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.