Denim uberpost

There are two new pairs of jeans in the .Bro family - a pair of euro-hip Nudie Straight Svens and a pair of classic-Americana Levi's 501xx Shrink-to-Fits.

Let's meet them -

Nudie is a Swedish brand, but their jeans are made in Italy and I ordered them from a Swiss retailer. It took a hair under three weeks for to ship them to WI, which seems slow in this age of big internet hypercomputer-pipes. Worth the wait, though - they made it and they're gorgeous, even folded up in the box.

I ordered them in 30x34, which fits a tad snug. From what I've read, though, sanfordized dry denim stretches like a ballerina - that if I can get the top button done, that's all I need to worry about for now. I'm about a week into the six months Nudie recommends wearing them before washing for the first time, and they're just starting to feel non-shameful.

The 501xx Shrink-to-fits are raw and unsanfordized - basically, Levi's stitched them together and sent them out the door. I got them on super-clearance because I bought a ridiculously long inseam - 38". I wanted them over-long for cuffing anyway, so the price cut was fortiutous.
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The "shrink" "to" "fit" portion happens in the bathtub - "cold-soak 'em, starch the hell out of 'em, and wear 'em hard" is the advice I was given. So I did, and then Emmett was all, "Day-umn, caretaker, them's some stiff jeans! Mrrow?" After the soak, they're down to a 31x36 and relatively loose through the thighs, knees, and calves. It's a very different fit and style than the Nudies - hipster tight vs. street-kid cuffed & loose.
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(edit: what's wrong with blogger's photo-hosting? I'm finding something else temporarily because I want to get this up...)

Skin Quilt

The title makes this post sound creepier than it really is. Check out the tattoo in the upper-right corner - word buddies! The Skin Map is also a hoot - I'm one of seven words in Madison.


Wouldn't that make a nice cover shot for the '07 catalog? The marketing department agrees with you. Off the presses in three weeks - I'll get all of you an autographed copy.


Don't cry for meee, Burrrrrrito-eaaataaa'!

Wet, Hot Madison Summer

Jesus Hitler Christmas, we're having us some weather outside right now, ayup. I can't hear dealers over the thunder and rain pelting the roof, and both sides of the beltline are a parking lot. I lurve storms anyway, but they're all the more satisfying now that I have grass I'm responsible for babysitting. No sprinklertating for a week!

Update: Pictures of the downtown flooding here

Update: And more photos - look closely for a canoe!

Floyd the doper?

I suppose there are a lot of potential, non-shitty explanations for a positive A-sample, but it looks pretty bad for Floyd Landis right now. I hope that it's a testing mistake or a false positive from cold medicine or something, but even if the B-sample is negative, there's always going to be some little bit of doubt in people's minds -

Fake update: Burrito Eater already beat me to this story.

Discovery news

Could this be true? Leipheimer on Discovery would be awesome, but Jan Ullrich?
While he has been in contact with Discovery Channel, Ullrich said that no concrete agreement had been reached. The team is said to have hired Gerolsteiner rider Levi Leipheimer for the 2007 season.

Also, big denim news is a'comin' down the pipeline, homies!

A brush with greatness (or at least fame)

A customer sent an e-mail on Friday asking which cruiser Hilary Duff is riding in this picture, so I replied to say that it's the Alloy SS. Later that afternoon, the marketing director sent a company-wide e-mail with a picture of Owen Wilson riding one of the cruisers, just as a cool product placement thing. I replied to that with the Hilary Duff picture attached (along with a note about the customer sending it to me, so that he didn't think I was browsing The marketing director forwarded my e-mail and the picture company-wide too.

A few hours later, the sales rep for L.A. saw the picture from me and called our office, guffawing. Apparently, the sale rep has a shop just down the street from his house, and when he's not on the road, sometimes helps out on their sales floor. A couple weeks ago, he said he helped this "really hip-looking young couple buy a matching pair of Schwinn Alloy SS cruisers - he had lots of tattoos and she was cute and tiny." It was Hilary Duff and her boyfriend, who is the lead singer of Good Charlotte (which is some sort of angsty teenager band).

The moral of this story is that you shouldn't get famous. Wait - is that right? Well, something about fame and knowing your roots and Hailey Duff having a giant beak of a nose anyway.


Here's what we'll be yelling at the TV about tomorrow morning (thanks to Velonews for the stats):

Current Overall Standings:
1. Oscar Pereiro
2. Carlos Sastre, at 00:12
3. Floyd Landis, at 0:30
4. Andréas Klöden, at 2:29
5. Cadel Evans, at 3:08

As they they performed in the Stage 7 time trial:
(actual times, then time back from Landis)
2. Landis, 1:02:44
8. Klöden, 1:03:26 (:42 back)
11. Evans, 1:03:32 (:48 back)
18. Sastre, 1:03:54 (1:10 back)
23. Pereiroe, 1:04:24 (1:40 back)


I was sort of warming up to Floyd Landis as a rider I could really get behind, but this seals the deal -
"After Floyd Landis regained the lead of the Tour de France at the top of L’Alpe d’Huez he decided that he wanted a beer to celebrate the moment. On the road down to his hotel, his team car pulled over and the American traded a yellow jersey for a six-pack of beer with a spectator.[ed. note: riders get a fresh yellow jersey every day]"

Are you coming to the American Toast breakfast at my house on Saturday to yell at the TV for three hours?

Fire up the chainsaw

Mel was teasing me (goodnaturedly, I assume. I think. Right?) about clothes, since she says I'm the only guy she knows that doesn't make his mom buy them for him. She's decreed that this belt and these boots are "totally [my] style". -

So I asked how exactly she would describe that style. "Ummm...I don't know? Zombie-hunter?" J.Bro - Scourge of the Walking Dead.

Slate takes on my dissertation topic

For anyone that does research, particularly research that isn't mainstream (i.e. "I'm curing cancer. Or diabetes.") it's always a little bit of a thrill to see your topic hit the mainstream press. At the same time, though, it also gives a Red Bull to that little man who lives in your mouth - the one that's always nagging you about whether your research topic is just a passing fad. No one wants to be world systems theory.

I suppose this is less of a concern if your area of research is cancer. "We got bored with stem cells, so the entire field moved on to 14th Century textile transport. Good stuff there. And best of luck with that leukemia."


Cancer survivor and inspiration and decent bike rider and all that aside, Lance Armstrong made the tour BO-ring. This year, and especially this stage, is amazing - there are a half-dozen people right next to me, hanging on the radio's every word, and alternating cheering and groaning. The time trial on Saturday is going to be like a tied game, at the bottom of the fourth quarter, with all eight bases loaded, :01 left on the clock, and one free throw left. Shit - it may come down to the sprint in Paris!

L'Alpe d'Huez

Other than tomorrow, today's the biggest stage in the tour - an hors categorie climb followed by a cat 2 followed by the ten million switchbacks on Alpe d'Huez. I have Cunego picked to win the stage. Now, you may disagree with that pick, but here's one thing we can all get together on - Tom Boonen is sissy.

Update: Oooh - I was close, huh? Also, Floyd Landis may look like a Nascar driver, but damn that guy can throw down on the climbs.

And here's tomorrow's beastie of a stage - which starts with a 25 mile climb up the hors categorie Col de Galibier. I'm picking Sylvan Chavanel to win and Landis to add 2:00 to his lead.


Here - this is what I like about jeans. These are over 120 years old, buried in mud in Nevada for what was probably decades, and wouldn't look out of place walking down State St. They sold on ebay for $45,000, so they won't be, but they could be. Levi's has two high-end lines of jeans (which most people don't know about) called Capital E and LVC that reproduce these vintage-style jeans. A company called Sugarcane also makes reproductions of Levi's called 1944, 1947, and 1955 - based, shockingly, as accurately as possible on Levi's from those years.

Jeans through time and space

I seem to be on a bit of a fashion-blogging kick, and even though I'm going to lose my spot on the Bare Knuckle Brigade, I'm not stopping.

Selvage, a rough contraction of "self-edge" is a term used to describe the outer seam of jeans produced in a certain way on certain looms. Most jeans are chain-stitched, which means the denim for the legs was cut from the center of the bolt and needs an additional machine stich to keep it from fraying. Selvage jeans are cut from denim that has a loom-produced edge - it's not in and of itself a strong edge, but it does mean that fewer jeans can be cut from the bolt of denim and usually indicates that the jeans are higher-quality.

Here's a cool history of the looms (from Superfuture):
Back in the day, and even now, bolts of fabric would be moved around a lot causing the edges of the fabric to get all screwed up. The edge of the fabric was then woven differently to prevent it from fraying. It was woven tighter.

Old looms up until the 60's were 28-30 inches wide. That's pretty narrow. So when laying out the pattern pieces for a basic 5 pocket construction the leg pannel would be laid against the long side of the fabric against the selvage. This was simply more economical. When the pant was constructed with an open seam, it would clearly show the selvage. The bigger denim manufacturers would produce denim for different companies. And that's where the signifigance of color comes in. For example Levi's would always use Red, Lee=Yellow, Wrangler=White. Currently the color of the woven threads on the selvage are for fashion only, unless you are one of the original companies using your original color.

In the 70's bigger looms were made and it was more economical for companies to use them. More pattern pieces could be laid down and more jeans constructed. Because the pattern pieces were laid down differently the selvage edge was no longer used.

In the early 80's, the Japanese were very into vintage Americana. As part of this phenomenon. Japanese denim companies bought most of the old looms. And American companies were eager to get rid of the old looms for bigger, more economical looms with larger production capacities. As such today, most funtional vintage looms are in Japan.

Tell me that's not fascinating stuff. That's right - I didn't think you'd be able to. Some fashion nerds cream themselves over suits or ties or fedoras or wingtips or polos or whatever - other than wearing them so they fit well, I don't think I'm interested in any of that stuff a tenth as much as I like jeans.

Update: Here's a picture and description of a denim shuttle loom, from the same thread on Superfuture.
This one is owned by the Okamoto Textile Company, located down in Ibaraichi in Okayama prefecture --- typical of the smaller textile companies catering to independent jeans makers (total number of employees: 10 ! ). They do their own rope-dying and have several shuttle looms to accommodate the small runs required by their customers. The total annual turnover of the company is less than USD 4million

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The Ditty Bops

The Ditty Bops, of "Ooh La La" and "Sister Kate", are doing their whole summer tour by bike, and blogging the whole thing. And these aren't ceremonial, fun rides down city streets after the tour bus drops them off - it sounds like they're putting in some serious mileage.
last night's show was so much fun. there was loads of juggling; pins and glow in the dark juggling balls were flying all over the place during "we're not clown's" opening act. thanks to the audience who picked our set out of skeleton's hat throughout the evening. and thanks to everyone who wished us well in the mountains and saw us off for this morning's ride.

Don't get distracted by all the new posts - you can't neglect your duty to scroll down and respond to the leather jacket question.


After too many flat sprint stages, the tour finally moves into some mountains today. This, from VeloNews' live coverage of the climb to the summit of the Col de Soudet, sounds fantastic -
The two leaders are riding into the clouds and coming up to the summit. It looks like they have about 1km to go.

Are dead cows dead sexy?

Do you think leather jackets are a good looking piece of men's clothing? A specific color/style of jacket? A specific type of guy? A combination of color/style/guy?


After to a tip from Spice about a 70%-off sale, M.Bro, Mel and I went to Context, a new upscale men's clothing store, after the art fair on Sunday. The dude there was ridiculously helpful, and I would have bought a pair of jeans if they had any of the 50%-off ones in my size. I tried on some of the non-sale Nudies, which were in the $250-300 range, and was sold. I was even more sold when the other owner stopped by with a pair of Nudie Regular Ralfs that he had been wearing for four years (washed 3x) - they were stunning. I literally stopped in my tracks and stared at them, slack-jawed. Even Mel, hardly a men's fashion maven, proclaimed them, "OK, I guess".

As much as I'd like to keep Context in business, I can't afford non-clearance US prices. Fortunately, it's far, far cheaper to buy from Europe (especially after taking off the EU's VAT) and have them shipped to the US. Kitchener, an online retailer based in Bern, Switzerland, does exactly that. M.Bro, lovely, loving wife that she is, asked whether a pair of Swedish jeans would make a nice early birthday present. Indeed, they would! So, 3 1/2 weeks from now, I get to start breaking in a pair of Nudie Straight Svens - the same upper as the Regular Ralfs I tried on at Context, but a straight leg instead of a bootcut. I'm taking all of my other pants to goodwill and never, ever wearing anything else ever. If you're looking around the site, the prices are actually a little lower than they appear - everything is listed in Swiss francs, which are worth about 1.33 USD.

Kitchener has a nice overview of Nudie jeans, and premium denim in general.


I'm heartbroken that that isn't a small. I would totally rock section in a $1400 purple cami hoodie.

And if me not having that hoodie doesn't bring your mood down a notch, this is no rock-n-roll fun.

A Wager

Will anyone go under an hour at this here 32-mile time trial we gots goin' today? I think no, but M.Bro thinks yes.

From whence Suri came

Since OleNelson isn't up to blogging this, here's a weird Crazytomcruise scancal I think we can all get behind. Spread the word - there is no Suri.

Do not take if you are already on DeathSoon

If you were a pharmaceutical company and you had developed a drug to address frequent urination, would you call it FloMax? Or would you have an IQ higher than a rose bush and call it, say, the opposite of that?

Road Runner Sports

I'm a soldier in the customer service wars, so I like to acknowledge it when some exceptional customer service gets dropped on me. Today, that's Road Runner Sports, an internet-only running shoe company.

I wanted to try a pair of shoes with more motion-control and cushioning, even if it meant they were going to weigh a pound and a half more than my racing flats. I found a pair of $130 Brooks Trance NXS shoes on clearance for $49 - and an ill-gotten coupon code brought them down to $44. So here's what RRS gave me with my one pair of super-clearance shoes -

-A nicely-worded e-mail about my order: "As soon as your selections have been shipped and accepted by the carrier, we'll send you another email within 48 hours with tracking information. That way, you'll be able to click and track exactly where your custom package is as it makes its way to your door. Jason, you're going to love your new gear--you have our word! Warmest thanks for your order!"

-A very nice RRS-logoed running cap for free since it was my first order with them

-A coupon for 20% off my next order

-A strongly-worded note that I should run 10-20 miles in them before I throw away the box or invoice, just in case I want to exchange them (no questions asked, of course)

-A label for free return shipping, in case I decide to take them up on #3.

-They also told me (in private) that they hate Al Trautwig's Tour de France commentary almost as much as I do. Jesus Hitler Christmas, I'm going to wear earplugs if I have to listen to him instead of Phil and Paul for another stage.

What we need is an internet roundabout

While defending his vote against a net neutrality amendment to a telecommunications bill, Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) backed up his argument by explaining the internet to us. What was that, Senator Stevens? Seriously, what?

If anyone has a spare internet they could send my way, I'd like to double up and really get moving on my dissertation research. I promise not to treat it like a truck, but rather like the tube that it is.
There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn't going to go through the interent and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

The audio at the end of the "linker" is worth "clacking" your "hand-mouse" "at", since (1) the transcript doesn't c-ca-ca-cap-capture Te-Ted's tr-tr-trouble getting this interwebsite techno-babble across, (2) doesn't quote someone interrupting in the middle of a sentence with "Oh, sorry - I thought you were done," (3) an aide (presumably Stevens') sighing "oh god", and (4) doesn't contain the quote, "ten, twelve movies at a time, or a whole book at a time. Those aren't you and me. Those aren't consumers. Those are the providers!"


I'll write a more detailed race report and post more pictures later, but here's a nice little summary of my race in Eau Claire today - that's the baseball-sized swelling on my knee that I earned by taco-ing my front wheel when a risky pass went badly.

Update: I just posted the race report and some more pictures.
And on an awesomer note, how awesome are these pictures of the second creek crossing? Pretty awesome, huh? Unlike the race pictures I try to take, these actually do a good job conveying the steepness of the trail - it was like a wall coming out of the creek. A slippery, slimy wall.

Truthy and not to truthy

I'm glad I finally found this video, because I'm afraid some of you didn't see it, and that would be quite a shame.
-Don't murder
-Don't lie
-Don't steal

And if you're from Nebraska, you'll appreciate this. The Fightin' Second! "What else about your constituents are bland and indistinct?"