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Archive for October, 2012

Biker Chick Updated

Since I have been MIA most of the summer I thought I’d let you know that yes indeed I did continue biking all summer long. Before it got wet and rainy I usually did between 9-12 miles every day. If it weren’t for the lovely bike trail less than 1/2 mile from my gallery I doubt I would have kept at it. But it is almost like biking through the deep woods (parts of it at least) despite the fact that I am in actuality biking through prime Midwest farm land.

Excuses anyone?
Now I’d like to say that all that with all this biking I’ve lost like 68 pounds and 12 inches from my waist but alas, no. In fact last time I weighed myself I think I gained a pound or two.

Hey, I’m not biking 10 miles a day to live on lettuce and oxygen people. Don’t judge me.

And besides I’m pretty sure it premenstral water weight. Not buying that one? Okay how about muscle weighs more than fat. That’s my personal favorite.

At any rate I can now climb several flights of stairs without seeing stars or teetering precariously at the top from lack of oxygen. It has improved my strength and staying power. Which proved very useful doing artfair after artfair several weeks in a row alone. No stiffness or exhaustion.

I did in the end invest in a different seat. Oddly enough it was only quite recent that my tender bits started getting … well, tender. I got a gel seat which seems to have improved the situation but truly it doesn’t really feel different.

I looked at a couple of giant cushy ones that looked like the backseat of a 59 Chevy but that kinda got dangerously close to daisy basket granny territory so I stayed with a more athletic version.

This is my turning around point. A large bridge spanning a branch of the Des Moines river. It illustrates just how much of a drought we have had this year.

This river is often rushing just under the bridge and looks very dangerous. The day this was taken I could have walked across it and probably only got knee deep at parts. In fact there were several sets of footprints where people had indeed done just that.

So there you have it. My biking summer in a nutshell. I am still biking when the weather allows but all too soon it’s going to get hung up until next summer.

As for my plans to keep from getting fluffy and stodgy? An eliptical machine. Or maybe Zumba.

Anyone tried either? What did you think?

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Okay so I know I said I’d talk about this little gadget like 4 months ago but you know … life got in the way.

Fact is at the first event I took it to, my cell phone died before I was even able to use it. So it wasn’t until September that I could speak with any authority on it anyhow.

I kinda love it. It is easy and quick and the money gets deposited often by the time I have returned from whatever festival I was at over the weekend.

Only downside that I can see is that people like to charge everything.

Yes, 1 card comes to $2.99 with tax and they want to pay with a card. The upside of square is that it takes a fixed rate so $2.99-$299.00 is the same fee %. This means I am slightly less stabby crabby about charging tiny purchases. It is supposed to be 2.75% but I think that any taxes you collect also get this applied to.

Another plus is people think the technology is cool. Signing your name with your finger seems to be particularly interesting.

So overall I rate the square card reader a really good item for artfair events and unbelievably easy to use. No complicated techie skills required at all. All you need is an android or a iphone, pad or tablet. set up an account, download the ap and plug it in. I would recommend going online to see what electronics work well with it and which ones are less reliable. I actually choose my android phone based on it’s square compatibility. I know paypal has a similar swipe card reader but I have no knowledge of how it compares.

For more information on this handy gadget check out their site square.com

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I thought long and hard about sharing this story online …

Okay okay … so the first thing I thought after I got all packed up after the accident was “I am so gonna blog about this.” But then later I began to ponder it more. In the end, I thought if for no other reason it may well be a good tale of caution to other artists who “run into” this situation.

So to protect the innocent, rude jerk careless artist I will not use his real name. Because it would be just vindictive, he can’t handle the truth not be appropriate.

So I think I’ll refer to him as Dick.

The Reader’s Digest version
It was during tear down and I had finished putting all my small framed art and shrink wraps away. Since the neighbor artists were packed up in record time, I left all of my original and large works up and ran off to get my van. As I hopped out I noticed this large truck with huge trailer crossing from the far lane to the near and became horrified as it rolled into my booth, pushing it several feet. It came to a stop a few feet from where I stood next to my van.

Now Dick was very nice at first. He said “Don’t worry I have insurance … are you hurt?” I was not. My display was bent over at an angle so I ran over and pushed it up for fear it would collapse trashing all my original art. Dick promptly helped. He held up the panels while I removed the original work.

It was at this point that I think Dick began realizing he could be in some serious doo-doo. He started asking me what I thought my damages were. He began pressuring to provide prices for my stuff, the age of my stuff etc. From there he went on to say he wanted my tent. He probably said 4-5 times “If I’m paying for this I’m taking your tent home.” Followed by “This wasn’t my fault that other guy was trying to pass me …”

So there you have it folks. He had jumped from his truck to prevent another artist from passing him, and he failed to put it in park.

He continued to pressure me and I finally snapped. I told him his careless actions caused me to be damaged and he should be really grateful that the original work wasn’t destroyed or that anyone was hurt. I told him to leave me alone and let me get my original work safely packed up and off the street.

At this point I called the cops. I got the information exchange paper from the officer and it had $10 damage listed on it.

I’m like “$10 damage!” He kindly explained that he was not qualified to determine the cost of damages and that he just needed to put something in that spot to indicate damage. Despite this I drag the officer over and point out the obvious damage and explain how much the tent and display are worth.

Meanwhile Dick is feeling very smug thinking he’ll only be paying $10.

Everybody leaves and I am left packing up until well after dark alone downtown. That BTW sucks. I took many photos with my cell phone at various stages of breakdown.

So I contact my insurance agent first thing Monday morning. She’s like well his insurance should cover this.

I’m like “Well what if Dick isn’t an upstanding citizen and reports it.”

And do you think he did? Of course not. My agent called him a full 5 days later. While she didn’t me anything that was said I gathered through mind reading that she had a less than stellar experience with him.

Todays Game … So guess what would happen if…
This is not an uncommon occurrence. I have seen many many booths get backed into, awnings ripped off and artwork toppled. Artists get damaged by other artists all of the time. Most get nothing out of it. Sometime the other artist pays. Most of the stories I’ve heard they never come through.

So here’s the thing.

What if I hadn’t called the police. I mean Dick started out so very nice. Surely he will be good as his word right?

What if I didn’t have an insurance. My provider went to bat for me. I’m am positive Dick would never have contacted his provider and deal with it like a grownup.

What if I had let Dick take my tent?

Hard telling but I know this. Even with all of my precautions I doubt that whatever I get from insurance for the damages will cover what it is gonna cost me to repair and replace.

And that my dears, just bites.

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