What to do When Bored

Boredom is something right now we are all dealing with and while you some people may think being homeless means you can get everything done with people, the thing is that is true, until you get tabbed. After that you will find people start moving away from you. Your best bet then would be how to pass the time without getting cabin fever for your tarp or tent, yes you can get it.

For a lot of people this pandemic is the most difficult moment of their lives because there is no social life here, there is not going to the Starbucks or Dunkin for a coffee. If you have a job, your hours are cut. If you are filing for unemployment you won’t get it yet, and if you are disabled you will find SSDI do everything in their power to shutdown people looking for it who may deserve it. All that even if it isn’t the worst moment in your life just in portion after portion of your life of getting shut out makes you wonder a lot of things.

No matter if it has been the worst or not you are in it now. Put your eyes on the target, and spend thought after thought to learn everything. You can take a look at the negative and make peace wit hit because no one goes to actively make their lives worse.

Currently we are in a time where some people are falling into some negative habits, using the windfalls instead of rent on other things, it is so bad it is a meme now. Despite rent being paused it is still needing to paid and while some can’t some are just taking advantage. It can be said that if the roles were reversed they would wish that people do their best and pay what they could. A little is fine to keep some things rolling because that is using a tool (money), but over doing it can make you look like a fool.

What would be some things you can do? Learn a new hobby, the amount of information available even with just a half decent phone is absurd. Now, if you want to learn the basics of a skill you can just tap it in somewhere and get a couple ideas or moves or thought exercises. Make yourself better because the time will go by and it is a place where you can get out miles ahead of where you started.

Stay strong and learn something new.

Chaos Never Changes

There is something to be said when the world and its circumstances are whipping about you like a gale and you know not only who you are, but can keep your bearings while the world around you loses theirs.

It is something so simple it is almost lost, it is the single thing you look at would never expect but having such things in your head giving you a path can make things easier when you are in a positions you never have been in before. From previous articles, the point of learning that will be important to only as a person but in whatever situation you are in. When you push yourself to the new and unknown situation you have that inner dialogue that gets you to actively guide with a moral compass, and it gets you to think in ways that some may deem out of the box. The more experience through the process the easier it gets for you to do so, and then we have where the new may not seem so new and you feel more in your element even when it isn’t the case.

Chaos has its place as does order and to find your best you need to be aware, your reaction to chaos will be how you can grow from it or shrink from it. This war of a letter is going to be something where we can all learn something to better ourselves, not because we are bad people but because no person is perfect and to learn is to grow.

The point right now is just to take things one thing at a time because no matter how much you want to think about everything the human mind can only focus on so much. Cut the problem down to sizable bits that are easier to manage and you can find yourself through it much easier then if you just looked at the big picture all the time. Look at the big when you want to find your best target, but after that just take to the path and go from there, one step at a time, and you will go far.

Even if you are not homeless you will find yourself growing much more when you try to do new things and grow as a person. That bad ass you always liked in the books and movies could very well be you after a couple of months of years and really applying this. Learn how to pack better, pick up some survival tactics, keep it all in the bag of tricks so when you need to get through the unknown you have just the trick for the occasion.

When you want to make the world better, just better, you need every trick you got to get it done. Everything how it is online and in the real world, without learning from the moral compass and trying to learn we will all fail.

Now, I have begun seeing this hashtag on twitter #generalrevolt and saying how the homeless situation is on the republicans. It is not. It isn’t all on the democrats either, its not big city or small town, its a problem. Unfortunately, we have all gotten caught up with using it as a political baton that we forgot how to handle it.

Just talk with people and stay strong and I will do the same, with how my city is going, I feel that I may need some of that strength you all have. I feel that this will be done the hard way because of people being so stubborn, and seeing what is coming in Portland currently.

The Brink of Madness

One thing about this quarantine specifically is you need to find ways to use your time during this period or you will find yourself going cuckoo for cocoa puffs. People often do not know the certain strength can be found within sometimes more then you ever thought possible based on the simple admission that you survived it.

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After Seth Rollins had his knee injury because I thought it fit. 

Going through this there will be times where you will be at wit’s end. Stretched to insanity but much like great martial artists this trains the mind, if you make it through the exercise. Considering how many of us are still locked down or barely getting out of it this could very well be something useful.

You learn what you want or are ready to do so with how comfortable you are in learning or acting on it. Trained eyes from nights trying to spy shelter from danger will notice flaws without guilt because that is simply what is needed to survive.

Body power used to much higher fatigue with a spirit to motion will curry you closer to goal then you thought possible and what scares a lot of people the most when you go to sleep despite everything you may be fatigued Pleasantries can be pushed much further apart with smaller steps feeling more momentous because it is progress.

Night after night of near exhaustion just carrying my bags having been shunned out in the cold. Doing everything from rationing food stamps to just trying to get the family to see the reason of the mistake they were making. (Hint: They never did)

What is the secret? How do you take homelessness, or even lock down, or any moment and keep focused?

First, you need to be okay with saying that something sucks. People need to be aware and to grapple with a situation honestly, and it is okay to say that you aren’t happy for one reason or another, this does not mean having a tantrum but just accepting the situation.

Next after that and expressing some emotion you need to create a plan, what do you need to do and what will be needed to pass the time. Skills you wanted to learn, abilities you want to practice, physical capabilities you want to train. These things are where you can sink your time and come out of it better and having it being in things you are excited to learn.

Establish a routine, you do not know how much you want that routine until you finally get started. Stick to the routine of bettering yourself and have moments to decompress, eat, and take care of yourself and just take it day by day until you finally get your bearings.

Do not lose yourself thinking about the future. Do what you can break down what is needed to make your time better and let it go day by day where you just worry in the moment and do not hassle yourself with the future until you can do something about it. Making the present as good as possible and enjoying the time is so simple but it is something that you need to keep in mind to make it through.

It is much easier to break down the problem.

Can you run a mile? What about ten steps? Five? You may not do a mile but you can do five steps again and again until you are done. That is the biggest trick, break it down to something small enough that you can easily achieve it and keep going. After that you will be able to come out of this better on the other side.

Sorry I didn’t have another one this week, my health has been quite crap still. Find your hobbies, grow your mind and stay strong.

Basics of Calories

You may be asking yourself?

“Why in the blue tarnation is this here?”

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My first attempt at chicken a la kiev, i could have used a plate of this on the bench

Well stretch, you see before the last gift from the family sent me to the street fresh and full of nerve damage I was a cook off and on for ten years. Some would even describe it as a career and getting some basic information is important because if you don’t know the basics then you don’t know jack.

When splitting calories there are a few different kinds to go over and this is per gram. The gram is simply the most popular unit of measurement. On the nutritional facts when it says “12g protein” well the g stands for gram.

Carbs get you four calories per gram. Protein gets you four as well. Alcohol gets seven. Fat gets you nine calories per gram. There are some rules because not all grams are created equal. Alcohol does not stay in the body very long topping the list of things to be burnt up. Protein is another thing that tries to use itself up with what isn’t being tossed out. Protein also helps build muscle often strenuous bouts of exercise giving it something else that the other grams do not have

The little caveat with protein being is if it is complete or incomplete. A good rule of thumb is that protein from animal meat is always going to be completer while anything plant based will be incomplete proteins but will often have more vitamins and minerals usually making it important to get your calories from a variety of resources.

Just to keep weight while you are homeless you will need to to eat more then you would ever think because the amount of things you are needing that energy for. Those who are already watching what they eat will have to open up on a bit. Keeping weight will be as hard as can be especially if you are carrying a pack and you need to go with some items that help. All this boils down into a lot to juggle and then you have to deal with how you can get supplies. Food banks are going to give you a bit of everything but the question will be if you can carry it. If you get food stamps the you have more options and a smaller budget when needed to work with money.

In short if you can carry food and plan fairly rudimentary you should not starve. There is no reason for people in most urban centers to starve and for the most part it is not that much more difficult in suburbs or small towns all of that is based on your ability to think ahead. This is the single biggest problem because when picking calories is you need to at least have a rough idea what you are eating. Honestly if you are homeless it will be very rare that you will be in a surplus so unless that is the case. This is rare so unless you don’t move at all, grab some calories when you can because you don’t to run a deficit long enough then what will happen is this.

First, your body will start burning all regular fuel then when you are empty it dips in to the reserves on your fats. This will keep you going but after a while what will happen is your body will start to go from fat to protein. Particularly your muscle fibers, as your body cannot hold on to protein it will withdraw it from where your body has the most accessible protein. This will make you begin to get weaker as time goes on.

When you are deficient in a nutrient for a period you also invite things like beriberi (what I have) scurvy, and more. Any long term deficiency can really destroy your body as well doing your best to stay on top of it will keep your time on the streets a little healthier.

If you are already deficient then take a day at the library and do some research. Be aware what works and what tastes good may be different. Because even if you are not on the street and are just doing some fine time enjoying the wilderness knowing how your body works will save you pain in the long run.

Enjoy your peanut butter and stay strong

Winter’s Bite

The cold can be a bitter rival when you have no safe harbor and this is for homeless people as well as those enjoying the wilderness. Even for a mild winter hypothermia, frostbite, and pneumonia can put you down when you thought you were fine.

Here are some of the basics and some tips when dealing with the cold.

Portland 19The possibly biggest thing to worry about is staying dry as the winter brings down precipitation in various forms. Steam, snow, rain, and fog are some of the most common example and with a hard chill it can come back to haunt in multiple ways.

When you get wet it will be under conditions, that will as soon as it happens, make it so much worse. Adding weight to whatever moistened it could be the difference of making a nice wool sweater a scratchy, chilling, gripping maw that you have to escape from often shivering all the while.

Most tents will have outer coverings that are water resistant, but will have pieces that retain temperature. It is important to make sure you do not get cold water in your shelter whether it be a tent or just a covered sleeping bag, getting water in it may lead it to getting much heavier, so you will have more difficulty carrying it, or if it is cold enough for that water to freeze may damage it or even cause mold, and it can cause more damage to your lungs long term.

What happens if you get wet? Your clothes follow the function I set earlier for your shelter, but be ware your body is more capable of fighting the cold. Shivers are a sign where the body will try to make its own heat through subconscious processes, and this makes it much more difficult to stop if you already fatigued through hunger or effort. You will find that shivering will take it out of you faster. Deciding to go light, remove your glove only to find that hypothermia trying to have a party with frostbite doing the tap dance on your digits

Cover your hands and feet with as many layers as comfortable without losing movement and if you need to then double up on layers. The last thing you need is to take a chance because frostbite will come in the extremities first and work its way in, if you need more heat consider taking one of the hand warmers and putting them between the layers, I would wear two pairs of wool socks and when it was really bad I would get some hand heaters between them. All this can be boiled down to a proactive defense because it is much easier to keep warm then it is to get warm.

First and best option is always logically, but if there is none than being stealthy will be needed. Get a large mass of land without police presence or find a corner of a building that will work especially you get drenched to bad because liquid is not your friend in any cold situation when it is freezing, being wet may be signing your own death warrant. When you are in the forest or in the caves try to stay covered without keeping your back to the structure because you can lose a lot of heat that way. Stay dry, stay alive, water ,and other fluids can freeze on living flesh. That could be you reader, don’t

TL:DR: Stay dry, Stay covered, Dress in layers, Pack smart, Cover your extremities, Don’t over do it.

Stay warm and stay strong.

Meal Sniping and Freeganism

This is odd to see to those unaware but let me say this. A lot of food that would be perfectly fine is thrown away and if people really need food after everything else if they want to take the risk and maybe swallow a bit of their pride. What this will also go over is another group of people that may be part of the homeless or not and that is the freegan movement.

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A burger like this would have been great when I was homeless, it was my entry in the better burger contest. 

Freegans come from the words free and vegan and not only stay away from animal products as well as any products that may have been made using sweatshop labor or other circumstance. This group takes that a belief by recognizing that the market driven by a set of morals they find reprehensible. Some may find this bizarre but to them it is the best way to go and as long as it does not hurt them it could very well be just something those outside their vision just may not understand or agree with. In short if you do not like them do not make yourself into a horror story of theirs.

Now, it is not the best way to get food doing this, but when the cards are down it will get you enough calories to get by, maybe while it is still a couple days out for a food bank possibility or of your food stamps kicking in, or of a paycheck. Fast food is has plenty with the small nibbles that people take often being the only part that would be wrong with it.

Granted, I have not done a whole lot of this, but I do know people that did so I am bringing it more from those who I talked to as well as the small parts to add to this article.

Now when you decide to go the timing and place will be important, as you do not want someone to come up behind you pouring a half drained drink over what you just darted your arm in to the can to get easier version of this would be to as they have just buss the table. Separate trash and consumables and just plain trash. If you do this in a fast food area you may have better luck to begin with, but it can be done any place large portions of hot food are being served to customers. When this is done in food cart areas there is more then decent chance that someone will be fishing through the trash eventually.

One reason depending on what state you are in is the bottle deposit. That is a fee based on the container of soda or beer that can be reimbursed by either returning the container to specialty marked facilities or back to the stores, depending on law. Short version on this is you can either get a dime, or a nickel for every container that counts within those areas and if possible is a way to get some funds quickly.

Back to the whole meal sniping if you are just in a fast food area, they sell soda in cups and often no deposit, but that is a factor to help you decide where to go if you need to. From what I have seen you can go longer collecting more food at a good food cart location but it comes with more people digging.

In fast food you need to buy something to often stay there but you can take your time and get used to it and maybe get a refill or two it because it doesn’t have to be a rush when you eat .Pick up something for later and soon feel like you have enough.

Sometimes areas won’t have dumpsters to single areas often behind a simple gate that could be simple enough to get into provided there are no watchful eyes. This kind of works into freeganism because supermarkets will often wont have people watching and especially at night. When checking dumpsters of some other areas there has been a growing step taken by some including some pizza places that before tossing the food out that it would be sprayed or drenched in bleach making the thing unfit for human consumption.

In short as with anything there are risks and rewards so if you need to I hope this helps and if you want more information on the freegan movement link will be below. Get hungry, get full and stay strong.

What is a Freegan?

Donation vs Investment

One of the biggest things that drove me up wall when I was homeless is beggars. ( I wrote this when still homeless) Begging to me is just telling everyone you gave up and you expect others to come pick you up because life is hard. I never begged and I won’t support those that do.

“No! Really? Life is hard?“wonka

I thought it was sunshine and rainbows that gave me nerve damage. Life is and will always be hard and unfair and if someone says they will make it far then you will most likely see someone’s heart get chewed up over a small period of time.

Snark and sarcasm aside, and I use mine because it helps me not got crazy. Life will be hard to those in this situation, that is just the truth. That is a fact and you can take everything that can be learned and it will still be difficult. What will change is how you will answer the call. Responding is the only difference you are in control of and how it will effect you, and it would be smart to make it work for you and not against you.

One quote I think of comes from the Yakuza games.

“As long as I’m alive, I’m coming back for more.” Daisaku Kuze

So is there an ‘actual difference’ between what the two are when you are homeless? In my personal opinion when people ask for donations you look much different than being what I would call an investment, so yes.

Donation types are the ones you see with a sign asking for money. When people think of the stereotype of the homeless. Unwashed and wasted they are often only halfway in reality while the world spins. They do nothing, they complain, they do everything just to get by but nothing to succeed. Survival on the day to day is point one and making their own life easier. People do this when they have lost all hope and it is only when they hit rock bottom. Sometimes people will give them food and money as they sit on the sidewalk while people walk by. What gets me to be so anti-begging is that while I was in college some people would often get their rattiest clothes, beg for change, and use it at the bar while actual people who needed the help looked more invisible then ever.

Investment types are the own trying to peddle artwork, trying to sell something or maybe a service they are good at. They may not even be homeless but as there are while being homeless. In life there re donation types and investment types. What separates the two is numerous but one of the biggest is the unabashed effort they are putting in to turning their life around into becoming producing members of society or better producing members of society. Some may have jobs, some may even look homeless, some have side hustles, and plans to rise from their current post. When people like this continue to fight and learn under the weight of such pressure. It may seem harsh to say but more important then having hope is to what extent you will to defend it.

Now, something that should be stated is how everyone will have bad days. The most hopeful will turn blue for a good point. People may have to wonder how to get through such moments because all it takes is one truly bad day for everything in normal life to go off the rails.

One thing about a good portion of the the homeless is the clear failure of the ssi disability system, as I have gone over more in depth in another article here when I dissect the homeless population here.

Waiting for years so the system can try to shake you is a sad state of affairs. Disabilities cannot be hidden too well if they are physical so what is there may be easier to just take at face value.

Link – Who are the Homeless and Why SSDI is Important

Getting that money easier would allow more resources to successfully build their lives. That is enough of that if you want more on that specifically click the link above.

Let me explain a moment I had, I wish I had a twenty because I would have bought something.

One person had a real 4-d chess move and instead of standing on the small sliver of ground getting on the highway. Instead of a sign or begging like many others of the day he was creating beautiful pictures with either markers or paint pens and created some really awe inspiring work. If I can get a piece I will put it up here. This was a guy whose work could have been in any of the art shows in the city proper and looking like he had seen more worksites then anything and had spent the time learning his craft. Almost ironic was less then a block or so away on the sliver before the off ramp was the steeple of the largest Presbyterian church in the city.

Make yourself a better person and people won’t see the charity, but the investment that you made to be that better person will be its own evidence. It sounds tough but do it and you will find yourself coming back in to the society like a house of fire ready to go from the bottom and start rocketing up. Stay strong and try to be happy.

bobross meme

Used, Abused, Screwed, and What to do.

When you have nothing or when you only have a little something, I had to go through the painful lesson is learning when you were getting a legitimate offer of either food or shelter.

Living in a society like ours (INTL readers may feel absolved but do not worry because most of our cultures are guilty of some of this.) some people will try to take advantage of the less fortunate you must be your own best defense. Very few layers that would supposedly help will even approach your cases until there is a sure punishment from their bosses on file if they miss this. Part of that is gathering a lot of your own evidence to make that hammer fall on their head if they do not do their job. Don’t think people are there to help until results are produced and that will keep you ready. This does not mean to be paranoid, because some will want to legit help but understand your positions you will be low priority until you get back with more of a reason to help.

Government is much the same only many times they will try to whisper things to you to get hopes up while the majority of them leave your paperwork on a desk and forget about it. (This exact thing happened to me. I got called a liar until they got busted and even to this point that group as yet to help with a thing)

Part of getting by will be trying to take those the negative emotions and whether they are mostly sadness or anger and putting it somewhere where it can be more useful. This would mean you need a hobby and I have gone over that in different articles but the reason is here because a good number of people will be at their limit for this energy.

Finding out what what their emotional center is also important because simply put what looks like normal running to some would be stressed or out of personality to others. No worries not going flower power or losing what is left of my mind but it is a facet of humanity. What is specific though is that each person runs on specific emotional grounds as a center. You have seen it where some people are just happy or somber or angry because simply they have that emotion as their center.

Where your center is, is actually pretty easy to find. When everything is a basic day where do your emotions run. If you find your center is not where you want it then figure out what is needed whether a thought or memory and slowly work your normal to where you want it to be. For some this will be something you can only figure out after some serious thinking or meditation, but no booze or drugs while working this out. You will find that makes the path harder for the same payoff. Caveat, if you obviously have a doctors prescription then it will be more difficult, but the medicine is given to you by those with more education and work with them to help you.

You could have guessed by some of the other articles subject matter you will meet a cavalcade of personality types and not all of them will be friendly or law abiding. The best line of defense will be you’re own efforts. If you are not safe alone for the most part then find somewhere that has enough people that you can trust enough to rest would be good. This would also be a thought but essentially it is the reason some people sleep in broad daylight, because it is harder to commit crimes with the numerous more witnesses the day brings.

Trust is sacred because especially in this situation, the high damage it can do when held against you or broken to bits. Give it in small doses and try to remember that you live in a world where most people only learn because they have to and a good number will take what they can without repercussion.

Be careful who you associate with long term, but the situation may arise where the only options are a list of them ranging from bad to worst. Find something that you can use to defend yourself and hide quickly. You do not want to give the wrong impression to any of the normies.

Just because people are loud does not mean they will attack and using public areas to your advantage may be looked down by some but a good number of these people will be only a single paycheck away themselves from joining you on the street. If that gives you comfort in your darkest moments, do so and grow from it. Such things if they bother you then remember, you cant help others without helping yourself first.

Getting out is your first priority it is above everything what you need to know is the first step to almost anything else. Defend yourself according to your ability and decision making because it can be cruel out there some times. Stay strong in any case.

What to Pack When Going Streetside

Going from a home to homeless you may ask the how’s but if you find yourself in the situation of being homeless soon then there is really one thing you need to figure out.

Starting off what do you pack?

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Dealing with being homeless is going to be stressful but here are some things you will need to take with you if you want to make your life easier. Granted this will be done where you do not know how long you will be on the street and where or when you can get out.

Clothes – Obviously important. The more changes of clothes you bring means the more weight you are carrying and the less space you can use for other things. I have found when you find someway for washing clothes, either three or four at most with one being a business change of clothes.

Towels – Useful things, thick cloth used to absorb water or other liquids that may simple one regular gym towel and another smaller wash rag is preferred. More active people may want two towels for clearing the sweat of your brow.

Cutlery – Something that if you don’t know then you will find out quick. Quality metal silverware at least one set of knife, spoon, and fork and this will be much easier as the plastic stuff breaks down much easier. Get a metal set and wrap it in the washrag to keep the points as safe and as tightly wrapped up as possible.

Can opener – There are a few models that are going to be capable whether the military version or the crank double handle. Grab something that can crack some cans you wouldn’t be able to access beforehand. Considering some of the best foods.

Rain Cover- Whether you buy it or you make it or have multiple layers having your gear dry is always good because as soon as mold comes in your pack it is twice as hard to remove without just tossing everything out.

Hygiene – These are your deoderant, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, tp, soap, shampoo, and other items of the sort. It is a good idea to get at least one set of backups as well so that when you use something up you can switch to the next one without any issue.

Blanket – Especially when you are dealing with the colder season or nights using it under the rain guard to help with keeping yourself safe whether made from wool or not as long as it doesn’t take all the room in your pack and it keeps your body warm it is a good pick.

Writing Supplies – Important for many different reasons. Cheap, light, and effective for taking notes because you will need to do so when getting out. I prefer mechanical pencils with graphite, erasers, and metal tips. Journals for the sake of being cleaner to work with. Use what you feel most comfortable though because regular pencils really just need a sharpener and that doesn’t add much space anyway.

Water Bottle – This is useful just to have whether you are homeless or not. It holds liquids and sometimes you drink from it. Those without a good one can use a Gatorade, Powerade, or other screw top bottles. It would be better to get one that holds temperature so you can enjoy different things like cocoa, soup, and iced tea. You want to better enjoy anything you can especially when it as simple as a nice water bottle.

Multitool – A leatherman or other tool, mine is Ozark trail but just a tool that can be useful for a lot of different situations. Just one that you can get a hold of, use well and keep packed and put away when you do not need it.

ozrk trail

So you got all your gear, but you got extra space? Remember that you will also carry one thing that will be your biggest addition of weight. This will also be difficult because without refrigeration you often are eating cold food for the majority of your time. Cans add up very quickly to the weight you carry if you are not careful adding too much can work against you.

If you want to take anything like a laptop or phone make sure to take your cords as well because without a charger then many items will be useless. Stay strong everyone and pack smart.