Friday, May 25, 2012

Date Set.....

Please See PayPal Link Below

That's the day I arrive in Mississippi!

(Be honest.....when you see that state's name, it takes you back to elementary school!)

The gig actually begins on June 3rd. I'll be overseeing dogs, a house, and internet concerns. The person I will be working for has to be in America's Hat (Canada) for a project that will run a week or more.

Mixed emotions.....

It's that "Fish Or Cut Bait" feeling.
It's that "What Am I Getting Myself Into" feeling.
It's that "I'm Leaving What's Safe And Probably Gonna Die" feeling.

I'll be honest. Some days I REALLY miss Camp Scooter SouthEast: Afscootistan. Overall I was comfortable, had consistency, and a support "Fail Safe" network close at hand. If I wanted to be alone, easily done. If I was feeling sociable....99% of the Home Of Falling Prices and McDonald's Associates like me and enjoyed conversing.

I am a GREAT talker!

The "reliability" of The Sovereign Conversion Van Of Wonders is questionable. The electronics are still acting up and I have yet to fix or replace the bad hose, thermostat, and variety of substances in the radiator. It does tend to go through fluids (oil, trans, etc.) kinda quick.

On the plus side, it has a full tune up, 4 BRAND NEW tires, and the engine runs strong.

My concerns are pretty much gas and other such resources. This is the FIRST gig I have been able to land in over two and a half years. And it's not like it's the next town over I need to get to. It becomes all about the greenbacks.

I know others in my situation use things like PayPal, but I don't have a bank account for funds to be sent to. PayPal charges something like $11.00 PER transaction to send a check, which really cuts into things. Thus, I have not used them to solicit donations. I've been looking for day gigs locally, but have yet to find anything that I am able to perform.

At the bottom of this page, I have placed a PayPal Donation button, should you like to contribute. The friend I am staying with has offered to allow me to transfer from my PayPal to her bank, and cash out the funds to me.


Not looking to make this an ongoing thing. It's quite temporary. My goal is to work, not fund raise. I simply have to be able to get to the gig.

I am excited, and apprehensive. Reinvigorated, but holding full blown enthusiasm at bay.

A real mixed bag of things.

We'll know soon, won't we.

Until next time........

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not Much To Tell Really....

..but figured I should stop and pop my head in here.

BACKSTORY: I am at a dear friends house who did some serious damage to her back and neck in a fall. She works out of her home and there is a significant amount of weighty objects that need be moved in the course of her business. I offered to stay here and help her in any way I can. A big bonus for me is, I get to cook all her meals! The neck soreness/stiffness has subsided a great deal and her tail bone region seemed on the mend. Until Monday, the day after .....

Where she lives is The Jerzey Shore region. Although I am more a fan of lakes than oceans, I do enjoy the little trips here and there are various scenic/historic sites.

Saturday, she took me to a park called "Mount Mitchell Scenic Overlook" where there is a memorial to the victims of 911 that were from Monmouth County. Added significance to this spot is the view of Manhattan that is spectacular! It also gave many a front row seat to the horror of that day.

As you approach the Memorial, there are plaques creating a timeline of events from that morning. The center piece is a giant Eagle clutching a  chunk of steel beam from Ground Zero in it's talons.

It has an impact.

The next day, that was also quite beautiful, she wanted to head over to Sandy Hook, near Fort Monmouth. It seemed walking on grass or pavement was fine, but once we hit sand it was a different story. For myself, having lived in "The Sovereign Conversion Van Of Wonders at Camp Scooter: Southeast, Afscootistan" and not exercising as much as I should, I felt the extra effort my legs needed to rise to in order for a gate that was a little less than dorky.

For messed up her back again.

She worked as much as she could on Monday, but that was taking it's toll. My memory kicked in, and I recalled that my father had a troublesome back, for which he would bathe regularly using Epsom Salts. I figured that would help her to some degree, purchased said crystals, setting a rendezvous for her with the tub.

Perfect temperature, calming surroundings......sounds nice, no?

Was great until she started to empty the tub!

While sitting in the living room, I hear this frantic, loud banging on the front door. I got downstairs to answer it, and it's the family who lives in the lower half of the house asking if she was alright.

I said sure, why?

Seems the water was not finding it's way to the sewer, but rather, across the ceiling downstairs to a light fixture, and on to the forehead of a family member trying to sleep.

So much for the bucolic feeling resonating to all parts of her body subsequent to the calm of the bath. Lot's of fretting, damage control downstairs...and phone calls back and forth.

The relief and healing from that immersion was short lived. summary.....

I still have to fix the radiator hose that sprung a leak and get it to a shop so it can be replaced and the rad drained.

I still have to let the electronics of the alarm system dry out more so it stops messing with the systems and my head. If that doesn't work, I have to rewire a WHOLE LOTTA stuff!

I am still here helping her as much as I can.

Target to head south is around Memorial Day.

We'll see how that works out. ya'll are up to speed.

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So, I Get This BRAND NEW Set-0-Tires And....


Turns out it's a hole in the hose. Can't get a new one readily, so worse comes to worse, I can try patching it. The electronic mess is half what it was, so hopefully by tomorrow it will be back to normal, at least for straight driving. of course, something had to go wrong!!!

BACKSTORY: In order to work on The Sovereign Afscootistan Conversion Van Of Wonders' engine, one must approach it from inside the car, not under the hood. In the common technicians vernacular, this is known as The Dog House. It's this big ass mound right between the two front seats. In so much as ongoing work was still to be done on it to bring it up to snuff, said Doghouse was loosely set over the engine, just enough to block out noise.

I had a friend significantly hurt their tailbone and neck in a tumble and I offered to help out with anything needed. Offer accepted, I head over to their place. As I am approaching the N.J. Parkway, I notice the engine temp indicator is moving upward. This is generally no big deal, I have a sticky thermostat that is getting changed in the next few days. That's the reason the doghouse is still sitting loosely over the engine. It's happened before and, the more I drive, it clears and then gets normal.

 No biggie, right?

I head on to the Parkway and I see the temp head south. Pop on the radio and begin enjoying the calm of not worrying I'll get a blow out at 70 M.PH., nor slide off the road.

It's around then the hissing begins.

I look at the temp and it's rising...falling...rising...falling.....RISING....PEAKING!!!!

Next thing, I am surround by vaporized, weaponized coolant vapor and can't see much of anything. I open both windows to clear it out and cover my face with a sweatshirt sleeve. My glasses are fogged over, thus they have to go, and I can't see my gauges. Imagine all that steam you see in the picture above, only inside where I am sitting.

Now here's the thing....

I don't want to have to deal with The New Jersey State Police. Not because I don't like them, I am a supporter of law enforcement, but because I don't need a million and one questions with an impending rainstorm looming.

I open the hood, using aforementioned sweatshirt to protect my had as I undo the radiator cap in anticipation of the common gusher of an over heated engine. I open the caps and....


Nary an ounce of fluid to be found.

Middle of the damn Parkway, with an empty, overall displeased, radiator and vehicle.

I begin digging in the van for ANY fluid I could pour in just so I can get to the next exit.

I found:

12 Juice Boxes
1 bottle of Vinegar
2 Half full bottles of window cleaner
1 half bottle of concentrated violet scented cleaner
1 half gallon of Prestone Anti-Freeze.

Started the engine again, temp began to drop, and was back on my way.

A few miles, and it once again is blowing steam all inside the cabin, as heavy as before, if not more so. The weaponized steam smelled like italian dressing on a fruity salad, with a teasing hint of "clean".

We limp to the next exit and I get water to re-fill the rad....running the engine as one is supposed to do when the engine is HOT! Temp heads southward once again, significantly so, and I head back on my way.

This moment of calm was quite short lived. Hissing, heating, yadda yadda yadda. Raining, windows open weaponized steam everywhere, sweatshirt over nose....

Off the Parkway I go. FORTUNATELY, it was an exit I could use. Stopped at first gas station I saw and filled rad again. What I discovered is that:

A: Temp hadn't peaked as much as before.
B: The rad wasn't fully drained.

Answer: Leak in rad hose. (Perhaps)
Result: TONS of steam!!!!!
Result B: HAVOC!

I keep charging ahead.

Kindly note it was an exit I could use...not the one I was most familiar with. Followed the signs and figured I was maybe 10 minutes from destination. Then the van and I could chill, I'd be able to help my friend out, and deal with the issue tomorrow.

I must have been off in lala land or feeling the effects of weaponized rad fluid, because I missed a turn somewhere, thus......

          Welcome To Red Bank New Jersey

Nice town and all. Home to @ThatKevinSmith 's  (Clerks, Cop Out, Chasing Amy) "Jay And Silent Bob's Secret Stash" store and Bon Jovi's "Soul Food" 5 Star charitable restaurant. (Seriously. I know folks who have dined there and they say the food is great! Click the name to learn more)

The problem? The steam is increasing and I am getting stuck in every in-town traffic problem imaginable AND unimaginable! I mean, c'mon...a train smack in the middle of the city?!?!? A slow moving one at that.

I think to myself this is all ultimately manageable and get on with the business of finding my way to the proper route to desired destination.

Well..I learned something new. You know them, there Gremlins" The creatures that get into things and mess stuff up? I learned they don't live in Gremlinville...they reside in weaponized radiator steam!

The red indicator for my alarm system lights up and stays that way. My door locks keep locking and unlocking over and over. When I finally arrive at the location, my lights won't shut off. All that moisture has screwed up many of the electronic systems in the van, and I had to disconnect the battery. EVERYTHING up front is sticky and smells like a fruit salad bathed in a light Italian dressing, whimsically whispering a scent of "clean". It all became so absurd, I simply couldn't help but laugh at all of it, in spite of myself.

I check the internet to see what weather is expected, and see no rain and outside I see the Sun burning through straggling clouds. I open the windows and figure, in the morning, the systems will have dried out and, hopefully, resume normal operation.

Wake up...have coffee...turn on laptop....look out window.

IT RAINED!!!! Seems it rained pretty good.

Aw, phooey!

As of this writing I haven't been outside to begin restoration of Afsccotistan's Ministry Of Transportation's Flagship Vehicle. The effects on my royal lungs, yet to be determined.

Stay tuned.....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thus, It Begins.....

UPDATE REDUX: Due to weather, resources, and circumstance departure is delayed until May  24th or 25th. Will post new entry soon.

UPDATE: Date to depart is now set for May 22nd. I can't wait to leave this hell behind!

Got my first gig on The Afscootistan Sovereign Conversion Van Of Wonders "Moving Ahead: Work Across America" tour!!! I'll be leaving towards the end of the month. More on that in a moment....

A different tour I took recently was through the IKEA Furniture "Do It Yourself" maze.

Was taken to said establishment and soon found myself in a "one-way-out-and-through" labyrinth with no ready escape. If you've never been there, here's the deal...

Once in the store, your last chance at safe egress are the front doors. Now, I didn't see anyone go in and try immediately to get out, but I am sure they would have been Tasered if they tried. Once in and looking about, you realize there is one one way out...and that's through. You are walled off from any direct route, so as to be forced to endure the "experience" that is IKEA. I sought an exit, a direct line to stairs and other such means of fleeing...but to no avail.

I was trapped!
I was tired!
I was IKEA'd!

I wasn't really impressed by a lot I saw there, and certainly had moments. for a couple of reasons, where melancholy would set in. On occasion I would see a room set-up or item that would invoke memories of my losses. But, I am a big boy. I get past the feeling and venture forth to find the gateway OUT!

SIDETRACK: One odd thing...I saw people buying food from the in house restaurant for take out. I mean, c'mon! The food there is THAT good? I should have thought to follow the ones leaving just to see if they have an escape route to get the food to their cars before it got cold or moldy.

Ok..back to moving ahead.....

SIDETRACKREDUX: Slight heading alteration. Don't want my "Moving Forward" to be in any way similar to Barry O'Bama's campaign slogan. Thus, "Forward" becomes "Ahead".

Now, back to the rest of the story.....
The place I am heading to is in Mississippi, which works out well, given my original goal of visiting and exploring that state and Alabama. That was thwarted by my successful heart attack back in October of 2009.

The company is an internet concern that is is involved in divergent elements of the medium. Be it web design, streaming networks, complete I.T. systems for anything from a small business to a major stadium...this guy does it!

I will be learning to help maintain and design websites for him, and get into the Video Streaming aspect of things from the bones of a system on up.

My kinda gig!!! Ever since I was a wee one, I loved all things video/film, tech, and electronic. Once there and after a bit of time, I'll post some video and show ya'll what I am doing.

BONUSES: 10 hours away from Dallas and the site of Glenn's "Restoring Love" event. The house I'll be at has a lake for the back yard and the Gulf two blocks away.

I expect to be headed down there within a week and a half or so. One drawback is I will miss the wedding of my former neighbor's daughter, which is set for June 9th. I've known this wonderful girl since she was three years old. (Frankly, I have nothing to wear to it and little if anything to offer as a gift.)

So, I have some time to further work on my gas powered chariot and organize the living area with my new floor plan. Right now, there is no way to get towards the back. Stuff is everywhere and piled high!  I am still looking for: Got'em!!

a few used tires (235, 225 or 215/75 R15) and

a trailer hitch. Also, please continue to spread my first post looking for opportunities as seen HERE and help send out the word. Any extra ideas, kindly feel free to pass them along.

Thus, it will begin. Leaving New Jersey, and hopefully some of the good memories gone bad will start to dissipate along the highway into dust.

I doubt that second part, though. 


It begins. I will either thrive or die....sink or middle ground just treading water.

We'll see how it goes.

Until next time...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Not A Fan Of This Musical....

...but there is something of value in the message this song expresses.

TIP: Just heed the lyrics and breathe in the harmonies.

There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret-- or life is yours to miss.
No other road
No other way
No day but today

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Unexpected Impact....

One of the LAST things I expected as I moved forward are the emotions I am experiencing now. One would imagine that I would find myself excited, hopeful, anxious to embrace my new future.

All that seems to be happening is a renewed, reinvigorated sense of loss.

I guess it's in large part due to geography...The Jersey Shore.

For me it's like a FOX Network T.V. Special: "When Good Memories Go Bad"

It's not a case of lamenting lost youth...the memories are quite recent and adult.

I go from sullen, to morose, and back again. Who knew going to sullen would be an improvement in perspective? Who knew that all of this would linger for as long as it has.

I am staying with a their home....doing this and that around the homestead. Most notable, rehabilitating a sizable garden to ready it for planting. Frankly, that feels pretty good.

It's seeing the stuff in the home. It's hearing about treasured things, tucked into an attic, collections saved...etc.

Loss takes all forms and personalities.

I beginning to understand, as odd as this may sound, that my time at Camp Scooter SouthEast: Afscootistan (A.H.A.) was a pretty sheltered existence. a minor example would be food prices. When venturing into a local Shop Rite (my and Bon Jovi's favorite food store) I was shocked at how much more expensive stuff was than at The Home Of Falling Prices! For example, Hot Dogs, God's Perfect Food, were a full $2.00+ more expensive than I had been paying. Nearly everything was much pricier.

And I didn't have to, in all honesty, deal with much. Day to day was pretty much all the same. Sure, a few car fires and some visitors would make a break in the monotony...but that's about it. Nothing to jog memories to the forefront on a regular basis. 

I have learned a lesson once again, to not let things feel too good for any length of time. Even this posting's first start at life....

SIDETRACK: I started this posting a full 2 weeks before getting back to it. The house I am staying at has 5 dogs...4 of them of a sizable bulk...and one bumped into the cursed magneto power cable, thus unplugging the MacBook.  Blogspot has a feature that saves material every few seconds or so. When I powered up the laptop I figure all would be good, and for a New York was.

Then BOOM .....

It disappears from the screen. I attempted every maneuver I knew to bring it back, but to no avail. Gone for good.

que sera'

But I digress.....

Got together for the first time in over 3 years with the significant acquaintance. I am not far from where she lives,and went down to her area on a whim.

Wait....that's not accurate....

The Shore area is where she lives and where I am now. EVERYTHING around me was reminding me of the years with her. So I figured, what the hell...right? Sent a text telling her I was heading there and would let her now when I was at an open, public place. If she came...fine...if is what it is.

Then THIS happened!

The tire exploded...fortunately on a side road and not the Garden State Parkway... 20 MPH versus 65. Makes a significant difference in outcome.

It was Friday evening and I had no spare. Called my insurance companie's Roadside Assistance number, and the car was towed to a closed garage. Sent a text to her explaining the situation and said if you don't want to come, fair enough. She had previously texted she was fine with having coffee somewhere, but wasn't interested in a "reunion".

Long scenario short, she came and wanted me to stay at her place until the tire could be replaced...maybe even for the weekend. Frankly, I resisted that and had at one point walked to the garage where The Sovereign Conversion Van Of Wonders was parked and settled into the driver's seat..covered myself with a jacket, fleece, and jacket.

SIDETRACK: The back of the van is filled awaiting my ability to organize the stuff and have room to sleep. No access to the bed.

Ultimately, she prevailed and I stayed at her place. It was a mixed bag of emotion.

Saturday we went walking in 2 county parks where she's at, and on Sunday went to this GREAT place that was a massive open, outdoor Sculpture Garden. You can see it HERE. It was an pretty amazing place.

Things going quite nice until the spell was broken Monday night. Nothing heavy, no battle...simply the "air" in the place changed. Pretty much a sense of things.

Why am I telling you all of this?

QUOTE:"I have learned a lesson once again, to not let things feel too good for any length of time."

Monday and Tuesday I helped her with some work she had due, and it was calm enough. I learned more about what she does, and even ran some machinery I had never used before. Different days...different "atmosphere". I mean Saturday, Sunday and Monday were terrific. Monday evening, it took a turn. Please understand, I left completely to her how long I would stay after the tire was replaced. I would have gone back into the van in a heartbeat, if necessary.

We finished her project and then I gathered my things. The parting was equal parts frustrating, morose, and deeply sad, at least for yours truly

More loss! Even worse, it is renewed loss. Quite disheartening.

I haven't eaten in 3 days at this point, and am typing on very little sleep. Maybe that's why this may sen rambling.

So at this point, dear reader, you may be asking yourself what any of this has to do with my latest "Work across America" endeavor. (Which, by the way, just got my first offer of a few days employ in Mississippi with an evolving online streaming concern.)

I have lost a lot of steam. I am disheartened and really feel like throwing in the towel I currently clutch in my hand.

I may have a bit of a "down" time...but I suppose I'll get my mojo back at some point. But at this moment, I want to get in the van and drive into the woods somewhere and simply disappear.

I know, I know..."Boo Hoo! Cry me a river....."

As I stated above, living at The Home Of Falling Prices was pretty much a sheltered existence.

Currently I am just one big mess. Between the tire and having to spend money I can't afford to, the van being a source of vulnerability due to not being able to pass inspection, and the recent experience of the heart and core....the towel seems to be begging me to pitch it.

Maybe I'll be able to eat today and get myself back on track to the future. But for now, it's all so overwhelming. This was coming, whether I ever saw the significant acquaintance again or not. It's a BIG reason why I haven't been writing at all.

Thanks for sticking with me, along with the good thoughts and wishes that are generously sent my way. My hope is that at some point it will all fall into place and I won't let you down.

We'll see.....

Oh, the public parking area I chose to meet at? An amusement park that holds many "Good Memories Gone Bad"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Moving Forward

New Posts Are Below This Entry
INSTANT SIDETRACK: Facial hair gets vanquished at the first place I can pull over, once I cross the state line.
New look, new future!

Step 1 was getting out of Camp Scooter:SouthEast and on to the future. Creating a plan for getting my life and future back, as well as, finding "home".

Here's the deal.....

As you know, I plan on being in Dallas, Texas this coming July for Glenn Beck's "Restoring Love" event. Before, and perhaps after that, my goal is to finding gainful, per diem employ around the country. Earning my way there and hopefully finding the place to deposit myself for the balance of my days.

Frankly, this new phase offers the most hopeful and energizing possibilities than I dared have faith in for in a very long while. My steady followers can attest to that. It's been quite some time since I have been this anxious and positive.

At the same, my sense of vulnerability has certainly been heightened.

Que Sera', Sera'

So, your humble narrator has some things needed that you all can help with.

First and foremost, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD! Via your blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. Link to this blog...especially the entries immediately preceding this post, sending to as many folks here as you can. Strength in numbers, and all that.

Use This LINK!

As I accumulate the practical, tangible stuff, I will edit this post to note what needs have been filled with an "OK". As will become readily apparent as time goes on, other needed items will be evolving and ongoing.

Got it? Ok, here goes:

I need to spread the word far and wide to help me find the kind of day jobs that best exhibit the independent, entrepreneurial spirit this nation was built on. Not to say that any honest day's work is less important to me as I head out. I hope to create regular video postings highlighting the labors I am doing with the innovators and great "dreamers" that move America forward.

And this gives me the opportunity to EARN my way not only to Restoring Love, but my future as well.

I have set up a specific email address for this venture. It is: (RL =Restoring Love)

SIDETRACK: On the big picture windows of the van, I wrote "Dallas or Bust Restoring Love" On the internet/site adverts for the event, it all looks powerful. However, when on the van it's like there should be pictures of Unicorns, Rainbows, and little girl wearing a tiara made of daisies. I am thinking of ways to "Man Up" the space.

Speaking of said chariot.....

Here are some of the aforementioned "practical" items I either need or would greatly want. A hand up, not a hand out:

The Vehicle Is A 1990 Chevy Van 20 5.7L Engine

***DONE*** 3 or 4 225/75 R-15 Tires. Used are fine. The ones I have now are showing the steel belt, and I have no spare. Less than safe. ***DONE***

***DONE*** 2 Rear Doors With Windows. If I have no windows, I have to change status to a commercial vehicle. ***DONE***

Trailer Hitch. The one I have is thoroughly rusted and has to be removed for the safety of folks driving behind me.

***DONE*** Elements for a tune up. Hoses for the vacuum system. (NOT for a "cleaner", but the system that controls stuff in the vehicle.)Although this isn't crucial, it would save on expenses and allow for heat/AC to work. ***DONE***

As always, prayers, good thoughts, and a face to face hello should you happen upon me is ALWAYS welcome. Target date for departure is approximately March 30 or prior.

Here we go......

Until next time....