Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Pursuit of Transportation: The Contenders

The plan: travel across country to Burning Man 2010 in a RV. The idea is not to zip thru the country, but enjoy the trip as much as possible each leg in a 7-day period.
The first step would be getting the RV, naturally. Easy step, for those familiar with these vehicles. Not so simple for someone that has never been inside one! If you think buying a used car is a big hassle, buying a RV is exponentially worse!

The idea was to buy the RV in the middle of the winter, hoping prices would be low, clean it, add about 10K miles on it and sell it the following spring season, hopefully for the purchased amount. Kinda solid plan, isnt it? Buy it low, use it, and sell it quick at the high season.

Well, as most things in life, "planning" is always the easy part, the actual "doing" it is a lot harder!

After checking local ads for RVs and realizing it is a very small market (talk about finding a RV, in good condition, for less than $4K and near Stamford? Impossible!) we decide to check Ebay, and limit the search within 5 hrs driving. The fun begins!

Maybe 20 different RVs in the price range and location shows up on the search. And now, how do we know what we need? V8 or 4-Cyl? Generator or no? How many beds? How big can it be? And the list goes on...

We basically chose  a 1988 Chevy LeisureCraft as a starting point: it looked great (from pictures!) and the ebay seller assured (via description) the thing was "ready to hit the road". We waited for two listings to end, and they ended at around $2,500, no meeting the reserve price. The plan as to drive all the way to West Virginia (5hrs), check the RV, and offer $3,500 cash and hope for the best!

But then we realized it would be a waste of time to drive all the way there and not buy this particular RV. Why not check more RV's in the way there? After all, none of us, had EVEN been inside one, so the more we check, the better off we would be to choose the right one!!

So there you go, here was the list of contenders for the Ultimate Prize, the trip to Burning Man 2010:

This was the strongest contender. Photos looked nice, the ad on ebay was very appealing and the price was in the range: $4,500 buy-it-now price on Ebay and located 5hrs away.I called the seller few times and asked if it would be okay to come by saturday, test drive it and make an offer. All they said was "sure!".

$2,600 final bid on Ebay, not running (needed timing-belt adjustments) and a Renault 4-cylinder engine (ouch!). Not really very promising, but it was in the way to WV, so why not stop buy and check it?

$3,000 bidding price, located in MD and 1976. Not sure what we had in mind here, but we were open to stop by and check it as well.

  • 1977 DODGE HONEY

Reserve price $2,500, located somewhere in PA. At first I thought it came with the cowgirl, but after contacting the seller, he said his daughter was not part of the deal and hung up on me. I dont think he wanted us "testing drive" it, so at the end, the Honey was out of the deal.  :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Peaceful Warrior

I don't own a microwave oven. I have no TV. I don't know how to operate a dishwasher. Or more accurately, I was never interested in learning how to use it. And the list goes on... friends are aware I do things my way, and it is usually the "old fashioned way".

Don't get me wrong, I am a "techie guy": i can order parts, build a computer and set it up. I can figure techie things that must people don't even think about. If the car is broken or needing maintenance, I can do it. And the list also goes on.

But one thing I have always "heard" about it and never really figured it out, was the damn "blogging"! It actually took a while to understand how it works, and the irony is there is nothing to work! I guess this is the beauty of it.

I am officially creating my digital persona. My digital steps. This blog will be used as a communication tool for friends and family, so they can "participate" (virtually, I guess) in my enterprise across the USA.

As they say, happiness is not getting to the final target, the final goal, but rather the experiences and choices you make in order to get there. So let it be. My goal is to enjoy the process, the path. Feel and acknowledge every feeling involved in the moment.