Last Update: 8/22/2017

Take Down, Replace ALL Civil War Statues!

Lately, every asshole’s got a fuckin’ opinion on takin’ down Civil War statues. Specifically Confederate statues. Vanholio says take ‘em all down, Confederate AND Union. Here’s why …

It's my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sommbitch or another. — Mal, Firefly

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Vanholio says Mal called it right. Fuck all them generals and politicians. They didn’t do the dyin’ and bleedin’! They caused the war! They don’t deserve no fuckin’ statues of ‘em!

The Civil War Was a Leadership Fuckup

Accordin’ to the Civil War Trust, “Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War.” That don’t even count the civilians dead or starvin’, or the horses, dogs, and other critters killed.

Why!? What was that fuckin’ war about? I know, I know — endin’ slavery, states rights, preservin’ the Union — take your pick. All worthy on paper, for both sides. But fact is, they shoulda worked all that out through talk, not murder.

And after all them dead, was it worth it!? Blacks got free, sorta. Until Jim Crow. Still an improvement, no doubt. (I sure as hell wouldn’t wanna be no chattel slave!) Overall, though, poor folk, the ones who did the bleedin’, Black and White, didn’t get no richer nor more powerful.

But the bigshot politicians and generals who pushed the whole fuckin’ thing stayed in charge mostly — on both sides. Some a them made fortunes!

Replace the Civil War Statues With Somethin’ Worthy

So here’s what Vanholio proposes: Take all them statues down, Northern and Southern. Yes, even Lincoln! And put them in a new DC museum, The National Museum of Will and Folly.

Then if towns need somethin’ in their places, how about this:

A statue with two brothers, one Confederate and one Union, dead and embracing. The artist should make it unclear whether they’re huggin' or if they killed each other fightin’ hand-to-hand and died that way. And kneeling beside them is their mother, her hands coverin' her face in sorrow and shame.

That’s the only fuckin’ statue worthy of the Civil War. If God is just and loving, it’d be the only statue not an idolatrous abomination to Him. Unlike the shit worship of warmongering, murderous sommbitches we got now. Might as well be statues of Cain!

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Last Update: 8/18/2017

'Nomadland' – Book on the Dark Side of Vandwelling and US Capitalism

vans and rvs lined up in Quartzsite, AZ, mountains in back. Men in foreground getting water from public spigots.
Journalist Jessica Bruder's new book, "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century," is all about the ugly side of van life. She gets into how people takes to it 'cause they're strugglin' to get by.

Now, Vanholio loves van life. But if ya think it's about sexy yoga poses afront of your pimped out classic vanagon, think again. It ain't that way for most. Lots a nomads take up the life 'cause the system fucked them over. Worst stories is retirees who can't get by on Social Security. That shit just ain't fair!

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Some a them same people love van life. I met 'em, an' they told me. Life gave 'em lemons, and they made some fuckin' sweet lemonade. But that don't change the fact that folks is gettin' lemons while the 1% is gettin' fatter'n prize hogs.

book cover of Nomadland
Click to buy at
Vanholio ain't read "Nomadland" yet. But van life blogger Alan Christensen at The Rolling Steel Tent has. Al has high praise for Bruder and her book.

I did read Bruder's article on Harper's, "The End of Retirement: When You Can’t Afford to Stop Working." Damn good shit! The book's an expansion of the article. I'm gonna read that book soon as I get my hands on it!

'Nomadland' Blurb Off

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.” 
On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others―including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May.
In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy―one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable “Earthship” home, they have not given up hope.  

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Last Update: 8/15/2017

5 Ways Your Job Don't Pay Good as You Think

Dollar bill with George Washington bug-eyed surprised and his hands on his forehead
Ain't nothin' costs ya more than strugglin' to make a buck. Drains your wallet in a bunch a ways, too. Gotta ask yourself: Is your job worth it? Would van life be better?

Here's part a what I learned long time ago from "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. It totally change Vanholio's direction and got him into van life – eventually.

This here is part of one of the nine steps in the book. It'll get ya thinkin' ...

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Real Wage = Gross Wage – Taxes – Work-Related Expenses

Most folks think their wage is what they earn. Well, maybe their wage after taxes. If they're real sophisticates, then they add in their fringe benefits. But that ain't enough. Ya gotta calculate in ALL the work-related expenses. Only then will ya get the real picture.

5 Work Expenses to Subtract From Your Wages

1. Showing Up and Suiting Up

For most jobs, ya got work clothes, commutin', lunches, trainin' (especially if college is involved!), dry cleanin' maybe, mobile phone service, and a host a things your expected to have. In some jobs ya got to keep up an image, and that makes it worse!

Ask yourself: Would I spend money on X, Y, and Z if I didn't have a job? For anything where the answer is "yes," subtract that expense from your wages.

2. Little Compensations

Hard work has whole lot a other tiny expenses. The harder I work, for example, the more I spend on eatin' out, coffee, beer, full-price books and movies, conveniences, and a whole lotta other services. 'Cause I deserve it!

But damn, them small luxuries can add up. And some a them ain't too good for ya in bunches, neither.

Subtract your "compensations," the ones you don't spend on when you're chill. They cuts outta your real wages.

3. Pay for Play

And of course, when you work hard, ya gotta play hard. Yep, need your downtime from all that killin' yourself for The Man.

Vacations cost big money. Hobbies and sports cost big money. All the fun that gets you away from your life costs big money. And it seems like ya got it to spend, too.

But don't forget to add it into the expenses of your job. Like the little compensations, it cuts into your real wages.

On the flip side, the more ya can make your life like a vacation, the less ya need to spend extra on all this stuff. Maybe that means workin' less. Or maybe that means makin' a livin' doin' what ya love or bein' where you love.

4. Escape Schemes

When your job sucks, you're lookin' for a way out. Often, you blow money on them schemes, too: risky stocks, lottery tickets, get-rich books, multilevel marketing programs, etc., etc.

If your gettin' soaked for dreamin', take that off your wages, too.

5. Poor Health

Lots a folks, 'specially if they're older, kiss The Man's ass for health insurance. But what's all that stress and humiliation costin' your body and mind?

Americans are drugged up on antidepressants, opiods, liquor, sleep pills, and all kinds a other shit 'cause work stress is fritzin' them out. Even things like cholesterol medication and such is sometimes 'cause folks don't got time to cook and eat right. And who has time to exercise?

If you're spendin' on medications and doctors and coaches 'cause your job keeps you wired up, stressed out, sittin' on your ass, and eatin' junk all the time, start subtractin' them costs from your wages, too.

Is Your Job Worth It? Can Ya Relate?

If ya done all that above, maybe it's got ya depressed. It gets worse. The second part is to divide your net profit into the total hours your job sucks up. That's your 40 hours plus commutin' plus doin' extra laundry plus drivin' to get your kids from the sitter plus all the other shit ya wouldn't do without that job.

So did ya start the math? Is your job lookin' like it pays pitiful? Does quittin' and movin' into a van look more attractive ... ? Comment below.

And check out "Your Money or Your Life." I promise: After the harsh steps, you'll start seein' the way out to financial freedom. No gimmicks. Just sensible progress.

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Last Update: 8/11/2017

Is Living in a Van Lonely?

Vanagon on a lonely stretch of desert dirt road, sunset coming
A reader asked me if it’s lonely living in a van down by the river. He’s considering OTR (on the road) van life, and it worries him. But no, Vanholio don’t find it lonesome. Here’s 4 reasons why.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

4 Reasons Living in a Van Ain't Lonely

1. You Can Meet Up With Folks All Over

One of my favorite things about being an OTR vandweller is spending more time with friends and family all over the country. I’m not tied down by place-specific work, obligations, or housing. So it’s easy to visit my peeps, staying a week or more at a time.

As for meetin' new people, your best bet is to go to meetups and events designed for minglin'. Bob Wells at started the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous for just that reason.

And if you park your ass a bit, you’ll almost certainly get to know folks. Last summer, I stayed at a tiny RV park in the New Mexico mountains for a few weeks. Vanholio is an introvert, but little by little, I got to know my neighbors and chit-chatted a bit, without even trying. It’s natural.

2. You Can Travel With Companions – 2 and 4 Legged

If you don’t have a significant other to join you full time, how about traveling with friends? Even for only short periods? Maybe your best buddy or BFF would want to fly out to meet you for his or her vacation and see a bit of the country?

And don’t forget about pets! Vanholio travels his Chihuahua, Ms. Barkley.  She's great company and a good burglar alarm, too. No one sneakin' up on Vanholio, I tell you what!

3. Social Media Keeps You in Touch

Vanholio is in contact with his peeps most, thanks to Facebook, Skype, email, Google+, and the rest. Plus phone calls. And you know what, Boys and Girls? We even still got such a thing as paper letters, sent via the Postal Service! Been keeping folks connected for centuries.

4. Solitude Ain’t Like Loneliness

Here’s the final kicker. Since Vanholio’s been vandwelling full time, he’s discovered that he ain’t hardly lonesome in the woods and mountains. Even when I couldn’t get internet, I’ve been happy as a pig in shit. The same weren’t ever true banging around the old apartment, which depressed the shit outta me.

I don’t know, but I figure the sounds, sights, and smells of nature are what we’re evolved for. Trees, wind, birds, running water, and the rest are kinda like company. They’re relaxin’, actually. In Japan, researchers have found that time in the forest makes you healthier. Whatchya know!?

No, Van Life Ain’t Lonely (Unless You’re an Asshole)

So get the hell out there! Van life ain’t any more lonely than any other kinda life. It’s up to you! Don't believe me? Here's a second opinion.

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Last Update: 8/08/2017

'People' Who Smear Their Shit Around Public Places

swastika drawn on bathroom tile with shit -- real shit!
Posted before on findin' a turd on the toilet floor, plus other crap – literally. Turns out this is common. A slice a Americans do this for shits and giggles. It's a well-known thang by the survivors a campground hostin', retail (especially clothin'), and restaurants.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Shit Is Gettin' Spread All Over America!

Now, I ain't talkin' about folks as get diarrhea an' miss, then don't clean it up nor tell no one. That's gross, but understandable in a way. Who wants to admit to a thing like that!?

No, I'm talkin' about sick fuckin' bastards who sling their shit around on purpose! Psychologists call what these shitheads do "voluntary encopresis." They gots a name for it!

Don't know what more to say. Squigs ol' Vanholio out. So here's some stories to laugh, cry, or vomit over … (And do follow the links if ya can stand more.)

Shitty Tales of Shit Mishandled

Warning sign stuck on telephone pole about "Frank," who reportedly shat in the poster's kitchen. Sick!
Saw this on Facebook just this morning!
Shitty Retail Stories

"To everyone who thinks a job at Victoria's Secret is glamorous... Today I found and cleaned up poop in the fitting room #vsemployeeproblems" — Ashley Nyhoff, Victoria's Secret

“'There was a pile of clothes [in the Clearance section] that, like, three people could have slept on, it was so big,' she said. As she dug deeper into the pile, the first thing that hit her was the smell. 'Somebody had gone out of their way to stuff into the very center of the pile, not the bottom, mind you, but the dead center of the pile, a shitty diaper,' she said." — Amanda Atkinson, Old Navy

Shitty Fast Food Story

"Used to work at a Wendy's and we had a frequent douche that used to do this. The worst one was the time he shit into a wad of toilet paper and threw it on the ceiling. When you walk into the bathroom, there was this wad of shit on the ceiling with toilet paper ribbon-dancing down from it. Worst Halloween decorations ever." — Boner999, Wendy's

Shitty School Story

"our mad crapper was truly insane. they would drop deuces in the most random places, sometimes in locations that would be, ordinarily, impossible. hallways. the principal's miniature palm tree(while said principal was getting coffee ten feet from her office). assemblies. sporting events.

"the assumption was that the crapper had accomplices but nobody ever owned up to witnessing the maestro at work.

"never any notes, never any cute warnings or taunting the authorities either. the crapper was a ghost. a poo-terrorist that could strike anywhere. they had the school on edge for five goddamn years.

"as far as i know nobody has ever confessed. the only reason they ever thought it was just one person was the fact that, apparently, all the turds were consistent - roughly the same mass, length, girth etc.

"honestly i'm 90% certain it was the cheerleader who came back as an assistant coach and counselor. just because nobody could have ever suspected her and she had the physical access to pull off the crapper's big fifth year." — buttery_shame_cave, a high school

Shitty Summer Camp Story

Sign on subway prohibiting defecation on the subway
Is this sign necessary!!??
"I once stayed at a summer camp as a child. We lived in the dorms of a local private high school for a couple weeks. Some guy would poop into paper bags and leave them around the dorm in random places. I think in total we found seven of them over the course of 2 weeks. After the RAs made an announcement that whoever was doing this should stop, someone drew a square on the wall in poo.

"My friends and I couldn't figure out how he drew the square. Did he hold his own turd? Did he squeeze it in his butt and draw a perfect square with his ass? What would drive a man to do such a thing?

"The mystery of the Unidumper lives on." — [redacted], summer camp USA

What's Their Shitty Motivation?

"My main issue is that I become extremely frustrated with family members and the hospital. Sometimes to release frustration, I have resorted to urinating and defecating on Walmart bathroom floor. Maintenance closed the public bathroom. I laughed so hard and thought it was humorous. Then, my frustration was released." — aimlove_89, Walmart

"Sort of relevant: My friend worked in a fast food restaurant when he was young, and one day someone opened the soap container in the bathroom and put shit in it. So then people would start washing their hands and be like 'What's on my hands?!' and try to wash it off, only to put more shit on their hands. They never found out who did it." — cleanjudith, "a friend"

My Shitty Conclusion

I don't get this "voluntary encopresis." I don't want to get it. I don't want to see it. I wish I could forget everythin' I now know.

But if you're gonna get into van life an' use public bathrooms, ya need to be aware.. An' gawd bless ya if ya become a campground host or workkamper!
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Last Update: 8/04/2017

Living in a Prius – 4 Example Videos

White Prius with tent attached to open rear hatch
Thing about "van life" is that it ain't about the van. It's about minimalist, nomadic freedom. An' sometimes, your best vehicle choice is a car. A Prius, for example.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Here's four example videos for Prius living to compare and contrast. But you could just as easily live out've some other small car or SUV. The point is leavin' all your shit behind and just plain livin'. The "how-to" options is endless! Google around for car'n SUV setups, and you'll see what I mean.

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Last Update: 8/01/2017

What’s the Damage to My Van, Mr. Mechanic Sir?

damaged van undercarriage, broken transmission
When ya use a front wheel drive van with 5.1” clearance as a 4WD, underside damage is likely, almost certain. Vanholio’s done learned this the hard way.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Caused $2,000 Damage Last Year!

Last year, I spent almost 2 Grand gettin’ the oil pan and oil pump replaced on my Promaster City, gettin’ the front stabilizer bar straightened, and gettin’ new front tires. That’s because Vanholio just can’t help hisself …

See, I love gettin’ back on the back roads – them forest roads deep into the mountains. Mostly, they’re kept smooth by the Forest Service and such. But here and there, they get washed out an’ rocky. That’s when Vanholio should turn around, but he just keeps goin’. My van ain’t made for that shit.

After blowin’ $2K last year, I swore – SWORE! – I were gonna stick ta smooth trails. Well, I tried, but that lesson ain’t deep enough in my bones yet. So while I been more careful, I still been scrapin’ and bumpin’ the vans bottom here and there.

Gettin’ Van Inspected Today

This minute, Vanholio’s hold up in a Motel 6 while the van’s gettin’ looked over by a Class A mechanic. Oh, she’s drivin’ fine. Only thing indicators say she needs is an oil change. But that mechanic is checkin’ her head to toe to see if there’s a problem before there’s a problem. Keepin’ my fingers crossed!

He’s also installin’ a spare tire holder I got. The Promaster City only came with one a them Slime and 12v pump kits. So I’m rectifyin’ that situation with a real spare tire – full size!

Might Get a Lift, Too!

Turns out Mr. Mechanic’s inta offroadin’. He thinks a Jeep lift kit might work on the Promaster City. They might share the same suspension. He’s lookin’ inta it for me. If that’s the case, I might well get her lifted, maybe even get some bigger tires.

We’ll see what it costs, both in money and performance – if it’s even doable.

I’m hopin’ bigtime! I don’t feel much need for more power, but a few more inches clearance might save me some headaches. We’ll see what he comes up with …

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