Winding down 2007; markets in review

| December 31, 2007

My family has been enjoying some time out of town and away from the computer, cellphone, Internet and WORK! In full disclosure though, I did make an attempt a post from my Palm Treo 700p as I wanted to comment on my daughter’s new iGo Keyboard, but wasn’t able to get the post and photo […]

Popular Mechanic on clean diesels

| December 30, 2007

Will VW TDI drivers be “dancing the oily polka?”

| December 26, 2007

Although Car and Driver teases TDI drivers with a few MPG one-liners, the fever to get a new TDI is growing. Check out the list of 10 in December’s Car and Driver article: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 31 mpg city/39 mpg highway (est) Vee-Dub diesel die-hards, particularly those who live in the states tied to […]

Merry Christmas 2007

| December 24, 2007

Last night my wife and I enjoyed reading the small Max Lucado coffee table book “One Incredible Moment” in front of our Christmas Tree. Although the book was published in 2006, the segment included below, Mary’s Prayer, was originally part of the Lucado book “God Came Near.” As you prepare for your Christmas celebration and […]

Timing belt intervals improve … but beware

| December 23, 2007

The timing belt replacement is the bane of Volkswagen TDI ownership — partially due to the complexity and cost of servicing, yet it needs to be taken seriously as in any zero-clearance engine. Understanding what’s included in changing timing belts of any car can help one better understand what should be included in this service. […]

Backporch Project gets some stamped concrete

| December 22, 2007

Our backporch project is S-L-O-W-L-Y progressing; about the only thing slower is the airplane project! 😀 The slightly warmer weather this week permitted our contractor a window to pour and stamp concrete although we are in for a change come tonight. Nevertheless, I’m glad to at least get the concrete poured!

Team Cincinnati wins “Clash of the Choirs”

| December 21, 2007

Although I didn’t watch it on NBC TV … or even pay all that much attention to it, the “Clash of the Choirs” reality show saw Nick Lachey’s Team Cincinnati come out on top. (article) In an impressive cappella rendition of Flight of the Bumblebee (video below), the 20 person choir from Cincinnati stunned even […]

Earthrace readies to set sail again

| December 20, 2007

Earthrace, the 78 foot biodiesel powered wave-piecing boat, will attempt another run at the world record in circumnavigating around the world. Skipper Pete Bethune of New Zealand and his crew have reworked the boat after several glitches left them stranded in Europe last spring. (see posts) The next start for the Earthrace Project will take […]

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

| December 19, 2007

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 by a 314-100 margin which is the same legislation that the Senate passed last week. It now moves to the desk of President Bush who has indicated that he will sign it. The promising legislation looks good for the expansion of […]

Amazing Grace … a great movie

| December 18, 2007

Amazing Grace … the movie: This is an excellent movie families over the Christmas break. In fact it might be good enough to actually purchase (Amazon link) … and if you knew my ‘anti-buy DVD when you can rent’ opinion in regard to purchasing DVDs, that actually means something.

Why do you buy a Volkswagen?

| December 17, 2007

For some VW owners, we like the TDI diesel’s fuel efficiency (averaged 45 mpg) and the ability to run clean, domestic, renewable biodiesel. Others just like the styling and crisp European road manors inherent in most VeeDubs. Many appreciate a the fair priced car considering for the exceptional engineering and quality of materials used by […]

Snow, Ice, Curb = Bent Tie Rod

| December 16, 2007

Winter weather has arrived and many drivers ‘new and old’ are remembering how to drive on slippery road again. Having a teenage driver who is still learning to mange rain, ice and snow is a recipe for car repairs — few escape unscathed, from what I can tell? This weekend was the first for my […]

Getting Scrooged this year?

| December 15, 2007

As a filler for a missed Saturday post, I’ll include a tech oriented “just for fun” OfficeMax sponsored ScroogeYourself.com site. If you have a face photo of someone (my son was my trial subject) you can create a short dancing Scrooge video to share with friends and family by email around the Christmas holiday. Check […]

Sonex airplane project update for 2007

| December 14, 2007

I’ve spend the last several years on and ‘more’ off building parts for my ‘scratch’ built Sonex experimental airplane. (note masthead) Recently a retired friend is lending a hand and is encouraging me to move a bit more aggressively on my project. (thanks John) His experience has been really appreciated, as has the influx of […]

Merriam-Webster announces word of the year

| December 13, 2007

It’s “w00t” … spelled with two zeros. Followed by facebook, conundrum and quixotic according to Merriam-Webster.

Canon Inkjet Fax repair/replacement

| December 12, 2007

Last week my office inkjet printer and fax died, or so I thought. It was a multi-function unit that tripled as an inkjet printer, fax and scanner — Canon MultiPASS MP730. I spent a few hours cleaning, Googling for tips on how to fix it and eventually ordered a $50+ printhead. I also called a […]

Fed Fund & Discount rate cut .25 pt – Is it enough?

| December 11, 2007

Although the 2:15 PM Federal Reserve Funds Rate and Discount Rate was exactly what most financial gurus expected — cut .25 point — the markets were hoping for more aggressive action in order to protect the banking industry and U.S. economy. Many believed that a .50 point cut was necessary, although the governors decided 9 […]

Volkswagen + Chrysler?

| December 10, 2007

Interesting: A partnership between Volkswagen and Chrysler for at least one product looks to already be happening — it has people wondering what could be next?

Woodworking tips from Norm Abram

| December 9, 2007

As a hobbyist woodworker, I enjoy watching the New Yankee Workshop occasionally. I happened to catch an episode (a two part series) that offered tips for using a table saw. Although I appreciated all of Norm’s tips, there were a couple helpful ‘homemade’ jigs that I wanted to archive and build in the future. As […]

Base-Jumping with a Mountain Wingsuit

| December 9, 2007

Base-jumping with a Wingsuit? Gulp … wack me upside the head if I’m ever this crazy.

“Cool” sailing video & a “Cold” start to winter

| December 8, 2007

Although I’m not fond of French politics or the occasionally noted attitude toward Americans, I do acknowledge that some of their seafaring citizens have figure out how to get the most from the wind. Check out the impressive hydrofoil multi-hulled sailboat video below as it tows a couple of wakeboarders!

Sonex Builder/Pilot make a hard but safe landing

| December 7, 2007

Fellow experimental airplane Sonex builder Bob Abbaticchio of Florida had just installed some new instruments and returned from testing the gear on Thursday, when he came in too low at the New Smyrna Beach airport (KEVB). According to Bob, an experienced airman and former Air Force pilot, he lined up to land on Runway 2 […]

CARFAX, a marketing approach that works

| December 6, 2007

I’ll admit that I didn’t know much about CARFAX and the company history before seeing this Toyota FJ Cruiser on the road. It stimulated me into looking up the company thinking “hmm, a lot of car shoppers use their services.” I’ve used their services as well to find out the history of a vehicle, but […]

First real snowstorm this December in Ohio

| December 5, 2007

I delayed my travel plans as a quick snowstorm and cold weather covered most if not all of Ohio with a blanket of beautiful white snow. Local schools were closed an a short trip in the morning on the road had me rescheduling appointments. By afternoon all was well and I used my Palm Treo […]

Audi to put a TDI diesel in the TT

| December 4, 2007

For those appreciating performance tweaked TDI diesel engines in our VeeDubs, Audi will be enticing us with by putting a the 2.0L TDI in its attractive 2009 TT sports car. The engine is the same diesel that will be in the A4 and the Volkswagen Tiguan, although it will be tuned to crank out 200 […]

Tivo now works with Picasa and Photobucket

| December 3, 2007

For those of you who enjoy the online photo service called Photobucket or Google’s Picasa and the Tivo DVR, here’s a new feature that makes slideshows easy. According to Engadget’s post, “photos will be pulled down at the highest resolution your Tivo supports, so Series3 and Tivo HD owners will get HD-res images displayed, and […]

“And Then There Were None” play is back on

| December 2, 2007

Shortly after the school year began, Lakota East High School in Liberty Township, Ohio (our local HS) started prepping for a late fall production of an Agatha Christie novel made into theater production they called “Ten Little Indians.” After a complaint was filed from a local member of the NAACP due to the racial history, […]

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.