RW150 - Ghost in the Truck

This week, Dan and John talk about:

  • Walking through Chicago in the cold (Currents)
  • John’s sister moving to Barcelona with John’s ex-girlfriend (Family)
  • Dan looking for trucks (Cars)
  • Brand loyalty about cars (Cars)
  • John’s dad moving to Tacoma (Parents)
  • Ford vs Chevy (Cars)
  • John soon needing a new truck (Cars)

Bonus-content for Patreon supporters:

  • Allowing yourself to have feelings (Depression)
  • How to shake the fear of being assaulted (Anxiety)
  • The dad bonding with their babies (Children)

The show title refers to the truck John's dad had bought for John to drive all his stuff down to Tacoma that had been owned by hippies with a dog and had a ghost in the truck because his dad worried he had not done a good job of buying a truck for John.

John sounds a little distracted today, but he doesn’t know what is going on. He is just not very fast and a little bit ”Meh”, but Dan is not upset or anything. John is starting to transpose letters and stuff, but he has been traveling and the dose of radiation he got from the flights and all that could be recovered.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

Walking through Chicago in the cold (RW150)

John has been jet-setting again and was puttering around in Chicago and New York, two of the big American cities (on his Friendly Fire live tour). Dan has been to Chicago, but he never had time to explore it because he was at a conference and he only saw the airport, the inside of a taxi, the hotel, and the conference room. Chicago is big and messy, but it is also an organized city. Right now they are tearing up every single street and it is a little bumpy to get around. John had the luxury of a car sharing service although he does look down on it and rather prefers to walk. When he is in New York he will walk a long long long long long way rather than take a car or even the subway.

The other day in Chicago John set out to walk from the hotel, but it was freakishly cold. Although he had brought a hat on the trip he had left it in New York accidentally. It was an hour or so to get to the venue, but he started to walk and he was freezing. Chicago is cold! John went into a Target to buy a hat and they said they don't sell hats this time of year. The store had switched over because it was May, they were all wearing Hawaiian shirts, but it was 48 degrees (9°C) and the only hat in the whole place was a Cubs hat up by the cash register, so John bought a Cubs hat.

He started to walk wearing his cubs hat, but after 10 blocks he was freezing and thank goodness for this app that allows him to call a car to his very location and he took a car service. After the show he tried to walk back to the hotel, but it was the same problem and he was still freezing. The next day it was 80 degrees (27°C), so John missed a pleasant walk across Chicago Town by one day.

There was a time when John would totally have walked in the freezing cold. Cold is a factor of what you are wearing and what you have to do tomorrow. John was underdressed and this was also absolutely not the time of year to get earache, but he still got a little earache because it is a Chicago cold, not an Austin cold. If it is 50 degrees (10°C) in Austin you think it is kind of cold today, but 50 degrees in Chicago is like 15 degrees (-9 °) because of the wind. It is literally called the Windy City right there on the top of the stationary and wind blows in off that lake. You read about it in books! It is bone-chilling cold!

50 degrees is great walking weather in general. You put on your nice wool jacket, your woolly hat, and your thick socks and out you go, that is how John would approach it, but he packed a small bag for this tour and it was supposed to be 80 degrees in New York and he put in some linen shirts and a light windbreaker. John wouldn't go out for a long walk on a drizzly 50 degree day with only a light windbreaker here in Seattle either.

Wool is an extra layer of skin for John. A lot people don't like wool, but they want a technical garment, something that wicks away the sweat, something that has the Gore-Tex, but John doesn’t like that as much as just a boiled wool. It is heavier, it smells like a dog, but you can get wet or wind and you never get cold.

John is back and he is safe, he is 100% safe in old Seattle town. It was cold, but who knows what it is outside now. He has the internet and his podcasting, what could he need outside?

The people who come to Austin in March for SxSW think that Austin Texas is a hot place and March is basically going to be a hot month, but they don't know that in March they frequently get very cold and rainy wet 40 degrees (4°C). After having been there for nine years, Dan can say that you see these people at SxSW every single year who think Austin Texas is hot. They are in shorts and T-shirts and they are absolutely miserable, walking around Downtown. The same thing happened to Dan when he visited Portland for the first XOXO in September. He had been to Portland in the summertime before and it was cold, so he brought boots and jeans and a bunch of shirts and a couple jackets, but it was 20 degrees (~10 °C) hotter there than it was in Austin and they were miserable the whole time.

John’s sister moving to Barcelona with John’s ex-girlfriend (RW150)

John’s sister was good friends with John's ex-girlfriend and at one point they decided they were going to move to Barcelona together, which was a little confounding. They thought that they were going to be Sunshine Girls, but it was January in Barcelona and it was freaking cold. They got an apartment, they were very depressed and they huddled inside and smoked cigarettes, continuing to not understand why things in Spain weren't like they imagined. They lived there for four or five months before they had to re-evaluate this whole thing because they didn’t like each other anymore.

Dan looking for trucks (RW150)

Dan has been sending John pictures of trucks, mostly F250s from the late 1970s / early 1980s which is a great generation of trucks. He always has his eye out for trucks from the 1950s-1980s, usually Ford, and if he sees a good one and is not pressed for time he is liable to pull over and take some pictures. He posted a couple of these, people seem to like them, and John commented that he once had one of these.

Dan is more interested in Ford trucks than in Chevys. For him it is Ford, Chevy, GMC, and maybe Dodge RAM would be a tie with GMC. The Ford people are the strongest branch of the pickup truck people and it makes the Chevy people puff up a little bit because they know that they are tilting against the big show up there. If you come for the King you got to come correct and the Chevy people wear those Saturn jackets real proud. In having strong feelings about trucks Dan is in the majority of American people. Truck loyalties are strong and they are felt very passionately. It is something primal in America that goes all the way back.

One time John ran out of gas with his truck on the side of the road far away. The gas gauge was broken and he was out in the middle of nowhere. Another truck came along, John said he was out of gas and the guy said: ”Well, it is a good thing you are driving a Chevy, because if it was a Ford I wouldn't give you a ride to town!” John did not have any particular loyalty to Chevy's at the time, but was in a messed up situation and he happened to be driving this Chevy. The guy drove John to town, John got some gas, and he drove John back out. The whole time he was just like: ”Chevy guys gotta stick together!”

Tom Bodett did commercials for a motel chain (Motel 6) and their motto was ”We'll leave the light on for you!” He was an Alaskan writer who wrote whimsical folksy books about ”Oh, down here on the Kenai we've got 75 kinds of salmon.” He was not originally from Alaska, but he did this Alaska thing for a long time and they loved him up there and would read his folksy books. At one point he said in a book: ”There was nothing wrong with the 1966 Ford F250 and I don't understand why they didn't just keep making it. They didn't need to change a thing about it and they could be making that truck to this day!”

John read that and ever since he thought: ”Why do they change things?” They could still be making the 1966 GTO with minor changes because there was nothing wrong with that car at all. The styling and the sensibility of it was great! They could just have added anti-lock brakes when those got invented and you would have to change the steering wheel to add an airbag, John wouldn't recommend that, but why the mad rush to stop making cool things and start making worse things?

John is always in the market for a truck and he is one of those traitors who goes back and forth across the line. He had a Ford F250, he drove his Ford E350 van for many years, and right now he is driving a GMC Suburban.

Brand loyalty about cars (RW150)

There is a brand loyalty and a stubborn obstinate to even considering go into a different kind of a vehicle, especially in the truck space. In the South and Southwestern parts of the United States pickup trucks maybe don’t universally outnumber cars, but there are a lot of them. People say: ”Well, of course! It is Texas!”, but Dan found this to be true in Florida, Georgia, and other Southern states that he has spent a lot of time in. Growing up in Philadelphia Dan had never seen pickup trucks and when they moved down to Florida and he started seeing them he fell in love with them and thought they were great. It was this vehicle he had only ever seen on TV.

In Florida Dan first started getting exposure to a truck and he first started driving one. For most of his adult life he did not have a truck, but when he got back into them he found that they had really changed. A pickup truck used to be a bare bones 100% functionality vehicle. It existed to haul stuff around and if you didn't have stuff to haul around, what business did you have with a pickup truck? No-one bought a pickup truck because they thought they were cool, but people had exposure to them from using them for their construction work or from pulling their horses behind the truck.

These days a lot of people opt to get a pickup truck, especially the ones with super cabs, and there is way more room in Dan’s truck than there was in the SUV crap he was driving before. Forget about the fact that he can haul stuff, which he does. He moved this whole office on his own (see RW147): Desk chairs, all the books, all the crap, everything just went into the truck. It took a few trips, but it was super convenient. In Texas every second or third vehicle is a truck and this is Austin, which is not like some rural place really, at least not compared to Marfa or something like that.

This is maybe a little bit more of an Omnibus podcast topic rather than a Road Work one. During the fuel economy years in the late 1970s cars were increasingly covered with emissions controls and economy controls, the catalytic converter came, and people were detuning cars, so even though your motor might have a big displacement it had a lot less horsepower. Cars were big, bloated, no-fun vehicles. There was a law mandating fuel economy and emissions that divided cars into two types: Passenger cars and light trucks.

The requirements the for light trucks were totally different than passenger cars and you could get away with bad fuel economy, more horsepower, and bad pollution if you called it a light truck. Detroit started making light trucks and a lot of Americans liked the extra horsepower and the idea that by owning a truck they were some kind of working people. Somehow it was an American thing and TV commercials had flags blowing in the breeze.

There were pickup trucks on the road when John was a kid, but they were doing jobs and most cars were cars. Now anywhere in America, even here in Seattle, every third car is a truck of some kind. They all set up high and block your view forward. If you are stuck in traffic in a world of cars, they are more or less the same size and you can look ahead and you can look through the windshields of the car in front of you. You understand your environment and you know when cars up ahead are starting to stop. If you are in a car driving behind a truck you can't see anything, but you are just behind this truck and if he puts on his brakes you put on your brakes, but you don't have any way of knowing what is going on ahead of him.

People started migrating to trucks because they sit up high and can see what is going on around them. They feel safer even though they are not. They are less safe because trucks have fewer of everything. Nowadays they are made into comfort limos. The P.T. Cruiser is built like an old panel truck and they slipped it past the the exemption board, which is egregious! People have prejudices about cars in Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia or anywhere, but the Europeans are as bad, if not worse. People in the UK who are into cars are way into cars. They invented being into cars and they are super-pissy about brands.

Europe has Formula One while people in hillbilly America are watching NASCAR. There is a Formula One track in Austin, which is a big deal and besides the Formula One race huge acts have played there. Dan watched a Formula One documentary series on Netflix. Formula 1 and NASCAR are both things that come on after football and that is when Dan would tune out what is playing on TV and talk to the people that he for the last couple hours only shouted at occasionally.

Dan never paid much attention to it. He not a car guy and he is not into vehicles. Toward the end of High School he was very into cars and he was working in the auto shop. He got a job at a local mechanic repair shop so he could learn how to fix cars and do stuff with them, but Dan has never been like the people who get into cars. This Formula One documentary on Netflix he was really cool and he might actually get into that now.

Americans has embraced soccer before they embraced Formula One. In Europe it is a freaking religion and there is a lot of car brand loyalty. If you see somebody in Europe wearing a Ferrari jacket they are not talking about a Magnum PI Ferrari, but they are talking about a Formula One Ferrari. The tuner dudes and the big muffler crowd are into Volkswagens and Acuras around the world and there are all kinds of car restorer nuts.

John’s dad moving to Tacoma (RW150)

see also story in RL183

When John’s dad was leaving Alaska John was living in Seattle at the time. His dad called him and told him that he got all his stuff packed and he was going to move to Tacoma. John wanted to rent a truck, come up there and drive his stuff down for him, but a week or two later his dad had bought a truck from some kids in Girdwood who had a truck for sale and he said it was perfect. With John’s dad that could mean a couple of different things.

He was not a wheeler dealer and whatever he paid for whatever this was would just have been what they asked him for. He was not going to haggle with somebody. He was car conscious, he thought certain things were cool and certain things weren't and he may have run into some people who had a really cool truck. John always wanted a pickup truck because he had never owned one at that point and this gave him pause, but there was an element that was interesting: His dad described it as a Chevy and John asked him some questions about it that he didn't know the answer to.

John already had a ticket, he was flying to Alaska already, but his intention had been to go to the U-Haul and rent a truck. He was going to bring his girlfriend from La Hoya California who had never been to Alaska. They were on the way to breaking up, but typically when John breaks up with somebody it is not a big fight and a ton of anger, but it is a growing feeling of malaise, at least it was in these times. Their thing had turned a corner, but John wanted to show her Alaska and thought she would enjoy it.

John was flying up there a few days before she got there and his dad was going to meet him at the airport. John was going to get him situated and get the stuff ready before his dad was going to leave and his girlfriend was going to fly up. They were going to pack up the truck and drive down together. As John’s dad picked him up at the airport they walked out into the parking garage at the Anchorage airport and they were walking down the row to where he got the truck parked. It was pickup trucks both sides the whole way down. John thought about every truck as they were walking up: ”Is that the one? That's cool! Nope, that's not it!” - ”What about this one? That's a cool truck! No!” They walked all the way to the end and John would have preferred every single truck they passed to the one they had.

It was a half ton rust bucket from the mid 1980s, but the most boring era, with two wheel and the trim level like those vans that look all decked out, a regular sized van with a bunch of plastic molded bumpers and stuff around it, with windows in the back and captain's chairs. Those things are built as comfort plush situations, but they are terrible vehicles with a weak motor, weak suspension, and weak brakes. With all that cushion they are meant to be driven by old people in the slow lane. They look like hot rods, but they are the opposite of that.

Bands sometimes make the mistake of getting one of those because they think they are going to ride in comfort, but these trucks are not super duty, they are not ready to be used by bands, and they end up getting trashed. This thing had a high country trim level with plastic molding and all. Inside was a fancy headliner, a stereo, motor windows, and all this stuff, but it was the absolute base model in terms of equipment. Dad was so proud and he already had a name for it!

As John opened the door it became clear that two hippies and a dog had basically been living in the truck. It was filthy, it smelled, and John was so disappointed in both the truck and in his dad. This truck belonged in the crusher, whatever he paid for it was too much, and he paid too much for it on top of that. If he had overpaid for this truck he would have thought of it in terms of: ”Well, those two kids were nice and I gave him a little money and helped them out!” He was not worried about it, but he was primarily worried that he had done a bad job of getting John a truck, and he had! There was this big ghost in the truck and they had to drive all the way down to Girdwood which wasn't a short hop. They got in the truck at the airport and spent a good hour together driving down to his dad's place.

John got his dad squared away, his dad flew out, and then John was alone with this truck. He got a screw driver, went inside and took every single piece of trim and soft material out that wasn't just upholstery. He unzipped it all and threw it in a dumpster. All the garbage from the inside of a truck that doesn't need to be there is a huge pile of shit that all just smelled.

The fabric and the insulation across the top was held in by four pieces of plastic that make up the square of plastic around it. Those four pieces of plastic were connected to the rest of the truck by other pieces of plastic trim that come down on either side of the windshield and behind the door. The doors had upholstered door panels because it was a deluxe trim level, and that upholstery was all infused with cigarettes, Patchouli, pot smoke, and dog perspiration such that it could never be cleaned.

It was all encased in plastic trim and the carpet on the floor was all matted dog hair and wet moldy muck. The bench seat was upholstery, but there is not nothing you can do except try to clean it and cover it with a blanket. John wanted all the soft stuff out, but in order to get the soft stuff out he had to take the hard stuff off, too, and once it was off, why would he have put it back on? The problem is of course that that is all sound insulation and as soon as you take it off then you are riding in a noisy cab, but John would rather be in a noisy cab than one that smells like a goat.

John threw all this stuff in the dumpster, all the carpet, all the gross stuff, he tried to vacuum it as best he could, threw a blanket over the bench, took it down to a mechanic at his dad's recommendation, changed the oil, did what maintenance they could on the motor to get it ready for a long trip, loaded up all his dad's stuff into the canopy on the back of this truck, and it was completely crammed.

After John’s girlfriend arrived they spend a couple of days hanging out in Alaska and then they were ready for their big adventure. They got in the truck, started driving down the ALCAN, and they got all the way up to Haines Junction and had basically crossed the border into Canada, 50-60 miles passed the Beaver Creek. John was asleep and his girlfriend was driving and she woke him up and said: ”Hey, a light came on!”, but every single light on the dashboard was on, the temperature gauge was pegged, and there was steam and smoke coming from under the hood.

The oil light was on, the temperature light was on, this was prior to check engine lights, but every gauge, the oil pressure gauge, everything was just off the charts. John shouted: ”No! Shit! Turn it off!” The motor was seized because the guy who changed the oil at John’s dad's recommendation had not put the oil drain screw back in all the way or something, the truck had run out of oil and was not burning oil that fast.

Now they were way up in Canada in a burned-out truck on the side of the road. Some nice people came along and towed them to Beaver Creek and they spent the night in a hotel there. It was going to be a little bit of a trick to buy a truck in Canada because that was what they needed to do. There wasn't any place to rent a truck in Beaver Creek, but they were still close enough to Alaska that they decided to hitchhike to the first town across the border and see if they could buy a truck. The guy at the ALCAN border thought it was hilarious that they were coming back in. They went to a little town, the first Alaskan town of any size across the ALCAN border, but it was not all the way to Northway. There is not a ton going on up there.

John went to this auto shop in this place, there were a couple of brothers working there, and John told them he needed to buy a truck, no matter which one, just sell me a truck cheap! They called around to a few of their friends and they put together a list of four trucks that people would be willing to sell them today. A couple of them were around $3000, but John just wanted a shitty truck and he was going to trade them this other truck with the burned-out motor. ”Thanks, but no thanks!”

They went back and forth, some of trucks were thrashed, some were too expensive, but they also had a 1982 Ford F250 with a king cab in powder blue and a Chevy 350 motor in it. John had never heard of that and didn’t know it was possible, but if you are living in a town outside of Northway you don't have access to every damn last thing and you make stuff work.

John went to see the truck and opened the hood. Chevy motors and Ford motors have their stuff on different sides and you have to consider where the alternator and the hoses go. The person who did this transplant had done a really interesting and good job of running the belts and the hoses from hither to thither. Chevy parts and Ford parts were interacting with one another, but it had been done cleanly and wasn't just some kid who had threw it in there together and was running dryer hose from one place to another. It looked like a well-done job, John drove the truck around, and these two brothers would sell it for $1500. It was a big risk to buy a truck that was so fundamentally screwed up.

John bought it, he gave them the burned-out truck, they loaded all their stuff into the new truck and drove it down to Seattle. It ran fine and after that adventure John drove it for two or three more years. It was the truck that the Western State Hurricanes used as their band truck, it was one of the motor vehicles John claims to have owned, and it was never not a conversation starter with anybody who was remotely interested in cars.

If John would say: ”Oh, it is a Ford with the Chevy motor!” some people wouldn't bat an eye, but others would go: ”Whoa, interesting!”, and some people, as soon as you opened the hood, would look in and at a glance say: ”Whoa!” because they know cars and motors. That happened a few times and it was always really gratifying. Whenever John was working on it and had the hood up, or if he pulled in somewhere with a question he would not say anything in advance, but just: ”Let's take a look at it!”, pop the hood open, and watch the motor-head people take a half step back.

John eventually put it in the classified ads, trying to sell it for $1500, and a guy came to look at it. He had been trying to sell it for a while, but nobody was interested. The guy said that this Chevy motor thing didn't bother him, he could tell that it was done well and he needed this truck for around his property. They they started driving around and the guy started telling John his story that was messed up. He was a young guy, but he was super racist and he was describing that he and his wife had adopted or were fostering several children of color, and yet he had this race theory that was insane. They were driving around Seattle and John thought that this guy was awful and he didn’t want to sell his truck to him.

At a certain point they were driving up a steep hill and the guy wanted to see what this baby could do. He floored it, but at the same time he was looking over at John‚ telling him about his theories of the world, and a huge puff of black smoke came out from under the hood such that John was astonished he didn’t see it. John had never that seen before, but the motor had a lot of horsepower and so the truck lunged up the hill. John thought that the truck was on fire, but that was contraindicated.

They got back to the house and the guy said he will take it and John didn’t know what to do. He felt like the truck was damaged and he didn’t know what it was, but he also didn’t like this guy who really low-balled John and said: ”All I have is $800!” John looked at the whole situation and said ”I'll take the $800. Get out of here!” - ”Awesome! Great deal!”

He was just a slime, he got in the truck, he drove off, and 45 minutes later John was at the house with the $800 and the guy called again and said he stopped for gas down here in Puyallup or whatever and now he couldn't get the truck started. ”You got any idea why the truck would only run for half an hour after I bought it and then stop and not be able to start at all?” - ”Never had a problem with it before!” He was just dripping with rage because in his estimation John had patched some broken thing together long enough to sell it, but the deal was done. He was like: ”Thanks a lot, man!” - ”Hey, don't know what to tell you brah! It was running fine when you left! LOL!” Everybody was a dick in that story.

The worst part of the story is that when John told the whole story to his dad he said ”Well, we can't just leave that truck up there in Northway!” - ”The shitty Chevy truck? We absolutely can! Every penny you spent on that truck is lost money!” - ”No, I have to get a new engine put in it!” - ”Do not think another thought about that truck! I hope they buried it in the tundra!”, but his dad connected with those guys, they put a new motor in it for him, and a friend drove out there, picked up that rusty dog-smelling truck and drove it down to Anchorage. That truck may even survive to this day because John's dad never went back and got it and he never had whoever that lucky guy was drive it down to Seattle. He just couldn't allow for the defeat! He couldn't let the truck go. He couldn't go out like that and he went ahead and got it all fixed up.

Ford vs Chevy (RW150)

For John to come down on a Chevy / Ford truck side is tough because the Chevy people are going to be mad, but John would come down as a Ford person. They have not really talked about Dodge people and Dodges are extremely popular these days. Technically it is not Dodge anymore since Ram spun off on its own thing within the last maybe five or six years. Dan had looked at some Rams before he decided on the Ford F150. He wanted to see what else was out there.

The Ram 1500 is about the same thing as the F150 and they also got the 2500 and the 3500 which are paralleling the F250s and F350s. Dan was very impressed with what they had done. On everything but the generic workman's truck the interior is American luxury. Everything that could possibly be put onto a screen has been moved to a screen and everything has a little button in the setting and a digital thing.

It was really nice and impressive, but to Dan it looked like more things that could go wrong and could break. A little wire could come disconnected and now you don't have control of your air conditioner anymore, which happened in his last vehicle, but overall it is a really cool vehicle. Dan still likes the look of the F150 better and he just comes in on the side of Ford more than any of the other ones. Dan does not like the look of the modern day Chevy's at all and John doesn’t like the look of any of them now.

A couple of guys up the street from where John’s mom lived in the 1970s had a Dodge Lil Red Express truck that was customized from the factory to look like the kind of custom truck people were building at the time. It was a step-side with wood paneling and cool semi-truck side pipes that went up above the cab. It was a very cool truck and a very strong advertisement for a Dodge to a little boy. Dodge trucks from that era are very cool! If John was a different kind of guy he would consider buying a Dodge pickup truck from a 1970s, but the new Ram trucks with their big diesel motors, the new Ford trucks, the new Chevy trucks, are all so ugly.

Around Texas Dan would get tons of street cred with that thing! Everybody would be honking at you. Dan likes a step side, but not on just any truck. It has to look right! He is fine with either a long bed or a short bed. His truck is a super crew to fit everybody inside of it, and it has a shorter bed which Dan doesn't love, but it is better than the compromises he would have to make with two kids constantly getting in and out of the back of it.

Dan doesn’t want those super long beds. His is like a 5’8” or 5’9” (175cm), which means that a lot of the time he has to have something stick up over the tailgate a little bit and he has to tie something down that he might not have had to tie down, but Dan does haul children more than he hauls lumber, so it has been all right. In the worst case scenario you just leave the tailgate open and you tie it down and you will be fine, it is not that bad!

John soon needing a new truck (RW150)

One day John is going to have to get a new vehicle. He looks at cars all day long and he just doesn't like anything, which is so depressing. There would have been plenty of times where he would have liked multiple cars and the challenge would have been to choose between all the good cars, but now John has to choose between five different options where none of them is very good.

His flawed instinct is to always get the biggest, most decked-out thing, not with luxury window washing options, but the one that has the biggest suspension, the biggest motor, and the most capable mechanical setup. This makes him end up with an overkill problem, with a thing that does more than he needs, and that he can never possibly use. You see this on computers a lot where people want their computer to be this superpower thing that would enable them to do video editing, but realistically they are just checking their email and looking at reddit.

John aspires to some big honkin rig, but what does he do? Every once in a while he hauls some stuff, but he doesn’t need a big honkin rig. On the other hand he is a physically large person who needs a vehicle that is spacious in the cabin, but he doesn’t want to drive one of those new taxicabs. He could probably just get away with some mid-sized SUV, let's just call it what it is. 80% of the cars on the road are like that now, but John doesn't want a mid-sized SUV that is 80% of the cars on the road. It is a minivan! John doesn’t want a minivan! He either wants a big honkin truck or an impractical little sports car or something with some style, some car from the 1960s that can only accelerate in a straight line and spins out every time there is a wet corner. John wants something that is fun to own!

There are no fun roads around here and Seattle isn't a fun place to drive. It is a shitty place to drive like everywhere! John doesn’t live on a mountain road or out in the desert. He basically just needs a commuter car that has room for him to put his crafts. It is that bad! He needs a minivan, frankly! Dan says that vans are out! He loves driving a truck around Austin because they got a lot of hills and they get all kinds of weather. He had so many occasions where he needed to haul stuff or transport stuff. On the inside it is huge and easily fits five people comfortably and super-safe, and Dan fills up the tank only every 2.5-3 weeks.

John’s friend Adam Pranica is a longtime BMW guy who was driving BMW since he was in High School. He works on them himself and he is a real fan of the brand. His wife got tired of her BMW that he bought for her and that he kept tinkering on and she went out and bought a Tesla Model 3. Now Adam, the ultra car snob, reported to John that the Tesla Model 3 was an incredible car and he was blown away. Coming from him that meant a lot, and John has heard him talk about cars for years and years and knows what Adam thinks is cool. He is interested in handling and so forth.

Last week Adam got rid of his own BMW and bought a Model 3 for himself. A part of John says: ”Well, game over!” If Adam owns two Model 3 in his family John has to give that car a second glimpse. It would be such a big change for John to be Mr. Little Tech Bubble Car instead of big honking truck. Dan can not imagine John in that, John can’t either, but here we are.

John is waiting for his house to close, at which point he will have money in the bank and he will be living in the guest room of his daughter's mother's house. John can't call it a plan, but it is just the state of affairs. It would be a very bad time to buy a new car while he is in this state of flux, but he is thinking about it all the time. If he didn't have five anxieties powering him down the road, why would he wake up in the morning?


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