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.

Loose Endings

No Longer an Okie from MuskogeeHeading West

My time in Wagoner, OK has come to a close. I packed my life back into my four suitcases and me and Bandit headed down the road in search of a better tomorrow early in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Though things didn’t work out as well as I had hoped for in Oklahoma, I’m grateful for the opportunity and thankful for the companionship my host family provided me during my time there.

Adventures in Fund RaisingToledo Scale

Friday, I finished up with my “Great Aluminum Can Adventure” by taking the cans I’d collected during my daily walks with Bandit to the local recycling center. It was a lot of fun and a bit of an adventure wandering the streets around Wagoner, snatching cans and taking photographs as we toured the area. I’d estimate we traversed a good twenty miles in the eight to ten hours we spent wandering around aimlessly. The final aluminum tally was twenty pounds collected and the payout was eight bucks (at forty cents a pound), leading to an average of a bit less than a dollar an hour payout. I wouldn’t recommend it as a career move, but I do enjoy walking with Bandit in the evenings for fun and health anyway. Getting paid for doing it is a bonus and better than paying out for a gym membership!

If you are feeling charitable you can help support me in my struggle to rebuild my life from scratch by tossing a nickel into my emergency relocation fund.

Next up? Memphis.

Enjoy.

In the Meantime

Muskogee to Memphis

Hell's Hole, OK

While I am working on soliciting donations to continue on my path down the road of life I am not sitting idly by twiddling my thumbs and toes just because there doesn’t seem to be an employer in my local vicinity who is interested in employing me at slave wages and exploiting my superlative set of skills.  I don’t get too bummed out by that seemingly incomprehensible set of circumstances given the overall state of educational and economic depravity I’m surrounded by.  It’s just further evidence of the bad decision making skills of the people in the area.  LOL.

In the Meantime

Yes You Can

In the meantime I’m spending my time doing what any able bodied homeless vet (or bag lady) would do given the ‘opportunities’ that present themselves in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  I’m out collecting aluminum cans.  I have no idea what they are worth as I have yet to actually sell any of them but they must have some intrinsic value greater than zero or our cities wouldn’t be overwhelmed with images of homeless folks pushing shopping carts stacked to the brim with them.

Making do

I’d mow lawns if I had a lawn mower.  I’d do some other odd job if I hadn’t lost all my tools in my moves back and forth beyond the oceanic horizon. Lacking a vehicle does nothing to improve my situation one bit as I’m sure there are some jobs right outside my limited field of travel that I might be able to bag but given my experience to date I wouldn’t call that a ‘slam dunk’ either.

Sonic Tim

I’d put on a pair of roller skates and deliver your slush and corn dog order to your car at the local Sonic for that matter,  but I guess the sight of a skinny ass old guy wheeling around in their parking lot isn’t as desirable in terms of public perception as I had otherwise hoped it would be when I wandered into the place based on their “Walk In applications welcome on Tuesdays” flashing sign, only to find that “walking in” for the application required I first do their online application (WTF?) which of course I did before returning for my walk-in application the following Tuesday!   I’m nothing if not persistent and I’m trying to put to rest the tired stereotype that folks who want to work can easily find jobs because that’s as old a trope as “both parties in this country are the same, so why bother voting at all”.  Vote for Bernie Sanders, 2016.  Before it’s too late.

Enjoy.

The Latest Challenge

Continuing Adventures of Two Old Dogs

Distant Horizons

Bandit and I now must manage to traverse a distance of 370 miles to get to Memphis where I’ve received an offer of a vehicle, shelter and employment.  It’s the first honest offer of employment I’ve managed to secure since regaining my ID and driver’s license two months ago.  I’ve only been back in the county for five months now which seems like ages, but given the amount of forward progress I’ve actually made, I don’t feel bad considering how far in the hole I found myself in upon returning under such harsh circumstances.

The exact details about how the stars aligned on that job offer (etc.) is a serendipitous example of reciprocal karma in action and will make for an interesting blogpost sometime in the near future.

International Bandits

Travel Bandit

Traveling with Bandit, like traveling with a child, adds a great degree of responsibility and challenge to the travel equation, not to mention the extra cost. Keeping him by my side precludes any form of the more affordable mass transit options (trains/buses) available back here in the good ole’ USA.  We got used to traveling everywhere together overseas where dogs are welcome most everywhere.

There are a few of my (misguided) friends and followers who have suggested I offload my beloved dog into the hands of a trusted caregiver.  Given Bandit’s ebullient and gentle demeanor there are no shortage of folks who are willing to provide excellent care for him.

Kissing Bandit

Let me be perfectly clear.  Bandit and I are a family and a team.  He will NOT be handed off or left in the care of anyone other than myself for a time period that exceeds an overnight outing.  Loved ones aren’t a disposable commodity to me.  There is no amount of suffering I will not endure in order to keep Bandit near and dear.  Some of you will relate.  Some of you will think me crazy.  The ones who can relate are those who I feel the deepest kinship.

Donations Clearly Helpful – Press to Help

I’m now left trying to figure the best and most affordable way of getting the two of us to Memphis from here in Oklahoma.  My timetable is flexible but the sooner we can get from Tulsa or Muskogee (pick one) to Memphis the better.  If I don’t find a more suitable way to travel than walking, we’ll walk back towards Memphis just as we were planning to do in the other direction towards Colorado.  It’s half as far as we were planning to trek in the other direction and we had no offer of employment, shelter or transportation once we got there.  @thetimchannel   Email: thetimtimes at gmail.  You know the drill

Enjoy.