Axel Heyst's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
classical_Liberal
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Just chiming in to say all of that DIY is pretty impressive. Congrats!

AxelHeyst
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Thanks!
--
I found the DnD character attribute test while rabbittholing some thread. I'm not one to put much stock in internet quizzes, but I generally trust the alpha-nerd chops of dedicated DnDers, so:

STR:11
INT:13
WID:17
DEX:13
CON:10
CHR:16

Sounds about right, although my charisma rating might only be that high when I'm "on". I'd like to get my strength and dexterity back up, and I think my recent focus on depth will bump intelligence score. Will have to mull constitution. I sense a new spreadsheet chart coming...

http://www.kevinhaw.com/add_quiz.php
http://www.dmingwithcharisma.com/2011/1 ... -language/

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Fun! Here's mine:

STR:11
INT:15
WIS:17
DEX:9
CON:11
CHR:15

Doesn't sound very accurate to me. My strength is bad because I stopped lifting weights as exercise at the start of COVID. My dexterity should be higher―I can still do a backflip goddammit! This gets me thinking though... I wonder if there's an optimal framework for tracking and spreadsheeting the fulfillment of the Renaissance Ideal. This is all right, as is tracks three physical modules (STR, DEX, and CON), a mental one (INT), and two spiritual/emotional ones (WID/CHR). I wonder what an even nerdier model would look like!

disk_poet
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:33 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by disk_poet »

W*rk (nominally 8 hrs a week).
.>I schedule three 90-min deep work (DW) sessions, Tue/Wed/Thur. 0900-1030 works well for me, but I only select the exact timing the morning of, in case I need to be flexible, wake up earlier or later, etc. That gives me 4.5hrs of really focused work.
.>The balance of my 8 hours goes mostly to communication/management of my employee, mostly review and feedback of his work when he needs it. And then any emailing, dealing with clients, etc. I just do this whenever. I have enough PTO to not work for 9 months, so I just use it whenever I think I don't hit 8 hrs in a week.

Not Work
.I schedule 1-2 "Focus Sprints" a week. So far I've done this with 20minute sprint cg sketches, and reviews of books I've already read. I'll set an alarm for 20 minutes, take a five minute break, and then do another 20 minutes. The structure is I'll a) write a top-of-head summary of the book from memory, then b) take structured notes of the entire book, then c) write a new summary of the book.
.I schedule at least one "Focus Walk", where the idea is just to go on a solo walk in the woods and think hard about one specific thing. "schedule" is a bit overstating it.
Thanks this is super helpful. I like the "Focus Sprint" idea and book review idea a lot. I am reading more these days (I stopped reading for a while because I didn't have the energy after work) but I still feel like I am not remembering it. Doing reviews could be a really cool idea. Maybe I'll even expand it to certain videos and or podcasts I listen to.

Also congrats on the camper. Looks like a cool project and you got a lot of stuff done there.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:31 pm
I don't have any previous auto mechanics experience, but I now feel competent to: . . . .
Well, I'm impressed. I felt like I'd accomplished something the other day when I refilled the washer fluid. I think I need to up my game a bit. Well done.

RooBadley
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:47 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RooBadley »

That's a ton of work on steering & suspension, must be seriously gratifying. So are you stashing the Toyota with someone and spending most of the journey with the motorcycle only? What an adventure. How many miles, states, weeks on the motorcycle? What type of bike?

AxelHeyst
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Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

*very* gratifying. particularly because it’s embarrassing to be a degreed and licensed mechanical engineer and not know basic stuff about cars.

Yeah the plan is to drive the taco to California over the next ten days, making a stop in CO to climb with a friend, where I will meet up with DW (who is already en route in her van). She will have by that time, god willing, have sold her van. I’ll roll the moto out of the truck, hand her the keys to the truck, and ride off. So there is 2,300 miles in the taco, then ??? miles on the moto.

The entirety of The Plan from that point is this:
Be on the moto for four weeks, plus or minus a week.
Meet up with my vanbuddy for some of that time.
Climb with vanbuddy and other dirtbag friends.
Mostly the eastern sierras, but red rocks las vegas, bend, the cascades, and utah are all on the table.
Do a solo retreat in death valley (very sacred place to me).

it’s a 2014 honda crf250l. Generally considered to be way too small a bike for this kind of trip, so, perfect (see my previous post on the governing equation for adventure). I also don’t have legit over landing gear, luggage, rain stuff, etc.

i’m likely to be incommunicado for a while, but i’ll be back. take care all.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

I have enjoyed your contributions here and I hope you live.

ertyu
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Hope it works out for you and you find what you're seeking dude.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

What I've been up to since I posted last (there's nothing ERE related in this post, really).
I patched my truck back together, finished the camper shell, and packed everything up in a mad dash before leaving Michigan. After a stop in Chicago to meet some folks, I took the shortest route to Telluride, CO, where I spent 5 days climbing with friends who just finished their own cargo trailer conversion.

Image
(all these pics are going to be blurry, by the way. My phone's cam is pretty much shot.)

It was quite cool for sleeping in the equivalent of a garden shed with a tarp for a door, at 10,000ft. Lows in the 20's F.

Image

After CO I shot across the southwest to get to the family land out in the desert. I promptly came down with a cold (sore throat, runny nose, mild cough... no fever though). Covid?? Who knows. I isolated myself from my parents, unpacked, organized, and did some maintenance on my motorcycle.
Image

Once I was symptom-free, about a week later, I drove up to Truckee to drop the truck off to DW so she'd have a vehicle once she sold her van. I took off on my motorcycle for the Eastern Sierras. It was my first time going that distance and on such major roads, particularly that loaded up. I was apprehensive setting out, but became comfortable with it after the first hundred miles or so.

I met up with my vanfriend who I last saw when he left our shelter-in-place compound in April. We camped just outside of Tuolumne (yosemite NP). The view sucked:
Image

Early to rise the next morning, Election day, and we climbed Cathedral Peak. I'd attempted it before, in July, but rapped off at the halfway point due to a) crowds, b) one of my partners' mental duct tape came unstuck, and c) thunderstorms. As we walked up to it this time, there was one party topping out and one party beginning. There's typically >20 people on the face on any given day - having Cathedral basically all to ourselves was special. We spent an hour on the summit block after the five-hour climb, just the two of us, which basically doesn't happen.

That night we drove down to a hot springs. By the time I arrived I was very chilled (probably only 40's or high 30's, but the windchill at 65mph is no joke). A beer, hot springs, and watching the moon rise over the white mountains was a great coda to the day.

I woke up to frost on my stuff the next morning, and vanfriend had an icicle hanging from his faucet, so no coffee that morning. We went to down for a coffee (my first time buying coffee out since 2019 I think), saw a cold snap coming in with projected lows of -2F, and decided to part ways. I rode back down to the family land.

Two days later I rode out to Death Valley ahead of the cold snap, as it was the only place where the lows were going to be above freezing. I rode up a canyon, checked out a mine, staked out a camp spot, made dinner, watched the sun set....

....


...and realized I didn't want to be there. At all. Like not one little bit.

Now, this was a strange feeling to recognize. I *love* death valley. I've been going there since I was three, and I have many, many special memories of trips there, mostly solo. It's one of "my" places where I go to recharge, reflect, and revel in the stark sublime horror of billion-year-old rock strata in an environment that will kill you in a minute if you don't respect it.

Image

But the feeling was very clear. I wanted out. And I knew Towne Pass (~5,000ft), my only real way out, was forecasted for snow the next day, so I packed back up in the dark and rode out.

The ride up the grade to Towne Pass was interesting. It was cool down at sea level, maybe low 50s. It's pretty much a straight shot up an alluvial fan system, with signs every thousand feet of gain. 1000' was noticeably cooler. 2000' was chilly. 3000' was cold, my fingertips were going numb. 4000' my core started cooling (I was wearing an expedition weight wool baselayer, wool sweater, nanopuff vest, a heavy puffy, and a lined moto jacket). Towne Pass was somewhere around freezing when I went over it. I wouldn't have been able to spend much more than a couple minutes at that elevation. Luckily the far side drops down to 1000' or so in a couple miles to the Panamint Valley so I was back to high 40's, but I'd dropped enough body heat that I had to stop every 20 minutes or so to do jumping jacks.

The family land was socked in, snowing and well below freezing, so I crashed at a friend's place in town that night.

I woke early the next morning, checked the weather, and saw that I had maybe a 30 minute window of clear weather to get up home before the snow closed back in. I hit the road immediately. The winds were intense that morning: sustained at 30mph with gusts up to 60mph. They closed the highway to big rigs, campers, etc, because the wind will literally blow them over. There's a ten mile section of highway that is broadside to the wind sweeping off the Sierras that I couldn't easily ride around, so I took it at 30mph or so, leaned way over in to the wind, watching the power lines whip around like a violent game of Satan's double dutch.

The snow was starting to fly as I got up to the pass, and the road was wet but not icy yet. I made it home just as the snow was starting to stick.

Image


So why didn't I want to spend time exploring canyons in Death Valley? Well, the best I can figure, I go to Death Valley as I said to reflect and think. Guess what I've been doing for the past three months? Reflecting, journaling, thinking, etc. I don't need any more reflection, I want to be doing, I want to be executing my plans for my life. Thirteen+ hour nights with just my thoughts and journal for company, and short days of solo slot-canyon scrambling felt like a waste of time, I guess. It would have been maddening, I felt, to be there unable to move my life forward in some really high-value ways.

More on those ways in my next update.

PS My friend offered his condolences that my trip didn't work out the way I wanted. Au contraire, my friend. Getting there and back in one piece was painful and dangerous, thus, a win. And my trip allowed me to have a really profound, unmistakable encounter with my own intuition and sense of direction in my life, one that I could not have had so clearly if I were just puttering around. I've never really had such a clear message from myself like that. So this trip is going right up there with all my other cherished memories of death valley, the one where my special sacred spot said "dafuq you doing here? You got stuff to do, get outta here!"

AxelHeyst
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

What I'm Doing Now, and my Updated Plans/Strategy for Life
I'm waiting for DW to finish selling her van in Truckee and get back down here with my truck. Then we can head out to my friend's land and start building out the shipping container. That build is my number one priority, and as such I've been devoting most of my cognitive bandwidth to the design.

Image

A good friend is both a residential contractor and a container-dweller, as well as an insulation and penetration detailing nerd, so she helped me work out an approach to the construction that is going to be moisture-safe and also less redundant that most container buildouts. Most people build a standard stud-wall box-within-a-box, insulate in between the cavities, and call it done. Well, that's kind of a waste, because the container itself is structural - you don't *need* all those studs, all they're holding up is themselves, really. And they act as thermal bridges to the cold, cold steel skin of the box, which can lead to condensation and mold issues.

So I'm planning on doing 2" of continuous insulation against the steel, and then a sort of post and beam structure on the inside of that just to support interior paneling and a lightweight ceiling. Way less wood, better insulation, and "safer" from a condensation/mold perspective.

Image

I'm also planning on building my own dual-pane casement windows.

I'm not gonna fill this journal with all my design notes, because that'd be a slippery slope for me. I'll post progress pics from time to time, and drop a link to my actual build log when I get that up and running.

My New Five Year Plan: Goodbye, semiERE
This winter/spring is all about building out the container, getting some stability in our lives in our own space, and climbing.

This summer, ideally, we'll find and purchase a bit of land in Michigan, with aims to build out a tiny house or two, maybe build something to rent out and live out back, something like that. So we'll have a bimodal shelter node: west coast winter, midwest summer, with the shoulders seasons to taste.

Also ideally, this summer, I'll go back to full-time work. Yes, I'm turning my back on semiERE. I want to do the full Monty, the whole enchilada, full-on legit FU-Forever FI.

Why? Well, it turns out, I have access to an efficient means of income generation. One result of all my reflection this summer is that I actually have a pretty good gig going on at work in terms of autonomy, relationships, trust, the kind of work I do, etc, and with this sort of "gap year" of 8hr weeks where I'm recovering from overwork and stress, and learning some better habits, I can imagine going back to full time and actually enjoying it.

For like, three or four years. At which point I'd have enough stashed to be somewhere around 25-30x, enough to dip out of full time work for good and either call myself full FI or manage the stash to grow while generating ~CoL expenses in the meantime. Details and exact timing TBD.

I also plan on going carfree, or very nearly, no later than 2022. I'll keep my eye out for an opportunity to ditch car ownership before then, but I think it'll be worth it during the construction phases that are going to last till then.

To summarize the plan:
-2021 is about building out the shipping container, getting MW land, and returning to FT work.
-2022 will be about building shelter on the MW land, going carfree, and beginning my financial education in earnest.
-2023 will be about really hammering the economics/investing self-education, and, having the bulk of my shelter builds out of the way, turning to other renaissance skills like hunting, foraging, gardening, salvage-society skills, etc.
-2024 = FI, or therabouts

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

I think your plan makes sense, and I think that you'll be able to do FT work better now that you have new wisdom.

"We shall not cease from our exploration,
and at the end of all our exploring will be
to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

- T.S. Eliot

ertyu
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by ertyu »

From the perspective of an INFP that tests quite close to ambivert: it’s now how others will judge you, it’s that you will still be accepted and belong within your people. Slight diff of perspective.

AxelHeyst
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Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

ertyu wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:19 am
From the perspective of an INFP that tests quite close to ambivert: it’s now how others will judge you, it’s that you will still be accepted and belong within your people. Slight diff of perspective.
Either I’m being dense, or you posted in the wrong thread. :)

ertyu
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by ertyu »

huh. what was i thinking?? maybe i was looking at a comment too far back in the past?? anyway, there was something about how ENFP gf getting on board with ERE might require one to consider that to gf, personal comfort etc. isn't the only thing that matters, how others judge her would matter to her as an enfp. Looking at your most recent posts, though, I really don't know what I was looking at before commenting this

theanimal
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Contact:

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by theanimal »

Love the pictures. I've had the same feeling you had in Death Vallry before, no sense in sticking to something if you're not going to enjoy it.

As @dragline liked to quote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of young minds."

I'm interested in watching your build. I was seriously considering containers for my home. I really like the concept.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

ertyu wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:31 pm
huh. what was i thinking?? maybe i was looking at a comment too far back in the past?? anyway, there was something about how ENFP gf getting on board with ERE might require one to consider that to gf, personal comfort etc. isn't the only thing that matters, how others judge her would matter to her as an enfp. Looking at your most recent posts, though, I really don't know what I was looking at before commenting this
Ah! Yes I remember that conversation, and now your comment makes great sense. I think "not wanting to be judged" vs. "wanting to belong to my people" is an insightful distinction, so thanks.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

theanimal wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:47 pm
I'm interested in watching your build. I was seriously considering containers for my home. I really like the concept.
To be honest I'd not considered containers seriously before for a few reasons:
1. 3-4k$ for the box, and I always felt I could build an equivalent structure+skin system for that or less,
2. Still have to insulate it, and most people essentially reproduce a structural system (standard framing) inside the box just to hold the insulation and shelves, which seems like a waste, so the final cost of the envelope assembly is probably greater than if you just built from scratch with standard construction practices. And if you don't do a really good job or just get unlucky, you'll have condensation/mold issues.
3. Yeah they're mobile, but not *that* mobile, just the box is 10k pounds.
4. I don't have any metal fab skills.

However, my friend is giving me free reign over *his* container, and "free 285sf box in an awesome location" is hard to turn down. And then once I put my (and my friend's) mind to it, we came up with (what I hope is) a decent solution to problem #2, redundant framing, and also penetration detailing that avoids #4 having to learn how to weld.

We'll see how this build goes, but if it does goes well I might be turned on to doing future container builds for my own land. I've always liked the aesthetic of the three container setup where they form a U with a courtyard in the middle, with the middle one on top.

A slight update to the plan is that, for this season at least, we're going to do a "minimal build-out", just insulate it, add windows, and a stove, and use it as a studio/workspace/big ol' closet. We'll keep Serenity on site for sleeping and kitchen. This gets us on with our lives faster, and lets us feel out the place with a smaller investment.

Western Red Cedar
Posts: 162
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by Western Red Cedar »

I'm loving your journal Axel Heyst! It's like your ERE journey is powered with rocket fuel. You've made so much progress in such a short amount of time. You inspired me to look over my notes on Deep Work and apply some of those principles to my work. I had a really productive couple of weeks and got out of a bit of work-related funk.

Your container build discussion got me thinking of one of my favorite episodes of Grand Designs. It's certainly not an extremely frugal build, but it might offer some inspiration. One of the big takeaways is the importance of placement of the structure on the site. The host of the show later said this was his favorite build after 20 seasons of the show. Unfortunately I couldn't find the episode with the full build, but here are some links to part of the episode:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSnAQFg5sGA (skip to 37:15)

https://vimeo.com/147232218

Article on the build with site plans:

https://www.dezeen.com/2015/01/11/grill ... d-designs/

Best of luck on your new plans!

Jin+Guice
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by Jin+Guice »

Hey man, glad you are doing well. I’m interested in your shipping container build, I am 80% sure I’m about to help build a small music production studio in a 40 ft container and a kitchen in another 40 ft container. I’m interested to hear any knowledge you gain from building yours/ playing around with your friend’s container.

Going back to work FT to reach full FI is one of the strengths of semi-ERE. Why make your entire retirement concurrent? I think time and distance from paid employment can be a great way to reimagine how you’d like to do paid employment.

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