Category: Home Improvements

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 Cindy and I have been 3D printing day and night, printing parts for her Widowmaker gun.  Yesterday a flaw in our set up was revealed when one of our frequent summer power blips killed a print that was over halfway done.  I immediately ordered a small UPS that should prevent this scenario from repeating.  I also ordered another Night Owl camera to add to the house security DVR that will be focused on the 3D printer so jobs can be monitored remotely. Otherwise we seem to have a good system in place.

 

We are pumping out parts pretty regularly, at least two per day.  My main job is getting the 3D models configured and printing.  Cindy has been doing the post print work which includes cleaning up the pieces after removing the support material and eventually assembling it all together. The printed parts look really sharp, I’m hoping for an equally sharp outcome.  At this point I have almost entirely consumed my one kilogram reel of silver PLA filament.  It’s a good thing I have another one on the way.

So once again there were some downpours yesterday at the house, retarding my battle against standing water in the coop yard.  The pump I have back there seems to be very good quality.  It has been running around the clock for close to a week without issue.  The forecast calls for roughly a three day break from precipitation which would be fantastic.  The combo of bright hot/sun combined with pumping water elsewhere should be able to empty out the water in that period of time. hopefully.

Of course the long term solution to this problem is to raise the ground level in that area.  Trying to do it one 40 pound bag of topsoil at a time would be rather brutal but might be the eventual route I have to take.

 

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 we have not really gotten any appreciable break from the rain this week which means that our property has remained a miserable marshland.  I have always hated when this happens since I have lived here but since we have adopted chickens I really hate it.  The back area behind their coop has basically been underwater for around a week.

Last night after work, despite having the Prius, I stopped at Home Depot to pick up another 500 pounds of sand to further raise the ground level in the coop run so the birds at least had a spot to hang out that was not submerged.  The process for getting the ten bags of sand to the coop was rather inefficient, requiring me to pick up and move each bag five times. (shelf to flatbed, flatbed to Prius, Prius to truck, truck to coop yard, coop yard to coop run)  By the time I dumped the new sand the run at least had no more standing water visible.

Later I decided to do something more drastic and ordered a high volume submersible pump.  My plan is to plop the pump in the middle of the back yard, connect a long hose to it leading to the ditch at the edge of the property and pump all the damn water out of there.  In theory this should work, we will see how it turns out in reality.

Today our new 3D printer is scheduled to arrive.  I have wanted a 3D printer for quite awhile but never pulled the trigger.  I had a nice pile of Amazon spiff points saved up so I used them to almost entirely cover the cost.  I opted for a PLA only model which is more suited for beginners.

Everything I read about 3D printing is there is a LOT to learn in order to get good at making consistently good prints.  Cindy is excited to learn it as well and will likely be using the printer as much if not more than I will at least at first.  She is hoping to be able to create some parts for the costume she is creating for SuperCon.

The good thing about being late to the 3D printing game is the community is very mature at this point and there are TONS of resources out there both for education and plans to print countless numbers of objects.  I look forward to seeing what we can create.  It also will be another avenue the YouTube channel can expand into.

Having the three dogs in the house has been lots of fun.  Lucky is just such a sweet, sweet, dog.  We can tell Elsa is a little bit jealous of the attention Lucky has been receiving.  She peed on his dog bed the first day we left them alone.  She does seem to be warming up to him a bit and has played with him several times.  Sadie of course just goes with the flow, putting up with Elsa’s annoying habit of face and leg biting.

The weekend has multiple potential projects available.  We will have to see which way the wind takes us.

 

So Cindy came up with a good idea for our Saturday morning run.  She suggested since I had to go to the office to do some server work, we get up early and run at nearby Sugden Park.  It sounded like a good idea to me.

When we woke up it was very dreary outside with steady rain. The rain we had Friday had already placed some mild standing water on the property.  Well I had to go to the office regardless so we still dressed to run with the hopes that there was a break in the rain by the time we would get to the park.   On the drive there we went through bands of rain of varying intensity.  By the time we got to the intersection by the park entrance it was once again raining steadily so we bailed on the run portion of the trip.

I headed to the office and migrated a server used for routing and ftp access from ancient Windows Server 2003 to new hardware running server 2012 R2.  I had done much of the legwork ahead of time so I was only in there for roughly an hour to move some wires around and add some routes. So when we got home both Cindy and I felt we needed to still get our cardio work in.  I plopped myself on the rower in the bedroom for a half hour session while Cindy put in the same amount of time on the treadmill.  It felt good to at least get some work in.

So in the couple hours we were gone in the morning there must have been near apocalyptic rain at the house.  The property had as much water in the yard as I had ever seen, including hurricanes.  When I looked at the security cameras in the chicken coop it was amazing and terrible.  The entire fenced in area behind the coop was underwater.

Cindy and I tag teamed the coop work.  I moved stuff like the chicken tractor to the front of the coop where there was still some high ground remaining.  The chickens of course were drenched but they don’t seem to care all that much.  What I cared about is the chickens lack of caring about drinking the disgusting standing water.  I yelled at them to stop drinking the dirty water, like it was going to matter.  Their run was half underwater as well, turning the surface into a mucky cesspool.  The chickens spent the majority of the day huddling on high ground as well as spending much more time than normal on the perches in the coop run.

With the crappy weather Cindy and I were content to just hang at the house during the rest of the day.  Cindy has started prep for her new SuperCon costume so she was happy to start digging into it hardcore.  I was happy to dig into WoW, doing whatever I felt like virtually accomplishing.

Saturday night we watched Patriot’s Day, the Marky Mark film about the Boston Marathon bombings.  It was powerful and emotional at times as you can imagine.  It seemed like they modified the events somewhat unless I totally missed some parts of the news coverage.  B+

Sunday morning it once again looked overcast but at least it wasn’t raining.  We threw the wheels in the truck and headed to the Greenway.  Cindy did some more work on her seated riding on the Monster and did quite well.  At the end of the ride I again attempted seated riding and did better than the week before.  I hope to get over to the school this week to work on it some more.

After riding we stopped at Home Depot to grab ten 50 pound bags of sand which I immediately spread in the run when we got home.  I filled in the low spots that were puddles to hopefully give the chickens at least a small area they can stay dry if they want to.

Our Sunday afternoon followed much the same course as Saturday with both of us doing our recreational activity of our choosing, Cindy doing costume work and me back in WoW.  We avoided rain on Sunday which was nice although we need at least three our four rain free days for the water to seep back into the ground.  The weather forecast does not seem amenable to that plan.

This will be an interesting week.  Not only will we be getting Sadie for an extended visit, we also will be getting my buddy’s dog Lucky at the same time, meaning several days of triple dog shenanigans.  It should be entertaining.

 

 

 

So I saw/heard a good chunk of the James Comey testimony yesterday.  To me it seemed pretty clear that he is an honest, experienced and intelligent man.  When an individual of his character testifies that he started documenting his conversations with the president because of a “gut feeling” regarding the type of person he was dealing with, that says a lot.  How Trump could hear all of the Comey testimony and spin it into some sort of vindication for him because he was not officially under investigation, while ignoring the mountain of other damning details is typical of how he operates.  It’s just insane that things are to the point where I would prefer that a guy that thinks you can “ungay” people through therapy would make a better President than the man-child who is occupying that chair right now.

Today we dropped off Cindy’s car to get it’s windows tinted.  Coincidentally my boss/buddy had decided to have work done on his car at the same place on the same day.  Cindy drove the Ioniq while I drove the Prius with Elsa riding shotgun.  We then all met there so we could carpool to work in the Prius.

It was the first time Don met Elsa.  She was cautiously friendly towards him which is rare.  We actually are going to be dog sitting Don’s dog Lucky next week so Elsa will have fun.  We had watched Lucky a couple times before we got chickens.  Now that the birds are fenced in Lucky should not be a threat to them, something Don was worried about. We are going to have Lucky for almost a week so he and Elsa will have plenty of time to become dog buddies.

This weekend I need to run into the office briefly to do some server work to be backed up by work around the house as always.  Hopefully we can have more normal levels of precipitation compared to the deluge of last weekend.

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….

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Last night after work I changed in to my gym clothes to stop at Home Depot.  I wanted to load up on sod to lay over the area by the shed we back filled with top soil.  Load up I did, with 25 pieces of St Augustine grass which turned the bed of the Tacoma into a big sandy mess.  When I got home I wasted little time getting to work.

I have a pretty effective method of preparing the sod.  After thoroughly soaking the top soil I brought over one of our rolling wagons which I fill with about an inch of water.  I then grab a piece of sod and lay it in there grass down exposing the dirt/root side. I take the hose and lightly spray the dirt ensuring the sod has a nice wet contact point with the top soil to make sure it “takes”. I then carefully place the sod and wet it again thoroughly with the hose.  When it is all in place I go back with a large rake and tamp the grass down followed by one more dosing of water.  My technique works well but the real key factor is watering it every day to make sure it doesn’t dry out.  During wet season this happens automatically but during this time of year we need to hit it with a hose to  ensure success.

After I was done I was a dirty mess and the truck was worse.  I spent a good 20 minutes in the driveway trying to get all the sand, dirt, and grass out of the composite bed of the Tacoma.

So like most, I was sort of shocked that Trump fired James Comey yesterday.  Well let me back up.  Maybe I was not shocked he was fired, I was amazed at the reason that was provided for the firing.  No, it wasn’t that Comey was sniffing around the Russia election tampering scandal.  The reason was the way he handled the Hilary Clinton email situation, lol!  So Trump, who applauded Comey for bringing in the second round of email scandal a mere couple weeks before the election, which surely was a big factor in the outcome, now cites that as the primary reason for the termination of the FBI director?  Wow I don’t think I could write a better script.

When you factor in the recommendation came from Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is yet another shady character in the Trump team who recused himself from the Russian involvement investigation, it just looks even more suspicious.  You have to wonder just how long the American public, regardless of their political leanings are willing to let this buffoonery continue.  It truly is an embarrassment to our country to be governed by someone so woefully incompetent to fulfill the responsibilities of the presidential office.  After only a few months there has been enough scandal and controversy to make a feature length film. If you would like to keep a close eye on the latest shenanigans just tune in here – https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/

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.