The Beauty of Design: BUILD

In case you’re new to my blog, or me in general, I am a huge design fan. Good, clean, warm, Scandinavian design. The fine folks at BUILD LLC, whom I a proud to call my friends, had a documentary short about them released today that I’m hoping you’ll take 7 minutes or so to watch. Today is a special day for the Swedish half of my family, and some of what the build guys talk about, reminds me of some of the feelings I have about my Mormor & Morfar’s house in Eugene, OR. The warmth that not only came from the people who in habited the space, but the space itself. Vast majorities of their furnishings came with them from Sweden.

The footage dives into some of BUILD’s favorite projects, allows them to speak about their design philosophy, and gives a peek at some projects that influence them. Also check out their blog [one of the great Architecture blogs out there]

Have a look.

Macklemore: Wings

One of my favorite Seattle Hip-hop artists pushed out a new video yesterday. The video is really well put together and a fine example of another of my recent obsessions, Kickstarter. If you’re not familiar with it, follow the link and go check it out.

Since I was around the first time we put it on film at one of Chase’s Songs For Eating and Drinking dinners a couple of years ago, I thought I’d link to that video too, just to show y’all how far it has come.READ MORE


Quakebook – Stories from the Japan Earthquake

This is an amazing project! Quakebook: 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake. In just over a week, a group of unpaid professional and citizen journalists who met on Twitter created a book to raise money for Japanese Red Cross earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. In addition to essays, artwork and photographs submitted by people around the world. Completely crowdsourced (writing/editing/design & layout) thru Twitter and then pitched to Amazon, who agreed to waive their usual cut so that all of the money made by the book & eBook/kindle version goes straight to Japan Red Cross. Countless people worked on it – completely volunteer. [MORE] READ MORE

The Love Letter – Our Hearts Are A Wilderness

I don’t rock climb. It’s not that I am trying to say that I couldn’t climb, just that my current body configuration isn’t conducive to climbing. Although this movie is based in the idea of climbing, it really is only one tiny bit of what the film is about. It’s a glorious movie about the outdoors, and life, and love.

It captures how I feel about the outdoors, and wraps it up in a digestible nugget. It’s a really well done adventure film that lacks all of the typical pieces you’d usual find in one. It’s free of the usual million fast paced cuts, and the overly loud musical interludes. It’s a story, and a great one. An excellent, exhilarating feel good piece that is well worth your next 12 minutes.

Funded by Outdoor Research [whom I now love EVEN more] & Osprey Packs.

From the description on the OR site:

Still clinging to young man’s dreams, a 30-something professional revives his youthful vision of summits and faint trails and abandons work and the city. The Love Letter follows a pair of climbers in search of new and classic climbing routes across the spine of the Sierra, into difficult to reach stretches of the range. In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness restore the human spirit?

Follow Fitz and Becca Cahall on their 300mile journey through the Sierra.

It’s been making the rounds in the climber circles, but I think that it has tons of storytelling and cinematic merit as well. OR is even running a contest giving away gear and such over on a The Love Letter Project Facebook Page. What’s even better that getting free gear, is reading all of the stories that are being posted over there. Really hope filled, awe inspiring stuff. Enjoy. Now go outside.

Glasshouse - Philip Johnson

OpenBuildings – The Wikipedia of World’s Built Enviroment

OpenBuildings aims to become the Wikipedia for architecture, and buildings and is well on the way. The site is brimming over with information. It’s up to about 40,000 entries which sounds like it might be overwhelming, but when you first get to the site [or through the iPhone App] it all laid out very visually. Find something that tickles your fancy and you can move into more details including its architects, photos, media, floor plans, maps and more.

It becomes even more of an attractive time suck once you get to the suggestions area where you can explore more unique buildings that share similarities with what you were looking at. [MORE] READ MORE

Sommarnojen KS-30

Swedish Summer Cabin [my weekend cabin]

The fine folks at Somarnöjen [Summer Fun] in Sweden are building a line of pre-fab summer cottages. Designed by Kjellander + Sjöberg architects, these are beautiful, minimalist examples of Scandinavia architecture, and I want one. Well, actually I want to build my own version of it. The same “livable shed” concept I have been working on in my head now for some time. I have a dream of a backyard [or maybe some tiny spot of land] escapist cottage very similar to what these guys have dreamed up. [MORE]READ MORE

[my] Weekend Cabin

My fascination with cabins, their design, and the feeling that they convey continues. I can truly appreciate the simplicity of this structure. It’s quiet and un-assuming, and allows it’s in habitants to really feel like part of the enviroment instead of just something invading it. Leave it to the Scandinavians.

Design by Aas/Thaulow.

Witten up here, in Norwegian site Dagbladet.no

RC Flying over a Winter Wonderland [Wordless Wednesday]

These guys [BlackSheep] are pretty awesome. Flying camera equipped RC planes at nearly 70kph and at a distance that sometimes approaches 3km. That’s impressive, and when you are dealing with your own hard earned cash, probably a little more risky then flying one of the government’s drones.

They’ve also got a “ground recording” showing you what the pilot is seeing. Just nuts-o. So impressed that they can get that quality of video back to the controller. [MORE]READ MORE

[my] Weekend Cabin

[alert style=”white”] I realize of course that I am “borrowing’ this idea from adventure journal, and more than anything it is meant to honor them not to steal from them. [/alert]

Matter of factly, I have been reading aj for a while, and it’s actually what they say about their wekend cabin that has really kept me interested in those posts of theirs. [MORE] READ MORE

Set it all on fire

I think I may have come to a realization, and I am willing to bet that everyone else already knows this, but … The biggest hurdle to creating change is our minds own resistance to breaking our well established patterns.

I had every intention to make last year, a year of transformation. It started well, I found some motivation and support. I was moving towards my goals of being healthier and lighter. By a stroke of luck I was able to head to Italy to do some biking. Feeling great, and inspired. But right in the middle of the summer I was involved in a car accident that sent me spiraling down. I didn’t feel like I was hurt too badly in it or anything, but after a few days, a pain in my neck was keeping me from sleeping. I figured I’d get over it soon enough and that would be that, but it got worse. During the days, no pain, but any time I’d lay down it was terrible. I don’t know if you’ve ever been sleep deprived, but I am telling you it’s not fun, and I am not good at it. After a bit of time, I decided it was worth getting some medical professionals involved. Unfortunately for me their immediate advice was to stop riding until I could get my neck back into shape. All of my progress and motivation was quickly replaced by anger and a sort of sleepless craziness.

I seem to have buried my lead though. The problem wasn’t the car accident, the problem was how I saw [and to some extent see] myself. In my head, I’m the smart, fat guy who can talk a great game, but rarely plays. I let the accident be an excuse to fail, because it was much easier to fail by something out of my control than to fail on my own. I stopped pursuing my goals of racing in some cyclo-cross races last year, I stopped eating right, and threw my hands up in the air, saying look at what this stupid guy in a big truck did to me.

No more. It’s time to set it all on fire. All the notions I have of myself, all the habits I’ve developed, all of the excuses I know how I can fall back on. Time to destroy them all. I think I’ll even build a symbolic fire this weekend, maybe even burn some things … who knows.

I now know this:

The manner in which you see yourself, your beliefs regarding yourself is what you “send out” into the world…and the world receives your message and provides you with that which you have conceived of and for yourself

So my time is now. To start again, a new, fresh. I’ve got some goals going forward, and why not make them real by writing them down.


  • Get outside – I just finished reading Last Child in the Woods, and I now consider it a moral imperative to spend more time outside, with the family or alone.
  • Stop eating crap – Yeah I know, shouldn’t be mind blowing right … but there it is. I’m going with much less processed, no xtra sugary things, and a basic concept of if it didn’t exist 150 years ago … I’m not going to eat it, diet.
  • Be a better human – Be the kind of person my mother wanted me to be. Be the kind of person I want my children to be.
  • Lead by example – I’ve always felt like a moral person in my head, but looking back over my actions, I didn’t always make the best decisions [that’s a whole other blog post, maybe we’ll get into it later]. Live how I think people should live. I am my brothers keeper, time to start looking after him

I’m sure there will be more, and I’ll update the list as time passes. I realize that there are about 4.5 folks who will have gotten this far in such a rambling post, and I thank you, but if you’ll excuse me now, I have a fire to build.

Bridgedale Socks

Geeking out … over socks?

Over socks you say? As it turns out, I have the innate ability to geek out over anything. I’m one of those guys that when I want to do something, I feel compelled to dive really deep in to it. As an aside I was just having this very conversation with a friend of mine, The Bikehugger, about how he is a bike geek, and is really delving into photography, and I am a photo geek really delving into bikes. Not necessarily into all of the little technical facts, but how they make me [us] feel.READ MORE