Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Second Biggest" - Buster Bluth

Yesterday I made the biggest purchase of my life to date buying a Toyota Sienna. It was also the first time I ever bought a vehicle through a dealership; man it's a pain in the ass. I was there literally all day signing papers, getting approved, signing more papers, driving 2.5 hours to have my ex release the title for my vehicle but I finally drove off with my new van around 6:30pm. Every single vehicle I've acquired in past has been $3000 or less and a lemon of some sort. Usually I would freak out at what I'll be dumping into this van because of all of the what ifs but I think I've finally grown past that. It was a necessary purchase that is part of life and when you accept that, it takes away a lot of stress and guilt.

There probably isn't a great way to explain the difference between sleeping in my previous car and this van. The best thing I can come up with is the Hyundai was like sleeping in a lumpy coffin while the van is like sleeping on a queen sized bed. With the bluetooth, I can connect my ridiculously giant Note 3 and watch a movie with a home theater sound experience (okay it's not literally surround sound but its awesome). I also have room to put a cooler for food when I'm between jobs so my girlfriend doesn't have to worry about me wasting away.

The Hyundai was getting me almost to a breaking point but now, the saga continues. I love my van!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Unrelateable Relatives

Your family should be the ones that understand you and support you more than anyone else in the world. It would seem like an evolutionary instinct to protect your own blood. Unfortunately most of the people I know have strained, distant or just plain ambivilant relationships with their families and it's usually because someone is placing their ideals above people.

While convictions are respectable amd important, I find it a shame that my sister would not attend our brother's wedding because he was marrying a woman who had been divorced. My mother informed me about a month ago that she would not accept anyone I might be in a relationship with since I didn't have a biblical reason to get divorced. Then my brother who has always been the quiet rebel (though never as extreme as me) said he couldn't support me but that he wouldn't oppose me either. It saddened me today that one day when I buy an engagement ring I have very few people who will give a shit.

This past year has changed my mother a lot and so I still talk to her but when she asked if I was coming to visit any time soon I had to be honest. "I don't really have any friends to see up there and it will only take one day to see Grandma and the other relatives. You don't agree with much of what I do so what's the point?" I said it as kindly as possible but extremely honestly because why lie?

I don't know why people let their families treat them poorly these days. This isn't the hunter / gatherer age and most of us don’t live in tribal regions of the world where our families are integral to our survival. One of the many things I love about my job is that I get to meet and spend copious amounts of time with some great people who have become more of a family to me than any of my biological family. There are some great people in the world, some shitty ones too (most likely your family) and nothing is stopping you from making your own life and family. Cut the poison out of your life and do not feel guilty. Blood is thicker than water but sometimes that thickness is like a pit of quagmire dragging you down. As always, I recommend a little bit of thin the blood out of course. If you love something, you don't hold it tightly - you celebrate it and set it free.

Decisions Don't Always Decide

I'm in the process of trying to find a replacement vehicle/house and I'm kind of freaking out. By American standards it's not manly to admit that I know very little about cars but those standards can go...well you get where I'm going with that. I've been pretty much screwed on every car I have purchased in my life and I'm rather worried about making the right decision now - it seems so critical.

My mind has been like a tornado of pros and cons. Should I buy from a dealer because then I would have some recourse if its a lemon? But then its going to cost a lot more...I could buy something almost new and just have a payment? But what if I don't have work?
I'll spare you because it goes on and on. Ultimately it all comes down to one core fear " if I make the wrong decisions, I'm going to ruin the rest of my life (or at least a large chunk of it)".

Many times things we fret over are completely trivial and insignificant. The only thing that matters is how you let the outcome effect your life. Sure I could get a vehicle with a payment, lose my job and then have my credit take a hit but it's only a problem if I let it become one. We may have temporary hardships because of choices we make but they are only temporary unless we allow them to change our thought process and in turn our approach to life. Decisions don't always decide the outcome - but your response does 100% of the time.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Occasional Asynchronous Unity

A question I field often when people hear about my divorce is "what happened? You guys seemed fine. I mean you had 4 kids!!!" I find it odd that so few people seem to understand. Sitting at a stop light today I became semi hypnotized watching the reflection of my turn signal on the trunk of the car in front of me. Our signals synched up just briefly and then they went their separate, out of phase, blinking ways. Some desperate people view temporsry synchronicity as a sign but the truth is that even the most out of sync items will align every once in a while. It's not fate, or magic, or god - it's just a statistical probability.

My ex and I found occasional moments where our out of phase personalities matched up but that's not good enough because even turn signals achieve that. Thankfully I've found a relationship that is more like a set of olympic synchronized divers. A few small actions may be different but overall, its a beautiful, awe inspiring thing to watch.

The next time someone asks why I got divorced I think I'll reply "because we're not turn signal dammit."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cross Pollinating Technology

My recent acquisition of an Android phone is prompting the sale of my beloved iPhone 4S. Of course before kissing the beautiful little slab of glass and metal porn goodbye, I had to make a backup of my data. When I moved, everything not necessary to my daily life went into storage, with the exception of my Surface RT tablet. I had been running a Mac Mini connected to my flat screen for several years and it was a good setup albeit not very portable.

Thankfully all the pieces were easily assembled in the hallway of my storage unit and I set about to back up through iTunes. "This device requires iTunes version 11.blah blah blah". Great, so since I upgraded my iOS to 7 I can't back the thing up? I then found a link to download the latest version of iTunes to my Note 3 which I would transfer through USB. WRONG! As luck would have it, you need a special program for an android to be read by a mac (also available via the internet).

That's when it occurred to me that I had the Surface RT in my car. The files easily transfered from the phone to the surface but the first flash drive I connected was broken. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! After rummaging in my storage unit for a minute or so I found my trusty old Fireball flash drive (it's exactly what it sounds like it is - a flash drive in a bottle of Fireball whiskey). From then on it was easy. Files were transfered (USB 3.0 is unbelievably fast BTW), the iPhone was backed up, then erased and everything went back into the storage unit. I think the moral of this story is that things get easier once whiskey is involved.

No Safe Haven

People (particularly religious ones) like to say "this is a safe place" to which I say - bullshit. There is no such a thing as a corporate* safe place because whoever is saying that has no control over all the other members of the group. They may want it to be safe for you but at some point someone's personal interests will trump any concern for you. When that happens you are lucky if you escape without becoming a pawn in their game. If you want a safe place, turn the entire world into one and spray on a thick coating of emotional Teflon known on the street as "not giving a fuck". The necessary hardener for this epoxy is knowing when to keep your mouth shut. Some things don't need to be shared and can be used by a malicious individual to penitrate the most ambivalent shell.

*I do believe that you can be safe in a partner / spousal relationship if both parties put the interest of the other above their own.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cats in the Cradle

This isn't a topic I'm thrilled to admit but I'm an honest person and feel compelled to share. I feel like I don't know how to relate to my children anymore. I love them but when I visit them I find it stressful and annoying. That makes me a terrible person right? To say I'm getting annoyed with kids I only see on weekends? Being in my ex's world is not something I am comfortable with or accustomed to. She is still religious and if that's not bad enough, her family attempts to be quasi-Jewish which is just fucking weird to me. I don't want to turn the kids against her so I try not to demean the way she is raising them - but they're still my kids and I feel responsible. I want them to see how I live life but unless I have a home for them to come to, it's kind of tough. I feel like I'm failing them by not being in their lives more and the guilt causes me to stress and not engage which causes further guilt. Not a good cycle.

My life at the moment consists of working and seeing my kids - that's basically it.  I wish I worked all the time because working makes me feel productive, builds my savings account and is slightly distracting from how badly I miss my girlfriend. Whoever said that money doesn't solve problems was full of shit. I love making money because it gives me options and is distracting but I don't want to use work to escape my life's non economic problems. There has to be a better more balanced solution.

When I was typing part of this my 4 year old son jumped into my lap and wanted to play. at first I was kind of annoyed because I was trying to write thoughts down before they escaped but then I put my phone down and hugged him soaking in the moment. It's not the kids that are annoying me, it's that they need something from me when, because of the environment, I feel tapped out. Regardless of what anyone wants or thinks i should give them, I have what my kids need: love and acceptance.

When I review the past few days there are a lot of good moments where I did engage. This afternoon I played catch with my 8 year old and showed her how to throw properly. Tonight I told my 7 year old what a turd was when we were playfully calling each other names and took a mental vine of her laughing her head off. Yesterday I got to bond with my under the weather 20 month old and had him fall asleep on my chest. When I was driving to Home Depot with my 4 year old he asked why my back seat was folded down. I told him I slept back there to which he replied "whaaaaaaaat?" with great amazement. Later he said he thought that was pretty awesome.

While I still feel out of touch with their lives, and don't like a lot of what their mother does, I am making a difference and that's really what they need. What a relief!

Please Stop Believing...Let Go of That Feeling

My ex told me that she is trying out something new with our children - no punishments. She tried to explain it and it didn't make much sense but I'm supposed to be getting an email at some point with links. Color me excited. The announcement came as a bit of a shock from someone who espoused the biblical "To Train Up a Child" method. While I'm happy to see that she is willing to branch out and try something different, I'm miffed at the fact that there is almost certainly a "biblical basis" for this new method. She doesn't do anything that she can't back up with scripture especially when it's 180 degrees from her previous beliefs. What irritates me is the fact that as her world view changes, there is a new "revelation" on a scripture or a new more accurate version of the bible that supports her new beliefs.

Full disclosure, before I left religion behind, I played a similar theo/mental game and that's why it annoys me so greatly now. I haven't divested my belief in a higher power yet but I really don't understand how people can still think the bible makes sense. Apparently your God isn't the same yesterday, today and forever and that's the key, he's your god. He evolves as your needs dictate or as your mind is opened through life's experiences.

Most belief systems are based on circular logic / unsubstantiated facts with a healthy side of fear. If your beliefs are so true and right then they will still be there if you step away to examine them but that's where the fear gets you. What if your god is an asshole that can't handle a question or two? Then you're fucked worse than being miserable in your current life: eternity is an even longer time to be miserable.

I truly believe there is a god but I don't think anyone really knows Please stop believing in your god or at least admit that it's a god of your making. Don't try to sanctify and sanction your actions via your invisible friend because it's looks really foolish. Oh wait, your god tells you it's okay to look foolish...I give up. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

End of The Red Road (for now)

Today was the last day on my current gig (The Red Road season 1). Normally I would be sad and stressed but for once I'm not and the lack of turmoil is a sign of growth for a perpetual stressor like me. It's partially because whatever happens I have things I could fall back on if necessary but more importantly I'm finding my path in life.

Practice makes perfect, it's true but practice also builds confidence which is a necessary ingredient for perfection. After years of struggling I've been afforded the opportunity to work with kind, patient people who have allowed me to learn and develop confidence in my knowledge and skills.

In the Native American culture the "red road" is the difficult path one takes to redemption. I feel like the last 10 years I've been on that difficult road and finally my life is being redeemed. Today I have a job and woman that I love - the red road is a hard one but well worth it.

Friday, October 18, 2013

They Walk

I crawled into bed around 10:30 last night parked behind a gas station our crew was going to be using today. Now mind you that was after taking a cold shower with my $15 self coiling hose and nozzle from Walmart and popping 4 valerian root capsules so I was sleeping like a log when the cop woke me up. Dreams rarely visit me but last night I dreampt I was loading our truck and someone said "what are you doing here?" I thought "I'm loading the truck douchebag" but suddenly snapped awake when I heard it again and realized there was a cop shining his light into my car.

About the only thing I can think of that rivals being woken by a cop is having your child cry out in the middle of the night. I had my wits about me and thankfully for once I had grabbed a call sheet and map before I left work so it was fairly easy to prove I had a reason to be there. After making sure I didn't have any warrants, the officer came back and said "you're not from around here are you? This area is pretty dangerous. See that hotel across the street? People get high over there and then they walk." It's hard convey the chilling effect those two words had but when he said "they walk" I felt a chill go through me.

I thanked the officer and promptly grabbed my bathing suit that was drying off the top of my car and went and parked by our trucks under a street light. I finally fell back asleep but kept thinking I was hear scrabbling on my windows like zombies from the Walking Dead were trying to get in. I think it's time to get a windowless van and a Mossberg to sleep with.

On the plus side this is what I get to look at all day at work. Winning life.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Motivational Analyzer

This is a post script to yesterday's entry on morality. I was mulling over what I had written and realized that many people have claimed to be doing what they believed was right but in all reality hurt many people. Religious zealots are the first ones that come to mind in the category of misguided shit stormers.

When you are searching for what the right thing to do is, you have to make sure you aren't doing anything because of fear. Generally we fear what we don't understand and hate what we fear. Analyzing your motivations is imperative because a lot of good intentions are masking harmful emotions.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Dogma

Growing up I was taught that the ends do not justify the means and that there are clear rights and wrongs in life. I believed and accepted my parents world view until I had experienced several years of life as an adult in the real world and discovered that: things don't always match up with what you believe. I still believe that there are some things that are clearly wrong like murder but most situations are just gray areas and are based on your culture and personality.

I was raised on the bible and taught that it was a guide book for life. Sure there is some good advice in there but I agree with what I heard a preacher say "the bible is mostly a history book that shows what men did and how God interacted with them. It's not meant to give consent for actions people took but just lays it out matter of fact." It's true when you step back and consider it. Sure God had a lot of rules but a lot of people broke them and he still had a relationship not withstanding the consequences. There was a lot of fucked up stuff that went on in the bible: incest, rape, murder, adultery, theft, genocide and more but it never says it was okay (well with the exception of the genocide) it just says it happened.

Your beliefs dictate your actions and if you don't have the same beliefs as me, your actions may be offensive. That doesn't make them necessarily wrong. The advice I gave to a friend who I know has different beliefs was "don't do just what you want to, do what you feel is right." Sometimes those two will coincide, sometimes they won't. Other times there isn't a clear answer because it's completely a matter of preference. Religious folks get hung up on the idea that atheists or non Christians have no basis for morals however I disagree. Everyone person, religious or not can be selfish but on the same token, we all have a feeling of something being right or wrong. You can't prove a god that doesn't show himself so whatever conclusion you come to, as long as you do it with a good heart, that's all anyone can really ask for.

Monday, October 14, 2013

What Does it All Mean

Please don't interpret the title of this post mean I am depressed - far from it. I finally have a job that I love, great coworkers and numerous other blessings in my life so I would be an assholes to be depressed right now. What has been running through my head though is what does life mean and is having a good job and good people to be around enough?

I was raised to think that there was some grand purpose and master plan for my life (if I didn't fuck up). Now, I'm not so sure about all that. My mentality caused me to never be satisfied with my life because I had to make a lasting change in the world. I mean isn't that what God put us here for?

I don't want to settle; it's not in my nature hence the title of this blog. However, maybe I can relax a bit. Is there a higher calling other than being true to yourself? Is self sacrificing work the best potential use of one's life? I have seen a lot of missionary type people thinking they are following their "calling" but their families are falling apart or they are just failing at helping the vast numbers of people they dreamed of. I'm becoming convinced that the best thing you can do for yourself and the world is live out the gifts and personality that inhabits you. Sharing what you have with the world is the best way to serve not divesting yourself of you and attempting to fill someone else's shoes.

"A hammer makes a shitty wrench when trying to tighten a nut." - Me

Saturday, October 12, 2013

John Locke Juking

Any true fans of the show Lost will remember John Locke's famous line "don't tell me what I can't do". Granted he did attempt some things that were at a minimum eyebrow raising but the idea of making your own destiny was not lost on me. John's sentiment resonated with me because I have set out on numerous ventures in my life where people told me in one form or another that I would fail. Sometimes they have been right on the surface but I've still grown from the experiences. Other times I have succeeded against the odds to much amazement.

A few weeks ago I had considered buying an old RV this older gentleman wanted $7800 for. It was bigger than I wanted, older than I wanted and to top it off he was a flagrant racist so I decided to go in another direction. He called me a couple days ago to see if I was still interested and when I conveyed my plan to live out of a van instead he said "you can't do that!" I wanted to recite John's line to him adding "you racist bastard" at the end but instead just thanked him for calling and ended the conversation. The RV owner isn't the only one to tell me I'm crazy, in fact someone echoes that sentiment every few days it seems but I really don't care. If you want to be truly happy, you have to pursue life how you see it in your mind. Sometimes you will find the naysayers were right but at a minimum you will be left with experience and probably some good stories. If you don't give up, and push through the failures you will eventually be rewarded with a fulfilling life that is everything you dreamed of. I know the negativity can pile up and weigh you down but you can always John Locke juke them with a loud "don't tell me what I can't do" 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Breaking Badass

It's been about three weeks since I gave up a permanent place of residence and it feels like I'm just starting to get broken in and used to it. Every single night hasn't been in my car because this isn't some kind of religious flagellation that I'm trying to perform. If a place is available, I will take advantage of it some times but mainly it's just been for showers because no one wants to be around a stinky dude.

The weather is changing and temperatures are dropping at night so I have been sleeping wonderfully. There is a sweet spot in the ratio of blankets to cold environment where I sleep like I've taken Ambien. Right now, I'm there but I'm a little worried that if it gets too much colder, I won't be able to blanket up enough to sleep well. Hopefully I'll have some time to find a van in the next few weeks that I can insulate a bit and actually sprawl out instead of sleeping like an unborn child. For now though, I'm still having a good time and feel like I'm breaking to to being a bad ass.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Mental Winch

With the advent of the iPhone 5S, I have been debating whether to purchase another iPhone or make the switch to Android. The Samsung Galaxy S4 was really attractive due to hardware and the operating systems ease of rooting. My two main concerns were 1. A great camera for my Instagram escapades and 2. A phone with 4G I can create a hot spot with.

I love the apps on my iPhone for taking photos (specifically Camera+) but the S4 has a great camera as well and if I root it, I can turn it into a hot spot for free. The thing is, I don't feel like taking the time for the learning curve. I just want my phone to work.

Something I've noticed as I've gotten older is the seeming decline in my ability to comprehend new things. When you are a kid there are generally way fewer pressures in your life and a phone that glitches, for instance, because you are trying out an experimental ROM is not a huge deal. That's why kids learn things so easily - they are unencumbered by life. I don't think my intelligence has declined but instead I have lost patience with things not working perfectly because I have enough other issues to contend with in my life.

After obsessing for a few days over which phone to purchase, I went with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Because if you're going to do something, why not over do it? I don't want to get stuck in a mental rut so I'm forcing myself to learn a new phone and system and hopefully keep my mind young and open to new things. Along with that, a heavy dose of chill pills to not make such a big deal out if stupid things like cellphones. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

They're FINE....

There is a portion of the population that did not have a childhood in any form of the word except physical development. From their earliest years they were expected to act far beyond their age in their emotions and requisite behavior. However, when it came to actually making decisions for themselves, they were treated like infants. On the surface these folks look put together to the world because they know how to present themselves. They would tell you they are fine; the reality is there is a huge swirling ball of fear and insecurity inside them.

The formative years are there to allow you to make mistakes and learn from them, to grow into an adult that can handle whatever life throws at you. Not being allowed to fail or even make decisions for yourself arrests your development to the point where the real world freaks you out. Unfortunately a lot of people raised like this try to maintain the adult facade they have learned and get married as soon as they leave their parents home. Having lived this out, I can tell you that just about every aspect of life was stressful because I had no idea how to handle anything.

The best advice I can give is to just plunge into life head first. You will make mistakes. You will be miserable. You will look back and feel embarrassed. You will probably do ridiculous shit like live in your car but if you keep going you will get through. There were supposed to be 18 years for you to get acclimated to life that were stolen from you. Don't be hard on yourself if it takes 10 years to get on track. Sure that's depressing but it's better than being "fine" the rest of your life - freaked out / fucked up, insecure, neurotic and emotional.

It's imperative that you do not run from situations but face them and learn from them. They will not break if you if you believe that no matter what happens you will be okay. As long as you are still breathing you can continue. Life has a way of teaching us the things we need to learn to grow into amazing human beings. If you run away you are bound to keep repeating the same things over and over. You are strong, you have the power. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.

What Is Love? Baby We're Quirky

I'm certainly not the leading expert on relationships but after being married for 9 years and now divorced, I think I have a few relevant things to say. A lot of people like to ask "what is the one piece of advice you would give to someone about to xyz". I'm always a bit reluctant to answer because there are so many things to be said that attempting to choose one tip is a bit daunting. That all being aside, I'm going to attempt to do just that right here, right now.

Most people in the world are insecure to one degree or another. Insecurity in a relationship is the mechanical equivalent of constantly checking to make sure a screw is tight and in the process stripping it out. Fear is the mother of insecurity and obsession is her grandchild. In that family every little thing is weighed, analyzed and a belief formed around it. Having to constantly prove you love someone is exhausting.

You don't however, have to be intensely insecure to be able to take note of my one relationship tip. Even "normal" people make wild assumptions off of passing data and while I may not rock them to their xore, it can still create problems.

People are different and many of their actions are certified gray area. What the hell am I talking about? When you get into a relationship you are trying to merge your set of life experiences (hurts, joys, familial culture etc) with theirs. Every one lives life anywhere from a slightly divergent outlook to an almost 180° approach to you. Your partner may do something that to them is insignificant but the only explanation in your mind is "they must not care about me that much". I know how the mental battle goes because I've been on both sides of it. While the thought "if they love me, they would make an effort to do xyz" holds some weight, are you really wanting to make them just like you? That's called control and only fearful people and assholes are controlling. Now to be clear, I'm talking things like "he forgot to get the milk I asked for" or "why isn't she responding to every text" type things. Not "I wish he wouldn't cheat on me" type situations. The beauty of the world is that everyone is different and the sooner you open up your heart and embrace that fact, the sooner you will find peace.

Find someone you not only love but really like as well. Then love them always and always trust in their love. When the thought comes "I know they love me but..." cut it off there, accept that love and embrace the quirkiness because baby - we're all quirky.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fresh Eyes

No, this isn't about eye transplants like in Minority Report, I'm referring to seeing things like it was the first time - with a sense of appreciation and wonder. Living in my car and working in various locations affords me the chance to not get stuck in a rut where I traverse the same path day in and day out. I love how it keeps everything fresh and I'm aware of all that is around me. Much of it provides inspiration for photos I take and propagate my Instagram with. I don't think it is impossible though to have the same outlook if you have a normal job with the same commute everyday along with a fairly sedentary life. You just have to make a conscious choice everyday to open your eyes. It's like taking a filter off and mentally saying, "what is new today?" 

For several large chunks of my time spent in Los Angeles, I did not have a car and was compelled to use public transit. I noticed each time I rode a bus after a long stint in my personal vehicular bubble, I was uncomfortable with all the different people in proximity. Within a few trips I was comfortable again and even would talk to some of the other passengers from time to time. Convenience and comfort are great but I hate how quickly they can turn you into something you don't want to be. If it takes me depriving myself of some things so that I can continue to see the world and it's inhabitants for the beauty they are, then I will. However, I hope to learn to how to see everything with fresh eyes regardless of the comfort level my daily life presents. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ghost Towns

Have you ever left an area, reinvented yourself (or more accurately, became yourself) and then for one reason or another stopped back by your starting point? My children live in a miserable little town where I met their mother ten years ago and ended up there for several years before venturing out west looking for myself and freedom. Now that I am divorced, each time I visit my children entering the old town is awkward, painful (in a repressive sort of way) and in general gives me small shudders. 

"Be true to yourself" is spouted by psychiatrist/counselor types but is a challenge when a large number of people surrounding you only see their version of you. Moving clear across the country was necessary for the initial breaking away; however, you can't run forever. It appears that this is my time to take the person I found myself to be and stand up to the ghosts from the past. To be truthful though, I have seen a few people and purposefully ducked them because I just don't feel like dealing right now. My ability to not give a fuck is slowly growing and hopefully, one day soon, I won't get a chill every time I encounter an old ghost. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

My First Questioning

The inevitable happened last night: the location of my domicile for the evening was questioned. All of our trucks for work were parked in a church parking lot with a security guard we hired over night and not wanting to explain myself to the security guard, I parked on the opposite side of the lot (which was quite large). About an hour after I fell asleep I woke up to a dude flashing a light in my window "what are you doing parked here?" He was the church security guard that lived next door and had seen my car when he got up to use the bathroom. I explained I was with the group renting the parking lot and he said I just needed to move across the lot. Pretty simple resolution but I was kind of expecting to be hassled by our security guard at some point later for pulling in so late and it was a little hard to fall asleep. 

I had taken a shower at a friends house Wednesday night and fortunately had shaved so I didn't look like a complete bum when the campus guard approached me. Speaking of the shower, being in a real house was quite nice. I know I'll want a home at some point but I'll always want to have a van on standby where I can just be free to travel and explore. I want to walmart this morning and saw a guy shaving in the bathroom. I should have struck up a conversation but I'm not quite ready to associate myself with other transients just yet.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Illegally Vagablonde

It was brought to my attention the other day that living in your car is technically illegal in many areas of the country. I haven't looked up the laws specific to GA but it appears that as long as you are on private property, you are golden. The issue though is that most places allowing you to park overnight like walmart have bright lights everywhere for security making sleeping difficult. My plan had been to buy a minivan but unless I seriously black out the back windows, I may invite trouble from the police or the people the five-O should actually be accosting. It looks like I may be back to a delivery van if I can't get a blacked out minivan. I understand people don't want vagrants invading their neighborhoods and bringing potential problems with them but it feels like society is almost trying to force you to submit to the status quo and get plugged back into the Matrix. We talk about sustainable energy, recycling, getting more in touch with nature but when someone actually scales down their life and saves both money and resources, they are penalized. Our society is demented. 

So far my biggest issue still is showering. I bought a couple gallon tub at walmart but lack somewhere to get water from. As soon as I can get to a Home Depot, I'll buy a water key and short hose and do a little drive by water thievery at a strip mall or fast food joint after they close and hopefully that will ameliorate my cleanliness. Don't get the wrong impression, I am keeping clean but taking a bath in a lake or with alcohol wipes isn't the same as having a vat of pristine water to get clean with. When I finally have a van and shower unit, I'll be living large but still on the wrong side of the law. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Battery of Troubles

Maintenance is something that most people pay very little attention to. Few budget for it and if they do, something has to go wrong before they dip into the coffers. In my last job I saw people with rather expensive homes falling into disrepair because they hadn't taken any steps to upkeep the paint, gutters etc. Waiting for a problem to surface is only asking for multiples problems to surface at once. 

Due to lack of funds, I have been one of those people that wait till they have to do something about their car, body, home etc before ponying up some scratch. I had left the dome light on in my car (or as I like to call it "the bedroom/entertainment room mood lighting") and almost completely killed the battery. There was enough juice left to crank the engine over but just barely. I assumed that the alternator would charge it back up but after driving 2, 2 hours stretches with no improvement in cranking capacity, I started to think I needed a new battery or perhaps alternator or starter or.....(begin cycle of fear)

One disadvantage of living in your car is that you live in your car. If it goes into the shop for a few days then you have to find somewhere else to sleep ontop of hauling all your shit out so the mechanics don't steal you precious vodka. Despite not wanting to spend any money, I knew that putting this off was less than intelligent. Autozone (and most auto parts stores) will test your battery for you (although I can't help feeling that the machine is just trying to sell batteries for the store). Apparently, running the battery down with the light killed it. The salesman informed me that if you run a battery down, you shouldn't rely on your alternator to charge it back up because that's not what they are designed for and it can actually ruin the alternator. I didn't want to take the chance of not getting to work or harming something else because I was looking for a charger so I bit the bullet and spent $112 for a new battery. It was 4 years old anyway so it seemed like due time. 

My lesson from this is to start preemptive care on what I own or my body (ugh, I hate going to the doctor). I'd rather replace the water pump, for example, before it goes bad and leaves me or a loved one stranded on the side of the road. Budget, plan, spend and prevent. Man, I really don't want to go to the doctor. Shit!