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I started working for a  friend a few days ago as an exterior painter. Richard runs a small franchise in Montreal, QC. (College Pro Painters). Today marked the completion of the teams first job (*pat on back). The customer, and everyone who drove by were impressed. I was too!

Painting. I like to paint things, especially 30ft+ high on an extension ladder.

We produced the job over budget, so no bonus, but the quality was there. Now it’s time to produce that level of quality, but quicker.

                         Spot Priming             Done

What I like about painting (as a summer job), is that the scenery changes alot. This is important for me because I get bored fairly easily. I need challenges, evidence of improvement and progress, and interaction with all sorts of people.

Responsibility also makes me perform. When the final product (say the front entrance) is directly correaleted to me , I am more likely to produce better quality work because I don’t want to upset who ever hired me to do it. (The employer-and/or customer). Noticing personal progress is nice.

                                                Completed first complex pillar     

For some people though, work is work, and painting is just one way to pay the bills. I see it as an oppurtinity to improve in something and to please the customer.

The only negative thing about this whole deal is getting oil paint in my curly hair.

Should be buying a DSLR real soon. We will get some great pics of our work to share.

It has been quite awhile since i’ve been able to check out and leave feedback on all the regular posts. I’m sorry!I figure now that I have a moment, I can do a summary post on all that is going on in my life, specifically the events that have kept me from accessing a computer, and posting.

Like i’ve mentioned a few times, I am on a mission. A mission to hussle hard, and make money for my wacky cycling trip to Newfoundland this summer. The mission consists of 3 objectives which are to be completed before mid June, all of the funding for these objectives will be from many sources, but not my full time job I start on May 1.                          

  • - #1. Accumlate $600 for new bike parts (complete April5th)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  – #2. Accumulate $800 for Nikon  D5100 and accessories                                                                                                                                                                                                                 – #3. Accumulate $350-$500 for spending spending money on tour (plus some supplies)

I was at $300 after selling old parts in March, plus $100 for my xbox I sold a month ago. At this point, I was trying to figure out how to get the extra $200.

It only made sense to do my part in collecting cans on st.patricks day, where 100,000’s of beer consumers litter the streets with there cans and bottles which you can bring into some grocery stores and recieve a refund of 5 to 20 cents per can.

I am a pretty motivated person to say the least, and that Sunday was no exception. I had left my friends at 9 30am, with a bag full of bags, and started to collect into Monday morning. I was totally surprised at how generous, friendly, and understanding people were all day. This could have been because of the abnormally nice weather, but either way, it meant less garbage cans I had to rummage through.

I met all sorts of people, got super drunk with all the beer and whiskey that was given to me, and was quickly submerged into this canning culture. All the other collectors were super friendly, and we shared many laughs and stories. To say the least, I was homeless for the day, and I had a blast. I made $95 but was so sore and hungover late Monday, I could hardly walk. (will upload some pictures shortly)— Even months after the event, i continue to collect. It has become a habit!

 

Some of my friends suggested that I should have left the collecting to the homeless, and/or the “canners” as I quickly learned on the hunt- and that it was unethical. I see where there coming from, but I believe that statement to be contradictory. I am helping to clean the environment and to be honest, st.patricks day provides more than enough cans for all those willing to break there back picking yhem up for 10 hours.

The other $100 was obtained from collecting more cans and bottles the following weeks(left behind in our apartment building) and I just sent the order out for the parts. I will post a pic of my new bike when I get it built next week.

Now, the next objective is to gather about  $800. I have 0$ right now. The $800 is for a Nikon d5100, and external mic (at 50%), and an SD card. So since this was such a significant amount I figured i needed a stronger source of income besides can collecting. I found a moving company, run by a young guy here in Montreal. Interestingly, the company is powered by bicylces.

 Of course, people move the bicycles and I thought I would be a great candiadate. I have done 4 jobs so far, and the next is on Saturday. Yes, i’ll say it again, we move stuff with bikes and trailers. The trailers have a cap. at 600lb and we can move a load like that up hills, down hills, and all over the island.

After loading up the trailers at the first location, we then bike our loads to the new location (usally a new apartment or house), unstrap everthing, and load it into the new place.

 I have moved loads of 500lb, usually consisting of fridges, stoves, washer and dryer, matresses, and heavy shelving units. Let me tell you, I never thought I’d work so hard in my life.. just thinking about it makes me sore.. It is fun though, and also allows me to train effectivley for long distance loaded bike tours. Oh, and you can sometimes keep the stuff people want to throw away. Like this great BBQ that was being thrown out today.

The companies website is www.myette.ca

If you want moving done on the island of Montreal, please give Julien a call and let him know Mac sent you!

That being said, I have done about $300 worth of work for the company. A painting I am working on for a friend will be sold for $250, selling old school books for about $100 and a TV at $50, and of course more cans at around $50. This will bring the funds up to about $800. And there you go, objective #2 almost complete :)

Sorry for the ramble, I am just getting excited!

 

Surprisingly I was using a point and shoot here!

Now, I don’t know if you guys follow any railroad moniker’s or streaks but let me tell you, this is one you’ll see all the time.

They call this guy “rail owl” and you will see him on at least one boxcar, tanker, gondola, or hopper given any line in North America. He started doing these things around 2006. I know this because he usually leaves a date below his marking and various quotes such as “I miss her” or “The Bowl”

Check out this link on flickr and you will see what pops up when you type “Owl Moniker”

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=owl+moniker&f=hp

These are photos that people have taken of his markings all over North America.

If you pay close attention you’ll see that not one of these markings is on anything but a train (Maybe one or two recently)

But what I have found helped pinpoint his location. I found one of his markings on something other than a train! People were pretty ecstatic in the community. I was very shocked too. I said to myself.. “This freakin’ bugger is everywhere”.. For the longest time, more so before he got popular, I swore that he followed me around everywhere rail spot I went..

He has been putting hard work in to this for several years now… and some friends and I have come to the conclusion that he works for Canadian Pacific Rail in South Central, Ontario (Where I grew up). It makes sense as the railroad supplies the Markal Oil Paint Sticks he uses in White and Black and he also works in the yard which allows him legal access to all the train cars. We can conclude this, among other things, because of the types of cars he chooses to right on.

There are 1000’s of artists all over North America putting up small monikers on trains. Although it is illegal, the rail companies sort of turn a blind eye to it. I mean as long as there getting goods A and B to points C and D as fast and as cheap as possible (among some other things) they are happy.

It’s all about maximizing shareholders wealth. So a small marking on the side of  a train does not effect their goals.

Year’s and years of watching and photographing trains has helped me to build a database in my head of all these artists and in many cases have actually led me to meeting some of the artists. It is always cool feeling to meet the face behind the work. I know over 35 railroad artists in Canada and the US.  The people I’ve met “by the tracks” and some of the things i’ve found beside the tracks always surprise me and keep me coming back for more.

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