holy grail white t-shirt from Whitesville

The talked about "The Bear" white t-shirts are the Merz B. Schwanen 215 and the Whitesville t-shirt from Toyo Enterprise. I got the Whitesville t-shirts from Rodeo Japan Pine Avenue at a pretty good price of $62 which includes FedEx shipping (no taxes). Not a bad deal at $31 a shirt. I'm more of a navy blue or black t-shirt person so I picked up the shirts in navy blue too. For sizing, I'm a XXL in Japan, XL in Europe, and M/L in the United States.

What makes a white t-shirt great is the feel of the cotton, fit, construction (no seams down the side), and a collar that lasts and doesn't get stretched out too badly. This Whitesville t-shirt is it then because it does feel great, construction is in fact Quali-T, and the collar looks pretty solid.

A few more notes:

  • SelfEdge has the Whitesville t-shirt for $95 and Redcast Heritage out of Madrid has them for $75. I'm happy with $62 all in.
  • I also have Zimmerli shirts but they're pretty expensive, especially the Sea Island. Their Sea Island boxers are for sure a holy grail candidate for boxers that is until you go bespoke ;-).
  • Sea Island cotton vs wool vs some blend make the holy grail t-shirt debate tough. Every material has their strengths and weaknesses.
  • I haven't gotten the Merz B shirt yet, it's a bit pricey so I probably won't. I have boxers from them and they are nice, not as nice as the Zimmerli ones.
  • The James Bond shirt from "No Time to Die" is the Rag & Bone classic flame henley and it is also cool looking if you can pull it off.
  • I'm not sure how you justify Visvim or other white t-shirts from ultra high premium brands. I'm curious about them but not curious enough to buy and try. $690 for 3 white t-shirts? I don't think so.
  • White t-shirts from these old American standbys are fine, not great. Hanes, Fruit of the Loom (fruit.com? really? Fruit of the Loom is also a Berkshire Hathaway company).
  • I'm a little curious about Los Angeles Apparel (I guess was previously American Apparel) but not enough to spend to try out.
  • Also curious about CDLP and their Lyocell shirts, but not enough to buy and try out. I do have a few pairs of their boxers which feel a bit sportier (dry-fit like).
  • Randomly, Is Allen Greenspan men's underwear index still a valid indicator when discussing the US economy? Hard to say.

rice and pasta

A friend of mine was researching what rice to buy and I told her I like Tamaki haiga a short grain rice with the germ still attached. It tastes like white rice but it's supposed to be more nutritious. Anyway, it tastes good and we use the gaba brown, quick, or white rice regular setting on the Zojirushi so can't really screw that up. Tamaki haiga is better than your usual bowl of rice and it's good for rice bowls, stir fried rice, etc. Some more rice thoughts from somebody else. Also, there's no "best" rice. Buy what you like.

Other rice: Anson Mill's Carolina Gold Rice is good especially for red beans and rice but it's a bit too expensive for the trouble. Carnaroli for risotto, bomba for paella, and Kodafarms has good sweet (sticky) rice, rice flour, and Kokuho rose. I've made but I don't really fool around too much with jasmine, basmati, or long grain rice. And I don't like brown rice.

For pasta we go with Rustichella D'Abruzzo for spaghetti, bucatini, mezze maniche, farfalloni, and orecchiette. There's a couple bulk sales a year at Market Hall for this pasta and I grab some when it happens. Otherwise, Barilla is fine and fresh, home made pasta is easy enough.

Bonus: For rice "seasoning", get shichimi togarashi, Queen's gochujang, and Huy Fong chili garlic sauce. For tomato stuff Rao's marinara and vodka sauce are really good. Bianco DiNapoli canned tomatoes are good and this tomato paste from Mutti.

2024 restaurants to try list

French onion soup from Monsieur Benjamin's insta
Sushi Salon

Bonus (likely known/maybe under the radar?) Bay Area food recs:


I'm still buying and using this soap/savon de Marseille. I just cut off a piece, however much when I need it, and haven't had to think about a body soap for over a decade now. It lathers well enough as a sometimes shampoo too. I bought three bars that should last me the next three years. I wanted something simple, basic, and genuinely good quality. Weird to be posting about soap I know, but might be helpful for someone. Also this is a bit of a maximizer/satisficer exercise, I searched for and got the "best" soap, no need to revisit that decision. Kind of a bifl (buy it for life) decision as well.

Other soaps:

  • Claus Porto from Portugal for their hand soaps pretty nice (bathroom)
    • Portugal makes some high quality and relatively inexpensive home goods too e.g. La Graccioza for towels and linens (but already settled with linens)
  • Le Labo hand soap and lotion, Hinoki (bathroom). Pretentious but nice.
  • Aesop for hand soap and lotion, Resurrection and Reverence (kitchen and bathroom). Also pretentious but nice.

Previously tried:

  • Caswell-Massey (almond, jockey club, number six, and verbena scents) bar soap and almond hand soap and lotion. These were fine. Packaging and scents from above Claus Porto, Le Labo, and Aesop are better.
  • Kiehl's bar soap this one is nice, but it's a little pricey
  • L'Occitane verbena – hand soap was just ok
  • And if all this seems silly, Dove soap or Irish Spring are just fine

more "uncrate" stuff

More list of things I don't need "uncrate" style.

Fujimarca MC-711 Manual Shave Ice Machine / $450 I may open a shaved ice stand (pop-up?) one of these days.

Wells WB1E-120V waffle maker / $1409 This is what they use at Ole's Waffle Shop and I think the Waffle House too.

Balmuda Pro / ¥37,400 Not available in the United States yet.

"uncrate" style of a few things I don't need

A running list of things I don't need "uncrate" style.

Faemina is overly expensive but it sure is nice looking and will make some really good coffee drinks. $5760

BlueStar induction range is good looking too. $6995 is pricey.

Eiderdown comforter is the opposite of a weighted blanket, the premium is with the high warmth to low weight ratio. The down is collected from nests and is about as environmentally friendly and responsible as can be. $4800

basic workout and gear

I simplified my workout goals to run 4 miles every day and hope to ramp up to 5 to 6 miles a day at some point. Rest days will generally be Mondays with some ad hoc rest days depending how I feel.

Gear wise, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% are amazing shoes. I used to run in Asics either Nimbulus or Cumulus but these Vaporflys feel way better. They have carbon soles and some nice cushioning so my body doesn't feel wrecked after my runs. It's a noticeable and significant difference.

I'm usually pretty skeptical about heavily marketed gear/features. But I do understand how carbon fiber soles can both absorb the force of my running and spring me forward. Carbon fiber in road bikes definitely absorb choppy roads so it makes sense it would do the same in shoes. Carbon fiber is one of the coolest materials.

The other item that's helping me run and recover quicker is this Hypervolt Plus massage gun. I was skeptical about this too but it works. Recovery is a big deal if I want to actually run every day.

Considering it's just shoes and a massage gun and not like a bike, bike parts/maintenance, swimming membership (for pool access), gym membership, seems like I should be able to save some money too.

polo shirts

Polo shirts are all I wear these days and I've had quite the product journey from Lacoste to American Apparel to Sunspel to random web finds.

My go to polo shirts are the Sebastian style from Orlebar Brown and Adrian/Roth styles from John Smedley. They're both pricey but the quality and the feel are pretty good (moreso for the Smedley polo since it's Sea Island cotton). Orlebar Brown does seem to fade quite a bit over time.

Happy to take other recommendations for polo shirts if you happen to stumble upon this post and have something good for me to try out.