Archives for June 2010 | A Continuous Lean.

Randolph Engineering | Made in these United States

Jun 30th, 2010 | Categories: Factory Tour, Made in the USA, Military | by Michael Williams

A little while back I took a trip to Randolph Engineering to check out their factory and see how the U.S. Navy aviator sunglasses are made. A few extra photos from the Massachusetts manufacturer are below, but click on over and check out the post at GQ.

Mr. Billy Reid: King of the South

Jun 28th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Men's wear | by Michael Williams

The Billy Reid design space and office. Photo via Mr. Brandon Capps

Over the past two years, Billy Reid (the man and the company), have organized a party dubbed “The Shindig” which takes place during the first weekend of June at the company’s home-base of Florence, Alabama. The booze soaked weekend is a combination of good food, music, nice people and of course good looking clothes. Basically, all I could ever ask for. The party was so much fun it took me a month to actually say anything about it and put this post together.

If you have ever been to Northwest Alabama, it is the picture of laid-back, down-home Southern living. The type of living I could get used to. A group of six of us took a big plane from New York to Atlanta, then a tiny wobbly-scare-the-shit-out-of-you-propeller-plane straight into the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport. As you can imagine it is not a massive airport (on our way home we arrived about 10 minutes before our flight departed), but it gets the job done. The airport serves “The Shoals,” an area made up by four cities: Muscle Shoals, Florence, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. Prior to Mr. Reid’s arrival to the area and subsequent American-fashion-domination, the Shoals were most famous for The Swampers (who are known for a song or two) and all of the the music that has been recorded at Fame Studios.

Required Viewing | Restrepo

Jun 28th, 2010 | Categories: Books, Film, Military | by Michael Williams

This past weekend I finished reading Sebastian Junger’s new book War — which along with the accompanying documentary Restrepo (directed by both Junger and photojournalist Tim Hetherington) — documents one U.S. Army platoon’s entire 15 month deployment to Afghanistan’s Korangal valley, one of the most dangerous places in the world. Rather than focusing on the politics of the War in Afghanistan, both War and Restrepo center on the soldiers on the front lines. The book and film are a sobering look at the everyday GIs that are out there in the shit; dividing their mountainous existence between boredom, firefights, reinforcing their post and dealing with the local Afghans. I highly recommend both the book and the film, which each provide a poignant perspective on the war in Afghanistan, and at the same time manage to avoid the pitfalls of the typical modern war documentary. [Restrepo / War]

"Restrepo" film directors Sebastian Junger (left) and Tim Hetherington (right) at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan.

Misha Pemble is startled by the sound of gunfire during a firefight across the valley with insurgents. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. June 2008.

Two-Lane Blacktop

Jun 27th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Cars, Film, Video | by Michael Williams

A ’55 Chevy “one-fifty” with a 454 and four on the floor. James Taylor at the wheel and Dennis Wilson riding shotgun; no names and no bullshit. Two-Lane Blacktop came out two years before American Graffiti and two after Easy Rider. The film remains a cult classic. Good old American muscle. [Two-Lane Blacktop]

ACL Kodachromes Part VI

Jun 25th, 2010 | Categories: ACL KODACHROME, Americana | by Michael Williams


Jun 23rd, 2010 | Categories: Design, Drinking | by Michael Williams

Over the past two and a half years I have tried like hell to get in touch with the people from Miller because I really love their flagship beer (old=flagship) — Miller High Life. I wanted to be involved, I wanted them to sponsor ACL, and well, shit, I wanted some free beer! In addition to obsessing over their super bubbly deliciousness, I have long been obsessed with the W+K produced / Errol Morris directed series of commercials. I think maybe the Errol Morris spots were ahead of their time. Especially when you consider the what is happening these days with this whole Americana thing. I also think that maybe the marketing folks at Miller don’t get it — just look at the “common sense” ads that the company has been running for the past few years. High Life is a gold mine of heritage, the best bottle shape in beer drinking and is a relatively unbiased product. When I say “unbiased” I mean — that while some people may view High Life as cheap and watery — they don’t attach the same connotations as the Bud Lights of the world.


Jun 22nd, 2010 | Categories: SIGNALS | by Michael Williams

  • Day wrecker: experimental aircraft, exotic aeromachines, oddities, pedal-o-trons and aerial joy. [X-Planes] [Pictured]
  • The greatest behind the scenes video in the history of time. [Esquire UK via Vimeo]
  • The Burberry SS11 fashion show had the perfect soundtrack. [GQ]
  • “What do you call a guy in a suit in Northeast Florida?” (pause) “The defendant.” [Styleite]
  • Esquire has a newish style blog called, well, The Style Blog. [Esquire]