So today I had my appointment with the endocrinologist, the appointment that took two months to occur.  This is also the place that requires a credit card number just to make an appointment and charges you a missed visit if you don’t confirm the appointment ahead of time.  I went into the visit hoping the guy would say based on my family history of thyroid issues that my problems of the last year are all related to it.   Instead what I got was directives for additional tests like more blood work, a coronary CT, and even a bone density scan.

He seemed more concerned about the coronary calcification that was found on one of the CTs than any of the other medical professionals I have spoken to.  The blood work will be running more thyroid tests and testosterone, although that has been done once before.  I left the office feeling somewhat defeated and frustrated.  There is a growing part of me that just wants to say f it, and just deal with this as my new normal.

Cindy and I finally got to see the Game of Thrones finale last night.  Unfortunately I heard a blurb on the Stern show earlier in the day that revealed who eventually sits on the throne however I did not hear any other details.  I won’t spoil details for you either, I’ll just say that I was not as disappointed with the ending as you read many were online.  I think in the big picture the last season of the show needed more than six episodes to wrap up this epic story.  Certain things happened too abruptly, to the point where they seemed non-sensical at times.  If I were to rate the ending I would give it a B+.  It’s sad to see one of the most epic television productions of all time come to an end but it may only be farewell and not goodbye.  I heard they are already shooting a prequel.

I have been fighting with a hinge on the corner cabinet we have in the kitchen for literally years.  It has had a tendency to work it’s way loose as the door is used which results in an annoying angular gap when it’s closed.  I had tightened the screw so many times the head of it was starting to strip out.  I even tried getting a new screw but still had it slip.  The obvious solution would be to just buy a new hinge assembly, something I have tried to do at least four or five times at various Lowe’s and Home Depot locations.  The issue is this hinge is pretty specialized and not normally stocked evidently.

I last looked for a hinge during a trip to Lowe’s last weekend and struck out once again.  Then just for the hell of it I search Amazon and BANG, there is the hinge I need.  I look for pretty much EVERYTHING in my life on Amazon, why I neglected to do so previously for this hinge is beyond me.  Anyway, the hinge arrived yesterday and I installed it last night.  I added some red loctite to the adjustment screws to hopefully retard future slippage.

I only have one more day in my short work week.  Tomorrow morning I finally have my appointment with the endocrinologist, the guy that I had to wait two months to see and wanted a credit card up front.  My current theory is my come and go fatigue is related to a thyroid issue, something my mom had and my sister has.  It would be great to be able to finally identify the ailment that has been affecting me since late last summer.

 

 

I have things to do so let’s make this quick.

The Katie baby watch has continued throughout the weekend.  It still could happen any day, hour or minute.

Saturday was work as usual around the house.  Saturday night we watched Tag, a funny movie based on a real world story of a bunch of men that played a lifelong version of this childhood game.  I’d give it a B.

On Saturday I also pulled the hub caps on the Tesla and exposed the sweet alloys underneath.  I think visually it looks a lot nicer.

Sunday I went for a solo ride to Dunkin Donuts on the Monster.  It reaffirmed why the Monster is my favorite wheel for long range, open road trips.

Sunday afternoon we went to a matinee showing of John Wick 3.  It definitely could have waited until it came out for rental.  It did quite possibly have the most killing of any movie I have ever seen, a title which used to be held by Rambo and Commando.  It was just non-stop carnage.  Granted, the John Wick series is supposed to be somewhat silly, a throwback to old kung fu films, but man it was kind of crazy.  I’d give it a B as well.

Sunday night I had a live stream that was cut short by an internet outage that happened about 45 minutes into the broadcast.  The abrupt ending left me feeling unsettled as I tried to fall asleep.  Generally speaking I like things to have distinct beginnings and endings.

So we are at the point in Katie’s pregnancy where the baby can literally drop at any moment.  I haven’t really been giving a lot of thought about how all of a sudden there will be a newborn child in the household and maybe it’s a defensive reflex reaction.  Thinking/dwelling on it a lot about it could definitely lead to anxiety and worry which are not two things I do on a regular basis.  The baby will come and we will deal with the new reality, that’s just how things go. Until that happens I plan to keep going about with a business as usual attitude.

In fact I really don’t have much of anything  I feel like rambling on about at the moment, so I won’t.

 

 

 

Yesterday on my way in I had the GoPro running to document how effective Tesla auto pilot was managing my daily drive.  The answer is, pretty darn effective.  I estimate 90% of the drive was driven on AP.  I only assumed control for directional changes and short periods of time.  I even had AP change lanes for me a couple times.  It’s only the beginning of where the tech is going.

It has been quite nice enjoying the Tesla for my daily commute.  When I first got the Tacoma I daily drove it for awhile and loved it but once the Prius became my car it became my sole daily driver. I liked the idea of keeping the Taco in the garage protected from the elements and the odometer staying low.  With the Tesla I have no plans to shelter it in such a manner.  For what it cost, I want to be able to enjoy what I paid for as much as possible.  I don’t need to worry about oil changes or other maintenance other than tire rotation and making sure the windshield washer fluid is topped off so it cuts down on my cares about mileage.

There is a small part of me that wishes I would have went with the longer range model, not because I necessarily needed the extra 70 miles of range but because of the other features like a second motor and more bells and whistles that I mistakenly thought all Model 3’s had going in.  The reality is I stretched my auto budget as far as it can be stretched as is, another 10k would have put the purchase into the crazy town category.

Yesterday I was notified that the HomeLink kit I ordered had arrived at the Dania Beach service center.  I took next Thursday and Friday off to give me a long holiday weekend.  On that Thursday I will be driving over there to get the kit installed and to have them try to align the steering wheel for the second time.

So this morning a snap decision was made in my head that it was time to start trimming back my collection of PEVs.  The first potential target of that effort is the Ultron scooter.  The scooter is fast and fun but really just a rougher version of the Dualtron II Ex we already own.  I bought it originally because I thought I needed it to keep up with Cindy when she is riding the Dualtron.  It’s true that none of my EUCs can comfortably cruise 30mph for long periods of time like the scooter can but an easier/less expensive solution is for Cindy to just slow down a little bit, lol.

So I listed the scooter on OfferUp this morning, the same place the RV has resided for months on end.  I have no idea how easy/difficult it will be to sell but it will be sold, guaranteed.  It will be nice to get some of the money spent back in my wallet and to have one less PEV sitting in the dining room.

Today on my drive to work I had the GoPro running the entire time.  My goal was to have Auto Pilot engaged as much as possible to demonstrate how it handles different road types and situations.  It will be a bit challenging to edit the footage in a way that makes it decent but I will get it to work.  Non-Tesla owners find this sort of stuff very interesting to watch, I know I did.

For those of you out there that digest the waste product that comes out of President Trump’s mouth without any intellectual analysis like a human centipede, I wanted to make an effort to break one link of the chain of madness for you.  One of the things Don has been spewing regarding the trade negotiations with China is that tariffs are a good thing that benefit the US, bringing billions of dollars to the US government.  Here is a quote from the other day “Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do…”

Ok since Donald evidently doesn’t understand the logistics of tariffs here is the cliff notes version.  China does NOT pay the tariffs.  The businesses in the US that buy/import goods from China pay the tariffs. Those increased costs then almost always are passed down the chain to the consumer meaning every Tom, Dick, and Harry is paying the tariff, not China.  I have also heard Trump say these tariffs have made the US government billions of dollars, again ignorantly.  He seems to think a tariff is a check written by China that is deposited into a federal government account.  Nope, it basically is a tax on goods that we all pay.

So this explanation does not mean that I think that the China/US trade imbalance is not an issue, it is.  For decades the Chinese have stacked the deck by basically playing dirty pool.  However as is often the case with President Big League, whether it is intentional or just pure ignorance, he is misleading the populace on how this all really works.  The unfortunate thing is how many millions will accept his ignorant/false statements as facts and will quickly move on, looking for the next piece of poop to munch on.

 

 

Of course I can’t spoil the most recent episode of Game of Thrones but let’s just say it was shocking, in many ways.  It certainly pushed forward certain stereotypes about the female gender.  Crazy shit, they certainly have a lot of hard moments to settle up before the 8 year mega-series wraps up next week.

Some people may be wondering why I don’t do more commentary regarding the incredulous things going on in Washington DC on a daily basis.  It seems everyday the bar keeps getting shoved lower and lower.  At this point it’s probably at whatever height the depths of hell is.

The fact that we have US Senators publicly advising individuals to ignore subpoenas would seem like something of far reached fiction if you proposed it three or four years ago. But today it is just another day in the Trump Era which has succeeded in disgusting me to the point where I just don’t care anymore.  These last couple years has taught the nation that if you have enough power/money, there truly is no consequences for bad or in this case, abhorrent behavior.   I truly hate the political system in the United States, it’s corrupt to it’s core and needs to be bored out like a root canal.

Friday was a busy day for the Tesla.  It was picked up in the morning by a remote tech to be taken to an alignment shop to address the misaligned steering wheel.  When I got the car back the wheel no longer had a slight right orientation when going straight, it had an even slighter left orientation when going straight.  I was frustrated that I am going to have to contact them again but I sort of insist that my 45k+ brand new vehicle has a straight steering wheel.  I know, I am a prick.

Then late afternoon I had an appointment at the only local Tesla certified body shop to look at the run in the paint.  They have done a lot of work on Teslas but the estimator said he had not seen a flaw like mine to date.  He said they would try to sand/buff out the problem but his paint guy said the bubbles in the clear coat may mean that area might need to be repainted, so he is submitting it to Tesla that way so they authorize the expense if need be.  The downside is if it does need to be painted the car needs to be there three to four days.  At this point I just want to get these two issues behind me so I can drive/enjoy the car without future service appointments overhead.

On Saturday my main intent was to get my external power restored to the coop/RV.   When I dug up the wire splice I had at the shed I verified I had power to that point so it meant the connection just deteriorated/broke.   I decided to reconnect things in a different manner.  Instead of having three sets of wires spliced together  I instead only did one splice, putting a plug end for the connection to the coop.  I then used a a heavy duty triple tap inside the shed to join everything back together.  Power again flowed to all destinations when I was done.

I also did some more construction in the coop, building a secondary stand for a second battery for the solar system.  Until I get a proper solar battery I put my emergency power center out there.  The hope I have is I can expand the battery capacity of the coop with an external battery connected to the Yeti to give some slack with no sun run times.  The thing is I might need more solar panels in order to create enough juice to feed it all.

Later in the day I went on a drive in the Tesla to pick up a few things.  I talked about my remediation attempts, more of my discoveries and did a real world 0-60 timed attempt.

Saturday night we watched Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, an odd title for a movie.  I guess it won several awards.  I had no idea what it was about.  The cast was very strong and the story was rather bizarre but compelling at the same time.  Even though the movie was not my selection, I’d give it an A-.

Sunday was Mother’s Day. Cindy and soon to be mother Katie both wanted to go out for breakfast.  We went to Skillets, a place I have patronized before however it all looked new to me.  The reason was the only times I have gone there we have had the dogs along so we ate outside.  I had never set foot inside the place.  It was very crowded but we only had to wait 10 minutes or less to get seated.  Everyone enjoyed their big breakfast.  Going out for breakfast was never anything that appealed to me but Cindy is a big fan.  Mother’s Day is about whatever she wants so I was more than happy to step out of my norm.

Shortly after we got back we headed back out to North Collier Park, again with the kids.  Daniel and I rode various PEVs around while Katie and Cindy hung out in one of the common areas.  One of the devices I rode was my original Ninebot One, the wheel I learned on.  I had given it to Daniel years ago.  I recently got it back but had to rip it apart to properly reseat the tube which had shifted after being rode on at a low PSI.  I was pleasantly surprised that despite a life of pretty substantial abuse, the wheel still rode great.  It felt awesome to ride around again on it.

Late Sunday afternoon I decided to wash both the Tesla and the Tacoma.  The Tesla requires more time than a normal car of comparable size because of the all glass roof.  It requires meticulous drying to avoid spotting on the glass.  I don’t mind washing the car of course and the Tacoma needed a bath as well since we are in the middle of love bug season.

So obviously Katie did not have her baby yet over the weekend but it literally could be any day now.  Like most things I look forward to it getting here so we can move on with the next phase of life.

I can’t wait to watch last night’s GOT episode on the DVR tonight…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow yesterday was a good day.  Early in the morning I got a call from my mobile Tesla service advisor confirming that the paint run in the Tesla would be covered.  She banged some heads together at the Dania Beach service center and got me the authorization I need to take it to a local Tesla certified body shop to get the work done.  I have an appointment to go there late this afternoon to get an estimate and schedule the work.

I also had the Tesla remote tech visit me yesterday although that wasn’t really a win, although it was a bit creepy.  I got a call from him saying he was onsite.  I asked him if he wanted to meet me out front and I could take him to the car.  He said he was already parked by it, despite the car being on the third level of a parking garage.  Yea like I said, if you are concerned about privacy, a Tesla isn’t the car for you.

So he confirmed the steering wheel was misaligned but he didn’t actually have time to take it to the shop to get it fixed.  Instead he said he would schedule the work to get done next week.  I told him I was told it was going to be taken care of today but it wasn’t the end of the world to have it done next week, especially when I don’t really have to do anything to make it happen since they will pick up and return the car.

Yesterday I signed up for a site called teslafi.com  It connects to your car and aggregates an incredible amount of statistics about how the car is performing.  It is a statisticians dream.

My biggest win of the day came regarding my outrageous ER bill.  So when I first called the billing department to complain about the charges the woman didn’t have any answers for me besides saying that meds cost more in the ER.  That was regarding the single pill I was charged $715 for which I got a weeks prescription for less than 20 bucks the following day.  So I did not accept that answer and asked her how I dispute charges.  She gave me the number of another woman that handles that.

So I called this woman and repeated my story.  She seemed to agree with me that the charges seemed a little out of whack.  She said she would put the bill in for an audit to review. As I expected when she called me back a few days later she said the audit said the charges were correct.  I told her that I was not surprised as it was the hospital checking on itself.  I said unless an outside source confirmed the charges it doesn’t seem very meaningful.  Surprisingly the woman sort of agreed with me and said she was forwarding the bill to someone else to review.  I thanked her for continuing to work on this but hung up not thinking anything significant would change.

When I saw I had a voicemail on my home phone yesterday and started listening, it was from someone at NCH.  I assumed the message would be that the next person reviewed the bill and again came back with too bad, so sad.  Instead the message told me that upon further review, the medication cost was deemed to be excessive.  They were going to totally eliminate it from the bill, wow.  I certainly didn’t expect that result but it was further proof that being persistent is a trait that reaps rewards in all aspects of life.  The hospital rep said the revised bill would be resubmitted to insurance and the end result should be my portion of the charges will hopefully be significantly reduced.

When I got home last night I had to head out to the coop to do some stop gap energy conversation.  It was overcast and raining a good portion of the day yesterday so the solar panels didn’t get to fully replenish the Yeti.  Since the solar generator is currently the only source of power out there right now I had to turn off non-essential power draws so the fan and security DVR were unplugged.  The only things I have juiced up for now is the wifi router, smart switches, and the LED light.  This weekend I need to figure out and address why the utility power is no longer working.

I kept winning with other projects during the night.  I got the Ninebot One E+ reassembled.  At first it seemed like a loss when I again punctured the new tube I had bought for it when putting the tire back on.  I decided to put the old tube back in which still held air but had a slightly mangled valve.  I got it inflated and back together.  If it wasn’t raining I would have taken it out for a reunion tour ride.

After finishing the work on the Ninebot I decided since I already had the table set up I should install my dark olive rail guard set on the One Weel to match the bumpers I installed a couple weeks prior.  Having everything match really cleans up the look of the wheel and since green is my favorite color, I am very happy with the new visual.  Hopefully I get some time on the board this weekend.

As always I have a lot of things to potentially keep me busy the next two days.  Of course we are now at the time in Katie’s pregnancy where the baby could literally come at anytime so you have to be ready for the fire drill.  It would be something if the baby came on Mother’s Day.

When I got home last night Cindy told me the big fan in the coop wasn’t working.  I have that still hooked to utility power so I went out to investigate.  When I checked it became apparent that all of the AC power to the coop was off.  Hmm that’s odd.  So I checked the circuit breaker for that line and it was untripped.  So I checked the other stuff connected to that line like the small shed and Cindy’s RV, they were dead as well.

My low tech and definitely not up to code way to provide power to those spots is a long buried extension cable that has been in service for something like 10 years.  There is a junction point right at the small shed, I am hoping maybe that connection just needs to be redone.  If not I have to run and bury a new line this weekend.  The outage means my only source of power in the coop is the solar system which should be fine as long as we continue to have mostly sunny days with the Yeti powering things overnight.

Last night I washed the Tesla for the first time.  It was not real dirty but I also wanted to go over the car well to make sure there weren’t any other hidden paint defects, which I didn’t find.  I finally had somebody from the remote tech group scheduling department call me yesterday.  I got some more frustration and borderline anger out of the conversation.

I explained the run around I had been getting since the day after I picked up the car, including unreturned voicemails, emails, and being told my car should go to three different places for remediation.  I also told her how I was waiting since Friday for someone to call me back to have the remote tech group scheduled to work on the car.

When I told her I was told that a remote tech would address the paint run is when things got really interesting.  She said a paint run would have to be handled by a body shop.  She then said that paint defects are supposed to be handed by the delivery team and technically they are supposed to be reported within the first 24 hours.  Part of the delivery of the car is supposed to include a thorough walk around to verify everything is fine.  Well our delivery was a bit helter skelter and rushed, that thorough walk around never happened.

When the phone rep said “Tesla may not cover the paint issue” , I lost my shit a little bit on her.  I told her if it was not covered I would “raise holy hell”.  She moderated her statement and said that it doesn’t mean that it won’t be covered but technically any paint flaws are supposed to be identified up front and handled by the delivery department.  When I told her what I was told by the Dania Beach service guy , she said it was incorrect.  Any paint flaws have to be approved by the delivery department.  So anyway the end result is a remote tech is supposed to pick up my car today to at least align the steering wheel.  The paint issue is going to require more effort and aggravation to sort through.

Yesterday I saw a video regarding the security or potential lack there of Tesla vehicles.  When we got the car, part of the process was using the key cards to activate our phones to work with the vehicle.  We were told the cards are needed to make the phone work with the car, makes sense right?  Wrong.  In the video I watched as they demonstrated that all that is needed to remotely access the car is the Tesla app and proper credentials.  This seemed incredulous to me.  Basically if someone is sloppy or uses a weak password somebody could unlock, start and drive away in their vehicle.

I had to see this for myself so last night I had Katie load the Tesla app on her Samsung phone.  I then logged in with my credentials and boom, had full access to the car.  I honked the horn while I sat in the great room.  This blew my mind.  So of course a secure, complex password is step one but it is insane that Tesla has no further security in place like two factor authentication.  It’s a widespread practice where if you log in from a different device a code is sent to either your phone or email to confirm it is really you.

The lack of this extra step makes no sense to me.  There have been cases of criminals setting up fake Tesla wifi at supercharger locations to grab owners credentials.  Once they have that, they have access to the car and all contents inside of it.  The only upside to the situation is if someone tried to actually take the car, the same access that allowed them in it will also allow the car to be shut down remotely if need be.  Regardless, this policy seems like a foolish one by Tesla.  Hopefully the remedy it in the future but until then my Tesla credentials will be highly guarded.