Phase of life: Enjoying life and watching family doing the same

Posted By on October 14, 2019

TaylorMeganPumpkinTime191012Is it already time for pumpkins and autumn? I guess it is … especially after seeing Taylor and Megan picking out pumpkins. They sent a great photo of them on Saturday enjoying the crisper weather and beautiful weather. Supposedly Taylor’s pumpkin is heavier … but I’m not seeing it in this photo (also, Happy Birthday Megan!).


On the previous weekend a bit further north, Annalyn, Drew and Katelyn also went to a fall festival, buying baking apples and checking out the John Deere tractor (Annalyn told me on FaceTime that she went on a Jeep ride too). Sounds like fun … but likely not as much fun as flying to Legoland this weekend. Off she goes, suitcase and all already!


Simple mount in BMW X5 35d for Amazon Echo Auto

Posted By on October 12, 2019


It isn’t easy to see this little magnetic bracket I made to hold my new Amazon Echo Auto low on the dash of the BMW X5 35d. I opted to make a little aluminum bracket that straddles the EchoAutoBlur191005pushbutton switch blanks to the right of a few other buttons. It is fastened with automotive trim tape on two rails and several leftover neodymium magnets used on previous projects. The bracket was painted with some zinc chromate primer that I used for my aluminum aircraft parts and some leftover Rustoleum Hammered paint that I used on petite outdoor cast aluminum table and chairs – I barely had enough and it was going bad (keeping old paint fresh enough to use is a pet peeve of mine).

I’m saving back the Amazon included AC air vent mount and cord holder … just in case I want to put it in Brenda’s “new to her” 2010 Acura RDX or my old van … if I can figure out a way to connect to my old 2002 Honda Odysseywork wagon(no Bluetooth or 3.5mm plug – maybe a FM gizmo?)



Tech Friday: Apple iOS 13.1.2 was a challenging update

Posted By on October 11, 2019

My conclusion is that some of my most recent Apple iPhone and iPad iOS update problems stem from having older mobile devices and iOS13BatteryIssue191005having loads older apps? That said, the upgrade to the mobile operating system known as iOS 13.1.2 (current) did not go smoothly for me. My iPhone 7plus is a few years old now as the iPhone 11 arrives on the scene in the fall of 2019, and my iPad Air getting the new iPad version (new separate release) is even older. Both have been running nearly flawlessly and I foolishly decided to update … after knowing never to jump on the “latest and greatest”  bandwagon if everything is running well with a previous version. When will I learn?

So, in order to fix the problem, I’ve been on Twitter with DMs (Direct Messages) with AppleSupport regarding my issues. First, and most important to me, is the loss of battery life. Prior to updating, I could comfortably go a full day on my relatively new battery. One of the screenshots clearly shows the Mail app using WAY more battery than at anytime in the past. The techs suggested I give it 24 hours to “index” … then see if it was still happening. I gave it 48 hours and it improved … but then out of the blue it happened again? Zap … late in the afternoon my phone got very hot in my pocket and once I again noticed that the Mail app was using over half the battery again? Who knows why.

Currently, everything seems fine and the Mail app is down to using only 7% … but I also tweaked the PUSH settings to 1 hour rather than the 30 minute I usually keep it at – I’ll be moving back to 30 now that it is working again … as long as I have a charger and cord with me!


Issue two was that the LTE or WiFi indicator would not switch when connecting to a broadband connection instead of wireless. That is not really a big deal, but it is not suppose to happen.  I again took a couple screenshot to illustrate iPhone-iOS13VolumeSliderthe problem, yet no matter if I was connected to WiFi or not, the indicator (underlined above) indicates that the iPhone is still on LTE (in my case VirginMobile). The suggestion was to remove a few of the legacy utility apps that have not been updated for a while … the culprit might have been Fing or it all might just be tied to the indexing after the new iOS install? In any case, my advices is to stick with your older iOS until you have a lot of time to tinker with your phone or mobile device.

Now that things seem to have settled down a bit, I’m ok with the new features and redesign … although can’t say that any of the tweaks make it all that much easier to use? So far, my favorite “simple feature has been the volume slider that takes up very little screen and just shows a bar next to the volume buttons on your iPhone.

Evaluating the Fitbit Versa – three month in and a little #TBT

Posted By on October 10, 2019

Previously I mentioned that Katelyn and Drew brought me kicking and screaming (not really) into the Fitbit “wrist device” wearing age and world. 70d3cd4367765cdcab0ff256acb7a54b67a406d86fcddb9f63cc45773b49651ctoolbag-07I had given up wearing a watch decades ago when I started carrying a pager. Eventually I adopted the Nextel belt holstered cellphone, then pocket folding Samsung i500 PDA phone. The new century brought a more functional PalmPre_RichC090929keyboarded PDA cellphone Samsung_i500_foldingPDAcellphone in the form of the Palm Treo and finally a more modern PalmPre followed by the iPhone (my Apple life).

I was hesitant to return to a “wrist device,” but it has been much more positive experience than I expected …especially with the encouraging me to exercise thing.


Ever since I started to wear the Fitbit Versa in July 2019, I have found myself paying more attention to portion control when eating, exercise (number of steps) and trying to monitor and control my weight – something I rarely ever did.  I’ve really never been “out of control” in that regard and tend to naturally focus on balanced meals and “somewhat” healthy eating … but wearing the Fitbit does focus me on long term trends when it comes to a healthier lifestyle and changes that I can make to activity and eating.

In fact … in looking back (the Throwback Thursday #TBT tie-in), there really has been a “10 pounds” trend throughout my life:


Let’s all put into practice Ellen’s "Be Kind To Everyone" advice

Posted By on October 9, 2019

EllenGWB_MattTweet191007An Ellen DeGeneres video clip (shared on EllenTube) has been circulating this week after she attended a Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers NFL football game last weekend. With inflamed politics and our divided country it was both good to see and good to hear celebrities getting along. We all need to take her advice to heart …

“We’re all different and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK.”

Archive: Photos of Annalyn sure brings a smile to this grandpa

Posted By on October 8, 2019

AnnalynMinnieMouse191005What kind of grandparent would I be if I didn’t share a cute photo or two of my granddaughter Annalyn onceAnnalynFacePainting1910005 in a while? It is hard to remember was life was like without this little cutie around.

Katelyn and Drew sent a couple recent fall festival photos to us … one of face painting and another with a really BIG Minnie MouseHmm, something tells me that a Disney World vacation is in her future?

Surprised smile

Music Monday: Remembering Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion 1975

Posted By on October 7, 2019

While listening to SiriusXM last week, I heard Aerosmith and Sweet Emotion that triggered high school memories for me (and another 1970 song from Music Monday). I was never an Aerosmith fan or listener of hard rock and roll music, AerosmithSweetEmotionCoverbut it was the music of many of my peers and like most transplanted high school kids, I listened to fit into a group.

One of my early high school friends, Chris Carr, was also a photographer that I worked with on the school yearbook, paper and local newspaper. So when “cruising” with him on a Friday or Saturday night in his older 1960-something Nova, we would pop the 8-track into his car stereo – more often than not, it was Aerosmith.

  Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion | 1975

Sweet Emotion” was released as a single on May 19, 1975, and peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band’s breakthrough single and their first Top 40 hit.he day it hit #36 on the U.S. chart, July 19, 1975, Aerosmith was booked at a gig in New York City’s Central Park, called the Schaefer Music Festival. The song and consequently the album that went into the Top 10 were so successful that the band decided to ride the heels of success and re-release one of their first singles, the power balladDream On“, which had originally charted at #59 in 1973. The re-released version went on to hit #6, the highest chart performance in the 1970s for the band.


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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