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Brian A. Wilkins Posts

Kansas Shortcut Between Midwest and Southwest

BrianWilkins.org
November 10, 2015

The van is now approaching that 200,000 mile[stone]. Interstates are always best as far as speed limits, amenities (i.e. 24 hour rest areas, truck stops, etc.), lighting, smooth pavement and everything else that makes living on the road for months at a time more comfortable. But in most cases interstates are not the shortest route to your destination.

Those who have traveled a lot between the Midwest and Southwest (for me, Des Moines to Phoenix) have probably used the I-80 to I-25 in Denver route until you get to I-40. The scenery in Colorado, along with the atmosphere, is always worth the trip. But that route extends 1,600 miles. I decided to try the Kansas route that is only 1,410 and takes two less hours than the interstate/Colorado route. You also still avoid Texas entirely (albeit by only about 2.5 miles). read more

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A Typical Day In The Van

It takes about 10 minutes to set up/lock the generator and put the AC unit in the window.
It takes about 10 minutes to set up/lock the generator and put the AC unit in the window.

Always remember: minimize materialism, maximize liberty.

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Co-Creation: History And Future Of Collaborative Creativity

Greenwood District of Tulsa, Okla., aka "Black Wallstreet" was built by newly-freed enslaved Africans in the late 1800s. It was firebombed by the National Guard and Oklahoma Police in June of 1921.
Greenwood District of Tulsa, Okla., aka “Black Wallstreet” was built via co-creation. Newly-freed enslaved Africans who came together to build their lives in the late 1800s. The city was bombed and destroyed by the National Guard and Oklahoma Police in June of 1921.

The definition of co-creation is simple to decipher in its face. Co-creation, like it sounds, is collective creativity between two or more people in a collaborative space. Those people can include business stakeholders, trained professionals in various disciplines, consumers or members of communities.

A 2009 white paper by market advisory firm Frontier Strategy Group defined five guiding principles of successful co-creation: inspire participation, select the very best, connect creative minds, share results, and continue development. There are many examples from as far back as the 17th century in the United States that fit these parameters. But it’s only been in the past couple decades that co-creation as a concept in business and mainstream vernacular started picking up steam. read more

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Personal Response: 7 Biggest Risks of Raising Black Children in a White Environment

My homies and I. Circa 1979.
My homies Joe, David, Patrick, Greg, Geoff, Grant, and I. Circa 1979.

This interesting article “7 Biggest Risks of Raising Black Children in a White Environment” was published on Atlanta Black Star January 19. My hometown, Marshalltown, Iowa (population about 24,000 back then), was 95-plus percent white when I was born and raised (1970s, 1980s, early 1990s). The Des Moines schools I went to after my parents were divorced around 1987 were at least 60/40 white/black, give or take. I was shuffled back-and-forth between the two towns after 7th grade, thus I have a really unique perspective. read more

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Joseph Philippe Laroche And Juliette Lafargue: The Real Rose And Jack In Titanic

January 19, 2015 (updated December 6, 2018)

Mr. Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche (R) with his wife Juliette Lafargue and their two daughters Simonne and Louise.
Mr. Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche (R), with his wife Juliette Lafargue and their two daughters, Simone and Louise.

The fictionalized story of poor vagabond Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and 17-year-old aristocrat Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) falling in love on the Titanic won James Cameron a Golden Globe for Best Director. The film also won Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song. Titanic was also nominated for 14 Academy Awards, winning 11. The original film and the 3D version released on April 4, 2012 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of RMS Titanic sinking, grossed over $2 billion globally. That is the 2nd highest total ever for a film, second only to Cameron’s other blockbuster, Avatar. read more

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Wallace, Idaho Rest Stop Has Interesting Story

WallacePic

NOVEMBER 17, 2014

This was sometime in early August; my third straight month living on the road. Forgot there’s over 100 hours of footage on my phone from this extended excursion , so might as well post some of it. One thing you can count on with Idaho and Montana: beautiful scenery.

And I finally showered in Spokane, Washington.

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Cheyenne Frontier Days And Yellowstone National Park

BrianWilkins.org
Sunday, August 31, 2014

Yellowstone

The four days spent in Cheyenne, Wyoming were completely spontaneous (like much my entire life) after pretty much being forced to stay by the locals.

The first rest stop when you enter Wyoming from Fort Collins, Colo. via Interstate 25.
The first rest stop when you enter Wyoming from Fort Collins, Colo. via Interstate 25.

It just so happen to be the time of year for the town’s annual Frontier Days, which was described as the largest rodeo in the world by several individuals there. Now I truly understand the saying “this isn’t my first rodeo.” No matter how many of those things you see depicted in cartoons and television shows, there’s absolutely nothing like seeing one in person…for numerous reasons that are not the subject of this article. Despite the fact some moron backed into my generator and ripped up its outer casing at a truck stop in Cheyenne, Frontier Days was pretty awesome…and pretty country! read more

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Quick Blurb: Oregon/Washington Border

August 23, 2014

Oregon Ducks

First things I noticed when crossing into Oregon from Washington via Interstate 5: 1) You are immediately in Portland; 2) the first two exits off the freeway are MLK Street and Rosa Parks Avenue; 3) I stopped to get gas and a guy walked up to my driver side window. I immediately just handed him a dollar, thinking he was homeless or something. But in Oregon, its ILLEGAL to pump your own gas. All stations are full service. He was the pump attendant.

Also Wal-Mart uses paper bags in Multnomah County, Oregon. read more

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4 Useful Corporations For Road Warriors

BrianWilkins.org
July 16, 2014

I’ve been to Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, and Utah in the past seven weeks. Living mobile is nothing new for me, as I’ve urban/stealth camped in Phoenix and Tucson during the winters months. But in those cities, I know my safe havens: where to park, where to get free Wi-Fi so I don’t have to use my own, and can always shower at one of the gyms I’m a member at. It’s a completely different story when you’re traveling to places you’ve never been. read more

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Living In A Van: The Simple Life

July 7, 2014

Charging my battery bank at a rest stop in B.F.E., Nebraska.
Charging my battery bank at a rest stop in B.F.E., Nebraska.

There are three primary reasons I have lived in my van for the better part of the last two years: 1) I could care less what people think of me; 2) I like freedom; 3) you only live once (don’t the kids nowadays say that).

Gym memberships allows me to stay in shape and take showers (truck stops and their $10-$12 per shower services are utilized as well); internet via two hot spots allows me to work from where ever I want, and I can even hunt rabbits and squirrels, and go fishing whenever I want fresh meat. read more

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