Our Home Office

November 22nd, 2010

Our White Board

Our food cache/whiteboard

*secret stuff blurred

Well, I have a little free time now, so I finally did the modification to the camper we’ve been talking about for ages. This morning, I went to Lowe’s and picked up a piece of ‘marker board’ or ‘shower board’ paneling. For $10, I got almost three times what I needed, but maybe I’ll find a use for the leftover bits before we leave Campbellsville.

Our refrigerator came with paneling that has wood grained wallpaper to match the interior of the camper. So, my quickie project of the day was to remove that paneling and replace it with hideous, white shower board. Why? Now we have a white board in our camper! Well, two actually. One on the fridge door and one on the freezer door.

I also grabbed a pack of dry erase markers with built in magnets and erasers that stick to the range hood above the stove. In theory, we can now make a grocery list as we run out of things without having to keep track of a notepad. Also, we can use it to scribble down ideas for FreeCampsites.net and not lose the darn notepad before we get around to implementing them.

A whiteboard is one of the things I miss the most from a career in IT. In my first management position, we had an 8’x4′ whiteboard that was our main organizational tool.  I’ve always needed to draw ugly pictures with incorrect labels when designing a new project whether it was software or something more hands on.

I know… there should be pictures. Before I got around to taking any, we had already covered it in scribblings regarding freecampsites.net. As such, if we had an IP lawyer, I’m sure he’d have a fit were we to post images of our plans. Actually, I’m just lazy.
Update: Picture added – super secret plans have been blurred!

Wonder if having a whiteboard in the kitchen will convince the IRS that it’s really a home office?

Life in the back of a truck (part 4)

April 9th, 2009

This is part of an ongoing series on what it’s like to live in a truck camper fulltime. You may read other articles here:

  1. Part One – The fulltime lifestyle
  2. Part Two – Why a truck camper?
  3. Part Three – Weights & Dealing with them
  4. Part Four – Boondocking resource conservation

Gordon recently posed a question over at the Truck Camper Magazine blog that seemed like a great idea for the next part of our Life in the back of a truck series. He’s curious just how long his readers can boondock and what tricks they use to manage it. I got a bit long winded, but here’s my response.

The resources we have to work with are:

  • 46 gallons of fresh water
  • ~300 amp hours of battery in 2 Trojan T-1275 12V batteries
  • 60 pounds of propane in 2 30# tanks
  • A Honda eu2000i generator
  • ~4.5 gallons of gasoline plus whatever is in the scooter and generator (up to around 2 gallons if both are full)

Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Still, we manage to do fairly well when we find a place we want to stay for a while. It takes a little effort to conserve resources, but we manage to live quite comfortably for up to a two week stretch without running out of anything or breaking out a military desert survival handbook. Just how do we make these resources last and what sacrifices does it take, you ask? Well, read on to get a taste of the Hitek Homeless lifestyle!

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Sorry about that butt shaped divot in your couch!

January 24th, 2009

After two months sitting around in a house and sinking further and further into the couch, we’re finally back on the road. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time with Jenn’s aunt, uncle, cousins and the grand kids, but we made the mistake of hooking up the idiot box. Now, I can pretty easily sit in front of the tube all day if there are enough movie channels to keep me interested. I KNOW it’s dumb and not the best way to spend my time and have spent most of the last ten years without TV or without cable at the least. Still, when it’s available, I think ‘well, it’s temporary, so I can indulge’.

Somehow, we finally got motivated and winterized the house, moved stuff back to the camper and hit the road. However, we’d lost some hobo mojo and things went wrong the moment we tried to leave. First we got enough snow to make driving a bit hazardous for two days, then we developed a leak in the camper (probably from the thaw/ice cycle of the snowfall), broke a PVC pipe while disconnecting the house water and the camper fridge went on the fritz.

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A few family recipes

November 27th, 2008

This will probably be our last week in Tennessee before we head out for warmer climes sometime next week. Jenn’s aunt and uncle have invited us to Thanksgiving dinner, and there’s no way we can refuse, considering the spread they put out. In the spirit of traditional Thanksgivings, we figured we’d share a few more homemade recipes: my grandmother’s chocolate pie recipe and Jenn’s uncle’s recipe for limoncello.

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 teaspoons of cocoa
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 stick of butter (or margarine if you insist)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 8 ounce container of Cool Whip (thawed)
  • 2 baked pie crusts
  • Grab a medium sized pot and toss in everything but the pie crusts (duh!), Cool Whip and butter. Set your stove to medium or medium high heat and begin mixing it together. Once the mixture seems to be warming up a bit, toss the stick of butter in and keep stirring. You’re going to do a lot of stirring. Basically, you want to keep stirring until it achieves the consistency of a thick pudding. I recommend a whisk for this… or even a small hand mixer if you can keep it from splashing all over.

    Once the mixture thickens up, remove it from heat and pour into a couple of pie shells. Personally, I like Oreo or graham cracker pie crusts, but it’s pretty hard to ruin this pie by picking the wrong crust. Next, I like to leave the pies sitting out under a paper towel so that the steam doesn’t form condensation and make the crust soggy. About an hour should do it. Once they’ve cooled a bit, toss them in the fridge or freezer to cool further. Before serving, cover them with Cool Whip and grab your own fork and plate so as to be sure of getting a slice.

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    Rained out and loving it.

    June 22nd, 2008

    Well, its a another rainy day; which is good, because the streams are pretty low here. But today, I’d planned to finally finish up that hide that I have been carrying around with me. A year ago, I fleshed it out and mostly worked it soft while I was at Rivercane Rendezvous.

    pisgah-rainy

    I didn’t mess with it again until we were out of our stick and brick home. At that time, I pulled it out of the freezer and finished the softening stage. I couldn’t make a fire to smoke it at that campsite. So, I put the hide back in a bag and stuffed it into outside storage.

    Since we are talking about staying in this great campsite until my family gathering at the beginning of the month, I thought it would be a great time to finish the hide. So, yesterday, I gathered up some rotten wood to smoke with, some nice (fallen) trees to make a tripod, and started sewing up the hide. Johnny was so excited about the prospect of not having to smell my brain tanned hide when he opened that compartment anymore that he offered to erect the tripod. Such a nice guy. Thanks hun! Nice work.

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