While I’ve Lived Off The Grid and Off-Line For Years, Off-Line Sucks –
I knew I was gonna get cut off. I shot a move to keep the interwebs on long enough to complete my interview with Out Of The Box and Above Top Secret. Now I’m paying the price. My service provider is very unhappy with me.
I’ve been overdrawn in my accounts for over a month and sales of antiques and such have almost dried up since the end of November and the IndieGoGo support for The Boot-Strap Expat Adventure has been disappointing to say the least. Life is like that sometimes.
I’d Forgotten that Silence Is Wonderful!
Until this morning I’ve spent the last couple years listening to NPR and Alex Jones and the Freedom Radio Network (FRN.com) online as I worked, conducted research and composed essays to share with y’all. My place is eerily quiet at the moment, but it is calming and pleasant. I’d forgotten how pleasant silence is.
The Irony of Timing
Over the last couple weeks I’ve been submitted for a couple real jobs, one with a global firm and one with a national presence here in the states. It’s been almost two years since I worked a 9 to 5 gig, I’ve had to hustle on my own just to keep kibble in the dogs’ bowls and cheap beers in the fridge. I don’t do UnEnjoyment or SNAP cards or any government handouts. I work in the ways that I can and I don’t buy anything I cannot afford by reaching into my pocket. Usually.
I’ve been asked to customize a resume for one of the jobs, to better demonstrate how my experience and abilities align with the job requirements. I can do that, but at the moment I have no way to get the resume to the folks that want it (Note the Date above. postscript below and see below for more recent developments). Such is Life.
Challenges such as these keep us sharp.
For most of my life I’ve tried to do the right thing for the right reasons and that usually works out well. When I have missed the mark (the actual definition of “sin”) and left a few debts in my wake, as soon as I was solvent again, I repaid every penny and penalty rather than leaving folks holdin’ the bag.
When I got back to work in 2011 after being UnEnjoyed for eighteen moons and living in the wilderness, I reopened my bank accounts with the same bank I’d been overdrawn with for over two years to get straight with them. I did the same with my old cell-phone account and even a utility that had ignored a request to disconnect gas services but decided to keep charging me months after I vacated the place and was over 2100 miles away. The Right Things to do for the Right Reasons.
A couple weeks ago I Shot A Move to keep internet access long enough to be interviewed by Out Of The Box and Above Top Secret.com. I knew my account was overdrawn already, but I justified my wrong-doing by believing that the audience of many thousands would support my efforts to fund and produce The Boot-Strap Expat project. Surely Cash-Flow would cover me before anything unpleasant happened….
…Famous Last Words.
The e-check bounced and AT&T cut me off about a week after the interview and a single day after broadcast. I was deceitful. I knew I was. I’m ashamed. Yet there are times in Life when you need to Shoot A Move just to get by. I’ve eaten out of garbage cans. If you haven’t, you’re missin’ out on Life on the Edge.
I’m workin’ without a net here and when I’m flush again all debts will be settled, small as they are. We’re talkin’ hundreds, not thousands. I don’t like debt. It tends to enslave folks. And leads to sleepless nights.
Off The Grid Is Much Better Than Being Offline
When I’ve lived in the wilderness I haven’t missed the internet much and leave my phone off unless I’m using it as a camera rather than a phone. Nothing else seems very important when days are filled with hiking, chopping wood and carrying water to meet your simple needs.
Weather becomes important and you realize how wonderful it can be to be a witness to it and embraced by it. The dynamic of the changing seasons are amazing as you get to observe in a very intimate way – the budding trees, new shoots rising from the Earth, the rousing of the wildlife to begin a new cycle of life, fungi in incredible diversity rising from their matrices in the beds of decay, the blooms, the fruiting, the pinnacle of growth and the slow decline once seed is on the wind…
But I’m Not Off The Grid, I’m Offline And It Sucks
It’s been a few days now since I lost internet and working via my phone is nearly impossible; my eyes aren’t as sharp as they once were and I inherited my grandfather’s cobbler’s thumbs so I truly appreciate the term Fat Thumb Mistakes.
I haven’t figured out how to post to The Boot-Strap Expat Adventure as of this moment but if possible, I will. Consider the following work-arounds I had to come up with just to send a resume to a potential client this week:
- Windows 8/8.1 doesn’t have Bluetooth capability;
- Even though my phone is connected to my wi-fi network there was no way to share files this way;
- Tried to use my 4G phone as a wi-fi hotspot, but I need to change my account for this capability;
- Finally hotwired my phone to my laptop which allows me to transfer files;
- It took three attempts to get the files to the correct folders on my phone;
- Success! Not so fast… Initial attempts to send the files by two different email accounts failed until I turned off the wi-fi connection in my phone;
- Finally, I was able to blast the resumes to my representative;
Perseverance and critical thinking got the job down. You learn both Off the Grid and in the Wilds.
Now I just need to figure out how to get this essay to The Boot-Strap Expat Adventure for y’all.
Postscript: I turned my cellphone into a wi-fi hot spot to bring this to y’all.
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