Sunday, November 23, 2014

Photo-of-the-Week #186 - Titillation or Natural, Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 2003

No pun intended with the title of this Photo-of-the-Week, although, I'm sure many will think there is. I'm going to wax philosophic over the topic of, in particular, breasts, boobs, hooters and a plethora of other terms used for a natural part of ALL humans' anatomy, plus the human body in general. I'm sure some of you may be put off by this, however, I can assure you nothing perverse, lewd or lascivious follows. This will be fairly long and unusual for my Photo-of-the-Week post, but I'll reveal my motivation for this article near the end. . . . READ MORE

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Without Bound - Perspectives on Mobile Living - A Video Documentary

So, what is this "living free" lifestyle all about? If you're living free, on your own terms, out of the mainstream, typical, might I even say "average," American lifestyle, then I'm sure you've had people ask you why you choose to live this way. Perhaps they even tell you they envy you, but . . . they could never do it.

I get that regularly. Now, I do my best to not be judgmental. Part of living free is to accept that everyone has the same choices as you and I have. It's not my job to "convert" anyone to my belief system or lifestyle. I don't mind explaining my ideas and thoughts and I'm always happy to assist anyone believing they want to give it a go and take on living free as a way of life.

There are a lot of us around the country (and around the world) who have chosen some form of living free lifestyle. Not all of us are mobile dwellers in RV's, travel trailers, vans, cargo trucks, utility trailers, converted school buses, SUV's, cars and tents. Some prefer to be more stationary and have created all kinds of unique and interesting housing units, many of which, definitely, can not be considered sticks and bricks.

The bottom line is living free is an individual's expression of his or her personal freedom and liberty to live and subsist in whatever manner he or she chooses as long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's personal freedoms and liberties. There are as many stories as there are people living this kind of lifestyle.

A New Video Documentary

Michael Tubbs, a professional filmmaker and graphic designer, became intrigued by the lifestyle of a number of mobile living free proponents.  He, with a colleague, decided to interview and film a number of those people who have been doing this mobile, living free lifestyle for a number of years.

Each individual has his or her own take on why he or she chose to live free in some form of mobile living accommodation. If you've been part of this lifestyle or you're even a wannabe who lurks in the background of many of the RVing, Vandwelling and similar Yahoo Forum sites, then most of the people in the documentary will be familiar to you. You also likely follow many of their blogs.

Perhaps you are only an occasional visitor to my blog. You might have a healthy or, possibly, an almost voyeuristic curiosity about people like me and those in this documentary.  Maybe you're sitting on the fence, wanting to jump over on our side, but need a bit more of a nudge to make the decision and take the action. Then viewing this 50 minute, professionally and nicely produced, documentary will be well worth the time you invest.

You'll hear one of the main stigma's of this kind of lifestyle dispelled. That stigma is the difference between a homeless person and someone who freely chooses this lifestyle. There is a significant difference.

So, click on this link  and enjoy learning about "Without Bound - Perspectives on Mobile Living."

My kudos go to Michael Tubbs, the producer and his colleague, Aaron Harlan for creating a well done representation of a unique lifestyle. As a 50 year media producer myself, I appreciate the care and professionalism displayed in the camera work, sound, storyboarding, sensitivity and editing for this production. I hope to have an opportunity to meet up with Michael Tubbs one day and express my appreciation in person.

Let me know what you think after you've viewed the documentary.

Additionally, I urge you to share this documentary with as many people as you'd like to. I would especially share it with those detractors who may be holding you back from making an important choice. That choice is to express your personal freedom through a non-conforming, alternative, living free, lifestyle.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pimping - Oops, Make That - Primping and Prepping My McVansion For The Next Major Trek.

Well, as the old saying goes (from Robert Burns poem), "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." And that's true of my plans to be on the road heading west by October 1st. I had a project from a very long-term and very good client come in about 2 months later than it was supposed to. So, while I could have managed the project on the road, I was dealing with at least one new vendor and that made me a bit more wary.

During parts of the summer and the fall, especially during this two month delay in my departure, I've been getting little things done on the van, making a few changes and modifications and so on. It's like having a house and a vehicle. There's always something that needs to be done. The only difference here is that the house and the vehicle are one and the same. And, as I had some extra time, I'm doing some of the projects I planned for a little further down the road. . . READ MORE

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Warning For Everyone - No One Is Immune From This

You may have heard about this, but here is a feature article from the Washington Post, a reasonably well respected newspaper regardless of anyone's political persuasions. The article is about the Washington Metro Police Department - supposedly, one would think, in our nation's capital, a pillar of virtue. Not so! Read the story but, especially watch the video the Post produced.

It doesn't appear to matter what your race is or reason for being anywhere. I get the impression police are being trained to profile any vehicle they believe will contain a sizable amount of cash regardless of whether the vehicle is a "beater" or a luxury vehicle or anything between.

By the way, this has mostly been used by counties, small towns and villages, but as the big cities are realizing how much this "highway robbery" can bring in to be used to fund their departments, it appears they are raising the bar.

Read the Post article here and view the video:

Obviously, it's still a relatively small fraction of the traveling public who end up being targeted. But, the number is growing and so is the number of consulting/training companies who earn millions by teaching police how to "highway rob" with intimidation. They use interdiction methods specifically designed to catch smugglers and drug traffickers. But, the vast majority of the victims of these interdictions are innocent people like you and me. 

Just one more thing to be aware of. I guess we have to all make sure we don't carry any large sums of cash with us anywhere. You never know when you may become the next target or where it may happen. But usually, it will be at some serious distance from your home base. 

Here is something interesting. This is a current definition of "Police State" from the Urban Dictionary:

"A country where the police watch what you do and try to control your life. Where there's cameras in town centres and on public transport. Where you can be arrested because of something you said to a friend about the leaders of your country. Where police stop and search people for no reason. [my comment - anyone hear of "Stop and Frisk?"] Where you can be detained without charge or trial. Where the state plants bugs with impunity. Where protesters have to get police permits, and where police regularly attack protesters." 

And here is what is stated by Wikipedia in the opening paragraph of the topic "Police State:"

Police state is a term that originally designated a state regulated by a civil administration, but since the middle of the 20th Century, the term has "taken on the emotional and derogatory meaning of a government that exercises power arbitrarily through the police."

Does any of this sound familiar? 

Photo-of-the-Week #185 Pride & Disappointment - Clifton High School, Clifton, New Jersey, September 2013

50 Years! Yes, it was 50 years ago in June of 1963 that I graduated from Clifton High School. And, here I am back at this school 50 years and three months from my commencement into adulthood. An interesting factoid is that my Class of 1963 was the first class to graduate from this structure or, as we termed it back then, the "new" Clifton High School.

A lot has happened during those 50 years. Clifton High School seems to have aged well. It is still a very pretty, clean and well manicured campus. The trees are now mature as opposed to the newly planted saplings in 1962 when we first walked on the campus. Other than a new wing being added sometime during those years, the structure appears to be much as it was 50 years ago. . . READ MORE

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Business as Usual - Elections 2014

Flickr Photo - Creative Commons License 2011 - Kevan

Well, thank goodness (actually, there is no goodness) the 2014 mid-term elections are over. It reached a point where I'd find myself retching every time another political ad came on or I'd see it in print. I hung up on robo calls - (thankfully, I got few). For everyone reading this who still believes government is or can be good, well just keep your Shirley Temple, Good Ship Lollipop mentality.

Government is not good - in any form! It never has been and never will be. It is, unfortunately, necessary. It's necessary because most humans (notice I didn't make that all inclusive) have the basic drives and abilities to survive individually. But, put a group of them together and they act like a pack, herd, gaggle, flock (choose your word) and ultimately an alpha human will emerge and control the rights of the rest of the group. Oh, and by the way, I'm already sick of the 2016 election campaign and it hasn't even officially begun, yet. . . READ MORE

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Photo-of-the-Week #184 - Remembering Our Veterans, Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, December 2004

I want this photo to stand on its own. It was taken at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. It was at this location that the first shots were fired of what became the bloodiest war in U.S. history. A civil war that pitted brothers against brothers and fathers and sons against one another.

There is not much more to say except that I'm proud and glad to be an American despite all our problems as a country. As a Vietnam Era, U.S. Air Force veteran, I'm proud to be one of those who took the oath to defend our Constitution and serve our country during one of, if not the most, unpopular wars in our history.

As an American and as a veteran, I salute every American man and woman who took that oath and served our country regardless of whether they are alive today or passed on or suffered disabilities or made the ultimate sacrifice, from the Revolutionary War through our current strife. It doesn't matter what branch of the service, whether a member of the Union or the Confederate military, what war they served in or what their job was. Everyone deserves our undying gratitude and I hope everyone reading this who is a U.S. citizen will remember that on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, Veterans Day, especially my fellow veterans. I'm sure there are citizens of other countries who are grateful for our veterans' sacrifices on their behalf, too.