It’s raining, again

I figured since it was yet another rainy day I may as well get the blog written for the weekend.  The weather the last two weeks has been crazy.  We went from arid, dry conditions to wet season literally overnight.  It has been gray and raining the better part of two weeks, it’s nuts.  There have been a series of low pressure systems in the gulf causing the weather, the latest being tropical storm Alberto.

We got lucky and only had light rain falling on us when we went for our run early Saturday morning.  I had taken last weekend off from running due to some mild pain in both of my knees.  My legs didn’t feel great while covering the 13 laps but we finished with a pace almost identical to what we logged two weeks prior.

So I had a decent size list written up for the weekend, not a staycation size list but at least a half dozen items were on there.  All of the rain meant the grass was back into high gear growth mode.  I got the the weed whacking done before the sky let loose but that meant the tractor mowing would have to wait. I mean what sort of idiot mows grass in the rain?

Another item on the list was to take the old dryer to Cindy’s mom.  She was buying a new washer to go with the dryer we are giving her.  The weather was still looking terrible but I grabbed a blue tarp from the shed to cover it during it’s ride in the back of the Tacoma.  Getting the unit into the truck was an ordeal.  I had it on a hand truck and I was up in the bed trying to lift the dryer up with brute force while Cindy was on the ground trying to lift.  It didn’t go well as I didn’t account for the wheels of the hand truck getting stuck on the tailgate.  By the time I realized what was happening the tailgate was at a 45 degree angle.  We set it down and modified our strategy.  We transported the dryer face up with the tarp strapped around the unit to keep it dry.

It was a good thing we covered the dryer.  The closer we got to Cindy’s mom’s place the harder the rain came down.  We unloaded the dryer in a torrential downpour.  I was absolutely soaked.  So the laundry spot had an old shelf that was about an inch too low to accommodate the high profile of the dryer and pedestal stand.  We decided to just pull out the shelf as anything on it could either go on top of the new washer/dryer or into the slide out drawers in the pedestals below.

So in addition to pulling the shelf I pulled the old accordian style dryer vent tube which was filled with lint.  I had Cindy sweep out the outlet into the wall as well, it was pretty bad.  I replaced the old vent pipe with the newer style that we had with our dryer.  I was finally ready to try to slide the dryer into place when I discovered another issue.  The 220 plug on the wall was an older three prong style, the cord on our dryer was a 4 plug.  Luckily dryer cords are easily changeable.  I hopped in the truck to head to nearby Home Depot where I got a different cord and a few other things I needed for the chicken coop.

Once I returned I swapped the plug and then was finally able to slide the dryer into place so I could see one more pitfall.  The laundry nook had folding doors in front of it.  With the dryer pushed into place the edge of the door blocked the pull out drawer in the pedestal from opening.  Cindy’s mom said we could just pull the doors off, she didn’t like them anyway.  After doing so the clearance was just enough to allow everything to work as intended.  Cindy’s mom thanked us for our help and we were off.

We decided we were going to drive up to Lehigh Acres to take a look at my two pieces of “investment” real estate I own.  I put that in quotes because it actually has been the worst investment of my life.  As it sits I am probably down roughly 80%-90% of what I originally paid for the two parcels.  I had not been up to the lots in at least two years, maybe longer.

The one reason we went was to see if there was any viability to using the lots to to store Cindy’s RV on  during wet season. (it’s not viable)  The other reason was to just see what has changed in the area since I been there last.

The two lots are tiny compared to our land here.  One parcel is .24 acres and the other is .29 which is standard for Lehigh Acres.  I bought these during the real estate boom in 2003.  At one point I could have sold each lot for nearly double what I paid for them but I thought there was no ceiling so I just held on.  Once the bottom dropped out of the market the prices absolutely plummeted and I paid the price for greed, riding it all the way to the bottom.

The trip confirmed that both of the lots have some nice attributes for different reasons.  One of them is very close to the middle of Lehigh Acres with easy access to all amenities while being surrounded by nice homes and a nearby country club.  The other lot is more remote but again nice with a canal and orange grove behind it meaning you should never have to worry about encroachment from the rear.

During the ride Cindy threw out an idea that had some intrigue for me.  What if we built a house on one of these lots for either rent or resale?  It’s something that could possibly be one way for me to recoup that money that will otherwise be lost forever.  It’s something I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking on until I get my HELOC paid off but it is an interesting idea.  It would be a lot simpler if the land prices in Lehigh started rebounding like land prices in Collier County have but it seems like that is an unlikely scenario.

My new full face helmet for EUC riding arrived Saturday.  I wasted little time before trying it on for comfort.  The XL helmet felt good and didn’t appear to affect my field of vision at all which is important.  On Sunday I got out in the driveway with it on briefly just to do a quick real world test.

Saturday night Cindy and I got out to see Solo, the latest Star Wars movie.  I have to be honest, with as disappointed as I was in the last Last Jedi combined with a lot of negative hype about Solo, I was less than excited to go see it.  However as a true Star Wars fan I felt obliged to see it in a theater, regardless.

My luke warm feeling about the movie was also self cultivated from seeing trailers that didn’t overly excite me.  I thought the actor they got to play a young Han Solo just didn’t look the part and I felt that would really overshadow the movie.  There were also all sorts of problems during the production of the film including reshooting large portions of it.

Well I have never been the type of person to be afraid to admit I was wrong about something and Solo is definitely an example of that.  I thought the movie was not good but GREAT.  Although the actor that played Han was not the visual depicition most fans would want, he did a great job of portraying the personality of Han Solo.  It didn’t take long for my initial apprehensions to melt away.  This felt like a true Star Wars movie and I enjoyed it from start to finish, you will too.  It gets an A.

Sunday morning I awoke to news that Florida was under a state of emergency from Alberto due to the potential for severe rain, forecast as much as 10 inches in some areas.  F that, even though it still was off and on raining outside I decided I HAD to get the grass mowed.  So while Cindy was out running errands mid-morning I fired up the Craftsman and got busy.  I was able to get almost the entire front of the yard mowed before the rain returned.  However it returned with a vengeance.

At one point I was mowing in the middle of an absolute deluge.  The canopy on the mower kept me sort of dry from the shoulders up and that’s it.  I didn’t care, I was going to finish, no matter what.  Cindy got back when I was almost done.  The tractor was encased in a wet, green organic blanket that I tried to rinse off afterward.  Even though I was soaked by the end of the task I felt relief to get it done before potentially horrid rain began. That rain never really came.  We had off and on periods of rain all day but it seems we missed the flood level precipitation that was predicted which I am certainly happy about.

We spent the rest of the day around the house attending to mostly indoor things.  I told Cindy late in the day that somehow, despite mowing in the rain for two hours earlier, I somehow felt lazy for not doing more.  It’s an odd ailment I suffer from.

Last night we watched our Netflix rental, Geostorm.  Wow, despite having the star of 300 in it, one of my favorite movies of all time, Gerard Butler, I found this movie to be utterly ridiculous.  Pretty much nothing made sense and when Gerard “saves” the planet it seems like it was already too late.  This was the opposite experience of Solo as I actually thought I would like this movie.  B-

Today we hoped to get out on the wheels for Memorial Day but it again was off an on rain all morning.  I may still get a shot to get out there later today but the the constant threat of rain makes it annoying and less than desirable to venture out only to get washed out later.  I have a lot of indoor things to keep me busy if need be until the world of work returns tomorrow.


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