Friday, 17 May 2019

The Return of Running Water

So, this weekend, or rather just tonight, I will be de-winterizing Wanda. I will be going to a campground (with the help of a friend) just for tonight.

I will finally be getting my fresh water system up and running. Now, in order to do that, I need access to a full hook up campsite. 

In times gone by I have gone to the campground for the weekend, but this is not necessary now. 

Since I have electricity, via the solar charging system, the treat of having electricity is gone.

Once I have my fresh water system up and running and water in my fresh water tank, I’m good for a while. 

So, I will just go there tonight and this afternoon I will do the actual de-winterizing process, and tomorrow I will return to my Lakeside Home, for the remainder of the long weekend. 

While it may get cold, I am fairly certain it will not get colder than -10C for the next few months, so freezing pipes are a minimal risk. 

If worst comes to worst, then I will just move to a campground for the duration of the cold snap. 

I will choose to focus on the positive and the fact that I will have the luxury of running water . . . in my house. 

As always: Keep your head up,  your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Victoria Day Staycation

I will be taking it easy around my Lakeside Home this Victoria Day Long Weekend. 

I will enjoy the view, the peace, quiet and the sound of the birds playing and frollicing.

All in all, I will not go any further than I have been in the past few weeks. I have recently understood that I don’t need to go to a campground.

With the advent of my solar panel charging system (and my satellite radio) I can truly enjoy any space, as no matter where I am, I am home and I have electricity.

So, I can enjoy my Lakeside Home and still have a nice and relaxing weekend. 

All while saving money and helping the planet. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

It is Wanda’s Fifth Birthday!

That’s right, it was five years ago today that I bought Wanda. While the exact date is a bit fuzzy, but this is the day that is officially recognized as Wanda’s Birthday.

I think it has something to do with this being the date that the first payment on Wanda came out of my account. 

At any rate, this is the day that we, that I, celebrate the fact that I bought Wanda and all that she has helped me accomplish. 

There is still some debate as to if I would be better off and further ahead remaining living in that room that I was renting, but that is an academic debate.

As it is now, I can go where I like and I am mobile. If I need to move somewhere, it is as easy as going for a drive.

I am further ahead in that I have skills that I would not have otherwise (not living in Wanda) and I now can live very cheaply. 

As in all I need to pay for is propane and paying to dump my tanks, but those are only every few months. Food goes without saying but my electricity is free.

I am also further ahead in my homesteading plans, as all I need to do is buy the land, park Wanda in a nice spot and put her up on blocks, and I have my first house.

Again, not fancy, but effective . . . a reoccurring theme in my life.

I still get people trying to convince me to buy something, as in buy a house or condo. 

They keep having the same conversations with me, as if I am intellectually diminished and just don’t understand such a basic concept of the wonders of owning a home.

I do understand that concept and I do want to own, but I simply refuse to get into debt again. I hate it, debt is a necessary evil, and it is not necessary.

Surely not to buy a home, not when all I have to do is stick it out for four more years and I can buy a place for cash . . . cash . . . and no debt.

But I digress, and this day is about celebrating Wanda’s Birthday!

Happy birthday, Wanda!
   

(That is the oldest picture I could find of Wanda)

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Don’t Make War on the Economic Refugee

Okay, so today there was another story of another town or city that has a “problem” with people living in RV’s.

People are funny, they look at people living in RV’s and get angry and have a number of assumptions, here are a few of them: 

They’re a bum
They’re drug addicts
They’re lazy (as in get a job, you bum!)

Also there is a twinge of jealousy mixed in there, I mean the feeling that is along the lines of “Why should they get away without paying rent when I have: 

Rent/Mortgage
Property Taxes
Condo Fees
Power/Utility Bills 
And other “Costs of ownership”

I guess some of those feelings are valid as people, like myself, are living cheaper by not living in a “sticks and bricks” house. As in, living in some sort of fixed address house/apartment/etc.

Yet, you have to ask yourself why are people doing this? Why would someone with options chose to live in an RV?

The answer is varied, as in each person has a different reason for why they are living in their RV, but I will boil it down to a few main categories:

Financial: They just can’t afford a place to live. 
Freedom: They like the freedom to go where they choose, to travel yet always be at home. 
To Get Ahead: With the lower cost of living by living in an RV, the cash that you were spending on having a fixed address, you can now use to get yourself ahead financially (debt free or build savings).

To me, all of those are beside the point but the fact that the numbers of people living in RV’s is growing, points to a larger problem in our society. 

Simply put, the cost of living is creeping to the point of unaffordability. We are already past the point of the cost of living being stupidly high.

Why is this? Well, in my opinion the fault lies at the feet of Government and Business . . . but mainly with Government.

Why? Well, Government likes to pile on the taxes and tries to find new ways to generate new ones or just raise the old ones (all while telling us that it’s fair and to suck it up).

This happens at all three levels of government: Federal, Provincial/State, and County/Town/City.

All three levels of government likes to spend, spend, spend and tax, tax, tax (yes even the conservative ones).

Business is squeezed by their increasing costs of operation as well as the ever increasing taxes that they pay (criminally more than the average person, so it’s no wonder, but not excusable, why some turn to tax evasion schemes.) 

Yet wages have remained stagnant during all this time. In fact Business views wages as a charitable contribution (to the poor) that they can’t write off.

They view wages as something that they set and will increase when they feel generous.

The thought of tying wages to inflation is met with a scream and hue and cry the likes of which is only heard when someone is having a limb amputated without anaesthesia.

So the split between wages and the cost of living grows, with the cost of living rising at a rate that steadily outpaces wages. 

The difference is made up in the lowering of the standard of living of the average person. 

This erosion of your purchasing power continues until you, yes you dear reader, are forced out of the “normal” way of living due to economic forces.

Either that or you just see no other way to get debt free or otherwise get ahead.

Either way, living in an RV, even for a short period of time, can look good.

When you do, when you move into an RV or otherwise out of a fixed address, you then become an Economic Refugee.

I say this to Business and Government, (mainly to Government) “Stop crushing the little guy with taxes and cost increases. That and stop making war with the people you have shoved out of the normal economic model by your actions.”

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 13 May 2019

Satellite Radio Installation Complete!

Okay, so this weekend the guy who installed my solar panel charging system came out and completed the installation of my satellite radio!

Sure, all he had to do was install the antenna on the roof and run the wire down to the satellite radio itself. 

The trick is that he knows how to put holes in my roof (properly) so as to ensure that the cable and only the cable goes down through that hole. 

Again, putting holes in things is the easy part, sealing them up is the tricky bit. That ability is worth something to me, so that is why I paid him to do it.

This is how it is done properly.
  

As you see the cable is secured and the hole is sealed with sealant. That is to ensure that the cable does not flop around as well as to ensure that the hole remains sealed.

Also the antenna itself (that black box) is held down by some epoxy, so as to ensure that it won’t flop around. 

As a result, I have the satellite radio installed and all cables are hidden in the walls. I still have to find a way to seal up those holes in the wall, but I can do that in a bit.

It is just nice to be able to relax with the choice of music that satellite radio offers. All while not using up the data on my cell plan or having to find decent Wi-Fi.

I can now listen to radio and get power no matter how far out or remote I am. As long as I can get sun, I can get both my batteries charged and listen to the radio.

This is one of those niceties that I am treating myself with . . . sparingly.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 10 May 2019

8400

Yep, that’s the number, I ran the calculations yesterday . . . 

Okay, so with all this doom and gloom talk, or fears rather, around the office, I decided to see how cheaply that I could live for a calendar year.

As you no doubt guessed by now, that number, as in what I could live for an entire year on, is $8400.00. Now, that number is not exact, but it is close enough. 

For one thing there is a bit of wiggle room in my budgets, as in I over estimate slightly some expenses, so I can claw them back if need be.

I also don’t include some expenses as they are not every month, like Propane, coins for laundry or dumping fees. 

Even still, that number is the number needed for me to live my life as it is now, as in without cutting back.

So, all in all, I will be okay, I don’t hope to have to enact that budget until I am ready to head out on the road, to begin my Grand Adventure (as in to search for the land and build my town).

For now, I will just keep doing what I am doing and hope that my world keeps rolling along for the next four years at least. 

Even if it doesn’t, if a bump in the road comes along, I will deal with it and . . . 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 9 May 2019

More Tariff Troubles

So, it looks like that the current administration of the American Government is going to put into effect the 25% tariffs as of midnight tonight.

So, that means that there is great worry and fret on the part of Boss. This is understandable due to the fact that historically most of our sales came from the US.

All I could think of during this was to remind myself that there really isn’t anything that I can do to help this situation. 

All I can do is do my job as best as I can and offer suggestions now and again. I have no impact or influence over what any government will or won’t do.

If I were buried in debt (as I was 6 years ago) I would be freaking out. 

Then again, one of the previous frets by Boss was what sparked me to go on this journey towards Total Debt Freedom.

After which, I decided to continue on that journey towards Total Economic Freedom and establish a town to help provide that for others who come there (but I digress).

We don’t know what will happen, but one look at our sales over the current fiscal year revealed that about 70% of our sales now come from Canada. 

This is the exact opposite from where things were 6 – 10 years ago. Things change and your customer base can shift.

I will continue to do what I have been doing and will continue to work my plan. I will live frugally and simply, with a few niceties as I build my savings in a balanced manner.

In about 4 years (April 7, 2023) I will head out on that journey to start and found that town. 

If I have to find another job, I’ll do that. If I hit a roadblock, I’ll find a detour. 

I will simply deal with what actually comes to pass and try to prepare for any and all possible eventualities (without becoming paranoid).

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

And The Weather Turns . . . Again

So, here we are on the cusp of really nice weather, and I, as always, welcome it. Then again, I welcome and celebrate just about any temperatures above freezing. 

This is because my lifestyle is one that is centred around “What can I get away with?” along with “Can I keep water in its liquid state, in my house?” 

So, when the weather gets warm for the spring-summer and fall, I rejoice and look for the reasons to be happy (and BBQ).

So, with temps in the 20’s (Celsius) I will be enjoying the sunshine and the warmth. 

It may seem silly, but I am looking for things to be happy about and take joy in . . . even (and especially) the simple and little things . . . like nice weather.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Grand Savings Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 
   

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .
   

That is 22.6% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 
  
 

That’s right things jumped up to 23.4% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0.8% of my total Savings Target this payday.

Okay, so that is a bit behind target (my target being 1%) but again, with the added expenses taking a bite, that is to be expected.

Again, I installed satellite radio in Wanda and so that had to be paid for and all that. This is part of that balance between having a few niceties and building savings.

I will find ways to move forward and walk that balance between the two as I continue to move forward as best as I can. 

There are a lot of uncertainties in the world recently, uncertainties that are affecting and, at the very least casting a long shadow over my work, but at least if I stick to my fiscal directives, I can and will get through this okay. . . . I hope.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 6 May 2019

Satellite Radio Installed!


Okay, so I did get my Satellite Radio Installed (mostly) and that was a nice thing to accomplish.
   


So here is in essence what I did, I mounted the satellite radio to the wall above the TV yet below the cabinet. It is in an area that I can see it, yet I can also access it.

I ran the wires down through the wall to the back of the stereo that came with Wanda and plugged it into the back of it there.

To run the wires I first drilled the holes up near the satellite radio itself is mounted. I then tied a screw around a bit of string and shoved it in the hole.

This way the screw would fit through the hole, yet is heavy enough to drop down the wall. I reached into the cabinet that is behind Wanda’s Stereo and grabbed the string.

After removing the screw, I could tie that string to the cable to be dragged, up, making sure to tie it in such a way that would make the ‘pointy end’ of said cable point towards the string, and therefore hole.

I did this for the power cable and the audio cable.

The rest was wiring up the necessary bits and hiding it behind Wanda’s Stereo.
   


I installed a small strip of LED Flex Strip (some extras from work) onto the side of the cabinet and placed it next to the switch that I put there to turn on and off the satellite radio.

Here is the quick and simple wiring diagram of how I did it.
  


I bought and installed a 12V to 12V DC to DC converter in there, so as to ensure that no matter what the voltage level that Wanda’s batteries are at, that the satellite radio will always get a steady and stable 12V DC

The antenna still needs to be run up the wall and mounted on the roof. That will be done by the RV tech that installed the solar panels on Wanda’s roof for me.

So for now I have the antenna strung across the place and sitting next to the window, but all in all, I am pleased with how it all went in and works.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 3 May 2019

Ah, The Weekend, But When Will It Start?

It is Friday and so this means that the weekend is almost here. For me it will start this afternoon, yet exactly when, I don’t know.

You see, in times gone by, as in when I was hired, I was told that we finished work at 1:30. 

Fine, yet at that time it was just me and Boss here. Boss went out for coffee and to run errands on Fridays. 

Again, fine, no problem, yet Boss would usually come back after 1:30. 

What’s more is that Boss had instructed me to stay and not just close up if Boss was not there by my scheduled end of shift came (1:30).

So, I started to simply plunk in my end of shift time for 2:00. I figured that since I was not allowed to leave when my end of shift came, I would bill Boss for the extra time.

This continued until recently, (as in, within the last year) Boss has started to try to get us out ever earlier. 

At first it was the hard 1:30 leaving time (making sure that we marked it in our time sheets). Again, this is fine and something that Boss, as my employer, has a right to do.

Yet, in ever more recent months, Boss has “let us go” at 1:00, whenever it is slow enough. 

Sure Boss says the phrase “You can pack up and leave now” but I have learned that the response “No, I’m good; I can stay till the end of my shift,” is neither appreciated, nor respected.

So that is a dismissal, as in, you ARE leaving in a few minutes.

Which means, a cut in pay without telling us or talking to us about it. It is a little game that we play as in “Will we get a pay cut today or not?” 

Ah well, I just look at the brighter side of things and look at the good things that are in my life, as in, how good things are going for me.

Yet, there are always little annoyances, like random (yet premeditated) pay cuts.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Satellite Radio Installation Attempt

Okay, so as I have told you I have bought a Satellite Radio that I plan to install in Wanda. 

I have been using it by stringing it across the floor with wires everywhere and the radio precariously perched on a counter or some other item.

I have been thinking on how I could do at least part of the installation myself, as in installing the Satellite Radio itself.

Running the antenna up to the roof I will leave to the professional, but if I can install the Satellite Radio itself then at least I know that it will be where I want it to be.

We shall see how things go this weekend, but that is my project for the weekend.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

New Month, New Weather?

So, here we are at the beginning of May and it finally seems that the weather has turned to spring(ish).

At least that is what the weather forecast is calling for . . . as of this afternoon at least.

We shall see what happens and what actually comes. 

The one thing I do know is that I was forced to get my ladder out, climb up and brush the snow off of my panels. There was just enough snow to cover them up so as to prevent them from working. 

Ah well, such is life and this is not the last time that I will do this, but it is hopefully the last time that I have do to this, this winter season. 

Or so I can hope.

I am focussing on how things are turning for the better and how things are steadily getting better both weather wise and generally in my life. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Chill Out

Yes, it has gotten a little chilly recently, but it is important to keep it all in perspective. After all, we all remember February and how brutally cold it was. 

So, as with all things in life, take it easy (cue The Eagles) and just carry on and make the best of it. 

Things will get cold and things will get warm, things will get good and things will get bad. The one thing that will remain constant is that you must deal with it.

So, I will just bundle up and soldier on, as I certainly can handle a bit of a chill in the air. I simply reserve the right to grumble a bit as I get going. 

Though it will not stop me, as no matter what comes my way, I will . . . 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 29 April 2019

Satellite Radio Worked Great!

So, as I said, I activated and connected up my Satellite Radio. I didn’t do anything permanent, I just strung it across the place and plugged what wires had to be plugged into what. 
   

The first afternoon, I had the antenna (that little black box thing) sitting on the roof, with its wire running out the window. 

The interesting thing is that I didn’t have to do that, just placing it up high inside the trailer worked fine.
   

That is the top of the slide-out, that stays inside because to slide it out, would put it, and my butt into traffic. 

Now, to power it (for now), I have to plug it into one of those round “12V power sockets.” 

Since I only have one, that is a problem, as most of my appliances plug either directly or indirectly into a 12V power socket. Indirectly, means that I plug my 120VAC stuff into an inverter which plugs into a 12V power socket.

So, I got this.
   

That is a Y-spliter for a 12V socket. Since my Satellite takes almost nothing for power, it is no problem having it and, say my laptop running on the same outlet, at the same time.

This way, I can listen to the Satellite Radio, as I work away on the laptop. It was fun and I was able to do it quite well. 

Despite how well it worked with the antenna inside, I will still get the radio properly installed for two reasons. 

One is that I hate seeing cables strung across the floor, not for something that is going to be a permanent fixture in my home. 

For the other, I want that antenna on the roof, so that it can get the strongest and best signal, no matter where I am. (As in, even if I am in some remote location).

Running the larger system was okay, but I am not sure how often I will run it, due to how much power it takes.

You see, when that all in one desktop is running, it takes 50Watts of power. Compare that with my laptop which, when fully charged takes around 10 Watts or less to run.

It was nice to run it and we shall see what will happen, but it seems like a bit of a power pig, to run. 

You see, this is an issue as if I am drawing more power than the solar panels are providing at any given time, then I am drawing power out of the batteries, even in the middle of the day. 

So, while I have a great deal of power, I still must be mindful and weary of what I am using at any given time. 

It is possible to get to the end of a sunny day with completely dead batteries, even with all that sunshine and all that electricity coming from my solar panels.

The Satellite radio worked great, and that was nice, as I plan to use it daily from now on. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 26 April 2019

Resurrecting My Desktop

I bought this PC about a year ago yet have not used it for the main reason that it does not have a battery in it. 
  

That means that it needs constant AC power in order to run. Now, I could use an inverter to run it, and I do, but that means draining Wanda’s batteries.

Yet, now with my solar charging system, I can use this PC as I have the power to spare. 

This one is nicer to use as it is an all-in-one, and is a larger monitor and has the ergonomic keyboard and mouse that I like. 

The laptop is easier to use as it is all contained, I can use it with or without power coming in. 

Yet it has the cramped keyboard that I don’t like, and unless I am only using it for writing or editing, it will drain its battery fast. (So, gaming is best done when plugged in).

I see myself only using this larger one on the weekends, or . . . you know . . . when I do finally get a larger place (without wheels under it).

At any rate, I will see how things go with using this larger PC this weekend. 

FYI, I brought it in to work to run all of the updates that it needs to run, since it has not been turned on in seven months.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Another Treat

Okay, so with the advent of the not having to worry about power . . . 

(as long as the sun shines, and if it doesn’t we all have larger problems than my lack of electricity) 

. . . I can allow myself to entertain the possibility of something that I have wanted for a while now . . .
   

. . . Satellite radio in Wanda.

So, for those of you who don’t know, here is a close-up of the stuff, and essentially what I got was the “Vehicle Kit.”
   

In the middle with the display is the radio itself, and it is a small thing. 

The black box below it is the shuttle dock that it slides into. That dock is supposed to be permanently mounted somewhere.

You can probably guess that the cord thing in the lower left is the power cord that plugs into a 12V power outlet (called a car’s cigarette lighter for us old folks).

In the upper left is the antenna itself, with the business end being that little square box that stick to the roof by way of a magnet on its base. 

The audio cord on the right (the 3.5m audio jack to dual male RCA) is what I bought to connect the satellite radio to Wanda’s Stereo.

Here is where I plan to install it . . .
   

Essentially I plan to install the satellite radio itself on the wall, above the TV. I will run the antenna wire inside that wall, up to the roof. 

The audio and power cables will run down that wall to the back of the stereo, which is in the bottom of the pic. I will hardwire the Satellite radio to steal power from Wanda’s radio (cutting off the power plug at the end of the power cable). 

I am not going to do this myself, the guy who installed the solar panels is going to come back (second weekend of May most likely) to install it for me.

I just don’t want to screw up putting holes in my roof. I may be brave, but I’m not stupid (at least not that stupid).

Until then, I will setup and use the radio by plugging it in from the front and running the antenna out the window. 

It will do, but not how I want it installed, as in permanently in the trailer.

I will connect it up and get it activated tomorrow after work, and so I will let you know how it went on Monday.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Cold Weather Test This Weekend

So, it will get cold this weekend. Again, it is nothing that I haven’t seen before, and nothing too drastic, but enough to remind me that summer has not arrived.

As with all things, I will take it in stride and deal with what comes as it comes.

It is looking to get down to (rumoured) 0C as a high for Saturday, with overnight lows below freezing for the next while with daytime highs in single digits. 

Again, all this is things that I have seen before, but not with my solar panels. So, it will be interesting to see how much of a difference that makes.

The one thing I do know is that I will be dumping Wanda’s tanks on Friday afternoon. 

As always: Keep your head up, keep your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Grand Savings Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 
   

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .
   

That is 21.4% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 
   
 

That’s right things jumped up to 22.6% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 1.2% of my total Savings Target this payday. Yep . . . you read that right . . . 1.2% . . . despite buying the solar charging system this budget cycle.

How could this be you ask?

The answer is simple, a random stranger out there was sooo impressed with all that I’ve accomplished that they paid for the solar charging system for me . . . yep.

Really . . . 

Honestly . . . 

Hey . . . it could happen!

Okay, no, the answer is that I decided to simply carry a balance on my low interest credit card for 6 to 8 months as I continue to build my savings.

The interest shouldn’t be all that much and quite frankly I expect that to be paid by the fuel savings per month by not running a generator. 

I can work this into my current expenses without much pain, and I will pay it off before long. 

On a side note, I have gotten rid of my generator, mainly because I saw that I was not going to use it, or only rarely use it, and so it was literally dead weight that I was carrying around.

When I get to the property I can buy one again, or rig up a larger renewable energy system to provide my electricity needs. 

Who knows, but until then a generator, particularly of the size and weight that I had was literally dead weight.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 22 April 2019

Electricity To Spare!

Okay, so I was worried about how things would go with me using power as my solar panels were charging Wanda’s New Batteries.

I was amazed at how things worked out and in fact it was and is a huge stress relief.

Here is what happened on Saturday Morning:

6:23 AM : 71% (Twilight)
8:00 AM : 90%
8:30 AM : 95%
9:00 AM : 100%

After that, my batteries remained charged even though I was listening to the radio, using my laptop  . . . even while plugged in. (Something I never do, as it is a waste of power.)

On a side note, I have long since learned that laptops charge faster while powered off, than they do while plugged in.

Anyways, I was able to just use power and not worry about it, all day my batteries remained fully charged, no matter what I did. It was great! 

What’s more is that I have noticed that one statistic on my charge controller keeps creeping up: the battery capacity rating (I think.) It is now at 2.6 KWH (Killowatt Hours).

All I know is that so far, I can just use electricity and the sun will charge them up the next day. 

This also bodes well for winter, as it doesn’t take all that long to charge them back to a full charge. 

The thing to remember about winter is two-fold. One is that the storage capacity of my batteries will drop in winter (so they will store less energy). 

The other thing is that there are more hours of darkness and less hours of light. 

This is well known, but in regards to a solar charging system, it means that there are more hours when I will be drawing power out of those batteries and less hours when I will be putting power into those batteries. 

Again, with all things, I will deal with problems as they arise and most likely I will just run to a campground to give the batteries a good charging up. 

I will try to resist the urge of buying another generator, as it seems like a waste to do at this time of the year, as clearly I don’t need it. 

That, my friends is a great thing to say and know, for as it stands, I have electricity to spare . . . and I don’t have to do a thing to get it. (And it’s free.)

As always: keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The Odd Long Weekend

So, here it is the odd long weekend, as in this is the one long weekend where you get the Friday off and not the Monday (unless you work in government, which means you likely get both).

Anyways, this means that this is “Friday-Lite” as in it is the last workday before the long weekend.

So while this is nice it means that this short week feels both shorter and longer.

This is due to the fact that you know that it is a short week, so every day feels like Friday-Lite, yet it is also frustrating when you realize that it is not.

In any event, I will not be going anywhere, but I will be enjoying the nice weather by my “lake” in my Eastern Home.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Getting Used To Electricity

So, today is day three of having solar panels in my trailer. So far, things have been going well.

I use power in the evening and in the morning, then, during the day, my batteries charge back up to full. It’s great.

I am starting to get used to the concept that I can use electricity without the guilt. As in, wondering how much faster this particular usage of electricity will drain my batteries.

This is always worry because the only way I could charge those batteries is to either plug into a forlorn power outlet (at campsite or stealing power) or to run my generator.

Running the generator would cost me fuel.

As it is now, I don’t need to do that anymore, as in all I have to do is hope for a sunny day. Heck, even a partially cloudy day will still give me electricity. 

I was still getting power as twilight neared (okay, it was 0.2 Amps) . . . but I was still gaining power at around 7 PM last night. 

I have no idea what will happen come winter with the shorter days. Nor do I know how the cold will affect the performance of my batteries.

The unknown has not stopped me before, and like all problems and challenges, I shall solve them one by one, over the long course of the endeavour (as in life and/or this lifestyle).

I am just thankful that (so far) things are going well with my solar panels, but more specifically, that I can simply use electricity guilt free. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

All Hail The Mighty Ra!

To be clear, all hail Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun, not Ra the Goa’uld System Lord (Yes, that was a Stargate reference). Seriously, though, my solar system is working well.

So, I went to work yesterday with Wanda’s batteries at 71% charge and I was curious to know how the new solar charging system would fair.

What level of charge would be in the batteries when I got home? In essence, was this large expense a huge waste of money and hope?

Well, I came home to find that the charge was at . . .
   

Yep, that’s right 100% charge!

This means that I can actually enjoy electricity and have the sun charge Wanda’s batteries up while I am at work.

I know that there will be overcast and grey days, so there will be evenings and mornings of me using no power at all. 

Me conserving energy and using no power out of Wanda’s Batteries is not exactly a new concept to me. 

It is for this reason that I have not gotten rid of any of my battery powered devices. (Radio, flashlights, etc).

I am just thankful that I can use electricity and not have to worry about having to run my generator again. 

I also know that at some point I will buy another generator, as it is prudent to have one, just in case. For now, I am just enjoying not having one, and not having to run one.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 15 April 2019

Solar System Installed!

So, I have some big news to announce, I had a solar charging system installed in Wanda. 

We shall see how things go, but for now, I am relying on the sun to give me all the electricity that I need.

Let me say that this really a fiscally responsible thing to do, as it is cheaper to buy and run a generator to keep Wanda’s batteries charged.

How much did it cost? Well, let’s say that it cost me one month’s worth of savings (plus a bit).

Why did I do it? Well, to be honest, it was the fact that I was living in my trailer yet not using any electricity in it. 

I mean everything other than the logic circuits of the fridge was powered by battery or was charged at work.

The main reason why I did this was to give myself the luxury of using electricity. Like turning on a light, or listening to the radio, or yes, charging my laptop in Wanda.

All without feeling guilty or wondering how much sooner I will have to run my generator again and in so doing risk annoying my neighbours. 

Okay, so as to what I had installed, I had three 160 Watt solar panels installed 
   

There is enough roof space to have another smaller panel, perhaps a 100 Watt panel, up front there. Yet, if I did that I would have to upgrade the middle of the road Charge Controller that I got. 

I also had the batteries upgraded to ones that have the same footprint as my previous ones, yet were twice as tall, so as being effectively twice the battery as the previous ones.

This means that I now have 480 Watts of solar panels feeding twice the battery capacity that I had before. 

We shall see what happens and if this really does more than meet my electricity needs.

The one thing I know how to do is to conserve electricity, so there may be days or where I use no electricity other than the fridge, just to charge the batteries up. 

I don’t usually mention vendors or what have you but I was so impressed with not only the knowledge, experience and expertise of the installer, that I feel compelled to tell you who did it. 

I mean, look at the attention to detail that he went through when installing the panels. 
   



So, here is who did it, he came out in his van. . . 
  

Parked behind Wanda and set about installing the system all from where I was parked. His name is Chris and he has been working on RV’s and with solar systems for at thirteen years but been in business for himself for ten. 

Again, top notch work and if you are thinking of getting a solar system installed, drop him a line.


As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 12 April 2019

Faith in Uncertainty

Every so often Boss gets frustrated with this or that at work and lets out, in the midst of a rant, the musing of “shutting down the company.”

This, of course is not what an employee wants to hear, as you are left wondering how long you will have a job for. 

I understand that Boss is a person and so has frustrations and aggravations like the rest of us, yet as a leader, I don’t want to hear that from Boss.

Since I cannot force Boss to keep the company open, as it is Boss’s company and so, Boss can do whatever Boss wants to do with it. This include shutting down a (as far as I know) profitable company.

So what can I, as an average employee, and cog in the machinery that is the company that I work for? Have faith in myself and my skills and ability to survive and thrive, no matter what, that's what. 

In reality, all I can do is be as prudent and fiscally responsible with the funds that I do receive. As in put as much cash as I can into savings as possible, for as long as I do have a job.

So, that is what I will do, keep my head down, master my cash flow and keep working my Grand Savings Plan, all in the midst of corporate and global insecurity.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 11 April 2019

One Month Healthy

Okay, so it has been one month since my health scare, one month exactly today. I am doing fine, I am feeling good and I am getting into the swing of things.

I am finding ways to enjoy the warmer weather and looking for ways to keep myself in a good frame of mind and keep a positive attitude around me.

Again, this is easier in warmer weather than in the dead of winter. I will take it where I can get it, as I always like myself better when I am in a good mood.

But seriously, I am finding some success in looking for the little things, the little joys and happinesses are the key to a lasting good mood.

There are so many things in this world to be concerned about, so much uncertainty and unpredictability, both economically and politically. 

They can and will drag you down and stress you out if you let them. All you can do is keep doing what you are doing and hope for the best. 

So, I will continue to move myself forward and try to find ways to enjoy the process and they journey. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Embracing Peace

I am still working on finding the peace and happiness in the moment. 

It is a simple philosophy of taking a brief moment to look at your current situation (in the moment) and recognizing the good in where you are at in life.

For me it is taking the time to be thankful that I am employed and that I have the job that I have. Again, it could be better, but it could also be worse.

I also take the time to recognize that I am thankful for Wanda and all that she has given me and enabled me to do.

I am debt free and building my savings in a way and at a rate that few others can do.

I am working towards owning land and a house, but doing so without debt.

I also must take the time to be happy in the moment and be at peace with my current situation. 

During the warmer months this is relatively easy. It is during the cold winter months that this is more of a challenge. 

I hope to establish as a habit by then so that I can use the momentum of that well established habit to carry me through the cold winter.

For now, however, I will continue to make peace with my current place in life. For me, my own happiness and yes, my own peace of mind.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Moving Forward

Things are generally doing well and I am, for the most part, on my way and moving onwards and upwards.

I am much calmer these days and much less stressed. I will say that the warmer weather has a lot to do with that. 

The fact that I am over that mental barrier of 20% of my savings target is also helping. 

I am still committed to the Grand Savings Plan, as I know that no matter where I go or what the future holds for me, it will be helped and enhanced by working that plan.

I am still trying to be content with what I have and content in my simple lifestyle. 

I do not need fancy things, yet I do like fancy things. The occasional treat or trinket is no harm now and again, yet building my savings and my future reigns supreme. 

Yet there is something to be said for finding a way to enjoy the journey. Find the peace and the happiness in the now, in the moment.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 8 April 2019

Grand Savings Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 
   

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .
   

That is 20.3% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 
   

That’s right things jumped up to 21.4% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 1.1% of my total Savings Target this payday.

Things are moving forward quite well and I am certainly enjoying the warmer weather. A few times this weekend I actually left the door open, an unusual, odd yet welcome experience, to be sure. 

I also had my first jug shower of the year this morning, and it was nice to be able to get back to something as simple as a shower in the morning. 

Again, it was a simple shower, as it is the one that I have while pouring warm water over me from a juice jug, but I got clean anyways.

This is the reoccurring theme in my life, to make do with less, live simply with crude imitations of what other people do.

Yet, this is not forever, and I do this to build a better future for not just myself but for others as well . . . again, all for that town.

Yet, I will work to bring in a few luxuries into my life, without breaking the bank or destroying the budget. 

That is the phase of this journey that I am in: finding the balance between savings and comfort.

As always: keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 5 April 2019

Enjoying The Nice Weather

The weather is warmer, and I am taking the time to pause and enjoy this time of year. 

I have found myself letting the door stay open, an altogether unnatural thing, I know. Yet the breeze is nice and it lets the warmth in during the middle of the day. 

Sure, the weather is a bit bi-polar, as it is still cold at night, yet warm during the day, but I can handle that. After winter with its -30C, I can handle just about anything.

It is nice to just spend a bit of time outside and reel in the non-cold weather. 

Who knows, while I don’t want to jinx anything, I may have to “cook outside” this weekend, simply because I can.

It is just another way that I am trying to find ways to enjoy and not just endure this lifestyle, after all, it looks like I will be doing this for 4 more years at least. 

So, why not enjoy living in Wanda?

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Balancing The Now, With The Yet To Be

One theme that has been ongoing in recent days is finding a way to somehow enjoy life now, yet still build my savings in a significant way.

That really is the key, and a conundrum that I haven’t really mastered yet. I am still figuring it out. 

It may be as simple as going for regular walks, or talking to friends more, or even going to the odd movie.

I don’t know.

The one thing I do know is that it won’t involve a huge outlay of cash, as I am still cheap and still focussed on building my savings.

Yet, I do know that I need to find a way to enjoy today, while building for tomorrow.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

My Path Need Not Be Walked Alone, But It Is

I have a clearly defined goal and I am working towards it constantly with everything that I have and everything that I do.

My life is drab, boring and dull, I know that, but this is because my life is in a holding pattern, and I know that. 

I do things to entertain myself, I play an old video game on my laptop that requires no internet connection to work. 

I write novels, and what have you, whatever strikes my mood.

I do all this, because I am focussed on getting that plot of land, and starting that Homesteading Process, something that I have wanted for quite some time now.

I do chat with friends either on line or on the phone. I have a small social life, just not a large or altogether active one. 

I don’t date, but mainly it comes back to my lifestyle as to why I haven’t bothered. Sooner or later it will come back to me saying to said prospective lady . . . 

“This is my life, and my path, you are welcome to jump into it and walk the path with me, but I will need you to embrace my goal as your own.”

I have dated and I have had relationships but mostly the ladies that I have been involved with have been . . . well . . . less than helpful, shall we say.

I refuse to have dead weight in my life, and I also refuse to alter my lifestyle just to attract someone.

This is what I have to do in order to minimize the time needed to raise the funds needed to start the Homesteading Process. (Crowd funding notwithstanding.)

I will try to enjoy my life a bit more (especially with the warm weather returning). I will consider a luxury or two, (I have been musing about getting solar panels).

I will not stop or pause what I am doing just to bring a lady into my life. 

As harsh as it sounds, if a woman does not want to/can’t embrace my goals and lifestyle, then I will wait until I have a house and land to try to attract her. 

This is my life, this is my path, this is my lifestyle, and this is my goal. I will not stop or alter them, but I welcome a lady, the right lady, to enter my life and walk this path with me.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

How Many Years?

So, now that I am back on track to building towards getting my land, I am left to wonder just how long I do plan on keep on doing what I am doing.

At my best guestimates I am currently expected to complete my Grand Savings Plan by the middle of summer 2022 (July 22, 2022, to be exact).

So, that puts me at 80 paydays or 40 months away. So, just over three years (3.33 years). 

Yet, if I decide that midsummer is the worst time to go start to search for land, then I would most likely stick it out until the beginning of April. 

That then means, lo and behold, I am 4 years out from starting that next part of my journey. Four years, and four more winters out.

That is a bit depressing, yet there is one thing to remember, I have already done four years in Wanda, so I can do four more.

That and there is no way to tell what will happen that far out, so I might as well not worry about it.

All I can do, is work on the now, as I work my plan and move myself towards that lofty goal. Any number of a thousand things can and will happen to move that completion date up or back.

I have control over the future, just the now, and what I do with what I have, here, today in the moment. 

While each step that I take each payday is a small one, it is a step towards my overall goal. All of those little steps add up until finally I am at my goal.

So, while I don’t know exactly how long it will take to reach my goal, I just know that I will continue to work towards it as best as I can.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 1 April 2019

Returning To My Chosen Path

These past few weeks, since my health scare, has caused me to reflect on things, including the direction of my life. Over this weekend I have come to a decision.

I have been tempted to go out and buy a place, in order to set down some roots. 

Yet, as tempting as that is, that would take my life in a different path, diverging from the path that I have set out for myself.

It would be nice to have a place, even a condo, perhaps somewhere near or close to a park, so I could go for a bike ride, and what have you. 

Yet, I know that my life, at this point in my life, is to live as cheaply as I can so I can put as much cash in my savings as I can. 

That’s it, that is the sum total of my life at this point. The reason for that is so that I can move on to the next phase of my life, the Homesteading Phase, as soon as possible.

So, if I were to get a place or otherwise incur any extra and unnecessary expenses, that would mean it would take me that much longer to complete my Grand Savings Plan.

That Grand Savings Plan, must be completed before I can move on to the Homesteading Phase. 

(As in go in search of land to turn into an off the grid house/town.)

So, for now, I will continue to do what I am doing, living as cheaply and simply as I can, in order to shorten this phase of my life as much as possible.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!