Apple T-Shirts: A Yearbook of History at Apple Computer

“The journey begins.”… Steve Jobs used the Zen proverb, “the journey is the reward,” to motivate engineers creating the original Macintosh. Not long after, the phrase was modified for this shirt given to all new employees during orientation.

Apple employees have long been expressing themselves with t-shirt art. For twenty years t-shirts have chronicled events and accomplishments within Apple Computer. Here to view for the first time is the unique talent and creativity of some of the world’s most ingenious employees. Their hard work is represented in over 1500 pictures of more than 1000 shirts that mark the public recognition of the milestones they have achieved.

People of Japan in 25 Pictures

A policeman in his booth.

Rikshaw and his passengers in Arashiyama.

Outdoor eatery – Japanese really use a lot of space heaters.

Ryokan owner in Kyoto.

Snack vendors. The surgical masks are worn mostly by allergy sufferers – which due to a high number of pollen-producing Sugi trees planted are about 1 in 5.

Some take pictures of the cherry blossoms, others take a more traditional approach.

Riding on the Shinkansen.

Kids visiting Zeniarai Benten temple.

In a museum.

Akihabara girl handing out promotional packs of napkins – kind of like a booth bunny without a booth.

On a JR train.


.
Consulting a fortuneteller.

I was rather surprised at home many people wear kimonos. I noticed that a lot of shopkeepers wear traditional clothing, it must help with projecting the traditional image

Another snack vendor.

Shinkansen driver. Don’t the white gloves make you feel safer somehow?

Squid on a stick vendor

Celebrating Hina Matsuri – Girl’s Day.

Cloth painter. My wife bough a shopping bag with sakura blossom design.

Fishermen.

Lumber vendor in his shop.

Restaurant worker.

On bikes.

Nippon on Hudson

What is the the first ever sister city to be twinned with NYC? That’s right, Tokyo, Japan. And nowhere it’s more apparent than in Brooklyn, at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival (aka Sakura Matsuri) that is held at the awesome Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

You know that word that the Naked Chef likes to say a lot? “Pukka”? It turns out to be a Hindi word meaning “authentic” and “first class.” Well, on the minus side many Japanese things in Brooklyn Botanic are not pukka at all.

For instance, the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is a masterpiece of true Japanese garden design. But the house and the Shinto shrine are empty shells and not authentic at all. If you want to see a real Japanese house you have to go to Philly to see Shofuso. I don’t even know where the closest real Shinto shrine is.

Also, would it kill them to have a decent bento? They always sell the worst bentos ever at Sakura Matsuri. They should totally get in touch with Shinobu Kobayashi, Mainichi Daily News bento specialist.

These are all minor gripes though. I love Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic. I especially love the distinctly Brooklyn flavor that it acquires.

How awesome is this lady’s kimono? My wife wore a vintage Haori that we bought in a second hand store in Arashiyama.

Those without cromulent attire can compensate with appropriate coiffure.

Brooklyn badass samurai, wearing dark sunglasses

and cutoff kimonos.

There’s some meditatin’ going on.

And mingling of food.

In the end, you can appreciate the cherry blossoms amongst the throngs of people, just like in Japan. It’s that just that the cops won’t let you get drunk under the cherry trees, like they do in Japan.

It’s Tough Being Boss

Several days ago I was startled by something in a post titled “moving up in “teh company”” in Livejournal’s Starbucks barrista community. The poster said:

“< insert typical “yay me, I’m being promoted to SS” comment here >

So I went to my learning coach class last night. It was very informative and good. I’ll begin official SS training about a week and a half from now.”

It took me a little while to realize that SS in Starbucksian jargon stands for Shift Supervisor, not Schutzstaffel. Over the years I got used to being asked for my SS (Social Security) number, but apparently when I hear “SS” in other contexts my first thought is still “Nazis!”.

This reminded me of a rumor that I’ve heard before. See, I’ve been told that that SS uniforms were so stylish because they were designed by Hugo Boss. It did not sound right – I thought that Hugo Boss is an American company, that was created after the war and that Hugo Boss is not a real person, but a created brand, like Mavis Beacon (see my post about that).

The first place I went to was hugoboss.com. Well, I was wrong, it’s a German company all right. But the website is missing “Company history” section. Suspicious. I mean, usually established companies are rather proud of their beginnings. Kennethcole.com, for instance, has a whole segment about how Kenneth Cole (he’s a real person, I’ve even met him once) hacked New York City rules by pretending to shoot a movie in order to gain valuable parking permit necessary to sell shoes out of a trailer. You can read all about it here.

So, I did a little digging of my own and guess what – according to Wikipedia, which in turn quotes Washington Post, Hugo Boss, the founder of the company did indeed design and manufacture Nazi uniforms, and on top of that likely used forced labour.

Here’s a picture from hugoboss.com:

And here’s one from Wikipedia that I doctored up a little (I changed the position of the guy on the right – the original is here)

Maybe Hugo Boss of today is very, very different from the WWII era one, but they do make some snappy clothes.

Badges And Stuff

I picked up for a few bucks this Univac security guard’s shield. Like many security badges it’s based on a New York State Great Seal. The proportions are changed and the figures of Liberty – woman holding a Phrygian cap on a stick (well, actually Liberty pole if you want to get technical) and Justice – woman with a sword and scale. There’s sunrise over Hudson inside the shield, but without the two boats. New York State’s motto Excelsior (which is Latin for “Up Your’s”).

The plastic laminated id is kind of cool, because it’s a miniature punchcard.

I guess the manufacturers of rent-a-cop badges are trying to make them subtly similar to NYPD logo, yet different enough not to get in trouble. NYPD badge is based on a similar, yet very distinct New York City Seal. Instead of Liberty and Justice it features American Indian with a bow. The other figure is enigmatic – for the longest time I thought that it was another American Indian holding a dead animal or a tomahawk. In fact, it turns out to be a Dutch sailor holding a “sounding line” – a nautical depth measuring rope. Another useless bit of trivia: Mark Twain chose his pen name from the expression “mark twain”, meaning only two fathoms reading on the sounding line.

The five stars on the chevron are for the five boroughs, the windmill is for the Dutch origins of New York City. The most unsettling part, is of course the Justice scales that rest on top of fasces, a bundle of sticks with an axe inside – the ancient symbol of authority. Along with the swastika, fasces has been marred as a symbol of Fascism, to which it gave its name.

Old Hat

Same old album. Here I am, at the shore of the Black Sea wearing my favorite cowboy hat. Man, did I love that hat. It had this feeling about it… The feeling of something a bit forbidden (cowboys after all were an American icon), and a feeling of freedom. My parents only let me wear that hat as a reward for finishing my summer homework assignments on time (which I rarely did), so there was also a feeling of accomplishment.

It’s kind of sad that wearing hats is out of fashion these days. Hats make you feel special. A fedora, a cowboy hat, a top hat, a derby hat. Gone, nobody wears them anymore, nobody remembers how special they are.

I keep meaning to buy a cowboy hat like that again, but never get around to it.

Ow, My Eyes, My Poor Eyes!

One of the things that I hate the most about my job is overhead fluorescent lights. How, how could Mr. Tesla unleash such an evil invention upon us? Anyway, even after jumping through a few hoops to get the lamp directly over my cubicle turned off and talking most of my co-workers into turning theirs off (everyone seems to like it better without them), there’s still way too much glare from remaining lamps.

Short of building The Tent of Doom over my cube I found some relief by wearing a promotional baseball cap that found it’s way onto my desk. Yeah, it might say “Red Carpet With Joan and Melissa Rivers” on it, but the cap really cut the glare down.

This made me remember a stereotypical picture of an accountant or an editor: in cartoons they seem to wear those funny little green visors. Now I understood their purpose – it’s to cut down on the glare. I still don’t understand why they wear weird little bands or garters on their sleeves.

It’s interesting to know why the predominant color of the accountant/editor eyeshades is green. It might have something to do with the green color of the banker’s lamp. I once seen a blue banker’s lamp at Staples, but when I tried to buy it an extremely rude stockboy took it away because it was the only display copy.

These days it seems that the only professionals who wear green eyeshades are casino dealers. I could buy one, but I am afraid wearing it at work would make me look even more eccentric, which is probably not a good thing.

Turns out there’s such a thing as Green Eyeshade Award. Also copyeditors don the green eyeshades sometimes when going to their conventions. Who knew they had conventions too…

It looks like in the olden days eyeshades were worn by accountants, editors, typesetters and Morse code operators. I wonder if early computer programmers wore them too. I really don’t see a reason why nobody except the card dealers wear them anymore – if anything there’s even more glare in today’s workplace than ever before.

Researching the matter further it looks like the green eyeshade is a lot older than I thought. Here’s a self portrait by Jean Baptiste Chardin dated 1775:

Well, maybe the eyeshades are out because they look dorky, like many other old wardrobe elements. I don’t miss the old high waistline pants which really freak out generation Y kids when they see old James Bond movies, but I wish old fashioned headgear would make a comeback. I absolutely love the top hats, bowler hats and fedoras.

By the way, this quote from Great Fortune gave me pause:
“In the 1930s, one elevator to the Rainbow Room was reserved for customers in formal dress, meaning white tie; men dressed more casually in tuxedos had to travel second-class.”
I always thought that tuxedo or “black tie” was just about as formal as you could get. As it turns out that white tie is not just a tuxedo with a white bowtie. This reminded me about a newspaper story about a company that had “dress up Friday” and instead of dressing in jeans men came to work in tuxedos. Apparenly they had a lot of problems eating out – other restaurant patrons mistook them for waiters.

That Tactical Sensation

Today I am going to explore the geek/NYPD cop connection. Let’s see:

Geeks have Dockers Mobile Pant. I am not sure why Dockers marketing people all of a sudden decided to use the singular form of the word, but I guess they wanted to play on the connotation of “panting”. “Mobile Pant(s)” are dorky and ugly khaki pants that somewhat lessen the bulges from cellphones and pdas. I used to own a pair, and can’t say that I liked it much.

NYPD has “Patrol Tactical Pants”. Most New York newspapers ran gushing stories about NYPD being oh so very fashionable with the introduction of these pants. You can still find regurgitated bits of those stories over at Gothamist blog.

Moving on. Geeks have their Darth Vader lightsaber replicas. You can purchase a a cool plasma one with crazy effects or in a true Jedi manner build one out of a Heiland photo flashgun, just like the real thing.

Traffic cops started to appear with red led lit batons – mmmm, dark side color :

You can purchase your own pair of “Patrol Tactical Pants” over at Galls. They also have duty jackets (these are perfect for fishing), buckle less belts (these just look neat) and gloves.

Police gloves are cheaper, look and fit better than most good quality civilian gloves. I always hated wearing gloves because taking them off when I need to pay for something, use a camera or a phone. Some police gloves are made so that you can pick up a small coin in them easily. Just look at these: “enhanced tactical sensation”, cut resistance and “Water-resistant kangaroo leather palms”? Can you say the perfect winter fishing glove?

They also have more esoteric equipment:

Cold Water Immersion Suit – for NYC sewer diving

Rhino® 14″ Wheel Immobilizer – for that dumbass whose car alarm wasn’t letting you sleep all night

Holding Cell and Holding Cell Bench (perps sold separately) : as a gift for everybody’s favorite night club owner

Japanese, Irish and Soviet Sock Glue

I wonder what was the thinking process of that Japanese person who decided : hmmm, what if I take very loose socks and glue them to my legs. Well, that doesn’t matter. Be you a tiny Japanese schoolgirl or an overweight computer geek you can purchase DX Rabbit brand (I wonder if I even want to know what DX stands for) sock glue and matching socks online.

Apparently Irish dancers also use sock glue. Also they probably use the glue on the theater seats for Riverdance performances.

In the Soviet Union a few of my classmates wore socks that could stay up like that without any glue. They also stuck to the ceiling if thrown up there.

Armonk Blue

Speaking of the color. Here’s a magazine that was thrown out by some professor at my college:

IBM Systems Journal Volume 21 #4 1982:
“With the use of the computer as the art tool, our cover symbolizes the interaction between man and machine. Two of the papers in this issue discuss usability considerations for the design and development of interactive systems”.

There is no credit for the cover art, but my guess that it would be attributed to J.F. Musgrave who is listed as Art Director.

Screen closeup:

I like a lot of things about this picture. The sleeveless white shirt, the ugly tie, the beer gut, the coffee mug, the expression on the headcount’s face. The ASCII art on the screen. The eery transition effect in the background.

Don’t you think that “Armonk Blue” would be a good name for a Benjamin Moore paint?