Goodbye America, Nice Knowing You

Austin, Texas — The Mayor, in cahoots with the chief of Public Health (aka the SARS Czar is requiring residents to Shelter in Place starting today, but just for two weeks. (Yeah, right!) It’s also known as staying the fuck home, a curfew, being on lockdown with a few exceptions, and martial law lite (New! With scary virus features!) But because of a silent but deadly killer (no, not farts, it’s coronavirus), the land of the free and the home of the brave is having a major hissy fit. Some are asking what it all means to cancel everything including our Bill of Rights. Really, ‘merikuh? Suspend the US Constitution? WTF?

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500 Followers on My Blog: An Occasional Blog About This Blog

Since starting ADudeAbikes.com on WordPress January 1, 2016, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. At the end of 2015 I had just obtained a cell phone and biked about 3,000 miles. It began as a way to document my journey — both figurative and literal. And I suppose I’ve accomplished a few things. Sometimes I like to look at those statistics and reflect upon it all.

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Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down: Onward Through the Fog

Austin awoke to a soggy, gray blanket of fog that only horror writers and car insurance agents love. I awoke with fog as well, but in my brain. Just as well that I have no job to be up for at the butt crack of dawn. There was also a ray of light: a note on my blog from a Seattle author I mentioned the other day, Paulette Perhach. An authot writing to A Dude is big deal, y’all! Later in the day, I got connected with another Seattle writer, Carol Tice, a ghostwriter who does coaching. Eventually, I got my cobweb-addled brain and body out for my walk and a bike ride… into the rain and mist I went.

Downtown on an errand, I ducked into a Starbucks (a tiny coffee company based in Seattle you may have heard about) for a tinkle and to use their free wi-fi. I used to live in Seattle. After a few years of suffering through miserable winter days like today, escaping often to the YMCA for what I dubbed a “shake n’ bake” — sauna, steam room, hot tub — I was chased out of town by the constant state of darkness and moisture. The Starbucks gestapo was also to blame since they rightly claimed I didn’t buy any coffee. All that’s to say that rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Except you can’t keep a good dude down for long.

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Possible Blog Topics for Today Include the Following

Scenes from a day in the life of A Dude. Although it was not today, last night was not that long ago, so I’m including it. I went to One Page Salon and got to chat again with the affable host Owen Egerton and other phenomenal writers like Felix Morgan. She happens to be friends with a cyclist I once photographed for taking her bike in to the HEB grocery store. Jess recognized me and gave me two big hugs for some reason. Maybe I’ll hear from her, though I’m not holding my breath.

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A Rainy, Restful Day on the Eve of Solstice for a Bike Ridin’ Dude in Austin, Texas

Late autumn conditions have been dry, mostly sunny and not too cold here in Central Texas. Waking to some light rain and grey skies was a welcome change, just in time for winter which officially begins tomorrow. For a car-less dude like me, going places generally means getting on Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer bicycle and dealing with whatever Mother Nature throws at me. While I was prepared to ride in the rain, it turned out that I didn’t need to and so I chose not to take advantage and rest.

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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.

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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.

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This Bike Blog Post is About a Poetry Reading. Huh?

Normally I write about my biking, and also the people, places or things I go do or see while on the bicycle. I would have biked there but today a big cold front blew into Austin, so I had to abort my ride after two miles. It got considerably chilly and wildly windy quite quickly. There’s always time for that, and this blog is also about A Dude’s other activities and interests, like writing. And fortunately good ol’ friend Bruce agreed to drive us in his eco-friendly Prius to a poetry reading. Herewith and posthaste is my report.

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The Bad Side of Good Habits

It’s taken me a lot of time. effort and an indescribable amount of will power and discipline to establish and maintain the good habits which are the four main pillars of this blog, and in some ways a good chunk of my life: Biking, Walking, Writing and Yoga. I am approaching six years of daily yoga (yes, you read that correctly), four years of bicycling an average of 13 miles per day, two years of daily walking, and two years of daily writing, Let’s not forget two years of eliminating almost all processed grains. As 2019 winds down, the pressure to come up with New Years resolutions for 2020 looms large. So I’m reflecting on the nature of habits because sometimes, what seems good may sometimes also have a bad side.

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Commerce and Creativity: The Struggle is Real

Arriving home, I caught a new article on Wired, “Jack Conte, Patreon, and the Plight of the Creative Class.” Earlier this year, I heard Jack’s talk at South by Southwest, a sort of origin story cum sales pitch. Many of us would love to get paid for blogging, and I’d love to get paid for editing and publishing my book in progress. Yet the struggle between having to work a job and pay the bills is one that’s been going on for a long time. Ever since the first caveperson started drawing on the walls instead of hunting, I would imagine. How to be creative in whatever your endeavor(s) may be keep a roof over your head and food on the table is an ongoing issue. Spoiler alert: I won’t solve it here today. But maybe you’ll relate to some of my thoughts and have some comments.

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