Category: Dreams

So last night I had a dream, something I do quite regularly but also something I have not been able to recall many details from in recent years.  However last night was different.  I recall literally no details about what lead up to the event.  All I can tell you is I am pretty sure it transpired as I was going down into the basement of the Gouglersville house I grew up in.  I have detailed here before how the basement of that old farmhouse used to scare the shit out of me as a kid.  I always felt like someone was watching me and I would never dare look towards the furnace until I pulled one of the drawstring lights as I was pretty sure that was where the eyes were coming from.

So anyway in the dream I was walking down the steps of that basement and at the bottom I made a left hand turn, towards the side the furnace was on.  I was looking down as I normally would but I glanced up for just a second.  I suddenly had the shadowy outline of a person right in front of me and slightly to my right.  In a split second, in my dream I snapped my right leg out and up, delivering a blow to the side of the shadows head, dropping it.  The dream ended right there as I realized I had actually kicked my right leg out violently in bed as well.

I was on the right side of the bed (as you lay on it)  My right leg was only partially covered and easily shot into the air.  When I woke up I realized just how hard I had kicked, my right knee felt the strain of going from sound asleep to adrenaline fueled, full force flailing in no time flat.  It was pretty crazy.

I have had other flailing incidents in my sleep that Cindy has unfortunately been on the receiving end of but this kick was an entire new level of action.  Thankfully I was so tired I was able to fall back asleep rather quickly with no further basement dreams corrupting my dreamworld.

I was a bit worried I wasn’t going to be able to do my ride to the gym on the Ninebot One as I drove through some small areas of precipitation on the way home.  When I pulled out of the driveway a little after 6PM the roads were wet but no rain was actively coming down, good enough.  Riding at that time of day was not ideal because of the large volume of traffic from commuters coming home.  I had to use the pedestrian crossing buttons to be able to get a break in the cars to cross.

I am getting a bit better with being able to log long distances on the wheel.  My feet still start to ache and burn but it takes longer to start and I can put up with it longer.  Besides crossing the roads, I only stepped off once during the 8.5 mile ride for a quick foot break.  I was very concerned about again hitting a low battery condition which is what caused me to crash in the past.  I tried to keep my speed at around 11-12 mph to prevent excessive battery depletion.

I pulled into the gym parking lot a minute or two after Cindy texted me saying she was done which was pretty perfect timing.  I threw the Ninebot One in the behind the seat after checking it’s odometer on the app.  I now have logged 122 miles on one wheel.  Of course I had the GoPro along for the ride so if you want the cliff notes version of the ride take a look below.

Speaking of video, I was looking at my YouTube/AdSense dollars for this current month.  It looks like again I have accumulated enough money in the account to get paid for the third consecutive month in a row.  In fact, I still have something like a week before they pay out and I am already ahead of what I made last month.  It’s very cool to see my channel building momentum.

The other day I saw somebody ripped off one of my Tacoma videos and posted it on their channel, a common scam.  Reposting other’s content without their consent is not cool but done very often.  When I looked at my options for reporting the user there wasn’t really an option for “they ripped off my content” so I just let it go.  The account has 4 subscribers so I don’t think he is going to get rich off my stuff for a long time.  I will surely be keeping an eye on him however.

So when I talked about our decision to postpone our planned road trip I didn’t really talk much about the money factor.  In 2016 I have spent a small fortune already.  In this calendar year I have bought the new Tacoma, the new TV, all new kitchen appliances, an engagement ring, three personal transportation devices, two trips to Comic-Super Cons along with tons of smaller things in the $50-$300 range.  There is no doubt that this year has been the largest ever in terms of outgoing dollars so sacrificing the road trip this year really makes more sense the more I examine things.

I had a very weird dream last night where my dad and I drove up to some remote area that seemed to be like a zoo.  We walked through a building to an outside area with a fence.  On the other side of the fence were a ton of animals you would see on a safari like a couple lions, a black panther, elephant, rhino, hippo and even a water buffalo.  There were other people by the fence line.  One dumb person got too close to the fence and was heckling the panther.  The animal hissed and then swiped at his tormentor, smacking him on the side of the head, knocking him down.

The dream moved forward and for some reason some of the lions were fighting.  It was pretty gruesome as it seemed two of the lions were attacking a third.  There was a lot of blood.  It was disturbing enough that I woke up momentarily.

When I fell back asleep the dream continued.  My dad and I had gone back into the building and fallen asleep. We awoke to discover the animals had somehow escaped the fence.  When my dad opened the door to the parking lot the hippo and a small elephant were there.  I yelled at my dad to close the door but the animals already tried to push their way in and they seemed agitated.   There was a big blue plastic drink cooler on the floor.  I picked it up and placed it front of me as a shield as I tried to squeeze by the wild animals, trying to calm them down with “hey guys, good boys, good boys…”

We got by the two animals but saw the other much more dangerous animals outside the door nearby.  They appeared to be sleeping but I was worried the noise would wake them up.  The moment we got one step past the sleeping predators they started to stir.  We sprinted for the car and took off, never looking back.  That’s it.

I was thinking about my latest interest in devices like the Segway Minipro and the Ninebot One and how they tied in with how my hobbies and interests have come and gone over the years.

intellivision-console-pic1Going way, way back I had two big interests as a kid, video games and baseball.  My brother and I played the hell of out of the original console video games like Intellivison, Colecovision, and the NES.  Even into my late teens and early 20’s I was borderline obsessed with console gaming. I also spent thousands of dollars in local arcades.

My obsession with baseball had a much shorter shelf life, starting around age 11 and running until I was 17-18 when an elbow injury dashed my dreams of being a major league pitcher.

In my 20’s in addition to gaming, my focus on cars and volleyball really picked up speed.  My 1969 Firebird convertible was the highlight of my car hobby in my 20’s although I owned a LOT of other vehicles.69bird1

semiceleb11Later in my 20’s and into my early 30’s volleyball took center stage in a huge way.  I used to play 3-4 times a week and during the summer playing in weekend tournaments was a very regular occurrence.  The highlight of my volleyball days of course was the epic win of the BB division in the 1999 Pottstown Rumble with my buddy Rich.  We beat out something ridiculous like 125 other teams that were in the division to win it all.  My volleyball heyday was cut short by a meniscus right knee injury that I had operated on twice. When I moved to Florida I had a 2-3 year resurrection of my volleyball career with Randall but old age and just lack of interest eventually shut that down.

Since living in Florida I have had a number of things take on a large portion of my attention.  Early on I had my first run as a RC plane enthusiast, building and flying a number of aircraft.  My hobby was bolstered by my friend Mike who was into RC on a level far exceeding mine.  We flew together quite a few times.  Unfortunately once he moved to Colorado my interest in flying dropped off majorly.  I had a resurrection in air based hobbies with the purchase of my various quadcopters, culminating with the awesome DJI Phantom Cindy bought me for Christmas a few years ago.  I still have the Phantom but have flown it very little recently.  The incident with the Yellowstone park ranger office prosecuting me for a drone flight via You Tube really left a bad taste in my mouth.

dufwolfI also became involved in the MMORPG World of Warcraft in the beginning of 2005, my first time ever playing that type of game.  There were periods of time that I was so into the game it was scary.  At one point I was playing 30-40 hours PER WEEK.  I still play the game to this day but in a much less addicted manner.  Once I started playing WoW my days of gaming on a console like my Xbox 360 pretty much ended.

About halfway into my marriage with Ali we started doing a lot more running and triathlon training.  I had done some running when I lived in PA in my late 20’s, early 30’s but nothing consistent.  For a period of a few years Ali and I entered a TON of events, mostly 5K’s but also a few triathlons.  I maxed out at the half marathon distance, which I completed three times.  A series of annoying and somewhat chronic lower body injuries derailed that hobby although I am in the process of trying to reboot things right now.

start2k12Our running also lead to another huge area of focus for nearly the last decade, my involvement with the local running club.  What started out with an email I sent to the club complaining about race results taking two weeks or more to be posted online eventually lead to me being the race timer for the club for almost 8 years.  I really enjoyed the challenge of it all early on as I introduced all sorts of things to make club races more dynamic and runner friendly.  Over time I took on more and more roles for the club, because I could.  Eventually the weight of all of those responsibilities turned the role from fun to extremely frustrating, leading to me leaving that role early this year.

ssrsamsI also had a couple revivals in my hobby car interest since living in Florida, owning an 88 Corvette, a 71 Buick Skylark convertible, and most recently the 2005 Chevy SSR.  The cycle for each purchase felt extremely similar.  I felt that buying each vehicle was going to fill some sort of void I was feeling at the time for various reasons.  Once I assumed ownership I would go through a pretty intense cycle of fixing/upgrading a number of things on each vehicle.  Once those items were addressed, when it was time to enjoy the fruits of my labor I simply didn’t do it as much as I envisioned I would have.

Now the Skylark actually burned up in a fire, but even so, once it was gone for a short period of time I felt a degree of relief.  Since selling the SSR, a vehicle I almost attached a God-like importance to initially, I have not had a moment’s regret with getting rid of it.  My new 2016 Tacoma will give me much, much more enjoyment long term than the SSR ever could have.  At this point I don’t really see myself relapsing back into the car hobbyist role but never say never.

2012lsitIn my early 40’s I really became interested in calisthenics and the bar based exercise movement, lead by the Bar-barians.  In addition to my focus on bodyweight based workouts which got me in arguably the best shape of my life, I also became involved with the Bar-barians group, first running their message board and later running monthly exercise challenges for message board users.  I even designed, set up and maintained their web site for over a year. I virtually met hundreds of people from around the world through my involvement with the group which was really, really cool as well as a few in real life, which is even cooler.  I still do a lot of calisthenics work in my exercise routine but nowhere near the same level as I did back then.

13770446_10154678705022841_5708589150240778921_nSo that brings me to my most current focus, the Minipros and more so the Ninebot One E+, my first electric unicycle.  The cycle of defeat followed by ultimate victory in learning to ride the single wheel vehicle was a feeling of accomplishment I have not matched in recent memory.  It felt very close to the feeling you have as a kid when you are able to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time.  Riding the wheel brings back many childhood feelings of doing something just because it is flat out fun and nothing else.  When I ride the wheel cares melt away, hard feelings soften, and the noise of the world is drowned out by the pleasant hum of the brushless motor pushing you along mile after mile.

Why I decided to go off on this tangent I don’t really know.  In some way while I was running at the gym I was thinking about people that make up their minds on certain things, whether they be hobbies, interests, religious beliefs or political views, and then never, ever take a moment to reconsider those options and do/think new things based on changing circumstances.  I feel badly for these people.  Somebody famous once said something to the effect of “If you are still doing and thinking about things the same way now as you did twenty years ago, you are doing something wrong”  Flip the script, it’s not a bad thing.

 

13173434_10154510131242841_1002216085949303337_oLast night I was doing more tweaking after I got home.  During the day I had ordered an iHome smart outlet based on a recommendation from my buddy Joe.  I pulled the new WeMo switch I was trying to get to work with the coop door and brought it inside.  I reconfigured it to work with the fan we have in the bedroom for white noise.  “Alexa, turn on the fan” is now a thing.

I also did some more work on the old computer I got from my accountant, getting it ready to give to Ali.  I set up the system in the hobby room, connecting it to the 27 inch monitor I have on the top shelf.  It actually wasn’t a bad arrangement, as long as I was standing up and used the top of the tower as a mouse pad.

So all of the feedback I have given about the new Tacoma has been overwhelmingly positive.  Cindy and I both love the truck however there is one shortcoming that really makes no sense to me.  The TRD and above models include the smart key system which uses rfid proximity tech to allow you to simply walk up to a door and have it unlock without having to press an unlock button on your remote.  It isn’t new tech, my old 2007 Camry Hybrid and our 2007 Prius both have it.  It also allows you to lock the door by simply pressing a button on the door handle.  It’s very convenient.

So I was excited that my new Tacoma had the same tech.  With my 99 I still have been old schooling it, inserting the key into the lock to open the door.  I was confused when I realized Toyota only installed the tech on the driver side door in the 2016 Tacoma.  I am unable to understand the reasoning behind this since my nearly decade old Toyotas had it on both doors.  Is it a cost saving measure?  Is there some sort of technical challenge doing this on a truck?  I doubt it, I think it was just a dumb oversight.

I know in the way I use a vehicle quite often I first go to the passenger side to load up whatever stuff I may be lugging with me.  When I have the Prius it doesn’t matter how full my hands are, I can just reach for the passenger door and it unlocks the vehicle.  With the Tacoma I have to try to fish the remote out of the pocket to accomplish the same thing.  Sure it is a very minor thing but still makes no sense to me why they would do it this way. Oh well.

I forgot to mention the other night I had a bizarre dream.  It was almost like I was back in my Weis Market meat cutter days. I was processing chicken but they were not normal cleaned and gutted chickens, they were small and intact, almost like chicks that were a month or two old.  They were in a cardboard box packed with ice.

So I pulled some out and was ready to start the cleaning process.  All of a sudden I started to see movement, the chickens were alive!  They slowly opened their eyes and started to move more.  Although I don’t recall the details of how it came to be the next part  of the dream was me at home with once frozen chicks grown into full size chickens roaming the yard, happy as chickens can be.  I assume I quit the job.

 

Saturday morning I was out the door before 8 am to head up to Fort Myers.  I had two brand new HP computers loaded in the trunk of the Prius for my accountants, a husband/wife team I first met when I lived in PA.  They moved to SW Florida permanently last year.  One of their systems had been having a ton of lock up problems the past few months which was terrible timing since it fell in the middle of tax season. Although I had plenty of stuff I wanted to get done around the house this past weekend I wanted to get their systems migrated instead of having it hanging over me.

Going in I had delusions of getting done around lunch time.  I instead wound up spending all day there, pulling out around 4. They just had a lot of data and a lot of little hurdles I had to get around.  I methodically knocked down the problems one at a time until we got to a point where they were both up and running with their data intact.  We sort of have a barter arrangement in place where I help them with computer stuff and they do accountant stuff for me.  They also gave me the one computer that was locking up.  I may fix it up and give it to Ali since her computer is about 95 in computer years.

13147277_10154503621077841_7176190009514465190_oWhile I was working Cindy was as well, painting the garage floor.  We spent all that time cleaning and reorganizing the garage but it still had the ugly bare cement floor that had countless stains on it.  Cindy painted it a solid gray to match the accent color on the walls.  It was a nice finishing touch to the space and makes the garage look officially renovated.

captamericaEven though I only got home about 5 we wanted to still get out to go see the new Captain America Civil War movie.  It was playing every 15 minutes at Coconut Pointe so we headed there.  I brought GoPro with to film our review of the movie.  Of course it went off the rails and included other random subject matter.

We were happy to see the theater was not overly crowded thanks to the numerous showings and the snowbirds migrating back north.  Before we got seated I made a bathroom pit stop.  As I was washing my hands a large man stood in front of the urinals behind me.  Thanks to the mirror I got a horrific view of his urinal technique.

The man apparently wore elastic band shorts.  Instead of just pulling down the front of his shorts to gain access to his penis he instead pulled his shorts down until they were resting at mid-thigh leaving his entire ass hanging in the wind.  I stared briefly in disbelief before getting the fck out of there.  It was a visual that will likely be burned into my mind for the foreseeable future.

The movie itself was quite entertaining, keeping the bar set quite high for anything Marvel related.  I am not sure why the film was pitched as a Captain America film instead of Avengers 3.  It had more super heroes than any previous Marvel movie.  Regardless of the branding we both found the movie entertaining, fun and left us hungry for the next installment of the series.  It was odd seeing the good guys beat the shit out of each other and the thought process of the head bad guy in the film didn’t make much sense to me but it really didn’t matter.  Despite being some 2 1/2 hours long the film got a solid A from both Cindy and myself.

Sunday morning we wanted to take advantage of what likely will be our last batch of cool mornings for 6 months or more to get out and run.  We first dropped off Sadie who was visiting for a couple days.  We then headed to the water park to get our run in.  Our normal run around the perimeter of the park is two miles per lap.  That course includes running through sections of grass.  We wanted to avoid grass and get 3 miles in only using one lap so we did a new route that included several back and forth turns to get additional distance in.  It was my first run in a couple weeks so I didn’t feel strong or fast.  The best thing I could say about it was I my lower body didn’t hurt too badly during or afterward.

13173000_10154503840472841_2907583070250227743_oShortly after we got home Cindy’s daughter came over for Mother’s Day.  Cindy loves nothing more than to spend time with Katie and that was what they did for the majority of the day.  They spent most of it working on refurbishing a small doghouse they found at a yard sale.

I kept myself busy with my own projects, the most time consuming was me working on cleaning up the 99 Tacoma for sale.  I used the pressure washer and fine grit wet sanding to try to clean up the peeling and oxidizing clear coat as much as possible.  I also applied a couple layers of Nu Finish to the roof and hood of the truck which actually brought back some degree of shine to the 17 year old paint.

13116376_10154505286312841_3298927256612933844_oI spent a lot of time and energy trying to refurb the exterior to at least an acceptable level.  As a last step I pulled out the matching touch up paint I bought a few weeks ago to try to make the area on the fiberglass fender that had no paint left on it look better as well as a few small spots scattered on the truck.  I want to apply a second coat of the paint and then wet sand again to smooth it out.  It looks far from professional but still an improvement over how it was.

13164270_1188102431203009_5197876563471325409_nWe cleaned up and headed out to take Cindy to a Mother’s Day dinner at Iguana Mia since Cindy is a big fan of mexican food.  The last couple times I have gone there my meal was less than spectacular.  Unfortunately the streak continued.  Katie and I both got blackened fish tacos and both of us thought they sort of sucked.  The fish was dry and basically tasteless.  Even though I am not a big fan of spicy sauce I dumped a bunch on my tacos so they at least tasted like something. Cindy enjoyed her meal more than us so that was good.  Even with the less than spectacular meal Cindy had fun.  She loves when the three of us are all together.

10426194_10153143814382841_4865230077152776867_nKeeping busy this weekend was a good thing as it didn’t give me much opportunity to focus on this being my second Mother’s Day since my mom passed away. Despite the passage of time it’s very easy to moisten my eyes by simply thinking for a few moments about her unexpected death at a relatively young age.  I miss having her around and still have a difficult time grasping that she is not.

I had an odd dream last night where I was at my grandparents home in Birdsboro.  The dream didn’t really focus on any people being there besides myself.  It was basically me going around the house remembering focal points.  There was grandpas basement that was loosely organized chaos filled with countless tools and items.  On the main floor I remember the sunroom that was off the kitchen, leading to the back yard.  In that backyard there was a garage and another shed, both of which were packed with additional stuff.  The back of the yard was framed by railroad tracks that I used to explore on a regular basis when I was there for holiday visits.

Back inside the house I vividly remember the grandfather clock and smaller clock on the mantle of the living room which would chime on the hour.  There was a small library filled with books that never held much interest for me since I was almost exclusively a magazine reader at the time.  Upstairs I remember a couple things.  I recall the toilet in the only bathroom in the house had some sort of damage to the bowl that made it look like someone abused it majorly every time I lifted the lid.  I always wondered how that could happen.

In my Uncle Randy’s old bedroom I remember a small globe that had what looked like a psuedo weather vane inside.  It had 4 paddles that reacted to light in such a way that it would spin when exposed to bright light.  I always thought it was cool.  From that room there was access to a weird second story porch that I may have snuck out onto once or twice even though I was not supposed to. The attic was on the third floor and I only recall ever venturing up there once or twice in my life.  Again it was a treasure trove of stuff.   I also remembered a small coin bank that looked like a treasure chest but now that I am awake I am having a hard time remembering if that was at my grandparents on my mom or dads side.

Anyway I am not sure what flipped my subconscious back to the Birdsboro house circa the late 70’s and early 80’s.  It was a simpler time for sure.

 

So far I have met with nothing but frustration in my efforts to get a Toyota dealer to assist me in my search for an Inferno 2016 Tacoma with 2WD, an access cab, and the premium technology option package.  I have expanded my search to some east coast dealers but mostly got a run around where they were quoting me bullshit inflated MSRP prices.  When I informed them I knew what actual MSRP was supposed to be on the truck the communication stopped.

Well last night I think I may have found a a light to guide me through the fog of “stealerships”, Costco.  I knew that Costco had some sort of car buying service for their members but didn’t know much about it.  Evidently certain dealerships sign on to be Costco affiliated.  In turn for this affiliation which funnels customers in their doors they agree to no haggle, discounted pricing on their vehicles for Costco members which is in most cases below MSRP.

When I went on their website and punched in my zip code it revealed that no Toyota dealers in my immediate area participate in the program, surprise, surprise.  So I went old school, picked up the phone, and called Costco.  The woman I got on the phone was great.  She said although no one in my immediate area was a participant in the program, there was a Toyota dealer in Delray Beach that was.  Delray is on the other coast but close enough to buy a vehicle from if it potentially will save me $2000 or more.  The woman confirmed that the dealer MUST honor Costco member pricing and in fact Costco double checks after the sale to make sure they do, awesome. Immediately after the call I got an automated email from the dealer about the Costco contact.  I am hoping sometime today we can get the ball rolling.

The other issue I have been having is availability.  The combo of things I am looking for are not plentiful and the trucks I have found on the Toyota site are being sold before they even get to the dealer.  I found out that I can actually place a factory order for a Tacoma with the exact specs I want, something I thought was only a possibility for domestic car companies. But since the Tacoma is actually built in the US I have that option available to me which is again, awesome.

When you factory order a truck not only do you get exactly what you want, you also avoid some of the bullshit add ons the regional distributor puts on a vehicle and then overcharges you dramatically for, a sweet bonus.  The only negative is time, it could easily take two months or longer for me to get the new truck.  However in my situation, that is hardly a negative at all since I have no pressing need to have the new vehicle asap.  In a way it would feel good to step out of the instant gratification cycle that engulfs most of our society and actually wait for something.

I had a very weird dream last night where I was in a bike race around a track.  We were on the last lap and there were a number of bikers tire to tire.  I had no desire to be that close to the other bikers so I laid back a safe distance.  Just as we were entering the last turn one of the lead bikes in that pack wiped out and caused a chain reaction, taking out at least 10 bikes behind him.  I swung around the pile up and got up off my seat, pedaling as hard as I could, hoping I somehow could now be one of the top finishers.  The dream ended with me still unsure of my official place but excited that my caution transformed into an advantage at the end.

Last night on my way home I saw a baby deer running down the other side of the divided road all by itself.  Of course my initial reaction was to see if I had any way to quickly turn around to get over there.  I had no pull offs or turn around points for at least a half mile.  I saw there was a biker about 100 yards from the deer.  I hoped he was a good samaritan and would at least make sure the little deer got off the roadway.  I felt guilty for not doing more.

f9a0e7c10-1[1]Last week I was watching a video clip of one of my favorite YouTube entertainers, LA Beast.  He was at an abandoned mental health facility in New Jersey somewhere with some ghost hunter guys.  Evidently this place is famous for paranormal activity.

One of the tools they used while they were in the building was a “spirit box”, something I never heard of before.  It was basically a radio that was doing sweeps of various frequencies.  Supposedly it can be used to have some crude communication with whatever is on the other side of death.  During Beasts video there were some truly weird interactions with the box where the box seemed to be answering questions asked of it, albeit the sound quality is borderline terrible with lots of white noise.

Anyone that reads the blog has probably has picked up on the fact that I am not a religious person in the least.  My basic premise is once you die it is as simple as turning off a light.  Sure, I think it would be cool if there was something else afterward but nothing I have experienced or seen in my life have lead me to believe this is so.  I have always been a “show me” type person.  I also have always been a person that is open to reevaluating positions based on information presented to me.

So anyway, the Beast video lead me to the channel of Steve Huff, a pretty widely known paranormal guy.  He has hundreds of videos of him recording sessions where he is supposedly interacting with the dead.  Most of them feature him utilizing some sort of spirit box to do so.  I had no idea there were a number of these type of devices out there.  I was more surprised that there is also software only versions of a spirit box that utilizes Shoutcast instead of over the air frequencies.

As I watched a number of these videos I have to admit that I found it very interesting that some of the responses do seem specific and situation oriented which is hard to explain.  Steve has videos of similar results using both the hardware and software versions of the box.

I decided to take a flyer and downloaded one of the software versions of a spirit box to fire up for myself.  At this point my curiosity is overriding my strong sense of logic.  Do I expect anything significant to come from my experimentation? No.  However on the off chance that I would hear a specific and unmistakable response to a question it would certainly be an opportunity for me to do one of those reevaluations of my position on things.

Navigator_parts[1]Yesterday my pool cleaner parts showed up so I wasted little time ripping into my old Navigator.  I was surprised at what I found.  I already knew I was missing part of a bracket inside, I didn’t know I was missing a lot more than that.  As I dug deeper into it small ball bearings fell out on my lap.  One of the bearings on the main impeller had totally shattered.  When I turned it upside down a few other things fell out, a piece of styrofoam and a red plastic disc that looked broken.  I never figured out where they came from.  (I just discovered they are from the gearbox)

I had the thing almost completely ripped apart on the patio table.  I carefully swapped in my rebuild parts.  At this point the only thing that has not been replaced is the gear box at the top of the cleaner which sounds like shit.  After reassembling the Hayward I dropped it in the pool.  It was tracking much faster but not turning great, surely due to the gearbox.  I ordered a new gearbox and bumper assembly a few minutes ago. I’ve come this far, I may as well do a complete teardown so I can add “Hayward Pool Cleaner Repairs” to my resume.

Cindy’s daughter stopped by last night to have dinner with us.  She hung around for awhile afterwards.  When Cindy and Katie get together they often wind up getting quite silly.  Last night was no exception.  You can see some of the sillyness here, but only for another few hours until it is vaporized from the Periscope servers.

It is amazing how the name of a Periscope broadcast can influence the viewership.  I named the stream simply “Cindy and Katie”.  Two female names instantly brought in a ton of male viewers, surely hoping for something risque.  At one point the total live viewers swelled to almost 300 which is crazy considering most broadcasts Cindy or I do barely scrape double digits.

I had a bad dream last night.  I showed up at the finish line to time a race and finishers already were crossing the line. I had no timing equipment set up at this point.  The race clock had just passed 7 minutes and this was a half marathon so I had no idea what the hell was going on.  My mind raced to figure out what my options were.  The dream ended just as I concluded “I’m fcked”.

1897978_990216490991605_7300563351309665422_nHaving responsibility for a total of 13 chickens has proven to provide Cindy with a large chunk of responsibility.  I am not sure how much time each day on average is used up with chicken care but it’s sizable for sure.  Yesterday she was trying to give Lola some extra care.  She has been acting like she isn’t feeling great.  To me it just seems like her one leg/foot may be bothering her which we can’t do much about except let her rest it.  Cindy was worried that she could be egg bound but upon further research she found that Lola’s breed often will not lay eggs until at least they are 7 months old which Lola is a month shy of.  She still gave Lola careful care and examination which I was surprised she tolerated.

The baby chicks are growing fast and are very entertaining.  Jaina, from the new set of five babies is very interested in freedom.  Every time we are in the bathroom she jumps and flaps her wings, getting surprisingly high.  She also is not afraid of hands and is very willing to hop up on Cindy’s hand and be held.  Cindy is planning to take both “brooders” outside today so the chicks can feel/see the sun for the first time in their lives.

There is very little that is not sore on me today.  The 250 pull ups I did on Tuesday rolled into the leg/shoulder workout from yesterday has left me universally hurting.  I guess overall that is a good thing if the soreness is from exercise instead of just old age aches and pains.  I am hoping to get back on the bike with Cindy this weekend but impact work like running is still off the menu for me.

This weekend is Mother’s Day meaning it is yet another opportunity to revisit the reality of life after mom’s death.  I know I have said it time and again but it still does not seem like she could actually not be around.  Maybe part of me still clings to the scenario I dreamed last week where it was all just a big misunderstanding and mom had to fake her death for reasons unknown to others.  I’m not sure if it will ever really sink in.

 

 

11150442_10153715032262841_3848392362623126888_nA few days ago I saw a FB promoted post by Fiverr, a website where all sorts of professionals offer their services for very reasonable rates.  This particular ad was an offer to make a cartoon rendition of an image for the low price of five bucks.  When you logged on to their site there was a bunch of people willing to do this, most of them in slightly different styles.  I picked a style I liked and submitted one of my White Sands selfie pics.

This morning, a couple days after I placed my order, I received notice my art project was done.  The cartoonized version of me may not be a perfect semblance but I still thought it was cool, worth the $5 I invested in it.

Despite the lack of storms and the dogs being back with Ali I had another rough night of sleep, waking up around 3AM and not falling back asleep for at least 90 minutes.

After I did fall back asleep I had a very realistic and disturbing dream where my mom had not actually died.  I was in a house with my brother and sister just sitting around.  All of a sudden the front door opens and my mom walks in with a big smile on her face.  Mom looked significantly younger for some reason, probably in her 50’s.  For several seconds I just stared at her in disbelief.  I asked myself in my dream if I was dreaming and the answer was no.

I said to mom, “How can this be?” as the tears rolled down my face as my siblings and I hugged her.  She said she had to fake her death although the reason for this was never clear to me in the dream.  I told mom I watched her take her last breath and I didn’t understand.  She just smiled.

The dream fast forwards.  I am walking with my mom and siblings in a neighborhood with sidewalks.  It is bright, sunny and hot.  We were walking for quite awhile to a destination I did not know.  I remember thinking it was weird that mom was willing to walk so far in the heat since I had such a hard time convincing her to just take a short walk in her community when she was alive.

After the long walk we arrived at some outdoor event that had bleachers full of people.  My mom, siblings and I walked up the steps to find a seat.  I went a couple rows ahead of them to try to find an open spot on the bleachers.  After scanning for a few seconds I found a suitable open section.  I turned around to tell mom I found a spot but she had disappeared, along with my siblings.  I thought that perhaps they had found seating elsewhere.  The dream ended with me still looking for them, without success.  When I woke up this morning my eyes felt like I had been crying in my sleep.