Well, I knew it was coming, and it had to happen, but today I got the email letting me know that my first student loan repayment is due at the beginning of next month. So, for the next 5 years, I’ve got that to look forward to. Unless, I can somehow manage to pay it all back early.

I don’t have a lot to complain about, when you break it all down, I didn’t borrow that much money and the interest rate is reasonable. I managed to get my associate’s degree at the community college for less than half of what I paid for my car.

Of course, I’m only 8 months away from adding my wife’s student loan payments to that monthly mix. Essentially, between the two of us, we’ll be adding another car payment to our monthly bills every month.

The good news, you don’t need to have full coverage student loan insurance.

something from pinterest

I spent a good part of yesterday working with the lovely Lady Ronn on her video documentary. We did shot a bit of B-roll, bounced ideas around, and did more than a few takes of the interview. As I write this, I can hear her editing video in the kitchen. I’m very curious to see what she comes up with and anticipating the final product. Hopefully, she’ll be happy enough with the final cut to let me share it with you.

I’ve got to be honest with you, and I know this is a timing issue, we did not shoot all the shots I wanted to do. It’s due next week and at some point you’ve just got to work with the footage you have. Maybe she’ll let me have the raw video and audio footage, because I’d love to take a shot at editing it together and see what I come up with. Not that I think mine would be better, but it would probably be very different. We have dissimilar opinions on what this Ronn McCarrick: Creative Investigator documentary should be. Also, she’s far more serious than I am.

Today, I cleaned up the backyard a bit, but mostly I fought with this damn website. FTP isn’t working the way I expect it to, the graphics are still wonky in the header, my media library is a mess, and a thousand other little things. It is the very definition of a chore that can never be completed. But rather than breaking things more than they already are I did laundry and took the trash to the curb.

I’ve been stewing around a mess of thoughts on the November novel and I haven’t been able to pick a good idea out of the pot. Right now, my inclination is to just pants it, but I have a very ugly history with doing that. Inevitably I get 10,000 words into an unoutlined project and it just dies on the page. I don’t need a hard-and-fast, set-in-stone outline, but I do need some road signs and distance markers to keep me going through to the 50k mark. So I will continue to stir this pot until I come up with something. I mean, I’ve got, like, 11-days. No worries.

found on pinterest

My degree has finally arrived. August 16th, 2019 was the big day. September 18th, 2019 they went in the mail. September 20th, 2019 I pulled them out of my mailbox. I have been awarded the degree of Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Technology.

Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences


It only took 1,081 days, just 14 days shy of 3 years. I’m glad I did it, but I’m not sure what I get out of it. You know, beyond the satisfaction of going to college, educating myself, and completing a goal. I mean, I’ve been doing HVAC for 20 years, this associate degree doesn’t really change anything. But, I did it!

As an added bonus, and I guess I should have anticipated it, I also received the HVAC technology certificate. I did not actually apply to receive that, so it’s a nice bonus that they saw that I had fulfilled those requirements and sent me that as well.

HVAC/R Technology Certificate

I have to say, the wording on these official documents is a bit lackluster. If I were to tell you that I satisfactorily fulfilled the requirements for anything, I think the base assumption would be that I’d done the bare minimum. I’m sure it’s all in the interpretation, but I’m not going to be impressed.

Despite the cynical tone, I’m very happy to finally have this piece of paper in hand. I put a lot of hours into getting this degree. I enjoyed the college experience and there is a big part of me that wishes I was continuing on to a Bachelor degree, but I just can’t justify it in my mind. It’s a lot more time. The working life of any such degree would be relatively short. But mainly, it’s a LOT of money to go to university and I’m already looking at a not insignificant amount of student loan debt.

So, for now I’m going to bask in the reflected light from these two pieces of paper, knowing that I accomplished a thing and that I accomplished it with aplomb.

63 Credits / 232.360 Grade Points / 3.688 GPA

And the final score: an Associate Degree from Grand Rapids Community College.

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.

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….

Today, I’ve pieced together a few shorter pieces to create a new and more entertaining Truckcast for you today. These pieces were all recorded in a two day span, but I couldn’t manage to record a single long file, because it’s just hard to be entertaining for any stretch of time. Also, some of the audio is full of garbage… not me, other garbage. Anyway, this one is about work, changes, chili, and it’s got music.
Music is by David Szestay, it’s the same thing I added to arohenTV last week. I like it. have a listen.
URL: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/David_Szesztay/Cinematic_Indie/Flash_1954
Comments: http://freemusicarchive.org/
Curator: Music for Video
Copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/