Day 10184

I'm stepping it up, slowly.

Though the bus is still parked in the parent's backyard, I have been using it like it is deep in the woods. Every time I'm out here exercising the bus, I'm getting more proficient at living out of it. Tonight I made dinner (a nice dish of rice, peas and scrambled eggs) on the wood-stove, which I started with a single match. I ran the palm-sander and charged some drill batteries off of the inverter. I am composing this entry on my laptop over internet from my phone's data plan. Why pay for phone and internet when I can just pay for phone? Tonight is supposed to be pretty cold, down to 17F by the morning, so we'll see how well it stays warm. Although I'm 150' from the barn, I am self-sufficient. I might as well be on the future property, lounging after a day of milling trees or running the backhoe.

I'm also listening to streaming radio over the bus's freshly wired set of speakers... a few weeks ago my neighbor, Joe, graciously donated his old delivery van's radio set up. He came over and helped me wire it, having done a few before. The bus has six speakers in the ceiling, and I had previously identified the harness which a radio could plug into. I was coming up short finding a radio that would fit the 12-lead plug, though.

Joe pointed out the markings on the wires were relatively standard across the industry, and promptly began cutting off plugs and splicing. Given my background, working on helicopters, I was cringing inside thinking; "But- but- I'm sure there's a wiring diagram out there somewhere!" I should never have doubted him though, as his Yankee-ingenuity and gut instincts led to a successful first trial when we plugged the stereo's aux cord into my phone!

Thanks Joe, Cindy & Tommy!

During a family vacation last week I was able to complete a few books I'd been working on. David McCollough's The Wright Brothers, which was a quick, inspiring read. The drive and determination of the Wright Brothers is admirable; and they did it all on a limited budget. Also completed was another book by Joel Salatin; You Can Farm. Where Folks, This Ain't Normal was a collection of rants about the agricultural industry, You Can Farm is practically a bible, an operator's manual, for how to set up a small commercial farm. The book is a collection of farming knowledge accumulated by one man through hard work, pain and patience. I took a lot of notes and dog-eared many pages. Currently reading Mortgage Free! and Deep Survival.

Current projects;

- The search for land continues.

- Put the fairings back on for the speaker wire harness, and build a shelf for the radio.

- Backhoe tower rebuild, hydraulic flush and filter change, engine oil change, fuel filter change...

- I need a stopper for the kitchen sink; doing dishes out here is proving challenging. Bus-life problems.

The bus is coming into it's own, as well. Like any fuel-drinking, air-breathing vehicle, it has it's own quirks and character. The headlights have always perplexed me, as the switch doesn't seem to have much influence in the off position. The headlights turn on and off as they please. This evening as I was getting the fire going and running the motor to recharge the battery bank, I stepped outside to get a load of wood, only to have the bus illuminate my way up the icy hill! Thanks, bus! Like a Blackhawk helicopter, a temperamental tractor or a Stephen King-inspired gasoline lawnmower, vehicles have souls and should be treated accordingly. My views are similar to those of Tennessee Steinmetz. Thank them for their work, and don't get mad at them when they break (unless they clearly did it to make you angry.) Coming back with a book and some firewood, the headlights came on again for my walk down the hill. Thanks, bus.

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