VW Touareg V-6 TDI impresses Popular Mechanics

| December 31, 2008

Popular Mechanics offers a nice review of the new VW Touareg V-6 TDI. Our drive to Mexico and back in a Touareg V6 TDI required few fill-ups. In fact, after several hundred miles we still had nearly two-thirds of a tank of fuel left. If we maintained our 65-mph cruising speed while getting the indicated […]

Can I use biodiesel in my Volkswagen TDI?

| December 30, 2008

In the last issue of Volkswagen’s DasAuto Magazine, the “Ask Volkswagen” segment answered one of the most common questions I hear Volkswagen TDI owners ask. This as to do with how their TDI diesel vehicles run alternatives to petroleum, be it be SVO, WVO (Straight or Waste Vegetable Oil) or biodiesel. The  “Can I use […]

Daniel Tammet’s new book is available for pre-order

| December 29, 2008

I should probably wait until I get a chance to read Daniel Tammet‘s new book “Embracing the Wide Sky: A Tour Across the Horizons of the Mind,” but since I commented and enjoy his previous book, “Born on a Blue Day,” will make a comment. Tammet, one of the more notable high-functioning autistic savants,and has […]

Family football was tough on the lawn this year

| December 28, 2008

Once again my Treo smart phone ’email to blog’ didn’t post correctly while visiting family in New York state. A couple posts were missed, but I’ll quickly upload at least this one family photo for posterity sake. It is from the Howard Bowl 2008 and shows the well trampled field (my father-in-laws lawn) after our […]

The gift that will last for “hours” … literally

| December 27, 2008

Although I really haven’t watched much television (besides some news and sports) for years, I’m now hooked on a couple DVD television series sets. A couple of months ago, instead of watching a movie on a Friday or Saturday night, my wife and I started the series 24. We were quickly hooked by Jack Bauer […]

Good answers for tired geeks from Lifehacker.com

| December 26, 2008

Often times those who are ‘somewhat’ computer literate dread the holidays with family for reason other than “they are family.” How many receive the annual (or semi-annual) questions a post over at Lifehacker offers assistance about? “It takes forever to start up.” “I keep getting a pop-up saying I need to pay for my antivirus […]

Merry Christmas & a VW TDI fuel injection pump leak

| December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas all. We had a nice day relaxing at home and enjoying presents, cookies and each other’s company. Unfortunately I notice a “diesel fuel smell” in the garage when my daughter parked her 2001 VW Jetta TDI in the other night … so I took part of the afternoon to investigate: a leaking fuel […]

How about a 41/36 city/hwy Ford Fusion Hybrid?

| December 23, 2008

Although I’m pretty fond of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI clean-diesel when it comes to highly efficient, yet enjoyable to drive, transportation, Ford might have a winner if they can build and price the new Ford Fusion Hybrid attractively. Their new 2010 mid-sized vehicle is going to be the most fuel efficient mid-sized car sold in […]

Smartcar photos from “snowy” Seattle

| December 23, 2008

My daughter’s good friend Nora headed home for Christmas in Seattle about the time heavy snow socked in all, but the most capable of winter vehicles … you know … snowmobiles, large 4×4 trucks, Jeeps and Smartcars! (thanks Nora for the great iPhone photos of your dad’s car that I’ll post below)

Drugstores and Walgreen’s profit shortfall

| December 22, 2008

The drugstore sector stumbles at the market open on Monday after Walgreen’s (WAG)  announced that their profit fell 10 percent in its fiscal first quarter. Traders responded with selling shares even after acknowledging the shortfall was due to  “the costs opening more than 200 new store.”  The company answered the loss with a plan to […]

Snowball USB microphones needs a boost

| December 21, 2008

I was updating a small video project this weekend and have been struggling with a way to boost the gain on a USB Snowball microphone used for voice overs. Thankfully there are a couple links for the updates that at least give it boost on the Mac and Windows computers — unfortunately I wasn’t able […]

DARPA sponsoring biofuel JP-8 replacement

| December 19, 2008

The US military’s DARPA research agency is sponsoring research under the Biofuels-Cellulosic and Algal Feedstock program. Its goal is to develop the technical capability and commercial experience to produce an affordable JP-8 surrogate fuel from algae, in order to create a wider range of options if some of the US Army’s Corps of Engineers’ predictions […]

Christmas Cotton: PressIt test post from cellphone

| December 18, 2008

Using Treo to “Press It” post a cellphone photo that only has a little personal meaning to a few of us … and my friend who sent us the cotton for our Christmas tree many years ago. EDIT: Hmm, PressIt didn’t work and will have to edit to post?

Brian Regan “Ironing Board” reenactment

| December 18, 2008

A few months ago my daughter and I enjoyed listening to comedian Brian Regan together. Since then, I’ve mentioned his reasonable clean comedy act (at least everything I have heard) to several friends who continue to point me to the audio and video segments that tickle their funny bone. I noticed a slew of Brian […]

Marketing with Twitter and their business model

| December 17, 2008

Caroline McCarthy with CNET News offered up some thoughts on how Twitter and company Evan Williams, CEO could best eventually monetize their traffic and users. In an interview on Blip.tv, she talked about the rapid growth of this microblogging and social network company AND which companies stand to best use Twitter for marketing their product […]

Volkswagen shows off its 4Motion Golf TDI

| December 16, 2008

Volkswagen announced the availability of its 4Motion all-wheel-drive system for the Golf TDI  in Europe … but not in North America, of course. The drivetrain is exclusive to TDI models utilizing the manual-transmission variant of the 2.0L TDI clean diesel engine. The fuel efficiently is down about 8 mpg from the FWD only model, but […]

Top Gear reviews the Honda FCX Clarity

| December 16, 2008

The somewhat irreverent automotive program Top Gear, with its opinionated hosts, generally does a pretty good job of bashing wienie cars with electric motors, but James May in a recent episode offered a different opinion. He had the chance to test drive the Honda FCX Clarity and film a report with guest Jay Leno. The […]

Chinese automaker to bring battery car to U.S. in 2010

| December 15, 2008

According to a WSJ article in Monday’s paper, the Chinese company BYD is demonstrating their new F3DM which runs off batteries today. This “EV” can be charged from a regular electrical outlet and will be marketed to cab operators and other potential fleet customers. They plan to have their all-electric vehicle in showrooms in China […]

Yesterday’s Twitter question: What is this electric vehicle?

| December 13, 2008

A friend from Twitter (@cojonesx ) posted an answer by  link to my question and photo TwitPic “tweet” yesterday pertaining to an all-electric utility vehicle being used at the University of Akron.  Thanks for the answer and information Tim. By the way, you can follow me (@RichC) or just receive @MyDesultoryBlog updates on Twitter too.

Are we having fun with Vista yet?

| December 12, 2008

I really enjoy Microsoft’s fine Vista OS, and I don’t even need the new SP2 Beta — written with a *hint* of sarcasm. Need I say more about how my morning was going? 👿

Testing a few new edit features of WordPress 2.7

| December 11, 2008

Lost an entire post last night and figured I had better look at the new “dashboard” for WordPress a little bit more carefully. I’ll include a photo from my Treo on this test post using TwitPic (FYI — they just started a blog today) as I headed into Red Lobster to have dinner with my […]

FoxNews “Hannity” To Premiere January 12th

| December 11, 2008

Fox News will debut a new program at 9PM EST, entitled “Hannity” featuring radio and TV personality Sean Hannity as the solo host. The program premieres January 12th and will include a panel with three studio guest. This “Great American Panel”  is said to include  a conservative, liberal and “X-factor” guest. One the the more […]

Cedarville University to enroll pre-pharmacy students next fall

| December 11, 2008

Cedarville University announced Wednesday that they will begin enrolling students in the fall of 2009 for the Dayton Ohio area’s first school of pharmacy. Fall freshmen will enter the pre-pharmacy program and enter the pharmacy graduate program which is scheduled to open its doors  in 2012. The university plans to spend $20 million to build […]

Waste coffee grounds turned into biodiesel reports ACS

| December 11, 2008

A study in the online journal of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, reports that waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap, abundant, and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering cars and trucks. The study by Mano Misra, Susanta Mohapatra, and Narasimharao Kondamudi note that the major barrier […]

Upgraded my blog to WordPress 2.7

| December 11, 2008

After the upgrade the new admin “Dashboard” has a new look, and a “QuickPress” feature to which this is a first test. EDIT: I’m very impressed with the new UI … nice. Here’s a video explaining some of the new management features of “Coltrane.”

Skitch.com: a nice screen capture utility/app for the Mac

| December 10, 2008

For those of you on the Apple Macintosh computer, one of the better screen capture utilities/web services it Skitch.com. The downloadable application allows for a wide range of editting functions along with a variety of embed codes for web forums or blogs. I found the interface a bit cumbersome, but suspect that in time I […]

Honda said to be rethinking bringing diesels to the U.S.

| December 9, 2008

Will automakers rethink importing diesel cars to North America? Those of us who enjoy driving and owning ‘higher’ performance and efficient diesel cars have had this nagging suspicion that diesel cars may not arrive as planned, considering the auto slowdown and noting the price spread between gasoline and diesel fuel. According to a USA Today […]

Baby animals come in some pretty cute packages

| December 8, 2008

Those who find baby animals cute (and a miraculous creation) might enjoy these photos to music video. (Really it is just a second test of Twitterfeed to be sure it is working.)

University of Akron Stadium webcams Twitterfeed test

| December 8, 2008

While waiting for a project to finish printing, I thought I would test a new Twitterfeed account set up to update a separat MyDesultoryBlog Twitter account. It is suppose to update with a Tweet whenever my Feedburner RSS feed receives a blog update — or at least within 60 minutes of a post.  So … […]

Wards’ Auto World lists two diesel as 10 best

| December 7, 2008

Ward’s Auto World has published its 15th annual ten best engines list and two new diesel engines made the list. The dual turbocharged 3.0L inline 6 cylinder diesel from BMW and the Volkswagen 2.0L TDI were the first new 50-state legal diesels to be picked by the Ward’s editors. The other fuel efficient engine was […]

Hmm – my “Remember December 7th” post has disappeared?

| December 7, 2008

I had written and forward dated a December 7, 1941 post that was to show up … unfortunately it has disappeared (and I’m not rewriting it). I have been having  a few problems with my recent WordPress update and how it interfaces with the MySQL database; I wonder it that’s the problem? For now I’ll […]

A Merrill Lynch report sees $25/barrel oil and $1 gas possible

| December 6, 2008

The crude oil pendulum is swinging back just as quickly as it went up, and might even drop lower than most drivers have seen in quiet a few years. According to reports from a Merrill Lynch Commodity report, oil prices may crash below $25 a barrel in 2009 and gasoline prices could fall below $1 […]

Using GasBuddy.com’s GasBuddyToGo

| December 5, 2008

While traveling yesterday, I darted across the state of Ohio on Route 30 knowing that occasionally the gasoline prices are less expensive at a truck stop in Beaverdam, Ohio (Route 30 and Interstate 75), but before jumping onto the rural highway and leaving “known” stations, I pulled up GasBuddy‘s GasBuddyToGo on my Palm Treo. A […]

Will GM reconsider clean diesel in North America?

| December 4, 2008

It’s hard to imagine General Motors going the diesel route again after their last go-around 30 years ago, but considering a number of vehicles desired by American purchasers are the larger SUV and light trucks, a clean, highly efficient diesel would make sense. Besides the fuel efficiency of a diesel engine mated to the GM […]

Twitter tools: Pingfire and TwitterLocal

| December 4, 2008

I’ve posted a few times on the social networking/micro-blogging tool called Twitter. This inspired a reader to send me his favorite Firefox add-on and an excellent Twitter related website that is worth sharing. First is the Pingfire (Ping.fm) Firefox add-on which isn’t working on my VistaOS notebook (surprise, surprise) and the other, a search tool […]

Leftover snow, McDonald’s coffee bar and a Treo photo

| December 3, 2008

While traveling through Akron, Ohio today, I sat for a few minutes at a newly remodeled McDonald’s — actually I just stopped to use the restroom. It was my second look at the McCafé which debuted back in 2001 outside Chicago. It was also a chance to upload a Palm Treo photo directly to Ping.fm […]

Nice TwitSnip bookmark feature from Twitter.Grader

| December 2, 2008

A couple days ago I posted on a Twitter related site called Twitter.Grader. They have a quick ‘bookmark’ feature for sending ‘tweets’ and including links or text. Add it to your browser if you are a Twitter user … I’m betting you’ll find it useful? On a related topic, here’s a great Christmas gift for […]

Big stock market decline and testing 16:9 YouTube

| December 1, 2008

Testing 16:9 YouTube embed with Neil Cavuto announcing Monday’s stock market close … down the entire gain from last week on Monday. DJIA closes down 680 points. (BTW … we are officially in a recession, shocking huh?) Now that we are officially in a recession, how long will we suffer? Will we be out by […]

Thanksgiving holiday weekend highway travel in Ohio

| December 1, 2008

Since we had family traveling the Ohio highways this past weekend, it was good to hear they all made it to and from their destinations safely. It is probably the “dad” coming out, but receiving the update Sunday night that both my kids were back at school after their evening drive … I think its […]

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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