Thursday, December 8, 2011

They Told Him He Was Poor

As the story goes, an elderly man lies alone in his nursing home bed; his children all grown and leading what many consider to be successful lives; however, unable to care for their aged father. His is a story similar to countless others. He was born in the 1920’s, an era defined by its self-sufficiency. He was raised on the family farm. The family had all that was needed and they were dependent on no one. One day, during the heart of the industrial revolution, “they” told him he was poor. Poor because he didn't have the newest modern conveniences. Poor because he grew his own food and didn't purchase from the grocery chain. Poor because he didn’t have electricity. So he left the farm and went to work, working in the factory downtown, earning a wage. Now, unable to 

Homemade Laundry Soap

How many times have you wondered how easy would it be to make your own laundry soap and if it would be cheaper than just buying it at the store?

We just made our second batch of liquid laundry soap and we're a lot happier with the results.

It takes about half a cup per load and our clothes are just as clean as with the store bought stuff and while I don't have an exact cost per load, knowing what's in it and having no scent to drive me nuts is worth it.

It takes about an hour to get everything ready and mixed then a day or so to cool and be ready to use. It's not like the normal liquid you see but looks more like egg drop soup. Our first batch we used less of the bar soap and it was a little thinner. This time it seems just about perfect.

The soap has only four ingredients,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Freezerator Update

Have everything now for the system with the exception of the inverter and battery. The freezer went on sale just after I made the last post and I got it for just over $100.00 off the original price of $499.99. Got the solar panel from ebay along with the updated thermostat. The charge controller is a cheaper unit from Harbor Freight but does the job.

The freezer worked great as a freezer and after putting in the new thermostat, it appears to work great as a refrigerator as well. According to my kill-a-watt meter it draws just under 8 amps for a few seconds at startup and then drops to 1.2 amps. It only runs about 5-6 minutes each hour and after running it for

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A New Freezerator In Our Future?

One of the main things we will have to deal with in Oklahoma from the day we get there is we will have no electric service. Now I myself don't see that as a negative and at this point neither does the wife. Of course we can't go without power at all which leaves us with solar, wind, and propane. The main topic of this post however is food and refrigeration.

Old Abandoned Root Cellar
Our main source of food storage will be in the form of a root cellar. I figure if storing food underground worked before electricity was around it should still work just fine.

What we plan on doing is digging what can be considered a combination root cellar / storm shelter as our first major project when we get there. It's tornado country so a storm shelter is an absolute must, especially since we'll be living in a tornado magnet travel trailer until the house is built. Of course now that it's also earthquake country it'll need a little more reinforcement than I originally planned, but that's okay.

The layout of our property being on the hill means it'll be easier to dig into the side of the hill for the cellar/shelter so it'll be a bit bigger than the standard root cellar. My goal would be for us to be able to have hammocks up that we could sleep in in the event of a bad stormy night.

Inefficiency On Display
Of course you're probably still wondering what the heck is a freezerator? Before I answer that, let's cover why the need for a freezerator exists.

Basic thermodynamics is that hot air rises and cold air falls. By design then the standard front door refrigerator is inefficient. When you open the door, all the cold air you've spent money on creating has now been instantly turned into a foot chiller. It may be really convenient, but in a time where we all need to conserve a little more and save some of those hard earned slave wages, we could do better.  Have you ever wondered why they can keep food in the store in refrigeration units with no lids? It's because the cold air stays inside and they're actually cheaper to run than those with the glass doors. The real question though is how inefficient are standard upright units?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mines bigger than yours.

It's a pretty sad day when you realize the Jeep you just bought is that much smaller than your daughters...

On another note, I just realized you can edit the pictures directly in blogger now including giving it that 70's photo look..

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

There's a new book coming out that was written by one of the Hammock Forum members "dejoha" that I'm looking forward to reading.

The link will take to the Facebook page for the book and if you'd like you can follow the author here on twitter.

Those of you that like to go camping, try it once in a hammock and you'll never sleep on the ground again. What's not to like about a view like this..

I'll update the blog when the book is available. In the mean time run over to the Hammock Forums and see what you're missing. If nothing else you'll get to see guys like shug..

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The things we do for love.

For the past two weeks I've been stuck out in one of the parking lots at work instead of in the park. I have to admit it does make the day go much slower and I miss the guest interaction but either way I get paid and we get one step closer to our dream.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Time For "That" Talk

Having a few things put away for a rainy day is never a bad ting. It's Time For "That" Talk

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Michael Bunker Radio show

I just added a sidebar widget for a radio show that I really like to listen to. This guy has written a few books and has opened my mind to quite a few issues I have with organized religion and taking things back to the roots. If you'd like to participate in the show feel free to go listen live and call into the show.

The Michael Bunker Radio Show

Monday, August 15, 2011

Downloading YouTube Videos To Your Android

Yes, we have another post about the android phone. I figure since there are multiple android phones in the household including the one my wife uses with wifi access only I might as well include info about them here, especially if it's something that can benefit others.

How many times have you been watching a video on YouTube only to go back to it later and find it removed either by the user or YouTube itself? There are a number of utilities you can put on your desktop or laptop machine to download and save these movies, but what if you find the movie while you're browsing around on your phone? Or better yet, you want them on your phone to watch later?

I tried a lot of different apps and found that they either didn't work completely or not at all. I finally found one that worked and you guessed it, it was removed from the app store. I really do understand the benefits of having people come back to YouTube for advertising and brand recognition, but does Google really need to be that worried about videos being downloaded? I should have the option when I post my videos to allow online only or available for download. This would eliminate their need to "protect" my copyrights. But that's a whole other subject for a different blog. If you're reading this I'm sure you just want to know how to save the videos to your phone.

TubeMate is the answer to your needs. Since it is not in the app store you will need to change the settings in your phone to allow installation of apps from unknown sources. Don't worry about the security of your phone, it will not open it up to random downloads. You still maintain control of what you install. Once the app is installed, use it instead of your regular YouTube app and when you tap the video to play it will give you the option to play it or download it.

That's it, nice an simple and easy to use until Google changes the YouTube code around again, but the guys at TubeMate have been pretty good about keeping it updated.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to install ringtones on your LG Optimus M

OK, I know this is supposed to be a blog about country life and simpler ways, but there is no reason you can't have technology too. They can never make things easy and since you bought the phone, you should be able to put anything on it you want. Putting your own ringtones on this phone is a pain so I thought I'd write out the steps and have them archived here if anyone needs them.

While some people may find something usable amidst the pre-installed options on the LG Optimus M, others might prefer a wider selection.

Fortunately, it couldn't be easier to install custom ringtones and notification tones on your LG Optimus M.

First, you'll need to find some ringtones you like.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Just Another Mobile Test

Changed phones again. The previous one was one that I had hacked to work with metropcs but had issues if I was too far from my home area. They had a sale so I got this one. The camera resolution isn't as high but it should work for here. The advantage is I can give the other one to Deb and she can use it without phone service but still have internet access if she's near a wifi connection.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New phone to blog from

Got a new phone that will let me blog out in the field. This is my view for lunch today

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Self Sufficient Farming On One Acre

Mother Earth News has a great article in this edition of their magazine about starting a 1 acre self sufficient homestead. While it's true that no two farms will ever be the same, but they cover the basics of how to get yourself started. This is one of the magazines that I feel is definitely worth subscribing to. The article can be read online here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

System Updates

Decided to spend some more time with the design and layout of the blog. Just trying to make it as easy to navigate as I can while making it look like a part of me. I also want to try and tie together all the different accounts, facebook, twitter, etc. 

Let me know what you like and what you don't. 


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wow, things have been so crazy I almost forgot about this blog. We had our vacation although we spent most of the time either working on the Jeep or avoiding the water in our tent. The Jeep's water pump decided to give out but even in that God's hand was in it as it went out the day after we arrived and were in town less than a mile from the parts store. Got the pump, already had the tools, and was able to swap it out with no problems.

We no longer have two lots there in Oklahoma. When we left on the trip we had a 10 acre lot and a 2.5 acre lot. We re-negotiated with Scott and backed out of the 2.5 acre lot. The reason? Another 20 acres attached to the 10 was available and we now have 30 acres that is covered in Black Oak trees and about 7 acres of that is on top of a hill. Gonna be a perfect place to build a house.

I'm going to go into details here soon on what we want to build and out timetable to get started. In the meantime I leave you with a quick slideshow I put together of our trip.


Friday, May 13, 2011

About That Time

Well, we'll be leaving here in about 96 hours. (I love it when the countdown changes from days to hours) and I can't wait to see what Oklahoma holds in store for us. We'll be driving straight through which should put us there around 12-1 on Wednesday. shows scattered thunderstorms for the area the first few days we're there, but since when has the weather man ever been right.

We ended up buying an extra cargo carrier for the jeep. Who would have thought you would need to take so much stuff for 10 days.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Four More Weeks

Four weeks from tomorrow we leave to go camp on our Oklahoma property. This will be the first time we'very seen it in person. The dates are set by school and work so hopefully the weather will be nice to us.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Property Post

You may be tired of hearing about it but some people have either asked us to explain just how big 10 acres of land is. Living in the city or even the suburbs people just can't understand how much room that is or even how small it is compared to a true ranch. The image below is an example of our current neighborhood, our current lot, and how big the 10 acres is in comparison.

Click on the image to see it full size.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Ladies Are Laying

Well the ladies have finally started laying for us. Deb found the first egg out in the coop on Thursday and we've gotten four more since. We're still not sure if all four are laying yet but either two of them are or we have a bird that lays two a day. 

It was kind of weird at first because it was like, "we have fresh eggs now what?" but of course the answer is you eat them. I decided it was lunch time so I'd make myself an egg sandwich. They're definitely smaller so I had two but that's because we're used to buying jumbo eggs from the market. In reality one egg would probably be enough but we've go to get ourselves used to normal portions of food rather than standard American portions that are really too big and unhealthy anyway. 

Here's a few more photos of those first eggs as they cooked. The yolks were a deep yellow and they cooked and tasted like... well eggs. 

I'd like mine over medium please.
A little salt and pepper (yes I broke the yolks)

Some Bread and Mayo and we're all set. 

A little corny I know, but hey it's just one more step on our way to independence.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Surviving Off Off-Grid

I recently purchased the e-book Surviving Off Off-Grid written by Michael Bunker. I finished the book last night and I have to tell you he has opened my eyes about a lot of things from survival to religion to life in general.

This book is less of a how-to book and more of a why-to book. If you're looking for a book to tell you what to buy and how to get yourself off-grid then this is not the book for you. If you're looking for a book to explain what being off-grid truly means then you need to order this book. It does give some practical examples of how to do things but more importantly he explains why you should do it.

The Author is very clear about one thing and it's the honesty of it that made me think. He says he does not have all the answers nor has he even reached his final goals of self sufficiency but he is well on his way and debunks a lot of the major excuses as to why you can't go off-grid. How many here think they could live in Texas (or anywhere else for that matter) without air conditioning? 90% of those reading this will say no they can't but if that's the case explain how the human race survived thousands of years without it?

It's a short 270 page book and I don't want to give a lot of it away but I'll tell you this, If you call yourself a Christian then you must read this book.

BTW, if you use one of the two links on this post to go buy the book, I also get a commission on the sale and it helps us get to our goal of being off-grid.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Review

Great quality for the price

By Mike from Kalifornia on 3/1/2011


4out of 5

I was a bit apprehensive ordering a brand of cast iron that I had never heard of before but then I figured it's cast iron, what could go wrong.

I opened the box and found it packed very well and everything intact. Nothing broken or damaged and everything there.

The only negative I have to say (which cost them the 5th star) was the dinner bell. Granted that wasn't my main focus for buying the set but nevertheless it was a part of the product. The dinner bell is a simple bended rod like they all are but this one was painted black. I held it up by the provided rope and rang it only to cover my kitchen with flakes of black paint. My suggestion would be just forget the paint and dip it in a light oil before packaging.

Other than that it all works fine, is nice and heavy and I expect to have it around for a long time.


My Review

Can't go wrong with Lodge

By Mike from Kalifornia on 3/1/2011


5out of 5

Pretty simple, it's Lodge Cast Iron. Take care of it and your great grandkids will give it to their great grandkids.

Don't take care of it and your great grandkids will clean off the rust and give it to their great grandkids.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

We have a home.

Not much to say other than we were successful in our bid and now have the privilege of making monthly mortgage payments on a 10 acre lot in Oklahoma. However as long as we make those payments on time (and we plan on paying as much more as we can afford with each payment) it's ours to do with as we see fit.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Prize

I recently won a contest over at Back Yard Farming that was a $60.00 gift certificate for CSN stores. I looked at a lot of things and finally decided that you can never go wrong with cast iron cookware. Here is what was delivered to the house today.

5qt dutch oven.
3qt saucepan with lid.
10" square frying pan.
12" frying pan.
dinner bell.

This all had free shipping and I could have gotten everything but the dutch oven and not paid a cent. However I decided to add on twelve dollars myself and get it all. Not a bad little gift for reading a blog. Hopefully I'll get to 500 followers myself one day and can return the favor.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO-klahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain

Yes folks, while I hope talking about it early doesn't jinx it, it looks like Oklahoma just might be where we end up homesteading. We found 10 acres of land between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It is mainly wooded with some flat, some sloping terrain and part of that flat is at the top of a hill. (Can you say wind generator?) No water or power at the site and the last 1/4 mile is county maintained dirt road. Some would see these as negatives, but I see them as selling points.

My wife and daughter are willing to go pretty much wherever I want to take them and my wife in particular is more that ready to get away from the "American Dream ©" That is a home and mortgage that you spend your lifetime slaving away making others rich just so you can rent your home from the bank while they let you believe you actually own it. (deep breath) That is really a subject for The Tinfoil Fedora so I'll leave that one alone.

What we really want is somewhere that is away from most people, yet close enough to be able to find part time work to help get things setup and ready. This land would cost us only $100.00 per month for 20 years, but can be paid off anytime so the goal is to have the majority of it done by the end of the year. I have somewhat of a plan to have a job there before we move that involves Walmart stock work and a transfer to one of the seven stores in the general area. That way we're not limited to just what we can save when we head out, and frankly I think it'll be June or July of 2012 before we head there because I don't really relish the idea of setting up things and getting ourselves established in the middle of winter.

The real question would be is there enough timber on the land of sufficient size to build a log cabin from? Or maybe mill it into traditional lumber to build anything from. From the pictures it looks like there might be a small stream but we don't know if it's a seasonal thing from the snow. If not there is always trying for a well and or rain water capture. For heating and cooking we want to use wood and solar, supplemented by propane when needed. Power of course would be a combination of solar and wind supplemented by a generator. I'm a fan of the humanure method of sanitation, but the wife isn't convinced yet. There are always septic tanks as long as it doesn't contaminate the ground water. 

The only real caveat would be internet access. This of course is a must have and would need to be either satellite ($$$) cellular ($$$ and data caps) or figuring out a wireless system. I'm sure that at least for the initial setup we'll be using cellular and just have to watch how much time we spend on it. The best bet would be find a homeowner with high speed (preferably on a hill) and setup a couple of directional relay antennas and run it that way.

We should know by the end of the week if this is going to happen so keep your finger crossed.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shaving Time and Saving Cash

Well, I just took another step towards getting away from what society considers "normal" and am setting myself up to save some serious cash.

In my lifetime of shaving I've gone from using cheap twin blade razors up to a Gillette mach something that has five blades and vibrates. To date I have found nothing that will keep me looking clean shaven later in the day. One answer of course is to not shave and have a beard. Unfortunately with my current employer, that is not an option. They will send you home or to the bathroom to shave if it looks bad.

Today however I picked up a few things to try something I read on the internet. (And we all know if it's on the internet it's a) true and b) a good idea right?) I bought a straight razor that holds half of a double edged blade along with a brush, some soap, and of course a styptic pencil for when I slice my throat open.

Funny thing is although it wasn't perfect, I can see with a little practice how this will be a great way to shave. At the time of this posting, the areas where I did a good job still look like I just shaved. I do have to say the styptic pencil was a good idea and yes, it stings a bit when you use it. I wasn't able to find the soap I want to use locally so will have to order it online. Overall though it looks like this will be a nice way to save some money and eventually I hope to buy a regular strait razor which will mean I don't even need to buy any blades.

The costs were 8.99 for the razor, 2.29 for 5 blades. That will give you 3~4 shaves per side per blade so overall it comes out to about .06 cents per shave. Of course, once I find the brand of blade that works the best for me I can buy them in bulk and save even more. You also shave the same way you would with a regular strait razor so if I decide to make that leap it'll be that much easier.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kick The Clutter

So I realized this morning that I'm sitting on the couch using my laptop. Doesn't sound that unusual except it's only because I have no choice. I've carved out a spot in the living room for a small desk where I can have my laptop, a few external drives, and just a place to put a bit of my stuff I don't consider junk, but can easily clutter up an area.

Let me take a step back and let you in on a little information about me. Have you ever seen the show Hoarders? I grew up in that type of mentality. My parents house now has more "stuff" in and around it than you could ever imagine. I naturally grew up thinking this was normal and you never get rid of anything from the category "You might use that some day". Over the past few years I've made strides to just get rid of the clutter and junk that I have around the house. I do have to say that there has been a time or two that I've gone to look for something I need then remember I hadn't used it in years so I got rid of it, but all in all it's been a positive experience.

Back to the reason for this post, The image you see here is what my desk looked like. A few weeks of not wanting to put stuff away, or bringing something in that wasn't here before and having no place for it and this is the result. The desk isn't that big to begin with and I honestly don't remember putting all that on there (I think we have a cleaning fairy that just gets my stuff out of the way) but it's there.

I found all my boot cleaning and polishing supplies, not one, but two mag-lights, a tin full of change (score, wait that was my change anyway), magazines, junk mail, important mail, a couple of hard drives, hand woven bands (yes I do tablet weaving), ham radios, a harmonica, a camera, a morse code keyer, old batteries, and more. All of this on a desktop that measures just under 3ft by 1-1/2 feet. Cluttered is an under statement.

30~45 minutes of cleaning and putting stuff away and this is the result. I'm actually able to sit at the desk and use my computer. You know what? It's actually more comfortable.

Everything is put away and I actually know where it's all at. When I was young, I didn't care how things looked, or if I had to dig through stuff to find what I needed, or even worse didn't bother looking, I just went and bought a new one to lose later. Oh if I only had all that wasted money back.

At any rate, now I think I'll look around and see what else needs to be cleaned. I may even be able to setup a keyboard tonight and put those monitors to use with a little music recording. Something that I don't do nearly enough of anymore.

For those paying attention, yes that's an official government brain reader blocker up there on top. At least I made mine fashionable. Go over and read my rant blog if you're wondering what it's all about.

I'm a winner!!

Had a very nice surprise yesterday. I recently found a new blog to read and posted a comment to their story about hitting 500 followers. Little did I know that I would win a $60.00 prize for that comment.

It'll take a while to read through it all (I'm not even close) but there is a ton of great info on there for the person wanting to be more self sufficient. Go take a look and be sure to follow them so you don't miss anything.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Which Format Is Best?

I've said before I get a lot of my knowledge from reading. I also get a lot of entertainment from reading as well. My main dilemma right now is figuring out which format is best. Should I get an e-book, audio book, or a printed and bound version? This is not an easy question to answer but I feel the copyright laws have a lot to do with the problem in making that decision.

Warning, the following paragraph is a personal rant, feel free to jump to the next one.

An author writes a book and expects that he/she should be paid for their efforts and  agree. But the question is how many times should they get paid for it? If 100 people enjoy their book then they should get paid 100 times for it. Now when I go and buy a book I can read that book as many times as I want for my entire life and never have to pay for it again. I have paid my fees and own the right to enjoy that book. My question is why should I have to pay again if I want to listen to that book? Oh you could say in that case you're not paying for the book again as much as paying the person that read it to you and those that recorded, engineered, produced, it etc. and to some extent you're right. What about an e-book version of the book? Why pay extra and sometimes even more for a version that is already created when the book is prepared for printing?

Now, back to the original question. Which version is best? Printed and bound copies can and eventually will wear out and they take a lot of space especially for someone that that is trying to eliminate clutter, but there's just something about having a book in your hand and turning the pages. E-book versions won't wear out and you still hold the reader in your hand like a book, but it's not a question of if technology will fail, but when. It always fails eventually and I have the stack of hard drives to prove it. Audio books are in a class of themselves. I can't see listening to how to maintain a diesel generator for entertainment and when I need to do the job, I need to be able to jump around and reference it. But when you want to listen to some entertainment and music isn't getting it there's nothing like a good story to get you where you want to go. I especially like the versions from Graphic Audio because they're not just read but are full productions like the old time radio programs with multiple voices and sound effects. Their tagline is A Movie In Your Mind and it's true. I must have listened to Jerry Ahern's Survivalist series a hundred times and they just release the final book which I need to get.

Personally I would like to have an e-book and printed version of every book I have just for the options, but since I currently have about seven thousand e-books not including the technical and magazines, That's just not an option. Magazines themselves are another issue. I love reading a magazine and I think the reason is with my ADD they are always something different.

My advice is get an e-reader and start building a collection. Don't forget all the free books available on the internet. I'm not advocating breaking copyright laws, but I believe if someone buys an e-book and doesn't like or want it they have every right to give it away just like a printed copy. You definitely will want to get a copy of calibre to manage the collection or it can get out of hand really quick.

If you like printed books, keep an eye on sites like craigslist and watch for free or bargain buys.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Place To Rant

Lest this blog become too political and lost it's focus, I have created another blog where I can vent my political rants as I see fit. This will also be where I post most of my preparedness thoughts as well but there may be some cross-over on those posts as they are a part of us getting ready not only to move, but be a part of out lifestyle once we get where we're going.

The blog is called The Tinfoil Fedora and can be found here. 

Lesson Of The Day:

I figure I learn something new every day so that should give me something to post about each day. Technically it should be called lesson of yesterday but that just sounds weird.

Yesterday I learned not only how to hang up clothes to dry, but the timing involved in when you hang up those wet clothes. I now understand why getting the clothes on to wash early in the morning is so important during the winter. There just isn't enough time for them to dry when you hang them up at two thirty in the afternoon and the sun is starting to go past the house putting the clothes line in the shade. 

Bonus lesson; Leaving them up overnight doesn't mean they'll be dry in the morning. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Solar Clothes Dryer

We have another first. I just hung up my first load of laundry on a solar clothes dryer. We have a pretty good arangement worked out on the laundry. I wash and dry and she folds and puts away. It's worked pretty well for us and I don't see a reason to change it. But this post is about a change in the way we dry our clothes.

To dry your clothes you have three real choices. Electric Dryer, Gas Dryer, or Solar/Wind Dryer. Pop quiz: Which of these doesn't cost you every load? This is strictly a financial decision we've made about doing our laundry. Why spend the money to dry them when they will dry just as well hanging on a rope? Yes it takes longer but it's free. No it doesn't remove the dog hair like the dryer, but it also doesn't remove a part of the clothes with every load. (That lint has to come from somewhere).

We've already been mixing our own laundry soap and have found it goes further because you don't need to use near as much. The clothes don't seem to get dirty as fast (I think it's because there is no soap residue for the dirt to stick to). And the clothes get just as clean if not more so. No odors, no scents, no dirt, just clean clothes.

As for how these do without the dryer (will they need to be ironed?) we'll have to wait and see.

As for me, I just feel good that I saved a few more dollars towards our goals of getting the heck out of dodge.

Knowledge is Power! (Are you sure about that?)

They say that knowledge is power but at what point have you had enough? The average person today is presented with more information in one day than a person in the middle-ages got in their entire life. Stop reading for a minute and think about the impact of that last statement. No, really think about it for a minute......

Throughout my life I've always had people ask me, "How do you know that?" usually after I've passed on some obscure information to a random question they asked not expecting a response. I credit it to an insatiable appetite to learn. Now that will seem funny coming from a guy that got kicked out of high school and ended up with a GED 4 years after he should have graduated but my problem was never learning it was the style of teaching that caused me problems. Take a group of people and teach them all at the lowest common denominator (no student left behind) and you're bound to have problems with the smarter kids getting bored and eventually getting into trouble. This was one of the major reasons we chose to home-school our daughter, but that's a subject for another post. 

I learn by reading, reading, reading, reading, along with a ton of hands on experience. I don't do anything half-way, I go into it full bore. Now finishing it is another story. Once I've learned how to do it, I have a bad habit of not finishing the project but that's something that I'm working on overcoming. 

I read about chickens for over a year online. How to hatch them, how to raise them, what then need for food, what they need for nesting and shelter, etc. Then I went and bought a few chicks, build them a coop and within a month from this post we should be getting eggs. How did I know what to do? I read it online in blogs, forums, personal pages, etc. Learn from others mistakes. 

But the subject for this post came as I was setting up the daily reading list for the sidebar on this blog. There are blogs I read daily and some I read offline using my nook and calibre to download and format the feeds into an ebook. (Another post I need to write) The problem is that very list of blogs. You come here to read my posts because you hope to glean some info from it that you can apply to your daily lives. (or you just find my style of writing entertaining) then you figure "I like the things he does so I should check out the blogs he reads" and it begins. I went to each blog I read and realized they had another 10~20 blogs listed that they read. I open them and they have their lists, and so on, and so on. Yes you'll find some crossover the further you get into niche' areas but at what point is it enough? 

Based on what I found over the last hour, I could easily have a list of hundreds if not thousands of blogs to read but there is only so much time in the day and most people need to get at least a few hours sleep at night. My quest for information to have myself prepared when we get ourselves out in the country could be what keeps us from getting there. What I need to do is go over all the blogs I read and find a way of tracking just hoe much info I really get from them and start to trim the fat. If I start reading another blog, I need to find one that is giving less info and drop it. 

Now there are exceptions. If I find a new blog that only posts once a week but has great info then I don't need to get rid of a daily reader but find a day when I have less to do in the real world to be able to read it. But again in moderation. Having 100 blogs that post once a week still adds to each day. 

Why did I write all this? if for no other reason than to get myself back to the real world and offline a bit more. Yes having internet access is one of our main priorities when we make it into the country. The information resource is too big of an asset to lose but like everything else it needs to be taken in moderation. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh to get away..

It's interesting sometimes how your life evolves. I was born in Alabama, but spent the first 8 years of my life travelling around the world as an army brat. I went to Germany, Georgia, Vermont, and eventually moved out to Southern California. Through a series of events I eventually ended up playing keyboards then bass for a band about 50 miles from my house. About 5 years later I met my future wife and the rest as they say is history.

Anyone who knows us would at first wonder where this idea of living out in the country came from but then after thinking about it would realize we're just on the fringe enough that it makes sense. And yes, our 18 year old daughter has every intention of going with us.

So what are our goals?

Our immediate goal is to have enough cash by January 2012 to purchase land, buy a new truck to pull our trailer to that land, and enough cash to get started on building a small dwelling to live in.

Now I say dwelling because we still haven't decided on exactly what we want to live in. The options range from a micro-house, to a log cabin, to a yurt. I'm sure that will be decided over the next year.

Now what is the point of this blog? I hope to chronicle our progress towards our goals as well as talk about the things we learn from others that have done the same before us so I'll have my own reference to use when we get out there.
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