Several readers have pointed out that I seem to be having a string of bad luck lately. If you look at the past 12 months, I’ve had major failures of the four most expensive things I own: truck, trailer, phone, and now computer.
Curiosity made me question why I’ve had such problems with my essential equipment, and here’s my theory. Next time you experience something similar and start wondering if the world is out to get you, consider this:
All of these things I bought around the same time, 4-5 years ago, as I was preparing to hit the road. All have been used heavily since that time and performed trouble-free, day after day, for years. Modern electronics are designed to have a short life, to encourage consumers to upgrade to the latest and greatest frequently. One would expect a new truck or RV to go longer than 4-5 years before experiencing a catastrophic fault, but remember I bought used and Bertha and Cas are 15 and 17 years old respectively. (Technically, the loss of the fridge in the Casita was not a catastrophic fault since the trailer was still functional other than the loss of refrigeration, but the fridge is the single most expensive thing that can fail on a Casita, so I feel the term fits).
In short, as my equipment aged the likelihood of something going wrong increased every time I booted up my computer or started the truck. And since I bought everything at about the same time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s all failing at about the same time. I’ve kept up on routine maintenance and take good care of my belongings, and while that’s the number one thing you can do to keep things in good working order, it won’t catch or stop all problems.
Electronics and machines wear out. I’m not “unlucky” or somehow jinxed, I just lost the probability game. That’s all.
So now that everything has been repaired, am I good for the next 3-4 years? Probably not. Math was never my strongest subject so I’m not sure how to explain this with formulas or concrete numbers (if it’s even possible) but new things still have a chance of failing, it’s just a lower chance than older things. Plus there are still plenty of older components in my truck, trailer, and computer (I replaced my phone remember) that are continuing to age – they could reach their expiration date at any time.
Which brings me to another point, that complexity also plays a roll in the chance of a failure. The more complex and greater the number of parts there are to an object, the higher the risk of something going wrong at any given time. RVs, trucks, computers, and smartphones are all pretty complex.
It’ll be interesting to see what my cost of living ends up being for 2016. It’ll certainly be higher than last year with a greater percentage dedicated to the maintenance and repair category, and last year that category already counted for 25% of my total expenses which seems rather excessive. For those of you full-timing, I’d be curious to hear what percentage of your yearly expenses go into maintenance and repair.
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With the new hard drive, my laptop is responding faster than it has in years, but it’s been a pain getting it all set up again. I’m still in the process of re-downloading all my programs, and sadly my old Photoshop disc (circa 2002) has bit the dust, forcing me to switch over to a new photo editing program. You’ll have to excuse me if the photo quality or quantity is a bit lacking for a while while I learn this new one (GIMP). It took a good ten minutes this evening just figuring out how to crop today’s photo into a square and then get it sized (this is a photo from Salida, CO last month).
Not much has happened in the time I’ve been away. Amazon is going fine, no overtime this week which was good, otherwise I may not have been capable of updating the blog today. For those missing my travelogues with the arrival of Amazon season (I know I’ve been missing getting out and exploring) I’m intending on spending my last day off tomorrow visiting a nearby state park, expect to hear about that next time.
Meanwhile what’s been going on in your lives? Without my laptop I’ve been feeling disconnected and now that it’s working again I’d love to hear about what you all have been up to.
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