Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Presents!

Last minute christmas presents can still arrive here, on time if sent via paypal.com using my email address thehomelessguy@gmail.com

Thanks and Merry Christmas

More Photography

A photo posted by The Homeless Guy (@thehomelessexpert) on
A photo posted by The Homeless Guy (@thehomelessexpert) on
A photo posted by The Homeless Guy (@thehomelessexpert) on

For Better And Worse

After a month and a half from the date the winter shelter was opened, an announcement was made that the shelter was no longer available to the homeless for the entire winter, but has been changed to a 90 day program.  That means that nearly everyone in the shelter only has 45 more days to stay, and then they will be kicked out - right in the middle of winter.  No one staying at the shelter had been informed of this previously.

This new shelter rule is the result of attempts to fix problems with the shelter system.  But obviously it's creating more problems than it's creating.   Evidently it is expected that the homeless in the shelter will be able to find permanent housing while there.  Just how they are supposed to find this permanent housing is not explained to the homeless.  There are some counselors who come during the day to the shelter to talk to individuals wanted to talk to them, but what these counselors are for, what they are supposed to be helping with, also has not been explained to the homeless either.  Of the counselors I've seen and chatted with, none of them are involved in finding housing for the residents of the shelter.   And there is certainly no indication that there is enough permanent housing available for the 150 homeless currently staying in the shelter, and from previous experience, I highly doubt that there is.

For the homeless who are able to find housing in the 90 day period, (actually the 45 day period since that's all the time we have left from the time of the announcement) this time limit is of no consequence.  But the truth is, most of the homeless in this shelter are going to dumped back onto the streets in the middle of winter with no where to go.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Almost Christmas

Just a handful of days remain before Christmas, an event that is argueabley more "American" than anything other, not just in the US but in the whole world. Sure, other countries put their own spin on things, but one still cannot deny the influence of the US over the rest of the world.  The US gave capitalism (in it's current form) to the world, and nothing is more "capitalistic" than Christmas. Even the religious aspect of the holiday is mostly American. No other country has been as successful at spreading that religion around the world than the US. In the United States, we may spend a weekend in preparation for the celebration of our country's birth, but here we are consumed by Christmas for 3 months or more.  It is a time when we give praise to the virtues of peace and of sharing our personal joy of life with others.

But, there are nearly a million (by some estimates) people who will be homeless during the season, or on the verge of becoming homeless, and so their hearts are unable to connect with any feelings of peace or joy.

If Christmas is truly an extention of the Christian religion, every Christian should be extending themselves to those people who are doing without during the holidays, not just with material goods, but with the things that capitalism has no bearing on.

Funny that many Christians believe that they are most fully Christian when they participate in capitalism, (conforming to the status quo which in the US is the pursuit of happiness through money).

During these holidays, Christians and not, should not extend themselves to the poor and homeless by only handing out a pair of socks, or a sandwich, but by sitting down at the table with the homeless, and sharing themselves, actually engaging the homeless in conversation, in telling the homeless about their own lives and asking the homeless about their own.  The homeless have more than stories of woe.  Homeless people have stories of hope and happiness to share as well.  You just have to ask.  And allowing a homeless person to bless your life with a positive story will do you both a great deal of good.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sickly Me

Yeah.  I've been sick, the kind of sick I have rarely been - maybe twice before in my entire life.   I hear of other people getting a stomach virus fairly regularly, and I wonder why I don't get that kind of sick.  I just get colds.

I pride myself on having an "iron stomach" in that I can eat anything and keep it down. Oh, I have been so drunk a couple times that it caused me to involuntarily purge my stomach, but that's a different thing.  And even that has been a rare occurance for me.

Discomfort in my stomach had been coming on for a couple days.  I was feeling constipated - a full feeling that wouldn't go away.  But I wasn't feeling sick, and wasn't in any pain. so I kept working out and kept eating as I normally do - I guess I do over eat as a routine, especiallyl considering how little exercise I usually get.

But I recently changed things up, and two weeks ago got myself an inexpensive  membership at a gym and started to work out, just tread mill walking at this point until I am able to handle more.  My first goal is to walk/run a 5K in March.  Later in the year I will attempt a 1/2 marathon.  At first I was thinking of doing the 1/2 marathon in March but reality has be revealed to me, and I must make a more modest goal this first time out.

It has also become obvious over the past few years how much I have gotten out of shape.  Over a decade of sitting on my butt for 12 or more hours a day, while doing internet things has caused my physical prowess to diminish.

I am currently receiving ssi for my mental health disability, but I do not expect it to keep coming indefinitely.  I will have to get myself a job eventually, and I know that at this point, the only jobs available to me will be menial labor.  For me to do menial labor, it will be necessary for me to improve my level of fitness.  I know that at this point, just working a 4 hour shift of wiping down tables at a fast food restaurant is currently beyond my abilities.

So, the current plan is to get into shape enough to take on a job, and then take myself off ssi and get myself a modest apartment.

I guess I'm telling all this about my workout plans because this stomach problem I've had has interfered with my workout routine.  Today will be the third day I have not exercised.  Hopefully tomorrow I will feel  up to it.

So, yeah.  Yesterday I spent the morning at McDonalds, eating breakfast and connecting to their wifi.  Then I had lunch there instead.   The discomfort in my stomach, went from feeling full to feeling pain.  It felt as if my stomach was going to explode.  I went to the gym which is just a block away and got on the tread mill, hoping that a workout would help.  It didn't.

So, after a failed work out attempt I went to the Vons in the same shopping center and got myself some generic Tums and a bottle of water.  Water is the best for washing the uglies out of your system.  And I took some Tums in hopes of relieving the stomach pressure I was feeling.
 
But my misery was only increasing.  I was feeling queezy. And i was beginning to sweat.  Slowly I made my way to the bus stop.   A bus was already there but I didn't take it.  I just wanted to rest on the bench for a while.  I drank more water.

For some reason I just knew that my iron stomach was not up to the task before me.  I gave in, and turned my head to the side to cough, knowing what might happen next, and it did.  I blew chunks - not once but several times.  I felt slightly better for doing so, but then it got worse again.  30 minutes later another bus came, and I did not get on that one either.  I didn't want to vomit on the bus.k

I got up and started walking back to the shelter.  Cold sweats and pain.  There are many restaurants in the area, and the smell of cooking food would be carried by the wind right to my nose, and it did not help.  It all smelled horid, and caused me to feel weaker.

I finally made it to Target.  Thankfully their restrooms are right off the entrance.  There, the diareah came.  Shortly after that I started blowing chuncks again, and again, and again.  I couldn't recall eating that much, but obviously it was all in my stomach and not very well digested.  At one point I left the restroom and bought another bottle of water and took it back to the restroom, where after a few sips, I became sick again.   The water really was helping me purge.  I think I would have been even worse off without it.

After things calmed down, I left Target and headed back towards the shelter.  I got to about another block when I started feeling sick again.  Luckily there was a Starbucks and I already knew the code to the lock of the restroom.  There I vomited even more and wondered if this was going to help me lose weight.

Eventually the sweats subsided and I was able to make it the rest of the way to the shelter.  At the shelter, the facilities are not conducive to feeling better - just a few portapotties and a dorm room full of grumpy old men.   I did not vomit again after Starbucks, but I did have to make a couple more runs to the portajohns.  Slowly I started feeling better.

I got out my computer and started messing around with that, hoping to take my mind off of everything, and in a few minutes I nodded off at the keyboard.  When I awoke, the pain in my stomach was gone, though I still felt bloated.  I decided then to just get in my rack (a top rack) and sleep.

All I've had to eat so far today was 1/2 a banana, and a bottle of water.  When ever i put something in my stomach I get a little bit of pain but it subsides and I haven't gotten sick.

I should eat something, but I'm kinda scared to.  I should be able to resume my workouts tomorrow.   Right now I'm hanging out at Starbucks and surfing the net and trying to rest.