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My Journey - February 2010

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My Journey - February 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:05 pm

Tuesday, February 2, 2010
January is over?! I went on Friday to Salvation Army scrounging for dress socks to have the same amount of them as the wool socks I have. I wear dress socks under wool socks. While I was waiting my turn for an employee to talk with me, an anxious man came in asking Salvation Army for help getting the phone number to a business. He had to wait too.

I asked him if I could help him. During our talks we introduced ourselves, his name is Glen. He told me he lost his ATM card to a bank in Washington DC and he needed to call them to get a replacement card. I suggested all kinds of options, Glen tried them already. I said it would be easy to get the phone number off the internet. We went next door to ARCH and asked them for the banks number. The number they found did not work. I suggested we go to the library, use their free internet access and find the number ourselves. Glen said he would pay me for helping him. OK, it would be nice if that happened.

It took a while to get to the library because Glen was getting old, in the cold, wet weather and not feeling well. When we got there I pulled out my laptop and got on their free WIFI. I had more time than the employees at ARCH, I asked him more questions, took more time so I found more numbers.

We used my cell phone to call the bank and ask what they needed from us for Glen to get his money. They wanted a mailed letter, with his ID, stating he wanted his money sent to him. I asked if a fax would work; 'yes'.

We went to FedEx to fax a handwritten letter. I taped his ID cards to is birth certificate and we wrote drafts until we figured out what to say. I bought a card to use in the FedEx machines, made a copy of all his ID's on one page and then I lost the card. I paid what money I had left to send his fax. The lady at FedEx was upset she sent the fax then found out I did not have all the money to pay for the fax. I did not know the fax cost more because it was long distance and she did not check if I had the money before she sent it.

Sometime after we left Salvation Army Glen told me he would pay me... a lot more than my efforts were worth to me... for helping him. He did have a good point that I did a lot more than the other guys and I got the job done. Anyways, I feel great helping someone AND now I am hungrily waiting for that big lump of cash miracle. My eyes were not glued to the money when I was helping him but now... How is Glen going to find me or me him when his money does come in? He has my calling card with my number on it, but he could easily lose it and he does not have a phone. I just have to wait, praying helps. I already have a prioritized shopping list just in case.

I met this guy, Ben, at one of the community bike shops a few days ago. We got talking about my inventions and his business sense and entrepreneurial (woohoo, I spelled that right?!) interests. We are going into business together. I showed a working prototype of one of my ideas - a bike mirror, to Francis' friend, Jeff, a patent lawyer and he loves it. Yes indeed, life sure is moving fast. Jeff told me I need about $600 to file a patent, another $1500 to process the patent, 2 – 4 years to go through and $50,000 is really not much money to start a business. Life slowed back down. Smile Both Ben and Jeff told me it is a terrible idea for me to use my bike mirror, even to save my life, until it is patented. At least we got our priorities straight on that one. Smile

Friday, Febuary 19th
I said my goodbyes on Monday, Feb. 15th and left that night after going back to get my precious coffee mug with the spill proof lid and carabiner hole. I got just past downtown and was pushing my bike uphill when I met a man on a a Frankenstein bike. The front forks went straight down and were welded to a long skinny prow close to the ground with a tiny kids bike tire for steering. The prow had a big, wide platform mounted with hardware store shelf brackets welded to the bike frame. Well, he was riding it. He asked if I was OK or needed help. My bike weighed a lot and I was pushing it uphill. I told him my story and asked his. He owns a bike shop nearby, the Easy Street Pedal Pushers. We talked on the way to his shop. While we talked in his shop a friend of his came by and we talked more. The friend let me stay the night at his place because he was house-sitting for someone else.

I rode on taking the road around the south end of the airport. I passed by the Austin Buddhist Center and stopped in to schmooze. The monk there was originally from Sri Lanka. He was a great guy, full of life. I learned... Watchful breathing and Watchful walking and Loving... something. Watchful breathing helps with memory, I better practice that a lot, eh?

I slept in a rest area on Highway 71 near Cedar Creek, TX for the night. I got to Bastrop near where one of the organic farms is. I called them before I got there and talked with the partner to the president of... who works at the only organic... food collection something... breathe in, hold, breathe out, notice how it all feels... They were full up with 2 WWOOFers who just arrived. WWOOFers are part of WWOOF and they work on organic farms. Maybe there, maybe not, the owners will talk it over.

I went to the Bastrop Police asking where I could camp for free. I asked around for free WIFI. I went to WalMart and I went to the only bike shop in town. I asked John at the Rising Phoenix Bike Shop if he knew of any free camping sites nearby. He gave me directions to one. I camped there last night - Thursday and Wednesday too. I worked at Goodwill as a volunteer yesterday and plan to go back, at least to say goodbye when I leave. It is time to go to the Farmers Market and scout for organic farmers. Smile

Monday, March 1, 2010
I have notes of the last few days on a piece of paper, other notes copied from an email I sent and more notes in a text file that was *supposed to be* the only storyline. Smile I am chasing sanity but it is running pretty fast right now. Smile

I packed my bags in the morning prior to going to the farmers market but did not put them on my bike. I saw no reason to haul my loaded bike around, especially considering that long, steep hill at the edge of town. First I went to the farmers market It opened at 10AM with the farmers getting there at 9d:30AM. I got there at 9:15. I talked with every merchant and farmer there. I collected all the resources, leads and tidbits I could.

I rode back up the hill. By noon, I was packed, John and I said our farewells. One of the guys that worked at the car body shop next door wanted to hear my story... A guy showed up at the bike shop right after John left to get canoes or kayaks and customers out of the river. (He rents and sells them too.) I told the guy looking for John he just left and we get talking. I told him my bike seat kept slipping because the teeth on the interface between seat and post were worn smooth. He offered to fix that at his welding shop. Deep in the Heart Art Foundry, http://www.deepintheheart.net/ is making beautiful bronze art for the city of Bastrop and this is his welding shop?! AND he is an avid bicyclist?!! FIxing my bike took only a few minutes. I talked with Bill and some of the other artists for a few hours. I left there at 4PM.

But wait, my rear wheel felt funny. I went back across the street on Industrial to get air. A foreign car repair shop was open with a guy working inside. There was a beautiful black vintage Aston Martin convertible, at least that's what I think it was. We talked for an hour. I rode out onto the road but my rear tire still felt funny. I decided to push my bike and hitchhike to Denton, TX where Querencia Community Bike shop is. I also found an organic farm, Ponder Acres, I am welcome to work on nearby. This is the first organic farm I am working on in my grand plan to work around the world on organic farms.

I went into a donut shop, Donut Palace, 1852 Justin Road, Lewisville, TX‎ to ask for directions and hoping for free samples. Most of the people there were orientalhey were a family. It was a family business. I asked the father, "where are you from?" He said "Korea, but long ago." He thought I would walk out because he was not a white Texan. I said "I am going there." "What?" "On my bicycle." He said something "!!" to his daughter / grand daughter and she confirmed what I said. That really got the conversation going. Smile

There was an older couple in the donut shop who got talking with me. They have a fried who is also an avid bicyclist. He is 75, taller than me and a math teacher at UNT?! I said I wanted to go meet and greet him.

When I got to Denton I left my calling card on the mail box of the guy who runs Querencia Community Bike Shop. Then I went onto the University of North Texas (UNT) campus in search of the math department. It was on the 4th floor of the GAB (?) building. The Department of Journalism was on the first floor. Smile I walked in and stuck my hand out. "I am Ari Gold and I am riding my bicycle around the world."

We talked for a while, firming interview concepts. I got a phone call from Francis back in Austin and took it outside in the student lounge. I told him about my trials and tribulations. WHen I hung up the guy next to me said "I could not help but overhear, what is it you are doing?!" I told him my story and asked if he knew where I could get a free shower and laundry done? He replied "My house?" I stayed the night and met a bunch of interesting people that visit the house. The next night I slept in the Querencia bike shop storage shed and the night after that in the house of a friend of Querencia. I stayed there a few days, until tonight. I plan to ride out to Ponder Acres tomorrow and start work.

Monday, March 8th 2009,
I was interviewed by www.kntu.com the North Texas University radio station on Friday the 26th. I talked low and fast for 20 - 30 minutes. I think I did a great job, one any political writer would be proud of. They used about 5 - 10 seconds and my voice was slowed down enough that I sounded like a ghost!

I got to Cardo's Sprout Farm late in the day on Tuesday, March 2nd and got working almost immediately. It's great to have work and purpose, be part of a team, learning new job skills with new people. The fresh, organic food with lots of vegetables is some of the healthiest food I can remember eating in my life. That combined with the varied physical work should have me in great overall shape soon. People ask what they grow on the farm; many chickens, four ducks, a pregnant heifer (cow) and a long list of vegetables.

I have no clue so far how to share my precious few seconds of limelight on KNTU with you. Tine to leave Bev's Valero Gas Station and convenience store, walk back to Cardo's Farm and get some sleep.
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