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 […]

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 […]

Remapping a couple keys on the new Lenovo Yoga 710

| November 20, 2016

I couldn’t take the continued typos anymore and had to map the "right-shift" key on my new Lenovo Yoga 710 to the "arrow-up" key. So as not to lose my "arrow-up" key, I mapped that to the rarely used "right-ctrl" key. Now all is well with the world.  

A second temporary BMW 528i upper radiator hose repair

| November 8, 2016

Besides being distracted on Tuesday watching the general election news, a call from my son Taylor brought me back to reality. I scrapped my afternoon plans and drove down to Clermont County where he works to "try a second time" to make a temporary repair (the first one was Sunday night). There is a ridiculously […]

R is for Robert, or is it Roger … or maybe Romeo?

| November 7, 2016

A learning game we played while traveling by car was to spell things out using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Both Katelyn and Taylor did a great job learning it … and I think to this day they remember it. Give it a try if you need a way to pass the time AND practice for […]

TechFriday: Tim Berners Lee — The Double Slash

| October 21, 2016

Given what Sir Tim did for all of us when he developed HTML and created the World Wide Web, he’s got a fair amount of credit in the bank. If he did have any major regrets about the web, we wouldn’t find it too difficult to forgive him, but his mea culpa relates to only […]

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 […]

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).

Creative storage under a sink and vertical clothing storage

| September 26, 2016

We already regularly "hang" spray bottle in our laundry room and in my workshop, but why not use a spring rod to take advantage of two layers of storage under the kitchen sink? Another one from the same website was in dresser drawer storage. Instead of piling folded clothing flat, fold it so it fits […]

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 […]

Generator cage project and relearning TIG welding skills

| September 21, 2016

In a previous post, I sketched out a "Generator Cage," for the lack of a better term, for our sailboat Encore. The idea is to slip off a Sunbrella cover so we can use the Honda EU2000i Inverter Generator mentioned here on the aft deck when needing power at anchor to charge the batteries and […]

Tidbit how-to tip: Use a clothespin to help hold a small nail

| September 20, 2016

Here’s  a last minute blog filler for those who have ever (or might) hit their fingers when hammering in a small nail or tack. For years I’ve used needle-nose pliers to hold the nail, but since we have a bunch of extra "bag clips" (it is what we primarily use clothespins for) laying around, I […]

The old Mercedes is out and about and starting a boat project

| September 18, 2016

After sitting quietly most of the summer, my friend Jeff needed to borrow a set of wheels for a week. He has intimately name the 1982 MB diesel the "old girl" and seems to appreciate her many quirks. Since it isn’t covered, there was a little dust, but she still looks pretty good to me. […]

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 […]

Monitoring Inverter and Battery with an inexpensive shunt

| September 7, 2016

Instead of spending a lot more dollars on an expensive monitor (like the LINK 2000-R and Xantrex Inverter that we have on Encore) for a battery bank powering a back up inverter when I add our new grilling, greenhouse, generator and porch space, I’ve added a cheap $18.75 shunt and meter from Amazon. I’ve used […]

How To: Cleaning silicone sealant from a car window

| August 1, 2016

What a pain! Silicone all over the side of my Honda Odyssey. Have you have ever had to remove silicone sealant from a surface? It is not fun. Thankfully the majority of what was purposely or accidentally (hmm?) drizzled or wiped all over my minivan this past year in Florida was on the side windows. […]

Who really was paying attention in school way back when?

| July 29, 2016

It has been a while since I’ve seen one of these, but once I figured out what it was, the memory of Jerusalem Elementary School and Mrs. Fell came rushing back. I still remember her taped up wooden paddle as it slammed intimidatingly on the the desks at the front of the class in order […]

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 […]

Installed a 2 inch hitch receiver and flat 4-plug on the BMW X5

| June 24, 2016

I’m behind on my BMW X5 35d updates as the hitch installation happened over Father’s Day weekend and I failed to get the photos to my computer. The process started by peeling off the body moldings which have every combination of plastic locking tab. Suffice to say, I broke a few trying to figure out […]

Pumpy Umpy the rabbit and the Cuppycake song

| April 30, 2016

You would think an over 17 million viewed video on YouTube with a Pumpy Umpy reference would be something I would have watched before … nope … but now I have. So much for knowing about Amy Castle or the Cuppycake song.

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 […]

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

Leap Day! An explanation from across the pond

| February 29, 2016

February 29 crops up every four years, but what is a leap year and  why do we have leap years? A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is down to the solar system’s disparity with the Gregorian calendar. A complete orbit of the earth around […]

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 […]

A Ben Bernanke cameo in The Big Bang Theory? #TBBT

| February 19, 2016

It is fun finding out about cameo appearances in movies and TV programs … as I mentioned the other day with singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett. Another cameo tidbit popped up after this week’s popular The Big Bang Theory sitcom. According to the commentary on FoxBusiness, the previous Fed chair Ben Bernanke and his wife are big enough […]

Jimmy Buffett made a cameo in Jurassic World–who knew?

| February 17, 2016

Every once in a while, a tidbit of fairly worthless trivia crosses my plate and yet I find it interesting. I heard this week that a long time singer, songwriter, performer, author and obviously actor that I’ve enjoyed my whole life, had a cameo part in last years movie Jurassic World. Hm … Jimmy Buffett […]

So when is it overkill to be worried about infectious disease?

| January 18, 2016

Do you really need to put toilet paper on the seat like mom taught you? "If it makes you feel better," says Melissa Hawkins, director of the public health scholars program at American University, who’s an expert in biostatistics, behavioral health and community health. "The toilet seats are not a vehicle for the transmission of […]

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.