May 19

I Love Hay Day, And I Don’t Care Who Knows It

Can't you almost feel the soil between your fingers?

Can’t you almost feel the soil between your fingers?

Yeah, that’s right. I love a farming game, and I’m not ashamed of it. It brightens up my days.

It also gives me hope for my career as a farmer.

I can’t wait for the day that I can grow crops, raise livestock, and mine my own land. It will allow me to create artisan goods that I can then sell at my roadside stand and command premium prices. Serious prices. Check it out.

Muffins are fucking easy to make.

Muffins are fucking easy to make, and that isn’t even a really nice coal and iron bracelet. I’ll be rich!

You just find the duct tape, paint, and other shit in trunks and tool boxes, or somebody gives it to you for selling them a bunch of your overpriced junk. You then sell it for fifty times what it’s worth. It’s fucking insane in the membrane.

People always ask me why I would want to be a farmer. I usually just stare back at them in disbelief and show them my garden.

See that in the top right corner? Diamonds and gold, bitches.

See that in the top right corner? Diamonds and gold, bitches. Farm on.

In case you need it translated, I’ll give you a little glimpse at what we’re talking about here.

Yeah, I really can sell a three pack of olives for $82. Half a cacao pod for  $86? All fucking day, bud.

Yeah, I really can sell a three pack of olives for $82. Half a cacao pod for $86? All fucking day, buddy.

I’m probably going to need a greenhouse for some of this stuff, only because I think that some of it might need longer than the 45 day growing season that we have, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to afford one after I sell a bunch of strawberries at $50 a piece. Booyah, motherfuckers. Getting paid like Tyson. I’m going to be making it rain at the Pro Hardware when I’m picking up the stakes for my over abundant tomato plants.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just in it for the money; that’s just a bonus. I’m also in it for the satisfaction of seeing an odd array of people happy after shopping in my town. They are just strolling about and buying locally sourced products in a quaint setting; it just warms my heart.

If you really go out of your way to help them, they will reward you with things that are sometimes priceless. Like a bolt.

Woo hoo! Now I can finish upgrading my barn. Thanks, pretty lady.

Woo hoo! Now I can finish upgrading my barn. Thanks, pretty lady.

Another great thing about farming is how willing the local kids are to help you succeed. Take Tom for instance.

What I want are some marker stakes, Tom.  Can you get me some? Of course you can't, you simple freak.

What I want are some marker stakes, Tom. Can you get me some? Of course you can’t, you simple freak.

He will run and find you all kinds of things. Not the things you want the most, but for nine diamonds a day, he sure makes your life easier.

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Doesn’t he look like he should be playing Dueling Banjos?

I know that $1087 looks like a lot of money for nine lollipops, but I can turn them around easily for over three grand. It’s all organic sugar and colouring.

Anyhow, as fun as Hay Day is for me, the best part is that my sister is in my neighbourhood too. So is Alice, but she never talks to us in chat, so we think that she’s an asshole.1)I’m just guessing that we both do. We love to help each other out, and it’s really nice to be able to shoot the shit with her when we end up on at the same time.

When I got home at Easter, our other sister and Mrs. Birdman, in a fit of jealousy, started calling us farm nerds, because we were doing some insider trading at the table. They called themselves Rebel Nerds, obviously because they were upset at not being invited to our neighbourhood, and then they teased us relentlessly.

It was like water off a duck’s back with us, as we are emotionally secure in our Hay Day bliss, but I did secretly want to hear them beg to be let in.

On Easter morning, after hearing about how the rebel nerds were all chummy and shit, I sent an Easter card to celebrate the death walk of old Jebus.

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That sealed it for us being the coolest nerd team in the family, and it also made us remember to feed our cows.

Birdman

P.S. If you’re active on Hay Day and like the derby, come and look us up. Here’s where to find us.

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Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. I’m just guessing that we both do.
May 18

Working On My Shit

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I got back out here on Tuesday night, and went to work for a couple of days, but have had the last few off. The days off, were really busy, but also good to keep my mind off of being alone again. Today, I am taking some time to relax in my underwear and catch up on shit.

My own shit.

Johnny got his BBQ fixed up, so I’m going to head over there in a bit and eat some food. I might possibly drink a cocktail or three, if he allows me to sleep on his couch or finds me a ride home. His place is cleaner, and it has better snacks, so I hope it’s the couch that he chooses.

Yesterday, I went down to look at the house we are buying when the girls get out here. It’s as cool and homey as I remembered it, and brought back a lot of great memories. It was a safe place during a lot of my gloomier days. I think that’s why I like it and Hudson’s Hope so much. It’s where I went to escape some shitty times. Aaron and Lannie, and then the boys after they came along, always made me feel better, and still do.

(Update: I didn’t finish this before going for a delicious dinner of steak, asparagus, beer, and new potatoes. The post from here on out is today.)

As the big move draws near, I find myself getting very emotional, because it’s really happening. My dreams of off grid living are getting their start.

I know it’s not going to be immediate, but the dream is alive and growing, and I got my subscription to Small Farm Canada when I was home. My first issue was waiting for me when I got here, and I’ve read it cover to cover, twice. I get to the point of weeping tears of joy, when I read this magazine, and I always have, as I dream of our Dexter cattle, farm fresh eggs, and crop rotations.

I know that it’s not for everyone, but I have become so incensed with the way our world has changed that I found myself getting more and more depressed as I thought about it.

Until I met Mrs. Birdman.

She encouraged me, even though she wasn’t on board with my ideas from the start. She would give me little pushes when she could see me losing sight of my dream, even if it was just sharing an article about alternative homes, talking about growing the ingredients for her favourite salsa, or mentioning that having eggs from our own chickens will be a nice addition.

It all helped. Whether she knew it or not.

Now I can’t get it out of my head, which is good. It’s a lot better dream than the crazy one I had last night. Meat dreams are insane.

Birdman

Apr 27

The Time Draws Nigh

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Yeah, I can feel it weighing heavy on my heart and mind. It’s the unspoken grief that we can feel as we snuggle in for another night. One of only a few that are left.

For this trip.

I’ll be back in June to start packing everything up and begin our trek to the west. We are hoping to be out there and going by early to mid July, and if things work out the way I hope, I will be driving a school bus that we will later convert to a motor home for some treks up the Alaska Highway, and to meet Skippy and Dancing Queen in the Jasper and Banff areas for some camping and shenanigans.

There are some pretty neat conversions that I’ve found online so far. I might need to learn to weld and do carpentry though. It looks like those are some pretty handy skills when it comes to building an rv.

But enough of that happy shit. Now is the time to mourn.

I have to leave in a little over a week and I really don’t want to. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things, when it seems like I’ve just got into my groove here. I have just gotten used to the feeling of Mrs. Birdman’s warmth and energy in the bed at night, and between her and Blue, I have relearned how to sleep in three square feet of mattress.

How can I go back to having a whole bed to myself?

I’ll also have to get used to the taste of frozen boxed food and pizza again, because I’m sure it will be 85% of my diet. Like usual. There will probably be very few home cooked meals between May 5th and the end of June.

Bah, I’m just being pissy. I have a lot to do while I’m out there. I have to get my little truck going.

It works, but I need to put a new carb in it. We should get some good camping out of this baby.

I also have to secure us a place to live and get things ready. In a month and a half. Hopefully while working.

When I write it down, it seems a lot harder than it feels. Maybe I should be more nervous than I am. For whatever reason, I just feel like everything will work out fine. We’ll sell or rent the house here, and we’ll buy or rent a house there. No problem, right? It sounds pretty simple, so let’s hope that it is.

Oh, back to the school bus thing. I found some pretty cool blogs from people who are living their dream in a bus.1)Not like the guy from Into The Wild. Here’s a cool post from one of them. Catching Eddies

I’ll leave you with one of my favourites.

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Not like the guy from Into The Wild.
Apr 17

The Plan

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First off, I want to wish my dear mother a happy 40th birthday. She’s been younger than me for three years now, and in better physical shape for about seven. I love you, Mom. Thanks for always taking care of me.

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I guess I should update anybody that gives a shit about us moving out west. I have already moved and did the address change and everything, but Mrs.B and the girls are coming out in July, after school is done. We will be moving to Hudson’s Hope, BC which is about an hour from Fort St. John and around half an hour from Chetwynd.

We are also starting to plan an off-grid life for after we get out there. For simplicity, and because we are fed up with our consumerist society. Well, me more than Mrs. B, but she’s not far behind. I’ve been wanting this for a lot longer than she has. I guess this is our way of starting up the steps to freedom.

Not everybody’s freedom, mind you. A lot of you will find freedom in a big home, with a brand new truck and a bunch of toys in the garage. That’s perfectly fine for you and I hope you get it. It just doesn’t work for me. I’m ready to find my Walden Pond.

When we first get to HH, we will live in town in an affordable home and start looking for an acreage with a water source and a nice view of some sort of mountain. I’m thinking that it will take 3-5 years to get the land, clear a lot, and set up some sort of agricultural area (pasture, shelter, garden, etc…) near where the house will be built.

That might be totally off, but it seems doable to me. By the time we get to the point of building the house, the kids will be old enough to fend for themselves if they don’t feel like partaking in a much simpler life. They will be welcome to join us in our effort to be self sustaining, but I imagine that they will want to pursue the dream of acquiring all of the shit that every kid wants.

Have at it, kids. When I was young, I wanted to own an island. I still do. Believe me, if I win the lottery, or get my show on the air1)Do any of you know how to pitch things to networks? , I will be buying a largish island and building a self sustaining community on that sumbitch.

Anyhow, I need to go have a beauty nap. We’re going to see The Spirits at The Station in Port Hope tonight. They are so good. That’s one thing I’m going to miss about this area; the amazing live music scene. If you can’t get out to see them tonight, you can catch them tomorrow in Cobourg. Check out their page for info.

Birdman

P.S. Did you see the awesome footnote plugin I installed? When you see a number like this2)You can hover over it, or see them at the bottom of the post. So awesomely awesome

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Do any of you know how to pitch things to networks?
2. You can hover over it, or see them at the bottom of the post. So awesomely awesome
May 05

I’m Going Back To The Land

mindofbirdman

But not in a good way.

Yet.

I’m heading back out west in the morning, and I’m not looking forward to it. I know that I never am, but this time it seems harder. Like having to cut off your own leg kind of harder.

I guess everything is harder when I think about it. Life just seems to get tougher as you get older. Better, but tougher nonetheless. Take the internet for example. It’s here to make our lives better, and in some ways it does. I couldn’t imagine not being able to look up anything that I wondered about at the drop of a hat. The knowledge that I gain from having that privilege is immense.

Then there is the part of the internet that isn’t quite as helpful, but helps to pass the time. You know, for when you are bored, sitting on the toilet, or maybe don’t feel like going out on a Friday night.

Social Media.

Sure it lets you keep up to date with who and what your friends are doing, what coffee and supper looks like, and how cute cats are, but it doesn’t take much to get addicted to it. I know. It happened to me.

As most of you probably know, I quit Facebook recently. Strangely enough, I don’t miss it. I miss a lot of the people, but some of the important ones have joined G+, and the ones who didn’t probably don’t need to get a hold of me anyhow.

No_twitter

I watched this yesterday. Two days after telling Mrs. Birdman that Twitter was getting the axe next. They have been ticking me off lately, what with them sending me notifications about who all of my followers are following. Like I care that they’ve all decided to follow Visa back, or whatever the case may be. Oh, and I have just figured out that there is no value in it for me. Anyhow, this really hit home.

It got me thinking about a lot of things, and one was that I need to stop wasting time online. There’s life out there, and procrastinating with my face tanned from the glow of my phone screen isn’t helping anything. I like information, and I need to start using the internet for what it was made for, which I’m certain isn’t trading cat photos and masturbation.

I need to start using the few years that I have left to do things.

Big things.

Important things.

Things like growing food, creating, and enjoying my time with friends and loved ones, which I suppose are one in the same. I love my family, and shouldn’t be spending my time socking away as many hours as I can work, so that I can come home and be depressed about either having no money, or having to leave the love of my life to go back to work in an industry that I only partially agree with.

For twenty some odd years, I have been thinking, wishing, and dreaming about buying a piece of property for cash and building an earthship home on it. Granted, that would take a lot more money than we have, so I guess we’ll have to just keep on working and dreaming. Dreaming of the day where I can get up in the morning, collect the eggs, move the chicken house over to some fresh grass, and empty the compost toilet.

A lot of people don’t understand the appeal of it, but I know that there are a lot that do, so I know I’m not alone. As I was researching I came across this guy.

His videos were interesting, especially this one. I can relate to his feelings, but not to his past. I find it interesting that so many people from such different walks of life are interested in the shift to more simple living. There are doctors, lawyers, truckers, and probably any other occupation that you can think of that just want to get the hell out of the rat race and slow down to a snail’s pace. I think it’s got to be that people are stopping to think about what they’re doing and realizing that everything that they have been taught all of their life is a big load of BS.

If you get a chance, check out The Story of Stuff Project

If you get a chance, check out The Story of Stuff Project

Whatever the individual reasons are, I am very happy to see people figuring things out, even if it is such a tiny percentage. People can see that things need to change and they are effecting the change themselves. That makes my heart smile.

Anyhow, I should go crawl into bed with the most beautiful soul that a person could know, and see if I can get my feet warmed up. I’ve got a long day of travelling and feeding the corporate machines.

For now.

Birdman