Walkabout Update 3 Wolf Flats Idaho

If you want to help support me on my travels you may send me some moolah via Paypal
I’m not working at a jobby job right now, so anything helps. Thank you.

Dateline: Wolf Flats Area outside of Idaho Falls

I left Paul Wheaton‘s place in Montana on Monday 9/20/21 and made my way towards the Idaho falls area.

My goal is to get to Big Bear Lake CA. I didn’t want to drive more than 5-6 hrs per day so I decided to find campsites along the way.

Before I left I used ioverlander.com to scout out a good spot. I stumbled on this campsite at Wolf Flats. It looked very promising.

As I made my way out of Montana, which was getting pretty rainy I decided to buy new windshield wiper blades and wow what a difference that made. I also picked up a water filtration thingamajigger. I knew that I would be heading into some desert like territory and having clean water might be an issue.

I also noticed that Montana’s rest stops are WAY better than Washington’s. (except for the one with the jailhouse toilet) And yes, those are completely private stalls in the picture.

Montana rest areas, better than WA. Except for the jailhouse toilet

When I arrived I was completely surprised that the campsite was even better than ioverlander said. This area is awesome, right on the Snake river. Lush vegetation all over. A beautiful cliff (escarpment?) nearby. Sunsets and sunrises painting the area in wonderful colors that I wish my camera could capture.

I love this area near the river. Outside the river area it’s your typical sage brush dessert, which kinda sucks. But near the river, it’s like a whole new world. If I could buy property here I definitely would.

First impressions of my Wolf Flats campsite

First thing I did in the morning (after the usual hygienic rituals) was to drive about and raid all the empty campsites of unused firewood. I gathered plenty of wood for the next 3 days. I ended up leaving quite a bit for the next campers.

Someone painted a rock. The river view from campsite. I did a bit of laundry in the river. Fruits of my firewood scrounging.

I tried fishing for a bit, thank God that I’m not depending on fish for food ’cause for some reason I cannot catch fish in a barrel. My dad, by brother Alex and my son Cody are all great fishermen, but for some reason I never was able to figure it out, but I’ll keep trying ’cause I love me some fish to eat πŸ™‚

I had a visitor. More views from the campsite of the Snake River (looks like I included one twice, oops)

During my stay, the moon was full and lit up the area quite nicely. It was beautiful. I wish I had a real camera that could capture what it really looked like.

Full moon, it was so bright that it almost kept me awake. I could almost read in the tent.
My campfire

While I stayed here I finished recording my Intro to Bitcoin podcast and shot a bit of a rant in the woods video, inspired by Luke Smith.

Hotlinks, eggs and cheese. A very hearty breakfast.

I went into town to find some internet and got extremely frustrated with both Walmart and Starbucks wifi as they don’t seem to want to play nicely with Linux laptops. What ended up working really well for me was going to the library (duh). They had great wifi which allowed me to plan the next leg of my journey.

I want to make it to Big Bear CA to visit with some friends that I haven’t seen in about 20 years. I noticed that Las vegas was right in my path. I didn’t think that there would be any good campsites around or near Vegas (maybe I’m wrong). So I decided to find a spot in Utah to stay for a bit then I’d get a hotel in Vegas before finally making my way to Big Bear.

The idea of getting a hotel in vegas was very appealing to me as I would be able to take a nice hot shower. So far hygene hasn’t been much of an issue as my campsite is right on the Snake river and private enough that I can bathe without scaring anyone, but even though the days are warm the river is cold.

Signs for my Uncle Randy

I found a promising campsite on ioverlander.com again, near Utah’s Great Salt Lake (I’m definitely ).

Soon I will write all about my Great Salt Lake adventure….

PS,

What I’ve learned so far:

I may have over packed a bit. I probably didn’t need to bring 4 laptops, 3 external hard drives, 3 keyboards, a myriad of cables, an electric guitar and about 50 lbs of canned foods. On the other hand, bringing my Merge VR Headset has been awesome for watching movies in my tent. I just stick my phone in it and It’s almost like being in a theater.

Oh, and I should’ve brought a Hatchet but my ex-wife wouldn’t let me. I would’ve brought a Chainsaw but my daughter wouldn’t let me. (only a few people will get that joke) πŸ™‚

I also wrote a page describing how you can help to support me on my travels, click here.

Special Thank You to my brother Miles who sent me $500 via Paypal! – See the Thank You Page

If you want to help support me on my travels you may send me some moolah via Paypal
I’m not working at a jobby job right now, so anything helps. Thank you.

Libresults Podcast Episode 4 – Intro to Bitcoin

Like it or not Bitcoin has been invented and is on it’s way into your life.

The invention of bitcoin, much like the invention of the automobile will have a profound effect in your daily life in the not so distant future.

I believe that it is very important to have at least a basic understanding about how to use it. You don’t need to understand how it works in order to use and benefit from it. Much in the same way that you don’t need to understand how the internal combustion engine works in order to drive to your local store.

In this article I will discuss the very basics about bitcoin, it will not go into too much detail or dive into it’s technologies.

Points I will cover:

  • Very brief overview of what money is
  • What is bitcoin
  • What problems does bitcoin solve
  • What problems does bitcoin create
  • How to get bitcoin
  • How to secure your bitcoin
  • How to spend your bitcoin
  • Very brief intro to the Lightning network

What is Money?

This is an extremely huge topic that can be talked about for many hours. I will just be covering what money is in an very broad sense. Primarily what money is to the average everyday person.

Fundamentally money is a way to store value earned from goods and services over time so that later the value can be exchanged back into goods and services.

Example: You spend an hour mowing someone’s lawn they pay you $100. The money that you received represents your time and labor that you spent mowing the lawn. You have basically taken your life’s energy and exchanged it for a piece of paper. It’s kind of like a battery for your life’s energy.

You can now take that piece of paper and exchange it for someone else’s goods and services. So long as the other person agrees that the piece of paper is a fair trade for their life’s energy that they put into those goods and or services they’re selling. Basically they are now trading their life’s energy for your piece of paper, and the cycle repeats.

There are many other aspects to money that are worth exploring. I recommend reading “The Bitcoin Standard” by – Saifedean Ammous as the first three quarters of the book really dives into this topic.

Money can be anything from sea shells to gold and many things in between. In order for something to be considered good or sound money it should have the following properties.

Sound money should be:

  • Durable – Not easily transformed or destroyed
  • Portable – Easy to possess and move about the world
  • Fungible – Each unit should be easily exchangeable (4 quarters = $1)
  • Scarce – Not easily obtained
  • Divisible – Self explanitory
  • Recognizable – One should be able to verify that the money they have is legit

Bitcoin has all these properties.

What is bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a network based digital money.

Bitcoin is a digital money that through the use of extremely clever mathematics, and network effects, possess all the above properties of sound money. Durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, recognizability, and other unique properties that make it the most sound money ever created.

What Problems does bitcoin solve?

Counterfeiting:

With a digital thing like a picture or mp3 file you can very easily make an exact copy of it and send those copies anywhere across the internet.

Bitcoin on the other hand takes a digital thing and using some clever math tricks and network effects makes it unable to be copied (counterfeited). It is practically impossible to counterfeit bitcoin.

I say practically impossible because it’s not practical to counterfeit bitcoin. It would cost more in energy to counterfeit the bitcoin than the bitcoin would be worth. Much like you could theoretically turn lead into gold using nuclear fission, it would cost more money in processing than the value of gold you would get in return. Therefore impractical.

Trustless secure storage:

Before the invention of networked computers people kept their money in the form of either paper currency or pieces of gold or silver. Then to keep their money safe they had to jump through a bunch of hoops like storing it in a bank, under a mattress, in a safe etc. All of these storage methods had tremendous risks associated with them.

Today people trust their money to a third party banking system which could fail or be seized at any time.

Bitcoin can be secured simply remembering 12 words. (seed phrase to your private keys) Without these 12 magic words no one can take control of your bitcoin. No one, not ever.

Trustless transportation:

Unlike regular forms of money, you do not need to transport bitcoin. Your bitcoin exists on the network everywhere in the world all at the same time. So as long as you can access the network you can access your bitcoin.

If you had $1,000,000 in gold (approx 45 lbs) and you wanted to leave your country with it, you open yourself up to a whole bunch of problems ranging from laws telling you that you can’t take out of your country, to being robbed as you travel with it. Not to mention that carrying 45 lbs of anything on your person can be problematic.

Limited supply

There will be only approx 21 million bitcoin ever in existence. This can never be changed without the majority of the people that are running bitcoin software’s consent. (practically impossible) This scarcity ensures that bitcoin will always retain it’s value.

100% Accountability

Each and every single bitcoin transaction is recorded on a publicly auditable ledger. Each and every person running the bitcoin software can verify that each and every transaction is legitimate on the bitcoin public ledger. You can be assured that your bitcoin rightfully belongs to you and only you. This is practically impossible to do with other money systems.

There are more problems that bitcoin solves. I encourage you to seek out more info (links below)

Problems bitcoin creates

Personal responsibility

Bitcoin forces you to be responsible with your money. If you loose your private keys (think password) then you loose your bitcoin. Much in the same way that if you loose a dollar bill you’ve lost it, actually it’s more like lighting your dollar bill on fire, you’re not getting it back.

Not your keys not your bitcoin

If you do not control your private keys yourself then whomever does, owns your bitcoin and can send it to anyone they wish to. So keep your private keys safe and under your sole control.

Whomever controls the keys is the owner of the bitcoin, period.

Governments may not like you having bitcoin

Governments typically control the money within their respective borders. They cannot control bitcoin, even if they wanted to. It’s truly a money by the people for the people.

No one can take your bitcoin without your consent and no one can stop you from exchanging your bitcoin with anyone else. This makes bitcoin problematic governments. Governments like to be take your money without your consent (IRS witholdings, bank account seizures)

Many governments don’t allow you to take large amounts of money with you when you leave the country. It’s impossible for them to stop you from accessing your bitcoin anywhere in the world.

So you may or may not run into governmental issues if you own bitcoin.

Bitcoin is not private!

Because each and every transaction is publicly viewable to anyone running the bitcoin software, once someone has associated you with a particular bitcoin address it’s trivial for them to figure out where got your bitcoin and where you’re spending your bitcoin.

There are ways to be more private but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

So for now don’t buy things with bitcoin that you don’t want others to know about.

Bitcoin scalability problems.

The way bitcoin works is that transactions get settled to the public ledger about every 10 minutes on average and incur a fee which can get quite expensive. The details regarding this are beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say this is a problem which is currently being solved with second layer solutions such as the lightning network. More on lightning later.

Dependency on access to the network.

Bitcoin requires access to the bitcoin network typically over the internet. No internet, no bitcoin. No electricity, no bitcoin.

This may seem like a serious flaw with bitcoin, but if bitcoin becomes the standard money used by all people then having access to electricity and internet would be a very high priority for everyone and outages would be short lived.

Having some gold, silver or dirty fiat on hand may not be a bad idea in case of such emergencies.

And more, I encourage you to seek out more info (links below)

How to get bitcoin

Finally the good stuff. How do I get some of this magical internet money.

Just so you know each bitcoin can be divided one hundred million times.

The smallest unit of bitcoin is called a Satoshi or Sat for short, named after bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

So you can easily purchase small amounts of bitcoin like $20 worth at a time.

As of this writing $20 worth of bitcoins is 44,258 Sats or 0.00044258 bitcoin BTC for short

Buy from an exchange.

There are many ways to get bitcoin but probably the easiest for everyone would be to buy it from an exchange like coinbase (affiliate link – Free $10 in BTC)

Once you have jumped through all of Coinbase’s hoops and purchased bitcoin from them, you still don’t own bitcoin. Remember not your keys not your bitcoin. Coinbase owns the private keys to the bitcoin. This is called a custodial solution as they are in custody of your bitcoin on your behalf. Much like a regular bank has custody of the dollars you deposit into it. They allow you to transfer and trade it but while they have custody of it on their site, they ultimately own the bitcoin you purchased and can steal it from you if they wanted to. So what do you do?

How to secure your bitcoin.

There are many ways that you can take custody of your bitcoin. I’ll only be covering the really easy solutions. I highly recommend learning more about bitcoin security.

Get a bitcoin wallet on your phone or computer.

There are bitcoin wallets for your phone or computer that you can have that allow you to store your bitcoin while controlling your keys.

The one’s that I’ve used are Coinomi, and Jaxx Liberty. Both have desktop as well as mobile wallets.

I don’t really have an opinion regarding them as I’m still trying them out.

Once you have a wallet installed and you have safely secured your magic 12 word seed phrase. Go to your coinbase account and transfer your bitcoin to your wallet. I recommend you send just a few dollars worth to make sure it works. It can take up to 30min for the transfer to take place so be patient. (This is why the lightning protocol was created)

Hardware wallets.

Hardware wallets allow you to securely store your bitcoin keys off line. They are beyond the scope of this.

How to spend your bitcoin

The best way to explain this is through an example transaction.

Alice wants to pay Bob for mowing her lawn. Bob opens up his Jaxx mobile wallet and, taps on his bitcoin wallet then taps the receive button. A QR code pops up and he shows it to Alice.

Meanwhile Alice opens up her Coinomi wallet, taps on bitcoin then taps send. She fills out the amount that she wishes to send denominated either in bitcoin or USD. She then taps the QR code graphic. Coinomi opens the camera app which she points at Bob’s screen and scans his QR code. She then verifies the transaction details and then taps confirm.

In a matter of moments Bob’s wallet will show that Alice has sent him bitcoin. He will not be able to spend it until the transaction is confirmed on the network. This can take 30 min or longer but usually happens within 10 min on average.

Once the transaction is confirmed Alice no longer owns the bitcoin she sent, and Bob is now the new owner of the bitcoin. This transaction is irreversible and final.

A very brief intro to the Lightning network.

This business of waiting for 10 min or longer for a transaction to be confirmed is very problematic and does not scale at all for normal day to day transactions.

It’s fine for things that are not time sensitive but most everyone is impatient these days.

The solution, the bitcoin lightning network.

The lightning network is a separate network built on top of the regular bitcoin network that allows for nearly instantaneous transactions with negligible fees. These transactions sit a layer above the bitcoin protocol and are backed by and guaranteed by bitcoin base layer.

You don’t need to know how it works in order to use it. It’s fast, secure and extremely inexpensive to use. Which solves bitcoin’s biggest problem, scalability.

I plan on covering the lightning network in the future.

There you have it an introduction to bitcoin. There is a ton more to learn about bitcoin should you choose to. I highly advise anyone to dive down the rabbit hole and dig in.

Remember you don’t have to understand it in order to use it. Just like a car all you need to learn is how to drive it. You do not need to know what a spark plug is or whether or not you have a cap and rotor. Just get in and drive.

Resources

Learn about Bitcoin

Bitcoin.org is a good place to start

What Bitcoin Did Podcast by Peter McCormack

Dive deeper into the rabbit hole.

Bitcoin Audible Podcast by Guy Swann

Wallets

Exchanges

Walkabout Update 2 Wheaton Permaculture

If you want to help support me on my travels you may send me some moolah via Paypal
I’m not working at a jobby job right now, so anything helps. Thank you.

If you don’t know anything about Paul Wheaton or Permaculture, see my last post Intro to Paul Wheaton and his Permaculture Properties

Dateline: About an hour outside of Missoula Montana.

Before I arrived I had a choice to make. I could join the Permaculture Bootcamp Program where for $100 I would be given a comfy place to stay in return for 40 hrs a week labor. Or I could use the SEPPer Program, pay some more money to rent a place to stay and wouldn’t be obliged to lift a finger to help.

I’m pretty cheap so the bootcamp program was very appealing to me but I didn’t like being obliged to do anything if I didn’t want to. So I opted for the SEPPer program $175 for 2 weeks to pitch a tent and not be obligated to work.

I arrived last Friday 9/10/21. When I first got here I had a good idea about what to expect from Paul as I’ve listened to 100% of his 570+ podcasts over the past 10+ years. I wasn’t sure about how the other residents would be. I half expected to be surrounded by a bunch of dirty hippies. Boy was I wrong.

This place is amazing, everything about it. The people are very kind, courteous and friendly. For the most part they are down to earth, very hard workers and a pleasure to be around. It turns out I was the dirtiest hippy in the bunch. Thankfully there was a shower available to remedy my situation.

The first thing I noticed was the berm-shed. This thing is crazy. From the side of the road it just looks like any old hill but when you look at the other side it’s hollow and is a place for storing things. I never in a million years would suspect such a thing existed whilst driving by on the road.

The Berm-shed at Basecamp

Another impressive thing is the junk pole fence. While I wouldn’t use these fences to try to keep larger livestock or even dogs in, they would work great for chickens, ducks, turkeys etc. They are simple to construct and easy to maintain. Plus they look cool, in a “Get off muh land” sort of way.

Junk Pole Fencing at Basecamp

The place is kept immaculate by the boots. Everyone here is very conscientious. I was especially impressed with the “Willow Feeders” Not your everyday outhouse. These are by far the best off grid poo solution I have ever encountered. There is hardly any smell, they are comfortable to be in and the foot operated sink is way better than most automatic faucets I’ve used.

Willow Bank at Basecamp. Many deposits have been made πŸ™‚

The more time I spend around Paul’s hugelkultur berms, the more I am in awe of their magnificence. The are 2 main hugels that are about 150 ft combined. The tallest one is about 16ft tall. There are a ton of things planted into them such as, many different squashes, peas, beans, rhubarb, comfrey, potatoes, kale, corn, broccoli, and many other things I can’t identify. Since this area doesn’t get much rainfall and the hugels are still getting established they have been irrigating them this year.

I spent the weekend just walking about the place, playing my guitar and taking in the sites. Come Monday I joined the other boots to help them as they worked. I figured that I paid only $12.50 per day to be here which is cheaper than most campsites and way cheaper than any hotel so the least I could do was to make myself useful and help out.

Things that I did with the boots

  • Participated in Sunday’s “Cleaning Blitz”
  • Put mulch on the huge hugelkultur berms
  • Moved a pile of pea gravel
  • Helped unload a bunch of bricks for the upcoming Rocket Mass Heater Jamboree
  • Chiseled a notch for a support beam for the solarium they are building
  • Helped irrigate the hugels
  • Shoveled a whole bunch of dirt (thanks Grey)
  • Learned how to properly sharpen chisels (thanks again Grey)
  • Cut some rebar
  • Helped change out batteries and SD cards on the game cameras at the Lab
  • Posted game camera pics on permies
  • Cut veggies for Taco Tuesday
Mulching the Hugelkulturs
Dez moving a ton of bricks. Note: The mask is being used for it’s intended purpose, dust not virii
Grey cutting mortises in support beam for the solarium at basecamp
Irrigating the hugelkulturs
Shoveling dirt with Grey in ditch for installing water line at the Labs
Magdalene changing out batteries and SD cards at the Labs

Overall I had a wonderful time here at Paul’s place. I am considering coming back maybe in the spring. I plan on leaving this coming Monday morning 9/20/21. The goal is to meander my way to Big Bear Lake CA to visit with some friends that I haven’t seen in over 20 years.

More to come…

Please Support Me!

If you find value in following my journey please consider giving some value back in return.

If you want to help support me on my travels you may send me some moolah via Paypal
I’m not working at a jobby job right now, so anything helps. Thank you.

Thank you

Thank you to Lora (Lori) S. for her $50 “Tank of Gas” Paypal donation!

Intro to Paul Wheaton and his Permaculture Properties

If you want to help support me on my travels you may send me some moolah via Paypal

I thought that maybe before posting about my experiences here at Paul Wheaton’s place I should post a bit about who Paul is, so here it is.

For those of you who don’t know Paul Wheaton, he is an iconic figure in the world of permaculture. He has done so many things to help advance, teach, and spread the word of permaculture to the masses.

He’s probably best known for permies.com, likely the world’s most informative place on the internet for anything you need to know regarding permaculture, homesteading, wild crafting, animal husbandry, gardening, and a whole bunch more. In a time when most forums have died, permies is still going strong, with hundreds, if not thousands of active users.

Pro tip: If you want to find the best info about the topics above, go to google and type site:permies “search term here”
Example: site:permies.com high desert

Paul, along with Ernie and Erica Wisner and others, are also known for their work with rocket mass heaters (RMH) RMHs are an innovate type of wood burning stove that when properly constructed and operated, can heat a home using 10% of the wood that a conventional stove uses with virtually no air pollution.

Rocker mass heaters, rocket oven and water heater for the showers

Building off the work of Mike Oehler Paul has designed and built several in ground homes that he calls Woodland Oehler Freaky-Cheap Annualized Therman Inertia structures or WOFATI for short. This is another amazing and innovative design that pictures can not do justice. Read all about WOFATIs here

Cooper Cabin Wofati at the Labs

Paul is responsible for popularizing Sepp Holzer’s hugelkultur. Hugelkulturs are a type of wood filled raised garden mound that when built properly can greatly reduce the amount of irrigation needed to grow plants. Read all about hugelkulturs here.

Hugelkulturs outside of the Fisher Price House

In addition to the research and development of natural systems Paul has also been developing an intentional community of like minded individuals to help realize his dream of a permaculture paradise outside of Missoula Montana. Paul has made great progress in creating a mutually beneficial community on his properties through his various residency programs.

Disclaimer: The lists below are of my creation and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Paul Wheaton or his associates.

Pro tip: DO NOT come to Paul’s place if you are:

  • An asshole
  • Lazy
  • Slovenly
  • Unwilling to be wrong
  • Always right
  • Impatient
  • Uncaring
  • Unwilling to learn
  • Unreasonably self important
  • Etc.

Pro tip: Please DO come to Paul’s place if you are:

  • Willing to work hard
  • Clean, outside as well as within.
  • Good Natured
  • Respectful of yourself as well as others
  • Love permaculture
  • Love to learn
  • Love to teach
  • Love to share wholesome experiences with others
  • Willing to be wrong
  • Sick of being in the rat race
  • Looking for a way to make the world a better place instead of being angry at bad people.

If you’re not sure if you have any of the qualities above then ask a good friend to be brutally honest with you. If you don’t have a good friend then chances are that you need to do some work on yourself.

I think that was a decent introduction to who Paul Wheaton is. He is a man who is bonkers about permaculture. He is a human and has flaws like the rest of us. He is not a super hero but he has done more super hero things than most of us have.

In conclusion I would highly recommend that you click on all the links above and immerse yourself into this world of permaculture, learn as much as you can and help us make the world a better place.

Please Support me

If you want to help support me on my travels you may send me some moolah via Paypal I’m currently not working at a jobby job so anything helps.

Another way that you can support both me and Paul Wheaton is to purchase any of the products below, The links are affiliate links, I will get a percentage of the money that you spend. THANK YOU!!!

Better Wood Heat: DIY Rocket Mass Heaters 8-DVD Set as HD instant view
Building a Better World in Your Backyard – instead of being angry at bad guys eBook
177 hours of video: the Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course

Walkabout Update 1 Wenatchee to Montana

If you want to help support me on my travels you may send me some moolah via Paypal

I left my brother’s place in Sultan, WA and headed for Wenatchee on Labor Day 9/5/21.

It turns out that trying to find a camp site on Labor Day is not such a good idea so I ended staying in the cheapest hotel I could find. The Travelodge, it cost me $75, nothing to brag about and was perfectly adequate for my needs. I spent much of the day playing my guitar at local parks. Wenatchee is a very nice town.

Next stop was Almira, WA to visit with my Aunt whom I haven’t seen in many years. I had a good time BS’ing with her, her husband and my cousin. My uncle has some pretty impressive horses on his property. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of his stalion.

My uncle’s horses and sun setting outside of Almira, WA

It was getting late and I started to think that I would have to sleep in my car if I didn’t find a campsite. It turns out that I have no data service at all while roaming. My phone is an old Sprint S5 and apparently Sprint is going through changes. I ended up finding some wifi and using ioverlander.com (Thanks Josh) and thedyrt.com I was able to find a camp site at Roses Lake near Manson, WA.

When I got there it was dark and there were no signs indicating that camping was allowed. There was no one there so I just pitched my tent anyway and got some much needed sleep. In the morning I briefly checked out the lake before making my towards Missoula, MT

Roses Lake, near Manson, WA

I then found a beautiful camp site just outside of St. Regis MT on the Clark Fork River. Set up camp, cook some spam and played my guitar along the river bank. I spent a short time fishing to no avail. Unlike my brother and my dad, I am not good at catching fish. I did catch a buzz though.

Later that day I had some neighbors arrive. I tried to offer them some salmon but they said they didn’t like salmon (weirdos) Had a drink with them shot the shit for a few. When I explained that I was on a sabbatical of sorts one of them said “Oh, you’re on a walkabout”. I like walkabout much better than sabbatical. The next morning, made coffee, cooked some salmon, broke down camp and headed for Missoula to try to visit with Paul Wheaton at his Permaculture site.

Cooking in Montana

Once I arrived in Missoula I reached out to Paul and while awaiting his response I went to the local forestry service and picked up some awesome National Forest maps and went scouting for campsites. I found a potential site near Pattee Canyon which was not very good, but it was close to town. Later that afternoon I decided to scout out other areas, I ended up at Thibodeau campground, on the Black Foot River. Unfortunately it cost me $18. It was worth it but spending money isn’t something I should be doing.

Thibodeau campground outside of Missoula MT.

The next day I arranged to meet at Paul Wheaton’s place. To be continued ……

My uncle Randy wanted me to post pics of signs as I travel.

Uncle Randy, Here’s yer signs

Road Signs from Nason Creek, WA to Missoula MT

The Journey Begins

I plan on documenting my sabbatical journey on this site in addition to it’s regular content, afterall this site is supposed to be about my journey to gain more liberty in my life.

I finally got all my worldly possessions packed into storage and my car and now it’s time to hit the road.

My travels begin by visiting with friends and family as I make my way out of Washington state.

First stop was in Buckley, WA to visit my brother and to drop off some things that I didn’t want to put into storage.

Then on to Sultan, WA to visit with my other brother who just happened to buy a new river fishing boat.

We went out on the Shohomish River and caught 2 pink salmon and had a blast.

Fish on!
Pink Salmon (Humpy)

I’m now in Wenatchee, WA on my way to visit my Aunt in Almira. Then off to Missoula, MT where I can hopefully meet up with Paul Wheaton

I’m Going on a Sabbatical

So the past year and a half has been a bit trying for me.

In Jan 2020, I got divorced, quit my job and moved into a storage unit for about 4 months before getting an apartment. The divorce was very amicable and there are no bad feelings or any animosity between my ex and I.

The whole Covid thing hitting in March really put a big damper on things. Needless to say I’ve had some time to myself to reevaluate my life.

For the 1st time in a very long time I am no longer am responsible for others. There’s absolutely nothing keeping me in one place other than the material things that I’ve accumulated over the years.

I have no debt, my bills are miniscule, so fuck it. I’m going to jump in my car and drive. Where? I don’t know. I have some ideas.

I may end up in New Hampshire and visit my niece for a bit. I’m interested in New Hampshire’s Free state project, maybe I’ll check it out.

I may end up driving to the Missoula MT area and see if I can work for Paul Wheaton as slave labor for a bit. I greatly respect what he is doing in the world of Permaculture.

I really like Jack Spirko and his Survival Podcast. Maybe I’ll travel to TX and see if he’d be willing to have a beer with me. It would also be awesome if I could have a beer with Adam Curry who is also in TX.

I haven’t seen much of the east coast so Florida seems enticing.

I have very little money, so how am I going to make this happen?

Well first off, cancel all the subscription services that I don’t really need. Netflix, Audible, Amazon Prime, etc. Then put all my worldly possessions into storage. Should cost me about $140/month πŸ™

Then while the weather is good. Camp in free sites that I can find along the way. Food isn’t really an issue with me as I have over 25yrs in the food business and I know how to do a lot of eating for little money. Plus I’m definitely bringing a fishing pole πŸ™‚

How will I make money to buy things like gas?

This is a tougher nut to crack. I can always find a job in a restaurant if I absolutely have to. There’s things like Craigslist gigs and the like.

I have all the technical skills required to blog / vlog / podcast my adventures and maybe I can get some support via donations.

I could do youtube / odysee tutorials on various subjects.

You could paypal some money to me – That would definitely help πŸ™‚

I haven’t really thought through all the possibilities but suffice to say when push comes to shove, I’m not pushing my car. I will find a way to legally earn money.

There are ways to legitimately make money online. I’ve been toying with many of them in my head since the 90’s (I’ve even made a buck or 2)

Maybe being out in the elements will give me the push I desperately need to figure out exactly what I want out of life.

I plan on leaving around the 1st of September.

So….. Stay tuned, hopefully it’ll be an interesting and fun adventure.

Libresults Podcast Episode 3 – Using a Home Server to Protect Your Privacy Without Sacrificing Connectivity

Libresults Podcast, Episode 3

Today I talk about how to improve your personal privacy while still being able to do most anything that a 3rd party can provide by using your own home server.

Using basic file shares to access your data on a local network
Use media servers like Jellyfin to easily access your videos and music on your TVs and other devices
Use Nextcloud to store, access and create your data anywhere on the internet

Resources

Media Servers
Jellyfin
Kodi
Emby
Plex

Media Conversion / DVD Ripping
Handbrake
libdvdcss-2.dll

Personal Cloud Software
Nextcloud
Owncloud

Virtual Private Server (Your very own computer on the internet for as little as $5/Month)
digitalocean.com – Referral Link (You get $100 in credit over 60 days)

Googleless Android App Store
F-Droid

Interesting Reading
US Third Party Doctrine (Wikipedia)

How I use YouNeedABudget (YNAB) to increase the amount of money I keep

You Need A Budget

In this tutorial I will be following up on the Libresults Podcast Episode 2 – The Importance of Budgeting and showing how I personally use the budgeting software “You Need a Budget” or YNAB for short.

First things first, you will need to sign up for YNAB.
YNAB is $11.99 per month or $84 per year and has a free 34 day trial plan.
If your a student then YNAB is FREE!

This link is a referral link, if you sign up using this link then I get 1 month of YNAB for free YouNeedABudget – Thank you!
If you’re a student this link let you sign up for free YouNeedABudget/College

Important thing to remember; It’s ok to make a mistake. When you make a mistake relax, YNAB makes it easy to correct errors and make changes. Ctrl-Z (undo) is your friend.

Adding your bank account

While you are learning to use YNAB I recommend that you do NOT “Link” your bank account. Linking allows YNAB to pull data automatically and directly into your budget. I did this in the beginning and got crazy confused. Add your bank account as an “Unlinked” account.

Starting Balance

You don’t need to enter all the transaction data from your bank statement. You may if want to but it’s not necessary. I just took my available balance and entered it as my starting balance for my budget, and that was the starting point for me.

You can also track your cash spending. I don’t do this but I can see how it could be useful for some people.

Setup your categories and category groups

By default YNAB has example category groups and categories already made for you. I personally didn’t find these very applicable to me as well I was a bit confused as to how to work with them.

I watched a wonderful video by Nick True entitled YNAB For Beginners – Quick Start Guide (2018) It was this video which really allowed me to realize the power of YNAB

You can set up your category groups however you want to, I encourage you to experiment and find what works best for you. The following is what works best for me.

I prefixed my category groups them with a number, this is for prioritization, the lower the number, the higher the priority. Categories in the Priority 1 category group MUST be funded at all times.

01-Fixed Expenses
These are categories that are relatively fixed and are regularly paid each month.

I name them by account name then amount needed then the date by which it’s needed.
I then sort them based on the date that they need to be paid. To sort just click on the category name and drag it into position.
Bills at the 1st of the month go on top.

Examples:
Rent – 1200 on the 1st
Storage Rental – 100 on the 1st
Comcast 100 on the 4th
Digitalocean – 50 on the 5th
Ting – 25 on the 24th

02-Living Expenses
These are categories that I need to fund for basic day to day life
I name them with a dollar amount that I would like them to be funded to

Examples:
Vices – 100
Groceries / Toiletries – 150
Gas – 200

03-Vehicles
These categories are longer term cats regarding vehicles

Examples:
Tabs – Honda 100 every April
Auto Maintenance – 100

Long Term Expenses
Amazon Prime – 135 Every November
Home Maintenance
Medical
Clothing
Giving
Computer Replacement

Unexpected Expenses

Examples:
Adjustments
Stuff I forgot to budget for

Make some category groups and categories that make sense for the way you live your life.

Give your money jobs to do.

A key concept in YNAB is that for every dollar that you receive, you assign it a job to do.

If you are not already on the Budget screen then click on “Budget” near the top left of the screen.

You should see a large green box at the top center of the screen labeled “To be Budgeted” This is the money that currently have no purpose, they are poor lost dollar bills that need something to do.

Which categories should you fund first? Especially if you currently don’t have enough money to fund them all. This is why I prioritized them.

Look at today’s date. Fund your categories starting with the highest priority based on when is it due.

Example: Today is the 5th, I’ve already paid the bills due on the 1st but not the 4th or the 5th yet. So I will first assign dollars to the Comcast bill which was due yesterday. Then to the Digitalocean, a bill due today. Then to the next bill, then the next, and so forth.

If you run out of money to be budgeted before you can fully fund the entire month, that’s ok, so long as you are expecting another payday before they are due. In this case fully fund all your bills up to your next payday. If you still don’t have enough money then you are probably living above your means and you should seriously look at eliminating unnecessary bills from your life and / or increasing your income.

If you are able to fund all your monthly bills and have money left over then “Congratulations” you can now start fund the other categories in the same manner.

Getting ahead

Another key concept in YNAB is to be able to pay today’s bills with last months money.

Once you have completely funded your monthly categories you still have money left to be budgeted you can begin to over fund categories. I set a goal for each category of 2x. So if my Ting bill is $25 I would like to have it’s category funded to the tune of $50. I begin with my smallest bills first as they are the easiest goals to reach and it just make me feel better quicker.

Once you have fully reached your 2x goals you can keep increasing to 3x or more. If you have funded all your bills by 3x then you know that if for some reason you loose your income, you have the bills covered for 3 months. This gives you the most precious of all things, time. you know that you have approx 3 months to get your act together to bring in more money.

For me, after I have 3 months of bills paid I then start funding less important things, like a new computer, vacations, eating out, etc.

Adding Transactions

Deposits

When money gets deposited to your account click on the appropriate bank account then click “Add Transaction”, Choose the date of the deposit.

For Payee I typed in “Me: Salary” YNAB will create a new Payee named “Me: Salary” if it doesn’t already exist.

Since the deposit is income enter it into the “inflow” box. If the deposit is actually in your bank account and available according to your bank statement then click the “c” next to the inflow box to indicate that this transaction is currently “cleared”.

Purchases

Recording purchases is basically the same as recording deposits, you just record the money in the outflow box instead of the inflow box, assign it to a Payee (or create a new Payee) and check the “cleared” button accordingly.

That’s basically how I do it, YNAB has a lot more features not covered here, I encourage you to poke around and try them out.

If you’re afraid of messing up your budget don’t be. YNAB also has a feature where you can have multiple budgets. Just make a budget for experimenting.

Libresults Podcast Episode 2 – The Importance of Budgeting

Libresults - The Importance of Budgeting

RSS Feed Subscribe to the Libresults Podcast

In this podcast I talk about how budgeting has helped me to keep more money than I spend.

Links

How I use YNAB – A Tutorial about I use YouNeedABudget to budget.
YouNeedABudget.com (YNAB) – Affiliate link (if you sign up I get 1 free month)
YNAB is Free for College Students!!
Nick True’s Youtube video on how he uses YNAB
Coming Soon – My video Tutorial on how I use YNAB
LibreOffice – A really good free alternative to Microsoft Office
GnuCash – A free libre open source accounting software