Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Still Gearing Up

With all the other work I have going on lately, paying for my various purchases, and trying to figure out my route to OR, I have worked late, forgetting a practice, forgotten to pay rent, and probably something else.

My landlord always returns the envelope which I use to drop off the rent check. It is almost like a tradition. It has their names on it, and I place it in the basket by their front door. In a few days, it appears in the mailbox by my door. I never think to look inside.

So, it sat there for a month, then today I placed a check with a note apologizing for being 2 days late on rent. Inside the envelope was a fifty dollar bill with a note from them thanking me for looking after certain chores while they were out of town. I couldn't believe it.

I would have done the work for free. It pays to kiss up to the landowner when you have a great rental arrangement. Make them like having you there. Amazing. So, I figured, "yippee, fifty bucks! Let's go shopping for some stuff."

I finally got my haircut, after three months, bought a pair of bargain jeans at walmart--and they are made in Mexico and have no logo on them whatsoever. Nine dollars and something. I can't believe it. And the fit better than most. That fifty paid for some other things too, like batteries for camp fans and mini lanterns.

My theory on things like lanterns is; the last thing I want to do is carry something around that requires liquid fuel. The old Coleman style lanterns were cool, but not temperature wise, and a hassle. LED and battery is for me.

So, I have a couple of mini lanterns which slide down to become flashlights, can be hung up in a tent, and are not afraid of rain. Plus I have two battery powered fans which seem to have received good reviews, and they were cheap.

The girl who cut my hair says that most of the camping up THE ONE is already reserved. Who would have thought you had to make reservations to sleep in a tent outdoors? Not me. Apparently many others already knew the scoop. I'll bet I find places along the way.

I have to go inland somewhere in the Bay area to pick up a crate for my nephew. He bought some device to further his ever burgeoning basement printing shop. He started with one 100 year old press, which he fixed up. Now there are two. And with the new device, he can create the plates himself. Sounds like a possible money making venture--if you get my drift.

Don't ask- don't tell, I always say. His wife is the one who creates the graphics, and up until now they had to send her art elsewhere to be made into printing plates.

Couple of neo-bolsheviks; probably printing money and propaganda for the Obama effort to nail this dictatorship down once and for all.

It will be good to just be out and about. I figure I better do it while it is still semi-legal, and before someone dreams up a tent tax and who knows what. This is California. And the new USA. I hope the change changes in nature and direction. These things scare me. I'm not a good comrade kind of a citizen. I not only do not support my local police, I don't even trust or like them, on the whole. Maybe I'm the sort that is being weeded out of this new 21st century across-the-bridge place. Hopeville. "Utopia for all except those who we think are too not like us."

So, good review on Kelty. Good review for the new air mattress, whose make I don't recall. It was a bargain online--campmor.com. I can use the pumps that came with other airbeds I've had which developed leaks pretty quick. This new one appears to hold air and shape better than the last few I've had. I have one that is still OK, so I have a spare.

Now I need bear spray--for possible carjackers, bug repellent of every kind. Not everywhere is like SoCal, where bugs are so few you can count them on one or two hands.

Who knows, I may yet divert my path over toward vagabond lady land. I don't know. I've been guilty of being too stand offish, and some people say the hell with it and grab another dude and never look back. Who can blame them? Not I.

On the other hand. I may hit the coast--got to save money, and ignore the thoughts of people who aren't even living my life. And definitely not dealing with my budget, history, or else. Everyone knows how to live anyone's life but his own. Not everyone, but enough people to make you wonder. That was a case of the extinct universal "his". Substituting "their" when possessive is singular is not a good answer to this stupid politically correct change in grammar.

Maybe "hiser" or "hizer", and "shehe" will gain traction. As it is when I see she or her used universally, I knee jerk into defensive mode, assuming the female writer is a castrating new woman of the 21st century, or that the male writer is a phony, trying to kiss up, thinking he'll get lucky. Ladies, those guys who play that "I'm a feminist" role are not real. They are doing it solely as a seduction ploy.

The rest of us would shoot them if we could get away with it. But it makes us so sick to watch the dynamic, and how you sucker for it, pretending not to know it is BS, that we'd probably be incapable of good aim anyway.

In Tents-ity2

The Kelty tent was a good choice. I tested it and found it to be roomier and better designed than expected. It is really easy to put up. One person, no problem.

It is called Kelty Buttress 4. Not sure what the buttress part is, except if you actually had four people sleeping in there, you'd pretty much be buttress buddies, like it or not. I could see how it could be done. But why would you want four people in your tent? Never mind. I can imagine many answers which don't apply to me or this discussion.

I was concerned that this thing would be too hot with the rain fly set up. I was wrong. There are many ways to take advantage of the benefits it provides, like the little shaded front foyer, while still allowing for good ventilation. It is pretty versatile. Whether they expected someone to do it how I did, I can't say. I pulled up one of the back corners enough to expose some of the mesh area. It folded neatly and tightly over the upper part of the tent. I opened part of the front to allow good air flow through the littler vestibule thing.

For someone who only camped maybe twice in his life until I left Memphis, this whole thing is bizarre. I'm not a long time committed outdoorsman. I'm still afraid of bears and most other animals. But then I don't generally pitch my tent out in wilderness where no human has ever been. Probably better off if you do. The animals won't associate you with food and eat you. Or rip out your car windows because they know food often resides in cars inside coolers.

The material is easy to deal with--strong, lightweight. For the money this has to be one of the best things going. I also like the metallic poles. I wearied of the fiberglass ones. These also fit together so there is no snagging at all. We'll see how it all goes in more windy conditions, but I think it will work well.

Even though it is hardly a house for four, it is roomier than expected, and all I need. Tall enough that I'm not in that backache inducing stoop if I try to do anything other than crawl around. That reminds me, the door works better than what I'm used to, as well. Something about the shape makes entry and exit quite easy.

I'm satisfied with the campmor.com web site, and how they do business. Quick delivery, good communication, and things arrive as represented. I'd like to be enough of a critic to give them 4 stars, and Kelty 4 stars, but based on my experience so far, I can't deduct anything so they both get my 5 star recommendation.

Really, it is such a piece of cake to put this up and take it down, and it is the size the would usually be far easier with two people. In this case you might save a minute or two if the other person was there. Certainly the time and effort savings would be minimal, because the time and effort for one person is already minimal. Even at double the price the thing might be worth it, relatively speaking. I wasn't going to spend that so it is great that it was on sale for about half price.

Hard Luck 2

I have to differ with the president's comments regarding success. We'll have to assume that we're on the same page in defining the word, although I wonder if we are.

His comments indicated that he believes those who have achieved success in terms of finances and a good standard of living did nothing different than the person who works a job which barely covers rent all his life. They were just lucky and only got there because others put them there.

It is true that such fortune can't be done without others somehow being involved. For one thing, you don't get rich unless others buy what you have to sell, or in someway enter into trade. A hermit can make a fortune trading stocks or futures or whatever on line, but without the others who work at the companies touched by the stock or commodity, he's in a vacuum.

Beyond that the hermit only gets rich because he's smart at trading and puts in the kind of work which yields results. Not everyone can do it, even if they want to. I don't know how or I would do it.

I've known several wealthy people in my life. People who made their money in the private sector, lived stable lives and supported reasonably stable families. I never totally itemized all their common traits, but they did have some that stood out.

For one thing, they did not throw money away on things they couldn't afford. They seemed to have a different attitude from most people. I did not notice them contemplating their bad luck and looking to blame others when things out of their control went wrong. Not that they wouldn't fire employees who proved to be more liability than asset. The "why me?" syndrome was largely absent among those of whom I am speaking.

I know that some people inherit, appear successful because they have money and the other trappings people think marks success. But I do not consider a gangster successful. I'm speaking of people who have done things honestly and methodically.

To diminish the credit they deserve is not even rational. These people provided much for those around them, employed people, contributed something positive in the market. And I do think some of them are smarter than average, and work harder than average. Plus they have an attitude and outlook that serves to direct the work and thought in such a way that the goals are achieved. I have fallen short in those regards most of my life, but I have sense enough not to belittle those who have done better. That would be petty jealousy and small minded envy.

I'm not sure where he's going with this, but he's wrong to encourage idiots to think that successful people somehow stole it all from them. I guess when all you've done is involved with government, you really don't understand where the wealth of a nation is generated, or what life is like in the real world.

I was stunned at this effort to pander to those who refuse to accept that some people will find a way to success under all kinds of roads blocks, and that it is not at the expense of those of us who have more difficulty seeing reality in such a way that we can identify, and capitalize on, our talents and abilities. For one thing, it is rare that you will build much of an empire if you spend all your time at the corner bar, or at home watching TMZ. Unless you know how to turn cheap gossip into gold--like the TMZ people. Or worse, turn the lowest of life forms into gold, like Jerry Springer.

Anyway. That whole bit offended me because it was demeaning to those with special vision and work ethic, and it rang of the rhetoric which preceded many totalitarian, nightmare regimes.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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