Flat tire and shocking blowout on the Mercedes 300D

| November 30, 2014

While buzzing up the interstate in the old Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel, I noticed a slight mushiness and then a boom. After I unloaded a full trunk of junk onto the side of the road, while the snow was blowing (ugh!), I made a tire change that would have made NASCAR pit crews proud. Unfortunately […]

Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance: Loyalty rewarded–NOT!

| November 29, 2014

I received a letter from Liberty Mutual, my auto insurance company, earlier this month “appreciating my loyalty”  … until I looked at the details – Eligible in 2019 — hmm, must be a mistake? So … I first called the number on the bottom of the letter and reached the corporate folks so that they […]

Paint our Elio red, please …

| November 28, 2014

With the “Elio upgrade Holiday Promotion” that will help lock in my “SIL” (Spot in line) and 50% bonus offer on an Elio … and a need to spend money on Black Friday without going to the stores [/sarcasm], I’ve upgraded my “ALL IN” status making a true commitment to this new car company. Paint […]

Enjoying life where you live when you can

| November 28, 2014

Our family was not together this year for Thanksgiving, but Katelyn, Drew and Taylor made the most of the holiday … well particularly Taylor and his friends Tyler (L) and Nick (R). The three buds up in Williston, ND stretched the weekend out and decided to drive up to the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Lake […]

Happy Thanksgiving–Do you have your Christmas tree yet?

| November 27, 2014

I couldn’t believe it, but Katelyn and Drew have picked out and set up a real Christmas tree already. I know she is probably anxious for Christmas, but before a tree before Thanksgiving seems a little crazy … but then it is Minnesota? Christmas aside, it is time to celebrate Thanksgiving … like they did […]

Sailboats are a great place to relax, even when not sailing

| November 26, 2014

Took this photo while enjoying a warm and quiet evening relaxing in the cockpit before heading for home and back to less attractive weather, but it will soon be Thanksgiving and a time to be “thankful.”  I’ll need to keep reminding myself that when the snow starts to fly! On the positive side, having a […]

Nearly 8 years and 10,000 tweets as @richc on Twitter

| November 25, 2014

Twitter has been my preferred social networking connection since February 2007 as @richc (and as a blog announcement @mydesultoryblog) and tweets are nearly 10,000.  Hmm, I wonder what it should be … maybe this post? As for social networking, I prefer Twitter for immediate news, customer service issues and a quick exchange of ideas or […]

Might be time for less restraint and more proactive policing

| November 25, 2014

I’m typing a few thoughts after watching the opportunists tear up cities in our country after the grand jury decided not to prosecute the police officer in Ferguson, Missouri late Monday night. The police were obviously “once again” told to maintain a defensive posture as we ended up watching businesses being looted, property destroyed and […]

Encore weekend, LED Navigation lights and Solar Nicro Vents

| November 24, 2014

A little damp where I’m at, but at least it was far warmer than points north this past weekend. I’m sure glad not to still be closing up my mother-in-laws farmhouse in western New York … whew, just missed traveling in the “Snowvember.” One of the projects I worked on was installing new LED navigation […]

Shocker: Ridiculously HIGH turnpike tolls in Pennsylvania

| November 24, 2014

We’ve driven the PA turnpike several times in the past, although the last trip traveling the full length was probably close to a decade ago, but the 2014 tolls structure gives a new meaning to the term “highway robbery.” This past weekend, my wife drove to Philadelphia from Cincinnati for a bridal shower and thought […]

Thought 10 speed transmissions were only for 18-wheelers?

| November 23, 2014

Think again — According to Carxmotor.com reported in AutoExpress, the UK automotive news source, Volkswagen’s generation 8 VW Golf will have a TEN speed DSG transmission in their 2017 model. As much as I enjoy driving a manual, this is one gearbox that I’ll be glad is an automatic. Ten gears? DSG gearbox will be […]

Aging Toyota Rav4 door dings–what to do?

| November 23, 2014

For those of us driving older cars already having their share of bumps and bruises … we face a dilemma when a new door dent appears AND we see the person who did the “dinging.” That’s what happened to my wife the other day and she confronted the lady who’s door blew into Brenda’s Toyota […]

North America to see the VW 4Motion AllTrack as a 2016 model

| November 22, 2014

  Volkswagen announced their AllTrack concept to a warm reception back in early 2012, but to me they seem a bit slow in getting it to the dealerships. Finally though, we are getting closer, since it looks like the bolstered Golf Sportwagen will be in the U.S. as a 2016 model. For Subaru Outback and […]

Good news: Dr. Katelyn Oostra is officially board certified

| November 21, 2014

Even though my “kids” are now adults, I’m continuing my “proud papa” blogging. My daughter Katelyn sent me a cellphone snap of her “passed the 2014 General Pediatrics Certifying Examination” letter. Way to go Dr. Oostra … you are now officially board certified and working at a great group practice. Speaking of an well run […]

On the wait list for a Brydge Keyboard for the iPad Air2

| November 20, 2014

It has been challenging using the new iPad Air 2 without a tactile keyboard since I’m use to using an iPad 2 as a replacement traveling notebook. Typing on the glass screen is less than optimum, so I’ve been searching for a better quality replacement than the previous Logitech Bluetooth keyboard. Unfortunately few “fitted” keyboards […]

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf R Sportswagen has a lot to like

| November 19, 2014

The VW has not promised the R model for the U.S. “just yet,” but I sure would enjoy driving one and thinking about it in a performance TDI diesel. The R wagon will come only with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic, not the standard six-speed manual available on the hatchback and which we’ll see in […]

Sharpening 5 knives and a tip for sheathing an awl

| November 18, 2014

One of the items from my mother and father-in-law’s farmhouse that I wanted were her thin-bladed stainless steel kitchen knives. They were “always” dull, but the cast handles and all metal construction made them perfect for the dishwasher (although a couple of the tips were pretty bent). We have two similar knives in our kitchen […]

iOS 8.1.1 update available for Apple mobile devices

| November 17, 2014

Hard to verify since Ino long using the iPad2 (now Air 2), but Apple has released an update iOS called 8.1.1. The update claims to “increase stability and performance” for those using older iPhones and iPads. This was a big complaint with the iPad 2 and will hopefully return performance to at what lease was […]

Nothing like a Great White photo to warm things up …

| November 17, 2014

Amanda Brewer a 26 years old school teacher took this picture while cage-diving in South Africa. “What big teeth you have” … it does remind me of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale for those getting the seafaring version of the story.

So much for cheering on global warming. Winter has arrived.

| November 17, 2014

I was hoping the global warming climate change gurus were right … and that at least those of use living in the midwest would have a little longer autumns and milder winters. Just joking, if you are planning to remind me just how serious an issue climate change is. Nevertheless, winter weather has arrived in […]

The cold weather is going to continue for mid- November 2014

| November 16, 2014

Checking the cold forecast for the week as I watch our fluffy snow coming down this afternoon deciding to either lazily settle back to watch some Sunday afternoon football … or get ambitious an go cut down the final dead tree? This one has  fallen and is precariously leaning on another tree. What to do, […]

How would you like to be sitting behind the wheel?

| November 16, 2014

I’m not sure how essential this kind of added security is in the U.S. unless you are an “at risk” person … but I wouldn’t mind owning an SUV like this if I were living in a questionable overseas country. Great job by Texas Armoring in adding protection to a Mercedes, although not sure I’d […]

Obamacare remarks from Jonathan Gruber draw media scrutiny

| November 15, 2014

Some of the political hot-potato news this past week was related to self described “off the cuff” comments from MIT’s Jonathan Gruber a respected health economist. He helped craft President Obama’s health care law and was captured on video commenting about the “stupidity of the American voter” and suggesting the law was passed dishonestly (NYTimes). […]

Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel awarded Green Truck of the Year

| November 14, 2014

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the 2015 Green Truck of the Year announced by the Green Car Journal. It is the most fuel-efficient truck in the U.S. beating out four other trucks, including another Ram – the 1500 HFE. The other finalists included Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and the Ford F-150. The magazine made the […]

Most of the country is feeling an early autumn deep freeze

| November 14, 2014

It’s official … the weather has turned cold in much of the country… Taylor in Williston, ND is below zero already; Katelyn and Drew in Minnesota are near the single digits (photo from Katelyn’s Juke) and here in Cincinnati I’m showing about about 19 degrees early Friday morning. I know it happens every year (2010), […]

Photo: Seal barely escaping the jaws of a Great White Shark

| November 14, 2014

Sharing a intense photo featuring a “feeding” Great White Shark and a young seal in False Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. *The Great Escapes* by Leisureescapes.net

Backpedaling … stop to measure before buying a refrigerator

| November 13, 2014

So much for posting about refrigerator shopping … and good thing I measured.       appropriate Samsung RS22HDHPNSR Side by Side refrigerator Today was “slow down day” since our old, ugly, broken fridge is still working and the size has me re-thinking the “good deal.” The previously mentioned refrigerator that I “was” planning to […]

Refrigerator shopping again, this time for the house

| November 13, 2014

Last year about this time (almost exactly this time) I was shopping for a refrigerator to replace the very old one down in the Florida condo. Ever since then, the aging white Kitchen Aid refrigerator in our house just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore … even though it still keeps the condiments it cool. Ok, […]

Checking out the lean, ad-free, social network Ello.co in beta

| November 12, 2014

Currently the Ello.co “minimalist” social network is in beta and    by invitation only and populated with creative types and fewer    social restraints. This is “pretty open” but I can’t say I’m overly   enthused with some of the content, although haven’t given it a fair shake. The black and white and simplistic text […]

Apple computers dominate the White House press corps

| November 11, 2014

There was a day when being an Apple Macintosh computer user put one in the minority … but not anymore it seems. The photo below is of journalists in the White House press corps traveling in China … take a look at their desks. The number of Apple logos made me chuckle and I could […]

Thank a Veteran for their service today (and everyday!)

| November 11, 2014

Snow and cold in the upper midwest, but still mild in Cincinnati

| November 10, 2014

One of the highlights for parents who have “some” technological prowess is that we can stay in touch with our children no matter where they are living and working. Between instant cellphone, emails and text messages with our kids, Taylor, Katelyn and Drew, we also enjoy sharing photos and Facetime calls even for small things. […]

Video: Posted as much for the accent as the content :-)

| November 9, 2014

Great tip for those who normally take two or three “buckets of ketchup” for their fast food (but really just enjoy hearing the Russian accent).

Explainer Video: Managing your mobile Facebook news feed

| November 8, 2014

For the past several years I’ve tried to keep Facebook as the social networking place for family sharing, although I did include some close friends. Over time, I’ve added a few more who connected from my past and am finding its no longer just a place for staying up-to-date with the family (I’ve heard  old […]

Where will the stock market end the year?

| November 7, 2014

The Stock Trader’s Almanac is always an interesting read in referencing history when it comes to forecasting market moves. If their research is correct we may still have 5-10% to grow. Quite bullish. Since the great stock washout of 2014 the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have gone up about nine percent in […]

TechFriday: Apple iOS users have new free Microsoft Office apps

| November 7, 2014

Microsoft is offering standalone versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPhone, giving users a much better productivity suite for the mobile devices. Prior to the new mobile apps, users who wanted to use Office on an iPhone had to use “Microsoft Office Mobile,” which really only allowed users to view documents and input text. […]

Pending Sale: Learn as you go when self-selling a home

| November 6, 2014

After attempting to sell my mother-in-law’s western New York home by using a realtor this summer, the family has decided to forgo the continued “professional” listing and instead do a FSBO listing … handing it off to yours truly. What are they thinking??? I’ve taken on the project and will “learn as I go” (advice […]

Clean Diesel Technologies granted new Spinel™ patent

| November 5, 2014

Diesel exhaust treatment technology has vastly improved diesel engine emissions over the past decade along with ULSD fuels, but the technology is costly primarily due to rare earth metals. According to a press release yesterday, Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc $CDTI announced new proprietary Spinel™ technology will replace the use of platinum type metals in catalytic […]

Enough playing politics with the minimum wage

| November 4, 2014

There is a populous push coming from Democrats and the Obama administration to increase the Federal minimum wage … instead of letting markets to set the proper levels. It’s understandable with all the negatives facing the Whitehouse and failing policies being pushed by Democrats to create jobs, that politicians resort to simpleton tactics that appeal […]

In keeping with graphs and charts: Gold’s Vomiting Camel

| November 3, 2014

Here’s a new chart for those who enjoy the occasion Chartist trader humor … Gold’s Two Hump Vomiting Camel Pattern chart from CNBC’s Fast Money.

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.