happy new year

Here's wishing you and your loved ones a year of peace, joy, and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Try not to die this year. Do something meaningful with your life. Kiss someone you love at least once. Have great sex. Stay healthy. Run with (safety) scissors. Read a book. Remove the mattress or pillow label. Begin the beguine. Do a random act of kindness. Touch a miner inappropriately. Eat healthy. 

Do any one of these things this year, for me.

ending it

Today I pulled the plug on something that turned out to be bad for me. Dissappointments are never fun. It didn't start out that way, it never really does though. I came to realize what was wrong before it was too late and got out. I gave it more than a fair chance, but in the end it was clear that I would never back what I gave despite all its promise. At any rate I've found a way to take back what I gave, and keep in touch with those who helped make this bumpy ride easier to endure. Truth be told I knew that I felt this way about it for a long time, and not sure why I hung on as long as I did. I even purposely ended my participation months ago. I guess I just need to see if I was justified before I did this. A huge, dead weight has been lifted of me and I couldn't feel any better if I tried.

So in closing. I do hope that every malice is visited upon you ten fold, and that you crumble slowly under the weight of your own absurd idiocy. You sincerely deserve it Facebook.

What?!? I never said I was a saint!


xmas leftovers

So I totally dropped the ball and forgot (again) to take a picture of the awesome feast I prepared. In order to make it up to anyone who really wanted to see it I'm instead posting picutres from the last couple of days. Before the roommate left to spend Xmas with his family we managed to get our dogs to wear stuff and sit still for this picture.

Behold the power of beef!

Sunday morning we managed to knock out a nice four mile hike while carrying on a phone conversation with my friend Monica, whom I hiked with last year on xmas day (on christmas day in the morning).

Something beagle, this way walks

Something beagle, this way swims?

Something beagle, oh you've gotta get it by now.

On Xmas eve I managed to celebrate and devour that delicious dinner I prepared with my family via Skype. After dinner we all went into the living room and opened gifts.

Sissy knows how much I love to watch my father eat.

He played with it all night!

Nailed it!

On Xmas day we hiked our other favorite local trail. I know it looks the same, but it's different. Trust me. Or don't. We don't care. We know it was a different trail. That's out story and we're sticking to it!

Still not caring what you think!

No butt's about it!


xmas preparations and what not

Things have been going well despite how hectic this time of year can get. I managed to get my xmas shopping done this last week since I only had the niece and nephew to buy for. I got my niece 3 pairs of boot socks which according to my sister will most likely be her favorite gifts this xmas. I'm really happy about this one because I've been completely clueless about what to get her since she hit her teens. Sissy told me what she wanted, but not where to look. So I used my mad internet skills and found them @ Etsy.com. According to the pics I emailed her (sissy) they were "cuter" than anything they could find localy. Nailed it! For my nephew it was a radio flyer "my first" scooter where I'm positive he'll drive everyone crazy from riding it all over the house. He's easy to shop for and I don't foresee this getting any more difficult as he gets older. I didn't get anything for my remaining family members since I'll be squaring up with them in person in a few weeks.

This week I get to work from home which makes the beagle very happy. One of the nicer perks of the company I work for. Unfortunately it's my turn to be on call which means I'm sort of on a digital leash. I guess I really can't complain since this happens once every 8 weeks for me. I don't wanna jinx it so I won't say anything about what I hope won't happen while I'm on it. If you're inclined to do so, any and all good vibes sent this way will be apprciated.

It's been over two weeks since my disasterous lipid screening (mea culpa). I don't know what my numbers are now but if my blood pressure is any indication of progress, I'm on the right track. It was 140/100 at time of screening and is now averaging 117/77 with a resting heart rate of around 74. For now I'm keeping to the diet/exercise/supplements but will relax the regimine down to maintenance levels by the end of next month. This is also when I've scheduled my lipid retest. 

For Xmas dinner tonight I'm kind of repeating the meal I made for Thanksgiving. I'm leaving out the ham this time due to the diet. In case I didn't mention it. I'm making roasted turkey, corn bread stuffing, mashed potatos, corn on the cob, and blanched broccoli for dinner tonight. I'll do my best to remember to snap a picture before eating it this time.

While I'm on the subject. Last year on xmas day I went out on a hike with a friend and the beagle in tow. It worked out that way since it was the only free time we both had available. We got a chance to enjoy nature and work off some of the holiday fat. This struck me as being a good excuse to start a holiday tradition, so from here on out I'm hiking on Xmas day. Join me in doing the same tomorrow if the weather permits where you're at.

Merry Christmas everyone!


lost meaning

With xmas on the horizon it got me to thinking how much the meaning of it has changed for me, and it wasn't that kind of child to adult kind of change either. The change was so subtle and unnoticeable that it took me years to realize it had happened at all. Best as I can figure it took place around my late twenties early thirties, and it wasn't limited to xmas either. A lot of things that I used to enjoy doing simply lost their meaning with me. Holidays and or social celebrations of any kind of lost their appeal to me. I've never been diagnosed as depressed or suffering from any type of mental disorder so it's not that. I also don't bug out after 10 minutes of being in crowds. Before I give anyone the wrong idea, I do still enjoy being with family and close friends regardless of occasion. I adjust and act accordingly to any given situation. You know, like a real grown up.

I'm not sure if something is wrong with me or not, but I really don't care. Either way I'm looking forward to xmas week despite the lost meaning. I get to work from home which allows me to spend some quality time walking the creek with the beagle.


open, to falling from grace

About a year plus ago I learned that Rod (Asian Gypseh) and I lived in the same town. Since then we make it a point to get together for lunch at our favorite Brazillian (a lot of money I'm told) steak house. Since moving I was finally able to get him to try a BBQ place I've been raving about for a better part of the year. The place has a neat little history that you can read about on the website, and you really owe it to yourself to try it if you're in town. You won't regret it!

The last time I was here was almost two years ago now that I'm thinking about it. I know this slight fall from grace is a 180 from my efforts to improve my health, but it was WORTH IT!!! It was today and today only because I know I won't be eating like this again for a long time to come. I can live with the guilt. I might even shed a tear, really.

I did find a way to strike a balance to today's meat fest. After finishing we picked up the beagle and hauled off to one of my local hikes. We knocked out a respectable four mile hike in under two hours. I was halfway expecting to choke on the hike due to the meat coma that always comes from the kind of meal we just ate. It never came and we kept a good pace going the whole time. 

Rod's good people and it's nice to be able to shoot the shit with someone who gets the mobile lifestyle. Combine that with him being something of a foodie and you've got the makings of a great time. Well, even though we never got past eating anywhere but that steak house we used to go to. Good times!


mea culpa

After a year and a half of putting this off I had finally gotten around to getting my lipids retested (here's what happened the last time).The morning I was about to schedule my appointment a company wide email went out that free biometric screenings would be held the following week. Fortuitous! I scheduled for the following week, received my confirmation, and changed absolutely nothing in my routine.

The good stuff
Oatmeal for breakfast - 60 grams (roughly two packets of the instant)
Anything for lunch - I don't eat heavy when working during the week, or weekends when I cook.
Fruit smoothies or a salad for dinner - These are usually all fruit or veggies respectively.

The bad stuff
Exercise - Before the move I wasn't getting any. After, I started hiking once a weekend.
Drinking - I'm partial to great scotch, whiskey, or bourbons. I downgraded to microbrew beers or red wines after my move.

I own and use a blood pressure test kit and monitor it regularly, and since the move there was a drop.  Probably due to all the physical activity from the move and then the two weekends of hikes that I managed to get it. Unfortunately I became ill and didn't get a hike in for the remainig three weekends. I managed to get two hikes in on the weekend before my test, but the numbers were only slightly better than the last drop. I came in at 144/97 with a resting heart rate of 98.

The results
Weight - I lost 10 pounds from my last weighing before the move
Blood pressure - Systolic 124 (Normal) - Diastolic 97 (High) - no resting heart rate info
Glucose - 99 (Normal)
Cholesterol - 324 (Down from 517 June 2011)
Triglycerides - 7650  (Up from 3570 June 2011)

Uh yeah, I wasn't expecting the last one to go up quite that high either. I had a very long talk with the doctor about how the Trig's got that way. Turns out beer and wine have a tendancy to increase them more so than the harder liquor. This isn't an excuse for me to switch back, just good to know. Booze is out, not for good but for a good long while. The doctor was ready to start me on a statin presciption which I stopped cold. I know too many people who have suffered from the side effects and I will not take them. I negotiated for some alternative changes to my life and the doctor agreed. Most of them weren't changes but a reclamation of former habits. However there was no getting out of having to take pills for this so I am now taking 2000k of fish oil along with 1800k of red yeast rice extract pills a day. I've amended my lunch from anything to anything healthy. The biggest change, and one that I had put off for too long was exercising daily. I agreed to do at least 30 minutes a day of moderate to advanced cardio. However it's not enough so I'm averaging an hour of cardio per day during the work week. I hike for about 2 hours each day on the weekends so that's covered. I'll be going back in February to retest my numbers.

I just checked and my blood pressure is now coming in at 125/79 with a resting heart rate of 77.

What a difference a week makes!


bang zoom!

I know what some of you are thinking, and can tell you that it's not a piece of artwork. What you are looking at is what's left of my laptop screen. The laptop is almost three years old and as such the battery doesn't hold it's charge like it used to. This means I need to bring the power supply along otherwise everything goes dark in about 16 minutes. On my way back to my bedroom the other evening the power supply cord snagged on the couch and disco'd from the laptop. I kept going and set the laptop down on it's stand and went back for it. I casually tossed it onto the bed and headed back to the kitchen to get the rest of my glass of tea. What you see above is what I came back to.

It's not a total loss since the laptop still works and am using my old PC monitor with it. This is good and all but I kind of lost all mobility. So the dilemma now is whether to repair it or get a new one. I wanted to hold off until mid 2013 before getting a new one, but learned a few things recently. Everyone out there is pushing Win 8 and if I intend to get a Win 7 system I'd best get it now. The cost to repair it myself and get a new battery totals in at $100. The new laptop comes in at $330. I'm not really sure if I should repair, get the new one, or just do both now. What do you think?


it's all about her

My little one put on quite a bit of weight over the the last two and a half years. She gained more this last year in fact. The unbearably hot summers of Texas combined with it's ravenous insect population made it inhospitable for me to spend any more time than is absolutely neccessary outdoors. We managed to get some exercise during the winters, but it wasn't enough after all was said and done. A lot of changes have taken place since our recent move and reentering the roommate dynamic. One of the first changes was an increase in our activity level since we both needed to drop the unwanted pounds gained. I've always been on the lanky side so most people tend to have a hard time telling if I've gained or lost, but the beagle was definitely starting to show it. Her waist was non existant as was evident when standing or laying down. I was failing my beagle after swearing I would never let her turn into one of those old fat beagles you see so often at dog parks. Here's a picture of her, and her belly, from last June after a teeth cleaning and having a molar removed (hence the bandage and shaved portion of her leg).

Butterball Beagle

My roommate spares no expense in quality when it comes to his dog. The brand (Acana) he feeds it is one of the best I've ever heard or read about. Bridgette wasn't doing so well with her brand (Royal Canin) any longer so it was time for a switch anyways. I'll spare describing how it was affecting her since it wasn't a pretty sight. I went from feeding her one cup a day to splitting it into two feedings of a half cup. This is how the roommate feeds his dog. When in Rome as they say. She never ate all her food in one sitting before so this wasn't a new stretch for her. The new food definitely agrees with her due to the higher quality of ingredients and production philosophy of the manufacturer. She's slimmed down a lot, sheds much less hair, and is much more active and alert than before. A plus since she's officially a senior citizen.

I haz a waistline!
Her weight loss is starting to level off and she's looking a whole lot better. I weighed her a few weeks before we moved out and she came in at a whopping 31.5 pounds. In mid October she weighed 29.6 pounds, and 28.4 pounds in mid November. This friday she weighed 27.3 pounds. At this rate she'll be back at her optimum of around 25 pounds in another month or so.

So many trees, so little pee.

Exercise is always part of it and we've been getting plenty of it since moving here. It helps that we live in a conservation area with lots of nearby trails. Outside of the three weeks where I was sick, we've been averaging at least six mile hikes on the weekends. Oh and I've dropped about ten pounds myself, but that's not important right now since this is all about Bridgette.

Two hours and not a single squirrel, this place sucks!

I figure that the two of us should be back to normal health and weight before we em-bark on our next adventure.


so when do you leave, for reals.

When I wrote "so when do you leave" I got so caught up in the history that I left out explaining what I have planned. Point of fact I don't have a hard departure date, yet. It's not a matter of laziness or fear or any number of excuses one might come up with so much as I prefer to plan things a little loosely. As of this moment I'm almost at the halfway point of paying off my final bill and becoming debt free. Once that's completed I'll review my circumstances at that time and then set the date. With regards to planning there's always any number of things that can help or hinder them. Planing loosely allows me to take advantage of changes as they happen. Even delays have proven to be blessings as you read in my original post. Don't let anything that seems like a setback discourage you. Slow and steady wins the race.


two years

Today marks the anniversary of this blog. My main reason for starting it back then was to journal my progress as I prepare for this new life. When I look back now I realize that it's been a long yet fast three years. Point of fact, the discovery and decision to do it took place the year before starting the blog. I'm really not big on sharing much of myself with total strangers so there has been a bit of a learning curve. It's not that I've got anything to hide since I'm pretty much an open book with my friends. It's just different. This is why my posts (especially all the early stuff) tend to make for some dry reading. I'm a lot more animated and fun to be with in person. No really, I promise you. I'm working on bringing that part of me into the writing so I appreciate your bearing with me.

Thanks to all who subscribed and stuck it out with me this far. I can't wait to see what the next few years bring me.


happy birthday, my little monster

My little one turns eight today. Oh and according to the vet I was wrong last year about her becoming a senior citizen, it's this year that it officially happens. Thanks internet for the accurate information (again).

Homecoming day Feb 5 2005
I remember the day I brought her home. My mother spearheaded the mission to get her which was a complete surprise to me. Growing up she's always been against dogs and only tolerated them since the rest of the family overruled her on having one. I think this might've been because we always had german shepherds and weren't fans of any of the smaller breeds. That morning I dropped by for breakfast which is where it all began. She said "I know you don't like small dogs, but which if you did which one would you get?". I answered "a beagle" since I'm partial to working dogs and that made the most sense to me. That was the moment when I learned that my mother was a closet beagle fan. By the time I realized what had just happened we had already been to five different places by that afternoon. I was thoroughly burnt out on even getting a dog by that time and have given up. My niece was the one who found her. I figured ok, I'll look at one last pup and then we can go home after this. She was trembling uncontrollably as they handed her to me but calmed down after a few minutes. We played together for about a half hour before I had to make a decision. I was still on the fence about getting her up until then but this is what changed my mind. When I looked down and asked her if she wanted to come home with me she looked up and started licking my nose. She had me already and I didn't even know it.

My little old lady
"What are you gonna name her?" was her question on the ride home. Since I hadn't met the right or wrong girl, or even one willing to hold still long enough for me to impregnate. I decided to invoke the practice of naming her after a grandparent. "Bridgette, after you mom" is what I told her half joking. Mom kind of laughed while saying "Noooo". My niece, who was in the backseat holding her, said "but grandma, she looks like your mom". When we pulled in my parent's driveway their neighbor happened to be out front and saw her. She asked what I planned to name her and before I had a chance to answer said "she looks like a Bridgette, you should name her Bridgette". And that was that!

It's been almost eight years and I don't know what I would do without her. It's her day so I'm letting her do just about anything she wants to. Right now she's chosen to snore thru her nap on top of my clean unfolded laundry. Happy Birthday sweet pea!



I won't go into the obligatory things that I'm thankful for in my life since I acknowledge those things on a daily basis. I did want to say that the meal I prepared for myself and the beagle was epic and that we quietly slipped into our turkey comas around 9pm last night. My apologies as I completely forgot to take a picture of the meal before devouring it, and of us in the aftermath. We both woke up in what we wore yesterday.

I hope each of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as we did!


roku no more

After test driving it over these past two weeks I decided to return it. My praise for it still stands, however my frugality won out in the end. There really was no sense in spending the money on it when my roommate already has cable TV. When push comes to shove I have a half terabyte of movies and TV shows handy along with a large box full of DVD's that I hadn't gotten around to digitizing. I could always read a book, but I simply haven't felt like doing that yet. I'm saving them for the road.


can you roku?

One of the things I invested in recently was the Roku streaming player. My Xbox live membership lapsed last month and with it went my access to Netflix. I needed another way to watch it on my TV and the Roku was the solution. The cost was even the same as renewing my membership but in this case it won't expire. So what's a Roku? In short it's a hardware appliance that allows you to watch TV using a wifi internet connection. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Vudu are just a few of the available channels on it. In addition to the pay per view channels there are even more free channels to watch. They have four models starting at $49- $99. I got the entry level HD model which costs $59 and comes with a remote, composite cable connector, and power supply. It's simple to setup and even easier to use. Software/firmware updates are all handled via the wifi connection and done automatically so you don't have to worry about it. The thing I really like about this is how easily you can add/remove your favorite channels in a quick list menu so you don't have to cycle thru all of them just to get to the ones you want to watch. You do need to setup an account and credit card with them since some of the channels bill the pay per view stuff through them. This doesn't apply with Netflix or similar channels where you direct bill with them.

What about when I'm on the road? This thing is completely useless when boondocking due to the lack of internet access so I'd only be using it when at RV parks (or any other place) with free wifi. I read that there are a few boondocking sites where mobile wifi hotspots can pickup a signal. With a little luck I might be able to sneak in a flick or two out there. I'll have to wait and see how it does when the time comes. Worst case scenario I still get my moneys worth out of it while I'm still sticks and bricks, and can then make a gift of it to family or a friend if it doesn't prove out.

under the weather

Hi guys I'm a little overdue on this one. I've been sick over the past two weeks and there hasn't been much left of me due to the new work schedule. At first I thought it was something minor pushed myself through it like I always do. It knocked me on my ass that first weekend so I took it easy this last week and convalesced like I should have. I've still got a touch of it with me, but am feeling much better than before.

Unfortunately I've not done much, or been able to hold a coherent thought outside of recalling a few very strange fever dreams. I don't know how much traction the dream about Master Chief (from Halo) helping me defeat an attack by 10 foot tall zombie beagles. This has got to be why Nyquil was invented. 

Yesterday I went to check in on my trailer at the storage yard. Aside from everything being just as I'd left it, seeing it helped refocus my thoughts. I realized that this was the first in a long time that I had been as sick as I have. Were it not for the roommate to dispense soup and medicine I might have been in real trouble had I been alone. I'm going to make it a point of knowing what friends are nearby should something like this happen again. That and I'm going to keep some Nyquil and a few cans of chicken noodle soup handy.  


a million miles away

My thoughts keep drifting to past moments from various camping and/or road trips as well the new places I have yet to see. All this reminiscing and daydreaming is making life in the present rather difficult for me. I'm doing my best to pull myself back into the here and now but am not having much success. Life has been good and I hope it remains as such moving forward. Other than that there isn't much to report on.

I wonder what I'll be doing this time next year?


there is freedom without

"The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has" - Alan Ashley-Pitt

Yesterday seemed like a good time to catch up on some chores and errands so off I went. I wished I had stayed home as it would have been the better course of action. Instead, I spent about four hours fighting crowds to do what could have been completed in 45 minutes. I even skipped two of my stops because I had had enough and was starting to feel very pro nuclear war at that point. My calm easily gets damaged in or around crowds nowadays, but I know it's not a phobic issue. I can be ok in one if I have to, but prefer not to if there's no need. The day wasn't a complete loss since I still managed to get everything done that I needed to at home. Laundry, cleaning, rearranged my bedroom/closet, and even got rid of some more stuff. I even got around to doing a little digital house cleaning as well. 

Today was much more relaxed, and less crowded too! It'd been about three weeks since I relocated my trailer to a nicer storage site so now was a good time to look in on it. Everything was just as I'd left it and no tree gunk was on it. After I got back I took the beagle out for a nice four mile hike. I was thrilled we were finally getting out into nature again, but even more thrilled about just how close it was to home. It took me all of about 5 minutes to get there. The place is all kinds of gorgeous too! There are streams, cliffs, open fields, and heavily forested parts. The beagle had a smile on her face during the entire hike. 

This place is definitely now my go to place when I need to break away and get centered. This hike was really needed since I noticed that little things have been getting to me lately. I think the new schedule and shuttle commute are starting to take their toll on me. Being gone 11 hours a day for work Mon-Thurs is more than I'm used to. Granted this isn't hard physical work, but there isn't much to do on that shuttle except work. I'm gonna give this commute another week or two before I ask the boss about working locally more often.

So anyways after the hike I had a taco for lunch and a nice shower. The beagle had some kibble, a bath, and is now sawing logs on my bed. Life is good!


gone to a better place

No I'm not dead, and neither is the beagle. Point of fact we're both doing very well and are adjusting nicely to life in our new home. Even though I've spent a bit more money moving here than anticipated, I've still managed to come out ahead. Here are a few of the things I've discovered over the last two weeks.

I called to update my address and learned that my auto/renters insurance would be dropping by $300 per year.

Last March I discovered a lump on Bridgette and had it checked out. The vet told me that it was an subcutaneous abscess and that it would eventually shrink over time. Something about the diagnosis didn't sit right with me, but I accepted it since it wasn't bothering her. I knew it wasn't cancer because I'm familiar with the symptoms having lost a dog to it. I kind of let it go until it started bothering me enough to finally go and get a second opinion yesterday. Turns out that the past vet didn't document their findings very well so they decided to aspirate again. The vet diagnosed it as a lipoma (benign fatty tumor), and not an abscess. I could finally relax about it and know my baby will be with me a while longer.

The commute to work here is closer than my old one. I'm driving 120 less miles a month, and saving about $30 per month in gas.

There's beer delivery service here. Yes it's at extra cost, but that's the price of convenience.

This isn't to say there haven't been rough spots. I'm rediscovering the pitfalls of co-habitating after having lived alone for the last several years. Thankfully the adjustments aren't painful and it is after all only temporary. The other downside is that four days of my workweek are about 11 hours long due to my commute. I know I said the local office is close, but from there I catch a shuttle that takes me to the city where my home office is based out of. I spend about 3 hours commuting during those days. The boss was kind enough to let me work from here on Fridays, and I'm hoping he'll allow me to increase those days.

It's good!


begin the beguine

My favorite Ducks posed an excellent question in my last update. As I started to write the reply I felt that it warranted it's own blog post, so here it is.

I've lived long enough to try out and experience all kinds of beginnings and think I've gotten a hang of most of them by now. For living like this, I decided guidelines will probably work better than a goal or plan. After reading the Ducks question I gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that three things would dictate where and what I'd be doing in my travels. Well technically it's four, but the three of them fall under the purview of my personal enjoyment. They are the current season, geographic location, and cost of fuel to travel to the next location. However since I'm somewhat new to this I am leaving myself open to the occasional long haul trip for whatever reason. It might be a chance to see something I just read about, an emergency, or even attend the occasional secretive beagle world domination meeting. My girl told me I'm one of the chosen ones who will be spared when the Beagle Overlords finally take over. So yeah, as I was saying. If I was returning to a place already explored my plans would be a little more rigid to save time for other things. I tend to base each situation, or beginning in this case, on it's own merits.

While writing this I had a few flashbacks that are kind of related and decided to share. My parents are and have always been your typical tour guide/bus kind of tourists. Growing up, my sister and I were forced into schedules to see and do things whenever on a family vacation. They always felt more like work than fun and/or relaxation time and we absolutely hated it. The worst part was that they always picked the most boring and safest of things to do. Not for fear of anything happening to us, they're just into that kind of stuff. The one memory which stands out in my mind and infuriates me to this day was our trip to the Grand Canyon. We traveled all that way and only spent ten minutes looking over the side at it. We didn't hike or even take a donkey ride down into it. Ten freaking minutes, and then we left. We didn't even spend the night in the park, and instead spent it in a motel outside the park. Leave it to my father to find the one and only Chinese restaurant for miles near it. This meant we didn't get to eat anything new or different. I began opting out of family vacations once I was old enough to do so. These past experiences laid the foundation for how and why I chose a more adventurous path when exploring new things in life.

Thanks Mom & Dad.


so when do you leave?

I've been preparing for this since before I began this blog. The blog itself is almost two years old now. I realize that I've been vague in setting a hard date, but have had good reason for it. Life happens, and you have to learn to be fluid when dealing with what it throws at you. I'm going to detail the history of my soft dates and why things were pushed back. I hope this will be of help to those of you who might be struggling with what to do.

March 2011
The main reason for this was there were rumors flying all over the company that contractors would be cut loose at the end of this month. I was expecting to be one of them since they failed to hire me in 2010. My morale was pretty low but they still kept me on as a contractor at least. Nothing wrong with collecting a check for as long as they kept me. I would be able transition to unemployment benefits when they cut me loose as well. I was ready to go physically and mentally then. Financially, not so much. I was over 20k in debt at the time and was counting on the sale of my land to cover that. As I was about to put it on the market I learned that they neglected to tell me that land sales had been stagnant for the last nine months. The sale was a no go and that money wouldn't be there to bail me out of my debt. Had I been able to sell it, I would have pocketed another 20k after taxes. With only unemployment benefits and what little I managed to save; I would stop paying the big bills (truck, trailer, & credit cards). I really didn't care if my personal credit took a major hit either. That's mostly because I took solace in knowing the repo man would have a pretty hard time finding me since I'd be moving from one boondock site/state to another. Instead what happened was that they finally hired me. I was a bit stunned and didn't get around to setting a new date for a while. Basically I went back to the business of paying off the debt. It wasn't until later in the year when I realized my mojo was coming back and that I actually stood a real chance of becoming debt free. This was the goal. Sort of.

Oct 2012
I had set this date in Sept 2011 because I signed a new lease and that's when it would be up. With my mojo back I was really taking names and kicking butt now. On top of that four out of the six bills would be paid off by this time. I was really itching to just get out there so this was the date! Or so I thought. It wasn't until a few months ago when talking with a good friend (whose full timing) suggested that I stay the course and finish paying off all of my debt. I'm so very close to it and it would be a shame if I wasn't able to pay it off because I left too soon. I thought about it some and realized that she is absolutely right and making the sacrifice to do that now means I will have one less thing to worry about when I'm out there. The plan was to sign another lease for another seven or eight months, and then part ways finally. Things turned out a little differently, but good nonetheless. 

Both times I had it in my power to leave despite what was going on. For me, the decision to stay put worked in my favor in more ways than I had considered. For one I learned that being able to pay off all my debt turned out to be more important than I'd thought originally. Looking back I realized that I had almost made a decision based on emotion rather than logic. I guess it was hard not to given where I was. I think things would have turned out for the worst had I given in to what I was feeling and left prematurely. Glad it didn't!


my butt hurts

My new place is on the second story. I spent almost every weekend over the last two months hauling stuff up here, with last weekend being the final haul. Oddly enough that wasn't the cause of the pain. Now that I'm permanently here I find myself constantly going up and down two flights of stairs each day. Sometimes I'm taking the beagle out to do her business, going to/coming home from work, getting stuff out of my truck, going back to my truck because I forgot something, taking out the trash, and taking the beagle out for a walk. This is a drastic change from the sedentary first floor everything is super easy to get to lifestyle I just left behind. Here's where it gets weird, and why I'm bothering to tell you about it. You'd think my main thought would be "my butt hurts, this sucks", but that wasn't it. Here's a little insight into why. I grew up in a family where the women far outnumber the men. So the first thought in my head was "I'm gonna have a real firm ass after nine months of this". 

This was one of those moments in life when I realized why I'm so oddly messed up.


meanwhile at the ranch

Instead of unpacking and getting my room organized I went out with the roommate to visit one of his clients. They were kind enough to lend me their ranger so I could drive around their property and maybe get a shot or two in. It was overcast and rainy so there were no varmints to take out. However I did run into these guys. They were all over the place, watching me, following me. Mostly because I was feeding them as a distraction so I could open and close the gates that took me from one pasture to another. Unfortunately it started raining so I had to cut my excursion short and return back to the office/barn. I'm craving roasted chicken right now, and I think it's mostly because I could smell the rosemary growing all over the place. Tomorrow I start catching the shuttle into work so I gotta make it an early night, at least until I get the hang of the changes.


so instead ...

I managed to get everything packed and the most of the apartment cleaned up by about lunch. When I stepped out to get some lunch the rain was still coming down.  I was really starting to get irate over having to wait because of it. During lunch I decided that the cost to rent a trailer was worth the I would be saving, and spent the money on one. It's not a matter of not being able to afford it so much as I hate breaking the discipline to not spend after having done so well. All this for $44. I know it's not that much, and it's not the end of the world. And maybe I'm being a little too hard on myself. However when I start full-timing, and living without a steady income it might limit something I need or want to do.

The sun decided to come out while the trailer was being hooked up to my truck. This wasn't a loss in any way though. It was when I was loading everything that I realized I had more stuff than space to carry it all. I would've had to have made two trips with the truck instead of one as I'd originally thought. About two hours later I arrived at the new home where it started to pour again. I'm really glad I spent the money now!

The roommate helped me unload everything in record time despite having to carry it all up two flights of stairs. The beagle got settled in and promptly passed out under the dining table waking up only after we brought back some Indian take out.

All in all today turned out to be a great one for me.


shadows in the rain

This may be my second to last night here in this apartment. I say second to last because I may have to delay my final move out by one extra day due to the rain. It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow and the new place is an hour away. Anyone who has lived any amount of time in South Texas knows this isn't just a light on and off rain either. It's a full on down pour. flash floods, and massive flooding kind of rain. I love the rain, especially Texas rain. I hate delays of any kind. Combinations like this are precisely what strips away whatever hold I have left on sanity.


and it's done

I paid off my travel trailer today! It took two years and two months to do it but she's absolutely mine now. The second quarter bonus I received last month not only put me back on track, it put me over the top. There was enough left over to cover the travel expenses from July, and even allowed me to treat myself by way of the air tank I bought earlier this month. This is what it feels like to get your mind back!

For those keeping score, this was bill #5 and leaves one final bill for me to pay off now. The clock is set for six months and is ticking. Barring no unforeseen setbacks, I will pay it off in March 2013. 

7286 Credit Card

7286 Total


falling into place

So I fell behind a little and didn't get the sofa/assorted items posted for sale until just last Friday. Despite my procrastination and unfounded paranoia that I wouldn't find a buyer who doesn't mind a slightly beagle'd sofa, I managed to sell everything in less than 4 days. Never underestimate a frugal pet owner's need to desperately furnish 2500 sq ft of living space they had just moved into. The new owners will be coming by tomorrow night to pick it up. 

A week and a half before I'm outta here, but I'm another step closer.



When I arrived last night it took me less time to unload and unpack everything than in the reverse. I've come to realize that this is precisely one of those things that nudges you another step, if ever so slightly, into insanity.

The following morning I was running a few errands with the roommate to be. We saw this and he jokingly suggested using what's in the picture when we stopped get a copy of the apt. key made. Despite it costing $5, I laughed and ran with it. It's an odd but symbolic reminder of the death of one life and that the start of a new one is on the horizon. At least that's how I reasoned it and even justified the cost against my frugality.


i hate moving

It's been busy fast paced good week for me. I managed to sell half the stuff I needed to which is great given that I hadn't put any of it up for sale yet. This leaves me with a couch, fretless bass, and a box of DVD's to sell off. With four weeks to go I hope my luck in unloading this stuff holds out.

I spent most of today packing, watching BSG reruns, and waiting for a FedEx delivery that arrived at the end of the day. The pots, pans, and most of the dishes were ready to go by lunch. My bedroom closet has been emptied and all the boxes are gathered at the front door. I'm officially at the part that I completely loathe, loading all of this stuff into my truck.

This stuff won't move itself, gotta run ...


trading up (sorta, well yeah)

Over the weekend I moved some more stuff up including the trailer this time. The new storage lot isn't as nice as the one I just left, and had me a little worried. The day after I saw for myself that all the storage lots in the area look the same and learned (from the local law) that thefts are nil to low compared to where it used to be stored. Whew!

The Chinese market up here is a warehouse in comparison to where I'm at. I've been able to reacquaint myself with a great many dishes recently because of said groceries. Unfortunately for me, it would really help if I remembered to bring them home with me, so I get to live off of canned and delivery food this week.

Here's the other thing I traded up on this weekend. It looks like a bicycle pump, but it's not. It's a high pressure hand pump for my air rifle. 3000 psi of pressure if you're wondering. It's a great and inexpensive way of refueling my air rifle which only requires a little elbow grease. The upswing is that it makes for a decent workout as you reach the target pressure of the rifle. The downswing is sweat uncontrollably regardless of your level of fitness where I live. I know because I'm in decent shape and watched a coworker whose in better shape melt as he worked on refilling my rifle. Enter the upgrade.

This is a high pressure 4500 psi carbon fiber air tank. It will give me about 10 refills using only a hose, and (thankfully) only the muscles in my hand. It's lightweight and a little taller than a ruler making it easy to take into the field. I mean should I ever need to shoot 320 times during a hunt. Although even with a 50% hit/kill ratio I don't think I would ever be able to consume 160 rabbits/birds from a single hunt. I mean even before the meat spoiled, frozen or not. I'm thrilled because it helps me avoid sweat fests when refilling during target practice. The best part is being able to take part of a holiday weekend sale which saved me a fortune on it.


ending the social network

This Saturday begins a two month experiment I'm sure I know the outcome of. I texted my sister the username and password of my Facebook account with the instructions to change the password, and delete my account if I don't come to her begging for them back. Unfortunately I haven't found a way to extricate myself from G+, but that's not really a problem since I really don't use it, much. The main problem is that it's tied to my blogger account, but have read that you can separate the two safely. Like I said, I don't use it much so it's really not a bother. I won't go into all the reasons why I think it's bad since they're personal and there are countless articles about it. I came to the decision after careful consideration and examination of its impact on my life. The majority of my experience with it has been of a negative nature since signing on four years ago. I decided that now is as good a time as any to shed ties since I'm on the eve of many changes to come.

I realize that many of you aren't on my friends list to begin with. Please don't take offense. I value my privacy and am very selective about what I share with others. So, should our paths cross and we meet in person, I look forward to making friends the old fashioned way with you.


a pan asian southern breakfast

Breakfast! And my foot

1 egg
1/4 cup of grits
1 tbsp butter
fried wonton strips
sriracha to taste
salt and pepper to taste

There's no right or wrong way to make this, and any way that pleases you is the right way! Here's how I make it. Fry egg sunny side up. Cook grits with butter. Place egg in bowl, and grits on top. Apply salt, pepper, sriracha, and wonton chips to taste. Eat!



Mind if I get philosophical with you? With this upcoming move and the big day only months away ... I'm coming to realize that I'm about to not only let go of everything as I know it, but embark on probably the most important journey of my life. The beauty of this is that I there's no destination or objective to it. For once I'll go where I really want to in life. My sister believes that I'm looking for something and hopes I find whatever it is. I know I'll find many things along the way. Maybe myself. Whatever it is I find, good or bad, I'm looking forward to it. Then again, not.



I'm experiencing a new level of torture here. It's one thing to be waiting to start a new life while I get my house in order, but something entirely different while I prepare to change said house while already waiting. I spent the last week going through everything I own (again) and separating it into three categories. Moving, selling, and donating. All the donate stuff has already been taken to Goodwill leaving me with the moving and selling piles.

I'm ready to move now but have to wait five more weeks before I'm outta here. Technically it's seven weeks because my lease is officially up in mid October. I'm vacating early even though I have to still pay rent for that time, and can't turn in my keys until my last day. I even have to keep the power and my insurance coverage on the place til then too. I love how leases force you into the most absurd circumstances. Still, I tell myself the time will fly and this will all be over soon enough.

My main concern is whether I should put the furniture up for sale sooner or later? And what kind of freaks I might have to deal with. There's gotta be a better way than craigslist.


buddha is good

It's been barely four hours (plus one day when I started writing this) since returning home and I'm wishing I wasn't here (again). This weekend I emptied my storage closets along with a few household items and took everything up to the new home. It's the first of many trips until I'm fully moved in by end of next month. In addition to carting stuff up this weekend I got to reacquaint myself with the apartment, room, area, and check out a few things in person. Namely find and see where my future home will be stored. Jason (roommate to be) tipped me off to an rv & boat storage nearby that's in a good part of town and will cost me $45 a month instead of the $60 I pay now. Yet another nice little benefit! The bedroom is oddly shaped and a little bit smaller than expected. It isn't a bad thing and only means I'll get rid of the office furniture sooner than later. By the time I move in there the only two pieces of furniture that I'll own are my entertainment center and an air mattress. I'm sure once word gets out about this I'll be an instant hit with the ladies.

I spent the rest of the weekend there shopping and hiking. I finally made it out to see the local Chinatown and loaded up on the hard to get grocery items and ate about half of them before making it back home. It's funny how circumstances have turned for the better, and fitting that that last I will live in is the first place I lived in when I arrived in Texas.

Morning walk @ the creek

A potential future meal

A childhood treat

My soon to be bedroom (w/none of my stuff in it)

Sunday morning hike

Dog park excursion

Post dog park wind down


movin' on up

It's funny how things can change one's life so drastically, so quickly, so unexpectedly in the span of a day. That is exactly what happened to me this week. I'm getting a little ahead of myself, so here's the backtrack.

You already know I've been having a hard time feeling anywhere close to normal about my routine since returning from my vacation. The days have really been starting to drag making life almost unbearable for me. I like to keep busy but have run out of stuff to do indoors. My place is immaculate and there's a scant few things left to get rid of. The Texas summer is at it's peak, so there's really no where for me to go to. To make matters worse I was dreading the arrival of my lease renewal since I was coming up on my final 60 days of the current one. The problem was that I knew they would be raising my rent regardless of how long I renewed for. The plan was to stay another 7-8 months at which time I would finally hit the road. The shorter lease meant the increase would cost more, but I just wasn't sure how much more. I received the renewal notice at work and it turned out to be $100 (at minimum) more than what I'm paying now. Not drastic, but not good because this forces me to alter my budget plan. Shopping for apts online, and a few phone calls later only proved that rent would go up more than $100 anywhere in the area. I gave up and resigned myself to having to pay the increase, and got back to work. Later in the day, when looking for a coworker, I learned he had caught the shuttle home. 

Jump back to seven months ago I was visiting a friend for his birthday in said neighboring city. This is the same friend who put me and the beagle up after arriving in Texas. He had recently moved out of his 1 bdrm and into a 2 bdrm unit in the same property. He was even looking for a roommate and asked if I would be interested. At the time I was four months into my lease so this was out of the question. I briefly entertained the idea but ruled it out because I would have to commute to work. About a month later that I learned there was a shuttle service in place that would've made this a non issue.

Skip ahead to when the coworker took the shuttle home, and that's when the revelation hit me. A few quick texts and a phone call later garnered me all the details I needed. The room was still available, and he was about to post an ad for it. I calculated that moving in with my friend will save me an additional $400 on top of the scheduled $400 per month I will start saving in Oct which nets me a total of $800 a month saved. The change of address also saves me $300 per year on my insurance. And the move also allows me to rid myself of furniture/assorted housing items well in advance of my departure as well as no longer being tied to a time restraining lease. I can leave sooner or later, if the need arises, than my departure date.

I swore I wouldn't room with anyone or move anywhere until it was time to leave. Funny how life sneaks up on you like that. The pluses of this are too great to ignore, and there aren't any downsides since we've already lived together (albeit briefly). The next two months will be all about purging the stuff I no longer need and moving the few things I do to the new place.


out of sorts

Been that way ever since I got back almost two weeks ago from my trip. It's been a real struggle to feel even halfway normal about the routine again, but I'm trudging through.

The morning after the wedding I took the slow way back to my parents home via the Ortega hwy. It was the perfect counter balance to two non-stop crazy days. Later that night I had a big old delicious dinner with the folks and my sister's family. The following day was spent having meals with various friends and picking up a few odds and ends before returning home the following morning. I always stop by the Ranch 99 market to score some hard to get Chinese groceries and fresh Bao. 

My first stop was to Slab City since I forgot to leave my friend a few things on the way in. I got in much earlier and it was thankfully cooler than my last visit. After unloading, hanging out, and talking for a bit we went to East Jesus. This a place I've been wanting to see but didn't get a chance to on prior visits. It was everything I've come to expect of it but much better to see in person. It was about this time that the beagle started panting pretty heavily signaling that it was time for us to go. After dropping my friend off back at her rig we were back on the road. This time we took state hwy 78 out, and the drive is well worth it based on the scenery alone. 

The rest of the trip was uneventful except for two things. The first thing was in Phoenix where I made a pilgrimage to the Airguns of Arizona store and scored a few minor, but needed items for my air rifle. The second happened in New Mexico right before I crossed into Texas. Construction is in full swing there, and I had the good fortune of a rock being kicked up and into my windshield. It put a nice healthy crack across the lower half but has been replaced already. 


the speech went great

Lets do this!
I just got back from two plus days of non-stop action, heat, fun, and booze. Out of all the weddings I've been to this one went off without a single problem, large or small. This is a testament to my friends and their respective families. The day before the wedding all the guys went golfing. There was plenty of beer and tequila shots to be had and I modestly had my share. My game became progressively worse before even reaching the 9th hole. I'm convinced the local wildlife thought I was aiming for them with each tee off. I swear I even hit a roadrunner once but couldn't find the body. I also think I got a touch of poison oak, but it's mild and doesn't itch. I think I have the booze to thank for this. By the way, locking up the wheels on a golf cart as you screech to a halt, funnest thing ever! As the title states the speech went great. Great in the sense that I winged instead of scripting it. Well actually, I winged it within a traditional structure of what a best man's speech should be. Thank the parents, thank the guests, tell a story about the groom, and closed it with a quote as we toasted the bride and groom. Yes I was nervous and probably could've soiled myself without ever realizing it, but I didn't. This kind of stuff can be a little nerve wracking because of how much and what they mean to me. My friend's loved it and I couldn't be happier that I didn't let them down.

On that note I'm gonna go get me some beers to take the edge off this hangover.


on the way in

On this trip I got a head start by leaving 3-5 hours earlier than on past trips. Everything was packed and loaded earlier that morning which gave me plenty of time to relax. It also afforded me time to remember those one off things we all forget before long trips. The majority of the drive was luxuriously air conditioned as the beagle and I took in all the gorgeous summer desert scenery across four states. We were even treated to heavy rainstorms in Texas and again in New Mexico which took the edge off the heat and cleaned the bug splatter off my windshield. Thank you rain gods! We made great time and stopped for the night a few miles before the NM AZ state border.

The calm before the storm
The following day we arrived in Slab City where the local temp was 107°. The place was kind of a ghost town compared to my visit seven months earlier . When I stepped out of the truck the blast of heat that hit me was dryer than what I'd (sort of) gotten used to in Texas. There was a nice 8mph wind which made things tolerable in a "I'm standing in front of the worlds largest hair dryer" kind of way. After the greetings and meeting of friend 1's friend (whom I'll call friend 2), I unloaded all the goodies I brought for friend 1. That afternoon was spent getting caught up with friend 1 and getting to know friend 2 while I sweated profusely through most of it. This is why I didn't take any pictures while there. Sorry about that.

Builder Bill, The Groom, Sweaty Moi!

The groom arrived as scheduled that evening. He got a little lost so I had to drive over to Niland and lead him in. His reactions ran through the normal spectrum of anyone whose never seen a place like this in person before. Mostly they were good, but yes he was a little concerned about his safety at first. That all changed after some dinner, beers, and great convos with friend one and two. Later that night the questions about how do you, or would you handle this and that flowed out of him. It's always fun to see how a person can have their perception changed and why one would choose to live a lifestyle so different than what's considered the norm. He's been well aware of my plans and the reality of it hit him when he had a chance to experience it first hand. Granted Slab City (to the uninitiated) would appear to be the darker side of this life, but I think his perspective would be a little less ominous had he come in the winter when more people are around. Right after dinner the wind finally died out. This is also the exact moment when I realized that sometime earlier I had stopped perspiring and only because my skin became sieve like again. It was also now that the groom realized how much he had his heart set on camping in Joshua Tree (the originally plan). I tried to verbally agree but since there was so much water coming off me, everyone only heard a gurgle. Since this was a Sat night we had to make a pilgrimage over to The Range to see the weekly talent show there. We hung out for a few songs and then made our departure for Joshua Tree. Two hours later we arrived, made camp, and crashed.

Camp Bachelor!


when I was just a little boy ...

I asked my mother, what will I be?
Will I be handsome?
Will I be rich?
She just said lifes a bitch!

Sorry, best I can do given how busy I am preparing for my upcoming trip. I'll have something with a little more substance (pictures too), once I hit the road for CA this weekend.

Que sera, sera!


debt booty update

It's been about three months since my last update, so here's another one for posterity. Last month I paid off bill #4 which as you already know was the final step towards ending my relationship with a big bank. Bill #5 was supposed to be paid off in 4 months (including this one) but due to a few unexpected expenses and one miscalculation, it might have to be paid off a month later than planned. The unexpected stuff was beagle medical expenses and truck maintenance costs. The miscalculation is the cost of gas for my upcoming trip to California for next months wedding. WoO hOo!!!!

3395 Travel Trailer
8380 Credit Card

11775 Total


best man

This is the second time in my life I've had this honor. I'm thrilled for my friend's and looking forward to the wedding. However I'm not so thrilled about the best man speech part. It's not a fear of speaking in public so much as I'm just not good at it. I've been doing a little research and hoping the online advice found will get me through this in one piece. The wedding is in two weeks so wish me luck!


things change

This month marks the two year anniversary of the purchase of my travel trailer. I got it after only four months into my work contract. I wouldn't have had the down payment had it not been for my tax return and some money I managed to squirrel away from the new job. Mom put it over the top when she kicked in half of my down and made it possible for me to secure a low interest loan. And now it will be paid off in four months.

Recent conversations with friends have had me looking back and realizing how much has changed. When I bought it my frame of mind was not good at all and I was honestly expecting (anytime) to be out of a job again. Plan for the best and expect the worst they say. I was now planning for the worst after having had the best elude me for so long. That plan consisted of leaving immediately while abandoning my debt and saving every penny until the unemployment benefits ran out. I still owed on my truck at the time and eventually they would come looking to repossess it after missing enough payments. I took solace in knowing that the plan meant I'd be off grid and occasionally mobile. I had even planned for the possibility of my bank accounts being garnished. Here's where I really go down the rabbit hole, so please remember I had 4 really shitty years leading up to this. Basically someone I trust implicitly would receive a copy of my ATM card and withdraw all my funds for safe keeping. Those funds would reach me piecemeal via a rechargeable credit card when needed. I would barter my computer skills for cash or goods to stretch things out in between. There was a lot more planned but this is as far down the hole as I'm willing to take you. It more than illustrates how much things have changed for me over the last two plus years. 

No more rabbit holes for me, and just rabbits for dinner instead. I can live with this arrangement and more importantly, live with myself.


guess who's feeling better

Well that didn't take long at all. The little one made a speedy recovery and triumphant return to her gluttonous ways. An unintended but good side effect is that her lump seems to be shrinking since starting her on antibiotics, and we're only halfway through them. I'm hoping the thing will go away faster even after running out. 

Apple pie, my pie, & Bridgie pie.


every little step

As of Wednesday 06/13/2012 I officially ended my relationship with a big bank I had belonged to for over 3 decades. Everything I have has been transferred over to NGFCU (Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union) save a Visa card which I'm keeping for extreme emergencies only. Well, technically I'm using that and one other credit card that I have with another CU for things like gas and groceries, but they are both being paid back in full every month. It keeps them both in play and helps keep my credit rating up. All that matters is that I'm free now and not being nickle and dimed at every turn.

The beagle still insists on resting comfortably beside me, but is a little less emotional than yesterday. My plans for a nice drive out in the country were shot since she wasn't up for it. Instead we watched reruns of Enterprise on Netflix and stuffed ourselves. She with brown rice and shredded chicken and me with pizza and apple pie. A good day!


tooth hurty

Bridgette got a long overdue teeth cleaning today. It's been a few years since her last one so I was glad to hear the vet say her teeth were in decent shape. Except for one, the left rear lower molar was loose and needed to come out. She also got a few boosters and tested negative for heart worms. I was set back $134 for the tooth extraction and everything else was covered by her insurance. I'm glad I got it because it would've costed me a total of $584 without the plan. So glad to dodge that bullet!

I've been anchored to the couch since we got home because I need her to rest and she won't leave my side for anything. She's laying against me as I type this and is suffering from one of the side effects of the anesthesia. The handout they gave me says it can last 12-24 hours. Luckily it's not any of the gross, messy, or smelly ones you have to clean up. The vet tech said she was a trooper up until the moment she saw me. My tough as a tank working dog jumped into my arms, began to cry, and held onto me like a baby. This scene played out for 5 minutes to a crowded waiting room before I was finally able to put her back down again. Whimpering was the other side effect, and today I learned that that translates as highly emotional. 

My little daddy's girl.


debt, a brief look back

I realized I never gave an account of what I owed at the beginning. In the interest of being thorough here's a quick recap of where I started from.

When I rejoined the ranks of the gainfully employed in March 2010 I was somewhere in the neighborhood of being 34k in debt. In July I added another 8k for the trailer, but paid my total down to around 32k by December 2010. In my January 2011 blog post I stated that I owed 28k, but after reviewing records I see that I was incorrect. I had forgotten to add in a 2k surprise bill from the IRS for back taxes owed, so it was actually 30k. These are my best fuzzy guesstimates for 2010 since I nuked the records.

January 2011 was the turning point. I secured a low interest loan to consolidate all my high or variable interest rate loans under 5k each. My new monthly payment was a quarter less than the total I was paying before, but I made the decision to keep paying the same amount. Doing so made it possible for me to pay off a 3 year loan at 10% interest in 11 months time. This last bit and everything that's taken place since is documented in the blog for anyone wondering how things have progressed.

I realize this looks like a good thing, and it is in way. This is also a bad thing. Had I been smarter about my money to begin with I don't think I would've squandered it like I had. All in all, man I've really come a long way!


happiness, miracles, and revelations of the petite kind

The beagle is quietly snoring next to me while I catch up with all my online chores before bed. I know there'll be a time when she's no longer with me and I think it's the biggest crime in life that their time here is so short. I'm grateful to have learned to cherish these moments as they happen.

We had some rainfall here last week which probably meant more leaking in the trailer. I know I was supposed to patch it a few weekends ago, but I never got round to it. The denatured alcohol and tube of dicor are patiently waiting on the counter for me to use them still. Anyways, when I checked there was no water in the trailer. Bullet dodged, but I'm working on it next weekend for sure.

I had a minor epiphany today about my desktop pc. It's a powerhouse that does anything and everything I need it to. I realized that I'm no longer doing anything that requires that kind of power. My plan to buy an ├╝ber gaming laptop to replace (for when I begin full timing) the pc is no longer necessary. I will be able to make due with something mid-line which will save me a fortune.

A few months back I mentioned that I was shopping for land. My experience with the land I purchased in CA was different since I grew up and knew the history of the area. It was easier and part of me thought it wouldn't be too different buying in another state. Wrong. I'm no where near finding what I want yet, but have learned a few things since. Mostly where and what not buy. Some of the deals I had found were anything but.

The beagle has scooted up to, and stretched out against me signalling that it's time for me to go to sleep. Far be it for me to oppose her wishes, so off to sleep I go. G'night!


four days

I'd finally gotten around to taking some time off. Just one day though. Friday was the one I picked making the last weekend a four day one. This was just the thing I needed after skipping out on a vacation earlier this year. I spent the first two days doing something blissfully next to nothing. On the third day I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday, and then proceeded to do nothing again. On the fourth day I took a nice long drive in the country with the beagle. We went scouting for potential farms or ranches to get permission to pest hunt on. Ok, that was my reason. She was just along for the ride but enjoyed the walks we took on our stops just the same. So in between all of this I managed to cook a few choice meals, play some video games, goof off on the internet, read a book, sleep in, watch a few movies, oh and I aged another year officially. Betcha you was thinking I was a good son for remembering his mother's birthday. Nope, it's just hard to forget when you were born the day before hers. Sorry to say but I'm just a regular guy who can forget dates with the best of them. I turned forty six for anyone wondering. Forty-fucking-six! Holy shit!!! I can't tell you how much that freaks me out. It's a little weird since I don't feel like I'm that old, but I'm really not sure what it's supposed to feel like. I feel just like I did when I was in my twenties, only difference is I'm a little more seasoned now. And by seasoned I mean that at least I'm not making the same stupid mistakes I used to. Hopefully I'll have moved on to a whole new set of stupid mistakes with more in the years to come. More to come, I just needed to get this minutia off my mind.