Just a quick update on all the home renovation going on around these parts. They're still working on fencing in the backyard. They're working hard, but I can't get them to put a full day in and just get it done. Last night they completed most of it, but there are still a few slats that need to be put up and they haven't built the gate yet. They ran out of slats so I can't blame them for that and I made them resize the gate, so that's probably my fault. But it just was not going to be big enough. Word is that it will all get completed today. finished and half-finished I wrote parts of this earlier, the latest update is that, the fence guy could not find pickets or lumber to finish up. He's going to try and get back here tomorrow, Friday at the latest. Well, at least with my garbage can gate I can put the dog out without putting him on the leash. Monday they dropped the shingles on the roof and all the extras in my front yard. This morning the roofers showed u
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. My Father's Day gift this year was a cordless leaf blower that works with the same battery that my string trimmer uses. It was an added bonus that the box was a trainwreck and so the folks over at Home Depot gave me $25 off the price. Nice. I played around with it a bit and it works nicely at normal speed, but the turbo button kicks it into high and the high pitched scream of the thing makes you wish for ear protection. Works great. Hard on the ears. I didn't play around with it enough to say what the battery life is like, but the string trimmer will do my yard trimming twice over before it needs to be recharged, so I'm expecting it to be pretty good. RYOBI 110 MPH 500 CFM 40-Volt Cordless Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower I'm still missing the chainsaw in this line, but that isn't something I really have much use for right now. But I kinda want it.
While I completely understand the desire to undermine the significance of the Confederate States of America and the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia which has come to be such an explicit symbol of racism under the disguise of southern heritage. And it is true that the Confederacy only lasted 4 years 1861 to 1865, which is a remarkably insignificant amount of time for a nation to exist. I don't know why these posts annoy me. I think it's just the idea that this was a thing for 4-years, when in actuality it was something much bigger and far more sinister. I think that it's important to remember that the folks waving these flags and honoring these monuments are not remembering that Confederacy, but rather a much longer history of oppression, slavery, and violence that began nearly two and a half centuries before the American civil war. I don't claim to know the exact date that slavery came to these lands that would eventually become these United States, but let
I know that I don’t have much of a platform here at arohen.com, but I do send my thoughts out into the world with a good bit of regularity and I’m feeling guilty about not talking about some of the things that have been going on in the country. I do the occasional rant, but mostly I just talk about what’s going on with me. Today, I’d like to step up on my soapbox and address the elephant in the room. Possibly, multiple elephants… just depends on how long this gets to be. First, a qualification, or perhaps a disqualification. I am a white, middle aged man. I think, by most standards, I’m middle-class. I grew up far out in the distant, white suburbs of Detroit. Until I started working, I had essentially no interaction with anyone of color; black, brown, red, yellow, green, blue, whatever—my life was very insular. I was oblivious to this fact. I didn’t think about it. It was not an issue in my world. Now that I’ve moved to Grand Rapids and sent my child to one of the most diverse schools
More updates on the home improvement front. Today, I took phone calls about both the roof and the electrical upgrade. They’ll be here to start on the roof next week Wednesday and expect it to take two days. The utility company has scheduled the electrical work for the first day of July. And as I mentioned yesterday, the fence will start this Thursday. Lots of exciting stuff and good news around these parts. But not everything is happening around here without issue. I need to pick up some vinyl j-channel and a few pieces of siding so that I can cut in the new back door for the garage and go around the framing for the screened patio. However, I’m not 100% sure what I’m looking for. The company that I picked up siding from last time has moved, changed names, and apparently changed names again. They’re still in business, just wouldn’t know it without a bit of research. Anyway, I went there this morning to get what I need, only to find that they’re not quite open yet. What with the Covid-19
A friend asked me, today, if I was playing guitar. I had to laugh, because, I don't really play the guitar, so much as I practice the guitar. To play infers some degree of musicality to the thing. There is really very little music being made here. But, yes, I continue to wrestle with this project I've embarked on to learn to play the guitar. I'm working on simple bar chords and the G and C chords and transitioning between the two. I'm not finding it particularly easy. I think I've hit the first wall. Really, what I need to work on is timing and counting out my measures. I've been a little frustrated and I must admit that I haven't dedicated near as much time as I promised myself. I was told by Guitar Center that it may be August or October before they start in person lessons again, so I really need to rededicate myself and get on top of this whole discipline thing. I think my fingers are getting better, but I am not a " natural " guitarist. This is
Let’s talk about work and the pandemic a bit more. Friday, word came down from on high that the guaranteed hours are going away. This was not unexpected. Most everything is reopening and everyone seems to want to get back to business as usual and the normal routines of life. Sure, the pandemic isn’t over, but it’s summer and nobody wants to be cooped up in the house. But that is neither here nor there. This is about me, work, and all those guaranteed hours. What I’m wondering is, what with all my fiscal pondering last week, how did I make out on this deal? Doing the math, I come up with a total of 225 hours of guaranteed time that were made available to help during the pandemic shutdown. I went through my timecards and calculated up how much of that I took advantage of and how much PTO/vacation time I used to cover the difference. The numbers are interesting, to me anyway. Anything in my 40-hour week that wasn’t PTO or administrative would by simple deduction have to be actual time wor
I want to vent a bit. I have a good job. My employer has done right by us, in my opinion, during this whole pandemic. They couldn’t lay us off, because that would most likely void their contracts with the clients who want maintenance services to be available when they need them. When something breaks, someone has to fix it, whether that building is open or not. So, while I may not be working, I’m always oncall for those clients. Even during the pandemic. As I finalized my timecard for last week, I realized that I have reached a point where Covid-19 has taken up 2/3 of my available paid time off. All of that has gone to round out my timecard to the 40-hour mark. The pandemic started cutting into my workload on March 17th. I have managed to get some hours in each of the subsequent weeks, but I’ve only had one 40-hour week since then and that was only because of the Memorial Day holiday. I used four days of vacation before the 20-hour guarantee was implemented by my employer, but still ha