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#2185 - Monday, June 27, 2005 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    #2185 - Monday, June 27, 2005 - Editor: Jerry Katz Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm Letter to the Editors: Click Reply on
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 28, 2005
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       #2185 - Monday, June 27, 2005 - Editor: Jerry Katz
      Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm  
      Letter to the Editors: Click 'Reply' on your email program, compose your message, and 'Send'. All the editors will see your

      this issue features a coupla posts from walker, a guy who writes on a list i read.  walker comes across as a walden on wheels, and that's nondual enough for me. the topics are living in a van, playing poker, and staying warm.

      i've been living in my van for over five years now,
      going south in the winter and north in the summer.  i
      don't keep track closely, but some months i live on
      less than $100, other months maybe $500.  i have no
      utility bills, no mortgage, no debts of any kind.

      my only regular bills are car insurance, around $500 a
      year for the van and a Geo toad, and $30/month for a
      storage unit.  i intend to clean out the storage this
      summer and get rid of that expense - i haven't missed
      the stuff in there for five years, so why should i
      keep it?

      food and gas expenses vary, but if i stay put for a
      month, the gas bill is near zero and i have stocks of
      bulk foods which last me a long time, supplemented by
      small amounts of fresh fruit and veggies, meat,
      cheese, eggs etc.  propane for cooking is an
      insignificant expense, maybe $5.00 a month.

      my income comes from playing poker, which i've been
      doing for many years, and now there are more and more
      places in almost every state that have poker games.  i
      play lower limit, just trying to win enough to pay my
      expenses, which isn't hard.  if i have a particularly
      good session, i may go several weeks or a month before
      playing again.  i recently hit a bad beat jackpot in
      northern California and won $6000, which more than
      covered my entire winter's expenditures.

      i live an almost entirely cash existence.  i'm looking
      for a newer rig to purchase right now, probably a
      class C MH in the $5-10,000 range, for which i'll pay
      cash.  i already have a solar system, laptop and other
      electronic entertainment toys.  it's tempting to go
      for a satellite internet dish, but i hate the idea of
      paying a monthly bill for service.  right now i use
      wifi and libraries.  i don't have any need for a

      i originally intended to buy a chunk of land and build
      a cabin, but the longer i live as a vandweller, the
      more i've come to like it.  the freedom of movement,
      of new and different places and people, of no regular
      bills to pay, and the changing views out my front
      window are very satisfying.

      as a person who spends the vast majority of his time
      on public lands boondocking, i'm apparently in the
      minority among vehicle dwellers.  i do stop in
      different cities for a week or so here and there, but
      i much prefer the company of coyotes, deer and wild
      birds to the belching buses and screaming sirens of
      urban life.  so i don't need a gym membership - i swim
      or use my solar shower to bathe, and i hike on trails
      instead of treadmills.  but, to each hir own.  my dog,
      a spirited Aussie shepherd, also much prefers our life
      in the woods and desert to the alternative, the city
      world of leashes and pooper scoopers.

      in my travels, i've met people who live even simpler,
      more inexpensive lives than i do, so it's possible to
      live a happy healthy life in this country for almost
      nothing, if you're willing and able to travel by foot
      or bicycle, and glean food from the forests and
      dumpsters.  i admire these folks, but i'm spoiled by
      the luxuries of my comfy bed in a rolling metal box,
      at night watching DVDs on my laptop or listening to
      music and reading, and by day exploring the backroads
      of the great American west all year round.


      ~ ~ ~
      >>Sounds like a great lifestyle, altho
      winning at poker is a mystery to everybody


      >>I've always wanted to get by,
      playing poker. Any
      tips you'd care to share?

      patience, patience, patience and well-timed

      patience: do not play every hand, wait for good cards,
      such as big pairs or big suited connectors (we're
      talking about hold'em here).  if you're in a
      ten-handed game, the odds are that you'll only have
      the best hand dealt to you one out of ten times, on
      average.  so if you play seven or eight out of ten,
      you're going to lose.  a good player can increase
      these odds by:

      well-timed aggression:  once you have figured out how
      some of the other people at your table play, through
      keen observation, use position and intuition to raise
      or reraise at the right moments to get them to throw
      their hands away.  the great thing about poker is that
      you don't have to have the best hand to win, you only
      have to have the best hand of those remaining in the
      pot, or nothing at all if you're the only one left in
      the pot.

      remember though, limit ring games like those i play
      are nothing like the tournament games you see on TV.
      at low limits you can't bully people out of pots too
      often, which is why you have to learn to pick your
      spots and play the players. 

      but patience is key.  if you only play top hands,
      while everybody else is playing any two cards, you'll
      usually win in the long run even if your luck is
      average.  the good thing about the new popularity
      created by the cable shows is that there's a seemingly
      endless supply of new players, many of which are
      basically clueless.

      and learn to walk away.  if you get up over $100 in a
      3-6 or 4-8 game, keep playing as long as you're
      winning, but cash out as soon as you're back down to
      that $100 mark.  play tight to start out, get to know
      the players and the feel of the game, then loosen up
      if you get hot and play your rushes for all they're
      worth, but know when the rush is over.

      there's obviously a lot more to it than this, but only
      experience can really teach, not books or emails from
      bums like me.


      ~ ~ ~
      >>Your $5/month propane costs do not reflect
      Even with well-timed pinpoint migration cycles, you
      must run into some cold nights. I think you need to
      factor those costs,

      i have used propane for heating, but only on the
      coldest of nights.  i have one of those Mr. Buddy
      heaters and a 20 pound tank.  layers of clothes and
      climbing into layers of sleeping bags works like a
      charm most of the time.  in the Yuma area or down the
      Baja in the winter, you might get two weeks out of the
      year where you'd really need to fire up the heater.

      but in my new rig i'm thinking of installing a
      woodstove.  i've seen guys who use them and they're
      highly efficient, toasting up that little space
      quickly and efficiently.  you don't need much more
      than twigs, bark or small sticks in a tight stove and
      there's plenty of wood in both the desert and woods
      where i stay.  i'm one of those who really hates the
      cold, so believe me when i say that i don't suffer
      from it very often!

      recommendations please !

      it seems like i've gone through this so many times
      already on this and other lists.  look at maps that
      show public lands - national forests, BLM, state
      forests, Bureau of Reclamation, etc.  there are
      MILLIONS of acres open to free camping in all the
      western states, and lots of gravel and dirt roads to
      explore.  you can legally stay in one spot for 14
      days, and then move 25 miles away for another 14 days,
      but in reality you never see any rangers in most
      places and they don't know how long you've been there.

      visit BLM and NF offices in the region where you are,
      get maps and ask somebody for "dispersed camping"
      recommendations.  you don't have to go only where they
      tell you, you can be on almost any public land, but
      often they'll clue you in on some great sites.

      beyond that, just drive down unmarked roads and
      explore.  sometimes there are roads built by railroads
      or utility companies during construction phases that
      are now almost totally unused.  i've found great sites
      this way - such as once on a high cliff above a
      thundering river in Montana, the opposite shore of
      which was Glacier National Park.

      recently i was gambling at Seven Feathers on I-5 near
      Canyonville, Oregon.  i wanted to get away for awhile,
      even though there's free dry camping there (with 24/7
      shuttle service to the casino), so i got out a map and
      found the Cow Creek Byway, a paved loop starting a few
      miles from there and ending back at the freeway 30
      miles south.  along the byway were numerous places to
      camp, including a free BLM cg with a vault toilet,
      where i didn't see a soul in three days.  there was
      also a public goldpanning area, and lots of roads
      leading off where you could find places to park and
      stay as long as you want.

      it's really easy.  i just spent two months traveling
      from Arizona to Oregon, through California, and never
      paid once to camp anywhere.  national forest, BLM,
      rest areas, Wal-Marts, small town city streets,
      various unclassifiable undeveloped lands, just use
      your imagination, observation, and MAPS.

      looking for boondocking sites is half the fun!


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