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OUtback Observations:

Giving Up vs. Wising Up

Not sure if this really counts as eating crow or not, but I’ll give it a whirl.

This column has been on a bit of a hiatus in light of bringing aboard new staff and getting folks up to speed.  Folks have not been shy about voicing their enjoyment of reading these ruminations, and it is sincerely our hope we can continue this as an attractive part of our editorial package.

One of my last examinations pertained to my involvement in the car hobby.  It was accurate in terms of the spirit of the piece, but an update is in order.

I have bailed.

A couple weeks back, I delivered the better part of an engine project to a buyer in the Bend/Redmond area seeking to build more beans for his VW camper bus project (and if there’s any vehicle that needs more power, it’s a VW Bus).  Deals are currently still pending on other parts remaining from four years of what ultimately became a torturous effort.

As the title suggests, I consider it more of an acknowledgement of wising up versus giving up.  My philosophy has always been to ‘do it as long as it’s fun.’  When the fun factor is gone, it’s time to move on, and that’s precisely where I’ve found myself.  That, and the fact that car projects are never truly ‘done.’  They are ‘done’ when it has been sold to someone else to dedicate their time and money to, both of which I’m in consistently short supply.

I ignore the fact that I made the project happen by an ongoing series of ‘buy this, sell that’ to fund the parts and machine shop services necessary for the build.  It’s painful to think of how fat my checking account would be if I’d abandoned the car hobby years ago, but I have no regrets.

There’s been too many happy memories and good things to remember; i.e., the people I’ve met and interacted with through the years.

The decision to bail largely stemmed from ongoing problems/mistakes/boo-boos I seemed to be making with clockwork regularity.

Of course, if it had been a 350 Chevy (or any other domestic product, for that matter) getting needed repairs would not have been an issue.  I created my own bailiwick by working on pesky li’l ‘furrin’ cars.’

I still enjoy reading car magazines, taking in what other folks are doing with their projects and such, but in recent years I’ve come to realize there’s a big, beautiful world out there that extends far beyond the realm of pinched main bearings and stripped studs.

In the meantime, it’s time for me to move on, as life’s too short to allow what should be an enjoyable leisure time activity to consume the little mental sanity I possess.

— Ryan Bonham

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