#TBT: Pocket Watch Edition

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antique-pocket-watchIn this week’s Throwback Thursday post I would like to honor a timeless classic (that’s time-filled really), the pocket watch!

Whether you are purposely avoiding turning your phone into the only ‘timepiece’ you need or you like the impact it has on your personal style, a pocket watch makes a strong statement. The question is, are you old fashioned enough to wear one?

I purchased a pocket watch while traveling aboard in my teens but when it stopped working I put it away in a drawer and honestly, it’s lived there ever since. It’s a case of function over fashion. I mean, heaven forbid I were to get caught using one of the world’s greatest technological innovations from the 17th century for style only. That would just be mortifying!!

Today, there are tons of pocket watch options available. Analog or digital. Hinged or open-faced. Self-winding or run off a battery. Whatever your fancy, the pocket watch is a classic gift that’s perfect for anyone with an eye toward old fashioned style. Plus, they make for great heirlooms to pass from generation to generation!

Where have all the manners gone?

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p&tyIt occurred to me while a door slammed shut in my face that we have a problem with manners in this country (and really, it’s a lack of manners that is the problem).  It could just be a New York City thing but I don’t believe that – even though Mignon McLaughlin famously said “a car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else.  The same with good manners.”  Honestly, to me it seems like we have a nationwide epidemic on our hands and we are both the culprits and the victims. 

Don’t worry though!  Leave it Old Fashioned Eric to refresh your memory with this list of 5 basic manners we need to keep from extinction.

  1. Say “please” and “thank you.”  This is as basic as it gets people.
  2. Hold the door open for others.  You know, so nice old fashioned people don’t get doors slammed in their faces.
  3. If you do not have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  This is a big one and I, admittedly, have to remind myself about it more often.
  4. Use the phrase “excuse me” if you need to interrupt a conversation.
  5. Take compliments courteously.  If someone compliments you its polite to use “thank you” as a response as opposed to not accepting or putting yourself down.

Am I missing anything?  Comment below to share your thoughts – please.  

Before you go, check out this photo with courtesy tips from the UK Department of Public Instruction.  It’s pretty neat to see how these tips from 1898 are still important today.  

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3 Classic Comfort Food Recipes

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mac cheeseFor this week’s post, I’ve scoured the internet to pull together a list of Old Fashioned Eric’s top 3 comfort foods.  And since I know people are incapable of reading about food without getting hungry, I’ve included links from each to a mouthwatering recipe.

1. Mac & Cheese

What is there to say about mac & cheese?  Mac = good.  Cheese = good.  It’s one of life perfect pairs along with PB & J and cookies & milk.  Honestly, it must be the ampersand.

2. Sheppard’s Pie

The mashed potatoes could stand alone as a comfort food but when you pair them with ground beef, vegetables and the perfect mix of rosemary and thyme… mmmmm!

3. Pork Chops and Applesauce

The key to a classic comfort food is a feeling you get while eating it – there really has to be a tie to your childhood and a sense of home.  Pork chops and applesauce, for some reason, screams home to me.  And you can’t say it without pulling out Peter Brady’s Humphrey Bogart impersonation… which is just fun!

BONUS!

What kind of comfort food expert would I be if I didn’t include at least one desert?!  My favorite classic is the Whoopie Pie!  Check out this Rebecca Diaz’s recipe here on Scribd.

What’s your favorite old fashioned comfort food?

#TBT: Anyone still use a sewing machine?

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sewingI’m serious… anyone?  Bueller?

In today’s society, at least in the United States, we’re very much in the mindset of “if it’s broke, replace it.”  We really don’t fix things anymore!  Now, this issue may be compounded with the fact things are no longer built to last.  Still though, would we take the time to fix them if we could?  I’m skeptical.

I  need to know, do you have any use for a sewing machine?  Do you own one or wish you did?  Or, maybe just maybe, is this antique headed for extinction?

Now, I don’t have a fancy machine to sew things – ya see, I’m old fashioned.  The last time I took out a needle and thread though it was to fix a broken hem on my favorite pants.  Ahh, it seems like just yesterday… FDR was in office and the Yankees had just won the ’43 World Series.  Those there were the good ol’ days!

What will they say about you?

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Yesterday marked the 129th anniversary of the glorious day Mark Twain introduced us to 200px-huckleberry_finn_bookhis book The Adventures of Huck Finn.  For those not familiar, how dare you consider yourself old fashioned!?!?  Huck Finn is THE great American novel and it, along with its predecessor The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, are two books that belong on every kids reading list.

What struck me on the anniversary of Mark Twain publishing his masterpiece was the unique opportunity Huck and Tom had in one of their adventures.  SPOILER ALERT!  After Tom and Huck witness graveside murder at the hands of a Native American “half-breed” Injun Joe, the boys, along with their pal Joe Harper, run away to a local Mississippi river island to become pirates.   While enjoying their new found freedom, they find out the town has assumed their death.  The boys, clever as they are, decide the best time to in time surface next would be at their own funeral.  What an absolutely amazing experience that must have been!

Just think about what it would be like as a fly on the wall while your loved ones gather to mourn your passing, and hopefully, celebrate your life.  As you do, it’s impossible to not think about what people would say about you once you’re gone.  What will your legacy be?  Are you happy with that?  What would you change?

ContestThis week we’re going to have a little fun in the form of an old fashioned contest!!  I really want to know what you think about this idea of being able to attend to your own funeral.  What will people say about you?

Share your thoughts by Tweeting me @RealEricMeisner with the hashtag #oldfashioned.  Every Tweet you send will enter you in the running to will a genuine, old-time prize courtesy of Old Fashioned Eric.  The content winner will be announced on Sunday, 2/23 at 5pm.

Before you get started Tweeting your thoughts, I want to leave with you a quote the late, great Mark Twain himself said while thinking on death.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ― Mark Twain

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Date Night

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In the world we live in, these old fashioned dating tips can make the difference between a kiss on the cheek and necking on your third date (or if you have a steady – the difference between a “Dear John” letter and a full dance card for life).  Oh baby, oh baby!

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  1. Be polite.  Say “please” and “thank you”.  Treat the waiter or waitress with respect.  The way you treat strangers is incredibly telling of your character.  Act rude?  It shows you don’t have any.
  2. Open every door.  The car.  The restaurant.  The refrigerator if she’d like a pop, whatever!  Other suitors will not do this so it’s an easy way to differentiate yourself to shine above the rest.
  3. Offer to pay.  A gentleman always offers to pay.  Now this may be controversial with a modern woman but offer.  When she says no or she’d rather go “dutch”, try again.  Here comes the tricky part where you need to read the room and possibly concede to splitting the bill.  Don’t worry if she says no.  It’s OK – the gesture will go a long way!
  4. Hold her hand.  If, and only if, the opportunity arises.  If you’re married, make sure the opportunity arises often and you take it. MDC2
  5. Take it slow.  This is a lost art.  You don’t need to go from 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds.  Take some time to rev your engines.  Plus – a proper lady knows no man will buy a cow when he can get its milk for free.

Fellas, what do you think?  And ladies, your thoughts?  If a dreamboat used these tips would you make him your beau? 

#TBT: I (HEART) RECORD PLAYERS

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This week we celebrate Throwback Thursday with an early Valentine’s Day love note to the record player.
record player
Oh record player, you super sexy old fashioned musical device you!  From your muscular tonearm to your sharp stylus, you have turned so many tables you’ll always have a warm place in my heart.

Three cheers to you record player – while higher tech upgrades may be more convenient, you still deliver the best sound on the market.  You’re the apple of my eye (or ear really – whatever you get the point).

With love,
Old Fashioned Eric