What do you do with the extra Epoxy after it has been mixed?

| December 5, 2017

When mixing a small batch of epoxy for a repair, I’m always looking for a secondary project that needs some adhesion. I’ve finally decided that my go-to project is to apply additional "wear bars" to the heels of my favorite Sperry Topsiders. I’ve done this before and besides the slightly annoying "clicking" sound, the epoxy […]

Tech Friday: Apple iPhone iOS 11 Flashlight brightness levels

| December 1, 2017

Most Apple iPhone users (as well as Android users) have been using a smartphone as a flashlight for years with only a few innovations. The simple swipe up and click on has been relatively straight forward until the addition of brightness levels. With iOS11, the text description has been eliminated (???) but the brightness level […]

Tech Friday: Twitter shortcuts when using a computer

| November 24, 2017

Although most of use probably use Twitter on our phones or tablets, there are times users check out the latest Tweets on "the bigger screen." If you use Twitter as your news (or "fakenews" feed), try a few of these power-user shortcuts.

Interesting: How much would you spend on an engagement ring?

| November 11, 2017

In a financial discussion regarding saving money and cost of living for millennials, someone mentioned that in today’s world of equality, men are still expected to give an engagement ring. We’ve come a long way from the cigar band ring or spending the cliché "three months of salary." In 2016, the average being spent for […]

My slang name for a dirty drainage ditch – CRICK plus #video

| October 26, 2017

Yesterday I shared a "map" diagram with my daughter Katelyn and labeled a small drainage ditch we called the "crick" … also shared a disease story with her that she decided not to share with her friend. The name for that bit of water got me thinking about all the names we use for bodies […]

Racking my brain to remember names from elementary school

| October 25, 2017

My daughter Katelyn and I exchanged a few messages over the past couple of days that had me reminiscing and trying to remember names of a few kids when I was in grade school. It started visiting in Perrysburg last week watching Annalyn when Katelyn mentioned that a co-worker of hers and father went to […]

Tech Friday: Making power adapters last longer

| October 20, 2017

Here’s a short tip for making power adapter wires last longer when traveling or packing them in a computer bag: When winding the cord, don’t wrap the first loop too tight. The usual fail points when cords are coiled over and over are where the wires enter the power block or the plug, so allow […]

More Power: Bigger batteries for the Rat Zapper mousetrap

| September 25, 2017

Sort of laughing at myself after running out of smaller AA batteries for my Rat Zapper “electric zapping mousetrap.” Yes it would have been simpler to run to the store (or remember when I was out) to pick up “another” set of batteries for the trap, but then what fun is that? Instead Brenda was […]

iRobot Verro has been the longest lasting automatic pool robot

| September 23, 2017

About the only replacement parts I’ve had to purchase for our iRobot Verro pool sweeper/ cleaner were the filter bags that go inside the housing. It has been the best of the pool cleaners we have had. Originally we started our pool ownership with a hopping Kreepy Krauly gizmo for our first pool back in […]

Tired of reaching for that illusive dock cleat?

| September 9, 2017

There I times the Robship boat hook would make docking a whole lot easier …

TechFriday: Testing the portrait-mode on the iPhone 7 Plus

| August 25, 2017

While listening to the early comments from the technology pages and news programs regarding Samsung (Galaxy Note 8) and Apple (iPhone 8 – ???)releasing their new smartphone models, I realized there are features I haven’t used much. One of the camera upgrades coming to the new Samsung Note 8 phone is a portrait mode like […]

The DVD movie Gifted was excellent, plus a Redbox tip

| August 10, 2017

We are not big movie watchers and rarely go to the movie theater, but we did rent a very enjoyable movie on Sunday night … Redbox coupon triggered "movie night."  Anyway the child acting was excellent and story line enticing enough to spur debate. Brenda, the competition type, would have preferred to maximize education over […]

Twice rebuilt AO Smith pool pump motor is chattering again

| July 29, 2017

It is that time again … the pool pump motor is chattering and popping breakers. That is a likely indication that the bearings are worn and it is time to recondition or rebuild the electric motor. I’ve had pretty good luck the last couple of rebuilds, but this time I’m opting on ordering a new […]

Tidbit Tip on keeping drains flowing without harsh chemicals

| July 28, 2017

Roto-Rooter’s Paul Abrams has a pipe-clearing trick that’s simple, cost-effective and environmentally friendly (unlike most drain cleaners, which use harsh chemicals). Here’s how it’s done: Remove the stopper on your drain Pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain Pour 1 cup white vinegar down the drain Wait 10 minutes (boil some water while you’re […]

Independence Day: Render Unto Caesar, a Mike Rowe Podcast

| July 4, 2017

If you listen and make it to the end of this 10 minute July 4, 2017 Independence Day podcast by Mike Rowe, you’ll get the point of this interesting story. Well worth the Blue Apron advertisement and introduction (definitely a worthwhile podcast to subscribe to or follow on Facebook).  Render Unto Caesar (mp3) | Mike […]

Very handy and inexpensive shield from a soda – pop bottle

| June 24, 2017

After pelting my eyes with metal chips while grinding as a teenager, I’m overly careful when using tools nowadays. The nighttime of agony and picking out metal chips from my eyes was enough to teach me a lesson … and I’m so thankful to still have my eyesight. Be warned if you are reading this […]

Definitely Desultory – Who are the four kings in a deck of cards?

| June 14, 2017

#TeamFiona playing cards on sale for short time at Cincinnati area Kroger It is strange after 50 years that curiosity finally piqued my interest as to how the four kings on playing cards came to be …  who are they?  Of course  the beauty of having the Internet at your fingertips is that finding “an” answer […]

TechFriday: Circumventing AdBlocker detection websites

| May 26, 2017

Are you tired of more and more sites with pop-ups blocking content and asking your to whitelist their sites from your browsers ad blocking extension if you want to read their content? Then read on. First, I’m an advocate for advertiser supported websites and appreciate readers who occasionally read and click the few ads that are semi-hidden […]

Artwork or recyclable copper scrap metal?

| May 25, 2017

I’ve seen crazier ideas, so before I dismiss my wife completely for seeing this as artwork, it will get moved from the recycle bin to a temporary hanging spot in my shop. I could have lied and claimed this was "my latest eccentric artwork."  Brenda would like me to make a frame or shadow box […]

Tips on making Gmail easier to use by Joanna Stern, WSJ.com

| May 18, 2017

Great tips from tech writer Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal on dealing with a few Gmail nits most of us using Google’s free services have. See her article at WSJ.com. 1. Priorities, Priorities You may not know it, but Google’s email bots have not one but two ways of automatically organizing your messages: […]

Looking for a beaten up stock? Look at FireEye – $FEYE

| April 27, 2017

Once a cloud-computing software security darling, FireEye has taken it on the chin and then some. Concerns still abound, but from most accounts, a bottom in stock price may have been found. It is particularly encouraging that Goldman’s Gabriela Borges, a software security analyst, has issued a “buy” recommendation and believes the stock will rally 18% […]

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 […]

Simple hack for cleaning the gutters

| March 19, 2017

Although using a leaf blower may be more fun in cleaning the gutters, it can make a mess of everything below. I generally use rubber gloves, but in the end always slice them up and end up with a bare hand anyway. Here’s a great idea: Cut an anti-freeze or similar shaped plastic gallon jug […]

Forgotten and leftover from Christmas 2016

| March 19, 2017

My son Taylor is geography and map kind of guy so I gave him a mag-lift spinning globe for his desk for Christmas 2016. His interests and innate sense of direction is probably why he pursued “Urban Planning and now coordinates development for Clermont County Ohio as a county planner. Anyway, I had forgotten that […]

Hammock time on a sailboat from Sailing Britaly

| March 17, 2017

TechFriday: Use an iPhone as a magnifying glass

| March 17, 2017

The Magnifier is a simple but overlooked feature on an iPhone. The setting is found in Settings > General > Accessibility. Turn “Magnifier” on. Then simply press the home button three times anywhere on the iPhone — either on the lock screen, the home screen, or in an app.

How many germs are passed around on airplanes?

| March 7, 2017

Interesting tidbits posted to Marketwatch … I’m thinking a "bottle of water" might be my request the next time I travel? Don’t get ice in your drink on an airplane From a flight attendant here: “Don’t get ice in your drink, don’t drink coffee, tea, or hot water on the plane and don’t touch anything […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Engineering chessboard project idea

| January 29, 2017

Snipping an idea. Perhaps make the board with inset magnets to hold the pieces? Perhaps laminate over a peg board to more easily space Neodymium Magnets that fit in each hole?

Tool Tips: Screwdriver hacks [video]

| January 13, 2017

  A few of these screwdriver hacks are not necessarily new, but could be helpful if you are ever caught shorthanded for the right tool. I’m particularly fond of using the wrench and screwdriver together (above left) as even with a full set of wrenched and sockets, there are a few oddities preventing wrenches from […]

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 […]

Tech – Jobs Friday: Wages up, but a tepid 156K nonfarm job rise

| January 6, 2017

U.S. employment increased less than expected in December, but wages are rising, ever so slightly after a long stagnancy. Most economists are positive since they say we only need to create 56,000 jobs per month to keep up with current levels of new entrants in the job market. Others will point out that our job […]

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" […]

Time.com – How Hot Was Your Baby Name?

| January 2, 2017

This Time.com post isn’t brand new, but since my daughter is due in March, “we” have an interest in baby names. Have you ever wondered how popular your or your child’s name was when named “back in the day?” We you a “Trendsetter” or named “after its time?”

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 […]

Archiving: Great sailing related article on reefing sails

| December 30, 2016

There are much better places to save articles than a publicly available blog like Evernote, GetPocket, Google apps as well as locally archived HTML, Docs and PDFs, but I still occasionally enjoy having them on MyDesultoryBlog. So as with a few other archived articles on reefing (1 & 2), I’m saving this Cruising World Seamanship 101: […]

Scavenger from one furnace to keep another furnace going

| December 20, 2016

A chill is in the air, but likely that has more to do with our 21 year old 80,000 BTU furnace acting up. We have three furnaces so I’m hoping it is the "pressure switch" once again; it does seem to be the weak links on modern high-efficiency furnaces (or could be all furnaces for […]

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.