errantember: (darth bobo)
I knew it had been a long time since I had gone dancing, but when I finally decided to get all gussied up and head out the door, I discovered my dancing pants were still coated in playa dust.

I haven't been dancing since Burning Man!

And while I certainly enjoyed the company at Burning Man, I didn't really enjoy the dancing, so who *knows* how long it's been?


It's one thing to put off sex. Putting off dancing is a Whole Other Level!
errantember: (Default)
After finishing A Dance with Dragons, I needed something else to read.
I finally got my hands on the omega volume of The Malazan Book of the Fallen, which I consider to be the finest fantasy war epic ever written. However, it's been at least six if not nine months since I stopped reading it, and there was a delay before that book, so at this point I'm fairly lost. There's only one solution:

I'm starting over. I mean, I want to make sure I remember what's going on, and it's only words.

3,300,026 words, to be exact.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Health-giving; healthy: "salubrious weather".
(of a place) Pleasant; not run-down.
healthy - wholesome - healthful - salutary - sound
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I was chasing down an old insurance check when I discovered the Texas Unclaimed Property Website. If you never cash a check, etc., this is where the funds go, and you can reclaim them! I have no idea how difficult the whole process is, but I'm getting a couple hundred from it. One of my friends may get a few thousand! I printed out the paperwork, but haven't looked over the details yet.

If you find a lot of money because I called this to your attention, maybe you can take me out to lunch sometime. :)
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I just wrote this to an independent bookseller on Amazon. The rest of the story tells itself!
Writing this was unnecessary, but I think you'll find it amusing.

During my childhood, The Poky Little Puppy was my absolute favorite book. I recently found a copy at a local bookstore and bought it. Re-reading it, it rang a few bells, but I wasn't really emotionally connected to the experience. What I *really* needed was to hear my mother reading it *to* me. At first I was going to ship her my copy and ask her to record herself reading it, but then I though, shit, I can get it on Amazon for less than the cost of mailing it with no trip to the post office. So I ordered the copy for her from you. Then, a few days later, I got an order from Amazon. It was the Poky Little Puppy! My first assumption was that I had made an error in the address in my order to you. I went and checked, and, Lo and Behold, the address was correct! So I fired up this message to complain, but decided to double-check the receipt on the copy I just got.

And it was from my Mom. A completely unrelated order!

So you're doing great, helping people re-connect with their favorite childhood memories.

Carry on!
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Today I finally finished the week-long ordeal of repairing my 1999 Honda CR-V to get it ready for sale. It's generally in very good condition, so I'm polishing all the rough edges so I can get top dollar for it. The biggest task was replacing all four struts, which I had never done before. Thousands of brutal, greasy ratchet turns later, and I'm finished. I had to install the equivalent of six shocks rather than four, because I had to re-do two of them almost completely due to various first-timer errors. It now rides like it was brand new, however, so the effort was well worth it. The previous Pronounced Bouncing Wobble it was doing was definitely a sale preventer.

The other issue I was trying to solve was the downstream oxygen sensor saying that the catalytic converter wasn't working. I replaced the sensor today and reset the computer, hoping to God that it was the sensor that was broken and not the catalytic converter itself. Previously the Check Engine light would come on after around 45 miles, and the round trip to [ profile] dirtwitch's place was over 70, and it *didn't* *come* *on*.

That, at least, I'm ecstatic about.

The thing I'm less happy about is dropping off the Loki Dog at [ profile] dirtwitch's house for a weekend visit. It was a much shorter visit later in the day, and everyone but Loki was tired and cranky, but this should tell us whether on not Loki will really fit in in his new home.
errantember: (Default)
I now have a new favorite descriptive line ever:

"Children fighting over half-cooked puppies."

Damn, nigga!
errantember: (loki)
One of the many things I'm doing to prepare to travel more is adopting out my precious puppies. I took Loki over to [ profile] dirtwitch's house in Elgin yesterday to see if he would help bring their heavily abused (not by them) rescue dog Willow out of her shell. Everyone got along famously, and evidently Willow was more sociable and playful than she had ever been before. I was treated to an excellent chicken dinner, and got to see [ profile] dirtwitch's Permaculture setup on her 18 acres out in Elgin. Next we will try an overnight visit, and if that goes well, a trial adoption for a few weeks. As much as I hate to give up my dogs, I really feel good about how things are going so far, and I know Loki will have a great time with his new family.
errantember: (darth bobo)
My current budget includes the large chunk of money my Honda will magically turn into when I sell it. Right before I finally got serious about it, the shocks went bad, and it was wobbling all over the place whenever I hit a bump. I got some new shocks, found my Chilton's manual, and have now replaced one of four shocks.

It only took six hours.

I'm also bleeding in several places because I was too stupid to don protective handwear for the adventure, and missed jujutsu because leaving the spring in it's compressed state in the iffy compressors I borrowed from Advance Auto didn't seem very safe. My dojo-mates would probably also prefer not to touch me when I'm bleeding. Most people don't, which, if nothing else, proves I'm not female.

I've learned many useful lessons installing the first strut, things like Wear Fucking Gloves and Don't Put the Spring Compressors on Upside Down, etc. Hopefully the other three will go faster tomorrow.

Then I have to find the torque wrench...


Sep. 27th, 2011 12:39 am
errantember: (Default)

Here's the diagram of the new storage shelves I'm making to help us get more organized at Casa Blue. I did this with Google Sketchup, which I had been previously too annoyed with to complete anything. I can't claim I've got it all down, but designing the shelves in software definitely saved me many trips to the hardware store, many re-cuts, and lots of re-work.

Will post pictures of the real thing once it's done.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
My inner meglomaniacal sociopath is frisky this evening:

(music cue)
"There's a smile on my face
as I crush the human race!
It's almost like being...
In Love!"

It would be good to channel this into a game...


Sep. 13th, 2011 12:58 pm
errantember: (feng shui)
So here I am, a year and one Burning Man after quitting my corporate job. In that time, I've traveled to four Burn events and Hawaii, gotten my first free and first for-pay App into the App Store, managed my money well, and I have reached my goal of coming back from Burning Man with 6 months of money in the bank.

My intention is to remain self-employed, travel more, continue reducing my expenses, and earn enough money from my own efforts to make real progress toward financial independence. One thing I learned from my mother is that it's a really good idea to have six months of money in the bank as an emergency fund. That means that I'm basically living on my emergency fund right now. I have a bunch of stuff to sell that will net me another month or two, and I also have some extraneous retirement income that I never integrated into my main 401k account that I could tap in an emergency.

The big question now is, do I continue working on only my own businesses and damn the torpedoes, or do I set a cut-off date for months-in-the-bank when I start looking for part-time work to keep me afloat longer? Having a Plan B seems like the Responsible Choice, but, as Seth Godin has observed, having Plan B often means taking Plan B instead of accomplishing one's primary goal. The worst-case scenario would be that I no longer have enough money to pay my mortgage, and am forced to sell my house. While I would like to keep my house, I'm already moving in a more nomadic direction, and I'm completely capable of being happy without it. The equity I would cash out would be more than enough to buy a small RV and still have enough money for another year without having to work.

I'm suffering from a small demoralization at the moment, because while I do finally have my first for-pay App in the App Store, I've made effectively nothing from it so far due to a combination of first-time-quality and non-existent marketing. Moving forward I'm going to get interested parties involved in the development process early, so I have a guaranteed number of minimum purchases when I publish. I will also be co-developing games with friends that already have established networks of followers for the same reason.

The main thing I'm getting out of Thinking Out Loud on the Internet is that what I really need to decide is at what point I need to put my house on the market. I need to still have enough money to do whatever repairs would be necessary to get the maximum amount, plus enough to pay the mortgage until the sale. It looks like it's time to start researching how long it takes to houses to sell in my neighborhood, and keep an eye on that number. It would also be good to start any longer-term repairs and upgrades. It's important to realize, though, that with my roommates covering most of the cost of my house at the moment, even moving into an RV will mean an *increase* in my monthly living expenses, not a decrease. However, it would greatly improve my ability to focus as I would no longer have the substantial work and stress of being a landlord hanging over my head. Another option instead of selling the house would be renting it out, which would allow me to continue to build equity and have a back-up place to stay in an emergency. I might even make it part of the rental plan that the RV remains at the house, while the new residents live inside.

I did it!

Sep. 11th, 2011 03:53 pm
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I have arrived back from Burning Man with just about exactly 6 months of money left in the bank!
My first game, however, has only sold to those I know due to a total lack of advertising in the run-up to Burning Man. Time to start hitting review sites and look at doing a free day.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I'm back and healthy from Burning Man 2011, Rite of Passage. I'm marshaling my media to tell the whole story now. The trip was much better this year thanks to going with three fantastic people in a vehicle with a sleeper pod. The total trip is 3800 miles!
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
My first for-pay App, RoidRage, is now in the App Store! It's hugely improved over my original free offering, Astrominer, and is a huge step in my new career as a professional mobile developer! Check it out!

Headed Home

Sep. 6th, 2011 03:02 am
errantember: (Default)
I'm sitting in my hotel in Reno after having survived and enjoyed Burning Man 2011, Rights of Passage.  I should be back home on Thursday with pictures and stories.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
One of the great ironies of my life is that the only time I wear a watch is at burn events. I just fished out and donned the Great Hippie Watch, signifying my imminent departure to TBTITD.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Today I submitted my very first for-pay App to the App Store! I quit my job almost exactly one year ago to become a professional mobile game developer. In that time I have partied a lot (budgeted and planned for), published one free App in the App store, and continued to build my amazing business network. When I return from Burning Man I will still have 6 months of money in the bank, plus whatever income I've gotten from my game. I plan to ship, on average, 1 game per month for the next 6 months to a year. I firmly believe that in that time I will go from a few dollars, to supporting myself, to eventually making more money than I did in the corporate scene. I'm already planning on spending a good portion of next summer in Portland, rather than continuing to roast here in the 100+ heat. I will adopt out my dogs and take other steps to make long-term travel easier. It feels great to have accomplished all this going into Burning Man, which, for Burners, is a bit like New Years.

And now I have less than 48 hours to get ready for Burning Man.

Life is good.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
One of the many benefits of switching to a Paleo diet is that it's now possible for me to get up early enough to go to the farmer's market more often. I got a Costco card as a gift, and used the discounts it offered me to try out Paleo on a limited budget. It's been great for that, but while Costco is certainly more environmentally conscious than, say, Sam's Club, it's still part of the Big Box problem, with product being shipped thousands of miles to get there. Now that I know that Paleo eating is here to stay, where I can I'm looking for local sources of Paleo food. So this morning, I hopped on my shitty mountain bike and headed down to Sunset Valley, a few miles away. I got pastured pork loin ($8 lb), some chicken legs($3.75 lb), acorn squash ($2 lb.) and some heirloom tomatoes ($2 lb.)

I'm also proud to announce that our household now has a 15 cu. ft. deep freeze I got from Craigslist, and we are coordinating with several other buyers to buy pastured meat in bulk.
errantember: (Default)
In Rise of the Creative Class, the author makes the case that most important driving force in our economy is now creativity. The author shows, through statistical data, which characteristics attract creative people. Cities that are Tolerant, Technological, and attract Talent lead the way into the future. Cities that lack these qualities are left behind.


errantember: (Default)

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