I have a good chunk of vacation time to use up before my annual rollover in mid-August. I also have a bunch of small projects on my mental to do list that would benefit from taking a few long weekends. I actually had hoped to either take today or Monday off to facilitate just that but can’t because of various work commitments both days. Don’t get me wrong, having to find ways to jam in vacation time is a good problem to have but it is a problem nonetheless.
Last night in addition to cranking out more 3D prints I recorded a video about a recent safety issue with newly produced Gotway wheels. Well actually I recorded the video twice. The first time I neglected to remember that I had the camcorder set to time lapse mode so my 10 minute video got compressed into 10 seconds of footage. The video talks about the very dangerous problem where going over a very minor bump can cause a Gotway wheel to oscillate violently back and forth, throwing the rider to the ground.
Marty, one of my online EUC buddies had just received a brand new Gotway Msuper and was filming as he took it out for it’s first real test ride. As he crossed a small bump between the road and sidewalk ramp his wheel shook rapidly and tossed him hard onto the sidewalk. He screwed up his wrist pretty bad as well as his shoulder. Anyway my video outlines my thoughts about the whole ordeal and why I plan to get a Kingsong 16S for my next wheel instead of dipping back into the Gotway world. I have plenty of ways to hurt myself already, I don’t need a wheel failure to do it for me.
This weekend has a lot of 3D printing and a lot of sweaty work ahead of it. Yay.
So after the awful tragedy of Friday night I spent the rest of the weekend trying to keep myself as distracted as possible to avoid focusing on the loss of Tuki and my role in it. During the day I got on the tractor and did my best to mow the yard. After two weeks of torrential rain it looked like hell. I got more cut than I expected at first which at least made things look a little less chaotic.
I was glad that the submersible pump that I ordered showed up. I wasted little time before hooking it up behind the chicken coop. There was a small hole that was dug out by the chickens by their playground which is where some of the deepest water resides. I took an unused pot and placed it in the hole, it fit pretty much perfectly.
The reason I used this set up was I wanted the pump to be slightly below ground level so it pumps out as much water as possible. I ran two extension cords from the shed and 150 feet of hose to the large drainage ditch in between our property and the one to our east.
I plugged in the pump and it started humming along. The other end of the hose was so far away I couldn’t verify it was working until I walked over to the ditch. I was glad to see/hear a strong flow of water dumping out the end. The pump has been running constantly since about 3PM Saturday and has dropped the water level back there by several inches. The problem is there is SO much water, I bet it is easily 15-20 thousand gallons, that even with the 1/3 hp pump going full speed it is going to take a long time to get the water out of there. By yesterday afternoon there was an appreciable difference, enough that the chickens started to venture further back. I have a feeling the pump is going to be a permanent fixture in the chicken yard during wet season.
I spent a lot of time getting my feet wet with 3D printing. I had two big issues, oozing and some prints lifting from the print platform. I addressed the lifting print by using a trick others posted with this model printer. It involved flipping the print bed upside down so the glass side is up. After doing that I applied blue painter’s tape to the glass. The prints appeared to adhere consistently after that.
The oozing was a pain. Basically before a print begins the extruder (print nozzle) is brought up to operating temperature, somewhere between 200 and 220 degree celsius (400 degrees!). As it hit that temp some of the plastic filament starts to melt and run out of the extruder. Depending on how much, it can screw up the print as the unwanted plastic gets in the way.
To fix this I used multiple remedies. I set the printer to run at a slightly lower temperature which slowed down the oozing but didn’t totally eliminate it. I also would babysit the start of the print job. Just as the extruder got to temp but before it actually starts printing I quickly grabbed the stuff that oozed out and cut it off. Finally, I started putting “brims” on the pieces which creates a thin outline around the base of the model. During the brim creation any junk that was on the nozzle normally will come off and should not affect the model building itself.
The printer has been working pretty much non-stop all weekend. I printed a mudguard for the Msuper, an external spool holder for the printer which allows larger filament spools to be used and five pieces for a gun model that Cindy is making for her Supercon costume. I have quickly seen why 3D printing can become a rather addicting hobby. Watching the printer build a model is somewhat mesmerizing.
Saturday night we watched Assassin’s Creed, our latest Netflix rental. I never played the video game the movie is based on so I really had no frame of reference. I thought even without that background the movie stood alone pretty well as decent B+ entertainment.
Sunday morning instead of running I again put in time on the rower, 30 minutes to simulate roughly what my 5k runs consume. Rowing is a different kind of uncomfortable compared to running. The lack of impact is nice and the overall body benefit is surely higher. However I don’t get quite the sense of accomplishment rowing 30 minutes compared to running the same amount of time. I’m not sure why.
Cindy and I got out for a hot but fun ride on our electric unicycles mid-morning. It was the fastest sustained riding Cindy has done to date. She really is getting to the point where she can concentrate more on just enjoying the ride experience instead of having to constantly fear losing control.
I got to talk to my dad yesterday to catch up. As in most of our conversations there are portions where dad grumbles about various things in the world that just piss him off. I am excited that he appears to be still moving forward with his plans to install a large scale solar array on his property.
Sunday afternoon was pretty chill. Katie came over to visit for a little while and I spent time working on more 3D printing, paying my bills, and playing a little WoW. Cindy worked hard to make my Father’s Day as pleasant as it could be which I appreciated.
I took Sadie back this morning to Ali’s place. We spoke only briefly about the Tuki incident. If I would have talked about it more I am pretty sure both of us would have started crying. Lucky goes home this evening so all of a sudden the household gets a lot less crazy and quieter. The lack of Tuki’s steady contribution to the sound environment in the house is something that is going to feel very strange for a long time…
So with a new Nvidia card in hand I stopped back at Ali’s on my way home Friday to hopefully fix her video/monitor issue for good. I was 80% sure a different chipset video card would solve my problem. It didn’t. Instead I fought with her system for another hour or so. Not only did the new card show the exact same behavior (driver crashing) I eventually lost IP connectivity as well. I was pissed.
Thankfully I came up with a temporary remediation plan. Ali still had her old pc I replaced in her office. It was left online in case there were any files on it that she still might need. I hooked it up to the monitors and it still worked fine. I just had to update a few settings and refresh her Dropbox so she was able to work again. I took the computer I was fighting with me so I could continue battle in the comfort of my own home.
I f’d with it for a couple more hours until I gave up and just did a Windows 10 “reset” where it reinstalls the OS but leaves the user files alone. It meant I had to reinstall some applications but overall it was not bad to recover from. I wished I chose that option earlier. After completion the video driver finally loaded normally and the IP/internet connectivity had been restored. It was a huge pain in the ass overall which I think all began with the installation of the Windows 10 “Creators” update which never installed correctly.
Saturday morning we again went out for a run first thing. The temps in the low 70’s with HIGH humidity were not comfortable to run in at all. Cindy and I hardly said a word during the run. Afterwards I told her that it felt like I was uncomfortable from the first stride to the last stride. Sure it’s nice to endure one of those types of runs but I sure wouldn’t mind one that felt psuedo-enjoyable once in awhile.
When we got home I jumped right into an all morning yard session that started with weeding and ended with mowing. I was very thorough in my efforts and the yard looked great at the end of it but man, I was pooped. Adding the secondary chicken fence definitely has tacked some time onto my normal yard maintenance schedule.
Saturday afternoon we took Sadie and Elsa to Rural King for a few things. Elsa was back to acting very skittish for some reason as we walked the aisles. You just never know what is going to freak her out. After we got back the skies absolutely opened up. Torrential rain came down for hours. I did not see an official total but I bet we got at least 3″ of it dumped on us. Saturday night we stayed home and watched the most recent Huntsman movie which was pretty good, B+ in my book.
Sunday morning despite the skies still being overcast Cindy and I headed to North Collier Park to ride. I brought the new seat for the Monster I was sent by Jason from ewheels.com
We had a fun conventional ride first before we got out the seat. I wanted Cindy to try seated riding first as she messed around with it the week prior without a seat and did half decent. After a pretty brief acclimation period Cindy was zipping around the park on the Monster in the seated position like a pro.
Cindy’s biggest complaint about EUC riding is the foot pain she experiences. Riding on the seat totally alleviates that pain. She said the feeling of seated riding was weird. It reminded her of the same position she had on her motorcycle and scooter, without handlebars or a second wheel of course. I was really impressed with how well she did seated. I later tried myself and had only minimal success. Feel free to check out the fun below.
Sunday afternoon we went to a rare matinee showing of Wonder Woman. The movie looked pretty epic from the trailers and I was looking forward to seeing it. Like all DC super hero movies, I liked the movie but didn’t love it. (Cindy loved it) I thought the first half of the movie was particularly slow and that was exaggerated by the overall length of the film, something like 2:20. Some of the stuff that was revealed in this origin story was news to me so I am not sure if it is all true to comic book story lines or not. By the end of it Wonder Woman seemed to have basically transformed into Supergirl. Anyway, it was enjoyable overall but reaffirmed when it comes to super hero movies, nobody does it like Marvel. B+
It was a good way to close out another fun weekend.
Yep I am not overlooking the latest terror attack in the UK but really, what I have said before is all I would say again. Who wants to be a broken record….
So as my Memorial Day weekend is winding down I thought I would enjoy the AC while I recapped what was a fun yet productive 72 hours. Saturday morning we started off with another 5K run around the track. If Cindy’s GPS was accurate it was right around the fastest pace I have carried in 2017 which I wasn’t really expecting.
So I first dug into regular Saturday chores like weeding and chicken duties however we had a much more time consuming task lined up, repainting various areas of the coop. Cindy was tasked with repainting the wooden sections of the chicken run and deck. I was up on the ladder, repainting the roof white for the third time. The first two times I painted it I used spray paint. To hopefully get some increased longevity, I painted it this time out of a can with a brush. I also used primer first before applying the high gloss white paint, a requirement for reflecting the brutal summer heat off the roof of the coop.
As we both broiled in the sun we wondered why we opted to wait till the end of May to do this instead of during winter when conditions are much more favorable for outdoor projects. Neither of us had a good answer but we knew we had to get this done before rainy season started in earnest.
So while I was waiting for the primer to dry I did my other project, making the chicken water stand more protective. A couple months ago I made a simple stand for their water that at least got it off the ground so it stayed cleaner. However there was another problem, for a good portion of the day the water was in direct sunlight. The sun not only made the water hot, it also promotes algae growth which is a pain in the ass.
So I created yet another mental blueprint in my head to add a roof to the stand to keep the water out of the sun for most of the day. I used a technique similar to what I built over the house water equipment, building a slightly down pitched frame topped with durable white PVC roofing material. Despite my seat of the pants engineering the stand turned out well and should accomplish what I intended it to do.
So by the time I was done with the stand the primer on the roof was dry. By the time I got the paint layer applied I was beat. Standing on the ladder all that time and suspending myself awkwardly for prolonged periods reaching the remote corners and edges of the roof just wore me out. I was quite happy when I applied my last stroke of paint. I am hoping the extra step of priming the surface will get me at least an extra 6 months of duration before I have to do it again. Cindy and I were both beat by the end of the day. We decided to just chill at home. Cindy had some serious sunburn on her body and my face got blasted despite wearing a big hat all day from the sun bouncing off the coop roof.
Sunday morning we headed out for a fun EUC ride. We parked at Dunkin Donuts and rode from there. Cindy wore full pads for the first time because she intended to kick her speed up on the Msuper a few notches. She certainly accomplished her goal. According to Strava she topped out at 23.5 mph.
Sunday afternoon I handled a couple Tacoma projects. First I did my 15,000 mile oil change, something a dealer won’t do since Toyota recommends only changing the oil every 10k. I recorded a video of the process, thinking it would be much faster than my other video I shot of the work which was over 25 minutes in length. Despite knowing what I was doing this time it still took awhile and the video is almost the exact same length, oh well.
I then turned my attention to installing my OEM Tacoma TRD Pro fog lights. Installation of the lights was not quite as simple and straightforward as I anticipated but it still wasn’t bad at all. I like the look of the lights but the fact that they are now LED makes my non-LED headlights stick out like a sore thumb. It is now very likely I will be getting LED bulbs for my headlights soon.
Last night we again opted to stay put and watched a Netflix rental I had sitting for awhile, The Secret Life of Pets, an animated movie that I think was made as the same crew that made Minions. The movie was cute with a slow part in the middle sandwiched with a strong start and finish. I’d give it a B all day long.
So my Memorial Day which used to be almost 100% running club consumed between the 5K race in the morning with a a club picnic late instead had a nice leisurely flow to it. Cindy taught her water aerobics class mid-morning and I used it as an opportunity to complete my final project of the weekend, installing auxiliary LED lights in the front end of the truck. I had stumbled across the lights when I was buying oil for my oil change and did an impulsive snap purchase of them.
Chuck, the guy that helped me with my lift had a LED light bar installed on his Tacoma so I had been thinking about doing something loosely anyway. The front of the box actually had a 2016/17 Tacoma with the kit installed so I assumed I should have little to no problem doing the same. Well as is normally the case, things did not go quite so smoothly, although I did have Elsa in the truck for most of the install offering me moral support.
My issue was the cool TRD Pro grille I installed was different than the grill on the picture which was a base model Tacoma. As a result I did not have an unobstructed area to mount the lights behind the grille. Well after a lot of thought and more than a little hesitation, I decided to cut out one small section of the grille on either side which gave me a near perfect opening for the lights. I spent over $400 on this grille, tasking a snips to it seemed a bit surreal but I was somewhat confident it would work out in the end. Later in the process I even got the drill out to knock a hole in the back of the grille to get me access to turn a mounting screw for the lights. It was kind of crazy as you can see in the video.
Anyway, everything came together in the end and I like the outcome. The small parts of the grill I cut out aren’t really noticeable and the lights almost look like they were meant to be there.
The rest of our Memorial Day has been very nice. For the first time in I have no idea how long, I actually used our pool for more than just a psuedo shower after yard work. Cindy and I floated around in the pool for a good 30-45 minutes, escaping the ridiculous temps hovering around 95 degrees.
I then suggested we take Elsa on a ride to The Cone in Bonita Springs for some ice cream. Pool time and ice cream, the perfect Memorial Day one-two punch. Elsa got to try her first doggie ice cream ever and seemed to like it. We limited how much she had, just in case. My cookies and cream and Cindy’s black cherry cone were both very enjoyable.
From here out I plan to just veg and get some WoW time in. Even though the weekend started off very front loaded with work with a large amount of projects peppered in, overall I am happy with the end result. It’s nice to just have simple fun and get shit done. Hey, that rhymes.
I made three videos last night that pretty much covered the excitement from yesterday. Feel free to catch up below. There is some big related news, I have now crossed over the 2000 subscriber mark on my YouTube Channel. The second 1000 subs happened about 300% faster than the first 1000 so I hope to keep that acceleration pattern going.
This Memorial Day weekend we will of course have labor to complete but I am hoping for once the relaxation/recreation side of the scale will be the heavier one.
We started off our Saturday with an early morning run at the track. Cindy actually joined me which was cool. I think I am going to try to permanently move my weekend run to Saturday mornings instead of Sunday. It’s nice to get it out of the way up front. When I was at my running peak I was always doing my weekend run on Saturdays anyway. The warm and muggy weather made it a tough slog but we made it.
So I told Cindy I had a lot of small chores I wanted to get done Saturday morning and she was more than willing to jump in and help. She actually weed whacked the yard using the battery powered whacker. One of the things I wanted to do was my every 3 month generator start up. I take both generators out of their respective sheds and fire them up so when the time comes where I actually need them, they will start. Of course the small Honda unit fired up very quickly, that thing is bullet proof. The big 5000 watt unit I bought in 2005 was a different story.
After pulling on the starter cord until I got a blister it still would not fire up. I pulled out some tools and carb cleaner and got busy. I disconnected the fuel line and shot a ton of carb cleaner in there. I also removed the air filter and shot another large amount of cleaner in through the butterfly valve. I pulled the spark plug to make sure it didn’t look fouled out, it didn’t. Even after doing all of that, it would not start.
Although I knew it likely wouldn’t help, I decided to leave the generator out to bake in the sun. I thought maybe, just maybe once it got good and warm it might start. Believe it or not, when I came back around 4pm, it started. Not only did it start but it ran for hours, something it normally won’t do anymore without intermittent shut offs. I was quite happy I was able to resuscitate the generator.
So after doing the chores Cindy and I had planned to drive up to a Fort Myers Hyundai dealer to test drive a Hyundai Ioniq. Like I mentioned previously, with the Prius on the cusp of 200,000 miles we were looking at options. Although Cindy and I had seen an Ioniq a couple weeks prior we never drove one. Not only did we want to drive one, we really wanted to drive one of the Limited models that has the sunroof since that is what Cindy really wants. We wanted to see if the sunroof headroom penalty would have my head jammed against the roof. The only problem was Fort Myers didn’t have a Limited on the lot.
Well as we were getting DD coffee Cindy just happened to browse the inventory of Tamiami Hyundai, our local dealer. We did not approach them originally because they were not a TrueCar affiliated dealer. Well according to their website they had TWO Limited’s on the lot. She called and talked to a salesman named Matt to verify they were there, they were. Even better news was one of them was the Ceramic White color that Cindy wanted. We canceled the GPS navigation for the Fort Myers dealer and headed to the local dealer who was only 5 miles away. The only “negative” about this car was it had the tech package which of course is a positive to me. The only bad thing is the additional cost. This car basically had everything you could possibly get in the Ioniq line.
Our sales guy Matt was cool. He has been selling cars pretty much his entire adult life but he has a baseball background like me so that gave us some common ground. We wasted little time before doing the test drive. Cindy and I were both happy to see that even with the addition of a power sunroof I still had plenty of room for my cranium. I also immediately noticed that as a passenger I have more leg room than I do in the 2007 Prius. When I later drove the car I had a lot more leg room as well.
The car drove great and Cindy loved pretty much everything about it. We had already talked about keeping the Prius as a third vehicle instead of trading it in. Ever since I got rid of the party van and the SSR, making us a two vehicle household (if you don’t count the electric unicycles), there have been multiple times when having a third option would have been convenient. So without a paid off trade in we were going to see how the numbers worked out with a couple spiffs Cindy qualified for, as a veteran and an Uber driver as well as taking advantage of 60 month 0% financing that Hyundai was currently offering. Cindy also brought her TrueCar pricing certificate which the dealer also honored.
It took a little bit of haggling but in the end we came up with a number that worked for Cindy and would fulfill her transportation needs for the foreseeable future. Even though we didn’t enter the weekend anticipating Cindy having a new car in the garage, that’s how it worked out, at least for one night. More on that briefly. So I drove my Tacoma home escorting Cindy in her new wheels. The report card she gave when we got home was A+, she just loved the car in pretty much every way. She was extremely excited to take the vehicle to the movies Saturday night. I was very happy for her as well.
So as we were ready to leave for the movies Cindy offered to back the car out of the driveway so it would be easier for me to get in. I could tell something was going on as she was trying to back out as she paused. She told me the car was making an odd noise and an error light was on the dash. Surely I thought she had to be misinterpreting something so I asked her to let me start it. I could hardly believe that the check engine light was on as well as a HEV system error. Cindy was immediately very distraught but I tried to calm her down. We did a little test drive up and down the street. The car drove fine but the error lights were still there. Not knowing what was going on we decided it would be better to park the car and just take the Tacoma to the movies.
Cindy called the salesman and let him know of the problem. They were open Sunday’s so he said we could take the car there the next day. I spent most of the drive to the movies trying to talk Cindy down as she had nightmare scenarios running through her head that she just bought a lemon. I assured her I had confidence that the problem was likely minor and that the dealer would take care of it. Of course I felt badly that Cindy’s new car euphoria was cut short by the problem.
Despite the Ioniq roller coaster we both really enjoyed the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I would rate it as highly as the first, meaning it is in rare A+ levels. Marvel just knows how to do it right.
So while we were driving the Tacoma I noticed that my headlights, which I had adjusted after the lift were still pointing too far downward, giving me very limited light distance on the road. Despite it being late I wanted to get them adjusted when we got home. Before doing so I also wanted to get some more clarity on the Ioniq error. I hooked up code reader to the brand new car’s diagnostic port to see what it would tell me. In a few seconds it told me that something in the circuit that controls the battery cooling fan was amiss. Getting this information was a bit of a relief as it would seem that would be a rather simple thing to fix. It also made Cindy feel a bit better as well.
Sunday morning we did stuff around the house until mid-morning. I followed Cindy in the Prius. While I filled the car up with gas she headed to the dealership to get the loaner process started. Ironically, the error lights had reset themselves during Cindy’s drive however when the salesman turned the car back on the HEV error once again reappeared, leaving no question of it’s existence. They gave Cindy a nice Elantra Sport as a loaner and assured us they would get the problem addressed quickly. They said if it requires a part to fix they will pull it from one of their Ioniqs on the lot if need be, which was reassuring to hear. Below is my video documenting my initial Ioniq impressions as well as talking about the CEL issue.
We then met up with Katie and Daniel for some EUC riding, something we had not done as a group in awhile. We had a fun time zipping around the Vanderbilt Beach area although it was ridiculously hot outside. Daniel is ready to upgrade to a bigger/faster wheel. I recommended he look at a Gotway ACM which has power, speed, and range to spare. We actually cut the ride a little short because my old Ninebot One I gave to Daniel ran out of juice.
After the ride the four of us had lunch at Fuzzy Taco’s. The experience was good once again although Katie ordered a margarita that she was not fond of at all.
When we got home we turned right around and headed back out, this time with the dogs in tow. They had looked disappointed repeatedly over the weekend when we headed out without them. We wanted to get one small Home Depot road trip in for them before Sadie went back to Ali’s place today. Elsa and Sadie appeared to have fun. Elsa is definitely acting better in public spaces. Her freak outs are fewer and farther between.
We didn’t get back home till after 4pm. I just chilled out for the rest of the day. It’s funny how even with a very busy and eventful weekend, just a few consecutive hours of doing nothing makes me feel sort of lazy.
Yesterday the new tail lights I ordered for the Tacoma arrived. They are the tail lights that come on the $45,000 Tacoma TRD Pro trucks. They have a more blacked out appearance which goes well with other black accents I already added to the truck like the grille, nerf bars, and tail gate letters.
Installation of the new light assemblies was easier than I anticipated with only two bolts holding each in along with a couple clips. In total the job probably took 20 minutes including time futzing with the camera. The light swap gives the back end of the truck a sharp new look.
I actually went nuts and ordered the TRD Pro front fog lights as well which should show up next week. The dealership I bought them from actually cut me a break on price and shipping because I told them I had been mentioning them in my other videos. I like mutual back scratching scenarios.
This weekend we hope to finally get out to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I also have a number of home chores on my mental list as always. An EUC ride or two would be fun as well.
So no, I have not deceased recently, I have just been busy, really busy. From last Thursday on has been one big blur that I don’t really feel the need or time to cover in depth. It was all just necessary energy spent to get roughly 35 people transplanted from our building to a temporary home a little more than 1/4 mile away. Our entire department busted our ass to make it happen, including working into early Friday evening and over half of the day Saturday. When the building opened for business for the first time yesterday there was one important thing I had overlooked that took about 90 minutes to remedy, but after that the day went pretty smooth.
I will have a lot on my plate for the foreseeable future but I at least have an opportunity to catch my breath a little bit here and there. Hell I haven’t even had time to go to the gym since last Monday so you know things must have been crazy.
My shortened Mother’s Day weekend with Cindy was nice. We scored an incredible deal on a new computer desk for her. Cindy had been wanting to replace the old desk that dates back to my married days for a long time. We rode our EUCs both on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately those rides resulted in my Monster hitting the deck not once but twice, putting some big nasty scrapes and scratches on it’s shell. It was bound to happen sooner or later, I just hoped it would be later.
I did my best to make Cindy’s Mother’s Day as bright as I could since her daughter was out of town. We ended the day with a fun dinner at Fuzzy Taco’s with Cindy’s mom and niece. The food was again excellent and the beer was cold.
I have a very intense week of work ahead of me so I figured I would be well served to get the weekend recap out of the way now. Any blogging for the next week or so may be sparse.
I decided to flip my weekend running schedule around and run on Saturday morning instead of Sunday. This is something I may try to do more regularly as it makes more sense. Since Cindy teaches class on Saturday she has to get up anyway. On Sundays she doesn’t teach so the 6AM alarm wakes us both up on the one day we could sleep a little bit. So running Saturday allows us to truly have Sunday as a day of rest , if we want it. I used to always do my running on Satu
I skipped last weeks run because of a sore IT band. It didn’t really feel much better this week but I needed to get out there so I didn’t start to lose my base endurance level. The run felt uncomfortable from start to finish but I got it done. Cindy actually came with me and did some running of her own, the first time she has done that in a long time.
Another reason I wanted to get out to run Saturday morning was to take advantage of what is probably our last cold front for the next six months. The morning temps in the low 60’s with low humidity felt just about perfect. I told Cindy we need to find a place to live that has weather like this all year round.
When we got home we dug into some chores before heading out to Home Depot. I wanted to get a bunch of top soil and sod to raise and repair an area by the large shed the chickens had excavated. I wanted to get this spot filled in before wet season started to have one less pond in the yard and to make it more difficult for Elsa to crawl under there. We were able to get the dirt but all the sod was gone unfortunately. Cindy may try to pick some grass up during the week.
Later in the afternoon Cindy and I headed out to ride the EUC’s at north Collier park. We only brought the Monster and the Msuper. It was the first time Cindy rode just the Msuper, we wanted to see how her feet felt as a result. The answer was much better, riding the big wheel with large foot pedals definitely was more comfortable for her.
On the way home we decided to stop at Fuzzy’s Tacos, a place Ali had recommended several times. We quickly found out why Ali and her boyfriend liked it so much. The food is excellent and affordable and the beers are CHEAP. The 18 ounce beer you see in the picture costs $1.89 every day. We will definitely be returning in the future.
This morning when we woke up I got the idea in my head to go try to get sod somewhere else. We went to Lowe’s and another Home Depot and struck out both times. For some reason none of the chains seem to be able to stock enough sod to meet the demands on the weekend.
We did get a chance to stop by our local Hyundai dealer to get a look at the Ioniq, the new hybrid that came out recently. With Cindy’s Prius rapidly approaching 200,000 miles we are thinking about the future. Normally we would have looked seriously at a new Prius which I am sure are still good cars. There is only one problem, they are butt ugly.
The Ioniq not only looks better, it gets slightly higher mpg than the Prius. They had a couple of them on the lot and one was unlocked which allowed us to get a pretty thorough first hand look at the vehicle. It looked good in person and I am a fan of the Hyundai warranty, 5/60k bumper to bumper, 10/100k on the power train and UNLIMITED warranty on the battery pack. So although I don’t think Cindy is ready to pull the trigger on a new vehicle quite yet, I think the Ioniq will be her target when it happens.
Late morning we loaded Sadie and Elsa in the Prius for a trip to Rural King to grab a few items. Sadie loves car rides and Elsa loves Sadie so taking the two of them works out well. Having Sadie by her side helps Elsa overcome some of the jitters she can have in public.
The rest of the day has been pretty chill. I took a quick ride on the Monster to the school and rambled on about various things. Feel free to check it out. I am hoping by this time next week I will have crested the large mountain of work that I need to accomplish. It will be nice to have it behind me.
So Patrick and his girlfriend Nicole pulled out this morning for the last leg of what will be a nearly two week trip after arriving at our place Monday evening. We worked around Cindy’s class teaching schedule to do things together. Pat and Nico tried desperately to earn Elsa’s trust while we were home and were only mildly successful. At one point Elsa licked Pat’s hand and let him pat her head but for the most part she would keep wide circles around both of them.
On Tuesday morning I introduced Pat and Nico to the Minipros. Within the hour both of them were out in the driveway and street zipping around on the Segways having a bunch of fun. That mutated later into Pat trying his hand on the cheap EUC to see how it would feel. He struggled for a little bit but by the end of the day he was rolling around the back yard on my Msuper somewhat competently. It seems pretty much every person I have assisted in learning to ride an EUC has picked it up quicker than I have. Maybe that means I am a great teacher, however I think the more likely scenario is I am just a slow learner.
We wound up going over to the Greenway to ride around which Pat and Nico both seemed to really enjoy. The sensation of riding a Minipro or an EUC is a little bit like flying which Nico really thought was cool. Cindy had a class Tuesday evening so the remaining three of us just hung out more at home with more EUC practice, hanging at the pool, and flying my Mavic. I gave both Nico and Pat time behind the sticks.
On Wednesday morning Cindy had another class to teach. I called the nearby Tuffy to see if they would be able to align my Tacoma, which is a requirement after installing the lift/leveling kit. I was happy to hear they could squeeze me in. I decided this was a good opportunity to get a more extensive test ride in on the Monster. I threw the humongous wheel in the truck and used it to ride the roughly 10 miles back to the house. Right now the wheel feels awkward to control doing tight turning but for open road commuting it is fantastic. The 22 inch diameter wheel just eats up bumps like nothing and it is extremely comfortable cruising at 20+ mph for as long as you need it to. Be sure to watch the video to hear my experience with the inept woman at the drive thru ATM.
When Cindy got back we piled in the Prius to head to Bowman Beach in Sanibel. Nico is an avid sheller and Sanibel is one of the best beaches in Florida to collect shells. The drive up there is long, easily taking 90 minutes, but it is worth it. The natural beauty of Sanibel is hard to beat.
We walked a stretch of beach for over an hour and half enjoying the refreshing water and amazing assortment of shells in the sand, free for the picking. Nico grabbed an amazing assortment of beautiful shells. Cindy snagged a bunch of cool ones as well. Even though the sun was melt your skin hot, the simple beauty of the beach made hanging out there a very enjoyable experience. The custard ice cream we grabbed on the way home added to the enjoyment.
On the way home we swung by Tuffy so I could pick up my truck. I was somewhat worried that I would get the truck back in worse shape than I dropped it off. When I had Tuffy install tires and align my 99 Tacoma a couple years back the steering wheel was slightly off center which annoyed me but not enough for me to take it back. I was glad when I saw the wheel on the Tacoma was still dead center as I left it. The truck felt no different after the alignment and I didn’t expect it to. The ride of the truck has felt pretty much identical to pre-lift which is exactly what I hoped for. The only difference is now I see eye to eye with most full size trucks on the road instead of slightly below them.
Cindy made a nice spaghetti dinner for all of us that we enjoyed while watching The Accountant. The movie was interesting as it didn’t have the plot I expected. I enjoyed it enough to push it into A- category.
This morning Pat and Nico were up early with us to prepare for shoving out for a long drive up to the Florida panhandle. They are going to be camping the next two nights up there before rolling into New Orleans for the weekend for a crazy conclusion to their trip. Cindy and I really enjoyed their visit and hope it won’t be long before they come down again. Both Patrick and Nico are such good people, it just makes you feel better about the world spending time with them.
I now get to dig back into what is going to be a very hectic couple weeks where we are tasked with transplanting the majority of our staff from one building to another without losing functionality. As in most things I just will keep my head down and keep plowing ahead.