C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 855
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by fiby41 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:40 pm

Nice, is it a falcon or some other bird?

User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 855
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by fiby41 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:34 am

Oh, nevermind. I jumped from the charts to the end of the post just skimming for information. Although I did click the tattoo pic at the end and read the complete blog post, there was no mention of what bird over there. Followed you on instagram though!

Its a falcon. Should improve my reading comprehension...

ffj
Posts: 1820
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by ffj » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:27 am

Go big or go home, right? I'm not that into tattoos but I can appreciate good work as I've seen a lot of bad work. Your artist did a really good job.

Scott 2
Posts: 1007
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:42 pm

Sternum and collar bone - ouch!

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:44 pm

Yeah, it hurt in those spots. It wasn't all the way onto the collarbone, thank goodness.

User avatar
TopHatFox
Posts: 1598
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: NY; 23

Re: C40's Journal

Post by TopHatFox » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:08 pm

C40 is attractive male human ;)

Nice blog too~

RealPerson
Posts: 719
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:33 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by RealPerson » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:47 pm

@C40 - Glad to hear your Spanish is coming along. How are you going about learning the language? I am interested in the specifics: books, software, apps, websites, etc. I am working on the same with Assimil. It is going pretty well but my conversational Spanish is still quite basic. The youtube videos are still too fast for my level of understanding.

User avatar
Viktor K
Posts: 286
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:45 pm
Location: China

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:38 am

Same, would like to hear more. Did you accept seasonal part-time work at a restaurant washing dishes? Or do you have a more nomadic method?

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:45 am

@Viktor - nope, didn't do the dishwashing thing. Mainly because I've been moving around too much. Although now I've slowed down in Socal, so I could... But, see below. I haven't cared enough about it to study much, let alone search out a job.


RealPerson wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:47 pm
@C40 - Glad to hear your Spanish is coming along. How are you going about learning the language? I am interested in the specifics: books, software, apps, websites, etc. I am working on the same with Assimil. It is going pretty well but my conversational Spanish is still quite basic. The youtube videos are still too fast for my level of understanding.
Well, first, see this thread for advice form people who actually know what they're talking about: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9229&p=150589

My Spanish is coming along poorly. It's a problem of motivation. I just haven't felt like doing it so I've spent very little time on it. I'm basically putting it off. I assume that as I get closer to going to Mexico, I'll be more willing to spend some time learning. I can learn vocabulary very quickly, so I suspect I'll pick enough of it up quickly enough. We'll see. I definitely won't be able to speak well at all, but hopefully I'll be able to get by well enough at the start, with extremely broken Spanish and gestures.

My method of learning so far has been to use Memrise (or something similar), plus a Frequency dictionary. I write down lists of words in a little notebook and study that periodically. I often take it with me when I'm going somewhere, and sit down for ~10 minutes at a time to study it. I feel like that will work well enough to get started quickly with learning words. But, I just need to do it.

I feel like the '15 minute spanish for your job' podcast that M741 recommended will work well for checking my progress on spoken comprehesion.

McTrex
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:35 am
Location: NL

Re: C40's Journal

Post by McTrex » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:59 pm

Try Pimsleur, that works pretty well for me while driving.

mxlr650
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:33 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by mxlr650 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:07 am

C40 wrote:I assume that as I get closer to going to Mexico, I'll be more willing to spend some time learning. I can learn vocabulary very quickly, so I suspect I'll pick enough of it up quickly enough
To me learning vocabulary is like reading a math book or programming language book - good for rote learning with little hands-on benefits. Learning how to form sentences, using side-by-side grammar book helped me a lot.

I also seem to learn a lot by immersion, which is mostly driven by my curiosity towards etymology, usage context, and more importantly the interaction details that seem to cement remembering the sentence that I heard only once, even after years!! Without those memories its just all donkey work trying to do spaced repetitions..

Learning language should be fun like singing a song, and just this song sung by immensely talented Manu Chao that can teach you almost 50 Spanish words if sung from start to finish!

here is another one

you can also hear him come here

Good luck with your Mexico trip!

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:48 am


------------------
OCTOBER 2017
------------------



MONEY

Bought some more camera gear. $700 for a really nice lens, and then $400 or so for a bunch of different small things. I think I’m pretty much set for now except that I may get one more lens for a few hundred dollars.

Image

Yearly running surplus
Image

Spending details:
Image

Spending should be lower over the coming months, except that I’ll be paying for van insurance (6mo) and health insurance (all next year) in the next couple months.



NEW BLOG POSTS:

I’d been testing out having a Patreon account and making some content for people that join up there (and give me some money).. The rewards there are a map showing all the places I’ve camped, plus some really detailed blog posts about the ins and outs of living and traveling in a van. Well, I didn’t feel like keeping on writing those detailed posts, particularly for a very small audience. I also didn’t feel like regularly promoting the pattern account. I’m in the process of moving the how-to posts over to my blog, and I may shut down the Patreon account altogether. Not certain yet..

Here are the posts I’ve moved so far:


VANLIFE HOW-TO: WHERE TO PARK AND SLEEP IN CITIES



HOW TO FIND FREE CAMPSITES (WONDERFUL ONES!)



I’ve also been wanting to do some different types of photography. The van and landscape pictures have gotten to feel a bit repetitive (particularly van pictures), so I’ve been spicing things up by shooting other stuff. I’ve started doing what I guess could call personal photography projects. My thinking is to shoot stuff that I’ll have a lot of fun with, and to shoot in ways that will help me improve my photography. I wrote about this a bit in my travels update post for September and October: California Dreamin’.

Image



Here’s the results of the first project I did, HAPPY AS A DOG AT THE BEACH

Image






GOAL PROGRESS


The timeline for these is basically up until I go into Mexico (which I expect to do in about a month)

INCOME STREAMS
— Execute current Instagram feature (Doing well)
— Get more Instagram product features - start with coffee-making (Haven’t pitched any but yesterday someone asked to send me coffee)
— Make some more shirt designs (A bit of progress. Not much. Been focusing on photography more)
— Make some more investing changes before going to Mexico
— Try out options trading (for some stocks I own and am considering selling) (Sold options on two stocks. I like it so far)

PREP FOR MEXICO
— Start learning Spanish (on 9/1) - (Started ~9/20. Making decent progress now… 11/3- Have stagnated because I don’t really care about it. Expecting/hoping I’ll focus on it hard in the last couple weeks before entering Mexico)
— Get to very basic communication in Spanish (by 11/1) (total fail. Just haven’t cared to)
— Learn about laws, camping rules, and safety (I need to find resources/info from people like me who don’t ever pay to camp)
— Research logistics (WIFI, cel service, mail, water, money, laundry) (some progress here from talking to a guy from the MMM forum)
— Start deciding where to go (Some progress. Got some great input from Ego, but now he’s making me consider going into the mainland instead of only Baja…. )
Last edited by C40 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10050
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:55 am

* I'm semi-surprised that one can't/don't change perspective from 50mm to 100mm digitally yet. Seems to me that both the resolution and the computational power for ray tracing through virtual lenses should be there?

* Have you had a negative spending month on your hobbies yet? ;-)

* If you haven't researched the tax hassles of options trading in a taxable account yet (qualified dividends, gains, wash), do so asap, before you get surprised by complications.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:11 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:55 am
* I'm semi-surprised that one can't/don't change perspective from 50mm to 100mm digitally yet. Seems to me that both the resolution and the computational power for ray tracing through virtual lenses should be there?

* Have you had a negative spending month on your hobbies yet? ;-)

* If you haven't researched the tax hassles of options trading in a taxable account yet (qualified dividends, gains, wash), do so asap, before you get surprised by complications.
#1 - on lenses. No. Technology is nowhere near close enough yet. The difference between focal lengths gets extremely complicated and in many cases, it wouldn't ever be possible to take a single picture from one focal length and be able to transform it to what a picture would look like when shot with a different focal length (because of perspective differences causing the needed parts of certain elements to not be visible, unless maybe for pictures where you can shoot, and then move the foreground (a person) out of the frame and shoot again. Also, sensors likely aren't large or dense enough to get enough data to do this well and still have a picture that could be printed at a decent size.

Camera technology is currently advancing the quickest for camera phones. The current iPhone is the closest thing to doing what I think you're talking about. It uses two lenses. It also uses software processing to identify the foreground element and then blur the background to simulate a lens with a shorter depth of field. It does have some effectiveness, but compared to the real deal, it looks like crap. (see this video, jump to 5:45 to get straight to comparison pictures. The video isn't very well-done, but you get the point. (consider here that in this portrait comparison, what one wants is for the background to be very blurred so that the subject is very separated from the background and stands out from it as much as possible)


#2 - Negative spending on hobbies. Yeah. Probably not for a while. I had a bunch when I was selling bikes a few years back. I also had months where my hobby income was like $500 and thus probably higher than hobby spending. I've had single months of negative total spending from selling hobby stuff. But IDK what would really count for your question here, as selling stuff on a certain month and considering it negative can just happen from timing and not from actually having money flow in overall.

#3 - shit.... Thanks for the heads up. I think I assumed it would work just like capital gains.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:05 pm

Hello from Mexico.

I'm halfway down Baja now. I've found some decent places to camp. So far I like the Cortez side better. People sure do throw a lot of trash on the ground here. So far I've been traveling with other people, but we're mostly all split up now and I'll be more on my own now. That will be better for my Spanish learning.

Spent like $1,000 in November. Should be less over the next couple months as I don't expect to buy much more than gas and groceries in Mexico.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:45 pm

This is some text I just wrote for an Instagram post, but it's relevant here:



I’ve been thinking lately about the future…

I’ll have a decision to make when I get back out of the Baja peninsula. To go north, or to go east?

To the north is a place I’ve been meaning to go for years but haven’t yet (Yosemite), my best friend and his wife in Portland (she’s also really cool), my favorite city (Seattle… in the summer at least), and a big state that I’ve been meaning to explore (Oregon). If I go up there, I’d be there until the fall, and then I’d come back south next winter, and likely end up sitting a year form now in this exact same coffee shop where I’m typing this post. And I’ll have another year spent exploring and loitering. That’s not specifically bad. I’d love to spend a couple months with those friends.

If I go east, it’s out to North Carolina. Both of my siblings are settling there. Both (will) have land with room for me to hang out and projects for me to help with. My sister may have a big project to do - building a home for them from scratch - where my help could be extremely beneficial. In addition to helping them, the main purpose would ideally end up being to establish a home base for myself - a little shack of a home on one of their properties. (one is near Asheville, and one is out in more of a Bible belt area… guess which one I’m hoping would work out for me)

If I build a shack for myself, I’d expect to live in that something like 50% of the time, and otherwise set off on adventures here and there (some in the van, and some traveling lighter to a different continent).

I’ll soon be at two years of living and traveling in the van full time. I’m still enjoying it a lot. But not as much as I was early on. I think doing something else for a while would be a good idea. I’d love to spend the summer with my friends in the PNW and in Seattle, but other than those I don’t think I’d enjoy the places I go as much as I really should.

Right now I’m thinking that if my sister makes the progress she’s hoping towards finding land and building that house, I’ll be turning right shortly after crossing the border

Anyways… I have plenty of time to myself down in Mexico to think about it. And these are great options to have

CS
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by CS » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:06 pm

Two years already? I have no sense of time.

Why do you feel like you don't enjoy the places you visit as much as 'you should'? Hedonistic adaption? Too much time in the van?

Portland and Seattle are not the nicest weather wise until July. You might want to head east first no matter what...

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:20 pm

CS wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:06 pm
Two years already? I have no sense of time.

Why do you feel like you don't enjoy the places you visit as much as 'you should'? Hedonistic adaption? Too much time in the van?

Portland and Seattle are not the nicest weather wise until July. You might want to head east first no matter what...
I started living in the van in March 2016, and traveling full time in just the van after quitting in July 2016.. so as of now it's basically a year and a half.

----

Yeah, partly hedonic adaptation, and partly just a personal funk. It's hard to tell whether I should let that funk influence decisions I make about where I go (as it may go away well before the end of the timeline for the choice I make). I think I need to revisit my personal goals and ~what I'm doing with my life. I have to a good extent accomplished the things and feelings that I wanted for this nomadic van-living phase. So I should reconsider what I want - is there a next step I want to take it to? Do I want to just continue as is? etc.

Building the shack is something I've always had in mind, so, no matter how thrilled I was about continuing the van travel full time, this summer may be the right time to build the shack anyways (since I could help my sister first with her house, which would help her be (more) cool with me building one for me also) or at least the right time to go out east.

----


Portland would be nice enough for me in June. I wouldn't go east and then go back over to the PNW, too much driving.. If it's unseasonably cold/cloudy next spring and early summer, I'll just spend more time in California and Southern/central Oregon.

Funny, I was talking with some people from Portland the other day, about the climate there, saying I might be up around there June-September, and they said "well,.. it doesn't get into full swing until about...." and by the end of it, their conclusion was that Portland has one good month per year :lol:

CS
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by CS » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:03 pm

One month! Ha! Those are some picky folks.

--

Part of the problem of successfully reaching your goals, is that you then need to find new goals. It's totally different Sisyphusian problem than the one most people get to experience.

I can understand the social capital aspect of properly timing the trip to help your sister. Considering how you are sticking to the west coast, do you have any concerns about having a base so far east? My family is in Minnesota, and I love to be around them, but I find myself gritting my teeth to live there. I'll be able to do it for a while... long term, not so sure.

User avatar
finity
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:11 pm
Location: Germany

Re: C40's Journal

Post by finity » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:01 am

Help your sister and build your shack! Will be a nice change and you actually do something very good and helpful. You can travel many more years, but how often can you help your sister like that?

I‘d also say that the van living is like „mission accomplished“ in your mind. You can, will and should do lots more of it, but the pleasure will grow again when you do something else for some time. Being helpful can be super fulfilling and you collect lots of social capital!

Post Reply