21 July 2011

Falied Attempts, 3

Step 1: Decide to go on an adventure.

Step 2: Pick a location. Argentina. Like the sound of the word. Okay. Get your passport. Look at a map. What’s in Argentina? Buenos Aires, ah that’s nice. You could go WWOOFing. Get the WWOOF book. Contact a farm. Decide to go to Peru instead. What’s in Peru? Cuzco, Macchu Picchu. Start saving your money. 4000, 5000. How much is a plane ticket? Quite a lot. Decide to Go to Mexico instead. Hey, I could ride my bike, no big deal. Hell, I could get on my bike this minute and start riding…ok, don’t do that, do some planning.

Budget. 5000. 1000 for tickets, 1000 for gear, 3000 for food/booze/snooze. Buy a bike, panniers, some lights and tools. Hardly anything really, well under 1000. Get tickets for the Clipper to Seattle. You know, it would only cost 200 to bus it to San Francisco. Do that as well. How far is Mexico from San Fran? It’s like… a long way… screw it, I’ll just go to LA. That’s pretty far.

Step 3: Start riding.

Step 4: Next time I’m going to goddam Mexico. That wasn’t even hard.

14 July 2011

Failed Attempts, 2

Step 1: Decide to become a famous drummer.

Step 2: Join the middle school orchestra. Decide to play trumpet. Get talked out of it by your mom, who knows that a deaf kid won’t have much luck with a pitched instrument. Take up drums instead. Half-ass your way through 6 years of boring music and mutual-hate relationships with your teachers, never giving up on music because the only other electives are art or business studies (screw that).

Decide to become a roadie instead. Take someone’s suggestion to volunteer at the local community theatre as a whatever. Become an usher. Receive no training that would be useful to a roadie, but meet someone who introduces you to a drum section leader of the local bagpipe band.

Join the bagpipe band. Learn the marches. Drink much beer. Move to Victoria, and join another band there. Drink still more beer. March around, learn more songs. Never practice enough to get any respect. Take up playing the djembe at open mike and jam nights at local bars. Meet cute guys, date them. Wear headphones everywhere you go, and dance in the street. Still don’t practice effectively.

Step 2 still in progress.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit!

13 July 2011

Failed Attempts, part 1

Step 1:
Decide to become a bicycle mechanic.

Step 2:
Try to fix your own bike. Make a hilarious mess of your gears and brakes. Apply for a job at a local bike shop, with your resume full of things like “good with my hands” and “cash handling experience. Never hear back.

Begin hanging out at the local hippie bike co-op. Patch a lot of inner tubes. Learn to strip wrecked bikes, adjust cranksets, install chainrings, build wheels. Put in a lot of free labor while fending off the advances of various creepy, older men who hang out there also.

Get tired of your job; quit. Plan to ride your bike to Mexico. Chicken out and downgrade your plan to riding from San Francisco to LA; do it; have a blast.

Come back to your same old job, with a newfound confidence, and further determination to become a bike mechanic. Patch more inner tubes.

Step 2 still in progress.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit!

09 January 2011

What I Want

I want to be a better person.
I want to show respect for every person I work with.
I want to show respect for the job.
I want to show love to my friends in concrete ways.
I want to tell my boss that he's doing a good job.
I want to work 16 hours a day and 7 days a week to make the world a better place.
I'll start with Victoria. I want to make Victoria a better place.
Give me a minute to collect my thoughts.

What would make this city better?
More biking, less cars.
Better drivers.
More civic interest from younger people.
Less reactionary NIMBYness from the older people.
I'm just throwing out ideas here, not every item on the list is necessarily relevant to the task at hand.

But here's what I want to do:
I want to make Victoria a city famous for recycling, not in the sense of bottles and cans and stuff (though that's pretty good). Oh, hold on, there's a good idea.
How about pay a bounty for every bag of street trash collected by the homeless? Reduce the money we need to spend on keeping the streets clean, give them a way to make money (a lot of them already recycle bottles full time). Ok, leave that there.

I want to make Victoria famous for chopped up, cheap-ass, recycled motorcycles. Reduce the number of cars on the street, increase the number of people who own motorbikes instead of cars. Make it normal to take a bike to the office and vulgar to take a car.

The beginning is the motorcycle salvage yard on Discovery Street. There are piles and piles of motorcycle parts stacked every which way in there, and while everything in the world can probably be found in there someplace, no one has the time to look.

To start, just to START (you have to start somewhere) I want to organize the salvage yard. Catalogue, photograph, stack things up nice and tidy. Make it user friendly.

Next step is taking bikes to wreck and recycle (there's about to be a glut of old Harley's on the market), and building new ones from parts.

That's down the road. What I want to do right this very minute is start spending 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, whipping that shop into usable condition.