Category Archives: DIY

How to have more spending money

There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.

Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….

The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.

For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.

There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials.  In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:

  1. Live in a smaller place.  Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
  2. If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company.  All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
  3. Drive a smaller car.  Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine.  If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
  4. Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
  5. Learn some DIY skills.  You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners.  It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
  6. Cut out impulse purchases.  On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like.  All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
  7. Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place.  A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  8. Don’t try to buy love.  It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  9. Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
  10. Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies.  You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
  11. Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
  12. Buy generic brands.  Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content.  Only the packaging is different.
  13. If you can, then buy in bulk.
  14. Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch.  Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway.  And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
  15. Don’t join a gym.  Most of the people who have gym membership never go there.  For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
  16. Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
  17. Don’t give to a big charity.  (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves?  The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
  18. Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.

And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest.  Credit cards are NOT money.  Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.

You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own.  For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked.  Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.

Some say that money can’t buy happiness.  And that a fool and his money are soon parted.  All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..

Teardrop Trailer Kits

You need time, effort, and creativity to build anything worthwhile.

I intend to build a tiny teardrop trailer sometime this summer.  These tiny camping trailers are built on a commercially built trailer frame, on top of which a plywood structure is mounted.

I could build this from scratch, just using half-inch sheets of 8′ X 4′ plywood I cut to shape for myself, or I could buy a kit ~ and I think I’m going to buy a kit.

Some of the available kits include:

http://tinyhouseblog.com/travel-trailers/teardrop-trailer-kits/ 

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https://www.theteardroptrailer.com/step-by-step-pg1

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Make: features 11 Teardrop Trailer Builds on its blog.

https://makezine.com/2015/09/23/teardrop-trailer-builds/

Including this, which I really like because of its squared-off shape, which will give more usable space than a ‘classic’ teardrop shape.

This is totally home built from scratch on a commercially bought steel trailer frame.

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This teardrop camper kit is from Fyne Boat Kits, and I really like its sculptural, upturned, boat-shaped design.

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So-Cal Teardrops has a range of kits, including this off-roader.

http://www.socalteardrops.com/gallery.php?g=12

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And, Little Guy Trailers has this 5 foot wide teardrop kit.

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Or, I could also build just from plans, like the Wyoming Woody.

http://teardropbuilder.com/plans-design-documents/wyoming-woody-teardrop-plans

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Core Values

Core Values are who you are when no one is watching.

Appreciation of natural beauty is one of my core values.

I cannot claim to know, accept, and understand in detail what my core values about Life are.  In fact, I even had to check the definition of ‘core values’ before I could work on knowing, accepting, and understanding my own core values.  The various definitions seem to coalesce into;

Core Values are Fundamental Beliefs and Principles that guide a person’s conduct and relationships with others.

It would appear that Core Values can be positive, negative, or pretty meaningless and neutral.  I firmly believe that almost everyone has all three types of core values, and we all have more negative core values than we would like to believe.

My own negative core values include;

  • Everybody lies.
  • The world is full of fools, and 90% of the people I meet will be much less intelligent than I.
  • The world is a dangerous and brutal place, and a man has to be capable, knowledgable, and tough to survive and thrive.
  • Casual sex, first date sex, sex with multiple partners, picking up girls in bars ~ are all reprehensible behaviours.

My more positive core values include;

  • Treating my friends with kindness, consideration, acceptance, understanding, and unselfish love.
  • A belief that there is great beauty in this world, and it should be protected, celebrated, and appreciated.
  • Life is short, and I should therefore make the very most of every minute of every single day.
  • I should continue to strive for self-improvement and self-awareness.
  • We should treat all others as well as we possibly can, just as we ourselves would wish to be treated.

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  ~  J.K. Rowling

As it goes, I have a small problem with the quote from J.K. Rowling, as it makes the assumption that some people are superior to others, ergo some people are inferior.  Actually, this is true, but it is not a pleasant thought.

My wishy-washy, neutral and meaningless core beliefs include a belief that politics, and religion are pointless, dishonest, and self-serving.  Which may really be more negative than neutral.

There are some other words which resonate with me when it comes to my core values;

Honesty, Integrity, Individuality, Enjoyment, Trustworthiness, Reliability, Wisdom, Simplicity, Learning, Discipline, Truthfulness, Politeness…..  All of these words should probably form part of my written core values.

It’s actually all pretty difficult stuff.  I think I need to meditate, or take a long walk, or just let my subconscious mind ponder the whole subject of my own core values for a while.  It could take the rest of my life.  It should take the rest of my life.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Dawn seen from the garret.

 

 

 

 

Sponsored by:  http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced DIY

Really successful engineering is all about understanding how something will break or fail.

For some strange reason I am blessed with the ability to fix almost anything, install almost anything, make almost anything, and build almost anything.

I built myself a Caterham / Lotus 7 sports-racing car, which I then drove all over Europe on long road trips.  The trip I enjoyed most in this little car was driving down the entire Loire Valley in France.  (Or maybe it was the Stelvio Pass.)

Minor pieces of carpentry are child’s play for me ~ which is why I could rip out the old kitchen in my garret and replace it with something that I liked and suited my needs.

(With help from my friend Marmaduke of course.)

I’ve also erected log cabins and built vacation homes from plywood.  (This is a stock picture, not one of mine)

Sometimes, half way through a project, I’ve wondered why I started, and if the thing would ever be finished.  The picture above shows this kind of ‘why am I doing this’ project. Although, this wreck of an Austin-Healey Sprite turned into a really beautiful little car, finished in British Racing Green as a frog-eye.  (the almost completed little car, I like that I did the white stripes)

For my next project I’m thinking about finding an old school bus, rebuilding it as an RV, (Recreational Vehicle), and then spending an entire year in the thing, touring as much of the USA as I can, on the longest road trip ever.

Something you need, if you want to tackle advanced DIY projects, is a really, really comprehensive tool kit.  And, take my advice, always buy the very best tools you can afford.  (You may need a hard hat.)

This post is sponsored by:  http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some power tools are a must have

click on the power tools picture

Relaxation and Right Thinking

Anger blows out the candle of the mind.

People are telling me that I need to relax more, stop being angry, stop being paranoid…

Anger, confusion, and paranoia are all symptoms of a chronic lack of thiamine and potassium in the blood stream ~ and I was suffering from that.  (But so are nausea, heart palpitations, strokes, and death through heart failure)

I realise that I have been holding on to anger from the past.  I need to let go of this anger and stop letting it rule me.  The time to deal with anger and paranoia are when I first feel it ~ I need to relax, let go, and not let anger and paranoia fester in my mind.

Yet I know how to relax, and it’s really very simple.

  • Take a walk by the sea.

  • Practice clean deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga.
  • Stay away from any booze.
  • Take a long bath with some relaxing music playing.
  • Get plenty of good quality sleep.
  • Talk with my family and friends.
  • Keep my apartment clean and tidy.
  • Read something inspirational and mindful.
  • Do something creative ~ like writing this blog, making something, cooking…
  • Check my thinking and let go of negative thoughts.
  • Go back to seeing a professional counsellor.
  • Build and photograph a rock stack by the sea.

There is something very therapeutic about building a rock stack.

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Food on Friday will return next week.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures taken with a Lumix.

 

2017 Resolutions

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The Four Great Truths I will follow in 2017;
  1. Accept that Life is difficult and painful.
  2. The underlying causes of my problems and pain are giving in to my own cravings, lusts, desires, and my blaming of others.
  3. I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change how I react.
  4. The path to freedom from suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.

These are not the ‘normal’ kind of New Year’s Resolutions, but I believe they will work for me in 2017.  My spirit can be free to fly through blue skies.

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p1050118jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke makes a Christmas present

Christmas Carpenter Bear

My little teddy bear likes to do a bit of woodwork.  And, like me, he’d rather make a Christmas present than buy one.  There’s more love and care in something one has made, as opposed to something you’ve bought at the store.

So he’s been making me a coffee table for Christmas.  Marmaduke may have an ulterior motive in making this little table ~ it’s just the right size for him to have a clandestine teddy bears’ picnic.

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christmas-cardsMerry Christmas Marmaduke

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke’s Christmas Bird House

Marmaduke the Teddy Bear Carpenter

He’s very skilled for a little teddy bear, and Marmaduke also loves nature, so he’s been making a rustic bird house to keep the little robin redbreasts safe over the cold winter.  And, like a good little bear, he’s finished the work well in time for Christmas.

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The snag was, when he’d finished the thing, he wanted to keep it for himself, and moved in with all his possessions, even his marmalade.

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Eventually he realised that the little birds needed it more than he does, so now it’s gone.  Marmaduke loves robyns especially.

All cool guys should be able to do a little woodwork, it’s an urban survival skill.

WAF Landscape Christmas Cards.qxdjack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke’s Wildlife Woodwork

p1050273After the success he had making a traditional North of England wooden stool, (a cracket), Marmaduke has been looking around for his next project.  He and I had a few words of disagreement about making a mess in the garret, but as usual he has got his way.

So now he’s got lots of board-feet of treated timber, and he’s going to make a bird table.  (For the life of me I can’t remember what bird tables are called in the USA.)

The garret is full of pressure treated out-doors type wood.

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And Marmaduke says that he’s going to make something like this.

windrush-bird-table-k87hg_original

I said he should hurry up and get it done.  For; the north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, and what will poor Robyn do then, poor thing?

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dscf0011jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Woodwork at Advent

There is something very therapeutic about working with wood.

Marmaduke and I made a stool as a Christmas gift for a close friend.  A cool guy should be able to do some carpentry.

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By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.  ~  Desiderius Erasmus

I seem to have really caught the carpentry bug again.  So, what’s next?  Build a boat in the basement?

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p1050279no little teddy bears were hurt during the making of this little cracket

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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