Category: Anything and Everything

Yesterday we finally were able to set up the computers at our new branch which was relief.  I have a few more details that need to be addressed there which hopefully takes no more than a few days.  After that project is in my rear view mirror I’d like to take a few days off even if I am doing it on my dime compared to the rest of our staff that is working 2.5 days a week.

Last night I assembled my new AnyCubic Max printer.  Assembly went fine but I have some more testing and tuning to do.  Hopefully I can finish it up tonight but I need to figure out how I want to shuffle my print farm around to accommodate the new printer which is a larger format style.

I have been reading more and more positive stuff about the effects of hydroxychloroquine on Covid 19 patients.  This article seems to indicate that there is some new understanding of what Covid 19 actually does to the body and that leads to some potentially good news if the drug combo does indeed shut it down before it can do real damage.

 

I skipped running Friday night.  My legs have been killing me from all of the body weight squats I have been doing as part of my lunch time calisthenics workouts.  On Saturday morning I buzzed around in the morning taking care of the basics.  Cindy has been busy during her time off working on the outdoor landscaping, relocating a bunch of stuff in a more pleasing way.  The biggest task was pulling out a decent sized bird of paradise that was by the house which she did entirely by herself.

Saturday afternoon I arranged to meet up with Mickey, a well known EUC rider from NYC who came to Florida to stay with his sister to wait this mess out.  We met at Ave Maria which was very quiet, even more so than normal.  They went so far as to pull down the rims off the basketball courts so people would not be tempted to play together.  We had a very long ride on a variety of wheels.

Early on Mickey and I did a high speed run while I was riding my MSX 100V.  Mickey has ridden his wheels in excess of 40MPH and had challenged me awhile back to see if I could at least hit 37mph.  It took a few attempts but I hit that number and then some, topping out at 38.6 MPH.  Going on an electric unicycle at that speed is not for the weak of heart and after the experience I don’t find any sort of pressing desire to do it again.  I was beat up and pooped by the end of the three+ hour riding experience.  Mickey and I seemed to get along well, talking easily about a variety of subjects.  It all made for a long but interesting video, if I do say so myself. I am hoping we can meet up for a swamp ride next.

Saturday night I had three White Claws backed up up by one of my few remaining Zima’s.  The end result was some welcome laughter and silliness, something that is in short supply nowadays.

Sunday was a pretty quarantined day.  I only headed out to grab a coffee and drop off some stand orders at the post office.  Otherwise I was home all day working on stuff.  Among those things was  installing a Ring Pop Up cam on the chicken run to replace the old Ring doorbell that was out there.  I then mounted the old doorbell on the east side of the house to give us some surveillance in that direction, which we never had.

For almost a month I have had my one Prusa printer set up on the fold up table in the middle of the hobby room as I repeatedly have tried to fix a problem with under extrusion.  I have made multiple attempts, unsuccessfully, trying various fixes for the problems of varying difficulty.  Yesterday I bit the bullet and committed mentally to replacing the entire hot end assembly, a tedious task that I spent close to two hours on.  At least the end result of my efforts was the printer once again working normally.  In this crazy time it’s nice to have some wins now and then to break up the looming and omnipresent negativity.

 

We are STILL waiting for the contractor to complete the customer counters at the new branch.  We have had our equipment piled up in there waiting for these clowns to finish  all week.  Yesterday they were supposed to be in there busting ass to get it done.  Instead, nobody showed up.  I have said many times how I can not stand businesses or individuals that over promise and under deliver.  I would much rather be told realistic/accurate information that can reliably be depended upon.  If you can’t do that for me we are not going to get along very well.  At this point we will not get the branch set up until next week sometime, hopefully.

Last night I edited two videos, one was footage from Tuesday when I stupidly thought I was going to score hand sanitizer at Target.  The other was my skateboard ride over my lunch hour yesterday.

This weekend I have things to do which include meeting up with Micky, an EUC YouTuber from NYC who has family in our area.  We plan to ride around Ave Maria, observing social distancing the entire time, of course.

 

 

So yesterday the governor of Florida finally caved to a mountain of pressure and declared a statewide stay at home order.  It’s the same basic structure as other state orders where the general populace is supposed to stay home except for essential needs.  It also dictates non-essential public facing businesses close. The list of essential businesses however is quite large and a bit fuzzy in definition.  This order lasts throughout the month of April.

The order’s affect on me is minimal as since our offices collect state fees we are deemed as essential services.  More than likely we will continue to move forward being closed to the public but still having employees report at 50% staffing levels to do things like process mail and answer the phones.  The 50% staffing policy has not been applied to our department as our jobs aren’t really dependent on customer traffic.

I continue to be very mindful of my interactions with other people as well as cognizant of cleaning my hands after touching anything out in the public space.  When I get home my work clothes go right into the wash machine and after I take care of the chickens I jump in the shower to clean off, just in case.  Because Cindy is very concerned about contracting Covid 19 because of her health issues we have been sleeping in different bedrooms and using separate bathrooms.  The living together yet apart dynamic has not been an easy change and the way things are lining up I don’t see even a speck of light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Since hording began I have not panicked but I have been keeping my eyes open online to snag some stuff if it comes available.  I snagged TP a few weeks ago, and just yesterday a 12 pack of paper towels, both from Walmart.com.  Yesterday for the hell of it I did a search online for hand sanitizer and was surprised to see that one of the Naples Target locations was showing it actually had it in stock.  It said you couldn’t order and then pick it up but it clearly showed as being available.

I was hopeful that I once again stumbled across some good fortune so I decided to stop there on my way home.  I entered the store with my buff on which drew second glances from a lot of other store patrons.  Once again, I could count the amount of other people wearing masks on one hand.

I combed the store back and forth looking for sanitizer and asked an employee who didn’t know anything.  I came up empty on my search which was disappointing.  It’s the last time I will trust an IN STOCK status in a Covid 19 world.

Yesterday I filmed my lunchtime One Wheel ride as well as my ride home in the Tesla.  I got the One Wheel video edited but was far too tired to knock out the Tesla video before hitting bed.

So when I got home from work I had the tear jerking task of burying another hen.  As I mentioned this morning, Cindy told me she found Ginger dead on the floor of the coop.  I told Cindy just the other night as I put the birds to bed I was thinking about how painful it was when we lost Kristen last year.

Ironically just like Kristen, Ginger was the runt of the flock and got the most abuse from the other birds.  Even more ironic is she made the same growling type noise that Kristen did and like Kristen, Ginger knew her name.  Every night when I put them to bed Ginger would fight through getting pecked by the other birds to get next to me on the perch, just so I would pet her a few times.  It was endearing.

So before I buried her I went inside to review the coop footage.  Somewhere around 3 AM Ginger simply looked like she was adjusting her position, slipped, fell of the back of the perch and must have landed in a way that broke her fragile neck.  We modified the perch in the past to avoid this exact scenario.  It now sits no more than two feet high but it doesn’t really matter, if a bird falls off the wrong way they are going to be in trouble.

I buried her in the backyard by myself which is what I actually prefer.  I’d rather be alone with my feelings of grief when we lose an animal which without fail invokes a strong emotional reaction.  I dug the hole extra deep, hoping to avoid desecration of her body by predators.  I covered it with a pile of palm fronds and other debris.

There is plenty of craziness going on in the world right now.  Losing sweet Ginger was a gut punch on top of it all.

There hasn’t been much from me since late last week because I was mired in moving one of our branches.  At this point I have all of the network services at the new location up and running but the computer equipment is not up because the company that is building/installing the counters is terrible.  The counters were supposed to be finished two weeks ago and they still aren’t done.  The last I heard was “hopefully” by Wednesday.

On Friday night I baited the live traps by the coop with peanut butter as I had seen movement around the run while I have been out there at night.  On Saturday I saw one of the traps had snapped shut, what I didn’t expect to see was a baby palm rat hanging out the other side.  Somehow he managed to get half of his body out of the tiny wire square which looked impossible.  However he only got halfway.  At first I assumed he was dead but when I approached he started to move.  Great, this had now gone from a trapping to a rescue mission.  I felt absolutely horrible as I carried the cage up to the garage as I supported the baby rats weight so it didn’t hurt him even more.

I knew I had to sacrifice the cage if I was going to get him out.  I carefully cut a perimeter of the wire around him loose before I attempted to cut the square that he was actually stuck in.  With the precision of a surgeon I made the cuts to the wire that he was stuck in, making sure I did not cut the baby in the process.  I was able to get him free.

I carefully placed him in a bucket.  He was not doing well.  I had little doubt that during his struggles he caused all sorts of internal injuries.  I brought him some chicken feed and a small dish of water and let him rest while I finished up the chicken work.  When I was done I came back hoping to see him moving around some.  He was still very stationary, but still alive.

I loaded him up in the truck and took him to my normal drop off point.  I placed him intact on the paper towel under some brush with the food and water intact.  I have minimal hope that he survived the day and I felt terrible that I had any part even inadvertently with his demise.  The cage that I cut apart went in the trash.  I still will continue to live trap but I need to make sure this scenario does not go down again.

On Saturday while I was doing my errands I saw another example of how the world is changing around us.  I needed to stop at Home Depot for a couple items.  They still did not have paper towels but they did have a four pack of blue shop towels which serve the same purpose in most situations, I was surprised no one else had grabbed them.

When I approached the store I noticed the garden center door was closed and instead there was a row of canopies leading to the front door.  They were doing limited access to the store.  By the cash registers they had tape on the floor to encourage customers to distance themselves properly.  They also forced everyone to exit at the far end of the store to minimize the amount of face to face interaction that happens with two way traffic.  It was bizarre but I appreciated their efforts.  I did have my buff on the entire time I was in the store.  I saw more masked people than the week before but still overall, maybe 5% had masks, everyone else was bare backing it.

I spent a good portion of Saturday afternoon working on the yard with an assist from Cindy.  Although we are in the middle of dry season drought there were portions of the yard that were getting a bit gnarly looking. I should be good to go for another month at least.

Saturday night we plowed through the remaining episodes of Tiger King, the bizarre docu-series on Netflix that has been getting a lot of press.  I never knew much about people that raised large exotic animals for a living.  Now I do and I know that they are more than likely bat shit crazy.

On Sunday morning Cindy and I went for another ride on our mountain bikes for the second time in a week.  It’s good exercise and just fun exploring the relatively quiet streets in our general area.  We rolled around for between 7 and 8 miles.  Mountain bikes are heavy with big fat tires so you feel it, even after that amount of distance.

Mid-afternoon I got out on my 16X for a quick ride to Ave Maria.  Despite the relatively quick ride it was a long video as I brain dumped my personal thoughts and experiences with Covid 19 thus far.

 

If things in the world weren’t shitty enough, I got a call from Cindy this morning that one of our hens, sweet little Ginger was dead in the coop this morning.  She has not been showing any signs of illness so my assumption at this point is she fell off the perch and broke her neck.  I will check the security DVR to verify.  Regardless, it breaks my heart.  Having hens has been emotionally tough for us.  We love them like regular pets but their fragility makes losing one a constant possibility.

 

I neglected to mention yesterday the big news of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics being postponed for a year due to Covid 19.  The amount of prep and money that go into hosting the games is colossal, their postponement is indicative of what can be expected over upcoming weeks and months.  Nobody is thinking the virus is going to go away anytime soon, except for President Trump of course. Last night he spewed more ridiculous statements like how he would love to “see churches packed on Easter”.  I mean statements like that are pure insanity and go against not only medical advice but just plain old common sense.  His ability to be out of touch with reality is certainly big league and perfect.

Locally there has been a lot of pressure on the Florida governor to issue a shelter in place order which he has been unwilling to do.  The latest threat has been people from the greater NYC area fleeing the state in droves with a TON of them choosing Florida as their safe haven.  Well of course this inevitably will be bringing more knowingly or unknowingly infected people into the area which will make a bad situation considerably worse.  The governor issued an order that anyone arriving from the NYC area must self quarantine for 14 days.  Of course this is practically unenforceable and many if not most people will ignore the order anyway.

There is also talk of shelter in place orders being issued on a county by county basis.  Collier and Lee county are talking about doing exactly that.  If it does happen I am not quite sure how it will impact my work directly, if at all.  I am continuing to push forward dealing with all of the logistics of opening up a new office.  My next couple days are going to be more or less non-stop.

Since the Covid 19 pandemic really took hold in the US, Donald has had to eat his words, repeatedly after he ignorantly downplayed the significance of the virus by an unimaginable degree.  Since then there has been exactly one time I have seen Donald talking where he didn’t come off as the egotistical blowhard as we are all accustomed to, however after that one exception it has been back to all asshole, all the time.

What in the world happened to Mike Pence leading the Covid 19 response? Sure Pence thinks we can “ungay” people but at least he is a competent communicator. Instead the VP show lasted all of a day or two until evidently the President could not tolerate Pence getting center stage.  So instead we are treated to Trump awkwardly reading pieces of paper in a manner that would make many third grade teachers cringe.  Why is it that he refuses to use a teleprompter like every other president of the last 30 years?  Is it because he can’t use a sharpie to write “chinese virus” on the screen? It’s incredible.

So anyway, watching Trump news conferences have been cringe worthy as he says things that you can see the medical professionals on stage physically react to, as they are so ridiculous.  Repeatedly Anthony Fauci, viewed as one of the leaders in the medical community regarding the pandemic has had to walk back stupid and erroneous statements Trump has made.  It has gotten so bad that Fauci said ‘I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down’ , speaking about the falsehoods Donald is telling the masses. It’s madness.

For me the madness and outrage climaxed yesterday when Trump said that he is thinking of lifting restrictions after the initial 15 day social distancing order expires next week.  You could see the woman on stage who is another medical expert look absolutely sick as he said this.  This idea has no basis on advice from ANY medical professional, this is solely about Donald being worried that a cratered economy will hurt his reelection chances and nothing else.  He is so concerned with his self preservation that he is willing to throw the well being of millions of people into the wind, despite knowing the medical infrastructure is unable to handle a sharp spike in cases.  He doesn’t give a fck, plain and simple.

I was thinking to myself how Trump supporters all suffer from the same mysterious ailment.  It’s a condition where you are unable to recall anything the President has said previously.  Instead, the moment he says something new that totally contradicts something he said previously, you instantly erase that prior action/statement from your memories forever.  I don’t really understand how a functioning adult would be unable to remember past actions by the President but without a doubt the affliction is real, and frightening.

So the good news here is it is the state governors are the ones that make the call on social distancing or shelter in place orders, not President Big League. So even if he does something  moronic and say “all is clear”, there are measures in place to ignore it.  I can only hope somebody up there has the ability to drill some sense into the man but based on his track record, anyone with the balls to tell Trump he is making a mistake gets shown the door.

I have been doing some 3D printing with a new material, PETG on my Prusa printers.  I have now twice had a print destroy the build surface when I tried to remove it.  I was using Prusa filament so it seemed very odd that I would be having this problem.  I posted a picture of the damaged build plates on the Prusa Users FB group and within seconds had my answer.  Evidently when printing with PETG Prusa recommends you first coat the build surface with glue stick.  Some in the group said spraying it with Windex accomplishes the same thing.  This acts as a barrier to prevent the PETG from sticking like cement.  They said this is explained in the Prusa manual, I guess I never got to that page.

Today marks the seven year anniversary of when Cindy and I started dating.  It seems insane that much time has passed already.  The seven years have been filled with so many memories I can’t even begin to sort through them all.  We seen so many things, taken on so many challenges and accomplished much along the way.  We make a good team.

 

It was not a great weekend as the world has descended deeper and deeper into Covid 19 panic and paranoia.  After work Friday I returned to Sugden Park to run.  The signs of the pandemic were all around with roped off beach areas, warning signs and people walking around outside with masks on.  The temperature of 86 degrees was the warmest I have experienced since running at the park and it had an affect.  I really struggled and felt absolutely spent by the end of 3 miles.

On Saturday I kept my routine more or less intact with doing chores followed by errands however neither Cindy or Elsa was with me.  Cindy made a conscious decision to not go, Elsa, not so much.  At Home Depot I had my buff on but I think I only saw two other people with any facial protection on.  The store also seemed to have normal levels of traffic, I didn’t see any noticeable reduction in humanity. The main stuff I got was dirt and sod, once again for the chicken area.  This was to patch several impromptu holes the birds decided to dig out.

I did get out on my EUC on Saturday afternoon where I reflected on the craziness we are surrounded by.  It was a well needed break from some of the stresses I have been dealing with.

Saturday night we watched our Netflix rental, Rocketman, the movie about Elton John.  It was half musical, half documentary which I didn’t mind too much.  I am a big fan of Elton’s music so I have to give the movie at least a B.

On Sunday morning I caught another rodent.  I had seen him popping his head out for a couple weeks but I hadn’t baited the live traps which I finally did Saturday night with peanut butter.  On Sunday morning the small palm rat was inside the trap, looking sort of cute.  As I cleaned the chicken coop I placed the trap up high out of the chickens reach and then gave him some pieces of chicken feed to snack on while I finished up.  He seemed content eating the treat.  Afterwards I loaded him up in the truck and dropped him off in the same deserted  area as the others.  I need to keep baiting the traps to stay ahead of the curve, just like Covid 19 self isolation.

My Sunday was pretty chill with minimal work.  I got out on the wheel again in the afternoon, this time wanting to check out the beach area which was recently closed.  I was surprised by the solid metal barriers blocking the entrance as well as a human guard.  Ironically on the ride I saw the likely next target of the social distancing shutdown, boating.  The boat launch I passed had so many trailers in it that they spilled out onto the roadway.  The pictures emerging over the weekend of idiots packed like sardines onto boats partying it up will likely bring an end to that quickly.  People just either are too stupid to get it or just don’t care enough to do anything about it.  My mic wasn’t working for the ride so it is mostly just a visual experience.

I am back at work today as ordered.  I am hoping I can force the final pieces together that are required to relocate the branch we are moving but it is getting harder and harder to keep the process moving as the world slowly grinds to a halt.