If you're wondering why I always put my name in the topics of these things, it's not because I have a huge ego. I do have a huge ego, but I do it so that my name gets better search rankings in google. My goal is for people to be able to search for "Tynan" and for my site to be number one. Soon. If you want to help, like the almighty Magnus, you can link to my blog and put my name in the link.
Today Doug, Steve, Steve's (ex?) girlfriend, Todd and I headed down to Canyon Lake, TX to do some tubing. You see, I bought the sweetest tube ever to bring to the lake. The thing actually flies 15 feet in the air behind the boat. I think I wrote about it before, but I'm not sure. Anyway, the first time we tried I skipped along the water, but didn't really take flight because my weak human lungs couldn't inflate the tube enough.
Today before going to the lake I bought two different pumps to ensure that the thing would actually inflate. As it turned out, the boat rental place had a sweet air compressor, negating the need for our own pumps. Oh well... you owe me one (two?), Wal Mart. Our rental boat was a shoddy looking boat most certainly manufactured before 1990 which was apparently very fast. The interior was a coccoon of brightly colored vinyl couches covered by a weathered bimini top. I climbed aboard and with the help of Todd, tied the monsterous tube to the boat.
Then it rained. Soon it was pouring out.
On the way over we spotted a school bus for sale by the side of the road. Since we weren't going anywhere in the rain, we headed back to check it out. I walked aboard and felt a warmth in my heart that I hadn't known since converting our first school bus. The ceiling was high - over six feet. This is a rarity in used school buses. The interior was in great shape, and it even had the same controls that our old one had. It was nostalia inducing. The price? $650. I'm sold. I was ready to pay cash but the owner wasn't there. Oh well - if it drives as "good" as it claims on the windshield, I'll have a new vehicle in the stable. BTYB tour, anyone? I'm coming to a highway near you.
The rain continued on, and the rental place told us we were probably out of luck. After putting the tube through an elaborate deflation process involving all five of us we began to discuss what to do next. Of course just minutes later the sun came up as if it had never been raining. Oh well.
Steve had an idea. Why don't we buy a lake house? We quickly agreed that we should buy a lake house. For $500k-$1mil you can get an incredible lake house in canyone lake. It's a lot of money, but if it were split eight to ten ways, it would be managable. After all, lake houses are more fun with lots of people anyway. We went to a gas station to get real estate advertisement magazines and then found a restaurant where we could eat while studying them.
We were immediately excited. There were incredible lake houses in our price range. Some were up to 5 acres, some had hot tubs, others had "media rooms". I called up a real estate agent to see if we could be shown some properties that day. I always laugh when I give people my e-mail address "Tynan at better than your boyfriend.... ". After that she took us slightly less seriously. She was at home, but could e-mail me listings tomorrow.
Undaunted, we set off on our own to find some of these properties. The more exciting ones were in a division called "Mystic River". We were met with one of those false-security gates. Usually 911 will let you in (ever think about how ambulances get in?) 2142 is another common bypass code for pizza delivery boys. It didn't work either. We started serially calling every person in the directory. Only one answered and wouldn't let us in.
Slightly disappointed, but still excited by the inevitable outcome of buying a sweet lake house, we headed home.
At the last minute Todd pulled into a brand new development. He drives an Audi All Road, which is one of the sweetest vehicles I've ever seen. I'm a huge fan of Mercedes, as you probably remember, but this thing is incredible. I would buy one. It's a luxury station wagon (perfect for road trips) that has a built in adjustable suspension. One button click and we had a higher ground clearance than a suburban.
We blazed over the dirt road until we reached a little temporary building. There were actually people there. It's not often that I get taken particularly seriously by vendors of luxury goods. How likely is it that a 25 year old (who looks 20) wearing a shiny sequin hat is seriously going to buy a million dollar house? However, the gentleman there didn't even blink an eye.
We looked at the map, pointed to the most expensive lot, and he showed it to us.
The lot was gorgeous. It was a long strip of land that totalled about four acres. It started on a tall hill, where the house would be built, and extended way down to the water. The development even had a private airstrip for flying in. Whoa! I took a few flying lessons a while back but got preoccupied and stopped taking them. We need to get back on that gravy train, Elisia! Ultimately that particular place probably isn't nearly as good of a value as we can find, but it was still fun to see.
I have another exciting project coming up soon that I want to write about, but I've already gone on for so long here. Tomorrow maybe ...
I'm not generally the easiest person to wake up in the morning, but on port days on cruises, I'm up before the old people. It helps to have free access to the best alarm clock invented-- free scheduled room service. Such was the case today, when our ship stopped in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores. I've wanted to go to the Azores for years, ever since a guy named Eric Bomblatus, whose family is from there, told us about how beautiful it was. Sometimes all it takes is planting that seed.
At eight a.m. sharp we were off the boat and walking down the cool sunny streets of the city. I remarked that I wished I had a motorcycle to explore the island with. Ten minutes later we passed a motorcycle rental place. Prices were checked, found to be reasonable, and a plan practically wrote itself.
Between the five of us (Todd, Ben, Carl, Christophe, and me) we rented every motorized vehicle they had left. We got a 650cc motorcycle, a 125cc motorcycle, two quads, and a 125cc scooter. A mother-daughter duo we had befriended on the ship stopped to say hi, and were added to our party as passengers. Driving down the street, we looked like a post-apocalyptic gang.
I'm going to share one of my most powerful negotiating techniques. The funny thing is that up until a year ago, I didn't even realize this was a technique -- I thought everyone did this. But apparently not -- here's the backstory:
But before we get started, remember what Spiderman was told: "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." The technique I'm going to share with you can be abused, and when it is, you'll come off as a total jerk. That might be fine if that's what you're going for. But make sure you focus on using it responsibly. More on that at the end.