Just Like New

I think I can break self-isolation for this, and people (if they knew) wouldn’t scold me too much. ๐Ÿค”

I’ve had an iPhone 7 Plus for several years now, and she’s finally starting to show her age, battery-wise. And with the new iPhone 9s or SE2s coming out soon, I don’t really want to be tempted by a brand new (albeit “budget”) iPhone when I’ve got one that works just fine for almost everything that I might need it for. ๐Ÿคจ So getting a new battery for my current phone is the best way to squash all of that.

Another thing that’s getting close to needing a new battery is the car. Even though it hasn’t been cold this winter, it’s still turning over with a little more struggle than I’d like. Not struggle struggle, but basically you can tell it’s not new anymore. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s about four years old now, original factory battery, so I don’t know if this is an “expected” time-frame where it would be due or not… but I’ll have the battery d00d test it first and see what he says as well. (Although common and business sense may guide his opinion in an obvious direction. ๐Ÿ˜)

The battery store where I picked up a couple of scooter batteries a few months back… really nice guy running the shop, and he was working on a phone as I was checking out and didn’t seem nervous about it. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So I could get the phone taken care of, the car taken care of, and believe it or not – they even offer windshield wiper blades… which is another thing that I haven’t changed since getting this car years ago. ๐Ÿ˜

Everything looks competitively priced, and all of it has free installation… cuz lord knows I can’t even come close to chucking car batteries around on my own, and wiper blades can be a surprising pain in the ass if you don’t pay attention how you take the old ones off… heh… at least for me. ๐Ÿค“ So anyway, I might end up stopping by that store whenever I have to go out anyway to pick up my meds, so hopefully I’ll also be able to get some of these little concerns taken care of while I’m at it. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Total human contact = 1 person. ๐Ÿ˜ท

Tesla Cybertruck

Entry level model (specs below) starts at $39,900.

  • Exoskeleton of Ultra Hard Cold Rolled 30x Stainless Steel
  • Single Motor RWD (base) = 0-60 < 6.5 sec / Top Speed = 110 MPH
  • Estimated EPA Range of 250+ Miles / Charge
  • 100 Cubic Feet of Storage
  • Automatic Retractable Steel Cover – Bed / Storage Area
  • Glass / Polymer Composite Tesla Armor Glass
  • Towing Capacity = 7,500+ Pounds / Cargo = 3,500+ Pounds
  • Adjustable Air Suspension and Standard Autopilot Included
  • “Laser Blade” Light Bar (above windscreen) Standard

Tesla Motors is actually planning to make delivery on the more expensive and more “equipped” dual-motor and tri-motor variants first, helping to further increase revenue as the company continues to grow. Those models offer higher range, higher speeds, more towing capacity, etc… but having a base model that rings up at around $40k gives it the possibility of truly breaking into the “pickup man” market. Because even the base model offers performance and features that are on par with similarly priced ICE trucks.

Now, will that segment of buyers be able to get past the appearance? Hell, could the appearance become part of the appeal? The design is polarizing – so only time will tell, but so far Tesla has done a good job of predicting what the market will want, and I certainly don’t see this truck as something that buyers would avoid if they’re shopping based on price-to-value across the market.

You can bet your ass, I’d drive one… ๐Ÿ˜

Shitter’s Full

There’s an RV show going on at the convention center in Columbus this weekend, and I’m supposed to meet my friend Jim there so we can check out the latest and greatest offerings. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸšŒ๐Ÿ˜Ž Dad and I used to go to an RV / boat / travel show decades ago, and until I googled for information just a few moments ago I assumed that this was the same production, just years later. ๐Ÿค” But nope… the one we went to is still going on, now in its 40th year, but it’s held at the fairgrounds expo center.

It’ll be neat, looking at everything, but neither of us are going there with any intent of buying anything. It’s more of a research mission for Jim, since when he eventually retires he’s planning on downsizing his life even further (if necessary) and living like a hippie. ๐Ÿ˜… I joke, but he actually has put a lot of thought into the logistics of it. Living in a small RV, at an appropriate park or campground… one that’s meant for semi-permanent folks such as himself, so he’ll be able to have electric, plumbing, internet, etc. ๐Ÿ•๏ธ๐Ÿš

The footprint of his daily life is already so small, I bet it won’t even feel like he’s “giving up” that much. In fact, he’ll probably feel (and rightly so) like he’s gaining freedom, the ability to pick up and go somewhere else if the mood hits, etc. ๐Ÿ˜Š He’s even considering off-grid solar power with battery storage, since that setup should provide more than enough electricity for his needs. His ambitions may seem lofty, and there will be unknown / unexpected things along the way, but I’d give even odds that he’ll end up doing it. ๐Ÿ™‚

He already knows that the prices of new, current model RVs (from the smallest “pop-up” campers to giant transforming motorhomes) will be at “pants crapping” levels… ๐Ÿ˜ but it’ll allow him to see what might be available used, at much more reasonable prices, once he is ready to make the jump years from now. And it’s not just about the RVs. It’s also about all of the stuff that goes along with them. ๐Ÿง Solar, battery storage, satellite TV / internet, food prep / storage, plumbing / septic options, security needs, locations, info about true costs of living, etc. It might not be that kind of expo, but hopefully all of the niche industries that deal in the products that compliment “RV life” will be represented there. ๐Ÿ™‚

EDIT: And now, after talking about all of this, it makes me wish that some sort of “AutoRama” type show would come to town next. I’ve got pics of me as a kid, standing in front of The General Lee, sitting in KITT from Knight Rider… but I’d love to learn of a touring car show with all of the greatest TV / movie cars from over the past 50 years or so. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

Fell asleep early yesterday, woke up at 3am, then fell asleep around 9am and slept through 2p. ๐Ÿ˜

Yeah, so anyway… how about that Tesla stock, eh? ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

I swear, there’s been so many things that I took a look at when they were really low. Whether it was eBay, PayPal, Bitcoin… it’s a little frustrating to be able to say “Man, I actually pondered getting in on that.” now that all of those things have gone through the roof at some point. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜’

I’ve never been a stock investor and likely never will be, in part because my history with silver isn’t great. It’s silly to let one investment chase me away from the idea of investing in something else, especially when it’s not like I’m doing bad. Silver is pretty damn low right now, although there seems to be a really small recover curve going on… but my investment in that, my purchased averaged out – I need it to be at around $22 an ounce before I can even break even. ๐Ÿคจ I’ll be holding on to that for a while, it seems…

If we could only predict the future. And while I get why there is hype behind the company and their products, there’s no reason the stock should be this high. ๐Ÿ˜… Their financials are a bit of a mess, Elon is a wildcard with all of his antics and sometimes-questionable investment choices, so to see the stock go from the $200 range to the $900 range in six months’ time… it’s kinda ridiculous. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ง

tesla

Model 3 production rates have helped, along with the excitement (and sometimes confusion) about the CyberTruck, and with China being almost 15% of their market it was a smart choice to build their most recent GigaFactory there. But even though they tout the $35k starting price for a base-spec Model 3 as being an “entry level” price, I don’t think things will really blow up until their market segment includes shlubs like me.

The early Roadster was their sports car, then the Model S came along as their near-luxury sedan, followed by the Model X to serve as a crossover, and then the Model 3 (basically a smaller Model S) for the mass market. Vehicles coming down the pipeline are the Model Y which is an updated crossover, the CyberTruck for the pickup segment, and then the semi. ๐Ÿค” Now, I understand why he’d go after the transport industry, injecting a bunch of money into the company to further whatever “the next thing” will be, but it’s disappointing that Tesla is not yet able to provide a small, $25k range subcompact hatch.

If Elon and crew can ramp up the production lines to where they can really produce on the Y and CyberTruck, that’s when investors need to start looking for hints about the next vehicle. First hint is China. New factory in China, lots of people there wanting to buy, and cities outside of the United States have a lot of roads that aren’t built for bigger cars – or they are dominated by mass transit. ๐Ÿค“ So not only would customers benefit from the lower price, a smaller car would also be infinitely more practical and, therefore, marketable. ๐Ÿค‘

Meh… don’t mind me, this is just one of the thousands of things that come and go from my brain at any given point during the week. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ I kinda wonder how it has the room or processing cycles sometimes.

Wait, There’s A Purpose

Yeah, I know I said I likely wouldn’t be doing any more time-lapse videos of the clouds, considering they’re probably only interesting to me… but it was finally cool enough today that I thought I could put the fully charged iPad out back, capturing at one frame every three seconds, to see how long the battery would last. How long of a video I could make on one charge. ๐Ÿค”

I rendered it out at 4K, 60fps… but then adding music to it in iMovie, I’m not sure if it saved it at those same settings or what YouTube will do to the video if it did. But it sat out back for a long time – until the sun started to come into view, causing it to overheat and stop taking shots. ๐Ÿ˜’ Once it cooled off, it showed the battery level still at 60% – so there’s a chance that I could shoot a dawn to dusk video once the days are much cooler. It might need my little power bank connected to it, but yeah… there’s a chance.

That’s not really a big deal with the view that’s currently featured, but if I happened to find a space that’s much more scenic – perhaps a place where I could actually stash my iPad and just leave it for the day… ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜„

I know I’ll probably never actually do that. Just let me do my tests and act like I might some day though.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

(Hey, I had to do something nerdy during my “nothing” day today. ๐Ÿค“ย )

Home Stretch

I’m writing this particular entry at 6:00a because yesterday kicked my ass, and I ended up falling asleep around 8:00p last night… which, honestly, I don’t even remember happening. ๐Ÿ˜ I guess that serves as proof (?) of how I have a limited battery when it comes to certain types of activities.

Yesterday afternoon was my appointment with the estate attorney, which I hope will be one of the last times that I have to see him. He was nice as usual, and it seemed that his lack of focus on my particular needs was based more on his full plate rather than anything intentional. I’m not excusing it, the way my calls went unanswered, but I’ve made my share of mistakes or slight delays in the process as well, so it just is what it is.

Everything is going to wind down now, finally, and with the exception of a little paperwork and an appearance before the court (for Steve, not me) there’s not much else that I’m likely going to have to do. I only have to wait a few days to make sure the figures that I’ve got are kosher, and then that’ll pretty much be that.

But yesterday… heh… I thought I was gonna be able to go in there and wrap things up in like ten minutes, but of course things are never that simple when lawyers and courts are involved. ๐Ÿ™„ I didn’t think I’d have to bring all of the shit I’ve compiled over the past year and a half, so I had to also run over to the bank, run back home for some stuff, and then back there to drop off the remaining paperwork. A little more work at home, preparing some paperwork and stuff I have to mail out, and *ploop*ย … I was out. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ด