Friday, August 31, 2007

Bend over

This is weird: The picture I thought my phone deleted is back. Also, the berries I thought were raspberries are actually blackberries... Jack dropped me off on Rte 97 on the northern edge of Bend at about 1:00 today, so I am now heading north out of Bend. We went to Newberry Volcano and Paulina Peak the other day. The obsidian flow was very cool. It was nice hanging out and getting to know Jack and Phyl, but it's time to move on. I felt kinda sick for at least a few days during my stay; I wonder if it resulted from my rare opportunity for extensive relaxation. Bend is a nice little place. It is pretty; a very green desert. It's mostly flat here, but the trees and landscape provide a natural backdrop that keeps you from feeling like you're in a huge desolate expanse. My new boots feel a little awkward right now, but I'm sure they will feel great once I've had a few days to break them in.
It now feels like a lot of work to carry my pack. Hopefully I'll get used to it pretty quickly.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


College football begins in 1 hour and 15 minutes! (Of course, after the way Ohio State got destroyed in last year's national championship game, it's hard to give a shit anymore.)

I'll be leaving Jack & Phyl's house tomorrow. I'd planned on leaving yesterday but it just didn't happen. Then I really expected to leave today, but we talked and decided I'll take off tomorrow instead. Jack & Phyl will join the Fish & Chips Club tonight, entering an elite group that so far only has three (actually 5) other members: Lew Graff, Jay Rivers, and Michael Adair & Family.

Having been around a TV (and "The News") lately, I've seen figures that say the US Congress has an approval rating of something like 18 percent. Wow, what a bunch of stupid assholes! I mean, with all the Republican corruption, bigotry, and incompetence leading up to last year's elections, these dipshits (the Democrats) could have set themselves up for at least a decade of power just by doing the right thing for once. Instead, they've tried to appeal to Republican voters who have already turned against Republican politicians. Apparently the Democrats think they can hold on to power by trying to convince the American public that they're tougher than Republicans, that they hate gay people just as much as Republicans do, etc.

I have a few ideas for the dumb-ass Democrats:

  • End the fucking "war," you god-damn idiots;

  • Do something to help Americans get out of poverty;

  • Crack down on employers who hire illegal aliens. (That alone will solve the "problem" of illegal immigration.);

  • Give us ALL some health care;

  • Tell the corporations--aka "Your Daddy"--to fuck off;

  • Punish pharmaceutical companies BIG TIME for pushing dangerous drugs on us;

  • When American corporations leave the United States so they can pay their workers only a few dollars a day, don't let them sell their shit in this country;

  • Create a realistic minimum wage. (I'm talking AT LEAST $10 an hour, and I say that from the perspective of someone who wants nothing more than to be a small business owner.);

  • Stop making the rest of the world hate us!!!

Represent us, you fucking fucks! Do it because you know it's the right thing to do, or do it because you want to keep your job for the next twenty or thirty years. If you just do the right thing, it might be pretty easy to keep that job for a while. Remember, the regular people of the United States of America, collectively, are your real daddy, and we'll prove it if you force us to.

The revolution has begun, whether it seems that way or not. People who have nothing are beginning to realize they have nothing, and they also realize it's not entirely their fault. Sometimes those people pose no threat, but there just keeps being more and more of them, and eventually they're gonna get pretty pissed off about it. That's when the killing begins. That's exactly how this country was born.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, US Government, you're grossly outnumbered and information travels a lot faster today than it did 231 years ago.

If anyone has an extra ticket to the Ohio State football game at Washington, I want it. I can't pay you with money, but I may be able to pay you in some other way; perhaps a better way. Besides, you know you're not going to be able to get rid of a single ticket, so you might as well give it to me.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Aimless: The animated series

I can't believe this just came to me last night, but Aimless would make a freakin' awesome cartoon. It could be based on my real experiences and the real characters I've met, but the writing could rely heavily on creative license. I've been thinking all day about some of the situations I've been in, and the writing possibilities blow my mind so far.

Maybe I could get Dave Chappelle interested in doing something like that. Yeah, that would kick ass.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Running on fumes

Sometimes I get tired of trying to update this blog on such a regular basis. Sometimes I get tired of hoping the Aimless word will spread. Sometimes I get so tired of doing all this, I just want to quit. After more than four months on the road, there just doesn't seem to be much interest in Aimless.

Aimless could be huge if only the right people knew about it and invested in it. Originally I envisioned a gradual snowball effect; I expected Aimless to pick up steam as I remained on the road, but it's just not happening. The longer I do this, the more I realize how lonely I am.

I've been thinking a lot about pizza lately. Specifically, I've been thinking about how much I'd like to operate my own pizzeria. That's what I want to do with my life because that's what I do best. Unfortunately I don't have the money to open a pizzeria and no one else recognizes how I could turn their money into more money if only they'd invest in me and my pizzeria.

My talents have been totally wasted in this life. My brain has been totally wasted in this life. I have so much to offer my world and the world, but no one gives a shit. It's very frustrating.

Right now I want to quit Aimless. I plan to remain on the road until early October, but I don't know if I'll continue after I return home for my next pit stop.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Gishin' across America

I can't remember how I found this (especially so soon), but I thought it was pretty cool that someone I don't know had something to say about one of my posts. (I just wanted to write something else here because it looked funny ending the short post with a long link.)

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bend, Oregon

Wednesday evening, shortly after I arrived in Bend, Jack Sherman drove downtown to pick me up and begin playing host to me. Jack is a World War II veteran; a highly decorated World War II veteran, from what I understand. (I'll probably reveal more about Jack whenever I get the full scoop.)

I had met Jack a couple times before, when he and his wife Phyllis visited my mom and dad in Ohio, but I really didn't know either Jack or Phyllis (Phyl) when I showed up here. I just remember Jack being very personable, and I remember that the first time I met him was right after I received the award for my first honor score in bowling: a 298 ring. (I shot 300 twice within the next year.)

Like always, I was a little nervous about staying with someone I barely know. If you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty raw, no-bullshit, rough-around-the-edges kinda dude. A lot of people don't like that; that's their problem. I was worried that Jack and Phyl might be a little too squeaky clean to deal with my personality for very long, but I found out pretty quickly that they are VERY down-to-earth. They're pretty much no-bullshit people; I like that.

Soon after my arrival, my mom and dad both called me to bug me about my equipment situation. They wanted me to ask Jack to help me get some of the stuff I need, for which my parents would pay him back. They said it again and again, as if I didn't hear them the first time or the second time or the third time. Frankly, it got pretty aggravating because I'm not 7 years old.

I had no intention to let the Shermans buy me anything significant, but they ended up saying the right words. I can't even remember what they said, but they offered to buy me some new gear, and I felt like they had the right motivation. So we've spent some time looking around at a few sporting goods stores and I already have some new boots from REI. Oh my god, these new boots feel so nice compared to my old ones.

Before we got the boots, on Friday, I sent a letter to REI regarding a potential partnership between myself and them. I hope they respond because I would really like to put out the REI word. I've only known about REI for three or four weeks, but I'm so impressed with the company. Their employees are knowledgeable and their web site is ultra helpful. They have something really good going, and I would love to promote them. Of course, I'm not just going to do it for free. It would be more than worth their while to team up with me. Now can they figure that out?

I've been meaning to say a lot more lately, but it's tough getting computer time without being a bad guest. I'll try to catch up before I leave.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Your city to burn

A mile or two closer to Bend from Albertson's, a weird thing happened: I guess I heard something that made me think of the beginning of the Smashing Pumpkins album Gish, so I began playing the song I am one in my head. Perhaps due to my background in marching band and drum corps, I also began walking in step to the song (with a left foot lead). It's been years since I've listened to that CD, so it was interesting to see if I could "hear" the song exactly how it sounds on the recording. I think I succeeded.

Anyway, I am one energized me and kinda helped me tune out the pain and discomfort I experience every day as I walk miles and miles. It also helped me tune out the rest of the world, putting me in a state not unlike years ago when I used to put on my Sony studio-quality headphones and play my drums along with Gish. When I listen to that album, I don't hear the songs the same way you would; I mostly only hear the drum parts and feel the motions of playing the drum parts.

Gish has such a kick-ass one-two punch with I am one and Siva, so when I am one ended in my head, Siva began just as if I was hearing the actual CD. It energized me even more. Having almost the same tempo as I am one, it allowed me to keep walking at the same pace, which was a pretty natural walking pace even without the music. Siva just rocks. I'd say that song best captures the energy, dynamics, and songwriting genius of young Billy Corgan. When it was over, I probably had to take a couple deep breaths to prepare for Rhinoceros.

Rhinoceros is a slow ballad, but it's a fast walking song because you have to walk double-time to stay in step with it. It's hard to walk fast enough to keep the song playing at full speed in your head, so I ended up having to slow down the song instead of speeding up my pace.

God I love the transition from Rhinoceros to Bury me. Bury me is one of the most rocking-ass drum songs ever and Jimmy Chamberlin is a freakin' freak. Bury me makes you walk a little faster than your typical pace, but it's a pace that you can actually keep up with because the song gives you some kind of energy that makes you forget all about the 55 lbs on your back.

When I think back about this short stretch of walking, I actually picture myself with headphones on because I was so caught up in Gish, I'd literally tuned out everything else, including traffic. I wasn't concerned with getting a ride, either, but shortly I noticed a late model Volkswagen pulling over a couple hundred feet ahead of me. Pressing pause on my imaginary pumpkins, I made a quick assessment and realized the driver was probably stopping to offer me a ride, so I sped up and approached the car.

The driver--a twentysomething young lady--asked me where I was going. I replied, "Bend, I guess." She was going to Bend, too, so I put my stuff in the car and we introduced ourselves. Her name is LJ Messenger and she is pretty new to Oregon, having grown up in Syracuse, New York. She was so knowledgeable about the mountains and forests and other landmarks we passed, I figured she had been living in Oregon maybe a couple years, but she has only been here for three months.

When we arrived in Bend, she parked in downtown to meet her boyfriend. I had no idea where I needed to be, so downtown was fine for me, too. LJ and I went our seperate ways, then I called my mom to make sure I knew what to say before calling Jack Sherman, the family friend who lives in Bend. I never ended up calling Jack, though, because he was already on the phone with my dad when I called my mom. My mom ended up letting Jack know where I was, and Jack headed my way within a few minutes.

That was Wednesday (three days ago).

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Springfield Oregon

...OK, so I found a bench where I could sit down and draw up a sign reading: "Please help a hungry traveler get some food. Thank you." When I finished, I stood on a narrow concrete median between eastbound and westbound traffic, displaying the sign so westbound drivers could see it while stopped at the stop light. Right away one driver gave me a buck and another gave me a slice of pizza. No one else gave me anything over the next 45 minutes. By then I was a starting to hurt because I'd been carrying my backpack the whole time, so I relocated near the front door of Albertson's, hoping for a seat and some better luck. Very shortly I acquired another $11, so I went in and bought enough food to last a couple days, even though I'd already decided to head toward Bend, where some friends of the family live. After chowing down on some very welcome morsels, I started walking east along the road
that goes to Bend, eventually turning on my mental CD player and inserting Smashing Pumpkins' "Gish."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

You owe me nothing

You knew this was coming: No one who reads this blog owes me anything. There's no doubt I need a lot of new gear, and I wish y'all could help me get it, but I know it'll be nearly impossible to convince manufacturers to set me up. Still I hope... Monday morning I got a ride from Trinidad, California to Eugene, Oregon with a nice woman named Gail. Monday night I ran out of money. Tuesday I walked around Eugene, feeling kinda low, thinking I should fly a sign asking for money but too afraid to actually do it. For the second straight day I didn't eat much. By Tuesday evening I'd wandered away from Eugene and into Springfield, where I found a nice place to sleep. Wednesday morning I waited by a Rte 126 on-ramp for a few minutes. There was no sign prohibiting pedestrians, so I started walking east. Several miles later the expressway became a surface street and my hunger overpowered my fear
of flying a sign. Unable to find a piece of cardboard, I wrote a short plea for help in my notebook...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Nothing gold can stay Part 2

Part 2: Does this blog entertain you? Do you anticipate that the documentary "Aimless" will entertain you? Well, how bad do you want it? If I don't acquire some of the stuff I need really damn soon, I'll have to quit because I'm not going to keep abusing myself to this ridiculous extent. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me just to keep my phone charged so I can write these posts? I can't just plug it in while I sleep, y'know. I spent half an hour looking for an electrical outlet and another 2 hours charging my phone instead of doing what I needed to do because writing these posts zaps my battery. Do you have any idea how much time it takes for me to re-draft most of these posts to keep them at 1,000 characters or less? Again, how bad do you want it? I absolutely need your help. Without your help, Aimless is dead. I don't want to operate like Jan Gee, but I have nothing else to
say until someone out there convinces an outdoor equipment manufacturer rep to call me.

Nothing gold can stay

Part 1: My feet hurt with every step I take because the tread on my shoes is mostly gone. I have to sleep curled up in a fetal position every night because I don't fit inside my tent. I have to wear jeans, 2 shirts, a jacket, and curl up inside my sleeping bag every night because my sleeping bag cannot handle the temperatures in which I sleep. (That still doesn't keep me warm enough to sleep well.) The waistlines of my shorts and jeans are at least 3 inches bigger than my waist, and the tightest notch on my belt is at least an inch bigger than my waist. My backpack can no longer function effectively because the tightest waist strap setting is bigger than my waist. (A tight waist strap is the most important function of the backpack because it keeps the weight on the hips, not the shoulders.) 30% of my socks have holes in them. Now can you understand why I absolutely need you to contact
the manufacturers of these products in an effort to replace the stuff I need?...


I'm in a redwood forest near Redway, California. I've walked 446 miles since beginning Aimless Leg 2. I saw a dead bear two or three days ago. Mom, don't freak out whenever I don't blog for a couple days. Sometimes I'm in the middle of god-damn nowhere and I can't use my phone in any way, OK. And when I don't blog for a couple days, don't be calling me over and over. But if I do manage to get myself killed out here and end up with enough footage for a good story, ownership of Aimless becomes 33% Jeffeory Norris's, 33% Jay Rivers's, and 34% Mom, Dad, Roman, and Mark's, as long as they work to finish it. If I somehow manage to tape my own death, I don't mind if people see it, AS LONG AS IT IS PART OF THE STORY. (No, I'm not preparing to die out here. But if I do die, I want this stuff known.) Carolyn, I think I ended up with your hair brush in my stuff. I don't know how it got there; all
I know is that I have a brush that isn't mine.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jan Gee

Surely some of you think I'm an asshole for how I reacted to Jan Gee. Of course, you weren't there, so you don't have enough information to make a judgment either way. But here's one thing I know: When you offer something to someone without first asking for something in return, that person owes you NOTHING! When I share my food or money with homeless people (like I often do), I don't expect anything in return, nor do they owe me anything in return. If I expect anything in return, THAT makes me selfish. That is exactly what Jan Gee did. All he gave me was a ride a few miles. I didn't need it, nor did I ask for it. I'm down to 153 lbs because I don't have enough for myself; I'm hungry almost all the time because I don't have enough for myself. I have $11 in my pocket right now. I bought 2 donuts because I was starving, and that stupid fuck has the nerve to call me selfish?! He has the
nerve to expect me to share what little I have with him?! I don't think so. I don't need his kind.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tale of the tape Part 7

Part 7: Driving through the Safeway parking lot, Jan Gee said, "I just remembered, I have something going on tonight, so I'm gonna have to let you out." I asked, "Are you saying I won't be camping where you said I could camp?" He replied, "Yes. Is this a good spot for you to get out?" I asked, "Can I at least finish my donut first?" He said no, then he parked, quickly removed my backpack from the truck bed, and set it in the parking spot beside the truck. Puzzled by his strange behavior, I asked, "Did I say something that pissed you off?" Then he about went nuts, saying, "I gave you a ride and offered you a place to sleep, and you just sit there eating a donut, not sharing anything with me. You're selfish and [I don't want anything to do with you]." I believe my reaction went a little like this: "You're a fucking freak, man." He kept going nuts, and the words 'Fuck you' flew in both
directions at least a couple times. By then I just wanted him to get the fuck away from me and leave.

Tale of the tape Part 6

Part 6: As I neared Healdsburg yesterday afternoon, a guy in an old Isuzu P'up pulled off in a parking lot and offered me a ride. His name is Jan Gee ("yon-jee") and he was very hippie-like, with a Charlie Manson kinda vibe to boot. (No premature judgments, now.) All I wanted was a ride to a grocery store because I was out of food and because I didn't plan to wait by an on-ramp until morning, but he said he had a farm where I could camp out. He then took me to Safeway, where he also needed to buy a few things. I gathered a little stash of food to get me through the next couple days, but when I was about to grab some apples, he told me not to buy them because there are dozens of apple trees on the farm. Cool enough. Having eaten only an apple and a Pay Day all day, I also bought a couple custard-filled donuts to eat as an immediate snack. When we got back in his truck, I started eating
one of my donuts. Two-thirds of the way through my donut, Jan Gee remembered something...

Tale of the tape Part 5

Part 5: This morning at 9:30 I was awake with my feet extended out the front of my tent door when a Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy came calling. Officer Hernandez went through the routine, asking me why I was there and whatnot. My answer: "I walked 28 miles yesterday, carrying 55 or 60 pounds on my back." He was impressed. We ended up chatting for at least 15 minutes. When I asked if I needed to pack it up, he told me I could stick around. Before he left he said, "If you mention me [on the blog], don't tell 'em it went like this. Tell 'em I came up and kicked your tent in. We have a reputation to look out for." I responded, "I'd have to be in Florida for that to happen." He chuckled and took off. Officer Hernandez was really cool; I enjoyed talking to him. I rested for a while and took my time packing up before hitting the road again. When I started walking, I wasn't in a lot of pain,
but something made me feel sluggish; probably dehydration. In the afternoon, a guy gave me a ride...

Tale of the tape Part 4

Part 4: So here's a picture of me after eating the berries. (You should've seen my hand at this point.) After my snack, wine country became cow country for a while before being replaced by desolate mountain terrain and eventually more vineyards. (Being totally alone in the mountains at night is kind of eerie.) As you already know, I called it quits after 28 miles, choosing not to put forth the extra effort it would take to go 30. Am I disappointed? A little bit, but I think I did the right thing. The main reason I stopped was because I found a great campsite. With vineyards on both sides of the road, there was no guarantee I would find another good spot at Mile 30. Other reasons I'm not disappointed: 1) I carried the backpack the whole time I picked berries; that's pretty equivalent to walking 2 miles, and it's an hour of walking time I lost. 2) I went up and over two small mountains
during my 28-mile hike. 3) With a full load of food and water, my gear was probably nearly 60 lbs...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tale of the tape Part 3

Part 3: Also, my shirt won't dry while resting because good rest requires lying back, and lying back keeps the shirt wet. Anyway, I walked a mile on Rte 29 through Calistoga to see if I wanted to go that way. I didn't want to, so I walked the mile back to Rte 128 and headed toward Healdsburg and US 101 (which may eventually take me to Oregon). Ten miles up the road I caught a whiff of what I thought was strawberries, so I kept an eye out for some strawberries. What I found, however, was wild raspberries; lots of 'em. I spent at least an hour picking raspberries--nearly 2 lbs of them--putting them in a zippered sandwich bag to create an unexpected snack for later. It ended up turning my right hand purple (because not all of the berries can be easily removed from the vine). I also found various parts of my body bloody from the thorns (or rasps?) that surround the berries. (I took a
picture of me, my berries, and a vineyard behind us, but my phone deleted it for some reason.)...

Take of the tape Part 2

PART 2: Lewis (sp?) Palmer gave me a ride from Napa to St. Helena, where he works as a Wine Country tour guide. From St. Helena he told me it would be about 7 miles to Calistoga, which he also said is a cool town. A few miles up the road I decided to make a race against the clock; I challenged myself to hit the 10-mile mark before noon, which meant I'd have to walk nonstop for a long time. Barely into Calistoga, at 11:50, I topped 10 miles. While I rested, I calculated that I could make it to 30 miles by 10:00 if my walking time doubled my resting time (30 minutes of rest for every hour of walking). That may not seem too tough, but a lot of my rest time isn't restful at all because I have to do things like dig in my backpack and move stuff around. Another issue is dry clothing. I often have to add rest time because I need my shirt to dry before I resume walking. The extra rest time adds
up quickly, and I don't get that time back unless I walk for 2 or 3 straight hours (6 to 9 miles)...

Tale of the tape

STEPS: 61,087. CALORIES BURNED: 3,091. MILES WALKED: 28.10. That's the "official" count from yesterday, although the actual figures are probably 1 to 3 percent higher because sometimes the pedometer misses steps and sometimes I walk without the pedometer. This is how yesterday took shape: Antoine (who lives in Napa) had to work very early, so I was up by 4:30 and out before 5:00. Before 6:00 I stopped in front of Albertson's and ate the plum pie-like dessert Antoine's mom gave me. (That was my first time eating plums.) When Albertson's opened I bought 3 donuts, 2 apples, and 3 Pay Days (3 for $1). I didn't even consider the possibility for a 30-mile day until leaving Albertson's after 7:00. Up the road a way, when I stopped to put my jacket in my backpack (near an on-ramp, coincidentally), someone stopped and offered me a ride. I wasn't even looking for a ride because you can't walk 30
miles in a day if you're not walking most of the day, but I decided to take the ride anyway...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

At 6:00 I've walked 20

At 6:00 I've walked 20 miles for the day. Today will be the impossible 30+ day. You cannot comprehend how much pain I'll be feeling tomorrow.

Monday, August 13, 2007

San Rafael to Petaluma

A guy named Robert picked me up in San Rafael and took me to Sonoma. He dropped me off near Sonoma Creek because he thought I might like to spend the night there. I considered it, but I instead chose to make my way toward Petaluma. About 4 miles up Rte 126(?) I found a nice spot to camp. I had wanted to turn the slow day into a 10-mile day, but I was OK with 9.5 miles. (I felt shitty for a couple more hours.) Again I got to sleep early and woke up late, which may be explained by the fact that the cold night kept me up for a while in the early morning hours. I was all packed up and walking by 11:00 this morning. I wanted to walk all the way to Petaluma, but there was almost no shoulder on the busy road, so I gladly accepted a ride from Antoine McGrath 2 miles up the road. He took me to Petaluma and we talked while I ate at In-N-Out Burger. We also met a nice Native American lady named
Susie, who was busing tables there. More about Susie later. I'll be staying at Antoine's place tonight.

Sausalito to San Rafael

After a short nap at a bus stop Saturday, I walked from Sausalito to Larkspur. In Larkspur I talked to some nice people walking in the park around their neighborhood. I found a great place to camp under the 101, near an inlet from the bay, then set up the tent as soon as it was dark (about 9:00). I fell asleep well before midnight, expecting to get up at 7:00, but I didn't get up until at least 9:00. (I must have needed some make-up sleep after not sleeping the previous night.) The first thing I did yesterday was wait by the on-ramp for two and a half hours. By then I was sick of it and I felt shitty, so I walked by San Quentin prison into San Rafael and waited by another on-ramp for 20 minutes. I don't know why I felt so shitty. It wasn't for lack of sleep; maybe dehydration. Anyway, I kept walking parallel to the 101 until reaching another on-ramp, where I just wanted to sit in the
shade for a while until my head and body stopped hurting. Of course, I had a ride within 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A short list

The following is a list of companies I hope you, my readers, will contact to help me get sponsorship (or free stuff in exchange for credits and visibility on the Aimless web site): Kelty, Gregory, Columbia, Coleman, Timberland, REI, The North Face, Eureka!, Therm-A-Rest, Sierra Designs, Amtrak, Apple, Sony, Canon. This is just a short list of companies that came to mind quickly; there are a lot more companies out there that could be useful to me. I would contact them myself but I have almost no opportunity to do it while I am on the road. Please help me with this because I am in dire need of some things, like new hiking boots, a new tent, and clothing. I'd love to make some kind of deal with Amtrak because it could really help me in emergencies or just to create a quick change of scenery. Amtrak has nothing to lose by setting me up because it would cost them nothing and because I won't
be using their services otherwise. (Note to self: Eureka! Tetragon 5 tent is $62 at Sports Basement.)

Goodbye San Francisco II

It was nearly dark once I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge last night. The weather on the bridge was warmer and calmer than I expected, but it was cold and windy in Marin County. Back on land, I immediately began looking for somewhere to sleep, but there was nothing. A couple miles down the road I found a level spot near a bench in a relatively remote part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It was the only calm, warm(ish) spot for miles. I just wanted to sleep and I knew I couldn't put up the tent, so I got out my sleeping bag, pad, and pillow, and I tried to sleep. About an hour later a park ranger stopped and told me there's no camping in the park. I told him I was trying to sleep, not camp. Long story short: Instead of using his brain to realize I was no threat to anyone or anything, he chose to be a jerkoff, forcing me to pack my stuff and leave. So in the middle of the night I
found myself a couple miles down the road in Sausalito. I didn't get any sleep there, either.

Goodbye San Francisco

I left Castro Valley yesterday at about noon. (Now is a good time to mention that the pizza Tony made me Thursday isn't even on the Pyzano's menu. I also want to thank Tony and the Pyzano's staff for being so cool to me.) Beginning at the Castro Valley station, I toured the remainder of the BART system on my way to the Powell St station in San Francisco. From there I managed to find a level route from Market St to Fisherman's Wharf, stopping in Chinatown to pick up some more oranges. (Oranges are a rip-off at grocery stores; Chinatown has the deals.) On my way to the Golden Gate Bridge I stopped at In N Out Burger because I figured it would be my last chance to eat there for quite some time. As I ate, I noticed that a guy at the table beside me was wearing a Cleveland Indians shirt and a Miami Redhawks hat, so I asked him if he goes to Miami. He said he does, so I said, "Oh yeah? I live
in Columbus. It turns out all four of the people at that table were from Columbus (Dublin/Powell).

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Yesterday Tony made me a half cheese, half pepperoni pizza on the Pyzano's-style crust (thick), as well as garlic bread and meatballs. Today he made me a Pizza Margherita (the pizza that won in Italy), with a couple minor differences. The first difference was the cheese. Because buffalo milk mozzarella is hard to find in the US, he used Grande fresh mozzarella. The second difference was the oven. True Neapolitan pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven at a temperature over 800 degrees, but Pyzano's doesn't have one of those; they have a RotoFlex deck oven, so exact duplication was impossible. Still it was close, and it was very good. I liked his Neapolitan crust (made with 00 flour) much more than I liked the other two crusts, although they are all good. I think the ideal Pyzano's pizza would be the "Little Italy" on a Neapolitan crust. You really can't do much better than that. The pizza I
had today was a lot like my own pizzas. I am confident that if I had a pizzeria, it would do well.

Another pizza day

Tony left the pizzeria at noon and will be back at about 4:00. While waiting for him to return, I've been charging my batteries and reading the pizza book he co-authored, titled "Pizza." If my memory is correct, I think I say something on the Aimless pizza page about how I've never found a remotely good pizza cookbook. Well, 33 pages into this book, I believe I've finally found one. Interestingly, the methods, ingredients, and recipes/formulas in this book are very similar to my methods and recipes, with some exceptions. The most puzzling exception is when it says to use a rolling pin for New York style pizza. NEVER use a rolling pin for New York style pizza. I understand why Tony uses a rolling pin for "New York style" pizza in his pizzeria--because that produces what his customers think New York style pizza is--but I can't figure out why the book says to do it (and I'm not going to
ask). Having said that, I also will not pretend to know anywhere near as much about pizza as Tony does.

World's bests

As you already know, I was a witness to history Tuesday night, with Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's home run record. Hours after the baseball game ended, I found a sidewalk to nowhere for an extended nap in the cold San Francisco night. After some grocery shopping yesterday morning I walked to downtown SF and hopped on BART for a tour of about half the system, eventually getting off at the Castro Valley station for a return to Pyzano's Pizzeria: Home of the World's Greatest Pizza Thrower. I still don't know what kind of story I'm hoping to find here at Pyzano's because so many networks and newspapers have already done stories about Tony, so I've kept the camera rolling a lot. This morning some folks from the SF Chronicle are at the pizzeria to taste the pie that Tony made in Naples to win "World's Best" honors. He's going to make me one later, too. I can't say enough nice things about
Tony. He's clearly a great boss and a great guy... Someone slipped $15 into my gear last night.


I don't think I've ever revealed this on either the blog or the web site before, but the idea for Aimless came to me only because I wanted to die. Now, 14 months later, I really love being alive. My life has become so unbelievably wonderful and exciting that I've had to shed at least a couple dozen tears tonight. This experience has been such a gift to me; I just wish I could let everyone plug into my brain so I could share every image, every thought, and every feeling. I wish you could meet all the people I've met. If you are one of those people--and I know there are at least a few of you reading this--I wish you could see yourselves how I see you. It would make you smile. As the voluntary guinea pig in this grand experiment, I can assure you that all these little acts of kindness have added up to something monstrously huge. It has saved a once dying soul and is constantly making me a
better person. Now let's all go out there and save some more lives with kindness, OK.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I was there!

I am one of about 50,000 people who will always be able to say, "I was there when Barry Bonds broke the home run record with #756." Unlike almost everyone else, however, I have videotape of the moment. My footage probably sucks, but it doesn't even matter. It's the story that matters, and I'm well on my way to telling an incredible story. Even with all the history-making, the highlight of my night was getting the chance to talk to Erin Andrews of ESPN. Before the game, she and her crew were preparing to do some kind of segment about the people hanging out behind right field. They never did it, though, I guess because overtime in a WNBA game forced ESPN to join the Giants game in progress. There's just something about Erin Andrews. She should be my sweetheart. I loved it when she went off on some dude who took a picture of her from right in her face. She's so adorable. The weird thing is
I wasn't nervous talking to her. I never got a chance to pitch my web site to her. More later.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Live from Chinatown

"I quit coffee... Yeah, today's my tenth day without it," said some twentysomething woman as she walked by me this morning. What a drama queen.

At Market & Octavia, I heard a jingly noise as a bicyclist approaching me dropped something. When I looked down to see what made the noise, the guy said, "Woo hoo... Don't want to lose that thing. "That thing" was his crack pipe.

It really pays to know your way around San Francisco. For example, I was walking north on Stockton on my way to the Chinatown library (Powell & Jackson) when I decided to take a left on Clay to get to Powell. It was clear that I would have to walk up a steep hill on Clay to get there, but I did it anyway because I figured I'd have to walk up the hill no matter which route I took. Wrong! When I took the right on Powell, I ended up walking right back down. If I'd only stayed on Stockton until the next street, it would have been a pretty level path.

I only have 4 minutes left on this computer. When my time is up, I'm going to buy some oranges from a shop in Chinatown. (I bought 5 oranges yesterday.) After I buy the oranges, it'll be time to head to the ballpark and charge up at one of the stadium's exterior electrical outlets.

Gotta go now. If you watch the Giants game tonight and they show the boaters outside the stadium, look for me and my green hat in McCovey Cove (right outside the stadium beyond the first base foul pole). I will be right up against the railing beside the water.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Giants game recap

I guess I didn't mention that you can actually see the game from outside AT&T Park. The right field fence is chain link and there are rooms behind it where they let a small number of people in for free, but only for 3 innings at a time. Every 3 innings they let different people in. You can also see the game pretty well even from behind the rooms. I never went inside (even though I eventually had a ticket), because I could see everything I wanted to see from where I was. I stayed at the very back of the concourse, about ten feet inside the 1st base foul pole. I actually had a very good time. I met a lot of cool people, including a pretty woman doing camera work for TBS Japan. She got some footage of me (and Dave Dennis) with my camera. She was cool. I hope to see her again tomorrow. If Bonds doesn't hit that homer tomorrow, I may stick around SF longer than I planned. I had a really good
spot to get some money footage. If I'm there whenever he hits it, he better hit it to the water.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Will he do it?

I hope Barry Bonds hits the damn home run tonight so I don't have to come back tomorrow. For those of you who don't know much about ballpark traditions, die-hard San Francisco Giants fans gather in boats, rafts, kayaks, and in wet suits in the bay behind the right field fence, in hopes of catching home runs (or catching record-breaking home runs). That's who you see behind me in the picture. If you're watching the game, you've probably seen me in the shots of the boaters. If you're not watching the game, Bonds did not hit a home run in his first at-bat. Time to go for now. I may check in again later.

So much to tell

As I finished a smoke outside Mythic Pizza in Lower Haight yesterday, some dude asked me, "You wouldn't know if Memphis Minnie's takes food stamps, do you?" I responded, "I don't know; I've never been here before." He then said, "Oh yeah? You look like a Haight Street person." Right after that I had a long chat with a homeless guy named Tim Luper (pictured w/ me). This morning I saw a Kelty Grand Mesa 2 tent for $96 at Sports Basement. Don't know if that's a good price, but it looks like a nice tent. I'm now on Green St @ Leavenworth. A laborer named Jethro told me Davy Jones of The Monkees lives in the house across the street. A few minutes later Jethro gave me $5. Even though I totally hate baseball and Barry Bonds, I plan to sit outside the Giants' game tonight because Bonds might just break the record while I'm here. As much as it disgusts me, it would be stupid for me not to do it.
I might just end up with some great footage of something a lot of people feel passionate about.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Haight McDonald's

All right!!! I found an optical store on Haight St in Haight-Ashbury. The girl working there put in a new screw for me at about 4:10. No charge. I've been standing here at Haight & Ashbury for a short time, waiting for something interesting to happen, but I suspect the magic disappeared nearly 40 years ago. Sadly, Haight-Ashbury has become a tourist attraction. Don't get me wrong; it's nothing like Fisherman's Wharf or Key West, but the events that made this place important are now History lessons in high school text books, and most of the people who made those events happen are dead or sixtysomething yuppies. This neighborhood is beautiful, just like every other part of San Francisco, but it feels pretty much like every happenin' college town (minus the college, of course)... How come whenever I eat two or three relatively large food items at McDonald's (like double cheeseburgers) I
leave feeling just as hungry as when I arrived. It's not a value menu if you have to eat 5 to fill up.

This is wonderful: As I

This is wonderful: As I removed my glasses from their case, the tiny screw securing the right lens fell out into the grass. I may be screwed.

Thank you!

I want to thank Aunt Carolyn & Uncle Larry for everything they did for me. I don't have enough room here to list everything. This was the first time in my entire life that I've been able to spend any real time with them. It was almost like getting to know them for the first time and I really enjoyed it. (The pic is of Larry; Carolyn wouldn't let me take her picture without first putting on make-up.) Thank you Larry & Carolyn... On my first night in SF there were at least 5 foghorns honking all night. It sounded almost like 'Close Encounters' at times. So far it has been nearly impossible to see the Golden Gate Bridge because it is always covered by fog. It looks like there is already a crack in one of my tent poles. I hope I can exchange it without a receipt or a box (if I can even find a another Sports Authority store). Good thing I checked my e-mail at a library yesterday because Tony
sent a message saying he will be at Pyzano's Wed, Thu, & Fri. I can get there easily via BART.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Can't say it all here

I did find somewhere to sleep last night in a park area near Fort Mason. I had to withstand some sprinkler action for a while, but my new tent stood up pretty well. Unfortunately this tiny tent may not have a long lifespan. (It was only $20.) When I woke up this morning there was a homeless guy reading at a picnic table near my tent. I went over and talked to him before packing up, then we ended up talking for a few hours before walking to a library grand opening together, where there was some free vittles. I also gave him $3 and some of my food because I'm living like a king compared to him. Shane is a friendly, smart guy; I think he'll find his way out of homelessness. I need to contact some camping/outdoors manufacturers and try to get minor sponsorships/endorsements or just some free gear, like a good tent, shoes, a better backpack, clothing, etc. I'd love it if some of my readers
would help me out by contacting some of them. Tonight I'll camp somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco doesn't care

Someone please tell San Francisco it is the beginning of August. Seriously, it feels like late fall in Ohio here. Nonetheless, this is a beautiful city. Here by Fisherman's Wharf I've seen a lot of people wearing 'San Francisco' jackets; I think it's because they came here expecting summer, but the chilly weather forced them to buy something warm. SF is so much like New York, yet it is nothing like New York. I got here at about 5:00 this afternoon. The train ride was very cool. I rode near a nice Amish newlywed couple on their honeymoon from Jackson, Ohio. Very cool to talk to them. I don't like tourist areas and I may stop going to tourist areas in the places I visit in the future. I really need some new boots. After walking well over 600 miles in these, I've worn them out pretty bad. Doesn't take much walking anymore for my feet to hurt. I am very comfortable with money right now,
plus I have several tapes & a new tent. Don't know if I'll find a place to sleep tonight.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tony & Pyzano's

I'm going to skip some of the stuff I had intended to write about and move on to last Friday when I ended up at Tony Gemignani's pizzeria, Pyzano's Pizzeria, in Castro Valley. Again, this post may include some information I've already revealed, but I want to try to tell the whole story.

I don't know Tony very well; I'd only spoke to him twice before, for a total of about 20 or 30 minutes. The first time I met Tony was at a pizza trade show in Columbus (in February 2006), when he recognized me from my short appearance in the pizza movie. (Tony is the "star" of the pizza movie. Tony is the superstar of the pizza industry.) We talked for 10 or 15 minutes that time. It was a strange feeling having Tony approach me because everyone else at these shows wants to meet him and schmooze with him. I've always left him alone because I know he has to deal with everyone else wanting to meet him. After meeting Tony for the first time, he really impressed me because he was such a nice, down-to-earth guy. Really nice guy.

The second time I met Tony was in February of this year at the same pizza show in Columbus. This time he walked up to me and asked me something about how my travels have been. Immediately I knew he must have seen the Aimless web site, so I responded, "You've seen my web site?" He confirmed that he had seen the web site, which he'd found because a handful of people had followed my link to his World Pizza Champions web site.

We only talked for about five minutes that time. In our short chat, Tony said he thought what I'm doing is pretty cool and he suggested that if I make it out to California again, I should stop by Pyzano's. I said I probably would.

* * * * *

Last Friday morning I walked about 9.5 miles from south Hayward to Pyzano's Pizzeria, having thought it would be more like 5 or 6 miles. I think it was about 1:00 when I arrived. Once I knew I was at the correct shopping center, I turned on the camcorder and walked up to the pizzeria, drenched in sweat, hoping Tony would be there so I could see his reaction when I actually showed up unannounced.

Entering the pizzeria, I stepped up to the counter and asked a young woman if Tony was around. She said he is usually there about 6 days a week, but he happened to be out the day I showed up. She asked if he was expecting me, so I said he's probably expecting me to show up someday, then I vaguely described what I was doing there. A little bummed-out about his absence, I asked her if it was OK if I hung around for a while to charge up my phone. She said it was all right, so I plugged in my phone and went to the bathroom to change into a dry shirt and brush my hair.

Several minutes later, when I returned to the dining area from the bathroom, the girl said Tony called while I was gone. "He said he'll be here in half an hour and he'll make you any large pizza you want." I asked her what she said to him; did she tell him there's some guy here with a huge backpack and a camcorder or what? I guess that's pretty much what she said, so he knew it was me.

See, that's how cool Tony is. He was off doing something in San Jose and getting ready for a friend's wedding that night, but he instantly made a bee line for the pizzeria when he found out I was there. Then he spent at least an hour talking to me and personally making me a "Little Italy" pizza, which contains a New York-style pizza sauce, Grande mozzarella, ricotta, chopped garlic, Parmesan, and oregano, with olive oil drizzled over the top. It was so freakin' good. Probably the best pizza I've ever had. Like I said in a previous post, I ate the whole 16-inch pizza in one sitting. I'd love to get a chance to work at Pyzano's a little bit, perhaps even pro-bono, because it's really a smooth operation and I could learn a lot from it.

I don't have enough time to write everything I've been meaning to say here, so I'll try to finish it up and elaborate whenever I get to another computer. Time to go now.

I'll probably be back at Pyzano's after this weekend. I believe Tony said he'll be gone this weekend. I need to e-mail him before I leave.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

A few scattered thoughts

Lew, Father Winter didn't really "Jesus" me. Honestly, I have no idea why he turned a 180 on me. It may have been that he sensed I had no need for religion, but it may not have been. It may be that he just disliked my mannerisms. I don't know; I didn't ask. All I know is that he welcomed me to his property and then he took me away from his property.

I'm leaving my aunt and uncle's house today. Gonna take Amtrak down to Emeryville then get on a bus to San Francisco, I think. (Aunt Carolyn set it up.) I've had a very nice time here. This is the first time in my life that I've spent any significant time around Larry and Carolyn because they moved out here about when I was born. I also "met" my cousin Chris for the first time as an adult the other night. It's been over 20 years since I'd seen him. Really don't know him or his brother Scott, who lives in Texas.

I now know that a lot of my family have become regular readers of this blog. I think my mom and dad are both reading it, as well as Carolyn (my dad's sister) and Lisa (my dad's sister). I'll try not to let that affect my candid nature. As long as they aren't reading it in my presence, I usually don't feel very on-the-spot.

Yesterday was my Grandma and Grandpa Denlinger's 60th wedding anniversary. I called them and talked for a little while last night. Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!

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If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hey mugen

Hey mugen,

I didn't think your comment was negative, nor did I mean to sound hostile in my response, although I'm sure I probably did sound hostile. I know it's difficult to communicate your thoughts through writing sometimes. Man, I have so much going through my mind all the time, I barely know what I've written. I think that's good, though, because it keeps my posts honest, even if they are negative or embarrassing sometimes. I just want this blog to be a true reflection/representation of my experience, and I know sometimes it makes me look like a prick in some people's eyes. I also know sometimes I am a prick, but I doubt if it's the same times as when people think I'm a prick.

Thanks for participating and stuff. I hope you'll keep commenting, even if your comments are critical of what I say.

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Raul Gomez

This post begins at Half Moon Bay and ends up somewhere in the Bay Area. Pardon me if I say some things I've already said...

I think it was last Wednesday when the English blokes picked me up and took me 20 or 30 miles to Half Moon Bay. From Half Moon Bay I began walking along Route 92 toward San Mateo, unexpectedly climbing a mountain on the way.

About halfway down the mountain a motorist pulled off on the other side of the road to ask me if I wanted a ride. It took a few minutes for me to cross the road and speak to him because there is nearly constant traffic each way. Once I was finally able to cross the road, I spoke to the man for a minute and then hopped into Raul Gomez's Chrysler minivan. Once we got going I knew Raul was going to San Jose, but I was still unsure of where he'd be dropping me off.

Raul is a baker at Safeway in Half Moon Bay. I informed him that I had bought some food at his store a little earlier. (Not that you care.) Having a Spanish accent, I asked Raul where he was from. He said Fiji. Not the response I expected. I eventually found out that he is of Mexican lineage.

I could tell right away that Raul was a very friendly guy. He enjoyed telling me about the area, like how the clouds always hover over the mountains west of the Bay Area while the part of the Bay Area we'd entered usually stays sunny and nice. He said he wanted to show me Redwood City before taking me to the 101, so there we went.

As we approached Redwood City, Raul informed me he'd be treating me to lunch. He then drove to his favorite torta joint, La Casita Chilanga. La Casita Chilanga is a tiny little place--probably less than 500 square feet--with a counter, a small kitchen, and a small dining area.

I'd never had a torta before, nor did I even know what a torta was. If you don't know, a torta is a sandwich made on a large round piece of bread sliced horizontally through the middle. Raul ordered La Cubana for both of us. I can't tell you for sure what all was on La Cubana, but there was ham, chorizo, breaded beef, tomatoes, avocados, jalopenos, onions, a couple different sauces or dressings, and then probably a few more things. This sandwich was HUGE and it was so exotic (and a little scary) to me, but I ate it without picking things off. (OK, I did end up picking off the onions, but I left everything else there.)

The sandwich was really good. I've always been a very picky eater, but I am eating tons of new foods now. TONS of new foods that I just would not have dared eat a year ago. I'm not saying I like everything new I try, but I did like the torta.

Thanks, Raul.

Raul dropped me off near 101 and Marsh, but I didn't stay long because it just didn't feel like the kind of place where people will stop. I've been wanting to say this for a while: I still have not gotten a ride from a California native. Interestingly, my first three rides in California were all from natives of New York City. Each of those rides originated from on-ramps. My other two rides were from primarily Spanish-speaking men who stopped to ask me if I needed a ride when they saw me walking. I am not including Travis here (the trucker who brought me to California) because that ride began in Iowa.

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Response to "mugen"

This post is a response to a comment by "mugen" on my Encinal Canyon Road post.

mugen said...

wow, he sounds like an awful nice man to let a complete stranger in the house and give him food and a shower. I think it is one thing to offer a stranger food and a bath but completely different to allow a stranger to sleep in your house. He sounds like a very compassionate man. I hope you take away from this experience his kindness. I hope the man, if he sees your post, realizes he has done a good deed and isn't stung by the criticism.

I have been reading your blog for a long while and I guess the reason why I haven't passed this on to too many people is that the tone of your blog is so negative at times. Complete strangers take you in do nice things, but in the end you complain about something. Like the man in Florida who gave you a job to help paint his house. You felt he didn't pay you enough.

You are truly not aimless if you have preconceived expectations and people fail to meet those expectations.

Maybe you should consider reading the Tao of Pooh. You could pick it up pretty cheap at a used book store.

Until then I leave you with a quote from Steven Hawking

“When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have”

* * * * *

First of all, mugen, I only have 1,000 characters available when I post from my phone, which is almost every post. That doesn't give me a lot of opportunity to say everything I'd like to say, nor does it give me a chance to elaborate on the things I do say. For example, I usually don't have room to thank the people who do nice things for me. If I did, I'd be forced to tell even less of the story. So I want you to remember this: When I tell stories about people doing nice things for me, it should be understood that I am also thanking them publicly through this blog. Whenever I am able, I will make a list of all the people who have done nice things for me and I will formally thank them.

Having said that, I appreciated the shower and the meal "Father Winter" provided me. But remember, the premise of the whole situation was that he stopped me and offered me a safe place to camp out when I planned to walk perhaps another 8 or 10 miles. When I told him I was more interested in getting down the road than having a place to camp out, he persisted. He didn't offer me a shower or a meal or a roof over my head; he offered me a spot to sleep somewhere on his 4 acres of property. Then he reneged and took me back to where we'd met, probably because I was not open to having his religious beliefs forced upon me. Instead of being truthful, though, he tried to disguise it as if he suddenly came up with a better idea.

Sorry, buddy, but that is a really shitty way to treat people. I'd be ashamed of myself if I did it. If he had just been honest and said he decided he didn't want me staying on his property, I would have respected his honesty. But he wasn't honest about it; instead, he weaseled his way out of an obligation he created for himself.

I really don't care that he reneged on his hospitality, but he is a total asshole for doing it the way he did it. I ended up finding a great place to sleep that night, about a quarter of a mile into Ventura County. It was right by the road but hidden. Very peaceful. If he hadn't reneged on his offer, I probably wouldn't have seen my first live rattlesnake in the wild, either.

* * * * *

Now let me move on to what you said about my response to working for Travis Beechler in Florida. First of all, I made it very clear that I felt kind of like a shithead for what I said about Travis. I made it clear that I consider Travis a decent person. However, I don't take back what I said about feeling cheated with the wages.

You made a huge assumption when you mentioned "the man in Florida who gave [me] a job to help paint his house." For some reason, you assumed Travis did me a favor by "giving" me a job. Did it ever occur to you that maybe I did Travis a favor by doing work he desperately needed someone to do for him? Yeah, that's exactly how it was. He needed someone's help; I didn't need what I got from it. I did it because it provided me an opportunity to make some extra cash and I figured I'd get fairly compensated for it. And even though he made it clear he really wanted me to hang around and work another couple days, I declined because no one is worth only $6 an hour.

Mugen, do you ever bust your ass for $6 an hour? If so, do you feel justly compensated?

Yeah, that's what I thought. So don't try telling me I should be thrilled to be ripped off, all right. Put your money where your mouth is.

Regarding the casino and the Olive Garden: I didn't ask for them to take me to the Olive Garden, nor did I ask for money for slot machines. Under no conditions would I have used my own money for either of these activities. Those things were gifts--which I sincerely appreciated--not credit. So yes, I expected to be paid better than $6 an hour for 9 hours of hard work with no lunch break.

But just let me say this again: I consider Travis Beechler a good person. I appreciate the things he did for me and I will probably talk to him again sometime.

* * * * *

So mugen, should I also feel totally in debt to the trucker who fondled me? Maybe I should have just let him fuck me in the ass, as payment for the ride he gave me from Richmond, Indiana to Joplin, Missouri, huh. If I call him a dick for putting his hand on my cock, are you going to tell me how ungrateful I am? Well, you know what? He's a fucking prick for putting his hand on my cock. If I would have known I'd have to deal with that kind of shit, I would have turned down his offer for a ride, stayed in Indiana, and tried to get a ride with someone else.

I've made it clear that I don't expect anything from anyone. This isn't about me or how I get people to do things for ME. I'm just a representative; it's about the kind things people do for someone, and that someone just happens to be me. I can't document or write about this stuff if I'm not out here doing it.

If you think I'm so negative, go out and do what I've been doing. You'll find out pretty quickly that there are a lot of total assholes out there, like the fuckbrains who try to scare me by swerving off the road at 70+ MPH, missing me by a foot. Yeah, I haven't mentioned those kinds of things, have I? Well, it happens, and it might get me killed. Y'know, that kind of thing happens more frequently than the random acts of kindness, but I don't talk about them much because I make a conscious effort not to sound too negative.

There are some really great people out there, but there are thousands of assholes in between each great person. I'm just the messenger, dude. I don't want this blog or the documentary to be negative, but that's how shit really is, OK. I'm not a negative person for reporting negative things. If anything, you are a negative person for making that assumption.

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Grass vs. tennis court

Jay, I certainly prefer grass to tennis courts. When I arrived at the park, I actually planned to sleep on the playground, where I believe the surface was sweet-smelling cedar chips. I couldn't sleep on the grass in the park because there were sprinklers a-sprinkling. Even on the cedar chips I was getting some of the mist from the sprinklers, so I relocated to the tennis courts. I have a small inflatable pad that makes it possible to sleep comfortably on almost any surface.

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