Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In The Hole, On the Whole

44 Dollars Spent During 2 Days Off
$14 Wednesday after 11 PM start.
$1.50 Rained Out Thursday

Yesterday, Tuesday, I set off on a mission.
It was Tuesday and would be my 2nd night off should I take it; but I was keeping open the possibility of going out and play if I had gotten back from the mission early enough.
It was about 11 PM when I ran into Lilly and her daughters at Rouses Market on Royal Street. I didn't have my guitar on my back; I was getting some food to take back to the apartment to eat.
The day started when I took all of the little pot plants that had popped up out of the flower pots in which I had pushed them under the dirt.
Getting Howard out, 6 months before the flood
They were all pulled up along with as much of their roots as I could preserve and thrown into a box lined with a trash bag which fit in my backpack. There they lay covered in mud for their journey across the Mississippi River on the ferry.
I hadn't ridden the ferry in almost 2 years, not since they started charging a $2 fare.
I stopped at the Dollar General and bought what I thought was a cable which would allow me to transfer pictures off of the phone that Sherman gave me and onto this blog.
From Whence Howard Was Transplanted
I had kind of documented the whole excursion, the ferry ride, the walk to the spot of woods where Howard lived in a tent before coming first to Sacred Heart Apartments, and now to a house that he shares with a couple friends which wound up being less than 2 miles from the tent site.
Upon arriving at the path which had always been an entrance into that half mile long tract of woods which was the home to at least a half dozen homeless people at the time Howard lived in there, the first thing that I noticed was that a "no trespassing" sign had been affixed to a tree, right by the entrance to the patch.
I could imagine that perhaps when the river was forecast to rise (to about 17 feet, using whatever measurement they do) that police were sent in advance to warn all the homeless guys to evacuate, to safeguard them; the sign being nailed up to make it official.
There was evidence that the river had risen enough to have flooded every single one of them. It looked like the remnants of Howard's camp would have been under about a foot of water (making him one of the higher and drier ones, I've taught him well...).
There was a blanket of river silt, dotted with the shells of some kind of river mollusks perhaps, which extended well past where all the camps were, littered with artifacts of homeless existence. Things that float, like Styrofoam and plastic bags were hanging everywhere from the branches of shrubs and tree trunks at a pretty much uniform height which one would assume had been the high water mark.
Things as random as a shoe horn that I saw were half buried in silt. But there was not a footprint to be seen, besides the ones that I was making.
This boded well for me using it as a place to set my plants free, back into the wild, which I did at a spot at the very edge where the grass which is maintained by the city meets the tangle of the woods. This allowed me to place them where they would get enough sunlight, yet would intermingle with and blend into the other flora and fauna if and when they grow up. I did this using a flimsy little shovel which I had paid a dollar for when I purchased the cable.
The nearby sign aimed at warding off trespassers is a plus in regards to my plants never being found.
It has only been about 6 months since the river threatened to encroach past the levy and yet there was only one active campsite visible along the half mile walk over the muddy ground.
There is always that one guy who will take advantage of the fact that the sign will keep others out, especially those with active warrants and other reasons to not even give the police a chance to ID them; and who knows that, if it's just one guy and you only rarely see him coming and going, and hence there are no complaints, and who will live there in relative privacy. I used to be that guy, when I stayed under the "no trespassing, you WILL be prosecuted" wharf where the steamboat Natchez docks.
I have pictures of a lot of this on my phone.
Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that the 5 dollar cable that I bought is a mere USB charging cable; and not a data transfer cable.
I now go to look for the receipt and try to remedy the situation...I guess I'll continue the story when I have the photos available to go with it.
Coming soon: I Visit Howard...
Still no photos off of the LG phone.
When I plug it into computer, the computer doesn't recognize the thing as being a "storage device," and, hence, does not provide a way to manipulate the files on it.
There are ways around the problem.
The problem right now is that the 2 or 3 nights that I have been taking off each week have been taking a heavy toll from the "laptop savings jar."
It is as if I need to busk every single night in order to maintain my "lifestyle."

On the surface, it would seem that, in a 24 hour day, "finding" 3 and a half spare hours would be a cinch; but the 3 and a half hours need to be the right ones, and the busker needs to time his emotional roller coaster so that it is cresting at that time.

The Dolans

Maybe I could call that AM talk show that comes on at night where The Dolans guide people to financial freedom through their tried and true methods.

Me: "Thanks for taking my call, Jim."
Ken: "It's Ken, but how can I help you?"
Me: "My laptop fried and I'm trying to replace it as quickly as possible, but without rushing into it and leaving myself hurting in other areas of my life..."
Ken: "Well, OK, what is your income?"
Me: "I've averaged just under $700 a month; the past few months..."
Ken: "Seven Hundred?!? 700K, or seven hundred dollars?"
Me: "Um, 700 dollars"
Ken: "Whew! so you are well below poverty level, why are you worried about a laptop, you should be worried about keeping a roof over your head and food in your mouth!"
Ken: "How much debt do you have?"
Me: "None."
Daria: "What to you do for work?"
Me: "I'm what's called a 'busker,' which is a street musician."
Ken: "Well, how much is your rent?"
Me: "I have my rent paid for because I'm a disabled veteran."
Ken: "Oh, so what are your actual expenses? roughly"
Me: "A pack of Cigarettes, about 3 bucks for weed, batteries for my work light, a couple trolley rides, a can of cat food each day; and at the end of the month, the balance of what I go over on my food stamp card. I would say that my regular expenses are right around $520 per month.."
Daria: "Ok so that gives you $180 per month to put towards a new laptop..."
Me: "Well, that's if I don't buy anything extra that whole month like a 2,000 piece jigsaw puzzle that I want, or a digital camera so I can post photos to this blog; not to mention new guitar strings, harmonicas, a capo for the guitar to go with the harmonicas, maybe a slide..."
Ken: "Well, it sounds like the problem is that you are throwing all of your money into the jar for the laptop savings, and then turning around and taking some back out on the days that you take off, or on days that you make less than $17, which seems to be the bare minimal amount that you subsist on each day."
Me: "Yeah."
Ken: "Well, here is my advice to you: You're basically taking in 23 bucks on an average day and then spending 17 of it, leaving you a 6 dollar surplus, which works out to right around 24% of your income. You already maintain a "1%" jar which is current back to March 12, 2016; so a practical, yet aggressive, but most of all, do-able approach would be to start a "23%" jar which would net you a new laptop in about a month, without denigrating your lifestyle and even sooner if you busk for more than 5 days a week or if you stop buying cigarettes; see our website for information on how picking ashtrays can help you get ahead. I'm Ken..."
Daria: "And I'm Daria."
(in unison:) "And we're the Dolans!"

I need to take the imaginary advice and start the savings jar. It is Saturday afternoon, I had a miserable $12 Friday night.

There's just no way to describe how much it sucks to run out of "interest" (I'll call it) in busking, yet to continue to play for monetary reasons alone. "Why am I doing this song?" is a terrible sentiment to set in during the performance of one.

I would hate to realize that, unless I get out there and play for x amount of time every single night, I'm just never going to be able to save up for the laptop.
I prefer to think that skills that I have acquired through trying to live without a computer are going to serve me somewhere along the line.

$14 Wednesday

Last night I played for almost 2 hours and made the above amount. At the point that I had the 14 bucks, I decided that I had come out and had done my thing and had gotten paid and it was time to go home and do things that I felt more like doing.


alex carter said...

My friend/boss has the same problem with his phone - he's gotten around it by using the phone to upload the pictures taken on it, onto the Web, then use his computer to get theme off of the Web.

Daniel McKenna said...

Yeah, even after I transfer my free "Obama phone" account over to it; I don't believe it will include the ability to use the browser; but maybe it will if I go to a place that has wi-fi...I can always get a cheap digital camera; cheap because it has "only" 3 megapixels in a 20 megapixel world (under $30)

alex carter said...

The only problem with some of the cheap cameras is, they don't weigh enough. I like my cameras nice and heavy, because I haven't got time for a tripod. I take a lot of "product photos" - Ebay stuff.

In other news, if you get a computer again, Microsoft *will* want you to upgrade to Windows 10, and eventually one late night, it won't ask you if you want to upgrade to Windows 10, you will be "upgraded" to Windows 10 no ifs ands or buts.

It seems to be usable, in any case it's not like I can change back to Windows 7.