The original BLUE Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

Posted By on April 18, 2015

If you’ve been around our house much, you will notice that we always have Dawn Dishwashing Liquid around. It has become our go to product for things other than dishes (use it for that too) as a hand wash, a degreaser and as a way to remove poison ivy oils after working in the yard. The product has developed a reputation similar to WD-40 and Duct/Duck tape. Here are a few more uses:

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Personal: We moved my dad from rehab to assisted living

Posted By on April 17, 2015

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I don’t think many of us are properly prepared to make the decisions that are needed to care for elderly parents. Even though my brother and I have been through medical needs, nursing and then hospice care for my mom, we were still not knowledgeable when it came to handling dad. Thankfully, if you have the time,IMG_5026 copy_m the right decisions can be made – at least that is how we feel right now.

On Wednesday Ron and I moved our dad from his rehab stay to Lane Park in Sidney, Ohio. We struggled over this decision for the last few weeks. We both knew dad was going to need care (both physically and for his memory) and that meant he was not going to be able to return to his home and live independently. Neither of us were satisfied with traditional nursing homes, although dad was amiable if that was the decision. On the other hand, we are fortunate and have the financial ability to look at assisted living options.

Brenda and I looked at places in Liberty Twp and West Chester, Ohio and lobbied for a nice place near our home … while Ron and Claire found very nice places near their house north of Dayton. Thankfully dad made himself heard and decided he wanted to live near his home for almost 40 years, Sidney, Ohio (has it really been that long?) The icing on the cake was when the director at Lane Park said he would transfer dad’s home phone number to his room and host my dad’s veteran buddies for his monthly “penny poker” gathering. We even added an unusual touch to dad’s door by putting up a garage Packard thermometer (dad’s car). That sealed it … we were all onboard (and not bad advertising for others who are getting up in years).

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Wouldn’t it be nice to see the El Camino in production again?

Posted By on April 16, 2015

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When I was in college I worked for a contractor who drove a car-based truck called the El Camino – it was usually seen hauling around a few missing items he had just picked up for the latest project. As I recall, it wasn’t the greatest car … or truck … but to me it represented the shirt and tie part of the company. When John arrived it was in contrast to the rest of the crews dirty and sweaty pick-up trucks and tool vans; he was in air-conditioned, soft seat comfort. On a Friday it also signified that our paychecks were being delivered by the boss and owner (or his wife). After those few summers, the Chevrolet El Camino disappeared (that 5th generation disappear after 1987) … soon to be replace by the SUV and the dressed up pick-up truck. I’m with Rafael below, maybe it is time for something different again?

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One of the more interesting Health Care discussions …

Posted By on April 15, 2015

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NPR’s Tom Ashbrook entertained an interesting discussion around the Cadillac plan tax which is part of Obamacare. If you’ve notice changes in your plan (just as colleges have), you will understand the emotions in the discussion. Well worth listening too … and yes, I’m a conservative who sometimes listens to NPR.

NPR Tom Ashbrook – On Point (MP3) Discusses the Obamacare Cadillac tax

Creativity, engineering, design and modern woodworking

Posted By on April 14, 2015

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How cool is this project and design? Check out Manifattura Italiana Design or for more images look at DesignBoom.com’s post.

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SpaceX Dragon CRS-6 launch postponed due to weather

Posted By on April 13, 2015

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It was interesting while it lasted … the launch of the SpaceX Dragon CRS-6 Falcon9 StormCells1614was scrubbed this afternoon and scheduled for tomorrow, April 14 at 4:10PM; weather could be a problem again.

My daughter Katelyn and her husband Drew were at Kennedy Space Center (photo below) to watch it on their 2nd wedding anniversary (1st). Katelyn, who went to Space Camp and had a NASA Sharp scholarship while in high school, has always wanted to be at a launch.
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Debating the Apple Store App review process–Medium article

Posted By on April 13, 2015

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An article in published in an online story on Medium this past week shared the growing discontent from software developers over Apple’s dominance and authoritative control over “app” reviews. Dave Kushal believes that the slow review process hurts the reliability as well as “impedes the pace of innovation.”  While I’m somewhat in agreement with Dave, I also am happy with Apple keeping iOS devices reliable, fast and safe from garbage (yes, their opinion). Could Apple do more to speed up the review process and be quicker to help developers quickly fix bugs … definitely. BUT there hasn’t been a huge outcry from users about buggy apps or that the slowish day or two fix is too slow. I other words, most users who spend their money are satisfied with Apple’s current approach to their testing and releasing of new apps.

One area I am becoming more and more concerned with is over Apple becoming the “arbiter of taste and speech,” just as I am with Google. Personally, I prefer a clean from porn and violence Apple Store, but am growing concerned that one companies point of view does dictate their views on users … this is particularly concerning when their view is different than mine – half joking and smiling! (isn’t that the way it always is?). The point is that  it is a slippery slope when it comes to one company’s religion, politics or having a “points of view” different than others. The issue has even become more noticeable in recent months as companies, and high profile CEOs, interject their POV and corporately threaten states over divisive issues.

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Then there is the “in app advertising and purchases.” At what point does Apple garner too much control over where someone purchases items. Kushal’s example highlights users not being able to bypassing Apple’s “30% cut” when clicking links to buy books for the Kindle app (Amazon being a competitor) or videos  in the YouTube app (owned by Google). There is a point where Apple prowess nears predatory business behavior.

Finally there is the criticism that Apple’s “rules are subjective and poorly enforced.” This would be difficult to prove although developers can throw Apple’s own comment the comment back at them … “we know it when we see it.” On the other hand, this kind of criticism in true for all but the most “open” open source software portals.

Disclosure: I might have a slightly biased opinion since I am a long time Apple shareholder and have purchased and used their products since the 1980s. I do TestFlight pre-release and early build testing for several iOS apps and have enjoyed beta testing software for developers in Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Palm, WebOS and iOS for decades.

Selling coupons on ebay … very entrepreneurial

Posted By on April 12, 2015

sellingcoupononebaySelling coupons on ebay is very entrepreneurial. 

While I’m not a regular ebay seller, I often check prices and buy parts for cars and the boat. When my search screen stated to display pages of ads “selling discount coupons,” it sounded crazy.

But people must be finding a market for clipping and selling those unique deep discount coupons?

For example, the normal Harbor Freight online coupon for their 3 Gallon Pancake compressor is $59.99 … but with a “special coupon” – for $4.99 plus 49 cents postage on ebay — you could save another $20! How creative is that!

One person’s “crazy” is another person’s “genius.”

When pigs (or pugs) fly …

Posted By on April 11, 2015

Perhaps there is a little innovative Cincinnati (Porkopolis) marketing inspiration here?

Americans have a positive outlook for a rich country

Posted By on April 10, 2015

Jared Keller’s article in The Atlantic last month focused on the observation that “outside the U.S., fewer people in rich countries describe their day as a good day.”  For the most part, Americans are hopeful and optimistic as compared to their peer in other first world countries. (the graphic below is interesting on several levels)

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It’s been noticed by foreigners and social observers throughout the centuries that there is “energy, enthusiasm and confidence” in America (Irish philosopher Charles Handy) and that it contrasts with the world cynicism in much of Europe. 

Alexis de Tocqueville, a French observer of American life at the beginning of the 19th century, observed that the Americans of his day “have all a lively faith in the perfectibility of man … They all consider society as a body in a state of improvement.” Political and social observers have echoed this sentiment for centuries, enshrining optimism as an essential feature of not just the abstract ‘American Dream,’ but also of the social and economic institutions of American civil society.

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.