More work than expected on the Volvo diesel

Posted By on March 3, 2015

Tim working on Volvo

“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…)

Rain, leaks and cold showers

Posted By on March 2, 2015

Drippy Lewmar Hatch

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?  


First post with the new iPad app Blogsy

Posted By on March 2, 2015

Drinking Fountain Toothbrush

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?

How to Use Blogsy

Posted By on March 1, 2015

Welcome to Blogsy!

Let's get started. (more…)

Will ElioMotors hit the price, efficiency and production targets?

Posted By on March 1, 2015

Elio_Top_View_Blk

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.

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Borrowing 13 Hours in Bengazi from library on Overdrive app

Posted By on February 28, 2015

IMG_0386The 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!

What will the new FCC Internet regulations cost the taxpayer?

Posted By on February 27, 2015

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.” 

netneutralitygraphic

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).

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Archive: Small one cup coffee maker without a reserve tank

Posted By on February 26, 2015

hamiltonbeachflexbrewEver 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?

Adding Exxon ($XOM) to a long hold dividend paying portfolio

Posted By on February 25, 2015

With oil prices down and the stock market in rally mode (particularly these top 5 Nasdaq stocks), it might be Exxon5day150224time 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.

TheStreetRating_OilStocks20

 

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Jobs and improving wages depend on corporate tax reform

Posted By on February 24, 2015

CEO Steven Mollenkopf spoke with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures this past weekend about his company Qualcomm Inc. ($70.94 -0.58 -0.81%) and dealing with taxes and low interest rates impact his business decision making.

SMF_StevenMollenkopf150222

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?

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.