Category: Anything and Everything

Yesterday was another cold one by south Florida standards.  When I drove home the car thermometer was showing 55 degrees.  It was also windy which made it less comfortable.  We have had the heat on a few times during this cold spell.  If the temperature in the house gets below 70 degrees both of us feel chilled to the bone.  Of course I realize comparing this to the insane, life threatening cold some areas of the country are experiencing is silly.  The forecast after today has highs back into the 70’s which is much more welcome.

Danielle, the baby chicken that I am 99% sure is a rooster poked Elsa in the nose yesterday when she was sniffing around the chicken tractor.  We are trying to ask around to people we know that have chickens to see if they would like to add a young rooster to their flock.  Cindy and I don’t want to give the bird away to a situation where we aren’t confident that it will be well taken care of.  That is not an easy situation to find as our standard of care for our chickens exceeds the norm.

I’m in the middle of a cool print with my new CR-10 Pro, a lighthouse on an island.  Once it is done I will be handing it off to Cindy to paint, it will be likely be one of her most detailed craft painting projects ever.  So far every print I have done has been perfect.  Unlike my last two printer purchases where I had some buyers remorse, the CR10 Pro has exceeded expectations.

Without making a real conscious decision, we aren’t having a Super Bowl party this year.  I have missed a few years here and there so I am fine making this a “bye year”.  When you watch the game outside of a party environment it is a much different experience for sure.

 

 

So on Friday my new PEV arrived, an Ultron Ultra scooter.  You may think this was an odd purchase considering we just got the Dualtron EX scooter for Cindy at the end of last year.  The Ultron is a knock off version of the Dualtron, if you can’t tell by the name.  It’s less expensive but has higher performance numbers and would allow us to both cruise at similar speeds and distance.   This was a different type of purchase as I did not use my US based dealer that I bought many of my devices from.  Instead I bought directly from a store in Singapore using Paypal and communicating via Whatsapp. Doing the transaction direct not only kept the costs down but I also received the scooter in three weeks instead of the three months it took me to get the Dualtron.

After dinner I unboxed the device.  It was packed nicely and the scooter seemed cool, albeit not up to the quality standards of the Dualtron, which I already expected.  There was one big omission in the box, no instructions at all.  This scooter has security features built into it to prevent theft which includes a key FOB like a car would have.  We had no idea how to turn it on.  Luckily I was able to get a hold of Elvis, my guy in Singapore and he gave me the procedure.  I asked if he could send me a manual but the only one he found was in Chinese.  Luckily I was able to eventually translate it to english using Google translate.

Once I got the scooter set up and turned on I wanted to get outside and give it a test ride although it was dark and “cold” (62 degrees)  The weather forecast for the weekend was shitty so I figured I might not have a lot of chances to ride it.  When I first pulled the trigger the additional power was evident as the scooter pulled like a beast.  The dual motors on it have TWICE the power rating of the Dualtron. which is already quite fast.  However the speed seemed to top out at 31kmh, a very mundane number.

I again contacted Elvis via Whatsapp and he explained that the scooter has three “gears” 1-3.  I was in 1st gear which is slow and controlled mode.  He told me how to change it.  So I did the logical thing, I put it in the top speed mode with dual motors and TURBO power setting, the most you could possibly have.  Well when I pulled the trigger this time the acceleration was violent, partially lifting the front tire off the ground.  I very quickly pulled over and dropped back to single motor mode which was still strong but more manageable.  Unfortunately that was the only riding I got to do the rest of the weekend due to the miserable weather.

I had to work late on Friday so I did not get to run.  I decided to get out and do so on Saturday morning instead.  With temps in the 50’s it was good running weather and although I was only running roughly a 10 minute mile pace it was enough for me.  My running has not been consistent recently for various reasons, I’d like to get back on schedule.

While Cindy was teaching a class Saturday morning I went out and got my normal outdoor stuff done before going on a coffee run with Elsa.  On the drive there the rain started which washed out plans Cindy and I had for a tandem scooter ride during the afternoon.  That rain basically continued without interruption the rest of the weekend.

The rainy weather allowed us to focus on indoor tasks.  I knocked out a few maintenance items as well as playing more with my new 3D printer, the CR-10S Pro.  After a few initials hiccups I have been getting some great results with this printer, thus far I am really happy with it.

Saturday night we watched our Netflix rental, Destination Wedding.  This was one of the flicks Cindy picked out, with my blessing as I try to be more open to watching stuff that she likes since she normally does the same for me.  The movie starring Keanu Reeves was literally nothing but dialogue between him and his unexpected love interest.  Both characters take turns exchanging snarky lines the entire movie.  Yes some of the lines were funny but it was just way too much talking for me. I was waiting for any other characters to be introduced, surely it would just not be just the two people talking.  Nope, it was just that.  It was a C- grade movie for my tastes but I am sure Cindy liked it more.

We awoke Sunday to more miserable weather with temps in the low 50’s with rain.  I went out and did the chicken clean up in a steady rain in pajama pants and a rain coat.  I returned inside soaked and chilled to the bone.  I felt especially bad for the young chicks as they don’t have as many options as the adult birds do to escape the rain.  The rain and cold continued the entire day.

For the second day in a row Cindy and I stayed indoors doing indoor things.  Cindy didn’t seem to mind nearly as much as I did, by the afternoon I was just over the two day solid block of shit weather.  I tried to remind myself that this was basically how the entire winter is in PA so two days of it shouldn’t be a big deal.  These internal conversations didn’t help.  My response to the weather was to play a lot of WoW, probably the most I have gotten to play in one day in a couple years.  It was fun but frustrating at the same time.  I almost felt like a fat person does after they finish off that large pizza by themselves, guilty pleasure.

I am hoping this week we can flush out this type of weather and return to sunny and 75, the normal January conditions in SWFL.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Yesterday when I was opening up the chicken tractor for the baby chicks they were looking out at me through the glass block window that is on the side.  Danielle made her way to the front and all of a sudden I heard a weird noise that I had not heard out of them before.  I looked and realized it was Danielle making the noise and I am 90% sure the sound was her/him trying to crow, as in what roosters do, great…

When I told Cindy about the incident she wasn’t happy either but it really isn’t much of a surprise.  Since the very beginning Danielle was clearly the most aggressive bird of the six.  We commented from very early our concerns of she being a he.  As Danielle has grown her waddle is bigger than all the other chicks as well as her crown, more signs of the bird being mis-gendered.  It’s very frustrating as the chicks at Rural King were marked as pullets (hens), not a straight run which means males and females.  This is not a new thing for us as we have had at least three situations where we had birds that we were told were hens and turned out not to be. Evidently whatever method is used to determine a chicks gender at birth is far from foolproof.

So if Danielle does turn out to be a rooster I would imagine we once again will try to find a good place to rehome him to.  That is easier said than done.  We could try living with a rooster but I really don’t want to deal with the potential hassle.  The visions of my dad beating one to death that attacked my sister when I was a kid still floats through my mind.  I don’t want to have to be in for a fight every time we go into the chicken yard.

I dropped Sadie back off at Ali’s place yesterday morning after a trip to Rural King.  Elsa immediately made herself at home, running upstairs to say hi to Ali and then plopping herself down in the oversized chair.  When I told Elsa it was time to leave she was very unhappy about it, she just loves Sadie so much.  Sadie herself started to follow Elsa which made me sad as I told her I would see her again soon.  The two of them had so much fun while I was off.

Early yesterday afternoon I was trying to decide what sort of PEV ride I wanted to do on my last day off.  I had an EUC stand order come in recently.  I thought it would be fun to deliver the package to the post office via the speedy Dualtron.  It was a good time.  I learned from my last Dualtron ride and just used the chest mount for the GoPro.  Trying to film with one hand as I do on my other electric vehicles is just unsafe, the Dualtron really requires two hands on the handlebars at all times.  The ride went well and my speed topped out at 34 mph.  I wore full gear, just in case.

I hope this long two day work week hurries up and gets over with.

 

 

 

 

 

So the although I finished the official to do list I have been keeping busy the last two days with other things.  I did find more tasks to accomplish in the chicken area.  On Monday I grabbed 20 bags of top soil to elevate another section of ground next to the playground.  On Tuesday I picked up 30 pieces of sod to cap off and secure that elevated area.  It was mildly labor intensive but nothing compared to what I did the first few days of my time off.

I also did some fun things like riding our board PEVs with Cindy on Monday and a solo ride yesterday.

I did some work on my CR-10 to try to get it printing more consistently.  The work was mildly successful but I still decided it was time to replace the printer as it has been sitting mostly unused for the last 8-9 months.  I gave it to my co-worker who also is into 3D printing.  I am replacing it with a new and improved model which should show up tomorrow.

Today I dropped Sadie back off at Ali’s place.  She had been out with us the entire time I have been off.  Watching her and Elsa interact and play is always something that Cindy and I both love.  As my six day work hiatus is coming to an end it affirmed yet again that if I magically found myself retired from the conventional workforce tomorrow I would have very minimal issues adjusting to it and would certainly find retirement enjoyable long term.  My hobbies and interests give me an infinite number of ways to direct my energy as needed.

 

I hit the ground running on my first day off.  I figured I would start off with something pretty simple, loading up another 30 bags of mulch in the Tacoma and refreshing the orchard with it.  I was pretty confident 30 bags would handle the job but it turns out I was four bags short which I grabbed the next day.  While I was out getting the mulch I made a planned stop at Costco to grab a few things we needed so Cindy didn’t have to make a stop later.

I grabbed the items as planned but I also made an unplanned purchase, a 55 inch LG tv.  I had been talking to Cindy loosely about the idea of me getting a new TV for the bedroom, despite the 47 inch LG set that was on the wall still worked fine, except for WIFI that didn’t want to work.  Cindy had said that if I did swap out the tv,  Katie and Daniel could use the old one in the new house they are planning on buying.  So anyway, for no particular reason I found myself walking down the TV aisle in Costco.

It really is staggering just how inexpensive large TVs have gotten in recent years.  They had a nice 55 inch LG ultra thin set for less than $500.  I didn’t grab it immediately.  I instead did my normal shopping to let the idea roll around in my head for awhile.  When I was done grabbing grocery items it still seemed like a good idea so I went back and carefully perched the large box across the top of my shopping cart.  I’m sure it looked silly. Since the bed of the Tacoma was packed to the gills with 30 bags of mulch I had to cram the TV box into the extended cab.  It barely fit, I had to jam the box at an odd angle in able to close the doors.

When I went to install the TV in the late afternoon I discovered that an assumption I made earlier was incorrect.  I assumed since the old and new TV were both LG sets, that they would have the same spacing on their wall mount holes.  Ironically the smaller 47 inch TV had holes that were 40CM apart and the bigger set had 30CM spacing.  So my plan to reuse the existing wall mount was scrubbed.  I wound up going back to Costco to get a new, and better mount that allowed a downward tilt, making for a better viewing experience at bed level.

The install of the new mount went ok.  The bedroom has metal studs that sort of suck for wall mounting a TV.  I wound up buying a bunch of drywall anchors that were rated to hold over 100 pounds each.  I utilized 10 of them for the install so I think the TV should stay up there.  Even though the TV has more screen real estate it is actually substantially lighter than the smaller set it replaced.

During the afternoon I also started doing prep for painting the chicken roof white, again.  I started doing this around three years ago to reduce the amount of heat the normally dark brown roof pulled in.  Before painting the roof, in the summer if you were inside the coop and touched the roof panels it would burn your hand in a second.  So the problem has been that even though I have been using paint that supposedly is made for plastic, it just does not last.  By the time a year has passed half of the paint is peeling off.

Last year I did very minimal prep to the paint before reapplying new stuff.  The end result was the paint lasted even less time than normal, as expected.  Hell one year I went so far as to put down primer first and then paint and it still fell apart in a year.  So anyway this year I am trying something different.  I had to try to do a better job with removing loose paint this time.  I got up on the ladder with the battery powered shop vac.  I used the suction tool as a scraper as well, breaking loose paint and ideally vacuuming it up right away.  I wanted to try to avoid getting a lot of old paint chips on the ground because of the risk of the chickens trying to eat them.  I soon realized that no matter what I did some chips were going to fall, I just went around later and vacuumed up some and broke the others down with high water pressure.

I also realized using the hose end as a scraper was not doing a great job either.  I decided to throw a paint stripper attachment on one of cordless drills instead. This did a much better job but of course made more of a mess.  It was tedious, shitty work.  Not only did I have to go over the entire surface with the stripper, I then had to go back over it with the vacuum.  Then as one last step, I hit the entire roof with a hose to hopefully get the surface as stable as possible for the new product I was using on the roof the next day.

When I woke up Saturday I was very sore from the labor of the previous day.  I popped a couple Advil to take the edge off the pain.  I resumed my work on the ladder early Saturday afternoon.  Instead of using the same paint that has proven to be ineffective over time I instead decided to drop a lot more money on a one gallon container of liquid Flex Seal, yes the stuff you see on infomercials where the guy holds together a canoe that was sawed in half with nothing but FlexSeal tape.

The product I bought is a liquid variant which is basically rubber in a can.  It boasts being able to stop leaks but that was not my concern.  I just wanted something that stuck to the roof like glue and lasted more than one calendar year.  Only after a few strokes I knew that it was going to be a very tiring job.  The FlexSeal is much thicker than regular paint.  Putting it on is a slow process that requires more effort than normal.  I methodically plugged away, consuming the entire afternoon in the process as I applied two coats.  I did not use great care as I applied it, I just slapped it on generously.  Once it dried it did feel like rubber and looked pretty good.  I am crossing my fingers it is able to withstand the brutal Florida climate.

On Sunday morning a new cold front blew in creating thunderstorms as it passed.  The air behind it was quite chilly with the temps not leaving the 60’s most of the day with high winds.  I figured it was a good day to knock out the indoor items on my to do list.  Two of the items were 3D printer repairs.  Neither of those went great.  One repair only helped my problem moderately, the other repair was an outright failure.

I wrapped up the day taking on the item on the list I was least looking forward to, ripping apart my Msuper EUC to tighten the axle nuts.  These wheels have some poor engineering that results in the nuts that secure the foot pedals to the wheel axle loosening up over time.  The only way to fix it is to rip the thing completely apart which is a major pain in the as to do.  However I had been putting off the work for awhile, if I didn’t do it during a six day break, when else would I do it?

The job was tedious as expected but overall went pretty well.  While I had it apart I also installed Slime into the tire to help prevent slow leaks, another task I should have completed a long time ago.    As the video shows, it was quite the job but the end result was as I hoped.

Sunday night I had another live stream and I caught a bit of the Chiefs/Patriots game.  It was historic that BOTH conference championship games went to overtime although it sounds like the Saints really got screwed on a pass interference non-call that would have changed the outcome.  I was pulling for the Chiefs to win, mostly because Andy Reid is the coach.  Instead Andy revisited his Eagle days where the team got to the championship game three years in a row and lost every time.  KC’s defense just seemed to have no answers in crunch time which is too bad.  Love him or hate him, you can’t help but respect what Tom Brady manages to achieve year after year.

The live stream went well and longer than expected.

So my to do list is officially complete, leaving me three days to do more of what I want to do.  Of course one of those things is coming up with more work.  After going out and doing a very chilly chicken clean up session this morning in the 45 degree air I later loaded Sadie and Elsa up in the truck for me to run to Home Depot.  I needed a replacement UPS for the coop and I also grabbed 20 bags of top soil.  Unfortunately to elevate the ground in parts of the chicken yard I do it via this manner.  What really sucks is the process requires me to load and unload each bag a total of four times.  Once onto the flat bed at the store, another time into the back of the truck, a third time from the truck bed onto the ground by the fence and then a fourth time as I lug each bag to its spot and dump it, one cubic foot at a time.  It’s a hassle for sure but my hope is the end result is I more or less double the amount of high ground the hens have available during the misery of wet season.

I hope to enjoy the rest of the day and repeat that pattern clear through Wednesday.

Yesterday I got some shocking news when my uncle, my mom’s younger brother, emailed me that his wife had just died.  I had never met his second wife but they seemed to have a special relationship where they both encouraged the creativity in the other.  I had no idea that she was having health issues so news of her passing was a major shock to me.   I responded back with my sympathy and an offer to help in any way he needed. I told him I really didn’t know what else to say.  You wish there were magical words you could offer somebody in times like this to ease their suffering, but if those words actually exist I do not know them.  Loss of a loved one before normal life expectancy is a heart wrenching experience that can only be endured and not cured.

It’s easy for us to move day to day in our lives with the assumption that what has been will continue to be.  The reality that most of us insulate ourselves from is nothing could be further from the truth.  We are all walking a tight rope without a safety net, whether you realize it or not.  Value your time on the wire.

 

Last night I worked on crafting my official to do list for my upcoming six day staycation.  The list is substantial with six or seven items on it but there is no MASSIVE project on there.  Some of the jobs are straight out grunt work like putting down more mulch and dumping more top soil in the chicken playground area.  Then there is the grinder type items like repainting the roof of the chicken coop which is going to include being up there with a shop vac to try to scrape/vacuum all the loose paint before I redo it with very expensive white Flex Seal.  Then there are the two technical and tedious list items, ripping apart my Msuper to tighten the axle nuts and replacing the hot bed wire on my AnyCubic Chiron.  Both of those tasks should be lots of (un)fun.

It is winter so this is THE time to get unpleasant outdoor tasks completed.  The extended weather forecast looks amenable during my time off.  As always I will push myself hard during the front end of the time off to get as much done as possible with the hopes of enjoying some guilt free, less laborious hours towards the end.

Am I the only one that finds it incredulous that the government shutdown has lasted this long thanks to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter? You may recall that Trump was ready to sign legislation to keep the government fully open in December, without wall requirements.  However once Rush and Ann pronounced that Trump would be weak for doing so he quickly reversed directions and started trying to brain wash his acolytes that NOW there is a national emergency at the border, that somehow something has suddenly changed that mutated a situation that has existed for decades into a “crisis of the soul”.

The shutdown that Donald proudly and defiantly proclaimed he would take responsibility for in the meeting with Schumer and Pelosi now has been retcon’d to be the Democrats fault for “not caring about border security”. The same border security that Trump said has improved very, very greatly under his presidency.  The fact is that illegal border immigration is at a 12 YEAR LOW. Somehow that declining trend is being spun as a national emergency that is just a veiled attempt for Donald to please his hypocritical base of core Trumpettes.  It’s utter lunacy.

Of course nothing has changed, except that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives, which is the true crisis in Donald’s mind.  It will be interesting to see who blinks first.  As he has demonstrated countless times, Donald is essentially a man-child that is apt to tantrum easily when he is told no.   There has been no parent to discipline him for the last two years.  It’s time to bring out the paddle.

Last night I spent a good portion of the evening in the hobby room.  I was assembling some more EUC stands that I recently printed but most of the time I was working on getting my CR-10 printing better.  The CR-10 was my first “real” 3D printer.  The FlashForge Finder that I started with shielded you from much of the potential complexity in the 3D printing hobby.  The CR-10 has cranked out hundreds of prints for me over the last couple years.  It also has been a huge source of frustration as I spent hours troubleshooting various problems that have arisen. Since I bought my AnyCubic printers the CR-10 has seen less and use.  Unlike the CR-10, the AnyCubic printers just work without much user intervention.  I have had very minimal problems with them compared to the CR-10.

So anyway last night I spent most of my time trying to get the CR-10 printing well.  I changed the print bed and the hot end assembly.  When I did my final test print before going to bed I had to stop it as plastic was being drug around the surface.  I will give it another shot either this week or over my extended weekend.  If I can’t get it working satisfactorily, it may be time for the CR-10 to give up it’s spot on the work bench to something else.

I also had another tech failure last night as the UPS I have hooked up to my PC died.  Luckily I had a working but smaller UPS in the hobby room that I could hook up as a replacement.   My Chiron printer is still dead as well, which will require some extensive futzing by myself to get it going again.  It will be yet another thing to add to my to do list for the weekend.

I got notice that I am finally getting the result I hoped for with my Apple Watch repair.  Unlike the first time where they sent it back saying they could find no problem, this time I got an email stating a replacement watch is en route.  If first you aren’t successful, try, try again.

 

 

Friday after work I resumed my running program, trudging 13 laps around the local track.  It had been somewhere around a three week hiatus mostly due to my wipeout on the skateboard.  I felt pretty miserable the entire time but the first two laps were the worst.  My lower back was killing me and I just felt like I had no energy.  Repeatedly I thought about how nice it would be to just stop and get in the car but I refused to give in to the urge.   Instead I just continued on at my meager pace, doing my normal mental lap countdown.  Thankfully it eventually concluded without incident.

As I mentioned last week I took off three additional days around MLK weekend.  I have a long list of things I would like to get done with that extra time.  One of those things was refresh the mulch so I thought I would be proactive and get that started on Saturday.  I loaded up the Tacoma with 30 bags of mulch and spread it around the smaller landscaped areas.  I had enough to do everything except the orchard which will be done this weekend with another 30 bag load.  It’s actually much less work than it used to be since I converted several areas to rubber mulch over the last few years.  That stuff never wears out for obvious reasons.

I was cranking out some 3d prints on Saturday.  One of the printers I was using was my monster sized Chiron which has been somewhat problematic.  Well it stopped again in the middle of a print but for a new reason.  One of the cables that power the heated bed had snapped, evidently from wear.  The printer is only a few months old and has not seen heavy use.  A quick search online revealed that a ton of people have been having this same issue caused by low quality wire being used for the connection.  So now I have two choices.  I could get a replacement hot bed assembly from AnyCubic that utilizes the same low grade wire or I dig into the printer and install good wire that won’t break.  I am opting towards choice two but I know it is going to be a PIA to do.

My Netflix queue had emptied out so I had Cindy help me pick titles to help fill it back up.  In her selections were a number of movies that I would not normally seek out myself, romantic comedies.  I told her I was fine with it as she certainly has sat through plenty of movies I selected that she would not have chosen either.  The first such selection arrived over the weekend, Crazy Rich Asians.  Although it wasn’t a genre I have much interest in, the movie was entertaining enough and I didn’t fall asleep. I’d give it a solid B.

Sunday morning Cindy and I headed out for a ride.  We decided to park in the Target parking lot and push out from there.  As we were getting ready a very strange incident unraveled behind me as the camera was rolling.  I heard a commotion that included the sound of a very aggravated woman.  When I turned I saw a work van with the passenger side door open, it was still moving slowly.  The angry woman was half in the van but trying to get out.  She then yelled something about her foot.  The driver of the van then stopped for a brief second and the woman got out, slamming the door.  You can see her marching behind me angrily.  Luckily it seemed like her foot was ok.  I have no idea what it was about but I assumed a lover’s quarrel.  Cindy seemed convinced it was a day after prostitute drop off.  Whatever the truth was, it was the most bizarre way we ever started a ride off.

I looked forward to the Eagles/Saints game with anticipation.  I was hoping that the improbable playoff run of success could continue, despite the Birds playing the number one seeded team in the NFC, a team that absolutely destroyed the Eagles in the regular season.  The game started off just about as well as you could imagine.  The Eagles intercepted the first pass Drew Brees threw and scored two quick touchdowns.  Nick Foles looked like he was in top form, easily completing passes to various targets consistently.  On the flip side the defense seemed to be doing a good job of stopping the Saints offense, somehow.  Well for the remaining three quarters momentum slowly but consistently reversed.

When the Saints consumed almost the entire third quarter with ONE drive I knew we were in big trouble.  After those early , impressive drives, the Eagles offense sputtered.  The Saints defense started to play aggressive press coverage and it made a big difference.  One of the reasons the Eagles defense has been better with Foles in there has been his ability to engineer long, time consuming drives that keeps the Eagles suspect defense on the sideline and well rested. The shift in strategy by the Saints seemed to have no answer on Philly’s sideline, they never got back on track the entire game.

The Eagles allowed 20 unanswered points but after a missed Saints FG late that would have iced the game the team still had a shot.  Despite struggling since the first quarter I had hope that the Foles engineered offense could pull out yet another miracle finish.  It started to look like we had a shot.  Nick was moving the team down the field and was at the Saints 27 yard line with plenty of time. On a 2nd and 10 he threw to Alshon Jeffrey, who has some of the best hands on the team.  It was an accurate pass that hit Jeffrey right on his hands, and then went through them, into the hands of a Saints DB, game over.

It was a disappointment for sure, but to be honest, the way the game had turned, the Eagles didn’t really deserve to win.  Their defensive strategy where it is soft zone all the time just is horrific to watch, especially when you saw how effective the Saints press coverage was.  The entire game the Eagles rushed four lineman, dropped seven into coverage and got smoked time and time again.  I am not sure if this is just a core bread and butter strategy of Jim Schwartz  or if it is just the end result of not having the talent in the secondary to play press coverage, but I HATE it.  Allowing receivers to come off the line unimpeded at full speed while your defenders that are lined up 8 yards off the ball going into an instant back pedal is just a a ludicrous strategy to me.  The only way that works is if your lineman are consistently getting pressure on the QB, causing rushed and errant throws.

I found it extremely frustrating that there was no noticeable change in the defensive strategy as the Saints methodically picked it apart, rush four, drop seven all day long.  It was fitting that the defense was the ultimate downfall of the team.  The injuries to the starting secondary which I felt was already subpar put second and third stringers out there that just could not hang.  I can only hope something is done in the off season to significantly improve the talent back there.

So I took the loss relatively well.  Realistically even appearing in the playoffs this year based on how things started out was a huge win.  To beat the Bears and come within 27 yards of taking out a Saints team that crushed the Birds during the regular season really is impressive.  It will be interesting to see how this season will affect how the roster shakes out next year.  Everyone says there is no way Nick Foles is on the team next year as there are multiple teams out there ready to make him a starter.  I still question why the Eagles aren’t one of those teams making that consideration.  His performance under pressure over the last two years is unequaled in Philly QB history, IMO.

This was certainly a roller coaster year for the team.  I am less excited about Carson Wentz as our potenitial 10 year QB.  I get this nagging feeling we have another another Tony Romo in the making, a good QB that gets hurt a lot but never gets you there. For a young guy to not be able to finish the season two years in a row is a red flag for me.   I also am not a big fan of pre-planned, choreographed end zone celebrations that Carson is a big fan and participant of.  I much prefer Nick’s , slap hands and let’s go at it again attitude, no grandstanding, no taunting, just get to work way about him.

The team needs a get it done, reliable running back.  I think the lack of one for most of the year made a substantial difference. I dont know how much longer you can expect Jason Peters to play, he gets hurt on a regular basis at his age.  Of course the defense needs some major help.  To me, bringing back that starting secondary is simply not enough.  If you are pinning your defensive rebound on Jalen Mills being healthy, whom I think is more of a liability than an asset, you have big problems.  The only guy back there I have any confidence in is Malcolm Jenkins.

So it was a down way to end the weekend but at least I have two short work weeks ahead of me to look forward to.