Vintage Airstream Tour & Phase 1 Plans

It’s been just over two weeks since we acquired the vintage Airstream trailer, and I finally found time to take some pictures. It’s been a sprint to figure out all the systems and budget for the necessary repairs and upgrades to get it operational and safe (comfortable and pretty come in later phases).

Thanks to the sharp folks at Area 63 Productions in Orange, California (listen to this great interview with Uwe the owner), we’ll be making some significant upgrades ranging from axels to brakes to the furnace to power. This 1972 Overlander International model was in remarkably good condition having lived in Arizona for many years and the typical vintage Airstream problems (such as floor rot) were inevitably found, but luckily very limited in nature.

The 70’s interior is, well, 70’s and reminds me of the Boeing 707 Air Force One interior on exhibit at the nearby Reagan Library. It’s in such good condition, it probably doesn’t make sense to change it–I’ll save that type of work for the other full restoration “project” trailer sometime in the future.

Things rare or things beautiful, here are wisely assembled, they instruct the eye to look at all things in the world as if never seen before.

Paul Valéry, 1937.  Much to my amazement and delight, this was the opening quote in Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht.

I finally acquired a vintage Airstream land yacht. She’s in great shape, and it’s been an exciting and busy few days learning all the systems. This shot was from our shakedown trip to the dunes of a local beach campground. More to come.

Why I Didn’t Buy an iPad (Yet)

So I went to the store. I held one in my hand. And I didn’t buy it. I surprised my wife, and impressed myself. I figured by the time I actually saw it in person, I would have passed the event horizon and surely have brought one home. Yes, it helped that the 64GB models had been sold out, but I could have found one at another nearby location if I really wanted to.

Why didn’t I buy it?

1.  I need a multi-user device. Yes, I know if Apple allows for that, families would buy less iPads, since everyone currently needs their own. Well, this family didn’t buy any because of it. I’m not about to have my baby daughter (who’s grown up using an iPhone touch screen), playing her games, watching family videos, and then sending random tweets or composing gibberish emails to my boss from my account. If it could support multiple user accounts, I’d buy it.

2.  I like to write and draw. Multi-touch is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but for me to carry the iPad to meetings and take notes, I need to be able to write and draw on it, with the precision of a stylus. If it could replace a paper notebook, I’d buy it.

3.  I’m focused on content production. While I consume content, I don’t need another screen to do so. Yes, the experience is very elegant, and if I was in to luxury or had to travel frequently, I would have bought it. Same for the MacBook Air a couple years ago. But luckily for my wife, I’m a little too conservative for that. If the device could sit on a desktop easel and take a wireless keyboard and mouse (thus replacing my laptop), I’d buy it.

4.  Lastly, there was no killer app for me. So far, everything I would want to do on an iPad I can do on an iPhone, just with a small screen. Check/compose email, use Twitter, play a couple games, or watch movies in bed or on a plane. The on-screen keyboard is bigger, but not tremendously easier to use. If an app comes out that I simply must have, then I’d buy it.

So for now, I’ll stay on the sidelines observing how the apps evolve and if any of my use cases above will be supported. I’ll just have to make due with my iPhone, MacBook, Mac Pro, iMac, AppleTV and the MacBook Pro at work.

In every field, there comes a time when we stop paying attention to examples of technical success. With the first telephones, televisions, and personal computers, people passed through an early stage of fascination with the medium itself, rather than the information being communicated.

Galen Rowell