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  1. #1326
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Many of us have come to the conclusion that the obsession with the accumulation of objects often does not lead to happiness. In my case, this doesn't mean I don't derive pleasure from owning nice things (well-made bicycles and accessories are my weak spot), but it's being able to spend time with friends and family that's important.
    This is what I seek by simplifying my life. As i get rid of things that take up space and my attention, I focus on the quality things I really like.

    One quality thing that I really enjoy is my bongo set. It isn't too big. It is made of pretty wood with shiny metal parts holding on the drum heads. It is about nine years old and could be mistaken for new. It is a high end instrument and the quality and expense has been worth the original purchase price. One thing I really like about it is bongos don't require a lot of peripheral things the way guitars do. I don't need to plug them in or add effects pedals. The heads last for years whereas my guitars needed new strings often. It is a very simple instrument. It contributes the fundamental part of music, rhythm, and it's fun to beat on something.
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    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  2. #1327
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Many of us have come to the conclusion that the obsession with the accumulation of objects often does not lead to happiness. In my case, this doesn't mean I don't derive pleasure from owning nice things (well-made bicycles and accessories are my weak spot), but it's being able to spend time with friends and family that's important.
    Any compulsive obsession might lead a person away from happiness, or from spending quality time doing more important or pleasurable activities. I suspect that an obsession with "living simple" (or getting rid of everything that won't fit into some arbitrary space limit) could have those same negative results.

  3. #1328
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Any compulsive obsession might lead a person away from happiness...
    Even obsessing about people who lead car-free lifestyles or who attempt to live more simply?

  4. #1329
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Many of us have come to the conclusion that the obsession with the accumulation of objects often does not lead to happiness. In my case, this doesn't mean I don't derive pleasure from owning nice things (well-made bicycles and accessories are my weak spot), but it's being able to spend time with friends and family that's important.
    And that is your philosophy. Some of us don't exactly see their friends often and have seemingly more help ONLINE. Bicycles are not my only interest. I want to make excellent tape recordings and produce my own music and create video. I have a first cousin who is a professional photographer and videographer and a local friend who has been both and an entepreneur for inspiration. I want to repair my gear and equipment and to that end I have collected the necessary test and repair equipment for years.

    For every Buddhist-like soul there must be the properly materislistic who engage what they own to create and change both their lives and society. One starts to perceive an attitude that it is a sin to pursue a dream and a comfortable lifestyle as they wish.

    I have ONE working PC and chassis in wait to replace it. I think iThings are a bit ludicrous when I can ride a nice bike but I also cannot afford to drive anymore and this really hurt when my father was dying, but forty miles away. I wanted a (70 mpg at 70 mph) Honda Helix ~250 cc maxi-scooter to be able to travel on the highway and I would not dare to ride a bicycle down Interstate 84, it's far too dangerous. I have a pair of giant Honda Aspencade saddlebags to install on my Schwinn, for carrying groceries instead of paperboy baskets. They have lighting and reflective sections and hence they are useful and not merely vain.

    If you want to live sparsely with a small phone that supposedly tells you all you need to know, fine. You are still going to look long and hard for recordings of music and sights you've never dreamed of or knew you loved, simply because 99% of life is not documented on a storage device and networked.

    The experience of life is personal and must be met head on. Not every man is going to do this the same way. Please do not lump the truly curious as purveyors of sloth. Many of them have done as they pleased with next to no money (yours truly among them).

    Everyone can admire your modest lifestyle but don't assume it is the true root of happiness and pleasure. Being human requires sharing and interaction and it can be sadly absent for many.

    Live well and live as you need.
    Last edited by Rollfast; 12-31-12 at 08:18 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  5. #1330
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Many of us have come to the conclusion that the obsession with the accumulation of objects often does not lead to happiness. In my case, this doesn't mean I don't derive pleasure from owning nice things (well-made bicycles and accessories are my weak spot), but it's being able to spend time with friends and family that's important.
    I see and agree. Still nothing says it's absolutely sinful to pursue your goals to their fullest. Your own passions have been fostered by those who never looked back and improved all that you own and the quality of your lifestyle.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  6. #1331
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
    Still nothing says it's absolutely sinful to pursue your goals to their fullest.
    It depends on what your goals are, doesn't it?

  7. #1332
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
    Still nothing says it's absolutely sinful to pursue your goals to their fullest. Your own passions have been fostered by those who never looked back and improved all that you own and the quality of your lifestyle.
    There are trade-offs for everything in life. Sometimes, one needs to temper one's passion to avoid losing something else of value.

    For example, pursuing a career goal is fine, but would it still be worthwhile if one loses family or friends in the process? What if this goal came at the expense of one's health? The same could be true of the pursuit of a sports or fitness goal or the pursuit of an academic achievement. Any time a goal, no matter how noble, becomes the sole focus in life, things can go wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
    Being human requires sharing and interaction and it can be sadly absent for many.
    I think we're on the same page here.
    Life is good.

  8. #1333
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    I've been car-less for over 6 months. I was involved in a car accident and after that, I sold my car. I got rid of the TV, Xboxes. I don't buy new clothes anymore, the old one looks just as good when I mix and match the styles. I use my Macbook at home for computer and also small side jobs (web design). I watch Netflix on my Kindle Fire, read books on my Kindle Fire, listen to audio books from audible. I cook at home and seldomly go out to eat. Man, that saves "a lot" of money. I donate stuffs to the Goodwill that I don't need anymore. But I also go to the Goodwill shop from time to time to see what interesting things I can get.

    The first few months living simple is hard. I tend to have a lot of obsessions to hoard electronic (phones) stuffs. But I fought it and came out winning. I try to not buy a lot of things nowadays. And if I find something that I really want to get, I will sit on that thought for several weeks, only to see if the want comes to a need, and if that need is a necessity or not. If it is not, then Yea I win again! Gas sucks man, car insurance sucks, car maintenance sucks, car accident sucks, added with the superficial society of Los Angeles, there are temptations to be like everybody everywhere.

  9. #1334
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    MrVo... welcome to Living Car Free. Sounds like you have learned a lesson that many have yet to discover.

  10. #1335
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrVo View Post
    I've been car-less for over 6 months. I was involved in a car accident and after that, I sold my car. I got rid of the TV, Xboxes. I don't buy new clothes anymore, the old one looks just as good when I mix and match the styles. I use my Macbook at home for computer and also small side jobs (web design). I watch Netflix on my Kindle Fire, read books on my Kindle Fire, listen to audio books from audible. I cook at home and seldomly go out to eat. Man, that saves "a lot" of money. I donate stuffs to the Goodwill that I don't need anymore. But I also go to the Goodwill shop from time to time to see what interesting things I can get.

    The first few months living simple is hard. I tend to have a lot of obsessions to hoard electronic (phones) stuffs. But I fought it and came out winning. I try to not buy a lot of things nowadays. And if I find something that I really want to get, I will sit on that thought for several weeks, only to see if the want comes to a need, and if that need is a necessity or not. If it is not, then Yea I win again! Gas sucks man, car insurance sucks, car maintenance sucks, car accident sucks, added with the superficial society of Los Angeles, there are temptations to be like everybody everywhere.
    Thanks for the testimonial, MrVo. Getting a grip on one's obsessions, avoiding the traps laid for us by an overly materialistic, wasteful, polluting society and daring to be different are the keys to happiness for more and more people. But beware! Marching to the beat of a different drummer will cause consternation amongst some. Be prepared to be called lazy, shiftless, a navel gazer, a good for nothing...

    Oh, and welcome to the forum!
    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-05-13 at 02:59 AM.

  11. #1336
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    Thank you Mr. gerv. It's good to have a first respond to my Living Car-free post.

    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    MrVo... welcome to Living Car Free. Sounds like you have learned a lesson that many have yet to discover.

  12. #1337
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    Mr. Ekdog, thanks for the cautious note. From time to time, I will come back and read the comments on this post to help keeps me motivated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Thanks for the testimonial, MrVo. Getting a grip on one's obsessions, avoiding the traps laid for us by an overly materialistic, wasteful, polluting society and daring to be different are the keys to happiness for more and more people. But beware! Marching to the beat of a different drummer will cause consternation amongst some. Be prepared to be called lazy, shiftless, a navel gazer, a good for nothing...

    Oh, and welcome to the forum!

  13. #1338
    Senior Member thryn's Avatar
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    I have five bicycles ranging from borderline to fully rideable, plus four or five future projects/not-yet-donateds in the shed.

    This tendency can also be observed with my turntables of varying functionality, CD/record/cassette collection, clothing that I'm not wearing lately for whatever reason ...

    Suffice to say bicycles aren't the only thing I accumulate, or find myself loath to get rid of.

    So no, I don't live all that simply. OTOH, I don't have cable, or a modern TV/stereo (1970s component all the way). I despise clothing shopping, for the most part (band T-shirts still make up a large part of my wardrobe. I'm 34). I spend my disposable income on quality food, drink, kitchenware, recorded/live music, experiences and ... bicycles.

    I do aspire to de-clutter certain aspects of my life at some point. I really don't need years' worth of accumulated paper bills and such, for example. Maybe reading more of this thread will inspire me.

  14. #1339
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Everyone talking about self-sufficient living should read about this family, the Lykovs. The were off the grid completely for 40 years. But it also shows how you need to be prepared and lay up some basic technology in your experience. Their lack of metal-making and other skills seriously hurt their quality of life.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 01-30-13 at 10:14 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  15. #1340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Everyone talking about self-sufficient living should read about this family, the Lykovs. The were off the grid completely for 40 years. But it also shows how you need to be prepared and lay up some basic technology in your experience. Their lack of metal-making and other skills seriously hurt their quality of life.
    Great story, I'm surprised they lived as long as they did.

  16. #1341
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhead View Post
    Great story, I'm surprised they lived as long as they did.
    Yeah, No trade, no metal working, no bow and arrow, no pottery. Though the did appear to be weavers and took that into the wilderness with them.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  17. #1342
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Everyone talking about self-sufficient living should read about this family, the Lykovs. The were off the grid completely for 40 years. But it also shows how you need to be prepared and lay up some basic technology in your experience. Their lack of metal-making and other skills seriously hurt their quality of life.
    Wow...

    Aaron
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  18. #1343
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Everyone talking about self-sufficient living should read about this family, the Lykovs. The were off the grid completely for 40 years. But it also shows how you need to be prepared and lay up some basic technology in your experience. Their lack of metal-making and other skills seriously hurt their quality of life.
    I'm astonished that it took them a decade (IIRC) to think up hunting. WTF. And persistence hunting at that. What with no tools or fire, h0m0 ergaster was more advanced than them. Given the choice between that existence and the gulag, I'd go with the gulag.

    ETA wtf censor, that's a legit scientific word
    2014 Specialized Dolce, 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

  19. #1344
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 View Post
    I'm astonished that it took them a decade (IIRC) to think up hunting. WTF. And persistence hunting at that. What with no tools or fire, h0m0 ergaster was more advanced than them.
    Yeah, and some other hunting techniques like digging pits with punji sticks never occurred to them. Nor did the atlatl, or apparently stone age knife making. This story really puts a bottom line to technology. It show how smart and persistent our ancestors were.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  20. #1345
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Everyone talking about self-sufficient living should read about this family, the Lykovs. The were off the grid completely for 40 years. But it also shows how you need to be prepared and lay up some basic technology in your experience. Their lack of metal-making and other skills seriously hurt their quality of life.
    Amazing story... thanks for posting it.

  21. #1346
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Everyone talking about self-sufficient living should read about this family, the Lykovs. The were off the grid completely for 40 years. But it also shows how you need to be prepared and lay up some basic technology in your experience. Their lack of metal-making and other skills seriously hurt their quality of life.
    Thank you for posting this ...Wow !!, what an amazing story of human survival ..love reading those type of stories.

  22. #1347
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I recently got an iPad--my splurge for 2012. I am reading free books on it, which will defray the cost of the iPad a little.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  23. #1348
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    iPad? I don't have a tablet because I spend too much time in front of computer screens and a tablet would let me check my email every 10 minutes. One nice thing about reading a book it that it's more difficult to multi-task.

    Roody, be interested to hear what you think about your tablet in a couple of months.

  24. #1349
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I recently got an iPad--my splurge for 2012. I am reading free books on it, which will defray the cost of the iPad a little.
    E-readers or tablets with that functionality are the future of reading material. I've complained in the past that e-books cost $9.99 on Amazon when they will ship you a paperback book with the same title for $2.50. It just doesn't make sense no matter what explanation the publishers give.

    I found a solution. This does take work and it does cost a lot of money in the short term. There is a product made by Fujitsu called the Scan Snap iX500. It will scan twenty-five double sided pages in sixty seconds. This is at 150 dots per inch. It costs $449.99 at Amazon. With this machine one could purchase books for $2.50 and run the pages through the machine to put them directly onto an e-reader or tablet computer. It would take sixty books at $2.50 instead of $9.99 to pay for the device. There is a fast way to cut up a book but you'll need a power paper cutter or be very skillful with a band saw. A box of razor blades would do the trick too. It would just take longer. Feeding a three-hundred page book into the machine would only take seven minutes. Then the book could be read on the e-reader and stored there with hundreds of other books.

    If I were a voracious reader I would do this. I would rather have a library on an SD card than covering a wall in my home.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  25. #1350
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
    I found a solution. This does take work and it does cost a lot of money in the short term. There is a product made by Fujitsu called the Scan Snap iX500...
    If I were a voracious reader I would do this. I would rather have a library on an SD card than covering a wall in my home.
    If I were a voracious reader, I would rather have a library within biking distance. It is much simpler and cheaper.

    Luckily, I do, and use it frequently for free books in hardback and Kindle download format, including recent releases that are not available for $2.50 as paperbacks. The library has an extensive audio book library which can be downloaded and borrowed on-line for free.

    The free library also has music CDs and movie DVD's to borrow. The library staff will order or borrow any book, CD, or DVD that I request.

    Only downside is for those wishing to fill a bookcase or crates on the wall with books to dust off every so often.

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