Something From Nothing Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by C40 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:16 pm

If you bought leather handlebar wrap like that from a bike company, I think you're talking $100+

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Ego » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:01 pm

Now that the polish is wearing off it is looking quite good. I am embarrassed to admit that I have Brooks tape on my other bike. Never again.

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We've been lugging a few very old oil paintings from place to place since we bought them in the early 1990s when we were.... I don't know... insane! They represent the last of our remaining possessions from the accumulation phase when we were flush and foolish with cash. We haven't hung them so they've got to go. I have listed one on craigslist with the second to follow shortly. They won't count in the balance I am keeping here but I thought I'd mention it because I bet many people here have things like these sitting in the back of the closet just waiting to be sold. I kept putting it off because one of the paintings is by a listed artist and I wanted to take it to an auction house. Just dragging my feet. Away it goes.

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enigmaT120
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:08 pm

Ego, did you spray that adhesive on both surfaces, let it get tacky, then wrap the leather on the bars like the instructions say? I always make a mess of stuff like that!

I like it, but mine would probably get pretty gross with my bike sitting in the rain at work all day. I keep a saddle cover over my Brooks when it's likely to rain, and even ride with the cover on if it's raining hard.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Ego » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:34 pm

Yeah, I sprayed both sides and waited two minutes until it got tacky. The leather soaked it in a bit. Right now it seems like it is stuck for life but we shall see how it fares with use. I had intended to carefully measure the width of the leather strips but I was in a to-hell-with-it mood when I did it so I just chopped them in crooked strips about 1 1/4" wide and wrapped them. If I were heavily invested in the bike I wouldn't have slapped in on with so little regard for results. I'm surprised that the flaws actually give it a cockeyed character. Good representation of the owner. ;)

Not much of a problem with rain here.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:13 pm

Yesterday's alley score. Two mid-century bar stools (bit tattered, but solid and very cool), collectable comic book wrapped and boarded, fine Italian Merino wool sweater, 5 heavy duty long commercial floor-mats (immediately put down as permanent mulch in garden), professional canister halogen light fixture, few 5 gallon buckets, black hoodie, two long heavy iron rods with circular loops at top, heavy-duty rubber and chrome clamp for light fixture, a tripod, and a rather nice bike rack which seems to be designed for securely attaching a backpack? There was also a functional piano out there, but we already have one. Cost: $0 Value: YTBD

I also scavenged some logs for my hugelkulture and some bamboo-like supports.

enigmaT120
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by enigmaT120 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:04 pm

7WB5, did you get all that in one haul? Wow. Post a picture of the bike rack, maybe somebody will know what it is.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:12 pm

@enigmaT120 : Yup, all one haul. I can't upload any photos because I am having a COM surrogate error that I do not know how to fix yet. I have decided that the bike rack looks more like a collapsible luggage tote for an affluent 5 year old except for the fact that it doesn't have any wheels.

Earlier this week I happened upon a clump of rare books about Nantucket that somebody must have put in a drop box after a relative died. I paid $4.75 and listed them for $179. There was also a fifty cent used clothing sale, so I must admit I did a bad, lazy thing and bought 8 items of clothing instead of doing my laundry this week. Scavenging is fun!

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Ego » Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:26 pm

One of my trashpicker friends showed up today with a Specialized Stumpjumper. Full Deore XT. Maybe 1990. Wheels true. Rusty chain just needed oil. Chris King headset. Marzocchi Bomber shocks. Shifts perfectly. Brakes needed adjusting. Now it stops perfectly. Needs new tires and a saddle.

I could part this out and make quite a bit of money.... but I can't bring myself to do that. Paid $100.

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$713.46 -$100 = $613.46

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Ego » Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:40 pm

Went to the recycle bins for a box to ship an ebay-sold pair of Danner boots (bought from Mr. Twofingers) and I found these sitting right on top.

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Not sure what to make of it. If I were superstitious I would think the universe is chuckling.

The one on the right is a signed first.

OTCW
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by OTCW » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:52 pm

Ego wrote:Went to the recycle bins for a box to ship an ebay-sold pair of Danner boots (bought from Mr. Twofingers) and I found these sitting right on top.

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Not sure what to make of it. If I were superstitious I would think the universe is chuckling.

The one on the right is a signed first.
Nice find. I've bought quite a few signed copies of books from thrift stores for less than a dollar, but I've never gotten one off a trash pile.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Ego » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:46 pm

I roll out fifteen trashcans on Tuesdays and have gradually become friends with the guy who digs for cans and bottles. Cory is a lean black guy about my same age. He has an easy smile, a friendly somewhat frantic manner and an erasertop haircut. This week he let me in on his secret.

He always pulls up next to the cans in a fairly nice small pickup truck and tosses the cans and bottles into the bed. Our bins are always overflowing and he organizes them for me in exchange for the exclusive right to dig. Symbiosis. This week we chatted while he was digging and he told me his story.

A few years ago he lost his home when someone (maybe his mother) died and found himself on the streets with absolutely no possessions. So he began to wander, digging through trashcans for anything he could find. After he trash-picked the few things he needed to keep warm, he started collecting recyclables. He learned the various routes and realized that the big hauls were in the bins, like mine, kept behind lock and key.

So he started to use social engineering. He didn't call it that, but that's essentially what he explained. Slowly, over time, he became friends with the people who held the keys. I don't know how he did it with the others, but with me he just kept saying, "Gonna leave it cleaner than when I got here," over and over. And that's what he does. Now I wait for him to arrive before I take out the cans.

In the past two years he went from a shopping cart to a beat up car to his current pickup truck. In that time he also purchased a small motorhome, which he now lives in on the streets down near The Bottoms. He is very proud of the motorhome so I suspect it is pretty nice. He made a point to mention that both are smogged, legally registered and insured.

I asked him how much he makes. He showed me a few receipts from the recycle center and said he makes more than $100 in cash a day, six days a week. He has three rules, no booze, no drugs, no women, and he saves most of what he makes.

Next week I want to ask him about his plans for the future. I'm sure it'll be interesting.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Ego » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:42 pm

The haul this morning included a Marmot backpack, Patagonia leather ski gloves, several pairs of Lululemon yoga pants, a Katadyn water filter, Chacos sandals, Gore-tex hiking pants, two pairs of REI baselays bottoms, an oil painting for our livingroom (keeper $4) and a 26" touring wheelset with new Continential Gatorskin tires for the touring bike (keeper $30).

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We have a bike swap meet coming up in a few weeks. I usually pay for a stall and unload any gear that is even slightly related to cycling or cycle touring. This time I'll have several bikes as well as a few tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and the leather flight case I mentioned way back when. I used some parts from an old Ortlieb pannier I had scavenged years ago to turn the flight case into a pannier.

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Balance: $613.46 - $30 -$4 = $579.46

7Wannabe5
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:31 pm

@Ego: Your anecdote about the bottle deposit discard market operator was interesting. When I lived in an affluent neighborhood near graduate student housing with high recent immigrant from China population, I often saw an elderly, quite dignified looking Chinese woman digging for bottles. My theory was that she had immigrated with a child, perhaps to help with care of grandchild, didn't speak English, but wanted to keep busy with some kind of work that would earn her a bit of pocket money. I've frequently noted how finding yourself in an entirely alien environment or hitting bottom, as with your friend, can sometimes give people fresh energy or more free rein. It might actually be good for humans to start from scratch again every 7 years or so. Like hard-pruning a tree. When I finish my perma-culture project (goal date 3/1/2022), I might just give it to one of my kids and start again.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Ego » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:34 pm

I like the way you relate these things to permaculture because it is an area where I have little knowledge and I frequently have a-ha moments. Youtube taught me about the growth spurts produced by hard-pruning a tree.

Why 7?

JamesR
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by JamesR » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:52 am


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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Ego » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:58 pm

Last night I lay in bed starring at the ceiling thinking about how a near-dead tree gets so reinvigorated after a sever pruning that it sprouts thousands of tiny shoots from the remaining limbs and trunk in the same way that new neurons sprout in response to a brain injury. The permaculture guy in the video was saying that he would normally come back in the summer and trim most of the shoots. Hum.
JamesR wrote:it's a reference to http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2722
Makes me wonder how many lives (by the way, we call them incarnations :P ) I would have if I started a new lifetime before reaching mastery. I'm not sure if mastery is even a good goal for me. Maybe good-enough is, well, good-enough for most skills. For the few that I want to master, I can always carry them over into the next incarnation.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:48 am

@Ego: You actually already know a lot about permaculture because ERE (the general theory/practice/philosophy as presented in the book) is the same thing. Both could generally be defined as "A Design Methodology Based on Complex System Theory for Creation of Sustainable Human Ecosystems." It's kind of interesting to try to figure out what money actually is in a human ecosystem. Like the title of this thread could also be "Variation Gradient in Value Perception Applied to Manufactured Good End Use." IOW, the "nothing" in your title refers to the value assigned to the object by the person who put it in a dumpster or drop box, and the "something" refers to the value you were able to perceive. However, for example, if you find a bike you perceive to be valuable in a dumpster, and then you sell it to somebody else, and then the bike becomes money in your savings account what has it really become? I mean, money in the bank isn't really like jars of pickles in your cellar or a stack of wood outside your door. So, in the most literal sense you took "something" and turned it into "nothing."

I was thinking about the rule-of-thumb in the cartoon JamesR linked when I picked 7 years. We ENTPs are the "sprinters" or "jumpers" or manically multi-tasking decathlon competitors on the rational team, so even 7 years seems like infinity plus 1 to us, if we can only focus on one realm or objective. If achieving mastery for an INTJ is like following your curiosity up an arduous mountain path until you see something new, an ENTP is more like a puppy that is always running off on loops down every interesting side path, but over the years it still adds up to a lot of territory covered. For instance, I owned a 135-year old house for 12 years and I had no money to spend and my husband had zero interest in home repair/renovation, and then I spent 3 years riding shotgun with my recent-ex who was a landlord/engineer and highly skilled at home repair/renovation, so I am actually probably more competent ( or at least less afraid that something dire will happen if/when I do f*ck up or violate code rather than pay the big bucks to some professional or rush out and buy a lot of new materials and tools) in that realm than most people, even though I think that I suck at it because I am not a master of any one bit of it, and I am not strong enough to manage heavy tools and materials very well by myself, and I am a little bit afraid of heights and have to really psych myself up to climb out on a roof with a bucket of black goo. So, I will probably buy a dilapidated house at auction this fall and attempt again to make "something" out of "nothing" in that realm as part of my permaculture project, although I am still interested in experimenting with the possibility of surviving in a tiny wofati enclosed by my geodesic dome greenhouse through the winter in Michigan, like a little snow-globe biosphere with giant rabbits hopping about, compost slowly burning in abandoned tire towers and fish in barrels of water. However, it is difficult to focus my attention/energies on either of these two projects when the devil (anybody engaged in R.A.S.) is at work just a mile away from me trying to dump radioactive frack waste into one of the last remaining major fresh water supplies on the planet and put mentally impaired dark-skinned children into prison on trumped up charges to be fed and guarded for profit by private corporations, and there are piles of books that I want to read and other things that I want to learn and other things that I want to see. It is possible that I might have to stop eating poppyseed cake from the Polish bakery for breakfast if I want to have enough vigor to do everything that I want to do, although that is not my preference.

Dragline
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Re: Something From Nothing

Post by Dragline » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:01 am

Ego wrote:Last night I lay in bed starring at the ceiling thinking about how a near-dead tree gets so reinvigorated after a sever pruning that it sprouts thousands of tiny shoots from the remaining limbs and trunk in the same way that new neurons sprout in response to a brain injury. The permaculture guy in the video was saying that he would normally come back in the summer and trim most of the shoots. Hum.
JamesR wrote:it's a reference to http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2722
Makes me wonder how many lives (by the way, we call them incarnations :P ) I would have if I started a new lifetime before reaching mastery. I'm not sure if mastery is even a good goal for me. Maybe good-enough is, well, good-enough for most skills. For the few that I want to master, I can always carry them over into the next incarnation.
Apparently we can sprout the new neural connections even without the brain injury if we put some effort in on it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCptSBUhBvA

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:41 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:So, I will probably buy a dilapidated house at auction this fall and attempt again to make "something" out of "nothing" in that realm as part of my permaculture project, although I am still interested in experimenting with the possibility of surviving in a tiny wofati enclosed by my geodesic dome greenhouse through the winter in Michigan, like a little snow-globe biosphere with giant rabbits hopping about, compost slowly burning in abandoned tire towers and fish in barrels of water.
For the love of God, fix the damn camera already so we can watch it unfold here. Sheesh! :D
Dragline wrote: Apparently we can sprout the new neural connections even without the brain injury if we put some effort in on it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCptSBUhBvA
Yeah, now that I re-read my post it comes across as strange. In explanation, I've been dealing daily with a guy who suffered a traumatic brain injury and have seen interesting changes that sparked the connection.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:20 pm

Ego said: For the love of God, fix the damn camera already so we can watch it unfold here. Sheesh! :D
Well, the bad news is that there were two tragic incidents involving the intersection of heavy winds and my geodesic dome structure recently. The good news is that a different sort of "something from nothing" has occurred in the form of an abundance of competent, masculine vigor making spontaneous, unsolicited appearance at my project site. IOW, variant of the law of nature that always happens when I get a flat on the highway. I have decided that as long as my preferences are honored and nobody tells me to go fetch them a beer, it would be churlish for me to resist.

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