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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
\x34Rants and Raves\x34 includes everything from political commentary to movie reviews
I have a new pair of shoes!
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About this blog
By Stephen Browne
Steve Browne is an award-winning reporter and columnist who entered journalism by accident while living and working in Eastern Europe from 1991 to 2004. He is the author of two books for English students: \x34Word Pictures: English as it is REALLY ...
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Rants and Raves
Steve Browne is an award-winning reporter and columnist who entered journalism by accident while living and working in Eastern Europe from 1991 to 2004. He is the author of two books for English students: \x34Word Pictures: English as it is REALLY Used,\x34 published in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and Novosibirsk, Russia, and \x34English Linguistic Humor: Puns, Play on Words, Spoonerisms, and Shaggy Dog Stories.\x34 In 1997 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Yugoslav Movement for the Protection of Human Rights. He is currently living in his native Midwest, which he considers \x34the most interesting foreign country I have ever lived in.\x34
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By Stephen W. Browne
July 10, 2013 11:21 a.m.



Note: This is cross-posted on my professional blog at the Marshall Independent.

Ordinarily I don’t get excited about shoes, as long as they cover my feet and are comfortable.

But these are really comfortable. I went up to the Mall of America and thought maybe I’d just pick up some shoes when I got there. There was a big shoe store having a sale, and I’m terribly sorry I’ve forgotten the name or I’d give them a plug too.

What I was looking for was a pair of street hikers. A long time ago I had a pair I loved with that name, though an Internet search seems to indicate it’s not a brand but a kind of shoe. I need a shoe that’s comfortable for walking on pavement, with off-road capability.

And they’ve got to look if not dressy then at least acceptable enough to walk into an office in.

That describes my dress requirements in general. I’m not like the late Robert Novak who always wore top-dollar suits to work because he might be called into a TV studio at any time. As a journalist in a rural agricultural area I have dress well enough to walk into someone’s office for an interview – but practical enough to go walking across someone’s field on a soggy day.

And of course when dressing for a Minnesota winter, warm trumps everything.

What I found was CAT – as in the Caterpillar tractor company. They’re advertised as work boots/shoes but I found a pair of brown leather low tops that aren’t out of place in an office casual environment.

Better still, they’ve got shoe laces that actually stay tied.

How did these durn nylon laces become standard? You know, the kind you have to tie in a bow, then double-knot and they still come untied?

These appear to be some kind of synthetic, but woven in such a way they actually keep a knot in them.

It’s a lot easier to face the day wearing comfortable shoes whose laces stay tied.

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