Earl of Frunkpuppy Gets FSD Beta, & Why He Deserved It

I may have mentioned Earl a few times. On Twitter he is known as @28DelaysLater and is the pioneer of the Frunkpuppy movement– a weekly event where Tesla owners take cute photos of their pets in the frunk of their cars (the frunk is the front trunk of a Tesla) and submit them for fun prizes.

Although he wasn’t able to speak to me on the topic of FSD (Tesla’s NDA), he was able to share his experience on Twitter, and it’s special since I kind of helped him get access to FSD Beta. Let me explain.

I’ve been seeing Earl’s tweets about being left out of the beta testing program for weeks, and some members of the community teased him about it. It was all in fun and people thought he was entertaining, but I thought that since Earl had been through a lot, it would be well deserved for him to get the FSD Beta.

Earl is a member of the U.S. Air Force and was activated last year. He had his return home delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. He also almost lost his wife in 2018, right around the time he got his Model 3. What helped him cope during this hard time was the Tesla community, with whom he fought the nonstop FUD on Tesla and Elon Musk. His father also died from prostate cancer recently and many members of the Tesla community rallied around to support him.

In August of 2018, Earl also shared the story of his grandfather, who was a coal miner in rural Pennsylvania. He never met his grandfather because he died of black lung. Earl explained in a series of tweets that his grandfather told his father that if he ever caught his father near a coal mine, he would break his leg. After his grandfather died, his grandmother and her family were abandoned by the coal company his grandfather worked at. They received zero benefits and had a series of loopholes to prevent her from getting the benefits she was owed. So, his grandmother spent her late years working in a factory to support herself.

Earl’s father told him that every time his father came home late from work, that meant that someone died because they had to dig the person who died out. So his dad would lay in bed at night, and if his father wasn’t home yet, he would worry that he died.

If his grandparents and his father were still here, I am sure they would be very proud of Earl’s work in fighting the FUD against Tesla and inspiring the community with his love for pets and his love for America.

With his struggles in mind, I tweeted Elon and wasn’t really expecting a reply. The next day, I woke up to a ton of FSD Beta requests in my notifications — Elon has that effect and it’s pretty interesting some of the things people tweet him. I had also seen my friend John’s tweets (Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley) about adding Sudoku to the games for his son. I asked Elon about that as well.

FSD Beta From Earl’s Perspective

So far (as of this writing), Earl has shared a couple of night shot clips of his FSD Beta testing. I’m sure that we will see more with the pups and his family.  If you want to keep up with Earl, be sure to follow him on Twitter, but be warned, you’ll have a lot of puppies in your feed. It should also be noted that Earl’s opinions, whether shared with me for a CleanTechnica article or on his personal Twitter page, are his own and don’t represent his job or the US military.

Thoughts on Coal

I vaguely remember my aunt — this was before I moved to Louisiana as a child. My mother had stories of our Aunt Effie, who had emphysema from being exposed to coal. I can’t remember if she worked in the mines or if it was her husband, who had died well before I was born, who had and she was exposed via his clothes. But my mother always said it was coal. I was born in a small Appalachian town north of Atlanta (grew up in Louisiana), and that’s one of the few stories I remember my mother telling me about family — and that many of her relatives died at young ages due to exposure to coal.

Today, we live in the dawn of the age of renewable energy and this is why, to me, Tesla’s pushing the industries it touches in this direction is so very important. You don’t get black lung from solar or wind. This is why Tesla’s role in these industries is critical and why many Tesla supporters would pay $35 for a branded USB drive — because we know that every cent of that profit Tesla makes is going toward a company focused on innovation intent on advancing sustainability. You could pay $13 for a Samsung USB and that money would go to someone’s pocket — or you could use your money as your voice to create demand for renewable energy.

I’m not telling you to go buy a USB from Tesla, but I am encouraging you to use your money as your voice. Collectively, we have that power, and if we demand cleaner energy, renewables, and a better way of doing things, those who are depending on our voice (aka our money) will be forced to listen. This is why, if you can afford it, you should choose an EV over a gas car. If you love Porsche, buy a Taycan. If you love Ford, buy the Mach-e. If you love Audi, buy the e-tron. Use your money as your voice to demand clean energy, and in doing this, you will honor those who died horrible and painful deaths such as black lung.

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