Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Necktie Poem by Hallgrimur Helgason - Suit & Tie

Suit and Tie

A Poem in English About Post-Crash Iceland, written and performed by Icelandic writer Hallgrimur Helgason.
First performed at the Kapittel 09 Festival in Stavanger, Norway, September 16th 2009.  
This video made Sept. 30th 2010. Thanks to Snorri and the guys at Pegasus.  Hallgrimur

The complete poem is below 
While searching for articles and videos the discuss the diminished use of neckties in today's society I found a real gem. This poem about the financial crisis and the blame that the men of those institutions surely deserve. This modern work by Icelander Hallgrimur Helgason is worth reading but please view the video first - the link is just above and here - Hallgrimur Helgason - "Suit and Tie". Since the men who control the financial machines and those institutions that run economies are them same men who religiously wear neckties I guess it is only natural to resent suits and ties.

Now that there is so much blame and eager fingers to point some people have a problem with the necktie at what it represents - authority and unfortunately with bankers and stock brokers - a blatant character flaw - arrogance. I actually believe that the author really doesn't have a dislike of neckties. Without a necktie you won't have much fun at night in Reykjavik as every night club or restaurant worth a visit will not allow a casually dressed man in. So a popular, and surely very creative poem or rap song, the necktie will still be an important part of and Icelandic man's attire.

The Icelanders are very creative so this wonderful poem or rap is not a surprise to me. The work illustrates the frustration of the trouble that the North Atlantic Island of some 350,000 people has fallen into, a result of the world's economic failure that forced the country of Iceland to declare bankruptcy, the first ever in history.

I have been to Iceland more times than I can remember between the sumer of 1984 and the spring of 1995.  I was married to a beautiful Icelandic lady and for those ten years I photographed the beautiful Icelandic unspoiled nature as a pro photographer.  Below the poem you may see some of my photographs.- Jeffrey Hunter

Reykjavik Iceland
Suit and tie
Suit and tie
We're deadly afraid of the clever guy
Wearing suit and tie

They used to roam the streets of Reykjavik

And thought they were what made the city tic

From bank to lunch with Nikkei, Dow Jones and FTSE
Dressed to kill in Armani, Boss and Gucci

Cheerful, laughing, full of self esteem

The players of our national team

But now you hardly see them anymore

The crisis took them through a different door
Their bank got crunched by Euro, Dollar and Yen

So now they're trying Tai Chi, Yoga and Zen
Still they're good in playing the blaming game
The players of our national shame

Iceland: The home of young and retired bosses
And regular people busy counting their losses
The high-flying heroes of good times past

Have come to the ground and had their blast

Hiding inside his fancy house

The bull now meets his inner mouse

And both are dressed in suit and tie
Suit and tie

Nothing scares like suit and tie

We're left alone in the arctic sea

For they left the loan for you and me

To pay
But they

Do have enough to last an eon
Silently kept in the Caribbean

So true, so true

So mad, so bad

But we don't want back the life we had

Full of lies and numbers high

Enough to keep a country high

On hope of becoming the new Dubai

Where all the women were suit and tie

Suit and tie
Suit and tie we kiss goodbye

Communism lasted long
Nations led by Mr. Wrong

Western brokers, young and brave
Went disco dancing on its grave
But victory got to their head

Big ambitions were overfed

The color of blue contained some red

The Wall Street Wall came down one night

And we were all raped by Mr. Right.

Capitalism fell on its nose

Died from an overdue overdose

Of arrogance and loneliness

And left the world in a state of mess

We were fooled by suit and tie
Suit and tie

Who tricked us, told us: To sell and buy

While speeding across their private skies
Engines fuelled by loans and lies

The boys of Bush and global greed
Left us with a local need

For truth and nothing but the truth

To put inside a confession booth

The Brothers Lehman and all their sons

The neo-cons were just plain cons

In suit and tie

Suit and tie

Trained to loot and taught to lie

Yet we try

To struggle on

A nation betrayed by an evil don

A nation so small you can easily whip

All of it into a cruise line ship

The former captain and his crew

Are still on board but out of view

Sipping on Scotch inside their cabins

And telling jokes like desperate has-beens

Or faking calls
In bathroom stalls

While nervously looking for their balls

We carry on, on a vessel unwell

Steering away from the icebergs of hell
The national body still infected

By the virus we long neglected

Called suit and tie
Suit and tie
Hoping it won't make us die

At the airport a father of three

Spends his last in the Duty Free
"We're going to Norway, to get a life
Wife will study, I'll be her wife
It's sad to leave your fatherland

A bit like parting with your hand
But they took the house, they took the car
Does Stavanger have a strip-tease bar

And the politician on the TV screen

Speaks of ways to cure the spleen

But his words no longer do apply

For he's still wearing suit and tie

Suit and tie

Suit and tie we kiss goodbye

And when you roam the streets of Reykjavik
You spot the signs that made your city sick

Empty houses, vacant office spaces

And way too many fancy meeting places

On the map, nearby the valley parks
The financial district is now shown in quotation marks

And on the streets and freeways, parking lots
There still are lots and lots

Of black and shiny Range Rover jeeps
Luxurious creeps

Once the symbols of all our national vices

Now they are the coffins of the crisis

Driven by people who died a market-death

But were allowed to prolong their final breath

In suit and tie

Suit and tie

They're all still wearing their suit and tie

In Germany they have the Nazi outfits

To remind them of the thing that rhymes with... outfitz

In Iceland we have suit and tie

Suit and tie

Suit and tie

- Hallgrimur Helgason

About Hallgrimur Helgason

Hallgrímur studied at the Art Academy of Iceland, and then the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich

He has worked independently as an artist and writer since 1982, and has held over twenty solo exhibitions in Iceland, Boston, Paris and Malmö.  His work has also been displayed in over 30 group exhibitions in various countries.

His first novel Hella came out in 1990. His best-known works are 101 Reykjavík, which was made into a popular film of the same name, and Höfundur Íslands, which won the Icelandic Literary Prize in 2001.

Hallgrimur Helgason's web site

Below are just a few of my photograhs of Iceland.  The nature is unspoiled and about as pristine as possible.  - Jeffrey Hunter

Myvatn, northern Iceland volcanic zone,
Jeffrey Hunter

Gain souther Iceland, Jeffrey Hunter

Arctic River Rose - Brynudalsa,
by Jeffrey Hunter

Midnight Sun Hornafjordur, Jeffrey Hunter

Skogarfoss 62 meters tall, Jeffrey Hunter

Hestur - Icelandic pony, Jeffrey Hunter

Hella, Iceland's fertile south, Jeffrey Hunter

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Still Wearing a Necktie?

Further articles and videos about the necktie or the absence of the tie.  They area bit dated by a about 2 - 3 years but still relevant.  I still wear ties, but I sell them so I guess it's part of my job.   I also write about them, design them, dream about them, and.....  I like wearing neckties  - Jeffrey Hunter

Recent poll shows few men still wear neckties to work. What message does that send? And is the more casual look good, bad or meaningless?

Lancaster New Era

Updated Oct 03, 2008

Just 6 percent of men wear a necktie to work every day, according to a recent Gallup poll. This news was so shocking that it made the front page of the Wall Street Journal last month. Well, that might be a gasper to Mr. Gallup and fancypants New Yorkers, but out here in the real world, in places like Lancaster County, it's hardly a revelation.

Look around your office. OK, the summer interns are wearing a tie (a very snappy bright-green number on the tall guy). So is your boss (a more subdued blue and tan stripe).  But the rest of the fellows? Not so much, unless you work in a law office or bank.

What does the decline of the necktie say about our lives today? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Read more: Still wearing a necktie?

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Outlawing Neckties in the U.S.A.

Nothing to do with ties but I love Jane Russell
How the Necktie Became A Man's Noose

Many men have to wear neckties each day to work, but how did this fashionaccessory become a staple of "dressing up"?   Jason Falls explains the history of the necktie. He then lobbies for a cease and desist and blames the French on the whole fiasco.
The Daily Idea from  - the web's premier celebrity tabloid.  This is laugh-a-ble but actually I think the guy is serious about men hating ties.

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Amanda Brooks From Men's Vogue Magazine Talks Neckties

Neckties Both Rare And Trendy.  

Amanda brooks from Men's Vogue magazine talks neckties to suit men of all types. Chris Wragge reports.

She just loves neckties.  Ties are not down and out according to Men's Vouge Magazine.  Check out the necktie fashion show.

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CBS News Ben Stein On Neckties

The necktie is the sign of a man who is there to work, not to play.  It when a man who takes his responsibilities seriously, wears.   It makes a man look better - smarter. 

Ben Stein discussed the future of the necktie on CBS Sunday Morning.   According to him wearing neckties is classy.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

No More Neckties... What’s The World Coming To?

President Obama Not Wearing a Necktie
 I found an interesting article on line; No More Ties What is This World Coming To? I was inspired to write this post. Below you may find the link to the article. – Jeffrey Hunter

John F. Kennedy, the only president of late that had convictions and played straight pool wore neckties and had such style he could make adversaries quiver without drawing a big bad gun. President Obama is not wearing ties like so many other men in or out of government that surely have a problem with credibility. See this ABC News Post about President Obama and his lack of neckties here. Heck, Obama cannot even claim when or where he was born. I am beginning to believe that he is actually from another Galaxy and was planted here from that alien base on the Moon. Just consider those ears, and of course I did find an interesting photograph of him with an alien, that you can check out right here on an early blog post - President Obama Endorced by an Alien. In that blog post you can see that aliens wear ties but at the moment not many ties are tied around the necks of male half of the human species. Well, at least I can say more ties for the rest of us human men. It is ironic now that we necktie aficionados are the non-conformists.  Lets not forget the aliens that also wear ties

It is true neckties are not as popular as they once were and they have become part of an anti conformist culture to the extent that neckties are truly hated. It is as if a man’s freedom has to be relinquished if he is to wear a necktie. Maybe the guys that hate ties so much are afraid of strangling themselves by accident, or possibly they were hung in a past life, and just cannot deal with it. More likely, the explanation of the absence of ties gracing the male form is the result of a relaxed society and a somewhat less than serious demeanor concerning the attitude of dressing. This casual lifestyle that started with casual Friday has become a “casual everyday” excepted by society as the norm, giving cause to the guys who decided that wearing ties were a symbol conforming to authority.

Whatever it is, their rebellion against tradition has waged for 10 years or more since the dot com evolution ushered in the relaxed dress code at work, something less than professionalism as we once knew. Unfortunately there are effects that this casual approach is exacting that some see as a decline in the overall character of gentlemen and lifestyle. Even the President does not wear ties every day now which has been noted lately in the press. Now that is the “casual” craze cast in bronze if I did not see it with my own eyes. Maybe the future presidents of the U.S.A. will wear fatigues like Fidel Castro next; we are at the crux of a war against terror, or so they say. Wearing urban camouflaged attire in the White House may suit the propagandists; now that would be some message. After all if what they say is true, we have a lot to be worried about.  If in fact, the U.S.A. is up against a lot of people with different ideals, here, over there, in every non American enclave or even not, then civilization is in a very critical balance. It is the justification to invade other countries and even the American home itself with no restraints on what, how, where, and when it is executed.  Now, eves dropping, wire tapping, warrantless searches, arrests and imprisoned without charges, etc can be directed – even on us. So far, the guns are not pointed at civilians but sooner or later that may be.  So fatigues as the dress code for government officials may not be so crazy of an idea.  Now it is unbuttoned shirts and no neckties, nerxt?

For now, the men who make the laws and govern the U.S.A should wear neckties, if not only to make them appear trust worthy with the appearance of credibility, for the sake of tradition. I really do not take much stock in politicians – they are just too much to trust and as always this new president has lied and switched course on every promise he made before election. He has somehow managed to gain support, even if he is a casually dressed guy. None-the-less he should wear a tie everyday so at least his level of seriousness is clear and his influence strong. I guess times have changed but I still wear ties, and I feel a greater sense confidence as unusually of late; I am not competing with much of an equal tie wearing public.

No more ties... what’s world coming to? Sentinelsource New Hampshire

Here is the article from the Sentinelsource New Hampshire

When the Old West posse finally nabbed the varmint who had swiped some chickens from the poor old widow lady’s henhouse, the guys in the posse all yelled “Give him a neck tie!” (They did?) What they meant, of course, was to TIE a rope around his NECK and string him up a tree. Over the decades, that expression has endured, at least in one area of our culture.

Today, whenever a kid asks his mom “What can I give Dad for Father’s Day?”, she is likely to answer (you guessed it) “Give him a necktie!” That prolly won’t work anymore, though, unless the kid’s dad is a minister, a banker, a politician (maybe), a coffin salesman, or a basketball coach (why is that?). For most other men, every day is “casual Friday.”

Ah, the necktie! Whence cometh? Wherefore? And how come? As far as I can figure out from my complicated, exhaustive cravat research, it might well have been Croatian mercenaries in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) who — for some unclear reason — wore small knotted strips of cloth wrapped around their necks. Somebody in Paris in the fashion game took a look at them and got all excited. Inspired by the Croatian creation, he started a neckwear craze in Europe using similar arrangements of wrap-arounds. So that by the 18th century, high fashion dictated that bands of white muslin be worn outside men’s shirt collars and they were called “stocks.”

Later, in the 1700s, according to my sources, “Young Englishmen returning from Italy (the “macaronis” of Yankee Doodle fame) brought new neckwear fashions (but doesn’t say what they were). Anyway, by well into the 19th century, the necktie had undergone several modifications and improvements, and interest in them became more about how to tie ‘em.

In fact, a bestseller at the time was the how-to book “Neckclothitania,” which described how to tie 14 different cravats, in text and illustrations. And around the mid-1800s, black stocks became more popular than the white ones. I’m sure you’ve seen old photos of famous men of the period like Abraham Lincoln wearing ‘em with a large bow knot tied in front.

From the Lincoln era well into the 20th century, a lot of different neckwear types showed up: the bowtie, four-in-hand, Ascot, cravat, knit, bolo, clip-ons, and even a wide variety of novelties. Especially after World War II, when neckties went bananas. First they got wide — up to 41/2 inches — then narrow to 2 inches — weirdly colored, hand-painted, sexy, and touting schools, teams, products, corporations and organizations of all stripes. Some had photos. Others had mottoes, slogans, adages, jokes, or cartoons.

I was a card-carrying necktie-wearer for many years. So what brought about today’s harangue about neckties? Well, for one thing, their clout is fast disappearing. For decades, no matter how rich you were, you couldn’t get a table at the exclusive “21” Club in Manhattan if you weren’t wearing a necktie with your jacket. Tuxedoed greeter (or not) Chuck Anderson rode herd on who’s goin’ in and who ain’t. If you were otherwise a good paying “member,” you could wear a “loaner” while there. But recently a headline in The New York Times read “Last Bastion for Neckties Throws in the Towel,” with a boo-hoo story about how the present owners of “21” have dumped the necktie requirement, with the comment “So what’s the big deal?” (Jack and Pete Kriendler and Charlie Berns would turn over in their hidden wine cellar if they knew!)

Jackets are still required there, as they are in most of the city’s elegantest eateries. Next thing you know, “21” will be selling off all those great jockey statues in their racing colors out front as “no big deal.” Bah! Humbug! Does every day have to be “casual Friday”? Why, they prolly won’t even allow cigar-smoking at “21” anymore! For Jack, every day is “casual Friday” at The Woodward

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Monday, July 11, 2011

A Naked Man, a Necktie, and a Birthday to Remember

Sexy secretary
Sexy secretary
Secretary’s Day neckties – based on a true story

This is a true according to Ann Landers, save the addition of a necktie to this funny story. I found this piece about 12 years ago and decided to add a little flavor to it concerning sexy secretary neckties. The content in blue is what I have added as fiction, the rest is how it was printed in the Orange County Register – Jeffrey Hunter

Why I Fired My Secretary still makes us laugh on Secretaries Day. Dear Ann: A couple of years ago you had a hilarious column on Secretary’s Day that kept our office in stitches. I clipped it out and planned to ask you to run it again. Here it is, Ann. How about it? Nellie from Vineland, NJ

That piece originally appeared in The Shining Mountain Sentinel. I tried without success to track down the author. It was a great hit with office workers everywhere. I am delighted you asked to see it again – especially because today, once again is National Secretaries Day, Ann Landers

Why I Fired My Secretary

I woke up early, feeling depressed because it was my birthday, and I thought, “I am another year older,” but decided to make this best of it. So I showered and shaved - put on my lucky grey suit, a light blue shirt and a tie that my wife had given me for a birthday present a couple of years earlier - knowing when I went down to breakfast my wife would greet me with a big kiss and say, “Happy birthday, dear.”

All smiles, I went in to breakfast, and there sat my wife reading her newspaper, as usual. She did not say one word. So I got myself a cup of coffee, made some toast and thought to myself, “Oh well, she forgot. The kids will be down in a few minutes, smiling and happy, and they will sing Happy Birthday and have a nice gift for me.”

There I sat, enjoying my coffee, and I waited. Finally, the kids came running into the kitchen yelling, “Give me a slice of toast! I’m late! Where is my coat? I’m going to miss my bus!” Feeling more depressed than ever I left for the office.

When I walked into my office my secretary greeted me with a big smile and a cheerful “Happy Birthday, boss.” She handed me a gift, which I could have expected was a conservative striped tie. She then asked if she could get me a cup of coffee. Her remembering my birthday made me feel a whole lot better. I took off the tie that I was wearing and as if to show her my approval of her taste in neckties, I tied that striped tie around my neck, of course in a Windsor necktie knot. When she returned with a cup of coffee, she smiled, noticing that I was wearing the necktie that she had given me as a birthday gift. It was a tonal mix of subtle reds which was a nice contrast to my light blue shirt and grey suit.

A thoughtful secretary's gift, a red striped tie

Later that morning, my secretary knocked on my office door and said, “Because it’s your birthday, why don’t we have lunch together?” Thinking that it would make me feel better I said, “That’s a good idea.”

So we locked up my office, and since it was my birthday, I said, “Why don’t we drive out of town. And have lunch in the country instead of going to the usual place?” So we drove out of town and went to a little inn and had a couple of martinis and a nice lunch. We started driving back to town, when my secretary said, “Why don’t we go to my place and I will fix you another martini?” It sounded like a good idea because we didn’t have much to do at the office.

So we went to her apartment, and she fixed us some martinis. After a while, she said, “If you will excuse me, I think that I will slip into something more comfortable,” and she left the room. In a few moments she opened her bedroom door and came in with a big birthday cake. Following her were my wife and kids. And there I sat with nothing on but my socks and that tonal red conservative striped tie draped across my bare chest which so wonderfully complimented my blushing face with a hue matching my new necktie.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Carrot Tie

A Carrot Tie ?
 Another necktie of the Month from the Gun Carrying Librarian

I really have to have one of these for myself.  Where does this guy get these ties; a bacon tie, a carrot tie.  I thought that I had seen it all after 16 years selling neckties. - Jeffrey Hunter 

Necktie of the Month June 2010: Every now and then, you’ve just got to have some fun.   Here’s my 24-Carrot necktie.  No, not the “gold” variety, but the vegetable variety.  And wouldn’t it be nice if you could get your reccommended daily allowances of vegetables through osmosis?  I’d wear this tie everyday if that were the case....... read the entire post here and checkout the rest of his necties of the month and the other cool posts.

We do not have a carrot tie yet but we do have some cool novelty ties.  Wild Ties at Nice Tie Store

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Bacon Tie - Necktie of the Month

The Gun Carrying Libraian - An Officer - retired, and a Librarian

I found this really cool site with lots of great info and a special post called Necktie of the Month.  Here is my note worthy comment regarding a fairly conservative necktie, the first post I found, from there it got really interesting.  A Bacon necktie and that's not all.  Imagine a guy that has the full spectrum of ties; novelty ties, strange neckties, and as I mention below, conservative neckties. He even has Snoopy Ties - I love Peanuts and I really love Snoopy.  

But it is not just ties that I found interesting on the blog.  Just imagine that your best friend is a librarian and he has tonns of really cool stuff to talk about and in a really articulate way.  There is just too much to tell so I suggest that you visit the blog for yourself and don't forget to checkout the necktie of the month category, for heaven's sakes.

July 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm - A Conservastive Tie - The Necktie of the Month,  Jeffrey Hunter Says:  Nice Tie. Not too conservative -nice pattern. Although I make a living selling novelty and wild fashion neckties that are mostly collector items I do appreciate all ties as long as they are not ugly. Now, that is a really hard thing because “there is no such thing as an ugly tie, just that some ties are more beautiful than others.”

Actually, if you substitute the word tie and ties for woman and women (respectively) you will have a famous quote once said by a Cuban guy I befriended in Miami in 1993. Renee had a way with words and women. He kind of reminded me of Ricky Ricardo, no kidding - he also wore ties religiously.

The one and only bacon tie

THE BACON TIE -Necktie of the Month May 2011
Here is a synopsis of a post in one of this blog's many categories The Bacon Necktie - Being a true lover of bacon, I’m surprised that I do not yet have one of these whimsical neckties (a deficiency that will probably be corrected before the end of the day).................I wonder if these neckties would be better at “hiding” the occasional grease spot that one invariably gets on ones neckties?......... read the entire post here 

 Checkout some cool posts

The Wonderful Brain

Standing on the Corner The Rock Group - Eagles and a Meteor Strike in Arizona

Courage According to the Lion in the Classic the Wizzard of Oz

The Gun Carrying Librarian. - Neckties of the Month

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Glow in The Dark Necktie - Strange Ties

Strange glow in the dark neckties
 The Victory Tie - Glows in the dark

Another glow in the dark tie to add to our collection of strange neckties.  The description and content of this ad is out of this world.  Whoever wrote this ad probably went on to write political fund raiser speeches or fairy tales


It seems almost unbelievable, the magic of an amazing new kind of stylish, wrinkle proof, high-class necktie that actually glows in the dark! Glows with strange luminous pattern of patriot’s universal fighting code. *** - “V!” It’s called the new Victory Necktie, and what a sensation! Both men and women rave about its magnificent beauty, and startling miracle of its glow in the dark, that makes it the most unusual, strikingly unique tie you’ve ever seen. Imagine it marvelous effect – its actual protection in blackouts, or dim-outs, for its light can be seen at a distance. And now, through this astounding but limited introductory offer, you too, can secure some of these ties to wear yourself or give as treasured gifts.


Make no mistake, this Victory Necktie must not be confused with any ordinary novelty tie, for by day you’ll be vastly proud of its fine material, its smartness – high-class, distinctive tie in every way. Wrinkle-proof! Ties up perfectly! It’s a rich dark blue, and in splendor of red and white, is the Victory Code that glows in the dark. You would expect this wonderful tie to be very expensive, but it won’t cost you $5.00 nor even $2.00, for under this limited offer, it is yours for only 98 cents. Nor is that all. You merely pay the postman 98 cents plus postage. Then examine. See how beautiful. And if you’re not eager to wear it, if you are not fully satisfied in every way, all you need to do is return it under the manufacturer’s positive assurance of money refunded. That’s fair isn’t it? Don’t wait. Send for you Victory Necktie that glows in the dark NOW.

Everywhere you go, by day or night, your Victory Necktie ( also called Blackout ) will attract attention, envy, and admiration. Imagine its beauty by day- the fighting man’s *** - “Y” for Victory, in striking red and white on rich dark blue background! And at night the Victory Code in flaming beauty! Wear this tie with pride – it’s smart, wrinkle-proof –and holds its shape perfectly. A superb bargain in quality, with the added sensational magic of glowing in the dark. Send for yours now!......

307 W. Michigan Ave. Dept 500, Chicago ILL.

Strange Ties - From an advertisement - around 1947.

check out our previous starange glow in the dark necktie post  Glow in the Dark Strip Tease Tie

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Necktie Flowers

If this were true and ties grew like flowers then I would be a wealthy man.  I've always said that neckties do not grow on trees when I try to explain how difficult it is to manage the inventory in the on line store

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