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My Journey - January 2010

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My Journey - January 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:04 pm

Saturday, January 16th, 2009
We saw Avatar, it was very good. I felt the movie as a whole was a little disjointed like several groups worked on their portion to create an almost seamless whole. Before I saw the movie I thought it was in important moment; this is the first military theme movie in a long time where the military and 'the establishment' is the bad guy. I saw District 9 on DVD and the pattern repeats. I think the American public is being told it is time to 'stand down'. I really do not see much of a threat on the horizon.

I ran a lot of errands each day, as many as 8 places, when I had my bike. Without the bike I was able to check my mail at ARCH, a homeless shelter and maybe 2 -3 other places in a day. Somehow, drinking coffee shortly after 8AM means I leave the house at 11AM. I have yet to figure that out.

Today I did laundry, cleaned the laundry room and removed a broken 5 gallon glass bottle from the yard. I went ot one of the community bike shops I have not been to yet, knowing it was closed so I would know how to find it when it was open. There were some fun-loving hippy freaks at the Co-op in front of the bike shop. I flashed back to my childhood. Smile I got a phone number too. I walked to ARCH, a homeless shelter downtown to check my mail and got a bank card with my picture on it. The one I first got looked something like me but was not the picture taken of me that day, strange, eh? I went to the Post office and got specifics on how to receive mail general delivery. I went to the library and used their WIFI with my laptop. I check email every day, answered the new ones and sent some off to new people. I put two wishes on craiglist, one for work and one for a bicycle. I went back to Francis' house, on the way I called the guy at the bike shop to see if he was awake yet. Yes and the shop was open! I grabbed my coat and bike at Francis' house,checked with Francis if he really did say I could use his old mountain bike in the garage for trade in power. And away I went!

They had no problem at the 21 street Co-op bike shop trading my good stuff for a complete not so good bike. Not like Austin Yellow Bike or UT Orange Bike, but I won't mention any names. Wink I put together a mountain bike with cantilever brakes just like in my prayers. But the short distance between the seat and the steering was not in my prayers. I have a bike that works. Smile)) Oops, I just remembered - I forgot to pick up the other treasures I found hunting through their boxes. I wish they had bike lights. It is a shame the open mike poetry and all the community bike shops are all on Monday night. Priorities. But someone at the poetry reading sounded like they could help me and the other bike shops were not that helpful... I have a bike now, I can do it all in one night just like Santa Claus! (superman theme song)

Other stuff that happened since I wrote at the end of December is meeting a guy using school sized backpacks (daypacks) as saddle bags. I hunted him down in an underground book store, talked with him for a long time. I invited him to Francis' on the weekend but the weekend is going by fast. I meet a lot of people and look for opportunities to share my adventure.

I want to go to CostCo with Francis and use some of my food stamps for the good of the household but Francis is resisting. He invited me into his house with free food for an indefinite period of time with no strings attached (other than keeping out of the way of the people working in his office nearby) and he does not want to use my renewable food stamp resource?! I am challenged finding ways to repay Francis' hospitality. I cleaned the unscheduled biology experiment out of his sink and refrigerator, cleaned the renovation clutter out of his office and yard. The garage is next. His garage is a miniature archeological dig site. I promised Francis I would not throw anything out unless it was unequivocally garbage. Smile

Today with Linda
When Francis first invited me into his space he had me sleeping in an unused portion of the office. I was supposed to be out of there by 7AM but I was sick with diarrhea and vomiting while I slept and was lost in time. I was tethered to the toilet god, unwittingly awaiting sacrifice. Francis' sister, Linda is the office manager. She saw my sleeping bag-clad body on the floor and said “What are you doing here!” with a predatory crouch or charge kept barely in check. I fished around for Francis name; “Philip, Frank, Francis befriended me and let me stay here. I am sick, stay back.” She is a terror.

Things have not improved since. I respect and stay away. Linda came by on Saturday and again today, Sunday, facilitating renovation of the office building. Mike is one of the other guests here, he is 26 years old, acts like 16 (but with more energy, yes more) and there are sparks, no – fire and explosions, whenever she and he mix. He was doing laundry in the back foyer of the office knowing she might bless us with her presence. He was unconcerned when, in the house, I told him how lucky we were to have Linda here with us today. Later he ran to make sure the washing machine had not overflowed like it often does when unattended. He was too late and she was right there. They had a brisk, heartfelt and colorful debate.

I eavesdropped from my dark and secluded hiding place in the FAR back corner of the garage. It all started like this; I had been working on my new bicycle, refining my options when I heard voices, knowing she might show up I crept and peeked around the corner. Whew, only University students walking. Back to work, soon I heard more voices. Someone in a small white car was parking in front! I fled to the garage. Remove the irritant. “Oh no, I thought she had come and gone already! I made courageous or foolhardy skirmishes to retrieve my tools and bike parts and tell Mike of our demise.

When he raced to rescue his laundry (too late) she charged in and attacked. She used stronger logical arguments, a wider variety of swear words, more righteous wrath and she has more status and position – she is sister to the 'boss' and office manager. She is defending the work of many and he is defending laundry and his status as an adult deserving respect. He never stood a chance. Mike is still grumbling about the injustice of it all. Now you know the whole “Today with Linda” story. Smile

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I opted to put together Francis old mountain bike because it had some of the things I want on it already. It is too short for me from front to back but it is a working bike. I need to put together the bike and load my stuff then I will be off. I plan on going to the organic farms and ranches I know about in the area and ask about working for them in exchange for room, board and money.

Each time I walk from the house to the library I see the Sierra Club office. One time they were open. I walked in and introduced myself. I am always seeking different levels of sponsorship and told them. Jerome Collins is the pack leader there. He gave me the contact information for a lady very active in ecology and networking here in Austin. I called and left a message but no reply. Jerome gave me a SIerra club tee shirt and a coffee mug that does not spill even when turned over, perfect for me especcially since it is used - recycled.

I misplaced my prescription sunglasses and am retracing my steps in hopes of finding them. I went to the VA hospital and got a prescription for progressive bifocal glasses. New glasses for free from the VA? Wonders never cease. I am gettign dental work done there too!?

Austin Yellow Bike Project redeemed themselves by letting me requisition some of their used bike parts like fenders, brake pads and lights. I picked up more free bike parts, like front forks that have bike rack mounts on them around the corner at the Boulden Creek bike shed. I pray the front forks fit my bike. Mellow Yellow retail bike shop gave me some brand new but muddy tires a guy left behind. I need to get a brake cable housing to use as a spacer for my rear brakes. I was riding back from Yellow Bike Project in the dark with no lights (no batteries)on the sidewalk. I was singing "I got brakes, I got brakes" when my rear brakes stopped working. The next line of my song was "I better walk". So, a brake cable spacer and batteries are in order.

Frankenbike swap meet is January 30, noon to 4PM at Rio Rita at 1308 east 6th street. I will be there with stuff. Too bad I gave so much to 21st Co-op already but I was not using that stuff, it was in my way and 21st Co-op are great people.
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ChasingSanity
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