Share it

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Website Purging - Domainer Failures

This has been an ongoing process but it's a confusing one.

I consider it fairly unfortunate that about ten years ago i got into 'domaining' as I've never really found it to be profitable or very helpful. I've made a few thousand dollars buying and selling domains and sites, but not much more than that.

Part of it is that I got in a bit late and missed the boom times when you could buy 3 letter.coms, dictionary words, or even relevant pronounceable nonsense words like google or tumblr or flickr. :)

I did have a few I should have held onto but let go.

Terrorsuspect.com was a good one. As was RoughLiving.com which after all was the name of my first book and is still the name of this blog. Existensis.com was kind of cool and chrisdamitio.com was certainly one I should have kept but at the time $1000 was more necessary than a domain of a name that I don't use except on the most official of documents. More master plan to create a media empire around the word fukn didn't work too well and I sold off fuknbooks.com, fuknrecords.com, fukn.us and the rest of the fukn names for slightly more than I paid for them all in registration and renewals. I nearly got sued for JaypeeMorgan.com and SouthAmericanExpress.com and my attempts at cornering Moroccan traffic with alif-fez.com and theviewfromfez.com didn't work. No one really cares about those sites that much. There are literally hundreds more that I've bought and dropped, in some cases developing sites or blogs and in most cases selling them and letting someone else let them expire and drop. Even likelike.us didn't work but that's probably because facebook squelched my like script within days of launching it.

I've held onto clownjazeera.com, hawaiihikers.com, sunseaadventures.com, moroccoblogs.com, vagobond.com, vagobonding.com, vagobunny.com, usdebooks.com, nicehuman.com travelhotel.info, moroccosahara.com, thexboxaddict.com, searchcountry.net, emagdna.com and bloggermoneypro.com. Mostly because they all earn a little bit of cash and pay for themselves.

But I think it's time to let bekobe.com, bestmanalive.com, watch-lost-season-5.info, webbusinessexperts.info go the way of usdephones.com, translatorfree.info, seamonster.info, squealing.info, and easyfastdate.info - how in the world did I think those were a good idea to buy?

I'd like to get it down to ten domains so I will probably unload thexboxaddict.com , usdebooks.com, bloggermoneypro.com, emagdna.com, and searchcountry.net sometime before they come up for renewal.

Meanwhile, I'm moving towards using the free resources on the net since my sites are rather specific and no longer really hold for me to babble on about whatever I want or narciscistically like I'm doing here on this free blogger site.

As it stands now - Vagobond.com is about world travel
Vagobunny is a failed sexy woman site
Vagobonding is a failed social network
Usdebooks.com is nothing really
clownjazeera is funny
and the other five are just sitting.

Meanwhile, I'm babbling on here, at posterous, on mlkshk, and of course on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Art purge - Writing Purge

Last night I wrote about purging my books and tonight I suppose it's a good time to write about my paintings, things I've written through the years, and other stuff.

The thing is, while I've left a lot of stuff behind what I haven't left behind is all the creative work I've done in the past. My paintings, I've taken pictures of, my writing has traveled through six computers to my present one and all that stuff has just sat there sort of saying 'do something with me'.

As a result, I tried to put together compilations and other stuff, but the truth is, I was just holding on to some kind of virtual refrigerator that all my writing and art was stuck to. I had essays from college in the 90's and 2000's, copies of a column called 'Rambling Man' that I used to write for The , a newspaper in Bellingham, plenty of things from the Every Other Weekly, the Hamster, Conchsense, Cascadia, Horizon, Ka Leo o Hawaii and a bunch of other crap that I jotted down, started and never finished, or started and got distracted from.

Some of these things are good but for the most part it was all stuff that a writer accumulates over time that probably should have been left behind with all those papers from high school, notepads, and other 'hard copies' but because it was digital never actually got trashed.

It's hard to throw that shit away and like a packrat, it starts to take on importance. Well, i came up with a solution. I just started posting it to places like this blog, Vago's Erratica, my facebook page, my google plus account Garden Vagobond and my mlkshk stream. Over the past two weeks I've posted all kinds of stuff and in the process allowed myself to toss it away since it's preserved somewhere else. I've also posted pictures my paintings, and now I'm writing about the processes that led to that.

Purging.

The truth is, I'm a big fan of my own art. I like it, but I don't actually know if it's any good or not. I just enjoy my own work. I've sold a few paintings but mostly my means of getting rid of artwork has been to set them on the curb and then hide somewhere and watch people come and take them. They always ended up getting taken by someone, so I feel like I'm not the only one who enjoyed them. But who knows, maybe they were just taking them for the materials.

And to wrap up with something from my personal slag heap, here's a story that I may write some day, but haven't gotten any further than this:

Joseph's Story: The Father of the Son of God

Sure, you know the story of my son. Everyone does, I'm not even going to go into that shit. People think it's just the Christians, but it's not. Everyone knows my boy. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus. He's the most important man in the world.

Me? I'm just his old man. All people know about me is that I didn't have any money on the day my boy was born. They know his mom, hell, people all over the world know her too. They call her “The Virgin” - now here's the question that may have never occurred to you. How do you think I feel about all of this?

Seriously. It's cool. I'm happy for the success of my family, but I can't help sometimes feeling like I should get a little more credit.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rough Living in the Now


I suppose this is as good a place as any to write what I feel like writing.

I've been doing some serious purging of my writing, my books, and everything else I've been defining myself with for the past decade. I guess, I'd just like to write about it where someone can read it if they want but where it won't really bother anyone. this is the spot.

Let's start with my books. Back in the 1990's writing a book seemed like an impossible task to me. I was working in films and radio in Alaska and Washington and since I was eating with John Sayles on a regular basis, I decided to write a screenplay. The girl I lived with used to watch this silly English sitcom called keeping up appearances and I decided to take that type of obnoxious woman character and make her an obnoxious cruise ship passenger in Junea, Alaska. The result, based on both of our horrendous experiences with being a waiter and waitress was my first screenplay 'Waiter'. I was never able to get John Sayles to look at it, but I still crack up when I read it. It's hilarious and good - but never went anywhere.

Next I wrote a screenplay about a dishwasher who is really the smartest man in America and who becomes the president only to get assassintated. I labored over this thing for months and months. Again, it was good. I queried an agent and pitched it, sent it to him...and he returned it saying I needed to learn proper screenplay formatting. It destroyed me. He didn't even open it past page one. The thing was though...it really was good.

My ideas of being a screenwriter were destroyed and after working in a London casting office for a month, I knew I didn't want to do that either. My boss had me reading screenplay after screenplay and casting British actors I'd never heard of. One night one of the actors and I got obscenely drunk at the Groucho Club and caused a big problem. I'd never heard of him but over the next few years I saw Jude Law in more and more films. I still don't remember what we did to get kicked out, but my boss was livid.

I left London and returned to the Pacific Northwest where I started a magazine with friends. The idea was to create a social media where community and culture could interact with the environment, news, and business. We married the magazine to a website and tried to foster community interaction. This was 1998-1999 and it was too early for social media on the web. People were still learning how to use email. After a year, I was running the magazine and site by myself and my friends were doing other things. My savings were gone. I was in debt. I couldn't pay rent. All of my buddies were getting rich working for dot-coms in Seattle with stock options.

Too late, I jumped in. I got into a Seattle tech company as a 'partner' with plenty of stock options just as the tech bubble started to burst. I watched this idiotic company take a good idea and expand it beyond their ability to run it with millions upon millions of dollars of venture capital. I told my coworkers that the money was going to run out and then I quit- then the company went belly up. It was a complete obscenity and I went as far from tech as I could. I became a community organizer for ACORN and worked in South Seattle, Kent, and Tacoma. I got harrassed by the police, landlords, and the pay was crap. The people? Mostly they just wanted to have someone else fix their problems so they could get more money.

That wasn't for me either. As a volunteer I got a stipend but it wasn't much. I found a meth head selling a VW bus for $100 and I moved into it and out of my Green Lake house. I told everyone I was retiring and refusing to work, instead I was looking for how to live without being a slave. I started writing my first book and tentatively called it "My Time is My Own". Later, I renamed it to "20 Weeks a Bum".It was a combination of what I was learning and some serious drug, drunk, and sex adventures I was having along the way.

At the end of 20 weeks, I hit two jackpots on the same slot machine on two different days and hit the road to China and Southeast Asia. When I got back I holed up in a trailer in Florence, Oregon and started writing stories of my adventures. All this time I was sending query letters to publishing houses, agents, and editors and getting back nothing but a few rejection form letters. Most didn't even reply.

I went to Hawaii and began working on a novel, loosely based on myself but the plot was about two guys robbing an armored car to find love and money and the answers to all their problems. Meanwhile I was having a great time in Hawaii but money was still missing and that led to love problems. I got involved with a gorgeous flight attendant, fell in love, and found out she wanted someone with more...potential i.e. potential to earn cash. I followed her to Portland, Oregon and got a job as a stock broker to try to prove my potential to her. All I proved was that I was desperate and able to pass financial exams and trick people out of their money. I hated being a broker. While I was working and trying to win the girl, she got serious with a pilot and broke off communication. So I started putting together a book called "Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagobond." I found a company that was willing to publish it. They did- but they didn't offer any sort of promotion or distribution. And they misspelled Vagobond as vegebond on the spine of the book. Worthless.

Still, I quit my job and started going from bar to bar and selling books. I moved in with a wonderful girl who believed in me and my writing. It wasn't meant to be though. I couldn't handle being someones ward, especially while she was working in Alaska and the South Pole. I wrote Slackville Road, worked on a fishing boat, and left her when I had eneough to go back to Hawaii. I finished Slackville living in a van I bought for $150 and working at the library and coffee shops each day on a laptop I'd traded my VW bus for on the mainland. I pulled Rough Living from the publisher and put all my books on Lulu.com.

I jumped islands in the Pacific and almost got married in the Philippines before coming back to Hawaii and getting into another relationship. It was during that time I wrote The S.O.B and revised Rough Living:Tips and Tales of a Vagobond into Rough Living: An Urban Survival Manual. I wrote other things, self published other things, and tried to pass other things off as books, but really that was it. There was a compilation of Anarchist Manifestos called The Anarchist Manifesto Project and a book about salmon fishing in the Puget Sound.

After that relationship ended I tried to write a companion to Rough Living called Liminal Travel, but frankly, I was trying to hard. I published my Thesis about Fans and the anthropology of the social web "Lost in Transmission" and then I bundled up all of my various writings into "The Vagobond Files" and followed that with ten years of my journals in "The Vagobond Diaries 1990-2000".

Finally, after I became Muslim, I wrote a short book called "Spiritual Fasting: Ramadan for Everyone" in which I tried to get people to fast whether they are Muslim or not during Ramadan. And finally there was All there is to it, is to do it. My guide to freelancing and quitting your wageslave job plus a short report I published called 25 Travel Blog Secrets.

All told my books went into about 20,000 hands but eBook versions of Rough Living: An Urban Survival Manual can be found all over the web so there may have been a lot more people who have read or seen them.

Finally, I put them on Amazon as Kindle books back in May.

It was then in June that I began this purge. First I removed the ebooks I was selling from Lulu and direct from my site. Next week I will remove the kindle books.

Why? I'm tired of those books defining me. I'm tired of being defined by books that sell ten copies a month. I'm tired of being defined by books that more than one agent told me "You're writing is great, but your demographics don't have money" or don't buy books or there isn't a market for this. They were right and it's time to throw out the baby and the bathwater.

Utensils and Cleaning Up

Utensils
I keep it pretty simple on the utensils. I have a can opener, fork, knife, spoon, set of chopsticks, and a simple mess kit with a pot, pan, and plate. I use a lot of foil.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a good set of cooking gear though. One of my favorite things to cook with is a big cast iron frying pan. Lot’s of folks swear by Dutch ovens. Back when I used to carry a lot of stuff I used my hand mixer, spatula, and cheese grater a lot.
It all depends on what you want to make a priority. I can pretty much cook anything with what I have if I use my creativity to fill in the gaps.
Old mesh orange sacks work well as a carryall bag or a pot scrubber.
Filling egg carton cups with sawdust or lint and pouring old wax over the top can make fire starters.

Cleaning up

Not having a sink can be a bit of a pain but you can still keep your gear clean. I use a couple of simple methods to wash up.
1) I usually have a container of liquid soap with me.
2) If water isn’t available, you can wipe the dishes clean
3) Sand and gravel work as natural abrasives
4) Vinegar in a burned or stained pan usually will work it loose with soaking
5) Keep it simple. The less you dirty, the less you have to clean

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Other Ways of Cooking - Pit Cooking and More

The Basics of Pit Cooking

Pit cooking can be a lot of work and is really only worth it if you are cooking an entire pig, deer, or other large amount of food. Hawaiians, Native Americans, and other tribal peoples use pit cooking for village celebrations.
1) Dig your pit about 2 feet deep by four feet around
2) Line the pit with rocks (Don’t use river rocks or other rocks that hold moisture as they might explode.)
3) Lay out your fire leaving an easy way to light it. This needs ot be a big fire with lots of wood. Pile lots of rocks in and on the fire pile.
4) Light it up and allow it to burn to coals. At this point you should have a pit filled with red hot rocks and coals.
5) Lay a pulpy type of leaves or grass over the top. Something that contains a lot of water so that it will not burn. (Bananna leaves are what they use in Hawaii)
6) Place your meat and vegetables over the pulpy material.
7) Cover the meat and vegetables with more pulpy material.
8) Place more rocks on the pulp.
9) Build another huge fire over the rocks and allow it to burn down.
10) Enjoy your day
11) Carefully excavate the pit and remove your delicious meal steamed by the water in the grass.

There are many ways to do this. This is one way I have learned.

Other Ways to Cook
Here are a few other interesting ways to cook without a kitchen.
1) You can cook eggs and bacon in paper bag by layering the bottom of the paper bag with bacon and then putting the eggs on top. Fold the bag over, poke a stick through it, and hold it over your heat source.
2) You can put hot rocks from your fire inside a chicken and then wrap it in foil. Put more hot rocks on the wrapped chicken. You can also cook eggs and other foods on flat rocks around your fire.
3) You can poke a green stick or a clean wire hanger through your food and cook it over flames or coals.
4) Cook eggs or meat inside an onion or orange then wrap in foil. You can also cook a cake inside an orange and you end up getting a nice ‘hint of orange’ taste.
5) Toast bread on white coals. Just lay the bread on the coals and allow it to toast. Then blow the ash off. This takes practice to get it perfect.
6) Fish with the skin on can be laid directly on white coals too.
7) A camp oven can be made by cutting the flaps off a small box (9” x 6” x 6”) and lining it with tinfoil. Find a box that is a little bigger and place the small box inside (a box with a lid works well. Line it with foil too.) Line the empty space inside with newspaper or sawdust. When you are ready to cook something, simply put it in the small box, place the lid on the larger box and put it in the coals.
8) Use tin cans for cooking by layering your food in the following order in the can. Meat, vegetables, and seasoning. Cover it with foil and put it in the fire for 30 to 45 minutes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cooking with Fire

I forgot to mention that another place you can find plenty more of my writing is at http://www.vagobonding.com

Cooking with Fire

Of course, the oldest method of cooking is using the fire. You use the fire just like you would a stove. There are a few things to remember.

1) Coals cook more evenly than flames. If you are going to cook directly over the fire (no pot cooking) then cook over coals. Hardwood coals are the best for no pot cooking as some soft woods contain foul tasting smoke.

2) Never build your fire over tree roots. The fire can follow the roots and burn down a forest.

3) Build your fire at least 15 feet from any brush or overhanging trees



The Basics of Pit Cooking

Pit cooking can be a lot of work and is really only worth it if you are cooking an entire pig, deer, or other large amount of food. Hawaiians, Native Americans, and other tribal peoples use pit cooking for village celebrations.

1) Dig your pit about 2 feet deep by four feet around

2) Line the pit with rocks (Don’t use river rocks or other rocks that hold moisture as they might explode.)

3) Lay out your fire leaving an easy way to light it. This needs ot be a big fire with lots of wood. Pile lots of rocks in and on the fire pile.

4) Light it up and allow it to burn to coals. At this point you should have a pit filled with red hot rocks and coals.

5) Lay a pulpy type of leaves or grass over the top. Something that contains a lot of water so that it will not burn. (Bananna leaves are what they use in Hawaii)

6) Place your meat and vegetables over the pulpy material.

7) Cover the meat and vegetables with more pulpy material.

8) Place more rocks on the pulp.

9) Build another huge fire over the rocks and allow it to burn down.

10) Enjoy your day

11) Carefully excavate the pit and remove your delicious meal steamed by the water in the grass.



There are many ways to do this. This is one way I have learned.



Other Ways to Cook

Here are a few other interesting ways to cook without a kitchen.

1) You can cook eggs and bacon in paper bag by layering the bottom of the paper bag with bacon and then putting the eggs on top. Fold the bag over, poke a stick through it, and hold it over your heat source.

2) You can put hot rocks from your fire inside a chicken and then wrap it in foil. Put more hot rocks on the wrapped chicken. You can also cook eggs and other foods on flat rocks around your fire.

3) You can poke a green stick or a clean wire hanger through your food and cook it over flames or coals.

4) Cook eggs or meat inside an onion or orange then wrap in foil. You can also cook a cake inside an orange and you end up getting a nice ‘hint of orange’ taste.

5) Toast bread on white coals. Just lay the bread on the coals and allow it to toast. Then blow the ash off. This takes practice to get it perfect.

6) Fish with the skin on can be laid directly on white coals too.

7) A camp oven can be made by cutting the flaps off a small box (9” x 6” x 6”) and lining it with tinfoil. Find a box that is a little bigger and place the small box inside (a box with a lid works well. Line it with foil too.) Line the empty space inside with newspaper or sawdust. When you are ready to cook something, simply put it in the small box, place the lid on the larger box and put it in the coals.

8) Use tin cans for cooking by layering your food in the following order in the can. Meat, vegetables, and seasoning. Cover it with foil and put it in the fire for 30 to 45 minutes.



Utensils

I keep it pretty simple on the utensils. I have a can opener, fork, knife, spoon, set of chopsticks, and a simple mess kit with a pot, pan, and plate. I use a lot of foil.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a good set of cooking gear though. One of my favorite things to cook with is a big cast iron frying pan. Lot’s of folks swear by Dutch ovens. Back when I used to carry a lot of stuff I used my hand mixer, spatula, and cheese grater a lot.

It all depends on what you want to make a priority. I can pretty much cook anything with what I have if I use my creativity to fill in the gaps.

Old mesh orange sacks work well as a carryall bag or a pot scrubber.

Filling egg carton cups with sawdust or lint and pouring old wax over the top can make fire starters.



Cleaning up

Not having a sink can be a bit of a pain but you can still keep your gear clean. I use a couple of simple methods to wash up.

1) I usually have a container of liquid soap with me.

2) If water isn’t available, you can wipe the dishes clean

3) Sand and gravel work as natural abrasives

4) Vinegar in a burned or stained pan usually will work it loose with soaking

5) Keep it simple. The less you dirty, the less you have to clean

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Abandoned Writing #2 - More Food Thoughts

You can find much more of my writing at http://vagobond.posterous.com , http://www.vagobond.com , http://www.facebook.com/vagodamitio and at http://gplus.to/vago


Shopping Smart
Shopping smart is the real way to make sure you have enough to eat. There are some simple things you can do to save lots of money wherever you are.

1) Pick the store that has the lowest prices for what you want to buy. In these times of fancy yuppie grocery stores you can pay double or triple the price for the same item at grocery stores a few miles apart. Sometimes Safeway has better prices on meat, Foodland has better prices on potatoes, and The Grocery Outlet has the best prices on canned goods. Know your grocery stores.

2) Asian markets. Most major cities have a Chinatown or Asian Grocery stores. Check them out. I can buy a pineapple for $6 at Foodland or $1.50 in Chinatown. I can pay $3 for a can of sweetened condensed milk or $.75 Asian immigrants generally eat well on a low income. Follow their lead, learn to eat the cheap foods you can get in Chinatown and Asian Groceries.

3) Food choices. It’s been said plenty, but obviously, if you eat a pound of meat, three times a day, you are not only spending a lot, you’re probably pretty unhealthy. Rice, noodles, and potatoes are cheap, nutritious, and filling. I don’t care what Dr. Atkins said.

4) Bakery Thrift Shop. This is the leftover and damaged bread from local bakeries. I can pay $2 for a loaf at the grocery store or $.20 for a loaf at the bakery thrift shop. If I want to get day old good bread, I can get that at a bakery for half price or less.

5) Reduced meat section. Most grocery stores have a reduced price meat section. The meat that doesn’t sell while it still looks pretty gets the price cut drastically. Don’t be scared, they won’t sell you diseased or spoiled meat.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another World of Travel

Another world of travel doesn't have mean getting into a rocket and heading to Jupiter. In fact, right here on planet earth there are plenty of worlds to travel. You can travel in what I call, the traditional way. Go to a travel agent, book your tickets, get yourself an itinerary, schedule your vacation time, and then go about your world travel with everything planned out for you.

Read the complete article at

http://ezinearticles.com/?Another-World-of-Travel&id=5196040