Category: ElectricUnicycles

So this was a different sort of weekend.  Cindy had two of her girlfriends she used to hang with in the early 2000’s staying at the house for a girl’s weekend.  I decided to give myself a break and not mow grass.  It looked only mildly shaggy at this point so I decided to leave well enough alone.  After going to get coffee mid-morning I returned home to find her friends had arrived, Carrie and Pida.  They both seemed very nice but I had stuff to attend to so I kept out of their hair.

One of those things was replacing the bushings on the front wheels of the tractor with bearings.  I had replaced the bushings a few months ago and one of them had failed already.  Supposedly these bearings were a better long term solution that didn’t require steady reapplication of grease to keep functioning.  The first side I replaced went very smoothly.  The second side did not.  The inner bearing was getting hung up on the spindle and would not slide all the way on, despite my hammering the shit out of the wheel via a 2×4 and hammer.

When I pulled the wheel off the bearing remained on the spindle and it was jammed on there tight, I couldn’t get it off.  After about 20 minutes of hammering and prying with various objects I finally got that bearing off but the process wrecked it so I put one of the old bushings back on the inside and a bearing on the outside.  It will be interesting to see how that combo works out.

The girls left for most of the day to go cruise around Naples, Carrie and Pida moved out of the Naples area a long time ago so they wanted to see how things changed.  While they were gone I worked on various things.  One of those things was really frustrating me, the generator.  All three of the girls planned to stay out in the RV over night.  I hooked up the big generator to the RV late morning so it could power the AC to cool things down in there.  It was working as it should.

Well when I went out there later in the day to check on things the generator was still running but when I went inside the RV it was hot, meaning it popped the 20A circuit breaker on the generator.  I reset it a few times only to have it pop within 60 seconds.  Damn it.  So later in the day I came up with an alternative plan to try to power the RV AC via home power, using the 110V well equipment circuit which is beefier than the other home circuits.  To do so I had to do all sorts of makeshift extension cord runs to other locations to power the well equipment and the chicken coop.

So after I was done I hooked up the RV and it seemed like it was working, however by the time I walked out to there to verify, the breaker had popped already.  I was getting really frustrated as I felt like I HAD to get this working so the girls had a comfortable place to sleep that night.  I then did some more thinking about why it was popping as I have successfully run the RV on generator and house power before.  I then realized that when I hooked up water to the RV via 250 feet of garden hose I also turned on the electric water heater.  That had to be the difference.

So after turning off the heater I once again reset the house circuit breaker.  This time when I walked out to the RV the AC was still blowing strong, I had finally got it working.  But, I was still not sure why the generator was not doing the same job.  So during my trouble shooting of the generator I wound up bringing out my volt meter, I was curious what numbers it was putting out.  When I hooked up to one of the 110 outlets I was reading between 150 and 160 volts!  WTF??

Back during the hurricane last year when I tried hooking up the generator to the coop circuit it smoked the UPS out there.  I never gave it much thought as to why but now it was coming together.  I think the generator has been outputting this type of voltage for a long time and I have just been lucky that the devices connected to it could tolerate it.  When I checked the 220V side of the generator it was reading 300 volt+, geez.  Ok so this is a problem.

So my knee jerk reaction was to just say f it and I bought a higher capacity Westinghouse generator that can support 7500 continuous watts, a full 2000 more than my old Troybilt.  My thought is with my new Generlink interface to the house bigger is better.  Plus this model has a bunch of cool features not found on 13 year old units.

Despite buying the new unit I was still interested in finding out how to adjust the voltage of my Troybilt down in case I wanted to sell or give it away.  I found it has no voltage regulator like some units do, instead the output is solely controlled by engine speed.  Later in the weekend I ripped it apart and through some repositioning of a tension spring and adjustment on a set screw I was able to get the output right around 120 volts.  Basically the generator was just running too fast but as I said, I think it has been that way for a long time.  One of the nice things about the new unit is it has an output meter display built right into it.

I did get some time on Saturday to go out for a ride.  It was a fun time on my little Mten3 that concluded with me following a car around the park that was exhibiting odd behavior.  However the end result of what looked like shady behavior at first, circling the park repeatedly with intermittent stops, I think was actually two lazy people playing Pokemon Go.

On Saturday night Cindy made a nice dinner that we all enjoyed.  I split my time between hanging with the women and my computer, consuming four Zima’s along the way to help my social interactions.  Somewhere around 10:30 I headed back to bead while the girls headed to the RV.  I felt a sense of calm that they were able to sleep in a climate controlled environment.

On Sunday morning I headed out for another ride, this time from home on the 18L.  I wanted to take my new wheel into the swamp, which is always a tough test.  I knew the swamp would still be pretty wet but we had not had consistent hard rain for awhile so i thought it wouldn’t be too bad.  Wow was I wrong.  The swamp was a wet, muddy, and overgrown mess.  I only ventured maybe a mile in before four foot high grass and thick patches of mud made me turn around.

During the morning Cindy and her girlfriends had fun in the backyard doing an impromptu workout.  I later put the video clips together for a video that is on Cindy’s channel.

The girls headed out early afternoon.  Cindy and I did a quick run to Rural King to add some semblance of normalcy to the weekend.  The rest of the day I kept myself busy until our 8PM EUC live stream that was without audio/video problems for the first time in a month.

I have a very busy week in front of me.

So yesterday I got a call back on the results of the CT chest scan I had done on Monday.  I found the results somewhat surprising.  The entire reason for the CT was a small nodule that showed up on my chest x-ray a couple weeks ago.   So the CT confirmed the nodule which is 4mm in size.  It indicated that it is likely benign but as a precautionary step they want me to get another CT in six months to ensure there is no change in size.  The other lung news I wasn’t expecting.

The scan showed what appears to be “mild fibrosis” in both lungs.  Fibrosis is a thickening or scarring of the lungs.  The nurse practitioner verified that I never smoked before although my mom smoked during my entire childhood.  I don’t recall her smoking around me in closed spaces on a regular basis but in general society was a much more smokey environment in the 70’s and 80’s.  She also asked if I ever had any exposure to asbestos which I am unaware of outside of the renovation project at work had an asbestos removal period. I’ve never had anything remotely approaching a breathing problem that I can recall so this struck me as very odd.  As a kid I spent endless hours playing in moldy, dusty hay in the old barn, that was the only thing that popped into my head as my inhaling something bad for prolonged periods of time.

The other thing on the report that I found mildly disturbing was the presence of “atherosclerotic calcification in a coronary artery”.  The NP downplayed that part of the report but it was sort of a red flag for me based on the heart attack that killed my mom.  The description I got from the doc at that time of her passing was plaque broke loose from artery wall and stopped the heart.  A quick Google search on the condition didn’t put a smile on my face either. “Simply put, the presence of calcification in the epicardial coronary arteries indicates that the patient has coronary atherosclerosis. This observation is of great significance, because atherosclerotic coronary artery disease is the number 1 cause of death in the Western world.”

So of course none of this information made me feel better, especially considering the emphasis I have put on consistent healthy living habits as an adult.  So anyway, I have a follow up appointment tomorrow with a pulmonologist to discuss the results and a plan of action.  The thing is, I have never had a chest CT before so I have no idea if these findings have been around for years or even decades.  It’s good that I at least now have a heads up about it but man, my 50th year on the planet has surely been a downer from a health perspective.

So you may recall that early this year I came into possession of a non-operative Segway I2, the big daddy of personal electric vehicles.  The Segway was given to us by a friend that had it given to them years ago.  It sat unused in their garage for somewhere around 5 years.   In order to get it working I had to spend roughly $1000 dollars on a used set of batteries and a new “key” for the i2.

Once we got it working we took it out a few times.  Cindy especially enjoyed the stability and size of the unit and rode it more than I did.  When we got the i2 it had somewhere around 25 miles on it, it now has 101, still an incredibly tiny amount of use for a 5-6 year old Segway.  Well the bottom line is we just did not use the big Segway much.  It’s size and weight made it a pain to transport and limited where it could be used.  It has mostly passed it’s time just parked by the front door.

Well I have been considering yet another type of electric vehicle and it struck me that if I could manage to sell the big Segway, which still can command a surprising number, it would make that idea much more doable.  These units were $5-6k brand new and it is not unusual to see used ones still going for 3-4k.  However this vehicle appeals to a very niche market.  I listed it on Craigslist as well as Ebay, not expecting a great result.  Because of the size of this thing the Ebay listing included “local pick up only” as the shipping choice, there was no way I was going to try to ship it.

As expected I received no interest on the Craigslist ad.  However the Ebay listing generated a lot of interest.  In the first 12 hours I had a bid of over $1000 and had a half dozen inquires asking for more info.  I priced the unit very aggressively when compared to other i2’s on Ebay, especially considering the incredibly low mileage.  I had people trying to negotiate me down from that already low number which I declined.  Based on the amount of activity so soon I did not feel any need to cave.

There was one perspective buyer who was really interested.  He sent me 5 or 6 messages which of course included lower offers.  I engaged him and politely declined his offers letting him know I had a lot of interest so I thought me selling it for my asking price was a strong possibility.  I guess my information worked as early yesterday afternoon I saw the email that this person did indeed buy the i2 for my full price, wow.  To make the sale more crazy, he is driving down from KANSAS this weekend to pick it up, yes Kansas.

Before listing the Segway on Ebay I would have placed my odds on selling it at 20% or less.  To sell it in one day feels like an incredible stroke of good luck.  I have not pulled the trigger on purchasing my new target yet.  I have a few questions to get answered and wanted to wait until the i2 is loaded up and on it’s way back to Kansas before calling the deal done.

 

 

So I had my abdominal CT on Friday.  I was dreading the two barium shakes I had to drink but they actually didn’t taste that bad.  I was able to get both of them down without issue.  I had no clue what to expect of the procedure, I had ideas of it taking an hour or more and of course I would have to be in a hospital gown.  Neither of those things were true.  I didn’t have to even take off my sneakers, the only requirement was not having any metal in the scan area.  The entire process took about 15 minutes.

So the drinks were to create “contrast” in my GI system.  In addition I was given an IV prior to the scan to give contrast to my blood.  The fluid they inject you with feels odd as you can feel it circulating in your body, causing certain areas to heat up.  They warned me about the sensation ahead of time.  The machine reminded me of the open MRI that was used to scan my knee years ago.  During certain periods you are told to hold your breath for a few seconds.  The entire thing was really a non-event.  Unfortunately I will not have any information on the results until today or tomorrow.

So I felt fine afterwards and came back to the office to eat my lunch.  Somewhere after 1PM I started feeling not so fine in my gut.  The result was two trips to the bathroom that reminded me of colonoscopy prep.  I asked to go home as I felt ready to burst.  It was a long drive home as I fought the pressure pretty much the entire way.  Unless I missed it, there was no mention of the barium shakes causing explosive results afterward. It would have been nice to know.  That was not fun. I wound up laying in bed for a couple hours at home.

Because of persistent rain the property had a lot of standing water still on it so mowing the grass was off my list for the weekend.  We started Saturday off with standard fare, tending to the chickens and weeding the property.  During the afternoon I turned my chore focus indoors as I vacuumed all the carpeted areas and then followed up with steam cleaning the hard surfaces.  Just for good measure I let my two hard surface cleaning robots loose afterward.

Late Saturday afternoon we headed over to the high school.  I had the Meepo along and Cindy wanted to get a brisk walk in while I rode.  The ride was cut short by yet another round of hard rain.  I still had fun cruising in Expert mode.  I even maxed the throttle for a short burst which supposedly should be at 20+ mph.

On Saturday night Cindy and I watched our latest Netflix rental, I, Tonya, the movie about the mess which is Tonya Harding.  I thought the movie was very well done and provided me with a lot of background that I did not have about her life.  I had no idea just how dysfunctional and abusive her relationships were growing up.  The circumstances around the Nancy Kerrigan attack just seem incredibly moronic.  How that group of mental midgets thought this was a good idea is amazing and a testament to the power of stupid people collaborating.  Anyway, I came away from the movie feeling somewhat sorry for Tonya.   I’d give the movie a B+.

Sunday was really nice for me, it felt like a perfect mix of work and play.  In the morning Cindy and I parked at DD and rode from there.  She started out the session on her roller skates but then later switched to her MiniPro.

I got some tidying up done in the hobby room and did something I do far less than I used to, wash the vehicles.  I washed the Tacoma and Cindy’s Ioniq.  Both were overdue for sure.  I used to wash cars a lot more often in the past, I’m not quite sure why I have slacked off on that nowadays.  I guess like most negative things, I can attribute it to old age.

So I decided to go out on a second ride mid-afternoon on the Gotway Monster.  I wanted to go all the way to Collier North Regional Park and back, a trip of almost 35 miles.  Very early on in the ride I saw something bizarre.  As I headed west on Immokalee Road I saw four cops fly by me but none of them had their lights on which seemed very odd.  As I rounded a corner I saw a car stopped at the intersection with Wilson Blvd with all of those vehicles surrounding it, with their lights on.

As I got closer I saw the car that was pulled over was a Maserati that I remembered passing me a few minutes prior.  I assume the cops did not want to tip off the driver they were in pursuit.  As I swung out around the police vehicles I was shocked when I saw two of the cops had their guns drawn and pointed at the open door of the car.  I glanced quickly to my right and did not see a driver in the seat so I have no idea what was going on.  I later tried to look up the incident on the news and the sheriff’s website but found nothing.  It was a little crazy.

The ride to and from the park was fun.  I was glad that I had the Monster for the ride, I utilized the seat on the wheel for prolonged periods of time to give my feet a break.  By the time I returned the wheel was constantly beeping from low battery levels as the Monster did not have a 100% full charge before I left.  When I checked Strava for my ride statistics my mouth dropped open when I saw the top speed it recorded during the ride, 33.1 mph.  Wow, I had no idea I was going that fast at any time and I certainly was not trying to hit a new speed record.  If that speed is accurate it is the fastest I ever have traveled on a single wheel by several mph.

I finished up my Sunday with a short WoW session, wrapping up a near perfect day.  I can hardly wait till the next 5 days pass so we can do it again.

One year ago today Hurricane Irma smacked the hell out of us.  Hopefully we can avoid that scenario for another decade but seeing three named hurricanes in the Atlantic right now doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies.

 

 

We have had many periods of standing water this wet season although compared to last year it has been less.  Up until this point we seemed to have for the most part avoided the real misery when extreme rain events pile up on each other with no breaks to dry out in between.  Well yesterday we got another deluge on the heels of the major storm on Sunday.  The end result was the highest and largest persistent standing water of the year.

I HATE when the property is water logged like this.  The only solution would be to bring truck loads of fill in.  Unfortunately I can’t really have dump trucks driving all over the yard or they would break the buried sprinkler system. I also feel badly for the chickens during these times.  Many of their main hang out spots are currently flooded.  I am at least happy to report that chicken island, the area that I raised recently has remained high and dry.  I need to expand it’s size as things dry out.

After work I got a quick ride in around Sugden Park which has a nice twisting path around it’s perimeter.  Of course it was on video…

Friday night for the third week in a row included getting my track run out of the way.  Out of the three sessions this time was the most difficult.  I just felt exhausted and tired, dangerously tired, a feeling I only have experienced in recent years.  I was so tired that I actually considered stopping somewhere around lap 10 which I normally would NEVER entertain.  I instead listened to my inner taskmaster who reminded me you NEVER quit once you start and trudged through the final few laps finishing the run about 45 seconds slower than I did the week prior. Like last week I rode one of my PEV’s to/from the track, choosing my One Wheel for the job.

My Saturday was busy, very busy.  A good portion of it was spent outside in the ass melting heat and humidity, weeding, trimming, and finally weed whacking.  The three tasks in total probably consumed a solid three hours of work. I did not one but two jump in the pool to get my body temp down sessions during the day.  We did take some time late morning to do a coffee and Home Depot run with Elsa where we picked up some odds and ends, including a big jug of Round Up which I used Sunday.

Later Saturday afternoon I turned my attention to Ali’s Neato, which she had given me a week or so ago to look at.  When you would try to start it on a cleaning cycle it would undock, start spinning up the motors but then stop, giving an error 3000.  When researching the error online it indicated some sort of problem with the optical lidar unit in the bot, which is used for it to “see” and navigate a room.  The problem is normally the motor that drives the lidar has failed.  I watched a video outlining the repair which involved a near total bot teardown.  I hadn’t ripped into a robot vacuum cleaner to that degree since my original Roomba days a decade or so ago.  I told Ali if she buys the motor I’ll attempt the repair.

So I set up the folding table in the hobby room. Upon it I placed the Neato, my Chromebook with the YouTube howto video queued up and a fresh cold Zima, everything I should need for a successful repair.  I followed the video methodically which was was very well done.  I find with these sort of repairs organization is very important.  I tried to keep the parts and the screws that attached them grouped together and laid out in a way that made sense.

To change this motor required a near total teardown of the Neato.  Although the process was involved it wasn’t really hard.  The most challenging aspect was the desoldering/soldering that was required on the replacement motor.  Reassembly went pretty well although when I got around to turning the Neato on I realized something was not right as I got a bumper stuck error.  I noticed the bumper was definitely not moving normally.  Fixing it required disassembly a second time to adjust some of the bumper switches that were not in there correctly.  The end result was satisfying, the Neato which in most households would have wound up in the trash instead is now sucking and brushing once again.

Saturday night we watched the latest Netflix rental, The Greatest Showman, a request of Cindy.  Before we started watching Cindy said she understood if I bailed since this was a musical and I generally hate musicals.  I told her I didn’t mind watching it, after all she sits through most of my picks, even if they aren’t really her thing.

Early on I was ready to pull the plug.  It was outright bizarre to see Wolverine dancing, prancing and singing on the screen.  However they included enough conventional dialogue that it kept the movie enjoyable, even for someone like me, I’d actually give it a B.  However the most noteworthy thing about the movie is the incredibly random and remote situation that happened at the end of it.

So the finishing song of the movie is called “From Now On“, a very high energy piece which played into the credits.  So as I flipped off the Blu-Ray player and switched TV inputs back to live TV, I hear the exact same song??  I do a double take, thinking somehow I didn’t turn off the disc and the audio was still coming from the surround sound system.  Nope, the song was playing on America’s Got Talent by some huge chorus of 150 people.  The odds of this floored both Cindy and I, that we would finish watching that movie, playing that exact song, the exact moment it was playing on AGT, a show we never watch, was mind blowing.  Cindy said she should run out and get a lottery ticket as the odds of what just happened seemed in line with lottery winners.  It was a bizarre moment.

Sunday morning Cindy and I headed to the Greenway to ride.  We brought four vehicles with, the One Wheel, the Meepo, the MiniPro and Cindy’s skateboard.  We had a somewhat abbreviated but fine ride as we rolled around the beautiful pathways.  It once again was hot as hell.

After eating lunch I had more to do outside, it felt like so much of my weekend was dedicated to just maintaining the landscape.  I first  walked the property with the bottle of Round Up and sprayed down various borders.  Doing so on a regular basis makes weed whacking less of a pain, especially along the fence lines.  I then hopped on the tractor to mow.  The skies were already looking threatening so I buzzed around as fast as I could.  Now I have a documented history here of mowing through rain and storms.  However yesterday there was something about the skies, the lightning was close and felt dangerous.  So once the rain started to fall heavily I parked the tractor even though I was only two thirds done.  It was a good move in retrospect as a full blown monsoon blew through dumping several inches of rain in a very short time period.  Of course the property was a lake afterward, scuttling any opportunity to finish the task.

Sunday night we had a very long EUC live stream.  It included our first guest, Jason, the owner of EWheels, the company I have bought a half dozen EUCs from.  It was a very informative show with Jason giving us a somewhat behind the scenes view of the business.  The show which we advertise as being roughly an hour long went on for double that.

The next 7 days are going to be quite busy.  I look forward to emerging from the other side.

 

 

Last night was quite busy as Thursday evenings go.  I headed straight from work to Boston Beer Garden to meet up with fellow fantasy football team owners for the draft lottery pick.  I have had unbelievable bad luck when it comes to draft position.  I have picked the last draft spot at least four or five times.  This year my luck was a little better as I grabbed the number 7 spot.  Normally I would hang around and drink a few beers but Katie and Daniel expressed interest in coming over to try the One Wheel and Meepo so I left the bar shortly after drawing my number.

I had only been home maybe 10 minutes when the kids arrived.  I quickly changed and threw the gear in the back of the Prius.  We met over at the school.  Katie tried the Meepo first.  I gave her quick pointers on how the remote control worked and she was off, slowly at first but soon she was doing slow and steady laps.  I had the board set to beginner mode where she was speed capped at 10 mph.

I gave Daniel basic One Wheel instructions but because of his pretty extensive skateboarding background riding the board wasn’t tough for him, the hardest part is learning how to stop and dismount safely.  Cindy showed up early in the session, coming there straight from teaching class.  She always loves when all of us are together.

After awhile on each device Katie and Daniel switched it up.  Katie felt very unsure of herself on the One Wheel for awhile but never fell and did a good job circling the lot.  When Daniel got on the Meepo it was like love at first sight.  After 10 minutes of riding I unlocked him to advanced mode with a 25 mph speed limit.  He was ripping back and forth across the parking lot with ease having next to no learning curve at all.

I only rode the One Wheel very briefly.  I instead just let the kids have fun trying out the two new forms of electric transportation.  By the end of it Daniel was sold on the Meepo.  I am pretty sure he will be ordering himself one very soon.  Katie loves the Meepo as well as the One Wheel.  She commented how she actually felt like she was working her lower body, something she doesn’t really get on EUCs at this point.  They both thanked me for letting them try out the new toys.  Hopefully they want to start riding with Cindy and I again on the weekends as a result.

I had not had anytime to eat dinner so that only happened around 8:30 when I got home.  After dinner I still wasn’t done, working on a custom 3d stand model for a customer and then remoting into the office to get some after hours tasks done.  It was a long night that left me feeling groggy this morning.

This weekend is the precursor to what will be a hectic weekend in 7 days when Cindy has her bikini competition next Saturday and then I have to move one of our offices to a temporary location next Sunday, followed by hosting our fantasy football draft party on Monday.  That doesn’t mean this weekend will be a laid back, veg out couple days.  The tasks just don’t stop coming.

 

I took off Wednesday to drive Cindy up to Cape Coral to get a MRI at the VA clinic.  The last time I drove her up there I spent the waiting time playing Hearthstone in the lobby.  This time I decided I wanted to do something more engaging so I threw the One Wheel and Meepo in the trunk.  Once Cindy was taken back I headed out to the parking lot and geared up.

I am not familiar with Cape Coral at all so I just headed in a direction that looked like it had less traffic.  I wound up cruising through a near by neighborhood with basically no traffic.  It worked out great.  During the ride I passed the 100 total mile mark on the One Wheel odometer, it was some of the most fun 100 miles I have traveled.

After getting home and tending to a few things I headed back out in the early afternoon, this time to ride the Meepo at North Collier Park.  I was surprised by a number of things when I got there.  The water park was closed, which seemed odd for mid-August.  Yesterday was the first day of school, evidently the second that happens they change the water park to weekend only hours.

I also was surprised that over half of the park was inaccessible to me.  The soccer field area was all closed off as they are replacing all of them with artificial turf which sounds incredibly expensive.  The back half of the park was roped off in addition because they were doing some sort of massive pesticide spraying that evidently is very toxic.  I’m not sure what they are trying to get rid of but I never saw such large sections of the grounds roped off.

I still made the best of it, zipping around the Meepo with increasing confidence.  I have quickly discovered that traditional sidewalk riding sucks on an electric skateboard.  Each seam in the sidewalk sends a jolt through your body due to the solid wheel construction.  I did my best to stay on paths, bike lane, and parking lots wherever possible.  I am feeling confident enough on the board to go up to the next skill setting which unlocks top speeds of up to 25 mph.  You definitely need to be in the right conditions to even think about approaching those speeds.

I putzed around some more at home afterwards.  I did spend a good amount of time in WoW which just launched another expansion to the game, meaning there is another 10 levels of content to be consumed and experienced.  I haven’t dove into it as hard as I have in the past but I am still looking forward to exploring yet another virtual world.

I have a weird two day work week that includes heading to a bar after work to pick numbers for draft order in our fantasy football league.

So I talked to my EUC dealer yesterday about my problematic KingSong 18L.  We decided the best course of action would be to ship the new wheel back to their service center in Arizona.  While it’s there they will be able to swap and test parts in a more efficient way than I could and verify the wheel is working 100% before it is sent back to me.  Of course the downside is I will be without the wheel for at least a couple weeks if not longer.  The good news is I have tons of other PEV options to choose from.

Speaking of which, last night after dinner I took my Meepo electric skateboard over to the school to ride around solo.  Once again it had rained last night but stopped a couple hours prior to me heading out.  The rain had left various puddles scattered about which gave me some good steering practice while avoiding them.  I did a lap around the middle school before I rode the sidewalk up to the high school which has a much bigger parking lot.

I had a great time cruising around the flat open spaces.  I remained in Eco Mode which has a 15 mph top speed.  I’m not sure if it is the smaller wheels but 15mph feels really fast on an electric skateboard to me.  Maybe it’s just because I am still not all that confident on it yet.  The board has a posted top end speed in Expert mode of 26mph which sounds insane.

I’m getting better at controlling the long board.  The steering definitely is similar to the One Wheel but not nearly as responsive.  I envision a time when Cindy and I are out cruising on the Meepo and One Wheel at the same time, taking turns on each device.

Speaking of the One Wheel, my replacement front sensor pad was scheduled to be delivered yesterday and it did not show up.  Once again the delivery is via FedEx whom I am quickly becoming quite annoyed with.  This is the third time in a couple weeks where a FedEx ground package for me from the west coast hauls ass across the entire country only to hit hit the FedEx Bell Isle distribution center in central Florida and stops, for days.

This latest package had a promised delivery date of Monday but it arrived in Bell Isle on Saturday where it has been collecting dust, being scanned there on Sunday and Monday as well.   When I saw that they were going to miss their delivery date I called in, angry and frustrated with this FedEx policy.  Even though they would be perfectly capable of delivering these packages earlier than the promise date they instead hold them at the distro center until they absolutely have to move it or in my case, even after they have to move it.  I asked the phone rep why this was and said it makes no sense how a package can move 3000 miles in three days and takes 2-3 more days to move the last 200 miles.

I then specifically asked him how in the world they could miss on the delivery date when the package has been sitting in Bell Isle for three days.  He said that technically the official “commit” date was Tuesday.  I asked him to explain if that was the case, why would FedEx’s own tracking system say Monday?  He had no explanation and I got the feeling these sort of questions are something he has to deal with quite often.

Anyway I think this a moronic business practice to rush packages cross country only to have them sitting idle for days mere hours from their destination.  Over promise and under deliver is the most frustrating business practice a company can do.

So for the second consecutive week I wound up getting my run in on Friday evening.  Not only was the run different because it was on a Friday evening, I also got there in a unique way, on my EUC.  I have thought several times in the past about riding my EUC to the track, running and then riding back but I never made it happen.  I finally did.  I wanted to test out how my 18L was going to act with the battery problem it has been having so I needed to get some miles on the wheel anyway.

Unlike last week where I did the run after 8PM, after eating dinner, this time I did it before eating, around 6 which is a better option.  Running on a full stomach just doesn’t feel good.  Luckily it was overcast which kept the temperatures down but the run still felt as miserable as always.  The video I shot talks a lot about my mostly hate relationship with running and why I continue to do it anyway.   The ride also revealed that my batteries in the new wheel are still not acting normal, which sucks.

So the big task I wanted to accomplish was mowing the grass, all of the grass.  So on Saturday morning since my run was out of the way and Cindy did the weeding for me on Friday, I was out on the tractor early, around 8:30 AM.  The standing water that was on the property during the week had receded so as I have said a million times, during wet season you have to mow when the opportunity arises, not when you feel like it.

With the new drive belt installed the tractor was appreciable faster, letting me mow at a faster clip than I have been accustomed to.  After finishing the normal mowing I grabbed some water.  Cindy thought I was done but I told her I still needed to mow the back half of the yard as well.  A few laps into the task I noticed the clouds were starting to pile up.  A few more laps and I saw the clouds turning gray and after several more I could see columns of rain starting to fall from them.

I was not happy at the sight but had already predetermined that I was finishing mowing, regardless of the conditions.  Well that edict was definitely put to the test.  About halfway into the task the rain started coming down, lightly for a short while.  However the wind was gusting and I had to mow with one hand on the canopy to keep it from blowing backward.  Then the torrential rain started, the driving, miserable, wind swept relentless rain that makes wet season here so frustrating.  The canopy did little to keep anything on me dry other than perhaps the top third of my head.  I didn’t care, I plowed ahead, wiping the rain from my sunglasses as necessary.  I did accomplish my goal but I literally finished as the property was flooding once again.  I looked like I just jumped into the pool fully clothed.

Thankfully later in the day the rain broke and the sun came back out.  I took that opportunity to take my Meepo over to the school for my first real riding session.  It didn’t take very long for me to abandon beginner mode which just felt too restrictive after 5-10 minutes.  I bumped it up to Eco Mode which has a 15 mph top speed.  This felt much faster and really made the riding experience more enjoyable.  I had a ton of fun on the board and look forward to Cindy getting more comfortable on it (and the One Wheel) soon.

Saturday night we went to go see the latest Mission Impossible movie, I have always been a fan of the series.  The movies have always had Tom Cruise performing unbelievable acts that most super heroes would be hard pressed to emulate.  However this sequel seemed to be Mission Most Impossible, some of the stuff that went on was just utterly ridiculous but even so, I found myself utterly entertained the entire time.  It is a non-stop roller coaster that has so much action that you don’t have time to focus on how silly it all is.  B+

Sunday morning I wanted to do a more extensive test on my KingSong 18L so I decided to duplicate the ride from last week to Dunkin Donuts to see how the battery performed.  It did not go well.  I actually got significantly worse range than the week before, it was so bad that I had to call Cindy to come and pick me up at DD as I only had 36% battery left after 10 miles.  This wheel should be able to go 35 miles on a full charge.  I now have to figure out the best course of action to get this fixed with my dealer.  As the wheel is now I no longer trust to ride it any appreciable distance.

When Cindy got me she brought the Meepo with.  Before it started to rain, again, she got on the board for the first time and did some slow cruising around the back of a shopping center.  She said she liked it and needs more time to get used to controlling speed via a hand control.  I can’t wait until she gets as comfortable on the Meepo and One Wheel as I am.

So the rest of Sunday was basically a wash out with mostly continuous rain that left our property the worst it has been this year.  It’s crazy that I was able to mow everything the day before. I spent the majority of the rest of the day indoors tending to little tasks here and there.  With the addition of a new EUC and two skateboards to the fleet I need to think about some alternative storage options for the hobby room to keep everything organized.

It’s an oddball week where I am off Wednesday and have a fantasy football draft order pick Thursday.  It will set me up for a very hectic following week. Can’t wait.

 

My new Meepo electric skateboard showed up yesterday.  Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great but I did get out on the driveway for 10 or 15 minutes trying it out.  Much like my initial experience on the One Wheel, my body is not quite sure how to react although there are definitely some similarities to the One Wheel.

Having a handheld speed controller is an entirely new thing for me.  One slip of the thumb dial in either direction could have undesired consequences if you aren’t careful.  I set the board to beginner mode which greatly limits the boost and speed which is a good thing for someone like me.

My cross wired foot dominance really needs to be worked on.  I still find that I prefer to ride goofy foot where my left foot is back and right is front.  However I don’t feel stable enough on my right leg to do things like foot brake.  This is something that can be corrected with practice, I just need to put in the time.  The same muscles in my right leg that are weak for mounting an EUC from that side are the same ones causing me problems on the board. I am hoping to maybe take the board to the school tonight to get some more training time in.

I also got to fight with my A5 printer, clearing a clog in the hot end which was causing under extrusion.  I’ve had a lot of failures trying to correct this issue in the past with other printers but I luckily was able to fix the problem.