In the past few weeks I have been making small changes to the site. Maybe you noticed, maybe not. It’s just little things.

  • I changed the tagline. “An incomplete autobiography” is the new line. Which feels less ostentatious and more accurate to me than the old line.
  • I added the shadow box letters to the header and updated it to reflect the new tagline.
  • The macrome images have been relabeled, retagged, and a new featured image has been created to reflect the change to arohenIMAGE.
  • I added the Truckcast to the Google Play podcast database and fixed the iTunes account.
  • Links to my other web pages have been added to the main menu.
  • Logo images have been added to the footer, but no associated links have been created yet.

Like I said, it’s all small stuff that you probably skipped past without a thought. But I thought I’d give you a peek behind the curtain and see that running a website isn’t all glamour and adventure.

They came and put up my new garage door today. This is what the old door looked like… it looks better in the picture than it did in person. The original color had faded to a dull pink and I painted it a couple years back. Which made it look like a painted garage door, kinda sloppy. Additionally, the inside shows signs of having been  bumped and damaged. When the spring broke, I took that as an opportunity to get something nice.


Here’s what I came up with…

New garage door, new track hardware, and a new opener. Basically, the works.
Those windows let in a ton of light and make the interior of the garage feel much more open. Insulated glass and R-20 insulation in the door itself. Which raised eyebrows with the installers. You’ve seen the inside of the garage: no insulation, no drywall, no ceiling, not exactly the kind of place that requires an insulated door. But I have plans for the garage and it’ll get tricked out soon enough. I upgraded from a 12″ radius track to a 20″ radius track to lift the door up a bit higher, it’s not tight to the ceiling, but it’s a noticeable  change.
I upgraded my old opener to a belt drive model with a 3/4-hp motor. It’s nice and quiet. The unit has a motion detector so that the light comes on as soon as you walk into the garage. It’s got a wireless keypad, which I always liked at my brother’s house and now I have my own. And the wall mounted button has a built in thermometer so I know the temperature in the garage. Plus, it should work with the programmable buttons in the Impala and it’ll work with your phone. That’s one fancy pants garage door.
Yes, I know the windows are being partially blocked. I don’t know what they’re called, but those angled bits in the corners of the garage door opening will be coming out. The entry door is going to be replaced and possibly moved to the side of the garage. I’ve never liked the look of it where it’s at… it’s just not aesthetically pleasing to my eye. But whether I move it or not, it’s going to get changed to something with a window.
I noticed today, that when you hire a job done it takes a lot less time than when you do it yourself. At least when I do it myself.

Tomorrow is the big day! They’re coming to install my new garage door and all the goodies that go with it.
Tonight I came home and moved stuff around in the garage, so that they’ve got room to work their magic. Moving stuff around meant putting stuff away and organizing, which needed to be done, but still, I’ve got other things going right now… But I did it. That’s done. Then I went through and touched up about a half-dozen small spots in my drywall where there were pock marks or missed spots and in a pair of corners that just didn’t look right. I’ll let those dry and then dab some primer on them and be good to paint.
Speaking of which, I found some semi-gloss white in the basement that I’m going to use on the ceiling. Why semi-gloss? Because it’s a bathroom and because I want as much protection from the water,  steam, and moisture as I can create. So, semi-gloss paint on all the walls AND the ceiling. It just holds up better than satin or eggshell, and I wouldn’t even consider a flat.
Then I started editing a Truckcast while I ate some tacos, worked on my house plan for my duct design class, and then I realize you hadn’t gotten a post today. So here I am, putting up a post. The Truckcast isn’t done, so that’ll be up Friday, what with school tomorrow and all that jazz.
Lot’s going on here at home and at work. Things are busy, busy, busy. But I did take the time to make this .gif of my face. I was going to use it in place of that profile picture over there on the right, but it didn’t work. No .gifs allowed. Which is kind of a bummer. But I’ll share it with you, because we’re tight like that.

I finished up my sanding and put some PVA primer on the walls. I still need to vacuum the floor really well and then cut in the floor, but I had a issue with my Shop-Vac on Saturday. Seems, the filter got clogged and came loose from the weight and the bag blew apart…. I turned around and the hallway was just one big cloud of drywall dust. Anyway, here’s what things look like after one coat of primer.

first coat of primer

still a bit of a mess

I used the Kilz primer this time and I really like it. Last time, I used Behr and the coverage was terrible. It just seemed really thin and watered down. I think I used three coats, and probably could have done with some touch-up after even that. With the Kilz PVA primer the coverage was a little better, still not great, but the best part is that it goes on grey and dries white, which is super handy for 1.) knowing what’s been painted and what hasn’t and 2.) knowing when it’s dry enough to repaint.
Overall, things a looking good. Ceiling seems to be passable and the walls are not telegraphing a bunch of flaws. My corners and edges could be straighter (they’re a bit wavy), but definitely passable. I only had to go and touch up four places, and none of those was very large. I’m starting to think that this may work out.

Word from the Facebook grapevine is that there is definitely some Irish in my ancestry. This comes from those who have had their DNA tested, so it’s legit. And that’s not even from the McCarrick side of the family. It’s not all that surprising, but definitely more verifiable than a google search on my last name. 😉
I did get some sanding and some touch-up mudding done this weekend, but not as much as I should have. I also started a project to build a rack, but it went off the rails and ended up being a waste of 2-hours. I did get laundry done… so that’s a thing. The new plan is this; next weekend Lady Ronn is going to throw her sister’s bridal shower and will be away, I’m going to have everything primed and cleaned up  when she get’s back. Once that is done, things should really start to move as I already have all the finishing bits piled up in the garage and basement.
And since it’s Sunday, here’s the inspirational image for the day…

now i want hunan chicken for dinner

It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Are you Irish? Am I? You’d think so, what with a name like McCarrick. But I really have no idea. I was born in the U.S.. My father, my grandfather, and his father were all born here in the U.S.
So the barest of internet research turns up this from the first result in my Google search:

found at

Results are from the Surname Database:
This interesting surname is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Concharraige, composed of the elements “cu” meaning “hound”, “dog” plus “carraig” “rock” hence “hound of the rock”. The surname is found mainly in Ulster and County Roscommon. Recordings date back to the early 16th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one John McCarrick who appears in the parish records of Monaie in Scotland in 1683. Maria McCarrick married pat Kennedy on February 10th 1831, at Emlaghead, Sligo, Ireland. Bridgeta Mc Carrick was christened in the Roman Catholic Church Calry, Sligo, on May 19th 1859, and Francis McCarrick married Bryan Winifred on May 31st 1864, at Castlederg, Tyrone, Ireland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cuthbert McCarik, which was dated 1535, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 – 1542. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Read more:

Being as my grasp of geography is somewhat lacking, another search tells me that Ulster is a province in the north of the island of Ireland. It is made up of nine counties, six of which are in Northern Ireland and three of which are in the Republic of Ireland. And that County Roscommon is a landlocked county in Ireland’s central north. So, from that, I can gather that McCarrick is at least a name found in Ireland. But there is a lot of talk of Scotland in that block of text as well. Which makes sense, as when you speak of Gaelic, you’re typically speaking about Scottish and Irish. My great grandmother mentioned Welsh as being part of the mix as well. My mother has actually done some genealogy work on all this, but she’s on a bit of a vacation right now and I’m not going to bother her with this.
So am I Irish? Nope. Born and raised for generations here in the U.S. of A. Do I have Irish ancestry? Fuck if I know. I think there is enough evidence to say, probably. And damn it, that’s good enough to warrant Lady Ronn making corn beef and potatoes every year on this date.
Enjoy the day. Don’t drink too much green beer. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

I’m very excited to tell you about something. Today my package from arrived. I’ve been waiting weeks for these things to arrive. As an added bonus they sent some of their own swag along with my stuff. I’m now the proud owner of a bag, mouse pad, notepad, and water bottle all emblazoned with the Queensboro name and logo. I’ll probably use that water bottle, it seems kinda cool. swag, free with purchase…. so, not free

I placed this order on February 19th and in truth, this stuff actually arrived early. When I placed my order I gave them a date of 3/21 for delivery and today is only the 16th. But my box of hats has arrived… six brand new hats arrived. So let’s take a look at them, discuss the process, and talk about what I like and what could be improved.
the new hat dance

First, I uploaded my logo’s to the Queensboro site. You’ve seen them before and you’ll see them again, but here’s a bad quality resized version of what they were working with. So they took my designs and sent me an email showing the proposed embroidery.
example output

I expected to lose some detail, so I wasn’t surprised that the white outline on the lettering wasn’t included, but I was really disappointed with the way the lion shield looked. Fortunately, the software on the site let’s you change the thread color for your pattern and so I was able to tweak it a bit.
I changed the lion eye to red, because I’d rather not have it in the design than have it look like that. And I sent them a response asking if the outline could be done in two colors, to which they responded in the negative, and so I changed the outline to white and was happier. Still not perfect, but acceptable.

I was happy enough with the design to give the thumbs up on the order, but now that I have the hats, I think that more detail could have been gained by increasing the size of the shield on the hat. But, alas, that was not an option. Perhaps next time I will try just the rampant lion.
a half-dozen new hats

And here are a couple close-up shots of the embroidery, front and back.


I wanted to keep this experiment under a $100, so I only ordered six hats. Queensboro was having a sale on this particular hat (and it looks like they pretty regularly have something or another on sale), so that was my big deciding factor. These were 50% off and I think six hats may have been the minimum, but I’m not sure about that part. It ended up costing $84 for everything, and that includes $30 for the second embroidery location on the back.
These are the Port & Company Six-Panel Unstructured Twill Cap (Style #8031). It’s a pretty light weight hat, but it does have a Velcro clasp. Both of the other hats my wife had embroidered are higher quality hats than these, but for the price, these are not bad.
I’ve already mentioned that I’d have liked the shield to be larger. It’s just about 2-inches tall, but I think if it were more like 2.5-inches tall, you’d get better detail and a cleaner design. I don’t think enlarging that is an option, but it would be worth asking about or finding a company that could do it. The lettering on the back looks good, but I would drop it down closer to the seam. I feel like aesthetically  it would look better, lower. The solid color, minus the white outline, is okay. I like it. In fact, I think I will play with the whole logo and see if I can’t come up with a mono color logo that works for one color design options; print, embroidery, silk screen, whatever.
Lastly, the color. Personally, I like a black hat, but the black border of the shield kind of disappears on these black hats. There are 16 other colors to choose from and maybe charcoal would have been a better choice. Or white. Or maybe, red with the lettering in black. I’m just saying there are other options.
All-in-all I’m happy with my purchase and feel like I’ve gotten good value for my $84. I have six nice hats, not perfect, but nice. There are things I will change if I do this again, but I will definitely be wearing one of these while I’m out and about. Best part is, Lady Ronn will not yell at me for ruining a hat with paint, drywall dust, or whatever else I happen to be getting covered in, because it’s not a one of a kind item.
I have hats! Woot!

It’s that time of the season again. Time to pick classes and set schedules. GRCC opened up registration, for returning students, yesterday. With one little change, instead of registering for just the Summer 2018 session, they opened up registration for all of  the next year. So, after a bit of scrambling around to put together a full year schedule, get my financial aid in order, and figuring out what I still need to get my degree, this is what I came up with.
Summer 2018
EL 144 Basic Electricity and Electronics (Tuesday & Thursday) (this one is through the electrical program, as opposed to the HVAC program stuff that I took last semester)
TE 103 Intermediate Technical Mathematics (online)
Fall 2018
PL 201 Introduction to Philosophy (Monday)
HVA 121 Metallic and Non-Metallic Joining (Tuesday & Thursday)
HVA 275 Commercial Refrigeration (Wednesday)
Winter 2019
HVA 250 Basic Boiler Operation (Monday)
HVA 276 Advanced Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating (Wednesday)
I still need 23-credits to get my associates degree, but this load of classes will be good for 22-credits. Which means I should look into finding one more class for Winter 2019 and then I’ll be done with phase one of this whole education thing. So I guess I should start looking at how I’m going to approach a bachelors program….

Firstly, I must confess that I neither started early enough nor worked hard enough to accomplish my goal of completing the main bathroom in our house. I had 9-days and that should have been plenty, but through a series of discouragements, demotivations, and distractions things did not progress quite as planned. I’m not saying nothing got done, but not enough got done. And I’m fine with that.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike finishing drywall? Yeah. Yeah. Join the club. I know it’s a big club, but I’m definitely in it. Hanging drywall is okay, what with all the cutting and fitting and screwing; it’s the rest that is miserable. Mixing the mud is messy. Waiting for the premixed stuff to cure takes forever. Getting the tape to not bubble or keeping the mesh from coming through the mud is a pain in the ass. Spreading the mud and smoothing the mud always seem okay, but then you realize what a shit-job you’ve done of it. Which leads to the scraping and the sanding. Oh how miserable is the sanding? Pretty damn miserable. Drywall dust is everywhere. Sure it’s in the bathroom, that’s where the work is being done, but it spreads, and spreads some more. I think every surface in my house has a coat of fine white powder on it.  And the sanding takes forever. Every time you think you’re good to prime you find some little section that needs to be touched up, top coated, or sanded out. Every time. And I haven’t even gotten to priming yet… once you’ve primed, then you see how all that time and effort you spent in getting the drywall ready to prime wasn’t enough. Because apparently you were drunk if you thought these walls were done. Just look at that mess. Go get the knife and the mud and fix all those spots. So disappointed in you.
And that’s how I feel about drywall. But I got a lot done and it mostly looks pretty good.
I’d show pictures, but it doesn’t look that different. However, I am at the point now where I’m just touching up the rough spots, filling in the small bits in the corners, and tidying up everything for the primer. There’s still a good bit of sanding to do, but it really is almost done. At this point I’m using the premixed topping mud to fix the little things, and while it takes 24-hours to dry, it really is a lot more convenient to use and helps me knock out these small flaws.
Hopefully, I’ll be priming next weekend.

I stumbled over this on one of my ever-widening spirals down the rabbit hole that is the internet. Once I had seen it I knew I had to make some changes and share. Because I’m just that kind of guy.

Michael Knight, a lone crusader in a dangerous world. The world of the Knight Rider.

What would 4 seasons of this look like in the mid-eighties? Let alone three television movies: Knight Rider 2000, Knight Rider 2010, and the Knight Rider 2008 reboot that failed to gain traction. And, of course, we cannot forget the short-lived team Knight Rider from ’97… the possibilities are mind-blowing.
I’m no expert, but it may not have been a hit without the talking car.