Category: 3D Printing

Some weekends you just get shit done, this was one of those weekends.  A good majority of the day Saturday was consumed trying to make the water logged and ratty looking yard look half decent.  Cindy got on the tractor and mowed the non-mucky areas for me.  I was on the weed whacker forever.  Not only did I do the normal tasks but also used the whacker as a hand held brush hog more or less, walking through the back of the chicken yard and knocking down the 1-2 foot grass in a large open area.  It sucked.  The end result was the yard looking decent outside of the black mud trails from the tractor in the low lying spots.

After jumping in the pool to cool down and remove a layer of grime I turned my attention to the AC air handler.  I had a second UV light kit to install.  I was putting it where the original light was, in the supply side of the duct, right above the air handler.  As I mentioned previously, this is where my old AC contractor put the bulb which is not ideal if you only have one light.  The best spot is inside the air handler, shining directly on the coils and drip pan where shit is most likely to form.  However adding a second light up top gets the other side of the air handler giving the entire unit a UV bath.

Installing the kit was pretty straight forward since I just helped Daniel relocate the other light the week prior.  All I had to do was connect the ballast to the transformer and stick the light into the existing hole.  I did drill a second hole in the duct and inserted a view plug, making it easy to tell if the light is still working or not.  All in all I spent maybe a half hour putting the other light in.

On Saturday I also received the 16X demo wheel for testing.  When I pulled the EUC out of the box I immediately noticed the tire was flat, weird.  Even weirder was when I looked for the valve to add air there was none, just a hole in the rim where it is supposed to be.

Evidently while the unit was in NYC for two months KingSong sent a different tire to be put on.  When one of the guys up there tried to swap it he wound up puncturing the inner tube.  Instead of putting a new tube in he was told to just ship the wheel to me and that I would take care of it.  This was very interesting since none of this was communicated to me by anyone.  I immediately sent an email to the owner of Ewheels asking what the deal was and if he planned to ship an inner tube to me.  Sure I have the ability to change a tube on the 16X but I just thought it was bizarre that I would be tasked with the job without asking first.

I still have not heard anything back from Ewheels so I just laid out my own money for a new tube which should be here mid-week.  I then get to pull the wheel apart, change the tube, and THEN hopefully get around to the business of testing it out.  I’m still scratching my head over the situation and lack of communication.

Saturday night we watched Vice, the movie depicting the rise to power of the puppet master and scum of the Earth, Dick Cheyney.  It was fascinating that Christian Bale played this role, the combo of his real life weight gain and incredible make up work transformed him into a very believable version of the most diabolical VP in history.  I learned a lot of back story on Cheyney that I did not know before and despite me despising the man, the movie was B+.  The way the story was told and who was telling it was very unique, which you will understand if you see the film.

Sunday morning I wound up doing a solo ride as Cindy was in the queue to do her first census road work.    I opted to take the Pint out to Ave Maria to ride, a perfect place for low speed and scenic cruising.  I had a great time putting over 7 miles on the board.  I love the One Wheel Pint, a lot.

Cindy did get census assignments in our local area.  She thought it would be efficient and easy to use our PEVs to do the work.  She first did a few on the Minipro which was convenient to hop on and off of but too slow with only an 11mph top speed.  She came back and instead got on the Dualtron which can go 30mph plus.

The extra speed was nice but the big scooter was not as easy to jump on and off of.  However the bigger problem was the heat with temps in the low 90s.  Cindy was burning up.  She eventually came back and got her car which I think will be the way to go from now on.  Not only will it give her cool AC to retreat to, it also will allow her to charge her Census laptop on the go which appears to not have fantastic battery life.

So a good chunk of my weekend and a couple hours Thursday and Friday night had been spent working on assembling the Prusa MK3S 3D printer kit.  This is a TRUE printer kit where you get a box full of a couple hundred parts and you put EVERYTHING together yourself.  I once did another printer kit but it was not nearly as involved or as granular as this kit is.

The good news is that Prusa includes what may be the most detailed and well written assembly manual of anything I have ever seen. It is simply amazing.  Equally amazing is the part organization and labeling, each step of the process has it’s own parts bag.  On the bag is a picture illustrating each part with accurate size depictions so you make sure you are using the correct size bolt or nut.  When I glanced at the instructions at first the task seemed daunting, if not almost impossible based on my past history with very complex, tedious, tasks.  But I had no choice, it had to get done.

On Friday night Cindy jumped in and helped me get the X and Y axis built.  The stuff after that was really only a one person job so I trudged through the remainder solo.  Despite the complexity, I tried to just focus on whatever the task was at hand.  Thanks to the great instructions with pictures I kept making steady progress.  I finally fired up the printer a little after 9 PM last night.  After going through the set up routine I embarked on my first print which actually failed about halfway in but I think that could have been avoided with different settings.

I awoke at 4:30 AM this morning.  As soon as I did I thought about how I could get more shit done like relocating the printer which was sitting on a foldable table in front of my desk, starting another print, and editing the video of the process.  I actually got it all done, including a sweet two color bottle opener print before heading to work.

Being productive feels good, real good.

 

So my Bell’s Palsy symptoms are definitely improving.  I am able to smile somewhat and I think my right eye actually is starting to partially blink.  I am on my last day of steroids so I hope the improvement continues.  I feel very fortunate that I am seeing a reversal now instead of months down the road.

Yesterday we had a good full day of sun.  When I got home the batteries on the Yeti were almost charged.  I really wish I had the wifi enabled version that allows me to see what’s going on real time.  Instead I have to use Cindy as my remote monitoring system, asking her to look at the box during the day.  This weekend I have to do some cleaning up of the wires and I should also be able to get a good sense of what sort of numbers the panels are pulling in during peak sun time.

While I was out in the chicken run last night doing my chores and checking on the solar I had to once again chase Daelin around as he was sexually assaulting various hens.  Yes I know it is expected of roosters but I just can’t allow it to happen when I am there.  The hens cry out in pain as he pins them down and then grabs their neck, often coming out with a mouth full of feathers.  So repeatedly I was scaring him away.  He also got a few blasts of the hose.  I think he is starting to understand that I don’t want that going on when I am around.  All I have to do is take a few steps towards him in a menacing fashion and he heads the other way.

Last night I finally got my AnyCubic Chiron working again.  It has been down for almost two months due to another set of wires failing due to fatigue, something that should not happen nearly this quick.  The replacement of the wire had it’s normal hiccups.  At one point I was struggling to figure out how to get the new wire into the old cable chain.  I started popping the chain apart link by link when Cindy realized there was a small tab on each section that could be popped open to allow easy access.  It felt good when the printer finally fired back up and started printing once again.  I had to wipe the dust off the build plate.

 

 

So I have been printing my largest and most detailed model ever all week. It’s a massive castle with incredible amounts of detail that has already consumed one complete 1KG roll of filament and is chewing through another.  Last night I had to do the filament swap which I was nervous about.  I tried printing this model the first time last weekend.  When I tried to swap filament that time I messed up the print head position which made it impossible for me to resume.  Luckily this time I got it changed without incident. Cindy is very much looking forward to getting the opportunity to paint this massive model which will be a huge project in itself.  Depending on how much detail she does, this thing could be a genuine piece of art by the time it is complete.

Cindy and I have been watching Leaving Neverland, the HBO documentary about Michael Jackson and his pedophile tendencies.  If you ever had any doubt that Jackson was a habitual child molester, those doubts will vanish after watching this two part series.  It’s just another example of how these famous people are propped up and insulated by money, buying silence and cooperation to keep the curtain of deception intact.  Our president is another unfortunate example of the same practices, thankfully I don’t think he has any pedophilia hiding in his massive, gold plated closet of secrets.

So I believe I made mention of Luke Perry’s death a couple weeks ago.  The former 90210 actor died after complications of a massive stroke.  He was only 52 years old, less than a year ahead of me.  Anyone that has read this blog for a long time knows my hang ups about aging and death, I just don’t want to deal or think about either.  When my mom died at the relatively early age of 67 we had to work through the process of handling her estate which was tough since mom never gave me power of attorney, something she talked about doing for a few years but never happened.

Mom’s death gave me the push to do some estate planning, sort of.  I bought Quicken Will Maker maybe a year after she died.  I then waited another year or more until I actually installed the software and generated a will, power of attorney, living will, and health care advocate documents.  Then another year has passed but yesterday, partially thanks to Luke Perry, I actually signed and got these documents notarized so they are official.  I scanned and sent copies off to all parties mentioned, hopefully never having to be used.

I don’t just have Luke to thank for taking this final step.  My ongoing health issues that started last summer have made me think more about the need for this to get done.  If I join the ranks of the “drop dead out of nowhere” club, I certainly want to make sure that my affairs are in order.  I still don’t feel normal and that concerns me.  It concerns me enough that I am arranging to revisit the med clinic after my second chest CT next week to look more into the calcification on a coronary artery that was mentioned during the first scan. For some reason this was viewed as a minor finding, which I don’t get.  The way I feel when doing higher exertion activities, where my energy level seems to plummet feels like a symptom of a possible partial blockage somewhere.  I am going to push for whatever testing there is to try to figure it out.

This weekend I have plenty to keep me busy.  It will be the calm before the storm of next weekend which is Katie’s baby shower.  The amount of planning and prep Cindy has put into this is nothing short of staggering.

 

 

 

So I decided to skip running Friday night.  My lower right side/back had been sore all week, I figured trying to pile 13 laps on top would only worsen/lengthen the pain.  We did wind up getting our exercise in a different way, we rearranged the office.  This idea came about simply from a few cool lights, specifically the lights on my new PC.

The RGB lights on the front and inside the case change color based on GPU/CPU activity levels.  In the normal spot where I have kept my PC’s for the last 10+ years, that activity is basically hidden since the unit is in a “cubby” in the desk down at floor level.  I got the idea in my head that I would like to be able to see the guts of my new PC at work.  That idea lead to a couple hours of chain reaction reorganizing after dinner Friday night.

So the base of my plan was to take my shelf/stand that I made in woodshop class 30+ years ago and stick on the right side of my desk.  It would serve as my new CPU stand plus the shelving underneath would be useful to store items that were just piled up elsewhere.  For the stand to fit we had to move my big but shitty desk over six or seven inches.  The process damaged the already damaged desk a little bit more but it survived.

As I said, this seemingly minor change lead to a lot more changing.  We moved things around on Cindy’s side as well, allowing her more practical use of the space around her.  The process also had some casualties, like my old color laser printer that was not really used.  That got curbed and was picked up by somebody within an hour. A lot of things were tossed as well.  It was tedious work that kicked up a lot of dust.  Cindy and I are both very pleased with the results.  I had not significantly changed my desk configuration for many years.  It felt good to switch things up. What was funny was Cindy had already spent a good portion of the day switching up other areas in the house.  I came home to different layouts in both the master and guest bedroom.

On Saturday I kept myself pretty busy with a number of small projects.  I found myself being quite annoyed that I found myself sweating while tending to them in the morning.  It’s been stupid hot lately considering the time of year.  When I woke up on Saturday the thermometer already read 72 degrees, which is what you would expect in June, not February.  The highs both days reached into the upper 80’s with high humidity.

I did shoot a video showing off some of the convenience features of the Ultron Ultra Saturday afternoon.  Despite it’s lower cost, it has some quality of life things that the much pricier Dualtron scooter does not.

Saturday night we watched Hostiles, a western with Christian Bale.  Cindy and I rarely watch Westerns so it was a change of pace.  It was a very well done film but damn it was depressing.  Don’t expect to come away from it with pep in your step. It was B+ stuff for me.

On Sunday I got out on a pretty long solo ride at the Greenway.  I took what I consider my two most fun PEVs, the Mten 3 and the One Wheel. Outside of the once again stupid hot temperatures, I had a great ride.

Sunday afternoon with some trepidation I decided to tackle replacing the back two tires on my Backfire Ranger.  My hesitancy was due to the massive struggle I had replacing the front two tires last weekend.  However the prospect of silencing the maddening flat spot tire noise was too tempting, so I dug into it.  Although I still struggled, the duration and intensity of the struggle was definitely less thanks to using some different tactics suggested to me by others.  In total I may have spent 30-45 minutes on the swap.  After completing the work I headed outside to test the results.  It did not take me long to realize the noise was gone.  It no longer sounded like I had a flat tire, instead I just heard rubber on the road, like a normal tire.  I was happy my struggle eventually resulted in success.

Sunday night I had my 18th PEV livestream.  Cindy helped me set up the green screen to enable the Chromakey effect.  The stream went fine although I didn’t have tons to talk about on my agenda.  I still managed to fill almost an hour and 45 minutes of time from interacting with the livestream chat audience.  The real time viewership has been lower the last couple shows.  I don’t think we crossed 20 simultaneous viewers last night which is a bit disappointing. I do more or less enjoy doing the streams but it would certainly be nice to steadily increase viewership instead of having it flat line or slightly decline over time.

I had another all weekend print going.  It’s another island/tower design that I am sure Cindy will do an amazing job with finishing it up.

I have not been getting enough quality sleep lately, it wears me down…

 

 

Friday after work I again hit the track to put in my 13 laps of unfun.  The first two to three laps are especially miserable and the time that the urge to just get back in the car is the strongest.  My knees, lower back and hip all feel pretty lousy until I get warmed up.  According to the Apple Watch I once again failed to break the 10 minute mile pace although I think the watch may be a little conservative based on the total time it took.  Regardless, I completed the run and I will continue to try to do so, regardless of how much it sucks.

When we went to Home Depot on Saturday I loaded up the truck with 10 bags of top soil, four cinder blocks, and twenty pieces of sod.  My goal was to raise the ground in the chicken area underneath the freshly covered playground.  I have raised the ground level between the coop and the playground but the ground under the shelter is still low and would turn into a pond during wet season.  My original plan was to sit the support posts on the cinder blocks to raise the frame and then fill inside with the dirt and sod.

When I went to lift up the frame I forgot just how haphazard my construction of the frame was.  At the time I literally just threw a bunch of scrap lumber and fence posts together to make the structure.  The end result was the support posts were different lengths meaning putting them on blocks wouldn’t work.  What I wound up doing instead was lifting each corner out of the ground and then backfilling the hole to raise the height.  It accomplished the same goal although it was pretty strenuous work.  With the addition of the roof to the frame, it has become quite heavy.

To fill in the inside of the frame I lifted up the roof on it’s hinge and propped it that way with an old fence post.  I then carefully lugged in the bags of top soil and spread them around.  I had to be very careful to not bump the roof otherwise it would have become a very dangerous oversized mouse trap that would have crashed on top of me.  I then carefully placed the sod on top of the fresh dirt to lock it all together.  When I was done I had achieved elevation on par with the rest of the high ground.  I’m hoping the end result is the hens will still be able to hang under there during rainy season staying dry on their own little island.

On Sunday I decided to take the 18L on the same route that I ran out of power on the Ultron the prior weekend.  I wanted to do a max range test on the wheel, something I never tried before on the KingSong.  The 18L only has a 1000wh battery so I knew asking it to go 30 miles was iffy.  On the way out I was in a constant, battery depleting headwind.  Since the road is straight as an arrow there is absolutely no relief.  When I arrived in town the battery level on the wheel was showing around 47%.  So despite this I still thought I would be able to make it home because that nasty headwind would become a range extending tailwind on the way back.

I turned out to be a little too optimistic.  I had to call Cindy to come pick me up less than a mile from home when the battery was showing 3% and the wheel was constantly warning me to slow down and charge it.  Still, getting almost 30 miles out of the 18L was a decent showing and it was a great day to ride.  For the trip I wore my latest piece of safety equipment, a highly visible and reflective safety vest.  Wearing the vest eliminates somone from saying they didn’t see me, it’s impossible to miss a 6 foot 3 human reflector.

Sunday night I had my first live stream in three weeks.  I tried something different this time, utilizing a green screen to project myself in front of videos that were playing in the background.  It’s a similar set up that most Twitch streamers use.  We tested it during the day and it looked pretty good.  Unfortunately we discovered that to use it at night requires strong lighting which we hastily tried to throw together.  We also didn’t have the screen as tight as it needs to be to produce optimal results but it was acceptable.  We will keep tweaking it as people seemed to like the combo.

Speaking of green, check out this Hulk print that Cindy painted, pretty cool.

 

Friday after work, despite walking with a bit of a limp earlier in the day due to soreness, I drug myself over to the track to get a run in.  As expected it was an unpleasant experience that was as much a mental test as a physical one.  I once again endured the 13 laps at a snail-like 10 minute mile pace.

On Saturday after completing all of my chores in the morning Cindy suggested we take both scooters to Culvers for lunch.  I have not had a chance to give the new Ultron Ultra a substantial road test since receiving it more than a week prior.  The weather this weekend was drastically better than the prior with sun and temps around 80.  Culvers is about 9 miles away.

So early on the ride was going fine albeit a few annoyances.  The cruise control function on the Ultra does not seem to work.  I have the feature enabled according to the directions I was given but the feature never engages, regardless of how long you hold the throttle at a steady speed.  It isn’t a huge negative for me but it would make riding the scooter for Cindy a negative for any appreciable distance.  The lack of a seat is a bit of a bummer too.  Well it doesn’t lack a seat, it has one that I removed because with the design of the seat mount it almost cuts the foot plate area in half, which would make it very tough for me to still be able to stand on it with my big feet. So outside of those two things the ride was going well.  The one thing I was scratching my head about, that even once we arrived at Culvers, the battery indicator on the Ultron was still showing full.  Wow, it must get incredible range, I guess….

After enjoying our lunch we pushed back for home.  Cindy told me to get in front so she could get some footage of me on her GoPro.  I did as she said and took off.  As I was cruising along maybe a minute later I saw a Mustang go by me.  They beeped their horn a few times and the driver had his hand out the window.  I wasn’t sure if he was waving to me or giving me the finger.  Well when I turned around to see where Cindy was it made sense.  He was pointing, telling me that Cindy was left behind.

When I turned she was nowhere in sight.  At first I was worried that she wiped out somehow.  I got on the sidewalk and hauled ass back her direction.  As I got closer I saw the her and the Dualtron were on the sidewalk which was a relief.  When I got to her she directed me to the rear tire of the Dualtron which had a long wood screw embedded into the sidewall of the tire.  How it would have wound up there is strange act of physics but it obviously punctured the tube, disabling the scooter.

So I told Cindy she could take the Ultron back to the house and get the truck but she wanted me to go.  She didn’t like the idea of no cruise control and no seat.  So off I went at high speed.  I did notice that the Ultron STILL showed full battery charge.  At this point it seemed insane to show full charge and I started to question the accuracy of the display.

I did my best to haul ass, cruising at close to 30 mph for awhile.  When I was about three miles from the house I was in dual motor mode for max speed.  I felt a couple weird cuts in power so I slowed down a bit and switched to single motor mode which felt fine.  However about a mile later that started feeling odd too as I was losing speed.  About 3/4 mile from the house the scooter shut down completely.  I was dumbfounded and angry.  It was still showing full battery shortly before cutting out, WTF?  Running out of power was frustrating enough but when coupled with knowing Cindy was waiting for me to pick her up made it even worse.  I pushed the 80 pound scooter as fast as I could back to the house.

So when I finally got back to the house I jumped in the Tacoma to get Cindy.  She said she was wondering what was taking so long.  She couldn’t believe it when I told her the Ultron died and I had to push it.  It was a day of bad luck, first a flat and then a power loss.  I never have had to push a PEV that far since I got into the hobby.

Later that evening I dug around a bit in the configuration settings.  I found one that indicated the normal battery voltage, the options are 36V, 48V or 60V.  It was set to 36V.  Well that explains why the meter showed full, the battery pack is 60V, which would never reach 36V even when discharged.  When I set it correctly the battery meter finally updated.  After leaving the scooter on the charger overnight it finally was showing a true full charge.

I also took apart the back wheel on the Dualtron.  Luckily changing the tube on a scooter is a lot easier than on an EUC.  I have a new tube arriving today.

Saturday night we watched “A Quiet Place”.  It’s sort of like Bird Box but instead of not being able to look at anything you aren’t able to make any noise.  The world has been taken over by horrific monsters that are blind but have acute hearing.  If you make any sound they attack almost instantly.  Cindy was scared shitless during a lot of it.  It didn’t bother me as much.  It was cool to see a scare genre film again.  I’d give it a B rating.

Sunday after running some errands in the morning, I wanted to get back on the Ultron to do a proper long ride, now that I had a full charge.  Cindy had some shopping to do so I pushed off solo to Ave Maria, a ride Cindy has done on the Dualtron easily.  Since the Ultron has an even bigger battery I assumed it would be equally easy to cover the roughly 30 miles of road.

During the trip out I was carrying a lot of speed, rolling along at 30mph+ most of the time.  I was not conservative in my speed at all as I figured I had plenty of battery life to spare.  When I got to Ave Maria the battery indicator showed I had three bars out of five remaining.  I figured I should still be fine but I made a conscious decision to go slower on the return trip, just to be safe.

Well as soon as I turned back onto Oil Well Road and immediately felt a strong headwind I knew I could be in trouble.  I maintained around 20 mph until I stopped with about six miles to go to check my battery level.  When I saw only one bar was left I was not happy.  I immediately switched to ECO mode which uses less power and drops your top speed significantly, I could only go roughly 13MPH in this setting with the battery power I had left.

Well even in slow mode my speed kept decreasing.  I finally got off and started pushing when I dropped to less than 10 mph.  Unfortunately I still had three miles remaining.  I let Cindy know, who was still shopping at the time, that I was not going to make it home.  I started pushing it, with a couple very brief attempts to resume riding but the battery just had no power left.

As I walked along I analyzed why my range was so much less than I expected, despite the Ultron having a bigger battery than the Dualtron.  I started running numbers and realized that this outcome should not have been quite as surprising.  The motors on the Ultron are rated at twice the power of the Dualtron (1600W vs 800W) so logic would dictate that they consume power at a higher rate, especially when I was carrying such high speed during the first half of the ride.  Even with that revelation, I still felt disappointed in the range result, a feeling that grew with each mile that I pushed the heavy scooter.

Cindy picked me up when I had about a mile to go.  I was overheated and tired at that point so I was happy for the relief.  If you watch the video you will get a pretty good sense of the ups and downs from the ride.  For the money, I still think the Ultron is a decent value.  I just need to be more speed sensitive if I intend to take it on longer rides in the future.

I had two big 3D printing projects going this weekend, a big cactus and a Hulk print that turned out really cool.  I can’t wait to see how they look once Cindy is done painting them.  She spent a lot of time on Sunday working on the lighthouse island print which is very detailed.

Of course we watched the Super Bowl last night.  The outcome of the game was what I expected although I did not expect it to be the lowest scoring game in Super Bowl history.  The Patriots defense played extremely well.  I would not say the defensive struggle translated into a very exciting game to watch.

I thought the halftime show with Maroon 5 was very forgettable.  Awkwardly jamming that rap guy that I never heard of and that I couldn’t understand into the performance just made it less enjoyable.  I also didn’t see a ton of standout commercials.  I think my favorite was the NFL commercial that had all of the old players reenacting their glory days as they destroyed a wedding reception. Despite my dislike of the Patriots I can’t help but respect what they have achieved.  The level of success and longevity that Belichick and Brady has engineered is something that I am unlikely to see repeated in my lifetime.

 

 

 

As I have mentioned multiple times I have really been liking my new CR10S Pro printer.  I liked it so much that I have been printing a very cool and large three day model of a lighthouse on an island.  The prints completed and seemed great, at first.  I then happened to turn the building to the side and saw an odd looking deformity called a layer shift in 3D printing lingo.  Basically something causes the print to misalign and then anything after that prints on that skewed plane.

The building had the most obvious defects but the huge island print that took two days had some shifting as well.  I was bummed out.  I turned to the CR10 user group on Facebook, posting pictures of my deformed print.  I got a number of suggestions which I tried when I got home.

I think the issue was something I may have actually created.  When I got the printer I tightened the nuts that apply pressure to the rails that the hot bed wheels roll on.  I did it to ensure there was no wobble in the bed.  Well if you tighten them too far it can actually cause resistance with bed movement which is not good.  When I tested it last night the bed did feel tougher to move than it should so I backed the nuts off maybe a quarter turn.  After doing so the movement felt better.

I was pretty confident that was my issue so I queued up another print and let it run overnight. This morning I awoke to a totally clean and straight print which brought a smile to my face.  Like I said the huge island print isn’t bad enough that a reprint is needed.  Even the wavy building isn’t so bad that it couldn’t be used/displayed.  The wobble gives it a unique charm.  I was glad to be able to sort out the issue quickly, after fighting with my Chiron over the last few weeks I don’t need any new 3D printer problems to troubleshoot right now.

This morning as the sun rose Cindy looked out back and saw both doors to the coop open.  She asked me if I went out and opened them.  I said no as she was running out the door to check on the birds.  Luckily nothing bad happened. I somehow must have done a poor job securing the doors the night before, allowing them to pop open.  I will be more meticulous in my checks from now on.

I heard some surprising but exciting news last night.  Yesterday was my step mom’s birthday.  Cindy had called her and during the call she found out that they sold their house in western PA, something that I thought might take much longer to accomplish.  If all goes as planned the closing is in April meaning there obviously is a shit ton of work to be done before that happens.

I am not sure of all of the specifics as far as how their new living arrangements will shake out, they have not bought anything else.  I think in the big picture this is a really good thing.  I know my dad likes having a lot of land, all of the animals, and the peace and solitude it can provide.  However the reality is he is not a young man and that property is basically a full time job just to maintain.  I am hoping whatever their new arrangement is that it offers more balance where time can be enjoyed instead of consumed by endless tasks.

This weekend we are supposed to have good weather which means I will finally be able to get out on the road and do some serious testing with the Ultron Ultra.  A lot of people that watch my channel are interested in seeing if the Ultron, despite being almost half the cost of an equivalent Dualtron, still offers solid hardware.  Time will tell.

As I mentioned before, we aren’t doing a Super Bowl party this year for no particular reason.  I did however make a Super Bowl food request of Cindy, Pigs in a Blanket.  For those unfamiliar with the item, you take cut up pieces of hot dog and wrap them inside crescent roll dough.  It’s an odd food request but something I always have had an affinity for.  Of course we will be using veggie dogs. 😉

 

 

 

Last night my primary project was replacing the massive hotbed on my AnyCubic Chiron.  The four month old printer already had one of the power wires for the bed fail due to wear which is disconcerting.  Anyway I worked my way through the process which was not technically difficult, just slightly time consuming.  I got it all back together and my massive leveling test print completed successfully.  The video I produce of this process will be comedic as it will include my original attempt to splice in wire to fix the problem, which was an epic failure.

This morning I had my annual dermatologist appointment.  I showed off my battle wounds from my faceplant several weeks ago which he was impressed with.  I also have a permanent odd spot in the middle of my back from where the barbell sits when I do squats.  He did scrape a section of skin on my forehead that has been problematic off and on for awhile to see if it’s basal cell skin cancer.  I have had so much skin cancer cut out at this point it is a total non-event if I am told I need to go under the knife again.

The other day I was thinking just how comfortable my life has become over time.  Of course there have been many challenges in the last decade but overall I am lucky to be able to go day to day living in a place most people would like to be with stable employment that affords me the ability to do most things I want in life without massive struggle.  Unlike a lot of people I know, I don’t feel the need to get that bigger/fancier house, pursue a higher paying job, or do anything significantly different than what I am currently doing.  That could be a good or a bad thing depending on the situation.  I think I have definitely put the sweat and effort equity into getting where I am today but I don’t feel like I have much more I need to be pushing towards.

 

Yesterday my new 3D printer arrived, the CR-10S Pro.  This model is the latest and greatest iteration on the CR-10 that I just gave away to my co-worker.  I had a few hiccups putting the printer together including one part not being attached at all.  Luckily I had some spare screws to get it secured.

This printer basically has all of the upgrades that hobbyists have been doing to the CR-10 for years to make it better.  The first thing I noticed once I turned it on was how amazingly quiet the printer is, even when printing.  It is by far the quietest printer I own.  I love the new graphical touchpad interface instead of the archaic knob and low res LCD menus the old printers have.

The control box is now integrated into the frame of the unit instead of being an additional box that sits awkwardly to the side, taking up less desk space.  The heated bed now gets to temperature in about 25% of the time it used to take before thanks to the upgraded 24V power supply.  The filament detector and extruder are massively improved using all metal components instead of plastic.  It really seems like a great printer.  I am looking forward to digging into it more this weekend.

I have my next PEV arriving today, giving me even more things to play with over the weekend.  I have not publicly announced what it is yet but it should make for some fun tandem rides with Cindy.  Unfortunately I have to work late this evening so I will be lucky to have time to just yank the new toy out of the box.

This weekend I don’t have any major projects on the docket outside of normal maintenance.  I am hoping I have ample time to dig into my latest tech/PEV additions in earnest.

You may recall last week I was pleasantly surprised when I thought that Apple sent me a replacement watch instead of sending back the problematic one I sent in.  The email I got from them said no problem was found.  So the watch has been working fine since last Wednesday but after the gym yesterday the phantom shaking/scrolling had returned.  It got progressively worse throughout the day.  When I checked the serial number of this watch I realized they did actually send me back the exact same watch, they just put it in a nice box and wrapped it in plastic….

So of course I was annoyed.  I called this morning and spent roughly 45 minutes on the phone arranging for a second repair.  This time I have the direct number of a supervisor I can talk to if it is not handled better this time around.  He took detailed info of the symptoms.  As I was on the phone I realized another twist, when the watch is off my wrist it is not as jumpy.  I also uploaded two videos to Apple I shot on my phone demonstrating the behavior.  I am hoping this second attempt will yield the outcome I am looking for, just give me a different watch please Apple.

Once again Cindy and I had to put the baby chicks to bed using a hand off technique.  At this point I wonder if they will ever understand the concept of conventional chicken night time roosting behavior.  At least the more Cindy and I do it the more adept we become.

Want to see the huge 3D mess I worked on over the weekend?

I have to admit I didn’t watch Donald’s address regarding the “Crisis of the Soul” aka building a wall.  The recaps I read sounded utterly ridiculous, much like Trump’s “answer” to a reporter that asked him about his cornerstone campaign promise that Mexico, not US taxpayers were going to pay for his infamous wall….