AuthorTopic: RE Gets a Stealth Van!  (Read 9099 times)

Online RE

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RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« on: June 01, 2017, 12:04:04 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/uIgW-4EnxO4" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/uIgW-4EnxO4</a>

A friend of mine who lives in WA now is up here this week first for a Wedding and then to check up on a Rental Property he owns up here as well.  He usually makes it up here about twice a year these days.  He worked with me at the first gym when I first came up here for about 2 years, but then had a falling out with the owner.  He was an ex-gymnast and gym coach, but worked mainly as the Biz Manager for the gym while he was employed there.  Did some coaching, but just Classes no Team.  We stayed friends after he quit/was fired and would BBQ together about once a month or so and shoot the shit.  Whenever he comes up now we always get together.

Anyhow, I am planning a big Road Trip down to the Lower 48 to start scoping out SUN☼ Property possibilities, and my Big Bugout Machine the Tioga RV really is not suited for this.  It gets terrible gas mileage.  My vision for that machine was as a one-time use vehicle for an emergency Bugout, like say we had an Earthquake and my regular digs were destroyed.  I would have the BM as backup housing, parked in a campground around here.  Or in a real TEOTWAWKI situation, drive it once out into the Yukon Territory and live off my Preps for a year or two before giving myself up to the Bear, or freezing to death.  However, for cruising around the Lower 48, fuhgettaboudit.  On a good day on the highway going downhill with no stops and starts, it gets 7mpg.

So for this trip, I was planning on taking my Ford Explorer and then leaving it down there as my Lower 48 Cruisemobile and flying back up here for my SSA Hearing on Aug 16th.  However, it would have been fairly cramped, especially for the section across the Al-Can.  That is around a 2500 mile stretch without a whole lot of places to rest, and I figure to take it fairly slow.  So a bigger vehicle I can actually lay down in to nap is a vast improvement over this.  Besides that, when/if I make the final transition down there and move out, I will need a vehicle that can pull a decent size trailer.  My Explorer is a V-6, and while it does have a tow package it can't pull a real lot of weight, especially through the mountains.

So when Brian called me and said he was in town, for our Entertainment I said, "Lets go Van Shopping!"  ;D

The very first vehicle I found on Craig's List looked just about perfect.  Right price at $5500, right vintage at 1999 (I can get a Permanent Registration for this age of vehicle up here), Raised Roof Conversion so short as I am I can almost stand in such vehicles with ducking my head some, a V-8 Engine and the full tow package on a Ford E-150 Chassis.  However, on the e-mail I sent out I got no reply.

I looked at a few others.  One was real cheap, but did not look in great shape.  Another looked good, but was a newer model and way expensive, and no raised roof either.  A third looked OK, but on calling it was already sold.  So I figured we would just take a drive to Anchorage and cruise the Used Car lots to see what they might have available, probably not buying anything.  I have never bought a Used Car from a UC Dealer, they always overcharge.  All my UCs have been from individual sellers.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zqHZWdFVyyQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zqHZWdFVyyQ</a>

However, I made one more try on the #1 Selection sending a Text over the phone, and this time I got a response!  Van still available, come for a look.   ;D

The guy who owns it is an Israeli with a Body Shop. Him and his brother are heading back to Israel and selling out here.  His brother owned the van for the last 7 years, just using it for fishing trips in the summer.  It only has 140K miles on it, which for this vintage van is fucking amazing low mileage.  These V-8s are good for 300K miles EZ if well maintained.  We took it for a drive around Anchorage, some city some highway and the engine performed flawlessly.  It is virtually PRISTINE for this age vehicle.  The only real issue was the usual cracked windshield that about every car up here gets from the freeze-thaw cycles.  All my carz have cracked windshields.  He asked $5500, I offered. $4500.  I paid CASH outta my Doomsday stash on the spot.  We agreed on $5000, and he threw in a new windshield, which his friend the glass guy (a native) came over and installed on the spot.  The Blue Tape you see in the pics around the windshield will come off tomorrow, I left it on for the drive back to Palmer.  He also threw in a full detailing job from another friend of his, but I gotta drive back to Anchorage next week for that.  That would cost me $250, he gets it for $150 but will not charge me for it.

Fucking EVERYTHING works on this Van!  Even the fucking Cathode Ray Tube TV and VCR in the Overhead Console in the cabin!  You gotta have the van running though the way this is wired up.  In the back, the two Captains Chairs can be removed quickly with no tools, it's a latch system.  The rear bench seat lays down to a bed, and it's ELECTRIC!!!!!  And it WORKS!  You push a button and the seat turns into a bed in about 30 seconds!  ;D

This may be the best used car deal I ever scored, and all of my scores have been amazingly good.  After the one new car I bought with my ex-wife, all carz I have owned have been used.  The first was a Toyota Tercel 4WD mini-wagon/SUV I got for $1500.  I had to replace the tranny on it for another $1500. $3000 total. That lasted me all through my trucking years, about a decade all together I think before and after included.  Next was my Jeep Grand Cherokee LTD, still sitting in a storage unit in MO.  It's loaded with every option available on carz of this era.  This one I bought for $3500 from a little old lady friend of my mom's at the Senior Center.  It was garaged the whole time she owned it, and drove it maybe once a week while she was still driving.  It is a 1983, and still looks brand fucking new, although by now needs all new tires and numerous other fixes after sitting in a storage unit for a decade.  When I got here to Alaska, for the first 2 months I borrowed one of the Gym Vans, but then bought a 1980s vintage Toyota mini-pickup truck for $500.  Total rustbucket, but lasted 2 years, and I sold it to another guy in the complex I was living for $50.  The suspension was totally rusted through, but he fixed it up for himself.  I then bought the Mazda MPV also 1980s vintage for $900, which I still own and drive regularly.  I have never had to do a fucking thing to fix this car in the 8 or so years I have owned it, other than replace batteries and tires, and once the gas lines were cut by siphoners. Finally is the Bugout Machine (the Tioga RV), another 1980s vintage vehicle which I bought for $5000 also, with a pristine interior and only 40K original miles on it in running condition, albeit with incredibly bad gas mileage.  So in the last 30 years, I never paid more than $5000 for a vehicle, and many of them are still running too!  No car payments EVAH since I was married.  All CASH transactions.  I am the $5000 and under car guy of the ICE Era!  :icon_mrgreen:

Driving back up to Palmer with it after the purchase, it again performed flawlessly, and tomorrow I will head over to the DMV to get the Title and Tags changed out to my ownership.  This will be the vehicle I finish out my life with in the Age of Oil.  It's the kind of full size van I always wanted, capable of good towing and enough room to crash where you are not uncomfortable.  It appears to get around 15mpg, which ain't great, but is within reason for me on my budget.  I will of course be putting more CO2 up into the atmosphere driving it across the Eisenhower Interstate, but less of it than Albert Bates puts up while Jet Setting around the world on his Mission.

One last time, RE will become the Road Warrior he was, this time carrying the message of Collapse across the North American Continent.  I WILL finally drive the Al-Can, the one major road in North America I never drove.



SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 03:36:16 AM »
That is totally cool!  8)

I was going to suggest you stop at Windward in Klikitat, Oregon, they've had a sustainable community going for 30 years.  Unfortunately, they are only open to the public once a year, and you just missed it.  http://www.windward.org/helix/

In Missouri there is Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, they have tours the second and fourth Saturday of the month during the summer. http://www.dancingrabbit.org/visit-dancing-rabbit-ecovillage/tours-and-open-house/   Also in MO is the Factor-E Farm, home of Open Source Ecology.  They don't seem to have anything for the general public, just workshops and internships, but they might be willing to make an exception for the CEO of the SUN Foundation  ;) http://opensourceecology.org/contact/

Closer to home, I know Joe Jenkins, author of the Humanure Handbook and the Slate Roof Bible, and Darrell Frey, author of The Bioshelter Handbook and the just published Food Forest Handbook, we might be able you a tour of their homesteads.  Actually, they might be good to do Soundcloud interviews with, too, if you are still interested in doing that sort of thing.

Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline Eddie

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 05:35:58 AM »
Nice looking truck. Good score.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 04:46:46 PM »
The Stealth Van is now MINE, 100% Legal.  Got the Title transferred and the new registration, plus went over to Geico to get it insured.  Also went over to Walmart and had extra keys made.  Now the only thing left to do is pack it up with Road Preps!  Oh, also head down to Anchorage again next week to get it Detailed.

The toughest part for me now will be LEAVING it down there to come back up here for my SS hearing.  I LOVE this vehicle already!  I'm considering whether I shouldn't just wait until after the hearing and then pack up the digs and move out? ???  :icon_scratch:  Just live on the road again until we can get a SUN☼stead together.  Bring Brother RE's Traveling Collapse Salvation Show to all the Sheeple in the Lower 48 and Canada!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Vzk01O_tBAI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Vzk01O_tBAI</a>

On the other hand, I ALSO love my digs!  We don't HAVE a SUN☼stead yet and living on the road I wouldn't have regular docs for all my various ailments.

Ugghhh.  This is a very tough decision.  :-\

RE
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RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Option 3
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 07:45:56 PM »
Instead  of driving the Al-Can, I could take the Ferry from Whittier to Bellingham.  For the Van/cheap inside stateroom/my passage fare, $3K.  To drive from Palmer to Seattle, probably $500 in gas and another $1000 in motel expenses over around 10 days taking it slow.

The Ferry ride will give me opportunity to do some Whale Watching perhaps, plus meet people.  Plus of course not all those days of driving through the middle of nowhere.  Beautiful scenery no doubt along the way, but there is fucking NOTHING to speak of besides gas stations and Bates Motels from Fairbanks to Whitehorse at least.

Money wise, not an issue I can afford either one.  The ONLY reason to drive the Al-Can is just to complete my life as a Road Warrior in North America.  Is it THAT important to me to drive the Al-Can? ???  :icon_scratch:

If I do the Ferry from Whittier, I can leave as late as September, after the hearing.

I would still need to leave the Van down in the Lower 48 over the winter if I go this route.  I also could only bring a small part of my preps, pulling a trailer onto the ferry would almost double the cost, not worth it.

This decision is getting tougher the longer I ponder on it.

RE
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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 10:49:52 PM »
The toughest part for me now will be LEAVING it down there to come back up here for my SS hearing.  I LOVE this vehicle already!  I'm considering whether I shouldn't just wait until after the hearing and then pack up the digs and move out? ???  :icon_scratch:  Just live on the road again until we can get a SUN☼stead together.  Bring Brother RE's Traveling Collapse Salvation Show to all the Sheeple in the Lower 48 and Canada!

On the other hand, I ALSO love my digs!  We don't HAVE a SUN☼stead yet and living on the road I wouldn't have regular docs for all my various ailments.
If I do the Ferry from Whittier, I can leave as late as September, after the hearing.

I would still need to leave the Van down in the Lower 48 over the winter if I go this route.  I also could only bring a small part of my preps, pulling a trailer onto the ferry would almost double the cost, not worth it.
It seems to me like the two best options are to take the ferry now and go back to Alaska for your hearing and winter, or pack up the digs now and move out permanently, taking the Al-Can highway, so you can take more preps.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline Palloy2

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2017, 01:22:48 AM »
What a great vehicle to celebrate the end of the Paris Agreement - a V-8 powered cross between an Abrams tank and an apartment block.  Mr "save as may as you can" certainly knows how to live simply. :icon_sunny: Instead of waiting till your court case and THEN going driving, drive first, then FLY back and FLY back out again - brilliant.   :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_scratch:


"The State is a body of armed men."

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 01:56:13 AM »
What a great vehicle to celebrate the end of the Paris Agreement - a V-8 powered cross between an Abrams tank and an apartment block.  Mr "save as may as you can" certainly knows how to live simply. :icon_sunny: Instead of waiting till your court case and THEN going driving, drive first, then FLY back and FLY back out again - brilliant.   :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_scratch:

Gimmee a break.  At least I'm not flying a Private Jet!  :icon_mrgreen:


Compared to Leonardo di Caprio, Al Gore and Albert Bates, I am positively scrupulous and low end in my Carbon Footprint as I bring the message of Collapse to the Sheeple!  You want me to do this in a Goat Cart?  I'm not sure they even ALLOW Goats on the ferries!

RE
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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 09:16:00 AM »
I'm working on my list of Preps to drop in the Stealth Van (SV) for the trip to the Lower 48.

Additional Housing/Sleeping

1- Large Tent
2- Small Tent
3- Air Mattress
4- Sleeping Pad
5- 2 Sleeping Bags
6- 2 Pillows
7- 12V DC Electric Heated Sleeping Pad
8- Kerosene Heater (maybe)

Cooking


1- Camping Cookware Set
2- 2 Burner Propane Stove
3- Propane Grill
4- 2 Electric Hotplate Burners
5- Electric Toaster Oven/Broiler
6- 1 Month Supply Freeze Dried Food
7- Regular Cooler
8- Thermoelectric Cooler (maybe)

Electrics

1- Deep Cycle Marine Batt
2- 100/200/500 W Inverters
3- 12V DC Batt Charger
4- Jumper Cables
5- Folding 5W Solar Panel (for portable electronics)
6- 120 W Roof Mounted Solar Panel (hopefully, gotta see about getting the installation done)

Computing/Communications

1- 2 Smart Phones, 1 w/ Tethering
2- 1 8" Tablet
3- 1 Full size Laptop
4- 2 FRS Walkie-Talkies

Liquid/Fuel Storage

1- 10 Gallon Potable Water Container
2- 10 Gallon Gray Water Container
3- 2 Gallon Spare Gas Can
4- 20 1 Quart Propane Cannisters
5- 5 Gallons Kerosene (maybe)

Clothing/Essentials

1- What will fit in 1 Carryon airline bag + 1 checked bag along with the electronics.
2- Extra Sweatshirt, Long Underwear, Gloves etc to layer up in cold weather

Furniture

1-Folding Chair
2-Folding Table

Toilet

1- Piss Jug
2- Shit Bucket
3- Sponge Bath Equipment (sponge and 2 pots basically)

As it is, this list is going to pack up the van pretty good, but if you have ideas for other stuff I should have on board, please feel free to suggest!  ;D

There is so much more I would LIKE to take, but without pulling a trailer it's just not gonna happen, at least not and leave me any sleeping space. I also might be able to do more if I customized the interior, but right now I don't want to lose the factory stuff in the rear, like the removable Captain's Chairs and the Electric Bench Seat/Bed.  I'd also like to take my Ewz, but if I leave the Van down there then the Ewz will stay with it and I don't want to be without them up here.  I do have another set of Ewz down there at LD's place I can pick up, although currently it's not working.

RE
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 09:49:27 AM by RE »
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Online RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 03:12:38 PM »
OK!  :icon_sunny:  I *think*  :icon_scratch: I have decided on my PLAN!

I'll wait until after the hearing to get the SV down to the Lower 48, and do it via the Ferry route.  Much as I would like to drop the Al-Can into my Log Book of North American roads travelled,  it's still just 2500 miles of driving a lot , napping, driving some more...etc.  The Ferry takes 5 days, I can chat with people, write etc.  Also no wear and tear on the vehicle this way.  Different type of scenery, but still cool scenery. Maybe see some Whales before they go Extinct! Plus, no danger of breakdowns on the road!  :icon_sunny:  These days, I can't even change a flat tire myself, and with all the cell phone dropouts along that route I could be waiting quite a while for help, and it would be EXPENSIVE when it finally arrived.  Better Safe than Sorry on that one.

In the meantime, I will take the SV for an "Explore Alaska" shakedown cruise up to Prudhoe Bay to see the Oil Rigs, where I have never been.  Furthest north I ever got while here is Fairbanks, which isn't even halfway to Prudhoe Bay.  I expect mostly dead zones for internet on that drive, so I may be MIA for a while.  I'll probably leave for that drive in about mid June.  Health wise, I haven't got back any super bad reports from my Pros from Dover, so although I still feel like dogshit and have the morning itches after getting up, I think I can survive the drive.

After the hearing down in the Lower 48 and after debarking from the Ferry in Seattle on the cross country cruise I will visit with Diners and go Property Searching for SUN☼steads and visit Homeless encampments and maybe speak at some Churches for Sunday Services.  I'll need to get some SUN☼ Biz Cards and maybe make a CD to sell too.

Looks like a real good adventure for the Bucket List, and very doable at the moment.  The main deal is to commit myself to it, as I do need to make Ferry reservations soon.  They are already booked up on several of the ferries for vehicles.  So I I gotta make my decision in the next week or so I would estimate, or get locked out of the ferry option this year.  I will update on this if/when I buy my ticket, not for the Great Beyond but for the Ferry to the Lower 48.  :icon_sunny:

RE
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Offline Palloy2

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2017, 04:06:32 PM »
Quote
Gimmee a break.

Yes, at least this V-8 machine will get better fuel consumption than the 7 mpg (downhill) than some other heap of junk (that you ALREADY OWN). 
I know - you could tow that one behind the V-8 and save on fuel!  :icon_sunny:

IF my copy of The Portable Thoreau hadn't fallen apart and got itself hopelessly out of order, I could quote you Thoreau on the predicament of a man who wanted to travel in style (on the railroad) from A to B. First he must go to work to earn the fare, and to buy a suitcase to put his clothes in, and then a hamper for food and drink. While man living simply, simply starts walking, and get there first.

"The State is a body of armed men."

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 05:13:48 PM »
Quote
Gimmee a break.

Yes, at least this V-8 machine will get better fuel consumption than the 7 mpg (downhill) than some other heap of junk (that you ALREADY OWN). 
I know - you could tow that one behind the V-8 and save on fuel!  :icon_sunny:

IF my copy of The Portable Thoreau hadn't fallen apart and got itself hopelessly out of order, I could quote you Thoreau on the predicament of a man who wanted to travel in style (on the railroad) from A to B. First he must go to work to earn the fare, and to buy a suitcase to put his clothes in, and then a hamper for food and drink. While man living simply, simply starts walking, and get there first.

So what vintage vehicle are YOU driving when you go into town for YOUR medical issues?

RE
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Offline Palloy2

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 07:41:12 PM »
Quote
So what vintage vehicle are YOU driving when you go into town for YOUR medical issues?

A 1999 Toyota Corolla, 1500 cc, running on 91-octane gasoline and driven gently.

More finger-pointing won't help you.  When the "save as many as you can" Road Show trundles into town, and starts telling people how "positively scrupulous and low end in my Carbon Footprint as I bring the message of Collapse to the Sheeple", some joker might point out that you could start by not owning four vehicles, (one of which you admit is only useful for after a major earthquake to flee to the mountains) and your electric scooter, your 2 tents (one large, one small) and your kerosene heater. (Not forgetting the 2 electric burners and a toaster, 2 smartphones, tablet AND laptop).



If you were to arrive on an electric scooter, with a small tent, a single burner propane stove, and no electrically-heated sleeping pad, "the sheeple" might take you seriously.



Your problem is you wish you could have MORE STUFF. - I am here to tell you should be buying LESS STUFF  :icon_sunny: and to be to your conscience - prick, prick, prick.
"The State is a body of armed men."

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2017, 07:49:39 PM »
A 1999 Toyota Corolla, 1500 cc, running on 91-octane gasoline and driven gently.


RE
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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2017, 08:25:34 PM »

More finger-pointing won't help you.  When the "save as many as you can" Road Show trundles into town, and starts telling people how "positively scrupulous and low end in my Carbon Footprint as I bring the message of Collapse to the Sheeple", some joker might point out that you could start by not owning four vehicles, (one of which you admit is only useful for after a major earthquake to flee to the mountains) and your electric scooter, your 2 tents (one large, one small) and your kerosene heater. (Not forgetting the 2 electric burners and a toaster, 2 smartphones, tablet AND laptop).

The Tioga has ZERO Carbon Footprint at the moment since I never drive it.  It was manufactured 30 years ago also, so that embedded energy is water under the bridge.  OWNING the vehicles doesn't contribute ANYTHING to increasing CO2, only DRIVING them does.  How much embedded energy went into the fiberglass hull of the sailboat you used to get to the South Pacific Rainforest and battle with the Pythons after your Chooks?
Quote
If you were to arrive on an electric scooter, with a small tent, a single burner propane stove, and no electrically-heated sleeping pad, "the sheeple" might take you seriously.

You know, I probably COULD put together an electric powered rig out of a ZEV Trike and Trailer, but where is the energy to run that one coming from?  It's going to come off the grid, because there is no way I could pull enough solar PV panels to keep the rig moving along the road more than a dozen miles a day, MAYBE.  If the sun is shining all the time.  I will not make it to many Churches to speak at this way.

Quote
Your problem is you wish you could have MORE STUFF. - I am here to tell you should be buying LESS STUFF  :icon_sunny: and to be to your conscience - prick, prick, prick.

YOUR problem is you're an ideologue and thoroughly unrealistic.  If you are going to try and get the message out about how energy dependent we are, you have to burn energy to do it!  Albert Bates Jet Sets around the world to do this.  I am just talking about driving around the fucking Interstate, which Truckers do every day burning a shit load more fuel than this rig will burn! You got any clue how much diesel I burned every day for 7 years?  Averaged around 75 gallons of the shit every fucking day. I won't get anywhere near that on this Road Trip.  Meanwhile, the other truckers are still out there keeping this show going. They are carrying Beer and Toilet Paper, I am carrying the Message of Collapse.  Which Cargo has more value?  ???   :icon_scratch:

Sitting on your ass in the Tropical Rainforest battling the Pythons, it's not like you are getting the message out too well, although granted your help in keeping the Diner floating is very valuable.  I sure do not appreciate your criticism of my methods though.  I do what I have to do to get this message out there.  Yes, it costs energy to do it.  You can't make an omelete without breaking a few eggs.

RE
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 08:34:10 PM by RE »
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