Prusa announced their new product back in October 2019, the Prusa Mini.  I ordered it on the first day possible and it supposedly was going to start shipping the beginning of November.  That ship date came and went with the wind with reports of various production delays and bug fixes.  The end result was a three month delay which culminated yesterday with my Prusa box finally arriving on my doorstep.

Last night I assembled the printer.  Luckily it was mostly built, I had everything put together in about an hour, a fraction of the time I spent when building my MK3S.  I got right up to the point where you go through the configuration steps and first print which I will tackle this weekend.  So far the little printer seems cool.  I am going to have to do some thinking about how I want to arrange my printers in the room to accommodate the new addition.

Today the roofers are coming to replace all the metal on the front of the house.  Just like the west side roof, some of the metal panels on the front have a different appearance, making the roof look bad.  After spending 20K to replace it I am not ok with it looking bad.

This issue was apparent from day one and I brought it up to the project manager.  He assured me over time the metal would “weather” to look the same.  Well we are now closing in on two years and the difference is as noticeable as ever.

I find myself annoyed that I have to even deal with this.  I told them that I thought the installers should have spotted this defect as the metal was being put on.  I was told that when they are up on the roof it wasn’t apparent.  I remember asking if that meant that once they were back on the ground nobody looked at the roof??

When I got them to come out to replace the west side panels I should have had them replace the front as well.  I’m not sure why I didn’t push for that.  However again, I feel that if your business really cares about doing it right, they would have proactively fixed it all as there was an obvious consistency problem with the metal that was used.  It felt like they only want to do the bare minimum required.

So I initiated getting the front panels replaced back in November.  It’s taken this long with repeated reminders from me to the company that I wanted the work done.  I have been more patient and less vocal than I normally would be because my contact at the company is the husband of a co-worker so I don’t want to drop the hammer too hard. So the metal was dropped off earlier in the week and a crew is at the house right now finally doing the work.  I am crossing my fingers the work is completed to my satisfaction so I don’t need to get frustrated every time I pull up in our driveway.

This weekend I have lots of smaller projects to tackle, standard fare, mostly.

 

 

Yesterday was pretty shitty at work due to someone pulling the plug on the building not once but three times.  The biggest casualty was one of our virtual servers that I had to restore from the previous back up.  There have been some scattered collateral damage as well but at this point things seem back to normal.  The bad news is the UPS tech is supposed to be back today to replace whatever component burned up.  I am hoping this procedure completes without incident.

The senate officially ended the impeachment trial without calling any additional witnesses or requesting any new documents, despite clear evidence that both of these things would have further solidified an already overbearing case against Trump abusing his power to gain potential political advantage.  There was never any doubt that it would be impossible to get a super majority to go against Donald yet the process was carried out.

I was touched by Mitt Romneys speech where he explained that his sincere commitment to God made it impossible for him to toe the line that he was asked to stand behind by Trump apologists.  He swore to be impartial and if anyone that heard all of the evidence was truly impartial going in, they would almost certainly reach the same conclusion.  He will certainly be the object of now standard bullying and mockery which is a staple of American politics, brought to the foreground by our glorious, extremely stable, perfect, super sized, big league genius president who has an IQ so huge that he blocked release of his school records to obscure it.

The realist in me wonders what was the point?  If the big picture goal was to get big dummy out of office, did this process help or hinder it? The idealist in me agrees that even if it’s obvious that ultimate removal from office is unreachable, ignoring abhorrent behavior only encourages more of it to occur. We see this every single day in all aspects of life.  Rewarding bad behavior is becoming the norm in our society and it leads nowhere but downward.

So my morning began with a Chinese fire drill.  There was maintenance scheduled on the building UPS that provides back up power to our office in the event of a power failure.  In order to take the UPS offline for service we fire up our huge diesel generator which is designed to power the office for days in case of a prolonged power outage.  Once it is running the UPS is able to be taken offline to be serviced.  So this switch happened early this morning as planned. However in the middle of the work disaster struck, the generator turned off.

This happening was like turning off a light switch for the entire building, including EVERYTHING in our network operations center.  If you know anything about IT, you know that abruptly removing power from a server is a very dangerous situation that can result in data corruption.  A guy from county maintenance who was in charge of the generator ran out there and flipped it back on but it was too late.  We started bringing servers back up, crossing our fingers no major problems popped up as a result.

Just as we were in the process of logging them back in the power glitched again.  I had a snap angry reflex yelling “Motherf’r as I flung the keyboard to the ground and marched outside.  The county guy said the automation switch that is used to test the generator and bring it on automatically during power outages is what caused the first power outage.  However the second power outage was caused by this guy switching us over to manual bypass.  He was unaware that we had started powering servers back up already.

So despite TWO power outages, the servers seemed to have survived with only a few minor issues.  The UPS service was completed and we thought all was good with the world, then the smell started.  The distinct odor of electrical burn was coming from the UPS room.  We called the maintenance guys back as well as the UPS tech who had just left.  The county guy fired up the generator without verifying the UPS was still functioning to hold up the building during the transfer of power, it wasn’t.  Because of the fried component the UPS was no longer supplying power so when the switch to generator occurred power was lost in the building for a third time, unbelievably.  The first failure was due to system problem, the second and third were from a lack of communication.

The third power loss appears to have corrupted at least one server that I am trying to restore currently.  The fried component in the UPS now has to be replaced meaning we will exist on generator power for at least the next 24 hours.  We have not lost power in the NOC like this for at least five years.  To have it happen three times in an hour is ridiculous and will change our procedures for UPS maintenance going forward for sure.

I wish I could just rip up the contract of the UPS company like Nancy Pelosi did with the SOTU speech on national tv last night.

I had some after hours work at a branch I needed to complete last night.  The rats nest of wiring on the network rack needed to be ripped out and replaced with new high speed, shorter cables.  The job is a bit tedious and attention to detail is important.  I relocated one of the network switches between two patch panels to allow me to replace long 5 foot cables with much tidier one and two foot replacements. After about 90 minutes of work the rack looked dramatically better.  Hopefully it will remain pristine for the foreseeable future.

I had my second 90+ kwh production day in a row out of our solar array.  The high sun amount combined with low temps, which means light AC usage, creates a big surplus condition.  I will need as much surplus as possible during the winter months to make up for the AC use in the summer.

Wow it seems like the Iowa caucus was a huge cluster f.  They STILL don’t have any official results.  I wonder if it will be enough to get them to trash the silly and gimmicky caucus system which makes little sense to me.  Why are Iowans unable to simply cast a vote for their preferred candidate like the rest of us?

Tesla stock has been experiencing a meteoric rise the last few weeks, currently sitting at close to 900 dollars.  As recently as June you could own the stock for $179.  I now lament my decision to only buy a single share back in May for $226.  If I would have dropped 10k on the stock instead I could have a good portion of my solar system paid off.

Sometime Friday afternoon I decided I wanted to try to resume my running after work.  I made this decision knowing that rain was forecast to move into the area Friday evening. My hope was I would complete the run before this occurred.  Instead the steady rain began before I even hopped in the truck to drive to the track.  I was still determined to complete my mental goal.

During the run I ran in rain of varying intensities.  The good news was the precipitation kept my body temperature down, the bad news was, well, I was wet.  I completed the 12 laps and didn’t feel awful in doing so.  I was unable to track my pace as the digitizer on my Apple Watch refused to register touches while it was wet.

Saturday was mostly a grey and rainy day, as a result most of my labors were of the indoor variety.  Cindy and I worked on cleaning the floors, which doesn’t get accomplished nearly as regularly as it should.  Cindy handled running the steamer on the hard surfaces and I manned the carpet cleaner.  The black water I repeatedly dumped in the utility sink was reinforcement for the need to do the task more than a couple times a year.

I also swapped out the WeMo smart switch in our bedroom with a WeMo dimmer switch.  The LED light on the new fan is pretty harsh at full brightness.  With the dimmer we are able to tone it down when needed.

I had Cindy buzz my hair during the afternoon.  When I do a “full buzz” on my hair I attach the 1/8″ guard to the clipper blade and go to town, knocking all my hair off.  Well this time Cindy accidentally forgot to attach the guard.  Once she did the first swipe with a bare blade she realized her mistake but it was too late by then, it all had to be trimmed at the same height.  It’s odd how an eighth of an inch felt so different both in touch and sensation.  Instead of feeling like a stiff brush my hair feels more like velcro.  I also felt like I had a draft on my head all of the time which was very weird.

Saturday night we watched a Stallone movie, Escape Plan: The Extractors, we had seen at least one other movie in the series.  It’s classic B level revenge plot, non-stop action which I enjoyed.

Sunday morning after doing bills I also started to try to dig through gathering the information I will need for my taxes.  With the increase of sales from my 3D store I have a lot more things to keep track of.  I think I have a handle on them.  It’s funny, when I stopped race timing I was walking away from the extra income it provided.  However with the two new hobbies I acquired since doing so, I somehow turned them into their own revenue streams that has surpassed whatever I used to make timing, by a good margin, without all the stress.

Katie was visiting during the morning.  She had told Cindy some of the warning lights were on in the Prius.  It’s weird even though I gave the Prius to Katie, I still feel responsible for maintaining it.  The red triangle of death had come back on but that has been happening for quite awhile.  After I checked the battery cells and verified they all are within a couple tenths of each other voltage wise I cleared the error.  I then added air to three of the tires that were low and then finally changed the oil to address the Maintenance Required light.  By the time I was done the car was idiot light free.  Katie really needs to be making some plans to replace the Prius. It has almost 235,000 miles on the odometer so it isn’t a matter of if but when something goes wrong that costs more to repair than the value of the car.

Unlike Saturday, Sunday was a nearly 100% sunny day.  As a result my solar system hit a new one day production record, producing a tick under 92kwh, the first time I broke the 90 mark which was cool.  I have hopes of breaking triple digits some day but we will see if that is possible with my array configuration.

I went for a 25+ mile ride on Sunday afternoon out to Ave Marie on the 18L.  It was my first chance to test out the new motor I installed several weeks ago in a real ride.  The wheel performed fantastic.  The ride was so smooth that it didn’t feel like I was traveling 25mph or more for almost the entire trip.  The long ride gave me a chance to talk about several topics along the way.

We did not do a formal Super Bowl party this year, we invited a handful of people last minute but only our friend Deb O wound up taking us up on the offer.  Cindy prepared a small spread of food and made a cool football cake for our cozy gathering which was nice.

I was pulling for the Chiefs because I wanted to see Andy Reid, the longtime Eagles coach finally go all the way.  As the coach of the Eagles he had the team on the doorstep a half a dozen times but never was able to win THE game.  The game was competitive and exciting.  I felt genuine joy for Andy as the clock ran down and he got a Gatorade shower.  He has had a lot of tragedy in his life so to see him win the Super Bowl gave me the warm fuzzies.

The commercials were the normal mix of stupid to hilarious.  I enjoyed the halftime show although I heard some people ranting about how it over sexualized women as the outfits were skimpy and asses were shaking all over the place.  I really don’t quite get it, was there an expectation for Shakira and Jennifer Lopez to perform in evening gowns?  Didn’t Adam Levine perform with no shirt during last year’s performance?  I don’t recall any outrage as a result?  I don’t really understand why there isn’t room for women to look/act sexy AND still be respected.  I don’t think they need to be mutually exclusive.

We didn’t get to bed till close to midnight.  The good thing was because we only had one guest my drinking and eating was more moderate compared to full fledged previous SB parties.  As a result I don’t feel nearly as close to death’s door as I may have in the past.

In the last part of 2018 I started adding a 400 rep body weight exercise circuit to my Friday routine, I would do it every other week.  The circuit consists of pull ups, push ups, hanging knee raises, and dips.  I do a total of 100 of each, most of which is done with micro sets of five in rapid succession.  When I first started the routine my goal was just to survive, it had me gulping for air.  As the fatigue that was part of my life for over a year started to fade I felt better and stronger.  I decided to start timing how long it took me to complete the 400 reps.

During my first timed session it took me somewhere around 42 minutes which was pretty dreadful in retrospect.  I was taking too long of breaks in between sets.  Two weeks later I got the time down to 36 minutes, a HUGE improvement of over 15%.  After another two weeks I dropped the time another large chunk, down to 33 minutes.  Today, I surprised myself again, completing the last rep exactly at the 30 minute mark, an almost 30% improvement from where I started.

This sort of training where your personal trainer is nothing but a stopwatch is extremely effective.  You instinctively try to beat whatever time you posted before which is a great motivator.  When I was hardcore into calisthenics many of my workouts were time based which is likely why that time period was the most fit of my life.  As I press on the gains will naturally be smaller but if I manage to complete the work in even just one tick less than the last time, it’s a win.

As I was grinding through today’s workout for some reason my mind was drifting back in time.  I thought about the moment that really motivated me to get serious about fitness, I remember it well.  I’m not sure if I ever told this story on the blog but if I did it was only once and it was a long time ago.

I was in my early 20’s and dating my first wife.  We went down to the Jersey shore for vacation and while I was there I walked into one of those shops on the boardwalk where they take a picture of you and overlay it onto a magazine cover.  I was wearing a bathing suit at the time so the decision was made I would do a one arm bicep pose, shirtless for the fake cover of Men’s Health or something like that.  When I was handed the finished product I was jolted.  I looked like a skinny fat blob with not a single line of definition and distinct love handles.  I probably weighed somewhere close to 210 pounds at the time.

My first wife’s family loved to feed me and I loved to eat what they fed me.  Unfortunately most of it was unhealthy food and at that age I gave next to no thought about how it affected me.  It was at that moment I started eating consciously, exercising more regularly, and opening my eyes to just what a blob I had become.  It’s weird how that dumb picture flipped my switch but in retrospect I am certainly thankful it did.

This morning I discovered another rodent in a live trap, this time out in the chicken yard.  The traps have sat untriggered for almost a week so I wondered if the pests had cleared out.  I got my answer as the furry nuisance sat staring at me inside his wire prison.  As with other inmates, got a ride in the Tesla to a heavily wooded area on my way to work.  That brings the total captured rodents to three.  I plan to have the traps out there permanently to keep any rodent population efforts under control.

Yesterday on the way to work I filmed the drive documenting the first software patch for the Tesla of this decade.  The amount of changes were very small so it probably didn’t even need a video so I focused on documenting using auto pilot for as much of the commute as possible.  Non-Telsa owners find this sort of voodoo magic pretty entertaining.

This weekend I have a standard amount of things to get done as is almost always the case.  Keeping busy is my own form of therapy, it allows me to not think, as much.

The TV that we had set up in the spare bedroom got replaced yesterday.  It had an odd issue where at random it would start powering on and off rapidly for no apparent reason.  If I was Shawn from 15 years ago I would probably get on the internet and find out if it is a known problem that can be fixed by replacing some component.  I would then rip the tv apart and try to perform the surgery myself which may or may not be successful.  However 52 year old Shawn looks at how ridiculously cheap new TV’s are and sees the failure as an opportunity to get a set with up to date tech.

The Insignia TV we replaced it with was only $230 for a 43 inch set.  I could have had a 50 incher for only 30 dollars more, the price of TV’s have absolutely plummeted in the last three to four years.  This tv interested me because it had Fire TV hardware built into it, negating the need for an external device.  Setting up the tv physically was easy, I connected power, my network cable and the connection to the OTA antenna.  Once the tv fired up things slowed down temporarily as I installed at least three different updates until everything was brought current. The TV is great allowing pretty seamless access to streamed and live content.  Cindy was thrilled with the upgrade as she spends a lot of time in that room with DJ on babysitting days.  I still can hardly believe it only cost $230.  If you want to check out the specs of the set you can do so here.

Man I wish I would have bought more than one share of Tesla stock at $226 back in May.  If I had more money to throw at it I would be sitting pretty as the stock soared to $600 after hours yesterday.

 

Trumpism is a term that has been invented since 2016 which defines a certain mindset and tactic.  It has no reliance on truth, facts, or science, it’s all about emotion, aggression, and hatred.   It is a trait that is a requirement if you want to be in the circle of influence in the White House.  I heard a funny conversation about Trumpism and how it’s foundation lies in a profound ignorance of the world that surrounds you or at least an unwillingness to acknowledge it.  It was described as being comprised mostly of “credulous rube boomers” who were looking for someone to feed them what they were craving, a disdain of others unlike themselves.  This description made me laugh out loud but it really does carry some weight.

It just blows me away that a good percentage of the American populace is fully aware that the President repeatedly and consistently lies to their face, yet they continue to slap their MAGA hats on with pride.  I mean really, it is no different than the part of human beings that allows them to be controlled by religion, even though religious beliefs are the driving force behind some of the largest atrocities in history.  I wish I could trust American voters to correct the aberration that happened in 2016 but common sense seems to be a dwindling natural resource in our country.

 

Yesterday I neglected to mention the tragic death of Kobe Bryant which came as a shock to the world, basketball and non-basketball fans alike.   I heard about it from Ali and Shuggs when I dropped off Sadie.  To make the tragedy worse Kobe’s daughter was also on the helicopter along with some other children.  Anytime somebody famous dies it has an impact but when someone meets their demise unexpectedly at a young age it feels more impactful.  To me it serves as another reminder that you never can count on what is going to happen tomorrow so do what you can now to make your life as happy and satisfying as you can.