Saturday, February 28, 2009

Athens Update

It's the end of February so I thought I would give you all an update from Athens. Although things have been slow in the Gromen-Butler world, Athens is always changing.

First, the University Mall underwent a ownership change awhile ago and with it evolved a new name. The Market on State. Yep. That's what it is called now. It is about a quarter full with shops, and it seems a store leaves every month. However, they just added a new!!! store and it's a biggie. Dunham sports went into the old Kmart store. It just opened yesterday so I haven't been in it yet. I am not a big shopper and rarely buy new things, but a few of the things I have to buy new are shoes and sports bras. Now I have a place locally to do that. We do have a Hibbetts Sports store, but they carry one style of soccer cleat and a few running shoes. This store may prove useful. And if they sell swimwear, they will own the market in this town, since it is impossible to find a bathing suit here.

There is a new coffee shop in town. On the west side no less. I don't drink coffee so I don't go there much but I wish them luck. They are located right next to the bike path on Union, so I think they could gather a following. Oh yeah, it's called Moku cafe. I have no idea where the Moku comes from.

With additions comes substractions. Goodys left and so did Wild Mercantile. An upscale clothing store called Noir went to Granville where people could afford their clothes. 

The City of Athens has started a new trend of having Town Hall Meetings. The first one was last month and was well attended. Another one is coming up next week. The focus has been on how to implement the comprehensive  plan. It's too soon to see effects of the meetings, but I think it's a step in the right direction. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Emailing the president

Yep, I did. It's easy. I don't know if he'll get it. But hey, it's out of my hands. You gotta love the internet, where you can access the president of the United States that easy. I used to have to grab a piece of paper and then a pen. Write out carefully (and legibly) what I wanted to say. Stick it in an envelope, find a stamp (who has those anymore) and mail it. I did do this when I was a kid. It was for school, and I am guessing it was Reagan that I wrote to since he was the president for the majority of my school years. I received some sort of White House press pack back. It might still be sitting in the basement of my parents' house. 

The most ironic thing was that when I wrote to Obama in the comment box, Obama comes up as misspelled.  Just like it is here on my blog. Clinton doesn't come up as a misspelling. Of course Bush doesn't, that's a noun. I suppose it will take time for Obama to be added to acceptable words on spell check. I wonder if there is a download for that. 

'Til then.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Wood Stove

We bought and installed the stove a while ago, but we never wrote about it. Here is a photograph. It's temporarily installed in the corner near the window seat. It will be permanently installed a little further back in the corner, once the brick wall is installed. So picture this, window seat next to wood stove that's cranking out the heat absorbed into the brick wall. Feel the warmth.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Grad Program

I am enrolled in the Environmental Studies program which is cool because it is interdisciplinary program. So I get to take classes in all different departments; geography, environmental health, even chemistry if I wanted, but I don't wanna.
My classes are super interesting, especially the sustainability and leadership class. It's small, all grad students, and there is a lot of discussion. It is getting down to crunch time though. Four papers in the next few weeks. Papers aren't as hard to research as they were 15 years ago. Now, I get online, do quick search and half the time I can read the article online. Sometimes the book is even online. It still helps to get out of the house though. 
On a lighter note, we went to ArtsWest on Saturday to see the individual Star Wars collection of a local guy. It was pretty cool. He had stuff I had never seen growing up. Whole dioramas of the Cantina, Hoth, the Ewok planet. The majority was from the 80's so it wasn't the new episode stuff. Plus we got to nerd out with other Star Wars geeks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Pardon me. For wanting a clean house.
Pardon me. For wanting to wipe up the mud, snow, and cinders that we've been tracking in for the past two weeks of insane weather.

I really only want to apologize for my absence on this blog. I haven't been writing much because I am in grad school this quarter.  Yep, I've taken the plunge. I received a tuition waiver and small stipend which means I have to work for a prof. I am still working at Hillel (20 hours a week). Plus I have 17 credits hours of class, and I am in the lab 8 hours a week.  That is like working full time. And you all know that I haven't done that, well, ever. Then there is the outside classwork, and I don't even have time to keep up with the bobcats. We went to one game a few weeks ago when they lost to BG. 

So there you have it. The last five weeks of my life revolve around work, lab, class, reading, sleeping, eating, and very few outside activities. But tonight Kent is on the phone, so I can't get work done. I decided to watch USA Soccer beat Mexico.  Tee hee. USA USA USA. And now I am blogging. 

The weather seems to be warming up so hopefully we can get more work done with the house. Then, we'll get back to posting on a regular basis. We did get the wood stove in, so when we get pics, we'll put them up.


Sunday, February 08, 2009


Good morning to all.

To clarify, I, Kent am your current dictator of prose...

I shall commence with a brief description of my immediate and current surroundings & happenings:

My wife, Lori, is on a cleaning rampage.  She completed two hours of reading assignments for her graduate studies, and is now hyper-vigilant about restoring the old-house to sanity.  Many of you readers in cyberspace have likely experienced such encounters in your own home.  It can be awe inspiring as well as frightening.   

Side note:
If humankind could harness the energy and curiosity of two-year olds, or the attitude and lethargy of tv-watching- video-game-playing teenagers, or the vigor and reckless abandon of a spouse on a cleaning spree....WE would not have to worry about an ENERGY crisis. 

I tried to be helpful, but was kindly informed otherwise.  My fear is that something of mine will be lost forever, if I don't act assertively.  

On other notes:  The weather is favorable.  For what, you might ask.  Good question.  It is in 50's and yesterday morning it was near 60 F.  I spent some time cutting up firewood with my hand-me-down chain-saw.  I inherited the Sears Craftsman saw from my father when my folks "down-sized" to Condo living. 

Observation: Parents are often wiser than we kids want to give them credit for.  I hate to admit it...but ego-centric thought is so self-serving, but often blind.  For example, I imagine that as recent as a few years ago, if my father would have asked me if I wanted a chain-saw, I would have likely replied with a quizzical, defiant, and "what would I do with that thing" response.  Now I find myself looking at expensive, fancy chain-saws at the hardware store.  I even received a tutorial from my neighbor, who enlightened me as to the proper methods of sharpening my chain, by hand.  Follow the proper safety measures, and cutting up wood can be a somewhat pleasant meditative exercise.  

The chain-saw is helpful, because our new house will be supplemented with heat derived from a wood stove.  Collection of wood began this summer, and the recent ice storm has led to a few more favorable leads.  BTU's.   

Another example of parental wisdom which I should share with you, entails my haughty youthful arrogance.  I recall my parents efforts to ensure some civility in me when they graciously offered to aide me in the purchase of a couple of formal dress suits.  At the time, I was enrolled at the University, studying art and photography.  I was of the mind set that my time and efforts were in the studio, getting dirty...not in the realm of suit-and-tie. 

 A-HA, you might say, knowing my current predicament in life and the world of playing grown-up.  Yes, yes - I should have taken my parents up on their offer.  A good suit comes in handy for many occasions.  It can be wise to error on the side of caution, and find one-self over dressed in a social situation.  But, it can be more awkward to find one-self under dressed...

The lesson: Listen to your parents.  They might be wiser than you think.