Fixing Up One of My Favorite Recent Finds-A WW2 Era Navy Peacoat

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I was stoked when I found this peacoat at a local Goodwill outlet! I rarely ever pass up a vintage peacoat (as long as it’s a legit US. Navy peacoat and not a knock-off) unless it’s moth-eaten or has damage that I can’t personally fix. This one was just REALLY dusty, had a missing button, a small torn spot in the lining, one small loose lining seam, and one armpit with the lining loose around 1/2 of the seam…. nothing that an hour-ish of hand stitching and a serious lint brush session couldn’t fix 🙂

Thankfully, I had a period-correct button from another damaged WW2 peacoat made by the very same Naval Clothing Factory. Serendipity strikes again!

Last night, I got around to cleaning and stitching the peacoat up while sipping some tasty Hamm’s beer (not a paid advertising, but it should be). It took me a little over an hour start-to-finish. Then, I listed it on ebay this afternoon. See the link if you’re interested: WW2 Peacoat listing on Brother Luke’s Treasures Ebay Store

Also, there is a fantastic peacoat dating/history page on the Fedora Lounge if you want to do any of your own peacoat research. See link: Peacoat Dating on the Fedora Lounge

Below, there are a few of the pics from this project. As always, thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar!:) Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke

LAD Online Tip Jar!

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Luke Austin Daugherty repairing a vintage WW2 peacoat

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Hand-stitched lining repairs on a vintage WW2 Naval Clothing Factory peacoat and the original tag.

The Sunday Sermon- “Go All the Way” by Charles Bukowski

This is a classic poem by Charles Bukowski. It is written from his subjective vantage point on life. Yet, I think that any person can glean at least one principle or bit of encouragement from this poem. Though for some, the message can be much more moving and transformative. Ether way, enjoy!

 

For more information on Charles Bukowski and his writing, Check out the link and documentary below!

bukowski.net

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar!:) Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke

LAD Online Tip Jar

Seven Reasons Why I Do Most of My Poetry Writing on a Manual Typewriter

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Luke Austin Daugherty’s old Royal Mercury Typewriter with the poem, Straight Corn Whiskey (100 Proof), on deck. Copyright 2016, Luke Austin Daugherty, All Rights Reserved

“One evening, I thought, ‘I’ll toss a sheet of paper in the old typewriter and maybe do a bit of writing on it, just for the hell of it, before listing it on ebay.’ I sat down in my garage and typed a fresh poem on that avocado-green, human-powered machine and I was hooked.”

I’ve wanted to cover this topic on my blog for a while and I got a handy kick in the ass today to get it written about. An old friend sent me a copy of The Typewriter Revolution in the mail and it just arrived. I am nigh to salivating over the book and can’t wait to read it over the next few weeks.

Before I digest that beckoning book, I want to give you my own writing on a manual typewriter “whys” before they are perhaps influenced, amended, or added-to after reading Richard Polt’s worthy, full-length volume on the topic of the present resurgence of interest in typewriters.

For a bit of personal history, we had an old manual in our home when I was little. I don’t remember the model. But, I liked playing around on it from time to time. My grandparents’ on my dad’s side, who lived just down the street, had a 70’s electric as well. My first typing and some early school assignments were done on those two typewriters. In middle school, our typing classes were still done on IBM Selectrics. “Fingers on the Home Row, kids!” If you are my age or younger, you likely remember the drill. Though, we did have a separate intro computer class as well.

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A happy birthday letter that I wrote (a day early) on our home typewriter for my dad when I was 7 1/2.

As I went through my teens, my use of typewriters diminished for the most part with the increase of the number of computers that I had access to at school, and eventually at home when I was in high school— some kind of Mac laptop, as I recall, that my mom’s job hooked her up with.

Typewriters, for about a decade and a half, went the way of the dinosaur (and VCRs) in my life. (Though, we now have a VCR at home again and use it more than our DVD player, but that is for another blog.)

As a poet during my adult life, the vast majority of my early writing was pen-to-paper style, even after having home computers. Before starting my own company eight years ago, I was always on the go as a driver in the moving industry, so an old-school journal and pen was the best combination for me as a writer. But, I type a lot faster than I (sloppily) write, so once I got my first laptop about seven years back, laptop-ing replaced hand writing as my primary mode of getting poems out of my head and into visible words for a handful of years.

Then, as I was picking for our ebay store a few years back, I ran across a 60’s Smith-Corona Super Sterling manual in the original case for ten bucks. I checked it out and all the keys worked well. The ink ribbon was old, but still intact too. At first, I figured that I’d just pick it up and resell it on ebay. Yet, Mr. Smith had other plans for me…

“I typed this poem on a 60’s Super Sterling

Because it had a bigger set of balls than any laptop ever invented”

-from the poem To the Reader in my new book Low Shelf Angels

One evening, I thought, “I’ll toss a sheet of paper in the old typewriter and maybe do a bit of writing on it, just for the hell of it, before listing it on ebay.” I sat down in my garage and typed a fresh poem on that avocado-green, human-powered machine and I was hooked. Since then, I’ve found other manuals and have about seven now. My favorite overall and the one I have used the most in the last year is one of two Royal Mercury portables that I own. The reasons I fell back in love with writing on a manual typewriter that first night are all reasons I still love writing on a typewriter today, plus I’ve found a few more. They are as follows:

  1. Mistakes cost you something- If you type a bad line or just mess up when typing on a laptop, no harm, no foul. Hit backspace and erase your keyboarding sins. Even if your keyboarding transgressions are vast, then highlight multiple lines and delete. But, on a typewriter, your fuck-ups will take a bit of effort to fix. From spacing issues, to typos, to content that needs repair— you’ll have to work to get it all fixed again and your lines aligned back properly.

Hence…

  1. Writing each line on a typewriter requires more thought- Since I don’t want to spend a bunch of (sometimes frustrating) time fixing things on my page, I must be MUCH more intentional when writing via old, mechanical metal rather than new, digital plastic.
  2. There are fewer distractions when writing on a manual typewriter- I don’t worry about plugging in, battery level, screen brightness, notifications popping up, or if Wi-Fi is available. I just write. Plain and simple. If my ribbon runs out to the end, I just spin that mo-fo backward or flick the direction switch and use it again if I don’t have a new ribbon to put in or want to mess with it.
  3. I have an instant, permanent copy of my poems- When my page is typed, no need to save or back up the data. I have the hard copy. Less getting lost, my grandkids will still have that page someday. Being typed on paper with my typewriter is always the best origin story for my poems.
  4. My manual typewriter is uber-portable and utilitarian- A typewriter has but one job, to type text. My typewriter types in the cold, it types in the heat, it types early, it types late, it types if I spill cheap brandy on it, it types if I’m home with the lights on, and it types if I’m out in the woods with no available electricity just the same. It has one job and it does it well. It isn’t multipurpose. If I want a do-it-all device, I have my Android in my back pocket. When I want to write poetry, dammit, give me my typewriter
  5. You must be rougher writing with a manual typewriter than with a laptop- Typing on an old manual takes a hell of a lot more effort than typing on a laptop. You can be tough with a typewriter in a way that you can’t with a laptop. Even when writing pissed or frustrated, you have to dial back the aggression when keyboarding on your laptop, lest you slay it. With a typewriter, holding back from brutish key punching isn’t needed. The force required to make one letter appear on the average manual is (I’m guessing by how it subjectively feels to me) at least 10 times more than the average laptop keyboard. There is a real percussiveness to writing on an old manual. Perhaps that aspect of using manual typewriters would appeal more to the Patriarchy than the Matriarchy, but I dig it either way.
  6. You must learn something about the mechanics of your typewriter- A person can use a laptop, cell phone, or home computer for years and not know shit about how it actually works. Using a typewriter will force you to become at least an amateur typewriter mechanic just to keep it going. You’ll need to change ribbon, which is no big deal if you know how, but can seem like trying to perform brain surgery if you don’t. Little parts will fall off or break from time to time. Gluing and tweaking will be required. Cleaning will be necessary. And with decades of age, even two typewriters of the exact same model will perform differently. Every typewriter has its own personality. You have to get to know your machine. And once you do, no one will know it like you do.

 

All that said there is a time and place for everything. When writing in public at diners, bars, and such, I use my laptop, phone, or go back to my paper journal. I’m not trying to be “that guy” and whack away on my typewriter in my local coffee shop like some distracting tool just to be nostalgic and next-level hipster-cool while interrupting others’ study and conversations with my thousands of loud clacketyey-clacks. But hey, if that is your game, type away! To each his own 🙂

I also type my blogs on a laptop. I have no need to write them on paper first. So, I’m not an untainted manual typewriter purist. I use one when I want to and use my laptop when I want to. Just like Dad and Grandpa, I believe in using the right tool for the right job.

By the way, find the links grab my brand new, full-length poetry book Low Shelf Angels at www.lowshelfangels.com

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As always, thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar!:) Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke

LAD Online Tip Jar!

A Prayer to My Countrymen in Ugly Times

My friends in the USA, there is so much ugliness being shoved in our faces on a national level at the moment… the ugliness of injustice, murders, racism, etc. (not to mention the social polarity brought on by the current election cycle). Unfortunately, that ugliness is real. It seems overwhelming. Still, it MUST, in its varied forms, be addressed and hopefully corrected, systemically from the top down and from the ground up.
 
BUT, there is still so much beautiful going on around us. You won’t much see it on the news, you won’t much hear about it on the radio. In this present America, you have to tune your attention to it as an act of will. Just walking around in Indianapolis with my kids yesterday, I saw the beautiful at work in my fellow humans, ordinary humans, on the streets, and we were able to be a part of it. It wasn’t in everyone, but it was in most people. My kids and I also got to be part of an amazing moment between several of us. It wasn’t a planned “event.” Just humans being humans to one another. Friends were made of strangers, and those strangers were not even the same color. Personal stories, help, and hopes were exchanged. No hashtags or clickbait articles were necessary to make it happen. Only beating human hearts and willing minds. It gave me some real hope for humanity in the day to day, at ground level.
 
That said, this is my admonition, first to myself and then to my friends. Hell, even as I secular person I don’t mind calling it a “prayer”… a prayer that WE will have to answer ourselves: Please don’t let the ugliness that dwells in some places and in some people around you turn YOU ugly in spirit. Yes, stand for the right and against the wrong. Speak and act (peacefully) against it. Yet, never forget that there is more light shining through we who are good than darkness manifesting through those who are bad. Don’t let the darkness of “them” dim the light of “us.” The “us” who are found among all colors, creeds, and countries. If ever we needed to be, we need to be countrymen, fellow citizens, friends, and most of all, lovers of one another in this present day. In the words of my mom to me as a young boy, “Be careful that you do not become what you hate in this world.” One of the hardest things in this life is to have your heart broken, but not let it then turn into fractured stone.
 
There are some in this country who have the desire to fracture us all like broken glass along the contrived lines of their own selfish agendas. They hope to set us against one another via racial, political, gender, and ideological lines. That makes us weak and them strong. But, we must be countrymen and we must care for one another. We must care about our real flesh and blood fellow citizens above our own subjective ideologies. Please, tune your ears to the frequency of the common humans around you. Their hearts are beating a beautiful song. Let your own heart sing along.   -Luke
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Thank you for reading and sharing! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar!:) Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke

The Sunday Sermon: Hank Green on What it Means to Matter

Check this one out, peeps! It’s worth your four minutes. I don’t have much to add to Hank’s presentation on this one 🙂

Have a great week! -Luke

Thanks for Encouraging Scientific Literacy John Oliver

John Oliver Science

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Scientific Studies (HBO)- Screenshot- Used under Fair Use Act

Here’s the thing about science… for the most part, scientific progress is generally a slow process and boring to almost anyone who isn’t a scientist. That dynamic begs the following problem: With an Internet Culture that demands to be constantly wowed by new, provocative, stimulating, but not-too-intellectually demanding information, and click-bait news articles and blogs, how should media outlets, “news” sites, TV talk shows, and professional bloggers, all thirsty for advertising revenue via views present science and scientific studies? Well, for the most part, the answer is to propagate complete bullshit, hack interpretations of data, push non-peer-reviewed studies as proven facts,  or to re-package peer reviewed studies so that they fit nicely on the low shelf and can be married up with exciting buzz worthy titles.

Before moving forward, let me give you complete disclosure. I am not a scientist. I am a writer, poet, and ebay entrepreneur. But, I love science and highly esteem its value to humanity as an empirical method of discovery. Because of that, I cringe when the revelatory power of the Scientific Method and complex findings of scientific studies are wielded about by the unlearned in media like a toddler with a .357 revolver.

Too strong of an analogy? I think not. Maybe too weak. Toddlers with revolvers would only have six shots each to do damage with. A scientifically flawed online article or news story has the power to dangerously deceive millions. The thing is, the propagation of pseudo-scientific bullshit can and does kill people. That is particularly the case when people have an aversion to traditional, proven medical treatments for various cancers and other deadly afflictions and turn rather to the magical promises of unproven (and sometimes inherently dangerous) “natural” remedies. On the flip side, otherwise healthy people can be MADE ill via untested supplements and the like. Sure, a healthy and varied diet is to be lauded and applied in one’s life. Yet, when you need modern medicine and/or treatments backed by vetted scientific research to cure a particular malady, don’t presume that merely eating more of this or that and/or taking some crap the salesperson at your local supplement shop assures you is the miracle cure-all will fix your problems. You may well avoid traditional medicine, relying on “natural remedies” until the situation is too late to reverse. Do traditional treatments always work? Nope. But they have at least been tried and tested via trial, error, and peer-reviewed research. I’ll take that over some magic beans any day.

So, when I read or watch pseudo-science presented by news anchors, Internet article writers, and bloggers, I get a bit angry. I get angry when people are given false hope for their sicknesses by modern day snake oil salesmen. I get angry when energy is wasted in society filtering out the bullshit AND when people, even fairly well educated people, are fooled by said bullshit. Lastly, I get angry that our modern society is left intellectually weak by being allowed to hit baseballs off of the tee like children when we should be swinging at fast, difficult pitches like adults- metaphorically speaking. Though, I can’t blame only those who are selling snake oil. As a society, we are buying it time and time again.

Because of all that, I am thankful to the John Oliver Show people for their new related segment. Please, please, PLEASE, my fellow humans… let the scientists do their work. Give them time and funding to do it. Let the scientists re-test and peer-review the experiments and data. And, when their findings are a bit outside the realm of our own layman’s understanding, we should let the scientists explain it to the rest of us rather than the news anchors.

Please watch and enjoy the following video:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Scientific Studies (HBO)

I encourage you to seek to expand your own understanding of the Scientific Method and various areas of scientific exploration as a part of your own personal study and life-long learning. I assure you, having a finely tuned bullshit detector is a very handy thing in this world. You may also find some merit in this handy poster from a previous blog:

Keys to Sound Thinking Chart

“Keys to Sound Thinking” Poster by: Luke Austin Daugherty

 

 

Five Tips for Making Your 2016 Resolutions

res·o·lu·tion
ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/ noun
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Before starting to create my own resolutions for this new year, I asked myself, “What have I learned about creating resolutions and completing goals during my life?” Then, I created the shortest list possible. I hope some of what I have learned can help you to refine your list for 2016 as well. As always, thanks for reading and sharing! -Luke

1. Go for quality resolutions over quantity of resolutions- 

One of the biggest mistakes when setting goals is to have too many of them at one time. You only have so much time and energy. The focus that each individual goal requires will diminish how much you can focus on the other goals you have. It is much more advantageous to succeed in fewer goals than to fail at many. Also, different goals require different levels of attention and commitment. Attempting to complete lots of “big” goals during the same time span is a recipe for failure. Don’t shy away from some life-changing or lofty resolutions. Just avoid trying to tackle too many at once.If your New Year’s Resolution list reads something like, “Lose 50 pounds in six months, read a book a week, write a poem a day, do 6 half-marathons, learn to play a new instrument, learn a new language, and save 20% of my income,” I hate to be a downer, but you’ll very likely not finish that list. BUT, more than that, being partially focused on so many difficult goals may keep you from completing even one goal successfully. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Choose few and choose wisely.

For consideration, divide your life up into three primary realms with three subcategories each: 1. Self (intellectual, emotional, and physical), 2. Relationships (family, romantic, and friends), 3. Work/career (current job or the next hopeful job transition, continuing formal or informal vocational education, and/or entrepreneurial pursuits). Next, try to consider what goals, if set and achieved, would measurably improve your own personal health and happiness, the quality of your relationships, and the satisfaction and rewards you get from your current vocation or a potential new one. Shoot for choosing one manageable goal for each subcategory, for a total of nine overall goals. Then, toss out any less important goals that may significantly distract you from the more important. If you think all nine are worthwhile and manageable, keep them. For me, I am a big fan of bubble graphs when it comes to this activity. See my own work in progress, sketched out on packing paper from my ebay shipping table…

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Luke’s 2016 Resolutions- first draft on packing paper

2. Avoid “fad” and/or acquaintance inspired resolutions- 

Don’t pick a resolution only because you saw it on a meme that your friend shared on Facebook or some random goal that was suggested in a magazine article. If fad excitement is the reason you choose a resolution, the eventual lack of fad excitement will likely be the reason you stop following the resolution later. So far as activities go, choose things to do that you actually like to do already. Just commit to do them more regularly and/or with more dedication than you previously have. Do you enjoy reading? Read, but read new and/or more books. Do you like to ride bikes? Ride more often, to new places, and farther than before.

3. Choose resolutions that are challenging, yet achievable- 

You know yourself better than anyone. Based on your history of keeping previous goals, are the goals you’re setting now way too overboard for what you will or can actually keep? For instance, if you have set lofty weight loss goals for the last five years and then failed to  keep them, gotten discouraged after a few months, then dropped them all together for the rest of the year, perhaps more realistic goals are the way to go this year. It is much more advantageous to set a two pound loss per month goal and KEEP it, than an eight pound goal, not hit it, get bummed out, and forget about it. Don’t make your actual, present self the whipping-boy for a grandiose internal idea of your future “improved self.” Set goals, that though they are challenging, you will enjoy the process of keeping the goal as much as the end result of achieving it.

4. Don’t commit to new resolutions too quickly-

If you already have all of your goals for the next year committed to by January 1st of the year, you may want to give yourself some extra time for reflection. To commit a year of your life or even months to achieving a goal is a big deal. You don’t get time back after it is gone. I suggest coming up with a tentative list of goals by about seven days into the year. Then, contemplate on that list and get a feel for what it is like to work that list for another week or two. About the third week of January, grab a coffee or lunch alone in a relaxed setting to do a final draft of your resolutions in an unhurried fashion. Tweak your list if needed and then get some real traction on your firmed-up goals. Once your resolutions are set, type them up on a sheet of paper in a large, bold font. Then, post that paper somewhere conspicuous in your home so you’ll see it every day as a reminder of the commitment you made to yourself. Hold yourself accountable to that printed list. Remember, a goal is just the beginning. Each of the goals you come up with and commit to will require you to devise an intentional plan of attack for you to be successful completing them.

5. Consider if completing your resolutions will inspire lasting satisfaction- 

You’ll have to use your imagination on this one. Think about whether each of the goals you are setting now, if achieved, would still matter to you looking back in hindsight five years from now. Not only that, but would any of your new short-term goals potentially work AGAINST any of your more important long-term goals? Last, “more” doesn’t always have to be part of a goal. Simplifying life, decreasing distractions, and minimizing what you don’t desire in life is just as important as increasing what you do.

It is much more advantageous to succeed in fewer goals than to fail at many.

As you are working though your potential list of resolutions, some comedy relief may come in handy! Check out the new segment by John Oliver 🙂

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Revised Resolutions

 

SCOTUS Approves Gay Marriage in ALL States and This Former Homophobe is Happy About It!

I’ll keep this one short and hope you read the link to my other blog. Gay marriage is now legal in ALL states and has been recognized as Constitutional by the Supreme Court. It has been a long, hard road for LGBT couples and it is about damn time.

Many people, gay, straight, and everything in between, are overjoyed. Many others are not. They range in their reactions from being mildly bothered to foaming at the mouth, calling down fire and brimstone upon the ungodly.

I primarily want to address the angry folks. Years ago, I was a homophobe due to my former religious conviction. Last year, I wrote an article about my transition from being against the LGBT community to being a strong supporter and advocate. I ask that you take several minutes to read my story, especially if you don’t like me already. Please click the link below.

Confession of a Former Homophobe

To those who are on the side of marriage equality, but know others who are not or are anti-gay, I ask you to please share my story with your family and/or friends who are still on the “other side” of this issue. (I, for example, used to be for the right for gays to marry, yet believed homosexuality to be a “sin”) We are all in this thing called “life” together and are all living this American Experience. Let’s do what we can to encourage togetherness and change rather than division.

Thanks, Luke

“On Being a Father” (A Father’s Day Poem Typecast)

"On Being a Father" by Luke Austin Daugherty, Pg. 1- Words and picture Copyright 2015: Luke Austin Daugherty

“On Being a Father” by Luke Austin Daugherty, Pg. 1- Words and picture Copyright 2015: Luke Austin Daugherty

"On Being a Father" by Luke Austin Daugherty, Pg. 2- Words and picture Copyright 2015: Luke Austin Daugherty

“On Being a Father” by Luke Austin Daugherty, Pg. 2- Words and picture Copyright 2015: Luke Austin Daugherty