I took this picture through the window of a city bus today. (The yellow arc is some reflection on the glass.) This car looked noticeably better than most I’ve ever owned until the right front wheel changed directions on its own. The people were just getting to Wendy’s when this happened and surely had no idea the car would break down. I’m a little sad for them and also glad I’m not one of them. Also, here’s a lesson in car ownership. If I can’t afford to deal with something like this, I’m not ready to own a motor vehicle.
“Need, plan, benefit” is a format used to write proposals. It’s also a sound way to address issues. In this case, the need was to organize an overflowing cardboard box (upper left) between my bag chair and the door into a more useful and less unsightly “staging area” for my car-free lifestyle. The first picture shows the need, although this picture is too dark. (All of these have captions, too, but they got lost somehow.)
The plan: buy a big, cheap shelf unit and sort stuff onto the shelves. Also, use the top shelf to hold a lamp I bought for that area. I bought the shelf unit from Home Depot (lower left). As you might guess, the bus driver looked at me doubtfully when I brought that big package onto the bus, but she didn’t say anything. I got home, rested overnight, and assembled it the next day. Due to a quality control failure at the factory, I had to trim waste material from the ends of all the poles, but that’s part of getting things cheap.
The benefit: organization and easier trip preparation. The lamp sits on the top shelf, along with some hats and gloves. The next shelf is bicycle tools, parts, and equipment. The third shelf holds the many and varied bags I posted about a few months ago, except the barracks bag and big rucksack that are just too big. The bottom shelf is “miscellaneous” stuff, including rain gear and the bag for the bag chair.
Asthma, arthritis, attention deficit . . . that’s just the A’s. I’m feeling it with the weather swings. I’m ok, but I’m not doing anything interesting enough (even to me) to make a good posting. I asked a friend who has asthma and has traveled a lot how different places affect her breathing, and she singled out the humidity in Ohio as a problem. Yep. That and the fact that the weather changes radically from day to day here. Today was 25 degrees colder at 5 p.m. than yesterday. Tomorrow, snow. The next day, who knows? Tornadoes? Waterspouts?
This year will eventually give me good stories to tell. (Of course, I’ve already told most of them here.) That’s about as good as it gets. I finally got an income after years with none, moved back to Columbus, and started to re-build my independent life after living with great friends for a couple of years. Of course, it’s a long, hard climb, and it’s not over. I appreciate my friends here and in Mount Vernon a great deal, but let’s all leave this year behind.
Last Thursday was the first of the month, and I kept busy, awake or not. Here are a couple of highlights.
I went to Walmart and came home with my big backpack looking like this (above). It occurred to me as I returned that it looked very heavy. Really, I filled most of the space with toilet paper and the big bag of stuff at the top is dry cereal (very light). The whole thing probably didn’t weigh 10 pounds, bag and all. I wonder how many other ordinary things we all “mis-underestimate” as W used to say.
I thought of building a whole post around that, but I haven’t had enough energy to power that kind of writing, so I didn’t. Then a whole other thing happened.
A guy I know from a meeting called and asked if he could come by. He said he had “something” for me. I trust him, so I said to come on.
He arrived with a big box and a short story. A co-worker of his bought his wife a microwave as a gift, then found out she wanted a different one. He took the first one to work, unopened, and “gave it away,” according to my friend. Knowing I needed a microwave, he brought it to me. He stunned me by doing that. It’s great, and “thank you” doesn’t begin to cover it, but that’s all I had.
So here’s what the kitchen wall looks like now. I took the top shelf off the shelf unit and made an end table of it. Then I moved the coffee pot there and put the microwave on the stand. This works out neatly.
I had one odd incident with the microwave. The first time I used it, I got a horrendous smell like burning plastic. I still have not found it, but I must have missed a piece of the packing material when I unpacked it. The smell has not come back “fresh,” but it stuck around until this afternoon, when I left part of a box of baking soda inside the microwave for a few hours.
The microwave only has 700 watts, and I didn’t expect it to cook very well. Wrong answer! It does as well as any microwave I’ve ever used. Thanks, Tim!
(I keep trying to link this to Facebook and Twitter. Oh, well.)
Here’s what I look like this morning (sorry for the blurry picture):
People have been offering to feed me lately, and I don’t understand it. A few weeks ago, I boarded a bus. In a few seconds, the rider across the aisle started telling me how the shelter downtown offers free meals. I imagine he needed them much more than me. Yesterday, the building manager here offered me a Thanksgiving plate two separate times. Ok, I’m sure she has “issues” of some sort, but that’s another person wanting me to eat. Between those two times, I rode my bike down the nearby trail to check on progress. (None.) When I came onto the trail (from an apartment complex located there), I saw a couple crossing it further up. I’m guessing they live in the little neighborhood on that side of the trail. As I passed them, they offered me a plate of food, too. Then they asked if I knew where “George” was and said they’d been looking for him. Homeless people live in that area, probably including George. I imagine they thought I was also homeless and might know him.
Do I really look homeless and hungry?
I don’t know if our leaves are at “peak color” or not here, but it’s very pretty. The weather was nice today, too, with temperatures in the 50s F and light winds from the south. I took these pictures around 4 p.m. (1600) about a mile from home.
As far as I know, my old phone with the 740 area code shuts off tonight. I’m still learning the new “smart” phone, but I know enough about it to make and receive calls. I took the pictures with it, too.
I’ve had some nice compliments on my clean shave, but I’m considering going back to the goatee or maybe a full beard for winter. That’s mostly because I continue to cut myself when I shave, almost always where the goatee grew. I grew that in the first place because it’s thick and difficult to shave. Feedback is welcome, though.
I’m a little sleepy and running out of things to say, so I’ll shut this off here.