that's my soul up there

It started last week when I came down with a cold, and even though I went through the worst of it last weekend, it's still with me. I had a quarterly project due at work this week and the cold wasn't helping. Still, not a problem and I almost completed everything right before turn in time. Unfortunately my workload was doubled at that same moment which sent me scrambling. Because of the surprise I now had to learn and complete two additional tasks. I really didn't need the additional stress. Thankfully I was given two extra days to complete everything. Somehow I managed to finish and turn in everything on time.

A recreation of how I feel

Right now I'm on the couch sharing peanuts with my beagle after a long day. She always manages to help me find my center. Ironically it's these moments that remind me how I'm not living life so much as just existing. I used to say "there has got to be a better way" to myself often. Now I know. I'm almost there, but it does little to comfort me knowing that it's a year away. On the upside I have one day of work left and a three day weekend to look forward to.


why are you doing this?

This was the first question everyone asked. I think they all have parrot DNA in them. My expectation was that everyone would try and talk me out of it. I told my little sister and closest friends first. The sister figured it out before I said a word. I love her for it and for always supporting me even when she doesn't agree. That being said her questions were more out of general curiosity than a grilling. The reactions from friends was pretty mixed with most of them being accepting in the end. My parents are alright with it. Mom figured it out also. She put up a fight and wasn't for it, but respects my decision. Mostly because she now knows I would be in Quartzsite for the winter and a 4 hour drive away from her. Dad only cares that I'm happy in whatever do. He's not gonna visit me anytime soon, but it's not a me thing so much as a lack of Chinese restaurants in the wilderness.

Explaining can be sometimes hard when you're close to someone. I had a few that were not accepting at first. Keep in mind that most people simply can't accept the idea of willingly living without a formal home. Some can be downright hostile about it. Most conversations started off with direct challenges rather than actual questions. It was usually a barrage of logistics and safety questions. The thing that helped was spending a year'ish learning all I could before I said anything. This made it possible for me to answer questions calmly and intelligently. By the end any hostility is usually diffused and they are at least understanding if not accepting.

The really cool thing I never anticipated was meeting new friends and having to explain it to them. The dynamic is a little different in that they're much nicer about it since I'm not someone close to them. This seems to make them generally more curious and accepting of it. The cool part is the ideas and suggestions exchanged with them whereas it's been Q&A with friends and family.

All in all I think I was very fortunate with how things had turned out for me in the end.


i've fallen into a hole

The Chapa'ai

Not a black one so much as a worm one. Since it's been too hot outside to perform any upgrades on my trailer I'm finally catching up with Stargate SG1. All 10 seasons or 214 episodes from beginning to end. While I'm on the subject has anyone else noticed the resemblance between Apophis and Obama. I'm just saying someone should be checking the man for a worm living inside him.


mind soul and zen

I've been stir crazy ever since my failed New Mexico trip. I'm dying to get out of town, even if it's only to one of the local state parks. My biggest obstacle is that it's been over 100°f every day here for the last two weeks. I hate the heat! My smaller obstacle is finding a local state park that has electric in their RV spots. If I can find one that does I can run the AC and am so going!

The changes to the diet and exercise have improved my blood pressure in a weeks time. My blood pressure at the time of the exam was 140/108. My average results today have been 123/88. Alcohol was a major contributor to my cholesterol/triglyceride spike which I'm abstaining from for the next few months. I'll retest in about 2 months. For the time being the recent positive changes in health has me at peace.

About 4 years ago I read an article about a guy who gave up money. It wasn't just money that he gave up. He gave it all up about 10 years ago and has resided in a cave somewhere near Moab Utah. I found out he maintains a blog and I've been keeping up ever since. His story has spoken to me on so many levels that it's hard for me to explain my fascination with it. I don't agree with everything he says/believes, but do appreciate his point of view. He goes by the name of Daniel Suelo. Google news him if you want to read some of his interviews. If you're really brave, roll up your sleeves and check out his blog http://zerocurrency.blogspot.com/. I hope to someday meet the guy and have a nice long conversation with him.


circadian rhythm interrupted

Sorry for the sporadic updates these last two weeks. I've been worried to the point of distraction and fell behind. This is what's been going on with me.

A few weeks ago there was an open registration for a free health screening where I work at. I signed up for it because they would be coming to the office to do the examination. How could I refuse a free examination while still being paid. I have had health care since being hired on in April, but not since my lay off in 2007. The four year gap without a checkup was a cause for worry, mainly because I haven't taken very good care of myself since landing in Texas. The exam was on Wednesday and consisted of taking my vitals and a little blood. My blood pressure came in at 140/108. I've read and heard how being nervous can affect those results and that was the cause. We have a test machine in office and my BP came in at 131/95 later on. They told me the results from my blood work would take a few weeks and arrive in the mail. I would get to keep worrying a little while longer. Great, Thanks!

When I lived in CA I used to hike year round. When I moved to MN I was still able to hike during the spring, summer, and fall months. When I arrived in TX I thought it would be like CA but was so incredibly wrong. The high summer temps and insect populations love affair with Chinese food made it difficult for me. I did try in the fall and spring but the bugs TX bugs are vicious. Winter has been the only time I can get out and hike safely. Alternatives like bug sprays and treadmills didn't work out due to their own complications with me. In short, I gave up. I really wished I didn't do that because what came next, probably, would have been avoided.

My phone rang as I was just driving into the office. One of the health counselors was calling me to discuss the results from my blood work. I knew this couldn't be good and makes for a shitty way to start out your day. The first thing she told me was that they were forgoing mailing my results to me and would send them via secure email. The next thing she told me was that the majority of my results in my blood work came back as normal. Ok, so far so good but where's the but? That's when she started going into finding a doctor to review my results with as soon as possible. She told me that my cholesterol levels were at 517 and triglycerides at 3570. It was at that moment that I couldn't help but notice that she sounded really cute, for a harbinger of bad news, over the phone.Yeah I know, my mind always does that when I'm stressed. She finished covering the details, said I could call her back anytime, and then hung up. My results arrived via email about an hour later. After looking over my test results, some dietary changes are in order. I had changed it a few months ago, but need to make them a bit more drastic to reverse the damage. I know it's not the end of the world but it is in my nature to not feel at ease until things are back to normal. 

My life is going to kind of suck for a while.


product reviews

Kindle, not recommended to start campfires.

After I began planning to full time I knew that I would have a lot of free time to read again. Weight is a constant concern so I knew taking my collection with was out. Enter the E-reader. There are many to choose from but I immediately went with the kindle because the options offered are far superior to the competition. It's light weight, can carry several thousand books, has the longest battery life, offers many online options, and is easy to read. The only thing I dislike about it is the lack of that book feel in my hands that I'm used to. Aside from that, I've had mine since January and it has not yet disappointed me. The cost of e-books is for the most part cheaper than standard books, but the availability of free e-books is impressive.

I've named mine Samantha.

The first thing I want to say about this is that it is pure awesome! My first time using one was on a camping trip last year when a friend brought hers along. I was impressed and wanted one of my own right then and there. The cost is what kept me away at first, but REI had a sale price I couldn't refuse. Normally the Jetboil Flash retails at $99.95, but the sale price was $69.95. Ok so that's the Asian in me but in this economy I'll take every penny I can save. I digress. The speed at which these things boil water is crazy fast. I boiled 16 ounces in under 90 seconds, and 32 ounces in 150 seconds.The fuel efficiency of these is impressive as well. They make two fuel can sizes for the Jetboil, 3.5 oz ($3.99) and 8 oz ($5.99) jet fuel cans. There are after maket brands you can buy but it's not recommended and the already low cost makes it senseless. I'll skip all the applications of hot water because there are enough recipes and just add hot water processed foods out there that make getting one a slam dunk. Two additional things worth mentioning is that it comes with a built in igniter and an attachable cooking stand if you wish to use (something other than the companion cup) camping cookware instead. Get one, you will never be disappointed.

In summary if you had to choose between the two I would say get the jetboil over the kindle. However, if you can, get them both even if you have to wait a while between the two. We all need to eat to live, but reading is just as important to really live.