Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

gtpmpknI just had an awesome idea!!

I was sitting all alone in the darkness watching “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” when the idea hit me.

It’s too late this year but maybe I’ll look into it for next year.  There are no legitimate pumpkin patches in San Antonio but there are many church yards that become “Pumpkin Patches” where you can go buy your Halloween Jack-O-Lantern donor gourd.  You know there must be a lot of extra pumpkins left on Halloween night.

What if I went and just sat in one for a few hours on a cool Halloween night.  Even better,  What if other people had the same idea and I didn’t have to be there all alone?  It seems like an idea that might catch on across the United States so that people without children and friends can have something to look forward to on a pointless evening.

It kind of seems like something that they would do in Austin where they like to keep it weird.  I did a google search and found nothing of this idea.  I think I’m the original.

I wonder how one would go about setting up an event.  Maybe if I found a church pumpkin patch that was especially sincere.  One that was without hypocracy for as far as the eye could see.  I could speak to them and see if they would be interested in allowing such a thing.  Being at a church it would possibly be a safer setting and not attract the wrong kind of people.  I wonder if they would take me seriously.

I’m just talking about a simple thing where lonely people might sit around in the patch and talk to each other and enjoy the evening.  It would be a shame if it eventually became commercial with food vendors, loud music and other hypocrisies.  Of course all good things end up going that way but for a while it could be a glorious event.

I wonder how I could publicize the event so that the right kind of people would know about it.

I hope I remember it in time for next year.  Would you wait for the Great Pumpkin with me?

Dreamblog – Nudist waterpark

I was at a local waterpark when I realized that I was naked.   There was nothing I could do but continue on the tube ride.  I got to the end and walked to the next ride completely naked.   The other kids were looking at me but none of them freaked out like you would expect.

I’ve always wished we could have naked day at the waterpark.  In a better world it would be normal to swim naked all the time.

 

Read more of my dreams.

Thinking about joining a church

chrchI’m not really a church-going kind of guy.  In fact I haven’t intentionally gone to church since probably some time in the late ’80s.  When I was a kid my mom made us go to Sunday School.  Possibly just to get us out of the house on a Sunday.  I remember walking up the street in my uncomfortable shiny black plastic church shoes. I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it because I got to spend time with other people my age in a good environment.

After leaving the parent’s house and striking out on my own I had no interest in going to church.  In fact, having dealt with major depression I was convinced that there could not be a god because if he existed, he would not allow someone to be as lonely, depressed and suicidal as I was.

As an intelligent person, I still have trouble believing that there is a God or even Life after Death.  In fact, I would prefer that there was no life after death.  When I die I want it all to be over permanently.  I don’t want to live on forever even if it was an idealistic “Heaven”.  I don’t want to be reincarnated either.  The end.

There’s more to church than religion though.  There is community and fellowship.  Something that I lack very badly.  I was raised Lutheran. The primary reason I am considering going to church again is to be around white people.  In a city that is 90% mexican, a Lutheran church is bound to be mostly white because mexicans are mostly Catholic.

Perhaps I sound racist but I’ve said it before, I don’t hate other races.  I just want to be around my own people every once in a while.  White people are few and far between in San Antonio.  I just want to feel like I belong somewhere instead of being a constant outsider.

Religion has gotten a bad rap lately but in moderation, it can be a good thing.   Religion can be good when it is not taken too seriously or pushed on other people.  That’s one thing I like about Lutherans.  They don’t force their beliefs on others.

Religion can be beneficial.  It teaches a lot of overall good stuff when you look at the big picture.  Don’t take it too literally though because the Bible was written by man and frequently edited over the centuries to suit the needs of the ruling class.  Still, the premise has moral value.

There’s a church nearby that seems to suit my needs after looking at their website.  They even have groups that do some things that I am interested in.   They have services around 9:30 on Sundays that will still give me plenty of time to head over to my mom’s house for lunch afterwards.

If I can talk myself into it, I might go this Sunday and check it out.  Nothing to lose.  Everything to gain.

Update:

I attended service this Sunday morning.  It was pretty much as expected.  I found that I desperately needed my reading glasses.  I almost took them with me but assumed that since old people go to church that the fonts in the handout and hymnal would be much larger.  Wrong.  Next time bring them!

Otherwise it was good.  I was among people like myself as I expected.  I felt like I belonged. The service was a little different than what I remembered from my old church.   Perhaps a bit too much.  I have recently been watching Joel Osteen broadcasts on TV.  That guy can teach a good lesson!  We can’t expect everyone to be broadcast quality.   The sermon was basic and from the book.  Meh, but that wasn’t really the primary reason I am thinking about joining a church.  It’s more for the fellowship.

I didn’t partake of the fellowship on this visit mostly because I didn’t know anyone and also because I didn’t want to make any commitments yet.  My natural invisibility served me well.  Nobody noticed that I was new or even there.  The pastor had a clue I think when we shook hands as I walked out the door.  Surely he knows everyone.

I learned a lot about the church during my first anonymous visit.  I’ll probably go back again eventually.

Quick Book Review – Lightning by Dean Koontz

lghtngIt took me forever but I finally finished reading Dean Koontz’s “Lightning“.

I had no idea what to expect.  Amazon recommended it and it I’ve read Dean Koontz before so I knew it had to be decent at least.

It is a rather long book so if you are an ADHD reader you might move on but if you like long and detailed novels with lots of gunplay, car chases,time travel and Nazis then this is a rather worthy read.

This story tracks Laura Shane’s life from the day of her birth, through school and life thereafter.  She is quite often saved from death or worse by a strange man who shows up a the opportune time to bail her out.  You’ll never guess where he came from.

I enjoyed reading this book and recommend Lightning.  Get it at Amazon.

All Alone By Myself

albymslfA long time ago I started using the phrase, “All alone by myself.”  I thought it sounded funny since it seemed to say the same thing twice.

Today I realized what I meant.

There are two kinds of alone-ity.  You can be alone when nobody is around or you can be alone in a crowd.  The second kind is far worse than the first.  It’s much more painful so I tend to lean toward preferring the former.

I would much rather be alone by myself than to be alone with other people.

Camping Alone

cmpngalnNow that the weather has finally gotten cooler in Texas I scheduled a little October camping.  I took my 1982 Holiday Rambler motorhome to Cranes Mill Park at Canyon Lake.  It’s a rather plain place to camp.  Not much there other than what you bring with you.  No volleyball court.  Shouldn’t every place have one of those?

There aren’t many trees there so it was a good place to test my new solar panels.  They worked great and I was able to camp off the grid.  I only connected up to power once to run the air conditioner when it just got too hot.

I went on this trip alone partly because I wanted to get away from the demands of others and spend some time reading.  I’ve been working on a book for months now only having a little time to read while I eat lunch.  I got the book finished finally.

I was only there for two nights.  Two and a half days.  I had a difficult time getting over the lonely factor.  There were people all around me at the other RV slots but they were regular people.  I have nothing in common with them.  Basically I was alone in a crowd again.

I read, watched movies, tried to nap, rode my bike a little, walked around.  This place is not really user-friendly for swimming.  The waterline is both rocky and mucky.  I had brought my speedos, snorkel gear and air mattress but I didn’t use them.

Overall I had a good time but was borderline bored.  Maybe it takes more than just a few days to transition into comfort mode in the new environment.

I have another camping trip planned for next month.  This place is at another nearby lake.  I plan on spending three nights there.  About 4 and a half days.  I’m currently worried that I will be bored and lonely.  It’s early enough to ask someone to come with me but I am debating with myself about whether that would be a good idea or not.

I find myself leaning more toward going alone because I only know two people that I could invite.  One, I can’t bear spending more than a few hours with.  The other, I don’t feel the right vibe.   Either one of them would harsh my chill and I would waste my whole time trying to make sure they were happy and trying to convince them to do something with me.  If I go alone, I can do whatever I want and really relax.

Damn.  Why is something that comes so easy for regular people so difficult for me.   My dream situation would be for a single girl to park her RV in the slot next to mine and we met and have a great time together.  Yeah.  Like that’s going to happen.  Why can’t it ever happen?  It’s always a couple that pulls in who are eventually joined by their mexican friends.

I suspect that I will just do it alone again and do my best to take it easy.  Who knows.  Eventually if you camp alone long enough in enough places it is more likely that at some point in the timeline of the universe the girl will appear.

Yeah.   Keep believing that.

Off-Grid RV Camping

cmpngsptNow that the weather has (relatively) cooled off in Texas, I decided it was finally time to get away from work and take a little vacation.  I scheduled some time off and booked a spot.  The location wasn’t exactly what I had in mind because the whole world is currently booked up but I was lucky enough to find a place at Canyon Lake.

It worked out because I had just installed 200Watts of solar panels on my roof and needed a sunny place to try them out.  This place had water and power but I decided to pretend to be dry-camping so I filled the water tank at home and planned to not use any shore power.  There are really no legal places to boondock in Texas because all the land is owned by some bastard or another even though they probably never even visit it.

pnls2
Two 100W solar panels

I arrived and set up camp.  There were no clouds to be seen the whole time so I had full sun on the panels.  I designed the mounting system myself using aluminum angle iron.  These L shaped pieces are full of holes making mounting a snap.  I bolted the rails to the roof and then using a tap-and-die set made holes in the corners of each panel so that I could use thumbscrews to hold them either flat or with the addition of a brace (unfortunately on the other side of the panels) keep them at an angle.  The angle is best for winter camping.  The cables run along a flexible conduit down the refrigerator vent.

pnsls1

Seen from the ground, they look damn cool.

I kind of expected them to be a conversation starter at the campground but the other camping zombies weren’t conscious enough to realize a good thing when they see it.  Nobody cared but I had a great time being off the grid.

It’s really just as much fun as you think it is.

CntrollrI used a MPPT charge controller I bought on eBay for around $80.00.  Be careful.  Not all charge controllers on ebay are actually MPPT.  False advertising is rampant in this category.  Make sure before you buy. This model is verified to be MPPT so I got maximum power out of it.

Shown here, I have it mounted next to the power converter conveniently located under the sink next to the refrigerator so only a short run of wire was needed.   It was a quick job to connect right to the battery cables on the power converter.  Don’t yell at me about the wires.  I’ll tidy it up eventually.

WTTSHere you can see the readout on the charge controller.  It indicates a battery charge level of 12.9V.  11.7Amps or 150 Watts are being supplied by the solar panels in full sun.  Pretty good to get 150W out of two 100W panels.  There’s always some loss.

Even in the shade in my driveway I got at least a few watts.

I was easily able to run the ventilation fans, lights and the inverter to power my entertainment system.  It’s really quite fun to be watching TV and using power that is coming directly from the sun.  Why isn’t this stuff everywhere?

So now I’m ready for real boondocking.  In the winter of course.  I would need to cover the roof and tow a trailer full of solar panels to run the air conditioner for summer camping.  They really need to come up with a more efficient way of keeping cool.