Let's Review. . . . .

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Amskeptic
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Let's Review. . . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:30 pm

This is my fifth itinerary. We are in a challenging economy. You, my esteemed customers, are likely staring hard at your household finances with spouses and SO's staring equally hard at the choices confronting you in the coming year. So I must reach in deep with some good old Hard Sell, but be alert to exactly what I am selling.

I am selling mental/spiritual health counseling this year, using our old VWs as a bridge to what matters. Should you decide to put your VW projects on-hold or even liquidate them as you tighten your belts, you will find that the financial monster keeps coming after you anyway. Your average VW will buy you at best, three to six months of liquidity. The emotional and longterm investment cost of this liquidity will be far greater.

I have seen many many people lose yet some more of their joy recently, just worn down by the wolves scratching and sniffing at the door. When you shut down your creative outlets and your projects, you shut down another reason to wake up in the morning. These air-cooled VWs have some sort of spirit that brings the day to you. They also have a simplicity that beckons you to simplify your lives, your complicated over-committed lives. Because they actually serve a purpose (transportation), they can be utilized to help you get through the day, the only transportation device in your driveway or on the street that is actually appreciating. They serve to help you exercise your ingenuity and skills and for those so blessed, your artistic talents. Give up the damn cable bill long before you give up your VW.

I will be sharing the pain with you this year. I am not going to raise my prices. The cost of fuel is my worst expense, but I plan to improve efficiency as my "pay raise" this year. I also plan to stretch more in my acceptance of your hospitality. I have had many lifelong resistances that are being sorely tested by people who are rebuilding my essential trust.

This year's itinerary is also going to find me challenging you in ever more insidious ways. I plan on being less polite, less accomodating, and far less agreeable to your plans for what needs to be done. You SHALL allow me to test drive right after the valve adjustment or whatever is required to get a non-runner running, and you SHALL then endure my opinions on what will best utilize my time and your goals. We will go through our winter PM correspondences as per usual and we will plan upon what parts you need in advance, but we will not necessarily do the jobs that those parts dictate we should do, if in my opinion, our time is best spent pursuing other avenues. What I will promise you, is that you WILL successfully install the parts later and your car will thank you.

I would enjoy more spouse/SO involvement, I would like for all of us to find more ethnic representation in IAC air-cooled VW owners so I can chat it up with people about the issues of the day. This is going to be a potentially exciting year for this country, and I'd love to wade in it with you while you battle valve adjustments and breaker point gaps.

We have a core group of IAC members whose need for my talents is diminishing rapidly. This is as it should be, it is my pleasure to render myself irrelevant and obsolete. But, if any old timer IAC customers have no need for my services any more because you are perfectly able to take care of your own VW, please find referrals and send them my way. Poach off theSamba as you interact over there and find posters who are getting lost in the advice.

The itinerary is slated to begin in mid-to-late May and run through the end of October. I grossed $15,856.00 last year. I want to pull in no less this coming year, but I need a better net. DO I EVER! Settle down.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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sped372
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Post by sped372 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:25 am

I definitely want/need/long for a visit... but I worry about the scheduling. Didn't quite work out last year and we're planning on moving to the other side of the state sometime in the coming months. I dearly hope that time allows our paths to cross!
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

MConverse
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Post by MConverse » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:24 pm

I'm down for a full day In San Diego :)

I did have one thought though Colin....

I'd very much love to get 4 to 6 guys with running vehicles, Book your services for 2 full days and 2 nights, Find a friendly campground, Start early with Lessons on Valve adjustments, etc. Have you test drive all 5 busses with each owner taking notes, (the others riding along so they can "feel" different problems as well) and spend a day with you "supervising" What you feel the owners need to repair on their busses. Then have a nice meal, and sit around a fire and talk about whatever issues need talking about.

The second day would be spent finishing up small tasks from the first day - then the owners need to take a small hike while you stay behind and "disable" all the vehicles. Let the owners come back and make them troubleshoot and repair the problems Either as a group or individually. Do this until you and the owners get tired of it. Then food, fire, and lots of booze.

Wake up day 3, and send you on your way. And we will have bus pilots that have much better driving vehicles, and a much better understanding of how to keep them that way.

I'm thinking this would be more of an "advanced" class than your typical basic instruction you give to first or second year students that may not need your services as much as they once did.

Benefits for the owners:
Meet some fellow bus drivers
Learn from other's busses and experiences
Less expensive (split the cost of 2 days amongst more people)
Much more depth into troubleshooting Bus issues instead of basics
Great way to spend a weekend
Lots of good discussion/debate on current issues, philosophies etc.

Benefits for Colin:
Hopefully can book more days
May be able to raise the daily cost because it is spread over more people
Get to "hold classes" on more advanced subjects
Fun to watch people try to fix what you disable on their busses :P
Save money on Gas costs
Great way to spend a weekend
Lots of good discussion/debate on current issues, philosophies etc.
FREE MEALS - Make the owners cook for you dammit!!

Price it so you get a grand for the 2 days, but spread out over a few folks, it's much more affordable.

I'd limit the size to 6 max, but I think i'd prefer 5.

Or - I'd make this "weekend with Colin" available to graduates of a full day. You would spend Individual Full days with 5 or 6 people in the southwest, ensure their bus is up to the trip, then once you finish the last full day, all students and you would meet for a weekend of "Advanced Classes" full of troubleshooting, drinking, philosophising, having fun. I'd think if you could get 5 or 6 folks to sign up, and only charge 120 more from each for the weekend - It would very much be worth it.

Colin, I don't want to seem like I'm trying to change what you do or make it different. I *want* you to be successful in your trips across our country So you can continue to help us and I'm just throwing this out there. If you don't like it, or are not interested, Feel free to delete my post, call me names and still come and charge me for a full day of your services in San Diego.

If the price is right, I may even do the weekend thing AND still ask for a full day as well :P

Mike

bus71
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Post by bus71 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:48 pm

I'm going to encourage people considering selling your vws to reconsider. Our only transportation for 30yrs has been old ac vws. I credit them with keeping us from being homeless. I never could have paid rent and a car payment. My wifes health problems left us bankrupt. When you purchase a newer car, it owns YOU! You become dependant on a bank to loan the money, and a repair shop to keep it going. One tuneup can rebuild an ac vw. A friend of mine's toyota van cost $300.00 just to replace the dash lights! We have a 71 bus(17yrs) 74 bug(10yrs) 80van.(7yrs). All will go anywhere, none will win best of show. Take advantage of Colins services and learn to be independent! I would love a visit but we would just argue about my homegrown repairs and rust spots painted with a brush. Stick it to the banks and fix your bus!

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:06 pm

bus71 wrote:
I would love a visit but we would just argue about my homegrown repairs and rust spots painted with a brush.
You better plead poverty or mechanical competence. I wouldn't argue about homegrown repairs and rust spots painted with a brush, I would just share my VW's little secrets along those lines, like the aluminum foil/silicone floor patch circa 1992.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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glasseye
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Post by glasseye » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:26 pm

Field repairs and emergency diagnoses would be high on my list of needs.

A group session makes sense on about six levels, especially for Colin, I think. Fuel costs could be distributed much more sensibly and hell, we might even have more fun! :cheers:
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:55 pm

glasseye wrote:Field repairs and emergency diagnoses would be high on my list of needs.

A group session makes sense on about six levels, especially for Colin, I think. Fuel costs could be distributed much more sensibly and hell, we might even have more fun! :cheers:
I will consider it, but I have always found group dynamics to interfere with knowledge acquisition and retention and it is difficult to adjust my teaching style to the specific requirements of the person I am working with half so readily when there are many people. I also find that I enter into a deep communion with the vehicle. If I were just flitting from vehicle to vehicle, I would be much more likely to miss subtle details.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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covelo
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Post by covelo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:44 pm

I think it might be worth a shot, just as an experiment. I would love to organize something like that in Covelo. (Last weekend in April!).
‘80 Vanagon Westfalia - 54,400 miles
'91 Toyota Pickup (4WD long bed) - 199,960 miles
1987 Alfa Spider Veloce - 166,400 miles
2017 VW E-Golf - 5,600 miles

bus71
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Post by bus71 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:46 pm

I plead both poverty and mechanical competence. You would be wellcome anytime! We practice what a friend calls involuntary simplicity. I am sure I could learn more, but you need paying customers. My comment was meant along humerous lines. I encourage people to take advantage of your teaching. Fixing that broken bus can lead to fixing the stove, washing machine, etc.

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justgimmecoffee
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Post by justgimmecoffee » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:52 am

Sounds like we need to rent a racetrack!

We could sit in the infield, drinking beer and yelling helpful ideas while Colin and a lone, lucky car gets tinkered with in the Pits. Every few hours, we can all cheer as that one lucky vw goes tearing out of the pits with all the gusto of a thouroghbred turtle.
we'll ooh and ah as it makes its way (hopefully) around the track and raise our glasses when it rolls back into the pit area. If you wear contacts, you can skip that part or just yell.
Meanwhile the next lucky contestant on "Deal With it Or Else!!" gets their List O' Ailments ready for Pancake Surgeon. Since Colin can apparently detect vehicle problems by osmosis, you'd be better served to have a sticky note on the steering wheel that says something handy like "We have Pot Roast at home!" or "I will give you my sister for a hubcap alignment". Remember, no wagering is allowed but bribes are encouraged.

Those of you with multiple VW's will have to decide which vehicle you love the most- in the event of a tie, you will be given the opportunity to weld the vehicles together (note that its best to go bumper to bumper, not door to door. Avon hates competition).

After all the festivities and tune-ups, we can race around the track so be sure to bring good shoes.

-Barry

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LiveonJG
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Post by LiveonJG » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:28 am

I think what Colin's trying to communicate is that he'd rather avoid the inevitable carnival-like scenes of excess and debauchery that result when more than one us can be found at the same place and at the same time.
-John
Keep it acoustic.

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glasseye
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Post by glasseye » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:03 am

LiveonJG wrote: inevitable carnival-like scenes of excess and debauchery that result when more than one us can be found at the same place and at the same time.
-John
Woot! I'm in! :cheers: Debauchery R Us!
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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chitwnvw
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Post by chitwnvw » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:53 pm

Amskeptic wrote:...but I have always found group dynamics to interfere with knowledge acquisition and retention and it is difficult to adjust my teaching style to the specific requirements of the person I am working with half so readily when there are many people.
I concur. Even the addition of a single "helper" changed my experience drastically. Live and learn.

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glasseye
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Post by glasseye » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:04 pm

On reflection, I agree. Especially on the knowledge acquisition front. I was thinking more of fuel bills and fun.

In love-making and Colin-learning, one on one is probably best. :colors:
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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locoqueso
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Post by locoqueso » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:38 pm

All I know is I'm looking forward to the Chicago leg of this tour.
1978 VW Campmobile (P-21) Westfalia - T2 2.0L F.I.- 151,000m
1982 Mercedes-Benz Estate Wagon (300TD-T) - S123 3.0L T.D. - 142,000m
1993 Dodge Maxi Van (190 SLF) InterVec Falcon - B350 Magnum 5.9L F.I. - 70,000m

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