Tynan http://tynan.com Life Outside the Box en-us Thu, 24 Apr 2014 05:29:50 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Any there deals on wool clothing going on currently? http://tynan.com/community/157111 Summer's coming up and it will be time to travel again. After experiencing one day at the beach where I packed everything I needed into a waterproof container (so I could go into the water and out whenever I wanted) I was hooked.

I'm thinking of extending this travel philosophy into my packing. Are there any good deals on wool clothing currently? I've never had a piece of pure 'real' wool clothing before (rayon and the synthetics are probably the closest equivalents) but I've heard so many magical things about wool that I think it's worth looking into for this summer. I saw a bunch of wool deals pop up every so often here so if anyone keeping track could post when they find one would be much appreciated.

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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:18:29 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/157111
Rolexes: Why They're Awesome and How to Get Them Dirty Cheap http://tynan.com/community/buyrolex

A month ago or so I wrote a post called, No One Cares if you Buy a Rolex. If you didn't read it and don't feel like doing any link-clicking, the gist of it was that when I was younger I bought a Rolex, assuming that people would be really impressed, but in the end no one noticed or cared. You can't buy your way into being interesting.

Ironically, in writing that post, I remembered how much I loved my Rolex, despite the fact that no one else cared about it. At the same time, I had stopped really using the advanced features of the Suunto GPS watch that I had, and was thinking about getting some different watch.

Maybe I ought to get a Rolex, I thought...

Getting something as a status symbol is really lame. Although Rolexes are seen as status symbols (again... that's mostly in theory because no one ever notices them), they're also really excellent watches. I don't think most people understand just how good a Rolex really is.

A Rolex (with the exception of a now discontinued line called the Oysterquartz) is a mechanical watch. That means that it doesn't have batteries and doesn't have a quartz crystal. It has a spring that is wound up either by twisting the crown, or by harnessing the energy generated through wrist movement using a rotor. The spring powers one hundred and fifty moving parts to deliver really accurate time (gaining or losing only a few seconds a day).

To be clear, a $9 quartz watch is probably more accurate than a Rolex. But then again, a photograph is more accurate than a Monet. There's something to the art of it-- the fact that these one hundred and fifty moving parts continue to work for years on end, powered only by flicks of the wrist, through conditions as varied as scuba diving hundreds of feet deep in the ocean to climbing mount Everest.

Rolex isn't the only mechanical watch to be able to do this (Omega and Tag Heuer are similar, and I'm sure there are others I don't know about), but they are real pioneers in the field and, in terms of balancing accuracy and reliability, there is no better.

The point of all this is that a Rolex isn't a jewelry watch like a Gucci watch would be. A gucci watch would most likely be a quartz watched stamped with a bunch of logos. If they do have a mechanical watch, it would have been developed by someone else, made in China, and then stamped with logos.

I personally love the idea of a manual watch. To me it's a triumph of humanity that these things exist. I love the idea that such a rugged and precise machine can be built, and that it can fit in my watch, hidden in a tiny case.

The next most interesting thing about a Rolex is that although the price tag is quite high, it could be argued that the cost of owning one is negative. That's because Rolexes tend to appreciate over time, mainly because the style hasn't changed drastically since inception, making a 40 year old watch look roughly new.

I bought my first Rolex in 2001 for $1400. Today it would sell for $1900 if I hadn't lost it. That's not an incredible return, but it's very low risk (insure the watch from theft/loss for $30/year if you want to really make it low risk), and you get to have a cool watch for many years.

Even more interesting is that right now there are insane deals to be had on Rolexes. I actually have three of them right now because I didn't realize how plentiful good deals are, and I kept jumping on deals I thought were 'once-in-a-lifetime' deals. Some examples:

1. I bought a 1991 Air-King for $1250. I thought I was going to keep it, but one week and two Rolexes later, it's going up on eBay. I estimate that it's worth around $1700-2000.

2. I bought a 1980 DateJust for $1700. I should be able to sell this one for $1900-2000, maybe more.

3. I bought and will keep a 1999 DateJust with a diamond dial for $2100. If I wanted to sell it today, I could get around $3000.

If you combine a really good deal with years of modest appreciation, you're looking at buying a really excellent watch and earning 5-10% per year average on the "investment". On the other hand, any cheap watch you buy will tend to lose value over time. I loved my Suunto and got some really good use out of it, but I sold it for about half what I paid for it after a couple years.

Anyway, I'm not trying to convince you to buy a Rolex. I'm just trying to explain what makes them worth having, and will share some tricks to getting them really cheap. My guide to buying a Rolex will focus on the DateJust, which is the classic dress watch (that can still be worn scuba-diving), but most of the tips will work for any model.

The key dates to know for a DateJust are as follows. In 1978 Rolex introduced a "quickset" feature, which makes it much faster to switch the date at the end of a 28-30 day month. My first Rolex was a 1974 and not having quickset wasn't that big of a deal, but it's a nice feature and 1978 is a good starting point.

In the late 80s, Rolex switched the crystal from acrylic to sapphire crystal. Opinion is divided on this, with most collectors and enthusiasts favoring the acrylic crystal. Acrylic definitely looks better and doesn't hold fingerprints as much, but it is easier to scratch. Buffing out scratches with a polishing cloth is pretty easy. Sapphire, on the other hand, is pretty much impossible to scratch. I prefer Sapphire because I tend to do things that risk scratching the watch, but it's a personal choice.

In the mid nineties, the case was switched to a holeless case. This is a very minor difference-- the pins that hold the bracelet onto the watch are hidden. Since then there have been no notable improvements. The quickset movement is called a 3035 and the next evolution, introduced in 199x is called the 3135. Both of them have their strong points and their supporters-- the point is that very little has changed over the years, so you can buy an old Rolex and it's essentially the same as a new Rolex. The 1980 DateJust and the 1999 DateJust I currently have are the exact same color schemes and both keep time with the same level of accuracy. Other than the different crystal, the holeless case of the newer one, and the less worn band of the newer one, they are indistinguishable.

Because you're working with around 20 years of available Rolexes (I've never seen great deals on the newest ones), you will have a LOT of watches to choose from. This means that you can take the approach of lowballing everybody until someone accepts your deal. Given the current economy, pretty much everyone takes your offer. I've really been amazed at how cheaply people are willing to let go of these watches.

The two major places to look are Craigslist and eBay. On Craigslist, just search for Rolex with an upper price of $2500. I wouldn't ever pay more than that. A late 70s watch should go for closer to $1600. Whenever you see a watch, offer a really low price that's $100 more than most people will offer. In other words, offer $2100 instead of $2000, $1600 instead of $1500. I almost got a watch for $1300 just because everyone else was offering $1200, but someone paid his full asking price at the last minute.

Don't get attached to any given watch. in this economy a lot of people are selling their Rolexes, so another one will come up. If you overpay, or fail to get a really good deal, you're largely negating the good-deal benefit of buying a Rolex.

On Craigslist the biggest advantage you can have over other sellers is to be really easy to deal with. Most people on Craigslist are not. My initial email might look something like this:

"Hey, I'm interested in the Rolex you're selling on Craigslist. I don't mean to insult you, but I think the watch is worth about $1600. I know you're asking for more, but if you're interested in that price, I can meet you at your convenience with cash in hand."

The last watch I bought was from a really nice guy who I sent a similar email to. When I bought the watch he thanked me for being so easy to work with and kept saying how glad he was to be done with selling it. Selling on Craigslist is annoying. We both know he could have gotten a bit more money if he held out, but he would have had to meet with a bunch of unreliable people who wouldn't show up with cash, or would try to renegotiate after agreeing on a price. Convenience is worth something.

If you're buying on eBay, you again want to email offers in. Most buy it now prices aren't that great, and auctioned Rolexes, by definiton, go for market price. The ideal watch to offer on is one that's been on eBay for a few days with no bids. At that point the seller might start to wonder if it's going to get bid up or just get sold for his opening price. The Air-King I bought had a starting price of $1000 and no bids. I offered $1250 and he took it. My guess is that if he left it on eBay it would have sold for $1700 or more.

Many sellers will also list buy it now prices that are unrealistic. Email them and offer them much less. I haven't actually bought one this way but I've gotten some really solid counter-offers back.

With eBay sellers you don't really need to worry about fakes. Just look for good feedback, and if it does turn out to be fake, eBay buyer protection will cover you. In person if you don't know what to look for, you might be better off meeting at a watch store, where they can verify that it's real. It's pretty easy if you know what to look for, so they probably won't charge you for the service. If they do, it would be $10-20.

There are two color schemes for the DateJust, stainless steel and 18k gold / stainless two-tone. They are the same price right now because the stainless steel is more in style. However, because the two tone one has a real gold crown and bezel, and also real gold center links in the bracelet, it probably has a higher intrinsic value. If you like that look, I bet it will appreciate more than the stainless one over time. I prefer the stainless look, though, so I've bought only stainless ones other than my first one many years ago.

There are also two ways to make the watch significantly cheaper after buying it. If you're lucky enough to get one that comes with the Rolex boxes, you can sell those for $100-200 on eBay. Resale value isn't really impacted by not having the box (DO keep the certificate if it comes with it, though), so you may as well sell them and take the cash. I got boxes with my 1999 watch, and they're on ebay right now.

You could also consider selling the bracelet of the watch and buying an aftermarket one. An aftermarket bracelet costs $25-75 and is probably better than the one that came with the watch, since the one with the watch will be stretched out a bit from use. The original bracelets go for $300 or so on eBay, which is sort of crazy. The resale value of your watch WILL decrease if it comes with an aftermarket one, but probably not by as much as you gain by selling it.

Using all these tricks, you can easily get a nice Rolex for $1000-1500 that will sell for almost twice as much. There are so many good deals out there that if I wasn't so busy, I would probably start a side business reselling them. Here's an ebay link with the search I use to find Rolexes.

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Wed, 25 Jul 2012 23:03:06 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/buyrolex
Finsix Dart - Worlds smallest laptop adapter http://tynan.com/community/145662 What do you guys think of this? Seems pretty small and it includes a USB port. Very expensive though, especially for the mac version.


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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:21:33 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/145662
Big Announcement!!!! http://tynan.com/community/146458 I am pleased to announce that my 3RD book is now available on amazon.com!!

This is my first "work out" guide as I plan on making the transition into fitness-related blogging.

I am selling it 50% off until May 1st when I will start the heavy promoting.


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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 01:10:37 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/146458
Fold-up motorcycle carrier for my Rialta http://tynan.com/community/38444 Video here: http://youtu.be/I7KRdh2dySs
Pics here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100818256773744.3282966.8329234&type=1&l=2aa5d7cf57

It works great and doesn't seem to affect the Rialta negatively.  I haven't weighed it in over a year, but I'd guess it's at ~7500 now with water and excluding 550lb bike, which has it's weight split with the carrier's wheel & RV when loaded.  I have a leaky suspension airbag, but even flat, the rear doesn't bottom out or drag in dips.  I've looked at the Pit Bull trailer restraint and the Tyre Down as options of better securing it without pulling down on suspension.  Since that video, I've added self-retracting ratchet straps permanently attached to the carrier that grab a strap set up like the Tyre Down atop of my rear tire (see pictures in album) and plan to build a collapsible front chock soon.  I had to take off the front fender of my bike to restrain it like I have been, but think I can make attachment for hooking on the outsides of the installed fender.  Also added on the Rialta is a company logo on the doors and fleet numbers on the corners to appear more "utility van".

I'd be happy to help anyone out with dimensions or more details on the design; I built it in my Dad's shop at home, so can't easily reproduce one right now.  If it's feasible to build the carrier frame with aluminum, that would help with weight, but you'll probably have to reinforce it in more places.

Tynan, sorry for this post's delay; I didn't realize that uploading a video on mobile broadband was completely hopeless.  Bonus pic of the Austin Clique attached.

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Thu, 08 Nov 2012 22:27:14 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/38444
Tiny Houses http://tynan.com/community/105958

I have been looking in to Tiny Houses and there great basically a little house on a Trailer if you build it right, it can be totally off the grid which means no bills ;)

Key Elements For Off The Grid Home:

1) Water - rain capture system from the roof to collect it then filter it so its drinking water/shower.

2) Power - solar power is one of the best ways theres wind as well. I have seen a cool exercise machine that you can use to charge your batteries so an 1 HR of fitness charges your battery bank.

3) Toilet - best I have seen is an incinerator toilet, so it gets rid of waste and no septic tanks needed.

4) Warmth - best insulation in the walls, is key and a great heating system now a lot of Tiny House home owners use a wood burner and its gets the house toasty very quickly as its so small, I would always have a back up option you can get great little propane ones.

So basically you can have a great little home and after initial set up cost no more bills :)

All you need then is to grow food in Poly Tunnels quite easily and your cost of living is getting less and less giving you more time to enjoy life, will come to growing food in a later post.

The Tiny House above is $30k - which is a lot but once got no more housing bills and you can move it with a truck quite easily.

My name is Alex Black and I think outside the BOX

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Tue, 21 Jan 2014 18:41:32 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/105958
Rialta: Fuse always popping! http://tynan.com/community/142220 Hey guys,

I plug my Macbook into a 12V Car Adapter (from MikeGyver) plugged into the front, lounge-area outlet (passenger side, on the unit with the folding table).

However, if my computer starts spinning up or is low on power and is heavily drawing power, frequently the 'AUX START' fuse pops.

I've noticed the fuse has the labelling '16' on it (some kind of rating?).

Also, I've noticed if the panels are giving off lots of power (during the day, sunlight, pumping it out), then this won't occur.

Any ideas what I should do? Is the solution as simple as putting a larger fuse in for the 'AUX START' fuse? Suggestions on safe fuse ratings?


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Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:08:25 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/142220
RV Trips: Visiting Las Vegas? http://tynan.com/community/116781 Let's talk Vegas!

Random Internet Folklore is that casinos turn a blind eye to RVs parking in their lots for short periods of time ala Walmarts.

Any first-hand experiences hanging out in Vegas?

I think it goes without saying, but: I prefer to be near the casinos.

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Tue, 04 Mar 2014 02:56:43 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/116781
Tiffany Shlain http://tynan.com/community/140765 I was just gonna shoot an email to Tynan recommending this but realized, what the hell, might as well put up a community post for others. A friend recommended Tiffany Shlain's work to me, including her film Connected and a little 8-minute piece on vimeo called "The Science of Character".

I only watched the trailer for the first one, so far, but watched the whole second one (since it's short.) A lot of it was content that I knew, but her production values and presentation are very good, and in particular one quote that jumped out at me and really resonated was:

"The way to strengthen that filter is as simple as taking a moment, focusing your attention, and asking yourself: Is what I'm about to do a reflection of who I am, and who I want to be?"

It's not like I haven't heard that sentiment expressed a thousand ways before, but for some reason that italicized sentence really moved me. Actually I was thinking about heading out to get an unhealthy but delicious brunch right as I was watching the video, and when I heard that it immediately broke me out of that and made me realize it was just me wanting a distraction and some sense pleasure. It was super effective!

I carry little quotes around with me, like on cards in my wallet or places I'll see them (my only tattoo is, in fact, a quote I carry around with me) and I think I'm going to make this my next one, and anytime I'm tempted to do something, try to pause, gather my attention and ask myself that. I bet it'll be pretty effective (at least for like a month before it starts to feel stale and loses its power, but hopefully by then I'll have found another motivating turning phrase...)

Anyway her work seems worthwhile for this, and I'm probably going to watch all of Connected at some point soon. I'm pretty allergic to new-age verbiage and hippies, so I like that she definitely comes down on the "science-language" side of things.

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Sun, 06 Apr 2014 20:58:20 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/140765
Why I switched to T-Mobile after fifteen years http://tynan.com/community/tmo After fifteen years of having the same cell phone contract, which left me grandfathered in at unlimited everything for $15/mo after taxes, I finally passed my plan on to my brother and switched to T-Mobile. Why? Because T-Mobile gives you free unlimited 2G internet everywhere in the world!

This is something I've been dying to have for a long time now. I have so many trips where I'm in a country for just one to three days, which isn't enough time to justify getting a SIM card. Almost all of Sprint's phones are either not worldphones or are internationally locked, meaning that you can't even go to another country and buy a SIM. Your options are to pay crazy roaming fees if their network is even available, or to not use your phone.

T-Mobile also has some other cool benefits-- they have Wifi calling (and texting) so you can call and text from anywhere once you're on Wifi, their prices are very good, and they're one of the last carriers to still offer unlimited 4G.

If you want to switch and want unlimited LTE (which is crazy fast-- 35Mb/20Mb in San Francisco), you should do it NOW. This plan gets more expensive on March 23. If you want less data, you should wait until after March 23, as every other plan gets a little bit more data for the same price.

If you know anyone on a T-Mobile family plan, you should piggy back onto their account. You can add a line with 1GB of monthly 4G for $10/mo, up to unlimited for $30/mo (which will soon be $40). That's what I did. To simplify things I just prepaid my entire year to their account so that it's not a hassle for them.

People complain a lot about T-Mobile reception, but there's an important factor most people aren't considering. T-Mobile has all different types of spectrum (five different bands, I think). Most AT&T and international phone do not support all of those bands, so if you bring a phone from another carrier, it will work but will have worse speed and reception. The best phones are those that are made specifically for T-Mobile (they will be compatible with bands all over the world, too), or phones like the Nexus 5 that are made for all carriers.

I'll miss paying $15/mo for phone service, but $35 (including tax) is pretty good, too. I'm enjoying the LTE and I can't wait to go to the Island next month and use some international data for free!

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Fri, 21 Mar 2014 19:15:00 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/tmo