This has been a stressful week for me, probably the most stressful since I retired from my career half a year ago. This Wednesday I tested for Jiho in Shinkendo (passed) and today I tested to get my ham radio Technician Class license (passed (*)).

On Monday I am flying across the pond [to Europe]. I so hate flying; it is almost like a serious of tests in itself, will I be sick on Monday, will I make it through the airport without getting randomly held up, will my luggage be overweight, will it get sent to Indonesia, will I be sitting next to someone woh’s looking like he’s dying from SARS, etc. Based on personal experience, I need to fly at least twice a month to get sufficiently used to the process of traveling by airborne tin can so as not to hate it. I will be “away” for 3 weeks.

Postings may, therefore, be regular, sporadic, or even be cancelled until Nov. 10. 2009.

(*) I aced it which I ascribe to sheer luck since I have not aced any of the online sample tests. Thus they talked me into trying for General Class. I was a bit reluctant until they mentioned the magic word *free*. As they put it, the worst thing that could happen would be if I passed (I had not read anything at that level but many of the questions are either common sense, common physics, or common electronics). I almost made it, but failed (3 correct answers short). Fair enough.

DW and I are talking about moving to New England. Housing is about 10 times cheaper than California(*) and they have seasons. Also, in 50 years, New Englang will have a climate similar to the Carolinas of the 2010s.

(*) Which means cost of living will be cheaper than the current RV situation. I will simply buy a house in cash corresponding to no more than current rent times 300.

In that regard we are talking about trading in our compact hatchback for a gas-guzzling truck—I remind you that a car is a major expense and so car ownership is best postponed until you actually reach FI. It should be able to 4WD around New England winters, be easily repairable, that is repairable by me, or simply never break down. Stick shift! It should preferably be able to tow and _launch_ a trailerable keelboat (like a Santana 20 or Catalina 22). If it can tow a small, that is less than 27′, 5th wheel (probably needs a long bed then) or travel trailer, so much the better. Any suggestions?