New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.
-Mark Twain-

My new years resolution is the same every year and I always keep it. It is "I resolve to make no New Years resolution". -tom swaim-

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Working Bicycle or How to hack a Mountain Bike to Tractor Trailer rig and other odds and ends

My plan for today based on the weather report was to ride my bike. Imagine my surprise when it started raining this morning. Imagine the frog biters (weather prognosticators) surprise. They were busy throwing the chicken bones and discussing whether they should sacrifice a goat for a new retroactive forecast this morning. Since they didn't have a clue I decided to have breakfast and formulate a new plan using a dart board and a things to do list. Very scientific.

Breakfast was peanut butter oatmeal. I couldn't decide this morning. Indecision is not uncommon for me in all matters these days. I really like old fashion oats and eat them in every way imaginable including made into patties with fried spam and garlic and fried. I haven't tried spam and mustard yet but it's on the list. I also really like peanut butter and buy a locally fresh ground unsalted unsweetened brand. This morning I wanted peanut butter and jelly but I wanted oats too. I can't have both thought I until the old fashion Edison light bulb came on over my head. So this morning it was 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup oats, I tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon low calory strawberry jam. It was delicious. Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks? Now how am I going to fix my shrimp for lunch? How about sauteed with onions and made into tacos?
One of my neighbors has this bike rigged to pull a trailer. He picks up cans with it and several others that he has rigged in various ways. All are salvaged.
His problem now is that he does not have a trailer.
I love that re-purposed sissy bar.
This light weight trailer, about 20 pounds (9 K), followed me home a couple of weeks ago and now it has followed him home. It was instant truck and semi-trailer.

He's 55 years old, not getting rich, does not complain much and ask for no charity. His portfolio is not affected so much by the recession as there is nothing in it. In fact like me he doesn't have one. He is, like me, affected by the artificial inflation of prices on everything. While people are getting on TV to complain about losing over priced houses they couldn't afford in the first place he continues living as he has always lived. Enjoying his grand kids and enduring the recent loss of his wife to cancer secure in the knowledge that he can get by using his own resources.

I'm sure that some of the SUVs and pickup trucks that smoke by him much to close on the road think "look at that stupid old bum on my road" that is if they see him at all. Well he is neither stupid, old nor a bum.

The banks haven't figure out how to get the clothes off his back or maybe a few patches of his skin but I'm sure they are working on it.

The dart hit "Big Hardware Store" so I guess the fates want me to get the parts to fix stuff. The first thing on the list is some kind of water resistant seal for the roof exit of the stove pipe. It turns out that my bright idea of using muffler repair sealant is a bust. The stuff I got from NAPA is water soluble. Melts away faster than clay. Who would have thought? It certainly wouldn't last long on a muffler around here because when it rains the mufflers wade in the water.

New bumper sticker: Fight poverty, Eat the poor.


f said...

Is that bumper sticker 'real,' as in available? Or, is it like me, more or less imaginary? Being 'working poor,' at 80% of the local 'living wage,' I'm a great fan of bicycles, re-purposing, and a vast array of things people do to keep themselves above water. But being a 'socialist' by definition, hey, I live north of 49, I'll keep the scraggly social safety net as well.

All the best.

tffnguy said...

Cool use of a part of an extension ladder for the trailer. I might sacrifice half of mine for something like that since I don't think I'll ever have anything 20 feet tall around here to have to use it extended. I figure I could cut the unused portion in half and use the two parts side by side to make a double wide version of his. (pull it with the trike)

Oldfool said...

f: I've been called the S word myself although few Americans can define the term better than they define communism. All the folks here in the lower 48 enjoy medicare, social security, public schools, fire departments, police depts, etc while cursing socialism.
These good christians here act like sharing is a bad thing.
The bumper sticker is for real. I've added a pic to the post. I'll ask my grandson where he got it.

tffnguy: It's not part of a ladder. I thought it was at first too but on further inspection I believe it was purpose built.

Steve A said...

Spam and mayo. Classic and elegant.

Steven Cain said...

I too have eaten oatmeal about every way imaginable... not with spam though. Oatmeal-PBJ is great, bananna and walnut is my go to favorite, though apple pie oatmeal is delicious too.

Does your pipe get too hot for some of that expanding foam? I just have an asphalt base caulk goo around mine, which I have to add to about every two years... I'm guessing you've already looked in to those options.

Joe said...

Excellent post...thanks!

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