Saturday, May 2, 2009

Doing it Myself

I found this book of my housemate's lying around: Making Stuff & Doing Things: A Collection of DIY Guides to Doing Just About Everything.

In formats ranging from comic strips to collage, the 250 page anthology offers lessons on such wide-ranging life skills as how to season a cast-iron skillet, how to juggle, how to build a composting toilet, how to keep your piss in a jar and pour it on your garden, and how to build gigantic puppets.

The short piece on "Urban Foraging" admonishes, "One last quick point: don't blow money on shit you can get for free."

In that spirit, I spent most of the afternoon replacing the cracked and crusty tires on my bike with new (used) ones. A simple task, really, but one that gets more complicated when the old front tire is so crustified onto its wheel that you puncture your inner tube in three places while trying to remove the whole ensemble. And so you attempt to patch the inner tube using superglue and pieces of another old inner tube, resulting in 7 patches and a still-leaky tube, before successfully patching an entirely different tube, putting on the new tire, and reattaching the wheel to the bike. But I saved $5 (the cost of a new tube), and I am now a tire-replacement pro (with superglue all over my hands)!

So I didn't blow any money on the shit I could get for free, but was it worth it? I'll tell you tomorrow morning, if my tires are still full of air when I go to ride the bike.

And more shit I'm getting for free: I have a bag of fresh sprouts hanging in the kitchen (mung, adzuki, garbanzo) and the tomato and basil starts by the window are quickly unfurling toward the light - I can practically see them grow.