Monday, November 28, 2011

Pearl River is Up. Planning a Fishing Trip When It Goes Down.

We're out of catfish and white perch. Don't even have fish heads for the cats to chew on as a treat. It's time I went fishing again and the weather is perfect for it. Cold. I love to fish in cold weather. Carry a thermos of hot coffee and a wide mouth thermos of hot soup. A little treat, too. Rice Crispy treats goes good with black coffee. Meet nice folks below the spillway or up on the Madison breakers. Good memories.

With my old mom though, it can be tricky. She's 93 years old and her mind isn't as sharp as it use to be. She's like a four year old child with the memories of someone nearly a century old. She remembers being able to do things, but the body and mind she has now won't let her. That doesn't stop her from trying though. Rescuing Mom is kinda normal now a days.

If I go fishing, I would have to go and be back before she gets up in the morning. That's about four hours fishing time because she rises around 9:00 AM. That's enough time for me to get enough fish to justify the $3.00 for minnows and gasoline used to get there. So if all works out, when the river goes down next week, I will go fishing.

I miss going fishing and hunting a lot. I miss it everyday. Caring for an elderly parent is like caring for a small child that is manipulative, cunning, lies without remorse, and exaggerates aches and pains to get attention. This old woman child person doesn't recognize the new person that time and age has turned them into. When you have an elderly parent that you want no where near a stove or handling sharp, cutting things, you've got yourself a child trapped in an adult body to care for.

Luckily, Mom has a medical alert pendant, so if she'll wear it, I will get to go fishing. Haven't been since last spring when the river was up and the fish not biting. If it all works out, I'll go. If there is even a hint that leaving her alone for four hours will cause problems, will stay here and live off the memories created from the good times. Mom won't live forever.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Snow Flurries Predicted for Monday - 11/28/2011

We don't get much snow down south, especially this far south. A couple of years ago, there was enough snow for me to build a big snow man and make a real snow angel. That was a special time for me with all that snow. So rare and beautiful.

I love to hunt during a good snow fall. Or go fishing. On January 3rd, 2001, I caught nearly 80 catfish while fishing below the Ross Barnett Reservoir spillway. Caught several on bare gold hooks. Filled up both large fish baskets. I was living in my tent on that cold, winter day. Was saving up for a down payment for a new camper. The old slide in had become infested with spiders and all the spraying in the world wasn't doing a bit of good. Had up to 20 oozing spider bites at one time on my arms and body for a while there. You can own land and still know what hard times are, folks.

Anyway, back to something pleasant...

I remember how the boat anchor rope froze to the bottom of my old aluminum boat. Huddling against the boat seat trying to keep the below-freezing winds off my body. Man, it was cold. But the fish were biting really good. We all ate good that night. Mom, me, the cats, and the neighborhood feral cats and possums, too. Cold water catfish tastes a whole lot better than summer caught.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gut Feelings, Camper Trailers, Stepping on the Cat's Tail

Since I've heard of the Holiday Vacationer, my guts were poking me and asking if this is really what I want. Poke, poke, poke. I did a little research to quieten my conscience.

Seems the 16' camper I was looking at to buy for $750 was actually 19' long. Tandem wheels gave that away. A real 16' Vacationer is a single axle. I did a little research on the Internet before going to see the $750 camper. Thank goodness. That's too long for what I really want from my new camper. Had to stop and ask myself what I really wanted from the small camper. Decided I don't need extra storage because, bottom line, I'm looking for a small camper to sleep safely in and carry a week's worth of gear. And a toilet.

So, ta da, have come to the FINAL decision of ordering a heavy duty trailer frame and building the camper myself. It will be approximately seven feet wide and eleven feet long and six feet tall. Should weigh no more than 1500 pounds when loaded. It will be like a tall tear drop with the stove and sink on the interior of the camper.

I figure six months for the project from start to end. Should be ready by June. Mom and I are looking forward to going out to my farm in it and spending the whole night in comfort. The dinette makes into a single bed, too. Budget of $3500 is now down to approximately $3020. Planning on doing a lot of salvaging, trading, and making do to keep it in budget.

Now, the designing phase kicks in. Shall it be a miniature canned ham camper? A modern rounded edge square box? A combination of slide-in with canned ham lines? Do I keep the propane bottle(s) on the outside on a secured frame or enclosed (as in slide-ins) to protect them from thieves and the weather? Oh, boy. Here I go again. The actual work is several weeks off, so I've got time to ask myself again the same question asked earlier. Okay. What exactly do you want from the miniature camper?

Going out to my farm soon and start striping out of the old camper what I can use in the new one. Just saved $50 on the breaker box and electrical components not to mention the stove, sink, water tank, and anything else I can use. Gotta get the windows out of the old camper and the door. Will grab the propane tank metal box with door, if I can get it without tearing up the old slide-in too bad. Will get the metal skin later on a really cold late winter day. Found a perfect piece of 5'x10' piece of beige Formica last week for the counter tops, back splash, and dinette top. That saved a few bucks. Got to learn how to cut it though.

When you have cats, they get underfoot. Plenty of times, in the slide-ins, had to step over the cats just to get to the bed or out of bed and out the door. And there were the tail stepping on incidents. With a modified Metzendorf plan, a bunk area for the cats could be built. Padded, with windows, and a safe way for them to climb up towards and descend from their bunk without walking over anyone seated at the dinette. Two feet depth and across the width of the camper. Poofy padded. Zeb the Big Cat loves poofy, padded things.

Zeb is a bit territorial and Pilgrim is a bit small and loaded with cat face smacking attitude when Zeb gets too close. Not good for them to be bunched up and try to share anything. They could get up there and not be underfoot. Put their food and water up there, so I won't be kicking it across the floor when I'm barely awake making coffee. Could put an outlet up there and plug in the long, wide heating pad when I'm gone all day gardening, hunting, fishing, or at a cash job in winter. They would be warm without burning expensive propane.

Still in the planning phase. Want to think this all out...don't want expensive regrets.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mom Screwed Up....tricked by a Medicare scammer

Day before yesterday, my old mom receives a phone call from an older man explaining he was with Medicare and needed her medicare card number. Because we have received calls from her doctor's office, I'm thinking it's her doctor or the nurses that come out to check on her weekly. Mom wounds up giving the guy her name and her doctor's name. I took the phone and flatly told the man I think he's scamming her and that I would not give away anymore information. He was cool, calm, collected and acted a faked surprise that Mom didn't need diabetes supplies. He sounded like he was in his late fifties and upper East Coast. I hung up on him.

Just great. Gee, thanks, Mom. Gotta contact her doctor ASAP (this would happen during the holidays) and report the potential fraudulent claim for diabetes supplies in Mom's name and most likely a different address. Mom almost gave the guy her social security number, too.

Mom is slipping away mentally and physically, but she's sneaky. She says things and then denies saying them. She does things and denies doing it. She is slipping into incompetency and I've got to do something about it quick.

Will call her doctor and nurse that visits weekly and report this.

Taking care of old, sneaky people is not for wussies. You have to stand your ground when the old person is in the floating, gray area of competency. Got an old camcorder and from now on when things are said or done that are questionable, I'll have proof to show her doctor. Mom is going to wound up in a nursing home and fairly soon. Appears she is going to be one of those mean, sneaky old people, too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Found A 19' Camper Dirt Cheap

My budget for the new camper is around $3500. That means buying the shell and total for repair costs. Found a Holiday Vacationer for $750 and it's in repairable condition and it's close. Just 22 miles away. It's a bit longer than I needed, but that is more storage. It will need a new toilet, stove, and a few other things. Pretty sure it will need new tires, too. That's going to be around $1000. New toilet is around $200. Already have the stove to put in it. $0. New heater will be around $250. Hot water heater doesn't work, but that might not be nothing more than a burned out electrical element. New element is around $25. If I can get the camper cheaper, I'll put that saved money into the tires.

Will look closely for rot and a bent frame. Will take an air tank full of air to pump up the tires to get it to a service station a few miles away. Never put a camper on the road with low tires. The tires heat up and literally start to melt off the rims.

Going to go Monday at noon and speak with the owner Derrick. He's got to be willing to go with me to the bank and get paid there and get a notarized bill of sale or there is no deal. Going to get the camper insured and tagged and the bill of sale has to be notarized for that. Planning on hauling the trailer on the Natchez Trace once I get the new tires on it. First thing I will do, if I get the trailer, is put two bug bombs in it and close the doors for a day. Wait a week and re-blast it again with two more bug bombs. Old campers are notorious for black widow spiders and roaches.

Then the rebuilding/refurbishing starts.

If the deal falls through, there is still the old slide-in to haul up and start tearing down. Was going to put the slide-in on a trailer anyway and the trailer would have cost me around $900 more or less. Being flexible and seeing what happens. This isn't the only old repairable camper for sale right now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hard Drive Installed on Very Old PC...1998 PC.

When you are learning how to repair or build PCs, it doesn't hurt to know how to repair the really old ones still out there. At a former job, they were using Windows 95 as late as 2008. Hey, it worked! Taught myself Microsoft Access 2000 to do all the data entry required for making reports in 2008. Bought the software from Amazon and practiced, practiced, practiced. Took the four day inventory job and turned it into four hours. Oh, yeah. I liked that a lot. So did the bosses.

Well, installed the new 3 Gig hard drive (don't snicker, it's a 1998 PC) and discovered soon afterward, after the hard formatting, that it wouldn't take a non-MS DOS OS. Well, back to to buy an old software to go with the motherboard. Try Windows 98. Feeling so nostalgic here. My first PC back in 1999 ran Windows 98. Upgraded that laptop to Windows 2000 recently to run a network connection. Unfortunately, I'll have to buy a network card for the old Compaq Presario before I can network it with the other PCs. Will seek a work around to save some bucks, if possible.

Well that's it. Mom's isn't doing too great. Told me yesterday that the year is 1911 and the John Wayne is alive and has cancer. She's stuck in 1979, too. Poor Mom. At 93, you can't expect too much. Love ya, Mom. Don't worry. No plans on me leaving anytime soon. May God have mercy on the both of us.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Occupy Wallstreet, The Wizard of Oz, The Common Folk

The Wizard of Oz as an allegorical story of money and politics. <--- LINK

Found this article after hearing a bit of it on TV yesterday. It makes for an interesting read. The politics and events of the late 1880s and today reminded me of current headline news.

If history is repeating itself, our financial situation is going to suffer for a while longer and will probably get worse.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Vardo Tumbleweed Camper

Now here is a consideration for a unique camper. Even has a metal roof that will last many many years. Vardo Tumbleweed with interior images <--- LINK

Of course, mine would be fourteen to sixteen feet long instead of a slide-in camper variety. Just another idea added to the hat before spring gets here.

UPDATE: Look how little clearance there is between the tire and the tire rim. Barely two inches. You hit a rough patch of road that causes the trailer to bounce on its springs with this get up and you'll have a catastrophic failure when the tire is grounded apart by the steel of the rim.

Homeless Women Living in Their Cars and Their Stories

If you want to learn how to be frugal, read the blogs of homeless people who are living out of their cars and surviving without going insane.

Living in My Van <--- LINK

Wandering Scribe <--- LINK

The above links will take you to the real life stories of women who live out of their cars. Life is hard sometimes. Incredibly lonely. But, they learn. Street smarts are sharpened and they succeed where others fail.

I am not homeless, but I can't afford to build a house on the small city lot I own. This poor old house is in such bad shape that when family visits they stay in hotels for fear of the old house falling on them. The foundation is shot and the termites are destroying the rest. After Mom passes, I'll use it for storage till I get rid of everything except only what I need. Then, it's torn down.

I've got a sister that has threatened me for decades to leave me in the streets with "nothing" by way of letters and phone calls. Her own son calls her crazy; he has some measure of pity for her. Poor sis threatens to take inheritance matters to court and keep them in litigation so I'll "never own the farm." This coming from a woman who threatened to have her mother declared incompetent to gain power over her money. Fortunately, I could not care less what she secretly wants for me to experience whether good or bad. The idea of living in the streets is scary yet worth considering if I needed to save money. Ah, nothing like one-sided toxic sibling rivalry. God forgive her, because she's nuts and no one listens to her anyway.

Hard Drive Light Comes On and System Bogs Down A Lot

Poor old Dell, my well used desktop PC. Getting on up in her years and wearing out. Actually, the CD ROM drive wore out about two to three years ago. I'd put in a CD and the computer would wheeze and the blue screen of death would appear. A notice of a FATAL ERROR would appear, so I didn't do that too many times to be convinced to not do it again.

Noticed lately the tiny green hard drive in use light would come on and then everything froze on screen. Seems there is a connection between a dead/dying CD ROM drive and the hard drive light coming on a lot. The new DVD read/writeable drive is coming next week. Going to install it and see if that stops the excessive use of the hard drive and it's little green light annoyingly informing me the Dell is tired and to leave it alone. If that doesn't fix the problem, then I can download software called SeaTools for DOS. See if that works if replacing the CD ROM drive doesn't. I'll be able to read and burn disks! That's nice.

Computers: Easy to Rebuild

I took Penn Foster's Computer Maintenance and Repair course this year. Nice being able to tear down a computer and build it back up and know what you are doing. Computer's aren't that big a mystery anymore and it's cheaper sometimes to build one yourself than to buy it. Plus, it's fun.

This old Dell I'm using now gets a new hard drive once I get the camo 'puter finished. Putting a new hard drive in camo 'puter once it gets here next week. Error message stated camo 'puter has dead sectors when I reformatted the hard drive before loading Linux Puppy software into it. Yeah, I bought an old white box computer from a local charity and painted the case camouflage, hence camo 'puter. When I get the camper built, it's interior color scheme will be woodland camouflage, so the camo computer will go in there. Will install a WiFi system in the camper, too.

Did you know that a hard drive older than six years can fail at any time? The Penn Foster lesson on hard drives suggested replacing hard drives every six years. That is why it is so important to back up your data, save it to a CD or DVD, or have a back up hard drive. The Dell hit six years old this year and is running a bit poorly. The hard drive in the camo 'puter was manufactured in 1997. Time to put the long in the tooth hard drive out to pasture.

Well, I have work to do. I care for my old mom and she expects breakfast and coffee soon after she rises.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Had to Share This Baby Image---So CUTE!

Baby used to recreate famous movies slide show < --- LINK

Argentina's and the USA's Economic Troubles

Argentina's Survival Methods <--- LINK

I'm into survivalism big time.To survive better than others is to understand what others before you have done to survive during the same situation you are going through or worse. Over at , read the input from a paramedic who survived during the early 1990s the siege of Bosnian towns and villages. Rule # 1: Don't stand out. Look like everybody else, sound like everybody else, smell like everybody else. If everybody is skinny, you get skinny. If they have dirty, unwashed faces while carrying AK-47s, you do the same. Blending in is important to survival where everybody is looking for something better and will kill you to get yours.

So, I make plans to live in a country that is falling. No house, but a sturdy and plain looking two-wheeled camper, no fancy paint job...primer gray colored camper. No fancy guns, but a basic .22 rifle and pistol. Don't need high powered weaponry. Clothes will look like everyone else's or old military surplus. My truck will be a plain truck with dents, dings, and needs a good washing. Shiny things stick out and draw trouble. Trying to be invisible.

The mind looks for what it is programmed to seek. Since I've been on the hunt for a small camper, I'm seeing them everywhere. Hidden here behind a house, parked with larger trailers, a bit of a curved camper roof peeking up over the tall bushy field it was parked in decades ago. The small image of the camper has enlarged on my heart and the heart seeks it. Seeing small campers all over the place and all I had to do was tell my heart to seek them. Thieves do the same thing with their hearts. They envision what they want and how they want it to be and their hearts look for it. Be careful. Don't stand out, blend in. The hearts of thieves are looking for your stuff and you, too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Found A 1974 Canned Ham Camper in Forest, MS for $1000...

... and I didn't buy it. Why? Too much cash for a camper that is only good for stripping parts off of. The images were of a camper that looked like someone set an angry grizzly bear loose in it. Most of the features like the dinette, stove, etc were ether destroyed or gone. If I find a decent camper for a decent price, I'll buy it right then. Till that happens, next spring is when the process starts of building my camper.

I told the guy what he had was a collectible camper and that he should contact vintage camper restorers and they might give him $1000 or OBO for it. I told him $400 at the most is what I would give him considering how the only good parts were the frame, skin, and tires. Haven't heard from him since.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Letting Craig's List Work For Me... placing a local ad seeking a small camper trailer. Who knows, with Christmas coming on in these economic times, that old camper sitting in the backyard for ten years collecting leaves on it's roof might find a new home with me and the owner might get a few hundred for it.

Brandon Man Selling 55-gallon blue plastic drums for $20.00 CASH

His name is Fred, he lives in Brandon, MS. If you will contact him first, he'll get the drums you need. I purchased three today. They had carried food items in bulk. Says he doesn't handle hazmat materials that comes in drums. Leave a comment and I'll send you his phone number.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stimulus Package = Delay to Eventual Collapse?

Don't Trust a Greek Bearing a Stimulus Package <--- LINK

If you need a bit of cheering up, don't read the above article. I'm just waiting for the other sandal to drop. Beats getting clubbed in the head any day.

Plastic and Metal Barrels For Sale in Texas

If you have been looking for 55 gallon plastic or metal barrels, Texas Barrel Supply has them available for shipping. <<<---- LINK Prices start at $10 and go up to $100.

55-gallon plastic barrel

When I get the camper built, it's going to have a gutter system to catch rain water off the roof. This water will be saved in 55-gallon plastic drums for bathing, washing, or gardening.

100 gallon tank

I've got an old tin-roofed farm house that's to be torn down because of tornado and termite damage. Taking the usable tin and building an open shed to park the camper under when it's not on the trailer. The camper is going to be like a 14' long slide-in camper that will be bolted or chained to the trailer, so it don't slide or fall off if the brakes get slammed. The shed will have a guttering system, too. Might bury a couple of 55-gallon drums and have a hidden supply of fresh water.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tanks for a Fully Self-contained RV

My camper will have to be fully self-contained. In the event of a bug-out, I need to be able to have the capacity to hold at least three days worth of black water and carry a week's worth of fresh water inside the camper. The tanks at this site appear to be reasonably priced, too.

Plastic Mart - Tanks of all kinds <--- LINK

Awnings: Nice Days Don't Go To Waste With One

Even expensive campers can get confining on pretty days because you are stuck inside working on something important or have days with light rain. With an awning, you can go sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. Definitely getting an awning.

Well, maybe not lace for an awning though...

When I run the gas line, going to put an outside outlet on the awning side of the camper. Can hook up multiple connections to fuel a stove, Coleman lamp, or anything else that uses LP gas.

YouTube's Stories of Homelessness and Van-dwelling Living

Land, I got. It's the cash to build a house on it I don't have. Solution: a camper.

When you live in a camper, you have freedom and can still sleep in your own bed at night. Those who are homeless and live in their cars, trucks, or motor homes have the experience to offer tons of good advice on what a person needs to live well on the road.

Now,I won't be living on the road, but living cheap is a priority. Have no idea where the next job is coming from and how much income I'll be earning. As a land owner, there will be taxes and because I like to live legally, there will be tags and other fees to be paid. And I have to eat, wear clothes, pay for the cat's medicines and food, do maintenance on all things owned, and save money for rainy days. I can live off a minimum wage, if the expenses are kept low.

As stories and videos are found, they will be posted here for your reference if you share a similar life as mine.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Camper Building Starts With A Good Frame

Going to find all the images I can of framing a camper. Even with plywood walls, the frame has to be strong so it won't sag a few years from now. Can't find a web page that explicitly tells a person how to build a camper without buying plans, so I have to do pretty much what I always do...figure it out on my own.

Haven't decided yet if I want a rear door or a side door. All I have to do is move the wardrobe box from the rear to behind the dinette to make a rear entry.

Work won't start till mid-March being as the adhesive for the rubber roof won't set up properly in temperatures less than a sustained 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I'll need a couple of weeks to begin the frame foundation and adding the plywood and then the wiring, plumbing, and gas lines. Till then, it's save the cash and try to have at least a couple of thousand to start the project of creating the exterior hull with the wiring and completed roof. After that, it can go paycheck to paycheck with adding the interior components like the toilet/shower, stove, sink, and other little ideas to tweak the camper into something I won't mind living in for twenty-five years.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

RVs and Flat Roofs --- Was Wondering What to Use

Flat Roof Solutions < --- LINK

When I actually get to building the camper next spring, it's going to have a flat roof. Flat roofs will leak unless completely sealed. Had considered slathering layers of roofing tar over the plywood then adding some asphalt roll roofing, but that adds extra weight and if the roll roofing isn't laid down perfectly, it will peel, bunch up, or simple get air pockets that look weird.

You got a rat building a nest under that roof, Charlotte?

Googled the term ''flat roof'' and found . Amazingly, their product isn't that expensive. The black on black rubber has a 25 year guarantee, too.

Basically, you have to sand the plywood smooth and round the exterior edges of the plywood a bit then sweep off all dust, dirt, and grit. The plywood has to be bone dry. They recommend 5/8" plywood, so the roofing rubber must have some weight to it. You use their adhesive to glue the rubber roof and let it set. Has to be done during warmer weather because the adhesive only works in continuous temperatures of fifty degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. With a little aluminum trim around the edges to keep it from peeling up, the roof situation might be solved.

My camper roof will be 14 feet long and six to eight feet wide. I would have enough rubber left over to seal around the edges when the camper meets the trailer floor. Sounds good enough to waterproof the small area under the shower, too.

Maybe they will have a sale next spring. Oh, yeah. ; )

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cold, rainy night. Cold, windy day.

Mom had a rough night with much coughing up of phlegm. She felt sick on her stomach, too. Her birthday meal of fried oysters and onion rings was a bit much for her 93 year old stomach. Guess the birthday cake and ice cream didn't help much either. She finally got to bed around 5:00 AM. I couldn't sleep, so made a pot of coffee and drank a couple of cups outside in the chilly breezes. Everything was so peaceful till Zeb, the 18 Pound Cat, picked a fight with a neighborhood stray cat I named Big Head. Oh, well. Nice while it lasted.

Caught a few hours of a nap till Mom woke up wanting a big breakfast. She got a regular sized breakfast instead.

I'm going to be tightfisted for a while. Have decided to save money and wait till spring before I spend a dime on a camper. Whether I build it myself or buy one and remodel it, the financial news I'm hearing has me closing the pocket book with an audible click till I get a friendlier feel of the stock market US or European.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mom Turned 93 Years Old Today

Happy Birthday, Mom. Hope you enjoyed your fried oysters, onion rings, cake and ice cream.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Local Campers---pretty good deals from $400 to $800

Money. Gotta save it and spend it where it's needed most. Was checking out the prices of vintage campers in good shape and found a few locally by way of the Internet. Sent the emails and now I wait. Getting a decent little camper for less that $1000 would save some bucks in the long run. The pictures of the ones advertised looked pretty good. Will have to wait and see.

The campers I'm looking at are similar to the image. Will repaint it to a shade of gray with greens and browns so it doesn't stick out in the backyard like some kind of elephant. If the thieves don't see it, they won't think to break into it. Boxy campers are ugly, unless it's an Air Stream. Now those are kinda nice looking.

If it's the $400 camper, I'll gut it and bring it back up with lots of storage. The other camper images gave me some great ideas. Gotta have a cat door, too.

Will keep looking for local campers throughout the winter because it would be next spring before I could actually let go some dough to put into it in a rebuild.