Favorite new-found music in 2014: Counting Crows

| December 31, 2014

The end of the year had me reviewing the limited amount of music saved on my phone and posted to my blog posts in 2014. The primary reason was to purge songs that I no long wanted taking up space, but in-part it was also to remember why I saved certain songs. After a quick […]

A boat project: The Easy Climb for sailboat mast climbing

| December 30, 2014

One of the challenges aboard a sailboat is go up a mast to inspect or take care of maintenance items. The tasks is not for those who are uncomfortable swinging back and forth on a stick 55-60 feet in the air. When I was in young and stupid, and only 165-170 lbs, the thought of […]

The average Jane and John has a few more dollars to spend

| December 29, 2014

As the year draws to a close, we can be thankful for economic boost coming from cheaper gasoline.  The chart above show just how rapid the decline in the price of Crude Oil changed. It illustrates the unbelievable shift in the cost of energy for all of us. It is partially due to demand, but […]

Some animals are perfectly adapted to their surroundings

| December 29, 2014

Hey kids, why don’t you go play on the rocks while mom and I get lunch ready? (a photo from Australia, so don’t panic if you are hiking somewhere with smaller snakes)

Emergency cooking on toilet paper and alcohol can stove

| December 28, 2014

On a previous sailboat and in my backpacking gear I use an alcohol stove for cooking, but the other day I saw a video clip expanding an idea for emergency or “bugout bag” use. (video below) The concept is pretty simple: Use a roll or partial roll of toilet paper as a wick to absorb […]

Living in the Age of Airplanes movie release date April 10,2015

| December 27, 2014

From the trailer (below) and the previous Brian J. Terwilliger films, the new documentary movie Living in the Age of Airplanes should be another beautiful film. Tewilliger produced independent films One Six Right (One Six Left and Flying Full Circle), but the rights to his new film will have the National Geographic Studios brand to […]

TechFriday: Messages with attachments, ISPs, email & iOS

| December 26, 2014

Here’s a very short Apple iCloud iOS tip from a question that came up this past weekend. The question had to do with what size files can be emailed or messaged back and forth between smartphones. A large message may be undeliverable even if it’s smaller than the iCloud Mail message maximum of 20 MB […]

Its almost Christmas and we did not decorate this year

| December 24, 2014

It is shameful that Brenda and I have been too busy with “who knows what” to decorate or even put up a Christmas tree this year – the first time in our married life. We have used the excuses that our kids are not coming home, that we are not entertaining, that we have been […]

Fuel prices– What is wrong with this picture?

| December 23, 2014

A local convenient store today in Liberty Township, Ohio … December 23, 2014. As a Volkswagen TDI and Mercedes diesel car guy … there is something wrong when the spread between regular unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel is this much – over $1.50 difference! Ugh … back to driving the Honda Pilot, at least for the […]

Jackie Howard married Ben Wickerham on December 21, 2014

| December 22, 2014

This past weekend was a very special one for my niece Jacquelyn as she married Benjamin Wickerham in beautiful wedding ceremony in Jamestown, NY. Besides the wedding with many personal touches and a 1920-40’s themed reception in an old train station, we were able to be with our family. Her father Mark would have loved […]

Our annual Christmas Card and Letter for 2014

| December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas to those who continue to check the blog for whatever desultory thoughts I try to type daily in my computer, iPad … or occasionally my smartphone each day. It has been an enjoyable year online for me and my addiction. Although social networks have made posting text, photos, audio and video easier, I’m […]

TechFriday: Simple Savysoda RSS News Reader App is best

| December 19, 2014

Most media saturated consumers are frustrated using the various apps from big-name news sources for scanning, skimming and reading 100s of news articles each day. Some individual apps are pretty good, others are a real pain … particularly the newer “in your face – ad heavy” versions. The gripes are that each app is different […]

Late to the Throwback Thursday social networking trend #TBT

| December 18, 2014

I’m late to the Throwback Thursday social networking trend, but a “just arrived” photo of Brenda and her brother Mark before his passing is good excuse to start – they look too young for this to be 1991? (thanks for the photo Chris) Besides the smiling sister and brother photo (he was a dentist), our niece Jackie, […]

It is hard to believe my mom passed away two years ago today

| December 17, 2014

Sitting in my mom’s room two years ago is as clear to me as if it were yesterday (or last year). I’m thankful to have had those moments alone with her as well as all the years growing up in a good home. I was part of a generation who mom was able to greet […]

More frames: when is it too much of a good thing?

| December 16, 2014

When my wife sets her mind to something, she goes “full in.” I’m so glad she is not a gambler. It started as a simple project; she wanted an antique frame. So began the process of shopping estate sales, and bidding on online auction sites like our local EBTH and eBay. Eventually the looking turned […]

How low can it go … Crude Oil that is!

| December 15, 2014

Wow! … I’ve watched oil continuing to dip lower on Monday afternoon (WTI $55.40/barrel) and this rapid drop in recent weeks has “for some reason” caused equities to sell off. Normally one would see lower oil prices as a good thing for the stock market since it makes goods and products less expensive and gives […]

Air travel and the annoyances of flying cattle class

| December 15, 2014

Expedia posted a lighthearted polling of what annoys airline passengers which got me thinking about what I notice and where I may offend. I already do my best to be overly attentive to most of these annoyances, but probably would rank “The Aromatic Passenger” as #1 followed by the “Back Seat Grabber” as my #2 […]

Do you know what your student loan repayments are used for?

| December 14, 2014

A discussion between the host and guest on CNBC this week concluded that instead of saving college students money on their student loans that the government was using the repayments in other areas amounting to BILLIONS of dollars – ie. $19 billion for deficit reduction and Obamacare!  It seems the take-over by the Federal Direct […]

An update on my dad and his not so friendly visitor

| December 13, 2014

Wow … just couldn’t believe the lower gas prices this week as oil continues to tumble down under $60/barrel. The abundant supplies and inventory along with the recession in Europe and slowdown in China has really put pressure on world prices. I’ve seen news photos of gasoline selling under $2.00 out west and while driving […]

TechFriday: Trying out the IFTTT app on the iPhone

| December 12, 2014

IFTTT = IF This Then That Think of it as a simple programming app where there is an “action” when a “trigger” is observed. It is set up on a mobile device and works with “channels” … like Facebook, Evernote, Twitter, Email and even WordPress and it will do something when a “trigger” is observed. […]

Can I hold out for the 2016 Volkswagen Crossover?

| December 11, 2014

The U.S. built 2016 Volkswagen Crossover, teased way back in January 2013, may well be the replacement for my aging 2006 Honda Pilot that already has 200,000 miles – I’m not sure I can wait or whether the styling will change by then? It is starting to look like VW may give buyers a choice: […]

Live Tweet

| December 10, 2014

Last #IFTTT tweet was with a photo … here’s a sailboat rescue story CNN link: http://t.co/tNHtXeCofc … via IFTTT by rdc2 using Twitter

Live Tweet

| December 10, 2014

One more #IFTTT test post. Can’t seem to get links or photos to work? http://t.co/LNautoPqTC via IFTTT by rdc2 using Twitter

LiveBlog post using IFTTT

| December 10, 2014

Testing a 2nd #IFTTT post using Twitter. It doesn’t support an inilne photo? Let’s try a “midget” link: http://t.co/Mv7IImo2eT via IFTTT by rdc2 using Twitter

My Zagg keyboard case and a WSJ tablet keyboard review

| December 10, 2014

One of my favorite technology reporters, Joanna Stern with the Wall Street Journal, offered her thoughts on tablet keyboards just as started to use a Zagg Folio Keyboard case that arrived on Tuesday. I’ve been waiting for a Brydge Keyboard for iPad Air2 (the space gray ships on Dec. 15th I’m told) and have been pecking […]

The State–Obama Democrats vs Kennedy Democrats

| December 9, 2014

One wonders if today’s Democrats blindly following President Barack Obama and his administration’s goal of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” even remember what it was like to support a leader who understood our democracy?John F. Kennedy knew what it was to believe and fight for the words and principles which founded this country. […]

Weekend wrap up with my dad and ethanol problems

| December 8, 2014

The last week or so has been busier than usual with my dad needing to make a surprise visit to the hospital after a fall. He lives alone since my mom past away (2 years ago – wow time flies) and has not been doing the best job with fixing meals for himself or monitoring […]

Remembering: A date which will live in infamy – FDR

| December 7, 2014

And the war with Japan began … To the Congress of the United States: Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that […]

Archive: Seven favorite quotations on Time

| December 6, 2014

"Make time, save time while time lasts, all time is no time when time is past." ― Unknown – imprinted on a sundial A few more from writers … “Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, […]

Chinese economy #1–thanks for the leadership President Obama

| December 5, 2014

It’s not entirely fair to blame President Obama for American decline and China’s rise in economic prominence, but his lack of inspiring American Exceptionalism and worldwide apology tour hasn’t helped. Words and attitude aside, his policies slowing our economic recovery are most to blame as we watch industry evaluate the best place to invest capital; […]

Tech Friday: What about free streaming music from T-Mobile?

| December 5, 2014

While traveling to northeast Ohio this past week, I finally tested the “free streaming music” available from T-Mobile on my 4G/LTE connected iPad Air 2. I streamed it for an hour driving on the interstate without a hiccup and glanced at my recently reset 200MB free data “meter” (screen shot left) and didn’t show any […]

Two great books for the holidays: 41 and America in Retreat

| December 4, 2014

Finished the best book I’ve read all year, “41” by George W. Bush last weekend and started a new Kindle ebook on my tablet, “America in Retreat” by the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens. Both are well written and very enlightening … although I’ve just started the second. The GW Bush book about his father, […]

Video: Cruiser or Copper Jiggler Siphon demonstration

| December 3, 2014

I’ve entertained putting one of these siphons aboard Encore but haven’t ever used one (still do the suck on the hose thing). Every time I put a Harbor Freight version of this jiggler siphon in my basket, I take it out again since it looks too cheap. Might have to keep it in next time […]

Video: Cool rope cutting tip if you don’t have a knife

| December 2, 2014

What is and are the criteria for a good FICO credit score?

| December 2, 2014

In talking with a long time customer today about shopping and using credit cards, the subject of FICO scores came up since they are printed each month on Discover Card statements (nice touch Discover). He ask me what a good score was and I “sort of” knew that over 700 was good and thought 760 […]

The breakeven price for oil is between $10 and $100 per barrel

| December 1, 2014

Last week oil prices hit multi-year lows after the Organization of the Petroleum Countries (OPEC) decided to maintain their current production rate. This indicated that they are either comfortable with the current price of oil or more than likely want to force producing areas with a higher cost per barrel to stop exploration, drilling and […]

New set of tires and even a new trunk light

| December 1, 2014

After my blown tire fiasco I realized all my tires on the 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel were aging and decided to play it safe and replace them. It made sense since I’ve been driving the car on longer trips than originally intended. Besides tires, I had the slow leak in the spare tire fixed […]

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.