Roller furling headsail tips from Sailboat-Cruising.com

| August 31, 2014

Archiving a great sailing tip from the sailboat-cruising.com website starting with a tip on how to adjust the jib sheet car when using a roller furling genoa: Deck-sweeping genoas are not wonderful on a cruising boat if you’re at all interested in what’s going on ahead; nor do they work well with furling gear unless […]

Sunrises and Encore projects in Florida this past week

| August 30, 2014

The past week had me on an enjoyable but quick trip to take care of a few sailboat maintenance items in Florida. The sails were re-stitched and needed to be picked up from South Sails as well as new halyards spliced and hoisted. Unfortunately the summer sun has been hard on every exposed part … […]

What car brands are consumers satisfied or dissatisfied with?

| August 29, 2014

Mercedes-Benz leads the pack in having the most satisfied customers, with only the American brand Buick making the “most satisfied” WSJ screen shot. I can’t say that “satisfied” list was a big surprise, but I was shocked that the “least satisfied” brand was Acura … according to the survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Replaced the old halyards and roller furling line

| August 28, 2014

I picked up the repaired sails from South Sails this week and had initial success after stitching in a nylon thimble multiple times (I’m learning) into Encore’s new jib halyard. I still have the main sail halyard to go, but hopefully it will go smoother after the practice? I noticed the old halyards were oversized […]

Archive: Checking a cars recall repair up-to-date-ness

| August 27, 2014

A pass-a-long link for pre-owned used car auto shoppers from my friend Tim Hunter that could be helpful: NHTSA created a new search tool to search vehicles (newer then 15 years old) by VIN to see if they are up to date with all the recalls on the vehicle. https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/

S.W.E.A.T. — Mike Rowe has ideas that needs to be heard

| August 25, 2014

Uncommon brilliance from a voice “for” the common man … that would be Mike Rowe. His answer to a reader Facebook post from earlier this month is worth reading. Off The Wall Interesting conversation over on the wall. It was started by a guy called Jayson LaVictorie, who has posted a few thousand words about […]

Keeping my eye on Tropical Storm Cristobal

| August 24, 2014

It looks like all the weather models are keeping tropical storm Cristobal offshore which is both good for Encore as well as my travel plans … although those in, or going to, Bermuda may want to be prepared for some wind and rain.

The Way Forward: Who has the right idea? Paul Ryan?

| August 24, 2014

The stock market roars to new highs as the summer comes to an end, but investors continue pouring money into higher risk equities as if they have forgot what can happen. This is in part due to the low yield in fixed income assets and the new indice highs have more than a few economy […]

The new halyards for Encore are ready for splicing

| August 23, 2014

The convenient way to replace running rigging on sailboats are to purchase lines pre-made for a particular boat at places like SailboatOwners.com.  Of course that would be the “easy” way, but it does discourage upgrading shackles and thimbles or whipping and splicing your own lines. Since our Encore is strictly a cruising sailboat, the premium […]

TechFriday 2: Testing embed.ly with an Elio video story

| August 22, 2014

A second Tech Friday post: I’ve been looking for an excuse to try embed.ly … so here it goes with a Fox Business News Elio story … and a good PR one at that.

TechFriday: My three favorite cases for the iPhone 5 and 5s

| August 22, 2014

After almost two year of using several different wraps and “powered cases” for my iPhones, I whittled my picks down to three … or 4 if you consider “no-case” as an option. In fact, using the iPhone without a case makes it very small and lightweight; slipping the tiny iPhone 5 and 5s in a […]

Quick police response: I thought you said no one was available?

| August 21, 2014

VJ Day and what has happened to the dollar since 1946

| August 20, 2014

There were a few articles on VJ day this past weekend marking the anniversary of Victory over Japan and focused on the relief we felt ending World War II. While glancing at the front pages, it made me realize how the dollar has lost value … or if you’re dollar biased, how much goods and […]

Jacob Tolliver pounds the piano in an Ohio hardware store

| August 19, 2014

Don’t you wonder what it must have been like to be picking up a few hardware items in Portsmouth Ohio and hear this coming from a young man and an unfinished piano? Impressive. Post by Steve Hayes.

Try this for a Honda Odyssey with a power sliding door problem

| August 19, 2014

Last week my brother asked me to take a look at my dad’s 2001 Honda Odyssey because the power sliding rear doors had both failed. The dealer quoted $200 EACH to fix the door and since both had failed we figured it might not hurt to rule out a fuse or relay. I stopped and […]

Archived: Author Elmore Leonard has a few writing tips

| August 17, 2014

Author and writer Elmore Leonard is known for his crime fiction, but he started out writing westerns. Leonard has written nearly two dozen novels and most of them are bestsellers (Glitz, Get Shorty, Maximum Bob  and Rum Punch).  Ten of his advice tips when it comes to being both a popular and respectable writer are: […]

Technology that helps to avoid hitting a moose in an Elio

| August 16, 2014

While we wait for our Elio, it is interesting to watch the social networking buzz and behind the scenes engineering testing that goes into developing a new vehicle … like thinking about “hitting a moose.” Let’s face it, hitting a moose is not good for any vehicle (or the moose). So, over the years, car […]

What are the chances for an Apple surprise announcement?

| August 15, 2014

Have you been wondering when the notoriously secretive Apple, known for innovative and culture shaping products, will have the next “one more thing?” We all suspect that TV is ripe for Apple-izing and that trendy wearables are ready for the iWatch, but besides those known in-the-works items, what else is up their sleeves? Will the […]

Video: Cooking thawed vs frozen steaks

| August 14, 2014

The things I’m learning later in life. Huh, might have to give this a try?

Highways can only handle so much rain … be careful

| August 13, 2014

Unbelievable rainfall causing flooding this morning in Long Island NY (photo above – Southern State Parkway near Exit 37 – Belmont Ave) this morning a day after watching the same thing happen in southeastern Michigan yesterday (photos below).   It is shocking to see these kinds of “highway” photos, but one can only imagine how […]

As a car guy and a frugalist, it is still better to reside in Ohio

| August 13, 2014

As both an automotive enthusiast and budget minded “frugalist,” I regularly grumble and complain about the cost of owning a car cars. From insurance and registration each year to the ever rising price of a new car and the fuel pumped into it, there seems to be no end to forking over dollars. Recently both […]

Books: Looking forward to reading a friend’s first novel

| August 12, 2014

A long time client and now retired friend, Clyde Witt, is publishing his first novel. He has always written stories in a style appeals to me … although his politics still needs some work (a personal joke).  I’m anxious to pre-ordered a copy of his book to read and review. One of the advantages of […]

A special Happy Birthday to the person I love the most

| August 12, 2014

For those of you wondering, I AM talking about my wife Brenda. Happy Birthday. We don’t generally make a fuss over birthdays like some couples, but we do try to do something thoughtful or go out to a nice restaurant. Don’t tell her, but this year I found the first three seasons of one of […]

Fly Me To The Supermoon

| August 11, 2014

A plane flies in front of a supermoon above Westminster in central London en route to Heathrow airport on August 10, 2014. The full moon is positioned closest to the earth on its orbit in over 20 years. It is 50,000 kilometers closer than normal and 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual. The scientific […]

Added a new fuel filter to our John Deere 330

| August 11, 2014

  One of the small projects this past weekend was to replace the plastic disposable fuel filter on my John Deere 330 a new inexpensive diesel fuel filter (less than $10). The new filter has a glass site tube and fits my modified fuel lines. The element inside this small filter is replaceable (3 for […]

Video: A short documentary about living on a sailboat

| August 10, 2014

A well done short video in The Atlantic about David Welsford living the vagabond lifestyle (“dirtbag” – his comment)  on a 50 year old wooden sailboat in the Caribbean. A dream for many … a nightmare thought for others.

Follow up from my TechFriday First World Email Problem

| August 9, 2014

Ok … scratch this week’s Tech Friday post on setting up the iPhone to receive Gmail as if it were “push” rather than “fetch” (the only way Apple’s email client can receive free Gmail nowadays).  Unfortunately my iCloud workaround was a convoluted experiment that wasn’t elegant or simple. I’ve toyed with the idea of switching […]

Good grief … what else should our government subsidize?

| August 8, 2014

Even after the Sandra Fluke plea to congress over free birth control, is hard to believe the 2700 pages of Obamacare overlooked including feminine sanitary products? [/sarcasm] Tweet from noted feminist Jessica Valenti: Twitter friends: Anyone know a country where tampons are free or somehow subsidized? — Jessica ValentiJessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) August 8, 2014

TechFriday: Google Sync workaround for the iPhone and iOS

| August 8, 2014

I am late to the game in addressing a workaround for a newer Apple iOS devices (recently updated my iPhone 5 to a “secondhand” 5s) and the changed Google Sync services. The changes happened in 2013, but since my old devices were still working it wasn’t a big deal … now it is! Initially, iOS […]

Still loving the Sof Sole insoles for my Sperry Top-siders

| August 7, 2014

Another year with the Sof Sole inserts in a couple pairs of my well worn Sperry Top-siders. Too bad I’m not making a commission on either the insoles or the shoes, but that doesn’t prevent me from recommending them. If you’ve “smelled up” your original Sperry insoles, or just need a little more cushion, consider […]

A frequent question: What about an Australian Cattle Dog?

| August 6, 2014

I recently chimed on a forum question regarding dogs for sailboats and a member wanting input on an Australian Cattle Dog. Since we’ve had Tootsie for 16 years now (below), I felt qualified to offer an opinion … besides I wanted an excuse to archive her recent photo. Our “beast” has been a wonderful addition […]

Helping children get an education and a fiscally strong start

| August 5, 2014

Learning from wise parents and grandparents is a generational gift that isn’t given enough credit, especially since we ask: “What’s happening to America?”  A: Families are changing. I grew up watching teenagers a decade (or less) older than me heading to Vietnam or getting lost in angry 60’s. They (we) followed those dark years of […]

How to truck a whale shark to the market

| August 4, 2014

  Net fishing can indiscriminately harvest the wrong kind of fish as 48 year old Cai Chengzhu found out in Xianghzhi, China. Although whale sharks are a protected species, the fisherman says it accidently got caught in his fishing net. He then loaded it up on his truck and drove 10 miles to Shishi to […]

The Big Lie. Stocks are up, so the economy must be better

| August 4, 2014

While reading President Obama’s comments in The Economist, the same class-warfare ire continues to be flamed for those who believe those living in the United States are against each other: Poor vs. wealthy, CEO vs. employee, ambitious vs. entitled, black vs. white, Democrat vs. Republican, etc. Isn’t it possible that those CEOs and corporations being […]

Summer days do not get much better

| August 3, 2014

  What a beautiful weekend to work out in the garage and yard. There are plenty of chores that “should” be done and a few that I “want” to do … so Saturday I focused on the “want.” Before mowing, I pulled the blades off the Kubota and put an edge back on them (try […]

How to make parents happy and archiving a Katelyn photo

| August 2, 2014

There aren’t many things that makes parents happier than to “see” their children with big smiles enjoying life (thanks for the photos). Katelyn and Drew sent me this summer photo from Lake Minnetonka this past week and the two of them look pretty relaxed in their new surroundings. They found an ice cream shop in […]

TechFriday: Contemplating an iPad upgrade

| August 1, 2014

Ever since I picked up a secondhand iPad2 a couple years ago, it has been my go-to device for traveling, reading and quick notes. I do miss the full computer experience, but it is hard to beat for day to day mobile computing. Truth be told though, I’m starting to have speed envy and wondering […]

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.