Yes, I’ve neglected you, and for good reason some might say. Since my last post in 2015, the internet has changed a lot. Instagram has become my main source of maintaining a fake sense of self importance. That said personal blogs became just too cumbersome for people to care about. It’s too much effort on both ends. Me to write and you to point your browser at.
The other day it came to my attention that this blog had fallen off the internet. That was a step too far even for this absent blog owner. So, last weekend I took the effortless steps to contact my server host and get things straightened out. That lands us here, at a cross roads. Is it so out of fashion that it is time to start this old, tired and pointless blog back up? Maybe, lets start with a short update to see.
Since the last post circa 2015:
The van has been almost fully restored
Kate and I took a Grand Canyon road trip in the van.
We bought a house and moved to West Orange NJ
I still have the same job
Kate is still at Eileen Fisher
I’m still bald
We still have buttfuzz (the cat)
Had a van project Kickstarter fail called Campskills.
That about it, certainly some big things in there and many posts that will never be realized, but that’s alright. I kinda mirrors my life in a way. Things just got too busy for me to embrace them and so they tend to fade a bit.
One of the bigger interior projects in the Westy we did just last weekend. We replaced the original refrigerator with a much more modern Truck Fridge.
The original Westfalia refrigerator was kind of impressive. It ran on your choice of 3 different power sources. It could use the auxiliary battery, the plug in shore power, or propane gas from the tank under the van. This may make you wonder why in the heck would anyone want to replace it. Well, it turns out none of those power sources worked particular well. We only got it working on the plug in shore power. Even when we got it working it would at best only stay internally 20deg cooler inside than the temperature outside.
The Truck Fridge on the other hand is a much more modern and efficient refrigerator. It runs both AC and DC power so we still have the option to run auxiliary battery or shore power. It also happens to be (almost) a perfect fit in the space left vacant by the original fridge. This only requires you to trim the cabinet frame and ad some posts to screw the flanges of the fridge into. Oh, there is also one other small issue. The Truck Fridge is only sold in black. This requires you to orders matching reproduction laminate for the fridge door, and then mask and spray the rest of the fridge to match the molding in the van…. So I did that.
I wish I took more pictures during the install but it turned out to be a full days job
I’m dating this post to match the day we bought our Westy. On June 27th Kate and I did a very un-KateandPaul thing. We drove to Newbury Mass. and bought, pretty much sight un seen 1987 Vanagon Westfalia. The Vanagon Westfalia is a camper van. It holds 4 people both riding and sleeping. It’s endlessly customizable. It is also our ticket out of the little NYC bubble we live in.
That might sound crazy but after 10 years in NYC it just like anywhere else. The path we run to work and back is well worn and difficult to break free of. The Westy is for that.
There are a few challenges. Vanagons are notoriously under powered and unreliable. The Westy tops out at 65mph on the highway. That, I don’t mind. There is an ease in knowing the slow lane is for you and passing is a non issue. The real challenge is the simple fact the engine is almost 30 years old and reality of a part failing and canceling a trip is inevitable. It’s a good lesson in patience and dealing with disappointment, but the future is most likely a Subaru engine conversion. Giving us 100 more horse power and a modern engine that most mechanics can quickly find parts for. Not to mention a level or reliability we will never have with the very old VW engine.
The previous owners really only used Westy as a sleeper. They didn’t take advantage of all it has to offer or all you can do with it. This is the most exciting part for me. On our very first trip to the Poconos Kate and I Installed the Go Westy Aux Battery Kit. This is a second battery besides your main car battery that runs all the electronics for the van. There is also a 14 gallon water tank built into the van that is used by the sink. The water lines for that need to be replaced. There is also a fridge built it. It’s suffering from old age and can be replaced with a Truck Fridge that runs on both AC and DC power. Hoping to make that upgrade soon.
Hey everyone Happy Easter. We had a pretty nice time here. Thanks to everyone that came over. The beautiful cupcakes from Michelle. The traditional Lamb of God cake from Megan. Kate made the Easter favorites ham, potato salad and corn casserole. Over all a huge Easter success.
We went to Antigua in the Caribbean last week to escape from the hell of the NYC winter. Now I know “Canada and Chicago are way colder”! But I don’t care winter sucks and we got out. Although we only got out moments before yet another winter storm. We had to think quickly to adjust our flight to leave the evening before we had planed. Luckily it all worked out and we got to Antigua safe and sound, only 2 hours later than we had planned. We stayed as the Sandals Resort……. so what it was all inclusive and a decent deal for late booking. Any way enjoy the pictures. Just a couple because most of the time was spent laying on the beach. We only had 2 days.
Hey check out winter camping 2015. We went a couple of weeks ago. Much better than the 2012 trip. I was much better prepared thanks to amazon and great camping gear. I’ve posted both Billy’s and my own photos so enjoy.
I have off of work till the 5th of Jan which for me is insane. Having all this free time is my dream come true. Yesterday I went to the park and flew the drone around. Flying in the park was sooo much fun it’s embarrassing.
Ok first, there was no one in the park yesterday so I have a lot of shots of the ground. Second its really tempting to fly as fast and as wild as possible which makes for not the best video. The camera points down and can’t be adjusted so if there isn’t anything going on on the ground there isn’t much to see.
Check out the video this is super fun, let’s hope I don’t upgrade. The video is a bit less than sharp, but for what it is it’s amazing!!
Well, Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday everyone!!
We were in Ohio this Christmas and had a lovely time.
Yes, even at 34 I still get a Christmas toy. This year was a Drone with a camera on it.
I love it it’s pretty easy to fly and I’ve already introduced it to ButtFuzz.
Check out the video, it’s not super crisp but without investing way too much money I think it’s pretty great.
oh, hello there I didn’t see you…..
Yes, I still hang around here…. sometimes.
The past few weeks have been rather exciting for us. Kate (my wife (said in ironic Borat accent)) got a new job at the great Eileen Fisher. Ending the chapter at Ralph Lauren..
Long story short back in 2012 Kate, Aaron, Alison, and I went to Napa. Just try going on a wine tour and not buying anything I dare you.. Anyway, we bought a lovely bottle from this small winery called Elizabeth Spencer. Having a special bottle of anything is kinda a curse really. It demands you find an event worthy of it’s consumption. That said, in reality a tough week a work is probably reason enough. Though with a special bottle from far away you need a good reason. It was established long ago that when Kate got a new job we would pop the cork on it.
It was still good and I took a few pics to commemorate the occasion. Congrats KATE!!