Saturday, April 26, 2014

There'll Be Some Changes Made!

My regrets for not having at least one article to post this past week, other than the regular Photo-of-the-Week. It's been a busy and interesting week. I have two new articles I've been working on, but other things have taken a priority. I guess it's just one of those "life happens" kind of weeks.

New Background Photo

You will notice that I've done some changes to the appearance of the blog. I particularly like using one of my own photographs for my background. Some time back I decided to take my "road" photo from out in the desert down and move it to my up and coming travel blog. But, then I couldn't find another photo in my every growing library of personally taken photos that suited the feeling I want for the blog. So the photo with the blue sky, clouds, grass and red flowers I had as the background until earlier today was actually a stock photo from a Google library, I believe.

I have taken several thousand more photos over the past year and the new one I just put up as the background is one of those. I call it, "Free as an Eagle Soaring." It reflects what I believe it would feel like to be an eagle soaring over the trees, beach and ocean, literally, free as a bird, if you will. I actually took the photo at a height of about 136 feet from the observation deck of the Hunting Island lighthouse near Beaufort, South Carolina. I hope it gives you the same feeling of freedom.

New (modified) Blog Name

You'll also notice that I've added some additional words to the title of the blog. While I'm still going to refer to it as the "Living Free" blog, I decided to add the words "in an Unfree World." I borrowed those last words from the 1973 book title by Harry Browne How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World that I reviewed here on September 21, 2012. As I have noted numerous times in this blog, I am basically apolitical. I do not buy into any of the political ideologies, though, of course, I do agree with some of the beliefs of most of the mainstream political ideas. Unfortunately, there is no utopian world. It amazes me to know that there are substantial numbers of people who believe the United States is the only free country/society and that humans first walked the face of the Earth about 6,000 years ago. In fact there are about 95 free countries/societies in the world and there is irrefutable scientific evidence that humans have been on this planet for more than 100,000 years. But, I'm not going to debate or argue those points with anyone who chooses to believe otherwise.

In actual fact, the U.S. is not actually a free country. We are a country of laws enacted and enforced by, in my estimation (and a broad generalization) far too many incompetent, narcissistic, power hungry (and in a few cases immoral and sociopathic), supposedly duly elected representatives of the populace. The chances are, if you're reading my blog, you probably have no more faith or trust in these people looking out for your/my welfare than I do. And, further, they have created armies of minions who do their bidding for them through more agencies than most of us even realize exist beginning with the local "Constables On Patrol" abbreviated - "COPS" through IRS, DEA, FBI, EPA, ATF, Homeland Security, NSA, CIA, Secret Service, DOD and so many more I can't name them all. The point being, the United States, while described as a democratic-republic, free society under a capitalistic free enterprise economic system, is, in fact, probably more restrictive, regulated, limiting and controlling of our lives than many of the other, so described, free countries/nations. Thus, my title, "Living Free . . . in an Unfree World."

No Extreme Political Rants

Please! Don't worry! I'm not going to start writing extremist rhetoric. Frankly, extreme rants don't, in my opinion, accomplish anything except rallying other extremists and alienating those I consider the rational, personal freedom-seeking individuals I consider similar to myself. I receive and read (some of the) literature, emails, newsletters, etc. from all sides of this picture. I find it interesting to be aware of all the viewpoints. And, while I'm not a pure pacifist when it comes to all this crapola, I find that there are a lot of people like me that I come in contact with. We are the freedom seekers and choose not to fall in lockstep with any of the extreme groups. We do our best to keep up with what's happening around us, mainly to be sure to protect our own interests. But, I find there's no percentage, at least not until someone directly threatens me, to grabbing pitchforks and torches and marching on the big White House and the building with the big dome in Washington, DC. Having spent too many years in or near that place, I view it as a nest of pit vipers. One needs to keep their distance. Unfortunately, though, we can't totally escape politics.

So, it is, and continues to be, you, those who I consider simple, frugal, productive, peace and happiness seeking individuals that I write to and for. Some of you, like me, are nomadic individuals who travel this country (and possibly, the world) full or part-time. I like using the term that seems to be popular these days, "location independent." Others choose to be stationary and may be located in major cities, small towns or even the extreme of tiny houses in low population density, rural areas. It doesn't matter, because we're all seeking the same basic things, personal freedom and happiness.

New Category Tabs

You'll also notice that I've added tabs along the top of the blog that define topical categories. There is still a list of additional pages along the left side of the blog that reflect specific kinds of information for anyone interested. Beginning with the new posts, I'm going to begin placing them in these categories as I write them. As time permits, I'll be going back through all the older posts on the main "Living Free" blog page and creating a list of links back to the categorized posts. My intention in doing this is to make it easier for you, the reader, to find ideas and information that is of particular interest to you. Since the photos of the week are typically about places I've traveled, they will begin appearing in the "On The Road" section. You'll notice I have defined six major categories: Personal Freedom, Happiness, Simplicity, Frugality, Working Free, Reviews and Traveling. There is an eighth catch all category I call Everything Else. It's even likely that, from time to time, you'll find a few articles that may fall under two or more categories.

This will take a bit of time to get it all refined and, honestly, I don't know why I'm taking this project on, I really don't need more to keep me busy. So, bear with me. I'm hoping it will be much more user friendly when it's all implemented.


While the entire context of each post will be found under its specific category, the main
"Living Free" blog page and most likely your email feeds, for those subscribers who receive the latest articles via email, will have a one paragraph "teaser" to let you know what the title of the new article is and the gist of the information to be found in the full article. You'll simple need to click on the title or the "Read more. . ." link at the end of the teaser to go directly to the full article.

Once I get everything integrated and functional I'll be soliciting your feedback. Actually, if you have any suggestions as I'm going through this implementation, please send them along.

Other Information

You'll also see that I'll be getting the pages listed along the top of the left column filled out with the intended information. Some of it may be useful or of some value to you while some may not. But, it will be there just the same. The Donation page is now up and operational. The product page will be more active with a variety of products and vendors. I will have affiliate arrangements with the vendors and I'd appreciate you clicking through my links to place any orders. It won't cost you any more, but it will help me support my blogging efforts. Also, products of vendors that I promote on the product page will be vendors I personally use and can endorse because of my experience. The same will be true for any products I endorse. I'm endorsing them because I use them and I'm satisfied, a happy camper, if you will.

You'll also note that a few other things have moved around the "Living Free" home page. And, you'll probably see a few more things in the not too distant future as I continue to refine it. That's it for the immediate changes. Let me know what you think. Oh, and here is one final note. Tomorrow (Sunday) morning's regular Photo-of-the-Week will be the 156th (three full years) post. So, it will be in the same format to complete the three years. Next week's Photo-of-the-Week will be the first post in May, the first post of the fourth year and the first post in the new format.   

No comments: