I’m not really blogging much here anymore. Check me out on hal.ph
I’m not really blogging much here anymore. Check me out on hal.ph
I haven’t been posting much here since I got “back” to Austin. Plan is now that I will continue to use this blog for long posts, but I’m going to be using Facebook for everything else. It’s just a lot easier to post photos and have people interact. I’m still traveling and posting a lot of information and photos, just not in the same format as before.
So please, facebook.com/jessecrouch, add me. You can be a complete stranger, a lurker, a weirdo, whatever, I’ll accept your friend request. I like to see what other people post too, but if all you’ve got is a blank facebook, that’s fine.
Well, I’m back in Austin. I’ve been here for one month now. I don’t know whether to consider myself in “traveling” mode anymore since I have now purchased things that do not fit in my car. I am, however, still following the rule of “don’t purchase anything you can’t fit in your car that you actually care about keeping”. What I have purchased is various furniture, mostly off of Craigslist, that was cheap enough that I wouldn’t care if I just left it.
It’s odd coming back to “settled down” mode. It’s mostly been nice - feels like a vacation from my other vacation.
Austin certainly seems to be a great place to create a home base. I’m much tired of living out of my car, in hotels and hostels. Though quite fun, it’s amazing how time-consuming that lifestyle can be.
I will still be traveling for work and fun. I’ll be heading up to Canada and then to Illinois here in July.
There was this spider who lives in my shower. He’d been here pretty much since I arrived in San Diego. I told him all the time that he should go somewhere else because I turn on the water and he starts slipping and falling and such. So I took his photo and wrote him a poem.
I post this as a goodbye to San Diego. I left last week and am now back in Austin, Texas. I drove almost straight from San Diego - only took a slight rest at a rest area. I could tell when I was close to Austin not by my map, but by the smell. There’s something about the air in Texas and the Austin area that is very distinct.
Life has been busy.
Cheese, bread, meat, french fries.
I recently made this observation while eating a California burrito (one of many that I’ve had since I’ve been in San Diego) and trying to figure out what it is I liked so much about it. After all, it is a bit odd to wrap fries with bread, isn’t it? Turns out that it’s just the San Diego version of one of my other favorite foods.
Even more interestingly is that they are both original dishes to their respective towns. It’s like a parallel universe. or something.
there will always be another chance
things can always get better
and we who thought we would live forever
galloped from pasture to pasture
nothing lasts, nothing lasts, we said
but then, some things do
I ran into the problem recently where the Facebook Picasa Uploader plugin doesn’t put up high-res images. I love this button in Picasa as it makes it really easy to share stuff. I like making albums with it and it’s easy to pick out which photos I want to share - great organizing software. But the low-res copies it uploads are really disappointing.
I’ve looked for all sorts of alternatives and nothing really seems to exist currently.
- Hit the “Export” button in Picasa. This puts the ones you selected in their own folder.
- Upload photos to Facebook as normal
- Delete the folder when you’re done
And that’s probably just as easy as any alternative *could* be =)
The area in which I currently spend most of my time, Rancho Santa Fe, does not allow for delivery of mail by the United States Postal Service. Basically, there’s nowhere here to put the boxes and nobody wants them here anyway.
I have accomplished what Kramer could not. I have stopped the mail.
San Dieguito trail in Black Mountain Open Space Park
Philippines speedshow! 4 months, 2300 photos, 4 minutes.
the more i shop for my no-kitchen lifestyle the more i realize that many people can’t cook. never really thought about it before.
I made a video! 1400 photos in 3 minutes! Watch closely and you may see yourself - it’s of my trip across country.
Trying out an experimental artistic medium. SpeedShow is a high-speed slideshow made up of photos often taken in burst mode on a normal digital camera. The idea came as a result of looking through photos in Picasa while holding down the right arrow key and liking what I saw as the photos sped past.
The show is of my life for the past 3 months. I just got back from living in the Philippines and have been traveling around in my car since then, living with friends and family and out of hotel rooms. The show is made up of approximately 1400 photos.
Places seen in the show:
- Springfield, IL
- Cozy Dog
- John Crouch Giant Flea Market
- Charleston, MO
- St. Louis, MO
- City Museum
- Austin, TX
- Torchy’s Tacos
- Corpus Christi, TX
- West Texas
- White Sands National Monument, NM
- Saguaro National Park, AZ
- Yuma, AZ
- San Diego, CA
- Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Most photos were taken using a Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The phone features a zero-shutter-lag feature which is great for doing “burst” photography.
Music: The Wailin’ Jennys - You Are Here
From their Bright Morning Stars album
Photos, video, editing, everything, blah blah blah: me, Jesse Crouch
I’m in the unique situation of not having anything but a microwave for cooking at my new place. I do not have a freezer, only a refrigerator. It’s caused me to think about ways to continue to eat healthily, but still at a reasonable price. Currently I don’t consider my situation a disadvantage as much as I consider it a learning opportunity. Also, anymore I really hate cooking. I hate the time it takes, I hate doing dishes, I hate storing food, I hate buying ingredients, I hate the entire process. So this eating-without-cooking thing is great for me right now.
However, cooking for yourself is a very good way to live cheaply. A meal is something that happens for many people (in the United States) over 1000 times per year, so even budgeting an extra $1 per meal adds up. Eating $5 meals instead of $10 meals makes a huge difference for most people. With the median income in the US for persons over 25 being around $32,000 per year, adding $5 to the cost of your meal would be $5000 per year - 15.6% of a person’s income.
So what’s the next best thing?
So far I’ve found:
- Milk and Cereal. Cheap, nutritious if you get decent cereal. Compact and doesn’t take up room in my mini-fridge. Oatmeal is good too.
- Fruits generally don’t require even refrigeration and are cheap and nutritious.
- Grocery store sandwiches. Usually just as good, if not better than sandwich shops, and certainly cheaper. $4-5 for a sandwich that will easily last me two meals.
- Grocery store deli area foods. The cafeteria-style stuff is often nutritious and cheap. $5 will easily get you 2-3 meals. Often a good way to add cooked vegetables to my diet.
- Pre-prepared foods at the grocery store. No, not frozen meals. These ones are usually prepared by the grocery store themselves and you’ll find them refrigerated near the deli sections. Biggest advantage is that they’re diverse in the types of food in them, store well in a refigerator and taste a lot better than frozen meals. Disadvantage is that they’re expensive - $4-5 for a single meal that doesn’t stretch beyond that meal.
- Deals! My favorite category. At my local grocery store, Albertsons, they have a Monday special where you get: 8 piece fried chicken, 1lb potato wedges, 1lb potato salad, 4 rolls, 2L coke.. for $8. That’s easily 4 meals for me.
Nearby there is also a Rubio’s. The first time I tried them I thought they were overpriced, not that great Mexican food. However, on Tuesdays they have these wonderful fish tacos for $1.50. Three is a meal for me; I bought 8 last time and took them home.
Sidenote: if you drink soda, beer is slightly more macronutrient-healthy option in that it gives you a reasonable dose of protein. Plus, it’s funner =)
Sidenote 2: I have two of everything: bowls, plates, cups, forks, spoons (most of which I acquired at thrift stores). I do my dishes in a bathroom sink.
Sidenote 3: Being at the grocery store a lot gives you interesting social opportunities. I end up talking to a lot more people in my typical week by living this way. You can vary your social scene too. For example, at my Albertsons in Del Mar, despite the reasonable prices on food, most of their customers drive BMW, Mercedes and other luxury-class cars. If I go the other direction toward Encinitas and stop at Trader Joe’s, I’m surrounded by very suburban folks in minivans and SUVs.
Sidenote 4: I live in San Diego, CA. Prices are higher here than most other places I have lived. Per meal, I’d easily subtract $1 (about 20% of the cost of most of the meals I discuss) in much of the Midwest.
Anyone have tips on how to eat cheaply and healthily without cooking?