Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

It never rains

Value


What is luxury?
Relationships of substance and value with all the people in your world. The man who cuts your meat, grows your vegetables, fits your shoes, pulls your coffee.
Luxury is not being a slave to fashion, nor trend. Not shopping on sale, only to have more of what is not right. Luxury is having only in your life what is correct and right, and when the time is right.
Luxury is having an extra hour every day to read the paper, eat toast with your love before you leave the house, sit in a park at lunch and watch the grass grow. Even if it means you'll never drive an S-Class Mercedes or send your children to Knox.

What is value?
Value is paying 20 or 30 percent extra not to shop on sale. Value is the extra 50c it might cost to have a coffee that is truly superb, or the extra $30 a year you might tip your barista to remember that you like a single sugar and the milk extra hot.
Value isn't cheap. Value costs money, but it also costs time and consideration. Because if you value yourself, you don't skimp on what's important - time, quality, integrity.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ramen...


Dinner with two gentleman at Gumshara in Chinatown.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Listen to...





Closer (Instrumental) by Dizzy Gillespie, from Matrix The Perception Sessions

The man was a genius.

LandoCal


Another friend worth checking out. LandoCal at http://daywaste.com/


Monday, June 21, 2010

Markmont




Nero from Andrew Kornylak on Vimeo.

An inspiring guy I found through SuperFuture - Mark Montgomery seems to be a modern renaissance man, if there is such a thing - a photographer, designer, clotheshorse and YoYo champ.

If I find need for a logo, I will be going straight to him.

http://www.markmont.net

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vintage desu..





Out today with a newly shorn head, trimmed beard and wearing some old pieces from my trunk o' goodies.

Whitesville Sta-jyan (Stadium Jumper), Real McCoys "Death before Dishonour" T, Samurai Jeans, Wesco Big Boss Boots, Funny Western "Morgan" riders wallet and key tab.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

100 posts

100 posts in on this new iteration of ethandesu, and I thought it fitting I mention why I am
doing this again, and what is great about this community of people on the web.
For all the derision it causes, allegations of trolling and group think, the online community of enthusiasts, aficionados, super maniacs, however you like to call them, is a great one.

The people I have met online that I would not have met otherwise have enriched my lives, as I hope I have them. Not all opinions I read on fora and blogs are as well thought through as they could be, not every taste or style to my own, but they all share an enthusiasm that is inspiring and infectious. If all people approached their day to day existence with the passion some of my friends have, the world would be a better, and probably more Italian, place, with arguments and heated discussions over the most seemingly mundane topics. And because of it, everything will have the opportunity to improve.So here is a shout out to a few friends amongst many that I have the utmost respect for - gents and ladies that keep looking for a better way to live, and more integrity in the day to day.

Phat Guido - http://mostexerent.tumblr.com


Enzo, now at http://tredicielupo.tumblr.com , but some great stuff at http://13thandwolf.blogspot.com. Inspirational stuff.

Hiro at R&Blues - http://randblues.exblog.jp/

The guys at Craft Work Wear in the US - http://craftworkwear.blogspot.com/

The Papa - http://papanuisays.blogspot.com

Heavy Tweed Ivy in Japan - http://heavytweed.blogspot.com/
Gaz and the Sydney Tarts - http://thesydneytarts.blogspot.com
CottonDuck - www.cottonduck.net

MatWat - www.indigofan.com






Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A shoe Q & A


1. What is a last?
A. A last refers to the wooden form over which the flat stitched pieces of a shoe's upper are stretched to give it three dimensions. As it forms the shape of the shoe, makers will refer to the different silhouettes of their shoe lines as lasts.

2. What is a Goodyear Welt, and what are it's benefits?
A. A Goodyear Welt is a method of shoe construction where the upper and the sole are attached through a strip of leather called the welt. The benefits are that it is durable - the stitched on sole is less likely to come away from the upper than a cemented construction - comfortable in that the cork used to fill the cavity between innersole and outer sole molds to the shape of your foot, and economical as the sole can be removed after extended wear and be replaced, giving the shoe an indefinite life span if well cared for in the uppers.

3. What are the benefits of Crockett & Jones over another shoe?
A. Crockett & Jones bring over 130 years of experience to shoe making, also known as cordwainery, allowing them to offer shoes that are more cleanly made and elegantly formed. The leather qualities are exceptional, with colours often hand applied. The means of construction is often immaculately finished, and the last shaped are well proportioned across a range of sizes.
Crockett & Jones shoes are a product at the pinnacle of their art - the quality to price ratio, in my opinion, is the best available in the current market. It is certainly not a shoe for those that consider shoes an afterthought, just as a luxury car or a mechanical watch is best suited to someone who truly appreciates the quality and workmanship inherent in goods of a certain calibre.

4. What are the care instructions?
A. The most important care instruction for any Goodyear welted shoe, after having it correctly fitted to the foot, is that they be rested between wears. Generally 24 hours is enough for a shoe under normal conditions, if it becomes particularly wet then 48 hours would be advisable. The reason for this is that the hard oak bark tanned leather sole, which when dry is hard enough to suffer walking on city streets, becomes softer and more vulnerable as it is impregnated with moisture, be that from external sources or the wearers foot.
Using shoe trees is recommended, as it allows the shoe to return to it's correct shape. For customers that are particularly hard on their shoes, toe taps or dainite soles may be an option. Many clients, particularly those that favour shoe lasts that are extended in the toe box, may find that they wear away the sole at the toe - a consequence of walking fast and pushing off from the toe. Metal or hard rubber toe taps can remedy this.
To maintain the lustre of the shoe, regular buffing should suffice. A common error by many men is to over polish their shoes with liquid waxes - this only serves to fill the pores of the leather, which will then dry out and crack at critical points of stress, such as across the toe. Colour polish or wax should be applied sparingly and buffed back with a soft horsehair brush or cotton cloth until no residual remains. For this very reason, shoes that are treated to glacage, or high shine spit polish, are generally only done on toe caps and heel counters, where the shoe doesn't flex.

5. What is the difference between a Bench Grade and a Hand Grade shoe?
A. The Hand Grades are C&J's premium product, aimed at the shoe aficionado. The last shapes (337 & 358) tend to be a more elegant interpretation of Bench Grade lasts, the leathers tend to be more hand finished and antiqued, and the actual means of production is of a higher quality.
Finished with Channel cut soles - a means of good year welting where the sole is scored, stitched, the refinished to hide the stitching, makes for a more beautifully finished sole more impervious to moisture.
The inside heel edge is bevelled - an archaic practice that has surprisingly good effect - the lack of a pointed edge prevents trouser cuffs being caught and shoe heel counters being marked by a careless step.
The lining sock in the inner sole is extended to the end of the toe, and the shoe is lasted for longer, giving the shape - particularly in the arch and mouth - a more 3 dimensional feel.

6. Styles and their uses -
A. Classic styles of shoes tend to have a hierarchy dependant on their detail and fabrication, with the more formal styles having more formal applications, the less formal following suit.
Generally the simpler and cleaner a design, the more formal it is. Oxfords - a style of shoe with lacing closed at the bottom - is more formal that it's open laced cousin the Blucher. Calf is generally more formal than suede, and stampato leathers such as scotch grain are less formal again. Black is more formal than brown, laced more formal than buckles, which are more formal than loafers. There are always exceptions to the rule, such as the non laced Opera Pump, the most formal of all men's shoes, but in general these rules apply.
The current styles in store would descend from most to least formal as follows;

Belgrave - A perfect formal shoe.
Hallam - A slightly more fashion forward version of a classic.
Edgeware - Fashion take on a plain medallion toe.
Lowndes - A double monk in calf, applicable for most day suits.
Savile - A single monk, which would be more formal, but in suede, which relaxes it.
Clifford - A wing tip brogue, a very traditional day shoe.
Westfield - A cap toe brogue, as above.
Sydney - A penny loafer, but beautifully finished, for sports coats or soft suits.
Tetbury - A suede chukka boot, for casual application, or odd jackets and trousers.
Onslow - Scotch grain Blucher - originally a country shoe, great for tweed or denim.
Chelsea - A side gore boot, it is perfect for chinos or jeans.
Poole - The most casual penny loafer , it is perfect sock less with Bermudas.

7. What are these shoes made of, and what is the benefits of these raw materials?
A. C&J Shoes are made of the best natural materials to ensure a long life to the shoe. Leathers on the upper tend to be calf or calf suede. Calf leathers are preferred for their suppleness and close grain, which takes colour beautifully and maintains a lustre over time.
Soles are either Oak Bark tanned leather, or Dainite rubber. Oak Bark tanning is a means of curing the leather to make it very dense and hard, along the lines of bridal leather, for durability. Dainite soles, like Vibram, is a brand of composite rubber that is light, but very strong.
Inner soles are filled with cork, which allows the shoe to both breathe, and form to the shape of the foot for superior comfort. Shoes are lined in calf or glove leather, which is soft against the foot for comfort.

8. What is a shank?
A. A shank is the support that runs under the arch from the heel to just before the ball of the foot, without which the shoe would have no stability under the arch. It prevents the shoe from collapsing, or bending where the foot does not flex. Generally they are made from steel or wood, and in C&J they are steel.

Monday, June 14, 2010

the young morning



I want to wake to a young morning and the cock's crow.
I want to sink my hands into the earth, or the sea.
I want to smell a radish pulled from my land,
I want to know the time to reap, the time to sow.

It's time we went back to the ground
This isn't how it's meant to be.
I want to see you in the young morning,
The life we've forgotten, found.

If I take a life, it's to nourish another.
My love, my brother, my neighbour, my friend.
I'll bid you hello in the young morning,
we'll be well met this day or t'other.

I want to measure my days in the turn of the season,
I want to be remembered by my children and well tilled earth.
I'll remember you as I saw you this young morning,
At the end of this day, in the winter season.
-desu

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beard


Nearly three months later....


Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Malt Runner


James Squire's Winter 2010 Limited Release Malt Runner

Quite possibly the best beer I've had.


Brown Tie & DB


Hiromitsu at R&Blues, Ginza Tokyo.

I want to start a quality of life revolution

From "Futuristic Jedi Grandpa" - Kelvinsense.tumblr.com

Tasukette!

I've decided my big, ugly mug isn't anywhere near hidden enough under my King George V beard, so I am looking for a ball cap. But one par excellence - A Cooperstown/ShadowCap model. All wool, horsehide sweat band, vintage short brim - the sort of thing that kids in the 40's would have worn to a ball game, drinking soda and eating hotdogs.

With a fellow fan of all things furugi, the search has begun. It appears the guys from Cooperstown disappeared with some not so gentle encouragement from Major League Baseball, but not before selling on some stock to 68&Brothers in NY, and making some cool pieces for Billionaire Boys Club. Anyone out there have any idea where they are, how we can support them, and how I can hide all 59cm of my head?

And with this comes yet another revelation of the lack of integrity in big brands out there. If I was a player in the MLB, and someone came along with a product made with care, attention to detail and absolute integrity, I'd be lobbying the big bosses upstairs to throw their considerable resources and support behind them. There just isn't enough people with the passion to do this, as consumers we have to do what we can to keep them going. Consider yourself a patron of a fine artist, and support the struggling apparell artist.




Birmingham Black Barons ballcap.... Negro League hosts of Willie Mays when he was all but 15.

Updates from R&Blues


Friday, June 4, 2010

I am a cheap wasp

It’s better to have one good pair of shoes than a half dozen cheap ones, because the cheap ones look cheap even when they’re new, but the new ones look good even when they’re old. Quality by definition is the best you can get for your money. If you buy a pair of shoes for $500 and they last you 10 years, that’s $50 per year. If you buy a pair for $100 and they last you six months, which was the more expensive? I think the Old Money WASP guys were just cheap, so they always bought the best.

Bruce Boyer

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Buttons

Plain Anchor button on my MFSC Signal Vest. One of the sleeve buttons on my coat has trhe notorious "Fouled Anchor" buttons, a brief explanation of it's meaning below;














I recently took to my custom Barnstormer from Aero Leather in Galashiels, Scotland, with a score of vintage buttons and some 50's era Dragon Liberty Cuffs..
The Oxford Companion to ships & the sea, edited by Peter Kemp, 1976, has the following explanation:

"The use of the foul, or fouled anchor, an abomination to seamen when it occurs in practice, as the seal of the highest office of maritime administration is purely on the grounds of its decorative effect, the rope cable around the shank of the anchor giving a pleasing finish to the stark design of an anchor on its own. "

Helene Philibert, "Those Carried in the Tops of Ships," US Naval Institute Proceedings, March 1931, quotes Cmdr C. N. Robinson's book The British Fleet [1894] as follows:

"[Up to the late Tudor or Stuart period] the Admiralty badge was a crescent moon with a golden star between the horns, but about that time the crescent was replaced by the anchor which was also used a seal with a motto round it according to the fancy of the Lord High Admiral. When the Earl of Northumberland was in office, the anchor had a cable festooned about it in a wonderful manner. The Duke of York put this anchor into the Admiralty flag. About 1720 the foul anchor which had before been the badge of the victualling officer was taken for the Admiralty and it was put into the seal, badge and flag.In 1815, the clean anchor was restored to the flag, but the foul anchor remains the badge at Whitehall."

Goods with a story...



I always think that the true test of something you own is how it grows with you, how it fares over time, and how it's history or story increases it's value to you. As someone who spends his time in product development, it is this integrity I hope to one day achieve in my own products.




From my Horsehide Barnstormer, my Laguiole pocket knife, my Alden NST's or my Evis "Do Konjyo" garrison belt, I have a few of these things that I love more and more the longer I own them. All of them have their history that makes them irreplaceable to me, and I think that history would make them attractive to other like minded people.




The latest piece I have to add to that list is (another) vintage Omega. A transitional 861 Speedy to be exact, but a rebuilt monster that I would have over any perfectly preserved example.


6 or so months ago I bought for a very reasonable price what I thought was a stock standard Mark II Speedy online. It arrived and looked a bit off, so I took it to my watchmaker to find out the story. What it was, to my surprise, was a 861 transitional Speedmaster - applied logo, tritium dial etc. badly fitted into a Mark II case, with a very precisely, but not Omega applied, Mark II logo.


I thought the best I could do with this piece is bring it back to life to be my everyday watch, so the hunt was on to find all the requisite parts.




First was the case - a 145.022 was what it needed, but that was out of the question. I bought what I thought was a 145.0022 online, but it turned out to be a 145.0055. The difference, I do not know.


The bezel was absent, so I traded the Mark II case for a new Telemeter bezel with the good folks down at Watchco in Melbourne. They threw in a crown for good measure, and my great friened Mr Sintic began the work of restoring it.




Yesterday I picked it up and it is better than even I hoped. The Mark II is still written there - we couldnt get it off without damaging the dial, but in some ways I'm glad - it reminds me of the work I went through to get it on to my wrist...