Sunday, December 30, 2012

Broke and bummed out..

World of White and Gray

Feeling in a slump lately.  As usual around this time of year I over spent on stuff (the main culprit being a new prepay phone) and now I'm broke and waiting for pay day.   Its been a while since I have been nervously anticipating a pay day, as I have been trying to keep a little something in savings.  Burning that on the van has left me back into the scrounge zone, and while I know that another month or so will get me back where I'm comfortable, it is the waiting that kills me lol

I think I need to stop reading the news.  It really does start to get to you after reading about all the tragedy (shootings, that poor indian girl, etc).  I know that turning a blind eye to the horrors in the world doesn't make them less horrific or disappear, but I realize that knowing about things I can not change is not going to help either.  The end result is I feel bad, and the media gets another click through to generate ad revenue.  It's funny because a long time ago I had stopped watching news on television for essentially the same reasons, but then tune right in to yahoo or other online resources for my daily dose of depression or angst. 

This time of year isn't helpful either.  As I work nights, the amount of daylight I get is a precious but slim margin as it is.   Constant overcast and shorter days means I haven't even seen the sun for days or weeks at a time.  I don't think humans are made for this kind of thing.  Combine with the cold temperatures (and aching joints) and it just makes a recipe for moping in bed most of the time I'm not working.

Lets hope for a short winter, and things to start looking up.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Traveling Kids

Last night was an interesting night at the motel, where i work.  Some young people came by to seek shelter from the downpour last night.  I didn't mind if they stayed out there under my awning (couldn't get a room).  I was surprised they had 2 dogs with them, though I know it is a common practice with vagabond youth.  I let them stay, though I am sure my security guys were a little unhappy, I had to shoo one away...i think he thought i was one of them in my black hoodie.

Well I noticed it was getting colder and the rain wasn't letting up.  After talking a little about their travels I offered to let them crash in my minivan. 

Will they all fit?  Why yes!

Their body heat would keep them pretty cozy in there with the dogs and the sleeping bags they had.  I was a little surprised by the immediate wave of gratitude.  It almost made me feel ashamed it took me so long to think of it.

One of them gave me a smoothed seashell in gratitude, pictured above.  I was very grateful, and it is a very cool thing i haven't seen before.  I have no idea if they made it, found it or what, but it is cool and has a special place with my geo swag i've found so far.  Mementos of my little adventures.

Well the rain abated as they set out and as i went past the on ramp i saw them loading up into the back of a pickup, off toward california, miles upon miles across this great country.  I don't know their reasons for being out there, but i found i didn't care.  They were nice, interesting people, and really that's what counts.

God bless them, and safe travels to those out there pursuing their own freedom.  I hope to join you, one day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Kindred Spirit?

I have recently been watching Kino's Journey, a japanese animated series about a young traveler in a beautiful yet dangerous world.  This anime, in addition to it's gorgeous artwork, is very compelling and well written, based on a series of light novels.  Each episode has Kino and  motorcycle companion Hermes visiting a new 'country', but living by the rule of only staying 3 days maximum.  Each country has vastly different cultures and technological advancement, and it is a way for the author to explore various deeper moral questions about how people live, treat each other, on a personal level and as a whole.  There are many parallels to society today, and great societies of the past, complete with faults and dangers.  The author leaves much to the viewer's interpretation, and it is a very introspective show.

Kino was purpose made to allow the viewer to slip into the role.  Kino's gender is even left ambiguous for the first 3 episodes, and often confused by people Kino encounters.  I felt a sort of kinship with Kino as a traveler and the desire to go out and explore the world.  Even the ugly parts of the world can make the rest look beautiful, and this is a prevailing theme of the show.  I would highly recommend anyone to watch Kino's Journey, though it might be a little brutal for younger viewers.

I leave this post with one of my favorite quotes among many from the show:

"Though I did not know the place, I set out for the land of my dreams.
Having arrived at the land of my dreams, I found I did not know the place."

Here is a sample of the english version, though I greatly prefer the original japanese voices with subtitles:

Paying off the Van and Extreme Budgeting

So, I have decided to bite the bullet and pay off the remaining amount on the van above, which I plan to be my future home for a while.  In order to do this, I will be fairly broke the next couple of weeks, mainly due to my own stupidity.  I have fallen back into the habit of wasting money, and like before the culprit is food.

So I am forced to teach myself a lesson the next two weeks, and due this by limiting the amount of food I have to spend by 30-40 dollars for 2 weeks.  I know you can eat pretty healthy and such if you buy all those raw vegetables and spend hours of cooking, but In reality I know I am too lazy for that and will just cheat and eat out.  So I am going to buy mostly what I have before but I will abstain from dining out once again, and I will add some cheap (tho perhaps unhealthy) items to supplement.  Namely, My main staple will be the old hot dog go to.  I can get 1 meal of hotdogs for 12 days with around 5 dollars (dogs + bun).  Say what you want health nut and mike dolce devotees, that price is just too hard to beat.

My other planned options are not quite as bad.  I'll do bananas, apple sauce, and crackers, lunch meat and cheese sandwiches for work.  I still have some lunch meat and some canned chili and soups from last grocery trip.  I plan to buy a couple 12 packs of cheap diet soda, and a couple cans of 1.50 chips to quell my desire for snacking/going out to eat. So far I got the items at $25 dollars.  I will probably need to reup on the second week with bread or more lunch meat, so I will see.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nice Day for a Beautiful Geocache

My day off, and the weather was warm enough to try for at least one cache today.  I had been on this small road before but didn't go as deep into it.  I was suprised at the sudden switch to dirt and gravel and the rough condition of the road.  My minivan has busted suspension all around and shoddy rear brakes, so it was a bit of a white knuckle affair.  It was worth it, this old chuch and graveyard were very nice to check out.

You can see an adjacent hillside across from the church, it kind of gives you an idea how high and how far in the boondocks I had gone.  For being just a few miles off the main road, it seems like you are worlds apart.

The cache was very easy to find, and while it is listed as a micro, it was more than roomy enough for me to leave a little bean dude for swag.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Made in the USA possible?

So, I am reading about the horrible tragedy in Bangladesh, with well over a hundred factory workers killed by a ground floor fire.  Not a single emergency exit, 3 stairways that go right to the ground floor fire.  Disgusting.  Walmart is one of their leading buyers.  I wouldn't be surprised to find they were locked in these sweatshops. This makes me seriously questioning whether its possible to buy all american.  Sure, taking their jobs away wont help conditions necessarily, but if enough people do this, walmart who CAN affect real change with their huge buying power will be forced to demand better conditions in their supply chain.

Now having said that, I am far from wealthy lol  Right now I have 2 shopping carts online filled with tools and items i plan to purchase and its almost a lock it all comes from china or some other country. Cant help but feel like a hypocrite but there are things (for the van especially) I must have and have cheaply.  I won't feel half as excited about it however even if they propel me toward my goals in life.

Probably for the first time in my life I have some of those, and want to work toward them.  I've always just floated through life, doing what I thought I was supposed to do and nothing more.  Living was just enough.  While I do believe in taking happiness in small things even now, I do want to lead a more fulfilling life as well.

I'll have to think on this idea and maybe find some middle ground.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving, and Geocaching

Well thanksgiving was pretty fun.  Despite being tired from work, I had a good time and the food was delicious.    While waiting for the grub me and Sam T. went and snagged my GPSr and looked for some nearby geocaches.

If you aren't sure what geocaching is, its a worldwide treasure hunt using geocaching coordinates.  You logon to website and find where people hide them, then go out and locate them.  Some are pretty easy to find right off the road, but others are very complex puzzles, similar to

Finally taking the bloggin plunge

Well I have piddled around with blogspot in the past and considered many times about starting my own blog, I inevitably came to the conclusion that my life has nothing interesting enough to blog about.  While this may not have changed, certainly your opinion may lean this way, I decided I wanted to at least chronicle my new hobby, which is geocaching.  I think I will also be chronicling my adventures in vandwelling and conversion, which will begin soon.