A Broke Back Mountain of Money Woes
The Internet service has been cut off for a few days now due to non-payment and while I am experiencing mild withdrawal I notice that I am actually Riding More, writing more and doing a hell of a lot more reading. I miss the instant gratification of the web as well as some of the benefits of research and information and of course the Late Night Bike Gear Fantasy Shopping Sprees but I have been getting by without television for some years now and the Internet isn't really all that much different from TV...
In Search of a New Trade
Oddly enough, I have been spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to go about becoming a Bicycle Mechanic. It seems strangely feasible but I would need an infusion of dollars to get started, primarily for tooling and secondarily for shop space. Plus the fact that I am apparently quite challenged as a bike repairman. This morning I noticed that I was having a problem screwing the lid back onto the milk jug and The Voice chuckled and said something like “some bike mechanic!” But who in their right mind listens to voices before the first cup of morning coffee?
The location out at my storage unit would make a pretty good half-assed bike shop, other than the toilet hassles and the fact that management there seems to bear me malice, two issues that seem to be related but are so obscure that a solution is far too effervescent to acquire resolution. I looked at a warehouse-type unit the other day that would be perfect except that they want money for it and I don't have any. I would be quite happy for now to rig up some kind of space here at the single wide at Whiskey Pines. I have considered this and it could work. Except that while Management is currently tolerant of my poverty and non-payment of rent, that fortuitous situation could change at any time.
I Need a Transfusion
Any way you cut it I need a cash transfusion and damned if I can see any help in sight. I had a brainstorm yesterday after reading about the sorry condition of foreclosed homes in the Morning Wood Subdivision, a huge development south of town that is suffering the effects of these troubled economic times. These properties are deteriorating rapidly as they sit in some kind of ownership limbo. As the grass grows higher and the vandalism gets worse the neighborhood property values, already strained by the economy, are being dragged down by these poor orphans in their midst. No one is sure who should be fixing these properties and doing yard maintenance and so forth but I sense that some one who figured out a way to sort this out could make a good piece of change, so to speak.
I Know People In High Places
I know that my neighbor here in the ghetto, Bobby the Trailer Park Mayor, is doing “clean-outs” on foreclosed homes and has a nice collection of houseplants, yard ornaments, major appliances and so forth decorating his yard. It is this tasteful display of wealth that earned him the title of Mayor...that and the fact that he has the coolest trailer in the Park, situated on not one but two lots. This vast area has been transformed into a ritzy resort-like place with multiple bird baths, picnic tables, barbecue grills, lounge furniture and all the other accoutrements of the comfortable suburban home, and he has accented the display with strategically placed Christmas tree lights in multiple hues. It's really nice and his generosity is just as expansive as his lifestyle. Any neighbor in a tight spot can come by and select a refrigerator or washer from the collection and Bobby will help out with a deferred payment plan of some sort. And he garnered all of this wealth by doing these clean-outs of abandoned, foreclosed homes. Now, I know that it is wrong to covet thy neighbor's house-cleaning gig, but I am, after all, only human. And Bobby didn't exactly figure this all out on his own, it had something to do with luck and the old “right place at the right time” thing. For instance, that's how he came to have two lots...pure good luck. When the trailer on Lot 13 burned down the second time, Management gave up and left the lot empty. Bobby, on the lot next door, gradually let his growing collection of stuff gently creep into number thirteen, until, after a couple days, he found himself the proud captain of all that he surveyed. He proudly flies the Flags of Two Nations over his domain, the good “Ol Stars and Stripes and of course, the Honorable Stars and Bars. They share a flagpole, and by The Laws of Our Nation, the U.S. Banner flies at the top, with the C.S.A. just below. But the Rebel Flag is bigger.
And so certainly, by this one splendid example alone, it can be seen that by doing honest salvage work that benefits many people, one humble man has built an empire. But it is not Empires that interest me. I want a Bike Shop. And the Mayor knows things that I do not.
But he gets really cagey when I ask how he got started and where does he get his jobs and so forth. Obviously proprietary information he is determined to protect.
Coffee and Gratitude
In my typical enthusiasm I have enjoyed visions of me sitting in the offices of various bank managers who ply me with coffee and gratitude as I explain how I will relieve them of these foreclosed property problems. In my favorite fantasy I am receiving a substantial small business loan to facilitate purchase of appropriate equipment, vehicles, a storage facility, etc. which I will then also use to buy a complete set of Park Tools, set up shop, and get to work.
It Takes Gumption
This actually should not be a fantasy but a real business start-up. But it takes gumption or something or other and I will be checking the Internet today on my two-hour visit to the library for my daily (free) web-head fix. Part of my plan was to take extensive bicycle rides through Morning Wood Subdivision, writing down the addresses of properties that look like they may benefit from such a service and then look around the property to help me figure out a sales pitch for whomever I may find myself trying to convince. I think that the key to this would be to find out who exactly is the interested party and of course try to find out who exactly is going to pay for this service. I need to snoop out neighbor Bobby the Mayor a bit more better. Last week while doing a clean-out he stumbled across a fully stocked home bar someone had left behind. Yeah, I know. Unbelievable. So if I go over there to his resort and help him get lubed up on his free liquor maybe I can dig out the secret information I need to get such a business up and running. It seems to me it could develop into a quite satisfying source of income and certainly a viable path to my Bike Shop Dream . And it is, after all, free liquor...
Whispering Pines Trailer Court and Bicycle Emporium