Last night as Katie was leaving with DJ Cindy came running into the house saying the bear was out there.  Cindy is very scared of the bear where as I have much more curiosity than fear about it.   I went outside but did not immediately see anything.  I went to the other side of the house and heard a bang like something falling over.  I looked over at the neighbor’s garage about 50 feet away and saw the big black bear looking for edible items.  I said something like “what you doing buddy?”  He stopped, looked at me and went back to rummaging.  By the time I got Cindy to come look he had moved on.

There has been a ton of bear activity in our area in the last year or so.  The bears have learned that trash containers are food containers.  Despite a sustained effort to remind people to not leave trash outside, they continue to do so, so the bears keep looking for it.  Maybe I am being naive but for whatever reason I just don’t feel if I came face to face with one of these black bears that they would instinctively act aggressively towards me.

Today I have another solar company coming to give me some numbers on a potential project.  Now that I have something to compare it to, I have a solid set of questions to ask to contrast and compare answers to.  The more I think about the prospect of supplying all of my power via the sun the more appealing it is.  The sales guy from yesterday did come back with slightly revised downward numbers, knocking somewhere around $1500 off the quote.  I really did like the presentation and the company, so depending on how I feel about the guy from today I may just be using it for more leverage towards better pricing.

My 100 hour massive Christmas Village print completed overnight.  It came out great.  I can hardly wait till Cindy gets done painting it.

 

 

On Saturday after doing normal duties I got out the branch loppers and went to town.  My goal was to do all of the tree trimming that did not require ladder work.  My thought was doing this would cut down on the misery of the full scale tree trimming that has to happen before Thanksgiving.  It took longer than I anticipated and thank goodness Cindy was helping me else it would have been much longer.  In total I trimmed around a dozen trees which should help cut down the work in a few weeks. Saturday night I paid the price for the work.  Somehow all of the lopper work made my right thumb incredibly painful, almost as painful as when I had gout several years ago.  I could not grip anything, it hurt that much.  Luckily the pain has been fading and I have near normal use of the joint today.

Saturday night we saw Rambo Last Blood, which as the name suggests, is the final of the Rambo series, which I have always been a big fan of.  At first glance it might seem sort of nuts that a 70 year old Sylvester Stallone could still pull off the role but he absolutely did, although his shirt remained on the entire time.  There is one disturbing thing you notice about modern day Stallone which is a side effect of his years of well documented use of HGH, his head is huge, much bigger than when he first played Rambo.  One of the side effect of growth hormone is parts of your body grow, not just your muscles.  Head, feet, ankles, and wrists all can grow while on growth, which is sort of scary. Anyway, the movie had all of the action and incredible violence Rambo movies are supposed to have, backed up by an intense revenge plot which makes it all fly.  I enjoyed the movie for what it was,a B+ effort for sure.  Nothing beats the second Rambo movie.

Sunday morning Cindy and I went for a fun ride at the Greenway.  Once again we rode into some PEV riders, this time on One Wheels.  Once again they knew who we were from the YouTube channel which was funny.  We rode all the way to the beach and then some, it was a good time for both of us.

During the afternoon we put out our Halloween decorations which now include a huge 12 foot tall Grim Reaper.  A lot of our decorations somehow wound up with black mold/mildew on them and had to be tossed.  Cindy cleaned up what she could.  We have one more inflatable to add to the collection that Cindy picked up today.  It may seem like a waste of effort to decorate for a holiday where a child has not come to the door for trick or treating in the last 10 years.  But, it makes this 51 year old child happy, so we do it anyway.

I stayed home this morning to meet up with a guy for a whole house solar estimate.  I saw the company advertised in a home improvement magazine.  I was aware that the the 30% federal tax credit was supposedly expiring at the end of this year so I figured it would be smart to at least get some numbers so I can think about the viability of it.

As soon as the guy walked up I saw him looking at the roof.  I told him right away that I don’t want to fill my brand new metal roof with a bunch of holes and I would be looking for a more expensive ground mount option.  I presented him with my latest electric bill so he could properly size a solar system that would result in a net cost of zero from LCEC.

The system he quoted was something like 48 panels and 14.8 KV if my memory is correct.  Choosing a ground mount adds a good chunk of change to the install, roughly 6K.  The total quote was, hold your breath, $55,000, yes, the number made me pause a bit as well, I was thinking more in the lower to mid 40’s but the ground mount does change the math somewhat.  So the good news in the scenario is that federal incentive refunds 30% of that cost so I would effectively be financing about 38-39k.  If you use their financing with a 15 year loan at 2.99% the payment came out to around $275 a month which is an amount I already have budgeted for my electric bill.

The guy stressed that there are some things that his company does that others do not, starting with using top grade panels with a 25 year warranty.  He said some companies throw out panels with half the rated lifespan.  He also said all of the work is done by their employees, nothing is sub-contracted out, which I like as well.  I still told him that the overall number still seemed high and that I would want to get some other estimates to compare against.  He said that he might be able to work the numbers more and he would get back to me.

Even with that huge overall number, which I expect to only go down as I go further into this process, there is a clear motivation as to why I would do this.  My quick thought process on whole house solar used to go like this.  All you are doing is trading an electric bill payment for a solar power loan payment, what’s the point?  I now realize that that is exactly the point.

Instead of handing that money over to the utility company, which benefits you exactly zero dollars, you can spend similar money towards a major home improvement that drives up the value of your house substantially.  In my situation I would see myself paying off the loan far in advance of the 15 year term but whenever that happens, your value equation just keeps improving from there.  I am considering this much more seriously now, we will see if we can get some lower numbers that make that equation even more favorable.

 

 

 

 

 

I left work a little early to allow me to get the grass mowed before the Eagles game last night.  I have a bunch of other things to do this weekend so getting tractor time off that list would be helpful.  The lack of rain we have had the last three weeks has been very odd as we are still in the time frame of our wet season.  It’s so dry that I have to keep watering the sod that I put down a couple weeks ago to keep it from drying out.

My new Prusa printer arrived as planned but unfortunately I had no time to do much more than remove the plastic wrap and place the box on a table in the hobby room.  I am hoping to set some time tonight to set it up.  Almost on queue my existing Prusa had it’s first issue.  The filament did not unload correctly after a spool ran out and I have to figure out how to clear it.

The Eagles walked away from Green Bay with a very surprising but welcome win.  Early on the game followed the suit of the other games this year with the Birds starting slow and falling behind quickly 10-0.  The Eagles defense looked incapable of stopping Aaron Rodgers and to be honest that was the way the entire game was.  The Packers while on offense marched up and down the field, the difference in the game was the Eagles offense scored touchdowns while in the red zone while the Packers had to settle for some field goals.

The other difference was although the Eagles D, especially their secondary, seemed like a doormat the entire game, there were two big plays that had a huge impact, a strip sack of Rodgers that resulted in an Eagles TD and the deflection interception at the very end of the game that prevented the game tying score.  The win was much needed and hopefully gets the Eagles back on track.  They ran the ball effectively for the first time all year in the win which was nice to see as well.

I do have to rant a little, despite the winning end result.  The team is playing way too sloppy.  Going into the game they were the third most penalized team in the league and that trend continued last night where the Birds were flagged somewhere around 10 times.  The other thing that drives me nuts is the Eagles secondary.  Outside of Malcolm Jenkins it seems God awful, just like last year.  With as bad as the secondary was last year I would have assumed in the off season that would have been one the priorities.  Instead we are left once again with a crew back there that just seems constantly over matched.  Man I miss those years when we used to have shutdown corners.  Ok rant over, great win, hopefully it translates to positive things going forward.

So when you are on a tractor mowing grass your mind wanders.  As I was mowing last night my mind did that and it’s course was set from a Joe Rogan podcast I listened to from February when he had Andrew Yang as a guest.  For those of you that don’t read news, he is one of the 2020 democratic candidates for president.  He is a very successful entrepreneur and extremely intelligent.  He is best known for his “Freedom Dividend” proposal that every American receives $1000 a month, which to many, including myself, seemed sort of ridiculous and untenable, until you take the time to hear the explanation.  Taking the time to actually understand issues is something the majority of Americans either will not or can not bring themselves to do.  It’s far easier to be lightly informed, something I will dig into more later.

So anyway what Yang talks about is an inconvenient truth, that technology is going to drastically impact the job market.  We already had the industrial age, and many would say we have been in an information age.  Well the next step is the automation age.  The effects of this have already been felt over the last decade or two where millions of jobs have been automated out of existence with more efficient and less costly technology.  This movement is something that is going to accelerate over time.  Paying human beings salaries and benefits gets to be extremely expensive.

Andrew said truck drivers, call center workers, and cashiers are three examples of positions that are going to more or less evaporate over the next 5-10 years as technology matures to perform these tasks better and cheaper.  He talked about other realities such as the lunacy of some people saying the simple solution to this shifting paradigm is retraining the American worker.  As an example he asked the viability of a 45 year old trucker wanting or be willing to go back to school to become a software engineer.  Sure a tiny handful might be interested but the reality is that isn’t going to happen. Yang said the the active workforce participation in our country is already in the mid 60’s percentile and the coming wave of automation threatens to make an already bad situation much, much worse.

The idea behind the freedom dividend is to give Americans a way to soften that transition that is coming, whether they like it or not.  Unlike the most recent tax cuts that unproportionately benefited corporations and the ultra-rich much more than the normal American, this would do the exact opposite.  Adding $1000 a month to every American’s pocket that is over 18 years of age would be building the economy from the ground up.  That money isn’t going into an off shore tax sheltered account, it would be spent on goods and services every day on a massive scale that would benefit businesses large and small.

When you think literally about the way it has been done in recent years, building from the top down, you see the lunacy of it all.  How many skyscrapers start at the 100th floor and work downward?  Yes that sounds silly yet the same silly, trickle down lie has been sold by politicians for nearly the last 40 years.  Like a building, you build the economy from the base, not the top.

Yang went into great detail addressing obvious questions about the plan such as how do we afford this?  He breaks it down in detail and every answer he gave was well thought out and articulated clearly.  It was so refreshing to hear a plan, even a plan I still have some skepticism about spoken and presented in such a complete, detailed, and intelligent manner, something I haven’t seen from the Oval Office in the last three years.

So as I was mowing I was thinking about politicians and what I value most when it comes to them, intelligence.  It’s why I liked Obama, it’s why I liked Clinton.  It’s why I disliked W, who I think is a nice man but didn’t get to where he was on brains, that’s for sure.  It’s also the most embarrassing thing about Trump(who I don’t think is a nice man), he just is not that smart.  He speaks like a 4th grade bully more often than not and I seriously doubt if he has ever had a deep thought in his lifetime.  For the education he supposedly has (that he sued to keep his grades hidden), his intelligence seems incredibly lacking.

I also appreciate not only in politicians but in everyday life someone willing to say the inconvenient truths, which is the exact opposite of what many political campaigns aim to do.  They spew nothing but what people want to hear but not what they need to hear.  Society today has become so conditioned to take the path of least resistance.  Paycheck to paycheck living is the dominant model for American society, it’s easier to not worry about managing your finances.  It’s easier to throw things you want but don’t necessarily need on a credit card.  It’s easier to not eat consciously and to not exercise.  It’s easier to not plan for your future or look at the big picture.  All of these things are easier to do than their alternatives but they all lead ultimately to living an unsatisfying, anxiety riddled, depressed life.

Yang mentioned that suicide now kills more people than auto accidents each year in the US.  Think about that for a second.  It’s all interconnected. Until enough people are committed and brave enough to grab our current broken system by the neck and work towards something different we are doomed to continue to be mindless puppets to the lobbyists and the corporations that control them to follow a set of rigged rules that benefit those that create them to an unimaginable degree.

Do yourself a favor, think more and take the path of more resistance, you will emerge from the other side stronger, smarter, and better.

If you want to listen to the interview you can do so here.

 

 

 

With all of the riding I do in bike lanes of busy roads, a full face helmet is the best option for sure, and I have one.  The problem is drinking coffee, one of my favorite things to do while riding an EUC is impossible with that style helmet so I wind up wearing my skate helmet if I plan to be drinking.  Yesterday a solution to that issue arrived at the house.

This is a full face helmet that my buddy Marty has been using for a few months.  It’s a high quality unit with a windshield, drop down sun visor AND a moveable chin guard.  By releasing one button you can rotate the chin guard up and out of the way, allowing coffee consumption without compromise.  Once the coffee is done I can simply rotate the piece back down.

With the guard rotated up it does look a bit weird but riding an EUC looks weird so it’s no big deal to me.  I look forward to giving it a real world test soon.

So the massive print I was attempting failed somewhere in the middle of the night.  There was a power glitch that may have caused it.  This printer does have a tendency to just stop on long prints at times so I am thinking I may try it on my newly upgraded CR10S Pro.  It won’t be quite as big as on the Chiron but it will still be HUGE.

We had another power hit as I was getting ready for work, a real one that turned the house dark for about 20 minutes or so.  Luckily the lights came back on just as I got done manually opening up the garage door.  Random unexplained power failures is something our electric company is very good at providing.

My second Prusa 3D printer is supposed to arrive at the door today.  I am hoping to be able to get it up and running quickly if possible as tonight the Eagles play the Packers in Thursday night football.  I am not feeling good about the Eagles chances and have already conditioned myself for the reality of a 1-3 start.

 

Yesterday I had two medical appointments in the same day, a sure sign that you are old.  In the morning I had my check up at the dermatologist.  There is a spot on my back that has a very dark mole but it has not been changing in appearance.  He said he could biopsy it to make sure it was nothing.  I told him I would rather address it at my next 6 month check up as I have already burned through my medical budget for the year a long time ago.

In the afternoon I was at the employee med center to go over the results from my latest round of testing.  The NP I normally deal with was out sick so they had a female doctor filling in for her which was a bit of a bummer since she was not that familiar with my history.  The thallium test showed my level dropped a tenth from .5 to .4, just below the warning level.  They also did very thorough cholesterol screening to see if a statin would be a good idea.  The short answer from the test was probably not.

The thing I was not that thrilled about was for the first time in my memory my overall cholesterol crossed the 200 mark (208).  It’s been below 200, at times well below 200 forever.  I think part of that is less strictness in diet during the last couple years which is something I told Cindy I would like to work on.  I basically eat whatever she puts in front of me.

I also told the doctor about the right side pain thing that has been going on forever.  She had me lay down on the table and started feeling my hip bones.  She then had me go through some movements where I would press against her resistance with my knee in a way designed to stretch the hip.  She even yanked hard on my right leg while I held onto the table.  It felt almost like a mini-chiropractic session.  As she went through the manipulations she would keep feeling my hip bone on the right side, she could feel the unevenness compared to the left.  By the time she was done she said it felt more aligned and my hip did feel better as well.  I am going to see if I can find a way to do these stretches myself.

I actually enjoyed getting the doctor’s fresh perspective on things.  I don’t have any defined next steps as far as my health goes except for more wait and see.  The off and on fatigue that has been part of my life for the last year has been more off than on lately.  When I do feel the fatigue it does not seem as severe as it once was or perhaps maybe I have just adjusted to my new normal.

Last night I revealed to Cindy an idea I had been rolling around in my head for a few days for a future home improvement, enclosing the covered portion of the lanai.  The 8′ x 16′ space could be turned into either a sun room or a more conventional room pretty easily which would add space to the house and a new feel.  I have no idea of the costs to do so but Cindy was very excited by the prospect and immediately started researching things.  There are a ton of different things to consider with cost being a primary one.  I would be paying someone to do most of the work but Cindy and I would be able to do finishing items.

I also have an appointment with a solar company on Monday to just give me some numbers regarding whole house solar.  There are tons of incentives and plans available that can get solar into your household, it’s just a matter of how much of that cost you want to absorb yourself versus direct cost savings you can expect.  The average return on investment for most solar installations is 10-20 years, that’s a loooong time to wait but if I am retired with no electric bill that could be a nice scenario.  There is some advantage to doing this now as I believe a large federal incentive for solar goes away at the end of this year.

Last night I started what would be my biggest and longest print ever.  If it completes, the print will consume nearly a solid week of printing.  The odds of prints that long completing without incident is not great but if it works, it will be awesome.

So Nancy Pelosi finally relented to mounting pressure and formally announced the commencement of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, something that feels like it has been talked about for a couple years.  She has resisted doing so for political reasons, keeping her eye on the big goal of kicking Don out of the White House in 2020 but I guess the latest abuse of power regarding Trump leveraging foreign aid to Ukraine in reward for dirt on Joe Biden’s son enraged enough democrats that Nancy was now in the clear minority.

I would like to say I have mixed feelings about this but to be honest, I don’t.  I am a realist, a greater good, and a big picture guy.  My hope is to have someone else be president in 2020 and to me, this is counterproductive to that goal.

Everyone knows that impeachment has zero chance of actually occurring.  The senate and the supreme court are both stacked in Trump’s favor.  A president has NEVER been impeached.  Andrew Jackson and Clinton were the only ones brought up on impeachment but both men were able to stay in office.  Doing this gives Trump a huge political football to throw around, further crying wolf about fake news and how democrats constantly attack him, unjustly. (in his distorted self reality)

I do understand the reasoning behind the democrats finally pulling the trigger.  Trump’s abuse of power as president has been unmatched in my lifetime.  His outright refusal to acknowledge congressional authority is staggering but so numerous that it has become a shoulder shrug event over the last three years to much of the public, including myself.

The impeachment proceedings are an attempt to wake the country up and not cast democrats as the party that allowed Trump to walk all over the Constitution while they stood by complaining and doing little else.  This impeachment announcement is without a doubt action instead of words, I can only hope it doesn’t further galvanize the blind loyalism that has infected a terrifying amount of people in the Republican party.

My two “side jobs” have both set new records this month as far as dollars generated.  The 3D EUC stand store is going to have it’s best month ever, with a week to go I am just shy of $1000 in sales.  As I have said before, my net proceeds in the store are much less but still, it’s a big number.  My YouTube ad revenue crossed $500 for the first time ever which I did not expect.  I have not done a lot of Tesla content lately which seems to get big views but the PEV stuff I have been putting out there seems to be performing better than it used to as well.  Now if I can only find away to multiply those numbers by a factor of 8-10 and we can talk about early retirement. 🙂 The EUC and PEV market is growing rapidly, I may have just hit the wave at the right time.

Proceeds from the store are being used to pay for a second Prusa MK3S printer, assembled this time instead of the kit which took me easily 8 hours of time to assemble.   Putting it together was fun, once, I didn’t need to do it again.  Anyway, I ordered the assembled printer on Sunday night with a posted back order of three weeks until shipment.  It sucks to have to wait but I knew about the delay before I ordered.

I love my Prusa printer and the company itself.  It seems to be a great group of people, headed up by Joe Prusa who Cindy and I met back at the 2018 Miami Maker Faire.  He seemed like a very down to earth and cool guy. I had already said how the assembly manual for the Prusa printer was amazing, the best I had ever seen.  Well it seems like when it comes to shipping delays, Prusa once again likes to under promise and over deliver one of the best traits a person or company can have in my book..  I got a ship notice on the printer this morning so instead of waiting three weeks I didn’t even wait three days.

There are a few companies that I really love like Amazon, Tesla, Blizzard Entertainment, and Dunkin Donuts.  Prusa is now on the list.  I always wondered why people were willing to pay so much for a printer that costs 4-5 times more than a knock off brand with similar build volume.  The answer is, it’s worth it.

 

 

On Saturday I took a more reasonable stance towards yard maintenance.  We still have had minimal rain so overall the grass has not grown much but I had not weed whacked in a couple weeks.  The chicken area also was skipped in last weeks mowing so I took care of that as well.  The end result was only spending a couple hours this weekend on grass maintenance instead of three or four.

Staurday afternoon I decided to get my annual painful call to Directv out of the way to finally reactivate my Sunday Ticket package.  As is always the case, I spent around an hour on the phone getting my non-standard configuration working again.  There was a bit of good news that came out of it.  I found out that if I wanted, I can stream the games via my Echo TV Cube.  There is a Sunday Ticket app that just requires your credentials to access.  I used the streaming option for the first part of the game on Sunday to test it out.  It got a bit annoying with a feed that paused and had some jerkiness in the video.  By the second quarter I had flipped over to my old fashioned satellite dish feed. Hey, at least it works.

I did a decent amount of work on my one 3D printer over the weekend.  I replaced the ABL sensor from a capacitive to an inductive type for more consistent performance.  I also fixed a very poorly designed extruder arm assembly.  The way it comes from the factory the gear grinds the aluminum arm underneath.  I purchased a modified arm kit that eliminates this problem and keeps the gear spinning straight and friction free.

On Saturday night Cindy and I went to go see Ad Astra, the new Brad Pitt space movie.  I generally love Brad Pitt films and I’m a huge sci-fi guy as well so it was a sweet combination.  I thought the movie was very interesting and thought provoking although I didn’t really like part of the message at the end.  It was an A- experience for me.

The audience for the movie was pretty thin but almost entirely adults and from a quick survey a lot of older adults, meaning older than me.  Despite this scenario we had multiple issues with people using their phones during the movie.  With the background of the film being space, the majority of the scenes were dark making the phone use even more obvious and annoying.  There was an old man next to us that had to be pushing 70, he was one of the offenders.  Cindy actually told him how distracting it was and he later apologized.  It’s easy to stereotype cell phone addiction as a mostly millennial problem but the reality is all age groups are affected.

In addition to the cell phone use the old guy piled on the annoyance by eating food, noisily, for over half of the movie.  Sure sometimes Cindy and I grab something to eat in the seats but we don’t make a seven course meal out of it.  Dealing with other people that give little thought to how their actions impact others is a reality you can never escape if you go to a public movie theater.  You either grin and bear it or just watch everything at home.

Sunday morning I went on a solo ride on the KingSong 18XL.  I threw on my backpack so I could run some errands along the way like dropping off a couple packages at the post office and picking up some watermelon for the chickens at Publix.  I think it made for an interesting video and demonstrated how a PEV can be utilized to fill basic transportation needs in certain situations.

The Eagles game was sort of a mess, they lost at home to the Lions which is not an outcome that was expected, even with the number of injuries the team had on offense.  The Birds just made a shit ton of mistakes with two fumbles, seven dropped passes (a couple potential TD passes), and soul crushing penalties, including THREE offensive pass interference penalties, which is unheard of.

On defense they could not get pressure on Stafford and their effort all game was mediocre at best.  It was a shitty game and the type of loss that comes back to haunt you at the end of the season when playoff berths are on the line.  The bad news is they turn around and play on Thursday night against the Packers, another potential loss.  If a team with this much talent comes out of the gate 1-3 there are going to be a lot of unhappy campers out there.  Wentz is a gamer for sure but a gamer that doesn’t win games is going to get ugly in Philly real quick.

 

 

Yesterday when I got home I had a letter from the endocrinologist I had been going to.  The letter said that one of the nurse practitioners had left the practice and as a result the doctor was going to have less time to see patients, unless you want to pay extra, of course.  For the tiny sum of $2500 annually the doctor was willing to be your concierge physician!  For this money you get 30 minutes of time per visit instead of 15, same week appointment scheduling (instead of two months), and you even get the doctors personal cell phone number!  What a great deal, not.

I was already planning to not go to this guy anymore.  I just wasn’t impressed with the interactions I had with him.  I actually was more impressed with the NP that left, she actually seemed more concerned with asking questions to see what the hell has been going on with me.  The doctor was more about just shotgunning tests and treatments without a lot of discussion.  Needless to say I won’t be taking him up on this tremendous opportunity.  The letter said to act fast, there are only limited spots available!  Health care in the US blows.

Last night I decided I needed to shampoo the carpets.  Actually I felt that way for awhile but I took matters into my own hands.  The carpet shampooer we have has been problematic for awhile.  Unless you have everything lined up perfectly it doesn’t generate good suction.  I wasn’t able to completely finish the work because I could not get suction at all after a water change.  After f’ing with it for a good 15 minutes I had enough.  It’s a Bissel unit and it acts like all the other Bissel units I have had, after a couple years they stop working well, likely a feature engineered into the machine to generate future sales. I jumped on Amazon and bought a lighter, smaller, and well reviewed Hoover cleaner.  Since we replaced the main living area with tile we have much less carpet to clean so the big Bissel was not needed anyway.  It will get curbed this weekend where someone will surely pick it up.  Let it become their headache.

This weekend has tasks on the agenda, lots of tasks.  I keep thinking it would be nice if somehow I could find the time where Cindy and I could just go down to the beach for a couple hours and chill out. For some reason that seems incredibly difficult to make happen.

You likely have not noticed but the blog is now running a SSL certificate. (https instead of http)  You should not notice any difference other than possibly a slighty longer load time.  I didn’t have to do this but it is good practice nonetheless as some modern browsers will warn you of ANY sites you visit that are not encrypted.

 

 

Yesterday I participated in a meeting regarding a new government center that is going to be built within the next couple years.  The meeting had to do with selecting companies involved in the build.  This was a “public” meeting which meant that it had to be recorded for public record.  They had microphones hanging from the ceiling above the table for that very purpose.  It was my first time participating in that sort of environment so it was a good experience and something I think I will be doing more of in the future as this project, the largest one we have ever done, continues to move forward.

Last night I again spent a good chunk of time in the hobby room both assembling completed 3D prints and starting new ones.  When I went to bed I had five of the six printers churning away.  I also completed a hot end swap on my CR10S pro.  Doing so made me decide to finally install the inductive leveling probe I have had sitting in the room for months.  Hopefully I do so in the next few days.  The capacitive probe the printer comes with is rather inconsistent which causes issues with good first layer performance.

In one of the videos I posted over the weekend I briefly talked about the Prius battery replacement project and how I was happy that the car is still running well a month or two later.  Well right on cue I get a picture sent to from Cindy of the red triangle of death popping back on the dashboard of the car, likely indicating another cell in the battery pack is going bad.

I knew this was a possibility and have read others warn that individual cell replacement is a whack-a-mole game, you replace one bad one and another fails.  Sure I could repeat the same process as last time, identify which cell is bad, pull the entire pack out of the car, rip into it, replace the bad cell and reverse the process.  The problem is this process is long, tedious and something that I don’t want to include in my regular list of chores.  I told Cindy that my recommendation was for Katie to buy the kit I investigated before that uses brand new and better than stock cells.  It has a two year warranty and would likely be the last battery pack the car ever needs before other things start falling apart.  I told her I would be willing to put in the labor to get it installed.

The kids other options are going from driving the 50MPG Prius to the 15 or less MPG Dodge Ram truck which is probably the least baby friendly vehicle you can imagine, or buying another vehicle.  A four to six year car payment will very quickly be a budget buster, much more so than replacing the pack.  We will see how it all shakes out.

 

 

 

 

Cliff is a guy I know originally from my PEV videos, he was a frequent commenter on them.  From watching my 3D printing videos it got him interested in that hobby too, he has at least a couple printers now.  Cliff is also a long time WoW player so we share a lot of interests.  Well he had a weird problem with his one printer that I gave him a suggestion on how to fix.  The suggestion worked.  As thanks for the help Cliff send me 250,000 gold in WoW, a HUGE chunk of virtual currency.  He sent me a big chunk of cash before as well. When combined with my already existing funds I am now a virtual millionaire in game.  I thanked Cliff for his extreme generosity.  Unfortunately at the moment I don’t have anything pressing to buy in game.  If anything it would be great if somehow that gold could funnel to my character in the newly released WoW classic where money is MUCH more difficult to come by and accumulate.

Last night I spent a good chunk of time working on Cindy’s computer.  She said she wasn’t able to get on the internet.  When I hopped on there I saw that her browser had been hijacked.  When you would try to start the browser it would try to launch some PDF file on a hacked wordpress site.  It took awhile for me to clean it up.  The bad thing about malware like this is there is always the possibility it planted a seed somewhere else on the computer that will grow again.  There are so many potential landmines now on the internet, even a trained pro like myself sometimes has to really examine pages carefully to make sure they aren’t waiting to blow up in my face.

I received my replacement AnyCubic I3 Mega yesterday.  I had it up and printing in no more than 30 minutes.  Sure the quality is not close to what the Prusa offers but for a fifth of the price, these printers have done thousands of hours of work for me.  They definitely have offered the most bang for the buck.  I still plan on adding a second Prusa once 3D store revenue can pay for it.  With the way sales have been going, that won’t take very long.