Taking Back My Simple Life

For years I’ve been chasing a tiny house dream. My wife has endured my many phases and stages of pseudo experiments and excitement as I learn more and more about living in a smaller space. I read a lot of blogs and watch a lot of videos about living smaller, living with less stuff and less money. Today as I sit cuddled up on the couch in the living room, in the New England summer heat with only a fan, some open windows and God’s wind to keep me cool. I feel peaceful. This is simple. This allows me to think about what I really want in this life. On this journey of five years so far we have made a lot of changes. We’ve had two children, put them in daycare as we both worked full time. We have taken them out of daycare and my wife now stays at home and educates our children. I still continue to work full time. And in the last year God has blessed us with a promotion at work that has brought in almost as much money as we lost when my wife quit her job in September of 2013. It has not been easy. But we are still in our home, and I am still looking for a more enjoyable living. I keep feeling as if the answer is within my grasp, but I just cannot see it. Continue reading

The Face of New Education

If you do not know what Common Core is, you are not alone. The reality is that many people do not know. Perhaps we were not meant to know, until it was too late. Common Core is a United States Federal initiative designed to set a national educational curriculum standard. On the surface that sounds like a noble and respectable effort. The problem is that the standard is in actuality, very low. It does not challenge the minds of the students to think. Rather, Common Core teaches our students what to think. Critical thinking is no longer required. Instead there are more steps required to achieve what Generation X learned to do in a few steps. And it is destroying our country. Common Core Math, as seen here, is an example of what is being taught to our children today. We are now asking less of our children. This hinders wonder and excitement to learn. We are creating a society of drones, worker bees. Think Metropolis/1984ish.
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Living With Less

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you could give up most of what you have and what you own and what you felt you needed to live each and every day? We all have a fear of losing security. For some of us that looks like only a few dollars in the bank, or perhaps living with only one car or perhaps not being able to dine out. What ever it looks like for you, consider that you are trapped by those “things” that provide you with security. Enjoy the playlist below of videos that showcase the stories of people who have made a change in their lives to live life on their terms.

The Joy of Less

Install youtube-dl and download these videos to your Linux computer with the following code:

 

Tiny Shower

When you camp, do you shower? Do you look for camp grounds with shower facilities? Check out this solar shower that is composed of two 5 gal (20L) buckets. With a proper curtain set-up, you could shower on-site with some biodegradable or pure castle soap. In a warm climate, this could be an off-grid tiny house shower as well.

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Alone, Together

How many likes did you get today on that post that you were excited about a minute ago? Do you think they really liked your eyes in that selfie? Did your BFF text you back yet? What is taking her so friggin’ long?

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Imagine if instead of a website, you had just watched this on a couch, in a living room, with real people. You could have real conversation about it… not just sharing a page, counting your “likes” and hoping people value you by the content of your posts.

22 or not 22

I have been shooting the 22LR cartridge for about 6 years. I have watched the cost of a 500 count bulk pack go from $13 up to $30. Which I think is outrageous. But it is still the lowest priced cartridge on the market. At present the range I currently belong to is an indoor range and until recently, the only rifle cartridge that a member could shoot there, was the 22LR. Two years ago I finally bought an AR-15. And in that time I’ve only had an opportunity to shoot it once, 40 rounds. I really love the feel of my AR-15. It is just down right cozy in my hands. Before I bought the AR, I bought the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. Before I bought the 15-22, my Ruger 10/22 was my go to gun. I loved that gun. Still do actually. It shoots like butter. But in all honesty after I bought the 15-22, the Ruger 10/22 never saw the range again. I just didn’t watch to touch it. The 15-22 is awesome. Just down right, ridiculously awesome. I love the way it feels, how light it is and the fact that it is an AR platform weapon is so much fun. The 15-22 eats federal like a champ, CCI tactical too. This lead me to another argument, debate, question. Continue reading

The One Cup Challenge

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So many dishes in the house and we can’t keep up. Yes we have a dishwasher, by why do we have so many dishes? Well I’m moving to one cup. A few days ago I decided that if I could use only cup, I could reduce the dishes we have to wash. The exception to this is the Klean canteen I use for water daily. Eventually I would like to use one place setting at home as well. The problem with that is that we are a family of five. My wife is a stay-at-home-mom as well, so she is constantly using dishes to prepare meals and transition to meals. So if I only use one cup to drink out of all the time, that’s at least one or two less dishes to clean.

Setting Boundaries

Tired, burned out, not enough time. These are all concepts that we deal with. We feel that we cannot ever do enough for others or that there is not enough of us to go around. Well there is not enough of you to go around and you should not try to make more of yourself than you have. Live within your personal limitations and set boundaries. Checkout this article on how Jesus set healthy boundaries.

http://www.soulshepherding.org/1998/07/jesus-set-boundaries/

Downloading Videos from YouTube

ytdDownloading videos from YouTube is nothing new. There are lots of sites that allow you to do this and even extract audio from those videos. Which, honestly is a great way to build your mp3 collection. If you still collect mp3s. But I want to talk about the command line program youtube-dl. Now before you freak out about the whole command line thing, I assure you it’s a lot easier than you might think. In fact once you see how easy it is, you will use it as your constant companion to you tube. Continue reading