Requested video

From time to time I have someone ask me to post how I do a certain thing or another.
This video is a demonstration of a homemade “woodgas” stove in use.
Now the stove was made out of a couple of coffee cans and another can (refried beans maybe).
The pot rest is made from hardware cloth left over from another project, otherwise can be purchased at any “big box” hardware store.

Having things….

“To have much in life, waste nothing.”

Not your’ resources,  whatever they may be large or small.

Not your’ time,  there is a season for all things and you need to do all things in their season.

Not your creativity,  mind-numbing activities such as watching other peoples imagination played out on a screen doesn’t challenge your’ own, at least read a book for escape.

Not your faith,  I didn’t say religion that’s a whole different topic, believe and act even though it may appear not to be true at that moment.

Not your’ energy, remember just like your time you have life energy that must periodically be renewed. If you use it in a way that does not bring reward you may exceed the level that can be regenerated.

Remember it’s all those little things that add up to create the whole or the hole.
It’s your choice of adding or subtracting the little things that decides hole or whole.
So be safe, get out and go explore the world you live in.

So I’m trying to decide to move the blog from to here or just leave it there.
This seems like a good blog home but, I’m going to post some videos and other things just to try it out.
So here goes…..

So this was a quick video from earlier this year 
while I was in Mississippi.
And when we got to Merriweather Lewis Campground
Layla and I were pretty hungry.  😉

So, I guess I’ll try a few more posts before I make a decision.  Right now gotta get ready to go commit work, not such a happy thing

Stability or Slavery

OK, OK.  I haven’t been as diligent as I thought I would be at posting here on a regular basis.  But when you can marvel at the simple things in life it’s easy to get distracted and I tell you distracted I was last week.  You see I left Kentucky and went to Arizona to join a bunch of people at the RTR and was absolutely distracted that week.
The time in the desert just living simple so you could simply live was something I really needed at this point. I think there’s a Dan-ism in there somewhere. It was a time that I was  surrounded by people who knew that stability sometimes is spelled the same as slavery.  I have to say it was difficult to come back to the ”slavery” of a regular job just to be able to say that I have ”stability”, whatever that word means it our society today.
When I got back to work and begin to share the adventures and travels I could see that look in their eyes, the desire to be free.  And, yet, the fear of the lack of stability held them as slaves to their current thinking and locked them away. Well gee, I guess I’ve got to go to sleep and try to get enough rest to jump back on the treadmill-of-life in the morning and take care of those things that have to be taken care of before I go to work. Or, do I really?

The beauty of standards

The beauty of standards is there are so many to choose from.
                                                                                               Danism #11

I find it most interesting that when a process or way of doing something is found, we write it down as a “standard”.  Now we have convinced ourselves this is the best way to get the same results every time.

Which is basically true.
And, most often this creating of a standard gives all those involved a “warm and fuzzy feeling” that all is well and life can return to the “norm”.  But what is that “norm”?  Is it “business as usual”? What happens when a new variable comes along (translation: more poo-poo becomes fouled in the impeller)?  Do we always go back and adjust for what allowed the excrement to hit the blades? Actually many times NOT!  
You see adjusting the original standard my have some negative impact on the “warm fuzzy”, in fact it may even become a “cold prickly feeling” that someone was not adequate in their job.  SO, let’s create a new “standard” for when the condition is present that allowed the impeller fouling.
Now there doesn’t that feel better?
We haven’t accused anyone and we now feel good about keeping the impellers clean when this condition exists because we have a new “standard” for this particular condition.

This may seem cynical in the evaluation because of all the quotation marks (you English Lit. types give me a break).  My point is that over time the number of standards become difficult to manage,  not to mention remembering what to do.

The better solution may be to openly examine the original standard and create decision points that examine if the impeller fouling condition may exist.  Oh I know that appears to add complexity but it  allows a controlled flexibility that streamlines instead of bloating by adding new standards. This also clears up any confusion between the “newbies” trained to the latest standards and the “old heads” that have learned how to work under older standards.

Until next time…. “There is peace in realizing not all problems require your solution.”  


Gettin’ Started . . . The beginning of the end

“The Beginning is really just the End in the first stage….”
                                                                                         Danism #22

Since this is the first post of my new blog, it made perfect sense to use this Danism.
You see not only is this a new blog but also an experiment for me.  So to explain Danism #22  let’s start here, with this blog.

When someone begins a journey these days they are often equipped with cell phone navigation, GPS mobile map apps, or at least a mobile GPS unit.  Yet, these all require one thing to do their magic properly – – – a destination.  Imagine for a moment you entered into say.. Google Maps the destination “somewhere”.  It will give you a helpful list of suggestions including “somewhere in time”, now that was interesting it actually suggested a destination near my location ! ! !  Who knows I may actually go check it out “someday in time”.

My point is that even with the help of techno-guidance the end still has to have a start to get direction.  Funny how even with some of us old school guys that still read maps, we look for one end of the journey or the other.  THAT’S because even if I know where I want to be – – –   I have to understand the first stage of where to begin ! ! ! 

Now I know this point of philosophy sounds rather simplistic.  Please examine for a moment the truth that lies hidden here, the jewel in the stone.  How many people have you known that just can’t seem to find find their place in life???  Could it be that they have not taken the time to access the skill sets they have?  Where their personal believe in the world they live in places them?  Or what represents value to them?

Without first taking an assessment of where “what I believe in” places me in life my start position is weak. Without that strong start point, the skill sets and values cannot provide the vehicle to travel to my destination.  Why ?     Because we would be travelling in a circle or at least a random path from who knows where.  Unable to measure our progress to our destination, most likely causing us to give up and settle for our current location as our destination.

Now if things in life cause you to move from the destination you have reached, then decide your new destination and start.  For some the new destination may not be clear, but that does not matter.
The fact that one knows where they started from gives them a “somewhere in time” to use as a point to measure from.  Perhaps Google Maps was not so far off base with their’ suggestion.

Back to this blog, the beginning, is going to be the place where I publish a collection of “Danism’s”.  These “Danism’s” are simple phrases that capture an idea or a situation in time.  They are usually very much my original take at that time.  Although, I have been known to say, “I once heard something about…” and that be the base for the wisdom that follows.

So here are a few that I’ll post the meanings of a little later.  OH YEAH, the experiment is to see if I can actually post on a regular basis in the midst of my journey.  😉

” The beauty of standards is that there are so many to choose from.”
“When there is conflict between the map and the terrain, go with the terrain.”
 “Satisfying some management is easy, give `em what they want and plenty of it.  Next week they’ll change their’ mind.”

Well you get the idea.  Thanks for reading and I’ll post some of the explanations and wisdom learned.

Travels and tips for being off-grid

Dan and Brenda Cordray

Travels and tips for being off-grid

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

Forest Edge Studio

Artist's Journal - C. Gemme Messier


The ultimate guide for independent travellers seeking inspiration, advice and adventures beyond their wildest dreams