Category: Anything and Everything

So when I got home last night I noticed the wet spots in the yard had dried up so I wasted little time before getting on the mower to knock these spots down.  I was on the last section, the bumpy ground behind the chicken coop when I suddenly had no more steering capability.  I looked down and saw the two wheels facing in opposite directions, wtf.  So I shut off the tractor and got down onto the mucky ground on my hands and knees to see what happened.

The ball joint that connected the steering linkage on the left side of the tractor had fallen apart.  It looks like it was just from excessive wear, likely enhanced by the missing wheel bearing on that side.  I tried pushing it back together but it just fell apart immediately.  I then started thinking of a possible stop gap fix that would allow me to at least finish mowing.  I only had about a 100 square foot section left.

So my first attempt was to go into the coop and grab some twine.  I wrapped it around the joint, hoping it would keep things together.  It failed 5 seconds into my first test.  I was frustrated as I walked up to the garage looking for something else I could use.  As I scanned my pegboard and drawers nothing jumped out as suitable.  I then thought about these oversized reusuable wire ties that I have had for years.  They had been hanging on the pegboard unused but we actually just utilized them last weekend to build supports around the patio tomato plant.

I went to the plant and stole one of the ties.  I returned to the tractor and did my best to twist the two pieces together but having little hope of success.  I was pleasantly surprised when I was actually able to steer again.  I babied it the rest of the way but was able to finish the work.  I later ordered a replacement part for both sides as the other one didn’t look to be in good shape either.  I am hoping it shows up by the weekend as major mowing is on the to do list.  The Craftsman is getting to the age where fixing shit like this is going to be a regular necessity.

I sort of mentioned how I have a long weekend out of the blue.  I have vacation days that I need to use but I can’t afford to be out of the office for large chunks of time so I need to take a day or two here and there.  In this case it is going to also serve the purpose of allowing me to take Lucy to the vet.  I want to see if the vet can do a proper draining of the swollen area and perhaps give some antibiotics to knock out whatever is causing it.  She is an avian vet but not a chicken vet.  However I hope she can still help in this situation.  It’s the same vet we took Lola to before she went downhill.  Either way it should be a memorable experience for Lucy, her first road trip with dad.

I’ve already begun crafting my list of things I want to get done over the for days.  You can rest assured I will be very diligent in my pursuit of crossing off each item.

 

So I was happy to see my replacement iPhone 6S show up at my house yesterday, a very speedy two day delivery. (ordered from ATT site)  I haven’t done a phone migration in quite awhile so I was curious what had changed.  One thing that I instantly noticed was the intelligence that is built in.  After firing up the new phone it said if I was upgrading from another iPhone I should put them in close proximity to each other.  After doing so an image appeared on the old phone which I captured on the new phone, initiating the transfer of my Apple account information.  That was pretty slick.

ATT makes a transfer app but it seemed pretty lacking to me as it appears to only transfer stuff like pictures, videos, and contacts.  I wanted my new phone to have EVERYTHING my old 6 has.  So the way I know to accomplish this is with a local back up and restore.  Before starting I backed up my old phone via Itunes.  When I tried to restore that backup to the 6S I was unable to do so because it had an older version of iOS on it.  After upgrading that I was then able to restore the back up of roughly 60 gigs of data which took around 45 minutes.  After it was done the 6S had everything the 6 did, no reconfiguring mail, no reloading apps, no looking up account info.

Size wise the 6S is identical to the 6 so I was able to move it over to my sweet Mous phone case without issue.  I did immediately notice the phone was much more responsive than the 6 which had been put into throttled performance mode due to the battery problem.    I snapped around from screen to screen without the delay I had been accustomed to.  Overall I am very happy with my upgrade process/experience, even if I am still three models behind Apple’s flagship iPhone.  I expect this 6S to last me another 3 years plus, by then I may be half the number of whatever the latest and greatest iPhone model number is.

Last night I hit the driveway for another brief late night practice session.  Roughly 10 days prior I did the same early on in my One Wheel ownership and had some issues, including chasing the board down a hill.  Things went much better last night.  I am looking forward to the long weekend I just provided myself to get a lot more riding time in.

I know a lot of people around my age that are always looking to upgrade. Upgrade their clothing, upgrade their vehicle, and upgrade their house.  They have this drive to find something better, newer, bigger, and greater.  Outside of tech related things, I find that interest is mostly missing from me.  I have clothes dating back to 7th grade.  Pretty much the only time I get new clothing is if Cindy buys it for me, otherwise I am content with my selection.  Same with footwear, my sneakers I wear to the gym everyday were given to me by my buddy George in exchange for timing a race probably close to 10 years ago.  I had my 99 Tacoma for around 17 years and I will likely have my 2016 truck for as long if not longer.

Our house which was built in 2001 is certainly not luxurious or extravagant.  It is located far away from most things (less so now), and requires a LOT of effort on our part to maintain.  However I have absolutely no desire to even think for a fleeting second about living anywhere else.  The house at this point fits me like a well worn sneaker.  We have invested so much time, energy, and effort into it, the idea of tossing it aside to look for something bigger/better just never even enters my mind.

To some this may seem like a flaw or a shortcoming.  It’s just what I am.  If something is working for me, I stick with it.

I hoped the rain would hold off for one more day so the wet spots would shrink enough that I could quickly mow them down.  Instead the house got smashed with rain during the afternoon, putting those plans to rest.  I did manage to go out on my One Wheel for a bit after dinner.  I just went up and down a side street practicing carving, where you S back and forth while traversing a straight path.

I do a variation of this while riding EUCs but on a One Wheel you engage your lower body much more to accomplish the same thing.  There is no doubt at this point that riding a One Wheel offers more of a workout than an EUC.  I had a fun three or four mile ride which put me up to a grand total of 32 miles on the odometer.

I, like most of the free world had an open mouth as I reviewed the events that happened at Trump’s meeting with Putin.  Using one of Donald’s favorite words, it was incredible.  In a nutshell Trump dismissed the universally agreed upon conclusion by all divisions of US intelligence that Russia unlawfully tampered with the 2016 presidential election.  He said the Vladimir said he didn’t do it so that was good enough for him, I guess.  It was outrageous, embarrassing, insulting, and unfortunately par for the course for the man that has made a mockery of the US worldwide, repeatedly.

Will there be any significant repercussions for him after simply the latest of a countless string of ridiculous statements and actions that have been the keystone of his time in office?  Probably not.  The pattern is maddening.  Trump does/says something that draws intense backlash and harsh words, often from both sides of party lines but the end result is NOTHING happens.  It’s a great thing that our president is teaching the young people of today that there is truly no penalty for bad behavior.  Grab vaginas, get standing ovations from bigots, have a vocabulary of 13 words, take from the poor to stuff the pockets of the rich,  it doesn’t matter.  If nobody is willing to take meaningful action, all the “stern criticism” means absolutely zero. I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime and hopefully I never will again.

If you were a Trump voter and still feel good about that decision you aren’t just drinking the Kool Aid, you have an IV drip inserted round the clock.

 

So I because of my stinging brush burns from One Wheeling and left over soreness from dead lifting during the week I allowed myself a one week respite from running. It was nice to not wake up with the 6AM alarm but I couldn’t help but feel guilty for not being out there and putting in my slow and miserable laps.  It’s almost like a rite of passage.

I had hoped to get the mowing all knocked out in the morning but heavy rain the previous two days had left the property with massive standing water, delaying that task.  I did get the weeding done and Cindy and I worked on Lucy, the hen with the bad wing. Cindy and I were not looking forward to trying to drain the huge swollen area under her wing.  Out of all of our chickens Lucy is the most fearful of us, by far.  She is also the only hen that we didn’t raise from baby chick age.

We thought trying to hold her still to work on the problem would be near impossible.  Well after some tag team effort we were able to get a hold of Lucy.  As scared as she is of us, once you actually hold her she almost does a complete 180 and is very passive.  Well to work on the area we really needed to have the hen belly up.  I could hardly believe it when Cindy flipped Lucy on her back, handed her to me, and she stayed put.   She looked incredibly comfortable in the position which I couldn’t believe.

What was more incredible was when Cindy started poking the blood/puss filled area with a needle Lucy didn’t flinch at all.  At times she was half closing her eyes, she almost seemed to be enjoying the experience which was bizarre.  Unfortunately the small gauge needle wasn’t able to make much progress in draining the area but Cindy was able to get some gunk out. When we did the same procedure on Sunday with a bigger gauge needle she was nearly as calm until we finally hit a spot that must have hurt that sent her flying.  We hope to keep at it to at least get her some relief, there must be some sort of infection going on.

The intense sun during the day made a little progress on the standing water, enough that I decided to mow.  I couldn’t get everything but I was able to knock down 90% using max deck height when cutting through areas that still had some low water on the ground.  The tractor becomes an absolute mess when mowing in these conditions but it is the price you pay when living in a summertime bog.

On Saturday night Cindy and I got out to see Ant Man & The Wasp.  The Ant Man series doesn’t generate nearly the same level of excitement for me as the top tier Marvel films do but I liked the original.  I thought the sequel was equally good for a solid B+ rating.  Be sure to stay for the bonus clips, it will answer a question that likely was on your mind the entire movie.

Sunday morning I was anxious to get out on my One Wheel.  Cindy had her own stuff to do so I headed out solo, which I sometimes prefer since I can go wherever I want to go for as long as I care to.  I did indeed go long, at least 11 miles on the board, almost double my longest ride to date.  I did well on the ride with only one skin dissolving incident where I had a bad dismount.  The only negative I have with the board is it isn’t the best device for open road cruising because of the speed cap.  Despite having a posted 19mph top speed, it starts throttling you at 15 mph.  The end result was I was riding the majority of the ride with “pushback” where the board raises it’s front nose to let you know to slow down.

During the afternoon I finally got around to installing “float plates” and a fender on my board.  I realized that the fender would have prevented me a bunch of pain.  All of my brush burns are the end result of my leg hitting the top half of the exposed huge rubber tire during falls.  The fender totally eliminates that situation.  I think the wheel looks cooler without it but I’ll take a less hip appearance over not ripping my skin off any day.  It’s been a week now and the brush burns on my legs are still not close to healed.

During the video I admitted that I had not ridden any of my EUC’s since I got the One Wheel.  I thought it funny when a commentor said that he thinks I am not a “core EUC” guy as a result.    I asked him to review my channel.  In the last two years I may have posted more EUC content than almost anyone on the internet.  The One Wheel is a new challenge and that challenge just happens to be getting the most of my attention.

Later in the day I tried something really challenging, riding the One Wheel around our backyard, at least the areas that were dry enough to do so.  Wow it was tough, requiring infinitely more effort than smooth open road riding.  I had to run off the board a few times but I didn’t hit the ground.  I think doing this sort of riding will be the way to build my skill level the quickest.

I finally pulled the trigger on ordering a new phone yesterday.  The replacement battery I put in my iPhone 6 several months ago already is going south and my screen developed a bright white spot awhile ago that I have just been living with.  I didn’t take the route I always have in the past, upgrading to whatever the latest version Apple had available.  Instead I ordered a lowly iPhone 6S as my new phone, only an incremental upgrade over what I have.  My reasoning was simple, I like having a headphone jack that doesn’t require a dongle, a home button and I don’t really need a bigger screen that does face recognition.  I don’t care about turning myself into an animal emoji.  A 6S will do everything I need and will allow me to reuse the awesome case that Cindy bought me for my iPhone 6 at the holidays.  Having an iPhone X would do nothing to increase my quality of life except cost me double what the 6S will.  I must be getting old.

 

So last night I dug into the tractor.  I had ordered a replacement front wheel bearing as my axle cap work revealed the wheel was flopping around on the shaft.  When I took the wheel off and was looking at my replacement bearing I originally thought I ordered the wrong part.  The new bearing was too big for the hole it needed to go in.  I needed a visual reference for how it should be so I pulled the axle cap and wheel from the other wheel to take a look.    What I realized is the bearing is made of two sections, an inner bearing and an outer shell.  On the bad side I realized that just the inner bearing had disintegrated, the outer part of the bearing was still in place.

I had to come up with a way to get the remaining part of the old bearing out of the wheel.  I grabbed my big metal centerpunch and a hammer.  After flipping the wheel upside down and giving it a few solid shots the old bearing popped out onto the floor.  Installing the replacement simply required flipping the wheel back over and driving in the new part using a 2×4 to avoid damaging it.  After putting everything back together the front tires both actually pointed in the same direction for the first time in awhile.

I then turned my attention to the deck wheel that had evidently fallen off during last week’s mowing session.  I found the wheel in the yard but not the bolt used to attach it.  I hoped I would be able to find a suitable replacement in my large collection of mismatched fastener hardware but struck out.  That repair will have to wait until I can get another carriage bolt at Home Depot on my way home. If it wasn’t raining lightly I would have considered getting the mowing started but I also had some indoor stuff to get knocked out so I thought better of it.

I had a rough session at the gym yesterday, reaggravating that area on my right side that I first started having problems with a year or two ago doing dragon flags.  It’s a sharp pain that seems to come up during very high exertion movements.  As I said, it first happened doing dragon flags but I also had it happen doing deadlifts.  Yesterday it came on between doing full stack shoulder press reps on a Cybex machine and weighted pull ups.  The pain was enough that I cut the weight training short and just jumped on a cardio machine instead.  Old age is awesome.

Lucy, our oldest chicken has been having an issue with her one wing.  She has been carrying it low for several weeks.  If a chicken carries both wings low that can be a sign of disease but for Lucy it is just the one side and she has been acting normal otherwise, being as nervous and distrustful of us as she always has been.  Cindy felt under the affected wing and said she felt some swelling.  We are worried that she hurt the joint somehow, maybe falling off the perch or something.  We are going to try to get a better look at it to see if there is anything we can do, possibly aspirating the swollen area to give her some relief.  We also have to attend to Pumpkin who has a huge boulder of poop hanging off her back end.  Being a chicken caretaker is a very glamorous profession.

This weekend my major chores are knocking out the mowing and weeding.   We are going to get out to the movies tomorrow night and I hope to get plenty of time to work on my One Wheel skills.    Hopefully rain is only a minor occurrence over that time period.  So far, although we have had standing water, we have had enough breaks in the pounding to allow it to recede back into the ground after a day or so.

 

 

 

So a combination of things have me walking around like a geriatric person currently.  The nasty scrapes on my shin are healing and as they do the scabs become tight and tender.  This is combined with massive soreness from squatting and deadlifting for the first time in close to two months on Tuesday.  I had taken a break from it to let the knee pain I was feeling subside.  The time off from the movements helped with the knee pain.  Ironically the time off also means massive all over pain which is normal for me when I resume either of this exercises after anything more than a two week break.  I kept my reps and numbers low and still got whacked hard.

Last night I got out in the driveway a little with the One Wheel and Cindy joined me.  Up until then she only tried the board indoors shortly after I got it.  This was her first open riding experience.  Her first couple mounts she did by the Prius to be safe.  By the end of the brief session she was able to mount and dismount in open space and do some turning.  It will be cool to see how fast she progresses.

Image result for Husqvarna YT42DXL (42") 22HP Kohler Lawn TractorTonight I am hoping to do yet another small tractor repair, installing a bearing in one of the front wheels, an axle cap, and reattaching a deck wheel that appears to have fallen off at some point.  I have already identified what my next tractor will be, a 42 inch Husqrvarna with a welded deck as opposed to the thin and shitty stamped decks that pretty much every other 42 inch mower comes with.  I have had the stamped deck fall apart on every mower I have owned in Florida.  I would rather spend a couple hundred more up front and get something that will hold up long term.

 

 

So I continued my investigation last night into why I no longer had internet out at the chicken coop.  I did some more physical inspection of the cable in the coop area as well as the path it takes in the yard. I could not find any signs of physical damage which was good.  I then grabbed my laptop and headed into the attic, where the outside cable connects to indoor wiring.

This was the first time I had been in the attic since the roof was replaced.  I was AMAZED at the temperature.  Granted the sun was not out at the time but even so, with our old shingle roof the attic was ALWAYS a sauna.  It felt absolutely fine up there, no hotter than the garage below which was great.  It was also weird seeing ambient light in the attic from the three large roof vents on the north side of the roof.  I’m used to the space normally being pitch dark.

I got busy with my trouble shooting.  I got excited when I unhooked the outdoor cable and plugged it into my laptop and got a link light, meaning the outdoor cable was working, a big relief.  The problem was in the run that goes from the attic to the office.  I did some trouble shooting of that line but wasn’t able to quickly determine the issue.  If I were to guess, probably one of the ethernet ends that I installed when the house was built was flaky and not making good connection anymore.  Instead of diving into figuring that out I took a much faster approach, using a CAT 5 line that was connected to the TV in the bedroom, which isn’t really necessary.  Once I connected that line to the coop wire everything was back to normal.  It felt good as I exited the attic knowing the problem was fixed without having to deal with the buried line, which would have been a huge headache.

I did find a little time to get out on my One Wheel, despite some light rain coming down.  I just stayed in the driveway practicing slow maneuvers and most importantly, stopping/disengaging the board which I have struggled with.   I successfully stopped at least a dozen times with no failures.  I didn’t fall or have to jump off the board the entire time.  I’m excited about my progress and am looking forward to Cindy feeling good enough to start getting back on the board to show me how it’s really done.

So it seems that since our huge deluge over two days late last week I lost internet connection to the chicken coop.   It isn’t a crucial thing but I would like to get it working to be able to do things like monitor the 8 camera DVR out there.   After work last night I went out there with my laptop to try to determine what sort of problem I was looking at.

I plugged directly into the wifi router out there and verified it was up and running.  I then turned my attention to the ethernet cable that feeds the coop.  This is a very long, bury rated, roughly 150 foot wire that is directly connected to the side of the house.  Getting it installed was not fun.  Well I was not showing a link light on that wire.  That wire connects in the attic of the house which I did not feel like crawling around in last night.  The next step will be trying to determine where the problem lies, in the cable or on the other side of the connection in the attic. I can hardly wait.

I took on yet another project last night, replacing the heated print bed on one of my 3D printers.  This printer is my workhorse and used the most of the six.  The other day I noticed it stopped heating the bed.  I later discovered this was a common problem after extended use.  The wires used to connect it have a history of fatiguing and eventually snapping.  I bought an entire new print bed, complete with new wires.  The install took awhile but had no major snafus.  The printer is back up and printing away this morning.

So yesterday I got an email from the wife of the husband/wife team that are my accountants and have done my taxes for somewhere around 20 years.  I met them when I lived in PA and was summoned to do some computer work for the company I worked for at the time.  Several years ago they actually relocated to SW Florida as well, in the Fort Myers area.

Yesterday she just asked if I could give her a call which is not unusual as I try to help them out with computer issues as they arise.  When I called I got some very shocking and unexpected news that her husband had suddenly passed away late last week.  He was not a real old guy, younger then my mom when she passed away at 67.

Hearing the overwhelming sadness and despair in her voice instantly brought all the feelings of unexpected loss I experienced with my mom rushing to the surface.  I felt horrible for her.  I’m not sure how many times I expressed my sorrow for her loss during the call.  I assured her that I would help her out with her current need and anything else she may need.  He was and she is just good, kind people. They have been married forever.  I can only imagine just how lost she must feel right now.

The call was a somber reminder of how fragile, fleeting, and delicate life can really be, despite all of our efforts to insulate ourselves from that reality.  When my mom died it made me more eager to cut out things in my life that I didn’t really want to be doing.  Do things that make you happy, distance yourself from things that don’t.  You never know how many more ticks are left on your personal clock.

 

Despite having two One Wheel injuries on my right toe/ankle I drug myself out of bed to run on Saturday morning.  It’s no point reiterating how warm, muggy and uncomfortable it is running this time of year.  That situation likely won’t change until October at the earliest.  I plugged away, completing the 3.4 mile distance at a very mundane pace, similar to recent efforts.

When I got home Cindy, who had pulled her back badly, had done the chicken chores, despite me prodding her not to.  Since I got all the grass mowed on the 4th I didn’t have to dedicate three hours plus of my morning to it.  Instead I just knocked out the weeding.  Once I was done we jumped in the truck to go help our friend Deb move a couple pieces of furniture she was given into her condo.  In the process we also picked up a ton of Deb’s old fitness materials that she was giving to Cindy.  Deb is a lifelong fitness trainer but no longer does it as a primary career.

So once we got back it was nice, I didn’t have a big list of things I felt that needed to be done at the moment.  So I turned my attention to the OneWheel.  I already reached into my 3D hobby to support my new wheel, designing a stand for it.  I wasn’t quite sure if a 3d printed piece would be strong enough for the job but I designed the part with a lot of infill for strength.  So far it seems great.

So anyway I wanted to build on my mostly successful riding in the driveway by taking a drive over to the school, the place I did the majority of my early EUC training at.  Outside of about 30 seconds of the ride, I did great, able to ride around doing basic maneuvers pretty comfortably.  So back to those 30 seconds….

In total I had three different falls during the ride that sent me to the ground.  The first one stripped large chunks of skin off my shin when I tried to stop and disengage the board unsuccessfully..  However it was the second fall that was most concerning.

I had just driven by the camera that I had stationed on the ground.  I was trying to do a relatively tight 180 degree turn to come back.  As I did so I got too much lean forward on my toes.  In a split second my body reacted and I lurched back to catch myself.  My motions were amplified by the board and it rocked back and forth rapidly.  The motion was enough to send me falling but not forward as all of my EUC falls had been.  Instead I fell directly back like slipping on ice as the board shot out from under me.  The back of my head hit the parking lot hard, very hard.  If I was not wearing a helmet who knows what sort of damage would have been done.

I got up slowly, a bit in shock.  My initial physical assessment was my neck was instantly sore but otherwise I felt intact.  I took a few minutes to collect myself.  The fall was legitimately scary but I reminded myself that is why I am wearing the gear to help mitigate that damage.  After a few more deep breaths I was back on the board and rolling around.

My third fall which came at the very end of the ride was another unsuccessful dismount.  This again resulted in me falling backwards with head impact with the ground albeit significantly less than the last time.  The video I shot tells the story.  Still, even with those bad moments, overall I am really enjoying the challenge of riding the board and think I am making solid progress.

Of course when I told Cindy about my incidents she was concerned.  I totally expected to wake up with a locked up neck on Sunday but it was just sore.  The muscles in the front of my neck are the most painful as they must have contracted strongly as I went down to try to minimize the speed of impact with the ground.  We had plans to go see Ant Man Saturday night but because of Cindy’s back pain and my neck pain we decided to push it off until next weekend.

Sunday morning started out fine.  When I went out to the chicken area to clean I heard gurgling.  It was the sound of the pump I set back up in the chicken yard sucking air.  In less than 24 hours, combined with a day without rain, the water level behind the coop had dropped significantly.  After paying my bills Cindy and I headed out, again with Elsa in tow.

Cindy’s back was still too tweaked to ride a PEV but she brought along some work to do.  The plan was for me to park at North Collier and ride around there for awhile while she hung out with Elsa.  Elsa LOVES rides where she is not required to leave the vehicle.

Despite my falls on Saturday I was eager to get back at it and see how well I could handle the varied paths and terrain at the park.  I had a great time on the 6.5 mile ride with no falls.  I had several unsuccessful dismounts but none of them resulted in my hitting the ground.  I’m really enjoying the process of learning another physical skill and being rewarded with slow but definitive progress as I keep working.

Sunday afternoon I was involved with various things.  Once of those was getting Cindy set up out in her RV.  It was hot as hell so she needed the AC.  After popping the house circuit breaker twice trying to do it I instead just pulled out the big generator that could run the RV with ease.

Later in the afternoon I told Cindy I was going to do something I never do, hang in the pool.  I can’t tell you exactly the last time was that I floated around in the pool for a period of more than 5 minutes.  Cindy joined me along with a few “noodles” for flotation.  I’m not sure how long we were in but it was long enough that my fingertips started to shrivel.

Oh I neglected to mention the very first project of the weekend that happened on Friday evening.  I stopped at Home Depot and loaded up on another $100 worth of dirt and sod.  I wanted to extend “Chicken Island” behind the coop to give the birds more dry land to hang as wet season continually submerges their surroundings.  I almost doubled the size of the the grassy retreat.  It’s high enough to outlast pretty much any high water situation.

Sunday night I had my second EUC live stream with Marty.  We pushed the starting time back to 8 EST to work out better with Marty’s west coast geography.  The stream lasted almost two hours.  I think it went pretty well although there are times I struggle with what to say.  We also had some technical difficulties on both sides at times that we worked through.  We had 30+ people tuned in almost the entire broadcast and the feedback we have received thus far has been pretty positive.

I awoke this morning sleepy, sore, and ready to tackle a new work reality where the HUGE application conersion project is now something behind us instead of hanging over us.  So far, so good.

 

 

 

So the battery I had installed in the Prius roughly a month ago has been giving me problems.  At least a half dozen times the red triangle of death has returned.  At first it was a couple weeks between the light coming on and then a couple days, and then nearly every day.  I was carrying my code reader in the Prius.  Every time the light came on I would read the code and then clear it.  Unlike the original failure, the car continued to drive normally even with the warning light.

So obviously this was not acceptable long term and since I have a one year warranty on the replacement I contacted battery4prius.com and sent them a picture of the warning light with the error code on my reader.  They gave me no hassle and said they would send back out the same kid and his dad that installed the replacement.

They had to drive through torrential rain, as I did to get there.  I parked the Prius in the garage so they wouldn’t have to possibly work in the rain.  They pulled up in a 2nd gen Prius this time with battery4prius signage on the side, last time he was driving a Civic.  I didn’t see a battery in the back of their car.  When I asked him about it he said they were actually going to swap the battery from their car into my car.  He knows that pack is good.  Wow, I wasn’t expecting that but whatever, as long as it works.

Jonathan and his dad were like Prius battery tornadoes, in the about an hour they had swapped the batteries between the two vehicles and I was good to go.  I can only hope this is the end of my Prius battery woes for at least until I am ready to move onto something else.

As I mentioned we had another HORRIBLE few hours of rain.  When I came home the front yard looked like it did after the hurricane, almost totally submerged.  The property was a total mess.  The transformation in a span of less than 24 hours was pretty shocking.  The one bright spot was the elevated area I constructed for the chickens in their yard seems to be performing just as I hoped.  Even with nothing but water elsewhere, that 10′ x  20′ section is safely above the water line by 6 inches or more.

So because of the shitty rain I didn’t get to practice outside on the One Wheel as I hoped.  Well a little after 8:30 the rain had stopped so I decided I would go outside and just stay on the driveway, the spot I cut my teeth on EUC training.  Very early in the process I had a hilarious (in retrospect) series of events that was partially caught on the front security camera.  I was on the angled portion of the driveway, perpendicular to it.

I was feeling a bit shaky and had been having issues doing a proper stop where you raise the heel of your lead foot to disengage a pressure sensor, which turns off the motor.  I decided to use the other beginner technique of dismounting, simply hop off the board with both feet at once which should instantly kill the board.  So I hop off, look down and see the board is not only still balancing, it has started to roll away from me, quickly.

So if we didn’t just have a massive rain event, this wouldn’t have been a huge deal as the board was directed onto the grass and down the hill.  However last night, at the bottom of this hill was a huge area of standing water, oh shit.  In a millisecond my body reacted, forgetting that it is 50 years old and filled with various aches, pains, and ailments.  I took off like a rocket after the board and accelerated when I realized it was not going to stop.  As I saw the board heading off into a watery grave I did the only thing I could, a Pete Rose, head first dive onto the wet grass that allowed me to just barely snag the end of the board just as it reached the high water.  I wish the whole thing was in the field of view of the camera, it had to look absolutely ridiculous.

So after allowing myself a minute or two for the adrenaline to settle down I resumed my practice.  Having the entire driveway felt good compared to the narrow confines of the house.  I didn’t feel rock solid but I didn’t feel awful either.  I used a tip that helped me a lot with EUC riding, looking where I was going instead of down at the board, it helped.  I did a bunch of up and back loops in the driveway and even ventured onto the road and into the neighbors driveway, without a fall or crash.  The wet ground was a reminder why a fender for a One Wheel is a good idea.  I was getting sprayed with misty dirt/sand the entire time.  By the time I was done the wheel was too dirty to bring inside, I just left it in the garage. The ride confirmed that I am already past the most awful part of riding that was so painful with EUCs.  Once you can roll and turn slowly, things normally progress pretty well from there.

This weekend I don’t have to worry about grass maintenance since it was all done on Wednesday.  I hope to get some prolonged One Wheel practice in, hopefully with Cindy participating.  I am really curious to see how she does on it outdoors based on her prior considerable skateboarding experience.  I can only hope that we somehow manage to avoid the daily thunderstorms for a few days to allow the ground to swallow the standing water that lays on top of it.

Here is a video of my initial indoor One Wheel experience.