Street Currency

I know some people who sleep rough (outside).  Not only do they sleep rough but they are outside for most of the day because almost everything costs money.  The library is a good hang out but it’s not open all the time and I’m sure it gets boring after a while (not for me cuz I’m an internet addict!)

Anyway, some homeless people have money.  They might have a disability check, they might work a little or they might get a regular allowance from family.  It usually isn’t a lot or they’d have a place to live but it’s enough to buy some meals (and sadly drugs and alcohol, although not everyone on the street is addicted).

I’ve noticed that in certain circles when you have money, you are expected to share and when you don’t have money, one of your friends will share with you.  You want to be known as someone who shares so if you are broke people will help you.  I have watched this in action and it’s quite interesting.

I have given out money here and there but don’t receive any.  That’s ok by me but I imagine, if I were to find myself in trouble, I would probably be able to borrow 5 dollars for a meal or whatever.  Oh wait!  Actually I did  borrow 5 dollars for gas once so I could get to the bank and cash a check so I could buy more gas!  The person I asked knows I work so he knew I would pay him back right away.

I don’t really want to live that way, depending on others and having demands on the money I make but I like the sort of community feel of it.  I imagine my European ancestors may have helped each other like this in different times and I see Mexicans (who are part European of course) do this even today.  They buy lottery tickets together, pay for parties and weddings together and so on.  I have even heard of money pools where you pay into it for months or years and eventually you will “win”.  It’s a sure thing, not left to chance.  When it’s your turn, you win.  It’s an informal savings plan I guess.  I like this idea.  I wonder if any of the Mexicans ever renig on the deal and I wonder what happens if they do.  They are probably mostly family members so to renig might put you out of the protection and help of the family circle (as it should).  I’ll bet people don’t renig very often.

Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind today!

PS.  It looks like I’m not going to be able to get all my comments back.  That makes me very sad!  Sorry guys and gals!

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Comments Missing

A kind reader alerted me to the fact that all the comments that have been made to this blog are now missing.  Ugh.

I have contacted Mooch, my webmaster by email to let him know.  Hopefully he’ll be able to fix the problem.  I don’t have time to learn the technicalities of wordpress.  I wish I did!

Stay tuned!

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Air Mattress

Did I tell you folks I have an air mattress in the van now?  I have a battery operated pump that I got for under 20 dollars and it takes about 5 minutes to blow the mattress up.  I throw my blankets down and there I am.  Snugasabuginarug!  I am getting quite spoiled!

I am tired of not having a bathroom “in house” though.  When I sleep at the beach, there’s a public bathroom but who wants to put on their shoes and see dozens of strangers on the way to the toilet in the middle of the night?   And who wants to do that when it’s in the 40 degree range out there?

I’ve been working a lot.  Still underpaid but I’m slowly working on changing that.

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Actions

So far the action partner situation is working out well.  I am getting a few things done.  It’s probably immature that I need to “trick” myself like this but having a person say “atta boy” at the end of the day when I take a baby step or two, really helps me stay focused and want to do something the next day.

 

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I Have an Action Parner!

As some of you may remember, I am attending phone meetings with Underearner’s Anonymous.  On of the tools of the program is having an action partner.  I got one two days ago and so far it’s great!

We talk for five-ish minutes in the morning and five-ish minutes in the evening.  In the morning, we share an action or actions that we want or need to take that day and in the evening we say whether we accomplished our action or not.  It really helps telling another person what you plan to do and to know, if you don’t do it (or at least make progress on it) you have to ‘fess up at the end of the day.

I am only telling my partner one thing.  I am picking the hard things that I don’t want to do.  Things I am putting off.  It works!

You don’t have to be in Underearner’s Anonymous to have an action partner.  If you tend to put off important things and you have a friend that does the same thing, you may be natural accountability or action partners.  Try it!

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Work, Ethics and Boredom

I met up with a man and his girlfriend that are in Underearner’s Anonymous recently.  The man was saying that once I get my confidence back, I will be able to earn well.

It’s not so much confidence in myself that I need as much as confidence in the world.  I don’t want to work hard at something, then be slammed to the pavement because the whole industry is being deconstructed or only the cheaters do well.  Am I bitter?  Perhaps.  But it’s more about conserving the best of myself, my mind, my energy, my ideas, for something that is worthwhile.

Frankly, I don’t want to be someone’s slave.

It’s strange to me that when Africans were brought to the U.S. as slaves that they rarely rose up against their masters.  I guess it’s because the whole system was against them.  If they killed their master and ran off…or if they even just ran off, the law would be after them.

Americans are getting a raw deal from the U.S. government now.  They don’t have as much freedom as they think they do (try yelling certain words in a crowded room and see how much freedom of speech you have) and many of their jobs have been shipped overseas while rich foreigners who have profited from the outsourcing, come here and buy up houses, making the housing market almost impossible to get into for the average young person.  But we don’t rise up and say FU government do we?  It’s because we are scared.  The whole system is against the common man now.  If you want to thrive in the U.S.  you will often be asked to compromise.

So I keep thinking and searching for ways of working that I can stomach.  I have dabbled in social media marketing but it’s sooooo boring.  Perhaps I need to just do boring things though huh?  It’s part of life.

What do you guys and gals think?  Is boredom part of work-life?  Is that okay?

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Food

I finally bought a butane stove.  It was under $20 and I bought a 5 pack of butane thingies for around 6 dollars.  I haven’t used it yet.

It’s cold, for starters.  Also, when I read the directions, I realized that when I use the stove, I’m going to have to allow it to cool down before I put it back in my van.  I wonder how long that will take?  How will I keep it clean?  How will I clean any utensils or pans I cook with.  Certainly my readers aren’t going to suggest I carry a tub to wash dished with me in my van???

I have asked for advice but I realize that ideas and reality don’t always match up.

Maybe this weekend I will try out the stove so I can see how long the whole process will take.  I will let you all know.  Maybe I will try it at the beach where “anything goes”.  I don’t know if anything goes.  There are a surprising amount of laws and ordinances in the world.  It is even “illegal” for me to sleep in my van.  Go figure.

I thought about the suggestion from a commenter here that suggested eating cold foods like mashed potatoes but that sounds super horrible, especially when it’s so cold outside some days.  It just feels too much like deprivation to me.  Just. Cant. Do. It.

Oh well.

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Happy New Year!

I’m not as religious as I used to be but it’s funny how this time of year produces a conditioned response in almost everyone.  What I mean is, when the lights are strung up and the Christmas music plays, we all act a certain way.  It’s mostly a good thing.  People smile more and wish each other well.  Some people turn into monsters of course.  For me, I think I’m a fairly kind  and friendly person all year and the Christmas season makes it more acceptable for me to act this way.  Leave it to me to analyze Christmas huh?

My New Years Goals are the same as always.  Lose Weight.  Make More Money.  I’m pretty sure I will make more money this year than last year.  I think I might lose some weight too.

I have already cut down on my food intake and I am not drinking soda (one day at a time).  I work out sometimes at the gym.  I ride a stationary bike….very slowly.  I don’t want to overdo it!  :)  I haven’t even been upstairs yet at the new gym where the weight machines are.  I know the benefits of working out with weights but never feel enthused about it.  I NEVER want to do squats.  I was told years ago that they are bad for your knees.  I am seeing a lot of people MY AGE getting knee and hip replacements so I think it best to continue not doing squats and other extreme (to my mind) exercises.

I have a schedule I am trying to stick to for 2016.  Here it is:

6-7 am  Eat Breakfast

7-830 Workout and Shower at Gym

830-9   Go to Storage/Get rid of bedding/clothes etc.  Turn sleep van into work van

9:00-10   See if I can get anything edible/nourishing at the local food pantry.  Usually I get a bag of bread and desserts but once in a while I get something useful

10   Work on Computer.  Paid WORK only.  I am actually not supposed to blog here until the weekend because I don’t make any money from it (except a few cents a day from the ads)

11-5 (or earlier)  My main job.  If I have help I finish earlier.  I eat lunch on the go.

5-6   Eat dinner, preferably at the healthy grocery store.

6-7 Do more paid computer work

7-730  Go to storage to get bedding/clothes etc.

730-10 relax.  OR (I plan to) go to meetups groups some nights (once or twice a week?) to network or something.

Does this look like a good plan for a weekday?  It’s sad that I have to drive everything…my storage (like a closet), my shower, my kitchens (restaurants), but I figure, if I had a house or condo, I’d probably spend a lot of time daily cleaning it.  I figure washing dishes alone must take about an hour day unless you rinse and throw them in a dishwasher.  Not to mention dusting, vacuuming, cleaning sinks, toilets, tub and so on.

 

 

 

 

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Hello hello!

Hi guys and gals.  If you are reading this, thanks for either being subscribed to the blog or just being interested enough to check in once in a while.

I’m still sleeping in my van every night except when I am house sitting.  After 4 years of living in a van I am finally getting used to “winter” sleeping.   I DO live in Southern California though so take that statement with a grain of salt.  Still, I’m pleased that I can be comfortable at lower temperatures.  It gets into the low 40s at night.  I have a couple of great sleeping bags (crucial!) and my new van has a working heater so I can warm up in the morning.

I haven’t bought a butane cooker yet.  I might after the holidays.  I will have to overcome my reluctance to be seen in public using it.

I go to a new gym.  It is so clean and new looking!  It’s big too so I feel like no one is paying attention to me and if I don’t feel like working out, I don’t have to.  I can just take my shower.  It’s strange.  I’m only paying a few more dollars a month but this gym is so much better.  They give you a couple of towels to use too, and then you turn them in to be washed!  Such luxury!  No more drying wet towels in the van!  Yay!  It’s the little things sometimes.

Gas prices have been pretty low so I have been driving a little more without worry.  The van still needs a few repairs.  I just work on it as I have the money.

I’ve been working and it’s been fine.  Not perfect, but nothing ever is.  I haven’t lost any clients and sometimes I get a new one for house or dog sitting.

I guess that’s it.  What’s happening with YOU?  Anyone going to start van living soon?

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Checking in

Hello Friends,

I didn’t mean to drop of the face of the planet.  I’ve just been busy.

Things are going pretty good here.  It’s getting a little cold at night.  Well it’s cold for this area.  It’s been in the high 40s at night.  I can’t handle the 40s.  I have an amazing sleeping bag that I bought used a couple of years ago.  It’s some kind of military issue item.  I call it The Tarp in my mind because the outer cover is very think and I’m guessing, waterproof.

I would like to rent a room somewhere but still feel a little uncomfortable about the fact that I would almost definitely be short of money all the time.  I need to keep my old van ,Vinnie II running.  Vinnie II is a few years older than Vinnie I was but he’s still old and will require frequent maintenance.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s less expensive to just get a car loan…still, I hate using credit.  You end up paying banksters for sitting at their desks.  It’s such easy money for them.  The heck with that.  I’ll pay the hard-working mechanics.

I wonder how much money I would save on food, if I were able to cook in a rented room.  How much money is reasonable for a single person to spend a week, when they cook at home.  I don’t want to eat beans every night either.  What do you guys and gals think?  Help me crunch the numbers!  I spend a lot on food eating at restaurants every day.

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