The Hebbie-Jeebies

Matte’s been in one of his frenzies since yesterday noon when he discovered that he was mistaken when he ran around telling everybody that Segway of Oakland had shipped the core of his Segway back to New Hampshire for repairs on 12 March.

What actually happened, i learned from the shop owner when he called me yesterday after repeated calls to the shop foreman had gone unanswered, was that the foreman had run off on an extended vacation leaving my Segway sitting there enjoying free storage.

And then when the owner and i discussed the issue of what was wrong with the vehicle and what might be done to repair it, alarms began warbling in the background as versions of the possibilities i got from the owner bore little congruence with those delivered by the foreman. So i called back later and made it clear that i wanted an estimate before any work was done.

Then later that afternoon i drove down to Electric Bicycle Outlet at 660 Bryant and talked with Len. He first enticed me to try this twitchy thing called a Lyric, which i loved the idea of since with two back wheels it would be a lot more stable than a bicycle. Ummm, no it wasn’t. Not real sure what was going on, but my first flight was rocky. Had trouble keeping it on the sidewalk, so we moved it out into an unused patch of the street and i got to the point that i figured i could master it with enough practice. Besides, it weighed only 70 pounds and would thus be much easier than the Segway to fling into the back of my Prius. Better yet, the cost brand new was about what i’d reconciled myself to have to pay to get the Segway fixed.

I almost didn’t try an electric bike since bikes had made me so nervous in Amsterdam, but i knew i had to try one, however briefly. To the astonishment of both Len and myself, i barely even wobbled on it and found it vastly easier to control than the Lyric. Furthermore, it weighs only 56 pounds and is $300 cheaper, so i walked out thinking that if i decided to let go of the Segway today, the Hebb bike would be what i’d get.

That is, until i looked it up on the Internet and discovered where it’s from. No, not China. Worse. Texas. Worse yet, it’s not even from the civilized part of Texas, Austin, but rather the rednecky red hills of east Texas about 35 miles from where i was born.

Now why? i ask, would Bubba and his buddies be building an electric bicycle, the very essence of the atheistic, socialistic, ecologistic, global warmer, peak oiler, spotted owl hugger, red legged frog fucker, California vegetarian fag culture they abhor? Why indeed, when they know full well that what Jesus drives is a full size SUV with knobby tires and loud mufflers.

And then it hit me. The central frame of each vehicle is probably packed with C-4 and fitted with a remotely actuated detonator. That’s why each one of ’em is shipped with a free set of hooks that they advertise can be screwed into your bedroom ceiling to safely store the bike “out of the way”. And then, when they’ve sold enough of ’em, in the middle of the night, California time, a thumb black with bike grime will come down hard on a red button in Tyler, Texas.

May keep mine out in the shed.

After i have it x-rayed.

Well, if i get one.

And so as to end on a less horrific note, here’s a shot of Ansela Adams at the beginning of her career in a coastside cafe in Pacifica.

Ansela Adams



A. attenuata

Finally, here’s an update on my favorite A. attenuata, taken on or about the 31st of March, when i also got to talk with the proud owner:












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