Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

I smashed my right pinkie yesterday - bad. Dumb mistake and I will be paying for it for a long time. I had plans of BBQ'ing steaks and such today, no such thing is going to happen, I feel like crap. It also is slowing down my typing considerably.

The fingernail is definitely going to come off - the whole thing is black. I HATE when I do stupid things like that. I was out back on my little step ladder pounding in a stake for holding up one of the Sissoo's. When I was done, I was folding it back up - not realizing my pinkie was sitting the way of the "folding zone". Lord - it was a painful event and has been ever since.

About and hour and a half ago, I had just laid down to take a nap - when my cellphone rang. I didn't recognize the number and had half a mind to not answer - but I did anyway. It was Glen. Glen is one of the homeless guys I have been feeding and handing a few dollars to for a couple of months now. They show up out of the blue - I cook them dinner. They eat - and eat - and eat.

His buddy is a paraplegic - he cannot walk. I have attempted to persuade them every time they come here to get some government help - there's plenty of it out there, ESPECIALLY for disabled people. They were living in a park near the airport - take the light rail all over the place and basically panhandle their way through life. BUT - Glen - the guy that is not disabled - is very intelligent and very motivated. He HATES living on the streets but he has been taking care of his disabled buddy and hasn't been able to work.

Glen informs me they have acquired their own place. I mean, they actually rented out a house looking thing - it's a small house that has to rental units. He was asking if I had some extra nails and a hammer - he wanted to build a ramp to get his buddy up and down out of the house over the stairs. I was already half zonked in my nap-zone, I didn't feel like doing anything.

But - they were desperate. Not for nails and a hammer - for food. I have never in my life refused anyone food - and I have given out a LOT of it since 1984 when I became a Christian - and I never will if I have anything that I can give. Driving over to 11th avenue and Adams - where they live - wasn't a pleasant prospect - but I just forced myself to say yes, got up, and got out of here. Stopped and picked up both cooked food and sandwich meats and some bread on my way over there and some beverages.

I have had a LOT of dealings with the homes in the last 2 plus decades. My observations - I have only seen a couple of people that REALLY wanted off the streets, the rest had acclimated their mindset to the point that they were just going to beg for the rest of their lives. I was quite amazed that Glen actually pulled it off - he wanted off the streets badly. His buddy cannot do much of anything for himself, so he's basically bound to taking care of him. I have no idea how these guys met or why Glen is so intent on taking care of him - but it is something incredible to me.

Glen is a very respectful - but very determined person. I was also as determined - there is plenty of government money out there for disabled people - you have to go and fill out the forms/seek the assistance, but his disabled buddy would qualify for all kinds of assistance. I will be going over there again next week - and I will again be insisting Glen take his friend to a place that is right down the road from them and start asking for help. The guy can't walk, can't talk very well, has suffered a life-altering stroke. This is a person, in my opinion, that should get government/community assistance. Glen should be pinned with a medal for forsaking his life to take care of this guy.

BTW, Glen paid for the place out of panhandling. I wonder how fast people will judge the man. I wonder when we make such judgements if we have ANY clue the circumstances that lead certain people to that point. Glen unabashedly stated that he was going to a 4th fireworks show to - work the crowd with his buddy. Maybe - just maybe - there ARE times when you get hit up for money from a street bum that that person is someone that can't work, can't get a job, can't because of whatever.

I went over there with fried chicken and bought some ham slices on sale with some bread and some drinks. Nothing fancy or expensive - but tasty food none-the-less. They consumed the entire bag of chicken in a short period of time. Gary was getting sick when I showed up - he hadn't eaten and it was hot. There is evap cooling in the place - I have spent many summers with evap cooling only and no AC - I know how it feels. It's actually cooler to go outside in the shade when the humidity and the dew point is high enough - and the dew point is WAY high right now, which renders evap cooling almost useless. Glen got Gary up off the floor - there is no furniture - into his wheelchair, brought him outside. Gary ate a piece of chicken slowly. Glen offered him more, he said no. But, after a few minutes, he did want more. Meanwhile, Glen had been stuffing himself.

Glen confided after Gary went back inside that he has not been able to work or do anything because his time is spent taking care of Gary. Gary's brother, Rit - this guy has some problems in the mental department - is there as well. Glen figures it's good enough, he can leave Gary there and go look for work.

Again, the whole situation is amazing to me. I went and saw the situation with my own eyes - I need not guess. I didn't give them any money - I just gave them food and drink. But, I did place an ad on Craigslist for help. You'd be surprised - people will help if they can. One lady wrote me and asked for the address, said she would stop by and drop off some food. It hasn't been that long since I posted that ad, I'm hoping for some offers for a couple of beds and maybe some furniture.

This morning. I couldn't resist. I took a "country" drive to the nursery that's going out of business and bought 10 more of buck per 3 gallon pot ficus trees. I also took all 3 Danes with me. They "told" me they wanted to go. Prince was sticking his head out of the rear side window almost the entire trip there and back. He has a very large head and it was attracting a lot attention. It was really a drive to determine for sure whether the Discount Tire fix had worked. It had not. I am thinking at this point that maybe there is a mechanical problem, or maybe one of the rims is messed up. I'm not sure what to do - don't exactly have money to start spending on diagnostics. I don't have to go out of town if I don't want to and the thing only acts up at high speeds.

So, I think for now, just leave it and if/when finances get better, then deal with it. I had to put off my lady friend up north, I had full intentions of going up there for a 4th of July visit.

As it stands, I held my pinkie off away from the rest of my hand and dug several holes today, planted several plants. Mimi suggested it may be broken - certainly the force of the impact was enough for breakage. She further suggested I put it in a splint, I refused. A splinted finger will cost my my job, basically. You can't drive with an "inoperable hand". My right hand, the damaged pinkie hand, is my shifting hand. I can shift gears without a pinkie, just have to focus on it as I pay no attention to shifting, it's quite an automatic function for me.

Umm, well it's late enough, I will be going to bed soon.

Hope you all had a nice 4th of July celebration.
ben

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