One of the biggest problems I’ve always had with my website is that I don’t honestly know the what I’m trying to project or have a cohesive message. Initially the brand was me, Ronn McCarrick, and then the brand became arohen and I’ve toyed with things like Blackmoon, Rampant Lion, Creative Investigator, 120nn HomeStudios, and 274 Studio. It is entirely possible that I just like coming up with names and logos.

But I don’t really have a product that I’m selling. The only real draw is me and my thoughts and interests. And, unfortunately, I’m not particularly intelligent or even particularly deep. I tend to flutter from topic to topic and from thought to thought without taking the time to structure or organize or plan so the entire endeavor has an underlying chaotic nature to it.

So what do I put on my homepage? I certainly couldn’t say all that, because that does not inspire you to continue reading. I would hope that I am at least somewhat entertaining, but I don’t I don’t think that this website is particularly humorous. My blogs are not quite rants, thorough, even me being angry would be entertaining. But that’s not what I’m doing. The podcast is just an overly long, rambling, stream of conscious on various things. And I never really know what to do with the videos, because, to make effective videos you really need a degree of planning, editing, and an investment in time, which I never seem to have.

One of the biggest problems I’ve always had with my website is that I don’t honestly know the what I’m trying to project or have a cohesive message. Initially the brand was me, Ronn McCarrick, and then the brand became arohen and I’ve toyed with things like Blackmoon, Rampant Lion, Creative Investigator, 120nn HomeStudios, and 274 Studio. It is entirely possible that I just like coming up with names and logos.

But I don’t really have a product that I’m selling. The only real draw is me and my thoughts and interests. And, unfortunately, I’m not particularly intelligent or even particularly deep. I tend to flutter from topic to topic and from thought to thought without taking the time to structure or organize or plan so the entire endeavor has an underlying chaotic nature to it.

So what do I put on my homepage? I certainly couldn’t say all that, because that does not inspire you to continue reading. I would hope that I am at least somewhat entertaining, but I don’t I don’t think that this website is particularly humorous. My blogs are not quite rants, thorough, even me being angry would be entertaining. But that’s not what I’m doing. The podcast is just an overly long, rambling, stream of conscious on various things. And I never really know what to do with the videos, because, to make effective videos you really need a degree of planning, editing, and an investment in time, which I never seem to have.

Decision Time

Well, I put on jeans today to work on the garage for the first time this season. I guess winter really is coming and summer is over. Bummer.

installed back door to garage
stripped hall doors
removed window and installed wall HVAC unit
painted laundry room

I’m trying to make a decision about the future of this website. My hosting is up for renewal and if I don’t renew things will go dark on November 13th. For the first time in a lot of years, I’m considering letting that happen. I haven’t posted since my birthday in August (and that wasn’t much of a post), prior to that it was just images on Saturdays until that queue went dry. I’ve made a conscious decision to step away over the last few months, just to see what it felt like to not post–to not have a website. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good. It was just something I didn’t do for a bit.

painted living room

I guess what I’m asking is, does it matter to anyone but me? I pretty-much already know the answer to this question. But I’m still struggling with the idea of letting it go.

anniversary picnic

There are other hosting options, both paid and free, but that’s not thinking right now. What I’m thinking about is, do I want to have a website or not? Is it worth the time, money, and effort? Are there other things that I could dedicate those three things too that I would get more reward from? I have a few weeks left, but I just thought I would share my dilemma with you.

guitar practice

Should I stay or should I go?

more guitar practice

Joys of Home Ownership

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 up before 7:00 a.m. and before I was even out of the shower. So there was a bit of a scramble to get dressed, move cars, and calm the dog down. But by the time I had was ready to leave for work at 8:00 a.m., 3/4 of the shingles were already off of the roof. They told me the roof would take 2 days and at this point I would be surprised is they weren’t done early.

before
after

Done in one day. They started at 7 a.m. and when I got home at 5 p.m. half the crew was cleaning up and the other half were finishing up the little details. A different crew will be coming by tomorrow to put up the gutters. Amazing how fast a crew of 6 or 8 guys can get something like this done. They came back and picked up the trailer at about quarter to nine.

We’ve already put the plants back on the patio. I should hire more things done. This DIY stuff takes to long.

Inside the house, Lady Ronn and I have been just as busy prepping and painting the front room and the hallway for paint. We’ve taken down the light fixtures, patched and sanded the rough bits, and painted the ceiling. Which is always the worst part of painting, except all the other worst parts. With that done we’ve moved on to drywall patching the spots where the thermostat and doorbell used to be, fixing all the minor imperfections, edging in the walls, and painting the trim. It’s not going as fast as we had hoped, but it looks pretty good.

I installed a fancy, aluminum hose reel on the back of the house. I used to have a plastic one there but it did not hold up very well. Hopefully, I won’t hit this one and tear it off the wall with the riding mower.

In unrelated news, The unemployment claim for Lady Ronn was closed on the 20th and she was told to refile. Not sure what that’s all about, but we took care of that last night as well. Not sure if that means she won’t get a check this week.

Happy Father's Day

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.

I Hope This is a Long Summer

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 all work and not much fun. Enjoyable, but not fun.

I’ve started a series of summer projects that I’m contracting out. I put a deposit down on getting my roof replaced. Should get done in the next 3-weeks or so. I’m having the same company, Avalon, replace my chain link fence with a pine, shadowbox privacy fence. That starts this coming Thursday. And I’m getting the electrical box, meter, and drop upgraded to a 200 amp circuit. Oh, and I’m getting a breaker panel added to the garage as well. That was supposed to have happened last Thursday, but storms in the area caused the utility to cancel the appointment due to address outages. Very excited about getting all that done.

I’ve got plans drawn up for a 12 x 20 shed with an attached 8 x 8 greenhouse and a 4-foot wide porch. The plan also includes screening in the covered patio and building a deck over the open patio. The deck will extend 6-feet past the existing patio and wrap along the side of the covered patio. I’m going to have to get a permit for all that work. You know what… here’s a picture. That’ll save a thousand words.

the red items are the changes/additions

Oh, and because I haven’t put enough on my plate, I’m just waiting for the inspection on the electrical stuff before adding a door and drywalling the garage. Maybe then I can get the garage put back together and get the car back inside. And of course, I really am getting motivated to get the laundry room and common area of the basement finished, primed, and painted.

We picked up paint for the front room and plants for the planters at Home Depot on Saturday. Those are things that probably need to be done as well.

I’ve got a lot of plans. Maybe too many plans. It’ll be fine. Later.

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, lighting call, I scheduled last week.

When it rains it pours.

We tried to get over the heat by getting out the electric power washer we bought last year and cleaning the back patio. First time using it and I was a bit disappointed with the initial impressions. I was ready to write it off as a waste of $140. It was very inconsistent and spitty. But once it was placed on a nice level surface it performed a lot better. Apparently, it being level and upright is very important. In the end it worked pretty well.

it didn’t look that dirty… amazing change
level and upright is important
amazon deal of the day from last year some time

However, the o-ring on the handle failed when Lady Ronn went to use it today to finish the job. I’ll need to pick up an o-ring kit at the hardware store to get it working again. Or rather, to keep it from spraying water all over the user. Annoying, but not a terrible setback. Here is some pressure washer porn… that’s a thing I’ve heard pics like this called on other websites. Later

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 you took a different group of 91 participants some of the results would be different, but this one feels pretty unbiased to me.

So, the initial question of who is the greatest president is… Abraham Lincoln. He took the top spot in each of the three years this thing has been done. Seems like a no brainer to me, but were off to a good start. So who were the top five.

201720092000PRESIDENTPARTYYEARS
111Abraham LincolnRep18601864
223George Washingtonn/a17881792
332Franklin D. RooseveltDem1932193619401944
444Theodore RooseveltRep19001904
589Dwight D. EisenhowerRep19521956
highest ranked presidents

Eisenhower seems to have had a bit of a jump there, but I don’t really know much about him. Perennial favorite Thomas Jefferson has been ranked 7th in all three years of this survey. You can see all of the results on the website. My next question was, how do the presidents of my lifetime stack up? Have I born witness to great leadership or middling administration? So, I was born in 1968… Sitting presidents don’t get ranked… Ah, here we go.

201720092000PRESIDENTPARTYYEARS
101110Lyndon B. JohnsonDemn/a1964
282725Richard NixonRep19681972
252223Gerald FordRepn/a 
262522Jimmy CarterDem1976 
91011Ronald ReaganRep19801984
201820George H.W. BushRep1988 
151521Bill ClintonDem19921996
3336 —George W. BushRep20002004
12 — —Barack ObamaDem20082012
 ——  —Donald TrumpRep2016 
presidents in my lifetime

I don’t remember much politics before Carter v Reagan. I wanted Carter to win because I liked peanuts and there was a bunch of talk about Reagan starting war, which didn’t seem cool to my 11-year-old brain. I ended up being rather fond of both Reagan and then Bush. I don’t remember much about their politics, but they both seemed like good men. Clinton… well, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh at that time, so you can guess what sort on shit I was hearing. Bush seemed like he was caught up in the machine that got him elected, but became a stronger president in his second term. Still, he seemed like a good man. Obama, really liked him, he was the first time I voted Democratic party and he is both eloquent inspirational. I didn’t want Trump or Clinton in 2016. Bad choices, that’s what we were given. And look where we are. It’s a tough job and I wouldn’t want to do it, especially given that your every action is weighed in public. And I still believe that for the most part, people who seek power are typically not the people you would choose to wield it. Anyway, that’s my political history.

So, Reagan and Trump do not make the top three on either list. But, Trump is still in office, so he may pull out a surprise in the next survey and unseat Washington or Roosevelt, seems unlikely that he’ll get the top spot above Lincoln. Looking at the big list, it seems that history is kind to the president, and they tend to rise as we get a little distance from their time in office. I can’t speak to most of this list, as I’m no presidential scholar, but I expect that Obama will rise into the top ten, Reagan will probably stay there as well, and nobody on my lifetime list will be affected by Trump’s eventual rating. Looks like this is an every 10ish years thing, so it’ll be a goodly bit before they do it again and either confirm or deny my suspicions.

Whether you vote for the leader you want or simply vote for change, the important thing is to vote. Not voting is not a protest, not voting is letting other people choose for you. Do you want me making decisions for you? Because I will, if you let me. Later.