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.
So I had a rough plan on how my 4th of July was going to go. I wanted to bust ass in the morning getting ALL of the property weed whacked and mowed. The rest of the day would then be available to do fun stuff like practice riding the One Wheel. Unfortunately ever since we got Elsa, fireworks are no longer part of our celebration plans. Leaving her alone while we went to go see fireworks somewhere would be absolutely terrifying for Elsa, as homegrown fireworks in our area would be going off constantly. Just the sound of a single blast is enough to start her shaking in fear.
So anyway after taking care of the chicken maintenance and eating breakfast I headed outside to do battle with the yard. As I was sweating profusely, getting caked with grass clippings, I thought to myself how it has been nice that we are into July and still have not had that awful prolonged standing water that Cindy and I loathe. I worked close to four hours outside until handing off the tractor duties to Cindy who mowed the back half of the yard. When she finished up we both commented on just how awesome everything looked.
When I came inside I had to deal with work stuff. On Tuesday we had a minor disaster when our main data circuit to our remote offices failed, on the second day of our new cloud based back end system. I spent the entire day Tuesday scrambling to come up with workarounds to address it, which I finally did. The circuit was repaired on Wednesday so I had to undo the workarounds I had put in place.
So mid-afternoon I was ready to resume my One Wheel practice outdoors. The only riding I had done was in the main living space which is dangerous for both me and the contents of the house, as I proved later. So just as I was gearing up to go outside it started to rain. Ok, I figured it would be a quick hitting downpour so I ungeared and fired up WoW for a bit. Well instead of letting up a full fledged monsoon blew in. We had horrible, pounding rain with high winds for a couple hours.
Remember what I said about how nice it was that we did not have Noah’s Ark type flooding on the property so far this summer? Well you can scratch that. The yard quickly transformed into a bog after the storm. I was glad we got all the mowing done but immediately frustrated that the yard, that looked nearly perfect a few hours prior was now littered with ponds.
So anyway, my only option if I wanted to practice the One Wheel was to do it indoors once again. I felt better and more confident than my initial experience Monday night. In goofy foot stance I didn’t have nearly the same amount of shaking as before and I was able to mount and dismount without holding anything. I had the GoPro running when I was demonstrating my adeptness at dismounting when this happened.
The impact of the wheel against the TV cabinet left a nice black plastic mark on the one door. An earlier incident where the wheel again got away from me put a small crack on the laminate side surface of the island. Obviously I should not be practicing indoors but I really wanted to at least do something to help my learning curve progress. The fall above also took another hunk of skin off, this time on my right ankle. Despite the mishaps I kept plugging away. Before I called it quits I was rolling back and forth from the front door to the the rear slider pretty smoothly. I even managed to do a loop around the kitchen island without grabbing anything for additional support.
So in a strange way I wish the rain would have continued as night arrived. The reason is it would hopefully quell the home fireworks that so many people in our area find so enjoyable. My attitude on fireworks is one of many things that have done a total 180 over the years. I used to think they were incredibly cool and exciting. Now, especially now with how terrified they make Elsa, I look on them with disdain. If I am being honest, I now feel somewhat negatively of people that feel the need to put on their own personal fireworks show because of their lack of thought/concern on how it affects others around them. Unfortunately the house next door was one of these people.
Because of the proximity the noise really scared Elsa, she was huddled under my desk most of the night. I played WoW, the sounds of the game, which she is very used to helped drown out some of the explosions around us. I realized that it was 4th of July, people are going to shoot off fireworks. Complaining about it is like complaining the sky is blue, it’s just the way it is.
However as we laid in bed, sometime after 11 we heard some additional loud fireworks going off next door. I believe there is some sort of noise ordinance that requires loud noises to cease at 11PM. Ordinance or not, common sense should dictate that firing off fireworks that late on a weeknight was out of line, inconsiderate, and irresponsible. The noise not only scared Elsa but shook me from my drifting to sleep stage. Cindy shot up and went outside to see if she she caught them doing it and would verbally warn them for doing so. Fortunately there was no more explosions. If there were, I had already laid out the mental plan for throwing on a pair of shorts, my boots and stomping across the soggy yard and requesting a cessation to the behavior in a undeniably unfriendly manner.
I finally managed to fall asleep and got up this morning feeling groggy, sore, and annoyed, what’s new….
So after I shot the aerial video for the Wear Orange event on Saturday I uploaded the edited footage to the groups Facebook page. In order to make the video easier to share I also uploaded it to my YouTube page so the group could link from there. Well within the first 20 minutes I got a comment on the video referring to “libtards”, so I disabled commenting on the video. When I woke up the following morning I saw the video had a 3-1 dislike to like ratio which was sickening. Do we really live in a world where people DISLIKE movements to curb gun violence?
The Wear Orange movement supports the second amendment. Their goal is sensible gun laws that reduce the threat of gun violence in the US which is at insane levels compared to the rest of modern society across the world. (on average 96 people per day are killed in the US by guns) But all it took was anything with the word “gun” in it to flash trigger dislikes by gun zealots that see ANY attempt to enact reasonable gun laws to the government knocking on their door to take their aresnal. It’s pure lunacy.
I was very disappointed and saddened by the reaction to the video and decided to make it a non-public listing that can still be shared but won’t be listed in the normal video list of my channel. The last thing I have the energy for is circular debates with gun zealots that refuse to acknowledge that reasonable, common sense gun laws are something the majority of people in the US want and support. Unfortunately the lobbyist dollars from organizations like the NRA drown that voice out.
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.
Yesterday a pile of metal showed up in the front yard, the new roofing material had arrived! The work is scheduled to begin next week but if the timeline I was told is true, the metal won’t actually be secured to the roof for at least a couple weeks due to inspections having to be done by the county once the old roofing is stripped and the new underlayment is put down. Either way it’s exciting to finally be taking the first steps to “untarping” our home.
I have been dealing with a situation that in some ways reminds me of my prosecution by the National Park Service via YouTube for flying a drone in Yellowstone a few years back. I can’t say much else but rest assured I will have plenty to say in the future about it.
Last night I was doing some 3D printing, including this ornate sugar skull model. I printed it on the AnyCubic i3 Mega which has become the favorite of the five printers I own. It just works and I love the control panel as well as the build surface which holds prints on tight when warm but allows them to pop off effortlessly when cool.
So I read that the military parade that Donald so badly wants, you know the type you see in North Korea and Russia, is actually going to happen. It just seems like such a monumental waste of time, money and resources to serve no practical purpose other than stroking Donald’s immense ego.
There is a reason there hasn’t been a military parade in something like 25 years, they make no sense. Of course not making sense is a staple of this administration so I guess maybe, this makes sense? F it.
Ok before I start recanting the nasty details of my first ever colonoscopy let me say upfront that combining a colonscopy prep routine while you are in the middle of battling an unpleasant cold is not recommended. Even now, 6 hours clear of the procedure I feel terrible with no energy and chills.
So the first part of the prep on Thursday has to do with what you are consuming which is basically liquid items with some jello mixed in. I thought the food restriction would be a real PIA but maybe because of my cold, I didn’t really miss it. In fact I only ate about half of what Cindy packed for me. Maybe the other reason is vegetable broth is very bland and unappealing.
So I was feeling pretty rotten most of the day, mostly from the cold. I wound up leaving the office a couple hours early so I could be in misery at home. When I got home I still didn’t eat anything else, I just had no appetite. Cindy was teaching a class Thursday night so I got to initiate the consumption of my first dose of Suprep by myself which was a good thing.
You take the contents of the bottle and pour it into a cup. You then fill the cup to a 16 ounce fill line with water. After you get it down you have to consume another 32 ounces of water within an hour.
So before I took my first swig I smelled the solution and it didn’t seem that bad, sort of resembling cough medicine. I didn’t expect this to be a huge deal so I set my cup by my PC and continued playing WoW. Well when I took the first sip I instantly started gagging, despite trying to hold my breath. It was so bad. It doesn’t taste at all as it smells, the worst part of it being the strong saltiness you get smacked in the face with. All of a sudden I realized this was going to be more difficult that I anticipated.
It probably took me about 10 minutes to choke it down, disgusting sip after sip. I could not believe just how bad it tasted, likely the worst tasting thing that has ever been in my mouth. After finishing the last of it I wasted no time drinking the additional water, I was desperately trying to erase the Suprep taste from my mouth.
So the fireworks began in roughly a half hour. They went on forever with me not finishing up my last bathroom trip until after 9:30. Cindy tried to console me as much as she could but I was just miserable and exhausted. I laid on the love seat most of the night like I was in a coma. I just had no energy at all. The idea of setting the alarm at 5AM to do another round of Suprep was on my mind heavily. It was much worse anxiety this time because I knew just how awful it was.
I fell asleep pretty quickly but then found myself awake around 2AM for some reason, it took me around an hour to fall back asleep, contributing to the exhaustion I was already feeling. When the alarm went off I didn’t waste much time, knowing the prep needed to be completed sooner rather than later. I decided to pull the GoPro out so the world could see the joy of choking down Suprep. I hoped I could shotgun it faster this time to end the misery but it still took at least a half dozen, gag filled swallows until I got it down. It was simply miserable.
So when I finally got the last swallow down I quickly drank the additional water to rinse out the taste as much as possible. Just like last night, about 30 minutes later the bathroom trips began but they eventually turned into nothing but clear yellow fluid. The force and amount of substance that Suprep causes again was something I never had experienced before. While I was waiting for it to flow through my body I again passed out on the sofas, feeling unable to do anything that required me to be upright. I spent the time watching the US gold medal curling match that I had on the DVR. To be honest, even now, punching in this blog entry feels like a lot of work. I would rather be laying down. Chills and exhaustion cut me off at the knees.
So again the bathroom trips lingered longer than I hoped. I even had to do one more pitstop and the endo center. Cindy drove me there and it was a good thing. I reclined in the passenger seat with my eyes closed most of the time. Once we got to the office I was surrounded by people that almost exclusively looked two decades older than me. I just wanted it all to be over with. Even though I knew I was in the home stretch I just felt too lousy to care.
So they took me back to the staging area. I stripped naked and put on the covers next to nothing hospital gown. As I got my IV inserted, the nurse was trying to engage me in conversations but I was too tired to say much more than a few words. I laid there with my eyes closed until the the anesthesia nurse came in. She rolled me back to the procedure room where loud rock n roll was playing. My endo doctor is a very laid back, and cool dude.
So I was instructed to lay on my left side. Once the sleep juice started flowing I was out in what felt like less than 30 seconds. The next thing I remembered was a nurse talking to me in the recovery room and Cindy walking towards me, looking relieved. It felt good to be awake. I was not thrilled however when the nurse said they did cut out a polyp but that isn’t that unusual. When the doc showed up the picture was a little less great. He said the polyp was half decent in size and this is exactly why proactive screenings are a great idea. They have to send out the polyp for testing but he said that I really should be looking at getting a colonoscopy every three years instead of the ten that is normal if they find nothing. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear at all based on what I just had been through but hey I’m ok for now.
After the procedure Cindy took me to Burgerfi, a place I never checked out. I had a veggie quinoa burger that was great. It felt good to get some real food in my system. I felt like I was pepping up while eating but once we got home I was back to feeling simply exhausted. I laid in bed and closed my eyes for a couple hours. Like I said, even now I just feel wasted. I am hoping a solid night of sleep will begin to lift this fog of illness and food deprivation. It’s weird, even after eating lunch I have no appetite, I’ve just been drinking water all afternoon.
So there you have it, I survived the colonoscopy. I hope my test results are favorable because having to repeat that process three times a decade would suck, badly.
I hope my energy level returns so we can have a psuedo normal weekend. Right now any chore that pops into my head gets immediately dismissed as requiring too much energy.
So yesterday I called into the doctor’s office to find out if it’s ok to move forward with the colonoscopy despite my having a cold. I was a bit surprised that they said it was not a problem. As long as I am able to breathe it shouldn’t be a big deal. So I guess in an odd way I was glad to hear this as it meant I don’t have to put off the procedure which has long term been on my “things to not look forward to” list. My cold symptoms have been advancing. A general tiredness has now been added the list which already included ridiculously runny nose, watering eyes, and sneezing. My sinuses feel like what happened when water went up your nose while swimming in a highly chlorinated pool as a kid, it just burns.
Getting the all clear meant that I could move forward with “prep day” today. My breakfast consisted of orange jello, vegetable broth, and some peach juice. Cindy went all out trying to organize my food, packing my lunch with more broth, jello, and some root beer. I am currently sipping on some black coffee.
Tonight the real fun begins when I take the super laxative at 6PM and continue with my liquids only diet. Tomorrow morning I have to set the alarm at 5AM and then take one more round of the laxative. It is then water only until the procedure which isn’t until 10:30 so I assume I will be absolutely starving by then. I am not expecting good times, especially when teamed up with what is now pretty substantial cold symptoms. Normally I would not even be working when I am in this condition but some things at work require my attention right now, regardless of health.
I was surprised but happy to see the statement Dick’s Sporting Goods posted recently announcing a gun sale policy shift where they are voluntarily removing assault style rifles, high capacity magazines and making several other changes to do their part to not contribute to the odds of a mass shooting scenario in the future. It was a bold move that surely will draw very loud criticism from the vocal NRA loving minority, although I will never understand why.
I just do not get how intelligent adults can not discern the difference between limiting assault weaponry and an attack on the second amendment. These two issues are mutually exclusive. Nobody expects the second amendment to be repealed and no sane politician would mount an effort to do so. The government is not going to come knocking on your door to take guns away.
Would I be upset if there was a gun ban in the US similar to what is instituted in many other top tier nations? Nope, not at all, but I am aware enough to know that the gun culture in this country is so deep seated that it absolutely never would/could happen. That genie will NEVER go back in the bottle.
I can only hope that the overzealous gun owners can make the effort to analyze the line of BS that the NRA spits out. Limiting assault weapons is not an attack on the second amendment. It’s an effort to install some modern common sense into a policy that has been propped up by gun lobbyists for a couple decades. Repeat after me, “the government is not coming to take away your guns.” You can be rest assured that non-assault weapons will still meet the killing needs of the American populace.
I plan to give Dick’s more of my consumer business as a result of this decision. I can only hope others will do the same. If businesses start to realize that there is a mostly silent majority that supports this type of action with their wallets, a lot more would be willing to step up as well.
So last night I spent more time messing with my new Powerbot vacuum and documenting my results on video. I have to say so far the Samsung unit is not living up to my expectations based on the price. Sure, the tech features like wi-fi connectivity, app control, and Alexa compatibility (which I still can’t get working) are neat but they aren’t what makes a robotic vacuum good.
To me the things that matter with this type of device is how completely it covers an area, how good of a job it does lifting dirt and hair, how long it can go between charges and how often it gets stuck. Well when I use this scorecard, at least so far the Powerbot is not scoring so great.
My two Neato robot vacuum cleaners do a pretty good job of mapping a room and making sure that they cover the area completely. I put the Powerbot in the bedroom and let it loose. It ran around in a random way and wound up spending more time in the walk in closet than anywhere else and only cleaning about half of the area before the battery ran out of juice. The vacuum has three different suction modes and I of course was running it full throttle. If you use the lower power modes battery life should be better. The dust bin is easy to remove but on the small side, be ready to empty it often.
So anyway if you watch the review you will get a good sense of what I liked and didn’t like so far. I need to do some more research before I grant my final grade.
So this morning as I was eating breakfast I was perusing my Facebook feed and saw one of my ex-classmates posted a meme that stated you should share this is you still support the 2nd amendment after the Florida shootings. I had a number of other ex-classmates chiming in with their support, hell yea! I still have to pinch myself sometimes to see if I am really living in a world where the majority of the people I grew up with are the sweet spot of Trumpism. It seems surreal at times.
So anyway, I am so used to seeing this sort of stuff I am almost numb to it and just move on. For whatever reason this particular morning I felt the need to shine a light on just how nonsensical this idea is, that restricting ownership of assault weaponry is the first step to repealing the 2nd amendment. So I quickly punched in this:
Amazing that people just don’t understand that this has nothing to do with the second amendment. Sure keep your guns for self defense but there is no need for citizens to carry offensive assault weaponry. ZERO. When the 2nd amendment was written pretty much every weapon was a single shot variety that had a long reload procedure. I mean WTF, if we took this same standpoint on other society issues we would still have slaves, women couldn’t vote, and you would be wearing a white powdered wig. A society adjusts as new situations present themselves. Stop spreading the lie that restricting assault weaponry = repealing the second amendment. It’s utter horseshit.
As I sadly expected the response I got back didn’t address what I pointed out, it instead somehow pointed more of the blame at kids that eat Tide Pods than the ease that assault weapons can be obtained. Knowing this narrative would go nowhere I abandoned it with a renewed sense of sadness and frustration about just how embedded this disinformation is in our society. Some people actually believe that the government is going to go door to door and take their guns. No mountain of facts, figures, and legislative processes that prevent that will ever change their mind.
This weekend I hope to get to Costco to pick out eyeglasses for my distance vision. Other than that the two days should be a pretty standard set up. Next week at this time I will be on the way to get my first colonoscopy. I am anxious for that event to be over…
If 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.