And you're working for no one but me

The tax man was kind to me this year. then again it's not hard to be when I didn't earn anywhere near what I used to. the reduced income means I get a substantial return this year which will cover 2/3's the cost of my travel trailer upgrades. this coupled with what little savings I've managed to hold onto means it will be ready before July. That income now goes into my full timing nest egg,

Yay me!


job update, the girl, and the beagle

They gave me what I asked for and I accepted the job offer. As of Monday next week I will be a full time employee and a contractor no longer.What does this mean for my full timing plans? Nothing! Nothing changes as I still intend to keep working while I ready my trailer with all the wonderful parts and pieces that make that life possible. You know, solar panels, batteries, portable generators, blow up dolls, and just kidding. No blow up dolls. I swear! The job comes with benefits and I've been sorely lacking those for the past few years. Now I can get my eyes checked and probably some sorely needed new glasses. I'll get the rest of me checked out too. I signed a 6 month lease renewal 2 months ago which starts the same day as the job. I'll have 4 months before I have to tell them I'm renewing or not and should know by then whether I'll be ready or not. All in all, this is working out quite well for me.

The day I left for my nephew's weekend birthday party I had a chance meeting as I was getting ready to leave. I'd taken the beagle out to do her business before we left and wound up meeting a neighbor of mine. A female neighbor, who is very cute, and also has a dog. Long story short we started talking and my departure was delayed by an hour because we hit it off. Skip ahead one month later. We've been talking on a semi daily basis since a little after I got back. She's a great girl and I'm enjoying the time we spend together. I don't know where this is going and am letting nature take it's course. Will this interrupt my plans to full time? I don't see that being the case but can't predict the future where this stuff is concerned. I'm staying the course with my fulltiming plans unless something moves me to plan otherwise.

Bridgette (not the designated driver)

Nothing good or bad has happened to the beagle. I haven't mentioned her in a while and thought that I should. She's such a good dog!



great friends, good times

me and the friends
I had the distinct pleasure of being able to spend this weekend with some very dear old friends of mine, Leah and Trevor The occasion finally gave me an excuse to go to the Alamo and Riverwalk after living in San Antonio this past year. Why did it take me so long? I have an aversion to cities, crowds, and absolutely hate any downtown. As a side note I was born in New York City. Despite my aversion to cities, I am attracted history. I love all history but have been mainly focusing on the American west over the last decade of my life. I digress. We started the day out having breakfast at the Magnolia Pancake Haus (highly recommend this), then off to the Alamo, and then made our way to the Riverwalk. It started out as a walk to take in the sites but slowly turned into a pub crawl. Err Rivercrawl. We found out they let you walk the path there with booze and so took advantage of that. We even took the boat cruise tour so we could get the listeners digest story of everything around. All in all it was a great day.


Where they make the magic happen
I had only one thing planned for our second day. Damned good Texas BBQ!!! Shortly after waking up and getting ready we bailed for Driftwood Texas to visit the Salt Lick BBQ Restaurant. We skipped breakfast so that we'd bring our rawest appetites. It took us about an hour to get there via the scenic route, and we had a 45 minute wait after arriving. Believe me when I say that the way that placed smelled told us that the wait was worth it. Once we were seated we ordered about a pound of each meat offered and a pint each of the sides. This place was even better than it had been described to me. Everything tasted incredible right down to the bread they served with the meals. My friends said the only thing that didn't taste as good but was close to, was his grandpa's ribs. That's always a good sign when you can find food near as good as family makes it. After lunch I got them back home and we said our farewells and they made their way back to Houston where they're visiting family. I managed to forklift myself one final time onto the couch and there I stayed reading the rest of the night. 

Yeah, that was a great weekend!



full time employment at last?

well it turns out the company I've been contracting at for a year (tomorrow) has finally made me an offer. unfortunately the numbers are a bit on the low side and we're currently negotiating. And by negotiating I mean telling them I can't afford to live on what they want to pay me. it's less (per hour) than what I started out at last year. I gave them a number and have yet to hear back from them. I have a feeling they're going to balk at it again which means I will have to respectfully decline it and remain as a contractor. I realize by doing so this won't put me in a good light and they'll look to end my contract. I'm not only ok with this, I'm mostly prepared for it as I will be hitting the road a little bit sooner than I had planned.

I love how, sometimes, life hands you material.



in between

I've hit a plateau after accomplishing some major milestones in Jan and Feb. I'm back to waiting until the next major milestone which will take several months. This part can be grueling if you have nothing to do but wait, or passes quickly if you have a way to keep occupied. I will be doing both in a one trailer upgrade per month as I can afford it kind of way. This is gonna be such a love/hate time for me.


a brief homecoming, and pour yourself a warm beverage

I'm back from my trip and have been since last week. I meant to post an update but unfortunately the day after I returned I got sick. This past week has been filled with me consuming gallons of chicken soup and cough syrup shots. Yeah, good times!

So now about my trip. I had a great time seeing family, friends, and the road trip that bookended it.

[the family]
Getting to see my nephew turn one was priceless. A group of about 60 comprised of friends and family turned out for the little guy's first. The best part was when everyone gathered to sing happy birthday. He started looking at everyone wondering what the hell was going on. When the song ended he broke down in tears. It cute, funny, and sad all at the same time.

Me and the little guy playing the ukulele.

My niece is growing into a remarkable young woman. She's also got my sense of humor according to my sister. Getting to spend time with her is rare, I got to spend about a third of my time there with her. She's always been very busy due to all of her extra curricular activities. I got to spend the kind of quality time with her I've not been able to since I left CA. We went shopping for her baby brother together and I got a chance to make up for the Xmas gift shipping snafu.

My parents are now officially retired. The mom was working but was recently laid off. The dad was laid off but took up a new career in real estate. In CA, yeah I know how shitty the market is there. Still, he's got himself into a niche market. The man speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin (along with lots of other Chinese dialects) to which has made him superior to his younger counterparts in the same business. He took this up after mastering two other careers and taking them both to their end.  My mom is busier now than when she worked. I wish I could say more about the woman, but when I finally catch up to her, I will. What I can say about them both is that they're sleeping in past 9am in the morning. This is the very shit they used to rail me over. Not to worry as I got my revenge. My beagle adores them both and I snuck her into their bedroom every morning after the first one. The beagle got a steak for it.

[the friends]
I wish I could say all my friends were doing well. Most weren't but are surviving. Sadly I didn't get to see the bulk of them but I did manage to make time for those who were in the most dire of situations. I'll shorten these because of the volume of friends I saw on this trip. My best friend is in marital mayhem at this time. Being able to be there in person for him did help, and we were even able to muster a group get together between us and his wife (a dear friend also). Another friend of mine is in the same boat with his girl. Sadly, they have never married in the course of their relationship. I only recently reconnected with them both very shortly before my arrival. Their circumstances are infinitely more complex due to the longevity of their relationship. Regardless of how things work out for them, I do wish them the best.

My sister and I share many of the same friends (even tho I'm  years her senior) and I got to see many of them during the nephews bday party.

The friend of mine who was trying to set me up with her coworker. Yeah, I made up my mind and told her before I turned out that I didn't want to go through with the the meeting. She took it well given my reasons. My reasons are based in moving outside the confines of what's considered traditional life, whereas her's are steeped in them. Long story, trust me, I asked.

[the road trip]
this part is my haven. ok, it's the second half of my haven. my trailer is the first half. since I didn't bring the trailer on this one it wasn't. the drive out was great. I made all kinds of stops to the various places I'd amassed on my list. Some from my own curiosity, others from some of the blogs I've read. They were everything I'd read about and more. On my trip back to TX I made another stop in Quartzsite. On this trip I got to meet one of the Fulltimer's who runs a website which assisted me on this path. Point blank, whether he knows it or not, I owe him a debt of gratitude for putting up the website which helped me flesh out what i thought was a longshot into a lifestyle. Thanks Bob!

I would post more but I'm still a little bit sick and am about to down (what I hope to be) my last bowls of boiled flightless bird in a while.