Saturday, April 23, 2011

WVO Filtration!

Coming soon to a Bus Girl near you!! 
Pressure washed, dried, pressure washed again, and onto the trailer to bring home and set up!!

Stay tuned!


I would like to take a time-out from the normal bus updates to acknowledge the accomplishments of my little sister, Alex.

Despite being sisters, we really are as different as night and day. Walking down the street, you would never guess we are related. We do share a few qualities, however; one of which being that we both work very hard pursuing our dreams.

Alex is graduating from Smith college on May 15th with a double major (I think) in English and French. On top of that, she just got the news that she got her dream job at a publishing company in NYC - WOW!! This has been her dream since I can remember, so I am really proud of her for working so hard, always doing her best, and chasing after her dreams without worrying about the "what ifs" of it all.

I had talked to her on the phone on her birthday (April 19th) this past week, and she had mentioned the job, and how there were so many other better-qualified applicants than herself, but she went ahead and applied anyways.

Success comes in all sizes: it can be an intangible idea, a life-changing email, a letter of acceptance, or a 45' X 8' bus.

Congratulations, Alex! I am so proud of you!!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Facing my Humanity through Radiator pulling

Alright, I almost didn't post any of this, because I didn't really accomplish much yesterday, I just spent several hours becoming frustrated and so there was nothing really to "say" about the "bus" - which is the POINT of this blog.

But then I thought about it for a second. This is everything to say about the bus, because the point of the bus is not just the END of this journey - you know? It isn't JUST to LIVE in the thing, which is going to be AMAZING, but it is about everything that comes along the way. This bus has only begun to provide the wealth of knowledge and growth and development that I am to obtain through my dedication, patience, and perseverance in working on it. So... why should I skip over these things?

Why should I hide these parts of the story?
I feel like doing so would do a disservice to myself and to my message.

There is no need to conceal the fact that I, just like everyone else in this crazy life, become: scared, angry, overwhelmed, exhausted, lost, confused, terrified, and - at times - utterly hopeless. Why hide the fact that at times I am vulnerable, inexperienced, weak, and in need of help and guidance?

This isn't just me, this is all of us at some time in life, and it is what makes us beautifully human. Sometimes the greatest thing that one can say, is simply, "I don't know" because you open up a world of opportunity for yourself. That statement can be the starting point of a journey of discovery, but it all depends on what direction you take. You can give up and close the door, or you can step forward into the unknown, embrace the challenge, and use it to make yourself a better human.
Really, who would want to "know" all of the time? Would that not make life incredibly boring? Where is the space for growth in that moment?

Yes, there is security in the comfort of knowing, but I encourage you - push the boundaries today to see what you can become!

And now, here are some videos.

So, here I am, beginning the evening. I am super-psyched, ready to pull this darn thing and get out of here and get myself some dinner. It's about 4:30 (I think is what I remember saying?) and I am expecting an hour or so of work before I can throw the radiator in the back of the car, drive it home with me, and check it out and make some calls about getting it re-cored on it Monday morning.

Yeeeaaahhh... not so much.

Here is a video from about two hours later.
I had tried to remove the large tube and a few other rusty pieces from around the engine bay that were blocking the radiator (as I mentioned in the above vid), but I ended up breaking things (ie MASSIVE hose clamp) and being unable to move them, so I tried to approach the problem from a different angle; i.e. the outside door. I discovered that what I thought were rivets holding the screen in place from the outside access door were actually small screws, so I decided to pull off the cover to the outside of the radiator and access it that way. Though there were still quite a few things to detach form the inside still, I had become frustrated from breaking heavily-rusted hose clamps and lacking the proper tools with which to right the situation. The "whiz wheel" that I am referring to in the second video is one of those air-powered cutting discs, which would slice through the thick metal clamp no problem-o.

In this video you can see that I am so frustrated and defeated that I can hardly explain myself!

While I never actually finished the task yesterday (the sun went down and it got too cold and too dark!), I didn't give up (!!!) and eventually, I did get all of those bolts undone and screws removed (or drilled out!) through some creative tool creation. Now all that I have to do is remove a few accessories that are attached to the radiator, and two large bolts at the bottom which attach it to the frame of the bus, and the thing should slide right out through the outside access door.

Lesson learned: I will save another entire day to accomplish this, and I will be armed with the appropriate tools, or at the least, the time to go get them (because, no; 5 on Sunday evening does not fall under that category!).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Two whole years of Bus ownership!

On this day in 2009, a wonderful adventure began!

Some days I still can't believe everything that I went through to be where I am right now (which I don't even know where exactly THAT is, or what is next, or where I am going or where the end is!! Ah, the joys of a life of freedom and exploration!).  Amazing things can happen to you and direct you down the most incredible path...


People, you can accomplish ANYTHING.
All it takes is to START.

You don't need to be ready,
you don't need to have all the money,
you don't need to have it all planned and figured out,
you don't need for the time to be perfect.

NOW is perfect.
What do you want?
Go out there and BEGIN!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Recycled fuel! Coming soon to a bus near you!

Quick update:

I did it!!
I had to.
I bought a waste vegetable oil filtration system from a very competent and creative DIY-er from Warwick, RI.

I will be picking it up and bringing it home tomorrow!

More pictures to follow, these are just a few from the Craig's List Ad. I will go into more detail (about how they work, and why I chose to purchase this one, and how I intend to use it) in future posts, but right now, it's 15 minutes past my bedtime.

The Bus Girl

Thursday, March 24, 2011

just to add...

I just had to add to my last post, and also share some pictures. Alright so the 5-year plan is nice, but I think I want to move on this whole "no money" idea a little faster. As soon as the bus is safe and drivable (meaning brakes work, tires are good, engine runs, etc., not finished interior or anything like that) I want to try this plan - for one year. This is one of my many ongoing current goals.

I have noticed that dumpster diving for food when one is a gluten-free vegan is a little trying. Possible, but you can't really "expect" anything. No one can get sued for contaminating your food with wheat products if you are stealing it from their waste.


As it is, I live pretty money-less, in terms of spending. I try not to spend often, mainly because consumerism gets me down. I can't help but think about who is being affected along the line.
"Made in China"
"Made in Taiwan"
What land was subjected to deforestation for that factory, how much petroleum was used to transport these metals, which were probably mined in South Africa, how much profit is this company making by skimping out on health insurance for its workers.... AH!

Even putting fuel in my car, which I haven't done in over a month now because I sold the old Benz and the Rabbit is in storage until possibly the weekend. Actually, I hope to revive the the Rabbit ("Gaia" is her name) this Saturday, so that I can drive down to Warwick, RI to check out a WVO filtration system that some guy (who sounds pretty rad) is selling. I may just check out his design, but it's like... I am not sure that I could just explain to him my life plan and see if he would be willing to donate to the cause (or, even better, exchange for something that I have, or some labor, or whatnot. His son does have a mk2 diesel Jetta, so we'll see!). There are many obstacles that are getting int he way of living for free that I Have to jump over, or avoid all together.

But, if I want to drive the bus, and I want to live without money, then WVO is kind of going to be a necessity. I am not sure how to handle this now, so I promise I'll get back to it.

I have another interesting story about manifesting that involves my website idea and meeting a person this afternoon, but I don't want to jinx it, but I'll just say that I am super in touch with the Universe currently. Rock.

And, as promised, I have a few cool pictures of the current inside of the bus. I am hoping to organize a bus interior-gutting party soon, as well as a bus-frame-painting-party, which can be really all-inclusive. Anyone who can wield a paintbrush can show up to help and earn karmic points that can be redeemed at any point.

This series is fun, because it looks like you're walking up into the bus from behind. (See the picture on the right sidebar where I am standing in the rear doors of the bus! There's one step back even further!) This is looking up from where the engine used to be.

Pardon the scattered ranting... this post brought to you by a brain dump at 16 minutes past my bedtime. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Transmission detach Part 1, + general rambling

Alright, so I have a lot to say today. 
Firstly, I have done a bunch of work to the bus recently, but I am not going to write about it all right now, but rather, try to spread it out a little bit so that my posting is more consistent and less sporadic and brain-dump-like.

Yesterday, I was joined at the machine shop by my dear friend John*, who is a fan of my bus and was psyched to be my second hand for some heavy tasks that I was hoping to accomplish. He also helped me to make this video that I am sharing with you. See, I had hoped to upload and share my random audio brain dumping, but couldn't for the life of me figure it out, (perhaps it is not Mac-compatible??) so I decided to step up my game. 

The rest of this procedure will also be uploaded in video form and put here on the web for your viewing pleasure. And, if you ever wanted to know how to detach an Allison automatic transmission from an 8V92 Detroit Diesel, well then here is an instructional video, just don't hold me liable for my novice (and perhaps improper) tool use, procedure, or safety precautions, thank you very much!!

Yeah, so this is actually kind of embarrassing for me to put myself out there to the world, (I have a hard time watching this video without being like, "Oh dear god!! Is that really me talking!?!") but I think that it is a good step in the right direction. We shouldn't be ashamed of ourselves for who we are, what we look like, what we sound like, how we talk, whatever... but so often, these small, simple insecurities will get in the way of people accomplishing great things and putting themselves out there into the world to share their gifts. Now, I am not saying that this blog is necessarily the greatest gift, but whatever. You can draw from it what you will.

Moving on, I wanted to share a quote that I found on the website, which has been really inspiring to me recently:
“Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. For what the world needs right now is people who have come alive."    -Howard Thurman
In case you haven't guessed, this project makes me feel very, very alive. I wish for all humans to have something like this as a driving force (ha, ha) in their lives. Something that propels them forward, makes them excited to get up in the morning, makes the day go by like NOTHING because the whole day has raced by with daydreaming, planning, enthusiasm, and positive energy. This is how my days have been going recently; how lucky I am!

I have been thinking recently about ways in which I can share this energy with the fulltiming community in a more tangible form, and I think that the answer may perhaps lie in my social networking skills.
I need help making a website! I am kind of in the process of struggling through this one solo right now, and I have found my skills (and finds) to be limited, so if anyone knows of someone with website-development skills who would be willing, then please direct them my way! Thank you. That is enough of that for now.

I would also like to put out there in the Universe that I have a 5-year plan of weaning myself off of the need for money. I know, it sounds really extremist, un-doable, difficult, dangerous, impossible, yeah, yeah, yeah, BUT! It has been done before, and if there is someone else out there doing it, then you bet you're britches that I can do it, too!

Why 5 years, you ask?
Well, I have to get the bus fully prepared and functional. I mean, I am pretty good at manifesting, but manifesting some fresh engine bearings, sleeves, transmission fluid and however many gallons of oil that I need... meh, I don't want to overwear my welcome into the Freeconomy just yet. 

Fully prepared, you ask?

Yes. Well, the bus at least. I think I am ready.

What does that mean?

Fully prepared to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO), keep me warm using wood and WVO, charge my computer (for blogging and running my website, writing for the mag, and making free phone calls, naturally!) with solar energy, compost my humanure, hold air in the airbags, have functional brakes, install some very simple plumbing with human-powered pumps, etc., etc., etc.

I think that's enough rambling on for today.

The Bus Girl & her Urge

*names may have been changed for confidentiality ;)