Tell us about your Holy Grail

At any given time in my life there has been some near unachievable goal I have been chasing. I live a simple life so my goals have been likewise simple. Examples range from building a production machine that would outproduce what the engineers thought possible, or breeding the perfect birdog, or finding an advertising slogan that would sell more carpet than any slogan ever. Presently I am obsessed with buildding the worlds fastest bow and arrow.

 Tell us about your Holy Grail and where it has taken you.

I have built a large collection of National Geographic magazines.

In the spring I’ll be giving the collection, in it’s entirety, away. Over one hundred years worth.

But I never owned a copy of the magazine from before 1900. I do have a map from 1896, just not a magazine. Too rare and too expensive.

To obtain my dad’s first airplane and restore it to factory condition plus improvements.

Is your father still living? Cool project!

No, he died in 1998. I know who owns the airplane, but two attempts to buy it (2001 and one other time) met with no response to my letters. Just buying the airplane is beyond my means at the moment. Restoring it to factory condition would cost as much as the plane. ‘Improvements’ would result in an aircraft that cost twice as much as a comparable plane is worth on the market. That’s what makes it a Holy Grail. I’d have to win the lottery to make a non-sensical project do-able. (There’s an identical, already-restored airplane in the state, and I know who owns that one too. It would make more sense to buy that one.)

The barn find.

Once I came across a 1955 BMW motorcycle with a sidecar under a tarp and junk piled on top, undisturbed in years. I asked the owner about it, she called her brother who forgot about it. When I checked back it was cleaned up and a new battery was on a charger. He decided to keep it. Frump.

There’s treasure out there, I tell you treasure. I don’t want it to flip for cash, I love antiques.

100 straight clay birds – with a field gun like a Remington pump or a Stoeger over/under and normal 100-200 birds every other week shooting. I want to do it by skill basically and not by my wallet. Given a fancy trap gun and 1000 birds a week I think almost anyone could do it but my way is more fun for me.

I know exactly what you mean, I used to do about 100 birds a week with my remington 1100, my quail gun. I wanted to hit 95 out of a hundred starting with the gun on safe waste high. I Never quite broke 90.

To be the McDonald’s of bookkeeping, I suppose.

Seriously, you look at the accounting world and you see payroll firms of every size and shape, including major franchised ones. You see CPA firms of every size and shape, including those that set up offices in many cities and countries. H&R Block is the epitome of franchised tax preparation and it has plenty of competitors following the same model.

But bookkeeping? You either hire someone internally or you shop around on Craig’s List for individuals or small companies who rarely have more than one or two bookkeepers. Why is it so hard to grow and franchise the bookkeeping function of accounting? I don’t know, and I’m not sure anyone else does either, but the evidence shows it: no one has really accomplished this. It’s like a billion-dollar oil reserve that no one has figured out how to tap.

Now, I’m actually not ambitious enough to want a giant franchised organization, but if I could figure out the formula, I’d happily replicate it enough to put a couple dozen bookkeepers to work, with offices every thirty miles through the Everet-Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma area. That would be big enough to sell it to someone who could make it into the McDonald’s of bookkeeping.

But… maybe it’s just not achievable. Lord knows, better people than me have been working on this one.

 Thats a good question. I guess it could apply to a lot of things. I can esaily see where your thinking is realistic. I used a bookeeeper and I always apprciated his advice on my accounting procedures and how I could better apply expenses and incomes. Is there a way to implement something like this and use it as a sales tool?

I got one, and watched another slip away.

I pulled a 71 BMW 2002 out of a field a few years ago. Since then, prices have gone berserk. I got lucky. Probably couldn’t afford one in similar condition now.

The other one was a Ferrari (late 60’s 330, exact model unknown) that sat in a guy’s driveway, unmoved for around 15 years. It drove me bonkers every time I would go past. I wanted that car so bad! It wanted to come home with me, too, I’m sure! It also made me wonder what the hell was in the garage that was more important that it had to sit outside. :eek:

Then one day it was gone. :frowning:

To build my “Haiku Set” - the smallest number of flattop acoustic guitars that cover the playing styles and tones I want.

I just finished it: I actually am Done - I have my Haiku Set - The Acoustic Guitar Forum


Traveling the Mississippi river by boat.

Among the many goofy projects I attempted with my best friend in high school, the most memorable was a goal to sail most of the Mississippi river. We bought an old twin-engined wooden cruiser and attempted to restore it for the journey. Unfortunately we had neither the money nor the skill (enough of either would’ve worked) and failed. We did manage to travel through a few lock and dams but that was all.

I still don’t have enough skill, but I have enough money now; And I’m retiring soon. I’m already shopping for the boat, and the Missus has approved the project. In a few years, maybe I can finish a 45 year old dream. Wish me luck. :wink:

Not exactly a Holy Grail, but…

When I was a preteen I had a small shop in my parent’s basement where I would tinker with electronics. I spent countless evenings tearing apart old TVs and radios, and I would carefully unsolder every component and save it in a drawer. I would also occasionally try to build something from a schematic in a hobby magazine, but would almost always fail at it. (I didn’t have the skill, knowhow, or money to do it right.)

The shop disappeared when I was in high school. All through college I said to myself, “One day I will have a house, and it will have a small electronics shop.” After college we lived in a small ranch house. No shop, as kids and other stuff took all our spare time.

I’m now 47, and still… no shop. :frowning: I have plans, but they’re down the road quite a bit.

I want to sail around the world. Not in some big cruise ship, but in an ocean-going sailboat. This will probably never happen due to the prohibitive expense of such a venture, but I am ready to run away to sea at a moment’s notice just in case opportunity ever knocks.

To live in a van down by the river.

My Holy Grail is a job that I enjoy enough to wake up and look forward to going, that I feel like I’m doing something useful at, that doesn’t require an undue amount of my time, doesn’t generate an undue amount of stress, and the kicker… that pays at least as well as my current job.