Sunday, September 9, 2012

No Burner Left Behind

No Burner Left Behind 
 ... aka ... 
A plea to help two excellent burners who met with unexpected and serious financial burden post burn due to their desire to contribute a mutant vehicle to BM 2012

For those that don't burn, please read this and consider the merits of what I say, and maybe, just maybe, it will even inspire you to go that thing in the desert. 

And ... for those who read this that do burn, read it all please, because I think the bitterness tends to jade our vision after years of dust in our brains. 

The true burner knows that Burning Man is an event only made as amazing as it is due to the contributions of so many selfless people who bring their labors and creativity to the wasteland known as the playa. Often, this is a costly affair, with only the lucky few able to coax money out of grants or donations. 

The many who do not have funding still bring their labor of love, but on their own dime, returning with nothing to show for it besides memories and the appreciation of their art by others who like in the dust for the week. 

The financial burden of contributing to burning man is an accepted component of the endeavor, stacking atop the already lofty expenses of ticket prices, travel, food, shelter, and other costs.  Without these generous people, the burn would be half as much, maybe far less.

Every burner knows (and fears) the unexpected cost and most (the truly prepared) ensure that they have the finances to survive an emergency situation, the likelihood of it coming to fruition grows by the mile traveled and each pound of weight.  

For example, this year, the Camp Grrr mutant vehicle cost us an unexpected $1000 (on top of the already hefty costs to make it, keep it running, and hauling it) for an emergency transmission repair job in Bend, Oregon.  But that is a drop in the hat compared to some.

Two of the members of Camp Grrr, Jenn (T-Rex) and Zack (Sick), both very veteran burners, embarked on their first adventure into what it is to bring a mutant vehicle to the playa this year. 

They spent money on a base vehicle, parts, batteries, a new trailer, and they did all of this with eyes wide open, knowing full well that this was money they spent as a gift to other burners, rather on themselves. 

Shortly before the event, they also discovered they were pregnant. Still, they forged ahead, even despite the vehicle not operating correctly, with but the hopes and dreams that they would get their mutant vehicle running on the playa. It didn't happen. 

The Peacock never flew. 

Failure after failure plagued the project before and on the playa. Still, it was not all a loss, as they learned many lessons and even as a work of "still life", it is a beauty and intrigued a many walker-by on the corner of 4:30 & D. It was not what they desired, but they rolled with it, taking it all in stride. 

It was after exodus that the true $$$ burden struck, as their vehicle threw a rod trying to chug the trailer and mutant vehicle up a pass just outside of Reno. Trapped in Truckee, with few options, their costs increased exponentially.  The repair work alone is quoted at $6k-$7k.  This doesn't include the expenses that surround this unfortunate event that have stacked up quickly, trapped far from home.  They haven't landed yet, but I am estimating that another $2k has stacked up from towing, rental vehicles, hotel, and food.

Self reliance, a tenant of the world that manifests at Black Rock, is vital and important, but community should catch the worthy who stumble when plans fail and fate takes it's dues.

They have not asked for money, but I am asking for them. 

These two wonderful people did nothing but try to contribute their vision to the playa and that is what a real burner does. We all have licked our wounds, gone home and started version #2, and repeated the cycle of giving, learning, and improving. 

All of us have been eaten by the unforeseen cost monster that is BM, but in my humble opinion, this is simply too much for this awesome couple, with a child on the way, to endure on their own, especially when the cost is a direct result of trying to share something new and wonderful with others.

If you live in and love that week long of craziness in the dust, or just simply love the fact that there is something out there that defies sensible reason and people will empty their wallets to drag massive metal sculptures into the wastelands to share with the world, please consider kicking in anything to help these two awesome people. 

The Peacock (the short version of the vehicle's name) is pictured (in part) below (the red model-t thingy).  The Peacock will fly next burn, if it kills us, to entertain all, but these two (or is that three technically) people sure could use some good will in the meantime.

How to donate:

Send donations via Paypal, to
I am working on some gifts to people for various levels, but figured I would toss this out there before that had been finalized.  

1x Camp Grrr Dog Tag - $25
2x Camp Grrr Dog Tag - $50
3x Camp Grrr Dog Tag - $75
1x Small metal yard sculpture by me - $100
2x Small metal yard sculpture by me - $200
1x Larger metal yard sculpture by me - $300
For the sculptures, if you are out of the area, I will have to charge something for S&H or work out arrangements to get it to you.  I will keep each person who this applies to updated as I know more on the details.
If you are waiting to donate to see examples, email me at the above email address and I will get on it to provide some examples.

Q: Why Paypal?

A: After looking at the various websites for this, I felt that paypal offered the best option for simplicity, lowest overhead cost of using service (0%-2.9% within the US), and already widespread adoption for most people.  The disadvantage is that it is not an open book, leaving those who donate to trust that the money will be delivered to the intended target in full.

The solution to that one dilemma is simple enough.  Within a day or two of your donation, I will add the $ amount to this page, without your name, but instead a unique ID (sha1 hash for the nerds) that is based on your name (but not easily reversible to reveal your identity).  In addition, I will email you your ID#, the exact part of your name I used to generate it, and a way to verify that the ID was in fact generated from that string.

It is your job to ensure I am being honest by looking here and verifying that your contribution was included in the list (with your unique ID) and is part of the grand total.  

Then, the recipients of the donation can also verify that I have handed over all funds by verifying that the dollar amount posted in the contribution list here is what I give them.

As long as everyone does their part to verify that their contribution is listed and the recipients verify the total $ amount, I will be unable to sneak away to Guam with ill gained $.

Q:  Why not send the money to them directly instead?

A: Like I said, they aren't the ones pushing the idea.  I am.  Also, I don't want to burden them with having to deal with it.  I am volunteering both $ and time to the cause to ease the load of worries they are currently struggling with.  You are more than welcome to donate to them directly if you know them, but it will not go into this verification process.

Contribution Verification List

04a5d6b12a3fe5acd455870a97eda22f2299bb18    ------    $20
0cb58c271533ef06f19821eddaac5869149fba61    ------    $300
11b88897443329eb6d927208108374cc6c0774db    ------    $100
12ef7c9f25e7eeece4e61161a656ae3c36ed2e08    ------    $100
2c43002f903c71d6cefcab23617fb103ed33a026    ------    $100
41218b37d5ef0fe5e33d0a3f8414979c50dd95b1    ------    $50
50006e35b585cec7949840da4cf6e4af56bff9d1    ------    $50
5114ab3e42f5e3ab93980418d4d24362dd2d5489    ------    $300
6f91c2c77a38c43ebedc9cb5ef4fc6a8a2045dd0    ------    $50
8e1ff95e90790a4777a71e82717e9c00dc7a5fad    ------    $100
b7b6093e6bdd33a6753efa39a1efcf11e59d76b5    ------    $50
be6f36d396e5dc3daf360a9f3190f3c6d0b9ded3    ------    $25
bfe336bcb0e65d407ce3b86ff4c408a1650ea20a    ------    $300
c5a88a5014a764b8f7d8024b3cead2d9eb106777    ------    $500
cb8991cfbd8bedbbbd611e539f8f5eca5b52cc2f    ------    $300
d05e613b6a0cade269f8b0e1060ce92d08c87bb8    ------    $300
f3a99bcd29496f19c84840a41560e0801bd5fd33    ------    $20
f5fdf57bdee3578bd8edd721497c316ed15cd9cd    ------    $300
fdbb844a0e2f6027a5edda04f3d5bcb5aef49529    ------    $100

Grand Total: $3065

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