Category: EUC

So I decided to take a one week hiatus from running this weekend.  Both knees had soreness at the top of them which felt like it would benefit from a short break.  The knees already had taken some additional beating from playing racquetball on my lunch hour on Friday.

So without running on the calendar I jumped right into doing the chicken work first thing Saturday.  Once that was handled Cindy offered to do the weeding so I could get started on the first of two main projects of the weekend, cleaning the roof eave.  Last weekend I completed cleaning one side of the house, handling the other three was no less fun.  I used the same technique as before, a spray bottle and rags.  In total I spent three to four hours cleaning the eaves one wipe at a time.  No, I won’t be looking to do the project anytime again soon.

We also headed to Home Depot during the morning where I plunked down big bucks for a new Samsung washer and dryer.  In the last week the LG front loading washer we have started getting VERY loud during spin cycle which sounded like a bearing going bad.  A quick search online indicated this is a common failure with these washers.  I then started investigating what is involved in replacing the bearing and seal.  Although the parts can be obtained for less than $50 the labor required to replace the bearing is massive, requiring a complete tear down of the machine.

Depending on what you find during the tear down there is the possibility that other components will need to be replaced as well.  I had been looking to replace the washer/dryer for a couple years so the idea of spending that much time/effort to repair something I want to get rid of just didn’t make sense to me.  We actually paid less for the new Samsung set than I did in 2010 when I bought the LG’s.  Having a front loading washer just is not as great as I once thought it would be.  The new set features a high efficiency top loading washer which will work out better for several reasons.

Saturday evening we made arrangements to go see Deadpool 2 with Katie and Daniel.  We got a last minute surprise when Cindy’s niece and her boyfriend showed up as well.  We arrived early to grab dinner at the theater.  Cindy and I were the only veterans of The Prado theater.  Katie was very impressed by the VIP theater accommodations, specifically the reclining leather chairs.

Cindy had worked during the day on making us Deadpool t-shirts for the movies.  The one she made for me was absolutely epic and good not have been more appropriate.  Of course we wore them.

I absolutely loved the first Deadpool movie and expected the second movie to be great but not as good as the original because hey, that hardly ever happens.  Well I feel pretty confident in stating that Deadpool 2 is even better than the original.  It had me laughing out loud more than any movie I can recall in the last decade. (Thor Ragnarok was close)  It was so damn funny, I loved it. The movie gets a rare A+ in my book.  Spoiler, although there are shorts during the credits, if you sit till the VERY end of the credits there is nothing waiting for you.

Sunday morning Cindy and I went out to do a ride around the Dunkin Donuts area.  It turned out only I rode because the one tire on her Minipro was very low on air.  Cindy wound up doing some grocery shopping while I did a 6 or 7 mile ride on my Monster.  My lower body already hurt from being on a ladder so much on Saturday.  Riding an EUC only amplified the discomfort.

Sunday afternoon Cindy and I tackled the remaining big weekend project, installing a second automatic chicken coop door.  Our original door is one of the highlights of the coop as it automatically opens and closes each day to keep the chickens secure.

We decided we wanted to take it one step further.  Often times when we get up all of the chickens are already awake and pacing inside of the run, anxious to be let out so they can roam about doing their chicken things.  We thought adding a second door to the run would allow the birds early access to the yard as well as allowing us to make sure they are completed closed up in the evening if we are away for some reason.

I ordered the door a couple weeks ago and it has been sitting by the front door waiting to be installed for over a week.  As is the case with the vast majority of my construction projects.  I had a loose mental outline of how I wanted to install the door that was fluid and changed as the install was done with suggestions from Cindy.

The end result turned out well with the door feeling very secure but still somewhat protected by the clear roof panels over that section.  Some of the chickens went through the door right away, others were cautious.  We closed the main door so they HAD to go through the opening to go to bed which they all did.  This morning most of the hens did not quite grasp the concept that they didn’t have to wait for us to open the big door to get outside.  I am sure they will catch on soon.

Another busy week is awaiting me but the good news is I have a three day weekend waiting at the end of it.

 

 

 

So Friday evening I hung out with Shugs and the dogs at Ali’s place for a few hours.  We drank a couple beers, ate pizza, and watched some baseball on the big 73 inch DLP tv that just had a new lamp installed into it by Shugs.  It really brightened up the pic on the set.  It was nice to just chill and shoot the shit.

Running the next morning was a challenge after drinking a few beers the night before.  I wore my new (to me) Forerunner 301 GPS that I bought off Ebay.  It has the same bulky form factor as my prior Forerunners but with updated electronics.  The GPS seems more accurate and as a result it confirmed I am slower than my old Forerunner said I was.  It’s ok.

So Cindy was over on the east coast participating in what was up until this point a secret activity.  She was competing in a bikini/fitness competition in Boca Raton.  She agreed to do it after encouragement from her friend who had done her first competition in November.  She has been working hard for a couple months training, dieting, and doing all of the other unfun stuff required for such an endeavor.

Of course she was apprehensive about getting on a stage to be judged wearing next to nothing but I was confident she would do well as her fitness level is great and her personality shines through.  When she sent me a picture after her heavy spray tan was applied and her make up was done it was a pretty shocking transformation, she looked great.

The actual judging occurred Saturday morning but the “show” in front of an audience was not until Saturday night.  During the show is when you actually find out how you did.  Later in the night I received a text from Cindy with a pic of her holding three trophies.  She placed in three different categories which is amazing for a first time participant.  I told her I was very proud of her.  She couldn’t believe it.

I tried to stay up until she came home.  I was up playing WoW until 1:30 AM.  She rolled in the door a little after 2 AM.  I awoke and gave her sleepy congrats.  Of course she was beyond excited, even with being exhausted. It was quite the accomplishment.

Despite going to bed so late my body awoke about 7:15 Sunday morning.  I closed the curtains to let Cindy sleep as I went out and tended to the chickens and a few other to do’s.  She slept until after nine which is unheard of in Cindy’s world.  One of the things I did was undo a smart switch install I did on the pool light.  I NEVER use the pool light, I thought if I installed a smart Wemo switch I could put it on a schedule so we get cool pool lighting in the evening for an hour or two.

Well when I wired the switch in I didn’t read the instructions. The old switch had a black wire, a white wire, and a green ground wire.  The Wemo had a green, a white and TWO black wires.  I made an on the fly decision to simply connect the two black wires to the black house wire and match up the other colors.  The switch appeared to have power and I was even able to configure it through the app.  I assumed the pool light was working but it was hard to confirm in daylight.  After the sun had set I hit the switch and was disappointed to see the pool was dark.

I did some digging and evidently for proper operation the switch needs a second black wire which is how most normal switch circuits are configured.  I am not sure why the pool light deviated from this.  I read online about people with similar set ups getting around it by wiring the white neutral wire directly to ground which evidently is a big no no.  It may get the switch working but it also has ther potential to cause other safety issues elsewhere.  So anyway the end result was me putting the old switch back in.  Imagine my thrill when I went to test it last night and it still didn’t work…

So for a few weeks I have been gathering intel regarding when Zima was going to be released for another limited production run.  They brought back my favorite alcoholic beverage last year over the summer and it sold out very quickly.  Evidently I am not alone in my love of this great tasting beverage with a 5% alcohol content, which makes it go down very easily.  Anyway, I found out that they were releasing it again this year with an official launch date of today, May 7th.

I am part of Facebook group called Zima Permanent.  As the name implies, the desire of the group is to bring back Zima as a full time offering instead of seasonally.  I would think the sales would dictate that.  On this group I saw that some locations were getting their Zima shipments early.  I used a site called brickseek.com to search local Walmarts for Zima.  I found ONE location that supposedly had 114 units.  It was in Cape Coral, almost an hour drive away but I didn’t care.  Cindy was down to take the dogs on a Zima treasure hunting trip.

So after the hour drive I entered the store with a short grocery list in hand that Cindy made which was in addition to Zima.  She stayed put with the dogs in the Prius.  I grabbed a cart and walked towards the beer and wine aisle with great expectation.  As I made my first pass down the refrigerated aisle I saw no Zima.  I didn’t panic, it must be on an endcap or perhaps stacked in one of the main aisles.  I slowly circled around seeing other alcoholic items on display but no Zima.  I went back to the refrigerated aisle, three times, hoping I just didn’t see the distinctive packaging, somehow.  Nope, no Zima….

I was dejected as I went around the store and grabbed the handful of other non-Zima items on the list.  After doing so I made one more return run towards the beer, but from a different side.  I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks.  There it was, a full five shelves of Zima 6 packs, in an aisle three our four away from the beer aisle.  Why it was there I don’t know but I didn’t care, I had found it.

Now I have seen pictures of people doing ridiculous hoarding of Zima, one guy had 10 CASES in the back of his truck.  I was much more conservative, grabbing 12 six packs or three cases.  Yes it was a lot, especially when you factor in that each six pack was just under 10 bucks.  But again I didn’t care, I found my quest item.

I was a little self conscious as I pushed my shopping cart full of Zima towards check out.  The clerk that assisted me in self check out said she used to drink Zima when she lived in New Jersey 20 years ago.  She had no idea they brought it back.  I told her she better get some while she can.

I returned to the Prius triumphantly.  I took up a good portion of normal dog laying real estate in the back as well as putting a couple six packs on the floor.  I drove with extra caution on the way home, conscious of the value of the cargo I was carrying.  Once we made it home I scattered my Zima around the house making sure I had various sources to pull from.  I am hoping three cases is enough to get me through this calendar year as I normally only drink them occasionally.  Cindy is a fan as well.  I look forward to many good Zima times during the rest of 2018.

On Sunday I had my first ever successful 3D print with TPU which is rubber like, flexible filament.  I have tried printing the stuff multiple times on several printers with little to no success.  This time I tried on the Ender 2 which has a very short Bowden tube which I thought may work great with TPU.  My hunch was right as I printed a flexible cap for the charging port of my EUC.  I later printed a flexible Benchy boat which came out very well.  I am now thinking about what sort of projects would benefit from being able to print in this new flexible material.

Our roof is supposed to start having the metal installed today which should take a total of no more than three days.  Cindy and I are both looking forward to it all being completed.  I have one more related task to be contracted out, new gutters all the way around.  I hopefully have an estimate for that being done tomorrow.

 

So my final weekend of my staycation was just like the rest of it, enjoyable.  On Friday I got weeding and mowing out of the way, making the weekend as chore free as possible.  I had a good time concentrating on doing whatever I felt like working on.  Have I mentioned that my staycation made it absolutely clear that I could retire tomorrow and be absolutely content?

Saturday night we finally got to see Infinity Wars, a movie I have been anticipating forever.  I was fearful of being let down like the last Star Wars movie where mountains of anticipation is met with a lackluster actual experience.  Thankfully, as is most often the case with Marvel movies, they got it right.  The movie was epic and exciting with the just the right mix of drama and humor.  Until we were ordering our water before the movie, I had no idea that there was a part two to Infinity War.  After watching it the reason for a part two was obvious.  Despite a MASSIVE cast of heroes, I thought they did an amazing job of making the movie feel balanced where everyone had their moment to shine in different ways.  There was only one scene where I thought to myself “This is a really dumb way to accomplish this goal”, otherwise I just held on and enjoyed the ride from start to finish.  A+

My last day of staycation on Sunday was just like the rest of it, fun.  We went out for an EUC ride, well I rode while Cindy walked with Sadie and Elsa at North Collier Regional park.  It was a short but enjoyable time in the beautiful weather.

During the afternoon I spent at least a couple hours digging hardcore into my new 3D printer, something you don’t normally expect to have to do when you buy something.  The end result was positive although I went through a lot of negative to get there.

Late in the evening Cindy and I headed out for a quick ride across the street, her on the Segway I2, me on the Msuper.  It was cool cruising during a different part of the day.  I used to do a lot more late day riding but it has tailed off during the last year.

It was a great week off and I look forward to the time where working becomes an option and not a requirement.

 

Yesterday I used my Monster to go pick up my Tacoma which was in for it’s 20,000 mile service. I hitched a ride with Cindy who had to go to work which got me two thirds of the way there already.  I originally wanted to just ride all the way from home but Cindy felt less worried if I did it this way.  The ride only took around 15 minutes and left me wanting more.

My new 3D printer showed up yesterday.  I took a good chunk of the afternoon setting it up and testing it out.  I was disappointed when I discovered a Z coupler was stretched out and needed to be replaced.  Luckily I just happened to have a spare that I never used.  Swapping it in wasn’t too tough.   The printer has a large build volume which is one of the big reasons I was interested in it.  It has some quirks as well that I am trying to get figured out but I think it will be a great addition to my 3D printing farm.

Today is Friday already meaning my staycation is winding down.  I am planning to front load today with a couple chores that normally would be relegated to the weekend.  I really have enjoyed having a full week off without a MASSIVE project dominating my time.

Yesterday the roofers were again back bright and early with a reduced workforce since there was only the front facing side of the roof to strip and prepare.  After doing the chicken chores and a few other things Elsa and I headed out to Home Depot.  I wanted to get a new timer for the pool pump.  The old timer switch was so stiff that it actually bent the tabs that are used to turn the pump on and off.

Elsa had her normal up and down Home Depot experience.  She is perfectly content as long as everyone ignores her.  The second someone stops to interact with her she panics and tries to hide.  It’s a weird aspect of her personality that we have not been able to cure with time.  Cindy and I both wonder what happened in her past to make her so fearful of strangers.

Mid-afternoon I replaced the switch.  The design is cool.  I was able to remove the guts from the case mounted on the wall and simply insert the guts from the new Intermatic switch.  I felt a wave of relief when I flipped the switch and the pump fired up as it should.  There was secondary relief as the repair meant that I officially had finished the 15th and last item on my to do list, meaning the rest of the staycation can have a lot more of my doing what I want to do as opposed to what I feel I need to do.

During the day I did a lot of futzing around with the CR-10 which again was being problematic.  I finally got it printing again, cranking out more EUC stand parts.  While Cindy was teaching a class I fired up my web cam for a YouTube live stream.  I wound up streaming for over 90 minutes to only a handful of people but it was still fun for me.

I made an appointment to get the Tacoma in for it’s 20k service although I am about 500 miles from that number.  I figured it made sense to get it out of the way while I’m off.

I’m looking forward to a pleasant Wednesday where I can once again simulate retired life.  Cindy and I started the morning right with a three and a half mile run departing from and returning to Dunkin Donuts.

 

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.

And now with the plugs!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social media
Instagram – @duf67
Twitter – @duf67

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

 

Cindy 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.