Concept2 Firmware Upgrade

When I went to program my first workout on the new rower the other day I realized it didn’t have the option for setting an Undefined rest period like my Ski Erg and the rowers at the gym. Turned out the firmware on this PM3 monitor was 7 versions old. It was easy to upgrade using a free utility provided by Concept2. The hardest part was finding an old USB cable for connecting the monitor, but luckily I have some for Arduino boards.

Consumers Energy Asks Customers to Reduce Gas Usage and Many Reactions are Humans at Their Worst

The winter storm on Monday and the record-setting low temperatures that followed have been one of the worst winter weeks I can remember. To make matters worse, yesterday there was a fire at gas compressor station in southeast Michigan, which is responsible for a large part of the state’s natural gas supply.

Last night the governor put out a video on Facebook and pushed an emergency alert asking people to turn their thermostats down to 65° or less for the next day and a half.

Here was the weather shortly after I got the alert.

My first thoughts were, “Wow, this must be pretty serious. I can bundle up more for the next 36 hours. Sure beats running out of gas and a bunch of people not having any heat!”

I made the mistake of opening up the comments on the FB video. Here’s are some actual examples…

Due to the EXTREMELY HIGH auto insurance rates in Michigan, I’m asking you to lower my insurance premiums first.

No! I pay for my heat and if I want my thermostat at 74 to keep my family warm then I’m doing it! You’re out of your minds! Turning the heat down that low will more than likely not be able to keep up with the wind and it will continue to get colder! You provide the energy, to an area that does have winters like this, your equipment should be able to accommodate.

The money that comes out of my pocket pays for the natural gas to keep my family warm. Nobody has the right to ask me to lower my natural gas consumption. I’ll pay the higher bill to keep my family comfortable.

Screw you. Plus don’t use the emergency alert for your request.

Lower my auto insurance!

65!?!!! My kids will freeze . Let me see your house at 65 or below first!

 

Register Real Estate

I made a quick trip to Meijer last night and due to the cold weather the store was mostly empty. As I was walking past all of the registers, the lack of people made me realize how much reading material there is on every checkout lane.

Then I started thinking about how much of this stuff must be selling because it’s the most profitable area in the store! People are buying A LOT of these fad diets, bogus weight loss tips, and celebrity gossip or else it wouldn’t be taking up this prime real estate.

Drifting

The drifting during yesterday’s winter storm really stacked up on my back patio. Here’s the entire day in 30 seconds. Pretty cool that you can download time-lapses from your Nest/Dropcam recordings.

Bought a “Used” Concept2 Rower

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a used Concept2 rower over the last few years. Yesterday one finally came up at a good price, so I drove 30 minutes over to Midland and picked it up. What better day to break it in than during today’s winter storm, so I brought it in to the living room.

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Yeah… I’m going to loving having this at home.

I checked the computer and it only had 13,520 lifetime meters on it! To put that in perspective, I rowed 2,500 meters in my first workout, so the machine is essentially brand new.

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Papier Machine Vol.0

I finally received a reward for a crowd-funded project, which arrived on December 31st.

Papier Machine Vol.0 is the first interactive electronic paper toy that unveils the mysteries of electronic black boxes.

Kickstarter

I first heard about the project in July of 2017 and I made a super early bird pledge in January of 2018. The original estimated delivery for my reward was July of 2018, so it was about 5 months late. Not bad considering in that July 2017 post I had just backed a 3D printer on Kickstarter that is over a year late with no updated delivery timeline.

My nieces were down this weekend, so Kennedy and I made the first project.

This piano was an easy one. You use the varying amounts of graphite from a pencil to make a connection as you can see from the filled in areas around each of the keys. On the back side you connect a small circuit board with an integrated chip, a coin cell battery, and a piezo buzzer.

CrossFit Workout Ideas

I enjoy creating workouts, or what we call metcons, short for metabolic conditioning, in CrossFit. I’ve been programming our Sunday workouts for several years and I’d estimate over 75% of the metcons we do are original creations pulled from my list of ideas.

Here are some of the workouts I haven’t used yet. If you try any of them, let me know how they go.

7:00 AMRAP

  • 10 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
  • 5 Hang Squat Cleans (115/80#)
  • 5 Push Jerks (115/80#)

12-9-6-3

  • Thrusters (115/80#)
  • Bar Muscle-ups

30-20-10

  • Dumbbell Power Snatches (50/35#)
  • Toe to Bars
  • Pistol Squats

3 Rounds

  • 7 Squat Cleans (185/125#)
  • 14 Bar-facing Burpees

15:00 AMRAP

  • 30 Box Jumps (24/20″)
  • 20 Pull-ups
  • 10 Clean & Jerks (155/105#)

50-40-30-20-10

  • Wall Balls (20/10#, 10/9′)
  • Double Unders
  • Sit-ups

2-4-6-8-10

  • Bar Muscle-ups
  • Squat Snatch (95/65#)

10:00 AMRAP

  • EMOM – 25 DU
  • Burpee Box Jumps (24/20″)

Make Your Future. Make Your Life.

Make your life. Make your job. Make your career. Make your family. Make your fantastic big sandwich. Make your axes, hatchets, tables, oversized work shelves, and a cabinet that fits perfectly in one spot. Make your workout, bike routine around the block, and health goals. Make your Thanksgiving turkey outside with the kids. Make your place a home. Make your friends. Make your time matter, and give it away. Make the three piece suit you bought from a second hand store your first project. Make your daydreams entertaining, no matter how weird, wild, and fast that slide goes. Make your first impression stick with a firm handshake, eye contact, a genuine smile, and repeat their first name. Make your slice of this world colorful where you find it gray, songful where you find it silent, warm where you find it cold, all the while remembering that in the end, it’s a rental.

Saw this on a Skull & Spade poster after watching a frame build for it.

3 Months with Model 3

It’s been 3 months since I took delivery of my Model 3, so I’ve had plenty of time with it. It’s an incredible vehicle and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to get one.

A few interesting things:

  • Michigan has an electric vehicle (EV) surcharge on their license plate registration of $135 per year, because you’re not buying gas. Registration fees are also 20% higher! Glad we’re penalizing people for trying to save our environment. So dumb.
  • No, there is no engine and no transmission. I get asked this a lot. You don’t put gas or oil in a Tesla.
  • Due to no engine, under the hood is a small storage area called the front truck (frunk). There is still a full size trunk in the back.

Some great things about the car:

  • Not having to go to gas stations. The last time I bought gas was over 3 months ago for my truck.
  • Charging in my garage has worked out fine without upgrading to one of the really big outlets.
  • It has heated seats everywhere and the front seats remember your setting for the next time you get in.
  • Auto adjusting cruise control is probably my favorite feature. Takes so much stress out of driving when you don’t have to manually speed up or slow down for traffic. You set how many car lengths you want between you and the car in front of you and Tesla handles the rest.
  • The car keeps getting better and better because there are software updates. I’ve probably had 5 or 6 so far.
  • If you start crossing a line without a blinker on, that side of the steering wheel vibrates to alert you.
  • Due to regenerative braking, you almost never need to use the brakes. As you let off the accelerator the car slows down much faster than an internal combustion engine. The calipers should last the life of the car.
  • In addition to Park, there is also a gear/mode called Hold. When you come to a complete stop the can locks in the brake and you’re in Hold. You can take your foot off the brake pedal and the car won’t move until you press on the accelerator. I’m still getting used to this after having to stay on the brake for 20+ years at stop lights.
  • Not having to carry keys is so nice. The car lets me in and runs based on a Bluetooth connection with my phone. I’ve been carrying around the keycard, but haven’t had to use it since setting up the Tesla iOS app.
  • Super chargers are great. It can slow down your trip and you have to plan things out a little more, but in general I think this is a good thing. We’re in a rush too often and this lets you explore some new places while you wait an hour for the car to charge on long trips.
  • Being able to heat the car, open the frunk, check on charging, and do a bunch of stuff from the iOS app is extremely useful.
  • Last but certainly not least is the speed. When you hit that accelerator, instant torque is applied to the wheels and BOOM you’re off the line. I still laugh when I take off from a stop light and leave everyone in the dust. It’s so fun to drive.

A few things I don’t like:

  • The range estimate doesn’t take the bigger wheels into account, so I have to remember that I can’t travel as far as the car suggests. Hopefully they’ll improve this with a software update.
  • The scroll wheels on the steering wheel are good for some things, but not great for music volume. Several times a week I accidentally nudge the wheel while making a turn and the volumes shoots up or down.
  • If you’re using the cruise and someone driving the opposite way makes a turn across your lane, the car often thinks you’re in danger. It’ll alert you and start slowing down even if there was no chance you were going to hit that vehicle. I’m sure this will get better over time. If it wasn’t for this I think I’d activate cruise in the city a lot more.