Archive for 2011

Where’s The Egg?

December 25th, 2011

It’s in the nog! That is if you make it yourself. The FDA classifies Eggnog as “a milk product consisting of a mixture of milk or milk products of at least 6.0 percent butterfat, at least 1.0 percent egg yolk solids, sweetener, and flavoring. Emulsifier and not over 0.5 percent stabilizer may be add.” That’s not real eggnog!

Holiday Cheers!

It has been a while since we have posted a recipe on the blog. It has been even longer since we posted a recipe for an adult beverage. So, in honor of the holiday season and because we are drinking it, right now, here is a Happy Holiday Hobo Brew. Many call it eggnog. We do too.

Eggnog Ingredients

1/2 gallon milk
8 eggs*
1 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg
Rum to taste
dash of cinnamon

Step 1. Buy a gallon of milk. Drink lots of White Russians until you only have half of your gallon of milk left.
Step 2. Combine eggs, sugar, and spices. Whip until the mixture is no longer runny – ie. homogenized. In our off-grid home, this is done with a whisk and can take around five minutes. If you have a magic bullet or mixer, it will only take a couple of seconds.
Step 3. Pour egg mixture into 1 gallon container containing only eight cups (half of a gallon) of milk. Shake well.
Step 4. Add rum (spiced rum if you aren’t a hobo) until mixture is combustible or to desired taste.
Step 5. Add a dash of ground cinnamon.

Enjoy!

We hope this recipe keeps you nice and warm during your holidays. Best wishes to all of you. Love one another. Cheers!

* Since we are all adults, and it should be obvious, I wasn’t going to mention it, but for the sake of safety (and lawyers)… If you make and consume this drink, you will be ingesting raw eggs. If the risk of samonella concerns you, you may want to use pasteurized eggs or another recipe.

Four Years!

December 1st, 2011

As of December 1st, we have been living in a truck camper, full-time, for a total of four years. I had to change the title of the post. It is no longer “X Years Of Two People And Two Cats In 200 Hundred Square Feet”. We got a new member last year and lost one this year. That post name wasn’t honest anyway. Our floorspace is 11.4′ x 8′ and the bedroom is 7 x 8. It’s closer 120 square feet, and we make the most out of every square inch.

This is becoming a bi-yearly holiday for us. It appears that we neglected to celebrate our third year, but here is our post from two years ago: Two Years Of Two People And Two Cats In Two Hundred Square Feet 91.2

The Necessary Evil

November 11th, 2011

Over on our facebook page, Sean asked “Out of curiosity, where does the money to live come from? Even living inexpensively would seem to cost money, food, gas, repairs, etc..” I started to reply there, but it got way too long.

Hi Sean,

First, I have to ask: Do you work for the IRS?

Well, the money comes from a variety of places. We work camp on occasion. That usually gives us a few grand a year. Work camping, if you don’t know, is were your employer supplies your campsite and utilities in addition to paying you your regular wages. We also have a couple of websites, like FreeCampsites.net, that generate ad revenue. Lastly, there are our savings. In our previous lives, while we had good careers and well paying jobs, we didn’t live lavishly. We were two renter DINKs. That left us with a decent cushion for this adventure.

Johnny Hiking Bryce Canyon, Utah

We save money on hair cuts, too!

Most of all, we live on the cheap! We don’t EVER pay for camping. On average, we have traveled about 12,000 miles a year. This year we have only driven around 6,000 miles. We cook all of our meals even down to making our own bread and yogurt. We try to average about $1000 in expenses a month. That’s everything, including auto and health insurance.

We try to do all of our own repairs. When the bottom of our camper fell off, it could have cost us several thousand to have an RV shop repair it. Instead, Johnny did it for less than $200. When our wheel bearings went out, we replaced them as well as the ball joints. However, we aren’t as brave as our friends over at Raven’s Roads. Unlike them, we didn’t rebuild our transmission while on the road, we bought a new one when ours gave up the ghost. We’re not that cool!

We could easily work camp year round, like our friends The Gypsies Townsend who never touch the blessed nest egg, and have plenty of left over cash, but we aren’t going that route. At the moment, we are enjoying lots of free time and working on web development in hopes of creating a sustainable lifestyle. Which, in all honesty, it isn’t at this moment. It’s getting there, though.

Even though I have a web log, I am a private person when it comes to money, sorry if my answer is a bit vague.

Boondocking Computer

November 7th, 2011

My beast held up long enough for me to finally decide on a new laptop computer.  I have to admit, I could have picked one out sooner, but I was holding out for AMD to put a Llano A6 processor into a 11-13′ LCD laptop. It didn’t happen within the allotted time, so I ordered an ASUS Eee PC 1215B-PU17-BK. After much research, I believe it delivers the best ROI out of the laptops I compared.

1215B Pros:
8hrs+ battery life
40w power supply
Uses 6-11 Watt hours when idle (my current laptop is closer to 43w)
Uses 16-19 watt hours under load. (current one is closer to 70w)
Priced as low as $300

1215B Cons:
ASUS!
no spill proof keyboard
glossy screen

Johnny’s laptop, an ASUS EEE1005pe is a boondockers dream, but I cannot quite deal with a 10″ screen. If you can, you will be rewarded with up 14hrs (no joke!) of battery life with a 1hr recharge time at 40watts. It’s about as energy efficient as you can get. It’s perfect if you don’t do many CPU intensive tasks.

Anyway. My new laptop should be here this week. For some reason my $14.00 worth of “Amazon Standard Shipping” AKA SmartPost (bleh) is getting it from Kentucky to Colorado in nine days. Not exactly what I thought I was paying for, but it is what it is.

Once it gets here I get to experiment with operating systems. FreeBSD is what I prefer but there are still a lot of hoops to jump through to get it “mostly working” on a Eee PC. It appears that Linux has all the correct drivers, but I haven’t really used Linux since Slackware 7 and prefer FreeBSD. Hopefully, all will go well!

Not Ready To Let Go.

September 3rd, 2011

I seriously need a new laptop. Mine is almost on its last leg, literally. It is missing two of the the four rubber feet that it came with.

The keyboard is toast. About 8 months ago I spilled a beer on it. A deliciously thick, extra sticky porter. I instantly pulled the battery. I then opened it up, entirely, and cleaned everything pretty well. I rinsed the keyboard out in the kitchen sink. Then, I let it all sit around for about two weeks to dry out. It mostly worked after that. There was a 1.5″ blemish on the screen and about 3 keys didn’t function. But hell, I am not picky. It still worked…. until about two months ago. That’s when I, but lets blame the dog, spilled the glass of water on it. Now only three keys work.

The USB ports are flaky.
It’s like my computer is an old Nintendo and my USB device is a Legend of Zelda game cartridge. Sometimes I have to wiggle it, push it in and pull it out until I hear the music. Also, the ports may or may not be active when returning from hibernation which then requires a reboot since de/reactivating them doesn’t do the trick.

My hard drive is failing. I am very surprised it hasn’t, yet. It must be quality. I mean it did survive a ten foot drop off of a balcony and onto the side of a rocky hill. Quality. Darn thing didn’t even blink. I guess the other couple of falls off of the table in front of the sofa, again I totally blame the pets ;), finally did it in. For about the last five months, I have been loosing sectors randomly. Every one in a while, I get to cringe at the *ker-plink* sound my hard drive makes as it reminds me that the end is near.

In addition to all of the poor laptop’s plights, the damned thing causes us to run the generator if we have a couple of cloudy days. It’s a pig. Our inverter says that it pulls up to 160watts when it is charging.

All that and I still haven’t purchased a replacement.

I don’t really want to. My current laptop is what I wanted. Once upon a time(OK more like all my life), I used to game…A LOT A WHOLE LOT. Back then, I got excited about my next video card or processor. Things like the bus speed of the north bridge were really important to me. I researched hardware deeply and knew exactly what the best bang for the buck was going to be. I did the same thing with my current laptop. Now, that gaming isn’t really part of my life anymore, I don’t need a separate video card with decent cache and a ton of memory. I need a hmmm… I guess that’s the problem. I don’t know what I need. Well, I do know one thing. I need a laptop with a smaller screen and a huge battery that is very low voltage and wont be too much of a bugger to get UNIX running on. (OK that’s four things. Sue me) I just don’t know how to research and buy something that’s not an enterprise server or wintendo.

I am going to have to figure it out, though. This computer’s days are numbered and as much as it pains me, it isn’t worth fixing.

Anyone want to buy a used laptop?

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