Friday, November 24, 2023

Music, Photography, Travel, and Writing - (It is why I am alive.)

Truck Driver Blues - a Merle Haggard cover.

About nine days ago I somehow ended the day by starting a GoFundMe page. But, since posting a blog on and about the GoFundMe page I have been trying to figure out how to turn the GFM page into a legitimate commercial blog. Also, I have been busy trying to find a place and way to solve my problems without asking for help. And, here is my idea that actually stems from a long-standing desire to turn my blog commercial.

My blog was started years ago as more of a daily diary and personal record but has developed into a journal about my personal interest in music, photography, and travel. So, what I hope to do now is make it a commercial blog and end or co-exist with my GFM page. I hope to soon start traveling more to do my photography and try to renew my interest in writing and performing music.

To do this I will spend a lot of time developing a subscriber's e-mail list while either using the blog as a newsletter or developing a separate newsletter. I will work to produce interesting articles on the places I visit and how-to articles on how my photography was done.  I will write about what I learn about music as well as promote my music to other musicians for their use. And I will use my photography to promote my travels.

It bothers me deeply to know that times are bad enough for me that I need to seek charity to live. I hope that by doing this I can stop this GFM page by developing a product that sells. I am already selling my photography on my Adobe website and Fine Art America website. And, I am doing the research before starting to post my work to another site like Getty, iStock, or Magnum.

Wish me luck. It is bedtime. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Retired And In A Jam

Me. A few years back.

My name is Keith Birmingham. I am 75 years old, on VA Disability and Social Security, and have medical problems that, for now, have kept me from going back to my 35-year profession as an over-the-road trucker. I have been retired since November 2009, but have been working toward returning to this profession to pay for the debts incurred below and to be able to travel again.

Three weeks ago I was all set to fulfill a 7-year dream of moving to Boulder City, NV. A friend of mine who lives in Las Vegas texted that he was going to Boulder City to shop in the antique stores there. I asked him to check with management at the low-income apartment complex I have been trying to get into to see if I was even still on their list. And yes, I was still on their list, and the manager was trying to get in touch with those who were still ahead of me. I was #6 on his list. He had been unable to contact others who were ahead of me and was willing to talk to me about it so my friend called me. I told them I had too many bills at this time and could not afford it. But, my friend broke in and asked me how much I would need to make the move. He said he would foot the bill to get me moved. I refused, but we talked for a bit and I finally told them I would be there. All we had to do was finish the paperwork.

But my dreams were shattered, again. I had to call and talk to the manager. I told him my complete financial situation, that I had saved enough money once again to pay the people back the money they had helped me with about 1.5 years ago when I had to spend $7000 for a new motor for my van. Two months later I was rear-ended in that van, another $7000 damage. (Yes, the insurance paid on the crash. That will be explained in another post.) So, today I still owe almost $7000 on a van that I will be lucky to get $3000 for if I sell it. And, I am currently in the process of wrapping up some medical appointments and still hoping to try to return to my previous profession as an over-the-road trucker to pay off this van so that I could sell it or completely rebuild it and keep it. I was just trying to do the right thing. But, today I found out my van needs another $2500+ in repairs. I apologized to him but said I could not take the money from my friend, pay for having my van fixed, or pay the people that I owed for helping me when the motor blew in my van. So, I worked a deal with him to stay on the list while I tried to raise some money.

When the motor blew in my van I  ran a "GoFundMe" page for about a week, but I just could not keep asking for help. It was making me sick. I closed the page after only a week and had raised $540. More repairs on my van have cost me the money I had saved to pay back those who gave to my "GoFundMe" page from 1.5 years ago. But, now I have no choice. What I want to do is raise at least enough money to repair this van. I may then pay this van off, get rid of it, and make a down payment on a vehicle that is no more than 8-10 years old. Repairing and paying off the van, getting rid of it, and purchasing another vehicle will cost around $10,000. However, as of now, I will only be trying to raise enough to repair the van, which is around $3,000.

 If you can see your way to donate any money to my cause please DONATE via Cash App to support this site @ $VanManHKB. My Zelle and Venmo IDs will also soon be posted in the top right column. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Getting Ready To Go Home.1

A view from the entrance of Quail Ridge Manor, Boulder City, NV.


This may be the hardest post I have ever written. Since November of 2019, things have not been going my way. After returning to Oklahoma in November of 2019 to care for an ailing family member and watching her die, not because she contacted COVID but because of the stupidity of the restrictions that our government put in place, through a blown motor in my van ($7000), a rear-end collision of my van ($7000), an operation on the retina of my left eye, and three failed trips to Nevada where I failed to find a place to live, it is now a reality that I will have a place to live in Boulder City, Nevada. Also, I fought a sickness caused by dehydration, constipation, and diarrhea beginning in March of 2021 and I am just now almost recovered from it.  And, now I am having panic attacks.

These three scenes are from a community park located about 1.5 miles north of Quail Ridge Manor.


To be continued.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

How Much Can One Man Take


Karma is a vicious woman. I think I am a personal example of someone who is experiencing her wrath. I was getting along just fine until November of 2019. That is when I left the home I was sharing with a friend out in Henderson, Nevada to return to Oklahoma to care for an ailing older sister who passed away in October of 2020. That has to be what made Karma mad at me. When I left Nevada I was on a list for a low-income apartment located in Boulder City, a beautiful little town just outside of the Las Vegas Valley. A week after I arrived back in Oklahoma that apartment complex called to offer me an apartment. When I left there I knew it would not be long before they called me, but my sister needed my help. I just did not think I would need to be in Oklahoma for as long as I have been here. But, I guess this is where it all started.

So, after my sister passed away I spent another few months fulfilling my apartment lease agreement, squaring away my sister's final business, and making ready to return to Nevada. This turned into a 2 years and 3 trips debacle. That is, I made 3 trips to Las Vegas and was unable to find a place to live due to (my belief) the changes that were brought on by The COVID PLANDEMIC. I will not dwell on these trips in this post. It will only deepen my depression and anger me again.

I guess I should explain that, while I do not like it I am considering trying a "Go Fund Me" page again. I tried using one for a week one time when my Ford van blew an engine. A new motor cost me $7000. Asking strangers for help does not suit my pride, and I was able to get a loan at my bank. So, I stopped it. But, two weeks after I left the shop with a new motor my van was rear ended while I was at a stop sign. I had saved about 2/3 of the $540 that was donated to my “GoFundMe” page. I had plans of paying back the money sent to my “GFM” to ease my mind and save my pride. But, that won’t happen now. After my trip to OKC for a VA doctor appointment this past Friday those plans will be put on hold. It turns out that I had to do a brake job on the front end of my fan.

This post was started several days ago, but not posted due to some things I had to figure out to see if I wanted to post about them. Except for the fact that I am now getting repairs done to my van only one thing has changed. Yesterday I received a call that may give me a chance to return to Nevada by the middle of December. It will depend on what rent, utilities, cable, and a few other things will cost me if I return now. Hopefully, I will be able to get this info in a couple of days.