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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

Chuchi 12-25-13 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16358458)
Look at it this way. You didn't spend all that money on stuff...you spent it on a valuable lesson about stuff.

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!

That's a much better way to look at it, Roody. Marry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to you too!

Rollfast 12-30-13 10:36 AM


Originally Posted by technoD (Post 16353641)
Hmmm, I see people at the local library blogging using public computers all the time. I have my own laptop to blog with if I wish,and smartphones can be had very cheaply now and take up very little room in your pocket so they're excellent for minimalists. ;)

If you don't have a card in my town you are relegated to one of two non-DSL PC for 30 minutes vs. 1 hour on the fast Gates Foundation provided DSL computers. That is one hour, per DAY, and the library has limited hours, almost closed for good.

Malheur County, Oregon is the poorest county in the state or close. The library doors have weapons detectors and backpacks must br checked in. All 12-15 computers have people waiting, regardless and you cannot think enough to get email caught up sometimes much less blog.

We have one public library in Ontario, just spent money we didn't really have to build a modern middle and high school and the true reason jobless rates are lower than October 2008 is that everybody left town that couldn't get a job and could leave.

Smartphones are a pipe dream that cost a lot of money and that's why the wireless assistance program Virgin operates uses TEXT-ONLY cellphones. If my computer moves, I am either cleaning or it's being stolen. I am not sacrificing my food budget nor my bike budget nor the small amount I spend to feed my cats as I LIKE my cats and I don't need a cellphone vs. friends and somebody paying attention when I'm not doing well and helping. If nobody responds or they hide behind them, cellphones are weapons, as surely as a nuclear bomb. One useless wired phone is more than enough and I've got the total bill down to just over 72 dollars a month or nearly one tenth of my fixed income and covering the DSL and unlimited long distance as well for four more years. I will not accept any more subsidies than I already have, the heating assistance and food bank are as far as I will go beyond my rent and oh sheesh. I have better medical coverage than my poor mother as she can't qualify for full Medicare/Medicaid and I have both and the LIS so all I have is co-payments but then again my mom is debating getting a full 'erector set' for her back that has more broken discs than the Disco record explosion at that famous ballgame years ago.

Make sense now?

technoD 12-30-13 01:23 PM


Originally Posted by Rollfast (Post 16367719)
If you don't have a card in my town you are relegated to one of two non-DSL PC for 30 minutes vs. 1 hour on the fast Gates Foundation provided DSL computers. That is one hour, per DAY, and the library has limited hours, almost closed for good.

Malheur County, Oregon is the poorest county in the state or close. The library doors have weapons detectors and backpacks must br checked in. All 12-15 computers have people waiting, regardless and you cannot think enough to get email caught up sometimes much less blog.

We have one public library in Ontario, just spent money we didn't really have to build a modern middle and high school and the true reason jobless rates are lower than October 2008 is that everybody left town that couldn't get a job and could leave.

Smartphones are a pipe dream that cost a lot of money and that's why the wireless assistance program Virgin operates uses TEXT-ONLY cellphones. If my computer moves, I am either cleaning or it's being stolen. I am not sacrificing my food budget nor my bike budget nor the small amount I spend to feed my cats as I LIKE my cats and I don't need a cellphone vs. friends and somebody paying attention when I'm not doing well and helping. If nobody responds or they hide behind them, cellphones are weapons, as surely as a nuclear bomb. One useless wired phone is more than enough and I've got the total bill down to just over 72 dollars a month or nearly one tenth of my fixed income and covering the DSL and unlimited long distance as well for four more years. I will not accept any more subsidies than I already have, the heating assistance and food bank are as far as I will go beyond my rent and oh sheesh. I have better medical coverage than my poor mother as she can't qualify for full Medicare/Medicaid and I have both and the LIS so all I have is co-payments but then again my mom is debating getting a full 'erector set' for her back that has more broken discs than the Disco record explosion at that famous ballgame years ago.

Make sense now?

Wow, yeah it does.
I guess your public library there is run like a "police state" ! :( By weapons detectors, I take it you mean BOOK detectors?? Damn, dangerous place to study I guess...
We have limited hours at our library here too. 1 hour at a choice of 14 computer stations, but all day wi-fi for those of us with laptops. I have a half-smartphone which gives me triple minutes for life with NO contract at $20 every couple months so cheap is possible with some research! :)

Sorry to hear about your mom too. I have a ( sort of ) girlfriend who has a plate in her spine so I feel for ya.
I have future aspirations about moving to somewhere around the Portland area someday, if nothing else but for a shot at some of those awsome bike trails I keep reading about, and bike-friendly climate since I'm REALLY hating the the snow here! :(

mconlonx 12-30-13 02:26 PM


Originally Posted by Rollfast (Post 16367719)
Smartphones are a pipe dream that cost a lot of money and that's why the wireless assistance program Virgin operates uses TEXT-ONLY cellphones. If my computer moves, I am either cleaning or it's being stolen. I am not sacrificing my food budget nor my bike budget nor the small amount I spend to feed my cats as I LIKE my cats and I don't need a cellphone vs. friends and somebody paying attention when I'm not doing well and helping. If nobody responds or they hide behind them, cellphones are weapons, as surely as a nuclear bomb. One useless wired phone is more than enough and I've got the total bill down to just over 72 dollars a month or nearly one tenth of my fixed income and covering the DSL and unlimited long distance as well for four more years.

We had smartphones. Then life happened and we ditched the service plan. Now we have pocket supercomputers, no phone service on these devices. Anywhere there is free wifi, we are connected online. I see used phones like I have -- Apple iPhone 3G -- going for very much less than $100. Plus, I get a clock w/ alarm, MP3 player, camera, ebook reader, game player, voice memo recorder, notebook, sketchbook, etc. all in a pocket size unit. When I was 10, I'd have given my left nut for something as cool as this.

You don't have to use the phone part of smartphones for them to still be remarkably useful little devices. Like getting online at the library utilizing their free wifi when all the public workstations are occupied...

wahoonc 12-30-13 03:43 PM

I would also point out that in many places Straight Talk smart phones are cheaper than land lines. This what my brother has and seems to really like it over the old house phone.

Aaron :)

Roody 12-30-13 04:28 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 16368470)
I would also point out that in many places Straight Talk smart phones are cheaper than land lines. This what my brother has and seems to really like it over the old house phone.

Aaron :)

There are many less expensive cell phone options available. Discount stores offer many pay as you go plans, with or without data plans. I'm currently using a flip phone from MetroPCS with unlimited talk & text for $25/month. With a smart phone it's going to start at about $50 at MetroPCS.

wahoonc 12-30-13 06:36 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16368573)
There are many less expensive cell phone options available. Discount stores offer many pay as you go plans, with or without data plans. I'm currently using a flip phone from MetroPCS with unlimited talk & text for $25/month. With a smart phone it's going to start at about $50 at MetroPCS.

Straight talk is $45 a month which includes unlimited talk and text, with 2.5 gigs of data. FWIW my company phone has unlimited data and even with sending and receiving A LOT of pictures I seldom exceed 1 gig. On my personal plan which has 4 smart phones and a cellular iPad we seldom exceed 2.5 gigs. My wife is a very heavy user of the iPad, one thing we do is use wifi when at home or on the road, if we can connect.

I also love mconlonx suggestion to use the phone on wifi only. My Nexus tablet does the same thing and if you set up a google voice account you can make calls from it over wifi.

Aaron :)

Nola62 12-30-13 07:11 PM

All my life I've worked my way up the corp. ladder to make lots of money, house with pool and family. Recently the wife left because she never saw me, kids grew up and moved out and there I was alone with only material possessions. I'm getting rid of everything and hitting the TransAmerican trail next month...Free at last!!!! I want to see the beautiful country God has made, meet "real" people and hopefully find a nice eco-commune to reside where I can contribute and live with nature. My future is near....:)

Smallwheels 12-31-13 12:40 AM

Welcome Nola62. Enjoy your trip. Maybe it would be better to wait for warmer weather for such a journey in case you get into trouble you won't freeze to death before somebody can find you.

Enjoy your new freedom. Read about minimalism. Maybe you might like to build a tiny house somewhere if you can't find a commune or community that suits you. If you live in an RV or a tiny house on wheels you could try out different parts of the country until you find something that you really like. Have fun.

mconlonx 01-06-14 12:36 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 16281973)
http://www.tosimplify.net/ This is my favorite blog. It isn't an instruction manual. It is an entertaining view into a life of a musician that lives in a Volkswagon Vanagon van. He started in a Ford van with a high top. Then he moved into a Class C small motor home. He downsized to the VW within the last few months. He is happiest in the smallest van. He custom built the interior. Read his blog from the beginning to understand his process and motivation. He is self employed as an arranger. He arranges the music for the TV show "Family Guy." He also performs as a session player on recordings.


Originally Posted by eofelis (Post 16338034)
I've been following this guy's blog from the beginning when he was just moving into his first van.


Originally Posted by technoD (Post 16353649)
I camped in my 1 ton ford van for almost a year, it's a mixed bag at best. Sometimes carefree living, sometimes not! :(

Wife and I had been downsizing our life for the past six months or so, facing foreclosure and bankruptcy. Plans were to live real small, build a Tiny House piecemeal as time and resources allowed. Then we decided to split up.

Last week and through the weekend, I finally had a bunch of time to read through the tosimplify.net blog. Which led to other van dweller sites...

And so, I am in the market for a full-size cargo van. Which (after purchase price) will be cheaper/mo than even some of the cheap roommate situations I've been eyeballing for a few weeks previous.

I'm very much looking forward to this change of lifestyle. Probably will pick up a van in Mar, outfit it through the month, and then start living in it April timeframe. Real rough, simple, and spartan at first, but probably will build it out bit by bit as time goes by. Or I decide it's not for me.

In any case, should be an adventure...

Roody 01-06-14 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 16387386)
Wife and I had been downsizing our life for the past six months or so, facing foreclosure and bankruptcy. Plans were to live real small, build a Tiny House piecemeal as time and resources allowed. Then we decided to split up.

Last week and through the weekend, I finally had a bunch of time to read through the tosimplify.net blog. Which led to other van dweller sites...

And so, I am in the market for a full-size cargo van. Which (after purchase price) will be cheaper/mo than even some of the cheap roommate situations I've been eyeballing for a few weeks previous.

I'm very much looking forward to this change of lifestyle. Probably will pick up a van in Mar, outfit it through the month, and then start living in it April timeframe. Real rough, simple, and spartan at first, but probably will build it out bit by bit as time goes by. Or I decide it's not for me.

In any case, should be an adventure...

I like your sense of adventure and willingness to experiment. Where are you going to park your van when you get it? What about kitchen/bathroom access?

Smallwheels 01-06-14 03:10 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16387533)
I like your sense of adventure and willingness to experiment. Where are you going to park your van when you get it? What about kitchen/bathroom access?

Look into RVs and see how they do it. Water can be collected from any spigot under which a water jug can fit. A sink could be just a big container that drains into a different water jug.

Portable camp stoves are small and fit anywhere. Numerous toilets are available for RVs. Some are connected to water supplies and others don't use water at all. Hospitals use bedside toilets for some patients. All they use is a bag inside a bucket. When the patient is done the bag gets tied at the top and thrown into a trash can.

Bathing would be different in a regular van. Wash cloths and a water basin would be the simplest method. For people staying in just one city it would be easy to have a gym membership and shower there every day after exercising. Laundromats would be the place to wash clothing and linen.

Electricity can be made with a generator or solar panels. If staying by a friends house an extension cord could be plugged into the van.

I've read about many people living in vehicles. I think it is a good idea to rent a storage unit to keep all of the possessions that won't fit into an RV or van. In time all of the stuff that really isn't needed could be sold. Eventually one might find that a storage unit isn't necessary after all. They make the transition to living in a vehicle easier.

Rollfast 01-06-14 10:32 PM

It may be an RFID sensor, just like Walmart has...and YEAH, with such limited funding it makes sense to scan the books and prevent 'unauthorized borrowing', doesn't it?



Originally Posted by technoD (Post 16368109)
Wow, yeah it does.
I guess your public library there is run like a "police state" ! :( By weapons detectors, I take it you mean BOOK detectors?? Damn, dangerous place to study I guess...
We have limited hours at our library here too. 1 hour at a choice of 14 computer stations, but all day wi-fi for those of us with laptops. I have a half-smartphone which gives me triple minutes for life with NO contract at $20 every couple months so cheap is possible with some research! :)

Sorry to hear about your mom too. I have a ( sort of ) girlfriend who has a plate in her spine so I feel for ya.
I have future aspirations about moving to somewhere around the Portland area someday, if nothing else but for a shot at some of those awsome bike trails I keep reading about, and bike-friendly climate since I'm REALLY hating the the snow here! :(

Wi-Fi? Everything at ours is wired.

wahoonc 01-07-14 05:30 AM

Lots of places to get "free" WiFi these days, many chain restaurants (MacDonalds, Panera Bread, Starbucks, etc), malls, coffee shops, even some downtown areas. Just have to look around and see what is out there. I was out on a ramble one day and the little corner country gas station was offering free wifi.

Aaron :)

Machka 01-07-14 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 16389373)
Lots of places to get "free" WiFi these days, many chain restaurants (MacDonalds, Panera Bread, Starbucks, etc), malls, coffee shops, even some downtown areas. Just have to look around and see what is out there. I was out on a ramble one day and the little corner country gas station was offering free wifi.

Aaron :)

Many/most places (hostels, campgrounds, hotels, libraries) have removed all/most of the old computers now because there's free wifi.

When we travelled in 2007, we paid money for 15 minutes of internet access in various places, and had just enough time to jot off a few notes to family now and then ... when we travelled in 2012, those computers were gone, those fees were gone, and the only way to access the internet was through the free wifi. And there were only a very few places where we had trouble finding free wifi. :)

Roody 01-07-14 06:17 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 16389373)
Lots of places to get "free" WiFi these days, many chain restaurants (MacDonalds, Panera Bread, Starbucks, etc), malls, coffee shops, even some downtown areas. Just have to look around and see what is out there. I was out on a ramble one day and the little corner country gas station was offering free wifi.

Aaron :)

I can't wait until Google gets those balloon things up in the sky and the whole world will have free wifi. Or at least the whole northern hemisphere. (Sorry Machka!)

memebag 01-07-14 06:22 AM

I don't live very simply. I pay for my own water, sewage, electricity, data, etc. Someone has to.

Machka 01-07-14 06:24 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16389434)
I can't wait until Google gets those balloon things up in the sky and the whole world will have free wifi. Or at least the whole northern hemisphere. (Sorry Machka!)

We've already got free wifi down here ... and if we don't want to go roaming around for a hot spot, a little usb stick gives us internet anywhere we want to go. :)

mconlonx 01-07-14 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16387533)
I like your sense of adventure and willingness to experiment. Where are you going to park your van when you get it? What about kitchen/bathroom access?

Smallwheels hit a lot of it, but...

Cargo van so I can camp stealth. Office where I work is in an industrial zone, so there's plenty of white vans parked at different locations where I could sneak in for a night. Otherwise, anywhere there's legal parking is where I can stay. Many municipalities have ordinances about not sleeping in your vehicle or restricting RVs to specific areas, but stealth overnights involve blackout interiors so you really can't tell anyone is sleeping over in their vehicle. This will be what I'm aiming for.

Kitchen: propane camp stove initially; built-in marine range/oven if I go that far. Small sink with gravity feed cold water from 7gal water supply draining into pretty much anything, to start; dreaming of a 20 gal tank, 12v pump, and running water. Simple, 1-pan meals.

Bathroom: 5gal RV portapotty, or Luggable Loo over 5gal bucket. Sponge baths most of the time; showers at FT and PT work. Laundromat for clothes... but I can take my home with me to hang out there...

Heat (New England, in the 10sF today...): Mr Heater Buddy propane catalytic, sleeping bag rated to -20degF.

Electricity: Alternator-charged aux battery and an inverter. Ultimately, a generator or solar.

All this is in my head from what I read online about van dwelling. Reality could change how I deal with everything drastically. I'm actually renting a van over the next few days (car-lite...) to check things out before buying. If it works out, new timeline is getting a beater van in the next month and getting it at least insulated if not completely built out so I can be out of the house by Feb.

I find it totally hilarious that I stumbled on this whole idea in the "Living Car-Free" subforum, which is leading me to consider owning a car for the first time in 4 years...

Smallwheels 01-07-14 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 16390653)
I find it totally hilarious that I stumbled on this whole idea in the "Living Car-Free" subforum, which is leading me to consider owning a car for the first time in 4 years...

Living in a vehicle is a very efficient use of it. The space is always occupied. It is cheaper to heat than an apartment. No rental agreements. No evictions. It can easily be traded for a newer or more suitable version. Your house is always where you are, so regular commuting like most people do isn't necessary. Job opportunities in any part of the country can be taken without a second thought.

Living in a van or other form of RV requires simple living practices. To me it seems like an environmentally conscious way to live for one or two people compared to owning a 1500 square foot house.

mconlonx 01-08-14 11:16 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 16391484)
Living in a vehicle is a very efficient use of it. The space is always occupied. It is cheaper to heat than an apartment. No rental agreements. No evictions. It can easily be traded for a newer or more suitable version. Your house is always where you are, so regular commuting like most people do isn't necessary. Job opportunities in any part of the country can be taken without a second thought.

Living in a van or other form of RV requires simple living practices. To me it seems like an environmentally conscious way to live for one or two people compared to owning a 1500 square foot house.

Oh, sure, totally on board with you there. Simple, spare living is what I'm aiming for. Definitely less environmental footprint than a house or apartment. No extra room for stuff accumulation. Conservation in all things.

Just saying that there is irony involved here, being turned onto living in a vehicle in a sub-forum called "Living Car-Free."

gerv 01-08-14 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 16393570)
Just saying that there is irony involved here, being turned onto living in a vehicle in a sub-forum called "Living Car-Free."

Irony? In LCF? Never seen that before. :rolleyes:

tpin 01-08-14 06:54 PM

Sounds like an RV type of vehicle

"Living in a van or other form of RV requires simple living practices."

Such a vehicle, like a camper, is a great way to do more cycling. I've done some great rides out of a trailer in the Adirondacks. The post is called How Simply do you Live. That qualifies as simple in terms of amount of stuff. The logistics are difficult, but it's an adventure. Living simply is often connected with being mobile. However, living simply is not necessarily for the purpose of being mobile.

mconlonx 01-09-14 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by gerv (Post 16393640)
Irony? In LCF? Never seen that before. :rolleyes:

Iknowright!


Originally Posted by tpin (Post 16394923)
Sounds like an RV type of vehicle

"Living in a van or other form of RV requires simple living practices."

Such a vehicle, like a camper, is a great way to do more cycling. I've done some great rides out of a trailer in the Adirondacks. The post is called How Simply do you Live. That qualifies as simple in terms of amount of stuff. The logistics are difficult, but it's an adventure. Living simply is often connected with being mobile. However, living simply is not necessarily for the purpose of being mobile.

Yes indeed, bare bones, stripped down RV, only what I need, what is absolutely essential, not much else. Part of what will come with is the Birdy folding bike or maybe some other folder, preferably with 20"/406 wheels for better tire choice.

Been trying to live simpler and simpler with varying degrees of success; relishing this new adventure to really hammer it home. "Simple living" is a broad term with varying degrees of simplicity based on whoever is trying to live that way. Someone's 'simple' might be another's 'extravagance.' Moving into a 60sq' living space will have to be more on the simpler end of things...

Rollfast 01-13-14 02:42 AM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16389443)
We've already got free wifi down here ... and if we don't want to go roaming around for a hot spot, a little usb stick gives us internet anywhere we want to go. :)

If my computer is roaming it's either going to a shop or being stolen. I just don't dig laptops a ton and I still attach a mouse at the least because that little pad is a dumb design for me and Hunt and Peck have a contract on me..

Artkansas 01-15-14 02:29 AM

An interesting perspective from someone who's spent 10 years living off the grid on an island in British Columbia.

http://www.offgridquest.com/58-10-ye...-little-island

Machka 01-15-14 04:12 AM

We've started watching an interesting series. We all know Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs ... in 2012 he did a series called "Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home". Maybe you've seen it?

Hopefully the link works to describe what the show is about ...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2429484/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


Reminds me of our year in the shack in the hills. :)

MyBikeGotStolen 02-08-14 09:19 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16412273)
We've started watching an interesting series. We all know Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs ... in 2012 he did a series called "Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home". Maybe you've seen it?

Hopefully the link works to describe what the show is about ...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2429484/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


Reminds me of our year in the shack in the hills. :)

This sounds like an interesting show. Are you watching it online? I would like to try to find it and watch it if possible.

Machka 02-08-14 11:48 PM


Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen (Post 16479886)
This sounds like an interesting show. Are you watching it online? I would like to try to find it and watch it if possible.

No, not online ... on ABC.

Smallwheels 02-09-14 02:36 AM

Search Youtube for Grand Designs. I came across it last week and there are some interesting designs shown.

Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhhIc_uG4Zk


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