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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What photo is most vivid in your mind for 2016?

| December 31, 2016

The last several years MyDesultoryBlog has highlighted "banished words" from the list Lake Superior State University (LSSU), who puts together a list at the beginning of a new year (and probably still will in early January)? This year we’ll end we’ll end 2016 with a couple memorable photos. The first being serious, and second … […]

Two New Trane Furnaces installed on a COOL winter day

| December 28, 2016

With the intent to capture the end of the year 2016 tax credit and take advantage of a slow work week, I scheduled the replacement of our 21 year old Bryant HVAC equipment. The installers from Logan-Inc worked one full day to replace our two furnaces with higher efficiency Trane models (XR95 + S9V2) and […]

Christmas in Minnesota as a family

| December 27, 2016

After a bit of a delay in maintaining daily blog posts, Brenda, Taylor and I returned from our family Christmas with  Katelyn and Drew  in Wayzata, MN on Monday night. It was a whirlwind trip and thankfully without incident. First thing first … our growing granddaughter is definitely noticeable as a “babybump” (an overused word). […]

Out to Christmas Eve dinner in Wayzata Minnesota

| December 26, 2016

Adding a couple catch-up photos to the mix after driving the BMW X5 35d (26.1 mpg) up for a busy Christmas weekend with Katelyn, Drew and Taylor in Wayzata, Minnesota. We took Drew’s Acura RX out for a nice Christmas Eve dinner and am starting to realize Brenda and I are definitely looking older (and […]

The eye of a good photographer and interest to apply the science

| December 19, 2016

Admittedly I’m proud of my kids and enjoy seeing them living their lives … especially when a few of my interests rise to the top. In Taylor’s case, he has expand on our mutual interest in backpacking and photography on his trip to Hawaii last month.   Memory Road: In 7th grade I had an […]

Quick Lumix Prime Lens test of low-light Aperture vs ISO

| December 18, 2016

Testing the new 25mm Four Third Panasonic Lumix prime lens on before "wrapping it up for my Christmas gift from Brenda." I needed to know if it works … cough, cough.     (click here for Large Image — be warned) Also updated the GX8 body to Firmware 2.2, so we are up to date on […]

A couple favorite Baba 30 photos from Robert Perry

| December 16, 2016

  Got to love Facebook for connecting people who love the same things … in this instance, a naval architect and sailing guru Robert Perry has posted a couple of his favorite photos of one of his early designs — the Baba 30 (our first sailboat, Brenich). It was a beautiful boat and enjoyable to […]

Project: Rustic Cedar Headboard for Taylor

| December 14, 2016

I finally finished up a long overdue project for Taylor … a headboard for his bed. He had giving me a couple magazine images as to what he wanted, but I just haven’t found the time or put together the materials I needed to build it (let alone been ambitious enough to start the project). […]

Glad to see them travel, but good to know they are home safe too

| December 13, 2016

Katelyn and Drew are back home in Minnesota after a great time in Europe. Drew’s lung cancer presentation went well in Vienna and they enjoyed the extra couple of days traveling by train and transit back to Paris before flying home. We are looking forward to a few more photos but they sent enough photos […]

It is great to work in the garage shop with the woodstove

| December 12, 2016

One of the pleasures of winter and colder weather for me is hanging out and monkeying around in my garage shop with a fire in the woodstove. It has worked out perfectly for those weekends that I know it is going to be "just me" at home …or when I need a man cave (really […]

Generator, Curtain, Solar and overheating diesel on Encore

| December 11, 2016

Wrapping up a weekend trip with a few photos tinkering aboard Encore. Some needed cleaning and a few improvements were the items on the agenda. First up, I semi-fitted the new generator cage for the Honda EU2000i. I welded the aluminum up in the summer/fall and hope that once bolted in place it will keep […]

TechFriday 2: Just a couple camera and lens images

| December 9, 2016

The top image is a daylight test image while trying a new camera and lens combination (Panasonic Lumix GX8 and 14-140mm lens) and is a very large original image … so if you click it, it will prove to be a larger image download (be warned).

TechFriday: Kickstarter Raspberry Shake and other item arrived

| December 9, 2016

I helped fund the Raspberry Pi based computer Kickstarter project known as the RaspberryShake  networkingworking a large number of inexpensive earthquake monitoring station around the world (www.raspberryshake.org/quick-start-guide). The idea of connecting hundreds if not thousands of independent volunteer monitoring stations isn’t new, but it is a growing force in data collection. Hopefully I’ll be able […]

Frohe Weihnachten 2016 from Katelyn and Drew

| December 8, 2016

Tis the season to be starting to think about a “Jolly Christmas” as Katelyn and Drew sent back a couple photos from Vienna, Austria this week …  and from the looks of it, they are enjoying themselves. I sure hope little “Baby Oostra” likes long flights? It just so happened that Dr. Drew was invited […]

Encore gets a Vetus Strainer and thoughts on a sink upgrade

| December 6, 2016

I headed down to Florida to check in on Encore this past weekend and enjoyed the sunshine but not necessarily the long drive for a short stay. Primarily the in-water project had to do with getting the dodger and bimini back on the boat and getting the deck cleaned up after the harsh summer and […]

The training of Shaolin monks – photo from 1971

| December 4, 2016

One of the television shows I enjoyed growing up watching was Kung Fu with David Carradine. The program regularly flashed back from Carradine’s character Kwain Chang Caine in the old west to China where he grew up learning the Chinese martial arts from the monks at the Shaolin Monastery.  When I saw this photo from […]

Getting a straw stuck up your nose can be painful …

| December 2, 2016

I’ve heard of getting a straw stuck up your nose … but this is ridiculous.

A sense of accomplishment after the climb

| November 30, 2016

For those who backpack or have planned challenging hiking trips, few offer the impressive views and strenuous  climbs that the trails along the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, Hawaii. My son Taylor has sent back and posted a couple photo from his trip this week. Amazing trip.

My kids taking a walk on the same day in two different places

| November 28, 2016

  Chuckling at the difference between how relaxed Taylor’s “walk” on Kauai looks (while on his backpacking trip to Hawaii) compared to the walk Katelyn and Drew took this weekend in Wayzata, MN (our September trip). Taylor’s message to me after a few days “offline” — “We made it!”    

Shortened work week … or none at all for Taylor in Hawaii

| November 22, 2016

I couldn’t resist sharing one of my son’s photos from his Thanksgiving trip to Hawaii. The first few days have been spent at a friends house on Oahu not to far from Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Kaneohe Bay, but they are not sitting still. Each day after the morning rain, at least the two […]

The hand-me-down Charbroil grill is almost as good as new

| November 21, 2016

Last weekend my friend Jeff told me his old grill was mine for the taking, but that it was in need of some cleaning, some repair and new burners (besides the fire department tag it as unsafe for his apartment patio). I ordered new parts and a cover for under $50, repaired the rust holes […]

Single guys in Hawaii. What could go wrong?

| November 18, 2016

My son Taylor and his buddy Cam heading off this Friday morning on a trip to Hawaii. They have been planning a backpacking trip after locking up permits to hike the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast on Kauai since spring. One of their college friends works and lives in Honolulu so they have […]

Enjoying the night sky and the EXTRA Supermoon this month

| November 16, 2016

The autumn Supermoon of 2016 has certainly been a beautiful sight in the night sky these past few days. The last couple of evening I’ve enjoyed the view and "attempting" to capture the using only my iPhone 5s since my son has my DSLR for an upcoming trip to Hawaii; I’m hoping he will practiced […]

Free grill needing a little TLC. Good thing I can haul and weld!

| November 15, 2016

My good friend and old college buddy lives in an apartment which as been visited by the fire department — they tagged his door regarding the grill on his patio. Bad for him, good for me. All I had to do was go pick it up … glad I put the hitch on the BMW […]

Beautiful photography of a fisherman in China

| November 12, 2016

Photo credit: Xiaolong Guo

Together with Katelyn and Drew for their baby reveal [video]

| November 8, 2016

The highlight of this past weekend was in getting together with the Oostra family on a sunny and beautiful Sunday afternoon where Katelyn and Drew had a “Baby Oostra” reveal party. A popular trend nowadays is for young couples to make the gender reveal “an event” … and creativity seems to be the key. A […]

Dad posts heartbreaking photo of daughter 

| November 3, 2016

This is not a feel photo or story, and I suspect like me, seeing 4 year-old Jessica Whelan suffering from cancer and in pain in front of her dad is enough to bring tears to the eyes of any parent. For those sheltered from this kind of agony, a social network shared photo like this speaks […]

Weather wise, October weekends do not get much better

| October 30, 2016

What a great autumn weekend in Cincinnati. We had a gorgeous sky last night although the panorama photo mode on my "aging" iPhone 5s doesn’t do it justice.   Saturday was spend enjoying the outdoors as besides mowing the backyard, I "chipped away" at my wood pile by splitting and ended up cutting a few […]

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.