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 Jun 04, 2019 7:36 am

@Laura Ingalls, same here. My coal miner grandfather would coat his shovels, hoe, rake and pitch fork with used motor oil as well. My little brother inherited them and still uses them.

The Airbnb in Bucharest was a funky apartment in an ancient building with a bunch of full-to-overflowing closets. The owners live in France and rarely come back. We hid our outfits in the bottom of one of the closets and hope to return in a few weeks and wear them to a performance of the philharmonic.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:33 am

Ego wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:05 pm
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.
We just booked the place for a month (late July- late Aug) in Paris, a few blocks from The Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter. We will arrive just in time for the finish of the Tour de France. It costs $1680 for the month which is a lot of money. We'll be spending most of July in Ukraine which should lower our average significantly in preparation for the Paris splurge.

I earmarked most of the Something From Nothing funds in an account that pays our Airbnb bill. While I know intuitively that I am just playing a psychological game with myself, I enjoy knowing that this is trash-funded.

For as long as we've been together we've tracked daily expenses. For about 18 years now Mrs. Ego has done so in little spiral notebooks. We have about fifty of these at home. Today she transitioned to the second notebook of the trip.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:07 am

First day in Ukraine. First impressions, people are even nicer than Romania. Without one word in common we became friends with the entire family sitting behind us on the train. Ukraine is poorer than Romania and most things are considerably less expensive. I bought a Vodaphone sim card with four months of service and 40GB of data for $3.03.

I can't read the Cryllic script but when I see things like this it kills me. If I were at home I'd pile up these books and take them in anticipation of the next time I sell at the swap meet.

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My great-grandmother left Western Ukraine (then the Austro-Hungarian empire) for Ellis Island just a few weeks before the outbreak of WWI. After she died we discovered she had left behind a four-year-old daughter who she never saw again. My grandmother found letters and this photo of the daughter (her sister) among her mother's belongings.

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We plan to spend some time in the archives in Lviv to see if we can learn more about her life and ancestors.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:36 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:37 pm
Amazon wants to clean up its warehouses, so they recently offered a promotion where dealers could have stuff shipped back to them for next to nothing if it hadn't sold.
I remember that changes to Amazon fulfillment made your business challenging. You may be happy to hear that Shopify is entering the market.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/24/analyst ... mazon.html

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:46 pm

@Ego:

Thanks, I will look into it.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:21 am

Late last night we arrived in Paris. Mrs. Ego has family here so we are going to need some 'nice' clothing. I went for an early morning walk around the neighborhood and purely by chance found the clothing donation bin behind the Grand Mosque of Paris. I borrowed a few pieces that I promised to whichever God happened to be watching that I would return them before we leave the city.

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We took a chance by renting the apartment from Airbnb for a month and it worked out well. The listing said they require the renter to sign some sort of special contract. I think this requirement deterred people from renting the place earlier as the price was lower than anything else in the area and it is unbelievably nice. When we arrived we realized that it was a young guy renting his parents flat for the summer while they are away. The parents are cautious and were worried about renters wrecking the place. He was relieved when he met us and we reassured him we would treat it with care and respect. He said he had forgotten to bring the contract.

Today the forecast calls for 101F. The place has no AC so we slept naked with all of the widows wide open. Poor neighbors.

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Despite being a vocal anti-sports-fan I have to admit that I've watched the 15 minute highlights of every stage of the Tour de France and cannot wait to be there in person for the final stage on Sunday.

viewtopic.php?t=2539

slowtraveler
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:46 am

That's a gorgeous room. I enjoy reading your journal and about your wonderful life travelling now that you've returned. Thanks for sticking around to inspire us still working towards our own dreams of exploring the world.

Your grandma was smart to get out exactly when she did. Did she see it beggining to unravel and had to flee as soon as possible or was it luck that she left when she did?

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by bigato » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:02 pm

if she was anywhere as smart as ego, i find it likely that she must have seen it coming way before everyone else even suspected

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:02 pm

@slowtraveler & @bigato, thank you. That was very nice off you to say.

My great-grandmother was widowed at twenty. She always claimed to have witnessed her brothers being hung from the tree in their yard. Considering that her brother had stolen the money she sent for her daughter to emigrate, that may have been wishful thinking.

Mrs. Ego has translated the Latin church records. It is pretty clear that one brother died at birth and the other lived long after she left, so her story was suspect.

Her granddaughter told us that the circumstances of her husband's death were the reason she left. Their marriage was arranged by their parents. She was fifteen and he was twenty-six. Another girl in the village loved him and when he married she cast a spell on him. Yes, a spell. As in hocus pocus. He died shortly thereafter. Apparently the shame involved made it impossible for her to stay.

Stranger than fiction.

-----

Today I saw this guy in front of the Shakespeare & Company book store with an old fashioned manual typewriter knocking out poems for people. He had a line of people waiting. Seemed like a creative something-from-nothing way to finance his travels.

I also like the fact that he created the circumstances where he had no choice but to practice writing poetry to earn money. Maybe he is a terrible poet. Maybe he is really good. I don't know. But this seems like a good way to force himself to practice.

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:23 pm

I have only been watching some of the Tour highlight videos, and some when I'm at the gym in the locker room, but it appears you're getting to watch one of the best tours in years. In most recent years, team Ineos (previously team Sky) made the race really boring by controlling it so much and having so many strong guys. But they aren't able to this year. That should be really cool at the Champs Elysees.

For watching a bike race finish, the best place is near the finish line, of course. Preferable slightly before it rather than after. I imagine it is near impossible to get a spot with an actual view of the race without waiting there many hours, so here are other spots that are probably good views:
- About 500m before the finish, there is a slight curve in the road - or, if I recall correctly, moreso made by the barriers. If you can get a good view from that spot, it's the most important part of the stage. The winner is nearly always within the first five guys through that corner.
- At one of the turnarounds. (I think both are by large statues. One is that arch, and the other maybe some kind of fountain and guy on a horse?). I don't think many people hang out there watching the race, so you'll get to actually see the race, and you can move around to get long views. Binoculars would probably even be nice there.

FIRE 2018
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by FIRE 2018 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:32 pm

In San Francisco CA, there was a guy called the Bushman. He is on you tube. He hid behind an actual tree bush. When many unsuspecting people walked in the sidewalk next to him, he would surprise them with a movement of the bush. It was hilarious and I was also a victim also. He would accept money tips that people would gladly give him. Something for nothing.

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:36 pm

FIRE 2018 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:32 pm
In San Francisco CA, there was a guy called the Bushman. He is on you tube. He hid behind an actual tree bush. When many unsuspecting people walked in the sidewalk next to him, he would surprise them with a movement of the bush. It was hilarious and I was also a victim also. He would accept money tips that people would gladly give him. Something for nothing.
Why in the world would people pay/tip for that? Man, there are some crazy people in San Francisco.

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by theanimal » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:49 am

I love this thread.

@ego- There's a woman up here who does something similar. She writes poetry on demand on birch bark paper for whoever wants it. I have a friend who is really into poetry and he's going to be working with her at an event sometime soon. Not much money in the poetry world.

---------------------------------------

A few months ago we had some training for work at the university. There was a large pile of science textbooks on the table offered up to whoever wanted them. I scanned through them, looking at their pages on Amazon to see which had the highest resale value. I took 8 of them. So far I have sold half of them netting $80 per book.

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by jacob » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:11 pm


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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:18 pm

@animal, Nice work with the textbooks. Eighty bucks a piece. Man. What a score.

I am not sure if this is the same guy I saw in front of the shop but I thought his story was good enough to mention here.

https://www.poetforhire.org/single-post ... r-in-Paris

For money, I sat in front of the shop with my typewriter, writing poems for strangers, rain or shine, beneath the awning. By night I prowled the city drinking exquisite cheap wine and reading at the various underground poetry venues like Au Chat Noir, Le Bistro des Artistes, Culture Rapide, the LOFT Sessions, and one night I even snuck onto the bill at a reading for the University of Kent.

I had intended to only stay for a few weeks before hitch hiking to Marseilles, but the lifestyle and the scene in Paris kept me there for a month and a half; it didn't help that I had almost no money. After Sylvia Whitman -- George's angelic daughter and the owner of the bookshop -- commissioned me to write some poems for her friends, she mercifully let me move into her father's old apartment on the 3rd floor. There I had a real bed, a desk, a solid office typewriter, an actual kitchen and bathroom, a library, and a few hours of precious solitude.


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@C40, the race will pass on each side of Jardin des Tuileries four times. If we run back and forth we can see them pass eight times. At least that's what I am hoping. We shall see.

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by FIRE 2018 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:22 pm

GO FUND ME is another $$ maker for something for nothing.

Just ask and you shall receive.....

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:35 pm

Ok, this is a fun math problem, so I did some calculations.


Here's the park size:
Image

How fast you need to run depends on:
- how fast the riders are going during that pass (it will vary, sometimes a lot, but it will usually be on the higher end - like 30mph and over)
- where you cross the park (it's tricky because there are level changes, bushes, fountains, etc.

I did the math for crossing the park on the very west edge, and also along a sidewalk that crosses straight through the park, but is near the middle
Image


It does look doable, but potentially quite challenging. You'll need to be as far west in the park as possible that still allows running across, and/or be ready and willing to sprint across. Congestion of people inside the park could be an issue preventing running at full speed or requiring you to cross at weird spots and cross the lines of trees.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:29 pm

Hah! Challenge accepted.

We scouted the route today. The grandstands are at the eastern end of the park so that is not possible. It seems that the western end toward the Place de la Concord would be ideal as that is the point the riders enter and exit Champs-Élysées. But I am sure the crowds will be thick at that point as it offers a spectacular view down the wide boulevard all the way to the Arc de Triomphe.

Mrs. Ego is small and good at weaving through crowds. I'll try to keep up.

She's got a plan and a schedule to visit museums on their free day. Today we went to the Petit Palais which is always free and always incredible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpkCT_R9rZQ

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:12 pm

Also: what does Paris smelly like?

People have told me it doesn't smell so good.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 am

The last time we were here in November 1993 we were camping in our 75 VW Westfalia in Bois de Boulogne. The area where we camped was not so nice so I guess that impression permeated my brain for the entire city.

From what I've seen so far the city is spotless and the only smells I've notice are the constant scent of temptations from boulangeries and pâtisseries.

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