Staying Fed

The Land Rover rests in my driveway awaiting multiple repairs and I’ve been slowly weaving the tale of its trip home. I wanted to break the long silence for a big thank you to everyone that keeps me from wasting away.

A quick glance at my father’s side of the family and you’ll see where my lanky build comes from. With metabolisms like ours, we can eat nearly anything and still maintain our slim figures.

However, I’ve long had chronic abdominal issues, including recurring peptic ulcers, which frequently places eating anywhere between unappealing and downright impossible. Keeping pain in check requires daily medication, stress relief, exercise, and—most importantly—eating. I’ve been breaking through years of bad habits of succumbing to the pain—not eating; passing out on the couch—and have been keeping myself healthy.

It’s especially difficult as I find myself deeply in debt and on a tight budget. I tend to lean towards skipping meals when I’m out of cash for groceries. Family and friends have been generous in this respect and I want to voice my thanks. While much of it seems insignificant, my daily health is more important to me than I even remember to consider, so I thank you all:

And, last, but certainly most importantly:

Thank you all for keeping me fed. I owe you my life.

Choosing Poisons

I get obsessed with older gear. Once I get interested in a piece of yesteryear, I can’t help but dig into every detail, option, and limit. I’ll sometimes waste hours, days, or months sweating the small things. Often becoming disinterested in the end. It’s something about finding a unique balance of nostalgia, design, utility, and price.

A good example is my recent rebuild of an Apple Power Macintosh 9500 as a web & file server: Mid-‘90s compunabula at it’s best: tower design, PowerPC 604 processor, 6 PCI slots, low wattage power supply, etc. I even drove four hours to pick up the [free] gear. This one was a success.

I use my Apple Newton MessagePad 2100—tricked out with Compact Flash storage and Bluetooth—every day for tracking appointments, contacts, and finances. Occasionally to write, scribble, or read a classic novel. I get an odd kick out of having the oldest, useful gear in a meeting.

My Mystic Apple Macintosh Color Classic, on the other hand, is back in a pile in our bedroom. Much to Emily’s distaste.

It’s not limited to Apple computers. There are vehicles too. A number of years ago my fetish was a 1968 Volvo 122 with supercharger and all-disc brakes. Man, I can’t even talk about them without a struggle against perusing bookmarks on the subject.

The problem there was rust. I’d have been fighting every Vermont winter, tooth-and-nail. I want a vehicle I can drive any day I want, not squirrel away for the next generation.

Then there was the 1995 Toyota MR2 Turbo. Probably the best performance and handling you can get on a moderate budget. I’d have killed myself within six months. I have an addiction to speed. All-natural, pedal-to-the-floor conceived adrenaline.

Where does one turn if you don’t want to forever apply bondo and should live by the “fifty-five to stay alive” motto? Only one classic bubbled to the top of my mind that might fit that criteria: a Series Land Rover.

I did my usual smidgen of research and rooted out as many permutations as I could. The model for me would be an early 80’s 5-door Land Rover Series III 109”. The Series III has slightly more modern electrical and accessories, a few more interior trimmings, and a gearbox with syncro in all four gears (less double-clutching required). I’d lean towards diesel. Later additions would likely include a ROVERDRIVE SX, roof rack, and a canvas & hoop set for summer.

I’ve been scouring ebay and craigslist for months. In the process discovering what I wanted was outside my budget. Many 2-door pickups with god-awful frames and swiss-cheese footwells scrolled through my browser. The prospect of having to ship such a beast across the country haunted my dreams.

A few weeks ago a local man saw my request on craigslist. He had imported a few Series IIA & III 88“s from the U.K. in February and had one drivable beater that barely fell into my price range. Naturally, I arranged to look at it on my way back over the App Gap one night.

And, as cliché as it is, that’s where this story begins…

Every Day is an Adventure

I prefer to travel by land. I’ll go by air or sea, on occasion. I just prefer to take my shoes off and bury toes in the hot sand or brush them through the cool grass. I’ve got a truck, a bike, a longboard, and a Siberian Husky. We go everywhere together.

I spend too much time on my MacBook Air—for work and for play—and it’s high time I spent more of it with my girlfriend, dog, a camera, and Newton MessagePad. Exploring. Documenting. Overland.

Join me.

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