Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Uniformly Good Idea

Years ago, when I was still a Rockwell employee, I had the idea to come up with a company uniform like they do in private schools and every franchise business known to man (except not so costume-like). As you would expect, the idea was seen as stupid among my peers. And there wasn't much to work with i.e., logos, patches, embroidered clothing so the idea died. But after our family trip to Japan last year I had a chance to see all sorts of snappy uniforms from the swaggering bell bottomed construction workers to the spotless white chefs hats and aprons of the servers at the curry cafe in the train stations. I saw teams of middle aged custodians dressed in pastel pseudo military garb doing pre-shift arm stretches before tackling the trash cans on the train platform. So why not Boeing? We have a gift shop with plenty of Boeing clothing. Pretty decent quality, a tad boring (see picture). Save some on the clothing expense. Boost morale and a sense of pride. Ok, I'm getting carried away. But I need to go to the ATM and there's one near the gift shop. It's time to resurrect my idea.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Robot to the Rescue

The Itos spent the afternoon at the Art Center Open House at the hillside campus near the Rose Bowl. While taking pictures of some of the student work the thought occurred to me that this was prohibited. Yup, it was. I missed signs posted near the entrance to the displays. So, my blog fans, I have no pictures to show. The projects were of a professional quality, take my word for it.

We wrapped up the afternoon at the Pasadena Bristol Farms where I bought Cara Cara oranges, orange roughy, mini blueberry and banana muffins among other miscellaneous staple items. As we were pulling out of the parking space, Elizabeth ran up to the passenger side of our car with a prototype resin casting of her next toy. Today my blog is an Easter egg to Elizabeth Blog fans!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Meet My Hartmann Bag

First of all, it's nice to be back blogging. It's been a difficult two weeks. I was suffering from an irritated achilles tendon (still a little sore) and between the strong pain meds and limited mobility I wasn't up to writing. Hope I haven't completely lost my readers but that's ok. It started out as a personal journal. Maybe that's how it'll end up.

But on to the subject - my bag. A few years ago I went to my local luggage store, Savinar, to get a new set of luggage. I told the salesperson that I wanted luggage that was tough. I didn't want handles or wheels breaking while I was on the road. She said, "Oh, if you want the Rolls Royce of luggage then you want Hartmann." I hated the way it looked. Like my friend, Doug, said, "It looks like something you'd pull down from Grandma's attic." That tweed, the logo, the shape, way too sixties, dowdy, whatever. Fast forward to last week. The handle broke off the Swiss Army bag I settled for so I was back at Savinar to get it fixed. I was also looking for a new laptop bag. I wandered over to the Hartmanns. The look had grown on me. I bought the laptop bag. I couldn't wait to hear the derision from the peanut gallery in Huntington Beach on Monday. And I wasn't disappointed. It was almost universally despised except for my friend Linda who swoons whenever she sees one roll by at the airport (She is having me buy one for her when I pick up my fixed Swiss Army bag). And my twentysomething cubicle neighbor, Lily, is starting to go , "Hmmmm..." as though the derision is beginning to pass and the thought of having something exclusive and secret before it becomes the next Filofax or Burberry's product is starting to gain appeal. It isn't as though Louis Vuitton or Ferragamo is better or worse but Hartmann is under the radar even though all the elements of coolness are there - high quality, retro, unknown, not made in a third world country. And they hardly advertise so the price isn't gobbled up by fancy ads.