Tynan http://tynan.com Life Outside the Box en-us Sat, 25 Apr 2015 22:56:37 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Anyone know a good place to park RV in Portland, OR? http://tynan.com/community/57736 Hey guys, I've known Tynan for some time, from back in the Life Nomadic days. My girlfriend and I are permanent gypsies, traveling in our '98 Rialta. We have been traveling up the Oregon coast, and will be arriving in Portland tomorrow. I was wondering if anyone had any experience parking overnight in any central locations in Portland (we are totally stealth, with capability for complete blackout and sound control), or, barring this, if anyone who lives in Portland might be willing to let us hang out in their driveway for a few days. We don't need anything other than a place to park (totally solar powered).

Thanks guys.

PS: @Ty, if this is the wrong use of the community area, slap my wrist and I'll take it down.

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Thu, 25 Jul 2013 05:08:15 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/57736
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Thu, 23 Apr 2015 07:16:25 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1175595
We're selling our Rialta for $3k (bad transmission, highly modified) http://tynan.com/community/1175085 Hey there,

My wife and I lived out of our 1996 Winnebago Rialta last year quite a bit. We put solar panels, a charge controller, some decent AGM batteries, etc. in it. The transmission died, however, and we just don't have the cash on-hand to get it fixed.

It's stuck in a driveway in the Bay Area in California.

For $3k, you can have it, as long as you come and haul it off, or cover expenses to do so. The title is clean.

Full disclosure: we haven't officially determined that the problem is the transmission, though that's what people in the know have told us. The engine starts, but the car won't move forward or backwards.

You can see photos and our blog from when we were living in it at http://www.HipsterGypsies.com

Email me at christian@glitchfilms.com if you're interested.

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Tue, 21 Apr 2015 23:10:23 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1175085
Who are Today's Heroes? http://tynan.com/community/1173883 I live in the South. The city I live in was once the Capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. My city has dozens of monuments for Confederate Generals, as well as many schools named for them and streets. The years after the Civil War these men were revered for their courage and bravery. They were defending their homes and land against a government that wanted to dictate to them. They were viewed by many as heroes because they fought and died for "The Cause".

The views of these men is decidedly different these days. One side still sees these men as heroes that was the biggest battle fought against the government by its citizens. While others view the war as a way to continue slavery.

Who are today's heroes?

I can list the professions that I think have lost touch of their purpose and goals for being heroes.

1. Police Officer: This is supposed to be a "Peace Officer". The news has seen a lot of abuses by Police on innocent victims. The rest of the Police have to root out the behavior, but it will be a tough row to hoe because many of the top leaders in the police are unwilling to change.

2. Politicians: Politicians are now known for "Show me the Money, and you get my vote". It's the way to get elected...money. The masses of people have become cattle to politicians. One small group complaining means nothing to them unless they can buy air time to gain more support for their cause.

3. Lawyers: There is a statue of Patrick Henry about 1 mile from my house. It talks about his life and how he defended thousands of cases for poor people. He was a lawyer because he wanted to equal the playing field for all. That definition for lawyers has long passed. Many lawyers will take any case for any cause as long as there is money in it for them.

4. Teachers: Teachers have been bombarded by bureaucracy. The teachers began a constant chant "We want more money". It's all they and the education associations talk about.

Who do I feel are today's heroes?

Caregivers: People that sacrifice their pleasures to sit with and feed the sick and unfortunate. The people that insure that everyone gets loved and cared for. It is rare that a single person gets called out for their efforts. The caregivers do it out of love for others.

Baseline service workers: The people working baseline service jobs that keep our system running. The people paving roads, restoring power lines, cleaning the septic systems and water, and all the apparently thankless jobs that the groups I listed above look down on. These are the people that grow the food, work in all conditions and show up to work sick. These are the ones that accept that they aren't going to be rich and famous, but they keep a roof over their family's heads.

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Mon, 20 Apr 2015 21:14:39 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1173883
Minimum Wage "On Strike" Protests http://tynan.com/community/1169055 Yesterday there was a protest in 200 cities for raising the minimum wage. My city had a few dozen people march around a few government buildings and then culminate the rally at a McDonalds restaurant. They held signs that read: "$15.00 an hour is a start".

I didn't attend the rally. I read about it in the newspaper. The same people that organized the protest also organize almost every other protest in our city. They recently had a protest called "Black Lives Matter" and "Hands Up, Don't Shoot". They have also done a few Anti-Israel protests about the wars, and did a local version of Occupy Wall Street a few years ago.

In this article about yesterday's protest, the reporter had interviewed a few people. Two of the people stated they are working Fast Food jobs for minimum wage, and that they can't live on that amount. They said they are single parents with more than 3 children to support. They argued that the minimum wage is not a "Living Wage".

I feel bad that people are in poor circumstances. I realize that everyone needs a place to live and food to eat. Also, each person has to make choices in life and take responsibility for their choices. If people were better at making wise decisions and can play out in their mind how things may turn out when they are given a choice.

For instance, if you make the choice to have children, then you have to accept that there will be less time to work, advance your career, and more expenses. If you choose to have children with a irresponsible person that will leave you broke and with a baby, you will be in a financial rut. If you have no support system (family/friends) because you want to run around and do whatever you want, then you will be on an island by yourself when problems pop up.

I'm not saying that every person that is in a minimum wage job has made a lot of bad choices. Sometimes the minimum wage job is the only thing available. I have a relative with a college degree that lives in a vacation resort town. When he first moved there, he found that when the tourists evacuate at the end of Summer, the place becomes a ghost town. The only places that stayed open during the Winter were fast food restaurants and 7-11. So he got a job there to survive at that time. Within a year he got a sales job for a construction company and they do a lot of construction year round. He is doing pretty well now.

These are some of the decisions we make that can greatly affect your life:

1. Having children

2. Having children with no spousal support (Divorce)

3. Alienating family members (no support system)

4. Criminal record

5. Drug and alcohol abuse

6. Failure to develop any working skills that allow you to step up the income ladder

7. Relying on only one stream of income (lose that stream, and you have to rebuild)

8. Getting deep in debt, causing bad credit

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Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:08:12 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1169055
The Internet Is Full Of Surprises http://tynan.com/community/1167643 Suddenly, there it is. An in-page editor that says 'start writing your post here'. Well, why not? But still, it's a strange thing. Am I writing a post on somebody elses website now? How can that be? Did this Tynan, of whom I had never heard before just a few minutes ago, mess up the permissions for his CMS?

Well, whatever it is, I'm attending a meditation group at eight, and before that there's some other stuff I need to take care of, including fueling my body with some delicious food. So however strange this opportunity may be, I'll sign off now. Maybe another day.

Take care, whoever you are. And if there's one message I want to give you, one message I think every human being needs to hear, it's this:

You are beautiful! :)

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Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:30:41 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1167643
Coming up with catchy website names http://tynan.com/community/1164330 I get a kick out of some of the names of websites on the internet. When I first saw the name Yahoo, and a cute commercial, it immediately stuck in my mind. It seems like it would be easy to come up with one of these names until you start trying.

I remember this blog site because I have never met a person named Tynan. If the site would have been named Mike or John, then I would have maybe remembered it, but also had some bad memories of people with those names and passed right through it.

Even if you have the luck of coming up with a great name, you have to add some great content and marketing with it. For instance, "The Geek Squad" is a great name and easy to remember. When I had a computer virus, it was the first name that popped into my head to get my computer fixed. When I went to Best Buy to visit The Geek Squad, I wasn't impressed with their knowledge. They pretty much ran the computer through a mix of programs that were created by someone else. Which lead me to believe they were not super smart computer geniuses.

In fact, any business that adds the following words to their name make me skeptical: Genius, Experts, Superstars, Award Winning, Best, Superior, etc. These words kind of set them up for customers to expect greatness, and when they don't deliver they get a bad reputation.

I like the name of my website: www.ChiliDogTags.com It doesn't promise anything to anyone in just the name itself. I had to laugh when I saw competitor websites named Overnighttags and Fasttags. The expectation is your going to receive your product in one day, and that doesn't always happen.

Tynan's book "Superhuman by Habit" is a good name in my opinion. It doesn't promise to make you a superhuman, and by adding "habit" to the title, a person should realize that habits are something you have to do yourself. If the title would have been "Guaranteed to make you a Superhuman" would probably have sold, but it would have been a blatant lie.

Do you think there is a process for coming up with a great name? If so, how do you do it?

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Wed, 08 Apr 2015 16:06:12 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1164330
Done with Arabic http://tynan.com/arabic I'm going to write a post about my ongoing campaign to learn all major languages every time I finish another one. As I've written before, my goal is to complete the Pimsleur courses for every language I'm interested in, which is approximately 25 of them. Each course is thirty to ninety days long.

I just finished Arabic last night. It was easily the toughest language I've tackled on Pimsleur. There were some lessons where I felt totally lost, but then I'd always catch up within a lesson or two. Most other languages I'd feel caught up pretty much all the time.

Arabic was so difficult that I'm not really sure how much I got out of the thirty days. After thirty days of Romanian I could actually function at a minimal level in Romania. I'm not sure I could say the same about Arabic.

On the other hand, I watched Benny Lewis' 45 day Arabic progress video and I could understand almost the entire conversation. He had a bigger vocabulary, maybe by 50-100%, but our grammatical understanding seemed roughly equivalent, and I think my pronunciation is significantly better. That's a pretty strong testimonial for Pimsleur considering how much work Benny puts into language learning.

The marginal benefit of going from zero knowledge to some knowledge is pretty impressive. I've spoken a tiny bit of Arabic with the owner of my local grocery store as well as a clerk at a drug store. They were both really excited that I spoke any at all.

I think key to benefiting from my language learning is going to be speaking the languages whenever I can. I've gone through this process enough times in enough languages that I'm really not self conscious about being terrible at languages anymore.

I now have seven languages under my belt. In descending order of skill: English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese (close to Chinese), German, Romanian, Arabic.

Next up is Russian. I planned the next eight months or so, managing to fit in small languages like Dutch and Hungarian before going to those countries, which will make it more fun to learn them. I also snuck in Hindi because I'm going to be on a cruise ship with some Hindi speakers. I think that I would have benefited a lot from having native speakers around, even on a small scale.

I also calculated that I've got another 29 months until I've completed my language goals. Pretty cool to think that when I'm 35 I'll speak 25 languages to some useful capacity! Frankly, I don't know why everyone isn't doing this.

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Fri, 30 May 2014 07:01:51 +0000 http://tynan.com/arabic
The Ultimate Travel Laptop http://tynan.com/community/ux21a Two years ago I finally jumped off the Thinkpad wagon to buy a Sony Z12. I have my loyalties and preferences, but at the end of the day I know that the one feature that actually directly impacts my productivity is screen resolution. The higher the resolution, the more st]]>

Two years ago I finally jumped off the Thinkpad wagon to buy a Sony Z12. I have my loyalties and preferences, but at the end of the day I know that the one feature that actually directly impacts my productivity is screen resolution. The higher the resolution, the more stuff that can fit on the screen at once. The more I can fit on the screen, the less swapping between windows I have to do, and thus the less I have to interrupt my workflow. At the same time, I travel a lot, so I need a small computer. My criteria will always be the smallest usable computer with the highest resolution.

For a long time, the Sony was that computer. New computers came out over the past two years, but none of them stacked up well against the Sony. Even the Z12's successor, the Z21, wasn't much to write home about.

Then one day I read an announcement saying that Asus was releasing two new ultrabooks (you know, the Windows laptops that look like Macbook Airs), an 11.6" and a 13", and both would have full 1920x1080 screens. They'd be about half the thickness of my existing laptop, and the smaller of the two would be half a pound lighter. I was sold.

I bought the 11.6" version, the Asus UX21A Zenbook Prime.

The screen on the UX21A, particularly on the Japanese version, which ships with a matte screen, is excellent. You know that 42" LCD TV you have in your living room? This little sucker has the exact same resolution. HD video looks unbelievably crisp. The gamut range is far better than normal laptops, but not quite as good as the Sony Z12. Brightness is as good as I've ever seen on a laptop.

The processor and SSD are fast, but finding a fast computer is easy, so I'm not going to get into all that. Suffice to say that the 1.9gHz i7 is fast enough for anything you'll throw its way.

They keyboard, especially the Japanese one with the extra keys, is very good. No complaints, but not as sublime as the Thinkpad keyboard is/used to be. The trackpad is huge and responsive, with the best two finger scrolling I've ever seen on a PC. Still, I hate trackpads and am still shocked that people like them. I've used a trackpad exclusively for two years and would still much prefer the eraser-like pointing stick found on Thinkpads. Besides far better control and not having to move your hands to move the mouse, you completely eliminate the very real problem of your palms mashing on the touchpad as you type. If I have any complaint about the UX21A, it's that it has a trackpad like every other laptop. I don't expect any different, though.

Despite being a small eleven inch laptop, the speakers on the UX21A are the best I've heard on a laptop. They still aren't great, per se, but they're loud and clear. The high range is excellent and it degrades down the spectrum to having no bass to speak of.

Besides the high resolution and reasonable 5hour+ battery life, what makes this laptop particularly great for travelers is that it doesn't have to be removed from your bag when you travel. I think that subconsciously that may be the driving force behind me choosing this laptop over its larger brother.

Oh, and the other major traveler-friendly feature: its USB ports charge at 2.1 amps, even when it's off! This is HUGE. It means that the laptop doubles as a very ast cell phone / kindle / camera charger. No other laptop does this (although a few charge at .5 amps).

To make the inevitable comparison between this and the MacBook Air, the Asus has a much much better screen and speakers and can charge your gadgets. The Macbook Air can be configured with a bigger hard drive and more ram, and has better battery life. I think it's a pretty easy choice, but if you're not hardcore about screens or have bad vision, the MacBook could be a better option.

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Wed, 08 Aug 2012 21:46:30 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/ux21a
Long term Vs. Short term http://tynan.com/community/1161814 I have usually been a long term kind of guy. I went for a job/career that required that you work there long term and the benefits would be a life of retirement payments. As well as good benefits while I worked there. I also choose to buy a house rather than rent. The thinking that the real estate is a good safe bet as long as I bought in a good school district and kept the house in good condition.

I ended the job 2/3 into it due to health reasons. I was pretty upset at myself because it seemed like I had lost. Then I began to realize that there is a reason they set those type of years of service into the system. It's probably a low percentage of people that complete the requirements to get to that retirement package. I've seen a lot of people quit during my years. And, the people that did make it to the retirement didn't seem any happier in life when they got there.

I was talking with a friend that was wondering what choice to make about his Social Security retirement. He told me his options were to take a low retirement amount at age 62, or wait until he was 66 and get a larger monthly amount. And then another option was to wait until he was 69 and get a lot larger monthly amount. He was saying that it was hard to believe that 7 years wait would result in such a bigger monthly amount, but evidently SSI has figured out that a low percentage of people make it through those 7 years during that age. Or they wouldn't have offered that type of deal.

I'm in my mid 40's, and I've now witnessed that so many things are unpredictable and out of my control. There will be good weather days and bad weather days. I've reached the point that I can't see getting involved in any long term investments. Anything that has a payout past age 65 in too much of a gamble. I hope I'm healthy into my 80's, but statistics say otherwise.

I always had the opinion that people that just kick the can down the road to survive were rather foolish. Now I'm rethinking that theory. Why not take short term risks and enjoy the challenges. I'm not talking about buying lottery tickets or gambling. I'm talking about trying new things in life to enjoy the moment. Why not go on a fishing trip instead of working feverishly all day hoping to add a few dollars to my savings account. The money saved doesn't seem to make a big difference in the end. Especially when you end up spending it on Doctor bills and prescriptions due to the stress.

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Thu, 02 Apr 2015 17:00:18 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1161814