consequences to cheating your way through life and Barry must pay the piper.

It’s Kubrick. That should be nuff said, but if you need more… This one is as close to a novel on film as you can get, truly epic. Every scene could hang in a gallery. And despite taking its time–which is the only knock I could think of against it–Barry Lyndon pays off with a duel scene that is worth the wait.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%                                                                                                                                    tieroom FilmBuff: 4 ties


Wild Tales (2015)

22878429Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015, from Argentina, Wild Tales is a collection of six stories of regular people dealing with distressing situations in the most extreme, hilarious, questionable, dark, insane, and, in every case, understandable, way.

Road rage to the nth degree; a man with access to dynamite deals is wrongfully given a parking ticket; a husband’s infidelity is revealed at his own wedding… and that’s just three of the juicy scenarios that set off the stories in what this humble blogger believes is the best movie of 2015. Period.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%                                                                                                                      tieroom FilmBuff: 5 ties


In the Loop (2009)

MV5BMTU2NzQxNzA1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzQ0NDk0Mg@@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_Trying to stop a war can be hilarious. Right? In this case, Yes Yes Yes! Especially in the hands of director Armando Iannucci who went on to create the HBO hit, Veep. In this political farce,  war is on the horizon for the US and Britain–not with one another, of course. To avoid said war of which the two countries are on the verge of, cabinet underlings of the leader’s of the two superpowers go to… well, war!

Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, this one has witty back and forth to make Aaron Sorkin squeal. Here’s a taste:

Malcolm Tucker: You concentrate on nothing! You stay detached, or else that’s what I’ll do to your retinas.

Simon Foster: Can I go to bed now, please?

Malcolm Tucker: Oh no. We’re gonna stay here, and you are gonna rehearse saying nothing.

Simon Foster: …Am I being tortured?

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%                                                                                                                       tieroom FilmBuff: 4 ties


Mullholland Drive (2001)

MulhollandA woman is left with amnesia following a car accident, and nothing is what it seems from there on.  It’s a puzzle, a dream, a nightmare, it’s a David Lynch mindbender for which he received a Best Director nod.

Lynch is an acquired taste, but this is one of his best offerings. It defies typical explanation, but if you like a film to stick with you for days and days, Mulholland Drive fits the bill. A scene in a dinner where a man realizes he’s inside a dream he once had is worth the price of admission.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%                                                                                                                      tieroom FilmBuff: 3 ties


*Entertaining, informing, and inspiring the person behind the tie*

Ties and a Velvet Touch

How about a velvet touch to go with your tie?

It’s the holidays. Parties. Weddings. Events. Outings.

New tie. Check. Goes with that blazer. That blazer. That same blazer. The one the moths love.

Suggestion, if I may. Small leap of fashion faith. Trust me. Smooth landing down there. Soft. Velvety.

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