I'm off to Oshkosh.
As you might've read earlier, I haven't been entirely enthusiastic about the air show this year for reasons I can't quite fathom. But I probably just need to sit an empty field for a few days, watching people walk by and planes fly overhead.
The trick will be not spending money. A few days ago, a barnstorming pilot stopped at my hangar and I put him up for the night. A few RV builders (the plane I'm building) also stopped by and looked over the project, which I'd pushed over to the side of the hangar for the occasion.
"You have a lot left to go," one said. "You haven't even started the systems, yet."
Well, yes, that's exactly what I needed to hear after 7 years and 1,800 of work and a ridiculous amount of money. The sad part is: he's right. So what's stopping me? Money.
At one time I had enough to finish the plane, but kids needed cars, some computers went on the fritz and there were needs here and there and, voila!
The engine for the plane is due to be built next month and delivered, I presume in September. $23,000. I'll "home equity" that (that's a verb?) and pay it off as I would a new car.
But back to Oshkosh. There's a ton of stuff you can buy there; stuff you might even need. But I looked into the cockpit of that biplane that spent the night in my hangar the other day -- altimeter, airspeed indicator, turn indicator. And the guy flew -- solo -- to all 48 states. I'm going to keep that mental picture in mind when I'm walking past the temptation over the next week.
Mini-news Sean bought a new (used) car last night. A 2005 Cobalt. He got a good deal I think for the car with 40,000 miles. Gone is the car with the breaks that are shot, wires that run everywhere, the button you had to push before you turn the key (assuming you didn't lock the steering wheel because then you can't turn the key without some serious shenaningans) and the ignition key that broke off in the front door lock.
It'll be another couple hundred dollars a month for the young man, and adding debt is always sobbering and a little maddening, but his mother and I couldn't be happier.
An interview with Tom Berge
5 months ago