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 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 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.