Just to illustrate how crazy our lives have been over the past few months, I thought I would describe how the day went today – a rather typical day for Captain Frank lately (this is a real description of today – it’s not made up):
- Captain Frank wakes up at about 5:30 AM and immediately heads to the computer to start working in our office upstairs.
- Decided to list the two sets of bedroom furniture (bought for our kids when they were 10) on Craigslist. The furniture has been sitting in half our garage for weeks. I listed the furniture under the title: “Princess Bedroom Suite” and had some photos of the all white furniture. The furniture was nice quality and cost a small fortune new. But, I offered one suite at about 40% of the original price to see what would happen.
- Started researching HD video camera options. I had intended to get a consumer HD camcorder. But, then I read about the new Canon 7D SLR having amazing versatility (including HD video with a wide range of recording options) and wondered whether that might be a good option. I wrote my professional photographer friend Juan Pons (see his site WildNaturePhoto.com) to get his opinion.
- Started working on E-mails and blogs when Juan wrote me back and suggested we talk via phone. Spent half an hour discussing the pros/cons of the two choices (an all SLR approach, or use our existing SLRs and a mid-range HD camcorder). We decided for the short-term the HD camcorder would be a better choice for our applications.
- Got a call from our partner Virgil at EarthNC. Virgil is helping us develop the map mashup for viewing the tracks for the Tahina Expedition, working on the Google Earth KML layers, and developing tools to take our reports while at sea to update the maps in an automated fashion. We discussed details and Virgil went off to work. He does some amazingly fast coding in my experience.
- Took a number of boxes from our attic downstairs, and emptied one of our last remaining closets at the house. This closet had our many small boxes of photos and slides. Consolidated the boxes and put them in a pile to take them to storage later in the day. Nearly one small pickup load worth of boxes!
- Spoke to one of my daughters and she reminded me I had promised to get her a new laptop at Best Buy since today Windows 7 was released and they had new laptop inventory. We agreed to meet around 4 PM.
- Picked up all our sports equipment in the garage (golf clubs, roller blades, softball gear, etc.) and took them to Play It Again Sports to sell. They offered a pretty low price, for which I only managed to get them to go $6 higher after a bit of negotiating. But, at least we have less stuff in our garage.
- Since I was near the Best Buy, I went to look at the prices of the new laptops. I remembered I needed to buy some other computer equipment and a Windows 7 license for one of the boat computers.
- Met with my friend Andy for lunch and we discussed some of the computer software integration he is assisting with for the Tahina Expedition, and he offered to install the Windows 7 on one of the computers.
- Finally got home around 1 PM and started loading the pickup truck with the boxes from earlier in the day.
- Around 1:30 went up to check E-mails. Discovered I already had about 10 E-mail enquiries about the bedroom suite furniture! Called three different people and within an hour or so had agreements from all three resulting in all 13 pieces of furniture being sold and ready to pick up today! All of the furniture ended up selling for close to my asking price.
- Finished packing the truck (with help from Karen) and then the first Craigslist buyers showed up to pick up one complete set of the two bedroom suites. It actually took over an hour to gather everything together, disassemble parts so they would fit in their vehicles, and get it all moved on and tied onto their truck. Meanwhile I was juggling final details with the other buyers.
- After the first buyer left, I started checking E-mail (even more enquiries were being made, so I deleted the listing). This was the most successful Craigslist sale I’ve held so far!
- We had a few phone calls during the day from friends who saw the article in the local Cary News newspaper about our trip – which was published on the front page yesterday.
- Karen and I then took the truck load to our climate-controlled storage facility and unloaded. On the way, we stopped at our doctor’s office to get some 6-month prescriptions for Karen.
- We then rendezvoused with our daughter at Best Buy and after 30 minutes or so purchased the laptop she had selected (and bought some software and a service contract).
- We headed home, and the next Craigslist buyer was waiting in her car in our driveway. The woman was buying all but two pieces of the other bedroom suite. It again took about an hour to assemble and load all the furniture (possibly a little longer as it was just me doing the heavy lifting and some of the furniture was still in the house). It took her two loads to get all the furniture transported in her minivan (even after removing her seats).
- Karen grabbed some dinner at a fast food place and brought it home. I had about 8 minutes to eat it all (it really was fast food!).
- The last buyer showed up while we were loading the second load for the woman. The last couple were getting the last vanity with chair and full length mirrors. It took another 30 minutes or so to get everything put together and loaded in their cars.
- At this point it was 6:30. About 4 hours later than my original plan to leave for the boat today by 2:30. Karen and I quickly packed, loaded the car with more stuff for the boat, checked E-mail, and were out of the house by 7:30 PM.
- We arrive at Tahina around 10:30 PM. We unloaded the stuff in the car into two carts and took them out to the boat. Packed away everything, and then continued tidying the boat.
- We have an interview with a local paper in Wilmington in the morning around 10 AM. Hope to get up early and wash down the boat and the windows before they arrive to take pictures.
- Decide to blog about our day as an example of what our lives are like lately.
All in all, I call this a really good day. We made a huge amount of progress removing stuff from the house – that furniture took up a LOT of space in the garage. And, we even got some decent money for our troubles. But, it’s time for bed now. Tomorrow is another busy day!