Fashion Alert: Jeans That Work for you
I know I'm not a fashion expert. Not on guy fashion and not on girl fashion. However, as a former high school teacher and college student, I can tell you that all the hot college girls are wearing clothing like that found on ChicNova. I can't tell you exactly why I know this, but as I clicked on a few links on the website, I knew my wife wouldn't want the clothes (not that she'd look bad in any of it), and I knew my daughter wouldn't want the clothes either (not that I'd let her wear the what I saw).
Hot high school girls go to trendy mall stores, but hot college girls might live in some po-dunk college town like Eau Claire that has a Shopko and a half-empty mall. These hot college girls are shopping online, and ChicNova looks like the right place for them, providing clothing that isn't quite made for the boardroom but looks great strewn on the floor of a dorm room, possibly in the background of a selfie.
A side note: not-yet-successful college guys, while at college, want to see hot college girls wearing sexy clothes rather than girls who stumble out of bed and put on jogging pants to show up for a meteorology lab. Those guys will have plenty of years of marriage to see that kind of thing. Besides, girls who show up to class like that look like they eat onion sandwiches and shower when they start feeling itchy. If you want to show up to class looking like your entire body smells like vanilla flowers, slick the link at the top of this article.
A couple of years ago, when I was writing a short story that would become part of my novel, I wanted to place the main character as a student at Rufus King High School in Milwaukee. At the time, I didn't know a whole lot about high school student life just before WWII, so I thought a good way to do a little research would be to check out a yearbook. Even though I was working at a high school, I wanted a city school as my basis for the story, not a small town, so I found a Juneau High School (also in Milwaukee) yearbook from the right era. I used it to see some of the styles worn by kids about to go off to war or wish their brothers would return. These were photos on paper and then in 1s and 0s, etched into history by a scanner, of kids half my own age, some of whom would die in a war, others of whom would simply die of old age, with maybe a few still hanging on to see great-grandchildren. I wrote my story and the feeling of awe from the experience subsided. Then Bekki posted a photo of me from 5th grade graduation, and I was taller than all the other boys in my class, at which point my wife joked about the Ost height that I almost but didn't quite get (Cousin Charlie did).
All of this led to me looking for Ray Ost's high school yearbook so I could see the height I was missing. Here are some of the results of my searching...
First, I found that the 1937 yearbook is not available online. That's his senior year. However, my mom or aunt might have that one, anyhow. It's nearly as interesting that I got to see the 1936 Mayville WI High School yearbook, since he may not have saved it. On second thought, I'm sure he DID save it somewhere, since he had like every Popular Science magazine from the early 30s through the 1980s (which are mostly in my attic right now, and therefore hereditary). Anyhow, I found the '36 yearbook on a pay site, but since I wasn't really sure I'd see all that much for the price, I looked for other options. Classmates.com offered a free version of the yearbook if I joined for free, which I did, as Ray Ost (I think he'd be fine with that). I think the file size of the yearbook was pretty low quality, and they kept pestering me to buy a reprint, but I was able to at least get an idea of what the yearbook is like. Plus, I bet some library in town or at the school has a copy I could look at if it was totally necessary. But it's not, in some way, since I learned some interesting facts about Ray, even if I never see the full-resolution photos.
My mom had told me Grandpa was a football player and that they nicknamed him "Moose." That I knew, but I also saw that his team went undefeated in his junior year and that he made the M Men Major Letter A Squad, which was probably a big deal. However, he seemed to be more on the basketball B squad, even though he did have that height Lisa and I had been discussing. The more surprising parts for me were his participation in other aspects of school, since I'd known he at least played sports. The fact that he was in both the Concert Band and Popular Orchestra was news to me. I never saw either of my grandpas play, but I knew my grandpa on the other side (Franklin Jaeger) was part of a popular local (Ixonia-area) band, responsible for the ire of pastors who suggested he stop playing because his band kept the women out dancing, to which my grandpa told the pastor that he'd stop playing when the women stopped dancing. That story I knew, but Grandpa Ost with a slide trombone?
Besides being in the musical groups, the other interesting facts I learned were that he was the Junior Class Vice-President. Since those types of elections have always been pretty much popularity contests, I guess he was probably fairly popular, but maybe not presidential material (not that I ever was). The last thing I learned, and you can see it if you squint, was that schools allowed taverns (specifically Ost's Tavern) as Patrons back in 1936. I wonder what would happen if a local watering hole tried to sponsor a high school yearbook today.
I hope you have your old yearbooks and you take a look after reading this article. I hope you miss a few people, but I also want you to remember. You and that yearbook are part of history, and maybe it needs to be scanned, uploaded, sent, and shared so that your descendants will have a chance to remember you, even if it's from before you imagined having any descendants.
Shop for Tires by Vehicle or Size at Tire Rack.
Here's the two-part dilemma: Lisa hates driving in the snow. Lisa's car needs tires soon (but they're not bald). I've always been interested in getting snow/winter tires, but it never seemed to make sense to have them put on and then taken off every year. However, when I looked into even the least expensive options, her new all-season radials would have been roughly the same cost as cheap rims and a decent set of winter tires. With 4+ months of winter driving in Wisconsin, I figured it was an opportunity to give the experiment a try. I mean, do winter tires really make a difference? Do snow tires really work?
Tire Rack recommended a step-down size for the winter package. That's good because the rims and tires are slightly cheaper. Their online tool for seeing how the car would look allowed me to decide it was a decent match, so I went with silver painted wheels, which cost about $20 more than the black steel option (per wheel). Still, saving about $100 over the 17" wheels and tires overall allowed it to make sense, and I don't think Lisa would have liked driving around with cheap-looking wheels all winter. Two $50 rebates also helped, since the shipping would be $100. (Tire Rack does offer distribution center pickup to save that $100 in shipping...be sure you look to see which distribution center the tires and wheels are coming from if you think you're close enough to take a road trip).
The hope is to extend the life of the summer tires for a couple more years while providing optimum winter performance when it's needed most. However, the summer tires will have to be replaced at some point, at which time I can look for summer-only versions that might provide better performance or be slightly cheaper than the all-season tires now on the vehicle. While I know this is what people used to do, it's not standard procedure for most of us. However, I also know that all-season tires have to have some trade-offs, so the hope is to limit the snow performance trade-off so Lisa feels more confident driving to work when the snow flies.
Probably the biggest concern I have is the treadwear and how the use of winter tires in summer affects it. None of the winter options I looked at had any kind of guarantee, and swapping tires every year makes the one-year warranty seem pretty useless. This is where you have to rely on online reviews, I suppose. Tire Rack also does its own testing, so I watched a few of their videos before making the choice. I guess we'll see this winter if the purchase was overkill that will end up costing more for just a little piece of mind or if it was a wise investment.
I actually did more research AFTER the purchase, but it confirmed my first conclusions. I'll add some basic facts that I learned from various tests auto sites have done on tires.
That does lead to the last issue of winter driving safety, and that's the other driver. Lisa will now have winter rubber on her car. None of our neighbors will. 25% or less of the people around here have winter tires. We didn't before I researched them. People slide and crash and even get hurt because most of use are not prepared for northern winters. Are you ready?
Brian Jaeger writes columns for respectable websites all over the kingdom.