My Delusional RV Dream

What’s the difference between a dream and a delusion? It may be a matter of perspective. I’ve had a dream of living full-time in an RV, a two-axle travel-trailer hitched to a truck. My wife has said that my dream is a delusion. But she says it with a grin, so… She may be right.


Simplicity

I’m not sure what attracts me to an RV for a home. It’s partly the alternative lifestyle that intrigues me. But it’s also the simplicity.

Home ownership is a big responsibility. Owning land brings benefits but also burdens. If all my stuff fit into a small box on wheels, I wonder how much easier my life could get.

Living in an RV means living on less – only the essentials. Kill the clutter! The small space limits you to just what you need. That minimalism is attractive. You must remove the less important distractions to enjoy focusing on the best and most important parts of living this one life.

That doesn’t sound too delusional.

Mobility

Besides simplicity, there’s the obvious mobility. Your house can go everywhere, so you can live anywhere. When you move, you don’t have to sell your house. Just take it with you! That’s convenient. 

Need a new job in another town? No big deal. Want to travel and see new places? No need to pack up and go. Just go!

A mobile home fits a mobile lifestyle. We have mobile pones and mobile computers that we can’t seem to live without. We’re ambulatory (fancy word for mobile) humans!

Living in a house on wheels reminds me that life is transient and temporary. You never settle into one place, one routine. But maybe that means you never really get comfortable or relax either. So much for settling down, puttin’ down some roots.

Maybe this is a bit delusional.

Practicality

I know there are many pros and cons about the practicality of adopting an RV-lifestyle. It’s not the best investment financially since RVs are valued more like cars than houses. But I know a lot of people have chosen an RV life and get along just fine.

Tight quarters do not sound cozy, especially living in a family with kids, but maybe you get used to it. Or maybe you would fight a lot, literally stepping on someone’s toes in close proximity.

And no matter what size your home is, you always tend to fill it to the brim with stuff. Clutter finds a way of piling up on flat surfaces like mold growing on a slice of bread. But at the same time, a small living space means having much less to clean! That kind of maintenance is light.

But I don’t know about the mechanical side of things: fix it yourself or haul your house to the RV dealer? Yet that’s an interesting reversal. Instead of calling a plumber out to your house, you take your house to the “plumber.”

What if someone steals your RV like a car? Then they’ve also stolen your entire home! I guess insurance would replace the few possessions you had.


Dream Or Delusion?

After my thoughts above, I’m afraid to weigh in here. Living in an RV full-time kinda seems more like a deluded notion, a fanciful fantasy that would struggle to hold up in reality.

There are people who live this way and love it. So it’s possible to make it work. But it’s probably not for everybody.

I’m willing to try it out someday and see if RV life is for me. Worst case: nightmare. Best case: dream come true. Likely case: somewhere in between.


What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

Defaulting To Android

Fewer Restrictions

Well, guess what? You might finally be able to automatically have your iPhone just open links in the Firefox or Chrome web browser – what a feature! The Verge published a great editorial about potential changes coming to iPhones; Apple may actually loosen their third-party app restrictions. Well, at least maybe a little bit. I’m already looking forward to enjoying any third-party app or feature by default. But it won’t be on Apple’s device. I’ve already decided to trade my iPhone for an Android phone.


Freedom Should Be Default

The Verge article linked above was a nice balanced piece, citing specific details as to what you, the user, can or cannot do on an iPhone. It also included examples of some of the freedom you have outside of Apple’s “walled garden.” That digital freedom is what I’m anticipating.

Veteran Apple writer at Daring Fireball, John Gruber, supports iOS becoming more flexible, which may suggest these changes, to some extent, are indeed in the works.

Although Google may be under much scrutiny for antitrust practices and the like, they at least have allowed Android to be open to third-party developers in ways far more flexible than Apple’s iOS platform. Even though the Chrome browser is pre-installed on Android, you can easily install Firefox, for example, and do the thing iOS has never allowed: make Firefox the default web browser.

There’s another example I’m eager to embrace. This one is far more personal to me. My chosen eReader and eBook supplier for years has been the de facto standard: kindle. And I’ve been shopping online at Amazon since at least 2004! But to this day, I can’t simply buy a kindle ebook in the kindle app on my iPhone. I can’t even buy it in the Amazon app! Instead, I must open the web browser, navigate to Amazon.com, login, and buy the ebook there.

Photo by Finn Hackshaw on Unsplash

And I’ve done this plenty of times. Apple’s restrictions or overbearing rules are not preventing me from buying an eBook outside of their own Apple Books app. And it’s not making me relent and switch to Apple Books for the sake of convenience. Instead, it causes me frustration. Whether Apple blocks eBook purchases in other apps or levies a tax that Amazon refuses to submit to, the result is the same. I, the average user, get dismayed (not delighted).


Future For Android

It may seem like a small thing to some. But it’s one of the little details that I’m very eager for. I can’t wait to open the kindle app on my future Android phone and just buy a book, right in the kindle app, without any roadblocks. Talk about delighting the user. So simple.

What else? How about having Google Assistant as default instead of Siri?! Seriously, there have been surveys or reports…Google Assistant is objectively better than Siri overall. And in my personal experience, I definitely find this to be consistent.

I could elaborate, but I think you get the idea. Maybe Apple opens up a bit, maybe they don’t. No worries. I’m movin on to Android where openness has been established. (Yeah, “open” to some triggers feelings of “insecure” or “not private”…maybe I’ll blog about that in another post.)


What do you think? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Unchained Audio

A few days ago, I did one of those “finally” things. For years, I tolerated a tangle of wires, like tentacles tethered to my head. Those famous white earbuds and their silhouette ads from Apple…always untying the undying knots. But no more! I bought my first pair of wireless headphones; here are my first impressions.


Wave bye to wireville

Before I went wireless, I had to add more wire to Apple’s little white earbuds, thanks to the iPhone 7’s lack of a perfectly good 3.5mm audio port. For $10, I bought a 4 inch long extra piece of white wire with an adapter on the end – yes that’s right, I got a dongle. So I paid for more tangle!

Besides that, I went from Apple’s in-ear buds (which hurt when I first used them) to a good pair of Sony’s on-ear cans – traditional wired headphones. The key feature I loved about them: bass! Lots of bass. All the bass. But of course, their little downfall was the cable that liked to get caught on things. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of headphones getting yanked off your head.

Welcome to wirelessness

How did I cut the Gordian knot of earphone ropes? Wire problem, meet solution: Bluetooth. So you might think I sprung for Apple’s popular AirPods. I was tempted by them many times and nearly bought a pair last Christmas. But I always hesitated because of three concerns: would they actually fit in my ears, would they fall out of my ears and get lost, and how could I pay so much for audio without bass? It seemed like a bad proposition. Sure, I love convenience and Apple quality, but those were not enough to push me over the edge for expensive wire-free earbuds.

There had to be a good option between the $10 adapter I bought and the $169 AirPods for sale. Of course, I found a ton of options on Amazon. The real kicker is, I found a pair of bluetooth headphones for the magically low cost of $29! At such a wallet friendly price, there wasn’t much to lose; I finally pulled that trigger.


MPOW H1 Bluetooth Headphones

I’d never heard of MPOW, but many others have. On Amazon, MPOW’s original bluetooth headphones have a ba-zillion mind-blowing reviews – OK, so it’s actually just over 20,000 as of this writing, which is a lot! – the average rating is 4.4 out of 5 stars! How could a pair of bluetooth headphones be so good for so little money? Was it too good to be true? Then I noticed MPOW’s updated version, the H1 wireless headphones. They have almost 2,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.3.

Just $29! – ADD TO CART and CHECKOUT!

Two days later – thanks Prime! – I charge up and try out my first pair of untethered ear massaging music blasters – YES! My first impressions are aural amazement! I am loving these things! I don’t know how MPOW does it, but these headphones look and feel far better than what you’d expect for $29. And they work great so far. Without hyperbole, I can say they’ve exceeded my expectations.

The ear pieces are large but not unsightly on my noggin. And as advertised, they are very comfortable. The buds I used are in-ear, the Sonys are on-ear, but these MPOWs are over-ear. When I wear them, it’s like I enter another place. They keep outside noise out and create an inner ear atmosphere for podcasts and music.

I’m no audio-phile, and I have tinnitus, so keep that in mind. But I think these headphones sound terrific! They have bass! But not too much. In fact, the highs seem to stand out the most, being very bright and crisp. Yet they sound balanced and pleasing. And their volume can get crazy loud. The slider on my phone is far to the left! But I don’t touch that much because the MPOWs have volume buttons on the right side!

Pairing the headphones was super easy. I don’t know if the process is onerous with other brands, but it seems like Apple’s AirPods suggest it is. These MPOWs may be an exception – there was no fuss at all. And they stay paired! I simply turn them on or off and a lady’s voice inside says, “Power on/off, connected/disconnected.” They just work.

Power is also no problem. After a couple hours of initial charge, I have yet needed to recharge. With intermittent use, I get several days – not hours – out of these bad boys! And in case they lose all their power, these headphones also have a built-in 3.5mm jack and include the cable for it too. Yes, if your battery dies, you can go from wireless to wired, but let’s not go back.


Wish I hadn’t waited

Sometimes after buying something, you feel what’s called Buyer’s Remorse – some regret. With these headphones, you feel reward! My purchase of these has been, “Why’d I wait so long?”

If you’re hunting for bluetooth headphones, or still dreaming of living wire-free, you should give these a try.


Do you enjoy AirPods? Or do you cling tenaciously to their cabled cousins? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Footloose And Facebook-Free

Today is the day that my Facebook account info is permanently deleted. This ends my fourth and shortest round of Facebooking. And, dare I say, it is my final round. No more Zuckerberg productions for me.


I’m Done With That

I finally deleted my Facebook account back in April – 30 days ago. So I got the standard message informing me it would take that long to remove all traces of my digital existence from the social network. Except, of course, for my shadow profile. Right?

Actually, it would not surprise me if Facebook archived my stuff and did not truly delete it. Who knows what really happens? I can’t say I trust Facebook after more than a decade of privacy violations and such.

So how’s it been since I quit? Well, it’s not like I quit cold turkey. I had disengaged considerably since last December. By the time I nuked my Facebook account from orbit, I was pretty much over it. In the last 30 days, I have not missed Facebook one bit.

I really think I’m off Facebook for good and forever. And it really seems like that’s finally become more of a general trend. There a media reports every week against Facebook.


Divide And Conquer

One huge and excellent opinion piece was recently in the New York Times, written by Chris Hughes. It’s an authoritative summary of Facebook’s flaws and faults. And it’s an imperative call to change the way fractured Facebook is managed because of its ill-effects on our society and democracy.

In other words, there’s been so much smoke about Facebook, there must be a real fire there; it’s not a false alarm.

I still think Facebook is far too big and influential – powerful – to be under the total control of one idealistic person, who happens to be Mark Zuckerberg at the moment.

Do I think Facebook should be broken up? Yep, I do. If nothing else, I think Whatsapp and Instagram should be separated out and be on their own as they once were. But I admit that I don’t know what the best solution is to “fixing Facebook.”

The trouble is, I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg knows the solution either. And while it may be less than ideal to call on the US government to solve the social network, it seems to be the next best step at this point.

Too many seasons and scandals have passed under Zuckerberg’s watch; there must be a better watch. And it must be a group of people, not one person with majority shares.


Time will tell what happens. Facebook might limp on for a while. Either way, I’m running fine without it! We all can!

I like the way Kermit sang this wisdom,

Movin’ right along in search of good times and good news, With good friends you can’t lose.

Forget Facebook. We can have good times and good news without the Newsfeed. We have good friends we can’t lose even when we delete Facebook.

I say,

Movin’ right along, footloose and Facebook-free!


Are you going to delete Facebook? Why or why not? Comment below or message me. Nice to hear from you! Thanks for reading.