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 […]

National Geographic iconic Afghan Girl arrested in Pakistan

| October 29, 2016

Pakistani police have arrested National Geographic’s green-eyed “Afghan Girl” — whose striking picture became the symbol of the plight of refugees– for having a phony ID card.Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency conducted a raid Wednesday at a residence in the city of Peshawar, where Sharbat Gula was taken into custody. The FIA had gotten word about […]

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 […]

Trying to keep a sense of humor about the upcoming election

| October 23, 2016

It has NOT been an enjoyable campaign season … a very long year and a half! Citizens of voting age in the United States (see Twiitter comment below) voluntarily head to the polls to decide who they want or more appropriately DON’T want as their president for the next 4 years. I doubt I’m alone […]

Creativity knows no bounds. Is Upcycling gaining momentum?

| October 20, 2016

How about hanging chairs on the walk (not so you can sweep the floors), but for added storage and clothes hanging space? You’ll probably not see me doing that, but you might catch me working on this kind of project … at least for my workshop or garage! (See newspip)

More repairs and parts. The John Deere 330 diesel this time.

| October 17, 2016

Actually this repair is long, LONG overdue. A decade or so ago when I was heavy into running biodiesel, a sticky batch of fuel ended up in our John Deere. I really never hesitated to run about anything in this little Yanmar diesel engine, but the biodiesel was a mistake. The solvent nature of the […]

There are talented artists everywhere … look at this LogHog!

| October 14, 2016

Click image for the original

John Deere 330 Diesel 10K Generator project update

| October 13, 2016

After doing a little maintenance and replacing the front tires on the John Deere 330 last month, I finally finished the simple 10K generator setup and wired up a new longer power-to-house cable. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to come up with a mount that makes it easy enough from my wife to connect the generator […]

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 […]

Customer service, car covers, warranties and cheap wire

| October 2, 2016

This past week I’ve made a few frustrating online transactions and purchases. First, in dealing with NewEgg, I attempted to use a credit on my business account and decided to handled it on the phone with customer service rather than risk it online. I explained that I was using a "store credit" and wanted to […]

Roses are red, natural gas pipes are grey

| September 26, 2016

Really just an excuse to post a beginning of autumn photo of roses from the flower beds … but for semi-straggly looking Knockout Roses, they add a bit of color to the greenery around our house. Actually I was painting the natural gas pipes on both the house and poolhouse as they were starting to […]

How much room do you leave between vehicles?

| September 25, 2016

A photo is worth a 1000 words — and this photo is a chilling reminder for those of us who travel regularly on the interstates. I purposely allow for more buffer than many when following a line of traffic (a car length for every 10 mph) AND in particular give semi-trucks even more breathing room. […]

Trip to visit Katelyn and Drew in Wayzata, MN — Part 3

| September 16, 2016

Continued from 9/14/2016 and 9/15/2016 — This is PART 3:   Instead of heading home, we picked up pizza and headed over to my nephew Justin and his wife Keity’s new house (photo above) about 25 minutes from Wayzata. He and his son Evan gave us the grand tour while we waited for his wife […]

Trip to visit Katelyn and Drew in Wayzata, MN — Part 2

| September 15, 2016

Continued from 9/14/2016 — This is PART 2: Sunday was fully planned as well. Katelyn and Drew had scoped out a car show in previous years and they knew it would be something I would enjoy. So before going to a ballgame, “we” (well at least “I”) enjoyed the old cars — and shared a […]

A very enjoyable trip to visit Katelyn and Drew in Wayzata, MN

| September 14, 2016

Tempus fugit (Latin phrase) for "Time flies" when you’re having fun!  … and we certainly had a good time this past weekend with our pregnant daughter Katelyn and husband Drew. This trip to Minneapolis was the first since Thanksgiving 2015 — shame on us — but at least we waited for great weather to visit. […]

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 […]

Eventually I will want one … the Apple iPhone7 plus

| September 8, 2016

Why you ask? The Camera. Apple has again updated their excellent smartphone and this time, from the sounds of it, have really improved the picture taking ability of the iPhone. Both versions have an upgraded lens, software, processor and larger sensor (12 megapixels). There are a lot of smart tweaks that help with point and […]

Replacing tires on the John Deere lawn tractor

| September 5, 2016

One of the home/yard updates last week were new tires on our 30 year old John Deere 330 diesel lawn tractor.  It has been a great small tractor and the 16 HP Yanmar diesel has performed flawlessly year after year. I’ve rewired and “plumbed” (rubber hoses with Viton) the fuel system do to an electrical fire a […]

Ominous skies as storm roll through

| August 29, 2016

It is not all that unusual to have storms roll though on hot summer afternoon/evenings, but the dark skies with wind and lightning keeps me attentive to the weather after recent damage in Indiana as well as Ohio (or a Lightening Bolt Killing 323 Reindeer in Norway!) We had a hot weekend with temperatures in the […]

Our 2010 BMW X5 35d clicked odometer to 150,000 miles

| August 27, 2016

On my drive home this week, our 2010 BMW X5 35d modified diesel rolled the odometer passed 150K (I know, they don’t roll like my old Mercedes anymore). Economy is not quite up to the 30 mpg highway that I have been hoping for, but I’m not complaining about 28 mpg "with an impressive power" […]

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 […]

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.