“Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy” wrote Nicholas Sparks; that must be true since getting Encore's Volvo diesel back in shape is testing my patience and finances (but then we're talking about a boat, so that second part is a given). Thankfully I have a very experience diesel mechanic who keeps one boat here in Florida and another up on Lake Champlain. I'll let you guess where he spends the winter?
The list of repairs has grown since taking components off one by one to get to the original problem has found other things that need to be addressed. Some of the inexpensive (relatively) items that I intended to fix like a new anti-siphon valve required new hoses and hose clamps. Then the removal of the alternator in order to get to the heat exchanger was a blessing in disguise since the bearings were gravelly and while in the alternator shop they replaced the rectifier (converts the AC power to DC). In the case of our sailboat's alternator, it is high outputs so having it rebuilt for $185 makes more sense than replacing.
Originally I really just wanted Tim to look at a “leaky” injector (which he pulled out and cleaned) as it was not getting a full burn due to poor compression. I'm hoping that there aren't any deeper issues with the engine and that reseating this injector will correct the problem. (more…)
Just as it was in the French Revolution, I’m back and forth telling A Tale of Two Cities and “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” so to speak. I spent the weekend taking care of a condo rental issue in Delray Beach, Florida and of course was staying on the sailboat finalizing the diesel repair, or so I hope??? The first issue was solved, the second has become a bigger deal than I initially thought … but SO VERY glad to find a few things before being on the water and having an emergency. The “best of times” part is that I escaped the cold and snow of Cincinnati, the “worst of times” is that it rained constantly (but was 70° F). Three of the four overhead Lewmar hatches leaked (I knew about) and so kept my plastic and buckets catching the drips … and was prevented from sleeping in the aft berth. I did take the opportuinity to mark all the leaky spots that someone has time and time again attempted to sloppily repair. The only real option is going to be removing and having them rebedded. $$$
I also replace the manual galley pump that I repaired; I had to make an epoxy plug (no wood glue) after “digging out” the old broken off rusted screw. Hey, it worked (above).
The final frustration was heading into the marina bathroom and noticing all the showers seemed to be in use … with the water running? Hmm … I looked under the curtains after a few minutes and realized there wasn’t anybody in them and yet the water was running in all three? Hm … so I shut them off and proceed to take my … yes you guessed it … cold shower. Grrr … hoodlums at the marina or a disgruntled sailor?
Really, I'm just looking to make a test post and include a photo to see how a new app called Blogsy does from the iPad. The feature-rich app offer an excellent platform to post to a variety of blogs and has nearly every familiar feature from Microsoft's dead or dying LiveWriter. Besides not having to haul along my notebook (hopefully), this could be one of the last pieces of this “road warriors” arsenal when I travel. We'll see?
The photo is a innovative toothbrush that I would have loved to have had as a kid. What do you think?
Really just love the above camera angle of the Elio … a new micro-car company making its public relation rounds and aggressively taking pre-orders. I’ve mentioned Elio previously and am anxious to see, drive and OWN the little commuter car. There are plenty of details to be concerned about since their targets are aggressive for any car manufacturer … let alone one that has not been built yet. Still, I’m “all in” and optimistic.
Today we are going to spice up the day with a topic that is important to us and our fans and seems to have a few people flummoxed as to the logic and communication behind it. That topic is our $6,800* retail selling price.
The Overdrive app on my iPad is one of my favorite reading and “listening” apps on any of my devices (previously commented). It is super for those who would love to spend more time going to the public libraries but have trouble finding the time to go. Have a “FREE” way to borrow from libraries on an e-reading device (iPad in my case) makes downloading books and audiobooks very convenient – but the fairly long waits and 14 day loaning period is a challenge.
I’ve been waiting a couple months for either the text or audio version of “13 Hours in Benghazi” and just “checked it out.” Looking forward to the audiobook AND not forgetting what “we” (U.S. State Department and Whitehouse) allowed to happen to our ambassador and staff in Libya. Shameful!
A debate over controlling free and open access to the “pipes of the Internet” is not as simple (or probably as inexpensive) as it sounds. While the Federal Communications Commission considered views for and against regulating the Internet on Thursday, called “net neutrality,” the commission voted in favor by 3-2. In comments, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said that this policy will ensure “that no one – whether government or corporate – should control free open access to the Internet.”
Initially I hear “neutrality” and “open access” and it seemed like a no-brainer. As a consumer, I want high speed for everybody and a level playing field … but the argument is a bit more “nuanced” said Max Levchin, PayPal co-founder commented on CNBC Thursday morning. Those in favor are looking to keep “the pipes” open to all and prevents providers from throttling or pricing heavy data users if they require more bandwidth. Think NetFlix or YouTube as heavy users; the public wants the low cost content, but this requires ISPs opening their “pipes” to these content provider selling their services and using their routers, switches, airwaves and wires. Most consumers just want to be able to receive what they want when they want it without overpaying.
Now the cynic in me wants the open pipes and equal access to all … even if some companies use more bandwidth than others. I understand that the “pure content providers” feel disadvantaged if providers of both content and bandwidth control access and speeds … but don’t have much faith that the government regulates things all that well and that ultimately we’ll suffer due to more regulations, higher overhead costs and even more complaints (think regulated phone companies, airlines, post office, utilities, etc).
Ever since getting my Keurig Coffeemaker back in 2009, I’ve used it nearly everyday … and multiple times a day at that. It makes making single cups of coffee easier and keeps my coffee drink habit to cups rather than pots! I purchase a variety of specialty coffees or cans of coffee (usually Chock Full o’’ Nuts) and have been thinking about a second smaller unit for the boat since making a single cup would be easier than getting out the percolator or boiling water to pour through a drip basket?
The smaller Hamilton Beach Flexbrew was mentioned by a fellow sailor as small and without the reserve water tank … something they liked. It does run on 110v but could operator for the short brew cycle on the inverter? There are other brands so probably should continue to look around?
With oil prices down and the stock market in rally mode (particularly these top 5 Nasdaq stocks), it might be time to nibble on a few of TheStreet Ratings best Oil and Gas companies (below).
I’ve been watching a few of the “big oil” companies figuring it was time to start building a more diversified core dividend portfolio and Warren Buffett’s selling his $3.7 Billion investment in Exxon (XOM) opened the door to a sale price on XOM, one of the “better than a bank” 3% dividend stocks … but I suspect continued low oil prices will keep downward pressure on the stock. Yes there is risk, but holding a consistent dividend payer while waiting for oil to rebound is something I can comfortably go to sleep with.
About taxes, Mollenkopf commented that the high current U.S. corporate tax rates (graph below) encourage investment and job creation overseas rather than in the United States. He said that companies make business choices to hold income offshore where taxes are friendly to business and in some cases "borrow" money at record low rates in the U.S. in order to return money to shareholders. It make perfect business sense.
Maria Bartiromo interviewing Steven Mollenkopf (MP3) 2/22/2015
As many (including me – post from 2012) have stated many times before, corporate income tax rates need to be lower or inline with worldwide rates to encourage corporations to invest and earn their profits domestically rather than internationally. One would think that with a newly elected Republican congress that a friendly business relationship and job creation would be a top priority? Perhaps they need a little more pressure from those who lost a job or have seen stagnate wages this past decade?
While getting sidetracked from the Whale Gusher Mk3 pump rebuild (soaking and cleaning), I started working on Encore’s hatch screen idea since it will soon be bug season on the sailboat in Florida. I’ve been… »
Joey Legano took the win in 2015’s NASCAR’s season opening race, the Daytona 500, with an exciting finish with the yellow flag waving due to a wreck in the rear of the field. The racers bunched for a restart… »
As predicted, we pick up our share of snow in the Cincinnati area on Saturday. I was hoping to make it through the winter without having to put the chains and snowblower on the old John Deere, but realized Friday… »
CNBC interviewed Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday morning (video below) as America is beginning to talk and take note of him as he makes the media rounds. It is early, but for Walker getting a little better better name… »
Please Come To Boston (Single) (MP3) Dave Loggins – 1974 Not that Dave Loggins music is going to warm up those of us suffering in the deep freeze and snow, but I did find the polar bear on a melting iceberg… »
I made the big 99 cent plunge a couple months ago in paying for more Apple iCloud space primarily to keep data on my iPhone and iPad safely backed up (although it is easy enough to do with and iTunes Lightening to USB… »
As mentioned previously, I returned my “out of production” (Europe only) Victorinox SwissFlame knife in for warranty service, and although they could not repair it, they honored the lifetime warranty. Not only did… »
I’ve posted, and have been following, Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers for the last couple of years ever since hearing their first Van Session. I’ll keep updating since the new music continues to appeal to me … and… »
Taylor and his friend Nick took advantage of a long weekend to take a trip from frozen North Dakota to Boulder, Colorado and Wyoming, just as they did over Thanksgiving. They skirted just east of the Rocky Mountains and… »
On a personal update, my Dad is doing a better with a bit of supervision and improved eating and sleeping habits … thanks to my brother Ron and his wife Claire. The last couple weeks instead of living alone at home,… »
Eventually I’m interested in getting the Cape Horn Self-Steering gear working aboard Encore, but I’m still missing a few parts. Two of the crucial items are the Light and Heavy vanes that make the corrections that… »
There was no love lost from customers of Intuit’s Turbo Tax software, and like many, I quickly looked to their competitors when I saw Intuit’s “money grab” in January 2015. Although the company responded with an… »
The U.S. stock market rallied this week and closed Friday in nose bleed territory. The Dow finished the day at 18,019.35 up 47 points and S&P 500 setting a new record as well up .41 percent at 2096.99. The Nasdaq… »
Judging from the suggestions complaints to Google from users making an accidental “mouse swipe” through their online Calendar app, it looks like I’m not the only one frustrated. The problem of scrolling to the… »
The litigious society we live in gets plenty of criticism, most of it deservingly, but all to often the benefits are overlooked. Air travel for example is safer than it has ever been thanks to innovation and attention… »
It is shocking, that with number of music posts over the years that I haven’t included George Ivan “Van” Morrisson … a oversight! Van Morrisson started his long successful music career in an Irish band in the… »
A journalist I really respect, Sharyl Attkisson, delivered a Tedx talk a couple days ago and discussed “Astroturf and manipulation of media messages” as it relates to the perversion of grassroots reporting and… »
When I was down working on our sailboat Encore last week (helped my friend Mark on Zola), I must admit it felt good to be in shorts and flip-flops for a couple days. The weather was sunny but not necessarily hot … but… »
It was a beautiful mid-February weekend here in southwest Ohio and perfect for driving the old Mercedes and washing the salt off our Honda Pilot. On Saturday I drove up to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to… »
Those spending much time around me know that I’m a pocket knife (and tool) kind of guy. I’ve carried a knife ever since I was 5 years old … yes FIVE. I actually still have that “little tiny” inch and a quarter… »
While watching my Twitter feed and tuning into Squawkbox on CBNC (my usual morning routine), the excitement was notable particularly since partisans on both sides of the political spectrum spar to take credit for… »
Years ago back when I was in high school and college, I still had an uninhibited imagination when it came to what mechanical innovations were possible. I wasn’t yet tainted by the words “no, can’t, impossible,… »
While walking out to the boat in the evening, I glanced down to see an odd looking object floating and then sinking in the water next to the dock. Sure enough a quick LED light from the iPhone illuminated the Manatee… »
Give this Native American story some thought … A Native American grandfather tells his grandson that there are two wolves inside of him, fighting for control. One wolf, is the wolf of love, peace, and kindness.… »
(Edited image above to reflect final score) Ok, so that was a bit of a tease since it’s still a few hours before the 6:30 PM kickoff as we wait for what is debatably the biggest sporting event of the year, the… »
The inexpensive miracle cleaner and kitchen staple known as vinegar has hundreds if not thousands of uses … but few of those uses are as helpful as cleaning and dissolving hard water calcium build up. I use a vinegar… »
I’m the prime example of a “hardware-aholic” because I needed to replace a couple stainless steel hose clamps and ended up buying over 3 pounds of used clamps. I know grocery and clothes shoppers do it, but my… »
After 6-years of saving $2,500 each year on our “unchanged plan” or greatly improved “21st century” Obamacare health care plan, Democrats in congress and President Obama have made it possible for average… »
Our mouse and rodent catcher made an appearance on Monday afternoon just after the snow had finished up for the day. The bright afternoon sunshine came out and must have brought out both the hunter and his prey?… »
It’s really not a laughing matter, but a drone flying around the White House is unfortunately a sign of the times. Technology has advanced to the point that a person who wants a quadcopter or UAV can probably… »
We celebrated my dad’s birthday this past weekend with pizza and conversation at my brother and sister-in-law’s in home. While it is difficult to see my dad getting older and more feeble, I’m still thankful he is… »
I picked up a book, The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II, published in 1997 and written by the late Iris Chang. I decided to read it after a bit of Twitter sparring with CBJapan1 and his/her… »
The auto shows across North America are in full swing for the winter of 2015 and while keeping an eye to what is coming is always interesting, there are a few quiet stand outs that have peaked my interest. The capable… »
If you are an Apple Macintosh user and have been living with a cluttered desktop, give the free program Hocus Focus a try … if you like it, make a donation. The purpose of the small program is to automatically hide… »
My wife has been busy cleaning out our closets and getting rid of “old stuff.” One the the items dates back in 2003 and brought back memories of my “space girl.” My daughter Katelyn was inspired by science… »
After taking notes during the State of the Union address I went to bed disgusted rather than hopeful … even though I knew in advance the direction President Obama would be saying in his address. Call me sentimental or… »
The Twitter updates last night kept me up late than usual as I contemplated how this would impact traffic on I-75. The heavy construction north of Cincinnati has been challenging the last year or so and having the old… »
Once I priced a rebuilt brake caliper the 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel, I knew I would be rebuilding the the caliper this past weekend, especially since the seal kit was only $9.00 on eBay. The project was pretty… »
One can’t help but smile watching the Dover Delaware Police cam video with one of their officers lip syncing to “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift. That said, one of my videos infringed on an Oprah Winfrey segment… »
Football was on call for Sunday afternoon and evening with the final two NFL playoff games. First was perhaps the most exciting game I’ve watched in a long time seeing the conservative play-calling of the Green… »
I’m sure this idea has been around for a while since I’ve even tried my hand at welding with a car battery … but did you know you can create fire by cutting gum foil and using a small 1/1/2 volt battery?… »
While visiting my dad in Sidney, Ohio this week I could help but catch the headlines in the local paper – Honda invests $340M in AEP (Anna Engine Plant). The area has certainly changed since I was in high school …… »
Back when my hearing binaural, I use to enjoy listening to music. In the late 1990’s when Meniere’s affected my hearing and the vertigo became part of my life, I completely avoided sound, including music … or… »
It has been a few years since my wife and I have gone to the movie theatre, but when Katelyn and Drew were visiting they convinced us to go with them to the movie Unbroken. Besides being a history oriented true story… »
While watching the stock market decline and gold prices rise this week (Swiss franc against the euro decoupling) and listening to economists suggest deflation is likely, it is becoming clear that the slowdown overseas… »
While posting a few bits on Facebook this weekend, I ran across a January “sale” for Cubic Mini Woodstove sized for RVs and boats. I’ve entertained the idea before and concluded that a small propane fired… »
Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee
lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.