Photography: Close-up, low light depth of field conundrum

| February 28, 2017

While eating lunch today I was tinkering with my Lumix GX8 camera to play with depth-of-field and sandwiching images (see Photoshop technique in old post). In a low light macro situation there isn’t a way to keep items in front and back sharp enough to read … so in some cases, sandwiching two images is […]

Testing an inexpensive OTA antenna before cutting the cord

| February 28, 2017

Television habits, elimination of a landlines and much faster Internet speeds have changed the way most of us use and think about connectivity nowadays … and I’m not the first to once again contemplate "cutting the cable cord." The first step is likely knowing what is available over the air and IF an affordable high […]

It looks like there is hope for America #Millennials

| February 28, 2017

Spotted this on my Facebook feed (was posted in 2016). *Video: millennial speaks out

Music Monday: Ketchup, Anticipation and Carly Simon

| February 27, 2017

The Heinz Ketchup commercial from when I was a teen popped in to my head the other day … or at least the Carly Simon music part of it did. According the the Youtube clip (below), it aired in 1979 and I realized that not many born after that time would understand the “anticipation” of […]

Ugh! I just hate when this happens to an expensive tire.

| February 26, 2017

Don’t you just hate picking up a nail or screw in a halfway decent tire? The BMW X5 35d has expensive run-flat tires and although I don’t panic about being able to drive the car home with a slow leak, I dread deciding on replace just "one" tire … so hear is hoping I can […]

Spoke too soon – it is back to snow and winter

| February 25, 2017

Last night while posting about the shockingly mild February 2017 and “hinting” at the front rolling in, the change came. Nothing major, but definitely not 77 degree! After the sunrise, the gray sky move from west to east brought a late morning snow shower just to remind me that it is still winter — put […]

Weather: Surprisingly warm temperatures all February long

| February 25, 2017

The weather in much of the midwest … and in particular Cincinnati … has been exceedingly mild this February 2017. The groundhog may have predicted a bit more winter, but he was way off this year. As a nasty looking weather front heads our way, the temperature Friday was downright balmy. I rolled down the […]

For inexpensive whole house wireless try a WiFi Range Extender

| February 24, 2017

Previous efforts at using older wireless access points and routers have all been a disappointment when extending WiFi out to our detached garage/poolhouse/workshop, so when Amazon had an AC750 Netgear WiFi Range Extender (Model EX3700) on a "Prime Daily Deals" sale, I was skeptical. Still frustrated with the lack of a good Internet connection further […]

Internet distractions, the dotcom boom, locks and fish ladders

| February 23, 2017

Likely I am not the only one who gets distracted when researching something on the Internet. This past weekend it was the Ballard Locks in Washington State that caught my eye and stole about an hour of my attention and time. Once upon a time, we contemplated a move to Seattle during the late 1990s […]

Paying to exercise a constitutionally protected right

| February 22, 2017

Should municipalities and states charge citizens if they exercise a constitutionally protected right?  On the surface, most of us would say "no way" should a city or state charge US citizens to "vote," "worship" or to "speak freely" … but that’s what some politically left leaning cities and states do to those who own firearms. […]

Tired of the financial markets making new record highs?

| February 21, 2017

Once again the US Financial market rose to new record highs on Tuesday as the Trump rally continues to encourage investment and hope for earning, regulation reductions and tax relief. Likely those three biggies will either get done and satisfy investors or disappoint with a delay and trigger a sell-off. Who knows if congress can […]

What does one do with an old cigarette box or cigarettes?

| February 21, 2017

I was fortunate to have one of the greatest childhoods. My immediate family was very close with my mom’s parents (my grandparents) and her sister and family. We spent many times together and every holiday. My cousin Diane and husband Bert remain “relatively” close to this day and occasionally text message back and forth. Hm, […]

Presidents Day: Leaving behind debt (as a share of GDP)

| February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents Day … if you can still smile after the lack of discipline and leadership.  

MusicMonday: Shocker not to have mentioned American Pie yet?

| February 20, 2017

There’s probably not a more iconic early 1970’s American song than Don McLean‘s American Pie … I’m shocked no to have posted about it before? If you were a kid growing up with music coming from a AM transistor radio when the popular song came on, you knew that the next 8 minutes would be […]

Debating political spin, fake news, lies and misleading the public

| February 19, 2017

Having been around journalists and the media most of my working life, I disagree with the broad brush of many who paint them as "knowingly biased and of misleading the public." Most reporters, professional journalists, aspire to gather and report the relevant facts with the purpose of getting a story correct and providing the facts […]

How-to: Early spring cleaning chores and practice run

| February 18, 2017

We have high ceilings in a couple areas of our house and one of the challenging chores is dusting or "de-webbing" the corners and edges some 20 feet up. Oh you would think it would be easy with a ladder, but you would be wrong. First, I don’t have an indoor ladder capable of reaching […]

Amazing some Darwin Award candidates make it to adulthood

| February 18, 2017

To be fair, I’m not sure if “Chipper” is clearing his machine with it running (only his Orthopedic Surgeon would know for sure) … the photo makes me cringe nevertheless.

Tech Friday – Ordered an IOT connected Particle Photon device

| February 17, 2017

While talking with my IT friend Jeff about controlling relays with my Pine64 and Raspberry Pi computers, he thought developing with the Arduino or Particle Photon might be a better idea. I did a little bit more reading as to what an Internet Of Things device might be good for, and decided my relay switching […]

Federal Income Taxes – what changes are in store for 2017?

| February 16, 2017

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand pile, you know that there is a shake-up happening in Washington DC since the election of President Donald Trump and his taking office less than 1 month ago. Much of the economic optimism seen by new records on Wall Street, job incentives and both interest rates and […]

Sailing Archive: Emergency Steering Drogue set-up and training

| February 15, 2017

Video training on setting up a speed limiting drogue for emergency steering on a sailboat. 33 minute training video demonstrates two popular approaches that give racers and cruisers more than one option when steering a disabled vessel with a damaged or lost rudder. Each drogue is deployed according to the manufactures recommendations with lots of […]

Added the magnetic Nato Smart Mount to the BMW X5 35d

| February 14, 2017

A couple gifts I gave this past Christmas were magnetic Nato Smart Mounts for holding smartphones or even tablets in a car. After buying a first one for our Honda Odyssey minivan as a promo and liking it, I added several more to the next order as gifts. The final one I kept for my […]

Tech gadgets add a new wrinkle to Cat’s in the Cradle message

| February 13, 2017

A lousy, but socially needed, "Music Monday" message: While eating lunch at Wendy’s over the weekend, I notice a father and his young son spending time together for lunch as well. "Nice," I thought … until the all to often happened. The dad’s attention was drawn to his cellphone … to the point he gave […]

A few more photos for the Encore archive

| February 12, 2017

Posting a few leftover photos from my last trip to the boat. One is a waterproof fitting to bring the solar cable thru Encore‘s deck (eventually a new project) … and a couple more of an early morning sunrise at the dock at Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce. Really the trip was a quick getaway […]

AGM Automotive Batteries and what one can learn on hold

| February 11, 2017

The BMW X5 35d has been having issues starting when cold which seems likely due to a new Exide FP-AGML5/49 Edge Group L-5/49 Flat Plate AGM battery. I’ve gone great lengths to rule out almost everything other than the battery, and decided it must be a weak cell or defect in the new battery itself. […]

Testing your car battery with only a simple voltage meter

| February 10, 2017

Great how-to YouTube video from ChrisFix on testing your car battery with a simple voltage meter.

TechFriday or maybe Tesla Friday as production shuts down

| February 10, 2017

This was going to be a normal Tech Friday post, but instead it will marry the automotive technology leader Tesla with a bit of news on their higher-volume / lower priced Model 3 sedan due out this summer. The company stated that all was on schedule for meeting their targeted July production date and they […]

Hey Rich, how comfortable will you be in that new little Elio?

| February 9, 2017

My answer to "how comfortable?" – is that "I don’t really know"… because I haven’t been in one yet. But, I suspect after flying small airplanes like the Cessna 152 that someone who is 6’1" and 195 lbs like me should be "ok" for all but the longest trips. Here’s what the Elio blog has […]

Nicki Bluhm and an appropriate song for our political state

| February 8, 2017

Nicki Bluhm continues her image as someone who fit better in the 1960s and 70s (a time before she was born), than someone rising in popularity nowadays. I’ve enjoyed her music, and Van Sessions with The Gramblers, from the beginning and continue to appreciate her talent … and love the sound. This new folk music […]

Archiving a couple Encore aft deck photos for future updates

| February 7, 2017

It is hard to remember exactly where each rail, cleat and fitting is on the aft deck of Encore, so this post is to archive a couple photos as a way to remember. It probalby won’t help much as it is still hare to tell where there is space and where there is not. In […]

MLS player Michael Parkhurst is a great soccer ambassador

| February 6, 2017

This past weekend while killing a few minutes, I had an enjoyable conversation with a nice young man about 2017 Superbowl LI. After finding out I always lived in Ohio, he introduced himself as Mike and ask how I liked growing up in the mid west, saying that he grew up on the east coast. […]

Patriots outplayed the Falcons to win Superbowl 51

| February 5, 2017

The Atlanta Falcons as a team deserve some credit in playing Superbowl LI impressively for three full quarters, until they didn’t in the 4th quarter.  The New England Patriots basically slept during the first part of the game and came to life in the 4th quarter. In cardiac arrest inducing fashion, New England mounted the most […]

World War I surveillance DRONE – or pigeon photography

| February 5, 2017

Homing pigeons were outfitted with lightweight cameras in WWI with time-delayed shutters for aerial reconnaissance photography, likely the first "drones."  They were used very effective as messenger pigeons prior to wireless radio and effectively in communicating behind enemy lines in World War II. Interestingly the Swiss Army continued they military pigeons until it was disbanded […]

Time for some Whitlock Pedestal Steering gear maintenance

| February 4, 2017

Spent a few days aboard Encore by myself this week doing a little (very little) needed maintenance. It’s amazing how "just sitting" is a killer for aging a sailboat! That’s not to say I’m ready to let her go, just that I need to give her more attention. One of the projects was to disassemble […]

TechFriday: Jumpy cursor? Uncheck Enhance pointer precision

| February 3, 2017

The cursor on my new Lenovo Yoga 710 Windows 10 notebook has been driving me crazy. It jumps around the screen when I’m typing and often ends up add or deleting text in previous paragraphs. In an attempt to diagnosis the problem, I’ve fiddled with the trackpad thinking that my palms or thumbs must be […]

A new larger travel tripod for my Lumix GX8 camera

| February 2, 2017

The larger "old" tripod that I’ve owned for 40 years and a small pocket tripod that I gave to my son is now unacceptable for my new camera (my bias opinion) …  so it is time to update with something I don’t mind hauling around. I would have liked a $300+ carbon fiber ultra-light, but that […]

Apple is sitting pretty again after reporting earnings

| February 1, 2017

After the stock market closed yesterday, Apple $AAPL reported their fiscal first quarter earning and shocked even the most bullish in the crowd. Their iPhone 7 sales help them deliver record earning, no doubt due to Samsung’s battery issues (Android users switching to Apple iOS). Considering Apple make a lot more than phones, it is […]

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.