Another mirror bites the dust, this time on my Honda Pilot

| November 27, 2015

There is something about mirrors, garage doors and Brenda that do not get along. This time it was pulling into the garage, not backing out – I’m suspecting her weak left arm??? Unfortunately the flexing or snapping was so hard that it also broke the driver’s window. Wow! Thankfully, Rich at Kiss Autoglass was able […]

Replacing a Volvo Penta raw water pump on our sailboat

| November 25, 2015

As mentioned last week, the Volvo raw water pump (840557) aboard Encore was beginning to drip. This usually indicate a little corrosion (cough, cough) and leakage around the seal closest to the impeller. Instead of sending the pump out to be re-built for $165, decided to purchase a new Johnson “direct replacement” (10-24707-01) pump ($350) […]

Finally added the corner desk area to my workbench

| November 24, 2015

After cleaning out the garage workshop to prepare for my woodstove addition, I removed the drawing table/desk area that I added when I was building the Sonex airplane (no longer needed since selling my project). The desktop was almost a perfect fit for the corner area in my basement workshop so I put it in […]

Received this after TWO changes to our Liberty Mutual policy

| November 23, 2015

As I mentioned to my Liberty Mutual agent … “at least I know what my premiums are paying for – mailings!” It is hard to believe that removing Taylor’s car from our policy and adding the X5 could generate 14 multipage envelopes of policy information? That said, our annual auto policy renews in November… so […]

Boat tool failure – checking with SeaDog to see about support

| November 22, 2015

The first time I tried to use my relatively new Sea-Dog Impeller Puller and it FAILED. Really bumming that the threads seized at first use and I had to resort to the needlenose pliers again. As soon as I applied a little torque to the T-handle, it froze in place. No amount of heat or […]

From my personal perspective, the TSA did their job well

| November 21, 2015

What a duffus! I don’t want to admit, but I made a MAJOR airport security mistake on Friday morning … and am thankfully a free man to tell the tale. KUDOS to the much maligned Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for doing their job and doing it well. Neglectful Rich left an extended round full 9mm […]

Encore is having water pump woes … drip, drip, drip

| November 20, 2015

Yet another part to be serviced, rebuilt or replace on Encore’s Volvo diesel. This time it’s the raw water pump dripping from the weep hole … and indication the seal is no longer keeping the water in the pump. This is a normal wear item and most cruisers not only carry a spare impeller and […]

Tania Aebi’s semi-famous Varuna sailboat in the marina

| November 19, 2015

I know semi-famous boats can end up anywhere, but ever since I saw Robert Mandry's Tinkerbelle (Ohio) when I was a young boy dreaming of sailing … and Robin Lee Graham's Dove on our honeymoon after idolizing his adventure as a teenager … I keep my eyes open. Low and behold, Tania Aebi's Contessa 26 […]

Cheesy Bacon Egg Cups are simple and tasty

| November 17, 2015

Appreciation for the hospitaliy of friends is something that is hard to quantify, but having friends like Mark and Dar Jones makes living so very enjoyable.  They always go over and above whenever I stop to visit … and the yesterday mornings’ extras were definitely an “over and above” delishes. I can’t wait to make these at home … […]

Fixing a skylight leak leads to replacing the roof on our home

| November 16, 2015

Several of the homes in our neighborhood had some hail damage this summer … ours included. We had damage to the sky light area of our mud room and water has been seeping in when the wind is just right. Unfortunately our insurance would not pay the entire roof OR the entire repairs that we […]

Finished the tricky modification for the woodstove chimney

| November 15, 2015

I’m continuing to make progress on the woodstove project for my “man space” in the workshop/poolhouse. Since I’m overloaded with firewood, it will be great to be able to add a little heat to the workshop area when it is cold … and have a place to hangout where a man can keep his boots […]

It was hard to say goodbye to our wonderful dog Tootsie

| November 14, 2015

Those who have lost a family dog probably know what the days are like shortly after a pet is gone. My daily routine is so engrained that I habitually look for our dog Tootsie at the door (I still think I see her peeking in sometimes) or to be at my side … usually waiting […]

As the market slides, one wonders if the Fed can change rates?

| November 13, 2015

It has been a rough day … week … for the financial markets. One has to wonder if the Fed will ever be able to move lending rates back to traditional levels? Sure doesn’t look like the economy here or abroad is able to support itself without the easy money policies. (charts and heatmap: www.finviz.com)

Obit: Rich Newsted, our neighbor died unexpectedly

| November 13, 2015

Our condolences to Dawn and family on the sudden passing of Rich. It sure came as a shock to us. Richard E. Newsted, 58, of Liberty Township, Ohio, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, November 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was born on October 28, 1957 in Valparaiso, Indiana, the son … Source: Richard NEWSTED’s […]

Contemplating a woodstove to burn some of our firewood

| November 12, 2015

Unfortunately distraction is way too normal for me … and while in the middle of cleaning out the garage/ workshop, I started working on a “man-corner” that I planned well before the term “man cave.” The initial goal was to clean up my variety of “junk” after finalizing Brenda’s mom and dad’s farmhouse … and […]

VW should hire a new FAST – the Bengals Andy Dalton

| November 11, 2015

An uncanny resemblance: Volkswagen's “FAST” and the Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton.  

Remembering our veterans on Veterans Day 2015

| November 11, 2015

At exactly 11:11 a.m. every Veterans Day (Nov. 11), the sun aligns perfectly with the Anthem Veterans Memorial north of Phoenix, Arizona to shine through the ellipses of five marble pillars representing each branch of the Armed Forces. The desert sun illuminates The Great Seal of the United States in the shadow of the memorial. […]

The #GOPDebate hosted by FoxBusiness and the WSJ

| November 10, 2015

As a big fan of the Wall Street Journal and the FoxBusiness network, I’m looking forward to the next GOP debate tonight (9PM Tuesday 11/10/2015) and am hoping the moderators do a better job than last months CNBC hosted debate. I suspect Maria Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto and Gerard Baker will work particularly hard to avoid […]

Fans of Manual Transmission Can’t Let Go

| November 9, 2015

I’m in “sync” with Alan Macey and the minority when he says, “we find joy in those fleeting moments between ratios; the crescendo of rpm, the gentle click of the gate, the building inertia in our chest as the drivetrain becomes whole again.” Let’s save the manual transmission! No matter how tightly the clutch, stick-shift […]

Lost at sea: the man who vanished for 14 months

| November 9, 2015

In November 2012, Salvador Alvarenga went fishing off the coast of Mexico. Two days later, a storm hit and he made a desperate SOS. It was the last anyone heard from him – for 438 days. This is his story Source: Lost at sea: the man who vanished for 14 months

First road trip for our new-used 2010 BMW X5 35d

| November 7, 2015

  I took “Brenda’s” car on its first road trip this week without asking while making calls in NE Ohio – whoops?!?! It sure was an enjoyable car to drive … too bad it replaces her 1998 Toyota Rav4 and not my 2006 Honda Pilot. Jealously aside, I was anxious to see just what kind […]

The Cincinnati Bengals remain undefeated: 8-0 #TNF

| November 6, 2015

It was an exciting night watching the Cincinnati Bengals host the Cleveland Browns on CBS's Thursday Night Football. We call it “the battle for Ohio” and the game pits my TWO home teams against each other (we lived 13 years in Cleveland). This year it is more important than ever for the Bengals as they […]

Video: Skydiving and flare guns do not mix

| November 5, 2015

My favorite inexpensive smaller low wattage LED light bulbs

| November 4, 2015

Over the last couple years, my son-in-law and I have been slowly upgrading our home light bulbs with varied LEDs. For both of us it has been an experiment in getting the most satisfactory bulbs for the least number of dollars … unfortunately that usually means ordering a box from China in bulk (gambling with […]

Enjoyed The Daily Skimm’s review of the Keystone XL Pipeline

| November 3, 2015

TransCanada requested a suspension of the U.S. permit on the Keystone XL Pipeline and one of my favorite “short take” email headlines did an appropriate refresher: Keystone XL Pipeline: not a beer. It’s a major oil pipeline project that would carry a LOT of crude oil from Canada to Texas. It’s also a major political […]

EPA, Volkswagen Spar Over New Emissions Claims

| November 3, 2015

When there is blood in the water, it’s a feeding frenzy. Just as we Volkswagen diesel advocates were thinking “maybe” the company would come up with a fix … then the second shoe dropped. This news includes more diesel vehicles, this time the 6-cylinder TDIs adding Audi and Porsche diesel SUVs. According to earlier comments, […]

Bengals 16 – Steelers 10. Not pretty but another win.

| November 2, 2015

This should have been a weekend working on autumn chores like raking leaves or closing the pool, but instead I tinkered around in the garage (and “on” the garage) on Saturday while the weather was “so-so” and then watched football on Sunday when the weather was nice. The excuse I'm using is that the Cincinnati […]

The etymology of “pay through the nose”

| November 1, 2015

I don't recall why I used the phrase “pay through the nose” this past week, but this sounds about right … Instead of fighting the invaders, some English kings preferred to pay the Vikings to leave them in peace. These payments were called 'Danegeld' (meaning 'Dane debt' or Dane payment). The Vikings collected tribute in […]

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.