Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Operation: Surprise Dad for Christmas

Dad called me the other day and asked me what my holiday plans were.

I told him what I had been thinking up until that point. That I was just going to stay home because I was planning to visit my sister in Georgia this coming February but that I would look into some other options for Christmas. I haven't seen Dad in a few years.

Well, I looked into flights to Idaho. I couldn't afford it. No surprise there. Then I looked into bus fare. Unfortunately that was too much as well. I e-mailed my step-mom to tell her the bad news. That I wouldn't be able to visit for Christmas.

Then I got to thinking: I can probably postpone my trip to see my sister and if it's so I can visit our Dad, she'll certainly understand (and she did). A lot of the cost of a ticket is paying for somebody else to get you there. I own a car. I should just figure out what the cost of driving to see Dad would be then factor in other variables.

Travel costs aren't that complicated.

• It's a roughly 750 mile round trip
• I get about 20 miles to the gallon in my car
• The cost for gas there and back would be around $130
• I can take food and water with me so I won't need to stop for meals, just to refuel and take Phil for a walk (Oh, yeah! I'm taking my dog Phil!)
• I just got my oil changed so I'm good in that department

But... my car is 18 years old. It's had a few items replaced and repaired over the years but they're the sort of things that kind of sneak up on you. I have no idea what will need to be fixed next nor when, where or how much it will cost. I'd certainly like to be prepared for some unexpected surprises along the way to visiting Dad. Ideally, I'd like to get this stuff taken care of prior to the trip.

I have a few things that I'm trying to sell in order to cover some of these costs but I'm not sure if they will sell in time or if I'll get enough money for them. We'll see.

I'm pretty sure I can cover the gas but if anyone can kick a few bucks my way to help me visit my Dad this Christmas, I'd really appreciate it. I'm also happy to offer my services in various professional capacities in exchange for donations. I'm a photographer, videographer (My services on film crews with The Super-Production Kit™ are also available) and writer (not just screenplays and commercials, I also do business writing, official correspondence, business plans, I even speak a little legalese*). I also do business and media consulting and I have a knack for certain household repair jobs like some electrical repairs, installing shelves, painting, etc.

That being said, I'd like to invite the reader to help me make Dad's Christmas. If you have a PayPal account, you can send a donation directly to me by logging into PayPal.com, clicking on the "Send Money" tab and then clicking on the "Send Money Online" link and entering "puente@iname.com" in the "To" field.

If you don't have PayPal, you can still make an online contribution to the operation by clicking on the button below (be sure to include a note if there's some service that I can provide as well):

Thank you very much for considering my efforts and for your support.

*I am not a lawyer, I do not offer legal advice, just some basic information. I have composed drafts of letters and articles of incorporation that have later been reviewed and edited by legal counsel prior dissemination and/or official filing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hold to the rod

So, I'm reading the Book of Mormon this morning—1 Nephi, Chapter 8 (Lehi's vision of the tree of life)—and as I read the description of an iron rod next to a river surrounded by mist, I couldn't help but think... By he time I got to the tree, holding onto that piece of iron the whole way, my hand would probably be coated with rust. I guess I'd pick my tree of life fruit with my other hand. ;-)