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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Living-A Major Project or How to waste you life away

About day 5

Life does not go along as I want or as I expected. I suppose if it did then I would become complacent and cease to try to make it better. My ideas on "how to make it better" have change over the years but I am happy to say they still are there.

One of those ideas has occurred several times in my life and that is to use bicycles as transportation. In the pre-automobile days of my youth it was the other option (walking was the first), In the late sixties and early seventies it was chosen just because I had such a great place to do it. At both times it was not for entertainment it was to get from point A to point B. Fifteen or so years ago I started using bikes again for exercise. It was not fun, except for the working on them, but I was so out of shape I made myself do it. Then I started using them for transportation again. That was fun and satisfying.

I do not care for bikes that are only useful as a diversion. I want utility and reliability. I do not want to race, exercise, jump (or do other stunts) or play Polo on them. I just want to be able to take one out of the shed and head off to wherever I need to go and do whatever I need to do. I use old fashion components (mostly free) and I build them to do whatever specialty I need. I do not care for group rides and a group to me is more than one. As you might guess I am not a "joiner". Since I don't have any spare time using a bike as a diversion is pretty much out.With spring looming and the heat of summer lurking I have plenty to do such as cleaning off the potting bench and starting some heritage tomatoes. Four are started here. I am going for a minimal garden this year.
The table: $5.00-garage sale. There is about two dollars tied up in all those pots. All from the thrift stores or repurposed.I have another table that I just repaired. This old table was the table in my bus when I bought it 32 years ago. I added some legs that fell off a composite table my dad had (those composite tables don't last long outside) two years ago but the board I fastened them to did not last. This is this tables third incarnation since 1979. There are never too many tables
Save everything.
Fix everything.

The planter trike became a little tired over the winter but nothing a little scrap lumber and some screws could not fix. It is fixed now and with a new and improved rear brace made with thrift store hinges (50 cents). Screws were pulled from a scrap shelf that showed up one night at the outdoor fire pit.
Landing gear up

Landing gear down

Both the new and the old canopy are up. They are fastened and guy wired a little better this time. I usually get complaints from SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) when I guy the corners because of the trip hazard but she is amazingly quiet this time.
The new. It is in the down and secured position as we were expecting some wind that night.

The old. Notice the tasteful use of duct tape on the corner. Duct tape is your friend.

The original is that white stuff next to my DIY tomato cages. I decided that repairing it would not be worth the effort. SWMBO said it looked like a pile of spare parts to her. It will not be discarded.

We were invited to haul off a stack of pallets so we did. Some will be used in various projects and some will be for firewood. I used some pieces of rotten pallet wood this morning to take the chill off. If I get ambitious I may turn these into a floor in the old canopy for the garden tools.
As I said in my last post planting has started. From the front to the back there is the squash tub, avocado tree, mustard bucket and spinach (blue) tub . There is also the Detroit Diesel oil drip bucket. Nothing grows in it pretty much like the parts of the Gulf that BP improved with lots of crude oil.

I vowed when I started these post that I would never use animals as subject matter but here I am. I'm using the excuse that I was asked.

Old people need to keep pets and they need to see the cycle of life continuing. Just because you are old and about to die does not mean you need to hurry it up. I recommend to young parents that they keep breedable pets. There are life lessons there that can be learned in no other way. "Oh they are too messy" or "Oh I'm too busy". I can't imagine how barren my young life would have been if my parents thought that way. My parents did not think that becoming a parent was the end of it. They worked at finishing the job.

Until this winter our house has had a progression of animals and small children come and go. Then the children went, cats left, dogs died off, Hammy the hamster went to the great hamster wheel in the sky and the turtles were relegated to the back yard. The house was dying and starting to smell like old people lived there. You know the smell. Two little destructive asshole kittens have changed all that. It' s alive again.


PaddyAnne said...

Duct tape is the best invention since sliced bread.

Ben in Texas said...

Nuthing like starting the garden to remind you the life cycle starts again and nuthing like kittens to put a smile on your face. :-)

The extent of my gardening any more is to keep the weeds in the yard knocked down. To that end , put a new battery in the JD just today and it if ready for what ever punishment I put it through this year.

Diane-Sage Whiteowl said...

Great post and gave me some great ideas. Cute kittens too :)

Big Oak said...

Now that you mention it, it is amazing the metal things that can be found in a burned up burn pile.

I like those little beasts. I guess they'll have to put up with you now.

rlove2bike said...

If I ever garden again, I think it will be the pail//bucket thing. I can grow weeds real gooood.

Gunnar Berg said...

How to waste your life? Adopt cats.

Nice to see the garden beginning. Still a couple of feet of snow up here on the tundra. A brutal winter. Going up into the mid 30Fs today. White will be gone soon.

Steven Cain said...

'Landing gear down.'