3 things 3 years with a $3,000 truck has taught me

1. Your skills are an asset—not a shortcut.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a $3000 vehicle when you can put another two grand into it to make it perfectly reliable—you’ve just got to follow through and commit to making it reliable right away.

2. You get out of your network what you put into it.

The more you help people solve their problems, the more people you’ll find willing to help you solve your problems. Fezzik is essentially sponsored by my friends. Thank you.

3. You can’t always get what you want. (You get what you need.)

Okay, so I learned this one from The Rolling Stones. But Fezzik’s really driven the lesson home.

Nice as it would be if Fezzik was a bespoke, overland rig like Linhbergh Nguyen’s—or pristinely gorgeous like Kevin Roy’s—I really just my Montero to be reasonably reliable and capable of going when the going gets tough.

. . .

I haven’t had a completely reliable Mitsubishi since Daisy, the 97 Talon I bought new in 1996. That’s going to change here in next couple months. (See #1, #2, and #3, above.)

An excellent weekend

It almost wasn’t.

Instead of driving two hours north to Flagstaff to interview Arron Strump at 316 Motorworks Saturday, I went to the Wildlife World Zoo on the far west side of Phoenix. Arron and I got our wires crossed, and I couldn’t get up the hill before his other engagements. We were able to reschedule for Sunday.

The zoo was a good time. Perfect weather—warm in the sun, cool in the shade. And P actually walked the full 2.7 miles without once asking to be carried. It was a bit pricey, at about $150 all in (exit through the gift shop, after all), but it’s probably pretty expensive to run a zoo, too.

Sunday proved an excellent use of time. I got to sit across a big, break room table from one of the most successful gearheads I’ve ever met and talk shop. And four hours later, when I got home, I got to speak with another one over the wire.

I even made dinner, did the dishes, gave the kid a bath, and entered the final stretch of a book I’ve been casually reading for about a year.

It was an excellent weekend.