Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Getting Fit in Retirement

 
I have a new exercise regimen that consists of getting 10,000 steps by walking around the neighborhood while picking up trash – adding in some bending and stretching. 
 
In the process, I’ve become something of an authority on litter. For example, nearly half the trash is booze containers: beer bottles and cans, wine bottles and boxes, and liquor bottles. Probably, this is an unintended consequence of open container laws – people want to get rid of the evidence as soon as possible.
 
I’ve also noticed that Whataburger is very popular in the area. Though the neighborhood Chik-Fil-A is always packed, there isn’t much litter from that store; perhaps Christians are less prone to litter.
 
People’s reactions to my regimen also vary. A few have thanked me. Some have complained on the neighborhood Facebook page about an old, homeless man who’s wandering around picking up trash. I only mention this because, when I get arrested for vagrancy and unlicensed trash removal, I may need character witnesses at my trial.
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  1. Bob Thompson Member

    Richard Fulmer: when I get arrested for unlicensed trash removal, I may need character witnesses at my trial.

    Are you in San Francisco or Baltimore?

    • #1
    • February 16, 2020, at 12:05 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    Richard Fulmer: Some have complained on the neighborhood Facebook page about an old, homeless man who’s wandering around picking up trash.

    It’s good to be well-known to the neighbors.

    • #2
    • February 16, 2020, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: when I get arrested for unlicensed trash removal, I may need character witnesses at my trial.

    Are you in San Francisco or Baltimore?

    Humble, Texas. What-A-Burgers are mostly located in Texas, and I’m not sure that Chik-Fil-As are (ahem) allowed in either California or the Northeast. Ditching the Salvation Army didn’t seem to buy them much with the woke crowd.

    • #3
    • February 16, 2020, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Richard Fulmer: Some have complained on the neighborhood Facebook page about an old, homeless man who’s wandering around picking up trash.

    Hmmn, come to think about it, you could have some fun on that FB page.

    • “That guy? He’s not homeless, just an eccentric recycling billionaire.”
    • “Oh, is that the serial killer who recently got out of prison and is staying with (made-up neighbor’s name)?”
    • “Don’t want to alarm anyone, but that guy is a DEA/BATFE/ICE/(some other law enforcement group) special agent. He was asking questions a few months ago. I think he’s monitoring someone’s activities in the neighborhood.”
    • Etc.
    • #4
    • February 16, 2020, at 12:40 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  5. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Some have complained on the neighborhood Facebook page about an old, homeless man who’s wandering around picking up trash.

    Hmmn, come to think about it, you could have some fun on that FB page.

    • “That guy? He’s not homeless, just an eccentric recycling billionaire.”
    • “Oh, is that the serial killer who recently got out of prison and is staying with (made-up neighbor’s name)?”
    • “Don’t want to alarm anyone, but that guy is a DEA/BATFE/ICE/(some other law enforcement group) special agent. He was asking questions a few months ago. I think he’s monitoring someone’s activities in the neighborhood.”
    • Etc.

    Or wear a T-shirt that says “not homeless”.

    • #5
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:35 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  6. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Same here. Beer cans are about 3/4 of the trash. And litterers all drink crappy pilsners – Keystone and Bud Light. We picked up trash on the 2.5 miles from our neighborhood to the highway about a month ago (group of neighbors) and filled three pickup beds. There are already probably 100 beer cans on the roadside.

    What I don’t get is how many people don’t pick up trash in front of their property. It drives me crazy to see that stuff. We have almost 1/2 mile of road frontage and I pick up anything there as soon as I see it.

    • #6
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:37 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  7. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    There are already probably 100 beer cans on the roadside.

    Bottled water is also very very popular as are sports and energy drinks. And, if I use up all my plastic trash bags, there are generally plenty more in the bushes.

    • #7
    • February 16, 2020, at 4:20 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Kay of MT Member

    I had a husband once, that would throw trash out the window of his truck. I’d get so angry about it, and would try to get him to stop. His attitude:” This is why we pay taxes for road workers to clean up the roads.” I couldn’t seem to get it into his mind, that the tax money could go for a better use than picking up his trash.

    • #8
    • February 16, 2020, at 4:39 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  9. RightAngles Member

    “Old homeless man” hahaha

    • #9
    • February 16, 2020, at 4:43 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thank you so much Richard Fulmer, for writing this post. My daughter gave me such a peculiar look, a few years back, when she found out I like to pick up the trash along the road between our house and a nearby restaurant. What can I say ? I want the neighborhood to look nice and, as long as it isn’t too hot out, I find it relaxing. I even got one of those reacher things that I plan to try out this spring.

    • #10
    • February 16, 2020, at 6:49 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Same here. Beer cans are about 3/4 of the trash. And litterers all drink crappy pilsners – Keystone and Bud Light. We picked up trash on the 2.5 miles from our neighborhood to the highway about a month ago (group of neighbors) and filled three pickup beds. There are already probably 100 beer cans on the roadside.

    What I don’t get is how many people don’t pick up trash in front of their property. It drives me crazy to see that stuff. We have almost 1/2 mile of road frontage and I pick up anything there as soon as I see it.

    People wear down. 

    • #11
    • February 16, 2020, at 7:20 PM PST
    • Like
  12. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer: I have a new exercise regimen that consists of getting 10,000 steps by walking around the neighborhood while picking up trash – adding in some bending and stretching.

    What’s the deal with 10,000 steps? Suddenly everyone is using this number as if it were a talisman. Is there a new pop-fitness book pushing this? I reckon it to be about five miles, which is a lot of walking in one day.

    • #12
    • February 16, 2020, at 7:59 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    I had a husband once, that would throw trash out the window of his truck. I’d get so angry about it, and would try to get him to stop. His attitude:” This is why we pay taxes for road workers to clean up the roads.” I couldn’t seem to get it into his mind, that the tax money could go for a better use than picking up his trash.

    I have the same opinion about quickly wiping a table clean with a napkin and taking one’s trash to the bin at fast food restaurants. Yes, someone is paid to clean up. But it’s such a small, simple courtesy. 

    If you drop something in a store, pick it up if you don’t need a mop. 

    If you choose not to buy something you grabbed at a store, put it back on the right shelf. 

    There are a million things like that. In additon to the obvious practicality, it would make life more pleasant for everyone. Small acts of kindness quickly add up.

    • #13
    • February 16, 2020, at 8:42 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  14. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    In my old apartment complex, we got a bunch of Hurricane Katrina refugees from the slums. The parking lots filled with litter. The apartment manager contracted for more garbage bins: one on every corner of the lots. It didn’t help. People wouldn’t walk 50 feet to throw something away. 

    If others in the Houston area are interested in another meetup, perhaps the next one could involve a walk in a park. I’ve been looking both north and south for nearby parks to practice my photography. We Texans don’t have much longer before the heat and mosquitoes return. South of town, I’m thinking Laffite’s Cove or Brazos Bend. How is Jesse Jones’ in Humble? 

    • #14
    • February 16, 2020, at 9:08 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Cow Girl Thatcher

    I have a hard time ignoring when people around me throw their litter on the ground. But, I’m too old to get beat up by total strangers at this point in my life.

    • #15
    • February 16, 2020, at 9:53 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Arahant Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    If others in the Houston area are interested in another meetup, perhaps the next one could involve a walk in a park. I’ve been looking both north and south for nearby parks to practice my photography. We Texans don’t have much longer before the heat and mosquitoes return. South of town, I’m thinking Laffite’s Cove or Brazos Bend. How is Jesse Jones’ in Humble?

    Should be its own conversation, if you haven’t already started it.

    • #16
    • February 16, 2020, at 10:55 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Annefy Member

    One of my favorite uncles lived til 95. His favorite activity for the last 20 years of his life was walking “doon to the river” (the Clyde in Glasgow) and either throwing away trash or dragging it home. There’s an anchor in my cousin’s garden that I have my eye on …

    anyway, legend has it that an auntie was on the bus and said to one of her kids : “look at that old tinker doon at the river” only to realize upon closer inspection it was her own brother

    Reminded me of the time a date said “look at that old dude on a moped”. I never admitted it was my dad …

    • #17
    • February 16, 2020, at 11:27 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  18. Arahant Member

    Annefy (View Comment):
    Reminded me of the time a date said “look at that old dude on a moped”. I never admitted it was my dad …

    Getting off topic a bit, but…

    I was in a used bookshop one day, talking with the owner. He said, “Did you see that?”

    “What?” I asked.

    “There was some guy on a motorcycle with a gorilla behind him,” he pointed down the road, but the motorcyclist was out of sight by then.

    “A gorilla?”

    “It was stuffed, I think. A big, stuffed gorilla.”

    A few days later, my step-brother came to visit. Bill had flowing blond hair and a red beard and was 6’5″ tall. He very much gave the impression of a Viking. And, he rode a motorcycle on sunny days. Somehow the subject turned to his latest acquisition.

    “You should see what I got. It’s a full-sized stuffed gorilla!”

    “You didn’t happen to be on your bike when got this last Saturday, did you?”

    “How did you know it was Saturday?”

    I had to report back next time I was in the bookstore.

    • #18
    • February 16, 2020, at 11:46 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  19. JosePluma Thatcher

    Richard Fulmer: an old, homeless man who’s wandering around picking up trash.

    Hey! Stop it! That’s my gig.

    • #19
    • February 17, 2020, at 12:44 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  20. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Richard Fulmer: Some have complained on the neighborhood Facebook page about an old, homeless man who’s wandering around picking up trash.

    They figure that since you’re homeless, you don’t read Facebook.

    We do have someone in the town I live, who does go around picking up trash, but he is also pulling a kind of wagon/trailer with mini-billboards complaining about something or other. I am usually driving when I see him, and traffic is such that slowing down would be disruptive.

    And his complaints are kind of vague anyway.

    It doesn’t seem like many people stop to talk with him, but he seems harmless enough and is doing something useful.

    It takes all kinds.

    • #20
    • February 17, 2020, at 1:00 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  21. JosePluma Thatcher

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    Beer cans are about 3/4 of the trash.

    The way I look at it is: Money in my pocket!

    • #21
    • February 17, 2020, at 1:16 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We walk ~ 3 miles on Tue.Thur and Sat between our M,W,F workouts at the Y. Part of our walk is on a main street in our town of 14,000. We started picking up trash there and carrying it to trash bins but soon realized there was too much to carry so now we take a Walmart or other store sack along. Sometimes we need two sacks. The bending is good for us and the litter removal is good for all of us. I’ve also noticed the composition of the trash is mostly beer/whiskey/soda/water/cans or bottles, cigarette packs (empty) and fast food containers of all sorts. I told Mrs. OS not to bother with the cigarette butts as they will filter into the grass, “That’s why they are called filters.”
    I joke to others that I feel really sorry for folks who are too weak to hold onto their trash as they drive down XXXX Street. But seriously, why do so many (seemingly) throw trash out their car windows, especially in a small, friendly, town? I think it comes down to a lack of training. Not training about littering per se but training to respect the property of others. People younger than us were not told or not told often enough to respect others property, “If it isn’t yours, leave it alone. If you borrow it return it in as good shape or better than you got it.” And so on. Instead they have been told, especially in the various media that others more wealthy than themselves got that way by ‘being crooked’. So they see nice places, and to most of us other folks places look pretty nice compared to our own, and think, “They don’t deserve that, I’ll just give them what they do deserve.” or something along that line. This justifies trashing the place in their minds.
    It’s a problem of wrong headed messages leading to bad behavior.

    • #22
    • February 17, 2020, at 3:35 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Arahant Member

    I’m not sure they think about it that much. They just don’t care.

    • #23
    • February 17, 2020, at 3:48 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    I had a husband once, that would throw trash out the window of his truck. I’d get so angry about it, and would try to get him to stop. His attitude:” This is why we pay taxes for road workers to clean up the roads.” I couldn’t seem to get it into his mind, that the tax money could go for a better use than picking up his trash.

    I have the same opinion about quickly wiping a table clean with a napkin and taking one’s trash to the bin at fast food restaurants. Yes, someone is paid to clean up. But it’s such a small, simple courtesy.

    If you drop something in a store, pick it up if you don’t need a mop.

    If you choose not to buy something you grabbed at a store, put it back on the right shelf.

    There are a million things like that. In additon to the obvious practicality, it would make life more pleasant for everyone. Small acts of kindness quickly add up.

    I think this is it. It’s all part of the same behavior. Not everyone gets socialized correctly.

    • #24
    • February 17, 2020, at 5:02 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. The Dowager Jojo Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Same here. Beer cans are about 3/4 of the trash. And litterers all drink crappy pilsners – Keystone and Bud Light. We picked up trash on the 2.5 miles from our neighborhood to the highway about a month ago (group of neighbors) and filled three pickup beds. There are already probably 100 beer cans on the roadside.

    What I don’t get is how many people don’t pick up trash in front of their property. It drives me crazy to see that stuff. We have almost 1/2 mile of road frontage and I pick up anything there as soon as I see it.

    People wear down.

    I used to have a half mile of frontage and I would kick myself every time I took a walk and forgot to bring a garbage bag. The worst mess was when someone tossed a bag of diapers into our field. They really absorb rainwater. Before I got around to dealing with them a young man came and asked if he could hunt our property, offered to help out somehow in return. I said Great! Pick up those diapers and we have a deal! He said he would.

    Two weeks later I cleaned up the diapers myself.

    Next fall he came by and asked to hunt again, and the answer was “No, sir.”

    He snuck in anyway, which is another story and a pretty good one.

    • #25
    • February 17, 2020, at 5:57 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    The Dowager Jojo (View Comment):
    He snuck in anyway, which is another story and a pretty good one.

    Time to share that as a conversation on Ricochet?

    • #26
    • February 17, 2020, at 7:48 AM PST
    • 2 likes