As I hoped, the Tesla mobile service visit yesterday went smoothly. The tech showed up during the first half of the appointment window and was able to get the Homelink hardware installed and the door jamb wiring issue handled in under an hour. I’m hoping that is the first and last visit I will have from Tesla service for the foreseeable future.
Last night I dove back into some VR, this time trying to get through Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. I constantly find myself scrambling for weapons and health in the the game. I don’t think it’s because the game is horribly difficult, I assume I am just not that good at it. I also hung in VR Chat for a short period of time, just bearing witness to the insanity that explodes around you.
I decided to give myself another extended 3 day weekend. It’s nice to be able to do so by just burning up a vacation day as opposed to taking a day off to get reamed and cleaned like last week at this time. I do have a sizeable list already crafted for myself. Most of the items require some more than minimal effort like starting to replace more of the rusted pool cage bolts and repairing the area around the window of the small shed that leaks water like mad. However with three days I should be able to get it handled hopefully.
Cindy is going to a plant show with Katie on Saturday meaning I will be grinding away in solo mode, which is normally my most productive state.
During the last couple months I have seen a sharp decline in the sales on the 3D EUC store. The slow down is something I haven’t seen in almost 3 years as there has been a relentless climb in activity which in most ways has been a good thing. I don’t have a definitive explanation but there have definitely been some changes in the hobby. There are now more alternatives out there for wheel stands. There are a few other people making/selling 3D printed stands but there are also people that make their own solutions out of wood, metal, PVC and even rail mounted planters. There are also 3D stand models available for free on the internet which people can print themselves if they have a 3D printer.
There are some distinct differences my stands have to the others, such as their ability to adjust in width to fit basically any wheel and the customization service I offer where I put whatever text a customer wants on the sides of the stands for a minimal upcharge. In some ways not being that busy does have it’s advantages as well. It means I am buying less consumables, parts and spending less on electricity to power the print farm. When I did my taxes this year I got a rough idea of my profit margin on the store, it wasn’t very good. The best I could figure about two thirds of my gross sales are consumed by expenses, without factoring in electricity usage. Still, the competitive side of me doesn’t like to “lose”, so I have been rolling ideas around in my head to see what I can come up with to get the foot back on the pedal.
One of the unique things about owning a Tesla is their remote service fleet. If you do not live close to a Tesla service center they will often offer to bring the service to you instead via their fleet of mobile service techs. I had a remote service call with my Model 3 and it was a pain free experience. Today I have one for the Model Y.
The guy is supposed to fix the wiring in the rear passenger door jamb as well as install the Homelink garage door opener kit into the car. The last time I had work done they came to my office to do it. This time I left the Model Y at home since Cindy is there. I set the appointment three weeks ago when we got the car but I already got a call this morning letting me know the tech should arrive within the hour. As long as the work is completed correctly, it will be another gold star in my Tesla ownership experience.
Yesterday after work I made a pitstop to Costco to grab a few grocery items. On the way there I just happened to throw on my glasses which I had fallen out of the habit of wearing since I got them a couple years ago. I was instantly reminded of just how fuzzy my distance vision is when things instantly became crystal clear in the road ahead of me. I will try to wear them more regularly, after all it isn’t a good thing to have the world be out of focus.
I have to be honest and say I am more than a little annoyed by the bait and switch game democrats are pulling on the $15 minimum wage election promise. The $15 minimum wage was part of the Covid bill that was passed by the House. However once it went to the Senate a Parliamentarian, an unelected official and a term I never had heard of in American government offered guidance against voting on an increase in minimum wage as part of the budget bill. It’s a convoluted process but basically Congress generally abides by this guidance but it is not a requirement. The sense is Democrats were somewhat happy to let the Parliamentarian be the scapegoat for dropping the minimum wage hike.
The truth is a sizeable majority of the population both republican and democrat believe the minimum wage needs to be raised, hell even now red Florida voted for a minimum wage increase. The lobbyists and special interests in Washington however are not onboard hence the politicians whose strings they pull are doing as they are told. It’s pretty pathetic.
When I got home from work on Thursday DJ was there as Cindy was babysitting for a bit. He wound up being a very cute addition to a very ugly process, getting the first dose of the colonoscopy prep solution down my throat. I used a similar procedure as before, pulling it right out of the fridge and adding some cold water to dilute it a bit. Cindy advised me to just drink the Suprep straight as it’s less fluid to down so it goes quicker. I told her I was on the verge of throwing up as is, making it taste even stronger did not seem like the right course of action for me. It probably took me at least 10-12 disgusting gulps until I got it all down.
Within a half hour I was on the toilet with many, many repeat trips over the next three hours. It was as miserable as I recalled it being three short years ago. I tried to get bed early as my procedure this time was a couple hours earlier than last, meaning I had to do the second dose of the prep crazy early, 3:30 AM. I set an alarm but somehow found myself awake at 3:19 so I turned it off to hopefully allow Cindy to keep sleeping.
I slipped out into the kitchen and decided to try Cindy’s method this time, it couldn’t be any worse than what I had been experiencing. It actually was less oppressive overall. Although the solution is more concentrated I had it all gone in three gulps. I immediately drank two big glasses of water to chase it. I was up the rest of the night rotating between bathroom trips and WoW, it was lovely.
By the time we got to the endoscopy center I just wanted to get the misery over with. I was tired, feeling like I was running on fumes from the lack of food combined with a lack of sleep. Cindy was unable to wait in the waiting room due to covid so she dropped me off and then headed out to the car. In less than 10 minutes I was taken back by the nurse. I already knew the routine but still I couldn’t help having some of my typical reactions with medical procedures like sweating and an inability to watch any needles being stuck into my body. The IV solution felt cold as it entered my arm, a sensation I didn’t enjoy.
After a brief wait I was carted back to the procedure room where the doctor was with the anesthesiologist. They had me roll onto my side before the solution was injected to knock me out. I recall thinking for a few seconds that the stuff wasn’t working, I still felt awake, then a moment later everything went blank. The next thing I knew I was back in the recovery room with a male nurse. I recall saying a number of incoherent things, including me asking the nurse repeatedly if he was the doctor because he looked like him. The actual doctor came in and gave me my report card. He said they only had to a remove a small 4MM polyp. Evidently the one they removed three years ago was much larger, hence the concern and requirement to come back so soon. The result this time meant I was cleared to go five years before a revisit instead of three, which made me happy, even though I was a little too punch drunk to fully comprehend it.
I was wheeled out of the facility and sat into the Tesla which Cindy pulled up to the door. She was amused by my state of mind after anesthesia. In total I was there for less than 90 minutes which is crazy. Since it was too early to eat lunch we stopped at DD instead where I had my first solid food in over 24 hours, a breakfast sandwich, donut and coffee, it tasted extra good. Of course I did a video covering some of the ordeal.
Shortly after I got home I just vegged out for awhile. I laid in our bed and played Hearthstone for a couple hours. I did have one annoying side effect from the procedure. Before they put you under they stick oxygen tubes up your nostrils. It felt like something in my left sinus became irritated as a result and was causing me to have a non-stop runny nose which was driving me nuts. I must have gone through a box of tissues in a couple days and the irritation still isn’t gone yet. As the day progressed my energy level felt better from getting some food in me. I decided to get a head start on my Saturday morning chores by getting the weeding of the property done awhile, to the displeasure of Cindy who wanted me to just rest. I assured her I was feeling better and up to the task. It was good to start feeling more normal.
On Saturday morning I agreed to go to a nearby community yard sale with Cindy, Katie and DJ. They drove over in Katie’s truck while I rode my S18, meeting them at DD to fuel up before going into the community next door. They towed DJ around in a wagon while I rode ahead on the wheel to scout things out. We would up being there for less than an hour. There wasn’t very strong participation in the event, maybe 10% of the houses had anything out, possibly less. I told Cindy and Katie that unless they were going to bring the truck in, the people selling were too few and far in between to walk much. DJ got a book and a transforming toy car before we called it good to go.
When we got home we wound up having Katie and DJ accompany us on an errand run in the Model Y to Rural King where Katie has only been once or twice before. DJ had never been there. DJ found tons of things that interested him, the biggest being a toy tractor that he was on and off repeatedly. He had to be carried away from it, crying, eventually. He also liked the rabbits, rooster and baby chicks they have in the store. After leaving we did a quick drive thru lunch at Burger King which was ok but far from amazing as you can imagine. We made one more stop, Walmart for the girls to do some grocery shopping while DJ was asleep. I stayed in the car with him. He slept all but a few minutes before they returned. He started crying when he realized mama wasn’t in there with him, despite my efforts to console him.
By the time we got home the predicted rain had started. The rain felt especially cold, Katie was freezing as she transported groceries to her truck before they headed out. On Saturday night Cindy and I watched a Netflix rental that I was unsure if we saw before, Gemini Man with Will Smith. I clearly remember wanting to see it but couldn’t recall if we did. After 5 minutes Cindy and I confirmed we had not watched it before. It was a good action movie with some of that creepy CGI tech to reface actors into much younger versions of themselves. I’d give it a B.
It was quite brisk Sunday morning but it turned into a very nice day with temps in the 70’s. Cindy and I hit Home Depot for some stuff for her but I found myself wanting to mostly just screw around inside. I was telling myself all day that I should go out on one of my EUCs and yet I never did. I did at least complete the direct drive conversion on my Ender 3 printer, something that I had been wanting to get done for a couple weeks. As I was doing it I found myself annoyed with the state of the hobby room. I have a lot of parts and junk that I don’t need in there. I think a purge is needed, similar to what went down in the big shed, minus the rat shit.
I did get some unexpected good news this weekend. Despite gross sales of something like $21,000 dollars last year from the 3D store I still am getting a tax refund this year. The fact that I have so many expenses as part of those sales really helps out as well as my claiming zero deductions at my job. I always have preferred to have my taxes over withheld so I get a check back during tax time. Many financial experts will tell you that’s a poor strategy but it has worked for me. Getting a refund actually turns into a 2X multiplier because all year I have been putting money aside to pay for a possible tax liability, so that money is now freed up as well. I don’t have any frivolous plans as of now. I have more financial demands on me than in recent years so I need to be a bit more careful in what I am spending.
Last night Cindy and I had a VR play session in front of the green screen. Cindy played a fighting game which I later tried as well. It gets you legitimately winded very quickly but is entertaining to spectate. I then did a session in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge where I spent a good amount of time being lost and confused which is par for the course.
It feels good to have a horizon free of unpleasant medical procedures for the foreseeable future.
Today I begun my 24 hours of discomfort for colonoscopy prep. Instead of my eggs, toast and OJ I am accustomed to my breakfast consisted of apple juice, vegetable broth and orange jello. It was not exactly a great combination and I had to tap out of the orange jello after eating about half of it. For whatever reason just simply beginning the liquid prep seems to have triggered my body into a purge mode. Of course the real fireworks start tonight after I take my first does of Suprep, one of the most vile substances I have ever consumed. Already I feel a bit wiped out. Instead of going to the gym I plan to just roll around on my One Wheel for a bit. I just keep telling myself that by this time tomorrow it will all be over with.
I celebrated the start of colo prep with a visit to the dermatologist office today. You know you are getting old when you have medical appointments on consecutive days. The doctor cut off a piece of suspect skin by my right ear that I am sure is basal cell cancer. The end result will be another hole in my face without a doubt.
Hopefully tomorrow at some point I have enough energy to drop another entry in. I think there is no way to keep a nap off my Friday itinerary since I take my second dose of prep at 3:30 AM and likely will not be able to sleep at all afterward.
If you want to be entertained take a peek at how my Suprep consumption went back in 2018.
Yesterday after I got home I saw an email come in that showed as being from Cindy. It was obviously bogus as it said it contained an invoice with a link to view/pay it. Almost immediately after seeing it I got a message since I am also the administrator for her email account indicating that her account has been suspended because it was sending a large amount of external emails. When I logged into the admin area to view details it said her email account had sent out almost 500 emails before it got shut down. Cindy soon found others had received the same fake invoice email that was sent to me. It appeared that someone had the credentials to her email account.
This is different than normal email spoofing where a spammer can simply replace the “From” email address with anything they want. This practice has become less and less effective as spoofed emails are often flagged and not delivered to people’s inboxes. So the way to get around this is to take over someone’s email account, that way the emails appear to be legitimate and less likely to be screened out.
So the first thing we did before I reactivated her account was to change her password to something unique, not used anywhere else. The reason you hear the advice to not reuse passwords is it is an easy way for someone shady to get credentials to multiple accounts of yours if that password sits somewhere that has been compromised by the numerous security breaches we hear about all too often. After changing her password I triggered a logout of her account anywhere it’s logged in currently, legitimate or not. That way if a bad guy is logged in somewhere once he is kicked out he will no longer have the correct credentials to get back in. Finally I ran a full scan on her PC just to make sure there wasn’t something installed locally that was grabbing her credentials. That scan came up clean.
I reactivated her account and have not seen any more notifications about abuse but my antenna has certainly been raised. This sort of stuff has become so commonplace that it sometimes can become background noise. You have to make sure you are always listening closely.
Both Cindy and I busted it for a good portion of the day Saturday. Cindy took care of mowing the front and far back sections of the property while I tackled a long overdue project, completely cleaning out the big shed. I have half assed done it a time or two but the last time I pulled everything out and really cleaned it may be four years ago at this point. It was a particularly gross job this time around due to the palm rat issue we have had the last few years. There was tons of rat shit pushed into the corners which only got exposed when everything was pulled out. There was also rat excrement on boxes and fabric we had in there for frost covering, all that got thrown out.
It was a good way to cleanse and purge the space. I hauled two truck loads of unwanted things to the curb. A surprising amount of it got reclaimed by passersby in the next few hours. I have a decent amount of unused storage space in the shed now and it will hopefully stay that way. I plan to be more selective about what I decide is worth keeping or not down the road. The work took over three hours. My lower back was badly sore by the end of it as my Advil had worn off. Aches and pains are just a fact of life at this point.
Cindy and I went out to dinner for the third weekend in a row, this time to Burgerfi. We were amazed when we entered the place and there were NO other customers inside. Cindy was actually amicable to eating inside under those conditions, the first time we have done so in probably a year. Of course once we sat down a few other people showed up and did the same, it was fine.
On Sunday after running errands in the morning I spent a good portion of the afternoon installing mods and then another couple hours editing the footage from it. One of the devices I tried to install, a USB hub that increases the amount of ports available did not work as expected so I need to find out if it’s defective or not. I also messed up my screen protector install a bit but it’s good enough that I don’t care to redo it.
Since the shed was freshly cleaned I had the live trap out there Saturday night just to make sure there weren’t any new rodents hanging out. The trap was empty Sunday morning. I decided to place it in the chicken run last night because I had seen some stray rat shit here and there recently. When I went out there this morning the trap had a resident in it. We took a ride together in the Model Y on my way into work where he got released into a remote area where he can hopefully live his palm rat life without being a nuisance to others.
We are T-4 days until my second colonoscopy takes place. I just want to get it the hell over with. My hope is knowing what to expect this time around will make it slightly less miserable. It’s good to have hope, right?
I had my brief consult for my colonoscopy this morning. It was like a gross GroundHogs Day as I had gone through this almost exactly three years ago. I got a reminder of the fun that awaits me starting next Thursday when I begin an all liquid diet. The real adventure starts Thursday evening when I take my first dose of “prep” which will invoke end of world diarrhea. I’m not sure which is worse, the time on the bowl or trying to choke down the solution which is one of the worst tasting things I have ever put down my throat. The news only improves from there as I set an alarm for 3:30AM to take the second and final dose of prep.
The first time I had this done it was made worse by the fact that I was coming down with something like the flu at the same time as the procedure. I am hoping to at least be healthy going in this time. I recall doing tons of sleeping and not much else the 24 hours after the last go round. I know this is an important/smart thing to get done so I will tolerate the couple days of misery to avoid the true nightmare of colon cancer.
Last night Cindy and I played some virtual bowling. As has become customary, despite my hundreds if not thousands of games of real bowling in my life, on the virtual lanes I lose. It was still fun as we interacted with some other people that were in the same lane with us. After we were done bowling Cindy signed out but I jumped over into VR Chat which is a bizarro world filled with non-stop visual overload and random interactions with other human beings. During my 90 minute session in there I had Ronald McDonald reciting poetry to me, me getting motion sick when I made the mistake of getting on a virtual spring ride that rocked back and forth, told to “get down on the ground” by a virtual SWAT team that came charging into my zone, and numerous other interactions that just make me LOL repeatedly. I have never taken LSD but if I did, I imagine VR Chat would be a good simulation of the experience.
This weekend I have a healthy list of tasks I want to complete. Cindy got a head start on it by getting the back yard mowed. I want to basically mow everything so it’s uniform. I have a few small mods I want to put on the Model Y and I am also targeting the big shed for a complete cleaning/throw out/organization effort. It’s getting out of hand. I really am not a fan of things being piled up in haphazard ways. Once the clutter reaches a certain point I just have to address it sooner rather than later.
This morning I dropped off the Model Y for what I consider a necessary upgrade for Florida residents, window tint install. I dropped the car off at the same place that did the Model 3, they have done good work for me and others in the past. I used it as an opportunity to get a brief EUC commute in as I had my V11 in the trunk of the car. I used it to zip the last couple miles to the office and will use it to pick the car back up this afternoon.
Luckily the back doors, hatch and glass roof already have dark tint on them. Not having it on the front windows has been immediately noticeable on my commutes as the sun quickly bakes your arms. Aesthetically having all the windows dark looks better as well so I’m looking forward to both the functional and visual improvements. This weekend I have a couple other small “mods” I want to put on the car as well as give it a thorough bath. It seems like whatever they did at the dealership was not all that thorough.