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mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

be careful what you dream

watched this last night after seeing a link on you tube:

silent monks hallelujah chorus

i got quite a laugh out of it! til later.....

i fell asleep lying on the cot, surfing the net with my laptop on my chest. i fell asleep and dreamed i was participating in this chorus, and flipped my laptop over my head and out of bed. fortunately it landed on a box of yarn at the head of the cot. scared the bejeepers out of myself. the laptop survived.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

paleotools blog

i am still incredibly busy, 36 hours til my next venue to sell hats and add a little money to the coffers, but i had a comment from a new reader who goes by paleotool. if you know me, then you know how i get a little excited about the word "paleo".  i clicked over to his blog,  and it's a VARDO!

those who know me also know that i have been carrying around old building plans i found on ebay, with the dream of building a sheepwagon to live in. then recently a friend started building a vardo and i was hooked! so i am thrilled to pieces to see this new-to-me blog. i can't imagine i hadn't seen it before, and can't wait to read it all. pop over there to check it out............

i am going to knit on something i don't need my eyes for, so i can read and look at photos!

welcome, paleotool! so glad you dropped by!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

van yogurt

while i'm busy knitting, pop over to sarah's blog at "trail cooking" and see what she has been up to. all good! since i rarely use my cooler in the van, i love getting ideas about how to have some occasional treats that normally take refrigeration or ice. i don't eat a lot of yogurt, but this is how i shall have some yogurt when i've a hankering out in the desert,  far from civ :-)  thanks sarah!

as many of you know, and as we have mentioned on vandwellers, sarah is the guru of freezer bag cooking. you can find her on facebook too!

Friday, November 19, 2010

i've been busy

i have been in a sort of fiber seclusion. Turkey Day market is tuesday, and i have a few ufo's (unfinished objects) i need to..... finish.....and a dozen i want to start! two more events in december, but things will relax after tuesday. you'll hear from me then! promise!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

fear and traveling

any of you that know me know that i am basically a coward with courage. not too many things i'm afraid to do or try, but more often than not, i need to get past some bit of fear or hesitation. i am not what i would consider reckless, though. i often need a little (okay, a lot) of encouragement when doing new stuff.

the subject of safety has surfaced in a few places again lately. there are so many positions on safety and protection, all across the board. so many different life experiences that can shape our perspectives. as a victim of a violent crime and a person with an anxiety disorder, my evaluation of risk is very personal. it most likely won't be yours, and that is as it should be. we each need to take the time to study the broad base of information available in order to make choices that we are comfortable with.

the united states scares me, sometime scares the bejeebers right outta me. awhile back, there was a couple in an RV murdered and found in the burnt out RV, most likely by those escaped prisoners in the southwest. what i found very striking is that there was so little mention of it, in the press, or in my vandweller circles. did anyone else find that disturbing? the murders, i mean?

i could not help but wonder how that whole scenario went down. was this couple kidnapped in a truckstop parking lot? approached with a smile while stretching their muscles at a rest stop? bushwhacked while boondocking in the desert? i've thought of that many times. i thought about the fact that their weapons were possibly used on them....they certainly didn't protect them. i understand that the prisoners were in possession of the victims guns, at any rate. how would i have fared if i had been the one approached by those prisoners? where would my weapons have been? would wasp spray, a machete, a 9mm have helped? would my intuitive alarm have gone off? would it have gone off in time? or would i have answered some smiling stranger inquiring about my dog with the cute stripe on his nose, oblivious to danger.....

i am no more afraid than i was before. i still intend to get back on the road as soon as i am able. i will still stay at truckstops and reststops, and way up in the hills in the desert all alone. i will continue to hone my awareness and my intuition, and try not to lose the joy of spontaneous meeting as i travel. i will tweak my weapons and the skills of using them, as i practice ways to avoid that need. i will still operate on a faith that everything in the universe is exactly as it should be.....

a big debate with strong opinions is regarding the dangers of traveling to mexico. i hear and read alot about killings there related to the drug war. if you are messing with the wrong cartel, you are liable to lose your head. that almost goes without saying. i just read a link about 20 people being killed at a home in mexico. that sounded more intentional than random, not something i am likely to encounter while traveling there. that happens everywhere in the U.S., even near my hometown.

so how do you sort it out? where do you find your safe zone? in your weapons? in your mindset? by staying home? (i can promise you that isn't always safe.)

some links here regarding state department warnings.

this guys blog is very interesting reading.

i would love to hear your thoughts on this. especially why we heard so little about this RV couple that was killed, right here on our own soil.


Monday, October 18, 2010

thermos cooking a la heidi

heidi just did a post over at vansteaders on thermos cooking. i haven't done it in some time, and with the cold weather approaching, will welcome hot food with little effort or fuel consumption. one of my biggest complaints was poor results in cooking brown rice. heidi's blog shows success with that, here

you can read my old blog post on making a reflectix cover for my thermos here.

thermos dimensions: 4" diameter and 7"tall
                    circumference of thermos alone 12.5"
                    circumference with cozy 17.25"
                    20 oz. (0.59 liters)

some photos of my thermos:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

knitting worms

"what is that?" you say. "what are you talking about? worms that knit?"

nope! knitting a worm! heidi has me all in a dither. with all the new found time on my hands after restructuring my life a bit, i have been able to delve into, and actually bring together, several passions. today it is homesteading (vansteading to many of us!) and knitting......

last night i emailed heidi to remind her that Brian the Younger had been doing vermiculture (composting with worms)in his rv when i met him in pahrump. i have some pics somewhere of the cute little guys and the resulting rich, black compost they produced, but thought heidi might be able to get brian to contribute his experiences to the vansteader information pool since i, as i told her,  don't know much about worm poo. i have long been interested in trying it (making it, not eating it) but becoming semi-mobile put a stop to that.....

or has it? i was interested when i saw brian's set-up, but he has a much larger rv with room for that sort of thing. i immediately dismissed it as impracticle in the rondyvan, which is a very silly thing to do. i should know by now that ideas should never be dismissed, only shelved temporarily until heidi gets me all inspired again, and ya throw a whole network of vandwellers and such into the mix :-)

so, the knitting, what about the knitting?

i remembered a discussion on vermiculture in small spaces that we had on a group called ishcon, where friends of ishmael gathered. it took some digging, but i finally found the thread, and lo and behold! i not only found the website of the marvelous woman who created "worm-ware", the sustainable answer to composting on the go, but a pattern for knitted worms! all on the very same website! now ya wonder why i think my life is pretty amazing?

i'm gonna quit rattling on here, and give you some links to check it out yourself. enjoy!

travels with worms

knit one red worm


i can't wait to see where heidi goes with this! kylie, you too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


 heidi just did a post over at vansteaders  on doing laundry. i recently got a new laundry plunger and she has inspired me to finally get to posting about it. i first heard about the mobile breathing washer  from steve spence at green

for years, in between trips to the laundromat, i have done my laundry in a 5 gallon bucket with the rapid washer from lehman's hardware. the big tin-plated steel washer was one piece, too bulky for vandwelling, and had a tendency to rust, so i was pleased to see the newer, portable version.
in my van, i use the 3 gal. paint buckets available at lowe's. as you can see, i cut a hole in a lid for the plunger. i need to do smaller loads, obviously, than with the 5 gal. bucket at the farm. i have a small washboard i use in my collapsible sink for small stuff.

the breathing mobile washer is very sturdy, and disassembles easily. i got mine on ebay for $15 with free shipping. it works just as well as the rapid washer did, and is easier to store. i'm going to do some experiments with heidi's ammonia method, and i'll report back my results in a later post.

Monday, October 04, 2010


i am very excited to announce a new blog that is the blending of so many things close to my heart:


i am so blown away by this, and shouldn't be. heidi is one of the most creative people i know, and when she puts her mind to something, it shines. she shines! this is so timely for me. when i got home in may, i expected to be on the road again  by july. that got pushed back, and now is on hold indefinitely.

being at the farm has been really good....the time is well spent. i have enjoyed my family and friends so much. my homesteading urge is all stirred up, though, and i peruse my container gardening bible and poke around searching out edible wild plants. and dream of doing it on the road....

another thing i have at the farm, that i don't have in the van, is a studio. my creative juices are at their peak when surrounded by the yarns and fiber and tools that i so love, hanging from hooks and draped over furniture where their colors and textures inspire me. there is no re-creating that when i have to lift the mattress and dig under the bed in the rondyvan.

but a solution to that has been dreamed up by another dear friend of mine. sandy has created a little vardo that would be a perfect little pull-behind studio/shop. he has invited me to come to BC and he will teach me how to build one of my own.......isn't that sweet?  i can so picture selling hats out of the side of that rig, and having skeins of yarn, baskets of fiber, and my spindles always handy and ready....

i am going to use my time here in the east well. it is an opportunity to make some changes, and increase the dream. vansteaders will be a great resource! thank-you Numees!

Monday, September 13, 2010

rubber tramp rendezvous

the first annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous has been set for this coming january near Quartzsite, Arizona. there have been alot of gatherings of vandwellers of different sizes and in different places around the country, but this will be slightly more structured (as much as you can structure a bunch of nomads) and hopefully a larger gathering than any before.

January 13- 23, 2011
on BLM desert land near Quartzsite Arizona

you can read more about it here, at Bob Well's site:

hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 07, 2010


last year i had a chance to meet a friends daughter who is a musician. she played a few songs for me, and i immediately got tears in my eyes, her voice was so sweet and clear. it reminded me of those wonderful nights around the kitchen table when i was growing up, and my parents friends played and sang with us late into the night...remember, annie?

i recently got to download her first album, and wanted to share the can listen to clips in the mp3 download page.....i think we'll be hearing more from this young woman.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

the truth about truths

the other day i was looking for a cd case. i have two of them....a small blue round one, and a large grey square one. i keep them both in the rondyvan.
well, i wanted something in the small blue round one. i searched and searched and searched the whole van for the small GRAY round one. couldn't find it anywhere. note that i said gray. in my mind i had transposed the colors. once i had identified that i wanted the small gray cd holder, that became my "truth". i could not see anything else. the darn thing was right on the dashboard, and i couldn't see it.
just thought i'd share that experience.

one of my favorite sayings:

 "just because someone speaks the truth, does not mean he knows the truth"

something i have to remind myself of now and then!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

vandwelling, heat and dogs

i just saw this on a blog i read when i actually get around to reading blogs. it is a reminder of the challenges of living in a van with a pet and keeping them safe. the temps inside the vehicle were a sobering reminder of what happens inside a vehicle in the sun, and how quickly it can happen.

one advantage of vandwelling is that i can follow seasons and climate according to our comfort and safety. i absolutely hate the heat, so avoid it if at all possible. if i can't relocate to a cooler region, then gaining elevation is an option, and will be experimenting with that in the future, after i relocate to the southwest.

even here in the northeast in the summer, i do most of my shopping at night, thanks to walmart and other 24 hour businesses. if i do have to go somewhere in the daytime i leave the engine running using my spare key, and leave the air on. i still keep my business short, because i worry about an AC malfunction or the engine stalling (never has, but there's always a first time)  i set a timer on my phone to beep me after 10 minutes, in case i lose track of the time, and i wear a neck lanyard with info and photos about my vehicle and my dog, so if i should become incapacitated, someone will know to get to Mutt. it also contains vet and emergency contacts who are instructed on how to recover Mutt and get him home safely.

this issue has had a lot to do with the types of things i do on the road. i don't go anywhere dogs aren't welcome, which would be most tourist attractions, some national parks or campgrounds, theaters and malls, restaurants...that sort of stuff.  but that's cool, because none of that holds a candle to the pleasure i get from hanging out with Mutt. he is just the best thing that happened to me since my kids, and dogs lives are too freakin' short. i don't want to miss a minute :-)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Ahoy maties!

We are on the PA/Ohio border....almost at the farm, where we will stay a couple months, then out to the sierras for a bit, then down to taos. Am not going to turn on the phone or 'net at the farmhouse, so will have to see how my connection through my cellphone will work.

It has been quite the trip, and the desert is firmly entrenched in my remains to be seen if I can pass muster as a true desert rat. We'll see!

Monday, May 03, 2010

The first thing you see

I'm on the move again. Fast. Want to be on the east coast for my son's graduation on saturday. Left pahrump at noon on sunday, made alot of stops to play with mutt, so only made 473 miles in 9 or 10 hours (damn time zones). Slept in a motel 6 parking lot and after the initial shock of waking up and not being in camp, fell in love with this view. 

I miss the early morning visits from Tony and Tori. I think Mutt does too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The knives

 I owe a special thank-you to Steve for letting me use his knives for a pattern. They were his Dad's and have special meaning to him, therefore making the gift of sharing them even more precious to me.

The knife on the right is his kitchen knife....he used it to cut the date bread that Suanne shared with us. Ya gotta love a man that uses a dirk for his kitchen knife!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tattoo You

Well, there you have it. I've wanted to for a long time, and promised myself i'd do it this trip out. I am so glad I did it.

I am camped in the desert west of Vegas with a bunch of other vandwellers. One of the guys mentioned he wanted to go check out tattoos, and that was all it took. We enlisted Steve to go for moral support and because he has the most awesome knife collection ever. He very graciously allowed me to borrow 2 of my favorites....a dirk and a kukri (curved gurkha knife) to use for a pattern.

We set out to visit the 3 parlors Bob knew of in pahrump. It's alot of fun going anywhere with these guys (we made a trip to Vegas on saturday to buy ammo, but that's another blog post) because it's takes a bit of choreography to get 3 humans and their 3 dogs into the rondyvan. The dogs particularly do a bit of circling and jockying for a spot, but they have established a comfortable pack relationship here in the desert, so it works out well.

The first place we stopped was Outlaw Johnny's. I was a little overwhelmed at first, looking at all the amazing artwork on the walls, because in all those impressive tattoos, I didn't see one thing that I would have wanted on my skin. I had an idea what I wanted, but had no words to describe it.

They introduced me to Sparky. He was young and serious looking. He, too, had this great artwork all over him....not one of which was like what was in my brain. I began to have second thoughts. I showed him the knives, which he touched and looked at for a long time.

Then Sparky picked up a pencil and quickly began to put onto paper a rough sketch. I knew immediately that that was my tattoo, and he was my tattoist. I made an apppointment for the next day. Bob got one for the same time with Outlaw Johnny. It was finally gonna happen.

I began to worry again later that night, this time about colors. I didn't see many of the colors on the walls at Outlaw Johnny's that were the colors I wanted. Matter of fact, the only place you could see the colors that touch my heart were in the desert, and the sunset. Early in the morning I called, and Johnny reassured me I could get the colors I wanted. But how to describe them? At the last minute, I grabbed some rocks in various shades of red and orange and gold from the wooden bowl on my dashboard.

I felt silly showing the rocks to Sparky, but he didn't hesitate. He put them on the workstand, and then took the knives from me again. As he ran his hands over them, paying particular attention to the blade of the kukri with his fingertips, all doubt left me. i knew he was seeing the knives the way i saw them, with all their spirit and positive energy. i was about to get the best tattoo i could have gotten anywhere in the world.

Practical concerns were dealt with as i watched Sparky set up the equipment and the work field. the nurse in me, with my acute attention to all things germy, was impressed. all the critical parts of the process were disposable, and i was shown the expiration dates and the integrity of the packaging. with the final drawing completed and my little pile of rocks next to his paint pots, he began.

it didn't hurt. I was surprised, because I have such sensitive skin. It was cool to watch him create this image on my arm in all of the colors of the sunset of the night before, when I had said to someone in camp, only half joking, "wherever Sparky is, I hope he's watching this sunset". He must have been. The knives showed the glint of steel and the patina of age and use, just like the real ones. It didn't take that long (or I was too absorbed to notice the passing of time) until it was over. i couldn't stop smiling, i loved it so much.

much gratitude to Sparky, Outlaw Johnny, and the crew. you made my first tattoo a memorable experience. and thanks to Bob for sharing it all with me....neither of us squeeling even a little bit :-)

did you notice i said "first tattoo"? on my way out, on the wall by the door, was a chinese character that depicts the word "drifter"....upper left arm maybe? i'll see ya again soon, Sparky....

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Roadside assistance

I camped a few miles up into the foothills last night to get a different view of the city and some profound stillness. Woke up once when wayne showed up to check on me. The second time was when mutt began to growl that deep warning that still surprises me to hear. 

Because I was so far away from anyone or anything, I never put up my reflectix or shut my curtains...better to see the sunrise. At mutt's warning, I surfaced from my comforter to see a guy walking around the van. Now it's odd enough to see somebody out here in the middle of nowhere, but this guy is wearing a shirt and tie and has a jacket of some sort thrown over his shoulder. He proceeds to walk away from the van and head west down the gravel road towards pahrump.

I'm parked on a side trail into the desert. There are no cars around, and there is room to get around me, so I can't be parking the guy in. I watch the guy disappear down into the valley, then curl up to sleep a little longer.

When I get up again a while late, I decide to drive a little further up to the canyon and take some pictures. That's when I discover the flat tire.

I was a little annoyed, but i've been paying for AAA Premier and haven't had a service call for over a year, so that's a good thing. I have sunshine, cel service, all the comforts of home, and no place I have to be. Life is good :-)

The conversation with AAA was cute, though. No street address in the middle of the desert. Cross street? I tell her. How far? About 3 miles away. She then wanted to know all about the vehicle. She seemed worried that they would get the wrong one. I assured her I was the only vehicle within almost 3 miles, and with the orange kayak on the roof they could just about spot me from Death Valley. Turns out i'm talking to a dispatcher from the mid-atlantic region, and she has to patch me through to the dispatcher in nevada. There are very few places on the east coast that are 3 miles from anything, unless you've been out here to experience it, the solitude is hard to imagine.

The tow truck got here really fast. After some bungee cord drama, he changed my tire and I washed my hair by a creosote bush. I am now off to get the tire repaired and find a less complicated bungee cord arrangement on the baby hitch haul....

Photos are of the view from my campsite. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Missing monster

This is the monster referenced in the previous post "gps". I don't know why I bother, cause mike and heidi won't see it. Matter of fact, I think it was there until mike read it, he musta made it vanish....

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I saw more monsters the other day. I wish mike and heidi had been there to not see it.

For those of you who missed it, read

Cathy and astrobri wonder why I see all the dragons. If you look in the photo you will see my GPS which stands for Gargoyle Proximity Sensor....

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Attention walmart shoppers!

Just a heads up to those of you who travel and patronize walmarts in different states.


And yes, i'm shouting. I want to remember this.

I really REALLY glared at the man in the ladies room here at the walmart in yuma. Until he turned around and I saw the employee name badge. It only took me about 3 1/2 seconds then to realize that the male employee probably knew better than I the location of the ladies room (since he worked there) and this wasn't it.

Otherwise, it was an uneventful day.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Part II of part II

Okay, so this night has been a long one.

I started out in a walmart parking lot in yuma, where we were rousted about 3 a.m. We ended up going to the border crossing at algodones, hoping to scope it out and maybe make the dash across on what is to be the coolest day of the week. 

Just before 5, 3 stray, skinny dogs came by, and I fed them some cookies out the window. When the border patrol drove by, I rolled the window up, and stuck the box of cookies under my seat, which of course was the wrong thing to do. After he ran my plates he approached the van and had me pull out the cookies. I had a pic of one of the dogs on my phone to back up my story, but I felt kinda bad, because he was just a kid, and what a thankless, dangerous job they do. 

I drove into CA. to a gas station where the realities of gas prices hit home. Came back to AZ for gas and to plan my next step. It may be too late in the year to leave mutt in the car and to cross the border for glasses. I need to price mexican auto insurance for the day, maybe drive across, or rent a motel or find a kennel where the dog will be safe. Original plans had me doing this when other vandwellers were around to dogsit...... I'll keep you posted.
-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Update: Part II....

What I  neglected to mention in part I was that when we were in san antonio, it snowed there for the first time in 12 years. I missed it. Most likely, I was in the bathroom. It never stuck to the ground where we were, news reports indicated some snowman activity in the hill country, though.

A significant portion of our trip was spent in verizon corporate stores trying to fix the pixi. It had multiple issues, like turning itself off repeatedly, frequent screen freezing and error messages, and even dialing *611 spontaneously.

We had been to the SA store 3 times, and they were unable to fix it. They gave me a new one, which had it's own set of horrors. I couldn't believe it. I set across west texas with a phone more gremlin than pixi. The guys in las cruces wanted to replace it again. I said no. I didn't want to lose my bookmarks snd music all over again, like I had in SA. There was a new  update scheduled that weekend, and  I decided to continue on to arizona and hope that the update would fix it.....

To some degree it did. Most of the error messages were gone, but the annoying habit of shutting down spontaneously continued. In a phone that can take 5 minutes to turn itself on, that was unacceptable. What if I had to dial 911? I just wanted a phone that worked.

By then I was in safford, az. Verizon customer service informed  me that there was a VZW store within 25 miles of safford. Turns out, it was more like 25 feet, across the street in thatcher! There, the manager listened to my story, read the lengthy documentation from tech support, and offered me a new solution...a different phone. I was reluctant at first....i wanted the phone I had to work, no more switching and losing apps and music and bookmarks. But after 3 more days of it turning off in the middle of an email or the middle of the night, I decided to go for it.

I switched to a pre. And am I ever glad I did! It just works. It does what it is supposed to do, when I want it to do it. And nothing I don't want it to  do, like dial itself. How simple and perfect is that?

I am so grateful to the folks at the vzw store in thatcher, for making this possible, and for renewing my faith in my phone. It's been almost a week, and not one error message or shut down has happened.

Thank-you Braden and Wendy for all of your kindness and assistance, you went that extra mile. I am so happy with my phone and my service!

During all the phone madness was a bright spot, though. I got to spend a little time with astrobrian at roper lake state park. With Mt. Graham on one side, and roper lake on the other, it was a peaceful place to regroup. Mutt and dina dog had some nice off-leash romps in the desert, too. A storm rolled through, of course, but it was much welcomed rain to ease the drought. An old guy in the walmart parking lot thought I should stay, and offered me the key to the city, if I attracted that much stormy weather :-)

I've been asked to move by the border patrol. I'll finish later.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Monday, March 08, 2010

Update, short and sweet (part I)

We left PA on feb 4th, couldn't stand the weather. Got caught in the 1st blizzard without making it out of PA, but got to hang out at my sister annie's! Thank-you sarah and david for shoveling me out!

I scurried south just ahead of the 2nd blizzard, feeling pretty safe when I got to knoxville, until ron called and informed me of the storm dumping on dallas texas and heading my way. So we scurried some more, only to experience snowfall just north of new orleans.

So, we scurried some  more..... living in the moment was becoming a thing of legend. I so longed for warmth, and finally found a dose of that in east texas where I tracked down phoenix (a fellow vandweller) ....had a great dinner with him, and as usual, alot of laughs.

Set our sights on san antonio the next day. Had a really nice interlude at a closed weigh station on I-10, where mutt got to do some off-leash running and playing. A not-so-nice interlude came a few miles later when we were stuck in standstill traffic for several hours while a tanker burned and authorities evacuated a mile radius of homes around it. We were about a half mile away, where I was feeling pretty pleased at having all the conveniences of home right  there on that overpass, when streams of people started heading past us on foot, back east, evacuated from their vehicles in front of us. We weren't asked to leave the rondyvan, and after a couple hours, were allowed around the crash site and made the last 13 miles to ron's without incident. Except for getting lost. I hate it when the GPS lady shrieks.

it was so good to see ron, and to have left  all the drama behind! Heh. Poor Ron. Mutt and I promptly came down with giardia picked up heaven knows where. There was a visit to the vet, nasty medication for both of us, and countless bathroom visits. Our vandweller friends came through with lots of suggestions on living with this illness in close quarters, while Ron fielded most of the whining. The good news is that I recovered enough appetite for a visit to coopers BBQ before we left. Ron had to cancel his plans to caravan out to the vandweller gatherings, which had pretty  well dispersed by the time we were able to get on the road again.....but we found plenty to do....see part 2 tomorrow!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

No time like the present

I keep putting off blogging because i'm so far behind, and am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that has happened. So, just for today :-) here is a highlight....on my way north from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument I stopped in Ajo to see the plaza. Discovered the very best hot dogs ever. I think it is the avocado that does it!

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

An announcement from mutt

She's testing out the NEW phone yet again, and I am just testy. There has been a flurry of activity, mostly centered around loading the rondyvan. I smell a roadtrip, so stalk up on those biskies, cause homer here I come!

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the droid and other stuff

okey dokey. i've been on a computer blackout. and it ain't been pretty.
my palm centro was acting up again. with only 6 months left of my current sprint plan, i didn't want to spring for a $100 co-pay to get a new phone (yet again) . i wanted to switch to verizon, anyhow, cause there are places i have been (like the slabs) where i didn't get service and the verizon folks did. and i wanted to get a phone that did more and could combine tasks of several other things (think downsize) and maybe allow me to get rid of the netbook. enter the droid by motorola.
this little phone is pretty awesome. it has one of the largest screens of any phone i've seen, really intense graphics, amazing speakers and more applications available than i ever new existed. i can tune my guitar with this little thing! i'm serious! it has a downloadable app that is an actual guitar tuner! it also has a guitar playing app so i can strum or pick songs! think campfire karaoke!
some of my other favorite apps are the mindfulness bell which rings intermittantly to remind me to focus and center myself (you'd love it bri!), a virtual zen rock garden with sand and rake, a 5 megapixel camera with flash that does good closeups for taking hat pictures for etsy, satellite radio, gps navigator, slide-out and virtual keyboard.....
what's not to love? heh. the ONE thing i need my phone to do is to cut and paste and trim, especially emails.  and because of connectivity problems (especially at the farm) i need to have an email retrieval ability that will let me do it off-line.
the droid does none of that.
i think the droid was made for techno savvy folks who don't live in rural areas and have to worry about signal strength too often. so the idea of selling the netbook to cover the cost ($200) of the droid goes right out the window. i need regular online access to do the most important tasks for access and the ability to work with them.
it looks like i have several options. because i don't have cell access at my homebase, verizon will let me out of the contract no problem. because it's in the 1st 30 days of purchase i can switch phones and pay a $30 restocking fee. (i don't think i should have to pay this because i was very specific about what i needed the phone to do when i bought it, and everyone including tech support said it would, although no one could tell me exactly how (that shoulda been a clue) and it took a call to motorola droid support one week later to tell me in 60 seconds that the droid smply can't do that. it can be a metal detector, a vibrator (yes, a vibrator, ew!) or a flashlight, for heaven's sake, but it can't trim text?)
another option would be to switch to a basic phone plan, and get an air card for my netbook. the cost would be about the same as the monthly data plan of the droid, which was about the same for the sprint palm centro. then i would have broadband access even at the farm, and ditch the dreaded dial-up. or.....
i could switch to the "palm pre plus" which verizon just got in yesterday. the reviews have it almost as good as the droid, only smaller screen, only a 3 megapixel camera but a better flash, not as good sound quality, no speaker phone, but it will manage my email just the way i need to. the keyboard is better than the droids, too. i don't know if it can tune my guitar.....
if i go with a smartphone with dataplan, i can't add the cost of the aircard to my budget. the air card is an attractive thought, especially if i can use it at the farm. i'm waiting to hear from mar on her take on that, as she had a verizon aircard when she was here.
the other attractive thought, though, is having one device perform the task of many. especially when on the road.
so if anybody has any thoughts or feedback or ideas, i'd appreciate your comments. i have a couple weeks left in my grace period to make any changes. your input will help me make a better choice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

american nomads

photo taken labor day 2009 at the blue ridge rifles rendezvous
wayne and john discuss the future of the colonies

i've been thinking alot about the 'voo this week. hunkered down in this cold weather, i just finished "Centennial" by james michner, and am halfway through "american nomads" by richard grant.

my buddy brian recently recommended "american nomads", (click title above for amazon link) and i got it with the intention of reading it on my way west. since the trip was postponed, it didn't take long for me to cave in and read it to stave off my longing for the road. it did the complete opposite.


from the preface of the book:

"A Tibetan dignitary, visiting America for the first time, sits by the Green River in Utah, looking over the mountains and the high windcarved plateaus. His name is T.T. Karma Chopel. He has come to America to study the workings of its democracy, but that is not in his thoughts now.

Something about the landscape and the great sweep of sky reminds him of his homeland. He thinks of yaks and yak herders, making their endless migrations across the Tibetan plateaus.

He knows there are no yak herders in america but he assumes there must be some equivalent. "who are your nomads?" he asks.........."


this is a book to be savored. i read a little bit at a time, trying to make it last. the comforting thing while reading these stories is knowing that in a few weeks, i will be on the road again, making my own stories, and hearing yours.....