TechFriday: The New Raspberry Pi OS Is Here and it looks great

| September 30, 2016

The Raspberry Pi’s main operating system, Raspbian, just got a brand new look from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Dubbed PIXEL, it’s a skin for Raspbian that modernises the interface, adds some new programs and makes it much more pleasant to use. Click for a full review from Lifehacker Australia: The New Raspberry Pi OS Is […]

Daily Chuckle: Pi Rats of the Caribbean

| September 30, 2016

I’ve been holding this somewhat humorous mathematician napkin-art for a "fill the day" post. It takes the "Dumb Dad Joke" one step further into nerddom … but no, it is not my handiwork and I’m not sure who deserves the blame or credit!

Transmission cooler hose? Once again, AAA pays for itself!

| September 29, 2016

While coming home from work at 9:30PM Tuesday night, Brenda called and said something didn’t feel right about our 2006 Honda Pilot. No unusual warning lights besides the "wrench" indicating we were due for an oil change, but the RPM were revving high. I stayed on the phone until she turn down our street and […]

Follow up video from Mr Godwrench and The Happy Church

| September 28, 2016

Thanks Tim for sending me the video from the Mr. Godwrench service day in Jackson, Kentucky (last week’s post). It was great to see the good times and teaching moments … both "hands-on" car maintenance and emulating what it is to have a Christian heart … and I’m sure it felt good for the givers […]

Books and WSJ page: Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin

| September 27, 2016

After watching David Stockman on Wall Street Week this past weekend, I was intrigued enough in his message of economic panic to pick up the Kindle version of his latest book. Although he is not new to the "Henny Penny" view that economically we can’t continue on the current path, hearing and reading his analysis […]

Presidential hopeful Gov Gary Johnson gets a little tongue-tied

| September 26, 2016

Just when you thought this years presidential campaign couldn’t get any weirder … Gov Gary Johnson steps it up a notch on MSNBC. I don’t have (or want) the full context.

Creative storage under a sink and vertical clothing storage

| September 26, 2016

We already regularly "hang" spray bottle in our laundry room and in my workshop, but why not use a spring rod to take advantage of two layers of storage under the kitchen sink? Another one from the same website was in dresser drawer storage. Instead of piling folded clothing flat, fold it so it fits […]

Roses are red, natural gas pipes are grey

| September 26, 2016

Really just an excuse to post a beginning of autumn photo of roses from the flower beds … but for semi-straggly looking Knockout Roses, they add a bit of color to the greenery around our house. Actually I was painting the natural gas pipes on both the house and poolhouse as they were starting to […]

How much room do you leave between vehicles?

| September 25, 2016

A photo is worth a 1000 words — and this photo is a chilling reminder for those of us who travel regularly on the interstates. I purposely allow for more buffer than many when following a line of traffic (a car length for every 10 mph) AND in particular give semi-trucks even more breathing room. […]

Tim Ellison, a Christian entrepreneur that Walks the Talk

| September 24, 2016

We are humbled to call Tim Ellison of Mr. Godwrench our friend. A few years ago when he started his automotive repair business I knew his unabashed and outspoken Christian "modus vivendi" was attractive to me, so I quickly promoted his automotive services and did as much business with him as I could. Due to […]

Salesforce.com rumored to be expressing interest in Twitter

| September 23, 2016

While Twitter shareholders seemed to like the rumor of Salesforce.com showing interest in $TWTR, those holding shares of $CRM are not quite as enthused. This has happened before so we’ll see if there is any real substance … OR if others might be interested? Google??? Salesforce.com Inc. is considering a takeover of Twitter Inc., according […]

Other European Diesels of Polluting More Than VW TDIs?

| September 23, 2016

Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker skirting diesel emissions laws—many automakers build cars even dirtier than VW. Source: Study Accuses Other European Diesels of Polluting More Than VW TDIs A study concludes that Volkswagen TDI diesel are among the cleanest of all the European brands. That could be the reason the Paris Auto Show are showing […]

Spoiled with better coffee after our trip to visit Katelyn and Drew

| September 22, 2016

First off, I am not a snob when it comes to coffee. I have my likes (and quirks) when it comes to coffee, but drink all coffees … even the cheapest boiled campfire coffee will do. That noted … I do enjoy a few of the specialty roasts like the Jamaica Blue Mountain and Kona […]

Generator cage project and relearning TIG welding skills

| September 21, 2016

In a previous post, I sketched out a "Generator Cage," for the lack of a better term, for our sailboat Encore. The idea is to slip off a Sunbrella cover so we can use the Honda EU2000i Inverter Generator mentioned here on the aft deck when needing power at anchor to charge the batteries and […]

Tidbit how-to tip: Use a clothespin to help hold a small nail

| September 20, 2016

Here’s  a last minute blog filler for those who have ever (or might) hit their fingers when hammering in a small nail or tack. For years I’ve used needle-nose pliers to hold the nail, but since we have a bunch of extra "bag clips" (it is what we primarily use clothespins for) laying around, I […]

How loud are Honda and Predator inverter based generators?

| September 19, 2016

Good question: By ear, the slightly smaller and far lighter Honda EU2000i inverter based generator is definitely quieter than the less expensive, but larger in dimension, weight and power Predator 2200. Read on for a few more points. I like both of inverter generators and each will serve a slightly different purpose. The Honda is […]

The old Mercedes is out and about and starting a boat project

| September 18, 2016

After sitting quietly most of the summer, my friend Jeff needed to borrow a set of wheels for a week. He has intimately name the 1982 MB diesel the "old girl" and seems to appreciate her many quirks. Since it isn’t covered, there was a little dust, but she still looks pretty good to me. […]

Hanging on to summer with the band Sugar Ray and Fly

| September 17, 2016

The rock band Sugar Ray was not exactly from my era (founded the year my daughter was born), but that doesn’t mean listening to Fly is not enjoyable or appreciated. I’m trying to hang on to what is left of summer weather  with this song … but not happy about the shorter and shorter days. […]

Trip to visit Katelyn and Drew in Wayzata, MN — Part 3

| September 16, 2016

Continued from 9/14/2016 and 9/15/2016 — This is PART 3:   Instead of heading home, we picked up pizza and headed over to my nephew Justin and his wife Keity’s new house (photo above) about 25 minutes from Wayzata. He and his son Evan gave us the grand tour while we waited for his wife […]

Trip to visit Katelyn and Drew in Wayzata, MN — Part 2

| September 15, 2016

Continued from 9/14/2016 — This is PART 2: Sunday was fully planned as well. Katelyn and Drew had scoped out a car show in previous years and they knew it would be something I would enjoy. So before going to a ballgame, “we” (well at least “I”) enjoyed the old cars — and shared a […]

A very enjoyable trip to visit Katelyn and Drew in Wayzata, MN

| September 14, 2016

Tempus fugit (Latin phrase) for "Time flies" when you’re having fun!  … and we certainly had a good time this past weekend with our pregnant daughter Katelyn and husband Drew. This trip to Minneapolis was the first since Thanksgiving 2015 — shame on us — but at least we waited for great weather to visit. […]

iPhone7 preorders are strong for $AAPL at Sprint and T-Mobile

| September 13, 2016

T-Mobile US  said on Tuesday that pre-orders for Apple’s  iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus broke the company’s record and Sprint (S) said they were almost four times greater than last year. Pre-sales of the phone, which started on Friday, were up fourfold from the next most popular iPhone and set a single-day sales record […]

Obit: I am going to miss sailing advice from Mark Handley

| September 12, 2016

Unfortunately when one faces cancer, the outcome isn’t always what we want. It is a terrible disease and one which we can only hope medical science will eventually cure … the sooner the better. I’ve corresponded with Judy and Mark Handley for many years via email and Winlink (email via Amateur Radio) and we have […]

What does Warren Buffett read?

| September 11, 2016

A WSJ article posted about a year ago listed 11 books recommended by legendary investor Warren Buffett … interesting choices. Some are expected, others surprising. The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham. Of this classic tome on value investing, Mr. Buffett once wrote: “Picking up that book was one of the luckiest moments in my life.” […]

Another use for a carabiner – holding the air fill nozzle

| September 10, 2016

Sometimes American ingenuity and out-of-the-box MacGyver thinking comes together in the craziest ways. My dad gave me an incredibly useful 10 gallon Portable Air Tank that is easier to use than a slow poke portable air compressor. I use to use it extensively when having to fill the leaking tires on the John Deere prior […]

Fuel economy on the BMW X5 35d diesel after modifications

| September 9, 2016

For those following the modifications and upgrades on our 2010 BMW X5 35d for most of 2016, below are the resulting fuel economy improvements, at least so far. This 5225 lb SUV (minus a few pounds) will never be a Volkswagen TDI fuel sipper, but I’ll take a 15% mpg improvement considering it also has […]

Eventually I will want one – the Apple iPhone7 plus

| September 8, 2016

Why you ask? The Camera. Apple has again updated their excellent smartphone and this time, from the sounds of it, have really improved the picture taking ability of the iPhone. Both versions have an upgraded lens, software, processor and larger sensor (12 megapixels). There are a lot of smart tweaks that help with point and […]

Behind on WordPress updates — Themes, plugins and WP 4.6.1

| September 7, 2016

Updated WordPress to 4.6.1 and some housekeeping. All running as it should. Summary From the WordPress 4.6.1 release post: WordPress versions 4.6 and earlier are affected by two security issues: a cross-site scripting vulnerability via image filename, reported by SumOfPwn researcher Cengiz Han Sahin; and a path traversal vulnerability in the upgrade package uploader, reported […]

Monitoring Inverter and Battery with an inexpensive shunt

| September 7, 2016

Instead of spending a lot more dollars on an expensive monitor (like the LINK 2000-R and Xantrex Inverter that we have on Encore) for a battery bank powering a back up inverter when I add our new grilling, greenhouse, generator and porch space, I’ve added a cheap $18.75 shunt and meter from Amazon. I’ve used […]

Leftover photos from the long weekend

| September 6, 2016

Who isn’t impressed with the incredible engineering and artistic beauty from a spider? The ability to weave such useful beauty over night is astounding! Proof that form doesn’t always have to follow function! Speaking of function, Brenda unpacked a few more of my mom’s kitchen items she brought back from Sidney … and the memories […]

Replacing tires on the John Deere lawn tractor

| September 5, 2016

One of the home/yard updates last week were new tires on our 30 year old John Deere 330 diesel lawn tractor.  It has been a great small tractor and the 16 HP Yanmar diesel has performed flawlessly year after year. I’ve rewired and “plumbed” (rubber hoses with Viton) the fuel system do to an electrical fire a […]

Think twice before leaving your cooler unattended

| September 4, 2016

Bears aren’t the only ones interested in the pricey Yeti coolers … so think twice before buying one and a third time before leaving it unattended while boating this Labor Day weekend … or on your camping outing, picninc or trip to the beach. Yeti Coolers Are Hot! No Really, People Are Stealing Them … […]

Many Volkswagen TDI Diesel Models May Never Return

| September 3, 2016

A sad day for those of us who appreciated the efficiency and longevity of a small VW TDI diesel. 🙁 Volkswagen won’t try to revive its position as a leader in diesel-engine technology in North America, says the recently appointed head of the company’s operations. The technology needed to bring the engines into compliance, along […]

31 Drywall Repair Tips & How To’s

| September 2, 2016

Drywall is relatively simple to install and easy to repair. It’s also easy to repair badly, which can leave a lumpy mess that declares “shoddy” to anyone who enters the room. Full List: 31 Drywall Repair Tips & How To’s

Severed my final tie bringing me back to Sidney, Ohio this week

| September 2, 2016

My brother and I closed our final chapter of "Our Life in Sidney, Ohio" this week after finalizing the sale of my parents home. The "young" new owners have some great plans for their first house and I’m sure will be very happy; it is a great place. They will return life back into the […]

A beautiful quadrotor aerial video from Lake Michigan

| September 1, 2016

My son-in-law Drew shared a really impressive Phatom3 movie clip on YouTube after his July 2016 vacation in Michigan. There were some incredibly beautiful views, sunsets and shoreline video … of course it didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect for Katelyn and Drew’s vacation at his parent’s “cabin” (as they call it). Although I’ve […]

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.