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.
So today was my second attempt at commuting to work on an electric unicycle. I did the ride almost exactly a year ago on my Msuper. The Monster is much more suited for this type of ride with a bigger battery and larger tire. When I first started rolling about 6:20AM I felt a bit clunky with a backpack strapped on and full protective gear, including big knee pads. After a few miles I got more comfortable.
When I did this ride before I tried to go almost entirely via sidewalk which is safer but also slower because of the ramps and slowing down at every break in the sidewalk. This time I used a lot more bike lane which allowed me to keep a better pace with the trade off of being in potentially more dangerous proximity of vehicles with their distracted drivers.
The air temps in the lower 60’s felt a bit chilly when combined with the wind but with my long sleeve t-shirt I felt ok. My feet and calves also held up a little better since I had the seat on the Monster which would allow me to sit down for brief periods while riding to give my lower extremities a break.
I was not wearing a GPS on my wrist this time so I didn’t really know how fast I was going but I did have Strava running on my phone. It felt like I maintained good speed but I didn’t realize how good. According to the app I topped out at 28.6mph, the fastest speed I have ever logged on a wheel. I also spent a ton of time at 20+ mph, thanks to using bike lanes.
When I did this ride last year I was 15 minutes late getting to the office, mostly because I had to baby the wheel the last four miles because of a low battery. With the Monster I went as fast as I felt comfortable with the entire time and rolled into the office 5 minutes early with 40% battery remaining. The ride really went as well as it could. The wheel is on the charger now. I plan to ride it to the gym at lunch and then push off for home around 4:30. It’s a great way to start the weekend.
Speaking of the weekend, I am treated to another three day long hiatus thanks to Presidents Day. I have a fair amount of things in my head to get done but for the most part I am hoping to get plenty of chill time. Cindy and I are both looking forward to seeing Black Panther Saturday night.
So now that the personal things are out of the way I wanted to mention the latest case of mass gun violence, this time in our backyard on the other side of the state. As seems to be the case with any of the really horrific incidents, the shooter, an unstable 19 year old, used an AR-15 with plenty of spare clips to mow down almost three dozen students and school staff, killing half of them.
I am almost ashamed to admit that my initial reaction to these incidents is more a feeling of overwhelming frustration than horror. I just am stupefied that our country continues to “say prayers” but take no appreciable action to stop this insanity or at the very least make significant efforts so that this scenario much less likely to take place. Guns are ridiculously easy to obtain and the lack of controls and consistent screening regarding who obtains them is a joke, in my opinion.
I also have yet to hear a compelling argument why normal citizens need the ability to buy assault rifles. Yes, if you have concerns about your personal safety, own a hand gun, that will neutralize any immediate threat. However if you feel the need to own a weapon that has the ability to kill huge amounts of people in very little time I would say you need to take some time to evaluate why this is important to you.
Unfortunately I have seen this scenario repeat like a skipping record so many times that I already know what to expect when it comes to tangible change, nothing……
Sure I would like to just skip to the most epic Super Bowl of my life but I feel I should give the rest of the weekend proper representation. Saturday morning I got up and drug myself out of bed to go run, despite a lower body that was STILL sore from squatting and deadlifting on Tuesday. I slogged through the run, never feeling comfortable.
When I got home I went right into a small chore list that I wanted to knock out. After doing so Cindy, Elsa and I headed out to grab some coffee and run some errands. We took the Tacoma so I could throw another 15 bags of top soil in the back to continue my winter long ground elevation project behind the chicken coop. My hope is I am able to at least give the birds a decent size island in the back that will escape the soggy effects of wet season.
Cindy had a ton to do for SuperBowl party prep and she was working on it in earnest, with both food and decoration prep. I kept busy doing my own things which included 3D printing, laser engraving, and a few more things. Late in the afternoon I took my wheels over to the school to futz around a bit. I shot some footage for my upcoming 1000th video on my YouTube channel. I’m hoping to make that one pretty cool.
On Saturday night we planned on watching Hell or High Water, our Netflix rental however there was some sort of problem with the disc and it wouldn’t read in my Blu-ray player. I told Cindy I would just get it on X1 par-per-view. Yea it sucks to pay for something I could get for free but it wasn’t a big deal. Well it turned out I didn’t have to pay anything since the movie was already on Showtime. I could watch it on demand for free, cool.
The movie has a strong cast and an interesting plot. It sort of had a Robin Hood good natured vibe to it until things got unexpectedly dark towards the end. It was a good B+ movie for sure but it sure did not end up as I expected.
Sunday was the day. We had a lot to do, well I had a lot, Cindy had an unbelievable amount of work that she did. She LOVES planning parties and doing everything connected to it. She was literally on the go almost the entire day.
Her work was nothing short of incredible. In addition to the conventional food prep Cindy made these amazing baked creations including the football field on the right and Eagles cookies made with a 3D cutter I printed. Katie came over in the afternoon and did the decorating for the cake pops on the left. She did an amazing job with them, putting her creativity on display.
I had the 3D printers working hard most of the day as well, creating an Eagles themed quarter tray and a toothpick holder, both of which I designed from scratch. I filled in the squares of the betting board, a tradition from the very first Super Bowl party that was ever hosted at the house. I tried to make more of the bets have less than a 50/50 chance so there was the possibility of some bigger winners. For example one of the bets was the distance of the first punt.
We flipped on the tv as early as 12:30 and they already had Super Bowl pre-game on, wow. I did mostly the grunt work part of the prep, moving and rearranging things, setting stuff up and filling in with whatever else Cindy needed. Like I said the amount of effort she put into this party was nothing short of amazing. About mid-afternoon there was a lull in prep, most things were done. I decided to knock out an oil change on Cindy’s car as it was one less thing off my mental to do list. It was uneventful and only took about a half hour, including clean up.
So the party was scheduled to start around 5:30. Our first guest arrived a few minutes after that. It was Megan, whose dog Wishbone has been walked by Cindy and I several times. I was surprised when Cindy told me that Wishbone was coming to the party. Of course my first thought always jumps to a dog marking his territory in the house. Luckily Wishbone had no incidents but instead circled the party more or less non-stop, looking for food. He literally did not sit/lay down once.
Other guests arrived steadily from there on. By 6’oclock almost the entire roster was there and the house was loud and full of energy. This was a very special party since MY team was in it. The crowd was mostly friends of ours from the running club and a few others. Ali and her boyfriend Shugs even came out, with Sadie of course which Elsa was thrilled about.
I sort of figured that Elsa would mostly hide during the party but surprisingly she was in the middle of the crowd, even snuggling up to Matt on the sofa for a period of time which surprised the hell out of me.
I did myself a favor and watched a lot of the commercials ahead of time since they were posted on YouTube. Doing so allowed me to actually hear and enjoy them, something that is very difficult to do with 15 people in a room. However I could watch the action on the field just fine.
The first half was pretty crazy with both teams moving the ball but the Eagles taking more advantage, scoring pretty easy and often. There were two defining moments of the first half for me. The first was when Patriots pulled a trick play that had Tom Brady downfield as a receiver, a wide open receiver. He proceeded to drop a pass that hit him right in the hands. However on a 4th and goal, the Eagles stole that page from the Patriots and actually executed the play to perfection with Nick Foles pulling in a pass from the tight end for a touchdown. It was an incredibly ballsy call but that was theme of this team all year, aggressive play calling.
The halftime show, which I didn’t entirely see, seemed not bad but not quite as iconic as I would have expected. Almost always there is some sort of unannounced collaboration that goes on. However Justin Timberlake performed with nobody else except towards the end where he sung some Purple Rain as an image of Prince was projected onto a big curtain. I saw some people say the show was great so maybe I just have bad taste.
The second half of the game was a sprint. All of a sudden the Eagles defense had no answers to stop the Patriots. Luckily the Eagles offense was still scoring but the Patriots were scoring faster and way too easily. In the fourth quarter the Patriots took their first lead of the game, by one point and I was worried that we were watching the start of another Eagles failure at the precipice of the ultimate victory.
By the time the fourth quarter started almost everybody had left, it was only Cindy, myself, Ali, and Shuggs. Outside of Shuggs we were the only real Eagles fans there although pretty much everyone at the party wanted to see the Patriots lose. It somehow seemed fitting that as the game came down to it’s teeth gritting, heart stopping conclusion, we were the only ones left.
So when Zac Ertz scored the go ahead touchdown which Chris Collinsworth, who has always been an asshole when it comes to the Eagles, was trying to convince the world was going to be overturned, we went nuts. But because of an early missed extra point and two failed 2 point conversions, the Eagles were only up by 5 points with two and a half minutes to go. With Tom Brady’s track record and the way he had been torching the Eagles at will the entire second half I was, concerned.
We all yelled at the tv at the Eagles defense that SOMEBODY had to make a play. They had not even sacked Brady the entire game. On the very next play, it happened, Brady was hit and fumbled the ball, recovered by the Eagles. We went ape shit, literally ape shit. Instead of folding up their tent, the Eagles actually came up when it mattered the most and smacked the Patriots in the mouth.
Unfortunately the Eagles couldn’t run the clock out and had to settle for a field goal which gave them an 8 point lead, meaning the Patriots could possibly score and make a two point conversion to tie it. The good news was the Patriots only had 30 seconds to drive the length of the field and no time outs. Brady made a valiant effort and actually got close enough to throw a ball into the endzone for a hail mary as time expired that thankfully fell to the ground after coming dangerously close to being caught on a rebound. It was over. The Eagles actually won the Super Bowl…..
Even though there were only four of us, we made enough noise for 40. Ali had tears in her eyes of joy, Cindy was smiling ear to ear and I was just screaming. My entire life I pulled for the Birds to win it all. After five decades of near misses it seemed surreal that we were the last team standing, finally.
In the past the Eagles were good enough that they were expected to win. This team that fought through some severe injury losses, including their starting QB, to get all the way to the end, being the underdog in each and every playoff game they played. I don’t think I could have written a better script. Nick Foles, who I always liked when he was with the team the first time around, was simply amazing. He played smart and clean, if he felt nervous he did not show it, instead making throw after throw with his TD reception going down as one of the more memorable in SB history.
The game smashed records, not only for a Super Bowl but for any NFL game, ever. Never have two teams put up as many yards as the Patriots and Eagles did. The final score was the most points in SB history and even taking my Eagles partisanship out of the picture, I think it will go down as one of the best Super Bowl games ever. To have my team be part of that equation and the winning side of it on top, is something I will cherish till things fade to dark.
Before the game I posted on Facebook that if the Eagles win I would jump in the pool. I’m not the type to not follow through on such a promise so after ripping off my shirt and socks I jumped into the 60 something degree pool water after letting out the most enthusiastic E A G L E S cheer of my lifetime. Sure the water felt cold but my inner warmth from the glow of Super Bowl victory helped insulate me.
I’m glad I took today off from work to recover, relax and bask in the glow of a new reality where the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions!
So as Cindy and I were watching this week’s episode of the Walking Dead on X1 the house suddenly went black. When it stayed that way for more than 10 seconds I knew it meant there was something more than the occasional power burp going on. We sat tight and actually finished watching Walking Dead as the power in the UPS was enough to drive the AV set up for about 45 minutes. Normally I would have stopped the show and turned everything off but X1 has this annoying glitch, without internet connection you can basically do nothing on the box, not even pause a recorded show. I shit you not.
So we verified our entire surrounding area was dark. After a half hour of darkness we decided to take some action. I told Cindy I could easily set up the generator to power the RV. I was due to run the generator for a period of time anyway as preventative maintenance so it was an easy decision. With Cindy handling a flashlight so I could see I gassed up the tank maybe a quarter of the way and started it up, on the first pull no less.
The RV makes for a very comfortable no house power retreat since it is easily powered by a single extension cord. With the cool air no AC was needed and everything else in there worked, including TV. While Cindy got situated in the RV I grabbed my Mten to ride around out front a bit to survey the situation. I verified our entire road looked dark. I rode down to Immokalee and saw the street lights were on which is right about where FPL service picks up, we have LCEC.
When I joined Cindy in the RV I went on the LCEC outage map and saw a HUGE area in red. I read later that somewhere around 90,000 homes were affected. We chilled out in the RV for probably another half hour until I saw our Xmas lights click back on by the house indicating utility power had returned. I was totally comfortable hanging out there, with the slide out living room combined with the copious amount of windows in the RV, you never get the feel of being confined. I headed back towards the house and undid all of the temporary provisions, glad the 90 minute outage didn’t turn into something longer that would have required additional power wrangling.
Yesterday in the mail I finally received my second check from my insurance company which was for the revised amount I had been fighting for. I was glad that what they originally told me, that I would be getting three checks with two of them having contractor names as co-signers was not the case. It’s just one check for the entire amount with my name and my credit union’s name on it. I am glad because I am leaning towards not using the contractor that gave the screen estimate as it appears that they have more than doubled what they would normally charge for the job based on my research.
I have one more potential hassle to deal with. When I got the check for damages after Hurricane Wilma in 2005 again the check was made out to my name and the banks name. When I took it in to get it deposited/endorsed the bank gave me a big hassle and would not let me deposit the funds, they would only allow a new check to be cut in the contractors name that was rebuilding the pool cage. I suppose it was their way of ensuring the work was done, protecting THEIR investment. Of course this strong arm tactic didn’t sit well with me then.
Well this time it is more complicated since I have two contractors involved and the way it works is you pay them a percentage of the overall work when the job is contracted, partially done and then the balance on completion. If the bank thinks I am going to go to them to cut a check for each time this is necessary they are going to have a big fight on their hands. I understand their intent but as a customer who has already satisfied the primary mortgage on the property, has a stellar credit score, and has done nothing but exhibit responsible home owner behavior over the last 16 years, I am going to push that a little common sense is applied on their part and they just sign the check, let me deposit the funds and draw from it as I need to fund the repairs. The fact that I am actually going to be upgrading the roof beyond it’s original construction hopefully will be another chip in my favor.
This morning when I let Elsa out she made a bee line towards the back of the shed which was unusual. Once she got there she froze and was staring at the fence line. I had no idea what she was doing. All of a sudden she bolted towards the fence and I heard a noise. As I focused I saw a large racoon scurrying up one of the palm trees on the other side of the fence, apparently scared of Elsa even though she was on the other side of the four foot fence. When I walked towards the tree the racoon scurried down and disappeared into the brush. I was surprised a raccoon, the killer of three of our chickens, would be out and about as daylight broke. Elsa seemed quite proud of her guard dog abilities afterward.
So after 3 days the AC system in our network operations room has been fixed. The room was horribly warm during this time with temps in the 85-90 degree range. In order to keep our servers from overheating we rented portable AC units and pointed them directly at the server racks. Even though the room temps were way above what they should be, the server internal temps stayed safely in the normal range thanks to the auxiliary AC units.
You may recall part of my shitty Monday post was the fact that a red triangle warning light popped up on the Prius which typically indicates some sort of serious problem with the vehicle. After I reset the ECU with my code reader I have been driving the car every day to see if the problem reappears, it hasn’t. I do still plan to do some long overdue maintenance on the car this weekend including changing the transaxle fluid, inverter coolant and replacing a dead headlight, again. If another headlight goes out I am going to put LED bulbs in there instead.
My buddy Joe from Maine messaged me last night about something that popped up on his Facebook feed. It was a post from the official Acadia National Park account reminding people that “*eRiders, please take note: Segways, Hoverboards, and eBikes are considered motorized vehicles and their use is prohibited on Acadia’s carriage roads. Fines begin at $130 per person” Joe joked that I was lucky I did not have my second run in with park rangers since we rode our EUC’s briefly in the park.
When I read some of the comments regarding the post, I found myself getting annoyed. Riding an e-bike or an EUC has no more impact on the park than a regular bicycle. The same rules apply to anyone in the park, if you ride in a reckless manner that endangers others, no matter what you are on, you deserve to be reprimanded. However the fact that you are on an e-bike, Segway, or other electric powered vehicle does not predispose you to dangerous riding behavior, which is the point some commenters were trying to make. It’s just another reason for my disdain for the way national parks are run to further grow in size.
I spent a good portion of last night fighting with my CR-10 printer, trying to install and use a mirror tile as my print surface. Even though I love the capability of the my new 3D printer, functionality wise, my FlashForge Finder is much more user friendly beyond a doubt. Most of my attempts at printing on the CR-10 resulted in filament spaghetti all over the print bed.