This first bit might sound a bit audacious to you

People tell me I’m young and when I go “but I’m 28 –I’m having a mid life crisis for fuck sake” and they are like “no you are so young” and I just nod blankly and think to myself how I have probably lived at least twice what they had when they were my age, if not more. I have lived lots of places. I used to live in various cities in Oregon and Washington. I also lived in various cities in Texas, including Austin, which I used to love, but since I lived there I hate it. I also lived in New Orleans…. well… I was homeless there for nearly 8 months. And I was homeless in Chicago and Denver/Boulder and the Bay area/Oakland. I think that about sums it up. I don’t travel anymore. I’ve been in Houston for 6 years. I have hitch hiked all accross the country, hopped freight trains, built bikes from scratch in Washington and then toured long distances on them.

I was briefly a member of the clown house in Portland, Oregon. I had my own tall-bike. I lived in squats, on communes, with hippy families and acid families and anarachists –also with junkies, crackheads and bums in general. I lived under a bridge in Oregon. I lived in a 24 hour bar in new orleans, but you could hardly call it home –it was just a roof and a safer place than the street at night. it had washing machines. i lived on the roofs of buildings in the winter and slept under the exhaust vents that pointed down like candy canes so that the rain wouldn’t go down them. They blew their warm air on me and i was happy. I lived in the olympic rainforest in a cabin that was made from dead-standing trees and fallen logs. there was magically a wood stove inside, but everything was damp and moldy. The woods themselves were alive and would shapeshift on you in the night. we caught crabs on the puget sound and cooked them in our little cabin. i lived houses houses houses and houses –far too many to count, taken in by strangers and friends –should i tell you what some strangers will do to you when they take you in, or should i leave that out?? I will spare you the tales of terror. Many people gave me work to do around their house so that I could stay there in trade. I learned more than I know and when people ask me “how do you know that?” I can’t tell them how. “How do you know all this stuff that you know?” and it is very difficult to say. The jobs I have worked are as various as the places I have been, but lets not get started on another list.
yeah, hopping freight was probably the only non-drug activity I had withdrawals from. but I mean, serious yearning, for a long time. I’m over it now. I have too many health issues… and mental health issues and I can’t travel because of them. Its probably because of the way I lived back then. I was so sick all the time when I was homeless. mostly in the winter. and I was an alcoholic and a junkie off an on and I had sex with random people. I ate out of the trash a lot and slept in recycling dumpsters for a while until I almost got eaten by a garbage truck one rainy night in Washington. it was a literal nightmare. I could hear the garbage truck in my sleep, making its rounds, getting closer to my block, and in my dreams the garbage truck was a cartoon monster, going around and ferociously, loudly eating all the trash and it was coming for me. the cartoonishness did not diminish the terror.

I am totally in a better place now. houston is the best place I have ever lived and the people I meet here are so wonderful. I mean, I am in a better place physically, but I am not exactly in a better place mentally and emotionally. I suffer from ptsd, wouldn’t you guess. actually, I was diagnosed with onset paranoid schizophrenia about a year ago –which has really put things into perspective. but I am positive that I essentially relive my past trauma, which is triggered by any sense of threat from either strangers or loved ones.

Its difficult to say how I have learned to deal with the paranoid delusions. I think the best thing to do is to be honest about feeling threatened –which is hard because people take that as an accusation, which is ironic because what I really want to do is accuse them, and attack them, but I am trying not to. so whereas I would ordinarily go apeshit on someone because I think they are an aggressor, I instead try to express my feelings and be vulnerable, and that is often perceived as playing a victim –which makes things worse. but there may be a happy medium somewhere. lately I just break down completely and can’t talk because my brain is exploding and all my thoughts are cut into pieces and I say a lot of words that dont cohere and that is embarrassing so I walk away in distress. but this is often perceived as “storming off” or something. people often think that just because you are upset that it is something you have taken personally with them. and my reality, I have learned, is that I make the mistake of taking it personally with them, but in doing so I am really only projecting my past trauma onto them in regard to some little thing they did or said that reminded me of the trauma. so I try to remember that and not project my shit onto them. but its impossible to not be upset. and being upset is a hard thing to explain away.

Most people who want to kill themselves are afraid to live. I am not afraid to live. I have lived more lives than I can even remember. Most of them haunt me. I am happy to have experienced everything. I am ready to die. Its not going to happen with warning (and probably not any time soon), but when it does, DON’T you dare fucking mourn me. Don’t you dare think that i wasted something. Don’t you dare think that I gave up. When you have had as many conflicting experiences back to back, non-stop and stacked on one another to the extent that your memories are cut into pieces and rearranged constantly and everyone seems like the same people to you, but they are mashed up and everything gets swapped in your mind because litterally almost everything is deja vu… When you don’t know who you are anymore because so many conflicting influences have laid their hands on you… Don’t tell me what to fucking do with myself. You would think that I knew better by now.

Guidelines for Charging AGM Batteries


You’ve discovered that with slight alterations, you can keep your automobile working easily. A change here, another tip there, and you’ll have the capacity to get somewhat extra from your drive.

Here are a couple of guidelines for keeping your lead-acid battery acting at its apex. There are additionally a few things to remember when preserving your Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery, together with an OPTIMA® battery.

Fresher Chargers in Step of Battery Innovations:

Many more up to date battery chargers, similar to the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer, have chips that gather data from the battery and regulate the current and voltage as needs be. Some have unique settings for charging flooded, gel and AGM batteries.

Battery Execution Regulator:

All lead-acid batteries can encounter sulfation, the development of lead sulfate crystals upon release. Search for a charger with a desulfation mode to adjust your battery and keep it carrying out efficiently.

Subtle and Moderate is Safest:

A low amp charger (1 to 12 amps) is for the most part the best decision for charging every lead-acid battery. It’s snappier to charge at greater amperage; however it likewise can create a great deal of heat, which diminishes the life of a battery, much the same as the furious warmth of summer.

Alternators but not Chargers:

Try not to depend on your alternator to take the necessary steps of a charger. On the off chance that your battery is discharged to the fact where it can’t activate your vehicle, utilize a charger as quickly as time permits to verify your battery gets completely charged. An alternator is intended to keep up a battery, not charge it.

Dead Batteries:

Batteries in the long run die. Batteries are a disposable item. No battery will keep going forever. The objective is to reliably keep up your battery to receive the most time in return.

Chargers with Distinctive Capacities:

Under ordinary circumstances most 12 Volt programmed battery chargers will take a shot at an AGM battery. Numerous more up to date battery chargers have settings particularly for AGM batteries; some even have separate settings for OPTIMA REDTOP® and YELLOWTOP® batteries, similar to the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer.

AGM and Gel Equipment Vary:

Keep in mind that the innovation of an AGM battery is not the same as a gel battery, which has its specific charging prerequisites. In the event that your charger offers diverse modes, choose the right one for your battery. In the event that you utilize the gel setting to charge an AGM battery, it won’t completely charge and after some time, it will really harm your AGM battery.

Time-out Voltages:

Under typical beginning conditions, an OPTIMA battery ought to never encounter “time-out” voltages underneath 12 volts. Most 12 volt chargers and alternators have no issue reviving OPTIMA in the event that it has a “time-out” voltage of 10.5 volts or more.

The Enchantment Edge – 10.5 Volts:

The charging situation for a profoundly discharged AGM battery, one that has plunged underneath 10.5 volts, may be somewhat distinctive. The OPTIMA Digital 1200 can charge batteries discharged to just 1.5 volts. For different chargers tips for recuperating an overly discharged AGM battery can be hit upon in OPTIMA’s tech tip,

‘How to Resuscitate a Discharged AGM Battery?’


Yep, they did – however I think it was for a good reason. If I’d left on my trip around Aus when I thought I was going to, I’d be somewhere in the “Outback”, a bit beyond the “Black Stump”, and halfway to “Nowheresville” by now. And feeling crook. Instead I am still sussing things out with the packing of my car and camper trailer – and I suspect making a better job of it than I’d anticipated.

I’ve taken on board a lot of the suggestion of the folk who’ve taken notice of the underlying theme of my tales – that is, that I’m a bit of a novice at this – and I’ve decided to just sail along hoping to (figuratively) run into some of you should I ever need some help. (But I don’t really expect to, so perhaps we’ll just have a chat.)
I’m still coughing, but I’m taking that as a good sign too. I mean it indicates my lungs are working. Always a good sign. I’ve checked on that each morning I’ve woken ever since I gave up smoking. I find if I start the morning with a positive thought it gives the whole day a certain tone. It’s like: breathing, check; legs and arms working, check; heart beating … I said: heart beating, check; obviously thinking, check. Then it’s a casual stroll to the bathroom, check. And I can think about breakfast.
And speaking of breakfast – I’ve lost 2 kilos since I bought this trailer. It’ll be fun they said … but they didn’t tell me I’d lose weight. Bonus!
This morning I replaced the toy, plastic jockey wheel with one that has a solid rubber tyre, a ratchet arrangement for moving it on my own – and which is too big to lock into the room allotted to it on the A frame. Not to worry. There appears to be nothing I can do to change that – but I have length of chain that holds it nicely in place, only millimetres off perfect.
Did I mention I found the box that holds the battery charger? I didn’t know what it was at first because printed (in English) on the white cardboard box, were the words “Battery changer”. “Changer”? I guess some people just don’t know their “N”s from the “R”s. Or from their elbow if it comes to that.
Anyway, I’m getting there.
I’ve been hunting one of those little single burner gas stoves for the past week. It appears that everyone in NQ knows they are back on the market – and they were even in Bunnings catalogue, but no-one up here has been able to get any stock. Oh well, maybe I’m supposed to drink plain water. It’s all good. Oh yeah, I know I can set up my big stove and all, but just for a cuppa? The gas bottle is at one end of the trailer and the stove is at the other. Not great design work there! Ah well, as I said, I can drink water. Come meal time I might get serious though. I must remember to take the gas bottle off the A frame before I set up the camper too – otherwise my bed will be nicely sitting over the bottle, locking it in place.
Well, I popped into town in the middle of the day today. I visited the Barn Market (where I no longer work at doing Tarot readings – cos I’m off! Shortly.)
If you’re ever in Ravenshoe, call in. The Barn is in the Railway Reserve where the Railway volunteers have their (cheap) van park. I noticed the numbers of vans there has reduced a good deal in the past few days. Obviously many of the visitors from the southern states have headed home.
I may just end up having some of the northern free parks to myself if I leave my leaving too much longer.
Still, it’s all good. Enjoy your evening folk, whether you’re on the road or back home.
Good night.

Quick recap report of my Knobstone Trail trip

Here is a quick recap report of my Knobstone Trail trip as requested by a fellow hiker.
I didn’t have anyone join me for this trip, so I had to utilize Snappyshuttle service to get me from where I parked my truck at Delaney Park to the Deam Lake trailhead. They picked me up at 6:15 and had me to Deam Lake by 7 AM. I took off in the darkness on the combination horse trail/Knobstone trail. This was suppose to be a shared trail for 1 mile. But in Fact, it was more like only a 1/2 mile. Where the trail split off from the horse trail was in an area that had been dozed open, probably because of some storm damage to it. Anyways, the trail markings there were no where to be seen unless you knew where to look for them. I hiked 1 mile on the horse trail as indicated by the re-route claim, but I knew just after hiking past the cleared area that I was probably not on the KT. It was dark and I figured I probably missed my turn, so I turned around and headed back the way I came from. I came across 2 hunters and they assured me that I was on the KT and to just keep following the horse trail as I was before. I got about a mile and a half down the horse trail and then it came to a “T” splitting into 2 separate trails. I knew then that the hunters knew less about this trail than I did, so I once again turned around to look for the trail junction I obviously missed. It was in the dozed off area at the 1/2 mile area, not the one mile area as quoted. So after 1 hour of wasted time and 2 miles of extra hiking, I finally found the trail.
The trail was tough as all the report that I had heard about it. Plenty of steep ups and downs. In fact, it seemed to be laid out in such a way as to make it more difficult than it really needs to be. Most of the trail is on side slopes, yoyo-ing up and down below the ridge lines that are just a few feet above you. It makes no sense to put the trail on a side slope like that, where it’s hard to maintain the trail, it makes it very hard to walk on, and it even voids you the opportunity of having and good views that might be available. I bet there was at least 10 occasions that the trail pushed me straight down off the ridge into a deep draw, only to have me go straight up the opposite side of it. Then once at the top when I was able to look back and observe my path taken, I would see that the ridge line actually horseshoed around the draw and it could have been avoided. This is what is known as “PUDS” pointless up and downs, and this trail was loaded with them from end to end. Also the trail was went through some really nasty areas that could have been avoided all together. The trail went through some really thick brier patches that were miserable to walk through. I’m sure my rain gear is probably ruined by all the brush and briers along the trail. Also there was very few scenic views to the trail, mostly because you stayed on the side slopes, and I didn’t see any rock outcropping like the trail description gave. So in my personal opinion of this trail, I rate it on a scale of 10 in the following categories.

trail maintenance-2

As for my trip personally, it rained on me for 90% of the day on Friday, and 100% of the day on Saturday. It was warm on Friday, so I opted not to wear my rain gear, and just let myself get wet. But on Saturday I wore my rain gear, knowing the rain would be more predominant, and the temperature more cold. The first day I hiked about 22 miles (not counting the 2 extra ones that morning) and made camp next to a stream at about 7:30. I was so tired and wet, I just wanted to get into my tent and sleeping bag and go to sleep. I packed a stove and food thinking I was going to cook for myself, but in fact I never did cook and only ate snack foods the whole time I was out there. I ate Snickers, trail mix, gummy fruit chews, beef jerky, and a hostess fruit pie for breakfast. I also carried plenty of water, not knowing what the water conditions would be like since it’s supposedly a dry trail. But in fact, there were more flowing streams than you could shake a stick at, and they all had good water.
On day 2 I knew I had 23.5 miles left to hike, and with the rain and dropping temperatures, I knew I didn’t want to spend another night out there if I could avoid it. I took off right at day break and hiked all day without taking a break, finally finishing the trail at about 8:30. I was so cold and wet the second day, the only way I could stay warm was to just keep moving. Both nights I hiked into the darkness for 2 to 3 hours, and let me tell you, it was a hard trail to follow. The blazes were few and far between at times, plus the trail was totally covered with leaves, making it hard to see. Also with all the leaves being wet, and the fact that the trail was constantly going straight up and down or along a side slope, I fell at least 20 times on my first day. But somehow on the second day, I managed to only fall a few times in the slippery conditions.
When I finally finished my hike and got backl to Delaney Creek Park, I was pleased to see that the restroom was open, and in fact it had hot showers in it. I didn’t have anything to shower with, but I did so anyways. The hot water worked wonders to bring my core temperature back up to where it needed to be. I then put on some dry clothes I left in the truck, and was on my way home soon after.
All in all I’d say this was a terrible trip, it was a very disappointing trail, and not enjoyable at all. I’d say for the average hiker, give yourself 4 days to hike it, maybe 3 if you you’re a strong hiker, but don’t try to hike it in just 2 days, it’s not worth the effort.