A better USB cable – 28/24 AWG and Gold plated connectors

| July 31, 2014

A couple of days ago I whined about my failed or failing charging/sync cables used  on phones, tablets and electronic devices. I then started searching for the replacements but was discouraged with the delayed shipping for non-branded cables from China. Then after reading about the cheap quality, I revisited Amazon decide to find out if […]

Viewers opine on $FB vs $TWTR as an investment

| July 29, 2014

My morning routine includes turning on CNBC for my business news, trading and investing “fix” and the segment on the Facebook vs. Twitter social networking challenge peaked my interest. As expected, the focus was primarily which stock would make an investor the most money. Obviously Facebook has a significant lead both in platform maturity and […]

Let’s see how Griffin and Jawbone respond to my complaint

| July 29, 2014

  FAILED … is a common complaint with the charging and synchronization cables used on portable electronics. First (above), my premium Griffin branded power blocks cord that I use at my desk (not rolled and unrolled) for charging my iPad failed. I suspect it is the connector, but maybe the cable? The second is only […]

Be sure to accurately factor inflation when retirement planning

| July 28, 2014

I regularly eyeball the government’s reported CPI inflation data (although question the applicability for real living in America?), and am concerned for those planning or already retired living on their “conservatively” invested savings. Many that I’ve talked with moved to cash positions after the 2008 recession or moved to much more conservative investments. Others hold […]

Waiting on our Elio

| July 27, 2014

The interesting Elio “personal vehicle” has interested me since I first saw the companies marketing some time ago, but recentely decided that I wanted to get my reservation (with the 50% promo) in before it expires. The car, if you call it that, is price much lower than one would expect and looks to offer […]

In praise of teachers who go above and beyond

| July 26, 2014

It is pretty easy to be cynical as a squeezed taxpayer seeing the waste and excess by those who manage public money. I regularly deride the inefficiencies in publically funded programs … particularly those highlighted in the news. (ie. VA, IRS, quirky grants and crony project contracts like Solyndra or “the bridge to nowhere” – […]

Are you prepared for a Coronal Mass Ejection–CME?

| July 25, 2014

Did you know that in July of 2012 that the earth was nearly hit by a CME (video)? According to the Nation Academy of Sciences, the cost of a large CME similar to the July 20, 2012 “storm” could cost $2 Trillion. On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely […]

Video: Slo-Mo shooting clays with a silenced shotgun

| July 24, 2014

A miscellaneous filler video that I found interesting both for the silencer on a shotgun (haven’t seen that before) and the slow motion.

Fires in Canada spread smoke south of the border

| July 23, 2014

Last weekend while traveling in North Dakota, we ran into the smoke from the many boreal forest fires burning in the Northwest Territories in Canada on Sunday. At first I wasn’t sure why the normally crisp clear skies were so hazy, but then Taylor told us about the smoke blowing south from the 156 currently […]

Reducing the IRS corporate tax bite with oil industry MLPs

| July 22, 2014

After my recent visit to North Dakota and the oil fields … AND seeing what has happened in one short year, I talked with my son ways of trying to invest in this oil boom (the “invest in what you know” philosophy). Of course I tried to look at what he sees from a “planners” […]

Obit: James Garner was one of my all time favorite actors

| July 21, 2014

Time moves forward and it is always noticeable when the steady stream of celebrities and notable figures retire from public life or succumb to illness or age. One such favorite of mine was James Garner, an actor I enjoyed while growing up, died in his home at age 86 this past weekend. His role as […]

Busy, busy, busy … with Taylor up in Williston, ND

| July 20, 2014

After our visit with Katelyn and Drew in Minneapolis ( 7/18 & 7/19), we flew up to Williston, North Dakota to see Taylor. Flight and weather were great and after dinner our first night we stopped at Taylor’s Williams County Zoning and Planning office (below) and took an evening hike along the levy east of […]

Archive: More photos from our July 2014 visit to Minneapolis

| July 19, 2014

  Katelyn forwarded a few of her photos from our visit to Minneapolis. We really did have a great time visiting and KNOW that they will “enjoy” at least the next three years while in Minnesota for Drew’s hematology fellowship; at this point I can see them staying far longer … but then again, it’s […]

Having a great time with Katelyn and Drew in Wayzata, MN

| July 18, 2014

  We’ve been having a wonderful time enjoying what Minneapolis, Minnesota has to offer “in the summertime” with Katelyn and Drew. Our couple of days has been filled with activities from picture hanging and yardwork to bike riding and fine dining (photos above from 6Smith in Wayzata).

Using roller casters to increase the height of and old table

| July 17, 2014

When the rain came this past week, I turned to an indoor project that we’ve been tossing around: “How to aesthetically increase the height of an antique table?” After toying with a couple ideas for increasing the height of my mother-in-laws old table that we now have in our kitchen, I opted for adding ball […]

Archive: European hatch screens idea for Encore

| July 16, 2014

Our sailboat Encore is in need of a better hatch screen system, so in my search for roll-able, but sloppy looking velcro stick-up screens to replace our ill-fitting fix framed screens, I came across this simple European idea. The stiff wire frame (stainless steel?) is covered by a stitched on polyester “no-see-um” type mesh screen […]

Choking up the Internet and wireless highway with Tweets

| July 15, 2014

I didn’t think I spent all that much time posting comments to Twitter, but over the years it does add up. I noticed that my Volkswagen Crossblue post Monday hit the 9000 mark (below). But then it occurred to me that those tweets don’t include the automatic notifications sent out by WordPress MyDesultoryBlog.com … add […]

New Volkswagen Seven-passenger CUV to be built in Tennessee

| July 14, 2014

  As hinted a few times before, Volkswagen has now officially announced that it will be building the new “yet to be named” seven passenger CUV  in Chattanooga, TN. The attractive American-sized crossover will help VW compete in the popular SUV/CUV market come 2016. Many VW enthusiasts (and potential new customers) with growing families have […]

Worth it? Six months with Sodastream and Diet Coke

| July 13, 2014

In analyzing my Sodastream Christmas gift from the kids … after polishing off the original soda flavors … my 5 gallons of Diet Coke concentrate will last about 6 months. My wife Brenda unfortunately did not become a fan (lifetime Diet Pepsi addict) although I adjusted my daily refreshments choice to primarily the paintball carbonator […]

A cooler mid-July followed by a weak to moderate El Niño

| July 12, 2014

In planning our upcoming trip visiting the kids, a quick search of the weather indicated that we are in for a cooling spell which will feel good in mid-July IF it happens. I also ran across the  National Weather Service predictions for a weak-to-moderate El Niño. According to the NOAA site, “typical El Niño impacts in […]

TechFriday: Hummingboard-another tiny computer competitor

| July 11, 2014

Those who enjoy tinkering with Linux and the small and inexpensive  Raspberry Pi will love the new $45 (Intro price) credit card sized HummingBoard computer.

Does a generous welfare benefit create a work disincentive?

| July 10, 2014

I listened to a debate on CNBC on Wednesday morning featuring Princeton economics professor Alan Krueger discussing the problems of long term unemployment which lead to Joe Kernen suggesting there are financial disincentives to taking entry level jobs … the kind of work the unemployed need to gain experience. Krueger discounted that people weigh the […]

Service call frustrations and personal rant … deuxième partie

| July 9, 2014

Cable and phone companies generally get the bad rap for arranging questionable appointments and providing disappointing in-home service. Well a third company is in contention for the top spot: AE Door & Window. Last week we had another spring break in our garage door (different one) and since we could drive a different car, this […]

Thinking about Volkswagen TDIs again. Thanks Tim! #sarcasm

| July 8, 2014

  Although it may seem as if our garage of family Volkswagens has dwindled in recent years (we’re down to Taylor’s GTI), I’m still thinking “seriously” about the new Golf Sportwagen IF it comes equipped as rumored in early 2015. Hopefully decision-makers are paying close attention to about every VW TDI enthusiast that I know (including […]

Our family celebrated the 4th of July in FOUR different places

| July 7, 2014

First … my son Taylor took a few days away from work in Williston, North Dakota to going backpacking with a few guys in Glacier National Park – Montana. His weather was picture perfect and besides being out of shape for the long an challenging hikes, he had a fantastic time. I’m so glad he […]

No waves? No problem.

| July 6, 2014

Now tell me that these electric surfboards wouldn’t be fun? Depending on charging and battery life, having one of these would be great at a beach cottage or to have when cruising or chartering. An Aquila Electric Board has to be better than “sea lice” when it comes to noise.

Tech Friday: Low cost or free wireless data based on apps

| July 4, 2014

For those of use experimenting with free wireless plans and wondering if it is possible to have free cellphone service WITH data, Freedompop is inching closer. So far my experience has been marginal with both the limited free phone service and wireless hotspot. Usually when using data I push my 500MB per month limit and […]

Nissan EV Leaf replacement batteries cost $5,499 with exchange

| July 3, 2014

If you’re thinking about saving a few fuel dollars and are contemplating driving an electric-vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, be sure to factor the price of a new battery into your “energy savings” numbers. Nissan’s replacement battery for the popular EV Leaf is $5,499, which includes a $1000 credit for the old battery. That’s a […]

Inflation: Prices are higher, but are they out of proportion?

| July 2, 2014

  I’ve been doing some reading lately from those concerned about an uptick in inflation. Since many of the writers are the same people who have been warning for years about inflation, it is easy to take their analysis with a yawn and a bit of skepticism. Still, my commonsense indicator has also kicked in […]

Looks like Encore and I will be wet for a bit

| July 2, 2014

Arrived at the boat Tuesday evening after a long day of traveling … flight delays and rain squalls driving I-95 south from Orlando. All was well but wet as expected. Hopefully Tropical Storm Arthur will track a little faster and as expected taking the current 50 mph wind and rain with it. I’d like to […]

Landing a Harrier jet aircraft on a stool

| July 1, 2014

The U.S. Marine Corps has some talented pilots, including Capt  William Mahoney landing his AV-8B Harrier aircraft, along with equally skilled U.S. Navy 6th Fleet support crews. What a landing. Thanks for protecting our country and keeping us safe!

Weather watching as INVEST91L decides what it is going to do

| July 1, 2014

Packing list for this week: Repaired autopilot: ck Tool bag: ck Hurricane prep list: ck Clothes bag: ck Computer bag: ck Weather forecast – pack RAIN GEAR … Well that last one might not be going quite like I planned. So much for scheduling my trip for Encore’s hurricane prep for the first of July. […]

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.