I picked up the Tesla from the tint shop late morning. I decided to just hop back on my EUC to get there, it’s a more fun way to travel. The tint looked good but the installer did point out two things that annoyed me once again. A piece of trim by the rear window evidently is not in place as it should be and there are three scuff marks on the rear bumper right around where the paint work was done. My keen observation skills lead me to believe it was the byproduct of someone not being careful with a buffer when the paint work was being done. I will see if I can clean them up with some elbow grease and polish but it just adds to my WTF feeling about Tesla quality control and customer service.
Man it feels like I have been bleeding money lately. Of course the Tesla is the biggest impact but there have been a lot of other major hits coming in rapid succession like medical bills, the window tint, a new pool pump, kitchen faucet, and more. I need to find a way to hit the pause button on auxiliary spending for a couple months to stabilize financially. Man I wish we could sell the RV. RV ownership is akin to boat ownership. The famous saying of “the two happiest days in a boat(RV) owners life is the day they buy the boat (RV) followed closely by the day they sell it.” (at a huge loss) is really quite accurate.
Cindy and I have been watching the HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, which documents the horrific nuclear meltdown of a Russian nuclear power plant in the mid 80’s. Of course I remember hearing a lot about it but Russia made a huge effort to hide how cataclysmic the situation was from the rest of the world. The stories and visuals depicted in the series are shocking. In a nutshell the Russians addressed some of the most crucial moments of the disaster by sacrificing men who were willing to broil themselves with radiation for some extra rubles. The series is only five episodes long. I had to fast forward through sections of the episode last night where they showed how Russian soldiers were ordered to canvas the area around Chernobyl and kill every animal they found, including dogs and cats. It’s a pretty fascinating and sobering series, I wonder how long until they document the Japan meltdown as well…
I don’t even remember where I left off. Sunday morning I went to the birth center with Cindy. Originally Katie and Daniel were told the baby couldn’t go home until Monday but that schedule got moved up a day, meaning they could come home Sunday. After hanging out there for awhile and grabbing some of the stuff to take back to the house we left them and the baby as they had to jump through some more hoops before getting discharged.
Katie’s dad and his family came to the house to hang while we waited for Katie, Daniel and the baby to arrive. They wound up waiting much longer than expected as there was a delay getting out of the birth center. When they did arrive baby Daniel was passed around like a precious commodity, everyone loved holding him. Before I knew it my Sunday had expired, the five day weekend was flying by at warp speed.
So I had heard nothing from the Tesla service center since dropping the car off on Thursday, despite being told that I would be notified of progress/completion. So Monday morning I call them asking what is up with the car. “Oh it’s done”, ok nice of them to let me know. I asked them if they could verify that the paint looked good as I did not want to drive across the state only to see there was an issue. A service advisor checked and called me back, saying everything was good. I told her I would hop in the car and be there in a couple hours.
The drive back across the state in the Model S loaner was uneventful but I did find myself missing autopilot to make the mind numbing highway miles less so. When I got there I did not see my car in the lot, I later found out it was parked around back. When the service advisor pulled the M3 around the first thing I noticed was how dirty the car was on the outside, followed by how dirty the floor mat was as well. He apologized for the car being dirty. He said the city of Dania Beach made the service center shut down it’s outside car wash. Um ok, I guess they made them shut down putting paper mats on the floor mats too.
The dirt was only a minor annoyance, I was most concerned about them fixing the paint run near the trunk lid. Once I brushed some of the dirt off I verified that things looked good back there, thank goodness. The service advisor handed me my key card and headed back in.
When I turned on the car I saw another thing to get annoyed about, they neglected to put any more juice into the M3 after I dropped it off so I needed to charge before returning home. Maybe I am assuming too much that they would proactively charge the car. The bright side was this was an opportunity for me to do my first supercharging of the Tesla, which I have been wanting to do.
The closest supercharger was less than 10 miles away. I figured I would go there, hook up, and then grab lunch while it charged. Supercharging was stupid easy. Back into the spot and plug in. The charge rate is ridiculously fast compared to home charging. However it limited me to charging to 80% because it was supposedly a busy charging station, despite 80% of the spots being available.
So as I walked towards the shopping center I tapped my pockets to make sure I had my wallet and phone with me. I felt the phone but no wallet. Hmmm. I went back to the car thinking it must have just fallen onto the seat. When an exhaustive search revealed nothing, the ugly reality set in, it’s probably in the loaner car.
I did have the wallet out to pay for my coffee on the way and I didin’t recall jamming it back into my pocket. I called over to the service center and after an anxious minute or two they verified my wallet was indeed still in the loaner. They kept it out front for me. So I waited roughly 25 minutes for the car to go from 43% to 80% charge. I then backtracked to the SC, grabbed my wallet and THEN stopped for lunch at a dumpy Subway.
It felt good to be back behind the wheel of the M3 and I used the autopilot for the majority of the drive home. Of course I documented the experience.
I didn’t get home until early afternoon. By the time I was done editing video it was later in the afternoon. I headed outside to wash the very dirty car. It looked great once it was clean. I am hoping I can get around to just enjoying it now instead of worrying about repairs looming overhead.
This morning I dropped the car off for a non-repair item, window tint. Tinting your windows is a near requirement in Florida. The brutal sun bakes the interior of your car without it. I am opting for the top of the line ceramic stuff which is very pricey but I plan to have the M3 for a long time, it’s an investment that is worth it.
Instead of bothering someone to pick me up to go to the office I threw my KingSong 18L in the trunk. After dropping off the car I one wheeled it the roughly three or four miles to the office. It was mostly bumpy sidewalk riding the entire way which is never fun, especially navigating around pedestrians and bike riders. I got a call the car is already done so I am debating to ride back or get someone to take me.
So I was up bright and early Thursday morning for my cross state trek to Dania Beach to get three things addressed on my Model 3, the paint run, misaligned steering wheel, and installation of the homelink kit I bought. The drive across the state went smoothly, especially since I was able to use Auto Pilot for most of it. I had packed a bunch of stuff to keep me busy during the day, my laptop, a book and even one of my EUCs. Imagine my surprise when the service guy told me he was getting the keys for my loaner vehicle.
He said they will be sending the car to the body shop for the paint run and it will take a couple days. I thought they planned to try to sand and buff it all the same day. I was mistaken. Of course it would have been nice if this was communicated to me ahead of time but oh well. The nice part was my loaner vehicle was a Model S 85 Signature series, a car that cost over 100k back in 2012.
So I moved all of my junk that I brought with me into the Model S along with other important items like sunglasses, the EZ Pass, and Altoids. I had never driven a S before, there are quite a few differences from the Model 3 besides the obvious size difference. The inside of the car is more conventional with an instrument cluster in addition to a monster sized screen in the middle, which is rotated 90 degrees from the M3 screen orientation.
Back in 2012 they had significantly less tech in the car, it is sort of “dumb” compared to an M3 with no autopilot, autosteer or even adaptive cruise control. I did enjoy the larger dimensions immediately, the S series definitely fits someone with my long arms and legs better.
The drive back across the state went well although I did have a bit of range anxiety. Originally navigation estimated I would only have 5% of my battery left at the end of the trip. It advised me to keep my speed below 70MPH to ensure I got back. I later discovered that the climate system was cranked down to a bone chilling 60 degrees. When I adjusted it up a dozen degrees I had a little bit more padding in my journey, when I got back it showed I had roughly 25 miles of range left.
So I had planned to spend pretty much all day on the east coast. Instead I was home around lunch time. I couldn’t squander that time and decided to get out and mow the property which was shaggy in certain spots. I tended to other small tasks to try to get ahead of the work curve for my extended holiday weekend.
On Friday I continued the trend of working ahead, running errands and doing chores which normally would be relegated to the weekend. I also got my latest blood tests out of the way, The woman pulling the blood asked me three times if I was ok as she saw the sweat piling up. I assured her I was fine as I just hoped for her to get it over with. She pulled at least 7 or 8 vials. I figured out a way to make a video out of this as well.
One of those errands involved me stopping at Costco to get a couple things. As is often the case, I walked out of there with something I didn’t plan to get on the way in. This time it was a touch free Kohler kitchen sink faucet. Our faucet has been going downhill for a while. It sticked badly when trying to rotate side to side, so much so that it actually was rotating the entire fixture. I have been trying to skate by for a couple years by spraying the sleeve with WD-40 but even that is no longer working. I had wanted one of those no touch faucets for awhile due to their much cleaner on/off mechanism that only requires passing a hand under a sensor. When I saw Costco had one I threw it in the cart.
I wasn’t looking forward to the install. Our kitchen sink is really deep so working on the faucet is not much fun. I was pleasantly surprised that the installation was actually straightforward. It was more difficult removing the old fixture, the Kohler install was very clean and trouble free. My test runs of the faucet went great, the sensor works perfectly and the faucet itself is very easy to move and has a strong magnet that snaps it back in place if you pull out the hose for cleaning.
Right around the time when I started the faucet work Cindy told me that Katie was going to the hospital, she was feeling some things that made her feel like the time had come. Once Cindy got to the house she quickly packed her things and was off to the birthing center. I stayed home to man the homestead as I had no desire to experience the miracle of childbirth first hand.
I got a call a little after midnight that it was all over, the baby was born and everything went smoothly. Originally I expected Cindy to stay there overnight but she actually came home in the middle of the night to catch a few hours of sleep before she headed back in later this morning. I headed there mid-morning but stopped at Pinch-A-Penny on the way to order a new pool pump. My 18 year old unit is leaking badly and is probably five years past needing to be replaced. I have popped the capacitor on it four or five times.
When I got to the birth center Cindy and her ex-husband’s family was there. Baby Daniel was being held by Mike. The baby has a full head of dark hair which you don’t see very often. Cindy was anxious for me to hold the baby since I didn’t even want to touch Katie’s stomach when he was inside. Holding him was fine, he looked at me a bit and then sort of napped. Holding a baby feels very unnatural to me but I have a feeling it won’t be that way for long.
Daniel came back and I handed the baby off to him. The whole gang then headed out to go take some naps. I probably could use one as well since I didn’t get much more than five hours of sleep but I have stuff to do.
After the birth center I ran to Home Depot to get some parts to allow me to run a stand alone sprinkler in the chicken area. With it being dry season I have been spending at least 20 minutes a day manually watering the grass in there that I added as part of the elevation project. The last thing I wanted was for my $500 in sod to turn into dried up hay.
I put a two connection manifold on the well hose bib. Getting off the hose that was originally attached there was a Herculean task. It felt practically welded on. I sprayed it with some PB Blast and used a huge pipe pliers to break it free. I was applying so much torque that the hose bib was starting to bend in it’s PVC mount point. I was dangerously close to breaking the fitting but thankfully it started to turn before the breaking point was reached.
I connected a second hose to a manual water timer that I can use to have the oscillating sprinkler run for any period of time up to two hours. My plan is to just turn that on in the evening for maybe 30 minutes and go about my business. It should be a real time saver for me. I have two more days to try to enjoy myself, most of the work is done. Katie and the baby aren’t due to be released from the hospital until Monday, that is when the real fun begins.
So today I had my appointment with the endocrinologist, the appointment that took two months to occur. This is also the place that requires a credit card number just to make an appointment and charges you a missed visit if you don’t confirm the appointment ahead of time. I went into the visit hoping the guy would say based on my family history of thyroid issues that my problems of the last year are all related to it. Instead what I got was directives for additional tests like more blood work, a coronary CT, and even a bone density scan.
He seemed more concerned about the coronary calcification that was found on one of the CTs than any of the other medical professionals I have spoken to. The blood work will be running more thyroid tests and testosterone, although that has been done once before. I left the office feeling somewhat defeated and frustrated. There is a growing part of me that just wants to say f it, and just deal with this as my new normal.
Cindy and I finally got to see the Game of Thrones finale last night. Unfortunately I heard a blurb on the Stern show earlier in the day that revealed who eventually sits on the throne however I did not hear any other details. I won’t spoil details for you either, I’ll just say that I was not as disappointed with the ending as you read many were online. I think in the big picture the last season of the show needed more than six episodes to wrap up this epic story. Certain things happened too abruptly, to the point where they seemed non-sensical at times. If I were to rate the ending I would give it a B+. It’s sad to see one of the most epic television productions of all time come to an end but it may only be farewell and not goodbye. I heard they are already shooting a prequel.
I have been fighting with a hinge on the corner cabinet we have in the kitchen for literally years. It has had a tendency to work it’s way loose as the door is used which results in an annoying angular gap when it’s closed. I had tightened the screw so many times the head of it was starting to strip out. I even tried getting a new screw but still had it slip. The obvious solution would be to just buy a new hinge assembly, something I have tried to do at least four or five times at various Lowe’s and Home Depot locations. The issue is this hinge is pretty specialized and not normally stocked evidently.
I last looked for a hinge during a trip to Lowe’s last weekend and struck out once again. Then just for the hell of it I search Amazon and BANG, there is the hinge I need. I look for pretty much EVERYTHING in my life on Amazon, why I neglected to do so previously for this hinge is beyond me. Anyway, the hinge arrived yesterday and I installed it last night. I added some red loctite to the adjustment screws to hopefully retard future slippage.
I only have one more day in my short work week. Tomorrow morning I finally have my appointment with the endocrinologist, the guy that I had to wait two months to see and wanted a credit card up front. My current theory is my come and go fatigue is related to a thyroid issue, something my mom had and my sister has. It would be great to be able to finally identify the ailment that has been affecting me since late last summer.
The Katie baby watch has continued throughout the weekend. It still could happen any day, hour or minute.
Saturday was work as usual around the house. Saturday night we watched Tag, a funny movie based on a real world story of a bunch of men that played a lifelong version of this childhood game. I’d give it a B.
On Saturday I also pulled the hub caps on the Tesla and exposed the sweet alloys underneath. I think visually it looks a lot nicer.
Sunday I went for a solo ride to Dunkin Donuts on the Monster. It reaffirmed why the Monster is my favorite wheel for long range, open road trips.
Sunday afternoon we went to a matinee showing of John Wick 3. It definitely could have waited until it came out for rental. It did quite possibly have the most killing of any movie I have ever seen, a title which used to be held by Rambo and Commando. It was just non-stop carnage. Granted, the John Wick series is supposed to be somewhat silly, a throwback to old kung fu films, but man it was kind of crazy. I’d give it a B as well.
Sunday night I had a live stream that was cut short by an internet outage that happened about 45 minutes into the broadcast. The abrupt ending left me feeling unsettled as I tried to fall asleep. Generally speaking I like things to have distinct beginnings and endings.
So we are at the point in Katie’s pregnancy where the baby can literally drop at any moment. I haven’t really been giving a lot of thought about how all of a sudden there will be a newborn child in the household and maybe it’s a defensive reflex reaction. Thinking/dwelling on it a lot about it could definitely lead to anxiety and worry which are not two things I do on a regular basis. The baby will come and we will deal with the new reality, that’s just how things go. Until that happens I plan to keep going about with a business as usual attitude.
In fact I really don’t have much of anything I feel like rambling on about at the moment, so I won’t.
Yesterday on my way in I had the GoPro running to document how effective Tesla auto pilot was managing my daily drive. The answer is, pretty darn effective. I estimate 90% of the drive was driven on AP. I only assumed control for directional changes and short periods of time. I even had AP change lanes for me a couple times. It’s only the beginning of where the tech is going.
It has been quite nice enjoying the Tesla for my daily commute. When I first got the Tacoma I daily drove it for awhile and loved it but once the Prius became my car it became my sole daily driver. I liked the idea of keeping the Taco in the garage protected from the elements and the odometer staying low. With the Tesla I have no plans to shelter it in such a manner. For what it cost, I want to be able to enjoy what I paid for as much as possible. I don’t need to worry about oil changes or other maintenance other than tire rotation and making sure the windshield washer fluid is topped off so it cuts down on my cares about mileage.
There is a small part of me that wishes I would have went with the longer range model, not because I necessarily needed the extra 70 miles of range but because of the other features like a second motor and more bells and whistles that I mistakenly thought all Model 3’s had going in. The reality is I stretched my auto budget as far as it can be stretched as is, another 10k would have put the purchase into the crazy town category.
Yesterday I was notified that the HomeLink kit I ordered had arrived at the Dania Beach service center. I took next Thursday and Friday off to give me a long holiday weekend. On that Thursday I will be driving over there to get the kit installed and to have them try to align the steering wheel for the second time.
So this morning a snap decision was made in my head that it was time to start trimming back my collection of PEVs. The first potential target of that effort is the Ultron scooter. The scooter is fast and fun but really just a rougher version of the Dualtron II Ex we already own. I bought it originally because I thought I needed it to keep up with Cindy when she is riding the Dualtron. It’s true that none of my EUCs can comfortably cruise 30mph for long periods of time like the scooter can but an easier/less expensive solution is for Cindy to just slow down a little bit, lol.
So I listed the scooter on OfferUp this morning, the same place the RV has resided for months on end. I have no idea how easy/difficult it will be to sell but it will be sold, guaranteed. It will be nice to get some of the money spent back in my wallet and to have one less PEV sitting in the dining room.
Today on my drive to work I had the GoPro running the entire time. My goal was to have Auto Pilot engaged as much as possible to demonstrate how it handles different road types and situations. It will be a bit challenging to edit the footage in a way that makes it decent but I will get it to work. Non-Tesla owners find this sort of stuff very interesting to watch, I know I did.
For those of you out there that digest the waste product that comes out of President Trump’s mouth without any intellectual analysis like a human centipede, I wanted to make an effort to break one link of the chain of madness for you. One of the things Don has been spewing regarding the trade negotiations with China is that tariffs are a good thing that benefit the US, bringing billions of dollars to the US government. Here is a quote from the other day “Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do…”
Ok since Donald evidently doesn’t understand the logistics of tariffs here is the cliff notes version. China does NOT pay the tariffs. The businesses in the US that buy/import goods from China pay the tariffs. Those increased costs then almost always are passed down the chain to the consumer meaning every Tom, Dick, and Harry is paying the tariff, not China. I have also heard Trump say these tariffs have made the US government billions of dollars, again ignorantly. He seems to think a tariff is a check written by China that is deposited into a federal government account. Nope, it basically is a tax on goods that we all pay.
So this explanation does not mean that I think that the China/US trade imbalance is not an issue, it is. For decades the Chinese have stacked the deck by basically playing dirty pool. However as is often the case with President Big League, whether it is intentional or just pure ignorance, he is misleading the populace on how this all really works. The unfortunate thing is how many millions will accept his ignorant/false statements as facts and will quickly move on, looking for the next piece of poop to munch on.
Of course I can’t spoil the most recent episode of Game of Thrones but let’s just say it was shocking, in many ways. It certainly pushed forward certain stereotypes about the female gender. Crazy shit, they certainly have a lot of hard moments to settle up before the 8 year mega-series wraps up next week.
Some people may be wondering why I don’t do more commentary regarding the incredulous things going on in Washington DC on a daily basis. It seems everyday the bar keeps getting shoved lower and lower. At this point it’s probably at whatever height the depths of hell is.
The fact that we have US Senators publicly advising individuals to ignore subpoenas would seem like something of far reached fiction if you proposed it three or four years ago. But today it is just another day in the Trump Era which has succeeded in disgusting me to the point where I just don’t care anymore. These last couple years has taught the nation that if you have enough power/money, there truly is no consequences for bad or in this case, abhorrent behavior. I truly hate the political system in the United States, it’s corrupt to it’s core and needs to be bored out like a root canal.