A road map to Kristian Hansen and fun stuff.

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Today we mourn the passing of house music legend and creator Frankie Knuckles. His vision and love for humanity created a community of like-minded caring people. Thank you for showing me what music can be and inspiring me to become a devoted record collector as a kid. Miss those days.

RIP Frankie! You will be missed.

Good ole’ Chas running up the Hills of San Francisco. 

In this scene he runs straight up Duboce Avenue towards Buena Vista Park. After cruising down Buena Vista Avenue he turns his gazes towards Haight Street as he heads down toward Divisadero.

Running up that hill totally sucks, I have done it before and its not fun. In fact, watching this video makes me feel lazy. Maybe this is the right kind of video to inspire us to get outside and do something!

California Trips 2013

Most expensive Track Bicycle Ever by Cinelli for $47,500 

The (red) foundation which Bono started with his wife had an auction at Sotheby’s which raised $26 million for AIDs research in Africa. 

Amongst the spectacular items on the auction block was one special Cinelli laser prototype built by legendary creator Antonio Colombo. 

This Laser Nostra was estimated to sell at $15-20k, but more than doubled those numbers with an eye-whopping $47,500 with auction fees included.

Urban Garden Workshop Photo Shoot

Last week we had a photo shoot at our shop for some of our products. We are hoping to start an Amazon Shop and perhaps even get some Etsy action in the next week or two. 

One of the provisions that Amazon sets is that all products must be shot against a white backdrop. Which in our case meant that we took a shower curtain and I tried my best to shoot the products with little to no outside light or distractions to mess with the shot.

I found myself spending more time than I wanted in post-production, but I am quite happy with end results.

We now have product shots with our reclaimed redwood boxes in both usage ( hence the beautiful plants) and in static-white backdrop format.

I will let you all know when the products all go live at Amazon.

Updates to come!

Are First Children Smarter?

This morning I was reading this article in the Atlantic which delves into the highly disputed arena of Siblings, Performance and Education. A new study provides evidence that the oldest child in a family performs better on tests throughout childhood.

There are four children in my family and I am the oldest. Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl and we are all about 1 1/2 to 2 years apart.

Now, as a biased and oldest sibling, I would have to concur with the study. 

Since I am the oldest, I have always felt a little bit set-apart from my younger siblings. In terms of scholastic endeavors I tested better and performed better GPA wise throughout elementary and through high school. I went to a more esteemed ( at least more expensive) college. I attended Columbia University vs one sibling who did not attend college vs one who graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the youngest attended and graduated from BYU Idaho. 

What the study does not account for is dreams and desire. My three younger siblings all had different long-term goals. My sister who did not attend college was successful in becoming a Sheriff, my brother took a heavier/harder course-load than I did ( I would have failed at half of his classes). And yet my youngest sister is off in graduate school right now - which is further than I would have ventured into education. 

In sports I rowed lightweight crew and studied Muay Thai. They were extremely strenuous activities. And I was excellent at both sports. Winning state championships in rowing year after year and aerobic to an unflinching degree. My siblings not so much. Hardcore sports were not their cup of tea. But I always had a competitive desire to win. And there were activities I undertook which pushed me to new limits.

Foreign languages and travel have been hallmarks to my personal voyage through life. I have always sought out new places and experiences. Perhaps I felt tired of suburbia, but my siblings have never felt more at home than in California. If there was a way to go somewhere as a kid and as an adult, than I have taken that plane ticket, run-down bus, steel-lugged bicycle and worn tennis shoes to the maximum. The adventure in my heart is infectious. Through the years I have had the good fortune of sharing some of these travails. Slowly but surely my siblings are starting to get the travel bug themselves. But solo sojourns have been my hallmark for over a decade and a half. 

Does my proclivity towards strenuous activity, foreign travel and education mean I am smarter? I would say no. I think it just means I have different goals than my brother and sisters.

As long as my siblings are happy than I am happy for them. Whether one or the other is smarter is of little consequence. In fact, I wonder why these surveys and studies exist. What can we learn ultimately through this discourse? Are the younger children in a family doomed to fail? Should we stop at the first child and say no more?

Food for thought I guess. 

Sunny San Francisco Fall

A Table is Born

Over the last week I have been thinking quite often about tables, coffee tables and comfortable wooden objects. 

The design of the table took me some time to figure out. 

The Design

Here are some criteria I had to consider:

  • What is the ideal length and width for a coffee table?
  • How should reclaim redwood be incorporated into the project? As legs, table top, trim?
  • How much finish should occur? Sanding, planing, rough, oiled, stained, waxed…?
  • How will it be simple, beautiful, and useful?

Build Process

The wood I chose was formally 5-foot 1”x6” fencing boards. It was aged and well-weathered. It was important that each board had life to it. It had to tell a story. Just as important as the character of the board, was its inherent flatness ( no curvature or warping) and lack of cracks.

I needed to have a solid 40” of uninterrupted grain to work with for the table and thus measurements and accuracy were paramount. 

Each board was planed to as close to 5/8” thickness as possible. And was ripped to 5” in width. 

After which I had to consider the binding the boards all together. For this I cut two strips of redwood 1” x 6” to 16 1/2” and laid them on the interior of 7” from the edge of both ends of the boards ( as laid out perpendicular to the direction of the boards)

The Legs

Stability of the table was going to be extremely important if this table was going to be a success. For strength I chose to use 2”x2” redwood. Not only is this wood strong, but it is also lightweight and easy to use.

I mitered the pieces to 13 1/2 degrees and opted for an Isosceles Trapezoid which gave a wide, strong platform for the table top to rest against. 


It was a joy to construct this little table. Its clean lines are unique to the furniture that I have attempted to build in the past. It is not 100 % finished yet - I think I might perform some additional sanding to the top of the table and perhaps even some stain or bees wax. This should protect the wood and objects like my laptop from harm.

This table packs up well, is lightweight, strong and beautiful. Mission accomplished.

Protect your right to free speech.

Highlander with Adrian Paul is one of the best early-90s television series ever. 

Recently I decided to relive the past a little and watch some of its earlier episodes. In The Road Not Taken episode a bike messenger goes berserk, storms into a diamond dealer’s office and with superhuman strength he breaks into a safe. 

The police and fearful pedestrians are taken aback as the deranged messenger takes a hostage. But alas, his mind overheats and he dies. A sad ending to our bike messenger antagonist. 

It always strikes me that the stereotypes for bicycle couriers is always slanted towards “crazy, chaotic, rude, disorderly”. Films and television series do little to change this image, but rather fan the flames.