iBankCoin
My name is Rob and I'm a gregarious gentleman who travels and blogs. http://stophavingaboringlife.com/
Joined Jan 9, 2014
222 Blog Posts

Quitting Blogging – Goodbye

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This is my last post and I’m turning my properties into a free yoga retreat where people pay based on donations but none of that matters as I’m going to live off the land and find inner peace. I’m throwing away my laptop, razor, soap and ambition.

Click here to read the whole story.

Big thanks to “The Fly” for giving me this spot to write for a while until I found my true calling which is giving free yoga classes to people who smell like they’ve been sleeping with livestock for most of their lives.

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Building and Late Night

This was the beginning of the build before I knew what I had gotten myself into and forgot I wasn’t 20 years old. Suffice to say, these days I’m in bed at 8:30, up before dawn and much better for it. You see, when building here and I think anywhere YOU NEED TO BE THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC about the project.

If you’re firing full cylinders pumped and making things happen it sets the place on fire and the inferno of productivity rages and destroys all laziness in yourself and staff. If you show up half dead, well not much gets done and things drag. Yesterday aka way into this project I set a fire and wow everything started moving like a freight train.

More on that later.

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Breaking Ground

This is the first of many videos to come from the construction of my houses on Little Corn Island. This is the start of the small one; did this first as a practice of sorts to make sure I sorta knew what I was doing and test out the contractor. Later I meet up with some people and the good times roll.

I will note, I learnt rather early on that building by day / being there all day and going out at night is a horrible idea. I think this whole process has made me an older gent and in a good way; getting better at prioritizing. That said, it’s hard being the only one in exams when the rest of the island is on spring break…

I’d go on but I have lots of materials arriving and the boat is here. I need to go up to my plot and start receiving materials. I sit there when they come to make sure everything arrives; it takes the guess work out, allows me to sleep better at night and keeps the honest people honest.

Tips hat,

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Measuring to Build

Good day,

So I’ve started uploading videos from the build, I’ve been filming daily but really behind. That said, I’ve got a gig in Hong Kong soon which means I will catch up, I have no choice. This is from the day I measured the house out so when the builders came it would move fast.

Today, I poured 25 sacks of cement, 50 sacks of sand and 17 sacks of gravel into 12 pillars which was the official start of Alta Vista which means high view. It’s a two storey building on top of the hill and just the other day a neighbour started building… They are further down the hill and around the bend but the trees they cut down opened up this view I didn’t know I had; mainly reef.

I’ll tell you this, the gent who watched the pour today while asking questions and making suggestions was decidedly different than the man who showed up ~two months ago to build the first house. The first one which you are seeing here is on my small lot and 25×25 feet with two bedrooms a small patio on the front. It’s on small lot which is still plenty big but small in the world of acreage.

That house is almost done just like I am writing this post. It’s only 9:52 but I’ve been busy as these days and tomorrow the circus starts again at 6am. That said, I love the circus and besides blogging / over sharing online I think building could be my next big passion. Building, like blogging is creating something and it’s good times for those of us who are into that type of thing, yes?

You’ll meet Dave briefly in this post and he’s an older friend of mine who built this radically different building than anything else on the island. We hang out drinking coffee while the majority of the island and world sleep while talking about big ideas that will probably never materialize; that said this is happening so who knows?!

Tips hat,

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Moving Materials

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Greetings,

I’ve been busy building and filming, not much editing or writing apparently. That said, progress is being made and just this last Saturday which is the day freight comes in I started moving stuff to second project on the hill. Moving materials here is a sizeable factor in the overall cost as there are no motor vehicles or roads even large enough to hold them.

Everything is moved by gents with carts and it’s quite the process; also makes you question the endurance of many gym fanatics. The old saying I’ve heard is that it isn’t about how strong someone is but for how long are they strong for? Tomorrow at 6am I’m meeting my builder for the final spot and the foundation is going to start getting dug.

Interesting times and lots of change around here. I’m off to Hamburg in less than a month and my building permit expires while I’m gone so it’s do or die to get blocks stuck in the ground and the job under way; it’s now or never. The other house had the floors poured today; still some work to be done but the end is in sight.

Tips hat,

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A Gentleman’s Lock

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Good day,

I’d like to inform you of a lock that is the logical choice for all gentlemen with loved ones and things to protect; the circle lock. This lock came recommended by trustworthy parties because it’s basically a castle lock of sorts compared to the alternatives. After you’ve seen people working with rebar aka snapping them in two you realize all bars and locks aren’t created equal.

Basically the exposed area is small and most likely will be protected by whatever you’re attaching the lock to; not bad. Also, in order to physically lock the device you need your key. This means that if you’re holding the key in your hand, it’s locked. This is good news for absent minded individuals and the general public alike.

The house is coming along, Managua was a success and my lumber is missing at sea.

Tips hat,

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Off to Managua

Greetings,

I’m on Big Corn Island and not much has happened this week as I ran out of sand, oh well. That said, yesterday I received 100 sacks of sand, 25 sacks of gravel, 30 bags of cement and 300 6″ blocks; that’s my last major order. On Wednesday I’ve got 100 pieces of lumber coming on a “Cat Boat” from the main land aka “direct” as they say around here.

I’d share images etc but I’m on this horrific connection that I’m shockingly able to even load this page with. You see, I stay at this place which became my office and I told lots of people about it. Well the place is full but I had called to let them know I’m coming so I’m up in their attic. What’s cool about it is that I was always curious what the rest of the house was like and now I know. Also, the fact that they trust me in their home with so many pirates about.

I’m in Managua until Friday because I need to buy roofing and every single outlet, wire, you name it. I have a long long long shopping list which is just nuts and to say slightly overwhelming would be an understatement. That said, meeting up with some of my friends there who are Nicaraguan and they know the drill, so it should be alright. I think the plan is to give the list to a lady who is a buyer for my friends on the island and just be some random dude looking at zinc until the deal is reached and it’s payment time.

Then, I rip out a wad of cash and pay for the whole thing. There are hardware stores near where the trucks leave Managua so it should be rather easy and can get the store to drop the larger items off directly on the truck, good. The smaller stuff I need to package and then get on the truck. Basically this truck leaves Managua and drives to Rama or El Rama.

That’s the end of the road. You see, the Corn Islands are part of the RAAS which you can google if you really care. It’s an autonomous zone which is part of Nicaragua but really not at all; it’s the Caribbean coast while the rest of Nicaragua is considered Spanish. What’s odd is Bluefields aka the capital of the region has no quality roads leading to it. There are some which are “decent” in the summer if you have a 4×4 but really, it’s faster to go along the river.

The river snakes until it reaches Bluefields where some supplies are dropped off and the rest go to the Corn Islands. The boat should arrive on Saturday and as a result, I’m going back on Friday evening. This stuff is tiring but also rewarding; I assume kinda like kids but completely different all at once. I’ve also got some other matters to attend to in Managua but life is good.

I have boatloads(sorry couldn’t help myself) of photos from the build, going to start laying them out in the not too distant future. This place is the starter project and my jungle house. In two weeks or so I plan on breaking ground on my second house which is two storeys, has a view and considerably more complex. I learned a few things trading stocks and one was to ease into positions. As a result I bought a small piece then a big piece the next year, so building a small house then the big one. This way if my builder ended up to be unreliable or whatever else happened, I’d not be too deep in the rabbit hole to somewhere; hopefully cool.

Also, part of the reason I’m going to Managua is the savings… A 15′ 1/2″ PVC pipe I need is 100C here but 70C in Managua; I need 20 of them as I’m laying a new line for water. The list just keeps going on and on and on so by taking the flight I’m actually going to save a lot of money. I’m rambling and tomorrow is huge; flying out at 8am and time to shop until I drop; the plan was to go on Sunday but flights are sold out.

Oh, before I go… Things are getting BUSY around here. When I first came in December 2011 it was 1 panga which ran twice a day and it was usually half full with the odd cargo on it. Last year it was at times two pangas which was consider nuts. This year, I’m sometimes seeing 3 at each time slot. They need a “SUPER PANGA” which I envision being 100FT long with 4-5 200HP engines but anyways…

Tips hat,

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Building a House

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Greetings,

I’m busy building a house and figured I’d check in here before this blog drifts off into oblivion like so many before it. That’s not going to happen here and building a house is arguably one  of the coolest things I’ve done to date. This photo is of the work crew on the first day inspecting my measurements which turned out to be alright.

I’m building more of a cottage really, a 25x25ft home built of concrete blocks so I can throw big bars on the windows and have a safe rock to swim under in the dark of night. I plan on spending a few months a year here, mainly winter before going elsewhere. You see, when I first arrived I really liked the place and figured it would get more expensive.

Fast forward a few years and I’m still loving the place and prices have indeed gone up. Not substantially but it’s coming and having a place to crash rent free in the Caribbean seems good to this gent. It’s also an interesting project and learning lots. The plan is to get this built as a test pilot then start on my big house which is on another property about a few hundred meters away as the crow flies.

I’m at the job site from 7am – 4pm daily just to make sure things keep moving forward and I’m there for any decision. Already learning lots but too much to discuss for the purpose of this blog post. Also, for some reason I’m staying up way later than I should socializing with people who I probably shouldn’t in the grand scheme of things which makes for one tired Dubz.

The Caribbean is a blessing and a curse. It’s a place people often wish to retire to and many go to get away from it all and let loose for a while. Now try and run a business, build a house and keep the momentum going when really, you’re just happy being. It’s important to keep moving forward though as this isn’t the end of the line for this gent.

Once I get back to Europe this summer I’ll be grateful for everything I’ve done, regret what I haven’t for a moment and move on. I’m going to start dumping photos here but they are all on my other iPhone so this should give you an idea. It’s being built on a plot ~33m x 15m or ~50ft x 115ft; by no means large but big enough.

I’d go on but I’ve got other pressing obligations I’ve been letting slide that I must attend to. That or finally get a much needed solid sleep; the ideal routine for this gent is bed early and rise at 4:30am with the roosters to get some work done in peace then hit the job site then do whatever. I will note that it’s an odd season this year and with more rain than normal; in like a lion out like a lamb? We shall see.

Oh, before I go.

I’m about two weeks into the build now and we’re quite a solid ways away, I need to go back to Managua at some point soon to buy lots of finishing products. After NYC I got terribly ill and spent a solid week laying in bed feeling as though I had the plague. Not sure if it’s the flu from up north or some weird whatever from down here.

My building crew was getting bored and I was told I needed to come out asap. I was still ill but I managed to get on a standby flight at the end of January and started building two days later. I’m doing a video blog of the whole thing but have let that editing slide as well so yours truly needs to get in gear or it’s a matter of time until I drop the external hard drive I’m storing the data on or just lose interest in editing it.

Tips hat,

P.S: Tommy Lee is a legend around here.

 

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Damn that US Dollar!

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First off, what do you think of my photoshop skills?

Moving on, damn that US dollar! I recently looked at my credit card bill from the USA and all those great deals I had evaporated as the Canadian dollar is sadly worth ~$0.75US these days; shakes head. Not only that but I’m trying to build a house in a country where I’m paying in USD this is is most distressing. I’ve concluded the show must go on because in 20 years I won’t care about losing 25% on every dollar…

Essentially the cost of building has just jumped a staggering 25% which royally sucks. Not much one can do about it though but complain on the internets and make silly graphics with time that could be better spent making $$$. On a side note, I’m recovering from a most horrific flu that I think I caught somewhere on the subway in NYC. It was a cool spot but big cities are dirty and filled with germs.

Speaking of big cities that are filled with germs, Managua is no better. I’m not even sure if the flu is from NYC because a girl I now here has it and supposedly when it doesn’t rain for months on end in Managua, the dust makes you sick as it’s filled with all sorts of vile things. Suffice to say I can’t wait to get better and out of the city and back onto the island; even though the island lacks many amenities I need to operate at full half capacity, let alone full.

I’ll end this here and again, damn that US dollar!

Tips hat,

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Manhattan is Unreal

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Greetings from Managua,

I tried to keep this current, I really did think about it but I was having a great time in New York City, there for a business engagement and had to prioritize. I’ve also got a crazy bout of insomnia so I’m not sleeping much which is good and bad all wrapped into one but I won’t bore you with that… I did visit Frick House and it was quite surreal really, that Henry Clay sure knew how to live and the view of Central Park wasn’t have bad either.

For the first time in a while, I was really excited to be somewhere in one of those “wow, am I really here type moods” if that makes sense. I go to so many places whose names I can’t pronounce until I leave(most of the time) that it felt very different visiting somewhere I’d heard about to the point of nausea my whole life. Even seeing the boys in blue donning NYPD made me smile. Anyways, I strolled around Central Park enjoying some mixed nuts before catching the subway to B&H in perfect weather for late January; ~8 degrees and sunny.

B&H simply blew my mind and its as like the Mecca of all things electronic and church for disciples to all things related to data. I bought lots of stuff and almost bought the new Canon G7X for my video blogs. While cashing out I decided against it because realistically, I’m on the Corn Islands to build and I do plan on recording the build but I’m just going to drop it in the sand or something; better off buying it when I roll through the USA on my way to Europe this summer; I digress.

Anyways, on the way back I walked to my hotel which was the Lexington Hotel at the corner of East 48th and Lexington. There, they have this place called Ashley’s Fresh Food which is open 24 hours that I thoroughly enjoyed. Where I live, there is no fresh food just fresh fish so I was getting my smoothie and juice on to the tune of a $900 a month [email protected] juice habit; huh? Anyways on the way home I stopped into this sushi joint and met my first real, genuine, crazy big city creature.

He as going on and on about how Jason Kidd was his cousin, how his girl is biting his style, how he coaches basketball and once met Ridic Bow; like I care? It was mainly my fault though, this lady was trapped and being somewhat crazy myself I added my $0.02 in and then ended up getting a few $$$ from this guy. At one point I thought I had lost him when he said “I’m going to come over there and show you photos of my basketball team…”

I really had to hold back because I almost turned around, looked him in the eye and said “No, you’re not going to show me photos of the basketball team you coach because I could care less” but decided against it. Looks like a fun team, whatever. He eventually left after buying another Coors light only to return later. He also had a cast on and was talking about some lawsuit but I’ve already devoted two paragraphs to this guy so we’ll move on, yes?

Later I met a gent who used to live a few doors down from me in high school and our parents are still good friends. He’s a hot shot executive for a company that sells production equipment to most major networks and even sounds like a New Yorker now, it was kinda odd / cool. I hadn’t seen him in ~15 years aka basically I never saw him again after I left for university because when I returned he was long gone… In him I sorta saw the old me only way more accomplished.

He had a stellar suit on, dressed to impress after an evening of schmoozing clients and a solid ~xxlbs overweight with a big smile. He also told me something that I needed to hear which was that he was earning more money than ever before but still found it near impossible to save a dime in New York City. This, my friends is why I choose to live on a small island because big cities will suck you dry and spit you out; they don’t care about you or your story and you’re just another soldier ready for the slaughter.

I love visiting big cities but living in them makes getting ahead in life quite difficult. That said, if I was still working for other people and all that jazz, I’d love to be in his shoes and there was even a slight bit of envy that I felt for the first time in ages. I was doing the wining and dining stuff in Ottawa, Canada; doing it in New York City with monster clients must be a lot of fun but then again 80 hour work weeks aren’t and all that come with it.

When I was younger, I had lots of friends that lived the high life in Vancouver and probably still are. They were my best of friends from university and they all encouraged me to come move out. I did the simple math and realized that if I did move to Vancouver I’d be working poor / drowning in debt my whole life because I wasn’t from the same background as them and there was NO WAY I could ever keep up with that lifestyle regardless of how much I made.

Most international mega cities are like that, a massive wave which will give you the ride of your life but only a few surfers manage to ride that board to the beach and jump in their Jaguar before driving off into the sunset. Most who ride these waves are ravaged by the rocks, swarmed by sharks or drown in debt; it’s sad but true. One hell of a ride but not a risk I’m willing to take and this comes from a risk taking man who lost considerable sums in shit like VXX and even drove off a cliff in the FAZmobile a time or two; or three.

Anyways, Manhattan is unreal and the internet here in Managua sucks which isn’t helped by the fact that my friend’s husband is downloading movies which take a few days. As a result, this is a picture I took on 5th avenue in front of Frick House on my way into Central Park. I like this photo and I’ll always have fond memories of my first full day in New York City; the weather was wonderful and it’s known around the world for good reason.

Next I’ll show you some photos of NYC from the rooftop of the W.

Tips hat,

P.S: Guy in photo ruined my shot, they were so perfect together when he stopped to look at something. Believe it or not, for a moment or so I was irrationally upset with this man for enjoying his life and marvelling at some sight.

P.P.S: First load of building supplies are being unloaded from the cargo ship now.

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