July 31, 2010

Archival Steele Canvas Tote

I'll be honest:  I'm not into guys carrying tote bags.  Girls with totes?  Great.  But at the risk of being unpopular I have to admit that for guys, I think they're kind of....well....soft.  They're a little too much like a purse, maybe?  Don't get me wrong, if you're on a boat, or at the beach, or the flea market, or out shopping for locally grown produce at the neighborhood farmer's market, I get it.  You need a bag.  We have one of those extra large L.L. Bean numbers for family beach/pool trips and it's great.  That's a family bag.  But I don't see why a guy on the street needs a tote.  But I live in Tennessee.

That being said, if I was going to buy a tote bag for a guy who boats/goes to the beach/flea market/farmer's market I would probably get this one.

For one, I really believe in what those crazy kids at Archival Clothing are doing and I want to see them keep on doing it.  They haven't announced a product that I haven't thought was great.  Also, the "U.S." stenciled on this bag suddenly makes it much more than a tote.  It's a utility bag with a military feel.  It's a bag for an American guy who needs to accomplish some American things.  Great for running into Trader Joe's to pick up some gluten-free pasta on the way home from the office, but even better for building a country with your bare hands.  And lastly, this is a Steele bag.  If you've spent much time in an industrial/warehousing environment like I have, you are no doubt familiar with the durability of Steele canvas products.  They're tough.
Steele at work in my life.

Now if you're someone who is already familiar with the Steele family of products, you may be asking yourself, "What's the difference between this special edition Archival Clothing tote for $65 and the standard canvas tote available directly from Steele for prices ranging from about $30 to about $40?" (Pictured below.)
I asked the same question.  Only I asked Archival Clothing via twitter.  And here's the answer I received:

"Tweaked dimensions.  Longer handle.  Internal pocket. Super stout #4 duck.  Not stock #8 duck.  U.S. stencil logo."  

So there you go.  It's different.  Is it $25 different?  I don't know.  I'm sure it's tougher.  And I love that U.S. logo.

So guys, if you had one of these what would you fill it with and when would you carry it?

July 29, 2010

Is there a doctor in the house?

I don't normally don't bother with soft drinks, mainly because I hate the thought of all that high fructose corn syrup.  But this Dr. Pepper is made with real Imperial Sugar and it tastes delicious.  (There's no indication on the packaging that this is part of the "Heritage" or "Throwback" movement in soda pop sweetening.)  I'm pretty sure this was bottled in Temple or Abilene, TX rather than the more famous Dublin, TX bottling plant but either way it's pretty hard to find in my neck of the woods.  I ran across this six at a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma last weekend and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was the best Dr. Pepper I have ever tasted.  I enjoyed it at 10, 2, and 4.

July 28, 2010

Good Mail: Archival Clothing Belt

Grab one of these.  In a word: tough.  In two words: tough and handsome.  Made in Springfield, OR, it's what your pants are missing.

July 19, 2010

Eye-Catcher: LL Bean Signature Boots FW2010

So far, these boots have been the only offering from the forthcoming LL Bean Signature collection that I have looked twice at.  Now, if only they were being made stateside.  (But then they'd be more than $149.)

July 11, 2010

Sunday Sightings: Ford Edition

Spotted a few vehicles of note while out and about in Nashville today.  As it happens, they were all Fords.

While I was gassing up in the Woodbine area I noticed this 1979 Ford Custom with its original topper (filled with fishing rods.)  This thing was hauling a pretty nice boat and its owner was decked out in matching stars & bars t-shirt and shorts.  He and the family were packing the cooler for a day at the lake when I stopped to comment.  I don't care for those wheels but otherwise, this truck is boss.

In Berry Hill, I pulled over for this 1959 Thunderbird.  It had a couple of rear lights missing but other than that it was mint inside and out.

And finally, on the way back home I passed this duo from 1961:  a Falcon sedan and a mildly hot-rodded Ranchero.  Both in decent shape but not so slick that they would fetch top dollar (as go Falcons and Rancheros.)

July 5, 2010

Thoughts On Fox Hunting // Melvin Poe

Watch the full documentary here.  (WARNING: Be prepared to see a fox get torn apart by dogs.)