On Friday after work I got back out on the bike for a 10 mile ride.  My pace seems to be improving by tiny fractions each time I do it.  It’s nice to something improving instead of declining at this age. Friday night I did a nearly 3 hour live stream celebrating 50 live broadcasts.  I drank one of my handful of remaining Zimas during the stream, which at this point is 2-3 years old.  The Zima unfortunately did not taste normal, clearly it has a limited shelf life.

Saturday the property was still too sopping wet to consider mowing but I did wind up running the weed whacker as I hadn’t done it in at least three weeks.  I am hoping to mow the property tonight which will surely wind up in the dark.  Cindy stopped by as I was finishing up mowing for me to do a couple things to the laptop she has been using.

On Saturday night I did something out of the box for me, went to a comedy show.  Cindy’s younger brother who has been trying to establish himself in the local Miami comedy scene was one of the openers for a show in Fort Myers so I decided to go.  I was curious  what it would be like so I bought a ticket and showed up.  As I walked up to the front door I saw most of Cindy’s family by the door, many of which I had not seen for a couple years.  They were happy to see me and didn’t ask where Cindy was so I assumed they all knew the deal.

The show was funny with a total of 5 comedians doing their thing.  It was a bit weird sitting at the table with all of Cindy’s family without her actually being there.  Like I said they all were very friendly and nice to me which I appreciated.  The three light beers I had during the show helped keep me socially viable.  I enjoyed the show and if Cindy’s brother comes back to the west coast I would consider going again.

On Sunday morning I ran several errands which included meeting Cindy at Lowes to help her load up some stone.  She has a cast and a boot on one foot right now so it makes doing such things very problematic for her.  I carted the stuff over to the place where the work was being done and unloaded it there.

I watched the Eagles game against the Panthers. The offense looked dreadful for the majority of the game, but unlike the previous week, the defense actually made plays, coming up with three interceptions and a blocked punt, all of which was a big part of the scoring the team did.  During the first half I thought there was no way the Eagles were going to win the game, they did.  I was happy to be wrong but it didn’t do anything to change my overall pessimistic outlook for the season ahead.

After the game I decided to carve out some time for a quick ride on my V11, the only suspension EUC I currently own.  I had not ridden that wheel in a little while since I added the V12 and Z10 to my collection.  I immediately felt the difference suspension has on my body, it was great.  I need to get out on it more often.

 

 

 

 

 

After my ranting about the resumption of daily deluges of rain you can imagine the joy that filled my heart when a flood warning came across my Echo devices last night.  Another isolated area of hard rain decided to camp on top of our area last night burying the property in water.  I used to think that the ideal place to live was somewhere near the beach that was warm.  The last two decades have definitely modified my idea of ideals.  More and more the area of New Mexico my dad and step mom used to live in sounds more my style with more moderate temperatures, little rain and lots of sun.  Of course if I lived somewhere different in the Naples area that did not include my having to deal with the end result of all the rain it would be more tolerable as well.

I have some loose plans for the weekend including live streaming tonight and a task schedule that will be molded around the weather pattern and moisture level of the grounds.

 

Last week we had very minimal rain which let the ground finally dry out after weeks of it being more or less a swamp.  I felt happy that another wet season was soon to be behind us.  I thought I had seen the last of the standing water for the year.  Unfortunately the last couple days some more intense rain brought standing water back to the landscape and a grimace to my face.

There has been one positive about the return of hard rain.  Evidently wherever the air leak in the inflatable spider is, it gets plugged up when it’s wet.  The spider has been fully inflated the last couple nights.

I have been building a checklist of things around the house outdoors I would like to get done once temperatures and humidity drop consistently.  The list is growing because I have been less willing to do certain things in oppressive heat unless absolutely forced to.

 

 

 

 

I have been noticing a reduction of expenses since I started being a household of one.  The biggest difference has been in the electricity usage although I believe that is for several reasons, outside of less human beings in the house.  Last year I paid the electric company for about 5500 kilowatts of power, meaning power that was not provided by my huge 48 panel solar array.  I was somewhat disappointed in that outcome.

So far this year I have only paid for about 1500 kilowatts of power with three good production months ahead of me so I should finish up using even less.  Like I said having less people in the house means less power and less water usage, which is provided by the power hungry RO system.  However I think the other two factors were getting the AC fixed and my 3D store sales going down this year significantly.  With the leak in the AC it was running more and more to keep the house cool.  Less 3D sales means less printers going around the clock which each suck a significant amount of electricity usage.  I also was not charging a Tesla for the last two months at home.  I’m not sure which item saved the most consumption but I am glad to see the numbers working their way back towards break even. I have also been slowly going through other household expenses as I come across them, doing a case by case evaluation of how necessary or worthwhile they are now.  Things that had justification or reasons before, no longer do.

 

When I got home last night I had a number of normal Monday night chores to do in addition to washing the Model Y which was pretty dirty.  As I was doing so I was looking around the garage at things that were organized to be taken by Cindy eventually as well as things that have been designated to be thrown out.  As I surveyed both collections and thought about stuff that already has been discarded as a result of the split, a dark sense of waste and sadness came over me.  I just felt like so many things that at the time felt good, exciting, and appreciated now have found themselves discarded or pushed into a corner, never to be cared about again.

The feeling of waste is painful and depressing, not only when dealing with material objects but emotional ones as well.

 

 

I finally got to test out my new road bike tire I installed on Friday.  When I pulled out the road was dry and the sky did not look overly foreboding.  When I was approaching the halfway turnaround a saw a wall of rain ahead so I thought I would be smart and reverse directions early to avoid it.  My effort was fruitless as the rain had actual slid across my entire route, meaning I rode about four miles in constant rain on the return trip, not the best experience.  The good news is the tire felt fine.

I once again gave myself a hall pass from extensive yard work this weekend, deciding my mid-week mowing was good enough to get me to the following weekend.  I did the weeding and fixed a couple of the solar light strings that were accidentally cut and/or weed whacked months ago.  Elsa and I went on a long errands run which included Tractor Supply, Costco and Walmart.

During the afternoon I decided that I was going to continue the tradition of putting out the Halloween inflatables although a less extensive version.  I only have three things left plus the projector.  Unfortunately I think this will be the last year for the spider, the elements have damaged the material enough that it can’t fully inflate.

I decided to relocate the Grim Reaper to the front of the house instead of in front of the avocado tree.  Doing so gives him a more secure anchor point and also keeps his sizeable footprint out of the lawn for easier mowing logistics.  I would be lying if I didn’t admit I felt a bit mopey and sad as I went through the set up.

In the middle of it Jeremiah stopped down.  I had texted him asking if he wanted to try out the Z10 and the Dualtron scooter, which he had expressed some loose interest in previously.  As expected the Z10 felt very strange to him at first but he soon adapted to the different physics of the wheel and liked it.  He also appreciated the real vehicle capabilities of the Dualtron with it’s stability, high speed and option to sit or stand.  It seems the biggest negative for his wife, who would need to sign off on the idea is the scooter just doesn’t look very cool while riding it.  Compared to an EUC or One Wheel, a scooter definitely finishes last on the visual coolness look, unless you get one of the beast models that cost 4K plus.  I have had the Dualtron listed for sale for over a week with no serious offers yet unfortunately.

I took the V12 for a late afternoon coffee run. I took no recording equipment along, a rarity.  I just cruised along listening to Linkin Park blasting out of the BT speakers in the V12.  I took a detour into the yet to be completed park to see how things were progressing.  I was surprised to see some people already using the soccer fields to practice.  I also saw a few people walking and riding bikes.  It’s going to be so nice when it’s completed.

My Sunday was pretty low key.  I got out for a quick ride on the V12 with the Skydio drone in hand.  I wanted to get some aerial footage of me riding on Oil Well Road.  The flight was filled with glitches as I was trying to just use my phone for control which had a limited range.  I got back to the house about 10 minutes before the kick off of the Eagles game.

The Eagles game went pretty much as I expected with the Chiefs rolling over the Eagles, scoring 42 points.  I don’t think the defense forced KC to punt the entire game.  The Eagles offense moved the ball with Hurts putting up big numbers, the difference was in the red zone where repeatedly the Eagles had to settle for field goals where the Chiefs were scoring touchdowns.  The defense appears to just be bad, giving up over 70 points the last two games, which is not a realization you want to have four games into the season.  Oh well, I’ll keep watching.

I spent most of the rest of my Sunday binge watching a new for me series I discovered on Netflix, Titans.  It is based on the DC comic universe which is normally a negative thing for me as most DC projects pale in comparison to their Marvel equivalent.  This is definitely an exception.  The show is dark and has an edge to it that I haven’t seen before in the DC universe with one of the main characters being Robin, yes Robin, not Batman.  This is not the Robin you are used to.  This is a dark, very angry, and violent Robin.  The mix of characters and story so far has been really good.  Good enough that I got through 8 episodes over the weekend and expect to finish up season 1 soon.  The good news for me is there are two more seasons in the bank.  It reminds me of how I felt when I discovered Ragnarok, also on Netflix.

Overall it was an up and down weekend for me.  The struggles I have come and go.  There isn’t much I can do about it but continue to try to distract and distance until I find my way to more cheerful waters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday after work I stopped at my buddies house to move a bed temporarily downstairs for him as his knee has him hobbling on crutches.  He is one of the people I know that has been single for quite awhile and professes to enjoy things being that way.  I have heard that from a number of long term single individuals over the years as well.  However ironically the scenario my buddy has with a knee injury severely limiting his mobility is another thing I think about as well in terms of having a partner to go through life with, especially as you get older.

When you are in a relationship you have each other’s back (hopefully), so of one if you has an issue the other is able to be there to catch and support you through whatever the issue is.  When you are single it is me, myself and I doing that support, although a strong friends network can help fill that gap if you are fortunate.  Walking the tight rope of aging and all of the fun bullshit that accompanies it without a safety net is not a warm and fuzzy feeling.

I have been finding myself getting more and more annoyed with the infrastructure bill that appears ensnared in Congress.  At first the highlights of it sounded all good with investments in transportation, renewable energy, and rebuilding many deteriorating roadways and bridges.  When this was promoted to the the American people by Biden it was going to be paid for primarily by reverting the tax cuts Trump instituted which gave huge corporations a massive windfall allowing them to pocket the overwhelming majority of the tax benefit wile giving the average Joe very little in comparison.  So paying for the infrastructure bill primarily in that manner sounded great.

Well low and behold, when you dig into what the bill is mutating into, there are devious changes that make me sick.  One part of this was a reported potential per mile transportation tax.  This was originally reported as being part of the bill in it’s current state however fact checkers revealed it is only funding a study of a per mile tax and if it would be an effective way to replace the gasoline tax since the future of transportation is definitely not gasoline.  However the idea that they would want to track the amount of miles a person drives and tax it in that manner is still pretty disturbing to me.

The other claim that has not been debunked is the bill including language requiring extensive reporting to the IRS of all transactions in and out of bank accounts of more than $600.  The basis for this was trying to find more sources of taxable income that perhaps is not being accurately reported.  There was a LOT of negative push back on this as again it seems like far too much of a Big Brother approach.  The last thing I saw is they now have moved that number up dramatically from $600 to $10000 which obviously is less oppressive but still annoying.

I guess the bottom line is my annoyance with the bait and switch at play here.  Don’t tell me we are going to revert the insane tax breaks that were given to corporations to foot the bill for something and then quietly infest the bill with all sorts of ways to further tax the mass population. It really is aggravating and furthers my disgust of the federal government in general, regardless if they are wearing red or blue, they are all controlled by the puppet masters above them with the asteroid sized wallets that can pay for any reality they wish to create.

Last night at home I did do a couple of the things I talked about doing Wednesday night.  I played WoW for maybe an hour and then cruised around VR in bed.  One of the highlights was in Oculus Venues listening in on a discussion about the merits of Manny Pacquio, the boxer, running for president of the Philippines.  You can’t really do many of the games lying in bed outside of something like chess or pinball but the social and media apps are still pretty enjoyable.

This weekend I am going to try to keep the chore list tight.  At this point I am thinking I will still put out the outdoor Halloween decorations so myself, Elsa, and motorists driving by can still enjoy them.

 

 

 

I left work a little early so I would have time to grab some food at Trader Joe’s, my favorite place to get frozen, single serving, ready to heat meals. I had not stepped foot in there in years but I was glad to see they still had the most of the mainstays I relied on 9 years ago.

Last night after finishing dinner I had to decide how I wanted to spend the rest of evening.  I was feeling unsettled. I had several options run through my head.  Maybe I could gain another level or two on my WoW characters.  Maybe I could hop in VR to play some games or wander around the social apps. Maybe I should do a live stream.  Maybe I could hop on one of my EUCs  and ride over to the school area to clear my head.  Maybe I could have done a lot of things.

What I wound up doing was watching recorded TV content while thumbing through my phone, feeling sad.  As I tried to quantify exactly how I was feeling, the word that struck me was “hollow”.  Externally I appear more or less intact, the same as has been the norm with maybe a little more of a slower gait.  I have had people not familiar with my situation ask me if everything is ok and of course I snap back with “Yep, all good” because that is what I do, don’t burden others with my problems.

The reality is the lack of a relationship opens up the bark of my tree to reveal the hollow center.  This may be something I can fill in over time but most of my 21 years in Florida has been spent almost exclusively with my wife/partner with very little effort put into building anything else.  Generally speaking, I don’t typically feel sorry for myself very long before my inner drill sergeant chimes in and reminds me to get back on the path forward instead of spinning in circles.

In one of my videos from the weekend I talked about how rough holidays are going to be since this upcoming weekend is normally when I would pull out the Halloween inflateables.  Going through the effort to decorate the home just for myself may be just another exercise to put on an appearance that externally it’s business as usual. The reality is doing this sort of stuff with no one to share the experience/enjoyment with is a real struggle for me mentally.  I’m not sure if time fixes that issue or not.  Most of the single friends I know don’t do much at all for the holidays, maybe that will eventually be my new normal.

This week has been a pleasant surprise weather-wise.  The last two mornings when I have gone out to do the chickens there actually has been a hint of coolness in the air with a temperature right around 70. In addition the last two days have been full sun with no rain, allowing the hated standing water to dry up around the property.  I knew I had to try to get the mowing done last night after work.

I have had it stuck in my head for a long time that if I haul ass I can do the mowing in 90 minutes.  Well that is clearly not the case.  I think the addition of the chicken yard changed that number to no less than two hours.  Trying to mow the grass on a weeknight at the end of September is a tough ask as the sun sets pretty early compared to mid-June.  I knew I would be doing some mowing by headlight, I didn’t realize just how much.

I spent close to 45 minutes mowing with the headlights on.  The new ultra-bright LED floodlights I have on the chicken coop helped with illuminating the last section of the yard but there were plenty of spots where it was headlights only. Some of the spots were inundated for almost two weeks so it was like a jungle.  I got it all done a little after 8PM.

So I came in figuring I had one of those quick and easy single serving microwave meals left as I obviously wasn’t in the mood to do formal meal prep.  I swore out loud when I opened the freezer, dug around and saw I had none left.  My dinner consisted of a PB sandwich, cottage cheese, cookies and chocolate milk, f it.  I will be stopping at Trader Joe’s after work.