Thursday, March 31, 2011

Well, my name is Craze after all...

A lot of people seem to ask if I've lost my mind. I really don't think so, but I'm biased. I think I've just gotten to a place where most people don't get until sometime near death. Seriously. I've seen my share of people come and go, and each time I've been witness to someone's eventual trip to the fertilizer farm, I've seen amazing turns in attitude. Kings wish to be paupers, stars wish to be unknown, and those who constantly climb ladders wonder why they spent their entire life looking up other people's skirts rather than enjoying the step they were on.

I get it. Maybe I don't "get it" get it, but I think I understand more about myself now than ever before, and that's all I can shoot for. I've watched self-important douchebags act like the world can't touch them, but it will. I've seen the most horrible people hide behind an image of being "family" and "friends", but those acts always have an end. I've been party to it all from both sides of the fence and have no problem saying so. The big thing is knowing when to step off the train and being willing to stay the path under your own steam regardless of how long the road is. Too philosophical for ya? Oh well. Go back to your comfort zone.

Me? I'll be making sure I step outside any gravity sucking "comfort zones" for as long as I can. I think they make us stale. I think they keep us cowed. I think they make you look back on your life in the end and wonder "what the hell was I thinking". I've done a ton already, and hope to do more before the bell rings. Some say "no regrets"... I'm trying to live it.

See ya out there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Keeping it going!

Ok, so I know I'm going to bore the hell outta everyone with all this dribble sooner or later, but it'll be fun regardless. Right now, I'm going to continue with the shedding theme, like it or not.

I'm sitting here in my office looking at all the stuff that needs to find a way to keep cranking to run my life-machine even after I hit the road. Big plans seem to have big hurdles, right? Simple ain't always the definition we grew up reading. I guess this is kind of a "storm before the calm" type period in my life. I'm spending more time each day handling more stuff so I can eventually handle less for longer periods of time. Think about that for a minute. Rather than planning on how to get more responsibility or stuff or whatever, what would happen if you planned for less?

For me, it's been a catalyst to what I believe is true freedom. Now, I'll be sure to let you know how all this works out as I'm on the side of some backwoods highway with a blow-out, an engine fire, and some cop yelling in my ear about obscure road laws of West Pennsyltucky, but until then, we'll call this freedom.

I've got my list of 10 essentials from before, and yeah, there are actually more than that, but not many. Now the issues are all about what to do with the non-essential things. Anybody just have a house fire and need a whole jump-start or redo / reset button on their life? I got ya covered if so. If not, there are going to be some happy freaking Salvation Army shoppers in the coming months.

Add to the stress of deleting, the management of additional parts / pieces that are needed to live a mobile existence. Over the last couple of weeks, there has been an influx of everything from window gasket lubrication to fresh water hoses to automatic waste pumps (I like to call it the Poop Muncher). If you need it to live out in the wild blue yonder, I've probably researched it ten times and hopefully only bought it once. I've gotten as frugal as I've ever been and spend countless hours making sure I get the best deal on everything, but get the one that won't need replacing every year if at all possible.

So I dump a bunch and add some more. Since every pound becomes as holy as Christ's britches, every little thing I need to make the road life function equals one less thing that can exist on my "essentials" list. Let's just hope I don't get to the point where toilet paper gets the kick!

All-in-all, I think I have a pretty good bead on the whole deal. My list for gadgets is just about checked completely off and the rig is in need of very little to be the apartment of my dreams. Now I'm down to weighing everything dry so I can start loading in and figuring out what the hell I can take. Have you ever actually weighed your tools?? It's no joke. Balance is the key. Literally and figuratively. Pack a little here, balance it out there. Weigh. Repeat.

One good thing is that the balancing act never ends. You find that cool chingas out on the road, you better think twice about how much you need it, because it could quite possibly mean you have to toss something else out. In a life where everything you were already left with was on the "essentials" list, it makes for some interesting inward contemplation don't you think?

See ya out there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Time for some new direction!

So, the Simple Math is taking on a new direction as of right now. Yeah, I'll still post BS about my political ramblings. Sure, it will still be motorcycle focused. Of course, I'll be sure to throw in some bad humor. BUT... this will now be the residence for all things that are going on in my daily life that point toward the simplification of my world.

As some of you may know, I've been ranting for some time now about getting your debt handled (however desperately you need to and in whatever way serves you best) and get out from under the oppressing gravity field of the money chase. For everyone, this means something different, and for me, it means getting my shit trimmed down. I've been shedding debt as I can. Almost done with it entirely. Haven't always made the best decisions with how to dump it, but it's dumped nonetheless. Fuck it.

It's not just debt though. My simplification extends beyond the money realm (although that's a pretty far-reaching world), and into the basics of life too at this point. Put it this way, I've got too much shit. For a large part of life, I've been focused on the chase. Getting a leg up. Finding the zen of happiness however possible. Like many of you, that sometimes comes with the accumulation of crap. Why we do this is an ever-changing discussion. Sometimes it's a way to deal with depression. Sometimes it's a way to show your peacock feathers. Sometimes, there's simply some cool shit you want so bad you can't stand it and the world be damned if they try to stop you getting it. Whatever the excuse, the fact is that I know very few people who exist strictly on what they need. I don't know if I'll ever get to the "just the essentials" side of the fence, but I'm fast on my way to the "whole lot less than you'd imagine" group.

You'll see me post a ton of stuff for sale in the near future. Furniture. Artwork. Music. Appliances. Cars. Bikes. Whatever isn't nailed down and that won't fit in my mobile future.

It's funny. I took a walk around the house the other day and just asked myself honestly what of my stuff was used on a daily basis to make my life easier or more beneficial. How much do you think went into the "yes" column? Next to nothing. Here's some of the winners -

1. Socks and underwear - I dig these items, and they'd be tough to sell
2. About two weeks worth of clothing - Tshirts displaying the word "fuck" are essential as are jeans and some shoes. Basic stuff here. Better for life, although I do understand those who might say "naked rules!". Whatever.
3. My toothbrush, toothpaste, q-tips, and a box of kleenex - not too much to explain here.
4. Soap and shampoo - again, simple.
5. Toilet paper - Next time someone asks what the best invention of all time has been, this is the answer. Never leave home without some.
6. Pillow, sheets, blanket - essential for making me less cranky after I wake up.
7. Food - duh.
8. This fucking computer - Yes, people might lambast me, but get with the program, they are pretty essential. It's a love / hate thing for sure, but it stays.
9. Two bikes - My dyna and my pan. Everything else is getting prepped for sale. The whole barn is up for grabs pretty much, and I'm not the least bit sad. All good steeds and all will make good with someone else for sure.
10. Enough tools and parts to keep me busy and partially employed - I have to keep at least one vice, and it might as well be one that can earn a meager existence right? Also need to keep the bikes on the road, or I may be sleeping on your couch soon.

Sound crazy? Got a million things you'd throw in there instead of or in addition to? Not me. I've been undocking myself from the necessity of belongings for some time. Might not seem like it as I buy the new thingamajig or whosywhatsit, but it's been true for a long time. My focus has been on things that will suffer the fallout of bad economy to either a) make my life easier through it all or b) hold value to eventually be able to do (a).

I keep evaluating just about every part and piece that surrounds me on a daily basis and will continue forever I hope. This feels a ton better as I shed stuff and have less to worry about, but the real freedom comes with knowing I won't have to do the dance every day to keep finding replacements.

That's enough for this bout, but I'll be back with some other "shedding" stories and tales of my preparation for the long road ahead. Keep a light on for me, because I may be stopping by soon.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Internet bikers reach an all-time high!

Well, dare we say that internet bros and tough guys the world wide will now have no excuse to not have a build of their own going on 24/7. The boys over at Biltwell have ingeniously invented the way to have a bike without actually having a bike. Genious!
With the new chalk chopper, or "chalker", one can bro down with the best of them by the fire with glorious talk of dreams to come!

Disclaimer - I'm actually just pissed that when I draw on my walls, I get large bills from management... go figure.