Posted on November 20 2020
Related to the platypus, here's a good long podcast about Bobbie Gentry, and if you have the time, you'll find it interesting. It's either 0:45 (minutes) or 1:45--I forget and am too busy to check it out again, but I watched it all and found it pretty interesting. Umay2.
The Platypus/Bobbie Gentry shirts will be here Monday Nov 23, in time to get you yours for Thanksgiving dinner, if you pay for 2-day delivery. Half are sold. For every one we sell we give $6 to the Austalian Platypus Conservancy. Six dollars is about 80 percent of the profit, believe it or not. Here's proof that we do this:
And here's the fancy proof:
Many of you have seen and reported this bioluminescence trick that was discovered after the platypus had already been declared The Animal of All Time. I think I posted in the last one, but you know what? I don't study these BLAHGS. I write stuff, take it out, save it for later, put it back in, and there may be repetition hither and yon.
I was reading last night late, because it's the only time I can and I've got a lot to read...and Colbert was on the tube, too, and my head jerked up from the book I'm reading when I heard him say "platypus." Then he told the bioluminescence story, too. A future Supreme Court justice sent me a link to the story, too. Platypuses in the big-time news!
Here's a short description of our situations, immediate and futuristic:
We have too few people for all the stuff we have going on. We can't pack bikes fast enough because there's only one bike packer--Steven. (FLASH: We just got some temp help with that.) We don't have enough money to produce all the bikes we could sell, and we don't have space to put them. We have sooo many side projects--derailers, brakes, hubs, cassettes, handlebars and stems, a headset, a kickstand. Each of them warrants a full-timer, but they're all just me and two outsiders working on them. Our intentions are good, our plannish dreams are pie-in-skyish but worth all we can put into them, and progress is slow.
The BRP/BRF programs are being reshaped by lawyers, slowly, but inexpensively as lawyered things go. We are waiting to see the plan they come up with. The bike industry (and outdoor industry beyond that) is making gestures about inclusion, color, etc., but the strategy seems to be to form committees and take a breather; or interview a Black person who climbs rocks or ride bikes and tick that box. I want our program to go deep into the muck, focus on results, and flourish. It already worked a little, and we'll know more in a month. Meanwhile, please continue to buy Reparations units at $2 each, OK? We now have $9,000 in the BRF. THat's enough to provide reparations discounts or payback or whatever to about six riders, not enough. We don't KNOW whether we'll be able to do it ourselves--that will be answered by the lawyers--but we do know that we can dive into the reparations thing when it's YOUR money funding it, money you've donated specifically for this cause. Once we get the word that we can be more active, that we will do. For now, it's just wait wait wait.
My own mental-emotional state is "on the edge." I'm not alone in that, I know. Covid, election...legal matters about BRP, bike delays, two guys out possibly with the 'vid but we'll know more later. Plus I'm behind on a book I'm working on and it's really hard but fun but holy crap. Then a friend--oops--
just kind of outed himself as something, I don't know, when he got mad at me for the BRP/F stuff, and I really don't know how to handle that. A good friend, 30 years, I had no idea, what now? It's not a political issue, not purely. It's just human rights and all that stuff. But this is disturbing. Rivendell customers--arghh, but I really don't care who "drops" us. The feedback is 97 percent positive, thanks, and even if it wasn't, then...to hell with it all, I'm outa here. But then the personal thing, and it's a bummer, and that on top of all the other stuff, and I feel like I need hot mudbath therapy, or something.
Namedrop alert: Joe Breeze sent me an email this morning saying check out page B12 in today's S.F. Chronicle, that there's a Rivendell thing in it. I figured ruh-roh, they finally got around to acting on the press release we sent out a month ago, and now that BRP/BRF are all in limbo and our lawyers are telling us to lie low for a bit, the poop'll hit ye olde fan again and here we go with the hating phone calls and emails. and since I don't GET that paper, he sent me these pix of those pages—
It's a Rambouillet from about 2008 or something. Downtube decal scratched off. I'd like to have that bike back. I wish I knew where exactly it was. I'd give the guy $100 for it, which maybe you think would be, like, ripping him off. But I bet he'll get less than that for it. We don't have a database by serial numbers. You have to write down your own, it's on you, keep the dang record.
Does this belong 'tween the 'cils? I dunno. I'm thinking maybe. I have a leg to stand on, that's for sure.
A few months ago Will included in an email update a six minute or so video of a woman defending the looters. That's a hard thing to do AND she was screaming at the camera and overall presenting not mildly an explanation of why the looters, almost all Black, were stealing hundred-dollar sneakers from a fancy sporting goods store. I am not saying that's a good thing. I wish they hadn't. A successful business doesn't deserve to be robbed any more than a struggling one...but one thing she said, in I think twelve words, made tidy sense of it:
"Don't look at what they're doing--look at why they do it!"
Then she explained stuff about lost work opportunities, employment, and educational advancement opportunities that make it hardER for Black people to get rich, and at the same time, the bling and trappings of wealth taunt them, and for lotsa looters, this is the only way they're getting those shoes.
It's still wrong to steal. I stole a single grape when I was nine, and nothing since. It's not because I'm good, it's because I had no reason too. And, frankly, I have never wanted to break that streak, and have never not been able to get food, or save up for shoes. My skin color has not ever been an impediment to getting a job. Looking back, I can't think of any job I've ever tried to get that I didn't get, and I've never been fired, and I was a crappy busboy at Mr. Steak, a lousy dishwasher at ye olde Elk's Club. I was OK at my paper route, and from 11 to 14 nobody picked weeds better than I did. I have picked more weeds than anybody reading this, I'm sure about that.
With what sort of rapscallions are we in cahoots?
BIKE CONTENT, AT LAST: At least this guy doesn't have a bad case of poison oak, too. We hope. This has made the rounds, sorry if you've seen it before. Key word: Cactus.
Want to see a neat pen-&-inker of a platypus? You seriously will love this. If you're p*ssed off at all the race stuff, this will win you back. An Australian biologist and illustrator, Peter Marsack, did it.
one more. I have more, too:
I know what you're thinking—one more platypicture, please! OK:
Platypus in the movies. Three short clips. Totaling maybe seven minutes.
Let's save this animal. Let's raise money for the Australian Platypus Conservancy. Save up $20, and we'll figure out a way to do this. The goal is...let's say...uh, $10,000. This should not compete with the BRF, by the way. Stay tuned. We're going to be the Black Reparations + Platypus Bike Company. Is this the surf board you want to tie on to? Ten of you will say no and email me personally. I've been called a racist thirty times at least. As I've said before, I think it's essentially impossible to grow up white in America and be free of racism. It's been drilled in for a lifetime. "Reverse racism," by the way, isn't a thing at all. "Anti-racism" is actively trying to fight racism by policies, laws, and behavior that can push you out of your comfort zone, that can turn friends or family against you, but is by design something that acknowledges racist laws of the past that have held Black people down, and ..... where am I in this sentence? It's doing something, anyway. Not just hoping positive things.
Random notes on random topics, but still bikey: