Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

Thursday instead of Friday update

Saturday:Personal Compromises: We have all had to make personal compromises, time and again. We hate doing them, as there reaches a point where we start to feel ‘nickle and dimed to death’. Part of those personal compromises tends to be fitting within society. Just getting along in society can take a toll on how one lives, or would choose to live. I have mentioned my situation here on occasion. The fact that my dad and I still butt heads over how I wish to build shows that I am not really backing off of my convictions. I have attempted some compromise with him, but my end goal remains the same: Shop, then house, both of adequate size for my needs. My house is of the ‘shack’ nature according to societal standards, but considering the size of the ‘house’ I live in now, will feel like the Taj-Mahal to me. I want 15’X20′ for the house and the RV is 7 ½’ X 18′ inside. More than doubling my living arrangements. In addition, I will have that shop (15’X25′) for all of my tools and a few things that I have been storing within my living quarters, I gain in several areas by separating the two functions. I will also be able to place my battery bank in a location that I won’t have to take apart part of the house to enable access to it. (currently it resides under a ‘bench’ and I have to remove the table and chair to get to them. A real pain the butt to deal with.) To be blunt, I am impatient as hell about getting this ball rolling, so that I can stretch out and actually start getting things accomplished. Maybe even start producing some items that I can sell online. (of course, all of of that is dependent upon where our future leads us.)

So where are the personal compromises that I mentioned, you ask? I am starting to look for alternative building methods to accomplish my end goals. Mostly due to the fact that I am without a steady income at this stage, AND the fact that I feel definitively, that our economy is really tanking out and swirling the toilet bowl. I am looking for ways of building, using what I have available, (trees and rocks) that will allow me to at least start construction on the shop so that I can have that alternative to producing income. While it may not be a complete machine shop, it is far better than nothing, and even if I only produce a couple of items, so long as they sell, I can start working towards building that house as well. One area I refuse to compromise on (and where my dad and I really butt heads) is getting a loan for construction. I will do this one 2X4 at a time if I have to, but I will own, outright, each and every stick and screw that goes into that construction. When the final touches are laid down, I don’t want one piece to be on loan or credit. (this is much easier to deal with seeing as “I gotz no job”; who the hell would give me a loan, even if(!) I were interested in that route.)

“ While it may not be a complete machine shop, it is far better than nothing” is the sticking point here. That machine shop is packed up in storage right now. Machines on furniture dollies, tools packed into hard cases or tool chests for protection, all of it stacked and piled in a tight little package to minimize space. Not a whole lot that can be done with it in this case, except look at it on occasion, or get to the lathes and oil the beds so that they don’t rust. It really irks me that it is all there, just begging to be used, but unable to be utilized until such time as they can be installed in a permanent manner. That is where my impatience is the strongest. To boot, my mind never stops working on ideas, and many of those ideas are little more than paper notes at this stage as I can’t even begin thinking about working on anything until such time as I have that shop up and somewhere to bring paper ideas to life.

So, here is what I have. Currently, I have enough sheet metal roofing to do both house and shop. I have 6-6”X6”x8′ beams. I have a plethora of white oak trees that are straight, fairly limb free for 20′ and tempting me. I have oodles of rock and stone, from the size of a walnut to the size of a VW Beetle. (granted, that is not a usable size, just describing them) and I have time. Currently, LOTS of time. What I don’t have is the other third of that holy trinity, MONEY. Time space or money, I has the time, I has the space, I ain’t gotz the mullah. Funny too, once I am working, that time factor will be taken away to some extent as well; I just need to find the balance of making money and maintaining some of the time, so that I can get things done. I may end up working 20 hour days to get things done, but get them done, I will.

Speaking of those white oaks. I thought seriously about taking them down, cutting out the sections to to take to the saw mill (more money) but the idea of trying to get screws or nails into that stuff for building is intimidating. I have dealt with that in some houses in Cincy (renovations) and that stuff doesn’t get any easier to work with in time, quite the opposite. It gets damned hard over time. Three of those trees are going to come down no matter what. Lumber or firewood, but they will come down. They are where I want to put the wind genny. (oh, and as for materials, all that barn wood I recovered two years ago? That is long gone thanks to my running around the country looking for work and patriots. Someone decided that it looked better in their possession than mine and came and took it, not knowing (or ignoring) the fact that it was stacked neatly on someones property. Had I been here, I would still have several thousand board feet of rough cut lumber to use and some of this discussion would not be taking place.)

Yup! I am in over my head again. Seems that is where I am most comfortable, LOL. And I know me: I will get all of this finished and have to tackle something even bigger and more intimidating. I am a glutton like that. I may back off my hurdles, but I never quit: I just find another route to the same goal. Some personal compromises are in order, to get there.

Later that same day; Alright, gotz no monies, So what. This is a all part of the dream and that dream can’t become a reality without solid ideas behind it. ​​​​​Como se come un elefante? Un pequeño mordisco a le vez! How do you eat an elephant? One little bite at a time. The shop, after much dickering around, and trying to figure the most cost effective way of building, has flexed around several different sizes. I started out with the idea of 20X30, then cut that down to 15X20 to cut costs in my estimates. I laid out the outline of the foundation today and realized that, despite my wanting to cut costs, I am not going to be comfortable with a smaller shop. Even if I went that route, I would be expanding within the first few months, so bite the bullet and plan for the beast outright. Even with the larger layout, I may end up having to expand, just not a soon as with the smaller shop. The advantage of the larger shop bears to the placement of vehicles under repair as much as room to stretch my elbows while working. I hate working on cars and trucks exposed to weather and unknown ground conditions where small tools, nuts and bolts and other things find wormholes to fall through. In addition, having that extra space (and it will be at first) means that larger projects can take place indoors, without having to totally rearrange things. The tower truss could even be built inside where I have better control over what the torch is doing during the brazing. That also will mean, more power needed for lighting, among other things that will need more power but that is just one more aspect that I will have to account for when the money does start to flow. (am I in denial that we are in a depression? Hell no, just trying to give myself a goal, and start working towards it. If we end up in war or whatnot with whomever wants to steal our freedoms, so be it, Dream gets put on hold indefinitely until such time as I can get back to it, OR they plant my determined ass in the ground and its a moot point anyway.)

Sunday: Fabrication day. Made the frame to hold the Gas engine and the alternator. Both are mounted, but I need a pulley for the engine shaft, and a belt. Now is one of those times where I wish the shop were up and at least functional, I would cast and machine that pulley myself, instead of having to go and hopefully find what I need. I much prefer being able to make the parts I need, instead of praying that I can find them (not to mention, I hate spending money on stuff I am completely capable of making myself.) Tomorrow, while on the hunt for income, I will see what I can find. Shouldn’t be that hard to find at a tractor place or co-op, and we do have those ’round here. One real plus out of all this, I have acquired a 5 hp horizontal shaft engine. That can be made to do a lot of work in many ways in a shop: one idea that keeps coming to mind is the line-shaft idea of old. One engine running a long shaft of pulleys (these would be built of laminated wood that bolt to the shaft or cast in metal with the same principal of mounting.) and belts to drive various machines. Gas to mechanical straight up, is a lot more efficient than gas/mechanical/electric/mechanical. And the engine could be housed in a separate area to itself so that noise in the shop is minimal. (emergency stop switches hard wired into to each station of course.) Of course, this is just a thought at this stage. No matter what happens, that engine will find use in some way; it runs far too well to just let it sit idle on a shelf waiting to become something useful.

Monday: Whooo-boy! What a kick start to a week. Picked up the pulley for the alternator setup, checked Drudge, and watched the world fall apart as the Gold Bubble started freefall, taking a lot of other commodities, and stocks right down with it. Spent some time conversing with others over it, and feel that, yes, it is a panic run, BUT, just like every other bubble in history, there is something behind it. Yeah, Cyprus, but I am talking more along those that will ride this out, and gain lots more gold than they had prior. I truly believe that there is a lot of manipulation going on while this run is in progress. I don’t really care what the mark on that commodity is, it is what it is: IE, a standard. In this world, it will always have value, no matter what currency it is attached to or exchanged with. Our dollar may become mere toilet paper (are we there yet?) but GOLD or Silver or any other tangible, will have a value to someone somewhere. (Gold is the cash of Kings, Silver is the cash of the common man)

While having that conversation, I made comment that the job hunt is going to take a downturn in probability with the economy just now getting a swift kick to the ‘nads with the Gold rush(out). I even went so far as saying that there may be similar odds to hitting the lottery as there is to getting a job beyond fry-guy at McD’s. SO, Laughingly, I went out today, ran some apps out at places that I hadn’t hit yet, including a machine shop that seems to actually be doing something around here (piece work for Cat? Ho-shit! That ain’t small potatoes around here!) I hadn’t known about this place until talking to the owner of the company I have been fabricating for. I then, on the way home, spent $2 for a lottery ticket.

I look at this way: If Universe has a sense of humor (And I have every reason to believe it does) I will either have a job or too much money soon. LOL Either would work towards achieving my goals.

But, the way things are going, I ain’t holdin’ my breath for either: I continue to keep lookin’.

Tuesday: an epiphany

Ok, 24 hour news cycle completed since yesterday; gold plummets taking nearly every other commodity and stock down with it in some aspect. Who-o, scary stuff. Bomber of questionable intent or origin blows two crude IED’s at the Boston Marathon. Supposedly a suspect was quickly detained, but obviously (or so I am reading as I don’t have TV or any of that fun stuff) Prez Oblammy-o-boy jumped on the news frenzy to ease the horrid thoughts of terrorist activity or sumpin like that to some extent or nudder. (don’t know, didn’t see, nor really care what that puppet says.)

Here is the epiphany. This goes back to a conversation of ghostly proportions. How do you herd Cattle? Not by getting behind them and pushing them, that is the visual aspect. The actual method is by inducing fear, but not too much fear. If the herd appears to be ready to stampede from one fear, you shift their attention to another fear. Keep the two (or more) fears moving around, just out of the danger zone, and the cattle move in whatever direction you choose, AWAY from the fears.

What is going on in the news? Think for yourself. Are these things real? Yes, maybe, dunno. Real enough of course. Are they staged events? Couldn’t say, but the PtwB will happily use them for the same ends, staged or not (let no crisis go to waste) What I did see is that the herd was moving at an alarming rate due to the Gold Slide. Then miraculously (leads me to believe a staged event) a bomber attacks a major sport event and everybody and their brother gets mobilized to have a say in it, or even talk about how ‘this wouldn’t have happened if we had higher taxes’ or some such horseshit. This morning, that Gold Slide was reversing course. (up $40 from the $100 downturn) Hmmm? Stampede averted? Now, a new fear is in place to guide the herd forward until such time as they need a change in direction. Korea next? Or Iran? Oh, I know; some wild and crazy dingbat conspiracy theory nut goes out and commits some random act of green terrorism, and DHS gets to play with all the new toys to try and find him. Yeah, that’ll keep the herd moving towards the fiscal cliff of economic prosperity by increasing debt and spending, and they will BEG for the tightening of the noose. Yeah, Sounds like a great plan.

To them (the PtwB)

(and all of this is a smoke to cover up the hypocrisy on the left by the Pro-choice horrors being exposed in court even as we speak. I have my opinion, I leave you to yours as well. As well as there being several key bills coming to vote this week, from more gun control among others, and the SCOTUS having some key Federal issues to work over.,,, Smoke and mirrors baby, )

Keep on keepin’ on. NEXT!

Claire asks another question, and one I have oft thought about.

Actually, I have done this, just not the full Jeremiah Johnson aspect that others have. I have always thought about just striking out, with nothing more than what I could carry on my back. Several of my books, including a series of books, are about doing just that, or the skills that would be needed to do so. This actually started long, long long before I struck out on for my own world upon becoming an adult. I still have one book that I keep around to remind me of those days (ok, so there are some nostalgic aspects I squash like bugs when they show up) Battered and bruised that it is, it still lights a fire under me to keep learning, and reminds me, that it all really comes back to what you are and what you know, not where you are, and definitely, not who you know or how much money you produce.

Having lived the crush of touring audio engineer/production manager, I can say, traveling is easy for me. I don’t have roots per se, and even when I settle in, I always feel that pull of the world tides. The siren song of the road. I know that I would not do well hoofing it around the country, only because I like my tools. I like having tools to work with and you sure as hell aren’t going to be carrying a full set of Snap-on tools, a southbend lathe and a MIG welder in a backpack. (technically, the RV is just a very large tent on wheels, does that count? LOL) It has been discussed/mentioned (here or in meat-space, I can’t recall,,,) that I should build a trailer with a full complement shop in it. Some pieces able to be pulled out and set up outside of it, and a motorcycle for transportation when parked. Tow the whole bloody thing behind the Beast. Great idea, again, that money issue rose up and kills the idea. (a dream, maybe, I kind of like being on Terra firma too. ‘Sides, the registration of vehicles guts the idea of the travel notion as freedom. True freedom wouldn’t need ‘permission’.)

For me now, the freedom I seek is a foundation, in an area with as little regulation as possible. Here, I can build without having to ‘get permission’. The only inspection is for a septic system and electric tie-in. I can eliminate the second inspection quickly by not tying into the grid. The first can be eliminated with a composting system, but that is more work than I want to involve myself in with all the other work I have planned. The ability to set up shop, without having to run the gamut of coding, community permissions, or federal blessing is equally important to me. Here, that is possible. There are other issues at hand that discourage me from pursuing that, but that is not a subject for this forum. The choice, due to finances and other factors lean towards this as the final ground for me. Only time will tell how that pans out.

So, Going Jeremiah Johnson? No, I may fall out of the blogging scene, but out of our society as a whole? Not likely. If I were, it would be under similar situation of that of JJ, or Jose Wales (myth, but some facts behind that) If I were to go that route, it would literally be with nothing but a pack on my back and a direction and nothing more. No dog, no tools, nothing. Just enough to get me to somewhere else or even nowhere else, just gone. It would require a hefty sacrifice to make me choose that route at this stage.

Wednesday: Just opened an email from a long lost someone I used to know. From back during my personal TEOTWAWKI. Sometimes, there are things that are best left lying in the gutter. This day proves that point to me. Details not forthcoming, just saying, if you find that you must walk away, burn the bridge too. Less pain later down the road.


4 responses

  1. j.r. guerra in s. tx.

    To save money (and time) on building materials, design your walls to be on 4′ modules. Most materials are sold in 4′ widths, so multiples of that saves time and little wasted time cutting to fit.

    You probably remember Uncle Ragner – he advocated the A frame building, as walls and roof were erected simultaneously. Good method for forested areas, especially if materials can be dragged downhill to your site.

    April 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    • That size allows me to use full sheets for the roof. 4×8 sheet 32′ across the top and 16′ to peak of roof. I hate being on roofs and that will allow me to get them up without having to cut too much if at all. A-frames are ok, but you lose far too much usable space in the pitch: maybe for the house, but not for the shop.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:48 am

  2. Stay safe my brother! Give Voo a hug for me.

    April 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

  3. Wildflower

    a bit here a bit there

    rome was not built overnite

    so be your castle

    April 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm

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