Saving money takes discipline – 20 ideas on Fox Business.com

| April 22, 2017

My favorite news network shared 20 excellent tips for saving money (by Daniel Kline, who writes for the Motley Fool). I highlight a favorite below. Saving money takes discipline It means forgoing things you want and making tough choices, which can be tough in our consumption-focused society. However, saving money can make it easier to […]

TechFriday: Lenovo Yoga 710, my everyday carry notebook

| April 14, 2017

Last week someone asked me about my large screened notebook, the 15.6″ Lenovo Yoga 710 with an Intel i5-7200U CPU (2.50GHz), 8 GB memory and a rather smallish 256GB SSD. The question was whether I would recommend it. The answer is yes … if you can live with a couple small nits that I have […]

TechFriday: A simple thing – Google Calendar Scroll Disabler

| April 7, 2017

At one time or the other, we have all started to pull our hair out while on the computer and  said, "this is ridiculous, why doesn’t someone fix this!" Well after literally years of waiting for Google to do something about the "sensitive scroll feature" (or curse) when moving through the months in Google Calendar, […]

Passwords and protecting your digital data

| March 29, 2017

We all struggle with ease of use and security when using a computer and online services … what’s the best way? That’s likely a debatable question since we want easy access, but don’t want our data compromised – "how easy is too easy?" What we do know is that a simple or "no" password is […]

Robocalls are on the rise, even on the Do Not Call Registry

| March 22, 2017

Well the FTC has some simple advice for those "still" receiving robocalls even when on the Do Not Call List or Registry. Most of us continue to receive unwanted calls on landlines and cellphones, even we are on the registry (and have renewed). It is illegal unless you have giving the caller written permission. Many […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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" […]

Online contact forms are not always what they seem

| December 22, 2016

Speed kills … and being rushed can make people do stupid things, that would be me in this case. I was in a hurry to get a HVAC replacement estimate after scavengering parts off of one furnace to keep the other running — both need to be replaced. While researching gas furnaces and air conditioner […]

Love my Clarks shoes/boots but disappointed in quality control

| December 1, 2016

The Clarks my son gave me this past year after I admired his, are quality constructed shoes/boots and no doubt will last a long time and seem to hold up to heavy use. I am however disappointed into "tongue creep" which seems to be getting worse each wearing. I’m not sure if it was stitched […]

Time to close the pool and beginning prepping for winter

| October 25, 2016

The weather this time of year can be very pleasant for chores outside, but morning and evening chill is definitely hinting that cold weather is around the corner. So it is time to start closing up the pool and prepping the outdoor living furniture for the nastiness of winter. I enjoyed the warmer afternoon in […]

Changing a cabin air filter in an older Honda Odyssey minivan

| October 22, 2016

My daughter took her "leased" Juke into the Nissan dealership in Minnesota for a $25 oil change and while it was in the service bay, the service department recommended she do a few additional maintenance items totaling $1200 … "but we can do it all today for a flat $1000" (don’t you just love it […]

Tech changes: Another free cloud storage service is gone

| October 19, 2016

Wouldn’t you know, about the time the Cubs find themselves inching closer to a World Series (drought since 1908), the Logmein FREE cloud storage component know as Cubby is being retired. I highlight "free" since paying PRO customers will continue to keep their storage. For me, Cubby has been a regular file exchange option, although […]

Everybody thinks they are an economist … including me!

| October 16, 2016

I love simplicity … so when tossing around political footballs, I generally join the team that at least "attempts" to simplify government and taxes. I’m not naïve enough to believe it will ever happen or even work well, but after filing personal (for friends and family), organizations and business taxes for years, it would sure […]

Phone scams, Do-not-call lists and IRS fraud

| October 4, 2016

Mail fraud and phone scams are ongoing problems if you live in the U.S. unless you are lucky enough to exist under a rock. Throughout the years I’ve been targeted by shady hoodlums looking to make a quick buck using fraud and deceit as a way to access money or more information. Likely these criminals […]

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 […]

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 […]

Eating Fruit While Pregnant May Boost A Baby’s Intelligence

| August 31, 2016

Now that I’m going to be a grandfather, it is time to start reading (or re-reading) all those important articles about babies again.   Eating Fruit While Pregnant May Boost A Baby’s Intelligence By DANA WECHSLER LINDEN Aug. 29, 2016 9:00 a.m. ET New research raises the intriguing possibility that eating more fruit during pregnancy […]

Using Home Equity as a bank or as a credit card?

| August 26, 2016

Using the equity in a home isn’t anything new, but I’m old enough to remember when "we" first started to tap into home equity with Home Improvement Loans. "Back in the day" IRS deductions for interest on consumer credit (car loans, revolving credit, signature loans) were being phased out for all but home mortgages. Creative […]

Digital photography: Shooting in RAW, TIFF or JPG?

| August 20, 2016

An aside … I spent my formative years engrossed in photography, back before it was digital and when "souping" film in a darkroom. Nowadays 90% of what I take is on a smartphone due to the simplicity and recent improvements in quality. Still, the best photographic images come from a quality lens and large sensor […]

Again, $TWTR is great for traders, not so much for investors

| August 18, 2016

If I were a bit more savvy and listened to my own advice, I would have traded Twitter ($TWTR) for a few dollars this week. On a downgrade to a SELL by Evercore ISI analyst Ken Sena, shareholders listened and poured their sell orders onto the exchanges after seeing shares climb the last few days […]

Flip-flops are becoming my preferred summertime footwear

| August 9, 2016

There was a day, when all I wore for casual footwear were boat shoes … but Sperry Topsiders in particular (also athletic shoes of course ). In recent years I’ve opted for simple slip on sandals around house, pool and at the dock or if you preferred flip-flops … or if you go WAY back – […]

How does your monthly smartphone bill compare to Ting?

| August 6, 2016

After years (30 years to be closer to the truth!!!) of comparing the best cellphones and carriers when it comes to device and service, I can finally say that I’m satisfied. Back in 2014, as our kids (and parents) moved on to their own plans, I switched our two iPhone5s to Ting. From day one […]

How to offend readers, followers and magazine subscribers

| June 2, 2016

Kiplinger has long been one of the many websites who’s content, along with their magazine, that I’ve enjoyed reading. I follow several contributors to their content on social networks and complained recently that I disliked their multi short page approach for reading content. I’m sure they want to generate "clicks" and therefore break and article […]

Reefing tips from SailingTotem blog

| March 19, 2016

When do you reef? How should you reef? What are some excellent ways to screw it up? A few thoughts from Jamie (filtered through fun with salty sayings and his fondness for puns). Many witty phrases… Source: Reefing, by and large

Side by side — My unscientific Lyft vs UBER comparison

| March 17, 2016

After using both Lyft and UBER quite a few times over the past year, it has been difficult to say one is much better than the other … they are pretty similar. From the consumers perspective, it is far better to have the competition as it spurs innovation, competitive pricing and better service. We riders […]

Life skills for the long haul: 8 Financial Decisions

| February 5, 2016

Some simple financial steps, 8 to be exact, to follow from Money were shared this month and they are worth reading and remembering. I’ll post below in case they disappear … but you should read it here. 1. Save More for Retirement How much money will you need each year to enjoy a happy and […]

How many times did our dog go in and out?

| January 3, 2016

The long holiday weekend with decent weather gave me a chance to knock out a few chores. One was to clean and close up Tootsie‘s dog door. I realized that over her 17 year life that she was in and out of this Plexidor opening a couple dozen times a day … at least! It’s […]

Losing Mozilla Firefox add-on data for FireFTP after upgrade

| December 28, 2015

After making the Microsoft update from Windows 7 to Windows 10, there were a few items lost in the mostly automatic update (BTW, it is as painless an upgrade Microsoft has ever done). One of the add-ons for the Mozilla’s Firefox browser that I find hard to live without is FireFTP (simple FTP client). Much […]

Financial wisdom–Double Cash Back Credit Card from Citi

| September 24, 2015

Just in case you are the type of responsible credit card user who pays off the balance each month and has excellent FICO scores, you might want to consider using the Citi Double Cash Card. It is a no annual fee credit card and pays a total of 2% on purchases … I think that […]

Anchor Marker Floats – Currents

| September 16, 2015

Archiving anchoring advice from a September 9, 2015 article in Bluewater Cruising‘s online Currents web publication. Anchor Marker Floats by Fran and Jean-Guy Nadeau Arriving in a crowded anchorage can be a daunting challenge. The degree of apprehension skyrockets while you bumble about trying to find that perfect spot while the skippers of the surrounding […]

Seeing life through the prism of our own world

| September 2, 2015

Let me start off that I have been abundantly blessed and thankfully to this point I haven’t faced the need for “therapy,” as the many versions of the below tee-shirt make light of. In my case was fortunate to be born to loving parents who emulated what it was to be a great mother and […]

Air travel on the cheap. First flight on Frontier Airlines.

| July 11, 2015

It was a quick and inexpensive flight to Florida this past week to do a little tropical weather prep aboard Encore. Summer is the time of year that “commuter cruisers” double their line, remove sails and store an extra windage in case hurricane winds target the area … besides I really was looking forward to […]

Advice: Best promo for WSJ.com if you want to try it out

| June 22, 2015

For those of you who are NOT Wall Street Journal readers, but have always wanted to try it out, here’s your chance. The $1 price is about as cheap as I’ve ever seen from WSJ.com  … for a 3 month introductory deal. The yearly or normal monthly subscription is higher and can be hard to […]

New Balance Shoes: Great product and made in the U.S.A

| June 11, 2015

Although I still own and wear an old pair of New Balance athletic shoes, this is a reminder post to myself (posted before) to consider the New Balance brand when replacing my current Sketchers (no complains as they are great shoes too). I liked the comments in the video (below) and article on CNBC about […]

Freshen up those old Sperry Topsiders for summer

| June 1, 2015

With summertime around the corner, it is time to update on what has almost become an annual boat shoe post (Post 1, 2, 3).  Seasons aside, there really isn’t a time that isn’t right for Sperry Topsiders … in my opinion … but wearing a T-shirt, a pair of shorts and having warm weather makes […]

Better kitchen knifes: Appreciating a sharp blade and good steel

| May 28, 2015

Shortly after Brenda and I were married, I commented that I was going to write an advice book for new couples that included the good and bad decisions we made when buying things for our home, yard, kids and our life. After all this time I’ve yet to write the advice book, but continue to […]

Building a Carpenter Bee Trap — Thanks Tim!

| May 17, 2015

Here are instructions for a simple, but effective carpenter bee trapLINK

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.