I neglected to mention that a couple days ago I was able to trim my Facebook friends list a whopping 38% in no less than 10 minutes. In that time span I was able to drop roughly 180 individuals off the list bring the total to a still hefty 300 members. I really didn’t have to make any hard choices, the majority of the trimees were people in other countries that friended me from my Bar-barians affiliation. I never had any real direct communication or interaction with them so for the most part I doubt they will even know they are gone. There is some more trimming that could be done where I would have to do so more in depth thinking and evaluation of pros/cons but I will save that for another day.
Today is C Day, the day James Comey testifies in front of Congress in what could potentially be yet another bombshell for the Trump organization. It appears that the testimony will further cement the fact that we have a man that has no fcking idea which way is up or down and is woefully unequipped to be in the position of power that the fine citizens of our country put him in. It’s looking more and more like President Pence could be a reality and to be honest, I think Donald might actually be happier that way.
It has been a pretty incredibly wet last few days which has manged to turn a severe drought into flooding conditions in some areas of the county. There was a report that Everglades City has received nearly a foot of rain, not snow, rain! I don’t think we got quite that much out at our place but we got a ton. We have a very unwelcome early return of standing water all around the yard. I was fine being indoors most of the day, mostly leveling my paladin in WoW. It is the first that I played this class since the expansion was updated. I really like the changes.
So a couple weeks ago I had routine AC maintenance done on the house. During that work it was brought to my attention that the blower in my air handler was covered in mold. I am sure it is related to when the overflow kill switch was defective, allowing water to puddle in the bottom of the system last year. So anyway, it was recommended that the blower is pulled, completely disassembled, and cleaned thoroughly. They also mentioned that a UV light kit could prevent this scenario from happening in the future as it blasts the entire air handler with UV light which kills microorganisms like mold. The idea of mold existing in my AC system made the decision easy, even though it wouldn’t be cheap.
The work was done today so I just took the day off, giving me an odd 1-3 work week. The tech showed me the inside of the blower assembly before it was cleaned, it was totally black. To think that shit was getting circulated in the system is pretty gross and potentially hazardous to your health. They also showed me the same parts after the cleaning and it was night and day. In total the work took about two hours and even though I am out about $700 I feel better knowing my HVAC system is not a petri dish any longer.
After the tech left I loaded Sadie and Elsa up in the Prius to take Sadie home and return Ali’s computer to her which I finally got working again. Ali’s boyfriends dogs were excited for the unexpected visit. Elsa was scared, submissive, and excited all at the same time, it was very funny to watch. All four of them slept up in Ali’s office as I completed the work, it was very cute.
I plan to veg out most of the rest of the day, an appropriate course of action since we are mired in a several day rain event. I started leveling a new character in WoW so that can keep me entertained for as long as I need.
So with a new Nvidia card in hand I stopped back at Ali’s on my way home Friday to hopefully fix her video/monitor issue for good. I was 80% sure a different chipset video card would solve my problem. It didn’t. Instead I fought with her system for another hour or so. Not only did the new card show the exact same behavior (driver crashing) I eventually lost IP connectivity as well. I was pissed.
Thankfully I came up with a temporary remediation plan. Ali still had her old pc I replaced in her office. It was left online in case there were any files on it that she still might need. I hooked it up to the monitors and it still worked fine. I just had to update a few settings and refresh her Dropbox so she was able to work again. I took the computer I was fighting with me so I could continue battle in the comfort of my own home.
I f’d with it for a couple more hours until I gave up and just did a Windows 10 “reset” where it reinstalls the OS but leaves the user files alone. It meant I had to reinstall some applications but overall it was not bad to recover from. I wished I chose that option earlier. After completion the video driver finally loaded normally and the IP/internet connectivity had been restored. It was a huge pain in the ass overall which I think all began with the installation of the Windows 10 “Creators” update which never installed correctly.
Saturday morning we again went out for a run first thing. The temps in the low 70’s with HIGH humidity were not comfortable to run in at all. Cindy and I hardly said a word during the run. Afterwards I told her that it felt like I was uncomfortable from the first stride to the last stride. Sure it’s nice to endure one of those types of runs but I sure wouldn’t mind one that felt psuedo-enjoyable once in awhile.
When we got home I jumped right into an all morning yard session that started with weeding and ended with mowing. I was very thorough in my efforts and the yard looked great at the end of it but man, I was pooped. Adding the secondary chicken fence definitely has tacked some time onto my normal yard maintenance schedule.
Saturday afternoon we took Sadie and Elsa to Rural King for a few things. Elsa was back to acting very skittish for some reason as we walked the aisles. You just never know what is going to freak her out. After we got back the skies absolutely opened up. Torrential rain came down for hours. I did not see an official total but I bet we got at least 3″ of it dumped on us. Saturday night we stayed home and watched the most recent Huntsman movie which was pretty good, B+ in my book.
Sunday morning despite the skies still being overcast Cindy and I headed to North Collier Park to ride. I brought the new seat for the Monster I was sent by Jason from ewheels.com
We had a fun conventional ride first before we got out the seat. I wanted Cindy to try seated riding first as she messed around with it the week prior without a seat and did half decent. After a pretty brief acclimation period Cindy was zipping around the park on the Monster in the seated position like a pro.
Cindy’s biggest complaint about EUC riding is the foot pain she experiences. Riding on the seat totally alleviates that pain. She said the feeling of seated riding was weird. It reminded her of the same position she had on her motorcycle and scooter, without handlebars or a second wheel of course. I was really impressed with how well she did seated. I later tried myself and had only minimal success. Feel free to check out the fun below.
Sunday afternoon we went to a rare matinee showing of Wonder Woman. The movie looked pretty epic from the trailers and I was looking forward to seeing it. Like all DC super hero movies, I liked the movie but didn’t love it. (Cindy loved it) I thought the first half of the movie was particularly slow and that was exaggerated by the overall length of the film, something like 2:20. Some of the stuff that was revealed in this origin story was news to me so I am not sure if it is all true to comic book story lines or not. By the end of it Wonder Woman seemed to have basically transformed into Supergirl. Anyway, it was enjoyable overall but reaffirmed when it comes to super hero movies, nobody does it like Marvel. B+
It was a good way to close out another fun weekend.
Yep I am not overlooking the latest terror attack in the UK but really, what I have said before is all I would say again. Who wants to be a broken record….
The Trumpster hammered another pin into his quickly growing legacy of dumbness by pulling the US out of the Paris agreement regarding global warming. I know being a memorable president is probably very important to Donald, unfortunately he will likely be remembered as the worst president in US history. That is a hell of a claim to make after less than 150 days in the hot seat. The three ring circus since he stepped into power has been nothing short of incredible and historic. Who cares about global warming, we can always water the crops with Gatorade. Let’s bring back the glory days of coal! It makes perfect sense to look at the primary power source of the early 1900’s to propel us into the future!
This weekend the yard is going to need a full maintenance effort with weed whacking and mowing on the agenda. Other than that, whatever else comes to mind.
So yesterday was big day for the Prius, crossing 200,000 miles while Cindy was driving it. I have owned a lot of vehicles with more than 100,000 miles on them but I think the Prius is the first to ever make it to the double century mark. I have to say despite the big number on the odometer the car is still performing quite well.
Yes there are a few things that I need to do it, first of which will be replacing the front and rear struts. Since we bought the car at around 132,000 miles we have had to do very little to it repair wise. We went through a set of tires, I replaced the trunk switch, the rear hatch struts and I think that is pretty much it. I am sure there will be some maintenance and repairs to come but the heart of the car still feels rock solid.
The Prius has been a part of a couple epic western road trips and has been a reliable daily commuter from day one. If someone is looking for almost the perfect used car for daily driving, a 2004-2009 Prius is hard to beat. I am hoping it will continue to serve us well for several years to come.
The other night (actually two separate nights) I went outside after the sun set to try to get some video of the new Tacoma lights. The first time I tried using the GoPro and got nothing but distorted starburst footage. The second time I used my Canon camera and got some better but not great results.
I started the video with a funny clip of me counting the amount of sections of the grille I did NOT cut out. As expected I caught some shit from the YouTube world about my decision to cut out a couple spots on my grille to accomodate the lights but overall the reaction has been pretty positive.
On my way home last night I stopped at Ali’s to work on a computer problem. Seemingly ever since a recent Windows update her video card stopped working correctly. So I futzed around with it awhile. As Windows booted you could see it start to load the driver as the other two screens would flash momentarily but then it died and only one screen came up using the generic display driver. I tried all the normal tricks like removing and reinstalling the driver and ensuring I was using the latest and greatest AMD had available on their website, reseating the card, and just swearing at the computer several times. Nothing worked. The Radeon 6350 card in the system was older but did have drivers for Windows 10.
So I decided that perhaps the card itself had gone bad, a rare thing but it does happen. Walmart was nearby so I figured I would just grab a cheap card, I thought I recalled them selling a few PC components like video cards and hard drives. Well perhaps my memory was incorrect because they had no cards, instead I had to fight through shitty rush hour traffic to get to Staples a mile or two up the road. I almost struck out there as well, they officially stopped carrying video cards but had a couple old Radeon 6450 cards on the shelf. I really wanted to get a Nvidia chipset card as that is what I always use but they had none. I grabbed the card and headed back.
Well you can imagine my delight when I put the new card in and had the same symptoms. The card used the same driver as the old one which I wasn’t thrilled with, another reason I wanted a Nvidia model, to use a different driver. So I needed to get home to feed Elsa so I had to raise the white flag for now. I am returning the card I bought and ordered a Nvidia chipset card which I will receive in a couple days.
Speaking of Elsa, she has picked up another weird behavior about eating. Cindy and I have to practically beg her to start eating. Once she starts to eat she gobbles it down quickly but for some reason she acts like something is suspicious about the act of us filling her food dish. She often will just hide under my desk until we convince her it is ok to come out. It’s very strange.
She also acts very strange when I come home. Even though you can tell she is excited to see me she will run off and hide like she did something wrong and was going to be punished. It took me over 5 minutes of coaxing when I got home last night to get her out from under my desk to go outside. Once she realizes she isn’t in trouble she is fine but I don’t really understand why she acts this way in the first place. We have been giving her more freedom when we are away, allowing her to roam the hard flooring areas of the house instead of being crated. Surprisingly this added freedom appears to have made her more paranoid.
So as my Memorial Day weekend is winding down I thought I would enjoy the AC while I recapped what was a fun yet productive 72 hours. Saturday morning we started off with another 5K run around the track. If Cindy’s GPS was accurate it was right around the fastest pace I have carried in 2017 which I wasn’t really expecting.
So I first dug into regular Saturday chores like weeding and chicken duties however we had a much more time consuming task lined up, repainting various areas of the coop. Cindy was tasked with repainting the wooden sections of the chicken run and deck. I was up on the ladder, repainting the roof white for the third time. The first two times I painted it I used spray paint. To hopefully get some increased longevity, I painted it this time out of a can with a brush. I also used primer first before applying the high gloss white paint, a requirement for reflecting the brutal summer heat off the roof of the coop.
As we both broiled in the sun we wondered why we opted to wait till the end of May to do this instead of during winter when conditions are much more favorable for outdoor projects. Neither of us had a good answer but we knew we had to get this done before rainy season started in earnest.
So while I was waiting for the primer to dry I did my other project, making the chicken water stand more protective. A couple months ago I made a simple stand for their water that at least got it off the ground so it stayed cleaner. However there was another problem, for a good portion of the day the water was in direct sunlight. The sun not only made the water hot, it also promotes algae growth which is a pain in the ass.
So I created yet another mental blueprint in my head to add a roof to the stand to keep the water out of the sun for most of the day. I used a technique similar to what I built over the house water equipment, building a slightly down pitched frame topped with durable white PVC roofing material. Despite my seat of the pants engineering the stand turned out well and should accomplish what I intended it to do.
So by the time I was done with the stand the primer on the roof was dry. By the time I got the paint layer applied I was beat. Standing on the ladder all that time and suspending myself awkwardly for prolonged periods reaching the remote corners and edges of the roof just wore me out. I was quite happy when I applied my last stroke of paint. I am hoping the extra step of priming the surface will get me at least an extra 6 months of duration before I have to do it again. Cindy and I were both beat by the end of the day. We decided to just chill at home. Cindy had some serious sunburn on her body and my face got blasted despite wearing a big hat all day from the sun bouncing off the coop roof.
Sunday morning we headed out for a fun EUC ride. We parked at Dunkin Donuts and rode from there. Cindy wore full pads for the first time because she intended to kick her speed up on the Msuper a few notches. She certainly accomplished her goal. According to Strava she topped out at 23.5 mph.
Sunday afternoon I handled a couple Tacoma projects. First I did my 15,000 mile oil change, something a dealer won’t do since Toyota recommends only changing the oil every 10k. I recorded a video of the process, thinking it would be much faster than my other video I shot of the work which was over 25 minutes in length. Despite knowing what I was doing this time it still took awhile and the video is almost the exact same length, oh well.
I then turned my attention to installing my OEM Tacoma TRD Pro fog lights. Installation of the lights was not quite as simple and straightforward as I anticipated but it still wasn’t bad at all. I like the look of the lights but the fact that they are now LED makes my non-LED headlights stick out like a sore thumb. It is now very likely I will be getting LED bulbs for my headlights soon.
Last night we again opted to stay put and watched a Netflix rental I had sitting for awhile, The Secret Life of Pets, an animated movie that I think was made as the same crew that made Minions. The movie was cute with a slow part in the middle sandwiched with a strong start and finish. I’d give it a B all day long.
So my Memorial Day which used to be almost 100% running club consumed between the 5K race in the morning with a a club picnic late instead had a nice leisurely flow to it. Cindy taught her water aerobics class mid-morning and I used it as an opportunity to complete my final project of the weekend, installing auxiliary LED lights in the front end of the truck. I had stumbled across the lights when I was buying oil for my oil change and did an impulsive snap purchase of them.
Chuck, the guy that helped me with my lift had a LED light bar installed on his Tacoma so I had been thinking about doing something loosely anyway. The front of the box actually had a 2016/17 Tacoma with the kit installed so I assumed I should have little to no problem doing the same. Well as is normally the case, things did not go quite so smoothly, although I did have Elsa in the truck for most of the install offering me moral support.
My issue was the cool TRD Pro grille I installed was different than the grill on the picture which was a base model Tacoma. As a result I did not have an unobstructed area to mount the lights behind the grille. Well after a lot of thought and more than a little hesitation, I decided to cut out one small section of the grille on either side which gave me a near perfect opening for the lights. I spent over $400 on this grille, tasking a snips to it seemed a bit surreal but I was somewhat confident it would work out in the end. Later in the process I even got the drill out to knock a hole in the back of the grille to get me access to turn a mounting screw for the lights. It was kind of crazy as you can see in the video.
Anyway, everything came together in the end and I like the outcome. The small parts of the grill I cut out aren’t really noticeable and the lights almost look like they were meant to be there.
The rest of our Memorial Day has been very nice. For the first time in I have no idea how long, I actually used our pool for more than just a psuedo shower after yard work. Cindy and I floated around in the pool for a good 30-45 minutes, escaping the ridiculous temps hovering around 95 degrees.
I then suggested we take Elsa on a ride to The Cone in Bonita Springs for some ice cream. Pool time and ice cream, the perfect Memorial Day one-two punch. Elsa got to try her first doggie ice cream ever and seemed to like it. We limited how much she had, just in case. My cookies and cream and Cindy’s black cherry cone were both very enjoyable.
From here out I plan to just veg and get some WoW time in. Even though the weekend started off very front loaded with work with a large amount of projects peppered in, overall I am happy with the end result. It’s nice to just have simple fun and get shit done. Hey, that rhymes.
I made three videos last night that pretty much covered the excitement from yesterday. Feel free to catch up below. There is some big related news, I have now crossed over the 2000 subscriber mark on my YouTube Channel. The second 1000 subs happened about 300% faster than the first 1000 so I hope to keep that acceleration pattern going.
This Memorial Day weekend we will of course have labor to complete but I am hoping for once the relaxation/recreation side of the scale will be the heavier one.
So I completed the transfer of Prius ownership to my name yesterday. I transferred the plate that used to adorn my SSR to the Prius to save a few bucks. I have to say the plate looked much cooler and appropriate on the SSR but I do like the humor and irony of having the plate on the 50 MPG Prius as well.
I dropped off the Tacoma this morning for it’s 15,000 mile service. I am hoping that it does not have the symptoms of the latest Tacoma recall, a leaking rear differential. If the truck is found to have the problem Toyota is pulling the trucks off the road and providing loaners until a solution is found. That would not be good, at all.
I have my Msuper along to take to the gym today, hopefully it stops raining before then.