September 5, 2011

Tweets & Posts Update (August 23 - September 4, 2011)

For those of you not on Twitter or Facebook, the following are some highlights from That Poverty Project's postings from the previous  two weeks:

Facebook Page ("Likes" grew from about 97 to 136 while each Post gets between 200 and 514 impressions)

AUGUST 23rd - The bridging of two worlds. Sleeping in a tent (nice night by the way), wearing dirty clothes, thinking in terms of the best places to go bottle picking . . . while also scheduled to do two interviews today (one with Global TV and the other a telephone interview with PalTalk News Network). I'm grateful for the exposure, and grateful for the growing understanding about poverty . . . but especially grateful that I'll be doing laundry today.  . . . (and then later) . . . Results from the recent blog survey indicate . . . 0% of respondents thought I would find "nothing" . . . 9% of people thought I would find "less than $2" . . . 42% thought I would find "between $2 and $5" . . . and 48% said that I would find "more than $5". That means that 90% of the respondents are more confident in my bottle picking abilities than me. I guess we'll see.

AUGUST 24thHi ho . . . Hi ho . . . It's bottle pickin' I go!! I hope I'm cheerful 4 hours from now. My lunch depends on it.  . . . (and then later) . . . SCORE! A crushed beer can in the gutter is my first find of the day. . . . (and then later) . . . Sitting under an overpass right now. The highway was slim pickings for bottles until I got here. Jackpot!! Filled a third of a garbage bag . . . half water bottles, half beer cans.  . . . (and then later) . . . Yeah baby!!! Just found an unopened beer! That Poverty Guy is going to have a cool one tonight!!. . . . (and then later) . . . Four hours of bottle pickin' . . . one black garbage bag of bottles . . . many, many kilometers walked . . . $7.30 earned. I discovered some strange things along the way . . . today's blog is going to be quite interesting with lots of photos.

AUGUST 25th -   It's been a strange day. Physically feeling the bottle picking from yesterday (geez, those in poverty have to be hardy . . . not soft like me). Emotionally challenged by a vicious tweet attack late last night by someone who called me every four letter word I knew (and a few I didn't). He apparently had a problem with me trying to raise awareness about poverty. But mentally and spiritually engaged and more committed than ever to this cause. Time to drink the free beer I found.

AUGUST 26th - Stinky mackerel Batman! Has anybody ever heard of "Freegans"? I never had until I read the linked article . . . but I guess freeganism started in the mid-1990's and they only eat free food that they find. While it wouldn't be my choice, it does make an interesting commentary on the price of food AND that perfectly good food just gets thrown away.
Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle where people employ alternative living strategies - and these New Yorkers showed how to have a free summer feast.
AUGUST 28th - Now I know why some homeless people have dogs . . . they love you no matter what and they're warm. Wonder if I'll be able to convince my dog to sleep in the tent when it gets cold? Probably not . . . unless I stuff my sleeping bag with kibble'n bits.
AUGUST 29th - If you haven't seen it yet, I would highly recommend a movie called The Soloist. I saw it a couple of years ago, and it just came to mind. Starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. it is an interesting look at street homeless.

AUGUST 30th - Great sleep . . . cool morning . . . literally walking into a storm. Black clouds looming and thunder rumbling. Methinks I may get wet! Blessings to all today . . . and may we find sunshine amidst whatever storms we face. . . . (and then later) . . . Managed to stay dry . . . mostly. Upon returning to the tent, I found it had a leak . . . but only a small one. Just read about two guys who are running across Canada to raise awareness about child poverty in Canada (they say 1 in 9 kids are in poverty . . . I had heard 1 in 10 . . . either way IT'S TOO MANY!!). They're in Alberta and you can check on their site to see when they will be places. (

AUGUST 31st - For the first time since I don't know remember when . . . I was "in bed" (i.e. in my sleeping bag) at 7:30 PM last night. I NEVER go to bed that early. However, with it raining and cool I had nothing else to do . . . and it takes a lot of energy staying warm so I was tired. Anyway . . . it turned out to be not too cold a night (about 6C), and I had a GREAT sleep.  . . . (and then later) . . . Experiencing a dilemma . . . stay in the dry tent but be chilly OR venture out into the rain and get wet, but be moving and get to a place with warm tea. Leaning towards the latter. . . . (and then later) . . . I've decided!! Going for tea . . . so what if I get wet, at least I'll be moving.

SEPTEMBER 1st - Hello September, my old friend. Tell ya what . . . I'll be nice to you if you're nice to me. Deal? . . . (and then later) . . . Phew! THAT's better!! Sun is shining and my sleeping bag and blanket are airing. Did some adjustments on the tent and cleared the debris that accumulates . . . it was smelling like a locker room . . . but now it smells like . . . well, to be honest . . . AIR . . . which is good. . . . (and then later) . . . To many I'm a middle aged guy imposing some restrictions on his lifestyle pretending to be homeless. Actually, I'm NOT. Like many in poverty, I'm a middle aged man with some lifestyle restrictions trying to be a normal middle aged man. The difference between me and those in poverty is they have it worse, and whereas mine is temporary they need a little help to end theirs.

SEPTEMBER 2nd - My first recollection of encountering a homeless person was 25 years ago. I worked at a DQ, and this dirty smelly guy would come use the washroom. He would be in there forever! Now I get it . . . when inside using the facilities I find myself lingering, too. I'm sorry that I thought so badly of that fellow. . . . (and then later) . . . Forecast is for 0C tonight. Harumph! (that's a sound of disgust) My toque is at the ready in case needed . . . and to cocoon!

SEPTEMBER 3rd - So much for getting down to 0C . . . try -2C! Slept okay, albeit in fits as I woke often to adjust the blanket. I'm thinking a little nap in the sun might be in order later. My heart is heavy for those who are not as blessed as I, and don't have a tent . . . or wool socks . . . or a blanket. Kudos to shelters, programs, and projects for the homeless for the lifesaving work they do. . . . (and then later) . . . YEEHAW! . . . YAHOO! . . . YES! YES! YES! . . . and YABBA DABBA DOO!!!!! The sunshine is glorious, and the forecast low tonight is 6C. As my friends in Sierra Leone say . . . "Tell Papa God TENKI !!!" (Thank God!) . . . (and then later) . . . NEW That Poverty Project Poll!! What will be the coldest night time temperature endured by That Poverty Guy in Phase I (ending Thanksgiving Weekend, October 7th)? WHAT DO YOU THINK? (ON RIGHT SIDE OF THIS PAGE)

SEPTEMBER 4th - I hope that the day is as beautiful where you are as it is where I am!

Twitter Account (@thatpovertyguy . . . "Followers" increased from 155 - 560 including many mentions and retweets by others . . . and many postings in The #socialjustice Daily and The Good Works Daily by

AUGUST 23rd - As thrilling as it sounds, wearing dirty clothes actually sucks. . . . (and then later) . . . Brain imaging studies show giving activates the same neural pleasure circuit that's engaged by fatty foods. But no calories!

AUGUST 24th - Never in my life have I appreciated the morning sun as much as when I'm outdoors all night. It warms my soul.

AUGUST 25th - Gotta hand it to the poor . . . they're hardy, not soft like many of us. My body is feeling the bottle picking yesterday.

AUGUST 26th - Listening to the birds. I wonder what wisdom they have to share? Ironic that I don't understand them, and yet I tweet. . . . (and then later) . . . Rain in the forecast, I'll have to postpone laundry until tomorrow.  . . . (and then later) . . . Just connected with a fellow I worked with in Sierra Leone, West Africa many years ago re former child soldiers. :)

AUGUST 27th - SCORE!! Warm water WITH SOAP used for window cleaning was still clean enough for my laundry! First soap for my clothes in 36 days.

AUGUST 28th - Cooler night . . . Beautiful morning . . . Grateful to be alive. . . . (and then later) . . . Hmmm ... Fall's coming. All inner leaves on the tree I'm sitting by are yellow. Feeling some trepidation.

AUGUST 29th - Looks like the stretch of summer weather is over . . . need to brace myself for Fall. Hmmmm. :|

AUGUST 30th - Study finds that lower classes are more generous than those with high incomes.

AUGUST 31st - Almost half the world (over 3 billion people) live on less than $2.50 per day! . . . (and then later) . . . I've learned that from a wise person . . . people are more important than projects.

SEPTEMBER 1st - One in seven people will go to bed hungry tonight . . . and we can do something about it. . . . (and then later) . . . Poor conditions lead to deteriorating mental health on Canadian reserve and a rash of suicides.

SEPTEMBER 2nd - BUSTING MYTHS re poverty . . . myths stand in the way of people getting the help they need.  . . . (and then later) . . . Hoodie, blanket, and sleeping bag - check. Layers on - check. Toque at the ready - check. Going possibly below freezing tonight.

SEPTEMBER 3rd - YIKES! Hit -2C last night! I'm more blessed than most who sleep outside. My heart goes out to those with no supplies. . . . (and then later) . . . Had some food, chill in my bones is gone, my laundry's done ... and I feel exhausted! Need a nap in the sun.

SEPTEMBER 4th - Beautiful days must be savoured with body, mind, and soul.

Hey!! I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.

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