Last night after I got home I quickly tended to the chickens before loading up Elsa in the Tacoma and heading to Ali and Shuggs new place to pick up Sadie for the weekend. The drive was not awful, around 45 minutes, which is what my daily commute takes many days. Their place is a mile or so away from the new Tesla dealership that I just picked up my car from a couple weeks prior.
The apartment complex is new, very new. Ali is the first person to live in the brand new one bedroom unit they are renting. The space is small as you can imagine, but nicely equipped with high quality surfaces on the floors and counters, as well as nice appliances. The amount of contraction they had to do to move from the 3/2 town home to this was massive. She does have a storage space rented which is holding a lot of her stuff until their long term living arrangements are worked out.
Elsa was very nervous at first but once she saw Ali, Shuggs, Sadie, and Ferdie excitement took over. After getting the brief tour of the space, we walked the grounds with Elsa in tow. The pool area this place has is massive and looks like it belongs in a high end resort, it was really nice. There are a lot of perks at this place, which may be expected with what they charge for rent. One of them is Thursday nights they have a food truck on site which provides free meals to residents, a very cool arrangement. This month it was a taco truck.
We ordered our food and then hung out drinking a couple Bud Light seltzers as we waited for the food, which took quite awhile. The residents that were hanging out there seemed youthful and high energy, it was a fun scene. Elsa did well in the environment and received lots of praise for how pretty she is, as normal. Once we got the food we walked back to the apartment and ate it there. The food was good, made even better by being free food. I didn’t hang around long afterwards as it was already past 8:30 and I had the drive back home. I loaded up Elsa, Sadie and some tech devices Ali didn’t want anymore to be repurposed if possible. I got home about 9:30. I was glad to see Ali and Shuggs seem more or less content with their new accommodations.
Man my weekday morning routine is tight, very tight. There is no longer any time at all for deviation or delay in the routine. Gone are the days of laying in bed an extra 5 minutes to let the cobwebs clear or watching a short YouTube video as I eat my breakfast. I get up with the alarm like an electric probe was stuck up my ass, step on the accelerator and keep it pressed until I sit in the seat of the car, it’s a bit stressful as you can imagine.
This weekend has a solid block of to do’s stacked up. I’ll keep chipping away at it like a jackhammer.
Tonight after work I am picking up Sadie for a visit while Ali is out of town. This is the first time I am doing so since Ali sold her place and moved to Fort Myers to live in an apartment until she figures out her next move. The process of Sadie exchange used to be pretty easy as Ali’s old place was sort of on my way to and from work. That is no longer the case. Ali said it works out to be almost an hour drive from my place to theirs so the convenience has been yanked out of the equation. We still will make it work but it’s going to require more coordination with us meeting at halfway points or something like that. Tonight however I am driving all the way there so I can see their new place and have dinner.
I can already see my pile of to do’s for the weekend growing from here. I wish I could mow the grass on a weeknight but standing water and the rapidly diminishing amount of daylight makes that impossible.
Remember that new office we are building that is scheduled to open later this year? It’s big, really big.
It looks like I am going to try to sell 2 and possibly three PEVs in my collection to justify/help pay for two more. The Dualtron scooter that I bought for Cindy is crazy powerful and crazy fast but is also crazy heavy, making it difficult for her to manage on her own so that will be on the block soon. I also intend to sell my KingSong S18, a great suspension wheel but I will be replacing it with an even better suspension wheel, the S20. Finally I think I may sell my OneWheel Pint. I love riding the thing but the reality is I hardly ever do ride it so the more practical solution is to just sell that as well, I still will hold onto the Big Daddy OneWheeel XR.
The other wheel I am adding is the iconic Ninebot Z10. I am buying a used one. This wheel is so unique with it’s fat motorcycle-like tire. I reviewed one when they first came out three years ago and always had an itch to add one to my collection, despite it’s specs being average at best compared to today’s crop of wheels. I am scratching that itch now.
My PEV collection is just one of a ton of things that will be reflecting significant change in the upcoming months.
The new spotlight I installed in the chicken yard has really helped me with early AM cleaning duties. It’s so bright that even the chickens are willing to step outside a little bit instead of being still like statues in the run. I have been able to be back inside making breakfast a couple minutes after 6. Things went pretty smoothly this morning, I was out on the road by maybe 7:10am, early enough to get to work on time, normally.
I was maybe 10 miles into my commute when I hit backed up cars. After determining things were moving at a snail’s pace I made the command decision to backtrack 7 of those 10 miles and go down Immokalee Road. Almost like it was planned, as I approached Immokalee I saw multiple emergency vehicles going past, bringing traffic on that route to an absolute halt as well. I was very frustrated as you can imagine. The commute wound up taking me an hour and a half.
I forgot to mention that on Friday for the hell of it I submitted my NEW Tesla Model Y to Vroom for an appraisal number. I had no intent of actually selling it this time but I was curious if Vroom was still buying Teslas for more than they cost new. The answer is, yes.
The list price on my second Model Y was $52900. The Vroom straight buy came back at $58,000, $5K more than the list price of a new Y. However when you allow fiscal reality to creep in, adding Tesla’s $1200 destination charge, tags, and sales tax in, there is no appreciable gain to be had in this scenario. However the old rule was the second you drove a new car off the lot it lost 20% of it’s value is certainly no longer the case, at least not in the Tesla universe.
My weekend was quite busy as I continue to try to find my way to whatever the new normal is. When I got home Friday I slapped on my bike pants and headed out for another 10 mile ride. I like riding the Echelon for sure but I get more of a sense of accomplishment from being outside in the elements dealing with head wind, traffic, while enjoying more visual diversity. I continued the Friday pizza night tradition, albeit solo. It wasn’t all bad, the leftover pizza made for an easy lunch on Saturday.
On Saturday I had a long list of things I wanted to get done. Just weeding the yard took me well over an hour. That is one task I need to find a way to optimize, it just takes too damn long and is too demanding on my lower back. I then headed out with Elsa for errands. Two of the stops were Lowe’s and Tractor Supply. At Tractor Supply I saw this massive CAT toy dump truck that I thought DJ would love so I snap bought it. At Lowe’s I bought a motion floodlight for the chicken coop and a bunch of black mulch.
The black mulch is one of my initial efforts at better weed control. Some of the areas Cindy built had this mulch but only a thin layer of it which has decomposed and now has become a weed haven. I applied a thick layer which should stop weed growth, at least in those areas for awhile.
The flood light was mounted right above the doors to the coop. When I am out there at 5:45 AM I was relying on the orange light inside the coop for illumination as I cleaned the mats which was inadequate. This new LED flood throws stadium class lighting onto the area in front of the coop, making early AM clean up sessions much more doable. Installation of it took a little rigging but that is my specialty. I did opt to forego mowing this week but I replaced that time slot with weed whacking instead which takes nearly the same amount of time.
On Saturday I also made my annual dreaded call to DirecTV to reactivate my Sunday Ticket package. This has always been a nightmare because I have a non-standard arrangement where I just have the Sunday Ticket. There have been times were it has taken multiple phone calls over a couple hours to get this done in the past. This time it only required one phone call and ONLY 40-45 minutes to get it done. This amount of time was consumed despite me telling the indian help desk rep exactly what needed to be done and that my account should have notes explaining it as well. I patiently repeated myself until he believed that I could actually just get the Sunday Ticket with nothing else. It’s funny that I felt good about hanging up after a 45 minute call.
Oh I forgot to mention that when I initially brought up the receiver I was getting a message that it could not detect a satellite signal, which was odd. When I did a quick signal strength test the numbers looked solid enough but I wanted to ensure that signal was not an issue. I went out front with my electric chainsaw and cut down a large vertical oak tree branch that was in the middle of the satellite path, I have had to trim this area before. The branch was longer than I realized and hit the gutter and satellite dish when it crashed to the ground, luckily no damage was done. I chopped it into smaller, manageable sections but left it in the yard to take care of Sunday, I was too tired to do anything else for the day. My signal strength was mostly in the mid-90s after the arborist work.
I did have a few beers Saturday night. I don’t want to become a habitual “I drink alone” type of person but it did take some of the edge off after a long day of getting things done. I made an impossible burger for dinner, watched some TV and played some WoW, what will likely be a reoccurring scene in months to come.
Sunday was less work focused which was good because I was a bit beat up, my lower back was aching from the jump. After tending to the chickens Elsa and I did our DD run with a quick stop at Walmart. When I got home I threw the cut up oak branches in the back of the Tacoma and hauled them to the fill pit. I tended to a few chores around the house until the Eagles game started. Cindy, Katie and DJ showed up about an hour into the game. Once DJ was there I was only able to follow the game sporadically. With the limited opportunities I get to see my little buddy he gets my attention when he is there.
He was very excited by the two new trucks, an orange pick up and the monster CAT truck. We hung out around the house for a couple hours, moving from room to room. He has this funny move where he will take my hand and lead me into one of the rooms and then close the door behind us, he just wants us to hang out with no interruptions, it’s very cute. Even though I don’t know that it was designed for it, DJ discovered he could ride the big dump truck around the room. As always it was fun to have him around but also weird to have everyone leave, with me left to roam the empty house, with Elsa of course by my side.
I watched the end of the Eagles game. Things went surprisingly well. The Falcons marched up and down the field their first two possessions but settled for field goals. It’s hard to believe those were the only points they scored. The Eagles defense came alive and the offense was surprisingly effective as well, resulting in a dominant 32-6 win. It was a great way to start the season. There might actually be some joy in Mudville this year.
After the game I hopped on my V12 for a quick DD run. It looked like it might rain and I actually was ok with that as a wet road test was one of the things on my to do checklist. As I came out of DD it started to rain but as I rode towards home the rain stopped, so I did something you would not normally do, rode back to the rain. The end result was me subjecting the wheel to wet roads enough to be a decent test.
I was so busy on Saturday that I did not see one second of 9/11 coverage. This year is getting more attention than most since it was the 20 year anniversary of that horrible day. The fact that two decades have clicked off already seems impossible. When I think about 9/11 the crushing feeling of loss and sadness is bad enough. I then think about how in the days and weeks after that the nation felt united in purpose, how magical that felt. However in retrospect 9/11 also ushered in the era of the most toxic, partisan, and divisive times in american politics of my lifetime, something I never would have believed 20 years ago. It’s tragic on so many levels.
I read the new stuff that Biden is rolling out to encourage more vaccinations. To be honest, I don’t like it. Despite my thinking that in the big picture getting vaccinated is a good thing for most people, I also don’t think it should be mandatory. I look at it this way. If you have reasonable concern about getting or spreading covid you are probably vaccinated. If you don’t feel that way and you choose to go unvaccinated that’s fine with me. Hopefully if you catch covid you will gain natural immunity. The bad part is if you are one of these individuals that have other health issues going on that can land you in the hospital in the meantime. But hey, if you are willing to take that risk and pay those medical bills, go ahead. I understand the place this gets sticky is with kids. They don’t have that freedom of choice.
A lot of unvaxxed people now are relying on the crutch of these Regeneron clinics to utilize if they get covid. While that is certainly another option which is being paid for by the federal government, keep in mind a dose of Pfizer vaccine costs roughly $20. The Regeneron protocol is $2000 plus, just saying. It’s kind of like instead of just brushing your teeth to prevent cavities, getting a set of veneers instead. If you are one of those bitching and complaining about excessive federal spending and use a Regeneron clinic you are part of the problem.
So to summarize do I think you should strongly consider getting vaccinated? Yes. Do I think it should be mandated with the only opt out being weekly nose swabbing? No. Darwin will sort it all out in the end I guess.
Last night I made my first shopping trip to Publix since my split from Cindy. I never minded grocery shopping in the past but that was another one of those tasks that was pretty exclusively done by her, so it felt a bit foreign. One of the things I did notice was the increase in food prices compared to what I last recalled. It felt substantial. I tried to mostly stick to the hand scribbled list I made although there were spur of the moment additions if something caught my eye. I managed to get out of there spending less than $100 so it wasn’t too impactful.
Overall I have been doing a decent job of staying busy/distracted enough to not dwell on the change in my relationship status. However during a brief respite in that effort I pictured our time together as one huge rubber band ball. Each rubber band representing an accomplishment, a memory, a special moment, a shared experience that over time became this huge ball of what was. The next visualization was taking that ball that has been built band by band over many years to the edge of a cliff, and pushing it over the edge, watching it disappear into the rocks below. It’s a tough reality to digest, especially for someone like me that has a hard time discarding t-shirts from 7th grade, due to sentimental value.
I thought it would be interesting to just what was involved in what should be a pretty typical weekday evening for the foreseeable future.
I expect this to be pretty representative of what I can expect from here on out.
This morning I dropped off the Telsa to get the front windows tinted, a necessity IMO in Florida. I was about three minutes away from the place when I realized I totally forgot to bring a key card to give them, I only had my phone with me, which can serve as your “key”. Well driving back home was not a valid option. Neither was cancelling the appointment so all that I was left with was leaving my phone with the tint place.
I thought I would be smart and only leave bluetooth enabled so the phone and car could talk. Well apparently with no cellular data it doesn’t talk correctly. I got a call from the shop when I got back to the office, saying the phone was not opening the car, a message was on the center screen saying to use a key card. Argh.
So I gave the woman my passcode and told her to turn cellular data back on. Once she did the car once again responded, allowing her to unlock and drive it. They were nice and expedited the car. I wasn’t supposed to be done until early afternoon but I got a call a little after 9:30 that it was completed. I will just have to put what little remaining faith I have in human beings that my phone was only used for car access. They have always given me good vibes, which is why I have used them several times previously.
The car looks uniform now, I like it. Cutting down on the UV hitting the left side of my face which has already been cut into 3-4 times is a wise move.
Yesterday was my first time taking the new Model Y LR on my daily work commute. It felt great. The massive power lets me have brief bursts of excitement on demand when conditions allow for it and autopilot lets the car handle the drudgery of the stop and go traffic that is part of the ride as well. I didn’t realize how much I missed the Tesla before I got one again. Tomorrow I get the front windows tinted, a necessity IMO living in Florida. The difference in intensity of heat coming in that window once it is tinted is pretty dramatic.
Last night a good portion of my evening was spent catching up on recorded DVR content. Many of these shows are things Cindy and I would watch together as we enjoyed the reactions they would invoke in us. Although I plan to try to finish up any seasons that we already started of “our” shows, I may be doing a major culling of recorded tv programming in the future. It’s just not as fun watching certain things alone and my free time is going to be more compressed as is.
You didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that my last post was an indication that Cindy and I have split up, she moved out of the house last week. Of course there is no upside to go into the how’s and why’s here. All that matters is exiting an eight and a half year relationship is difficult emotionally for both of us albeit something we mutually agreed was necessary. Both of our lives are going to be changing in a major way and maybe that is a good thing, only time will tell.
It’s been close to a decade since I have run solo. The house was a bear to maintain on my own back then, it will now be even more oppressive with all those additional years on my odometer. I can tell you how much I love cleaning the chicken coop by a LED light at 5:45 in the morning. The chickens aren’t big fans of the arrangement I can tell you that also. Elsa, who is the closest thing I have ever had to my own child is living with me until Cindy gets dog friendly accommodations. After she does the plan is to do a split custody deal similar to what I do with Sadie still. That change will be extremely difficult for me, the bond I have with her is so strong.
So there isn’t much more detail to give right now other than we hope to continue to be friends, hope to be able to support each other as we move forward, without the normal pitfalls and pettiness that accompanies most splits. Hopefully it is a plan we can execute. There are so many things to do.
On Saturday I helped Cindy finish up the ass busting part of a landscape project she has been working on, picking up and laying 50 pieces of sod. The degree of dirtiness you impart on a t-shirt hauling sod around is like no other. When I got home, despite already putting in a solid amount of labor I hopped on the tractor and mowed the back of the property which had dried considerably after several days of minimal rain. I also have to get back into the swing of doing my own meal prep, something Cindy handled more or less 100% of the time. I am relying on Trader Joe’s for a lot of meals right now.
Sunday was a busy day. After doing the chicken chores I put on my gear to do a high speed ride to Dunkin Donuts on my new V12. During that ride I formally announced the split from Cindy which was sort of a big deal as Cindy was a regular in many of my videos and people always loved when she was part of them. I got a lot of well wishes and kind words for both myself and Cindy, which was appreciated. The V12 performed superbly during the ride. It is definitely the best 16 inch wheel I ever owned.
So after I got back I got the urge to buzz my head. I couldn’t find the normal plug in clippers I have used in the past, so I grabbed my cordless trimmer that I normally use to trim my facial hair. I figured it would be able to get the job done. My hair was still oily and sweaty from the ride. The clippers could not get through it, the blade was constantly clogging, leaving my hair looking like I took a weed whacker to it. When I was trying to clean the blades, the shaving head popped out and came apart when it hit the floor. I could not get it back together for some reason, maybe a part broke.
So my Tesla delivery was scheduled at 1:30 so I was already coming up with a game plan to wear a hat pulled down to my forehead to hide the botched head shaving. Luckily Cindy told me about another trimmers that was in the master bathroom. I was able to use it quickly to make my head look more or less uniform again.
So Cindy was my ride to the Tesla dealership, this time a much shorter drive to Fort Myers instead of Fort Lauderdale. We drove through some torrential rain which she didn’t enjoy. It was still raining when we got to the dealership but stopped shortly afterward. This delivery was even less hassle than the last one where I only had to sign one document. This time no signatures were needed. It could have been a completely touchless delivery if we wanted it to be.
The Model Y, looked sharp, I really liked the white interior, the first Tesla I have owned that had it. It also felt weird seeing the battery indicator show 295 miles of range, almost 40% more than I ever saw available on my SR vehicles. On the drive back I also quickly discovered the difference in speed the AWD car has. If you are brave enough to stab the accelerator pedal you better hold on for dear life. It’s crazy fast, feeling more like an amusement park ride.
Of course I did a video about my initial impressions and set up. I am really looking forward to commuting in a Tesla once again.
My Labor Day was unconventional and weird feeling as you may imagine. I got the labor part out of the way by mowing the front yard this time. With my normal schedule I would be weed whacking this week but I said f it, I had enough other stuff to do. After a quick dip in the pool I made myself lunch. Shortly afterwards Cindy, Katie, and DJ stopped by visiting most of the afternoon. It was the first time I had seen my little buddy in quite awhile. Much like Elsa, DJ feels like family to me, my grandson, regardless of what blood tests say. I want to keep my relationship with him going of course, I love the little guy. We had fun playing with cars, watching Pepa the Pig and just hanging out. To keep him from crying bloody murder when he left I rode shotgun in Cindy’s car to drop he and Katie off, that always seems to make him feel better.
After making myself dinner, I played some WoW and will be showering and watching some tv before bed. It feels weird walking around making decisions without input from a second party, real weird. As has been the case with every traumatic event in my life, the only surefire way to move on is via the passage of time. When I split with Ali one of my mistakes was trying to go full force into whatever was next. I won’t be making that mistake again. I need to explore being on my own more before even entertaining any other alternatives.