After work last night I stopped at Home Depot with the recommended tool list for the leveling kit install. I needed to pick up a couple impact sockets, wrenches, and even a crow bar. Chuck is going to be bringing down some of his tools as well so between the two of us we should have everything covered. I cut a short video last night revealing what the next mod was on YouTube, something I had not done as of yet. It seems like teasing projects is a popular formula for keeping your subscribers engaged.
So I am off Monday through Wednesday next week. Chuck and I are doing the lift on Monday during the day and Patrick and his girlfriend are supposed to show up late in the afternoon for a quick three day visit. I met his girlfriend Nico during my January trip up north and she seems like a great girl. I am sure we will have a fun visit with them as Patrick is always up for pretty much anything you throw at him.
This weekend I’d like to do a few clean up operations around the household in anticipation of housing visitors. I also am anticipating the arrival of my Monster which I have been tracking regularly. As of 9:30 last night it was damn close to entering the Florida panhandle. I am crossing my fingers that it might actually show up on Saturday instead of Monday.
I have had a couple items coming in to help me with the Tacoma leveling kit install on Monday. I printed out the recommended tool list and compared it against my current tool inventory. I am missing a few things which I hope to pick up after work tonight. I am looking forward to the project but can’t shake some of my apprehension about taking it on.
Last night after eating dinner Cindy and I headed over to the school to ride the EUCs. For a good portion of the ride I let Cindy take the Msuper. Not only is it much more stable but the big pedals and leg position seem to alleviate a lot of the foot pain she complains of riding her Inmotion V5F. I felt the same foot pain after riding the Inmotion wheel as well. I mentioned to her that once my Monster shows up next week she can ride the Msuper whenever she wants, something that actually sounded good to her.
So Cupcake, one of our Jersey Giant hens has once again gone broody which is a pain in the ass. When a hen goes broody she will sit on eggs obsessively because she wants them to hatch. Basically she wants to have baby chicks. Well since there is no rooster in our chicken collection all of our eggs are unfertilized so they will never hatch, something poor Cupcake doesn’t realize. She even starts plucking feathers from her belly, thinking direct skin contact will create enough warmth to hatch the eggs.
Cupcake has gone broody a couple times before. The only way you can break the cycle is to separate her from the nesting boxes during the day in the chicken tractor. We have had her in there the last four or five days and it still hasn’t broken the broodiness. The second I let her out she SPRINTS back to the coop and plops herself on top of eggs. There is no quick fix, we just have to keep her isolated until it clicks in her chicken brain that it isn’t going to happen.
So I found out that Jason from Ewheels, who I had already bought the two Inmotion wheels from, had finally got some of the Gotway Monster electric unicycles in stock. These are the the HUGE, 22 inch diameter wheels that make my Msuper look like a starter wheel. They can travel anywhere between 50-100 miles on a battery charge and can hit speeds damn close to 30mph.
I have been holding off buying one for awhile but selling the MCM4 gave me some recreational dollars to help soften the blow. If things go as planned I will be cruising on the Monster by this time next week.
If you have any interest in exploring the world of PTV’s I strongly suggest you give Ewheels a look. Jason really puts the customer first and has been in the business as long if not longer than anybody. If you use this link you will get free shipping on your order! http://ewheels.com/eucarmy
I have noticed how I make a lot of unconscious groaning noises nowadays after someone pointed it out to me. They happen normally when I am changing positions or getting out of or getting into a vehicle. They must just be the reaction to the now normal aches and pains that accompany these movements and just another wonderful side effect of transitioning into old fart status.
I was in work early Friday morning and once again on Saturday morning. Although it was to complete two different tasks both were due to the same objective. They are going to be doing an extensive renovation to our office and in order to facilitate it we are moving the majority of our staff temporarily to another location on campus. As you can imagine this is going to be quite the task to complete. On Friday we installed a new core router to maximize our speed to the temporary building. On Saturday morning we moved a state server that was in an area of the building that is going to be demolished.
I did a lot of planning ahead of Saturday hoping that it would result in me not having to spend a large portion of my Saturday at the office. I was amazed that things pretty much went as planned. I was on my way home a little after 9am after spending about 90 minutes doing the work. It’s satisfying when a plan comes together. There will be a ton of hurdles I will need to be clearing during the next three weeks.
I got home early enough to take on my normal chore workload and let Sadie and Elsa roam around the yard as I worked on them. Elsa LOVES when Sadie is around. Sadie doesn’t play as rough as Bowser does so Elsa doesn’t get quite as crazy. They both had fun when we took them to Rural King later.
We talked about going out to dinner. I had a gift card from Christmas that I never used to Carrabbas so we figured this would be a good use for it. There was a short wait at the door but a couple seats opened up at the bar so we decided to just eat there instead.
Our female bartender was sweet but as the restaurant got very busy she wasn’t able to really pay much attention to us which was a bit annoying. Cindy was practically begging for her to bring a Coke after she realized the peach sangria she ordered had vodka in it. After drinking less than half of it she was feeling really affected and nauseous. The food we ordered was good. As we left and saw the horde of people now waiting we were both glad we decided to eat more towards the early bird time slot.
Both Saturday and Sunday were overcast and raining for much of the day which would normally be a bummer. However with the onset of brush fires out in my area the precipitation could not have come at a better time. It turned a potentially catastrophic situation around. Even though the fire is still burning it appears that danger to residents has now passed.
Sunday morning I got up and ran. I have such a love hate relationship with running. I never have really enjoyed the act of running. My body isn’t designed for it, I feel uncomfortable during it, and while I am running I think mostly about how long it will be until it’s over. The only thing that keeps me going out there is the sense of accomplishment that follows, knowing I got it done, despite not really wanting to. Yes my fear of aging and death is a factor as well. If I am still running I am still living is the logic in my head.
With the rainy weather I thought riding the wheels could be a washout. Cindy, who used to look for reasons to not ride, instead came up with a great idea to go find an empty parking garage to ride in. I suggested we use one of the garages by my work since they are basically empty on the weekends.
We did just that and had a lot of fun riding up, down, and around the five level structure. Cindy got a lot of practice in with more control moves. I of course had to get some backwards riding in as well. At one point we again swapped wheels allowing Cindy to zip around on my Msuper. Although it feels a bit awkward to her she immediately appreciates the added stability the big wheel offers compared to her 14 inch Inmotion V5F. We managed to rack up almost six miles mostly riding around in circles in the garage.
The rest of my Sunday was pretty chill with video production and WoW being my two major activities. It was one of the best weekends we have enjoyed in quite awhile, despite it’s simple components.
Today I brought my black Segway Minipro that was collecting dust to work. I am thinking I can use it to cut about 2/3 of the time it will take to walk between our building and the space we are moving to temporarily. Yes it’s weird but a real time saver considering how often I will have to be shuffling between the two locations.
So last night Cindy and I did a rare mid-week EUC riding session. We also had another first for Cindy. It was the first time she rode from the house to a destination meaning it was her first time riding on both our road and the sidewalk along Immokalee Road as well. She felt a little wobbly on the way there but it smoothed out. She also somehow got stung by a bee while on the wheel, something I never experienced yet.
We rode through the Waterways development and onto the school grounds where we tooled around for awhile. The stiff and gusting winds gave Cindy some problems but she fought through them. I did some backwards riding as well just to make sure I don’t let the skill get too rusty.
By the time we made it back home we had covered around 6.5 miles. Cindy did really well handling the various terrain and situations. I told her it would be funny if someday she rode her wheel to the newly opened nearby Publix to go shopping. She probably isn’t quite ready for something like that but I have no doubt that she is further ahead in her riding skills than I was at the same amount of hours ridden.
Cindy worked hard on beautifying the newly installed mailbox yesterday. The finished work looks very nice. Hopefully inconsiderate, clueless, or distracted motorists can avoid impacting the structure for at least a little while.
Easter my entire life has been the odd man out with holidays. The fact that it’s date randomly floats around every year was something I never understood and my lack of religious belief didn’t help matters. Hell you don’t even get a day off from work for it.
So I don’t recall if I talked on the blog about Chuck, a fellow YouTuber that made me a GoPro mount designed to be mounted on the bed of my Tacoma. I found Chuck from a video about the cool lift, wheels and tires he installed on his new Tacoma. Chuck lives in Maryland but out of the blue he emailed me saying he is going to be down in my neck of the woods in early May and wanted to know if I wanted to meet up. He said maybe we could do some truck related project together.
At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it because the days Chuck is down are also the same days Patrick and his girlfriend are coming to visit. However after more thinking I remembered Pat saying he would not be arriving until later in the day that Monday so I told Chuck we could do something earlier in the day. I said it would be awesome if we installed the 3-1 leveling kit in my truck that I had been thinking about. Chuck agreed so if all goes well I will be doing my first YouTube collaboration video in a couple weeks.
On Saturday I kept quite busy doing stuff around the house as is usually the case. All I need to do is scan the property and to do’s pop into my head left and right. During the afternoon Cindy, Elsa and I did a DD, Pinch-a-Penny, Home Depot, and Rural King errand run. Elsa is slowly getting better at being out in public spaces.
Saturday night Cindy and I went to see Fate of the Furious. Of course I already knew the movie would be entertaining, action filled, and stupidly unrealistic. I wasn’t quite sure how they could up the ante over the last sequel which featured jumping cars in between sky scrapers in Dubai. Well they managed to pull it off. It was like the script writers sat down and said, “Ok let’s come up with a scenario that even Superman himself would find impossible to pull off.” Evidently Vin Diesel, Jason Statham and The Rock have their own kind of superpowers. Hey the movie was entertaining for sure with plenty of T&A, awesome cars, explosions, and nuclear submarines for anyone. I’d give it a B+ all day long.
Cindy and I did have to deal with yet another case of inconsiderate idiots. We were nestled in to the top corner of the theater with noone that close. Just as the previews were finishing we see a Hispanic family of five or six making their way towards us. One of those family members was being carried in a baby carrier. Cindy and I were in disbelief that someone would bring an infant to the movie, not to mention two of the other children that appeared to be less than 5 years old. The fact that they chose to sit two seats away from us was just our luck.
So of course it took precious little time until the children started crying and it took Cindy and I even less time to get up and move to the other side of the theater as we muttered how amazingly inconsiderate some people can be. The new seating was not without it’s annoyances. There were some more younger kids behind us that were talking a lot, luckily the action of the movie drowned out most of it. I did have to turn around at one point and tell the kid to knock it off when my seat began vibrating from him bouncing his feet off the seat next to me. I am constantly amazed at how rare of a thing simple common courtesy appears to be in today’s world. No wonder I prefer to be at home.
Easter morning I drug myself out of bed early for another 5K run. Although I felt half decent during the run and my pace was better than recent weeks, my right knee started to hurt almost immediately afterwards. Today I am walking with a slight limp but that happens so often nowadays I hardly notice or care about it.
After doing a long weekly bill paying/credit card reconciliation session Cindy and I went out for an Easter EUC ride. We parked and rode around Pelican Bay park initially, a place I never knew about. Cindy was doing a great job progressing on her wheel, so much so that we ventured out of the park and onto the sidewalks and bike lanes. We rode all over the place, even down along the beach like I did several weeks back.
Cindy also rode across grass, stones and compacted sand during the ride. In total I would estimate we covered 8-10 miles easily during the ride which obliterates Cindy’s previous best by a ton. I was very proud of her efforts and I can tell she really is starting to enjoy riding her EUC. I have ideas for a lot more single wheel adventures in the future.
I talked to all my family members on the phone during the afternoon, an Easter tradition. I also managed to change the oil and blades on the tractor, which hopefully will not become a tradition. We watched Passenger last night on dvd. It was interesting but not quite as good as I hoped. I’d still go B+ with it.
So after having it for sale for several months, this morning I dropped off the Gotway MCM4 at a local FedEx office to be shipped to it’s new owner in Massachusetts. The wheel had an odd impact on my 2016 Christmas and not a particularly good one. However when Cindy later tried riding the the thinner Inmotion V5F I bought for Katie for Christmas she liked the way it felt much more. Since I was still very excited by the prospect of Cindy learning to ride an EUC I turned around and bought Cindy an Inmotion wheel as well. This left the MCM4 as the misfit EUC.
I couldn’t return the wheel so I thought I may as well add it to the stable of electric unicycles. It’s 14 inch form factor and cool LED light ring made it a nice change up from my big Msuper. I later spent around $100 to put the large pedals that are on the Msuper onto the smaller wheel so I would have more foot comfort.
Shortly after I made the pedal swap Gotway announced some new wheels they were producing, both of which appealed to me. I decided that if I even wanted to consider getting one of these wheels I had to sell the MCM4 first, so I listed it for sale in early February. I had minimal interest until someone that saw me mention I was selling the wheel on one of videos and inquired yesterday. Things progressed from there and as of this morning the wheel is no longer in my possession.
Since that plan was hatched in early February other circumstances and expenses have further retarded any plans to get one of these newer wheels, like the $4000+ new water system. I still do have my eye on a Gotway 22″, 2400WH Monster that can go 75-100 miles on a single charge, no I am not shitting you. The timeline for that happening is unknown, I can be patient.
This weekend has no framework and no expectations. Hopefully there are some blue skies, fresh air and peaceful, simple, happy moments.
On my way home I picked up big reflective numbers for my new pristine mailbox. Cindy helped me install them before she left for class. Ironically we received no mail yesterday. I asked Cindy if mail carriers wont deliver to a blank mailbox with no markings. She said it shouldn’t matter so maybe it’s just a coincidence.
Last night I had a not so bright idea, to practice backwards EUC riding on my cheap, no frills wheel. I was sick and tired of destroying my $1200 Msuper and I was interested in seeing if I could ride the smaller wheel backwards. I never rode any wheel backwards successfully except my Msuper. The good news was I was indeed able to ride the shitty wheel backwards without tremendous difficulty. The bad news is I discovered that reversing directions on the wheel sometimes can overpower the capabilities of the low power EUC, causing it to cut out suddenly. The first time it happened I was not expecting it and abruptly fell backwards onto my ass and elbows. The second time I was reversing backwards to forward and was able to step off the wheel before I face planted. It was funny as falls always are. As long as I am able to keep getting up from them the humor will continue.
So I had an extremely labor filled weekend. I tackled one of my least favorite tasks, cleaning the pool cage and deck area. In the past I would solely rely on brute force water pressure to clean the mildew from the cage frame. In order to get the top supports that span the pool I had to use multiple wand extensions that were extremely physically difficult to manage. It was exhausting and pushed my shoulders and forearms to their limits. I decided to try a different approach this time.
I used a pressure sprayer with a 50/50 bleach solution to soak those top frame pieces thoroughly. After letting the solution work for a couple minutes I would just rinse them off with the much easier to manage electric pressure sprayer and they looked good as new. It was a much better way to handle the job. The only negative was I constantly had bleach solution dripping onto my head and body. I am surprised my hair is not blonde today.
Later in the morning on Saturday I worked on installing some solar post lights I bought at Costco last week. My thought was I wanted to install two of them on either side of the garage doors. For years and years I had thought I would like to have some additional lighting at that spot and never got around to it because I did not want to have to run electricity for conventional wired lights.
The lights I bought were described as post lights but I thought they would do just fine flanking my garage door. The stainless steel modern design looked sharp and the combination of solar and LED lights has really improved over recent years. In order to make the lights more visible I trimmed back the hibiscus bush on the left side really hard. I was even considering ripping it out completely but decided not to because of sentimental value. It was given to me by my old boss when I moved into the house 16 years or so ago.
The main focus of the install was to make sure the lights were spaced evenly and installed at the same height. It took a little bit of futzing to complete the job but I was very happy with the end result. They looked very nice at night and threw a surprising amount of light. I installed the other two on fence posts in the new chicken area, on either side of the access gate.
For lunch on Saturday Cindy and I did something unique, went to a food truck cook off at the same church I attended Christmas Eve services at. The event was well attended with some of the food lines easily surpassing 50 people at some trucks. Cindy and I ordered am eggplant parm sub with sweet potato fries. It may have been the most tasty eggplant parm sub either of us has ever enjoyed.
Later in the afternoon Saturday I decided I would ride my Msuper over to the school to ride around and do some more backwards riding practice. I have been progressively trying more difficult maneuvers going backwards. On Saturday I was trying to do more turning while going backwards and the end result was rather violent, both to myself but much more to my Gotway Msuper which took several bad falls. The wheel which was pretty pristine before I decided to try to learn riding backwards now is scarred with scratches and gouges all over the shell. I also broke a fitting for the top button panel as well as my trolley handle during another fall. I was not happy at all.
Sunday morning I started off with another 5K at the track. Even though I still didn’t feel great running, the 55 degree air made it a lot more tolerable. Later in the morning Cindy and I went to Home Depot where I finally bought a replacement mailbox. My old box was held together with tape and wood screws, it looked definitively white trashy. My thought was I would dig up the old post that was housed inside of a 5 gallon bucket filled with cement, move it back a little bit for additional safety and then mount the new box to the existing post.
So as I was digging around the existing post I made a large diameter hole to accommodate the size of the buried bucket but there was one problem, there was no bucket. I had forgotten that the bucket mount was actually destroyed when the very first mailbox we had got run over a decade or more ago. There was just a bare post in the ground that I could have simply pulled out. Instead I now had huge four foot diameter hole that I didn’t need to dig. I also was not happy to see the subterranean portion of the post looked like it had been partially eaten by termites, meaning I needed get a new 4×4 post, awesome.
I definitely did not want to drive all the way back to Home Depot for the post. I recalled seeing the nearby hardware store mentioning they now sold some lumber. I crossed my fingers that 4×4’s would be among thier selection.
So I walk in the store and tell the guy what I need. He has a weird look on his face when he said he does have a couple pressure treated 4×4’s but they are very expensive. How much, I asked. $25 each he replies. Wow, I believe a pressure treated 4×4 from Home Depot is around $10. Well I told the guy I didn’t feel like driving another 30 miles to go to Home Depot so I took it. It felt/looked like the post was actually made of a hardwood like cedar so maybe that explains the ridiculous cost.
Once I had the new post the install was straight forward. I used a post hole digger to create a new hole further from the driveway and the street to minimize odds of it getting whacked. Back filling the unnecessary monster hole was a pain in the ass. I had to haul extra dirt out front to fill it all the way. The new mailbox looks great. The only thing missing is a fresh set of numbers to stick to the sides of it which I will pick up after work tomorrow.
Later in the afternoon Cindy and I stopped at the school for some EUC riding. Cindy, despite not riding the wheel for two weeks continued her strong progress, dealing with some gusty winds while doing her best riding yet. She completed multiple laps around the track and did not drop her wheel a single time. It was impressive considering the inconsistent time she gets on the EUC.
I was sad to hear Don Rickles died. He was truly a unique character and the best insult comic I have ever seen.
After work last night I went out in the driveway on my EUC to do some more backwards riding practice. I am still improving for sure but I am miles from being comfortable. I was doing a lot of direction reversals and found for some reason I have a lot more struggles going from reverse to forward than forward to reverse. To me it seems like switching into backwards riding would be tougher but that has not been the case. I can successfully do the front back reversal probably 80-90% of the time. I would estimate when I go backwards to forward my success rate is maybe half, and half of those involve a lot of arm flailing.
I also can’t believe how taxed my lower body feels after riding backwards. My legs feel like they are under near constant tension when riding in reverse. As a result my lower body almost feels like I did a weighted leg workout the day before. There is a weird thing going in on my head since I started the trek to riding backwards, riding forwards feels like cheating. It almost feels like until I am equally adept at riding backwards as I can forwards, doing a forwards only ride is not effort towards accomplishing that goal, which is bothering me. It’s sort of weird that riding backwards is somehow negatively affecting conventional riding enjoyment.
So Sadie went back to Ali’s this morning. The 4-5 week construction projection at her place has hit some road bumps that have delayed things. It is almost done at this point and should be safer for the dogs. The only major portion of the project that remains is installing countertops. What was done looks nice and gives Ali a lot more functional storage and counter space.