Sunday, December 7, 2008

one more

Lost one more chick Friday night. He was half the size of the others and just didn't make it.

That night and the next day I displayed my cat trees in Louisville at BBC Brewing and Le Gallo Rosso. Lots of contacts made, but zero sales :(

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another chick down. That makes 6. No obvious problem except for the part about being dead.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lost another chick with no obvious problems today. Starting to think it could be dehydration caused by too much heat from the lamps. The chicks aren't making distressed sounds when too warm, they just relocate, to a cooler spot. I think some may get stuck in the heat.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another good night last night. Everyone was still kicking this morning. My last visit to the tractor before writing this I found one guy that had escaped somehow. They are small enough to squeeze through the 1" chicken mesh, but I've got it covered with tarps and packing blankets. Maybe he squeezed through when a strong breeze lifted the tarp. Who knows.

I found him because I heard him screaming from the the house. I'm surprised the cats didn't notice him first. They go down to the tractor with me in the morning. I have to hiss and swipe at yellow cat to keep her back. She's got the message and generally lays own to watch what I'm doing to her fantasy food. I can't wait until the chicks get bigger and alter the cats' view of their station in life.

Yesterday I moved the tractor about 4'. The little guys are poop machines and are getting good at scratching the ground, so I wanted to get them out of their own waste. I made the tractor using some salvaged 2x2s, salvaged roofing tin, and saplings I had to clear out of a field. It is a little too flexible and heavy to move easily. I finally figured out if I climb in and slide it from the center point, I can move it by myself. Unfortunately, as they grow, I'm not sure I'll want to be inside with the chickens as I move the tractor around.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One more passed today. This one looked to have ben picked open a bit just below the vent. At first I thought it was poo stuck to his down. I cleaned him up a bit and noticed that the mass hanging out went through the skin. I kept an eye on him and since no one was picking at it, I left him in. I checked back often and his energy level went way down. He eventually laid down and didn't get up again.

Last night it got down to 18F, and the little chicks just piled up right outside the focus of the heat lamps and huddled together. I was nervous about their temps, but they kept quiet, so I figure they were happy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Last night I bumped out the plug to the lamps on my way back to the house. It was snowing and getting dark. I didn't notice for about 40 minutes. Thought I screwed them big time as it was snowing and the temp inside the tractor got down to 60F. They were chirping like crazy. Three chicks were freezing, and not very responsive, so once power was on I popped them under the heat lamps and within an hour the perked back up. I found one more that had a pasty butt,that looked like it was going to blow out. This looks like an early version of the guy with his intestines hanging out. He was also pretty unresponsive. I tried watering the vent and keeping him warm. Switched to using peroxide to loosen the clot. I didn't get it cleared out, but cleaned it several times. On my last check I didn't spot him, so he must be mobile, instead of laying down suffering.

Man, I was nervous about that plug all night... kept running out to check on it every 10 minutes, especially as the temps dropped. Everyone survived the night, but one more died in the middle of the day for no apparent reason. It didn't have a dirty bum, so wasn't the one I was worried about last night.

They got visits today from my sister and her kiddos and the woman I'm dating. She stood out there in the freezing cold in a skirt and funky heels, and waited patiently while I cleaned off a few chicky bums. What a trooper.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

new chicks in my life

Just arriving this morning at 7am were 50 new Barred Plymouth Rock chicks. This is a straight run, so I'm not sure how many pullets vs. cockerels there are.

I lost two of them. One just wasn't spunky. He wasn't eating or drinking, or moving around. I kept checking on him and he eventually just petered out on his own. The second I had to put down. His intestine has hanging out of the vent, and other chicks were picking at it. I had to remove him.

Temperature control is my biggest worry. With outside temperatures below freezing, I've covered the chicken tractor and lowered the three heat lamps in side to get at least a few 90F spots for them to warm up in. They squeak in distress when too cold, and it took me all day to figure out the level of noise they make when they are just right temperature wise.

For anyone curious about the brooding conditions; they are being raised in the field in a 4'x12' tractor I made. There are three heat lamps in a 4'x4' section of it, and the whole thing is covered to keep drafts way down. They only use up 1/4 of the tractor at the moment, but I expect as they grow, they will need a second tractor ready in about a month or two.

Outside temps this morning when I put them in the tractor were around 30F, and only getting up to 70F inside. Now, we're running at around 42F outside the tractor and 80F just outside the heat lamp area. Tonight should get down to 20F, so I'm a little concerned about keeping them warm enough, but will be keeping a close watch on them to adjust temps as needed. I've been passing around sugar water to help keep their energy up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Down with Vegetables

I'm down with vegetables. We get along pretty swell. Though late, yesterday I finally got a hold on a tiller and spent around 9 hours tilling a 40'x100' plot. Today I finished up, and planted about 35 feet of:

* red onions
* yellow onions
* carrots
* cabbage
* 3 types of lettuce
* 2 types of turnips
* radishes
* brussels sprouts
* 3 types of squash
* 2 types of peas

I've left enough room to plant some each week for the next few weeks. I'm late enough that I think I may hit frost. Most of that stuff should be ok up to a certain point with some frosts, and may do just fine if I bury them in straw on the cold snaps. In any case... now it is just time, some watering, and hoeing to see how it turns out.

It has been a few weeks since the last post, and the high spots are:

Spent 2 weeks clearing a box wood grove. It has been invading a hay field for around 5 years and was conveniently located next to a collapsed beaver den on the river side. Plus I needed more wood to finish the chicken coop. I killed 3 birds with one chain saw and time. Cut and cleared a couple hundred fairly straight trunks (about 3 inches diameter average) and stuffed the branches in the collapsed den to help prevent the river and hillside runoff from eroding the area any more. The trunks will help in the coop and some other projects coming up.

Moved a bunch of rock from the fields and hill sides to help prevent some wash out spots on a couple dirt roads through the farm. Some of the rocks around here have some interesting fossils. I'm not sure what they are beyond some kind of shelled creatures.

Spent part of a day building and attempting to use a harrow to drag behind the ATV. I thought I might be able to use it instead of renting a tiller. We've been collecting a lot of trashed lumber, and recycle items. I used a 2"x4" box, some rebar, a piece of rope and some concrete blocks. It worked for a bit, then busted ll to heck. Next time, I'll build the frame special instead of adapting to an already build box frame.

There is a McDonald's going up in town, and Dad has been good about asking the construction guys for trash lumber. We've taken about 4 truck loads of stuff from them and another construction dumpster near by. Probably more than enough to finish the coop and get going on the goat shelter.

Watched a meteor shower with the high school sweet heart and my parents on the farm.

Collecting lots of random seeds. Mainly trees, at the moment.

I'm forgetting a ton of things, but that happens when you let a few weeks go by without trying to remember it all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mini tornado

Half of my neighbor's barn was knocked down by a tornado this past year. I spent part of a day a two weeks back clearing barn wood and roof tin out of his cow pasture that had been ripped from the barn and blown several hundred feet away from the barn.

Today I was ripping apart the neighbor's barn to gather wood for the chicken coop when I heard lots of banging around in the pasture, just out of sight. I looked up, and over the other barn I saw the twisting cloud of a dust devil, or mini-tornado. It disturbed the nice piles of wood and tin I cleaned up out there, and started coming my direction around his cow barn. Leaves and dirt were blowing in a tight twist, and hawks or turkey vultures were riding a drastic updraft right over the spot. Those birds were flying straight one second and then nearly straight up to 100 feet or so. Very odd looking.

So, I'm standing there next to a partially standing barn; the remaining portion of which is leaning towards where I'm working. The twister is heading my way about 500 feet away, when I lose sight of it. It seems to have just dispersed, but about 20 seconds later it hits another dust patch and kicks up a big cloud. It hit the cattle fence around 30 feet, I could tell not so much by the dust, as by the loud whistling coming from the fence. I ducked down at this point, hoping that if any of the barn fell I'd be partially protected from large falling beams by the foundation wall. It vanished from perception again, until about 10 seconds later when the ripped tin on the roof, 30 feet up, stared blowing around wildly. That was it. A bit of wind remained behind, but no destruction. No injury. Just a wild view.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spent most of today figuring out how I want the trap door (for cleaning out the chicken coop), to work and putting in most of the work for it. I sure hope it doesn't interfere with the walls when I put them up.

I'm making it a lift out/drop in door, that way I don't have to go buy hinges :) It is positioned as far out into the overhanging portion as possible, so that I can position a wheel barrow or cart under it, lift the hatch, and sweep everything out into the barrow. On the other hand, I'm making it as strong as the rest of the floor, so it can still be walked on without fear of dropping out the bottom with chicken poo following right behind.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

farm buildings, reading

Another good read from concerning farm buildings. Covers topics like safe loads for wooden spans of varying length based on the width and depth, considerations of dairy barn sanitary issues, issues of air flow in the buildings, different roof designs, and good use of carpenters square.

Only nailed in one more floor board in the coop. Trying to plan out where I want the shovel-out trap door set before I finish off the floor where it will be located. Need to get more wood for walls and roof. Spent a couple hours cutting box wood trees out of the field by their roots.

Monday, July 21, 2008

more seeds

Didn't do any work on the coop today. Pretty lazy day.

Went picking for red clover seeds today before rain showers. Got maybe 10 pounds of wet weight heads. They'll dry in the sunshine and wind, and I'll sow them back into the fields for goat browse. I'll gather more when it dries up.

For Kentucky reference, a good harvest time is around July 15. Sowing in mid August or mid Feburary to March. See for more info.

Friday, July 18, 2008

bottom half of the treehouse coop

It has been slow going, but here are some photos of the supports and floor of the soon to be functional tree house chicken coop. The floor boards haven't been nailed in yet,. The platform size is about 8' x 8'.

All of the wood for this part of the structure (except the two really crooked ground posts) has been salvaged for free from a tornado damaged barn. It only took most of a day to harvest the wood from a field, and a partially collapsed barn. I'll need to go back for more before attacking the walls and roof.

[pictures at Treehouse Coop]

Monday, July 14, 2008

Archive is great

You can never have enough reading material. From the not-Oprah's reading list, the new-as-of-the-turn-of-the-20th-century, now "copiously illustrated": Poultry Appliances & Handicraft.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Started building the chicken coop. Boxing a couple tree trunks for one side. One of the trees will pass through the coop. Slow going due to my lack of construction experience. Broke a hammer, right off, trying to pull nails out of the salvaged barn timbers. Most is old growth oak with copious amounts of super rusty nails.

Picked up another crop of healthy chiggers. They like my ankles and bikini line. *scratch*

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Went to see niece Hanna act in 'Oliver' in Versailles. Picked up banjo strings on the way. Was told that there are lots of requests for banjo instructors... may have to hang up a shingle for some spare cash.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spent a few hours cleaning up part of the barn and the field for David; in trade. Kept a truckload of wood and tin roof from the tornado hit barn for the coop.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Finished ripping apart the barn wall this morning. Saw about 10 more snakes. Need to clean up the wood pile left over, and do something with the tin wall panels. Tried to make a helical pump from a 5 gallon bucket, old hose and a rake. It pumped, though, not sure of capacity or head. Will be picking up some pvc pipe connectors to finish it off.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Spent more time clearing the forested gully for the chicken coops. Thought more about positioning and layout of where they should be placed. Took 3 more pickup loads of cleared brush down to the beaver den to fill in the washed out area.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Spent a couple hours breaking apart the wall. Now 2/3s done. Found 6 snakes. Think they were Garter, Rat, and Scarlet snakes.

Went to the bluegrass jamboree in Woodland park, Lexington with some friends and kiddo companions.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Started to break apart the tin wall section that blew into the field a couple years back during a tornado. The snakes won today, but I'll be back to finish.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Started clearing brush and trees from a gully where I'll put a chicken coop or two.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Harvested Wild Peas and Wild Wheat. Hand threshed and winnowed the wheat. Air and sun drying both before sealing them in plastic bags. Will try to germinate a few of each.

Rained on and off this morning.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tried to weave a fence. Pretty bad results. Used random dead stuff rather than hacking down new trees.

Noticed some CrownVetch starting to seed, pulled a few and a root, and planted all in some soil from the garden. Not sure if any will grow, since the seed pods were either dry, but small (from a damaged plant) or large, but green.

Laid stone and pavers under the new arch/trellis.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Went to visit the feed store on Mill Rd. Was told about folks that have goats. $1 per chick from feed store.

Finished most of the arch out front. Found dead squirrel under the trained bush. White cat was licking it this morning, but I couldn't tell what it was, once we lifted the bush back upright, boom; dead squirrel.

Walked the fence line, noted that much of the fence around the top of the hill is down.

Rained hard for about 5 minutes.

Looked into chicory: for food and browse. may help lessen worm load on the goats. More protein than alfalfa.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

next adventure chioces

1) restart the Appalachian Trail
2) start the Continental Divide Trail
3) start a working farm on my parents land in Kentucky

I'd love to continue slacking. It has been great. I feel like so many of you folks out there that haven't picked up the hoe. Fuckers.

On the other hand, living on the farm would mean being pretty secluded socially from the types of people I click with on a regular basis.

On the third hand, rejoining any hiking trial will put me closer to debt, though fulfilling the need to be closer to nature, and possibly meeting people in the same situation.

What the hell am I doing? Giving up the sailing vessel in any case, but still can't work out the next step. Are these changes so hard for others?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Think in words?

I just realized I have started not thinking in words very much. Over this last year of roaming around I spend a lot of time alone in my head. The folks I meet and talk to don't usually get into very deep conversations.

Talking to someone tonight about some deeper concepts I realized I was not able to bring ideas out into words very easy at all. Normally when I have a conversation, I hear thoughts in my head as I process ideas into speech or text or process other peoples words into thoughts. I hear words when I read. When thinking of something to say, I hear words in my head before they leave my mouth.

I used to think in the same way even when not communicating with other people. Thinking of my to-do list, I'd hear words. In the grocery I'd be hearing things like, "what's next... anything in this aisle? Nope, got mustard."

Tonight we were having a deeper conversation and I realized I wasn't thinking in words, and couldn't put my ideas into words. I spent a lot of time thinking, but just kind of spinning my wheels. I don't recall experiencing this before taking this year to do some self analysis. I think all this thinking about my life with out trying to communicate it to people has changed the way my brain is working.

Very strange.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Will the circle be unbroken?

Will the circle be unbroken? Not if I can help it. Of all the circles that I haven't been able to break, there hasn't been a single, smug circle that I couldn't bend into a ridiculous oval. Some folks take up needle point, but I derive much slack from ending the constraint of smarmy circles.

On pretend brick-covered-with-plaster walls

Oh thank Bob for the wall treatment. Nothing makes me feel more like I could have been in a trendy place than sheet rock covered with plaster with fake bricks painted on the plaster in a pattern indicating that the plaster has been chipped away revealing fake bricks. Brick walls are cozy. Plaster walls are upper crust. Brick walls covered with plaster say, "I value expensive things more than coziness." Chipping through plaster to reveal bricks in some spots says, "I like knocking holes in the wall, and am just slobby enough not to worry about ever repairing them." Making a wall treatment with painted on bricks and plaster says, "I enjoy having a good time. Or at least can fake it."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ear shredder with axe to grind

Well, it isn't pretty. I finally broke down and recorded some little ditties. I outgrew the contentment I feel when bombarding my marina with butchered, blazing banjo tunes. I must now spread this evil sound across the world. Prepare to rock out to the banjo equivalent of blindfolded finger painting. I mean, if that drummer from Def Leppard played banjo, this stuff would have more sound than that!

Not a starfish

Worries about my appropriateness for the gene pool sparked experimental experiments into reproductivity.

I am clearly not going to do this via the old starfish fragmentation route. The appendage I have cut off is just lying there in its own pool of blood, not growing. That may be ok, though as it doesn't really improve the overall genetic diversity. After I get painkillers and a mop, I'll look into spores.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Darwin may be pushing me out. I've just realized that I'm not reproducing and that may mean that I'm just not good fodder for the evolutionary machine.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Peace Corps

Well, I finally sent off some questions and info to the peace corps to see if they have a use for me. I don't know if I'll fit their needs. They've always been in the back of my mind, and right now I'm in the mood and mode to live closer to basics. Helping small communities install that basic requirements for sustainable living sounds like it's right up my alley. I'm still not ready to get back into career mode, and the corps can help keep me from having to go back before I'm ready. In the interim I get to do more stuff that's fulfilling at at a very basic level.

We'll see what they say.

Monday, April 14, 2008

in a rush

People are nutsos. But the best nuts are those that weave in traffic, going 20 miles over the speed limit to get around me, who does a modest 2 miles over the limit, only to have me pass them again at the next street light. I get immense pleasure from seeing these guys silhouetted hand waving exercises, and their phlegm specked windows as they glare and try to yell through the glass at me. Oh, I wish more nutsos had bad air conditioning, so I could hear them. My window is always down, but they seem to need the cool air to help keep their fiery passion from boiling them away.

Red pickup driver guy, thanks for the chuckles you gave me when you were upset that I wasn't moving forward on the shoulder to get around a guy that was going to be making the same turn we both were going to make. You are a slow driver, were you afraid you were going to get stuck at the light? Your bouncing, steering wheel slapping, and tossing your hands in the air, was great. Enthusiasm and great grand gusto. Maybe you were just listening to a really good rap song?

Beat up, black jetta dude, you are a fast driver. Wasn't it fun racing along, really cranking the revs to cut around me? I saw your cheery, cherry red tail lights as you careened to a stop a few blocks away from me at the stop light. I had fun too, as I coasted past you as the light turned green, and pulled in front of you again so I could turn right just past the intersection. I noticed you noticing me. You have OK teeth. I could tell by the way you were showing them to me that you are obviously proud of them. Your impersonation of a dice gambler was creative. I could really see you rolling those dice in your clenched fist over your head. I bet you won that throw, but I'm faster where it counts; mainly in pissing you off.

I've enjoyed you all, and I can hardly wait to see more of you rushing folks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Motor on a sailboat is cheating?

I'm having motor problems, and mentioned this fun fact to friends. One of them thought having a motor on a sail boat to be cheating, I disabused him of this notion with the following argument:

The slip that I'm living in is in a channel about this wide-> | | (roughly the width of a thumbnail held at 4 arm lengths from your eye). Typically the wind is blowing directly east, meaning that I'd have to sail dead into the wind (impossible) or tack like nuts to get up wind without running into the many expensive boats nearby, all the while dodging the Olympic paddling crew that are furiously racing up and down the same channel. Running the motor for about 15 minutes every time I go out makes life easier and less bloody for us all.

Also, what happens if I rip a sail? Or the wind dies? Or my mast snaps in two? Or I feel like spending $200 in parts for a motor I use rarely? Or I see some cute manatees with no propeller scars yet? See, a motor is needed. I almost got a paddle the other day as a backup to my backup... but paddling a 24' 4000 pound sailboat is tiring, and I can't carry enough ice to keep all the beer cold that would be needed if I had to actually paddle the boat.

Hope that clears it up. I am cheating, but I'm manly, and smelly, enough that no one will call me on it!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Docking as a means of self examination

How can a one activity fully wipe out my motivation by making me too anxious to pursue further activities? Close your eyes and picture; you are vessel of pure motivation riding a bitchin' surfboard to the island of happiness when a tsunami of fear tips you over short of landfall and the undertow of self-loathing drags you out to sea. Now picture the same, but with you holding the best hotdog in the world, one-with-everything, and as the wave crashes down, you now have a soggy bunned, sand covered dog with just a bit of onion to gaze on as the undertow drags you down. It can get worse, but I'll not commit the Haagen-Dazs scenario to written word.

Lets examine a case:

Docking. Sailing requires some type of docking maneuver, unless you buy the disposable type of boat I often see abandoned on the shoreline. I like sailing. I don't have anything against docking. Yet, unless I'm actually docking, I'm so paralyzed by the thought of having to dock, that I never allow myself to get to a place where docking is imminent, like out on the water on a boat. The fear of failure prevents my enjoyment, it doesn't just put a damper on it. Hence getting a sailboat, and almost never leaving the slip to go out.

My rational brain says I just need to dock all freaking day long until I get over the anxiety. What's the worst that can happen? I slam the boat into the pier and rather than sinking the boat, I sink the land, dropping all of North America under water, thus raising the sea level high enough to cause other continents to flood; single handedly causing the destruction of mankind before global warming even gets the chance. My real brain says, "Whoa, Nelly! That is fairly unlikely, but just in case... lets grab a book and a beer and enjoy the sun from dry land."

I'm working out some end runs to avoid facing my fears, and still getting around them permanently. For example, inviting other folks on the boat who can worry about docking, while I enjoy the water, and the beer they brought. Does that make me a coward, just a dork, or brilliant? Is it possible to achieve bliss by working around all those situations that anxiety blocks me from? Should I just start biting bullets? Why does he always end with a bunch of questions?


I read about George Bernard Shaw's "Ghoti" pronunciation in a crummy detective novel ( more detail ). So, if "ghoti" sounds like fish, then guess what "eighpptiopt" sounds like. (how about: apeshit). Yes, this kept me up last night. For a couple of hours, I think.

Having a hard time?

- "gh" from tough, "o" from women, "ti" from instruction.
Put it together for fish.

- "eigh" from eight, "pp" from apple, "ti" from action, "pt" from receipt. And you've got apeshit!

Can we have more fun? Probably, but seems like the only time my brain is spinning on inane deep thought is when I should be getting some sleep. You can have more fun now, I'll wait until 3am, thanks.

Friday, March 21, 2008

no more taxes

If I can hold out for another 8 1/3 months, I won't have to file taxes next year. I almost avoided filing this year, but worked a few months at the beginning of last year. Note for my future self: try taking a break on the fiscal year change... saves paper work.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Boat pictures

Finally took a few minutes to snap a few photos of the boat. Who can spot the head? Well... not a head really, but the emergency bodily waste receptacle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gut work for free

The $50,000 hospital bill due to my failed gall bladder has been drastically slashed! Looks like I'll either be responsible for ~$300 or nothing at all. Being houseless and jobless has just made me $50,000. Not to shabby.

I'm not sure how to feel about this.... I don't like to welsh on my obligations, but at the same time I thought the bill was over inflated. I would have been happy to meet somewhere in the middle on the price, but gosh... free is fantastic.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And the water leg begins?

So, I finally tracked down a boat. I've spent about a month touring the coast of Florida by car, hitting marinas and looking into local boat sales classifieds and brokers. After rounding through the Everglades and up through Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, I stumbled onto and advertisement for a J/24' in Melbourne, FL. I drove up and took a look. Took a sail, and closed the sale. I'm now the timid owner of a small racing sailboat.

After looking at around 20 boats, I settled on this one because motel and driving costs were really starting to add up, as were inexpensive nights of sleeping in the cramped back seat of a saturn. The J/24 isn't meant for crusing, but it has enough space to live in, especially if you don't plan on standing up while inside. It is a firm boat and I got it for a reasonable price. After some repairs, I think I'll be able to sell it for a little more, and move on to a cruising boat that will fit a live-aboard better and be able to get me up to NYC.

I've moved the boat from the prior owner's slip over to a new marina where I'm living in Indian Head Harbor. It's the cheapest rent I've paid in years, and it's cheaper than even weekly motel rent. I'll be living here until at least the end of March; doing repairs and learning to be comfortable single handing a sailboat.

I went out yesterday for my first solo sail, and... well, it will get easier. I'm still very anxious about and while docking, but in fair weather I feel safe on the open river. When coming back into the slip yesterday, I failed to slow down enough and really bonked the bow into the dock. I thought I had slowed enough. The outboard motor I have has no reverse so must be spun around to power aft, and I just timed things wrong. Need more practice. Much more.

In any case, I'm still alive, in case you were wondering.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back to School

Finally found a school that was fitting my schedule in Sarasota. Cheers to the "Sara Bay Sailing School". I've been in Sarasota a week and had my first sailing lesson; my second and last is coming on Monday. I'm hooked. I'm spending too much on hotels, but the weekly rate is $300 where I'm at and should get me through the schooling. Then I'm out to find a boat. I may already have one in my sights.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Heat

I've been sweating since I got into Florida. I made a mad dash down to St. Augustine FL after a last good by with the family in KY. I arrived early in the morning 3 days ago and had a series of good encounters that led me to the sailing school in town, and put me in touch with some other folks in the sail biz in town.

The sailing school will let me audit the courses I want, for half price, but that will be in mid February. There is also a large chance that I'll get bumped out by someone willing to pay full price. So, I started wandering south on the A1A route looking for marinas as I went. Haven't been very lucky finding free sailing lessons or even inexpensive ones. I finally broke down and did the "planning" thing by looking up phone numbers and addresses of schools on-line. I had been doing my searching by phone book and word of mouth, but gosh... I can only move so slow :)

I've met a few drunken sailors that had lots of advice... mainly that I should just buy a boat and go for it. Folks at the marinas and hotels are very helpful... People are great!

I'm done looking up schools, so I'm off again to call all these schools to see if I can audit something tomorrow instead of next month. I'm too impatient sometimes. I should work on being eager and patient.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Time to get moving

It has been a bit over 6 months since I quit my job to go putting around. I spent about 5 months on the Appalachian Trail and the rest recovering from surgery. How did I fill the recovery time?

  • bought a car
  • recovered from surgery
  • settled an incorrect tax delinquency claim
  • started a new bank account
  • tracked down my bounce boxes from the trail
  • read a ton of books
  • saw pounds of movies
  • hung out with family
  • had beer in redneck bars
  • installed a floor
  • cleaned gutters
  • dug ditches
  • took lots of baths
  • tried to figure out the $48,000 hospital bills
I'm feeling good again, have nearly everything squared away, and have a bad case of cabin fever. Tomorrow I'm headed off to Florida to learn how to sail and figure out what I'm doing next.

The basic idea to to head south, and turn left at the Florida border to follow the coast line south. Live out of the car while trying to get as much time on sail boats as possible. Maybe take a class, maybe just make friends with boats by looking salty on the docks. I'm super excited to get out on the water in a sail boat.

Fingers crossed... I'll try to get some sleep tonight so I'm less likely to sleep during the drive.