Sitting in Wendy's talking to a programmer named J. J. Tibbetts. Among a wealth of useful information was the ID of that unknown cactus I showed a picture of yesterday: cholla cactus. I finished the first half of the Universal Edibility Test on the fruit today, and it went fine. The fruit is delicious, very similar to an apple. As with prickly pear, though, you need to get all the little hairlike thorns off it before eating. A good percentage of them seem to like to lodge in the flesh of my fingers and hands. I'm almost inured to it now.

Today was amazing. This whole week was amazing. I've met more interesting people, come up with more ideas, learned more useful stuff than probably any other week of my existence. Most of the ideas have evaporated in the desert sun, but one I remember is a huge array of circular mirrors, computer- controlled, that can instantly reconfigure as a parabola of any orientation and focal point. What for? Defensive weapon. Would it work? No clue. If it does, I'm sure the military already has it. But I could maybe use one to shoot down buzzards when I get really, really hungry. I imagine they're a nasty-tasting bird.

(image of cargo bike) An idea that actually works is this $18 bicycle accessory from K-Mart, a cargo rack that I connected my long-suffering American Tourister flight bag to, and towed it from town to home and back. I found an alternate route today that cut my time down to 2 hours one-way, combined with the time saving from not having to stop and readjust the weight of my belongings on my shoulders, since that weight is now being borne primarily by the road. The flexible strap on the Bell unit allows just enough "give" so that the whole contraption handles most obstacles without incident. Larry Kamm, author of Real World Engineering, might be proud of my accomplishment. Here's to you, Larry, you're the inspiration. This follows thousands of dollars wasted on other foot-powered vehicles I've tried to develop. Any standard bike will do, including this $53 15-speed from Wal-mart. An American Tourister rolling flight bag; if you go with something cheaper, don't blame me when it falls apart after two blocks! This was $45 plus tax, and well worth it. Unfortunately, though, I can't seem to find a store that sells replacement rollerblade wheels. I guess I could buy a cheap pair of blades and thus get 8 wheels for $25, about $3 and change each. With all the crap I've been taking this poor thing through, the wheels won't last much longer. Anyway, for little over $100 you have a versatile method of navigating a town with your belongings, that doesn't look weird. All discriminating hobos should have one.

Back to blog or home page

last updated 2013-01-10 20:14:48. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com