Now What?

Good morning everyone!  Been awhile since I posted a long form missive on my blog, so those of you who aren’t following me on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp etc. might want to take a trip to my Social page  if you want to keep better track of me.  As it is, I’m generally pretty busy keeping track of myself.  Here’s my latest attempt at summarizing my situation, my moods and my many mirth-filled meanderings.

Realtime Tim

I’m sitting here this morning under the heavy shade of an abnormally mature tree in the parking lot of a collection of strip malls.  This tree was probably planted when the (now defunct) K-Mart opened, which I expect was in the 70’s.  I was already in junior high back then and now I’m sitting next to a tree that’s probably 45 years old.  It’s a bit humbling realizing that this tree is really only just getting started and I’m already inching towards the finish line.

Anyway, it’s barely 8:30 but I’ve been up since around 7:00, which is about an hour after sunrise and the normal start of a working day for me. I slept in the lot at work last night so I could recharge my laptop and wake-up to a free cup of coffee (and a close bathroom…lol) before rolling out of the lot to my current location.  I just happen to have the day off and am taking full advantage of the cool breeze and morning tranquility (none of the stores are open yet) to compose this missive and upload it on some very excellent free wifi near enough I can snatch it from my post here in the van.  A homeless guy just wandered by, looked back over his shoulder at me and commented “Nice setup you have there”.  Perspective, folks, perspective.

Perspective

Unlike so many of YouTube van and RV channels, I don’t bounce around the country like a BB in a paint can.  That’s far too expensive and way too much work IMHO.  I’m much more ‘grounded’.  I’ve been at the same job and the same ‘address’ almost since the day I arrived here in Colorado.  I am a known quantity up and down these urban streets and benefit greatly from the respect I receive from people on all social levels.  For better or worse, I’ve become somewhat notorious around here.

It’s kinda funny.  I’m a beacon of hope for both the homeless and the home bound.

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

I do my best to act as a role model for the many homeless and beleaguered souls I cross paths with as a result of my occupational awareness of the issues they confront.  They often have very little, so it’s no surprise that they are impressed with my setup.  I always point out to them that I got where I am from where they are (economically at least) on what amounts to $8.50 an hour (after my 15% loss for student loan extraction) in about two years.  Let me note that all too often, the individuals I encounter have already squandered more free resources than those I have earned.  They’ve squandered (and will likely continue to squander) every opportunity presented.  I’m not assigning blame, just noting for the record.

Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is a hard thing to do if you are not if full possession of all your faculties and therefore, I do not mean to impugn the failures of those with far less fabulosity than I have.

It’s extremely difficult to wipe off your boots when the rug is constantly being pulled out from under you.

You Play Golf!!!??

On the other side of the economic spectrum are the more affluent, who have also taken an interest in me, generally because I’m so freaking fabulous overall and specifically because I manage to do it all while living out of an ancient minivan.  Old as she is, Nelly Belle cleans up well, runs well, and has an interior modeled after the inside of Jeannie’s bottle (if Jeannie had a 32 inch flatscreen).  I keep the interior sharp as a tack.  Neatness counts.   I sense a lot of envy from guys who are undoubtedly making way more money than I am, just as I can sense a bit of resentment and jealousy from others because I can afford to be so carefree.  Being a working, widowed, single male with no family responsibilities and no house payment certainly allows me much greater financial flexibility that many (most?) people making way more than me.  Yeah, I play golf, and don’t be surprised if you see me dining at a restaurant you assumed I was priced out of.  I’m 100% dedicated to making my life as pleasant and stress free as is humanly possible and I’m dam good at it. This fact alone is enough to engender fear and loathing towards me in at least a small subset of the population, most notably that recalcitrant 35% of folks still swinging off Trump’s nutsack.

Politics

Trump is a lying scumbag.  Was before the election.  Has been since the election.  Probably should be in jail or geriatric care.  If he fires Mueller I’ve already informed my boss that I’m immediately going on strike.  I’ll be out in the streets with a placard along the highway within fifteen minutes of that news.  I encourage other true patriots do the same.

Relationship Status

It’s complicated right now but be assured that the glorious and sordid details would shock and amuse you.  The blurb on any potential autobiography will undoubtedly be “A Must Read”.

YouTube

I’ve shifted quite a bit of my creative output to YouTube over the last couple years and will probably continue to do so.  I’ll continue to post here on my WordPress blog as time and situation warrant.

Near Future

Re-retirement at the end of the year and a hard shift to finding land and building my tiny home.

Enjoy.

It Seemed Worth Saying

Long overdue update/roundup of the events of the last year or so. Those who follow along regularly will no doubt be familiar with much of this material, but today’s recollections will be delicately adorned with details gleaned thru the perspective of time. I’m pretty sure it’d be labeled as a sermon if I was in one of those lunatic cults. And no, I’m not denigrating religion just because they haven’t formed one around me yet! I’m in a college town now. Let me think…if I grow a beard and quit pulling errant hairs out of my ears I WOULD look more properly prophetic. Hmmm. But I digress.

I’ve been here awhile now. Year and a half? In that zone. Two winters and one summer. Second summer staring me right in the face. To those of you who watched me scratch and claw my way here, those of you who helped, those of you who just rode along on my social media clown car, I salute you. Getting here to The Free People’s Republic in the time and manner I did involved crazy insane stupid risks that could have gone horribly awry at so many different levels, but didn’t. Any honest accounting of the many possible pitfalls will require an advance in quantum computing. So if you ask me if it was worth it of course I’ll answer in the affirmative because everything ended up going affirmatively well. At least in the aggregate.

Colorado is everything I remember it being, memories built from both a youthful summer spent in Loveland to my early adult career in the Air Force in Colorado Springs. Everything good that I remember about Colorado is just as it was, only better. There is a catch. The fly in the ointment. It’s an expensive place to live because so many people want to live here. If I wasn’t a fabulously radiant young widower making his abode in a 93 Dodge Minivan, my bon vivant lifestyle, let alone time for musings upon it would be nil. I live on squat and I live well on it. I didn’t realize what an art form that really is but I’ve always harbored an inner confidence of my artistic ability, at least in the Autism-Alzheimer’s spectrum. I’m pretty sure I got at least a little bit of both of those going on by now.

I miss my dog. I miss my wife. All in all. I’m still loving life.

Enjoy.

My Apologies

In lieu of the challenges presented over the last couple years, the list of which is both long and arduous in the retelling, I haven’t posted here much lately.

My more “distant past” is still contained on WordPress, heavily hyperlinked herein, with the last couple years of my bouncing around the country like a midget on a Dutch hooker more likely to be found on my Facebook-Twitter-Instagram-Yelp feeds.  It was much too tedious to try and support this platform on the portable devices I have been forced to rely on in that interim.

Bottom Line

I have been extremely negligent in relation to the amount of content shared here.  More out of necessity than desire, I had been forced to shift much of my (purportedly) maniacal musings to more immediate, yet entirely more ephemeral platforms however, I am back.

I cannot promise to refrain from my pattern of dropping random diddlings on my other social media platforms but I do promise to be more active here on WordPress now that the dust in my life has settled a bit and I’ve regained the modicum of stability, technology and bandwidth to pull it off.

Enjoy.

Peter McWilliams Remembrance Day

Peter McWilliams

Though Peter and I disagreed on matters of faith we were both committed to the rights of patient access to medical marijuana.  Take a moment to give thanks and praise to a fallen hero in the war on marijuana.

Enjoy.

On the Road Again

A Place in the Sun

My stay at the corner of Chelsea and Hyde Park in Memphis was bracketed by gang violence.  The day before I arrived a guy had been gunned down just up the block from the auto shop where me and Bandit were staying.  His T-shirt was one of two planted in a makeshift memorial, in an untended lot just across the street from where Bandit and I were holed up (see header pic).  A daily reminder of the senseless randomness of street thuggery in the US today, a good deal of which is fueled by the ongoing refusal of some states to come to terms with legalizing marijuana.  As was the case with alcohol prohibition, this inevitably leads to black market activity and violence is the only ‘legal’ recourse for solving “market” disputes.  There’s a “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre” happening almost every day somewhere in the poorer parts of the American landscape, but since the dead are mostly poor Blacks and not upscale Italian mobsters, it doesn’t make the ‘news’.  I knew moving in here that the area was a sketchy, but this was underscored in a seriously dramatic fashion Sunday evening. 

Why We Left

IMG_1165

“Nelly Belle” loaded up with Bandit taking one last look at the ‘hood.

There was an honest to goodness running gun battle that took place right at this spot early Sunday evening.  

Bandit and I hunkered in for the night and when daylight appeared Monday morning, I decided not to continue to remain in an area that appears, for all intents and purposes, to be one of the primary gang “drug dealerships” in Memphis.  

To be fair, I had never before felt personally threatened by the gang activity.  I was living in their neighborhood and they treated me with kindness, dignity and respect. There was no hint of racial animosity whatsoever.  This in no way abated the fact that the internecine gang skirmishes were a fact of life or that the general deprivations of the area played heavily on my ability to retain my exuberant upbeat attitude.  None of the businesses seen in the pics below are open and even the church shown in this slideshow was ‘out of business”.  You know things are bad when both the pool hall and the church give up on the area!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Though the deprivations in our living arrangements were harsh. I was thankful to have a place for me and Bandit to bivouac while attending to the issues of the van that my friend Drew Pittman had so graciously gifted me.  I consider Drew one of my secular guardian angels.  The van he gave us is truly a life saver and game changer for me and Bandit as we continue the daily struggle to rebuild our lives back here in the US.

What’s Next?

Bandit and I have moved to a safe location outside Memphis and are in a holding pattern awaiting paperwork on the van which has been promised to be forthcoming.  I will be meeting with Drew over the fourth of July weekend to finalize all that before heading on to Pike’s Peak as has been my intention since arriving back in the US last November.  In the meantime we are both doing fine and expect to have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend just like the rest of America.  Memphis wasn’t all bad by any means and I do not wish to leave that impression.  We loved the parks and the general vibrancy of the city.  Memphis is definitely moving in the right direction and there is a lot of opportunity awaiting those with the gumption to grab it.

The circumstances of my poverty greatly exacerbated the situation and though I actually started working within a week of my arrival, getting both the van in shape and trying to acquire the basic items necessary for life made it difficult to accumulate any real wealth.  It’ll be touch and go for sure until we’re actually in Colorado and settled in but that challenge is more appealing to me at this point than gambling with my safety in Memphis.

Enjoy.