Knowledge

When I write, what I see and feel comes from what I know and believe. I do not lie, cheat or steal. I do smoke some pot on occassion, but otherwise I am natural. Occasionally I will comment or say (comment is a judgment say is a perception) something that is misunderstood. It happens, not often, but it happens. Today was one of those days. I tried to rouse some help from my friends for other friends, who immediately decided I was criticising them, and these three decided I was rude, etc.. I answered what my intention was, and certainly it was not what they perceived. Then I find them posting on one of the Coos County facebook pages looking for friends who have their backs, yada yada. Now, my statement was on my facebook page, for my readers in the local area. It was requesting some people help them. It was not looking to do anymore than help these folks take a breather. I even told how easy the helping would be for numerous needed jobs, and a stapler. I know people often drop off home made items for lunches or the feedings. I was letting folks know what needed to be done, hoping someone would rise and help. Of course I get accused of trying to take over, etc. Talk about paranoid. I had this same problem over a donation that left a bad taste in a citizens mouth, so to speak. I simply picked up the donation and did the follow up, again thanking the donor. I had been told it was a set up because of the page I got the donation from. Now I am accused of being and committing ]numerous rude, stupid, selfish actions. I am sorry you misread what I wrote, and took it the way you did. Somehow, unless I am missing something, these three women have decided I am evil. Fine. I want nothing to do with paranoid sanctimonious people who apperently cant understand what they read. I want nothing more to do with Debra, Mary, or Frances, “our forgotten ones”, or any of the searchs for missing people. Anything of yours I have let me know and I will return it where ever you ask. Beyond that, please unfriend me, ignore me if we pass on the street. Friendship is a 2 way street. Since you feel I have used you, or whatever the hell you think, lets just close the door. Like I said, let me know if you want back anything I have of yours. Then we will be done. Have a nice life.

Month End of Time

The end of the month is always stressful for me. I am always broke, never fully up on food,always owing someone or something. Granted it has been worse for me, but the fact more people have helped me does not lower the stress level because I am not in the forest, which costs me more in money and health because I have not been able to lay down and my feet and ankles are very swollen. I was able to get some white bread, jam and peanut butter to the young homeless fellow I have written about. It does feel good I could share some food with someone. One question I have noticed is the number of homeless people that smoke tobacco. I understand a need to occupy your hands and do something, but smoking costs a lot of money. So does drinking alcohol. I don’t do either, by choice, and before I became homeless. I quit smoking cigarettes when they went to a dollar a pack in the machine, some thirty five years ago. I rarely will drink a craft beer, again before I became homeless. If you drink and smoke while homeless you are basically a bum. I worry about perception, because loss enters into the end perception. I dislike fitting my own image of a bum. Add dirty clothing and I fit what, as a child I was taught was a failed life. Granted being homeless is a sign of a problem, but since I do not drink, smoke or do non medical drugs how am I a failure? It’s society as a whole that has failed me. I will be 70 in 66 days or so, and this life is not what I had planned. I planned on living off East Bay Drive until I died. I miscalculated O. C. Stanwood’s lifeline and his dementia. I see that in others now, and probably exhibit it myself to a degree. I know O.C. did not want his relatives to get the point from him or his estate, however that was the only way to stop the tweakers from stealing the property. I knew he had a will, which was never found. I qualified as co-tenant in common except I lacked a tax receipt, and forgot his bank account was not in his name rather in Oregonians for tax relief. Had I not had the particular lacking I could still be housed. Things could be worse but it does not seem so now. Three day countdown began hours ago. I need candy. I need diesel. I need a motorhome. Its what I call the “ineeda” syndrom. I could use things, of course, but when I find I am at the end of the month then I start seeing the grass on the other side of the fence. I need a change. I received a text message, followed by a phone call fron Verizon. I was informed I was $267 past due in my account and need pony up a total of $420 or my phone was to be shut off within 24 hours. Punching the suggested numbers only sent me to automated collection terminals, and what I needed was a human to tell me how my account was past due when I paid my first bill five weeks ago and have not received a bill. I managed to receive an operator after 5 attempts of redialing 611 and punching O repeatedly until the computer waived the white flag and sent me to a human, and after a lengthy wait I explained the problem and she was very nice. She looked at my account, then asked if I had gone online to see my account. Surprise number 1, i have to use a desk computer to access my account. Surprise number 2, Verizon is paperless billing, so now I have to pay extra to receive a bill. Surprise number 3, i pay in advance, so i will be three months behind soon. We went through my account, I explained why I had so much data, because they kept insisting I was using a gigabyte a day, and charging me $20 per gig over my 8 gigs. I explained my usage, she said they must have been talking about my 2 gigs of free lifetime use. So she lowered my plan from 15 to 12 gigs, lowering my bill $20, and explained my bill costs. I guess my bill is $160 a month for phone and tablet. That is $50 a month insurance and phone payment. So next month is spent before it gets here. Fuck. Live and learn. I explained how AT&T and I parted ways, and she was surprised, until I reminded her the same insurance company was what her Company uses, and I paid half what I do with Verizon. Sigh. With this massive payment I will be 4 months into my 24 month contract. I can hardly wait. I will see you all later.

Fruit help

I need help turning several hundred pounds of fruit into something canned. I have pears and apples. Open to suggestions, and I plan on getting more come thursday. Ideas welcome, but now is the time. I am low on funds, but will do best I can. Monday or Tuesday I will be selling my tie dye and fresh apples and pears over the next couple days. I have 2x and 3x adult shirts, plus small and ex large kids sizes plus small, medium large and extra large adult shirts, some hats and socks all at my storage locker south of Bandon. Look for my sign and bright colors next summery day. So, stop by and see Brutus, grab a shirt or three, and some fruit. I may have some ice cold apple juice left as well. One bucket of apples gives up about half a gallon.

Volunteers

September’s first feed (the homeless) was disappointing at Mingus Park due to too few homeless showed, even less volunteering, consequently beenie weenies and salad and no lunches. My jaded eye tells me there are issues that require organization and more autonomy at the top. Then we went to Devereux Center and lots of people there and new volunteers. These volunteers need special mention, and in fact we are going to dwell on them because once again the least teaches the most. The homeless were not in happy mode, so there were some chafing occurring between the homeless. That’s normal, really, because we already have been put down for the count, and lifting that shoulder is part of american dna (wrestling metaphore) but also in that same dna is where volunteers come from. Picture this, because i want you to feel this vision of America: mom, dad and five children between 4 and (?) 12. Yes, a family of 7. The parents want their kids to be aware of the plight less fortunate folks can find themselves in. David Letterman picks up cans on the roadway with his son, for the same reason. So as the family introduced themselves to us they asked for assignments. Before we let them start, they produced the lunches the kids assembled the night before. Here is where your vision starts. No brown sacks, gallon size clear plastic bags, where the banana stands out from the bag of cheetos, peanut butter crackers, fruit filled bars, mints, applesauce, twix bars and peanut butter and jelly, or perhaps nutella and fruit spread, in its own zip lock bag. These were the best lunches I have seen in quite a while. Now remember, I said five kids, and I would bet each kid put one object into the lunch bag, mom and dad the banana and sandwich, and I am just guessing here, but I envision them creating a family assemby line around a dining room table. Perhaps this was discussed and specifically shopped for, or maybe they hit their pantry up for the items. Regardless, the kids took the lunches, and bottled water around, making sure everybody received a lunch (for later) and water. Then the kids served the beenie weenies and salad, cups of water and you know what, these were the most polite homeless I have seen in quite a spell. A real polite, beyond please and thank you, there were smiles galore from the kids and from those eating. We spoke with the parents as they met many of the homeless, and the kids enthusiasm spread like wildfire, and a once a surly crowd became family, even if for a scant half hour. Deb has said that often she thinks the folks gather less for the food and more over the connecting. I’d call it family. So here these kids were, enjoying helping, but really enjoying sharing bread with new friends, and vice versa. When they were passing out bread loaves, jams and peanut butter the youngest decided she wanted some to take home too. The dad was explaining why she couldn’t, and Mary settled it by giving her peanut butter, jelly and a loaf of bread. The mom was explaining to dad little steps for the youngest to understand, and she was given everything, so that was settled. Sometimes it takes the littlest push for we older to understand the simplistic pleasures of the young. Dad was concerned about taking food out of the poor’s mouth, but we homeless would have given our last food to make her happy. The dad was shown not to worry, there were abundant jars of peanut butter, jelly and loaves of bread. When I left, it was as a happy guy, full and with a lunch to munch on latter. I am sure I was not the only one to savor the lunch that evening. For the Volunteers, thank you for bringing the family to the table, its been a while.

September Seranade

Ahh, the month of September has finally arrived. Believe it or not I always love September. School years it is a new beginning, temperarure wise it has it’s warm days and cool days with the added benefit of my brothers birthday. Months with birthdays always rise up in memories, because they are emotional, packed with happy memories. I am terrible with remembering birthdays, but I always remember my brothers birthdays. I have even forgotten my birthday but absolutely never forget my brothers birthday. September 16, 1944. The end time of the big one, WWII. My brothers were war babies. My birth year put me as The first wave of peace babies (born after the war) also known as baby boomers. It’s odd, forgetting your own birthday, but to remember your siblings birthday is akin to remembering to wake up in the morning, it is part of your dna. My remaining brother will become 72 this year, and come November I will become 70. Frightful to think of those numbers as being indicators of age, but there you have it, I am getting old. The other positive spin on that is my brother is older than I am by 2 entire years plus almost two months. I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family, filled with horrible memories but September was the bright spot of the year, because of my brother’s birthday. Memories are lots like opinions, everyone has one. I can’t tell you why my brother’s birthdays stick out so much, especially considering I can not remember a single particular birthday of theirs. The dna thing must be the true fact because no other reason even comes close. I just looked at my left wrist, and was startled by the ace bandage wrapped around it. Now I feel the pain as well and will cease writing soon. I had a doctor deaden the wrist so he could drain a cyst. A drain that will probably bring limited relief because the doctor said it will probably return, but his prognosis was arthritus was my root probablem and I would need my wrist fused to lessen the pain. Since I have been on a routine morphine regimen for years now minor pain is already gone, but I can certainly tell there is a problem there. That is one of the costs of growing old. Now that I am thinking of the pain I will really have to stop. Happy birthday brother, I hope it’s your best ever.

Brutus makes my day

Since Damnit’s passing Brutus is determined to ensure I have him at my side constantly. I assume he is taking care of me, and his kisses are frequent and new, for him. I understand he misses Damnit I do as well, but either he really wants me to recognize what a wonderful friend he is, or he is afraid I will be burying him next. He minds me dramatically different than at any time since we met, and he really has been one wonderful dog, from day one, excepting the Isuzu Trooper he trashed as a puppy. He ate all the knobs, pulled out the Radio, brought down the headliner, ate most of the gear shifting knob. That was over three hours. The only thing I have ever personally seen worse than what he did to that car? In the North Bend Bi Mart parking lot was a Volkswagen bus. In this bus were three young Doberman Pinchers. I don’t know if I spelled that right, but these three dogs ate every piece of plastic in that car. There was no headliner, the steering wheel was simply a round steel rod, with smaller steel rods poking off it. The pedals were little steel flaps, even the seats were just wire springs. These dogs got all the mats, all the upholstery, the dashboard, there was nothing left in this bus but metal. The dogs sat there, obviously proud of their work. The bus was fairly decent looking on the outside, but man, what those dogs did to that interior was amazing. I am sure the owner carried seat pads into work with him, because the metal seats would be impossible to sit on. I can imagine explaining the appearance of the interior to anyone would require the dogs presence, because the actual appearance without the dogs would be impossible to explain. Brutus did not do that thorough of a job, but then the other dogs knew better than to join in. Still, that microbus was a sight to behold. Dog owners do put up with enormous extra work training puppies to behave. Brutus was a real handful. I will never forget the first time he had his nails clipped. I looked in because I heard laughing, just under the pitch of Brutus’s cries. Four people were holding him while a fifth tried to clip his nails. The four holding him were laughing, because basically each had a leg and they started off on an examination table but when I looked in they were several feet away from any table. Brutus was scared until he saw me, then he calmed down and let them finish his nails. That was years ago. He still does not like his nails trimmed. I have not had him groomed, and I know he will allow me to bathe him, but he will not go easy into that situation. Maybe if we both take a bath he will allow that to happen. Maybe not. I can no longer lift him, so to bathe him will require many gallons of warm water. I can hold him to do that, then towel dry him off. The Fuller’s would be the easiest, except he would then want to go into the house and Climb onto the couch. I spoil him but I could not allow him to do that so probably I will have to do the bathing at Jerry Quillen’s house, then towel dry him, then put him into the truck. I can already envision him shaking inside the truck. Maybe he will just allow it to happen! Maybe not, lol. I will stretch his new found love for me. I do know I will want someone to video me doing it.

The Countdown

I may never get used to the Countdown, no matter how long I live. The Countdown. As a child we unknowingly, set ourselves up for The Countdown. It is as American as Apple Pie and ice cream. Summer vacation is 10 weeks and four days long. One hundred days until Christmas. Twenty days until Spring Break. Payday is eight days away. That Countdown. The Countdown until a good thing happens. If you are in jail you count down until release. This is all about expectations, because you count days or hours or minutes until some looked for event occurs, then wow, the good thing happens, you are busy for a while, then countdoen continues for the next happy event. Poor people usually count down until more money appears. Welfare check. Insurance check. Pay check. Tax refund. Bonus check. When you have money in the bank the Countdown is less important as The Countdown, because when you are homeless check day is when you are like everyone else. For me this lasts a week. Then three and a half weeks until I am whole again. Then three and a half weeks and I am whole sgain. When I was much younger sometimes I would wait a week for a positive event. I used to write letters to people and there would be a letter or two between my letters going out and ny receiving a return letter. Now I use IM (instant messaging). Instant gratufication. Letters are still standard to prisoners and their friends and family. I would write prisoners, when I was bored, or for work. When I was earning decent wages I would send money for clothing, or send stamps. Some people in prison have no one. Ive never been in prison, and do not want to go to prison. I am too old. Granted I would probably do well, since I know law and how to do certain legal issues. I’d be a jail house lawyer. Even then I would be locked into The Countdown. It is hard to avoid. There is one mistake people do while waiting for an event. They really wait, as in do nothing. Now that I am older, I see that waiting as a waste of time. That is one place everyone on this planet is equal. We each only have 24 hours to a day. No more, no less. What we do with that time seperates us from the rest of the animals. Best advice I can give a younger person: make each second count. Make your minutes matter. Hours become days. If you waste a day, that is time you will never see again. Doing things that shorten your life is also wasteful. If you smoke tobacco, or chew tobacco, you live less, and your end days are terrible. I have had friends die of lung cancer from cigarettes. Stop using tobacco. Stop using alcohol. Both are time wasters, as well as expensive and leading to poor decisions. I stopped over thirty years ago, and never a day goes by I do not thank my lord for showing me the way. I can still have a drink, but I don’t. I choose not to. You should too. Good night.

Blood Boiling Inland

Today I ventured off to Myrtle Creek, then Winston, then Roseburg where I glommed on to the 14 foot boat I borrowed 6 years ago and it got stolen. Ive posted pictures of me and my dogs putting along on the Umpqua River. Douglas County Sheriff’s siezed it in another case. I had a picture of me and the dogs in it, which was how I identified the boat and me. I had to show my drivers license but after two trips, I finally got the boat, motor and a few other things returned to who I borrowed them from. All went well, except it was way over one hundred degrees outside, and Brutus and Damnit were with me. Damnit has been failing fast, and today she and Brutus pooped all over the front seat. Brutus has diarrhea, so it was a rightous mess. Still, I was able to return things that had been long in my desire to return, but required thief catching, then their trial, then my identifying and receiving back said stolen things. My first endeavor was a semi failure because my trailer was too small, and its structure fell apart from trying to get the boat in it. This time I had a decent flat bed trailer so it was a fast load. All went well, although there was an odor to be sure, emanating from a very filthy front seat. We did Dairy Queen so the dogs got ice cream on a hot day. It was a very productive, several items accomplished, items returned, old friends visited. I also got some more neat stuff for my dell laptop. Well, a couple days have passed, Damnit has passed away, leaving me and Brutus now a duet. I buried Damnit at Jerry Quillen’s back yard. I was able to show Brutus Damnit’s body, something I felt necessary so Brutus knew Damnit was not coming back. Ive written one nice article about Damnit, but plan on writting another very soon, because Damnit was a wonderful, unique doggie and I would like to be able to demonstrate hoe truly great she was. That all being said, Damnit was really wanting to const A ntly be with me. She dtarted barking the minute I would leave her, barking constantly until my return. I looked into her eyes, and they were very clear. Her hearing was failing, but she did hear me when I called her, and she was able to hear the truck when I started it up. Her hind quarters were not supporting her, and although I considered constructing an assisting set of wheels, I assumed she would find whatever I built more of a nuisance than help, so I went ahead and dropped that idea. I found some of her pills under her mattress, which explained some of her falling down and pain. I really have a huge hole in my heart with this loss, as does Brutus. Brutus had actually made me think he wanted to be a single dog, but obviously that is not the case because Brutus is having a lot of issues considering its just him and me now. He watched me dig her grave, and watched me put her in it, then cover her up. I wish he could have helped, both because that would have eased my labors, but also so he and I could have shared more on her departure. I love and miss Damnit very much, and while I firmly believe she is now feeling pain free and now running like the puppy she always was, I have always had this loving little furball cuddled up next to me, and I will forever more miss both her love and companionship. I will write on her just as soon as I quit crying each time I think of her, and I quit moving my fingers in that scruffing method I had of stroking her head. Signing off. Have a great day.

DAMNIT, the dog

I have an old dog (now) that, at 15, has been around me nearly her entire life. I have held her in my arms while her broken leg healed, cared for her while her original master got his life together, and then she wouldn’t go with him. He was kind enough to leave her with me, and she and I have seen a lot, shared friends, foods and fun. Her name fits her, and my life has definitely improved with having her around. Twice her best friend and body guard has been killed, and Brutus has been her third. Brutus is my bodyguard as well. Damnit will be 16 next month, and she is certainly doing well for her age but decidedly she is nearing the end of the line. I am, so far, able to care for her and do for her what I can. Yes, she has problems with her hind quarters, and she is slower moving and awkward at times. Sometimes both of them get stubborn, but she still knows what she wants, and occasionally she forgets what she is doing, but thats ok. I scoop her up and carry her, and sometimes she lets me know that she prefers to do it herself. She sleeps near me, if Brutus allows her to, which he does often. He knows her time is coming, and he is no spring chicken either, at nine. Thats old for a 120+ pound dog, but he shows no sign of slowing down, and he cares as much for Damnit as I do, frequently herding her away from trouble, the same as he tries to do with me. He watches out for me. When I visit Barbara and Denny Fuller, Brutus and Damnit seem to pace outside, going from the front to side door, then back again. Once in a while he will walk over and look in the window at me. He is always wagging his tail, and Damnit used to. The last year or so she tucks her tail, covering her butt.I assume she is covering a sore area. I have cleaned her there, brushed, soaped,combed and shampooed. She is clean, but I do need to watch for her, and help her keep clean. She also goes into the water to keep clean. A fastidious lady is Damnit. She likes being pampered, and also enjoys being brushed. When you consider all of the shitty times she has been through, her attitude is very good. She enjoys people food, and also likes her canned food and gravy. Brutus does as well, but Brutus does not like bread, Damnit loves bread. Damnit likes vegetables, cheese and some dog foods. Her teeth have slowly turned grey and dropped away. She barks as soon as she senses me leaving. She barks until I return. She loves me, of course. She depends on me helping her. That is good, because I have shed many tears over deceiding how to terminate her life. I am hoping she dies in her sleep. I do not want her to suffer, however I would like her life to be on her terms. So I do what I can and just hope it is enough. She has endured my homelessness, but we have had some times that were great, and some so so. She loves camping, as do I, and we will go again soon. Until then, I let her out numerous times a day and night. Thats Damnit, the dog.