How do you load your dishwasher?

Posted By on July 5, 2015

More than 40% of Americans surveyed said they fight over how to load the dishwasher, according to appliance maker Bosch. (see WSJ)

-More than 70% of users choose the ‘normal’ cycle every time, even though dishwashers now have specialized settings.

-Stainless-steel pans get cleaner in the dishwasher but never wash cast-iron or nonstick pans there.

-Appliance and soap makers urge against pre-rinsing dishes. But some people insist on doing it anyway.

-For safety, point knives down. Mixing utensils in the basket avoids ‘nesting’ and gets them cleaner, but it can add several seconds in unloading time.

-Glass and plastic are usually safer on top, where water pressure and heat are less intense. New rack designs accommodate beer steins and mason jars.

-Loading flatware and large utensils into a third rack takes precision, but it frees up space below.

 

Listening to the fireworks as the sun sets on July 4, 2015

Posted By on July 4, 2015

New Sperry Topsider insoles from TheInsoleStore.com

Posted By on July 4, 2015

Once in a while when commenting online about an item that I use, someone will ask me if I tried or would like to try their product. If the cost is reasonable, or no-charge, I’m usually happy to give it a try.

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A company called TheInsoleStore.com after reading one of my posts about Sperry Topsider boat and insoles asked if I would like to try out a few of their offerings. They sent me several pair and I will gladly give them a try.

Sperry Topsiders, and their generic copycats, are my favorite shoes and I’ve worn them for 40 years. I’ve used them both for “dockside” or “everyday” wear as well as on the boat “sailing.” All brands of these leather shoes have the same problem – after wearing them barefoot and getting them wet, they stink  … as my 2012 post lamented.

Enter my search for a way to either prevent them from smelling — either treat them with something or buy new shoes. Since my shoes will usually smell before I wear them out, I decided to try a different solution: insoles.

Insoles Testing:

Felt/wool insoles — To save a few dollars, the inexpensive felt insoles can toss in the wash and a few years ago purchased some from China on eBay and have been disappointed – they smell odd even before they are worn? That said, I’m giving the felt insoles from TheInsoleStore an initial try. They are soft on the foot “initially” but do tend to pack-down as they are worn. We’ll see how they do through the summer.

Foam — Another pair of insoles made from foam are in my recently restored (cough, cough) Topsiders, and I already like the foam better than the felt/wool.

Black felt — I sent a pair of black felt (charcoal inside perhaps?) to my son who has  sweatier feet than me … so we’ll see what he thinks. They have an interested bottom which stays in the shoe better than the simple felt insoles.

Supportive — I’m anxious to try a more support style insole in the Sperry’s that I keep on the boat. They are more of a “water shoe” than the leather Topsiders, but are very thin soled and uncomfortable even walking to and from the boaters lounge on the dock … so I’ll be interested to see in the new insoles help.

Leather — Finally I’m going to put a pair of the thin leather insoles in my Allen Edmonds leather dress shoes. The don’t get nearly the abuse of a barefoot boat shoe, but since Tyler from TheInsoleStore.com sent me them to try, I will.

leatherinsoles

Some advice:

  1. The first line of defense is keeping your leather shoes somewhat dry … which is not always easy around water; for that I use a waterproofer like beeswax.
  2. Don’t wear the same pair of leather shoes everyday. Rotate between a couple of pair and let them dry or air out before putting them on again.
  3. Switch insoles. As mentioned previously, I’m a fan of the SofSole brand of insoles and have purchase a couple pair at Finishline. They are a bit more expensive but do hold up well.
  4. Less effective are sprays and powders … although I did try using baking soda and putting them in the freezer (yes, in a ziplock bag).

TechFriday: No FREE Windows 10 for Parallels on the Mac yet

Posted By on July 3, 2015

NoWindows10_Parallels4iMac

So much for “considering” Windows 10 on my iMac (Parallels). And here I was thinking that upgrading a couple of Windows machines wouldn’t be as expensive as in the past … with Microsofts FREE upgrad offer and all. (Parallels is working on a solution)

upgradewindow10free

Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as free upgrade for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices. It will be available starting July 29, 2015; people can reserve their free upgrade today.

You only have until July 29, 2016 to take advantage of this offer. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.

More info

Video: The robins have been busy this year–brood two!

Posted By on July 2, 2015

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As with baby birds in previous years, the same tree is being used by the robins … with a new nest … again. This is the second brood for this pair of robins for 2015. They do have ugly chicks … and this guy is pretty weak (watch him flop below).

Crowdfunding with StartEngine.com and ElioMotors

Posted By on July 1, 2015

Investing in startups outside of a business where I have been hands-on management has never panned out successfully for me …  so I’m not sure why I think ElioMotors will be different? In other words, treat that last statement a warning and my skepticism beyond seeing a new car company as interesting and exciting IF you are interested as an investor. Raising the capital for such a large venture is not going to be easy, but I wish Paul Elio and his team well. If I had an automotive industry background, it would sure be exciting to be on the ground floor and working 24×7 to build another facility (two ground up faculties in my past).

startengineelioinvestment

Elio Motors has partnered with StartEngine.com, a platform for crowdfunding investments. A new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling, Regulation A+, has made it possible for start-up companies to “test the waters” and see if there is sufficient interest from potential investors. StartEngine.com is assisting us with this effort so that we can stay in compliance with the regulation.

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Leap Second: Are you ready to lose a second of your life?

Posted By on June 30, 2015

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This might be a big deal for someone doing computerized “flash trading” but for most of us it would have gone unnoticed for the bulletin. So as a service to you, be warned … you’ll probably get “one-second” less sleep tonight.
Smile

Who says Greece is too small to impact world markets?

Posted By on June 30, 2015

Seems like about every article I read pointed to the fact that Greece’s economy is only “half the size of Ohio” and that we are insulated from the turmoil over this game of chicken they are playing with the IMF and pending $1.73B payment default. Still traders on Monday in about every market decided this just might be the time to sell stocks? Ouch … it was quite painful if you are holding equities.

WSJIndices150629

What’s the quick story on Greece?

Greece owes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 1.5 billion euros on June 30th. Greece cannot pay that right now, so they are trying to borrow more money to pay the IMF. In order for the IMF to lend more money, they want Greece to agree to tough terms to rein in spending. That sounds good in theory, but these same terms make it hard for Greek economy to grow.

Greece unexpectedly announced a nationwide vote (or referendum) on July 5th to let the voters decide if they will agree to the loan terms. If the voters agree, the negotiations will end and Greece will accept the loan. If they do not agree, there would still be time to compromise, but the risks that Greece will leave the Eurozone will be more likely than not.

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Looking at Google Analytics for My Desultory Blog

Posted By on June 29, 2015

GoogleAnalytics150622I’m bummed to see that total views on MyDesultoryBlog are down about 10% this past year. The drop-off may have to do with  more users looking at things on their mobile devices?

Blogs, mine in particular, are difficult to read on a small screen phone and longer copy (like the previous two posts) are not even going to be attempted (I’m thinking about own mobile viewing habits). If content isn’t included specifically for tablets or more importantly “phones” it looks as if  MyDesultoryBlog will be a less than desirable mobile read?

Hmm … what should be done to better accommodate mobile devices?

History repeats-Part 2: This is how we know we are getting old

Posted By on June 28, 2015

Read ONLY if you don’t’ mind getting lost in the weeds. I felt bit lost in my own country after the Supreme Court decisions this week and am concerned for the future. As a Christian, I’m trying to looking past my own traditional value and faith-based Biblical beliefs which have long been part of our country and hoping that there will be positives that I currently don’t see. Perhaps reflecting on previous generations will help?

Part Two (yesterday was part one)

My parents relaxed a bit when the draft ended in the mid-1970s, the movements grew old and burnt out (as did the participants) … but they still questioned the changes facing the country. Teens were playing that “loud obnoxious rock and roll music,” even as the psychedelic drug use faded. The attention seeking “dirty hippies” went more anti-establishment most chose a more “laid back” life … often in their California communes. They were no longer on the  front lines of change. The uniting force of rebelling against a horrible war, the downfall of the President (Nixon) Iran-hostages-b_thumb[4]had rewarded  solid victories in the area of social change (equal rights, pollution, etc) gave this maturing youth movement  a feeling that they made a difference … even if they began questioning “to what end?” Happiness was still evasive for many.

As always seems to happen, the pendulum swung too far in the 1970s and foreign organizations took advantage of America’s weakness. OPEC financially strangled the U.S. economy by controlling oil and we were ill prepared as a government or a country for this energy crisissound familiar? Islamic extremist (déjà vu) in Iran overthrew the Shah and took over the American Embassy and held Americans hostage. Under President Carter, the U.S. was perceived –correctly— as “passive and weak” … these bold Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line fear no retaliation or at least acted without fear. The U.S. planned a couple rescue attempts with special forces … one failed leaving the U.S. with a public black eye and the other was never attempted. It was an embarrassment to our President Carter, our nation’s people and to its demoralized military.

As mentioned, the pendulum can swing  too far and just as it did in World War II when Isoroku Yamamoto feared he had woken a sleeping giant, and yes … it happened again. The American people were not happy with the conditions they found themselves in and  searched for leadership — found it in Ronald Reagan. The climb back to greatness for our nation wasn’t as easy ronaldreaganheadshot_thumb[17]as it may look when reading a page or two in a history book, but there is no doubt that Reagan’s optimistic vision and confidence rekindled the greatness of our Democracy and the American people. It was a time to be proud of our country, its heritage, its benevolence around the world and yes in American Exceptionalism.

It is amazing when looking back on the Reagan decade and to remember certain things. It started the moment Reagan completed his inauguration speech as the 52 American hostages who held for 444 days were immediately released. Small and large business … and entrepreneurship expanded in the 80s and many new industries grew despite the difficult economy, inflation and high interest rates. Pride and confident soared as government moved out of the way of business, encouraging them to innovate and create new ways to do things. Computers became useful in everyday business … and even in the home. Pride in appearance gave retailers a boost as people wanted to drive a new cars, wear jackets, ties and dresses again. As interest rates fell and incomes rose, people bought homes and upgraded. Investing, saving and accountability for ones future seemed possible. Work was no longer something to “try and get out of” … but something to take pride in. And the military … it gained note of respect. It modernized, it upsized. The sky was no longer the limit … Reagan was talking about defending from  “space” with his controversial SDI – “StarWars program.” Even our arch enemy the Soviet Union recognized the rebound of the U.S. as a world power and knew it was foolish to challenge it or even attempt to keep up. The power of Democratic free market capitalism even convinced the USSR’s leader Mikhail Gorbachev to ponder some form of capitalism. He would be the last leader of the Soviet Union before the Communist Party of the Soviet Union until it dissolved in 1991. (more…)

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.