President Trump and Andrew Jackson – a comparison

| January 31, 2017

Is there a comparable president to Donald Trump? People say President Donald Trump is unique in U.S. history, yet a few who study presidential history say it is not entirely true. Doug Wead, a presidential historian, compares President Trump to Andrew Jackson, as he did shortly after the November 2016 election on "Happening Now" with […]

Remembering a couple musicians and the song Drift Away

| January 30, 2017

While admiring yet another song from the 1970s, I learned that the song writer of "Drift Away" was Mentor Williams, brother of popular song writer, singer, composer and actor Paul Williams. While reading a bit more, I didn’t realize just  how many other artist performed the song … not the least Dobie Gray who made […]

Engineering chessboard project idea

| January 29, 2017

Snipping an idea. Perhaps make the board with inset magnets to hold the pieces? Perhaps laminate over a peg board to more easily space Neodymium Magnets that fit in each hole?

Take two: Finally moving ahead on the kitchen project

| January 28, 2017

Designer rendition Last summer we started to plan for a kitchen remodel as our "builder grade" cabinets and mishmash of appliances were in serious need of replacement. We updated our dishwasher and refrigerator already, but need to finish off the final stages once and for all. I’m currently working with a designer and close to […]

TechFriday: Still experimenting with computers and relays

| January 27, 2017

After a previous simple $20 relay component test, my friend Jeff and I realized that there were a few shortcomings in using it for a future project — enter the cheaper eBay $3.99 higher powered solid state relay module.  This smallish sized relay component can be wired into a 40 amp circuit and switched with […]

Can the Federal Government find political balance?

| January 26, 2017

My answer: Rarely does the pendulum find the middle. Neither the fiscal or social policy balancing coming from Washington DC makes much sense to me. There have to be moderates who see validity in each others positions? Rather than the black and white collisions between the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans’ points of view, […]

A final goodbye to a grandmother and mom – Frances Howard

| January 25, 2017

Memorials, funerals and burials can be emotionally draining and it is hard to know just how they impact each of us … but “to the person,” those that knew mom – grandma – Frances Ann Louise Howard (Holmstrom), were without question happy and celebrating. Fran and Christians who have placed their faith in Jesus, and […]

Thinking of my dad on his birthday and a pregnancy flashback

| January 24, 2017

Having just returned from my mother-in-law’s funeral in western New York has me thinking of my late mother and now on January 24th … particularly my father. Today would have been his 88th birthday if he were still alive … although I’m not so sure many of us want all that many more years as […]

Who knows, there may still be a Range Rover in my future

| January 23, 2017

Great visual look at the evolution from 1969 thru 2017. The first SUV to wear the vaunted “Range Rover” badge came in 1969 with the development of 26 individual prototype vehicles. Each “Velar” prototype wore special badging ahead of the production debut. The first Range Rover to trundle across craggy landscapes arrived in 1970, claiming […]

A little SNOW country #humor

| January 22, 2017

Really just a filler post since we were in snow country this weekend for my mother-in-laws funeral. The “more realistic than we care to admit” chart is just a bit of humor that will likely have you nodding your head no matter where you live. Winter weather reactions definitely differs depending where you are located.

Demographics and Interests of those visiting MyDesultoryBlog

| January 21, 2017

Those who have been blogging for a while learn to monitor their viewership. We’d like to  know what kind of traffic is hitting the servers and often looking at the breakdown as to what generates interest and ad clicks. In the early days, a "hit counter" was sufficient, but as country music artist Loretta Lynn […]

TechFriday: New to me IoT High-Power 110 volt AC Relay

| January 20, 2017

A friend of mine has been brainstorming the components and options for a project that I’m tinkering on for both the sailboat and improving my back up power at the house. Basically the idea is to use a minimalist single board computer like the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Pine64 or maybe just the new IoT Photon. […]

Throwback Thursdays and my life with woodstoves #TBT

| January 19, 2017

Heating with wood is in my genes, since my parents started heating with wood back when we lived on Lake Erie and were constantly without heat either due to power outages in the rural area we lived, floods forcing the power company to turn off utilities or the old finicky oil burner furnace (think “Christmas […]

Grandfatherhood is sinking in, MY Lttle Girl is having a BABY!

| January 18, 2017

It was a Baby Shower weekend, and what a wonderful one at that. Terrrific family and friends … and a beautiful mother to be and a “Babygirl” shower a few notches above (well my opinion). My wife Brenda and two of Katelyn’s friends from medical school put on a classy baby shower and turned our […]

Obituary: Frances Ann Louise Howard has graduated

| January 17, 2017

My mother-in-law passed away last week … or as my good friend Pastor Keith Thomas (groupbiblestudy.com) said, "graduated." The word choice is very fitting for Mom Howard considering she has been a lifelong Christian and loved studying and memorizing the Bible. She has been looking forward to "graduating" from this temporary life on earth to […]

The Elio Motors confusing reservation structure

| January 16, 2017

The Elio came up in a discussion and the question came up, "how much will it really cost?" That’s when I realized just how confusing the low price point could be. Gone is the much marketed $6800 car as the current reservation price is $7300 … at least for about 1000 more orders. There is […]

Aviation and sailing in one great Shot of the Week photo

| January 15, 2017

The quality of the photo isn’t the best, but the content is pretty impressive. The latest issue of the weekly Cruising Compass had this photo as the "Cruising Shot of the Week" … excellent! This busy shot of Boston Harbor from July 2013, with the Navy Blue Angels flying over the USS Constitution (Old Iron […]

TechFriday: Open Live Writer to WordPress plug-in problem

| January 13, 2017

Twice now I’ve found myself unable to post to my WordPress blog. Once a few years ago using the windows based Microsoft Live Writer (now defunct) and recently using the open-sourced Open Live Writer. The “Invalid Server Response – The response to the blogger.getUsersBlogs method received from the blog server was invalid:” error pops up. […]

Tool Tips: Screwdriver hacks [video]

| January 13, 2017

  A few of these screwdriver hacks are not necessarily new, but could be helpful if you are ever caught shorthanded for the right tool. I’m particularly fond of using the wrench and screwdriver together (above left) as even with a full set of wrenched and sockets, there are a few oddities preventing wrenches from […]

CVS Generic Competitor to EpiPen for $109.99

| January 12, 2017

CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan’s EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to consumers.The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 for a two-pack of the authorized generic version of […]

Painted and fitted the shelf storage in the laundry room

| January 11, 2017

   The long drawn out "laundry room upgrade" is finally finished as mentioned yesterday, but at least it improves and modernizes what we had. The old GE top-load washing machine was regularly being fixed and the dryer was long past it’s prime … but still working after the "bearing kit repair." The newer graphite color […]

Noticing tricks of the trade from old school furniture makers

| January 10, 2017

Brenda and I admire art, be it paintings, carvings, knick-knacks, sailboat models or a piece of old furniture. Over the years we have added several items to our home, be they purchased from an estate sale or hand-me-downs. While adding the new shelves to our laundry room and repainting, I stopped to admire the craftsmanship […]

Music Monday and thankful I can still hear things

| January 9, 2017

After an episode with excessive ringing and noise in my good ear last month, reminiscent of when I lost most of the hearing in my right ear, I have appreciated things getting back to “my” normal this month. Admittedly it is frightening to think I might lose what is left of my hearing … even […]

Thumbprint Radio, Pandora and a friendly, but snidely jab

| January 8, 2017

This WAS going to be a positive and upbeat post about enjoying Pandora’s Thumbprint Radio feature … UNTIL a "friendly" text message came in from my Florida (soon to be Savannah, Georgia)  sailing friend Mark telling me he had a cold beer in the fridge waiting for me. How nice to have friends anxious for […]

Thoughts and a video on a rigging bag from Lin Pardey

| January 7, 2017

While contemplating complexity vs simplicity in life and on sailboats, I once again stumbled on a precious morsel by Lin Pardey who has been land-based in New Zealand. Taleisin was sold to a young couple who now enjoys Lin and Larry’s “home” for over 30 years (mentioned before). Lin continues to write, appear at boatshows […]

U.S. approves first fix for 70,000 Volkswagen TDI diesels

| January 6, 2017

After the initial wave of buybacks, phase 2 will be to fix the 2015 diesel Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat and 2015 diesel Audi A3 by updating software and adding a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst and NOx catalyst. VW will now be able to resell diesel vehicles that they repurchased once […]

Tech – Jobs Friday: Wages up, but a tepid 156K nonfarm job rise

| January 6, 2017

U.S. employment increased less than expected in December, but wages are rising, ever so slightly after a long stagnancy. Most economists are positive since they say we only need to create 56,000 jobs per month to keep up with current levels of new entrants in the job market. Others will point out that our job […]

Quick snowfall test video from Panasonic Lumix GX8

| January 5, 2017

A little snow arrived today (maybe 2-3″), so while waiting for the follow-up call on our new furnaces in the afternoon, I shot a 10 second video and encoded with Handbrake to cellphone size for web streaming. Quality is still decent, but not the HD video that the Lumix GX8 is capable of.

Awning improvement ideas from another old sailboat

| January 5, 2017

Although I just updated a few of the fittings on Encore‘s ShadeTree awning system, I’d prefer fewer bungee cords and fiberglass and vinyl wear points. After posting a comment to Eben Bruyns the new owner of Taleisin (Lin and Larry Pardey‘s boat), I noticed the D-ring fittings and cinch lines and figured I would archive […]

Learning more about my new Panasonic Lumix GX8

| January 4, 2017

A little testing of the somewhat faster Lumix 4/5s 25mm f 1.8 Prime lens vs the Lumix 14 – 140 slower f 3.5 zoom gave me surprising results on closer distances, at least different than I expected. First off, neither lens impressed me when it came to edge to edge sharpness. The Prime lens "may" […]

Peak Design Messenger Camera bag TEST video

| January 3, 2017

I’m feeling guilty about receive a Christmas present from my daughter and son-in-law after realizing the price ($$$). I mistakenly admired a bag Drew’s brother demonstrated to me when they had the baby reveal … and although I knew is was above average in price, I never took the time to do the research as […]

Time.com – How Hot Was Your Baby Name?

| January 2, 2017

This Time.com post isn’t brand new, but since my daughter is due in March, “we” have an interest in baby names. Have you ever wondered how popular your or your child’s name was when named “back in the day?” We you a “Trendsetter” or named “after its time?”

Music: Starting 2017 with a favorite song by The Carpenters

| January 2, 2017

With all the music posts and comments through the years on MyDesultoryBlog, it is surprising The Carpenters were not mentioned. As a teen in the 1970s, I thought Karen Carpenter’s voice was vocally near perfect (also because a girl I liked listened to them too). Hey, I think even my parents enjoyed the music? I […]

Diesels are not Done

| January 1, 2017

Much has been made of the death of diesel after the VW cheating scandal … but there is still room for debate and a need for diesel vehicles – innovation benefits diesel as well as EVs. Electricity has potential in passenger vehicles, but in its current state of innovation, it falls short to the Diesel […]

Have you ever wondered what was inside a refrigerator filter?

| January 1, 2017

  January 1st is "replace the refrigerator filter" day in our house … and because they are so heavy (and expensive), curiosity had me wondering what exactly was inside of this solid plastic housing? (click images for larger) Buying the 3 pack of filters from Amazon ($30) was about the least expensive way to purchase […]

Happy New Year 2017

| January 1, 2017

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.