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He doesn't like to call it a compound, so I won't. It does have 10 inch thick concrete walls, though. When I heard that Ed Brown was allowing visitors to his "home" in New Hampshire, I had to visit.
Ed and Elaine Brown are a pair of famous tax protestors who are evading arrest in a standoff with the feds.
I exited the highway and passed a Wal Mart. Soon the road became only one lane each way. Soon it was winding through farmland. Shortly after it became a dirt road. The RV hopped over the potholes as veered left onto their street.
It's a dangerous night to be walking outside. Not for me, but for the tiny little frogs that dot the gravel road. I swish my overpowered Surefire flashlight across the dark gravel trying to avoid stepping on them. When I get close they freeze in their tracks, making them harder to see. This would be a good reflex if I was trying to eat them, but it's working against them tonight.
I'm walking down to the beach for old times' sake. It's 2am and I'm in Milton, Vermont. Calling it a beach is generous. Shale rocks densely scattered over green outcroppings of weeds lead up to murky water. There are a few docks and a few boats pulled up out of the water. They're not locked to anything - they're just sitting there.
I crouch, pick up one of the little green frogs, and watch him slowly climb around my wrist as I rotate it. I probably haven't touched a frog in ten years. Playing with frogs used to be my favorite thing to do when I was in Vermont. I liked to catch them in a bucket and then empty it into the nearby creek and watch them swim away. Sometimes we'd throw them in the air so that they'd land in the lake. That seems a bit inhumane now, but we didn't know better back then. We were kids. I lower my arm to the ground and nudge the frog off of my wrist.
I've made it up to Maine. The RV has performed perfectly, and we're even getting 13mpg. I was expecting more like 10-11.
Here's what I've done so far:
I hung out in NY with Ross Jeffries and Jlaix, who both just happened to be in town at the same time. While I was there I had some fantastic Ethiopian food (no, it's not sand and ants like you'd guess...) as well as some NY Pizza. To stave off the inevitable comments : yes, I break my diet somewhat when I travel.
I'm lying in bed in the RV right now. Yes, I still live here and love it, but that's another story. The only difference between tonight and a normal night is that my bed is flying down the highway at 60mph, headed for the east coast.
My esteem friends and colleagues, Jonah and Krystal, are accompanying me on my first actual road trip in the RV. We're going through the scary bits of America as quickly as possible (Arkansas, for example), and are trying to get to NYC before Krystal's flight on Monday.
I'm going to hopefully meet up with Ross Jeffries, the first "pickup artist" to ever teach seminars, in New York before he leaves. Online he sometimes comes off like a prick, but in real life he's one of the most warm and genuine guys in the community. I'm also going to stop by and say hi to my aunt, uncle, three cousins, and my grandparents who are visiting them.
For a long time now I've wanted to be a PT, or Perpetual Traveler. My recent massive simplification has been a step in the right direction. I used to have too much stuff to even consider going on the road. Living in the RV has been another leap towards PT.
But first... why be a PT?
The idea, at least for me, is this : there is no "best" place to live in the world. Tokyo has the best trains and a fantastic culture. The Caribbean has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Europe has the history and food. "Settling down" in one place seems a lot like "settling" to me. If I live in Taiwan for a couple months out of the year I can brush up on my Chinese and become more fluent.
Every Wednesday Doug (a.k.a. DJ Doug) and I host Karaoke at a club called Firehouse Lounge in Austin, TX. The main reason I do it is because I love doing gangsta rap songs at Karaoke, and if I'm a host I get to sing more. Plus all of our friends come, so it's a really fun little event.
But last week was more fun than usual.
When I found out that my friend Elisia had a police taser, I immediately went to work trying to think of a good use for it. After a short while, Taseroke was born. The premise was simple - two people would sing a song of their own choosing and whoever the crowd thought did worse would get tased mercilessly by me.
Just for fun, here are all of my political views. I'm not super into politics at all - in fact before Bush started screwing everything up, I had zero interest in them. I definitely haven't done enough research to have definitive stances on most of these things, so take them with a grain of salt.
This is the one I care about the most. Our tax system is extremely screwed up. Did you know that we're one of only TWO countries in the world who tax their citizens if they don't live in the country or make money in the country? If I spend a year traveling the world, making money online, I STILL have to pay taxes in the US (there's a partial exemption that it's possible to qualify for).
I laugh. It's the annual casino night at my college dorm. I'm dressed up more than usual - I'm wearing a blazer. Today it's more function than form, though.
The ticket taker isn't laughing, though.
I won't go into details as to how this was arranged, but it's one of those things that I've always wanted to see in person. Although I don't want any of it done on me, I really think that modern doctoral wizardry is pretty incredible. As a side note - if anyone reading this can get me behind the scenes anywhere cool, send me an e-mail. I'll write about it (or not, if you prefer).
My friend and I arrived at the hospital super early. It was an old person getting a knee replacement, and old people like doing things really early. I had only racked up a few hours of sleep, but the excitement kept me wide awake.
We wanted to go to yard sales to furnish our new dorm. We were going to be freshman at UT and we were determined to have a cool dorm room. The problem is that, like other freshmen, we were prone to sleeping late. Getting up at 6am was nigh impossible.
The solution, of course, is to stay up all night, which we did. After our shopping expedition we woke up to see what we had purchased. An ice mold to make an fish shaped block of ice, a bowling ball, and a gumball machine. The gumball machine is the one purchase that warrants a story.
We parked at the bottom of the driveway, which started with a small hill and finished with a flat area in front of the garage. We looked through the unsellable trinkets until our eyes caught a glimpse of the gumball machine. This wasn't one of those cheap plastic ones found at Wal Mart. It was cast iron, a commercial looking model that could be found at a hair salon or something.