Category Archives: Ramblings

A Year and A Half

Well it’s been over a year and a half since the last post, and a lot has indeed transpired. We did move to Klamath Falls on July 1st, 2017, and while we have been doing a lot, much of what we had hoped to do hasn’t happened yet. Radio stuff, of course, Tammy and I both started businesses, Zack is back in school, and so am I.

Emergency Coordinator appointment certificate

When we first got here, I started meeting folks in the local radio club. I ended up getting involved with the emergency communications system here in the county. By the end of 2017 I was appointed the Emergency Coordinator for amateur radio auxiliary communications. I also did a lot of work with the club on our repeater sites and helping establish the local packet radio network.

Back when I carried a firearm as a security officer in the 80s and 90s, I had two handguns and several rifles. Over the years I also found myself very interested in gunsmithing. About the time Tammy and I met I had divested myself of all of my firearms. Having left California, I wanted to start rebuilding my firearms collection. 

Taurus Millennium G2 9mm

When I bought a new handgun I felt it prudent to apply for a Concealed Handgun License. While open carry is legal, and people do open carry around here, when it’s cold and raining or snowing, the possibility of accidentally covering your sidearm is a real possibility so it only makes sense to avoid the potential problem altogether and legally be able to carry concealed.

Notary stamp and journal
ready to get to work

While working on radio stuff, I also started a mobile notary business. Along with basic notary services I got certified as a Notary Signing Agent to sign real estate loan documents. I have done quite a few loan signings and notarizations over the last year. I enjoy notary work. The business needs some expansion if I am going to make a real go of it.

One of the summer craft fairs

In other business news; Tammy started doing craft shows last year with her upcycled stuff and jewelry she has made. Up until now, all I have contributed has been minor cut this or tweak that and some display fixtures. I have plans to contribute more soon, but she has been doing well. She posts stuff for sale on her facebook sellers page and at the craft shows and the farmers market. We have the Christmas show season coming up but plan on making some changes next year.

Zack has been back in school, mostly because he enjoys it. We hope to get him focused on another degree at some point. We shall see.

To wrap things up I will touch on my also being back in school. Last spring I started looking for a reputable brick and mortar university with 100% online degree programs again. I was looking for a seminary program in particular. My goal is to earn a Master of Divinity. I have an A.S. in Aviation Maintenance Technology. Of course, I need to earn a Bachelors degree before I can enter a masters program.

I have been looked for an online seminary several times over the last decade and nothing ever seemed to work out. This time I found a program just before the summer term began. Liberty wasn’t what I was planning on but it worked out nicely. I am in my second term now. After this term, I have two more terms to complete my B.S. Religion.

Well, that’s the big catch-up for now. 

~Jon

Still looking for my voice…

After nearly a decade you would think I’d have found my voice for this blog. Having changed the focus so many times doesn’t help much I suppose. Personal blog, business blog, aviation focus, woodworking focus, I mean, really… how many times have I twisted this thing into something I needed/wanted at the moment? I’ve lost count.

I don’t know if I will ever know what my blog voice is. I do know, I need to write more frequently if I ever want to find that voice. March 28th, 2018 is marked down on the calendar as my 10th Blogaversary. The family and I have a lot of big changes in our lives taking place between now and March. I am hopeful that I will at least have a whisper if not a voice by then.

Big changes? First and foremost, we are moving. Not just across town, to another state. I say this because I have always lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. 50 years and the only time I wasn’t living in the area was a six month period I lived and worked on a job-site in Stockton, less than two hours from here. In fact, the family and I have been living in the same apartment for over 21 years.

Beginning July 1st, we will be in transition to our new-to-us house in Klamath Falls, Oregon. New town, new state, new house, new jobs; big changes. I haven’t lived in a house in 40 years, Tammy hasn’t lived in a house in almost 30. I am very excited about these changes. We want to shift to a more sustainable lifestyle and getting out of the multi-million populated urban sprawl and moving to a city of fewer than thirty-thousand people is a great start. We will be looking for our forever-homestead after we get up to KF and have had a chance to get to know the area.

Another change for us is the earnest desire to get outdoors and go do things. Sightsee, hike, canoe, just get out in nature, which will be interesting since none of us have lived in an area it snows, or rains a lot. It will take some time to acclimate to the area and its weather.

So you can see, there will be a lot of subject matter potential for the blog and writing in general. I am not making any commitments right now, but I would like to see myself post at least 500 words at least once a week. That seems like a reasonable goal. I am also looking forward to more interesting photographic subject matter to be included in the posts.

Along with all of the changes in lifestyle and location, we are hoping to make a few changes internally. With all of the out-and-about, we will be working on getting more physically fit, and tuning into the new, smaller, less frantic world around us. One of the reasons I don’t go out much anymore is the crush of people everywhere we go. I have to tune out so much background noise just to get from point A to point B. When you think about it, it’s easy to see why people seem to have lost their sense of self-preservation. They tune out so much around themselves, they just don’t see or hear it coming.

When you think about it, it’s easy to see why people in urban areas seem to have lost their sense of self-preservation. They tune out so much around themselves, they just don’t see or hear it coming. The density of it all accelerates the environments natural selection, adaptations, and migrations. An interesting idea for a sociology hypothesis… later.

My only regular outing is going to Volunteer Examiner sessions for Amateur Radio license exams on the first and third Saturday of the month. On more than a few occasions, I have not left the property we manage between VE sessions. If I don’t need something or have been asked to help someone, I would rather just stay on-site. My current density adaptation is to isolate/insulate when possible.

Not healthy, physically or otherwise. Socializing has followed the same lines, aside from the internet, I only see the folks at VE, or chat with other hams on the radio. Radio will still be my main social outlet, but I am looking forward to participating in things with actual people, not just internet friends or disembodied voices.

Any way you slice it, there are some big changes in store for our family. I for one am looking forward to some change with open eyes, mind, and arms. Klamath Falls… bring it on!

Until next time,
~FlyBoyJon

The Itch

Over the last few days, I received two catalogs in the mail; Yard Store and Aircraft Spruce. If you are into experimental aircraft or restoration these will be no strangers, and you might be getting a little wood just thinking about them. I spent most of Christmas Eve going through both catalogs page by page, all 1300+ pages.

Spending Christmas eve looking through a couple of aviation catalogs might sound a little weird if you are not deeply infected with the aviation bug, but to me, I could think of nothing else. I had been sitting on both of them for a few days and was chomping at the bit to get at them. Fortunately I had enough restraint to get family stuff done first and waited until we were just sitting around watching movies.

I have been a pilot for 12 years, and an aircraft mechanic for 3, It’s been way too long since I have flown and I haven’t wrenched on an airplane in about a year, so I have been itching something fierce to be… that which I am, an Aviator. Sound a little melodramatic? Maybe. I went back to school full-time for over two years to become an aircraft mechanic when I started an experimental aircraft project because I wanted to be that much more knowledgeable and skilled before really getting into the project. That should give an indication of the level of aviation infection I have.

Looking at the catalogs brought my lack of aviation related activity into a very sharp view. In the Aircraft Spruce catalog, the first 40 pages, I was feeling a deep homesickness, both for flying and for wrenching. It’s an aching feeling that something just isn’t right, I just don’t know how to explain it to someone who hasn’t been bitten by the same bug. It’s like a physical piece of you is missing, a phantom pain. Over time you just learn to ignore it then something happens and all of a sudden you realize that the phantom is still there and the longing returns.

Sounds a bit crazy to those not afflicted I’m sure. For me, it is very real. In part, it is so strong because I haven’t been able to share this thing that brings me so much joy with those I love. Only one family member has ever flown with me. I want so much to take Tammy and our son flying, to share that exhilarating experience with them, to share that part of me, that fills me with such joy, I want to share that joy.

Building and working on airplanes is something I doubt they will ever find as enjoyable as I do, but flying may have some impact. I would love to take them flying and have them take advantage of the opportunity by taking pictures in-flight, and maybe, just maybe they can feel some of what I feel when I fly.

I miss the skies, I miss flying through the scud, I miss the instrument approaches, I miss the pre-flights, I miss the refueling, I miss the flight planning, I miss the excitement of driving to the airport for a flight, I miss it all. Some day soon my friend sky, some day soon.

~FlyBoyJon

September?

Okay, I confess, I have been one lazy blogger this year. There are a number of reasons for the lack of posting, but a lack of things to post about is not one of them. Trying to finding my voice for this blog is the main reason I haven’t been posting much. Another is that we have been flying under the radar on some personal matters.

Let’s begin with the former, shall we?

Voice

A blog must have a distinct voice of its own for it to be ‘successful.’ At least that’s what I have heard. In part, I guess my dilemma is that I’m not sure what I want the blog to be, how to gauge success, or what I would even consider that to be.

As the name FlyBoyJon implies, I am a pilot and the early intent for the site was to chronicle the journey of an adventure pilot. Something that I work on for several years was a series of adventure flights. Sadly those plans fell through and with them the aviation adventures I had intended to blog about.

Over time life has impinged on my flying to such a point that it has now bee quite some time since I took to the skies. This is something that nags at me far more than I often let on. There is nothing sadder than a grounded pilot.

Itching to get back in the air I had begun an experimental aircraft build project. Once again life stepped in. I ended up going back to school to get my FAA mechanics license and a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology. A good thing to be sure, but it made me seriously rethink my choice in aircraft for the experimental build. Something I do plan on getting back too.

Further keeping me from aviation posts here was the decision to separate my personal aviation from business aviation. I added a domain for my professional aviation work. And once again life has a way of changing plans. My professional aviation pursuits have also been tabled for the time being.

By now I bet this is sounding rather whiny, it is to me. Believe it or not, I’m not complaining. It’s just the way things have gone down. I’m no spring chicken and I’m not loaded with disposable cash so some things just have to wait and I’m okay with that.

A long-time interest that resurfaced during mechanic school was amateur radio. I finally got my ham license and rose through the licenses and started volunteering as an examiner for license tests. Ham radio is a specific, narrowly focused interest though and it required another blog, and domain all its own. I also ended up getting a commercial radio license with hopes of it being of use in my aviation pursuits.

My wife and I also have a personal site. For a long time, it was a personal journal and email site, then a genealogy site, and later back to just an email host. Now it is our online business site.

We currently have five domains with three active sites. The two inactive ones being for commercial interests. With all of these domains and sites and not much going on in my aviation world I just didn’t know what to do with this site. So I’m back to Voice. What is the voice for this site?

Land ho!

As to the second matter, flying under the radar… That has to do with our future planning. All things tallied up, there is no way in hell we will ever be able to retire if we stay in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. That’s like 10 counties of no-way-in-hell.

To be brutally honest, I have really grown to hate California. The legislature seems to collectively suffer from cranial-sphincter insertion syndrome and has a nasty habit of passing really bad legislation. The urban sprawl has become grossly over-populated, the economy sucks, and it’s just too damn expensive. It has also become very difficult to find any meaningful work here that would make staying viable.

With California not making much sense for us, we decided to look for some rural property in southern Oregon. Back in June, we purchased a two-and-a-half acre lot outside of Bonanza, Oregon, about 30 minutes northeast of Klamath Falls. As crazy as it sounds, we still haven’t made it out to look at the property. We were in KF in May and had planned on working with an agent based in Bonanza. After several ‘scheduling issues,’ we dropped the agent and came home. I wasn’t happy with the outcome of the trip and was feeling frustrated and generally in a funk when we came across this lot and jumped on it.

I had a good feeling about this property and Tammy had an uncharacteristically neutral feeling about the whole thing, almost zen like. When it comes to buying a rural property, that’s about as in sync as I think we could get. Since then we have both been gearing up for the big change physically and emotionally.

So when will we be moving up north? Who knows. We have been paying off the land, which is just that, land. I will need to build the homestead. I do want to get up there fairly soon because I don’t want to be 60 trying to build a house, but we aren’t in a huge rush. We need to bank some materials and resources, most likely find a gig for a year or two, maybe longer, or get really lucky with some online work. We certainly don’t want to try and move or build during the winter so it will be a spring or summer affair in the next year or two.

This kind of planning takes a long time. I had been studying a lot of building, farming, and permaculture subjects for over five years to get to the point where I was ready to make this happen. This has been a long time in the making.

So why haven’t I been blogging any of this? Ther has been too much fluidity in everything involved. We have a gig now and we didn’t want to stir anything up with a potential move and no defined timeline for one. We still don’t have a defined timeline, but we are much closer to having one.

One of the reasons I didn’t start posting in June was that we haven’t been able to get up there and do a land and resource survey of the property. It’s tough to make a building plan without knowing where it is going to be seated especially if you are hoping to work with the land and not forcing the land to your will.

What we have been able to do is to start the weather tracking now that we know where the land is, and follow the seasonal trending. We are also going back into the historical weather record for the area. There is a webcam a few miles from the property, but that is of limited use.

Back to the blog and its voice

So what does this have to do with finding a voice? I’m not sure. I have things to say and it’s usually something of an editorial nature on several somewhat related subjects. Mostly in the theological, sociological realms. Really it comes down to, will this be an editorial or journal, or maybe a hybrid? I honestly don’t know at this point. What I do know is that I want to be writing and this is a good place to do that. For now, I’m going to let things flow and see where it leads.

Until next time,
~Jon

What I want from a product

I want…

title on payment, infinite tinkerability, and anonymity. Three little things. That should be easy, right?

Title On Payment

Technology has crossed many lines as it’s development has accelerated, but none so egregiously as title.

When a writer produces a book they hold a copyright on that intellectual property as does an artist with a work of art. These are reasonable expectations by in large. Software becomes a bit sketchy. When I “buy” a piece of software I understand that modifying it would relieve the producer of any liability in its use, and reselling it or a derivation would be in poor form, but why go after someone for modifying something for their own use? Software may be a bit gray for some, I will easily concede to that.

When I BUY something made by someone else the transaction should be complete. If some warranty was included in the purchase, upon the end of that term then the transaction should be truly complete. What is more likely the case, we are bound to a long list of obligations to the “proper” use of a product and inherit a slew of exceptions and controls from the manufacturers of component parts and assemblies.

The true nature if our “purchase” is most likely never completely revealed even by the fine print in that service agreement. You read yours, right? How about that TV you just bought? That TV busts all three of these. The manufacturer retains rights in perpetuity, including watching you and tracking your location and usage their product. Same thing goes for phones and computers along with many other new consumer electronics. The trend is to carry similar conditions of use on just about everything, this includes the largest consumer electronics device you own, that car has a computer in it. It also likely has a GPS, even if you don’t have access to it directly.

Oh, by the way, disabling or interfering with the devices ability to phone home to mamma is also not allowed. Not being a “criminal” in the eyes of these Orwellian manufactures is virtually, no pun intended, impossible.

There are ways to insist on title, but they are more difficult to attain as technology moves forward. Going back to older tech, before the Big-Brother attitude took hold is the easiest. Next would be to build your own equipment but that isn’t an option for many people. Until industry is forced by the consumer market to stop such practices the only other alternative is to not adhere to the terms of service, and these days, unless you exist in a SCIF it is unlikely you can prevent some devices from transmitting data back to the factory.

Infinitely Tinkerable

There once was a time when products were made to be repaired. I know, amazing isn’t it. What changed the world was industrialized manufacturing. Yes, it goes all the way back to the 1850s. It started with textiles and progressed into other trades ultimately reaching basic housewares.

With the advent of electrical appliances, things were still put together on assembly lines so a human had to actually assemble it meaning a human could ostensibly disassemble it or repair it. These days things are ether made by a robot, assembled from non-durable materials, or integrated into little Black Boxes that completely preclude even figuring out how the darn thing works at all. There is also the likelihood that more than one of these methods is used.

So what? You may ask. The problem is that it divorces us entirely form understanding how the products we use work, how it was made, what it “does,” it’s all just magic. The danger is that when power isn’t available for whatever reason or the device, haven forefend, stops working you are truly S.O.L. And if that dreaded experience happens at an inopportune time what will you do?

My first thought would be “No big, it’s just tech. Go old school.” But how many of us are ready to go old school for realsies. I recently found out they don’t make Thomas Guides anymore, they haven’t for years. If you had to travel 200 miles and didn’t have your GPS or Google maps how would you get there? Do you know the route? If a known route is blocked can you navigate around the disruption? Have you ever used a compass? Recently? Do you own one? How about a map? Seriously, I almost cried when I found out about the Thomas Guides I loved them, but I didn’t NEED them so I stopped buying them, apparently like everyone else.

So what does this have to do with tinkerability? It’s just one aspect of a device we use daily. Sure, I could replace a SIM card, battery, or even a damaged screen, but I haven’t got a clue about anything else in fixing my cell phone. It’s a magic Black Box. Consumer devices aren’t made to be tinkered with. If you can’t tinker how do you learn about how a device works, improve it, fix it, or diagnose when something goes wrong, or truly know what it is capable of.

Okay, most of the things a “smart” phone does you can be done without for a while, with a little planning. What about your car? Do the phrases “backyard mechanic” or “shade-tree mechanic” sound vaguely familiar? If not, well… buy some really good walking/hiking shoes. I aspire to working on my own vehicle regularly. Unfortunately I was recently reminded that my old ride isn’t old enough.

Any car with a computer is a pile of problems waiting to happen. The manufacturers of today have all conspired to make it very difficult for backyard mechanics, not just in repairing problems but in diagnosing them. There are so many sensors, many for “SMOG control,” that alter how your vehicle runs, without specialized diagnostic equipment there are things you just cannot do.

Case and point: My ride was having a problem with the Camshaft Position Sensor. It was replaced at Shop A. The check engine light persisted even with the new part. I have an OBD II reader to see, theoretically, what the problem is and what engine code is keeping the check engine light on. What that tool doesn’t tell you is when the mechanic that replace the part didn’t follow the proper procedure.

After months and lots of money at Shop B who had not reached a successful conclusion, they accidentally fixed the problem and had not realized and returned the vehicle to me and told me to go to the dealership because only the dealership had the right computer equipment to do everything required to fix the problem. All of this headache to get a PASS on a SMOG Check. It passed emissions, it was just the check engine light that prevented it from passing. (Gotta love California! NOT!)

If it requires a $20,000 diagnostic computer, it ain’t tinkerable. If you can’t buy a part for less than the original product cost to fix it, it ain’t tinkerable. If it’s not physically possible to open it up, AND put it back together without breaking it (assuming you are inclined to such things and there by skilled at said task), it ain’t tinkerable.

Anonymity

I more than alluded to this earlier on. When I buy a product I don’t want it spying on me in any way, shape, or form, for anyone. It’s bad enough with browsers and the internet. I do not want my TV telling Amazon what movies or TV shows I watch on Netflix. Is a little privacy too much to ask for? Unfortunately, there is so much going on in the background of everything internet related you don’t really know who’s connected to who. Sadly, you can assume that everyone is connected to everyone else.

There are steps you can take to anonymize yourself, at least to some degree, but the philosophy of governing bodies, even those who purport to support freedom and democracy, take a dim view of people who value their privacy. Online, with encryption, and even improving your own firewalling and network security, which of course is a breach of your terms of service as well, so you must be a law breaker.

Conclusion

All three of these overlap back and forth in varying ways depending on the product, and they are all things that manufacturers are actively working to take away from you, the consumer. It’s all too easy to wax romantic of days gone by, but the fact is we live in a different time, and we have allowed companies and governments to get to this point. As they say, it’s easier to never give up a freedom than it is to reacquire it.

The more we all work to improve our title rights, demand tinkerability (and use it), and press for or impose anonymity, the market will have to give way. But it is up to us the consumer to make these demands.

I for one am in the market for a truck made before 1976.

Is it really August?

Hola amigos,

Yes in fact it is August. Last month was filled with taking care of loose ends, finishing up projects, and selling or donating a lot of stuff. It was also the month I began teaching Amateur radio classes. I have been talking about doing it for some time, I just hadn’t gotten around to it. The first class went very well, and the second begins this evening.

The wife and I have been taking about teaching various classes for some time, and on occasion we have done one or two. I think this is a turning point for this process. Once we relocate and acclimate to the community we can reassess starting up teaching again. In the mean time, I have been building up a collection of course materials and presentations.

We had a huge yard sale last weekend that went pretty well. I am in the middle of building a rolling tool box to replace several smaller boxes this week and next. After I get the shop in order, several more tool and project cases, I can start replacing some furniture pieces. The yard sale and shop projects are both about down sizing and mobility.

Not much else to say at the moment, so…

Hasta luego,
~FlyBoyJon

An unproductive cycle

I seem to be getting into a cycle of posting that doesn’t seem to work well, or encourage more frequent posting. I have been posting once a month on all of the blogs I post too, on the same day, and then ignore them for another month. It’s like getting that hated chore done because it needs doing, not blogging because I have something to say, or feel like posting. I need to shift this trend back to “blogging is fun” not a chore.

Blahahahah… Okay, I got that out of my system.

220px-Goofy.svgSo much going on and yet so little progress to show for it. We have been planning to relocate for so long it just feels like the wheels are spinning in the mud. I have been planning for every contingency a new homestead environment can throw at us that its all become a mash of thoughts and potentials. The problem with this is I can’t go any further, it’s all just rehashes of stuff I have already considered. Without having a piece of land to plan around, an environment to adapt to, resources to count, conserve, and work with, I am just spinning tires in the mud.

We are so close, but nothing looks like we are any closer than we were a year ago. I had originally set a goal for this spring, as in March, April, or May, NOW. We should be relocating NOW. But that got pushed to a trip up north in mid May to scout out property, and hopefully buy a plot, with an actual move some time in late summer or early fall.

I am antsy to get up there. I don’t want to be scrambling to get a structure up and livable before winter sets in, and I sure as hell don’t want to wait it out until next spring. Let me rephrase that, I can’t wait it out until next spring. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Sorry. I’m just one giant ball of nerves grasping at something to keep my brain from running amuck amuck amuck. breath…

Zack is in his final term at De Anza. Two english classes and a music appreciation class away from his degree in English Literature. I am very proud as one might imagine. Annoyed, not that the two english classes books are a total of $80 for six books, that’s fine, the music class however… If I understand the bookstore correctly is about $250 for a book and a CD, seriously?! The cost of textbooks is nothing new and I would expect it for a math or science book, not this. We will do what we need to. Zack has worked hard to earn this and nothing will stand in his way to complete his degree. I just don’t like being gouged by publishers.

I sound in so negative, and I’m really not feeling mad or angry, just annoyed. It is so easy right now for me to get worked up when I encounter what I perceive to be stupidity, ignorance, and a lack of courtesy, respect, or common sense. Yes, I acknowledge that it is my perception and not necessarily what is actually happening, that I may not have all of the facts, that situations arise, I get all of that. I still get annoyed, and my threshold is low right now.

wingnutBetween to asinine behaviour of all of the political parties, and theire more vehement followers on all sides this political season, along with the general lack of good behavior out in public, I just don’t want to be out in it. I don’t go off-property very often, once a week maybe. I don’t go online all that often for the same reasons. I don’t want to be a hermit. I actually want to get out, do stuff, go places, enjoy being out and about. I’m just not in the right headspace to be out in the world.

When Tammy and I went up north last year in February it was a wonderful break from the urban sprawl. Just that short four days was enough to get me through a couple of months back in the concrete jungle. That rejuvenation ran out a few months back. I really need to…

More of not much

20150222_143627Holy crap! What do I write about…

It’s weird, I am in a strange head space right now. I have been thinking about a lot of projects I want to get going or moving forward on but it seems like the entire universe in in a holding pattern. I have aviation projects I want to get working on, radio projects, homesteading projects, building stuff, woodworking, furniture, the list goes on and on, but everything is on hold, well almost everything…

We have been working on putting together a bunch of projects of stuff for sale to try and get a crafting/restoration business going to start generating some funds before we make the jump to a new location but it sapping all our energy and some funds with not much in return as of yet.

What was once going to be a website for a completely different business idea has turned into our families crafting/restoration site VintageAeroWorks.com. We have been working on a bunch of projects and posting them on the site. We also have several projects we are just wrapping up to post over the weekend. All of my energies have been going to getting more build projects done.

While building all of this stock and working side-by-side with Tammy are is a good thing in theory, my head is spinning with all of the things that are on hold while I focus on this. Most of it is stuff that would be on hold anyway. I can’t justify starting any other projects that would require a lot of time or materials right before making a big move. It just wouldn’t make sense. I am trying to cut down the pile of stuff that needs to get moved, not add to it.

Keeping spending down to a bare minimum is also a priority, while still keeping up with what we need to spend money on to get the build projects done.

It’s all so tiring, and I can’t get my brain to switch off. It’s like having 100 projects all running at the same time but having 95 of them all waiting on some outside thing to happen befor you can go any further. You go through the list everyday and try to plan for the next phase of each and every one, but you can’t because that outside thing is a variable and the direction of the project hinges on that variable. 95 variables for 95 projects, all floating around in your head while you try to stay on top of all 100 projects and get that small 5 that you are not waiting on anything done.

Just thinking about thinking about it makes my head hurt. Welcome to my head, watch your step, mind the squishy bits.

The basic plan is for a land acquisition in May with a move date sometime around September. I don’t know if I can hold out that long. I’m relatively sure my perception is skewed, but it sure seems like the Stupid and Ignorant quotient is getting larger every day, and I’m finding my tolerance for it is in very short supply. Fortunately working from home keeps me out of the majority of it but even going out only a few times a week has become a very trying experience.

I guess I need some more shop time. 🙂

Till next time,
~FlyBoyJon

2016 out of the gate with a meh

chimpHere it is the middle of February and I am just making my first 2016 post. You’d think I have been very busy. Well I have been, sort of.

The Universe smiled on us early this year and is allowing us to keep on track with our relocation plans. We are still months out from anything decisive, but the wheels are in motion. You may have noticed the Etsy link in the side bar, go ahead, click on it and take a look at the new store to see if there is anything you are interested in. I’ll wait…

We also have the Vintage Aero Works site where we will be posting about projects and stuff for sale back up and running. They are both slim picken’s right now, but we will be adding listings very soon.

I have been working on build projects for sale and fixing up a variety of found treasures that we have been selling on CraigsList as well. My upholstery skills are getting a workout too.

There isn’t  much else to report at the moment, unless you want me to get all political-ragey-soap-box-ranty cause this is a presidential election year, a Supreme Court Justice just died, and as per the norm, lots of California stupidity in the State House and in the courts… I didn’t think so.

On that note, I’ll just sign off here, until next time.

~FlyBoyJon

The passing of 2015

20150222_1436272015 has been an interesting year. You could say it was full of weird and wacky adventures, loss, sadness, backsliding and headaches. It has also seen some forward progress, accomplishments both personal and professional, and a lot of forward momentum on future planning.

The pic is from our vacation/scouting trip up to Klamath Falls, Oregon back in February. It was a great trip. We had a lot of fun and it helped set a lot of things in motion for our future.

I’m not really sure what it all means but 2016 promises to be a big year of change. Tammy and I are already working on getting fit. She has been doing Weight Watchers and hopping on the treadmill. I have been working on getting back to Paleo and tredmilling as well. I am also getting back to isometric strength training. The fitness kick is more than a general health looking in the mirror thing, it is in preparation for moving forward with homesteading plans.

We have talked about it for years and I have been studying a variety of subject areas. I am now well versed in alternative construction techniques and permaculture design, though there is always more to learn and I am by no means an expert. I am versed in a wide range of sustainable systems for the homesteading environment and I am excited to get building.

Gardening has presented the largest challenge. Our 6′ x 10′, west facing, covered, patio space is not even close to ideal. We have had better luck keeping plants alive inside than outside. A while back we resigned ourselves to holding off on building the gardening skills until we are in a more rural environment with enough ground space for a full kitchen garden.

I have been studying up on Hügelkultur, permaculture soil building and earthworks, pioneering plants, cover crops and general land rehabilitation. Depending on the site, it is likely that the first year or two will be spent more on soil development than anything else.

We have also been working on our food preservation skills. Tammy has been getting into canning, mostly jams and jellies. I just finished canning four pounds of jalapeño peppers which filled eight pint jars that are now cooling. Over the spring and summer I dried a lot of Serrano pepper from the three pepper bushes I was able to grow on the back porch. I am hoping to do more soups and veggies in the coming months.

Speaking of food… the livestock issue is one where we are pretty much complete novices. I have had a little experience with rabbits and chickens but that was over 40 years ago. Based solely on our regular food patterns, raising chickens is pretty much a must. Anything else would be more a function of site.

Soil needs, available resources, what the site can support, structures, and systems, these are all site dependant and since we don’t have a site yet, we are at an impasse in these areas. Over the last few years we have been acquiring the foundation information and resources to get started. With this in place we are turning our focus on doing what we can do, close out debt, save as much as we can, and focus on getting property.

So that’s where we are, looking for land.

Until next time,
~FlyBoyJon