Introductions & the like (1 Viewer)

ev wood

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I'm not great at these in person, I tend to observe people to an extent before introducing myself because I'm moderately quiet and tremendously curious by nature. I find you learn more with mouth closed which often makes me come across as naive but that's a misnomer. So...

About me: I grew up in Alabama (Birmingham), as a result I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about how much of the world views me (girls being delicate and other such bullshit). It takes me awhile to warm up to people so if we meet in the real world don't be offended by this, I'm actually a really sweet human once you get to know me. I'm a whiskey drinker coffee lover and I make really good biscuits. I draw compulsively, mostly birds, useful plants and people I meet. I play the spoons & am learning the banjo. I have a remarkable pain tolerance and I eat a lot of apples. Currently I'm living in my van (sometimes by a river).

I guess I'm looking for a lot; freedom, practical skills, community etc. I would describe myself as hungry for knowledge. Right now I ride solo but in a perfect world I'll meet some people I can run with, however those things happen organically so I wouldn't say I'm actively seeking. I've always lived by trains and the only man I ever loved hopped freight so of course I'm interested in it but given its nature it would take meeting someone I trusted enough to teach me and is willing to, which seems like a pretty tall order - based on that I figure it will happen if it should.

After a few days in new orleans next week I'm hoping to head west for the first time. I've been obsessed with the desert since I was a kid and I've met so many fantastic salt of the earth humans from Washington that I'd like to spend time there as well.

Anyway, I'm really glad I found this site, it seems like a great place for gathering knowledge and meeting people on the road, thanks all for letting me join in.

Oh yeah, I have a Tumblr too, it's kind of personal but if you're curious or bored http://delasoleil.tumblr.com/
 
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Charlie

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Your Tumblr is uber neato.

Quite the introduction ev wood. I think you'll find quite a bit of freedom, practical skills, community etc. As a Washingtonian (and I appreciate what you said about other Washingtonians, I love my home state!), I definitely know you can find a lot of these traits here. Oregon and California are also great states to visit. As a road tripper and a hitchhiker, I've had some very pleasant experiences in California and Oregon (more pleasant than my travels to/through other states). Don't get me wrong, other states are wonderful, but the people can be different. I had a lot of fun in other states, but to find the traits mentioned above, west coast states has it going on, I want to volunteer in Hawaii too.

Which route do you plan to take? I-10? Route 66 (I-40)?
 
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ev wood

ev wood

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Thank you Charlie (&& slack)!

I definitely want to see Oregon & California as well, I've got some wonderful friends from college to visit out there and besides that I've always been curious about them. From (most of) the people I've met from the west coast I can definitely see how it would be a friendlier place for travelers - maybe something to do with it being one of the more recent territories explored in our history? I'm curious about your experiences in other states, especially the south I suppose because I'm from it and therefore am always concerned as to how my home turf treats others. There are a lot of crappy people here but from my experience the older crowd (what I would consider my Grandparent's age) are much more tolerant than they are often given credit for so long as you are well mannered and hard working.

What would you be doing in Hawaii? It seems like such an amazing land and I'd love to go but it seems like it would take a lot of money I don't have.

As far as routes I'm not sure yet, I really prefer traveling on highways because I have a better chance of finding odd work / interesting people / safe camping spots. I'd like to go i-40 but I may be picking up a rideshare out to Portland in nola and if that comes through I may do a straight(ish) shot up to chicago to see some friends & connect to 80. What would you suggest? I pretty much meander and find work when I need gas to the next town so pretty much anything is viable.

Also sorry I keep writing books, this is my first forum experience and apparently I'm much wordier than I am in person.
 

Charlie

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Lol, I like books. You should see some of my posts that are several paragraphs. I feel the same wordiness while writing or typing as well.

My travels through other states wasn't bad, but it could've been better. Arizona was cool except Phoenix, Flagstaff is awesome, from there I headed east on I-40. New Mexico was interesting, highways are terrible there though because the speed limit changes so much that it's hard to keep track (I got a speeding ticket in Taos, luckily 10mph over is a $65 ticket), lots of cool sites in Taos and plenty of hot springs too. Northern Texas was pretty bare, not a lot there, but the people in Amarillo are very friendly, and if you can eat a 72 oz steak in one sitting, you can stay fed and then some there with ease (and I've heard lots of good things about Houston, bad things about Dallas). Oklahoma was the closest to Washington that I could get minus the mountains and 130' tall trees, It was very pretty, and the people were VERY nice. Arkansas was interesting, but in some areas cops were very anti-vagrant and would tell us to get out of town. There was a very proactive Occupy camp in Little Rock, but it seemed like they were having problems with people going there like it's a bum feed and they were getting fed up and thinking of starting an application process for new comers (boy that was quite a debate). We didn't see much of Tennessee because we drove through it in one night, we drove along highway 64 to I-24 through Chattanooga, we were pulled over twice that night, the first cop gave my co-driver a ticket because the cop was being a pig and my co-driver felt like arguing, the second cop pulled me over and I told everybody in the car to shut up and I got off with a warning. Georgia seemed alright, some people there seemed generous yet paranoid. Florida was okay, but at the same time a total wreck. I walked 30 miles trying to hitch a ride and only was picked up by one guy who drove me a couple miles down the road.

That's how my experience was with other states, since then I've stuck around to my home turf. I know that I made the mistake of driving there in a hurry without seeing the sites. Unfortunately, I had several passengers who always wanted to drink beer while I was chain smoking cigs because I was stressing from all of the driving. They wanted to get there fast and I wanted to get away from them faster. After that and recent events in my home town, driving is old. If I were to travel across the country, I'll thumb it, bus it, skate and hike. I'd also probably prefer to take a northern route just because it seems chill in most northern states. I could drive, I'm an excellent driver and a resourceful gearhead, good at getting out of a pinch, but I feel it would only be worth it to do so as a traveling band.

Ooff, that pulled me down a road I haven't been down in a while. That goes to show I'll have to do another cross country expedition just to prove to myself that the other states are just as good and that it's not as bad as I currently imagine it.

What would I do in Hawaii? Lots of things! Volunteer on a coffee farm or a macadamia nut farm, or whatever farm I can find. Preferably either an organic farm or a WWOOF farm. I would see how long they would want me to stay and work in order for it to be worth it for them to buy my ticket to there and return flight to mainland. As a WWOOFer/volunteer I wouldn't make any money (maybe a little if they want to pay me a little bit), but I would stay fed and housed (I would be fine with tent camping too). Also I would have free time to learn to surf, skateboard, hike, see sites, attend concerts/festivals, start/join jam sessions/drum circles, fish, teach people, swim, hang out in state parks, play soccer/baseball/basketball/frisbee/frisbee golf, read books, write songs, anything. I don't need money to enjoy myself, I just need to use plenty of creativity and simply enjoy myself. If I need money to acquire something, I could arrange a deal for extra labor for a set price with my host/employer, or I could busk and make like $100/hour or more (preferable). I'm good at accomplishing goals without any money at all, but for some instances it's required, like to get into concerts (Van Halen!?! OH! I've GOTTA get into that! I'm busking it!), or bus/transit fare, golfing, buying a new skateboard/parts, eating inside of a restaurant that people keep talking about (Okay! Okay! I'll check it out! you're the 12th person who says the pizza is bomb!). I'm sure it would cost money to go from island to island in Hawaii. All and all I think Hawaii would be a really very incredibly good experience, especially the busking and surfing.

I think the I-80 route sounds the most fun, plus I would think it would be wayyy too hot on southern routes such as I-10 or I-40, If your van's older, (depending on it's condition), you could be more likely to overheat, have more tire wear, breakdown for whatever reason (if you take a southern route, keep an eye on coolant levels, watch engine temp gauge, check tires for excessive wear, know the condition of your air filter and exhaust/catalytic converters [when clogged, the vehicle won't run right and they will need to be cleaned/replaced], and run higher octane gas such as 92 octane [I personally never use 87 octane] because it burns cooler and gets better mileage, check oil every time you fuel up, using a thicker oil means you'll burn less and it will take longer to break down for high temperatures, so if you usually run 10w 30 and are burning/leaking oil, you may want to buy a new oil filter, and enough 10w 40 oil to fill the motor as required, and change the oil), so keep in mind that vehicle maintenance is important to avoid costly breakdowns/accidents. Also, overheating is most likely to occur in cities where you make frequent stops and are starting/shutting off the motor often. If you take a northern route, I assume it will be 90f-100f degrees on sunny days which isn't as bad for driving. I'm not saying that you can't take southern routes, I'm just saying take care of your van if you do (as should always be the case).

It sounds like you will enjoy your trip regardless of the route you choose and that any route has it's share of benefits/detriments. However, the benefits/detriments are based on your opinions moreso than mine.

Once you get to the wild west, you should get in touch with me. I'm going to be in a small town called Onalaska, WA which is just north of Portland. I'll be there for about 10 days learning to meditate and then I'll be free to roam about. It'll just be me, my pack, a ukulele and a skateboard (I'm so stoked on this, my first trip with a skateboard).
 
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ev wood

ev wood

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No worries, it was a good read with lots of useful information ^_^

I'm not crazy about driving myself, much of the time I'd rather sell the thing. I sometimes feel like it keeps me from getting close with people because I have the option of a retreat and it would be great not to worry about gas / upkeep / etc, but I have to admit I also appreciate the luxury of having a place I feel secure sleeping if I find myself in a sketchy situation or even better being able to get the hell out of dodge when I need to. Anyway needing cash to fund it keeps me from being lazy because if I don't find work I'm stuck.
It definitely sucks to ride with people that don't appreciate what a pain it is to fuck with driving / directions while everyone else gets to nap & day drink. I travelled with one couple for a little bit that completely loaded up my van with all their crap to the point that two of the doors weren't accessible and to top it off crammed my pack way in the back corner underneath it all - I was pretty happy to get my little road home back to myself after that one. I don't know how they carried it all, they had more stuff hitching than I do driving. As far as being on the road with others in a vehicle being able to play music together definitely makes it worthwhile (in my experience at least - I do miss that part.)

Hawaii sounds amazing, you should definitely go for it. I've been looking to WWOOF in Washington, and if I could get a deal where they'd pay for my ticket I'd go to Hawaii in a heartbeat. My only expenses are food & tobacco so as long as I could get a way out there I wouldn't need money, making your own fun is always better anyway.

I'm definitely going the Northern route, my van is almost twenty years old so checking everything when I fuel up is standard. Thanks for the tips on gas I always just use 87 without thinking about it. Usually I only get gas when I'm on my way somewhere else though, when I set up in a city I walk everywhere because starting / stopping will drain your tank too.

Safe travels on your skateboard, that sounds awesome! && I will!
 

Charlie

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Wow, it sounds like we drum to the same beat. Speaking of music, how long have you been playing banjo? Can you sing and play? And what are the strings tuned to on a 5 string banjo (guitar is EADGBe)?
 
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ev wood

ev wood

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Oh I've only been playing about a month, I'm teaching myself & picking up mini - lessens from whoever I can. I can play two songs off the top of my head and a few others if I have the tabs but I haven't quite broken that wall of being able to sing without screwing up. & it's gdgbd. How long have you been playing uke?
 

Charlie

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I picked up ukulele about 4 months ago for a college music theory class. I play a few other instruments too, 6-string, slap bass, wash bucket bass, piano, djembe (would like to improve rhythm much more), irish penny whistle, and a little harmonica.

gdgbd? That's a g major chord right there. That sounds like it would be quite easy to play some chords on. I've always been curious about banjo, but I haven't sat down and played one yet, recently I was intrigued by a the sound of a banjo when I jammed with some musicians at a music festival.

I've been enjoying music theory and learning applications so much recently that I find myself able to learn just about anything in a flash. I could give you quite a few pointers on those subjects as well. Even right here.
 
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ev wood

ev wood

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That's awesome, I mess around on the harmonica but really only play spoons well enough to do it in public. I've always been a dancer so I've got rhythm down but as far as playing is concerned everything I've done right has been sheer luck. For a long time I had this silly idea that I couldn't make art & music or something totally fucked like that, so I know virtually nothing about music theory. I would definitely love to learn more, anything you could tell me would be much appreciated.
 

Charlie

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Okay, here's some reading material and practice material. This is music theory which means you can apply it to every music instrument.



SHARPS AND FLATS: A sharp simply means one half step up, while a flat simply means one half step down. There is such a thing as double flats, double sharps, triple flats, triple sharps, that's okay, it simply means one half step down per flat (triple flat = three half steps down), or one half step up per sharp (triple sharp = three half steps up). When this happens, keep in mind an E### is not a G, it remains an E###, trust me, this keeps it simple.



NATURAL NOTES: A natural note is any note which has no sharp or flat. For example, A, B, C, D, E, F, G. All natural notes are whole steps apart except E + F and B + C, which are half steps apart.



TRIADS: Every other natural note makes up a triad, three of these are major triads, three of these are minor triads, and one is diminished. The major triads are CEG, GBD, FAC (C,G,F, the happiest sounding chords you'll ever know). The Minor triads are DFA, EGB, ACE (DEA, Drug Enforcement Agency, this is the people that keep drugs and alcohol away from MINORS!). The only triad which is diminished is BDF (a very villainous sounding triad). There are four kinds of triads (but only three kinds which you can compose of natural notes), major sounds happy and exciting, minor sounds sad and dramatic, diminished sound villainous, the fourth is augmented which sounds like you're floating in space. The difference between these triads is the spacing of the frets. Major is spaced 1-5-8, Minor lowers the 3rd a half step from a major which spaces 1-4-8 (the reason why I say 3rd is because triads are composed of a 1st, 3rd, and 5th, why? well take a CEG triad for example, a C Major scale goes C D E F G A B C. C is the 1st note, E is the 3rd note, and G is the 5th note in the C Major scale). In order to change a major into a minor, lower the 3rd (C E G >> lower 3rd >> C Eb G), in order to change a minor into a major, raise the 3rd (D F A >> raise 3rd >> D F# A).

A diminished triad is spaced 1-4-7. Only a minor triad can be made into a diminished triad. A minor can be made diminished by lowering the 5th (D F A >> lower 5th >> D F Ab). A major can be made minor and then diminished (C E G >> lower 3rd >> C Eb G >> lower 5th >> C Eb Gb).

An augmented is spaced 1-5-9. Only a major triad can be made into an augmented triad. A major can be made augmented by raising the 5th (C E G >> raise 5th >> C E G#). A minor can be made major and then augmented (D F A >> raise 3rd >> D F# A >> raise 5th >> D F# A#).

The importance of triads is triads are the building blocks for chords and every chord capable music instrument. Minor chords use minor triads, major chords use major triads, Diminished chords use diminished triads, augmented chords use augmented triads. Also understanding triads helps a musician form their own chord structures.


SCALES: These are notes played in a certain order after a root note. For example, a major scale goes, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step (whole step is two frets, half step is one fret) here's all of the major scales you would need to memorize (eventually, you would memorize them based on the number of flats or sharps they have) (yes I have them memorized)

A B C# D E F# G# A, Bb C D Eb F G A Bb, C D E F G A B C, D E F# G A B C# D, Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb, F G A Bb C D E F, G A B C D E F# G

Those are the main Major scales, if you want to play something else, Ab Major, for example, you would take the A Major scale and flat everything (lower everything a half step) and you would get the right scale A B C# D E F# G# A >>> flat everything >>> Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab. This same technique could be used on any scale, If you flat an F major scale, you will end up with a double flat, that's okay, that happens (double flat means two half steps down).

By memorizing all of these scales, one can identify what key a piece of sheet music is in. Let's say there is one sharp "#" next to the time signature, this indicates there is only one sharp in the scale used which is F# (or it could also be the relative minor: D minor, but that's a lesson for later).



Here's a tip outside of music theory. This is something you can use when learning how to do anything: Start slow and relax, this develops muscle memory and ease of muscle use so that when you speed up you are more fluid and have less muscle strain/cramp. I'm able to use this for various sports, music, I could also use it for dance, martial arts, yoga, etc. This tip has changed how I approach every activity.
 
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ev wood

ev wood

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Oh my word this is great, especially the info on triads & forming the major / minor (+ diminished / augmented which I didn't even know the name for but have definitely played). Also I like your descriptions of them, very accurate. Thank you for outlining the scales too, that's something I've known for a minute that I needed to learn, I'm writing all of this down in my sketchbook so I'll have access to it away from the computer.

Also, that last tip is probably the best, I definitely agree with you that it really improves the quality of learning / doing anything. It's funny how often I catch myself trying to rush through something and have to remember to breathe, step back and let it come naturally, which it always does.

As far as playing slowly I really like the way it sounds when it's not super sped up bluegrass - style anyway so the tones & innotations are more clear, and as far as banjo goes it makes it sound so sweet. for example:


so good. thanks again!
 

Charlie

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You're more than welcome, I greatly enjoy learning new things. I enjoy teaching even more so because I get to learn perspectives and techniques about the subject I teach, how other people learn, react, and perceive, also because I learn how my etiquette, confidence, and attitude is reflected in others. I've also taught snowmobiling, snowboarding and skiing (can be very difficult), mathematics, and anything else I'm able to do. I'm not a teacher, but I do enjoy to teach.

I like the song by the way, it's a sweet lullaby, the rhythm and melody of the banjo remind me of a train going down the tracks, I'm not sure why it reminds me of that, but it does.
 

iHaveRabiez

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hey ev! awesome introduction. and I really adored your work on tumblr. looking forward to hearing more of your story. hope you find what you're looking for.
 
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ev wood

ev wood

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hey ev! awesome introduction. and I really adored your work on tumblr. looking forward to hearing more of your story. hope you find what you're looking for.
Thank you! I'm headed northwest at the moment, can't even imagine how crazy I'm going to go drawing once I get there. Going through Colorado tomorrow if anyone is around!
 

jrock

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Good luck in your adventures! I know some great places and people, I might be able to point you in the right direction if you are interested. If you push it really hard you might be able to make the last few days of Mutant Fest. I think its in Prineville OR this year. Always a good time... Although it ends on the 22nd...
 
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ev wood

ev wood

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Good luck in your adventures! I know some great places and people, I might be able to point you in the right direction if you are interested. If you push it really hard you might be able to make the last few days of Mutant Fest. I think its in Prineville OR this year. Always a good time... Although it ends on the 22nd...
Thank you! I always welcome tips on interesting places & cool people so that would be awesome. I got distracted by how pretty & big it is in Kansas which put be behind considerably but if I push hard I could make it for the last full day / night, think it's worth it or no?
 

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That's kind of a long drive from Kansas in a few short days... Personally, I like to take my time. I dunno if I would miss all of the amazing things along the way just to make a festival. There is always next year. I just bought a motorcycle and have been thinking about making another cross country trip of my own. (Thinking about getting on the road today actually) If I were you, I would probably Check out as much as I could, drifting in a somewhat westerly direction. That's my plan anyway. There are some amazing places in Colorado. But, in my opinion mostly in the southwest portion. I think I would take some time and go through Montana. Missoula has a lot of good people, and that area near Glacier N.P. is pretty fucking amazing. Fuck, the list goes on forever...Now I am just daydreaming about the road... Do you use FB? I could probably hook you up with some folks via that format. You can look me up there if you wanna. https://www.facebook.com/jaypaulross?ref=tn_tnmn
 

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