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 […]

Choosing pressure treated lumber by reading tree rings

| January 7, 2016

Pressure-treated wood is a delightful product. It’s chemically protected to ward off insects and fungal decay. This protection increases the lifespan of the wood and makes it ideal for outdoor projects like decks. But here’s an important thing to keep in mind when picking pressure-treated 4x4s. The chemical treatment process in question isn’t as effective […]

Archive: Backing up Raspberry Pi SD img using Mac Terminal

| January 5, 2016

After tweaking the 64GB micro SD card to get a few things set up on the Raspberry Pi, it sounded like a good idea to backup an image. The best option sounds like using the Terminal and command line instructions … but be aware, even with rdisk, it take a while. An example from raspberrypi.stackexchange.com […]

Banished words, phrases and slang from 2015

| January 5, 2016

It has been an annual tradition to look at the overused terms, words and slang at the end of a year … this years Lake Superior State University’s list wasn’t that impressive in my opinion, but tradition continues:

Brightness settings on iMac with a second display

| December 29, 2015

How do you control the brightness on Thunderbolt connected secondary monitor without any physical controls? This took me a few minutes to figure out … so its worth archiving as a tidbit. When your display desktop is at a premium, or you are running virtual operating systems, having a second monitor is a real plus. I added a secondhand 27″ Mac Thunderbolt […]

Websites that make you smarter

| December 2, 2015

Thought these were great links: Here are 30 of the best sites where you can learn as an individual or connect your team to professional and personal development: 1. TED Talks: Ted is all about ideas worth spreading TED’s tagline is “ideas worth spreading.” usually A video collection of sin the form of short, powerful […]

Cheesy Bacon Egg Cups are simple and tasty

| November 17, 2015

Appreciation for the hospitaliy of friends is something that is hard to quantify, but having friends like Mark and Dar Jones makes living so very enjoyable.  They always go over and above whenever I stop to visit … and the yesterday mornings’ extras were definitely an “over and above” delishes. I can’t wait to make these at home … […]

My favorite inexpensive smaller low wattage LED light bulbs

| November 4, 2015

Over the last couple years, my son-in-law and I have been slowly upgrading our home light bulbs with varied LEDs. For both of us it has been an experiment in getting the most satisfactory bulbs for the least number of dollars … unfortunately that usually means ordering a box from China in bulk (gambling with […]

The etymology of “pay through the nose”

| November 1, 2015

I don't recall why I used the phrase “pay through the nose” this past week, but this sounds about right … Instead of fighting the invaders, some English kings preferred to pay the Vikings to leave them in peace. These payments were called 'Danegeld' (meaning 'Dane debt' or Dane payment). The Vikings collected tribute in […]

How a lock and key works

| October 24, 2015

Out with the old–Taylor sold his 2007 Volkswagen GTI

| October 15, 2015

Who knows if this was a good decision or not … but my son Taylor decided to sell his 2007 Volkswagen GTI (no … not a diesel TDI tarnished by the VW emissions scandal) and is looking to buy something new. Maybe it was due to driving a full size pickup and a large SUV […]

Return to work day for Brenda after her summer accident

| October 13, 2015

It’s been almost 10 weeks since Brenda fractured her pelvis and busted up her shoulder and today is “return to work day.” We are hoping she can tolerate it. The physical therapy has gone well but it has been a challenging recovery in getting to this point. Brenda is exceedingly appreciative to one particular occupational […]

Second GOP debate: Fiorina and Rubio stood out

| September 17, 2015

Last night’s second GOP debate on CNN at the Reagan Library wasn’t bad as debates go. The current frontrunner, the attention grabbing Donald Trump did one thing for the Republican brand … he got generated attention. His grade school behavior buffoonery brought far viewers to  the stodgy GOP and that alone could help Republicans ideas […]

Tidbits from the old days: The origin of sayings (maybe)

| September 5, 2015

The origins of these idioms are interesting (even if untrue). I didn’t bother looking any of them up, just posted the saying from a forwarded email … although probably pulled from a magazine or an archived site? “In the old days,” a big kettle hung over the fire and was used to make a stew. […]

TechFriday: Quick easy-to-read news update by email

| July 10, 2015

For the past few weeks I’ve been enjoying a quick read each morning summarizing the previous day’s news from theSkimm.com. Currently it is a free subscription and is delivered to your email box and worded in a light and easy to comprehend way. For those interested in more of a business news update, check out […]

What does a Bearcat or Binturong smell like?

| July 7, 2015

It doesn’t get more #random than this as mentioned in my tweet today. In a Wall Street Journal video interview with a Columbus Zoo “zookeeper,” one of the comments made about the the Bearcat (or Binturong) is that they have a peculiar smell – that of Doritos!

Paper shredder: To fix or replace … that is the question?

| June 8, 2015

Just because it can be fixed (Jury/ Jerry Rigged) doesn’t mean it should be repaired? The “old-ish” paper shredder in my home office is often over-fed with too many sheets of paper or plastic credit cards. It usually keeps right on chugging until it overheats, but last week it sputtered, ground the gears and stopped. […]

Better kitchen knifes: Appreciating a sharp blade and good steel

| May 28, 2015

Shortly after Brenda and I were married, I commented that I was going to write an advice book for new couples that included the good and bad decisions we made when buying things for our home, yard, kids and our life. After all this time I’ve yet to write the advice book, but continue to […]

Building a Carpenter Bee Trap — Thanks Tim!

| May 17, 2015

Here are instructions for a simple, but effective carpenter bee trapLINK

Tip: Cover sharp edges of cotter pins with a blob of silicone

| April 22, 2015

Every once in a while I run across a good idea and save the tool tip. I don’t recall which sailing magazine or source I clipped this to my iPad in, but wanted to archive to my blog. I’ve noticed a few purchased products with a silicone blob on electrical connections, but adding a little […]

Alphabetic odds for becoming President of the United States

| April 21, 2015

If by fate, your last name begins with a letter in the second half of the alphabet, you may be at a disadvantage when it comes to being elected to public office? A unscientific look at a list of past U.S. Presidents one think that there might be more than just a legacy advantage to […]

Emergency cooking on toilet paper and alcohol can stove

| December 28, 2014

On a previous sailboat and in my backpacking gear I use an alcohol stove for cooking, but the other day I saw a video clip expanding an idea for emergency or “bugout bag” use. (video below) The concept is pretty simple: Use a roll or partial roll of toilet paper as a wick to absorb […]

Video: Cool rope cutting tip if you don’t have a knife

| December 2, 2014

Tooltip: Carabiners for boxed end wrench storage

| October 16, 2014

Here’s a tip for using carabiners to organize boxed end wrenches that was posted on Lifehacker. Since I keep most of my wrenches in my drawered tool box, this is unnecessary and would slow access … but I do keep a few wrenches in soft tool bags in the trunk of my car and on […]

Desultory tidbits: Africa, pre-1938 child labor and satisfaction

| September 7, 2014

Most of us see a few posts or images that seem interesting, thought provoking or just surprising. The Desultory tidbit title is a way to toss those collect bits into a miscellaneous post. This week a “size of Africa” map caught my attention as did an post titled “Money can by happiness” in The Economist. […]

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.