Playing with our Baofeng UV-5Rs and contemplating antennas

| November 30, 2013

My friend Jeff and I had a chance to get today Friday afternoon and catch up on life. We enjoyed our semi-regular Mexican lunch and talked about work, church, family and our mutual amateur radio hobby. He’s been a Ham (N4XKJ) since we went to our first HamCation back when he was living in Orlando […]

Tech Friday: Simple access to the iPhone scientific calculator

| November 29, 2013

Every once in a while we surprise ourselves with a “duh” moment. One where our eyes are opened to something we “should have” known about.  A few weeks ago while doing some electronics calculations in my Amateur Radio studies, I needed to use a scientific calculator. Using the advanced mathematical functions on any calculator is […]

Thanksgivings have changes a bit over the years

| November 28, 2013

As with many of our holidays, one wonders how much of our tradition is accurate? Very little is known about the first Thanksgiving in 1621 Plymouth, as the references are few. Hopefully all who live in this country can still come together in thanksgiving for our abundance and that “as a nation” give thanks to […]

Starting to think about Thanksgiving … without my kids

| November 27, 2013

It’s almost time to call it a day and begin the long Thanksgiving weekend … well at least for some of us. I’m taking both Thursday and Friday off in order to stretch out the weekend even though Brenda will be working (such is life in medical and retail). We will both be enjoying time […]

Amateur Radio WordPress widget and vanity call signs

| November 26, 2013

Short on time for today’s post although I did add an Amateur Radio HF Propagation widget to my WordPress sidebar. I’m not sure cluttering up the screen with more data is a wise thing, but for now it helps to know which HF bands are open. Continuing with the radio theme, I applied for a […]

Tool question: What is this?

| November 25, 2013

For those with a “tool background,” what is this for? The little hook grips on a clockwise twist of the fancy t-handle and the handle has what looks like a straight bladed screwdriver on the end?

Catch all catch up weekend post and Amateur Radio

| November 24, 2013

It has been a semi-busy and semi-cold weekend for yard chores, but I’m tackling them just the same since waiting for a dry “warm” Saturday and Sunday doesn’t look promising. I started Saturday early and started to tick off the simple indoor items on my chores list thinking that it might warm up, but I […]

Remembering JFK and a Postie plugin test

| November 22, 2013

I was too young to remember much about the assignation of President Kennedy, but the seismic event in our nation’s history has been engrained in our modern history. I heard a bit of audio this morning that I thought would be a “fair” tribute to a beloved president. (also wanted to try see how well […]

No shock here, INTC share price disappoints yet again

| November 22, 2013

In keeping with my previous views, Intel ($INTC) has once again disappointed shareholders with the same share price channel we’ve seen since 2001. I’m still not seeing management concerned in giving shareholders a reason to hold share long term. After disappointing “flat sales” company news, “shares of chip giant and Dow industrials component Intel Corp. […]

Taking a personal look at the Affordable Care Act

| November 21, 2013

Partisanship and opinions aside a moment, I took a serious look at the Affordable Care Act and exchange pricing just to see what it might cost IF one was to retire early and purchase heath care on the exchanges. As a resident of Ohio (or Florida), which both have federally run exchanges, the monthly outlay […]

Introverts and Extroverts … which are you?

| November 20, 2013

I listened to an older NPR story forwarded to me after a book conversation with a friend after we discussed leadership qualities companies value. The book Quiet: the Power of the Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain offered an interesting perspective and set up an analysis regarding where on the […]

VW Think Blue Eco TDI diesel shows promising fuel efficiency

| November 19, 2013

It is about time Volkswagen diesel vehicles demonstrate what is in store for their new TDIs. (European story) Frugal hatchback travels 995 miles from Nantes to Copenhagen without refuelling On a 995-mile test run supervised by German inspection company DEKRA, the Golf TDI BlueMotion has returned an incredible 97mpg.

The pluses and minuses of living in a boomtown

| November 18, 2013

My son Taylor checked in with me during the Bengals win over the Browns for another “battle of Ohio” NFL game this weekend. He is ‘im‘patiently waiting for his new big screen TV to arrive and complains that his little TV is not satisfactory for watching football — in the day of HD it is […]

Quite the weather wallop this Sunday afternoon/evening

| November 17, 2013

My schedule had me driving back and forth from Mercy Anderson Hospital late this afternoon and evening. The drive south earlier was so-so, but the drive home at 6:30 was a little more tedious — mostly wind and rain although heard tornadoes were spotted earlier in Indiana? My mother-in-law (reason for hospital visit) is doing […]

My first amateur radio emergency Tactical Net

| November 16, 2013

This morning was spent working on the leaves again, but I took a break this afternoon to be part of the Butler Country Amateur Radio Association’s (BCARA) emergency communications network (W8WRK). One of my “senior” contacts in the amateur radio club asked if I could do some volunteer community service and represent the Middletown area […]

Financial Markets continue climbing into record territory

| November 15, 2013

The U.S. stock market powered forward again today with the expectation that Janet Yellen will continue the easy money policies as head of the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart above) has investors cheering even as recent bumps attempted to derail the anemic jobless recovery. I doubt the party can continue forever, but […]

Why is it so difficult to find replacement batteries?

| November 15, 2013

I found out my small 28HP diesel “sailboat duty” jump starter had a bad battery last week (my starter and deep cycle battery bank is another story). Yes it was frustrating, but since Encore was still hanging in the travellift slings it wasn’t panic time either. Nevertheless it is time to find a new battery. […]

Always thought the VW TDI diesel would be nice in a Jeep

| November 14, 2013

Nice Jeep project with a Volkswagen TDI diesel for someone with the time and money. It’s not cheap, but well designed and something most VW TDI advocates have thought about. Check out COTYbuilt and their step 1,2,3 components … I particularly like their 2010 SEMA project (video).

It may be a Mazda slogan, but Sprint’s 4g LTE is “zoom, zoom”

| November 13, 2013

Busy day back at work, but noticed some pretty impressive Sprint LTE data service driving on rural I-71 near Wilmington, Ohio (between Cincinnati and Columbus). The LTE light has been popping on once in a while lately (previous posts), but this is about the fastest ping, down and up speeds I’ve seen. As the Mazda […]

Additional problems … looking forward to the normalcy of work

| November 12, 2013

The excuse I made for putting the boat in the water this week was that I would purchase a new refrigerator and have it installed in the Howard family condo before our snowbird tenants arrive in January. Sounds like a simple enough plan, right? Not so this week. The buying was easy enough as I […]

Deep cycle AGM battery bank woes

| November 11, 2013

The bank of three deep cycle AGM marine 105AH were not new when I got the boat and since they were installed in 2006 are considered to be running on borrowed time. Add to it the lousy care I’ve been giving them AND the fact that a non-AGM wet cell was added to the mix […]

Productive day of maintenance with a few setbacks

| November 10, 2013

I spend most of today in the “spacious engine room” (that’s a joke BTW) working on basic diesel auxiliary maintenance. The aging 27 year old diesel has worked hard most of it’s life pushing our Westerly Corsair II around the world bit by bit. Just as with most older gals, Encore no longer measures beauty […]

Back in the water but not without a few glitches

| November 9, 2013

The day was windy for the launch but we opted to sling Encore up and plunk her in the water before her roots took hold of the ground any more. She has been out for quite a while after a few unanticipated repairs and personal events this past year. I “had” thought there was enough […]

Encore is being put back in the water … finally!

| November 8, 2013

Our sailboat has been out of the water far too long considering the hurricane season was a bust this year. I think we would have been better in the water. The hurricane forecast models aside, it has been far too long since Encore had her keel wet even with all we’ve had going on. (Katelyn […]

Melody Key looks like a great getaway

| November 7, 2013

Can you spare a few dollars so I can buy this little island — Melody Key in the Florida Keys is for sale. 

What a racket: The great insurance pricing scam

| November 6, 2013

I had a somewhat frustrating day dealing with insurance policies and realized that we’ve been overpaying for a very long time … unless I’m missing something?  It started with a simple phone call to verify that a 15 year term life insurance policy was indeed expired. A call to the Select Quote people confirmed I […]

Managing online passwords and Lastpass Premium

| November 5, 2013

Keeping track of the ever-changing and growing complexity of passwords got the best of me back in 2010 and I finally committed to Lastpass for “most” of my online log ins and passwords. I’ve been satisfied with the “free” version, but over time I’ve found value and a level of comfort (misplaced?) in cloud-based secure […]

Federal Reserve policies and inflation concerns

| November 4, 2013

Frequent guest and St. Louis Federal Reserve President Jim Bullard discussed making “decisions by the numbers” on CNBC’s Squawkbox this morning. He offered an opinion that current low inflation and a sluggish economy is keeping the Fed’s “loose money policy” in place and that conditions are not signaling a need to taper. I’m probably not […]

Too funny. I had to share.

| November 3, 2013

Staying in touch with family by video calling

| November 2, 2013

Although video chatting isn’t for everybody, I do appreciate seeing a face and a smile when catching up with my son in North Dakota and daughter in Columbus. Skype was once my preferred method (when “Skype to phone” was free), but now between iPads, iPhones and iMacs it is easier to jump on Facetime. Katelyn […]

Great ISS over Europe photo

| November 2, 2013

TechFriday: Get your Personal Google+ URLs now

| November 1, 2013

There are 3rd party options which redirect long strings for URLs, but most users prefer grabbing the official personalized ones when they are available. Facebook offered user names a couple years ago and Google is slowly getting it together by including real names. You should probably claim your name now if you want a custom […]

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.