Transformed Ostrich

When you just wish you could pull your OWN head out of the sand…

Mobile office, RV style

October 3rd, 2013

There are more and more people moving to self employed, working from home, laptop millionaire, -type lifestyle, and everybody has a slightly different way to express themselves through work and their work environment.  Each style usually has people that rally for its worthiness, and tote it as the only way to go.  They range from:

  • Must have a separate room in the house, and must get dressed in a suit at 9am every day
  • Must have an office away from the home, even a really cheap one, but must be separate
  • Work in the kitchen on a laptop in your underwear, do the dishes and cleaning at the same time
  • Work on the coach with a bunch of friends and have a projector hooked up to the internet for YouTube and streaming music
  • Get a standing workstation and walk away every 20mins, frequent stretch breaks
  • Travel around the world and do a couple hours of work on a laptop in a café at a time
  • Float between coffee shops and quiet home office to mix up the atmosphere
  • Shared office space, co-working areas, or time-share offices with a shared receptionist
  • Mix ‘em all up: Do a couple hours before sunrise in boxers, go for a jog or get the kids off to school, get dressed like a boss and do some more work (possibly on a different business), stop work early and enjoy the outdoors, possibly put in another planning session later in the day

I’ve tried them all, and they all have their merits, each appeal to different people, in different circumstances.  I say try ‘em all for a good couple weeks each, see how you perform with each method, and adjust for results.  Nobody cares what how you do things, it all comes down to what makes you most productive, and eager to pound out another successful day at the office and bring home the dough!

However, this week I tried something different: I “checked in” to an RV for 5 days, in a different city.  Now this is the kind of mobile office I can get used to!  Vancouver is a fantastic city, no matter what you’re looking for.  And although it covers a very large physical area, and traffic can be a nightmare at times; driving a house around, with all your amenities and electronics in tow, can really make it work!

Quick plug for Ambassador RV in Delta.  During the fall season, when most RV rental companies in the area have winterized their units, making the “comforts of home” unusable, these guys have fully working Winnebago’s up to 30ft ready to drive off the lot.  The front desk people were very helpful, and accommodating to a first time RV user, and did a full introduction and walk-through with me to show me how everything worked.  I arrived bewildered, and left confident.  Highly recommended.

Usually RV’s and motorhomes are thought of as something to take the family touring over great distances, but I’ve never thought of them as full on mobile offices before.  This 2012 29ft Winnebago has a generator, furnace, air conditioning, propane stove, fridge, freezer, microwave, 2 queen beds and 1 double convertible bed, dining room slider, permanent table, shower, 110V outlets everywhere (for you mobile office keeners), double sink, and cupboard space up the wazoo.  The appliances, furnace, lights all switch from built-in battery power – which charges when the engine or generator are running – to 110V external power, to direct generator power which can be turned on with the flick of a switch.  The stove and oven are straight propane, as expected.

A quick online search for RV parking areas in Vancouver returned very few places to park this beast, and even fewer that were free.  Luckily there was one forum with a quick post indicating Queen Elizabeth Park was a free spot, also with good public transit nearby, so I hit the grocery and libations store the went right into rush hour traffic at 5pm to get there.  Turned out to be the best trip through rush hour that I’ve ever driven! Big, comfy, soft leather seats with a decent stereo and I was just cruising along.  Only difference this time; I was the big motorhome that everyone else was trying to avoid getting stuck behind!

Hopefully this gives you some more ideas for a mobile office.  But stay tuned to hear the rest of the trip, and just how it fits in with an INTJ work/live/play style.

PDF thumbnails in 64-bit Windows

January 13th, 2011

It's great that Windows now defaults to nice large icons when browsing folders.  I use to prefer straight file listings, usually with the file size and date shown as well, but now with larger screens being common, and thumbnail previews being very quick to generate, it makes it much easier for me to quickly find the pictures I want, almost by "feel" Read More...

Active couch potato, and how to sprout

December 8th, 2010

Last month I mentioned the benefits of stretching everyday, and how to make it a manageable activity no matter how busy you are, and how IMPOSSIBLE you thought it was to fit into your schedule.  While this is a great way to break the low energy of sitting at a desk all day, driving long hours in traffic, and falling asleep on the couch watching TV, it can also increase your life span! Read the new article on what is an "Active Couch Potato", and how I sprouted without knowing it!

All Wheel Drive (AWD) vs 4 Wheel Drive (4WD)

October 16th, 2010

I've heard stories from people telling me their opinions on what 4WD and AWD is all about.  For the most part, it seems to be a topic that people don't really know the answer to.  After I heard a couple stories that seemed to match, I then decided that I knew the answer...  Years later, I figured I'd go research it and find the correct answer; which was indeed different from the one I had "known" for years Read More...

Banana Bread Instead of Fruit Flies

October 10th, 2010

How many times have you gone shopping to get fruit, end up taking a bunch of half a dozen or so bananas, and end up having most of them sitting on your counter a week later attracting fruit flies?  Wouldn't you rather have a nice loaf of warm banana bread sitting on your counter attracting people? ;) I've always been impressed, and noted to invite them back, when someone comes over with a fresh loaf of banana bread Read More...

Stretching for daily benefit

October 4th, 2010

Everyone's heard about stretching, some of us even do it from time to time; but do you do it daily?  Do you take small 1-5 minute stretch breaks throughout the day?  Do you know the far reaching and immediate benefits of stretching often throughout every day?  I didn't, I thought it was just for runners and after a heavy workout Read More...

College or Business?

September 25th, 2010

Almost a decade ago I went against the stream, against my parents' advice, and against all traditional success stories and dropped out of University. My grades were good, and I had finished three out of five years of an engineering degree, including work experience.  I was on track to relocate to some industry city, work my way up the corporate ladder with a stable paycheck and a cushy indoor cubicle, spend the next ten years paying off my student loans, and eventually retire "early" around 50 Read More...

Who needs glasses?

September 19th, 2010

Last week I got this great idea to improve my eyesight. I finally dusted off a book from my bookshelf that I had been meaning to read for years now. I hadn’t read it before since I always thought I had more important things to do; I wanted to make more money, I wanted to be better with people, I wanted to travel, I have a girlfriend to spend time with, I have food to prepare and eat… well you get the idea Read More...

Locate speakers

September 10th, 2010

One of the most difficult things, and worst to screw up, in planning an event of any type, is finding a great MC or keynote speaker. I have attended quite a few events over the years, some just for the free food, others for the networking, and a few for the education. What has surprised me though, is how often the ones I went to for the free food had great speakers where I actually learned something, whereas the ones I paid for or even travelled to attend, the education ended up being a low quality power point presentation read aloud poorly Read More...

Unplug your double sink

September 4th, 2010

Well here's a tip that will save you $80 in 10 seconds! I woke up, had quite a nice morning, showered, dress clothes on for an early meeting, went to the kitchen to have some blueberries.. So far so good.  Then I threw a couple mushy blueberries, the kind nobody likes, down the garbeurator and hit the button Read More...

Hello world!

August 26th, 2010

Everybody starts somewhere, and this is where I start.  Let's just pretend my head is still in the sand, because sometimes, when I'm writing these posts, I think it still is!