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.
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)
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: (Default)
One reason my crazy afore-mentioned trip has been difficult is because I've been flitting from place to place so fast, I haven't had time to process or blog about it. The original schedule was fairly sane, but I magically ended up with way less time in between trips. As a result, I've been home less than a week since the end of August, and have only twice had more than one day in Austin between trips. I'm not in Austin yet now, either, but instead in D/FW visiting my Mom.

I did finally have time to wash my Tilley, which is definitely an improvement.

Just about everything else about the trips has been fantastic, and I'm looking forward to blogging about them more later.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I got back from ten days in Portland, after having been home for less than a week after Burning Man, and am now leaving for Alchemy in Atlanta in less than 36 hours!

I'm having a blast, but this is all *crazy*!

El Trip

Sep. 22nd, 2010 07:12 pm
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
My Post Corporate-Wage-Slave Whirlwind Tour is well underway.

First I went with Vasa and Connon to Burning Man, which was a blast. It was the first time I had been since 2007.
Now I'm visiting same in beautiful Portland, Oregon for 10 days.
I will then be attending Alchemy, the Atlanta Regional, and visiting with many other friends and lovers for a few days afterward.
Finally, over Thanksgiving I will be going to Hawaii for the first time with much of my Austin poly pod!

Then it will be time to figure out where El Money will be coming from.
errantember: (Default)
I'll be going out to Burning Man this year, and I'm trying to decide where to stay. Poly Paradise has always treated me well, and it's been my main home there for many years. However, I've heard there's been some Drama since last I went in 2007, and I know a lot of other great people are at other camps. I'd like to hear opinions (on or off record) about where you're camping and why you like it.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I am going back to Burning Man this year!

Who else is going?
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I just got done on the first half of converting my 6' Hexayurt to a 6' Stretch, and I'm *shocked* at how much bigger the structure is! I only have the walls set up in my living room (where they barely fit) and I'm almost embarrassed at how much space I'll have/be taking up. As you can see here, the Stretch has 70 sq. ft. vs. the 6' version's 41 sq. ft. That part I groked. However, what I *wasn't* thinking about is that it's almost 50% of the size of the 8' Hexayurt, which is 166 sq. ft. I loved Smash Camp's two air-conditioned 8' Hexayurts last year at Flipside, but they were *huge*, and now I, personally, will be taking up half that much space.

On the other hand, I'm fairly certain my 'yurt will be able to take The USS Monitor in battle.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I found this groovy set of Abercrombie and Fitch khaki cargo pants, perfect for Rangering burn events, at the thrift store recently. The only problem was that they had a BUTTON FLY (NOOOoooooOOO!) Button flies are clearly for losers, and the fact that I have time to sleep in until 3 PM each day does *not* mean I have an extra 10 minutes to spend dealing with my penile hardware/software interface every time I take a leak. One of the many things my life entitles me to is a 1 minute bathroom turnaround time, including hand-washing. To correct this grievous affront to my privilege, I got out the old sewing kit, brutally ripped the crotch out of a perfectly good pair of size 5 green leather Gap pants, and stitched that twitching zipper right over the still-bleeding button stubs on the khakis.

I just did a drive-by of the local porcelain business district, and we are *in* the *money*!

errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I've had this bamboo flooring for going on two years now without, say, actually putting it on the *floor*. The Final Obstacle to getting this process started was the need to put a groove under the limestone fireplace so the floor could be flush against it. All the parts necessary to make this happen came together today, and that part of the job is now *done*!


However, despite my best efforts following with a vacuum cleaner, *everything* in the living room is now covered with a fine coating of dust.

This makes it almost *exactly* like Burning Man. If I took a picture of myself right now, that's where people would think I've been

I've already been clearing for about two hours, and now I'm going to mop.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
In addition to the more recent Alchemy, I also attended Transformus, previously the official Southeast Regional Burn, this year. Many people were unable to come due to a last-minute change, three weeks before the event, banning anyone under the age of 21. Of the 12 or so friends I was hoping to see there, I only saw one.

We all had a blast, anyway.

errantember: (Default)

I finished updating 16 pages of comments! Click the pic for more!
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)

I just got back from Alchemy 2008! Click the pic for more!
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
For all friends, lovers, and potential house thieves, I will be Out The Fuck Of Town from September 30th through October 11th. I'll be first at Alchemy, then will visit her royal hotness [ profile] dj_warhammer in the beautiful and still-standing Savannah, GA. I will have Interweb access for the second half of the trip. I return transformed, tired, and 99.9% free of playa dust.

I just got done watching Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for the trip. I'd forgotten how good it was.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)

Click for More

I had a *blast* at OrFunner 2008! Thanks to everyone who made it happen!
OrFunner seemed a little bit less well-attended than Decompression, I'd guess about 350-400 people. We had two larger sound systems, the stage and the Blue Moon Roadhouse, as well as several smaller chill venues. Tink make an appearance, as did the LED balloons and five or six firedancers, including me.
errantember: (Default)
To those about to Burn, I salute you...

...after which I'll cry myself to sleep.
errantember: (Default)
Many of you have heard of my Hexyurt adventures. My 'yurt has been the best place I've ever camped in really hot environments like Flipside and Burning Man. It's kept me cool until between 1 and 2 PM at least everywhere it's been, and, properly ventilated, it's kept me cool throughout the hot day. My only complaints are that the panels are large and fragile, and therefore somewhat hard to transport, they are degrading pretty fast despite being fully taped, and despite the fact that I've fanfolded the walls and top to create only two pieces, I still have to re-use a lot of tape every time I set it up. So, I'm looking into reproducing the thermal benefits of the design in a more portable format.

Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
After having scored a Transformus ticket in under 24 hours by posting a request here, I suppose it's worth a try to do the same for Flipside. While I, personally, already have a ticket, DJ Warhammer and partner would very much like to bring the Industrial Dance Experience of Camp Krieg to Flipside, and need two tickets to do so. I've already got them on Bob's list, but I know a lot of friends do their ticket networking on LJ, so I'm also posting here.


errantember: (Default)

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