Back in the day… [day 18 & 19]

On my recent road trip, I found so many interesting things to photograph.  Most of the interesting things were vintage or antique.  What’s the difference?  My boss asked that question on Facebook a few months ago.  Vintage is 7+ years old and antique is 50+ years old.  Just for the record, I’m still vintage.

Life has changed radically over the past few decades.  Here’s a few photos I found interesting.

vw bug slugbugSlug bug!  I just had to stop and take a photo of this VW Bug, sitting in front of an auto salvage yard.  It’s probably out front because people still love these little beauties.  Some turn them into art projects, some restore them and some use them for parts.

This car, brand new, back in 1969 cost about $1,800.  The same car now (44 years later, for those of you who hate math), brand new, costs $19,995 for the basic model.  A restored 1969 model in decent shape is in the $4,000 range.   Continue reading

To Infiniti and beyond! [day 2]

check-engine-lightI took my car in for the illuminated “check engine” light and a pre-road trip check up.  This really has nothing to do with anything disposable, unless you consider a car a disposable item.  If that’s the case, then everything is disposable, some of it just lasts longer.  My referral to disposable items for the challenge is items that are single use and then get thrown away, or in some cases, recycled.  Back to the light, that when lit, should just have a dollar sign on it.  I’m about to take my car on a long trip, so I just want to be sure it’s nothing major.  Well, it looks as though it’s time to start thinking about a new (used) car.  The repairs needed to keep this car in good condition are finally exceeding the cost of getting a new (used) one.  Disposable?  I suppose it could be a long-term disposable item.  Continue reading

Switching gears into homelessness: A journal from day zero

Rethinking homelessness:  I started out by living as a homeless person in my suburban area for two weeks.  Read my blog post to get the full scope of my thoughts and why I wanted to do this.  Please note that I am not homeless, therefore I will never understand what it’s like to be homeless.  I do however, have a better understanding of the struggles homeless people face every day.  If you would like to know more about helping the homeless community, please take a look at Rethink Homelessness.

My journal from day zero

I’m out at 8:59 p.m.  It’s Thursday, and I worked all day trying to get everything done before I left.  I’m struggling to comprehend what I’m doing.  I’m stressed from work and from speaking at a conference in Houston this week.  Switching gears is difficult.

Many times today, I’ve been asked where I’ll go.  I don’t know.  I left my house and drove almost 3 miles to the Tom Thumb parking lot to write this.  I’m so tired.  If I was home, I would be in bed already.  I keep wondering why I wanted to do this in the first place.  I know why, but I’m so tired right now, I can’t really process it.  Continue reading

suburban homelessness & ethos ethics

[This post is part of Rethink Homelessness, written 5.29.12]

It occurred to me as I was typing notes from an interview with a friend who has been homeless in suburbia, I shouldn’t be doing this at home.  My friend said one of the places she frequented while homeless was Starbucks.  She kept a coffee cup to hopefully get a few free refills and to look like she had made a purchase, basically trying to “fit in.”

I drove to my local Starbucks.  Keyword: drove.  Not all homeless people in suburban cities have cars.  Now I’ve met people at Starbucks before and not made a purchase.  I’ve even gone as far as to bring my own latte in from home, of course, in my Starbucks mug. Let me finish before you judge me.  I’ve always depended on the people I’m meeting with to make the necessary purchases to absolve my guilt for freeloading on their air-conditioned space and free wi-fi.

Today I decided to buy a bottle of water.  I’m not really thirsty, but I don’t want to freeload.  I’m not meeting anyone here, so there’s no one to make the required purchase.  Why will no purchase be okay when I’m posing as a homeless person?  Will I struggle with that?  My friend did.

My Ethos water cost $1.95.  Ouch!  This will not be in my homeless person budget of no money.  Even on my normal person budget, I don’t buy bottled water, especially one that cost almost $2.  The bottle says, “Helping children get clean water.”  I’m feeling a tiny bit better about buying it.  I wonder how much of my money goes to that cause?  I looked on the bottle and found my answer.  5¢.  That’s less than 3%.  The graphics suggesting you buy this water to help thirsty children takes up at least 30% of the space on the bottle.  If it cost 30¢ a bottle to make (that’s being generous) and 5¢ is going to charitable causes (not quite as generous), the profit on this is 82%.  And just to add insult to injury, the bottle is made out of 100% new plastic.  Nothing recycled.  I’m feeing a little sick to my stomach right now.  [End rabbit trail]

So here I am with my expensive water, writing and doing my research on suburban homelessness.  Wait.  What is that on the table behind my non-recycled water bottle?  My first homeless meal!  I’m not acting as a homeless person yet, but from what I’m told, this is the treasure you spend your day seeking.  Leftovers.  In any form or fashion that doesn’t include mold.  The tiny pre-packaged portions of food contain dried fruit and a nut medley, unopened inside a much larger plastic bag.  I’m really going to have to get over my environmental mindset and boycotting all things disposable.  Oddly enough, I’m more concerned about being wasteful than eating out of trash bins.  Please don’t ask me to explain that because I doubt I could.  Continue reading

it’s hotter than… [daily good photo]

116°?!!??  I really have no idea how hot hell is, but I’m pretty sure we have to be close.  So how is this good?  I find a lot of good in this crazy hot weather.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m tired of it since it’s been over 100° for over a month now.  Okay, here’s my ‘good’ in it:

My mobile thermometer.  I’m glad my car has this temperature feature.  That might not seem like a big deal to anyone reading this, but my car is 15 years old.  I like simple ‘old-fashioned’ gadgets like this, not the complicated computers they have in all of the new cars now.  You can say I’m getting old and I like old stuff, but I love technology, so I don’t think that’s the case.  I just don’t need technology everywhere and on everything in my life.

Southern living.  I lived in Wisconsin and in Chicago, Illinois long enough to know I love living in the south.  I’d rather deal with this heat for a couple of months rather than the snow and cold.  Last time I was in Wisconsin, that little gadget said -17°.

Cool off!  Although the A/C in my car works, it’s not the coldest air ever.  And let’s not even talk about my electric bill even though I keep my thermostat set on 80°.  But we do have air conditioning.  Down in Mexico, only 8 hours away in drive time, there’s many people without this luxury.  They have hotter temperatures than we do… without anything to cool them off.  Sure, you can say, “They’re used to it…”, but really?  It’s good that I can afford, and have… air conditioning.

road trip adventure

18 hours in a car?  Not a problem for us!  Yeah, I would love to fly and get to my destination quickly, but I’m good with a road trip.  There’s more adventure in driving.  (Texas to northern Colorado)  I don’t have photos of all the beautiful sights along the way, but I have some.  God was showing off His beautiful art yesterday… lightning, rainbows, rain, sunshine, deserts, mountains, clouds, storms, trees, rocks, sand…

Continue reading

auto electrical splitter [minimalist challenge item #101]

[item] Electrical car outlet splitter

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 8 years

[last used] 6 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Fundraiser

[info] I bought this years ago when I used to travel to Kansas once a month to plug in the boys DVD player and also use my iPod.

life without fear [day 341]

I’m pretty sure when God handed out our humanly traits, he did so in alphabetical order.  Clearly I received my ADHD first, because something distracted me from a few of the other lines like crying and fear.  I was probably off looking for abandoned clouds or painting with rainbows.

Missing the crying trait isn’t so bad, but it can be a little awkward sometimes if everyone else around you is leaking ocular fluid.  The fear thing is a different story.  My lack of fear sometimes gets me into trouble, but it has also helped me focus and think clearly in some really bad situations.  Continue reading

2 lunch boxes [minimalist challenge item #67]

[item] 2 lunch boxes

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 2 years

[last used] 1 month ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] My kids are using green bags for lunches.  they used these lunch boxes for 2 years.