My Sondors electric bike came today!

Well well well, to all you haters and trolls that have cried since February claiming we'd never see our bikes... not only did my bike come today but it was fairly easy to assemble (hour and 45 minutes but that was mostly due to swatting mozzies every few seconds and the fact that I'm quite heavy and it's 88F and 65% humidity). The bike is both exhilarating and terrifying. I took it for a quick two laps around the neighborhood finding if I put it at full throttle for a single second and then let off I'd still be going several miles an hour at each stop sign. Using the front or the rear brakes provides stopping power more than adequate for stops you know are coming up and applying both at once stops the bike more than fast enough for 99% of emergency stops. I don't know how fast I was going but it was faster than I go down my street in the car. Picked up a group of kids that were going "woooaaahhh" and pedaling as fast as they could trying to keep up with me.

sondors electric bike1

The bike claims a net weight of 62lbs and a gross weight of 76lbs however UPS had it listed as 89lbs on the tracking info. I can't honestly give you a good judge of character as I Olympic lift as well as lift random heavy things for farmer's carries and the like so the box was just an awkward size, the bike itself is quite easy for me to pick up and carry distances. Men and women that don't lift regularly (and especially smaller ones) might have issue with the box or lifting the bike above their waists but even then you could load it into a truck fairly easy I imagine by just getting one tire up first like I used to do with my mountain bike as a preten.

sondors electric bike2

I was able to lift everything straight out of the box by pinning the cardboard between the table and my leg, it definitely would have been easier to rip the box open but I wanted to use it to hold the packing material as I pulled it off the bike. The tire on the left is only attached by a zip tie.

sondors electric bike3

Not pictured is a box or two and the seat. Ignore my tangled hose, I water my garden most nights and got tired of wheeling the hose up every night.

sondors electric bike4

It looks way way better than I ever could have hoped. I'm not happy with how I have the handlebars but I was starting to get dehyrdated and my head is pounding. I took it for a quick spin and then called it quits for the evening. Tomorrow morning I'm going to ride it around town (a few square miles) till I either get bored or till the battery dies while tracking with whatever GPS app I find for my iPhone. It wasn't hard for me to pedal it at all without battery assist so if it dies on me I'll get home fast. I imagine I get bored or overheat (looking like 90F and more humidity tomorrow) before the battery runs out though but I'll fix the handlebars then. Right now the throttle bar is in the 5/7 (depending on what side you are on) o'clock position AWAY from me and the little wing/paddle things on the handlebar are in an awkward position too so I'll fidget with it tomorrow until it feels right.

 

 

I'm tired, I'm worn out. O Lord, my God! is there no help for the widow's son?

Early yesterday morning we had severe storms, a considerable amount of the neighbor's oak came down on our house.

If a tree falls in a neighborhood, does anyone hear it?
oak tree go boom

 

So after getting 3 hours of sleep Monday night I got up and worked a 13 hour day then came home to be screamed and cussed out by mom (I'm regularly her outlet when she has an issue with anyone or anything and then she'll deny doing as much to me and anyone else that calls her on it... SOP for her side of the family) and started attacking some of the downed oak with my camp saw that resembles a giant pocket knife cutting off a bunch of pieces that would be good for whittling. She wants me to leave the rest until the insurance adjuster comes out and they said 2-3 days. The house is a POS ( I cover it some in this post) and I bet the deductible will be higher than the cost to put up a new section of gutter so just another issue I have to deal with sigh. Trying to find friends/coworkers that have fireplaces that want to come get the larger sections for firewood as the house is in the burbs and wood fires are a strict no-no unless one has a fireplace (and we don't). Gotta get the crap up before the Barney Fife code-enforcement nazi comes and starts fining us (I bet he gives us a warning today, it's just job to drive around town all day every day finding things to cite people for, he will get us every spring for our silver maple's branches not being 7 or 8ft above the sidewalk). 

My corn is all dying as is most of the corn here in Indiana due to the considerable rain we've had the past month. My tomatoes are loving it though, I keep cutting bits of the umpteen mulberry trees that are trying to grow through the falling-down-fence and using those sections of branch as stakes for my tomatoes. Between my 6 Roma plants I have probably 50 tomatoes already and many many more buds (and the plants are still growing considerably), a handful of my other plants in another variety have started budding this week and my other varieties are still probably 3-4 weeks from buds as they got started later. I have 4 blueberry bushes going good from seed but we )well my disabled mother, it's in her name) will walk away from this POS house (that she's upside down on and needs tens of thousands of dollars of repairs) long before they start producing but a nice gift to whoever has the property next.

I'm tired of breathing black mold, I'm tired of having to put toilet tissue in the trash, I'm tired of washing dishes in buckets because the plumbing is so screwed up and having to dump those buckets outside several times a day. Tired of having to dump the air conditioner bucket multiple times a day when it's humid. All of this on top of mom's mobility tanking fast and her social security disability still not coming in. Most days I just want to give up on ever having a house that could be considered livable and an acre or ten to homestead. Most days lately I don't even want to get out of bed. God, could you just help me?! Nudge some people toward http://www.igaveabuck.com maybe? Or maybe just find another target for a bit?


I wish I could find a partner/spouse that wants to homestead.

Seriously! Is it too much to ask to find someone that wants to live on 1-10 acres (or more if we can afford it, I sure as hell can't, that's my problem!) 

that is mostly a homebody, that wants to build up 100-200sqft of raised bed gardens that we plant in every spring eating what we need fresh and putting the rest up via canning, that wants to also plant various berry bushes and trees around the perimeter of our property that we also harvest, someone that after work just wants to come home and work our little slice of land before retiring to the house for the evening and enjoying each other's company or reading or tinkering with whatever hobbies we might have? Is it too much to ask to actually be able to enjoy life? 

Seriously, I haven't enjoyed life for two decades. For those of you that don't know me well... dad died 12 days before my 13th birthday on March 11th of all days (11, 12, 13). It was cancer so we knew it was coming. Dad was my best friend and I've never found a friend that could replace the friendship we had. I took that hard and made bad choices for the rest of school before ultimately taking a GED instead of going for a few more months and graduating. I then attempted an online associates degree and that fizzled out. Now I'm 30 and counting, I make a pitiful 31k a year and have to take on more and more as mom keeps getting worse (she retired early via disability and has started having her mobility tank severely the past month on top of her other health issues). I work, I go home and try and keep the third-world hovel that we live in as functional as I can and then I just collapse on the couch. Not even TV interests me anymore, I turn it on but I mostly just mentally check out. I'm not there, I'm not anywhere. My brain just shuts down until bedtime and then I retire to my bed hoping that I'll have dreams, good or bad, just to get away from my life for a bit while I sleep.

Why can't I find someone with similar interests and desires and goals that has an income and is avaialble and actually interested in me. As it stands I can't live the life I want (a simple, honest life). My job is boring and repetitive and soul-sucking and it's more soul-sucking/soul-crushing/frustration/worry/unpleasantness at home.

I want a refund. I didn't sign up for this. Hell I can't even find a little bit of help via my Masonic Brothers at my Lodge. Our Worshipful is on vacation, a small tree fell on his fence and Brothers rushed over to trim it. I asked on the post on Facebook where he thanked them and showed photos if someone could drive the few blocks over to our house and take a few pictures of the tree in our yard/on our house in case the neighbor had it cut up/removed before I could get home from my 13 hour day and... crickets. CRICKETS. Not even a "sorry I'm busy or at work" and it had 30 something likes and multiple comments when I asked. I then asked on my Facebook feed. Crickets. CRICKETS! People come to me the SECOND they need or want something that they even remotely think I can help with, but damn I just needed someone to drive by the house and take 2-3 photos with their phone and not a single damn person could be bothered to help me. 

To use a Masonic phrase "O Lord my God is there no help for the widow's son?!" Seriously. My life has been punch after punch, blow after blow, kick to the rubs after kick to the ribs for more than half of my life now. Family isn't around when I need help, friends aren't around when I need help, Brothers aren't around when I need help. If I was on fire I imagine someone with a full bladder couldn't even be bothered to piss on me. When is life going to cut me some slack, hell I don't need some mysterious person to swoop in and give me rainbows and pegacorns and dry-aged beef and checks for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, I just need the Fates to find someone else to use as a punching bag for like 5 minutes before I have a mental fracture and go catatonic and start drooling on myself! 

Anyway. Vent/rant/whining over. Time to retreat back into my head and try and create a delusion that seems real enough to believe that's even a fraction better than reality.

I Gave a Buck: a social experiment

Yesterday I launched http://www.igaveabuck.com/ which is a site that is investigating what can be done with 1$, except 1$ from multiple people pooled together.


You see, a dollar isn't a lot of money but when "your powers combine, I am Captaiiiiin Plannne..." oh wait, that's a different story altogether. Most people will spend a single dollar with little hesitation you can buy - a tube of chapstick, a condom from a vending machine, if you're lucky a bottle of water or soda, one snack from a vending machine, a pack of gum, two postage stamps, Dollar Tree items, other people's trash at Goodwill etc. You can't get a lot of anything with a single dollar.But what happens when we tap into the the masses, what happens when you pass the hat around and everyone gives just a dollar?

Well my hope is for this first I Just Gave a Dollar experiment is that I can drastically accelerate my house down payment fund and have the house 'that the internet built' or at least helped buy. I plan to use the site in the future to highlight other crowd-funding campaigns/social causes etc that are of interest or importance to me trying to leverage the power of a dollar by not getting people to give large amounts but getting large amounts of people to give a single buck!

You can find more out on the IGaveABuck.com site including PayPal and BItcoin donation links, an Amazon banner for those that don't want to give a dollar but are going to be doing an Amazon purchase soon and want to click the banner to kick back a little Amazon affiliate taste on their order and a GoFundMe Campaign but sadly GoFundMe has a 5$ minimum donation and SERIOUSLY I ONLY WANT A DOLLAR FROM EACH PERSON!!!!

The campaign isn't even 24 hours old and I've raised 4$ already via Bitcoin and PayPal contributions.

The Sondors eBike by Storm Sondors starts delivering to customers

So in February I mentioned the The Sondors eBike by Storm Sondors and how I had contributed. In fact I was one of the very first contributors. Well they began being delivered today... you see they manufactured them in the order of most popular color combinations... so people that paid for theirs LONG after I did, are receiving their bikes today yet I was one of the first TEN BACKERS and my bike is listed as number 1520 for production. My bike has yet to even leave China, if it's even been made yet. Gee thanks Sondors! What a slap in the face.

Here is one that was delivered to another contributor

Photo of J.R.'s bike assembled and ready to go!

Photo of J.R.'s bike assembled and ready to go!


I must admit, it looks awesome. Mine will be black frame with black rims and supposedly is being manufactured now (however once it actually goes into a cargo container it'll be a month or more than I see it)... sooo my bike won't make it here to Indiana till August at the earliest, so much for the July I had been expecting all along, having been one of the first contributors. Really really disappointed. I was also told during the campaign Mr. Sondors wanted to have a conference call with me as soon as the campaign ended to personally thank me for being such a big supporter, well that never happened either. "Storm" feel free to reach out and set that up if you want and explain to me why you shafted us first contributors... I mean hell if you would have said "yeah we are going to ship black/yellow first, would you like to choose that instead since you were one of the first backers" I would have gone "sure!".

My 'interview' with Ryan Reynolds

Recently (on May 1st) I asked Ryan Reynolds a quick question on twitter "You're suddenly homeless, what do you write on your cardboard sign to earn the most cash?" His reply:

Ryan Reynolds homeless
“GoFundMe”. But for serious, Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to end the need for those signs. Follow @Habitat_org

You sir, are winning. Not only did you play along and answer my silly question you used it to plug a worthwhile charity. P.S., I actually liked you as the Green Lantern brother! Check out Habitat for Humanity on twitter

What's new with me?

Well, haven't had much to update with but here's something...

Working on selling one of my sites, had an agreed upon amount with one buyer and they've been dragging their feet (going the slow route of incorporating, paid for their EIN instead of generating it for free online on the IRS site etc) so after a few weeks of delays I entertained another buyer who was offering 20% more... buyer wanted an absurd amount of paperwork (for a domain and current content) and I obliged because I want to be done with that property... well yesterday he sends me TWENTY-THREE pages of legalese in the form of two contracts to which I promptly replied I would not be signing that or anything like it that I'd only sign a generic transfer of ownership as we'd be doing the actual exchange of the domain and site via escrow which would offer protection for both parties in the exchange.

Other than that, I wrote an article earlier this year titled "Put Your Dues on Autopilot" and submit it to the Midnight Freemasons. It was selected for publication a few weeks ago and I'm honored to have my drivel alongside pieces by some rather interesting Brothers. 

Letter to my father, 2015. Year 17.

Well dad, in 3 days it will have been 17 years since I watched you draw your last breath and you'd think by now writing these annual letters would be easy but they are still rather difficult.

Not much has changed since last year, I started CrossFit which is a fitness regime that's a lot of chaotic repetitive stuff combined with Olympic lifting. I also made more money last year than any year before by a long shot and probably more than I'll ever make in any year to come. Sadly I'm in the process of shutting down my business (well, at least the part making all the money) for various reasons and realistically I don't see myself ever being able to make the kind of money I am from it again.

I honestly don't have much else to say. Every day is basically the same in my life and honestly they all seem to blur together. It's quite boring and absurdly repetitive. I miss you dad, maybe I'll have something better to share next year.

Re: Mars Missions Are A Scam

So I was reading this article on BuzzFeed about missions to Mars yesterday and something really upset me...

The trouble is, according to Do’s report, the plants growing the colonists’ food would quickly make too much oxygen and suffocate them.

Alright. Someone isn't thinking. At all. Don't get me wrong, we are not ready for manned missions to Mars unless they are suicide missions. But, we can easily solve the above mentioned problem.

So in the greenhouses you use some gas sensors and a simple pump to pump greenhouse air out and atmospheric air in... you see:

Earth's Atmosphere: 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039 carbon dioxde and miscellaneous traces 

Mars' Atmosphere: 96% carbon dioxide, 1.9% argon, 1.9% nitrogen and miscellaneous traces.

Many forms of algae can create nitrogen from carbon dioxide as part of their day to day life so you could keep nitrogen levels at 78% via your algae.  You figure out the best carbon dioxide levels for the plants in the greenhouse(s) and keep it there, if it's toxic to humans they use breathing apparatus or simply pump air out and then bring it to human-safe levels during work periods. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Wait, hold up Ryan, where are we getting all of that water for tanks and tanks full of algae? Well first you take enough to have some small tanks going. Then we turn to biological hydrogen production from algae, photosynthesis in cyanobacteria and green algae splits water into hydrogen ions and electrons. So use algae to make hydrogen. 

Pretty much get two parts hydrogen for every part of oxygen in something not unlike an engine (fuel cell). Introduce a burst of energy (say a spark) and you get an explosion. You now have an explosion and some water. While we don't do this on earth for clean drinking water due to the simple fact it would be extremely dangerous to do this to create enough water for thousands or millions of people, this would be ideal for use on Mars. You see, you have a separate habitat that is used for this, then you have a few small units in the room that are filling with the appropriate gasses, igniting, small amounts of water come out and the small detonations you capture the energy for use. The units refill and detonate again.

While this wouldn't create massive amounts of water, it would slowly add to your available water stores allowing you to bring more algae on, add more crops, support more humans until a better technology is developed (or a cheaper method of delivering supplies to Mars is found) or even until exploration can take place and perhaps find easily accessible water (likely ice) on Mars.