A Class About Upwork, a Platform for Freelancers

Tonight I biked eight miles down to a co-working warehouse space in trendy South Austin. (A real bumper sticker I’ve seen says this: “78704: We’re all here because we’re not all there.”) I attended my second class about the freelance website Upwork. As one of if not the largest websites of its kind, and having an interest in freelancing, I was encouraged to sign up a year ago. I did so and listed the title of a job I don’t really want to do. Since I never spent much time becoming familiar with how it works, nothing happened. Some time last year I attended a class, which didn’t impress so I promptly forgot about it. The other day an email appeared inviting me to a presentation about setting rates in Upwork. Now that I’m identifying myself more as a (non-technical!) writer, obviously I need to redo my profile and learn how to use the system. Here is some information I learned for those who might be interested.

Continue reading

November 2019 Strava Stats: 581 Miles on My Bicycle

After another 20-mile day today getting disc brake pads for Sophie the Fairdale, and then putting them on at Yellow Bike Project, I thought I’d write about that. But it seemed somewhat familiar, so guess what? It turns out I already did a post about brakes for Sookie the Fuji. So I’ll write about the month that just passed instead, which means eleven months down, one to go. I didn’t take a day off as I certainly have earned, because, goals. (Though a couple of days I only biked a mile or two, I’ve been riding daily since my birthday October 11.)

I also continued my habits of doing yoga and walking as well as of course writing this blog or editing and revising my book daily. As for all the biking, it was to make up time from this summer (presents are still accepted). Anyway, 581 miles is very good for me, especially with an injury that really slowed me down. So I had a good month on the bicycle despite of that. Herewith are the numbers for your reading pleasure.

Continue reading

Attracting Abundance: Absurd, or an Art?

Recently I was reading something that suggested the reason most people are not wealthy was really our own damn fault for having negative subconscious thoughts about money, usually from growing up. Change your thinking about money, the mantra goes, and you’ll magically remove those obstacles. Of course that’s just pure illogical bunk and New Age hooey, right? There are real world factors like education, disability, corporate capitalism, class, sex, racial and other forms of discrimination, lack of access to resources and connections and more that all work to keep most of the 99% of people down.

Attracting abundance is an idea that’s not new to popular culture and the self-help world. Remember The Secret? Even though just wishing for more loot and stuff and having it show up seems ridiculous, I decided I would give it a try. What do I have to lose, right? Well, within 30 minutes of telling a friend about it, I had a half-day paying gig watching a TV show. Just for watching three episodes of a show that I hadn’t heard of but would like to see, I was going to be paid the tidy sum of $100. It was the best job I ever had. Did I get it because I had already signed up on the mailing list with the market research study? Or because I was intentionally telling the universe I was available? Who knows? But it isn’t the only time. It keeps happening!

Continue reading

North East Austin Texas Bike Group Ride #3 to Find Bad Bike Infrastructure

Dear Austin, Texas: We know, you’re the Live Music Capital of the World. You like to Keep it Weird. You’re the People’s Republic of Austin. You got a Gold rating from the League of American Cyclists in 2015. And yes, you are making some improvements with Mobility Bond money. To be sure, you are way ahead of Dallas or Laredo or many other places. But you can’t sit on your laurels. So, A Dude respectfully disagrees about the bike lanes being paved with gold. That’s because I ride your streets practically every day, and from where I sit (on my bike seat), you have a LONG way to go. Let’s talk about one small step we in the tiny but mighty North East  Austin Texas Bicycle Group took for bicycling kind.

Continue reading

Bike Lanes on Cameron & Dessau Roads – City of Austin Listening Session

This past Thursday the City of Austin (Texas) Active Transportation Department had a gathering for interested citizens to come give their input about bike lanes. These roads are really the same, they just change names. After passing one highway, it becomes a six-lane death trap from hell, if you’re on a bicycle. As a cyclist who volunteered numerous times on a committee for just this cause, I was keen to go and see this project finally start to come to life. It’s always interesting to participate in the process of something that could save your own life and that of friends and neighbors. Isn’t that something every bike rider should get behind?

Continue reading

On the Journey from Being a writer to Becoming a Writer

Recidivist visitors (recidivisitors?) to this web blog know that I aspire to be a Writer with a capital Dubya. As I sit here in a branch of the Austin Public Library, for a group writing gathering of the Writers League of Texas, I am reminded that I already am at least a writer. I keep a journal that sometimes sits for weeks without an entry. I compose emails and texts. This blog, entries into websites like the one that got me a very lightly used bicycle helmet quite cheap. There’s the occasional greeting card, to do lists, and today I reworked my resume. At times there’s even a missive, epistle, screed or rant. I think about making the shift from a hobbyist, diarist, listmaker, blogger, etc. to become a paid author. However, it is a large step from writer to Writer.

Continue reading