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.

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 having made it through another winter with a beer, a burger, and a realization that there was not as much gas in your grill as you thought.

Enjoy the day. Later.

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

I’ve been struggling to find motivation and direction since the work dried up last Thursday. I’ve been keeping to my sleep/wake schedule, but there seems to be a lot of sitting and doing nothing going on around these parts. Television and the internet seem to be sucking away large parts of the day. I keep starting things, deciding they’re pointless or ridiculous, and then starting other things… Rinse and repeat. I did fiddle around a bit with the website, but even that is just cosmetic. Sigh.

So, in order to kick myself into motion a bit, I made dinner last night. This morning I started off looking for my old hair trimmer and ended up emptying out the hall closet. I sorted the sheets, towels, and bathroom supplies. Some of it went back in, some of it is in the “to be donated” pile, and some of it will end up on the curb tonight. Also, we watched the live action Aladdin while we ate lunch… makes for a long lunch.

That was my Easter festivities. Still didn’t find my hair trimmer. Still need a haircut. Later.


Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Valentine. But which one? I don’t know, I’ve read that there were at least two. So, both, maybe. Probably, the Christian origin of this celebration has been first subsumed and finally consumed by cutural and commercial celebrations of romance, love, and sex for most of us. Which is definitely more fun.

So, while Pope Gelasius may have established the Valentine Feast in AD 496 to celebrate and honor Saint Valentine of Rome who died on this date in AD 269, it seems that Chaucer is more responsible for what were doing today.

The romantic association started within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer, way back in the 14th century. The idea of courtly love was a bit of a thing back then. Four hundred years later the English made the day, and probably the night, into one of expressions of love through flowers, confectionery, cards, lingerie, and sex toys. I’m not certain about those last two, but people are people.

That’s also when we got all of the recognized holiday symbols; little winged cupids, hearts, and doves. It didn’t take long after that, things get commercial.

Now it’s all about CVS, Hallmark, and Lovers Lane. You know, stopping at CVS to get a card, candy, and flowers. Wanting to go to Lover’s Lane but knowing that that’s not going to do you any good. Exchanging gifts and then maybe going out to dinner before settling in for a bit of Netflix and chill.

Then realizing that the chill is just because the thermostat has gone into it’s overnight setback. Which makes you realize it’s late and you need to go to bed.

I guess what I’m really saying is, Happy Valentine’s Day. Whatever you do. Whoever you’re with. Later.

Happy New Year. It’s 2020. There have been a lot of predictions about this year. Heck, I even wrote a novel that takes place later this year. So I guess what I’m saying is that we all have cyberpunks, vampires, and dragons to look forward too.

is this our new world?

Most everything I know about 2020 comes from the Cyberpunk rpg. Which means that the world is run by Megacorps, netrunning is a thing, and cybernetics are the way to survive.

A bit of research reveals that there is more than one possible now. 2020 is a big deal in fiction. Apparently, all of these other things take place in 2020:

  • The film Mission to Mars is set in 2020
  • The film Reign of Fire is set in 2020
  • According to the film, I, Robot, the U.S.R. robotics company is founded in 2020.
  • The film Thunderbirds is set in 2020.
  • The film Real Steel is set in 2020.
  • The film Annihilation Earth is set in 2020.
  • On televisions, Dark Angel, both the second half of Season One and first half of Season Two are set in 2020.
  • The docudrama Supervolcano is set in 2020.
  • In the television series Dollhouse, the events of the series finale take place in 2020.

I guess what I’m saying is, there have been a lot of predictions made for 2020 and it has always felt like the distant future to me. But here it is. It’s now. Welcome to the future.

It is time for family and food to come together and celebrate a day of parades, football, and pie. So much pie. Okay, so its really about family getting together and for recognizing all the blessings that have been laid upon you, your life, and the lives of your family.

Enjoy the day. Enjoy the company. Enjoy the season. Happy Thanksgiving from me to you and yours.

40 degrees. Rain-snow mix. Windy. Probably not going to get a lot of kids tonight, but we’re ready for them if they show.

Happy Halloween. Have fun. Be safe.

Update: Despite the weather we gave sugary goodies to 14 brave souls on this All Hallows Eve. Glad to see them, but sure do wish the crowds were bigger.

Everybody has dreams and ideas and plans. It is the work that makes these things real. Labor is the language of genius and the expression of creativity.


Wash the grit from your hands. Put your feet up. Relax. Take some time off. Maybe fire up the grill and try to catch one last bit of summer. Enjoy the day. You deserve it. Happy Labor Day to all of you from me and the whole arohen team.

all work and no play… you know the rest.
6:30 AM

Another trip around the sun. Another candle. Another year down. Why am I up at 6:30 AM?

Happy birthday to me.

Thanks for being here, I’m glad to have you around. I’m a little more than halfway there, so stick around for more of the same nonsense you’ve come to expect.

This is also the first day of a stretch of time off from work for me. I figured between my birthday, our anniversary, and a family vacation next weekend… what the heck. Why not. I’ll go back to work on the 27th, whether they want me to or not.

Here ’em singin’ happy birthday
Better think about the about the wish I make
This year gone by ain’t been a piece of cake
Everyday’s a revolution
Pull it together and it comes undone
Just one more candle and a trip around the sun

I’m just hangin’ on while this old world keeps spinning
And it’s good to know it’s out of my control
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from all this livin’
Is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go

No you never see it comin’
Always wind up wonderin’ where it went
Only time will tell if it was time well spent
It’s another revelation
Celebrating what I should have done
With these souvenirs of my trip around the sun

I’m just hangin’ on while this old world keeps spinning
And it’s good to know it’s out of my control
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from all this livin’
Is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go

Yes I’ll make a resolution
That I’ll never make another one
Just enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun
Just enjoy this ride

Until it’s done

– Stephen Bruton, Sharon Vaughn, & Al Anderson, Trip Around the Sun
Jimmy Buffett & Martina McBride