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I’m in Florida for almost two weeks, so I did a drive over the weekend.

Drove through the Everglades on, what the locals, call Gator Alley.

Up to Port Charlotte to visit with Bubba and Tammi. My friend John’s brother and sister in law. We had a good visit.

Then up to just south of Orlando to see Jeff and Inga. Jeff gave me the best gift, and a sad one.

Then down along Lake Okeechobee back to Miami. Sadly, I didn’t realize that the lake is surrounded by an embankment. Here’s my less than exciting view.

And back to Miami to finish up and leave, hopefully, before Irma makes landfall.

Florida can be a fun place.

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Hanging out in Miami for a week. Putting a couple of Big Data systems together for TracFone. Hot and muggy.

I’m going to try and make a run down to Key West on Saturday and then up to the Bradenton area to see John’s family and have a beer with Jeff. It’s been a long time.

Here’s my home away from home this week.

About a 25% chance I’ll be headed for Buenos Aires in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed.

One neat thing about Chicago is all of the different murals and misc art works.

I decided to upgrade my primary remote work from home system. It is definitely time.

Let’s see. I went with the AMD Ryzen 5 processor. It has been a long time since I’ve used an AMD. Time to see how they compare to the Intel chips.

I then went with a motherboard based on the X370 chipset. This will help future proof the build.

Throw on a 500gb m.2 ssd drive for smoking fast boot and gaming plus a 4tb spinning disk for storage. Add on an Nvidia GTX 1070 video card and I’ll be good to go.

On our way back from Seattle we hit torrential rains, flooded roads, wildfires, and a downdraft strong enough to rip the roof off the hotel across the street. No one was hurt thankfully. 

Made us wonder if heading back home was what we should be doing.

Took a little road trip this last week. New Mexico to Montana to Washington and back to New Mexico.  About 3k miles or so. Putting miles on the car.

We bought the car with 35k miles on it 3 years ago. Just crossed 135k miles. It has been a good car.

This here be the Mystery Soda Machine in Seattle. No one knows who fills it. It’s a mystery as to what soda comes out. It has been a fixture on Capital hill for decades.

Just this trip alone the twins hit 7 states and Nora Canada.  We went through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Oregon. Plus Nora is now chilling up in Vancouver Canada with a friend.

After 2 1/2 years in New Mexico we finally added a swamp cooler. The first year we melted, second summer I installed 2 window AC units,  and paid the utility bill. This year a buddy switched his house out to full AC. So I grabbed his old swamp cooler. New paint, belt, pads, and misc and it was good to go. I still need to sand and paint the vented sides, but I got impatient and put it all together.

Hooked it up over the weekend. It blows like a hurricane on high. It’ll be nice not to sweat at night.  I’ve plumbed it on through the window for now.

The heaviest snowfall of the year was today. April 29th. Go figure. I must admit it is very pretty. Only lost power for a bit over two hours so far.

It’s currently sunny and in the mid 70’s. Spring is here. The best time of year. 

After fighting pneumonia for the last few weeks I finally snuck down to Molly’s bar to hear some music. Molly’s has live music 5 days a week. Sunday and Mondays  are the only days without. Cowboy Scott was supposed to be playing this afternoon. Instead it’s Jake on the back patio. Jake is a Texas boy that can play a mean guitar. 

I like just relaxing with a beer on the back patio listening to good music. Glad I’m finally well enough again. FYI. Pneumonia is a pain. 

Rainy and stormy when we went to bed. Woke up to stormy and snowing. The snow elves arrived in the middle of the night to give us a white Christmas. 

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