Wishing my brother Ron a Happy Birthday and great retirement

Posted By on May 21, 2018

RonBirthdayRetiring180521It is hard to believe that my YOUNGER brother Ron is retiring at 56 years old?!? Shocking, but I’m sure welcomed after a long career with the US Air Force working first in Ogden, Utah and the last 30 years at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

We were very close brothers when growing up as kids, but grew apart as I headed off to college in one direction and he in another. We both married and politely stayed connected as family … but never had the closeness of "best friends" again. The past decade pulled us back closer again as our parents needed "their boys and family" to assist in the later years, then in settling mom and dad’s estate and now as grandfathers ourselves. It is good to feel close to him again ,.. and "want" to get together more often.

Happy Birthday brother Ron – may you have a long and wonderful retirement (sorry for the lousy photo, but this was the only one I took last weekend when we were together!)

Archiving a few shared photos from mid-May 2018

Posted By on May 20, 2018

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First … Taylor and his girlfriend Megan had a great trip to Florida and enjoyed staying aboard Encore. Their weather wasn’t perfect much of the time, but the clouds and rain did prevent the sunburn that we all too often end up with when vacationing in the Sunshine State for a short time.

A couple other message exchanges had me including an “itsy bitsy spider” photo for Annalyn when ordering parts for our now 10 year old Kubota ZD 326s (using my iPhone 7 plus – not bad!) … and then “she” sent a photo back to me offering up a “rock” for grandpa (“what a cutie pie,” was Brenda’s comment – I concur).

 

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Lars Larson interviews Paul Elio about stagnation at Elio Motors

Posted By on May 19, 2018

Although the new auto company Elio Motors has struggled financially to move their production forward, Paul Elio still claims the Shreveport, Louisiana plant is 1-1/2 years from production. Those of use who have deposits and reservations and blog about it in are still hopeful, although low fuel prices, advancements in EVs and American’s love of SUVs has us questioning a new high production model 3-wheel car/motorcycle. Personally I still want one and want a new auto company, but see the move toward partnering with a cryptocurrency as a desperate way to raise capital?

A radio personality Lars Larson had a great interview with founder and CEO Paul Elio last week and it was encouraging. Let’s hope the reality is more than just a money burning dream since too much has gone into this little car to stop now.

  Lars Larson interviews Paul Elio (mp3) | 5/14/2018

Tech Friday: Google changes their paid Drive cloud storage plans

Posted By on May 18, 2018

GoogleDriveLike most longtime savvy Internet users, I use Google more than I would like to admit. I try not to depend on them for everything, but just like with online shopping using AmazonGoogle1DirveGoogle is simply the best at what they do: Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube and Drive/Cloud Storage. The latter has been a weak link in my opinion for those of us seeking low cost or free options … and so I’ve been reluctant to marry into only ONE Cloud Storage option (although Brenda uses a Chromebook giving her plenty of space).

This past week Google has announced a new series of cloud storage plans arriving for Google Account holders, including a new family option for divvying up a single storage plan amongst up to five members. It is called Google One and will replace existing Google Drive paid storage plans (which I do not use).  The new plans break down like this:

  • 100GB storage for $1.99 a month
  • 200GB for $2.99 a month
  • 2TB for $9.99 a month (was $19.99/mo)
  • 30TB for $300 a month (same as previous)

I think the last comparison I did was back in 2015 … and now only a few smaller players are left. I haven’t made a decision yet a, but will likely continue to use the FREE 15GB storage (it will continue to be offered) since I have several Google Accounts to multiply the free storage and spread around my data (I store data in different folders anyway – see odrive comment below).

I also have other favorites for cloud storage, including OneDrive cloud storage with my paid Microsoft Live account; it includes 1TB of cloud storage. If all options were free and equal at this point, my choices between cloud storage I use everyday would be in order as follows:

  1. Dropbox (still my top choice, but pricey if paid for)
  2. Google Drive (number 2 … so a good reason to upgrade to paid)
  3. Microsoft OneDrive (1TB with Live subscription for apps – Word, Excel, etc)
  4. Amazon AWS
  5. Box.net
  6. Apple iCloud
  7. Amazon Drive

Another worthwhile cloud storage HELPER tool is ODrive. It synchronizes all the different cloud storage accounts odrivelogobetween different computers WITHOUT keeping copy of the file on each computer unless you want it. If you use several different cloud services … check it out.

As before, the new Google storage plans provide users with space for Google Drive, Gmail, and original quality photos and videos (including 4K) in Google Photos.

All the paid plans come with access to live chat support, a feature that was previously limited to G Suite business account holders. The changes will be seen first by paying Google Drive users in the U.S. "in the coming months", with rollout to users in other countries shortly after.

A discussion of Muslim coverings required a little research

Posted By on May 17, 2018

I had a discussion early this week regarding the protests over the opening of the U.S. Embassy in the capital of Israel – Jerusalem. The embassy’s move has been promised by the last few presidents, DdLYUK_W4AEy3d4but finally followed through on by President Trump. For all his bloviating and questionable behavior, he does seem to prioritize and follow thru on his campaign promises, unlike most politicians.

The discussion had to do with unarmed Palestinian protestors challenging the Israeli IDF at the border and faking an injury or being disabled. The question of who is “peacefully” assembling to have their voices and numbers heard, and who is looking to inflict harm or use terrorism tactics to forward Hamas. Obviously there continues to be unrest and a desire to eliminate Israel and Jews from the Middle East and the goal to use every incident as a way to gain ground – the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem just the latest. On the other hand, if it wasn’t this, it would be something else, since we are no closer to peace in the Middle East from what I can tell? So … we might as well move forward with a different strategy and work with those who are willing to find a solution.

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Anyway, the discussion had to do with terrorism and the ability to hide one’s identity with cultural and religious clothing … particular head covering. So before using incorrect terms for the garments, I looked them up. From the fully covered Burka to the slightly more liberal Hijab and Dupatta. Now at least I know.
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The BMW X5 35d diesel is set for another 15K

Posted By on May 16, 2018

The BMW X5 35d hit 170,000 miles and that meant it was overdue for an oil change. The last change was also the high end imported Ravenol, but required an extra quart about 4000 miles ago. I suppose that is par for the course now that this diesel is 8 years old? Nevertheless, I do feel spending $80 for 8 quarts of oil and a filter is a bit high for this old of vehicle, but if it prevents early engine and twin turbo wear for another 15,000 miles perhaps it is worth it.

For the last year or so the X5 has been performing flawlessly. Up until my last fuel fill I haven’t had any engine or electrical faults to check on or clear. Unfortunately after the last fuel fill at UDF, a check engine light came on. My initial thought was a loose fuel cap, but re-seating it did not solve the problem. I plugged in my Carly for BMW dongle and iPhone app to clear the code but it continues to return. Pull the printout (below), but I have not been able to figure it out.

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Archive: A few more photos from our days with KDA

Posted By on May 15, 2018

CozysCottageSignI can’t resist archiving a few more photos from Katelyn and Drew’s Google Cloud after spending a few days with them last week and over the weekend at my brother’s for a small family get-together (reunion) and to celebrate my brother’s retirement from Wright Patterson Air Force Base — hard to believe he is retiring so young (56). Drew took a few cute one’s the birthday lunch when they took me to Cozy’s Cottage (local). I posted a couple of mine from The Cone on Saturday, but wanted to add theirs to the blog too … better late than not.

I could also be considered remise on my blog for NOT wishing my daughter a Happy Birthday yesterday … although we did it in person a day or two early. For the record, I am typing this on Sunday, a day BEFORE her May 14th birthday and am dating it to post a day later … so I really didn’t forget (wink, wink).

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATELYN!

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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.