Category: Anything and Everything

So after two and a half months my Veteran Sherman finally arrived, the most expensive PEV I have ever purchased.  I unboxed the wheel on a live stream as that normally makes for somewhat interesting content.  After unboxing it I noticed shortly thereafter that there had been a mistake, the wheel had the wrong tire installed.  The Sherman normally comes with a large knobby tire but also can be ordered with a normal street tire if you desire.  I selected the knobby tire with my order as that was what was on the demo unit I tested several months back, and I liked it.  My frustration and disappointment in this discovery was captured on stream.

I emailed the dealer on stream as well, informing them of the mistake.  Others watching the stream reported that this was not an issue just I was having, others reported the same deal, ordering a knobby tire and getting the street version.  Jason from Ewheels emailed me back within a few minutes confirming the mistake not only with my wheel but with many others.  Evidently they were told that all of the wheels from the manufacturer were the knobby tire variety.  They assumed what they were told was true and shipped the units out without verifying.  It turns out about 20% of the wheels had the wrong tire.

So Jason asked if I would be ok with them just sending me a knobby tire.  I agreed, knowing that doing so meant I was signing up for the rather arduous process of tearing down the wheel to replace the rubber.  It wasn’t a scenario that appealed to me but the idea of going through the hassle and additional delay of sending the entire wheel back and waiting for another was even less appealing.  Plus swapping out the tire will make for good YouTube content so that is the route I am taking.

The stream went on for close to three hours somehow.  It spun off into various tangents along the way like VR, old gaming consoles and a bunch of other stuff.  After it wrapped up I did take the Sherman out for 5 minutes into the very chilly night air.  We have our most significant cold front this year right now, temps this morning were in the low to mid-40s.

I thought it was hilarious as Don has continued to spew “rigged election” everywhere he can, William Barr, who has ruined his reputation backing up Trump’s various sideshows came out yesterday and said definitively that there was NO evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential election.  I was rather surprised that a well established boot licker like Barr would make such a statement and I wonder how long it is until Trump calls him a loser too.  I guess unlike Republicans that are still in congress who have to continue to act like they support Trump else face repercussions from the lunatic fringe diehards, Barr doesn’t really need to give two f’s if he appeases the lamest of duck President anymore.  It really does sadden me that so many people continue to live in this hateful, ignorant, delusional world that Donald Trump has created.

So I stayed up till almost midnight watching the Eagles/Seahawks game which was not as close as the 23-17 final score thanks to a garbage TD late against a prevent defense.  This game was awful in so many ways but let me first say I was surprised when I saw that they have once again started banning fans from home games, only cardboard cutouts were seen in the stands. Hell the Eagles are lucky, the 49ers have to play their home games in Arizona now because the city banned all contact sports because of the surging covid 19 numbers.

So let’s talk about the game itself.  Coming in the Seahawks defense, specifically their pass defense has been absolutely atrocious, the worst in the league by far giving up on average 350 yards per game in the air.  You would think it would be just what Carson Wentz would need to pull up the nose on his terrible season statistically.  Instead Wentz had another stinker of a game, looking lost, frustrated, and angry.  The commentators did a good job of piling on pointing out the various mistakes Wentz made throughout the game missing throws, not seeing wide open receivers, and holding onto the ball too long.  All of it is true, Wentz has truly under performed but it isn’t like there are not a ton of reasons that contributed to it, the biggest of which are injuries.

The offense is destroyed with injuries, last night was the 10th different offensive line combination the team has had to use this year.  Zac Ertz is hurt, Desean Jackson never really got going, and Alshon Jeffries is back but looks very old and slow all of a sudden.  Carson is tough,a leader, and has the will to win, I just don’t know that he has the rare qualities needed to be an elite QB.

More and more I am pointing a finger at upper management that put this roster together.  They put a lot of trust in aging players with known injury issues like Lane Johnson, Jason Peters, and Desean Jackson.  They drafted three wide receivers that so far seem unable to make plays in the NFL as well as drafting Jalen Hurts in the second round which was a head scratcher for everyone. The announcers mentioned that since 2013 the Eagles have drafted only one player that was an All Pro, Wentz who obviously will not be that status this year.  The front office since the Super Bowl year has not made a lot of great decisions.

The game gave me zero hope for this season, things only get worse from here as the team plays three more teams with winning records next.  By Christmas 3-10-1 is a very real possibility.

 

Thanksgiving morning I flipped on the tv to see the mutated version of the Macy’s parade.  I was quite curious what it would be like having the event in front of NO spectators.  It turned out to be like the rest of 2020, very strange.  They cut the parade down to bare bones.  The normal two mile route jammed with millions of spectators was slashed to a single block where they basically did their thing in front of the TV cameras and that was it.  The couple thousand balloon handlers normally used in the parade was reduced to 130.  A lot of the segments were pre-recorded.  I guess it was better than nothing and I understand wanting to continue the tradition but let’s be honest, that wasn’t really the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

Katie and DJ came over mid-morning to do another family PEV ride, a fun thing to incorporate into the day.  We went to the Pelican Bay park and explored some of the quiet residential areas surrounding it.  Cindy again pushed DJ around in his stroller which is cool.  It’s nice that we can incorporate him into the rides this way.  More than once during the ride I thought back to how for a long time Thanksgiving morning was a stress filled event timing the holiday race.  I felt grateful that I am no longer in that situation.

Katie and DJ stayed all day.  Daniel showed up around 4PM.  Both of them got to mess around with the Quest 2.  Katie is very entertaining to watch when she plays in VR, she really throws herself into it.  This was Daniel’s first time in VR and he was pretty impressed as well with how immersive and realistic the experience is.

As is always the case, we had way too much food for the small amount of people we had gathered.  It tasted great of course and I am thankful Cindy likes to put in the effort for the meal.  We finished up our last round of leftovers last night which despite them still being tasty, I was glad to be done with them.  I feel like a fat blob from eating such calorie dense foods for four consecutive days.

In past years I felt the desire to throw myself into the Black Friday quagmire, doing in person shopping for at least part of the day.  I felt no such desire to do so this year, due to covid and my inner dislike of crowds of human beings.  Instead of being the one buying I was the one selling thanks to the Black Friday sale I was running on my store, offering a flat 15% off everything.  The response was large, we dropped off a huge bag of packages to the post office during the day, it was my single largest day ever.

I also got busy on chores Friday, weeding and mowing the grass to make room to get other things done on the weekend.  While I was doing that Cindy started busting ass on Xmas decorations, setting up the trees inside as well as getting out the inflatables for the front yard.  We worked on setting up the outside decorations as the sun was setting.  It was completely dark when we were finished but at least we got to immediately see the fruits of our labor.

Saturday was an absolute grind.  It felt like we were on the go almost all day and that was because we basically were.  I did a number of smaller projects outside.  One of them was taking some 1 x 6’s to seal the gap under the platform the chicken coop sits on top of.

When we blocked the chickens from going under there I just haphazardly threw some boards across the opening and held them in place with concrete blocks.  Well the seal was not tight and allowed palm rats to freely come and go from that spot as they wanted.

I now have the area boarded up tight meaning if they want access to the run they are going to work much harder to do so, via tunnels.  As I find tunnels I will fill/block them as needed.  I have been trying to catch more of the palm rats with my live trap but it seems some of them have caught on and won’t go into the trap even with peanut butter on the lever.

I also tackled another problem I have been putting off for awhile, ever since the dirt and sod was brought in during early summer, fixing sprinklers in that area.  There was one sprinkler in particular that was now under a foot of dirt that I needed to adjust/fix.  I kept putting it off because I knew it would be a pain in the ass plus we were in wet season so I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal to procrastinate.

The job was a huge pain in the ass as expected.  I had to dig down through the rocky top soil that was added to not only expose the sprinkler head but also the flex pipe that ran to the PVC feed line.  As I disconnected the old sprinkler and hose water ran out, filling the hole with mud that I needed to clear.  I struggled to get the old flex out unsuccessfully so I had to turn out the adapter fitting on the PVC instead, replacing it and the flex pipe with a longer section needed to accommodate the higher ground level.  By the time I was done I was a sweaty and muddy mess.  It felt good to have it done though as this sprinkler is one of the two used to water the garden, without it trying to grow anything in the winter in there would be futile.

After a long day of outdoor labor we moved inside where we got around to decorating the Christmas trees.  We have a lot of ornaments so it took a good chunk of time but by the time we got done the house felt primed for the holidays.  Saturday night we watched our Netflix rental, Mr Rodgers.  Mr Rodgers was a core part of my childhood, his show and Sesame Street were the two children shows everyone watched in a pre-cable TV world that had significantly less options.

I thought Tom Hanks did a fantastic job depicting Fred Rodgers and I thought the story, which is supposed to based on a real life encounter was surprising, touching, and emotional.  Cindy felt the same way.  If you are like me and grew up watching the show you will give it an A too.

Before I could blink it was already Sunday.  During the morning I followed my normal Sunday routine which includes chicken clean up, doing my weekly bill reconciliation, and doing a Dunkin Donuts coffee run.  After we got home Katie and DJ stopped over for another visit which was fun.  DJ sticks to me like a magnet when I’m around, it’s very endearing.

The Eagles did not play Sunday afternoon so I had some extra time.  I decided to spend it doing another long ride out to Ave Maria on my S18.  I wanted to do a higher speed ride to see how the wheel would perform.  When I did this on my V11 I ran out of battery after 29 miles and had to be picked up by Cindy.  Well I once again required a save by Cindy but the S18, which has a smaller battery actually carried me further, almost 32 miles before I had to call the cavalry.  I am excited that my Veteran Sherman that I have been waiting nearly three months for is supposed to show up tomorrow.

Sunday evening was consumed mostly by editing the very long video as well as some work in the hobby room. I have a couple printers requiring my attention.  I also was researching how to set up mixed reality recording for Quest 2 game play.  I think inserting Cindy or Katie into the VR view would be pretty entertaining.

Tonight the Eagles play the Seahawks.  I am already anticipating another loss as I think the 2020 team is pretty rudderless thanks to injuries and Carson Wentz regressing this year. Luckily I don’t feel emotionally invested enough in this team to care all that much.

If you needed any reassurance to just how broken of a human being Donald Trump is, his performance since he lost the election should eliminate all question.  His refusal to live in reality is startling, terrifying, and par for the course.

 

 

 

 

The last several days have been a mess with all of the shrapnel from the 30 PC hardware refresh we did this past weekend.  There are still some bugs yet to be squashed but the worst of it should be behind us.  I am very much looking forward to having a four day weekend ahead of me to recover.

I watched some of the interview Joe Biden did for NBC News last night.  I can’t explain how nice it was to have him not say something every other sentence that made me shake my head in disgust.  I crave the a reality where I won’t be hearing about ridiculous/stupid things the president is doing every single day.  I thought Joe came off very well in the interview, seeming prepared for the countless tasks and challenges ahead of him trying to unravel four years of lunacy.

I have a few tasks lined up for the four day weekend like mowing grass, starting my holiday shopping and putting out the Xmas decorations along with everyday assignments.  I am hoping to get some more time to chill and relax, for real this time.

I bet I spent at least a couple hours last night putting stands together, building parts, and doing work on the store.  It’s all in preparation for my first ever Black Friday sale where I plan to offer a straight 15% discount across the board on everything.  I have no clue if this will be a big incentive for buyers or not but I am making sure I have a good amount of inventory in case it really hits home.  As is with all of my costs my profit margin on the stands is not huge but I still think it will be fun to see if the little promo makes up for that in volume.

So it looks like Sidney Powell’s claims, you know the ones I had to refute to multiple people on Facebook about this massive vote flipping conspiracy courtesy of the Dominion voting hackers, has officially been debunked by the Trump administration itself.  Yesterday the poster child for insanity, Rudy Guilliani had to admit that Powell was even more full of shit than he is and cut her and her conspiracy theory that so many Trump adorers were clinging to like their lives depended on it, loose.

Likely not coincidentally Trump finally relented and allowed the transition to Biden begin officially, without him actually admitting he lost, of course.  I was thinking about the year or more Trump spent talking shit about Biden, calling him sleepy, creepy, do nothing, and of course, a loser.  I recall at one of his cult rallies he said something to the effect that he couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose to someone that is a loser like Biden which of course drew thundering applause and laughter.  I guess Donald is finding what that scenario is like now.

Granted Trump has never been a deep thinker so I am sure when he saw red faced crowds cheering him on incessantly for the last four years he really believed that most of America loved him.  Hell why wouldn’t they based on how much Donald already loved himself?  To have the ice cold reality water thrown on his face seems to have shocked the man baby to his core, with his reaction being to go take his golf ball home with him while he hides on the golf course as the ridiculous charade about the election results continued on.  It’s fitting that he is deciding to go out just like he governed, embarrassing the country to the very end.

When you have an ego the size of Trump’s, losing to someone you so vehemently attacked as being weak, senile and a disaster, is an insult of the most damaging sort.  It seriously could not happen to a more deserving individual.

This weekend was gone in snap thanks to the massive amount of time that was required in the office for the hardware upgrade.  I worked until 10PM Friday night and then all day Saturday until 4 in the afternoon.   When I got home on Saturday despite being mentally worn out I jumped into chores before the sun went down.  On Sunday I got to enjoy myself at least.  In the morning Katie, DJ, and Cindy joined me for a ride around North Collier Park which was fun.

During the afternoon I got to watch yet another frustrating Eagles loss, this time to the Browns.  The game was not as close as the 22-17 final score.  Carson Wentz again struggled and the team demonstrated it’s inability to make plays when needed.  In the the past two games they have only converted TWICE on third down which is unheard of.  I think Carson has lost confidence in his receivers and/or himself.  I know my confidence in him being able to ever take the team back to an elite status is not there.

I multi-tasked while watching the game, assembling parts for 3D printed stands.  I am trying to build up some inventory for Black Friday as I was going to do a sale for the weekend.  Sunday evening Cindy and I got to play some in VR, playing the Star Wars titles.  They are so immersive and cool however neither of us had the headset adjust optimally for our heads.  The end result is discomfort that takes away from the experience.

Today is a whirlwind of troubleshooting and bug squashing which was to be expected.  I am very much looking forward to the upcoming long weekend to decompress and realign.

Today will be a long one as we are refreshing roughly 30 workstations at our main office.  The work will begin this afternoon, go late into this evening and then hopefully conclude by mid-day tomorrow.  It’s a pain in the ass for sure but in the big picture I am required to work extended hours far less than the normal IT network administrator so you won’t hear much whining from me.  This is the biggest refresh of all of our offices, once we get through it the worst of the process is behind us.

So all of the diehard Trump acolytes have been devouring and regurgitating the story of Sidney Powell who is one of Trump’s lawyers.  She has been diligently working to sow seeds of doubt wherever possible to appease the tantruming man-child we now have in the White House. The lie she has been spreading was that there was some sort of massive criminal manipulation of the votes where electronic systems were compromised.  She has said ad nauseum that she has tons of evidence that she was just waiting to release.

Well you guys are now in court trying to prove some fraud occurred, I think now would be the time to present this overwhelming evidence, right?  Hell even Tucker Carlson, the Trumper version of Moses, is sick of her song and dance.  He was scheduled to have this woman on however when they asked for information regarding proof of her accusations she again refused to provide any.  As I linked yesterday, this accusation has been proven to be absolutely false beyond doubt, yet I still was seeing people posting links to her conspiracy theory yesterday as if it actually was real.

I thought to myself if this was finally enough?  Was the great Tucker Carlson basically saying “I think this woman is full of shit” enough to finally release the death grip some Trump voters have on the false narrative that the election result was erroneous.  Is this the equivalent of smelling salts for some, waking them up from the hypnotic haze that has poisoned their minds since 2016?  I can only hope at least some find their way back towards common decency and caring about the greater good, but I doubt it.

This weekend will have a compressed timeline obviously due to the work requirements.  I will just be content that after this, the rest of the year should have few road bumps from a work perspective.

 

So I got a call from my dad last night with some more terrible news, they put their other dog, Clara down yesterday.  A month or two ago dad had told me that they found out that Clara had cancer in multiple parts of her body and the prognosis was not good.  I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the news having known that but I still was. She had stopped eating for a couple days and was no longer able to get up and walk.  My step mom took the excruciating step of taking sweet Clara to the vet to end her suffering, something my dad just simply can not do.

I had last seen Clara when I went to PA for Todd’s 50th birthday in June.  She looked older of course but still was pretty spry for a 13 year old dog as she chased Patrick and I around the yard on our EUC’s.  I certainly had no indication that she was sick.  The picture was taken by my step mom in July. It reminds me of the picture I had taken of Maggie in January, prior to her passing away a few months later.  It’s a beautiful picture that unfortunately now carries sadness along with it.

Clara was always the rebel, she was very adept at not listening to you.  When we would play fetch with her and Maggie she was always intent on stealing whatever ball, toy or stick Maggie had.  Of course once she managed to steal it she would drop it shortly thereafter as the fun part was trying to take it.  Despite the mischievous side of her, Clara was also a very loving dog.  She was always quite content when I would sit by her and pet her gently.

So much of my dad’s daily routine included and revolved around their dogs.  Going on walks, coffee runs, road trips, and other adventures with Clara and Maggie was a staple of his daily existence for a decade and a half.  To have that evaporate in a relatively short time span is an extremely difficult thing to deal with, especially when you love your pets so deeply.  I can definitely empathize with how they must be feeling right now.

Dealing with the realities of death is something I have struggled with my entire life.  The pain associated with losing another living being that is a core cog of your life throws everything else out of alignment.  Learning how to appreciate all of the wonderful moments while not becoming mired in despair and sorrow is a tough line to walk for me.  I know it is for dad as well.  I’ll always think back to our early western road trips where Maggie, Clara, Nicki, and Sadie were running wild together, having the time of their lives.  It’s hard to believe that Sadie is all that remains from that wonderful memory that just doesn’t feel as long ago as it actually was.

Below is one of the videos I shot in PA where you can see Clara being Clara.  I’m going to miss her.

I remember as my mom got older witnessing some of the stereotypical behaviors you associate with old people like forgetting stuff, repeating herself, and other things of that sort.  Well in recent years I have noticed the same behaviors slipping into my reality more and more.  On a regular basis I catch myself telling someone something only to remember part way into it that I already told them this previously.  I also find myself calling the pets the wrong name sometimes, switching names for Elsa and Sadie as well as the chickens.  This is a behavior my grandmother on my dad’s side did all the time, calling the grandkids by the wrong name. I also randomly can walk into rooms with an intent and forget the intent once I get there.

However the most annoying thing for me is randomly forgetting names of people, things, or places of business.  I routinely can forget the name of someone I should easily know.  Like for the longest time I had a horrible struggle remembering the name of Samuel L Jackson, the guy that has probably been in more movies than anyone in the last 25 years.  I need to do some sort of word association to address these gaps when I have them, as long as I don’t forget the word association.  Hell the other day I temporarily forgot the name for Tractor Supply, seriously.  When this happens if I try to rack my brain to recall it in the moment I am rarely successful however if I just move on and try to recall it later the information pops right in.

My typing has become worse and worse.  It’s weird, sometimes I can actually “misspeak” while typing.  It’s not a typo it’s an entire word that I enter that I did not intend.  It’s crazy. The funniest recent incident was when I was pouring kefir (yogurt drink) into my juice glass last week.  After I did so I noticed it was strange that the kefir looked like it had chunks in it.  I then realized I had poured egg beaters into my glass instead.  All you can do is laugh at yourself I guess as you slowly drift off into complete madness.

Since the election I have found I have a much quicker and heavier hand with dropping the unfriend axe on anyone in social media that is still participating in Trump’s grand delusion that he actually won the election.  I wish I was more forgiving and understanding but the reality is I feel if you are that far gone I really have no interest in including you in any aspect of my life, virtually or otherwise.

 

 

 

I like many others in America breathed a large sigh of relief when Biden was officially announced as the winner of the 2020 election.  Also like many others I have cringed at the reactions of the hardcore Trump acolytes that believe he shits gold.  To give the Trump election strategists credit, their carefully crafted, systematic dissemination of misinformation was well planned and necessary because they saw the writing on the wall.  Their only chance for success was to try to break the back of the USPS while at the same time sowing gigantic seeds of doubt ahead of time about the results that they already knew were going to occur based on data.  It was a valiant effort but it failed.  The various legal challenges that were filed are dropping like flies based on a lack of merit as well but that was already expected as well, it was all to keep building on the narrative that the only way Trump loses at anything is when someone else has cheated.  It’s classic physiological manipulation, accusing others of doing what you are actually perpetrating yourself.

So anyway as I have mentioned many times over the last four years I mostly have dropped out of social media discussions with Trump supporters.  However now that he is on his way out, willingly or not, I have felt more inclined to call out blatant falsehoods that are still being thrown around like candy to the hungry Trump baby birds.  I mentioned how an ex-coworker of mine prior to the election was spreading the lie about Biden wanting to enact a national 3% property tax which I quickly debunked in 15 seconds with a simple search of factcheck.org.  Well evidently since the election loss this person is still busy spreading falsehoods and this one was a doozy.

There is a story being circulated that some massive fraud was committed by changing results on voting machines.  Michael Flynn’s lawyer is the one going on a bunch of shows promising a huge truth bomb would be dropped about this.  Of course she refuses to give any additional details or sources, she just says it so that is all many Trump supporters need to pick up the ball, run with it, and spread the lie across any social media platform they can.

Well once again it required nothing more than another simple search to debunk this BS as well.  The article on factcheck.org laid out the supposed conspiracy and why it is utter nonsense quite clearly, with sources and facts, something many Trump supporters feel are only for weak losers.  After all remember the President saying him retweeting false stories like this was not an act of irresponsibility it was just him throwing shit out there with no concern of validity or fact checking.  His supporters have clearly adopted a similar strategy.

So when I posted the clear rebuke of the story the ex-coworker came back with the perfect response to characterize the mindset of many Trump supporters. “you will never change my mind. The voting was a total disaster. ?Biden”  In other words, I don’t care about the truth and don’t even bother try to use facts against me as I am immune to them.

Another ex-classmate was posting the same nonsense and we had a longer exchange about it that went as follows.

Me – I appreciate the attempt at injecting reality into the conversation but it truly is like spitting into the wind in some circles, pointless.

MAGA – in my humble opinion, you’re both showing how closed minded liberals are, right now. This post is about our election process, and the appearance of impropriety, nothing else. I want to believe that our elections are undisputably accurate and honest. AND, I’m ok with whoever wins such an election. However, if you can look at all the potential fraudulence, and not want it looked into and corrected, then, quite frankly, YOU are the problem

Me – Sorry man, can’t go there with you. Facts and realities slide off your crew like teflon. I’m no liberal, I guess I am just more immune than some to mass brain washing. Phil and I will take our critical thinking “problem” minds elsewhere and let the ranting here continue uninterrupted.

After he said he would pray for me. I posted the same truth bomb that discredited the theory with this smart ass disclaimer – I know this is scary as it is factual but I risk sharing it here as a final attempt to startle you back into reality

MAGA – Keep your back handed, passive aggressive insults to yourselves. I’m not attacking any one. I hope this article is for real, but it does skirt some of the concerns being brought to light. Personally, I think we should vote in person, and dip our finger in ink when we do. Subsequently, representatives from all sides should be present to tally the votes. Avoid the perception of impropriety, and results would be easier to trust.

I left him alone after this as is always the case, no minds will be changed via social media, the core of your belief system will only be reinforced.