So when we first got Elsa it took awhile until she started to trust us. There seemed to be something in her past that obviously made her skittish and untrusting of people. However over time we have been able to melt away those barriers and now Elsa is just a bundle of fun and love, although still filled with plenty of quirks.
When I get home at night she is just so ecstatic to see me. Usually I will try to immediately sit down on the couch so she can jump up for a thorough petting session. Her excitement level is off the charts. It seems like she is most happy when Cindy and I are both home, when one of us is missing it’s just not the same. Even though I had some trepidation about signing on to getting another dog, I’m now glad we jumped in as she is a bright source of fun and love in our lives.
So our slimy governor, Rick Scott, who was in opposition to medical marijuana which was passed in the state during last years election, is playing games to try to make the implementation of legal medical cannabis problematic. You see Tricky Rick has deep ties to Big Pharm and the medicine for profit industries. His lobbyist friends are not interested in a simple, natural product elbowing in to their extremely fat bottom line.
Late last month Scott signed a bill regarding how medical marijuana dispensaries are supposed to be managed by individual counties. Basically it says a county has only two options, they either have to ban medical marijuana completely or they have to allow it anywhere with no middle ground. So in a very image conscious place like Collier County, despite their desire for legal marijuana dispensaries inside county lines, the idea of having no control over the number of them or locations is not realistic so this law would force them into banning it completely, which is not what anybody really wants.
Of course the Trickster knows that a lot of counties are not going to be comfortable with having no control but he can put on a false face and say “Hey, the law says the counties can have medical marijuana anywhere they want!!” with that slimy, disingenuous grin of his. It’s so transparent.
Luckily, there is a good chance that Rick’s shenanigans will not stand up in court. It is likely the legislation will be challenged in court and be overturned but in the meantime many Florida residents just continue to wait for something that have voted to implement for over 5 years.
So yesterday the latest Trump mess unfolded where it was revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt that none other than Donald Jr, who was involved in the campaign at as high of a level as possible had direct communication with a Russian lawyer about acquiring information that would hurt Hilary Clinton’s campaign. It’s just amazing that after six months of twitter rants, fake news claims, firings, resignations, recusals, and flat out denials, this story still has legs. Not only does it have legs, it’s accelerating, straight to the top.
So although I do think it is incriminating for a politician to willingly seek out this type of information from Russia, I think Donald is doing a fine job of proving himself incompetent in so many other ways already. This is just more evidence of a lack of judgement that has persisted from the first moment the idea of a President Trump became a possibility.
But what I find almost equally incredulous is despite this overwhelming and never ending parade of evidence to the contrary, some Trump supporters STILL are steadfast in their denial that anything significant really happened. Any efforts for me to logically comprehend how there could not be at least a degree of doubt in the veracity of the administration’s claims, regardless of who you voted for, just fall apart. Even if Trump eventually is ousted in a bi-partisan movement, it seems like some individuals will cling to their position, regardless of changing information and circumstances. Chronically ignoring, redirecting, and denying, to me, is far less respectable than saying, hey, I thought this at one point, but you know what, based on new information, it turns out I was wrong, I’m human.
Hey listen, my preference would have been that Trump swoops in, proves the entire world wrong, and somehow became a respected, intelligent, well spoken, and capable leader. Unfortunately instead, he has performed even worse than most anticipated and made our country a running joke throughout the worldwide community. It is a surreal reality that I am actually preferring a scenario where Mike Pence would be calling the shots.
I was not happy to discover this weekend that once again the driver side headlight on the Prius had gone out. I had replaced both bulbs a couple month’s back and it required near contortionist level skills and the patience of Ghandi. I am hoping doing it for a second time won’t be quite as frustrating.
So I saw/heard a good chunk of the James Comey testimony yesterday. To me it seemed pretty clear that he is an honest, experienced and intelligent man. When an individual of his character testifies that he started documenting his conversations with the president because of a “gut feeling” regarding the type of person he was dealing with, that says a lot. How Trump could hear all of the Comey testimony and spin it into some sort of vindication for him because he was not officially under investigation, while ignoring the mountain of other damning details is typical of how he operates. It’s just insane that things are to the point where I would prefer that a guy that thinks you can “ungay” people through therapy would make a better President than the man-child who is occupying that chair right now.
Today we dropped off Cindy’s car to get it’s windows tinted. Coincidentally my boss/buddy had decided to have work done on his car at the same place on the same day. Cindy drove the Ioniq while I drove the Prius with Elsa riding shotgun. We then all met there so we could carpool to work in the Prius.
It was the first time Don met Elsa. She was cautiously friendly towards him which is rare. We actually are going to be dog sitting Don’s dog Lucky next week so Elsa will have fun. We had watched Lucky a couple times before we got chickens. Now that the birds are fenced in Lucky should not be a threat to them, something Don was worried about. We are going to have Lucky for almost a week so he and Elsa will have plenty of time to become dog buddies.
This weekend I need to run into the office briefly to do some server work to be backed up by work around the house as always. Hopefully we can have more normal levels of precipitation compared to the deluge of last weekend.
I neglected to mention that a couple days ago I was able to trim my Facebook friends list a whopping 38% in no less than 10 minutes. In that time span I was able to drop roughly 180 individuals off the list bring the total to a still hefty 300 members. I really didn’t have to make any hard choices, the majority of the trimees were people in other countries that friended me from my Bar-barians affiliation. I never had any real direct communication or interaction with them so for the most part I doubt they will even know they are gone. There is some more trimming that could be done where I would have to do so more in depth thinking and evaluation of pros/cons but I will save that for another day.
Today is C Day, the day James Comey testifies in front of Congress in what could potentially be yet another bombshell for the Trump organization. It appears that the testimony will further cement the fact that we have a man that has no fcking idea which way is up or down and is woefully unequipped to be in the position of power that the fine citizens of our country put him in. It’s looking more and more like President Pence could be a reality and to be honest, I think Donald might actually be happier that way.
Last night after work I changed in to my gym clothes to stop at Home Depot. I wanted to load up on sod to lay over the area by the shed we back filled with top soil. Load up I did, with 25 pieces of St Augustine grass which turned the bed of the Tacoma into a big sandy mess. When I got home I wasted little time getting to work.
I have a pretty effective method of preparing the sod. After thoroughly soaking the top soil I brought over one of our rolling wagons which I fill with about an inch of water. I then grab a piece of sod and lay it in there grass down exposing the dirt/root side. I take the hose and lightly spray the dirt ensuring the sod has a nice wet contact point with the top soil to make sure it “takes”. I then carefully place the sod and wet it again thoroughly with the hose. When it is all in place I go back with a large rake and tamp the grass down followed by one more dosing of water. My technique works well but the real key factor is watering it every day to make sure it doesn’t dry out. During wet season this happens automatically but during this time of year we need to hit it with a hose to ensure success.
After I was done I was a dirty mess and the truck was worse. I spent a good 20 minutes in the driveway trying to get all the sand, dirt, and grass out of the composite bed of the Tacoma.
So like most, I was sort of shocked that Trump fired James Comey yesterday. Well let me back up. Maybe I was not shocked he was fired, I was amazed at the reason that was provided for the firing. No, it wasn’t that Comey was sniffing around the Russia election tampering scandal. The reason was the way he handled the Hilary Clinton email situation, lol! So Trump, who applauded Comey for bringing in the second round of email scandal a mere couple weeks before the election, which surely was a big factor in the outcome, now cites that as the primary reason for the termination of the FBI director? Wow I don’t think I could write a better script.
When you factor in the recommendation came from Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is yet another shady character in the Trump team who recused himself from the Russian involvement investigation, it just looks even more suspicious. You have to wonder just how long the American public, regardless of their political leanings are willing to let this buffoonery continue. It truly is an embarrassment to our country to be governed by someone so woefully incompetent to fulfill the responsibilities of the presidential office. After only a few months there has been enough scandal and controversy to make a feature length film. If you would like to keep a close eye on the latest shenanigans just tune in here – https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/
So I had another frustrating day on Friday trying to get answers from my dealer about my truck. It was supposed to be ready for me to pick up while they wait for a part that will take a month to become available. Instead after leaving multiple messages for my service advisor to call me back for status, I had to call right before I left work and wait on hold to talk to the guy for 10 minutes only to find out nothing was done and the truck was still not put back together. There was no sensible explanation for why this was, only that I couldn’t get the truck till Saturday. I explain the entire interaction in this venting video.
When I got home Friday I was already annoyed as shit by the dealer bullshit. I got home before Cindy so I was bull rushed by four crazy dogs. Perhaps because of my state of mind I made a poor decision to let all four dogs in the back yard while the chickens were out. The chickens were on the other side of the yard so I thought the dogs could pee quickly and I would take them right back in. Well the chickens spotted me and came running over to see what sort of good stuff I had for them since they associate me with good stuff.
Well Bowser, the big catahoula mix spotted the chickens and started heading that way. I went into full emergency mode, forgetting my aching knee and sprinting after Bowser as he started running towards the birds. The chickens are used to being in the yard with Sadie and Elsa without issue so I don’t think they realized at first that Bowser was a threat. He got dangerously close to several of them as I was sprinting after him while screaming at him to stop. I finally chased him away into the back yard. He ignored my screams as I chased him. He finally stopped and got into a submissive position, knowing he was in trouble. I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and used my voice of God tone to reiterate how bad that was. I walked him to the door holding the scruff.
Now of course the ultimate fault in this incident was my own. Having him out there without a leash or at least the buzz collar was just a dumb thing to do. We really would like to make Bowser understand the chickens are off limits. Tank seems to be getting the idea as he did not approach the birds. After the incident I was a bit frazzled, thinking about just how awful I would have felt if something happened to one of the chicks.
Saturday morning I was up early with Sadie to go participate in the Run for the Paws 5K, my first year doing so as a participant. I got there with time to spare, arriving before 7 for the 8AM start race. This was the first time I saw a number of people in the running club, some of them since last January when I timed the event. Many handshakes and hugs were exchanged and it was nice to see all of the friendly faces. Sadie and I mostly stuck with Ali leading up to the race helping her attend to a few minor details.
So I had very low expectations for Sadie with the event. She is a good 20 pounds overweight so running is just not her thing. She is no youngster anymore either. I had totally expected we would be walking the race and I even expected to cut the course so we didn’t go the complete 3.12 miles.
So the race started and I began walking at a brisk pace. Soon I realized Sadie was sort of pulling me a bit so I started into a slow jog. She seemed very excited and happy with all of the other people and dogs running by and she wanted to be part of it. She ran much further than I expected and even after we slowed to walking we would pick up running after a bit. So not only did she complete the entire distance, I bet she ran close to half of it.
For a good portion of the last part of the race we were running/walking with Ali’s boyfriend which was cool. He and I get along very well. When we got to the last few hundred yards I started again with a very slow jog, encouraging Sadie to finish strong. I could tell how exhausted she was at the end, I was practically pulling her along. Ali was at the finish cheering us in which was very cute. Once we got through the finish chute I sat on the grass so Sadie could rest, she was so, so tired. I told her how proud I was of her. Somehow it seemed like she felt proud as well.
When I got home I had to waste an hour and a half driving the loaner vehicle back to the dealership to pick up my Tacoma. On top of the run around I was given I had one last annoyance, the car wash the service advisor said would be done was not. The last time I was there they “forgot” to do the wash as well. Later in the afternoon I just washed the truck myself.
Despite having a pretty busy morning I had a work filled afternoon. I weeded the property, did a few odd chores and mowed the grass. The good news was the cool temps made outside work not all that unpleasant. Late in the afternoon I even found a little time to go take my Gotway Msuper out for a 5 or 6 mile cruise.
On Saturday night I was home alone with the four dogs while Cindy, Katie, and our friend Kim went to a country concert at the fairgrounds down the road. I am not a country music fan in the least so I was quite happy to just dog sit. I was going to play WoW but the dogs were carrying on. Bowser and Tank figured out how to use the dog door and were barking constantly out by the pool. I came storming out and opened the slider while yelling “What are you doing??!!” Well all of a sudden I hear a splash. Evidently Elsa was out there as well and I startled her enough that she fell in the pool. I ran over to the deep end and was ready to jump in and grab her but she somehow managed to get out by herself.
So after that incident I spent the rest of the evening watching the new show I am trying to catch up on Man in the High Castle on Amazon video. It seemed like the dogs calmed down if I was in the great room with them, all four of them were snoozing away while I laid on the couch.
The weather Sunday morning was pretty miserable, raw and wet. The steady light rain combined with temps in the low 50’s made EUC riding a non-option. Cindy and I wound up running to Home Depot mid-morning to pick up a new bathroom faucet, a sort of impulse move. The old faucet was sticking a little when used and was low quality builder grade stuff.
We picked out a nice Kohler replacement along with some plumber putty and teflon tape. Since the weather was still shitty I figured I may as well dig right into it. It’s sort of hard to believe with the various home repair/maintenance tasks I have done over the years, replacing a bathroom faucet has not been one of them. Of course I figured this was yet another opportunity for a YouTube video.
Getting out the old faucet was not too difficult although the hot water feed side was much more corroded than the cold side. The old faucet used solid copper feed pipes. The new faucet uses modern braided feed lines which are much more forgiving. When we bought the faucet I thought we were replacing just the faucet, I had no idea you normally swap out the drain as well in this scenario. Cindy helped me with a good portion of the swap out. After maybe an hour of work it was done and looked good.
There was a pretty bad puddle of water in the cabinet this morning despite things being leak free in our initial test. I think I already know where the leak is from, where the drain is inserted into the existing pvc pipe. I probably didn’t let the water run long enough in the initial test to fill that pipe to the point where a leak could be detected.
Cindy and I did some more discussion regarding fencing and the chickens. I have come around to the idea of creating a sub-fence for the chickens that would enclose the coop area and extend behind it considerably. It would allow us to contain chicken damage while protecting them from untrained dogs. If we want to allow them full access to the backyard some days we can simply leave the gate open. It will not be an easy job.
In addition to constructing the fence I am going to need to put some additional bushes/trees in that area for cover. I also am thinking about building a deck that the chickens can hang out under since they love to hang out under the large shed a good portion of the day. The other issue is laying things out in a way that compensates for the flooding that can occur during wet season back there. I may try to raise some of the ground with top soil and sod. I don’t want the chickens wading in a pond all day long like ducks.
So President Trump has certainly been making a big splash with his statements and executive orders thus far. His latest brain fart was ordering a temporary ban on entry to the country from certain Muslim countries creating a firestorm of backlash, even more so than him floating the idea of a 20% tax on Mexican goods. The guy just has no clue and zero comprehension of the big picture on any issue he thinks he is addressing. This circus comes as no surprise to me and I wonder why others seem to be so shocked by these ill advised actions. He got to where he is by being loud and appealing to the lowest, dumbest common denominator. Why would anyone think he would be different once seated in the White House?
So last night Cindy and I fell asleep after watching a couple hours of the election coverage. At that point it seemed clear that the election results were much closer than the professional pollsters predicted. You could sense the apprehension in the NBC News staff as the comfortable HRC win that was widely expected was not coming to fruition. Despite this, when I closed my eyes there was still a clear path to her securing the win, of course the plan hinged on her securing PA, a state that has voted democrat for president for nearly three decades. Well even my former home state let me down, flipping to red when I awoke this morning, along with pretty every other battleground state on the map.
I was lucky to at least sleep to a little after 5:30. Cindy awoke early in the morning and saw the result and literally cried herself to sleep eventually. I shed no tears myself once I confirmed the results as I ate my breakfast. I just sort of shook my head in both disgust and amazement, Idiocracy had actually come to be.
I can spin myself around in circles trying to analyze how a ruthless business man, reality tv star, and man of marginal intelligence that shits on gold plated toilets was somehow seen to be representative of the type of change that America really wants. To me it is representative of just how easy it is to use simple psychological warfare to steer the populace. Stalin famously said, “A lie, told often enough eventually becomes the truth”
There were two candidates this year that represented the uprising against the political status quo in the country, Trump and Bernie. Even though both of these candidates wanted to uproot the establishment, there couldn’t have been a larger difference in the way they proposed doing it. Bernie is well spoken, well versed, experienced, and knowledgeable about everything he identified as problems. He had detailed plans of action to make every one of his proposals come to fruition. Donald had none of that. He relied almost entirely on vague generalities. Everything wrong was “terrible” or “a “disaster” and his plan of action to address all of it was more or less “I will fix it, trust me” with next to no ideas or specifics on how any of it will be accomplished.
I just struggle to understand how people could dismiss the constant red flags that have come up during the Trump campaign. They were literally endless. In the end the only way I can sum it up is people wanted change so bad that they will take it any way they can get it, even if it is change for the worse evidently. I can only hope that the damage that is inflicted to civil rights, the environment, our allies, and the economy is survivable. Ironically, the only thing that may slow down the march into the abyss is that same, lobbyist controlled congress is largely still in place. In order to carry out many of his campaign vows he will require their support which I think is unlikely he will get in many cases.
So anyway, being a sore loser in the end does not really accomplish much. I will be thrilled if the doom and gloom I am feeling today proves to be ultimately misplaced. I will be happy to admit my failure in judgement if that happens. Maybe I am the idiot and the country will rally around having a reality tv star for President. History is filled with brash leaders that rallied their country to support efforts that we now view as atrocious. Of course these efforts always have a very bad ending. I can only hope we have not started writing the next chapter in that book.
The reaction to the election result from Wall Street and the rest of the world is pretty shocking, in a way mimicking 9/11 with plummeting markets and worldwide condolences.
There was one shard of good news from the election results with Florida finally passing medical marijuana. After the presidential election results we are going to need it. In the end, we will get what we deserve.
Despite the dramatically less amount of daylight available after the time change I hustled and got out on my MSuper for a little bit last night. I just stayed local going up and down the nearby side street. At the fairgrounds dead end I had an off roading opportunity. It is the same path I tried a few weeks ago on my Ninebot One but ran out of path to follow. It appears that since that time one of those huge brush cutter mowers went through. There was now a 20 foot wide cleared area all the way to Immokalee Road.
Despite the path being mowed down there were plenty of hazards along the way with branches, ruts and rocks scattered everywhere. Riding through the rough cut grass on the Msuper was much easier than attempting the same on the Ninebot One. The larger tire and heavier weight of the Gotway made it feel much more stable and capable of handling the rough terrain.
I also have finally gotten smooth mount and dismounting of the wheel “clicked” in my head. Like I mentioned before, I operate mostly on feel and I finally got the feel of how the knee has to be positioned to lock my leg in place against the wheel so the off foot can be placed/removed easily. I forgot to shoot video of it over the weekend but I will soon.
Today is election day, the finish line of almost two years of incredibly corrosive presidential campaigning. I, like most Americans just want the process to be over. While the local news played last night, literally every other commercial was alternating Trump sucks, Hilary sucks exchanges. Although I am still pretty confident that Hilary will win in the end, the aftermath of this process is sure to have lasting effects. During the Obama elections/administration I didn’t think it was possible for the American political climate to be more divisive. Well we have managed to push the bar so low that it is now underground.
Despite my feelings about Trump’s qualifications as President (he has none), the fact that a large portion of the population are willing to overlook his horrid resume to just throw a non-establishment body in the White House is representative of how badly people are sick of it all. I understand that frustration and have felt it for a long time. I just don’t feel like cutting off my nose to spite my face is going to help things in the big picture.
It’s ironic to me that a decent amount of people that rail against Hilary actually liked when her husband was President, or at least liked the way the country felt while he was in office. Budget surpluses and economic prosperity do feel good after all. Of course the moral police will hate Bill forever. Anyway, to me it seems like some people are forgetting this is actually a Hilary/Bill 2.0 presidency. Do you think Bill is just going to sit in the White House bedroom and read Penthouse magazines all day? Of course not, his fingerprint might not be the one in the spotlight but you can bet he will be influencing and consulting nearly non-stop.
If Donald does lose I’ll still watch him on Apprentice, no hard feelings.
I had one other thought that I forgot to bring up when I made a political post last week about fuzzy numbers. This point is totally non-partisan and somewhat baffling to me. Why is there such an emphasis on political rallies and their influence in the election? I mean think about it. If somebody feels strongly enough about a candidate that they are willing to inject themselves into the craziness of a political rally, they are already going to be voting for that candidate. How many people attend a rally as a basis to make their political decision? It’s moronic.
All you are going to hear at a rally on either side is how awesome the rally candidate is and how awful the competition is. There will be absolutely nothing objective presented to a potential voter in this environment. So the question remains, what is the point of preaching to the choir again and again? If the ultimate goal is to swing as many undecided minds in your direction, how does endless rallies help accomplish this goal?
This was exactly my thought pattern when Trump showed up next door to my property, holding a rally in deeply conservative (and rich) southwest Florida. Did anyone that was undecided or a potential Hilary voter all of a sudden decide to flip red just because Trump was in town? I personally can not see how that could be. Generally speaking, after all of this bullshit, how anyone in the country could be undecided a day before the election does not compute in my mind but maybe that is the problem, maybe I am the odd one.
Last night after work I was again out on my MSuper without my GoPro. Instead of driving to the school I rode there, the higher top end speed of the new wheel made getting there significantly quicker. I decided to fire up Strava, an app that is normally used to track running or cycling sessions, to track my ride. It gives you mapping, time and speed tracking very easily.
While I was at the school I practiced my wheel mounting technique. Despite now logging almost 300 miles on a single wheel my mounting technique has not improved with distance, I was still hopping my grounded foot on the wheel in a somewhat frantic manner.
When you watch experienced EUC riders they can push off with one foot and then bring the other on board in a smooth and controlled manner. Well thanks to some encouragement from a fellow rider I decided to try to polish my technique. Practicing the mount involved taking single steps with one foot on the EUC and the other off where you get a feel for how to hit that balance point. Like most things, it took me longer than it should to translate the instructions to implementation. I’m not great at reading something and then executing, I operate a lot on feel and little else. Once something clicks and feels right I am good to go. Reaching that point can take awhile for me.
So anyway after a couple dozen practice steps it finally started to feel right. The key for me was allowing the knee on my left leg which is on the EUC first to bend inward slightly, wedging my leg firmly against the bot, allowing me a stable platform to roll for a second while I bring the other foot onboard. It’s hard to explain so I will try to demonstrate on video over the weekend.
During the long straight away parts of my ride I could tell I was going considerably faster than I would have been able to on my Ninebot One. I was surprised just how fast I got up to, touching 20.6 mph according to Strava at one point. That is road bike speed with a solid tailwind for me. It won’t be long until I try to do the famous DD ride on one wheel. The Msuper has the battery power to actually pull it off.
So I have kept the amount of political talk in the blog relatively light, despite this being the most disgusting election of my adult life. Outside of discussing the eventual result, I plan to try to keep it that way, however…. I wanted to take a moment to just illustrate the type of deception that goes on when portraying scenarios with fuzzy numbers.
One of the things you will hear HRC bashers say is she will continue Obama’s policies that increased the national debt more than any other president in history. That’s a pretty strong statement that will surely sway the light thinkers. After all, debt is bad. So before we dig into that statement you could factor in that when Obama took office the country was in fiscal freefall, the sky was literally falling. The federal government spent mountains of cash bailing out financial institutions and offering stimulus packages like cash for clunkers, rebates for energy efficiency upgrades, and tax cuts. Say what you will about agreeing or disagreeing with some or all of those actions, the end result was the nose of the country was unquestionably pulled up from it’s trajectory into the ground. Of course we still had the uncapped wellhead of money being burned up supporting the Iraq conflict that was created via phantom information by the Bush administration as well. So yea, doing all that cost money, a whole bunch of it.
So when you turn your attention to dollars the numbers look big. Under Obama’s administration the national debt grew 56% in the first 7 years, adding roughly 6.5 trillion to the national debt. Growing the debt 56% sounds terrible doesn’t it? But wait a second, let’s put other presidents to the same scale. If you flip back only one chapter to the W nightmare years the national debt over his term grew 101%, yes almost double the rate of what has transpired under Obama.
When you look through history the light bulb really comes on. Ronald Reagan who is still seen by many as a star and the inventor of trickle down economics that has been an absolute disaster for the middle class for the last three decades plus, grew the national debt 186% during his reign. Yes, that is correct, 186%. So hopefully this information if nothing else gives you some pause to blindly accepting information vomited at you by the people best served by you believing it.
If you would like to open your eyes a little bit, take a look at the debt numbers by president here. Yep Obama as president has hit a bunch of potholes but he absolutely has done an admirable job of turning what was a very dire situation into merely a bad one.
This weekend there will surely be a lot of EUC riding going on, the weather is supposed to be quite nice. I would like to catch Dr Strange, run, and do whatever else sounds good at the time, after chores are done of course.