Category: ElectricUnicycles

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.

On Friday I talked about my problems with FedEx and how I laughed at their theory that the label fell off the box somehow.  Well apparently that is what actually happened.  In a call back to the trace department Friday morning they said they found the box based on my description.  I had the option for them to relabel it and have it delivered Saturday or I could pick it up on Friday.  Despite it being a roughly 60 mile round trip I chose the latter option.  I used my lunch hour to drive to the FedEx distribution center and get my new wheel.

I was sort of surprised at the security at the facility.  It was surround by a 10 foot fence with barbed wire lining the top.  I wasn’t allowed to actually go into the building, instead you speak through an intercom and somebody brings the package out to you, outside the fence line, some 30 yards outside the building.  This practice seems like it would have serious flaws considering the frequency of downpours in SW Florida as there was absolutely no protective canopy or cover of any kind.

I wasted no time and unboxed the wheel right there in the parking lot.  I wanted to make sure all was well after it’s cross ocean and cross country journey.  It powered up and I was able to ride a slow loop around the parking lot.  I left it unboxed so I could take it into the office and let it charge up during the afternoon.

Friday night I did something odd around 8PM.  I told Cindy I wanted to go and get my run out of the way.  At first Cindy objected but when I told her how it would be nice to not have a 6AM alarm to deal with Saturday the idea sounded better to her.  It was not ideal circumstances as we had already downed our Friday night pizza so I was worried that I could get side stitches but the idea was in my head and had to be executed.

So I quickly threw on my running clothes and headed over to the track.  I also had my new 18L in the trunk to try out for some night riding after the run.  So I have not run at night in a very long time.  I have done a couple night time 5k’s but I don’t think I ever did a training run at that time of day.  During the first half lap I felt pretty strong, I recall thinking “Maybe I will feel less miserable running at this time of day”.  That thought was very fleeting.  It did not take long until the heat and humidity felt oppressive, despite the sun being down.  It was once again a run of survival, not speed.   Lap 13 felt like it would never come.

I was a sweaty, panting mess afterward but I still wanted to try out the wheel some more.  My legs were pretty spent so I felt a little unsure of myself as I got rolling.  I made sure to do slow, big arcing turns, doing nothing that was tough on the legs.  I was impressed by how good the headlight is on the wheel, making riding in the dark not a big deal at all.  The King Song wheel felt smooth and powerful, as I expected.

It felt nice to not have to set the alarm as we laid down in bed that night.  It was going to be a treat to have two days in a row where we can wake up whenever we want.  Well that fantasy was shattered about 2AM in the morning.  Cindy awoke first which woke me up.  I was greeted by the overwhelming stench of dog fart.  It was really bad.  I tried my normal tactic of just covering my face with a pillow until it dissipated.  When that didn’t work I told Alexa to turn on the ceiling fan.  It was strange, nothing was making the smell lessen.

Cindy was almost retching from the stench.  Elsa does fart sometimes but not often, it was odd that this was so bad and so persistent.  Cindy got up to go into the bathroom, when she flipped the light on the true nature of the disaster was revealed.  Cindy had a look on her face like she just witnessed a murder, Elsa had covered the bed in diarrhea, oh my…

So Cindy was freaking out and immediately launched herself into massive sterilization procedures, stripping the bed and anything related.  I took Elsa outside immediately where she had more episodes of the shits.  I felt bad for her.  It took awhile until she was able to stop crouching in poop position.  When we came in Cindy had stuff in the washing machine and bleach in hand where she was sanitizing left and right.  The entire house stunk, we had fans on, windows open, candles burning, and the AC cranked down, all in an effort to remediate the stench.  It took awhile but eventually it aired out.  By the time we remade the bed and got back to sleep I bet a couple hours had transpired.  It was so gross it was almost comical.  Needless to say we did not awaken Saturday morning feeling rested.

Despite the rough night I once again had a sizeable plate of things I wanted to get done Saturday.  Originally I hoped with the aid of Cindy I could get it all done in the morning.  That got sidetracked because she needed to take Elsa to the vet to see what was up as she still had similar diarrhea once we woke up, thankfully outside this time.  So I tackled coop duty, weeding, weed whacking, pool maintenance, tractor tie rod replacement and the mowing solo, consuming the day until close to 4PM.

Despite being wiped out I wanted to get a DD ride in on my new wheel.  I had it on the charger overnight to give me a full charge, or so I thought.  When I turned it on I noticed the app said I only had 76% charge which made little sense.  I wrote it off as a glitch and headed out.  The ride went well.  The 18L feels fast and smooth, a very comfortable wheel to cover long distances on.  The only negative was the battery level being lower than it should be, causing some unexpected and rather jarring tilt back on the way home.

Saturday night we watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a movie by JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame.  This movie is set in the same world and general timeframe of Harry Potter.  I was a big fan of the HP movies and I read three of the books.  I did not feel this new effort matched up although there were a lot of the same cool things going on.  I guess I just did not like the main characters in the story line nearly as much.  I’d only give it a B.

So Saturday night I once again put the wheel on the charger, expecting it to fully charge overnight.  When I woke up Sunday I had a green light on the charger but once again when I checked the battery level it showed only 76% full.  Great, I officially have a problem.  Despite the issue I took the 18L, the One Wheel and Cindy’s skateboard out in the morning.  We did a short ride near Dunkin Donuts were Cindy showed her returning board skills.  It was fun but hot.

So I reported my battery issues to my reseller.  He asked if I’d be willing to rip apart my wheel to do some further testing.  Of course I wasn’t keen on the idea of opening up my brand new wheel but it was better than trying to ship the wheel out and wait for a repair/exchange.  He wanted me to remove both sides of the wheel and disconnect one of the two batteries and try to charge.  In my two prior charging sessions the batteries never showed voltage over 78 volts which was another symptom.  The batteries should be reading 84V after a full charge.

So I did as instructed.  I felt pain as I pulled apart my pristine wheel.  Doing so at least gave me an appreciation of the build quality of the unit compared the Gotway wheels I have owned for a couple years.  King Song is at another level in QC.  After disconnecting one of the batteries I attached the charger to see what would happen.

When I checked on it a couple hours later the light was green  I fired up the wheel and saw the battery was reading 100% and 84.2 volts, just like it should. Wow, ok so I guess the other battery pack was bad, pulling down the overall voltage.  I reported the result to my dealer, thinking we definitively found the problem.  However a little later I thought to myself, just to be sure I should do the same test with the other pack.  Imagine my surprise when the other pack, when charged by itself was also fine, reaching full 84.2 volts.  The behavior was baffling but my plan now is to put it back together, ride it, recharge it and see if the batteries recharge as they should.  Of course it isn’t fun being a guinea pig but it’s better than being without the wheel for an extended period of time.

Sunday night we went out to dinner with Cindy’s family for her mom’s birthday.  In total there were something like 15-16 people that congregated at Longhorn’s Steakhouse for the celebration.  Of course I opted for one of the handful of non-steak dinner options.  I took the edge off the social anxiety by downing almost three full 20 ounce Miller Lite drafts during the dinner.  It worked like a charm.

I wrapped up my weekend with yet another EUC live streaming event.  I was sort of tired as we started the show an hour later than normal but it worked out ok, I think.

 

 

So I have been patiently waiting for my KingSong 18L EUC to arrive for several months.  The wheel literally was on a slow boat from China until it landed in California late last week.  From there it was handed off to FedEx ground for delivery to Southwest Florida.  The wheel had a delivery date scheduled for yesterday, August 2nd.  As I was tracking it’s progress across the country I was getting excited as I saw it actually had already crossed into Florida on Sunday.  Wow, maybe I’ll actually get it a couple days early??  Well things have definitely not gone as I hoped.

After crossing the Florida border, for some reason it took a full day to get to central Florida where it arrived just after midnight, early Tuesday morning.  Normally once something hits central Florida we will get it the next day.  Well not in this case, the box instead sat in Central Florida until Wednesday evening where it finally got a departure scan at the Orlando distribution center.

When I woke up Thursday morning I expected to see an arrival and departure scan at the Fort Myers facility with a “on truck for delivery” status.  Nope, the status had not changed since the previous night, great….  So I went throughout the day checking the status and seeing the same aggravating lack of new information.  I held out hope that maybe they just missed a scan somehow and the box was actually on a truck and headed my way.  Well of course you can guess that did not happen.

So last night I called FedEx and asked what was going on.  Of course the phone rep is looking at the same information I was and had no explanation when I pointed out the incredibly slow movement of the box once it hit Florida.  The best they could do was open up a “tracing case”.  I had someone from that department call me up and ask for details about the contents of the box.  Again when I asked why this would happen the only guess she came up with was maybe the label came off the package.  Yea, thanks, I’m sure that’s it….

I am hoping that the box was not either damaged or stolen but that would be just my luck.  I will be rattling some chains at FedEx big time today, you can bet on that.

I expected to be spending last night unboxing and trying out the new wheel.  Instead I used a good portion of the evening plowing through my book.  When I turned off the light before bed I only had a chapter or two to go.  This weekend I hoped to get a ton of KingSong riding/testing in.  I may still get a lot of riding in but it may be on my OneWheel instead.  Of course there is stuff to do around the house, a variable constant.

So I started my four day weekend off with my run.  I figured getting it out of the way on Friday would be a nice way to clear the weekend for two days of no alarm.  I missed running the week prior due to my various One Wheel injuries.  The week off did nothing to make the experience any easier.  It was almost 80 degrees at 6:30 AM and the humidity was brutal.  It was an uncomfortable run from the first stride to the last but I endured.

So the main reason I took Friday off was so I could take Lucy to the vet to see if they could drain the huge swollen area under her one wing.  Catching her to put her in the cat carrier wasn’t easy but once we got her in there she was calm.  It was Lucy’s first car ride.  We had gone to this vet once before with Lola, one of our chickens that passed away a couple years ago.  I remember that experience wasn’t spectacular.

So I didn’t get to actually see the vet until a solid 20 minutes after my appointment time which was slightly annoying.  When she did come in I quickly remembered what I didn’t enjoy about our last experience, the woman is sort of a bitch.  Her attitude was off putting.  She looked at Lucy for a minute or two, she was taken back by the size of swelling and commented on how it felt hot.  I told her we noticed the same thing and thought the heat may mean infection.  She said it could be infected or maybe some sort of tumor.

She then presented me three options, try to drain the mass and give antibiotics, take a biopsy and send it out, or do X-rays for more information.  I told her I walked in there hoping for her to do the first option to see what sort of results we can get.  She took Lucy to a back room and returned a few minutes later with a syringe with some bloody fluid in it.  It wasn’t a huge amount.  She said that was all she could get out.  She said she even made a small incision but got very little out.

Ok well that was all I wanted her to do at this point.  They gave us two weeks of antiobiotics and anti-inflammatory medicine to give Lucy by mouth, twice a day, that will be fun.  The 15 minute visit cost $150, what a bargain.  At least we had some meds to try to actively combat whatever is going on.  Other than catching Lucy each time, giving her the meds hasn’t been that bad.  It’s a two person operation but she is rather cooperative taking the liquid.  Maybe she knows we are trying to help her.  Her wing was bandaged up from the vet which she hated.  We couldn’t take it off until the next morning.

Cindy was working most of the day which left me home to melt outside while doing chores.  I first weeded and then followed up with weed whacking during the early afternoon, in the absolute hottest part of the day.  We are now in the part of summer where the heat and humidity is merciless.  By the time I was done I was depleted.  I jumped in the pool to get my body temp down and still felt washed out, so much so that I actually laid in bed for an hour, something that is very, very rare during daytime hours.

On Saturday it was nice to not have to set an alarm.  After tending to the chickens we headed out to run some errands. One of those included stopping at Ron Jon’s the place I got the One Wheel from.  I just wanted to look at more of their skateboard gear.  Cindy did a lot of skateboarding as a kid and was really interested in all the stuff they had.  We talked a lot with a kid that worked there named Miguel.  We wound up walking out of there with a cool board for Cindy.  She was very excited by the prospect of reliving one of her childhood highlights.

Later in the afternoon when we got home she did her first riding in the driveway.

I neglected to mention I rode the One Wheel all the way to Dunkin Donuts and back on Saturday morning.  The unit is rated for 12-18 miles of range.  The ride was more than 20 miles.  I made it home, just barely.  The video is pretty entertaining.

Saturday night we met up with Cindy’s family to celebrate her neice’s 24th birthday.  It was held at Iguana Mia, a place I used to like but have had several poor experiences at lately.  My food was better this time around but Cindy’s mom was not as pleased, telling the waitress she was given the worst taco salad she has ever eaten. A lot of the lettuce was brown and nasty looking. They at least didn’t charge her for the food.  Everyone seemed to have fun and I had a couple Shock Tops to take the edge off.

On Sunday morning Cindy and I took the Segway I2, the OneWheel and her new skateboard out for a ride.  It was a fun little trip that surely had to look strange to oncoming traffic.  Cindy made some real strong progress blowing the dust off her boarding skills.  She was rolling around the school parking lot pretty confidently, it was impressive.

Shortly after we got back I had to dive into fixing the tractor steering arms, one of which fell apart last weekend mowing.  I pulled the tractor into the garage to avoid the blazing sun.  It quickly became obvious that this was going to be a much more involved job than I expected.  I thought I could just pop off a couple nuts for each arm and swap in the new one.  The problem is the rear nut is attached to the steering plate which is snugged up against the underside of the tractor.  I had no access to turn off the nuts, the only way it could be done is by dropping the steering plate.

Doing this was a huge pain in the ass.  I had to remove the mower deck and then use contortionist like skills to hold a socket on the nut up inside the body of the mower while turning out the 3/4″ bolt below.  I was coated in oily, dirty, organic matter mixed with a constant stream of sweat.  It was quite the ordeal but I finally was successful.  I was very glad I decided to be proactive and ordered the arms for both sides even the one was still holding together.  If I didn’t get both I would have been repeating this shit a few months later.

I wasted no time putting my repair to the test, mowing the front half of the yard.  Even with the canopy the heat radiating down made the task miserable.  The good news is the steering is working well.

I spent close to two hours later trying to work out some bugs I have been having doing my EUC live streams.  I finally got it sorted out with about 45 minutes to go before the broadcast.  The stream went pretty well although it was a bit awkward for me.  The show is all about electric unicycles and I haven’t ridden my EUC’s since I got the One Wheel.  I still think we did a decent job.  I want to work on coming up with a more structured format which should flow better.

Today is my last day of vaca.  I have work planned, as always but hopefully an equal amount of fun.

 

Despite my best efforts to make it slow down, this weekend once again flew by in the blink of an eye.  I was planning to mow the grass but Cindy offered to do it today to help keep the weekend slate clear.  I appreciated her effort but just found myself other things that needed to be done.  It’s a viscous cycle.  I spent a good portion of the afternoon cleaning the floor surfaces of the house, first with shampooing all the carpeted areas and then hitting all the hard surfaces with the steam cleaner. It’s unfun work.

Oh I did start off with a run again on Saturday.  A hot and miserable run through thick humidity and temps already pushing 80 degrees.  I am still waiting for it to get easier.

On Saturday night we went out to see the new Jurassic Park movie.  I really liked it, it had a lot of the feel of the original.  The only thing that annoyed was the inconsistency of action of the little girl in the movie (you’ll understand when you see it).  But all in all it was a good, scare the s out of you at times dino movie. I’d give it an A and so did Cindy.

Sunday morning I went for a longish ride on the Monster, riding all the way from the house to North Collier Regional Park.  Even with a 15-16 mile ride, it flies by pretty quickly on the big wheel.  I was cruising right around 25 mph for most of the trip.  I actually hit the speed warning a couple times at 28mph.

Sunday afternoon I decided to take on tire replacement on Cindy’s Minipro.  I got the bigger tires from James, the guy that drove four hours to test the Z10.  These tires are much bigger than the originals and offer more speed and off road capability.  James forgot to tell me about one more feature, they frustrate the f out of you trying to get them installed.  In total I spent close to two hours trying to get the new tires on, unsuccessfully.  I either needed better tools, better technique, or a second set of strong hands.  I eventually said F it and have Cindy taking it to a bike shop to get the tires mounted today.  I’ll trade $20 to save me two hours of frustration at this point in life.

The last part of the weekend was consumed by my first official live stream with Marty, building off our test version from last week.  I think all in all it went well.  We had the largest viewing crowd by far for me, topping out at 45 simultaneous viewers at one point.  There were some challenges with having so many people in there, namely trying to pay attention to the chat which had some questions we didn’t get to address.  Marty jumped out after about an hour but I stayed in there, trying to answer some of what was missed.  It was a good time but also a bit draining.  Marty was talking about doing this once a week but I think bi-weekly may work out better for me, we’ll see.

 

 

 

I started off Father’s Day weekend with a run at the track despite my lower body still dealing with aching knees and a few other pains.  The air was thick with humidity and I felt like just finishing the distance was the primary goal.  It reflected in my pace which was the slowest I have logged in a couple months, oh well. I was pretty wiped out by the end of it.

So since I got work done on Thursday that meant I didn’t have to do quite as much as normal this weekend. Of course that meant I still found other things to do as that list never ends.

Mid-morning we took the dogs on a ride to Tractor Supply to get chicken supplies.  On the way back we dropped Sadie off at Ali’s.  Her and Shugs just got back from a trip up to Sea Isle City New Jersey with Ali’s parents.  For around a half decade or so I used to go to SIC with my first wife’s family so I was very familiar with it.  It is a great little place and in some ways reminded me of Rehoboth.

Mid-afternoon Cindy and I did an impromptu ride to the swamp, me on my Msuper and Cindy on her mountain bike. It was a cool little trip.  I was excited to see that they have replaced roughly half of the decking for the rotting boardwalk with the trex style composite wood which should last forever.

So we made plans to go to The Warehouse to eat dinner for Father’s Day.  Shortly before we were ready to leave I let Elsa out to go to the bathroom while I closed up the chicken area.  As I walked back up to the house I called Elsa over and stopped dead in my tracks.  She was covered in dirt. But I realized it wasn’t dirt, it was actually sludge.

Earlier in the day I dumped one of the rain barrels that was dry rotting.  In the bottom of it was a collection of black disgusting sludge that I stupidly didn’t hose away.  Elsa evidently found the smell of this substance intoxicating and decided to roll around in it.  I couldn’t be mad at her, she looked so proud of herself.

So even though we were both all cleaned up and ready to leave we had to give Elsa a tag team bath by the side of the house, trying to not get ourselves too dirty in the process.  It was quite the funny situation.

So despite being open for nearly a year, Cindy and I have never frequented the Warehouse before.  It is the closest upscale restaurant in our area.  We had heard good things about the place from others.  We walked out of there echoing the same feelings.  The food was great, the design of the space was cool and modern, our waitress was extremely friendly and attentive, and the restaurant was immaculately clean.  Hell as I was sitting there somebody was walking around cleaning the baseboards.  We will definitely be back.

The movie we went to see was Ocean’s 8, something Cindy said she wanted to see.  I liked all the other movies in the Ocean series so I was fine to see this one.  For whatever reason I was really sleepy which did not help my enjoyment of the movie.  It was a good flick although I would not rate it as highly as the originals.  It definitely does not benefit from the theater experience and can be enjoyed just the same at home as a rental.  I’d give it a solid B.

Sunday morning I took off for another EUC ride, this time on the Monster.  The plan was for Cindy to meet me at Dunkin Donuts with Elsa and then she could walk Elsa around while I rode with them.  Well the first part of the plan went well, the ride to Dunkin Donuts flew by quickly.

I wore my new full face helmet for the ride.  I wanted to see how comfortable it would be now that the full effect of Florida summer heat is on us.  The answer was, not bad.  As long as I was rolling the airflow through the helmet kept me comfortable and the big long visor kept the sun off my face.  When I was sitting still waiting for Cindy to come out with coffee it got a little warm. I did discover one big drawback with the helmet, I can’t drink coffee while wearing it.  Almost every ride video you see of me will involve me drinking coffee during it so I will need to plan accordingly.

I talked to my dad during the afternoon.  He appreciated my Father’s Day gift, a pair of those wrap around sunglasses old people wear that go over your existing glasses.  Even though it was really a gag gift dad actually will wear them because they do serve a practical purpose and look a little ridiculous, a combo he can endorse.

Late Sunday afternoon I hooked up with Marty, an EUC buddy of mine who lives in the LA area.  We are going to be doing what equates to an Electric Unicycle podcast, at least testing it out.  We wanted to test out the logistics before we do the official launch next weekend.  I used Skype for us to do a two way video call and then broadcast that window out to YouTube.  There are a few bugs to work out but I think it will work out pretty well.

Even though I have known Marty via our EUC connection I never actually spoke to him, until yesterday.  We had no issue going back and forth about stuff.  I actually talked to him for around an hour on Skype BEFORE I started broadcasting.  He has some good ideas for the content of the show which I think I will more or less his thing while I concentrate on the technical aspects.  If you want to see how our test run went look below.  I streamed for almost two hours which is crazy.

 

So after working today I have the next two days off which will be dedicated to testing the Ninebot Z10 which is scheduled to be delivered to the house today.  It should be a fun and busy couple days which will involve me driving all over the place to test the wheel in various conditions/locations.  See you Thursday.