Saving The Jeep: On the Perception of Value

August 26, 2021 at 9:40 pm

In the first post of this series, I left off with sending an email to Charles Sanville, The Humble Mechanic, via The Survival Podcast’s Expert Council. I had honestly forgotten about the email when, to my surprise, I heard it read aloud on Episode 2053. I was smiling throughout his reply, and it just about brought me to tears at one point. To understand that, though, there needs to be a little bit of context, so please indulge me for a few paragraphs.

Recently I’ve lost what little older family I had left. My grandmother passed away last year, and my mother lost her battle with cancer a few months ago. On top of the obvious sadness and deep sense of loss came other unexpected emotions, the most surprising of which was going through the sum total of their lives: their stuff. The biggest example of this that I can think of was my Dad’s library. You see, my dad was a voracious reader and just about the smartest and most eloquent person I’ve ever known. His library comprised about 5,000+ volumes ranging from old french texts (1712 was the earliest I found), to modern classics, to a detailed library of machining and woodworking books. Mom, of course, kept these books and when she passed away, they became my issue.

With the advent of technology, it has meant that a complete novice can turn a video production hobby into a legitimate business. However, when you are running a business, you may not have time to become an expert in this field, and if you are looking to commission a corporate marketing video your company, you will be best using the services of a professional company.

With the advent of technology, it has meant that a complete novice can turn a video production hobby into a legitimate business. However, when you are running a business, you may not have time to become an expert in this field, and if you are looking to commission a corporate marketing video your company, you will be best using the services of a professional company.

I love books, as anyone who’s ever helped me move will attest to. My own library was around 1,200 volumes before my mom passed, and I already had trouble storing it all. Fast forward to the great filtering and I started putting the books I wanted in boxes to move from NYC to PA. Fifty boxes later I had pulled out all the books that I really wanted to keep. I thought that someone would want the rest, whether it was a library, prison, book store, private collector… Someone would want them, right? Wrong.  It turns out that, due to the cost of space in NYC, noone has room for book collections anymore. This collection, which my family cherished for generations, couldn’t be given away. It was “worthless”. I ended up making a pile of books, a full cord (4′ x 4′ x 8′), to be thrown away. Worse, this wasn’t the only cherished item like that.

An appraiser came to look at Mom and Dad’s life, to assign value to everything they had. Those Indonesian dolls? $50 each, if I could find someone that wanted them. Moms porcelain? Maybe $100 total. The Piano that my grandmother used to train herself and give lessons? That I played under and sang to? I had to watch it get broken to pieces. And so it went with everything that I couldn’t keep. All these things that had been cherished were reduced to numbers that were just too low. Eventually, I had to pay to have most of it carted away since even listing things for free on craigslist didn’t work.

This was the place I was mentally when I started looking at The Jeep and wondering what I should do with it. As I indicated in the first post, The Jeep has a lot of sentimental value to me. It took a lot to write that email to Charles and Jack in the first place. I was genuinely afraid that I would hear “Don’t bother, noone wants an old Jeep with quadratrack” or “It’s not worth more than a few thousand dollars, don’t put much time or money into it”.

As it turns out, I didn’t need to worry. Charles answered my question with care and consideration for the sentimental value that The Jeep represents.  I was genuinely touched by the thoughtfulness of his response and it made my day. Heck, it probably made my year and helped me get a bit out of the funk I was in. So let this be a lesson to everyone: We all have our problems. We’ve all been through things that other folks just don’t know. If someone asks a question, being friendly and trying to think about it from their point of view can seem like nothing to you while, in reality, it can be huge to them.

Anyway, this is the last of the motivational/reason posts in this series. Coming up, I’ll give a detailed breakdown of Charles’ response and go in to the next steps of this project.

The Great Cleanup – Chicken Coop Restoration Part 2

March 4, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Welcome to Part 2 of the Coop Restoration series. In this post, I’ll go over the cleanup that I did this past weekend. The coop started out in rough shape. There were rolls of old insulation, mouse nests, mold… It had been used as a storage space for transient garbage for years. Below are some pictures after I pulled out the worst of the insulation. You can see some of the nest in the back left corner behind the cabinets and dog crate.

Once the big items were moved, sorted, and mostly thrown in the garbage, I did a preliminary sweep up. Turns out that half of the coop has unfinished hardwood floors! Bonus! After inspecting the chicken wire, I saw lots of rust, holes, and filth. There was no way to clean and reinforce it, so off it came. I also pulled off the old roosts and low panels as well.

I debated pulling out the old flooring and walls, but there’s only so much I can do in two weeks. The plan right now will be to disinfect them thoroughly, and lay some washable hardboard over them. This is the same material that I’ll be using for the lower two feet of wall as it’s easily cleanable and a great draft blocker.

After another sweep up, and vacuum, the place looked a lot better. The door was in pretty good shape, so that got left in place. I may have to pull it in the long run, though, as it currently swings inward and the wife and I are thinking about deep litter, but that’s an easy change at a later date.

Next up, in part 3: Framing and Re-Chicken-Wiring the coop!