Renewable low cost hot water idea for a sailboat

| October 9, 2016

Archiving another project idea for living on the hook (someday) yet still having hot water for dishes, cleaning and SHOWERS (a freshwater shower is a luxury for most sailboats).

Curtains for Encore — Just call me Sailor Homemaker

| October 6, 2016

Let’s hope this “curtain call” (cough, cough) isn’t a precursor for Hurricane Matthew bearing down on Encore in Fort Pierce Florida? The subject line was more of a slip of the tongue regarding “curtains” when I really intended a twisted “Suzy Homemaker” innuendo — Sailor Homemaker (my attempts at sewing curtains). Failed joke aside, I […]

Pop up reminder on my calendar that today was a birthday

| October 5, 2016

Google calendar has automatically added a few important annual events to my calendar (my settings), but unfortunately it is not artificially intelligent enough to remove or delete. Today I was sent a reminder that we normally celebrate our late dog Tootie’s birthday on October 5th. She is missed and I often catch what I thought […]

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 […]

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 […]

Planning for a grilling/greenhouse/generator/rain porch space

| August 25, 2016

After we “cooked” our generator (my fault for not telling Brenda to prop open the enclosure door), I’ve been tinkering to get parts in order to fix it as mentioned before … but my best attempt as scrounging parts has failed. I could only come up with a possible match for the windings and the […]

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 […]

Relaxing weekend with Mom Howard and music reminiscing

| August 15, 2016

We enjoyed a relatively relaxing weekend marking Brenda’s birthday with her mom and ended up sifting through a few old photos while reminiscing. It was fun looking at cute pics of my wife and her sisters and brother while growing up. I think Mom Howard enjoy it too. I’ll include couple of them above as […]

Our BMW X5 35d loves cheap diesel fuel ;-)

| August 14, 2016

First let me qualify, this is the discounted United Dairy Farmers (UDF – Mobil) price for diesel … but I’m not complaining about $2.14 either (current Aug 2016 price). It isn’t like we need an excuse to buy milkshakes, but their summer promotion in discounts fuel is the little push I need to bring home […]

Archive: Birthday wishes to my wife Brenda … a day late!

| August 13, 2016

No I didn’t forget my wife’s birthday … I just didn’t post anything on the blog until my son Taylor requested a photo of "both of us when we were his age." After sending him this one for his Facebook page, I figured that I might as well archive it here. We regularly sailed and […]

Quickly spun up a new server and volume with Digital Ocean

| August 10, 2016

One of the great things about working with Digital Ocean is the ability to spin up a new droplet server based on a previously saved image/backups within a few minutes. Due to recent improvement of adding volumes in order to expand storage, currently only a couple of their data centers, I opted to image an […]

Archive: Katelyn and Drew are having a baby

| August 4, 2016

Brenda and I are SO excited for our daughter Katelyn and her husband Drew — they are having a baby (photo above “just a couple years ago”). They called us with the good news last week that they are expecting (considering both are doctors, I assume they are pretty sure). Katelyn has not been to see […]

In the planning stages for a kitchen update – August 2016

| August 2, 2016

Now that we’ve been in our house for over 20 years and haven’t really done much to update our kitchen and the builder grade cabinets and appliances. It is time to start the ball rolling and at least get a few ideas. Brenda thinks our kitchen is too small by today’s "big house" standards so […]

Archive: Photos and researching Cape Horn steering gear issue

| July 30, 2016

Last trip to Encore I attempted to loosen up the Cape Horn self-steering gear and failed. Seems the paddle arm that is currently in the upright or vertical position is stuck or binding even after taking off the line preventing it from swinging down. I’ll admit, I’m unsure if there is a different locking mechanism […]

How to Make a Whipping in 60 Seconds

| July 26, 2016

Did you know that burned or melted ends could cause more problems? It may be a fast way for marine stores to cut new line when you purchase it. But if that hardened end catches on the outer core, it can chafe and break down delicate rope fibers. Follow these five easy steps to make […]

Monthly Maintenance: All Charged Up

| July 16, 2016

Use these tips for properly charging and monitoring AGM batteries to maximize their efficiency, output and lifespan. Source: Monthly Maintenance: All Charged Up

A beautiful Cincinnati area Ohio River evening

| July 13, 2016

My son Taylor gets his after work exercise taking long walks or bike ride from his place in East Walnut Hills and sending or posting a few photos. It is surprising just how much beauty there is in Southwest Ohio that I take for granted. Nice!

Archive: A relaxing night on the backporch with a fire

| July 9, 2016

What a beautiful night to hang out on the backporch with a fire in the outdoor fireplace.  The air is cool, the moon out in a clear sky (in top of photo above) and bugs are at bay. Unfortunately I’m looking at my iPad … hm, if I can only learn to put down these tech […]

Archive: Phantom 3 quadrotor-drone video from Iowa

| July 6, 2016

My daughter Katelyn and husband Drew were in Iowa over the July 4th holiday weekend with his family. Since they were visiting the old farm homestead, it was a perfect time to get his new Phantom 3 quadrotor out and take a little more video. The time to visit northwestern Iowa is obviously the summer […]

Archive: Keeping my eyes open for a Packard emblem

| July 2, 2016

The 1958 Packard Hawk isn’t on the "to do" agenda for this summer, but when walking by it in the garage, it is difficult to not think about things that need to be done. One particular item I need to find is a gold "hawk" emblem just above the trunk lock mechanism (sort of like […]

The Obscure But Ultimately Very Useful Halyard Knot

| June 19, 2016

Unknown to many sailors, the halyard knot is nonetheless an elegant compact knot that is particularly handy to know about if you need to bend a line on to some sort of shackle or clip (a halyard shackle being the eponymous example) on a more-or-less permanent basis, but are too lazy (or ignorant) to be […]

Family, grandparents, art, handiwork and a special cousin

| June 11, 2016

My cousin (a loyal blog reader … a little embarrassing) exchanged a couple of text messages the other day after she commented on "our" grandfather’s photo and grandmother’s painting. It is nice to know that I’m not the only one who is sentimental about our grandparents, considering the very few years they were in our […]

My niece Sarah Gerber is an impressive young lady

| June 10, 2016

*Video: sarah’s graduation We recently returned from the high school graduation of my niece Sarah Gerber who has fought and lived with childhood cancer her entire life. She continues to defy the odds with an inoperable brain tumor and her story is truly encouraging for all who face similar medical challenges. Sarahs’ 18 years are […]

TechFriday archive: Using your tablet or iPad on the boat

| May 27, 2016

Top ways to use your tablet or iPad on board your boat — Matthew Sheahan 12/15/2015 How are sailors using their iPad or tablet on board? Matthew Sheahan talks to cruising sailors, racers and industry professionals Photo: Tor Johnson

Archive: Flag flying protocol for cruising on boats

| May 20, 2016

Read and email from an ActiveCaptain.com the other day and wanted to archive it as information/discussion when talking about "flag flying" protocol.   >>> The Flag Advisor – 1 >>> Nearly every cruising boat on the water flies one or more flags. But get into a discussion about flag etiquette and rules, and no one […]

Happy 30th Birthday to my wonderful daughter Katelyn

| May 14, 2016

I love glancing at old photos especially when looking for something to add to a birthday wish — here’s a photo from about 10 years ago when Katelyn was in med school and living in an apartment with her roommates in Kent, Ohio. As you can tell by the "tiny toys" on the address sign, […]

Difference Between Heat Treatment, Annealing and Tempering 

| April 28, 2016

Archiving a bit of information from a company I’ve purchased metal from in the past — good info. Heat Treatment Heat treatment is used to alter the physical and mechanical properties of metal without changing its shape. It is an essential process in metal manufacturing as it increases the desirable characteristic of the metal, while […]

Salvaging a non-working florescent fixture with LED bulbs

| April 25, 2016

Since I have a bunch of florescent lights in my shops (most are 8 footers) it is getting to be a challenge to keep up with replacing both tubes and ballasts, I’ve decided it was time to experiment a small 2 foot 2 bulb fixture and replace with a couple cheapy “warm white” (2700 degree) LEDs […]

Archive link to Volvo Shaft Seal to add to Encore maintenance

| April 24, 2016

General Propeller Co. link

Archive: Looking forward to seeing this at the 2016 TDIFest

| April 20, 2016

In an email exchange with Andrew Rodriguez of FixMyVW.com, he hinted that he’ll have a few new products up in Wisconsin at the 2016 TDIFest this Labor Day. One item that caught my eye was a billeted chunk of aluminum "goodness" as the marketeers say — he knew what he was doing sending it to […]

Anchoring a Boat: The Ultimate Guide — Fatty Goodlander

| April 14, 2016

Although Fatty Goodlander’s book "Creative Anchoring: Everything About Anchors and Anchoring" is a more in-depth guide to anchoring your small boat, a 2014 AllAtSea.net article by the same author is shorter and very good advice. I’ve read it before, but it is worth archiving on my personal blog just in case the link disappears. Anchoring […]

Keeping a Raspberry Pi 3 cool for 5 dollars

| April 13, 2016

It looks like a small heatsink might be a good idea in order to preserve the stability of my Raspberry Pi3 as well as a cooler processor making the little American Pi microserver last a bit longer. Temperatures are generally 20 degrees higher than the Pi2 and have reached 90 degrees C a couple times during […]

Replacing parts on Encore and a couple spring break photos

| April 3, 2016

While out sailing with the family on Encore over Easter week, we suffered a halyard block failure — see photo in previous post. There wasn’t a direct replacement in my spare parts bin (shame on me), but Drew and I zipped over to Marine Connection  and found an acceptable "used" halyard block. The replacement is […]

Mounting a backup anchor on the stern rail

| March 11, 2016

If we upgrade our current Bruce anchor, this Mantus bracket would be ideal to keep the spare ready to deploy on the stern rail. Archiving this “currently $120” bracket for that purpose. I wonder how well it would hold a Bruce?

Great idea for storing your flip-flops when sailing

| February 24, 2016

I’m always looking for better ways to store things on the boat … Kelley Gudahl shared a few things they do on her Sailing Chance blog … so figured I would archive them. First the flip-flop storage idea really caught my eye since we always have them sliding around the cockpit floor. There’s not that […]

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 […]

Archive: Motor mount adjustment tools need for Encore

| February 4, 2016

While working on aligning the Volvo diesel on Encore last week, I realized that my tool bag didn’t have the correct wrenches to adjust the motor mounts. I’m archiving the correct tools  for the future. To adjust the Volvo alignment requires a feeler gauge and TWO 15/16” open ended wrenches – one needs to be […]

Archiving a photo of my nephew and son hanging out together

| January 17, 2016

Archiving a January 2016 photo of my nephew Jaben and my son Taylor before the Bengals demise last week. They decided to get together in Cincinnati and watch the playoff game together – from all accounts, they had a good time. I’m sure my brother feels the same way … it is  nice to see […]

Setting up the Raspberry Pi as a security monitor

| January 15, 2016

We’ve had a professional security system in the house for years, but I’ve always thought it would be nice to make a homemade version for the detached garage/pool house – might be a perfect Raspberry Pi project? The first step was to see just what kind of wifi signal was there, considering the tiny $10 […]

Chimney repairs complete and it looks great too

| January 9, 2016

Thankfully the weather held and the construction was able to continue on the chimney repairs. They completed the final soldering of seams on the stainless steel custom top this morning and were quick to show up and collect the check too. Although this was an expensive surprise after replacing the roof, I’m glad to have […]

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.