Shorpy Historical Photo Archive

Shorpy is one of my favorite places on the internet. It’s a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of photos from 1850’s through the 1950’s, mostly black and white. I love seeing snapshots from previous decades: grand scenes of ships and trains, views of life in the city so lush you just want to jump into them, water damaged and dusty pictures of dirigibles. Theres even a search function so you can find shots of your own hometown.

This image of the Guggenheim under construction is one of my recent favorites:

Guggenheim Going Up: 1957

Guggenheim Going Up: 1957 | Shorpy Historical Photo Archive.

I love the Sunlight and shadows on the street, the people walking through not giving a thought to the history they are becoming a part of, the construction worker on the left side of the building hard at work, the construction trailer on the right side of the image.

There are so many images in the archive that are fascinating to zoom around in to look at all the small details. I’ve downloaded over one thousand images to use for randomly changing desktop images.

Here’s another favorite, this time in color:
Barbeque Gas Beer: 1940

Barbeque Gas Beer: 1940 | Shorpy Historical Photo Archive.

I love the cacophony of signage in this photo, it’s fun to see it in full color.

One more favorite:

The Clerical Army: 1924

The Clerical Army: 1924 | Shorpy Historical Photo Archive.

I can just imagine all the sounds in the room – the mumbling of supervisors, fans whirring, keys clacking. It’s also interesting to think how the word computing has evolved over the years.

Go check it out for yourself

Introducing My Next Tattoo

I got my first tattoo on my first wedding anniversary with Maura. I’ve been trying to decide what to do for my second the moment I walked out the door of Exile Tattoo. I’ve toyed with various ideas – cephalopods, skulls/bones, mechanical parts, etc. and couldn’t really decide on anything. I also knew I wanted to have one of the many talented artists I know create it, but everything was up in the air until the Two Headed Beast approached me about coding their website.

The Two Headed Beast is Chris and Mirna Stubbs, two very talented artists, a designer (Chris), and an illustrator (Mirna). I told them I would code their site in trade for a tattoo design. Chris had designed some tattoos for himself and I have to admit that I was a little jealous. I explained my initial to Chris and after some design and critique back and forth, this is my next tattoo:


cephaskelamechYesterday we met with Chet at Mercy Seat and I have a tentative date set to start inking! He seems excited to work on Chris’ designs, yesterday he said “It’s not worth doing if it’s not a challenge”. It should take between six to eight hours in at least two sessions to complete.

In an email today, Chris sent me some fundraising ideas to fund our tattoos. They cracked me up and I had to add a few of my own! He’s getting one soon as well, after having designed mine, he went to work on an idea he’s been mulling around for a while for himself – Chris’ Tattoo. They’re both pretty big and very detailed, they’re not going to be cheap.

His list:

  • temporary lawn service: “grass for tats” (I call weed wacking)
  • donate blood. it will be symbolic of the needle in the arm thing.
  • 1st Fridays we claim a corner and give crash courses in web design/ photoshop on our laptops.
  • shoe shine stand
  • donate sperm… okay no
  • a non-violent bank robbery achieved through the annoyance of begging
  • counterfeit with bills that have subliminally printed the phrase “thanks for the tat honey”

I added a few more:

  • we sell advertising space on our bodies and get logos,etc tattooed in various places. Price depends on size and location…
  • scooter delivery service, delivering small items, not scooters
  • sell body parts, obviously not ones we’re having tattooed. Do we really need two of everything?
  • sell our hair for wigs and paint brushes, it’s big money and if there’s one thing I have in abundance, it’s hair!

I’m excited to have such an original piece on my arm (the left one) – Chris did such a great job synthesizing some of my favorite things.

Maura’s New Studio

I’d like to present to you the newest addition to the Fowler/Cluthe home:

We’ve been spending most of our free time working on Maura’s new studio and it’s all been worth it! In fact I took a week of vacation to help with the siding. We’re so excited to see it near completion. There are only a few more small details and it’ll be ready for Maura to move back in!

I’ve been obsessively taking pictures of the whole process. You can see them all at my Studio Renovation Gallery. Thanks to our friend Mike Mastin and his crew, Mike, Pete, Chris, Randy, and everyone else that helped. They do great work if you need anything done to your house!

Too busy to think

I’m swamped at work – the new semester starts next Monday and, just like every other year, everyone realizes that they need everything at the last minute. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – I love my job, more than ever, but it’s wearing me out. The last two and a half weeks (is it only Monday??) I get home and crash, I can maybe stay conscious for a movie, but that’s about it. I can’t wait for the semester to actually start so that I can breathe again!

But that’s not what I set out to share. This is:

Two of my favorite musicians – David Byrne and Brian Eno – have collaborated again, thirty years after their first incredible collaboration. I’ve been listening to this as much I could all day and it’s great. Everyone that came into the office asked what it was – they were all really digging it.

AND David Bryne is coming to Kansas City in October! I missed him last time he was in town – I’m not going to make that mistake again!