Category: Politics

So you may recall several times in the past I have dipped my toe into podcasting.  If you actually listened to any of them you know they weren’t great.  I think it is very tough to do that sort of content solo.  However with the advent of the EUC live stream show I am doing with Marty, the idea once again popped into my head that it would make for some good podcast content.

So I extracted the MP4 files from YouTube, converted them to MP3 format and posted a podcast RSS feed pointing to them.  I listened back to one of them in the car yesterday and it converts well to an audio only experience.  It will be interesting to see how it is received.  If you are interested in adding it to your Podcast player simply use this RSS feed – https://eucarmy.com/feed/podcast/

I also got around to recording my 4000 YouTube Subscriber thank you video, something I wanted to do for a week or so.  It’s a short, simple video that expresses my gratitude for the support I have been given which has resulted in a 33% increase in subscribers in the last 6 months.

I also shot another quick video talking about my One Wheel being out of commission until a replacement front footpad sensor is sent to me.

 

Luckily I have a new vehicle rolling into the collection today.  My Meepo electric skateboard is supposed to show up today which should be yet another learning experience.  I am hoping Cindy and I get to test it out at the school after work.

So once again Florida is in the middle of a red tide nightmare.  This happens all the time and is the end result of environmental abuse, lobbyist dollars, and the government officials beholden to those dollars.  The Cliff Notes version is Lake Okeechobee in the middle of Florida is hopelessly polluted from fertilizer run off, much of which is from US Sugar operations.  In the past water from the lake was able to be naturally filtered as it flowed south through the Everglades.

Well development and US Sugar operations changed all that.  The majority of that run off is now artificially routed east and west through two rivers, bypassing that natural filtration system.  The end result has been horrid and toxic algae blooms that turn the water, green, then red, and then black with the corpses of dead fish and marine life.

It’s outrageous that this has been allowed to go on for so long but as in most things, lobbyist dollars have the ability to outlast people’s outrage. You can read a full account of the situation here.

I hoped the rain would hold off for one more day so the wet spots would shrink enough that I could quickly mow them down.  Instead the house got smashed with rain during the afternoon, putting those plans to rest.  I did manage to go out on my One Wheel for a bit after dinner.  I just went up and down a side street practicing carving, where you S back and forth while traversing a straight path.

I do a variation of this while riding EUCs but on a One Wheel you engage your lower body much more to accomplish the same thing.  There is no doubt at this point that riding a One Wheel offers more of a workout than an EUC.  I had a fun three or four mile ride which put me up to a grand total of 32 miles on the odometer.

I, like most of the free world had an open mouth as I reviewed the events that happened at Trump’s meeting with Putin.  Using one of Donald’s favorite words, it was incredible.  In a nutshell Trump dismissed the universally agreed upon conclusion by all divisions of US intelligence that Russia unlawfully tampered with the 2016 presidential election.  He said the Vladimir said he didn’t do it so that was good enough for him, I guess.  It was outrageous, embarrassing, insulting, and unfortunately par for the course for the man that has made a mockery of the US worldwide, repeatedly.

Will there be any significant repercussions for him after simply the latest of a countless string of ridiculous statements and actions that have been the keystone of his time in office?  Probably not.  The pattern is maddening.  Trump does/says something that draws intense backlash and harsh words, often from both sides of party lines but the end result is NOTHING happens.  It’s a great thing that our president is teaching the young people of today that there is truly no penalty for bad behavior.  Grab vaginas, get standing ovations from bigots, have a vocabulary of 13 words, take from the poor to stuff the pockets of the rich,  it doesn’t matter.  If nobody is willing to take meaningful action, all the “stern criticism” means absolutely zero. I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime and hopefully I never will again.

If you were a Trump voter and still feel good about that decision you aren’t just drinking the Kool Aid, you have an IV drip inserted round the clock.

 

There is a LOT of construction in southwest Florida over the last few years.  As you can imagine new housing is what you see the most of but a close second is something you might not realize, storage facilities.   There have been an INCREDIBLE amount of high end storage facilities built in the last decade.  We are talking air conditioned, indoor storage in structures that look like office buildings.  I have to ask myself the question, why?

To me, the main reason someone would need additional storage is if they were in between living situations.  Maybe they had a house and are temporarily living in a condo or an apartment.  For instance when I lived up north, we sold the townhouse almost a year before moving to Florida.  We spent that time living at my mom’s and all of our stuff went into a storage facility up there.

I have to wonder how so many people have such a need for additional storage in this area.  The first thing that comes to mind is it’s just a byproduct of rampant consumerism that plagues modern society.  People just have stuff, so much so that their living space can not accommodate it all.  To me the simple answer would be to have less things.  If the items can afford to be in storage for months or years at a time there is a good chance you don’t really need them.

You would be hard pressed to travel a mile and not run into a storage building. I doubt this trend will ever end but it’s fun to complain about regardless. That’s what old men do anyway, right?

So the Eagles are all over the headlines today but not for anything they are doing on the field.  As is tradition the Super Bowl winning team was invited to the White House to meet with Donald.  Well it appears that the President is not well liked by members of the team, so much so that I heard that less than 5 players planned to actually attend.  Rather than suffer the embarrassment of a skeleton crew, the president called off the ceremony and in typical fashion lashed out on Twitter, following his normal routine of throwing out half truths along with outright lies. The president wrongly made this about standing for the national anthem, which all Eagles players did last season.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country,” Trump said in a statement.

So is Donald now saying Eagles players don’t respect and honor the military because they don’t want to shake a hand of a president they don’t respect?  As usual there is a disconnection of logic in Donald’s thinking where the number one priority is somehow spinning it into a positive for himself, regardless of how much mud he has rolled around in.

I think it is cool that the team for the most part is doing it different, just like they did all last season.  The easy choice would have been to just not make waves and put on a song and dance for the press and Don at the White House.  Instead they decided to stand by their morals and beliefs, choosing to not participate in the three ring circus which is now going on in Washington DC. Bravo.

 

Image result for powerbot r7070If you only started reading the blog recently you may think I only have a problem with collecting electric unicycles, 3D printers, and Amazon Echo devices. Well 15 or so years ago I had a similar thing going on with robotic vacuum cleaners.

I was one of the early Roomba adapters and at one point I had 7 or 8 of them in the house although some of them were for parts.  I actually ripped apart and repaired a bunch of them.  In addition to the vacuums I also have owned or currently own a Scooba, Braava, and Braava Jet which are hard surface washers/cleaners.

In the last five years or so I have dropped the iRobot vacuums and moved to Neatos which I liked for their higher suction and advanced tech like being able to map a room with “radar” and use that map to intelligently clean a space instead of randomly bouncing around a room like a Roomba does.  I have two generations of Neatos and actually prefer the performance of the older one.

Well a year or two ago I first saw that Samsung was dipping into the robo-vac market.  I am generally a fan of Samsung products, our kitchen is outfitted exclusively with Samsung appliances and my two new massive 31″ curved monitors are Samsung as well. Their RoboVac looked industrial, promising performance rivaling a conventional vacuum.  Well since it’s introduction they have continued to add features, the bot is internet connected, has a self cleaning brush, a unique wall cleaning blade that allows the bot to get dust bunnies others would leave behind, and a lot more.

Well I saw Samsung was running a sale direct from their website that was $150 less than you could get the same unit on Amazon for.  I decided to jump in.  My plan is to sell/give away my Neato BotVac eventually and let the Samsung vac take over it’s spot.  The unit arrived last night and I put it through some initial testing.  The only issue I had was getting it connected to WiFi which I eventually figured out.  It’s initial run went well.  It even sent me a text message when it got stuck, letting me know and what the problem was.  I am shooting a video on the bot which I will be publishing soon.

I briefly saw some of the CNN town hall style meeting that had Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio and others in a huge room of people demanding for real action on gun control.  Despite Rubio’s NRA affiliation/support and my general dislike of him based on his presidential runs, I had to give him credit for getting out there in front of a very hostile crowd and being open to criticism and offering possible compromise solutions to a problem that has gone off the rails, the perverted need that some Americans feel to own assault weaponry.   Hey I’m sure it is exciting for someone to squeeze the trigger of a weapon and be able to absolutely annihilate anything standing in front of them.  But to me, I think exchanging that short lived and meaningless thrill for the greater good is a no brainer.

The greater good is a concept that seems to be mostly lost in modern society, now more than ever with the egocentric, me first president that is somehow residing in the White House today.  I guess I am just wired to consider the big picture and use my own moral compass when deciding if a small personal sacrifice is worthy of an end goal that benefits many.  For example, the recent tax law changes made a pretty significant impact to my net pay however I would give it back in a second to have universal health care, clean energy investments, and secure social security for seniors.  None of those three things realistically have a direct benefit to me at this time yet I recognize the greater good they all would achieve.

Reasonable gun control is another greater good concept that we have proven examples of working elsewhere in the world yet as we Americans like to do, we ignore the facts and just keep bumbling through the world clinging to outdated ideas and principals because , “Hell yea, Merica!”  Maybe when that asteroid strike finally does go down we can reboot society into more of a WE place instead of a ME mess.

 

I did not see one second of the state of the union address and don’t feel like I missed anything.  I heard the speech went on for nearly 80 minutes and followed the pattern you would expect.  Most SOTU speeches are pretty cleanly broken into 50 percent looking at what has been accomplished and the other half talking about what is to be done.  From all accounts Donald spent 80 percent or more of the time in self congratulatory fashion which is to be expected.  I am so very tired of politics and reading the inane ramblings of Trump enthusiasts on social media.  It just makes me feel worse about the world than I already do.

Instead of watching Trump I had three of my 3D printers chugging away making Eagles cookie cutters, recording two videos in the process, a much better use of my time, in my opinion.

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”

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

Last night I made a video outlining some of the extensive amount of holiday related 3D stuff that we have created this year.  I also put the new room layout on display.  It is a much better setup that should help keep things organized and tidy.

I quite honestly was surprised to wake up this morning to see that Roy Moore lost the Alabama senate seat election, despite the allegations of him having sexual relations with underage teens when he was in his 30’s.  In today’s political climate where common sense seems to be viewed negatively and where bad behavior often does not have consequences, I sort of assumed that Moore would get elected, especially in Alabama, a state that is typically a very deep red in politics.

To have a democrat elected, albeit by a razor thin margin in the state is a huge FU to Donald, who decided to double down on his support of Moore despite the allegations, solely because of partisanship. I for the most case have numbed myself to politics since Trump was elected, conceding that stupidity now is the ruling class in America and I need to just keep my head down and worry about things I can actually control. The election result gives me a slim glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, America is slowly waking up.

Tomorrow I take my first ever flight on Spirit Airlines, a discount carrier that has direct flights from Fort Myers to Pittsburgh.  The fare was an incredibly cheap $98.  However Spirit uses a strategy employed by several airlines, they sell you a rock bottom fare and then hit you on the back end with charges which bring your overall price inline with conventional airlines.

So in theory I could only spend $98 as long as I had no checked baggage and no carry on luggage over 18″ x 14″ x 8″.  Of course the reality is very few people are able to travel with no baggage.  So to add one checked bag adds $40 easy way to the flight ($55 if you check it at the airport) .  When I went to pick my seat, 90% of the seats had an additional cost over the base fare.  I decided to reduce my misery and picked an exit row for my long legs.  That luxury costs and additional $26 each way.  So when you add it all up my total fare is over double what I started at.  The bottom line number still isn’t bad but it’s just an odd way of doing business to me.

My trip up north will be brief with me flying back on Monday.  It will still be nice to see my family and experience what true winter feels like, briefly.  This time next week I will be a few days past the half century mark, an accomplishment that I’d be fine never recognizing publicly. I am perfectly content just printing 3D deathstars instead.

I like millions of other Americans, including our big league President, went outside to take a look at the solar eclipse.  Unlike our president, I opted to use glasses that are designed to protect your eyes, because well, that is the smart thing to do.

I have to say, at least from my Florida vantage point which only had something like a 70% eclipse, it was a bit underwhelming.  I thought that having only 25-30% of the sun exposed would result in a significant drop in daylight but it didn’t.  The biggest thing I noticed was the sun did not feel as intense as it normally does on an August afternoon.

It was cool to clearly see the outline of the moon as it crept across the face of the sun climaxing in a crescent of light.  I saw video of locations where the eclipse was totally full and that did seem pretty amazing where day turned into night, at least for a couple minutes.  Too bad I will likely be dead before the next one comes around which should have a more southern track.

Cindy was busting her ass most of the day yesterday in the guest bathroom, painting it a deep blue color which is quite the change.  When I got home I helped her do some of the cutting of the wainscot and chair rail.  I lugged out my table and mitre saw to try to get cuts as clean as possible.  Certain spots I had to use my jig saw and a steady hand.

When making the cuts we again ran into some issues with walls that were not straight, requiring us to try to cut at slight angles to accommodate them.  The end result was not perfect but I think a generous application of caulk to the finished product will cover up the small imperfections. I’m looking forward to this latest project being done-done.

 

So although Cindy and I ride our EUC’s a lot we haven’t been doing any practice and that is an important distinction.  When we are cruising around on the weekends we are basically just enjoying the ride and taking in the scenery.  However when you have designated practice sessions, that is when you actually get better at doing stuff and it’s something we haven’t really done much of at all lately.  My last concentrated practicing was when I learned the basics of riding backwards months ago.

So after dinner I randomly asked Cindy if she was up for some driveway practice and she said she was.  She took her Inmotion outside and I rode the Monster.  Cindy worked on her turning, slow riding, control, and the first steps towards backwards riding.  I worked on some backwards riding, one legged riding and mounting, yes mounting.

Free mounting on an EUC is something I learned a long time ago with one catch, I really only learned how to do it one way, with my left leg on the pedal and the right foot on the ground.  I have gotten very adept at mounting and dismounting that way so I neglected to really work on doing it with the legs flipped around, I need to.  Being a one trick pony when getting on and off the wheel affects your ability to turn and do emergency maneuvers.  It makes sense why I am so much more comfortable making left hand turns than the right hand variety.  The EUC muscles on the outside of my left leg are much more developed.

So I worked a lot on getting on and off the bot with my legs reversed.  I felt like I was transformed back in time as my body just was not comfortable mounting from the other side.  I could also feel the muscles on the outside of my right leg getting worked in an unfamiliar way.  By the end of the half hour or so session I was getting better and better from that side, a testament to why I need to keep practicing.

I also did a little one legged riding where I would lift my right foot totally off the pedal for a brief period of time and balance myself and the bot on one leg.  It’s a bit tricky and puts a lot of torque on the supporting leg but I could do it at a basic level.  Finally, I did more backwards riding practice, something I have only done a little of on the big Monster.  I felt shaky the first few attempts but again, by the end of the session things were smoothing out. It was a real fun session and reminded me why regular practice beyond normal riding is a requirement if you want to keep getting better.

So the Big D made his latest blunder yesterday, deciding now was the perfect time to alienate the LGBT community by declaring the military no longer will allow transgender individuals to serve.  One of the reasons were the “tremendous medical costs” the military would have to deal with?  WTF???  Our military which routinely pays $400 for a toilet seat is now concerned with medical costs for a few transgender members of the service?  Is there a rash of people that were joining the military so the government could pay for sexual reassignment surgery??  Come on, this is just stupid.

Sadly myself, and a good portion of the country I imagine is getting desensitized to buffoonery in the White House since it is literally a near daily occurrence.  The dangerous side effect is people just shrug their shoulders and move on while things at the top rot from the inside out.

So we still have been getting daily downpours that make it impossible for the standing water on the property to dry out.  Hell we need a solid week of no rain to not only allow it to dry out but also for the subterranean water table to drop a bit so every single rain event does not instantly result in standing water.  I still have my sump pump in the chicken backyard running 24/7 to try to accelerate the process.  Last week I read that we are basically in a 200 year high rain cycle, meaning it is the most rain we have had this early pretty much since they started recording it.

Last night I called my dad to see if the sale on his Alfa went through.  The answer was, not yet.  It sounds like a frustrating and bizarre situation.  He actually had a check clear and be deposited in his account, only to have the funds removed the following day. Evidently the buyer neglected to provide some documentation to the bank so they pulled the funds which seemed very strange to me.  I would assume funds are only deposited once all T’s are crossed and I’s dotted.  The car is still in dad’s possession so at this point it is just more of an annoyance that the entire process has to be delayed another few days, but dad doesn’t mind waiting.  He almost is glad to wait to mildly punish the buyer for not doing what he was supposed to do.  If it was me, I would be more worried about the deal falling through.

Dad also told me about more BS that is going on with the sale of his two (bad) investment properties in Arizona.  Much like me, he invested in land during the real estate boom and like me, that land is now worth a small fraction of what was paid for it.  Anyway trying to complete the paperwork for the sale of a property on the other side of the country is a hassle and some of the expenses associated with the sale, like phantom road fees really pissed dad off.

Pissed off are the two words I would use to describe the tone of most conversations I have with dad.  The list of things that piss him off are nearly endless.  His approach to things that piss him off can be counter productive at times but he always has been the type of person that will make a stand on principal, even if that principal may not be deemed worthy of such effort in other’s eyes.

I certainly do share some of his anger at what the world has mutated into but I try to focus that energy into finding a way to keep my personal sphere of existence as happy, fulfilling, and content as possible.  I gave up a long time ago thinking my opinion or actions meant much of anything in the big picture which is a sad statement but a true one none the less.  Unless I am willing to pick up my life and relocate to a Scandinavian country I just have to be content to navigate around the landmines of corruption, greed, and ignorance that are so prevalent in the US today.

The good news from the dad conversation is once the land and car sales go through, the purchase of a high end solar power system can commence which will have far greater tangible benefit to my dad and stepmom down the road.

 

 

So when we first got Elsa it took awhile until she started to trust us.  There seemed to be something in her past that obviously made her skittish and untrusting of people.  However over time we have been able to melt away those barriers and now Elsa is just a bundle of fun and love, although still filled with plenty of quirks.

When I get home at night she is just so ecstatic to see me.  Usually I will try to immediately sit down on the couch so she can jump up for a thorough petting session.  Her excitement level is off the charts.  It seems like she is most happy when Cindy and I are both home, when one of us is missing it’s just not the same.  Even though I had some trepidation about signing on to getting another dog, I’m now glad we jumped in as she is a bright source of fun and love in our lives.

So our slimy governor, Rick Scott, who was in opposition to medical marijuana which was passed in the state during last years election, is playing games to try to make the implementation of legal medical cannabis problematic.  You see Tricky Rick has deep ties to Big Pharm and the medicine for profit industries.  His lobbyist friends are not interested in a simple, natural product elbowing in to their extremely fat bottom line.

Late last month Scott signed a bill regarding how medical marijuana dispensaries are supposed to be managed by individual counties.  Basically it says a county has only two options, they either have to ban medical marijuana completely or they have to allow it anywhere with no middle ground.  So in a very image conscious place like Collier County, despite their desire for legal marijuana dispensaries inside county lines, the idea of having no control over the number of them or locations is not realistic so this law would force them into banning it completely, which is not what anybody really wants.

Of course the Trickster knows that a lot of counties are not going to be comfortable with having no control but he can put on a false face and say “Hey, the law says the counties can have medical marijuana anywhere they want!!” with that slimy, disingenuous grin of his.  It’s so transparent.

Luckily, there is a good chance that Rick’s shenanigans will not stand up in court.  It is likely the legislation will be challenged in court and be overturned but in the meantime many Florida residents just continue to wait for something that have voted to implement for over 5 years.