Friday, November 09, 2012

Food Update

I've been working on finding my ideal trucking diet that satisfies the demands of life on the road (my schedule in particular) trying to find foods that are relatively cheap, require minimal preparation, are readily available on the road, are easy to store, are relatively healthy, and are foods I like enough that I eat everything I buy. It's interesting to see what I've come up with so far.
At this point my staples are fresh spinach (sometimes with arugula), pasta, pre-seasoned pre-grilled meats, flat bread, cheese, and spices. It almost sounds Mediterranean, doesn't it? Actually it's more like Mediter-Mexican. Chipotle seems to be the spice that I just about never get tired of, and I add avocado to things frequently. Chipotle ravioli is actually quite tasty, and guacamole is an excellent salad dressing.
It's not a perfectly nutritious diet, to be sure. All the pasta and cheeses and grilled meats are pretty rich food, but it beats McDonalds. In fact it's a whole magnitude healthier than most of my trucking food-on-the-go options. I've included as many healthy fillers as I can (mostly apples) and minimized high carb foods about as much as I can stand. We'll see what evolves from here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back to Basics

After living locally (more or less) from March through August, I am back to the nomad lifestyle with a post office box and a small storage unit. My "home" address is still in Tacoma, WA but I gave up my apartment after two consecutive months of spending little or no time there. In fact, I was never there long enough to even unpack which made moving a little easier.

I am actually really relieved to be free of the expense (both in time and money) and back to a simpler existence, though there are a few things I miss. Ultimately I think there were a few happenstances that conspired to end the attempt at changing to a local lifestyle, but ultimately I think I just wasn't prepared and tried to transition too quickly without really planning ahead. I still intend to take another whack at it but I think it will be a more gradual planned transition next time.
Meanwhile, I still LOVE my job. It affords me an unequalled freedom on so many levels. I have however been reminded of what I've been missing (primarily PEOPLE) and I still plan on trying to transition again at some point while still preserving the bridge back to trucking should I want to. I like to keep my options open.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Year 34

As always, around the time of my birthday I try and reflect on where I am and where I'd like to be and come up with some resolutions for the next year of my life. It's been difficult to sort out priorities for this year, especially since I am still in the midst of the aftermath (in a manner of speaking) of changes I tried to implement in the latter half of my 33rd year (vis à vis shifting from a nomadic to relatively centralized lifestyle).
I am still not sure how I feel about the solution I ended up with. It's hard to determine how to value the things I have versus the things I want.
Currently I have a wonderful apartment that I can do little with, for lack of the funds to furnish it, a car to transport furnishings, the time and energy to install said furnishings, and the time to enjoy all of the above because I am doing so much driving just to pay for it all. In the mean time I am also trying to pay for the month that I was off work.
It's all very frustrating and difficult to sort out mostly because of the fact that even though the apartment is not enhancing my life much at the moment, eventually it is something I want. At the moment however, a car would be much more useful.
There are a couple ways I could handle the situation.

A. Move out of apartment (defaulting on 6 month lease) and get a storage unit, using the monthly savings to pay off debt and save up for car.

Pros: would be able to rapidly pay off debt and get a car.
Cons: would have to break lease agreement and would have a harder time applying for next apartment when the time comes - would also probably lose an apartment I really like for good.

B. Wait and try to slowly recover financially and save for a car

Pros: I get to keep the apartment.
Cons: would be spending a lot of money on interest, and would be stuck out on the road most of the next year, with no car at "home" and apartment that feels more like a storage unit.

B.01 Same as above only working as a fleet manager instead of driving (assuming position pays comparable wages)

Pros: keep apartment and more time at home enjoying apartment I am paying for. Time and possibly more motivation to spruce the place up.
Cons: Still no car. Still paying gobs of interest. Also, fewer opportunities to visit family across country.

A.01 Wait for lease to expire and then move into storage unit.

Pros/Cons: some of the best and worst of the above.

So yeah. I suppose if I could boil it down to basic principles it's this:

1.) I want to continue working for Interstate Dist. Co. in some capacity appropriate to my skills, experience and temperament.
2.) I want to continue to use the Tacoma / Olympia area as my home base, for practical and social reasons.
3.) A car would greatly enhance my life both practically and socially.
4.) I'd really like to have a living space I can call home, and would prefer it to be my current apartment, though part of me also feels that this is silly and materialistic. There are some social and practical benefits to this, but not as many.

It's a dilemma to be sure but I think if I don't lose focus on what I really value, I'll see some way through.

All in all, it is a trifling and petty sort of dilemma and I'm very lucky to have the options that I have. Even so I'll be glad when it is resolved.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Please Stop The Roller Coaster; I Wanna Get Off

The last couple months have been crazy. So many changes in such a short time. Moved to Washington, changing jobs, losing my car...and those are just the highlights really. I'm still in the middle of it with no idea what to expect. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed and can't wait to get back into some kind of sustainable routine. Hopefully the pieces will start falling into place soon. So many things are pending or on hold or just sort of up in the air until I can figure it all out. I'll probably feel a lot better once I can get my house cleaned up.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Another Turning Point?

Things have come to a head with my struggle over home time with my company. In addition my doctor has expressed some pretty specific concerns about some of the apparent effects of the trucking lifestyle on my health. The next few days are going to be...interesting. I am not sure what is going to happen yet, but something is going to change and when it's all over (and the smoke coming out of everyone's ears clears) I hope to have a new work arrangement / situation that will allow me more time at home - one way or another.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Things are Awesome

So much has happened, I'm not sure where to start!
First of all, I have officially moved to Washington. I live less than an hour from Seattle in a small cabin that shares five serenely wooded acres with my cousins' house on Whidbey Island in Puget sound.
The house I now live in together with the local community that I am quickly becoming part of is everything I ever wanted in a home. It really is a dream come true. We even have chickens and a goat!! The fact that my neighbors are family is a huge bonus.

Trucking? Yes I am still trucking and loving it. I may gradually transition to local life but that time will come of its own accord as new opportunities present themselves. Meanwhile I have a job that I love and a home that is paradise.

I know in the past I have expressed extreme reluctance in paying rent somewhere having lived rent free for the past five years, but there are several factors that make this an exception: first, I am renting from my cousins so my rent is helping family - something I have been wanting to do anyway, and now I am contributing and getting a LOT in return. Second, the price was right; I now have my own house for what it would cost to share a room in Southern, CA. Third, the place was right; if I had designed my dream home myself it would have been exactly like this - actually come to think of it, this place has some awesomeness I hadn't even thought of. Fourth, there is the possibility that I might be able to buy the cabin or at least be a partner owner. Details are still being explored; but even without owning it the rent is still pretty dang reasonable as are my "landlords."

Other awesome things: I am looking into selling prints of my digital artwork which is pretty exciting, and I now have a place to record music, and possibly in the relatively near future may even have a studio space.

So yeah. Lots of really exciting things happening and my "life-serenity meter" is registering the difference.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Things Are Ok

Things are ok right now I guess. I'm very comfortable in my truck / home. Freight is really slow (always is this time of year) so I am tending to have a lot of time on my hands. Time I would prefer to be spending either driving or seeing people. *Sigh* it's ok though. This happens every year. I'm a little miffed at Facebook too because it's not as good as really talking to people, and there's a lot of people on there that I really want to talk to. It's just not the same.
Oh well. Better get some shut eye. Too much time to dwell on this stuff. Tomorrow I'll get up and call some people.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The New Year

So far so good, 2012. I still have a few things left over from 2011 to worry about (still trying to get my passport, saving for a car for S. California, some medical stuff, etc.) but overall things are looking up. I am very comfortable in my truck / home - in fact I just had the place redone (i.e. new rugs and new bedding). I've go some ideas to make the place even more homey but I've got to keep an eye on my budget.
I have come a long way since this time last year when I was feeling desperate to get out of trucking. Now it's quite the reverse. I'm more than a little hesitant to stop trucking. I am enjoying myself and I can't stand the idea of paying rent somewhere. There's also the fact that in many ways trucking is socially less stressful than the daily whirlwind of life at "home." No bosses, no co-workers, almost no customers, and definitely no employees (although I kinda enjoyed having temps working for me in my previous line of work).
Just me and my truck. When things go wrong, there's no politics. Either I screwed up and it's my mess, or someone else did and it's...well, still my mess but it's not as bad when I know it wasn't my fault.
Do I miss people? Yes absolutely - but a lot of the people I miss I wouldn't get to see AT ALL if I got a local job. Instead of seeing some people all of the time (and a lot of people none of the time) I get to see pretty much everybody, some of the time.
Anywho. Things are good, I like what I'm doing and that's it for now. Oh, and these pictures from New Years.