31 July – 30 November, 2009

This period has been a continuation of the preceding one – that is what time seems to do. But it has also contained much the same activities in my life as the preceding one did – that is not always true of life.

The activity that I speak of was the continuing modification of, and adding to, of my web site. When I reported to you last I had 82 journal pages, 111 photo pages and 520 pictures or GIFs on the domain site and was continuing to add more. I have now almost everything on the site with the addition of my bicycling tours, starting in 1985, some car road trips, vacation trips and one hiking trip. This has expanded the site totals to 96 journal pages, 251 photo pages and 1,250 pictures or GIFs. With this finished I threw away all the pictures; as well as all the maps, notes, brochures that I had used to recreate the journals. I do have a few pictures of my parents and myself that I will probably add to the site but I have run out of time and interest at this point. I did add a Zee Map to the right margin and added markers for my Minden to Minden to Minden camps as a test of the map. I will be replacing those markers with others when I start my next trip. Click on Larger Map in the lower right of the small map and then click in the upper right corner for a list of all my camps. A click on any marker will bring up an information “balloon” that will let you link to my journal comments for that day(s).

I had been doing all of this work at home and then would go to the library and use their WIFI to access the web site. However, there are 28 library computers plus an unknown number of people like myself using their own computers that are all using the one data line that provides the WIFI signal. It became so overloaded and slow that I was timing out while trying to upload photos to the web site. I had upgraded my Ubuntu operating system twice since I bought this new computer and after the second upgrade I had a version that was claimed to be “plug-n-play” compatible with the Verizon air-card for Mobile Broadband service. I stopped in at my local Verizon store and although it was not a simple plug in we did get it to work. I was then able to finish all of the web site changes form home and much faster than using the WIFI at the library although Starbuck WIFI is even faster that my Mobile Broadband. It can also get overloaded from time to time with users and is quite slow. I thought that I might speed it up by upgrading to the most recent Ubuntu release and downloaded it but had something go awry and my computer became a boat anchor – would not boot up. I had to take it to a local shop and have them install the most recent Ubuntu operating system; so my free upgrade ended up costing me $100.

The other activity of importance was to get a colonoscopy done and find that colon cancer will probably not be my cause of death. The doctors that I have had at the VA for the past 9+ years have all suggested that I get a colonoscopy and I have always agreed to have one but it never happened. That is what it will be like for everyone when Omaba gets his “public option” health insurance passed. The public option will become the only option within a few years and then medical procedures, and care, will be rationed to everyone as they are now rationed by the VA. I don't know what is going to happen to my VA medical coverage upon the passage of the “health care reform” but my guess is that it will not improve and will most likely be taken away. If that happens, or the law does not recognize that I have medical coverage under VA, then I will become a criminal for not buying medical insurance and subject to a fine and imprisonment if I don't pay. The interesting paradox present in that scenario is the government will then have to provide me free health care while they have me locked up!

Another area that should be of concern is the “Cap and Trade” bill that is also being pressed upon us by Obama and friends. One of the interesting provisions in that bill is the creation of an agency that will have the authority to enter your home and survey it for its energy efficiency. I can only guess that there will be fines imposed, or you can not sell the home, until it has been upgraded to pass the governmental standards. If I were a young person looking for a career upon the passage of this bill I would be looking for a position as one of those inspectors – the amount that you can make in bribes will be fantastic.

One of my “out of it” comments on Obama's first 100 days concerned Iraq and Afghanistan. I want to update those comments with this bit of information: for the year of 2009, through October, there have been 416 US troops killed in those two countries compared to the 434 killed during the first 10 months of 2008. Former President George Bush was strongly condemned in the media for the loss of life in those two wars yet President Obama receives a Nobel Peace Prize and is praised by that same media. I believe the average Joe Six Pak can see what the media is doing/has done and it is not going to be favorable for Obama nor the media. The next industry to receive governmental bailout money, and governmental control, will be newspapers and this is going to cause President Obama even more grief.

Then there is the “hunger” problem in the United States with some 49 million people suffering hunger, many of them children. Is this the same 49 million that don't have medical insurance? These 49 million are in addition to the 32 million that are already on the Food Stamp program. So do we pass another law that specifies what each and every person must buy, who they can buy it from, how much it will cost and when they must eat it to eliminate this “hunger” problem in the United States? If the Health Insurance law passes then I would say the answer to that question will be – Yes! Oh, don't forget if you don't buy what the government specifies then you pay a fine, don't pay the fine then go to jail. I'm sure there unlimited things that the government can mandate that you buy, who you buy them from and how much you must pay or suffer a fine and/or go to jail. There was a time that this was called Extortion!

My most pressing remaining chore is to dispose of “stuff”. I have donated one car load to charity so far. I have also had my snow tires, rims, hub caps and chains posted for sale on Craigslist since the beginning of September but no one is buying. I'll sell and or give away some more between now and the end of November when my lease expires; but will still have a dozen boxes, my bed, lamp, chair and some clothes to go into storage. I hope to get rid of all of that by the end of 2010 if everything works out and I will then have only the “stuff” that I can carry with me in a motorhome.

That is my goal for the next year. To live in a motorhome, on the road, fulltime by the end of 2010! I will start that process by doing another trip with my xB and Teardrop starting at the end of November through early March 2010 but will be camping for 2-3 weeks at a time versus traveling almost every day. That is how I see me living in the motorhome also; camp for about 2 weeks and then travel for 1-2 days and camp again. If the government is going to make me a criminal it is best that I learn how to run and hide.

This will be my last Current Letter. I will start posting in more of a blog format on this current page in the future with those same postings saved to Peregrinating in chronological order. The heading of the current page will be:

The Peregrinating
Graybeard