Something From Nothing Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:10 pm

Jacob, I will be unable to look at the piles of dirty old jeans in the same way.

The foreign exchange student left this on top of the trash before moving out. It is a fingernail polish dryer.

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I finally got around to listing it yesterday. This morning I noticed that a text had come in just after 4am asking about it. The woman said she needed it immediately. I just responded and she was here in ten minutes. $25

We were unable to sell at the swap meet last week so Mrs. Ego's scooter fund is still empty.
Last edited by Ego on Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:20 pm

I know, right? I'm hanging onto my old clothes in case the affluent cowboy fashionista community ever develops an interest in vintage urban blogger wear. "On the left leg you see the stain from spilled coffee that came standing up after responding to a particularly enervating post. Also notice the authentic wear patterns below the khaki pant back pockets which comes from spending all day in a particularly slouchy position. The difference between the lack of cuff wear on the left vs the right sleeve demonstrates that this garment was worn by a real knowledge worker spending all day moving a mouse around."

Astra
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Astra » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:08 am

@Ego: I'm wondering how one could possibly "immediately need" an fingernail polish dryer :D

This whole thread reminds me of a buisness in Midwestern America that would seek out abandoned villages and towns, drive their truck out to overgrown graveyards to collect antique stone angels, birdbaths and mausoleum columns. The more weathered and crusry with lichen the better. Then they would sell those to fancy garden boutique shops for yuppies to buy them, to add some vintage decor to their squeaky clean suburban gardens with roll-out lawns. I have no idea where I read about that.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:41 am

Interesting. Old cemeteries are also a good place to nip rose cuttings. My permaculture partner is a shameless taker of cuttings from other people's plants. Every fall he drives around and curb scores end-of-season big-box garden store leavings. Sometimes even abandoned fast food restaurants or strip malls might have interesting perennial plantings left in place that might not suffer from division.

Augustus
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Augustus » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:43 pm

Coffee grounds as air freshener? I accidentally spilled some and wiped it up with a towel, the towel is in the bathroom with the rest of the laundry, I walked in and was thinking wow it smells great in here!

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:43 pm

Found a music stand in a pile of junk, sold it for $20 on craigslist. :D

Girlfriend found out about the deal, said "since it is free money now you can take me out to dinner." :?

EdithKeeler
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:39 am

This whole thread reminds me of a buisness in Midwestern America that would seek out abandoned villages and towns, drive their truck out to overgrown graveyards to collect antique stone angels, birdbaths and mausoleum columns. The more weathered and crusry with lichen the better. Then they would sell those to fancy garden boutique shops for yuppies to buy them, to add some vintage decor to their squeaky clean suburban gardens with roll-out lawns. I have no idea where I read about that.
What I remember is a 60 Minutes or similar show about people doing this and arrests being made. Very illegal most everywhere in the US.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:11 pm

I found an old bike on the curb with some minor issues. I put about an hour of work and some used parts I already had into it and sold it for $50. :mrgreen:

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:36 pm

I found another bike sticking out the top of a dumpster. After replacing a broken spoke nipple and a very brief cleaning I got $40 for it on Craigslist. 8-)

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:30 am

jacob wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:18 am
Actionable advice: To change the atmosphere or lens of the forum, there´s strength in numbers. Retreating or lurking only serve to propagate the current situation. Effectively, every time you decide not to post, it's a vote that you approve of the current atmosphere.
Greetings all! In the spirit of Jacobs actionable advice I thought I would jump back in here with a bit of an update. Since this Something From Nothing Log was the closest thing I had to a journal, here goes...

Last October we began to shed our possessions once again in preparation for another long trip. We got rid of just about everything but bicycles, some clothing, camping gear, boxes of photos/mementos and the Honda Fit. We were fortunate that our local REI held a used gear swap meet a few weeks before we left. Most of the inventory for my online store consisted of outdoor gear and we were able to unload a ton of stuff at good prices. It was just before Halloween so we sold Gumby as well. From there we went to our local swap meet and unloaded the remainder.

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In the past we rented the smallest storage unit available 5'x5'. The manager of the storage place remembered us from the last trip. He has been dreaming about doing something similar. We gave him some advice and he upgraded us to a 5'x7' which made it easier to squash everything in.

A few days before leaving, after we had sold our bed and were sleeping on thremarests on the floor, Mrs. Ego came in from the trash with a full set of rather expensive high end luggage in perfect condition. The tenants in the Penthouse threw the three suitcases out. I sold the larger two for $35 each on craigslist and Mrs. Ego insisted we bring the little carry-on roller as our traveling kitchen, in addition to our two 65/75liter backpacks. It has been with us for four months now.

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The flight from San Diego to Bogota was only $175pp. We spent three months in Colombia and loved it. Medellin is the ultimate expat destination of the moment. I highly recommend it for those looking for a cheap, interesting place to live with extremely nice locals. Our accommodations averaged about $17 per night for a double with private bath in hostels. Hostels work well for us as they typically have communal kitchens and lots of other travelers to generate serendipity.

From Colombia we hopped south rather quickly, first to Peru and now Chile. At the moment we're in Puerto Natales, Chile getting ready for an unsupported Torres del Paine trek. Mrs. Ego (The Planner) is working out our daily menu for the trek while I do my best to ignore her and work on this post. In a few weeks we'll fly from Santiago to Barcelona (cheap Iberia flight) before making our way to Jordan. The Planner is determined to do sections of the Jordan Trail before it gets too hot (https://jordantrail.org/).

The tentative plan is to be on the road for about a year.
Last edited by Ego on Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:19 am

YESSSSS!!! :) :) :)

I've been hoping you would re-start this.... like ever since you stopped. I am actually a little disappointed that while you're out adventuring, you probably won't be able to share as many finds from trash / swap meet / having the right kind of friends like when you were at home. But, I am sure that between the two of you, you'll get a lot of good advice, generosity, etc. from the people you meet, and I'd love to hear about that.

You have a way with social capital, conversation, and with connecting streams of stuff and people. It is helpful for us here, especially those of us that are more introverted, shy, inwardly independent, to read examples of benefits that can come from improving our social skills.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:22 am

Welcome back :) What fun you have!

I recently went into my most extreme ever minimalism mode after being inspired by Vegan Nomad Chick's videos, but then instead of taking off to go bicycle camping by myself, which was my squishy intention, I bounced right back into acquisition mode, purchased a car and started re-acquiring inventory for my book business. I am still trying to figure out what exactly was my limiting factor and/or miscalculation of desire.

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by prognastat » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:09 am

Welcome back, how much would you say you managed to get rid of roughly percentage wise?

What all did you guys end up doing in trek through South America?(or is this something you're reserving for it's own post?)

theanimal
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by theanimal » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:13 am

Welcome back!!

The Patagonia trek should be great. I'm looking forward to hearing about it. One of my brothers was down there recently and I think he hiked part of the circuit. His pictures were outstanding. From everything I hear and see, it's Alaska without the bears. Enjoy!

slowtraveler
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:44 am

Welcome back Ego. Always educational to read your posts.

It's a really cool travel plan you have, please keep sharing.

Can I ask, what is the total average daily cost? Are you just using public transport and the occasional taxi to get around town?

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:05 pm

Thanks folks!

@C40, that's a very kind compliment. You and I have come to know each other in the real world and have had what I consider some really good in-person conversations, so I appreciate you saying that here. Mrs. Ego and I are congenitally inclined to trade social capital so I am sure we'll have some interesting stories.

Yesterday we were shopping the various gear rental stores in town to gauge the prices and quality of the tents and sleeping bags/pads they offer for rent. It seems that most shops do not allow advanced reservations. The few that do charge a 25% fee to reserve gear in advance. We wanted to reserve the gear for Tuesday but were not happy about paying the extra fee. We were about to leave the last shop on our list after getting the prices. The owner was a nice guy and was inclined to talk so I began peppering him with questions about his business. He told me he was using the business to fund his real passion, inventing outdoor gear. He told me all about a product he patented in the US and Europe, and about the challenges he was having getting prototypes made out of metal. I half-remembered a post here on the forum (I think it was @enigma) about a guy who used Shapeways.com to 3D print a kickstand mount for Surly bikes. I told the shop owner to check out the site. He pulled it up on his computer and suddenly became extremely excited. So much so that he wanted to get rid of us so he could upload his 3D file, but not before telling us to come back on Tuesday to pick up the gear. He was grateful for the tip and promised to hold it without the additional 25% reservation charge.

@7W Back in the book business... good for you! We naturally revert to those things that bring us into flow.

@prog, It's hard to say what percentage of stuff we got rid of. Our car is our most valuable possession we kept. Size-wise that is a big thing. We're paying to store it. We kept three bikes. I have a photo somewhere of the stuff that remains. Other than the car it would all fit in a small van.

@animal. I've been thinking about you lately. I can't tell you how happy that photo of you behind the stick of the Cessna made me. Man, you are doing it! I saw the post in your journal about the Alaskan skills school. There is a hostel/gear rental place here in town that reminded me of it. The guy (a gringo) started the shop 14 years ago and noticed that everyone was confused by the process of booking campsites. He started a tour company but also started giving free afternoon talks about how to do the trek without a tour. Today he has the most successful gear rental business in town as well as a super successful hostel and tour company. We went to the talk yesterday along with about 30 people. I went back today and took a few photos. The place was packed both days. His shop is an incredible hub of information and inspiration (kind of like this forum). He strikes me as someone who is living a life chock full of meaning. He reminded me of you.

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@slow, We are mostly using public buses and internal flights. We took a bus across the Peru/Chile border but then flew down south. The flight from Arica to Punta Arenas was a little more than $200. Mrs. Ego hasn't totaled the daily expenses from her spiral notebook yet. If I were to guess, I'd say we're somewhere in the $40-45/day range for the two of us, not including flights. There have been some days (like today) when the accommodation expenses are rather high. We're paying $45 for an Airbnb here in Puerto Natales but the place is really quite nice. I'm finding that new listings on Airbnb are priced at 25-40% below competitors so I seek out those places that have zero reviews. When we return to Santiago we will be below $30 a day. Barcelona will be expensive at $55 a day. I am not sure about Jordan. After Jordan we're heading to the Balkans where we will rent a car so the average will suffer. From the Balkans we walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela which should less expensive. I just looked at Airbnb monthly rates in Paris in summer/fall and found some studio apartments in the center for $1500-$1700 per month.

I am still a bit incredulous that my habit of digging through piles of other peoples trash and reselling the choice bits could buy us a month in an apartment in Paris.
Last edited by Ego on Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:38 am, edited 3 times in total.

1taskaday
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:22 pm

Yes, I get to vicariously live the life I have always dreamed of again!😁

I pretend to be a fan of yours but the truth is that it's "the planner" that really impresses me.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:27 pm

Add one more person who is very excited to see you posting again. Your thoughts and views have been an inspiration for me, even in your absence. Good luck in your travels!!!

rube
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by rube » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:50 pm

Thank you Ego for this nice and inspiring update. I hope many more will follow.

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jennypenny
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by jennypenny » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:45 pm

I'm so glad to hear you're out on the road again. I hope you're having a wonderful time!

Missed you. {{hugs}}

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