Sunday, September 19, 2021

Kickstarter or Go Fund Me


*****

 I am contemplating using the following file as my opening letter for a funding site to ask for help with my moving expenses. I am considering Kickstarter and Go Fund Me. If you have any suggestions please drop me a note. Should I or should I not do this.

*****

What I am hoping to do is raise $2,500+ for my relocation to the Las Vegas Valley so that I can finish my primary photography project and expand into other media projects. I am a 72-year-old retired over-the-road truck driver and I am a veteran. If I had the stamina I would still be working as a driver and would not have to ask for help. When I arrive in the Las Vegas Valley I plan to place all of my belongings in storage and live in my van while hunting a room-share to rent and while waiting for an opening at the Boulder City complex where I plan to live permanently. Following is an explanation of why I need help funding my move.

In April of 2019, I was living in Henderson, NV., and waiting on a low-income senior housing apartment complex in Boulder City, NV. to call me. I was on a waiting list for an apartment in this complex since May of 2017. While in the Las Vegas Valley I spent 2.5 years photographing the community parks, preserves, trails, memorials, monuments, and museums in and around the Las Vegas Valley. Since leaving the Las Vegas Valley I have spent much of my time editing and posting my photography work on a (bwmedia702.com) website and on my Adobe and Alamy  Stock photo sites. Completing this project is one of my reasons for returning to the Las Vegas Valley. But, I love the desert, and Boulder City is a beautiful small town that is close enough for me to do the work I am trying to do.

In November of 2019, I returned to Oklahoma to care for an ailing sister. The Boulder City apartment complex called me in December of 2019. But, I stayed in Oklahoma to care for my sister and act as her Power of Attorney. My sister passed away in October of 2020.

I filed the paperwork again with the Boulder City apartment complex in April of 2021. I was #87 on their list. As of September 13, 2021, I am somewhere lower than #42.

In February of 2021, I completed my sister's legal matters and moved to the Las Vegas Valley. However, I was unsuccessful in finding a place to live in March and April and had to return to Oklahoma. I put my belongings in storage and spent almost 2 months living in my van while looking for a place to live with no success. Since the end of February and by June of 2021 I had lost 38 pounds. I was dehydrated and sick. So, I began renting a bedroom and bathroom from my older sister in Clinton, OK. while deciding what to do.

Knowing that I still want to live in Boulder City, NV. I knew I did not want to sign a one-year lease that would keep me from being able to lease an apartment in Boulder City, NV. The bank I have held an account with since the mid-’90’s has agreed to make me a loan when I move. However, doing this will put me in a very tight spot financially for the next 2 years. Thus, I am asking for help via this program.

*****

Adobe Stock: https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/200825070/Keith%20Birmingham

Alamy Stock: https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/keithbirmingham

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Trucker Coming Home


An Old Flame
*****

In just under 2 months it will be 12 years since I retired from the trucking industry due to ill heath from exhaustion. I now have two hobbies. One (music) makes me happy. The other (photography) makes me money, keeps me happy, and is bringing me home to the trucking industry. When the mind is clear decisions are easier to make. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

A Long Weekend in Weatherford, Oklahoma - What To Do


 A Long Weekend in Weatherford, Oklahoma - What To Do

 

“Oklahoma is boring,” is what I would often hear from other trukers over a c.b. conversation or sitting in a truckers lounges. “Get off of the interstate and take a better look,” is my usual response to people I meet that say Oklahoma is a bore to drive through. The truth is that every state in the union has boring highways and byways. But, if you are really looking for adventure, education, physical activities, or just something/anything to do every state in the union has something for everyone who is willing to take the time and initiative to look. And, there is lots to see and do in Weatherford, Oklahoma.

 

Where to stay if you are in an RV or are a camper you might want to park at Wanderlust Crossings: From I-40 while traveling east or west just take exit #84. Turn south on and travel 1/4 mile. You will see their sign on the left. Turn left into the park.

(580) 772-2800
1038 Airport Rd
Weatherford OK 73096

https://www.wanderlustcrossings.com/

 

A list of Things to do in Weatherford, Ok.

1.) Rader Park: http://cityofweatherford.com/rader-park-2/

Ole' Fishin' Hole (a great place for teaching children to fish), Disk (Frisbee). Nature trail with fish observation pond.

 

2.) Prairie West Golf Club: 18 holes of some of the best greens in the state. Monthly memberships for non-resident golfers. 18-Hole golf course, clubhouse, & enclosed cart storage. Phone - (580)-772-3832. Website - https://www.prairiewestgolf.com/

 

3.) Don Mitchell Rodeo Arena: 2525 Lyle Rd. Weatherford, OK 73096. (580) 774-3063

 

4.) Sand Plum Trail: A moderate marked and paved one-mile trail around a thickly wooded and brushy area. The area is a very educational resource for nature lovers, and for kids from 4 to 140. It is also a popular community exercise location.

 

5.) 10 acres with community activity bldg. Splash Pad, playground, ball fields, 11 soccer fields, 6 baseball field, volleyball court, 2 Softball fields, bird sanctuary, archery range & trap range, horseshoe pits, tennis courts, 2 Basketball half courts with six more to follow.

 

All four items are contained within Rader Park

Directions for items 1 through 4: From on I-40 going east or west to exit #84 on the east side of Weatherford. Take the north side frontage road west to (1.5 miles) Lyle Road. Go north for 2 miles. This will put you in the middle of Rader Park. Sand Plum Trail parking is 1 mile further north. The Ole’ Fishin’ Hole is 1 mile west of Sand Plum Trail. The playgrounds, ballparks, rodeo grounds, and Prairie West Golf Club is accessible from Lyle Road. https://www.alltrails.com/explore?b_tl_lat=35.59981064298296&b_tl_lng=-98.71971130371094&b_br_lat=35.560928639877176&b_br_lng=-98.63825798034668

 

6.) The Oklahoma “Heartland of America” Museum: https://www.oklahomaheartlandmuseum.com/

 

7.) Stafford Air and Space Museum: https://staffordmuseum.org/

 

8.) SWOSU Pioneer Cellular Events Center: 900 N. 7th St., Weatherford, OK 73096. Office: 580.774.3700.

@ https://pioneercellulareventcenter.com

 

9.) SWOSU football: ASAP Energy Field - Check the Football Schedule: https://swosuathletics.com/sports/football/schedule.

 

10.) War Memorial: This three-stone memorial is a tribute to Custer County soldiers who died in  any of the five American Wars: Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.   The Memorial is, dedicated on July 4, 1993, in Weatherford’s Heritage Park, sponsored by      Custer County VFW Posts along with other donors. Their names are inscribed at the base of the memorial. https://www.experienceweatherford.com/business/heritage-park.

 

11.) Heritage Park: https: 521 West Rainey, Weatherford OK. https://www.experienceweatherford.com/business/heritage-park.

Monday, August 16, 2021

August, 2021 Update

My computer work has made me this way.

*****

I have been a poor excuse of a blogger, but I hope to change that, starting now. I will write this short post and I will soon go to bed. But, tomorrow I plan to 1.) Do more research on working remotely. 2.) Begin restructuring my workload, and making it smaller. 3.) And, finding a better way to get myself to sit down to write about whatever it is I am involved in. I used to write. I know I can do it. It is just a matter of mindset.

I know this is a bit of an insane post but as usual, I am in a hurry. Also, I am trying to find a way to get started with a weekend warrior van life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Update: June 10, 2021


Bugout Buggy
*****
The fiasco I have been going thru since the last week of February has set my van life plans on hold for the foreseeable future. I do not have the equipment needed to live in the van even halfway comfortably in the summer heat. So, as of today I plan to stay in Oklahoma and be a weekend van-life warrior. I now have a home available to me, but I do not know how long that will be. So, I will stay here, do some fishing, make a few weekend type photo trips, and try to save money for another attempt at moving. But, this time, I will not go unless the friend that I do have in Las Vegas has an opening for me in his house, or the apartment complex that I am trying to move into Boulder City, NV. calls to say they have an apartment available for me.
*****


Friday, April 30, 2021

Living the Life,-UGH.


Jackery 240
*****

So far, as expected, it is not what it is supposed to be. It is not fun. After a solid week of living in my van I am still on a learning curve. Tomorrow I will go back to my storage to get rid of more dead weight and make changes with what I carry and how I pack it. 

Since the last week of February, I have been in and out of van life. At this point, I still do not know if my body will let me do this. That is why I am using my van life break-in period to explore other avenues including getting an apartment or buying an RV. I will have to make some decisions soon.
 
My biggest hang-up so far is my physical health. I have suffered immensely from the physical work that I have had to do over the past two months. I will say that the soreness is subsiding and my shoulder seems to be healing. So, I do hope that I will soon start clicking the camera shutter, editing, posting, and playing music again soon. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Van-Life Begins

Home Sweet Home

*****

Just a short note to declare that this is the beginning of my adventure into a van-life. In the past week or so I have actually slept in my van 3 times while I was equipping the van and getting things done for personal stuff.

I have stopped to visit a few parks that I do plan to return to and photograph in the near future. Although I took a few photos at each place it may be a while before they are edited and posted.

Still, I will mostly be around Oklahoma City for a few days. On Monday I plan to visit a senior apartment complex to get on their list for an apartment just in case I need one in the future. Also, I have a few things to do of a personal nature in western Oklahoma, and I hope to make my first photo outing soon.

So, this is the true beginning of my adventure. Wish me luck.



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Not The Right Time But Not Giving Up

I have just returned from a 4 week trip to Las Vegas. The trip was to find a place to live until my apartment in Boulder City, (just southeast and out of the Las Vegas Valley) Nevada became available. Not only was the trip a bust but I am sick, sore, and tired from the trip. I have been back in Oklahoma for 4 days, slept in a real bed once, and about to try out a new mattress I put in my van yesterday.

I have not and will not give up on having a van-life but tomorrow I will see my former landlady to see if I can return to the complex where I last lived. If she lets me in now I will take it. If she puts me on a waiting list I will live in my van and travel and photograph Oklahoma to get an idea of whether I can do the van-life.

While my van is purposely currently rigged with portable camping equipment throughout. This is for a reason. Since buying the van I have needed a camper van, a passenger van, and a utility van. But, today I took a look at what is there and how it sits in my van, and I now know what I want to build to put in my van and follow one simple theme I have in mind: Keep it simple, keep it fun, and get it done.


*****

 

Friday, February 12, 2021

DESTINATION LAS VEGAS, NEVADA


Las Vegas is that way.

***** 

No, it is not the casinos, although I occasionally dine in them. No, it is not the cities. I can’t stand the traffic or to be in the same valley as 3 million other people. But, take a drive outside of the Las Vegas Valley, pick a spot to park, get out of your car, and take a deep breath.

Take a look at the landscape. I am always surprised when people say they see nothing but barren mountains. I see life. I see adventure. I see nature at its finest. I see and talk to God.


On the road to Mt. Charleston
*****
When I am truthful with myself, I know that Las Vegas is simply my main camp, a starting point. And, I realize that what is really calling to me is the open road, all of the mountain ranges that are west of Interstate 35, and all of the adventures that are waiting for me.


Pahrump road trip.
*****


Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Countdown Begins


This is my Bucket List Buggy. Her name may change but that is what she actually is.

*****

Better World Media (studio) will soon be going on the road in search of a better world. And, I think I will be happy no matter which direction I take. Right now, I still plan to leave Weatherford, Oklahoma, but I am not sure which option I will take. I feel like a new world is opening up to me. I may stay in Oklahoma or go to Florida or go to Nevada, but I will go. I believe that for the short term, maybe the long term, I will be living in my van, doing my photography, and playing my music.

Right now, I am simply waiting for the weather to break. Spring is almost here. My rent is paid until the end of this month, and the biggest decision I have to make is whether to take my worldly possessions with me or just put them in storage here in Oklahoma.

For the people who think I am crazy for doing this, - well, I might be, but it is the challenge that I need at this point in my life. For all I know, I may quickly find out that a nomadic lifestyle is not for me. Or, I may find that I should have been doing the nomad thing all of my life. Actually, as an over-the-road trucker for most of the 35-years that I was in the trucking industry, I have led a nomadic lifestyle. And, I have always been a minimalist. But, for the first time in my life, I will not worry that I may need to be somewhere else or doing something else for someone else. And, I can hardly wait to get started.

When I actually leave it will look something like this. The bedding will change.

*****

I will be starting out with the bare minimum of possessions. I will have my clothes with me. I will have my camera, computer and music gear. I will have my heating and cooling systems and the power sources to run all of my equipment. And, I will carry some tools. To start with, I will have a minimum of kitchen supplies, and there is a reason for that. I hate to cook, I hate to clean, and I hate a dirty kitchen.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Myriad Botanical Gardens, OKC.

Every citizen living in Oklahoma City lives within 6 blocks of a community maintained park and/or trail. The city has over 90 miles of trails for your enjoyment.

*****

If I do not change my mind by this coming Thursday I will give my landlady a 30-day notice to vacate my apartment. I am still considering my options on what to do and where to go. Many things will control my final choice. My #1 choice is back to NV. I may have a place to stay when I get there, but I'm sure I can find a place if I choose to look. But, I may throw my belongings in storage and live in my van for a while. Or, if it looks like the economy is going south I may decide to just put my stuff in storage in OKC and boon-dock out of Oklahoma.

I was in OKC earlier today visiting my son. I was debating on whether to spend money on boondocking gear today, but I am trying to talk myself into waiting to see what happens. That gear will always be available, but I may need that money for something else before that. Either way, by mid-March I should be fine with or without the gear.

 If I stay in Oklahoma much of my time will be spent in Oklahoma City shooting local parks, preserves, trails, memorials, monuments, and museums there, but I will also travel around the state, and maybe Texas, to do my work. But, I already have 4 years of work wrapped up in Las Vegas. For that reason, I think I should try to base myself out of Las Vegas at least long enough to finish that job.

*****

Monday, January 11, 2021

Shooting Stock - A Bit of What to Expect

Putting your photography work on stock agency sites will probably never become your primary source of income. But, it should be considered a viable source for creating "some" income. And, you will have more chance of creating that income as long as you keep adding photos to your stock agency. But, you still need to conduct your business in a way that gets those who lease or purchase your photos to come back for more. Like almost all businesses, photography is a business that needs repeat clients to survive. 

I know that I will need to add a few thousand more photos to start showing a useful income from my stock photography. I currently have around 800 photos on my Adobe Stock site. Most of these are photos of community parks in the Las Vegas Valley. My target market for these is rather small, and I am surprised every time I sign on and another purchase of my work has been made. I plan to use them to help me create a "stay local" market using another specialty.

Currently, I hope to spend a couple of years traveling to photograph parks, preserves, trails, memorials, monuments, and museums all over America. This is my bucket list work. But, I know that someday I will want to do far less traveling.m my work. I also have around 100 photo nature photos on my Alamy Stock site. And, yes, I know that both sites are going to need several thousand more photos on each site to really start showing an income. However, like most people, I like to eat. So, I need to produce an income. That is why I am preparing to go "old school" with my marketing program. It is my opinion that although the internet is a great tool for marketing your work it does lack the feeling that personal contact can give your business.


One more piece of info for those who may be thinking of adding their work to stock agency sites. The amount of time you spend doing this will be your biggest challenge. It is why most photographers give up shooting stock.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Cornerstone Park, Henderson, NV.


*****

Cornerstone Park, - take your pick. Lots of available activities. Run or walk around the lake. Cornerstone Park has walking trails that include connections to the Pittman Wash Trail and Union Pacific Railroad trails. Slow down and photograph the abundant wildlife. A great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of The Strip, Fremont Street, and city life. Have a picnic.

Cornerstone Park has been a popular destination for Henderson residents since 2012. Funded by the Bureau of Land Management. Abundant part time resident wildlife includes the following birds: American avocets, great egret, black-necked stilt, long-billed curlew, ring-billed gull. Resident bird species include: pied-billed grebe, double-crested cormorant, Canada geese, snow geese, mallard, American coot, great blue heron, green heron, killdeer, Anna’s humming bird, Costa’s hummingbird, black phoebe, Say’s phoebe, cliff swallow, yellow-headed blackbird, and great-tailed grackle.

Amenities: pavilions, warming kitchens, restrooms, 100 acres, lighted volleyball courts, corporate plaza area, open grass areas, covered picnic areas, picnic tables, lighted basketball courts, 31-acre lake, covered picnic areas, walking trails, exercise stairs,