disaronno, blue cover, eton, notebook, a fisherman,
sandbags, and chicken little

December’s here and that means my annual bottle of Disaronno and Grand Marnier. With the winter solstice approaching, I’m searching for a bottle of bordeaux (fat chance). I should have planned ahead and picked up a bottle while up in Moab at the state liquor store. Next year. Maybe I’ll luck out and at least find a bottle of Pink.

When I was at Siscily’s place in Chama, I noticed she had painted her propane tank covers on her casita. It looked good so I asked if I could copy her idea. She will no doubt be painting polka dots on her cover but I’ll be leaving mine like this.

My solar powered eton radio died so I ordered this new model. I don’t use the radio all that much but the weather band comes in handy from time to time and I definitely use the LED flashlight.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been reading my road notebook. It’s just about full and I will be starting a new one in January. Back in my February 2008 entry ‘the lifestyle—what it’s like to live like this,’ I recommended that one might want to keep a road notebook for making entries on the days you move from one camping spot to another and the kinds of data that might prove useful. Anyway, it’s been a hoot reading the notebook. I had forgotten what my thoughts were like back on my first day on the road and all the various occurrences over the years. I also had wanted to make note of miscellaneous data to add to the new journal in case I get back to certain areas.
Useful data to enter in the road journal: day’s mileage, route, how steep the roads were, what the dirt roads at the end of the drive were like, GPS coordinates, the camping spot, thoughts on the drive, and whatever. Make notes on roads, trails, and other things to check out in the area and anything that mighty be helpful to look back on if you come through that way again or if you want to provide someone with specifics.

Last year I got down to Brantley Lake State Park in early December (early for me to be that far south) and noticed how low the water was. When I asked about it I was told they let water out in the fall for Texas. There was great hiking down on the lakebed so I wanted to get to Brantley early so I could do more of it this year. I needn’t have hurried. The lake never filled back up this year. I took the first photo last year and the second photo is of the same boat this year. All this green growth in new. There are even new creatures out on the lakebed.

I sold two of my silver pieces in the last month. They are going to be holiday gifts. Now that winter is here, I’m back in the NM state parks (the only thing that enables me to do this is I choose the more out-of-the-way parks) thoroughly enjoying indoor hot showers. For eight months of the year taking outdoor sun showers is generally no problem but there have been days in November when I was ready to go conventional. Anyway, when it’s not too cold or windy, I have my bench set up outside. People see me working with silver and come over to have a look. If they ask to see completed pieces, I’ll bring out my display case.

I couldn’t find where this story originated. I’ve come across it a couple times. I like it; it goes along with my conception of simple living. The story is called, ‘The Mexican Fisherman.’
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 to 20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions—then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Like I said, I like the story. But, I find it sad. Most people just don’t get it. Thankfully I’ve never had the status quo ring embedded in my nose.

November’s sixty minutes sixty years: nailed another month with 2030 minutes.
THANKS Diana for your sixty sixty challenge. It’s hard for me to believe how much it has improved my overall health. Prior to taking this up in July, if I didn’t exercise early in the morning, I generally bagged any exercise for the day. But now, if I don’t go out and give thanks in the morning, at least I go out for a brisk walk later in the day. After getting through the first month, now it’s, ‘I have to get in my sixty minutes!’ Not bad. A focus on health should always be a part of one’s mindset.

So, last year I got into medicine ball exercises (using a dumbbell); a stellar way to tone the body. And this year I’ve gotten into Diana’s sixty minutes sixty years challenge, tabatas, brisk walks, and stretching. Not bad since next month I will officially be ‘an old man.’ Last month I’ve added sandbags. For tabatas, I researched dozens of body-weight and light dumbbell exercises. I had no idea there so many to choose from. It’s all come a long way since my high school PE classes. Anyway, one site I’ve been gathering data from covered a few sandbag exercises. Oh man, this is SO cool. After doing a google search for ‘sandbag exercises,’ I now have four pages of exercises to play with and use in my tabatas and on their own. I acquired three different bags differing in style and size and filled them with different amounts of sand. The small army surplus duffle is presently the most fun. One reason I like using sandbags (besides being ‘different,’ which always gets my attention) is that the movements seem to be more ‘real life’ (some more than others), movements used in everyday activities as opposed to the movements using barbells and weight machines. To improve physically, one needs to keep throwing the body curves, or it quickly learns to adapt and starts to coast along. Definitely not a good thing as we get on in years. I’m looking forward to using this new medium in the coming months (although I’m getting some strange looks from people out walking their dogs [not that that’s new]).

December humor— Chicken Little
One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer.
She read, "....and so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"
The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think the farmer said?"
One little girl raised her hand and said, "My grandpa’s a farmer and I think he’d say something like, 'Holy Sh*t! A talkin’ chicken!'”

I wonder what I’ll choose for next year’s monthly wrap-up. So far I’ve covered: Night Sky, Full Moons, and Humor. Whatever it is, I’ll probably come back in 2013 with another year of Humor. I’m just havin’ way too much fun.

“One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.” Anonymous

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


Emily said…
Hey Sebastian, good to hear from you and kind of where you are at. Good to see pictures. Take care and stay warm in this - looks like again - another cold, cold one down that New Mexico way.
Anonymous said…
Love the fisherman story. It reminds me of my fellow teachers who have not taken the earliest retirement option. Someday they'll have LOTS more money to sit back and relax with. Meanwhile, I'll have enjoyed having LOTS more time to do just that!

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