C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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BRUTE
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:48 pm

it would be impossible to do pretty much anything with a 800ms ping, except maybe play Battlefield

zing

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:04 pm

giskard wrote: I didn't even think about power but I suppose that is an issue. I read somewhere that most 15 inch laptops draw around 50 watts on average. I also read that Macbook Airs will draw 5 watts idle and 20-30 watts under load so maybe it would be good go with a very low power consumption device to stretch out the battery life some more. Plus you can always get more solar panels right? Or do you think 400 watts of panels are about the most you can put on a van?
A van like mine could fit a bit more depending on panel sizes and if/where you put a roof vent fan. Probably about 600 wats is the absolute max. In some situations, using a generator would be much simpler than building a whole solar/battery eletcric system. A generator would work really well for, say, using a desktop computer for power-hungry tasks, but not at all well (on it's own) for something like running a fridge compressor whenever needed around the clock. If one really wanted to run a high power desktop and also a small fridge, the right setup would probably be a small solar/battery system (like 100 or 200 watts solar and as little as 50ah 12v battery), and a small generator

George the original one
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by George the original one » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:49 pm

Follow-up details regarding Verizon's new unlimited plan:
1) If you can pool 4 lines, the data plan cost/line comes down to $45 instead of $80.
2) The soft data limit is 22 GB/line.
3) Streaming video does not count against your data limit provided it is served by Verizon's go90 service. There is no PC player for go90, only phone apps. YouTube, Netflix, etc. do eat into your data limit.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:15 pm

This month, I speak to you mainly with blog posts:


Image
Exploring Arizona 3 - Road to Four Peaks

For my third trip out of Phoenix, I went up Hwy 87 again, and explored a back road to Four Peaks. Also, do you know Arizona well? Where else should I go?



Image
Exploring Arizona 4 - New Friends

Camping in Tonto National Forest near Payson... Two wonderful bike rides on a Forest Service Roads.... And two new friends who came with a gift!



Image
Spending Update - Q1

A summary of my spending in Q1


I'm still in Phoenix, here later than I expected to be. I've ordered some things over the internet (some of them related to the gift referenced in the 2nd blog post), and one of them coming form China is taking particularly long. Hopefully it will be here within a week and then I'll start drifting north. This month some friends and family came to Phoenix to visit other family. It was cool to spend time with them. I got some interesting life stories out of some of my family.

I plan to get up to Vegas by the end of April. Some friends are flying in to meet me there. After that, I may meet up with my brother and his girlfriend. They've hit the road with their camper and will be heading out this direction. We'll hang out in northern Arizona (probably the north rim of the Grand Canyon) and southern Utah.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by halfmoon » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:27 pm

Your photos are always inspiring, but I especially like the Exploring Arizona 3 photo. Is the little white spot in the center your van? If so, nice perspective. It's a rare blessing to be the only tiny man-made spot in a wild landscape. :D

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cmonkey
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:35 am

So are you generating more income than you need already? Even before starting your IRA conversion?

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:00 am

Also, do you know Arizona well? Where else should I go?
I don't know Arizona well but I liked Flagstaff and Sedona. There's excellent mountain biking in Sedona starting right in town.

In Flagstaff I'd recommend hiking to the top Humphrey's Peak (highest in Arizona) and also checking out the lava tube (bring multiple light sources). If there's snow on the peak be careful, it is steep and slippery. For both let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.

A lot of people like the Grand Canyon but I was underwhelmed by the north rim. Unfortunately I went on a gray, cold, windy day when I wasn't in a great mood. I'm sure you'll have a good time.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:26 am

cmonkey wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:35 am
So are you generating more income than you need already? Even before starting your IRA conversion?
Yes. But it's not before starting my IRA conversion. I won't count the conversion as income because it's just moving money between accounts. I count any and all income as income whether it's in a retirement account or not.

So, what I'm including in that income is:
- Dividends in post-tax accounts (which I have full access to now.In Q1, these covered 80% of my spending. So they don't cover it all, and they definitely won't in the times I spend more. But I guess they're pretty close for now.
- Dividends in retirement accounts. (In Q1, these ~would've covered 85% of my spending)
- Fixed growth of the value of my pension from past employer. (~covered 20% of Q1 spending) (I'm holding this as the cash portion of my asset allocation. If stock prices drop a ton I'll take the money and buy some more stocks to rebalance)
- Hobby income, which is very low now (Covered 5% of Q1 spending)
- I suppose I should count realized capital gains or losses, but I haven't been putting those in my income, and I don't sell much so they don't happen often... they basically just result in some change in my dividend income. None happened in Q1.

I really should make a chart or something to track that "one FI measure" that Jacob suggested a few months ago. (which I've basically shown above... for Q1 I'd be at 1.9 (80% + 85% + 20% + 5%).... or, I guess I probably should be at 1.05 if all investment income is counted as one factor (100% + 5%)

halfmoon wrote:
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:27 pm
Your photos are always inspiring, but I especially like the Exploring Arizona 3 photo. Is the little white spot in the center your van? If so, nice perspective. It's a rare blessing to be the only tiny man-made spot in a wild landscape. :D
Thank you. I never ever get tired of photo compliments. Yeah, that white spot is my van.


Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:00 am
... I liked Flagstaff and Sedona. There's excellent mountain biking in Sedona starting right in town.

In Flagstaff I'd recommend hiking to the top Humphrey's Peak (highest in Arizona) and also checking out the lava tube (bring multiple light sources). If there's snow on the peak be careful, it is steep and slippery. For both let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back....
Thanks. I'll add these to my list. I really have not done a good job at researching/finding the more spectacular places in the region, so these help. I should get more on it but for some reason I've been especially lazy with my location research. I suppose some of it is because it's been easy to find spots that feel good enough, and the rest is just laziness...
Last edited by C40 on Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:17 pm

Wow that photo of camping with the night sky is truly magnificent. Van twins

halfmoon
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by halfmoon » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:55 pm

C40 wrote:
Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:26 am
Thank you. I never ever get tired of photo compliments. Yeah, that white spot is my van.
Awww...you edited it from shite spote to white spot. I was really loving the shite comment, as in "It's a glorious van, but it can't compete with nature." :lol:

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vexed87
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by vexed87 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:11 am

Great shots as usual, different camera views on the ride too, loved it! :lol:

RealPerson
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by RealPerson » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:24 pm

Just finished reading Vanaboding. It seems to me that his setup is far more primitive than your van. Now that you have used it for a while, would you change anything to the design? I also am curious what the longest time is you have spent off-grid in the wilderness. Do you find using the van in urban environments more challenging than in nature?

Love to hear more about your actual experiences and how they compare to your expectations. Your adventures are quite inspiring! I look forward to new posts.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri May 12, 2017 11:46 am

RealPerson wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:24 pm
Just finished reading Vanaboding. It seems to me that his setup is far more primitive than your van. Now that you have used it for a while, would you change anything to the design? I also am curious what the longest time is you have spent off-grid in the wilderness. Do you find using the van in urban environments more challenging than in nature?

Love to hear more about your actual experiences and how they compare to your expectations. Your adventures are quite inspiring! I look forward to new posts.
To answer briefly:
- I'm very happy with the design. It makes very good use of the windows I have in the van, allowing me to see out nearly all of them, and it makes the van feel much more spacious. There are only some small things I'd change. The biggest one is probably the type of surface for the floor. I used wood boards and now when I spill water I worry about it getting down between the boards and causing problems. I wish I would've used some kind of seamless surface, like linoleum. If I would've installed my electrical system components differently, It would've taken up less space and given be more storage (I would've put them along only one surface, which would take up less volume than the large rectangular shape I used.)
- The longest time I've spent away from any towns is around a week. Probably 8-9 days. I have my food and water storage set up for this. I eat a lot of fresh vegetables, which sets a limit on how long I have food for. I haven't had much desire to stay sitting one place for longer than that.
- Cities are trickier because I have to deal with putting up and taking down my curtains, and because in cities I move the van 2-3 times per day, and because being in unfamiliar places makes it much harder to find good places to bicycle or hike. The tricky part about going outside of cities is deciding where to go and finding a good spot. Then once I'm there, it's very simple.

I'll probably be writing more about actual experiences, how it feels to be traveling full time, etc. in my blog posts, instead of mostly just the "I went here, here are pictures.... I went here, here are pictures..." that I have done so far.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri May 12, 2017 11:52 am


-------------------------------------------
APRIL 2017
-------------------------------------------


MONEY
Keeping it simple:
Image


Image



TRAVELS

April travels included:
  • In Arizona: Phoenix, north of Phoenix towards Payson, Sedona
  • In Nevada: Lake Mohave, Las Vegas
Here's a blog post about them:

Image
April 2017 Travels



Oh, and here was the first drone footage I shot: https://youtu.be/5LD_XWpTVss

I'm having fun with it, and learning some video editing software pretty quickly. I'll have much better stuff to come…




BLOG

I haven’t been all that motivated to make posts for the last 6 weeks or so. Once I actually do write a post, I enjoy it, but often when I think I’ll do it a certain day or time, when I sit down to write, I don’t feel like doing it at that moment. The format I’ve been using of essentially making trip reports is feeling repetitive and a bit boring.

I’ve been brainstorming some ways to make more creative posts that I’ll enjoy making more. Most of the ideas I have fall into three categories:
1 - More artsy/creative/weird stuff
2 - Posts sharing my current thoughts/feelings/emotions (particularly relating to my travels/adventures, post-retirement life, social life while traveling, and more)
3 - Informational posts. These would likely be interesting and very useful for people who want a similar lifestyle (Vandwelling, travel, outdoors stuff). I haven’t had enough interest to make a single one so far. I have an idea on how to write them in a way that would also benefit myself, so that might get me more interested in making them. This would be by not making them as “how to xxx”, but rather just sharing my current routines as they are - without necessarily declaring them to be the way to do it). This would likely trigger me to recognize ways to improve them.

What would go away are the trip reports from each place I visit. I think I’d still like to make those, if nothing else, for me to look back at in the future. What I may do is summarize the travels monthly or so, as I did for April.

My goals for the blog are quite vague, which I believe is contributing to me not having an obvious direction for changes. If I really wanted to start making money on it, I’d be pumping out “how to” posts. But I don’t think I want to do that.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon May 29, 2017 12:26 pm

A couple quick updates:



Blog Post: How full time travel makes appreciation harder, and what to do about it
Image





Drone video: of campsite near the Colorado River
Image

This has been my favorite campsite in a year of travel around the western US. (I'm not aware whether it's possible to embed a youtube video in a blog post (???))



And here are a couple quick picture from my first day in Zion. More to come. This place is amazing. I'll be sharing much more from Zion. I'd like to spend about a month here, but it's getting pretty hot, so I may move on and come back in the fall
Image

Image

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GandK
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by GandK » Mon May 29, 2017 12:50 pm

Nice pics!

We just traveled from Custer, SD to Spearfish, then westward to Buffalo, WY, and then SW to Shoshoni > Lander > Farson > Rock Springs on a tent camping expedition. It is the prettiest drive I've ever taken, bar none. Every time we topped a hill or went around a bend there was another breathtaking view. I so love WY in late May/early June. It got down below freezing, though.

Currently in Salt Lake City, where the parks are overrun for Memorial Day. :-/

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon May 29, 2017 1:02 pm

Yeah, Wyoming looked super amazing.

I've left Zion N.P. for a few days while the memorial day weekend crowds are there. Tomorrow, they'll go back to work, and I'll go back to the park :-)

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BRUTE
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE » Mon May 29, 2017 2:14 pm

C40s latest journal entry reminds brute a lot of his own recent traveling "burnout".
C40 wrote:After about 6 months, I began to notice a couple things. First, that compared to when I went on trips while working, it was now much harder to remember the details of my adventures. Second, I’m not feeling as much wonder, or amazement – or basically appreciation of my travels as on those other trips.
given another 6 months, it is possible C40 will completely lose the appreciation for new places, cultures, foods, and so on. this happened to brute eventually, where all places eventually blended together into "airport -> hotel -> airbnb -> supermarket -> repeat for a few weeks or months -> airport". the exotic locals started feeling less exotic. brute started missing "boring" things he'd never missed before - being able to purchase heavy cream at the store, good roads, Amazon.com, the ability to build a longer-term gym with weights..

[edit]

interestingly, brute's strategy for "solving" seems the complete opposite from C40's. first, brute doesn't think lack of appreciation is a problem. it's just hedonic adaptation. brute does not like to take pictures or read about things he did in the past or places he's been to in the past, even if they were positive. brute simply accepted that he'd picked the low-hanging fruit he could attain with this mode of travel for now, and his desires had changed. they might one day come back, and brute still has interest in other modes of travel, like in a van for example.

the realization for brute was this: nothing lasts, but nothing is lost.

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Dragline
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Dragline » Mon May 29, 2017 4:19 pm

@C40 Those are some cool pictures and videos. What kind of a drone/camera is that? And can you see what you are filming in real time on a screen, or is it more like a GoPro?

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distracted_at_work
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by distracted_at_work » Mon May 29, 2017 10:14 pm

Amazing photos. That campsite by the Colorado River .. :shock:

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon May 29, 2017 10:31 pm

Regarding embedding YouTube videos on a blog, if you are using WordPress you should be able to paste the address of the video into the post and WordPress will take it from there.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon May 29, 2017 11:00 pm

Whoops, I meant to say 'forum post', not 'blog post'

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon May 29, 2017 11:03 pm

Dragline wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 4:19 pm
@C40 Those are some cool pictures and videos. What kind of a drone/camera is that? And can you see what you are filming in real time on a screen, or is it more like a GoPro?
It's a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced. They come with a camera on them. It can film at 1080p at, idk, 30 or 60 frames per second. It has a controller for flying it, and the controller has a thing to hold a phone or tablet that you connect with a USB cord. The view from the camera on the drone is transmitted back to the controller and displayed on the phone.

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bryan
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by bryan » Tue May 30, 2017 12:47 pm

Stunning pictures! Looking forward to knowing what you favourites were in the future.

Maybe one solution for the appreciation/adaptation issue is always shooting for doing something more unique while in a new place. Or have a selection of things to do that you randomize over locations. What are you doing otherwise, mostly bicycling/camping?

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by sky » Tue May 30, 2017 3:35 pm

Superlative site on the Colorado River, got any coordinates on that one?

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