Monthly Archives: February 2015

Nonsense: Fractals, Snub-Nosed Monkeys, Highways, and Matrices 2

DSC_0367There is a lot of weird stuff occupying my mind these days, but they’re all good things. First off: fractals. If you don’t know what a fractal is, look it up. You might be surprised, you might not. What I like about fractals is that they hint at the underlying order of everything. I appreciate order. Yunnan Snub-Nosed Monkeys just make me laugh. I am not a big fan of primates, but for some reason I like these guys. Maybe it’s their hair, maybe it’s their big ‘ol lips, probably because they were featured in my favorite documentary Wild China by the BBC. They live in the mountains and consume mass quantities of lichen. I’m thinking about highways because I’m writing my senior thesis about the development of the American transcontinental highway system from the 1880s through the 1930s. And I’m thinking about matrices a lot because I am working on some projects using mathematical modeling to, well, model important things like squirrel populations and zombie apocalypses. Oh, and on top of that, I’m thinking A LOT about riding my bike!

Even though life has been crazy, Lizzy and I have been slowly chipping away at the remaining tour plans. We are currently working on a ‘pledge’ system (we’ll talk more about that when it’s all said and done), and we should be getting official business cards in the mail any day now. Lizzy also made a bunch of WBD buttons to give out.

We did some calculations and it appears that we are under 80 days until we actually leave. That is terrifying and exciting! We both cannot express enough the gratitude we have to each and every one of our supporters—this tour would not be happening without you! We also appreciate your patience, and your suggestions. Stay with us, we will leave eventually!

To end: an excerpt from the poem “The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon” by none other than JRR Tolkien–

An unwary guest on a lunatic quest

from the Mountains of the Moon

Its just a good line.

Watsi donations matched for a limited time!

You heard me right; that’s 2x the monies you donate, going to help folks around the world.


Watsi recently opened up their Universal Fund, wherein you can set up a reoccurring donation and automatically support a new patient every month. And if that’s not cool enough for ya, the first 1,000 to join will have their first month’s donation matched. Let me lay it out real simple-like for you: Donate $5 and Watsi patients will get $10 worth of healthcare. Donate five-hundred bucks and Watsi patients will get a thousand bucks worth of healthcare! I can’t even imagine how many casts, and cataract surgeries, and foot surgeries, and so on that that amount of money could pay for.

Anyways, head on over to Watsi’s Universal Fund to learn more about this awesome opportunity. As always, if you enter the Watsi site through your donation will be tracked in our campaign. If not, that’s cool too. We just want you folks to help folks.


Three Months to Go!

Thomas Stevens left Oakland, CA in 1884. He was 22.


This is Thomas Stevens, one of my heroes–not to be confused with Thomas Stevens the famous trumpeter, though the later Stevens is a cool fellow as well. This Stevens became the first man to ride a bike (his 50 inch Columbia highwheeler) around the world. It took him three years to do it and nearly died trying. He eventually ended up a theater manager in London and had touring Yogi Magic show where he performed magic tricks he’d picked up in India.




Now that January is crawling to an end, Lizzy and I are working our way through the final logistical details of the WBD tour. Details like:

  1. Engineering a viable rat containment system, specifically for night time. You see, rats are nocturnal. Also, they chew things. Also, I don’t want a rat chewing holes through the tent while I sleep.
  2. Engineering a rat temperature control system. You see, rats can get chilly, or really hot. Thus, a bicycle friendly rat heating/cooling system is necessary to maintain optimal rat comfort.
  3. Finding a proper rat sized bicycle helmet, preferably in red.
  4. Figuring out what gear to take, and what gear to leave. Years of hoarding camping equipment are coming into play on this one.
  5. Getting Lizzy’s bike ready with much thanks to Pat and Ben at Tommy’s Bike Shop in        McMinnville. We are currently retrofitting a 1975 (?) Trek 700 series. I’m excited about it, but if  you’ve ever retrofitted a bike before you know that goes.
  6. A long list of boring stuff no one wants to think about, which is why we have to worry about it last minute. Stuff like ordering tires, finding easy ways to do road side budgeting, and stuff like that.

Oh, and,

Perhaps most importantly, figuring out ways to promote Watsi whilst touring. As of right now, we are working on making some “real” business cards to pass out to friends and strangers along the way, and some explanatory flags for the cycle-scoots, buttons maybe, perhaps a catchy jingle. We’d appreciate any ideas that come our way.