Did you ever get into a conversation with somebody, and suddenly realize that no matter what you say, their mind is already made up, and it’s useless to try to confuse them with facts? I seem to feel that way a lot.
After reading yesterday’s blog, about our visit to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum to see Howard Hughes’ famous Spruce Goose airplane, a reader wrote to tell me that he was sure I was wrong, because he had seen the gigantic plane in Long Beach, California years ago. I replied, telling him that yes, the airplane was in California for many years, but it had been moved to Oregon in 1993, where it is on display at the museum. He shot back a terse reply that said “You’re wrong. You’d better check your facts, Nick. I saw it, and it’s in California!” I guess I can’t believe my eyes. Just because we saw the Spruce Goose, and even went inside it for a tour Monday, apparently that was a mass hallucination shared by myself, Miss Terry, and Greg and Jan White, or the Executive Director of the museum, who gave us the tour.
I’ve also been in an e-mail exchange with a couple who want to sell an older, but nice, bus conversion. They asked me how we managed to sell our MCI bus conversion after we bought our Winnebago, because they have had their bus advertised for well over a year on several websites, on eBay, and Craig’s List, but have not had one bite. They sent me a link to an ad for the bus, but I didn’t even have to look to know why it will never sell. They are asking $100,000 for a bus that is almost 40 years old, has a standard transmission, and no slides.
I told them that their price is way out of line, and they responded that they have $160,000 invested in the bus, including solar panels, a diesel generator, rooftop satellite dish, Corian countertops, and hardwood floors. They said the bus is set up for long term boondocking, and is beautiful inside and out, and they love it. Yes, it is very nice. Maybe not exactly beautiful, but nice. But it’s still almost 40 years old, has a standard transmission, and no slides. Nobody else is going to love it $100,000 worth. I told them that we lost a lot of money when we sold our bus, but something is only worth what somebody else is willing to pay for it. No more, and no less.
We have talked to a lot of people who want to go on the road fulltime, but can’t or won’t, because they cannot sell their home for what they had expected to get out of it. One couple, whom we first met several years ago when we were teaching at Life on Wheels, have since retired and want to become fulltimers. They told me that they are desperate to get their home sold and get out on the road. They told me that they paid $85,000 for their home, have lived in it 13 years, done a lot of remodeling over the years, and ten years ago it was appraised at $155,000. They have had it for sale for two years now, and the best offer they have received is $115,000. They are not willing to lose $40,000 on the house.
Well, no matter what somebody appraised the home for a long time ago, in today’s market, it is apparently worth $115,000. I advised them that if they really want to go fulltime, and that’s the only thing stopping them, they may have to look at the $40,000 “loss” from what somebody told them the place was worth as the cost of buying their freedom. They replied with a long list of reasons why they won’t sell at that price – the house is worth more, the market will improve someday, and “Nobody in their right mind would walk away from $40,000!”
Back in my small town newspaper days, I used to have a sign hanging on my office wall that said “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of time, and it irritates the pig.” I need to print that out and hang it up someplace, to remind myself that beating one’s head again a wall doesn’t accomplish anything except giving you a headache.
Life is simpler in Big Lake, the mythical Arizona mountain town that is the setting for my mystery novel by the same name. Sure, folks get murdered now and then, but it all seems to work out in the end. Check out my self-publishing blog for an update on my newest Big Lake book.
Thought For The Day – Eventually you reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.