on standing desks (again) and the superiority of the minivan.

Great success! Sweet-talked the manager of the local Borders and got to pick up my new standing desks today, even though the store is still open and running. The desks were bereft of computers, so I figured I’d ask nicely if I could get my stuff ahead of time, and they said “hokay.”

(I had to get a furniture dolly from Home Despot for the job, which made the transport a piece of cake. Fifty bucks for a device that lets me transport a 200lb. desk with one hand? See, dolphins, this is why we still run shit around here—superior tools.)

I didn’t get back until 7pm this evening, so the desks are still in the van. Tomorrow morning, I’ll dismantle the old desk, haul in the new stuff, scrub everything down, and set it up. Maybe I’ll go back for some bookshelves and signage, and make my workspace look like a miniature Borders. Then all that’s left to make it feel authentic is paying my wife four bucks per cup of coffee and letting her scan my Borders Rewards card.

In related news, I have once again reaffirmed my belief that the humble minivan is by far the most flexible vehicle on the road. There’s no other car that could have done that job except for a pick-up truck, which—while having equal or better cargo capacity than the Grand Marnier—doesn’t match it in passenger space, or the ability to reconfigure the ride on the fly for a mix of both. Six passengers, 143 cubic feet of cargo, or any combination thereof, plus driver. Those standing workstations are pretty large pieces of furniture, but they fit into the Grand Marnier with room to spare. Yes, yes, it’s a boring Dad ride with juice stains on the carpet and cookie crumbs in the seat cracks…but it hauls people and stuff better than anything else I’ve owned.

For those three or four of you that are interested in standing workspace setups, I’ll have some pictures tomorrow, once everything is put together.


13 thoughts on “on standing desks (again) and the superiority of the minivan.

  1. Remind me some time, and I’ll dig up those photos of my dad, my uncle, my brother and I cramming two llamas into the back of my mom’s minivan.

  2. Fred2 says:

    Yup. Minivans rock. And their fuel economy isn’t appreciably worse than a mid-sized sedan.

    I read a funny article or was it Top gear? They raced a moderrn V6 Honda minivan against some performance 2 seater, rear wheeled cars of the 1950’s.

    Not only did it finish above average of the pack (a very tight pack) for all the performance measures, but as the reviewer semi-joked, it did with A/C, serious reliability, better stereo, much more comfortable seats, much better brakes, decent fuel economy, the ability to haul 5 more people AND their luggage …in the rain. And do it for 600 miles.

  3. Carteach says:

    On Craigslist I have found a 1987 Buick station wagon… one of the big ones. I am strongly considering it, especially at the price being asked. A tank of a car that can double as a sorta-truck, and is actually repairable on the roadside should it be required. Yes, it gets mileage somewhat akin to one of the 14 vehicles which follow the President around, and it’s not all kewl looking….

    But it’s got a Carborator! That’s got to be worth something!

    • Will says:

      Make sure your state doesn’t do what CA did:
      They changed the smog specs that carburetor equiped vehicles had to meet, thereby ensuring that they all had to be junked. A smog tech buddy said they had to meet what they were certified at as new, or better. This happened a few years ago. He said that he couldn’t get any carb Ford Rangers to pass. Said it was very unusual for anything to pass with a carb now.

      BTW, this little sleight of hand by the state was never publicized. They just changed the software in the database that the test equipment talks to in Sacramento while the test is in process.

  4. libertyman says:

    At times I miss my one-ton Chevy vans. You could bring everything and everyone. You sat up high enough to get a good view of the world as well.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Yeah, that’s one thing that really bugs me when I drive Robin’s Neon. It feels like I’m driving a machine gun bunker. In the minivan, I sit up high and have all these large windows.

      • jimbob86 says:

        …. a machine gun bunker made of plastic and tinfoil…… real mobile machine gun bunkers get really bad milage, though….. and the Government does not like regular folk who horn in on their monopoly of force gig ……

  5. Tam says:

    …but it hauls people and stuff better than anything else I’ve owned.

    It won’t haul the only thing I care about hauling. 😉

    However, I do maintain that pickup trucks are splendid things for friends to own. 😀

  6. Bruce H. says:

    Back in the usenet days I read a post extolling the superiority of a Volvo station wagon over a pickup for most uses. The poster called it a Viking longcar.

    • winston says:

      Volvo station wagon for us too, thanks! Highly efficient daily commuter, as much legroom as a large sedan, and capable of hauling a refrigerator, 26′ TV, and four contractor clean up bags to the dump all in one trip. And a trailer hitch for the times we have to do serious, pickup-truck style hauling.

  7. David Starr says:

    I agree on minivans. I owned three Dodge Caravans, bought them new, and ran each one well beyond 100K miles. They give a separate seat for each child, a true blessing on long family trips, decent gas mileage, and will carry furniture home from the auction/yard sale, plywood and sheet rock home from the lumber yard. And you don’t need a ski rack to go skiing. The four banger engine will keep the thing moving in traffic and doesn’t break. Too bad they don’t make ’em with manual trannies anymore.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      They only come with six-cylinder mills now. Ours is the old cast-iron 3.3L with 180HP. The new ones all have the same 3.6L V6 Pentastar mill, which puts out 283HP. Mine will get out of its own way reasonably well, so I’m guessing the new ones are pretty spry.

      Apparently, the Pentastar engines only cost one MPG in both city and highway driving over the old 3.3L engines, an acceptable tradeoff for a hundred more ponies. And my combined gas mileage for rural and highway driving is 24MPG, which really isn’t bad considering the size of the vehicle.

  8. jimbob86 says:

    I will admit that much of my flooring contracting work is done out of our Chevy Venture….. if packed carefully, it can move all my floor sanding equipment…… the F-150 is much more convenient to work out of, but the 5 miles to the gallon difference in fuel economy adds up pretty quick.

    The mini-van does have it’s limitations, though: you put 30 bundles of 2 1/4×3/4 white oak flooring in that puppy, and it won’t Venture anywhere…..

    …… right tool for the right job: I drive to estimates in our Yaris!

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