Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Here is a quick update. I am in school full time as planned, got my apartment, and thansgiving went well. Ajah and I just chilled and had a visit from some friends, it was good. I am close to the bus, walmart, and other places. No tv, or internet at the moment except my phone, which provides email access as needed. I am working on getting a new van in Jan, and assuming a role of responsibility in a Roman micronation that I am part of. Its been quiet, but busy. The apartment is furnished now with a Queen bed, 2 small rugs, 2 tv trays, and a camp chair. I ordered 2 pieces of art as well, namely the Lararium of the Vetti, and the Millenium Tree of Life, a modern art piece. Its still set up as a studio as the spare room is where Ajah looks out the window and where company can stay with the foam chair to bed or air mattress from the van.
I have an awesome breakfast nook and small kitchen with pantry that is really full. I have bee staying home, taking walks, and focusing on school. Apartment is fully tiled and easy to clean with a bathtub, shower, full vanity, and walk in closet. 650 sq ft feela huge, but its cozy. So tuat is the update for now, with Saturnalia around the corner, friends coming in again, life is good so far. Not much blogworthy at the momet, and looking forward to getting on the road again. I will post pica as soon as I can.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A bicycle

IF, and thats a big IF, things work out tomorrow, then I will be getting Ajah from boarding on Wed and moving tomorrow. Then I will be getting a bike. After working out that Ajah does great on plane rides, does her usual walking bit, and gets along with people; I am considering taking her on a bike, YES a real bicycle. She has walked, sat on my bookbag, attended cat shows, been in a carrier of every sort, and the carrier I had for her on the plane could sit on the back quite nicely, or a front basket. There is a holistic vet down the road, the bus is noisy, and filled with curious people. It wasn't a bad experience, but the bike could be just as fast, and give her some fresh air.

The apartment I am looking at is .25 miles from a bus stop that runs hourly. The other is about 3/4 miles to a 15 min bus, and so having a bike makes sense. Besides the fact, I could easily fit everything I took on the plane, plus most of my 2 boxes being packed (has my camping gear mostly) on a bike. Add a bike trailer and it would all fit just snazzy (including the cat). Yes, I am considering a small bicycle tour with the cat in tow (a weekend to start). Wonderlust is there, but its not financially possible to get a van right now, and I have grown to enjoy biking since being car free for the past few months.

Then, when I do get a van, it will easily fit the bike on the back or in the van, have room for my cat, and my stuff. I am also investing in furniture that can travel, but still look civilized, and follow my minimalistic preferences. I do need one a duffel and medium wheeled bag for future shipping of stuff, instead of the two boxes they keep getting shipped in. Aside from that, the two duffels that travel now can fit in ortlieb bags and that could work well. 

So, furniture being looked at, a camping table with cloth, and a camping chair with a good pillow for cushion. Then a convertible foam chair to bed with some collaspible dinner trays, and a nice futon (that can hang out in a friends garage). Then, I was thinking on building a box for the foam as a bed type contraption, with room to store luggage and a basket.

For Ajah, I am going to put a pvc tube around the camp table and glue/staple sisal rope to it, in addition to her door hanging scratcher I brought along, and cardboard scratcher. It will be very lightweight, cheap, but yet sustainable and easy to move stuff, and clean under. I am hoping the bed contraption, or at least the wood used can be used in the van.

Only thing is that the van will be a class B or C, or a trailer because I need facilities, and am not mechanically inclined..... And so that is the update for now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An Update thus Far

I rented a casita for 8 days to find a place to live. Ajah is currently in boarding. She did awesome with the flight. I would prefer to have her with me, but its safer and better for her during the transitory period to be in a stable environment. Not to mention its fiscally better than a deposit or pet fee for the week. I miss my girl terribly but the boarding place is doing great with her, and she has her own room with a floor to ceiling cat tree. Its emotionally difficult without her because she is my emotional support, and I react worse without her. She has visited elderly, and visited some folks in wheelchairs while in the DFW airport.She is an awesome cat.

So we took a taxi from Toledo to Detroit, flew to Dallas, then flew to Tucson. The flight was late, so we spent the night at the airport. She spent the night on her leash. Then I took her to to boarding and I went to the casita rented for the week.

I interviewed a potential roommate, and I have 2 exams tomorrow, and some final homework to finish.So hopefully by the end of this weekend, I will have a new home, and can get Rajjah from boarding. I haven't actually signed up for classes yet as I don't want to commit until I know I have a place to live. I will sign up for online classes this week at least. But in person will depend on how things go. What happened last semester can't happen again. Right now I am going through a wanting my normal life back. A camper van, my cat, a job, and a few online classes would satisfy that urge. Mentally, things are a bit challenging at the moment, but that is outside the scope of this blog (no I am not nuts lol).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apps on a Android 2.2 Archos 10.1 Tablet

Having had an Archos 10.1 entertainment tablet bought off ebay with accessories for 300 for a few months, here are a few apps that have come in handy. This is the simple 8 GB model with an SD card for additional space. There are 5 possible home screens to organize apps and a index grid accessible from all 5 screens. I use 4 of the 5 screens for my main apps as well as a few lesser used ones and background type programs in the index.This tablet didn't come with the Android Market, but it did come with Arch Tools that had a market download. So I have both the apps lib and Android Markets to choose from. I also have the Amazon apps store, and use it along with the Droid Market for all my app needs. Below are some of the apps I currently have... and I will also give mention to Dolphin browser and Ever Note as wonderful apps, but I chose my ebook and Office Suite Pro over the previous two. Color Note, a separate calendar app, and the Opera/Native browser handles the web side.

Lets start with the ereader apps: Google Books, Kobo, FBReader and Moon Reader.  Google books is accessible from anywhere and is stored on googles server, other than when you actually read a book, it will download individually. Kobo is from when I had a Kobo ereader, which got returned due to only being an ereader. I enjoyed it, but my laptop can function as a multi purpose ereader, and now the tablet. My books are synced from any device and the selection is okay. FBReader is great for a simple reader, mostly used for easy access to Gutenburg, while Moon reader is great for large print. The last two are great for epub downloads. Amazon has a books app, but I haven't found a need for that, as I have a lot of books that I haven't read yet. 90 percent have been free. Reading on a tablet is nice, and having multiple readers for multiple sources of books that would normally require several ereaders, all on one device is nice. I like e-ink, but this works well.

Games: Angry Birds, all versions, Solitaire combo, Mahjong, Jewels, and Jewels Deluxe, and 4 in a row. I have a few others on the SD card that aren't played often, but are indexed. The ereaders and games are on the fifth screen.

Music and Media are throughout the 3rd and 5th screen. Tune in radio, news and weather, BBC, tv.com, occupy together, Mediafly, the native Music app, Cineshow Time, native Photo Frame, Gallery, Video, and Camera.

I already talked about the browsers. But, the main difference is that Opera Mobile gives you the mobile version of web applications, functions faster, and has a great touch interface. The native browser includes flash and is preferred for seeing full websites. I have had Mozilla and Dolphin as well, but decided for space reasons that Mozilla is too slow and Dolphin is fun, but isn't a priority right now. I may download it again in the future as I really want to explore it more, along with evernote, but those are later. Those two programs are great for a computer and tablet to connect together, but I don't sync my tablet to the laptop.

The Acer Aspire One, which I am typing this from, is now running a full version of Microsoft Office 2010, has a HUGE ebook for my computer class, along with the usual ebook, music, and school paper, graphics, ect, and is pretty bogged down right now, with both backed up on an external HD. I am definitely looking at getting a MacBook Air in a few months for the graphic programs and GarageBand software. Then, the Microsoft Office 2010 can be added later. I want to do web design again and the little netbook isn't going to work for that. My main desktop is not working any longer. This little netbook will remain a back up and then the MacBook can do more. I used to have a Mac and I miss it, but the pricetag for one is a bit steep right now. Eventually, I will replace this Acer Aspire One with a dual OS tablet (Windows and Android 3.2 coming out next year). Touchscreens are much nicer and user friendly on the 10.1 screen, and will be able to write papers, do research, and still enjoy the Android app interface on one machine, but they need to work the kinks out.

Mac: I am really sad to see the rags to riches Steve Jobs pass away. He created art work with his technology. Apple isn't the best in everything, but their products are sharp, thin, great out of the box functionality, and pretty; just gorgeous to look at. The price is still high, but the programs don't need a for dummies manual, it just works, and there is a great customer support team on the other end. I look forward to a lightly used MacBook when the budget has it, and I will remember the guy some say was temperamental, as a treasured part of the Apple legacy. I read somewhere he said that Microsoft doesn't bring culture to their programs. I have to agree. Windows isn't pretty like Apple, and takes some getting used too. Windows office programs make nice, simple programs. Word and Power point come to mind. But then again, some of the Apple presentation programs give some very nice results. So, both have their place: Windows is cheaper, somewhat functional, and is more easily adaptable to other programs; Apple is very customized and locked down to work with Apple, and that comes with its own issues, but they have a nice selection to compete.

The new computers coming out with Google chrome that are a web based OS are something that I simply can't wrap my head around. The idea that a computer is only functional in the cloud and web based, just isn't something I can work with. There are plenty of times when I am away from an internet signal and want to play games, listen to music, or work on a presentation for uploading later. I would be stifled by a web only system, and even with an internet signal, those other offline items are still done, it just doesn't seem functional. Why have a portable device that is only a web device? So, I am skipping Chrome, which I actually got rid of over a year ago. I tried it again recently, and just don't like it.

Android is by far my favorite. It still has a way to go with the word processors and other more intensive software, but it has come a long way with games, media, simple notes, calendars, photos, and communication. The Android screens are pretty with some Zedge software, the apps work nicely, the market is constantly updated, with many things for free.The USB ports, additional SD card storage, and the very customizable interface makes for an easy user experience. I use my tablet for as many things as I can except for intense typing, and even that can be done with a USB or bluetooth keyboard. Too bad Office or Open Office weren't available in their desktop forms on an Android tablet. Netflix also needs to get with the program.

Also, Sony gets huge kudos. I bought the Sony Walkman and silicone case USB chargeable MP3 player 2 months ago. The FM tuner works great, the download and upload is easy through a variety of stores and formats, as well as the video (if you are so inclined, I haven't added anymore than what came with the MP3 player). My older Sony camera also works nicely, and the warranty folks have been more than helpful.

End of technology post: also, got a new phone a Samsung 401G from Net10 for 25 bucks with 750 minutes included. It works nicely so far, good long battery life, but its an older style qwerty phone. Its a simple slider, decent screen, good for text and talk. The WAP browser is no fun, but the E71 is broke at this point. I miss my old phone and will get the old one fixed as soon as possible, but this one works for a cheap back up phone, or one I want that is more stable with better battery life.

A College Paper

For college, I have to write an argumentative paper. After engaging in many political debates, as I support the Occupy movement, I didn't really feel like writing more on it, as the research for a paper at this point would be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. The Occupy movement is still in full swing, and I don't agree with every commonly used demand, nor folks quitting their jobs to protest, but I do feel the rich should pay taxes equal or more than the poor man OR invest in business. Business expenditures need to be looked at closer. Fancy dinners, vacations, and expensive golf outings should not be tax deductible. Common sense needs to prevail; Uncle Sam needs to but out including giving money to Bank of America and other corporations who are buying out the little guy. Let capitalism work.

On Facebook, there was a graphic that stated our country was not founded on Christianity. I was curious as my entire life has taught me different. So, I went digging and found out it was indeed true. Thomas Paine, the writer of Common Sense, was actually an Atheist. So, that is only the beginning, but it’s a solid beginning since Thomas Paine little booklet was such a large motivator in the US gaining freedom from Britain. I am not an Atheist, but I can respect his ideas and support the separation of Church and State. I am glad our founding Fathers saw to make it this way. And thus, I opted to write on the idea that America was not founded on Christianity, but that Christianity was merely part of the culture back then. It was the accepted spiritual guidance of the day, but there were other competing thoughts, as well as room to grow, and that's why we are a nation with elements of Christian culture, but were founded on Greek and Roman thought. The Greeks brought the world democracy, and the Romans brought us military tactics as well as how to govern very large spaces of land.

 Further, many of the first British colonists were debt prisoners, those with differing political thoughts who were imprisoned, and then there were those that opposed the Church of England. The founding Fathers chose to include in the Constitution that there was to be no religious requirement for political leaders. The Spanish were Catholics, and then there were Protestants, Quakers, those of the Enlightenment, as well as the Native Americans. Not to mention the early Middle Eastern immigrants and Jews. We were a melting pot from the beginning. True, some of the colonies, like Plymouth, were founded on a specific religious requirement, but that changed with time, and it was one group of people. Right and wrong, morality, and a general respect for life were characteristics of all the early faiths that have survived through modern times, and hopefully into the future.

When a specific religion gains a foot hold, bad things have historically happened. Look at Israel, the three Abrahamic religions have been fighting over a small piece of land in the name of religion. The Crusades, and the Church of England that at one time, allowed people to buy pardons for their sins. I am not calling a specific religion bad, or a specific group bad, but the facts remain that man, when one group becomes anonymous and the conditions are right, will become savages. So, that's the basis of my paper, and I attend a private Christian college. I will include some early Christian leaders as well, and attempt to balance it out, but this is my blog, so I get to point out how I see it. The paper will reflect both sides and show both room for Christians and respect for the early 10 Commandments on courthouses, the Bible in oaths, and so forth as a respectable aspect of the early American culture that should be preserved as much as an Indian burial mound or old building. But as a nation, we are a welcoming melting pot of each to many cultures, religions, ideas, food, and architecture, and in order to do that, we have to keep religion and politics on separate grounds, to allow for everyone to have a chance at the American dream.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Got the Flight Booked

Today was eventful, fruitful, and good. The flight is booked for Oct 24 for Ajah and I with a leave date of Oct 24. I mentioned previously wanting to take the train, but they don't allow pets. There were some awesome people who offered to drive her there, and for that I am grateful, but the little amount of time we will spend flying, will be low stress and cost compared to several days in a strange situation. Iulia went to the neighbors who have been pining after her over her for several months, so Ajah and I are are both adjusting to a one cat situation. I haven't ever had only one cat, so this is an entirely new experience for her and I, in some ways good, and in some, not so much. I miss the girl, but she was a foster to begin with, and traveling with 2 cats is more than I can do at this point. Not to mention the odd fighting that was becoming characteristic due to energy level differences. Ajahs coat was looking rough and the spats over cardboard boxes were overwhelming, so it is better in that regard. On the other hand, Ajah is more vocal, seems bored to some extent, and would prefer a buddy. To compensate, I have been taking her for more walks, having more interactive playtime, and being more generous with the treats. She has tons of toys for her amusement, so its a win and lose situation. She has gained more weight in the past few days, been more relaxed and more willing to try new toys and events. She has even been friendly with the dogs, which is a hot and cold subject historically.

  I ordered a new soft carrier for the flight as well (picture taken from ebay petspecialtystore, I will taken some of the actual carrier when it gets here). Its a soft carrier with thinsulate insulation and mesh windows on either end. It folds flat, and compresses in size for the flight, but is still rigid enough for my big girl. The insulation will be good with an ice pack on one end for the heat of AZ. Her portable litter box (a sturdi box), and my Stanley mug will work for food and water. It comes with a flat bed, but I will put the fold up picnic blanket in there as well. The color is green and tan, not my favorite, but doesn't scream cat carrier, the pockets will hold her stuff, and when we are through, it can be put away.

As for the portable litter box, let me tell you about the sturdibox. It is made by Sturdi products, and is waterproof and can be washed in the washing machine. This beauty is great for grocery hauling, washing dishes while camping, or yes, as its intended purpose, a litter box. I have been using it as a second box for my cat(s) for a good long time, and as someone who has both done quite a bit of showing and fostering, lets just say the box has been tested. http://www.sturdiproducts.com

My beloved Nokia E71 is at its end. I have used and abused it for over a year, and now the screen is flashing between the home screen and the camera, so I backed it up with Nokia PC suite and have all media and apps on the mini SD card, so I ordered a net10 refurbished phone with 750 minutes for 25 dollars. Shipping is free for 3 day, and it will have an AZ number. I will be keeping my Nokia for now, in hopes I can get it repaired in AZ as a backup. It is on the ATT network, which is great in AZ, but horrible in my area of OH/MI. The new phone is also on the ATT and T mobile networks. Its a Samsung T401G. Its APP capable, but not quite as "smart" as the e71. The Nokia E71 has WIFI, bluetooth, runs on symbian OS, and is great for pics, push email, texting and talk. But, it doesn't work and I don't have time to send it in for repair at the moment, so 25 bucks seemed reasonable. Right: picture taken from www.straighttalk.com, and below: Samsung phone picture taken from www.net10.com.

Also, keeping in mind, I practically lived off the E71 for a long time. I used it as a camera, MP3 player, map program, text, talk, as a WIFI hotspot, calendar, basic email, voice recorder, and even read pdf on it. Great little phone, but to get it repaired requires a shop to set it back to default and reset the OS. The new phone has a SD card slot, so my old one can slide in, has an MP3 player, can get the Opera web browser, sync with my computer, so no reloading my address book by hand, and has a slide out qwerty as well as a numeric keypad for dialing out. Reviews are good, and given that I now have a netbook, tablet and USB chargeable MP3 player, I don't need as many features on my phone. This phone is a bit heavier, but as a former user of the numeric slider, I look forward to having both, and can deal with the weight for the slide out qwerty which looks comfortable and great for texting. It doesn't look cheap, and it feels durable. On the other hand, I would have Panasonic toughbook and a field blackberry if I could afford it, because I am rough on my electronics. I am seriously considering a child ereader for better durability. Touchscreens are great, and I love my tablet, but it is in a portfolio case daily and then packed in a netbook case for more screen protection. The laptop has a bubble shock proof case, MP3 has a silicone case, and my cells just get the crap beat out of them on a daily basis. So cheap is better.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of selling off my stuff left here. Rehoming the cat, researching cell phones, staying up to date on homework, packing, booking the flight, and day to day affairs have been a bit much. All I can say is that I am glad I came back to deal with everything, and hopefully I won't need to be back soon again. My flight was 172.04 and Ajah will be 125 dollars for our way trip. We are using American Airlines with only one 3.5 hour layover in Dallas Fort Worth.

 So, for everyone's enjoyment, below is Ride to California, featuring the old style camper van many of us love. Even has a port hole window, very retro; great band, love the hair curls, and the song is an awesome get up and go, live out your dreams vibe.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting things together to move again

Things have been a bit odd as of late. My family is still my family, for better or worse. However, they tend to do for people and then remind you daily. so I am in the process of giving back the things given before, that have been in storage here. I am also selling my desktop computer and printer, giving away my bike, a lot of the cats stuff, and pressing on . Iulia gets fixed tomorrow and then its on to the next step. Ajah needs to be fixed so that will be next week. I will literally be able to fit my entire life in a purse and 2 bags as I can't see paying to ship things, I haven't used in ages. And for some reason momentos and things that had previous connections, those have lost value in the past few weeks. I have paid the bills for several family members, its a give and get, but alas, its simply how my family truly is. Add the pressure to have children or have it brought up that I choose not to be the family babysitter and I simply remind them, I did them all a favor. I will be 27 next month and by 29, I will be done with school. My goal was 30 so that's on track. So goodbye Ohio. This is a final and forever goodbye, I have no intention of returning. I helped some out who needed it, and now that a relatives disability is started, a simple ride is too much to ask. Anyways, I think we all hit that point, where connections that were are no more, set sail into the prevailing winds, and make for the open sea. I am setting my sails back west to ride with the sands of time, and then to enjoy the warmth and desert again. I am giving up much, as I think in the back of my mind I knew would happen (selling cello, giving away more stuff, and parting ways with a cat, which is indeed the hardest part) when I walked 8 miles to where the cabs run to get to where I am at. Is this a whinefest, nope. Its a determination post and a truly final farewell to Ohio. Last time there were goodbyes, tears, and all of that. This time, it's moving on for once and for all. Child free as I choose to be; a grown and educated woman moving in this world until whatever happens, does. There are things I will miss, but alas, its time to emotionally part with that too.

And perhaps the non stop turning off one emotion off to another is what leads to this particular lifestyle and mindset. Its depressing in the sense that a tribe of strangers and close friends are more helpful than those you truly counted on. So farewell Ohio, farewell to what has been a known, and hello unknown.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I am still in Ohio for another few weeks. Getting things sorted out has been a challenge, but not an impossible one. Its been pretty calm and orderly for the past week since my computer is now fixed and I get to cuddle with my felines. Anyways, above is a picture of Mammoth AZ and one of Pikes Peak, AZ. That is my former van that has made it the past year. I do miss the old gal, but she has a new owner that is using her for local transportation.
It would be great to say I have gotten out, but between school and general tasks, I have been neglectful. It's the standard house that suctions the will to get out right out. My bike has been good for transportation and saving money. I have been working to get my stuff down to 2 bags and one purse so that everything can fit on my bike. Its a good experiment for exploring bike touring, keeping the weight down for international travel and flying, as well as staying mobile.
With that, the tortie Julia that I originally took in as a foster has been fighting with my older girl. I have made considerable efforts to remedy the situation, but it hasn't been working, so Ajah gets to be an only cat again. I found a home with a neighbor where Julia can be an only cat in a quiet stable environment. So I will be reorganizing the cat items. I found a sturditote carrier that folds flat and fits in the front of my backpack, along with a sturdibox (portable litter box) and portable AKC brand food and water dishes. All of that fits
nicely together and Ajah can travel with her stuff, and I with mine. The tote will fit in the car, on the bike, plane or hiking. Its a winner. I have been selling off some of the old cat stuff to downsize even more. 
My laptop was dead for a while, and is now back in order; tablet in order, and MP3 ready. 

Five weeks until the plane ride to Tucson for school, then onto Phoenix for next semester, and beyond that, who knows. A new bike and everything will be in order. A car is still a work in progress, but the tarp tent and bike are going to be the next phase for now. Coupled with college, it should be a good blend of traveling and studying without the expense of a car for now. Taking into account the cross country back and forth factors, and then professional relocation or international travel, this seems like a reasonable plan. However, if a good cheap RV were to come my way, I would happily live in an RV park. But, one thing at a time, one day at a time, and onto the future life moves.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

thoughts and plans

I have been doing sone thinking.The first is when I get done with school, what then? The other involves changing tne van description in the top header. However, at the request of a reader, here is an update of all that has happened and where I would like to go.
On April 11th, 2011, I did my last day at work. On May 8th,the journey to Colorado and then Az began. May 18th was arrival day to Az. 3 months there for college and my van died. I flew home a few weeks ago to Ohio area where I am back with my 2 cats and very small 288 sq ft apt that feels like a mansion compared to the van which I miss.

Hkwever, now that I have been on my bike living the car free lifestyle, there isnt a rush to buy another money pit. I will be heading back to Az at the end of Oct for end of semester business and to register for next semester. Whether Tucson or Pheonix will prevail renains to be seen. Both have transportation options so I wont be stressing over that at this point. It is likely with emissions which I fully support that a car bought in ohio wont pass Az and I will be going back and forth for another year, so I might as well wait.

I also have an incredible desire to see the world which is only 2 years away. I plan to teach English as a second language at that point and perhaps start putting more photos with the blogs here. I used to design web sites and have been considering that as a sjde job and persuing house sitting. Everything changes and a dicussion with family yesterday indeed saw that they found me to be a free spirit which is true.

So I am finishing up things here and will be working to sell the final few things I don't need to prepare for the next adventure. Some of us just don't like commitment and perhaps it manifests in every part of life but sometimes it works out best this way, the not knowing.

In technology, my laptop is back thanks to a shadow copy and school is underway. I also discovered evernote and pc suite for nokia.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

last post spoke too soon

So the last post I spoke to soon. I upgraded to windows home premium. It wasn't the one that upgrades the starter package on acer aspire one netbooks. It  deleted my windows files and replaced it with some operating system that has no standard windows programs. Furthermore, its a netbook so it didn't come with a rescue disk. I did regularly back up my computer on an external HD. I haven't gotten it to work. And because I did  the update wirelessly, it erased all my drivers. I am at a standstill ;on school although I am learning more about my tablet as it has to substitute for the online classes. It has performed well so far but my computer is no good for opening up the ebook and doing the assignment for the computer class. Going to an internet cafe isn't practical because I don't have a car and transportation is questionable at best.,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So I am still up at an insanely late hour because I had some incredible urge to figure out all my computer woes. For those windows folks, please note I am a fan of the android and mac systems. I prefer an app based platform over a never ending array of menues and icons. However, I am in school which means I bought my current laptop to be lightweight, portable, and useable for school. So I got an inexpensive Acer Aspire One 10.1 inch screen netbook, a CD/DVR portable USB player, a wireless mouse and a soft zip case along with a portable spare HD for backups and storing excess media on back in May 2011 before I embarked on my cross country trip. With only 1GB of DDR3 memory, I can't expect this featherweight to compete with the heavyweights but I do expect it to run Google Earth, the basic Windows programs, Flash, Adobe products, handle a few photos and surf the web. Anything more than that requires the external HD which other than monthly backups, I haven't touched it.

Its a little screen, a lightweight laptop and came with the evil Windows 7 Starter. Had I done more research, I would have gotten the slightly larger Dell 15R with 64 bit Windows 7. However, time and budget dictated otherwise. So I am working with what I got. Last semester, I used schools computers. This semester I had my school order my books for me since they get a good price on used books. They ordered an ebook from cengage.com which proved a bit complicated. I contacted support and a resolution was reached after 3 days and much frustration. I deleted and downloaded the latest in java, adobe pagemaker, flash, and some unsealer program. After all that, I realized this ebook wasn't opening in Opera, Chrome or Mozilla. I was stuck with IE, the evil IE. So I downloaded the latest version 9 and voila. Now understand the ebook is a DRM Adobe Reader file. So its very clunky and required some extra effort to print. So now I have to unearth my printer and print out the pages I need as I go along OR hook up my old desktop computer and do this process again. Then I can look at one for the manual and do the homework on the laptop. My old computer is on XP and still functional but its a desktop, so its a power hog. It is my goal to leave as small a footprint as possible, but to also avoid paper when possible due to deforestation.  So paper or higher electric bill?  All of this after 100 to get WIFI in the house.

All of this required some action on my part with many google searches and tech forums. So I came across microsoftstore.com and ordered the student version of windows ultimate upgrade. I am currently waiting for the download to finish and can barely see straight as I this has been an ongoing process. Of course the coursework that the ebook is for is due tomorrow so I am going to be pounding the pavement tomorrow to get 3 subjects done. I have writings for 2 classes and this odd arrangement (which is odd until the old computer is brought into this century) for the computers class. This has taken some serious time.

Pictured at top is my 2 cats. As stated previously, I don't have a van at the moment, but I will have to return to AZ for school reasons, so its still a constant state of travel. If you look back to the beginning of the blog, you will see my first van, time I spent in it, then the 2nd van, and its time, the trip to AZ  and the flight back. I am taking a train in October back to Tucson, and from there its hard to say. I have a laundry list of things I would like to do but they are exactly that, like to do, at this stage. I figure 3-6 months to get things somewhat figured out. The cats are going this time as Ajah was very depressed with me gone and the kitten was grouchy. With me, they are loveable, sweet and okay with people. I want to enjoy my cello as well so that's a part of the long term program. I may opt for another "type" of cello, a battery one maybe, that isn't the same, but still allows the joy of playing.

Also, I am on the hunt for ancient Roman music and there are some collaborations, musical scores being assembled by self, and performances to come in the future. Instruments will be varied and the music will be Ancient Greco-Roman inspired, some possible remixes and some Celtic works as well. Its looking like a lot of fun, isn't overly done (4 existing groups I can find and 2 professional societies dedicated to ancient music) and will put out a different flavor of music. More to come.


Friday, August 19, 2011

the flight home

Being in a house again just takes part of my soul so I have begun bike riding, walking the dogs and enjoying suburbia fresh air for what its worth. I got wifi installed in the house I am staying in to enjoy my tablet and laptop. My cell gets horrible reception so I needed communication with the outside world. I am slowly getting back into the school drill after some seriously stressful exams, a long flight, time change and getting semi settled. I am enjoying having my cats and I can tell they are enjoying me.

Ajah has been velcro kitty and Iulia purrs nonstop. I have been working on getting Iulia used to her new walking jacket and reaquainting Ajah to clicker training and holding positions. We haven't had the opportunity to show since Feb. It is also summer and Ajah isn't in prime coat. She also loses weight due to tne heat. Luckfully OH doesn't stay hot for to long. Its cooling down at night so wet ad raw food along with a good structure is good for the both of us. There were thoughts on the kitten. I think she will get things figured out. The constant changes over the past year have created a lot of unique challenges that have brought both happiness and pure heartache. Having pets does complicate things but I can't imagine life without them and they weren't insurmountable.

So let me back up... I traveled from spot in AZ, spent the night in a smoking cubicle outside at the airport. I used my two carry on bags and blanket to sprawl out. Then got on my flight 10 hours later. Tucson airport was cool with actual plugins and seating. In Houston, things were pretty quiet. I ate lunch and couldn't find a plug. The flight was roomy. I watched a movie on my laptop and got a very limited nap. Then Houston to Chicago was like a sardine can with some lady who wws nice that didn't speak english. It was fine except I had to go to the bathroom and couldnt get
out. I felt near claustrophobic. Being by the window was my only saving grace. It was an overbooked flight. They ran out of room in the overhead bin and didn't offer valet service so I had both carryons below my feet for 4 hours. Its like riding in the middle hump seat of a toyota corolla. Needless to say for someone my size, keep in mind I fit in the airplane seat with room to move but I am not small either, it was tight. I couldt even sit up straight because tbe lady next to me had her arms resting on borh sides. Luckfully, chicago to Toledo was nice. They had a small plane and I got the one seat row where I could actually stretch oht. It felt nice and they had valet for the flight. Then, there was not any public transportation from our small cornfield airport for night flights. So I walked 8 miles and then got a cab after taking a nature hike. I saw it as a walkabought as described by John Locke in Lost. Then after an investment for a cool high top minivan taxi I got to my current location. The taxi driver was smoking peach cigars, a Vietnam vet and we shared some political views and VA medical changes amongst other things.

And so I will be returning to Az for school reasons in 3 months. After that its Az for a few months but hopefully to Phoenix to be closer to the events listed previously. Then hopefully I have an rv setup and will allow me to spend the winter in Phoenix. From there, spring and finally a summer break. Next summer I want a workamping position and some breathing space to shift gears. Then graduation 6 months later and onto Portland hopefully. But by Fortuna, the fates with have their way. Pax for now with warm wishes and happiness to all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

another update

Hi everyone,
Iam sitting in a bagel shop on my final night in Tucson for now... I left Mammoth at about 3 pm and got to the bagel shop a few hours ago. I am enjoying some relaxing 88.1 fm Christian music and charging my tablet at this time. I wanted to update my blog because the next few days will be bust. My flight leaves in the morning. The van was sold to a local person for cheap. NowI am flying back to OH for a bit to tie up some loose ends, get my cats and a new vehicle to take me on the next phase of lifes journey. Its hard to believe as crazy as this adventure has been how much i will miss it. In the spring, I will embark on a ne journey to attend school in person again. From there, things will change. I have also decided to either work as a roving contract counselor or do some tesol training overseas and then reaume life here. My wanderlust is less crazy but still don't want to corner myself.
Also, I bought a few items to protect my electronics in transit. A case for the laptop and a Case for the mp3 player, screen protector and portable speaker. The tablet is still a winner for many things, mp3 player with fm radio is a big boost, and the laptop for school. In genral, plane with clothes and elctronics tells me international travel is vert doable. And shipping isnt as crazy as i thought it would.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lost the series and Fate will have its way

I have been on the hunt in the Tucson area for a workable solution for both electricity, a safe space, electrical hookups with AC and the money to bring my cello here not to mention getting my cats here. I figured a cargo trailer. However, the financials due to a series of events that are mostly talked about in this blog hasn't been great.
As it stands, after a rough first month, I found a parking spot, have been vandwelling, enjoying the awesome nature, breathtaking mountains, stars so close you can touch them and open space that has been spiritually fufilling. I am thankful to a host for the past 2 months but its time for her to set off on her own adventure. I will miss her company, the dogs and the many other things one can learn to appreciate in 2 months time. But it is likely I will meet many more souls in this wonderful community.

Living in a minivan has been interesting but not having my cats just isn't working. Their current residence was never meant to be a long term option. And so I have enjoyed 3 months or gorgeous sunshine, dry heat, and all that entails as well as enough trials to sink many battleships. I am glad I took this trip and plan to return as soon as I get a few things in order back in Ohio. Those things are getting an actual conversion van or small RV or Jeep and trailer, learning my systems, saving more money, putting in more prep work and getting my cats involved as much as possible. I will be parked where the cats are located with electric hookups, they can start sleeping with me then. It will be good socialization for them, getting used to the details and when change occurs, it should be easier. I don't know how this experiment will work for the younger one but its worth a shot.

I will be part time in the house and part time in the van. Also, I will be continuing a distance arrangement with school mostly online for the next 3 to 6 months. Hopefully by spring things will look normal and I can relocate again. However, there is also family stuff that is important to be around for. So lessons learned for this trip and now the return trip starting on Saturday. I will share my travels and they will be a different path this time around. I don't know the details quite yet as I am searching for the flatest land to cross with that equals the least amount of miles. Beyond that, life continues as it has been and there isn't much more to say.

However, one activity I enjoy in my current spot is netflix. We have watched the Lost series and got to the finale tonight. I balled my eyes out especially in The entire finale was overwhelming and beautiful. Jack and Kate, James and Juliet, John forgiving Ben, Hugo giving Ben a second chance, seeing Claire, the baby, Hurley, Charlie, Sayid and the girl of his dreams, Desmond, Penelopi, Rose and Bernard. I wonder about many of the other characters like Walt and his father, was the dog really deceased with the people, and the plane flying overhead in the end. I do like the idea that those on oceanic flight 815 created this place to meet up in the end, find closure and move on. Its also interesting that each character represents a philosopher. The Bad Robot productions were awesome. There is a new series coming out by them as well as a movie heading for theatres, both of which I will catch up at some point. I have lost a general desire to watch conventional tv, but I do enjoy the radio and watching things in a row without commercials. There are several other series we are toying with on netflix and I will catch up on them in the next 3 to 6 months when I park in OH. Dirty Sexy Money and Dead Like Me are amongst them.
So to another part of the journey of life I contend. Had I prepped better, this trip wouldn't be needed but its nice to visit the family. I don't have plans to stay permanent but I do enjoy a slower pace of travel and a change of scenery. Although I need to be in Phoenix for a conventus with Nova Roma and then onto QuArtzite later in the year.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finally Getting Things Done

Its been an interesting week so far. Last Wednesday, I took an exam for school; visited the mall, saw a movie and updated/played on my archos. My laptop now is strictly used for school and major typing assignments. I use the archos 101 for games, entertainment, ebooks, general web searches, news and movies. My Sony mp3 player is pretty nifty.

I forgot how much I missed FM radio until I started playing this one. It's nice listening to NPR and public radio programs as well as modern Christian music (Tucson the Air and in Toledo there is KLOVE and 89.3) and old bluegrass shows on country channels. And on occasion I enjoy some songs in Spanish which has taught me a few words in Spanish besides the residents of Tucson in general conversation (things like going to the laundry mat or going out to eat for a green chile burrito).

When you live in a van in the desert parked in someones yard, having background noise and listening to the news makes life a little more normal. That's one thing in house dwelling I missed was reading the paper and not having a second battery made the little life in my laptop very limited. But now that I have the archos, I can enjoy a big colorful touch screen to see the news and play games or read an ebook before bed. Some say its a complete waste of money for the technological goodies, but the battery life and thus portability of these objects makes them like mini communication devices to the world I left behind. There are days I really miss that world, a normal job, an apt AND a van to choose from and my pets.

But I am getting a degree that will hopefully allow me to get a better paying job and allow some personal growth time. It's kind of crazy really, sleeping in a van every night, communing with like minds, and playing with everyone elses pets in an attempt to deal with the hole that my cats belong in.

So I am looking at both rental options that are affordable and campgrounds that are reasonably priced which is next weeks little quest after finals on Tuesday. My plan is on the 15th to have a rental room and by Christmas to have my cats here. I had planned on an RV but the funds just aren't there. The trip here was expensive in gas alone and that's going to take some time to build back up. Plus I ventured to Phoenix but car troubles will take some time to deal with.

And so now its a slightly awkward situation but not a bad one. Today we had dinner with my hosts neighbor, I played with the dogs and engaged in study for exams. Tomorrow is pretty much the same. And Monday is pay day for the month so the fun begins.

Anyways, the battery on my laptop is going to die and after many hours of studying, its time to get to a game of jewels on the archos.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

whats happening now

So things have been pretty quiet around here. I am getting ready to move my parking spot to a place closer to school. Right now I am 45 miles from city limits so I drive toward the city and take the bus. There is only a 15 minute difference and I don't have to drive at night this way which is good because I don't like driving at night in the mountains. I found one potential spot and if not I may have to get a room because gas is to expensive this way and for 37 dollars I would be able to do my errands. I prefer the van as my bedroom. It keeps the clutter to a mimimum and now that the weather is cooling off, Ajah is a possibility. I am still working out the dynamics. But thats a bit out as its to hot to ship her and I have to go home to get her because she needs a health certificate and specific crate. In my absence my other girl has gone more feral and will be rehomed so I just have one cat. Two just won't work in my small van and towing isn't an option right now. I dont want to put anymore strain on my van than it has and finances dictate staying as is for right now. So far I have been vandwelling for almost 2 months. Its crazy really but its been fun. Time wiill tell if the van or a room win out considering proximity to school and the cat.
In other news I am in a coffee shop charging my tablet and cell phone, checking email and typing this. Then its back on the bus to school for my first exam. Then 2 more on monday and tuesday. Its been a slightly stressful week with trying to find living space for now, dealing with drama and general life. Next semester I am taking 2 classes online and 2 in person. Not being particularly thrilled with the one I just took online, I have high hopes this semester will be better. There are two classes I need for my major and 2 general required classes so I will feel more balanced. I took regular classes this semester which was the final of being a freshmen so effective august I will be a sophomore and then 3 more a junior and you get the idea.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

religious differences explained for those who asked

I am not going to get into my own personal details here. Instead Iam going to gice a clear guide on the differences between those who practice monotheism vs polytheism. Monotheism is the Jewish based faiths. Those are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Monotheism teaches in one all powerful suoreme being that requires people to be happy to suffer. It is a very personalized relatioship with rules, regulations and without room for compromise. Those historically who disagree with their way of thinking do not fare well.
polytheism is the belief in more than one God creating complex family units that form nuclear family structures. There has been a revitalism in the poly faiths ranging from Kimetic worship of the ancient Egyptian Gods, to hellenistic reconstructionism, to the Roman traditions dubbed the Cultorum Deorum Romanorum or the Religio Romana. There is also Wicca, witchcraft, shamenism faiths and the totem worship. The reconstruction faiths are dubbed subsets of Neo Paganism. There has been some debate within the communities on what to call paganism as it was created with a negative connotation for those that follow the poly faiths. Also, polytheism does not deny other nations and their gods. Somany follow more than one tradition. For example, Druids worship the earth and Roman faith is based on virtue so following a Celt Roman tradition is nkr entirely unheard of. I practice interfaith dialog and beleive the anger over crazy cults has put a bad spin on polytheism so hopefully this blurb will make the world a little more enlightened over this subject and help stop the dangerous stereotypes that come from one group being misinformed about another.

It is important to understand that grown adults are practicing traditions over 2000 years old and raising their children this way. The traditions of old are well and good. So before someone judges another please make sure you are acting out fully informed. If we allknow the basics of our neighbor, then we will likely be able to make informed decisions on things like national national security.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

its been a while apparently

I have written several updates from my phone but apparently my phone has decided otherwise. So I will attempt to do a brief update here. I am still in the Tucson area for another semester so it looks like. My van has water mixing with the oil and the engine is knocking again. I went to phoenix last weekend and it went well. I met some friends, and explored the area. The van was awesome on my five day excursion. Then I got an interview, the van overheated and didn't do well with the steep grades. I drove back slowly and the brake max in Catalina AZ gace me the bad news. I am now staying in this van for now and will be looking for a b or c in the near future.

I was going to move to phoenix but it just wasn't in the fates at this point. That will be forthcoming and then nm but that has to wait until the timing is right. I met some fellow citizens of NovaRoma in Phoenix, attended a cat show, did some hiking and all was good. Also, I graduate Dec 2013 and time is really flyong. There are just more resources pyhsically and spiritually in phoenix but this isn't a bad situation either.

I am almost through lost the series with my housemate and we started dirty sexy money as well. Before the van pulled its latest number I ordered an archos 101 tablet from ebay and downloaded the marketplace which is what I am typing to you from now. Its been wonderful so far for the two days I have had it. It won't replace my netbook as I had hoped but it does do a lot so i get to enjoy the battery life and portability of this device. I also bought a sony walkman media player that is 8 gig. So now in addition to the netbook and cell, i have more entertainment options. Battery life was my biggest issue now solved.
So there is update and the two cats are still doing well at dads.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Well, I returned the serpenntine belt today and they credited back to my account but I can't find my debit card. Let me tell you, that's bad. Tomorrow will be another rip the van apart. The only blessing of not owning much is that there isn't many places to look. I remember taking it out of the usual spot and can't remember for the life of me where it went.
Its still another week until I get paid. This is painful and we shall see what plans work out. I am blooming broke without many options. I am now ahead on my homework, some moreso than others. We shall see how that works out as well.

A pic of Texas Canyon, AZ outside of Benson AZ and the above pic is a field in CO. I took some more and thank you to my readers for patience. My internet signal is normally weak and my phone says it sends pics to my blog but it hasn't worked yet. I have also spent a good deal of time on schoolwork and studying.

I have been staying northeast of Tucson between Tucson and Globe. Apparently Oracle (which I am staying near) is the 2nd most dangerous drive according to my host who has been awesome. Still waiting on my VA to come through, they say July it starts coming in and I can't wait. And of course I can't find my debit card at the moment.

Anyways, there is an awesome bagel shop in Oro Valley AZ called Einstein Brothers. If you get a chance to eat here, enjoy. They have great customer service, are part of the Starbucks drive through and the place in a great environment with 1 dollar bagels. I added honey to my wheat today and had some pb crackers this morning. The numbers are in, since becoming veg, I have lost 13 lbs so far that have stayed off. Keep in mind the numbers vary, but that's without much other effort. I am hoping to start training for a marathon after a working gig in MT and then start school again in Jan.

So I drive in to the outer north edge of Oro Valley to get on the bus (one of the best in the nation) and ride to school from there. A day pass is 3 dollars and I do it one to two times a week. With traffic and gas and wear and tear plus no AC in my van and the sensor telling the radiator fan being non functional, its nice to not have to worry about overheating. Once I get my money, the van gets fixed and then I am debating between getting a trailer now or waiting until after I get done in MT so I have more money and the MT drive won't have the gas mileage loss.

I think the trailer so its not tied to mechanical repairs wins, I can keep my current van and have a nice home for me and the cats that can be parked but I like front to back access so a bigger conversion van is also a consideration. Whatever I choose must have AC, heat and room for me and the cats whom I miss.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

After being homeless for a week and dealing with the constant stress of parking, I am now good to go staying an hour north of tucson. I attempted to go to school but the traffic was too much for my van, she started to overheat so I found a park and ride that is much closer. And for a three dollar day pass is easier on the wallet. The time takes about the same either way but I can do my errands all day.
Last night I went to class and got some work done but before I drive back north, I wanted another day to actually get ahead and focus. So I parked close to my ride park spot and got another day pass.
Hopefully today I can get a full day in and get caught up with my homework. I got last weeks done and it took me 2 hours. 4 hours today and I will have next weeks done.
Vandwelling has its benefits. I was able to park, ride the bus, sleep, wake up and get on the bus today. I didn't have to drive back to the Boondocks and waste my gas.
I also love sprouts and got some tofurkey and vegan ice cream which has lasted me today and yesterday thankfully. One lesson, don't drink diet coke before bed. It makes for an mp3 late night lol

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Things have been quiet lately so there really hasn't been much to discuss. Just waiting for my stipend to kick in so I can get the van fixed, pay off some other bills and see about something big, but I will leave that a surprise for later.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So I stepped away from another heavy interest group and boy the changes. Which brings me to say since leaving a stable home lifestyle, I have found I feel almost in another world. Activities, email groups, local community all gone. But there is a different community not, new challenges, and new people.
I have lost quite a bit of weight as well. Some from daily challenges and some from the heat and some from just lack of hunger. Quite a bit in the face, some in the stomach, ect. Its a wee bit crazy. But its nice and not fast enough although scary in its own right.

Monday, June 6, 2011

okay so not sure what I have posted so here it goes. I got to Tucson on the 18th and it was good until the van gave me a scare. so I finally got to Tucson, and got a rental room. Long story short, I paid for a month with deposit. He kept my money, no lock on the door, and attempted some other things not found here. I then found out he was a felon with a drug problem. and I got evicted bc he wanted more money. I then vacated and spent the night with the neighbor of craziness. then 4 nights of homeless stealthing it, dealing with the heat, ride the bus a long time and counterproductive to school. Then I posted on vandwellers as I had called several agencies and shelters asking if I could park there. walmart is even a no go. So someone here offered and its been a real treat. I have a bed now, not quite done yet but for now. Its more comfortable being on a bed but I will be dumping the mattress and sticking to my sleeping roll. It doesn't look as spacious and head room not so much. But I can store some bags under the platform and around it. I am going to narrow the bed as well as its a bit wide for the space. Shucks, I liked the stealth on the floor, easier to move and get around especially getting dressed. But the bed is still nice so its give and get. I am debating yet and will give it some time and we shall see.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I wanted to write this post on what life is like for one anorexic, no names will be mentioned in this post but it is related to reality.
Wake up, think about the day, calculate walking, calories burned and then set limits. The past week per day has been 1130,1160,1120,880, 410 and today 1130. Walk at least 3 miles daily with last night being logged at 15, yes you read that right. Now a trip to Wendys involves staring at the menu and googling calories and then eating could easily consume 2 hours because to inhale would be against the rules. Grocery shopping involves calories calculation and how long the food will last. A running tally of cals is kept for self notes, but there isn't a problem so she says or maybe there are deeper troubles.
I can't imagine life like that but wanted to share and this is round two, its a relapse from several years ago and she says its out to play. I would recommend if any of this seems real, get help. It doesn't take long to take hold and recovery can take years. You don't have to be skinny to have an eating disorder.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

so I gave my roommate 375 when I moved 2 weeks ago. Now he is being words I won't use and attempted things I won't discuss here, so I spent last night with the neighbor and today I am looking yet again. We shall see how the options pan out and that's if things work out. I just worry in general. But spending the night with a cat was a huge plus. I will never be around folks that don't have pets. This is one of those my daddy warned me situations. Well lesson learned and having lived there 2 weeks I am out 255 which means I have little left. some posts are happier than others and today this isn't one of those.

Monday, May 30, 2011

My Soapbox - Skip if you don't like...

 If the environment and other push button topics are on your avoid radar, please skip and we will soon return to our regularly broadcasted selection of van and mundane life issues, BUT if it is on your radar, keep reading:

Okay so I was sitting here today watching my roommate eat chicken. I have been meat free for over 2 months. I quit counting but it was logged on the blog. Its just become a way of life and I like it and should I get another roommate, I prefer the herbivore variety. Anyways, a friend sent me a link to PETA and I am normally not a fan of their work, their track record, general bashing of all breeders and far to graphic scenes geared at children. BUT I was very surprised when I clicked the link in my email to their blog asking me to help promote the PETA 360 plan. Well, I signed it and hopefully it makes a difference to someone somewhere particularly as a horse lover (and having worked for a farm that raced thoroughbreds).

What is it: It basically asks for the horse racing industry to pay 360 dollars per entry fee and registration to a retirement fund for horses. I agree. Greyhounds should as well but less money. According to the article (which I haven't verified for myself) there are 30,000 Thoroughbred colts and fillies produced each year and a given studding with one famous stallion is 150,000 who in one season bred 100 mares. Now given those stats in addition to a poor economy and from friends and family members, you can easily pick up a sound, younger well trained horse for nearly free. Why are so many baby horses being churned out? And why is it so much to ask for them to fork over a few more dollars? There is no shortage of horses but yet tracks are closing or losing money more and more. So why isn't there a general decline of horses being born to reflect this? I get it, if the economy was better, and more people watched horse races, then I could see these numbers. But really, let me borrow a quote from Avatar, "this is sad, so sad."

In addition, now that horse slaughter is illegal in the US, they just ship them overseas for a crueler death and longer ride. The horse in the ad (its not incredibly graphic but the point is well made) is related to Eight Bells and was sold to a slaughterhouse in Japan. I can't imagine what that horse went through to get there, then put on a ship and taken to Japan. Would they have not saved money to simply humanely put this horse out of its misery? Adding to the fact that a HORSE that GIVES SO MUCH should be entitled to a decent retirement in a field somewhere and if that isn't doable, then there are darn well too many being born and too much greed in the industry.

When cats and dogs retire from hobby breeders, they either go to a home to be a lavished pet where they don't compete for attention or they stay in the original environment, aren't horses entitled to the same? If not, why not?

Anyways, here is the link to sign if you feel inclined. I don't typically support PETA but this is an issue we can agree on: along with vegetarian (sorry haven't gotten to the vegan part), no fur, leather or animal experimentation or circuses. Guess that makes me a flaming liberal that still agrees with gun rights (and responsible hunting for those so inclined but not the mass gun dogs being produced, although I support responsible breeding and since mill isn't a definable thing, lets say a breeder should know their animals, where their pups or kits or whatever end up and have a clue who they are selling too besides vet care, healthy diet, clean area, cage free, and do a check on prospective homes before sale, AND provide a health guarantee and take back option).

And while I was over at PETA, take a look at the shelter checklist. Its actually right on the marker and I would expect no different (minus the cages) from anyone with animals as pets, breeders or simply pet sitting for someone. Too many shelters are dirty, managed poorly and don't take care of their animals. The only thing  I disagree with on the shelter checklist is to take any animal in in any condition. No kill shelters are needed just as much as the county pound. But both should be making ALL efforts including use of volunteers, low cost clinics ect to ensure every possible adoption is made and if not, use of trades to places where adoption is most likely, willing to do out of town adoptions, and not adopting animals from other countries brought into our pounds for adoption when we have too many animals needing homes now. Healthy animals, good potential home checking, clean kennels and an active volunteer/foster base is so important. I am particularly fond of Best Friends Animal Society and their stance on Pit Bulls. Punish the Deed, not the breed as the saying goes.

And one more thing: I don't play Frontierville on facebook because you have to club rattlesnakes. If children are doing this, where do lines get drawn? I don't find the beating of any animal ethical or responsible nor any games promoting slaughterhouses or animal fighting/abuse. Yep that includes the one on Android market which makes me sad because I love the Android marketplace and was considering buying an android device but for now I will stay with my Nokia E71 running the Ovi store and the Symbian OS. Its like iphone meets blackberry and doesn't include cruelty in its app selection.

So with that said and I am now off my soapbox: I don't take any liability for PETA nor do I endorse many of their practices or campaigns, nor do I endorse their possible connections to this and that.
There is good and bad in everything and as it stands, PETA has the money (but they won't be getting mine because I want to see where my money goes), and I take these issues to heart so I will sign my name proudly if it saves even one animal, so be it and it didn't cost me a penny. Believe you me, if the opportunity presented itself to lobby congress and the President for that matter, I would do it and put my money where my mouth is, and heck, someday I may. Its in the dream category for right now. I will stick to being eco friendly in my van (and even riding a bike around and parking the van like a house to save gas) and writing letters, sending emails and attending rallies to make my points loud and clear.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This city is growing on me. I give it credits for a nice bus system albeit kind of long getting to and from. But it seems to run on time, there is a mixed bag of folks some good and some not so much. There is definitely a mixed culture here that ranges in crazy teens to quiet adults. I am looking for a new vehicle asap but this will work for now... I do need to get some of my homework done but I don't want to unpack everything. I don't think I need my laptop for school notes but I am taking an online class that I will need it for and will get a smaller ipad holder for it. I shouldn't need to lug this much to school Everytime books wise. I got off through bus near the mall and got a wheely book bag that's good for school. No backpack here, let gravity do it. I just knew my hobo bag wasn't going to pull it off. Its cool going to school by a mall and living by one. And the having some random dude try to pick me up, that was odd. But he was cool. If I see him again, I will leave him my phone number. I like to people watch. So that's it for now...
So my roommate sprayed Febreeze and I couldnt breathe, I am so glad to be out of there. He is a nice dude but in his own little world.
I am riding the bus to school today. Its cheaper, greener and without a job at the moment, I am not in a hurry.
I also have decided a trailer and SUV is the way to go. I will be out west for a while and so having a vehicle that can handle the mountains and a little off road is nice. The trailer can house the cats and will be small with a shower, bed, stove and eating area. It can even be tucked in a backyard. The SUV will allow camping and towing as needed. That's the plan And seems the most affordable option. The trailer should last awhile and the tow vehicle a few as well. Call it a cheap house investment that moves. And given my luck with vehicles, that's why I like the trailer idea plus a petsitter can watch the cats while I work.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I don't know what it is in this apartment, but its not working for me. I can't breathe, so I packed. I may offer if I can't get my money back to sleep in the van and come in for showers so its not long term exposure. Febreeze, incense, o cant sleep and my chest hurts and more than that, I miss my van with the fresh air and open skies. The location of all things right here is nice, but bah, its not worth my lungs.
So I picked up a rental room and have been here for several nights. I can't sleep because I a, sneezing and choking. The neighbors apartment apparently has mold. I can smell it if the window is closed in my room or when I turn the ac on. I don't know if its the filter or used furniture.
I opted for floor sleeping like I always have because he wanted me to get some used futon that needs cleaned from a storage sale. The couch has a broken leg and he still has half the closet. The room is tiny and well, I want to kick myself for this. I can't sleep with the allergy problem and that's going to make the bipolar rear its ugly head. Also, trying to feed meat to a vegetarian gets old really fast. He doesn't rise until well into the evening so I can't even talk. Not sure how I want to do this. I need to move again but classes start tomorrow. I breathe better w window open but its to hot during the daytime for that.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In vandwelling, there is no such thing as easy, you learn to take your time and expect to wait.
You learn to be creative like washing your hair in some rather strange places or creating some interesting ways to fix a basic dish. Grocery shopping is done with cans and things that won't explode in the heat or need refrigerated because running a fridge is to much electricity and ice gets expensive besides a pond in the cooler the next morning.
You learn one bed roll isn't enough padding, that your sleeping bag needs to be able to handle below zero and still be cozy when its 80.
You quickly realize all that stuff you brought and never use is merely that, stuff. It goes to the goodwill fate has you parked from.
Stacking tubs and bags sounds great and looks pretty until you see it on the floor. And trust me, you will get your load tested regularly. You will meet many fine folks and then you will want to run from others.
But hey, you have wheels, choose your neighbors or choose to have none.
And most important, you will learn to not panic, to be creative and be social and stealth rolled into one. You will go through a gamut of emotions, have worries the first few nights parked, and learn to truly trust the bird in your ear.
Enjoy your experience, this has been mine and I love every moment of it, even if things don't always go as expected, this is life and one in a van, well, its an adventure, live it and see where the road takes you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ork out.
lan to site see tomorrow around the area if its nice.
I think once I get a system and with 2 classes on one day, so city only once a week, things will w
comfortable and its been 7 days now. I felt congested and road rage in the city so I opted out of the city and headed west to Picachu for the night. I p
re, still have food and got water last night although I will be adding a few more igloo jugs as water seems more distant to get for free.
So I am still
I don't feel inclined to buy and tend to be neat and orderly because in a minivan its a requirement.
I did laundry today in Benson az so I am stocked the
I should be able to afford gas and repairs for now.
Overall though vandwelling is awesome and I am enjoying it, the privacy, the ease of pace and how
And I can say with certainty there is a lack of places to park. I am working on that albeit I only have class once a week and lack a technical address so
affic and heat together wow. People are in a hurry to get nowhere. Now granted, its a big city but I am truly alone here, the big girl on her own Lol,..
king lot. The yellows change to fast, cameras everywhere and waffle house is even somewhat unfriendly. In short, I am ready to go back to Taos NM. The tr
own I remember from a few years ago. They remind me of Washington dc. A lot of traffic, shucks, there are times I forget whether I am driving or in a par
tered for classes. The first is that I am not that impressed with Tucson. Sure there are some absolutely great people but this town of tucson isn't the t
I haven't written a blog in a few minutes and I haven't gotten to uploading pics although I will soon.
I wanted to share some insite now that I am regis

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still on lunch Lol,.. Working on some undone projects and found an entire book of stamps I didn't even know I had. The internet is my friend bc I am horrible with snail mail. But alas a few things must be done this way so I shall...
Last night while parked I saw a wolf and a fox, and today I have been watching birds at a park in KS called Chateaus Island. I couldn't find a rest stop so I opted for this. Pretty nifty spot. I am sitting in the slider section of the van, door open enjoying the breeze.
I have also gotten rid of more stuff or consolidated some and chucked others since this spot has a dumpster. There are precious few places where a full Bag can go.
I took the cardboard out of the rolls which fit 8 rolls where 4 would go, reorganized the clothes and kitchen areas and now with just the kitchen area left, it looks good.
I am somewhere before laCruces NM @ a casino rest stop on a reservation. Really cheap gas which was awesome. I filled up for 40 dollars. to bad I don't have 2 tanks to fill up but then again the weight would create less gas mileage so its probably close in a cost comparison. I slept at walmart in Taos and it was nice there as well, I counted 9 different camping vehicles ranging from a honda crv with a sheet and bed behind the passenger seat to a truck camper. Very neat environment.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tonight I am in NM. I left Pueblo after a wonderful time and then filled up and drove some mountains. Some of those climbs are really steep and there are several cute towns. I opted for a larger one and am now shutting down for the night.
I came to visit a good friend of mine from my breeding days and got to meet my girl Ajahs grandkits and they are beyond adorable. Ajah only had one girl in her career and I showed her and placed her with a friend so she could have kittens. When she is done, both her and her father will be fixed and continue their show careers with me. The boy was imported from a long way out and is very special. For the breeders privacy and the scope of this blog, I will leave out names. Its simply been a wonderful trip and I have enjoyed overnighting with 4 gorgeous kits and my girl who still remembers me after a year.
I am out in the country of CO and getting here was an adventure with some real hills, I have the power but need a Jeep 4 x 4 to handle it in bad weather.
I still want a Jeep or Landrover to enjoy the backwoods of the west but not to far, just to visit the smaller communities.
I will be looking for a 4 wd vehicle or all wheel drive for better clearance. Having a trailer on the tight hills would be no fun so I just don't know yet what to look for.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This lovely morning I find myself in CO. The sunrise this morning was lovely. I pulled into this spot at 6 pm yesterday, cooked up some mushroom soup with rice, ate some strawberries and a good dose of tea.
I am going to do laundry today in Lamar and then onto Pueblo to visit a dear friend.
Also, still vegetarian and boy was that reaffirmed on 50 when I passed those feedlots and the Tyson plant. Add watching the trucks unload and head up to the ramp. Now followed by several mom cows with their babes innocently lulling in the grass. I just can't imagine what they go through to get to the plate from factory farm to factory plant. I feel much better for the kosher and halal killed animals than standard factory although I prefer to see the cows alive with expression eating grass as nature intended.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I will be uploading some pics @ my next stop. For the most part, gas hasn't been over 4 dollars and I have been driving more conservative to save it. I drove quickly through muggyville but its cooler here which is nice. Its just pretty now... Blue skies, small towns, a few cows here and there, prairies, and a great view for miles. The weather is cool but not cold and not to much traffic at the moment.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I started out today and @ the gas station somehow lost my gas cap and the nice lady had a leftover one, which she gave too me. I need a new air filter as well but that's tomorrow. I can only do one thing a a time. But I left at 1017 pm and have been driving a few hours now save for a stop to which my porte pot came in handy. I am somewhere in indiana heading for indi.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

So tonight I decided one more pizza and night with the cats and then onward tomorrow after breakfast. I just stocked my food reorganized the van again and will be on my way tomorrow, procrastination is my specialty afterall.
I am heading out today, I decided to stick to my usual second shift driving schedule, some daytime, some night. Finding parking for the day when its warmer and easier to blend in seems more like common sense. I am planning on driving 4 to 8 hrs tonight so I should make IL tonight. Then I can make my resume tomorrow and work on some projects.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Well tomorrow is take off day as planned. I am just about ready, spent some time with family, saw some movies and will be heading out very soon. I figure tomorrow @ noon is time to go. I am heading to visit my brother an hour and a half from here and then hopefully to IN by evening. I am hoping to get to warmer areas with less humidity so I can dry out the van and seal the leak if I can't get to it tomorrow, which depends on whether tonight.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I took a shower and was working on getting my stuff loaded into the van to do laundry and do a trash run before final take off. There is a serious leak coming in from my rear hatch at the top seam that connects to the van. I guess a few more things need taken out so that area isn't in use. I put a small litterbox, unused, to collect the water. I am glad my Rubbermaid tote had the lid on and that I opted to keep my clothes in it. this could be a blessing though since the bike now gets the rear, its easy to take out and clean the area. Boy I can't wait to get this fixed.
I came home to help out and even though Tippy is owned by a family member, I payed for her spay, have walked her and looked after her and don't mind that part but It sure isn't appreciated along with tending the other pets. I am rolling out for sure tomorrow and I realize I have said that here plenty but now I am annoyed, not a negative note but its time to roll. So much for mothers day...

Friday, May 6, 2011

I just took the bike out for a spin. I can walk miles but biking is another story. I will be attempting to bike daily to at least a few miles to get my heart rate up. I loved biking when I was younger but then I crashed in a ditch due to a driver not paying attention, so I am trying to get over my issue with this and enjoy my bike again. I want to also try rock climbing as it looks like fun but I am afraid of heights. I want to see the mountains in their glory and the world with as many views as possible,
I am heading out Monday for Indianapolis IN. Then St Louis MO. If anyone knows any star attractions in the area worth seeing, I would be real appreciative for any pointers.
Good quiet parking spots are also appreciated.
Tippy is doing well, returning with all the spit and vinegar as she had before since her spay yesterday. That's good and not so good...
I went and saw Hanna last night and it was good, but could have been better, lots of running and odd camera angles. The lady that played the CIA angel did a wonderful job as she did in Queen Elizabeth. She has an aura of being in charge which worked well with this roll.
I also got several things organized and packed in the van so I can sleep comfortably, but the bike is still a challenge so I am still working on those details but I still need to go through my clothes which may consolidate a few more things.
The organizers have been priceless and so are ziplock bags.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I am sitting at a mall in ohio waiting for Hanna to start. Its been a month since I went to see one and I have wanted to see this for a while and for once its not raining, I also wanted to do some housekeeping and reorganize a few things as the bed area in van feels crowded. I went to do the house sitting gig before returning home today to see my cats and get a feel for the van and the layout. Now that things have been in here, there are a few things that aren't going that I would like to drop at some local shops. I haven't put the bike in here yet which I will really want and that will occur tomorrow.
Today was gorgeous, I took my pup in for her spay. She is sleeping comfortably where the cats are albeit she is on pain meds as well.
I am actually starting to like my van layout as things I thought I would need I don't and I haven't found any new needs at the moment.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nothing like a boiled potato, apple, carrots and black beans over rice in a mayo sauce with garlic for flavor. Also, in my vegetarian quest I have settled on lacto ovo as my style. I love dairy particularly milk. I don't eat eggs by themselves and I don't cook with them as they don't agree with me, but eggs are used in noodles and cookies, bread and pancakes ect. Milk is in cream of celery and mushroom. So I gave up meat and seafood and that's where I sit now. I buy only organic milk from pasture fed cows. I actually don't like the smell of meat anymore and I look forward to fruits and veggies. So this is the tale of one lazy vegetarian if you will. I may share more of my boil in the pot recipes as we go and further substitutions away from eggs and dairy. One big one has been bread to potatoes. I can make a potato several ways perhaps more than bread and love it.
Wow today is another busy day. I am house sitting for someone and they have tons of cans to be smashed. Its a lot of work. I am trying to get the house nice and clean. I got a 2L of diet coke to go with and I am cleaning the van again. Its all looking quite nice.
I will take a picture of the van once I get it cleaned yet again. Being organized is so important.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

For being a minimalist, I am feeling like I have a lot of stuff to haul out to the van. I didn't plan on adding but I found it easier without a washer and dryer here to have more clothes, storage for organization seems the biggest pita particularly for the few items I truly care about but most stuff packs down pretty good, but its a difference of accessible and packing. Here goes the adventure, I am going to finish laundry and vacuum the van one more time. I really could use a bike rack for the van, I think the rest will pack in okay.
I got my dads new, my old desktop up and running for him, my relatives dryer was funky so I have to redry my clothes, and my aunt just called and said she is giving me a cooler so I will have 2 plus the 12v gadget. Add some cooler packs and ice and life is good. I don't plan on having much freezer goods but I can use them for storage if needed. Hoorah. I think the farewell emotions are over for the most part but I'm not rushing out the door but still looking forward to the adventure.

Friday, April 29, 2011

This is my last post before I start packing tonight. I had some VERY good food in the last 2 days and watched tv including William and Kates wedding which was amazing. She is such a modest women.
There were indeed some tears shed today but everything went as it should. My route has been altered for less miles and more small towns. I am still going through some large areas but I hate straight express way driving and won't be giving any money to those turnpikes that still have back ups galore and the highest prices for everything.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do you ever get the feeling everything is going to work out in the end? I was listening to our local christian station kluv and I just got that feeling.
I stopped to get some provisions, sold the last of a few odds and ends and now I am ready to go. I even cleaned my interior and grabbed some organizers. I am sad because a relative I was forging a relationship with again has returned to alcoholism and is turning inward. Its going to be tight Emotionally but I need to get out of the rain.
Heading on the road today but not going far tonight. Going to a cat show in IN tomorrow. Gas went up quite a bit.
Starting to pack today. I am going now to sweep the van carpet and trim the reflectix. Then put stuff in. And we are off. I can't believe it, its almost time to go. I will miss the cats until I get a camper van with ac and hookups access.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All of my stuff sold last drop off is tomorrow @ noon. Van repairs are 800 total and done fingers crossed. Today I am packing the van and heading out in the morning. The stress is almost over and I have to thank my friends and family for their patience because mine has been lacking with the van in the shop one day after another.
Thankfully taco bell has vegetarian fare because its my cheap totally stressed fast food of choice. I am typing this from a taco bell. Its a calm environment most of the time and I get good internet signal in here to get some work done.
plus its really windy enough to pull my windshield wipers open. I am driving it around locally a bit to make sure no more problems. So here is to the road to come and an evening of packing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The solenoid is an issue now... Talk about getting gouged, this is starting to hurt. 650 and growing hurt. I can't take much more. One more thing and I am calling it quits, downsizing more and backpacking. The words done and truly frustrated come to mind. I haven't been so angry as to tears in a long time and I am there. I still have things to do and I am screwed. This van was 900 when I bought it, we are @ over 2000.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

yahoo! Today was much better. My cousin is due july 14 so I won't be able to make it back for the baby as planned. She is further along than thought, but its a blessing for sure.
Family and friends gathered for a small but awesome family dinner.
bike is fixed and I got my stuff gathered. I remember on vandwellers list someone mentioned getting ready for the road would take longer than a person thinks, it sure is true. I need the van repairs done and that's all that remains.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today I went over to the house where my washer and dryer have been kept until we could move them to a relatives that wanted it. I went to wash my clothes in the meantime and the back door was busted. someone stole my washer and dryer, my large garbage can that was going in the van with me and my favorite frying pan that's been in the family for a long time. It has sentimental value from the days when my grandma and I could cook together, before her parkinsons became more pronounced..
The police arrested the tresspasser but didn't take down the lack of a washer and dryer, they also didn't mind the left over mess.
Anyways no biggie, the mess anyways. We called to do a report and we stayed 4 hours. Now I live quite a ways from there and you won't catch me overnighting the area, plus my dad and I drove his car, the dogs and house here have things to do, so we came home. 6 hours they call saying they are there. Little late now...
And furthermore, after 500 in work on the van it acts up today and had to be towed in. Driving with locked up brakes is no fun. So there is that. This week has been hades to say the least. I hope tomorrow @ my going away things go better. I am trying to get out of here and life keeps making that hard, but I will overcome.

Friday, April 22, 2011

today has been good. I get the van in a few minutes, I am going to register with a temp service for tomorrow and maybe monday and I can see about a few extra pennies that way. This isn't going to be easy but its doable. But since I am already here and my everything is registered here it should be easier. Local references always help.
But I wanted my van fixed by my mechanic with cheap prices and local resources.
Its been a long time coming to this point but its getting closer. I am also building the bed today as soon as I pick it up.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I got a call from the mechanic that my van is done. It set me back 450 dollars and that got a new hub something or other, 2 new axles, and a few other this and thats. Add 2 tires in the mix and we got a van minus the windshield that's going to run 160 or so. We shall see. I was planning on leaving friday but that begs to differ at this stage. It may be monday as being out over the holiday doesn't play out well.
I will indeed be living in my van if things don't go as planned instead of a room. Its going to be hot oh boy but that's what public areas are for I guess. I was good until the van bill but it needs done as public transportation in tucson area is less than stellar.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Toledo Museum of Art peristyle. Commonly used for grand events. Art is 1400s and older. Visiting the Museum one last time was one of my goals, mission accomplished.

 This arches in this room are from 3 different monastaries in France. The fourth was made locally. I love this room, its so old feelings. Anywhere I am, when I need peace, I mentally come back to this room. Its amazing. Thanks again to the guard at the Museum that knew many things about this room. I learn something every time I come back.
 This was the advertisement piece for the special pay exhibit they had. The regular museum is free.Interesting, not sure I know what to think. I did miss the Mummies of Egypt this time but I saw it a few years ago.
Meet Mr Thinker. He is by far one of my favorites. I always think of Night at the Museum when I see him lol
This is the OH MI line.  I walked this today along with riding the bus, walking more and some more, and getting a ride from a stranger. Thank you stranger. I went to the Museum, walked 6 miles to get there, and then walked to the bus stop, then walked and finally got a ride home. Its been an interesting day to say the least. Tomorrow could be just as interesting.
Also, I added a PMP player 4.3 inch screen from Big Lots for videos when the laptop isn't practical and I can now also record my cello playing to make mp3s and podcasts, cheaper than a plain old recorder with way more features. It isn't a ipod but it does the same thing. It is usb run but I have an adaptor for that. Another 12V gadget but I can't enjoy the cello if I can't record myself to see where improvements need to be made.
Below is my cello.... And finally I decided I need to start carrying a backpack, the messenger bag today was rough.