Unusual Recipe Created India’s Most Envied State

Fort Cochin, India

Four years since its narrow defeat, the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s red and white flags flap wildly in the Keralan wind. Out of power in the state that proclaims itself “God’s own country”, but very much alive.

Tea plantations everywhere one looks in Munnar.

Tea plantations everywhere one looks in Munnar.

We arrived in Kerala from dusty, hot Tamil Nadu. Driving out of the grasslands into the clear, cool air of the hill stations above Munnar, where the women collecting tea leaves, receive, in addition to their wages, employer-provided housing, healthcare and education for their children.

We came to see the social-democratic state that is secretly envied by Indians. Continue reading

Roads Less Traveled, First of More

Jonesville, Indiana

We smelled it before we turned the corner. The heady aroma of sizzling beef.

“Brought to you by iOS9,” said MacGyver as we pulled up to The Brick. A one-story, red brick building with the bad ass architectural element of a door straight out the back for quick getaways whether from the spouse, the law or the revenuers.

The Brick, a burger and beer joint, located in Jonesville, Indiana, off I-65, first opened for business in the early 1900s. During Prohibition it became a gas station. Its current look is from the 70s, fake wood paneling and naugahyde booths and bar stools.

The Brick, a burger and beer joint, located in Jonesville, Indiana, off I-65, first opened for business in the early 1900s. During Prohibition it became a gas station. Its current look is from the 70s, fake wood paneling and naugahyde booths and bar stools.

The new iPhone operating system has a right swipe to find local dining, shopping and entertainment. He clicked on the “bar” tab and up came The Brick. The Yelp reviews say: Talk to Columbus (Indiana) people and they’ll tell you The Brick has the best burger anywhere hands down.

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Incredible India, Controlled Chaos

Mumbai, India

Hands. Hundreds of millions of Indian hands, providing virtually free labor, power this complex, contradictory country.

A man rows his boat across the harbor in Mumbai as dawn breaks.

Dawn breaks over Mumbai harbor revealing a man rowing his boat, skirting the anchored ferries. The harbor opens to the Arabian Sea.

In the ninth century, Chola rulers commanded their people to carve granite into towering temples in Tamil Nadu, the southeastern Indian state. In the 21st century, Indian hands created the newest temple, a 27 story private home in South Mumbai for the country’s richest man. A skyscraper hanging over a slum. Inspecting the ancient ruins, the working and living conditions seemed better 1300 years ago.
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State of Freight – Year to Date, It Sucks

Augusta, Ga.

Our year began with a 2,599 mile deadhead, driving from Quebec to Washington state, burning fuel on our own dime, because we couldn’t find a westbound load.

Normally, we’d wait. Or we’d follow the freight. But last January, we couldn’t. A plane was waiting. Not any plane, the Dreamliner. And not just any seats. Champagne-swilling, Business Class points rides to India, through Shanghai and Bangkok.


We try to fly through Shanghai to Asia because during the layover MacGyver likes to ride the 431 kph MagLev into the city for Dim Sum. This time we were foiled by a mysterious Shanghai rule. Unlike traveling through Beijing, where bags are checked to the final destination, in Shanghai, we were forced to not only clear customs but collect our bags and check in again, closing the MagLev time window.

That was the harbinger of freight. Or more accurately, fright.

Looking back six months, we can see that freight fell off the cliff on January 2, the day we delivered a diesel engine to Rifle, Colorado.

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New & Improved

Port St. Lucie, Fla.

We’ve rested. We’re refreshed. Life with No Fixed Address is reborn.

Naw! The shitstorm that is 2015 has subsided a little. And well, I want, even need, to talk about it.


Trying to stuff 2015 down the infamous Fargo, N.D. woodchipper. We’ve been passing the Visitor Center, home of the woodchipper, made famous in the movie Fargo, for years. We stopped in July for some anxiety management.

You may recall, there has been one post so far in 2015. Our pre-India post. We went, we saw, we returned. To chaos. But we have stories to tell, tips to pass along and photos to share. And we’ll bring you up to date on our year so far.

Since the blog was on the shelf so long, and Belledog complained, MacGyver decided we should have a new look. We have switched from a Squarespace format to WordPress. And we need an easier-to-use format so we can post in a timely manner. The format will showcase the photos with the stories.

This WordPress template allows readers to receive an email message when a new post has been uploaded.  Click on “follow” and add your email address.

Of course, in keeping with the theme of 2015 — one step forward, one-and-a-half-back — the switch has been aggravating for MacGyver. First there’s a problem sorting out the pages. Then the text from the previous posts has been imported, but there’s an issue with some of the photos. Realistically that may or may not happen. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. If not, oh well.

We will try to add the older posts and photos to this new site, but until then the old posts can be found here.

In the meantime, Life with No Fixed Address has been resuscitated.

India Separates Weak from Worthy

North Bend, Wash.

The Indian visa application was a test. We passed, barely.

Known around the world for its British-designed, stultifying bureaucracy, the visa process was riddled with inconsistencies, incongruencies, mis- and dis-information. That it was a test of wits and that we survived, is the only way to think about the three-day battle with the on-line application form and the eight-day battle on the phone with the Cox and Kings call center in Mumbai when my passport disappeared in the paper shuffle.

Black Beauty is driven hard — as hard as we can at 58 mph — and put away wet. One last early morning wash in North Bend, WA to remove the winter road salt before she’s stabled. We’ll be riding tuk tuks, taxis and rickshaws for the next few weeks.


India has been promising Visa-On-Arrival for its tourism visitors for years. Visa -on-Arrival means a traveler, bearing a passport granted by her home country presents herself and her passport to an Immigration Officer. Because her home-country has given her a passport, and with a payment of no money or a small amount of money, $50 to $150, the country she wants to visit her grants entry for a tourism visit.

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