Tynan http://tynan.com Life Outside the Box en-us Tue, 21 Nov 2017 08:41:50 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Rolexes: Why They're Awesome and How to Get Them Dirty Cheap http://tynan.com/community/buyrolex SHORT VERSION: Here is a link to my saved search on eBay that shows cheap Rolexes that are probably worth buying. Read on to see why. 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-clicki]]>

SHORT VERSION: Here is a link to my saved search on eBay that shows cheap Rolexes that are probably worth buying. Read on to see why.

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
Asking advice on money making blogs http://tynan.com/community/54399      I am looking for advice on how to start money making blogs.  I have seen and heard about these blogs, but I haven't investigated enough to see how I can make a consistent income from having a blog.  I know the basics about having a great niche on a unique topic that I would pound out articles on the subject.  And hopefully they would be authentic and interesting articles that would keep people coming back to the site to read.  I can do that, no problem.

      I see that some blogs sell some type of service and/or product, such as an e-book that gives a How-To guide to something (financial independence, wedding planning, vacationing on the moon, etc).  I could put something like that together over time.  I just don't like the idea of selling advice to people that they can click around the internet and find for free.  If I did have one great skill is sales and marketing abilities.  I am clever at figuring out ways for a business to get sales going.  I have helped numerous businesses get their sales plan going, but some didn't have the energy and fortitude to do the plan.  Some businesses need to do direct cold calls to potential clients, and they just do not like to do cold calls.

      The next step I see is to make a passive income by setting up Google Adsense, Pay Per Click and affliate income.  I can see that there are some possibilities that someone would read an article on my blog, and then maybe click on one of the ads.  I rarely do that when I'm surfing the internet.  I notice Tynan.com doesn't have ads on this site from adsense, unless I'm just not aware they are here.

     I guess there is the possibility that I set up links to other business sites that would pay me if someone clicked over to their site from mine.  I would think the chances of that happening would greatly increase if I put their website into some of the articles, and mentioned for the reader to go check out product X on this website.  I have met one guy in my area that has a website that has sales in the millions, and he only has one main product line and the rest of his site are other websites with those companies products.  He has a team of SEO and Tech guys in his office that he pays them a lot.  He told me he spends an enormous sum on website security.  He has over 20 employees and his office is buzzing with activity.

      I don't want any employees and little to no inventory.  I also want to keep my expenses to a minimum.  

      I checked out the sites for sale at Flippa.com.  I am not tech savvy enough to know what is a good deal and what is a scam.  

      I thought I could get some feedback here, and learn some more from some guys that are actually making money with their blogs.  And, maybe someone wants to partner up and we try a few blogs together as a test run and see how it turns out.  Anybody interested?

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Thu, 09 May 2013 13:34:11 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/54399
How to Get 3.5mm Audio-In on the Sony NEX-5 series http://tynan.com/community/nex-5-audio-in Ever since the first NEX-5 came out, I've been trumpeting its strong points. With the notable exception of the amazing new Sony RX1, the NEX-5 series is the smallest camera with an APS-C or bigger sensor. In other words, it's the smallest camera that you can really get ]]>

Ever since the first NEX-5 came out, I've been trumpeting its strong points. With the notable exception of the amazing new Sony RX1, the NEX-5 series is the smallest camera with an APS-C or bigger sensor. In other words, it's the smallest camera that you can really get professional level shots out of. The two big features that I've wanted ever since Sony came out with this camera are in-camera charging so that I don't have to carry around a separate charger, and an audio-in port.

The built in microphone is acceptable, but if there's any amount of wind or background noise, audio quality degrades very quickly. Despite the incredible optical quality of the camera, the audio quality when recording videos has been its Achilles' heel, making many videos unusable. All that Sony would need to do to fix this is put a tiny little microphone jack on the camera. The new NEX-6 and the NEX-7 both have microphone jacks, but getting that jack isn't worth the (admittedly small) increase in camera size.

In a desperate attempt to improve sound quality, I bought Sony's own solution, a microphone that clips to the top of the camera. While it's better than the built-in mic, the microphone was still vulnerable to camera noise as well as background noise. Plus, sometimes you just want to wear a little clip-on lav mic and not worry about outside sounds.

I searched online for some solution, but although there was speculation that it might be possible to hack something together, no one had actually done it. One night, as I drifted off to sleep, my mind circled back around to the microphone issue. I had been recording a video every day for a couple months, and I really wished that I could just plug a microphone in. There had to be a solution. I decided that since the add-on Sony mic wasn't that great anyway, I'd take it apart the next day and see what I could figure out.

Now, it may be worth pausing here to mention that I am not great with electronics. I have the cheapest soldering iron available, and I barely know how to use it. In fact, my method of soldering is so bad that I suspect I'm the only one who does it this way. Other than a childhood penchant for taking things apart (and usually not bothering to put them back together), I have no real experience with this sort of stuff. I mention all this, because I imagine that the following paragraphs are going to a) make me sound like I know what I'm doing and b) possibly scare you away from trying this. The reality is that I'm a complete amateur who's just dedicated and reckless enough to make stuff like this happen, and that the process is actually pretty easy.

So the next morning I woke up and began prying away at the microphone. It was actually pretty fun finding all the hidden screws and detentes holding the thing together. Cut down to its bare components, the Sony ECM-SST1 has a very strange design. It has two very cheap looking microphones, but they're suspended by rubber bands as you'd expect a high-end microphone to be constructed. One faces straight forward and the other faces directly perpendicular to the side. I can't quite wrap my head around how Sony gets good stereo separation from a design like this, but it does. Upon seeing the setup, I actually put the mic back together to test the stereo functionality. My guess is that the front mic is responsible for picking up all the sound and that the sideways mic is responsible for positioning. I mention this not because it's at all relevant to the procedure I'm going to outline, but rather because I figure it may give more experienced people some ideas on how to improve my method.

I found a pinout diagram online of the proprietary (why does everything have to be proprietary, Sony?) connector, which clearly labeled the microphone channels. Of interest is that there are actually THREE channels, plus a ground. Left, right, and center. Also of interest, the microphone doesn't use the center channel. So it's there for some accessory that hasn't yet revealed itself, I guess. I cut the left, right, and microphone ground, and wired them up to a microphone.

It recorded sound, but it was extremely noisy and hard to hear. Far worse than the internal mic. I tried reversing the channels, using just left or just right as mono channels, grounding the ground to other stuff, but nothing would make it sound anywhere approaching decent. Always noisy. This was pretty frustrating, because I was sure that it would work. I was impelled to give up, but the dream of audio-in for the NEX was just too real. There had to be some way to do it.

I clumsily soldered the tiny wires that I had cut back together, insulated them with heat shrink tubing, and stared at the blasted contraption. I cut all of the wires going to the two front microphones and decided to test what would happen if I hooked the front one up to an audio jack. I should mention here that the suspense was excruciating, because for every test I'd have to solder everything together, record a video, and then transfer it to the computer to listen and make sure the audio quality was good. But in this case it paid off-- I was rewarded with crystal clear audio! The first words ever uttered into an NEX-5N via a 3rd party microphone were "Oh god, this had better work."

Giddy with success, I immediately set out to figure out the best way to use my contraption on a long term basis. All of my tests had been done with the guts of the microphone strung along across the top of the camera. Hardly a sustainable solution. My first inclination was to use the now defunct microphone enclosure, adding an audio port to the back. I actually went so far as to drill a hole in the back of it, when I spotted the NEX flash across my desk. Now, I'm not sure if I'm just such a bad photographer that I don't understand how to use the flash, or if this flash is so bad that makes every photo look worse, but I never use it. Maybe, I thought, I could make it into an enclosure for the microphone circuitry. This would allow me to have a much smaller unit and a flat surface on the top to mount a microphone-carrying cold shoe.

Next thing I knew, I was prying apart the flash and had discarded the innards of it, leaving a nice empty shell to play with. A bit of drilling and cajoling later, I had my unit all together. Nonfunctional flash in front, audio processing on the inside, and a nice 3.5mm audio jack on the side. Triumphantly I recorded a video explaining what I had done and swapped it over to my computer to hear how good it sounded. And it did sound good-- in the left channel. It turns out that in my haste to put the flash back together, I had pulled loose one of the extremely delicate wires attached to the connector. The next half hour of my life was spent trying to fix this, and, in the process, breaking most of the other wires and covering the whole hot mess in solder. In short, I completely ruined everything.

I did what any other reasonable person would do next, and I ordered another Sony microphone to gut for parts. It arrived today, and I'm happy to say that using its cable I was able to hook up my original board to make the first ever fully-functional 3.5mm microphone port for a Sony NEX-5. Here's proof:

If you'd like to do the same, here's how (video at the bottom):

1. First, take apart the microphone. I recorded a full video on how to do this below, so I won't get into the particulars here. The short version of it is that you uncover the hidden screws at the bottom to remove the connector, and then very carefully pry everything else apart. Be particularly careful with the cable that runs from the connector to the board, because it's damn near impossible to repair if you break it.

2. From the microphone, all you need is the cable I mentioned in step one, and the squarish logic board. There are five or so wires coming off of the board. If you're a better tinkerer than I am, I bet you can figure out how to use them all to get stereo sound. If you're not that clever, just pull off all of them except for the two closest to the edge, labeled M1 and MicGND. I pulled those off, too, and soldered directly to their pads, but this was pretty tricky and I wouldn't bet in favor of me duplicating the feat. Better to just leave the wires attached and use them.

3. Desolder the switch. To do that, just pinch the switch in a way that pulls it from the board, while applying the soldering iron to the opposite side. Hold it until your fingers burn, take a second to cool down, and try again. You'll make incremental progress, feeling the switch detaching from the board. Just a couple minutes of this will get it off. I blobbed a bunch of solder between the two contacts labeled 90. I'm not sure if it's necessary to do this or not, but it seemed like a solid idea.

4. So now you should have a cable, the square board, and just two leads coming off of it. Now look towards your flash with warring eyes and start taking it apart, too. Just remove the connector part as we did with the microphone, and then remove the plastic sticky panels on the side and hit those four black screws. Whatever you do, do not remove the silver screws that are holding the springs down. It's not necessary, and I'm not sure there's a more frustrating task than trying to put them back in. Pull out all the flash business, keeping only the plastic grey shell and the clear plastic lens. You can also get rid of the big vertical piece of plastic inside the flash and the smaller vertical piece behind the big thumbscrew. Pay special attention to the angle that the clear flash lens sits at-- it's not obvious once you take it apart.

5. Next you drill a 1/4" hole in the side of the flash for the audio jack to go through. You'll have to do a bit of positioning and measuring to find the right spot for it. Only once you've drilled that hole should you solder the leads of the audio jack to the leads coming off of your audio board.

6. I covered the whole board in masking tape just to make sure it didn't accidentally bump up against the audio jack contacts and short something.

7. There will probably be only one way that the board will fit in at this point, so go ahead and put it in. Hopefully you tested this before positioning your audio jack.

8. Now just close the whole thing up. The two front black screws won't have anything to bite into anymore, but put them in anyway. The adhesive plastic will hold them in place and together they'll prevent the top from becoming separated. Use the connector cladding pieces that you took from the microphone. The ones that came with the flash won't connect correctly without some modification.

And that's it! If it comes out anything like mine, it will be just a little bit janky looking, but will function like a champ. Here's a video of the procedure:

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Thu, 27 Sep 2012 07:21:52 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/nex-5-audio-in
Best Travel Deal Websites http://tynan.com/community/44158 Since many of us are interested in traveling, I thought it would be a great idea to start a thread about the best travel deal sites. Here are my favorites so far.

Holiday Pirates - this blog regularly posts great travel deals from most big European cities. Some of the recent deals include 300 EUR roundtrip flights from Europe to NYC, and 358 GBP flights from UK to Zimbabwe, Sudan or Ethiopia. This is an awesome resource for all European travelers.

Kayak - most people probably know this already. It's a great tool for finding flights and hotels, especially if you're traveling from or within the US.

SkyScanner - this site is great for comparing flight prices from different travel agencies. I've been able to find better prices than on Kayak or other American sites for flights departing from Europe.

FlightFox - this is a crowdsourcing site in which other people compete to find the best possible fares for your flights. I've never used it myself, but it could be very useful if you have a complicated itinerary. Those of you who are travel veterans could probably make some money there.

What are your favorite travel deal websites? 

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Thu, 14 Feb 2013 21:15:50 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/44158
How I quit sugar http://tynan.com/community/31224 I decided to quit sugar when I learned that it was the main reason for my acne.  First I experimented with quitting sugar for a week to see if acne would clear, it did.   I have tried limiting my sugar intake before by not buying any sugar products and only eating sugar if it was offered to me for free, but this quickly fell apart because I would be simply too addicted.  So using clear skin as my main motivator and concentrating on that, I decided just to quit once and for all. 
I thought about my highschool english teacher who was allergic to sugar.  I thought about how back then I felt bad for him, but now I wish i was allergic to sugar.  Thats when I had my brilliant idea: why can't I be allergic to sugar.  From that thought on, whenever I came across a situation where I was offered sugar, I would tell them that I was allergic to sugar.  Since these situations came often I pretty much told everyone I was allergic to sugar and couldn't back out without getting caught and looking like liar.  
It worked.  I quit completely and started telling the truth instead: "I was telling people i was allergic in order to quit sugar".  My friends found it humorous that I took such extremes to quit and was shocked that I wanted to.  I no longer needed to lie to them and telling them what I was doing had the same motivational effect as telling them I was allergic since I was already a month in.

A few tips and pointers:

I've found that a good substitute for dessert is an Americano (no sugar added) with a little bit of milk.  The milk helps the bitterness of coffee.  But now I just drink it black and it tastes good. Also, Tim Ferris talks about a method where he binges and then downs a cup of coffee after.  Apparently coffee somehow mitigates bad food.   I have tried it after a sugar binge and found that I did not gain acne the next day.  

Also, think about how much money you save by not eating sugary snacks.  Allow yourself to buy good food from nice restaurants whenever you want from that saved money.  Tell yourself, I can eat gourmet meals now because I don't eat sugar.  


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Wed, 12 Sep 2012 21:17:14 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/31224
70 is not old anymore, you are just lazy..... http://tynan.com/community/11636 Senior citizens get away with murder in this country.  I cant tell you how many so called "seniors" I know that try to pass off their laziness as old age.  Well I have some news for you grandma, 70 IS NOT OLD ANYMORE.

70 is nothing.  If you train hard you should hardly be much weaker or much slower than you were in your 30's. I see people everyday in their early 30's and even late 60's hobbling around like their life is about to end.  That is BULLSHIT.  There is no reason to let yourself deteriorate like that, you should be exercising until you are completely physically unable.  And how about some Pride?

I compete in sports on a regular bias, and age doesn't mean anything.  I get beat in races by 70 year old men and women all the time.  My father gets beat in tennis by men near 80 and he is only 65.  Until the very end you should be able to walk up stairs, shovel snow, bend down, and get off the couch unassisted.

Now before you call me a jerk, I am not talking about people who are LEGITIMATELY old.  Or people with terminal illnesses or disabilities.  80 is old.  80 is the new 70, and in 20 years 90 will be the new 80.

Its amazing but the life expectancy in 1900 was around 50 years old. 

When I retire hopefully at 62 I plan on walking outside my building, and ripping off my shirt like the incredible hulk.  I will be tan, cut, and my 32 year old girlfriend will pick me up on her motorcycle.

So lets get motivated!  You already destroyed social security for my generation, you blew up the housing market, and you are sucking up all the health care.  Most gyms give seniors discounts, and the park is free. 

Jack Lalanne was my hero, and this is for you Jack. RIP

Power out!


http://thecaptainpower.blogspot.com

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Wed, 25 Apr 2012 01:49:44 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/11636
Great Read: Work out, lose weight, and stop being single http://tynan.com/community/50421 As some of you may know, Captain Power, a member of Sett, currently published a book. I am writing this because I got it on kindle a few days ago and just read it today. 

It is an awesome book - once I started it I did not stop until I was completely through a couple hours later. It is a biography of sorts, split up into very small chapters that almost all deal with bodybuilding or "game." The genius of the book is that all of these mini-stories also teaches a core concept - whether it is a weight loss tactic or a brilliant way to tease a girl. 

These are also the reason the book is so addicting - once you read the first one, you cannot help but devour the next one, and so on. And if that wasn't enough to keep me chugging along, he strings a narrative of how he seduced a billionaire's wife throughout the book, before revealing how it all went down at the end.

Anyway, great read. Self improvement principles strung together in a very entertaining way. I recommend you guys check it out -  it is only $3 on Amazon.

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Fri, 08 Mar 2013 01:48:38 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/50421
Rialta (or similar) owners roll call. Unite and post a pic http://tynan.com/community/40135 I've caught at least 3 new people in the forum this year claiming to have a Rialta, so I wanted a headcount to connect faces to names and share experiences. Here's a photo album of my build: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100818256773744.3282966.8329234&type=1&l=2aa5d7cf57

Current known owners to be updated: Me, Tynan, Brian, Paul Newcomb? (unconfirmed), Joe in Portland, Hysul (08 Coachman Freedom Express), Shacky (2009 Rialta), Robert Crouse (www.cccgis.com/Rialta.htm), Jason Martin ('95 FD), Dave Rickey (5000BTU AC and high-power antennas), Chuck in Austin ('95), Josh ('96), Mark ('97), John Donna ('96?)

Former R.I.P. owners: Austin Y., Tommy N., Peter Parker

bonus pic on how I fixed the shoddy drawers:

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Thu, 27 Dec 2012 22:54:09 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/40135
Options for PayPal? http://tynan.com/community/1057740 I have been thinking about possibly purchasing a 'hobbyist' membership, but PayPal isn't an option. Will this be changed? Im juggling between Sett, Medium and Ghost - not sure which I'll stick with, but if I am unable to pay via PayPal then I will have to stick to a free account.

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Thu, 11 Dec 2014 01:20:51 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1057740
Rialta updates: 1740W array, air conditioner, waterless "composting" toilet, and hydraulic supermoto hauler http://tynan.com/community/1210653 I realize the community forums aren't very active and a several Rialta folks are moving on to other living arrangements, but surely someone will find this helpful. On the topic of summer heat, I realize I could’ve rel]]>

I realize the community forums aren't very active and a several Rialta folks are moving on to other living arrangements, but surely someone will find this helpful. On the topic of summer heat, I realize I could’ve relocated to another climate, but I love the community in Austin and decided to put my time, money, and energy into improving my living space over relocation costs plus building a new community elsewhere. Big ups out to Dave R. for proving the possibilities of solar-powered air-conditioning, out to J. Donna for all the enthusiasm, help, friendship, free tow, and new tires, and of course out to Tynan for sharing all kinds of fantastic hacks and leading us to RV life. Tynan, I don’t know where I’d be without a marine fridge, great find!

PM me for an album of the build

Yes, the new array reliably runs both runs the 5kbtu air conditioner and charges my batteries simultaneously from 10AM-5PM. I only having 4 golf cart batteries, so I usually shut off the A.C. after 5pm because my panels are permanently mounted flat (not tiltable towards a sunset) and I simply don't have the battery capacity to run it at night. Yamaha's 1000W ultra quiet generator runs up to 9-10 hours per gallon, so that's a likely upgrade I'll add in the old generator compartment to run it at night, though I really wish it had an electric start so it can be programmed to come on only when needed (anyone know of a similar 1000W high-efficiency, ultra-quiet, electric-start model or a hack to modify the Yamaha?). The four SunPower 435W panels are 20% efficient and outperformed my expectations (in clear direct sunlight, two panels can often put out over 600W and I’ve seen them peak over 700W!) causing me to add an additional MidNite Classic 150 charge controller (which do need networked to each other btw, otherwise they get confused when trying to change charge stages). Though the controller is $620, it was still more cost efficient for me over wiring the bank to 24V, then adding a big (big to start generator occasionally, otherwise 12V loads are relatively small) 24V-12V step-down converter, 2kW 24V pure sine inverter, and a 120VAC->24VDC charger for emergencies. Keeping the bank at 12V allows me to still use the van's alternator to charge the bank in an emergency, which I've had to do once when it was left in a shop unexposed to sun for a week for maintenance and I forgot to turn off the marine fridge, otherwise the solenoid is always disconnected. I found the new panels for $300 each a couple hours away on Craigslist and knew this was my best shot at an air-conditioned summer. Austin, Texas has had a abnormally mild & rainy summer so far, so it hasn't been tested in 100F heat yet; I really need to add a heavy insulation blanket between the van & coach, as well as insulating the bubble skylight. I did already add insulation to most of the non-moving upper sections of the cabin windows plus the entire rear window; naturally it's coldest on the bed. Currently in the central desk/kitchen area, it’s really never cold, just cool enough to not drown in sweat, and I do run two directional fans inside 24/7 (not the roof vent fan while A.C. is on obviously). Sealing up door gaskets and vents could help too. I’ll also note that the microwave and stock electric water heater are used regularly too, but never all at the same time (I have a Prowatt 2000 inverter wired into the breaker panel). Not pictured in the photo album is the hole cut in shelf where the intake ducting is ported into the air conditioner's enclosure.

The lightly used digitally-controlled 5kbtu A.C. is rated at 490W, but it actually draws 700W running all day on any given unlevel street. I may test others to see if I have a lemon, but in reality, a couple hundred watts saved might only allow me to run it an extra half hour per day. Anyone out there know if this is a common problem? Ultimately, I’d try a 20+SEER 9kbtu mini-split A.C. with heat pump, but that’s a lot more money.

Yes, it's way over the weight capacity, especially with the 290lb WR250X plus maybe 70 lbs of steel in the hydraulic hauler; no problems so far and I’m impressed with the heavy duty rear leaf springs even without the (leaking) airbags. I baby the Rialta when driving and go slow over bumps and entrances. Like everything else, the hauler is custom built, but it operates similarly to Ultimate MX Hauler. The WR250X has a 6-speed transmission, fuel injection, a dual sport motor (not a high-maintenance racing engine), and is one of the lightest bikes I could find that had those features that can still do highway speeds. With basic upgrades, it can cruise at 90mph and get 60mpg. It's not the devilish V4 VFR I desperately miss, but it's more practical and makes parking the RV much easier without the old swivel-wheel hauler.

The waterless “composting” toilet works great and truly does not stink, only when urine isn't drained for a several days or some diarrhea nastiness is happening. I built it to save water, save trips to a dump site, and to solve the smell of my old toilet. I built it rather than buying the Nature’s Head model because I have a hard time believing that N.H. owners effortlessly aim poo through the small (3”?) diameter shoot and never have to clean poo-skids, and I wasn’t keen on paying $1000 to find out for myself. Solids are mixed with cedar or pine shavings that I get for free (anything like sawdust or coco coir would work fine too). No agitator is used; solids and shavings are deposited in a grocery bag that lines the bucket, which is simply tied and tossed when full. The urine is stealthily dumped in unoccupied areas with a valve from the 2.5 gallon container to the ground behind the curbside rear tire (just like the shower). I had to run a separate line for each the shower and urinal (not shown in the pictures). For extra measure, I do hit everything with Lysol after each use and dump bleach in the urinal periodically.

I may try to link my black and grey tanks together in the future since the black isn't being used. Anyone have tips for that? Relatively harmless grey water is simply dumped in appropriate, convenient, and unoccupied areas instead of paying dump sites, and I turned the dump outlet to face the curb so it doesn't spew out towards me.

Other mods I may look into include a Chilipad electric cooling & heating pad for the bed. My old Wave 3 heater wasn’t enough for my liking, so I traded it up for a vent-free blue flame convection heater (non-directional) with a digital thermostat and fan; though now, I may be able to run a small electric heater during winter days depending on sunlight. Any other ideas for using excess electricity? Hah, how many hours might a Bitcoin miner operate before it pays for itself? The idea of running a dehumidifier to fill the fresh tank would be awesome; the water would need filtered I imagine; please share any other thoughts. Hah, if the “HHO” electrolysis voodoo actually worked, I could maybe create my some engine fuel :-P I’ll likely be installing a subwoofer and a couple exterior speakers before long.

I'm open to any questions & comments; give me a shout if you’re ever through Austin. I’m fairly confident I own the world’s most powerful array ever installed atop a Class B, maybe even a Class C; it’s a bit silly I know, the big investment to run an air conditioner for 7 hrs/day, but I was able & excited and have fun with the experiment. Hopefully solar technology, advanced supercapacitors, lithium & aluminum-carbon batteries, and high-SEER mini-splits will all become more affordable in the coming years to expand HVAC possibilities. Also, let's hope that MIT personal climate control wristband device can work some real magic too.

Questions for you:
- Know of a similar 1000W high-efficiency, ultra-quiet, electric-start generator or a hack to modify the Yamaha to e-start?
- Do window air conditioners normally draw significantly more power than they’re rated for? Or could it be my application with the enclosure (possible heat build-up) and unlevel street parking?
- Ideas for using excess electricity?
- Hours needed for a Bitcoin miner to pay for itself?
- Know how I might link the black and grey tanks together? It’s likely simple, I just haven’t dug around yet.
- Any thoughts on using a dehumidifier to fill the fresh tank?

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Fri, 10 Jul 2015 02:41:46 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1210653