Tuesday Trippin November 16

I had a week with a lot of prep and grunt work and not as much riding as I would have liked. We’ve done test runs for live streaming and concluded that we can’t do anything about the poor cell coverage in many areas, but we’d still like to offer it to supporters. There will be big gaps, and some of the quality will be low, but it will be extra footage and it will help keep supporters who like live streaming up to date. Real time updates are cool. We won’t be conversational on this streaming. Talking may be cool while streaming, but it would be on the videos too, and it does not matter how good it sounded when you said it, most people get tired of the talk when they play something repeatedly, especially if they like the nature and other ambient sounds.

We don’t have a good mounting system yet, for the streaming.The phone vibrated enough in the Otterbox frame to shut the camera off. Then the GoPro Jaws clamp was what I was using when the phone bounced of the bike and under my rear tire. The jaws mount itself did a decent job, but the multipack of accessories we bought didn’t have enough of the right attachments to connect to the phone to the Jaws.

We’ll start going through some of the other offerings online. The mounts that look promising are $80-$300. It seems like a lot of money, but at the same time cheap insurance if we get something that actually works well and won’t let go. I’m just hoping that I can find a good solution in the front end of choices. Having to test several could be a lot more expensive than the just most expensive choice alone. So, I’d just start with that if I thought “You get what you pay for” was a complete theory on quality and utility. But I don’t. Sometimes the low end product works perfectly well, some times better than the one with confident pricing. Spending just enough money to reduce the chances that spending less will cost us more with repairs, replacements and failures is the story of my budget for this project. In some ways it’s the story of any project, but especially so for this one.

Temps are cooler more often. I’ve added exothermic hand warmers to my kit. We’ll see if the riding vibration sets them off. Some people would find the weight/utility trade off a fail, especially when we’re well above freezing for rides. But I have Raynaud’s, Syndrome and if the gloves ever fail to be warm enough, those hand warmers will be worth all the carries when I didn’t use them. It looks like I have just a mild primary case, but after that one time in South Dakota when I left my hands get way too cold… Well, I do learn.

I’m still wondering how much time to invest in “the busy season that wasn’t” for our Etsy store. I tend to think of the season as pretty much done by December 15th due to shipping realities for small home based businesses, and with all the DeJoy based delay expectation, really, I’m thinking that prepared customers will be done with online shopping from sites like Etsy by the end of November. Yesterday the Etsy platform was down for a while, and now shop items have been turned off for people who have ad blocker. There is no pop up window to deny access to the site or tell visitors why they don’t see items in anyone’s shop though. They just don’t show, and since the rest of the site does, it is doubly confusing. With no outside onsite ads, it’s a curious thing to do and the “busy season” is a curious time to do it. I’m sure that at least some aspect of that will change fairly quickly. I expect that this is a way of doing things that will affect their bottom line as well as sellers’. I was hanging on to hope that I’d be heading in to this video cycling project on the heels of having been wildly busy with the shop. But so far, I’ve had to cancel half of my few orders due to shipping costs. It wasn’t so big or so heavy, but just enough to be over a square foot and headed to Reno. Shipping was $76 for a $28 item. At one time I was slightly worried that when I ran this project with my Etsy link, people would check out the site to confirm that I was a person who worked for happy customers and, since they weren’t likely interested in vintage items, my conversion rate would tank. I’m shifting toward wondering if I should just let all my listings expire. I know a young person who’s about to buy a house, and he loves vintage. I’ve already put aside the things he would love to list later if he doesn’t take them. He might just get a windfall level wedding gift.

I’ll leave you with a quickie cell phone photo. It’s down here at the bottom because it was a gorgeous day when I took this, but it’s not a great photo. I usually think that I have a good eye but there were only these two trees to frame this with and there was an orange plastic construction/silt fence I was avoiding. I wasn’t supposed to step over it, and I didn’t want it in the picture either. I cropped this about 5 different ways and none of them made me any happier. It’s not the photo I’d like to have taken. I’m sure I could have found a good angle of some sort if I’d put time into it, but I was in a rush, and this does show what a truly beautiful fall day it was out at Coot’s Lake on the Silver Comet.

Coot’s Lake from the trail head parking lot.

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