Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Dad is a Genius
(and I’m Potentially a Serial Killer)

You may think you know a lot about me but I bet you don't know this: my dad is a genius.

He already had a lot going for him on his life resume: computer scientist, first name inventor on two patents, former college football player, and 50% responsible for producing me.  I didn’t think he could fit much more on there but he did: Master Craftsman.

I don’t know exactly how it happened.  All I know is that it started with an unassuming table saw from a relative.  The next thing you know, birdhouses started popping up all over our yard.  At first, they were just a simple one bedroom-and-a-perch type of deal.  Nothing alarming.

But they started getting more and more elaborate until it got to the point where I came home one week in June to find at least seven birdhouses staggered all over the backyard.  Let me clarify: seven extremely ornate birdhouses. One had the Ravens logo transposed on the side.  At least five of them were replicas of various churches.  One legitimately had marble steps and a stained-glass window.

It was simultaneously amazing and creepy.  Luckily, I think my dad realized that pretty soon the neighbors would start getting suspicious (plus, I imagine our birdseed bill was through the roof) so he started to expand.

The next time I came home, we had 20 new coasters, a wine rack, a new island in the kitchen, two end tables, and a few cutting boards.  (And three new birdhouses… he couldn’t resist.)

My dad’s workplace had also expanded.  Last Christmas, my dad gave me the grand tour of what was once a garage with a table saw sitting in the middle.  My dad has added about two more saws to the collection, a whole array of other gizmos whose purpose I have no idea, a custom built work bench, custom cabinets, a space heater, and (le pièce de résistance) a 20 inch TV screen mounted to the wall for football viewing purposes.

My mom says she sees a lot less of him now days.

Why am I telling you this?  Because I’m convinced that my dad is a genius and I just want everyone to know.  I tell him that he should try to sell some of the things he’s made.  For example, last week he mailed me a surprise-ish gift: an awesome handmade, rock maple and red oak cutting board.

He and my mom also included a few more gifts with the cutting board, which makes this post title at least somewhat relevant.  In my excitement over getting a package (which was delivered to my office), I frantically ripped it open the moment I got to my desk.

It turns out that the extra gifts included a heavy-duty kitchen knife for cutting things on my new cutting board.  It makes sense in context, but doesn’t make much sense if you only saw me hysterically pulling a seven inch knife from a box in the middle of my office.

But the good news is that I still have my job and I also have a brand new cutting board, kitchen knife, and meat thermometer.  Some steaks will most certainly be in order.

In the meantime, I’m trying to convince my dad to get a feel for the market.  I think that quality homemade, personalized cutting boards would be an absolute hit, especially as gifts.  I mean, Williams-Sonoma doesn’t seem to be doing too bad.

So this is where I ask you: do you think there’s a market for these things?  (Of course, nothing protected by copyright.)  And if so, has anyone tried selling something like this before?  The only online shops I really know about are Etsy shops, but I’m not sure if my dad's woodwork will fit in among the dainty, handmade jewelry there.

So tell me what you think, people; the stage is yours!

Want more tea? Have a second cup!
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