Laptop Problem Solved, Methinks

I’ve whined about my laptop. Yesterday at Brad and Krisy’s, I lost the wireless connection in the antique wireless card. Got to Caitlyn’s today, and it still refuses to connect. Since I’ve made my living as a network technician in the past, I’m confident it ain’t my fault. I think the wireless card or other internal watchamajiggy is dead, like the two batteries.

I’m typing this on an iBook G4, which though it’s nearly 5 years old is more powerful than any computer I own. Yes, the powerful Dell Precision Workstation I use for my audio and video editing, PhotoShopping and all that, is a tad puny compared to this little beast.

As of a few hours ago, it’s mine, a gift from someone who until today, literally could not give it away.

It’s not the newest Mac, not state-of-the-art, but did I mention, it’s now the most powerful computer I own (and including this one, we own eight, including two servers.)

Every once in a while, it feels like all I have to do is look skyward, ask, and receive.

I am, I assure you, deeply grateful. And a little freaked out at the syncronicity of it all.

Finding Our Way

We’re really enjoying ourselves and finding our way from town to town is going just fine. Finding our way in how we manage things is a learning process. We’ve discovered that it’s not always convenient to find internet access when we want and that Joel’s laptop batteries aren’t worth much. So we’ll have to find a way to get better batteries or something.

At the moment we’re at a Borders Book Store in Tacoma WA. We had a wonderful breakfast made by Jenny Fisher in Hoquiam – potatoes, sausage, fresh fruit. Thank you Jenny for your hospitality! I’ve caught up on the most important ¬†stuff. Fiona found a book or two to read quietly in the book store while mommy and daddy work on our laptops. Actually Joel’s getting ready to have his over-size cup of Chamomile tea from the Seattle’s Best ¬†Coffee shop. He needs it to relax after the frustrations of his laptop batteries dying.

So I’ll finish this post now so that he can borrow mine. And we’ll work out all these kinks. Oh, I also talked with another Virtual Assistant in the area that wants us to stop by and chat with her on our trip back.

Have a great day everyone!

Updated August 19, 2010 with this photo of Jenny’s home.

Home in Hoquiam

Win/Win Sponsorship

(If you know why you’re here you can jump right to the survey; otherwise, read on!)

As Best Beloved and I plan a life as nomads, we’re looking for ways to create mutual benefit; the proverbial ‘win/win’, for ourselves and the other lives we touch, or could touch.

The folks who are putting us up on our first trip are getting business coaching, cooking (I’m very good) and music (all modesty aside, or shoved under the mattress even) I’m a great songwriter. We get something precious to us (a bed at night and a home cooked meal) and they get something they value.

It’s always nice to have a little extra in the travel fund, but traditional sponsorship won’t cut it here. We don’t want to wear jackets with a swoosh everywhere we go, or be seen publicly drinking from a silver beverage can or any of that.

We want to find sponsors to whom we can offer something they value, something they can get best from a traveling family of remarkable people, and who’ll consider the material contribution small by comparison.

Win/win.

I’ve prepared the World’s Shortest Survey to gather ideas. A few ideas have already been floated, but ideas are a great big ocean. Float as many as you want.

More of the Plan

The long-term goal is to own nothing but what we can carry in a few suitcases, besides a few possessions too expensive or emotionally precious to replace. This isn’t meant to be Sherman’s march to the sea, slashing and burning as we go. At some point it’s likely we’ll come back to a more traditional lifestyle, and I’ll regret getting rid of all my books and my Dad’s stuff.

We rent our home right now, so we won’t have to sell anything that huge. Sue’s son might find a roomie or two and stay here, meaning we’d have an attic to store stuff in, an address to get mail at, and a place to sleep when we’re in town. Otherwise, we have dozens of friends who’d offer a room, an address, whatever we need.

We’ve got a tentative test trip planned for August 2nd through the 24th-ish. We’d be house-sitting just outside Vancouver, British Columbia. I mentioned the trip to a close friend today and he talked endlessly about the marvelous vacation he and his wife took there; about the mind-boggling beauty of the scenery.

Sue discovered that another one of her virtual assistant contacts is in Vancouver. She was going to track her down when she noticed late this afternoon that said VA had Tweeted something about looking for accountability partners to help her take her business to the next level . . . so tomorrow, we have a call planned to talk about arranging some sort of workshop (or workshops) while we’re there.

In the spirit of transparency, if we can make $600 in extra income while we’re there (beyond what we would have earned staying home) it will completely cover the cost of the trip. And if the big web job we’ve signed issues the first payment within the next month (almost a foregone conclusion) we’ll even have the funds up front, seed money, so to speak, and earn it back on the trip. Lather rinse repeat.

Might make a pre-dry-run (yeah, I just make this stuff up) to San Diego in July. Don’t tell Sue. If we can arrange a small informal event in LA and one in San Diego, we could make up the $300 that trip would cost.

These trips would let us test out what it’s like to work completely remotely. My wonky little Sony Vaio laptop; Sue on her son’s borrowed Dell beast (don’t tell him, either.)

Skype calls? Have to test. No headphones. Do we take speakers? Do we take the musician-quality microphones we’re used to using?

House concerts: if I could connect with folks who’d host a house concert, I show up, play music for an hour, pass a hat, play for another half hour.

Video everything (already a habit.) Take notes about everything (already a habit.)

Van needs rear tires and rear brakes. And windshield wipers.

There must be a dozen things I’m forgetting.