Vest-iges of Senescence

I’ve taken to wearing a vest while I work at home – an affectation brought on by the need to keep the thermostat down and my core temperature up on those winter days when I find myself in my home office and not on the road or in Raleigh. I’ve never worn one before – with the exception of a down vest at some point in the late 1970s when down vests were all the rage – and have never owned a three piece suit and the sartorial version with a watch pocket and a satin back.

My vest is from Filson – the Seattle outfitter I’ve blogged of in the past – and it is essentially a cut up green wool army blanket that is thick, itchy, and warmer than expected. It has six pockets to house reading glasses, pens, pencils, Swiss Army Knife, phone, and cold hands; has five buttons, and is the antithesis of any modern “performance” garment with a name like TechWick or GoreTex. Filson makes it out of 26 ounce “Mackinaw” wool and I suspect it will outlast me by 50 years if the moths don’t get at it first. This is something to take to the Yukon. Jack London clothing. Something from the turn of the century and I don’t mean 1999.

One has to love a garment marketed as being “quiet in the field.” There is something vaguely Mister Wilson-ish about vests, not quite as fuddy-duddy as say a sweater vest, but right up there. Proclaiming the utility of pockets to one’s critics sounds completely incriminatory, and the verb “to putter” comes to mind whenever I put it on. I’d classify it as a Goldilocks form of outerwear – a “just-right” thing for brief outdoor excursions, a great layer when the going gets frigid, but light enough to wear inside without boiling over.

Marketing In A Down Market –

Marketing In A Down Market –
Marc Babej, ex-Forbes writer and current NYC marketing consultant and columnist, writes in his current column on marketing tactics in a recession:

“5. Shift media spending to accountable media. Not because they necessarily perform better, but because investment in them can be justified in terms of return on investment. A heavy bias toward accountable spending is the best way to protect marketing budgets from profit-starved CFOs.”

This would bias spends towards search and email marketing — put a hurt on print which would be irrecoverable for some publications with already shaky balance sheets — and see the rise of auction models against remaindered traditional impressions (GoogleTV rushes to mind). It will be interesting to see how the supply of “accountable” media impressions holds. Right now the conventional wisdom shows a glut, so CPM pressure should be low.

Snow days – whereabouts week of Jan 28

When I was a kid, the suspense of figuring out whether there would be a snow day was crushing. Mom would kick us out of bed, and while she made breakfast we’d listen to WBZ for the announcer to read the list of closings. With 365 towns in the Commonwealth, and who knows how many nursery schools, senior centers, and knitting circles to work through, hearing the magic words that one’s town was closed was like hearing we had achieved victory in Germany and Japan simultaneously.

Then she’d promptly slip old plastic bread bags over our socked feet, stick them in buckled rubber boots, and kick us, swaddled in low tech wool, out into the maelstrom to spend the day moaning to be let back inside.

This morning I go to a website and tell in an instant whether or not I have to mess with the streets and kick Junior out of bed. He’s up there now, blissfully oblivious and missing out on the anticipation of days gone by. I look at my cell phone and learn that at some prudent point in the past I actually signed up for a SMS alert.

About a foot of snow fell last night in strong northerly winds. I’d classify it as a baby blizzard. We didn’t lose lights. The driveway is a mess. Cousin Pete needs to plow me out before I contemplate travel. So …. this week, Cotuit is the plan. North Carolina next week for lots of meetings.

Now to kick the snow off the wood pile and get a fire blazing before my 7 am Olympic marketing call with Beijing.

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