So Glad for an ICE car instead of my Tesla

I never thought i’d write this title, but there it is. We went on a vacation, we took two gasoline powered cars, and I am VERY glad I did not bring my Tesla.

  1. We were a pair of vehicles. one vehicle driven by young folks with strong bladders, but also children with unpredictable bladders. The other car was us. There was no stopping unless necessary, and if we stopped, we both stopped. And we didn’t stop for long. Having an electric vehicle with its required stops at certain places – would have been a whole second schedule of stops – would have been a lot of friction.
  2. Where we went, no destination charges, no fricking outlets available in the two parking garages we could park in. Any outlets that were there were occupied by electric carts and were numbered/reserved/policed.
  3. Closest DESTINATION charger: 20 minutes away and not even available to public. Closest supercharger: 1 hour away, 30 miles, $8 toll. Welcome to Miramar Beach, FL, the Sandestin resort. Never going there again.

Furthermore, my wife’s Venza holds more stuff than my model Y. Its not as aerodynamic, and thus there’s more internal volume, just a smidge more.

It served us well. And its paid off. Granted, it needed about 2 qt oil during the trip – its at that stage of life. But it was a champ.

Someday in the future, it will be a pair of EV’s going in a convoy down the road, and the decision to bladder-stop will happen to find charging at every corner, and every place that we stay will have some kind of plug in somewhere. Not there yet.

Go go economics go

The Artist: Ren

Last week or two? I’ve ingested lots of stuff by, and reactions to, an artist named Ren. I’ve been reluctant to share about it because.. more in paragraph 5. All the videos linked here are cute and safe-for-all:

Here’s a happy song he wrote about growing up in the 1990’s. I recognize many of these things through the eyes of my son. Video Date: 3/12/2015. This would be before stem cell transplant, probably before Lyme disease diagnosis that saved his life and named his medical condition:

He has a super wide range. There’s stuff he did with a band “The Big Push” – THE CUTEST video:

And here is a Bob Marley Cover: and War Pigs cover:

The artist himself has gone through a .. low point in his life, and right now he’s on a .. rebound, re-stabilize, focus, growth, directed, explode.. these are all words that could apply. During that down time, though, he has developed (improved?) some crazy musical (and editing and production) skills. Fountain of creativity, has the will to work it now that he has a life that is actionable again.

I think I’m reluctant to share about his more powerful stuff because it is a freaking punch in the heart. Not everybody wants this level of punch. There are .. several of his more popular songs, much darker, much deeper. Here’s a list with my interpretations. The ones that are starred, I still cry when I see them, still affected / raw / emotion.

  • * Hi Ren – about dialog with the negative inner voice that ___s you (insert your word here).
  • Chalk Outlines (with Chinchilla)- about being dependent on medication(?) yet how its like digging a grave(?) and how it affects how you approach the good parts of the world and the resolve of being okay even though.
  • ** How to be Me (with Chinchilla) – loss of a friend to suicide, written for the friend.
  • Money Game part two – Cynical about the state of power / wealth / etc corruption
  • Money Game part one – don’t watch this video unless you are okay with dealing with potential violence being inflicted on a person. He is a very good actor.
  • Jenny / Screech / Violet – This is a trilogy, straight up tragedy story. The last song loops the first two in, and then after all three you can see .. patterns hidden within.
    • This is one of those where watching the reactions = wow I missed all that from the original watching.
    • There’s a “Live” 360 version of this where he performs it from a stage. You can tell from it he has a following and he is well loved.
  • There are several rap-type songs. The hook from “Genesis” sticks with me.
  • There are several homage songs where he pays respect to other artists.
  • I keep discovering more songs by him that I missed initially.

A note on my interpretations: these are just what I project into the music. He takes some joy seeing how people react to his music.

I have found that his songs are deep and complex enough that … I cannot absorb more than one or two in a session.

I’ve also found that .. whoever he collaborates with – he lifts them up. He spotlights them.

I’m enjoying watching reaction videos to some of his stuff – seeing people go from doubt to “holy sh*t” and then seeing what they take from it. I’m also humbled by – I’ll listen to something of his directly, and think, “not that big a deal”, and then I listen to a reaction of it, and people point out all these things that I missed, and then I realize: whoa, that was very well layered. Stuff about how he’s playing, audio engineering, directing, lighting.

Actually, i found a set of blog posts (paywall-ish) that goes into this in way more detail than i will here:

I wish him a very .. I don’t know if “bright” is the right word. I think “effective” is the word I want to broadcast for him. I want to see more of his stuff.

Keep getting better, Ren. In all the ways.

3D Printing Revisited

It would take too long (i don’t have the time) to write up the whole process, so to sum it up:

  • Dude posts video about 3d printing organizational trays (the guy who de-brands everything)
  • Wife shows me video on instagram
  • I say i can do that
  • I get approval for a 3D printer

I’m condensing the rest, so if you don’t know the words, well.. sorry. Research. Elegoo Neptune 3D Max. Not available. Sovol SV04 IDEX. Haven’t used 2nd extruder yet. Kinda stringy.

I had a booger of a time trying to get the first layer dialed in. Video:

openjscad is gone replaced with jscad v2, relearned it – github – –

I wish i could paste a link directly to the code rendering the model, but you can only do that for bundled single-js files, not project files at the moment.

Along the way I experimented with using Lego’s as a 3d measuring tool. There are several things i would improve about the above print. But that’s 2-3 other blog posts i don’t currently have time to write.

Now, with that out of the way, i’m trying to Dial the printer in more. The printer comes with a variant of Cura; i’m trying to bring it up with SuperSlicer (thank you Teaching Tech) which is a Prusa. I found somebody else’s config tonight, got that going, going through the calibration prints in that tonight. I have this problem with … something is gloopy and a bunch of filament goes bloop at the start of the print. Retraction print is starting now, but i think i need something along the lines of Coasting. But that’s in Cura, need to find that in Prusa.

My hope is to use the prusa-line of colorizing / multimaterial to make some interesting colorized things.

Future projects:

  • There’s a door latch strike thingy that needs some modification. That needs ABS or PETG.
  • There’s some bathroom organization stuff that I want to custom-print holders for
  • Molly has a pink necklace thing that needs some help, but that might need TPU.
  • Tons of little toy/trinkets for the grandkids. I’m holding back, so far i’ve only shown them a robot dude and flexirex.
  • I would love to redo my street map thing with the 300x300mm bed in higher detail, but i’d have to rewrite that with jscad v2. And of course, multicolor somehow?

That’s about it for now. Cheers

I rented a Tesla P85D Model S 2015 with AP1

And here’s how it was different than my Model Y LR AWD Non-P.

  • Bigger. Definitely bigger.
  • AP1, so no repeater cameras, so no blind spot monitoring when changing lanes. On the Highway, i resorted to rolling down the rear windows just a bit so i could hear vehicles in addition to looking in the side mirrors.
  • When coming to a stop, the Hold didn’t kick in as quickly as it does on my car. Several times, I rolled unexpectedly.
  • 7 years 70k miles.. I calculated the degradation to be maybe 5%-10%, using ABRP estimates vs actuals. There was more charging involved, and I suspect that while charging the battery heated up too quick, and it had to reduce charging speed once. (Estimated 1 hour 5 minutes charge to 100% actually only got me to 90%).
  • I tested it in Ludicrous mode once. Maybe double the oomph of my car. In Sport mode, it was just a bit peppier than my Model Y LR.
  • Seats, way bigger. I would say more comfortable. Definitely looked roomier in the back.
  • It was really nice having a trip turn map in front of me, a North-up map to the right of me, AND having a widget up showing actual % vs estimated % for the trip.
  • It was very weird having a dedicated cruise control stick .. a bit confusing, many times I would turn on a turn signal rather than adjust speed.
  • Speaking of Turn Signals, the turn signal stalk is an actually clicky-into-place type thing, not electronic. That was nice. However, older car – when you end the turn, it didn’t always trip the signal to turn it off.
  • Getting in and out took more core muscle strength. Very relieved to get back to my higher Model Y.
  • Cup Holders were horrible. But it was nice having room to stick a bag between the two front seats.
  • Media Computer definitely slower than mine. I thought mine was slow. It felt lightning fast when I got back to my MCU2 hardware.
  • AP1 driving was pretty good – actually AI Driver has a way better video with some details, I did not test it as much as him, as my wife doesn’t like it when Autopilot makes a mistake and I have to correct it.

That’s about it. The picture is the car parked under the Chapel thingy in Sedona. The host’s name is Rebekah on Turo, they were great hosts. Highly recommend.

Sunday: Return from Phoenix to Louisville

Action packed morning:

  • 6:45am: Get up, go downstairs, get 2 coffees, slam them down
  • 7:00am: Rearrange my stuff into my carry on and my checked baggage.
  • 7:30am: Drive the car to the dropoff point.  I had offered to drop the car off for my host.
  • 8:00am: Clean the car windshield at a QT
  • 8:10am: Drop off the car.  No human interaction, just pictures and leave the key in it. (Tesla’s can be locked remotely very easily). Call Lyft.
  • 8:35am: Back at the hotel.
  • 9:00am: Shuttle to airport.
  • 9:30am: At our gate, with two hours to go before our flight.

There was a final round of buying cool socks, a final visit to Cartel Coffee, and then we board the flight and head back to Louisville.

My wife had a daring plan that involved sitting far enough back that MAYBE nobody would claim the middle seat between us.  It worked!  We had space!  (pic)

And touchdown Louisville, and home to grandchildren and cats and unpacking and dissemination of cactus candy.

Saturday: Standing on the corner of a Meteor Crater

Saturday morning, I woke up super early (5am?) to get my time lapse set up. I had a rig involving an ironing board, and Molly reinforced it with some tape. 

Here’s the result. Its actually two timelapses, and I stitched them together. What happened is my alarm starting going off on the phone, and that killed the first one, so we had to restart:

While that was going, I went up the hill to get another coffee.  While up there, I chatted with an interesting local named Gabriel.  71 years old.. lived around Phoenix most his life, possibly sleeping in a tent on a hillside by choice. He said something about starting to walk down the mountain at about 3am .. I saw him at 6am. I asked him if he had stories he would like to share. He invited me to sit with him. He asked me my opinions on the Bill of Rights. We had a brief discussion about many things video editing, and I gave him some of my opinions on economic polarization. He took my email. He may send me one of his stories.  It is a story about a search and rescue he was involved in, and it spotlights the resilience of some of the younger generations.

Then it was time to go.  We checked out of the resort early, and headed up Canyon Rd SR89A to Flagstaff, where I needed to charge up to 90% or more.  As our guide the day before warned us:  It was super beautiful.  There was a scenic viewplace towards the end of the drive:

But don’t ask about the sanitation smell at the bathrooms there.  We did what we had to.

Now, let me load up the ABRP Trip Profile I was working with for reference:

This is a Recreation, not the original

In Flagstaff, I needed to get the car all the way up to 95%, 100%, in order to make the trip east to Winslow and then south to Payson. It was going to take an hour.

We walked over to the Walmart while the car was charging, and then walked over to “Over Easy”, a breakfast place.  There was a 40 minute wait. No problem, we hung out there, I went back to get the car at the right time..

The car was only at 90%! Food was ready. I stopped charging and took the car back to the restaurant. Delicious food. But inconvenient charging.

Then across the desert on I40, which is part of Route 66 there. At a nice slow 60mph to conserve charge. I easily made it at like 85% charge. Meteor Crater!

And then it was time to go.

Winslow AZ.  We chatted with several couples there – one set from Bakersfield CA (who turned out owned a Model Y), and another couple from Altoona IA (where I used to live!)

We stopped at small café to get some coffee, and turns out they had the same Safe that my wife has at her office! There was some safe geeking out there.

(resume ornamentation here)

Then down Hwy ___ back towards Phoenix.  Our next stop to charge was Payson AZ.   We drove through desert, and then there was a forest, and then there were hills and then (after Payson) mountain descent and rolling hills.  We had no service for a while.  There was a beautiful sunset.  We drove through some really cute towns that we would like to go back to .. Strawberry and ___.    We stopped at a small gas station with broken potties, they had portapotties instead.  The gas station’s business: A sanitation company.  Hmm.    Molly remarked:  10 years avoiding a PortaPotty, and today we had two of them.   But that place did have the good tea: ____.  We got two cans.

We ended up back in Phoenix at the In-n-Out, where I tried Animal Style for the first time.  I’ll do that again.  And then drop Molly at the Aloft, and then time for a small Sunny adventure.<

I went to visit my long time friend Steve Ekholm whom I hadn’t hung out with in.. something like 20 years?   We did a facetime with his kid, who is responsible for introducing me to Harry Potter when they were 7.  They are 30 now. 

And then the other yawny long charging session.  I needed to get the car, turns out I should have aimed for 100% so that I could return it over 85%, but I only had the patience to get it up to 85%.  I had 45 minutes at that charger.  I tried to nap, but that didn’t happen.  It was weird.. there were at least 5 chargers there that lit up but didn’t work.  Lots of disgusted Tesla owners who didn’t look for the blue tape X in the corner, and thew the chargers to the ground in disgust.. then the next person would pick up the charger, try it, and get disgusted.. nobody talked to anybody.  I tried to tell people, but they were too absorbed in their world to hear me.   I guess it’s a polite “I will ignore you” protocol at a charger. Very different from what my friend Dan says that he experiences.

I guess I could have gone in to Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers, and I eventually did, to get my wife a Tea and use the restroom.  I tried to pay for the drink, the lady said “no need!” and bid me on my way.  Bless her heart.

And then back to the room, final night of vacation.

Sedona Friday: Red Rock, Pink Jeep, Shop

Timelapse:  I tried to set up a timelapse of the mountain sunrise.  It didn’t work right – It focused on the railing instead of the mountain, for starters. It was held up by a shoe on a chair. But it got a plan started for tomorrow.  

I love doing timelapses.. something about archiving a moment, capturing a pattern.

Coffee:  We walked across the street to the View Café, which serves Starbucks things.  I had a delicious Breve Latte.  Breve means “steamed half and half”. Which is delicious. At home I drink half and half rather than whole milk. I tried drinking straight Heavy Whipping Cream (I made a song about that) but that did not work ok.

Side Adventure to Safeway:  We needed .. stuff.   We went and found a safeway.  A lady with a big smile helped us.   Bless her

Ravens by the window:  Molly fell in love with the Ravens that were swooping by our window.  We thought they were crows. You could almost quote us on that. But no, they were Ravens.

Pink Jeep Tour:  It was a thing.  It was interesting.  We were glad we only did a moderate one.. guide said the bumpy roads we were on were a 2.5 on the scale from 1 to 10 of how crazy the driving can get. 

Learned about Sedona Red Sand (Its not Rock!), and Geologic things, and a lot of interplay between tourists vs locals.   We learned that Jerome would be a fun place to visit, as well as Prescott, though we did not end up there.

Molly has a story about a horse drawn coach and a Guide not believing her.

Organic Plan Change:  Initially our plans were to hang out around Sedona and head back to Phoenix, but then I discovered that Meteor Crater was nearby. 

Starman (1984) - IMDb

Meteor Crater.

From This Movie, Starman, 1984:

I’ve wanted to visit there ever since I saw it in the movie.   At the time, 14 years old? On my second trip to the United States? Nothing represented freedom and travel like that crater. It might also be my first ever “road trip” movie.

And here it was, so close.

So, My loving Spouse and I switched plans – more on that on Saturday’s post.   The act of changing plans, negotiating and arriving on something we both want to do .. it was awesome. This also meant I had to figure out a charging plan. EV Trips: Plan! (at least for now) (Think of it like 1915, Gasoline infrastructure hasn’t quite made it yet, but by 1925, it was done)

There was a good lunch at Miley’s Cafe while we charged the car up for tomorrow’s journey up to Flagstaff. I had the Miley Burrito. Folks at the table next to us asked us our review. I ate every bit of it.

Both on the way down to the SuperCharger and on the way back up, we tried to stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. There was nowhere to park the first time.. we did the loop of shame and continued down. On the way back, I dropped Molly off at the top, and drove back down, and way at the bottom, like 3 spaces from the exit, I found a spot. Molly walked back down to the car. Her story about that place. I liked standing in the heat observing the tourists.

There was a visit to (unspellable) (pronounced: T’ Lakka Packy) shopping center – which I was reluctant to go to first, but once I was there, I fell in love with the decoration and ambiance.   

I had big hopes for the Chai place, but reality was not as delicious, my Mom makes better Chai. 😊

There was a bunch more wandering of shops .. being total tourists.  There was Honey, Tea, Sugar, Boba, and … I don’t even remember. I had to ask Molly for this list. Maybe we were a bit crazy.

We ended up and WildFlower again, but they were out of the chowder, so I had a Tomato Florentine in a Breadbowl and it was delicious.

And then it was wind down time, setting up for tomorrow’s early morning Timelapse adventure, and playing with some long exposures:

Phoenix/Sedona Thursday: Nostalgia and Red Rocks

The day started off with attempt to eat at one place: Sunrise, but actually ending up at another place that was mediocre at best, and shall remain un-named.

There was a round of packing, and then a bunch of waiting, because our car rental pickup wasn’t until 11 or 12.

Chaotic Turo Car Pickup:  “We’re here!”  which lead to a mad dash with our stuff down to .. a ½ block ride in a BMW to .. our rental Model S!  We were blocking traffic, so we did a very fast transaction to start the rental (I have only done Turo once before) and then we were off!  Driving a Model S P85D in Chill mode towards ..

Nostalgia: Where Molly Met Good Olives.  Romanelli’s Italian Deli. There was an Italian Deli with olives that Molly used to go to.  It was still there.  It was still delicious.   And a really good tea: Just Peachy Peace Tea.

Nowadays, whole foods at home has such an Olive Buffet.  

Nostalgia:  Where Molly used to work.  Vacant now.   Molly has the story.  People say it was becoming a bad neighborhood, but .. it didn’t look too bad to us.

Nostalgia: Molly’s commute back home from the office.

Nostalgia: Where Molly used to live.  Populated now. 

First Charging Stop on the way to Sedona: Take pictures of Cactii for Mom.   Got some really horrible tasting candy or drink or something (honeydew?).  The fun memory is our adventuring to discover and our horror at the taste.  Thumbs up for adventure!

On the way up I got to test out the previous version of Autopilot in a Model S from 2015.  More about the Tesla in a separate post.

Montezuma and Fry Bread:   On the way up we stopped at Montezuma’s Castle  And on the way there, we got some Fry Bread.  I want more Fry Bread in my life.   Plain even.

I loved the white trees at Montezuma – they are Arizona Sycamore.   They cannot grow in KY.

The Drive To Sedona: Rounding a corner and seeing the buttes.. took my breath away. I need to tell you about the jigsaw puzzle I had when I was a kid.

Arrival at Cedars Resort:  It was straddling the roundabout!  I didn’t see the sign and had to double back.  Heck of a time parking with no lines .. turns out the lines were denoted by different pavers used on the ground.  

Wildflower Bread Co:  For Dinner we walked across the street and found a little restaurant.  It was fricking amazing, I had a Salmon Chowder.  It was so good that we went back a second time, which is unheard of with our adventuring souls. 

Night time exposure, hand held:

Phoenix Wednesday: Taliesin Barrio Queen

This is continuing my practice of gratitude, all the good things in a day.  This happens to be while we’re on vacation.

My intention when I wrote these posts (in Word, local, on the airplane in airplane mode) was to add all the links later.  I may not get that time, now that I’m back at busy life, but what I’ll try to do is post these first, and then go back and edit them if I can, one cool picture at a time.

Coffee: No special coffee today.  Instead, Molly and I went to Breakfast Bitch and had some delicious foods.  I chose to skip coffee due to my overdose the night before.    Their location is in the Cambria hotel.  This hotel seemed to be a very cool artsy place. Reference an artist whose work was shown: Antoinette Cauley.

Bless a driver: Trip to next location, Justin, he wants to buy an acre out east and build a house there.  Bless him, may his dream come true.

Taliesin: Then we were off to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, architecture house tour.  Molly loved it.   Best thing there for me might have been the room with all the sitting chairs, but also just a feel of how those folks lived, their feeling of hard work and community.

Water Side adventure: we didn’t bring any water.  They don’t sell water, but they sold a collapsible water bottle.  Bought it, used it, loved it.

Lyft side adventure: We had a driver with specific opinions that we possibly disagreed with, so we stopped talking, and he kept on talking.  Bless him.    

Adventure to a Thrift Store:  The adventure was fun, the store was bleah. Thai restaurant nearby, yum. Moving on.

Sugarbowl & Shopping: The we headed south a bit to Sugar Bowl, famous from Family Circus comics.  where we met Tom and Jami S .. they were stuck around their waiting for their AirBNB to open. 

Followed by some shoppy-ing..   found a really nice little day bag that won’t pull my pants down .. and then we found dinner:

Barrio Queen: Fricking amazing. I remember the Elote and the Table-Side Guacamole.  There was a Mexican Chocolate Mousse in there somewhere too.

Then back to the hotel, driving through looming hulks of hills in twilight.  It got pretty dark.   Driver was very quiet.  We went back roads to avoid the traffic on the interstate, it was neat.  Van Buren almost all the way back to the hotel.

Phoenix: Tuesday: Scootering Heaven, Caffeine Overdoo

Coffee: Cartel Roasting Co, probably the most coffee-passionate coffee shop of this trip. Drip coffee, “Raw process”. Learned that there’s another method called “Honey Process”, but they haven’t had one of those for 3 months, very rare. This was also a day of a lot of caffeine.

On the way back, I got Molly’s Tea at Press, but: turns out they change flavors every day. Today was Hibiscus-Black. Did not go well. I believe I also tried a Cortado there (coffee #2).

Then, there was a trip out to the grocery store to get gallons of good-tasting water and some Think! bars. Mission accomplished. Btw, Fry’s is part of Kroger so our phone number worked there.

Scooter: I wanted to at least try it. After Molly left for her conference, I got a $10 pass for Lime Scooters (also available: Bird, Spin. Specific parking zones which are the only places you can start and end rides) for 60 minutes (I used 55 of them to go 5.3 miles over 28(!) trips), and I used it to travel north to the Roosevelt Arts district, wanting to get her some stuff for her birthday. Scootering was fun! but, I got there way too soon, so I killed some time hunting down.. a coffee #3 at another coffee shop, Kahvi. It was located in a co-business space where a bunch of businesses all shared the same building, building possibly made from shipping containers. Wandered around, found a hat shop, and then found a treasure trove at MADE arts center. Scootered back, prepped her gift for her return, and then checked in with my guys…

… and they were scootering too! Scooted up to visit them near The Churchill (which is another container place). Today, Matt H joined us as well (yesterday he was helping his daughter who is local). They had just gotten done eating wings at ATL and then possibly a beverage at (something else). We went on an adventure up to a Safeway (just outside the scooter zone!), to see if they had fancy Bourbon at MSRP. (They didn’t).

On the way back, had some unplanned adventure: Matt H stopped to ask Hey where are we going. I slowed Way Down. Matt LP didn’t slow down. Boom. Timber. Nobody was disabled. Matt LP got a scrape.

We then ended up at Churchill at a Bar there. I was still recovering from the Spicy Margarita drinks from last night, so I went for a pitaya/something bowl from Foxy Fruit. A bit later, I felt the nap calling my name, so back to the room I went.

Coffee #4: I woke up from my nap at about 3:30pm, and knowing that coffee shops shut down by 4 or 4:30, I scooted to the edge of the scooter zone to visit Xanadu. recommended by the Cartel folks. Good coffee.

Tempe Trip – When Molly got back, we took off via Lyft to Tempe to visit the Blick Arts Materials store – one of Molly’s favorite things to do, is visit art supply stores. Then we visited a Taco shop splat in the midst of student town (where it felt we were the oldest people there for a while) and then Lyft back to the room.

Lyft side adventure:  While driving, our ride got a rock smashing into the front windshield.  Sounded horrible.  Circular crack.  While we were all looking at that, slam on the brakes due to stopped traffic.  Most eventful Lyft I’ve been in so far.

This night, btw, I couldn’t sleep (I wonder why!) and I ended up looking at some code that I wrote a while back for a Space Mud game, and I thought about what I wanted the game to be like now if I were to resume working on it. I think i got 2-3 hours of sleep. Its okay, i was already charged up on sleep from the nights previous.