My grades have been posted to the GRCC website. As expected, I did well in both of the HVAC classes I took this semester. Though I don’t feel like I got as much out of either of them as I would have liked. That’s partially my fault; I didn’t do much of the assigned reading. That is one of the problems with taking classes in things you’ve been doing for 20+ years, you tend to take it a little bit for granted that you’ll be able to pick it up with minimal effort. Fortunately, My calculated gamble in Philosophy played out as I thought it would. I feel bad that I skipped out on the final paper, and the 40-points would have been very nice, but I still ended up with a B. So here is that official grades.

Class Grades – 2018 Fall

HVA 121Metallic and Non-
Metallic Join
HVA 275Commercial
PL 201Introduction to

I’m going to take advantage of the winter break to take a little vacation, celebrate some holidays, and relax for a few weeks before getting back to it in January.

I just watched my Detroit Lions get beat by the Buffalo Bills. The above picture is of the cat watching the game with me. Which is endlessly amusing to me. The dog doesn’t pay any attention to the TV at all, but the cat seems to actually enjoy it. Is that weird?

I’m just playing around with an app I downloaded from the Play store, Sketch Camera by Pixelab. It makes some neat effects on your photos, but it is chock full of ads. It’s free, but to get rid of the ads and get some additional filters will cost you $3. I don’t think I’ll get enough use out of it to warrant the purchase, but these are some neat results.


In other news, we made the decision this morning to not put the new decorations on the tree. We bought new stuff this year, because it was going to be our first year without the kids or the kid’s ornaments. But we decided that since we’ll be gone and won’t be here to enjoy them, we’re just going with the lights and the tree topper, again. Putting all the Christmas stuff up is a lot of work.

just the lights

I finished my Christmas shopping today. Which isn’t saying much, since Lady Ronn does most of the gift shopping and I have minimal input on those choices. My job is to simply ensure that she gets gifts to open. This year I’ve bought here 12 gifts and have been giving them to her one a night since Friday. She’ll get the last one on Christmas morning.

I know that the 12-days of Christmas is supposed to start on Christmas… but we’ll be on vacation then and I don’t want to take the gifts with us. Besides,  that just runs up against her birthday. And as anyone with a birthday within a month of Christmas will tell you, that sucks. Keep them separate folks.

I didn’t get much done today. A little laundry. Some dishes. Making a list of the paperback novels that make up the holes in my collection. And the big thing, which really isn’t, is that I finally put the drawers for my desk-leaf on their slides.

already started filling them with junk

I made the drawers months ago. They’ve just been sitting in their bays waiting for slides and faces. Now they’re just waiting for the faces, which I have not made yet. 

Right now, I have a strong inclination that just buying a desk would have been the better decision. I’m sure it’ll be very nice when it’s done. I just don’t know when that might be. 😉

Tonight was my last night of classes for the Fall 2018 semester. I was pretty disappointed with the whole semester. Philosophy was interesting, but one of my HVAC classes covered stuff I don’t do and the other covered stuff things I’ve been doing forever. So my grades should be good, but I’m glad to be done. I already touched on my philosophy paper, or lack of same. Neither of my HVAC classes had a real final and they were both very informal, so I don’t really know where I stand in the grade book.

Four nights a week is a lot. I’m looking forward to the winter semester and only having class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Two days a week is going to feel like a vacation.

Now that I’ve put that behind me, it’s time to get ready for Christmas and our trip to Florida.

I just took my Philosophy exam and I managed 100%. I also managed 100% on both of the tests during the semester. And i did pretty well on the quizzes,  something like 94 out of 99. Which is all very good.

And most likely very important.

Why? I mean, besides the obvious point of passing the class. For one very significant reason, I didn’t write my final paper!

me not writing a philosophy paper

Oh, I spent the better part of this weekend sitting at the desk worrying about writing my final paper. I had scads of references for my final paper. Hell, the paper only needed to be 5-pages long. I started it. I put together a bunch of information. But I didn’t write a paper.

First, let me say that this is a calculated gamble on my part. If the grading system plays out the way it’s described in the syllabus. If the paper is actually worth 14% of my grade. If my participation points are as high as I expect them to be. And if I’m right about all of these things, my grade should still be a middle B. Possibly a low B. If I’m wrong… well, shit.

So, I’m not interested in writing this paper on Sir Francis Bacon. Sure, I chose him. But I had to choose someone. I don’t want to figure out APA, I don’t want to find and document sources, and I don’t think I need this to pass. Sure it hurts my grade and will probably keep me off the Deans list this semester, but as a 50-year-old man, i can live with that.

The truth is that I waited too long to decide who to do this paper on, I didn’t read anything about this guy, I didn’t do the research, and most importantly, I didn’t realize how much there was to the life of Francis Bacon. This guy was a mover and shaker. I don’t think he slept. He makes me feel very unproductive in my life. And the paper I had put together was just a bunch of “cut and paste” from a half dozen websites. Even with my massaging of the text, that is the definition of plagerism.

I’d rather not do the paper and take the hit on my grade than lose credit for the whole course because I got tore-up by the plagerism checker.

Like I said, it’s a calculated gamble. I don’t feel good about myself or the effort I expended. This is not why I went back to school; to cut corners and barely get by. That’s how I went through High School. I’d like to think I’m not that guy anymore. Oh well, fingers crossed. I really hope it works out the way I expect. Later.

Enough is enough. I’m getting off the social media sites I don’t use. I don’t need these accounts. I’m not socializing with anyone on these sites. It’s time to pull the plug.

So what am I getting rid of? Google+ is going away anyway (was it ever really here?), so deleting that account was just housecleaning. I’ve deleted my Twitter account, a platform that I never had much use for. And as I write this, I’m on the fence about Facebook. Really, since I can no longer share posts from my website automatically, all I use Facebook for is birthday reminders and posting Audible books as I finish them. After debating about it, I’m going to keep it, but I don’t have any good reasons why.

I still like browsing images, so I’ll be keeping my Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest accounts. I just recently created a Reddit account, so that’ll be around until I realize I don’t use it. LinkedIn seems like a thing I should keep, you know, for the profession and all. And my YouTube account is still a thing. Hopefully, I can get back to making some video and it’ll be more of a thing. No promises.

how i feel about facebook

So… I guess what I’m really saying is that I deleted my Twitter and Google+ accounts. Which is really a pretty “meh” announcement. Later

I don’t get a lot of visitors, but when I do get them I feel bad about the rather poor sitting options I had for them in the office. I’ve tried multiple solutions; from a dog-slobber stained living room chair to a waiting room chair on wheels, and a few things in between. All were unacceptable.

So I wanted something that would fit in my small office, not hide my shelves in such a way that I can’t enjoy my nic nacs, and still be reasonably comfortable. So, I picked up a small couch-thingy for my office. Is it a bench? A loveseat? Wayfair calls it a tufted bench settee, so I guess that’s what it is.

Jared Tufted Bench Settee by Jennifer Taylor
relax and sit a spell

It’s nice enough. I thought it would sit a bit taller, but I don’t think that’ll be an issue. The fabric is some sort of polyester blend and the color works pretty well for the space. This is the first time I’ve shopped the Wayfair site and I found it to be painless. The shipping was free and took about 5-days, the price seemed highish (but that’s mostly a furniture thing), and the thing arrived undamaged. I call that a win.

If you like it so much that you want to get one of your own, you can find it over at the Wayfair site at this link:

One more purchase from Amazon, with thanks to the Black Friday week sales. New monitors for my desk set up. I picked up two Acer monitors to replace the HP monitors I’ve been using for the last few years.

I was satisfied with my 27-inch, 1920×1080 monitors and didn’t see a need or feel a want for more resolution until I started working on my Warlock’s Cauldron D&D campaign. For that campaign I was using real world geography and using Google Maps to create my world maps. I found the 1080 screen shots I was using for the maps didn’t cover the space I wanted. That was the first flickers of new monitor desire started with that experience. These aren’t 4k, but I don’t really need to pay that kind of money.

These Acer monitors are 32-inch beasts and have a resolution of 2560×1440, which should be good for a few years. They were discounted by $78, which put the price point right at $210. The pair of them makes for a pretty big purchase for me, but that’s not the end of the story.

Surprise. Surprise. My existing video card didn’t have the muscle to run both of these monitors at their native resolution. So I had to go and get a new video card. That was damn near as expensive as buying another monitor. But it’s arrived, installed, and I’m up and running without any jagged pixel bits ruining the experience. These things are big. Damn big.

new 32-inch monitors
old 27-inch monitors

You can see, in the above pictures, that I’ve painted and put the desktop on a couple of the pieces of my homemade desk. Drawers are in progress and the main part of the desk is still a work in progress, but it’s coming along. 

I just got these monitors set-up and running right tonight, so I can’t pass along anything but initial impressions. They’re big, they’re impressive (or rediculus), and I like the smaller bezel. I like them and unless they fail in some way, I can’t imagine that changing much. If it does, I’ll let you know.

One of the items that showed up in ads above my email on Black Friday was an offer for 50 custom cut stickers for $20 from StickerMule. I’m willing to waste a twenty on an experiment. I mean, hell, I did buy a half-dozen baseball caps, and that was way more than 20-bucks. Besides, I wanted to put that rampant lion shield on some stickers. So I did. Here are the results.

fifty rampant lion shield stickers

I think they look pretty good. They’re about 3″ tall, slightly narrower, and the the printing is sharp, clear, and good quality. I like the way the inner border is faint but visible. I’m curious to see how the hold up to the wear and tear of everyday life, the sun, and whatnot. I received a bit of promotional stuff from them along with my order, a few stickers and weirdly, a coaster.

stickers and promotional extras

Anybody wants a sticker, drop me a note and I’ll hook you up. Next time I might change up the design to actually include the URL, but the first time around I just wanted the plain shield. Also, I’ll let you know how they hold up. Later.