This is my last post for the year. I’m going to leave it up for a week or so, because it’s got a nice piece of news and a very interesting question.
Let’s start with the question.
Imagine a World…
I woke up last night with the strangest question running through my mind. I don’t remember whether the question came from a dream — I don’t remember having a dream.
But if that question did come from a dream, what a nightmare.
Anyway, here’s the question:
How would your life be different if there were no such thing as bicycles?
Take a minute to think about this question, then answer in the comments section. And no sneakily trying to worm your way around the substance of the question by answering something like, “I’d invent the bicycle.”
Also, no ridiculous drama, like, “I’d kill myself.” Because you wouldn’t. Just like you haven’t killed yourself over the lack of other amazing, life-improving things that somehow haven’t been invented (I’m looking at the empty space you should be occupying, metabolism-increasing pill).
So, just think about the question and consider what a universe without bicycles would mean to you personally.
I’ll look forward to reading your answer (and later in the day, I’ll post one of my own).
Comedian Mastermind: Post-Christmas / End-of-Year Sale
Maybe you were hoping to get a copy of my book, Comedian Mastermind: The Best of FatCyclist.com, for Christmas. Or maybe it just seemed too expensive. Or maybe you were waiting for some other reason.
In any case, there are literally billions of people on this earth who have not yet purchased a copy of my book. And that just breaks my heart.
So, for those of you who are on the fence, in spite of the (surprisingly?) good reviews and feedback this book has received, I’m having a sale on this book ’til the end of the year, both for the Kindle and paperback version:
Why am I doing this? Well, for a few reasons.
- I’m experimenting. Honestly, I don’t know much about publishing, price points, sales, and stuff like that. I’m trying different things and learning as I go. Hopefully, some things will work out well; I’ll do those things again.
- I want to sell a lot of books. For the past few days, the Kindle version of my book has been the top-selling Cycling e-book at Amazon.com. I’ve done a screenshot to prove it and everything:
That is pretty awesome (especially considering the other books in the list). However, in the overall Cycling Top-10 list (not just e-books), I haven’t been able to quite make it to the top:
Yeah, I guess that’s what I get for helping promote Dr. Lim’s book, eh? Anyway, I’d like to see my book in the number 1 spot on both lists, just so I can make that claim. So, if you’ve been thinking of getting a copy of my book and just haven’t pulled the trigger, now would be a great time to do it.
- I think you’ll like it. Seriously, I’m really proud of this book, and I’m excited at how much people who have read it like it. And I have a hunch that if I give you a good deal on this book, then you buy it and read it, you’ll tell a couple friends, and maybe they’ll buy copies too.
And then I’ll be one step further along in my big plan. And you’ll have helped me get there.
So thanks. Now go buy either the Kindle or Paperback version of my book. Now.
PS: Just in case you don’t come back before next week: Happy New Year! And thanks for being a part of this blog.
PPS: At least for an hour, early on Wednesday, December 28, Comedian Mastermind was at the top.
We’re down to the last few days of this year, which is a perfect time to sit back, relax, and quietly reflect on what has happened during the past twelve months. After all, by thinking about what you’ve done — both good and bad — you gain insight into what you want to do differently (as well as the same) in the future.
Unfortunately for me, though, I’m currently about 30% done writing a research report (yes, I write research reports as part of my day job. Envy me.) that ought to be about 90% done right now. Until I finish that (hard deadline of Wednesday, thanks), there will be very little quiet moments of reflection happening here.
There may, however, be moans of panic.
That said, I do want to take a moment today to recognize what we, as Team Fatty, have accomplished this year, as do-ers of good deeds. I think it’s a pretty impressive list.
Team Fatty started its dominance in the universe of charitable giving with LiveStrong, and we continued this proud tradition in 2011. Specifically, at the LiveStrong Davis Challenge, we raised the most money — $118,000 — and were the largest team. In fact, of all awards given at that event, Team Fatty won…all of them.
We did that as a team by raising money through bike giveaways, by selling jerseys, and by doing the 100 Miles of Nowhere.
More importantly, though, we did it by members of Team Fatty using their collective genius to creatively find ways to ask other people to help out.
We also had an amazingly good time, from an extraordinary team gathering at the Bicycle Museum to pie after the ride to the ride itself.
I loved it all, and I can’t wait to do it again. Click here to join Team Fatty for LiveStrong Davis in 2012. It’ll be fun. We’ll meet at the Bike Museum again.
We’ll eat more pie.
And since this will be the largest gathering of Team Fatty in 2012, you really should do it.
You’ll have a great time, and you’ll be doing something important toward helping in the fight against cancer.
It’s worth the effort, both in terms of good you’ll be doing and fun you’ll be having. I promise.
American Fork Canyon Half Marathon
This was a local event, but I loved being part of it and I loved what it represented. This first-ever half marathon raised $55,000, with all of it going toward cancer treatment for those who could not afford it.
Right now, with the economy in the tank, knowing that we did something good for some people who otherwise would have to compound their suffering over cancer itself with anxiety over paying for treatment, well, I’m glad that Team Fatty and I were able to be a part of it.
Grand Slam for Zambia
Team Fatty’s most incredible success this year has to have been the “Grand Slam for Zambia” project, where we set the audacious goal of raising enough money — $134,000 — to buy 1000 bikes for kids in Zambia, thereby providing the catalyst to change 1000 lives for the better, in a very big way.
Well, we didn’t quite raise that $134,000.
No, we raised $158,507.00. Enough to buy 1,125 bikes.
And you know what? Those bikes are starting to make their way into kids’ hands. We’ve got video. I’ll show you soon.
You will be so proud of what you have been part of.
Tour de Donut
Team Fatty got its first taste at being the title sponsor of an event. Which really means that I got to donate some money to a local event because the money they are raising will be used to buy a blanket warmer for the cancer center Susan used to go to for chemo treatments. I can easily imagine how much she would have liked to have a nice warm blanket while she sat and got chemo, so this was an easy event to support.
Yes, we’ll definitely be doing this again in 2012. Mark your calendar for July 14!
Young Survival Coalition Tour de Pink
My friend Dustin Brady — Marketing Guru for Shimano — made a couple of promises to his fiancé before she passed away: to support the Young Survival Coalition, and to race the Kona Ironman.
Team Fatty was proud to follow Dustin as he kept his race goal and to help Dustin with supporting YSC. In fact, Team Fatty raised $22,005 for the Tour de Pink, and got to send breast cancer survivor Heather S to ride the Tour de Pink as a Team Fatty ambassador.
We’re going to be back in 2012. In much greater numbers.
A kid in my neighborhood fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. His family doesn’t have a lot of money for treatment, and I asked you all to help me raise some money for him by buying my book, with the plan being that I’d use all profits from the sales of 100 books to go to Stephen.
Well, you all came through, big time, by donating and buying books. In one weekend, we raised $3141 for Stephen’s treatment.
What we did with Levi’s GranFondo definitely put the “fun” in “fundraising. Beginning with an appeal to Levi’s sense of decency, which was responded to by his tough-talking lawyers, then finally settled by the good folks at BikeMonkey.
We gave away an awesome trip and other schwag, and raised $7405 for the many good causes supported by Levi’s GranFondo.
To be honest, I’m not sure my book belongs in this list, because it’s not like in this case I’m raising money to go toward a charity.
No, I’m raising it for myself, in order to build the nest egg I need to research and write the Caretaker’s Companion book I want to do.
So let’s just include it and say that more than 1600 of you have bought a copy so far. Which is a pretty great start for a book that’s been out for less than a month.
Sales of that book are ongoing, by the way. Details on buying the paperback, Kindle, and autographed versions of the book can all be found here.
I’m not going to go and add up how much money Team Fatty raised this year. Even though I’m pretty sure it would add up to an awesome number.
I’m not going to go back and count how many fundraisers we did. Even though there were a lot.
Because what matters — as far as I am concerned — is that, pretty much non-stop, we kept doing something good, for some important cause. All throughout the year.
In 2011, Team Fatty made a big difference in a lot of people’s lives. For the good.
All while being remarkably silly.
Thank you for being a part of that.
A Comedian Mastermind-Related Note from Fatty: My new book — Comedian Mastermind: The Best of FatCyclist.com, 2005-2007 — is now available from Amazon.com, both in paperback and Kindle versions. This is actually pretty darned cool for both me and you, for a few reasons.
- Cheap, easy last-minute e-gifting: If you know someone who reads Kindle-format books (whether that be on an actual Kindle, or with Kindle software — like a phone, computer, or iPad), you can give them the Kindle version of my book pretty much instantly. No shipping, no tax. And since the Kindle version costs just $9.95, it’s not a gift that will break the bank. Just go to my book’s Kindle page and click the “Give as Gift” button.
- Fast (and maybe free) shipping: If you subscribe to the Amazon Prime service, you can now buy the paperback version of my book and get free two-day shipping. And even if you don’t use Amazon Prime, shipping’s not bad, and they’re pretty fast.
- Borrow it for FREE: If you have a Kindle device and an Amazon Prime subscription, you can borrow Comedian Mastermind for free. On your Kindle device, go to the Kindle Store, then search for “Comedian Mastermind” to get to my book, and choose “Borrow for Free.” And the good thing is, Amazon.com pays me, even though you borrowed the book for free. So that’s nice for both of us (and maybe a good reason for you Kindle owners to go borrow it right now, hint, hint).
By the way, if you want an autographed version of the book with a note, I can still do that, too. Click here for details. (That’s the easiest way to get the book internationally, actually.)
A “Please Do Me a Favor” Note from Fatty: If you’ve read my book — whether the paperback or Kindle version — please go to Amazon.com and post a review of it. Thanks!
The Super Elves!
by Carrie Nelson
Once upon a time, Santa Claus did all the toy-making and wrapping and everything.
Then, one year, the population grew, and grew, and GREW until he couldn’t do it alone anymore!
So he tried to hire gnomes, but they just said, “Look, pal, we’re too busy protecting gardens!”
Then he tried Sprites. “I don’t think so!” they said.
So he tried giants. “We wouldn’t fit in your shop,” said the giants.
But then Santa tried Elves…they said yes! so the elves made the presents, and then stacked the presents in the sled in two months.
So on the night before Christmas, Santa delivered to all the nice kids in the world! Christmas was saved…
By those super hero-like ELVES!
PS: Thanks to everyone who has been leaving nice comments for the twins’ stories. They’ve been loving the comments as much as much as seeing their work published.
You know how The Hammer and I once did an Ironman? And then we said (or at least, I said) that one Ironman per lifetime was plenty — that we no longer needed to ever do another triathlon again?
Well, then my friend Dustin had to go and be all heroic and inspirational at the Kona Ironman.
Which got me to thinking: maybe we should do one more Ironman. Just — you know — to see if I could actually do an Ironman where instead of lamely walking for 70% of the final leg of the race, I actually raced it.
And maybe — just maybe — instead of flailing around in the swim leg, I actually kinda swam it.
So I was talking with Dustin and told him The Hammer, The Swimmer (i.e., The Hammer’s daughter — I’ve mentioned her recently) are thinking about doing the New Zealand Ironman in 2013.
“Oh, I’ll come do it with you,” said Dustin. Which moved the possibility of doing the New Zealand Ironman from the “awesome-but-painful” category to the “really-awesome-but-still-remarkably-painful” category.
“So,” I asked, wondering about the most difficult part of the race, “What are you going to do about the swim?”
“I’ve got that covered,” Dustin said. “I have an Endless Pool.”
That made me curious.
We Try an Endless Pool
Now, I’ve seen Endless Pools demonstrated before, but I had never been in one. So when I went to their site and saw the “Try a Pool” link, I thought, “Well, OK.” I figured that this would mean they’d call me and set up an appointment at a store or something. Instead, though, they sent me over to try one at someone’s house.
So I went over, bringing The Hammer and The Swimmer. And my camera, to catch a video of what it would be like to swim in place.
Here’s what it was like:
What I Thought
All three of us were kind of nervous of this thing at first. Which, as it turns out was silly. Swimming in an Endless Pool felt pretty much the same as swimming in a regular pool. Just no kick-turns, and no fighting for a swim lane.
And — and this was huge — there was hardly any chlorine smell at all.
The bad thing (which would eventually be a good thing if I did something about it) was — as you’ll see in the video — this totally made it super obvious to The Hammer, The Swimmer, and now to you what an abysmally bad swimmer I am.
I find myself painful to watch. You, on the other hand, may find me hilarious.
I talked with the home / pool owners after our pool party, wondering whether they still use their Endless Pool. They said that the man uses it three or four times per week; the woman uses it a couple times per week. Which is pretty impressive, considering they’ve had this setup since they built the house about six years ago.
In that time, the pool has never broken. Of course, they seemed like the kind of people who would actually follow the recommended maintenance schedule, whereas I would let a thick green moss grow on the surface of the water.
By the way, I lost a bet — fortunately for me, there were no stakes — I made with The Hammer and The Swimmer before we went that the man would absolutely positively be a hardcore triathlete. As it turns out, he just likes swimming. Doesn’t compete at all. So evidently, there are athletes out there who just like to exercise without thumping their chests and stuff.
Frankly, I can’t fathom it.
Of course, after having used this, my most pressing question is: Since he’s got the equipment, what do we have to do to get Dustin to do an Ironman of Nowhere this year?
A Kindle-Related Note from Fatty: For those of you who were wondering when my new book, Comedian Mastermind: The Best of FatCyclist, 2005 – 2007, would be available on Kindle, the answer is: It’s available on Kindle now. Click here for more details about the book, or click here to order.
A Note from Fatty About Today’s Guest Post: Today’s story is the second in the Christmas story series written and illustrated by my ten-year-old twins. Today’s is by Katie, and if you take a look at yesterday’s story, you can tell there was a little bit of twin-power collaboration going on behind the scenes.
Did You Know Santa Claus Is Really a Goat?
by Katie Nelson
Now all you people who read this, young and old, there is one story I know you’ve all been told. Yes, the story of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer, but there’s one part of the story you probably thought you wouldn’t hear, the part about Santa really being a Goat!
Do you also believe that Santa flies with magic reindeer? Well, really he flies with the sheep that you count to fall asleep! That is why it’s so hard to sleep every Christmas Eve night, Santa has borrowed all your sleep sheep!
As for his little bitty elves, well, they really are bitty, and they really are elves, but instead of little, tiny magic humans, they are little, tiny, magic penguins. In fact they’re so small (only 22 inches tall!) the only way to reach a table is to sit on a beach ball!
And since penguins have no thumbs (they’re only good for making toys and drums) Santa Claus has polar bears wrap the presents for the good girls and boys!
Merry, merry Christmas!
[Note from Fatty: In the print version of this book, this spread opens up to have a pop-out flying sheep. I'm not a great photographer and so didn't capture the awesome effect as well as I'd have liked. Still, you get the idea.]
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