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Subject:rare public post...I'm not the same person I was
Time:12:42 pm
Current Mood:contemplativecontemplative
Yep. This is a rare public post. Those who I feel need to read the dribble that I usually post are on my friends list. This is for everyone else.

It's pretty amazing how I've changed over the past few months. Moving out of state and back, meeting new people, doing new things, believing new beliefs; it's all been amazing.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a "me" who is more human. Or a lack of "me", as Alan Watts talks about in his book "The Wisdom of Insecurity", which I've recently read. I guess that's my goal: to be more human, yet to be less "me", while being for my sake. (Hmmm...it's hard to put it into words. If you don't understand, drop me a note and I'll try to explain it.)

Anyways, back to "friends only" mode. I'm posting less and less, too, and I've thought of shutting down this journal. I don't know what I'll do. But I don't have to make a decision right now, so I'll just let things flow.
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Subject:no biking for me tonight
Time:05:35 pm
Current Mood:soresore
I just slept for 3 hours. My legs are still mighty sore. I'm not pedicabbing tonight. Let's see how I feel tomorrow.

I'll use this evening for contemplation and writing. I'm in that sort of "calm" mood.
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Subject:personal limitations
Time:11:30 am
Current Mood:exhaustedexhausted
I wonder if I'm cut out for hard physical labor. I'm just not used to it. I know I'll get used to it. I'm just not sure I can get over that "hump" to be able to get used to it.

Wow, it was tough. I mean, when those 2 ladies got in my cab last night (and they weren't anywhere near overweight; they were both very nicely-figured) and I tried to pedal away, it was like I couldn't move. It took me a few seconds to get going. I was propelling almost 600 pounds with my legs alone. I got going, and it's much easier once you have some momentum, but it's not easy. Today, I'm sore as hell.

As I've said before, I'm predominantly a brain, just housed in a body. I've increased my physical fitness an incredible amount in the past few months by bicycling, stretching, and performing bits of Chi Kung. I'm trying to become more attuned to my body, something I've neglected in the past. But I'm much better at jobs where I think, write, type - this is the first "physical" job I've ever had. And pedicabbing is overwhelming in its sheer magnitude.

I guess I'm wondering if I bit off more than I can chew.
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Subject:humanity, drunkeness, and worthless people...coming soon
Time:03:43 am
Current Mood:exhaustedexhausted
You know, I have a lot to say about what I saw tonight on Sixth Street. Frankly, it was sickening, as I expected it to be. I can only imagine what the weekends are like.

I might post about my feelings tomorrow. Sufice it to say, I was quite disgusted this evening.
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Subject:my first night of pedicabbing
Time:03:29 am
Current Mood:exhaustedexhausted
Got there about 9:00PM. Talked with a guy there who was running the shop for the night. I needed a headlight, so I he found an extra on another guy's bike and said I could use it for the night. Talked for a bit, hooked up a cab, and took off. Left at exactly 10:00PM.

About 3.5 hours later, I get my first ride. Two very beautiful and happy middle-aged women. One of them "always takes pedicabs", and her friend had never been in one. They only needed to go a couple of blocks or so, but their feet were tired. No problem, I say. I got off to a rough start (it's fucking TOUGH to pull 450lbs+ with a mountain bike!; and there was heavy traffic at that moment), but I got them where they wanted to go in a couple of minutes (really, it wasn't that far). On the way, the friend said, "I feel like a bitch for riding a pedicab.", like it was harming the driver to pull her. Ma'am, it's my job; enjoy the ride! I think the ride gave her something to think about. Maybe next time she sees a pedicab, she won't have a problem hailing it and grabbing a ride. Anyway, I told them that they were my first ride ever, and they were flabbergasted. They gave me $10, said thanks, and went off to some bar.

Total time pedicabbing: 4 hours (10:00PM to 2:00AM)
Distance ridden: 10 miles (includes to and from bus transfer points a few blocks away)
Money made: $10.00
Pay per hour: $2.50
Pay per mile: between $1.00 and $2.00

It was a very slow night; all the drivers said so. I just happened to have the worst luck of the bunch, but no one came out really well. The company gave me "free lease" for my first night, so it didn't cost me anything to rent the cab (usually it's between $10 and $20 a night, depending on day and season; it would have been $10 tonight). So, I'm $10 ahead, exhausted, and drinking an "Old Rasputin" ale before bed. I guarantee I'll pass out. I'm pooped!

Night all.
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Subject:getting ready to leave for my first night pedicabbing
Time:06:47 pm
Current Mood:determineddetermined
OK. It's here: Wednesday evening. The first night I'll be pedicabbing in downtown Austin. I'm nervous, but adamant that this will work out well. As I said earlier, it's the first job I've ever had doing something besides IT.

I took a 90 minute nap, so that should help a bit. Tammy/austingoddess fixed me a wonderful dinner of bread, cheese, and fruit. I'll be taking a bottle of water, a Coke, and a Clif bar with me. The weather's nice. The "Night Owl North" bus runs until 3:10AM and will take me very close to the house about 30 minutes later.

Ugh. Still nervous, but DAMN IT, I'M GOING TO DO THIS! I'm glad it's so freeform; if I want to leave early, I can and will. If I wanted to start at 10:00PM, I could. Whatever; it doesn't affect the company's income.

I'm off. I'll post in a few hours.
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Subject:got my chauffeur's license
Time:01:31 pm
Current Mood:accomplishedaccomplished
After waking up late and biking almost 9 miles, I got to the office 5 minutes until they were about to close for the day (they only do this from 8-12, Mon-Fri). It didn't take long, though - gave them my paperwork, passed the test, had my nasty picture taken and paid them $10, all in about 20 minutes. I now have a City of Austin Chauffeur's License to drive for Austin Bicycle Cabs, with a blurry picture of me on it. And, again, if you need a job and like to bicycle, they're still looking for people.

I start tonight at 8:00PM. I have a remnant of that uneasiness and fear, but it's pretty small now, and I'm able to cover it up because I'm somewhat excited. I don't think most of you realize this, but this will the first job I've EVER had that wasn't computer related. Ever. I've never done anything except work with computers. I started working at age 16 in computer stores, then tech support, then programming, then network and system administration, more computer stores, on-site support...I've done a lot in the IT industry. So, if you think my nervousness makes me out to be some sort of wimp, maybe this explains it a bit.

Now, off to get some food at Taco Cabana, then I'm going to relax and maybe nap a bit. I'll be up until after 3:00AM tomorrow morning.
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Subject:almost pedicabbing
Time:09:00 pm
Current Mood:tiredtired
Well, I biked and bussed all over Austin today because I think I mis-remembered the address for the City of Austin Ground Transportation office. Well, I finally found it, after biking all over downtown, going to the courts building, the police station, city hall, and offices in One Texas Tower. I killed some time and relaxed at Bookpeople, then hit the office, where a nice fellow told me how much of a breeze it is, showing me a "chauffeur's test" (things like "Where is the Paramount theater?" with 3 possible answers, and "City law says you can't have any traffic tickets within __ many years?" with 5 possible answers, plus some true/false questions, etc. Its' 25 total questions.) He said if I fail it, they give me another, then another if needed, then another; they have 4 different tests. They might not even inspect my bike. Wow. So, I'll get that all done in the morning, then come home and relax. I'll be working from about 8:00 PM until about 2:30 AM Wed-Sat (I can work until 3:00 AM, but I need to catch the bus home, and I don't want to miss it and have to bike 7 miles after work, so I'll leave a little early). I should make anywhere from $0 to $200 a night; it's highly variable. But, this week has some UT sports games ([puke]) and Halloween (that'll be a crazy night), so there's higher-than-normal business and tips expected, from what I understand.

I'm scared because I hate dealing with people (especially stupid and drunk people) and traffic. But, I've covered my bike in reflectors and I'll be towing a cab with "slow vehicle" signs and lights on it, so I should be easy to see. What's cool about this job is I can work as much or as little as I want. If I rake in $300 in my first hour (HA! But, that would ROCK! :-) ), I'll go home! :-) Or, I'll work the rest of the night to make up for a possible "$10 night". Whatever. My choice. Very cool.

Again, if anyone in Austin needs a job and likes to bicycle, let me know. They need people badly.
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Subject:getting ready to drive a pedicab
Time:10:10 am
Current Mood:blahblah
I got my document notarized yesterday. This morning, I'm going downtown to take the chauffer's test and have the bike inspected.

Last night I went to the Austin Yellow Bike Project and fixed various little things on my bike, tightening things here and there, and adding reflectors and a left-hand rear-view mirror. What a huge difference that makes!

Off to shower and go downtown.
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Subject:a secular intellectual monastic community?
Time:12:37 pm
Current Mood:contemplativecontemplative
There are many people in the world who would like to have the opportunity to just think. All day, every day, doing nothing but thinking, writing, creating, developing new ideas and rehashing old ones. They don't like dealing with "the real world", since the "real world" is full of greed, hypocrisy, crime, apathy, and indifference. These people want to be in an environment which fosters growth and discovery, not one in which you must struggle day to day to pay needless bills and put food in your mouth. And, yes, I'm one of these people.

If certain grants could be obtained, whether from the government or from private citizens or other groups, this could happen. I know there are fellowships that do such things as this, but they usually pay for one person for a set time. I also know about some government grants, but they are filled with red tape and are for a specific need or goal. I'm talking about a freeform institution where those of us who wish to be free of the mundane aspects of day-to-day life can live while developing whatever ideas or thoughts interest us at the moment. Science, medicine, philosophy, art, music, political science...any and all of these, and many things not listed, would be "fair game" for people.

The institution could be funded by those wealthier members of society or via government grants. People and organizations could pledge support. The support would go for building upkeep, food, to pay a few staff members (cook, accountant, lawyer, and those "interfacing" with the "real world"), and purchase supplies (books, food, clothing, etc.). The residents could work or not work, as their personal circumstances and wishes dictate, but they'd always have food, clothing, a roof, and a nurturing environment for their studies.

The residents would not be able to patent or copyright their work or research - that would be done by the institution's non-profit corporate structure, or placed somehow in the public domain completely. This would keep the information free and of use to everyone. A resident could use his ideas to make money, but the ideas themselves would be "open source" or "public domain" somehow. This model has worked incredibly well for Linux and other open source operating systems; it can work well for other sorts of information, too.

What would the donors get in return? The understanding that all information and research done here is useful in some way or another and will benefit mankind. They would get no special rights to anything done at the institution, although they could use them like anyone else could.

The institution library would be incredible, with books and media on every topic imaginable, and with published works on all research and study done at the institution. A monthly magazine could be published of current research currents and ideas. A website would give up-to-the-minute info from the institution and the residents, who would be required to publish on the Internet and in print about their progress as often as is practical.

I'd love to live somewhere like this. This is what universities used to be, I think, or at least what their ideal state should have been. This could be a freeform think-tank, a place for new ideas to spawn and grow.

I wish it were so.
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[icon] a study in contradictions
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
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You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
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