Saturday, July 19, 2008

Australia Day

As most of you know, I typically wear an Australian Navy hat.

The hat means a great deal to me.

It was given to me by the Australian Task Force Commander while I was in the northern Arabian Gulf.  The hat is from HMAS ANZAC, an Royal Australian Naval Frigate.  There's a story behind how I acquired that hat, but not one I'm willing to discuss at the moment. 

Anyway, I've worn that hat pretty much every day since - for a couple of reasons.  Like I said, it means quite a bit to me. It's unique, you cannot buy them, they're only given out to Australian special operations teams and I'm one of the very few American to be given one.  Plus, the dammed thing is the single most comfortable hat I've ever worn.  And I pretty much have to wear a hat, I've got very short hair and my head gets cold here in Alaska, elsewhere I tend to get sunburned.

However, it's getting pretty worn. My wife washes it upon occasion, when she can sneak it away without my noticing, but still it has faded pretty badly and to be honest it looks fairly ratty. 

I know this.

And I don't care.

However, my wife gave me an ultimatum the other day.  I'm to retire the hat to a peg in the shop or she'll refuse to be seen with me.

Hmmmm, decisions, decisions.

So, I bought a new hat last weekend from "The Hat Lady" in downtown Anchorage.  It's a Barmah Australian slouch hat made from genuine kangaroo leather.  image

I like it. After a week it's starting to get broken in, it's comfortable and, unlike the ANZAC hat, it's waterproof.  Because it's made from leather, it won't get packed with sawdust in the shop, and fading only makes it look better.

The ANZAC hat has been retired to a peg in the shop as directed.

So in honor of my new Australian hat, have a listen to the unofficial Australian National Anthem.  Yeah, it's a little Colin Hay and Men at Work:


  1. I'm sure you'll still dust off the hat for special occasions. The new one looks good.

    And the video? Just a reminder of how ridiculous some videos were in the early days. Totally literal to the song in places (and acted lamely), while completely incomprehensible in other places. What a mess.

  2. And where is the picture of you modeling the new hat?!

  3. Yes, Nathan, early-'80s videos were silly, which is part of the reason some of us Gen-Xers love 'em so damn much.

    Besides which, the video is secondary: Men At Work were made of awesome, and that's really the conclusion one should have drawn from the video. Maybe you should watch it again....

  4. Sorry Eric,

    but I much prefer with sticking to liking the song...instead of getting all those inane pictures stuck in my brain.

  5. Michelle, I'm sure sooner or later a picture of me in my spiffy new cover will appear here for your viewing pleasure. Maybe even tomorrow, after our trip to Talkeetna.

    Re Video Silliness - I find most music videos idiotic. But ones like this I can laugh at and think "well, at least they were having fun" as opposed to bands who took themselves way, way to seriously (every hair metal band that ever made a video comes to mind).

  6. Second for the vote to see Jim modeling the new hat (which looks spiffy). Glad you're not going the standard route and take to wearing a boonie.

  7. oh dear. Jim in Talkeetna with a bunch of dope smoking hippies. Very nice dope smoking hippies, btw.

    Hilarity ensues, I'm sure.

    If I see any breaking news from Talkeetna on the ADN web page, I'll be sure to share with you guys. Heh. The incriminating pictures might be the first time we see the new hat on Jim.


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