I had a very full mental list going int the weekend. I once again started the weekend with a half hour rowing session as opposed to running. The rowing is harder from a strength perspective for sure although I don’t get my heart rate as elevated as when I am lumbering around the track. If you thought running around a track was boring, rowing is right up there with treadmill running as far as the challenges of exercising while staying in one place, it’s just not much fun.
On Saturday morning after doing my normal Saturday morning things, Elsa and I ran out to Rural King and Home Depot while Cindy was teaching a class. During the afternoon I started on the first of the two big projects for the weekend, replacing the rotted out border of the orchard. Ironically this project finally got done because of another rotting landscape feature, the old dog deck. I originally planned to fix the dog deck and bought four 8 foot 2×6’s to do so. However when I discovered how bad the rot was I scrapped that idea and the dog deck entirely.
So I now had the leftover 2×6’s which is what was used for the orchard border which was also rotting badly. It was probably three or four years overdue for replacement. To complete the border I also picked up four monster 12 footers that comprise the long sides of the space. Removing the old border was not quite as hellish as I thought it might be. Once I popped a couple corners up a lot of it just fell apart. The most challenging thing was getting the old decomposed screws out of the aluminum connectors which I reused. After maybe a steady hour of work the new border was in place thanks to some help from Cindy. It looks fresh and new, hopefully not needing another replacement until I reach retirement age.
Saturday night Cindy and I went out to see Shazam, a movie that I had minimal interest in seeing when it was first advertised. However after seeing more previews and hearing some good reviews I was much more looking forward to seeing it. Of course I knew of Shazam but I never read the comic books so I knew very little about the character. Cindy was not all that excited about seeing the movie either but was willing to go along with my feeling that she would like it.
Luckily the movie was actually quite entertaining and fun. Cindy who did indeed like the movie described it like a more family friendly Deadpool. 98% of the film is just happy and funny but there are just a couple really dark scenes thrown in there just to create some balance. The villain in the film is very good. It was an A- flick for me that has me pumped for the ultimate super hero movie of all time that comes out in a couple weeks, Avengers Endgame.
On Sunday morning Cindy and I went to the Greenway to ride. Cindy had not been there since the pathway connecting to Baker Park was reopened a couple weeks prior. When we were in the parking lot getting ready to ride a guy saw our devices and said he saw a couple other guys on the path on one wheel devices. When he said this I assumed he meant a One Wheel as I had seen two guys on the boards the last time I was there. Nope, he said they were like mine, pointing to my 18L. Damn, could it be? In the roughly three years I have been riding EUCs I have NEVER seen anyone else riding one locally outside of our small family.
So as we were riding on the boardwalk all of a sudden there it was, an older guy coming towards us on his wheel. We stopped immediately as he knew who I was from YouTube. His name was Bruce and I actually had corresponded with him a bit when he became interested in EUCs. I gave him some advice to get him going. Since then he has become a real enthusiast, riding on average 10 miles a day on his KingSong 16S. We told him we planned to ride into town and he asked if he could tag along, of course we accepted.
If it wasn’t funny enough to finally meet another EUC rider we came across a SECOND guy 10 minutes later. He was a surfer looking guy blaring tunes on the speakers of his Inmotion V10F. We only talked to him briefly as it seemed like he was on a schedule but it just added to the unlikelihood of the day. Bruce had said that he was considering a KingSong 18XL as his next wheel, which mine basically is after the battery upgrade. I told him to ride mine to try it out. He hopped on while I got on his 16S. He was immediately impressed with the way the wheel felt. The bigger tire, shell and added weight makes the 18L very smooth and comfortable.
We had a great time riding around with him. Bruce even bought us a coffee slushie at a downtown shop. He is going to be 66 years old soon and is still out there riding around, it gives me hope for the future. Bruce is actually a snowbird that spends his summers in northern Virginia. He is a retired lawyer. The place he is staying was in the city, so we eventually went opposite directions but it was great to finally meet up with another EUC enthusiast. The fact that he knew me ahead of time made it more fun. I have some good video from the ride that I haven’t had a chance to edit yet.
Most of the rest of the weekend was spent out in the chicken area constructing my solar power set up, something I was very back and forth on for execution plans. I considered the pros and cons of multiple solutions but wound up going with my original idea of building the frame and attaching it to the corner of the chicken fence to give it a lot of strength and stability. As always the details of the construction morphed as I went along but I am very happy with the end result.
One of the negatives of this location was I had to bury the solar cables to get them to the coop. Hopefully that doesn’t cause issues down the road. By the time I was finished it was late in the day and overcast so the max power I saw coming into my Yeti 1000 was only 50-60 watts but I am hoping in full sun to get much more. The hope is that I can both run the coop electric and completely charge the battery in the Yeti during the day and then keep stuff running at night via the AC inverter in the box.
When I did a test of the power draw of those devices with my Kill-a-Watt before getting the Yeti it showed a draw of roughly 65 watts. For some reason when I hooked the load directly to the Yeti it was showing a draw of around 95 watts. I’m not sure why there is a discrepancy but the end result may be that I won’t be able to run everything in this manner. Worst case I have something like the big floor fan running off normal power but we will see how it works out.
I was exhausted from working outside all afternoon. I didn’t come back inside until after 6PM. After dinner and a shower it was time for another Live Stream. I knew this was going to a bit weird due to my week old Bell’s Palsy. I decided to wear sunglasses for the stream so my always open right eye didn’t look to disturbing/distracting. Even with the shades the was no hiding the droop in my mouth which is clearly evident when speaking, especially for two hours. All in all the stream went well.
After the stream I checked my phone and saw a message from my dad letting us know my sister Meghan finally had her baby which was a few days overdue. The little girl’s name is Kennedy Grace and appears to be absolutely perfect. Kennedy now brings my niece/nephew count up to five. A big congrats to Meg and Paul, they seem to have a fantastic little family unit going on.