happy zombie jesus day

I completely forgot what today was and misplanned my weekend errands. Oh well, I adapted and managed to get some of what I set out to do done. Since I had time to kill I picked up some lunch and payed the trailer an unscheduled visit. During lunch I noticed things were a little dusty in there and gave the place a nice spring cleaning afterwards. Nap time! 

The phone woke us up about an hour later, it was mom calling to wish us a happy easter. After the call I kept laying in the bunk and daydreamed for bit. I'm really looking forward to the day when I'm no longer working for the man.

In the meantime I've got a date with The Walking Dead and some Indian food tonight. Hope your day and night was a good one too.

"Obscurity and a competence. That is the life that is best worth living." Mark Twain

baby needs a new pair of shoes redux

Well not just baby as things turned out. I've had my Vibram KSO Trek's for a little over two years, and the beagle her Ruffwear Bark'N Boots for eight (a gift from her aunt). In that time we've both logged a lot of miles on them with B's easily beating mine by six extra years. Anyways, even though you probably can't tell from the picture above they're all pretty ragged and coming apart at the seams. We all need new shoes.

I ordered Bridgette the Ruffwear Grip Trex shoes, and really like the improvments they've made in them. The new ones have a pleat at the top which helps with keeping the shoes secure and from being loose or thrown as a result. They also added treading to the soles. The old ones had a rubber/leather kind of bottom to them and kept sharp stuff from poking thru or slippng on mossy rocks when crossing streams. The old ones look more like prototypes in comparrison. I'm looking forward to seeing them in action nonetheless.

I ordered myself the Vibram Spiridon LS's. I picked them over getting the same pair again because they had a more aggressive tread as well as offering a bit more protection. It's not that the old pair didn't protect me so much as Texas hill country is pretty brutal on shoes. Especially if you like to go off path as I often do. They are kind of expensive, but I got them for 20% off at REI's annual dividend sale. That combined with the my dividend saved me about $40 off the total price. 

I held off replacing the travel trailer tires a few weeks ago because I wanted to research the brands a bit more. The guy at the shop recommended Carlisle's stating they were a little cheaper but just as good as the leading competitor (Maxxis). I'm not saying Carlisle is a bad brand, but they're not as great as some make them out to be. I was able to get a couple of first hand accounts regarding their performance in comparrison to Maxxis tires and am glad I held off to do the homework. I'm going with Maxxis and gonna get my baby reshoed next weekend.



second to last, debt update

As of my last writing about this I had a surprise expense come up which forced me to adjust my timetable to the tune of an additional $1400 dollars. In February the bonus check I received instead went towards paying for part of last months auto maintenance. I owed approx 4k on my credit card and changed the plan from paying half in Feb and half in March to paying a quarter of the balance those two months and paying the final balance off in April. I'm a month behind and 1k less saved from my original plan, but did expect there would be unforeseen circumstances/expenses along the way.

As of this moment all of the March payments have been made leaving me with a final balance (for now) of $3000 for April. 


what a crock!

When I was about eight or nine my mom bought a set of these and the first thing she served us in them was some Campbell's beef barley soup. It was my first time for both and even though I like the soup, the bowls were what I really took to. I used them all the time until mom's OCD kicked in and she got rid of them. She always found an abstract or contrived reason to get rid of things that made life easier and/or sense. In this case she said she had a hard time washing them due to the size of her hands and how small they were. My hands were bigger than hers, they fit inside just fine, and I washed my dishes most of the time. Welcome to another glimpse of my childhood. One of the things I did then was to keep a list of things that I would do or buy once I cleared the unpredictable tyranny of mom's OCD. The bowls were added to that list. Time passed, I aged, and I forgot.

Today during lunch I burned my hands as I carried a soup bowl from the stove to the dinning table. You get one guess at what I remembered from that list. More importantly I realized then just how great these little bad boys will be for the mobile lifestyle. It being stoneware helps to keep the goodies warm, the handle saves you from burning your hands, and the lid keeps critters from getting in if you happen to take your meals alfresco (as I prefer to do). They are cheap, available everywhere (walmart's or target's for the mobile crowd), and come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. Thought I'd share this little revelation with you and hope it helps.


fml, kind of

I normally avoid writing when I'm pissed off because of what I might say that will most likely hurt me. However I received some news yesterday that completely ruined my day, and I'm throwing caution to the wind. Let me first get you caught up (read hopefully calm down a little) with what's happened over the last week before I get to it. 

Last week I had to put on my nurse maid hat because the beagle developed a case of the runs. On Monday I came home to what I can only describe as a scatological crime scene. Poor thing had a terrified "I did a bad thing" look on her face too. I bathed her, clean up the scene, and then had her checked out. She got a hold of something that didn't agree with her is all that was wrong. She was kind of in bad shape so I spent the next day working from home while I looking after her. We all have our favorite meals when we're sick and she's no different. For the rest of the week I made and fed her boiled/shredded chicken breast mixed in brown rice which was made with the leftover broth. The remainder of the week I took turns with the dog walker checking on her and am happy to report there were no more scenes to clean again. Her issue cleared up by the weekend and she was back to making nuggets. 

Now here's what set me off. My manager informed me during our one on one session yesterday that upper management rescinded her decision which allowed me to work full time from the local office. I will have to resume commuting three hours a day (minimum) back to and from the old office again. The upside is I get to keep working from the local office on Fridays, and she'd see about making it two days a week later on. She also said I coud work the next week at the local office before having to come back. This made her fifty kinds of awesome to me because she also said if it were up to her I could remain where I am at. The downside is I'm back to thriteen hour days again. I don't want to get into the minutia behind the change, but can confirm that it's shit. There is one unrelated bit of good news that I remembered in all of this. I'm above my personal goal of acrued vacation time and close to the ceiling limit where I have to use it or lose it. Looks like I'll be taking some strategically schedule vacation time soon.

This news also comes on the heels of some doubt I've been wrestling with over the last few weeks. Things have been going well for me since a little before my vacation in January. So well, in fact, that I began second guessing whether my plans are right for me at all. I think what touched it off was reading about how some of the other bloggers were ditching the mobile life in favor of the sticks and bricks one. It was then that I started thinking about a mental list of the reasons to stay. I a few months away from paying off my final bill and saving a substantial amount of income every month. I was living in a better city than the one I just left. I've lost count of all the future ex-wives that I've met here. I live minutes away from several fantastic local hikes. I've taken control of and improved my health. I love the vibe at the new office, and the people there are nicer. Things are good again so why change when there's no need to. Right? 

That's when I remembered to simply ask myself why. When I did I realized I was becoming complacent due to how well things have been going, and almost forgotten that this was the very same hole I've spent the last several years clawing my way out of. What my manager told me yesterday was a solid reminder that I need to be focused and all the validation I needed to know I'm on the right course.

This is a picture I took on a trip to New Mexcico a few years ago and is now my desktop wallpaper. Most importantly it's a reminder that there is a better way.


baby needs a new pair of shoes

It's been almost three years since I bought my travel trailer. She's patiently waited while I got my house in order and asked for relatively little in exchange. In that time she's had a few good and bad things happen to her as follows. I installed a backsplash in the kitchen, the propane tank was stolen by some asshat where I replaced it with a new see through one, fixed a roof leak after a vicious rainstorm, installed a few knick knacks to make life easier, and even showed her a good time or two. I noticed on my last weekend check in that the tires were looking kind of not good despite having mostly just sat in one place.

I learned the recommendation is to replace them after three years if all they've done was sit exposed to the elements. For the most part they've held up pretty well but developed a real slow leak at about the second year. This leak noticably sped up after our move last October. As far as I can tell they are the cheap Chinese ones that everyone complains about. Still I haven't suffered any of issues often associated with them so I'm gonna chalk that up to their being able to smell their own kind and gave me a home court advantage.

And here I thought I was going to get some rest after being on call last weekend. Looks like I've got me another task to deal with this Saturday.