Yesterday when I got home I had a letter from the endocrinologist I had been going to. The letter said that one of the nurse practitioners had left the practice and as a result the doctor was going to have less time to see patients, unless you want to pay extra, of course. For the tiny sum of $2500 annually the doctor was willing to be your concierge physician! For this money you get 30 minutes of time per visit instead of 15, same week appointment scheduling (instead of two months), and you even get the doctors personal cell phone number! What a great deal, not.
I was already planning to not go to this guy anymore. I just wasn’t impressed with the interactions I had with him. I actually was more impressed with the NP that left, she actually seemed more concerned with asking questions to see what the hell has been going on with me. The doctor was more about just shotgunning tests and treatments without a lot of discussion. Needless to say I won’t be taking him up on this tremendous opportunity. The letter said to act fast, there are only limited spots available! Health care in the US blows.
Last night I decided I needed to shampoo the carpets. Actually I felt that way for awhile but I took matters into my own hands. The carpet shampooer we have has been problematic for awhile. Unless you have everything lined up perfectly it doesn’t generate good suction. I wasn’t able to completely finish the work because I could not get suction at all after a water change. After f’ing with it for a good 15 minutes I had enough. It’s a Bissel unit and it acts like all the other Bissel units I have had, after a couple years they stop working well, likely a feature engineered into the machine to generate future sales. I jumped on Amazon and bought a lighter, smaller, and well reviewed Hoover cleaner. Since we replaced the main living area with tile we have much less carpet to clean so the big Bissel was not needed anyway. It will get curbed this weekend where someone will surely pick it up. Let it become their headache.
This weekend has tasks on the agenda, lots of tasks. I keep thinking it would be nice if somehow I could find the time where Cindy and I could just go down to the beach for a couple hours and chill out. For some reason that seems incredibly difficult to make happen.
You likely have not noticed but the blog is now running a SSL certificate. (https instead of http) You should not notice any difference other than possibly a slighty longer load time. I didn’t have to do this but it is good practice nonetheless as some modern browsers will warn you of ANY sites you visit that are not encrypted.
Yesterday I participated in a meeting regarding a new government center that is going to be built within the next couple years. The meeting had to do with selecting companies involved in the build. This was a “public” meeting which meant that it had to be recorded for public record. They had microphones hanging from the ceiling above the table for that very purpose. It was my first time participating in that sort of environment so it was a good experience and something I think I will be doing more of in the future as this project, the largest one we have ever done, continues to move forward.
Last night I again spent a good chunk of time in the hobby room both assembling completed 3D prints and starting new ones. When I went to bed I had five of the six printers churning away. I also completed a hot end swap on my CR10S pro. Doing so made me decide to finally install the inductive leveling probe I have had sitting in the room for months. Hopefully I do so in the next few days. The capacitive probe the printer comes with is rather inconsistent which causes issues with good first layer performance.
In one of the videos I posted over the weekend I briefly talked about the Prius battery replacement project and how I was happy that the car is still running well a month or two later. Well right on cue I get a picture sent to from Cindy of the red triangle of death popping back on the dashboard of the car, likely indicating another cell in the battery pack is going bad.
I knew this was a possibility and have read others warn that individual cell replacement is a whack-a-mole game, you replace one bad one and another fails. Sure I could repeat the same process as last time, identify which cell is bad, pull the entire pack out of the car, rip into it, replace the bad cell and reverse the process. The problem is this process is long, tedious and something that I don’t want to include in my regular list of chores. I told Cindy that my recommendation was for Katie to buy the kit I investigated before that uses brand new and better than stock cells. It has a two year warranty and would likely be the last battery pack the car ever needs before other things start falling apart. I told her I would be willing to put in the labor to get it installed.
The kids other options are going from driving the 50MPG Prius to the 15 or less MPG Dodge Ram truck which is probably the least baby friendly vehicle you can imagine, or buying another vehicle. A four to six year car payment will very quickly be a budget buster, much more so than replacing the pack. We will see how it all shakes out.
Cliff is a guy I know originally from my PEV videos, he was a frequent commenter on them. From watching my 3D printing videos it got him interested in that hobby too, he has at least a couple printers now. Cliff is also a long time WoW player so we share a lot of interests. Well he had a weird problem with his one printer that I gave him a suggestion on how to fix. The suggestion worked. As thanks for the help Cliff send me 250,000 gold in WoW, a HUGE chunk of virtual currency. He sent me a big chunk of cash before as well. When combined with my already existing funds I am now a virtual millionaire in game. I thanked Cliff for his extreme generosity. Unfortunately at the moment I don’t have anything pressing to buy in game. If anything it would be great if somehow that gold could funnel to my character in the newly released WoW classic where money is MUCH more difficult to come by and accumulate.
Last night I spent a good chunk of time working on Cindy’s computer. She said she wasn’t able to get on the internet. When I hopped on there I saw that her browser had been hijacked. When you would try to start the browser it would try to launch some PDF file on a hacked wordpress site. It took awhile for me to clean it up. The bad thing about malware like this is there is always the possibility it planted a seed somewhere else on the computer that will grow again. There are so many potential landmines now on the internet, even a trained pro like myself sometimes has to really examine pages carefully to make sure they aren’t waiting to blow up in my face.
I received my replacement AnyCubic I3 Mega yesterday. I had it up and printing in no more than 30 minutes. Sure the quality is not close to what the Prusa offers but for a fifth of the price, these printers have done thousands of hours of work for me. They definitely have offered the most bang for the buck. I still plan on adding a second Prusa once 3D store revenue can pay for it. With the way sales have been going, that won’t take very long.
Last night I boxed up my biggest EUC stand order to date. An EUC dealer in Australia was interested in buying six stands for his customers. Sending to the other side of the planet is not cheap, the shipping alone was over $66, sending it the cheapest way I could. I then woke up this morning to two more orders which I hurriedly packed up before leaving for work. The end result of this is I have over $700 in sales in September, my best month ever, and it is barely more than halfway done. It’s getting kind of crazy.
I have not been putting aside 30% of the proceeds for taxes at the end of the year, figuring my over withholding that I do every year from my normal paycheck will cover it. If numbers keep escalating like this that will no longer be the case. The sales figures are a little misleading as there are so many costs that come right back out of that gross sales number. I would guesstimate at least half of it. Filament, shipping costs, stainless steel nuts/bolts, candy, stickers, and of course electricity consumed adds up to a pretty hefty number. Add in the costs of all of the 3D printer I use in the process and we are probably closer to break even. The good news is when tax time does come around all of those supplies and equipment can be deducted back out.
This morning when Cindy was cleaning the coop she saw some disgusting worms in the poop in one area of the mat, meaning at least one of the birds has an active worm infestation which is bad news. My bet is it is Kathy, who has been acting pretty low energy recently. We have been trying to do natural deworming using cayenne pepper and tumeric mixed into their food but we are going to need to do more. I am stopping after work to get some dewormer and special feed that is designed to naturally deworm as maintenance. Wet season is the worst for the hens because they insist on drinking the disgusting standing water. Once I know for sure the standing water is behind us I am definitely getting that entire area elevated and sodded to fix the problem permanently.
Today I am supposed to have a replacement I3 Mega printer arrive to take it’s spot for the Mega I spent hours not fixing. I installed an all metal hot end in my CR10S Pro last night as well which will hopefully result in more consistent prints.
It was overcast Friday after work so I decided to go get my run out of the way. Somehow I hoped that since it was my second consecutive week of running that I would feel at least a little better than I did the week prior. That hope was not realized. I had my Apple Watch on so I got some stats from the run that illustrated just how much of a struggle running has become. My average pace was an awful 10:26 per mile for the roughly three mile run. For some perspective, when I ran my last half marathon six or seven years ago I averaged 8:30-8:45 per mile for 13.1 miles! The thing is, I am running that slow because my body feels like it is working really hard. My average heart rate, despite the slow pace was 155 beats a minute which is what I would expect if I was running much, much faster. Part of the drop off obviously is my age, part of it is lack of consistent running, and part of it is running at 188 pounds instead of 178 pounds.
In addition to the slow pace and high heart rate, my body just felt like shit overall. It used to be just my IT band or knees that I had to be concerned with. Now you can add the lower back to that list. The first three or four laps sent a little jolt of pain up my back with every stride until I fully warmed up. Despite the near endless stream of running setbacks I refuse to let it die from the list of consistent physical activities, something Cindy thinks I should do. I told her that as soon as you start shrinking your perceived box of physical capabilities it starts a vicious cycle where you keep doing less and less. I need to keep pushing out on the box to keep it from shrinking too fast.
Saturday morning I did a thorough cleaning of the chicken coop, something that was way overdue. The reason it hasn’t been done that often is it is a royal pain to unhook all of the tech I have out there between solar power, wifi, smart switches, cameras, and security dvrs. It was time to work through the pain. The inside of the coop was gross with black dust that is a combination of dirt, sand, feces, feathers, and dander. The two shelves in there had a later of this scuzz on them as well as the walls.
As I slowly pulled items from the coop I tried to clean them at the same time. Things like the two fans were especially gross but even stuff like extension and power cords had scuzz to be removed as well. Once I got everything out I pulled the fresh water hose from the house down to the coop and started blasting away at the walls, shelves, and ceiling. Waterfalls of black liquid were everywhere. I also brought in a brush, bucket and soapy water to scrub some of the especially nasty parts. All in all I spent two and a half hours cleaning and reloading the coop. It was a good exercise because it allowed me to throw out, organize, and rewire stuff in a less messy way. This is something I need to do much more than every couple of years.
During the afternoon I did some more work on prepping the one hobby room bench for more printers, attaching three 18″ x 18″ pieces of plywood to the shelf in order to adequately support an I3 Mega printer. I also did more organizing, condensing, and throwing out.
Later in the day I got out and washed the Tesla. I wanted to do a couple projects to it on Sunday that requires the car to be clean. While I was doing so I rolled video where I talked about whatever Tesla related things came to mind. Evidently I had a lot of thoughts.
My Sunday was very busy with two things, shooting video and then editing video. I produced a total of three videos during the day, two regarding PEV rides and one with small Tesla projects. The one PEV ride was me trying again to ride from DD to home on the One Wheel Pint, something I tried to do once before and failed. When I tried previously I got 8.4 miles before the battery was empty. This time I was actually successful, getting over 10 miles. I pulled into the driveway with 1% left of the battery. Feel free to check out the blow by blow if you have time.
Cindy and I did a tag team effort for mowing the grass. I mowed the front half of the yard and Cindy followed by doing the rear portion. We had not had a ton of rain last week so things weren’t too hairy.
I stayed up and watched the Eagles game. The Birds play was very frustrating at times but they still had a legit shot to win at the end until Zac Ertz came up about a foot short on a fourth and long pass. The more concerning thing was the amount of injuries that sprung up in the game. DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey, and their second tight end all went out early and stayed out. Wentz even missed a few snaps because of concussion protocol. He also took a painful looking shot to the ribs. Last year the team got crushed by excessive injuries, they were the second most injured team in the league.
I suppose all of those injuries last year was the reason the Eagles sat a ton of starters through the majority of pre-season, hoping it would curb the injury bug. If this is a pre-cursor to another injury filled roster it’s going to be a long season.
I’m not sure if the was the excitement or frustration from the game but I slept like absolute shit last night. No exaggeration, I bet I woke up at least 30 times. I’m not quite sure what the explanation is but hopefully it is a once and done event.
Last night after work I spent some time in the hobby room. As I mentioned the 3D store sales have been increasing steadily. I decided I wanted to make accommodations for future expansion so I dropped the shelf that is under the work bench about 4-5 inches. Doing this will allow me to have a row of the I3 Mega printers down there and whatever else up top, effectively doubling my capacity. I have a lot more work to do, cleaning up, organizing, throwing out, and condensing what is in there. Last night I sold another couple stands.
Yesterday I did complete my first non-store related print in awhile, a huge Oreo cookie. I printed the cookie portion on the Prusa. The filling is actually made of two pieces that screw/unscrew which allows you to keep something hidden inside, hopefully real Oreos.
In case you are oblivious, today is the 18 year anniversary of 9-11. I struggle to realize how almost two decades has already passed since that awful day. Despite all of the time in between I can still clearly recall the intense feelings of disbelief, horror, sadness, and anger that were part of that day. Even now I question the actual circumstances and official explanation of the events but that doesn’t mask the human tragedy that 9-11 will always be remembered for. It was my generation’s Pearl Harbor.
The 3D printed EUC stand business has really been picking up speed. It seems that it’s all mostly from word of mouth as I don’t actively advertise at all. I was just contacted by an EUC dealer from AUSTRALIA that wants me to make some stands for him as well, it’s sort of nuts.
In order to help me in the short term I ordered another cheap AnyCubic I3 Mega to help me crank out some parts. I still have plans to get another Prusa as well but that will come as more money is saved. I am also considering modifying my work benches in the hobby room to allow double decker printer configs. If I lower the shelf under the bench a few inches I would be able to run the I3 Mega’s down there without a problem. I then just need to find some alternative way to store completed stands which shouldn’t be too hard to do.
When I started this endeavor last year on a whim I never expected it to grow like it has. I still enjoy doing it and it seems to be appreciated by the community so it’s a win/win. From a purely financial standpoint I have never exactly figured out how much money I actually make on the sale of a stand because there are a lot of material, equipment, shipping, and electricity costs that take big bites out of the bottom line. Regardless, I make enough for it to be worth my while.
It’s funny, when I quit race timing a few years ago I was walking away from the money I made doing it which wasn’t fantastic but helped pay some bills. Now, between the growth of my YouTube channel (almost 7k subscribers) and the sales from the 3D store, I have surpassed what I used to make race timing, by a considerable margin.
Friday night I once again worked on my ripped apart AnyCubic I3 Mega. After another frustrating session where I determined my X axis stepper motor was trashed I decided to pack it in. It would take a long time for me to get another X stepper and I doubted with as much shit that I had to go through to get it apart, if it would ever print well once put back together. I instead decided to give up on the repair, something I normally don’t do very easily. My plan became to keep this printer for parts as I have two more I3 Mega’s in production. I then furhter realigned my plans, setting a goal of filling the empty workbench spot with ANOTHER Prusa printer, I love my MK3S that much. Yes it’s a bit scary that I could buy five I3 Mega’s for the price of one pres-assembled Prusa but I don’t plan to do so until funds from my 3D printing store can cover the cost.
Saturday morning I headed to the track to reboot my running program, again. It seems like I can’t string together more than 2-3 weeks before something starts hurting that derails me again. This time Cindy and Elsa came with. They walked the track while I ran around it, slowly. I finished the 12 laps and was a sweaty mess to prove it. The only good news is I didn’t have much residual pain afterward.
Despite doing the weed whacking during the week I still wound up spending 4-5 hours outdoors on Saturday doing tasks. Most of that time was spent on the mower. We have had an extended few days with little to no rain which resulted in all of the standing water disappearing. I felt I had no choice but to mow everything while I could.
Saturday night we watched Glass, the follow up to Unbreakable, a movie made years ago, when M Night Shamalan actually made movies people liked. I didn’t think the movie was bad but it certainly wasn’t great. I’d award it a B, pretty good by M Night’s low bar standard.
The weekend also included me wrapping up my testing of the 16X. I made a couple videos as part of the process, both of which seem to be well received. My EUC videos have been getting more traction with a lot more views than I had been getting in the past.
Late last week all of the devices on my home network that were hardwired stopped communicating. It was odd, all of the devices had link lights and were showing activity but none of them could communicate out to the internet or with each other. The only thing that made sense to me was to replace the main network switch which fixed the problem. Switches rarely fail so I am wondering if some sort of surge caused the failure. Everything is back up and talking once again after the swap.
I did my bills as normal on Sunday morning. The session did include a big event, paying off the Tacoma. The funds from the sale of the RV finally cleared Cindy’s bank account after nearly two weeks. It’s sort of ridiculous how banks hold your money hostage like this. While they are waiting for it to “clear” what the are really doing is floating that money for themselves to make a few bucks. The process was further retarded by another restriction that only allowed Cindy to transfer 5K a day over so it took three days to complete that as well.
Regardless, it felt good to get the truck payment eliminated as it has not been fun floating a Tesla and Tacoma payment for around six months. It also feels good to have a truck with less than 30k miles on it paid off already. The remainder of the proceeds from the sale got applied to my HELOC balance which I will be working on knocking down at a more rapid pace from here on out.
So on Saturday I spent about 25 minutes trying to get the Sunday Ticket reactivated on my DirecTV account. The level one, India based phone rep was clueless on how to do so even though I told her up front that she would need to get a supervisor involved and that there are notes on my account on how to handle this. Because I do not have a normal programming package with Directv, the Sunday Ticket subscription requires additional steps to complete. Dinner was ready so I told the woman I didn’t have more time to sit on the phone with her and hung up.
I then saw that supposedly Directv was offering week one of the Sunday Ticket free for everyone as a promo. Great, I guess I will watch it for free on week one and then slog through the reactivation this week sometime. Well 15 minutes prior to kickoff I switched to the channel and had the 721 error which means “too bad, so sad”. Evidently the free spiff was only for those people that had a base subscription. I called in but hung up shortly thereafter when I got the message about “unusually long wait times”, f it. Instead I just listened to the broadcast on my computer which was not the same as watching the game, but tolerable.
Early on I felt fortunate to not see the disaster on the field with the Eagles falling behind 17-0. They sounded very rusty, perhaps from the strategy of very little real playing time for their starters during pre-season. Luckily in the second half the team woke up and won 32-27. DeSean Jackson had a HUGE homecoming for the Eagles, putting up big numbers. Having a legit speedster in the WR position I think is going to really help Carson open up the field. The end result of the game gave me a good feeling about the potential this team has, if they can stay healthy.
Speaking of staying healthy, I could not believe Nick Foles lasted less than one half before getting injured in his game. He broke his left clavicle after a big hit. I was really pulling for Nick to prove he can be good for another team besides the Eagles. Who knows when he will get the chance to do so now.
Last night after work I changed and threw on my work boots to go out and weed whack the yard. I wanted to get the roughly 90 minute task off my list of to dos for the weekend. The standing water that has inundated the property for a good portion of the last month or two has finally dried up, allowing me to complete the job without being coated in mud. I didn’t return inside to eat dinner until almost 7:30.
After eating instead of playing Classic WoW, which I have done most nights this week, I instead turned my attention to the one I3 Mega that I had partially disassembled on a table in the hobby room. My hope was to remove the X axis stepper motor that appeared to be problematic and then replace it with one of the brand new spares I bought a long time ago but never used.
Getting the motor off was ridiculous. AnyCubic obviously never intended for this repair to be something most users would do else it would have not been so tedious. After a ton of futzing I finally got the motor off. The weird thing was it seemed to turn normally, both by hand and when hooked up to the controller wire harness. To make things more frustrating, the brand new motor I tried would not spin when connected to the wire harness, it only buzzed.
I partially reassembled the printer enough that I could again try to move the X axis under power. It did move back and forth when power was applied however when unplugged the print head carriage would stick repeatedly, requiring great force to move it which is not how it should be. I have two other identical printers on the bench that I could compare against.
I turned off the light frustrated and came to the conclusion that it is probably not worth any further effort. I can get a brand new printer of the same model for $200 if I wanted to. However what I think I want to do is keep the troubled unit for spare parts and buy another Prusa (a preassembled one this time) once I have earned enough money in my 3D store to pay for it. I LOVE the way the MK3S prints and upgrading my print farm to include more of them in the future would be great.
This morning I was back at the med center donating more blood and urine. We are doing another heavy metal test to see if the high thallium level is up, down or the same. They also are doing some additional testosterone testing and some other stuff which I don’t recall. My medical procedures and testing of the last year have been so numerous it’s all one blur.
This weekend has various tasks on the agenda but for the next few months most Sunday afternoons will be consumed by Eagles football which starts this weekend against the Redskins. Unfortunately that means part of my Saturday needs to be consumed by the annual headache of getting Directv to reactivate my Sunday Ticket only subscription. I don’t think I have ever been able to complete the task in under an hour of phone time.
Two of my AnyCubic I3 printers that I use heavily in EUC stand production are in need of some TLC. One of them can probably be fixed with a few adjustments, the other one seems like it has a bad stepper motor that I need to replace. I tried to take a whack it it last night but could not figure out the proper way to remove the stepper motor. Surprisingly there is next to no information online about how this is done either. I will keep researching and attempting to resolve the issue.
Despite having a lot of time off in the last 6 weeks I have that overhanging sense that there are a lot of loose ends that are not getting tied up. I never like that feeling and I know it is something that never can be satiated as there will ALWAYS be things that need to be done. The funny thing is over time I have become MUCH less regimented than I used to be when it comes to making sure certain things get done on a schedule and I haven’t made a weekend list in 2019. Maybe I need to start again.