November 14, 2010

Saturday Shoot

November 11, 2010

Wm. J. Mills & Co. Stonewashed Jitney Cargo Bag

The fine folks at Wm. J Mills & Co. were kind enough to send a few bags my way recently and one of them saw some action over the weekend so I thought I'd share. If you've done your homework you already know the history of Mills as a family business so I'm just going to jump right into the nuts and bolts. The Jitney is a great bag for a 3 or 4 day pack and carry solution. If you're like me you pack quickly and bulkily and you really don't need compartments in your luggage. That's why cargo bags are perfect for people like us. With the Jitney I packed easily for a weekend getaway (that included dressing for a wedding) and had no problem getting everything I needed in it. (Shirt x 2, jeans, chinos, socks x 3, chones x 3, belt, tie, sweater x 2, shoes, dopp kit.) The zipper on the "top flap" is super sturdy and the handles are a perfect length. I used the top zipper flap as an expanded section for more interior capacity but it also folds into the bag to allow the beefy snaps to close up the top. The model I have is a heavily stonewashed olive with washed navy straps. It's a really nice combination of colorways and the stonewashing gives the canvas a great distressed look and feel without a sense of being "pre-broken-in." (I don't know about you but I'm a grown up boy and I really prefer breaking my items in on my own.) Nothing precious here, just machine-washable cotton canvas, sturdy and usable. This bag was designed 20 years ago and, like all Mills bags, was sewn in Greenport, NY. Available February 2011.

I haven't taken photos with my "real" camera yet but here are a few iPhone shots taken on the go and in the hotel:
(Not pictured here is my dopp kit which also fit.)
Packed and ready to go.
 My wife took this photo because she's awesome.
Aerial view.

There are some fantastic photos of the Mills shop and factory here. The content is in Italian so if that's not your thing, enjoy the visuals.

November 10, 2010

Mast General Store

I find myself in Knoxville, TN about twice a year, usually to play music. For the past few years, one of my favorite spots to hit when visiting that fine old town has been Mast General Store. Mast is one of those places where you could spend hours just looking at all the stuff. I'm normally there right before Christmas so it makes sense to stock up on old-fashioned candy and toys, games, puzzles, etc. for stockings. (Licorice Scotty dogs or Huckleberry drops anyone?) It seems like a few years ago there was a lot more American-made stuff in there but isn't that the way it goes? It's mostly imported Woolrich stuff now. The house brand socks are still made in North Carolina and there's a whole case featuring products by Colonel Littleton from Lynnville, TN. (Check the link to the right if you're a stranger to the Colonel.) They also have a whole section of Lodge cast iron cookware. Downstairs is the camping gear and all the footwear. It's almost like an REI inventory truck crashed into the gift shop of a Cracker Barrel only all the really crappy items in the Cracker Barrel (like the John Deer T-shirts and Montgomery Gentry CDs) were destroyed in the process. Yeah, it's kinda like that. Anyway, you could order from their website but if you're ever near enough to one of their locations to make the trip, I recommend it.
Men's on the left, women's on the right. Candy, toys, and cooking in the back.
 You can't tell but these were Paul Bunyan size.
 Mostly USA bandanas. Stock up.
 I stocked up on socks of all kind.

 Came home with a mixed six. Some hot, some mild.

 No Pointer Brand. Not sure why. Seems like a logical fit.
 Made in China. Wanted but did not buy.
 Col. Littleton knives. Already have one of these.

 Woolrich caps. They should carry Stormy Kromer.

F/W Uniform

During Fall and Winter I tend to live in OCBDs and lambswool sweaters. The shirts are nearly always from Brooks or J. Press (planning to get into a couple of Mercers by year end) and the sweaters are mostly J. Crew or Bean. (I don't own a Shaggy Dog but I might pull the trigger this winter.) Whether I'm at work or home, this combo with a pair of Levi's (or khakis) and some boat shoes or chukkas gets me through the chilly season.

November 9, 2010

Knoxville/Smoky Mountains

Had a fantastic weekend east of Nashville with my wife. Began with Sufjan Stevens at the Bijou and ended with Sunday brunch at one of my favorite spots, The Tomato Head. On Saturday we drove into the mountains to see some friends get married. It was snowing on the way up. (Ceremony was outside. Bride was freezing.) Smokies were beautifully dusted in snow. Mast General Store Post forthcoming.