Posts by: seth

Seth Gray is Founder and Chief Leather Craftsman at Beauty and the Biker where he designs and produces handmade leather goods that'll outlast you. Other, equally important things: husband to Alaina Shearer, father to 4 kids, musician, and motorcycle enthusiast.

Stay At Home Dad, Work From Home Dad

I tend to obsess. Not, like OCD obsess, where it’s compulsive. More like, get really, really, ridiculously into something until I figure it out.

When we found this house, I scoured the intertubes for information– sale dates, tax history, nearby comps, schools. After we’d been to look at it and take measurements, I built a 3D model of it in SketchUp. Poured over Houzz and Pinterest for renovation inspiration. Worked out a new kitchen design. Then another. Then a different layout for the kids’ bathroom. Before we were even in contract, I lined up contractors to come through and give us rough estimates for some of the immediate projects so we knew what we were getting into. After the 5th time, I’m pretty sure the listing agent hated when I would call to set up another walkthrough with another contractor. Obsessed.

It was fairly easy to do all that because I was a stay at home dad, and Foster was just a cooing, stationary, little blob. We could hold him in our laps while he slept or plop him down with some toys and he was good for long enough to get stuff done. Then he started rolling over. Then crawling slowly. Then crawling at mach 3. Then walking. Now running at what I’m pretty sure is a meaningful percentage of the speed of light. See?

Foster running through the room

Oh, and talking. Always talking. It’s amazing to watch him develop. To become more confident in his ability to manipulate his surroundings. To become more adventurous. Last week I caught him on the kitchen table: he’d pulled a chair out, used it as a ladder, squirmed to the tabletop, and was sitting happily, eating a chocolate chip cookie from the cookie jar. He wanted a cookie, knew where they were, and got one for himself. And he did it in about 30 seconds while Read More…

Flashback Friday: Motocamping in the Great Smoky Mountains

Last July, my brothers and I went motocamping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I load up my Harley

seth gray packing his harley

Ben and Nathanael pack their Harley and Victory, respectively. About noon, we ride South, down to the Great Smoky Mountains. Not much better than motocamping in the mountains. Ben and I probably should’ve gotten new front tires first. But here we are. Still alive. Whew.

three guys on motorcycles

It’s sunny and about 80 degrees. Beautiful ride. We stop for gas and food just south of Cincinnati. And Nathanael’s new-to-him bike wouldn’t start. He Read More…

Foggy morning

It was foggy out there at 5am. So foggy, in fact, the schools are on a two-hour delay. More time to hang out with Lily, Benjamin, and Cohen, I guess. Foster doesn’t really care, except that the “bus time” alarm on my phone still goes off at the normal time. He runs around, as usual, yelling “buth tieeeeem! Buth tieeeeem! Ninyee!” (Lily) “Koh-ehn” (Cohen) and “Ben-juh-miiiiin” (Benjamin).

*****

But it was Read More…

On Ethical Consumption. Or: what Made in America means

This morning I got up an hour or so earlier than normal, wondering what “Made in America” really means. I got dressed, made coffee and went out to the cars to look for the thermos I’ve been using for coffee this winter– found it for $1.99 at the thrift store. Totally bit it on the ice instead. One of those slow motion falls, where you know it’s coming, but you do all those fancy dance moves to prolong the idiocy keep from falling.

Thermos wasn’t in the car anyway. But my sweatshirt was. A black American Apparel hoodie. Made in America. Hmm.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Made in America or Made in USA means lately. Why made in America matters to me. Why made in America matters to Read More…

2014 In Review: family, the house, motorcycles, and leather goods

How did that happen so quickly? Weren’t we just here? The Holidays and another year over, with a couple months of dark, cold, gray winter still looming. To cheer us all up, we thought we’d put together a look back at 2014– it was a great year, and believe it or not, the top posts on this little blog of ours reflect what we’ve been focusing on and what’s important in our lives.

The top 5 posts based on views this year were: Read More…

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