Yesterday the AC company gave me a window of arrival of between 1 and 5PM.  I asked for the tech to call my cell to let me know when he was on his way so I could meet him at the house.  Around 2:30 I called in for a status update, they said the tech still had two customers ahead of me.  It was clear if the tech made the window at all, it wouldn’t be till the very end of it.  Well that wasn’t the case.

Of course anyone that knows me relatively well knows that I really dislike people/companies that over promise and under deliver.  To their credit, the AC company called me around 4:30, letting me know the tech was still going to be there, it was just going to be late.  That simple communication helped to dull the edge of my aggravation.  The clock continued to tick.  I got a call from the tech named Sam about 6:20, saying he was just leaving the office in Bonita, he should be there in 35 minutes.  Geez, ok.

The van pulled into the driveway around 7PM.  It took me very little time to figure out that I liked this guy.  You could tell he actually gave a shit about fixing my issue.  I described the history of the unit and what has been happening lately.  The first thing he did was act on my question of if the ducts in the attic were possibly leaking.  He climbed up in the attic and did a thorough inspection, spending at least 15 minutes crawling around.  He said for the most part things looked good although he did find a mechanical damper that was not fully open which would restrict air flow to some areas of the house.  He wasn’t sure why it was there but he opened it fully to maximize air flow.

Sam did a temperature check in the air handler, measuring the air temp below and above.  Normally there should be around 20 degree difference, my unit had only a 14 degree difference, not good.  I explained how it seemed like the variable speed fan in the blower was cranking at top speed all weekend, trying to keep up.  These symptoms pointed to low refrigerant level in the system.  He went out to the compressor to get some readings and found the level was indeed low, very low.  Capacity for the Trane unit is around 10lbs of coolant, the tech had to add 6lbs to get it up to that number.  So it was clear, there is a leak.

I mentioned to Sam that to lose that much, you would think it had been leaking for awhile.  I questioned why during the PM in January it wasn’t noticed?  He didn’t have a solid answer for that.  So once the refrigerant was added he had to figure out where the leak was.  To do this he used a cool ultrasonic tester that “listens” for leaks.  He opened up the air handler and started sniffing around.  He got a hit on the back of the coil, a clear leak.

He explained to me that many leaks can be patched, and if this leak was on the front of the coil he would have tried to do so right there.  However since the leak is in the back the entire coil would need to be pulled from the air handler, hopefully patched and then reinstalled.  The coils were very rusty and the issue is there is no guarantee that another hole won’t open up because of the condition of the unit.  That immediately sounded like a bad option as my desire is to get the issue fixed for the longer term.  That fix means replacing the coil unit entirely.

Sam went to his van and got together the bill for the service call and the estimate to replace the coil.  Because I have a service contract the majority of the service bill was to pay for the refrigerant which costs $35 a pound.  The estimate to replace the coil was steep as expected, around $1500, but a worthwhile repair based on longevity I still am hoping to get out of the system.  The part needs to be ordered today. Hopefully they can get it within a few days.  I asked Sam if I could request that he is the tech to do the swap out, he said I could.  I latch onto people in the service industry that pay attention to detail, are thorough, and give a damn about what they do.  Sam demonstrated he was all of those things to me.  By the time he left around 9PM he had turned around my negativity about the late appointment by doing his job well.

I could instantly tell a difference inside the house with the system once again having normal cooling power.  Sam said with as low as the levels were was there was a lot of humidity that was not getting pulled out of the indoor air.  I look forward to moving forward with a solid AC solution once again, a necessity for brutal Florida summers.  Who knows how long this leak has been going on, however a side effect in addition to the poor cooling performance also is a lot more power usage.  Lower electricity usage should be nice, blunting the effect of the $1500 on my wallet.  Of course this failure occurred about 9 months after my 10 year warranty expired, right on time….

 

We have now been immersed in oppressive humidity for a little while now.  You would think after 20+ years in Florida I would adapt to it better but no, it still makes doing anything outside very uncomfortable.  Despite this fact I spent a good portion of Saturday sweating my ass off outside.  The big must do was get the tractor back in working order.  The onslaught of rain has kicked yard growth back into high gear so having a mower that doesn’t mow is a real problem.

I knew the original blades that were on the Husqvarna were in poor shape but I didn’t know they were this bad.  The one blade looked like it was missing 2-3 inches off either side, no wonder it was vibrating like a son of a bitch.  The blade swap went easy, similar to the many swaps I have done before over the years.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I engaged the PTO and the blades spun up normally.

After the swap I checked the deck for side to side level as the tractor also started scalping badly during last Wednesdays mowing session.  I was surprised to see it was indeed out of whack, a half inch higher on one side.  I think the level being off and the old blades being mangled in a way where part of the blade was bent downwards was causing the scalping.  After doing the work I wanted to do a thorough test so I headed out back and mowed the rear yard which was getting pretty scruffy.    The tractor performed flawlessly which I was pleased with as there is a long, hot mowing season ahead of me.

Saturday night we watched Midway while enjoying takeout burgers from Brooks Brothers.  I never knew any real details about the Battle of Midway, the film was eye opening.  Plane/ship warfare back then was just brutal, I can’t imagine the bravery involved.  It was well done and further reinforced the horrors of war, continuing to make me wonder why mankind has chosen to inflict it upon one another for centuries on end. B+

On Sunday I had an extended bill paying session with a wallet stuffed full of CC receipts from the trip to KSC.  Thanks to the magic of Quicken I was able to determine that in total the trip cost $750, a little more than I expected for a three night trip with no gas expenses but we both enjoyed the time away so I can’t complain too much. During the day I did more repairing, this time to another one of my 3D printers.  Imagine my joy when I did my first test print and it failed as well.  The printer needs more tweaking but I am running out of energy to do so.

During the afternoon Katie and DJ were over.  We had fun as always including extended time in the pool, visiting the chickens and a new activity, tie dying fabric.  We quickly discovered that tie dying is probably not the best activity for a two year old to be involved with.  Don’t get me wrong, the act of squirting colored ink out of a bottle is fun for a toddler.  However the end result was DJ wearing a bunch of the colors as well, he had yellow/green feet, green eye shadow, and a purple rear end.  I tried to be more careful and still have pink dye surrounding my fingernails.  When it was time to go, originally Cindy was going to take them home in the Tesla while I did more stuff at home.  However when I heard DJ crying “Pop Pop, Pop Pop…” as the car was backing up it broke my heart.  I jumped in the passenger seat for the ride, DJ likes when all of his tribe is together.  He fell asleep during the ride.

Today I will be meeting an AC tech at the house.  For awhile Cindy, who has a more sensitive sense of smell than I do had been complaining about episodes of mildew smell coming from the system, part of the reason I replaced one of the two UV lights in the air handler.  However even after doing this, even I could still smell the mildew at times which is not good.  I discovered that if I remove the air filter in the return in our bedroom the smell goes away, almost like the system is being choked for air flow.  Well you shouldn’t have to run a system without filters to function properly.

Then over the weekend I noticed something else.  As I mentioned it was brutally hot and humid.  I noticed that during the afternoon the system was unable to cool the house to the 75 degrees it was set to, it couldn’t go any lower than 77.  Of course cooling a house in these conditions isn’t easy but my Trane system, which is normally very efficient, has never had an issue doing this in the past.  The combination of these factors made me place the call this morning.  At first I figured I could just double up my routine PM which was soon due.  I was told that the PM guys and the service guys are two different departments and presumably different skill levels.  I requested a service call which will cost me out of pocket but at least we can dig deeper into what is going on.

 

 

 

I am wrapping up another lightning quick two day work week, something I certainly enjoy but unfortunately can not expect to get accustomed to.  The second half of the year at work is going to be a busy one due to a huge new building that we will be constructing/occupying.  The staff that will occupy this new building is going to have to be temporarily moved out of their present office at the end of July so that will be a nice little headache to deal with.

This weekend I need to address the mower which has some sort of blade issue which I hope is easy to fix.  I have not had to crawl under the deck of the Husqvarna yet.  I also have a number of smaller things to get done.  I feel the need to do a sweep of the house to get things in order, our busy schedule thus far in June has left things more disheveled than I like. It’s a treadmill that never stops spinning.

 

 

On Saturday we weren’t under any sort of time crunch to depart for the greater Titusville area.  I did all of the chicken chores, trying to make it as smooth as possible for Katie to maintain the hens for the following three days.  One of those tasks included soaking and cleaning Popcorn’s rear end, something we have done several times the last couple weeks. (more on this later)

We were able to take our time getting the Model Y ready for it’s longest road trip to date.  After eating lunch we shoved off for Fort Pierce, our first supercharging destination. Our route took us up the middle of the state which is more scenic for sure than I-75 and I-4 however it also includes slowing down to travel through some small towns and driving on some two lane roads, which can be aggravating if you get stuck behind a slow moving vehicle.  Luckily the Tesla has very comfortable seats so the discomfort penalty is small.  Cindy spent a good portion of the time sprawled out across the spacious rear seats, which she enjoys.

The Fort Pierce supercharger was at a Wawa.  I have had bad experiences with Wawa superchargers in the past where they were the weak/slow variety.  Luckily this installation seemed pretty new.  Early on the battery was charging at a rate of over 650 MPH, which is great.  In total it took us around 30 minutes to juice up before hitting the road again, we spent the time stretching, using the bathroom, and checking out the store.

The ride into Titusville went smoothly as well.  We decided to check in to the hotel before recharging again.  The hotel seemed to be very new, a Hyatt that was close to everything we wanted to do while there.  Our room was on the third floor.  The space felt like an ice box initially since the thermostat was turned down to 65 degrees.  After getting our stuff dumped into the room we went to the Titusville supercharger which was only four miles away.  This one was in a Target parking lot and again was a high power set up.  By the time we walked in and out of two stores in the shopping center we were good to go.

For dinner Saturday night we headed to an area called Cocoa Village.  It is a quaint old fashioned part of town, immune to the cookie cutter modern construction that plagues much of Florida.  We ate at Time Out Sports Bar.  We were outdoors right in front of the live music, which was a guy and his guitar who was good.  I had a couple beers and just enjoyed the laid back environment.  As rare as it is for me to just relax, when I get these sort of chances during road trips I always enjoy them. (refer to our time in New Orleans)

After dinner we wandered around Cocoa Village some more, it was very walkable.  We stumbled across an ice cream place where we both grabbed cones which we ate quickly before they melted as we continued walking.  We were both a bit tired from the day of travel so we didn’t stay out late, retreating to the hotel to clean off the grime of a long day with a shower.

My first night of sleep in the hotel was not good.  I woke up countless times.  Sometimes it was due to back hurting from the very firm mattress, other times it was from a gross smell I kept experiencing.  I didn’t know if it was coming from the AC system or something else.  The next day I discovered the source, the pillow I was using.  I don’t know why it stank the way it did and I don’t really want to know the reason.  Whatever the cause it got tossed in a corner for the remainder of our stay there.

They had a surprisingly good gym at the hotel.  After breakfast I went down and did a quick 30-40 minute workout just to feel better.  If I don’t do organized exercise for extended periods of time I mentally feel poor as a result.  We allocated Sunday as our chill and do whatever we want day.  Our thought process was KSC would be less busy on Monday.  We decided to head in the direction of Cocoa Beach.

Out first stop was an observation tower.  Because of covid only the first and top floors were open but that was all we needed.  Up top you got a birds eye view of the region which was cool.  We could see the space center buildings far off in the distance.  Man that would be a sweet spot to see a launch.  Speaking of launch we were both bummed out that we missed a SpaceX launch at 12:30 in the morning.  We knew there was a launch earlier in the week but somehow this one escaped our radar.  Sure it would have been tough to stay up that late but it was a missed opportunity without a doubt.  I have never seen a launch live, outside of the plume trails from a shuttle launch or two in the Naples area.

We spent the rest of the day just checking out various things Cindy picked out as potentially interesting.  One of those was the huge Ron Jon’s complex.  Cocoa Beach is the original home of the world famous surf shop.  The amount of stuff in the store was a bit overwhelming.  I grabbed a shirt and a hat and Cindy did the same.  Covid protocol in Florida was obviously a thing of the past.  There was hardly a mask to be seen anywhere.  Since I am fully vaxxed I felt comfortable going “naked”, Cindy kept her mask on indoors.

We also went to the Cocoa Beach Pier.  We found it very annoying that they had a flat $30 rate to park near the pier.  Instead we chose to park several blocks away and hoof it.  The exercise is good for us and we still got to take in the pier in it’s entirety.  Like much of Cocoa Beach, the pier felt old and klunky, in an endearing way.

We also stopped at several spots to ride our PEVs around, Cindy on her Minipro and me on the OneWheel XR.  It was a unique experience touring some parks in this manner, I enjoy this type of sightseeing the most.

So when we headed back we decided to hit the supercharger again to make sure we topped off for the visit to the space center on Monday.  While we were there I suggested to Cindy we utilize one of the cool features of the Tesla, the ability to stream entertainment while parked.

I fired up Netflix and started browsing our options, I saw Ragnarok pop up, something I had heard about and was interested in but knew little details about outside of sort sort of tie in to the Thor story.  We watched an entire episode while charging and were both hooked, we found the show extremely interesting.  As I watched the show I noticed at some points the actors mouths looked out of sync with the dialogue.  At first I wrote it off as just a streaming bug.  I eventually realized it was because the Norwegian actors actually have english dubbed over, which is done very well.  It was clean enough that it didn’t distract from what was going on.

So we went back to the room and all we wanted to do was binge watch more of the show.  That is exactly what we did, watching all six episodes of season one and the first two of season two, which just came out in May.  Our only break was a quick pit stop to grab food which we brought back to the room.  It was sort of nuts but again something we wouldn’t normally do at home.  We really like the show.  We liked it so much that we managed to squeeze the last four episodes in on Monday, even with a KSC trip wedged in there.  It’s a fantastic show which I highly recommend.

My sleep on Sunday night again was mostly lousy, perhaps a touch better than night one.  At least the pillow didn’t smell.  We had breakfast at the hotel but had a casual pace as the KSC doesn’t open until 10AM.  We arrived a little after 9:30, early enough to get a front row spot.  Since we had more time to kill I fired up Netflix again so Cindy could rewatch the last half of S2 E2 since she fell asleep while watching it Sunday night.  We finished up the show about 10:05.  We paid for our indulgence with a long line at the gate.

Cindy and I tag teamed the process.  She went to the Will Call window to buy tickets so she could get her military discount while I waited in the long line to get in.  The timing worked out well, she rejoined me in line about 5 minutes prior to us getting to the gate.  Unlike most of Florida, KSC has not thrown covid protocols out the window.  If you are fully vaxxed they were ok with you going maskless outdoors but any time spent in queue lines or indoors had to be with a mask.  The patrons seemed to observe the restriction without much issue.

The facility had surprisingly short hours of operation, closing at 4PM.  The end result was we were hustling what felt like non-stop for the entire day.  We watched multiple presentations, took the bus to the Apollo/Saturn center, enjoyed the space shuttle center, ate lunch, did the shuttle simulator ride and wound up in the gift shop, 15 minutes before the park was closing.  If we had more time there is more we would have liked to see but we did a good job of taking in a lot of cool things.  My mind was constantly blown by the scale, complexity, precision, and tireless work required to make the space program work.  It is truly an amazing testament to just what mankind can do.  On the bus tour we saw a MASSIVE solar farm as well, the largest I ever had seen in person.

On Sunday we went back to Cocoa Village, enjoying dinner at another local hot spot, Murdoch’s.  The building was again very old yet very charming.  With it being a Monday evening the crowds were light everywhere, which we noticed with our second ice cream shop visit and walking the area afterward.  I really enjoyed the older, hometown feel of the area.  We hit the supercharger once again afterward to top off for an early departure Tuesday morning.  We watched another Ragnarok episode in the car and finished it up in the hotel room.

We set a 6:30 alarm for Tuesday.  I woke up without after another subpar night of sleep, albeit the least shitty of the three.  We skipped the hotel breakfast and instead grabbed sandwiches along with our Dunkin Donuts pit stop before heading south and westbound.  Our trip back was an exact reverse of the trip there, stopping at Fort Pierce before the long push to our house.  While waiting for that charge we pulled out the PEVs one more time to zip around on.  While doing so we saw a bizarre looking lizard with an orange head and orange stripe around it’s tail.  Cindy said she read that this was an invasive species. Florida has a lot of those.

The drive home went fine with the Model Y making the miles for the most part fall off quickly.  I utilized autopilot frequently to make the driving close to brainless.  When we got home Elsa was already there, Katie, who was taking care of the chickens, dropped her off shortly before.  We immediately dug into de-tripping, unpacking, putting away and throwing stuff in the laundry.  It didn’t take very long until I found myself outside weed whacking, however before that more chicken care was required.

I gave the birds fresh water and treats but immediately noticed Popcorn was not acting well.  I can tell almost immediately when a chicken doesn’t feel well.  They separate from the group, don’t move around much and just give off a “blah” energy.  I have had concerns for awhile that Popcorn might have an egg blockage which can be deadly if they can’t correct it themselves.  When I looked up signs for egg binding she had a bunch of them.  The first step in treatment is checking to see if there is an egg stuck in the vent.  You do this in the manner you would expect, a finger.  You basically lube up a gloved finger and stick it it the chickens rear end to feel for the presence of an egg.

When I presented this information to Cindy she was not enthusiastic.  I told her I would be willing to do the deed but I would still need her to hold the hen firm while I probe.  Before doing this I wanted to clean up her rear area which had dried gunk around it.  I held her backside in a warm tub with epsom salts and then rinsed her off while Cindy held her still.  It was the time for the digital probe.  I put on gloves that were too small for me but good enough.  I had some vaseline in a sandwich bag that I applied generously to my index finger.  I had several moments where I did a reality check, was I really about to stick my finger up a chickens butt?

The directions said if you insert your finger two inches and don’t feel an egg the bird isn’t egg bound.  I went in to my second knuckle and didn’t touch anything hard so hopefully that means she isn’t bound.  Surprisingly she did not really react to the violation by my finger.  After I was done probing I grabbed her and again dunked and held her butt in the water, which was recommended.  I repeated the dunking today, holding her in the water for close to 10 minutes.   She still isn’t back to normal but definitely seems better than when we first got home Monday.

After the chicken fun was done I jumped into weed whacking the property.  The recent return of afternoon rain has kick started growth in the yard.  It took a long time and I was pooped by the end of it.  I didn’t have much opportunity to worry about being tired as Katie and DJ showed up.  We had fun with them.  After whacking I was a sweaty mess.  I jumped in the pool.  It didn’t take DJ long to want to join me, he loves the water.  They hung for several hours, it was a nice welcome gift.

Today I was buzzing around most of the day.  I took Cindy to an appointment and ran errands while she was in it.  When I got home I jumped on the mower for phase two of lawn maintenance.  As I was getting close to the end the deck was getting louder and louder.  With about 200 square feet to go the blades stopped spinning normally.  My immediate theory is the blade(s) was damaged enough that it wasn’t spinning in a balanced manner which possibly loosened the retaining nut.  I did not have motivation to tackle the issue immediately so instead I parked the tractor and finished off what was left with the weed whacker.  I will dig into the tractor this weekend, I had Cindy stop to pick up a new set of blades for me on the way home.  Hopefully I can just slap them on over the weekend and all will be good again.

I pulled the old DVR our of the chicken coop.  I now have enough Ring devices out there for good coverage.  I may get a couple more eventually to get all 360 degrees of the coop area under surveillance.  I even had time to make a quick two minute video, a satirical one about how some EUC riders act when they are in a group ride situation.  Basically, for some people, common sense and responsibility are replaced with one upsmanship and showing off.  It was the first time I messed with a cloning affect.  It’s far from pretty or well done but I get the basic concept and could do a better job going forward.

I popped open an impromptu live stream while I replaced the hot end on one of my printers.  It is a very random stream which you may or may not find entertaining.  It was a very fun mini-roadtrip but in some ways it will be nice to go back to work tomorrow, I prosper on a schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

So I have had a lot of anticipation about a package ship notice I got direct from China via Fedex last week.  I assumed the new wheel I was supposedly going to be sent to review was on it’s way as there wasn’t anything else I could think of that would come to me in this manner.  I had disappointment when the package didn’t show up on Wednesday as originally intended, however it was on the truck for delivery yesterday.

Cindy was going to be in and out yesterday so I put the sign on the door for Fedex, indicating if they needed a signature for the big box they could get it at the neighbor next door.  I was excited when I got back from the gym yesterday to see an email from Fedex saying the package was delivered!  I fired up my Ring app to the time of delivery to see the glorious box arrive.  What I see is a minivan pull into the driveway with a small temporary Fedex sign affixed to it’s side. Weird, but ok an EUC box could fit in there still.  I then see a woman open up the side door and retrieve the box, which fits in the palm of her hand….wtf….

Obviously this was not an EUC.  I asked Cindy to open the box for me.  The package that I assumed was a wheel instead was a set of four Apple Air Tags.  For some reason they were drop shipped from China.  Sure it was nice to have them show up but man, was I disappointed.  Oh well, you know what happens when you assume, making an ass out of u and me.

I did set up one of my air tags last night, putting it into my wallet to give me a solid chance to retrieve it if something bad went down.  I have three more remaining, I need to decide what items are worthy of being tracked on Apple’s super secret mesh network.  I also received the part I needed to fix one of my printers that was sitting eviscerated on my work bench.  I put the printer back together before bed, it felt good to do so.  I have two more printers that need some attention.

Today is the last day of my tortuously long two day work week.  Our quick trip to the space center starts tomorrow but it’s only for a couple days.  I took off next Mon-Wed to give me some extra time to attend to normal things before heading back for another 2 day slog.  We are taking the Model Y.  It will be the longest road trip Cindy has done with me in the Tesla.  I look forward to at least getting a small taste of a road trip.  I would love to be able to get a real cross country road trip in next year.

On Tuesday Cindy and I went to ride at the abandoned golf course.  I brought three PEVs, the Minipro, the OneWheel XR and the Backfire Ranger X1, which has not been ridden in 2021.  I started out on the One Wheel while Cindy rode the Ranger.  She was very cautious on it at first as it had been a long time since she rode the skateboard. After maybe 15 minutes or so she was more confident.  The large rubber tires on the skateboard made on and off path riding possible.  We then switched up with Cindy on the Minipro and me on the Ranger.  I had not ridden the X1 in a looong time but it did not take long until I was able to traverse the paths at a reasonable speed.

Cindy enjoyed the varied terrain and the mature trees.  She stumbled across an amazing find, a large tree that had become encased in a dragon fruit plant, a cactus looking vine.  We pulled a couple plants that had rooted near the base of the tree to see if Cindy could propagate them.  It was an enjoyable ride for sure, I didn’t even have to bring a video camera with to prove it.

I was excited because I supposedly was going to have a new wheel delivered yesterday.  Unfortunately when I checked the FedEx tracking I saw the box was sitting in Nashville all day so that didn’t happen.  Instead I had one of my lazier days on record.  Sure I did all the chicken maintenance and took a ride to the nearby DD to test out the end result of all of that mod work on my Sherman, which thankfully seemed to be all good.  I also set up yet another Ring cam inside the chicken coop.

I now unplugged the DVR out there and will be pulling the system completely out.  The system had 3 cameras out and was no longer viable to be checked away from home since the UI is insecure and a target for hackers.  I would need two more Ring cameras to give me the same coverage I had on the DVR ( when it was fully operational)

So other than those items listed above I did a lot of loafing.  I watched some shows, played some WoW and hung in VR.  I also watched Army of the Dead on Netflix, an entertaining and gory Zack Snyder interpretation of the zombie apocalypse. It was silly, mindless entertainment, enough for a B+ in my book.

Doing that much relaxing was a bit uncomfortable for me, as weird as that may sound to many.  I have a mini two day work week followed by another extended weekend for our visit to the Kennedy Space Center, a sweet schedule for sure.

 

On Saturday I cleared out all normal tasks in the morning to make way for an afternoon and evening of EUC repair madness. I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to get done on my Veteran Sherman.  The wheel was not “broke” in any way, these were more like “mod” or preventative maintenance, including swapping over to the knobby tire.

It was a big enough tear down that I brought my old Workmate in from the small shed to assist in the task.  In total I spent between five and six hours on the project.  For the most part it went ok except for a few snafu’s that are part of any task I take on it seems.  Part of this project involved pulling the motor apart.  As you can imagine, attention to detail is very important when reassembling as your safety and well being is only as good as the tight and secure electrical connections that have to be made when putting stuff back together.

I did a quick test spin when the work was done.  All felt well, I hope to take a longer ride before my vacation expires. Editing this video took forever.

Sunday was DJ’s official birthday party, although his actual birthday was the 25th.  Cindy and I went over early to help get stuff set up at Katie’s.  We then went back home briefly before returning for the celebration.  The party was attended only by Daniel’s family members, most of which I had not seen since Katie’s baby shower.  Some of that of course is covid related.

It was hellishly hot when the sun was out.  Luckily some clouds and even brief rain rolled in.  There were some other kids there, the two little girls were very cute.  At first they were shy but by the end of the party they both had warmed up to me.  It was a pretty buzzing party with a total of at least 15 people in attendance.  As usual I kept my social skills lubricated with a steady flow of alcohol.  I think DJ had a lot of fun which is what matters most.

Our Memorial Day didn’t really have an official celebration.  Cindy was off helping her mom pick out furniture a good portion of the day and I decided to set off for another EUC swamp tour that turned out to be much messier than planned.  I had been told multiple times of a connector path between our swamp and the Bonita trail.  The couple times I looked for it previously I could not find it.  I was told it’s clearly marked now so it sounded like it was time to try again.

I also brought my Skydio 2 drone along.  The last time I took it to the swamp it freaked out, flying above the treetops and refusing to come back down automatically.  The swamp was extremely dry which you would think is a good thing compared to when Dan and I had to lug wheels across tons of standing water in December.  However I was encountering a new issue.  The dry conditions meant a bunch of the sugar sand was super loose.  Hitting loose sand with an EUC is never good, the tire digs in and the odds of falling are highly elevated.

Once I discovered the now clearly marked connector path things went from bad to worse. 3/4 of the trail was exactly what I described, loose sugar sand.  Repeatedly I tried to ride and repeatedly I fell, several of which are captured on video.  I wound up pushing the wheel for miles which became extremely arduous once the sun broke back out from behind the clouds.  I originally planned to ride back from Bonita but I was too spent to do so.  I had no idea where I emerged on the other side, I sent Cindy my phone location so she could track me that way.  The two part video tells a pretty funny, aggravating, and curse word filled story.

I was spent last night as you can imagine.  Luckily editing video doesn’t take a lot of physical effort.

Today I have a number of small like to do’s, not must do’s.  We will see how many I can knock out.  It’s been a fun extended weekend thus far, here’s hoping for more of the same for today and tomorrow.

 

 

If you are around my age it is very likely you were a Friends viewer at some point during it’s 10 year run from 1994 to 2004.  Hell Cindy and I still watch reruns of it at night in bed sometimes.  I was not a maniacal fan but a fan for sure of the show.  Well the cast got together for a reunion show that started streaming on HBO Max yesterday.  Cindy and I watched it over dinner.

They went through a lot of effort for the production, recreating the original sets and bringing in some of the various other well known guest actors from the show and even Lady Gaga made an appearance.

Since I am a shallow person one of the first things I did was evaluate what 17 years has done to the appearance of the cast, all of them are in their 50s now.  All three woman still are in good shape although Courtney and Jennifer’s affinity for plastic surgery and botox was painfully obvious.  David Shcwimmer has held up pretty well too except for a puffier face. Matt Leblanc looked like he was rocking the biggest dad bod (Matt Perry not far behind), along with head full of gray hair which was a little shocking.  I think Matt Perry was the worst off, his years of drug abuse/addiction has not been kind to him.  He also had a set of veneers in his mouth that really looked odd.  I think Lisa Kudrow actually has held up the best of all.  She doesn’t look tweaked, cut, bloated or injected, just a slightly older version of Phoebe.

But physical appearances aside, the interactions between the cast were as we remembered.  Their genuine friendship and adoration for each other still came clearly through.  Despite nearly two decades of time passing, it still felt like Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler and Joey were still there, still Friends.  Cindy and I both thought the special was really well done.  It made you wish this cast could still perform together but we will all have to be satisfied with that 10 year time capsule of near perfection.

Tomorrow my 5 day weekend begins.  It is going to be jammed full of things.  As I mentioned before the biggest project I hope to accomplish is the work on my Veteran Sherman.  I have some hesitation tearing into a perfectly functional wheel but I keep telling myself it will be an worthwhile expenditure of time and effort.  DJ’s official birthday party will be Sunday afternoon which will be fun as well I’m sure.  I also would like to get some time to play WoW and hang in VR, both of which have been sidelined for damn close to two weeks, at least.

In the last video I made I was riding my KingSong 16X.  During that video I briefly mentioned that when the Inmotion V12 came out I would likely sell my 16X since I don’t need two 16 inch wheels.  That simple mention brought about 4 or 5 inquiries asking me if I wanted to sell my 16X now.

I responded to a guy that asked me what I would want for it.  I gave him a number and he offered $100 less than my number but said he would pick it up in person since he lives in Miami.  I agreed but the guy said he didn’t want to get the wheel until July so he sent me a $100 deposit to hold it until then, no problem.

In the span of 24 hours, picking it up in July had changed to he could get the wheel now if I was willing to ship it to him, with him paying the shipping cost.  I have shipped a number of wheels over the years and I always keep their original box so I told him that would be fine as well.  I dug the box out of the small shed last night, put the wheel in it, weighed it and then got the shipping estimate which I sent to the buyer.

Within a couple hours I had the remainder of the funds in my Paypal account.  I sealed up the box, slapped a shipping label on it and dropped it off at a UPS Store on my way into work, completing the transaction.  It’s funny how this came out of basically nowhere, by a simple statement of future intent in the video.  Now all I need is the V12 I spoke about, unfortunately I have absolutely no ETA for that happening.  The good thing is I still have 7 or 8 other PEVs to keep me occupied until then.

 

 

I had mentioned yesterday was DJ’s birthday and how I was sad that I didn’t think I was going to get to see him on his big day.  However when I got home the sadness was averted as I saw Katie’s truck in the driveway.  It’s funny, it used to be when DJ would first see me he would come over and want me to pick him up.  Now he has a more subdued almost shy response at first although he will say Pop Pop non-stop.  It didn’t take long for the fun to start however.

DJ came out to the chicken area with me as I tended to the birds.  We then spent some unexpected pool time together.  Cindy and Katie thought the water was too cold but I jumped in and splashed around with DJ for close to a half hour I bet.  They were at the house until after 8PM which was nice.  It always makes me sad when I say goodbye to DJ when he is in his car seat.  He points to an empty seat and says “sit”, meaning he wants me to come along with him.  When he realizes that isn’t going to happen the tears start flowing, poor little guy.

So I put in to take off next Tuesday and Wednesday, extending my Memorial Day weekend to a pleasant 5 days.  The weekend after that is our trip to the Kennedy Space Center, meaning I won’t have to work a full week until mid-June.  For this upcoming weekend the big project I am targeting is not house related but EUC related.  I have a new rim/tire for my Veteran Sherman that I would like to get installed.  It is going to require a major tear down of the wheel that will likely consume half of a day, good thing I have five of them off.