Monday, July 27, 2015

TALK IS CHEAP



We have made a career out of turning what most would deem as "garbage", into either really cool furniture or some pretty amazing environments.
 We spend a lot of time either talking about motorcycles or looking at pictures of motorcycles at the shop. I really wanted to buy a junker and attempt to turn it into something, but never pulled the trigger.
 Zack had bought this Suzuki GS650 off of Craigslist about a year ago. It was listed for $100 but he managed to talk the guy down to $80.
 It's going to be our "shop bike".
We'll use it for photo shoots, trade shows, rolling billboard, but most importantly so me and Zack can go ride.
 The concept is to carry our work over into a motorcycle.
It's not only a functional and aesthetic concept, but it's going to push our creative and technical skills.
 There's no deadline, there's no pressure since summer is almost over anyway, it's just a chance to escape into a new world from time to time and hopefully create another piece of art.
 There's a lot to gain from taking on a project like this.
You're forced to address a whole new world of obstacles that you don't have to address when making furniture. In essence, we don't have enough everyday problems to conquer so we decided to create new and most likely more expensive problems....sounds pretty fuckin' stupid, right?
 Part of this idea came from a reoccurring theme in our conversations this week.
That subject has been "life's too short".
 It's repeated over and over and printed on t shirts and the fact remains that indeed, life is too short.
Building a motorcycle is something we both wanted to do. We could spend the next couple of years talking about it, or just go ahead and fucking hop to it, because in the end...life's too short.
 I'd rather spend time and money at failing, then just talking about the things we want to achieve.
I know so many people with big and little dreams that do absolutely nothing.
 They create a million excuses to stay in their rut and their dreams grow old with them.
This motorcycle wasn't in the shop for more then 20 minutes before Zack was chopping the frame and I was shaping the rear fender.
 I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news, but no one is gonna give you that big break. No one is gonna save you. No one is going to give you a chance because you have a wonderful dream. Nobody actually, remotely gives a fuck about what you WANT to do.
 Take that shit. Make it happen. Don't wait for the "right moment" or some other bullshit excuse,
In order for people to take you seriously, you have to show something, because talk is cheap.
 For someone to tell me "one day, I'm gonna build a cabin in the woods", they may as well tell me that one day they're going to build a cabin on Jupiter, unless you actually show me something.
 Don't get me wrong, I have many unattainable dreams. Those kooky daydreams are the fuel for all the other stuff I want to do and that I can do, as long as I put in the effort.
 I'm not just talking about building shit, those are MY aspirations, but maybe you've always wanted to jump in a cage with Great White sharks trying to eat your face off....work that extra shift, sell those old records, get your ass on a plane, and hop in the water you crazy motherfucker.
 Life is short, so the goal is to die happy. Leave behind great stories, great adventures, leave behind great art, great music, leave behind a life lived and not squandered.

Monday, July 20, 2015

CHECKMATE


This massive farm table was born out of a request to make a "lighter" table.
 We failed miserably.
The intention was there by cutting down the thickness of the base material, but once you start adding braces and steel plates at every stress point, well, the concept of "lighter" goes right outta the fuckin' window.
 We don't really do "lighter".
Our furniture is not only fashionable, but we bring people together.
 "How on earth does furniture bring people together?", allow me to explain, when you acquire one of our pieces, get ready to make 3 or 4 new friends because you're gonna need some new friends to help you move one of our pieces into it's final destination.
 It was fun to give it a shot though.
I've never built anything with it's weight in mind, so when adding that factor into a concept, you added a new element to the build...even though it failed, it was a brand new failure.
 Failure is a pretty harsh  word. It's like "cunt", which is a word that carries a lot of weight. If someone is like "she is such a cunt", I automatically wanna stay as far away from that person as possible. I don't need any details pertaining to her cuntiness, I just know that I need not engage said person.
 Cunt trumps failure because there's no recovery from a cunt, but there is recovery from failure.
If you can fail correctly, something positive will come from a failure.
 In the case of this particular failure, what came about was the realization that we can not change the weight of a large piece, but what we can do is alter the mechanics so that the heavy piece can perform the function that a lighter piece would provide a customer. That function is this case is storage and mobility.
 This piece was based around a rental concept for an event company.
Not every event will call for a 8'6" farm table, so they would need to be able to move and store a piece from time to time.
 The caveman math would be LIGHT TABLE=EASY MOVE, but LIGHT TABLE also equals piece of shit, so, what we did is make the top removable.
  When the top is separated from the base, one person (one semi strong person), can move and safely store the table.
 I had to stomp on my sons innocence on Saturday.
Me and the kid were headed to Mildblend supply on Saturday and then off to lunch. While stopped at a red light, a homeless man approached the vehicle to ask for money. I stated that I didn't have any money, and the man moved on, but my son, in a panic, exclaims "you don't have any money!". Once I assured him that we were financially sound, he asked me "if you have money, then why didn't you give him some?". I was forced at that moment to explain the consequences of bad decisions, and my responsibility as a father to him and the responsibility to the family unit. He looked puzzled by my explanation and asked "what if he needed the money for food? We don't need to go out to lunch, we have food at home, so you can give him some money." So, at that point I changed gears, because my original explanation was pretty kid friendly, so I gave him the harsher reality of the situation.
 He listened, and that conversation was over, but he was visibly perplexed by this new discovery. By the time we went to lunch, he seemed to have forgotten about our discussion.
 We were sitting there, Luke from Mildblend had given him some  toys from Japan, and he was more focused on those then his lunch. He ate half his sandwich,and began wrapping up the other half. I asked if he was bringing it home for Mom before she goes to work, and he said "no, she's gonna eat at work....this is for the man that needed money."
 He gave me a brief look that said...I heard you, I understand, and I still don't give a fuck.
Checkmate.

Monday, July 13, 2015

HAPPY CAMPER




It seems like only once a year I'm able to squeeze in a family getaway.
 This year, we chose to take on camping.
I've been camping several times before, but this was my first time with children as opposed to the previous camping excursions that included LSD and firearms.
 We went with Laura's Niece's family, which was perfect because my son and their daughter are best friends.
 Camping, as you all know, always rides the line of potential disaster.
Weather, bugs, crazy hillbillies, bears and other dangerous wild life are always just around the corner waiting to take an epic dump on your family vacay.
 We luckily dodged all of the above.
It's funny, you don't really comprehend just how confined you and your children are when you live in a big city, until the car doors open on a campsite and the children bolt from the vehicle like a pack of Cane Corsos on a Boar hunt.
 As much as I longed to get away for a weekend, just to clear my head from work-work-work, this trip was for our kids.
 It's our job as parents to create life long memories for our kids. Good memories. Shit that they will talk about at college frat parties down the road.
 I know a lot of people are like "so what...you went camping...we do it all the time", but for me, it's a big deal.
 It's hard for me to walk away from my work. It's what I love, so it's difficult for me to leave it.
My work is always at arms length. I can go to the shop at 4am and work on something whenever I so desire. I'm in control of my work, and I find a deranged comfort in that.
 When you go camping, you're only in control of what you bring, and the earth and the elements dictate everything else.
 It was therapeutic for me in a sense of letting go.
It was also therapeutic in watching these kids let loose.
 Dancing around a camp fire with glow sticks, running down hills (I mean FALLING down hills), looking in amazement at the stars (because they can't see the stars like that in the city). That's the shit that let's you know that as fucked up as you are, you're at the very least doing a good job as a parent.
 We had amazing food, we were comfortable, the weather cooperated for the most part, the children were in their glory, and the adults got a chance to sit and talk whilst the savages ran about....it was GOOD, and it was needed, for everyone.
  It's exciting to go back to work with a clear head.
I was actually kind of worried that I would spend the entire weekend dwelling on the week ahead of me, but when you're so wrapped up in keeping a fire going, and keeping everyone safe, happy and comfortable...the week ahead never crossed my mind...and THAT was the point.

Monday, July 6, 2015

"BUT DID YOU DIE?"



We had been working on a residential railing job earlier in the week.
 I have come to the conclusion that I hate leaving the shop.
It's not bad to get off the reservation every once in a while, but turning someones backyard into a metal fabrication shop kinda blows.
 We had wrapped things up out in the field on Wednesday, and I'm in the shower scrubbing mill oil off my neck when naked as a Jay bird I proclaimed "I wanna build a rolling bar tomorrow".
 I'm sure people do a lot of weird shit in the shower, I, for one, have some of my best ideas either in the shower or in motion (as in long drives).
 I didn't have much of a concept in mind, and I don't really drink, so the schematics for a bar weren't really present in my idea.
 I sent Zack a text, telling him what we were gonna build, and the next morning I got to the shop ridiculously early to start on the bar top.
 I had just enough old growth lumber to make a 4' top, so that dictated the size. Zack walked in, we said our "good mornings", he measured the top, and immediately started cutting and welding.  
 We never not once discussed design or concept, I mean, what's there to talk about?
While he was welding up the sides I finished the top and began working on the service drink rail.
 I had thought about cladding the whole thing, but it's been done a zillion times before. We had an old window in the shop that we walk past a million times a day, just for the hell of it, I measured it, and wouldn't ya know...it was the exact size for the bar face.
 By the end of the day, it was pretty much done.
I think that after doing a job that I wasn't really "into", I desperately needed to do something that I was into. Just as an attempt to keep my universe balanced.
I like balance.
 I like the bad times, because without them, how would you know what a good time was?
I feel like I'm always trying to find the balance in everything...hot days/cool nights, steak and potatoes, fun and work, shark week and more shark week, ya know?
 I remember going through a particularly rough patch and I must have been visibly distraught, because my father-in-law said to me "nothing stays bad forever".
 Those 4 words have gotten me through every "bad time" since that day.
Bad times are the way the universe tells you that it's time to step your game up.
 When people choose to bestow their woes upon me, I always think about that Asian guy from "The Hangover". "My girlfriend dumped me" -but did yo die? "I just got fired" -but did you die? "I got another parking ticket" -but did you die?
 It's funny, I'm not even going through a bad time, in fact, things are pretty good, but those bad times are always waiting around the corner. I don't look at those situations as "bad times" anymore, I see them as signs to change direction or to stop fucking around.
 Perspective is your greatest survival tool.
Here's an example...we're going camping this weekend, we're all pretty excited about it, so for the last week, I've been checking the weather every 35 seconds. As of 35 seconds ago, my phone is telling me that there's a 40% chance it's gonna rain all weekend, but my brain is telling me that there's a 60% chance that it fucking won't.