Holiday shopping starts strong in a weak economy

| November 30, 2008

Considering the economy is weak, Americans when on a shopping spree the day after Thanksgiving this year, in fact retail sales were up about 7.2% over last year, according to the National Retail Federation. They also reported that 172.9 million made purchases from Friday and on through the following Saturday and Sunday. This “first holiday […]

Big Fish — and not the Tim Burton movie

| November 29, 2008

While spending the day around home, I walked around the neighborhood and noticed one of the grass carp (white amur) was belly up around our lake. I headed back to pick up the shovel and rack … and realized I would probably need a wheel barrow to haul this 20 plus pound fish home. It […]

Twitter Grader: Hmm a “C” is at least passing?

| November 28, 2008

Here is sort of a tech Friday post today dealing with Twitter. If you are a ‘geeky’ Twitter user, check out a ‘grading’ website as a way to review ‘tweeting’ contacts before adding them as friends — see — or just as an ego boost. Although I don’t spend all that much time running […]

Happy Thanksgiving all

| November 27, 2008

We’ve had pretty busy day and have enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner with our family (my side). We all ate plenty of food and enjoyed an excellent dinner at our house. The turkey was excellent (thanks Bren) and the pie’s excellent (thanks Claire).

And the Natalie Holloway saga continues …

| November 25, 2008

While I haven’t been paying attention to the Natalee Holloway story, the FoxNews “On The Record” program with Greta Van Susteren aired an hour long segment Monday night which I told a friend without cable that I would encode. Greta interviewed the twice arrested Joran van der Sloot and I found it hard to believe […]

Dishwashing and Dishwashers

| November 24, 2008

One of the current replacement needs in our house is the dishwasher. It still works, but is far from efficient or effective. Like many people I’ve talked too, we spend more time washing the dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher then running the crazy thing with relatively clean dishes in it? (and we’ve done […]

Sunday drive to see EAA friend’s new Cessna 172

| November 23, 2008

Fuel prices everywhere are dropping to surprising lows as we near the Thanksgiving day holiday. While returning from the Moraine Airpark near Dayton, Ohio this afternoon I was able to fill up with unleaded regular for $1.56/gallon. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen for quite some time. Diesel is also working its way lower, although […]

Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup final episode on Speed Channel

| November 22, 2008

Speed Channel will be broadcasting the final episode 2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup documentary on Saturday November 22nd. (Cincinnati area Time Warner listing to the right) This hour long broadcast will focus on the entire 2008 season, the drivers and the race versions of the new clean diesel VW Jetta TDIs. These 170hp 2.0L TDI […]

Animoto: simple, creative but restrictive

| November 22, 2008

Well restrictive … especially the free version of’s website. The web based “creative” photo slide show with music application has a short free version, or an annual charge version which permits longer videos. (the free is suppose to be 30 seconds, but the 3 I tried ran a few seconds shorter and really didn’t […]

Automakers pitch for a $25B loan didn’t fly

| November 21, 2008

So what’s next for the big three domestic automakers? Their sales pitch to congress seems to have failed to convince lawmakers that the answer to Detroits’ woes is a $25 billion dollar loan; a loan in which was requested to bridge them “due to the current financial crisis which was no fault of theirs” (so […]

The 2009 VW Jetta TDI selected Green Car of the Year

| November 20, 2008

With a relatively low starting price, excellent fuel economy and refined driving dynamics: The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI was voted Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal at the LA Autoshow. Check out the announcement at Autoblog.

Plenty of early snow while traveling in Northeastern Ohio

| November 20, 2008

Although this may not have been the “first snow” of the year in Ohio (see October post), it was the “first snow” that required some shoveling and has coated my car with salt. The photo above is at the University of Akron while the one below is traveling on I-76 not too far away. (click […]

It seems unseasonable cold for mid-November?

| November 19, 2008

Brrr … it was cold Wednesday morning as I headed out of town. I even noticed a thin layer of ice had already formed on the pond/lake in front of our house. I don’t recall having ice this early in November?

FoxNews streaming Internet news feeds and the Senate committee with the big three automakers

| November 19, 2008

Tuesday evening was a fine time to try out the FoxNews Live Streaming feeds from the website since they were broadcasting the hearing with the big three automakers. About the only disadvantage in watching these live streaming feeds is that occasionally the cameras pick up an odd face or set of eyes. ( partialscreenshot […]

Low priced gasoline is the only economic bright spot

| November 18, 2008

Fuel prices are pretty low not too far from my house today. I filled up with unleaded regular at a Circle K Marathon station for $1.65 over the lunch hour and decided not to gripe about my 20.8 mpg. (Honda 4wd Pilot) This price is about the lowest I’ve seen and after listening to the […]

After a few minutes of trying to “tweet” …

| November 18, 2008

I’ve figured out that Twitter is down … again (Tuesday AM). I’ve been wondering just what the business plan is for this popular social networking site and suspect that we’ll eventually see deep pockets google gobble it up. 😛 It seems that the many of the media outlets are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon and […]

Shopping local and Holiday Music coming up

| November 17, 2008

A little public announcement if you enjoy a nice evening, a little dinner, some local talent in the form of Holiday Music and “perhaps” a little local shopping. Be sure to plan to visit the Streets of West Chester 6 pm to 8 pm in December as the Lakota West High School Band will be […]

White-knuckle overtime tie for the Cincinnati Bengals

| November 16, 2008

While watching the poorly performing and ulcer producing Cincinnati Bengals tie with the Philadelphia Eagles in suddlen-death overtime, I did some catch up on my links from friends. One of the links was a great driving video Twittered by sbilik — Thanks Scott.

Kay Jeweler commercial feature ASL

| November 16, 2008

I’ve noticed the Christmas ads are starting to make their way into the Sunday afternoon football games, and one of them by Kay Jewelers caught my attention. The ad features a deaf girl (or actress playing a deaf girl) and her boyfriend using American Sign Language while sitting under the Christmas tree. It caught my […]

Palm Treo to blog photo posting

| November 15, 2008

I was tinkering with my aging Palm Treo 700p smartphone and the cellphone quality camera lens and sensor (1.2meg) while killing time trying to directly post a message to my blog. (the steaks and asparagus were great, but the phone-to-blog post didn’t work correctly)

Updated Firefox browser to 3.0.4; no problems

| November 15, 2008

I’m not sure why I continue to keep several different browsers updated on my notebook computer since am pretty loyal to Mozilla Firefox, but its interesting to compare the latest version of Firefox — which I updated to 3.04 this past week — with Google’s Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, Apple’s Safari and Opera 9.6.

Extreme Home Improvements: aka STS-126 Mission

| November 14, 2008

The space shuttle Endeavor is schedule for an evening liftoff at 7:55 PM on Friday night if all goes on schedule. The STS-126 mission is to do some “Extreme Home Improvements” to the International Space Station. The seven member crew of commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe, Mission Specialists Donald Pettit, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Steve Bowen, […]

BioJet flies across the U.S. on biodiesel

| November 14, 2008

I do enjoy seeing biodiesel and aviation come together and last week the BioJet flew 1776 miles of a 2496 mile flight from Reno, Nevada to Leesburg, Florida on a blend of soy and animal fat biodiesel.  According to Scientific American, “the Aero L-29 jet kept the biodiesel from congealing at high altitude by continuously […]

Reposting unauthorized online articles, photos or video

| November 13, 2008

Copyright infringement … its a big problem for content creators as the Internet continues to expand by email, blogs and forums — but how big is the problems? Attributor, a company that monitors the re-publication of content, indicates that unauthorized online copies of a content creators’ articles are nearly 1.5 times larger than the readership […]

Volkswagen Tiguan TDI and park-assist feature

| November 12, 2008

Ok, so this post is sort of a tease to North American Volkswagen enthusiasts, but it is still interesting to see what “might” eventually make its way to our shores. In the following short video clip, the “self-park” or “park-assist” feature which was only available in the Lexis is also available in the VW Tiguan […]

Tech Tip: Using to fax for free

| November 11, 2008

While stuck on the phone for part of the weekend trying to revive an email server for a client, a friend who was helping me asked if I still subscribed to EFAX or JFAX in order to receive and send faxes from my computer. My answer was ‘no’ since it was hard to justify another […]

Thank a Veteran Today

| November 11, 2008

Hypermiling: New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year

| November 10, 2008

The New Oxford American Dictionary has a new official Word of the Year: hypermiling.  “Hypermiling” or “to hypermile” is to attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and one’s driving techniques. Rather than aiming for good mileage or even great mileage, hypermilers seek to push their gas tanks to the […]

Gov. Palin to talk with Greta Van Susteren “On The Record”

| November 10, 2008

There are times I feel sympathetic for the Palin family after seeing the treatment from the opposition, the media and by some of the McCain campaign operatives; much of it is  unfair. On the other hand, when “glancing out of her living room window” (above) that just plane [pun intended] has me envious — life […]

GM, Ford and Circuit City taint a positive market open

| November 10, 2008

General Motors (GM) opens at $3.60/share on Monday, and Ford (F) flirts with holding on to the $2/share price as both beg for a government bailout. There have been strong hints of bankruptcy in the GM camp, while one of the big electronics retailers Circuit City (CC) has decided to seek Chapter 11. Still technology […]

Trying out Google Chrome — just for the fun of it

| November 9, 2008

Although I’ve installed IE7, Firefox and Safari browsers on my Vista OS Notebook, I was curious to see just how Google Chrome would compare. It surely is a simple install and quickly handled a variety of initial websurfing tasks. I enjoyed the out of the box minialist look and feel and loved getting back some […]

Motorweek talks Tire Technology on Goss’ Garage

| November 8, 2008

Motorweek had some interesting information about automotive tires on the Goss’ Garage sections.

The gasoline diesel spread continues

| November 7, 2008

While driving home on Friday night its hard not to notice that gasoline prices continue to inch lower, but being a diesel advocate (biodiesel), its hard not to grimmice when noticing the $1.42 spread. Ouch.

The Auto Channel on the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

| November 7, 2008

The Auto Channel posted one of their video road trips with Norbert Krause the Director of Volkswagen’s Engineering and Environmental Office in California while taking a drive the 2009 VW Jetta TDI. Although the video has some pretty annoying music in the background, some of the information being shared will be of interest to those […]

Volkswagen is going head-to-head with Smart ForTwo

| November 7, 2008

The engineers at Volkswagen are working on a smaller version of their “UP!” which intends to be marketed against the Smart ForTwo mentioned in yesterday’s post — the single gas entry for 2009’s Greeen Car of the Year at the LA Auto Show. The new up will be the smallest VW model and will seat […]

Will a diesel will be Green Car of the Year?

| November 6, 2008

With two of the five cars competing for the “2009 Green Car of the Year” award at this years Los Angeles Auto Show, things are getting pretty interesting. The three competing technologies nominated include two gasoline hybrid vehicles — the Saturn Vue two-mode hybrid and the Ford Fusion hybrid, two clean diesel models — the […]

Enjoying “the day after” the election – life goes on

| November 5, 2008

I’m glad the election is over and in the routine of living life rather than worrying about something that I have very little control over — my vote is pretty small in relation to let’s say someone living in Wyoming (see “How Much Is Your Vote Worth“). Anyway, in traveling today I notice gas prices […]

Ohio called for Obama; it looks like the election is over

| November 4, 2008

According to FoxNews at 9:15 PM, they have announced that Ohio has gone to Obama with 9% of the vote counted. The projection is early, but after watching a significant number of other states fall, the election looks to be over. Unless something freaky happens, the next President of the United States is Barack Obama. […]

Neilsen number for cable news channels

| November 4, 2008

I found this interesting while I was scanning the cable news channels and eyeballing the exit polls. I knew FoxNews has a strong lineup of shows, but didn’t realize just how much they were leading the other cable affiliates — FNC was almost twice that of CNN and MSNBC during primetime. Tuesday, Nov 04 — […]

Election Day: Let’s see how accurate the polls are

| November 4, 2008

Halfway through election day, with record turnout across the U.S., it looks as if everything is moving Barack Obama’s way. From the Democrats early work in “get out the vote” efforts in registering first time voters, to mistakes made by the Bush administration in handling foreign policy, to the 6 years that the Republican controlled […]

Ohio voting concerns right out of the gate

| November 4, 2008

Early voting problems are already being noticed in Ohio, at least in my precinct — or perhaps I’m just being hypersensitive?  I haven’t cast my ballot yet (waiting for line to shorten), but my wife needed to arrive at the polls early this morning before work — 7:00 AM. She stood in line for a […]

This Day in History – text messaging subscriptions

| November 3, 2008

One of the advantages to carrying a full featured PDA Smartphone (eg. Treo 700p) is that messages are sorted into threads. This makes receiving  them a bit more welcoming, although I still respond like Pavlov’s dog to the beeps or vibrations. This ‘thread sorting feature’ is helpful when subscribing to information sites  on the cell […]

Ouch … that’s what I get for not being careful

| November 2, 2008

While working in my garage this weekend, I foolishly let a metal rod swing down and hit me in my arm. Thankfully no bone was broken (from what I can tell), but the bruising did initially make me wonder. Ouch.

Gasoline continues down another dime

| November 1, 2008

While driving across the state on Friday, several stations were selling gasoline below $2.00/gallon. It does feel a bit better to be filling and traveling paying $1.89/gallon than twice that much only a couple months ago. (average price was $4.07 for unleaded regular on June 23, 2008 – LINK) We have certainly seen what speculators […]

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.
My Desultory Blog