Not everyone at the bar is the same widget inspector as the widget salesman down the bar. No siree, there are those that follow the rhythm of their own psyche—and they are interesting people that do interesting things. The one thing they share, quite often: it is the thing that preoccupies them that becomes their occupation.
Corvallis Becomes a Two-Bike Cab Town
By Dave DeLuca
There are different ways to measure the growth of a community. Rather than depending on dry metrics like population density, real estate values, or land annexation, I like to look at issues related to bicycles. After all, we are nationally recognized as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country, with over 10% of us pedal commuting on bike lanes found on over 98% of our main roads. And, as of March, we have two pedicab companies.
Corvallis Pedicab has been transporting people by bike since March of 2009. Owner Dan Crall can regularly be seen pedaling through the OSU campus or downtown, cheerfully offering his services to passersby. In addition to acting as a taxi for hire, Corvallis Pedicab’s two bikes and drivers are available for special events such as weddings, birthday parties, and festivals. Crall loves being his own boss and has no regrets about self-employment.
“For my lifestyle, this is a most rewarding career path and role to have filled in Corvallis, and I look forward to continually serving the community through this useful, fun form of transportation,” he said. “At age 34 and with a family of four, I am happy to be where I am, and living the dream.”
Corvallis’ new pedicab is driven by Andy Tetrick, who is a 40-year resident of our little town. Andy’s Bike Cab had its inaugural business day on March 5. Tetrick can be found biking around downtown, campus, and Kings Boulevard on most days from about 10 a.m. to
6 p.m. His services are also available for special occasions. He’s proud to provide another eco-friendly transportation alternative in Corvallis, and hopes that having two pedicabs in town will benefit everyone. He has nothing but compliments for his competition.
“Corvallis Pedicab is a viable and valuable business to our community and Dan Crall is a great guy,” Tetrick said. “I think whatever is good for the pedicab business—exposure, competition, and/or working together—can only help us both. What helps either one or both of us helps the community.”
Both pedicab companies are licensed and insured. For rates or to arrange a pickup, call Dan at 541-609-8949 or visit www.corvallispedicab.com, or call Andy at 541-908-1441 or visit www.andysbikecab.com.
Good Afternoon… Toxicology Dark Horse
By Rachel Sandstrom
Brian Lee is an independent toxicologist. His company, Good Afternoon Toxicology, assesses consumer products for toxins and recommends changes. He calls himself a “dark horse” and it fits. He is soft-spoken and seems meek, but when he talks about his work, it is with tenacity and vigor. He is called in to trials as an expert witness, or a technical consultant, and helps his side win through science. It’s one of the great loves of his job when, as he says, “I’ve helped my side obtain a fair settlement with the help of science and reason.” He is able to use his PhD in environmental health and toxicology from the University of Cincinnati in order to help consumers, according to Lee, “by reducing or removing a product hazard.”
Toxicology is not always flashy like in CSI, but Lee is on the front lines, keeping the public safe from corporations that couldn’t care less about the public’s well-being by detecting poisons with science. Before he worked for himself, he worked at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) which, according to their website, “is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.” Basically, Lee is a superhero. He goes undercover and protects the public from toxins in toys, phones, ink, and other everyday products.
Beyond expert witness duty at trials, Lee has even posed as a consumer in order to get better information from a corporation. His unorthodox methods carry over into his personal life. Having his own company allows him to enjoy life while he has the energy. He loves the science, but his favorite job thus far is the one he is currently in. He says that “while it is hardly the one with the best income, it gives me better control over my work product and flexibility in work schedule. While the work demand is not consistent, the various open periods allow me to engage in volunteer community and church activities. I don’t have to wait to be retired to do these.”
He is living the dream, able to work enough to sustain himself, but also able to work when he wants to and live where he chooses. He feels semi-retired and loves that he can enjoy his life and work at the same time, instead of having to wait. He gets to save the world on his own schedule, all the while wishing the world a good afternoon. Lee will detect poisons in your product, help win the trial against the offending product, and surprise you like the dark horse he is, as it happens.
An Accidental Fitness Business: JessBFit
By Kyra Young
Are you a child at heart? Do you love to exercise? How about climb mountains? You can now be all three things if you take classes from JessBFit! Jess Beauchemin grew up in Rhode Island and went to college in New Jersey for marine biology. She taught high school biology for two years in Massachusetts. After recognizing that she needed a life change, mountains, and people who appreciated the outdoors, she moved to Portland. After teaching high school for six more years, she decided that she wanted to be more involved in health, fitness, and nutrition so she moved to Corvallis to study dietetics at OSU. She began JessBFit to help put herself through school, but enjoyed it so much she decided to do that full-time. In what she calls a “totally unexpected chain of events” she found a way to help people, follow her passions, and be true to herself.
Beauchemin’s current programs are natural movement classes that teach students the fundamentals of human movement. These fundamentals include crawling, climbing, walking, running, balancing, lifting, carrying, throwing, and catching. She puts these movements into sequences that challenge endurance, creativity, and that help students conquer their fears. Students work individually, in teams, or in partnerships, meet in both indoor and outdoor locations, and build confidence while learning how to move better throughout their daily lives. Locations even include playing on playgrounds—what fun!
The most ambitious of Beauchemin’s programs is called Train to Climb. There are three sessions: Mt. St. Helens, South Sister, and Crater Lake. These sessions are held in the spring, fall, and winter, and run about 10 to 12 weeks. They include weekly fitness classes, monthly skills workshops, and monthly training hikes. By the end of each program, the participants are prepared to climb, or snowshoe at Crater Lake. They develop the skills to judge their abilities, pack, dress, and prepare for the planned hike. Each person can hold their own in the mountains, and develops camaraderie with their teammates. It’s a trip of a lifetime and you don’t want to miss it.
Beauchemin is also a personal trainer. She meets with people in their home or business and works one-on-one to set up fitness and health goals. Usually the focus is on bodyweight exercises, but she can also train clients with kettlebells, resistance bands, sandbags, and other types of equipment. She offers counseling on nutrition and behaviors that the client can work on outside of the sessions.
Finally, Beauchemin is also active in the business industry. She offers private group classes to small businesses who are concerned about the health and wellness of their employees. She currently holds meetings at A&S Accounting once a week. Participants meet in the hallway and train together. Business classes are a great way to get employees to interact with each other in a positive and stress-free way. According to Beauchemin, “It’s loads of fun and we laugh every time.” She is looking to recruit more businesses to help improve the health of their employees.
All of the classes are “truly for everyone, and movements can be modified to suit individual needs,” according to Beauchemin. The groups are very welcoming, and are supportive to all newcomers; they are not boot camp-style classes. Beauchemin encourages mindful movements that challenge mind and body. She is looking for people who have felt frustrated by the fitness industry and gyms in general, and who would like to feel encouraged to play again.
Learn more at www.jessbfit.com, or find JessBFit on Facebook.
Mr. Fixit: Because Smartphones Break
By Kirsten Allen
In case you’re one of those avid iPhone people, there’s a place in town you should know about. Sooner or later, chances are you’ll end up with a cracked or shattered screen, and need a place to go get it fixed. Of course, it’s not just the iPhone users who deal with broken charging ports, flashlights stuck on, and seemingly harmless apps infecting their hardware with viruses. Androids, tablets, you name it—if you have an issue, Jamie Altman and his team at Mr. Fixit are an option to consider.
Due to customer requests, with all the breaches and hacking out in the world, the crew at Mr. Fixit is planning classes on cell phone security. Altman is not yet sure when the classes will begin, although he expects them to be held monthly, lasting about an hour.
Altman has a history of building computers and tinkering with software, so opening a cell phone and tablet repair business seemed natural to him. When he’s not busy with repairs, Altman spends time researching and reading up on all that is new in the tech world, which is enough reading and researching to keep anybody busy. Having just encountered this small shop, located in downtown’s Madison Plaza, I have yet to work with them, so hit Yelp for some reviews and maybe the shop’s Facebook page to find out about classes.