Wow.. I am getting so much stuff done, it feels unreal. I’m really quite impressed with the system we devised for getting stuff done, it really seems to be working and is giving me a clear sense of accomplishment and progress.
Basically, our system is a set of lists we keep collaboratively on Google Documents that are categorized by projects – such as: Tab/Jeep Preps, Life Preps, Shopping Lists, Purge/Sell Lists, etc. At the beginning of each week, we sit down for an hour or so together and go over each list and create a list of individual to-do items for the week that we each need to accomplish. We start each weekly review off by going over the prior week’s list and seeing what was accomplished and what spilled over into the current week. This is helping us prioritize things not just by matter of importance to leave, but also by how long things will take to complete (such as opening a new checking account will take about 2 weeks to get all new cards/checks in and get funded.)
With preps for Body Magick last week, I didn’t get to do a weekly Progress Report, so I’m rolling it in with my post today.
Weekly + Progress Report:
I went to my current local credit union and closed out some of my accounts and got them transferred over to Washington Mutual. That went quite smoothly, and thus far I’m quite pleased with my decision of Wamu. Everything has come in – debit cards, checks, etc. – so I’m all set.
I also consulted with my insurance agent, and discovered that I can suspend my car insurance to just what is required to be legal to keep my tags and drop my premium from $500 to $60 every 6 months. This is an awesome alternative, and makes me feel better about just parking the Prius until I decide what to do with it (as it’s completely paid off so doesn’t really cost me anything). I figure, I’ll know in a few months if nomading is going to be a short term transitory thing, or a long term journey. If it’s a long term thing, then I’ll have no problem selling her with the current gas prices. In the meantime, if anyone wants to ‘rent’ a Prius for a couple months.. let me know. *grin*
I also looked into health care options, since my current plan is very locally based and I’ll have pretty sucky coverage everywhere but here. Chris has a similar situation with his insurance as well. Looks like there are decent options for plans that give us decent coverage no matter where we’re at. We’ll be looking further in to them.
I have my will and advanced directives re-written, I just need to get them witnessed/signed to make them legit.
I also worked last evening on separating out my and Fritz’s finances and changing billing for things to us individually where appropriate.
Last week’s focus was getting Tab ready for Body Magick as a dry run. The electrical system needed to be upgraded to support two laptops and our technomoadic style. Chris had been researching options for quite a while, and last week was time to start implementing them. We selected 240 amp hours of batteries that would fit in Tab without sacrificing too much storage space, and he got those installed last week and hooked into the existing charger and inverter, that is fed from the 110w solar panel. Success!
I spent a good deal of time last week researching inverter options, as we need more than 400w capacity, and it would be ideal to have something with a remote switch. After lots of research, we settled on the Xantrex XM1000, which should arrive later this week when we’ll start the next round of upgrades to the electrical.
We’re also trying to research options for a bike rack that will fit our rig, as carrying them on top of Jeep is not ideal (Chris already carries his paramotor landing gear there.) We struck out yesterday on a dual hitch receiver working, as it wasn’t long enough to clear the spare tire. Now we’re researching spare tire bike racks to see if we can find one that would keep the bikes high enough to clear the trailer.
We emptied Tab completely before putting her back in storage on Monday – and will be setting up staging areas in my garage for stocking her with our combined stuff. Oh, did I mentioned I cleaned out my garage too?
My new Dell D820, Serenity, seems to be humming along with only minor new install and Microsoft problems. I’ve been running off her solidly for a week now, so I wiped Gir and shipped him to his new owner on Monday afternoon.
My project this week was finding an ideal carrying solution for Serenity, as she’ll be far more mobile than any previous laptop I’ve ever owned. None of my current carrying solutions will really quite suffice, as I bought them for either long distance traveling or occasional onsite visits. I decided that I wanted a backpack that wasn’t too clunky or overdone that would be easy to grab-n-go. I found one at Circuit City, MobileEdge Slimline Paris Backpack that seems to do the trick. Just enough space for Serenity, and all her accessories on front nicely organized.
I’ve also been working out of my mobile office box for a while now, and it’s working out totally great. I’ve got it custom designed to my specs, and build in all sorts of nifty office supply organizers. Ok, maybe I had a bit too much fun with that.
Yesterday, our new Sprint Rev A EVDO express card arrived – giving us a full spectrum of options for mobile internet access. We signed a 2-year contract with Sprint.. so guess that means we’re committed to each other for at least 2 years now, huh?
We’ll have that through Sprint, my Verizon ‘regular’ EVDO access via my xv6700 smartphone and Chris’s T-mobile lower bandwidth access via his Treo if all else fails. We’ll be setting all three options up on both our laptops, and making both as shareable networks.. having essentially a wifi network with us wherever we go.
Purge / Storage / Sell
I made several trips to Goodwill in the past week, handing over bags of clothing, dishes, lamps, vacuum cleaners and more. I also took 4 boxes over to my storage unit the other evening, and I think I’ll only have one or two more to take over.
I’ve been living out of my greatly reduced wardrobe for a couple of weeks – no problems so far.
I’m continuing to eBay and Amazon stuff as I come across it – getting rid of stuff and pocketing cash is really nice.
There’s not all that much left to purge. I do still need to go through my adult toy drawer.. what do you do with extra dildos, vibrators, clit pumps and strap-ons???
All and all, my life is now streanlined into what I can fit into Tab/Jeep and perhaps 5 or 6 boxes that will be in storage. (Not including my furniture, which Fritz will be taking custody of for now). *boggle*
It is so freeing to be removing myself so much from ‘stuff’ and very very consciously considering any new stuff I invite in my life
Our plans for our trip across country are coming together, with a lot of our stops along the way confirmed. We have 5000 (!!) miles of road planned.
Our stops will be including:
May 10 – 11 : Visit to South Florida/Miami to visit with some high school friends of Chris’ and stay overnight with an ubercool guy we met at FPR.
May 11 – 13: Tallahassee – Staying with weekend with another ubercool guy we met at FPR, who is hosting a ‘Farewell to Florida’ party for us in his community.
May 14 – 16 Atlanta – Visiting with tacit and some other T@B owners who invited us over for dinner.
May 16: Nashville w/ stop @ Rock City – Cuz you just gotta SEE ROCK CITY!!
May 17 – 19: St. Louis – Visit with Chris’ parents and see where Chris went to college
May 19 – 23: Lake of the Ozarks – Join Chris’ parents at some family property for the weekend, and take some down time.
May 23 – June 3: Austin – Transit to Austin, for a week in my hometown and visiting with my brother and his wife. We’re also looking into doing some skydiving training. (Woot!)
June 4 – 14 : Stops in Salida & Denver, CO, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas (not firmed up yet)
June 15th : Arrive in Bay Area in time for some all night dance party and a wedding, and attending Loving More West the following weekend.
Oh.. and this looks really cool on a map!! (Note, this likely won’t be the actual roads and routes we take..)
So.. if you’re located anywhere near this zig-zag across America and would like to get together – give me a holler! Our primary mission on our trip is to meet up with cool folks along the way!
Oh.. have I mentioned that while doing all of these preps, I’ve been working on completing my last class to graduate? I took Humanities 2230 – a class that I’ve been taking online all semester. Thankfully, the course load was low – just two essays, weekly discussion board topics and a 50 question comprehensive final. Given my high scores on the essays, I calculated that I didn’t need to take the final to pass the course, and thus – I wasn’t going to study all that much. I reasoned with myself that I’d be good with just passing so I could apply for graduation. I cracked the book for the first time last night, skimmed about 10 chapters of content from the semester and went to take the final this morning in the learning lab. 10 minutes later, I had a score on my screen that shocked me. I got an A on the final?!? And I barely even read the content?? Umm.. ok.
So.. I went to the advisor’s office next, and put in my paperwork to graduate. Oh boy.. I’m now a community college graduate. Wheeee. (Ok, I’m more proud of myself than that.. )