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Showing posts from June, 2019

Circle of Life

And so I finish my week of paid time off--you cannot call this a vacation, a vacation is very different from this--doing the same tasks with which I began: laundry, mowing the lawn, and cleaning up. Looking at my To Do list... This week was a failure. I am not ready for carpet. The ceiling has not been painted. Hell, the drywall hasn't even been primed. It's been that kind of week. Sure, I did a bunch of stuff, finished parts of this project, fixed some stuff that had been bothering me, and I'm far closer to the end goal of getting carpet in this basement. But I can't help but think this was a failure of a week. cleaning up the mess I have a Nest thermostat story, but I think I'll wait to tell that one. I need to step away from the Nest family of products for a day or two. Why, you ask. I have been defeated by a Nest Hello doorbell. This should be easy enough. I don't have a doorbell, so everything is new--transformer, chime, Nest Hello, even the wiring is new.

Straddling the Line

and my head is in the clouds

Not Enough Math

I may have my Associate of Applied Arts & Sciences degree from Grand Rapids Community College, but Ferris State University isn't impressed. I just took a call from the coordinator of their HVAC program letting me know that he can't let me into the program and wanting to explain why. Apparently, I do not meet their minimum requirements. I have the science and I have the english, but he says he can't let me in without more math. Math 107, minimum. Math 107 - Intermediate Algebra, 108 - Trigonometry, and Math 110 - College Algebra, recommended. So, get that done and reapply. The program begins in May. And that's just to get in. The coordinator made sure to tell me that there is more math once I get there. But not to worry, the program only goes to pre-calculus. They don't require calculus to get their bachelors degree. Great. I took the accuplacer math exam in 2013 when I started GRCC. That came back and said I should start with Math 98 - Elementary Algebra. I took

The Drudgery Continues

I broke down and went to Home Depot this evening. I bought tools that I know I already have, which is frustrating, and I took the opportunity to fill up the gas canister for the lawn mower. Who has more fun than me? Today was just another day of finishing drywall. Doesn't make for very good pictures, so I'll share with you some doodles I did during a meeting a couple weeks back. meeting notes

News from the Basement

My back is very sore! That is all. Have a great day. drop ceiling grid / soffit wiring straightened wiring for lights put wall back together tunes, tools, and time off to relax and enjoy life Just kidding. Lots of drywall mudding, sanding, seeing errors, mudding, and sanding. But pictures of that are boring and hard to see any change. Maybe once things are primed. The ceiling grid is up, but it's not hung from wires yet. I spent an hour in the garage yesterday trying to find my hanging screws and the special bit that goes with them... How can I never find what I know I have in my garage? Anyway, I'm not making a run to Home Depot just for that. Wiring for the shelf lights is done and the wall at the bottom of the stairs put back together. I decided against rerunning the three electrical wires that run across my basement and opted instead to just straighten them up. It'll have to do. I feel really close to being done with the drywall. I'm sure primer will change that opi
Yesterday did not feel like a productive day. I did a lot of stuff and was working until after 8 pm, but it doesn't feel like it. More spot fixes of the drywall. Hung one light and rehung another. Finished building my suffit. And then at the end, because things were getting out of hand, I cleaned up my workspace. a little something to hide the plumbing I need to pick up some 2-foot long cross-ties for the ceiling grid. I'm going to put a light in that space next to the main plumbing drain line. things got worse than this before I cleaned up I cleaned out and started working on the laundry room today. But so far, the absolute biggest pain and least fun thing about this has been finishing those shelves I built net to the stairwell. So many corners and so little space to work. Lunch is done, back at it. Later.

Biology Grade Posted

All my math the other day turned out to be right. I earned an A in Biology 101. And I'm very happy with that. I pulled the grades from a different place this time, so they're formated a little differently... Also, can you imagine how different my life would be if I had worked this hard in high school. I know I didn't have a 3.688 GPA back then, it was probably more like a 2.something-or-other. Term GPA 4.000 Cumulative GPA 3.688 Class Description Units Grading Grade Grade Points BI 101 General Biology 4.00 Graded A 16.000 COM 131 Fund of Public Speaking 3.00 Graded W

PTO: Weekend Edition

Saturday, I did all the usual stuff mowed the lawn, did laundry, and some yard work. I knew that it wasn't going to be a project day, as we had a graduation party to attend, those things usually fall around mid-afternoon and kind of eat up a day. This one was no exception, 3-6. Only difference is that Friday night we got a call letting us know that the family was coming in for this shindig. So we threw in some house cleaning on top of the other stuff. Turned out to be unnecessary, as no one came to the house. Which was a good enough excuse for us to go to dinner at the new BBQ joint in town, City Barbeque . Their food was really good. Today, I started in the basement. I don't have any pictures, but then nothing much I did would look like anything to you anyway. I started by doing some mudding and tapping of the shelves by the stairs, mudded some rough spots around the basement, addressed all the torn up spots on the wall where the cat has torn things up... crazy cat. While I le

Biology Breakdown

The final grade hasn’t been posted, but class is over and all the quizzes, labs, tests, and assignments have been graded and posted to Blackboard. All of the numbers are there. We have all the pertinent information. Let’s see if we can’t figure out how this will turn out. You know what, wait. I want to show off my test scores first. This will also be a lesson in why it's important to study. See, tests 1 and 2 I did the bare minimum of reading and studying, which is to say that I did the assignments and that's it, test 3 I really hit the material hard, and test 4 and the final, I did less studying, but still way more than those first two tests. 84/100 Test #1 84/100 Test #2 98/100 Test #3 92/100 Test #4 98/100 Final Exam Weirdly, because I didn't do anything extra that I know of, I also managed to get 102.3/100 for the online MasteringBiology course work. Not sure how that happened. But, as you can see from the scores above, a little studying makes a big difference. Anyhoo,

What's My Age Again?

age is as much in the mind as it is in the body

Plan for the Basement

Crafting station. Gone. Stationary bike. Removed. Assorted shelves, rugs, and clutter. Outta here. Lots of tools left, but I may need some of those. Otherwise, the basement is wide open. School is out. I'm done with Biology and with any other classes until next fall, when I hope to be starting the bachelor's program at Ferris State. In celebration, I'm taking a week off work. In preparation for my vacation I have cleared out the basement living room area. This means that all the other rooms in the basement are now extra full. But it also means that I can get down there and work my ass off. The plan is to make this my only focus for the coming week. From the time I get home on Friday and until I go back to work on the second Monday following, I am making it my mission to get the basement done and ready for carpet. I want this thing done folks. Enough is enough. I have some drywall finishing to do. I want to box in some of the ceiling and straighten up the wires so that I can

GRCC: That's a Wrap

Tonight, I left work early and went to the testing center where I took Test #4 and the Final Exam for Biology 101. Not sure how I did, but I feel pretty good about both tests. Afterward, I went to my Biology Lab and did the last of the lab assignments. And that's it. I'm done. I think I mentioned that I applied to Ferris a few weeks back. Maybe. Honestly, I don't remember. Well, whether I mentioned it or not, I did. Last night was their Fast Track to Ferris event at GRCC and I went with transcripts in hand. I was expecting to get the green light and hear I was accepted, but it turns out that my transcripts need to be reviewed by the powers that be in the HVAC program. So, I'll have to wait until next week to get an actual decision from the school. If I get accepted to Ferris, I imagine I'll be back in a GRCC classroom soon enough, as they are about an hour closer to me than the main campus in Big Rapids, and credits transfer between the two schools. If I don't g

TV Worth Watching?

We don't watch much TV around these parts. We're not the kind of people who brag about not watching TV; we're not that kind. And there's nothing wrong with not being suckled by the giant LED teat in the living room. That's admirable. There are lots of alternatives to watching TV that will make your life better and more fulfilling. But we're not those people either. However, between our busy evening schedule and the issue with my attention span when it comes to televised programing, we don't get much more than an hour of time together in front of the big screen in any given day. Sure we watch movies occasionally, and Lady Ronn usually has something on while she's preparing food or working at the kitchen table, but we are not a multi-hour television watching household. Even still, we spend a good bit of money on video streaming services. Just for fun, let's run down my thoughts on each of the services dipping fingers into my wallet each month. I still

What I've Been Listening To

I find a lot of good music recommended to me on the local public radio station. The artists that come immediately to mind are Fountains of Wayne , Dom Flemons , Carolina Chocolate Drops , Superchunk , and Pokey LaFarge . At least two of those I listen to regularly and I have albums by all of them. But an artist that I discovered via Fresh Air with Terry Gross has become one of the staples of my playlists and a favorite musician. That musician is Jason Isbell , who does a sort of alternative country, southern rock, americana style of music. It's hard for me to pin down his genre, I just think of him as a singer-songwriter who's doing his own thing. I don't remember if I heard the interview above first, or if it was the 2013 album review by Ken Tucker , where he said... "No music moved me more, did more to make me think about life a bit differently, than Jason Isbell's continually revelatory album  Southeastern . It cohered as a statement about love, regret, loneli

Popcorn Time

Google sent me a coupon to watch a movie for $1.99. So this weekend I watched Captain Marvel, a movie that I hadn't seen yet and a movie that seemed to stir up quite a bit of internet fuss when it came out a couple months back. Captain Marvel (2019) To my mind, the two biggest problems for Captain Marvel are it's inevitable comparison to Wonder Woman and the fact that Carol Danvers is not particularly likeable. The first issue is directly related to the second issue there. From what I've seen online this is a problem in the comic books as well, the Carol likeability thing. She actually shows more personality at the beginning of the movie than she does at the end. But even at the beginning she's not really likeable. I mean, I never wanted to hang out with her. This is not a Brie Larson thing. I've enjoyed Brie in the few other things I've seen her in--Kong: Skull Island and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. No, this seems to be a character problem. If you're going

New Posts

I decided to make a thing for Lady Ronn. She has always complained that when sitting on the back patio, there is very little privacy from the neighbors. Truth be told, the bedroom window faces this same view, so the privacy there is compromised as well. Inside, the choice is to close the blinds. Outside, the only choice is to stay inside. my not-so-private privacy fence So on the way home from work Friday, I picked up some 4x4 posts. Then I dug some holes with my post hole digger. The frost line here in michigan is 42" below grade. It's been a long time since I dug down that far with a post hole digger. And I did it three times Friday evening. Had it done before my lady even made it home. Then, because that wasn't enough fun, I dragged out four 80-pound bags of concrete and one 60-pound bag of mortar that I had in the garage, carried them around the house, mixed them up and dumped them in the holes. I feel both very accomplished and very tired. My plan is to make a combina

Happy Father's Day

Wishing all you father's out there a very happy Father's Day. We all get a single biological father, but if we're lucky, we all find additional father figures to help us along the way; these may include step-fathers, uncles, grand fathers, friends, mentors, role models, and whoever else fits the bill. To each of you who have helped me along the way to being the man I am today, I thank you. Happy Father's Day. Dad and Ronn - April 4, 1971 Dad and Ronn - July 21, 1997 Dad and Ronn - December 25, 2018 And a special shout out to all the mom's who either had to or are doing double duty out there. Happy Father's Day to you as well.

Which Way to Go

...but where's the map?

EPA 608 Replacement Card

I realized last week that I had lost my certification card for EPA 608. I haven't needed it for years. I thought I was already registered with all the wholesalers that I visit regularly, apparently not. Grainger must have updated their registry in some way, because I wasn't listed in their system today when I went to pick up some R-410A. If you're unfamiliar, Section 608 of the Federal Clean Air Act   requires that all persons who maintain, service, repair or dispose of appliances that contain regulated substances be certified in proper refrigerant handling techniques. I spent some time digging through my truck, digging through my files at home, digging through my various junk drawers, and generally scrambling around to find where this thing might have been left. It's pretty easy to misplace a credit card size piece of cardstock. I was completely unable to find it, but I did find an earlier card, from the middle 90s, that listed me as having passed Type 1. I must have

Waste Management

A while back, maybe last year, probably longer back on the calendar, my garbage company delivered new containers to the corner of my lot. I don’t know why. There was no communication between us; they just appeared one day. Which would be great, except I already had three of their containers and didn’t really need three more. But I didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I stuck them on the side of the house with the others. get that container off the patio Two yard waste and two general waste containers make for a lot of garbage containers on the side of anyone’s home. And two recycling bins in the garage. I had too much of a good thing. I gave one of the containers to the guys at Grab My Junk, who helped me get rid of some remodel scrap, but that still left me with a container I didn’t need. I ignored it for a long while. It started annoying me a couple weeks back. So, I sent Waste Management a message explaining that I had extra containers that I’d like picked up. Weirdly,

You Never Forget

riding a bike is a lot of work

Latest Watchlist Impressions

It's that time again. Time for me to tell you what I think about all the stuff that has been playing on my TV. I know. I know. I hate everything. But that's not true. I liked almost everything I put on this page. Read on if you don't believe me and see for yourself. Did you see Deadwood? The movie, not the series. I mean you should watch both, particularly the series. I mean, watch the series before you watch the movie. This isn't a Firefly situation where you can see one without having seen the other. You need to see the series. Good news is, it's a great series so you'll enjoy it. But I'm here to talk about the HBO movie that picks up 10-years after the series ends. First things first, I've been looking forward to this since I heard they were making it. I watched the trailers. I watched the interviews. I listened to the NPR interviews. I guess what I'm saying is I had some anticipation going into this one. I watched it the night HBO released it. Th