Category Archives: Design

The Cost of Being Cool


You can buy selvage denim at J.C. Penney now. The jeans cost $35.

Pick them up and they feel a little light but that’s what you get for the nearly $100 price difference from most competitors. Roll up the cuff and there’s the telltale self-edge–where the jeans get their name–running up the outside seam. Turn them over and that same red and white seam is on the top of the back pocket, an ugly and extraneous bit of adornment. But, in this case, it serves a purpose.

It says: Look at the damn miracle we’ve created. You can now buy the jeans denim-heads covet in the same place where your father once bought a poly-blend suit and a clip-on tie for special occasions. Never mind that the traditional Penney customer never knew he wanted selvage jeans, much less the difference between those and regular jeans. The point seems to be that it can be done.

So maybe it’s not a miracle, but rather an experiment. An experiment that’s failing.

Read the rest of the entry over at COOP


The New Issue of Hail Varsity in 6 Seconds


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Field Notes’ Memo Book Archive

Aaron Draplin might be crazy, but he’s the kind of crazy I love. My dad still carries these little freebie notebooks around and they were always lying around in the various farm trucks and tractors growing up. Now there’s an online gallery of Draplin’s collection and that’s important.

For a few years now, I’ve had the idea to do something similar, photograph and catalog the large “gimme cap” collection taking up a dusty old cabinet in the shop at home. It’s essentially from the same place, but for your head rather than your pocket. Looks like a trip home is in order.

You can check out Field Notes new limited release, the National Crop edition, here.

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My wife’s envy-inducing artwork

So this showed up on the Jealous Curator today. You can see more of where that came from here.

Things you can buy me for Christmas

Happy Black Friday, all. It’s time to start buying in the name of worldwide bonhomie/obligation. Should the Internet/Santa need some ideas here are a bunch of things most people wouldn’t think to give me. (Though I’m still all for well-conceived surprises.)

Bay State Tartan Scarf

 I remember fondly my time in Massachusetts and nothing encapsulates this better than the official tartan of the Bay State. The blues are for the oceans, the greens are for some hills, tan is for Cape Cod beaches or something and red is for Curt Schilling’s sock. Quite confident that I’ll be the only person in Omaha with this scarf and, even better, it’s a steal at only $27.50.

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Artifact Bag Co.

Got a new story below on Omaha’s own Artifact Bag Co. In my mind, this is one of the most unique things happening in the city, a one man shop that seems to be garnering attention everywhere but here. Let’s change that.

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Mad Men-era Omaha

“Welcome to Omaha – The World’s Largest Livestock Market and Meat Packing Center.”

Ahhh, nothing brings in the out of town tourists like meat packing. Happened across these cool scans of an issue of This Week in Omaha from December of 1963 while searching for something else. The publication was produced by the Omaha chapter of the Hotel Greeters of America.

Want to know what Omaha was like in the era of Mad Men? These pages will give you an idea. Looks like most every place was a lounge of one variation or another (Hawaiian themed, Italian, etc.). Everyone served sea food, boasted of their steaks and pimped the live entertainment.

Against what has to be some pretty long odds, the page below even features three restaurants that are still open.

Johnny’s and Gorat’s are two of the old school Omaha steakhouses that have continued to solider on even as the population has moved west–I’ll save any in depth commentary for a later steakhouse exclusive post–and King Fong Cafe still fights the good fight on a mostly abandoned block of 16th Street.

Images via

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Queen-sized Cans and Princess-packs

Saw some vintage magazine advertising for Storz-ette at an estate sale recently. Considering this was a beer brewed and marketed specifically for women–by the biggest of the Omaha breweries–it had all the usual mid-century sexist trappings you might expect, supplemented by a not too big glass of not too bitter beer. Interesting subject, good shape, but the price was a bit steep. I didn’t “pop on it” in the parlance of the times.

Here’s the full story on Storz-ette from

In 1953 Storz tried to market a new product for women, “Storzette.”  Designed to be a beer for the ladies it was supposedly not too bitter and was calorie controlled.  it also came in a smaller can, 8 ounces, which Storz called “Queen sized” and it came in four can packs called “Princess Packs.”   The brewery noted that market studies showed that many women felt that the standard 12 oz can provided too large a serving.  The beer inside was also different, made to be less bitter than standard beers.  The can even had a pink orchid pictured on it to help it appeal to women.  It’s initial test market results in San Diego seemed positive, but in the end the effort was not successful and Storzette did not last long on the market.  As a result, the little can with the orchid is very scarce.  Storz also used a slogan on its regular cans for awhile in the 1950s, “the Orchid of Beer” which has to be one of the more unusual beer advertising slogans.

Here’s a better look at the cans Storz chose to use. Very Georgia O’Keefe.

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Things to Buy: A beautiful $95 football

What can I say? I’m a tweedy, nostalgic sort of fellow.

Buy it here.

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