Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

blog-1

By Erin Murphy (Customer Service)

 

I’ve always been a girl without a home. Not homeless at all now, I’ve always had a place to live. I just always wanted to leave. Denver native but couldn’t wait to leave the mountains. New Mexico, just there for college, thank you. I would’ve stayed in London forever, but maxed-out credit cards and no work visa tend to put a stop to living abroad.

After wandering around the country, I ended up in a small town in New Hampshire. Yeah, that state that most of us can’t find on a map. I was blown away with the massive amount of green! We don’t see that much vegetation in Colorado, and I was amazed. Trees everywhere. Hiker’s paradise.

And then comes the winter…aka Arctic Tundra!

I’ve never been a snow lover. The cold always bothered me anyway, sorry Elsa. Suddenly I was trapped in a place where the air quite literally hurts your face. You have to dig your car out of it’s nighttime igloo at five in the morning because you still have to get to work on time. The neighbors start resembling penguins and polar bears.

A year ago, we moved to the last place I ever expected to call home: Amarillo. My first step in this city resulted in a friendly remark in a buffet line. “Hey, don’t I know you?” Uh, no, I literally just got here.

The restaurant flat out exploded.

“Welcome to Texas!” “Where you from honey?” “You know, we get snow here too!” And the constant, hesitating inquiry, “Do y’all like it here?”

At 100 degrees and up this summer, I’m finally warm. The community acceptance I waited seven years for in New Hampshire took seven seconds. The accent is easier to understand. (Fun fact: the word “lar” is spelled l-a-w in Massachusetts, l-i-a-r in Texas. True story.)

My house costs about half what it would in any of my other home states. I’ve got small-town friendliness in a town with four Starbucks instead of 800 Dunkin Donuts. (I prefer a triple grande carmel macch to a large extra-extra.) And the air doesn’t hurt my face.

I’m happy to trade my ayuh’s for y’alls, and I’m fixin’ ta set a spell in the best state I’ve seen. Yes, friendly lady at Cici’s, I like it here. To paraphrase Kermit the frog, “This girl’s stayin’!”

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under NDYS.

In this thirty-third episode of the Not Dead Yet Show:

In Mexico we got to hear the results of the English classes we’re offering employees and Suzette got really excited about some hair on suitcase designs.

 

 

 

Come see the rest of the Not Dead Yet Series

Subscribe to the Not Dead Yet Show newsletter right now or else be prepared to face the consequences of missing the greatest show ever produced about the Munsons living in tents.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Blog-1

 

By Nick Bridwell

 

I strive to live a well-rounded life. That means my nightstand book queue currently features:  Ecstatic Cahoots, a short story collection by modern master Stuart Dybek, The Heart of the Matter, a novel by Graham Greene, the collected works of Lord Byron, and Vincent by Barbara Stok, a graphic novel interpretation of the life of Vincent Van Gogh. I’ll finish all of these books this summer. I probably won’t remember much of anything. I can only fit so much in my brain!

 

The go-to solution here might find you searching for some sort of modern day app to gather your internet observations. Well, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t the future that’s got you covered. It’s the past! Reintroducing: The Commonplace Book.

 

The Commonplace book was first introduced in Italy and became popular in England and France in the 1700s. Since then, famous artists and philosophers such as John Locke, John Milton, Emerson, Thoreau, E. H. Forster, and W.H. Auden have all relied on (and some, like these men, even published) Commonplace Books. Think of a Commonplace Book like a real life, physical favorite’s list.

 

Unlike a journal which contains one’s own thoughts and observations in a linear fashion, a Commonplace Book is a collection of articles, quotes, poems, phrases, lyrics, and more, that have impacted you in your everyday life. Your Commonplace Book can be used for both study and sentimental recollection.

 

blog-2

 

While you are unlikely to recall in conversation a paragraph from The Sun Also Rises after your first reading, copy it down under a category in your Commonplace Book and come back to it a few times. Trust me, it will stick. You’ll have no problem referencing Commonplace material for discussion with friends, family, and coworkers. And what’s even better is that you can write down an article’s personal meaning and come back to exploring that thought process again and again. This allows for a deeper understanding of the articles that speak to you.

 

On the topic of categories: It is important that your Commonplace Book fits your particular needs. Mine contains different areas for “Literary Quotes & Passages”, “Poems & Lyrics”, “Philosophical Potpourri”, “On Art and the Artist”, “On Love”, “On Friendship”, and “On Religion”, for instance. Whatever your categories, the impact is that in the end you have a place you can come back to. I’ll finish reading my summer list and replace those books on my nightstand. I will probably forget much of the content of the books, but lucky for me I can open up my Commonplace Book and have a reminder of the important parts that really stand out.

 

At Saddleback Leather, we create pieces that can be passed down from generation to generation. Nothing is cooler than the thought of my future children and grandchildren thumbing through my Commonplace Book to figure out just what makes me tick. If a human being is a collection of experience and memories, a Commonplace Book is the table of contents to the soul.

 

Good luck creating your own Commonplace Book. Shoot some pics over and let us know how it turns out.

 

Nick Bridwell is the author of the novel The Ties That Bind (link: https://amzn.com/B00O1CCC90) and a regular contributor to the Saddleback Blog and Plano Magazine.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

caroline-blue

 

by Caroline Bengali

 

I was watching a movie on my computer last night, my husband was doing dishes, I wasn’t feeling well. For some reason, I looked up and started watching him. Methodically, washing, rinsing, loading the dishes; with precision and total focus.

 

My eyes tear up and like a giant wrecking ball slamming into my heart, it hits me once again  what this man, that I do all of life’s huge and mundane things with, has been through.  He’s not just the funny dude in front of me in his comfortable jeans and his ‘Pollo Hermanos’ t-shirt, using sos pads, he’s a United States Marine that served in Desert Storm and the US invasion of Panama.

 

For two years he flew and jumped out of planes, helicopters, and led patrols into the heart of the conflicts.  He did many reconnaissance dives some in the middle of the night into the middle of nowhere. When the mission called for a convoy, he was always the driver.  This, he said, gave him some small sense of control in this chaotic existence.  He couldn’t control the bombs and bullets aimed at them but he could control the steering wheel.

 

He watched many friends die during the war. He has avoided death himself countless times.

He’s told me these stories throughout the years, sometimes I prod him, others he will just stare off and start talking.  Each time I sit there mummy like, unable to move, and I think what a great storyteller he is, only these aren’t fables, they are his ‘live throughs’ as I call them, because he didn’t die.

 

Not sure how he can just be here washing dishes, smiling telling something about work, me not really listening because I’m just staring, trying to figure out how he does this after he’s done ‘that’. So I blurt out ‘How do you do it?’ ‘Easy he says, you rinse…’ ‘No! I say teary eyed.’ (Now here is the perfect example of why men sometimes look at women like ‘wait, what?’)

He tells me that he has compartments in his brain.  Some big, some small.  They hold instances, memories, things he wants to remember and forget.  He has the key to these compartments and can open them at will, most of them, most of the time.  This is how he stays sane.  He knows ‘It’ is still there, but he has trained himself to be the keeper.  Doesn’t always work and I can only imagine the enormous amount of discipline, restraint and energy this feat requires.

 

I know many that have not been able to have a normal life after experiencing war.  

So for me, watching him put in the Cascade, still laughing about how he won the hot sauce eating contest at work, (true story), is a very meaningful memory.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

blog-banner

 

By Nick Bridwell, American Writer

USA! USA! Happy Independence Day, Saddlebackers! Today, we’re rolling out our brand new Saddleback Leather US Constitution Booklet! This bad boy is Made in the USA and it is perfect for a little bit of patriotism in your pocket. To celebrate, here are 5 Fun Presidential Facts:

 

 

1. “Four Score and Seven Beers Ago…”

The President of the United States if a pretty serious gig, so it’s nice to know our former leaders could cut loose once in awhile. Washington owned a whiskey distillery and Jefferson brewed his own beer. But, Abraham Lincoln is the only US President to have owned a License to Bartend. Before he won the Presidency, Lincoln co-owned a tavern in New Salem, Illinois called Berry and Lincoln. The liquor business was a bit seedy, so he searched for a more pure-as-the-driven-snow occupation and chose politics. More on this here.

 

 

2. Patriots to the End (and the Beginning)

Three of our US Presidents were such awesome patriots that they actually waited to die until the 4th of July. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died within two hours of one another on July 4th, 1826. That’s 50 years, to the day, after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. President James Monroe died a few years later in 1831. Only one president was actually BORN on the 4th of July. That honor goes to Calvin Coolidge, who was born on July 4th, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont. Talk about an eagle of an omen!

 

 

3. Two Turkey Days?

Picture this: It’s Independence Day t-shirt shopping time and you find aisle after aisle of red, white, and blue turkey tees. Here’s one featuring the turkey with Old Glory wrapped around his shoulder like a cape. There’s one with the a goofy turkey perched upon lap of Lincoln like a housecat. Sounds pretty far-off, right? If Ben Franklin had won the debate over our nation’s symbol, the eagle would have gone the way of the dodo and we’d all be basking in the glory of the turkey. Ben said, “For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America. He is besides, tho’ a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” Read more about that here.

 

 

4. Patriot by Design

Andrew Johnson, who ascended from VP to President when Lincoln was assassinated, was a man of sartorial substance. For most of his life, and even through his presidency, he insisted on designing and constructing his own suits. This makes Andrew Johnson the only known tailor to hold the office and the closest thing the US Presidency has had to our own Dave Munson.

 

 

5. Just a Big Old Teddy Bear

Ever wonder why we call stuffed bears “Teddy Bears”? In 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt went on a Mississippi hunting trip with Governor Andrew H. Longino. The group hunted for three days without a single kill. On the 4th day, the hunting guide’s dogs cornered a very old black bear and attacked. The guide tied the bear to a tree and Longino invited the President to take the kill shot. Roosevelt refused, however, because the bound bear was not an honorable kill. He did allow the guide to put the bear down as the hounds had injured him. Word got back to the press about the President’s mercy and pretty soon stuffed Teddy Bears started flying off the shelves. Check out more about that story here.

 

 

That’s it for now! Have a safe Independence Day. Be happy that you get to rock a bald eagle on that t-shirt your wife is making you wear for the family photo… instead of a fat turkey.

 

Nick Bridwell is the author of the novel The Ties That Bind and a regular contributor to the Saddleback Blog and Plano Magazine.

 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

take-1

 

by Dan (Marketing)

It’s so obvious.  He wouldn’t ever buy a Saddleback briefcase because he would have one in every color and size issued to him by Q.  He would have Saddleback Leather briefcases filled with cash, probably stashed around the world in private vaults.

 

He’d have an Overnight Bag (in Dark Coffee Brown) that inflates into a boat.  And a Front Pocket Backpack (in Chestnut) for romantic picnics but that also had a hidden radio, caviar, explosive chewing gum, a .22 caliber survival rifle (disassembled), a cyanide cigarette, 50 gold sovereigns, a bug detector, a tear gas cartridge disguised as talcum powder, homing beacons, and dental floss (this stuff comes in really handy sometimes).

 

He’d have one stashed in a little Swiss chalet.  One in a beach cottage in the Caribbean with a Walther PPK and a bottle of champagne, you know, just in case.  

 

The strap on his Tobacco Classic Briefcase would double as a satellite antenna receiver to connect his laptop to HQ wirelessly anywhere on the planet.  

 

Check that.  

 

The strap on his briefcase would actually be lined with C4 explosives, which could be detonated remotely by rubbing two pieces of Saddleback Leather together in a rapid fashion.

 

I have to wonder what Q could do with one of the Suitcases?  I bet with one of those puppies Bond could control satellites or hack into former Soviet nuclear bunkers.  

 

For a while we considered adding that as an upgrade feature here at Saddleback but we couldn’t get the fetzer valves to talk to the main control unit.  It’s all ball bearings these days.

 

Did you know the Messenger Bag really isn’t a messenger bag?  I’m just kidding, it’s a messenger bag…………….. Or is it?

 

Maybe Bond would just use a Saddleback bag for it’s sheer simplicity and ruggedness and leave all the gadgetry to Q back at MI6.  At the end of every Bond film he usually walks away from all the gadgets and I can totally see him packing a few nice things in his Saddleback Briefcase and stepping aboard a sailboat to get away for awhile until he gets called for his next mission.

 

What is clear is that if Bond wanted to have the very best gear money could buy to carry all of his gadgetry, he’d pick Saddleback Leather.  Every time.  He’d just put it on his MI6 credit card (which only has a billion pound limit but has a fantastic rewards program).

 

These bags have swum with sharks with freakin’ laser beams on their foreheads, been trampled by angry robot elephants, chewed by crocodiles and speared by Masai warriors (well that one didn’t end so well).
Now, if I could just find my grappling hook suspenders…..

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

Top

 

by Nick Bridwell (Customer Service)

 

Like a bunch of ninjas in the night, our marketing team snuck in and created a new Saddleback collection, humorously titled: Ugly & Limited. As you will see, the concept is ripe with Saddleback’s trademark brand of irony. The bags are as sick as ever, they just have a little bit of extra character. So, in case you think they are the ugliest things you’ve ever seen, here are 5 Ugly Characters vs. 5 Ugly & Limited Bags.

It’s time to play…Who’s Uglier?

 

Sloth vs. Brown Arrow, the Branded Front Pocket Backpack

 

Sloth

 

 

“Hey you guys!” Don’t run away screaming yet. In the red corner, we have the grotesque–but gentle—giant, Sloth from Goonies fame. In the blue corner, a Saddleback Leather Large Tobacco Front Pocket Backpack with a deep brand that looks sort of like an arrow pointing left. This is the sort of horrendous deformity you can expect in the Ugly & Limited Line. Who’s uglier?

 

2. Jabba the Hutt vs. Chesta the Nutt, the Bulging Briefcase

 

Jabba

 

Before you get all frantic and get strangled by a lady in a bikini, let’s just point out the obvious: Jabba the Hutt is way prettier than this Chestnut Classic Briefcase. They both have stretchmarks, but Chesta the Nutt is all waxed up instead of covered in slime and that’s just unprofessional for the kingpin of the underground leather market. I dunno. I’ll leave it up to you. This medium briefcase makes me sick. (Note: We know Jabba wouldn’t actually fit in a size medium.) Who’s uglier?

 

3. Ursula the Sea Witch vs. Tobbacula the Tortured Notepad

 

Ursula

 

Poor Ursula gets a bad rap. She’s just a very charismatic lady who may or may not be consuming far too many sea-souls. Ursula is one of the raddest baddies, because her story is just so over the top. If you would like to write your own story, you might want to keep it in something like the Tobacco, Saddleback Leather Branded Notepad Holder. But do you really? It looks like it got shocked by one of Ursula’s electric eels. Ouch! Who’s Uglier?

 

4. Freddy Krueger vs. Heartless the Branded iPad Air 2 Case

 

Top

 

Freddy Krueger is the heartless dream-wanderer who likes to scare the heck out of psychologically damaged teenagers. Heartless the Branded iPad Air 2 Case had its heart ripped out and nothing remains but a heart-shape brand. Can anyone say Gothic Valentine’s Day 2017? Freddy’s face makes me want to ralph, but man, this heartless brand is just evil. Who’s Uglier?

 

5. Gollum vs. Precious, the Branded Messenger Bag

 

Gollum

 

Gollum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy is one butt-ugly little creature. Primarily, because he’s been corrupted by that magic ring thingamabob. I think that Precious our Tobacco colored Branded Messenger Bag might have held the ring for a while, too. One bag to rule them all! There’s a fat “P-for-Precious” brand on the side of the bag, with an arrow pointed down to where the ring most likely rested and corrupted and lured innocent creatures into doing its evil bidding. Both of these creatures make me sick. Who’s uglier?

As you can see, the Saddleback Leather Ugly & Limited collection is turning out some Grade-A uggos. So, anyway, if these pieces aren’t here when you go to the Ugly & Limited page, the villagers probably chased them away with pitchforks and torches. Don’t worry. We’re adding more every week. First come, first serve.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In this thirtieth episode of the Not Dead Yet Show:

ChiChi and Mongo get sprayed by skunks AGAIN, I chop a copperhead in half with a hoe, and Sela learns about animal science.

 

 

 

 

 

Come see the rest of the Not Dead Yet Series

Subscribe to the Not Dead Yet Show newsletter right now or else be prepared to face the consequences of missing the greatest show ever produced about the Munsons living in tents.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •