Saturday, October 17, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up, Saturday October 17, 2015

Where do the weeks go? We're halfway through October already. I'm still busily listing stuff on eBay and Craig's List, packing and shipping things that sell, trying to figure out what to do with some of the things that don't sell that I really don't want to keep storing. Obviously, they'll either be given away or thrown away, but I hate to throw anything away that may actually be usable by someone else. The plan continues to be to get rid of as much stuff as I can so I can eliminate some of my storage and get everything remaining into one 10x10 unit.

I still have the two captain's chairs and the couch from the back of My McVansion that removed so I could build in my living accommodations. I can't seem to get anyone to bite on Craig's list. I've lowered the price twice. To be honest, anything I might be paid for them would be found money. And the space they are taking up in the one storage unit is actually more valuable to me than the few dollars I might make from selling the chairs and couch, so I'm about to re-list again and just say make an offer. And after that, if no bites, it's going to be FREE! Just come and take them off my hands.

I just sold two of my laser printers and wouldn't you know, both of them had to ship to CA from the east coast. Oh well! I still have two more laser printers, an office copier and an almost new inkjet printer to go. There's still one flat screen monitor awaiting a buyer. I've had a few interested parties, but no one is biting. It's also like new. The real challenging items are the left over recording equipment from my studio, a bunch of old video gear including a broadcast camcorder and broadcast VCR's along with other ancillary pro audio and video stuff. And, then there are the collectible phonograph records. I have a local used vinyl LP store a few blocks away who may take some of my vinyl and even CD's, but I'd like to get a reasonable amount for the collectibles. Time will tell.

Let me tell you folks, if you haven't done the major downsizing in your life, and I've been talking about that on this blog a fair amount, it's not as easy as it seems it should be. Well, that is, unless you're ready to make a decision to just get rid of it – period – no ifs, ands or buts. Call up someone with a truck and have them get it all and just take it away. Off to the landfill, the Salvation Army, the public auction block or whatever. You just want it gone. That's easy with some things, especially if they're typical household items.

I've done the landfill thing already (four dump truck loads seven years ago). I've given away a lot of stuff. I've done the yard/garage/moving sales (again, seven years ago). So, most of the stuff that would go using those methods is gone. It was mostly the household stuff and generic office and similar things. But, dealing with older office equipment and specialized professional audio and video equipment is a different ball game. The equipment becomes obsolete very quickly. There are some pieces that retain their desirability and value, but not that much. And, it's also difficult to just send it to the landfill. Due to the nature of the equipment, sometimes you actually have to pay a premium to have it handled by a recycling company.

So, a word to the wise. DO NOT WAIT to downsize all that “stuff” you've been sitting on for too long and haven't used in years. It's easy to acquire and a royal PIA to get rid of.

Anyway, that's been and continues to be my main focus until I get back on the road, which looks to be around the beginning of December. It's getting cooler here in this little WV valley I'm based at right now. I still have some work to do on the van to get it ready for full-time on the road again. I also need to do some rethinking of what I want/need on board and reorganizing, too. I need to go through every storage area, nook and cranny to determine what stays on board and what goes.

This seems to be a continual process for a lot of the people I know who are full-time RVers and vandwellers. We all do a pretty good job of living a simple, minimalist lifestyle, yet, I think we all have some kind of pack rat genetic predisposition. It may not be much, but I'm sure all of us living the mobile lifestyle have a few things we can identify that we really, really don't need and use, but carry it “just in case.” It's a throwback to a time when we had lots of space, in some kind of stick & brick residential unit, to squirrel away “stuff.”

The Week That Was

The events of the week have been . . . well, the usual. Murder, mayhem, plunder, barbaric acts, floods, fires, mudslides, etc. abound. Sometimes I actually enjoy reading the headlines on the “tabloids” in the supermarket or Walmart check out lines. At least they are titillating.

The Democratic presidential debate was on this week. Frankly, one word – BORING! That's the one thing I can say about the Republican debates, with the Donald front and center, it's entertaining at the very least. The Democrats had five people with HRC, the presumed front runner, in the center slot. Of course, with all her alleged lies and the numerous scandals surrounding her aura, she was the focal point. Bernie Sanders, the self-avowed Democratic Socialist was the secondary focal point. I think Anderson Cooper actually did a pretty good job of moderating and hitting them with good questions and even calling them on it when they did their typical government, doublespeak, talk-arounds. In other words, they blow out a lot of hot air and say virtually nothing of substance.

Believe me, the Republican establishment candidates are no better. The only ones who seem to say what they mean and mean what they say are the three none establishment Republican candidates. They don't have anything to lose and everything to gain by saying what the people want brought out. Can the political correctness bullshit and call a spade a spade. The rest of the Republican (and Democratic, except for HRC since she is currently holding no office) are all playing CYA because they are currently holding an office and want to keep it as a fall back.

Actually, Mike Huckabee (R), former Gov. of Arkansas and Jim Web (D) who served as Secretary of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs and was a U.S. Senator from Virginia are not currently in any government office. Interestingly, Webb only served one term in the Senate. I don't recall the exact circumstances, but I believe he left the Senate saying he didn't feel he was able to accomplish anything for the country in that office. He is a decorated Vietnam Marine veteran.

To be honest, I was watching the debates on my computer and watching the NBC TV show “The Voice” at the same time. I was not stimulated enough by the debates to forego watching “The Voice” which I could have watched the next evening on my computer. So, in between the actual singing performances, I'd turn the TV volume down and the computer volume up. As I said, mostly BORING on the debate and I got my entertainment value from the banter between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton on “The Voice.” Am I bad? Am I un-American? Whatever!

The South Carolina flooding was and is still happening. They were clobbered there. I believe there were something like 17 dams that either failed, partially failed or were in danger of failing. That's pretty significant. I think humans are brilliant and ingenious in science and engineering. But, unfortunately, you can't fool around with Mother Nature. She can be a real bitch when she decides to be. I know there were a number of deaths attributed to the Nor'easter and resulting flooding.

The position of Speaker of the House is still up in the air and in contention. It's just one more indicator of the dysfunction in our Capitol and in our government. Remember folks, we actually voted (if you voted) to put these (????) sterling examples of leadership in these important positions to represent us. Any question why there are so many issues running awry in our country?

Let's see, a former NFL football player went out on a jogging path and randomly killed a jogger. Then told the police he committed capital murder. Gotta love our kids' role models and the people we dedicate several nights and afternoons a week to. Let me restate that, some of you do. I don't and I haven't for years. I no longer know the players, the coaches, the owners, the sponsors, the names of the stadiums, etc. and I DON'T CARE to. And, several collegiate coaches were canned in the last week or so – boohoo, now they will lose their million dollar (multi-million dollar) paychecks. I'm crushed – NOT!

And, I read an interesting article about how effective we are being in the Middle East, specifically, Afghanistan. Yes! We're doing such a great job over there that ISIS has now opened a “branch office” in one of the provinces of that country. There had been no ISIS presence there until now. The people living in that province are trying to flee – I don't know where they'll go, but they are saying they prefer the barbaric, ruthless, caveman, mentality of the Taliban to this new scourge. These ISIS people are inhuman. They will take a person, rip their teeth out of their mouth, then sit them on a mound full of buried explosives and blow them up in front of people. Gee! Do you think they're getting compliance from the local citizens? I won't go into anymore detail. Let's just say the most powerful country in the world has wasted almost 15 years of our men's and women's lives and our taxpayers money with this as the result. This country hasn't been involved and fought a war to win it since World War II. How can than be? I sure don't have an answer.

Well, that's enough about the news of this week. I often wonder why I want to keep up with current events. I have satellite radio in My McVansion with all the cable news channels. I even pay an extra quarter for the Fox News Channel (hmmm) to make sure I have them all. And, I find I listen to them less and less. Let's all focus on some lighter fare – how about the comedy channels. Laughter is still the best medicine.

Weekend Reads

So, here are some things for you to watch, listen to or read. Each stands on its own merits (or in some cases, demerits). Hopefully these will fill some of your spare time this weekend . . .

First up, I think the end time is here, folks. The zombies and banshees are among us and they are out of control. Thanks to my friend Jim Foreman for sending this along on a private group we belong to. Beware, the language is hmmm, shall we say, colorful? No Chicken McNuggets


Next up, we leave the world of hellish people like that woman at the McDonald's and look into a new dimension. My friend and a regular blog reader and commenter, Richard Rosen, has spent much of his lifetime studying, exploring, gaining insight and expounding on the spiritual facet of humans. He's just released a new book through Life After Death: a step by step account of what comes next. This topic isn't in everyone's wheelhouse, but I enjoy reading different approaches to various facets of this miraculous gift we call life. Since I don't profess to have a clue as to “what comes next,” Richard provides a new dimension. This is not a religious book endorsing any denomination, doctrine, dogma or religious approach. It's a spiritual book exploring our spiritual lives, which I believe we all have whether we accept that premise or not. Check it out, you can gain a lot of info online at this Amazon link.


One of my favorite bloggers on the process of decluttering, downsizing and minimizing our lives is Courtney Carver with her “Be More With Less” blog. Here is the link to a recent post that gives you 10 guidelines to this process that I'm going through and many of you are if you're following my “52 Weeks to a Simpler Life” series. Quick read, great insights: 10 Slow and Steady Strategies for Practical Decluttering


Yet, another of my favorite bloggers is Marelisa Fabrega from her world headquarters in Panama. Marelisa is forever creating useful lists of tips about ways to accomplish all kinds of things. In this post from her blog, “Daring To Live Fully,” she outlines 30, yep, count them, 30 tips for learning any skill faster. Hey, learning is an ongoing process. When we stop learning, they start shoveling the dirt on top of our coffin. So, check out her tips at 30 Tips for Learning Any Skill Faster


And finally, Joshua Becker writes a blog, “Becoming Minimalist,” that I enjoy reading. Joshua is quite a bit younger than me, but he seems to have his act together and I really appreciate that. I pick up some useful tips from time to time. Since I'm older, single and my son is an adult living a full and productive, yet, minimalist lifestyle on the other side of the continent from where I am currently, I don't have a lot of personal use for Joshua's family tips. But, they very well may apply to you. Here is paradoxical post from him. The Productivity of Being Non-Productive


And that's a wrap for this week. I hope you have a terrific rest of the weekend. Spread the word about Leave your comments here on the blog or Google + or the Living Free Facebook fan page. Live free and be happy, EH

1 comment:

Michael Wright said...

I've had some success unloading stuff via

Mike Wright