Yesterday was a good day. The roofer arrived bright and early and got to work. It was a large crew of at least a dozen guys. Before long the inside of the house was filled with the noise of a shingle roof being removed which was a lot of scraping and banging. Later in the day it was supplemented with a lot of banging and hammering as they re-nailed all of the exposed plywood to bring it up to code level strength.
The workers seemed very efficient and meticulous, laying tarps everywhere to catch any debris, which there was a lot of. By the time they wrapped up for the day around 2PM three quarters of the roof had been stripped, renailed, and covered with the new rubberized underlayment. All that remains is the front face of the roof that they are actively tearing into as I type. After this we have around a week to wait until county inspectors check things out before the metal can be attached.
I flew my drone overhead twice yesterday to get a unique high perspective on the work and the transformation as it occurs. It may be the first time I had the Mavic in the air since the hurricane.
I busted ass on more list items yesterday. At this point out of the 15 items on my staycation to do list, only one remains, fixing the pool pump timer. I plan to look at that issue today and hopefully be able to cross it off as well. Don’t get the wrong idea, once the list is complete I won’t be sitting around doing nothing the rest of the week. I always have something to do that either needs to be done or I want to do for entertainment, always. Extended time off at home always makes me feel confident that I could retire tomorrow and not be bored at all.
Late in the afternoon yesterday I found some time to go cruise on my little Mten3 wheel, riding more backwards than forward.
Saturday morning I was up and out the door to get my track run in. It went ok with the normal “I hate this” feeling the first three laps, followed by “stop whining and run” for the next 8 laps, and finally “I can do anything for two laps” at the end. The bad thing about only running once a week is it doesn’t ever seem to get any easier.
Saturday was a go day, meaning I had a long list and the motivation to do it. I wasted little time before heading out to start weeding the yard which then rolled into weed whacking while Cindy got on the tractor to mow. It felt like my weed whacking muscles were out of shape. Towards the end of it I had to stop and try to stretch my middle back a few times.
We then took Elsa along to run errands. I had been waiting almost a month for the big Pinch-a-Penny spring sale to finally buy a new pool vacuum. My Hayward Navigator was falling apart, literally. I was a bit disappointed to see that they had sold out of the model I was going to buy but I still got the promo pricing, I just have to wait until Tuesday to pick it up. We also hit Home Depot where I had a list of several items needed for several different needs.
The biggest thing I wanted to get done was get my security cameras back online in the coop. Seven of the eight cameras were taken out by palm rats chewing the wires. I have had replacement cables for weeks but I wanted to make sure that we got rid of the rodents first. I don’t think they are totally gone but I think the ultrasonic device inside the coop has made them relocate mostly, I have not seen/heard any of them at night when putting the chickens to bed in weeks.
So I first had to pull all of the old wires out which were stapled to the wood in the run. I used a lot of staples. I had Cindy help me with installing the new cables. I decided to use wood screws mostly to hang/support the new cables which would be easier to replace if need be. I only used the staple gun to attach the cables to the roof near the entrance into the coop. I decided to use the existing hole that the rats chewed on but I left my big 3D printed nut and bolt in place, mostly covering the wires. I later added a wire loom around them as well as encasing the hole in expanding foam to further deter future chewing.
During the process we also relocated one of the two cameras that were pointing towards the back to the west side of the coop where we had nothing. The coop now has a 360 degree ring of vision around it. Even a ninja would have a hard time sneaking in there without detection.
Saturday night Cindy and I went to see Ready Player One, a movie based on a popular book. If you grew up playing video games as I did there is pretty much no way you can’t love this movie. Even Cindy, who is not nearly the gamer I am really liked the film as well. It was great, a solid A flick in my book, if you are a nerd like me.
We enjoyed dinner at the theater before the movie. You can really tell the exodus of snowbirds has begun. It was dramatically less full than the last time we went to the movies a month or so ago. Cindy was a little grossed out by the lack of cleanliness of the reclining leather chairs. The arm rests had various sorts of organic matter left on them. She went out and said something. One of the managers came in and wiped them down and was genuinely apologetic, saying his staff was going to be getting reprimanded for it. I imagine it is rather hard to get typical theater employees making minimum wage to be very conscientious about their job duties.
Sunday morning we “slept in” till 7:30 which felt well needed. After tending to the chickens and paying my bills we suited up for a potentially problematic ride. I suggested to Cindy that we try riding the big Segway I2 all the way to Dunkin Donuts and back. The 20 mile ride is far further than we have ever pushed the big Segway and the batteries in there are 11 and 12 years old. Expecting them to give that sort of range is unlikely, but Cindy was down for the challenge. We figured worst case it dies and I haul ass home on my Monster to pick her up with the truck.
So the ride out had a lot of headwind. As we monitored the battery indicator on the I2 we were concerned it was going down faster than we hoped. By the time we got to Dunkin Donuts it was showing half full which would be cutting it close at best. I brought the charging cord for the Segway. We wheeled it inside and parked it near an outlet where I plugged it in, hoping a 30 minute charge session would ensure we make it all the way home. We pushed back east with 5 bars of battery instead of 4 but that extra bar disappeared a mile or two into the return journey.
When we left I was honestly assuming the I2 would run out of power before we got back. The unit surprised me and made the trip back with 2 bars showing on the battery meter. It wasn’t the sort of ride you would want to normally do on the I2. It’s slower speed made the trip feel really long. Plus the I2 is most fun when you are going on varied terrain, not endless straightaways. Of course the journey is on video.
Sunday afternoon an old co-worker and friend of Cindy’s stopped by for a visit. It was nice for them to catch up. I mostly kept myself busy doing my stuff, namely 3D printing, video editing and some WoW. We had a hellacious storm blow through last night, dumping a ton of rain in a very short period of time, temporarily flooding out some areas. It’s a preview of wet season will contain.
Cindy busted ass on Friday trying to get a lot of chores done so us being gone Saturday wouldn’t be a big deal. I set the alarm for Saturday morning so we could get up and get the chicken clean up done before rolling out. We dropped Elsa off at Ali’s so she could spend the day with Sadie. Since Elsa stayed with them during our last road trip she is very comfortable there and we feel good knowing she will be well taken care of.
The drive across state in the Ioniq was easy. The smart cruise control the car has makes highway travel simple and safe. You set the desired speed and the cushion you want behind other vehicles. If you encounter another vehicle the Ioniq will slow down as needed to maintain that distance. If you swing out in the passing lane it automatically will accelerate once it sees the path is clear. The only unpleasant portion of the journey was the last 10-20 miles where we were engulfed in typical stop and go traffic on I-95. I still don’t see how people can deal with that day in and day out.
We found the college where Maker Faire was being held without issue. We swung into a nearby parking garage with flat rate $5 parking which is reasonable. For some reason I assumed the Maker Fare was indoors, it was not. Only a couple of exhibits were indoors which was fine, although I was glad I dressed temperature appropriate, it was 86 degrees when we left.
One of the things that actually got me interested in going to the event was I saw Prusa 3D printers was going to be there, including the founder, Joe Prusa. Well the Prusa tent was right near the one entrance. They had two MK3’s (the next printer I want) printing models as well as a bunch of other examples of things that it printed sitting on the tables. We talked to the guy working the stand for awhile and I said I that I thought Joe was supposed to be there?
The guy pointed behind me and there he was. Joe is really a big deal in the 3D printing world. His Prusa i3 design has been knocked off by many Chinese companies. Even though he is from the Czech Republic you would think English is his first language. Cindy and I talked with him for awhile and even showed him the big 3D Widowmaker rifle we made. I told him I hoped they would have a couple MK3’s available for sale but sadly that was not the case. Joe did say that the backlog for them is less than it was. It was taking 3 months to get one, it’s now down to a month and a half. 🙂
That was a great way to start the event and the good vibe continued throughout our time there. The people working the booths were really friendly and engaging. They seemed very excited to share information about the stuff they are so passionate in creating. We saw creativity in many different ways, it was great. We finished up with a good lunch at one of the food trucks parked outside the venue. Cindy and I both really liked the event and I would be happy to go back again in the future.
So we still had some time left and had thrown the EUC’s in the back of the car, just in case. We walked back to the garage and suited up for a quick ride down to the Bayside area, a very happening shopping/food district by the water. It was part of the Port of Miami so we got a good view of several massive cruise ships get ready to depart. We only rode for maybe a half hour. It was Cindy’s first time back on one wheel in a couple months so we didn’t want to push it too far.
The drive back was front loaded with traffic, this time getting out of Miami. Once we got back onto Alligator Alley it was smooth sailing. Elsa had a great time at Ali’s and didn’t seem in a rush to leave. We actually wound up taking Sadie back with us since Ali was going out Saturday night and was planning to be gone a good portion of Sunday. We got home before 6PM, it was a testament to just how much you can experience in a span of 10 hours.
On Saturday night we watched Atomic Blonde, one of those movies that was interesting to me but not enough to lay out theater level pricing to see. If you are looking for a good splattering of nudity, action, plot twists, and just high energy, this film will do nicely. The ending just nudged into A- territory for me.
So my Saturday run got transplanted to Sunday. Once again the temps in the low 70’s with humidity made the session feel uncomfortable very early. I may as well get used to it as there are another 7 months of such weather ahead of me.
Cindy’s big vinyl cutter showed up late last week and she has been testing it out, trying to learn the ins and outs of it. Although it is without a doubt not a high end cutter in fit and finish, it does work. In some ways it works better than the Cameo 3, it cuts fast and it’s simplicity is in some ways more appealing. The software that is included also isn’t as bad as I first thought it could be. It makes certain types of projects really easy to do.
My 3D EUC store got off to a nice little start, selling three stands in the first 24 hours. One of them is going all the way to Belgium. The customer is paying as much to ship the stand there as the stand costs. It will be interesting to see if demand will continue.
Yesterday afternoon I dedicated a couple hours to sprinkler replacement. In total I pulled out nine Rain Bird sprinklers that had stopped oscillating. It was pretty easy to tell which ones weren’t working as there was a narrow swath of green surrounded by brown. The Hunter sprinklers I replaced them with are supposed to be some of the best so I hope I get many years of trouble free performance out of them. Despite it only being April 8th it was quite warm in the yard mid-afternoon.
After returning inside I didn’t feel guilty just geeking out in WoW for a few hours. It’s hard to describe exactly why the virtual second universe I exist in is so appealing to my brain but it’s been my escape for 12 years and counting.
Saturday morning I got up to do my run. I knew it was supposed to be cool but I didn’t expect it to be cold. Well the thermometer in the car read 45 degrees on the way to the track. I was glad I chose a long sleeve t-shirt to run in. It took me at least three laps until my internal body temperature started to regulate against the cold air. The run went as most do, thoughts of quitting early to thoughts of relief as I finish up.
After finishing up chicken chores and weeding we headed out with Elsa to run some errands. One of the things we picked up was a new strainer basket for the pool pump as well as a new hose for the inline chlorinator. It is a hose that connects the chlorinator to the return water feed. I have futzed with this hose several times over the years. It is installed at an odd angle and has a tendency to want to collapse on itself, making it useless. I have replaced it already a few times only to have it collapse shortly thereafter. After some careful manipulation of the support spring and hose I think I finally have it as it should be. Even though it was a very minor repair, I was able to skim some satisfaction from finally getting it installed right.
Cindy and I made plans to go to Seasons 52 to celebrate our five year anniversary. I had tried early in the week to get reservations but the time block between 3:45 and 8:15 was booked solid. We decided we would just go there and hang at the bar to wait for a table.
When we got there at 5:30 the lot was already quite full. We went inside fully prepared to wait, awhile. We did not realize that Seasons 52 had a similar layout to Carrabas. The right side of the house is the formal dining room where the reservations are held. However around the bar on the left there are a booths that are first come first serve. They were all full but there was only one couple waiting for one ahead of us. We wound up sitting down after 10 minutes or less, an unexpected outcome.
Our dinner was very good. Cindy and I both cleaned our plates and the little miniature desert shot glasses we ordered. It was probably one of the more expensive dinners for two but it was a special occasion worthy of the effort. We both left amazed that we somehow managed to complete the dinner in roughly two hours, travel included. Saturday night we watched the Tom Cruise version of The Mummy. It was entertaining enough and had an ending that I definitely did not expect. It was a notch below what I normally get out of Tom’s movies but I’d still go B+ overall.
Sunday was a beautiful morning. Cindy and I went to North Collier Park to ride around, her on the big Segway I2, me on the tiny Mten3. Not far into the ride I heard a loud beep come from my wheel. I looked down and saw the battery indicator was not full, which it normally would be. I quickly realized that I must have forgotten to recharge the wheel after I rode it to Dunkin Donuts a couple weeks ago. The battery level indicator showed about half full so I thought I would be fine for our ride. I babied the wheel for another two or three miles but the beeping soon became incessant so we had to cut the ride short. Even with the abbreviated ride we had fun.
The rest of our Sunday was laid back. I had a number of 3D prints cooking and Cindy was hard core into her crafting. I also got several hours of time in WoW which was fun since the week prior had little time for such activity. We emerged from the weekend happy with how it flowed and looking forward to the next.
If it was possible to create a blueprint for how I would like most weekends to be it would be like this past one. The weather was perfect with cool mornings and pleasantly warm afternoons with an abundance of blue sky.
Saturday morning I got out and resumed my running program after a two week hiatus due to illness. Although the act of running three and a half miles was difficult as expected, it was offset by the sense of accomplishment afterward. The cool air temps in the mid-50’s definitely was beneficial.
When I got back Cindy let me know that I managed to catch another one of the palm rats, bringing my total to four. As with the others I drove the little annoying bastard a couple miles away and let him loose into the undergrowth to fend for himself. I know there is at least one more adult in the coop area. If I can catch him I will finally feel ready to rerun the wires for the DVR system.
My new routine of making sure there are no mice in the coop when the door is closed seems to be a solid plan. Before when I had the coop door on an analog timer I was never quite sure when it would close. The end result was most of the time I put the chickens to bed the door was still open and would close later. Well if a mouse entered during that interim it would spend the entire night chewing on whatever it could to get out.
A couple weeks ago, when I installed the new wi-fi router, to replace the mouse damaged one, I also installed a Wemo smart switch on the coop door. I now know exactly when the door closes and I make sure to go out there after that happens. When I tend to the chickens I now include probing all possible mouse hiding spots with the broom handle to make sure none are inside the coop. That, paired with the ultrasonic rodent repellent we put in there seems to have kept the inside of the coop pest free.
Saturday after completing some chores Cindy, Elsa and I headed out for a long errand run, stopping at something like a half dozen places along the way. One of those places was the office to swap out a failed hard drive. Another was Tractor Supply, a place we only have been to a couple of times. Despite being a lot smaller than Rural King, I liked their selection of several things more. We finished up eating lunch outside a pizza place where Elsa chilled under the table while we enjoyed a good slice of pizza.
I got notice that Patrick’s birthday gift was delivered. I sent him the Segway S1 that I bought at Christmas. It was sort of my plan all along to give it to him. It is a cool little wheel that will be good for Pat and his girlfriend to learn on.
Saturday night Cindy and I watched Dark Tower, our latest rental. I remember when the movie came out a lot of people that read the book were not happy with the film adaptation. Since I never read the book, I did not have that bar to measure it against. To me it was entertaining although a bit strange to see Matthew McConaughey play the villain. I’d give it a solid B rating.
Sunday morning we slept in, for us, to almost quarter till 8. Mid-morning Cindy and I headed out to the Naples Greenway with the big Segway I2 in the back of the truck. I discovered that transporting the Segway is a two person job, at least when it comes to loading. The unit is somewhere around 120 pounds which I normally could throw around pretty easily, the issue is the size and design of the I2 makes it damn near impossible to one man it as there is nothing to really grab on to. I can manage to lower it from the truck myself but I utilized Cindy to help me load it at the Greenway.
Our objective for the ride was to locate the new bridge that connects the Greenway to downtown Naples. It was Cindy’s first time riding the Segway I2 out in public. She was conservative at first but soon got adept at leaning into turns with her entire body. We found the new bridge and it was very impressive, a beautiful and long structure. It spills out at what will be an awesome resident park in the near future called Baker Park. It connects to the newly renovated Central Avenue.
Central now is very bike friendly with large and clearly marked bike lanes. We decided to ride all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. It felt great to be able to ride all the way to the beach using bike safe routes. On the way back we ate lunch at The Bowl. We both had all fruit concoctions that consisted of acacia berry, bananas, granola, honey, hemp seed hearts, blueberries, and a couple other things. It was very good.
The ride was much longer than I expected and the used batteries on the I2 performed much better with Cindy at the controls. The slower speed and her lighter weight only consumed three bars of battery life out of eight. We both really enjoyed the ride and would like to maybe actually spend some time on the beach the next time we do the same route.
Late afternoon Sunday I got out and washed my Tacoma. I finally got around to applying some paint sealant that was highly rated on Amazon. On the bottle it claimed how you could do a complete vehicle in 10 minutes! Well although it was less labor intensive than conventional wax, I still busted my ass for at least 45 minutes applying the sealant to the Tacoma. You only work in small sections, first applying with a circular motion followed by back and forth to finish up. Since it is a clear product, it is annoying to try to determine where you stopped and started since you have no wax haze to guide you. I guess the first time the truck gets wet will determine how good the product is.
The rest of Sunday was spent editing video, creating 3D projects, and playing some WoW. It really was a great couple days and was a reminder that I could seriously retire and never have to worry about being bored.
I had Friday off and I went into it hoping to get all of my intended chores knocked out ahead of the official weekend. I did the chicken work, weeded, weed whacked and mowed which consumed a large portion of the day. We also went and picked up Sadie to visit for the weekend which Elsa was absolutely thrilled with. I also spent some time cleaning up my workbench which was getting very cluttered. It’s amazing how much better you feel when shit is nice and tidy.
Later in the day I was out in the coop, intending to fix my existing WeMo smart switch out there as well as use another one to control the coop door movement. So part of reconfiguring the switches is to connect to the wifi network I have out in the coop. I looked at my phone and saw that the coop wifi was not showing up. I looked at the router on the shelf and see no lights. WTF.
So I immediately suspected the mouse was to blame as it has already destroyed all the wires for the dvr cameras. Sure enough as I traced the power cord I came to a damaged portion that was chewed on. I was pissed.
Earlier I had just gotten done installing a huge plastic nut and bolt I 3D printed to plug up the hole the DVR wires used to come in. I had it plugged with a big cleaning rag and the mouse managed to chew it up and destroy it as well. So I had to run out and buy another wifi router. I mounted the new one on the wall, hoping it will be a less accessible target.
Later in the weekend I discovered more mouse damage. It chewed out a big area next to the bolt and I found an area down low on the other side of the coop it was chewing on as well. I got some expanding foam to fill the new damage but this was out of control. So you can imagine my mood when I checked the interior coop cam on Saturday night and saw the little bastard running around. I dropped everything and headed right out there.
So I closed the coop door behind me. My intent was to capture but not kill the mouse (palm rat). Well I spent a good 15 minutes chasing this thing all around the coop. I did not have anything good to catch him with so I was trying to use an empty chicken feeder, trying to get him trapped inside of it. The effort was futile and it eventually scurried out a crack in the door. However I did at least learn where all of his hiding places inside the coop are.
The main problem is the mouse getting trapped inside the coop once the automatic door closes. Once that happens he spends the entire night chewing on whatever he can to try to get out. So one part of the solution will be me doing a full sweep of the coop when I put the chickens to bed, making sure no rodents are camped out before I close the door. The other remedy is trapping/removing the animals.
It would be very easy to put down glue pads or some other lethal device to take out the palm rats. However, despite the damage and hassle they have caused us, I am hard wired to not want to harm another creature unless it causes physical harm to me (ie mosquitoes, fire ants). I purchased two more of the live traps. I successfully caught three of the mice so far but the mechanism on the existing trap seems to be screwed up now. I also bought one of those ultrasonic pest repellents that I have hooked up in the coop. It’s frequency is supposed to be very unpleasant to rats/mice so hopefully that will be another reason for them to look elsewhere to homestead. This is a battle that has been going on for months but I still think I can win the war.
Saturday my main project happened once the rain started during the afternoon, installing a dash cam/mirror combo in the Prius. There have been tons of times that something happened on the road where I wished I had a dash cam. Last week I decided to finally grab one that incorporated a dash cam into the mirror. The unit straps onto your existing rear view mirror for easy installation.
The unit includes a rear view camera. The Prius already has a back up cam but I decided to install the second camera so I could record my rear view as well. The most challenging part of the install was finding a way to mount the rear camera and run the wires up to the head unit. I had to drill a hole to make it happen but it is in an inconspicuous spot. The unit seems to work well and has a large 7 inch touch screen incorporated into it. The only annoyance was the mirror in the Prius was already on the loose side, strapping the dash cam on top only amplified the problem. I bought a generic mirror later in the weekend which is better, but still not as stable as I would prefer.
I was surprised when this video generated a very angry comment from a viewer. He was apparently very angry at all Prius owners although I am not sure why he would actively seek out a Prius video if that is the case. I responded as I normally do to ridiculous comments, I thanked him and encouraged him to like and subscribe. I am all but certain this guy has Trump bumper stickers adorning his vehicle.
Saturday night Cindy and I watched Dunkirk, a movie Cindy had wanted to see for awhile. I am far from a World War 2 buff but I never heard of the Dunkirk scenario in France. All you ever hear about is the Battle of Normandy. Assuming the depictions in the film were historically accurate, it seemed like just a nightmare scenario. It just amazes me that despite the repeated lessons of horror and depravity that war teaches us, we continue to engage in it and even seek it out, in many cases to simply fuel the military industry that demands it. Anyway, it was a good A- movie and a somber reminder of how awful war is and the bravery of those that have to engage in it.
Sunday morning the rain had stopped, leaving behind a decent day. It felt odd waking up after the time change at nearly 8AM. I had originally intended to try to resume my running this weekend but decided to give myself one more week of recovery. I still have subpar energy/endurance and coughing and blowing nose fits are still a thing.
I got out on my Mten3 in the morning, doing the ride to Dunkin Donuts on the tiny 10 inch wheel, something I had talked about doing for awhile. It was a lot more challenging than doing the same route with the Msuper or Monster, which are both much bigger and more stable EUC’s. The small form factor of the Mten which makes it so adept at tight turns and riding backwards can also make it a bit shaky at higher speeds. Two weeks ago Katie found that out herself when she developed a high speed wobble on hers that caused her to crash. I kept my speed down, somewhere close to 15mph, about 5mph slower than I would travel on my bigger wheels. I had Cindy meet me there with the dogs so we could go run errands afterward.
Late in the afternoon I went out solo on the big i2 Segway, taking it out onto the roads for the first time. I rode it to the school and back, a round trip of about 7 miles. The 12.5 mph top speed was something I ran into quite often but as the ride progressed I got better at cruising just under that limit to decrease the tilt back. You really feel like you are wheeling around on a two wheeled tank. It makes a lot of noise so you don’t have to worry about unexpectedly sneaking up on someone, they will definitely hear you coming. I am hoping next weekend Cindy and I can do a tandem ride with her on the i2 and me on one of the EUCs.
I am hoping this upcoming week marks the end of illness for both Cindy and I. It just isn’t fun.
So during my lunch on Monday I decided to go to Costco to pick up my new glasses. I figured an hour would be plenty of time. Well silly me forgot we are in the sweaty, stinky part of snowbird season. The parking lot was nearly full, despite it being the middle of a Monday. The optical department was equally full. I had at least 10 old people ahead of me. I looked for some “express” spot to pick up glasses but they evidently had no such thing.
I waited patiently by the large screen TV’s and was surprised they have once again raised the bar on monster screens. I gawked at an 82″ behemoth set, wow. Finally my turn came. The clerk got out my glasses and handed them to me to try on. Slipping them on for the first time was sort of surreal. All that stuff that I have just become accustomed to having distortion was now suddenly laser clear. Wow, it was a bit disorienting to be honest but I confirmed the glasses are doing what they should be and took off.
I wore them to drive and found myself constantly testing myself, reading license plates, small text on signs, and billboards, all things that used to be blurred beyond recognition. It was very cool. The drawback is if I need to see something close to me it is now blurry, requiring me to flip the glasses up to see it. I don’t really mind wearing the glasses and being able to have the world more in focus is a good feeling.
So since being given the dead Segway I2 I have been spending time and money getting the stuff required to bring it back to life. Last week I received a used set of batteries. Yesterday I received a brand new key for the unit. I wasted little time before testing the combo out to see if the Segway was indeed functional. I smiled as I heard the unit come to life. A quick step on a footpad and I was wheeling around the house, very slowly. Of course I needed to go outside.
One thing I immediately noticed was the mileage on the wheel. This thing was made in 2011 yet the odometer shows it has a grand total of 24 MILES on it. Wow, I knew it was hardly used from the description our friend gave us but this thing is basically brand new. There are people that have 10,000 miles or more on their Segways.
It became obvious the wheel was locked in “beginner mode” that limits speed to a paltry 6MPH. It was not clear immediately how to unlock that restriction so I just rode around as is. Even with the restriction it was fun. This thing is so substantial it feels like you are driving a vehicle, a very heavy duty vehicle. I quickly took it into the back yard and had fun tooling around. I let Cindy on it as well for a quick test, she had no problems acclimating to the controls. It is definitely a more total body movement to control the Segway, you can really lean into it in all four directions, depending on your speed.
Just as the sun was going down I finally figured out how to bypass the speed restriction, unlocking the full 12.5mph top end. Man, what a difference. It is really fun. I can’t wait to take it out to some of our riding spots to see how it goes. I suspect Cindy will be riding it more because of some of her physical issues right now but I look forward to having a blast on the grandfather tech of the electric unicycles I love so much.
So I am trying to will away what seems to be a head cold. My head just feels stuffed to the point where swallowing creates noise in my ears. I feel like I am training for Olympic Nose Blowing and my sleep the last couple nights has not been solid at all. I am trying to pull out all stops to reverse this trend because I don’t want to jeopardize getting my colonoscopy procedure on Friday. To have to postpone due to illness and have it looming over me like a large cloud for another week or two would suck. Unbeknownst to me, my friend and former co-worker Cheryl just had a colonoscopy yesterday and had a mostly positive report. Once you get the surge of bathroom prep activity out of the way the rest goes pretty easily.
My set of used Segway batteries should be showing up tomorrow. Now if our friend can find the key that goes with the unit I should be able to fire up the I2. My impression of what you can do on a full size Segway was greatly adjusted yesterday. I always associated the big PTs with mundane, safe and somewhat boring transport over a variety of surfaces. Well after I saw the video below I now know that there is a lot of potential fun awaiting Cindy and I if we get this thing running.
So when I got home Friday evening Cindy told me she had a big surprise for me as I walked up the driveway. She pointed over to the bed of the Tacoma. I looked inside and saw a huge full size Segway laying back there. This is the Segway our friend said she didn’t want so I knew we might get it but I had no idea Cindy made the transfer during the day.
It didn’t take long for me to get the two wheeled 100 pound+ monster inside. Even though we knew the batteries were dead I plugged it in anyway just to see if it would take a charge. The Segway does look hardly used, just as advertised. It’s history of being an unwanted gift from a pro-QB to his offensive lineman which in turn was given to our friends husband who is a trainer that works with pro athletes is an interesting one. Once the trainer got it the wheel basically has sat in a garage for 5 years or more, untouched.
I dug right into doing research on the wheel to try to determine how old it was. In the process of doing so I identified that we were missing an important part, the Infokey. This device that looks like a digital watch is what interfaces with the Segway to do important things, like turn it on. Our friend is going to look and see if she can find the key, if she is unsuccessful it will cost me around $200 to get a new one. Yes, it’s expensive.
Expensive is a running theme with these Segways, brand new they cost roughly $6000. When I started digging into battery replacement costs it was a bit staggering. For a brand new set I could scrape the $2000 mark. Even refurbished batteries will set you back $1400-$1500. This was starting to look ugly. I have no idea if there is anything else wrong with the unit, to spend that kind of money just to find out seems sort of nuts.
So although I was a little put off by the numbers I kept digging, stumbling across a message board forum for Segway owners. I determined this unit was a SegwayI2 that looked to be manufactured in 2011. On this same message board I stumbled across a guy that was selling a used set of functional batteries for less than 25% of what a new set cost. I figured this was a good compromise which would allow me to test the Segway without spending a fortune. That message board is a great source of info that I will be leaning heavily on in the future. So for now the behemoth personal transport device will just be hanging out by the front door until the parts arrive and hopefully the Infokey is found.
Saturday morning I got out for my run. It was one of those runs where every lap felt like a struggle. Part of the problem is I am running at a bodyweight of 187-188 pounds right now. Even dropping 5 pounds would make a significant difference. Carrying more poundage seems to help my strength numbers at the gym but definitely makes running much less efficient. Maybe my pre-colonscopy liquid diet and intestine purge can kick start me to dropping a few.
After I returned from running I tended to house chores including some quarterly duties like running the generators and sucking out the AC drain line with the shop-vac. We took Sadie and Elsa along to Home Depot later to pick up a few items, mostly for the chicken yard. I got some large and pretty white egg rock to fill the areas in front of the coop. The stones are really cool but super expensive at $10 for each small bag. I also dumped some mulch in the back of the coop in the chicken “playground” area so they had something to dig around in.
Later Saturday afternoon Cindy and I went back out, this time to Costco for me to pick out frames for my new glasses to help me see distance better. The selection of frames wasn’t quite as large as I thought it might be but I still didn’t have much trouble picking out a set that Cindy and I both though looked decent. I am looking forward to seeing how things will come into focus that have been blurry for so long.
We also stopped at Michael’s for Cindy to pick up more stuff for her exploding Cameo 3 habit. She bought a bunch of supplies for herself and I chipped in and bought her an awesome craft light that is fully articulated with a built in magnifying glass. It was marked down 75% so it was a sweet deal. Since there are no returns on clearance merchandise and the box looked like it was opened already we took the time to pull it out and make sure it worked before making the purchase.
Saturday night Cindy was digging into her new stuff while I dug into some WoW while having a couple things cooking on the 3d printers. We fell asleep watching some of the US curling team’s gold medal match. It’s such a bizarre but interesting sport for me to watch.
Sunday morning I just got done paying my bills when all of a sudden my mouse became unresponsive. The keyboard was fine but the mouse was locked, weird. I had no idea why it would lock but I restarted the system to clear whatever the problem was. Imagine my delight when I rebooted and still had no mouse. Ok so I went an extra step, shutting down the PC, unplugging the power cord for 15 seconds to clear the USB bus and then bringing it back up. No mouse on the screen.
It was weird, I would see the mouse light up for a few seconds and then go dark. This kicked off an intensive plugging and unplugging diagnostic series that was maddening. I used my mouse on another system, it worked fine. I plugged a different mouse into my system, it still didn’t work. I pulled EVERYTHING off the USB ports and still could not get it working. I was getting VERY frustrated, this just didn’t make sense. I finally got the mouse working again by doing not one but two system restores. The first time I only went back a day with the same results. When I dropped back to a week ago the mouse functionality returned. I am still perplexed by what happened exactly but feel fortunate I got it going.
We went out to ride wheels with Kate and Daniel. The four of us had not ridden together in quite awhile. We met up out at Ave Maria. I brought my Mten3 and utilized it’s maneuverability to spend a lot of my riding time going backwards. We were having fun tooling around when all of a sudden I heard the unmistakable sound of a wheel hitting the pavement. I look down the parking lot and see Katie on her rear end and her Mten3 doing cartwheels with a piece hanging off of it.
By the time I got up to Katie she was already standing up. I did a quick survey and didn’t see any blood on her front. I asked what happened. She said she was going fast and the wheel started to wobble. Speed wobbles do happen sometime but normally you can just ride them out. Well this wobble was bad causing Katie to come off the wheel and land on her rear end at high speed. Despite a lack of blood, a lot of the damage was concealed by her shorts, she had bad brush burns on her rear end as well as some on her hands/wrist.
Her injuries were painful for sure but we all felt lucky that she didn’t get hurt worse. Both Katie and Daniel ride with absolutely no safety gear, despite our repeated warnings about doing so. I am hopeful that this incident, which could have easily been much, much more serious, will give Katie reason to start wearing at least a helmet and wrist guards at a minimum.
Katie was more upset about the damage to her wheel than her body. I was able to snap back on the part that had flown off. Other than some fresh scratches on the case, the wheel worked fine afterwards, despite the pretty epic tumble. The crash cut our riding short obviously. We went to the local Publix so Katie could wash up a little and then they came to the house so Cindy could help make sure all of the parking lot debris that was ground into Katie’s skin got cleaned out.
The rest of our Sunday was pretty chill with more Cindy crafting, more 3D printing and more WoWing occupying most of the time. Last night I finally finished up my quest to get all character classes in WoW to the new current maximum level. For those of you on the outside of WoW madness this will mean very little to you. However those of you that have played WoW will realize how much effort goes into bringing 11 characters that far.
This is colonoscopy week. It started off poorly with me getting a lousy night of sleep with what felt like constant drainage running down my throat. As much as I am not looking forward to the colonoscopy, the last thing I want is to have to postpone it due to illness. Once I am finished off putting medical procedures, I am very much a “just get it over with” type of person, in case you haven’t noticed.
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.