Hitchin’ a Ride

I hitch hiked down to Victoria this weekend to look at sailboats and pick up a friends car for them as a favour.  I used to hitch hike everywhere.  In high-school I figured out that if I hitched to school I could sleep in a half hour later, instead of getting up for the bus.  At the worst, I would show up a little late.  When I went to Malaspina and had a car, I would drive to the highway, park, and hitch in from there because I realized that the same people were commuting at the same time every week and getting rides was easy.  When I lived in Victoria I would hitch up-island to go home for the weekend.  In Japan I would hitch-hike when I had to work in other cities because I could still claim the train expense that they reimbursed us for.  As a conservative rule of thumb, I plan for hitching to take time and a half the length it would take to drive yourself.  So an 1h40min drive from Nanaimo to Victoria should take me about 2h30min.  Yesterday it took about 2h05min to ride my bike to the highway and catch 3 rides to Victoria.  The final driver took me right to where I was going.  The first driver liked fishing and knew a bit about sailing.  The second was a real funny guy who bitched about bad tenants and for some reason thought Calgary was a cool city.  The last ride was a DJ that did multi-level marketing.  He wasn’t too salesy though and, although out of his way, took me to go where I was going.

I’ve never had a really bad experience hitch hiking.  Once a guy turned his stereo up so loud I had to plug my ears.  And another guy picked me up in his RV and told me he taught street kids how to count cards at casinos and asked if I wanted to go to Vegas and learn.  He was weird in the funny way, not the creepy way.  Another guy picked me up when he was loaded and asked me to drive.  He had gotten in a fight with his wife and was going to Edmonton to get a hooker.  He kept saying I was his guardian angel.  One guy picked me up and asked me to drive, while he went for a nap in the bed of his truck.  I had a woman stuff my greasy bike into the leather back seats of her convertible.  I’ve known a couple girls that hitched and had scary situations though – that’s too bad.

I think more people should hitch hike, and more people should pick up hitch hikers.  Unless you’re a single female, its pretty much harmless if you have any reasonably quick character judgement; the biggest risk is bad conversation.  In many places (the British Virgin Islands for example), its a well-accepted way to get around.  Everyone does it and I think it actually strengthens the sense of community.  After all, we’re all going in the same direction.



Hitching a ride

Go on, pick that nice guy up.

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Lance a Lot; A Story of Murder?

Digging through another notebook I found this story I started writing a while ago in rhyming limerick.  I think its fun.  I wonder how annoying an entire story would be to read.  It might be more tolerable with pictures, like in a picture book.  Photographs might be cool.  Anyhow, here it is.   Bold text will be Doug, black is Doug’s thoughts and the narrator, Blue will be Lance, and Red will be Liz.

I’m minding my own biz
walking down the street.
A tune in my head,
skips at the pace of my feet.

Then this happens all the time;
A passing glance,
‘Oh shit, I know that guy.’
That’s right, its Lance.

I hate Lance.
I pretend not to.
I smile and chit chat,
But Lance I hate you!

“Oh hey Lance,
how’s it going?”
“Good, how about you?”
“Good, good, how’s it going?”

Damn I hate that,
Its not awkward enough?
You already asked that.
Social situations are tough.

“Good thanks.
So how did you do on that paper?”
“Not too great.
But I’ll bet you aced it.”

Oh you’re so smart!
We all envy you!
You just want me to ask,
‘And how did you do?’!

“Yeah, I did alright,
I probably shouldn’t say,
I’m arguing the mark,
Could go either way.”

Who is this guy?
Who is he kidding?
It’s part of his character,
Totally fitting.

“Actually I got an ‘A’,
but I’m not really happy.
It should an A plus,
or so says my Uncle Chappy.”

“Mmm-hmmm.”

“He’s a lawyer you know.
Practically runs the school.
He sits on the board.
Yeah, he’s pretty cool.”

Now I should nod?
Does it look like I care?
How long’ll this take?
“Yeah, that’s really not fair.”

“Well I should be going.
I’m meeting someone.”
“Well I’ve got time to kill,
maybe I’ll come just for fun.”

“Yeah, that might not work out,
my friend is not well.
He might have got cancer.
It’s too early to tell.”

“My dog died of cancer.
How tragic is that?
I’d much more preferred it,
if it had got my Mom’s cat.”

“That’s tragic indeed.
Must have made you quite blue.”
But the real tragedy,
Is that it didn’t get you.

Oh just my luck.
Look who it is.
“Hey check it out,
here comes big-tits-Liz.”

“Hey Liz, what’s up babe?”
“Hey Lance, hey Doug.”
This is quite awkward.
“Common boys, give a girl a hug!”

Liz is a girl.
She was Doug’s first.
She took his virginity,
she’d end up his worst.

Oh Liz, oh Doug.
What fond times they’ve had.
When good relationships fail,
the emotional destruction’s so sad.

Annoying as hell,
a laugh that would grate.
Lazy and slow,
a questionable mate.

She’s well over-weight.
But then so’s her chest.
With boobs made so big,
he over-looked the rest.

“So Liz where you off to?
We were just on our way.
To meet a cancerous friend.
You know, brighten his day.”

Whoa, whoa, what’s going on?
“No, not to be rude,
I’d rather do this alone.”

Thats as far as I got.

Weather

Weather must be the common ground we have as humans.  I can’t think of anything as universally appealing as the weather.  Our health?  No way – he’s fat and she smokes and people die – tons of controversy.   Politics or living in a democracy?  Obviously not.   Ok, so what about something safe like fruit.  I think we can all share fruit as common ground and can’t possibly be offended by it.  Of course you may prefer bananas over peaches or even hate blackberries, but honestly nobody really cares.  But start talking about weather, and you’ll get a pretty positive response from anyone.  No matter who you are, what your lifestyle is, or where you live we all seem to care a lot about the weather.  I guess its because it affects everyone equally?  Water affects us all equally, but we don’t care to talk about it.   It must be the variety that makes weather so interesting.  I should have been a meteorologist.  I have a friend who’s a meteorologist *ahem, G* and he’s an excellent conversationalist.  Check out the long term forecast:

Nanaimo weather

Its going to be a good week next week!

RealLifeSituation.com

A game a bunch of us played growing up was called “Real Life Situation”.  It was basically gun-wielding lunatic situations where you had to treat the situation like you imagine you really would.  The events occasionally escalated, to the point where someone dialed 911 once, and more recently an acting friend had real police guns turned on him (including a sniper on another building) and his game of “Real Life Situation” turned real, really quickly.  It’s one of my favourite stories.

Tonight while flipping through an old notepad I have from my Income Tax Act course (which was the inspiration I needed to not become an accountant), I came across notes for an idea I had.  I think there’s potential here.

  1. Plan a bank robbery, really well.
  2. Film myself, in disguise, robbing the bank.
  3. Create a game where people try to solve the crime.
  4. I post clues including snippets of video on some website.

The idea seems to take a right turn onto a totally different tangent here.  But I think I see a spark of something.  I worry how the game would end though. It couldn’t end well I don’t think.  Either I get caught or stop posting clues.  Maybe it could be a back-up plan if I struggle with May’s challenge.  Everyone get on the floor!  This is a robbery!

Darth vader?

He should have gone with a light sabre.

While looking for this picture I came across this news story that paints a pretty poor picture of the US’s medical system.  Will the man get his treatment in jail?

Getting shit done.

My blog goes public today. So welcome, your time is valuable and I’m sure this will be a waste it. I was supposed to blog every day this month and I’m playing catch up. I’m a couple weeks into a New Year’s resolution to get shit done. All those little things that I think would be fun to challenge myself with. Starting out with the January challenge of writing this blog is my way of journaling the process. And there’s an opportunity to learn from this along the way too. It’s actually my first domain, and having a website sounds so much cooler than having a blog. If you want details of how my year will look, check out this early post that will provide an outline. In August I’m only going to eat locally (very locally) and in November I’m going to finally write that book I’ve been meaning to do. We’ll see how well this goes. So far I’m behind and am trying to spit out garbage posts as quick as I can but even shitty posts take time.

I took this photo in a thrift shop in Berlin and was never sure if I would ever get to share it. I almost bought the thing, but couldn't justify the 13 Euros.

Rocket ships and Dragons

Rocket ships and dragons have a few things in common. They both breathe fire, they inspire thoughts of adventure and fantasy, and they have complicated mechanisms that I don’t understand. I’d like to see a dragon pilot a rocket ship; I think he’d be frustrated by it though because the cockpit would probably be designed for humans. Another day done! Blogging is easy!

My photoshop skills. Art credit below.

Cool art by this guy. I just realized that dragons and rocket ships also both fly.

The $200 Month

Next month is my $200 month. If it was summer and I had a sublet I’d consider cancelling the phone and doing a truly $200 month, buuuut it will have to do as is. So for February I will spend no more than $200 on food, transportation, and entertainment. It happens to be the shortest day of the year, which obviously helps. That’s $7.14 a day. I think its really doable and will just take a little planning – like remembering to pack a lunch when I go out. A healthy breakfast will be about a dollar, lunch for a buck and a half, and a simple but healthy dinner for three dollars. That leaves me a dollar for some fruit and snacks, and $1.25 for entertainment. I guess I’ll be going to the arcade a lot. I could afford a 6-pack of beer every week if I remember to bring the empties back. But I don’t want it to affect my life too much.  I can still do most of my favourite things.  I just don’t recommend anyone invite me to a potluck in February, unless you like oatmeal.