Long time no see (no hear, no speak) . . . no evil

Well! That subject line should cover just about anything!

Greetings, old friends. It's been awhile since anything has happened on this community site; and I was suddenly notified that we had a spam entry! Sorry if that hassled anyone, and I got rid of it; so it gives me an unintended opportunity for a few words with all of you.

My God, I've been so preoccupied with various ventures and stuff that very few of you have known anything about . . . not a single entry here in all of 2010, and it's more than about time for me to bring you up to date, at least. For one thing, I did a blazing three weeks in Europe just a few months ago -- all the way from Scotland to Romania and a half-dozen points in between, without the cost of a single night's shelter (unless you want to consider the several all-night bus & train rides). I suspect it qualifies well enuf as a 'nuffist venture...!

But the big story of my past year, in my view, is my full-scale plunge into the process of turning my reality around . . . as chronicled almost monthly in Irv's Scrapbook, and now my newly begun Scrap-Letter. I am truly convinced, now, that reality is actually fluid, and that we adapt to that potential . . . or we take advantage of that potential only to the conscious extent of our willingness to 'buy into it".

Sounds weird, I know, but I've been getting ever deeper into it as I've been able to accept it. Long story (a year and more long!); but I now consider that my entire life has been leading me up to it . . . more or less as an explorer, an 'advance scout.' Or an advanced-age scout would be somewhat better on the mark of it, as I think younger folks are much more competent at it, simply because they're not restrained so much by the confining factor of the 'cultural incrustation' of a lifetime.

Anyway, if you find yourself interested enuf to follow my tracking of it, send an email address and I'll put you on the Scrapbook/Scrapletter mailing list. Otherwise...

Be well, and may you have a good year...

Irv (the oldefool)

Where's Everybody Gone?

Amidst all of what is going on in this country . . . the steep spiral we've taken toward economic collapse, with all the belt-tightening and insecurity it implies (and that barely touches it), it's hard for me to understand the almost total lack of use of this site. Admittedly, I've not exactly been a model caretaker, but I never wanted to be the active director of what might be happening here. I just wanted to provide the focal space for others.

I'm mainly absorbed, these days, with the monthly email newsletter I've been putting out for two years, now, not only covering these kinds of topics but increasingly focusing on the really severe changes I feel are still ahead of us . . . relative to the onset of the closure of the Mayan calendar in 2011/2012. If any of you are interested, send me an email (

Some of you might also like to know that I established some kind of record, this summer, by topping my earlier record of 60 years (off-and-on) distance hitch-hiking, by taking on the Oregon coastline for a five-day/550-mile hitch-trip . . . the record is now 66 years. I'll be getting out a new edition of my book of hitch-hike tales, Derelict Days... Sixty-six Years on the Roadside Path to Enlightenment, with the latest adventure incorporated.

In addition to posting this note, however, I'm giving you a 6-minute video of an absolutely remarkable German woman whom I'll be writing about in the January issue of my Scrapbook (as it's called). She has discovered how to make a life for herself entirely without need for the job world that is so necessary in other people's lives. She does it by direct barter for everything!. This is all in German, but there are English sub-titles that I'm sure you can keep up with.


Some good info on yard sales . . . and a useful site to connect with

How many of you are onto the site called It's a mixed bag of useful and so-so information with almost daily entries, easy to subscribe to for regular emailings that you can check out or ignore, as you like. I'm mainly referencing it, today, as the source for a good reminder article on the value (in several senses) of doing yard sales, either by yourself or as part of a group venture.

Here is the opening of the article (with about a quarter of it), closing with a link for those of you who wish to proceed further into it . . .

18 Secrets To A Successful Yard Sale

Growing up, my mom was the queen of yard sales. We used to joke that if I didn’t want something included in a yard sale I should lock it away in my closet. Looking back, she was setting a great example in the hopes I wouldn’t grow up to be a pack rat.

Admittedly, I have accumulated my share of our household junk, and I am trying to inspire members of our household to get rid of theirs. Yard sales are also a great way to generate some quick cash to get that emergency fund in place, or to contribute to your debt snowball. Here are a few yard sale tips our family has implemented over the years to have a successful yard sale.


1. Schedule yard sales around the first of the month. Most people who are paid monthly, or bi-monthly, receive a paycheck around the 1st of the month (or the end of the previous month). For this reason, we try to schedule yard sales on the first Saturday of the month.

2. Check the 10-day forecast. Nothing ruins a good yard sale faster than rain. Keep an eye on the 10-day forecast before submitting your advertisements and selecting a date. There are no guarantees, but significant weather patterns (fronts, tropical systems, etc.) are fairly predictable within a couple days.

3. Plan on starting early. Most hard-core yard sale scavengers will start looking around 7:00am (some as early as 6:00am).

4. Consider a pre-sale the Friday night before and invite your friends and coworkers. Assuming you don’t mind friends going through your belongings, ask them to come by the night before to look through things ahead of time. I’ve sold some larger items by doing this, including computer monitors, baby furniture, etc. A side benefit of a pre-sale is the more you sale the night before, the less you have to put out on Saturday morning.

You can find the rest of this article at, and if something else is up top when you get there, just go back to the entry of May 2nd.
giving tree

Do I blame the economy, or me?

(x-posted from my personal journal)

I had a whole day to myself today, which was lovely. I let my phone go uncharged on purpose, so no interruptions. As I walked back from the library, I hit that patch of Westbridge (or W. Bridge, depending on which street sign you're consulting) where the city put in all these itty bitty maples where the big beautiful maples got sick and had to be taken down. And it was funny, I noticed that each maple had one little clump of leaves left on it from last year.

When I got closer, I realized, they weren't leaves, they were nests! Six tiny maple trees in a row had six little nests. Some were muddy-sticky-together nests, and some were twiggy-pointy-outy nests. It was so neat! And I hadn't noticed them before.

What the hell happened to me? When did I stop noticing birds' nests?

I've had my current job since the new year started, and I like my work, mostly. I've got a nice boss and a cool bunch of kids to take care of. But this 7:50-6:05 deal (when you include commute time) is really messing with me. I need daylight in my life. I need time to wander around and learn something interesting and talk with strangers. I want to go back to hanging out with the random stuff that grows out of the ground, dancing, cooking, writing poems. I know I can't afford to lose a good job right now. I could very easily be someplace with nasty coworkers, a longer commute, and a much smaller paycheck. Or unemployed altogether. But I hate that I let someone steal my day away like this. There was a time when I swore I'd never work more than 30 hours a week, but I've had to take what work I could find. I just wish I knew what to do.
stone head

Furniture on the cheap

I stumbled across something yesterday that I thought was pretty awsome. Not all of us have access to a town dump for scrounging, so this is almost as good. It turns out that some Home Depot stores sell what the call "cull lumber". It's basically scrap lumber in lengths around four feet, and is ridiculously cheap. For instance, yesterday I managed to build myself a respectable set of shelves, four feet high and two feet wide, for just four dollar and change.

A worthwhile reference...

I just discovered a site where you can get a free 20+ page booklet (PDF) with a load of living-cheaper tips and hints. It's basically for a book called The Power of Less. When the site comes up, you'll see a row of small pics and the right-most one (I think it's the fourth) is a link to the site of the download for the free booklet.

stone head

House trucks

I've been thinking a good bit about building myself one of these. I like the idea of being able to own a home for around $10,000-$15,000, possibly much cheaper if I used found materials wherever possible. I also like the idea of being able to pick up and move on a whim, even if it's only to another abandoned logging road a few miles away. Consumption of resources would be minimal, it could be heated and powered by the sun on most days. Using a diesel truck, I could also fuel it with minimal impact on the environment, using biodiesel/vegetable oil.
Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?

Where'd everyone go???

Good Grief! I leave this site on its own for awhile (well, a lo-o-ong while, I'll admit) and everyone else seems to leave it, too! I can hardly believe that everyone is/are leading quite contented frugal lives, these days.

Since the last post, the entire world seems to have headed south, in one giant C-O-L-L-A-P-S-E. And as I say, I can't believe it hasn't affected folks in ways that would have a lot to do with our Having-Enough philosophy! Of course, maybe everyone is too busy just keeping up with things. That could be.

I, myself, have been putting out a monthly email-based rundown on things, a kind of newsletter which actually makes use of LJ technology, as all of my articles are continued from their start (as an email) onto another LJ site that I have. Makes a damn good combo that allows me to reach up to 250 people a month with an ongoing 'periodical' sort of thing, for something under $10 per month total cost. It's super-great for a communicator. I could charge for it, of course, but I'm basically opposed to the money-grubbing thing. I figure that the Universe takes care of me nicely enough, so I do what I do as a payback.

It's called Irv's Scrapbook and my primary focus with it is on the changes underway, which I tend to see as the validation of an on-coming paradigm shift of major significance. We appear to be following the schedule predicted by the Mayan Calendar, which is coming to closure toward the end of 2011. Right now I see that as far more significant than learning to get along on less, which is sort of why I left this site behind. But actually, it's all part of the same stream.

THE WORLD IS CHANGING, FOLKS. You are lucky or unlucky enough to be right, plop, in the maelstrom center of the action. Enjoy it! Live it up! But do come back here and let us know how you're doing.

Jareth - Riding crop

(no subject)

What are everyones' best tips to resist buying?

I'm normally pretty good with not buying, especially compared to everyone around me, but I'm not immune to the shinies, either. And as the bills rise, it's really necessary that I not get distracted by shiny things and then bummed out because I cannot have them. I still don't even have all of my furniture yet.

So, ideas, philosophies? I usually try to think about how much I really need the item and if I'll ever even use it much. Or I'll think about how much clutter more stuff would make -- I hate being weighed down by junk and clutter.