Stay tuned (patiently) as we occasionally throw updates on here about what steps we're taking to get to our end goals, DIY tricks and life-hacks, child-rearing tactics (strategery), etc.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Week Before Mini-Hipster Woodstock

Man, we have been super busy at the shop this past week. Mumford & Sons is headlining a tour that lands at all of these small towns across the country. Our little town of 6,000 people is going to quadruple in size this coming weekend, and everyone wants to capitalize off it. Lots of places, like Rivers Edge, are opening 24 hours for the first time ever. Here's a four foot by twenty foot banner we made and installed for them. This was tricky because we couldn't drill holes into the building. We wound up getting 10 foot 2x4s, cinder blocks, and lots of rope, and we simply weighed the 2x4s on the ground and the roof, and laced the banner to them like shoe laces.
The same place, Rivers Edge, and another restaurant, the Boathouse Cantina, have another banner hanging from second story windows in a historic brick building. To make as minimal an impact as possible, we used existing eye bolts to attach it, and where we couldn't, we used a wood screw in one of the window frames.
Just up the street, we went from approval of the design to printing and finishing these two fifteen feet tall banners that are only fourteen inches wide to fit on these columns. J2 Software was so appreciative of our quick turnaround that my bro and I got free fleece blankets as a thank you. We're totally going to use them in a Christmas photo!
Another sign we've been making a ton of are these small, corrugated plastic signs. Typically you see a million of these during any election season. Since this festival is a temporary event, lots of these signs are going through our doors. These signs for Rocky Mountain Taxi were in production here. The vinyl pattern has been cut out by the computer, and the excess vinyl has been removed. After this, these were covered with sheets of application tape, and then transferred on to pre-cut sign blanks. A printed decal will be installed in the center of each sign. I'm all for these signs, too. With 17,000 extra happy people in town, I'm glad getting a taxi is an option.Well, it's almost 1 am. My bro and I have been working long-ass hours to keep up with everyone. If we have an unsatisfied customer, we haven't heard about it yet! I'm going to catch a couple hours of sleep and hit it again early. Peace.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Family Photo Album

Hey everyone, I don't have a lot of time to update today, but I did take the time to post some pics of what I've been up to with the fam this summer. Enjoy!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Re-Loading

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20 September 2008

"It's crazy how sometimes we, as humans, find inspiration in the strangest or most unexpected places. It's almost as if, somehow, we are subconsciously searching for something greater, a search that trumps even the best intentions we are aware of, that leads us to new and motivating things we couldn't fathom before.

"On September 11th, my cousin ... died. To say I knew him or anything significant about him would be fallacy. I haven't seen him in around 20 years. I knew bits and pieces, like how he had dreads and did amazing pottery, but that was all secondhand and vague. He died, and I went with my mom and brother to his funeral, and here were all of these people whose lives he had touched for being a free spirit. I fear I've made an error in not getting to know this guy. I think we could have been good friends. However, [he] did inspire me.

"Free spirits are usually kindred spirits with one another. A free spirit can recognize another upon their first meeting and many times are drawn to each other. The essence of [my cousin] was with us all at that service, and I felt motivated to follow through with my goal of moving into my van, the BattleWagon, to see where I go with it. We only live once, and now is the most precious time.

"This is a more severe feeling than when I had watched "Into The Wild" or read the book before that.

"So, tomorrow is my last day at home in my Capitol Hill studio. I'm out. My home will be a 1994 GMC Safari, and I'll be building it to my needs as I go. Come on this adventure with [me]."

I haven't really taken the time to stop and read any of my old blogs in a long time. Lately, I've been so caught up in feeling too busy, too overwhelmed in the simple chaos of having a very busy life, not much time for the fun things, and kids to be responsible for.

I've felt lost. I've felt like a shadow I'd my former self, the outgoing and confident and ridiculous guy who was everyone's best friend, and not afraid of anything.

After some thought and posting my blog last night, I found a sense of relaxation afterwords. I pondered what it would take to feel like my younger self mentally. A seasoned and wise version of that dude that gave hugs to strangers.

Living in my first BattleWagon was one of the best times of my life. I had unlimited freedom, and I exercised it. Moab became a favorite destination of mine. I enjoyed every second of it.

If I can keep up, I'll take you with me as I try to remember all the nonsense I'd get into. You'll see me at some boring times, but hopefully you'll see some cool shit along the way.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Long Day of Commitments Elsewhere

Today was a long day. By long, I mean it's one in the morning, and I'm just new getting to a place where I can catch you up a little bit.

We had a huge (by our standards) rain storm here two nights ago. It was pouring for over an hour. In spite of the lightning and thunder's magnificent attempt to entertain us and frighten Dog, it exposed a weakness in the trailer. The pvc poster I made and had on our wall in Ketchikan is  duct-taped to the outside of the front window. It's been like that since just north of Casper, Wyoming, the unofficial capital of the most inconveniently politically conservative and unfortunately unlucky state I've had the privilege to travel through.

Anyway, that leaked pretty well. I'd say we would bring in about a gallon an hour. We wedged towels in there and everything. Hardcore. But Little Girl slept through it all.

The overall state of things... shelter is good. It's not insulated well, and our swamp cooler has a difficult time keeping up, but cooler weather is just around the corner. Electricity has only failed when power in town fails, which has only happened twice since we moved here.

Water is tricky and the system is constantly getting refined. Currently, we have a small camping porta-potty for the toilet. Those things are fantastic, by the way, for those of you who road trip with families. For water storage, we have two big 7 gallon cube containers with taps outside on my makeshift table. We also have another seven gallon jerry-can shaped container as a back up. The trailer itself has plumbing, but it's leaky, dirty, and basically needs to be replaced, so this is the temporary solution. We have a few big jugs we fill with water for use inside, and I just hooked up a couple of 42 cup coffee pots, one by the kitchen sink, the other on the roof above the shower. I'm hoping that it'll let us do dishes and take hot or at least warm showers without the hassle of boiling water on the stove.

Since all of that is gray water, we just let it fall into the yard into the garden. We're using the fancy, multi-purpose soaps from the organic food store. I'm planing to build a filter system for it, basically a ditch leading to the garden that has gravel that gets smaller until it's fine sand.

Anyway, that's where we are with the trailer at this point. The yard is slowly coming asking. Hetero Life Mate has been working on a path system through the yard. She connected our makeshift pallet deck to the old brick path Mom built years and years ago by framing a dirt path with wood she found elsewhere in the yard. She cleaned up that old brick path, and made another path from the back porch of the Big House to what's left of the old gate on the back wall of the old basketball court/future patio.

Lots done, but lots to do yet. Every day is an adventure. Stay tuned. This was extra long tonight!