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.

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Northwest Parkway Snafu

I received what I presume is an automated billing in the mail today from a company that runs a toll road here in Colorado. It’s from an outfit called Northwest Parkway and I found their bill a bit disconcerting since I had not knowingly traveled any toll roads in the state in the last six months (or ever).

Their Detailed Account Activity

Upon examination, their “Detailed Account Activity”  ‘tags’ me at “Sheridan” back on the fourth of May at precisely 5:21:16.   This inevitably led me to the question: “Where was I and what was I doing that time of day on the fourth of May?”, as well as, “Where the hell is Sheridan?”.  I grabbed my trusty iPhone and started scrolling back to May 4th on my Facebook timeline.

My boss chimed in, “You were off on the fourth”, before I had even scrolled back thru my latest week of posts.  As I continued to scroll (and scroll and scroll), plowing thru a feed littered with the refuse of posts responding to the various high crimes and misdemeanors of President Pantywaist, I scoured my brain trying to figure out how I could have unwittingly fallen into a tollway trap.

To be clear, the amount is nil ($2.35) and it might be easier to pay it than protest, but I’m protesting since I have solid proof I was nowhere near anyplace named Sheridan on that time of day on the fourth of May.  

I am acting as the canary in the coal mine on this one folks.  Consider this a test of the customer service department of Northwest Parkway.  They will be provided a link to this story as well as my email address thru their online customer service form.  They provide no pre-formatted options to contest a bill that I could find on their website and since I’ll be forced to ‘tell’ this story to them at some point it seemed easier to document it out here and now.  My faith in corporate nature leads me to suspect they would not believe me on the basis of a friendly telephone contact alone.  I will share their response as an educational offering once I receive their reply.

My Detailed Account Activity

Where was I on that day and time?  Sitting next to Lake Loveland most of the afternoon,  before pulling up stakes and driving around the lake to the golf course on 29th (Cattail Creek) around a quarter after five.  How can I be so sure? Blame it on my propensity to check in on Facebook/Yelp with such consistency if you must, but here are the screen shots off my iphone showing the check-in dates and times.  I checked into the course at 5:35.

Conclusion

The only “Sheridan” I can find seems to be an hour or more away from Loveland and my dear van Nelly Belle just ain’t up to those kinds of warp speeds.  I believe I have been shafted by ‘machine intelligence’ gone amok.  Now all that remains to be seen is if it’s too late for the humans to help me.
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.

On a Wing and No Prayer

Like a Rolling Stone

meandb

Bandit and I are going to head out to Colorado Springs on Saturday May 2nd. We don’t yet have a car and traveling via bus with a pet dog is not permitted here in America, so we’ll be traveling on foot and carrying whatever of our meager possessions we can drag along.  The weather is warm enough now that I feel confident we won’t freeze to death en route, though I expect there will be enough other challenges and deprivations to suffice for the lack of blizzard conditions.

We will attempt to traverse the 700 mile divide at a minimum pace of ten miles per day, which works out to a total travel time of around 70 days.  If we hump it, or catch a ride here and there, we might make even arrive in Colorado Springs before the 4th of July, which will give “Independence Day” a whole new perspective for the both of us!

Carpe Diem

Of course we’re totally unprepared to walk the 700 miles to get to Colorado Springs, but what we lack in preparedness we will make up in moxie.  I’m determined to do whatever is necessary in an attempt to get to a place in the country where I can reasonably expect to make an honest living in an environment which is conducive to maintaining my physical and mental health.  Bandit and I aren’t looking for nirvana, just a place in America where the density of meth addicts and poverty isn’t higher than the national debt.

Fond Farewells

Come Saturday, we’ll be saying goodbye to Kelly Weaver here in Wagoner OK who has been heroic in providing me and Bandit a temporary landing zone midway between Mississippi and Colorado.  She has many burdens herself, and for her to step up to the plate the way she has to help me is a testament to her character.  Bandit and I will miss her joviality and companionship, as well as her precious pup Fidel.  She’s a good mom and a great friend and deserves better than the hand she’s been dealt in life.  Kelly is going to look after two of the four suitcases that consist of the totality of the personal possessions that I managed to get back to the US with me from Germany.  If I die along the way she is welcome to keep them.  If not, I’ll send her money and shipping directions in the near future.

On the Road Again

Next week, I’ll be just another of a large and growing cadre of aging homeless Vietnam era veterans wandering the streets and byways of America, but that’s a condition I will attempt to abate as soon as is humanly possible.  Even though me and my buddy Bandit have already lost nearly everything of a material nature and we’re still saddened and mourning Rita’s cancer death last year, I’m still optimistic and upbeat about our longer term prospects.  The fickle hand of fate hasn’t yet snatched my mental acuity or my health, though I imagine the former is up for review and debate, same as it ever was.  The latter is about to be tested in ways most men my age would be hard pressed to survive let alone embrace.  I’m actually looking forward to the challenge which I suspect is also prima facie evidence my mental acuity is not as sharp as I perceive it to be.

I still feel bad for those in worse shape than me and my dog, even as we are poised to crowd around the campfire at the hobo camps and highway underpasses ourselves.

Rocky Mountain Magic

Bandit Busted

I’ve settled on trying to rebuild my life in Colorado Springs because of the fond memories I have of living there during my (more) youthful years in the Air Force.  Because of the large military presence the support system for Vietnam era vets should be strong there if push comes to shove.  I hoping the vibrant economy in Colorado, coupled with my liberal mentality towards legalized marijuana might come in handy but finding a job in the marijuana industry isn’t at the top of my list of employment desires.  My first choice of employment would be in a vape shop where I could help people switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping (e-cigs), a switch I made myself shortly after arriving back in the US last year.  That noted,  I’m not turning down any legitimate means of employment.

If I’m lucky I’ll land several jobs and just manage to survive really close to the edge of disaster without falling off the cliff–you know–just like most ‘normal’ people do all over the country.  Sure would be nice for things to return to ‘normal’ again.

As fast as I’m approaching age 60, I don’t feel like I have a lot of time to waste sitting around and hoping things will work out on their own.  If you want to help add a degree of possible success to my life or a bit of a buffer against the fickle hand of fate,  I’ve included the requisite support links below.  It pains me to realize that if I were a fundamentalist Christian trying to deny gays a catered pizza wedding I’d have a greater chance of fundraising success than I’ll likely have trying to survive as a homeless liberal veteran, but such are the angsts of life.

I’m going to try and get a YouTube video up before I take off on Saturday.

Financial Support Options

Immediate Emergency Travel Assistance !!!

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Assistance to help me get established After Arriving at Colorado Springs.

Indie Gogo

If you’re able and interested in helping me obtain a vehicle and secure an apartment after overcoming the turmoils of travel once Bandit and I get to Colorado Springs, I created the Indiegogo Life account for that purpose.  It is set to expire in sixty days and any funds collected are frozen and unavailable to me for the next two and a half months.  See you in Colorado Springs.

My long term goal of fundraising for the building an off grid tiny home is still active but I will not be promoting it again until I am established in Colorado and can contribute to it along with those of you who are fans of Tiny Homes, Me, or more likely, Bandit.

GoFundMe Tiny Home Project
Enjoy.