The Week I Started Tearing My Van Apart

This Week:

  • Tearing apart the bed of my van to create a new living space!
  • Getting a new tech toy and trying out the Blueprint Stack.
  • Snaps from life and food back in the childhood stomping ground.

May 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • 🇺🇸 Acton, Massachusetts

Metrics From The Week

If you read last week’s post (The Week Of Coffee And Food Back Home, May 5th, 2024), I wouldn’t say my recovery metrics (HRV, RHR, RR) have made it back to pre-U.S. levels, but they’ve settled in the new range. It’s nice to see some green recoveries in there again.

It’s still hard for me to say what exactly is leading to this new/different range, but one potential new theory could be alcohol. We’ve enjoyed a couple beverages here and there at dinner (see food pics at the end of the post), but I haven’t had more than a single serving’s worth.

This is what my Whoop say about how alcohol affects my recovery score.

I just find it a bit hard to say that having a serving of alcohol (or less) a couple times would lead to this type of sustained drop. Anyways, still investigating.

Business Progress Update

No updates since last week.

🚐 The Van Renovation

A bit of context is needed here before diving in to what the heck I’m doing to my van.

My parents have a Vitamix blender and love it. We’re constantly making smoothies. If I had an apartment/house I would 100% get a Vitamix. Because of this, my parents were trying to figure out how I could fit a Vitamix in my van 😂 I used to carry around a little magic bullet blender, but I never ended up using. They just pull SO much power and can be a hassle to clean up.

But that said, it’s an option. Eamon & Bec built a Vitamix into their van, so it’s definitely possible.

I went out with my mom to look at my van and see if there’s even any space in the van and pretty soon we were ideating instead on how I could get a table in my van.

See, my van design has a raised fixed bed that allows for storing mountain bikes underneath, but that means I don’t have a table to sit and eat at or work at inside the van. This is a picture from July 2022 in the Santa Fe National Forest (From Camping In National Forest To Soaking In Hot Springs, July 17th, 2022) and is pretty much how I’d use my laptop when I was in the van.

Because of this, I did most of my work in coffee shops in the morning.

But if I don’t have access to coffee shops (like in a National Forest), I don’t really have a good comfortable place to work on my laptop for hours and hours.

The biggest criticism/flaw in my van is not having a table to sit at… And it’s first by a significant margin.

Also, I only ended up using my bike one time last year, in Durango (Getting A Taste Of Durango, Colorado, July 17th, 2022), but I worked out of coffee shops a LOT.

A table would be a game changer.

SO, all that context aside, we did some ideating and (credit to my mom) she came up with an idea on how to keep a lot of what’s in the van but change some things to make a convertible bed into a couch.

Here’s the current setup:

And here’s a glimpse of the idea:

I didn’t really want a big renovation project, so I tried balancing the line of not having to undo/do too much, but still doing enough to get a table inside the van.

The goal: minimize renovation workload, but get the table functionality.

There have to be some compromises made to not create a bigger project (rerouting the electrical) but having a table would be worth it. Functionality > aesthetics (for now).

I started unscrewing the bed platform plywood and got all the screws out but it still wouldn’t separate. I realized there were L-bracket BEHIND the white wood paneling that were securing the platform to the wall “studs.” What I thought would be a quick an easy unscrewing turned into more than I would’ve liked…

Since I didn’t build this, it’s hard to know what you’re getting yourself into. Are the wood panels glued together or just screwed into the walls? Are there hidden screws that I can’t see? Am I gonna have to pry this off?

But thankfully the panels came off easily (and stripped a couple screws) so I could give the new idea a test run.

From there I kept unscrewing stuff… (I took out the beams)

And kept unscrewing stuff… (the slide-out bike drawer)

After this I made my first destructive cut. There’s no going back now!

And we made our first trip to Lowe’s.

Then got to cuttin’!

And screwin’!

And that leaves us to where the van reno is today. I’ve built out the new “couch” platform. Next up is the slat system that sits on top and slides out to become the support for when the mattress is down/flat.

It’s actually been quite a fun and rewarding process so far. Having a good set of tools (chop saw, circular saw, sander, etc.) has made things a lot smoother than without them.

I’ve found that many of these days drilling I’m just in flow, totally present, focused on screwing in a screw or bracket and not in my head thinking about the past or future. It’s a nice feeling.

Then on top of that, seeing the real physical progress is fulfilling.

I’m starting to get that itch to get out into some forest and get back on the grind. I’m hoping this table turns out the way we envision it!

The New Toy

Maybe by now you can guess what this next life chapter is gonna end up looking like.

The Blueprint Stack

*the cocoa powder was an extra purchase.

The nutty pudding isn’t too bad actually. It’s cocoa-y and with the blueberry nut mix on top it really does kind of taste like a dessert (as long as you aren’t coming from super sweet sugary desserts, then it might taste bland).

And these are the first real supplement pills I’ve taken.

I haven’t noticed any substantial overnight changes but I think that’s expected. My understanding is that the consistent use of these is what’s going to make the biggest effects.

I also like that you can read and understand all of the ingredients in everything. It just feels a lot better than seeing words like “Sodium Hexametaphosphate,” “Azodicarbonamide,” and “Red 3” on the side of your… wheat thins or something 😅😬

Spring Morning Coffee

I’ve had lots of great morning conversations trying coffee and talking about projects, life, work, health, diet, food, society, the whole 9 yards.

Spring is sort of upon us… Still getting some nights in the 40s but the flowers are beautiful out here!

Other Snaps

Food From The Week

Perpetual bulking szn.

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What’s Next?

Uh 😅, I kinda need to finish my van renovation or else I won’t have anywhere to sleep in it just yet.


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