Free, Free, Free, I Am Free!

There is a burgeoning fad sweeping across America, and possibly the world. I can’t call it new because this way of life was at one time just that, the way of life. I am speaking of native people who lived as nomads. Early inhabitants of North America were nomadic mainly because they chased a food supply. The new nomads are comprised of rather young people who consider working for a company a waste of their talent. They live to be free from constraints, rules, superiors, and labor on demand. Instead they mysteriously find income by working under their own rules. The number one rule is to work in a place you choose, at a time you choose, and at a pace that you choose. Second rule is to make money from several income streams. A popular income stream comes from Youtube or any of it’s competitors. The term for making money by this method is “monetization” of your content. The content is most often a video that you make. Another income stream comes from sponsors who send you money to keep your videos coming, and the Vlogger spends a few seconds giving a commercial for the sponsors product or service.. Neither of these streams yields enough to support a nomadic lifestyle. Most likely the nomad has a third stream consisting of contract work performing some service related to a field of expertise.

Regretlyss

I have struck upon several of these nomads producing videos of their solitary lifestyles. One is called “Regretlyss” which is a Vlog (Video Log) produced by a twenty-eight year old who lives in a school bus that she designed and had built for her. The term used to describe this type of motor home is a “Schoolie.” Her’s is a short wheel-base bus usually used for taking special needs kids to school. These vehicles are often named and have the name emblazoned upon the vehicle similar to that done on a boat. Nomads prefer diesel engine vehicles because they are more reliable and get better miles per gallon. One of the most popular vehicles being converted to nomadic living is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter van. Again, probably because Mercedes vehicles are consider very rugged, reliable, are available, and relatively inexpensive to buy used. The challenge is to do the conversion by yourself and make a video while doing it.

One reason I am fascinated by these people is their youthful enthusiasm as they go to places that peak my interest as well. Among the most popular regions of the country to live alone is in the western states among mountains. The photography is outstanding and they bring scenery into my living room from places that I also have traveled to and wake up neurons from travels past.

Very often, the video the Vlogger is narrating some limited wisdom of life, and their search to overcome some traumatic life lesson that occurred during childhood. In some cases they have been reared by single parent who dumped an abusive spouse. Or, they them self encountered an abusive relationship. I tend not to understand what is being proclaimed because the speaker uses flowery language that sounds poetic, but doesn’t make any sense. I never did understand poetry and to this day I shy away from the classics of Shakespeare, Yeats, Bronte, Burns, and Frost, but am amused by the “Mary had a little lamb” type of prose.

When I was very young my dream was to convert a van into a camper and I did a limited conversion on my very first van. The idea of moving across the country into remote regions to experience the hardships of the early settlers crossing the wilds of North America to find a place they could call home appealed to my sense of adventure. I believe we (my wife, and three kids) successfully accomplished that goal as we embraced camping as a vacation lifestyle. My wife often boasted to her girlfriends that she would rather see the world by camping than to dream about taking lavish unaffordable trips staying in hotels, and eating in restaurants. In later years, we switched to the hotel route when we took trips abroad.

A few years ago I read a book titled Nomadland, Surviving America In The Twenty-First Century, by Jessica Bruder in which she tells her story about a different class of nomads. Her story is not about twenty somethings looking for the meaning of life, but about people who have been forced to live in their cars, and move about the country from job to job in places where the climate is livable. The nomads I speak of in this post are college grads that choose not to accept the commercial world, and prefer to live a life style based on complete freedom using personal talents to make a living.

Day 60-SIP-Blogs, VLOGS, Videos, and Podcasts

As part of my routine of killing time everyday while in place and hiding from COVID-19, I listen to a lot of radio through my hearing aids. I have a blue tooth pendant that hangs around my neck that connects my iPhone to the hearing aids. Hell, I spent a fortune on that phone so I am going to get some use out of it, the same with the hearing aids. The system also feeds TV into my ears, and of course the telephone, i.e. if the connections are all made. What are the connections you ask? Number one the bluetooth pendant has to be charged and turned on, then it must be paired with the phone, once that is done I have to connect the phone to my hearing aids. It only took me two years of trial and error to understand and make all those connections. It all takes but 10 seconds to accomplish. Old folks don’t adapt too fast to these new fangled contraptions.

Another time waster is watching Youtube videos. My grand daughter kind of pointed me to that when I asked her what her favorite TV show was. Her response, “I don’t watch TV.”

“How do you find entertainment,” I asked?

“I watch Youtube videos.” That is what pushed me into watching Youtube. At first it was to learn how to cook. I found that if a recipe exists there will be any number of chefs making videos on how to combine the ingredients. I have gotten so spoiled watching cooking videos that now before I attempt to do anything I will search Youtube and watch other people do it. Some are fantastic entertainment and some are so so. What I’m learning about with this is that: 1. people make videos in the hope of making money, and 2. people would rather learn by watching than by reading and understanding a recipe.

Oma is a carbon copy of my mother.

Another thing I have become acquainted with through streaming are Podcasts. When my favorite radio programs are over and I am still in my shop grinding wood or glueing, I listen to Podcasts. First I found Fox News Channel with all my favorite people, and discovered that they are not broadcasting live news they are streaming podcasts and turning conversation into something entertaining and also educational. A favorite is listening to Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss politics, or history.

A few months ago I was in conference with my financial advisor. He asked me how I spend my time now that Peg is gone. I told hm I was struggling trying to find suitable TV that was worth watching, but that I loved reality programs. He told me about how new companies like Amazon, Netflix, etc. are now doing original programming to compete with network broadcasters. So, I checked out what Amazon has. Since I already subscribe for their Prime shipping service I also get what is termed their streaming service. Streaming allows a person to tune in to a program at the moment you are ready to watch it. There is no need to remember to watch at a specific time. You find a program, and click watch and it happens on the spot. Needless to say, I got hooked on a several of their original programs and love watching TV this way. It allows me to turn on the set when I am ready to see something and to see it immediately.

If all of this sounds old to you remember I am old and it takes longer for this kind of stuff to register as useful. Long gone are the days when I was entertained by a floor model radio that had a speaker as large a pizza that I sat in front of with my ear glued to the sound. Those were the good old days. The good old days are different now, we sit in front of a huge color picture screen with high definition picture and stream material we never could have imagined before.

The use of these new technologies has inspired me to wonder if I shouldn’t be getting into making videos and/or podcasts. Grumpa Joes Place is my number one vehicle to spout off steam and to talk without actually speaking. I like writing because words seems to flow from my mind easier than does speech. One of my speech problems is that I always say the opposite of what I actually mean. If I want to tell you to use your right hand to do something, it will come out as use your left hand. Or, if I want to tell you the sky is blue it will come out the sky is grey. I have done this repeatedly for years and I believe it is some form of dyslexia. Anyway, I want to try videos and podcasting as a form of expression. At this point though, I don’t know my rectum from a hole in the ground.

One Idea I have for a podcast is to promote Lions. I would interview Lions Club Presidents and discuss what he does with his club to serve the community. With over 46,000 Lions clubs in the world I think I have some work to do. One curiosity leads me to compare club size to town population. In the nineteen eighties Frankfort population was 2500 residents, but the Lions had 130 members. Today, Frankfort population is near 20, 000 residents and the single Lions Club has seventy members. Why so? Take another example, the La Moille, IL Lions club has thirty members and a town population of 750. What are they doing that is so different from Frankfort? I think I could use that kind of information to make an interesting video for Lions all across the world.

My body clock is running down and I have a lot of work to do before the main spring finally reaches the end and stops ticking. This pursuit however, may make life more interesting along the way. What ever I do, I’ll give you a report on Grumpa Joes Place in the future.