Along the Ray

Along the Ray

An alien from a different plane wandering the universe in a tiny camper

July 23, 2022
(click date for larger photo)
Found this strangely compelling and contrasty - from cleaning out camper
Found this strangely compelling and contrasty - from cleaning out camper
July 22, 2022 THOUGHTS OF THE MOMENT

Self-censoring, camper upgrades, being judgy

That automatic self-censoring impulse still kicks in sometimes when I’m writing. Makes sense though; it’s a lifelong habit of mine that I’m in the midst of reprogramming.

So when I find myself constantly stopping, deleting, revising, backtracking, etc. it’s a warning bell that my mind is doing the writing, not me.

That’s when I jump up and wrestle that sneaky bastid back into submission.

I’m really enjoying writing here so I want this place to be as pure as possible as an extension of myself with the minimum amount of filtering.

With the mind out of the way, writing is fun again. Words just sing1 out of the pen and there’s a certain kind of vibration within that resonates.

Speaking of word singing, Michael Perry’s very much in tune with his words, pop over and check him out. He’s a fellow wanderer, except his backyard is the whole world.

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Dropped the camper off at the RV handyman’s place for a couple weeks. He’s going to do all the upgrades & fixes I’ve wanted for awhile, especially lifting the trailer it sits on by three inches so it sits higher for more ground clearance for further wanderings for more fun. For! for!

It’s strange. The camper is technically an inanimate object (until it’s moving behind my car?) and yet I already… miss it.

It’s my beloved, she’s been through so much with me through these years and I have waited so long to go on more adventures with her.

She is my home.

That time is coming near. I hope to be out of here by the end of summer and things have cooled off a bit.

_images/Camper sunset.jpgMe and my camper watching a sunset

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I’ve noticed the older I get, the more judgy” I seem to have gotten towards people, things, myself, etc.2

It’s silly, boring stuff (did I just judge myself?) and it’s a waste of energy that leads to endless cycles of stress, discontent and crappy feelings.

I don’t want that clutter in my mind so I’m trying to be more consciously aware of catching these judgements and releasing em as they come.

I don’t want to do it just because it’s right thing to do. Selfishly, I want to do it because it’s a path towards a clear and uncluttered mind.

Which leads to more room for kindness and serenity — which leads to selflessness.


  1. Mind you I’m not saying my words sing, only that they sing out of the pen & keyboard to me. They may sound terrible but at least they’re flowing out (and I can’t hear shit anyway)!↩︎

  2. Or maybe dealing with chronic illnesses tends to make one crankier then usual?↩︎

July 21, 2022
(click date for larger photo)
Finally some clear skies and a beautiful sunset
Finally some clear skies and a beautiful sunset
July 21, 2022 THOUGHTS OF THE MOMENT

Interior bike mount, tech age eating earth, thinking too hard

I finished adding an interior bike mount to the SUV after a couple hours of drilling, measuring, screwing, a little blood, unscrewing, re-measuring, re-mounting, etc.

For the curious, this guy’s instructions & photos were very helpful.

_images/Interior bike mount.jpg(Ignore that extra plank of wood behind the mount, I forgot to remove it)

As you can see, it’s a plank of wood bolted to a pair of rails underneath on both sides to hold it steady. Some SUVs like the Xterra have rails underneath that let you bolt/mount/strap things down to.

I popped the bike on the mount and went for a quick, wild ride around town to test it out. Test passed — the bike held fast and didn’t sway at all. Yayfers!

I’m stoked I was able to do a little bit of that handyman stuff and it’s motivating me to do more. Like a pull out drawer/tray next to the bike in the SUV to have more organized storage for things. Maybe have one compartment that’s moisture proof for storing my notebooks and books in (and another for dry food)?

My SUV is essentially a portable storage unit since there’s only so much my tiny camper can hold. May as well get creative with it and go all out, right?

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I read Thirsty, secretive data centers” on how they’re sucking up enormous amounts of water and are refusing to disclose how much of it they’re using. Google’s even taking the extra step of building their own pump stations to make it harder to monitor how much water they’re extracting.

This, on top of microchip manufacturers needing tons of water and the massive amount of electricity technology uses (esp. crypto mining), has me wondering if this amazing era of technology and internet will end up gobbling the earth up until there’s nothing left.

Technology has been an incredible, outstanding boon for the growth of civilization (for the most part); now the conundrum is we seem to be in a race of outstripping earth’s capabilities to support same civilization’s progress.

Sci-fi has all these stories about technology rising up ala Terminator and wiping out humans but maybe it’s more like we extinguish ourselves through extinguishing the planet’s resources?

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I’ve noticed lately when I do heavy thinking (like sorting out coding in my head) I get headaches and it feels like I’ve drained my battery. And this is when I’m not even on the computer.

Maybe I’m just getting old or my brain cells have gotten creaky. Anyone have a spare brain to power-share?

Or at least tell me I’m not the only one experiencing this, ha?

July 20, 2022
(click date for larger photo)
Coffee under the lights in Newberry-Fl
Coffee under the lights in Newberry-Fl
July 18, 2022 THOUGHTS OF THE MOMENT

New bat wings, getting handy, heat intolerance

Do I ever stop having thoughts? Nope.

..My camper sprouted wings!

Local welder guy put the new Overland System bat-wing” 180 degree awning on my Scamp and he did a fantastic job. He crafted custom mounts and it’s rock solid — something I really needed because I often travel on rugged roads and my last awning fell off.1

These things are typically for vehicles with roof racks to mount em on but I thought why not a camper? Typical tiny camper awnings give tiny shade meaning as the sun arcs across the sky, we gotta play musical chairs to stay in the shade.

I unfurled the awning this early evening and it works beautifully. And easily — took less than a half a minute to open it up (and close). Perfect.

Can’t wait to start using it!

Oh, you wanna see? Here you go:

_images/Scamp’s got bat wings! .jpg

(Ayup, the camper will get a good scrubbing after all work is done on it!)

It’s also a psychological boost for my spirit to know we are finally making moves to get back to our beloved wandering life.

UP NEXT: Clean stuff out of the camper and take it over to the RV guy in a tiny town called Waldo to do the rest on my list, including giving the trailer a lift so it sits higher for better ground clearance and crazier adventures!

..I like to think I’m kinda handy

Bought myself a drill for Father’s day and gathered up various components to install a bike rack inside the SUV. Before, I stored my bike on a rack on the back of the camper but over time the bike became ruined from a constant pelting of road dust/grime/mud and rain (I tried a cover but it blocked the brake lights so twas a no-go).

I’m stoked about it because I’m not a handyman kinda dude but I do like to tinker around and build small projects like this as proof to myself that I have some skills (rawr). Will see how it goes and hope the damage is minimal.

..Heat intolerance

Had a heat intolerance episode2, a first in a while. Ugh. Not sure what to make of it yet. I know it’s been extra hot and humid lately, plus I took some Lomatium3 today to avert an itchy throat (mission accomplished).

Had a strong acupuncture session yesterday so that may have had something to do with it — it sometimes takes a couple days for my body to adjust.

Will just have to see how things go esp. with it being a hot summer. I’m very hopeful it’s a temporary anomaly because I don’t want to have to worry about hot days back at the wandering life.


  1. I was slowly making my way down a mountain on a badly washboarded road. About halfway down I happened to look in my side mirror and saw one end of the awning dangling around by a thread. Got out and saw that a metal mount had completely sheered off. Crazy. I ended up ditching the awning because it was such a pain to wrangle with anyway and I hardly used it as a result.↩︎

  2. It’s one of those Lyme disease quirks where my body sometimes can’t regulate temperature internally on hot days and melts down.↩︎

  3. Long story short, conventional medical treatment for Lyme disease made me much worse so I went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine specialist / acupuncture physician for treatment. I took an array of powerful herbs of which Lomatium was primary. That stuff was amazing and gave me my life back. I keep a bottle of it handy since it’s effective for a variety of ailments.↩︎

July 17, 2022

Moments of bliss are allowed

The other night I was driving in the countryside through orange-red skies and tall green trees. Cool breezes danced across my face and I fell into total serenity — bliss.

The moment I felt that bliss I mentally reached out to cut it off until I caught myself and backed that original instinct off.

A few months ago I asked myself: Why do I have an automatic reaction to yanking myself out of these beautiful moments of bliss? I used to dwell in those magical slivers of time often. What changed?

I think it has to do with struggling and surviving through the twin aftermaths of Meniere’s and Lyme disease over time. It was constant moments of one step forward, two steps backwards.

Whenever I felt good and strong, I’d think I was finally breaking through to getting back to normal health. Then I’d get knocked back and suffering resumed.

Enduring years of that hell had conditioned me like Pavlov’s dog where the moment I felt good, I’d flinch and wonder what was in store for me. As if I wasn’t allowed to feel good because I’m supposed to be suffering and to break that rule would bring more hell. That’s when I started snatching those moments of bliss away before they’d sink in.

I became aware of what I was doing and started consciously trying to stop myself from shooing the bliss away.

That orange and red night I was finally able to override wanting to override the bliss and allow myself to soak in a beautiful moment and truly feel it. It was wonderful — another long lost piece of myself coming back to life.

It’s a reminder we are allowed our moments of bliss as they come regardless of what’s ahead…. To be in the moment and dance with her when she comes.

July 16, 2022

A couple new things

Those of you watching this blog via the RSS feed or email dispatch probably know by now I’ve been up to no good what with you seeing old items regurgitating in your face a few times.

A thousand apologies for that. I’m always tinkering around and thinking of new ways to do things - it’s something I very much enjoy. I will do my best in the future to not get so messy because I know it can get annoying when things get thrown in yer face over and over.

At any rate, lemme get to the source of the mess — new things for the blog!

Vault of Memories

Often when I’m writing (esp. about travels) various random memory tidbits would pop up in my head then fade away. The older I get the more precious these memory tidbits become because my feeble mind has a tendency to forget some of these things. Time also has a strange way of morphing one’s memory of an event into something a bit different than what actually transpired.

So this is my way of preserving them for rummaging through later:

When a memorable memory pops up, I’ll make a side note of it in Obsidian and drop it into a folder of memories (with subfolders broken down by year) on my computer.1

On the blog side of things Blot watches those memory folders so whenever a new memory note pops in, it sucks it in and displays it in the Vault.

Thanks to Blot’s cool {backlinks} template tag, a memory tidbit will automatically link back to whatever post I wrote that references it. For example, see Moon camping on the Shire and scroll down to where it says Related Memory” — it takes you to a memory connected to that post.

There’s not much in the Vault at the moment. The more I write, the more it will fill up. Am looking forward to watching it grow over time!

Unfragmenting Thoughts of the Day

When I write a Thoughts of the Day edition it’s usually a compilation of several thoughts in a row. On this blog’s front page” they show up nicely stitched together as if in a single post.

But on the RSS feed and email dispatch these thoughts come through as individual posts (because they are — see Welcome to my new digs for the why behind it); it doesn’t look as coherent.

It kept nagging at me because I don’t want to clog your feed reader/email box with multiple fragments of thoughts.

I ended up hacking a way to stitch these thoughts together for the RSS feed and email dispatch so they come through as one post.”

We’ll find out if it works well the next time I pound out a Thoughts of the Day edition so stay tuned. Fingers crossed!

As always, thanks for reading and for your patience.


  1. Since I’m not on the computer much I always carry around a pocket notebook for quick jotting down of these memories and other things (ideas, to-dos, random thoughts, etc) for later inputting. I highly recommend this — it’s a great way of off-loading one’s mind.↩︎

July 15, 2022 THOUGHTS OF THE MOMENT

Blood isn’t inviolable

A close relative’s birthday was the other day and I didn’t say anything. There’s a firm sadness about it because I wish we we had a normal relationship with good relations I’d imagine most others do.

I had to cut them out of my life a few years ago because of their toxic behavior and how they treated others in the family.

For some reason I used to think one shouldn’t cut family out of their life, that blood did not allow it and it wasn’t honorable. Maybe it’s because I was raised in the south, where family is bond.

I learned it doesn’t matter. That it’s a basic and inviolable human right to not be treated badly, family or not. There’s no obligation to keep someone in your life if they’re toxic.

It doesn’t mean one has to stop loving. I’ll always love them from afar, behind healthy boundaries. Sometimes that’s the only way to do it.

July 15, 2022 THOUGHTS OF THE MOMENT

Peeling away layers & finding lost pieces

It wasn’t easy writing blood isn’t inviolable because it weighs heavily but also because I’m normally a private person. Yet I want to keep opening up and peel away these layers I hide behind. As a good friend of mine reminded me,

…the unexamined life is not worth living.”

Of course some might think I’m being too open or that it’s none of anyone’s business. Maybe so but I write here for myself and none other.

That’s the way it should be, especially growing up all these years as a deaf person trying to conform to the ideals of hearing society and losing my own identity in the process.

This space is a way of reclaiming that identity halfway through my life. The journey towards openness isn’t without without occasional trepidations yet is refreshingly authentic and quite healing.

It feels like I’m recovering lost pieces of me back into who I am (hullo, Mr. red-Potato-head!).

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https://alongtheray.com Along the Ray

An alien from a different plane wandering the universe in a tiny camper

Along the Ray

Somewhere on a river...

North American continent usually

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