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Showing posts from May, 2020

Are You Sure?

asking the questions does not guarantee that the answers will be correct

Cooling Things Down

I broke down and turned on the air conditioning yesterday. Looking at the weather page for yesterday says that we hit 84 degrees, but I seem to remember the outdoor reading being higher than that on the thermostat. And when the thermostat in the house hit 89, well, that was too much. I broke down and turned on the AC. Today, we hit 89... so, yeah. Summer has come to my neighborhood early. Today, I received both my first and second legitimate air conditioning service calls. I had one last week, but that was a service disconnect that needed to be turned on, that doesn't really count. The two I received today were legit, somethings broken calls. Of course they both came in in the afternoon, both in Lansing, and I could only get to one of them. And the one I went too, what with the covid stay at home orders, there was no one on the second floor to let me onto the roof. Don't it just figure. Needless to say, I'll be running the same two calls tomorrow. Along with another, lighti

Unofficial Start of Summer

Did you know that Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day? That's a bit of Wikipedia trivia. I assume, Decoration Day referred to the practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags like we used to do at my dads grave. Memorial Day is the day that we, as a nation, set aside to honor and mourn all those military personnel who have died in the service of our country's armed forces. A day to honor them with gratitude and pride, pagentry and parade, reflection and oration. Today, we acknowledge the debt we owe the fallen for our freedom and the place our nation holds in the world. May the day be filled with memories and peace. Some gave all. Secondly, Memorial Day is also the unofficial kick-off of summer here in the U.S. of A. And it feels like it here in Grand Rapids, we've already hit eighty degrees and I'm struggling to not turn on the air conditioning. I refuse to turn it on before June, just on principle. This is a day to celebrate ha

Best President

I saw a post on Facebook the other day claiming that the three greatest U.S. presidents were Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump. While I don't agree with that list, it did get me wondering. So who are the three greatest presidents? I would guess that Lincoln is on that list, and while I liked Reagan, I'm betting he's not. Trump. Well, I'm guessing that as a sitting president, your presidency can't be judged until you're out of office. But I did find a ranking of the presidents done by C-Span which was done in 2000, 2009, and most recently in 2017, that feels legit to me. The C-SPAN Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership worked with a team of historians to organization, execute, and analyze this survey. All the details are on their site, but it's basically that panel of historians and 91 survey participants that create this list. The whole thing is based on rating the presidents on 10 qualities of presidential leadership. I'm sure if

I Just Don't Understand

I'm going to ramble and rant for a bit here. I really need to stay away from the news... It must be Saturday. Look, insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn't freedom, it's adolescence. You have rights, sure. But those rights are to protect you from the government. Not from me. You can say anything you want and the government can't prosecute you. Me. I may punch you in the mouth, call you an idiot, or sue you for defamation, liable, or just to cost you the price of defending yourself. You can carry a weapon in public, but if you come into my home or onto my property, I can tell you to get the fuck out of my space. Your rights don't infringe on mine. My rights don't infringe on yours. You give me my rights, I'll give you yours, and maybe this world will be better. But really, rather than worrying about rights, maybe the golden rule would be a better way for us to get along. You don't want me to

Effort Over Excuse

but my intentions were good

Holiday Weekend Kickoff

I gave the electrician the go ahead to take care of my electrical project in the garage. He's going to put a 100 amp panel out there. I've also got him replacing and upgrading the main electrical panel I just replaced in the basement. I didn't do anything terrible, but the panel I put in doesn't have a main breaker or enough breaker slots for what I wanted. It also doesn't have an "approved" sticker from the local inspector, and that makes me nervous for some reason. Going to upgrade the drop coming into the house to 200 amps and then put in a 30 breaker panel. When it's all said and done, I should have more than enough electricity to entertain all my crazy ideas. Just need to get the utility company to commit to a date and we'll move forward on that project. The electrical work is also why my garage is a trainwreck. I was going to throw up the drywall and get it done, but I'm afraid that if an inspector shows up and demands to look at it... we

Tabletop Crafting

I've created a Google Photos Gallery for my Lost Mine of Phandelver tabletop terrain project. I was going to make a gallery here on the website, but all these pictures already exist on Google and this is just easier. Maybe as things get more finished I'll put together a project gallery for it. But it's too early for that right now. The plan is to do each of the four "dungeon maps". The ruins may be individual buildings, because otherwise it'd be a single board bigger than most tables playing surface, something like 30 x 50 inches. I'm also not going to even attempt to do the whole village, but I may do a few significant buildings. We'll see. Right now, I'm waiting on the arrival of some foliage from Amazon so that I can finish the area outside the Cragmaw Hideout cave complex. That order is coming with some more Mod Podge, as I seem to be going through quite a bit of it. While I wait I've been making the individual ruined buildings for the Ru

Rainy Sunday Musings

So, you try to plug in a USB plug and it doesn’t fit. You flip it over and still no luck. You flip it back to the original side and now it fits. Argh! I feel your pain. We all feel your pain. How many thousands of times has that happened? Here's a helpful tip I learned over at The topside of  any  USB plug will be smooth metal and the underside will have a groove down the center. Keep the smooth side up. If you were wondering what we decided to watch, we settled on Killing Eve on Hulu. Just finished the first season this morning at breakfast. It's pretty good. I have not become annoyed with it and am interested to see where it goes in season two. I picked up the new Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit album, Reunions. I've given it an initial listen straight through and listened to some of the individual tracks a couple more times. I like it, though I would not say it was my favorite. But, it's still growing on me. Favorite track so far is either "St. Pete

Rolling the Dice

life is random

What's On That's Good

While searching for the next great watch, I was subjected to 2-hours of trailers and searching. Lady Ronn has a list. Most of her list is things I'm not interested in. These are highly rated shows that you would tell me are must see. I'm not interested. I like what I like and I don't want to waste my time watching things that distress, depress, or displease me. Life is too short. Dead to Me We watched the first season of Dead to Me on Netflix and it wasn't bad. I just wasn't loving it. It felt like it didn't know what it wanted to be. Should it be funny? Should it be dramatic? It did both, but didn't feel comfortable doing either. Like I said, 1st season kinda dragged for me, but I made it through. Christina Applegate kinda rubs me the wrong way, both kids were annoying, and the whole thing seemed to be spiraling towards Three or four episodes into Season 2 and we drifted off to find something else. Black Sails We tried Black Sails , which is a show about p

That Was Fast

I had heard that two part resin cures faster when there was more of it, but I did not expect this. wasted resin I know, I mixed too much, but I wasn't sure how much I needed. I was working on the stream, waterfall, and pools in the cave diorama... I poured some. I adjusted my damns. I tweaked my cotton ball rapids. And then I went back to give my resin a stir and pour some more. Hot. Solid. Done. So, I wasted half a cup of clear resin. I should probably check the set-up time on this stuff before I do another batch. I didn't have this problem last night, but then I only made about a quarter as much and used it all pretty fast. Lessons learned. Later.

Tabletop Cave

The work on the Lost Mine of Phandelver pieces continues to move forward. I've applied a coat of joint compound to the Cragmaw Hideout cave complex. I started working on some of the cave rubble, adjusted some of the stalagmites, and built a ridge around the pond and stream to hold in the clear epoxy resin. I also realized that I am going to need a structure to hang the waterfall from, so I added a pillar that I'll thicken and texture up before figuring out how the waterfall is going to work. cragmaw hideout birds eye view I started coating the finished foam and joint compound areas with a sealing coat of Mod Podge & black paint. I need to texture the actual play areas with some tin foil, but forgot about that step and you can see that I have one cave floor that has already been coated. Whoops. entrance to the cragmaw hideout I made three campfire rings, two small and one larger, that will get placed in the caves. You can see that the small LED and dab of cotton give a not

Maternal Matters

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms; those I know and those I don't. Pretty much all of you. I hope you get the recognition from your children that you deserve. Because, you do deserve it. What a job. I certainly want to do it. I'm pretty content being a father... way less responsibility. I would not want to have to do what you do. Thank you for all you do. Enjoy your day. flowers for mom

Better, Not Just Different

simply being different is a lame goal, how about working towards being a better you

A Small Hobby

I mentioned in passing that I've decided to add another hobby to my repertoire. It ties into both the statue customizing/repainting that I was all about a while back and is a part of tabletop gaming that I've flirted with in the past but never committed to. I'm talking about 28mm miniature painting. 28mm refers to the scale of the figures, but explaining the details of that seems to lead everyone into the weeds and I'll avoid that for both our sakes. Lets just say that a typical dude is about 1-1/8th tall. They're pretty small. otherworld idol and a 5-pack of resin flames I found this miniature diorama set at Otherworld Miniatures and knew immediately that I had to have it. If you're not of a certain age and disposition, you may not recognize it. This is the idol featured on the cover of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook. This set includes the iconic demon idol pictured above, but it also includes an altar and pair of braziers, as well a

Truckcast #130: The Pandemic

I was in the truck and I thought I would address a few things about this whole Covid-19 experience. You know, from my point of view. I mean, it's a Truckcast, what else would you expect. Anyway, we're going to talk about masks and coughs and vaccines and a few other things. Give it a listen--you'll be saving a life. That last bit might have been something of an exaggeration, but I would like you to give it a listen. For every listen, an angel gets its wings.

Controlled Descent

Lots of stuff going on right now. Trying to finish the drywall in the basement, the garage is a total wreck, Menard's didn't deliver this morning (but they're coming tomorrow... which wrecks my plans), I've got an electrician coming on Thursday, a growing pile of hobby stuff growing on my desk, I've been neglecting my guitar, work is a chaotic mess, the wife is out of school, the bills keep rolling in, my vacation/PTO time is steadily dwindling, and I've got this webpage thing that I haven't given much attention too. I'm feeling stretched and possibly over extended. It's all my fault, but that doesn't change the feelings. At this point it all feels like a controlled descent into an organizational quagmire. I only need three things to get me back on track: more time, more money, and more energy. After letting the old lawn service go after last year, I'm going to give TruGreen a shot this year. They did a nice job on my neighbors lawn last summ

Life Lesson

don't strive for perfection, because it is unattainable


Welcome to May. It feels like it's been a long time coming this year. Did April showers bring May flowers? They did in my yard. Why does my dog come into the office when I play guitar, lay down next to the amp, and whine about the noise? If he doesn't like it, he can go anywhere else in the house. Silly dog. My drywall order from Menards has been delayed until the morning of the 6th, everything I order from Amazon seems to take at least a week now, and I spent the morning paying bills and getting increasingly stressed about things that don't really matter. And in other news, I seem to be in a flurry of project beginnings, again. Lots of starts, very few finishes. Happy Friday. Stay healthy and stay strong. Later