We had a great time babysitting Annalyn on Valentine’s Day

Posted By on February 16, 2019


Another wonder day spent with the ones I love, and a little one who definitely returns the love; now that’s the way to enjoy a Valentine’s Day!

Brenda and I headed to Katelyn and Drew’s in Perrysburg this past week and spent Valentine’s Day with Annalyn. I of course played the entire day, while Brenda, with Annalyn’s help, worked on making a special dinner to serve on Annalyn’s new kid-sized table when mommy and daddy got home from work (photo above- one of our our Christmas gift to her).  We all had a great time, although I was tired out!

Tech Friday: Had some new iPhone envy so downloaded Focos

Posted By on February 15, 2019

Same photo with min aperture option and maximum. Note Bokek effect.

On a recent trip, I happened to break my favorite pair of polarized sunglasses, so am using them as one last prop before tossing them in the trash … they have been epoxied and “jerry-rigged” (correct use of the term) together one too many times.

Download-Focos-app-on-your-iPhone-8-Plus-or-7-Plus-iPhone-XThe advanced camera available on the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max has my iPhone 7 plus feeling a little old in the tooth. One of the neat A12 chip plus new software features is the ability to modify the blur of a background (selective focus in traditional photography) after the shot — Apple calls this Depth Control.

So instead of coughing up over $1000 for a new iPhone, I opted to download a new app: Focos. The app enables a few more DSLR feature for a bokeh effect.

The Focos app has a free version and a paid version ($11.99) that gives older iPhones with duel cameras to edit photos taken in the “portrait mode” to be aperture adjusted.


Currently I’ve only downloaded the free version and edited a couple previously portrait photos, but  will have to see a bit more from it before I purchase the paid version.


Happy Amazon Alexa Echo iHome iAV2B Valentine’s Day

Posted By on February 14, 2019

iHomeClock_ValentinesDay190214_aniIt may be a quirky Valentine’s Day gift, but Brenda tossed our alarm clock of 36+ years into the trash a couple months ago saying, “I don’t trust it anymore.” I was relatively happy to see it go since the “honk, honk, honk” of the alarm was the most annoying alarm ever.

Besides, I’ve been using my phone for years now and we both agreed that we much prefer waking up gently to music over the “honk,” but depending on how she sets hers, it occasionally is muted or the volume is set too low.

So … since we’ve already opened our house to Amazon’s virtual assistant platform with a few Echo Dots and one bigger Echo … I reluctantly decided to go the next step and use Alexa as our alarm clock. I shopped and found a new  iHome iAV2B Alarm Clock for $35 on Ebay and we will see if it passes for a Valentine’s Day gift? (FYI … I know better … it won’t) 


Obituary: John Harold Haynes, founder of Haynes Publishing

Posted By on February 13, 2019

JohnHaynes_MGBFor those of us who grew up working on cars pre-Internet, the Haynes Manuals were one of the “go-to” sources on how to fix automobiles … or at least a particular brand and model of car. Last week  John Haynes, the founder of the publishing company, passed away at 80 years old.

Although I also have a few Bentley manuals and still have my original Chilton’s generic repair manual, the Haynes manuals were the ones that I remembered and relied on the most. I still have (and use) the one John is holding in this photo for my MGB … and a couple for my Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel too.

The online offerings and many free videos have mostly replaced the softback manuals that usually end up grease smudged and dogeared, but I still have a weak spot in my heart for those printed on paper … of course I also grew up working for newspapers and started a printing company!

25th March 1938 to 8th February 2019


John Haynes, the entrepreneur and creator of the Haynes Manual, founder of the Haynes Publishing Group PLC and the Haynes International Motor Museum passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on the evening of Friday 8th February, aged 80, after a short illness. John was a kind, generous, loving and devoted husband, brother, father and grandfather, who will be missed enormously.


It has been interesting reviewing my Ancestry.com DNA results

Posted By on February 12, 2019


Having worked on my family tree with Ancestry.com back in 2010 and then ignored returning 9 years later, it has been interesting to look into it again now that DNA testing has grown in popularity. My results came back a few days ago GermanWales87percentand they were “as expected” (although the map a bit deceiving). From our family history, and the previous researched immigration documentation (ship logs), I was pretty sure most of my DNA would show Welsh and Germanic ancestry; it did and totaled 87%.

The centimorgans numbers worked out well too (unlike a recent WSJ horror story) and matched my DNA closest to my daughter Katelyn (Taylor’s results aren’t back yet) and my brother Ron. I knew both recently did their DNA tests, but seeing so many other matches from my uncle Sonny (my dad’s brother) and several cousins was interesting too. The other 2nd, 3rd and 4th DNA matches were much lower in the centimorgans amount but was still interesting to see a few names I knew, and many that I did not.

Predicted Relationship Chart from Ancestry.com


Music Monday: A recycled Beatles song and something from 1969

Posted By on February 11, 2019

Taxman_sheet_music_coverThere is probably a name for them, although I’m not sure what it is … but my nephew Aaron always seemed to me to be that guy who missed his era, particularly in music taste?

Last week he commented that my “taxing wireless plans” blog post deserved Taxman by the Beatles to be included on Music Monday (well, I was half there, since it was posted it back “pre-Music Monday” in 2010).

  Taxmanwritten by George Harrison

It did make me smile though, as only he would be connecting 1960 or 70s music to one of my mundane posts. Although in a way, it is nice to know he keeps up with our family (and my) “goings-on” by checking my blog, as do a few other friends who comment from out of the blue – yes you know who you are? I remembered laughing last month when my daughter Katelyn mentioned she was talking to her cousins Justin and Aaron a Peek n Peak over Christmas; she said something about what I was doing and Justin seemed surprised. His brother Aaron chimed in, “don’t you read uncle Rich’s blog?” Too funny!

Anyway, I’ll include something new for the blog from The Beatles in 1969 on this Music Monday since I just returned from a few days aboard Encore and enjoyed the warm sunshine each morning (a few previous songs are here and here).

  Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles | 1969


Enjoyed a few days of Florida sunshine aboard Encore last week

Posted By on February 10, 2019


I enjoyed the warm sunshine and working on a few project on Encore this past week. It was a delayed trip due to a flight cancelation, but thankful my schedule is pretty flexible. It would have been nice to stay longer and to have had Brenda with me, but "ya got to do what you got to do."

EncoreSunshine190206It was also nice to see a few old friends and catch up on a few maintenance items … although repairs on a sailboat are never done. That last bit is something I’m plenty familiar with and so will keep trying to enjoy working on the boat.


This past week was a semi-bust in that the scuba guy I use to clean the bottom and replace sacrificial zincs did not show up. I also tried to diagnose my overheating issue but did not tear into the heat exchanger on the Volvo diesel … something that is looking more and more like it needs to be done. If I run the engine at low RPMs EncoreCenterHatch190208without much load, there seems to be enough water flowing over the heat exchanger tubes to cool enough, but if under a heavier load or higher RPM, the diesel will overheat.

One of the other projects I wanted to get done was to remove the center (smaller) Lewmar Ocean series hatch, just as I did for the larger ones a couple years ago. I did get it removed (not easy) and built a temporary wood plug/hatch to seal the opening. Before flying back home, I sent the hatch to Select Plastics in order to have new Lexan bedded in to the frame. It is a pricey repair, but has become necessary after continued taping in order to keep it from leaking. I really put off this repair because I’ll end up losing my solar vent. Bummer.

While I was down at the marina it was great to see the new pool going in … but not so good to see dockage rates going up.


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.
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