A little disappointed in my new New Sperry Topsiders

Posted By on February 26, 2020

Old verse New Sperry Topsiders for 2020

Although I’ve needed a new pair of Sperry Topsiders for quite some time now, I was disappointed in that the shoe was not made the same as a previous version. I’ve had over a dozen boat shoes in my lifetime, but only the Sperry brand in recent years. TopsidersNEWvOld_1_200214

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still happy with the new boat shoes, and great Valentine’s Day gift from Brenda earlier this month, but sense Sperry is cheapening their product and banking on their good name? Perhaps it is just a less expensive version that markets the sole and look of their previous well constructed shoes, but “I thought” I was getting the same shoe as before (could be my mistake)?


At any rate, the new shoe has more in common with my 1970s and 80s boat shoes in that there isn’t the same stitching and reinforced lined areas that my prior/recent shoes have had. No doubt the leather will wear equally well … but suspect the bare foot on raw leather will be even more difficult to keep from taking on odor.

Only time will tell … for now, time to break them in!


Are US presidents “rock-stars” based on political ideology?

Posted By on February 25, 2020


It is shocking to see therock-star welcome (or thumbs down reception in socialist leaning countries) that “recent” American presidents get when they are overseas. I said “recent American presidents” in respect for the popularity President Obama had when traveling in the leaning countries of Europe; he was seen as tilting the U.S. to the left and more like them  … but have to admit, President Trump is received well by people who still embrace independence from government, individual freedom and fair market-based capitalism as a preferred way of life and improving overall quality of life. 

PresTrumpIndia_100K_200224Trump just filled the world’s largest cricket stadium with over 100,000 people in India.

AHMEDABAD, India—President Trump kicked off two days in India with a huge campaign-style rally in the home state of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a reprise of a raucous event the pair staged in the U.S. last year, and a visit to the Taj Mahal with the first lady.

Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania, were greeted at the airport by women in traditional attire dancing with water pots on their heads and men playing the trumpet and drums, along with other artists from every corner of India. They drove past giant cutout images of the two leaders. People carried balloons and wore T-shirts emblazoned with the names of the two leaders and masks of their likenesses.

On the way, the pair stopped at the spiritual center where Mohandas K. Gandhi, better known by the honorific title Mahatma, lived. It is now a museum and national monument dedicated to the person that many Indians revere as the “father of the nation” for his role in leading India to independence from British rule through the use of nonviolence.

Mr. Trump signed the guest book with an upbeat message to “my great friend Prime Minister Modi, Thank you for this wonderful visit!”

MORE in WSJ.com

Music Monday: The Daytona 500 from 2006 and Bonjovi

Posted By on February 24, 2020

Jon-Bon-JoviAfter last week’s outstanding Daytona500 pre-race festivities and the fitting musical performance by Darius Rucker, the “Years Ago On This Day” post from “The Greatest Auto Race – NOT the Daytona 500” from 2006’s appeared.

Attached to it was one of my earlier video streaming attempts of the Bonjovi pre-race performance. What a great Music Monday post after an exciting Monday night 2020 NASCAR race due to Sunday’s rain delay. Anyway, here’s the low quality 2006 mp4 video.

Accidents, newly stained fence damage and insurance pains

Posted By on February 23, 2020

HondaAccordIMG_16371Everything seems to happen when we (or I) am out of town. From the power out and a flooded basement to accidents in our backyard (well for a couple I’ve been home). The latest happened when I was in Florida working on the boat and a sheriff deputy came knocking on the door at 5:30AM frightening Brenda. Obviously he was just doing his job, but knocks on the door during the night or early in the morning aren’t the best way to wake up.



He drove her to our rear fence (see quadrotor video) and gave her his card and incident report number which I’m finally getting submitted to the Columbus Ohio driver’s insurance company (driver was ok) – for what it is worth, his insurance company, The General, has not been easy to deal with so far.


I’m still in the process of gathering quote for a relatively minor repair, which means the hassle is likely more the problem than the dollar amount of damages. I wish they would just cut a check and let me handle the repairs, but they want quotes not just photos. Oh well.


The bummer is that I just cleared the fence line, painted the fence and gate (below) last summer.


Our second granddaughter was born on February 20 2020

Posted By on February 22, 2020

EllerieFrancesOostra_200220Thursday night (February 20, 2020 ) Drew and Katelyn knew it was time, so they packed up and took Annalyn over to Drew’s parents, which was the plan. They arrived at the hospital about 10:30 PM with very little time to spare and Katelyn immediately gave birth to an 8 lb 3 oz baby girl at 11 PM. They named her Ellerie Frances Oostra. – very nice, as it also kept both Katelyn’s and her Grandmother Howard’s middle name (Annalyn’s birth post).

After a bit of extra surgery for Katelyn, she was rolled  to recovery and by Friday morning told me she was “as right as rain”which made me smile and put me as ease. (see idiom reference below). Also I’m thinking she was just happy to have the birthing process behind her and was glad little Ellerie was content and healthy. I’m looking forward to seeing her soon!

As right as rain describes someone in fine health, something in good working order, an idea that is correct, or a process that flows smoothly.  — Grammarist

Thank you Lord for watching over the miracle of birth … and for keeping both Ellerie and Katelyn safe. Also thank you for your word which reminds me to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing and to give thank in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” Amen. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Annalyn holding her new little sister Ellerie at the hospital – 2/21/2020

TechFriday: VPN yay or VPN nay? Free or paid? Which service?

Posted By on February 21, 2020

If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time (post from 2007), DLSReportSpeedTest_ProtonVPN200212you have likely used, or been marketed VPN services, as a way to secure your Wi-Fi connection (especially public hotspots) away from the office or home network. I’ve pitched them as a security precaution to my customers and use them when traveling, especially when using unknown public and private networks.

DSLReportSpeedTest_NoVPN200212The recent trend in trying to secure your browsing data from companies who market your personal information (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc) using a variety of collection means, have more and more people turning to more secure web browsers, cookie-cutting add-ons and VPN connections even when on home/office networks.


The downside when attempting to do it “on the cheap” is a loss of speed (see speed tests posted above on my home network using ProtonVPN’s free service), bandwidth, traffic and limited data per month. Over the past few years, I’ve used a few and settled on ProtonVPN due to getting solid connections, positive reviews and no limit to monthly data … unlike my previous favorite TunnelBear.


At some point, it is likely we’ll all need to use a VPN with random connect points and IP addresses for privacy and online security when away from home. I’m just wondering at what point it will be packaged with my current ISP as a perk (or requirement) … or when I should PAY for a service in order to reduce marketing from VPN services and gain access to more locations and higher speeds?

Proton “pros and cons” as well as current pricing below:  


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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