Sunday, August 13, 2017

LETS START A WAR.



Before I get into these new builds, I have to air out something that has been bothering me....
 Why in the fuck are the news outlets throwing out the phrase "NUCLEAR WAR" like they're talking about a new APP that makes you look like a chicken or some other barnyard animal?
 I don't know how any of you grew up, but "NUCLEAR WAR" wasn't a phrase that was thrown around lightly.
 Here's the thing...I have a 7 year old boy. This 7 year old child of mine is convinced we're going to die from a tornado every time it fucking drizzles, so when he's flipping through channels and these news stations are spitting out "NUCLEAR WAR" left and fuckin' right, I get the pleasure of explaining what exactly nuclear war is.
 "Well Max, you see, a lot of countries have these bombs. When these bombs fall from the sky and hit the earth...they vaporize, and by "vaporize", I mean they fucking kill every living thing within a 7 to 21 mile radius per bomb, fuckin' crazy shit, right?...Let's go get yogurt."
 There are 2 subjects that a population should not be desensitized to.
1. NUCLEAR FUCKING WAR
2.Heroin
 I was at the gym this morning. They have Televisions everywhere (why? I don't know), 17 times on 17 different televisions I saw the phrase "nuclear war"...that number is only when I actually started to count.
 Local or global annihilation isn't something that you just throw around.
Yes...Our president is getting his ass handed to him in the polls, and we all know that nothing brings those numbers up like a good ol' fucking war.
 Mr. President, I don't know if anyone has informed you, but, you have job security for the next 3 plus years, unless you do something even more ridiculously fucked up then all the other ridiculously fucked up shit you do on a daily basis, you Twitter Critter.
 So, don't mind the poll numbers, you're a one and done president anyway.
"Make America Great"....waiting....still waiting.
 Americans...there are a lot of Americans that are great. You Mr. President...ya need some work.
Is Kim Jong a fucking cuckoo bird? You are goddamn right he is. Crazy people speak of nuclear war, not civilized rational political leaders.
 "FIRE AND FURY"....Brilliant war slogan. I'm in "SHOCK AND AWE" over how great that slogan is.
 I'm not Trump bashing cause people get so fucking sensitive. I'm nuclear war propaganda bashing.
Put me in a room with both of these assholes so I can break down nuclear war for them. I don't even need to do any fact checking, I'm just going to revert back to my 6th grade enlightenment.
"Mr.Preident...Fat weird Korean guy...In the event of nuclear war everything dies. Everything. See that fruit fly...dead. Babies...dead. Birds...dead. Anything that can be classified as "alive"...dead. Everything. Your momma...dead. The lady that fixes your wig...dead. Dead, dead, fucking dead.
 So, you two mother fuckers might wanna figure some shit out.
Kim...you go on starving your people and pretending that you're globally relevant, and Mr. President, you go on making your rich friends richer, and we the people will go on navigating your bullshit and being content with teeny tiny bits of pleasure being sprinkled on us every now and then."
 Watching this shit unfold is the equivalent of watching two drunk assholes arguing in a bar, except these 2 drunk assholes have nuclear weapons in their trunks out in the parking lot.
Ok, I'm done.
 French Country...not out style, but it was damn sure fun building outside of our comfort zone.
When you become so accustomed to building the foundations of your pieces with steel, and then revert back to wood, it felt really weird.
 Everything has it's place and position. When a piece calls for a particular style, you have to be able to answer the call.
 The last piece, which called us back to our roots is a 9' long bar table.
I really hope we don't slip into a nuclear winter, because there are so many new and interesting projects coming in, and it's hard to hit deadlines when you've been vaporized.

Monday, July 31, 2017

DYING AT SEA


Two projects out the door.
 First one is a stereo cabinet with speaker stands.
There was a very unique process used for the side panels. There is a deep texture to the wood created by sanding down the light grain to create a valley in the wood.
 When I say sanding, I mean 3 to 4 hours per panel of sanding and shaping.
Did the customer request that??? No they did not. You do what the piece dictates sometimes, even if it's at an expense to us. In this case the expense was time, and time is more valuable than money.
 The next piece is a bar cabinet for a really cool programmer who lives in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area in Chicago.
 Sometimes you meet customers that make you want to blow their fuckin' minds. We walked away from our field measure saying "yeah, we're gonna kill it for this motherfucker".
 That's the fun part of our job.
Giving people more than they expect.
 Take our leash off, watch us run, you won't be disappointed.
Even though things have been hectic and stressful, you embrace the chaos and let the chaos lead you.
 That's the trick.
It's like being caught in a rip current. If you fight it and try to swim straight in, you're gonna fuckin' die, but if you swim with it, and cheat your way towards shore, you're gonna have a kick ass story about how you almost fuckin died at sea.
 It's never the piece or the work involved that creates the stress, it's peoples time frame.
Everyone is in a big fuckin hurry for a inanimate object.
 Bars, Restaurants...I get it. The doors gotta open, ya gotta recoup that money, The schedules are break neck, for every trade involved.
 We're adapting to the pace, we're learning to navigate the clock.
I blame Amazon for our society's "need it now" mentality.
 I remember ordering something on Amazon, and if I ordered in the next 4 hours and 52 minutes...I could get it TODAY. What?
 That's great and all, but it is grooming our society for instant gratification, and people are having a harder time coping with having to wait for something.
 If you were searching for a "mate", do you really want to fuck on the first date, or do you wanna hold hands, revel in that first kiss goodnight, wait a couple days before you see them again, maybe spend a little more time making out, palm the booty, send em off anticipating 2nd. base....finally working up to that moment ya'll get it on.
 Maybe it doesn't even work that way anymore, because now there are websites you can join where people can just fuck each other.
 I'm a caveman. My mind is still blown that I can "track a package". I don't even track my packages anymore cause I get high off of the anticipation.
 I recently had a killer wallet made from BWEISS LEATHER (check him out on etsy and instagram).
We communicated back and forth about my custom wallet. Once I got a feel for where his head and his heart was at, I chucked all my design ideas out the window and was like "bro, do your thang, have fun with it."
 I didn't want to know anything about it, or the process, or how long it would take. I wanted the artist to take his time and create something HE was proud of.
 An artist is most critical of their own work, so in my mind, if this motherfucker is happy with what he created, then I will not be disappointed...and I damn sure wasn't.
 The moral of the story is...be patient.
Life moves fast enough as it is.
 There's very little gratification in instant gratification.
No Amazon...I do NOT want it today.

Monday, July 17, 2017

YOU WANTED THE BEST...YOU GOT THE BEST





TAVERN 57 (formerly The Wrightwood Tap) is done.
  I'm not a sports guy, but oddly enough, I'm a math guy.
While Tavern 57 isn't necessarily a sports bar, the owner explained to us that the 57 came from two of Chicago's greatest sports figures...Walter Payton and Michael Jordan, number 34 and 23...34+23=57.
 That was explained to us after loading in a 300lb. solid steel DJ booth. That little tidbit of mathematical information helped take the edge off the fact that I was pretty sure I left my spinal cord on Wrightwood ave after squeezing that beast through the door.
 The owners aesthetic, the location, the theme of the establishment, and our aesthetic, all formed a type of mathematical equation that equated into a very warm, slick tavern with just enough edge to lure in a diverse clientele.
 It was some of the most brutally paced work that we have done to date, but a lot of fun in the fury of the build.
 Walk into a custom shop to get a table made...your lead time is always 6 to 8 weeks, in high season you can jack that lead time to 12 to 14 weeks. In this case...32 line items in 45 days.
 If you're in Chicago, check out Tavern 57.
To celebrate the completion of that project, I took Friday off and that evening took my 7 year old to see KISS.
 He's loved KISS since he was about 2. I have fond memories of him performing "Back in the New York groove" in nothing but a diaper, and a little guitar, in the kitchen.
 He's been to hardcore/punk shows before, but this was the first big budget rock show for him.
When we got to the venue, Megadeath had just started and he got as big of a yawn outta that as I did.
 We headed to the food area and got some second rate dinner just as Mashuggah was going on.
We scarffed down our food, headed to stage, I threw him up on my shoulderes so he could see the band. While he was up on my shoulders, he's tiny hands were dangling at my face where I could see he was trying to adjust his fingers into a proper metal devil horns position. With a little guidance, the proper devil horns were positioned and that was the last I saw of those tiny hands.
 All while this child was on my shoulders, sweaty metal heads where "high 5ing" my boy and giving me nods of metal approval.
 As the sun went down, we made our way back to the main stage where Rob Zombie prepared my son for what was to come.
 The lights, the rock cliche' banter, a giant robot on stage...I looked over at my boy and could literally see his little brain processing the performance.
 After Zombie, we had some time to kill before KISS, so decided to walk around and hunt for snacks.
My son had a new swagger.
 He wanted to walk ahead of me, and from behind he looked like a miniature Kirk Hammet from Metallica. As we navigated the crowd, he received more high 5ing, and devil horn exchanges.
 Within this sea of misfits, my boy felt welcomed and accepted.
When we first walked in the gates, he clenched my hand like he was hanging off of a cliff, but with 55000 poorly tattoo'd, stinky metal fans embracing his attendance... that grip loosened, then became non-existent.
 We made our way back to our seats and a massive KISS banner blocked the view of the entire stage.
The stadium lights went out. The announcement was about to come..."you wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world...KISS!
 BOOM! Banner drops, lights blind the crowd, explosions, devil horns up in the air...fuckin' KISS.
This 7 year old boy sitting next to me was no longer a 7 year old boy. He changed.
 As Kiss played on, a chill blew in, and this young man burrowed into me for warmth.
For a few hours we were 2 dudes at a rock show.
 As it grew cold and late, he became my 7 year old son who relied on me for comfort...until KISS burst into Rock-n-roll all night, and he stood up in his seat to sing along with his 55000 new friends.
 These little moments, they're woven together to create a thing called life.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

GET A KITTEN


45 days to flip a bar.
 Signs, bar tops, sinks, stair treads, concrete pads, tables, shelving, sign backers, FRP panels, and a slew of other pieces that I can't even remember.
 No staff, just 2 guys furiously building.
Do I enjoy the pace? Fuck no I do not...I'm old. I'm feeling my years over these last 6 weeks.
 We're in round 5 of a UFC title fight, battered and bloody, but we're ahead on the judges score cards.
Just when we're at that brink of collapse, we deliver more pieces and the owners are happy, and THAT is what fuels us for the next round.
 The next blog post will include the final product, but at this point, we haven't even had time to snap photos.
 A lot of things have happened over the last 6 weeks personally...my fathers failing health and my friends brain tumor took the front row, causing me to question my own mortality.
 We are at the whim of the universe. What that bitch says...goes.
Instead of pondering life and death, I chose to just live.
 By choosing to live, I mean really enjoying the moments that I have.
Reading in a hammock, night swims with the family, water balloon fights, ice cream on the stoop. Those little moments are the living part of life, you just have to see them for that.
It's so fuckin' easy to get caught up in your own bullshit, that you don't see these moments as significant, but here's a news flash...when they're gone...they're gone, and if you missed them because your head was elsewhere, the only one that loses, is you.
 I don't need a lot to make me happy. I'm a really simple man.
I catch a lot of shit because people assume that I don't give a fuck about anything, when the reality is that I do give a fuck, I just don't give a fuck about YOUR bullshit.
 Your boss is stupid...I don't give a fuck...you feel fat...I don't give a fuck...you're tired...I don't give a fuck.
 If you don't give a fuck about all your shitty situations enough to do something about them, then how can you remotely expect me to join your pity party.
 I'm 110% behind anyone trying to change something that they're not happy about. I'm 0% interested in anyone looking to just vent.
 Get a fuckin kitten, tell that pussy about all your problems.
The other day I was in the backyard and somebody decided to go on a rant for an hour plus about their work situation. I was sitting on a bench and literally fell asleep sitting up. Everyone noticed me sleeping except the person rambling on about their job. I didn't need to be part of that conversation, no one did.
 They'll go back to work Monday and guess what...it's still gonna suck. Nobody privy to all the information vomited out during that conversation is able to do anything about it.
 Am I an asshole?
No...I'm a realist.
 I believe that everyone is in control of their own lives and situations. I'm not capable of feigning interest. It's all empty.
 Someone backed into your car? That sucks, get it fixed...conversation over. We could spend the next hour talking about how you've been horribly wronged in such a situation, but l just don't care to.
 There's a very powerful photo I saw of a missionary pouring water into a starving African childs mouth...I want to print that photo, laminate it, and carry it with me, so when someone starts to tell me about their dining experience where the chicken was so fuckin' dry, I can pull it out and hold it to their face and say "real problems".
 You can very easily say "Brian...all you ever do is bitch on your blog"...yeah, yeah I do, but I don't make the 53,400 people read it every Monday, feel free to jump over to youtube and watch videos of monkeys jagging off.
 The real asshole isn't me. It's the ones that entertain the conversation and egg it on, but most likely give less of a fuck than I do. They're just waiting for their chance to chime in about their misery, and I personally don't care to exchange useless information about shitty situations.
 I've given enough advice that goes completely ignored to know better than to make suggestions.
In removing myself from these situations, I've discovered that it's much easier to deal with my problems and enjoy more of my life.
 If that makes me an asshole....Then I'm an asshole.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A REALLY FUCKING SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT



At my age, friends don't come often or easily.
 Our bullshit threshold is very small and the ability to weed out those who are true and those who are not becomes very sharp.
 Dr. Andrew Carr is my friend.
He's a father, a husband, and a Chiropractor who despite the "herd" requirements of insurance companies and insurance networks who want you to spend 5 minutes with a patient, Andrew will spend as long as it takes to actually help a patient.
 What does that say about a man? It says a lot.
Andrew was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.
 Not a slipped disc, or some old knee injury...a fucking brain tumor.
Andrew, like myself and so many others, does not have health insurance.
 Andrew, like myself, would rather sell his own fucking kidney on the black market, than ask for a dime from anyone.
 That is why one of his friends set up a GO FUND ME page.
You don't know Andrew. You don't have to know him. All you have to do is be a part of the human race. We HAVE to look out for each other. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY in politics remotely gives a flying fuck if you live or you die.
 You know what Obama care would've cost me for my family? $1460 per month. I can't imagine what Trumps will cost, and in all honesty, I can't possibly afford it. I do have life insurance for $500k for $53 a month, so it's cheaper for me to fucking die.
 Because Andrew won't beg, I'm going to beg for him because he needs to live. He needs to raise his kids, he needs to help those people in pain that he treats, he is essential to the human race.
There's a lot of human pieces of shit out there that I couldn't care less if they live or die, but there are those that bring something to the plate of humanity, and Andrew is bringing the fucking salad and we all want some fucking salad with our meal!
 $1 $5 $10...it's nothing to you. I just paid $7 for a fucking milkshake. It's not going to end your lavish lifestyle, but it's gonna help a good man stay on this fucking rock that we all inhabit.
 You pay tax on everything you buy, in fact, you pay tax on shit you don't buy, and you don't even think about it. You bitch about it now and then, but you go along with the hustle.
 Throw a couple bucks at something that can help save a mans life.
Please.
https://www.gofundme.com/donations-for-andrew-carr
 I can't even come up with words to talk about the stuff we made this week.
It's stuff...we made it...in the grand scheme of life it doesn't fucking matter.
 I'm really sorry. My friends situation, as horrible as it is, does deliver some perspective.
Love those around you as hard as you fucking can.
 It can all be snatched away in the blink of an eye.
It sucks a bag of dicks and it's not fair, but that's what life does, or at least what it tries to do.
 It threatens to steal hope.
It sneaks up on you and smashes you in the balls when you least expect it.
 Life is the equivalent of Bam Margera, that guy from Jackass that used to light fire crackers and throw em' on his dad while he was sleeping and shit.
 Hug your kids, disregard your enemies, and help those that you can along your journey through life.
If you blow all your fingers off this fourth of July, and you start a "GOFUNDME"...go fuck yourself dummy.




Monday, June 26, 2017

MULLET SCRATCHING



So this weekend we did our first vendor stint at Motoblot.
 It's a motorcycle show with bands, booze, bikes and everything that you would imagine a motorcycle show to be.
 Our presence there was par for the course in terms of who we are and what we represent.
Among vendors carrying t-shirts that say shit like "if you can read this, then the bitch fell off", and patches that say "certified asshole", along with the ones carrying made in China bolt on parts for your 30% made in America motorcycles...we definitely stuck out.
 "Cool shit man" was the phrase of the day, which was good for the ol' ego, but another common phrase was "so....what do you guys DO?"
 So, let me get this straight...you're standing in our booth, surrounded by all this cool handmade shit, and you're asking me what it is that we do?
 "We sell insurance fucko...the stupid phrase t-shirt vendor is across the street"
As much as I would stare blankly at these people while thinking "how are you so fucking dumb?", I also realized that maybe it wasn't such a dumb question.
 We're a Walmart society.
We're conditioned to accept the nicely packaged products that some blonde bitch on TV is telling us to buy.
 We're taught to go buy disposable shit that we don't need.
We're bred to not remotely give a fuck about quality, but be concerned with price.
 We're programmed to not acknowledge the hand that built the house.
So, you walk into our booth which smashes every one of those talking points, and you're left scratching your mullet, thinking to yourself "what the fuck is this", until it's actually vomited out of your mouth, to which I then have to come up with a smart ass response.
 It made me realize that the deck is stacked against us, which is fine because I don't play cards anyway.
All in All, the response was great and the people enjoyed something different.
 All right...picture explanation time...
Chain lamp...I've posted many before, but this is the first one made using a jig.
 We made a jig to keep the chain straight which made the product to be cleaner and much faster to make.
Devils tail wall hanger....because I felt like making one.
 Concrete top sink...This is for our bar build out at what will be called "Tavern 57" in Chicago.
It's one of 3 sinks and one giant bar top all made from concrete.
 Concrete is a really cool medium to work with, and we don't work with it as much as I'd like to because it's stupid heavy and I'm old. Truth.
 New website, more retail work, doing outdoor street fests...we're finding our way.
We're trying new things to see what works, to see where we fit in and it's all essential in order to grow.
 Somewhere there's a dude playing guitar in his moms basement, and he is the best guitar player in the world, but until he get's out of his moms basement and plays for an audience...no one will ever know and his talent dies with him and everyone misses out.
 Get yer dick (or vagina) wet. Go outside your comfort zone. Try new things. Take the plunge, otherwise you'll never know.
 Could have or should have, just doesn't cut it.
This show was exhausting. Me and Zach both missed out on time with our family this weekend, but it's those sacrifices that dictate our future and the future of our families.
 This is real life. You pay to play.
There is no such thing as luck. Either you put in the work or you didn't.
  Anyway...now that the weekend is over, it's back to building. I swear to god that my face hurts from 30 hours of fake salesman smiling.
 Have a good Monday my friends.

Monday, June 12, 2017

SHITTY DIAPERS



Everything you see here is going to our retailer Jaunt in Arlington Heights.
 The bowling alley top bar is a custom order.
We were given "inspiration" photos, and tried to comply with all the little details as well as added a few of our own.
 The coffee table is just us fucking around with color.
I mean...why not?
 Shit is just bland-blah-boring sometimes, so why not fucking blue? Add blue...see what happens.
2 of the 3 lamps are for Jaunt. The 3rd lamp is for Motoblot.
 As much as we'd like to sell as much stuff as possible at Motoblot, it's also a way to showcase and network.
It's a motorcycle show. Maybe someone will wanna walk around with a fucking lamp all day, and maybe not, but what they will know, is where to get it if they like it.
 We've made enough cash and carry items so that we don't totally eat shit, but we want to showcase some bigger items as well.
 We're also going to have t shirts and shop rags for sale and once the show is over, those items will be available at www.makerschicago.com , in case you live in fucking Idaho and don't wanna make a 23 hour drive to look at motorcycles and buy a couple of dirtbags t-shirts.
 I've been thinking lately (you all know what that means) about "moments".
If you dissect an average day, you realize that most of that time is filler bullshit, and the things that define what will soon be your past, are "moments".
 How do you have more moments and less filler time?
I don't fucking know, but if I did, I'd be able to make Tim Robbins bank account look like my daily deposit.
 One thing I do know is that we need to spend less time focusing on what we need to do later and be present in what is happening right now.
 Here's an example...Saturday night, my son wanted to ride his bike. He just grasped the whole bike riding thing the day before and he wants to get better at it. Although it was already 9pm and the house was a disaster from a sleep over the night before, I am in no way going to hinder his progress in the fine art of bicycle riding.
 We went to a school across the street that has a big empty parking lot. Off he goes exploring every inch of that parking lot on 2 wheels, and I'm sitting on the curb freaking the fuck out over everything I need to do when we get home.
 I caught myself.
Here I sit, a gorgeous night, cool breeze, clear sky, bright moon, and I'm sitting on a curb consumed by dishes and putting shoes away?
 It took me a minute, but I was able to clear my mind and put myself in the moment.
The result was staggering.
 Not only did I enjoy the moment more, but I can tell that my son was happier because I was really present in what was going on.
 Yeah, we went to bed hella late, and no, I didn't finish all the stuff that I wanted to finish, but so the fuck what?
 What I gained from being present in a moment, totally trumped all the bullshit that I didn't finish in my self allotted time frame.
 Did anyone die because I didn't put his flip flops away, or because I only did half of the dishes? I don't think so, but I do think that both he and I will remember that moment for quite possibly a lifetime.
 Don't let shit slip past you because you're busy creating laundry lists in your head.
 Immerse yourself in the real, the present.
Time fucking sucks. There's never enough of it, so the ticks of the clock that you get...ya gotta make that shit count.
 As a parent, we love to pat ourselves on the back for all the wonderful shit we teach our kids, when in reality, it's them teaching us.
 Play with me...read to me...watch a movie with me...this is their way of saying "hey asshole...forget about laundry, and be present with me because I'm only going to be young for a little while and when you're the one shitting in a diaper again, and I'm off doing adult shit, you're going to beg god to have all of those moments that you missed...back, and you don't get them back, you just sit there being sad in a shit filled diaper."
 I'm not gonna be the sad old man in a shitty diaper.
If I do end up shitting in a diaper, that'll be sad enough as is, so by no means do I wanna add to it.
 We convince ourselves that all the tasks that we do, are for them.
Guess what?
 They don't give a fuck.
They want you.
 They want you to be present in all their new found experiences.
You owe it to them.
 And ya know what?
The world would probably be a much better place if you did.
 If you gave them the time they needed, then they wouldn't spend the rest of their lives seeking outside approval.
 What the fuck do I know?
I'm a glorified carpenter.
 I have no psychology degree. In fact the only degree I have is deodorant.
I am aware, and I am damn good at reading my kid.
 When I'm over occupied with distractions, his demeanor changes. My goal is too at the very least be aware when that shift takes place, and adjust accordingly.
It's not just about children, it can easily be applied to every other life situation.
 I'm at a stop light, and to my right is a outdoor cafe. Every mother fucker there is staring at their phone. Why bother? Why go out? Is it that painful to engage each other now?
It's Monday. It's gonna be a long, hot and dirty week for us.
 Enjoy your moments.