Archives for February 2009 | A Continuous Lean. - Page 3

From the Desk of…

Feb 12th, 2009 | Categories: From the Desk of... | by Michael Williams

From the Desk of… is a window into the world and workspace of some of ACL’s most stylish friends.

This past week Mr. Frank Muytjens, J.Crew’s VP of men’s design, took some time out of his busy schedule to open up his office to ACL’s prying eyes.  After talking to Frank for a few minutes it was clear that we have a lot of the same interests. Everything from workwear to Japan and all sorts of other stylish things. If beer was involved we could have probably talked each other to death.

It was exciting to see the J.Crew offices and some of the work that goes into putting a collection together. Frank even touched on a few of the exciting things that are in the works for what is unofficially being called  “The Newsstand,”  J.Crew’s interesting new men’s store on Broadway. More on that soon enough. Desk details after the jump.


Fastener Infatuations

Feb 11th, 2009 | Categories: Design, Random | by Michael Williams

I feel like an idiot. Chad Lemke has been blogging about staplers since 2007 and I had no idea. I’ve never met Chad and don’t collect staplers or anything, but when I found his blog the sheer joy hit me like a ton of bricks. The first thing I did was email the Stapler of the Week link to Alex Olch — he’s a stapler lover like myself. The email went something like this. Subject: FUCK. ME. Body: This is why god created the internet. Olch agreed. I imagined him giddy and grinning as he inspected the online treasure-trove of paper connecting goodness.

Not only is Mr. Lemke an earnest and well versed stapler collector, his blog is exactly what you would expect from someone who is fixated with paper organizing devices. Text, coherent and exactly justified in tidy columns with beautiful photography on pristine white backgrounds. Layout simple and uncluttered. The blog is very well done. This discovery renews my sense of pride in Americans. We can obsesses over the most arcane subjects just as well as the Japanese. For that Chad, I salute you. Visit, bookmark and read Stapler of the Week.


Changing New York | 1935-1938

Feb 10th, 2009 | Categories: New York City | by Michael Williams

The New York Public Library has a terrific Flickr set by photographer (and Ohio native) Berenice Abbott. During the rough economic times of the 1930s the federal government funded various projects for unemployed artists and workers in related fields such as advertising, graphic design, illustration, photofinishing, and publishing. Under this program the Federal Art Project commissioned Abbott’s Changing New York, a massive undertaking to document New York City. Eventually the photographs ended up being published in a book that was released at the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow New York. The photographs were also distributed to various public institutions throughout the area. It would be interesting to see if our current government would ever have the foresight to commission such projects today, or maybe that money is tied up in Citigroup’s Falcon 7x.

Obsession | International Harvester Scout

Feb 9th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Cars, Obsessions | by Michael Williams

My obsession with boxy SUVs first touched on the Bronco II and now shifts to International Harvester’s Scout. Often considered one of the first sport utility vehicles, the Scout is an American classic with a cult following. A few months back there was an excellent article in the Oregonian about 90 year-old Scout dealer Ernie Bisio. Take a few minutes and read the article on Ernie and watch the video below. They don’t make ‘em like the Scout anymore, but they really don’t make ‘em like Ernie.


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Feb 8th, 2009 | Categories: Housekeeping | by Michael Williams

A small note of housekeeping to let you know that there are many ways to enjoy A Continuous Lean. Receive posts once daily via email. Or catch the extra commentary (sometimes drunken) on ACL’s Twitter. Do you have other thoughts, comments, suggestions? Send them over to mw [at] acontinuouslean [dot] com or just comment below.


WWII Postage Meter Stamps

Feb 5th, 2009 | Categories: Design | by Michael Williams

Its the little things in life that are interesting. I bet you never even thought about postage meter stamps, well that means you are missing out on the Meter Stamp Society. This is one small dorky step above collecting coins (sorry Robbie), or even actual stamps.  Some of my favorite WWII varieties below.


Return of the Boater

Feb 4th, 2009 | Categories: Style | by Michael Williams

Will the boater be that hat of the summer? I have to think that it will be hard to pull off, but I would love to see it happen.