Category: Anything and Everything

Last night after dinner I did something I had not done in quite awhile, went for an evening EUC ride.  I just felt like getting out there under the full moon with the cool evening air.  I took my good old Msuper, a wheel that sees very little use since the KingSong 18L joined the family.  After close to a 1000 miles on the odometer of the wheel it feels a little loose, soft, and sloppy but it also fits me like a well worn sneaker.  I rode from home to the school, just rolling around at a very pedestrian pace, enjoying the experience.  I put maybe 7-8 miles in before returning, feeling better than before.

When I got home I rolled right into doing some organizing/purging of the hobby room, which was overdue for attention.  There is still some work to be done in there but I at least put a good dent in the mess.

Cindy and I have been binge watching The Punisher on Netflix for the last week or two and it is resulting in less sleep than I need.  There have been many nights where we haven’t gone to sleep until midnight and that just screws with how I function.  We just finished up season one last night so hopefully we can back off a bit from here.  It’s a great series, obviously.

So my good buddy Matt just got a Tesla Model 3 a couple weeks ago.  Prior to the purchase he and I were communicating about the merits of various EV’s on the market right now.  I have decided awhile ago that I want my next daily driver to be an all electric vehicle.  My target vehicle has shifted around quite a bit.  First it was a Chevy Bolt which got pushed to the side because of pretty unforgettable styling and the loss of the full $7500 tax credit.  The target then switched to the Hyundai Kona EV which seems great but is only being released in a handful of states.  It won’t be available for sale in Florida for a couple years potentially. It’s too bad because it’s lifetime battery pack warranty is unmatched.

It then seemed like the new, extended range Nissan Leaf Plus would make the most sense.  It’s styling was better than the Bolt, it has similar range and still qualifies for the full federal tax spiff.  Matt was considering all three of these options as well as the Tesla, which a few of his friends have, and they love them.  Heck my buddy Jeremy has a Tesla Model 3 as well and has sung nothing but praise about it.

I love a lot about the Tesla too.  The autopilot tech is fascinating and something that pulls at every nerd fiber of my being.  Styling of the car is unique and more appealing than any of the other choices out there.  It has more power and range than anything else in the class as well.  It’s supercharger network is unmatched and growing every day. However there are a long list of negatives as well, at least for me.

The lack of a conventional dealer network has been a turn off for me, especially based on some of the service/repair nightmares I have read about.  The stability of the company, although much better than it was, is still worrisome.  However the biggest obstacle is the price, which has been made larger by Tesla no longer being eligible for the full federal tax spiff and being the most expensive option of the four vehicles I mentioned by a substantial margin.

I have actually gone on the Tesla site to taste what the purchasing experience is like.  It is almost like buying an item on Amazon.  Pick your options, lay down a $2500 deposit with your CC and the ball is rolling.  There is no longer a huge backlog of orders so depending on what equipment you choose, your car could be ready in a month or less.  There also is a local Tesla “store” in Naples that Cindy and I want to visit at some point.

At this moment in time I am thinking more and more about getting a Tesla based on all of the personal success stories around me with the brand.  I spend upwards of 10 hours a week commuting to and from work, being able to enjoy those thousands of miles in the apex of EV tech would be a pleasure for sure.  Because of the potential expense, the Tacoma needs to be free and clear of debt before I can venture into another car payment.  At this point with some concentrated effort I should be able to make that happen in a year or less.  Who knows, by that time there may be even greater options or opportunities on the table.

Not only is the solar set up in the chicken yard producing a lot of power during the day, it has become a new fav hang out spot for the birds.  This makes me happy.

 

The solar system out in the coop has really been kicking ass on a typical sunny Florida day.  It has the battery totally recharged with room to spare by the afternoon.  Last night I decided to grab one more small 50 watt panel that I am going to try to mount on the coop roof itself.  I figured it will give me a little extra solar real estate for those days where the sun is not at full power.  The other reason I decided to grab the small panel is I already had a spare MC4 extension cable and Anderson adapter from the initial project, I may as well utilize them.  I will plug the small panel into the PWM side of the Yeti 1000.  I have the two 160W panels going into the higher output MPPT side.

The only part of the project where I wish I made a different choice is the size of the Yeti.  I think the 1400WH unit would have made a better choice to run ALL of the coop during off peak hours.  With the 1000WH battery I have to split off a couple things like the fans to AC power, otherwise I would be cutting it too tight each night.  I can feel that alternative energy projects may be one of my next hobbies.  I already have been looking at mini-wind turbines, building solar battery packs and a few other topics that may blossom into other uses of green energy around the property.

If you were wondering how the ceramic wood tile floor looks with black grout, here you go.

If you have not seen the Punisher series on Netflix, you should.

I was shocked as others to see the images of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral burning in an inferno-like manner yesterday.  My first thought was if this was an intentional act.  Even if it was, I don’t know that they would admit it.  A friend on Facebook posted information saying that this was the fourth church in France to burn in the last 80 days which surely seems like more than coincidence.  Having such a historic building go up in flames is pretty tragic in my book, regardless of the religious context it represents.  It seems like it was not a total loss and is rebuildable but obviously it can never be the same.

Cindy once again worked late into the evening finishing up her black grout project.  It’s pretty much finished at this point outside of some minor touch ups here and there.  The black is without a doubt a better visual, making the floor seem much more wood like than before where the light gray grout broke it all apart.   I have no idea how many hours in total Cindy spent on this but I am sure it is approaching a couple dozen.

 

 

So when I got home from work Friday I dug into my chicken tasks before setting up to do another rowing session.  I want to resume running but my energy level all week has felt shitty.  The more I consider my symptoms the more I think I have a thyroid issue, just like my mom did and my sister does.  It would explain the random flare ups of unusual fatigue I have been dealing with since last summer.

So as I was walking through the living area on Thursday I glanced down and saw a section of the wood tile floor had black grout all of a sudden.  I spun around and asked Cindy what was going on, why has the grout changed from grey to black without my knowledge??  Cindy made a command decision to make the change without telling me, something there was obviously “discussion” about as I like to normally at least know about proposed changes to the house before they occur.  However her intent was good, the black actually did look better than the grey grout as it allows the wood ceramic tile to merge more instead of being visually separated by the light color border.  Her other reason was to fill the grout seams better which were never done to our satisfaction when the project was done a few years ago.

So once I got over the frustration of being kept out of the loop with this project, I had to deal with what will be required to get it done.  I installed ceramic tile in the kitchen, utility room and both bathrooms so I knew how much of a pain in the ass grouting is.  We went to Home Depot Friday night to get a few things to make the job go better.  When we got home we started to work on grouting some more, Cindy and I in different spots.

So Cindy had been using an unconventional technique in the area she had done so far, using a spatula to press the charcoal grout into the seam.  I showed her how I did it before using a grout float along with some water to smooth things out.  Well my technique works well if you are installing grout on fresh tile with big empty seams.  However when you are just going over existing grout it wasn’t so great.  It just was a big huge mess that frustrated the hell out of me.  After doing maybe 50 square feet or so that night I told Cindy I just don’t have the patience to do it.  She said she was fine doing it since this was her surprise project in the first place.  Her method was yielding better results anyway.  I told her I can do more of the grunt work, moving stuff as needed and dumping/refilling the bucket used for cleaning the tiles.

On Saturday I spent most of the day outside working on things like mowing the grass, replacing sprinkler heads, attaching a chicken wire strip to the rusted area of the chicken fence, and a few other things.  I also got a chance to do more clean up of the coop solar project.  After cleaning up the wires I also added some more tech.  I installed another smart switch that is connected to the AC input of the solar generator.  This allows me on cloudy days to remotely “plug in” the Yeti wall charger to pump juice into the battery as needed.  I also installed a web cam out there with the intent of it allowing me to see the Yeti display remotely so I can monitor the status.  Unfortunately it seems like reflections on the display make reading it pretty difficult but I will keep tweaking it.  The solar panels seem to really be kicking ass as long as the sun is shining.  The highest input I saw was 270 watts which is pretty damn good considering the two 160 watt panels are connected via a 40 foot cable.

Cindy spent most of her day at home continuing to work on the floor.  She made steady progress which was fine by me.  Luckily she almost enjoyed the process compared to my outright hate of flooring work.  On Saturday night we watched Blockers, a surprisingly funny comedy that had me laughing out loud a lot.  I didn’t expect John Cena, the WWE wrestler to shine in such a role but he was responsible for some of the biggest laughs in the B+ flick.

Sunday morning was unexpectedly mostly raining.  I used the time to work on cleaning and purging some stuff in the office while Cindy continued the groutathon.  I plan to expand the purge/reorganization efforts to other areas of the property both indoor and out.  There are just a lot of things that can be thrown out/recycled/given away if you take a few moments to evaluate their practical need.  I also shot a video outlining the CPU cooler install, just for fun.

So later in the day the weather cleared so I decided to take my One Wheel out for a ride.  I pegged it as a chance for me to expand my One Wheel bag of tricks, with me practicing a few new skills like a 180 turn, jump mount, and curb jumping.  I came out of the session with no significant injuries so I call that a win.

By the time Sunday was winding down Cindy was probably 80% done with the grout project, meaning she should probably be able to finish up today.  It will be nice to have the house back in order, I never feel good in the midst of organizational chaos.  Although the way the flooring change came to be is not a scenario I want to repeat, Cindy’s effort in getting it done has been monumental and in the big picture the end result is an improvement over the status quo.

 

 

My BP symptoms have been continuing to improve.  I don’t want to jinx myself but as of right now I would say I am about 80% normal.  Yesterday was last day of prednisone.  Hopefully the healing trend continues throughout the weekend without the use of steroids.

It seems that with a typical Florida day, the solar system out in the coop is kicking some ass.  When Cindy took this picture mid-day the panels were pumping around 230 watts into the Yeti, easily handling the real time load as well as recharging the 1000WH battery pack rapidly.  The battery was fully recharged by the time I got home and in the morning before I leave for work it shows as still having four hours of run time left which is great, as long as the sun comes out like it does 90% of the time.  This weekend I need to do some cleaning up of the wiring and connections but I think I have a pretty good handle on how this should all flow now.

As always I have a lot of things I want to get done this weekend.  I thought it would be smart to get a head start by knocking out some of the yard work last night.  I grabbed the weed whacker and did a full sweep, something I hadn’t done in 5 or 6 weeks.  While I worked on that Cindy got on the tractor and got the front part of the yard mowed which was a big help, meaning I can knock out the remainder pretty quickly tomorrow.

So after dinner, despite already doing enough work for a Thursday, I turned my attention to my PC.  I noticed several weeks ago that the CPU temps on my new system get quite high depending on load.  I have seen it cross into the 90C range for brief periods of time when doing CPU intensive tasks like video editing.  So when I looked up the specs of my i8700 processor it did show higher acceptable operating temperature ranges than I was accustomed to but still, that is really hot.

Nothing kills electronics more than excessive heat so I decided I was going to step up my CPU cooling game, abandoning a conventional fan cooler for a liquid cooled option.  A liquid color works much like any other cooling system, it circulates fluid to and from the CPU that goes through a radiator which has a huge fan blowing air out of it.  The end result is a constant cooling affect being applied to the chip, dramatically reducing temps.

I chose a simple but proven Intel cooling rig that I read others had used on their HP Omens.  I remember reading it required some “customization” to get in there.  Well I certainly got to customize my ass off.  The instructions for the cooler are not great, it’s only pictures which gets confusing because they include diagrams for a bunch of different processor types.  Getting the radiator and fan mounted on the top of my case was the first struggle.  The couple mounting holes in the case that were available did not align with the holes on the radiator.  I wound up doing some “customization” which included use of a drill and snips so I could get two screws on opposite corners holding the radiator in place.

After that struggle I thought the hardest part was behind me.  All I had to do was attach the cooler to the chip and screw it down.  Well when I cranked the hold downs to their limit the cooler was still loose and not making solid contact.  WTF….  So I spent a ton of time looking at the maddening pictures.  I determined that I needed to figure out what type CPU socket I had.  I had the box from the RGB cooler I installed a few weeks prior.  On it I saw “for LGA-115X”  So based on that information I went back to my pictures and dug around some more.  It turns out that with this style socket, a new base plate must be installed.  The plate that is in for the stock cooler extends up higher, which is why I was unable to get the required tension.

My desk area was an absolute disaster already at this point with tools, parts, manuals, and papers strewn about.  It was about to get a bit more chaotic as I now was going to have to rip out the system board to change this mounting plate.  I haven’t had to rip down a PC to this degree since the mid-2000’s.  Doing so on my nearly brand new $1500 PC was a leap of faith in my old PC builder skills.  Once I had the board up I had to carefully pry the old plate off which is stuck on with double sided tape and then install the mount for the cooler which has much shorter stand offs.

I got the new plate on and then carefully put back everything I had ripped out.  At this point I had over two hours into this job that I thought might take 30 minutes.  It was finally the moment of truth where I find out if I broke anything in the process.  A wave of relief came over me when the system booted normally.  I ran some of the same temp tests as before.  The difference was pretty amazing.  Instead of crossing 90, the temps never left the 60’s even at max CPU usage, a massive improvement. By the time I got done cleaning up all the shit on my desk from the ordeal it was after 11PM.  I collapsed into bed tired from the process but content that the effort will be well worth it down the road.

 

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 it has been interesting seeing how my coop solar implementation plan is working out in reality compared to how I thought it would be.  In my simplified thought process the sun runs and charges the Yeti box during the day and then during the night everything runs via AC inverted battery power.  Well first of all I had to adjust the load downward by pulling the fans off the Yeti.  With those connected the daytime load was close to 100 watts.  That load would only increase at night when all of the infrared lights on the cameras are activated (something else I didn’t factor in).

Tuesday was the first full day with the coop running off solar.  It was a worst case scenario as it was overcast and raining a good portion of the day.  When I checked it before the sun came up it showed the Yeti only had roughly two hours of run time remaining.  However, even with the lack of sun the Yeti was able to keep power up all day with the solar power it was able to grab.  However the problem was it only had enough to run the load, it had nothing extra to recharge the battery reserves.  When I got home at night I checked and the run time remained at 2-3 hours.  Obviously it would not make it through the night.

So I went inside and grabbed the charge cord that allows me to plug the Yeti into conventional power.  Doing so delivers 50 watts of input which is still slightly below my load.  I worked out new logistics in my head where I will attach the power cord for the Yeti via a smart switch that I can turn on and off remotely as needed.  Yes it requires me to be proactive in being aware of the weather/charge conditions but at least I would be able to inject juice into the box remotely if needed.

However I discovered this morning that just plugging in the AC cord is not enough if it isn’t done early enough.  When I woke up this morning I noticed the Xmas lights on the coop were on.  They are on a light activated timer and will normally turn off after running 6 hours.  The fact that they were on at 6:30 AM told me the box must have run out of juice overnight and then came back up after it got some more charge.  Like I said, the AC input only inputs at a 50 watt rate, my load at night is around 65 watts so there is a slow drain going on all the time.

So after a day there are probably a couple things I would have possibly done differently with the implementation.  I would likely go with the next size up Yeti, the 1400WH model which would give me more room to play with.  I also may have opted for the version that included wifi connectivity so you can monitor the box’s condition from anywhere.   And honestly, I can see that eventually happening and I just move this Yeti 1000 to be used in another area of the household to supply solar power.  Even with these hiccups I really like the project.  It is a good feeling to be producing electrons from the sky and it’s an effort that I expect to expand over time.

So last night after work I stopped and grabbed my traditional Tuesday DD coffee for the drive home.  One of the things that has been tough with the Bell’s Palsy is drinking, especially from a standard DD cup which requires you to keep your lips pressed tightly around the small opening.  I had multiple incidents of dribbling while drinking since the onset of this fun.  To make it work I have to press my lips hard against the lid and then use a lot of suction, I sounded like a vacuum cleaner.

So anyway as I was drinking my coffee on the drive it dawned on me that I was more or less drinking normally. No added pressure was needed and no slurping was heard.  It felt like I had better control of my lower lip.  For the first time since this started I actually had a degree of improvement instead of degradation.  Later on I amazed myself when I was able to whistle for Elsa, another function I was not able to do a few days prior.  I am hopeful that the symptoms continue to lessen.  Maybe things will smooth out from the bottom of my face to the top.

 

 

 

 

 

So as I have been dealing with the BP one thing had been bugging me.  As I reexamined the timeline I realized that the first appearance of symptoms, which I didn’t know at the time was the altered taste of my food two Fridays ago.  That was the day after I had the stitches removed from my head from my MOHS skin cancer .  The fact that the facial nerve for the right side originates on the left side of the brain (stitches on left) just made me wonder if there could be any sort of connection.   So I left a message at my dermatologists office.  He called me back on my way home from work last night.

I told him how I developed Bell’s Palsy right after the stitches removal and I just wanted to let him know and find out if he thought if there could be any connection to the surgery.  He reiterated a lot of what I already read, that Bell’s Palsy is mostly a mystery as far as why it comes on with there being tons of different possible causes.  He said that although the facial nerve for the right side does start on the left side of the brain, the pathway for it goes through your head and comes out near the right ear.  He said that when you do a MOHS surgery there is always possibility of nerves getting affected but in this case any affect would be localized to the immediate surgical area. With my other surgeries I have experienced localized numbness which is normal.

The doctor was thorough in his explanation and seemed genuine in his concern for me developing BP.  He suggested I follow up with a neurologist just to make sure I am doing whatever I can to ensure a full recovery. I thanked him for the call back and hung up feeling a little bit better that at least I explored that avenue.  It would be nice to be able to put a very clear dot on the exact cause of this condition but I just don’t know if it’s possible.

My drive home also had a very angry 5 seconds when a woman missed the Prius by inches when she veered into my lane without looking.  The dash cam captured the excitement which you can see below.


So when I got home last night I went out to the coop to hook up some load to my new solar power system.  The box was sitting at 100% charge since it had nothing hooked up to it.  Once I switched stuff over the power output jumped up into the 90 watt range.  When I installed the system on Sunday I noticed a similar power draw which is higher than what I noticed when I did my original testing with the Kill-A-Watt meter.   So anyway some very simple math reveals that I simply can not run that amount of draw off of a 1000WH battery all night long, the box would be out of juice before the sun has a chance to start recharging it.  It made me think I should have went for the next size up on the Yeti which is a 1400WH battery.  You always need to leave yourself some wiggle room.

I disconnected the floor fan from the Yeti and instead plugged it into the utility power.  It was consuming close to half of the load so throwing that onto regular power made sense.  With that switch the output number fell into the 50’s which should have allowed for more battery only run time.  So once it was dark outside I did one more spot check of the Yeti and saw the load had now increased into the 70-75 watt range, wtf??  Well the onset of darkness meant that the LED christmas lights came on which draw a little bit of power but I think the bigger culprit was all of the infrared lights on the eight security cameras activating once darkness sets in, something I gave no thought about.

According to the display on the Yeti I still should have enough juice to make it through the night but it is cutting it too close for comfort.  Of course this morning it is overcast and raining so until it clears solar regeneration is going to be minimal.  As of 8AM the box said it still had about 2.5 hours of run time remaining.  Of course I can’t go day to day with solar anxiety so I am going to have to redistribute the solar only load so that it has more margin for error.  I can also see me getting another larger generator down the road for the coop so everything can be sun powered.  I still have not had a chance to see how much current flows into the system in mid-day full sun conditions.. The dual 160 watt panels should be able to completely charge the box in those conditions.  One of the cool features you can get with the higher end Yeti’s is wifi connectivity so you can see what the box is doing at all times via your phone.

Last night I edited the video from the solar project which is pretty funny, especially the end when I unexpectedly dash into the chicken area to swat Daelin off the back of one of the hens.  I have a backlog of footage I still need to edit from Sunday’s EUC ride and I have close to 10 other video ideas written down that I need to make the time to shoot, edit and upload.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Image result for deebot ozmo 937Yesterday I added to my fleet of robotic cleaning assistants, my new Deebot Ozmo 937 showed up.  I already have two Neato units as well as a Samsung Powerbot to vacuum the floors.  I also have two Irobot Braava units that wet/mop the hard surfaces.   I came across the Deebot in a Costco add and it grabbed my attention because it does both, conventional vacuuming and wet pad mopping.

In addition the robot has an interesting app that maps out your floorplan once it discovers it via it’s laser vision.  Once established, on subsequent cleaning runs you can see exactly how much of the house has been cleaned and where the robot is in the house.  If you fill up the water tank and attach the microfiber mop the Deebot knows where the carpet starts and ends so it only mops the hard surfaces.

So I opened up the box last night and worked on setting it up.  I ran into a few snags getting the robot connected to wifi but it turned out that was from my own stupidity.  The fit and finish of the robot looked very good.  The only negative I spotted was the dust bin on the robot is very small, the smallest of any robotic vacuum I have seen.  My theory is this is because of the room needed to also hold the water tank for mopping, the dust bin size was reduced. It also has an interesting option where you can swap out the conventional brush agitator for just straight suction if you are just doing hard floors with lots of dust/pet hair on it.  I never saw a vac with that option before.

So the battery actually had close to a full charge on it so I figured I would let the Deebot loose around the house to see how it does.  I was immediately surprised by how quiet it was, the quietest bot I have had.  This is partly because the bot senses carpet versus hard floor.  On hard surfaces it reduces the suction which reduces the noise.  We were able to have the Deebot rolling around while watching TV without it being overly obtrusive, that never happens with the other vacuums. Hopefully this weekend I get to try out the mopping performance as well.  However my first impression of the Deebot is very positive thus far.

So this week the new on campus fitness center finally opened up at work.  I have been looking forward to this for three years as I desperately wanted any option to get me out of Planet Fitness, a gym I truly hate.  Unfortunately it is the only place that geographically allows me to work out over lunch, until now.  So I was hoping the fitness center would have everything I need to not ever have to go to PF again.  Unfortunately that isn’t the case.  They over allocated space to fitness classes and a stretching room, taking up nearly 2/3 of the building.  The remaining third has all of the cardio and resistance training equipment jammed in there.

There are no barbells, not even a Smith machine.  Hell there isn’t even a chest press machine.  The dumbbells only go up to 50 pounds as well which is below what I would use on normal chest or shoulder days.  The equipment they do have in there is decent Precor brand but I still wish they would have consulted more with employees as far as what we wanted in the space.  It seems like the center was laid out by people that don’t know much about working out in a way that doesn’t involve group fitness.

So anyway, my game plan now is to split my workouts between Planet Shithole and the new fitness center.  I will do my chest and lower body days at PF and the other three days walk over to the fitness center.  It may be nice to have some diversity in my daily routine.  I did already send off some friendly feedback to staff here responsible for the center offering some ideas for the future, hopefully they are open to tweaking things as time goes on.

Yesterday was my first workout at the fitness center and it was quite nice, I basically had the weight area to myself.  Not having to deal with the ridiculous crowds at Planet Fitness is a huge win for sure.  I’ll be back there today.

So there has been no significant change in my BP.  The biggest thing is the right eye, which does not close properly seemed less sore.  Perhaps the countless administration of lubricating drops has created a barrier that is protecting the eye better.  I don’t plan to give daily updates regarding this, it just get repetitive and annoying for both you and for me.  If something changes you’ll be the first to know.

This weekend I have two significant projects I would like to accomplish.  The first is tearing out the rotting 2×6″ border around the orchard and replacing it with fresh lumber.  The job will require a lot of work with my post/pry bar and a shovel.  The other project is hopefully getting my new solar generator set up running for the coop.  My initial plan is to use the front fence corner of the chicken area as the platform for my two panels.  I would then run the wires underground to the coop where the solar generator will be residing.  As is always the case, I have the plan laid out in my head and nowhere else.  I expect that plan to mutate depending on the results. Having the panels in that corner will ensure they get as much sun as possible while providing the chickens with another covered area to hang out under, something they always are looking for.

Cindy and I are going to get out to see Shazam this weekend.  It’s a movie I wasn’t that interested in at first but the more I heard and saw about it, the more fun it looks.  It will be a good warm up for the ultimate super hero movie arrival coming in a couple weeks, Avengers Endgame.