I'm Back Again Already
This time I didn't take a couple of months to post another one of my obnoxious, self-absorbed, self-important Random Musings columns and I plan to make it a habit of doing at least one of these weekly so be forewarned!
Anywho, this edition of Random Musings is mostly devoted to rockhounding or rock-selling both of which have picked up for me of late.
Ebay Petrified Whale Boneheads
Earlier this week we got in trouble with Ebay for selling PETRIFIED whale bone. Ebay claimed it violated their rules about marine mammal products. They summarily ended two of our offerings of this non-organic/non-bone/non-ivory material, one each on consecutive days until we took down the remaining pieces. That we were not selling organic products from still-viable marine mammals but instead were selling stone casts of bones from creatures that have been extinct for millions of years was of no relavance nor the fact that Ebay does not state in their rules and regs that they make no exception for fossilized marine mammal bones.
Consequently, this means we now have two violations of Ebay Terms of Service despite our zealously following Ebay rules as long as we've been using Ebay.
We have incurred this penalty as a result of a zero-tolerance policy designed to protect modern marine mammals from being exploited for which Ebay's take on fossilized marine mammal bones does nothing to protect.
We don't know if this was an Ebay internal search and destroy which I doubt as why would they do this one piece per day for two consecutive days and not simply upon finding one piece just check our store and see a whole bunch and take them all down?
Although it might have been a competitor that would be potentially hurtful to such a competitor selling the same thing if Ebay were to start cracking down on that material in a more widespread fashion.
My money is on it being some sort of Save The Whales asshole with too much time on their hands and too little brains for their own good out looking for a windmill to tilt in order to perpetuate their own delusion that their wretched and meaningless little life somehow has purpose and they are accomplishing important things and making a difference.
If enough of you express interest in reading our email exchanges with the catch-22-peddling Ebay Trust & Safety Division (reminds me of the Upright Citizens Brigade) as we attempted to navigate the bozone layer that seems to permeate there and futily battle them while employing logic and common sense in an environment where Double Think appears to be the norm then I will indulge you all by posting the thread in its entirity.
We will blog about this in more depth in the days to come.
Rinconada Mine & Trail
On Tuesday I joined my friend Mike for a hike up Rinconada Trail in the Los Padres National Forest between Santa Margarita and Pozo. Before we headed up the mountain I showed him what was left of the mine and to my suprise they had recently plugged the adits and the retort had been marred by grafitti and the gun people had left a wasteland of spend shotgun shells and targets and such not to mention a good deal of litter. This pissed me off to no end but what can I do?
While there I found a surprisingly good specimen of Cinnabar (the ore from which mercury is derived) right next to the retort which one would think would not be possible given how utterly insane and irrational the EPA gets about Cinnabar and Mercury and one would assume they had stripped the area clean of any sign of such material.
While we were hiking the trail, which was a magical experience with the Santa Ana Winds blowing while we were there, I did a lot of scouting for future rockhounding treks in the immediate vicinity of the mine where there is a lot of strange geology and plenty of signs of mining activity in the days of yore.
Pasadena Day Trip
On Thursday, Mom and I daytripped down to Pasadena to pick up her late father's slides (he being the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee) from the offices of Thru the Bible Radio.
Mom and I had not been there nor visited in person its director, Leo Karlyn, for the better part of the past two decades or more so it was nice to triumpantly come back and make peace with the place and reconnect with Leo, a long-time friend of the family in spite of our drifting apart and parting ways over the course of the aforementioned timeperiod.
It was a pleasure to visit with Leo and renew our connection to him and it was nice to be introduced to the new staff (new to us anyway) and walk the halls and rooms of the old building before they downsize to their other property across the street later this year.
Ahh, the memories. It was also a bit bittersweet and melancholy given how many people she and I both once saw in there who are either now dead or retired. Tempus Fugit.
Grizzly Ridge Quartz Ranch
Today I talked on the telephone to mine owner John French and we worked out a business arrangement in principle that has me becoming one of his exclusive dealers of the material coming out of his mine. We will start this new relationship with next month's Roseville Show.
Needless to say, we are very excited about this opportunity and are humbled and grateful and excited about the future.
Speaking of Mines
A friend of mine who lives as caretaker on an important and storied mercury mine complex located somewhere in the North County has invited me to help him move some fire bricks next week and while we're there we plan to do some serious Cinnabar hunting on a nearby roadcut and perhaps traipse off into some adjacent BLM land and do some rockhounding on lands that have perhaps not been rockhounded since the nearby mines were in operation.
Our plan is to do this next Monday so I'll keep you posted.
Coming Soon: More Petrified Whale Bone
Local rockhound Jeffrey James has more petrified whale bone from years ago he wants to trade me in exchange for material I have so I hope to close this deal soon and I'll get back to you on what I get my hands on but it should be good given Jeffrey's previous offerings.
As a result of the aforementioned dust-up with Ebay over this material we won't be offering our petrified whale bone there but we will sell it directly to you through PayPal as well as at our shows this year.