22 February 2006

To Every Thing There Is a Season

I went home last week becasue my uncle was in the hospital and the doc said that we'd better go see him while we still could. Dad rang and told me about this and wanted me to go home on Saturday. Great timing, I just dismantled Irma, washed the components and kerosened the frame and if I didn't put them back and lubed them quick enough the chain was going to be strewn with rust. However, my main concern was the frame because at that time I still had no idea how on earth was I going to get the linseed oil and was afraid that by the time I came back it would be home sweet home of corrosions. Plues tomorrow a friend of mine was coming and I promised to let him stay in my place till he found a flat.

That was Tuesday. So I still had time to complete the procedure, but after much indecisions I rang and told my parents that I was going home tomorrow, the half rustproofed Irma can wait.

When I was walking on the corridor towards the room I was like feeling alright, nothing special, like just a normal trip to see a doc when I had a cold or somehow managed to shove my thumb into someone's mouth and broke my fingernail. I stepped in, recognizing the number on the door, and after passed through the first bed and the curtain connecting to the second one light entered this outer part of the room accompanied by the window.

They said he was looking particularly animated that day. His hands were dry and dotted with dark, sinister spots and so was his appearance. The tubes ran under his shirt and raised a mountain in his sunken chest producing irregular yet consistant minor earthquakes.

I went over to him and touched his bony hands and when I noticed the hurdle being formed inside my throat I knew that I had to turn my head to one side pretending that I was looking at the phone or the equipments. Luckily auntie and my folks were absorbed in their conversation about the healthy food they brought him. I went for a walk, the thing that lingered on my mind was his bright voice, the bright voice of a few years back now replaced by a thin whisper over the air.

She said to him, "don't you want to celebrate the diamond anniversary with me?" To which he replied indignantly and with visible difficulty, "when did I say I didn't?" Then I found myself smiling. Later I realized surprisingly that I didn't try to conceal that smile in front of my family, especially my old man, like I usually did.

19 February 2006

Trängselskatt (Rush Hour Tax) in Central Stockholm

I came upon an article on Guardian Unlimited about oil, one of the issues that always interests me. According to it, a government official said,

We want to be both mentally and technically prepared for a world without oil. The plan is a response to global climate change, rising petroleum prices and warnings by some experts that the world may soon be running out of oil.

In Taiwan the problem made its presence known once more recently in a price battle on petrol between several companies, one of which raised theirs prices simply because they had to yet the other in order to gain an advantage over their rival maintained or even lowered their prices.

But I guess I'm in no position to judge because I just bought a big bloody 1 gallon can of boiled linseed oil while I only used and needed 250 ml.

15 February 2006

Twenty Five Days Already

Yeah it's the 25th day already, 5 days more till the beginning of the second semestre of my second year in grad school. Haven't read anything actually, a bit of Sophie's World and El amor en los tiempos del cólera and that's it. Don't remember what I've been doing all these time, running around I suppose.

I'm now in the process of rustproofing Irma and it's a real pain in the ass because I know nothing about all the chemicals and stuff and the more I read the more confused I got and didn't know what to do. I sprayed some WD40 like stuff into the frame about 5 months ago hoping that it would do the trick, but then in late January when I stripped the frame off all its components I found that that stuff was still in its liquid form which scared the shit out of me. So lots of researches on the internet followed, after much mistakes, wastes of time, money and petrol going around in circles, I flushed the frame with kerosene and now it's drying itself in the garage.

But of course, this will only get that stuff off the steel and not rustproofing anything, I have to apply something more to form a layer between the steel and the air. Lots of choices: motor oil, boiled linseed oil, commercial frame saver, fish oil, etc. So I bought a can of undercoating paint, but then I realized that it would probably make the bike too heavy afterwards so reluctantly I looked for other options, realizing that this daft prick just wasted more money and resourses on nothing. After having spent days looking for Amsoil HDMP (Heavy Duty Metal Protector) with no success I settled with boiled linseed oil. And I was quite happy with that decision because I finally made up my mind.

But then to my surprise, many of the hardware stores don't carry linseed oil, it has to be specially ordered and it's not cheap at all (at least not in this part of the world) about US$11 for one gallon. And I don't need a gallon, just one litre, but I have to buy a gallon becasue they don't just sell one litre... and what am I supposed to do with the rest? Later today in a painting shop I found a small bottle of boiled linseed oil (75ml), but it was US$4 and I couldn't imagine how much I would have to pay to get a litre. Money or Mother Nature, tough call.

08 February 2006

The Tragic and Inevitable Death of Tektōnturbidus

Tektōnturbidus was standing in the middle of the parking lot. He flagged down some of the passing vehicles.

“Where you are going?”, he asked. Some said to school, some said to work and some said just fooling around. He asked why they went to school, why they went to work, why the thing they were doing. “I don’t know, well, I think because it’s how it should be, isn’t it? I mean, well, that’s what everyone’s doing, that’s also what my parents and the elders tell me to do. And… besides, hell, I don’t know anything else better to do!”

He asked whether they believed in Destiny or not, some said yes, some said no and other said they didn’t know, hadn’t actually thought about that before, but nearly everyone said that they would avoid certain things to steer clear of bad luck and will do certain things to bring good luck. By sunset, he reached the conclusion that even though many said no, they were constantly worried about it.

The next day he showed up in the parking lot again which upset some. He had been standing there asking those stupid questions for the past ninety days. He asked them whether they were happy, and again the answers were divided into three groups. He asked what they wanted to do if it was possible and the answers were very often a long way from what they were actually doing. Even those who had everything and claimed to be happy were a bit shaken in the end. At the end of the day, Tektōnturbidus reached the conclusion that he hadn’t met a truely happy man yet.

He asked them why didn’t they do anything different to change the situation since they didn’t like it? The most frequent answer was that it was risky to change and it was safer to accept the norm. He was thinking about these answers on his way home, he was sure about two things: that everyone was afriad of Destiny and, that no man was happy. By the time he got to his front door he reached the conclusion that no man was happy because they inflicted Destiny upon themselves whether they knew it or not.

The discontent against his presence in the parking lot accumulated into anger, it was because of fear. And fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. And suffering it was for the cops busted into his apartment the following day and he was accused of corrupting the populace, sabotaging the state and blaspheming against the Life. The jury found him guilty and he was condemned to meet his end in the depth of the unforgiving Mount Oblivion.

05 February 2006


I was helping out in the kitchen and then I saw a big bird in the back yard. It didn’t move, it just stood there and so was I. Its beak was pointing high into the sky and I wondered what it was staring at or having on its mind.