It’s Brand New

So my three day New Year’s weekend has come and gone, just like the year it marks. Cindy and I crammed a lot of things into that 72 hours, let’s see if I can remember them.

Friday night we watched Alien Covenant, a movie Cindy was less than thrilled with seeing going in.  It turned out to be B+ good in my book.  Even Cindy said she sort of liked it, except for the being scared shitless part.

Saturday morning I got up and got my run out of the way.  The cool December air makes the experience much better for me compared to July/August.  It always has it’s mental struggles regardless as I countdown the 13 laps in my head but I completed them in a workman-like fashion.

When I got home Cindy had a present sitting on the fence post of the chicken area for me. I caught another mouse in my live trap I had set up in the coop run.  I wasted little time before I transported the unwelcome coop inhabitant to the same general area I let the last mouse go several days earlier.  Maybe, just maybe they will meet up somehow.

On Saturday I also did something earlier than I have done probably since moving to Florida, took down the Christmas lights, trees and decorations.  I NEVER do this in December, I typically enjoy the Christmas lights well into January.  I remember one year I think I didn’t take them down until the third week in January.

You would think this year would once again be the case.  I really liked the 2017 version of Xmas both visually and emotionally, it was one of the best I have had in awhile, hence you would think I again would leave the stuff out for an extended period of time.  Well for whatever reason I was just ready, something in my head clicked and once it did it was time to de-Christmas.  Cindy was teaching class Friday morning so I pulled down all of the exterior decorations myself.  When she got home we were able to restore normalcy inside the house in 90 minutes or so.  There always is a sense of sadness for me when putting the holiday stuff away but there also is a comforting feeling when things are back to normal.  Once we finished it felt good that we got that task knocked out at the front of the three day weekend instead of waiting to do it later. I did decide to leave the lights up on the chicken coop, the chickens told me they really liked them.

On Saturday night we were going to a party held at a friend from the running club’s house.  Technically it was supposed to be a cornhole tournament although Cindy and I were not participants in that aspect of the party. Well an hour or so before the party was supposed to start our friend sends out a message on Facebook that they just lost power and it wasn’t due to be restored for a few hours.  She asked if anyone had generators, especially one that can do 220.  We told her we did and could bring it.  All of a sudden showing up casually late was not an option, they asked if we could get there asap.

So things got thrown into fast forward mode.  I loaded BOTH of my generators into the back of the Tacoma along with a gas can and extension cords, unsure of what the needs would be.  When we got there we just unloaded the big generator.  I used it to power their well equipment and some of the lights in their backyard.  They had the yard decorated beautifully for the party, evidently a holdover from their daughters wedding a week or two prior.  Luckily power was restored after around an hour so it wasn’t a huge problem.

At the party were a bunch of people that I have not seen for a long time, some of them dating back to when I stopped race timing two years ago.  It was nice to see old familiar faces, many of whom were surprised to see me since I have pretty much steered clear of any and all running club activities since I left.  The spread of food and drink was impressive as well, I indulged in it.

The party was held outdoors and the outdoors were feeling quite chilly as the air temp dropped into the upper 50’s.  We were planning to head out soon.  I was sitting on a cooler by the pool edge talking to Mark, whose dog Petunia was nearby.  Petunia is rather old and looked a bit unsteady as she walked.  All of a sudden I heard a splash and saw the dog had fallen into the pool.  I immediately sprang to the edge of the pool.  She was not coming up on her own so I dunked my left arm into the pool and pulled her out.  As soon as I sat her on the deck she ran away, scared, cold and very, very wet.  Mark thanked me for my efforts but it was really not that big of a deal.  If I didn’t do it there were probably another half dozen around the pool that would have acted the same, I just happened to be closest.

We headed out around 8:30, we were both freezing by that point.  Even though I was lukewarm about going to the party in the first place I wound up having a nice time and it had the bonus of counting as our NYE celebration, at least in my book.

Sunday morning after cleaning the coop and paying the bills Cindy and I headed over to the school to ride some more.  Cindy wanted to do some more practice on the Mten3 and I just wanted to practice in general.  I brought three wheels along to do so.  We had a fun little session that Katie and Daniel dropped into at the end of.  It’s cool that Cindy is working at getting better at riding.

I had some mild urgency to get home to watch the final Eagles regular season game against the Cowboys.  The game was meaningless in the big picture since the Cowboys were out of the playoffs and the Eagles had their spot locked up.  Still it was Eagles/Cowboys….  Well the game was in a word, awful.  The Eagles sat many of their starters and it showed.  Even with back ups the Cowboys did not fare well with the game remaining scoreless into the fourth quarter.  The Cowboys wound up winning 6-0.  I am not sure how or why I even sat through the entire game.

After the game Cindy and I did a late run to Home Depot.  I wanted to get parts to make the electrical box under the sink useful.  The unterminated box was put there in case I ever wanted to add a garbage disposal to the sink.  Well I never did that but I recently got inspired to turn it into a regular power outlet.  The reason was so we could move the brand new Echo Show to the kitchen counter and supply power from under the sink.  Installing the outlet was a bit of a struggle as working on the back wall under a sink tends to be less than ideal.  In addition to supplying the power for the new location I also 3D printed a lazy susan for the Echo Show that allows us to spin the unit around as needed to see the screen.  The simple model uses airsoft BB’s to provide the rotation action.

Our NYE was tame as I preferred.  I played WoW and then during the last 20 minutes before the ball dropped I watched Ryan Seacrest freezing his ass off in NYC.  We celebrated by drinking some of the apple pie moonshine Cindy made last week.  I also drank my last Zima which I was saving in the fridge for months for the occasion.  Cindy was acting very silly from the couple drinks, it was entertaining.

Monday we “slept in” till 7AM or so.  After completing the chicken maintenance I asked Cindy if she was up to riding to Dunkin Donuts with me, meaning both of us on EUC’s.  She was not but actually countered with her possibly riding her road bike while I rode.  She has said for awhile she was interested in getting back on her bike to see how she feels to compare it with the spin classes she teaches several times a week. That sounded good to me.


Before we went Cindy wanted to redo the wrapping on her handlebars.  I bought her new tape to do so for Christmas but she had not gotten the chance to replace it yet.  I helped her a little bit, serving as an extra pair of hands during the process.  The new stuff is thicker and brighter than the boring and worn out black tape it replaced.

Early on in the ride Cindy was in the lead.  The steady headwind made her agreeable to me taking the wind breaking spot about three miles into the ride.  The air was a bit chilly but more and more comfortable as the ride progressed.  Overall Cindy did quite well despite not riding her bike in more than a year.  Hopefully we get to do more tandem riding in the future.

Monday afternoon I cranked out my second and third videos of the day.

The first video was me testing the strength of a new 3D printed EUC stand my buddy Mathias designed.  It uses a lot less plastic than the original design so I was worried it would not be strong enough to support my biggest wheels.  If you see the video you will see the new more stylish stand did indeed hold up to the 60 pound+ behemoth wheel.

I have had a replacement battery for my Iphone for a couple weeks but had not gotten around to installing it.  I had seen a couple videos on the swap process and of course they made it seem straight forward and simple.  Well of course, for me, it was not.  Getting the phone apart was not difficult however I was amazed at just how ridiculously tiny some of the screws were, they looked like little specks of metal sitting on the desk.

The real difficulty began when it came time to remove the old battery which is held on by two sided tape, extremely strong two sided tape.  The video I saw demonstrated using the attached tabs to pull out most of the adhesive strips to make battery removal easier.  In my case, the tape ripped almost immediately, leaving most of the adhesive locking the battery to the case.  To get the old battery out I had to use the heat gun to heat the adhesive and then use some ugly prying that left the original battery bent and mangled.

Installing the new battery itself wasn’t bad but I struggled mightily getting the rest of the phone together, specifically some of the micro connectors and the microscopic screws.  The screws were the biggest joke.  I lost two or three in the process and gave up trying to get a couple of them back in.  If you watch the video you should get a good sense of my frustration.  In the end I got the phone together and functional.  Hopefully the new battery will get me through to the point where I get a new phone.  It wasn’t an experience I am looking to repeat again anytime soon.

Monday evening was pretty chill with me WoWing again while Cindy did her thing.  Over the weekend she did a lot of playing around with her new Cameo and produced her first cut and drawn projects.  There is a lot for her to learn but once she does the things she can do are pretty endless. Today should be a huge day at the house package-wise there are no less than a half dozen items all slated to show up at the door.





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