I had Friday off and I went into it hoping to get all of my intended chores knocked out ahead of the official weekend. I did the chicken work, weeded, weed whacked and mowed which consumed a large portion of the day. We also went and picked up Sadie to visit for the weekend which Elsa was absolutely thrilled with. I also spent some time cleaning up my workbench which was getting very cluttered. It’s amazing how much better you feel when shit is nice and tidy.
Later in the day I was out in the coop, intending to fix my existing WeMo smart switch out there as well as use another one to control the coop door movement. So part of reconfiguring the switches is to connect to the wifi network I have out in the coop. I looked at my phone and saw that the coop wifi was not showing up. I looked at the router on the shelf and see no lights. WTF.
So I immediately suspected the mouse was to blame as it has already destroyed all the wires for the dvr cameras. Sure enough as I traced the power cord I came to a damaged portion that was chewed on. I was pissed.
Earlier I had just gotten done installing a huge plastic nut and bolt I 3D printed to plug up the hole the DVR wires used to come in. I had it plugged with a big cleaning rag and the mouse managed to chew it up and destroy it as well. So I had to run out and buy another wifi router. I mounted the new one on the wall, hoping it will be a less accessible target.
Later in the weekend I discovered more mouse damage. It chewed out a big area next to the bolt and I found an area down low on the other side of the coop it was chewing on as well. I got some expanding foam to fill the new damage but this was out of control. So you can imagine my mood when I checked the interior coop cam on Saturday night and saw the little bastard running around. I dropped everything and headed right out there.
So I closed the coop door behind me. My intent was to capture but not kill the mouse (palm rat). Well I spent a good 15 minutes chasing this thing all around the coop. I did not have anything good to catch him with so I was trying to use an empty chicken feeder, trying to get him trapped inside of it. The effort was futile and it eventually scurried out a crack in the door. However I did at least learn where all of his hiding places inside the coop are.
The main problem is the mouse getting trapped inside the coop once the automatic door closes. Once that happens he spends the entire night chewing on whatever he can to try to get out. So one part of the solution will be me doing a full sweep of the coop when I put the chickens to bed, making sure no rodents are camped out before I close the door. The other remedy is trapping/removing the animals.
It would be very easy to put down glue pads or some other lethal device to take out the palm rats. However, despite the damage and hassle they have caused us, I am hard wired to not want to harm another creature unless it causes physical harm to me (ie mosquitoes, fire ants). I purchased two more of the live traps. I successfully caught three of the mice so far but the mechanism on the existing trap seems to be screwed up now. I also bought one of those ultrasonic pest repellents that I have hooked up in the coop. It’s frequency is supposed to be very unpleasant to rats/mice so hopefully that will be another reason for them to look elsewhere to homestead. This is a battle that has been going on for months but I still think I can win the war.
Saturday my main project happened once the rain started during the afternoon, installing a dash cam/mirror combo in the Prius. There have been tons of times that something happened on the road where I wished I had a dash cam. Last week I decided to finally grab one that incorporated a dash cam into the mirror. The unit straps onto your existing rear view mirror for easy installation.
The unit includes a rear view camera. The Prius already has a back up cam but I decided to install the second camera so I could record my rear view as well. The most challenging part of the install was finding a way to mount the rear camera and run the wires up to the head unit. I had to drill a hole to make it happen but it is in an inconspicuous spot. The unit seems to work well and has a large 7 inch touch screen incorporated into it. The only annoyance was the mirror in the Prius was already on the loose side, strapping the dash cam on top only amplified the problem. I bought a generic mirror later in the weekend which is better, but still not as stable as I would prefer.
I was surprised when this video generated a very angry comment from a viewer. He was apparently very angry at all Prius owners although I am not sure why he would actively seek out a Prius video if that is the case. I responded as I normally do to ridiculous comments, I thanked him and encouraged him to like and subscribe. I am all but certain this guy has Trump bumper stickers adorning his vehicle.
Saturday night Cindy and I watched Dunkirk, a movie Cindy had wanted to see for awhile. I am far from a World War 2 buff but I never heard of the Dunkirk scenario in France. All you ever hear about is the Battle of Normandy. Assuming the depictions in the film were historically accurate, it seemed like just a nightmare scenario. It just amazes me that despite the repeated lessons of horror and depravity that war teaches us, we continue to engage in it and even seek it out, in many cases to simply fuel the military industry that demands it. Anyway, it was a good A- movie and a somber reminder of how awful war is and the bravery of those that have to engage in it.
Sunday morning the rain had stopped, leaving behind a decent day. It felt odd waking up after the time change at nearly 8AM. I had originally intended to try to resume my running this weekend but decided to give myself one more week of recovery. I still have subpar energy/endurance and coughing and blowing nose fits are still a thing.
I got out on my Mten3 in the morning, doing the ride to Dunkin Donuts on the tiny 10 inch wheel, something I had talked about doing for awhile. It was a lot more challenging than doing the same route with the Msuper or Monster, which are both much bigger and more stable EUC’s. The small form factor of the Mten which makes it so adept at tight turns and riding backwards can also make it a bit shaky at higher speeds. Two weeks ago Katie found that out herself when she developed a high speed wobble on hers that caused her to crash. I kept my speed down, somewhere close to 15mph, about 5mph slower than I would travel on my bigger wheels. I had Cindy meet me there with the dogs so we could go run errands afterward.
Late in the afternoon I went out solo on the big i2 Segway, taking it out onto the roads for the first time. I rode it to the school and back, a round trip of about 7 miles. The 12.5 mph top speed was something I ran into quite often but as the ride progressed I got better at cruising just under that limit to decrease the tilt back. You really feel like you are wheeling around on a two wheeled tank. It makes a lot of noise so you don’t have to worry about unexpectedly sneaking up on someone, they will definitely hear you coming. I am hoping next weekend Cindy and I can do a tandem ride with her on the i2 and me on one of the EUCs.
I am hoping this upcoming week marks the end of illness for both Cindy and I. It just isn’t fun.
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