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Showing posts from April, 2020

A Wallpaper

I put together a thing for you. Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser, Fritz Leibers fantasy antiheroes, as depicted by Jennell Jaquays. Two of my favorite things. welcome to lankhmar

Additional Storage

I started my day off with grounds in my coffee, moved on to some emails being ignored, and then went to the basement to try and put some ceiling tiles up that should have been done two years ago. The ceiling tiles started, because I wanted them out of the garage where they were both taking up space and expecting to get destroyed with all the moving and shuffling going on out there. I had intended to put up the ceiling after the drywall was done, but screw it. They're up now. I'll work around 'em. Doesn't look like that big a deal. Am I right? It was not much fun, but I was listening to Artemis by Andy Weir while I worked. Nothing like a little corporate sabotage on the moon to take your mind off your troubles. I need to raise that trim on the door. Stupid ceiling. There is a main drain that runs about a quarter inch above the face of the grid along the wall there. And there is some plumbing and a gas line as well. Oh, and there are like three full tiles... everything el

Insulation Installation

I had no work again today. There are a couple things in my que, but they would not be considered 'emergencies' and until I hear otherwise, those are the only things I'm supposed to be doing. So, knowing that I need to get back on the home project wagon, I started thinking about where to start. Which unfinished project most needs to be completed. As I ran through my list I kept coming back to the same situation; if I do X, then I will need to do Y in the garage. The garage as workshop is more and more a thing as less and less of the basement is available for such things. Now the problem is that right now the garage is a mess and there's twenty-four bundles of insulation taking up the floorspace. I needed to get that insulation out of the way, but there is no place to put it. Which means, in order to get it off the floor, I need to put it in the walls. Like I said, everything keeps pointing back to this project. This itchy, nasty project. So that is what I started today.

Started Strong

Things started out well this morning. I came up with ideas for both a series of podcasts and a corollary YouTube series of videos. I scribbled up some notes and recorded the audio for what could be the fabled arohenRADIO episode #2. Then I started recording a second bit of audio for the next episode and somewhere in there I decided to check on the "best" length for a podcast. I know this is information I've looked up in the past. I'm sure I have notes on it in my podcast folder. Which led me to doing some research on Intro and Outro scripts. Again, something I've already done. Then I had to go into my music folder and listen to each of the audio clips I downloaded as possible music for the podcast. A decision that I made when I put episode #1 together. But you know, better double check that I made the right choice. I still think I chose the best of the bunch. But maybe I should trim it down a bit... nah... that would just be distracting me from the project. Oh loo

Getting Over Stuff

moving forward is the key to success

Couch Time Reviews

How would you like to know how I feel about the television I've been watching during this whole Covid-19 mess? Yes? No! Well, too bad. That's what I'm talking about today. I've watched three programs since the last time I did this. Of course, that assumes that I haven't forgotten anything, which I probably have. Oh well, let's get into it. The Umbrella Academy (Netflix) Finished season one of The Umbrella Academy while I ate lunch today. I enjoyed it. Apparently, it is based on a comic book that I've never heard of, but that's really neither here nor there. I mean, I never read the Watchmen comics and I enjoyed that TV show just fine. Same here. It's only 10 episodes, so we made it through the whole thing in four or five sittings. Lots of unanswered questions. Lots of little mysteries inside the story. The characters are interesting, even if their powers are not really clear in every case. I'm glad to hear that a second season has been given the

DAS Clay

I put it half a day of work today and a full day yesterday. Today, I spent the morning snaking out a nasty-ass sink drain and getting quite messy. It wasn't great. This afternoon I dug out some DAS Modelling clay out of my craft supplies and started making stalagmites for the cave diorama. I haven't done much with clay of any variety. I'm sure there were some school projects with regular old clay, Silly Putty was a thing as a child, and I used the Sculpey bake-to-harden stuff when I made that 3d map a few years back, but this is the first time I've used air dry clay for anything. The working time on this DAS Clay is very short. I'm making simple shapes and doing it pretty quickly and this stuff is becoming uncooperative in just that short a period of time. DAS Modelling clay As I write this I'm checking the package directions and it does mention using wet hands, so maybe working it with water would extend the working time. The other thing that I was disappointe

Out In It

Today, I was back out in the world, driving around in the service van, responding to 'emergencies', and generally wondering why. I had things to do in Lansing and in Grand Rapids, tomorrow will be the same, and depending on how it goes... I may be out and about on Thursday as well. There is still a surprising amount of activity going on. I saw some masks, but didn't wear one. I wore my gloves and used my hand sanitizer. One place I went required me to sanitize, sign-off, and take my temperature before they let me in, but mostly it was up to me to keep my distance. I still think it's a bit crazy to think that some of this stuff considers itself 'essential business'. Oh well, like so many others, I gotta do what I gotta do to keep the paychecks rollin' in. Also, this is very good... Hitler Reacts to people not taking COVID seriously and is not happy

Jumping in the Deep End

I've been thinking about getting back on the RPG wagon and running a game of Dungeons & Dragons. It's been a while, a long while, and first things first, I need to refamiliarize myself with the rules and then find three to five players. So, this is not a thing that's going to happen tomorrow or even next week... besides, Covid-19. I've got friends that are willing and interested in doing an online game, but I'm really itching to play in person around a table and utilize props and terrain and what-not. On Thursday, I had the idea to create a 3d map of the Dungeons & Dragons stater set adventure, The Lost Mine of Phandelver. So I grabbed some XPS rigid foam board from the garage and started crafting the cave system that is the goblin's Cragmaw Hideout. map presented in the adventure Taking inspiration from a bunch of YouTube channels doing this sort of thing--Black Magic Craft, Real Terrain Hobbies, Tabletop WitchCraft, Wylock's Armory, TheDMsCraft, an

The Right Attitude

this seems appropriate right about now

One of Those Days

It is the middle of April, right? What is the deal with this snow? If I were going anywhere this morning I would have needed my brush. Ridiculous. I don't appreciate this. Don't they know I just cut all my hair off? I want my 60 degree days back. Wednesday has snuck up on me. It did not take as long as I thought to lose track of the days, despite the fact that I still get up and ready myself for any calls that might come in. I thought I had a few calls to do, but I did some follow up on them and they all ended up either redirected or in my 'HOLD' cue. I'm not enjoying my time off. Particularly the aspect of having time off, but not really being free to do what I want because the possibility of work appearing any moment. And since any work that might need to be responded to would be an 'emergency', I still need to be able to meet my response times. So, while it probably isn't as limiting as it feels, it feels pretty limiting. My government stimulus/aid de

Barely Hair

In preparing myself for another day of waiting for work, I looked in the mirror and thought my son had the right idea. Then I took out my beard trimmer, because I never did find my hair clipper, and went to work. I like to think of this as the covid cut. rockin' the covid look Lady Ronn offered to cut my hair a few days back, but I wanted to wait until I found the clipper. I never found them and she was still in bed at 7:00 AM. So, this is what happens when I do this kind of thing myself. I'm sure she'll get up and tell me about all the spots around back that I've missed. Then, fix them. I hope. For the record, this is shorter than I had intended. This was not the look I was going for. But it seems that the numbers on my trimmer and the number I tell the barber do not mean the same thing. I used the 5 setting on my trimmer and I think the barber uses a number 3 guard. Five should be longer than three, at least in my mind. That does not seem to be the case. Oh well, it&#


I've been struggling to find motivation and direction since the work dried up last Thursday. I've been keeping to my sleep/wake schedule, but there seems to be a lot of sitting and doing nothing going on around these parts. Television and the internet seem to be sucking away large parts of the day. I keep starting things, deciding they're pointless or ridiculous, and then starting other things... Rinse and repeat. I did fiddle around a bit with the website, but even that is just cosmetic. Sigh. So, in order to kick myself into motion a bit, I made dinner last night. This morning I started off looking for my old hair trimmer and ended up emptying out the hall closet. I sorted the sheets, towels, and bathroom supplies. Some of it went back in, some of it is in the "to be donated" pile, and some of it will end up on the curb tonight. Also, we watched the live action Aladdin while we ate lunch... makes for a long lunch. That was my Easter festivities. Still didn't

Price Change

it's not personal, it's just business

Work Update

Logged in to work this morning to check on things and found an email from somewhere up the chain. Apparently, we're calling this scenario a reduced work schedule. Which is a pretty accurate, if you ask me. What with my workload having been reduced to nothing. The good news, no layoff. The bad news, half pay. I'll take that. It's not the best situation, but it's better than the alternative. Basically, we're going to get 20-hours even if we don't have any billable work in any given week. Which allows us to maintain our status as full time employees. Obviously, this is temporary and is due to the pandemic crisis that is impacting everything. And they were very clear in the email that this could change anytime, at the sole discretion of the company, and that this does not guarantee continued employment. i.e. if this doesn't work out, we'll be going to layoffs. Which is completely understandable. It would suck. But, I get it. I appreciate what they're doi

Out of Work

Well, it was bound to happen. I may be considered an essential worker, but most all of my customers have instructed that I should only respond to emergency work orders, and there haven't been any of those in a while. Today, two things happened. The first, was that I finished up the last three outstanding work orders that I had for the only customer who hasn't imposed any restrictions on site visits. And the second thing was, the only customer who hadn't imposed any restrictions on site visits imposed site visit restrictions. I'm both out of work and out of customers. What does that mean? No answers for that, just yet. At this point they still want us to be available for emergencies, so layoffs are kinda out of the question, but paying us to stay home and do nothing but wait, is not a thing. I've done all my training courses, so that's not an option. Until I hear otherwise I'll be doing the worst kind of vacation. You know, the kind where you use your PTO hou

Guitar Progress Report

With the social distancing and shelter in place orders, you'll not be surprised to learn that my guitar lessons have been canceled, indefinitely. So, while I continue to work out of the book, I no longer have the motivation of a weekly trip to Guitar Center pushing me onward and upward. Add to this the unrecognized, but ever present subdermal stress of this whole Covid-19 mess and you probably won't be surprised to learn that I haven't been pushing myself particularly hard over the last two weeks. I've been diddling, but not really practicing. Playing the stuff I'm already comfortable with and working on picking up speed on a couple other things. the complete learning platform for guitar, bass, and ukulele So, in order to get myself back on track, I'm taking advantage of the "3-months free" that showed up in my email from Fender Play. This is the online, learn-to-play website from Fender Guitars. I'm not very far into it, but it's not terrible.

Mailbox Project

One of the visitors to my neighbor did a bad job backing out a few years ago and the mailbox has sat at an odd angle ever since. I never thought my mailbox was anything special, but that didn't really add "character" to the damn thing. But even still, I didn't exactly jump at the opportunity to fix things. We have a group of three mailboxes on one post and none of them are in great shape. My mailbox has been in need of replacement for probably closer to two years than I'd like to think. I have been threatening to replace it and my neighbors boxes for a good long time, but haven't gotten around to it until this past Sunday. 24-inches + some space for gravel I've spent some time putting together a new mailbox post. It's nothing special, just a few pieces of 4x4, 2x4, and scraps of the 5/4 deck board I used to build the privacy screen in the backyard. All treated pine, of course, because I don't want to make another one of these over the next 20-year

A Little Dresden

With the recent announcement that we will be getting the new book, Peace Talks, on July 14th of this year and then Jim Butcher mentioning, on Daniel Greene's YouTube channel, that Battle Grounds will be coming three months later. I was doing some online searching for Dresden stuff. And as a fan of Jim Butcher's "The Dresden Files" series of books, I was excited when I stumbled on this Harry Dresden statue on Joe Viego's artstation page . I was doubly excited when I realized that you could buy it from The Hamilton Collection for less than a hundred bucks. I was down for that. the prototype version with hat There is a pretty significant difference between the prototype paint job and the one that gets put on the final product. The difference is significant enough that my first instinct is to repaint the thing, or at least add some touches of highlights, shadows, and details to it. There is no detail on the face. The five o'clock shadow is completely absent. The

Bad With Time Management

sounds about right