Monday, March 07, 2011

Gas Prices and Me

$4 per gallon gas is almost here. It might be here. I haven't checked pump prices today. The price is climbing that fast.

What does this mean to me? Means my world has shrunk even more because unless I'm out trapping cats, or picking them up and transporting them to the clinic, on my one day a week, I'm here, home, car parked. Means higher prices for everything transported, which is everything. Hardly anything we buy is locally produced, including food, sadly. Granted, I don't buy much. I buy human food, cat food, cat litter, flea and wormer, vaccines, laundry soap, dish soap, toilet paper and coffee.

Coffee beans, that is. I have a small grinder given me years ago, by a dear friend. I treasure that grinder. I grind the beans for my morning cup. I have one cup of coffee per day and I make it here.

I have not purchased clothing in a very long time. It shows. My jeans are worn thin again. I have an urge to sew, always have. My hands are getting stiff sometimes now, from bite wounds through joints. They have come back to haunt me.

I fix my jeans, but I'd like to be able to alter ill fitting clothes. The clothes on racks in stores are so cheaply and poorly made now. They rarely fit well and the sizes seem different not only by brand but by individual pair of same brand.

I would like nothing better than to rip out seams and alter to fit. I would also like to repair jeans and other clothing stylishly using other worn out clothing, to make old clothes workable but also visibly pleasing.

Our addiction to blue jeans in America comes at cost to the environment. The blue dye bay! I remember seeing photos of the bay destroyed by dye used in the manufacture of "blue" jeans and ever since, I have a hard time with the whole blue jean concept. I can't remember if that was in India or China or Bangledesh or just where, but it sure hit home, what our purchasing, our obsessions, actually cost.

Seems like everything we do destroys not only our planet but ourselves.

I'm making my own shoes. The first pair, from rubber off an old bike tire, will be also formed with spray foam insulation, to fit my foot, which will be inside a vasoline covered plastic bag. This is fun stuff.

Today I will purchase the spray foam insulation, before it disappears off shelves for the summer.

I am going to find out what temperature melts rubber too. Then I'll make molds for home made shoes. There's tons of rubber out there for the taking, along roads and highways, from big truck tire blow outs! There's no sense wasting free resources.

I've thought of insane creations, like spring loaded splints attached at the waist, hinged at the knee with the spring load removing the work needed done by aging knees. Why not? The external skeleton will bottom out in shoes, with the spring pistons attached to the shoes. Probably everyone's seen the fleximetal semi stilts whose design and spring allow sleedy running and high jumping. And they're amazing.

I have lots of projects in mind. I should work on the colony catcher project, but that project would take an investment of materials money. I could use a welder too. I could figure out how to weld, by reading books on the subject, and some practise. Or, maybe I can just find someone with a welder and some free time.

With gas prices as high as they are, I think a lot of people may be staying home a lot more. A person can easily get bored around here if home confined, as there is not much to do, but get into it with neighbors over their lawn grass height, relative greenness and weeds.

I was thinking of trying to get into the Y here to get exercise but have been warned by several parties to expect religious recruitment there. Hard to believe that a gym would be that way. It's quite expensive to join anyhow, and I am shy around strangers. I don't like exercising with strangers and am unlikely to exercise at a gym, due to that reluctance. I've had gym memberships before, long ago.

I'm trying to find exercise I'll likely keep doing. I need to schedule myself to go at least once a week to Corvallis and hike Bald Hill or Chip Ross or Mac Forest. There are no such recreational opportunities in Albany.

In addition, the air has been smelling even during the day now sometimes of the acrid chemical smell that burns my nose. I've smelled the smell off and on since moving here, but usually only at night and now and then, when the air is still. It's a laundry detergent chemical smell. I figured at first it must be a meth lab somewhere nearby, and hoped it was, because I figured eventually it would be busted and the smell problem would be gone then.

I tried to inquire, by posting on craigslist, as to what that smell is in the air, and the consensus among others bothered by the smell is that it is from one of the industrial plants nearby. I also got a ton of sarcastic and irrelevant replies.

The thought the smell might be a permanent fixture in the air around me, makes me depressed, that I will need to endure now a caustic burning chemical smell to the air when outside.

That can't be healthy and even less healthy if one is exercising outside and breathing hard. I will keep trying to find out what that is and why it is in the air. I e-mailed the city, asking what it could be, and how I might find out. Smells are hard to pinpoint I bet. I am still hopeful it's a meth lab, because meth labs can be busted and the smell they emit is then gone for good. Not so easy if you have a nearby industrial plant spitting out crap into the air.

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