Thank you for visiting!

You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in my fantasy adventure series. Visit the Edge of the World! Come for the view, stay for the adventure!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bucket List-

My bucket list is rather small. This is largely due to the size it could get if I don't tone it down. After all, I have about twenty more active years of living to do. Maybe more, maybe less, but twenty is a reasonable number to consider. Additionally, I have not acquired wealth in the course of my lifetime, and so there are limits to what I can do. Indeed, this list stretches any anticipated resources considerably.

Now, my Bucket List-

Annual Disneyland Trip
Finish reading The Wheel of Time

Travel US Routes:
West Coast Canada to Mexico to include California Highway 1/Interstate Highway 101



New Mexico


New York City
New Orleans

Mackinac Island
The Smithsonian
Disney World

All  U.S. National Parks
Northeastern U.S. Leaf Tour
Tour Rogue River

I have already had a lot of jobs, including what could be called a career from which I have retired. I have saved lives, flown airplanes, ridden motorcycles, designed and built things. I have written poems, written stories and written a book. I have done blogs and such. I have raised a family and am participating in the lives of my children and grand children. I have been on a life-long spiritual and intellectual journey.

Life has been full. I have seen great evil, and much more that is good. Out of full experience I have formed this tiny bucket list. Were I wealthy I could do these rather quickly and expand the list considerably. I am not, at least in money. So, my more humble list must do.

I do not long to stay at home and cultivate a garden. Most of my dreams involve travel, at this point. Quite a number of them meet in various ways, and so in fulfilling one I can easily fulfill another. I shall in future posts break the list down a bit, explaining what I want from each entry, how they relate to one another, and why they seem important to me.

I expect to learn a lot about my own desires in the process. Perhaps I shall learn more from myself about identifying dreams and bringing them to life. It would be a very nice thing if the process, shared here, aids someone else in defining and following their dreams.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Report from the Mobile Man Cave-

This is where the MMC sits. I sit in the MMC, or just outside. I am waiting for someone to buy the house so that the MMC can hit the road to Oregon. There the MMC will sit a bit, as we buy housing for the clan and then get everyone settled.

I live in the MMC, just where it sits. I had gotten it pretty much ready for the move, back before our buyers backed out on the deal. I had all of my stuff on-board, at least everything that didn't ship with the household items. We were so sure the deal would go through that we were 90% moved to Medford. Then, epic fail.

I did not want to move my stuff back into the house. Having converted the MMC into a camper, I decided to camp. I have been there ever since. I have made modifications and adjustments, making it more comfortable. Just recently I removed the center passenger seats. They cluttered the living area and did not provide the kind of seating I wanted.

Now there is room to move around a bit. The camp chair provides a better seat, and can be taken outside for seating as well. It can be folded and stowed for travel. I plan to add some hooks inside to hang some more of the necessaries, and have found some area rugs for the floor to protect my feet from the mounting plates that held the old passenger seats.

The sleeping area uses the original fold-down rear bench seat for a base. I am using a twin sized mattress, which leaves an area to the side of the mattress which holds boxes and bins for storage. One bin is modified to hold the fuel canister of my catalytic heater to properly position the heater for use. It can be seen next to the fire extinguisher. It is positioned with safe clearances, I have adequate ventilation, and can start the heater from the comfort of my bed without getting out from under the covers.

At present things are warm enough that the heater is not needed. Generally, unless the temperatures inside the MMC drop below 55 degrees, the heater is not necessary. I have adequate comfortable clothing and gear to keep me warm. No area for cooking inside has been established. In a space this small, cooking is best done outside.

For me this is adequate living space for solo travel. Some of the items currently on-board will be removed once a new home is established. I shall rearrange things a bit to allow for stowing necessaries, and hopefully actually get out on the road.

I have dreamed of traveling for a great many years. Since the MMC is the embodiment of those long dreams, I spend as much time in and around the MMC as I can. I have been fortunate enough to have traveled a bit, but not yet as the MMC shall allow.

It is the going I enjoy, not just the getting there. I am fond of coming around the bend and seeing a new vista. I very much enjoy passing through small towns. I long to travel slowly, stopping often and experiencing life along the road. I want to take pictures, and write about the things I see. This remains largely just a dream, but the MMC brings me a bit closer.

Moving to Medford will alter the location of the base from which I shall travel, but will not alter the dream. I expect to spend a lot of time just exploring the Rogue and Applegate valleys. Then outward. If things go well I shall see where a great many roads in the area might take me. Once I am able to gather the necessary funds I hope to make a dent in my travel bucket list. The content of that evolving list shall have to wait for a future post.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bifurcated Lap Robe-

The process of selling the house has proved a bit arduous. Initial preparations, the subsequent move of a lot of the family to our target location in Medford, Oregon. Moving everything (just about) to storage, and from storage to storage, then to storage in Oregon, has been challenging.

The initial buyers made an offer the second day we were on the market. Thirty day escrow. We figured we were almost done. Then inspections. We needed a new roof. We put on a new roof. The buyer's couldn't get financing. We gave them time to work on another loan. Almost, almost it all went through. However, it didn't go through.

So, now we sit with an empty house and little to do but putter around and keep it ready to show. We putter around, and keep it ready to show. We go on Facebook. Do email. Look at YouTube. Read. Still, there is much time and a lot of waiting.

I needed something to do with my hands. So, I started juggling again. I still suck, but I suck less as a consequence of the practice. I started whittling a bit. That was good. I like whittling. I broke out my old tin whistle. I practiced on that a bit. I whittled a bit on the wooden case I made for my tin whistle.

Essentially, I have been keeping busy. However, juggling and whittling cannot be conveniently done in the confines of a van. Since the van is where most of my stuff is, it is pretty much my home. So, I sits and thinks. I remember the kids knitting hats on knitting looms. Hmmm. That's not too messy, and it is something new to learn.

I got a set of looms. I made a hat. Turned out OK. I looked at some videos on YouTube on loom knitting. I reflected a bit, and came up with a next project.

When I sit in the van and use my computer I place the computer on a folding table that fits between my legs. To keep warm I can cover my legs with a blanket, but the bulk interferes with placing the table between my legs. I remembered my great grandfather used a small blanket he called a "lap robe" when he was sitting. An idea was born.

Using my looms I made two little lap robes, one for each leg. I called this set of lap robes my "bifurcated lap robe." The family thinks I am a bit wacky, with this knitting and sitting. They are right. The knitting thing is a bit weird, but it has proved satisfying and provided me with some practical stuff. A warm hat, and a bifurcated lap robe.

I have a few more little projects in mind, just exercises for the most part. Plus another idea for staying warm in the van as I sit through the process of selling the house. A serape! Yep, a blanket I can poke my head through, to keep more of me warm.

That's not all. I have been watching a video on making knit socks using the loom. I remember my grandmother making me knit slippers every year for a great many years. I got them for Christmas. Yes! I can make my own wool socks!

I really hope this house sells, soon. Really.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Minimalist RV-

This just popped up recently on an ad for It is a trailer to be hauled by a bicycle, providing a pop-up tent with a cot built in. Pretty cool. I thought it would be interesting to camp like this. I have friends who bicycle and camp, traveling considerable distances. Of course, my bicycle might have to be a little different.

There really are a lot of options for traveling. I wouldn't do this for real, of course. I don't motorcycle anymore, due to the plague of stupid on the highways. I don't think I would do this bicycle camping thing, either. Same reason. I just don't want to be taken out by a distracted SUV-driving soccer Mom who is managing the kids, the dog, texting while driving, and operating her Internet business from the car. You gotta admire a Mom like that, but I don't want to do so posthumously.

Considering that the trailer dry-weight is nearly 70 lbs., I have to wonder if I could pump the total weight once the bike and trailer were loaded and my fat ass was in the seat. The world is not level enough for me to get far managing such an RV system. Still, it is an interesting direction in which to think.

Wheelbarrows, maybe? Ara certainly sets the bar for minimalism without resorting to a wheelbarrow. I just don't see myself sleeping on the ground that much, however. My dog is also a bit too old for this form of adventuring. Still, it is a worthy dream, beautifully fulfilled. There's a motorcycle and sidecar somewhere in all of that gear. And, a dog. The art of traveling is supplemented by the art of packing in this case.

At present the Mobile Man Cave will probably be sufficient for me. This one and the ones that will probably follow. I hope to keep this one on the road for quite a while, but things happen. I suspect there might be a MMC II and perhaps a MMC III. The passage of time and the plague of stupid will probably see to that. Not to mention, building the MMC II might just be fun.