Friday, January 27, 2012

Is It Hat in Here, or Is It Just Us?

When digital artist/professional photographer Dan Wampler wrote and said he was planning to take a few pics of his favorite hat (that is, an original Real Deal Brazil recycled-tarp hat!) with a model or two (that is, a couple purty ladies!), we liked everything about the idea (that is, we were like, hey, yeah, you go, dude!). We just didn't realize that our hat might, at times, be near about the only thing separating his models from being whatcha call, well ... wearing next to nothing besides our hat!

A couple of the artful pics Dan sent us were so, well, whew!, that we simply couldn't share them here. Sorry. You'll just have to trust us that our hat looked fierce, whenever we could remember to look at our hat.

That said, here's several more of Dan's RDB-inspired shots. Some are sassy.

Some are sexy.

Some are damn sexy.

And some are a lot damn sexier still.


Based in St. Louis, Dan mostly does infrared photography ( He's actually the Official Prilosec OTC Infrared Photographer (no joke; the "purple pill" has an official infrared photographer).

This next shot, while really showing off the infrared, has nothing to do with that!

Also, some of Dan's images are included in a free Mac-device App called "Isla at Your Fingertips” (, which has, he says, more than 9,000 downloads from 47 countries. He's now working on a new app, to be called “Caribbean at Your Fingertips,” which will feature his photography exclusively.

So Dan travels quite a bit.

"And I have my standard wardrobe, which includes my 'Cool Hat,' your tarp hat," he noted in one of his e-mails to us. "I got it as a gift a couple of years ago, and I love it. It is the perfect travel hat and has saved my hide quite literally in areas where the sun is strong."

Our thanks, Dan, for the great vote of confidence, and for this extended glimpse into your vividly colored world.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dear Real Deal Brazil: You’re All That and Then Some!

We’re suckers for a little Real Deal Brazil excitement. That said, we received this in an e-mail recently, utterly out of the blue:

“I just wanted to drop you a line to tell you that your hats are amazing!!!”

That’s right, amazing. With three exclamation points, !!!, and like that. As in triple wow, which is, of course, the very definition of awesome. At least in our own dictionary, it is.

So after getting our usual blushed up and stuff over such righteously boisterous praise, we read further into the e-mail … and then wound up even more impressed with ourselves still! See, those hella-pleasing props above come from a source we’re proud as a recycled-tarp peacock to be associated with: Matt Jarman, U.S. Army officer. Currently stationed somewhere along the East Coast, U.S.A., Matt is preparing very soon to go civilian – retiring, as he says, “from an illustrious career as a Drill Sergeant, a Paratrooper, and Air Assault.”

Whoa! Air Assault! We don’t even know exactly what that might mean beyond our “Call of Duty” fanboy fantasies, but it sure sounds wicked dangerous and cool. In fact, Matt signs-off all his e-mails with this: "Only 2 things fall from the sky......Bird sh*t and paratroopers, Airborne!!"

That’s Matt in the three pics you see here, putting his RDB through its paces in snowy off-road mountain-bike fun, a favorite downtime hobby of his.

And dude’s on our side, let’s not forget. So maybe don’t go messing with us is all we’re sayin’. Cuz Matt might jump out of an airplane in his RDB and land all up in your business. That’s just what Real Deal Air Assault heroes do, we figure.

Matt’s great note to us continues: 

“Being in the U.S. military I know how to push things to their breaking point and I am not easy on equipment by any stretch of the imagination. The hat that I got (from an authorized dealer) has survived rainstorms, hail, and even the washing machine (it was getting a little ripe with sweat). Whatever ‘hell’ I have found myself in, it has stood, or better yet, surpassed the test and still it comes out looking BETTER with age and abuse. Your slogan ‘Do not take care of it, it'll take care of you’ is dead on accurate!! Keep it up and thanks for a great product.

If all that wasn’t enough, he adds:

“Thank you for making such a durable, reliable hat that will probably outlast me!!  All while using recycled material....Friggin' Genius!!!”

That’s right, genius. And the friggin’ variety, too. Not to mention three exclamation points, !!!, and like that. As in double friggin’ smart, plus one. As in Steven Hawking, eat your damn heart out.

And all this time we’d just thought we were uncommonly great looking. Now it turns out we’ve got a whole heap of brains, too! If we weren’t already in a serious long-term relationship with our fans, we’d seriously want to date us. Who wouldn’t, right?

But all goof-assing aside here: Thanks a million, Sgt. Matt! Having fans of your caliber tells us we’re getting it right. And that truly is the highest form of praise we can get.