Let me start off by saying that I have wanted to homestead for 18 years now. Many have the roadblocks been. Worry not, I will share the sordid and sob-worthy story here Starting after this brief message from my sponsor, ME!
My background is a PC nerd. I started with PC’s back in the early days when Dial-up was a thing. Some of you might wonder what this archaic term is, Let me Explain, Dial-up was when you actually had a phone in the house wired to the wall so 90’s right. You would hook this phone line coming from the wall to these massive things called desktops, more on those in a later post. Laptops were toys of the super rich back then. So anyway you then dialed what we called an ISP (internet service provider) the desktop modem made a horrible racket, you then were on the internet or something called BBS (bulletin board system) , Some of you laugh some of you are going WTF is a BBS. That is another topic for another time. Back to the explanation, so after all that it would take at least 2 to 5 minutes to load most pages with heavy picture load. That was my internet! Side note when I first got into PC’s BBS was only thing around. The World Wide Web (WWW Or Also known As the Internet) was not available to the public yet, that happened in 1989.
So naturally with a background in PC’s ranging back to the mid to early 80’s of course I was a geek, I also loved several nerd show like Doctor Who back in those days. Tom Baker is the best Doctor, just saying!
I had also developed a passion for gardening thanks to my Great Grandma. She taught me many neat things. For example always use B1 when transplanting to help root shock. This woman could grow a forest in two weeks from one seed. Her green thumb was amazing, the effortless way she took care of her house and garden plants was awesome. To this day I’m still thankful for all she taught me.
Ok enough side tracks.
In the early 80 to mid 90’s I did not have my own pc, they were way too expensive for me as we lived on food stamps and not much more than minimum wage. My mother was a single Mom after father left. Please do not clap for her or say ‘way to go’ single mom. She may have been a single mom but she was not a good one. The conditions I grew up in were at best neglectful. This is why My Great Grandmother played a pivotal role in my upbringing. For without her I would not be the man I am today, but anyways, due to conditions in apartment and due to lack of funds I never had a pc that was let’s say current. I had to live vicariously through a friend that did (Tom) and we loved it. We would spend hours on BBS’s at his house playing old school games like Pimp Wars. Reading whatever articles the admin posted learning scripting, And networking with lofty dreams of running our own BBS one day soon. That never happened.
This went on for many years till Tom moved away. After that, a period of about 4 years till I could touch a PC began. At this time I had been shipped off to CO to live with my father and stepmother and a friend of mine. Got a 486DX running at 33MHz. It had this new mind blowing OS called Windows 3.1 HOLY SHIT that was the neatest thing I had ever seen in all my life! We tore into that once again by first hitting up the BBS scene as it was still strong and going then, so right back into it we dove. He introduced me to the most mind blowing thing ever AOL (America Online). I was floored by the info and access to chat with people from everywhere; that was amazing!
My friend was cool enough to loan me his old Commodore 64 at this time. It was like being back at Tom’s House. This I knew this I could do. This may have been a step back but I knew this very well.
Naturally the 1’s and 0’s began to flow into my veins again, from there I went to this archaic place called a library and tried to find info on everything PC related. Sadly that was a fruitless effort. Most libraries of the time did not have a single book on anything pc related. Back to the WWW and BBS’s I learned a lot form those hobbyist sites that were still around till the mid 90’s or later.
Many years later, ok so only 3. I was back in Arizona living with the aforementioned Great Grandma, it was at this time I got my First PC that I ever owned, an old 286 with a CGA monitor Sure it was many steps back but it was all I could afford and it fed my addiction to the PC. It was here my education truly started. I had read all kinds of thing but never got to do them really, so without fear I tore in that machine and upgraded it and used some serious jiggery pokery to get many things to run on it that should not have, like Windows 3.1 for example. The best upgrade had gotten for it in the 1 year I had it was the “SX now” chip form Kingston. It made it possible to run windows 3.1 on this machine. After spending almost 400 dollars back in the early to mid 90s to make this thing still not relevant I was able to get an amazing new chip AMD K6 166!
400 to me was a lot of money at the time. in fact still is!
I saved a fortune to get this New CPU as I had to build the system myself. I needed a case, CPU, motherboard, ram, and HDD this cost me almost 300 dollars at the time. It took awhile for me to save up for it. Funny thing was still rocking the CGA monitor. It looked like a hot mess. So back to saving and then back to the used store to get VGA card and 14 inch VGA monitor. Woohoo I was styling now. And even with the crap hardware I had I still was able to keep learning.
So I had moved to Tempe AZ at this time and finally get a job in the PC industry man I was so happy to be in a Compaq shop building a crap ton of PC’s a day, Learning more and drooling over the newer tech. Was kinda sad when I got home to my K6 166, still loved it all the same though.
Though all of this I never stopped learning and was and still am amazed at the new tech constantly churning out on daily basis.
Through all of this my love of all things Geeky never waned, they in fact intensified,. I was into things like Sci-Fi Not (SyFy cause that is lame re-branding), comic books, anime, PC’s of course, Con’s, And Cosplay. And still love to garden growing my own food.
This brings me to late 1999 at this point lost job as I had to abandon ship to get away from company that got sued to dust. Never really went to school other than short stint in Al Collins Networking classes when they first started, they were a joke and that is yet another story for another time! But it is relevant as to why we are so behind right now! I was unemployed and not able to find work because I did not have degree to show I knew what I knew. And not having any money to speak of I could not afford a real school and get a Bachelors degree. I moved in with my father and stepmother again back in Denver area in early January 2000.
It was during this time I fumbled from job to job not really able to get my foot in the door in my chosen industry. Then one day got lucky, a temp company I was with got me a job at Big Blu (IBM) man that was living the dream for the 6 months I was there. Hated every second of it by the way. Yet another story for another time. When contract ended I had a foot in the door doing many other short term contracts finally back in industry I loved. Finally one day got a job that was supposed to be temp-to-hire but after 6 years there never got hired. I was hired as desktop support but worked way after buyout by larger company to SYS admin of an ASIA PAC domain. That ended after 3 years of SYS Admin goodness.
After that ended I was jobless and did more temp work. It was about this time we bought our first place in Thornton, CO: a Handy man special Mobile Home that we were able to pay off in 3 years. Not able to sell it when needed but did help us save to move to AZ and where we are now.
There are a lot of details I left out and I am sure I will get them out here soon if interest is shown. Needless to say it has been a long hard ride some bad decisions made along the way. A lot of impassable hurdles. Partial physical disablement in there, with a side of great wife and kids to balance it all out.
Through all of this I never stopped loving tech and most things geeky (Furries creep me out), and never stopped loving gardening and the idea of self-sustainability.
I want to get to the point I can share what I learned and am learning with others to bring back self- sustainability. That is why we are trying to get setup homesteading on such a large plot of land (40 acres). With the acreage we can lean and share what works best in several situations we can create on the land mimicking what you might run into on a smaller plot.
We will get there just gonna take a lot of money at this point . Will detail that in later posts.
Well thank you for reading this far.
Will update If more interest is shown via the comments