Monthly Archives: March 2020

Post an Original Thought, Just Once, Please.

For happy stuff I’m posting a pic of our older fur-beast in her favorite sleeping spot. This is the “don’t make me move” face that grumbles at us every morning when we wake up and have to pee really badly.
The rest of what I want to say is… Well, not-so-unhappy really:

About a year ago, Facebook being a cesspool and all, I began the process of un-friending my “friends” and gradually moving toward closing my FB account. Its algorithm to determine what I’m exposed to sux, to put it mildly. In the past couple months I reversed that decision, but instead focusing on inspiration and business exposure. I culled my “friends” list by well more than half, some of whom I may regret now.

It sounds harsh, and selfish, but this is real life… If you didn’t add value, make me laugh, tell the truth, validate your re-posts, provide motivation, or inspire creativity, you’re gone, period, bye-bye. No room in my life for anything else anymore. Not to be hypocritical… I’m not offended if anyone feels the same about me. Well, maybe I am sometimes, just a little, but who cares. You do you.

Bring something of value to the table!! Participate!
You take care of you for me, and I’ll take care of me for you.
Put on your own oxygen mask first.

I’m a believer in two major sentiments (not necessarily literally, but to take to heart as concepts):

1.) It’s been said that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Yep, it’s nonsense in terms of the number being arbitrary, but take the concept to heart. Surround yourself with people who love and appreciate you, encourage you, believe in you but, importantly, who will also KICK YOUR ASS when you deserve it!
Learn to cultivate temperate positivity. I’m a hermit bicycle mechanic with an engineering background, but my closest confidants and friends are intense, inspirational, the very definition of honorable… People like my brilliant wife Diane, my talented little brother James, and other genius friends who are educators, physicians, trades-people, self-made successful entrepreneurs with two employees or tens of thousands of employees, parents, and numerous others with experience existing and climbing through all “classes” of society. I assume I’m wrong about almost everything, so don’t usually need to be reminded. It’s my natural methodology for learning.

2.) Feed your mind with quality. Just like our bodies benefit from great nutrition, and from appropriate exercise, our minds need to be fed well for creativity, inspiration, relaxation, motivation, and guidance. During this down-time, instead of consuming just TV and movies, try reading classics, religious texts, maybe some inspirational self-help and business/leadership books. Play creative games, work on LEGO projects, try journaling (by hand) and writing, drawing, painting, cooking and baking, welding, sculpting, neighborhood gardening (food!) and cultivating new skills. Take up pottery, raising hens, knitting, or fundraising. Phone or handwrite notes to people you haven’t heard from. What skills do you possess already, so you can contribute more than you consume? Take this time as a profound gift to spend precious time with family, and an opportunity to shape our world, when we pull out of this, into what you’ve always wanted to see.

Negative stuff is a legit part of real life for most of us, and that’s okay, but only if it’s real. It must be acknowledged to be resolved, but please be part of the solution, rather than a mere messenger and divider. Let’s hold each other accountable, with kindness.

Initial Thoughts on Day 1 of Order to Stay at Home

Who’da thunk it?
When I was a kid riding and working on bicycles, my relatives and friends frequently said or implied that such activities would be left behind once I acquired a license to drive.
After nearly 28 seasons now working in a business classified by the IRS as “toys,” many state governments, including Ohio, explicitly classify what we do as “essential” to infrastructure.

Who’da thunk it?
Seven years ago, when we closed our full-scale operation in Chesterland, and I moved to a more isolated facility from which I could conduct mobile work, pick-ups and deliveries, and focus on creative endeavors in peace… That was a socially unacceptable business model. Most suppliers even today remain skeptical and hesitant to open accounts for models like mine, even with a dedicated commercial 2000 square-foot brick-&-mortar location, fully registered and insured from Day One. For the next couple weeks, at least, my business model is the only safe, legal, and reasonable way to conduct this “essential” business.

I am busy, and I have more than a few major projects I’m behind on and looking forward to using this time for catching up. That said, cycling is one of the few activities we can do right now, for transportation or exercise. If you need help getting your bike ready to ride for the season, I already have seven years of systems in place to safely help you do that under these conditions of quarantine.

For the record, I support the order to “Stay at Home.” It doesn’t thrill me, it’s going to hurt many of us, a lot, but believe it’s necessary in these unfortunate circumstances.

This is not an excuse to stop producing or creating, and even without the exemption, for those who have visited my workshop, you know I’m effectively working from my second home.

I received a parts shipment this morning, and been scrambling recently to ensure I have adequate materials for the next few weeks as supply lines crumble, just so I can stay busy on projects in my present queue.

Except for deliveries, or Diane when she visits me, my doors remain locked. For deliveries, I unlock the door and walk away, thanking the drivers when they deposit the packages, and then re-locking after they leave. This is how its done.