It’s a Jeep thing…

I don’t know what it is, but I know so many guys (and its almost always guys) in their 50’s who get Jeeps.  I am sure there is a logical explanation, but I am not going to delve into that.

Well, over the holidays I made the plunge.  I bought  a ten year old Jeep Wrangler with 130,000 miles on it.  Kathy thinks I am out of my mind, but I am not going to delve  into that either.  It has been a blast getting back to my youth when I worked on cars in high school.  It has been well over 40 years since I have even considered the idea and a lot has changed about cars over that time.  The Jeep I bought was a very basic model with no bells or whistles.  If someone suggested I would ever again own a car without…  butt warmers, power anything, cruise control, heated steering wheel, etc…  I would have said they were out of their minds.  But here I am and there is a sense of purity to it.

What I thought was worthy of sharing is the process around this endeavor.  To begin with, a ten year old Jeep needs things, and this one definitely fits that category.  As many of you know I am a list person and so I started my list.

The list was broken down into four sections; repairs, maintenance, tools needed, and upgrades/enhancements.  Building the list takes observation and research.  I began with the research and followed that up with lots of observation.  For observation, I took my time and just started looking around – opening the hood, crawling underneath, opening cubbies, looking under the seats and carpets.  Next was a deep cleaning: there is a lot to learn from taking things apart to clean them.  I then moved on to the routine maintenance, changing all of the fluids and filters.  Some of these I don’t think had ever been changed.  The gear oil was like molasses and had that burnt oil smell, reminding me of working summers in my father’s plant in Newark NJ.  I have progressed to some of the repairs and upgrades, starting with the easy ones and then moving on to the more challenging ones.  However, for every one thing I check off the list, I seem to add another two.  Something I am very disciplined about is to only doing one thing at a time and try to finishing each task or project in the same day – start one thing, finish one thing.  This way the Jeep remains in service.

Some project management thoughts:

  • Make and organize lists
  • Be observant through the process and keep the list dynamic
  • Research tasks and projects
  • Refine and modify the list as you go
  • Prioritize tasks; urgency, time window, capability, outcome, budget
  • Finish what you start

Every day a couple/few boxes show up on our front porch and neither Kathy nor the UPS person seem to be impressed with my efforts.  My list still grows, but I am having lots of fun and learning new things.

You know what they say about old dogs…  age and maturity don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

What I am reading:
Professional:  No Rules Rules – by Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer – Amazon Link
NETFLIX and the Culture of Reinvention
Personal: Delta-V by Daniel Suarez – Amazon Link
A novel