I made three videos last night that pretty much covered the excitement from yesterday.  Feel free to catch up below. There is some big related news, I have now crossed over the 2000 subscriber mark on my YouTube Channel.  The second 1000 subs happened about 300% faster than the first 1000 so I hope to keep that acceleration pattern going.

This Memorial Day weekend we will of course have labor to complete but I am hoping for once the relaxation/recreation side of the scale will be the heavier one.

So I completed the transfer of Prius ownership to my name yesterday.  I transferred the plate that used to adorn my SSR to the Prius to save a few bucks.  I have to say the plate looked much cooler and appropriate on the SSR but I do like the humor and irony of having the plate on the 50 MPG Prius as well.

I dropped off the Tacoma this morning for it’s 15,000 mile service.  I am hoping that it does not have the symptoms of the latest Tacoma recall, a leaking rear differential.  If the truck is found to have the problem Toyota is pulling the trucks off the road and providing loaners until a solution is found.  That would not be good, at all.

I have my Msuper along to take to the gym today, hopefully it stops raining before then.

So Cindy got her brand new car back yesterday which she was very happy about.  The dealership identified a faulty relay as the problem originally but Cindy got a more detailed explanation that was a bit weird.  She was told actually that a relay for the battery cooling fan was installed incorrectly.  They said that before the Ioniq arrived at the dealership for sale it was at a car show and somehow that was the reason for the misplacement for the relay.  Perhaps they pulled it to limit functionality at the show, I have no idea.  However the car show explanation does explain why the car already had roughly 30 miles on it when we test drove it Saturday.  Regardless, both Cindy and I are glad to have her new Ioniq in the garage once again.

In related activity, I will be transferring the Prius to my name today so I can assume fiscal/insurance responsibility for it.  I am going to try to transfer the old SSR MUSCL UP plate to the Prius if possible, the irony would be funny.  Keeping the Prius will allow us a way to negate some mileage on the two new vehicles as well as giving us transportation flexibility if one of the three vehicles is unavailable.  I already have a short mental list of things that I need to do to the Prius as money and motivation allows.

Of course I was saddened by the latest apparent terrorist bombing a the concert in the UK. But as I have said before, like most things in life, things, even horrible, despicable things become less impactful the more often they occur.  Gun violence, soldiers dying over seas in pointless conflicts, Trump saying/doing idiotic and dangerous things, it all becomes one big blur of bad that I can do nothing about. So I just try to make sure my own personal sphere of existence is filled with more good than bad and hope the rest of the world eventually finds a way to do the same.

RIP Roger Moore, the James Bond I grew up knowing.

 

So early in the afternoon I asked Cindy if she heard anything back from the Hyundai dealer yet regarding her car.  She hadn’t so she reached out to them.  She talked to a woman service advisor who said they were still working on it.  She made a request that seemed odd to me.  Cindy had told her I took a picture of the error my code reader pulled from the car.  She asked if I could send it to her.  I found this odd because obviously they have the ability to read engine codes too but what the hell, ok, I’ll send it.  Cindy said the woman was talking some technical stuff that didn’t quite make sense so I said I would call her since I had a pretty good grasp of the scenario.

So I get a call back after leaving a message.  The woman, who Cindy identified as being very nice on the phone started to explain the situation.  She said that although the salesman and the mechanic initially saw the check engine light was on, it was now off so they couldn’t get a code with their equipment.  I told her that didn’t seem to make sense since I thought whenever a check engine light condition exists, the code is stored in the ECU until it is forcibly cleared.  As soon as I made that statement the woman’s nice switch flipped to off the position.

She immediately developed a large attitude with me, how dare I question anything that she tells me?  She said several things in a very smart ass tone to me, including “Well if it is not showing a code there is nothing we can do…”  I told her I wasn’t quite sure why she was taking an attitude with me but I did not appreciate it. I told her the general manager said they would do whatever it takes to get the car fixed asap, yet I am hearing “there is nothing we can do” It was a very poor choice of words on her part, considering the circumstances. I knew I was not going to get any further with this woman so I asked if she could transfer me back to our salesman.

So I recanted my phone interaction with Matt and he was not happy about it.  He told me he would get on it asap and someone would call me back.  A little after 4PM the general manager called me and let me know that they replaced a relay that they believe was defective.  He said to make sure they wanted to keep the car overnight and drive it some more just to make sure.  I was fine with that plan, so hopefully Cindy is back behind the wheel tonight.  I guess they COULD do something about it.

I am not an overly confrontational person.  However when someone steps on my feet and brings it to my face I can react quite strongly. I can put up with a lot of shit but when I decide not to, things can heat up pretty quickly.

We started off our Saturday with an early morning run at the track.  Cindy actually joined me which was cool.  I think I am going to try to permanently move my weekend run to Saturday mornings instead of Sunday.  It’s nice to get it out of the way up front.  When I was at my running peak I was always doing my weekend run on Saturdays anyway.  The warm and muggy weather made it a tough slog but we made it.

So I told Cindy I had a lot of small chores I wanted to get done Saturday morning and she was more than willing to jump in and help.  She actually weed whacked the yard using the battery powered whacker.  One of the things I wanted to do was my every 3 month generator start up.  I take both generators out of their respective sheds and fire them up so when the time comes where I actually need them, they will start.   Of course the small Honda unit fired up very quickly, that thing is bullet proof.  The big 5000 watt unit I bought in 2005 was a different story.

After pulling on the starter cord until I got a blister it still would not fire up.  I pulled out some tools and carb cleaner and got busy.  I disconnected the fuel line and shot a ton of carb cleaner in there.  I also removed the air filter and shot another large amount of cleaner in through the butterfly valve. I pulled the spark plug to make sure it didn’t look fouled out, it didn’t.  Even after doing all of that, it would not start.

Although I knew it likely wouldn’t help, I decided to leave the generator out to bake in the sun.  I thought maybe, just maybe once it got good and warm it might start.  Believe it or not, when I came back around 4pm, it started.  Not only did it start but it ran for hours, something it normally won’t do anymore without intermittent shut offs.  I was quite happy I was able to resuscitate the generator.

So after doing the chores Cindy and I had planned to drive up to a Fort Myers Hyundai dealer to test drive a Hyundai Ioniq.  Like I mentioned previously, with the Prius on the cusp of 200,000 miles we were looking at options.  Although Cindy and I had seen an Ioniq a couple weeks prior we never drove one.  Not only did we want to drive one, we really wanted to drive one of the Limited models that has the sunroof since that is what Cindy really wants.  We wanted to see if the sunroof headroom penalty would have my head jammed against the roof.  The only problem was Fort Myers didn’t have a Limited on the lot.

Well as we were getting DD coffee Cindy just happened to browse the inventory of Tamiami Hyundai, our local dealer.  We did not approach them originally because they were not a TrueCar affiliated dealer.  Well according to their website they had TWO Limited’s on the lot.  She called and talked to a salesman named Matt to verify they were there, they were.  Even better news was one of them was the Ceramic White color that Cindy wanted.  We canceled the GPS navigation for the Fort Myers dealer and headed to the local dealer who was only 5 miles away. The only “negative” about this car was it had the tech package which of course is a positive to me.  The only bad thing is the additional cost.  This car basically had everything you could possibly get in the Ioniq line.

Our sales guy Matt was cool.  He has been selling cars pretty much his entire adult life but he has a baseball background like me so that gave us some common ground.  We wasted little time before doing the test drive.  Cindy and I were both happy to see that even with the addition of a power sunroof I still had plenty of room for my cranium.  I also immediately noticed that as a passenger I have more leg room than I do in the 2007 Prius.  When I later drove the car I had a lot more leg room as well.

The car drove great and Cindy loved pretty much everything about it.  We had already talked about keeping the Prius as a third vehicle instead of trading it in.  Ever since I got rid of the party van and the SSR, making us a two vehicle household (if you don’t count the electric unicycles), there have been multiple times when having a third option would have been convenient.  So without a paid off trade in we were going to see how the numbers worked out with a couple spiffs Cindy qualified for, as a veteran and an Uber driver as well as taking advantage of 60 month 0% financing that Hyundai was currently offering.  Cindy also brought her TrueCar pricing certificate which the dealer also honored.

It took a little bit of haggling but in the end we came up with a number that worked for Cindy and would fulfill her transportation needs for the foreseeable future. Even though we didn’t enter the weekend anticipating Cindy having a new car in the garage, that’s how it worked out, at least for one night.  More on that briefly. So I drove my Tacoma home escorting Cindy in her new wheels.  The report card she gave when we got home was A+, she just loved the car in pretty much every way.  She was extremely excited to take the vehicle to the movies Saturday night.  I was very happy for her as well.

So as we were ready to leave for the movies Cindy offered to back the car out of the driveway so it would be easier for me to get in.  I could tell something was going on as she was trying to back out as she paused.  She told me the car was making an odd noise and an error light was on the dash.  Surely I thought she had to be misinterpreting something so I asked her to let me start it.  I could hardly believe that the check engine light was on as well as a HEV system error.  Cindy was immediately very distraught but I tried to calm her down.  We did a little test drive up and down the street.  The car drove fine but the error lights were still there.  Not knowing what was going on we decided it would be better to park the car and just take the Tacoma to the movies.

Cindy called the salesman and let him know of the problem.  They were open Sunday’s so he said we could take the car there the next day.  I spent most of the drive to the movies trying to talk Cindy down as she had nightmare scenarios running through her head that she just bought a lemon.  I assured her I had confidence that the problem was likely minor and that the dealer would take care of it.  Of course I felt badly that Cindy’s new car euphoria was cut short by the problem.

Despite the Ioniq roller coaster we both really enjoyed the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  I would rate it as highly as the first, meaning it is in rare A+ levels.  Marvel just knows how to do it right.

So while we were driving the Tacoma I noticed that my headlights, which I had adjusted after the lift were still pointing too far downward, giving me very limited light distance on the road.  Despite it being late I wanted to get them adjusted when we got home.  Before doing so I also wanted to get some more clarity on the Ioniq error.  I hooked up code reader to the brand new car’s diagnostic port to see what it would tell me.  In a few seconds it told me that something in the circuit that controls the battery cooling fan was amiss. Getting this information was a bit of a relief as it would seem that would be a rather simple thing to fix.  It also made Cindy feel a bit better as well.

Sunday morning we did stuff around the house until mid-morning.  I followed Cindy in the Prius.  While I filled the car up with gas she headed to the dealership to get the loaner process started.  Ironically, the error lights had reset themselves during Cindy’s drive however when the salesman turned the car back on the HEV error once again reappeared, leaving no question of it’s existence.  They gave Cindy a nice Elantra Sport as a loaner and assured us they would get the problem addressed quickly.  They said if it requires a part to fix they will pull it from one of their Ioniqs on the lot if need be, which was reassuring to hear.  Below is my video documenting my initial Ioniq impressions as well as talking about the CEL issue.

We then met up with Katie and Daniel for some EUC riding, something we had not done as a group in awhile.  We had a fun time zipping around the Vanderbilt Beach area although it was ridiculously hot outside.  Daniel is ready to upgrade to a bigger/faster wheel.  I recommended he look at a Gotway ACM which has power, speed, and range to spare.  We actually cut the ride a little short because my old Ninebot One I gave to Daniel ran out of juice.

After the ride the four of us had lunch at Fuzzy Taco’s.  The experience was good once again although Katie ordered a margarita that she was not fond of at all.

When we got home we turned right around and headed back out, this time with the dogs in tow.  They had looked disappointed repeatedly over the weekend when we headed out without them.  We wanted to get one small Home Depot road trip in for them before Sadie went back to Ali’s place today.  Elsa and Sadie appeared to have fun.  Elsa is definitely acting better in public spaces.  Her freak outs are fewer and farther between.

We didn’t get back home till after 4pm.  I just chilled out for the rest of the day.  It’s funny how even with a very busy and eventful weekend, just a few consecutive hours of doing nothing makes me feel sort of lazy.

 

 

 

 

Yesterday the new tail lights I ordered for the Tacoma arrived.  They are the tail lights that come on the $45,000 Tacoma TRD Pro trucks.  They have a more blacked out appearance which goes well with other black accents I already added to the truck like the grille, nerf bars, and tail gate letters.

Installation of the new light assemblies was easier than I anticipated with only two bolts holding each in along with a couple clips.  In total the job probably took 20 minutes including time futzing with the camera.  The light swap gives the back end of the truck a sharp new look.

I actually went nuts and ordered the TRD Pro front fog lights as well which should show up next week.  The dealership I bought them from actually cut me a break on price and shipping because I told them I had been mentioning them in my other videos.  I like mutual back scratching scenarios.

This weekend we hope to finally get out to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  I also have a number of home chores on my mental list as always.  An EUC ride or two would be fun as well.

So it’s been nice to have crested the hill of work related to the movement of a large portion of our staff to a different building.  Of course there is an entirely different set of hurdles left for me to clear regarding the renovation that is commencing on our existing building but I’ll handle that as it presents itself. Hey, at least I got to go to the gym the last two days.

I picked up Sadie last night for another extended visit as Ali is going to be out of town through the weekend.  Elsa was absolutely insane with happiness when Sadie walked in the door.  Just watching the two of them interact is enough to keep me entertained for long periods of time.

If I had time I could ramble on about the imploding presidency of Donald Trump but there are so many other sources doing such a good job of it I figured there is no reason to pile on.  In my lifetime there has never been a president so immersed in controversy so quickly, it really is something to see.  Hopefully the entertainment doesn’t come at the cost of the future of our country.

I am feeling the need to commute the Monster to work again…

So no, I have not deceased recently, I have just been busy, really busy.  From last Thursday on has been one big blur that I don’t really feel the need or time to cover in depth.  It was all just necessary energy spent to get roughly 35 people transplanted from our building to a temporary home a little more than 1/4 mile away.  Our entire department busted our ass to make it happen, including working into early Friday evening and over half of the day Saturday.  When the building opened for business for the first time yesterday there was one important thing I had overlooked that took about 90 minutes to remedy, but after that the day went pretty smooth.

I will have a lot on my plate for the foreseeable future but I at least have an opportunity to catch my breath a little bit here and there.  Hell I haven’t even had time to go to the gym since last Monday so you know things must have been crazy.

My shortened Mother’s Day weekend with Cindy was nice.  We scored an incredible deal on a new computer desk  for her.  Cindy had been wanting to replace the old desk that dates back to my married days for a long time.  We rode our EUCs both on Saturday and Sunday.  Unfortunately those rides resulted in my Monster hitting the deck not once but twice, putting some big nasty scrapes and scratches on it’s shell.  It was bound to happen sooner or later, I just hoped it would be later.

I did my best to make Cindy’s Mother’s Day as bright as I could since her daughter was out of town.  We ended the day with a fun dinner at Fuzzy Taco’s with Cindy’s mom and niece.  The food was again excellent and the beer was cold.

Last night after work I changed in to my gym clothes to stop at Home Depot.  I wanted to load up on sod to lay over the area by the shed we back filled with top soil.  Load up I did, with 25 pieces of St Augustine grass which turned the bed of the Tacoma into a big sandy mess.  When I got home I wasted little time getting to work.

I have a pretty effective method of preparing the sod.  After thoroughly soaking the top soil I brought over one of our rolling wagons which I fill with about an inch of water.  I then grab a piece of sod and lay it in there grass down exposing the dirt/root side. I take the hose and lightly spray the dirt ensuring the sod has a nice wet contact point with the top soil to make sure it “takes”. I then carefully place the sod and wet it again thoroughly with the hose.  When it is all in place I go back with a large rake and tamp the grass down followed by one more dosing of water.  My technique works well but the real key factor is watering it every day to make sure it doesn’t dry out.  During wet season this happens automatically but during this time of year we need to hit it with a hose to  ensure success.

After I was done I was a dirty mess and the truck was worse.  I spent a good 20 minutes in the driveway trying to get all the sand, dirt, and grass out of the composite bed of the Tacoma.

So like most, I was sort of shocked that Trump fired James Comey yesterday.  Well let me back up.  Maybe I was not shocked he was fired, I was amazed at the reason that was provided for the firing.  No, it wasn’t that Comey was sniffing around the Russia election tampering scandal.  The reason was the way he handled the Hilary Clinton email situation, lol!  So Trump, who applauded Comey for bringing in the second round of email scandal a mere couple weeks before the election, which surely was a big factor in the outcome, now cites that as the primary reason for the termination of the FBI director?  Wow I don’t think I could write a better script.

When you factor in the recommendation came from Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is yet another shady character in the Trump team who recused himself from the Russian involvement investigation, it just looks even more suspicious.  You have to wonder just how long the American public, regardless of their political leanings are willing to let this buffoonery continue.  It truly is an embarrassment to our country to be governed by someone so woefully incompetent to fulfill the responsibilities of the presidential office.  After only a few months there has been enough scandal and controversy to make a feature length film. If you would like to keep a close eye on the latest shenanigans just tune in here – https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/

Last night as I was hanging outside with the chickens and Elsa there was a funny moment.  Elsa and I were outside the chicken area near a corner.  The chickens were all hanging around and Elsa was sitting there observing them, only a foot or so from the fence.  The chickens were observing Elsa as well with curious looks.  Pumpkin was comfortable enough to stick her entire head through one of the squares to pick at the grass on the other side, somehow thinking the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.

Elsa slowly moved closer to the point where her nose was barely inside the fence line.  Peaches greeted her with a quick peck on the nose which of course sent Elsa scurrying.  It was funny but I immediately told Elsa it was ok and the chickens were just playing with her.  Elsa really has seemed to be coming into her own as she is passing through puppy hood.  She is still neurotic for sure at times but she also is very loving, fun, and happy at the same time.  She brings a lot of joy into our life.

I finally completed the long grind to enable all of my characters in WoW to fly in the current expansion.  Hopefully I get some time to now enjoy untethered movement in the game that I invested so much time in.