Archive for the ‘Travel Correspondence’ Category

Discussion about Gypsies and Using their Name for the Title of a Book


Promotional text for my book My Life – the Gypsy Traveler and related email correspondence below that.

Approach Letters

Hi, I came across your site and thought you might be interested in partnering with mine. My page is called The Gypsy Traveler and I write about my travels around the world. I work through the internet and can be anywhere, anytime. I run into Gypsies all the time and we totally relate to one another. For the past five years I’ve lived out of my truck (my home made caravan –, with solar panels on roof and internet through mobile phone or other means. I run a translation business in this way.

You can check out my travel blog here:

I’ve start to compile all my writing into a story of my life:

My sister said the title (The Gypsy Traveler) is too provocative so I wrote up some pages explaining my point of view:

So I’ve got a few interesting pages I could link back to you, not to mention all my other higher PR (Page Rank) pages on my other domains:

Hope we can come to some happy agreement!


Submit to other sites:

The Traveling Gypsy

I was born in Czechoslovakiain 1965, when the country was under the domain of Communist Russia. But the local government was liberal minded. The country’s president wanted “socialism with a human face”, and Czechs in general are a creative liberal bunch. After all, that is where Bohemia is located. Unfortunately, the conservative Soviet powers didn’t take kindly to this flowering liberalism, and because Czech is generally a very industrial country and was on the verge of developing nuclear power, in 1968 they sent in the troops to prevent a revert to democracy. Not to mention that Czech, bordered to the northwest by Germany and Austria to the south, has a strategic central location in Europe, which the Soviets did not want to lose (and neither Czech’s industry, which generally produced a lot of weapons for the Russians).

Discussion about Gypsies and Using their Name for the Title of a Book

Invasion of Prague in 1968.

My parents thought it was time to get the HELL OUT OF THERE. Threw their bags and us children into their 2-cylinder Lada and headed for the border. But the villagers, in the hopes of stopping the incoming tanks, littered the roads with nails. My dad had to patch up the tires six times by the time we made it to the border crossing, by which time it was well past the midnight deadline that the invading forces gave the rebel-hearted to leave.

Sneaked through crossing in our secret way and eventually made it to Canada’s capital, Ottawa.

Grew up in French-English surroundings and have fond Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn memories at the cottage in the country during the weekends and summers, or at summer camps inOntario andQuebec.

Mother remarried to a short-tempered black belt master with really old school thinking. It was clash of the titans and the family pressure cooker started hissing.

Eventually moved out west to Vancouver, and by the time I was in grade 10 the environment was beyond intolerable. For everyone. Suggested they send me to boarding school and they welcomed the notion with relief.

Discussion about Gypsies and Using their Name for the Title of a Book 2

A little more intense than this.

There they would cane you with a sawed off hockey stick if you swore, the discipline of which helped increase my grades from an average of 51% to almost 90 – enough to get accepted in the country’s most prestigious universities.

I chose Queen’s because it seemed like more fun, and fun it certainly was, boasting the second highest per-capital consumption of alcohol on the continent.

But I didn’t know what I wanted to learn, subsequently wasn’t motivated, and ended up taking three years off, during which time I worked at different jobs at different locations in the country. Learned the basics of many trades, and finally decided I wanted to start a business, so I switched faculties and completed my education.

Discovered the high earnings of tree planting ($250 dollars a day if you are a “high baller” like me) and did that during the summers. A crazy group of people and a nice change in environment from the different crazies in university.

Discussion about Gypsies and Using their Name for the Title of a Book 3

Treeplanting attire

The tree planters urged me to take at least a year off after university before starting my career, so I headed to Europe and instantly fell in love with it. Came back toCanadafor a grueling 8 month session of tree planting to save up cash and try out my Midas Touch and entrepreneurial skills in the recently democratizedCzech Republic.

I call it the magic years. It’s like those glass ornaments with a snowy scene inside. You quickly flip it over and the scene is filled with fluffy, falling snowflakes. This is what it felt like when Czech society turned over from communism to capitalism. There was hope and sparkle in everyone’s eyes. The beer was ridiculously cheap, girls fresh for westerners, and the environment attracted the adventurous and interesting from the west.

Over time though, the girls wizened up to the irresponsible antics of foreigners, the adventurous got bored and followed the wave eastward, and the stagnant stale air of suburbia encroached in on my little paradise of sparkle. It was time to leave.

The internet had come, I found work through that, and decided I could take my lifestyle on the road. I’ve been moving from one place to another my entire life and have developed itchy feet. I masterminded to move my business into a caravan, with solar panels on roof and internet through mobile phone or other means, so I could drift freely around the planet.

Finally received a major project large enough to fund this dream, but first to visit my mother in Vancouverfor Christmas, since it’s already been eleven years when I left. With the intention to also pilot test my dream. I purchased a van in Seattle, internet through Iridium satellite phone, and drove down to Mexico, flying back to Prague from LA some three months later. This heightened my itch and it took three years and another major project to make it possible.

Discussion about Gypsies and Using their Name for the Title of a Book 4

Beautiful truck I lived in for 5 years.

Now I’ve been five years on the road (in Europe) and absolutely love it. One person commented that they really admire my lifestyle, saying: “It’s great. You can arrive at a place, decide you like it, and plan to stay there for a few months or so.” I had to correct him: “It’s not like that. There is no agenda. I never decide how long I want to stay somewhere. When I get bored I simply crank up the engine and roll away.” Made it all the way to Cyprus, wandered through the Balkans, and always stay places long enough to make good friends and get a real feel for the local culture.

But the winters of Europe are not what I want and I’ve decided to scale down by buying a smaller laptop which I can easily fit into my backpack. I decided to cut the umbilical cord, leave my treasure truck behind in Europe and head to Asia for at least a year. South to Thailandduring the winters and perhaps North Vietnamin the hot summers. Then perhaps to Kenya to launch my Africa Charity Project, which is to teach Africans how to wire a village with solar panel and find work through the internet. Perhaps buy a truck for South America and fly to Europe for the summers. The world is my oyster and I want to swallow all of it.

If you’d like to join me on my journeys, I’d love the company:

Story of My Life – The Gypsy Traveler.

Email Correspondence on Gypsy Discussion

Asking Gypsy Sleepy of her Opinion with Title

Hey sleepy, if you like you can read my new webpage:

Unfortunately a lot of reading, if you have the time, but you might find it interesting. I’m experimenting with the possibility of selling my travel and life stories as a sort of online book. I’ve already written about half, which is online, because I’ve learned that writing original content and putting it on the web helps get my pages to the top of google. So I put text online to help me get new customers. But the travel stories are time consuming, with all the pictures that I have to add etc., and I’ve stopped making them, although for the past two years I continued to write about my travel experiences. But they are on my computer (not online) and I’ll only be willing to make webpages from them if people are interested enough to pay me something for it.

Discussion about Gypsies and Using their Name for the Title of a Book 5

Picture of Gypsy.

I’ve always considered myself a sort of Gypsy, because I’ve been moving from place to place my entire life and for other reasons, and it occurred to me that I could use as the title of my book “The Traveling Gypsy”. I asked some friends about the idea and my sister said that many people in the west will get angry at me because of this. If you go to the webpage above, at the very top you will see a link to my Gypsy explanation pages, and at the bottom of those, a continuation to the email discussion I had with my sister. In short, she says that people in the west are so analy politically correct and they will think that my insinuation that I am a Gypsy is insulting to that race, in light of all the suffering they had to endure over the centuries. Personally I thought that was nonsense and explained my point of view on the pages I mentioned above. In any case, I do not want to insult the Gypsy people so I thought I’d ask you for your opinion.

How are things going with you? karlos


Got into a discussion with my sister about the above title I thought I’d use for my book about my traveling experiences. Do you think Gypsies would be insulted by that? I never thought it would, but she says that people in the west would get extremely angry by it and scold me. As if it is somehow derogatory against the suffering they had to endure in the past. I do not understand the correlation, but certainly wouldn’t want to insult Gypsies. I find I always tend to get along with them great, and sort of feel like they are my brothers and sisters.

Discussion about Gypsies and Using their Name for the Title of a Book 6

Gypsy Huntress.

sorry but i didn’t understand what exactly do you mean?sorry…  what is the tittle of the book..  i didn’t get what exactly you think that can offend and insolved the gypsys …..?  some words? what words? some title? what title?  please,it’s interesting for me…you light my curiousity…so,PLEASE,let me understand…  what exactly is the problem and the thing,which it’s possible to insolved the gipsys?  thanks a lot.  i hope my missunderstanding will not make you to loose your motivation to explain to me…  this time,i hope,i will understand..  yours  eddie

hey sleepy, how’s it hangin?


Thank you for your query. Our website functions entirely in the service of the Society whose primary mission is to promote the academic study of Gypsies and Travelers. For myself, I fail to see the connection between our and your objectives. Gypsy and Traveler life is centered more on ethnicity and the distinct social organization each group has evolved, than it is on the traveling lifestyle, although most of the groups do have itinerant existence in their history. I am not sure what you would have to offer to the scholarly study of such groups, but I’m willing to bring your request up at our next Board of Directors meeting in Austria. If you can provide more detail on just how your proposed collaboration could further the Society’s goals please feel free to do so. I think I can understand how linking the two enterprises might help you, but not the other way around.

Discussion about Gypsies and Using their Name for the Title of a Book 7

Gypsy tales by Christina Santini

Hi Matt, that’s a good question, but I’ll give it a shot. Here are two reasons I could think of:

1) I’m good at search engine optimization, as you can see from here:

Search Engine Optimization

I haven’t updated it in a while so it should be improved since then. Considering the work I am putting into this I expect that within about a month my page could be at the top of google for The Gypsy Traveler. Linking to your pages then should help with your rankings, although I can understand you don’t really need it. I also want to try and promote my book and will try to draw a lot of traffic to that page, so this traffic could spill over to your pages. But I don’t know if that will be so interesting for you (surfers who have searched for “gypsy traveler”).

2) I run into a lot of Gypsies during me travels. Perhaps I could interview them or something? Or perform some research?

Otherwise, I really don’t know what I could offer. Thought I’d take a crack at it anyway.

More Gypsy discussions
Meet the travel goof.
Want to publish your own book?
Testimonies of Gypsies Suffering Under the Holocaust

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Once upon a Time, and Still Now, People Love Colours


Email correspondence concerning Web Design.

for example, a programmer charged me $500 to create this entire site in WP, including creating the html:  

That looks pretty basic and I figure I could do something like that. You can check out

Cyprus web design

During my travels in Cyprus

I did that for a restaurant in Cyprus and, as intended, its at the top of google for such keywords as “Slovakian restaurant inCyprus” or “Czech pub inCyprus” etc., including their Czech language versions. I made the flash presentation thing using pictures my friend Craig took. He’s got a better camera than I do but I took some of the pictures. Then we made the goofball video. I considered this the half way point but stopped short there once I realised they weren’t going to pay me anything. Most of the rest of the work was polishing things up and seo work. Now it’s just going to be a bad advertisement for them, forever.

I checked out your site and I still do not see any need for CMS. All this can be achieved with simple html, css and flash. I’ll study cms now to learn exactly what it is.


okay, checked out your Czech page and found what I already suggested at the top of it:

<html xmlns=””
dir=”ltr” lang=”cz”>
<head profile=”″>
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type”
content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″ />

Beautiful Czech girls

Beautiful Czech girls

With this the Czech should regularly show, as it does on that page. What problems are you having? Uploading new articles in Czech? With the above on every page the English should show up fine too, so you should be able to use this script for all your pages. Unless of course you want to publish in Arab or Chinese or something.

Checked out CMS and CMS WordPress and found the following excerpts:

“The software provides authoring (and other) tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of programming languages or markup languages to create and manage content with relative ease.

Most systems use a database to store content, metadata, or artifacts that might be needed by the system. Content is frequently, but not universally, stored as XML, to facilitate reuse and enable flexible presentation options.[1][2]

A CMS improves the lifecycle of your website for years to come. The “look and feel” of your site can be changed or relaunched, leaving existing content and page architecture untouched. No need to worry about copying and pasting content into another site, simply publish your new design and the CMS will pull the content into the new look.”

So it confirms my hunch, except now I see it is good for very large websites, or for people who don’t know so much about programming. A programmer could hack into the plugins or WordPress and customise it, then leave it for the normal user who then only has to upload articles and pictures. So I feel I could easily do this for you.

One thought occurred to me is that I could resolve your two problems for free – as a friend and to get my foot in the door – and then we move on from there? p


how’s your project going with the programmers I sent you? Good progress?

I read in your letter to them that you were looking for silverlight programmers. What’s that like? Since I’m getting increasingly into Flash and making fancy webpages, do you think it would be worthwhile for me to learn this as well? Does the browser user have to download some silverlight plugin like for Flash? I’ve seen it in action once, but it was some super duper American football website. Not sure I need to go that bonkers for my piddly needs. For now Flash, CSS, php and databases seem to accomplish quite a bit.


More work, the more I can eventually start increasing my price, cause I’ll have something else to fall back on. The thing about this CMS is that companies like it because their website looks nice, but  they don’t have to be techheads to add pages and stuff. Here’s the guy’s site:

web design 2

Another picture from Cyprus.

I think it will be increasingly popular. He just wants me to hack into the background php and do something the widgets and shit cant. So its interesting learning and I imagine more and more people will be using it, cause they can hire me to fiddle and do the rest themselves.

Just got another job twiddling with someone’s WordPress. CMS I believe its called. I’m just branching out like an octopus!

yeah I’ve heard about this. a bunch of people I know transferred their blogs onto WordPress when it first came out, it took them a while to learn but then they loved it.

another good tool for you . ..  . once you figure this out I think it will help you with your .html “blog” pages on your own website.

isn’t if funny, every new thing we learn opens a door to . . . . just more work!! ow ow ow.


Boy, what a loose password. I’d suggest you change that.

Okay, studying it now, but here some comments. When I’m lets say on the Czech contact page, we got:

but when I click on the EN link it jumps to the English homepage:

and same in the opposite direction, which I would say is a shortfall of the Widget, which should, ideally, instead go to the same page ID 11 (the contact form) but go to the English version instead. Should I look more into the other language widget I sent you to see if it does a better job? Or is this issue not so important? I’ll look into the Flash thing now but I have to admit that this is turning out to consume much more of my time than I expected. On the other hand, I can see the benefits of this CMS thing and that it could become popular among clients, since they would have a fancy website and not require rocket science to change stuff themselves. Just setting it up would require the hitech end. So generally I’m glad to be learning this but I’d like to get an idea what you would be offering for this type of work in the future. Obviously once I figure things out it would go much faster with future projects.

Off to study the Flash header now. p


web design 3

Guy making chair in Cyprus.

Just curious, a few times you were making remarks about my obnoxious colour pages, but do you know what web safe colours are? I just read up a bit about it and Mac and PC process colours differently. I have Corel and I can really fine tune colours too, like with your  Photoshop, but fine tuning out of the safe range might lead to problems. How do you usually go about it?

my comment was more about too many super bright colours on one page. you should choose background colours usually (navy blue, grey, black, white) then have really only one bright colour, if that. you had like purple and yellow or orange and something too much too much!

Re: web safe colours, I looked into it once and it didn’t really tell my anything special. someone accused me once of not using web safe colours on that biologist’s site I worked on, she said it was all hot pink and dithering. we took a survey and no one else saw that, she was actually gunning for my job, so I disregarded her.

what I do in PhotoShop is choose the Pantone colour I like, then go to the Web pallette so I get the actual .html code. If I bother to click the colour picker (colour wheel, just has the range of colours in a big circle) if the colour is not web friendly there appears a yellow yield sign with an exclamation point in it, like a warning. then I move the selection closer to the centre (white) to get out of the danger zone.

Re: PC vs. Mac, its not so much about that although it does matter, as it is about the different monitors. Some people are on crusty old monitors that can’t display millions and millions of colours, some people have not set their display correctly,  . . . theres a lot of morons out there so best to design something well within safe parameters. I know people who spent a lot of time putting purple text on black, or some such thing, then people ask why there is nothing on the page!

web design4

Guys hanging out in Cyprus.

yah, I did a lengthyish research and it seems that about 10% of the people out there still have shitty monitors, so its safe for them. And different browsers and operating systems also process things differently, although once it gets in the millions of colours I guess its less of a problem. In any case I’m just going to do what I want cause I don’t like the limited selection of the websafe colours. The 10% can blow me. It’s only for my Payment Reputation thing that I’m finally upgrading. Making the dbase robust and will use it as another example of what I can do. So its a free service and people shouldn’t complain. I select my colours with MS Expressions, through which you can connect to Window’s custom colour palette menu, and once you go back into Expressions it chooses the closest web based colour code thing. Since Expressions is Windows and most people have that and use IE, I should cover the most people. Plus I look at it in all my browsers (Opera, Chrome, Firefox and IE), so then I should really cover about 93% of people, except I just checked my my monitor, even though fairly old, is set at 32 bit. I think Safari MAc would be about 7%. I’ll ask you to look at my pages once in a while. But for you designing in Mac it might be something for you to consider. Or at least test the pages on your PC.

The worst thing is tables and why I’m thinking of going div, as all the big dudes suggest. Not looking forward to learning something new like this but probably necessary. Or even worse create exceptions in CSS for different browsers, as they say. What looks so pretty in my Chrome gets quite resized in every browser I try and I must say its rather annoying. For now I’m just adjusting to compromise. Or heck, even worse is when you do the ctrl+/- thing and resize fonts, or some browsers you can change the default font setting. Oh well, I’ll just get it up and running and I can go back and beautify tweak once in a while. The functionality is cool and looking forward to designing a special page for mobile phones. Think it can be useful for translators who get job offers while out of the office and want to check up a company’s reputation before committing to anything. I’ve also added a Category section so other professions can use the same shit. The more traffic the better. k

My own Web Design skills, with the help of others.
I’m also good at and enjoy programming.

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Work for Money over Mobile Internet


Correspondence while I travel, about traveling.

So I’m rather excited because today I finally managed to get a contract for cheaper internet. now I can surf in my toasty pension and not have to muscle my way for a spot at the cafe, where people giggle at my shorts in the cold and it gets too busy in the afternoon. Now I can do internet all the time, and reserve the cafe for only heavy downloads, cause I can only transfer some 5 gigs a month. But in the end I’ll save money, cause I wont have to drink all those beers  in the cafe either, and I’ll even save on the internet, because its ridiculously expensive if off a prepaid package.

So I got a year contract now and looks like I’ll probably stay about a year in this country. Might even get a resident card, which apparently gives me as much rights as a regular citizen. Costs 7.5 Euro, good for five years, and all I need is two EU ID and a bank account. I have one here for free, and super cheap. Cost an unbelievable 50 cents to open, transfers to Czech are cheap, and they don’t charge me anything to keep my money there. Sometimes I wonder how cheaply these Bulgarians work. A free bank! They been around for 15 years so are set in stone here. Could turn out useful.

So my plan is to stay here until shortly after New Years and then drive east where my friend will get back fromChina, so I can stay at his place for free and he can offer me some construction work as well. Only half the pay what Rog was giving me, but it doesn’t really matter, because I could probably work for an hour or two a day, develop some muscle tone, pay for food and maybe some beers, and just chill out with a friend as we work on the place together. He’ll be there for some six months I think and then I was thinking of driving up theBlack Seaonce its warm enough. Have some contacts I could visit inRomaniaand theUkraine. Otherwise it will be great to be able to cruise at will aroundBulgariaand the coast with my fast and cheap internet: up to 3G in some places (last place on the market), otherwise fast enough elsewhere, 5 gigs a month (quite a bit) for 18 Euro a month. Guess I can’t complain. Looking forward to the coast!


just read your email on my mobile and will respond again later once I download it to my computer. Maybe I’ll be lucky and do that today. Still haven’t figured out how to get internet from my mobile to my computer, which should hinge on installing the software which I got when I bought the mobile. But my CD thing broke about a year ago, so I couldn’t install it from the CD. Want to buy an external DVD/CD burner but waiting to earn some more money. So the only other way is to borrow some laptop etc., which can be pretty scarce in this village. Fortunately Roger invited me out for dinner last night so I texted him to bring his laptop, and through that I copied the CDs to my mobile and today I will install the software and hopefully figure it out. That way I will be able to stay in my room more and not depend on the internet cafe so much, where I was “forced” to buy beers every day in the mornings, to justify my internet use there. This will help me save money. With the contract I will also save money, because I get 5 gigs a month for 18 Euro, which is less than I was spending before with the prepaid program, and probably downloading less than half a megabyte. I hope the EU breaks these mobile operator prices. They are ridiculous. Was talking about it with Roger last night and it is apparent that they charge ridiculous prices for internet because they consider it “business clientelle” who need it and charge an arm and a leg. And why do I consider it expensive? Well, I know you are not IT savvy, but perhaps you will understand that to transfer voice (a regular phone call) consumes much more data transfer (it’s all just ones and zeros) than internet. And it has to be live (immediate). So it is ridiculous to charge more for internet than regular phone call. But that is my life. I guess within about five years internet on the mobile will be normal and it will be much more affordable, and fast, by then.

I had to pay a deposit for the contract (since I do not have a Bulgarian citizenship – although I can get that for 7 Euro and probably will in a few months), so I am very low on cash at the moment, but should be getting money soon, and expect to receive a total of 700 Euro over the next few weeks, which can technically last me two months in this country.

Ran into a stumbling block with my tree planting software because I cannot seem to make it compatible with the industry’s standard. They are apparently too smart for us, but maybe my Siberian programmer will be able to figure something out. Fortunately my client said he is still interested in it, now that I’ve reduced the price from 1500 to 300 Cdn. Even if only five customers eventually buy the software it will be worth all my efforts, so I am glad to keep working on it, and if I eventually find enough success, I will consider approaching other industries, because I enjoy this software development – more interesting and a better use of my intelligence than translating.

Still haven’t started translating from French yet and already have one customer banging on my door asking me when I will finally complete the sample. I explained that I feel too rusty and that, almost every day, I have been reading a French online newspaper to practice and beef up my vocabulary. I have some translators who have agreed to help me with the French, so hopefully it will not take too long before I get that going. There is aLOTmore work in that language combination, and it pays twice as well as Czech to English, so it could become a good base income for me once I get that going. Then I will be able to realize all my dreams because I could hire others to do the hundreds of tasks I’ve piled up over the years. By translating for a Czech agency, at most I can hope to make maybe 1500 Euro a month. Technically not so bad, but because I usually end up translating about sewers, car parts and other terribly boring subjects, full time of translating that is about enough to make me jump out the window. I think that French translations could be more interesting. Anyway, obviously I way too old to be working for subsistence wages, so I hope this French thing will turn into an opening to better times, finally. I know I have the intelligence and skills to make lots of cash, and my costs are very low, so I hope one day things will kick in for me. Otherwise I’ve been enjoying my travels and I like the variety, so even though I’m a poor sod at the moment, I’m relatively happy, and that is more important than anything.

So last night when I was with Roger the foreman (G – don’t even want to pronounce his name) was there. Wasn’t too keen to see him, but he started some conversations, and after Roger left with his girlfriend our desire for girls led us to agree to go to the local disco afterwards. So we drank together a bit and I guess we are on speaking terms again. Who knows, perhaps they will invite me back, but I am not very keen on the idea because the entire experience is rather soured for me. But on Jan 5 another friend will come back fromChinaand he said he could hire me as well. He’s a Brit too and bought a house in the eastern part ofBulgaria. He will be there for about 6 months. Unfortunately he pays about half of what Roger does, but it doesn’t really matter because I prefer to only work a few hours a day anyway (just to stay a little bit in shape) and spend the rest of it on the computer, which can pay so much more than even Roger can offer me. I will have a free place to stay, make a little bit of money to cover my minimal costs, and work on my computer as much as I want. One problem is that G the foreman seemed to be constantly jealous that I was so free and could combine things with my computer, and kept pressuring me to work for him more. This way I will have more freedom and less pressure, and can just hang out and enjoy myself. The only thing I regret is that I did not have the opportunity to learn more about the reconstruction, because eventually I thought I’d like to reconstruct my own house.


Nice to here from you. I remember something symphonic going on in the  film score to Stargate and that it was done fairly well. I’ll take note of it next time if I hear it. I think I actually have Stargate here. I remember it to be in the Wagnerian film score style, i.e. something in direction of John Williams’s score for Star Wars. I love  the part where the big soldiers give the twerp “that look” when he pulls out his candy bars on the distant planet. I’m no expert on film  music, but I remember the scores to Taxi Driver andAlteredStatesas  ones I really like.

Oh yes, and that reminds me of the first Alien movie. I had one fanatic friend who had a tape of that soundtrack and he played it for me once in a treeplanting camp. It was a hot day, full sun, middle of the day, and we were sitting in the truck listening to it. In the middle of a dirt patch they were using for parking. An absolutely boring site, but even so listening to the music scared the shit out of me. You totally don’t notice it cause you are engrossed so much in the scary movie, but I must admit I’ve never heard any classical music like that. Could be good for you to check that out as well. Don’t think they had the same conposer for the other Alien movies though.

What’s happening with you these days? Let me know what’s happening. I finally send off my article for proofs, i.e. the one about communist  era musical culture. I showed it to you at one time, but now I’ve polished the text head-to toe. You can take a look in the attachment  here if you’re interested; it will be on-line with the pix and musical  examples in January:

Checked it out quickly and sounds good. Actually, when I think about it, it’s a pretty interesting subject and perhaps you should consider marketing it through other angles as well. Sure, go the usual magazine route, but perhaps try to approach specific groups interested in studying about brainwashing the masses. They might never think about picking up a magazine about music etc. Always market yourself from as many angles as you can, and then you’d be surprised what doors could open for you, rather than stick to some traditional and confined approach.

Otherwise, I’m trying to get motivated for new projects and I am  really feeling the lack of motivation. Haven’t wanted to do anything  for a number of days! Got stuff I should really be doing to, like preparing for a conference inNorwayin a months time. I wonder why I  do this to myself…

What I like to do is create a To Do list. It’s now around 600 long. I put it in an Excel file in various categories etc. (mostly for when I’m online, and then offline work). When I have paying work I do that, but the rest is “development” work. So whenever I do development work, often I’ll prioritise it, such as looking for more work etc., but many times I’ll just go through my long list and do what I feel like at that particular moment. This way almost all the time I’m interested in what I’m doing, therefore I enjoy it and then the motivation comes by itself. But I understand that what I do can be rather diverse and across the spectrum, so I have quite a lot to choose from. Nevertheless, if you started focusing more on marketing and less on production, as I last suggested, you could start to branch out in other areas and you might find the variety more interesting, and easier to motivate productive use of your time. And focusing on marketing could lead to interesting and surprising fruits!

At the moment still in Shiroka Laka, just west of Smolyan, and start of new year I plan to move to eastern Bulgaria, and during the summer drive up the Black Sea. Just yesterday I signed a contract for a year, so I will have cheap internet throughout Bulgaria and through my mobile. Am looking forward to discovering the country and heard there are many beautiful parts. Would be cool if you could hook up at some point! Could arrange some wifi router internet for you as well, so you could do some research or work maybe. latergator


oh I’m so happy, a customer just sent me 150 bucks as a deposit for my software. So far my programmer couldn’t make it compatible with the industry’s monster program, so I had to drop my price to 300, but if I sell at least five it will be well worth all the effort I put into it, and hopefully I’ll be able to sell more of it. I certainly know it will save a lot of time compared to piddling around with Excel, like I’m sure most people do. And this money came just as I had less than 20 Euro to my name, and all my bank accounts cleaned out empty. But within a week or two I expect to receive about 700 Euro from different sources, so that should be plenty to survive for two months in this country, even though I’m staying in a pension. Once I move to my friend’s place after the New Year’s it would be four months. But I assume I’ll have lost of work by that time. Just wanted to share the great news with someone!


To travel stories


Caravan Security


When I first set out on my trip I was a bit scared but my friend Roger offered some great caravan survival tips, which included matters concerning security, but over the years while on the road I’ve picked up some juicy tricks myself. I’ll throw them off my head as they come up.

First of all a good alarm system would be advisable, even though I haven’t bothered to use mine in the safe countries I’ve been traveling through. In particular because I’m always sleeping inside! Or I’ll park the truck in a safe place.

But an alarm system can definitely be an advisable backup. Not only do the new systems have incorporated GPS units which can help you track down your vehicle if it ever gets stolen, but you can activate your alarm in times of peril to help scare away attackers. Even the blinking red light on the dashboard can serve a useful purpose. For activation in times of peril, I glued a Velcro strip onto the movement sensor and generally keep that in the glove box. If I plan to sleep elsewhere and am worried about security, I can pull it out and stick it into its place, activate the alarm and leave. If I am under attack while inside, I can turn on the alarm (or keep it running if I am uncertain about my surroundings) and pull open the glove box to activate it.

Otherwise, in such times of peril, a scruffy and scary face with bulged out eyeballs can go a long way. Many times I would be sleeping quietly in the back when I would hear someone blatantly try to open the door. Because I like to park anywhere without being harassed by the police, I designed my caravan so that it does not look like one but rather like a regular delivery truck, and most such curious persons would never think someone is actually sleeping inside. Which is when I stealthily sneak up towards the front, and as they are talking to their friends trying to figure out how to get inside, my scary scruffy face slowly appears in the side window, appearing out of the darkness like some ghost. You can be assured that the assailants are often a hair short of a heart attack and would rather just get the heck out of there as fast as they could. If you combine this with the alarm, perhaps some harmless fireworks or a flare gun (as Roger suggested – I even keep a long kitchen knife handy for extra show), and a well practiced and crazed look, you should be pretty safe.


But what if it’s not some thief who’s trying to break in but yourself, seeing your keys fell out of your pocket while swimming in the ocean? For such a case it is advisable to get some duct tape and store an entrance key in a carefully concealed place somewhere outside the vehicle. But you didn’t hear me mention that, did you? Obviously you should have several spares inside the truck, especially if you have visiting friends, and keep the originals carefully stored away, in case you need to make more copies.


Besides storing extra copies of your keys somewhere hidden inside your caravan, you should use your secret hiding place to also store all your important documents, such as your passports and credit cards, and a reasonable amount of cash and/or traveller’s cheques in case you lose your wallet, damage your credit card, or other such calamity. Sometimes my card is blocked just because I use it in a geographic location other than my permanent residence, and it can take a few days to get it reset, so make sure you do not have to sell your bumbum to survive!

I generally try to avoid carrying my credit cards with me, and for that matter, any other important documents, such as my health insurance card. If you happen to lose your wallet, how are you going to replace such valuable documents when so far away from home? On the other hand, what is the point of having health insurance if you are not carrying it on you in time of need? To solve this I simply took a digital picture of such important documentation and went to a print shop and got laminated copies made. Before bringing the files on a usb memory stick, I like to add the text “This is a copy – the originals are in my truck”. Unless you are in cut-throat capitalistAmerica, most hospitals will not turn you away in emergency situations, especially if you have something like this on you. They can always use the ID number and verify something over the phone.

And speaking of printing out copies of originals, I did the same for my license plates. Sure, technically illegal to be driving around the world with printed copies of your license plates, but I find that the police are not the most intelligent lot, under a layer of dirt it really does not look that different (the license plates, not the police), and if they do happen to catch you (the police), you simply show them the originals and explain to them my story, how I had a roommate in university who loved collecting vehicle license plates and had about 30 of them pinned up on his wall from all over America. Great and authentic looking collector’s items, but certainly not an interesting matter to arrange a replacement, some several thousand kilometers from home.


And what if you are a drunken dork and get all your credit cards stolen while on a binge around town? I suppose you can keep important credit card cancellation information somewhere in your caravan, but what if that is one the items which were stolen?! I already do this as a rule for my business, since my work is internet and computer based, but generally I like to store all such information somewhere on the internet. If you are not as savvy as I am, with a secure server and login webpages where I store all my backups and sensitive information, you can do something simple like write all the information in a Word file, perhaps zip/compress that into an archive if you are extra paranoid, and send it to yourself or from some other email account, to your Hotmail or other address, and store that incoming email in some obscure folder. The subject of the email can be “here is a picture of my little kitten”, or something else which would seem totally uninteresting to a criminal, if they did manage to break into your email account. If you ever access your account from an internet café, always make sure to clear the passwords from the browser. Many internet cafes are momma poppa dime operations who don’t have a clue how to set up a network and their browsers could be set to automatically store passwords. Or better yet, set yourself up a second email account and use that only for security purposes, keeping your regular account for general mail and regular logins at internet cafes. Otherwise you might once forget the tedious process of clearing the password, or the internet café can have some malicious software installed as explained in my internet connection while traveling page – no need for unnecessary security breaches.

For a scary and suspenseful story you might like to read how I managed to stave off attacking criminals while in Croatia.

I don’t like to deal with the added responsibility, but even the most laid back rottweiler fastened by a thick chain to your front entrance will stop most from even considering. Even an annoying and yapping little dog left inside while you’re out partying can act as a great alarm system.

Keeping your truck modest looking, a little dirty and no visible bells and whistles would less likely generate any interest. Such as keeping the visible front driver’s seat a little untidy. I like to keep a roll of toilet paper on the dashboard because I’m constantly blowing my nose, but from the outside, it seems to make the entire truck appear worthless and uninteresting.

And a good attitude can easily tip the scales. By being humble and nice to locals, they might warn you about something or suggest better places to park. On the other hand, if you’re a cocky son of a bitch who likes to throw money around the bar, you will certainly attract attention and might find at least one person following behind you in the darkness while you stagger your way back to your vehicle.

If you are extra paranoid and traveling through some dark and scary places, keeping a bible visible on the front passenger seat could also tip the scales. Even desperate criminals can have a conscience, or be just plain ol’ superstitious. Or consider you a modest and good brother and they’d rather save their desperate attacks for the cocky sons of a bitches.

If you are going away for a longer period of time, or are super paranoid, I like to keep all my expensive electronics and other gadgets in a super treasure safe located under (and the size of) my bed and which has been bolted firm through the undercarriage of the vehicle.

Following these various tactics, I’ve found myself fairly safe over the past two years, while many of my friends have reported their homes being robbed right from under their noses, while sleeping! Houses can be a much more lucrative and attractive target than a beat up old truck, out of which a scruffy, unkempt, modest and amiable individual crawls out every morning.


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