So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, August 18, 2013
Excursions into the real world
In Heinlein's book, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” there's a bit where a group of people are living in a house under their own rules. *cult? By the outside door there's a sign that reminds people to have cloths on and money with them. You see, the rules are different outside.
My life is kinda like that. Okay, not the cult part (one of the few rules my lovely wife has for me is: no starting a religion) but the make sure you are prepared for the outside world part.
Neither my wife or I work real jobs. The whole work week thing catches us off guard sometimes. We find ourselves trying to figure out what day of the week it is. Businesses and Government offices have regular hours, unlike us. (On-line banking can be very convenient.)
I love places that serve breakfast all day. My “morning” sometimes starts at the crack of noon.
When we travel we have to make sure we aren't overtly breaking laws. NH is a small state so we can easily run afoul of the laws of neighboring states. Having a handgun doesn't raise an eyebrow in NH, but has a mandatory year long prison sentence in neighboring MA. Even crossing into Maine with too much beer in the car can cause problems, depending on what they happen to be enforcing that day. Once I accidentally drove into Canada. I drove back, using the same back road I came in on, before someone noticed. That's harder to do these days.
Dealing with official government stuff can be a pain. At least the small town offices I normally deal with are a bit more laid back. The town clerk is more likely to help you find a way around a stupid state rule than not. Jury duty was difficult for me as they have a lot less flexibility in the way they do business. I try to live my life with state and Federal interaction kept to a bare minimum.
Now I'm doing some financial stuff and once again find myself a stranger in a strange land. At least I have the power to walk out of their offices and not sign on the dotted line. Reminding myself of that does my state of mind much good. Just because “everyone” does things one way doesn't mean I have to.
The sailing life has been good for me. Fortunately there's not a big difference in garb between a Sea Hobo and true yacht types. Swimsuit, faded T-shirt, and flip flops could be worn by folks sailing on $400/ month and those sailing on $10,000/month. There are plenty of snobs out there, but also plenty of people who just want to have a good time. The Sea Hobo may actually get more respect in some circles because they have to have better skills to make up for not having the latest equipment. Sailing isn't the real world at all, so I'm good with that.
It does have real world things like Coast Guard rules, insurance, repairs, fuel, and marina fees. On a small boat CG rules are easy to comply with and make sense. I've insurance, but it doesn't cost much and most marina's require it. Repairs, fuel and various fees and expenses I keep to a minimum by having a small boat and being self reliant. That stuff is quickly dispensed with, allowing me to deal with what's real to me: sun, wind, weather, and the happiness of my crew.
Remember being a kid and thinking adults get to do anything they want? Then people grow up and join the real world. Why would anyone want to do that? Sure, the real world intrudes on me now and then, but it takes planning and a special trip for me to get there.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.