After work last night I stopped at Home Depot with the recommended tool list for the leveling kit install. I needed to pick up a couple impact sockets, wrenches, and even a crow bar. Chuck is going to be bringing down some of his tools as well so between the two of us we should have everything covered. I cut a short video last night revealing what the next mod was on YouTube, something I had not done as of yet. It seems like teasing projects is a popular formula for keeping your subscribers engaged.
So I am off Monday through Wednesday next week. Chuck and I are doing the lift on Monday during the day and Patrick and his girlfriend are supposed to show up late in the afternoon for a quick three day visit. I met his girlfriend Nico during my January trip up north and she seems like a great girl. I am sure we will have a fun visit with them as Patrick is always up for pretty much anything you throw at him.
This weekend I’d like to do a few clean up operations around the household in anticipation of housing visitors. I also am anticipating the arrival of my Monster which I have been tracking regularly. As of 9:30 last night it was damn close to entering the Florida panhandle. I am crossing my fingers that it might actually show up on Saturday instead of Monday.
I have had a couple items coming in to help me with the Tacoma leveling kit install on Monday. I printed out the recommended tool list and compared it against my current tool inventory. I am missing a few things which I hope to pick up after work tonight. I am looking forward to the project but can’t shake some of my apprehension about taking it on.
Last night after eating dinner Cindy and I headed over to the school to ride the EUCs. For a good portion of the ride I let Cindy take the Msuper. Not only is it much more stable but the big pedals and leg position seem to alleviate a lot of the foot pain she complains of riding her Inmotion V5F. I felt the same foot pain after riding the Inmotion wheel as well. I mentioned to her that once my Monster shows up next week she can ride the Msuper whenever she wants, something that actually sounded good to her.
So Cupcake, one of our Jersey Giant hens has once again gone broody which is a pain in the ass. When a hen goes broody she will sit on eggs obsessively because she wants them to hatch. Basically she wants to have baby chicks. Well since there is no rooster in our chicken collection all of our eggs are unfertilized so they will never hatch, something poor Cupcake doesn’t realize. She even starts plucking feathers from her belly, thinking direct skin contact will create enough warmth to hatch the eggs.
Cupcake has gone broody a couple times before. The only way you can break the cycle is to separate her from the nesting boxes during the day in the chicken tractor. We have had her in there the last four or five days and it still hasn’t broken the broodiness. The second I let her out she SPRINTS back to the coop and plops herself on top of eggs. There is no quick fix, we just have to keep her isolated until it clicks in her chicken brain that it isn’t going to happen.
So I found out that Jason from Ewheels, who I had already bought the two Inmotion wheels from, had finally got some of the Gotway Monster electric unicycles in stock. These are the the HUGE, 22 inch diameter wheels that make my Msuper look like a starter wheel. They can travel anywhere between 50-100 miles on a battery charge and can hit speeds damn close to 30mph.
I have been holding off buying one for awhile but selling the MCM4 gave me some recreational dollars to help soften the blow. If things go as planned I will be cruising on the Monster by this time next week.
If you have any interest in exploring the world of PTV’s I strongly suggest you give Ewheels a look. Jason really puts the customer first and has been in the business as long if not longer than anybody. If you use this link you will get free shipping on your order! http://ewheels.com/eucarmy
I have noticed how I make a lot of unconscious groaning noises nowadays after someone pointed it out to me. They happen normally when I am changing positions or getting out of or getting into a vehicle. They must just be the reaction to the now normal aches and pains that accompany these movements and just another wonderful side effect of transitioning into old fart status.
Yesterday was a good one in my preparations for the building move. I was able to take a laptop over to the temporary building and successfully connect to our network. That was really the biggest concern in my mind, now that the two areas are connected it is just a matter of moving equipment and changing a few numbers around. The only other thing I am looking to do is increase the link between the two networks from 100 mb to 1000 mb which will be handled by adding two 1000 TX SFP transceivers into two Cisco switches along the way.
I am also prepping for my upcoming Tacoma project which will lift the truck roughly 3 inches in the front and around two in the rear. I bought a set of ratcheting wrenches last week and a 22MM impact socket last night which is necessary for some of the big bolts and nuts involved in suspension work. Just like any project, I have some anxiety about ripping into my new Tacoma in the most extensive way so far. However I have watched the install video for the kit twice so far and I don’t think it will be too bad as long as I take my time. Having Chuck, who installed a much more involved 4″ lift on his Tacoma , help me do the work makes the probability of success very high. The nice thing about this set up is it is totally reversible, just in case.
I was in work early Friday morning and once again on Saturday morning. Although it was to complete two different tasks both were due to the same objective. They are going to be doing an extensive renovation to our office and in order to facilitate it we are moving the majority of our staff temporarily to another location on campus. As you can imagine this is going to be quite the task to complete. On Friday we installed a new core router to maximize our speed to the temporary building. On Saturday morning we moved a state server that was in an area of the building that is going to be demolished.
I did a lot of planning ahead of Saturday hoping that it would result in me not having to spend a large portion of my Saturday at the office. I was amazed that things pretty much went as planned. I was on my way home a little after 9am after spending about 90 minutes doing the work. It’s satisfying when a plan comes together. There will be a ton of hurdles I will need to be clearing during the next three weeks.
I got home early enough to take on my normal chore workload and let Sadie and Elsa roam around the yard as I worked on them. Elsa LOVES when Sadie is around. Sadie doesn’t play as rough as Bowser does so Elsa doesn’t get quite as crazy. They both had fun when we took them to Rural King later.
We talked about going out to dinner. I had a gift card from Christmas that I never used to Carrabbas so we figured this would be a good use for it. There was a short wait at the door but a couple seats opened up at the bar so we decided to just eat there instead.
Our female bartender was sweet but as the restaurant got very busy she wasn’t able to really pay much attention to us which was a bit annoying. Cindy was practically begging for her to bring a Coke after she realized the peach sangria she ordered had vodka in it. After drinking less than half of it she was feeling really affected and nauseous. The food we ordered was good. As we left and saw the horde of people now waiting we were both glad we decided to eat more towards the early bird time slot.
Both Saturday and Sunday were overcast and raining for much of the day which would normally be a bummer. However with the onset of brush fires out in my area the precipitation could not have come at a better time. It turned a potentially catastrophic situation around. Even though the fire is still burning it appears that danger to residents has now passed.
Sunday morning I got up and ran. I have such a love hate relationship with running. I never have really enjoyed the act of running. My body isn’t designed for it, I feel uncomfortable during it, and while I am running I think mostly about how long it will be until it’s over. The only thing that keeps me going out there is the sense of accomplishment that follows, knowing I got it done, despite not really wanting to. Yes my fear of aging and death is a factor as well. If I am still running I am still living is the logic in my head.
With the rainy weather I thought riding the wheels could be a washout. Cindy, who used to look for reasons to not ride, instead came up with a great idea to go find an empty parking garage to ride in. I suggested we use one of the garages by my work since they are basically empty on the weekends.
We did just that and had a lot of fun riding up, down, and around the five level structure. Cindy got a lot of practice in with more control moves. I of course had to get some backwards riding in as well. At one point we again swapped wheels allowing Cindy to zip around on my Msuper. Although it feels a bit awkward to her she immediately appreciates the added stability the big wheel offers compared to her 14 inch Inmotion V5F. We managed to rack up almost six miles mostly riding around in circles in the garage.
The rest of my Sunday was pretty chill with video production and WoW being my two major activities. It was one of the best weekends we have enjoyed in quite awhile, despite it’s simple components.
Today I brought my black Segway Minipro that was collecting dust to work. I am thinking I can use it to cut about 2/3 of the time it will take to walk between our building and the space we are moving to temporarily. Yes it’s weird but a real time saver considering how often I will have to be shuffling between the two locations.
So last night Cindy and I did a rare mid-week EUC riding session. We also had another first for Cindy. It was the first time she rode from the house to a destination meaning it was her first time riding on both our road and the sidewalk along Immokalee Road as well. She felt a little wobbly on the way there but it smoothed out. She also somehow got stung by a bee while on the wheel, something I never experienced yet.
We rode through the Waterways development and onto the school grounds where we tooled around for awhile. The stiff and gusting winds gave Cindy some problems but she fought through them. I did some backwards riding as well just to make sure I don’t let the skill get too rusty.
By the time we made it back home we had covered around 6.5 miles. Cindy did really well handling the various terrain and situations. I told her it would be funny if someday she rode her wheel to the newly opened nearby Publix to go shopping. She probably isn’t quite ready for something like that but I have no doubt that she is further ahead in her riding skills than I was at the same amount of hours ridden.
Cindy worked hard on beautifying the newly installed mailbox yesterday. The finished work looks very nice. Hopefully inconsiderate, clueless, or distracted motorists can avoid impacting the structure for at least a little while.
Last night I shot a video regarding my upcoming mods to my Tacoma. One thing that is popular on YouTube is not only performing upgrades/repairs to vehicles but also talking about them ahead of time. Viewers seem to actually like to have things mentioned ahead of time so they can anticipate the end result. It’s a weird thing but it is definitely a thing. So I talked about the work I plan to do but in a fuzzy manner so viewers can make their best guess. Of course if they read the blog there would be no blanks to fill in but I don’t think a lot of my subscribers read the blog.
I also talked a little bit about the pretty much across the board decrease most YouTube creators are seeing in ad revenue. I had a solid 12 months or more of steady growth that suddenly reversed itself in the last 45 days. The story is some major advertisers have pulled their dollars out of YouTube after the WSJ ran a story about PewDiPie, one of the biggest YouTubers, making a video that some saw as anti-semetic. (it really wasn’t) The story scared some businesses into thinking their ads could potentially air in front of or top of some potentially non-PC content. In my opinion the whole thing is a huge overreaction which unfortunately is just the way the world works nowadays. Being offended seems to be hip and the news making a mountain out of a molehill has been status quo for years, as long as it draws eyeballs.
Today I pick up Sadie for an extended visit. Elsa is anxiously awaiting her arrival.
So last night was unconventional as far as Monday’s go. I went to a Tarpons game. Instead of going with Cindy, who was teaching a class last night I wound up going with Ali and her boyfriend Shugs. Shugs had never been to a Tarpons game so I thought it would be cool for us to go. Ali went to the Tarpons games with me while we were still married but she was down with going as well.
We had a stroke of good luck, as we were waiting in line to buy tickets a guy said he had three tickets we could have. I recognized him as the team doctor, I think. We thanked him and walked in happy with our free ride. We grabbed some food and beers and headed to our seats that were on the opposite side of the arena that I am used to sitting on. Our seats were actually quite good, row 11 almost at mid-field.
Ali was confused, the tickets said the visiting team was called the Sharks but the scoreboard said Dragons. The ornate dragon on the players right leg seemed to confirm we were playing the Dragons as well. After four or five years as a Tarpons fan things like this don’t phase me, opponents change all the time for whatever reason.
The Dragon offensive backfield was visually quite odd. Number zero lined up in a fullback position. This guy was probably 5′ 6″ and weighed 300 pounds with about 100 pounds if that in his massive gut. Their quarterback was very thin and had absolutely no rear end. It seriously looked like he had it surgically removed. The Dragons offense was pretty anemic but their defense was good. It became clear pretty early the Tarpons were going to have a tough time of it. The Dragons defensive coach was angry and fired up all the time and it seemed like the team fed off his energy. There was more hard hitting in this game than probably any other I have seen.
The end result of this was the lowest scoring, tightest final score of any arena game I have attended. The game came down to the final possession. The Dragons had the ball with a minute to go and one point behind. The Tarpons managed to intercept a pass from the no ass QB to seal the 13-12 win. Despite the lack of scoring I thought the game was entertaining. Ali and Shugs seemed to have a good time as well which was cool. It makes me happy that the three of us can hang out and enjoy each other’s company. It is sort of how I always hoped things would turn out.
Easter my entire life has been the odd man out with holidays. The fact that it’s date randomly floats around every year was something I never understood and my lack of religious belief didn’t help matters. Hell you don’t even get a day off from work for it.
So I don’t recall if I talked on the blog about Chuck, a fellow YouTuber that made me a GoPro mount designed to be mounted on the bed of my Tacoma. I found Chuck from a video about the cool lift, wheels and tires he installed on his new Tacoma. Chuck lives in Maryland but out of the blue he emailed me saying he is going to be down in my neck of the woods in early May and wanted to know if I wanted to meet up. He said maybe we could do some truck related project together.
At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it because the days Chuck is down are also the same days Patrick and his girlfriend are coming to visit. However after more thinking I remembered Pat saying he would not be arriving until later in the day that Monday so I told Chuck we could do something earlier in the day. I said it would be awesome if we installed the 3-1 leveling kit in my truck that I had been thinking about. Chuck agreed so if all goes well I will be doing my first YouTube collaboration video in a couple weeks.
On Saturday I kept quite busy doing stuff around the house as is usually the case. All I need to do is scan the property and to do’s pop into my head left and right. During the afternoon Cindy, Elsa and I did a DD, Pinch-a-Penny, Home Depot, and Rural King errand run. Elsa is slowly getting better at being out in public spaces.
Saturday night Cindy and I went to see Fate of the Furious. Of course I already knew the movie would be entertaining, action filled, and stupidly unrealistic. I wasn’t quite sure how they could up the ante over the last sequel which featured jumping cars in between sky scrapers in Dubai. Well they managed to pull it off. It was like the script writers sat down and said, “Ok let’s come up with a scenario that even Superman himself would find impossible to pull off.” Evidently Vin Diesel, Jason Statham and The Rock have their own kind of superpowers. Hey the movie was entertaining for sure with plenty of T&A, awesome cars, explosions, and nuclear submarines for anyone. I’d give it a B+ all day long.
Cindy and I did have to deal with yet another case of inconsiderate idiots. We were nestled in to the top corner of the theater with noone that close. Just as the previews were finishing we see a Hispanic family of five or six making their way towards us. One of those family members was being carried in a baby carrier. Cindy and I were in disbelief that someone would bring an infant to the movie, not to mention two of the other children that appeared to be less than 5 years old. The fact that they chose to sit two seats away from us was just our luck.
So of course it took precious little time until the children started crying and it took Cindy and I even less time to get up and move to the other side of the theater as we muttered how amazingly inconsiderate some people can be. The new seating was not without it’s annoyances. There were some more younger kids behind us that were talking a lot, luckily the action of the movie drowned out most of it. I did have to turn around at one point and tell the kid to knock it off when my seat began vibrating from him bouncing his feet off the seat next to me. I am constantly amazed at how rare of a thing simple common courtesy appears to be in today’s world. No wonder I prefer to be at home.
Easter morning I drug myself out of bed early for another 5K run. Although I felt half decent during the run and my pace was better than recent weeks, my right knee started to hurt almost immediately afterwards. Today I am walking with a slight limp but that happens so often nowadays I hardly notice or care about it.
After doing a long weekly bill paying/credit card reconciliation session Cindy and I went out for an Easter EUC ride. We parked and rode around Pelican Bay park initially, a place I never knew about. Cindy was doing a great job progressing on her wheel, so much so that we ventured out of the park and onto the sidewalks and bike lanes. We rode all over the place, even down along the beach like I did several weeks back.
Cindy also rode across grass, stones and compacted sand during the ride. In total I would estimate we covered 8-10 miles easily during the ride which obliterates Cindy’s previous best by a ton. I was very proud of her efforts and I can tell she really is starting to enjoy riding her EUC. I have ideas for a lot more single wheel adventures in the future.
I talked to all my family members on the phone during the afternoon, an Easter tradition. I also managed to change the oil and blades on the tractor, which hopefully will not become a tradition. We watched Passenger last night on dvd. It was interesting but not quite as good as I hoped. I’d still go B+ with it.
So after having it for sale for several months, this morning I dropped off the Gotway MCM4 at a local FedEx office to be shipped to it’s new owner in Massachusetts. The wheel had an odd impact on my 2016 Christmas and not a particularly good one. However when Cindy later tried riding the the thinner Inmotion V5F I bought for Katie for Christmas she liked the way it felt much more. Since I was still very excited by the prospect of Cindy learning to ride an EUC I turned around and bought Cindy an Inmotion wheel as well. This left the MCM4 as the misfit EUC.
I couldn’t return the wheel so I thought I may as well add it to the stable of electric unicycles. It’s 14 inch form factor and cool LED light ring made it a nice change up from my big Msuper. I later spent around $100 to put the large pedals that are on the Msuper onto the smaller wheel so I would have more foot comfort.
Shortly after I made the pedal swap Gotway announced some new wheels they were producing, both of which appealed to me. I decided that if I even wanted to consider getting one of these wheels I had to sell the MCM4 first, so I listed it for sale in early February. I had minimal interest until someone that saw me mention I was selling the wheel on one of videos and inquired yesterday. Things progressed from there and as of this morning the wheel is no longer in my possession.
Since that plan was hatched in early February other circumstances and expenses have further retarded any plans to get one of these newer wheels, like the $4000+ new water system. I still do have my eye on a Gotway 22″, 2400WH Monster that can go 75-100 miles on a single charge, no I am not shitting you. The timeline for that happening is unknown, I can be patient.
This weekend has no framework and no expectations. Hopefully there are some blue skies, fresh air and peaceful, simple, happy moments.