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The Good Life

Hello enthusiast! If you had been itching for that ‘next post’ since November, you’re probably a dusty skeleton now. There’s simply no time to apologize! We’ve been seizing day after day after day and loving every minute. I’m tremendously glad that I’ve developed the habit of taking a photo or two anytime something interesting happens; as I’d have forgotten the past few months otherwise. Shall we dive in, pic by pic, day by day?

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Enjoy the quote? Dean was a politician back when that required moxie. This example has been abridged to exclude nationality and religious context. I certainly connect with it. ‘Why do you feel passionately about the alphabet in that particular arrangement?’, someone weird might ask. Well, that’s because I quit my job mate! Yessir, the 9-5 (sort of) drudgery of stability was an inhospitable place for me. I find so much more pleasure and excitement in the uncertainly of our physical world. I want to build, maintain, and create for us, not ‘them’. It’s certainly scary, but my current objective is $100 a day or bus stuff, then somewhere in between I’ve been prototyping stainless steel dinnerware via ‘metal spinning’. More on that another day surely.

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Cee and I have made a tradition of firearms on thanksgiving, so we did that, with vigor! The .308 poked a hole through 3/8″ plate at about 50 yards! That’s a heck of a lot of force. To dice the 1/2″ plate it took two consecutive stabs, but was still fun. Also- I painted a lawn chair! (Not worth it’s own paragraph.)

Cee and I then tried to win a Patagonia jacket via instagram in the #optoutside black friday challenge. We began brainstorming the best way to get a pie to an incredible elevation, which resulted in the sacrifice of a chevy hub cap and a couple feet on parachute cord. We thankfully managed to salvage and return the helmet to her little sister Layla!

Then the holiday season rampaged through our schedules and we hopped from one  wholesome moment to the next daily. We had two thanksgivings, one friendsgiving, I somehow ended up in Mexico for a few weeks, a Mantz-mas- and a christmas, my parent’s vow renewal (which I don’y have pics of yet really) and then BAM I spent New years in Chicago with my bud, Strom. I’m glad we have such a big, healthy, happy, family right now!

So, Mexico- Carmen’s mother recently purchased a condo en La Zona Romantica, Puetro Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Which needed much sprucing up and filling up. I packed up the necessities and took the plunge excitedly! We all came and left at different points, I personally was there a little more than a week and it flew by too fast. The first few days were spent shopping for furniture and coming to grips with the area. A local friend chauffeured us around to make purchases (I mostly slept in the back seat) and then I borrowed an old ford to pick up the stuff. Being a condo, many items were hoisted pulley-style up the building. Regrettably I don’t have any pictures of the events, as it was an OSHA nightmare and I needed to be wholly present to protect myself and others.

Cee met up with us for the weekend (she was conveniently already in Mexico) and we stayed in a tiki hut situation in Sayulita, Mexico. Maybe there are gopro pics of the hut? I didn’t take any with my phone. In Sayulita we surfed, released hatchling sea turtles, and ate entirely unnecessary amounts of tacos. We made a conscious effort to remain present for the sea turtles, as it was beautiful and we got teary eyed. The beach was cleared and they crawled out to sea at sunset. Also- Carmen’s mom got sloshed in a gas station, she forgot to leave her glass at the bar, them tried to push a door open when retrieving precious water.

As I’m self employed now, I’ve had a few side projects dipped in here and there. I made a drink cart for my best friend. I did a bunch of work to a mustang and a Gran Torino (that I lovee). I’m swapping an engine in a newer explorer for my mum and pop.  Barney made several trips to the scrap yard, with one particularly sketchy load. Took the CRV into it’s first particularly slippery situation (which was uneventful because engineering). And you know, other stuff.

New years was great. My friend Strom had planned to go up with someone else, but unfortunately his companions had to bail due to employment issues. Good thing I don’t have any of those?! My trip was almost 100% covered by prepaid experiences the other guy bought. We did the Willis Tower, bar hopped, took a dozen Ubers, hit the navy pier new years eve, and had SERIOUSLY THE BEST DRINK OF MY LIFE all in -10 degree weather! It was chilly, but incredible.

Then most recently I went ‘under contract’ with a customer to complete a deck and sauna at his vacation/ lake house near Carbondale, IL. It was off the beaten path and we were basically snowed in and couldn’t get lumber, so I used scrap. I didn’t let to snow hinder me one bit! I had to somewhat awkwardly sleep in the car one night as well, which was fine with about a 1000 layers on.

That pretty well brings us up to date with the non-bus-stuff. As for the future… I’m thinking about selling the ‘race car’ an 1989 toyota pickup with a 350hp twin turbo Supra engine (2jz-gte-vvti). Unsure which method of sale would be best at the moment.

The bus is getting a bathroom in full force, then plumbing and electrical after that. I promise there have been huge bus developments going on behind all this love. To see that… you’ll just have to read my next post! Which will come out tomorrow…. you know, rather than next month.

-JAGER

OH- HEY! I’M FOR HIRE NOW. I’m down for anything, Handy MANtz specializes in upscale up-cycling and he loves it!

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