To say that the last few years have been politically challenging would be a huge understatement not just where I happen to live, but globally. Unfortunately, where I live happens to have proven to be impotent in its ability to see off these horrible setbacks and struggle to lead globally where we’ve been able to do in times past, which has been hugely disheartening. To see the emboldening of a cynical, outdated and remarkably limited outlook on the past, present and future through the ugliest forms of the abuses of power, racism, sexism and classism has offered a bleak vision for the future, and has laid the roadmap for the political fight that must come. I’ve never liked to combine politics with my livelihood, as I’ve always tried to see myself as one to look to the many sides and experiences in this great human experiment, but I do feel we’ve gone so far past the idea of politics and have crashed head first into a fundamental place of human rights and the struggle for simple decency.
Hello Friends. With the series of hurricanes hitting North America this season, there is no shortage of worthy causes to support for any of us that are able to. This month, Nauti Straps will be donating 10% of all sales to the relief efforts in Puerto Rico, with our focus on the children and their families who’ve been displaced by hurricane Maria. Save the Children is a foundation operating out of Fairfield, Connecticut, and with 6 people currently on the ground in Puerto Rico, are focusing on getting supplies to families in need by way of diapers, cribs, formula, food and supplies. They’re working in conjunction with the Red Cross and FEMA to try and get supplies directly to those most in dire need of them.
These horrible natural disasters can cause such chaos and uncertainty for the people in areas affected, and none are more susceptible than kids.
There are many organizations to support or ways to help, but we want to try and focus our efforts this month on the most vulnerable and least capable of advocating for themselves, so if you can, please donate via the link above, and if you would like us to hand build you a camera strap, we’re donating 10% of all sales this month to the efforts by Save the Children. A way to help, and get a wonderful camera strap at the same time. Head over to Nautistraps.com to see what we make.
I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1993 as a teenager and quickly connected to a place that has become such an amazing part of who I am. I spent much of my youth outdoors, hiking, camping, snowboarding and enjoying the majesty of this beautiful part of the world.
It is with a heavy heart that I write this, watching an amazingly devastating fire rip through one of the most beautiful areas I’ve ever been lucky enough to experience. Wildfires are something that we north westerners have unfortunately come to expect this time of year, but this one feels different. Started by a horribly negligent act by a group of young teenagers throwing fireworks into a ravine of dry undergrowth that has quickly become a horrendous forrest fire, claiming over 31,000 acres as of the time of writing, with little containment achieved. Hundreds of volunteer firefighters and rescue workers have been tirelessly working and fighting to save lives, homes and the beautiful landscape that will take generations to recover from this tragedy.
Please take time to discuss how decisions like these made by these kids, can horribly affect so many others. My rage toward these stupid actions have subsided as I’ve tried to gain perspective as a parent, knowing that we’ve all made stupid decisions throughout our lives, and have chosen to try and turn it into a chance to educate as opposed to wallow in anger. We have talked with our kids about this as a teaching opportunity, letting them know that even little events and decisions that we choose to engage in throughout our lives, can have such a devastating effect on this planet, and so many other families, kids, animals and the areas we often take for granted. I am saddened that so many of the experiences, the beautiful locations and hikes that I wanted to share with my kids, will no longer be possible to share in our lifetimes, because of the poor choices and actions of a few kids.
We’ve decided that because this is such a near and dear cause, we want to try and help the volunteers who’re putting their lives on the line to fight this fire, by donating 10% of all sales of Nauti Straps this month, to the Hood River County search and rescue efforts. The American Red Cross is also taking monetary donations and are scheduling blood drives for both this as well as the hurricanes ripping through the American south east.
If you have the ability to, any direct donations are always appreciated. And if you, or anyone you know need a handbuilt camera strap, we’re going to be donating 10% of sales, and matching all donations ourselves, through any and all sales of our camera straps over at Nautistraps.com this month to the rescue and fire fighting efforts of the brave women and men of the Hood River Search and Rescue.
Be safe, be well and please share these types of stories with our younger folk so that they too can start to understand how our decisions in life can affect others.
All our best,
Team Nauti (Tyson and Rachael)
With our family move in the rear view, Mrs Squeeze and I are back in the saddle and really excited to try and drum up some help this month for a wonderful cause to help families suffering from ALS. ALS, (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) also known to many as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is traditionally a gradual onset disease which affects everyone a little differently at first. It affects the nervous system resulting in a loss of physical, muscular function, with the timetable for most lasting between 3-5 years from diagnosis before the body and muscles which control breathing and functional regulation, begin to fail. There is no known cure currently, but the ALS Association works to develop treatments and drugs to slow the effects.
This brings us to this month’s donation. I’ve long followed Anthony Carbajal (find Anthony and his wonderful photography on Instagram HERE) and his knack for street photography for years now. Anthony has inspirationally lent his story and gritty photography from the streets of Redlands, California to a cause near and dear to his family’s core. Anthony suffers from ALS, as does his mom. To try and give a tiny bit of insight, he has been focusing on helping 30 families suffering from ALS over 30 days before his 30th birthday, and we’d like to try and help a little bit as well. I’d strongly suggest checking Anthony out on Instagram and following his journey. The stories of families he is aiming to help with this project read as diversely as ALS is indiscriminate in the families it affects. Anthony’s positivity and spirit are so strongly inspirational to me, and I’d like to think he will be for you too. I don’t know Anthony personally outside of interacting through Instagram, but his story and his actions have touched me in a deeply transforming way and the Mrs and I started this business hoping we could use it to benefit others as well as our family through our work. This month, we want to donate to Anthony’s project.
You don’t need to buy a camera strap to help, as you can see more about the project which was originally set up to help Anthony directly, which he then chose to use to help others, by going to the You Caring Page set up HERE. If you would like to help, and are in need of a new, hand built camera strap, Nauti Straps will be donating 10% of all sales this month to Anthony’s 30 for 30 project as well (see what we hand build HERE). I will be donating as much as I can personally, too. Anyone cool with Anthony, is tops in my book.
Please help get the word out, and let’s try to help kick some ALS.
All our best,
Team Nauti (Tyson and Rachael)
The world is no stranger to injustice and human hatred. Living in a normally progressive city can often feel like an echo chamber of similar interest and opinion, but just last week a hate crime took place in Portland, Oregon which has certainly rocked the community both here, and around the country. While standing up to a grown man, racially and religiously abusing two teenaged girls, three men attempted to calm and repel a horrific situation that ended up with two of them being murdered, and gruesomely injuring the third. Rick Best, a 53 year old Army veteran and father of 4, along with Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, a 23 year old recent Reed College graduate, lost their lives standing up for these two young girls. The third man, Micah Fletcher a 21 year old Portland man who has come out in strong support of the two young girls that this attack was directed at, is speaking the way that most people I know, feel about this. He has heroically called out a need to rally around people of color and religious minorities stating:
“The Muslim community, especially in Portland, needs to understand that there are a lot of us that are not going to stand by and let anybody — whether they are from here or not — scare you into thinking you can’t be a part of this town, this city, this community, or this country,”
A minority of closed minded, scared and ignorantly intolerant individuals have seen recent events as a rallying cry and excuse to bring their racism out into physical manifestation, and in my opinion, the only way to combat that is to work together to both discuss and educate those willing to listen, and to fight against those refusing to do so, that hatred toward any group of people because of perceived difference in race, religion, class or gender, is not okay, and never will be. They’re on the wrong side of history, and while there will always be those who feel that they are better because of a religious outlook, or their skin color, there are more of us that understand that we live in a diverse world with a vast tapestry of belief, culture and identity. When unjustifiable hatred is directed toward anyone, I feel it important to do what we can to support those who are victimized, as well as those who stand up to repel it.
We chose to start this monthly donation program to financially support causes in immediate need through something we’d be marketing and selling anyway, while finding a way to donate where we otherwise might not have been able to, or not nearly as much. It has honestly been sad that it has been difficult choosing between many different, worth causes every month, but this is the world we live in. We have chosen to donate 10% of any and all sales of our camera straps monthly to a new cause, and this one has hit close to home.
You don’t need to buy a camera strap to support the families of this horrific event, and I’d certainly suggest offering support if you’re able, but we will be donating 10% this month via Nautistraps.com to the Tri-Met Hero’s GoFundMe HERE. There are also funds set up for the two young girls and their families (see more about that HERE) who have obviously been traumatically affected, both by the attack on them, as well as witnessing the brutal attacks on these three men.
Portland, en masse, has rallied around all of the families affected, as well as the greater Muslim community here, and for that I’m happy to say that while we will never entirely eradicate hatred, we can meet it with more force by supporting each other in times like this. Be a decent human being and continue to stand up to hatred and racism as it rears its ugly head.
Tyson and Rachael
If you’ve been overwhelmed by global news or light shed on the huge variety of conflict and injustice being inflicted globally, I can understand as it has been taxing to wake to a seeming constant flow of issues ranging from bizarre to horrific, daily. This month, we wanted to focus our effort on the horrific Chechnyan anti-gay purge seeing people of the LGBTQ community in that country, literally put into what are being called “torture camps” with the Chechnyan government hunting anyone even rumored to be gay or transgendered with families being urged to kill their children, or face having it done within these torture camps. Chechnya’s police call it ‘Cleaning your honour with blood.’
I know that I have subscribers and readers from all over the world. I’ve used my blog as a way to converse with many of you, I continue to follow many of you as well, and I have greatly enjoyed doing so. As it has progressed, my new camera strap business has naturally worked its way into the site here, and I appreciate all who have helped support me in that venture. With the state of the world, and the country that I live in, it’s role in the global community and the affects our policy have for many planet wide, I’ve made a conscious effort to try and use Nauti Straps to help in ways I was unable to before. If you live in a place that affords you freedoms enabling a relatively safe and secure lifestyle, appreciate that and we’d urge anyone willing to listen, to do what they can to support those in greater need that are living in places where they’re not afforded similar freedoms. It is difficult for many of us to singlehandedly, financially support causes, but if we circle the wagons, band together, we can help spread that burden out so that we create a chorus of voices as opposed to feeling as if we are trying to tackle any injustice we’re troubled by, alone.
This month, Nauti Straps will donate 10% of all sales of our camera straps to the Rainbow Railroad, an organization focused on advocating and directly aiding LGBTQ people all over the world. Currently, much of their need and effort resides in the horror happening in Chechnya. You can see more about Rainbow Railroad and what they do HERE. From the Rainbow Railroad’s website:
In countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBT) people still live in basic fear for their freedom, their safety and their lives. They often have nowhere to turn because their government and police not only tolerate but encourage this brutality. Rainbow Railroad exists to help these people get out of danger to somewhere safe. In the spirit of and with homage to the Underground Railroad, the mission of the Rainbow Railroad is to help LGBT people as they seek safe haven from state enabled violence, murder or persecution. Through funds collected by people like you, we’re able to support, provide information, and help to arrange safe transportation for these LGBT people to somewhere in the world where they can live their lives in safety.
We’ve decided to say the hell with being politically and ethically neutral at Nauti Straps (just in case you haven’t yet noticed) through our monthly donation program where we choose a cause we feel is in immediate need, to donate a 10% portion of all our sales to. While we fully support every person’s right as a human to have differing views, opinions and framework for your lives and the lives of those you love, we respect EVERYONE’s ability to live life as who they are, as long as that life in no way inflicts direct harm or oppresses anyone else’s ability to have the freedom to do the same, and hope you feel similarly.
If you, or anyone you know would like a hand built camera strap, while helping the Rainbow Railroad you can see what I make at Nautistraps.com HERE. If you feel you are in a position to financially help, and don’t necessarily need a camera strap, you can donate to Rainbow Railroad directly through their website HERE.
Thank you and as always, any help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated.
*we will return to our semi-regularly scheduled photo review blogging shortly. Thank you for your support.
I cannot think of a situation more dire than that which is taking place in Syria and affecting Syrian people right now. I’d imagine we’ve all read about, and seen the horrific footage of the most recent spate of chemical attacks and while extremely hard to watch, if you haven’t, I think it important to do so to understand just what the evil in this world is capable of. The Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets are a group of Syrian rescue workers who risk life and limb to respond to bombings, chemical attacks and any other act of violence against innocent children, women and men, and do so outside of any political or religious framework. Pure humanitarian motivation. I would suggest seeing who they are, and what they do here: www.whitehelmets.org
As of the time of this writing (according to their website), 166 White Helmet volunteers have been killed, and yet they continue to charge into affected areas to help the people, the families, the children who are otherwise helpless.
Politics aside, and regardless of who is responsible for the continued aggression against Syrian civilians, we can at the very least, financially help. We will be donating 10% of all sales of Nauti Straps (find Nauti Straps HERE) to the White Helmets this month, and even if you’re not in the market for a camera strap, even a few dollars can help if you feel so inclined to donate directly. I’ve tried to find worthy causes to support each and every month, and right now, I cannot think of any cause in more immediate need. We may not be able to do much in the grand scheme of things, but this is one way that we’ve decided to try and use our new business to help a little bit.
We will be getting back to our regularly scheduled programing shortly as I have multiple lens reviews and comparison articles in the works.
Thanks all, be well and happy shooting.
Mrs Squeeze and I have been going back and forth about what to do, and how we can implement ways to both help others while alleviating the feeling of depressing hopelessness that seems to have crept into our collective consciousness. With a young family and ever increasing cost of living, we don’t have unlimited funds, nor, often time to dedicate to those who are on the front lines. Months back, we did a special sale code which led to us donating to Standing Rock this last Fall (thank you guys for helping out on that!), and now we have decided to eliminate a specific code, and just donate 10% of any and all sales through NautiStraps.com to a particular cause each month. It’s not going to change the world on its own, but it will help us feel as if we’re able to do a little something.
This month, we will be donating 10% of all sales of camera straps, to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC functions as a non-profit group which observes and tracks known hate groups throughout the United States. It provides legal and on the ground support to individuals as well as local law enforcement in cases where individuals and communities are threatened by these hate groups.
We recognize the danger behind marrying business with a political stance, but we’re at a point in our lives that we feel we should be trying to do whatever we can to push back against hatred in any form, and this is a small way we’ve chosen to do this. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to build relationships through this blog over the many years I’ve been writing it, and hope to continue to do so. If this offends you, I apologize, respect your difference of opinion, but feel you can now choose to continue to read my ramblings, or use this as an excuse to unfollow me. Of course, any and all help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated. I’m not going to lie, I don’t give these camera straps away (not often anyway) and have always looked to build this as it’s own standalone business, but we’re choosing to use this new business to provide a little financial support to causes we support moving forward.
You can see more about the SPLC and what they do HERE.
If you or anyone you know is in the market for a new, hand built camera strap, we’d be honored to make you one, and donate 10% of that to the SPLC. We will continue this monthly donation program through the year, while keeping an eye on areas that we feel are going to be in need of financial help. Many of us are very privileged in ways we may not even see or know. I am certainly guilty of taking many of my privileges for granted, and want to try to use these privileges to do something positive for those who may not have the same privileges.
Thank you all for the continued support, the read and the friendship. Let’s try to be good to and for each other.
You can find my hand built camera straps at Nautistraps.com