Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Bouncing Back and Starting Over

 


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I don’t know. My name is Keith Birmingham. I am 73 years old. I was an over-the-road trucker for 35 years. Trucking is a profession that constantly puts you in positions where you must be self-sufficient because there is no one around to help when you need it. Now, 12 years after retirement for medical reasons and exhaustion, I need help.

What will the money be used for?
I hope to raise $2000 to $2,500 thru this fundraiser. It will cost $280 to rent a U-haul trailer to tow what I have in Oklahoma out to Boulder City, NV. I will then need to drop back down to Bullhead City, AZ. to get my household goods out of storage there. That is if I get a call from the Boulder City, Nevada senior apartment complex. I have been on their waiting list for an apartment for a total of over 4 years now. If I can raise enough money by the time they call I will pack what I have in my van and head west. I may have two other options if I do not get the call from Boulder City, NV. (1.) My son may soon be moving to Phoenix, AZ. Since I am currently staying at his residence, that will leave me homeless in Oklahoma. There is a possibility that I will go there with him to wait for a call from Boulder City, NV. But, (2.) if push comes to shove, I will find a place in Oklahoma to live. I will need a place soon.

There will be other moving expenses that can only be estimated, such as gas ($500), food ($100), and lodging ($300) while traveling. I will need to pay a deposit ($535) on my new apartment. And, I will probably need to pay utility hookup fees. That will leave about $500 to $700 for surprise fees that no one counts on while moving.

So, what has happened to put me in this situation?
In Nov. of 2019, I was on a waiting list in Boulder City, NV. for an apartment in a low-income, senior citizen apartment complex. Of course, a week after I returned to Oklahoma I got the call from Boulder City. I turned down the apartment. I moved back from Las Vegas to care for an ailing sister who passed away on October 17, 2020. At that time I called the Boulder City complex and got back on their waiting list. I tried to move back to Nevada to find a place to live while waiting for Boulder City to call me again. Basically, due to the pandemic Las Vegas housing is in chaos, and after 3 failed attempts to move back to Nevada, I am homeless, either living in my van or bouncing around between relatives to have a place to stay. This needs to end ASAP.

And, on my 73rd birthday, January 22, 2022, the motor blew up in my only transportation, a 2002 Ford E-150 van, It wound up costing over $7,000 to put a new motor in it. Because I really had no other options I now owe $10,272 dollars on a 20-year-old van. But, And, it took around 3 months to get it done. I do have transportation. And, while working on that, on February 19th I had an operation on my (retina) left eye. I am still in the final stages of recovery from the operation. And, I hope finally, my van was severely damaged on June 16th when I was rear

This GoFundMe is actually a continuation of a mostly failed GoFundMe from back in February of this year. I believe the reason it failed was mostly my fault in that I did not take the time to learn what to do or how to work with it, and everything about my situation was in turmoil. And, because of the things that have happened in my life since January 22, 2022, I am still in a predicament. However, thanks to a total of $540 donated to me by friends and relatives thru my first GoFundMe, I was at least able to keep going and try to figure things out. Now, I want to try again.

Back to Work
My eye doctor has partially released me to go back to work. I believe my final appointment at the eye clinic is in early August. However, I am now going through the Veterans Administration to get a vision test and new glasses. That is supposed to happen in the next two weeks. Once that is done I plan to try to get my CDL-A back and try to return to driving a truck. That will put a roof over my head and pay the bills that I have accumulated since January. My Soc. Sec. check has been sufficient to pay my way for the past 12 years and should still be good enough if I cannot return to the trucking industry. However, I hope to find other employment if I am unable to get my CDL back for medical reasons.
Illustration of helping hands

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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

$VanManHKB

This is the lady I slept with when I retired 12 years ago 

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My problem, after spending $7000 on a new motor for my van last month and about $450 on van repairs not covered by the warranty on my new motor, - I am flat broke. I will start my van-life with no money for fuel to get anywhere and just a few days of food available for the entire month of June.   

What I hope to do is leave my 12-year retirement and return to work as an OTR trucker. Yes, the odds are against me, but I am tired of living in the poverty that my Social Security provides. Passing a DOT physical is just the first test. Because of former health issues, I will probably be forced to take a stress test and a sleep apnea test.

If I can survive the month of July I can start slowly moving westward toward Nevada while working with my original van-life plans which are written about elsewhere in this blog. And, I can try to find a western regional truck line to work for. Or, I can search for a driving job out of OKC and do my photography work around Oklahoma and Texas.

To cut this blog post short I will now ask readers if you can use your CASH APP to send a helping hand. Please, click on my CashTag and help me out. Thanks. 

CashTag: $VanManHKB

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

What Else Can I Do


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What I  am looking at now is staying in Oklahoma until the seniors' apartment complex in Boulder City calls me. In about a month, my eye will heal enough for new glasses. Once I get them I can try to get my CDL Class A license again and get back on the road. If that fails I may just stay in Oklahoma The problem now is that I am low on funds and have no place to live in Oklahoma either except for my van. But, that may be where I have always been headed anyway..

In 2 months I will have what I hope is my last appointment with my eye doctor, I hope. I will then go thru the VA to get an eye exam and new glasses. I will then, try to find a place to get a DOT physical that will not require me to have a sleep apnea test and a stress test. If they all demand those tests I will try to find financial help through rehab to get them. Once that is done I will try to find myself a west coast run out of OKC, and/or apply to companies with west coast regional runs. I have no desire to run west of the I-35 corridor.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

It Is Almost That Time


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Should I stay or should I go? I have two choices, but I must decide soon. My easy choice is to stay in Oklahoma. But, if I do this I still would need to make the trip to Bullhead City, AZ. to retrieve the stuff that was left in storage out there.  I can do this safely as long as I have no problems on the trip. But, I have been struggling to save up enough money to head back to Nevada. I now have enough money to get me there, but it will be a few more weeks before I can safely go with no worries about money. The problem with it all is that I fear that if I do not go soon I stand to lose everything that I have had to leave in storage in Bullhead City, AZ. when I came back to Oklahoma.

My preference is to return to Nevada to stay. My hopes, my plans, and my dreams are all in Nevada. But, if my Boulder City, Nevada apartment complex does not call soon I will be depending strongly on the VA programs that are available in the Las Vegas Valley. And, a lot will depend on whether or not I can go back to work driving a truck.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Donate Thru CashApp


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I have spoken with a couple of people today that have run successful fundraisers thru GoFundMe. They both think that I should leave my fundraiser up and running and try to find the key to making it successful. They say that fundraising is often a fickle thing where you never know when or what it takes to turn things around and head for success. So, I have decided to leave it up for now and try to find the time to work with it. Please understand that I am also very busy trying to find a way to solve my problems without a fundraiser. I will keep trying to do this as I work to make the fundraiser a success.
You can support my future efforts by visiting my blog at https://www.betterworldmedia.us/ and clicking on my $CASHTAG in the right-hand column. If you cannot donate to my cause just drop a note to say HELLO.
THANK YOU for your help and confidence in me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Eye Surgery Update

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My eye surgery went well today, but I think I will have to wear patch a patch for a week, maybe two. They said my vision won’t clear up enough for a vision test for 2 months or more. That puts a damper on trying to get a new CDL and finding a trucking job. But, I will try to get a bead on whether I will even have a chance for a trucking job. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Update to Bouncing Back and Starting Over

https://youtu.be/6rCjhdODY2E?list=PLss-7FMeCohudkTYUmiU-xQTfW1chCcuA

I am posting this update via my blog because my GFM fundraiser site is acting up tonight  

Sitting here thinking. Yeah, I am grumpy, but I have a right to be. I have been used and abused my whole life. But, I have always spent my life trying to please those who was doing it. It drove me to alcoholism at an early age. It took me through two divorces. I won’t complain about my first divorce, except to say I am proud of my two children from it but the marriage should never have happened. I was not mature enough. But, even after the second divorce I helped, beyond legal necessities, every time she called for a good 15+ years before refusing to help anymore. And, she was able to survive without my help.

So, fast forward through my years as a single dad and years of weekly hints from my X’s and 4 kids for money. Well, I did help the kids and it kept me broke and homeless once the kids were supposedly on their own

And, now it comes down to mid-2019, I am living in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I was still getting weekly phone calls from people wanting me to pay for their inabilities. But now, one of my sisters living in Oklahoma is sick. Her daughter had died 2 years earlier. She had no one to help her. After 3 trips to the VA hospital because I was unable to breath due to stress I returned to Oklahoma in November, 2019 to care for her. In March 3rd of 2020 she went into the hospital. I spent 5 days a week traveling 250 miles/day being available for her until she passed away Oct. 17, 2020.

So, it was late Feb. of 2021 when I finished the legal work as my sister’s power-of-attorney. Meanwhile I had saved enough money to move back to Nevada. I left Oklahoma the last week of February. I was in Nevada living in my van for 2 months in an unsuccessful attempt to find a decent place to live. I failed. I returned to Oklahoma to live at my older sister’s house. She had broken her foot and was living with her daughter at the time. But, by October of 2021 I had saved and borrowed enough money for a second failed attempted move back to Nevada. This attempt only lasted less than 3 weeks and I was back in Oklahoma at my sister’s house.

Fast forward to my 73rd birthday, January 22, 2022, while I am waiting on a phone call from who I hope will be my Boulder City, Nevada landlord and preparing for my third attempted move back to Nevada the motor blows up in my van.

I have been running a GoFundMe site while going for 2+ months with no transportation. I finally took a $6k loan with my bank to add to the $4200 that I already owed on it to put a new motor in the van. But, the job is done and I am now setting to work to come out of retirement and go back to work driving a truck and get moved to Nevada. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Learning, and Notes to Myself


2002 /Ford E150
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Once again I am trying to watch tv and relax. Once again, it ain’t happening. But, things are beginning to happen for me. I have now been approved for another loan for either another vehicle or a new motor for my van. It is not the best of deals but I can cope with it for a few months if I can go back to work driving a truck, or a few years if I do not have the stamina for driving a truck. But, either way, I now have something to work with even if either choice keeps me in a debt I cannot afford. However, If I can go back to trucking I can erase that debt in a few months. And, at least I will, in less than two weeks, have transportation.

Although I almost changed my mind today I have chosen to go with putting a newly re-manned engine in my van. This will give me a choice of either selling the van or keeping it when it is done  Hopefully I can come out ahead with either of those choices.

Looking ahead I still think I should try to return to Nevada to live. Again, my choices of where to live will depend on whether I go back to truck driving or not. I have other things to worry about before I can make that decision.

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This part of my post is meant to be a record for me and a guidepost for what I need to do to get my life straightened out. It will not be done in the numerical order they are listed in.

1.)Sign for another loan at my bank to get the van motor installed.
2.) Stop current GoFundMe. Start another one to "Get Me Outta Here".
3.) Get Ins. on the van.
4.) Get the oil bubble out of my left eye.
5.) Get an appointment to take excess skin from eyelids.
6.) Test for new glasses.
7.) Get credit files from all three credit bureaus and work to straighten out any and all deficiencies.
8.) Find a way to move back to Nevada.
9.) Start the process to get my CDL and med cards.
10.) Apply at trucking companies to run Western Regional.
11.) Tag Van in Oklahoma
12.) Tag and title van in NV.
13.) Smog test van for NV.
14.) Seek counseling from VA for family problems.
15.) 

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Saturday, March 12, 2022

Bouncing Back

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“Bouncing Back and Starting Over” will be the replacement title for my fundraiser. “Happy Birthday to Me - Not So Much”, evidently was not a good campaign title or story for a fundraiser. I still have problems that stem from the same issues, but next week I will make the decision on whether to replace my van or rebuild it.

Choice #1.) Most people have told me to find a cheap replacement, keep my payments low, and pray. 

Choice #2.) Another choice is to borrow another $6k and put a new motor in the van. This will more than double what I owe and extend the loan contract by over a year. 

Choice #3.) And the one I am leaning toward tonight, is to find a cheap replacement vehicle, find a place to store my van, come out of retirement and find a trucking job, pay off my transportation debt, and rebuild my van.

More to come. 

Monday, March 7, 2022

Happy Birthday to Me - Not So Much



My plan is to delete my current fundraiser soon. But, I also plan to replace it with a new donor/subscriber program that I will use to show donors/subscribers how the money from the first fundraiser is being spent to better my life. 

A lot of life changes have developed since I blew the engine in my van last month. And, while nothing is settled on my transportation problem as of yet, I at least have permission for a bank loan if I choose to go that way. I am now trying to look at all my alternatives.


Meanwhile, this will have to be the closing post regarding my initial fundraiser. I will delete it soon. I never had the proper time to work with this fundraiser, and it did rather poorly. But, I want to thank those who did donate their hard-earned money to me. Rest assured that your money will go toward transportation for me.

Because of my work in photography and my love of travel I do not want to lose my van. But, owing $10k on a 20 year old van is not the most comfortable thought. But,I am looking into coming out of retirement to be able to completely restore and rebuild my van.


Ok, below are links to my primary websites for the work I do in photography. 

My Primary Websites:

Blog: https://www.betterworldmedia.us/

Website: https://www.bwmedia702.com/

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


Thursday, March 3, 2022

Two Posts In One

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Regarding my fundraiser: https://gofund.me/3772e87c

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In 1978 I lost it all in my first divorce. I was a drunkard winding my way down a road that would take me through Hell. I lost two children that may never be regained. But, I survived with a very big scar in my heart.

In September of 1995 I lost almost everything in my second divorce and became a single dad. But, I kept two boys. This responsibility most likely saved my life.

Twenty years ago I had a quadruple bypass heart surgery. The Doctors said I would be off work for about 6 months. I went back to work after 6 weeks. Twelve years ago I lost almost all I had earned through a forced retirement due to continued health problems that brought on total exhaustion.

In April of 2019 I bought a van in anticipation of hard times to come. I wanted a roof over my head when hard times did come. Last month, on my 73rd birthday, the motor blew up in my van. I have been in negotiations with my bank since then to figure out what to do with this van. Without transportation I will lose it all, again.


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Change Is Coming

Jackery 240
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I spent much of the day trying to get in touch with my banker by phone. It was after 02:00pm before I found out that he will not be in until Thursday. I spent part of this day talking to the shop that will be putting a new motor in my van. I also called the towing company and rescheduled the tow for Thursday. And, finally, I called my son and told him he has until Thursday morning to find me a better deal on a car. 

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Thursday, February 17, 2022

The Complete List of CB 10 codes

The Original Author Is Unknown. If I can find the original article I will include the author's name in this article. I copied this article, probably, 10+ years ago off of somewhere on the internet. If I knew the author I would gladly give him/her credit for his/her work. But, there are tons of these lists. Just google them. But, in today's media it sounds like people are starting to buy more and more (cb) citizens band radios. So, I thought this might help some people who are new to the airwaves. 

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The Complete List of CB 10 codes

10-1 Receiving Poorly

10-2 Receiving Well

10-3 Stop Transmitting

10-4 Ok, Message Received

10-5 Relay Message

10-6 Busy, Stand By

10-7 Out of Service, Leaving Air

10-8 In Service, subject to call

10-9 Repeat Message

10-10 Transmission Completed, Standing By

10-11 Talking too Rapidly

10-12 Visitors Present

10-13 Advise weather/road conditions

10-16 Make Pickup at...

10-17 Urgent Business

10-18 Anything for us?

10-19 Nothing for you, return to base

10-20 My Location is ......... or What's your Location?

10-21 Call by Telephone

10-22 Report in Person to _____

10-23 Stand by

10-24 Completed last assignment

10-25 Can you Contact ______

10-26 Disregard Last Information/Cancel Last Message/Ignore

10-27 I am moving to Channel ___

10-28 Identify your station

10-29 Time is up for contact

10-30 Does not conform to FCC Rules

10-32 I will give you a radio check

10-33 Emergency Traffic at this station

10-34 Trouble at this station, help needed

10-35 Confidential Information

10-36 Correct Time is _____

10-38 Ambulance needed at _____

10-39 Your message delivered

10-41 Please tune to channel ___

10-42 Traffic Accident at _____

10-43 Traffic tie-up at _____

10-44 I have a message for you (or ____)

10-45 All units within range please report

10-50 Break Channel

10-62 Unable to copy, use phone

10-62sl unable to copy on AM, use Sideband Lower (not an official code)

10-62su unable to copy on AM, use Sideband Upper (not an official code)

10-65 Awaiting your next message/assignment

10-67 All units comply

10-70 Fire at _____

10-73 Speed Trap at _____

10-75 You are causing interference

10-77 Negative Contact

10-84 My telephone number is ____

10-85 My address is _____

10-91 Talk closer to the Mike

10-92 Your transmitter is out of adjustment

10-93 Check my frequency on this channel

10-94 Please give me a long count

10-95 Transmit dead carrier for 5 sec.

10-99 Mission completed, all units secure

10-100 Need to go to Bathroom

10-200 Police needed at _____

10 codes originated in the USA and are CB radio lingo mostly used in English-speaking countries. However, no matter which codes are used in your country, be aware that there are local dialects in every urban area and region. You have to listen to others to learn the phrases and codes in your area. And not everyone knows or uses 10-codes, so be prepared for some people to not understand you.

Be aware that the use of codes specifically to obscure the meaning of a transmission is probably illegal in most countries. The difference is these codes are well known and make communications shorter or more efficient and are normally allowed.

 

 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

"Missing You" by Keith Birmingham

"Missing You", by Keith Birmingham
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"Missing You" is a song I wrote in 2013 and did nothing with until I recorded it in 2016, and still have not found time to learn how to market the tune. Sometimes, but very seldom, I will post some of my music on Facebook and Twitter, but that is all of the marketing time I have.

Please take a few minutes to listen to this song. I would like to know if the lyrics are good enough to try to market to a professional singer or a publishing house. I have written about 100 songs. I think that at least 20 of them are good enough for working professionals to use. And, although I cannot brag about my singing I will say that I think I sing better than a lot of the would-be singers on the internet.

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

On The Road Again, Maybe


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First off, I want to say thanks to those who have donated to my GoFundMe. I plan to keep it going even though it is not nearly as active as I hoped it would be. But, in this economy, I guess it is par for the course.

Maybe I am finally getting things straight in my mind. I am thinking I will talk to my banker again soon, but I am leaning toward selling my beloved van. I may not even buy a car for a while. I am a much happier person when I am debt-free. What I do keep thinking about, even long before my van broke down, is trying to get my CDL back. Five years before I retired due to medical issues I remember my mindset was that I would be on the road until I died. The only hangup I will face is the medical cost for a stress test and sleep apnea test that I may have. It would be cost-prohibitive if I am required to take these two tests every three to six months. I do not think I will have any problem passing a regular DOT physical.

I will know a little more by the middle of next week, Meantime, I will contact my last employer to see if they may give me a pass on their requirement for driving in the last 18 months. I did work for them for my last 5 years of trucking averaging 165k miles per year.


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