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Tired of having a home? The Guide to living the Homeless Lifestyle (the Correct Way)!

I sometimes worry myself about how I can even figure this stuff out…..

Ok, maybe you just can’t handle the whole “owing a house or renting an apartment” thing.  Maybe you are more suited to living in your car or in a shipping crate by the railroad tracks.  Perhaps that is more of your housing style, however, what will you do about showers, laundry, and sleeping arrangements?

Not to worry dear readers, my worthless advice about “How to Be Homeless” will give you all the awesome advice (or perhaps worthless advice) you need to be successful as a homeless person.

In addition, my tips will allow you to save money and become a success in your personal and professional life.  Remember, homeless doesn’t mean you are jobless!  And homeless doesn’t mean not having a vehicle either!  It only means you don’t have a home!

Shall we begin?

  1. Be Clean: Join a 24/7 Fitness Gym with shower facilities that has many locations.  A hot shower, free soap and shampoo, free towels, and a shave?  And you exercise too?  Sign me up!
  2. Dump Your Garbage.  Learn where all the public parks are located at.  Free garbage service and access to some interesting bathroom options.
  3. Learn where all the Starbucks ae located (Just kidding…there is one on every corner).
  4. Hide right under their Noses: Find Fire Stations or Police Stations to park at.  You can certain park your car in the visitor parking lot for a few hours or overnight.  Who is going to check?
  5. Hang out in Plain Sight.  Park your Honda right at the Honda dealership or  Honda Mechanic’s Garage parking lot.  One more care isn’t going to be noticed.  Or if you have a white van, put a made up delivery company logo on your van…your van is now a delivery van.  Park it in the back of a UPS store.  You now look like you below there.
  6. Enjoy Food: Not having a home means your food budget is now huge!  You can eat out all the time or you can eat healthy salads you make in the backseat.  Yum!
  7. Visit relatives/friends during the holidays.  Bless them with your presence for two or three nights.
  8. Find locations off the beaten path that offer free power. Invest in a long extension cord from that rest stop bathroom to your car.
  9. Find 24 hour Laundromats.  Do laundry, drink beer, and watch TV.  Everyone wins here!
  10. Find 24 hour Businesses.  You can park in their parking lot and they will never know.  People are always coming and going and your car will look like an employee’s car.
  11. Get a Post Office Box for your mail.  But ideally, pay everything online.  Have auto deposit and auto pay systems set up.

Enjoy these eleven awesome “How to be Homeless Tips!”  Remember, you don’t have to let society dictate to you on how to live your life!  You can still have a nice car or van, be a clean person, have a good job, and be a productive member of society by using my proven system!

Happy Homelessness!

Do you have some awesome advice?  Well, keep it to yourself.  We want only worthless and sarcastic comments below.  Hmm, maybe you can add a few tips…go ahead…comment below and hit the “Like” button too.

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Learn How to Make One Cocktail Drink – Your Signature Drink…

cocktail-518712_1920Everyone once and a while, I get out of my cave and have a nice evening out.  This to could be to a friend’s house for dinner, maybe a show, or even a fantastic dinner with my wife.  Depending on the season, I will try a new cocktail drink to broaden my otherwise quite dull drinking range.

And when I do that, I might come across a new “signature drink” I’ll try for the season.  A couple of winters ago, it was the Candy Cane Martini.  During an early summer fundraising party, my friend Mark made amazing Lemon Drops for the attendees and that became a summer favorite.  Vodka Lemonades remind me of camping on the Columbia River at Lincoln Rock State Park with friends and family, so those were popular one summer.

However, my “go to” drink is the Manhattan.  Easy to make and not too difficult to master.  And one of my favorites because it reminds me of my cousin Stephen and New York City.  (Here’s the point when you should be hearing some sappy music and a tear should come to your eye as I take you down my memory lane….)alcohol-MANHATTAN.jpg

What is your “Signature Cocktail Drink”?  What one drink can you make and be know for?  Does it bring you back to a certain time or memory?

 

Drone Video: Lincoln Rock State Park

Enjoy this video of Lincoln Rock State Park!

Lincoln Rock State Park is located about 4 miles north of Wenatchee, Washington on the east side of the Columbia River.

Pilot Ridge Hike – 30 miles in 3 Days

This coming weekend I’m headed out on a 3 Day/30 mile Boy Scout backpacking trip outside of Darrington, WA. We will be hiking the Pilot Ridge Hike picked by one of my senior scouts (who runs cross country and is in great shape). So you can imagine, I’m a little concerned about the least fit members of our backpacking trip. I’ve nicknamed it Anthony’s Death March in his honor.

The weather conditions this coming weekend will be sun and showers on Friday, with mostly clear skies on Saturday and Sunday.   I’m not too worried about the weather. I’m more worried about the actual hiking and backpacking. The elevation gain and loss on this hike is quite a bit. The bonus of sleeping outside two nights on the hard ground is also a big draw. Hmm, nice hard ground instead of my soft bed. Gee, I can’t wait.

I’m not too worried about the backpacking part except for my backpack will be much larger than my day pack. You have to carry everything you need for three days. At least it is summer time here so I can carry less of my backup gear. I still carry all of the Ten Essentials…plus #11 Toilet Paper and #12 Duct Tape.

http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/basics/ten-essentials

I don’t have a problem hiking. In fact, I did some high elevation hiking in Colorado in July. But backpacking is a lot different than car camping. You don’t have a nice established campsite with easy access to water and flush toilets. Camping in the backcountry is you, out there in the wilderness, making sure you have enough food and water for your entire stay. You have to be prepared. You need a decent shelter, food, water, a water filter/pump, and a handy dandy Hello Kitty LED flashlight.

When I was younger, I loved to do backpacking and camping. I still enjoy being outside hiking; the backpacking part isn’t as appealing as it once was. I’m older and sleeping on the ground just isn’t that enjoyable.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to doing a backpacking trip with my son. We have gone camping a lot as a family and on numerous Boy Scout camping trips. This will be a fun final trip before he gets his Eagle Scout rank.

Do you have any fun day hikes or backpacking trips planned?

 

What's for dinner?

What’s for dinner?

Back to School and a Ruined Labor Day Weekend

Here in Washington State, our school kids don’t go back to school until the last week of August or the first week of September. In fact, my kids went back to school on August 28. In comparison, the Seattle School District started yesterday September 3, 2014. This makes a heck of a lot more sense than starting August 28, going to school for two days, and then having Labor Day weekend off. It puts a bitter taste on the last week of August and Labor Day. You can’t milk summer out for a bit longer. Instead, you must think of getting your kids back in time for starting school on Thursday before Labor Day weekend.

It isn’t like anything is done the first two days of school when you have Labor Day weekend right there. Everyone knows that Thursday and Friday (before the Labor Day weekend) are “throwaway” days of education. You might as well let the kids watch TV because they sure aren’t paying attention to the teachers during those two days of school.

Labor Day Weekend wasn’t ruined for me. I always have fun. This year instead of heading to Anderson Island for the three day weekend, we went camping at Sun Lakes State Park. It was a good choice because we left the rain behind. Sun Lakes is located on the eastern side of Washington, roughly three hours away from our house. While western Washington might be experiencing rain and misery, the eastern side of the state will have sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. Well, maybe not unicorns and rainbows but you get the idea. The weather is nice. We don’t have lots of rain and huddle under blue tarps. In eastern Washington, we don’t do the “blue tarp” camping made famous on the west side of the state. In eastern Washington, you slap on the sun block (SPF 45) and a big hat

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What lurks beneath the waters of this lake?

What lurks beneath the waters of this lake?

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It's all fun and games until someone falls off the cliffs!

It’s all fun and games until someone falls off the cliffs!

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On the negative side, it was windy in the evenings and the state park was full. Truth be told, it was very windy and miserable in that respect. The first night was bad. The tent was flapping around, keeping both myself and my wife wide awake. You would drift off to sleep, and then a gust of wind would pop up and wake you up. The second night, the wind was just as bad but I wore my ear plugs and I enjoyed the evening a bit more.

Sun Lakes State Park has a few different lakes within the park boundaries. On Sunday, we hiked along the Deep Lake Trail which was about 2 to 2.5 miles round trip. It goes right along the lake and is an easy hike. There is an opportunity to do some cliff diving or jumping off the cliff edge but we didn’t do it this trip. Perhaps next time we can jump off some basalt rock cliffs into the water below, have a scary monster grab us and drag us under.

I did manage to get some swimming in Sun Lake itself with my daughter and her friend. The weather was a bit cloudy, the wind was blowing, and the water was a little colder than I would have preferred. However, it was probably going to be the last swim of summer so I toughed it out. I’m not a little baby (well, I really am but I try to act tough).

My son and I also did a twilight walk where he was almost hit by a bat. Lots of bats on the Park Lake Trail, however I can’t complain about the bats because they keep the bug population down. Go bats!

Overall, the camping trip was a good one. No flat tires, no lost sleeping bags. The drive home wasn’t too bad. I’d go again but probably opt for a RV campsite further and with less wind.

 

Thanks for reading and your comments are always welcome!

Labor Day Weekend – Goodbye Summer and Hello 9 month of Gray Skies!

As you can tell, Labor Day Weekend is bittersweet for me.  It marks the end of summer for both my children and me.  No more midweek sleepovers for my daughter, no more sleeping in late for my teenage son, no more weekend outdoor parties, no more me staying up late reading novels: it is all gone after this long three day weekend.  Gone like all my hopes and dreams.  Sadly, it is back to reality: We will hold hands, lift our chins high, and head back into the regular schedule of school life.  We will forget all the fun of summer and instead welcome the cool embrace of autumn.

 To be clear, the regular schedule of school life has already started.  The kids went back to school this past Thursday.  I still don’t know why our school district thinks it is a smart idea to go to school for two days, then have the Labor Day.  Do the kids learn anything for the first two days? 

 I even cracked the door to my office, sat at my desk, and did some work as well.  The cat took her usual stop and sat by my keyboard.  Yes, everything is back to the normal school life schedule of our family.

 Fondly, I look back at summer and wonder where the time went.  It seemed like yesterday I was on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., taking photographs, and enjoy the sunshine.  Please, take a moment and shed a tear.

 Now, all I have to look forward to is the upcoming schedule of work and nine months of gray skies.  My friends (that live in states that see the sun) always ask: “How can you live in Seattle with all the gray skies and rain?  Don’t you want to kill yourself?”

 Anyone from Seattle has the same answer: “Well, the summers are really nice.”

That’s it.  That is the only good answer.

Well, maybe there is a little more to it than that.  We have mild winters with no real crazy bad snow storms.  We don’t have a huge bug problem like other places.  When it is sunny, it is beautiful around here.  On a clear day, we can even see Mt. Rainier while we are stuck in traffic on southbound Interstate 5.

Side Note: Traffic around here sucks.  It doesn’t matter if it is a rainy day or a nice clear sunny day; some nitwit will crash into another person and cause a 9 mile back up on the interstate.  Nothing says Seattle rocks like crawling along an interstate highway in the rain.

Good bye summer, I’ll miss you!

 As always, I need your comments to make my existence worthwhile.  What are you going to miss most about summer?  Do you have any plans for Labor Day?

Oh man…it has been a month since I’ve been posted anything?

I didn’t realize that is now about a month since I last posted.  I can honestly say, I’ve thought about writing a witty blog entry but those thoughts have quickly passed.  I’ve been busy with work.  I even convinced my wife to allow me to suspend the cable TV service for the summer so I refocus on family, friends, and blogging.  Sadly, this is Day 2 of no cable TV and my dear wife is going through severe withdraw shakes at the moment.  I’m afraid my great experiment is doomed.

Now, I know you are probably wondered what else I have been up to.  I’ve stepped up to the plate and took over the Scoutmaster position in my son’s troop.  I’m hoping that he will hurry up and get his Eagle Scout award in the next twelve months so I can “retire” from the job.  I’m also still my daughter’s Girl Scout troop leader.  We are bridging over into the next level: Cadettes.  New uniform and new challenges.  This summer we are planning to do a two night campout at the local state park…I hope they have Wifi!

We also managed to get our ghetto swimming pool set up for the summer.  In the Puget Sound area, we don’t get a lot of hot weather but my daughters and her friends think we live in Florida.  They are in the swimming pool all the time and the water temperature is only 65 degrees.

 

 

 

Boy Scout Camp: The Torture Continues

We just returned from another week at Boy Scout Summer Camp.  As with all the years prior to this, a few of us always think of ways we can improve our experience as adult leaders.  This is our reflection time.  This is the time when we think back and review all of our mistakes and ask ourselves “Why?  Why do we still keep doing this?”

Our view from our campsite.

Our view from our campsite.

Over the next few days, I hope to gather my notes and thoughts about summer camp.  Last year, I didn’t blog about my experience because I was lazy.  Hey, I’m honest.  It is one point in the twelve points of the Scout Law.  There were good stories there but I just couldn’t get my butt in gear to write about them.

This year I actually spent 20 cents and purchased a 70 page spiral notebook binder (it was on sale; I’m frugal).  We had our brainstorming session where no idea is a bad idea (unless I tell you it is a stupid, really, really stupid idea and why do you even think you should be talking?).  And I now have some material to work with.

These thoughts will be wrapped into a Guide Book for Assistant Scoutmasters.  A rookie Assistant Scoutmaster will definitely benefit from my vast amount of knowledge.  I’m pretty sure jaded seasoned scoutmasters will also enjoy it as well.  I’m sure all Scoutmasters will find it helpful as well because frankly, it will be awesome.

This Guide will be directly to the Assistant Scoutmaster.  I know you probably want me to write about the head honcho job: Scoutmaster.  Here are my thoughts about the Scoutmaster job: I don’t want to be writing or commenting on a job I don’t do. We’ll stick to the back up Scoutmaster’s job that I know.  A tale about taking naps and wearing flip flops.

Overall the Boy Scout camp we did this past week was a great one.  We trekked all the way from Kent, Washington down to Tillamook, Oregon and attended Camp Meriwether.

Camp Meriwether's Beach Enterance

Camp Meriwether’s Beach Enterance

Camp Meriwether is located right on the Oregon Coast and we had a truly wonderful campsite location.  Our campsite was on a bluff overlooking the beach and I must rave about how amazing the view was.  I was able to see the ocean waves from my bunk.  Each night I fell asleep listening to the waves crashing and the sounds of four scoutmasters snoring away….

We had great weather through the whole week.  Not too hot, not too cold.  We really lucked out.

As always your comments are welcome!  Put down the milkshake and hit the “Like” button!

Camping: Your Solution to Making Sure Your Kids Don’t Live With You Forever

Right now your children might be young and you think (hopefully to yourself) that they’ll accomplish anything they set their mind to.  Or maybe your kids are teenagers and your neighbor told you that their child didn’t blossom until they were 27 or 28 years old thus giving you a little piece of hope.  Or maybe your kid is 20, has dropped out of community college for the third time (in three attempts), lives in your basement, plays Black Ops all day, and will look for a job “tomorrow” (after he has his kill streak up to 70).

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but…the hard sad fact is that most likely your kids are losers and will be living in your basement for the rest of their lives.  Oh sure, they’ll move out for a year or maybe two, but they’ll be back…or will they?

Hmm, camping!

Let me introduce the concept of camping and how it can save you from having your children live with you forever.  Camping is where middle class people go out to the local state park and pretend to be homeless for a few days.  We like to cook our meals on a propane cook stove, wash our dishes in three bins, and use disposable paper plates (screw the environment).  We sleep on an air mattress and enjoy the light cotton sheets that cover us on a warm summer night.  We throw up a nice tarp and call it our outdoor living room/dining room/kitchen.

We set up a fairly well stocked kitchen, fill up some coolers with ice, and tell ourselves that camping is fun and easy.  Once we are out roughing it out in the wilderness of the State Park (with power hook ups, clean water, and a flush toilet a few steps away), we forget that we are camping.   We are on vacation and that we have time to be relaxing under the summer sun.

But will your loser children learn anything from your summer camping experiences?  Probably not.  They are too busy running around with their friends, sun block smeared across their faces, and rat nests for a hairstyle.  They’ll fling themselves into their summer sleeping bags (which are worthless during the other three seasons) and sleep a peaceful night’s sleep.

 This is one of those teachable moments you always hear about from other parents brag about but you never get to do because you are too busy yelling at your kids.

By taking your children camping, you are teaching them that camping is a possible housing solution in their near future.  The day will come when you will want to kick them out.  It might be a few weeks later or a few years later, but the day will come.

And this is a very good thing!  Once they reach the ripe old age of 18 or 30 and don’t plan to do anything with their lives, you can give them the ultimatum: do something or move out!  Heck, it’s your house and your parents didn’t give you a free ride to be a slacker, why should you treat your children any different?

With their summer camping experience under their belt, they will think that they are prepared for the real world.  Kick those leeches to the curb, have those children enjoy all four seasons that this great planet offers us (unless you live near the Equator or Australia or maybe South America). Allow your children the pleasure of sleeping in an igloo where the temperature is just above freezing and the drip drop of the melting snow roof falls on their thin, inadequate summer sleeping bag.  Then they can realize their boots are frozen because they forgot to keep them inside their sleeping bag. Now they have to push their wet socks inside their frozen boots.  Has the fun started yet?

Cooking under the open sky!

Imagine the joy your children can experience camping in the torrential downpour of a spring rainstorm.  Everything they own is soaked with the constant rain and there is no place dry in their tent site.  Nowhere to hang up the soggy towel to dry it out, everything they own is wet and damp.

And where do they plug in their Xbox and TV?  Grand Theft Auto V is going to play itself!  Do they run the power cord from the bathroom to their tent?  Oh, the problem solving they’ll have to do!

What about showers and personal hygiene?   No more 20 minute showers when you have to put in a $1 for a 3 minute shower at the state park.

Where will they wash and dry their clothes?  What happens when the sleeping bag gets a little stinky?

Either your children will quickly learn that this isn’t the lifestyle they want and will do anything to live back indoors OR they will decide that this lifestyle isn’t that bad and they like living in a tent for the rest of their life.  Either way, you’ll be taking the unknown part of your child’s future housing out of their destiny.

Add another “Win” for parenthood in your scoreboard for Parents!

 As always your witty comments are welcome!  Or just hit the like button below.

Please Stop Being Good Parents and Teach Your Kid Something!

Note to Future and Current Parents: You aren’t doing your kids any favors by cooking them dinner, doing their laundry, and cleaning their bedrooms.  Do you know what you are doing by taking care of them?  You are making them burdens on society.  You are making them dependent on you (and society) for the rest of their lives.  You’ll make them want to live with you forever if you provide them a nice room, food in their bellies, gas in their fuel tank, and a Smartphone in their hand.  Stop being a good parent.

I didn’t realize that parents took care of their kids so much these days until I was on another Boy Scout camp out this past weekend.  As I’m supervising the youngest scouts (in the age group of 11-12 years old), it dawned on me that they don’t know how to cook a meal or clean up after themselves.  They keep thinking that “somebody else” is going to do it for them.  That somebody is their mommy or daddy.  It definitely isn’t me (the grumpy old Assistant Scoutmaster).

Sure, in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the scouts are supposed to learn from other older scouts (or adults) how to survive on a campout.  However, like any preteen or teenager (whether it is a boy or girl) they get distracted by…anything.  An older scout might have taught them what to do six minutes ago or six months ago and they don’t remember that information now when they really need it.  They don’t remember that you cook your meat on medium heat, not high heat.  They don’t remember that cooking takes time and you have to pay attention to the meal on the stove lest it be burned to a pile of charcoal.  They don’t remember that in summer camp someone showed them that to clean a pot you need to use soap, water, and some good old fashion elbow grease.  They don’t know that hot water is their friend in the cleaning process.

What can you as parents can you do to help your child?  Stop doing everything for them.

But wait, you say…that’s my baby we are talking about!  Should I just throw a tent in the backyard and let my ten year old live with the dog?  Of course not, start with baby steps.  One simple thing they can learn this afternoon is “How to use the laundry washer and the dryer.”

Side Note:  I mentioned this to my ten year old daughter and she laughed at me.  Ha. Ha.  The joke is going to be on her when she doesn’t have any clean clothes and she is know as “The Stinky Kid” at school.  Boy, I can’t wait for that call from her teacher talking about my daughter’s aroma and personal hygiene issues.  That phone call will prove I’m a great parent.

Then show them how to properly clean the dishes in the sink.  Show them how to wash out that pot so all of the old oatmeal is gone.  Use the cleaning pad to get it clean.  If you are a camping family, you can even pretend you are on a camping trip.  Make some stations in your kitchen with three tubs:

  1. Wash Pot/Tub: Hot Water with a few drops of biodegradable soap.
  2. Rinse Tub: Hot/Warm Water (plain water)
  3. Sterilization Tub: Boiling Hot Water (use tongs) or cold water with one teaspoon of bleach added to two gallons of water.

I recommend to the Scouts that they soak/pre-wash as much as possible.  Example, if they have a dish that has a huge sauce build up, after they are done using that pot, fill it up with water and let that pot sit.  Scrub as much as that build up off as possible and dispose of in your food garbage pit or into the garbage.

Wouldn’t it be great if you taught this to your kid at home now instead of him having to learn it from some older scout?  Give your son or a leg up in society and teach them something as simple as cleaning a dish will be an invaluable skill for him later in life.  He won’t be the little dweeb that doesn’t know how to do anything at Scout Camp because his mommy loved him too much.  Don’t be that good parent be that awesome parent that teaches their kid something useful in life.

That’s all for today!  As always, your comments (hopefully sarcastic) are always welcome.

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