John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd Take Brian Wilson Surfing, 1976

Growing up, my favorite movie was The Blues Brothers. I watched all the time with — of all people — my mother, who would laugh whenever Aykroyd appeared. She would point at the TV and say to me, “You could do that.”

Some mothers want their sons to grow up to be president. Mine was aiming for Aykroyd. Reading the story of making The Blues Brothers in the excellent comedy issue of January’s Vanity Fair, I rediscovered my love for the film, and for the men behind it.

I found this Beach Boys video on Sasha Lamb’s blog, Workin Nights, yesterday. From Dennis Wilson’s T-shirt (No Sweat) to the “Surf Patrol” uniforms the not-ready-for-primetime boys no doubt lifted from Universal Studios’ costume department, it had me in stitches.

Come on, Brian. Let’s go surfing now.
Everybody’s learning how.
Come on a safari with us.

The Campground

Every time she uploads an image to Instagram or to Tumblr, I think to myself it’s ridiculous to think the world doesn’t know this woman’s photographs. Carolina Mariana is one of my favorite photographers, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite people.

Recently, she showed me photos of The Campground the backyard shed-cum-speakeasy of her friends, Cristin Llewellyn and Christopher Ciesiel. Though it’s still a work-in-progress, I’ve been granted permission to share a peek here. And I’m thrilled to do so.

The Campaign for the Accurate Measurement of Creativity.

When I was really little, like five or six years old, my parents’ friend Greg, a contractor in the small town where I grew up, showed me a device he’d created. My five-year-old brain remembers it being enormous. It took two of my little hands, and then some, to hold it. It looked like something out of a Tim Burton movie. Sheets of metal were riveted together. It was this big silver cylinder that tapered into a cone shape on one end. At the tail end of the cone, a little, pink eraser from a Number Two pencil stuck out. It was a glorified electric eraser, which he used on his drafting table. Since then, I developed a fascination with taking pens and pencils — particularly mechanical pencils — apart and finding new ways to make them work. I’ve attached pen caps to Chapstick; I’ve taken ink and tried to dry it around graphite to make blue pencils; In fifth and sixth grade, I even used to cut Bic pens in half, shove a red ink pen into one side and a blue ink pen into the other side, and sell them to my classmates for $5. Called them “Two Color Shorties.”

This is why, when I saw my friend, industrial designer Craighton Berman had tipped his hat to the current Mason Jar Craze by topping one with a pencil sharpener, I had to jump on board.

On a conference call the other day, Joe Gannon asked, “And how many of you have actually supported a Kickstarter?” Only one of us replied that we had, in fact, put money into a Kickstarter. I’m writing today on behalf my friend Craighton to let you know I supported this, and I think you should, too.

The Campaign for the Accurate Measurement of Creativity.

Hickoree’s Bow Tie

Without fail, the day after Christmas, I will receive at least one e-mail that reads as follows:

“Dude, my (girlfriend / wife / mother) bought me a bow tie to wear to __________’s wedding this summer. Send help.”

And for a long time, one could find several nice videos on the internet that could help. I even posted such a video — one of the earliest posts — on All Plaidout.  

Well, last fall, with the long overdue debut of their bow ties, the Corsillo Brothers at Hickoree’s shared this stop-motion-animation video.

It is the most well-done video on the subject. Hands down.

Also, Emil Corsillo, you borrowed my favorite Carrot & Gibbs bow tie for inspiration four (4) years ago and never returned it. Don’t think I’ve forgotten.

Made Here

One Trip Pass‘ Jay Carroll — the King of the Road Trip — has created a series of videos centered on the work he’s done for Levi’s, traveling and buying up some of his favorite things to be sold in their stores. If dreams were realities, Jay would continue to travel and document these terrific people and their lives’ work forever.

Without further ado, Made Here.

DIY Business Association

Thanks to Meghan Keedy, Amy Cuevas Schroeder, and all the folks at the DIY Business Association for the lengthy feature.

As my business partner Joe Gannon says, I’ve got a few “irons in the fire.” Hopefully, that never changes, but it’d be nice to have one of them turn out really sharp (Is that what happens to iron after you remove it from the fire?).