Category: EUC

So when I buried Peaches last weekend I temporarily put an unused compost bin on top of the spot to keep the chickens from scratching around there.  When I was walking Elsa Friday night before bed she was standing by the compost bin on the other side of the fence just looking at it.  I didn’t think much of it other than maybe her enhanced sense of smell was picking up something.

Well when I was cleaning the coop the next morning for the hell of it I decided to look at the compost bin.  I lifted the lid and was shocked to see a huge pile of sand and a hole leading down towards where I buried the chicken.  I was dumbfounded because the compost bin was not knocked over, it almost looked like something came up from the ground although I knew that didn’t make sense.  I called Cindy out to see my discovery and she was equally shocked.

So I backfilled the hole immediately and then bought some sod during the day to cover the burial spot, figuring that should be enough to prevent further desecration of Peaches burial site.  Sunday morning once again I awoke to a pile of dirt, just offset a little bit.  The animal dug in from the edge of the sod and continued whatever disgusting activities it has been engaging in.  I pulled back the sod, Cindy threw some cajun pepper in the hole, filled it, put back down the sod and then threw the compost bin lid over it Sunday night.  AGAIN I awoke this morning to fresh digging.

At this point based on the size of the hole we are guessing a possum may be the culprit.  The hole I dug was probably a foot and a half deep but clearly I should have gone deeper.  This morning I filled the hole in one more time but after doing so I pulled the chicken tractor on top of the burial site.  It has a wire mesh floor which would prevent anything from digging through the top.  If more digging occurs I will have little choice but to dig up poor Peaches and relocate her to a deeper and more secure area.

I got my run in on Saturday morning, taking advantage of the cool temps in the mid 50’s. I was a bit worried that my sore calves from my 50 mile work commute on the Monster would hinder my running but I did ok.  The daytime temp swung a huge 30 degrees into the mid 80’s, just too warm for February for my tastes.  We had not done grass maintenance in close to a month thanks to a lack of rain.  Things were looking pretty ratty at this point so Cindy and I did a full sweep, weed whacking and mowing.

The weed whacking took me much longer than I hoped because I kept spending time futzing with the gas weed whacker.  After I replaced the fuel lines a few weeks ago it seemed to be running well.  Well all of a sudden it was back to running like shit and would only keep going in the choke position.  I finally tired of f’ing with it and just finished up with the battery powered whacker which takes longer.  I am just going to get another gas trimmer.

I did take a late morning break to go to Costco for an eye exam, something I had been putting off for 5 years or more.  I went into the exam with some anxiety about it.  The last time I was at an eye doctor it didn’t go well as I have a horrible time doing anything with/to my eyes.  Well I was glad to see that tech has improved, the eye exam was no big deal at all.  After getting an eye scan and reading dozens of letters on a screen it was determined I am officially near sighted.  The doctor gave me a prescription for glasses that I would wear whenever seeing distance clearly is important.  I put off picking out glasses until Cindy can come with me to give me feedback on frames.

I was pretty tired by the time Saturday evening rolled around but we already had tickets to see Black Panther, a much anticipated Marvel movie that has gotten high reviews.  We again opted for VIP seating at Prado so we didn’t have to worry about getting a decent seat.  I had really high expectations for the movie going in and for the most part those expectations were met.  It was a good Marvel movie but not a blow you away great one, like Iron Man, Capt America Winter Soldier, or the first Avengers movie, in my opinion.  The film did a good job of telling the origin story of Black Panther, something I knew absolutely nothing about. It’s a a solid A, see it in the theater flick, it just didn’t impact me as I thought it might.

Sunday morning we had an annoying, out of nowhere power loss that lasted for over two hours.  I was just getting to the point where I was considering pulling out the generator when it came back on.  The power outage sort of messed up my normal routine.  I actually wound up not doing any EUC activity during the day.  I did my bills in the morning and went to Dunkin Donuts with Elsa to grab coffee since Cindy wasn’t home.

Sunday afternoon I washed all three vehicles but somehow still felt lazy after doing so.  Cindy was busy creating more stuff on her Cameo.  She made the sticker pictured here as well as a bunch of other things.  She is really enjoying the process of designing and creating.

I told Cindy last week that I would be open to spending a night sleeping out in the RV to get a sense of how it would be.  We decided last night was the night to do so.  We ate dinner out there, watched some Olympics, and then settled into the queen size bed where I read a little bit before falling asleep.  Despite not fitting on the bed so well I didn’t have a bad night of sleep.  It felt weird waking up in the backyard but refreshingly different.  Elsa didn’t seem to mind either.

Today for my last day of the my extended three day weekend I don’t have a big list in mind.  Hopefully I can get out on the wheel a bit and do whatever other enjoyable things that come to mind.

And now with the plugs!

Ender 2 on GearBest EU Plug – https://goo.gl/v5bNRG $159 USE COUPON – “Enderen”
Ender 2 on GearBest US Plug – https://goo.gl/v5bNRG $159 USE COUPON – “ENDERC”
AnyCubic I3 MEGA – US WAREHOUSE – https://goo.gl/BKwhEu $329.99 USE COUPON – “I311GBUS”
AnyCubic I3 MEGA – CHINA WAREHOUSE – https://goo.gl/BKwhEu $315.99 USE COUPON – “I3MEGA”

CR-10 on GearBest – https://goo.gl/6M9DHi use coupon – GBCRUS
CR-10S5 on GearBest – https://goo.gl/3295a6
CR-10S on GearBest – https://goo.gl/rFztnC
GearBest US Warehouse specials! – https://goo.gl/nvL8uF

Get free cash back for stuff you are buying anyway – https://www.ebates.com/r/DUF391?eeid=28187

Esun Cleaning Filament – http://amzn.to/2zP3qwW
Creality Cr-10 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2w7yqIF
Dagoma Neva 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2hYNjoV
FlashForge Finder 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2sCllp7
Hatchbox white PLA filament – http://amzn.to/2rrIfMt
ESun white PLA filament – http://amzn.to/2sBRv42

The gimbal I use – http://amzn.to/2lJbZCa
My GoPro camera – http://amzn.to/2kkBUmJ
GoPro foam windscreen – http://amzn.to/2maDI2B
Selfie stick – http://amzn.to/2mJTJLL
Segway MiniPro – http://amzn.to/2lddTNt
Segway S1 – http://amzn.to/2A8CkQQ
DJI Mavic Pro – http://amzn.to/2kpV4Tk

My EUC protective gear
Killer 187 Wrist Guards – http://amzn.to/2p8y9m9
Triple Eight Helmet – http://amzn.to/2p8uuoH
STX Elbow Pads – http://amzn.to/2oNMrYJ
Killer 187 Knee pads – http://amzn.to/2oYtAHw

Looking for Gotway, Inmotion or KingSong electric unicycles?
Go here for free shipping! – http://ewheels.com/eucarmy

Check out all my sites!
http://eucarmy.com
http://duf.net
http://dufisthenics.com
EUC Army YouTube – https://youtube.com/eucarmy
Duf 3D YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBnqqxnkBqc5ISDQRr0YkiA

Social media
Instagram – @duf67
Twitter – @duf67

Cindy’s site – http://fitfarmchick.com
Cindy’s YouTube channel – http://youtube.com/fitfarmchick

So today was my second attempt at commuting to work on an electric unicycle.  I did the ride almost exactly a year ago on my Msuper.  The Monster is much more suited for this type of ride with a bigger battery and larger tire.  When I first started rolling about 6:20AM I felt a bit clunky with a backpack strapped on and full protective gear, including big knee pads.  After a few miles I got more comfortable.

When I did this ride before I tried to go almost entirely via sidewalk which is safer but also slower because of the ramps and slowing down at every break in the sidewalk.  This time I used a lot more bike lane which allowed me to keep a better pace with the trade off of being in potentially more dangerous proximity of vehicles with their distracted drivers.

The air temps in the lower 60’s felt a bit chilly when combined with the wind but with my long sleeve t-shirt I felt ok.  My feet and calves also held up a little better since I had the seat on the Monster which would allow me to sit down for brief periods while riding to give my lower extremities a break.

I was not wearing a GPS on my wrist this time so I didn’t really know how fast I was going but I did have Strava running on my phone.  It felt like I maintained good speed but I didn’t realize how good.  According to the app I topped out at 28.6mph, the fastest speed I have ever logged on a wheel.  I also spent a ton of time at 20+ mph, thanks to using bike lanes.

When I did this ride last year I was 15 minutes late getting to the office, mostly because I had to baby the wheel the last four miles because of a low battery.  With the Monster I went as fast as I felt comfortable with the entire time and rolled into the office 5 minutes early with 40% battery remaining.  The ride really went as well as it could.  The wheel is on the charger now.  I plan to ride it to the gym at lunch and then push off for home around 4:30.  It’s a great way to start the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, I am treated to another three day long hiatus thanks to Presidents Day.  I have a fair amount of things in my head to get done but for the most part I am hoping to get plenty of chill time.  Cindy and I are both looking forward to seeing Black Panther Saturday night.

So now that the personal things are out of the way I wanted to mention the latest case of mass gun violence, this time in our backyard on the other side of the state.  As seems to be the case with any of the really horrific incidents, the shooter, an unstable 19 year old, used an AR-15 with plenty of spare clips to mow down almost three dozen students and school staff, killing half of them.

I am almost ashamed to admit that my initial reaction to these incidents is more a feeling of overwhelming frustration than horror.  I just am stupefied that our country continues to “say prayers” but take no appreciable action to stop this insanity or at the very least make significant efforts so that this scenario much less likely to take place.  Guns are ridiculously easy to obtain and the lack of controls and consistent screening regarding who obtains them is a joke, in my opinion.

I also have yet to hear a compelling argument why normal citizens need the ability to buy assault rifles.  Yes, if you have concerns about your personal safety, own a hand gun, that will neutralize any immediate threat.  However if you feel the need to own a weapon that has the ability to kill huge amounts of people in very little time I would say you need to take some time to evaluate why this is important to you.

Unfortunately I have seen this scenario repeat like a skipping record so many times that I already know what to expect when it comes to tangible change, nothing……

 

And now with the plugs!

Ender 2 on GearBest EU Plug – https://goo.gl/v5bNRG $159 USE COUPON – “Enderen”
Ender 2 on GearBest US Plug – https://goo.gl/v5bNRG $159 USE COUPON – “ENDERC”
AnyCubic I3 MEGA – US WAREHOUSE – https://goo.gl/BKwhEu $329.99 USE COUPON – “I311GBUS”
AnyCubic I3 MEGA – CHINA WAREHOUSE – https://goo.gl/BKwhEu $315.99 USE COUPON – “I3MEGA”

CR-10 on GearBest – https://goo.gl/6M9DHi use coupon – GBCRUS
CR-10S5 on GearBest – https://goo.gl/3295a6
CR-10S on GearBest – https://goo.gl/rFztnC
GearBest US Warehouse specials! – https://goo.gl/nvL8uF

Get free cash back for stuff you are buying anyway – https://www.ebates.com/r/DUF391?eeid=28187

Esun Cleaning Filament – http://amzn.to/2zP3qwW
Creality Cr-10 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2w7yqIF
Dagoma Neva 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2hYNjoV
FlashForge Finder 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2sCllp7
Hatchbox white PLA filament – http://amzn.to/2rrIfMt
ESun white PLA filament – http://amzn.to/2sBRv42

The gimbal I use – http://amzn.to/2lJbZCa
My GoPro camera – http://amzn.to/2kkBUmJ
GoPro foam windscreen – http://amzn.to/2maDI2B
Selfie stick – http://amzn.to/2mJTJLL
Segway MiniPro – http://amzn.to/2lddTNt
Segway S1 – http://amzn.to/2A8CkQQ
DJI Mavic Pro – http://amzn.to/2kpV4Tk

My EUC protective gear
Killer 187 Wrist Guards – http://amzn.to/2p8y9m9
Triple Eight Helmet – http://amzn.to/2p8uuoH
STX Elbow Pads – http://amzn.to/2oNMrYJ
Killer 187 Knee pads – http://amzn.to/2oYtAHw

Looking for Gotway, Inmotion or KingSong electric unicycles?
Go here for free shipping! – http://ewheels.com/eucarmy

Check out all my sites!
http://eucarmy.com
http://duf.net
http://dufisthenics.com
EUC Army YouTube – https://youtube.com/eucarmy
Duf 3D YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBnqqxnkBqc5ISDQRr0YkiA

Social media
Instagram – @duf67
Twitter – @duf67

Cindy’s site – http://fitfarmchick.com
Cindy’s YouTube channel – http://youtube.com/fitfarmchick

 

Cindy and I had a very nice Valentine’s Day at home enjoying our Carrabbas on the Go dinner while we caught up on some DVR’d content.  Cindy made me a cool shirt, cool card, and bought me some skateboard sneakers that may work well for EUC riding as well.  Everything was very thoughtful and appreciated.  I only made one of my gifts to her, a 3D printed rose that came out surprisingly well.  I printed the top part on my Flashforge Finder and the stem on my CR-10.

This morning I had my consult meeting for my upcoming colonoscopy which is scheduled to go down at the beginning of March.  The appointment was pretty uneventful.  The best news is the prep isn’t quite as awful as it once was.  It used to be you spent most of the prior day chugging a gallon of this disgusting tasting liquid.  With this new regimen I spend the day before on a clear liquid diet but you don’t take laxatives until 6PM the night before followed up by one last shot at 5AM the morning of the procedure.  Of course it will still be an unfun experience but it sounds like it used to be worse.  The doctor was very laid back and cool and didn’t give me any reasons to get more worked up about the procedure than I will be naturally.

So my eyes are not great anymore.  My distance vision has been getting progressively more blurry since my early-mid 40’s.  After telling myself I would get an eye exam for the last four or five years I finally am getting it done on Saturday.

In addition to the eye exam I just recently bought these blue blocking computer glasses, a clear knock off of the Gunnar glasses I tried a few years ago.  These type of glasses block much of the blue light emitted from computer monitors which can cause various eye discomfort.  Red and irritated eyes have been a pretty normal state for me for a long time.

When I tried the Gunnars before I bailed after a week or two because they had slight magnification as well which was causing me even more eye discomfort.  These knock offs have no magnification at all so I am hoping to get better results.  They cost about a third of what the Gunnars cost.  Take a look if you like. http://amzn.to/2HjrN9l 

So tomorrow I am planning to attempt another epic 50+ mile commute to work on my EUC.  When I did this almost exactly one year ago I did so on my Gotway Msuper.  If you watched the video of my ride last year you’ll see I was pushing the limits of the battery capacity of the wheel.  I barely made it to work because of strong headwinds.

I plan to use my huge Gotway Monster this time around which has double the battery capacity and is able to maintain higher speeds for longer duration.  I will still bring my battery charger with to charge during the day but I should be able to go as fast as I want without battery concerns which will make the ride take less time.  Even with the beefier wheel between my legs I plan to leave the house a little earlier to give me more of a time pad and get out ahead of some of the normal traffic. It should be fun.

And now with the plugs!

Ender 2 on GearBest EU Plug – https://goo.gl/v5bNRG $159 USE COUPON – “Enderen”
Ender 2 on GearBest US Plug – https://goo.gl/v5bNRG $159 USE COUPON – “ENDERC”
AnyCubic I3 MEGA – US WAREHOUSE – https://goo.gl/BKwhEu $329.99 USE COUPON – “I311GBUS”
AnyCubic I3 MEGA – CHINA WAREHOUSE – https://goo.gl/BKwhEu $315.99 USE COUPON – “I3MEGA”

CR-10 on GearBest – https://goo.gl/6M9DHi use coupon – GBCRUS
CR-10S5 on GearBest – https://goo.gl/3295a6
CR-10S on GearBest – https://goo.gl/rFztnC
GearBest US Warehouse specials! – https://goo.gl/nvL8uF

Get free cash back for stuff you are buying anyway – https://www.ebates.com/r/DUF391?eeid=28187

Esun Cleaning Filament – http://amzn.to/2zP3qwW
Creality Cr-10 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2w7yqIF
Dagoma Neva 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2hYNjoV
FlashForge Finder 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2sCllp7
Hatchbox white PLA filament – http://amzn.to/2rrIfMt
ESun white PLA filament – http://amzn.to/2sBRv42

The gimbal I use – http://amzn.to/2lJbZCa
My GoPro camera – http://amzn.to/2kkBUmJ
GoPro foam windscreen – http://amzn.to/2maDI2B
Selfie stick – http://amzn.to/2mJTJLL
Segway MiniPro – http://amzn.to/2lddTNt
Segway S1 – http://amzn.to/2A8CkQQ
DJI Mavic Pro – http://amzn.to/2kpV4Tk

My EUC protective gear
Killer 187 Wrist Guards – http://amzn.to/2p8y9m9
Triple Eight Helmet – http://amzn.to/2p8uuoH
STX Elbow Pads – http://amzn.to/2oNMrYJ
Killer 187 Knee pads – http://amzn.to/2oYtAHw

Looking for Gotway, Inmotion or KingSong electric unicycles?
Go here for free shipping! – http://ewheels.com/eucarmy

Check out all my sites!
http://eucarmy.com
http://duf.net
http://dufisthenics.com
EUC Army YouTube – https://youtube.com/eucarmy
Duf 3D YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBnqqxnkBqc5ISDQRr0YkiA

Social media
Instagram – @duf67
Twitter – @duf67

Cindy’s site – http://fitfarmchick.com
Cindy’s YouTube channel – http://youtube.com/fitfarmchick

This weekend felt like one big blur of activity that never really stopped.  I hit the track again first thing Saturday for a run that felt more like May than February.  The temperature at 6AM was almost 70 degrees and it was humid.  I get enough of those temps for 6-7 months out of the year, I wasn’t happy running in the soupy air in the middle of winter.  The 13 laps felt like a struggle, just like it normally does.

Cindy did me a favor and knocked out the weeding for me on Friday.  She also had the chicken coop clean by the time I got home from the run so it felt odd to not have my normal plate of work to attend to first thing.  We instead spent a good portion of Saturday morning doing something fun.  We took the MiniPro and my Msuper to the nearby school and parked there.  We then road into the adjacent Waterways development to browse through the community yard sale they were holding.  We did this last year as well and it was fun.  It was again this year.  We didn’t buy anything although Cindy did make a lowball offer on a used kayak that the seller didn’t quite bite on.

We stopped home to go grab Elsa and then went to walk a friend’s dog.  By the time we got home the morning had been consumed.  It was nice to not have work and more work be the start of my Saturday for once.

Saturday afternoon I dug into my automotive project, replacing the headlights on the Prius, again.  Instead of throwing another set of halogens in there I spent big bucks and got some LED headlights because they are rated to last much, much longer.  Because of the design of the LED bulbs I thought replacement was going to be significantly easier than what I normally have to do.  Well as the video depicts, that was not the case but a lot of my pain and suffering was from not paying close enough attention to the directions.

After I uploaded the Prius video, I was finally able to upload another video, my 1000 video, something I actually had recorded over the last two weeks.  Yes, believe it or not my YouTube channel actually has 1000 videos in it’s catalog.  Like I said this video was a bit different as it was shot over multiple days which gives it a unique and interesting (if I do say so myself) feel.  Take a peek at if you have 15 minutes and of course, don’t forget to like and subscribe!

I spent most of Saturday evening in the hobby room.  First I rearranged all of my printers.  The big CR-10 had to be moved because the workbench height was a potential problem with the shelves above it.  On a high print the CR-10 print head would actually hit the shelf.  I also wanted to make room for the new printer I was sent by GearBest.  So after a lot of shuffling I got around to opening and setting up my AnyCubic I3 Mega.

Unlike my last printer, the Ender 2, which was a kit with dozens of parts whcih required 3-4 hours of assembly time, the AnyCubic printer was a dream.  I had to attach two parts with 8 screws and I was basically done.  Within a half hour I was ready to do my first test print which turned out perfectly.  I really like the new printer for many reasons which I outline in the video.

So Sunday morning we “slept in” until 7:20 or so.  As is often the case I put my clothes on and headed out to tend to the chickens.  I opened the door to their run and they came scurrying out full of energy as normal.  I then walked over to the coop itself and opened up the doors to begin the unfun job of daily clean up.  I froze in my tracks when on the floor to the left of the perch I saw a motionless chicken.  I felt a rush of emotion as I quickly realized it was Peaches.  I looked closer to verify she was indeed dead which she clearly was.

Cindy came out to help me but I instead had to yell to her that Peaches was dead.  She gasped in horror, feeling the same weight of shock that I was already bearing.  I felt terrible sadness as I bent down to pick up her stiff body and carried it outside.  I laid her on top of the chicken tractor run temporarily.  “What the hell happened?” ran through my mind.  I then realized that although the palm rats have knocked 7 of my 8 coop cams offline, the interior camera did still work.  I knew I would be able to see what happened.

It just seemed surreal to me that the bird would be dead, she was acting 100% normal on Saturday, energetic, and looking to be first in line as always.  However there had been one odd thing about Peaches in the last few weeks.  For some reason she would not go up on the perch with the other birds on her own.  Instead she would set up over on the nesting boxes.  I never thought much of it more than just one of the weird quirks chickens have, they have a lot of them.  Each night when I put them to bed I would simply pick Peaches up, put her on the perch and she would be fine.

After cleaning up the coop Cindy and I went through the somber and sad task of burying Peaches.  As I dug a couple foot deep grave with tears in my eyes I thought about all the funny moments  Peaches brought to us.  Like I said she was always first in line when it came to food.  She followed us around like a disciple.  When Cindy would put down plates of yogurt and crushed shells Peaches would hop right into the middle of the plate to try to keep the other birds from getting at it.

She also was the first chicken that actually found the lawn mower as an opportunity instead of something to be feared.  She would follow me around, closely, so close that at times I had to shoosh her away so I wouldn’t run into her.  She learned that the freshly cut grass was an opportunity to harvest bugs by the bushel.  She always made me smile. As we laid her still body, wrapped in burlap into the grave it was a very sad moment.

So after I returned inside we reviewed the coop footage.  She was fine until right around 3AM.  She started having issues balancing on the perch and then all of a sudden fell backwards.  Once she hit the ground there was only a second or two of movement and then stillness.  It was imagery that I didn’t enjoy seeing.

The video also brought immediate guilt.  Seeing her lose balance made me wonder if the reason she was standing on the nesting boxes was because she felt unstable for awhile.  I wondered that if I left her off the perch if she would still be alive.  We also wonder if it wasn’t whatever was making her wobble that killed her but the fall itself.  She could have very easily broken her neck depending on how she went down, which gave me yet another avenue of guilt.  We had talked a bit in the past about making the perch lower to facilitate older birds.  If the fall wasn’t so far she may have survived it.  So yea, I felt and still feel pretty responsible for the whole thing.

Each time we have lost chickens there has been some sort of immediate response to hopefully avoid the scenario in the future.  When the racoon broke into the chicken tractor and killed our first three hens I immediately double latched both side doors of the tractor so they were coon-proof.  That attack also was the basis for us building the new coop to be as predator proof as it is. When Cocoa was taken by a coyote we installed a new security DVR system that gave full view of the coop perimeter so we would know of any weak spots.  With Peaches demise we once again took action.

During the afternoon I cut a full foot of the height of the perch.  The birds now are sitting at two feet or less off the ground which hopefully makes a fall less treacherous.  It has the side effect of possibly making cleanup less of a mess as excrement has less time to accelerate before hitting the rubber mats below.  I hope the changes help avoid this scenario playing out again.  The image of Peaches still on the floor ran through my head all day long.

We tried to keep rolling along in the day instead of dwelling on the sadness.  We hit Home Depot and Sam’s Club.  I had been at Sam’s Saturday to grab a UPS for my hobby room shuffle.  When I was there I saw they had huge 32 inch Samsung curved monitors for $219, super cheap.  I joked to Cindy on Saturday that maybe once I get my tax refund I would grab a couple.  Well when I did my bills Sunday morning I saw my tax refund was already in my account, which was amazing since it was only submitted a few days prior.   So anyway, I grabbed two of these monster monitors.

During the afternoon in addition to reworking the perch I also drug out the gas pressure washer.  Cindy had cleaned the lower areas of the pool cage but can’t reach the high stuff.  Since the cage is due to be rescreened in the next week or two I wanted to make sure it got done before that happens.  It was about an hour of less than fun work but the cage once again looks white instead of a greenish hue.

I finally got around to unboxing the first of my two monitors when I hit my first snag, the inputs were only HDMI and Display Port.  Although my video card has a DP output I did not have the cable required.  I immediately shot out to get one, striking out at Wal-mart and then having to drive another 5 miles to Best Buy to overpay for one.  So when I got home I was anxious to get my new massive monitors set up.  I opened up the second box and was in disbelief, the screen had a crack in it.

I was not pleased as you can imagine.  I angrily reboxed the monitor and immediately retraced the route I just took 30 minutes prior, going back to Sam’s.  I luckily just missed what could have been another incredibly frustrating scenario as I walked in the store at 5:55.  I had no idea they closed at 6PM.  If I was a few minutes later I can’t imagine what my blood pressure would have been.  Anyway, my replacement monitor was undamaged and I got everything hooked up.  The huge curved screens take some getting used to but damn it’s awesome.

Sunday evening both Cindy and I were busy with hobby stuff.  Cindy has really been getting good with her Cameo and I had video footage for a couple different things that I needed to edit and get published.  We ended our weekend late Sunday night watching our first curling match of the Olympics, it was glorious.

And now with the plugs!

Ender 2 on GearBest EU Plug – https://goo.gl/v5bNRG $159 USE COUPON – “Enderen”
Ender 2 on GearBest US Plug – https://goo.gl/v5bNRG $159 USE COUPON – “ENDERC”
AnyCubic I3 MEGA – US WAREHOUSE – https://goo.gl/BKwhEu $329.99 USE COUPON – “I311GBUS”
AnyCubic I3 MEGA – CHINA WAREHOUSE – https://goo.gl/BKwhEu $315.99 USE COUPON – “I3MEGA”

CR-10 on GearBest – https://goo.gl/6M9DHi use coupon – GBCRUS
CR-10S5 on GearBest – https://goo.gl/3295a6
CR-10S on GearBest – https://goo.gl/rFztnC
GearBest US Warehouse specials! – https://goo.gl/nvL8uF

Get free cash back for stuff you are buying anyway – https://www.ebates.com/r/DUF391?eeid=28187

Esun Cleaning Filament – http://amzn.to/2zP3qwW
Creality Cr-10 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2w7yqIF
Dagoma Neva 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2hYNjoV
FlashForge Finder 3D printer – http://amzn.to/2sCllp7
Hatchbox white PLA filament – http://amzn.to/2rrIfMt
ESun white PLA filament – http://amzn.to/2sBRv42

The gimbal I use – http://amzn.to/2lJbZCa
My GoPro camera – http://amzn.to/2kkBUmJ
GoPro foam windscreen – http://amzn.to/2maDI2B
Selfie stick – http://amzn.to/2mJTJLL
Segway MiniPro – http://amzn.to/2lddTNt
Segway S1 – http://amzn.to/2A8CkQQ
DJI Mavic Pro – http://amzn.to/2kpV4Tk

My EUC protective gear
Killer 187 Wrist Guards – http://amzn.to/2p8y9m9
Triple Eight Helmet – http://amzn.to/2p8uuoH
STX Elbow Pads – http://amzn.to/2oNMrYJ
Killer 187 Knee pads – http://amzn.to/2oYtAHw

Looking for Gotway, Inmotion or KingSong electric unicycles?
Go here for free shipping! – http://ewheels.com/eucarmy

Check out all my sites!
http://eucarmy.com
http://duf.net
http://dufisthenics.com
EUC Army YouTube – https://youtube.com/eucarmy
Duf 3D YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBnqqxnkBqc5ISDQRr0YkiA

Social media
Instagram – @duf67
Twitter – @duf67

Cindy’s site – http://fitfarmchick.com
Cindy’s YouTube channel – http://youtube.com/fitfarmchick

 

I picked up Sadie on my way home from work on Friday.  When we got home Elsa went absolutely bat shit crazy to see Sadie emerge from the Prius.  She loves having Sadie around.

On Saturday morning I started out once again with my 13 lap run around the track.  During the last half of the run some kids were getting dropped off presumably for some athletic event.  About a dozen of them joined me on the track, doing one high speed lap, easily blowing past me.  Some of the kids were wearing flip flops and still left me eating their dust.

 

My chore load for Saturday was pretty light with weeding being the primary must do.  We headed out to Rural King and Home Depot with the dogs mid-morning.  I grabbed 15 more bags of top soil to continue my primitive ground level elevation project behind the coop.

My 3D printers were working hard on Saturday finishing up another colorful EUC stand.  I also printed a blue version of my knife model to use at work. On Sunday I put my rudimentary Fusion 360 skills to work to design a little clip I could put on my pool vacuum hoses to keep them from falling off the holder I have on the wall.

Late last week I passed another milestone on my main YouTube channel, crossing the 3000 subscriber mark.  I thought I would celebrate the occasion by making a short montage video that touched on the core subject matter my channel is about.

Saturday night Cindy and I headed out to see 12 Strong, once again opting for the VIP theater experience at The Prado.  We decided to eat dinner there as well since we had a good experience eating there with Randall a few weeks ago.  Cindy and I ordered the exact same items off the menu and had the same praise for the end result.  The only negative was the super slow service at the bar where they had one woman back there that didn’t seem to know what she was doing.  Eventually we just bailed on the idea of getting a beer after waiting for more than 5 minutes with no movement in the line.

The movie was about a seemingly crazy true story at the beginning of the Afghanistan conflict. A small US team was sent in to work with a local Afghan faction to overtake a Taliban controlled area.  The soldiers literally at some points were fighting Taliban in tanks and truck mounted rocket launchers on horseback.  Yes it seemed sort of insane.  Their original intent was to serve as a cross hairs for US targeted airstrikes but it morphed into horses versus tanks in the end.  I am not sure how much of the scenario was exaggerated for the movie, but if it went down pretty much as depicted, it’s an amazing example of heroism and bravery. It’s a solid A flick.

After the movie we stopped at the cute little ice cream shoppe next door and enjoyed small cups of ice cream as we sat by the cool fire/water feature.  We both really enjoy watching movies at Prado.

On Sunday morning Cindy and I went out for an EUC ride, parking in the Super Target lot since Cindy had a few things she wanted to pick up there.  We brought the Msuper and Mten3 for the ride.  It was a fun ride and the longest distance I have taken the Mten3 as we looped all the way to North Collier Park and back.

So on the way back we came in behind Target like we did on the way out, to avoid the busy parking lot traffic.  As we were wheeling along a white SUV was approaching us from the other direction.  As it got closer instead of following the curve in the road it kept going straight in our general direction.  The driver of the vehicle had his face in his phone, of course, and was not paying attention.

Cindy yelled out and gestured at the guy who then immediately jerked the wheel to change direction.  We had plenty of room to avoid an impact but the guy was clearly not paying attention.  Well after we passed I saw the reverse lights on the SUV light up in my rear view mirror.  Cindy looked back and saw it as well and was worried he was going to try to hit us which I assured her he would not do.  Instead he sped past us in an adjacent lane and then gave us the finger as he drove by, what an idiot.

It would have been interesting if he would have stopped and gotten out of the vehicle.  I am normally not the type of person to overreact to a situation or go looking for conflict.  However if someone brings it to my doorstep then things can get a little scary. So anyway, the dumb ass drove away and we had a funny ending to the ride video as I had the camera rolling, just in case.

Sunday afternoon we did our own thing.  Cindy did a lot of crafting over the weekend.  She is getting really good with her Cameo and made a very pro looking t-shirt decal that she applied with her new heat press machine.  I edited the ride video  and then watched a good portion of the Patriots/Jaguar game.

Man although I have no love for the Patriots it is impossible to not respect how much they have accomplished.  Once again they came back from a double digit deficit to beat the Jaguars.  The fact that Tom Brady accomplished this without Gronkowski, who was knocked out with a head injury late in the first half, made it even more impressive.  Brady’s list of accomplishments are simply staggering.  To me, there is not a doubt that he is the best QB of my lifetime.

I of course was more interested in the next game.  Once again, despite having the best record in the league, for the second time in as many weeks the Eagles were an underdog, at home, which is almost unheard of.  Most people, myself included thought that once Carson Wentz got hurt the Eagles chances of success dropped way down.  However the team has managed to use that as a rallying cry, using the underdog role to fuel their efforts.

The way the game started did not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.  The Vikings marched straight down the field and scored a TD with little resistance.  The sick feeling in my stomach was amplified by the stat that they flashed on the screen stating that no team with an indoor stadium has ever played an outdoor game in the championship game and won, their record is 0-12.  In the past the Eagles have had a bad habit of bucking these trends so I was worried that we were again headed in that direction.

If you would have told me that the Birds would turn things around to score 38 unanswered points at that time I would have called you crazy however that is what happened.  I was so used to Eagle teams in the past collapsing with big leads that I was still not confident when the score was 31-7.  Only once they got the final touchdown did I know for sure they were going to the Superbowl.  What an amazing game.

I was so happy for Nick Foles, he had  a superb game.  I always liked the guy when he was with the Eagles.  From the start he struck me as a quality human being and for him to succeed at this level after struggling when he was traded was heart warming. He played like his amazing year under Chip Kelly when he threw 27 TDs with only two interceptions.  He was calm and in control.

The Eagles defense came up big after looking like a doormat on the first drive.  The Vikings did move the ball somewhat but some big takeaways kept them from scoring again which was huge.  This game will go down as one of the all timers in my book as far as satisfaction and level of play goes.

The Super Bowl party we are hosting once again after a one year hiatus suddenly has taken on a whole new level of excitement.  To have the team I have lived and died with my entire life in the big game will be special indeed.  I can only hope somehow they are able to keep the magic going just one more time…

E-A-G-L-E-S

EAGLES!!!!!!!

 

 

Cindy surprised me by suggesting we get out and ride a little bit after work last night.  Of course I was down with the plan.  We loaded up the three smallest wheels, the S1, Mten3, and Inmotion V5F and headed over to the school.  Cindy had not done much EUC riding recently because of some foot and ankle issues, most of the time she has been riding her Segway MiniPro.  She was a little shaky at first but got re-accustomed to one wheeling pretty quickly.

Cindy took turns riding all three wheels but it wasn’t until she got on the Mten3 for the second time that the magic happened.  From watching and hearing Katie and I talk about how much fun the Mten3 is to ride, Cindy wanted to really try to get the hang of the tiny 10″ wheel that felt very awkward to her initially.

She was doing significantly better, able to control the Mten, riding slow, and even doing S turns back and forth.  All of a sudden I glance up and she had stopped and reversed directions for a short distance, wtf?  Yep evidently Cindy decided she was going to experiment with backwards riding, another thing that to me seems much easier on the little wheel.  Over the next 5-10 minutes she kept trying and was doing incredibly well as she got more confident.  Quite a few times she was able to change directions repeatedly without stepping off the wheel.  She was all laughs and smiles, proud of her progress and rightfully so.  Shortly before we finished she went close to 20 feet backwards, it was awesome.  Cindy officially loves the Mten3, that makes three of us.

So I need to start working on the year end recap blog which is always somewhat arduous although I don’t sweat the details as much as I used to.  If I leave out a few things, oh well.

 

 

The four day holiday weekend truly rolled by in a flash, filled with lots of good times.  It was a near perfect conclusion to what may be some of my most memorable 10 day spans as an adult.    Friday morning my goal was to try to attend to most of the must do’s so the majority of the weekend was clear.  I weeded the yard, repaired the automatic chicken coop door, and replaced the section of screen on the one lanai door that Sadie tore through a few days prior.

Randall was also due to arrive Friday around 5 for a brief visit. The main focus of his visit was for us to finally get out to see Star Wars which I bought reserved seats for at Prado, our new favorite theater.  We decided to eat dinner there as well since they have a pretty robust menu.  Cindy and I never took the time to eat there but we were pleasantly surprised, the food was pretty outstanding.  I also was pretty surprised when the bartender said the tab for Randall and my beer was $20.  My Miller Lite was $5 but they evidently yank you for $15 for a draft IPA, geezus.

This was the first time we took Randall to this theater and it seemed like he approved.  The good food combined with the reclining leather seats are a hard combo to beat.  SPOILER, skip ahead a couple paragraphs if you don’t want any Star Wars commentary.  So anyway Randall approved of the theater but I wouldn’t say he approved of the movie, a sentiment all three of us shared.  It just was dumb in so many ways.  Visually of course it was superb and one of my favorite parts of the movie were the alien wildlife that was injected into the film.  Of course if that is a highlight of a movie, that isn’t saying a lot about the plot, dialogue, and acting.

I really don’t get it.  It’s my understanding that they shot all three of the movies from the reboot at the same time.  I thought The Force Awakens was GREAT and did a fine job of capturing the essence of the original three Star Wars movies from the 70’s-80’s.  I thought Rogue One stepped down a few notches and unfortunately The Last Jedi drops all the way down to a B level movie for me.  I just don’t understand how a similar group of people could produce movies that to me, vary drastically in quality.  If I was only allowed one word to describe The Last Jedi it would be, disappointing.

Even with the less than fulfilling movie we all had fun going out.  When we got home we made Randall open his gifts from us which included a national sarcasm society t-shirt, a funny coffee connoisseur mug (Randall is The Coffee Avenger), and an EUC stand that I 3D printed for him.  Cindy had to teach class on Saturday morning so Randall and I laid out a tentative game plan where I would get up early and run and then he and I could push out for Ave Maria with he on two wheels while I made due with only one.

The Saturday run went fine.  The temps in the low 60’s were nice but because of the thick fog I still was soaked from condensation by the time I was finished.  When I got home I tended to the chickens before Randall had emerged from the bedroom.  Some of the chickens have been acting odd recently.  Each night we always have to place a few of them up on the perch.  Some of them instead decide to stand on the nesting box area while some have even been on the floor.

I’m not sure what is going on but my first guess is maybe the effort to get up on the perch is starting to be too much for some.  Lucy, our oldest chicken has been on the floor the last few days.  To hopefully address the problem I modified the ladder position so there is less of a final jump required for them to get onto the main perch.  If certain hens keep struggling we may have to do further alterations. I was really worried about Peaches over the weekend because she was acting very low energy.  She seemed to rebound somewhat yesterday but with chickens you just never know, they can go downhill suddenly and quickly.

So anyway, it was still quite foggy when Randall came out.  We decided we should go grab some DD coffee with the dogs to allow the fog to burn off.  Elsa and Sadie were quite excited by our choice.  Our plan worked out well, by the time we got back it was sunny and clear.

I had once before done an EUC/Road Bike thing when Randall and I did the 20 mile DD ride.  At that time I used my Msuper to tackle the distance.  The Ave Maria ride is a full 10 miles farther so my only viable option was the big 22″ Monster that sports a 1600wh battery.  For the first 5 miles of the ride Randall was in the lead of our two vehicle pelaton however there was a pretty nasty headwind.  I suggested to Randall that I pull in front since being the wind breaker only consumed battery power for me instead of calories.  He welcomed the switch.

The Monster did surprisingly well, Randall said for a good portion of the ride out we were pacing 20+ mph INTO the wind, something I could never do on a road bike.  My upright body on the wheel also made for a nice air pocket Randall could draft inside of, making his ride more tolerable.  We made good time out to Ave Maria and enjoyed a drink at the local coffee shop.  On the way back that headwind transformed into a tail wind which helped us keep up the speed.  During the last couple miles Randall dropped the hammer to finish the strong.  No matter how hard he pushed I was able to keep up on the Monster.  He showed his top speed as being over 23mph.

Cindy picked up Publix subs that we enjoyed for lunch.  Mid-afternoon Randall and I headed out again, this time with HIS Ninebot EUC to go ride at the greenway.  My feet and calves were extremely sore from running followed by the Ave Maria ride but I would had to be crippled to not go out again.  I brought my Mten3 this time.  Randall and I had a good time cruising around there, a spot I never took him to before.  At the end of the ride I suggested a small change he could make in his riding style to give him better agility and control.  He practiced in the parking lot and by the end of the ride was doing much better.

When we got home the three of us had a rather funny photo shoot out by Cindy’s RV.  Randall had his redneck costume in the car that he used for my birthday video and suggested we utilize it.  Cindy loves to dress up and I threw on my camo t-shirt from 7th grade to go along with camo shorts and Crocs.  We took several very funny shots that became instant classics.  Randall headed out shortly after the photo shoot as we had a holiday party to attend held by Cindy’s work.  It was a short visit but jam packed with memories which is all you can want.

So Christmas Eve once again was pretty busy, well more so for Cindy than for me as she had a lot of meal prep to do.  I had just a couple of loose ends to tie up for my holiday shopping needs which I did in the morning.  Later in the afternoon Cindy dropped me off at Vineyards Park to ride the Mten while she dropped some stuff off at her mom’s place.

I spent over an hour tooling around the park practicing various skills on the small but powerful wheel.  My lower body was still hurting from all the riding the day before but I didn’t care.  It’s such a fun wheel to ride.

Another thing I spent considerable time on over the weekend was extracting the video Cindy produced and getting them on YouTube.  It was hard for people to pay much attention to or hear the video at the party itself.  I made two versions, one is the original version from the party and the second is shorter with some cleaned up audio and some footage from the party itself.

We spent Christmas Eve watching the live broadcast of A Christmas Story, the broadway adaptation of the popular Christmas movie.  I normally cringe at musicals but I found the show fun, entertaining and a nice way to spend the last few hours before the big day.

I have never been good at sleeping in on Christmas Day and despite now being a half century old, that tradition continued on.  I was up and out of bed by 5:30.  By the time Cindy got up at 7 I had already done some more video editing and played some WoW.  Before we started opening presents I got the chicken coop cleaning out of the way.  I gave the hens Xmas gifts they always appreciate, greens from the garden, cracked corn, and some dried mealworms.

As is the case every year, the Christmas tree was decked out with ample presents, although the presents only appeared the night before.  Because of Elsa potentially digging into things the presents have been living in the hobby room and the tree has spent most of the season encased in a chair barrier which I have not been thrilled about.  It was nice to finally see the tree as it should be.

Cindy and I had good time opening presents to each other and from my family.  I made out well scoring clothing, power tools, gadgets, books and 3D printer filament and lots of it.  I think in total I now have 7 or 8 fresh rolls which will keep my printers chugging along for the foreseeable future.

Cindy was happy and surprised by her gifts, the biggest of which was a Silhouette Cameo 3, a craft “printer” that will allow Cindy to do some extremely cool things once she learns how to use it.  Another noteworthy item was an Amazon Echo Show that adds a video screen to the already impressive Echo features.  I wasted little time before configuring it.  We both noticed immediately that the speaker in the Show sounded noticeable better than the original Echo.

Once the opening extravaganza was done Cindy had to dive back into meal prep while I started working on post Xmas clean up duties.  It can be a lengthy process that includes finding a home for all the new items as well as disposing of all the wrapping paper and cardboard.  By the time I was done the dining room was pretty clear.

Cindy’s daughter and her boyfriend showed up late in the morning to open gifts.  Once again this year I went a little crazy and bought Katie her second EUC as in many years, a Mten3.  She has loved mine since I first let her try it and I knew she would get so much enjoyment bang for the buck from the gift.  It made me happy to see the big smile on her face as she unwrapped it.

Cindy and I did some rearranging of the great room for the family meal.  Instead of eating at the big dining table like years past we ate in the great room and sort of arranged things like we do for the fantasy football draft party.  Cindy’s family started showing up around 2:30.  It was her brother, sister-in-law, two nieces, nephew, mom and Katie that showed up in total.  There was a TON of food as you would expect and everything was delicious although I of course ate more than my recommended caloric intake.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, the house felt warm and “Christmasy”, a feeling I always hope for.  After the meal gifts were exchanged and we even had everyone outside riding around on the Segways while Katie, Cindy, and I rode our EUCs.  There were smiles and laughter throughout the entire get together which is all you can hope for.

Most of the crew left by 6.  Cindy’s other neice Taylor wasn’t able to get out there until closer to 7-7:30 but we had a nice time with her as well.  She is one of the most put together 17 year olds I have known.  She has a bright future ahead of her for sure.

Cindy and I both worked diligently on clean up, striving to get the house somewhat close to normal before heading to bed.  I took a shower and flipped on the bedroom tv to watch the Eagles game.  Starting out in bed was a mistake, I began dozing off before the second quarter started and I was out like a light before the end of the first half.  I was glad to see the Eagles pulled off what seemed to be an ugly win in the end, securing a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  I can only hope they take advantage of it in the end.

I awoke today feeling a bit of my normal post Christmas sadness.  It happens every year but felt a bit stronger this time around.  Not only did today mark the end of Christmas but it also was the culmination of a very special period of time that started with my birthday trip north and the incredible surprise party that I was treated to.  This holiday season has been the best one I have experienced in a long time and to see it pass is a bummer.  I will do my best to keep the Christmas good energy going all year around.

 

 

 

So my flight out of Pittsburgh wound up being delayed over two hours which was unfortunate.  I heard from airline staff that early dense fog in Florida caused a flight to have to land at a different airport.  The end result was cascading delays throughout the rest of the day, resulting in our snafu.  I didn’t mind all that much as I spent the time creating the next blog entry and just people watching. Unlike my flight to Pittsburgh that was only maybe 2/3 full, the flight to Florida was packed.  Even with an exit row seat I still found myself being uncomfortable, not due to leg room but shitty seats with minimal padding.  During the last half of the flight I felt like I was shifting around almost constantly. Other than the delay and discomfort, the flight was without incident.  Cindy was very happy to have me back in Florida as was I.

For most of the flight I kept myself occupied by reading part of my THIRD book, Volume III of Inside Out.  I think I mentioned this unique book series awhile ago.  A few years back my dad had the idea of turning my blog entries into a book.  Well I didn’t quite realize just how much content I have put out.  We are three books in and have only gotten up to 2007.  The first two books actually combined several years together (I started blogging in late 2003) but evidently in 2007 I was more verbose and that single year had enough for an entire book.

Reading the words of me minus 10 years was interesting and somewhat eye opening.  Without a doubt I was much less tactful back then, using words and descriptions that I would somewhat cringe at now.  I also seemed VERY angry most of the time which I am sure was a byproduct of some of the frustrations I was feeling at the time with my marriage and life in general.

Speaking of my marriage, without a doubt the way I chose to routinely write about things that Ali did or situations that arose during our marriage was clearly destructive looking at it back through a 10 year time machine.  At the time it felt like it was just a way to vent and didn’t really think about it much beyond that.  In retrospect what it really did was put my one view of the situation out for public display without much opportunity for Ali to offer her viewpoint which I am sure was hurtful.

I only came to realize the problem with this behavior after the marriage was well on it’s way to dissolution.  You will notice that once we became separated and to this day, I have pretty much kept any personal relationship issues out of the blog.  Of course there are still urges to vent now and then but the more mature, 10 year older version of myself now knows that in the big picture, it makes little sense and serves little purpose to go there.  I was reading the book for almost a solid two hours and only covered the first MONTH AND A HALF of 2017.  For someone who prefers to talk so little, I sure do type a lot.

When I finally got home Monday night we enjoyed dinner and the chocolate birthday cake Cindy made for me.  She had been a very busy baker making a ton of Christmas cookies in addition to the cake.  It felt so nice to finally sleep in my own bed after getting less than solid sleep for the entire trip.  As you can imagine Sadie and Elsa were quite excited to see me.

I took Tuesday off as a day of recovery.  Early in the morning I headed out to the barpark to fulfill a promise.  My buddy Max said for my 50th birthday I needed to do an exercise circuit that included 50 pull ups, 50 dips, and 50 push ups.  I have not done much circuit calisthenics in a long time so I knew it would be challenging, especially coming off a northern trip that included lots of eating and drinking.  I broke the movements into a decreasing pyramid of reps that went 15, 10, 10, 8, 7 to keep it manageable.  During my prime I may have been able to do the 150 reps in half the amount of sets but I am 50 now after all.

My activities during the rest of the day were mixed between work and play as I had some things to do after being away for four days but I also got to chill out later in the day and even get some WoW time in.  Last night Cindy and I threw the wheels in the back of the Prius to ride around the Victoria Park development to check out their incredibly ornate Xmas decorations.  Luckily a Tuesday night apparently was not a bad time to do it.  There was a still a lot of cars snaking around the neighborhood but nothing like the gridlock we experienced last year when we went on Christmas Eve.  I rode the new Segway S1 around to get more of a feel for it.  It’s a fun little wheel that is great for lower speed, shorter distance journeys.

I have a lightning quick two day work week followed by four days off for Christmas.  You can’t get much better than that.

 

So I took off Friday to give me an extra day to get stuff done as my mental list was feeling too large for a conventional two day weekend.  I got a headstart on the list Thursday when I got home from work.  I dug into replacing all three internal fans on my CR-10 as they were extremely noisy and known to be of subpar quality.  As usual I ran into snags along the way and as usual I eventually found a way to circumvent them, although not necessarily in the best way.

A good portion of my Friday was consumed doing full grass maintenance.  I weeded, weed whacked, and mowed the yard for hopefully the last time before Christmas.  It felt odd that I was hot and sweaty in the 85 degree weather, knowing the drastic reversal in temperature that was forecast to blow in.  I brought Elsa along with me to go pick up the replacement lanai screen door at Home Depot.  You know, the door that a sixth of a price of what the screen contractor wanted to charge me?  On the way home I picked up Sadie for another weekend visit, something Elsa was beyond excited about.

So early Saturday morning Cindy and I were awakened by lightning, rain, and thunder from the cold front that was sweeping through the area.  The storms were approaching summer-like severity.  I had originally planned to get up and run Saturday morning but the cold rain killed that plan rather quickly.  I decided to substitute a 30 minute session on the rower which brings a different sort of pain than running.

Cindy was teaching classes Saturday morning so I kept myself busy around the house tending to more of my to do list.  Part of that list was having my 3D printers working overtime.  There are TONS of awesome 3D modeled Christmas items out there and I was printing a bunch of them, reindeer, Xmas trees, ornaments, you name it, I was trying to print it.  Later in the weekend Cindy hand painted a bunch of what I printed making it’s coolness level go up another few notches.

Once the rain slowed down mid-morning I took the dogs outside.  I saw Elsa shoot off behind the garden.  She was drawn to something moving on the ground.  I immediately called her off and went closer to investigate.  I stood there in amazement for a sec when I saw it was a catfish.  However a second later I remembered that this has happened several times since I have lived in Florida.

I remember the first time I saw this phenomenon I thought that somehow the fish got sucked up into the clouds and came down with the rain.  I later found out that these are “walking catfish”, a non-native species that has the ability to actually “walk” and breathe air for a short period of time as long as their gills stay wet.  They will leave water to relocate if they deem it necessary.

My quick thought was because of all the rain this catfish decided it was a good chance to pick up and move although I wondered where he was moving from since he was about 20 feet behind the garden when I spotted him.  Well of course I couldn’t let him flopping around out there so I went and grabbed a small plastic container and scooped him up, figuring I would put him in the fill pit in the rear of the property which has a ton of water still in it.

So as I walked towards the back fence line I spotted another catfish, and another, and another.  Evidently they all had the same idea.  By the time I was done, I had collected and transported about 20 of the fish back to water.  Most of them went in the fill pit but I also put a handful into the small pond near the house.  If you never have seen walking fish before, it should be on your bucket list.

On Saturday afternoon Cindy and I were back at Home Depot.  Last week on the way out we had spotted this nice pre-assembled wood workbench that we commented about how it might be a nice addition to the hobby room.  I measured a space on the wall I saw I had exactly six feet, the length of the bench.  After we got back I immediately dug into getting the room rearranged.  In the process I knocked the EUC shelf down which in turn broke one of my 3D printed stands.  Of course I simply reprinted the broken piece.

It took awhile to get things shuffled around but the end result was worth the effort.  The room feels much less crowded.  Everything has a space and the one hobby desk that used to be consumed by two printers now is clean and open to be used as needed.  Cindy was very happy with the end result as well.

On Sunday morning it was cold, very cold with temps in the mid 40’s.  Despite substituting a hard rower session for running on Saturday, my inner taskmaster said I still needed to get out and run.  I did not dress for the temps, adorning a short and t-shirt, just like any other day, figuring my internal engine would keep me warm.

Well the first mile or so was miserable.  Not only was it cold, it was windy making a half of each lap extra frigid as the cold air pushed against my exposed skin.  Even as I finished the 13th lap I was still yet to break a sweat.  It felt good to push through the weather and complete my second endurance training in as many days.  With my trip to PA this upcoming weekend I won’t get a run in so that was part of my motivation to get out there, no matter what.

So even though it was cold, I wanted to get a ride in.  I came up with the idea of doing a one way ride to Dunkin Donuts on my Msuper where I could meet Cindy so she could go run some errands.  When I left the thermometer at the house read 49 degrees which I believe is the coldest air I have ever one wheeled in.  I was bundled up with three layers up top although I still had on my trusted camo shorts.  At first it didn’t feel too bad but by the time I pulled into DD it felt like rigamortis was settling in, I was frozen.  I’m not sure if Dunkin Donuts coffee every tasted better as it helped thaw me from the inside.

Cold was the word of the day.  The temp never got out of the 50’s which is highly unusual.  I kept those same three layers on all day long, indoors and out, and still felt chilled.  Despite the temps I had one last major to do on my mental list, installing the new screen door.

Installation took longer than expected.  I had to make a run to the hardware store midway to buy a new set of hinges as well since the old pair was bent from the force of Irma, which was causing the door to not close properly.  The frame of the cage surrounding the door has a lean to it as well which I really can’t do much about but the door at least closes and latches securely, something that has not been the case for the last three months.

I finished up just as the Eagles came started up.  It was a great and exciting game with a favorable Eagles outcome on the scoreboard but not in the big picture.  Carson Wentz went out in the second half with a potentially serious knee injury.  Nick Foles came in and was competent in running the team which doesn’t surprise me.  I always liked Nick and he has that one MONSTER year in Philly so I know he has the ability to play well.  However losing Wentz for the rest of the season would still be a huge blow to the Eagles long term chances during a year where it seemed like they just may have what it takes to finally bring home the ultimate prize.

I can only hope it isn’t the ACL tear that many news outlets are speculating this morning.  When I saw the hit that caused the injury real time I immediately winced as it looked like Carson went from full speed to zero when he hit the defender.  It almost looked like his body hit a brick wall.

So the rest of my 2017 is going to be abbreviated as I won’t have a full work week until 2018 rolls around.  There will be much to attend to, to celebrate, and reflect upon for sure.

 

 

 

I decided to do the four day blog recap before the four days are over for better retention and future time constraints.  Our Thanksgiving started bright and early since I was running the four mile Gobbler Gobbler.  We packed both Cindy’s Minipro and my new Mten3 in the car.  Cindy was going to help marshal the race while riding her Segway and I hoped to ride the EUC around pre/post race.  That’s exactly what happened.

The race itself went smoothly.  The run for me was tough but I put minimal pressure on myself since I opted for the fun run event this year instead of the chip timed race.  Early on I felt like I was on the verge of a hamstring pull.  My lower body still had some soreness/stiffness from the lower body work I did at the gym on Tuesday.  Eventually the sensation lessened and I was able to run more or less normally, for me.  I followed my normal pattern of getting passed early during the race but then almost be exclusively the one doing the passing during the latter stages of the race.  I have no idea exactly how long it took me since I didn’t wear a GPS.  All I know it was somewhere less than 40 minutes.

After the race Cindy and I hung around for awhile.  I spent most of my time hanging with my timer buddy John who was once again timing the race this year.  Even though I haven’t timed a race in over two years, the bond between race timers never fades.  Cindy must have showed at least 10 people how easy the Minipro is to ride.  She just loves to do that.

Once we got home I went out and tended to chicken clean up so Cindy could turn her attention to Thanksgiving meal prep.  She had already done a lot of work on Wednesday.  Her mom, mom’s friend, Katie and Cindy’s niece came to join us for the meal.  Katie came a little early and I let her try out the new tiny Mten3.  She instantly loved the way the wheel felt and reacted.  Before she was done she was able to do back and forth pendulums without much issue.

The meal itself was great.  Cindy catered to everyone’s dietary preferences, preparing a Tofurkey for me while preparing conventional turkey for everyone else.  The feedback on the meal was universally positive.  Cindy’s mom’s friend was funny as she told funny stories about her previous husbands and asked matter of the fact and awkward questions of others that seemed to come out of left field.  Between four and five o’clock everyone had headed out with very full bellies.

In some ways my Thanksgiving was very unconventional.  I basically watched none of the Macy’s parade and did not see a single snap of the three football games that took place.  I just had other things that had my attention including YouTube, 3D printing and riding around my Mten.

On Black Friday the unconventional feel continued as I did absolutely no shopping in a brick and mortar or cyber fashion.  Instead I dug into a work heavy day where I tried to do most of my conventional chores, hopefully clearing the deck for the weekend.  I also picked up Sadie for a long weekend visit, something Elsa was very excited about.  During the afternoon Cindy helped me get the exterior Christmas decorations up.

I actually scaled back the extent of the lights outside.  We only wrapped the front two palm trees in lights instead of including the other set of four in the front.  We took those extra lights and extended them both down each fence lines which looked nice and was a lot less difficult.  I wrapped up the work adorning the roof line of the coop/run with the big LED bulbs as I have the last couple years.  On Sunday we added a large 16 foot inflatable Saanta sled to the mix.  Hopefully this inflatable lasts longer than most.  We have yet to have an Xmas inflatable that actually lasted more than one year.

On Saturday, despite my efforts up to that point there was still plenty to keep me busy.  Cindy taught a class in the morning.  While she was gone I again cleaned up the chicken mess and then did some more work in rusty pool cage screw replacement.  This is a long term job that is proving to be more of a pain in the ass than I anticipated.  So many of the existing screws are in such poor condition that as soon as I try to back one out the head snaps off.  It’s really annoying.

We also took on part two of the long Xmas decorating process, doing all of the inside work Saturday afternoon.  Once again we set up my mom’s tree in the great room. Once again the top set of lights did not want to illuminate after showing a few flashes.  Instead of fighting with it like I did last year I decided to just bring in a couple sets of spare white LED lights from the shed and using those instead.  The LEDs looked better and use less power than the pre-strung incandescent lights the tree came with me.  I was happy with the decision as it extends my ability to keep mom’s tree in service indefinitely, not that I would ever dispose of it.

Last night we watched my Netflix blu-ray Kong Skull Island.  The movie had more graphic representations of people getting eaten/killed by horrific monsters than anything I can recall seeing.  It made Jurassic Park look like Sesame Street.  Despite this unsettling/graphic violence we both found the movie entertaining and good overall. I’d give it a B+, Cindy actually said it was an A in her opinion.

Today I woke up to the hope of having a clean slate, devoid of must do’s.  I pretty much have it outside of my doing the chicken and pool maintenance early on.  Cindy and I went to North Collier Park to ride a little bit and I am in the process of watching the Eagles put a hurting on the Bears.

It seems odd that as much effort as I put into getting stuff done, it just never really feels done, ever.  Of course this is no surprise as it is the way it always has been.  This feeling is both my curse and my advantage, it just depends on the situation.  Even as I punch in these last few words I have thought of double digit things that need my attention, effort, or energy, at some point.