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 […]

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 […]

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.