Monthly Archives: April 2011

Remember when biofuel seemed like a good idea?

It was easy to like the notion of driving an old Mercedes forever on diesel converted from Burger King grease. You could put a big BIODIESEL sticker on your bumper to let everyone know that you knew what they should do.

Then there’s this.

“People are starving around the world and we are filling our gas tanks instead. If this isn’t perverse and and immoral, I don’t know what is.”

got hope, Austin, TX

How a 110 lb. photographer gets her 140 lb. model to the shoot on time

So how does this 5’2″, 110 lb. photographer get her 140 lb. Great Dane fashion model to photo shoots all over New York City? Subways and buses aren’t options–the dog wouldn’t be allowed on. Taxicabs? Not likely. Driving? They’d be late. It’s faster, more dependable, and in the long run much cheaper to go by bike. What kind of bike can do that? A ShuttleBug handmade by Joe Bike and rechristened the ShuttleDog.dori and reyki, waiting for their ShuttleDog to arrive from Portland (photo: Cat Phoenix)


The Great Dane is named Alexander Reykjavik, and his Gates carbon-drive bike is shipping to Brooklyn later this  month (for those of you following this story, Reyki and his owner decided to spend the winter in a warm, sunny place, so we kept the bike in the shop for a few months longer than planned, to our delight). You can see it up close at the PDX Bicycle Show at the Convention Center this weekend. It will be in the Oregon Framebuilders area.

We were tempted to load up our own dogs for a quick photo shoot, but no way—Reyki loves that new-bike smell, and he’s got a big nose. Here he is on the job in some sort of ad for shoes, hair products, or maybe really short dresses.

Reyki modeling

Laughing out loud: The Wall St. Journal’s ‘Misery Index’

We don’t normally make fun of statisticians or psychologists because they can turn around and prove we’re unlovable jerks in 11 different ways. Today it’s time for an exception.

The Journal’s “Misery Index“, with an apparently straight face, uses a smattering of economic data to portray the state of the human spirit in cities across the US. To check in on what condition our condition was in, the Journal focused on gasoline prices, of course. Real estate prices, of course. And, of course, no laughing matter at all, the unemployment rate.

According to this Index of Misery, Portland is the second most despondent place in the nation, whereas Detroit and Cleveland rank among the five least despondent.

Now, it could be that riding a bike just floods our brains and muscles with dopamine, serotonin, opiates, and THC equivalents (all true), blinding us to the true condition of Portlanders as a whole or even to the true crappiness of our own lives in the matrix formed between the white blinky light and the red blinky light. And surely unemployment is usually depressing, though this is relative to what your last job was like. In any case, maybe it’s time the Journal considered that if gasoline prices are really a measure of happiness, something is terribly wrong with the way Americans live.  Or with the way their statisticians think about living.

Now then. About this rain….